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Comment Re:Quote (Score 2) 288

It's specifically those two movies. Ok, to be fair, the first Hunger Games movie was a pretty successful adaptation, it was only the others that sucked horribly (and also to be fair, the other two books were crap compared to the first, too, just not by as wide a margin.) Mainly it was a comment about WWZ, though, a truly breathtakingly beautiful book turned into a generic boring white-guy-saves-the-planet-from-zombies movie, that wouldn't even have hurt nearly so much if it hadn't been nominally based on the book it wasn't really based on.

Those "deep" movies are crap, and I care more about older movies than newer ones, as those are the ones I'm most likely to want to see on netflix, as I either forgot to see them in theaters, or completely missed they existed until years later. So I basically agree with you, you were overreacting to my admittedly-vague snark about WWZ sucking bigtime.

World War Z was honestly the most disappointed I have ever been regarding a movie. I actually had trouble finishing it, and I thought the $1 I paid at Redbox for it was about twice as much as I should have paid. The movie had so much potential if they had stuck with the book. The Battle of Yonkers, if done well, could have been an epic scene for a movie; so would the Battle of Hope. And if they were smart they could have turned it into a 10-year, moneymaking franchise easy. The book could easily have been turned into a 2-movie series: the retreat West and the rebuild/retaking of the East. And then you could take some of the movies or side stories referenced in the book as "spin-offs". "Victory at Avalon" would have been a perfect candidate for a lower budget shakycam/"found footage" type movie as that was essentially what it was. Then there's the Alpha Teams, the Chinese sub, etc. But they squandered it all for a quick cashout movie.

Comment Re:At what point (Score 2) 81

Does the "attempted murder" thing become just a case of entrapment? We have this admission here and the knowledge that the guy who planted the idea in Ulbricht's head and helped coax him down that road was a DEA agent.

In general, police should not allowed to do evil that good may come of it. One of the things that bothers me about these cases is that when the police merely create the appearance of evil, they're still coarsening society. When people think evil abounds, it increases their own temptations. That applies from here, to the knowledge that there are tons of cops online posing as underage girls to try to capture would-be lawbreakers there as well. Merely posing as an enabler of crime creates some serious moral hazards.

If the USSS agent had taken the bitcoins under orders or as part of the investigation then it could be a case of entrapment. But since he stole the bitcoins for personal use (or not in an official, sanctioned capacity) it's plain simple theft.

Comment Re:Trading one set of problems for another (Score 1) 808

But if you live in Atlanta or Charlotte or Phoenix or Omaha or Kansas City you're probably doing pretty well on 100K.

Yeah, but then you're living in a shithole, at least in the case of Phoenix. Plus you have to deal with temperatures over 100F every day and night for 9 months out of the year.

I live in Atlanta, make right around 50k a year (give or take, this year will be more due to a very nice profit sharing check). Just got married this year, and on just my salary alone was able to buy a 2k sq ft house (we could have gotten more, but we want to save). And this doesn't even take into account my wife's salary which is around 30k a year. Granted, I am out in the suburbs which makes for a rough commute, but that is much more preferable to paying way too much to live with hipsters in Midtown/Little Five Points or killing myself to keep up with the Joneses with a 700sq ft condo in Buckhead/Brookhaven. Of course, I also have a 1 year old Focus commuter car that will be paid off next year (with 125/month payments no less) and only mildly crushing student loans (about 38k for grad school). You just have to decide for yourself what level quality of life you want to have and live within the means necessary to reach that level.

Comment Re:Pointless propaganda exercise (Score 1) 473

>Tell you what: let the ARMY design the test. Then we'll see.

But.. But.. that would be like the customer getting what they asked for. That cannot be allowed in the military any more than it can be allowed outside...

The Army wasn't the customer for the F35 was. Congress was. How else were they going to get reelected?

Comment Re: Vietnam (Score 1) 282

There is only one way to win war. That is to wipe out the opposition (something America has not had the will for since WWII).

Not true. The way you win a war is to eliminate your opponent's will to fight. You fight them until they don't want to fight anymore. Sometimes this can come fairly quickly. Sometimes you have to wipe them out. They could be left with nothing but sticks and rocks, but if they still want to fight then you will have to shoot or bomb people armed with rocks.

And if Vietnam was a stalemate then why is Saigon now called Ho Chi Minh City?

Comment Re: Vietnam (Score 4, Informative) 282

I'm no professional historian, but I question your assertion.

American lost the Vietnam War because we weren't able to cope with a situation where there was so much guerrilla warfare taking place. Everything was a big question-mark. Did we eliminate all of the enemies in locations A and B? Did those snipers shooting from unseen locations in the jungle represent the only 1 or 2 enemies left, or were there many more? We kept dumping loads of money on equipment and manpower without any ability to see clear results.

America lost Vietnam precisely because of the political pressure at home, which indirectly caused much of what you describe above.

A little history lesson:

The Tet offensive in 1968, which garnered a lot of negative media attention in the US, effectively broke the back of the NVA. Until that offensive there were quite a few "traditional" battles. Remember, the NVA was a professional military force complete with armor and aircraft (in the case of the North Vietnamese air force). For several years after this the US was mainly fighting the VC (the guys in black pajamas), not the NVA. The NVA and the VC did most of their training, troop movement, and had much of ther senior command based in neighboring Laos. The US knew this, but apart from some small actions earlier in the war, barred the military from conducting operations in Laos due to fears of being seen as "widening the war". Had the US been able to put pressure (and keep it on) these troop marshaling areas and supply routes they could have pressed their advantage in both manpower and weaponry.

The negative publicity and public sentiment was not just felt in the White House and Pentagon, but in the squads and platoons climbing those hills for the 2nd and 3rd time. They knew the war was unpopular, had no real clue why they were there beside some vague notion of stopping the Communists (believe it or not, give soldiers a good, real reason to fight and they will put up with a lot), and very likely were against the war themselves in the case of draftees. When your primary goal is to survive your 1 year tour as opposed to winning the war, you probably are not going to win.

Comment Re:Yes (Score 2) 692

To split a hair ... I own my house ... "Mister" is a minor title. and there is definitely a deed for my house which effectively makes me a deeded minor titled land holder... so you're OK with me owning "ordinance" ?

My college roommate has a small cannon sitting in his living room. Owning ordnance in the US is legal, you just can't own explosive projectiles.

Software production is assumed to be a line function, but it is run like a staff function. -- Paul Licker