Lame. I thought Assange would be the slam dunk choice. Zuckerberg's "Man of the Year" moment was two years ago.
I wonder how much of the movie *cough* cash *cough* "influenced" the Time editors.
Not only that, but Zuckerman didn't really have much to do with the success of Facebook. He's an accidental billionaire. It's the users who made it a success. 100% of the content comes from us, 0% from him. And Facebook, as such, is a TERRIBLE website, incompetently programmed and updated.
What has Assange done but put a recognizable brand on something that has existed for years and become its celebrity spokesmodel?

The real story is how the resilience of distributed file storage didn't become real in the public mind until somebody put a logo on it and created a familiar brand around it. And most of the world seems to think that if you can jail the man and destroy the brand, the problem will be suppressed.
I can't help but think that this post is explained by your previous post. And that it speaks volumes that we consider social networking of our most inane thoughts to be of higher priority than what we learned through wikileaks.
@3, what you said. FB is a mediocrity at best; totally useless, ego-broadcasting waste of time at worst.

Let's see: exposing potential war crimes committed by the Empire vs. aggregating narcissism. Great choice, Time!
Also, maybe the adult version of Time will have somebody else as person of the year.
In less than seven years, Zuckerberg wired together a twelfth of humanity into a single network, thereby creating a social entity almost twice as large as the U.S. If Facebook were a country it would be the third largest, behind only China and India. It started out as a lark, a diversion, but it has turned into something real, something that has changed the way human beings relate to one another on a species-wide scale. We are now running our social lives through a for-profit network that, on paper at least, has made Zuckerberg a billionaire six times over.

I think this is a lot better than Wikileaks, a site that not only promotes hacking of other computers, but a founder that is a criminal and a hack!

I am liberal, but to say that Julian should be the man of the year, well, that's just absurd!
@8 for the "understanding how man of the year works" fail.

Hint: it doesn't mean "good guy".

And Wikileaks has nothing to do with hacking anything. The files were LEAKED, not stolen. See, there? It's right in the name.
"It started out as a lark, a diversion, but it has turned into something real, something that has changed the way human beings relate to one another on a species-wide scale."

Wait, it's not a diversion still? I'll see you later, I have to go be interconnected in a revolutionary Web 2.0 way and tend to my fake crops in FarmVille.
When you permit something, you endorse it. Period. Haven't you learned that yet? The information was stolen, it compromised the US Military, our relations amongst the middle east, and for what? To let everyone know there are personality issues and mudslinging in one of the most volatile places in the world? Fail!

Understanding how the man of the year works? Really? You're telling me that someone that, regardless of whether it was his idea or not, compiles a website that connects the world in a way we have never been connected before, changes the dynamics of how we operate, changes the way we see things, and changes the way we think doesn't deserve "Man of the Year?" Well, you have the right to your opinion, and you have the right to be wrong.
@8 - Assange was the reader's choice winner. You may find it absurd, but it certainly seems that yours is not the popular opinion.
@11, Hitler and Stalin were both Man of the Year. It's about impact, not greatness. And Wikileaks's impact is huge, in case you haven't noticed. So has Facebook's -- but, as I explained above, very little of FB's impact is attributable to the personality-free zombie at the top.
Yes Charles, it ALMOST makes you want to kill your Facebook account. But you'll never do it, because you'd never give up such an influential part of your life, and that's part of the reason Zuckerberg was picked. While a majority of Time's readers may have picked Julian Assange as most influential person of 2010, a majority of PEOPLE have selected Facebook as the website they most care about, far more than Wikileaks. We plan our lives around Facebook, it is never far from our minds, and just like every other form of popular media, we love to hate it. Zuckerberg is the man responsible for this supremely influential website, so it seems to me that Time's choice is appropriate.
"it compromised the US Military"--unproven, baseless assertion, which Bush/Obama Defense Secretary Gates says is untrue.

Somehow, we're (even "liberals" I guess!) still under the impression that compromising the US Military's overall strategy of Full Spectrum Dominance would be a bad thing. Btw, a military that doesn't blush at killing civilians; that gleefully treats at shooting children like something akin to Grand Theft Auto doesn't deserve blind faith or secrecy.
@14, "We plan our lives around Facebook" -- eh?
@11 - Not everyone has a Facebook, you know. The vast majority of the world does not, your overemphasis of its importance suggests that you have a very western-centric view.

