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  • May 21st, 2015 @ 5:58pm


    This is a tu quoque logical fallacy, where you attack a perceived inconsistency in a position, rather than the merits of the actual argument. The "debate" over unlawful surveillance has gone on ad nauseam, and there is little to discuss further—healthily or otherwise; the underlying issue is already unambiguously decided by the Constitution, and a court recently expressed incredulity at the justifications.

  • May 8th, 2015 @ 5:01pm

    Re: Is Convenience That Big A Deal?

    This case is the modern day equivalent of The Anarchist Cookbook—an infamous guide for making all manner of weapons has been in print since the 70's; that genie wasn't regulated back into the bottle, and neither will this be.

  • May 7th, 2015 @ 10:31am

    Re: Judicial cowardice

    I agree. It really isn’t sufficient for a court to say that a plaintiff’s rights haven’t been trampled just because he can’’t cite precedent. Some things are, literally, unprecedented. It’s still the judge’s job to make a fair decision based on the facts and the spirit of the law.

  • May 1st, 2015 @ 11:27am

    Grand theft auto

    No statute, regulation, or policy “specifically prescribe[d]” or prohibited the course of action Patty alleges the DEA agents followed." ...

    "In any event, Patty fails to explain how these constitutional provisions specifically prescribed a different course of conduct or specifically proscribed what the officers did..."

    Taking someone's vehicle without their permission is grand theft, and there is a statute for that. The different course of conduct that is prescribed is that all government agents should be acting ethically and legally, from the get-go. If the DEA can commandeer your property at their "discretion," that flies in the face of the concepts of property ownership and of citizens even having rights.

  • Apr 28th, 2015 @ 6:41pm


    You and a few others in this thread seem to be missing or glossing over critically important details. According to both the reporter and the witness, the lady was "half a football field away" from the scene (500+ feet), so she wasn't in the "middle" of anything, nor could she in any possible way endanger others or interfere with an investigation from such a distance. She didn't even begin to speak to the officers until they encroached on her space and attempted to obstruct filming. Saying that she was in the "line of fire" and should just move to the other side of the street is absurd; bullets don't travel along predefined paths and they certainly can cross streets. If there was a legitimate need to relocate that lady, the cops either would have done so or would've arrested her, rather than destroying her property. There really was very little chance of gunfire, considering that you can clearly see the suspects in custody with their hands on their heads, surrounded by cops. She is under no obligation to follow unlawful orders.

  • Apr 16th, 2015 @ 3:26pm

    class action?

    If part of their duty is to regulate trade and they willfully abandon that role, doesn't that mean they lose immunity? Maybe some congresspeople merit prosecuting under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for forfeiting their constituent's rights.

  • Apr 13th, 2015 @ 10:04am

    Controlling the key holders is equivalent to being the sole holder of keys

    Having more than one key is a distinction without a difference, when the government has the authority to just bully others into forking them over. They will probably also compel companies to stay silent on their cooperation, just as they do now. The SOS continues, but it give the appearance of change.

  • Mar 17th, 2015 @ 3:18pm

    Capacity and secrecy

    Congress lacks the capacity to enter into an agreement that abdicates their governmental role. They are, supposedly, in their position to act both as check and balance and as our representatives. We can't be represented in something we don't know about and that they can't change by vote or even discuss. No negotiation is so sensitive that its terms should be hidden from the people until the deal is a fait accompli. This would be riot-worthy material to the likes of Franklin or Adams. If state actors want to sell us all down the river by classifying f'ing everything, then it becomes time to consider impeachment or a vote of no confidence.

  • Mar 13th, 2015 @ 7:59am

    Right vs. privilege

    "While we recognise privacy concerns about bulk interception, we do not subscribe to the point of view that it is acceptable to let some terrorist attacks happen in order to uphold the individual right to privacy"

    The problem with both the UK and US government's position is that these agencies actually believe that citizen rights are transitory and modifiable; we need to start asserting our right to privacy or this will become a de facto truth. All of these spying and government secrecy revelations should be sparking worldwide protests and ousters of the officials that hold to their surveillance state tenets.

