Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the stay-home,-comment-more dept

This week, both of our winning comments on the insightful side come in response to the news that Jared Kushner's coronavirus task force has been using private email accounts for official business. In first place, it's That One Guy breaking down his reaction:

'Lock... him... up?'

The best case scenario I can think of is this is just hypocritical incompetence, where they're using private email accounts because doing otherwise would take work, and the whole point of nepotism is to avoid that, with it only getting more damning from there such as the potential they are trying to keep the public in the dark because they know full well that something they are doing would not go over well with the public(can't imagine what though, I mean it's not like there's an absolutely staggering pile of money up for grabs...).

Given the point raised in the article about how hard Trump ragged on Hilary for using a private server during the election I don't see that they deserve any 'maybe they just didn't think about it?' benefit of the doubt here, such that the assumption should be the worst case scenario, full blown corruption, until proven otherwise.

In second place, it's PaulT answering one commenter's question about why so few candidates on either side of the aisle actually seem worth voting for:

A combination of the effectively binary system not allowing true independents to have a chance, a primary system that tends to favour the status quo, and a shift to the right politically over the last few decades which means that even a true centrist will appear to be hard left-wing to a lot of people.

Meaning that, if your politics are truly centrist or centre-left there's not really any representation, and you're completely out of luck if you're an actual left-winger. I just hope you realise that a vote is still necessary, even if it's not for your ideal choice.

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we've got a pair of responses to the misguided freakout about the Internet Archives enabling more checkouts of ebooks from their library. First up, it's Heather M with a librarian's take:

Libraries and copyright issues.

As a librarian I for one welcome the Archive. In fact I was ecstatic. Our library had to close and it really bugs all of the librarians that we can't provide services people need safely. One idea we had was to continue our storytimes on line. We can't the biggest publishers will only let people do a live event and then we are to delete any recording we've made. How is this helpful how is this even reasonable? Do they think that by restricting us people are going to rush out and buy their books. Newsflash That isn't going to happen. It didn't happen before the new plague and it is sure not happening now. But when people ask why we can't and we tell them why I can guarantee the names of the publishers who did this are going to linger in memory far longer than the memory of a book being read on line.

Next, it's PaulT again with a thought on misleading pleas about authors needing income:

Well, yes, it's clearly an emotional ploy that's not taking into account the wider picture. Typical for these kind of arguments, along the lines of the stereotypical "starving musician", who is often starving because they signed to a label for a 4 album deal who then refuse to release their 2nd one because it's too uncommerical.

Over on the funny side, our first place winner is Sok Puppette responding to one commenter who decided to defend bad cops after a court smacked them down:

Based on my training and experience, I know that posters of inflammatory and idiotic comments are often trolls. I therefore have a reasonable suspicion that you are a troll.

If you persist in this behavior, I will have probable cause to believe that you are a troll. My training and experience, trolls lurk under bridges and eat children. Based on my awareness that you are a troll, I will fear for my safety and may be forced to discharge my weapon.

If you persist in this course of action, I cannot be responsible for the consequences of your behavior.

In second place, it's That Anonymous Coward responding to the audacity of performance rights organizations trying to get licensing fees from rental car companies:

It finally happened...
After decades of trying to jump the shark, they have now attempted to jump the sharknado.
Our only hope now is that fight each other to the death while we listen to radios without paying them.

For editor's choice on the funny side, we start out with an anonymous comment that in fact mostly racked up insightful votes for its reminder that the world of older books is much bigger than classics and money-makers, but I think it deserves a funny nod for how colorfully it illustrated this fact:

You mean those books that have been out of print for 20 years (and only had one printing), are forgotten by used book stores, and were last seen in a box in your uncle's attic beside the stuffed octopus and the box of 1980's tax documents?

Jeez, I didn't think they'd be so upset about the 1994 land survey of Maricopa County water rights, or "Flax and you: the businessman's new threads." Both very good reads when you're out of Ambien.

