Re: Even if..
"Oh Julian, you make mocking you so easy..."
Mock the weak. +_o
1529 posts • joined 30 Jul 2010
"Oh Julian, you make mocking you so easy..."
Mock the weak. +_o
"France did grant him asylum, how does he think he will be able to travel to France without stepping onto British soil, and therefore get nabbed by Dixon of Dock Green waiting outside?"
(Gordon Kaye/Allo Allo accent)Well, ee would 'ave to use ze Paris tunnel of lurve(/Gordon Kaye/Allo Allo accent)
"Imagine Assange in Paris
I just sort of skipped a word and greatly improved that sentence. The rest of the comment still flows....
Imagine Assange living in Paris"
I've been catching up, having spent a while on the road and took a double take. Then I remembered the alleged exchange between St Jules and one of the females; She; "Are you wearing anything" He "Yes, you". From the perspective of this alleged exchange I can see people asking where Julie lives, to which he might respond 'In Paris'. She is after all wealthy and, oh, lived in. In addition Julie is looking for a way out, and tunnelling was mentioned by some Reg correspondents.
Again, the remarks are those alleged by a feminine acquaintance of St Jules to have taken place between her and he, in what might ordinarily have been a tender moment of reproductive behaviour.
"I think you'll find the French prefer to call that period Le Resistance."
Your thoughts are not aligned with what I said; they have long been a thorn in the side of their current ally's (Germany's) side for economic espionage. This is nothing to do with resistance, it is current.
"Sure, so he can get slapped with 17329 consecutive life sentences without parole for swatting a fly or somesuch"
As a member of the EU the Swedish CJS has to comply with the European human rights court and standards. Accordingly this sort of claim is mere ash in the air. Furthermore, Assange cannot be extradited from Sweden by the US, nor from the UK, that's how EU laws are constructed. Assange can only stand trial for the crimes that he's alleged to have committed, and he cannot be sentenced for more than the appropriate period or amount, under Swedish law as governed by the EU. Your suppositions and reckonings are completely irrelevant.
Furthermore everyone knows that everyone else is doing it. They adopt a number of tactics; feed tainted misinformation through a number of individuals, so they can trace the 'leak' and thus isolate the leaker; feed the leaker information that is representative of some truth sought by the watching organisation; feed the leaker/spy bogus information that suits the 'victim' country/organisation's purposes (to the disadvantage of the 'hostile' nation) and so on. Espionage is not what people think it is. Espionage if very frequently a process of bluff, or of reassurance, one which is frequently farked up by ignoramus fools like Assange who trample in the undergrowth.
See also Register article entitled Les unsporting gits! French spies BUGGED Concorde passengers.
Non sequitur. In point of fact espionage is commonplace between allies and is only embarrassing to them when it is publicly known. For example, the French have long been a thorn in Germany's side for economic espionage. In addition, spying on allies to understand their motives and plans can prevent a lot of misunderstanding and promote harmony. As to the Rainbow Warrior, whatever I may think of Greenpeace (I think it is populated with people who avoid, e.g., the truth about our need for nuclear energy) what was done to them was despicable and an international crime. Espionage, well it is another matter and does not involve damage to shipping and the risk of harm is in the current context minimal.
"Probably been asked before, but what's stopping them making him a diplomat to give him immunity?"
Everything. Apart from the fact that he is on the run as a wanted criminal - he's skipped bail - the list of accredited diplomats has to be presented to the British and is assessed and passed by St James' court. Everything to stop this transparent ploy.
The Swedes have made it abundantly clear they will not release him to the US, while they have also offered first dibs to the US, who have declined. The chances of him being taken from the UK are also very low. This man is setting people against one another, by dint of muddying the water and making false claims.
