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Comment: Re:Profiling fail (Score 1) 297 297

If I had mod points to give, you and the parent to your post would have them. The Tea Party was seen as a threat to the passage of Obamacare, and later to President Obama's re-election, so IRS officials (not necessarily acting under the administration's direct orders, but I wouldn't be surprised either) went ahead and tied up conservative political organizations in bureaucratic red tape. This is *fact*. Giving government this kind of unchecked power stifles the people's participation in their governance.

Comment: Re:Not exactly. (Score 1) 728 728

Perhaps equally importantly, the background was one of gay-bashing in the US Establishment, who regarded homosexuals as a security risk (because, in typical backwards thinking, the Russians might blackmail them...which could not happen if their behaviour was regarded as unexceptional.)

Even if the CIA had regarded homosexual behavior as unexceptional, society as a whole had not. Societal attitudes just hadn't evolved to that point yet. The risk was less outing the asset to his bosses, and more that he would be outed to friends, family, and neighbors. Consequently, concerns over Soviet-bloc blackmail plots were not as backward was we may like. Nowadays, that should be less of a concern considering public attitudes have changed overall.

Comment: Re:It's not a choice (Score 1, Insightful) 728 728

My bias as an American and as a Catholic is that human rights are "endowed by their Creator." Even if you reject the notion of a Creator, I would say the implication is that human rights are by virtue of one's humanity, and not determined by the current state of written law. Otherwise, governments, monarchs, dictators, or the "law of the jungle" determine what is right and what is wrong.

Comment: Re:Really? The *infamous*? (Score 2, Insightful) 198 198

Whilst I congratulate the man for subsidising research and giving to worthy causes I have to wonder if he would do so much if he was not one of the worlds richest man [sic].

This is some twisted logic.. Of course he wouldn't do so much if he weren't so rich! He would be incapable of doing so. While Microsoft's business practices are deserving of scrutiny, I fear most of the vitriol aimed at Microsoft and Gates is motivated by envy, or "tall poppy syndrome," or some variant. In the final analysis, the man is a successful business person who's earned his money, and can do with it as he pleases.

Comment: Re:silly muppet (Score 1) 372 372

"Steal" nothing. Most employment contracts involve signing over the rights to intellectual property created on the company time to your employer. This makes sense: the company has to cover its ass if it's going to make these bits of IP into sellable products. It wouldn't do if they start producing a widget using an employee's invention, only to have that employee leave the company, and promptly try to charge the company loads of money for it when this former employee created the technology using the company's resources.

Comment: Re:They may not be able to make political endorsem (Score 1) 426 426

It's impossible for news to be unbiased. Even the process of choosing which stories are news entails a bias on the part of editorial, particularly if they opt to not give much coverage to a particular political issue or protest in favor of another.

You can't go home again, unless you set $HOME.