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Comment: Re:"GRR Martin is not your bitch" (Score 1) 169

His format is interesting even if his prose is weak though. 70 chapters in his first book, distributed amongst approximately 7 characters, none of whom have died so far. Another heavily promoted book I've recently read was called Leviathan Wakes, and it followed the exact same format. Not until I read the interview with the author at the end did I learn that he was one of Martin's protégés.

Comment: Re:Translation (Score 2) 403

by fahrbot-bot (#48943207) Attached to: Most Americans Support Government Action On Climate Change

Global Warming is a theory.

First you say (in a post above) that it's an "opinion", now you've switched to "theory" - yet still spout crap that all the models have "failed" - w/o any support for your position. Apparently, you don't know what the word "theory" means in the scientific sense and/or are simply an idiot that spends way too much time drooling at, I presume, Fox News.

Comment: Re:whose payroll is the scientist on? It matters (Score 1, Troll) 485

... whose jobs are dependant on a federal grant getting renewed.

A recent GAO report said that $106 BILLION was spent by the US government through 2010 on global warming research. If you figure that was through the end of 2010, that was still 4 years ago, so the number is now much larger.

That number absolutely dwarfs even the imagined amount of money that fossil fuel companies have been accused of spending in campaigns against "climate change". I mean it's easily more than 2 orders of magnitude larger.

Even scientists are human, and they are smart enough to know which side of their bread the butter is on.

Comment: Re:Now using TOR after WH threats to invade homes (Score 1) 282

by causality (#48937501) Attached to: EFF Unveils Plan For Ending Mass Surveillance

Name calling is not shunning or shaming. It is attaching the person and not the argument and therefore has no place on civil discourse.

By the way, now that I re-read this during a spare moment and once again think about it, I can again respond to you in what I hope to be a worthy way, yet this time focus on a different dimension of the thing at hand.

I would ask you to consider, simply, this other and possibly alien point of view: the "name-calling" types are simply enacting the lower (or if you like, "gutter") form of an idea that is nonetheless technically true. The name-callers are merely those who recognize this but also have a need to make you look worse in order that they know better, or otherwise focus on what they think is wrong with you, with little or no serious constructive suggestion concerning what precisely is wrong with your view and how better to regard the situation. Liike the thinking individuals, they see what the problem is; otherwise, they lack the clarity and objectivity to identify the problem and suggest a sensible solution. By contrast, they're simply bitching. But even those people are correctly identifying that somethng is amiss. They're just the least clever and easiest to ridicule among those who all arrive at the same conclusion.

Comment: Re:Now using TOR after WH threats to invade homes (Score 1) 282

by causality (#48931289) Attached to: EFF Unveils Plan For Ending Mass Surveillance

Today, all one needs to do is say the government wants it and many will assume it is bad. It is the flip side of the same coin.

That's because there is a limit to how many times they can lie to people, blatantly and without remorse, before the people stop trusting them. My grandparents grew up during a time when this went on, like it does today, but not nearly as much and was not well known (consider Hoover's FBI, or the involuntary radiation exposure experiments carried out against black people, or the use of the CIA to overthrow democratically elected foreign leaders). They saw it as a matter of honor or duty to have trust and faith in the republic and the leaders its processes have put there. That's been shattered and won't be repaired any time soon.

In the personal realm, most people become suspicious of everything someone says after the very first confirmed deliberate deception. The amazing part is that government is given so many chances, that people are so impressed with official symbols and pomp and circumstance that they would ever believe known liars who have never faced any serious consequences for their deceptions.

Comment: Re:Now using TOR after WH threats to invade homes (Score 1) 282

by causality (#48929977) Attached to: EFF Unveils Plan For Ending Mass Surveillance

And how does one find those targets in the first place if they have no connection with known targets? How does one find the group to infiltrate? The point is that there are many new cells that are popping up that have no connection what so ever with known terrorists. How do you find those new cells?

