Uriel-238’s Techdirt Profile


About Uriel-238

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  • Jan 23rd, 2017 @ 7:12am

    "Stop voting in tool bags like Obama, or Hillary, or Trump"

    Those are the options we're given.

    If we want better options we have to kill FPTP.

    And that will take a massive grassroots push for election reform.

    Though, now that we have a fast-talking salesman in office, a push for election reform might gain some traction.

  • Jan 21st, 2017 @ 5:00pm

    Re: That is a red plus sign.

    Any perpendicular intersection of two lines can be called a croix or cross. The specific lengths of segments are particular to proper characters, including the Protestant Cross (or Catholic Crucifix, which properly has a man nailed to it)

    When the Red Cross was considering its symbol, there were debates as to whether it should be associated with Christianity or not, and they decided on the red cross with arms of even length. So as to be related, but not too related.

    This is why there are other symbols such as the Red Crescent used in places where the croix is contraversial. The Red Losenge is used where crosses and crescents are both contraversial. (Though, before, they had a number of alternative symbols, including a red swastika.)

    In the meantime, a plus sign is still a cross, as are crosshairs. They're just not a proper religious cross.

  • Jan 20th, 2017 @ 5:54pm

    The Red Cross has become de-genericized. Use the Star of Life instead.

    I wrote a blog piece about this.

    TLDR: The Red Cross (and its sister symbols, including the Red Crescent and Red Losenge) was originally intended to become genericized as a universal symbol that could be posted anywhere to mean get your first aid here. In the mid 20th century, The Red Cross organization wanted more and more for the symbol to be identified with the organization, and less just as a generic symbol for first aid.

    At first The Red Cross started challenging use by toymakers and television studios, but even civilian medical services it didn't like started getting challenged. Early responses were to repaint crosses red-orange, or to put a white cross on a red field.

    Since then the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration created the Star of Life, a big blue asterisk, often adorned with a Rod of Asclepius. While the US NHTSA still holds the rights to the Star of Life, they're encouraging its use as a generic First Aid here symbol. Almost all first aid kits, ambulances and hospitals in the US have replaced Red Crosses and similar symbols with the Star of Life.

  • Jan 19th, 2017 @ 1:58pm

    Remember that this was the also the anniversary of...

    The Kim Dotcom raid. It was (for me at least) the first indicator that big corporations can hire the DoJ as a mercenary service to use the color of law as a weapon to take out disruptive businesses.

    Dotcom's case is still in process, where the United States is using a shotgun spread of ambiguous charges such as conspiracy to put him in jail.

    All is assets were seized as well, so as to prevent him from mounting a defense (that got partially overturned later).

    This started on the same day as the SOPA blackouts.

  • Jan 14th, 2017 @ 5:16pm

    Ten fathoms deep on the road to hell

    When the wind's fury drives your boat, the crew gets less a benefit of the breeze.

    And when you tax culture to fill your coffers, its esteem suffers in kind.

    Some of us cannot afford the inflated costs of content, especially when the gatesmen treat it as certificate or vellum as they like.

    And some of us wouldn't give coin to men who cheat their own by cooking the numbers, confounding talent and technician with letters and semantics.

    But for all that we buccaneers bedevil the seas, the content itself suffers more when we refuse to sail. Content thrives on eyes and ears, and avarice of the troupe will turn the house blind, deaf and dumb.

    And they lay there that took the plum / With sightless glare and their lips struck dumb / While we shared all by the rule of thumb,

    Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

  • Jan 13th, 2017 @ 2:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Talk about fake news

    I thought fake news is rumor or counterfactual claims that are presented as genuine news.

    The Onion might qualify as fake news if it's not recognized as satire, though since The Onion does satire exclusively, and most readers recognize most Onion articles immediately as satire, it doesn't qualify as fake news.

    I'm not so sure about tabloid news. My impression is that many people who read it believe it.

    A more classic term for fake news would be false propaganda which is to say, news releases that are intended to sway minds towards an ideology, where the details are counterfactual.

    What seems important about fake news is not merely that it's false, but it's intended to sway minds how to vote and how to act. There's a term for that...

    Incitement? Instigation?

  • Jan 13th, 2017 @ 12:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The US Two-party system hasn't worked for a while.

    Were there incidents in which Clinton offered to pay the legal fees of someone who committed assault at one of her rallies? Or something similar happened?

