Uriel-238’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Oct 26th, 2016 @ 2:16am

    Using a word to mean different things.

    A lot of words that we expect to mean a thing often don't, I've noticed. Feminist, conservative / liberal, Christian / Atheist, LGBTQ, and so on. Part of the problem is that when an identity group becomes large enough, there are enough different notions as to what it means that it ceases functioning as a category subject to generalizations. You can be a feminist but vehemently disagree with other feminists as to what the identity means or what positions are valid.

    Reactionary is (as I understand it) more of a synonym for extremist. It's possible to be reactionary about, for instance, GMO foods or handgun ownership, even though those are (strangely) left-side issues. Granted I heard it first in the academic sector (where reactionaries are, for some reason hidebound) referring to old guard professors who are doubtful about the new mad science.

  • Oct 25th, 2016 @ 7:42pm

    Slaves to a corrupt government

    Obviously. The question is how corrupt can it go and stay intact? We're already learning how to not get shot by cops in high school. Have we stopped teaching our children anyone can be president?

    How about we start teaching them that not only are corporations people, but they are more privileged citizens than human beings.

    We should start teaching our sons that the way to get ahead is to brew meth, and our daughters that being a porn star while you're young is the less-lucrative, more legal option.

    You're certainly not going to make it working hard as a store clerk or a waitress.

    (In the 1990s after the Soviet Union fell, most girls wanted to be a wage prostitute when they grew up, since there was a lot of upward mobility if you were pretty. Today, Russian porn is famous for being extra-saucy the way that Swedish porn was in the 70s and 80s.)

  • Oct 25th, 2016 @ 2:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Propaganda is propaganda

    Thanks! I'll take it under advisement!

  • Oct 25th, 2016 @ 12:56pm

    big, all powerful government

    I suspect you have a secret love relationship with big, all-powerful government.

    First off, big government comes from the want for big infrastructure. Like clean beef? Then you like having meat inspectors. Like being able to drive from state to state? Then you like the national highway system.

    And if you like a government that is tough on crime then you like a powerful government that shoehorns convictions onto suspects with a dearth of actual evidence. Because tough on crime doesn't mean they figured out whodunit, it means they throw people in jail faster.

  • Oct 25th, 2016 @ 12:30pm

    Only opinion of Trump.


    You, my friend, need to internet harder.

    The proof against Trump is so pervasive that the internet stinks of it.

    But I suspect you've become accustomed to the smell.

  • Oct 25th, 2016 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: No more head in the sand for the left?

    Um, no.

    Progressive in the US used to be a left-leaning conservative (or in the range of a slightly-right-leaning moderate).

    And to be fair, we tree-hugging chicken-free-ranging alternative-fueling liberals are way, way to the left of what the DNC qualifies as progressive.

    Really, both parties are corporatist first, regardless of their platform. Ours is mostly a feudal state run by a corporate aristocracy.

  • Oct 25th, 2016 @ 12:22pm

    I imagine a future when we've had enough of this.

    Corporate-police collusion will be presumed, casting reasonable doubt on all evidence (until proven otherwise) and law enforcement officers are presumed lying until they can back it up with factual evidence (e.g. video recordings).

    So an anonymous phone call tip becomes useless, since that's obviously a cover for a corporate informant providing illegal data.

    Everyone is supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, and everyone is supposed to be safe from unreasonable search and seizure. Now the opposite is true and we're filling our prisons up with innocent convicts. Our law enforcement agents have become racketeers where they just pick and choose people to book, without investigation, without evidence. If a corporate officer wants to fire someone with prejudice, inform on him to the police as if he was a drug runner, too.

    So much for the United States 1.0

  • Oct 25th, 2016 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Propaganda is propaganda

    Um, no.

    The intent behind why truth is uncovered doesn't change the nature of the truth being uncovered.

    It also just might indicate who our hackers want to influence into the white house. If Putin is behind this hack (which is likely if the hackers are state-supported, which we do not know) yes, he's trying to influence the campaign.

    But that isn't to say the new data should be disregarded.

    Incidentally, if our candidates didn't have to lie so much to cover their asses, they would definitely be less susceptible to this sort of attack. That they can't be honest with us, and instead have to dance and dodge around the revealed issues only shows how intrinsically corrupt the system has become.

    And in that case, foreign powers influencing the election are no more a problem then the corporate powers that already are influencing the election, and whose propaganda we tolerate and don't even call propaganda.

    So yeah, we should file this stuff with all the other scandal and negative advertising and spite being flung about.

    It's not like we even have an illusion left that the people choose our elected officials, or that our elected officials give two fucks about their constituency.

  • Oct 25th, 2016 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Who sent those emails?

    We don't. And that would be pretty amazingly clever.

    It would also be super tedious, and would require more human resources (and more specialized human resources) than our hackers probably had.

