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Comment: Re:Yay big government! (Score 1) 111

by lgw (#47426879) Attached to: Police Recording Confirms NYPD Flew At a Drone and Never Feared Crashing

Business, private security, etc will always be corrupt. Always. People are people. Doesn't help that corporations are also bigger people. Taxes are the only practical weapon the common voter has against corporate overreach. What's your solution if we don't fund a group to watch them? We shouldn't just force agencies to spend our taxes wisely, but also demand how and to whom we allocate those taxes to.

This is the other kneejerk response to any suggestion of reduced government spending that needs to die forever.

1 - How about we cut government spending in some are other than the tiny percentage spent on protecting people against corporate abuse?

2 - We have a system in place for this. The problem with it is not that it's underfunded, but that it's been corrupted by the very corporations it tries to regulate! Arguably, stuff like the DMCA shows that more harm than good is done in some areas, thanks to this. This is perhaps the most serious problem in internal politics in America today but it's not in any way a funding problem.

Comment: Re:Yay big government! (Score 4, Insightful) 111

by lgw (#47426233) Attached to: Police Recording Confirms NYPD Flew At a Drone and Never Feared Crashing

Government, police, etc will always be corrupt. Always. People are people. The only defense is to give them just barely enough resources to do their job, with no excess or space for overreach. It's all about taxes - taxes are the only practical weapon the common voter has against government overreach, and the Constitution was written with this fundamental truth firmly in mind.

Of course, of all of Congress there are but a handful of congresscritters who actually are for less government spending, and usually the voter's choice is merely between which group of supporters the tax money will go to. That's a cultural problem in the US, and we can't begin to fix it until every call for lower taxes stops being dismissed with "you anarchist and probable racist, why do you want 0 government".

Fixing the problem starts with popular acceptance of the idea that one can say we're sending too much without being some extremist calling for the end of government. Less does not mean none - spread the word!

Comment: Re:So... (Score 1) 111

If Lloyd Blankfein and others who attested to the veracity of their financial reports even after they were repeatedly warned their mark-to-market was completely unrealistic, which in turn led to the largest financial disaster in over 70 years, are not being prosecuted for false reporting, I don't see why the police should be.

Especially as in this case no one was harmed. Can't say the same thing about the millions who lost their money or homes, can you?

Comment: Re:why new balls (Score 1) 123

You don't go to a Christian church and shout "FUCK YEAH, JESUS! WHOOOO!" for 2 hours.

Never seen an evangelical mega-church? You don't pass 10k members by without a lot of up-with-people let's-celebrate. But then again, they barely mention Jesus, and certainly don't mention sin - wouldn't want to offend anyone in the audience after all. But then, that's exactly why the fundies hate the evangelicals.

There are a couple of big religions that grew during medieval times, and so are very feudal in their structure, with God as the king-of-kings, and humility and suborning one's will to him are the key to salvation - this was after all the fundamental basis of feudal society. But that's just a handful of religions. Pantheistic religions have a different model. Religions without a deity seem to actually focus the most on humility for some reason, and like support your argument the best. But there sure are a variety of religions out there!

Comment: Re:Cosmic Baking (Score 1) 70

by smooth wombat (#47423867) Attached to: Study: Why the Moon's Far Side Looks So Different
But later, Earth got into drugs and became like Lindsey Lohan.

But drugs are cool. I'm always told how great it is to do drugs. Just look at Elvis, Janis Joplin, Keith Moon, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Cory Monteith, Dee Dee Ramone, Jim Morrison and whole host of others who extolled the virtues of drugs.

P.S. If Lohan would drink water instead of alcohol, she'd look (and feel) a lot better than she does.

