Uriel-238’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Dec 1st, 2016 @ 8:25pm

    The amazing disappearing Americans.

    There isn't supposed to be any requirement for US citizens to carry ID while in the United States. I suspect this doesn't stop overenthusiastic law enforcement officers from deporting people who look too Latin. I also bet it's difficult to track how many Americans get deported.

    But considering that American citizens got Gitmo'd (or Extraordinarily Rendered) to get tortured and detained indefinitely without due process, I suspect that, yes, a proportionate number of Americans are regularly deported to nations where they are not citizens. And few people bother to try to track them down.

  • Nov 30th, 2016 @ 1:56pm

    Basket of deplorables

    So Clinton's basket of deplorables commentwas referring to 32 million voters, now that we have the results. That compares to the:

    42 million black Americans that Trump generalized as all being in ghettos on welfare and have nothing to lose. He calls them the blacks and seeks to facilitate the system that channels them into prisons and graves. I believe he imagines the blacks will be Miss Housekeeping once we expatriate all the Latins.

    55 million Latin Americans that Trump regards as criminal and illegal Americans, even saying they're rapists. Considering that there's no required documentation to be an American (yet) it'll be interesting to see if he errs on evicting two many illegals or too few.

    3 million Muslim Americans that Trump is considering registering or even interning. I wonder how long it's going to be before we decide it's too expensive sustaining all these Muslims, and we have a Muslim Problem

    125 women in the United states (which shares cross section with the groups above) that Trump feels it is acceptable to sexually assault and harass, even when they are underage.

    Considering the policies and staff selections by Trump, these attitudes do not appear to have changed since after the election.

    Anonymous Coward if, in order for a party to win an election in the United States, they need to offer demagogues and monsters as candidates who imply permission to the rest of us to forgo civilization for our baser (more tribal) natures, I'd regard the United States as a failure, and would rather keep losing and instead retain my personal integrity.

    But that's just me. I understand that for Trump losing is so terrible a prospect that he will lie, cheat and even murder in order to say he's won.

    PS: I, too, cringed at Clinton's basket of deplorables line too, but as with many matters, there seems to be an abundance of eagerness to look at Clinton's scandals and not compare them or contrast them to the cornucopia of scandals and problems that surround Trump.

    It's like Trump gets special exceptions in the minds of those who've decided he's the new hero of the United States.

    And that, to me is more troubling than Trump himself. Are we really that gullible? That manipulable? Is it really that hard to see his authoratariansim? His complete lack of morality? His psychopathia?

  • Nov 30th, 2016 @ 1:18pm

    There is no room for lapses of judgement.

    Part of the problem is that the justice system has no checks or balances for lapses in judgement.

    When a judge shows a lapse in judgement innocent people go to prison for life. Innocent people die.

    So no, until our system is such that it takes three judges (or nine) to sign a warrant, until the fourth amendment is stringently enforced, until we criminalize use of new technology for detection until it is rigorously tested and regulated, until we tolerate not one false positive dog sniff (or any other test to get probable cause)...

    Then no. One incident of a lapse in judgement should disbar a prosecutor, dismissal of a judge, or the firing of an officer with prejudice.

    People die from lapses in judgement within our legal system, and for that we have no respect for the legal system. It's only there because they hold the guns and they use the guns to stay in position.

  • Nov 22nd, 2016 @ 12:41pm

    Sean Gjerde is not notable enough to be on Wikipedia (yet).

    If he was, he could manage his reputation there, and then convince the agencies to use his article as a source that explains his exoneration.

    ...as well as his profound flatulence.

  • Nov 21st, 2016 @ 6:01pm

    Re: Re: Win-Win for the lawmaker

    They sometimes argue that it's tough on crime, usually meaning that it assures more convictions on false pretenses than before.

  • Nov 21st, 2016 @ 2:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: I'll just leave this here...

    Regulatory Capture is, yes, a hazard. As is Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy.

    And yes, we need a better way to combat these eventualities than we have.

    But to say we shouldn't regulate anything is to say the United States has failed, because the experiment of unregulated (or insufficiently regulated) capitalism has only proven to be worse.

    Or maybe you like child labor and toxified water tables and cell phones that auto-immolate.

  • Nov 21st, 2016 @ 12:16pm

    If it was "economic terrorism ON A COMPUTER"

    ...it would have passed in a heartbeat.

  • Nov 21st, 2016 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Re: I'll just leave this here...

    I'm sure we're pretty fond of some kinds of regulation. Meat inspection, net neutrality, electrical standards, what your neighbor can or cannot acceptably do with drones, and so on.

    We could use some additional agencies we don't have, say a public advocate of the public domain.

  • Nov 10th, 2016 @ 12:10am

    "We just torched the political establishment."

