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Comment Re: Earned reputation versus propaganda? (Score 1) 801

You're really going to play the sexist card against me just because I don't like Hillary? Give me a fucking break dude. She's going to get my vote -- the alternative is too scary to contemplate -- but I don't have to be fucking happy about it, and if you think all opposition to her is grounded in sexism you're delusional. Even The Daily Show dislikes her. When the Democrat earns the scorn of TDS there's obviously something wrong.

Or Trevor Noah is a sexist. Yeah, that's probably it. *sarcasm*

Comment Re: A simple exercise (Score 1) 166

You don't count Russia as a peer country? They have the ability to completely destroy the United States 45 minutes after Putin makes a phone call. If nukes are too theoretical for you, consider this: They can occupy several NATO members, overnight, and present us with a fait accompli. Then we get to choose between a protracted war, with a nuclear armed state, or the abandonment of those allies and collapse of the post-1945 world order. NATO would probably win a protracted war with Russia -- assuming it didn't go nuclear, a very big assumption -- since economics, technology, and demographics are on our side, but it would be very costly in terms of blood and treasure.

China is definitely a near-peer country. They already have the ability -- without using nukes -- to make it extremely costly for us to honor our commitments to our Asian allies. They can rain conventional missiles down on American soil -- Guam and the NMI -- and if a conflict went nuclear they could exact a very heavy price from CONUS. The rest of the near-peers are all allies (Germany, UK, France, Japan, Israel) or at least friendly competitors (India), so we've got that going for us at least.

(Actually, I'm glad that we dominate -- I just think it's a bit overkill to do so by so wide a margin.)

Well, that's an interesting observation. You kind of surprised me with that one. Why is it "overkill?" You specifically cited the USN to prove your point but I think you're ignoring the reality that the USN has obligations in every ocean and sea on the blue marble. 10 supercarriers sounds like overkill, but in reality you can only deploy about 1/3 of them at any given time; the rest will be in the yard for maintenance and overhaul. Four of them are deployed right now, which may be four more than anyone else has, but it's still pretty thin coverage when you think about the demands placed on the USN.

Don't get me wrong, I do see a lot of waste with our defense spending. I'm not certain why we still maintain a force of ICBMs when SSBNs are infinitely more survivable. I don't understand why cheap and proven platforms like the A-10 fall out of favor. There's a lot of things I would do differently if I was SecDef. Alas, he hasn't asked me for my opinion. :)

Comment Re: A simple exercise (Score 1) 166

If you don't want American bombs dropped on you there's a surefire way to avoid it: Don't kill American citizens or those of our allies.

I have little sympathy for the enemies of civilization. They deserve what they get. They're modern day barbarians and we owe them no quarter or consideration so long as they refuse to play by the rules of the civilized world.

Comment Re: A simple exercise (Score 1) 166

We don't do it by ourselves. It happens in concert with our allies and occasionally even with competitors -- Russia and China contributed warships to the anti-piracy efforts off Somalia, for instance. As far as "dominating" the world in military operations, I truly have no idea what he's trying to say. The United States hasn't fought a peer or even near-peer country since 1945. Our current military operations are essentially police actions, against the enemies of civilization, the equivalent of Rome resisting the barbarians, not Rome taking on Carthage.

In any case, the true American power isn't hard military power, but rather it's soft economic and cultural power. There's a McDonalds in most every major city on Earth. People all around the world consume our entertainment, follow our fashion trends, utilize Facebook and Google, and covet the next iPhone. They would continue to do these things even if we decommissioned the 19 aircraft carriers that apparently bother you so much.

Comment Re: A simple exercise (Score 2) 166

What's your point? The United States is a maritime nation. We've always had a strong navy. Traditionally there were other strong navies, but navies are expensive, and nobody else wants to spend the money. Incidentally, we spend less of our GDP on defense than many other countries, and the USN keeps the global commons, e.g., the ocean, open for all.

Comment Re:A simple exercise (Score 1) 166

I don't know from where you hail sir, but what you see as domination I see as the United States engaging in bilateral relations. We have a web of security agreements and alliances, all of which help to enforce the post-WW2 global order. We helped to create that order, along with the United Nations, and despite the many failings of the status quo we haven't seen a major power conflict since WW2. The World is still a messy place but it hasn't engaged in total warfare with tens of millions of casualties.

If you dislike the status quo, well, there's currently a loudmouthed asshole running for POTUS that promises to upend it. He seeks to turn our country inward and withdraw from those agreements that you view as dominating. Should he win -- $deity help us all -- you may well get to see the outcome you desire, but I don't think you'll like it, in the long term.

