Uriel-238’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Apr 14th, 2017 @ 2:31pm

    "It appears the DOJ will no longer be in the business of policing the police."

    Over the years we've determined they suck at it, so maybe independent third parties should be policing the police after all.

    This is the sort of vacuum that mafias and mobs will fill if we can't get a nice agency or non-profit to do it. (And do it effectively, that is to say they have to have teeth.)

    The police are not going to like it if they have to play nice and pay lofty protection fees or see their families perish in house fires.

    Mobs historically have never played nice.

  • Apr 14th, 2017 @ 2:22pm

    Fake medical reasons

    Who here is determining whether or not a given medical reason is fake?

    Considering how the DoJ has a hard time determining innocence, the notion of creating a sufficiently impartial review panel is dubious.

    In my line of work, I see a lot of disabled people who, themselves, see a lot of disabled people, and it is curious how often we encounter someone who believes my disability is real, but everyone else's is fake.

    Curiously there's a similar problem with abortions, where abortion is immoral, except my own

    Statistically, welfare fraud is rare, and we lose more money trying to find it and investigate it than we do from the fraud itself.

  • Apr 14th, 2017 @ 12:17pm

    I'm in a Comcast monopoly region

    Either I go Comcast or I go dark.

    That's not entirely true. I could go satellite with a low data cap for twice as much, and I have considered an unlimited phone service, if i could find one that didn't eventually throttle (usually around 25-30gb for those Unlimited-for-realsies packages).

    So really, Comcast is my only plausible choice, even as they get less so with time.

    When AT&T was a monopoly for land lines, what would have been the alternative then? Communication by post?

  • Apr 11th, 2017 @ 12:33pm

    Re: Really, no one?

    In corporate US, TV watches you.

    I don't think we take seriously the notion that we're a democracy anymore. Some people have been corrected on these forums America is a republic

    According to the Oxford study, it's behaved mostly as a corporate oligarchy since the early 20th century. And the rate of corruption is still a net positive, so that government agencies increasingly follow the will of corporate interests rather than public interests.

    In the failed democracy, the United States of America, TV watches you. (As do all our appliances and devices.)

  • Apr 7th, 2017 @ 9:50pm

    A better law...

    ...would exact specific penalties to agents who violate the constitutional rights of persons of the public with whom they interact, from increasing fines to (say) mandated prison time after many repeated violations.

    The problem with our system as it stands is that there is no impetus to follow any law, all the way up to the Constitution of the United States. Law enforcement, including ICE and CBP officers, are above the law, and can (and often do) get away with murder frequently.

    It's not going to happen in the current administration (regime?) but nothing less than a system with near-certain detection and enforced penalties is going to make any change.

    Our police forces love to bust heads, and only now in the age of ubiquitous cameras are we seeing this.

  • Apr 7th, 2017 @ 9:28pm

    Statutory rape.

    Statutory rape very much applies if both participants are minors, and prosecutors in some counties have been inclined to try both of them separately as having raped the other.

    This is why most states have Romeo and Juliet laws, which give persons of similar age immunity to statutory rape. (Though if one can claim the other forced or coerced them, you still have a case.

    We've seen incidents in the last decade in which statutory rape still applied, for instance when two underage girls were caught playing around. Lesbian sex was not covered by the state's R&J laws, so the trials happened anyway.

    Yes, when kids get too interested in sex too soon and behave like kids, US society LOVES to ruin their lives for them.

  • Apr 7th, 2017 @ 12:30pm

    Being an American citizen is criminal.

    Our legal system can indict a ham sandwich and find a workable case on pretty much anyone.

    And we still have this attitude where a conviction means justice is served and an acquittal means the culprit evaded justice on a technicality. We never assume an acquittal means law enforcement arrested the wrong guy.

    So, yeah, we're all criminals evading the attention of the law.

  • Apr 7th, 2017 @ 12:27pm

    Re: "search" as in fugitive or contraband?

    Most detection dogs are terriers, the same breed from which we get pit bulls.

    Police have attack dogs, rescue dogs, trackers and detection dogs.

    Attack dogs are trained to guard a spot, intimidate and harrass targets. War dogs are trained to kill. Police dogs are supposed to be trained not to kill.

    Rescue dogs have some tracking but are trained to intercept targets and push them over. The presumption is that they're disoriented, not hostile.

    Tracking dogs will, given a scent, follow it to its source.

    Detection dogs are trained specifically for a scent or set of scents (commonly drug contraband or explosives). We use them best in airports to find substances in large piles of luggage.

    Then there's highway patrol dogs, which seem to signal whenever the handler wants. I don't know what their training is, except to serve as a probable-cause machine.

  • Apr 7th, 2017 @ 1:17am

    We could also...

    register him permanently as a sex offender, and wreck his future in many, many careers.

    Or simply execute him. Rather than ruin lives, why don't we spare everyone the agony of having to continue regarding him.

    You know, a lot of problems would be solved if we just expanded the range of capital crimes.

  • Apr 7th, 2017 @ 1:14am

    Teen anal sex

    During the Aughts, Bush pushed abstinence-only sex ed hard across the nation. A-O sex-ed often includes a lot of conservative-Christian-values dogma, and in counties that used A-O as a religious inroad to public education, countless kids were taught that if they had sex even once the girl was ruined for life. Even if she was raped.

    (A few rape survivors who have spearheaded an organized activism front to discontinue A-O sex-ed, and oppose public schools from teaching that a woman's value is contingent on her sexual history.)

