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Comment: Re:David Cameron is actually a genuine idiot (Score 1) 243 243

Does it ensure it, or is it simply a basic characteristic? I think of the market-driven economy as amoral, but largely effective -- certainly better than any other solution we've seen to date. But your use of the term "ensure" connotes intent, and intent implies moral cause.

I meant 'ensure' in the sense that the structure of laws and government are designed to have the least impact and/or influence possible while maintaining a reasonably fair and level playing field. I understand the point you make and agree. The only 'morality' involved is in basic natural law like penalties for theft, fraud, etc that almost any kind of remotely functional system would demand.

I don't disagree with the larger point here, but sometimes I think pro-market people slip into thinking that markets are positively moral, rather than simply fair through consistency (so long as laws are justly enforced). Markets are not immoral, which socialism is. Markets are baseline neutral, and allow for positive moral decisions because people can do what they wish with charitable or humanitarian use of private property.

Spot on, sir. Could not agree more.

It's very hard to convey detailed meaning & nuance across a wee bit of text on some internet discussion forum concerning deep and fundamental concepts and principles. Intents and viewpoints can be easily and honestly misinterpreted.

Forgive me if my phrasing and choices in necessary brevity caused any misunderstanding or confusion.


Comment: Re:What could possibly go wrong? (Score 1) 123 123

act surprised when they pick controversial locations.

How is it controversial to add concentration camps as "historic locations and monuments"?

Because they were one of the results of fascism, but fascism seems to be coming back into fashion (see: US, UK, NSA, GCHQ, secret courts, 'crony capitalism', destruction of encryption/anonymity online, destruction of private property rights, destruction of right of conscious, domestic paramilitary SWAT for non-violent misdemeanor offenses, etc etc etc) so being reminded of them makes those wishing to control what others do uncomfortable to think about.

The US is making striking parallels to the former Wiemar Republic across multiple areas of government, economy, and society.

It's an ideological 'lalalala I can't hear you!'.


Comment: Re:David Cameron is actually a genuine idiot (Score 1) 243 243

Capitalism uses the power of the state to ensure its corporations can oppress its citizens.

Incorrect, or maybe incomplete. "Capitalism" without a framework of equably-enforced reasonable and just laws is anarchy and chaos, not capitalism.

What you seem to be talking about is our current system which bears only passing resemblance to capitalism. Fascist oligarchy or crony-capitalism would be more accurate terms.

The larger the government, the more it controls both in wealth and power to control, the more tempting a target it is for corruption and the bigger the payoff when successful, so efforts to corrupt become intense and extreme.

Nobody is interested in buying off someone with little power to benefit them and will spend little or no effort to do so in that case, particularly if criminal penalties are severe for the attempt. And, with a less corrupt system overall, prosecution and conviction becomes a real possibility for all involved.

Corporations use the power and reach of government from lawmaking/enforcement to regulations on everything under the sun to enable them to remove wealth, liberty, privacy, and choice. Corporations can't kick in your doors with a paramilitary force. Yet. Not until the people allow government to become just a bit more powerful, then that will likely change.

A fairly well-run capitalist society ensures that as many people as practically and realistically possible have the opportunity, if they so choose to do so, to create a business/corporation *of their own* with hard work, sacrifice, and whatever other capital they can invest, and with a good business plan, have a chance at competing with others in the market.

The US used to be a fairly-well run capitalist society (compared to most) to which people from around the world took extreme measures to emigrate to. That has not been true for decades.


Comment: Re:Turn it on them (Score 1) 161 161

advocating siccing agents of evil on innocents

Yes, I and many others realize the government considers the people they are allowed to govern by consent of those very same people "agents of evil" if they do not give up their civil rights without push back

Your entire diatribe is based on false assumptions and strawman arguments.


Neither myself, nor anyone in my particular agency, has anything to do with violating any U.S. person's civil rights.

You work for the government. At this point so much of the government is corrupt and has assumed powers it does not have that it's highly likely the agency/dept. you work for should not exist in the first place.

same persons you wish will murder my family.

I don't wish anyone murdered. I want your activities and associations brought out into the sunlight, as it needs a thorough disinfection. The people most likely to "murder your family" work for the same government you do.

none of which changes our responsibility to protect you

I'll take my chances, thank you very much, as it seems to the government to be a free license to remove liberty, privacy, and civil rights. Please STOP.


Comment: Re:Turn it on them (Score 0) 161 161

If you would be so kind as to not make me and my family an assassination or harassment target because I happen to work for a defense agency protecting your own family, I would be most grateful.