Finally, irrespective of what he tells us, Assange's counsel relayed to him the information that the Swedish police intended to interview and then charge him (as per Swedish CJS procedure), and that is why he flew. His counsel claimed that the Swedish police had not been in touch but, on examining his phone record in a UK court, he conceded they had been in touch. For this his bar association announced their intention to interview him. I don't know what the outcome was.
Yes; he fled from Sweden when he discovered, from his legal representative, that the Swedish police wanted to interview and then charge him (as per Swedish criminal procedures), and then he fled to the embassy when on bail in the UK. I am more than faintly incredulous when I remember that Assange wanted to become a Swedish citizen and then later claimed they have a banana republic standard of justice. As to fleeing from British justice, given that he has even less chance of being given to the Americans by the UK government I find myself wondering if this man understands what he looks like. As for the judge who gave him bail, only a spanking will suffice; this judge is as bad as the one who let Assange off lightly on 17 counts for a variety of computer crimes in the US and in Australia, committed on Australian soil.
What has thus far kept Assange out of jail is both the credulity of the judges and his ability to con people with glib drivel that lacks any meaningful anchor to reality. Presumably the British judge who did not keep him in Wandsworth nick (or was it Brixton?) realises that Assange is a flight risk, that his flight from Sweden demonstrated this and that the second instance of flight when on bail doubly demonstrates this. This man has no credibility, and his behaviour does little to assure onlookers that he is innocent of the charges the Swedes wish to bring against him. Far from it.
 On perusal of his mobile phone log, said representative had to concede, in a British court, that the Swedish police had indeed been in contact with him. This whole fairy circus has the whiff of corruption about it.
I'll believe it when I see it.
Walsingham set the ball rolling, in service of the previous Elizabeth. Actually that's not quite true. It's an ancient art, practised by jays when covertly snooping on squirrels whilst the latter cache their acorns, other squirrels doing likewise, and on it goes.
"Yes, well, that's the default. For what it's worth, 'we' tend to a higher IQ: say, the top 5%. The majority believe what the Government tells them."
I'd like to see a cite for an empirical study providing support for your claim, do you have one?
"Socialism works? Don't make me larf."
The French economy is in a parlous state. Hollande was warned that he was going down a cul de sac, and had to review his policies. Socialism does not work. It stifles the creative impulse, whether commercial, artistic, technical or scientific. There has to be a reason for an endeavour, but socialism does not supply an incentive. That's why collectives and the like fail, whilst business in a free market economy can work if done properly.
In the first instance 'twould be trespass. In the second instance it would be a violation of the embassy's status, private individual or no, otherwise private contractors in the form of bailiffs might fit the bill. For breaking an international convention it would seem wise for the UK to formally charge her/him, but the question of what to do with the package once it is out of the embassy is indeed tempting! However, I believe that the police probably have a duty here, and the government are bound by convention.
Not so; the Swedish CJS protocol for charging an offender is to first interview then charge. The police had informed Assange's Swedish council of their intention to do just that. Mysteriously and overnight, Julie disappeared and reappeared in the UK, like a game of whack a mole. Worse still, aside from his counsel's claim that the police had not been in touch with him (and, in retrospect/examining his cell phone in a UK court he rescinded that statement, confirming they had ), his professional association publicly announced their intention to interview said counsel on the matter of this behaviour.
Thus, Julie is an absconder twice over; he absconded when his counsel learned of the Swedish police intention to interview and charge/arrest him; he absconded when on bail in the UK. He has a behavioural history of fleeing from one country to another, and he has a criminal record (17 counts in Oz, where he was convicted for among other things hacking a USAAF/Pentagon server), and it all holds together very tightly, that is to say, his history speaks for itself, it discredits him. On the basis of his publicly known record I developed the opinion that this man is perfidious, untrustworthy, does not understand normal social rule following and legal rule following conventions and is prone to making judgements that leave him, quite literally, cornered. Julie locked himself away, and Julie has only himself to blame for this.
