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Comment Re:And something people need to remember (Score 5, Informative) 523

Though I would then ask you to show what information leaked you believe was so important for the public to know

After Disclosures by WikiLeaks, Al Jazeera Replaces Its Top News Director

"CAIRO -- Al Jazeera, the pan-Arab news network financed by Qatar, named a member of the Qatari royal family on Tuesday to replace its top news director after disclosures from the group WikiLeaks indicating that the news director had modified the network's coverage of the Iraq war in response to pressure from the United States...

In at least one instance, involving a report on the network's Web site, Mr. Khanfar said in the cable that he had changed coverage at the American official's request. He said he had removed two images depicting wounded children in a hospital and a woman with a badly wounded face."

The fact that American officials are censoring the media, including Al Jazeera, may not be news to you, but it does further explain why the Iraq War looked nothing like Vietnam as far as news coverage was concerned. It wasn't because it was a good war. It was because reporting was limited to what American officials wanted Americans to see.

Comment Re:Novelty. (Score 1) 80

This is not the same thing. It's the difference between trying to learn how to change an oil filter by looking at a series of pictures of an engine, versus looking at the engine itself.

To put it in another way, if a picture is worth a thousand words, a three dimensional moving model is worth a thousand pictures.

Comment Re:doubt it (Score 3, Insightful) 961

Their cause alone proves that they are violence-prone and violence-minded. I don't care how much karma this burns. Well-organized, peaceful, leftist -- pick any 2 of the 3, but you can't have all 3.

If you couldn't have all three, a black man wouldn't be the president. American history is full of occupations of public and private spaces for civil and worker rights, and they worked in the 30s as well as in the 60s. That's why you have a 40 hour workweek and the right to vote regardless of your gender or skin color.

But what would an uneducated crypto fascist like you know about that?

Comment Re:10 years later (Score 1) 804

How many of the hundreds of thousands who have died were involved in the planning of 9/11?

It was bloodlust that changed our goal from finding out who committed these atrocities and punishing them to starting a larger war that caused more innocent bloodshed that the crime we wanted justice for.

If someone had given me a rifle and I believed the people telling me 'Those are the assholes who tried to kill your friends' I would have killed them without hesitation.

So some people told you that Americans in the Twin Towers were responsible for some tragedy in your life, you'd sign up in a heartbeat, huh?

You've got a fucking brain. Please use it.

Comment Bin Laden said what? (Score 4, Informative) 804

Summarized excerpt from "Al Qeada's Strategy to the Year 2020":

1. Provoke the United States into invading a Muslim country.

2. Incite local resistance to occupying forces.

3. Expand the conflict to neighboring countries, and engage the U.S. in a long war of attrition.

4. Convert al-Qaeda into an ideology and set of operating principles that can be loosely franchised in other countries without requiring direct command and control, and via these franchises incite attacks against countries allied with the U.S. until they withdraw from the conflict, as happened with the 2004 Madrid train bombings, but which did not have the same effect with the July 7, 2005 London bombings.

5. The U.S. economy will finally collapse under the strain of multiple engagements in numerous places, making the worldwide economic system which is dependant on the U.S. also collapse leading to global political instability, which in turn leads to a global jihad led by Al-Qaeda and a Wahhabi Caliphate will then be installed across the world.

bin Laden's stated goal, before and after the terror attacks in Kenya and on the Cole, was to draw the West into an intractable war with the Middle East. He was an evil fuck, but like some evil fucks in the past, he wasn't crazy or stupid. He got the idea from us in the late 80s when the same policy bankrupted the Soviet Union.

"I tell you, freedom and human rights in America are doomed. The U.S. government will lead the American people in — and the West in general — into an unbearable hell and a choking life." --October, 2001

"All we have to do is send two mujaheddin... to raise a small piece of cloth on which is written "al-Qaeda" in order to make the generals race there, to cause America to suffer human, economic and political losses." --2004

Comment Re:10 years later (Score 5, Insightful) 804

First, thank you for your service to our country.

Second, fuck you for joining out of bloodlust. Service is a duty, not an excuse to become a heathen. Our military doesn't exist to settle feuds. It exists to uphold principles and rules of law, and to protect our nation from existential threats. Do you honestly think terrorist attacks from a landlocked nation that hasn't had a stable central government in three decades is capable of destroying our national sovereignty? Our failure to use restraint and common sense has cost this country its principles, the lives of your fellow soldiers, and trillions of dollars, all without making the world any safer from terrorism.

In short, your ignorance is more dangerous and has done more damage to this country than fundamentalist Islam.

As a citizen who is paying your salary, I wish I could fire you. You don't represent me or my values.

