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Comment: Time to support private space stations (Score 1) 132

by SuperKendall (#49362755) Attached to: Russia Wants To Work With NASA On a New Space Station

I know there are at least a few efforts at work on private space stations, including space hotels.

To me it no longer makes sense for government to work on a space station, when they could be helping to fund private efforts by guaranteeing to lease some of the space aboard commercial stations for government use.

Comment: Welcome, Permanently Afraid Euroweenie (Score 1, Troll) 168

by SuperKendall (#49362185) Attached to: Commercial Flamethrower Successfully Crowdfunded

Let's be clear, absolutely no-one is going to be using this as a weapon. It's not even a "last line of defense" weapon for home invasion, because while some may want to watch the world burn, they have different feelings about their own home specifically.

There are actually some pretty valid uses for this thing - farming an pyrotechnic displays being just two. There are a lot of people in the U.S. with large properties that could have very good uses for these things.

But basically, this is just fun, because fire is fun. Anyone who fails to see that has had irrational fear of EVERYTHING so deeply ingrained into them I cannot possibly see how they can function in real life.

People always accuse people who like guns, and now fire, of being fearful. But it seems to me like instead, those afraid of such things are the ones always afraid, and without any real joy.

Comment: Re:How propaganda decides wars (Score 1) 254

by quantaman (#49358813) Attached to: How Professional Russian Trolls Operate

So just because the USSR tried to manipulate the peace movement therefore delegitimizes the entire peace movement?

No, not entire — there were sincere pacifists even during WW2 — and not automatically. We need to painfully examine, to what extent the peace movement was compromised by involvement of both USSR and domestic terrorists. You may suspect me of overestimating the enemy's impact, but you are certainly underestimating it.

You're not overestimating the enemy's impact, you're accusing your ideological opponents of being stooges. I'm certain you're not nearly as concerned by the propaganda put out by those who agree with you.

When the US was about to resume shooting in Iraq in 2003, the whole world erupted in the biggest coordinated protest in history — and not by Iraqis, but by outraged Westerners expressing their sympathy.. Where were these peace-loving legions, when Putin invaded Ukraine in 2014? What few protests there were, they were largely by Ukrainian expats with very few sympathetic locals in evidence. Why?

Because:
a) People expect a lot more of the US than Russia
b) The US sets international standards, and by invading Iraq it helps legitimize things like Ukraine
c) The US is a Western country, it makes a lot of sense for Westerners to protest it because they have a chance of influencing the politicians. What the hell does Russia care if a bunch of Americans or Canadians come out in protest? And what should Canadians and Americans even protest for, we don't have a lot of leverage.

Because Putin's propaganda machine worked — on the entire spectrum of Western politics, not just the Left as the USSR used to. Rightist Jews in the US were accusing Ukraine's new "junta" of being "nazis", while actual American Nazis called the new government "Jews". Without arguing with each other, but both helped Putin. Most likely, they didn't realize it — but there is no doubt, a there is a group of analysts at FSB attached to each Western opinion-maker. US is a pathetic noob at this.

Wake up and smell "people's power" — and the power of propagandists to manipulate it.

It didn't do squat. Yes there's a few fringe folks who are influenced, but they're pretty insubstantial.

In the EU it might be different, Greece in particular might have a legitimate problem, but in the English speaking West Russian propaganda is a joke.

Comment: Re:How propaganda decides wars (Score 1) 254

by quantaman (#49357249) Attached to: How Professional Russian Trolls Operate

You're talking about the public perception of the war, UN approval forms part of that public perception.

UN's approval or lack thereof, by all appearances, was used to justify the opposition to war later, when the questions like mine here started popping up. I could find no references to UN's decision (or absence of it) as a factor. Could you?

I'm not mining quotes from 60 years ago but it certainly would have affected the perception. Korean was very much a multinational mission, Vietnam was not.

It's possible, but a far more likely factor is the fact they were very different wars at very different times.

Well, I explained, how they were similar — only a few years apart and both in far lands without evident immediate threat to the US.

The Korean war was over in 3 years. In Vietnam the US stepped into a long running conflict which ran a lot longer.

I fail to see, how the length of a conflict affects the justification of it.

Wars become more unpopular the longer they go, that's fairly basic. The public wasn't particularly anti-War at the start of the war, it became that way later on (similar to Iraq).

You've also got media actually showing the home front what the battlefield actually looks like, that's a pretty profound change from previously where media pieces were basically clips from war movies.

Yes. And the fact that media at home chose to concentrate on the negative, instead of praising the troops in general and heralding acts of valor in particular is, in my opinion, explained by (at least, in part) by the enemy's propaganda efforts.

That would be a pretty small part. The moment the media came to the conclusion they could be actual reporters instead of propagandists the friendly propaganda effort was done.

Finally you had a completely different culture in the 60's that was largely based on a rejection of authority

And where, one wonders, did that come from?

From stuff that didn't have much to do with the USSR (though many were undoubtedly interested in leftist ideas).

And where is it now, when questioning authority is not only not patriotic, but racist?

It's only racist when the complainers start blowing dog whistles. As it happens referring to Obama as a community organizer, a job he held for 3 years in his mid-twenties before going onto far more impressive things. That could be just partisan bias, but there's a definite dog whistle quality to it.

