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Jeff Stevens
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#Facebook is down!  I'm freaking out!  It's my lunch break and I'm trying to catch up on social media! #facebookoutage 

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Pope's address at the White House live now!

Hashtags referring to the Pope's visit: "‪#‎Popacalypse‬" and "‪#‎Popapalooza‬"

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Informal poll, no discussion needed:
Where do rights come from?

By rights, I mean for instance the right to privacy, conscience, free speech, liberty, life, etc.  And I mean the most fundamental ones, since we all know that not all rights are the same.
9 votes
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Is below a compound word? 

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My own Earworm for today, so I'm sharing it with/to you all.  Yes, the lyrics are in English.

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IF YOU SUPPORT GAY MARRIAGE, do you support revoking the tax exempt status of churches who refuse to conduct same-sex marriage?

#gaymarriage   #traditionalmarriage   #marriageequality  
19 votes
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Yes, revoke their tax exemption.
No, do not revoke their tax exemption.
I do not support gay marriage.

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This is brilliant.  This should be required viewing for every person on the Internet.  

From my friend +Wes Wilson  ​ (his comments)

My personal addition to this would be to tamper the amount of passion you allow to inspire your online interactions. If something outrages you, the first thing you should do is question the authenticity of the information and how it was presented to you. Try to depersonalize the things you discuss, address the ideas instead of the people involved in the discussion. And if someone is bringing unreasonable and non-constructive elements into these interactions, remove them.

Rethinking Title II to achieve Net Neutrality

(In response to TWIT 499, on the discussion between Leo and Jerry Pournelle)

I had some thoughts regarding the FCC's recent decision to reclassify Internet Service Providers as telecommunications companies, thus subject to Title II regulation.

It has been alleged that Title II permits the FCC to regulate content.  I have not heard either evidence for this nor rebuttal.  The claim was made that technically it is a violation of FCC regulations to curse on a telephone over state lines, but I've seen neither citation for nor rebuttal against this allegation.  Clearly it is not enforced, and I am not aware of any enforcement of regulation on content in telephone service.  But obviously there is content regulation on broadcast media, as anyone who has heard the halfhearted attempts to cover cursing on Men's Radio (aka Sports Radio) can attest.  That's likely regulated under a different statute, though.

I wonder if the FCC would regulate "hate speech" on the Internet under Title II.  There are increasing calls to make hate speech illegal, even when it cannot be reasonably expected to lead directly to violence, crime, or threat to public safety.  Once the FCC has the authority to regulate hate speech on the Internet, which this appears to give them, is it likely they would do so?  

The other thing I'm wondering about is whether this decision requires that ISP's open their infrastructure to leasing by third parties?  That is, can FairfaxISP, a startup ISP serving Fairfax City, setup their own DNS servers, make peering agreements with the Tier 1 backbone providers, and setup a big fat pipe into Verizon's data centers, then lease Verizon's FIOS fiber to get their service to my house?  And then offer me 100Mbps for $50/month?

A second vote by the FCC apparently prevents state governments from preventing municipalities from setting up government-run or government-sponsored Internet access.  Such apparently happened in Philadelphia when the city rolled out city-wide WiFi only to be overruled by a law passed in the Pennsylvania legislature forbidding such services, which of course was all but written by Comcast, headquartered in Philadelphia. Does this regulation also prevent municipalities from granting local monopolies on becoming high-speed ISP's using their own infrastructure?

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I'm quite conflicted about Islam. I have usually taken the view that these are just a 2-4% fringe who want to kill people. 

But just thinking this through. Is it possible to have a religion which is inherently evil? That preaches things that are inherently evil, whose goals are evil, even if they believe them to be good? If so, what would that religion look like? I am wondering if it would look like Islam: enough good to make people think it might be, but enough evil to make it fundamentally incompatible with our Western ethical ideals. Certainly much of Islam, which lives under such ethical systems as Sharia law, is incompatible. But could Islam itself, as a whole, be transformed into something that could live in a civil, religiously neutral democratic government? 

I don't know. Their legal systems and principles are very much at odds with those on which Western Civilization is founded.

In answering that question, I find it difficult to find information that is not biased to the point of uselessness. Either the source is a Muslim with a strong incentive to defend Islam, or an anti-Muslim with a strong bias against them. I see few relatively objective sources. Perhaps I should look to academia, to people who study Islam but do not practice it.
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