He should not have been bailed when in the UK, if only because of his record of flying from one country to another and of absconding from Sweden. Now that he has offended there they are probably unlikely to offer him citizenship, and I hope that he is deported to Australia and immediately forwarded to the US.
 The cell phone company's records would clearly indicate this to the court and thus the satisfaction of his professional association, and I imagine he had his career in mind when on the stand in said UK court.
"They'd simply appoint him to a role, and he's free to leave with them to the airport"
No, utterly wrong; it would have to a) be done in advance, and b) be approved by the Court of St James, and you can bet your anus that they will not approve the application.
Yvonne Fletcher was another matter.
Assange does not have long left in the embassy. He will at some point face a pressing need of greater importance than avoiding the Swedish authorities. Perhaps they could relinquish their claim on him - and they have offered this to the US - then the UK CJS could arrest him for bail jumping, jail him on remand, and wait for the Americans to accept him into Hillary Clinton's loving bosom, or failing that into the Guantanamo womb, where Lindy could lead him around on a dog leash. Oh happy ironical thoughts.
"You do realise Assange isn't actually in Ecuador don't you, or were you trying to be funny?"
Looks like an ironic dig at Assange's desire to fly to Ecuador, and how many people try to claim that the embassy is Ecuadoran territory, which it is most decidedly not.
ISTR that he set his Wikipedia salary at around £80,000. Then there is the considerable advance given him by a publishing house for his autobiography, from which agreement he withdrew whilst keeping the money, thereby proving himself to be completely untrustworthy and pefidious. I believe there are other sizeable chunks hanging around. The whole Wikipedia set up seems to me to belong to the Dear Leader, who uses it as a milch cow.
You will remember that his earlier benefactors, the ones who stumped up bail for him, lost their money. I'd like to say that he's blown it in that respect, but I somehow think that some of them will continue to bet on this horse.
No, once the CJS has made its initial attempts to apprehend and charge the suspect the statute of limitations is irrelevant, since the man has become an offender by virtue of absconding.
"Please someone explain the down votes (the single one I get, always get at least one).
Please explain HOW it's Sweden's fault he is in an Embassy?"
It happens to me also and I consider it to be a badge of honour that, for citing facts, I elicit disapproval; it demonstrates how out of touch with the truth these people are; it occurs, not because they have some superb a priori argument against you, based on laws and morals, and no one has yet offered any coherent argument about the alleged rapey-man whose followers appear to accord him some latter day Neo status.
As to Julie himself, he absconded from Sweden (soon after his lawyer was informed the police wanted to interview and then arrest him as per Swedish legal practise, thereby causing his lawyer's professional society to interview him), having prior made it clear he wanted to reside there - it being that he felt safe from the US - but now feels they have banana republic justice, even though they subscribe to the same legal standards/ECHR/HRA that the Brits (for the while at least) do, and then locked himself in a a Latinate closet.
Julie's Knightsbridge balcony scenes were amusing, a sign of desperate manipulation. Not long now. Soon he'll need either a medical or dental operation that will require him to leave the building. He can be assured of an excellent escort, a clear route, and people at the point of treatment who will guard and protect him. Unless of course he chooses to have a sordid death in the closet. I'm sure the NHS won't mind this single instance of health tourism. ;-)
Please arrow this post down. I want to see as many down arrows as possible. Thank you.
They already are harbouring an offender, albeit not convicted; he has skipped bail in this country.
" Re: idiot
Costs? He didn't ask for the siege."
Yes he did, that is why he is in the embassy; he thought/thinks he can outlast the expected siege. The siege and his thinking about it is predicated in his act of seeking shelter, he by definition a criminal on the run (he broke bail in order to reach the embassy). The act of seeking shelter - by a criminal with a conviction on 17 counts in his home country - makes no sense, unless he was evading arrest and thus the cordon that would be thrown around the embassy. This situation makes no sense otherwise. It is the latest act of a desperate man.
