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Comment Re:Upstart? Scarebus? Comparison to Concorde? (Score 1) 345

Plus, you're forgetting another big one. The SR first flew in 1964, the Concorde in 1969. The SR was faster, and built 5 years earlier. The Concorde very likely built on lessons learned from the SR.

Actually, you've got it the wrong way around.

The Concorde built on lessons learned from the *British* aircraft and (especially) jet-engine industry, which was world-leading at the end of the war and towards the 1950s. E.g. Concorde draws heavily from experience building the TSR-2. Concorde's engines were *directly* based on the TSR-2's Bristol Olympus engines, which draw heavily on mid-40s Bristol engine technology.

The US had to licence designs from the British to learn how to build jet engines. A number of different British engine designs, from the original Whittle engine, to later Bristol, Armstrong-Siddely and Rolls-Royce designs, were licensed to a number of US makers, including Curtiss-Wright, General Electric and Pratt & Whittney.

It would be far more fair to say the SR-71 drew from British aircraft industry R&D.

NB: I'm not British, and I don't have any great reason to talk up Britain over the USA.

Comment Re:A fatal flaw (Score 1) 95

Good to agree on that.

Yet, no one in the west has ever been prosecuted for double-tap strikes. Not even in the infamous "Collateral Damage" video leaked by Bradley Manning, where children are clearly visible through the window of the van of a random Good Samaritan who happened to stumble on the scene of a previous attack and stopped to help.

Comment Re:A fatal flaw (Score 1) 95

Oh, for the avoidance of all doubt: The last paragraph is highlighting the consequences of saying that it is OK to kill rescuers, or OK to kill people by association. I personally do *not* believe any of these things are ever generally justified, either by western powers in the Islamic crescent or by militants elsewhere.

Double-tap strikes targeting rescuers are very clearly heinous war-crimes.

Comment Re:A fatal flaw (Score 1) 95

I don't think the US military intervention in Afghanistan was well-directed in terms of attacking those responsible for 9/11. Nor do I think the ongoing operations are doing much to improve US security. Indeed, the wider "war" on Islamic extremism ("we must bomb Kobane into rubble, to save it") is likely highly counter-productive and bone-headed.

However, set that aside, let's assume militant Islamic extremists are justified military targets.

Are double-tap strikes justified? How can it be justified to bomb and kill rescuers of whom nothing is known other than that came to rescue people - they may be passing good Samaritans, neighbours, etc.? Answer: It can't be justified, and it is in fact against the laws of war.

How can it be justified to deliberately bomb funerals, which will draw people of lots of different types of association with the original deceased? There would be many men and boys who are there because they were family (near and distant), kinsmen, neighbours, acquaintances, random observers, etc. - *not* militant extremists.

How can it be justified to deliberately bomb militant extremists at home? Afghanis live in large family groups. Targeting them at home kills their parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, cousins. You can only justify this if you have absolutely no regard for civilian Afghanis (and from your earlier comment, it seem you have little regard - despite your faux concern for women there).

Home compounds were targeted simply because a militant had spent a night there. However in Afghan culture (deriving from Islamic teaching) you are required to give hospitality to strangers, and it is not uncommon for this to happen. Random families have been wiped out for no reason other than that some "brave" drone operator watched a *suspected* Taliban stay at that house some night before, and so they get bombed another night.

Here's the thing, if you can justify the above, then tell me how you would be any different from a terrorist justifying attacks on civilians in a democracy? Certainly, if you can justify bombing militants' homes, then "terrorists" can equally justify shooting off-duty soldiers or bombing their homes - if it's not terrorism when done by western powers in Afghanistan, neither can it be if they do it over here.

Comment Re:A fatal flaw (Score 1) 95

I don't see what your comment has to do with the policy of killing unknown people, with no evidence against them.

Unless of course you're saying that because some people there are bad guys, or because some aspects of culture are disagreeable, that therefore it is OK to kill any one of them - including those girls and women you profess to be concerned about. In which case, you're as uncaring, as hating, as inhuman as any of the worst of them.

Comment Re:A fatal flaw (Score 1) 95

"Double-tap" strikes: They kill one person, then they have the drone loiter and wait for rescuers to come along and bomb those, on the assumption those must be bad guys too. They have no idea who those people are.

They killed a mid-level Pakistani Taliban guy, in the hope bigger Taliban guys would go to the funeral. They then bombed the funeral and killed dozens of people - no idea who those people were, they just /hoped/ they'd kill some more Taliban.

A clear and utter disregard for the lives of ordinary Pakistanis, Afghans and Iraqis that is only possible if you regard them as less than human.

Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 1307

The situation at the ATMs is not because Greece is spending too much, on a primary basis.

It is because the ECB removed ELA support - or rather kept the same cap. This is more about the liquidity of the banks in the face of a bank run, not capitalisation. The Greek banks were recapitalised a few years ago, so they're meant to be ok.

The bank run is because people think there is a real possibility of Greece returning to its own currency (which probably would overall be better for Greece, given the politics in the EU). It makes sense to get your money out of the bank in a hard currency like the €, rather than wait and risk your deposits being converted to drachma by a new law. The bank run is *not* because Greeks are afraid their banks are about to run out of money - they're well capitalised now AIUI (least, as well capitalised as most other EU banks).

Note, if for some weird there was a bank run on German banks tomorrow, they too would have to close, outside of special liquidity support being given.

This is a basic function of traditional banking: a bank lends out or otherwise invests the money deposited with it. So a bank generally doesn't have enough cash (itself) to pay /all/ depositors. Not German banks, not French banks, not US banks.

