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Comment Re:Update: Testing EnergyStar by GAO resulted in: (Score 1) 267

GAO submitted a few non-existant products to test the EnergyStar program. Some notable results:

Gas-Powered Alarm Clock: Product description indicated the clock is the size of a small generator and is powered by gasoline.

Product was approved by Energy Star without a review of the company Web site or questions of the claimed efficiencies.

I'd buy one of these. :D

Comment Re:example (Score 1) 114

I didn't say it was right, I said it was on to something.

When prosecution doesn't work as a deterence - and it obviously doesn't in high-stakes white collar crimes - then prevention needs the be stronger.

This could very well take the form of pre-crime investigations. I'm against imprisoning someone for something they didn't (yet) do. But why is it that police has to wait until a crime has been committed before they can even begin looking?

I was in this position once. Someone tried to run a common scam on me and I went to the police so that they could catch them in flagranti. The answer pretty much was "well, no crime has been committed so far, so we can do nothing".

A bigger stress on the part where in many crimes the attempt is a crime would help out a lot, especially with corporate crime.

Comment example (Score 3, Interesting) 114

Uber is actually a good example of what's going wrong with the world: They are openly criminal and it works. It's Al Capone all over again. Everyone knows what they are doing, but they're too slippery to be nailed.

Same with the tax evasion of multinational cooperation, wars based on invented bullshit, election frauds done almost openly (like in Turkey), and so on.

Minority Report may have been on to something: The legal system working after the fact, and with a delay often measured in years, does not deter criminals. If you can take over a country, or become a billionaire, the threat that ten years from now they might file charges which your $1000/h lawyers will then simply drag through the courts for twenty years - well, that is not a very threatening thing especially for people trained to think primarily about next quarter.

Comment Re:criminals (Score 1) 755

The Pentagon wants money, Hollywood wants to make movies.

If you think this is primarily about money, you need to stop smoking that shit man, it's bad for your brain. Every, literally (not figuratively) *every* article that described the relationship between Hollywood and the Pentagon points out the PR, recruitment and image benefits for the Pentagon long before the monetary aspect, which seems to about cover the costs and thats it.

Yes, there are kooks who will develop conspiracy theories about anything,


So why are your evening news full of news about Syria, and when is the last time they mentioned Jemen?

t's a statement of reality that much of the world recognises that Russia is the biggest threat to world peace right now as demonstrated through real actual seizure of sovereign foreign territory - I was against the 2003 Iraq war, but at least there was never a plan to seize it permanently and claim it as actual American soil.

As the Iraqi if the difference matters much for them. Oh wait, a lot of them are dead.

You need to stop restricting yourself to pro-Russian propaganda like RT, when that propaganda is such a tiny minority of the global media landscape.

I actually watched RT maybe 3 times in my life. I am grateful to the plurality of media in the western world because most of my information about how the echo chamber works (long before that word was popular) I got from there. And if you really think the mainstream media, you know, the one that 95% of the people watch and draw their opinions from, is completely unbiased, independent and presents all points of view and all newsworthy news, then I'll end this discussion here because it's pointless to discuss with deluded people.

Comment Re:criminals (Score 1) 755

Given that this is the premise of your whole argument and is demonstrably untrue then I don't know what the point in responding to the rest is.

It is not the premise of everything, and cutting the argument short with another cheap trick is dishonest.

Are you really suggesting the US, UK, Europe et. al. have a secret great firewall like China, and have the same lack of plurality of media?

I suggested nothing of the kind. Western propaganda is fundamentally different and much less obvious than Chinese or Russian propaganda. For example, almost every Hollywood action movie portraits the US military in generally good terms (even if there are individual villains), and quite often they are the ones who save the world. The Pentagon, meanwhile, supports such movies generously with vehicles, equipment and other support. Coincidence?

There are literally books about how the western propaganda system works, who is connected to whom how, who owns the media and why, for examples, there are wars and genocides that you don't find on the evening news even though the body count far exceeds other wars that do get reported.

Now stop the russiophobic bullshit talk to a person who's not telling you that Russia is right, but that you should worry about being lied to by your own media before you worry about other countries telling lies to their people.