  • Mar 11th, 2015 @ 10:16am

    Double-edged defense

    Even after Gomez punched Love hard in the face, he still refused orders to sit and stop resisting, Gomez told the jury, causing the veteran detective to fear for his life.

    The fact that this type of brutality appears to be so deeply ingrained in cop culture practically guarantees that I—as a juror—would believe this exact same defense by a perp against a cop. A handcuffed person being needlessly and illegally assaulted is the one with the valid reason to fear for their life and they have every right to resist.

  • Mar 2nd, 2015 @ 8:54am

    Lip service

    the Administration welcomes the opportunity to work with the new Congress to implement the changes the President has called for.

    As soon as Congress’ perspective aligns with the President’s vision of “change,” the two will come together in harmony—just as the founders envisioned checks and balances working. Never mind that warrantless surveillance and secret courts in which you have no representation are highly unlawful on their face; the appearance that we have an open, functional government must be maintained.

  • Feb 12th, 2015 @ 12:57pm

    Lying in court

    If the US Marshals Service has ordered LEOs to lie in court, aren't they conspiring to commit a felony? Interfering in the court system and discovery process doesn't just "border" on being unconstitutional; it's the epitome of unconstitutionality and tears the right to redress grievances from the citizens.

  • Feb 12th, 2015 @ 12:22pm

    Re: I think this is already settled

    I think this is largely unsettled. If your ox gored a person and you were lax in its control, you are responsible for damages in the same way you would be if your dog bit someone. This is far more nebulous and rife with unanswered legal questions.

    Can you be threatened or damaged by a non-entity? A program is the brainchild of the developer. If their child breaks the law, are they responsible for their crimes? If the end user has to surrender their copy of the bot, can they just download another? The new iteration would be completely innocent of their brother's crime. Can the user or programmer ever be said to be responsible for actions of a program that are essentially random?

  • Feb 10th, 2015 @ 10:12am

    Doubt of the benefit

    German people should be incredulously doubting the benefit of all this spying and any cooperation in same. If there were legitimacy to the claim that we’ve got to "work through" these "complicated issues," they would have asked beforehand and not spied on people that pose no threat, including their own citizens. The emotional appeal that the US has always respected civil rights and has a tradition of due process is nothing less than propaganda that should indicate to you that they have no plans to alter their behavior.

  • Feb 3rd, 2015 @ 11:19am


    The implied threat in cops brandishing automatic weapons during a peaceful demonstration is clear. There's only a few possibilities of how that could go—a chilling effect on the populace, a deadly mistake by an itchy-fingered officer, or an arms race-style escalation. It all ends badly.

  • Jan 30th, 2015 @ 10:21am

    Cartoon representations

    From the article: "The teen’s references to law enforcement officers appear to be limited to cartoon representations of police and firearms."

    NYPD's response to this teen's mostly incoherent post also seems limited to cartoon representations of police. This is obviously just a dumb kid that's expressing machismo through the language of the street. The fact that "the man" chose to involve itself just shows how reactionary they've become.

  • Jan 28th, 2015 @ 8:45am

    (untitled comment)

    I applaud Polis’ wit and hope it causes some critical thinking to happen in our government. As it is, few politicos seem to put much forthought into their words and actions. Those who espouse acts of agression against their own people—such as the wholesale destruction of the Constitutional right to be free from warrantless surveillance— shouldn’t hold office.

  • Jan 26th, 2015 @ 9:09am

    Precheck is extortion

    You just can’t trust that the TSA which, for a nominal fee, will grant you the marginal convenience of faster boarding will also somehow protect you from being assessed by their contractors based on “constitutionally protected activity.” The $85 is already extortive. Having to give up the last vestiges of your privacy is every bit as invasive as physical inspection, and flies in the face of your freedom of movement.

  • Jan 23rd, 2015 @ 4:18pm


    Limiting encryption would backfire. Criminals won't obey a no-encryption policy, and the social forces behind increased government snooping will eventually spur everyday innocent citizens to civil disobedience to protect their rights.

  • Jan 22nd, 2015 @ 4:17pm


    Our government doesn’t want people reporting on leaks because they don’t want the citizenry to read them—transparency is not on the agenda. Look at the punishments our government metes out and the laws they’re passing; the noose is tightening.

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