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Comment: Re:Dumbass (Score 1) 168

Of course the hawks of Russia and America have been fighting each other via proxy wars. A direct confrontation would risk their own precious skins rather than that of their cannon fodder. Trouble is, they repeatedly create situations where they risk that happening anyway - to the detriment of everyone.

Comment: Re:Dumbass (Score 1) 168

Hmm. Serious question: how much of that revanchism fervour is Russia's populace actually wanting a war, and how much is Russia's populace saying they want it because they're (1) too naive to realise what a direct US-Russia shooting match would involve and/or (2) too worried about being seen to disagree with the direction the "official" wind is blowing?

Comment: Re:Dumbass (Score 2) 168

"Russia is an enemy" is an example of what I'd call 'the lie made real', because the truth is Russia is an enemy only inasmuch as, like their American counterparts, the Russian oligarchies are playing their own version of the "selfish little power games" - even though the vast majority of both populaces just want to get on with their lives in peace and quiet.

And it's very sad that there's enough people actively engaged in making the lie real that the rest of us have to suffer the fallout. Perhaps less than 0.01% of humanity currently alive today are responsible for why we can't have world peace tomorrow (and I suspect I'm being very conservative).

Comment: Re:Dumbass (Score 5, Insightful) 168

I have mod points, but we're supposed to point out why someone is wrong rather than simply mod them down. So:

Zimmerman Telegram? That was in 1917, during World War 1. The UK and Germany were officially at war and were _shooting at each other_.
Bletchely Park? That was in 1944, during World War 2. The UK and Germany were again officially at war and were _shooting at each other_.
Snowden Leaks? ... *looks around* ... I seemed to have missed the declaration of World War 3, the US and Russia are not officially at war and they are certainly not shooting at each other (to everyone's immense good fortune, because, y'know, nukes).

Furthermore, if Russia seriously wanted to FUBAR the United States, it would not need Snowden to do it, because the American security apparatus has focused for so long on playing selfish little power games instead of remedying the nation's vulnerabilities that a precocious five year old could tell you how to cripple the country (and frankly, successive US governments have been doing a pretty bang up job of that on their own anyway).

Comment: Re:Citation needed (Score 1) 348

by Sabriel (#46792969) Attached to: VA Supreme Court: Michael Mann Needn't Turn Over All His Email

Genesis 9:11, "I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth." ("New International Version").

Technically, God's got plenty of loophole territory in that statement, but with the bible it's also the spirit (pun not intended) of things that counts - and a promise to never send another great flood would be contradicted by any (scientific prediction of) massive sea level rise and subsequent flooding of large portions of the Earth's human-habitable land.

Comment: Re:Useful Idiot (Score 1) 395

A safer, and more intellectually sound, option would be to become an anonymous whistleblower, like Deep Throat / Mark Felt. You don't get the notoriety, but then you also don't become Vladimir Putin's sock puppet when it becomes convenient.

Safer? Mark Felt was repeatedly under suspicion and investigation as the source, and he was just leaking that the White House was illegally spying, breaking and entering, etcetera. Snowden lifted the lid on the Spook House - including the kind of people who believe that illegal acts of kidnapping and torture somehow become perfectly acceptable when written up as "extraordinary rendition" and "enhanced interrogation".

It's a bit like the difference in magnitude between informing on a gang lord and informing on the Mob.

Comment: Re:I'll give you six amendments: (Score 1) 1613

by Sabriel (#46776417) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

Mostly like, but:

"2: Similar to Article 9 of the Mexican Constitution: Only US citizens can influence the politics of the nation."

Hmm, define "influence"? For example, Mexico's Article 2 forbids slavery. Would I, as an Australian citizen, be allowed to argue on American-hosted Slashdot that Americans should change the 13th Amendment to do the same? Would I be allowed to add my name to an American-hosted petition on that subject? Or would I subsequently have to worry about being arrested should I ever step foot on American soil?

Comment: Re:Militia, then vs now (Score 1) 1613

by Sabriel (#46776293) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

I wish folks would stop using Australia as an example. In the context of (dis)arming civilians, we Australians are a completely different culture. There was no big war with the natives (the British Empire pretty much rolled over them), there was no revolutionary war of independence, there was no civil war, and there was no second amendment. America's populace has always had far more firepower than Australia's ever did.

So it's very easy to claim comparatively huge percentage increases when the raw numbers are comparatively small. Basically, anyone who uses Australian crime statistics to push for arming or disarming Americans has drunk someone's kool-aid.

