Techdirt

by Leigh Beadon




Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the trumped-up dept

This week, our top spot on the insightful side goes to frequent winner That One Guy for a thorough response to the bizarre pimping charges against Backpage executives:

Going after the site is easy, the contact information is public, you can file a lawsuit and have it served to them with minimal trouble, as everyone is known ahead of time.

Going after the people actually responsible for breaking the law though, that takes work. They need to chase down leads, investigate details, gather evidence, all of this is time consuming and might end up getting them nothing.

If you want to find those breaking the laws and stop them from doing it again, you work with the sites to find them. A smart cop/prosecutor should absolutely love sites like Backpage, I mean where else can they get potential criminals practically writing out confessions of their crimes and attaching contact info to said confessions?

If all you care about is getting a bunch of PR for being 'tough on crime' though then you go after the site(s). If you're lucky you shut them down and drive the criminals to an even less visible site/service. Sure it makes actually finding the criminals harder, but 'out of sight is out of mind', if it's harder to see then you can spin it as being less prevalent when you boast about how you 'struck a blow against criminal activity'.

Given what the two are doing in bringing this case it's not hard to see where their priorities actually are, and it's not with those they pretend to be so very concerned with helping.

In second place, we've got another comment fixture. It's Ninja with thoughts on the ongoing revelations about Yahoo's collaboration with the NSA and FBI:

As if Yahoo needed any more nail in its coffin. And it will spill in other companies as the article notes. The US Govt via their intel are dismantling any and all trust people had on their companies. One has to wonder how much it has already cost. In the end, no terrorist has ever done as much damage as the Govt itself did to the country be it by eroding Constitutional rights or directly by driving people away from doing business with the US.

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start out with an anonymous comment applying the language from a recent ruling against software patents to a critically broken part of copyright:

[T]he Constitution protects the right to receive information and ideas. . . . This right to receive information and ideas, regardless of their social worth, is fundamental to our free society.” Stanley v. Georgia, 394 U.S. 557, 564 (1969) (citations omitted). Patents, which function as government-sanctioned monopolies, invade core First Amendment rights when they are allowed to obstruct the essential channels of scientific, economic, and political discourse.
Can this be applied to the circumvention clause in the DMCA?

Next, we've got a simple and excellent anonymous response to Trump's lawsuit threats over Clinton campaign ads:

I don't understand how someone with the thinnest skin in the world can run for the most criticized position in the world.

Over on the funny side, our first place winner is DannyB, who further examined the situation with Clinton's campaign ads and uncovered a highly amusing paradox of sorts:

If Clinton's ads are truthful, then I agree they are protected.

But many of Clinton's ads use Trumps OWN WORDS.

Therefore, they cannot possibly be true. :-) And are subject to a lawsuit.

In second place, we've got a comment from That Anonymous Coward about the latest in Digital Homicide's implosion, specifically their hopes of getting their court filing fees refunded:

Funny that seems how many of their customers felt...

For editor's choice on the funny side, we start out with an anonymous comment on the same subject, this time making a joke that I'm shocked I haven't actually heard anyone make yet:

More like Digital Suicide...

Finally, after a commenter in our discussion about Trump's tax returns claimed that it was only an issue because of the "liberal media", Thad served up a delightfully deadpan response that says it all:

Yes, the tradition for presidential candidates to disclose their taxes was started by noted liberal Richard Nixon.

That's all for this week, folks!


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Oct 2016 @ 4:31pm

    "I don't understand how someone with the thinnest skin in the world can run for the most criticized position in the world."