Comment Re:criminals (Score 2) 755

Why are the West the bad guys for intervening against a war criminal, but Russia isn't a bad guy even though it's also carrying out war crimes by bombing civilian populations, by annexing sovereign foreign territory (Crimea), by shooting down an airliner full of civilians over the sovereign territory of a nation it is attacking, and by backing a war criminal?

Because we are the subject to propaganda no less than anyone else in the world. Let's dissect that statement:

"bad guy" is not a term likely to be found in any law book. So you are making a moral argument, but I was making a legal one.

Then you are mixing Syrian and Crimea as if they were the same thing. While western propaganda links them, there's no legal connection between the two.

Bombing of civilian populations is done by all sides in Syria, they all claim that they target military targets (or "terrorists") and that civilian casualties are unfortunate collateral damage. Whom you choose to believe and whom you call liars is an entirely political choice.

Shooting down an airliner is again Crimea, unless you are referring to SA 1812, which was shot down by the Ukrainian Air Force with 78 civilians on board (no survivors). Or maybe to Iran Air 655, shot down by the US with 290 civilian casualties. The unfortunate fact is that even if it was Russia that shot down MH17, a conclusion the international investigation did not make (they say russian missile system, probably operated by the rebels) - civilian airliners get shot down in war zones, and over the years everyone made that fatal mistake, including the US.

Backing a war criminal? Where is the investigation and conviction? Is Erdogan in Turkey any less of one, and the west is backing him? What about Saudi Arabia, the wests stronges ally in the region, whose government is comparable to the fucking Taliban? And wasn't Saddam Hussein backed by the west for decades, even after it was absolutely clear he is using poison gas in the Iraq-Iran war? Funny how being a war criminal only counts if you're inconvient to current politics.

Your final list is very nicely cut. It excludes such things as unprovoked invasions or bombings, which the west is a hundredfold guilty of, or the "temporary" (we are speaking years and decades) occupation of territory, all of which are illegal under international law. It ignores all the military interventions done on simiarly bullshit grounds, or even based on pure fabrications (Iraqs WMD). Nice parlour trick. You have a nice multi-color cake on the table, but you cut out only the white parts and then claim the whole cake was white. You really think that only 12-year olds read /. who don't immediately see through that trick?

Your "self-hatred" argument I left for last. This is censorship par excellence. By putting negatively connotated labels on criticism, you silence it. Chapter one in, ironically, the Nazi book on propaganda. This is literally the first thing they did - labelling things according to their perspective. This allows you to frame the entire discussion in your mindset.

But have you ever given a thought to the fact that the whole binary approach could be wrong? That in these questions maybe there is not one good and one bad guy? This is the real world, not a Hollywood movie! There can be two bad guys. Or three, or five. Or mixed guys - good intentions, bad methods. Or mixed intentions. Someone (forgot who, damn it) once said "Nobody is the villain in their own life story." and in the same way that Bush or Obama or Trump will be able to explain to you why everything they do is right and proper, I'm sure Putin can do the same. Or Assad. Or even these ISIS fanatics. And if you really listen, you would find that their argument is sound. It will be subjective, one-sided and leave out many facts and nuances, but it makes sense to them. And that is why we are in this mess, because everyone thinks they are right, not because bad guys enjoy being bad just for the sake of it. Not a Hollywood movie.

"But, but, but..." I hear you say. Now you want to rattle off the list of war crimes done by the other side. Completely oblivious to the fact that such lists exist about the USA or the west in general as well. I'm sure a reader in Iraq or Afghanistan or Libya or Vietnam, has his own perspective on the benevolence of western military forces. "But, but, but... Vietnam (and the many war crimes committed there by US forces) was decades ago!" you want to say. Well, Abu Ghraib wasn't, so there's no reason to believe something has so fundamentally changed that if there were another war like Vietnam, the same things wouldn't happen again.

But that doesn't make the USA the "bad guy" nor does it make anyone else the good guys. Pointing out the evil in one person does not make another person magically less evil. In these conflicts there are no good guys. A war to end wars is the most insane idea of them all, and everyone who says anything like that after The Great War should get a slap in the face by each and every one of the millions who needlessly died in the trenches.