The idea is that limiting police powers in order to safeguard freedoms (and with them, the balance of power between the individual and the government) is acknowledged as making the job of police harder. The polices' job being harder does, in fact, mean that some number of criminals will go free some of the time, criminals who otherwise would have been caught and prosecuted. This is why absolute security is the antithesis of absolute freedom, so the question then is how to balance the two. When you safeguard liberty as your first priority and assign a lower priority to the effectiveness of law enforcement, you understand that you are taking a higher risk that you yourself will be harmed by a criminal that law enforcement could have stopped.

That's why freedom is not for cowards. The problems you worry about are well known to people who understand and value freedom. They choose freedom anyway. They also realize that the danger with which you're so concerned has been overstated. You're much more likely to be killed by a cop than a terrorist, and any factual inquiry into that based on facts would lead you to the same conclusion. Incidentally, you're also more likely to be injured by lightning. In the last 100 years, many, many more people were killed by their own governments than by any foreign enemy, so the credibility of this danger has been well established. Limited, transparent government is a time-tested manner of managing this danger.

As an aside, if terrorism is truly such a great problem and we want to reduce it in a real and effective manner, we should also stop giving excuses to the people who hate us. It's much easier for an enemy to justify their position, raise their troops' morale, and recruit new members into their brand of exteremism when they can point to concrete acts of ruthless domination the USA has actually committed. Law enforcement would certainly be more effective if its list of potential suspects could be reduced, facilitating a more focused approach on those that remain.

Anyway, the real spirit of freedom, the more value-based, individual, and courageous part that you and so many others keep failing to even recognize, let alone try to understand, is that those who understand freedom realize that a few more guilty men may go free. They consider that a small price to pay, an exchange of a finite quantity that numbers can describe in order go gain something priceless and worthwhile. It's yet another instance of failing to comprehend a viewpoint because you do not personally share it, therefore you get sidetracked by related but irrelevant issues because you have no idea how to articulate a meaningful response to it.

Comment: Re:Now using TOR after WH threats to invade homes (Score 1) 282

by causality (#48929619) Attached to: EFF Unveils Plan For Ending Mass Surveillance

Berating me is doing nothing to change my mind. I do not respond well to bullies.

Actually, the social shunning/shaming of those who advocate positions that are detrimental to society does serve a useful and positive function. Consider the way most people would respond to someone who openly advocates racism, for example. The response such a person receives would not be a pleasant one and really would discourage them. This is a good thing and it's a service to everyone else.

The only difference between racist views and pro-authoritarian views is the method by which they damage society for everyone else. Honestly the idea that your safety is in terrible danger from terrorism, and that giving up freedom and privacy is an acceptable solution, is a form of cowardice. It enables tyranny and those who advocate it are enablers. It's also inconsistent with reality: you're more likely to be injured by lightning than by terrorists, and you're very much more likely to be harmed by police or other members of your own government than any terrorist. If you were truly interested in your safety you would religiously monitor weather reports and you would advocate that the federal government be reduced in size and power.

Meanwhile, it's a fact of life that not all opinions are equally valid. Some, like yours, are rooted in ignorance and cowardice and have proven extremely dangerous each time they are put into practice, as an honest reading of history would reveal to you. Yes, the USA is not the first nation to use the idea of a foreign threat as an excuse to curtail civil liberties. The delusional among us seem to believe that it does happen to be the very first nation that will do this without causing a complete disaster (which has always taken the form of a totalitarian government under which human life is without value). Neither an understanding of history nor of human nature could possibly support this delusion.

I'd like to leave you with two quotations that this conversation reminds me of. You see, we (collectively) keep rehashing these same old debates not realizing that great effort has already been poured into thinking about what are not new issues. The first is from C. S. Lewis:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

The other is a dialog between Hermann Goring, a leading member of the Nazi Party, and a man named Gilbert, during an interview conduced in Goering's prison cell during the Nuremburg trials, on April 18, 1946:

-----

Goring: Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.

Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.

Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

----

Something I hope you will consider.

I'd rather be led to hell than managed to heavan.

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