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Comment Re:Draw Your Own Conclusion (Score 1) 171

As the originator of the term, he had the right to define it. But the definition that he created was based not only on his words, but also on his actions.

Under the control of Mussolini the government tried to use minimal force to get its way (i.e., to satisfy the business interests), but if minimal force wouldn't work, he was quite willing to use more.

N.B.: He also created the term "egghead" to describe intellectuals, because his thugs found it so easy to break their heads.

Comment Re:Because The Children (Score 1) 171

Sorry, but you are confusing existing systems which are called Socialist with Socialism. It's not an unreasonable argument, but Socialism isn't necessarily a government. Local laws permitting individual factories can be Socialist. And there is no guarantee that such a facotry would provide those benefits.

OTOH, both countries and factories can fail whether they are Socialist or Capitalist. There's no inherent guarantee that one is more likely to fail than the other. The fact that there are few successful Socialist factories reflects their low rate of formation, and their high infant mortality (because they often come into existence only when the original, run on a Capitalist basis, is going it is sold to the workers).

I don't find much validity in the GP's argument, but neither do I in yours. Public health measures are not an inherently socialist feature, even though they are more common and extensive in governments called Socialist. They should sensibly be considered as "investment to maintain the health of the social body upon which the government subsists". That they are considered socialist is due largely to the work of the American Medical Association, which had a vested interest in not having the government control their wages and prices. Now that those things are instead controlled by the insurance industry that vested interest has evaporated, but the prejudices instilled have not...and the insurance companies are quite happy to keep those prejudices going.

Comment Re:Because The Children (Score 4, Informative) 171

You clearly don't understand the meaning of EITHER socialism or communism. Communism predates Karl Marx. And Stalinism isn't even Marx-Lenninism. (Note the hyphenated designation, as that which Lenin preached and practiced wasn't what Marx preached.) Also neither is Maoism, which also is only one variety of communism. (Stalinism isn't ANY kind of communism. It's just standard totalitarian dictatorship with an unusually brutal and despotic dictator. Only Idi Amin could claim to practice the same kind of government, though Pot Pol had certain similarities.)

Calling yourself something doesn't mean that the label rightfully applies to you. The North Korean government calls itself a "People's Republic", but it doesn't match the conventional meaning of Republic. (Do note, however, that Republics are normally controlled by an Oligarchy of some sort. It's not the "feel good" term that USians are generally taught it is. Not if you really understand what it means and how it operates. And the constitution guarantees that the states will have a Republican [Things of the Public] form of government, not a Demmocratic [i.e., power derives from the people] kind of government. And in both these cases I grossly simplified the meanings of the terms. In fact I'd need to research a bit to determine precisely what each meant, though basically in a Republic power derives from ownership of things, and in a Democracy power derives from being a "person", for some meaning of person. [E.g., slaves were originally considered to be only 2/3 of a person in the US.] Please note that this doesn't mean that the power belongs to the people, but rather that the government allocates power on the basis of people.)

Comment Re:Samsung: so sue us (Score 1) 83

Your aren't talking about ethics or morals, you're talking contract law. And we don't know what the contract amounts to. We do, however, know that MS was treatening to sue people right and left over secret patents, so it's quite reasonable that Samsung may have felt that they were coerced into signing the agreement. If so, then it's quite ethical to look for any escape hole.

Comment Re:Get the concerns addresssed (Score 1) 190

Given the history of government, expect the voting mechanism to be bought from a company which has little transparency, and little interest in fixing problems.

The history a voting machines in the US is a history of fraud and probable fraud. If you switch to an on-line voting system, expect it to be vulnerable to fraudulent voting and difficult to check. And illegal to validate. ("That's our proprietary code your'e trying to inspect!")

Do not support it. Were it an open system, I'd be cautiously supportive, but recent history tells me not to expect that.

Comment Re:It's almost sane(really) (Score 1) 502

Well, yes...but if it's illegal (under Irish law) for the company in Ireland to transmit the data to the US, they they are demanding that the company chartered in Ireland under Irish law comit a crime.

