Uriel-238’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Oct 12th, 2015 @ 3:20pm

    Happy Columbus Day, people

    From the White House Website in the ISDS chapter of the TPP:

    Before we had investment rules and ISDS international agreements, unlawful behavior by countries that targeted foreign investors tended either to go unaddressed or escalate into conflict between countries. In fact, early in our history, the U.S. had to deploy “gunboat diplomacy,” or military intervention, to protect private American commercial interests. ISDS is a more peaceful, better way to resolve trade conflicts between countries.

    Let's all remember our roots

  • Oct 11th, 2015 @ 10:07pm

    Doomed to fail

    I think that an insurance-based system in which our insurance is expected to cover costs presents a moral hazard in which the person agreeing to treatment (and invested in treatment working) is not the same as the entity that pays for it.

    If the patient has control, then prices inflate, since the question of treatment is not affected by pricing.

    If the insurance company has control then they will actively choose to let expensive patients die off (or suffer without treatment) which is what we had before the ACA with the whole pre-existing condition controversy.

    And there becomes a conflict between doctors who are compelled to treat, patients who (of course) want to continue to live, and third-party providers who want to capitalize on these compulsions.

    And this is why Big Pharma has gotten really big, and now only wants to treat rich people that they can overcharge.

    The problem is that it leaves a whole lot of non-rich people who really do not want to die, and who have families who are quite irate that someone could have saved their loved ones, and chose to withhold treatment.

    Someone wrote something something indifferent bourgeoisie blah-blah outraged proletariat yada valid grievance. My mind escapes me but it seemed relevant.

  • Oct 11th, 2015 @ 11:33am

    We've known this.

    But the passing of TPP is once again imminent, turning corporations into kings so they can repress (or is it oppress) us further.

    I suspect, maybe, the rampages are soon going to get more organized.

  • Oct 11th, 2015 @ 11:27am

    Pre-coffee posting

    Crap. I screwed up my markups again. Sorry, folks.

  • Oct 11th, 2015 @ 11:26am

    Re: Re: So now we KNOW that it's as bad as we feared...

    It wasn't the people who set up the choice to be yes or no, and to use a mechanism that bypasses legislature to install what is the largest installment of new rules by trade agreement ever (possibly by orders of magnitude).

    This is nothing short of a coup, and it will destroy the last remnants of the American Republic in favor of corporate oligarchy.

    They hacked democracy. And the whole affair with Malaysia shows that they've happily dispensed with human rights to do it.

    We will be at their mercy.

  • Oct 11th, 2015 @ 1:56am

    So now we KNOW that it's as bad as we feared...

    We can cause enough of a public uproar to stop this thing, yes?

    The IP chapter alone is absurdly protectionist and totally contrary to either what the people of the US want or what best serves them.

    So yeah, if this passes, then it totally confirms the disenfranchisement of not just the voters, but the US legislature.

    Do I have this right?

  • Oct 9th, 2015 @ 3:56pm

    The Open Source Hive Mind has been pretty forthright before.

    When the NSA was pushing the Eliptic Curve Random Number Generator (allegedly at the time to improve crypto strength), plenty of people saw that it could be a flawed algo that might have an exploitable weakness. Jokes were even made about the NSA baking in a backdoor.

    So the Open Source sector has detected these things before, and were distracted by social politics within the project. Now they have cause to be paranoid about it. I suspect they'll jump on any discovered exploit like Americans on a disruptive airline passenger.

  • Oct 9th, 2015 @ 2:15pm

    Guns compel people to stab each other.

    Why does Russia have twice the intentional homicide rate that the US has? Do they have guns too?

  • Oct 9th, 2015 @ 12:15pm

    Adam Lanza liked Dance Dance Revolution

    You can't win.

  • Oct 9th, 2015 @ 12:10pm

    Violent video games aren't bad regardless who says it.

    Well, for me, murder simulators are a safe sink for anxiety and distraction to depression.

    They also help me process my outrage regarding real world issues about which I'm pretty much completely helpless. (TPP, the US mass surveillance program, the CIA extrajudicial detention and interrogation program, our crazy imprecise civilion-massacring drone strike program, our law enforcement services who beat the snot out of people or gun people down and then walk away with impunity and smiles. The list goes on and on.)

    We human apes do like to moral panic about anything that someone likes that someone else doesn't. And that's what's going on here.

    (And this is, incidentally, why we can't take seriously when someone says guns are bad: too often we've seen other things pointed at as bad because stupid reasons. If people want their panics to be taken more seriously they should point and call things bad less often.)

  • Oct 9th, 2015 @ 11:51am

    Bobby Jindal blames movies/video games for mass shootings.

    Because of course he did.

    I'm curious where he stands on drone strikes and enhanced interrogation, given that we still do it based on the Jack Bauer argument.

    Oh wait here it is: Obama is not hard enough on terror.

    Because violence is bad unless it's done to designated unlawful combatants (i.e. Lebensunwertes Leben). Even virtual violence.

    Except when Bobby Jindal says so. For reasons.

  • Oct 9th, 2015 @ 11:40am

    This is how it's going to go down.

    Someone is going to say yes, and bake in their secret backdoor and probably get paid big bucks.

    Someone within that company is going to leak that there is a secret back door, and probably a couple of clues as to how to crack it.

    Someone will crack it. If they're smart, since whitehats get prosecuted these days, they'll go totally blackhat and use it for their own exploits.

    Someone will realize they got hacked

    The company will dismiss it as a aberration, probably human error.

    More people will get hacked. The backdoor will seep into the cracking community.

    At that point, with no way to trace it back to the leaks or the original cracking research, the backdoor will go public. Whitehats will quickly determine the back-door is not an exploit, but was willfully baked in.

    The company will lose all its user trust, as will the United States. As will any software exports from the US.

  • Oct 9th, 2015 @ 11:33am

    Jerry Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy

    In truth it applies to specific agencies, not the government as a whole (as it's too big and will go through changes and reforms).

    But yeah, future administrations are going to have to be engineered to curb this problem.

    But long before Bush and Obama have our administrations been looking out for themselves, or their plutarch masters before their alleged bosses, the American People.

  • 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?

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