Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Extingush the Taliban (Score 1) 294

Tks. Merry Xmas to you too. And thank you for the detailed explanation of the situation there. But honestly, your dislike of the taliban aside and thinking logically- who do you think will prevail in the end ? The trillion dollar a year high tech army that is bound to bankrupt the country that sent it there or the "Allah Akbar" illiterates costing the taliban next to nothing and which also seem to get free training in the US run afghan army ?

I have no doubt that in the end the people would end up serving the strongest force that remained on the ground. The history of the roman empire and every other empire proves it. I just think Afghanistan may live up to its reputation as graveyard of empires yet again.

As to arming local militias and counting on them- nice idea. Problem is those people and their leaders might feel, just like karzai and his army that they deserve a lot more than the few dollars they're likely to get and end up just as notoriously corrupt. The only way this is not a problem is if they so completely overwhelm the taliban in numbers that competition is not an issue. Do you see any chance at getting to that point before either 1) the US decides it can no longer afford the cost; 2) Pakistan and Russia both cut your supply lines forcing an exit or 3) the US economy collapses in hyperinflation brought about by all the reckless spending and the US can't even pay to bring the troops home anymore ?

Comment Re:Extingush the Taliban (Score 1) 294

"The issue really is, "Who is the winning side." If they think the US is going to prevail, they'll believe whatever we tell them. If they think the TB will prevail, they'll go with whatever they tell them. This is why most are stuck between because, depending on their past, they may not like either choice. They just want to be left alone to be able to farm their land and provide for their family. Sorta like the US. You really don't care if a Democrat or Republican is the President because as long as you can provide for your family, it really doesn't impact your daily life."

Finally something I can agree with, with the addition that since you're invading their country they're not likely to appreciate your presence very much and in the propaganda war everything being equal the taliban have a distinct advantage. :) About my formatting not sure why it doesn't show. i just looked in options and changed from html to plain text, hopefully that will help.

About the rest- military conduct on the battlefield was not the issue and the unlawful combatant status only applying to foreigners to the country you're pummeling I wish that were true, but it's still no excuse for torture. But I don't have many reasons to believe it though, given how the US reclassified WW2 german prisoners to "unarmed enemy forces" so that the Geneva convention would supposedly not apply to them and then let them starve and freeze to death in open fields.

For the rest- no I'm not an american and Obomber was indeed a reference to the bomber in chief by which I didnt mean to imply that he's any better or worse then your other psycho mass murderers.

Comment Re:Extingush the Taliban (Score 2) 294

And you expect the afghans to discriminate between a US minister's words and the beliefs the US military may have as a whole after the US attacks Afghanistan for the supposed actions of a saudi guy living in Afghanistan unaffiliated with the taliban regime ? Oh, or you mean you don't take the taliban's word that they had nothing to do with the guy but they just have to take your word on that minister as scripture ? And about killing people for mere suspicion of collaborating with the enemy, how about all your laws allowing you to kill or imprison without a trial and torture anybody suspected of "terrorism" ? Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, ring any bells ? Now the latest defence authorization act allows the US to do the same thing to any US citizen it sees fit even though Obomber already needed no authorization to order the killing of a US citizen cleric in Yemen.

Comment Re:Asia goes up! (Score 3, Insightful) 330

My enthusiasm for parsing legalese waned too quickly to look up all the details for all the involved parties; but it looks like Samsung is certainly not being sent away empty-handed... The city of Austin's agreement is one part, and looks like some rather nice tax 'incentives' and procedural waivers(two decades worth of municipal tax breaks, a variety of free infrastructure upgrades). Apparently the county, state, and school district(?!?) also have their own packages. I, for one, would like to thank the citizens of Texas for subsidizing my semiconductor purchases!

:) Coming from a country that used to subsidize everything I can tell you tax breaks is not subsidizing. A subsidy is giving money taxed or borrowed from somewhere else to some deadbeat factory that would otherwise go bankrupt the following month- the fact that said factory is never expected to pay any sort of tax or social security contribution just goes without saying. :)

Comment Re:Who is "they" (Score 1) 449

Eh? You're throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The revolutionary ideals were real and affected all Frenchmen (and later abroad, too). This was codified in the declaration of rights as early as 1789, and survived in various forms to the present day, even through all the reactionary counterattacks over time.

Not everybody grew rich, but that's generally impossible. What does matter however is that those who grew rich as a result of the various revolutions were not the same as those who were rich previously. I believe that's the essence of what keeps a society away from decadence and oppression. And the ancien regime was much too rigid to allow the social mobility that was necessary for that to occur.