    No. You elected a guy who promised to magically fix things, implying at most he'll torch the establishment.

    It sounds like he plans on serving an already established platform, just the one other than Obama's.

    Don't hold your breath waiting for his mass reformations.

  • Nov 4th, 2016 @ 5:36pm

    Yep. Maybe we can go straight to guilt-sniffing dogs.

    Or further down the line, guilt-detecting bullets.

    If they can decide that a faulty kit determines guilt, surely they can decide that a killing bullet does as well.

  • Nov 4th, 2016 @ 12:13pm

    it was an accident that happened on purpose!

    aka plausible deniability.

  • Nov 4th, 2016 @ 11:59am

    "suspicion or belief that doing so could assist an investigation"

    Are there any circumstances in which law enforcement agencies can act where they don't have this?

    I can't imagine one. It's a free pass.

  • Nov 3rd, 2016 @ 7:15pm

    Toeing the party line

    Not from the navy?

  • Nov 3rd, 2016 @ 6:13am

    "When the public doesn't know who the 'bad apples' are, it's pretty easy for them to hate the whole barrel."

    This isn't a failure of the apples, but a failure of the barrel.

    The institution isn't covering for the good apples. No police officer worthy of the job will benefit from this new law.

    This is purely allowing for law enforcement agencies to further bully the people. This demonstrates the barrel itself is bad and is spoiling the apples.

  • Nov 2nd, 2016 @ 3:02pm

    Public Interest = When we want to stir the pot

    Somehow, I suspect that when there are genuine public interests (such as security vulnerabilities in common OSes and software, which are very much in the public interest to disclose and secure) that they won't be so regarded and revealed.

    So yeah, it will be used selectively by law enforcement to stir shit.

    Perhaps this informs us that there should be actual advocates of public interest that have the ability to veto law enforcement action (including disclosure or non-disclosure) when not doing those things would actually be in the interests of the public.

    It might be a step back towards, you know, law enforcement by consent.

  • Nov 1st, 2016 @ 12:37pm

    "All the candidates suck so hard it cannot be possibly determined which will be worse."

    I disagree with that.

    I agree that they're both pretty terrible, and this election should serve as an indictment as to the failure of our electoral system (and if we cannot manage reform it, the ultimate failure of democracy in the United States), but for those of us still trying to work within the confines of the system, Hillary remains a better choice.

    One of the things that is horrific to me, at least regarding those Trump supporters I know or hear from on the internet (including relatives in STEM fields who should be completely capable of thinking it through and don't) is that they seem to assume that Trump really is some kind of answer, that they can vote for their lying, word-salad-tossing, woman-assaulting, grudge-persecuting, violence-inciting demagogue and everything will be done. They appear to believe can just sit back and wait for the economy to turn around and America to become great again, because daddy Trump will take care of them.

    For the rest of us, activism doesn't end on election day. We still have countless issues that neither candidate has on its agenda. We still have to push at the president that real issues need to be addressed, or they'll suffer embarrassment, or worse.

    The thing is, Trump won't care. His response to embarrassment is to do something even more embarrassing, repeat until the public is saturated. In the meantime he'll be jailing his personal enemies, and looking for how to start a real nuclear war.

    This is where Clinton's position as an old school politician comes in. She can be embarrassed. She recognizes that some of these issues are real or at least has advisors she might actually listen to. She understands (for instance) torture and mass surveillance are ultimately wrong even if she may have conceded they are temporary necessary evils, and the less temporary they are the more problems they cause.

    Her opinion can evolve with enough pressure.

    Trump is a laser guided missile for whatever staffer figures out how to point the missile. Honest, honest Iago is going to get fabulously rich, much like Halliburton with Cheney directing Bush, all the while wrecking the nation, possibly to the point that we'll never recover.

    Trump is a puppet, and if he is not already controlled by someone (Putin?) then it's only a matter of time before someone finds where to put their hand.

  • Oct 31st, 2016 @ 4:00pm

    Evidence against the DoJ

    What evidence to we have that the DoJ acts more as a rogue agency than in service of the United States public?

    Oh yeah! This.

  • Oct 27th, 2016 @ 7:14am

    Product placement!

    SWAT guys raid a city apartment flat. They go from dusty, murky room to dusty murky room, Car-Freshner trees in gross numbers dangle from the ceiling.

    The troopers close on the bedroom where someone is under the covers. They yell at him to get up but he doesn't move.

    One trooper pulls the cover off. A skeletal corpse is surrounded by medical paraphernalia, IV bags, syringes... The mattress is bare and covered in urine.

    Behind the corpse, one word is written large on the wall, SLOTH.

    A SWAT trooper prods him and whispers You got what you deserved.

    The corpse coughs and gasps.

  • 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.)

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