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Comment Re:The fact states are scrambling to pass laws (Score 1) 166

The difference being Anwar al-Awlaki was not on U.S. soil at the time - it makes a difference when you're in this deep.

So, you're saying that if you were to go on vacation in the UK, say, that the President could then declare "open season" on you legally?

Or if you were to cross into Canada? Or Mexico?

And how close to shore would you have to be to be deemed "safe"? Three Mile Limit? Twelve Mile Limit? 200 Mile Limit?

Comment Re:The fact states are scrambling to pass laws (Score 1) 166

Last thing we need is a president checking his smile for food particles in his reflection on his Nobel Peace Prize right before ordering U.S. citizens murdered like he does Middle Eastern ones.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't he already order a U.S. citizen to be murdered? Anwar al-Awlaki?

For that matter, didn't he do in al-Awlaki's kid as well in another strike? Though that one may have been collateral damage (which apparently makes it okay)....

Comment Re:Hawaii (Score 2) 160

Either way, I have a hard time believing the LA is in the saddest category....everyone here seems to generally be upbeat, happy, and glad we live in (at least in the NOLA area) a place with no open container laws, and you can get a drink 'to go' from a bar...and there's always a festival going on year round.

And mustn't forget the Drive-Thru Daiquiri Shops...

I think the secret to their analysis is that they didn't consider the possibility that some people are too busy partying to tweet. They're only accounting for the people who are happy, but not TOO happy....

Comment Re:Retrieved Samples Without DPRK's AF Scrambling? (Score 2) 132

The Roman expansion seemed to have stopped whenever they ran into cavalry-heavy enemies.

The Romans conquered the Persians at one point. Couldn't make it stick for more than a generation, but they managed.

They also conquered Spain and France. Against those barbarians that you think beat them.

The Romans did NOT successfully defeat the Germans, of course. Teutoberger Wald wasn't actually a case of "asymmetric warfare", since it involved a large Roman Army and a larger German Army (and a stupid Roman General, which was the real cause of the Roman defeat).

Of course the Romans never made a serious effort to conquer Germany. Why bother? The place was a worthless hellhole. Even Big Julie (who led punitive expeditions into Germany a couple of times) didn't think it was worth conquering. And the later Roman generals who led punitive expeditions into Germany whenever the Germans bothered the Romans living in France at the time didn't think Germany was worth bothering to conquer.

Not that they ventured often into those territories, but if I recall correctly, whenever they did, it was without significant success.

You don't recall correctly.

Comment Re:Matter of Perspective (Score 1) 223

As an aside, the killing of enemy soldiers during an active war is not usually referred to as murder.

Six million Jews.

More than half the Soviet casualties were civilians.

A large fraction of German and Japanese casualties were civilian (don't have the numbers to hand, don't want to look them up, but it's in the millions each).

Comment Re:Matter of Perspective (Score 3, Insightful) 223

A civilized person doesn't want to beat the living crap out of another person

Whatever gave you that idea?

I've never known a "civilized person" who didn't want to beat the living crap out of another" at one time or another.

The real marker of a civilized person isn't that he doesn't want to beat the crap out of another, but that he overcomes the urge to do so....

Comment Re:Cyber-warfare returns us to the Middle Ages (Score 1) 137

With the advent of modern weaponry, overwhelming numbers of troops being a tactical advantage became a thing of the past.

Sun Tzu - "numbers alone confer no advantage in war".

"Battle of Watling Street" - 10K Romans vs. 150-250K Britons. I'lll give you a hint if you're not sure - the winner wasn't the Britons.

No, it's not "modern weaponry" that made numbers "not a tactical advantage"....

Unless, of course, you define "overwhelming numbers" as "enough guys to win, no matter what". In which case, "overwhelming numbers" is still a tactical advantage, since no matter the weaponry, you can come up with a sufficiently large number as to be "overwhelming"....

Comment Re:Never underestimate crazy (Score 1) 132

but we underestimated them once before and it didn't go well. In fact it REALLY didn't go well - for 15 years.