In fact, since you mention bankers, the immediate catalyst for 1789 was Louis XVI's money problems, which caused him to summon the Etats Generaux, to raise new taxes. This would have worked except that people revolted because the new revolutionary ideals were already spreading in people's minds.

Yeah, well. I think the problem is you identify yourself with the slogans of the revolution and then you look at things from a biased perspective, therefore unable to recognize what actually transpired. Of-course there was substantial social and economic mobility after the revolution- that's the principal characteristic of a radical change of regime and the only way a new system can buy itself loyalty is to put poor people in high places pitting them against the previous elite- nothing idealistic there, simple necessity dictated that. The exact same process was applied in the countries overran by the communists. Then naturally after a while things stabilized and people ended up with the same chances or less of moving up the economic ladder at least than during the ancien regime. The decadence of the bourbon monarchy was that it no longer recognized that political power came from the barrel of the gun and it was no longer willing to do what was necessary to impose its supremacy- namely confiscate the wealth of all those spreading and funding revolutionary thought, imprisoning or hanging them as appropriate. And yes they should have done that long before 1789. You are absolutely right that the new revolutionary rulers were not decadent since they had absolutely no moral issues doing that unlike the previous regime. For ex. the mob attacking the Bastille refused to accept its surrender choosing to take it by force, massacre the garrison and liberate all of the SEVEN prisoners. Besides that I'm sure you're familiar with the human rights spreading campaign by means of terror (their word not mine funny enough) and guillotine. In short using some objectivity I think you'll find that the only political regimes that fall they do so because they're week or they act week (usually both), not because they're oppressive. Oppression keeps one in power, popular belief to the contrary aside.

Comment Re:Who is "they" (Score 1) 449

Sort of. One man cannot bring ideals to a continent literally. By successfully conquering Europe and imposing France's laws abroad for approximately one generation, the ancien regime throughout the continent was weakened and the middle classes everywhere were empowered.

Napoleon was only a general, but without his successful conquests the Revolutionary legacy would certainly not have lasted much beyond the Terror years and only in France. If the Bourbon Restoration had happened before 1800, it would have been a disaster.

Sadly the revolutionary ideals were no more than propaganda. And the people empowered by the revolutions (the 1948 ones too) were not the bourgeoisie but the bankers who funded them. Always the golden rule is supreme: those with the gold make the rules. The ancien regime's only mistake was to allow such vast accumulations of wealth (the banks) outside if its control. Without that no political change would have been possible in Europe to this day. And the proof for that is the precedent of the roman empire: it grew to be an order of magnitude more oppressive than any 18th century monarchy and yet it was only destroyed by outside pressure. The reason is simple: it managed to control all the monetary wealth in its territory, while the european monarchies did not- while the roman state was owed money by everybody, the european monarchies owed money to the bankers: THAT was the cause of their downfall.

Comment Re:Who is "they" (Score 1) 449

Just to expand on this slightly: The Napoleon in your link is Napoleon III, the bumbling fool who fancied himself a military genius but pretty much lost all his major war adventures. He was nothing like Napoleon I, who lived 50 years earlier, and brought the ideals of the French revolution to all of Europe.

You're funny. Napoleon the III was indeed a military disaster compared with Napoleon I, but Bonaparte certainly was no champion of revolutionary ideals. He was only a champion of himself. He undermined the old regime only to the extent required to keep his own dynasty afloat. He made kings of his relatives and he crowned himself emperor. Not to mention he made quite clear his opinion about revolutionary ideals: “Vanity made the [French] Revolution; liberty was only a pretext.” And he was right too. If anybody cared about any liberty nonsense he could not have ended up being worshiped. People cared about the liberty propaganda to the extent that it massaged their egos and boosted their sense of self worth. Napoleon's merit was realizing that and managed to do a better job at it as an autocrat than any elected professional liars.

Comment Re:And the moment they get something like this... (Score 1) 121

Hence the 2nd amendment. Folks, it's not there to protect us from things that go bump in the night. It's to protect the citizens from thier governement. There are MILLIONS of handguns alone in the country, shotguns, rifles everywhere. "Wherever the army is willing to kill the *UNARMED* protesters the state wins. " Libya.

True, but if you're giving Libya as an example of the armed people successfully resisting government oppression I have to disagree with that. That's only another CIA opperation to justify invasion. The "peaceful" "protesters" were from the start armed insurgents initiating all the violence for political gain, not rights. Before NATO started destroying the place Libya had the highest standard of living in Africa and therefore would be the last country on that continent vulnerable to any genuine rebellion.

Comment Re:And the moment they get something like this... (Score 1) 121

... and if the first guy to go outside and spit on the newly-drawn battle lines get shot, the next ones to come out might be carrying (and aiming and firing) weapons.

