Uriel-238’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Jul 28th, 2016 @ 8:08pm

    Re: Their reign of terror is over.

    The problem with voting against Hillary is voting in Trump. And the problem with voting against Trump is voting in Hillary.

    Trump is the one that's planning on forcing the inner city to the work farms to do all the jobs that illegals are doing right now.

    Or he may just force our prison population to do all that work for free and put our inner city kids straight from adolescence into prison.

    We do that a lot already.

    The steps to a holocaust are small and the gradient shallow. What frightens me is how little trump supporters care for Trump's policies. This isn't a send-a-message-to Washington vote. This is the guy in charge for at least four years.

  • Jul 28th, 2016 @ 7:49pm

    If the rest of the system worked...

    ...this might be fixed by typos and miss-targetings having a poisoned fruit effect throughout any law enforcement agency, so that any information derived from the BUTTLE investigation (rather than the TUTTLE investigation) would become inadmissible down the line. Friends and associates of BUTTLE, locations of BUTTLE, phone numbers called by BUTTLE, all inadmissible.

    Then not just the NSA but any downriver agencies would have a strong motivation to double and triple check their work.

    But none of the rest of the system works to support this, what with corruption and overreach and perverse incentives.

  • Jul 28th, 2016 @ 11:03am

    If it would for the tedium and agony of going to court...

    I'd like to see Mr. Colbert in action if this goes to court.

  • Jul 28th, 2016 @ 10:41am

    Putin might use the UAE as an example...

    ...to push criminalization of VPNs. Though Putin's not really the sort to require an excuse.

  • Jul 28th, 2016 @ 10:23am


    Hillary Clinton may be a crook and an imbecile when it comes to technology, but she's pragmatic. She's not going to nuke anyone because she'll actually listen to the military advisors why we don't nuke people.

    In fact, years being Secretary of State, she probably understands.

    Trump on the other hand is an unstable volcano, and when he decides that he needs retribution, he just wants the biggest club with which to do it. So not only do I think he's going to nuke someone, but he's going to nuke a nation over a slight by one of its officials. Trump is not one for proportional response.

    And if he doesn't nuke someone, it's pretty certain he's going to send our nation to war over petty bullshit.

    And this is not getting into his policy when he's not wanting to work off some aggression. Either he's going to build a wall, halt immigration and intern Muslim Americans, or he's going to delegate to Pence, which is going to give us another extreme-Conservative Bush era.

    Clinton will respond the way presidents typically respond, which is to mass public outcry, or legislative obstruction. Sadly, she'll still let the CIA torture people and bomb Afghani civilians. She'll still let the police murder people with impunity and route minorities into prisons. And she will still overclassify and torture / imprison whistleblowers until they snap and rot.

    But she won't nuke anyone.

    And I totally can't say the same thing for Trump.

  • Jul 28th, 2016 @ 10:09am

    Schrodinger's election

    That's exactly what it is. We won't know who gets elected until we observe it, though not due to quantum indeterminacy but due to the chaos of large-scale social dynamics. No-one knows until after the fact who the lucky butterfly is that chooses between floods or drought.

    Your friends seem to believe you're going to vote as they do, either against Hillary (for the Republicans) or against Trump (for the Democrats).

    By voting for a third party, you're not voting against either, but that means that you're not voting against the one you would have voted against, had you chosen to vote against one.

    See how that works? We vote defensively in FPTP.

  • Jul 28th, 2016 @ 10:01am

    Sounds like the UAE is exactly the kind of place for which we need an uncompromized TOR client.

    You know, so that people inside oppressive tyrannies can talk to people outside them to let them know how bad it is.

  • Jul 27th, 2016 @ 12:25pm

    "if enough people pretended, our shared hallucination could be a reality."

    ...for extremely huge values of enough.

    If a miraculous and amazing number of people voted for a third party, you could get about a quarter to a third of the votes, and spoil the election for the Democrats...

    ...putting Trump in office, of course.

  • Jul 26th, 2016 @ 1:51pm

    A supposed short copyright actually helps illustrate the meat of the matter.

    We Are the Champions was released in 1977, so with a short (28 year) copyright term, it would be in the public domain now, which would mean that Trump and the RNC would have the right to play it.

    The matter remains that Mr. Mercury would b marginalized by Trump / RNC policy so using his work to promote such a platform would be regarded in bad taste. (Then again -- and I'm guessing here -- Freddie, were he alive, might have enjoyed the irony, so long as Trump didn't actually win.)

    Though, also, bad taste seems to run epidemic in polotics in general, let alone the GOP and its bedfellows.

  • Jul 26th, 2016 @ 11:06am

    Re: Re: The last time[I]saw an artist crying actually have any impact on a campaign?

    That's probably the best explanation I've heard for the incident.

    I'd rather Bush interpreted the question as his favorite book for kids (rather than his favorite book when he was a kid) than consider the implications that he had literacy problems or just lied for sake of lying.

