Uriel-238’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Oct 5th, 2015 @ 7:04pm

    Consitutional protection.

    I think the argument from foreign opinions is that our right to keep and bear arms is a mistake, and that we should remove that right from the US Bill of Rights.

    In that regard it's not enough that our right is codified within the constitution, but why. And this is not a thing well understood within nations that were not elevated by revolution. Our framers predicted that our system would return to a feudal one with segregated castes, and they were right. Our right to bear arms was to keep our representatives nervous, and it didn't keep them nervous enough.

    Our own history has shown a deterioration of that right (which started with militias bearing the same weapons as armies) and a corresponding deterioration of the respect of the people. I can't say it correlates. But I do know that we're seeing that same kind of administrative disrespect the world over, including from those nations with gun control, with no mention of what to do about it.

    In the meantime, I would challenge whether the constitutionality means very much anymore. Even though constitutional rights were supposed to be a line that no law had crossed, now it is only a mechanism by which our courts use (and use inconsistently) to overturn laws.

    In the last two administrations we've seen open refusal of our right to be secure in [our] persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures. Even probable cause is something a law officer tries to invoke before getting a warrant rather than in order to get a warrant.

    Also the whole thing of civil forfeiture seems to bypass constitutional protections with prejudice.

    So does mass surveillance and this push against encryption

    So does extrajudicial detention and interrogation

    So does the whole trade agreement secret laws hack.

    So I think the Constitution of the United States is now in the but some animals are more equal than others phase of its lifespan. It's a device for the continuation of politics, not a rule of the land that we hold sacred.

  • Oct 5th, 2015 @ 2:08pm

    Re: Ugh.


    At least some of these liberties (mountaineering, driving, gun-owning) are worth the risk that people will die as a consequence...

  • Oct 5th, 2015 @ 2:07pm


    gun control laws DO reduce gun violence.

    And banning cars would reduce car crashes.

    And locking people away from mountains would reduce mountaineering accidents.

    At least some of these are worth the risk. And as I've noted before, human beings are crap for deciding what is too dangerous to be worth the risk and what isn't, hence why violent video games have to be sold behind counters in Germany.

    One might make an argument that eliminating guns reduces violence in general, if we actually had stats from an objective source that could measure risk of violence when there are guns, and risk of violence when there are no guns, but plenty of tire irons, meat cleavers and farming implements around.

    We don't have those stats. And a lot of folks that produce stats are about as impartial as the oil industry is about climate change.

  • Oct 5th, 2015 @ 1:58pm

    Oh great.

    Now we can call the Davidian siege the First Waco Massacre.

  • Oct 3rd, 2015 @ 10:52am

    What does God need with a starship?

    National Security is already in danger of becoming a synonym for overclassification to cover for corruption and wrongdoing.

    The only reason there has been cause to doubt is that so far all instances (most instances? The instances reported on by media?) have been related, at least as a satellite, to the War on Terror.

    It's one of the reasons that resentment has been rising about this stupid War on Terrror.

    Personally, I can't imagine how TPP relates to the War on Terror, but let us say that they have a good reason I've yet to fathom. Then that would probably be covered in a section, two at most. Certainly the big pharma sections, the corporate sovereignty sections, and the big media sections have nothing to do with the War on Terror. So National Security would justify opacity for those chapters that actually have to do with securing our borders. Maybe weapons development for DARPA or something. Why hasn't the rest of the charter been made public, those parts that do not pertain to the actual security of our nation?

    What the heck does a trade agreement, even a massive one, have to do with national security?

  • Oct 3rd, 2015 @ 12:35am

    Re: Thank God It Wasnt A Terrorist Shooting

    You mean we are not the terrorists?

  • Oct 2nd, 2015 @ 7:44pm

    That's a variant on ad hominem...

    Related to the poisoning the well variation that goes like Only a traitor would argue that sugar is poor seasoning for porridge

    A generalized form of appeal to virtue?

  • Oct 2nd, 2015 @ 5:56pm

    I don't know about you, but I feel pretty helpless.

    Between law enforcement assaulting whoever they please, officials deciding who is more equal than others, military campaigns in which civilians are nonchalantly massacred, extrajudicial torture, intrajudicial corruption and presumption of guilt, moguls profiteering on war and desperation so that the people are poorer by the day, and jurists and politicians arranging that fewer of our allegedly guaranteed rights mean scratch...yeah, I'm pretty frustrated that there is not a goddamn thing I can do that would make a lick of difference.

    It's coincidentally the same set of feelings that radicalist recruiters look for when looking for candidates for suicide bombings.

    So it wouldn't surprise me that people younger and more impulsive than I would sometimes reach a point where they couldn't stand anymore, when they would finally be done with it all and be compelled to go do something radical and violent.

    In the 20th century we had gang wars and family annihilators. I bet this new generation doesn't have as much in the way of friends or families.

    But I'm only guessing. I don't have real data.

  • Oct 2nd, 2015 @ 5:39pm

    Keep calm?

    Carry on?

    I hear such a policy is pretty helpful for German blitzes and terror campaigns.

    Maybe it would be helpful for rampage killer epidemics as well.

    Maybe public apathy with some effort towards cleanup and condolences to the victims is actually in order.

  • Oct 2nd, 2015 @ 5:14pm

    An internet without anything on it

    It's already been established that such would be a wet dream of big cable, of big media and of high-ranking officers doing shady things in government. All this interaction takes people away from the monodirectional we talk, you listen infotainment model of the 20th century.

    And people sharing data makes it harder to bury scandal and wrongdoing.

