Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the here-we-go-again dept

Another week, another fantastic batch of comments. The winner voted “most insightful” (by a wide margin) was the comment from Chris Rhodes in response to Philly police harassing a guy legally carrying a gun, and then having him charged with “disorderly conduct.” Rhodes responds to the claim that the guy “set up” the police by carrying a gun and recording the conversation:

I also like the claims by police that he “set them up.”

Yep, he knew that the police would be completely ignorant of the law and purposefully set himself up to almost get shot by Officer Jackass with a chip on his shoulder. Clearly

Coming in second (again by a wide margin over number three) was a comment from Marcus Carab in response to the claims by police (in a different article than the one Chris responded to above) that the public shouldn’t be able to record them, because it would create “chilling effects” on the police. Carab points out what this really means:

This seems like a confession that the standards for becoming a police officer are too low. “We simply can’t guarantee that all of our officers have enough training and self-control to confidently do their job when there is any level of scrutiny.”

For editor’s choice, the first one is from an Anonymous Coward, who was part of the same discussion that Marcus’ comment came from, concerning recording police. One commenter had argued that it was unfair to police to record them because it might be edited to show the police in “the worst-possible light.” In response, the commenter here pointed out how that makes no sense:

So then it’s unfair to put a criminal in jail for robbing a bank because you are putting him in jail for his actions committed during his worst possible light. The footage of him robbing the bank is selective in nature, you are selecting the moments of his life that portray the bank robber in the worst possible light. You are not considering the other aspects of the bank robbers life.

They say people are judged by the worst thing they’ve done (ie: an otherwise nice person murders someone and gets put to jail for life). So why should cops be any different? If anything, those who are responsible for upholding the law should be held to a higher moral and legal standard than the rest of us (at least while on duty). The real question here is not, “why is the footage editing out all the good things that the officer does” it’s, “why is the officer doing bad things in the first place”.

As far as being taken out of context, I don’t buy the argument that the public is too incompetent to understand the different contextual possibilities that a camera could be drawing its information from and therefore no footage should ever be permitted at all. Under that pretext, we can argue that all cameras that record the public should be abolished because there is no way of knowing whether or not they are simply taking footage out of context. Why does the “if you’re not doing anything wrong then you wouldn’t mind them watching you” only apply to citizens and not police?

and why should we simply assume that the police are less likely to edit footage than a regular citizen, just because the police say so? Citizens are guilty until proven innocent while police are innocent until proven guilty, but we must deny citizens the means to prove those police guilty (but police get access to the means to prove citizens guilty)?

Finally, on the insightful side, of the ledger, we have this wonderful comment from jjmsan concerning the post about Jonathan Coulton. In discussing successful business models, we’re often told that the success stories we show are really “exceptions” rather than any sort of accurate rule to build on. But this comment pointed out that that argument can be flipped around:

I have to point out that under the labels the bands that made it were also an exception. Otherwise everyone who started a band would have had their music published.

Jumping over to the funny side…. The winner this week topped all previous vote getters, including last week’s winner, which had been the highest previous vote-getter. Honestly, this comment got so many votes that I’ll be surprised if any comment tops this one for a while. It’s from an Anonymous Coward on that story about the Philly cops mentioned above, but this commenter decided to wax lyrical on the topic, and channel his inner Will Smith:

In West Philadelphia born and raised
On the playground is where I spent most of my days
Chillin’ out maxin’ relaxin’ all cool
And all shootin’ some B-Ball outside of school
When a couple of cops, who were up to no good, started makin trouble in my neighboorhood
I recorded one little fight and the cops got scared, had the D.A. trump up some charges that weren’t really fair

Coming in second was Gracey’s comment on the idea of giving young people’s votes more weight, which she feared might lead to bad outcomes:

Great…so conceivably we could end up with Lady Gaga as President?

Super. Just shoot me now

Anyone know where her birth certificate is?

As for editors choice, we’ve got one from Pickle Monger, who responded to Senator Chuck Schumer grandstanding yet again, with an old joke:

There’s an old joke:
A robber stops a man and says:
– Give me your money!
– How dare you?! I’m a United States Senator!
– In that case, give me my money!

And… finally, we’ve got Johnjac responding to attempts by the recording industry up in Canada to tax SD cards because a few people might use them to store music. John’s solution is that we should just start being a bit more direct:

Let’s cut to the chase, and tax ears. 100% of pirated music is listened via ears.

Human ears, are the obvious place to start, but lets not forget the the horses who have been caught listening to pirate music.

And, there you go. Let’s see what you’ve got in store for this coming week…

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Comments on “Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I don’t know what ‘facts’ you are referring to; the article you linked to shows RIAA business as usual:

“But while he’s not ready to predict how much of the settlement labels will pay to artists, Jonathan Lamy, Senior Vice President of Communications for the Recording Industry Association of America, says there’s more to the story; and whatever the outcome, the RIAA is not to blame.”

The RIAA comes out on top, says it doesn’t know how much will go to artists (hint: it will be zero), and moves on to the next lawsuit. When the artists get no money from the RIAA (again), the RIAA just points and says ‘but…but…PIRACY!’ (again).

Same old song and dance…

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Here’s one insightful comment you didn’t read on Techdirt last week…

Actually, if you actually read the site (which, clearly, you don’t, since you insist we say stuff we have not), you would have seen that we posted that exact story.

