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Comment Re:Self Defense (Score 1) 172

From what I remember reading, Sherman's March to the Sea had general orders to destroy Southern economic output but not to wantonly harm civilian population or things necessary to keep them alive, although even if true, it's an open question on what level of discipline was maintained over the campaign at the unit level.

The Romans largely set the gold standard for total warfare, often annihilating their opponents armies completely, burning their cities to the ground, looting everything of value and enslaving anyone left. Carthage and Gaul come to mind. Marcus Licinius Crassus had 6,000 rebel slaves crucified on a stretch of the Appian Way miles long to serve as a warning to any continuation of the rebellion.

The thing is, in modern military campaigns I don't think you would have to actually destroy an entire country completely or kill all their civilians. My sense is that after a brief period of time where you had firmly established total warfare as the core strategy you would cow the population. A path through Iraq or Syria wide enough for a couple of divisions of mechanized infantry where every form of resistance was met with total destruction would result in a quick calculus that resistance really was futile and that subjugation was a better choice.

Comment Re:Just ditch sub-second timing resolution (Score 1) 95

It's only a bad idea from the sense that *some* sub-second plays can be executed.

It's a good idea in that it dents some of the relentless dragging out of games at the end by imposing some reality on the nature of a timed competition.

The old saw about basketball is that the first 75% of the game doesn't matter and it's gotten increasingly like nothing but the last sixty seconds matter. Unless the point differential is 6+ points you end up with a completely different game played at the end being managed for control of the clock. Most often unless the game is within about 4 points or less, the losing team's efforts don't accomplish much but drag out the inevitable.

I'd even go so far as to say that there should be no clock stoppage *at all* in the last 30 seconds, up to maybe even two minutes, so that the pace of play stays what it was in the rest of the game.

If you want to play a control-the-clock game, make the entire thing 5 minutes and give each side 6 time outs. That might be interesting on its own, but it makes no sense to me to have 38 or 58 minutes of open-floor basketball and then change the flow to chess match half-court at the very end.

Football has sort of gotten into this, I think they eliminated certain clock stoppages in the last two minutes to get to the end.

Comment Just ditch sub-second timing resolution (Score 1) 95

Make the clock only full second resolution AND make some kind of rule that says that inbounding the ball to a player is a full-second play. This way the only play allowed with 1 second on the clock would be a free throw, which is immune from the clock (I've seen free throws done with no time on the clock). Fouling the in-bounding team with 1 second on the clock would be pointless then.

This idea that you can stop the clock with a fraction of a second on the clock and actually execute a play is silly, and reduces the last few seconds of a basketball game into a tedious chess match of clock stoppage strategy.

If the teams are tied with 1-2 seconds remaining, conceptually it's a tie and they should play an overtime period, not see who can decide the game on a single desperation play.

Comment Re:Self Defense (Score 1) 172

I would argue that many of the most successful military campaigns have involved total warfare, which includes targeting civilian populations. The strategic argument is that it demoralizes your opponent, disrupts his economic system and supply of materiel, and damages his political power and control.

The trend towards less aggressive use of total warfare seems to be mostly a byproduct of media exposure of the military theater to non-combatants, resulting in negative public opinion and diplomatic pressure.

The US, for example, could have put down the Iraqi insurgency after the invasion in a manner patterned after Fallujah -- expel civilians, ring the city, and level it going after insurgents. We most likely would have killed enough insurgents and cowed the population to end the insurgency. However, public opinion and diplomacy would have made widespread destruction quickly unpopular, especially with a domestic audience already somewhat divided by the war.

It might even be argued that *not* pursuing total warfare resulted in greater suffering by stringing out the conflict over a couple of decades and leaving the theater badly damaged regardless. It also results in high costs for the aggressors, as they expend lives and materiel without really accomplishing their goals.

Comment Re:Bernie Madoff (Score 1) 168

I guess I haven't followed it closely enough or Madoff hasn't talked enough but I don't have a sense of how apologetic, defiant, or what his personal reaction to getting caught was.

Without thinking about it for more than 5 minutes, my gut reaction is a guy who does something like that because he craves consistency and has to have it his way isn't going to come off feeling guilty or apologetic, he's actually probably proud of how he managed to keep it consistent in spite of the fact that he was running a billion dollar ponzi.

Whereas a guy who did it because he was desperate and was covering up losses and now can't get out of the hole? He feels terrible but can't quit because of the fear. I guy like this seems like he would be desperately apologetic.

I don't know which Madoff was.

Comment Re:It's not power... (Score 1) 42

For me it's charging and obsolescence.

A smart watch that can't do much on its own and can't be paired in any way with a phone because it is no longer a supported software release sounds dumb.

I don't know if they did, but I wish Apple had built in some protocol primitives that while they could be extended, would also retain full backwards compatibility so that you could push basic data that isn't likely to change (SMS or contact info or whatever) over a long timespan.