Furthermore, while I respect your opinion, I strongly disagree. The recent leaks contain numerous examples of corruption, cover-ups and human rights violations performed by the US government, and you are angry not at your government for lying to you (and other countries) time and time again, but at the messenger who exposed the information? The reception of the leaks is a stunning example of why America is often regarded with disdain by much of the outside world - millions of you would actually prefer ignorance to knowledge.
Facebook is a great place for those who don't value their privacy. And as many have said; "If you want to contact me pick up the fucking phone."
Well, firstly, Assange is in prison because he's accused of being a rapist, not because of wikileaks.

Plus, this is the same reason that Guiliani got it above Bin Laden back in 2001, because it allows them to discuss Assange (in regards to the awesome powers of the internet) without seeming to endorse him. I know PoTY isn't supposed to be an endorsement, but it's usually seen as such.
@ 14 "We plan our lives around Facebook, it is never far from our minds"

Admitting you have a problem is the first step, brother.
Julian Assange will probably get Man of the year for 2011. Zuckerberg, man all that guy did was donate 100 million to a school. If theyre going to nominate rich a$$holes in the tech industry, might as well name Larry Ellison, Steve Jobs or Steve Balmer.
The selection of Zuckerberg may feel a couple years late but it's not a strong argument to say Wikileaks has had a bigger impact than Facebook this year. Facebook impacts thousands of lives every day ranging from love to murder. What impact has Wikileaks made? Looks like everybody is still yawning over the documents as revealing things everybody already knew or expected.

Zuckerberg wired together a twelfth of humanity into a single network, thereby creating a social entity almost twice as large as the U.S. If Facebook were a country it would be the third largest, behind only China and India. It started out as a lark, a diversion, but it has turned into something real, something that has changed the way human beings relate to one another on a species-wide scale.

I think that's the "internet" you're thinking of, there.

Seriously, how am I somehow magically connected to a 12th of humanity in any useful or meaningful sense by Facebook? The fact that a shitload of people are signed up on it doesn't change the fact that it functions in my life to deliver news from the handful of my friends who post a lot.
Wikileaks just got started so I think that possibly in 2011 could be its year.
Charles, you said that is "almost makes me want to kill my Facebook account." I'm curious about few things: 1.) how often would you say you use FaceBook? 2.) how much personal information does your account contain? and 3.) What would it take to actually make you cancel your account?

Is there a line in the "sand" you've through about where enough is enough from FB? (i.e. Your password gets leaked ((SEE: Recent Gawker Acct Leaks)) and your email account that you use the same password for then gets hacked into as a result?)

I'm not being sarcastic, I know many people who say the same thing and am curious as to why they wouldn't just cancel their account and what would be that "final push" to actually cause them to leave FB.
well, zuckerburg just announced that he will donate a large portion of his wealth to charity in his lifetime. how about ass-ange?
"that you've thought* about"

Sorry for the typo.
As Fnarf has pointed out, Time's MOTY is about newsworthiness, not about social accomplishment (necessarily), and it certainly isn't about kindness bestowed on the world at large. There are some real lulus on this list. Go back and check.

But I gotta say that this is a surprise. Facebook is something noteworthy, and The Social Network is quite a good film, but I didn't realize that Zuckerman was the most newsworthy person of the year. Tell me again, how many days this year was he the lead story?
@25, I dunno about Charles, but the only reason I'm on Facebook is because of my friends. If my friends left, I'd leave. Pretty simple.

As for passwords, most FB users have voluntarily given up their password to some rogue hacker app at some point. Ever had someone offer you a free iPad?

The vast majority of the world has never even heard of wikileaks, and likely never will.
RE: 28 ...and of course I meant Zuckerberg.
@30, the vast majority of the world has never heard of Facebook, and likely never will.
@17 - Yes but they don't have to know about it to have it affect them. Unlike the work that Wikileaks has done, I can't imagine facebook has much of an effect on international relations.

@24 - Well, Wikileaks has been leaking big information for 5 years now. But yes, it really didn't catch the public eye in the US until this year.
@29 Most of the people I know who still have accounts are either "lurkers" or full blown users: posting pictures, where they are, who they're with, etc etc. I'm just curious what would be the big push to leave for full blown users.

Everyone leaving at once I guess is the answer.

HELLLLLO Diaspora.
I am compelled to join the crowd of people wondering why this ALMOST makes you want to end your facebook account, Mr. Mudede. I don't have a Facebook account. A majority, and as Fnarf said a vast majority, of people don't. What do have to lose? Some moments of diversion? Some petty details of the lives of your "friends"? The opportunity for the details of YOUR life to be turned into advertising dollars for some creeps out there in the evil world of capitalism?

Dump it.
How to host your own Diaspora server here.