    It boggles the mind how that comment made it to the top when the regressive left is just as 'thin skinned' as the religious right if not more:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyMtDgRHZKc

    Despite the fact that the KKK was initially started by democrats, they actively 'project' that right wingers are the racists and bigots despite shit like this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RC-Cqkq6zWc

    Yeah, that is considered a non-rule breaking debate on college campuses all across the US.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Oct 2016 @ 4:53pm

      Re:

      And as the last nail in the coffen:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2qpQjoBKY8

      I challenge anyone here to meet this compilation of assaults conducted by the regressive left with something similar that exposes the right for being just as bigoted and brutal...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Oct 2016 @ 6:26pm

        Re: Re:

        Typical regressive logic, stay silent and maybe it'll go away.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Leigh Beadon (profile), 10 Oct 2016 @ 9:31pm

        Re: Re:

        You need to stop watching videos specifically designed to stoke your fears and insecurities.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Leigh Beadon (profile), 10 Oct 2016 @ 9:47pm

        Re: Re:

        If by "something similar" you mean a matching compilation video, assembled from a variety of clips with no context, curated as the worst-of-the-worst and then edited together along with an emotional piano soundtrack, presented with a specific ideological agenda on a channel dedicated to smearing the other side... well then -- yeah, that's a tough challenge.

        People on the left do sometimes put together manipulative propaganda like that certainly, but for the most part they don't have to -- because it doesn't take nearly that much effort to tell the story of the Trump crowd's violence and bigotry.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Centrist, 11 Oct 2016 @ 5:35am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "People on the left do sometimes put together manipulative propaganda like that certainly, but for the most part they don't have to -- because it doesn't take nearly that much effort to tell the story of the Trump crowd's violence and bigotry."


          I have repeatedly read the finger pointing by the commentators of this site regarding bigotry and racism towards the right. Now it seems the left leaning attitude has made it's way into the comments by it's authors. I don't think either side has much need to put together manipulative propaganda, their are plenty of examples of bad actors on BOTH sides. BOTH sides are guilty of racism and bigotry. Both sides are guilty of assault and over the top political activism.

          As far as racism and bigotry... Sometimes it's towards white people, sometimes toward minorities, there is plenty of RACISM and BIGOTRY on BOTH sides, I could quote example after example if you wish....

          http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2016/08/video-unhinged-hillary-fan-jumps-elderly-trump-supporter-tor ches-us-flag/

          http://nationalinterest.org/feature/violence-against-trump-supporters-who-blame-16464

          ht tps://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/06/03/ugly-bloody-scenes-in-san-jose-as-protes ters-attack-trump-supporters-outside-rally/

          http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/08/20/leftis t-activists-crash-trump-fundraiser-attack-motorcade-assault-trump-supporters-in-violent-gauntlet/

          Bot h sides are horrible if you ask me. This two party system of ours has resulted in a divided country, and hateful people. We are so busy pointing fingers at the opposition, that we forget our own contribution to the problem. How about we stop pointing fingers and start fixing ourselves first?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            art guerrilla (profile), 11 Oct 2016 @ 6:18am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Bot h sides are horrible if you ask me. This two party system of ours has resulted in a divided country, and hateful people. We are so busy pointing fingers at the opposition, that we forget our own contribution to the problem. How about we stop pointing fingers and start fixing ourselves first?"

            Bwa ha ha ha haaa, Smithers, the plan is working perrrrrr-fectly.

            that's richtig, kampers, the divide-and-conquer game been run on you so long, you don't know which end is up...
            keep on salivating when they ring that bell, keep on snapping and barking at each other, keep on ignoring the ultimate causes of many of the world's problems...

            poster is richtig: point fingers at your fellow 99%'ers all you want (for *their* icky morals... what? my morals ? why, above reproach, of course!), but ignore the 1% who are making this planet a living hell, who ACTUALLY have the power to enact systemic changes to benefit the 99%...
            (um, you do realize we *don't* have that power, don't you, dear kamper ? i don't care WHAT you blah blah blah is SUPPOSED to happen in this small-dee democracy, the RESULT IS: the 1% get their way, and the 99% have to pay...)

            yeah, i won't risk my bread crumbs from Empire to traduce the 1%; but i *can* righteously shame some fellow poor schmuck 99%'er somewhere, for something (likely inconsequential in the overall scheme of things), and feel like a real hero for making them out to be an incarnation of hitlerian proportions (and -just coincidentally- i am a fucking saint compared to *that* POS ! ! ! funny how that works...)