Comment Re:And, it cheaper (Score 1) 74

There are issues, like the length, but complaining that it's a Chinese "off-brand" (meaning not American) is just racist.

That's a bit of a leap, isn't it?

I mean, I generally love generally high quality and extremely low cost made in China stuff, but the fact of the matter is there is there is some really crappy, off-brand Chinese made stuff, like the dual port 2.1A USB car adapters I bought that are undersized by several mm and won't make contact well enough to even work.

How exactly does it disparage the race of the makers if I describe it as off-brand Chinese parts? It indicates where it came from and that it is not even a brand you've heard from, even only on Amazon, like Anker?

Comment Re:Bernie Madoff (Score 1) 168

I'm thinking the explanation was simpler, like he experienced some initial success, overestimated his ability and began to lose money, decided to fake some financial records and found he could get away with it. Once you start a ponzi, it's very difficult to get out of it. So Madoff just kept going.

Comment Re:Seriously?? (Score 1) 147

Seriously, if they ever want to make it the year of Linux on the desktop they would adopt RDP as the protocol (as in compatible with mstsc.exe). It'd be a massive potential userbase of people running windows who could be immediate users of free software. I could see virtual desktops as a mass-market business, not the niche corporate Citrix/TS/VDI thing it is now.

I always wonder why I don't make my own dekstop a VM and quit customizing or even caring if the actual machines I connect from do anything other than run the remote access client well.

Comment Re:Already??? (Score 1) 556

what made her think that she's right for this job?

You could make an argument that nobody is "right" for this job and that the best possible qualification is somebody with excellent executive (the adjective, not the position) functioning skills and management ability. The President doesn't actually do very much but make decisions and usually based on information provided by extremely qualified specialists with decades of experience.

The biggest inherent skills a President probably needs are, sadly, personal charisma and political intelligence.

Comment Re:Re-entry aiming (Score 1) 251

There's a very slim chance that there may be an extremely secret cabal of very high level DPRK leadership that have some kind of "we're gonna die anyway" plan for deposing Fearless Leader in the event he goes all the way off the reservation and starts a war with a major power like the US.

But...Kim Jong-Un executed a whole bunch of very senior guys not long after he took power, including guys who had been close to his father for decades and he also is fond of shuffling top generals from time to time. All of this is designed to put the "fear of Juche" into his senior leadership and make any kind of coup plan impossible to organize.

Plus it's such a shit-ass backwards place to live that you just know the good perks (like eating, heat in the winter, and other luxuries) are doled out to anyone willing to squeal anything remotely like a coup attempt and I'm sure they all squeal on each all the time in a desperate attempt to keep their positions and perks.

It may be debatable how long the DPRK army is able and willing to fight. Fuel shortages could be a problem and their army is hardly positively motivated to stay in the fight, especially if they had to face something like sustained heavy air campaigns involving carpet, thermobaric or firebombing. Cut supply lines, morale, etc. may cause them to collapse early. Or given the last 50 years available, they may be so deeply dug in that they are able to ride it out for months.

Comment Re:Worse when it's icky and weird but not illegal (Score 1) 143

The story raises so many interesting questions, especially since you're so conservative yourself. The main one being, was it even "gay fetish sex photos"? What, you saw a dick and you thought "gay"? And then from there you had this whole reaction about how dare he be gay when he lives a conservative lifestyle with a wife? From there you immediately assumed his wife didn't know? That he was a hypocrite? And 20 years later you still don't understand what an asshole you were being?

I can only surmise that two men sharing sexually explicit photos of themselves somehow qualifies as having at the very least a strong undertone of homosexuality.

I don't know what world you live in, but surely 20 years ago, there were very few conservative religious institutions that were openly supportive of poly-amorous marriages, especially those which involved bisexual or homosexual relationships.

I think assuming that he was engaged in a secretive, homosexually-oriented relationship in contradiction to his stated religious beliefs and in contradiction to his marriage vows isn't exactly going out on a limb with my own personal biases.

Of course, if you're inclined you can choose to believe some counterfactual argument that exchanging photos of one's genitalia with a member of the same sex isn't homosexual behavior on any level, that his wife knew of and approved of this, and that he belonged to a Christian religious denomination that approved of poly-amorous marital relations involving sexual behavior with a member of the same sex. Hell, you might even throw in the idea that his employer endorsed using his work email account for this, since it's about as likely to be true as any of the other counterfactual arguments.

Comment Re:Worse when it's icky and weird but not illegal (Score 1) 143

Why do you presuppose being gay means you can't be conservative or religious or have a family?

In every Christian denomination I can think of, including the current Mormon church, a marriage is an exclusive relationship between two people. Until only very recently that same thing would have been true written as "...between a man and a woman" and still is in a huge number of mainstream religions.

Given the definition of "exclusive" and "two people" as being basically immutable, I don't really see how engaging in fetishistic and surreptitious (even if not explicitly homosexual) sexual behavior with other people actually fits the exclusive part.

I think it's beyond debate that doing this with your work account is downright stupid.

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