He absconded for the second time. He has again broken the law. As to cost, much of it is defrayed within the budget for the Ecuadoran embassy, itself contained within the diplomatic budget. This has already been explained as I'm sure you know. The poster used data cited by that paragon of political correctness, The Guardian. Impeccable, shorely.
However, Assange has broken UK law by jumping bail. He is a criminal with a high profile and a penchant for NATO secrets. Expecting anything less than the current situation is naive or disingenuous. To say the least.
There will of course be prevarication, down ratings, quibblings, and such like. ;-)
Rape is not trivial, especially given the HIV problem. A German woman singer was jailed for having unprotected sex with a man, she knowingly having HIV. Sexual hygiene is apparently still not uppermost in the minds of people in the UK.
"Twice it was ruled in an English court that what Assange is accused of would be rape under English law (http://www.newstatesman.com/david-allen-green/2012/08/legal-myths-about-assange-extradition)."
Indeed. Just as, inch by inch, this man's unsavoury character has been exposed in so many ways. For example, when I (accurately/correctly) called him a convicted criminal some twonk jumped up and down, performed the typographical equivalent to a rant. I produced the proof, but neither apology nor retraction resulted, though I don't mind; I'd rather these creatures expose themselves for the gullible fools they are, treating him as though he were some kind of messianic Neo, whilst being unable to back down when called out.
As to the rest of the truth, it is much like playing whack-a-mole. Deal with one untruth and another pops up and is treated as a truth. He placed the lives of Afghan informants at risk, right down to their GPS positions. His interesting behaviour towards women is on public record, starting with the way he ousted a journalist from his relationship, then throwing up his fists in mock pugilistic manner. If this reminds me of anyone, it has to be Max Clifford just prior to sentencing, behaving in a similarly eccentric manner. On a news report, no less.
I believe he's said that the things he did were not criminal. I may try to splice his words together in one long text. Just to help him on his way.
Anyhow, Assange is now a criminal again, for he has skipped bail. He fled Sweden almost as soon as his legal counsel discovered that he was to be arrested following interview at a police station, though some seem to think that the Swedish CJS should interview suspects they wish to arrest by video link, or in a British police station. Clueless.
In all Assange has developed a very interesting criminal profile. For skipping bail he should do bird. Then he can go to Sweden, where I am convinced he will do bird again. This man has already destroyed his public persona, and it would seem that he is teetering on the brink of going further down. The Ecuadorian government must be very ticked off with their last ambassador.
Re: He's obviously dangerous
>I see you are or were a cop at some point.
Me? No, though as a soldier I did work with a certain police force in the line of duty. After that I found myself drawn with what now seems inevitability to a professional forensic/legal perspective on life. It's safer you see!
BTW, it just occurred to me that Julie is indeed dangerous; the amount of bravo sierra dripping from his mouth constitutes a cholera threat.
@h4rm0ny Re: Budget Leaks
>>>"Have they done it on national television?"
>As I said and which you have now agreed with - it's not about right or wrong, but about government embarrassment.
Another non sequitur. It does not follow from the publicity attached to the case that the government is embarrassed. Indeed, they have nothing to feel embarrassed about; the man absconded from Sweden and then, later, a member of the judiciary - that is to say, a component of the executive in the face of good practise where giving bail to a known absconder (convicted on 17 counts in his own country) was considerably inadvisable did precisely that.
Do note at this point that it is an exemplary feature of western democratic government that the legislature (that's the gummint and the executive (they be people like the judiciary, the police, the fire brigade, social workers, probation and prison officers) are separated. This means that the gummint can't take exception to Julie and have him arrested and deported without due process. You see how this works? Even if they want to there is that little thing called the human rights act, and the ECHR - which, you should remember, enforces the EAW mechanism - and associated bureaucracies, national and EU wide, would take action against the Briddish gummint!