            'cause they said something -you know- 'bad'...
            or bit a poptart in the shape of a gun...
            or let their kids walk home from school...
            or sold raw milk at a farmer's market...
            or...
            or...
            or...
            or any of a million inhumane horror stories promulgated by a police state...

            there are several mechanisms which would serve to make for a true representative democracy:
            1. trustworthy elections (we have none with computer-based systems as presently constituted with proprietary code)
            2. instant runoff/ranked choice voting process; if you don't know/understand the concept, the bottom line is it allows third party/etc candidates you WANT to vote for, have a chance WITHOUT being a so-called 'spoiler'...
            3. reversal of the INSANE legal concepts which accord FICTITIOUS LEGAL ENTITIES we lovingly call korporations have SUPERIOR rights to REAL PEOPLE...
            4. reversal of the INSANE moral concepts which accord worshipful status to money/profit/riches accruing to -literally- A FEW individuals, over the greatest good for the greatest number...
            5. reversal of the rule of men, and reinstate the rule of law...
            so-o-o-o-o, as you can see, we are stuck, because any one of these prescriptions, nevermind all of them, imply the dismantling of Empire, and that ain't happening...
            welcome to your dystopia, mr winston...

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 9 Oct 2016 @ 6:32pm

      Re:

      Yes, a century ago the KKK was aligned with the Democrats before courting Republicans and the religious right in the mid-1920s. Yes, it's something to be ashamed of.

      But the Democratic party's attitude over the last half-century has been the opposite of what the KKK calls for. It's the Republican Party that the KKK has aligned with in recent decades. Including Donald Trump with his firehose of racist statements.

      Given a binary choice between a party that's supported civil rights for 50+ years and one that's still fighting them, it's an easy choice to make.

      > It boggles the mind how that comment made it to the top when the regressive left is just as 'thin skinned' as the religious right if not more:

      Name any attitude, no matter how racist and offensive, and you'll find some idiot who will voice it. YouTube makes it easy. However....

      a) There's a BIG difference between some random teenager spewing those claims and a major party's presidential candidate doing it.

      b) What makes you declare them to be on the left? You know, other than "The right has treated them with constant hate and bigotry so OF COURSE they're on the left." If that's all you've got, you might want to think about it for a while.

      c) Their racism is unacceptable - but that doesn't magically make Trump's racism acceptable. It means that very few would vote for them, just like they wouldn't vote for Trump. Why is that so hard to understand?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Oct 2016 @ 7:54pm

        Re: Re:

        "Yes, a century ago the KKK was aligned with the Democrats before courting Republicans and the religious right in the mid-1920s. Yes, it's something to be ashamed of."

        Yet they don't matter anymore since their numbers are basically non-existent.

        "But the Democratic party's attitude over the last half-century has been the opposite of what the KKK calls for."

        OH really?

        Explain this then:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RC-Cqkq6zWc

        Explain why it's okay for ethinic minorities to guilt trip whites,despite the fact that there are over 80 ethnic groups of whites, yet we're all generalized as being apart of one despite the fact that we have no blood nor historical relations to the original whites who owned slaves? And this is all in despite of the fact that the country of Niger, slave capital of world, is still enslaving blacks...Name one white person that enslaved a black from Africa, there are none, and that's because they were bought from blacks who enslaved other blacks which they continue to do to this day.

        "It's the Republican Party that the KKK has aligned with in recent decades. Including Donald Trump with his firehose of racist statements."

        Care to list those statements?

        I can't find them...enlighten us all with direct sources if you may.

        "Given a binary choice between a party that's supported civil rights for 50+ years and one that's still fighting them, it's an easy choice to make."

        Are you sure about that?

        Got examples?

