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  • Sep 20th, 2019 @ 4:10pm


    What in the article makes you think the author thinks the diminishment of ISDS is a problem?

    "That still leaves plenty of toxic ISDS clauses in older investment treaties and trade deals, but the tide is definitely turning."

    That statement seems to be fairly specific. Maybe you didn't read to the end?

  • Sep 20th, 2019 @ 6:32am

    Re: If only 'peace officers' were required to know the law

    Reason published today a Part V in the series "Imagining a World Without Qualified Immunity" which does in fact get to the questions I raised above.

  • Sep 19th, 2019 @ 7:40pm

    If only 'peace officers' were required to know the law

    If I worked in an environment that allowed me to do my job without knowing about the rules and/or consequences of not knowing the rules or how to do my job, it wouldn't take much before I would be fired. Even in right to work states. It just takes a bit of documentation to fire me. In employment at will states it would take even less.

    But then two things. The first is that public employees have been allowed to have unions, and those unions negotiate contracts under the threat of withholding public services lest the public acquiesce to their demands (maybe the only thing Reagan got right when he didn't), and the Supreme Court, where they held that law enforcement officers didn't need to know the laws they are required to enforce.

    Not only should the police be required to know the laws they enforce, in detail, but they should also know the appropriate methodologies for applying those laws. The whole concept of 'qualified immunity' comes from there being no established reason for the public official to know that what they did was wrong, yet many untrained public persons can tell that the violation obfuscated the Constitution, regardless of precedent. We have few courts that are willing to establish that precedent so that the same, or similar violations would be illegal in the future. Is it possible that it is because their decision will not be told to or trained to police officers who have no reason to know the law?

    There is a four part article at Reason called "Imagining a World Without Qualified Immunity" (Parts I-Iv)(I could post all four links but the search isn't that hard) where the author goes through three articles spouting statistics about how little impact the removal of qualified immunity would have, and in the fourth discusses the incentives that the lawyers may or may not have in pursuing civil rights cases.

    What I found lacking was any analysis of whether there should or should not be any pre-existing case law about whether a particular act violated the Constitution and/or whether or not the individual doing the alleged violation should have known or didn't need to know if it was in fact a violation prior to committing that act?

    Professionals should know their business. Are they arguing that police are not professionals? If they are, what are the implications of that?

  • Sep 19th, 2019 @ 6:39pm


    If they were to ignore the the stuff published in various newspapers or magazines, then they would be seriously derelict in their duties.

    Do you really think that everything bad that happens in the world exists in a privileged and/or confidential fashion, or shall we say vacuum? Or might there be some edge considerations that may or may not be dealt with in a privileged or confidential fashion? Then comes the question, who makes that decision, or better yet, how does one control that so no one else finds out, especially when it's already out there?

    While I think that various government individuals make the decision that things should be confidential far to often, and for far too long, and often for all the wrong reasons (butt hurt and other forms of embarrassment as examples) there are still some thing that should be held close, for some reasonable amount of time. Part of that question is how long, and sometimes the answer is days, and sometimes the answer is weeks, and sometimes the answer is years, and sometimes the answer is decades. It should never be longer than that, and should often be shorter than what the original classifiers suggests.

    In the mean time, the question is how to deal with things that they wish to be privileged or confidential that get out anyway, for whatever reason. Then there is the question of whether the determination for information to be privileged or confidential is the correct determination? Then there is the question of whether that determination is or is not in the interest of the public. The determination is more often than not that it isn't, and for whatever excuse, that is the way they often determine.

    What if it isn't, regardless of excuse? When does the determination of privilege or confidentiality become criminal? Then, given the way secrecy is dealt with these days, how do we know when we do actually need to know? And, what do we do then?

  • Sep 18th, 2019 @ 1:42pm

    Re: She did interfere

    The way you put it, it sounds more like she was aiding in their agenda, rather than interfering. Their walk across the street was wrong, as is their alleged agenda.

  • Sep 18th, 2019 @ 1:28pm

    Stopping short of the line.

    How about apologizing to the two poor souls sitting in jail? I sure hope they are being paid double overtime for the total amount of the effort they have exerted, and are exerting.

  • Sep 18th, 2019 @ 1:11pm

    You contradict yourself

    "She had no cause to be filming and should think that over next time."

    Why not? She's a reporter and they are public servants doing a job in public. To her credit, she wasn't waiting for the 'if it bleeds it leads' opportunity.

    And, in simple fact, she caught those public servants doing things they shouldn't have been doing. The public has a right to know about those things.

  • Sep 18th, 2019 @ 12:23pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Actually, it's kind of interesting. Amazon lists Metropolitan Books as the publisher, and Metropolitan Books is a subsidiary of Henry Holt and Company which has gone through a series of being bought and sold and re-partnered. Which includes an association with "...Georg von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group based in Stuttgart..."