Which is why we have central banks, to support healthy banks (i.e. well capitalised) through any liquidity needs. Which the ECB has stopped doing for the Bank of Greece, and hence the general Greek banking sector.

Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 1307

State finances and macro-economics work very differently to personal finance and micro-economics. To analogise from personal finance to state finances and macro-economics is meaningless. It's what politicians do. To try argue about macro-economics on the basis of an analogy is a fallacy.

  (Indeed, it is generally always a fallacy to try draw authoritative conclusions about a situation by analogies with another. Analogies can be useful to help explain concepts, or to help look for postulates to try evaluate to other contexts, however an analogy of itself has no logical force. If A is a bit like B , and if A implies C, then it does *NOT* mean that B implies A, precisely because an analogy implies A is *not* completely B. I've been trying to get people to call this "argumentum ad vehiculum", because of how often arguments can end up in car analogies - especially here on /. in its earlier days).

E.g. "Greece doesn't have a job" - that's a completely meaningless statement for a state. Greece has significant economic activity, and exports (tourism notably), further its government has been running a primary surplus the last while, before the latest crisis, i.e. its government spending ex debt payments has been *lower* than its revenue.

Further, many of the statements you make about Greece are untrue - or at least are no less true of states like Germany. E.g., total Greek spending on pensions simply is not significantly greater than German spending on pensions - it is simply that Greece pensions tend to have more in public pension, and less in private, compared to Germany. Given the primary surplus, that means Greek government recently has been living within its means, so your statement that Greece would go bankrupt even if debt was forgiven is untrue.

Taxes, yes, Greece seemingly has a huge problem with that. The current leftist Greek government are committed to fixing that - and probably more so than previous governments that were more in favour with Greek (and EU) elites. Further, as you note, Greece's tax collection issues can't explain the reckless lending of other EU banks in the past - which is what caused the problem.

Comment Re:Drop the hammer on them. (Score 1) 1307

Their bail-out in 2010 wasn't in their interests though. They were *pressured into* taking a massive bail-out and paying off private debtors because many of those private debtors were in *Other* EU countries, and those countries were afraid their own banks would collapse and cause another financial crisis.

The 2010 bail-out was as much about saving French, German, Dutch, etc. banks as about saving Greece. The rest of the EU was bailing out many of its *own banks, and Greece took that debt on in *solidarity* with the EU *against* its own interests. Indeed, that bail-out was probably also financially stupid for the rest of the EU.

Now the creditors are no longer private institutions, but other EU states and institutions. Now what is being protected is the political reputation of the politicians who made the decisions to make those insanely stupid, unsustainable, and indirect 2010+ bailouts of our own banks. It politically suits the likes of Merkel to be able to blame the Greeks for all that money, and not have to acknowledge that otherwise they would have had to bail out their own banks directly. It would be politically a disaster for Merkel to admit now that the Greek bailout is unsustainable, and was a bad idea. Indeed, it could cause her downfall if Greece were given a sane arrangement now.

Basically, this about blame-shifting. It was about shifting blame and responsibility for the excesses of the €zone banking system - dominated by France, Germany - from the financiers on to the people, with the collusion of the political classes. In particular, onto poorer people in the peripheries. When that started to fall apart, it became about shifting blame from the political classes for their responsibility in the bogus deals they did that protected the financial elites.

Comment Re:Good (Score 4, Insightful) 1307

Because the debt is not sustainable. It will leave the Greek economy with huge interest payments that will cripple its economy for decades to come.

It is in Greece's interests to at least significantly restructure the repayments (much longer terms, with 0 interest on much of it for significant periods). Ultimately, they can do this unilaterally - "default" - in which case they might as well give themselves the best possible terms.

The vast majority of debt is owed to EU member states and institutions, and France and Germany in particular. It suited France and Germany for Greece to take on massive public debt in a bailout in 2010, because a good chunk of that money went to repaying *French* and *German* banks which risked becoming insolvent and collapsing otherwise - as Greece didn't have the money. The 2010 bail-out was as much, if not more, about saving *French and German* banks as about bailing out Greece. Indeed that bail-out broke IMF rules, but the IMF made an exception because of the exceptional systemic risk to global finance and the fears of another Lehman Brothers like collapse.

The sane solution for Greece in 2010 would have been to privately negotiate debt restructuring with its creditors, and unilaterally restructure payments where ever agreement couldn't have been reached. However, Greece was instead heavily pressurised by the rest of the EU to *not* do the sane thing, but instead take on *more* debt, because some of its creditors might have gone bust had Greece done the sane thing. Greece did this under pressure, and took this on to *save European banks*. Its own banking system got about €48 bn, to recapitalise, and its government got perhaps €20 bn to €30bn for operational needs (though even some amount of that went on financing costs).

Greece has been made to pay, very heavily, for the mistakes of the French and Northern European banking sector. Further, those who were *least* responsible for this crisis in Greece have been made to suffer the most - the poor, the young. This is fundamentally unfair.

Greece acted in solidarity with EU partners in taking on this bailout of, largely, *OTHER* European banks. The bailout was simply too big to be sustainable for the Greek economy, which has collapsed amid one of the largest recessions ever seen in the modern world. Instead of acting reasonably and recognising the solidarity the Greeks showed in 2010, several EU nations have - cowardly - instead tried to paint this as all the fault of lazy Greeks, which is an objective falsehood.

The EU *needs* a deal with Greece, because, as with all the previous deals, they are protecting *their own* banks, above all else. The Greeks now are saying any such deal also has to stop punishing them.

In a five year period we can get one superb programming language. Only we can't control when the five year period will begin.