Comment: Re:Militia, then vs now (Score 2) 1613

by Sabriel (#46776125) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

Compare that to Australia, where the government confiscated all the guns to keep people safe, and violent home invasions skyrocketed.

As an Australian, one aware of the actual statistics, I feel eminently qualified to say: "That's bullshit, mate."

TLDR: using Australia as a reason for arming or disarming America is bad and you should feel bad. :)

Look, I truly get that unilaterally compelling the disarmament of the law-abiding proportion of a heavily-armed, high-density, disaffected population with a long history of armed violence is a Really Bad Idea, but when it comes to using Australia as a comparison point? You've been fed propaganda that exploits statistical shenanigans and popular ignorance of a distant country's cultural differences. Unlike the native Americans, the natives here lacked the technology, organisation and numbers to be much more than a speed bump in the British Empire's history of conquest, and we also never had a revolutionary war nor followed it with a civil war, so our nation was never armed on a level remotely approaching yours even prior to the confiscation. Our horse was still nudging the barn doors open, while yours is already up in the far paddock with a belly full of long grass and an eye on the short fence.

http://www.abc.net.au/worldtod...
http://www.ocsar.sa.gov.au/doc...

Comment: Re:Proletarian revolution the only solution (Score 1) 128

by Sabriel (#46775413) Attached to: Lavabit Loses Contempt Appeal

Because that worked oh-so-well for the USSR. Oh, wait, no it didn't.

The trouble with practical communism is that the Marxists never did figure out how to accomplish step 2:

1. Establish socialist state monopoly by arranging violent overthrow of capitalist state monopoly.
2. The heavily armed sociopaths used to achieve step 1 now hand over power to the proletariat.
3. Transition to stateless communism with world peace via post-scarcity technology.

World peace is cool, but step 2 is bloody tricky. Nobody's succeeded so far. Here's a method I wish would be tried instead:

1. Keep capitalist economy. Peacefully arrange a basic stipend for all citizens, with just enough purchasing power to meet the Physiological and Safety requirements described by Maslow's hierarchy of needs, then phase out copyrights and patents (since you just removed their reason for existing) along with a bunch of other obsolete subsidies and handouts.
2. Participate like everyone else in the capitalist economy to develop post-scarcity technologies.
3. Enjoy the quiet transition to world peace, you earned it without being an idiot.

Comment: Re:WTF?? (Score 1) 797

Thankyou for the correction (sigh, I should know by now not to expect slashdot summaries to get such "minor" details correct).

_However_ (now that I've read the article and followup articles including court quotes) that means it would be the principal and the other school officials involved who would be risking destruction and obstruction charges, and the officer still isn't blameless either. I mean, if I'm reading the articles correctly, this appears to be how it went down:

police: "oh hi I've been informed there was a potential felony wiretapping"
school: "I ordered the kid to delete it"
police: "you ordered destruction of evidence of a felony?"
school: "uh... but hey the kid was upsetting us by recording the bullying we were ignoring"
police: "oh that's alright then, I'll charge him with disorderly conduct"
prosecution: "sounds legit"
judge: "sounds legit"

Seriously, again, WTF?

Don't know about Pennsylvania, but in my state the school, police, prosecution and judge would all be guilty of the felony of "attempting to pervert justice".

Comment: Re:WTF?? (Score 4, Informative) 797

WTF? Bullying _is_ against the law. You repeatedly intimidate and threaten me, causing me to fear for my safety? That's "assault". You trip me, making me drop my lunchbox? That's "battery". And so on. Just because you're a child and in a sane system you would be required to undergo counselling rather than also be facing fines/prison as adults might, or because in the farcical bizarro world of many schools that you get away with it, doesn't make what you're doing even remotely lawful.

That officer who, instead of conducting a proper investigation into a potential serial harassment/assault/battery case, told the victim to delete the recording or be charged with felony wiretapping? That officer should be hauled up to explain why he shouldn't be charged with "destruction of evidence and obstruction of justice under colour of authority", which are federal crimes. And if it was done under orders from above? Add "conspiracy under colour of authority".

But, of course, that's in a sane and rational justice system that actually contains justice, rather than the authoritarian sociopathic farce that is far too common.

(note: exact wording of charges may/will differ depending on your jurisdiction / country of residence)

Comment: Re:Why so much resistance to climate science? (Score 1) 864

"And you know this how?"

I know this because we've built infrastructure of that scale before, and we had less knowledge and resources with which to do it.

If however you were referring to the sociopolitical problems inherent to accomplishing a common-sense goal on a national or international scale, note that all I was talking about was the technological/economic feasibility.

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.

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