  • Jul 26th, 2016 @ 10:52am

    Mandatory death sentences = racial genocide

    It can have racial biases the same way mandatory minimums do.

    A lot of people carry drugs, but in New York City and Chicago, blacks and Latins get spontaneously searched more often.

    Some drugs have mandatory minimums where others don't. Crack Cocaine, used predominantly in black communities, has severe mandatory minimums where powder cocaine (a much more expensive drug, but the same stuff) does not.

    And then there's Prosecutorial Discretion, in which the DA chooses which cases to prosecute and which ones to not. Black thugs convict more easily than nice white boys, and the DA doesn't want acquittals on his career record.

    So yeah, mandated death sentences give power to the last person in the line who can position others in that line of fire, and they're going to preserve the ones they like and toss in the ones they don't.

  • Jul 25th, 2016 @ 10:41pm

    Re: Re: WeirdAlGotItRight

    I suspect that you might own software, a phone, a car or any one of a number of things that will not be sold to you without your signature on an oppressive contract.

    Our entire society is all about circumventing informed consent.

  • Jul 25th, 2016 @ 2:59pm

    Poe of the day.

    I think that is the most indistinguishable statement I've encountered on TD. It's really super undecided whether that's ironic or serious.

  • Jul 25th, 2016 @ 2:48pm

    The last time[I]saw an artist crying actually have any impact on a campaign?

    I have no idea. But embarrassments are embarrassments, whether it's Quayle misspelling Potato(e) or George W. Bush's favorite childhood book being one that wasn't published yet when he was a kid (The Very Hungry Caterpillar) most of them just look stupid but are brushed off some will become part of the US lexicon of politicians being silly. And some might even make someone seem folksy.

    But generally, using an artist's work without their permission will make a politician look like he thinks he's privileged, that he can take the little folk for granted. Even in the cases of popular music artists who aren't really all that little.

  • Jul 25th, 2016 @ 12:43pm

    I wonder if this will change the Mozilla / Yahoo contract.

    Firefox has Yahoo as a default search engine, which I had to change instantly after any installation. But their substitute for Google Now turns it into Yahoo search which cannot be changed without some incantations and a virgin sacrifice.

    I ended up uninstalling Firefox from my phone since there was no evident means to undo the change or otherwise edit my parameters. Not for want of research to do just that.

  • Jul 25th, 2016 @ 12:37pm

    I think the embarrassment that needs addressing...

    ...is that sometimes the artists whose music you use disagree with your politics, and they will voice that effect in this age of the internet and social networking. And that will make news.

    Really, these guys should have enough interns and enough clout to be able to contact the artist or his / her representation to make sure he / she personally won't object.

    ...or, of course, risk scandal.

  • Jul 25th, 2016 @ 12:26pm

    They DO represent "digital citizens"...

    ...but according to their very special definition of digital citizen.

    Hint: Neither you nor I qualify.

  • Jul 25th, 2016 @ 8:07am


    Well, obviously not all in one wad.

    I was thinking of Doc Brown's trunk of rods suspended in water.

    It does raise the question, how often is contraband something rare, and super dangerous, as opposed to stuff that is out in the public in massive quantities? How often is the containment of contraband a matter of national security rather than party favors for an event, or a week's fix for the local addict population?

  • Jul 25th, 2016 @ 12:48am

    Mandatory death sentences?

    That's a fast track towards racial genocide.

    I thought everyone was responsible for their actions when intoxicated, hence the harsh penalties of DUIs, and the police gunning down crackheads that are even slightly buzzed out, even though PCP (the drug that turns people into naked violent super-monsters) has been out of favor for decades.

    But if we did allow for recreational cocaine products and heroin products, we could regulate them. Make sure they were clean under the FDA, require warnings as per smoking and clearly visible addiction treatment vectors.

    Part of the problem has been our treatment of addicts as pariah ever since the Reagan administration. I remember the transition of attitude in the early 80s when we started practicing zero tolerance, and users that wanted to be rehabilitated were driven underground.

    Excessive recreational drug use is invariably self-medication, and yes, we have a long history of using drugs to cope with stress, and then the society allowing for elevated stress to match the tolerance, hence our illusion that two adults can work full time (each!) and raise a healthy family and sustain a home and still have time for recreation. No. They can't.

  • Jul 25th, 2016 @ 12:36am

    Licenses for wrongful discovery.

    In fact, I wondered about that, and I wonder if it's possible for the courts to issue a special dispensation license for small amounts of contraband: the stuff that gets away.

    Is there any contraband out there in which a small amount that is decriminalized by such a dispensation will make a critical amount of difference (say, a few kilos of plutonium)?

    On the other hand this could set up a situation where law enforcement officers intentionally do illegal searches to willfully create decriminalized drugs, for a share of the take. But that smacks of cops selling drugs and guns out of the precinct backdoors, which is done anyway.

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