Comment Re:Earned reputation versus propaganda? (Score 1) 801

I really can't understand what motivates people like you? Do you spend all your time carefully filtering just the lies you want to hear and see?

There is an entire world of reality out there. You should visit it once in a while.

It would probably help if you turn off your search customization. The google knows what you want now and is trying hard to show it to you.

Dude, I gave you a reply. I don't know what more you want. You're obviously a partisan that would be unwilling to accept any criticism of your party's candidate. That's your right but don't try and lump me in with the partisans from the other side just because you don't like what I have to say.

Not that it's any of your business, but I'm center-left and have supported many more Democrats at the ballot box than Republicans. I campaigned for BHO in 2008 -- took a full week off of work to do it too -- and while he's disappointed me in many areas I still don't regret my decision to work with his campaign. I even referenced him in the post that you're now shitting on, pointing out that nobody has tried to impeach him, despite the fact that he's dealing with a Congress at least as obstinate at as the Gingrich lead one.

I really wish the Democrats had come up with somebody better. They gave us the second least liked nominee in American history. She only misses out on the #1 spot because Trump arrived to steal her crown. What an accomplishment -- you're slightly less hated than the racist that encourages his supporters to beat up protesters. Hillary 2016!!!!!

My hope was for Biden to run. When he didn't I got behind Sanders -- cast my primary ballot for him in fact -- but now we're stuck with Clinton. The way that she muscled everyone else -- including a sitting Vice President!!! -- out of the way is telling. It was "her turn" and to hell with anyone else that might have wanted to throw their hat in. The Democrats are going to be worse off for this in the years to come. You called the GOP primary a clown car, which is an apt analogy, but that clown car introduced a bunch of young charismatic candidates to the national electorate. The GOP will have a deep bench in 2020 and 2024. Who will the Democrats have when Hillary is done? Sanders is older than she is. Warren is little known outside of the net-roots.

Comment Re:At least it's good to know FB has priorities (Score 5, Insightful) 293

I'm not advocating anything-goes - I'm not sure what I'm advocating. But I know something is out of balance, here.

I can tell you what's out of balance because I've said it here before. Facebook, Twitter, and friends have become the new AOL. The younger generation has precious little concept of the "internet." For them, the "internet" is their news feed on Facebook. I know a bunch of people that don't even bother to use Google anymore even though Google is a household name. I hear uninformed people talk about the "dark web," and they aren't referring to tor sites, they're referring to anything outside of the smartphone apps that constitute their walled garden social media experience.

This is Slashdot, so the audience here is a little older and more technically minded than most. For me, my first exposure to the internet was Usenet, then IRC, both completely uncensored mediums with no corporate agenda. That's what we think of when we think of the internet but we're squarely in the minority. Hell, even sites like Slashdot have occasionally had to censor comments and that was before they had corporate overlords to answer to.

It's not that Facebook is inherently evil, it's just that it's a large for-profit corporation; they started by censoring what's politically popular to censor, hate speech, ISIS videos, and the like, because they don't want their name tarnished by the association. Then they expanded to censoring other things -- firearms are no longer allowed to be sold in their marketplaces -- that have limited mainstream appeal, because they concluded that the cost benefit wasn't there for them.

In theory, what they do with hate speech is no different than Applebee's declining to host the local KKK's meet and greet, but in practice they've become so large that they're essentially a gatekeeper to the online community, and as noted it's hardly limited to hate speech. Once you decide that you're going to censor your platform -- and the motivations are too strong to resist for a for-profit enterprise -- it's obvious that you're not going to be able to stop at "hate speech," however defined.

I don't know what the solution to this is but it does sadden me when I think of how we escaped AOL only to replace it with Facebook and Twitter.

Comment Re:No Judicial Oversight (Score 2) 166

Will the Russian equivalent of Snowden flee his country with files detailing the abuses this law allows, publish the information drawing the ire of the Russian government, and flee to the US for sanctuary? Also, would the US grant him asylum or use him in a trade for Snowden?

Putin takes a slightly different approach to dealing with people who flee his grasp than Barack Obama does.

It's interesting to read the comments here wherein people equate the actions of the United States to those of Russia; I highly doubt that Snowden is going to mysteriously ingest polonium-210. Hell, if we really wanted him that badly all that was required was some realpolitik: "President Putin, we'll quietly acquiesce to your fait accompli in Crimea, all you have to do is put Mr. Snowden on the next flight to JFK......"

