The Police Guild in my city has been fighting tooth and nail to prevent a police ombudsman (civilian oversight) from having ANY investigatory powers at all. The Guild can prevent it because the city is too scared to let their employment contracts lapse and dissolve the police department for long enough to enact a mandate for civilian oversight.
Talent isn't leaving NASA for SpaceX. The talent is never getting to NASA in the first place. A number of high-profile candidates courted by NASA have declined job offers in favor of positions in private space flight companies.
NASA has a much longer list of failures if you're including test rockets and launch delays.
I get tired of people failing to see the problems and instead shoehorning things into their favorite ideology.
Sadly, confirmation bias, especially where politics is involved, is not the exception. It's the norm.
News flash: Different people react differently to some things. Just because opiates left you in a fog doesn't mean they are useless for everyone. For example, I take enough opiates daily to kill a horse. I exhibit no mental side effects. If I don't tell someone I use opiates for pain control, they'd have no reason to suspect I did.
Your anecdote is a perfect example of why anecdotes are unreliable for any situation other than that of the person from whom they come. I'm the opposite of you. Opiates control my pain without mental side effects. Marijuana, on the other hand, has no effect on me. I can consume enough to get a half-dozen people high as a kite without any effect on me whatsoever. Honestly, I wish that weren't true, because opiates don't control gastrointestinal pain in me. I would be ecstatic if marijuana could control that particular pain, but it doesn't.
While ingesting a large quantity of nicotine can be fatal, the major problems caused by smoking are the result of chemicals other than nicotine. Nicotine is just the one that makes people come back for more.
Depends on the person. I take enough opiates daily to kill most people who are opiate-naive. I was foggy for about the first 3 months of using them for pain, and then the mental effects disappeared. Only those I tell have any idea that I take large quantities of opiates to treat chronic pain from surgical adhesions.
For others, the mental effects never go away. Being able to function normally on opiates depends largely on the individual.
It all has the same effect on the brain.
While most opiates generally have the same effects, different opiates have different levels of those effects. Ask anyone who has taken fentanyl and then needed to stop taking it whether it has the same effects as hydrocodone.
Different opiates are metabolized in different ways, and produce different quantities of various metabolites. Some even have different routes based on the user's health. Oxycodone, for example, has a higher k-opioid receptor response in diabetics, while in non-diabetics the antinociceptive effects are achieved through u-opioid receptors.
Additionally, the "brain effects" wear off for most long-term users when used to treat pain.
That's why corporations have subsidiaries and sister corporations. MS Ireland is not the same company as MS USA.
Most of it is not actually earned abroad, due to accounting practices. MS USA sold all of their IP to MS Ireland, and pays MS Ireland a fee for every copy of MS software sold in the USA. That fee is almost certainly for an amount nearly (or actually) equal to the sales price. As a result, they claim a write-off on every title sold that's just about equal to that title's sales price. As a result, MS USA says they earned nothing on those titles. It's all based on technicalities that are unavailable to real people. Only corporations are allowed to account for profits and losses in such a way as to reduce their tax bills to nothing.
I can easily find laptops on eBay equipped with 4GB RAM for around $200.
Most wireless routers provide multiple SSID functionality now, so no need to buy extra devices for multiple wireless network segments.
He would get a fair trial. The problem is he would not be able to present a credible defence [...]
You say he would get a fair trial, and then immediately follow that with the very reason his trial would not be fair...
No, because likely the judge would disallow any defense he might present. It happens all the time in the US where defendants are not allowed to present a defense. Marijuana charges are one such. You are not allowed to present evidence that it provides an actual medical benefit, nor are you allowed to present evidence of a sickness which a rational person might connect with marijuana as a logical medical treatment.
That's just one example of a crime where a reasonable defense is routinely declared off-limits by judges. There are many more. Snowden's case is another one.
It's not absurd as long as the American in question is also opposed to their own country's actions. I'm one such. I think the US should be broken up into a dozen or more independent countries, because it's run by imperialist assholes.