    I may not be a professional historian, but considering the magnitude of the tragedy in Germany, it's something certainly worth studying, if nothing else to understand how to prevent it from happening again.

    And we are seeing a number of comparable symptoms today.

  • Jan 13th, 2017 @ 12:36pm

    You didn't actually answer my question.

    The video lost me at How liberals really feel.... Neither liberals nor conservatives nor feminists nor gamers nor /b-tards can be expected to monolithically adhere to a given precept, even when it comes to those that should be axiomatic for them.

    Besides which, the Democratic party in the 1960s was significantly different (and divided) in comparison to what it is today. Contrast George Wallace and Jack Kennedy.

    Similarly, Nixon was an education president and gave zero fucks about abortion. The Republican party has been sorely corrupted by the Religious Right which came into power in the 80s. Ronald Reagan heralded the religious-affiliation era of the GOP and almost started a thermonuclear war over it, since he couldn't tolerate those godless Soviets being godless.

    But yeah, in the 50s and 60s Dixie was Democrats from one end to the other.

    Since you're confused, though, I call myself a liberal. I am probably more spooked by mean-looking black guys at a bus stop than I'm spooked by mean-looking white guys (mean-looking being the relevant factor there), but I'd give them both time and directions. What I feel about a given people -- including Trump supporters, mind you, at whom I remain livid -- is incidental to how they should be regarded, which is on the pretense that we are all created equal and should have equal regard.

    Get it?

  • Jan 13th, 2017 @ 12:16pm

    Re: Re: The US Two-party system hasn't worked for a while.

    Except that he played on the marginalization of huge swaths of Americans in order to appeal to the proles and endorsed violence against anyone who spoke against him. Trump rallies were markedly similar to National Socialist rallies in the 1930s.

    He is anti-establishment, but he's not reform anti-establishment, he's watch-the-world-burn anti-establishment, and I'm terrified we're going to soon be regretting the loss of those parts of establishment that we liked.

  • Jan 13th, 2017 @ 12:11pm

    Re: Re: The US Two-party system hasn't worked for a while.

    It pissed me off that Clinton was handled with kid gloves when she fell under fire of the CFAA and Espionage acts while we have activists and whistleblowers who languish in prison for doing no more than she did.

    But where Clinton was one of America's elite and immune to the common law that oppresses the rest of us Trump is, by comparison, a monster. He loves only himself, and was happy to marginalize (if not outlaw) large blocs of Americans to win the election.

    I worry that he is so addicted to winning and afraid of losing that he will scorch the earth, possibly literally, when his hour is done.

    I came to terms with my distaste for Clinton's position in the elite because it was a choice between a bandit and a demon from beyond the pale. At least the bandit could be negotiated with. At least she'd respond to activist pressure.

    To be fair, though, I've not been able to trust the Republican party since Bush. He, too, was voted in with a majority and campaigned as a slightly-right moderate, a compassionate conservative, but once in office he went far right, and that was even before 9/11.

    Since 2001, (more thanks to Tom Delay than bush) the GOP doesn't compromise. They don't negotiate across the line, and they prioritize partisanship over governance, so yeah, a Republican dominated regime has gone from inconvenient to outright hostile.

  • Jan 13th, 2017 @ 5:44am

    The US Two-party system hasn't worked for a while.

    At least not for we, the people. It works great for limiting our choices so we have to choose someone wholly corporate-owned.

    The problem is we made it too difficult to change.

  • Jan 12th, 2017 @ 10:35pm

    considering Trump always lies, what he says is useless anyway.

    More accurately: considering Trump's reality continuously changes, what he says is useless anyway.

    The press will need to start taking a more empirical approach to the presidency, ignoring what he telegraphs he'll do for what orders he's made, and what those orders mean (or could mean) on the context of prior, related orders.

    It might be a good era for career hackers as well if they can intercept intra-office communications.

    Considering the duplicitous nature of US national politics such a change may prove to be ultimately for the better. Pics or it didn't happen: we believe the intents of our officials only when we see results.

  • Jan 11th, 2017 @ 9:40pm

    Re: Re: Trump the Vampire?

    I take from your response you believe Trump's claim of millions of illegal votes in California, then?

    Voter suppression and gerrymandering aren't the same as election fraud, nor is a Russian state-supported hacking and propaganda campaign with willful intent to throw the election.

  • Jan 11th, 2017 @ 8:10pm

    Re: Unlocked phones

    Better yet, there are phones that never were locked in the first place.

