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Comment: Re:Useful Idiot (Score 0) 287

You've hit the nail on the head. The problem with leaking, even for the public interest, is that once the material is out there, you have little control over it. The information-wants-to-be-free crowd have all sorts of half-arsed claims about how responsible they are and how they can be trusted, but they cannot be trusted not to put massive amounts of blood and treasure in danger, because they simply don't have the necessary background to make sound judgements 100% of the time.

Snowden is an self-aggrandizing douche, just like Julian Assange; furthermore he runs with people like himself, like that compulsive Judas, Greenwald, and his Brazilian rent-boy. They cannot be trusted to do the right thing. They are dangerous, naive and fallible.

Stuff gets classified for a very good reason, NOT because they are on some kind of toddler-level power trip to keep stuff secret merely to annoy tin-foil-hatters and Internet libertarians. If certain secrets are leaked, huge amounts of taxpayers' money spent to keep ahead of our adversaries is wasted; and real people could die.

Comment: Re:Holy shit (Score 1) 443

by benjfowler (#46774887) Attached to: Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

Admirable. Prudence is a virtue that's underappreciated these days by society at large, and especially by our irresponsible, feckless leaders.

And we've been egged on by our wasteful, idiotic consumer-driven society to piss all our savings up the wall rather than save it; and have policymakers deliberately engineering the economy to strip the people of their savings (how else can we interpret ZIRP?). Besides the financial costs, there are the moral costs of breeding generations of feckless, impoverished spendthrifts who blow all their money on overpriced tat and live paycheque to paycheque.

The Fed and friends get a lot of hate (in places like Zero Hedge especially), but it's justified.

Comment: So... (Score 3, Insightful) 443

by benjfowler (#46774811) Attached to: Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

So, no different to the peculiarly American trait of considering poor people "temporarily embarrassed millionaires". No thanks to the self-serving ideology peddled by the rich, that we'd all be better off if we all worked harder, never mind the fact that the rich get rich by capturing the surplus value of your labour.

There's a degree of this everywhere (e.g. the hundreds of millions of retards out there who consider themselves "middle class", despite needing a paycheck each week/month to survive), but nowhere is this stronger, than in the US.

Comment: Re:Militia, then vs now (Score 2, Informative) 1409

by benjfowler (#46768543) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

As an Australian, I can confidently say that it was the best thing that otherwise complete waste of right-wing space, John Howard, ever did.

His confronting raving gun nuts at pro-gun rallies to face them down (in a flak jacket), was incredibly brave, and showed that an otherwise contemptible individual had at least a shred of moral fibre.

Fun fact: not only did the gun buyback slash gun crime, it also halved the suicide rate -- people go through dark times, but by raising the bar to people 'going postal', Howard saved countless lives. Credit where it's due.

Comment: Re:Militia, then vs now (Score 0) 1409

by benjfowler (#46768441) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

Indeed. That 'well regulated militia' the Founding Fathers spoke of, is now the greatest military power the world has ever seen.

If people need to augment their manhood with guns, they should join the military. Assuming of course, your average gun nut can get past the psych evaluation.

Comment: Landing legs (Score 1) 71

I wonder how confident they are of a successful launch, given that they've never launched with the 'production' landing legs attached (albeit, stowed for the ride uphill). NASA probably doesn't care if the first stage shreds itself upon reentry, but they'll care all right, if the landing leg interferes with the launch somehow...

Comment: Angara (Score 1, Insightful) 312

by benjfowler (#46743113) Attached to: Russia Wants To Establish a Permanent Moon Base

They can't even launch Proton reliably, and it's taken them 20 years of R&D to get Angara to the point where they can (nearly) launch it.

As it is, the Russian space programme has gone from world-beater, to being a bad parody of Kerbal Space Program.

Talk is cheap. I'll believe they can build a Moon base, when I see it.

Comment: Management (Score 1) 236

by benjfowler (#46736067) Attached to: GM Names Names, Suspends Two Engineers Over Ignition-Switch Safety

Management are paid the big bucks, because in theory, they are held accountable when fuckups happen.

We keep on being told that meritocracy is the American Way. But what I see here, are a bunch of overpaid slimebags avoiding accountability, avoiding responsibility, and hanging the engineers out to dry.

If Barra has any personal integrity whatsoever, she should accept responsibility for this, and for lying to Congress, and fall on her sword.

Or is "personal responsibility" only for the little people?

Comment: Re:well, it takes two to tango... (Score 1) 139

We have the Ottomans and their dysfunctional culture to thank for that. They are the ones who brought in different rules for different groups, and they are the ones who indirectly legitimized corruption in southern Europe. It's a wonder that we are as nice to the Turks as we are, considering the damage they've done.

Comment: US equivalent of Bribery Act (Score 4, Interesting) 139

In the UK, we have a particularly strict law called the Bribery Act 2010, which is good, because it not only prohibits giving and receiving bribes to win business, but it also prohibits failing to prevent it.

Does America have anything even close? I suppose I shouldn't be surprised if they don't, because the US rent-seeker corporate Right would fight it tooth and nail.

Never invest your money in anything that eats or needs repainting. -- Billy Rose