from the quotables dept
This week, officials in Nice reacted in the worst way possible by threatening to sue people sharing photos of the fashion police doing their anti-burka duty. Some of the conversation turned to refugees, and Uriel-238 won most insightful comment of the week by getting serious about things:
We decided that proper and reasonable treatment of refugees was important after the Napoleonic wars, and the standards for such treatment remain enshrined as a testament to humanity in the Geneva and Hague conventions.
Hospitality and fair treatment of refugees is not a duty that one nation owes to another nation, it's a duty that each of us, as individuals who benefit from national laws and identity, owe to all other individuals, considering that but for the grace of God (or your luck and fortune) you could also be outlawed by your own state and pushed out of its borders... or just executed and cremated in a mass oven.
Of course, thanks to George W. Bush's administration the Geneva Convention doesn't mean as much as it once did, and we will have to relearn why we created and ratified it in the first place.
So you can choose to vote against allowing refugees into your borders. You can choose to deny others sanctuary when their own have turned against them and the trains are getting packed and the ovens are on day and night.
But when fortune turns around, and it happens to you, or your grandchildren or your descendants down the line, when they become the persecuted, when the death camps are cooking once again, you had best hope that the people controlling those borders are kinder, more empathetic or more honorable than you are.
In second place, we've got an anonymous response to the airport stampede caused by applause mistaken for gunshots:
I guess this proves that despite 15 years of focus and nearly unlimited funding, the war on terror has not achieved its goal: the public in general is still terrified.
Arguably more so today than 15 years ago.
I'm aware that terrorists are still active, and yes, unfortunately they do at times succeed in attacking airports and other public areas. But I think too much (if not all) effort in that war on terror was focused on making a show of trying to find and stop the next terrorist (mission impossible), and not enough in reassuring the public.
When I'm scared, I don't want you to tear apart my bedroom and try to find the monster! I want you to acknowledge my fear, reassure me, and help me put things into context and perspective. I want to be informed in an open and rational way about the danger, without exaggerations or hidden agendas, so I can cope with it in my own way.
Instead, what the 'security theater' has done is actually reinforce the fears of the public beyond reason: Lots of noise. No perspective. No context. No open and transparent communication.
And I'm worried there may very well be a hidden agenda...
For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start out with a comment from Derek Kerton calling the Copyright Alliance out on its at-best incomplete explanation of the purpose of copyright:
"copyright law is predicated on the theory that creators are incentivized to create new works by the prospect of reaping the economic fruits of their creative labor, which in turn benefits the public by increasing the number of creative works available for their enjoyment"
The objective is not so that the works are "available for our enjoyment", but rather that such works will eventually be fully ours, aka, Public Domain.
They act like the mid-state is the end game. It is not.
Next, after the EFF criticized Microsoft's lack of meaningful response to Windows 10 privacy concerns and one commenter accused them of relying on "second-hand knowledge", JMT wondered what other sort of knowledge they'd be able to have:
Which is kinda the whole point, since the first hand knowledge is being jealously guarded. When you mess with people's privacy but won't be up front about exactly what you're doing, expect to be called on it.
Over on the funny side, we start out on our post about Slate's really bad advice about running your own e-mail server, where we also pointed out that the comments were full of IT experts saying it was a bad idea. That One Guy won first place for funny by suggesting Slate solve this problem by jumping on a hot blogging trend:
Well, only one way to respond to that: Shut down the comments and claim that they're doing so because they care so much about their readers that they want to dump them elsewhere.
For second place, we return to the refugee debate, where sorrykb delivered a smackdown to any argument that boils down to everything being the refugees' fault:
Yeah. Stupid refugees should have been born into a wealthy stable country. What were they thinking.
For editor's choice on the funny side, we start out with a comment from Mark Wing discussing self-driving car fears that go beyond the trolley problem:
The real danger of automated cars is that they'll get hacked by Russians and drive you straight to a GOP rally.
And finally, after one anonymous commenter recently asked what happens to a lawyer who is found guilty of fraud perpetrated upon the court, another offered a perfect response:
He gets a job in Congress.
That's all for this week, folks!