        Name one law in existent that is prejudices against ethnic minorities.

        "Name any attitude, no matter how racist and offensive, and you'll find some idiot who will voice it. YouTube makes it easy. However...."

        "a) There's a BIG difference between some random teenager spewing those claims and a major party's presidential candidate doing it."

        How so?

        "b) What makes you declare them to be on the left? You know, other than "The right has treated them with constant hate and bigotry so OF COURSE they're on the left." If that's all you've got, you might want to think about it for a while."

        Show me a video of right wingers assaulting left wingers...there are none.

        "c) Their racism is unacceptable - but that doesn't magically make Trump's racism acceptable. It means that very few would vote for them, just like they wouldn't vote for Trump. Why is that so hard to understand?"

        Trump's racism?

        Sources, direct sources.

        You do realize that all Mexicans were raped into existence by Whites from Spain who are not only responsible for whipping out the Aztec Empire, but also all of the diseases they bought from the western world 200 years before colonial America existed right?

        If it wasn't for America, Native Americans would have never gotten back their ancestral lands nor existed since they were systemically executed by the Mexicans until we joined forces...See the Mexican American War.

        Above all, what is so racist about vetting immigrants? Do you even know how the vetting process works? Listen, if the entire world had open boarders, criminals could jump from country to country without being prosecuted, which they're basically doing already:

        https://texasattorneygeneral.gov/cvs/criminal-prosecutions-under-article-4-of-the-mexican-fe deral-penal-code

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2016 @ 7:19am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I kinda get irritated at the fact that I'm middle eastern but I'm classified as white, which makes me part of the majority. Yet the Hispanics, at least here in California, way way way outnumber me but they're a minority. It's almost hilarious how they draw these classification systems.

          We're all a minority if you narrow down our definition enough. If you define us as human and compare us to other humans that makes us the majority. If you include bacteria in the mix then humans are all a minority. If you define someone as Hispanic that makes them much less of a minority. If you narrow it down to someone from Spain that makes them more of a minority.

          Middle eastern makes me less of a minority than if you narrowed me down to the country my ancestors are from. You can further narrow it down to the city they're from. But if you lump me in as a 'white' and lump a whole bunch of other people in as 'white' then that makes me less of a minority I suppose.

          I feel like these definitions of what constitutes a minority and how people should be classified is rather arbitrary. It's almost funny really.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2016 @ 10:54am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The left IS the original party of bigotry and bias. They just figured out a long time go that if you repeat a lie often enough people begin to believe it, and if you YELL that lie loud enough, you can drown out the truth when you have enough people yelling it.

            You may not be able to fool all of the people all of the time, but you sure as fucking can fool MOST of the people MOST of the time.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2016 @ 11:41am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              It's funny how you think that the current parties bear any resemblance to how they were even 50 years ago without any regard for the significant and myriad changes in supported policy, rhetoric, and constituency they've both seen in recent and older history.

              Also, methinks thou doth protest too much.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2016 @ 12:46pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                No they do not look much like they did that long ago but it still does not mean parallels cannot be drawn.

                For example... affirmative actions laws. They are racist. The idea is that if you do not have enough of a particular group you must prevent another particular group from having that job. This criteria is not based upon qualifications, it is based upon bigotry and bias. Which party supports these laws the most? Apparently the answer to racism is to just install more of it. Now we get to have a bunch of disenfranchise people getting pissed off at how others are getting a leg up just because they are a certain race. How in the fuck will that help race relations?

                Everyone is biased, it just so happens that those saying they are not and encouraging others to be more open minded are typically the most ass backward, judgemental, cognitively dissonance, bigots around. The very first people to classify race are the racists and the Democrats... well let's just say you can't get very far without them screaming it to the point where it is watered down so much that racism pretty much just equals anything they disagree with.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Thad, 10 Oct 2016 @ 10:28am

      Re:

      Despite the fact that the KKK was initially started by democrats, they actively 'project' that right wingers are the racists and bigots despite


      I think Trevor Noah handled this talking point pretty well:

      "Yes, it's true that the Democratic Party used to be the party of racists. It's also true that my shit used to be pizza. Don't feed me shit and tell me it's pizza."