  • Jan 11th, 2017 @ 12:50pm

    Infinite regression...

    These fees help cover increased cost to provide customers believable justifications for increasing their fees.

  • Jan 11th, 2017 @ 6:44am

    Your daily reminder that...

    ...asset seizure is punitive with presumption of guilt, and is specifically unconstitutional.

  • Jan 10th, 2017 @ 5:42pm

    Trump the Vampire?

    Is he a time traveler/vampire?

    No. Trump just hired consultant teams for his campaign to incite grassroots voter suppression. It worked too. He also raised the specter of voter fraud, which is the classic Republican justification for laws intended to suppress votes, even though our incidents of detected voter fraud (including in this campaign) are very few. In districts peopled with higher numbers of non-whites and an active suppression campaign (often enabled by a local administration antagonistic to racial minorities) voter turnout was noticeably less than the mode and Clinton got fewer votes. A common counter-suggestion is that Black people are too lazy to vote.

    A number of underhanded methods were personally endorsed by Trump to take the presidency despite the actual will of the people. This isn't particular to Trump, but is common practice among the GOP, but it does imply that they have to do this to win, and would lose elections if they didn't resort to subversive measures.

    How would a Vampire Trump be particularly capable of rigging the election? Stinkin'-rich Trump has a lot more appropriate super powers.

    And no, the electoral college is necessary safeguard to keep less populous states from being dominated by larger ones.

    That's only the weighting effect of the electoral college, not the part where the electorates can vote for whoever they want regardless of the candidate they're assigned. There are really two separate components to the Electoral College.

    If we wanted to weight some territories or demographics more than others, there are much better ways to do it (e.g. count landowner votes as 1.5 votes and everyone else's as 1.0 votes or White Male votes as 1.66 votes and everyone else as 1.0 votes).

    Of course, when we do that, the unfairness of it is more evident. Giving weight to whites or Christians or ruralites or the affluent is antithetical to the principle of equality under law.

    Regarding the winner-take-all thing, a popular count makes every vote important and worth campaigning effort, since states (or even districts) are no longer rounded to be red or blue. This would also end the problem of gerrymandering which is an exploit of a policy of rounding to the lead.

    It was recently observed that both Texas and California are really rather purple, so neither would be a party bulwark. Votes would count whether from California or Michigan or Hawaii or Kentucky.

    The winner-take-all factor is an artifact from a time when few people were mathematically literate and adding machines were rare. In this age, we can dispense with devices we used to make the calculations easy because almost everyone has access to math and (at least) handheld calculators.

    ...except that the way things are benefit one party, and that party would rather game the system to stay in power, rather than changing their platform with the times. Politics is the art of the possible, and the GOP can continue to use exploits to control the system, but then you can no longer call the United States a democracy.

    And you can't suggest that the Democratic party should take on a more conservative platform to get more votes. You can, but while the GOP is cheating to win, the Demos are still going to be at a disadvantage.

    You can suggest that the RNC organize like the GOP to implement their own system exploits so that both sides are subverting the US election system. They're also subverting democracy, then, and the people will have less and less say as elections are determined by who utilized the exploits the best, or who discovered the best gamebreaker.

    This is normal. Plenty of authoritarian regimes choose to rule by technicality and refusing to reform broken systems. But they openly give zero fucks about what is best for the people, or what they want.

    That's what you're doing as a Trump supporter, giving zero fucks about what happens to the United States and the plurality of peoples that make its citizenry.

    So no. Don't think the Trump regime is in any way legitimate. Don't try to pretend that it's popular. Don't assume that Trump is well liked, and don't think that you will be forgiven for supporting a petty, spiteful, violent regime that disenfranchised people and relied on foreign intervention to weasel its way into office.

    Instead own it. Don't support trump because you think he's going to Make America Great Again or Drain The Swamp (both of those are pure jingoism). Support trump because you like charismatic authoritarians. Support Trump because you like having permission to hate those different from you. Support Trump because you like feeling like one of a privileged elite over the rest of us shlubs. Support Trump because you believe winning, even by subterfuge, is more important than sportsmanlike conduct. Support Trump because you are a staunch Republican and Trump, for all his ugliness, was the best the Republican party could do this time around. Support Trump because you love Trump more than you love America, or yourself.

    Support Trump, and revel in his victory. But do not pretend that he won fair and square. Do not pretend he is, in any way, the people's choice, or the better choice. (Not that Clinton was a strong candidate either, but she's not as bad as Trump by orders of magnitude.)