+ - Maldives Denies Russian Claims That Secret Service Kidnapped A Politician's Son

Submitted by Rei
Rei (128717) writes "As was previously reported here, the Russian government has accused the US Secret Service of kidnapping the son of ultranationalist LDPR MP Valery Seleznev in the Maldives. The son, Roman Seleznev, stands accused of running one of the world's largest carding operations, with others charged in the affair having already been convicted; however, Roman had until recently been considered out of reach in Russia. Now the Maldives has struck back against these claims, insisting that they arrested him on an Interpol Red Notice and transferred him to the US, as they are legally required as an Interpol member state to do. “No outsider came here to conduct an operation,” president Abdulla Yameen stated. “No officials from another country can come here to arrest anyone. The government has the necessary documentation to prove it.”"

Comment: Re:Bitcoin isn't money but it's still a financial (Score 1) 108

<i> I want to be responsible for my money, and I want to be able to use it freely, without government snooping.</i>

Use cash - it's like bitcoin but it can't be tracked across the Internet.

Of course, if you take cash from some people and then give it to other people, well then you must be a criminal.

Comment: Re:So SSL is nothing more than an honor system? (Score 5, Insightful) 91

by bunratty (#47423581) Attached to: India's National Informatics Centre Forged Google SSL Certificates
Everything is nothing more than an honor system. You trust the operating system to accept only the password you chose when someone tries to log in to your account. You trust the compiler not to secretly install backdoors into software. You trust the hardware manufacturers not to implement secret knocks to allow backdoor access. You trust your browser to handle SSL certificates appropriately. If you don't like it, you can build your own hardware and software from scratch and feel safe in the knowledge that it's secure. That is, if you trust that you didn't make a mistake.

Comment: Re:Lawn Dart Alert! (Score 1) 311

by smooth wombat (#47423511) Attached to: The Pentagon's $399 Billion Plane To Nowhere

You need to qualify your statement about large quantities overcoming a qualitative difference with the following: had Hitler not ordered a full stop of the Panzers before they reached Moscow and given Russia six weeks to rearm, reorganize and regroup, Russia would not have been able to deliver the large quantities of tanks it eventually did.

Go read "Hitler's Panzers East" by Stolfi for a fantastic discussion of why Germany beat Russia in World War II except for the fact Hitler meddled in operational control.

Here's a brief synopsis: the German military laid out the plans necessary to defeat Russia before the winter set in. Without exception, they met every single objective in the time allotted and in some cases ahead of schedule.

Before the halt ordered by Hitler, there was only one remaining pocket of strong resistance in the South. Russia, at that point in time, had no other forces available to offer any significant resistance to the German armies anywhere in the country. Had he wanted to, Guderian could have literally driven his 2nd Panzer Army into the streets of Moscow in late August.

Comment: Re: (Score 2) 366

by Rei (#47423005) Attached to: Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

He said ice sheet. So we're supposed to ignore what he actually said and assume he meant something completely different? Um, no.

"I am not well read in this department" - wait a minute, you can give exact cites for research papers on sea ice, but don't even have a *general* conception of what percentage of the Antarctic ice sheet is gaining versus what is losing? Something tells me you're just grabbing cites you've never even read from denier websites.

Let me help you out with ice sheet. Pretty much all of the East Antarctic ice sheet is gaining, while pretty much the only area losing is the Antarctic peninsula and surrounding areas in West Antarctica. Now, they're losing *mass* a lot faster per unit area than the east is gaining mass, but in terms of area, the overwhelming majority of Antarctica is gaining ice. Because it almost never gets above freezing there, even in a warming world.

The 2010 paper was evaluating the failed CMIP5 predictions

If you'd actually read the paper, which you clearly haven't, you'd know that they themselves did the CMIP5 runs, it's not CMIP5 runs that had been done earlier. Do you even have a clue what CMIP5 stands for? Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5. As in, "there were four freaking phases that came before this one". CMIP5 is comprised of all of the latest models from all over the world. They didn't even start planning CMIP5 unitl September 2008. Your notion that this is some sort of review of old climate predictions just shows how terrible your understanding is of what you're talking about and how you don't actually read the papers that you cite, that you're just simply grabbing them from whatever denialist trash websites you read.

"An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt." -- a saying at RPI