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Comment Re:Fuck 'em (Score 1) 204

It is rather difficult to trust a group of people with a long history of lies, abuses, manipulation, and little or no accountability. This is one of those hard facts that doesn't just go away. It takes a long time and a lot of effort to restore broken trust, especially when it has been repeatedly broken with little or no consequence to the perpetrators.

So the thing to do is to boot all gov't employees? I think there is a fallacy here, that 100% of feds are working on surveillance technology. NSA implemented SELinux - what if those types of security researchers want to go? Just screw 'em?

I'm curious how you read what I wrote and think that is what I am suggesting. I double-checked and I just can't find anyplace where I said we should throw the baby out with the bathwater.

The problem, as I identified it, is that this government does not seem interested in re-establishing mutual trust between itself and the citizenry. If it were interested in that, it could start by increasing transparency and accountability. If it *really* wanted to do that, it could reduce its own size and power (yeah I know, keep dreaming ...) and return to having most governance come from the states.

Comment Re:Fuck 'em (Score 2) 204

There was proof even before. About the only thing that was revealed by Snowden was the exact names of the companies that were helping the NSA (and a few more similar details). I don't know why suddenly it's become such a big issue when it wasn't before. Maybe everyone was distracted by gay marriage or abortion or banks or spying on the press or something. The number of scandals going on is rather ridiculous. I'd still rather have it be a big issue than not.

It's a big issue now because mainstream, average people either didn't know about it, or were in denial about it and preferred to ignore those who tried to bring this to their attention. Or they branded them with labels like "tin-foil hatter" or "conspiracy nut" and the like. It's the standard procedure for how small-minded people treat those who have clearer vision than themselves (they can't just disagree, or be skeptical, they have to denigrate).

Now they can't do that anymore so it's finally getting the attention it deserves.

Comment Re:Fuck 'em (Score 1, Insightful) 204

It is rather difficult to trust a group of people with a long history of lies, abuses, manipulation, and little or no accountability.

That also explains why I don't trust much coming out of the "hacker" community, either. :)

See what happens when you make sweeping generalizations about a community based on the wrongdoings of some members of that community?

If you thought your one-liner taught me a valuable life lesson, your smug expectations deserve to be disappointed. What you think you're point out is trivial, obvious, and only a moment's thought reveals why it's wrong.

Characterizing a government is not a "sweeping generalization" like, say, characterizing a race or ethnic group. A government includes those at the top who make the important decisions and those who have chosen to carry out those decisions. This is not a "community", it's a voluntary organization. No one is making any of them behave the way they do. "Just following orders" didn't work at Nuremberg and it doesn't work here, either.

What you seldom or never see is "the wrongdoings of some members" being investigated and prosecuted by the other members. What you often see is that life suddenly gets very difficult and unpleasant for whistleblowers. People choose to work in these positions and to carry out these activities because they believe in and support them.

I'm sorry but portraying corrupt officials and the silent consent of their lackeys, massive unconstitutional abuses such as the NSA spying, and a long list of other scandals that usually result in a resignation at the very worst, as "mean ol Causality picking on poor helpless extremely powerful people" is so goddamned naive.

Comment Re:Nobody "Excluded" Anybody (Score -1, Troll) 204

They didn't "exclude" the Feds. They simply warned them that given the current atmosphere, it might not be wise for them to attend. There's a pretty damned big difference.

Then they really don't understand how police and federal agents think.

These aren't people who intend to prevent a confrontation or back down from one for the sake of getting along. These are people who want a confrontation because they want an excuse to use force, look good before their bosses, and justify their existence and performance to the media. Confrontation is what they train for and overwhelming force that cannot be resisted is their method (but they'll happily charge someone for trying - if they survive).

Asking these people not to show up under these circumstances is absurd. It only makes them more interesting in attending. Racking up arrests and filing charges is how these people show their bosses that they are doing their jobs. That can be done by finding criminals and it can also be done by making criminals.

Comment Re:Fuck 'em (Score 2) 204

Polls show that most people think Snowden was a criminal, and that the NSA is keeping us safe.

It's all too easy to manipulate polling results. There are plenty of subtle ways of doing it. I would rather think something like that is going on and apply all the usual "qui bono?" scrutiny to who conducted the polls and who paid for it and what the methodology was. I would rather think that because if so many Americans really are that naive, then the nation is forfeit and it's only a matter of time before it becomes a totalitarian state of some kind.

Comment Re:Fuck 'em (Score 5, Interesting) 204

Or perhaps it will take an asteroid hurdling towards Earth for you to side with "the feds" and work together on a solution?

It is rather difficult to trust a group of people with a long history of lies, abuses, manipulation, and little or no accountability. This is one of those hard facts that doesn't just go away. It takes a long time and a lot of effort to restore broken trust, especially when it has been repeatedly broken with little or no consequence to the perpetrators.