    Trump knows he's popularly despised, which is why he feels compelled to respond when someone voices it. (More so than he feels compelled to run the country, for certain.) That compulsion may well be his undoing.

  • Jan 9th, 2017 @ 11:51pm

    America's imperialist history of rigging elections

    If the US survives long enough to recover, and this experience gives us empathy enough to change our national foreign policy to cease our interventionist ways and seek to preserve the integrity of foreign democratic elections, it will be a proud day to be an American, indeed.

    I doubt it will happen. The United States appears to be peopled with imbeciles. But it would be a grand day if it did.

  • Jan 9th, 2017 @ 11:38pm

    You keep using that word...

    Whining, taken literally, is an auditory effect, like the whining of a dog or the whine of an engine. Applied to a verbal milieu such as an internet forum or a newspaper editorial, it becomes dismissive hyperbole for voicing a grievance.

    Dismissive as in disinterested in any consideration that the grievance might have legitimacy. You won, and you give zero fucks as to who might suffer as a result. Yes?

    Not. Your. Problem.

    But no one here was complaining that the election was lost by Clinton. A fact is a common observance. Clinton won the majority. We counted. Neither Clinton's majority nor Trump's electoral victory are in dispute.

    But, Anonymous Coward, the defensiveness indicated by your presumption that it was the expression of a grievance, and your premature effort to dismiss it as whining can be easily inferred to mean you are sensitive that Trump's technical victory is not confirmed by a popular majority. Trump won only by the distrust of our constitutional framers regarding a pure democracy.

    As did Republican President George W. Bush, and we all saw how that turned out.

    So, maybe you should be sensitive about it. Recent history suggests Republicans can only get elected by exploiting the technical vulnerabilities of the system, not just by sustaining the Electoral College, but also through acknowledged voter suppression campaigns and gerrymandering. The magnitude of subversion of the system serves as an open admission that the GOP could not win fairly-run elections, but have to game the system to have a chance at all.

    In Trump's case, he had to depend also on demagoguery and interference by a foreign state and a rogue agency director just to win. Not to landslide, but win by a technicality, without a majority.

    Trump knows that his Presidency is the result of a well-rigged system and not the choice of the people. He personally helped to rig it.

    But it bothers him.

  • Jan 9th, 2017 @ 6:44pm

    Smart! Sad!

    Um, the Republicans keep on winning because they suppress votes, circulate false news and implement projects to gerrymander the entire nation, one county at a time. The GOP cast of committees and projects to game elections in their favor is extensive, notorious and public. Many of them are found on Wikipedia. The implication is, of course, that if the Republican party allowed for a fair election, they'd lose, and lose hard.

    They have to do these things. They have to disenfranchise, and intimidate, and cheat in elections to win, so yeah, the Democratic party is going to lose if they expect the Republican party to play fair. Granted, the Democrats are notoriously disorganized, depending on grassroots support.

    Regarding Trump's -isms maybe you just don't keep track of elections, but an easy google search should direct you to Trump's specific incidents. On the other hand, maybe you respect people who regard women as meat and will grab their bits because they know they won't retaliate against someone with the fame and wealth to bury them. Maybe you're okay being represented by a guy who raped a thirteen year old little girl (not just once, mind you) and then threw money and hired thugs to intimidate the legal problem away. Maybe you're okay having for President a guy who has repeatedly failed to pay his workers for his building projects, and is currently in 4000+ court cases which will continue while he is President for breaking contractual obligations.

    I suspect those things didn't come up because you were too busy actually researching the Bengazi incident, yes?

    Maybe you're okay with someone who has every intent to fleece the nation to feed his own coffers, probably to pardon himself and flee to Monaco after he resigns. Because he's smart.

    Incidentally you're going to have to be specific about who's crying wolf and what they're crying wolf about. It sounds more like (considering your reference to -isms) that you don't respect identity groups outside your own, and are glad for a president who thinks all Muslims are terrorists and all Mexicans are rapists. Because fuck those guys, right?

    I'd hope not, but there are a lot of Trump supporters who feel the same way and are so glad to have a President they can relate to and understand who the real Americans are.

    Or you may be one of the people so frustrated with trying to break even that you voted for him to watch the world burn. I hope so for your sake. Because, I expect, that's the only group who will be satisfied with consequences of a Trump presidency.

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