Monday, November 29, 2010

Wikileaks is not responsible journalism.

I don't post often enough. And lately, I've had little to say even when I do.

Tonight, as I chase sleep, my thoughts turn to Wikileaks, instead of to the tenth chapter of the Aeons War, which while fully realized in my noggin, is not yet down on paper.

Wikileaks just published an assload more stolen secret documents. If you care enough you can find the news about it all over teh internetz.

What astounds me, is that so many journalists are rushing to defend Julian Assange, Wikileaks' founder and chief muckymuck.

Wikileaks is itself evidence of what happens when freedom is not balanced with responsibility. Freedom of the press is not absolute.
has the freedom to publish whatever it wishes but has the responsibility to consider the consequences of what it divulges.

It seems as though Wikileaks and Assange deny that the government operatives, the soldiers, diplomats, agents, aid workers and attaches' lives might possibly be worth more than the public's right to know. These people aren't all working in secret, or trying to oppress foreign countries. Some of them are just trying to do their jobs, provide for their loved ones, protect their country or serve it somehow.

It is arrogant, irresponsible, reprehensible and criminal of mister Assange to endanger these peoples' lives, as well as the fragile diplomatic relations that the United States has. It is irresponsible and reprehensible of legitimate journalists everywhere to defend Mr Assange and Wikileaks. The net result of the leaking of these documents could be nothing. Or it could plunge the war-stricken corners of the world into further chaos. For Julian Assange to commit this act of cavalier, sanctimonious hubris is disgusting. For the so-called legitimate journalists of the world to condone and / or defend him for doing it is even more disgusting, for they are in fact colluding with a criminal, and are aiding and abetting the suffering of every person who may be endangered by these leaks.

Wikileaks was founded on the idea of providing whistle-blowers with the means to report criminal activities. Certainly in the past with regards to the workings of the United States government, Wikileaks has indeed reported on criminal wrongdoings of past administrations. But to call the sensationalist garbage of printing secret reports on diplomatic and consular operational intelligence, to endanger the lives of America's and America's allies' lives in the fields of operations, trade, aid, diplomacy and war is the vile, criminal and cynical act of an arrogant coward.

Julian Assange is as much a war criminal as Usama Bin Laden, George W. Bush, Saddam Hussein, or any other countless autocrats, dictators and butchers out there.

It's time that journalists started treating him as such.

Freedom is not absolute. It MUST be tempered with responsibility.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Could Chinese Moon Exploration Touch Off a New Cold War?

I'm sorry...I'm sorry...I'm's been a hectic...year...

Recently, the Chinese have sent out some awesome images from their lunar probe, and spoken enthusiastic about further missions in 2013 and beyond - including manned missions in our lifetimes!

As exciting this is from the Geek point of view, though, it raises some troubling questions.

The exploration and exploitation of the resources on the Moon was unimagined when the US went there. They collected rocks and dirt, drove around, played golf, planted the American flag…it was a pissing match with the Soviets, nothing more.

China, with its near absolute control of industry and science and remorseless determinism of the Chinese Communist system of government can devote whatever resources it wishes to the exploitation of the Moon’s stores, including water ice and untold mineral wealth.

The Moon’s a logical jumping off point to Mars and the potentially mineral-rich asteroid field. Whether you believe in the romantic notions of deep space exploration or not, the questions you should ask yourself are these:

Who do you want to see reach the stars first? Communist Chinese imperialists or an international coalition of American, British, European and Asian space explorers?

Who should have the best access to the riches and knowledge to be found in the solar system – and beyond?

If there is life out there, who should represent Mankind when and if we encounter them?