This is somewhat similar in basic concept to "You don't have to outrun the dragon, you just have to outrun the halfling," assuming you convinced the halfling to go into the dragon's den in the first place.

Yeah. Which is why most states ban people from owning weapons. :) Even the US keeps trying to do that and limiting as much as possible gun ownership with licenses and restrictions. You can be sure it has nothing to do with public safety: the last thing any politician cares about is the public.

Comment Re:And the moment they get something like this... (Score 1) 121

And the moment they get something like this...

...we will see martial law declared preemptively, military and police forces will start flooding areas before anything can happen, and people who the computer says will be key figures in the revolution will be preemptively jailed and/or executed.

... except that (according to most "psychohistory" proponents), the information you get is not that granular.

Also, declaring martial law and flooding the potential problem area with enforcers could be just what those fomenting rebellion are waiting for, to finally get the "little guy" involved in something that wasn't (up to that point) affecting him.

"No, you can't go outside, they'll shoot you." "Oh, yeah? Watch me."

It doesn't work quite like that. For people to remain gathered against the government they must at least have the expectation of success. Unarmed people will not continue to demonstrate for long in a square where the army has no problem shooting to kill. You can see that with Tiananmen square, the failed rebellions in Myanman in 1988 and 2007 and the one this year in Bahrein for ex. Wherever the army is willing to kill the protesters the state wins. And from that you can safely conclude that the only place a revolution succeeds is where the demonstrators are a cover for a coup plot, most of the time with foreign help. As for this supercomputer, it probably picks up the pattern of CIA instigators working at getting even more pliable governments in place.

Comment Re:Ugh, God, seriously China? (Score 2) 179

Replace "script kiddie application" with "helicopter gunship" and "hack a Chinese university" with "annihilate an Iraqi vegetable market", and you have the ethical equivalency the OP was getting at.

So the chinese doing some computer hacking is the moral equivalent to the US murdering a bunch lot of Iraqis. Then I guess that would make the chinese massacring a bunch of tibetans the moral equivalent of the US nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Comment Re:Ugh, God, seriously China? (Score 1) 179

Honestly there really isn't any comparing the US and Chinese government. I make no excuses for the US gov't, but the US gov't is the obnoxious, occasionally destructive frat boy to the Chinese gov't's sociopathic homicidal con-man.

Worst part is that kind of government is a part of chinese culture, too. that's sort of how they've run the show for most of their history. it's fucking weird.

No. It's not weird at all. The sociopathic homicidal way to govern has been the rule throughout history and still is. The only weird part is that some people in the west have developed the absurd notion that their countries are run in a different manner. The places that diverted even briefly from this model quickly became the victims of revolutions or invasions after which the psychos who won in those revolutions and wars quickly vilified the losing party to cover their own genocidal crimes. And exactly from those farces some gullible fools got the idea there's some justice in this world.

Comment Re:Mac, a former SEAL (Score 1) 117

I don't disagree with your premise, but they have lots of money. Staying in control is the tricky part.

Yup. It's all about control. The money is just the means to that end. Which is why people assume wars had to be for a "higher purpose" since they cost a lot more than the winers could have gotten back. But it's never about profit. Control is the name of the game because it doesn't matter how profitable or not you are when you get utterly defeated- you lose everything. :)

Comment Re:Mac, a former SEAL (Score 1) 117

But my point is they could have done it much cheaper, without paying for a western standard of living in Israel

Eh, it's not their money. It's ours. They have written the laws so that THEY don't really pay taxes, nor do the corporations which will employ them when they leave office. Oh sure, they pay half the taxes... but they own 95% of everything so I see a wee bit of disparity there.

I'm quite sure they view the entire economy as their domain and the population as their serfs. In their mind everything everywhere is theirs, including the pesky arabs that are sitting on their oil. :)

Comment Re:Mac, a former SEAL (Score 1) 117

If that was the aim they would have been left to their own devices against the arabs.

If that were the case they would likely have fallen and then the situation in the region would be free to resolve itself. Can't have that.

I understand what you mean :) But my point is they could have done it much cheaper, without paying for a western standard of living in Israel and for the israeli army they could have supported them substantially less, relying on western intervention to prop them up and control them too. As things are the israeli army is immensely powerful, a nuclear power, and not in a position to be manipulated by anybody. The reason for that is the yearly tribute trips the US congress takes to Israel to kowtow to their masters.

Slashdot Top Deals

Yes, we will be going to OSI, Mars, and Pluto, but not necessarily in that order. -- Jeffrey Honig