No. The rampant misuse of the assets needed for the surveillance state and the misuse of those assets can be laid at the feet of the general public and not the government. For all the complaints leveled at the NSA there has been no proof that they have ever used that information against it's own citizens. Corporations siphon off personal information from the internet and sell it and use it to complement their businesses. (Google targeted searches by user is based on user history and is just one example) All that has been proven about the NSA is that they use their collected data to help fulfill their organizations mandate by using the data for foreign based purposes. They could do a lot of thing with that data but so far that has not been happening.
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The US has the 3rd highest corporate tax rate in the world. The first two places being held by the economic powerhouses of Chad and the UAE. And while the US does allow corporations to reduce their tax burden using complex tax statues and even more complex accounting practices the fact is that European companies that move some of their operations to the US stand to significantly increase their bottom line operating in the US. The European tax rates, energy costs, excessive regulations, protectionist mindsets, and extravagant employee benefits make it harder for them to compete internationally. Employee benefits are without a doubt an area where most US companies need to make changes but the European alternatives come very close to creating an expanding public dole that rewards people who contribute little in the overall workforce creating a situation where people are more willing to take government handouts than to enter the workforce. The EU's weak immigration safeguards also exasperates the problem. Quality of life for workers is one thing but rewarding those who would rather subsist on government handouts instead of actually working for a living is not a model for success. The EU's investigations into both MS and Google are nothing more than mafia style shakedowns dressed up as anti-competitive investigations and have very little to do with actually providing local competitors with a leg up. There is currently no European competitor for Google and while Linux is a viable alternative and competitor of MS in some areas there is no other desktop centric OS and application stack vendor that could challenge the MS dominance. If you are going to penalize anti-competitive behavior you should at least make sure there are other competitors to begin with. While most people in the world have major complaints about their government leadership leave it to the Europeans to create a whole new layer of bureaucracy that sits on top of their own national governments and then expect corruption and governmental inefficiency to decrease. An extra level of bureaucracy that is even less accountable to those they oversee than their local governments are. Besides a unified currency and open border policies I don't see one damn thing that the EU has provided. They have no unified defense agreements because they still think the US has their back when the reality is far different. Even their unified currency policies are falling apart because a minority of members dominate the economic policies to the detriment of the small countries.
The US does not have to go after any EU based companies looking to give them a hard time all it has to do is create a more favorable business climate to encourage those companies to move some of their operations to the US. And that has been happening. Lower energy costs, reduced shipping costs, and far less government regulation will produce far better results than trying to shakedown successful companies with deep pockets which is exactly what the EU has been doing. The EU say they want to provide space for competitors but there are really no viable competitors in the areas they control. They should have addressed their concerns when Google and MS were just starting out but the Europeans were a sleep at the wheel when the IT revolution was happening in the US and have been trying to play catch up ever since.
"sociopathy" and/or "psychopathy" I don't see how these descriptors apply to a large company without resorting to making wide generalizations and assumptions based more on hearsay than actual facts. They seem to be attributes of individuals. People who criticize corporations as the root of all evil don't seem to realize that those very same corporations provide a lot of jobs for a lot of people. It would be nice to have those running the corporations to put more effort into adopting policies that support their employees and go the extra mile to ensure competitive salaries, good benefits, and job security even when the business may experience a reduction of profits due to the general economic conditions. Preventing mass layoffs triggered by the stock price dropping a few points would go a long way in a repairing a corporations image.
You can always start a non-profit company to sooth your conscience while satisfying your goals in life but there is nothing wrong about starting a company to make profits. MS, Apple, Google, and a whole bunch of other companies started out with nothing more than a few good ideas that eventually led to profitability. They didn't start off life as "evil" globe spanning billion dollar enterprises capable of throwing their weight and money around to increase their profitability.If you start a business from scratch with one of your goals being to reap monetary rewards from your work at what point do look around and say I have earned enough profits so I need to slow down or even shutdown my operations or someone is going to call me "evil"? If you want to start punishing success and remove the incentives that drive some people a reason to excel in delivering new and better products and services than you better hope the socialist utopian nirvana can deliver on it's promises.