You don't need Soviet propaganda to explain the Vietnam peace movement

Well, we know for a fact (an inconvenient one), that USSR and other Communists were behind at least some of the "peace" organizations, such as the venerable World Peace Council.

The practice is still ongoing — an establishment calling itself "anti-war", for example, is calling for international approval of Russia's invasion into and annexation of Crimea — do you think, they would've approved of Kosovo or Kurdistan voting to become a United States' 51st state? Is it really over-the-board to wonder, if, perhaps, this Justin Raimondo is manipulated by Kremlin — whether he even knows it or not?

So just because the USSR tried to manipulate the peace movement therefore delegitimizes the entire peace movement? And an 'anti-war' organization that virtually no one on the left listens to or agrees with is evidence of that fact?

Israel is certainly trying to sway US public opinion, does that make you a puppet of some Jewish lobby? (for the record I say no)

Comment: Wrong - make it easy (Score 1) 365

by SuperKendall (#49356757) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up

No airline takeover/sabotage attempt that passengers could reach has succeeded since 911 (the most recent just a week or two ago when some idiot ran down the isles towards the cockpit door screaming - was tackled and pressed).

Stop locking the door altogether. If there's a problem, you'll have a line of people waiting to destroy whoever tries to take over a cockpit now. Threaten to hurt someone with a box cutter? Whatever damage you can do to one person is outweighed by every other person on that plane wanting to live.

Locking the cockpit doors has, to date, only brought disaster. You have to think that had the airplane that vanished had open cockpit access passengers could have got in there over the many hours the thing was off course (there are a lot of people that monitor aircraft position during flight).

Comment: Re:Not sure if this is worse (Score 1) 121

by SuperKendall (#49355879) Attached to: Australia Passes Mandatory Data Retention Law

No, I think the ISP's will only keep it for two years - but that is gauranteed.

Right now in the U.S. everyone blindly assumes the data is kept for NO years, and we aren't even given an imaginary date when it might be deleted.

The Australians are at least all aware for sure the data is being kept, in the U.S. it's still possible to imagine it is not... That's my point.

Comment: Re:How propaganda decides wars (Score 2) 254

by quantaman (#49355405) Attached to: How Professional Russian Trolls Operate

Compare our invasion of Korea with that of Vietnam only a few years later. Before you say "Korea was UN-approved" — no, that's a lame excuse. Stalin boycotted UN at the time action on Korea was decided, but by the time of Vietnam USSR has changed its approach. That's all.

So what? You're talking about the public perception of the war, UN approval forms part of that public perception.

In both cases American military was sent to fight in remote lands against people, who didn't threaten America directly in any way — for fear of the domino effect of Communism. In both cases the fighting was heavy and numerous war-crimes have taken place.

And yet, there was no domestic opposition to the Korean war — virtually none. No protests against the draft, no accusations of returning soldiers being "baby-killers". John Kerry, for example, has gained more political capital for opposing the war (and returning his medals), than for fighting in it (for an entire 4 months).

Vietnam was widely considered a national shame long before the war was lost. Meanwhile the only source of any negativity about the Korean war in mass culture was the M*A*S*H series.

Why was the domestic reaction to the two wars so drastically different? The theory of propagandists controlled and funded (with or without their own knowledge) by the USSR would explain the known facts.

It's possible, but a far more likely factor is the fact they were very different wars at very different times.

The Korean war was over in 3 years. In Vietnam the US stepped into a long running conflict which ran a lot longer.

The US was also coming straight out of WWII, so the idea that you should deal with belligerent countries pro-actively sounded like a really good idea and provided a great narrative, the communist threat would have also seemed less intractable since you didn't have to deal with Nuclear arms race.

You've also got media actually showing the home front what the battlefield actually looks like, that's a pretty profound change from previously where media pieces were basically clips from war movies.

Finally you had a completely different culture in the 60's that was largely based on a rejection of authority, do you think that was going to mix well with the military?

You don't need Soviet propaganda to explain the Vietnam peace movement, the known facts are explained by the known facts.

Comment: Re:Congress is a bunch of fucking retards (Score -1) 128

by SuperKendall (#49350733) Attached to: GAO Denied Access To Webb Telescope Workers By Northrop Grumman

Voting for the other corporate-controlled, militaristic party doesn't seem like a viable plan for getting out of this mess.

We already tried that a few times; voting in Democrats does not help.

Republicans are only into conflicts they can win and stop fighting; Democrats are the ones who like to cause endless conflicts they can pour money and people into. Under Bush we helped turn Iraq into democracy; under Obama we abandoned them to be consumed by ISIS, at least to the point we get to go over and fight for the same land all over again.

Comment: Re:Reveal what? (Score 1) 167

by SuperKendall (#49350397) Attached to: NJ School District Hit With Ransomware-For-Bitcoins Scheme

So you have no philosophical objection the the NSA acting completely outside the law

Everyone else is acting completely outside the law these days, and the law has been built up over time to give too many protections to guilty people, so I've pretty much stopped caring.

My objections are on the level of "well, I wouldn't do it personally, but whatever".

Especially for the guys that encrypt other people's data and ransom that. Who cares what happens to those jerks.

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