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Comment Re:Stupid (Score 1) 50

Name one country that doesn't mind its military bases being photographed every couple of months and being published for anyone to look at.

If Google is photographing your bases and publishing it, the problem isn't that they published it. The problem is that Google was able to successfully photograph it.

If Google can photograph your base, then your adversary can too. And Google is almost certainly doing things in the nicest way possible, obeying laws, not generally willing to put up with planes being shot down as merely an inevitable cost of business, etc. A real adversary doesn't have those constraints.

Attempting to censor Google is symptom-treating, and really, it's to a comical degree. It's way out there; this isn't merely "slightly stupid." This totally reeks of closing barns doors after horses have gotten out... except that there will be an update in a few months and of course they'll want that blurred too,because they still haven't closed the barn door. It's more like they just don't want people talking about the barn door, that they have already decided they're never going to close.

YOUR HORSES ARE OUT, NUMBNUTS!!! WE ARE LOOKING AT YOUR BARN DOOR BECAUSE IT'S HYSTERICALLY FUNNY THAT YOU KEEP LEAVING IT OPEN, not because we want to steal your horses, which aren't in the barn anyway. If the horses were really still in the barn, then you would have shot down the photographer.

Comment Re:Incoming liberal asspain (Score 1) 841

And maybe what both parties need to get out of the trench warfare that they currently have as well.

Maybe, but maybe not.

The parties only hear two language: votes and money. Whatever they're doing, appears to be working for them (contrary to what you suggest, that they change). You write that it's bad, but on election day I think they are going to hear that what they did was good.

You're giving a treat to the dog (and saying "bad dog") every time he barks, and kicking him (and saying "good dog") whenever he sits and cutely wags his tail. Guess what kind of dog you're going to have.

The only good news I'm seeing in this election, is that somewhere around 10-15% of voters have finally decided to stop actively supporting and approving them, compared to single digits in previous years. But a strong majority still approves, applauds, and rewards.

I think the election night numbers are going to show: Clinton and Trump were excellent choices, America's top two favorites. Prove me wrong, America. I don't care what you say to me; I'm watching to see what you say to them and everyone else.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Kapla: Spirals

Just building stuff, sometimes continuing the following week: Week 1 Week 2

The booklet had a spiral which took some time to figure out. Basically, 2 pieces in the middle, and 1 on each side of it, which makes it look really cool, and more importantly, supports the turned pieces. They do a slow turn though.

Comment Re:Bribes in the tax returns? (Score 1) 46

And it's no mystery that if their numbers go down sufficiently they will lose their seats.

Actually, it's the very definition of a mystery, since this has never happened in recorded history. For you to claim the results of an experiment that has never been undertaken seems rather foolish.

Comment Former CIA Officer: President Obama Should Pardon (Score 5, Interesting) 278

Former CIA Officer: President Obama Should Pardon Edward Snowden

Barry Eisler spent three years in a covert position in the CIA’s Directorate of Operations and is the author of 12 novels, including The Detachment
                       

                        He let Americans evaluate omniscient domestic surveillance for themselves
                       

                               

This week, Edward Snowden, multiple human rights and civil rights groups, and a broad array of American citizens asked President Obama to exercise his Constitutional power to pardon Snowden. As a former CIA officer, I wholeheartedly support a full presidential pardon for this brave whistleblower.

All nations require some secrecy. But in a democracy, where the government is accountable to the people, transparency should be the default; secrecy, the exception. And this is especially true regarding the implementation of an unprecedented system of domestic bulk surveillance, a mere precursor of which Senator Frank Church warned 40 years ago could lead to the eradication of privacy and the imposition of “total tyranny.”

That today we are engaged in a meaningful debate about whether such a system is desirable is almost entirely due to the conscience, courage and conviction of one man: Edward Snowden. Without Snowden, the American people could not balance for themselves the risks, costs and benefits of omniscient domestic surveillance. Because of him, we can.

For this service, the government has charged Snowden under the World War I-era Espionage Act. Yet Snowden did not sell information secretly to any enemy of America. Instead, he shared it openly through the press with the American people.

