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  • Apr 11th, 2014 @ 8:18am

    Restraining orders for everyone!

    This case somehow reminds of something I heard a lawyer say in court once. The lawyer, defending a man from a restraining order based on a written statement he made, argued that at best the statement was annoying. And, if annoying someone was the bar by which we measured the need for a granting a restraining order then at some point all of us would inevitably possess a restraining order. The Judge agreed and denied that restraining order. It's good to see that there are more Judges out there who understand the concept that not being annoyed is somehow a fundamental right you have and anyone who violates your non-existent right is instantly guilty of a crime.

    Remember, you do not have the right to not be offended. The sooner people re-learn this, the better off all of us will be.

  • Apr 4th, 2014 @ 8:49am

    Re: Re: Amendment

    I have to agree with you, it is in there. And it isn't adhered to. And there is basically no penalty for not adhering to it. I think a part of the problem is that the law and our constitution are written in very broad and vague terms. What I was proposing was to clarify the language, to (hopefully) give the government less wiggle-room.

    Lets face it, We The People need to do something to reign in our government that seeks to use our legal system as a tool to keep us in line while they run roughshod over us and our rights. Ultimately I am trying to start a dialogue on how do we fight back and take back control of our country and our lives?

  • Apr 4th, 2014 @ 7:18am

    Amendment

    It think it's time at the State and Federal Level for some amendments to the various constitutions.

    No person, or their legal representative, shall be denied access, for any reason, to any evidence against their person as a right of due process. Further, the right of full disclosure of any lawful decision, being fundamental to the function of a civil society, shall not be infringed.

    Its a rough draft, but the idea is that evidence, as anyone might expect, must be disclosed. That is fundamental to an effective defense, and one that should be reinforced. The "For any reason" clause really is meant to say the government cannot rely in evidence that they aren't willing to disclose, as that clearly violates due process. And finally, getting rid of secret courts is a no-brainer. Americans have a fundamental right, in my opinion, to know what their government is up to, free from redactions or other techniques employed to reduce the understanding of the public for the decisions that they are bound to.

  • Mar 24th, 2014 @ 11:08am

    Find/Replace All

    Is it just me, or if you took this article and did a quick Find/Replace all and replaced "LAPD" with "NSA", "Driver" with "Citizen" and "ALPR" with "Call Records" you'd have exactly the same story we've been seeing with regards to the Snowden leaks?

    You have to admire how every level of government works together to feed us all the same line of non-sense. So I have to wonder how much the NSA has an interest in the LAPD winning in the courts on this. Even though this is a State issue and any ruling would likely be at that level, I have to imagine a win here would have the NSA a little concerned about a similar outcome in some of their pending litigation in the federal courts. Their argument is essentially the same, that they need all this data because it might be relevant someday, maybe. Oh, and we can't talk about it because privacy is important and stuff. And Terrorism.

  • Jan 30th, 2014 @ 10:34am

    I'll say it again

    You DO NOT HAVE the right to not be offended. In my mind, the very notion that you might have a right to not be offended serves only to stifle free and open debate and suppress criticism.

  • Dec 18th, 2013 @ 7:35am

    Pre-Crime is not an Actual-Crime

    Defenders of these programs argue that they're "flushing out" potential terrorists, but many of us worry about where this crosses the line into entrapment and a sort of "pre-crime" rather than stopping any actual crime.

    This feels very "Minority Report" to me. Except this is real life, not the movies.

  • Dec 4th, 2013 @ 6:19am

    Genius

    Don't you see, they do employ geniuses. And one of them decided that if they keep paper files it is much more difficult to prevent people from gaining access to the information they legally request.

    And even if it's not true, and they don't actually keep all this stuff in paper files, how do we really know? They can say it all they want, and it gives them an excuse. Pretty good way to keep people from getting information when they can't just say "disclosing our contractor information is a grave risk to national security".

    Ok, so maybe it isn't genius level stuff, but clearly the people trying to withhold all the NSA data aren't completely stupid either.

  • Dec 2nd, 2013 @ 10:48am

    No Right

    When will people just learn that they don't have a right to not be offended?

