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Comment Re:Wow. Get a load of that. (Score 1) 263

Violent revolutions almost always make things worse. 1776 might have been an exception, but I'm starting to believe that was nothing more than propaganda. When (not if...there's always a when) push comes to shove, there probably will be some shots involved. The shooting had been going on for years before the Declaration.

If this turns into a shooting match, the rebels will be crushed. Sherman's March will look like a picnic in comparison. So let's find a way to work this out peacefully. In our lifetimes. I was raised to believe in "the buck stops here" attitude. Leaving it to future generations is the cowardly tactic that our ancestors took to place us in this position. Do we really want to make it worse for our kids?

Comment Re:Wow. Get a load of that. (Score 1) 263

This is wishful thinking. US troops have been deployed against US citizens in the past. The War Between the States is the most brutally obvious example that we've been indoctrinated to fear. But they've been deployed depressingly often to break up strikes.

A fairly recent survey showed that something like 70% of them would obey if ordered to fire on unarmed US civilians. History shows that the rest would be hanged as traitors. Bradley Manning is setting an important example right now.

Yes, the militarized police are scary. The Branch Davidians give us a good idea of what we can look forward to, if things turn violent. Not just the government's cold brutality. The rest of the country's apathy. Most people I run across still believe those poor people deserved to be burned alive. But the military will get involved if people seriously start shooting back. The best explanation I've heard for Iraq is that it was conditioning them to shoot unarmed civilians.

Comment Re:Wow. Get a load of that. (Score 1, Interesting) 263

I'm a registered Republican. I'm more likely to vote Republican than Democrat. I absolutely despise Obama. I am absolutely furious that people like you made me try to pick between him and McCain last time (for the record, as bad as Obama is, I still believe McCain would have been worse).

I am very seriously looking at finding another country to live in because it looks like idiots like you are going to nominate either Romney or Gingrich. Santorum I could understand. At least he looks like he has meaningful differences with Obama, if you aren't paying much attention.

Comment Re:Bogus (Score 1) 353

You're pretty much describing exactly the system we have in America today. The press can say anything they want, and there isn't any way to know who (if anyone) is telling the truth.

The mainstream media corporations are owned by conglomerates who also happen to own lots of politicians (and banks). It's in their interest to promote a system where people don't think too much about what's really going on. This is one of the major reasons they devote so much airtime to broken celebrity marriages while neglecting scandals like this, Fast and Furious, the latest defense appropriations bill, etc, etc. Not to mention things like, say, the freaking wars. A few of them have admitted (off the record) to me that their job is about ratings, not truth. Very few even realize that their job is more about obscurity than anything else.

The only method I've found for finding anything close to "truth" is to scour publications from across the political spectrum. Compare and contrast with al Jazeera and the BBC. Keep track of what various bloggers (of different mindsets) are saying. Keep my finger on the post of opinion sites like /. Assume that anything the MSM claims about a topic is a lie. Enjoy the internet as a fact-checking mechanism while it's available.

Compared to the morass of lies that is general accepted in America as "journalism", libel and slander are minor irritants, at worst.

Lying to sell a product is totally different. That is fraud. For the vast majority of the herd, the MSM completely excludes everyone else's press. But, hey. They have the money, and the credentials. So they must be telling everybody all the important stuff, right?

Maybe things are different in Canada. In the US, the media has become the propaganda arm for the giant commercial arm that owns 'our' government. Oh, hey, look! This star basketball player got suspended for three games some mysterious reason!

Comment Re:It's Not ALL Bloggers (Score 2) 353

IANAL, but, AFAICT, speculation and innuendo most definitely are protected. "Real" journalists do that sort of thing all the time.

e.g. Headline: Is Obama a Muslim? Story: Of course he isn't...

Most people just read the headline. A few months later, their brains will have filtered out the smaller words and just remember "Obama, Muslim". That's one of the big reasons so many people today still believe he is.

I don't remember the target, but I remember a long-running smear campaign a few years back. Some guy registered a domain named something along the lines of then put up a website full of innuendo. Things like "Are the rumors that so-and-so molests children true? We here at don't believe them for a second. Anonymous sources claim that so-and-so enjoys torturing kittens, but we don't think those sources are credible."

IIRC, the legal battle was pretty spectacular. After the website owner won, they kissed and made up. He transferred ownership of the domain to his target, and it's been largely forgotten. I'm not having any luck tracking it down on google, so this is hearsay and should probably be ignored.

We also have a lot of leeway when providing examples. It would probably be libel for someone to write "Alex Greeley, of Frog Leap, ND sells illegal fireworks" (I intend that example to be completely fictional. If there is such a person and place, I apologize profusely. I did not mean anything by it). But I could have used a real person and place and probably gotten away with it just fine.

Anyway. What you can't do is come out and make inflammatory declarative statements directly. She apparently wrote that the behavior of some lawyer (who she named) in some case (which she cited) was criminal. No evidence beyond an anonymous source. "Real" journalists can't get away with that sort of thing.

To me, that's why this ruling is so scary. It doesn't seem relevant to the case at hand.

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