You see how that works? Sweden issues EAW to recover absconder, absconder who is now in the UK is given bail by an over liberal and forgiving judge, Julie absconds again! The mechanism that was invoked remains in action and this man, wanted for a serious offence in the country from which he formerly wanted citizenship so that he could escape the big bad Merkin Gummint,
> I estimate the chance of any US originated action pretty close to zero because the last thing they want is to somehow give Assange the chance to be a martyr. Leaving him alone was the smartest thing they have done IMHO.
Indeed. I would be enjoying the show, or at least watching the highlights. This will one way or another come to an end. Julie already has health problems, which he failed to turn to his advantage, and there will be more. If I can spare the time I intend to be around when he comes through the front door, to film him in HD and put the result online. That is, in the event that it is scheduled in any predictable manner.
>You can literally go to the station sometimes and in some places and tell them exactly where the person who threatened you is and they wont go round there.
This is both weak and disingenuous, to say nothing of the non sequitur nature of your argument . This man is wanted on an EAW by another government in the EU, and that makes him an important fugitive; the EAW was issued merely because Assange absconded, and we allowed him to replicate this behaviour (not very bright at all) thus the EAW has quite a priority attached to it, especially in view of the celebrity status of the wanted individual (who now plays to the gallery from a balcony in Knightsbridge, presumably looking for a Romeo to rescue him) which, it should be noted, would result in a considerable amount of public ire and press condemnation in the event that the police and appropriate ministers did not pay good attention to arresting someone who is already an international absconder and has now absconded within our own jurisdiction, a man it should be noted who has possession of the state secrets of many countries and it would seem NATO secrets.
If you really do believe this stuff and are not behaving disingenuously then you would seem to me to be exceptionally naive or not very bright. Unless of course you are taking the micturition, which I suspect you are. HTH.
 That is, it does not follow from your argumenta, which have no bearing on the current case. Indeed were the legal system to accept your playground reasoning then many other offenders would be left free to roam the streets, but your reasoning is not fashionable in legal circles and, whilst many offenders are indeed roaming the streets freely - e.g. terrorists back from lopping heads in Aleppo, no longer held by the FSA - many others bemoan their bad luck, as their warders tuck them up at night. Should you find this hard to take I suggest that you are probably in for a hard life, with many shocks.
@ Hans 1; the US could have lifted him more easily from here than from Sweden, EAW excepted; note also that the EAW cannot be used to place a suspect in a jurisdiction from which a hostile power can easily lift him, further down the road.
Julie fled Sweden just after his counsel had been advised by the police they intended to interview him prior to charging him, for which his bar association said they would be interviewing him. He came here, which was pretty much like putting his head in the lions' mouth - on your analysis - except that we not only followed the letter and the spirit of the law, but we against common sense gave this absconder bail. Naturally he again absconded, as his behavioural history indicates he would.
Since his conviction on 17 counts in Australia he has gone from criminal strength to criminal strength. That he would be easier to lift from the UK than he would from Sweden is worse than disingenuous; he actually wanted to gain Swedish citizenship prior to this imbroglio (inconsistent with the US/rendition argument), because he felt them to be safer and more liberal, and ISTR that Wikileaks still has a server in an under ground bunker in that country!
Now that he is wanted for rape he feels they have banana republic levels of justice. Soon if convicted he will complain bitterly that he was not given justice; historically this is true, because an Australian judge let him off lightly and fed him the idea that he could stay out of jail if he played his cards carefully.
This man's speech is both glib and full of contradictions. He repeatedly applies failed strategies in the same domain and across others. When I read of his callous attitude to the Afghan informants whose precise GPS data he'd released (they knew what they'd gotten themselves into) and, later, that he 'snatched' a journalist's woman friend from him, practically under his nose, stopping, turning and then adopting a pugilistic stance as he made his way down the road with her, I realised that all was probably not as it should be in this paragon of virtue, this self appointed guardian of peace and freedom, this over paid (by himself) empire builder, this man who pulled out of a contract with a publisher and refused to return the considerable advance they'd made him, later jumping bail at the expense of those people who put up his bail, some supposedly his friends.