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Kalean, 10 Oct 2016 @ 2:41pm

      Re:

      It boggles the mind how that comment made it to the top...

      No it doesn't.

      ...when the regressive left is just as 'thin skinned' as the religious right if not more

      The regressive left doesn't have a candidate running for president; the conservative left does. Hillary Clinton is not nearly as thin skinned as a typical member of the regressive left. She's not a progressive either. She's just a slightly-more-evil version of most modern US politicians; she says what she thinks will get her elected.

      >Despite the fact that the KKK was initially started by democrat...

      A party of democrats that ideologically represented what Republicans now represent, and no longer exists.

      >...they actively 'project' that right wingers are the racists and bigots despite shit like this.

      The kids in that video are idiots. They're not alone. There are lots of racists in the left. That doesn't 'nullify' racism from the right.

      Your points are invalid at worst, or non-substantive at best. You're trolling, and based on the way you handle your language, you're the same person who was trolling the first-amendment legacy post last week.

      We don't care that you think the left is worse than the right. Both are bad. The point about Donald Trump still stands. You're not going to change anyone's mind about him by pointing out that other people are bad. You're just going to make everyone depressed that there are so many bad people. Go away.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Leigh Beadon (profile), 10 Oct 2016 @ 9:54pm

      Re:

      Firstly, that comment didn't "make it to the top" (though it did rack up several votes) -- it was an editor's choice, in this case my choice. Perhaps I should explain it:

      It's a valid and amusing observation regardless of what you think of the supposed "regressive left", or of the relative thinness-of-skin of people at various points on the political spectrum, or of who should be president, or of various bizarre historical non-sequiturs like the KKK's political alignment a century ago...

      Why? Because it is plainly obvious to anyone who is watching that Donald Trump is extremely bad at coping with and responding to criticism. Maybe that's because he has deep personal insecurities (hint: yes) or maybe it's because he is not nearly as good a rhetorician or general communicator as he thinks he is (hint: also yes) or maybe it's because he simply has poor impulse control and rarely thinks anything through before saying it (hint: hat trick!) but even if you like him it's plain as day: the man reacts woefully poorly to both valid and invalid criticism (I'm generously assuming there is such thing as the latter). And that's a terrible quality for a president.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Oct 2016 @ 6:41pm

    Whatever whining about his spam not making it in again this week in 5, 4, 3...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Oct 2016 @ 6:46pm

    " It's the Republican Party that the KKK has aligned with in recent decades"

    No actually, they're pretty split between both sides as of recent...

    I think at this point that the republican party has damn well established the fact that they're against Trump and have aligned them selves with Hillary.

    "Including Donald Trump with his firehose of racist statements."

    Like what?

    I'm a classical liberal socialist, but I'm still against 80% of all women getting raped by coyotes (if you don't know what that is, look it up) nor am I in favor human, drug, gun trafficking which is all too rampant...

    So basically, you're a shill for the para-military drug cartels?

    Here's a does of truth:

    http://www.bestgore.com/tag/mexican-drug-war/page/2/

    Grow up.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Christenson, 9 Oct 2016 @ 9:32pm

    New Tor attack via DNS

    Hey Mike, Techdirt:
    It seems Tor is leaking info via its DNS lookups...and a way has been found to exploit it:
    https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2016/10/05/unmasking-tor-users-with-dns/

    I found this wondering about my DNS not working in the middle of Hurricane Mathew from NC last night..8.8.8.8 was on the list.

