it makes perfect sense. The American people are the enemy.
You may think I'm kidding. You may think I'm paranoid. The latter may be true, but I think I'm absolutely correct, and that history will prove me out.
All this surveillance state stuff isn't to protect you from terrorists. It's to protect the government from you.
Over the short to medium term, only those with 'acceptable outlooks', according to those doing the surveillance, will be able to prosper in politics, because people who disagree with the surveillance state will, mysteriously, be ruined. Old contacts will pop up to impugn them, or damning facts will 'accidentally be unearthed' by news agencies. They'll be able to pinpoint your opinion on surveillance almost exactly, because they'll be able to track your whole social network. And, if you or any of your friends have ever been deemed "interesting", they'll be able to read almost everything electronic you've ever sent to anyone. If your opinions aren't acceptable, your missteps from your past will mysteriously arise to dog you. If you support vast surveillance, then you'll sail right through, while your saner opponents struggle and fail as 'coincidences' keep piling up.
Those who don't like the surveillance state will not have viable political careers in this country, no matter how good they might otherwise be.
Eventually, the subtle sabotage will start to become obvious, as the bureaucracy gets lazy and/or stupid, but by then the policies and procedures will be so ingrained in the government that it will be impossible to root out except through a total overthrow of the entire system -- and that's precisely what all these programs are explicitly designed to make impossible.
If you are an American, you are living in a police state. If you're a racial minority, you probably already know it, but if you're white, you probably haven't internalized it yet. That doesn't make it not true, it just means you haven't caught up.
Despite the myth, students do not leave their constitutional rights at the doorway of their public school.
That's actually not a myth. Students have been getting the short end of the stick for decades. While at school, they're better off than, say, federal prisoners, but not by as much as one might expect. Some schools are probably worse.
In this case, the student was making a simple statement of fact, and the overall outcome here was correct. But if he had, for instance, directly named another student as being unacceptable, then I think it's extremely unlikely he'd have won his case. School administrators have ridiculous latitude.
I think that's very wrongheaded, but it seems to be quite rare for courts to override administrative decisions about things that happen on school grounds. Typically, administrators only get slapped when they try to control kids off school grounds.
This case came out well, but from what I've seen, the kid got lucky to get a discerning judge. Perhaps his family was able to hire a good lawyer, something that's not really an option for so many of the kids abused by our educational systems. And, from the sound of his name, he probably had a huge advantage over many of the other abused students: not much melanin in his skin.
Their argument seems to boil down to this: Nintendo asserts it has the right not to let you play its games.
Someone really needs to take a rolled-up newspaper to Nintendo of America.
And that's before you take your excellent points about the impact on Nintendo into consideration, the fact that the very last thing gaming companies should be doing is trying to prevent people from playing their games.
Maybe I'm missing something, but I thought the point of families in this game was to make kids of your own bloodline to carry the fight forward? (Maybe I'm mixing that up with Rogue Legacy?)
If the major game mechanic is indeed having offspring, wouldn't same-sex couples mean the game would automatically end? Yeah, you could adopt, but then you're losing out on the whole genetic bloodline mechanic.
I dunno, it seems to me that, given the constraints involved, putting same-sex couples into the game is trying to force a specific worldview into a place where it doesn't really fit.
Unless you are willing to challenge it in a court, or you are a part of the Supreme Court, NO ONE CARES about your specific opinion. (well some might, but they don't matter either).
You're right that they don't care much about my opinion individually. But laws can be changed with enough popular support, and these programs are explicitly designed to disrupt and destroy the networks needed to form that popular support. They're also tailor-made for destroying charismatic individuals.
Think about Martin Luther King a little. Do you seriously think the civil rights movement would have succeeded if the government had had these powers at the time? He and his entire network would be in prison or in forgotten graves, and blacks would still be second-class citizens.
This is the real reason they're going after these powers. It's not to protect you from terrorists. It's to protect them from you.
Note that they did the same thing with Wikileaks; they got the general public focused on Assange, instead of the cables, and then trumped up a ridiculous case in Sweden to try to get their hands on him.
This is what happens when the spy agencies decide they don't like someone. And that's much of why this massive surveillance is so scary. If the government becomes at all annoyed with you, they can dissect your entire electronic life, going back forever, and use it to discredit or destroy you. Voila, no more threat, secret surveillance state preserved.
Just how much of what these papers are publishing is coming from the NSA?
Or is it just the general public they are concerned with?
Primarily, people they think are threats to the government. This includes, of course, political activists, and probably even people they think might someday become activists.
Remember how Pol Pot used to kill people with glasses, because anyone with learning was a threat to his regime? The NSA will have people just like that working for them; in any organization that large, it's guaranteed. And some will eventually come into positions of power, if they haven't already.
Do you really want a mini-Pol Pot having full access to anything you've ever said electronically to anyone?
Actually, the rules are set up so that the government can set up a wiretap instantly. Once upon a time, they could get permission from a court retroactively, but they're not even bothering with that anymore.
Well, I'd say they own the phone outright, period. But they also have an financial obligation they must fulfill. The carriers can already make their life super-difficult for not paying the $250 fee, or whatever it is. There is a huge, nasty industry in the US devoted to collecting debt.
I'd say that's enough. Once they sign the paperwork, the phone belongs to them, and they can do any damn thing they want with it. They're already on the hook if they break it, so they've got the responsibilities of ownership. They should also get the benefits.
And then if they try to cheat their phone provider, well, there are tons of legal remedies available.
My unlocking story: I spent $600 on a phone (a Galaxy Nexus, imported from Europe) that would work on any GSM carrier, and would allow me to run whatever I want. (in other words, it's unlocked at two levels; it's both compatible with all GSM frequencies in use, and also offers me full control over the user-visible software running on the phone.)
I thought this was a fairly ridiculous price, and a law requiring that phones be fully unlocked would have meant I could have spent far less.
Now, it's gotten better since I bought my Galaxy Nexus, as you can now get equivalent unlocked phones for $400 direct from Google, but that's still about $200 or $250 too much. Even cheapies should be easily portable. Note that I do NOT mean subsidized phones; those only look cheap. I mean the actual cheapies, the ones you can buy for $100 to $150, should be usable with any carrier using that technology.
Note that simply allowing unlocks is not enough, because at least with AT&T and T-Mobile, the phones they sell themselves will be deliberately crippled, so as not to work well on their competitors' frequencies. I'm not sure this legislation can be modified to fix that problem, but if it's in scope, it's something Congress should be thinking about.
and they remove the right to sell or swap or loan downloaded games.
I don't think they really have an option there. If the console isn't checking in routinely, then you can't be sure that only one copy is in use per license. So they're planning to handle digital sales like Steam does; they're permanent and non-transferable, but once you've bought something, you can keep the console offline for extended periods.
If trading/selling is important to you, then you'd want to stick with disc-based versions. Considering how easy they are to get, I don't personally see that as much of an impediment.
Are you sure it works that way? Can't you just take the disc from one machine and play it on the other? Or are they locking disks down to consoles, even though they say the Xbone is now just like the 360?