I don't know that that applies in this particular case, but there is much information that the EU forbids export of to any country that doesn't protect the information. And that definitely includes the US, where personal information is seen as a corporate asset over which the individual has no right.

In fact, I find it quite plausible that the demanded information might be illegal for the Irish company to transmit. (This goes contrary to the assertion made earlier that the agent of MS merely needs to push a button located in the US and the information will appear...unless there's criminally sloppy systems design.)

Comment Re: Criminals? Not the word I'd choose (Score 1) 124

Traitor doesn't fit the definition given in the Constitution. OTOH, they do appear to be guilty of multiple counts of malfeasance and conspiracy to commit malfeasance. So criminal would fit if they were prosecuted.

However, since they have not been formally accused by any prosecutorial authority, I think the best word may be "lying scum".

Comment Re:or credibility of the government (Score 1) 124

That's oversimplifying, but it was certainly a big part of it. People are incredibly much so that they don't even notice it. If something isn't affecting them or people that they know directly, most people will just ignore it.

Please note: This is not a criticism of the anti-war movement in the Vietnam era. It was a totally stupid war for no reason that was ever explained ... or rather the explanations did not justify it, and were often lies. The ani-war movement was just, moral, and proper. It also woudn't have happened if people who had access to power weren't forced to face what the war might mean to them.

Please note, the current wars in the middle east are much more justifiable, though nobody in government dares to mention the real justification: oil. The wars are a blatant resource grab. (I'm not sure this extends to Afghanistan. I think that may be basically a war to test out the new military toys in a live exercise. But I'm not sure.)

Please also note that the "military toys" currently being developed and debugged are designed to allow a government to attack an armed civilian uprising. And note that simple verstions are being distributed to various police forces all over the US. This may explain what the real purpose of that "war" is.

Comment Re:Does anyone still believe anything they say (Score 1) 124

No. Some agency is necessary. The CIA and the NSA as currently constituted are not.

To claim that they are needed is as silly as claiming that because a limited copyright is good, one that extends forever it needed. It's as silly as claiming that because some patents are needed, a patent on something that everyone has been doing for decades is justifiable, and that allowing it is mandatory.

Scale the NSA back to what it was in the 1950's, and the CIA back to what it was back in 1944, when it had a different name. Those agencies were probably necessary, but that's not at all the same as saying the current agencies are necessary, or even desireable. They are currently SO bad, that we'd be better off just totally abolishing them, even though that's clearly a bad idea except as one stage of a "redo from scratch" operation.

Comment Re:It's better to hear people you might disagree w (Score 1) 124

Excuse me, but many of us, or at least myself, do believe that they broke actual laws as well as being blatantly immoral. IANAL, so I can't be certain, but I believe that they did.

OTOH, I don't normally condemn people for breaking the laws if I feel the laws are unjust. I'm much more upset that they acted immorally than that they acted illegaly.

Comment Re:It's better to hear people you might disagree w (Score 1) 124

I understand your stated expectations. This is to be expected of one who blindly trusts authority. However it is worth noting that most of the statements by CIA/NSA/etc. spokesmen cannot be checked by anyone not a member of those organizations. (And this is why the "blindly".)

Just not being able to prove them wrong is not grounds for trusting them, when they (i.e. the organizations collectively) are the reason that those statements cannot be checked.

OTOH, statements from "techno libertarians" aren't always correct, but if they can't be checked, then it's clear that they can't check them either. This is a very significant difference.

Comment Re:won't this zero out? (Score 1) 201

I don't know the design, but couldn't you use the charge difference to separate them a bit, and then throw both away in the same direction? This seems implied by the comment that it violates conservation of momentum, because if the virtual pair then recombines momentum would seem to have disappeared.

A question is whether you could do this without using enough energy to stabilize the virtual pair as actual particles. It not then it would be extremely inefficient energetically.

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