    Less money going to the Monopoly men and more hand wringing for the politicos. They would so love to curb that flak that they've tried several times to make ISPs and hoats legally responsible for their user content.

    Including in the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

  • Oct 2nd, 2015 @ 12:45pm

    Safe storage in the towns.

    Towns were certainly a no-shooting zone, but there were enough saloons with hand over your sidearm policies to suggest that the town constabulary wasn't collecting them in typical towns. (I could see the argument that the saloons were the ones that held weapon-check facilities.)

    Guns and inebriation certainly do not mix, though, and we see an elevation of firearm accidents in states that still allow using guns while drunk.

    Here in California, you're only allowed to handle firearms when you're sober enough to fly a plane. I'm pretty sure it's different in Texas.

  • Oct 2nd, 2015 @ 12:36pm

    Actually the US's attempt at democracy was a step away from "Might Makes Right"

    Might Makes Right and the Divine Right of Kings were the foundations of the feudal system that defined the monarchies. That's why lords were descendants of knights and warriors, and not industrialists.

    The problem with Monarchies is that sooner or later you end up with a King Joffrey (or Caligula or William II, if you want real-world examples) who will lay to ruin all the trust the people had in the establishment.

    The notion of Democracy was to curb the problem of plutocratic rule, and also to prevent the Joffreys from getting into office.

    Well, Bush showed us to the degree to which it doesn't work (though GoT nitpickers would point out Bush was more of a Tomlin to Cheney's Cersei.)

    Also the US democratic system presumed that people would know their own best interests and vote for them, and not vote defensively to keep out the worst evil. So it's like all first-versions, buggy buggy buggy.

  • Oct 2nd, 2015 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Re:

    Mason Wheeler raises a good point when FOIAs are responded to with tall reams of documentation.

    Huge piles are lots of fun for the press as giant treasure hunts, and sifting through them is actually augmented by competition to find the tasty dirty bits first.

    While not FOIA releases per se, data dumps from hacks such as the Ashley Madison debacle have shown how that works.

  • Oct 2nd, 2015 @ 12:05pm

    Recent history has shown exactly that.

    We've seen a number of news agencies reporting the official story as truth and putting pro-establishment op-ed pieces in the forefront.

    essentially Terrorists will eat our children if we don't give them unlimited power to override our rights. Emergency! Emergency! Emergency!

    That may be exaggerated hyperbole. I think they only said Emergency! as in State of... once.

  • Oct 2nd, 2015 @ 1:12am


    Now I get it. You are living in a completely different world than I am.

    Good to know in advance that you'll dismiss what I say without reading it based on presumptions.

  • Oct 2nd, 2015 @ 1:07am

    "Nobody is truly responsible for anything"

    I may not be thinking clearly, having just finished playing The Beginner's Guide but...

    Isn't that the way it already is? That no nobody is truly responsible for anything?

    We've been watching for, what, years now? That the United States is made of of three castes, and none of them have much in the way of responsibility.

    Agents of Law Enforcement, who are self-governing and not very much of that, so they get to engage in whatever runner-shooting, nub-kicking, asset forfeiting behavior they wish with impunity.

    High-ranking officials, whether in companies or in government or even both, who can afford legal defense enough to escape justice, but but also can afford to hire other people to do their dirty work for them and take the hit when things don't go right. If one of them doesn't like what you said, they can just hire people to make your life miserable.

    And then there's the rest of us, and we have the opposite problem which is that we'll be found guilty of whatever law enforcement can bust us for, and the question is not whether we're guilty, but just how long in prison we'll spend, because a jury of peers will convict a ham sandwich. It doesn't matter what you might or might not have done, once you're in the court system your chances of acquittal are slim at best, especially if there are any officers at all who are willing to attest you to your guilt (and there are).

    We've seen many incidents in which people have been taken to task for what they said online, specifically when what they said was not all that offensive, or was taken out of context or decided that it could have been taking out of context to indicate a plot of terror.

    Really, anytime one of us posts, we risk offending someone that doesn't like dissent or doesn't like rap lyrics or doesn't like whatever it was they said, all they need is the ear of an eager and nearby precinct, and that person is disappeared into the justice system after their front door is busted down by a SWAT team.

    Whether no-one is punished or everyone is punished or people are arbitrarily punished for being in the wrong place at the wrong time there's no justice. There's no accountability. There's no responsibility.

    It's absurd any of us would expect responsibility or responsible behavior in the current clime. Those of us who are civil are because we choose to be, not because we fear just retribution from any direction.

  • Oct 1st, 2015 @ 10:46pm

    "Release of draft agreements would 'harm national security.'"

    The public would find the laws therein and the notion of trying to have them passed so reprehensible that it would destabilize the public trust in their own administrators.

  • Oct 1st, 2015 @ 7:54pm

    Google drops Amazon search hits

    I think they'd do better to play fair and to leave hits in place.

    The reason Google became the synonym for web-searching is because they would include everything and organize it according to what you were most likely to want.

    At the point they stop including everything, they cease becoming the go-to search engine.

    Already they're losing that position due to their decision to omit torrent sites, alleged hate sites and sites related to contraband (generally for purposes of legal self defense, but it is still impacting their userbase).

    So yeah, Amazon being petty is a good reason for Google to not respond in kind.

  • Oct 1st, 2015 @ 6:50pm

    Alternate place to view video...

    For the rest of you who have completely blocked facebook...

  • Oct 1st, 2015 @ 5:33pm

    And so I, the end user, am to assume...

    ...Prime Video isn't a very good product given that Amazon feels the need to hobble the others in their marketplace to compete with it.

    Smells like Bing.

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