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  • Apr 19th, 2014 @ 5:49am

    He must have been asking for it.

    I mean, look at this crap.

    Other students at the school don't like him, bully him.

    School administrators see the kid, and proof of bullying...and THEY bully him and call the cops on him!

    Cop sees him, says "You must be guilty of from column A, one from column B." and hauls him off.

    Judge sees him, says "You're guilty of whatever they charged you with. Case closed."

    Man, at every step of the way this poor kid elicits a real negative response-not just from the other kids, but from adults-in their PROFESSIONAL roles! The unanimity of negative response to this kid is mind-boggling. He should be studied. Maybe he emits some kind of pheremonal scent opposite that of babies or something. Alternatively, there's more to the story that hasn't come out. I'd suspect that, rather than the existence of some hitherto undiscovered "He Hate Me" gene.

    Seriously though, the politicians' solution is alarming. It was a recording of public activity, in public-how is freaking "wiretap law" even invoked?? What "loophole" is he talking about? Sounds like a bad law we are to be grateful to politicians for carving little exceptions out of. Ugh.

    Lastly, even the very best-reported "media narratives" are incomplete and unnuanced (somewhere in the range of, ooh...100% of the time). If a law needs to gain public support through appeal to the media narrative surrounding a well-known case rather than its's probably a bad law. So Tim's statement is not stupid at all.

  • Apr 19th, 2014 @ 4:23am

    Lack of common sense creates a fine dilema...

    As the motive/rationale for Zero Tolerance Policies of all sorts is to remove certain 'transgressions' from the requirement of due process and case-by-case evaluation, we see from this case that this is probably a good ides. It is clear that school administrators lack staff with the prerequisite wisdom (or three-digit IQs)to interpret such cases correctly.

    But however well-motivated these policies ("We're idiots, you can't expect us to exercise common sense!"), we also see from this case that ZTP can still offer the opportunity for admins to demonstrate their stupidity by interpreting upward the class of things banned by said policies. (finger guns, pew-pew laser shootouts at recess, pop tart guns and pictures of parents who are serving in the military, etc)

    Dumb as may be those tasked with implementing the policies, "Zero Tolerance" should NEVER be accepted as substitute for rational thought, reasonable polices, and common sense.

    Hell, in our legal system, we pretty much conclude that murder is bad, m'kay? but even there we allow for extenuating circumstances! Plus, there is a slippery slope of things that "we should never allow" meth in the lunch room? Zero tolerance. Bombs? Zero tolerance. Guns? Zero tolerance. Bigotry? Zero tolerance. Gender discrimination? Zero tolerance. Exclusionary socialization? Zero tolerance...and ultimately, we are left with the same people who can't differentiate between a chewed pop tart and a gun defining what is allowed and disallowed in our children's behavior.

    Human interaction, even that of children, is a messy, complex business. Zero Tolerance policies are an attempt to pretend otherwise, or to "solve" some aspects of human interaction by decree. As we see over and over again, such wishful thinking policies are ineffective fictions, and should be done away with.

  • Apr 8th, 2014 @ 10:04pm

    Re: How can this be???

    erp. my bad.

    "Truth value of this statement=(less-than sign) 1"

  • Apr 8th, 2014 @ 10:02pm

    How can this be???

    Gee...and I remember learning, in "Civics Class", back when we had "Civics Class", that the government operated for the good of the people, indeed, was to serve the people!!
    Doesn't seem to be the case, does it? Seems more like every department, agency, and "Office of ...." aspires to empire-building, expanded 'responsibilities', increased influence, staff and budget ad infinitum and horrific screams at any HINT of reduction.

    How can this be? Well, I hate to be an asshole*, but it's your fault.

    Yep. As long as you buy into the fiction that there are 'good guys' and 'bad guys' in this leviathan of a scam. and support the 'good guys', you are supporting crony capitalism, corruption and a status quo that props up undeserving elites. The examples are endless, but you keep falling for "Oh we have to stop those mindless, racist, gun-loving Puritanical homophobic redneck science-haters!" (or, possibly, "We have to stop those America-hating, race-baiting, culture-degrading, reality-deconstructing, vote buying redistributors of 'wealth' I worked for!!")

    They're ALL in on it. They divide you over stupid inconsquentialities like abortion and gun control while steadily increasing and entrenching their own power. There are no 'good guys'. Sorry.

    *-truth value of this statement=

  • Apr 7th, 2014 @ 7:15pm

    Well...that's just all kinds of wrong.