    Possible? definitely. Plausible? Meh. Likely? Not really.

  • Oct 25th, 2016 @ 12:00pm

    Re: No more head in the sand for the left?

    We've established this.

    Clinton is a Progressive first choice, not a liberal one. If we had a choice (we didn't!) Clinton wouldn't even be in the running.

    We know that Clinton is an old-school, lying, cheating politician. We know that the Sanders campaign was sabotaged. We really would rather not be voting for Clinton, except voting for someone else is not voting against Trump.

    We know that Trump is a narcissistic psychopath. If we were to look only at the Trump crimes that are similar to Clinton's, what is for Clinton a major blunder, for Trump is Tuesday.

    Yes, Clinton is criminal. Trump is only much, much worse.

  • Oct 22nd, 2016 @ 9:04pm

    Very high Poe factor.

    Very authentic and yet so could be satire.

    So unsure.

  • Oct 22nd, 2016 @ 8:43pm

    TV Cops going over the line.

    Yes. During the 70s and 80s we had a lot of maverick / loose cannon / rule-breakers, which gave way to the police procedural in the 90s and aughts where they sought to find out who really done it.

    But the police aren't interested in who committed the big crime. They decided in advance whether you're the bad guy, and once you're targeted, figure out what to pin on you to give you prison time. And if you have something they want (say a swanky car) they'll just figure out a way to get probable cause, so they can cease the car.

  • Oct 21st, 2016 @ 11:58pm

    Bringing blacks out of poverty

    In 2007 (the stats I have) the poorest forty percent of US citizens had 0.2% of the wealth, where the top 0.1% owned 35%.

    That was before the subprime mortgage crisis, during which our wealth became even more disparate and has only gotten worse ever since.

    We like to dally about with what counts as poverty but I can assure you that all of those people in that 40% are in the police-can-kill-you-with-impunity category. They're probably also in the bad-neighborhood category.

    So, while I think helping Black families escape poverty is a splendid idea, I do not imagine we're going to be making progress in that regard for decades. (Or ever, if our current temperature trends continue unabated.)

    So we need to also get our law enforcement officers to stop shooting and robbing those who are neither rich nor government agents.

    We should also make our bad neighborhoods less bad. Requiring state agencies to serve all neighborhoods equally would be a good start. Not that this will happen in our current corporate-controlled political clime.

    While I'm wishing, returning the United States to a nation of laws, in which everyone is subject to the same laws and the same justice system, would also be nice. As things are, those of us who cannot afford a defense (including those of us whose assets get seized by the US) don't get actual due process.

    Since none of that will happen, I guess we'll have to watch people continue to perish by blue murder, including a disproportionate number of black men, and watch as more and more civilians arm themselves and shoot back.

    I'm sure at some point the numbers will become terrible enough that we'll be willing to enact policy changes, rather than reframe it as It's not easy being a cop.

  • Oct 21st, 2016 @ 11:29pm

    Re: Re: Different behavior

    Maybe that's what they're doing.

    Do elaborate, please!

    I assume you're referring to some action, policy or program other than letting police gun down or beat down innocent civilians, yes?

  • Oct 21st, 2016 @ 4:27pm

    Different behavior

    If black lives mattered the way that white lives mattered, the number of innocent blacks killed by police would not be disproportionately high compared to the number of whites.

    Unless one group disproportionately behaves differently than the other.

    Interesting qualification. What common different behavior do you imagine?

    Are you meaning to imply there's a racially- or culturally-compelled behavior on behalf of Black Americans that drives police to escalate situations involving them to hostility?

    And if that behavior was common enough to create a statistical anomaly, don't you think it is the state's responsibility to accommodate for it.

  • Oct 21st, 2016 @ 2:16pm

    What police work is like...

    My grudge is not about what police work is like, rather what it isn't like, e.g. Law & Order, CSI, Without A Trace, even Hawaii Five-0 or Adam-12. Which is to say we on the civilian end cannot expect justice to be served. We cannot expect the police to book the right guy. We cannot expect to survive a police encounter with all our parts and belongings intact.

    (That is to say I once considered a career in criminal investigation like all the other CSI-wannabe geeks until I learned enough to become dangerous.)

    The notoriously corrupt GCPD in Gotham would be, compared to real-world precincts, a national exemplar of police honesty.

    And yet, we, the public, are expected to regard the GCPD as so corrupt that only superheros could save it. Considering that the fictional Gotham is actually more honest than even provincial precincts, I'd say maybe it's time to disband the entire system and start again with the Bow Street Runners.

    Heck, the FBI lies to the fucking US Senate with impunity, in blatant defiance of oversight. US law enforcement has proven itself time and again to be nothing but another street gang with no interest beyond its own prosperity.