Hah. I am still amazed that people cannot see this (IMNSVHO) insect for what it is.
@Cliff; it was at the time said that releasing him on bail would be an error, since he was an absconding risk, and Julie has proved this fulsomely. Just as he proved the judge who convicted him on 17 counts in Australia was naive and let him go with a smack on the wrist, whilst telling him a repeat offence would result in incarceration. Julie took this to heart, and that is why Manning is inside, e.g.. Mind you... ...much could be said about that situation, including the folly of those tits who put their passwords on post it notes, stuck to their monitors.
>Costs? He didn't ask for the siege.
Oh but he did; he fled/broke bail (costing his friends a lot of money it should be observed) and then went to the Ecuadorian embassy, that bastion of freedom of the press which returned someone to Belarus, itself run by a Kleptocrat as vile and as dangerous as Putin.
@ h4rm0ny; more than slightly!
This has nothing to do with the US; the Swedes offered the US first go, they refused. He is now wanted under a EAW, and the conditions are that he can only go to the country who issued the EAW.
As to the nonsense about interviewing him here, he was wanted for arrest and, in Swedish law, he must first be interviewed in the appropriate jurisdiction. Everything else is just a silly red herring, dropped by Julie to confuse the issue. Julie is wanted for an alleged offence that a senior met officer said would merit a charge of rape in this jurisdiction.
However, feel free to define black as white and vice versa. You will as ever amuse those who know better. HAND.
@Ian Michael Gumby; Indeed. For jumping bail he is again a criminal. If, that is, he can ever be said to have freed himself from the designer labelette, criminal that he earned himself when he was convicted on 17 accounts, by a misguided Australian judge who felt his tuff life had to be taken into account... ...for hacking an Australian police system, in particular the one investigating his illegal activities, and for hacking a Pentagon air force system, among many other targets. IMNSVHO this man needs not so much the book flung at him, but to have it dropped upon him. All the while it has to be remembered that early offending predicts later offending; Julie has not by a long chalk finished, and he like many other offenders will characterise himself as behaving completely legitimately. I've seen it so many times, in so many different kinds of offender.
Of course the children in here will disagree and downvote, these things being to me an accolade and so, in advance of the activities of zit faced children I bow and say once again I thank you
I use Mirek W's PINs: http://www.mirekw.com/ It's open source and has quite a few useful features, including a Blowfish 448 bit encryption algorithm, complex password generator (including symbols), a file eraser and an awful lot more. Because it can be run from a USB stick this means I can double protect it by using encrypting the drive or creating an encrypted container.
In the distant past I used Oubliette but it went into maintenance and then dead mode. I will never, ever let someone look after my passwords. It is still available, or was when I checked a year back.
@ Gotno iShit Wantno iShit. I agree on the matter of True Crypt, though there is the question mark, it seems the earlier version may be safe. However and in addition I use Mirek W's PINs package (http://www.mirekw.com/winfreeware/index.html) which is free and sits very nicely in an encrypted container. In the past I used another free package called Oubliette (French for 'forget' I believe), but it has not been subject to development for some years. Mirek has a forum, is in reach, and the package is OSI Certified Open Source Software. It has a lot of very useful features, including 448 bit blowfish encryption, and a very good password generator, reminders when passwords are out of date, and so on. Alternatively Gibson at grc.com has a funky password generator.
As to True Crypt, I keep an archive of all software that I use to enable reversion in the event of such problems. In addition I also keep backups of the appropriate *.tc files, on three separate systems, one my backup server the others being portable drives. When I travel I copy the True Crypt files to my notebook, and then back them up to the portable drives by rotation. I would use the massive USB drives that I have but don't have much faith in their longevity. That sort of traffic would probably cripple them.
