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Comment Re:Wrong by law (Score 1) 601

No, there is no way domestic spying can be allowed, period. Surveillance by law enforcement, subject to judicial review, is not "spying". If you don't know what the terms mean, of course, that may confuse you.

Comment Re:Free markets have *immense* social value (Score 1) 476

You deserve a longer reply, but I don't have time for one. In brief:

Argumentum ad absurdum

When a company owns it's own stock, who really owns the stock? Think mathematically.

It's not about what the owners should be responsible for, but who the owners should be.

There absolutely is a correlation between being publicly traded and over focusing quarterly returns. It is only a tendency, but it is sufficient to destroy many great companies and hinder our economy as a whole. See "exception that proves the rule".

I don't see "rich guy" as pejorative. I see it as way over-simplified, which was the target I was shooting for. Sorry for the confusion. "Agent of the financial sector", on the other hand, is a highly loaded and biased phrase.

I aspire to become a "rich guy" myself -- not because I'm particularly fond of luxury goods, but because I would like to drastically expand the scope of the philanthropy work that I do.

A good ideal. I don't fault you here, presuming honesty.

The more rich guys there are, the fewer poor guys there are... A rising tide lifts all boats: it's a cliche, but true.

Absolutely false. It's a common excuse, though. Increases in technology, manufacturing efficiency, employment efficiency, and the like do help everyone. Random spending by the wealthy is just as worthless as the pseudo-Keynesian random spending by the government.

Wealth ownership is as a percentage of a whole. Being wealthy is a measure as a percentage. It is a comparison against others. When someone becomes wealthy, they are only rarely increase the size of the pie. Instead, they are re-allotting the financial resources of those who can't manage their resources well, and putting them to more efficient use. Not inherently bad, but we've permitted it to run amok. I don't personally require equality share of wealth (communism, which is inherently unfair and untenable), but it would be nice to see fairness of wealth.

The Media

FBI Paid Informant Inside WikiLeaks 458

An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Wired: "On an August workday in 2011, a cherubic 18-year-old Icelandic man named Sigurdur 'Siggi' Thordarson walked through the stately doors of the U.S. embassy in Reykjavik, his jacket pocket concealing his calling card: a crumpled photocopy of an Australian passport. The passport photo showed a man with a unruly shock of platinum blonde hair and the name Julian Paul Assange. Thordarson was long time volunteer for WikiLeaks with direct access to Assange and a key position as an organizer in the group. With his cold war-style embassy walk-in, he became something else: the first known FBI informant inside WikiLeaks. For the next three months, Thordarson served two masters, working for the secret-spilling website and simultaneously spilling its secrets to the U.S. government in exchange, he says, for a total of about $5,000. The FBI flew him internationally four times for debriefings, including one trip to Washington D.C., and on the last meeting obtained from Thordarson eight hard drives packed with chat logs, video and other data from WikiLeaks."

Comment Re:Wrong by law (Score 1) 601

A little bit spying on own citizens is acceptable if there is a current cause. Not acceptable is the dragnet type of surveillance with all-encompassing records of every citizen. This is a major characteristic trait of totalitarianism.

No, domestic "spying" is never acceptable because domestic spying doesn't have any of the safeguards that either domestic law enforcement or international spying has.

Not acceptable is the dragnet type of surveillance with all-encompassing records of every citizen. This is a major characteristic trait of totalitarianism.

Once you allow any domestic spying, it inevitably deteriorates into that. The only way to avoid that is to subject domestic surveillance to judicial review and hold abusers legally responsible.

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