Comment Women care more about fitness and status. (Score 1) 473

I'm 6'6 and 270. I'm not poor, not rich, and I don't live with my mother. (Though, she's pretty cool and lives in the mountains, so I don't know why that would be an issue for someone I would want to date. Materialistic people are certainly not my type.) I do terribly with American girls, because they like pretty, skinny boys, just as most American boys like pretty, skinny girls. Culturally, I find non-American women more fun to hang out with. They are less paranoid, there's typically less drama, and they are not weighed by Puritan guilt. They also seem to be less vain, and more interested in ideas and personalities rather than style and status.* Women of the Enlightenment are hard to find, but damn, they are worth looking for.

In any case, if you're hitting on someone with 30% less BMI, you're probably wasting your time. There is an element of Darwinian attraction in any initial meeting, and the superficiality of internet communication makes your photo the only thing that matters, as the GP stated. The only couple of times I batted outside of my league is when I met someone by chance in meatspace, and they happened to be single and looking when I was.

(* This is a generalization, so of course there are exceptions. I think Americans in general are institutionally programmed to be materialistic, overly competitive, and totally upside down when it comes to putting important things like family, charity, and social betterment ahead of their own narrow self-centered aspirations. It's not something I blame on people individually, but I certainly avoid them when I can.)

Comment Travel (Score 5, Interesting) 462

Maybe you are happy with your life, and the internet is the only problem, so ignore this advice if that is the case.

However, if you decide you are stuck in a rut, I think you need to get out of your routine and cutting out the internet isn't going to help. If you are able, sell everything you own, pick a spot on the map you've always wanted to go, and get on a plane and see how long you can make it there. It's only until you let go of your comfort zone that you'll be able to change yourself.

That was my path, of course. Maybe yours is getting a teaching degree and moving to New Orleans, or moving to a shithole apartment in the Bronx and writing a novel, or getting a job on a farm collective somewhere in Utah and rediscovering your body's ability to work, or tending bar in a pub down the street instead of your current job.

In any case, if you are stuck in a series of safe routines that aren't providing you happiness, get out there. You only get one shot. Take it.

Comment Re:Let's Put This In Perspective (Score 4, Insightful) 251

Just because you remove yourself from the equation with money -- just like a mafia don does when he hires a hitman -- doesn't mean you get a pass when they correctly interpret your winks and nods, even if you escape the legal ramifications on technical grounds. As Nick Fel and pmc point out, the participation of people within NotW seems to have been already proven in a court of law.

In a larger perspective, this perfectly supports the theory that News Corp doesn't give a shit about news, but it pretends to for money. Take the American side of his empire, for instance. Roger Ailes founded Fox to push his political agenda, and Murdoch bankrolled it because he thought it would make money. That's not a conspiracy. That's just a common sense understanding of known facts. The idea that a Nixon aide and a capitalist would lie and cheat and hire people of questionable character to achieve their objectives shouldn't surprise anyone at all.

Comment Meritocracy (Score 5, Insightful) 315

The only thing online games offer over real life is the opportunity to be someone you are not. WoW is successful because people can be rich and famous without actually being rich or famous. Once you allow people with more money to have cooler items in-game, you are destroying the reason people play it.

That doesn't mean it won't be profitable, but I think it will certainly turn many people off.

Comment Re:Solution: Fire middle management. (Score 1) 412

You poor man. Do you think other countries are prosecutable under US law? The issue here is one of hypocrisy: many of the actors involved in funding Iran, Iraq, and the proto-Taliban are still alive in the United States. If we can prosecute someone for supporting terrorism through ransom payments -- remember, not knowing they were terrorists isn't a sufficient legal excuse -- that would open up every US administration official who helped fund any of those terrorist groups.

Hell, the Reagan Administration removed Iraq from the State Sponsors of Terror list in 1982. The cronies (most of whom served in the Bush Administrations) would have to do some terrific tap dancing around that fact.

And while most of the weapons were not manufactured in the United States, most of the money came through deals explicitly approved and supported by the State Department and the CIA. They helped arrange funding through loans from the Gulf States, ironically including Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The Reagan Administration was afraid Iran would run over Iraq and upset regional stability near all of the oil, so they played both sides, even providing military intelligence to Iraq even though they claimed to be officially neutral. (A little reading would probably be helpful for you.)

When when our war machine spun out of control, our weak-kneed response opened up the invasion of Kuwait. According to official transcripts, our diplomat said the following:

We can see that you have deployed massive numbers of troops in the south. Normally that would be none of our business, but when this happens in the context of your threats against Kuwait, then it would be reasonable for us to be concerned. For this reason, I have received an instruction to ask you, in the spirit of friendship — not confrontation — regarding your intentions: Why are your troops massed so very close to Kuwait's borders? ...We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction, first given to Iraq in the 1960s, that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America.

Later, the same diplomat said, "Obviously, I didn't think, and nobody else did, that the Iraqis were going to take all of Kuwait."

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