I don't know if this will be the future, but certainly know geeks already setting up their servers.
Bitter much Charles?
Wikileaks has done equally nothing. Exposed some secrets, but things haven't changed, nor will they. Wikileaks dumped all that information about Afghanistan and that didn't stop the war. Same with Iraq. Same with this most recent disclosures.

Facebook has connected many people. It is used to disclose information to those who otherwise wouldn't know. Facebook is a tool, if you use it to pump up your ego, then that's all its worth. That said, this likely had to do with the movie more than anything else. When they make the Wikileaks movie, Assange may get it.

In terms of internet , I think Craigslist tops both Wiki and Facebook. They have amazing stuff there!

James Franco: Uppity Fag of 2010!! Woohoo!!…
This is totally the first time that AOLTimeWarner has exaggerated the relevance of some rich white tool. Only last week, there was a cover story about Sarah Palin that looked almost newsworthy.

I'm so upset that if I had ever spent money on their weekly litterbox liner, I'd seriously consider canceling my subscription.
If you say that Facebook has done nothing for the world, you're being willfully ignorant. Creating new networks for people to communicate can only result in good things. A democratization of information, even on a restrictive platform such as Facebook, has great potential.
Remember when Jeff Bezos was POTY? Yeah...

Another inane post from CM.

Gee, I realize many who read The Stranger are oblivious to the battle taking place between the forces of totalitarianism and fascism and THE PEOPLE (as represented by Wikileaks and Assange, for the moment), and that this may be inconsequential in their entertainment-filled zombie existences, but one might contemplate, if the Sweden is successful in extraditing Assange back to their kangaroo court system, while the American F.B.I. agents are conveniently in place to spirit him back to America --- as it is much easier to extradite him from Sweden than from the U.K. (they still have a few honest judges or magistrates in the U.K.) --- while China is equally successful in pushing censorship within their own country, THE PEOPLE will be the losers.

But if you don't agree with me, and support the attorney facing his honey trap "accusers" -- Claes Borgstrom (who has given national and international interviews claiming Assange to be guilty of rape -- and the other firm's partner, former Justice Minister Thomas Bodstrom, instrumental in getting Sweden's warrantless wiretapping, email bill passed (as of yesterday, in America it is now required, by law, to seek a warrant first), who was also instrumental in shutting down Pirate Bay from American pressure, then by all means email them your support:

But please don't dare do what happened in 2009, when someone mistakenly edited out the last dot -- or period -- after .se thus rendering it not the top-level domain -- this occurred at

That would be very expensive to Sweden. I beg everyone not to do such a thing.…
1. Charles, why would you "almost cancel" Facebook because of a Time Magazine choice?
This thread is dumb. Who reads Time, anyway? And, why frame this as a Wikileak versus Facebook debate?
Re: Zuckerberg--FB's users do in fact make it what it is. However, it would not have been the Facebook we know and love/hate without its main founder and CEO. Friendster or MySpace, anyone?
Myself, via Facebook, I have reconnected with nearly 300 family and friends, people I came to know in all and various times in my life. They're in at least 8 countries on 4 continents. When illness or death has struck my family, FB has been my main means of communication to others.
Lastly, if you think that Facebook is a 'Western-centric' phenomenon, see this:…

As for Assange and Wikileaks, I had in fact voted online for him to be PotY. His coupling of technology with his personal mission is a modern David and Goliath story. He has helped to the acts of governments who, for too long, have arrogantly enjoyed an excess of secrecy to cover their crimes. PotY is small potatoes compared to the impact of Wikileaks.
PS My above post uploaded without my edits. If SLOG were formatted like Facebook, I could further edit. Just saying.
I can't speak for the rest of the world, but the vast majority of Americans under 50 (and many over) DO have Facebook accounts. I'm sitting in my office, and as I look around 13 of the 15 people here have active Facebook accounts. And no, this is not a high-tech company.

You can debate Facebook's value or influence, but denying its pervasiveness means either you have a very small, unrepresentative circle of acquaintances or you're willfully misstating facts to back your opinion.
@44, wow. You are nuts.
Meh to both Mr Facebook and Mr Wikileaky. Angela Merkel should be PoTY.

My father, uncles, brother and brother in law honorably served this country in the armed forces. Were it not for being legally blind in one eye I would have also. It is an obligation owed our country for the benefits of citizenship. Sure, not everyone can serve in the armed forces, but everyone should do some form of organized volunteer payback for their citizenship.

