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Comment Re:America (Score 0) 330

With this in mind, as a general, bin Laden can be argued to be the best general in two centuries. Russia couldn't drive wedges between the US and Europe, even when the Bear had troops on every continent. Germany couldn't do this during WWII, even though for a few years, they actually brought peace to the Middle East. bin Laden broke the spirit of the US people, and now they are cowed and bickering with politicians taking advantage of their fears.

This is one of the most ignorant things I've read in quite a while.

A symptom of the broken spirit of the American people is bickering politicians?

The USSR and USA literally splitting Europe in half with a giant wedge right down the middle didn't involve driving any wedges?

Nazi Germany brought peace to the Middle East during World War 2?

And your hope for all of this -- the thing that will solve the fear, paranoia, and the militancy of witch hunts -- is a Winston Churchill???????????? Winston "we should have invaded Russia in 1919 to strangle communism in the cradle" Churchill? Winston "we should have invaded Germany in 1932 to stop them from rearmng" Churchill? Winston "let's gas the Kurds" Churchill? Winston "I've invaded more Middle Eastern countries than the Bush family" Churchill? Winston "we shall never surrender, except for giving away half of Europe to Stalin" Churchill? Winston "I'm the wedgiest wedge wedge wedge the world has ever wedged" Churchill?

The only hope coming from this post is that the poster is a teenager who knows nothing about history.

Comment Re:Isn't pleading the fifth roughly... (Score 2) 178

You may be an American by birth or by other processes legally, but you have zero concept of what it means to actually be an American, or of why the US was even founded then.

My post says nothing about police behavior other than condemning those who would wish for greater police powers as some kind of wishful thinking about simultaneously convicting more guilty people while reducing executive misbehavior. If you can believe that kind of wishful thinking, backing it up only with your "no true American.." logic, then you should move to Syria, where similar feelings are actually being implemented. Tell me how it turns out!

Comment Re:Isn't pleading the fifth roughly... (Score 2) 178

One of the major use-cases of the 5th amendment is avoiding having to take the stand during a criminal trial. It's not like the prosecutor can call you to the stand and ask you a bunch of innocuous questions like your name, birthdate, job, hometown, etc., which you must answer and then ask "did you commit the murder?" Because it is unconstitutional to force someone to testify against themselves, and because a prosecutor questioning a defendant in front of a jury could imply guilt like this, a defendant's lawyer will often object to them even being called to the stand to testify in front of a jury. In this sense it's axiomatic.

This doesn't prevent evidence from being gathered against you before the trial, and it often doesn't prevent you from giving up information against yourself (ie, it's not like you can refuse a warrant just because they might find something inside your home). The police can still hold it against you during their investigations, like you suggest, so while you can refuse to answer their questions ("you have the right to remain silent"), if you just sit there and completely refuse to talk the police will most likely more aggressively investigate what it is that you're hiding.

Comment Re:Isn't pleading the fifth roughly... (Score 4, Insightful) 178

As an American, I find the concept of throwing out evidence somewhat questionable is well, as in, if someone is guilty, they are guilty, no matter how the evidence was obtained.

This should be "despite being American, ...". Guilt is determined by the courts and it is done so using evidence gathered. If a person of questionable guilt is found guilty in a court of law, then ALL evidence that was used against them to do so is suddenly retroactively converted into having no requirements for its gathering. The person is guilty because of the evidence, and the evidence is admissable because they will be found guilty. This might be a nice system if we could pause the universe and question God as to whether we're correct or not, but we cannot, and if we could, we would probably not need arcane concepts like legal systems in the first place.

How could you possibly hold someone accountable for destroying your property if it's perfectly acceptable for them to destroy your property if you will eventually be convicted? It's just an incentive for everyone involved to convict you regardless of whether you did anything or not.

Both you and the non-American OP are viewing this in a simplistic manner as if a trial exists of questions such as "did you do it?" with a yes or no response. They are not. A skilled prosecutor can make it seem like your 8:59 quick trip to a convenience store reeks of guilt when it was information you happily provided to police. If "evidence" were always as evident as a bloody knife, then the criminals would just clean up after themselves without fail.

It's fucking crazy that a place like /., where people so greatly appreciate the overreaching of the NSA, some people can so quickly do a 180 and justify the same behavior so long as they come up guilty in the end! The 4th and 5th amendments, protecting searches without warrant and protecting you from having to testify against yourself, are intricately and irrevocably linked together. How can you justify not consenting to a search if you can be forced to consent to provide evidence incriminating yourself?

Comment Re:Haggling for Rates (Score 1) 229

But monopoly is mostly self fixing, as soon as you extract monopoly pricing you attract new competitors.

So presumably Americans don't hate cable companies, then? Because discontent with existing providers caused new ISPs and telecoms companies to spring up everywhere and fill the hole in the market?

sent from my alternate universe iphone

Comment Re:Germany should pay war reparations for WWII (Score 1) 743

Yugoslavia existed prior to WWII. It was invaded and dismantled by the Axis. Those disparate ethnic groups had been living peacefully together as Yugoslavia since the end of WWI, when it was formed, and even before that under the Austria-Hungary empire.

The only thing resembling genocide in that region occurred in the 1990s, unless you do some mental gymnastics and believe that imperialist aggression and Serbian nationalism leading to WWI was genocide.

Comment Re:Oh FFS (Score 1) 293

The public schools churn out morons like you because the left would rather teach leftism than basic literacy. Unsurprisingly.

If I can get 55 of them for a penny, then that's per cent. But % is percent. Or did you think those values were "per centages"? Dumb ass.

You're more than a quarter dumb, aren't you?

Not talking about coins here.

Comment Re:What's worse? (Score 1) 201

That's probably the funniest noir moment about this. The Washington Post, a newspaper, is being trusted with data so sensitive they don't even want to reveal some of it publicly.

A newspaper! I think I'd rather give my credit card information to Target than trust a newspaper company with knowing anything about the internet.

I would count the days until lax security leads to the raw data leaking onto the general internet, but it's probably already been read by Unit 61337.

Comment Re:hmm.... (Score 1) 201

It doesn't specify all of them, but it does specify some of them:

If a target entered an online chat room, the NSA collected the words and identities of every person who posted there, regardless of subject, as well as every person who simply “lurked,” reading passively what other people wrote.

There are others, too, but this would imply that if one of the legitimate targets had a slashdot account, or some other message board, anyone posting or reading the same site might be scooped up into the list of "incidental" targets.

Anyone showing signs of being a "likely" American, according to the article, were then "minimized". ie, their names were scrubbed. Of course their criteria for determining likely American status is not very rigorous.

Comment Re:"Fireworks Show" still to come (Score 2) 201

Out of curiosity, where did you hear this?

I think it's really interesting that of the "minimized" identities listed in the article, one of them is

A “minimized U.S. president-elect” begins to appear in the files in early 2009, and references to the current “minimized U.S. president” appear 1,227 times in the following four years.

Does this mean they were reading Obama's communications after he was elected to become President, and then scrubbed his name from it?

All science is either physics or stamp collecting. -- Ernest Rutherford