Finally, it's DannyB wondering about the nomenclature that's often employed by collective licensing organizations:

Something I don't understand?

Why are they called "Collection Societies"?

I thought organizations like this were called "Collection Rackets" and prosecuted.

That's all for this week, folks!


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2020 @ 1:47pm

    It's still not illegal to use private email.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Samuel Abram (profile), 5 Apr 2020 @ 1:53pm

      Re:

      It's still not illegal to use private email.

      But it is extremely hypocritical for anybody in the Trump Administration to do that considering that they raked Hillary Clinton over the coals throughout the whole presidential campaign of 2016 for doing just that.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 1:08am

        Re: Re:

        Exactly. Under other circumstances, this would be a minor issue that might seem suspicious, but we'd likely give them the benefit of a doubt due to the urgent nature of the setup and the general knowledge that bureaucracy sometimes gets in the way of urgent results.

        But, this was almost certainly the wedge issue that swung the election for Trump in certain states, and Trump installed his own unqualified family, in charge of a department that suddenly needed to be rebuilt after he deliberately dismantled it a couple of years ago, because he can't stand the black man having a legacy. Astounding levels of hypocrisy is likely the least of our worries.

        It's not illegal but it stinks to high heaven.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 5 Apr 2020 @ 2:05pm

      Re:

      Maybe, maybe not. It depends upon the nature of the communication, see here.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Hilary Kushner, 5 Apr 2020 @ 2:52pm

      Re: It's still not illegal to use private email.

      But, I invented private email.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Apr 2020 @ 3:02pm

      Illegal? No. Hypocritical of someone to do the same thing for which he criticized Hillary Clinton? Abso-fuckin’-lutely.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 1:13am

        Re:

        As I've mentioned earlier - not quite. Hillary has a private server of which she and her staff had direct control, and there's no evidence that it was compromised in any way.

        Whereas here, we've not been furnished with all the details, but it's likely that the private email in this case is stored with a 3rd party corporation whose procedures the Trump family do not control and chances are have been compromised at some point recently (as most major cloud providers have been). As a bonus, the use of the account has been reported as leading to confusion where recipients of emails from the new account are unsure who is sending them and why. Not great in the face of an urgent disaster.

        This isn't the same as the thing that Clinton did - it's objectively worse.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 1:29am

          Re: Re:

          "Hillary has a private server of which she and her staff had direct control, and there's no evidence that it was compromised in any way. Whereas here, we've not been furnished with all the details, but it's likely that the private email in this case is stored with a 3rd party corporation whose procedures the Trump family do not control..."

          It's probably unlawful, at least, to handle white house communications in such a way that it circumvents the normal procedure of oversight. Or should be.

          In Hillary's case an investigation could at least impound the private server and throw the book at her if it was discovered said server did not practice appropriate retention.

          But as you say, it's doubtful whatever service Kushner employed had either security or retention rules in place - because lamentably, VERY FEW such services do.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 1:39am

            Re: Re: Re:

            "It's probably unlawful, at least, to handle white house communications in such a way that it circumvents the normal procedure of oversight. Or should be."

            My understanding is that while it wasn't a good move, it did not violate any existing law or procedure at the time (the rules were changed after Hillary left her position) and indeed it wasn't unusual at that point for people in those positions to private or 3rd party email services. That's not an excuse for what she did, but might explain why she was foolish enough to believe it was a good idea at the time.

            "In Hillary's case an investigation could at least impound the private server and throw the book at her if it was discovered said server did not practice appropriate retention."

            You really think it wasn't investigated?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2020 @ 5:37pm

      Re:

      Is that why after building an election campaign on the premise, Trump still hasn't locked up Hilary Clinton after three years and a metric fuckton of resources at his disposal? We're supposed to believe it was a Batman-level strategic gambit for this one moment?