Oddly none of the friends or family I know received one single order to gleefully kill kids. In fact, my brother in law was in charge of building schools and hospitals in Iraq. When we got there the infrastructure was decrepit. He and others like him didn't simply repair war damage, they repaired electrical, water and highway systems on the verge of collapse.

So, on behalf of those whose honor and integrity you couldn't begin to comprehend never mind emulate, fuck you. Really, fuck you.

@ Julian Assange

It is likely Mr. Assange violated no United States statutes directly. Cowards like him always get others to do the dirty work anyway. He lacks the integrity to use the democratic process in his home nation to effect change, so he decided to undermine the honest work undertake by governments around the world. At any rate, he would be out of our jurisdiction for most anything he did overseas. The young man who gave him these documents is within our jurisdiction and right here in the United States. He should be hung by the neck until (as the phrase used to go) he is dead, dead, dead.

Our diplomats rely on the privacy of those communications to do their jobs. They blow off steam, just as you folks do at your places of work. They write things they shouldn't. They bounce ideas off of each other, correcting notions as they go. And in all of that they require a closed loop to do so. Put another way, would you want the email your coworker sent you about your clients regrettable hairpiece released to him just as you were about to do a sales pitch? The real stuff of diplomacy is not these cables, it is work of keeping our interests protected in the world. These cables suborn that work. In leaking these documents Mr. Manning decided he, not elected officials, got to decide foreign policy for this nation. Leaking these documents wasn't heroism. It wasn't 'free flow of information.' It was treason plain and simple.

Yeah, Fnarf, that's what #17 said and tried to use it as an argument for why Wikileaks is more important. It was a bullshit argument, and I was countering it. I'm not accustomed to your being so sloppy.
If I WERE a "Time" subscriber, this would cause me to instantly end my subscription.

I could. not. believe. they chose that little schmuck over Assange.


Other than embarrassing some countries, how, pray tell, has Wikileaks influenced international relations?
@Fnarf, #48,

Thank you.

La vaca es muerta.

But please, whatever you do, don't hack the and screw with their .se and cause Sweden to be completely erased from the Web, and by extension, the Internet.

We must all act responsibly in these trying times.

La vaca es muerta.
Yeah a terrible choice, the man who created a network that has connected 500 million and counting and committed himself to giving away his billions to charity. What an awful human being he is! It should have been the subversive rapist who hides in the same shadows he claims to expose.
For fucks sake, when will people get it through their heads that the "Person of the Year" is nt an AWARD. It's not supposed to go to the coolest person or the nicest person, it's to the most influential person. I can still hear the echoes of the shit Time got for putting Osama bin Laden as their person of the year. They were right to do so, not because they thought bin Laden was a swell guy, but because he influenced the world that year more than any other individual by far.

I'm not sure whether Zuckerberg should be the person of the year (presumably as the face of facebook). I can see a decent argument for Assange, but then the current story always seems like the most important one. However the fact you think Zuckerberd is a douchebag or that facebook doesn't elevate us as a species has absolutely nothing to do with anything. Facebook has become a huge part of our lives, which makes it significant, whether you think that's a good or a bad thing.
@54, you don't know what you're talking about. And you're not going to be hacking anything, I'm quite certain.

You don't know what you're talking about with regard to Mr. Assange and the status of his bail or extradition, either.
@53, how many high-level governmental meetings have been held around the world to discuss Wikileaks, versus Facebook? How many people around the world have been told that they not only risk being fired for so much as looking at Facebook, but risk never being hired again?

Facebook is a popular toy. Wikileaks is changing the way diplomacy works.
Not only is Facebook not an original idea—history will eventually describe it as an also-ran—but for all its numbers, it's failed to leave almost any worthwhile impact, and probably ranks a few notches below even Twitter as a witness to any important global events.

It's safe to say that Facebook, and more importantly its CEO, are not incredibly important. The only value in which they can me measured is dollars.
"be", not "me". Me measured in dollars wouldn't be terribly exciting.
@59: I wouldn't consider publishing leaked documents an original idea either. The person of the year is not Assange but the 21st Century Daniel Ellsberg who leaked them. If you think Assange should be the person of the year, then you really do believe that the medium is the message.
Wow Charles must be upset! He was brief, coherent, and even compelling. I'm not sure I can handle this.
@50 Right back at you, my military worshipping fiend.

