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Comment Re:The NSA controlled the servers (Score 1) 292

Also go read the first leaked warrant that let the NSA collect all the data (link below), it had the FBI's name on it. It was an FBI request to hand the data from Verizon's phone records to the NSA, a simple reacharound the domestic spying laws. The FBI acts as wing man for the NSA:

I've never had a wing man, so I'm not sure, but I don't thing the expectation is that they'll be engaging in reacharounds.

Comment Re:The USA didn't enter the war. (Score 1) 378

And I'll say to you now what I said either the day of or just days after the 9/11 attacks. You can win a war against a nation, but how do you win a war against an idea? What territory do you have to conquer? Which leaders do you have to depose? The War on Terrorism is a never-ending war because there is no scenario where it can be won, only lost. Exactly how many angry people do you think you'll have to kill before there won't be any more angry people?

From what I've read, bin Laden didn't take part in any typical terrorist attacks - he left the dying to other people. And now that he's dead, is Al Qaeda still around? Are they still a threat?

If you want to reduce terrorism, the idea is really simple: Give people something they're unwilling to lose. Give them the ability to live in reasonable wealth, have a home and family that they are confident won't be destroyed any day of the week, take away their hopelessness and misery, and for added security make it possible for them to be complacent in their lives. You'll still have some kooks that are so into their beliefs that they will be willing to be a part of some anti-establishment group, but even most of those won't be willing to die for their cause. Then you'll have what you see in the United States - huge swathes of people just living their lives, and if they have beliefs that are being affronted, the vast vast majority of them will do nothing more than talk about it. Clearly, from the goals I've listed, this isn't something that is achieved by any military action. At most, military action can lay the groundwork where such things can be achievable.

Comment Re:Zionist Occupied Government (Score 1) 328

And in general, I agree. Especially about things that happened before I was born or my parents were old enough to do anything about them. But the other half of having a healthy sense of nationalism is doing what you can to move your country in the direction you want it to go. That's why I've written letters to politicians, and feel a certain amount of shame to belong to a group, no matter how big it was, that would do such a thing. I don't stay up at night because of it, but I want to keep these actions alive in my thoughts, so I can beware of having some group I'm a part of do something that horrible again.

Comment Re:Zionist Occupied Government (Score 2) 328

Yeah. We're pretty much the only nation on the planet that hasn't tried to corral and exterminate them. Must be that we're mere pawns in their global conspiracy.

No, you're just one of the countries that turned away Jewish refugees from Germany before the concentration camps were opened. Don't be too offended - my country did the same. I'm ashamed, as well.

Comment Re:Complete Failure (Score 1) 378

Actually, they might have foiled a terrorist plot without our ever finding out about it, because if or when a system is working as intended, the tendency is only natural to not notice what it is doing. The lack of any evidence to show that they have foiled any terrorist effort, therefore, is logically insufficient basis to presume that they have not actually possibly done so.

Lisa: By your logic I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away.

Comment Re:For those of you that don't RTFA... (Score 5, Insightful) 378

I also think you picked a rather ironic day to make that statement, the anniversary of an attack that killed 3,000 people and did $100,000,000,000 damage to the US economy.

Every year, ten times more have their lives abruptly cut off from car accidents alone. That means, as of this anniversary, the deaths from the greatest terrorist attack on American soil cost 1% of the lives as the outcome of something people happily (and not-so-happily) do every day, with little or no concern for their safety. If each of these people had $100,000 insurance, we would be about a third of the way to the same economic cost as the terrorist attack, assuming the only burden their death brought was the insurance payout.

Face it. There are only two reasons you care about this event. First, it's an affront to your (false) sense of security. To assuage that, you do other things to improve your sense of security. The evidence indicates they only return you to that false sense of security. Second, they all died in one small area over a short period of time. Kill each of them, with 9 of their friends each, over the span of a year, and it's just a somewhat upsetting fact of modern living. That's an emotional response with no logical basis on the safety of the average citizen. And yes, that means that a vehicle safety improvement that reduces risk of death by 10% will save more lives than those lost in the Twin towers. Each year. So, which one seems a better use of our resources, and yields a better quality of life?