    Enjoy!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Oct 2016 @ 9:58pm

      Re: New Tor attack via DNS

      So let me get this strait, you're trying to incite TD to commit a crime against somebody for their comments?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2016 @ 7:01am

        Re: Re: New Tor attack via DNS

        So let me get this strait, giving Techdirt material to write an article about is incitement of a crime?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2016 @ 9:54am

    wow. since friday everything is off the charts.

    riddle question for you: how come trump didn't select art briles for his running mate? i mean, after all, art knows as much about running a nation as trump does, and the stories they could regale each other with!!

    answer: briles saw it as a pay cut.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2016 @ 11:10am

      Re:

      Since when was experience a GOOD thing when running a nation?

      I want principled people running the nation. In fact, the idea that a single person would ever HAVE the capacity to properly run a nation speaks to a fundamental and quite frankly disturbing cognitive dissonance. The people running the nation is Congress... as per the constitution. The president is not supposed to running ANY bit of the nation. He runs the Executive Branch and the Military as CIC. To many fucking people have been hard at work trying to turn the Presidency into a fucking Throne!

      There is only thing experience in Government gets you... CORRUPTION!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2016 @ 11:34am

        Re: Re:

        In fact, the idea that a single person would ever HAVE the capacity to properly run a nation speaks to a fundamental and quite frankly disturbing cognitive dissonance.

        Whoever gets elected runs the gang that they select to try and run the real rulers, the bureaucrats.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2016 @ 11:47am

        Re: Re:

        This is some great logic. We should apply it to other things.

        No one could possibly know enough about space travel to effectively make decisions for NASA, so lets get some one who knows nothing about it to make those tough calls.

        The economy is far to complicated for anyone to understand it all, lets make the CEO of our hedge fund some one who doesn't even know what a stock is!

        /s

        That said, it would be nice if more of our politicians would defer to experts in more situations instead of deciding with their gut or their pocketbook on what to do and then trying to find experts who agree with them after the fact.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2016 @ 1:04pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          You missed the boat entirely on what I was saying. Go back and read it again. That comparison was so flawed... like comparing earth apples and martian rocks... You have no idea!

          Running NASA and a Nation are freakishly different things!

          The primary product of running a nation is the process of managing humans. Running a business successfully has zero bearing on this, and while it is "possible" for a "person" running a business to learn how best to deal with humans, there is no guarantee of any kind that they will. Many of these super rich people (including politicians) are very removed from the reality of the normal folks they deem themselves worthy to rule over by running for office.

          Hedge-funds and NASA have very different objectives. They care not for the human factors, but for the technical effort that a specific or few specific humans with "proven" talents can bring. These are wildly different aspects.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            TRN, 10 Oct 2016 @ 2:10pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            How so? Both of them are primarily administrators, who must have judgement we can count on, if either of them fails, people die. They are dictated as to their goals and options by others(for NASA they happen to be from the same group). They are expected to choose the objective best option for America and Americans.

            I trust neither Trump nor Clinton to make any of those decisions, especially with the unilateral expansion of the presidents powers over the last eight years through the use of executive orders. I would prefer Johnson to either.

            Running a nation is much like leading an army(leading, not commanding), your goals and options are dictated, what you do with it is not, but you have to follow the laws, conserve your resources, earn the respect of your subordinates and of your enemies, punish those who flaunt the law, and reward the valiant.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2016 @ 1:28pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          No one could possibly know enough about space travel to effectively make decisions for NASA, so lets get some one who knows nothing about it to make those tough calls.

          That has happened, like when JFK said "lets put a man on the moon within 1) years", when NASA was having difficulties getting off of the ground

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Roger Strong (profile), 10 Oct 2016 @ 2:06pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            ....And then put James Webb in charge. Webb had never run a space program - NO-ONE had - but he did have extensive experience administering both government programs and private industry.

            Webb in turn was surrounded by competent engineers, and he listened to them. If they told him he didn't like, he didn't call them losers, fire them, and spend all night attacking them on Twitter.