Also, nice argument using anecdotes--since the people you know are all decent it doesn't mean that a) War will not make them act differently and b) that the mixed military population are like the upstanding citizens in your family. Btw, you're not the only one with military members in your family, asshole. That, too, doesn't mean that you have to be pro-militarist. I am in America, not fucking imperial Rome. You see, we had a citizen Army once upon a time, but no more. Go read some Smedly Butler for Christ's sake if you won't take my word for it. Armies are actually not supposed to exist in peacetime yet they persist in this country during undeclared, illegal wars. That's why I question the whole legitimacy of the military and the system of government and economy it defends. It's not a republic, it's not a democracy.

But, for your edification, I was talking specifically about the nonchalant killing in the Iraq Apache helicopter videos that Wikileaks showed us. That video didn't really impugn the soldiers in that film; it merely showed US (all of us) the immorality of our wars and the total inhumanity forced on everyone in that situation. Many people are right: very few in America care about the crimes committed in their name. History may judge that not so nicely.

Also, your calls for Bradley Manning's death are telling. (btw, treason is a very specific crime that I am pretty sure they won't be able to charge him with). In a supposed democracy that prizes citizens standing up against their government's obvious transgressions, you advocate for that government--in a way typical of those who endorse brazen, stupid violence against others--to eliminate those very people who make principled stands against a system that is corrupt and out of control.
Bradley Manning stole classified documents and gave them to a foreign national with the means to distribute them online and a motive of clearly expressed hatred for this country.

Yep. That's treason alright.

For YOUR edification here's what a principled stand looks like- A person seeing documents which he believes to be evidence of crimes brings this up with his superiors. He uses the chain of command to exhaust the legally established means for airing his concerns. Finding the answers not to his liking he resigns and potentially emigrates to someplace he believes more in line with his principles.

Manning is a thief. He is a traitor. He acted outside of all democratic process and his rank, and he deserves the full force of the law. In your hatred for America you believe him a hero. Logically consistent, but not in line with reality, I'm afraid.
"Oddly none of the friends or family I know received one single order to gleefully kill kids. In fact, my brother in law was in charge of building schools and hospitals in Iraq. When we got there the infrastructure was decrepit. He and others like him didn't simply repair war damage, they repaired electrical, water and highway systems on the verge of collapse."

Sorry, didn't see this laughable anecdote. But yeah, that's what you get after 50+ years of setting up puppet dictatorships, civil wars, regional wars with neighbors, and two wars with the only superpower in the world: bad infrastructure. They should be so grateful to us.
"In your hatred for America"

I knew this was coming.
"For YOUR edification here's what a principled stand looks like- A person seeing documents which he believes to be evidence of crimes brings this up with his superiors. He uses the chain of command to exhaust the legally established means for airing his concerns. Finding the answers not to his liking he resigns and potentially emigrates to someplace he believes more in line with his principles."

This is the popular retort of foolish neocons. If you don't like the fact that your government commits institutional violence and crimes against humanity that will be ignored by both military and civilian chains of command don't confront it, move somewhere else!

"That's why I question the whole legitimacy of the military and the system of government and economy it defends. It's not a republic, it's not a democracy."

So you don't hate America. Just the government, military and economic system? Yeah, my mistake. I can't see any reason at all for thinking you hated the US.

"This is the popular retort of foolish neocons.."

No, that is abiding by the law of the country you live in or of which you are a citizen. If you find you can't stomach that law and can't change it, it seems only rational to move someplace more fitting to your personal tastes. For instance, our government is so evil in your estimation that I find it puzzling that you should remain here supporting it with your taxpayer dollars.

I should mention, my dad was in the Corps of Engineers rebuilding Germany under the Marshall Plan after the United States war of agression against Hitler and illegal invasion of Europe. (At least that's probably how WW2 looked in whatever bizzaro world you live in.) My brother in law was building hospitals and schools where they hadn't existed prior to the invasion of Iraq. Plenty of palaces for Hussein, though! The United States is probably the only nation in history to win wars and rebuild the nations which lost at our own expense. We are among the only nations in history to win wars without claiming an acre of conquered territory.

So again, fuck you and your hatred of the greatest nation on the planet.
Ah, sorry, I shouldn't have fed you so much.
@ 57, fnarf

You are absolute correct, sir, I am not about to, nor certainly capable of, doing any of this hacking stuff and thingamajigs.

Which is why I must warn everyone about even dreaming about deleting the following period after .se at the,

site, for gosh sakes!

As for, You don't know what you're talking about with regard to Mr. Assange and the status of his bail or extradition, either.

I have no idea what you are talking about. I don't know anything about his extradition, other than it would be far easier to extradite him from Sweden and those FBI guys are already on site there, and I am CERTAIN, douchey, that were he even to be convicted of that crime they are attempting to extradite him for, and now keeping him in soluntary confinement in a nasty UK jail for, he wouldn't even be sentenced to jail as it doesn't carry any flipping jail sentence for it.