Which 15 years are you talking about?

1950-1953, perhaps? During the Korean War (note that we annihilated the NK Army in the first year of that war, then spent the rest of the war fighting the PLA)?

In any case, that's only four years. Where are the other eleven?

Comment Re:Retrieved Samples Without DPRK's AF Scrambling? (Score 5, Interesting) 132

I think we've pretty clearly established throughout the history of the U.S. technology alone don't win wars.

Actually, we've established that US technology alone NEVER wins wars.

What we've established that wins wars is US production - we didn't win WW2 with superior technology, we won it because we could do things like build a military up from "small" to "fricking huge" while still having enough production surplus to provide weapons/supplies/whatever to everyone else in the world.

Note that one of the most interesting bits of trivia about WW2 is that the USA, during the war, built more aircraft carriers than existed in the entire world before the war.

And, more importantly, we built more transports (Liberty ships, anyone) than existed in the entire world before the war.

In the mid '30s, a German general, doing an analysis of mechanized warfare concepts noted that the USA had ~75% of the world's production capability in internal combustion engines. And quite properly concluded that that meant that going to war with America would be suicidal for Germany.

Too bad (for Hitler) that Hitler didn't read that sort of report.

Comment Re:Retrieved Samples Without DPRK's AF Scrambling? (Score 5, Informative) 132

The Soviet T-34 was vastly inferior to the German panzers as well.

Umm, no.

The T34/76 was considerably superior to any panzer then extant in 1941, when they were first encountered.

It wasn't until 1944 that the Germans reached the point that the overwhelming majority of Panzers were better than the T34/76.

And at that point, the Russians were building the T34/85, which was rather better than the latest version of Pzkw-4 (which was about half the German panzer inventory), though somewhat inferior to Pzkw-5 (the other half).

The only real weakness the T34 series of tanks had was lack of proper communications equipment (only the company commander's tank had a radio, for instance, until late in the war).

Plus that gawdawful commander's hatch on the earliest T34s....

If you feel that technology assures victory where is the Roman empire today?

If you think that the Roman Empire dominated the Classical World due to superior technology, you know even less of history than your comments about T34 suggest.

Hint: the Legions' doctrine was far more important than the Legions' technology (which was basically the same as everyone else's (iron swords, spear, torso armor and helmet) and considerably inferior to that used by the Persian cavalry at the time (yes, I've always been rather fond of the Persian composite bows as weapons of war - it's really too bad the Romans worked out a counter to it).

Comment Re:But I've been told the opposite. (Score 1) 758

Do you get to visit your critically injured loved one in the hospital, and be there to advise on important medical decisions? Not when the hospital staff has a legally defined policy of "family only."

Note that this case didn't exist much before Federal Law decided that you needed more privacy, and made it illegal to give out your medical information to any but family members (to include spouses). When I was young, going to a hospital to see a friend meant telling the nurse you were there to see whomever, nurse checking to see if whomever wanted to see you, then proceeding with the visit (assuming that whomever DID want to see you). Now, we have cases where unmarried partners CANNOT get permission to see their partner in hospital.

So, we fix a bad law by passing a new law. Rather than by fixing the bad parts of the previous law.

Comment Re:So what the article is saying... (Score 1) 758

Equating "high powered weapons" with "assault weapons" (which latter are military look-alikes) shows a limited knowledge of firearms, at best.

Note, for the record, that an AR-15 fires a 55 grain bullet at around 3000 ft/sec. A .30-06 fires a 150+ grain bullet at 2700+ ft/sec (depending on the specific load). Which makes my .30-06 single shot a much more powerful weapon than my mini-14.

Note further that your AK-47 clones shoot a round with ballistics rather close to a .30-30. Which is a useful round, but frankly, by hunting rifle standards, pretty anemic.

For that matter, your basic 12 gauge (which you claim to use for boar hunting) is FAR more powerful than any "assault weapon".....

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