You misspelled "committing unconstitutional civil rights violations against me and my family".

If these programs were actually aimed at stopping domestic acts of foreign terror then the Tsarnaev brothers would have been caught, as well as the perpetrators of other terrorist acts. All you are protecting are fascist oligarchs' lust for power.

Sorry, I do not feel kindness towards those complicit in enabling those who violate my civil constitutional rights.

I have a suggestion: If you don't wish to reap the consequences then don't work for those who commit such acts. If you cannot remain employed at your current position without committing or being complicit in such acts, either find new employment or be prepared to reap the consequences.

I have absolutely zero sympathy. Grow a set or live with the consequences of being an unprincipled coward.


Comment: Re:Turn it on them (Score 1) 161 161

What we should be doing is filing FOIAs [] for all data collected on our elected officials.

I think it would better drive home the point if elected officials have to file an "FOIA" with the citizens for *their* data and plead their case, humbly, with hat in hand.


Comment: Re:Turn it on them (Score 4, Interesting) 161 161

Surely it wouldn't be beyond the collective wit of the internet to set up a parallel surveillance system targeting judges, politicians and others involved in dismantling these freedoms. After a couple of months of having their every private movement made public I suspect they'd change their outlook.

Quite a while back I posted a comment suggesting a smartphone application that allows people to take a snapshot of a government official/bureaucrat/judge/LEO/agent as well as officials/employees of NSA/NRO/CIA/etc private contractors and upload it and location/time and other relevant data to a website in a non-5-eyes nation where facial recognition and data-mining software could analyze it and make that information and analysis publicly available. Track all their travel, associations, purchases, everything possible.


The Military

Test Pilot: the F-35 Can't Dogfight 807 807

schwit1 sends this report from the War Is Boring column: A test pilot has some very, very bad news about the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The pricey new stealth jet can't turn or climb fast enough to hit an enemy plane during a dogfight or to dodge the enemy's own gunfire, the pilot reported following a day of mock air battles back in January. And to add insult to injury, the JSF flier discovered he couldn't even comfortably move his head inside the radar-evading jet's cramped cockpit. "The helmet was too large for the space inside the canopy to adequately see behind the aircraft." That allowed the F-16 to sneak up on him. The test pilot's report is the latest evidence of fundamental problems with the design of the F-35 — which, at a total program cost of more than a trillion dollars, is history's most expensive weapon. Your tax dollars at work.

Comment: Re:Uber this! (Score 4, Insightful) 325 325

France can always be counted on to do things in the least logical way possible.

In which alternate universe is arresting the people running an illegal business the "least logical way possible"?

The fact that it's illegal for a private person to accept payment for a car ride principally to protect politically-connected businesses practicing an outdated/obsolete business model is both corrupt and illogical. It's protectionist crony-capitalism. Rather than logically correcting such a corrupt system, they doubled down on it. Just because a government declares something "illegal" does not mean it is morally and/or ethically wrong, or a detriment to society and/or the economy.


Comment: Re:GUNS (Score 1) 266 266

You can get a pretty good gun for $200 and a really good gun for $500 these days. You can get a CNC'd 1911 for that now... or something more modern :) And yet a 3d printed gun will literally never be as good, because it will never output forged stock. (Perhaps one day we will develop a universal assembler, and that will be better than either of course.)

All quite true at this time.

The one thing a 3D printed gun can do that a normal gun cannot: Not yet exist when authorities come to confiscate guns, and then exist once the authorities have departed.

That, more than anything else, is what makes 3D printed guns unique and the ability to produce them attractive, especially to those who live under a government bent on disarming the population.


Comment: Re:GUNS (Score 1) 266 266

No, it's because a 3D printed gun is not anywhere near as good as a gun made by a gunsmith.

Not really so true anymore, currently it's the price per copy.

But as 3D metal printing technology advances (and it won't be long, as it was only a handful of months ago that all there was out there was the Liberator plastic single-shot and now there's metal 1911-style semi-auto pistols being produced.), expect the cost/time required to drop dramatically and for quality to keep pace.

Can you think of a legitimate application for which a 3D-printed gun would be superior to a weapon made by a real gunsmith?

"Superior"? Probably not for a little while yet, but at the same time it will not be long at the rate 3D printing tech advances these days. "Legitimate application"? Depends a lot on what you would consider a "legitimate application", but I get your point and in many cases you would be correct. This will soon not be true as 3D printing technology advances & matures, however.


A language that doesn't affect the way you think about programming is not worth knowing.