      Of all the hills you could have chosen die to on, Hamilton, this was the buttfuckingly stupidest one you could have picked. It's up there with the coronavirus hill you'd like to die on...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2020 @ 6:53pm

        Re: Re:

        Hill to die on? What hill? What die? I’m fine, thanks, the whole Hamilton clan is fine. My boy just had a baby and is living next door in one of the many Hamilton houses. We don’t go out much, we have servants for that, of course. No, not black ones, if that’s what you’re thinking. They stay home. Usually the Mexican ones. But they’re ok, really, they rub hot peppers on their hands and face, so no problem with any nasty viruses. That remedy goes WAY back.

        And of course all we Hamilton’s use that anti-malarial drug, what’s it’s name? Prophylactic effects and all, you understand. Nice of Trump to send us several thousand doses. Should of sent some to that Boris guy, I heard he’s suffering a bit.

        Boy I miss this place sometimes. Thanks for thinking of me though . I’ll come more oftentimes if you like.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Samuel Abram (profile), 5 Apr 2020 @ 7:13pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I can't tell if you're a parody troll or just doing it for the lulz.

          That is, I can't tell if you're Bob or Bobvious…

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2020 @ 8:17pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You know what’s obvious, Bob? Globalism is over for America! Did you see that 3M CEO?

            He’s shipping AMERICAN ventilators to FOREIGN countries while AMERICANS die.

            He needs to be removed. By the board, of course.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2020 @ 8:54pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Wait, maybe I misunderstood you. Whenever anyone here says “Hamilton”, you don’t mean me personally, right? You mean something like when niggers say nigger, right? It’s a catch all phrase for people like me, I mean, ordinary Americans, right? I looked over some old posts, and actually, you call a LOT of different people Hamilton. Ok, then I get you know. Hamilton translates to a Proud American, where at least I know I’m free, lalalalalala.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2020 @ 9:29pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Free to spend thousands of dollars on a judge and have him rule that Shiva Ayyadurai didn't invent email.

                You keep wearing that crazy club membership badge. The rest of the country already knows of your failure.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2020 @ 9:38pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  You are apparently delusional, again. Who do you think you’re talking to? About the money, hey, harder held all the gawker stuff, I never saw a dime one way or the other. Easy come easy go, but a good time had by all. You’re wacky if you think I care about the money. What money? Funny money!

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                    identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2020 @ 11:39pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    I'm talking to the guy who said he was going to rape Masnick with the power of Massachusetts tiger fairies. Fat lot of good that did now, did it?

                    Keep crying those salty tears, boy.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2020 @ 7:21am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Massachusetts tiger fairies pfah! Colorado grizzly fairies, weight for weight, are much more terrifying. Fortunately the Colorado weed fairies keep them mellow most of the time.

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • icon
                    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 2:17am

                    Shiva Ayyadurai didn’t invent email and he got “scalped” by a “fake Indian” in a 57-point electoral loss.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 5 Apr 2020 @ 8:54pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            No need to wonder, just apply the Goat Fucker Rule: Whether they are just pretending to be insane/deranged/abhorrent or actually are they are still acting that way and should be treated appropriately.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 1:32am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "... just apply the Goat Fucker Rule: Whether they are just pretending to be insane/deranged/abhorrent or actually are they are still acting that way..."

              True enough. Sad part is, no matter how demented the rant it still sounds a lot like our good old Baghdad Bob/Bobmail/blue/jhon having one of his "episodes".

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 1:26am

      Re:

      "It's still not illegal to use private email."

      If you are using private email to handle job-related affairs in the private sector? Breach of contract.

      If you are using private email to handle job-related affairs in the government sector? Usually outright illegal.

      If you are using private email to handle job-related affairs in the white house, circumventing any and every audit demands? Go read up on the watergate investigation as to how serious that is.

      It strikes me that republicans haven't learned from Nixon's example that it's not OK to handle any communication from the ruling government body in such a way as to specifically circumvent any possible oversight or investigation.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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