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Comment Re:Is anyone really surprised? (Score 1) 347

Um, I'm going to point out the peeps like Snowden are rare. People are abusing the database, because there is no one to stop them from it. Until Snowden were didn't really know/have proof that it existed. Now we know. A secret DB with info on everyone, that has lax enough security measures that a low level employee walked out with copies of data. So if you have access to it, you have access to information almost no one else has. I would be shocked if there wasn't NSA employes using this to make money/get info they shouldn't.

Is there any evidence whatsoever that Snowden actually walked out with a copy of the DB or any data it contained? Is there any evidence that Snowden actually had *access* to this database? Is there any evidence that every query against it is not logged and subject to internal oversight?

Comment Re:Showing the video is a crime because it is thef (Score 1) 289

Different kinds of property rights apply, really.

On private property, the owners have control over what can and cannot be filmed/released. "I didn't want to appear in that video" generally doesn't apply, but permission to film on private property may. IIRC, there are some exceptions for journalism. See: case law on slaughter house videos, etc. Video of a murder occurring in public should, IMO, be public.

If the murderer had been advertising for S&W in the film, the publisher would have been liable under misappropriation of image.

There *are* Son of Sam laws on profiting from crime. If the murderer filmed this himself, or a co-conspirator did, I don't see why standard asset forfeiture would not apply.

Comment Re:Things like this... (Score 1) 289

As for hypothetical situations where two children have sex, you take naked pictures of yourself as a child and circulate them as an adult, etc. I do not know. I suppose it would have to be tried in court.

It's not a hypothetical--it has happened numerous times. There are plenty of registered sex offenders and inmates who were convicted of producing child pornography, in addition to the regular distribution/possession charges. Freest nation on earth and all that...

Comment Re:admitted? (Score 1) 284

There are plenty of stories of people withstanding torture. A lot of American POWs never gave in, because they believed in their cause, believed their cause was greater than them, or their families...Love of God, or Country is a very powerful thing.

"A lot"? Hardly. Closer to a handful. Nearly everyone breaks eventually--those that don't are often just killed.

If torture would save my family, I'd still be against it.

Just as you can't say how you'd respond to torture, you really can't say that you'd be against torture to save your family unless you have been there.

I apologize for the Hollywood scenario, but imagine your spouse and children being held by some child porn ring, being raped regularly. The group doesn't want a ransom, but you've got your hands on one of the perps... he won't talk. You don't start slapping him around at all? I call bullshit.

I am not condoning or promoting torture. I don't want it to be legal. But I can damned well see situations where I would want to use it. And that's why we have laws.

Comment Re:go work for drone manufacturer (Score 1) 207

There have been a few big generational shifts. Officers who had to deal with conscripts definitely favored the stick over the carrot, but I think that mindset is largely gone these days. Most of the huge changes occurred in the 70s and 80s, so most senior officers these days learned more progressive management from the beginning. Of course there are some selection biases at play... officers who can't lead often find themselves entering the civilian workforce sooner and more often than those who can. There are certainly still terrible officers in the military, good officers turned civy, and so forth.

There are also big differences between fields. From my experience, officers with field experience in selective units tend to be the best, with a ton of good officers in rescue, aviation, special ops, etc. More junior fighter pilots generally aren't so great as officers. They come from very officer-heavy units and don't have to work *with* enlisted as much (compared to, say, cargo pilots).

Comment Re:go work for drone manufacturer (Score 1) 207

You're dead wrong. The military has to worry about both morale and retention, particularly in the enlisted ranks. Depending on the service+occupation, enlisted are on 2-6 year contracts. They are just starting to get good at their jobs when it comes time to re-up. Low retention = shitty NCO corps (middle and field management) plus a lack of skilled technicians, engineers, aviators, instructors, you name it. And there is a bit of a cascading effect as more junior members see talent fleeing.

Low morale also significantly degrades performance. While service members can't just quit, they can and do call in sick (malingering), work slower, and make more mistakes.

The military is constantly testing and adopting new management techniques for precisely these reasons.

Comment Re:Washington D.C. (Score 1) 577

While your argument is great, you have to remember that the GP may not actually care about regulation closing businesses. When was the last time you saw conservative outrage over the jobs lost due to government regulation of abortion clinics? Marijuana dispensaries? Adult toy stores? Strip clubs?

I think it's safe to say that most conservatives have no problem with big government regulating businesses out of existence. They just like pollution.

Comment Re:Beware of the next step (Score 1) 337

I think Tea Party folks want to ... make everyone pay something...instead of paying 8% sales tax and 28% income tax, for example, a person might simply pay 20% sales tax.

Your proposed tax policy is an economic death sentence for the low and middle classes. I wish to unsubscribe from your newsletter.

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