You do douche, don't you?

And please don't email these guys unless you love them:
Seattleblues you are just winning friends and influencing people. Your nuanced take on complicated world events is sure to convince all of the readers of Slog of how wrongheaded they are. Bravo to you sir!

Seriously, can you not see at all how someone could love a country, and not want that country to do horrible things? Being a patriot is wanting your country to do good works. I'm not going to take a long time on you, because I think you're either willfully ignorant or a troll, but you just compared WW2 to the Invasion of Iraq. If you're a troll you need to try harder to make what you say plausible. If you are seriously comparing the two conflicts, you are incurably full of crap.

I was writing to one person who said that he disliked our government, military and economic system when suggesting that he didn't love this country. What's left? Is it that he loves apple pie and baseball and nothing else? At any rate, it was never intended to be a general statement.

Loving your country and wanting it to be better is laudable whether the person is liberal or conservative. I have good friends who happen to be liberal democrats. We disagree on many aspects of policy or theory while being absolutely certain each wants the best for this nation. I've had hours long non-acrimonious discussons about politics with folks who voted for Obama and folks who voted for Bush 2. Usually when you're sipping a beer and forced to see the other person as just that, not a sound bite on a talk radio show or Fox or MSNBC it's more difficult to demonize them.

The writing could have been better, but the WW2 comment was intended as irony. While I disagree with the hyperbolic claims of war crimes or illegally occupying the country, I happen to think invading Iraq was ill advised. WW2 was completely unavoidable, obviously, and fully justified on our part.
"I was writing to one person who said that he disliked our government, military and economic system when suggesting that he didn't love this country. What's left? Is it that he loves apple pie and baseball and nothing else?"

This is not true and a misrepresentation. When you become literate, let us all know.
@70, you appear to believe that by merely including or not including a period at the end of a URL in a web browser, you can bring everything to a halt. This suggests to me that you are twelve.

Your pal Assange got his bail but is being held because the country that asked for it under the EAW has appealed that bail. They have 48 hours to state their case. You can talk all you want about these nefarious FBI agents in waiting, and how Sweden is just an outpost of Guantanamo, but you should know that every time you do so you just look stupider and stupider.

Dirac, what I want to know is, if I love baseball but hate the way the Mariners play it, am I a traitor or not?
@72, claims of war crimes against the US are not hyperbole.

We really did slaughter those Reuters reporters.

We really did buy eight-year-old boys for Afghani warlords to fuck in the ass.

We really did torture suspects, many, many times. Torture is official US policy now.

Feel it.
@75, But these things are perfectly acceptable if you are a fur-brained jingoist like Seattleblues- well, maybe ill-advised, but necessary!

We really did bomb civilian centers in WW1 and WW2. Though libs forget this was because of technoligical limitations and placement of military targets by the enemy. We really did run roughshod over civilian populations while liberating Europe and defeating Japan. Though again, libs forget that after 16 or 18 months watching Germans or Japanese kill your buddies restraint on the part of soldiers would be both admirable and difficult. That's war. Give young boys and men guns, the training and license to use them and the opportunity to do so and some will go bad. It's why we have a Code of Military Conduct and the courts to back it up. The only difference is that for some inexplicable reason we allow journalists in the thick of battle now, photographing everything and getting the way of fighting soldiers. Freedom of press DOES NOT trump military aims and the safety of our soldiers.

As for your claims, links please, or at least a written cite showing where your evidence can physically be seen. (I know, young folks don't get it, but simply not existing on the internet doesn't deny physical existence of printed material in a courthouse or library. Weird, huh?)
"Dirac, what I want to know is, if I love baseball but hate the way the Mariners play it, am I a traitor or not?"

I don't know really. All I know is that if the Mariners are not to your liking, you should find a team elsewhere. They're still the best team in baseball, all objective data notwithstanding.
@77, That's war, huh? Fire-bombing civilians for months, as with WWII, is acceptable because that's just what happens in war? Dragging out a war to intimidate our rivals with nuclear weapons is okay, because that's just how things work? Torture, murder and rape are all okay because that stuff happens in war and the enemy would do it to us if they had the chance? And we can just write it all off anyway because we have codes of conduct and conventions and whatnot that are TOTALLY applied 100% of the time to every infraction because we are the good guys. No way do we need the press to be in the battle-zone EVER because civilians don't have the right to know what their government is doing in their name. It just hinders the war effort.