But then again, piracy apologists aren’t really concerned with facts, are they?

Kinda hilarious that you would accuse us of not being concerned with facts in a comment where you got the facts 100% wrong.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

There is a difference between not responding to every tedious post that anyone ever posted (especially when many of those posts are redundant in nature and have been addressed several times in the past) and not having a response. Peoples time is limited and they can only answer to so much.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

(and, if anything, IP maximists are the ones that typically avoid responding to criticisms as much as possible. Aside from the fact that this holds true on this blog, the IP maximist MSM broadcasts pro-IP propaganda, over cableco and public airwave communication channels that the govt wrongfully gives them monopoly power over, but the MSM completely ignores IP criticisms and fails to broadcast or address them. Instead, they hide behind their government imposed monopoly power over these communication distribution channels).

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

What, no apology for being caught out blatantly misstating something? Instead you find some totally random and ridiculous line or attack? We get somewhere close to 600 comments on the site a day. I can’t even read them all, let alone respond to all of them. Why even suggest that?

Besides, I actually do respond to you quite frequently. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve responded to you more than anyone else on this site, because I know you know deep in your heart that there’s a better way forward for the music industry and that people on this site can help you move forward.

We’re waiting for you to start actually reading what we write here, rather than skimming and thinking you know what we say. When that day comes, perhaps you’ll realize that we’re here to help.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

All you had to do was use the freaking search feature and you even screwed that up. Why should anyone take you seriously? I know IP maximists tend to have difficulty forming coherent sentences (I suppose learning basic English is too much work) but how the heck do you screw up using the search feature that badly?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Lots of ire against police officers.

Recording is not illegal.
Carrying the gun was not illegal.

Maybe he wanted to record the cops doing the wrong thing.
So what if he did.

If cops can pose as johns, hookers, dealers and users to bust people for doing wrong then I see no issue doing legal things to bust cops doing wrong.

Police are the people charged with ENFORCING the law there is no excuse for them being ignorant of the law.

Rose M. Welch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Lots of ire against police officers.

…there is no excuse for them being ignorant of the law.

Yes, there is. And that excuse – reason – is simply that there are too many to remember, which is not the officer’s fault. The problem here doesn’t lie with the officer’s failure to know tens of thousands of laws, but in his refusal to confirm the law or to treat this man with any respect whatsoever.

Rose M. Welch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Lots of ire against police officers.

Actually, that excuse is supposed to protect average citizens as well. The way it used to work is that you either had to have the provable intent to break the law or it had to be something obvious to a reasonable person. Unfortunately, that’s now how it’s done nowadays, which is a real failing that should be corrected. :/

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Lots of ire against police officers.

Had this person been ignorant of the law and had he been carrying that gun illegally (or recording the cops illegally), he would have gotten in all sorts of trouble. His ignorance would have been no excuse. But it’s perfectly OK for the cops to be ignorant and to get in no trouble whatsoever.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Lots of ire against police officers.

(and in this case it was the cops that were ignorant and they got in no trouble whatsoever, in case I have to spell it out, which I don’t think I do since you’re not a nefarious and potentially drunk/stoned troll pretending to be stupid on purpose. The double standards here are unacceptable).

Rose M. Welch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Lots of ire against police officers.

As I stated above, I absolutely agree that the double standard is unacceptable. However, we seem to disagree on the application of the standard.

I don’t think that officers or civilians should have to personally know every single law. That’s simply not realistic. (If you disagree, come back and enumerate the laws for us. I’ll even make it ‘easy’ and you can just give me the total number of federal laws, and not any state, county, or municipal laws.)

We need to take a step back and return to when a ‘guilty mind’ was required for criminal prosecution. So if an officer held a gun-toting citizen while he verified the law and then let the gentleman go with apologies, that’s fine. In addition, if someone who has a license to carry a weapon enters a place with a local ordnance against carrying that it’s unlikely he knew about, he shouldn’t be charged, either. See? Much more realistic and closer to ‘justice’.

Rose M. Welch (profile) says:

Re: Lots of ire against police officers.

The cop was clearly being baited; no one goes out armed, in public, and also happens to be recording the events unless that person expects trouble.

Of course, he expected trouble. He purchased and carried the weapon after several muggings and carrying recording equipment is just standard, especially since news reports like this abound. (Personally, I carry a thumb drive sized voice recorder to take notes, as does every officer that works that my father-in-law.)

Regardless, you can’t bait someone who refuses to take the bait, which this officer could have done easily by simply respecting this man’s legal rights, and calling in for confirmation when the his knowledge of the law was challenged. No one expects cops to know everything, but we do expect them to check before they draw a weapon on a citizen.

Atkray (profile) says:

Re: Re: Lots of ire against police officers.

“No one expects cops to know everything, but we do expect them to check before they draw a weapon on a citizen.”

I disagree,
having had a cop point a gun at me on more than one occasion I can assure you it is truly terrifying, but where cops get shot I don’t blame them for drawing first and taking control of the situation.

The problem was when he started with the obscenities and failure to listen or check up on the law. I get more professional treatment at Chick-Fil-A.

Rose M. Welch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Lots of ire against police officers.

I guess I know a bit more about police procedure than you do, which is why I very much blame this officer for the giant mistake of drawing his weapon and seriously escalating a low-risk situation. (Although I’m pleased to see someone else who is pro-officer. Usually it’s me all alone defending the ‘pigs’.)

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