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Comment Re:Hacking (Score 1) 231

illegally influence a US election

Here's what I wrote in an earlier post to another article about this word use:
https://slashdot.org/comments....

"affect our elections" is a phrase that has many meanings, and I see Democrats here and elsewhere relying on the broadness of that phrase to muddy the conversation. A foreign actor can "affect an election" through bribery, blackmail, intimidation, and other tactics. A foreign actor can also "affect an election" by exposing the anti-democratic behaviors of trusted officials. The former describes actions that impose influence upon a process and trespass upon national sovereignty, the latter does not. Thus, casting a foreign actor as "affecting an election" has no meaning unless his actions are further qualified.

As an example, if Reporters Without Borders were to release evidence that showed anti-democratic behavior among Iranian public officials in the lead up to elections, they would also be "affecting an election" by the broad definition of that phrase, but hardly anyone would accuse RWoB of imposing themselves upon Iran, or trespassing upon their national sovereignty. In fact, I'd surmise MOST people would celebrate RWoB for having exposed such corruption.

Comment Re:Hacking (Score 5, Insightful) 231

It seemed to me that Assange mentioned Maher's donation as a way to reflect the "impure motivation" red herring back at Maher. Maher had, just a second before that, questioned Assange's motives by saying that he had, through his past dealing with the US government, developed a personal animus towards Clinton. This has been the common attack against Assange from the media in the aftermath of the DNC leak -- it goes like this: Assange's motives are not sufficiently pure, therefore the contents of the DNC email leak, no matter how true, must not be discussed, else we would play into the hands of someone else's agenda. This, of course, is fallacious thinking, and Assange tried to show Maher, through his own example, that a million dollar donation to a Democrat does not and should not cast a shadow upon Maher's brutal and regular take-downs of Republican people and ideas. The truth remains the truth, no matter who speaks it.

And that reminds me of something:

At best, the obscurantist attitude of saying that it is an undesirable document and better suppressed. And if for some reason it were decided to issue a garbled version of the pamphlet, denigrating Trotsky and inserting references to Stalin, no Communist who remained faithful to his party could protest. Forgeries almost as gross as this have been committed in recent years. But the significant thing is not that they happen, but that, even when they are known about, they provoke no reaction from the left-wing intelligentsia as a whole. The argument that to tell the truth would be ‘inopportune’ or would ‘play into the hands of’ somebody or other is felt to be unanswerable, and few people are bothered by the prospect of the lies which they condone getting out of the newspapers and into the history books.

-- George Orwell, The Prevention of Literature

Comment I can't believe so many people are this stupid (Score 5, Interesting) 231

It's been a decade since Wikileaks captured the public's attention, and most people still don't seem to understand that it's only a publisher that relies on others to provide info. I figured Bill Maher would know better. I figured journalists would know better. But they've all been speculating on the "Why hasn't Wikileaks hacked Trump yet?" question for the past week, as if they didn't know what Wikileaks is about.

Are they all this stupid, or just pretending to be fucking obtuse?

No... they MUST be pretending. Bill Maher has interviewed Assange in the past -- without questioning his motives or insinuating that Assange/Wikileaks exfiltrated secret documents themselves. He has demonstrated in the past that he knows Wikileaks is only a publisher. As well, there have been thousands of articles in the mainstream press since Collateral Murder and Cablegate, and they did not cast Assange/Wikileaks as hackers or to insinuate that they were enemy collaborators. Journalists have demonstrated in the past that they know Wikileaks is only a publisher.

No... they DO know better, I'm certain ALL of them know better. But they're so full of rage that no one has yet leaked Trump's info to Wikileaks while their favorite Clinton is being undermined, they've become the mirror image of the Fox-watching "Fairness and Balance"-demanding trogs that the left so often mocks and derides.

Comment Trump Wants To Launch Hack Attacks (Score 3, Insightful) 177

I distinctly remember Trump having said that Russia should find Hillary's deleted emails -- the implication being that he believes, as many do, that her server had already been hacked -- and those emails only need to be found from within the FSB archives in which they're being kept. I distinctly don't remember Trump saying Russia should hack any server that is currently online, or even using the word "hack".

But now, not only has this "Trump called Russia to hack Clinton" meme propagated, it's being treated no longer even as speculation but as an accepted truth that premises other stories. WTF?

Comment Re:Russian VPN != "Works for Russia" (Score 1) 704

"affect our elections" is a phrase that has many meanings, and I see Democrats here and elsewhere relying on the broadness of that phrase to muddy the conversation. A foreign actor can "affect an election" through bribery, blackmail, intimidation, and other tactics. A foreign actor can also "affect an election" by exposing the anti-democratic behaviors of trusted officials. The former describes actions that impose influence upon a process and trespass upon national sovereignty, the latter does not. Thus, casting a foreign actor as "affecting an election" has no meaning unless his actions are further qualified.

As an example, if Reporters Without Borders were to release evidence that showed anti-democratic behavior among Iranian public officials in the lead up to elections, they would also be "affecting an election" by the broad definition of that phrase, but hardly anyone would accuse RWoB of imposing themselves upon Iran, or trespassing upon their national sovereignty. In fact, I'd surmise MOST people would celebrate RWoB for having exposed such corruption.

Comment Re:Why do libertarians support him? (Score 1) 281

A lot of self-styled libertarians aren't really libertarians philosophically. They just despise the two establishment parties, and the LP happened to be the biggest alternative for a "fuck you" vote. Now that Trump has become the biggest "fuck you" vote, they flock to him. Sanders is other "fuck you" vote, which is why you have the seemingly incomprehensible scenario of significant number of people who are willing to cast their vote for the polar opposite if the other fails.

Comment Re:I'm far older than most of you on /. (Score 1) 281

The Constitution enumerates certain things the government is not allowed to do. It recognized that people are imbued with their rights from the moment they're born. If he's a Jesus freak and wants to interpret that as "god-given", then he's more legally correct than those who say rights are given by the government.

Comment Re:So what? (Score 1) 357

That "free press" given to Trump isn't because they favor him. Rather, it's because they are very enthusiastic to publicize any potential flaw they can find. Of course, they are oblivious to the fact that large swaths of the public see the media as part of the establishment, and that their disproportionate pursuit of Trump's every flaw will only confirm his anti-establishment credentials. The press may realize too late, much like the GOP, that the only way they could have brought down Trump was to acknowledge that they themselves are near universally despised, and to embrace him with their toxicity.

Comment Re:NPR is much better than you think (Score 1) 639

I used to think so, but the recent direction of their reporting -- finding every petty negative story on Trump (golf game and taco bowls wtf), avoiding negative stories on Clinton (HVF/DNC funding expose by Politico), and wholesale dismissal of Sanders (incessantly implying he should quit in the interview last week) -- has turned me extremely cynical.

Comment Don't mistake SJW for Liberalism (Score 1) 438

Trek was very much liberal, but that didn't make it SJW. It confronted hypocrisies and injustices across the galaxy and within the Federation by measuring them against principles, and there's great internal conflict when people are placed in situations that force them to break those principles.

SJWism, on the other hand, is no friend of principles -- treating people equally is subordinate to making people feel equal.
Let's hope Trek keeps its liberal roots alive by steering particularly clear of SJWism.

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