Jingoist bullshit, freedom of press is a hell of a lot more important than idiotic military aims.
Good thing folks like you don't get to decide these things.

And it doesn't surprise me that you spread a lot of lies about WW2 as well as Iraq. After all, for one determined to believe his government, employer and pretty much anyone else with any authority over him, is evil this just makes sense.

Why look into the Marshall Plan, or the deliberate attempts to stay out of WW2? Why look at the beneficial effect the United States has had on the world when you can find reasons to trash your own country?

I wrote it before. This country is perhaps the only one in history which rebuilt the war damage caused to those who forced us into war. We are among a very tiny minority asking for no land or other compensation for the costs of defending ourselves against such agressors. But you can't see this, from the lens of your hatred of our government.

I get it. You know the word 'jingoist.' Nice big word. Too bad you don't also know what it means.

@Seattleblues, this isn't about trashing our country, this is about holding our government accountable. You see fit to support a military that commits egregious atrocities while at the same time saying we should kill the few who stand up against such terrible acts. Furthermore you seem to subscribe to American Exceptionalism, with your bit about us holding out as long as possible before fighting wars (patently false, WWI and II are examples in your favor, but these last 60 years we have been want to rush into inadvisable and pointless conflicts) and never asking anything in return for our efforts, rebuilding everything after we burn it all down (apparently all of our colonial and expansionist conflicts in the American West, Latin America, SE Asia, Oceania and now the Middle East don't count as wars?). There is nothing wrong with being proud of your country, but when you are patriotic to the point that you believe that all our wars, and how we have conducted ourselves in war, are just and righteous, you are jingoism incarnate. I don't happen to hate America, I just happen to believe we can do better than murdering reporters in cold blood and procuring children for Afghani warlords to rape. I think we can do a lot better. We have done a lot of good, we showed the world that representative government is a viable alternative to the rule of kings, we have rebuilt the nations of our former enemies (a few times anyway), occasionally we pick decent wars to fight. But it does no good to deny our flaws- since when are criticism and dissent un-American?
I would like to tell the Okinawans that: "We are merciful beings. We have rebuilt your country and asked for nothing in return. Nevermind the huge base on your island and the commensurate sexual assault, which happens all the time. Nevermind the other 800-1000 bases spread throughout the world. Trust me, I am a libertarian-leaning 'conservative.'"
@dirac, Why do you hate America?
@83, well, according to simple minds, it doesn't take all kinds--only two.

I wonder if our fiend has ever read Twain, which he claims to have. Aside from a curious distaste for hypocrisy in religion Twain was also not really into America being involved in wars without end.

"I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land."
The US has been a set of colonies, or rather it had been prior to revolution. It has never had either colonies or empire in Latin America, the American west or anyplace else. More clearly, we are not now and never have been an empire or colonizing power.

The settling of North and South America was as inevitable as ocean tides or the revolution of the earth. Brittain or France or any of the major European powers would have come here at some point and colonized the place. That the American west is United States territory now in no way changes what would have happened to native populations regardless. They would have lost to Britttain or to Spain or to France or to Portugal in the same way they lost to us. We have not one thing for which to apologize and need to stop doing so.

Nor is American slavery a valid current events issue. My great great great grandfather drank heavily, maybe. Maybe he robbed banks, or molested children. I don't know a name for this putative ancestor (my family tree is pretty obscure to me anyway.) I don't know that he wasn't an upstanding citizen who did none of these things. And it doesn't matter. I am no more responsible for his acts than I am for those of Attilla the Hun. Nor are any other people now living. who aren't themselves slavers or slave owners, responsible for the reprehensible actions of our remote ancestors.

As for twentieth century military history, you're right. Though Korea was clearly a war of agression in which the United States protected those who had been attacked, we probably had no business there. Nor in Vietnam. I will say that I grew up in the shadow of the cold war. It's hard for those who didn't to understand the very real and pervasive fear of atomic war that existed then, and the ramifications that fear had on foreign policy. Think how you felt on 911, multiply it by about 100, and carry it out over 4 decades and you might get an inkling. I recall drills in school (hiding under the desk of all things, a gauranteed way to protect one from fallout.) I remember marked nuclear evacuation routes in town, and fallout shelters under the town in which I grew up. Seeing the Soviet influence in Korea and China, and in Vietnam, we did act unwisely with tragic consequences. But the motivations are hardly mysterious or sinister. As for the Middle East, no one doubts that the reason we give a single damn about that wasteland is because of oil. This isn't a bad reason or a particularly noble one. Adults just realize that affordable energy is a keystone for our financial and strategic security. Like it or hate it, the way of life we enjoy in the West is largely dependent on fossil fuels from the Middle East.