    Everything about this is wrong.

    a) It's wrong to say Hayden's was a sexist comment. It isn't sexist because he would characterize ANYBODY'S negative reaction to "enhanced interrogation methods" as being overly emotional, including most of the outraged comments here.

    b) But he would also be wrong, as the outraged reaction is NOT overly emotional, but rational and moral.

    c) And Feinstein, who is an idiot political hack liberal 1%er and wrong on everything from budgetary, environmental, economic, and foreign policy issues to mindless gender legislation, domestic spying, IP/copyright/patent issues and on and on, is, God help me, absolutely RIGHT on this one.

    And that just seems wrong, somehow. Looks like I picked the wrong decade to give up sniffing glue.

  • Apr 1st, 2014 @ 8:22pm

    Re: Re:

    Yep. Resistance developed rapidly, even in the 50s. Didn't take much research to confirm that. (Had to wade through both DDT-promotional and "WE didn't kill those African kids" CYA slant though. Easy to tell which is which-the latter detail the history of the DDT ban by noting Kennedy's panel on the subject, the former note the ban occurred during NIXON'S presidency, put into effect by NIXON'S new agency, the EPA.)

    Clearly, DDT is no longer the magic bullet it once actually was (wiped out typhus and malaria outbreaks that significantly effected the course of WWII). Arguably, it was overuse that created the pressures leading to such rapid development of resistance.

    Still, hard to blame Africans for being suspect of the motives of First Worlders when many argued for the DDT ban based on the fact that it did, indeed save lives, a prospect met with considerable dismay by some:

    “My chief quarrel with DDT in hindsight is that it has greatly added to the population problem,”, Alexander King, found, Club of Rome;

    Paul Ehrlich, repeatedly (who always wanted more deaths to confirm his own predictions...kind of selfish, I'd say);

    “By using DDT, we reduce mortality rates in underdeveloped countries without the consideration of how to support the increase in populations.”, Michael McCloskey, Director, Sierra Club, 1971.

    Of course, the Africans who are suspicious of Malthusian First Worlders may be the same folks who deny AIDS is real...maybe even some of the same who have advocated/carried out ethnic, tribal and religious genocides of various scales, so the 'intrinsic value of human life' seems to be much up for debate anyway.

  • Mar 29th, 2014 @ 8:52am

    No, things are NOT simple...

    I love the "Underpants Gnome" logic that's always at work in proposals like that of Ms. Rice:

    Step 1: Remove anonymity of posters/gain access to real IDs.
    Step 2:
    Step 3: Comments of greater maturity, seriousness, and, ultimately, value!

    Of course, the vague, non-specific "process step" 2 is nothing other than the exercise or threat of real-world status, wealth, legal pressure and other resources which constitute REAL bullying, as opposed to the verbal kind which Ms. Rice finds so unacceptable.

    I find it disturbing that so many well-intentioned folks, in the name of "internet civility", are eager to restore these irrelevant-to-discourse advantages to the powerful and famous.

  • Mar 20th, 2014 @ 12:18am

    *sigh* Contrarian impulse strikes again...

    While this truly is an open-and-shut case of administrative stupidity, I still have to you all really think all children should be tolerant of all things? Or just things of which you yourselves approve?

    Would you approve of school administrators telling a child to leave an "Al Qaeda Death to the Crusaders" backpack home?

    How about a Confederate flag backpack??

    How about a Third Reich backpack?

    I can hear the "Yeah, but..."s already. So we don't have a principle here, only a preference? Agreed?

    I sympathize with Grayson. I skipped grades, got glasses and then moved to rural southern schools, a perfect storm for bullying. And so it came to pass. BUT. Bullying is an artifact, a temporary stage in social maturation, at least for the huge majority of people. These 'bullies' need to stop pushing him around, but you can't make them like MLP, or Grayson, for that matter. They are, in fact, merely expressing themselves, but need to be taught that this is an unacceptable manner in which to do so. They're not evil, you guys are just projecting that. They're 9-year-olds. School needs to help them with the socialization process, which they are failing to do in this case. But that's about it.

    The exaggerations, imaginative characterizations and wild projections regarding these kids is kind of alarming. The irony of a torches-and-pitchforks campaign demanding those bullies be forced to goodthink under the threat of, presumably, school-administered bullying (the 'good kind', from the authorities) seems to be...hard to grasp, apparently.

  • Mar 19th, 2014 @ 8:26pm

    Re: Re: Tough

    ^ This. I remember. If you were a 'weirdo' (and I was), the teachers often as not were in sympathy with the bullying students. No recourse, no external community of like-minded kids, nothing. I had to develop a relentless defensive contempt for "regular" society and "normal" people...itself a pathology I've had to address later in life. But it got me through.

