Most engineers I've met who work in defense do not wake up every morning thinking about more efficient ways to kill women and children. They wake up, believing that what they do furthers the protection of their families, fellow citizens and their homeland. Doesn't matter if the engineer is an American, Chinese, Russian, Israeli, Iranian, etc., most pretty much think that what they do is going to create a better and safer world for their loved ones. The engineers at the NSA, and I would even argue their most senior leadership, likely believe that what they do is for the benefit of the United States. I think there's plenty of room to argue whether or not their assumptions and ethical standards are correct, but to imply that they're not thinking about this at all or simply creating superweapons for sport with no care about their end uses is overly simplistic.
I feel bad for the thieves actually; this almost like the start of a scifi movie. The thieves apparently just wanted to steal the truck, not realizing what the cargo was. When they looked through the cargo, they probably didn't know what it was, so they just popped open the containment unit, apparently took the Cobalt-60 out by hand, and dumped it in a field. Those poor sods might have picked up a lethal dose of radiation; the news was saying direct exposure could lead to death in just one to three days. Stolen Cobalt-60 Found Abandoned In Mexico
The American government arresting him for Wikileaks would only solidify him as a martyr. Better to just let him get picked up in a third country and extradited by the Swedes on rape charges to try and discredit him.
Daniel_Stuckey writes "In the latest twist of a story that just keeps unraveling, The Guardian has revealed that the NSA had permission from intelligence officials in the UK to spy on British citizens—even if they didn’t suspect them of doing anything wrong. You’d be forgiven for reacting to the news with a shrug and an eye-roll. After everything that’s come out of the files leaked by Edward Snowden, it hardly comes as a surprise to be presented with more evidence that, yes, everyone’s been spying on everyone else. But this latest revelation deserves a moment’s reflection. As The Guardian explained, this is “the first explicit confirmation that UK citizens have been caught up in US mass surveillance program.”"
Link to Original Source
Link to Original Source
I think most people forget that the United States is an ideologically-based nation. Most nations of the world are built upon a common cultural and/or ethnic heritage. Even if they have ethnically diversified, there is still a core cultural base and history of what makes an Englishman, a German, an Italian, or even down to whatever smaller sub-cultural block they belong to (Scotsman, Bavarian, Milanese, etc.); that core is what holds those nations together. However, the United States does not have any such common core and is instead held together by a base ideology of immigrants woven into a tapestry of democratic governance, diversity and individual rights (though execution of said ideology is a neverending work in progress, and like any ideology has a million and one different interpretations leading to a million and one different definitions of what it means to be American). Therefore, things like patriotism and strong adherence to the Constitution are taught aggressively and weaved through the history curriculum because this ideology glue that holds the nation together.
The NSA serves a very real military purpose: electronic warfare, signals intelligence, US diplomatic and military communications security, cryptography, etc. The problem isn't that the NSA exists but that it's scope has expanded far beyond its traditional, military and diplomatic focused mission to a much broader, more ambiguous dragnet. Whether this was due to internal NSA scope growth or directed by the Clinton, Bush II and Obama administrations is the real question.
Don't forget, before you launch this thing, you really ought to make sure you've notified the appropriate authorities. I'm not simply referring to your own government, but to all the appropriate air traffic commands and strategic military commands globally. These are both groups that do not like to be surprised, particularly by large, multi-stage, rocket-propelled devices of unknown origin. The commercial air traffic folks are to ensure that you have no aircraft (military, commercial and general aviation) that may accidentally stray into your flight path. On the more extreme side, strategic commands are not going to like seeing a missile-like object launching from the middle of the ocean, especially if that poor, bleary eyed operator mistakes it for a submarine launched ballistic missile.
Koreantoast writes "Welcome to the next round of the anarchist vs. statist debate: Stanford's Balaji Srinivasan has made a radical proposal of a "techno-utopia", the dream of entire countries, driven by technology, that are free of the "Paper Belt", i.e. paperwork driven, traditional governments like those in Washington D.C. He proposes an anarchist, technologically-driven, "opt-in" utopia free of pre-existing systems and requirements led by innovators in Silicon Valley. Srinivasan presents Peter Thiel's proposed floating tech incubator and Elon Musk's plans for a Mars colony as "good starts." Needless to say, the concept has also drawn significant criticism, with Valley Wag comparing the idea to the "Tea Party with better gadgets." The author, Nitasha Tiku, says that such a concept ignores the fact that Silicon Valley's success were built upon government infrastructure and funds and that many of the newest concepts are simply thin facilitators on top of a more heavily regulated system. Slashdotters, where do you stand?"
Link to Original Source
Link to Original Source
How is the ownership of the Washington Post by Bezos any different than the past? Most major US newspapers have always been owned and controlled by a small handful of influential families. The Meyer and Graham families have traditionally owned and directly controlled the Post for most of its history (in addition to a whole slate of other interests like Kaplan and Slate), and those families have been active in the reporting and management of the newspaper. The New York Times for example has been owned by the Ochs-Sulzberger family for most of its history; even if it's "public" now, the vast majority of shares are still controlled by them. This doesn't even start talking about the other, newer media families like the Murdochs, the Turners and now the Buffett family through Berkshire Hathaway. The only thing that's different is that a new player has entered into the space, but the concerns levied against Bezos could easily be applied to the historic owners of other newspaper and media outlets.
Actually, Sino-African relations are much more complicated than that. African elites are getting large amounts of money from China, benefiting from the money they bring and the new infrastructure they build. Most common Africans however are starting to become uneasy with China however: the Chinese aren't bringing them jobs, instead of using local labor for construction projects, they just see armies of Chinese laborers being brought in to do the construction. At the same time, they see their own indigenous manufacturing being decimated by the sudden influx of cheap Chinese goods. It smacks of economic imperialism no different than the Europeans and Americans before them.
Believe me, even if every drug on the face of the planet was legalized, there would still be a Silk Road. As long as there are products and services that governments prohibit, whether it be weapons, children or something else, there will be demand for this sort of service.
This is no different than an IT budget that gets to the end of the year, realizes it still has some extra money, and then goes and makes a few extra purchases before the money disappears. I really don't see why this is such a big deal.
Clearly you don't understand how Foreign Military Sales (FMS) work. For a large percentage of arms deals, the DoD acts as a broker between the foreign government and the contractor. So in this case, the French gave the DoD money, and the DoD turns around and buys the drones on behalf of the French government.
guttentag writes "The author of The Hunt for Red October and many military and espionage novels which inspired a number of movies video games died last night in a Baltimore Hospital. The news was first reported by Publishers Weekly's Twitter account this morning and confirmed by New York Times Book Reporter Julie Bosman's Twitter account."