For this service, Snowden has been accused of having “blood on his hands“—the same evidence-free cliché trotted out every time a whistleblower reveals corruption, criminality or anything else the government would prefer to hide. That this charge is being aired by the very people responsible for wars that have led to thousands of dead American servicemen and servicewomen; hundreds of thousands burned, blinded, brain-damaged, crippled, maimed and traumatized; and hundreds of thousands of innocent foreigners killed, is more than ironic. It’s also a form of psychological projection, or propaganda, intended to distract from where true responsibility for bloodshed lies.

And for this service, the usual suspects have claimed Snowden has caused “grave damage to national security.” As always, the charge is backed by nothing but air, and ignores—in fact, is intended to distract from—the real damage caused by metastasizing governmental secrecy. This includes not only disastrous government mistakes and cover-ups (see the Bay of Pigs, the “missile gap,” the Gulf of Tonkin, Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, etc.), but also the ongoing strangulation of democracy itself. The nation is not made more secure, but is instead more fragile, when the government knows more and more about the people and the people know less and less about the government.

Even well-meaning media personalities fret over questions like: “But what would happen if every top-secret cleared intelligence employee decided what secret information to unilaterally declassify?” In fact, whistleblowing is extraordinarily rare, in part because of the draconian penalties the government metes out to punish it. What’s rampant—and real—is over-classification. An insistence on discussing a fantasy hypothetical of radical transparency, when the world we actually live in is one of radical secrecy, seems a strange way to frame a debate.

If leaks really are so terrible that the government conflates them with espionage (and even with terrorism), why isn’t the government prosecuting the thousands of leaks that insiders dole out to favored reporters every day? It’s almost as though leaking isn’t really the problem, but rather the nature of leaks—with leaks that assist favored government narratives encouraged, and ones that challenge those narratives prosecuted.

It’s important to understand that Snowden violated no “oath” of secrecy—because there is no such oath. The only oath is the oath to defend the Constitution. With regard to secrecy, there is only an NDA. So anyone who suggests that Snowden violated an “oath” of secrecy is either ignorant or lying. Faced with a choice between an oath on the one hand, and an NDA on the other, Snowden chose the oath—the real oath, the only oath—and alerted the American people to what the government was concealing from us.

In other words, Snowden followed his conscience. Authoritarians might condemn such a choice. Americans should celebrate it. After all, in his seminal essay “Civil Disobedience,” Henry David Thoreau wrote, “It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right.” And indeed, if people were intended to only and always obey the law, why would we have been given the power—and burden—of conscience? Similarly, if the president were intended always to hew to the law even at the expense of justice, why would the founders have vested the office of the president with the power of pardon?

Without question, history will vindicate Edward Snowden as it has Daniel Ellsberg. President Obama has a chance to be on the right side of that history. In doing so, he would do his legacy, and his country, a great service.

Communications

YouTube Gets Its Own Social Network With Launch of YouTube Community (techcrunch.com) 73

The earlier reports were right when they said YouTube was working on launching its own social networking service for content creators. Instead of the "YouTube Backstage" branding, YouTube has decided to call their social networking service "YouTube Community," which allows content creators to use text, GIFs, and images to better engage viewers. Given the controversy surrounding YouTube in regard to demonetizing videos that are not deemed "friendly to advertisers," many YouTube creators have been or are thinking about leaving the site and joining competing services. These new tools are designed to help keep creators from departing to competing platforms. TechCrunch reports: YouTube has been testing the new service over the past several months with a handful of creators in order to gain feedback. It's launching the service into public beta with this group of early testers, and will make it available to a wider group of creators in the "month's ahead," it says. Access to this expanded feature set is made available to the creators and their viewers by way of a new "Community" tab on their channels. From here, creators can share things like text posts, images, GIFs and other content, which the audience can thumbs up and down, like the videos themselves, as well as comment on. Viewers will see these posts in their "Subscriptions" feed in the YouTube mobile application, and can also choose to receive push notifications on these posts from their favorite creators, YouTube says." Only time will tell whether or not this new move will be better received than YouTube's Google+ integration...

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