    Everyone wants to pretend things are the worst they've ever been and going downhill, but that bit of delusional thinking has been going on since pre-Roman days and if t'were true we'd be at the bottom of a 2500 year decline, much much worse off than we are today. The phenomenon is understandable in intra-generational terms as OF COURSE things were better back in "the old days"...YOU WERE YOUNG THEN. derp.

    Also of interest, after all the appropriately-derided examples of the abdication of common sense in favor of Zero Tolerance Policies, this particular example is what we get when left to the mercies of "common sense" as wielded by school administrators. Don't really see a winning course of action here...

  • Mar 4th, 2014 @ 9:17pm

    Re: Re: Screw Nature!

    Proving only that it is possible to be green and greedy.

    A dick move like this 'lock-in' plan is not made a non-dick move because they have other policies of which you apparently approve. Yes, people CAN choose to allow themselves to be ripped off based on those policies.

    More likely is that people will be turned off, moving to other manufacturers less environmentally friendly at a net loss to total greenness in the corporate sphere. (Since people tend to like their environmental contributions to be voluntary and unrelated to your corporate profits.)

    As you would be bemoaning if you were not either a paid shill/apologist for the company or someone who doesn't examine these things very deeply.

  • Feb 28th, 2014 @ 4:17pm

    "Slippery Slope" is usually a fallacy...BUT

    But in every instance of government action, it's a valid predictive method. I mean, people are worried the algorithm might not be accurate? What the hell, they use dogs 'alerting' as evidence to warrant sometimes destructive searches, and just suppress studies that place the accuracy of dope-sniffing dogs at around 60%.

    So yeah, everything about this "It's just to give those people a warning." system is just teetering on a steep, greased hill. Combined with militarization of PDs across the country and an ever intensifying 'us against them' mentality, I don't think the citizenry will be well-served (or protected) by these pre-crime efforts.

    That said, a couple of points:
    a) I very much doubt a single person on the list is without previous violent violations. They are NOT going to anticipate someone's first crime.

    b) IF we were to allow for the possibility of good intentions from the CPD (not a given), whatever the underlying causes (or 'disease' in the analogy) of crime, if the 'symptom' is murder or violent assault, the police are obliged to deal with it, without any obligation to make sure every demographic is happy, prosperous, well-educated and non-violent.

    Just sayin'...

  • Feb 28th, 2014 @ 3:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: ...


    No "math" was at fault in that crash. The fact is, the math was applied to financial instruments that contained wildly over-valued components (and some fraudulently mis-valued). Now, was there some kind of math error involved there? No.

    It was fraud. Too many 1%ers making too much money off the overvaluation of homes, and when the only way to maintain the impetus of the bubble was to find new buyers...well, the government, under the guise of "helping the poor" was perfectly willing to front your tax dollars to MAKE new buyers out of people who really couldn't afford homes.

    Those ridiculous mortgages, lumped together, were the "rotten apples" (or 'tranches', I believe they were called) of the derivative market.

    The math itself, and the fallibility thereof, had nothing to do with it.

  • Feb 25th, 2014 @ 4:01am

    The New "Coulda Been Worse" Defense

    No, I think the Chief is on to something here. Let's give the fine barristers of our nation time to incorporate the "Coulda Been Worse" Defense into criminal defense practice.

    "Yes, Your Honor, defendant did indeed defraud these senile retirees of their life savings, but hey, he didn't deflate the tires of their wheelchairs, and refrained entirely from decapitation!"

    "So while burglary did take place, we ask the jury to take into account during the sentencing phase that plaintiffs' house pets were not sexually assaulted, despite being quite attractive, and, as an ameliorative consideration, that their home was NOT burnt to the ground!"

    Combined with an affluenza defense, plaintiffs might end up winning "speculative reverse damage awards" for their restraint.

    Never underestimate the cleverness oif lawyers.

  • Feb 7th, 2014 @ 11:34pm

    Re: No Logos

    Okay, I guess that's two of us now. It's a start.

    I used to make it a point to address people wearing that ugly Hilfiger stuff with the name in that supersized font as "Tommy", and then ask "Well why do you have his shirt?"

    I also questioned, back when this first started (70s? 80s?), what I was supposed to get in return for the free advertising. Somehow, the explanation, that I got some kind of 'cool cred' from people who judged such things based on the brand of clothing a person wore seemed absolutely paradoxical.