    You don't have that right. No one has given it to you, and it certainly isn't inherent to life or society.

    If something offends you, you can leave or walk away, you can go to a different website even, you can change the channel on the television. But I don't see that you have the right to prohibit me from viewing something you don't agree with.

  • Oct 28th, 2013 @ 6:08am

    (untitled comment)

    The fact that President Obama hasn't yet fired Alexander in particular is fairly incredible, given this latest revelation.

    I'm not sure why this is all that incredible. Obama doesn't hold anyone accountable for anything, unless he is blaming Bush and the Republicans for his latest screw-up. He believes he can just campaign his way through every problem, and that is easier than admitting he made a bad decision to keep incompetent people on the job.

    Besides, if he fired someone, the government would get smaller and he doesn't want that either.

    So yeah, not that incredible. Par for the course really.

  • Oct 24th, 2013 @ 5:49am

    DC Metro Area

    I live in the DC area, and use the Metro system here to get around. In the mornings, for those who don't know, there is a free newspaper called The Examiner. There have been a couple of occasions where I have read stories in that paper describing how the FBI/Local Police had stopped an attack at a Metro station. In those instances the authorities had found out about someone planning a bombing, and had sent in undercover agents to help them. Later, the terrorist was arrested and charged once there was enough evidence against that person.

    Now, we already know that various agencies have been fed information from other agencies and used that data to basically fabricate a reason to investigate people, leading to arrest, in order to hide how that data was actually discovered.

    So I have to wonder, of those two stories I recall reading about, if they are part of that "54 Terrorists stopped" number the NSA keeps telling us about. If this is the case, how many of those attacks were basically encouraged by our own government in order to help the NSA have their so-called success. They have tried again and again to sell us on the need for their activities, I just can't put it past them to do something like this.

  • Oct 23rd, 2013 @ 5:49am

    How much is on the Courts?

    I don't disagree that warrants present problems for police and the police state, and they don't like them.

    But, I also have to wonder how much has to do with the courts as well? Many courts seem to be backed up with cases, and judges love to clear their dockets. So adding warrants to a judges docket has the potential, I would think, to back things up even more. That means more waiting for everyone. Hard to say how much this factors in, but it is my $0.02 worth.

  • Oct 10th, 2013 @ 4:42am

    Who is a Journalist?

    Thus, a journalist does not need consent to record conversations in public where there is no reasonable expectation of privacy

    Well, sounds like his friend with the camera was a journalist to me. Unless PA has a special definition that wasn't mentioned?

  • Sep 26th, 2013 @ 10:13am

    It's just conduct.

    I work for the federal government. Honestly, this doesn't shock me at all. Having found myself in the unfortunate situation of facing "investigatory meetings" for allegations of wrongdoing at work, I learned very quickly that "off-campus" means nothing to these people. There are even apparently MSPB cases on the matter. So when the government steps in and says if you want our money that you really need, then you have to do things our way...well, the schools don't really have much choice.

    How bad can it get? Put it this way, they barred me from talking to people who are not even employees of the government. And even though I won a court case against my accuser for the same allegations, it wasn't enough to stop my agency from first trying to fire me and ultimately suspending me for the same charges.

    This is what we have to deal with from our government, and frankly I don't expect this is going to change anytime soon. Expect many more of these kinds of stories.

  • Aug 27th, 2013 @ 7:24am

    Re:

    http://xkcd.com/705/

    forgot the link...whoops

  • Aug 27th, 2013 @ 7:23am

    (untitled comment)

    This seemed appropriate here...

  • Aug 2nd, 2013 @ 6:54am

    Classified

    1. A tool used for feeding limited information to congress under the guise of "oversight".

    2. Stuff the public already knows but we still don't want to tell them anyway.

  • Aug 1st, 2013 @ 5:03am

    Re: A brave solution to the problem...

    Well, I like the way you are going. However, I think the better course would be to just flat deny internet access to any portion of their government. This includes cellular services as well. Let them get their information from U.S. media. I'm sure the Obama administration has done an adequate job of filtering out media content for Cameron's tastes.