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Comment: Re:LOL, a German bragging about social protests (Score 5, Informative) 427

by cartel1982 (#44671727) Attached to: NSA Cracked Into Encrypted UN Video Conferences

Read at least a little history. The SDP and German Communist party fought valiantly against Hitler, right up until the enabling acts were forced through parliament (and that only succeeded because the Communists were evicted before the vote). The German left fought street battles against the brown shirts trying to prevent their rise to power.

The Nazis were way more committed to what they were doing than the US Government is. If the dissenters in the US (I'm looking at you, Occupy) showed a fraction of the resolve that the Weimar left showed, we'd have cleaned house by now.

Even after Hitler came to power, leaders in the one place there was still some free speech -- the independent churches -- continued to voice and rally dissent. German intellectuals fled the country and loudly protested the Hitler regime from around the world.

The first concentration camps were set up to detain Nazi political opponents, they were only turned to the purpose of ethnic cleansing in 1938.

You frankly don't know what you're talking about.

Comment: Re:Good news for stockholders (Score 1) 633

by cartel1982 (#44661385) Attached to: Ballmer To Retire

I will say this for the app store: parents love it. There is very little on there that you wouldn't want your kids playing.

If your kid has an XBOX, you have to really investigate what games they want to play, but with an iPad (kids fucking LOVE ipads) you can basically give them an iTunes allowance and stop paying attention.

Sure, once the kids is 13 or 14 they're going to want to upgrade to Modern Warfare or whatever, but little kids are a giant part of the overall video game industry, and they're moving to the app store.

Comment: Re:That's actually...impressive (Score 2) 184

by cartel1982 (#44560659) Attached to: Cold War Plan Tried To Put a Copper Ring Around the Earth

I've recently been reading that, from a systemic standpoint, the Soviet Union wasn't doing much worse in the 80s than it had been in the 60s or 70s. Gorbachev really did seem to want to reform the Soviet Union just because he thought it was the right thing to do. But once there was limited political freedom and limited economic freedom, the system just kind of caved in on itself. Half-totalitarianism doesn't work.

Internal accounts of the Soviet collapse make for interesting reading. Gorbachev and Yeltsin really deserve a lot of credit as humanitarian liberals who took brave stances against domineering military and surveillance powers. America could use a Gorbachev right about now.

Comment: Re:On a related note (Score 1) 184

by cartel1982 (#44560627) Attached to: Cold War Plan Tried To Put a Copper Ring Around the Earth

I don't know, if you look at what the rights of a fully equal citizen were in 1939 (basically I mean white males) and compare them to the kind of federal policing, monitoring, record keeping, and surveillance that were going on in 1991, I think it's pretty obvious that the war against Communism did a lot to harm our rights.

Sure, during that time women and minorities achieved (most of) the status of white males, but what that status is became more restricted.

Comment: Re:Real-time processing required (Score 1) 637

by cartel1982 (#44560327) Attached to: Medical Costs Bankrupt Patients; It's the Computer's Fault

Yeah, the more I look into the ACA, the more my opinion becomes "well, it's better than nothing at all, but not much"

It seems to me the way to handle it would be to set a minimum standard of coverage and a maximum payout and then issue a mandate (preferably funded, but even if not..) that each state had to insure that level of coverage for its citizens.

Vermont and Minnesota would have come up with Single-Payer plans, Georgia and Alabama would have had monstrous corporate handouts and everyone else would have fallen somewhere in between on the spectrum. Eventually it becomes an issue in governor and state senate races and the "laboratories of democracy" would have mostly come up with better solutions than the ACA.

There was a time in America when a big federal health plan could have worked, but this isn't the 1940s, and Obama ain't FDR.

Comment: Re:Remember this (Score 1) 506

Saddam was a murdering rat bastard, but he was largely secular and as scared of fundamentalist terrorism as we are. Plus he kept Iran in check. We've gone crazy since the Cold War looking for new enemies, and our pursuit of humanitarian war under Bush I and Clinton lead to the mess we're in now. We were friends with Saddam in the 80s because it was smart. He should still be an ally. The Saud family, on the other hand, bankrolls jihad across the world. And our presidents hug and bow to them.

Comment: Re:150 lashes? (Score 1) 506

I'm willing to believe the worst about Saudi Arabia. It's a country ruled by a fucking dictatorial royal family that own slaves, and they act without shame and with utter impunity because they have our protection. I've lived off and on in New York City for years. I've known plenty of Muslims and Arabs. Nice people. I'm no racist. But fuck the nation of Saudi Arabia. And fuck America for being so damn cozy with those monsters. And from what I hear, the rest of the Muslim world can't stand them. Being vile and corrupt and unaccountable crosses cultural boundaries. They're like the tackiest lottery winners you can imagine, only if winning the lottery made you exempt from the law. I'm tired of US wars, but if China, say, were to go and depose their whole ruling clan, I'd be thrilled to the gills. Hell, say what you will about the Chinese, at least their working to develop a functioning country for their people. Obviously I'm not talking about the millions of Saudis who live in the slums subject to the theocratic rule that the royals don't bother to follow themselves.

If this is timesharing, give me my share right now.

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