I think a lot of people have forgotten that Stuxnext required someone on the inside who had access to the Iranian centrifuge lab to kick off the party. Cultivating that inside asset was probably harder, and definitely more dangerous, than engineering the virus.
Granted the post was of rambling nature but what factual statements are you contesting? The number of NSA employees? The lack of discussions about the type of IT infrastructure needed to do some of things being attributed to them? Or was bringing up that the NSA has never operated in a vacuum and that any changes in the organizations mandate should not leave the US vulnerable to all the other foreign intelligence agencies operating in the world. Not saying changes are not warranted but those changes should be balanced in such a manner that US security is not jeopardized.
The Monroe Doctrine was issued in 1832. It's main purpose was to warn the European nations that any interference in Central or South America would automatically result in a US military response. However, that ancient doctrine from a bygone era has absolutely nothing to do with China's attempts to increase their influence in the South China Sea region. China's activities are particularly risky because the US has long standing mutual defense treaties with Japan, South Korea, and Australia. If any of the other smaller countries in the region feels pressured they will most likely look towards finding out what it would take to get a seat under the US defense umbrella.
I said nothing of the sort. Nobody is trying to overthrow the US government. I only said there needs to be a balanced approach when evaluating the activities of the foreign intelligence agencies. When passing judgments you need to include both the pros and cons in the discussion but the problem is all you ever see are the cons which makes any decision or opinion from that discussion suspect.
His well respected journalists have been on a non-stop crusade against the US since well before Snowden ever came into the picture. Important and controversial issues require balanced and impartial presentations and that certainly has not happened. They, like a lot of people, have decided that the US is always wrong and they refuse to entertain or even acknowledge any information that might weaken or possibly contradict their firmly held beliefs and editorial positions. They have released the information piecemeal over time to ensure their continued involvement for as long as possible.What has never been released or highlighted is any information that might show the NSA activities in a more balanced way. Domestic and foreign intelligence agencies are a fact of life in today's world. Arguing the US should shit can it's intelligence agencies while publicly releasing detailed information about every clandestine program around the world strikes me as a real bad idea Balancing security against individual freedoms is difficult and that balance is tested every time a lapse in intelligence or security practices allows something bad to happen. I just hope some future attempts at balancing security and individual freedoms includes repealing the security directive that requires me to take my shoes off at the airport.
The international rivalries and tensions that result in large defense budgets will ultimately boost the pace of space exploration. If China was looking to establish a presence on the Moon or Mars the US would do everything in it's power to get there first. The US Apollo missions to the Moon were the direct result of the cold war animosity between the US and the USSR. The Russians sent up the first satellite and put the first man in orbit so the US one upped them by going to the Moon.
Google is just a tool for accessing all the information someone has taken the trouble to put online. However the information put online is often riddled with inaccuracies, full of contradictory sources, and usually only helpful if you already posses a personal knowledge base that enables you to tell useful information from the 100% unadulterated bullshit.
Had he kept his data dump focused on US domestic concerns he would not be a traitor. However, all the information released about Foreign intelligence programs does make him a traitor although I think traitor is to strong of a word. His real crime was believing he alone knew what information was dangerous to release and what information was relatively benign in nature. He and his supporters want to paint a picture of some heroic fighter for truth and justice when in reality he is just the best propagandist every country hostile to the US could ever hope for. It's fitting that he is holed up in Russia with the FSB watching his every move and intercepting all his electronic communications. Of course the FSB is just protecting him from being snatched up by the evil US. .
You don't need nukes if launching from orbit. A heavy metal (DU) rod with an ablative layer will do the job and you won't need to worry about any fall out.
After you sober up you can retrieve your vehicle but you have to pay the cost of towing and possibly as storage fee if you take to long to get your vehicle. In some cases they can hold your vehicle if you were driving without insurance or a valid drivers license but they will release the vehicle to a friend or relative who has insurance and a valid license. Unfortunately I have some first hand knowledge of the procedures due to some foolish indiscretions in my youth.