Right now our government doesn't seem interested in regaining the trust and confidence of the citizens. They'd rather watch every move and outright spy on the people, becoming more and more intrusive, in order to justify this paranoia of theirs that more of their misdeeds might become known. It never seems to occur to them to look in the mirror if they want to find the source of the problem. They don't seem to think that maybe, just maybe, actual respect for the lives, privacy, and freedom of the citizens they're supposed to be serving is a better solution.

If some doomsday asteroid were coming our way, these people would likely retreat to some kind of well-stocked underground "continuity of government" bunker than lift a finger to help us.

Comment Re:A solution for prison overcrowding ... (Score 1) 380

It is great to say consenting adults should be a allowed to take drugs (somewhere in the beginning of this thread), but the people affected by using hard drugs, alcohol abuse or texting while driving hardly were consenting. In general others will always be affected by it so as a rule of thumb many actions will fail the status of consenting. So "consenting adults" is a very hypothetical concept that is meaningless in daily life. Well. Maybe not totally. There is the law and by law we consent to that. As for "land of the free". The rest of the world did not consent to the consequences of that fiction either.

If you use a "hard drug" and become addicted to it and can afford your habit, that's your problem. If you have to steal to support your habit, you should be tried and convicted for theft, not for possessing the drug. If you use a drug and get behind the wheel of a car and are measurably impaired in your ability to drive that car, you should be tried and convicted for driving while under the influence, not for possessing a drug.

Theft and endangering random strangers are actual crimes with actual victims. Having something in your pocket that other people disapprove of is not a crime and has no victim. That is the meaning. Your claim that it is "meaningless" is demonstrably false.

If you are hostile to this idea and are simply unwilling to consider its merits, that's fine but I would appreciate if you were more honest about it. I would like to think I am perfectly objective all of the time but I know it cannot be so. I probably have topics I'm not completely reasonable about myself. I think it's important to be able to admit that; otherwise there is no hope of objectivity.

Now then, I believe my ideas about this are reasonable and able to stand on their own merits. They make sense: if you can be responsible and handle the consequences of your decisions, you get to do what you like -- if you cannot, society punishes you for victimizing others by failing to be responsible, not for some Puritannical disdain for the particular manner in which you failed. That's in isolation. When you compare this against the current War on Drugs that obviously fails to stop drug use (for this reason alone it should be ended), it's better still. We would have a healthier society by not continuing to conduct expensive Constitution-shredding campaigns (WoD has all but destroyed the 4th amendment because it's unenforcable otherwise) that are obviously not working.

Comment Re:A solution for prison overcrowding ... (Score 1) 380

polygamy is detrimental to society. Don't think so? Give all the rich, mostly men, fifteen wives each, lower the amount of available wives for the poor, and see how they respond. I would guess it would be messy. And violent.

That means the gold-diggers (legal prostitutes) who don't have the first clue what love really is are the first to become unavailable. That would be a favor to those who aren't filthy rich.

There may be reasons to envy rich people, but this isn't one of them.

Comment Re:A solution for prison overcrowding ... (Score 1) 380

As consenting adult you're simply not free to do whatever you want.

"Consenting adults" means "no one who did not consent prior to the activity was affected by it". Missing that second part fails the status of "consenting". I didn't view the Youtube video. However, if said "zombie" threatened, menaced, harmed, defrauded, or stole from anyone in any way, that also fails the status of "consenting".

If it is not in any way made to be your problem, on what grounds would you stop someone from doing something? Either we're a free people or we're a bunch of hypocrites who would do well to stop celebrating the "land of the free".

Comment Re:Except, in that case there was an actual war (Score 1) 343

No one cares. No one ever cared. It is the `Civil War', not the `War of Northern Aggression', and it will remain so forever. The North won. Get over it.

When writing that, did you ever stop and think it was odd that I never used the term "Northern Aggression?" I'm certianly capable of typing it out had I intended to use it.

This is like people referring to the republic of the USA as a "democracy" when it was specifically designed not to be a democracy. It's inaccurate. It's wrong. It perpetuates ignorance to continue calling it that.

Your emotional reaction about which side you think I'm on has nothing to do with it and indicates you need to relax and perhaps grow up.

Comment Re:Except, in that case there was an actual war (Score 1) 343

That leaders who certainly know the same thing can stand there before the nation and say things like "they hate us for our freedoms" with a straight face is a level of cold-blooded that most people could never imagine.

By the greatest of irony, "they hate us for our freedoms" is exactly correct.

The puzzle is how Americans ever imagined freedoms were theirs and no-one else's.

Most Americans simply aren't informed about any of this. They'd be horrified to know what has been committed in the name of the USA.

The real puzzle is why football and American Idol is so much more important to them.

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