Contrary to the myopic view of some people, the point isn't to spread fear, or to get people to live in fear, but rather to take reasonable precautions. Keeping hand grenades off planes is a reasonable precaution.

Well, I can hardly disagree. So that explains about 70 confiscations per year that the TSA has performed. Now, please explain to my why this applies to nail clippers, but not a nice pen with a reasonably sharp tip and a nice long metal body? Or 3 ounces of fluid? Even breast milk in a baby bottle, accompanied by said baby?

I'm not saying 9/11 wasn't a tragedy. It certainly was. All the daily activities in my life stopped for about 2 hours, as it did for everyone else in the office where I was working. And I was half a continent and a different country away. And I'm not saying reasonable precautions shouldn't be taken. It's the myriad unreasonable ones I'm frustrated with, and the attitude that there is no such thing as too much intrusion in order to stop the next really big terrorist attack, even though it took about 40 years of hostage takings on planes to get one of this significance. I swear, people won't be happy until airplanes look like they did in The Fifth Element (which was actually a spaceship, but the form factor and purpose was identical).

Comment Re:We owe our thanks to Mr. Snowden (Score 4, Insightful) 366

Wrong. The big problem is the government wants a way to see your data, unconditionally, whether or not you have ever done anything wrong, preferably without you knowing. Their willingness to store the keys somewhere, probably unsafely, for their convenience, rather than putting a back door that someone else might stumble upon is a very minor thing, comparatively.

The Clipper episode doesn't give you insight into technique, in this case. It gives you insight into intent.

Comment Re:We owe our thanks to Mr. Snowden (Score 1) 366

The difference is, we have plenty of evidence that the NSA is more than happy to weaken cryptography, and the security of its nation's citizens, to simplify their task. Remember Clipper. Never forget Clipper. They've already proven they can't be trusted with the citizenship's security. We must assume they will not change until they prove otherwise.

Comment Re:But of course (Score 1) 239

Indeed. Although the Germans are special in that they started two, not one, world wars. Took them a bit longer to find out it was not a good idea.

I think that's just typical German engineering mentality. It's kind of like designing a new bridge. You think it will work, you try it out, and it collapses. Now, was the design bad, or was it the workmanship? Let's try it again and see if this one stays up!

Comment Re:This isn't very complicated. (Score 2) 452

And this is what it comes down to. For the defendant, the goal is to have there be no motivation for the government to abuse the accused in order to get a confession (as stated below, they still constantly look for ways to bend that rule). The premise for the witness is that there is no motivation for why they should remain silent. They've committed no crime, and presumably face no negative repercussions if they tell the truth in court. Therefore, they don't have a right to remain silent, and can be charged with contempt if they do.

I can think of two valid reasons to not wish to testify when you aren't at risk of being charged with a crime.

The first is if you are refusing to testify due to your desire to uphold another freedom. This would be the case of journalists, with respect to freedom of speech. They have a source who has given them information that is presumably of public interest on the condition of anonymity. Should they not be able to provide anonymity, the informants wouldn't come forward, and we would all suffer a disservice, in my opinion.

The second reason is if the witness thinks the government is unable to protect them from repercussions if they do testify. It's not an entirely invalid concern, hence the formation of Witness Protection in the US, and similar things elsewhere, I'm sure.

Comment Re:evolutionarily (Score 1) 212

This isn't some superficial function. This is all about reproductive fitness. If you can't afford food when food is scarce, your reproductive fitness is lower - you may not be able to support that child. If you can't afford to be or control yourself to be thin when the health risk is an overabundance of food, than you may not be able to successfully raise that child, too.

When it comes right down to it, visual indicators of reproductive fitness are considered attractive.

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