    Eventually we should start asking if it would be better to just hire the Sicilian Mafia to keep the peace, because I'd wager they'd do a less bad job for cheaper.

    So call me an armchair general if you like, but I know well enough that our entire Department of Justice is not doing any of the job that it's supposed to do, except sustain an illusion that we live in a society of laws.

    We live in a society of men, specifically, police officers, and we live free at their discretion.

  • Oct 21st, 2016 @ 11:49am

    Re: Re: policing

    I have worked with the police at detox which often meant dealing with admissions that were out of control.

    It is curious why police would be working with people on detox at all. Statistically, Crazy lives matter even less than blacks, and the mentally disabled demographic is even at greater risk for blue assault than Blacks.

    As we've been seeing on line and in classrooms, people not only need to be completely rational to avoid getting shot by the police, but have to follow very strict specialized protocol (id est, they can't act naturally), and that only reduces the risk of a civilian getting murdered or robbed. We now teach not getting shot by cops in United States high schools.

    A detox center shouldn't be staffed with law enforcement, but people trained to manage those with mental disorders.

    Maybe by saying you worked with police you are referring to ones that brought sick people in, which means they've already decided to manage the poor sod humanely, rather than just shooting him or beating him unconscious. You're probably seeing more of the duty-minded officers than the ones who'd just execute the poor sod where he stood.

    As for police officers getting taunted and abused, they are paid and given power to be the babysitters of the world. The same reason we don't accept that your hired fourteen year old neighbor isn't allowed to beat to death your tantrumy toddler, it shouldn't be acceptable for police officers just to shoot, or beat, or rob, or indiscriminately harass and jail whoever they want. And right now it seems the police (especially the police unions) are accustomed to having exactly that latitude. And no, statistically, police officer is not that dangerous a job.

    It seems common to believe police are looking for a reason to restrain and shoot people.

    Considering some of the videos and incidents we've seen, it's evident that yes, some police officers are indeed looking for a reason to escalate a situation to violence. This is on account that police have been seen on video unnecessarily escalated situations to violence, often resulting in the severe injury or death of civilians. This is on account that officers discharged for being overly violent typically and routinely get rehired in new precincts to offend again... and again.

    It may correlate with our current trend that some police, such as, Jeronimo Yanez, the one who executed Philando Castile was given days of don't hesitate to kill training and only a couple hours of lecture on de-escalation, but we don't have any clear statistics as to how many other officers have been similarly trained. I know in the 70s the local police of an LA suburb were trained more in negotiation and de-escalation than in tactics. And that was while the Mafia was still in full operation.

    I'm sure there are police who don't do this, on account of knowing some personally who've had a long, illustrious non-violent career of de-escalation. Not all are bad apples. But right now the bad apples are defining policy and the good apples are getting pushed out or forced to keep low and quiet (i.e. cease being good apples).

    Also remember that there are bad neighborhoods where the good people depend on the police for protection.

    Bad neighborhoods are the result of ineffective policing, usually when a county decides a given district deserves less priority on the presumption the people there deserve less. Then street gangs form as a reaction to this lack of state presence. It's nice that sometimes a bad neighborhood might get someone that wants to make a difference, but remember, ghettos were made through preferentialism. The impoverished never choose to live in crime-ridden squalor. They're forced there.

  • Oct 21st, 2016 @ 10:44am

    A modern version?

    A few bad clementines will spoil the whole five-pound bag.

    Works practically and as a metaphor.

  • Oct 21st, 2016 @ 10:25am

    BLM and the NAACP are ABOUT racism.

    Black Lives Matter is addressing the issue that white lives are preserved in ways that non-white lives (e.g. the lives of blacks) are not, and that's a racial discrepancy. If black lives mattered the way that white lives mattered, the number of innocent blacks killed by police would not be disproportionately high compared to the number of whites.

    The NAACP was similarly founded to give black individuals a boost in academic advancement specifically to counteract what was an obvious disparity in opportunity: more blacks eligible for advanced college educations were being rejected or forced out due to financial concerns than whites. From what I understand their efforts are only partially successful, and they aren't even able to reduce that disparity by even half.

    (Granted, neither organization addresses the issue cleanly, whites vs. non-whites or blacks vs. non-blacks, so if you want to accuse them of racism you can point out that they don't help non-whites outside the African-American demographic.)

  • Oct 20th, 2016 @ 10:32am

    It's still the wrong bowl of skittles.

    Using John Oliver's numbers, out of all the Syrian refugees we've already accepted in the last fourteen years, only three have been arrested on terrorism-related charges (without actually committing any acts of terror), so we can say they were skittles that were rejected for maybe being poisonous.

    Those three were found in a bowl of skittles 784,000 strong, so a bowl of 500 liters of Skittles, weighing 3.13 metric tons.

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