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Comment Principles are expensive (Score 1) 529

Punishment for breaking a formal oath is usually much harsher for the same act performed while not under an oath. A person's "word" should be taken seriously and should be punished if broken. Of course blind trust is pure stupidity, but the expectation that an individual should "keep his word" is not. It's called "having principles", but be warned, these so called "principles" are expensive. Snowden and Manning took an oath that (at the time) they believed did not conflict with other strong principles they already held. Ironically the conflicting principles can both be described as patriotic.

Outside of a court, an oath means nothing

If there's an independent witness then it's a solid verbal contract in most legal systems around the world. In this case we're talking about the military who have their own oaths, laws, courts, police, judges, and jails. A soldiers "pinky swear" is taken very seriously by that system, especially when it's broken. I've never been a soldier but the fact that you appear to believe a (wo)man's word means nothing outside a court of law indicates the principle of "integrity" is too expensive for your particular personality.

Comment Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (Score 1) 529

The reason freedom of the press exists is so that you don't have to rely on the goodwill of the government to "do the right thing" when you tell them you have found out what they are doing. WL is a legitimate press organization, they released the manning stuff at the same time as three well established and respected newspapers they partnered with, Guardian, NYT and Der Speigel. The news people did what WL did not have the resources and expertise to do, redacted the names of informants. The result - WL cops all the flack from the spooks, while the release and the role of the established newspapers is ignored.

Freedom of the press does not mean individual publishers have to apply for a license to publish.

Disclaimer: I don't like either Rupert Murdoch or Julian Assange steering the views of the public, they both have lousy personalities that I wouldn't associate with unless absolutely necessary, but they most certainly have a right to their freedoms, and not the least of those is the freedom of the press.

Comment Re:Trolling all americans (Score 1) 281

Rich people making good choices also makes everybody else wealthier.

Sometimes their good decisions make everyone richer. Sometimes their good decisions make them richer at the expense of everyone else. Your faith that every decision that increases individual wealth is good for society is ungrounded in reality. You're the one in fantasy land.

It's not a question of "rising tides" it's a question of rewarding good choices.

Again, good for whom? Rewarding choices that are good for all of society is great. Rewarding choices that are good for only the rich is only good for the rich. That's the world we live in today.

And there is nothing wrong with inequality.

In limited doses, sure. The kind of extreme inequality we see in America today is the same kind that we saw before the Great Depression. It's simply not OK for executives to destroy companies and recieve million dollar bonuses while hard working poor people die because they can't afford health care. But that's the world in which we live.

Comment 2048 bytes? Pure blinkered American-centric bias.. (Score 3, Funny) 118

The Yanks are so used to accessing Google on their bloated 2K TS-1000s, that they seem to have forgetten that those of us with the original British 1K ZX81 won't be able to access their website securely any more.

I bet those tossers are so spoiled they have blackjack and hookers, and 16K rampacks on their servers. Hope someone wobbles them (*) and they lose all their data. Gits.

(*) The rampacks, I mean. I've no idea what wobbling a hooker would do to your data.

Comment Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (Score 1) 529

But when you agree to join the military and have a security clearance you make promises to protect that information.

When you become President, you swear to defend the Constitution. Until we hold the President accountable, there is no victory here.

The US didn't become the country that it is because of a bunch of people that sit around and do nothing all day.

That's exactly why the US is the country that it is.

Comment Re:Trolling all americans (Score 1) 281

Bad choices for whom? Rich people making good choices in their own self interest leads to them getting richer, deepening inequality. The rest of society, who by definition vastly outnumber the economic elites have no incentive to allow this.

And yes, I know "a rising tide raises all boats". That's occasionally true, and when it is, that's good for everyone. But it's not always true, and the more inequality we allow the less true it tends to be.

Comment Re:Trolling all americans (Score 1) 281

voters largely don't give a sh*t about what wealthy people tell them

No, voters don't give a shit about what wealthy people tell them. Voters exist in the real economy where their opportunities are largely determined by the choices rich people make about what to do with their wealth. That's a de facto government, which should be democratic and not totalitarian.

Comment Re:But that doesn't explain (Score 4, Insightful) 256

Young women are attracted to young men who take unnecessary risks in extreme displays of their adult skills. Today it's smoking the wheels of cars, not so long ago it was jumping out of trees onto wild buffalo. Every hero in every action movie does the same thing, no matter what is thrown at the hero he gets up and keeps going, no matter what the hero blows up or how many bullets he shoots no innocent bystander is ever hurt.

Young women are not attracted to 'idiots' that crash and burn, they are attracted to 'heros' who's skills and strength keep them alive and healthy despite the odds. It's not a conscious thing in either sex, "cheating death" is an integral part of the human ritual of finding a suitable mate, it's so deeply ingrained in humans that a males brain chemistry will reward "cheating death" with feelings of elation, pride, and self-satisfaction.

Looking back as an old man who had the luck to survive the motorbike ritual (among others), young men really do behave like peacocks, the things they unconsciously do to attract a mate are even more dangerous to the individual than that ridiculous tail is to the peacock. At the end of the day it does make our societies (if not our species) better suited to the civilizations we invented. We are continually evolving and are in a feedback loop with the environment we have created for ourselves, not unlike the termite and it's air-conditioned fungus farm.

Comment Re:Trolling all americans (Score 2) 281

If the party in power screws up, vote for the other party. And do that until the other party cleans up its act. That's how our democracy works

That's how our democracy fails to work. Vote for one party, so they can fuck the country up until people can't stand them anymore. Then vote for the other party, so they can fuck the country up even more. By the time you tire of one party, you've forgotten how bad the other party is. To make matters worse, they deliberately distract us with bike-shed debates over trivial issues while making the important decisions behind closed doors.

It's just a good cop/bad cop routine. They're both on the same side in reality.

it actually has been doing fairly well keeping both parties in line with mainstream preferences.

No, they've been doing fairly well in keeping mainstream preferences in line with what the parties want. They frame the debates, they propagandize, they collude with the media to exclude alternative voices.

Comment Re:Hai Amerikanz, I can haz pazwords... (Score 3, Informative) 281

The West Fertilizer Company Explosion. They illegally held hundreds of tons of explosive fertilizer without reporting it in order to avoid safety regulations. As a result, 15 people died. That's murder just as surely as if they had thrown a bomb into a marathon.

Comment Re:Trolling all americans (Score 4, Insightful) 281

Like or hate the Tea Party movement they showed a good example of 1/6th of the American people getting fed up and changing the structure of a political party on multiple issues.

No, they showed a good example of an astroturfed movement that tricked people into giving the ultra-rich even more wealth and power than they had before.

Ultra rich people get attacked by the United States all the time. Ask Bill Gates about his relationship with the Clinton administration

Before the trial, Microsoft gave no donations to politicians. Today they give millions of dollars. Despite being found guilty, Microsoft suffered no practical consequences. What happened to Microsoft was punishment for them not paying their dues for the service the US government provides to rich corporations.

And if you mean that no party that threatens the structure of wealth distribution could attain power, such a thing happened under FDR.

Most of what I'm talking about has been going on for 30-40 years. Starting with Nixon and really ramping up with Reagan. FDR was almost 70 years ago, a whole other world.

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