I remembered this from 4 years ago (linked here http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/10/18/wikileaks_founder_julian_assange_denied_swedish_resident_permit/ ):
...what you do is you go to a country (Sweden) that's at war in another country (Afghanistan), release a load of confidential documents with the potential to damage the Swedish/coalition effort whilst all the time complaining loudly about how Sweden is being manipulated by the USA to blacken your name and have you arrested... and then you can complain a bit more when they don't let you stay.
My heart bleeds."
"Goes With The Turf
I support freedom of speech and the people who make public what 'they' would rather be kept from us. But really, this guy shouldn't be surprised when this sort of thing happens.
If you're going to try and stick it to 'the man' then be prepared for the repercussions.
"Never get off the boat. Unless you're going all the way.""
After more than 4 years I found it interesting to revisit the sad affair, and feel these early reactions from Reg readers provide a stark contrast to Assange today, now allegedly a bit rapey, wanted by Sweden so they can charge him for an offence that a senior British police officer said would result in charges in this country. A man holed up in an embassy, reduced to trying to manipulate the world into taking his side. A man convicted in Australia on 17 counts for hacking government and other computers, including a USAAF network.
@ Ledswinger. The problem took off with a vengeance in 1997, when the Labour party took office and began to inflate the public sector at the expense of both tax payers and the private sector. With Dyke in place - in spite of his confrontations with the Labour party in government - the new policies were expansionist and wasteful. There was no longer any need to concentrate on quality, and so they concentrated on width. Thus, instead of generating good programming with genuinely talented actors and other 'artists', the Peeb gave us very expensive chat show hosts, vulgar phone calls to older actor's daughters, fixed game shows, footage edited to make it seem that the monarch had flounced out in a temper, and much, much more besides.
The Peeb will take a long time to recover, and probably one of the best ways to assist them in pursuit of quality rather than quantity is to cut their income. This began with the process of integrating the separately financed World Service into the main Peeb, thus making them entirely responsible for the new arm's budget, in the same way that Broon made the MoD pay for Labour's wars rather than using the contingency reserve. An utterly brilliant mirror stroke to the wasteful Labour years, for which we will probably pay for more than two decades.
@ I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects. Yup, that's what I heard! The new head man says he wants to levy all our internet accounts to raise finance for the Peeb. Frankly I think he should look in his coffee, because it's clearly been spiked.
@keithpeter. It is my understanding that problems only arise when users watch programmes that are simultaneously being broadcast, for the first time. True, the Peeb wanted to levy all internet accounts as a source of income, but they are likely to find themselves cut rather than inflated any more. Their behaviour over the past nearly 20 years has seen to that.
Yes, and your point is?
The story is similar in Russia, where some 60 journalists have been assassinated, whilst former Soviet States Chechnya, Dagestan, Georgia, Ukraine, Trans Dniester and the like can hardly believe that the USSR has gone away. It is almost certain that Snowdon has divulged everything to his new owners.
"Your entire argument is a statement of "this is how it is, so learn to like it." I call that cowardly bullshit. You may be roughly accurate in describing how limited our options are - though I believe you are overly optimistic about how many options the average person realistically has - but we always have the choice to resist.
Perhaps you were addressing me, I don't know. However, and as far as the subjective material is concerned, you are reading a crystal ball that does not work. For one thing I do not recommend that you like it. How you respond is up to you. Hate it, love it, like it, dislike it, ignore it, I could not give a tinker's cuss; your projections and imagination are of no consequence nor of relevance. As to the cowardice, I have worked in dangerous occupations that have nearly killed me - including a year on active duty - and no one has ever accused me of cowardice, whatever that means; in fact, cowardice probably means something to the effect that an individual places its well being over that over others. Now the interesting thing here is that the group security that I outlined is the opposite of cowardice, because people are called on to make sacrifices, but I don't give a damn, and that is not surprising. I once nearly died of losing more than half my blood supply, never mind the narrow escapes, including one or two defending a country whose citizens are completely clueless when it comes to the meaning of the word 'freedom'; but there again, it's whatever wobbles your trossachs, whatever gets your rocks off, whatever helps you to vent your imaginary spleen, all the while ignoring the fact that coming together as a group a) makes you a target b) reduces the number of variables (degrees of freedom) that you have and c) requires you to do something that psychopaths cannot; follow rules, engage cooperatively, work as a group, something which probably emerged in human behaviour once the opposing thumb and forefinger evolved, thus encouraging hominids to develop the concept of working together.