Once you stop believing the (western) propaganda, you see that none of this is about any moral highground. There's a dozen conflicts in the world right now where a US or NATO intervention would be just as justified as it is in Syria, or as it was in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. - but you need to search the Internet to even find out what they are. Because they don't have oil, they are not important for geostrategic interests or they don't affect any political friends. War is done for reasons, and if you really think those reasons include any humanitarian motivations, you need to see a shrink.

Comment Re:criminals (Score 2) 755

The International Red Cross agrees with my assessment, now calling the Syrian war an international armed conflict.

At this time, it is still unclear what exactly happened. The UN wants an investigation, the Russians claim that an islamist bomb factory was hit, causing the poison gas explosion, neither side can be believed because they are all far from independent.

What we do know is that Turkey is trying since 2013 to make the USA cross the red line, and has been caught selling poison gas (the same, interestingly, Sarin) to Syrian islamists before. Erdogan was the first to point fingers, and he has a massive internal politics reason to increase tensions, with his upcoming referendum likely going the wrong (for him) way. So a false flag operation is possible as well.

If you think false flag operations are a myth, never forget that WW2 was started by one.

Comment Re:criminals (Score 1) 755

When you spend almost 10 times as much on the military as your opponent, you better be vastly superior or you'd be the laughing stock of the world.

The issue is not whether or not the USA would win such an engagement. The issue is that Russia is an ally of Syria and their presence is covered by international law. The US is not, and their attack is an act of war, in breach of international law.

So Syria is now not in a civil war, but in an actual war. It could declare the airspace a war zone and ask Russia to guard it with the S-400, and they could legally shoot down whoever they want shot down. Maybe they'll succeed, maybe not, but they would be justified in doing it. Of course nobody in the west would care, we'd get fed enough propaganda to not think about the fact that we have become, once again, the bad guys, and the only people not seing it is us.

Comment criminals (Score 1) 755

adding that Thursday's strike was the "first direct American assault on the government of President Bashar al-Assad since that country's civil war began six years ago."

It is also an act of war and a military attack on a foreign country. Not that the USA ever cared about that, but if you wanted to give Russia a perfect excuse to activate it's S-400 on US airplanes, you just did.

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 1) 316

I never understood the DC and Marvel purchases. Sure they paid billions and got to make shitty movies using the existing characters, but how much less would they have made with their own characters? I suspect that the use of well-known preexisting characters probably didn't add enough to make the purchase worthwhile.

Comment shoppers (Score 1) 467

The result in recent months has been a high-stakes race to the bottom between Walmart and Amazon that seems great for shoppers, but has consumer packaged goods brands feeling the pressure.

It's never good for shoppers. Prices will drop, but it is highly unlikely the difference comes out of the pockets of the CEOs or the shareholder profits. It will come out of quality, safety, worker sales or worker numbers, all of which sooner or later cycles back to the disadvantage of the shopper.

Comment Re:Tradeoffs (Score 1) 667

If you think a lawyer (using this occupation as a placeholder) in Mississippi and a lawyer in New York don't have largely similar standards of living when compared to lawyers in the rest of the world, then we are both using English but not using the same language.

You were talking about free trade in the post that I replied to. You seemed to imply that you find it acceptable, within the context of the EU, because the member-states have similar standards of living and labor laws. This is false. As I said, we do not even have similar standards of living and labor laws within the United States. Indeed, a lot of corporations go out of their way to locate their facilities within so-called "right to work" States, where wages are lower and the legal balance is tilted more in the employer's favor.

The same trend has been happening for years within the EU. Most of the Nokia phones I purchased over the years were made in Romania. Why? Wages are cheaper there than they are in Finland. Romania is the South Carolina of the EU and Nokia moved production there for the same reasons that Boeing built their new plant in South Carolina rather than Washington.

You're right to say that a lawyer in Mississippi will have a similar standard of living to a lawyer in New York. He may even have it better; he'll make less money than the New York lawyer, but the cost of living is significantly cheaper, so much so that he may effectively be richer than his New York counterpart. That doesn't change the fact that New York has it better when we look at average metrics, things like educational attainment, life expectancy, obesity rates, etc. And if we want to talk about labor laws and regulations, well, there's no contest between the Northeast and the Gulf Coast.

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