And yes, dissent can be a form of patriotism. It wasn't dissent that bothered me with dirac, for instance. It was a wholesale rejection of the political and economic systems in this nation. It was an attack on honorable men and women serving their country, whatever you think of the policies which they enforce. Even then, to be fair, dirac probably loves this country as much as I. It's easy to slip into the habit of criticism until criticism seems the only thing left, and the affection which provoked it doesn't appear anymore to the observer. I'm sure that all of you have a deep and abiding love for your country just as I have. You just happen, in my view, to be wrong in your expression of that love.

However condescending your accession that Sloggers probably care deeply for their country as well, I suppose I'll tone down the emotional amplitude of this response because you have been kind enough to drop the absurd 'hate America, hate the government, hate the military' crap.

The idea that the US is and has not been a colonial power is false, we may not have had colonies in name, but we certainly had and have colonies. Look at Guam, or Puerto Rico, or Hawaii, or Iraq, or Afghanistan, or Cuba, or the Philippines, or American Samoa, or the US Virgin Islands, or the Northern Mariana Islands. These places, while not called colonies fit the definition of exploitation colonialism- they are or have been under imposed US rule, either directly or via proxy governments to further economic or military strategic goals. If you want a concise example of American imperialism, look at our western expansion. It wasn't all just purchases from European powers, we annexed an enormous portion of Mexico, and there are also hundreds of nations whose territory we annexed, forcing their people west, onto reservations, or simply killed.

Just because many of these things happened well in the past does not mean we are no longer feeling their effect today. Entire cultures are enormously disenfranchised because of what our ancestors have done, and I believe we as humans have an obligation to our fellow humans to right the wrongs of our forebears that still echo through the world today, and I believe that as humans we have an obligation to acknowledge whatever privilege we hold, and do our part to level the playing field so that all of us have every opportunity to pursue whatever path makes them happy. It's an elaboration of the Golden Rule, and what I see as the other head of the same coin, intolerance of intolerance. Basically it's live and let live unless you refuse to play by those rules.

I think you might see why I am a bit peeved that our military plays such a central and seemingly uncriticizable role in our country, especially so when we needlessly dispatch it to fight pointless wars where we commit atrocities against people who didn't actually have anything to do with our casus belli with the excuse that 'this is simply what happens in war'. Furthermore, our present wars aren't even about securing oil for the American people, but to funnel oil money into the black-hole bank accounts of multi-national corporations. At this point we could have saved an enormous number of lives, crushed families, and dollars had we invested in something as costly even as a Manhattan project for clean, renewable energy. There are many viable ways to make energy, and oil is not the only one. As it is our dependence on oil takes money out of the US and puts it into the pockets of people who wish us ill, or care more about their bottom line than preventing or properly responding to enormous environmental disasters. Our efforts thus far to ween ourselves of dependence on oil has and will continue to have disastrous effects, even looking at it from a simply economic standpoint.

The Cold War is over, it's time to climb out from under the desk and stop with the politics of fear. The people who shout 'Death to America' are out there, but as we have seen, are for the most part enormously incompetent. Let's stop funding them with our dependence on oil, and adding to their ranks by blowing up the wrong people. Instead make words like 'land of opportunity' mean something. So many people in our country, through no fault of their own never even get to start in the race. Our education system is terrible, our health care system is terrible, the way we treat people who don't fit Conservative American's pre-conceived notion of what a "Real" American is terrible, the way we treat people of lower economic classes is terrible, the way we treat foreigners is terrible. We can do better. Other countries do better. We can learn from our mistakes, and from the developments of other countries to do better. Unquestioningly supporting the military and excusing all the terrible things it does because war is war (even with your concession that a number of our conflicts have been ill-advised) strikes me as unnecessarily backwards, if not downright damaging to the US, and certainly to all of the civilians we have managed to kill as of late.
I've decided that "I don't have a Facebook" is the new "I don't have a TV". I say this as someone for whom both statements are true.

@74 I think--and this is extrapolating a lot, but hey--what the person is suggesting is hacking and editing the very root-level DNS servers at the heart of IANA. Since DNS is a reverse tree system, internally full domain names end with a period -- i.e. You don't normally see that in web browsers, but you can if you do DNS look-ups the right way. See also,… .

That said! it doesn't make the idea any less loony. For one, there are more than a dozen of them, and for two, the TTL is long enough that it'd be caught and corrected before it affected much of anyone.

I agree with the rest of what you've said here (and others).

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