    With such a far flung company already, it doesn't seem impossible to collect the revenue someplace, rename or purpose it, and move it eventually to the correct arm. Yes I know this is called money laundering, and that fiscal transactions are often traceable. But where there is a will, there is a way, and various bad people get away with it all the time. Why not some who aren't so bad, that is so long as they pay the appropriate taxes.

  • Sep 18th, 2019 @ 8:31am


    Snowden, and his publisher, could put a copy of the book on the torrents and include a link to a donation site, out of the reach of the US Government. The publisher gets 10% and Snowden donates some portion of his take to the ACLU. It might work.

  • Sep 18th, 2019 @ 7:15am

    Proof is in the pudding

    Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    That the US Government is exercising their absolute power, likely because they are scared of (or embarrassed by) what might be revealed shows how vulnerable they feel. That the 'classified' items they worry about have already been revealed, but they are not allowed to recognized such, as they are forbidden to read the articles that reveal them, expresses their head in the sand posture.

    The best outcome will be that the courts allow the 'in the public interest' argument creating an exception to the so called Espionage Act. One can only hope.

  • Sep 16th, 2019 @ 9:19am


    Um, how about the rich determining the law? Similar to the problem we have now where money is considered speech which creates the issue where those with money can speak louder than those who have less money. That doesn't speak well for equal protections, or as it is said equal protections under the law when the law benefits one economic class more than other economic classes.

  • Sep 16th, 2019 @ 8:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: By the way, WHO else wants others to pay for

    No, but I am under the impression that currency uses the word God, rather than Jesus, as an indication that those who pushed for the statement took at least some umbrage to the Constitution, regardless of their motivations.

  • Sep 16th, 2019 @ 8:02am

    Re: Re: Re: By the way, WHO else wants others to pay for their m

    I think I'll stand by the First Amendment and its commitment to freedom of religion.

    BTW, are those the same bridges to nowhere sold to the taxpayers?

  • Sep 16th, 2019 @ 7:41am

    Re: By the way, WHO else wants others to pay for their mistakes?

    The government printed "In God we trust" on our paper money, but they didn't say which god. They intended it to be 'your' god for each and every god imagined by each individual. That some want 'that' god to be 'their' god doesn't change the nature of the god mentioned on our currency, no matter how much they want it to.

    Unfortunately, using a bible during swearing in ceremonies and at least sometimes in courts when taking oaths, somewhat supports their notion. But that isn't what was intended by the framers. They intended that people be free to choose their religion, any religion. The pro-American ACLU understand that. You don't.

  • Sep 16th, 2019 @ 7:28am

    What goes up, must come down.

    Is it really 'growth for growth's sake' or is is 'growth for executive enrichment's sake'? One of the most heavily indebted company in the world, but who has looked into how this has impacted executive compensation, especially in the bonus area? I'm thinking that not only were no bonus payments missed, but that they weren't significantly reduced. What is the impact of bonuses paid on the debt load?

    That brings the question, if bonuses are supposed to be performance based, but obviously aren't, isn't that just pay (and what are the income tax implications of that)? Or, if performance based, based on what performance? This vaudeville act doesn't seem to be the kind of performance bonuses should be based upon. Or is it burlesque?

    Here's hoping that all of those bonuses were paid with stocks that are declining rather than growing in value. That might teach those executives something about measures of performance where declining customers counts and revenues don't. But share price shouldn't be the primary measure.

  • Sep 15th, 2019 @ 2:26pm

    Schooled yet again

    cpt kangarooski stepped up and once again set me straight. This time on the classic definition of property. It is worth looking at his correction.

  • Sep 13th, 2019 @ 6:30pm

    Re: At least it wasn't the US.

    So far as I know, actual innocence isn't a reason to overturn a conviction, yet convictions get overturned. This is one of the places where our legal system absolutely baffles me.

  • Sep 13th, 2019 @ 5:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: 'Look, I 'punished' myself, no need for you to.'

    Well then, kudos to your subconscious mind, and may you (and it) continue to excel in your endeavors.

  • Sep 13th, 2019 @ 1:16pm


    Well, they could enable the account in France and disable it in the US or anywhere else that objects. Of course this would create confusion for those in France who correspond with folks elsewhere, and it would be fairly simple to put some sort of sign on the account naming names of countries that rule differently on the same subject.

    To what end I don't know but it might highlight the issue, to the consternation of all.

  • Sep 13th, 2019 @ 9:52am

    Re: Re: surprisedpikachu.gif

    I wonder how in a show by show a la carte system the providers would introduce new programs? Free introductory offers, but only from their silo? If I was to subscribe to one brand, say NBC or DIsney, how would CBS or ABC or ESPN entice me with new programs? Put them on YouTube for free as introductions or hope that the buzz over the company water cooler will be sufficient?

    Personally, I don't like any of the silo'd options. Nor do I like the bundled option. Nor do I have any suggestions. As markets will do, this will get sorted out messily and over a long time. Since I don't use either method, silo or bundle, I will miss the fight, except as a spectator, and probably as it is documented here.

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