    In a lot of counties that implemented A-O, teen pregnancy skyrocketed (and in some cases, never recovered).

    And in a lot of cases, girls who were taught to value their virginity above all else (yet who were interested in sexual experimentation) instead would negotiate fellatio and anal with their partners instead of coitus.

    So in a lot of states that are not California, teen anal is still pretty commonplace.

  • Apr 7th, 2017 @ 1:02am

    Two minors in CA having sex is a misdemeanor.

    Statutory rape is a misdemeanor in CA if the ages of the participants are near each other. It's only if there's a wide difference in ages does it become a felony.

    This incident looks clearly like someone was trying to make an example of Mike H. I wonder if there's a social connection between C.C.'s family and acting officials in the legal department.

    Or the DA just didn't like Mike H. and wanted to ruin him.

  • Apr 7th, 2017 @ 12:48am

    So, money laundering is not just for criminals anymore?

    When the government agencies regard your work as criminal no matter what we do, only personal ethics drive us to engage in legitimate work, if illegitimate work is any more lucrative.

    Especially if the costs of doing criminal business now have to be applied to ordinary business.

    It's a wonder anyone does business in the US if they have the option to do otherwise.

  • Apr 6th, 2017 @ 4:50pm

    Re: The math is the answer

    Here in the US, Monopolies were supposed to be illegal, once. We broke up AT&T over a monopoly and threatened Microsoft over one. We've even broken up some power companies over monopolies.

    How do cable companies get by with so many regional monopolies?

    I assume its regulatory capture: they've gotten their own shills into office. Ajit Pai has behaved like a Comcast shill for years now.

  • Apr 6th, 2017 @ 4:46pm

    MINILUV has some explanations for it.

    My experience (which is mostly testimonial) is that the majority of those who voted for Trump did so because they felt so much hatred and antipathy for Clinton.

    They don't regard Trump's intentions or competence rather than he makes me feel better.

    Which is consistent with Trump's sales philosophy.

  • Apr 6th, 2017 @ 6:38am

    Police have rights in America.

    There are plenty of academic discussions of the Bill of Rights and its intent mandating application to all persons foreign and domestic.

    But as application goes, rights quickly dissolve once agents or officials (typically prosecutors and law enforcement) decide you're a threat to their interests, e.g. you have something they want or allegedly have done something they resent.

    This is how we can have detection dogs with high rates of false positives count as probable cause, or civil forfeiture in the face constitutional protections against unreasonable seizure. This is how the right to not self-incriminate is discarded when a judge wants encrypted data to be unlocked. It's how we sustain a 90% conviction rate, and a higher incarceration rate than any other nation in the world.

    So really, tourists have the same rights the rest of us do, specifically none at all except the ones that the Department of Justice deign to allow us at a given moment.

  • Apr 5th, 2017 @ 12:32pm

    "Citizenship is not a Race"

    Sometimes it is.

    We don't mandate proof of citizenship here in the US. Oh, we've batted about the notion of national IDs and the necessity for US adults to carry them and present them to authorities, but that's to federalist even for Republicans, so such programs don't get off the ground.

    And yet...only those who pass as white get this advantage. Plenty of Latins (for example) who are legally here, whether by visa, green-card or are in fact US citizens, are often harassed, detained, incarcerated or even deported (to where?) on the basis that they're non-whites without valid ID, hence can't prove they legitimately belong in the United States.

    The same goes for most other non-white races. The same harassment policy applies to black Americans as well, but we don't deport them. Instead we just throw them into prison.

  • Apr 5th, 2017 @ 12:23pm

    everyone not a citizen also not a person.

    I guess that means the United states government considers everyone not a citizen to also not be a person.

    If we consider actions by the government since the aughts, US citizens aren't persons either.

  • Apr 5th, 2017 @ 12:18pm

    "Hmmm...that name looks familiar!"

    Right now I look over the WaPo headlines to check the world didn't end since yesterday, and I saw this bit and recognized the byline as a... name that crops up in Techdirt frequently.

    Well, that can't be good.

    consumers face a unique lack of choice and competition in the broadband marketplace. But that claim doesn’t hold up to scrutiny either.

    My previous residence used Sonic, which just sent them assurance that at lest it would stick to its your internet activity is none of our business privacy policy and not expand into data analysis.

    Meanwhile where I currently live is in a Comcast regional monopoly.

    Doesn't hold up to scrutiny, my ass.

  • Apr 4th, 2017 @ 3:10pm

    Video games are part of my depression / anxiety treatment.

    ...and have been for years, even when video games were purported to rot my brain and incline me towards violence. And numerous PTSD (military vet or otherwise) cases I've encountered rely on video games as part of their coping system.

    Incidentally, when fiction of scandal and intrigue first became available, it was thought that women would not be able to differentiate between fantasy and reality.

    It turns out our ability to differentiate is so effective it works against us. Drone pilots face a job that is supposed to have all the distancing advantages of video games, yet they have to grieve and agonize about the civilians they were ordered to massacre. It's a factor shortening the service careers of the pilots, and we're not recruiting replacements fast enough.

    So yeah, shooting zombies in game is a lot easier than shooting enemies -- even doomed, infected, mindless ones -- in real life.

  • Apr 1st, 2017 @ 10:51am

    how about storing files in "directories"?

    I still call them directories much to the confusion of clients that have never used DOS or a command line.

    The manilla folder icon will eventually go the way of the floppy disk save icon and the handset phone icon in that soon fewer people will have ever experienced what that icon represents than haven't.

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