Perhaps you don't understand that, but I could not give a farking damn. I certainly am untroubled by the silly notion that you seem to harbour that governments should bend for you, when in fact they are made to respond first to protecting the maximum number of people; that means your petty desires are unimportant whilst the bigger issues of the day exert greater pressure.
Meanwhile your 'I bow to no man' speech is belied by your failure to piss off into the bondu and look after yourself, independently and out of range of a government. That if anything is the message behind my words. It is of the shape up or shove off variety that I learned as a soldier. Now perhaps you'll go and find yourself an alternative; go on, be brave. Meanwhile I'll continue my own quest. The one which has nearly killed me on several occasions.
"I can't opt out of my government."
Yes you can. You can fly to Ecuador, you can fly to Belarus (assuming they'll let you in), you can jet off to a country with a jungle and live there. Indeed you can, like Eddie baby, fly to Mother Russia and lose almost all of your 'freedoms' in exchange for living under an autocracy that is just barely better than the dictatorship that preceded it. If, on the other hand, you mean 'I can't opt out of my government whilst retaining the comfy life that I have, complete with electrickery, gadgets, organised health and welfare, police officers to prevent people from assaulting me, intelligence and security agents to intercept bomb plotters" you are probably right. We lose much in exchange for these things and, in case you had not noticed, you have an approximation to freedom only once every five years, when you put a X on a ballot paper. You may want to argue that that does not approximate very much to freedom, but that is about as good as it ever gets and is probably better than the 'freedoms' experienced by the like of Snorri Sturluson and others (and note that even Snorri Sturluson's 'liberty' and freedoms were curtailed by a murderer).
As to freedom itself, it is a myth. From a statistical perspective there are only degrees of freedom, meaning the choice between a limited number of alternatives, ranging from one set of outliers through the middle to the other set of outliers. Try living off the land in a place far away from government - the outback will do if you like - and see what freedom means.
"For all his hard work in pro-gay relations? Or for his work invading the Ukraine?"
I laughed my arse off at his attempts to portray himself as a protector of Russians who means no harm to a 'brother nation':
In case anyone was wondering about Yanukovych, there is this little item:
In this country he would be called a holocaust denier, although of course he was denying a holocaust committed on the land whose president he claimed to be. Bah. Putin, he's worse.
What happened in the Ukraine is behind Putin's claims of 'facism'. He is using the same sorts of Soviet 'socialist' tactics to cow the Ukrainians as those used by the Labour party to cow people who opposed his clandestine immigration scam.
As a side note, Belarus is in the state it is because Putin and his satrap have made it thus. Ecuador have deported or intend to deport a journalist to Belarus, where he will probably quietly 'disappear'. Ecuador is Julian Assange's 'friend', he thinks; that they have squashed the press and human rights in Ecuador is apparently of no interest to a man on the run from charges for jumping bail in the UK, and from charges for sexual assault in Sweden.
The NSA don't need 'WhatsApp'; they already have it.
" 450m have given their telephone number to WhatsApp"
And the contents of their phone books. One day people like me will be known, simply because we will be among the few sheep that do not use this stuff. Perhaps I ought to go off grid and live in the mountains of some American backwater. Yeee haaaaaaaaa.
"The one with the Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy cassette tapes in the pocket"
I have them stored on an infinitely small MP3 player. You should get out more!