Comment Re:A simple exercise (Score 2) 166

In that time period, the US government has grown itself into the largest and most expensive world empire in human history, with a military presence in some 200 foreign countries

You know that metric is total bullshit right? Are there half a dozen unarmed US service-members there at the behest of the local government to help train local forces? That country is now considered to have a "US military presence." It's kind of like the way that MADD counts "alcohol related" accidents to inflate fears of drunk driving. Sober driver hits a drunk pedestrian? That's an "alcohol related" accident. Sober driver with drunk passenger gets rear ended by someone who was texting? That's another "alcohol related" accident.

Remember, there are lies, damn lies, and statistics.

Comment Re:You're right if you're looking at raw statistic (Score 1) 801

I asked you for one example and you changed the subject to how things work "in the trenches?"

We can talk about the "trenches" if you wish; in general, as I said before, the system will do everything it can to keep you out of jail. It's expensive to incarcerate people and the objective -- particularly with the first intervention -- is to return the offender to society as a productive citizen.

Of course, you had to play the poor downtrodden minority card, but did you read the news story I linked? That young man is poor and black and he got PROBATION for breaking and entering. This is Louisiana -- hardly a progressive blue state -- and B&E is a felony that's a lot more serious than possession of weed. The system tried to give him a second chance and he used it to commit murder.

Now, I'm not a "lock 'em all up and throw away the key" guy -- I'm glad the system gives people a second and even third chance -- it's just that I don't believe this bullshit about there being masses of people behind bars for weed. It's pure propaganda from the pro-legalization crowd. I've seen first hand how the criminal justice system works -- I was charged with a felony at 20, worked for eight years in a residential setting with youthful offenders, and my sister is a State Trooper -- and it does not work the way you think it does. It has its flaws -- too many to list -- but locking up peaceful pot smokers is not one of them.

In many parts of the country law enforcement turns a blind eye to weed. I used to live in New York, where possession of 25 grams or less is a violation with a maximum fine of $100. A speeding ticket in New York State will cost you more money than a pot ticket, assuming the officer even bothers to write the unlawful possession ticket; oftentimes he won't bother because it's not worth the paperwork. I spent much of my 20s smoking weed -- incidentally, time I wish I could get back now that I'm in my 30s -- all up and down the East Coast, not just in New York, and my worst encounter with law enforcement was the North Carolina State Trooper that took our stash and gave us a stern lecture. Of course, we weren't total idiots about it either; we never carried more than a few grams out in public, never toked behind the wheel, and did our utmost to blend into the background without drawing undue attention.

Comment Re: Earned reputation versus propaganda? (Score 1) 801

And if he had said, "It's none of your business." and refused to answer I would have respected him, even supported him if they had tried to hold him in contempt. I agree, the question should not have been asked, but lying under oath is not acceptable under any circumstance. Lesser people go to jail for it. His choice was to refuse to answer or tell the truth. An oath is just that, a solemn promise, and if he's willing to break it in this context I think it's fair to wonder if he takes any of them seriously, including his Presidential oath.

Comment Re:Earned reputation versus propaganda? (Score 5, Interesting) 801

how much of it do you think that she actually earned?

Plenty. Look at her behavior throughout this process. "Wiped? What, like with a cloth or something?"

Now, to be clear, I certainly hear what you're saying. The Clinton's have been aggressively targeted for decades but how much of that is their own fault? They regard themselves as above the law and act accordingly. Bill lied under oath for heaven's sake. Is that a line you would cross? I sure as hell wouldn't. They're basically Francis and Claire Underwood without the murders. That breeds a certain level of resentment among those that oppose them politically, so is it really a surprise that they've been aggressively targeted?

One point to consider: Barack Obama has faced a Congress at least as obstinate as the one that reigned in the 1990s and nobody has tried to impeach him, much less succeeded at it. There have been a few investigations into his administration but none that have touched on him (or Michele) personally. For all of his faults -- and he has many -- I don't think he has anything approaching Bill and Hillary's level of hubris.

Comment Re:Mod parent up (Score 1) 801

If you want to see an example of America's two tiered justice system ask any dirt poor man in jail for pot possession why he didn't get diverted to drug treatment like a pop star or even an attorney's son.

Got a citation for this claim? I know it's repeated often, but in the real world the system will go to ridiculous lengths to keep people out of jail. The nice young men that committed this particularly heinous crime had already been arrested in 2012, for B&E, and they got PROBATION. Neither one came from money or received any special treatment in the 2012 case -- at least from what's been reported to date -- the system gave them a second chance and they graduated to murder.

That's just one example, which pops into my mind because it just happened. Point being, you don't go to jail for mere possession of weed, even in the strict States. I challenge you to find one person that's behind bars for simple possession, without other factors at play, like an existing criminal record or the commission of other crimes while they possessed weed.

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