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Cake day: July 16th, 2023

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  • Metric has been legally “preferred” in the US since 1975. We just don’t use it.

    Also while I was looking up that year I came across this wild factoid:

    In 1793, Thomas Jefferson requested artifacts from France that could be used to adopt the metric system in the United States, and Joseph Dombey was sent from France with a standard kilogram. Before reaching the United States, Dombey’s ship was blown off course by a storm and captured by pirates, and he died in captivity on Montserrat.





  • I know what I’m about to say is not going to get a ton of love here buuuut…

    I’d argue that if you’re a former president, you SHOULD get deferential sentencing. Too much potential for abuse otherwise. Imagine if Trump won in 2024 and suddenly Biden’s document retention case got re-opened and he got the harshest possible sentence.

    Similarly but separately, major party nominees should get deferential sentencing. It’s an influence on the political process, and you should err on the side of having less influence. If you lock up a nominee so they can’t campaign, it’s not really a fair election. ESPECIALLY when it’s a crime from 8 years ago.

    Like, still get sentenced within the guidelines of the crime, but just towards the more lenient edge. If someone is guilty of murder you can’t NOT put them in prison. But if the penalty for the crime doesn’t require prison, it’s quite a leap to get to prison on a former president, current nominee.


  • There were 3 articles of impeachment drafted against him so that’s probably the number to go with. Never got tried in the Senate because he resigned, never got prosecuted because he was pardoned.

    However…the pardon was for “any crimes he might have committed” and per Burdick v United States an accepted pardon is a confession of guilt so technically Nixon has confessed to an unlimited number of crimes.


  • In general, my take is that people should be entitled to a warning, but if they still want to do something to themselves that is a really bad idea and the impact is pretty much on them, well…

    This literally is the status quo.

    The problem is that the impact is not only on them. There are people who are immunocompromised, particularly the elderly and cancer patients undergoing chemo, and children too young to get various vaccines, and they rely on herd immunity to avoid getting these diseases that might kill them or get them seriously ill or complicate their medical situation. So it’s specifically societies most vulnerable populations that are harmed, which is bad, not to mention the possibility that with enough spread the viruses could mutate and get around vaccines which would threaten everyone else.

    And then you have to weigh those real harms against…what, exactly? People just…don’t want to? Because of their incorrect belief that the vaccines are more harmful than helpful?

    The government exists to handle externalities like contagion and pollution and caring for vulnerable groups. Arguably, we should be a lot harsher on requiring vaccinations, like how we were on polio. But we aren’t.




  • It was very frustrating that just like what happened with “fake news” which was originally used to describe false news articles generated usually to help Trump, the same thing happened with the concept of a two-tier justice system. Originally describing how wealthy people like Trump don’t get the same justice that poor people do, now Republicans are trying to use it to describe Republicans getting charged for things Democrats wouldn’t be.