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Comment Re:One very big change (Score 1) 926

The Soviets did not help us keep our paranoia in check. They were the cause of our paranoia, and that paranoia caused numerous incidents that were both more illegal and less ethical then anything the NSA is accused of.

I'm sorry but (the stereotype of) American paranoia and mass hysteria pre-dates the Soviet Union and even communism itself. The numerous religious movements, panics, and rushes throughout American history lay testament to a nation perpetually wired to the moon -- in both a positive and negative sense.

Comment Gaming extensions (Score 1) 260

I started using Chrome for a couple online games as the extensions were easier to deal with in chrome. If those extensions get blocked I have no use for chrome and it will go poof. I use FF as my main browser, but it seems the newer versions have become pretty unstable. Under my normal use I can usually crash FF hard enough it can't restore my sessions as when it tries it again crashes. The EA online game is very hard to play without the extensions and these are the extensions approved by EA.

Comment Re:Furloughed workers (Score 3, Informative) 346

If you look at a chart of revenue and spending in constant dollars, you'll see that after the 1998 tax cuts, revenue increased until the dot.com bust in 2000. Revenue was down until the 2001 & 2003 Bush tax cuts, after which it increased until the housing bubble burst in 2007/08. Tha major tax cuts in the era you're talking about weren't followed by revenue decreases in the years right after they took effect.

Translation: The government cut taxes and relied on the capital gains windfalls from speculative bubbles to fund itself. This went about as well as you would expect.

Comment Re:Furloughed workers (Score 1) 346

In areas where there is competition, people at least have alternatives (even if they aren't ideal).

In a competitive race to the bottom, all alternatives are equally unacceptable. Competition alone can not and will not magically make things better or even make them tolerable. There is little difference between a monopolists poor service and the poor services of an entire industry.

Comment Re:I read this on Techdirt: (Score 5, Insightful) 510

What do you mean "the down side"? There is no up side.

If you're a banker or other criminal type with inside connections to the survellance complex, the up-sides clock into the trillions.

It is only a matter of time before the men in charge of the NSA and GCHQ start getting invited to City dinners, if they aren't there already.

Comment Re:Now Open It (Score 1) 231

SAP upgrades can easily take that long, but SAP can easily run organizations an order of magnitude bigger, and two orders of magnitude more complicated than Tesla.

From the comments I'm readin in this story, my take home messege here is that SAP probably shouldn't run organizations at all. What the hell does their software do for all this expense and hassle anyway?

Comment Re:clemency? (Score 5, Insightful) 504

Basically her response is that of the bankrobber who is angry and blaiming his friends for turning him in rather than himself for being caught with the cash.

The response of the entire administration has been the response of a spoiled, petulant teenager.

In fact, this has been the response of the administration -- and the previous one -- to just about any development or obstancle they don't like.

The US is no longer a nation of laws. It is a nation of men (and some women) who are impulsive, incompetent, largely juvenile, disrespectful of their offices, and contemptuous of both the public and the law. The Administration is being run by people with the mentality and motives of a cast of Saturday morning cartoon, or late Thursday night TV villains. Unfortunately these people have one common talent -- they are all connected to each other like threads in a rotten carpet.

Not a nation of laws. A nation of men. And a particularly base and uninspiring kind of man at that. Central and South American countries have been run by such men for centuries. Run into the ground. The US, for all its power and potential, is now being run into the ground as well.

The end result is probably something like Singapore. Ostensibly free, but scratch the surface and you quickly hit authoritarianism and an oligarchy of connected families and companies. The problem is, most of the US governing class would see little wrong with such an outcome.

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