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Comment Re:Good. (Score 1) 311

Accused != charged != convicted. Extraditions are for the latter two. Or would it be equitable if a country -accused- you of committing a crime and set about extraditing you into their custody?

If Assange committed rape then they should charge him for rape. I'm not sure how it's supposed to be any more complicated than that. Sure, die hard supporters will never believe, but for the rest of us it'd make the whole thing smell less fishy

Comment Re:Just goes to show the lunacy of the conservativ (Score 1) 638

Because the fact that murder is illegal means that nobody ever kills anyone /sarcasm. I'd consider owning an illegal handgun less severe a crime.

However, the people who illegally possess such guns in this country (Australia) generally aren't going to use them against scientists so much as dispatching competitors in their illicit businesses ie. gang/mob violence.

Comment Re:Employers (Score 1) 88

But some parties here are already pondering aloud to increase the insurance premium for people with higher "personal risk" (smokers, fat people, diabetics...)

We don't have that problem here. This is not because of anti-discriminatory laws. This is because health insurance of any kind is not required. There is no government-mandated health insurance, health care is provided to our citizens as a basic service at low cost to the user.

As far as high risk people go, we try to use preventative and education methods of reducing such risk. Excise on tobacco and alcohol products, advertisements on the effects of consumption, etc.

We don't have the same 'fear' of socialism as you do, so unless some other FUD is spread by self-interested persons we tend to try to aim for the most efficient and beneficial models of governmental services as we possibly can, whether it be socialist, free market, or something else.

Comment Re:Business as usual (Score 1) 419

Human institutions only expand in power and revenue throughout their lifetime, never willingly or permanently reducing power or revenue. History has proven this over and over again, to the point where one could argue that the entire objective of human institutes is power and revenue.

Fixed that for you. Whatever the origins of a human institution, they end up serving the interests of those who are in a position of control within them.

Comment Re:Business as usual (Score 1) 419

The 'common' man does not care enough to control the government. He does not care enough to be properly informed of the choices, nor to exercise his duties as part of being a 'free' citizen in a democracy.

I live in the state of Victoria, in Australia. A few months ago I joined a political party, and since then we had a state election, where I handed out how-to-vote cards to voters. I don't agree with the whole concept of how-to-vote cards, but it is one of those evils that exist because many members of the voting public do not know how to vote regardless of how long they have been voting for, or they do not care enough about the process to inform themselves about the political parties and candidates to be able to choose their preferences besides following the preferences of whichever political party they identify with. I found myself having interesting conversations with the members of the other political parties, politicians and political candidates. I felt I had more in common with and more respect for the people whose opinions differed with mine than most of the general public because they cared about the process and were living up to their responsibilities as citizens.

Sure, there are many places and countries where it is elites who rule, but this is because the ordinary citizen does not care, and feels that their civic duties are fulfilled simply by arguing with an inanimate, unresponsive article of mass media within the comfort of their home, voting if compulsory, or at most (and potentially worst), loudly protesting uninformed, ignorant and wrong opinions. The reason why the rest of the world thinks that USAsians are idiots is not because they are, because most of them are not (maybe yet), but because the bigger and louder the idiot, the more air time they get.

I realise there's a difference between Australia and the US though: here, no formal votes are wasted because we can choose who we want to represent us and then preference which we feel is the lesser of two or more evils. It's a shame that in the US you'd have to co-ordinate to get so many people behind a third candidate to have any hope of influencing an election.

Comment Re:Kudos for unbiased reporting (Score 1) 273

Well, I'm not the above anonymous coward, but I'll have a go anyway.

What is "significant suffering"?

Examples of "significant suffering" are reducing costs by using chemicals in manufacturing that harm or kill workers or consumers.

If I operate a small business and I take money from a poor person in return for heating oil thereby depriving him of the food he could have bought that can be said to cause suffering.

You wouldn't be depriving him of food. It was his own responsibility to best judge the opportunity costs of his actions. We as a society should maintain minimum standards for the poor and vulnerable, but unless you were coercing him into giving up food then that wasn't your responsibility as a business.

As the same small business if I choose to buy gas from $BigEvilGasCo I'm still operating within my rights.

Sure, it's within your rights. What makes $BigEvilGasCo 'evil'? There's nothing inherently wrong with it being big. If it uses its size to reduce competition (no longer a free market, if barriers to entry didn't do that already), then that's harmful to everyone who isn't a company employee or shareholder, including you. But once again, this isn't your fault.

The analogy is $BigWheatCo taking money from $SmallAfricanGrocery in return for food, thereby "impoverishing" that country.

Generally, the problem with $BigWheatCo and other large food producers is that the companies get massive subsidies for producing food in developed countries, and can sell for below cost which undercuts farming in developing and undeveloped countries. And then the product of the developed countries is bought up by their governments and dumped on the impoverished countries in the form of "aid", killing off local agriculture because it can't compete with "free".

Or $BigPharmaCo choosing to spend money on advertising rather than giving it away.

Or maybe they should not spend money on advertising and instead spend it on further R&D, or just reduce the prices of pharmaceuticals because they'll have reduced costs. Hell, they've got bloody patents monopolising their investments, so why should they need to advertise if their pharmaceuticals are beneficial?

It is disingenuous to support the right of small companies to make money while denying the right of large companies to do the same.

We (or at least I) are not against anyone making a buck, or billions at that. Making a lot of money doesn't mean that we think anyone is being screwed over by default. The one thing that irks me is that people like you scream and whine whenever you feel that the government is screwing you in the slightest, but are happy to take it in all holes from the corporations. I'm against both.

Are you for the free market or against it?

I'm for the free market, or at least as close as we can get to such a theoretical construct. In a free market, someone can end up better off than someone else, but nobody gets screwed.

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