    And so have avoided heavily logo'd clothing ever since.*

    *-esp. the 'swoosh'. Somehow, overpriced products endorsed by ridiculously overpaid athletes, who were then given more huge sums of money for a 'contribution' to the product which in no way enhanced its utility or quality, while the people who actually produced the products were paid slave wages seemed...ummm...unsavory? contradictory? immoral? COMPLETELY, GLARINGLY, TOTALLY WRONG, maybe?

  • Feb 7th, 2014 @ 11:09pm

    Re: Re: Hmmm

    Please fill out the enclosed form clarifying exactly which brand of tape will you be using to cover up the logo. Your branding representatives should have advised you of the consequences of violating our agreement with 3M. Please see that you act accordingly.

    IOC Subcommittee on Squeezing Every Fucking Drop of Revenue Possible Out of This Noble Celebration of Sport (IOCSSEFDRPOTNCS)

  • Feb 5th, 2014 @ 4:36pm

    (untitled comment)

    Sadly, what will likely happen is a "reform" that allows the NSA to do more 'targeted' data scooping-so they can reassure congresscritters that THEY aren't being targeted.

    That will satisfy Congress and INCREASE the NSAs' snooper powers.

    Always think of the worst possible outcome with Congress.

  • Jan 14th, 2014 @ 2:19am

    Re: My thoughts

    Thanks for the link. I cannot believe TechDirt endorses this guy's knee-jerk PC campaign, nor his hateful, ugly contempt for those who disagree.

    Maybe Timothy here should work for the government himself instead of 'contributing' to a site that usually looks out for the freedom of individuals. I mean, somebody so certain of their own superiority really ought to be ruling...errr...'serving' the public, right?

  • Jan 13th, 2014 @ 10:15pm

    Well, as long as government is enforcing GOOD speech.....

    The word itself (unlike the "n-word") hasn't been used as a pejorative term to describe "First Nations", "Indians", "North American Aborigine", "What the fuck ever" peoples in a hundred years. But there does exist a currently small-but-growing industry (too small to refer to as "Big Offense", I suppose) interested in promoting the taking of offense, said industry not unrelated to the larger, growing and very lucrative enterprise of providing sensitivity workshops, diversity seminars and corporate consulting regarding the 'giving of offense'. Too cynical? Perhaps. But I've yet to find a degree of cynicism that leads me to overestimate human greed and mindless self-interest. These professional offense-takers and paid insensitivity-absolvers find ready allies in the huge-and-constantly-expanding federal bureaucracy we all so love.

    And TechDirt applauds this?

    I find it offensive when people (the freedom-loving denizens of TechDirt for instance) who (rightly) find so much government action objectionable, and who so frequently (and rightly) worry about the growth of government power, are perfectly fine with the use of such power when it fits their own preferences, prejudices, or favorite means of generating smug superiority. Sounds like a case of believing in freedom...for people to do or say things of which you approve. Nice.

    But hey, that's just moral inconsistency, or maybe hypocrisy. The worst aspect of having the government in the business of deciding what people are allowed to say is the SUBJECTIVE NATURE OF THE SO-CALLED VIOLATION.

    The law should never be based on subjective, unverifiable claims. The law should be based on reality and fact, not someone's feelings. Especially, the government should never be in a position to enforce laws dictating what is acceptable opinion, emotion, or state-of-mind. EVEN. IF. YOU. AGREE. WITH. THEM.

    I won't invoke Slippery Slope here, but whoever applauds this, seeing no downside, is dancing on Teflon Mountain wearing butter boots.

  • Dec 28th, 2013 @ 8:10am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I actually favor having ootb unclog the toilets.

    All of them.

    Hey! He just volunteered!

  • Dec 28th, 2013 @ 7:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It's like saying "We'll solve speeding problems by only allowing speedometer displays that only go up to 75 mph.

    I also really like the "solutions" to other problems presented by this utopian proposal...

    Problem: "People who make more money will leave."
    Solution: "We'll make it worldwide!"

    Problem: "People will just charge more for goods and services"
    Solution: "We'll control all the prices!"

    Problem: "People won't be as productive without the incentive of attaining wealth."
    Solution: "We'll make them."

    Note that every "solution" to the objections raised requires that greater and greater power be given to...government? All the members of which organization will be content to settle for the same "adequate" wage received by people who have NO power?? RLY? This altruistic behavior is not intuitive, based on, oh...every bit of human history ever. Sorry.

    Maybe we could look into giving everyone a unicorn that shits money instead.

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