            It was NOT a case of someone clueless and inexperienced making the tough calls.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2016 @ 3:25pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The time scale was still insane, and the risks enormous, especially given that they were putting men in untested vehicles, with untested systems. They were taking war time risks for a peace time project, just to go one up on the Soviet Union. The result was a series of smash and grab raids, rather than development of a Moon exploration program.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Roger Strong (profile), 10 Oct 2016 @ 4:09pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Fine; an insane goal, but a goal that was met through competent leadership.

                The goal was not "smash and grab raids"; it really was for a Moon exploration program. The early lunar missions were the engineering tests. Later missions were to be longer and would have more science and exploration content. A lot of infrastructure was built to assemble and launch Saturn V's at a higher rate. Developing the Saturn V itself was a big expense.

                Few imagined that with all those sunk costs out of the way, the lunar program would be stopped. But then something terrible happened: Success.

                Understand, seeing Sputnik flying over America was a Very Big Deal. The same went for seeing Gagarin and other Soviet firsts. People demanded that Something Be Done. And that's why Congress greatly increased NASA funding.

                But once Gemini got underway - rendezvous and docking, long duration space flight, space walks - the US was demonstrably ahead. The public demand vanished. In turn, Congressional support vanished.

                NASA's budget was slashed - and Saturn V production capped - **BEFORE** Apollo 11. NASA coasted through the moon landings with what hardware was already in the pipeline. The first batch of missions turned out to be all there was. Only the last two were extended missions with rovers; three more missions were cancelled. There were no follow-on missions.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 11 Oct 2016 @ 1:11am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  I understand the politics quite well, that was the background to my college years. Beating the reds was the primary driving ambition, which was one reason for abandoning the program early, the other was having won, it would be bad news to leave a pair of astronauts on the Moon.
                  The engineering was heroic, and rapid development based, rather than being a more measured engineering development program. The program achieved its political objectives, and the politicians moved on to the next chance to cover themselves in glory, while short changing the scientists and engineers who had longer term, but less glorious goals, like expanding human knowledge and technology.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Thad, 10 Oct 2016 @ 9:59pm

        Re: Re:

        Since when was experience a GOOD thing when running a nation?

        I think FDR's fourth term turned out pretty well.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2016 @ 1:26pm

    You are mind-bendingly stupid.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    timmaguire42 (profile), 11 Oct 2016 @ 8:56am

    Nixon was pretty left wing

    If you know your history, that is obvious.

    More importantly, there is no requirement that presidential candidates release their tax returns. Trump is free to not release his and you are free to draw whatever conclusions you want from that. What you are not free to do is pretend that Trump is doing something wrong by not releasing his tax returns.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Thad, 11 Oct 2016 @ 10:20am

      Re: Nixon was pretty left wing

      Nixon was pretty left wing

      Ah yes, nothing so liberal as running on a "law and order" platform as a racist dog whistle to excuse throwing your political enemies in jail. Unless it's bombing Cambodia. Bombing Cambodia is left-wing as fuck.
      More importantly, there is no requirement that presidential candidates release their tax returns. Trump is free to not release his and you are free to draw whatever conclusions you want from that. What you are not free to do is pretend that Trump is doing something wrong by not releasing his tax returns.

      1) Er, I'm not free to pretend?

      2) That you are pretending "not illegal" is synonymous with "not wrong" makes my point for me. You're free to pretend they're the same thing, because there isn't actually any law against pretending. But I'm sure you don't actually believe that. I'm sure that, like everybody else, you believe there are some things that are legal but wrong, and other things that are illegal but not wrong.

      I never said Trump had a legal obligation to release his tax returns -- in fact, I used the word "tradition". (You can scroll up and double-check if you like.) But I absolutely believe that he's chosen not to do so for a reason, and that's not because he's being audited (which, again, didn't stop Richard Nixon), it's to hide behavior that, while possibly legal, most people would consider wrong.

      (Though we actually *do* know that not all of his financial transactions have been legal, since he's already been fined for misusing funds from his charity.)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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