Uriel-238’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Jun 25th, 2016 @ 2:04am

    "Clamping down on guns works in other countries"

    Actually it doesn't. Russia, for instance, still has a higher homicide rate per capita than the US even though guns are illegal throughout.

    Gun control will reduce suicides. That is the one factor that was noted changed with Australia gun ownership regulation. A handgun in your house will increase your suicide risk. Also like any other dangerous device or amenity, you have to soberly consider the risks of it getting misused, or accidentally injuring someone.

    (Here in California, you can't shoot if you're intoxicated enough that you can't fly a plane. In many other states, there are no such restrictions against drunken shooting. It causes problems, but not usually rampage killings.)

    However, violence in the US has been down to 1960s levels, including rampage shootings, and that is in contrast to an era in which gun regulations were more strict. Generally the discontinued use of leaded gasoline is credited with the drop.

    Most other countries haven't seen a period in which guns are unregulated, so it's difficult to say how open access to guns is going to affect them (which they'll face once gun prototypes can be printed and easily turned into smithed components.) Then, like Australia we'll have a chance to see how their culture responds.

    But here in the US, we have something of a populist culture in which it is believed that the common person commands their own destiny with the tools they have to work the land and protect themselves. This includes the equalizing factor of the handgun. Without one, you are at the mercy of someone twice your size who intends you harm. With it, the match is more even. In the 20th century we relied on law enforcement when we chose to go unarmed.

    Since Ferguson, though, it has become evident that the police are not interested in enforcing the law but serving the survival of their agencies and their brethren. In fact, policy often suggests they regard civilians as the enemy. Hence officers and agents will seize whatever civilian riches suit them, and gun down anyone they don't like, knowing that they will not be punished severely for murder.

    While I am not a gun owner, I would not want the civilian population excluded from carrying arms without also excluding law enforcement. But I am sure they would refuse to cooperate with such an initiative.

  • Jun 25th, 2016 @ 1:31am

    "As you pointed out, you can still go to court and win your fair use case."

    Which takes money that small productions don't have.

    Essentially you're endorsing a norm in which moneyed groups can bully those with budget constraints to ruin their efforts, even if what they are doing would qualify under fair use.

  • Jun 25th, 2016 @ 1:26am

    You can still go to court and win your fair use case.

  • Jun 24th, 2016 @ 3:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: "White guilt"

    What should I ask her?

    Whether she'd rather be raped over there than over here?

    Whether she'd rather be assassinated by fanatics over there or murdered by prison guards over here?

    What do you believe she would say on the matter of the United States being also a shithole when it comes to human rights? That she's seen relatively worse?

    Do you think relativity justifies our sucking?

  • Jun 24th, 2016 @ 3:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: "White guilt"

    I never said that the US was perfect - but really these imperfections are nowhere near to being on the same scale - or as uniform - or as strongly endorsed by such an all-pervasive ideology.

    You actually can't say that, given the FBI willfully and against law withholds the number of police-on-civillian murders, most of which don't even go reported. (We now have non-profits that track coroner reports to news articles, and they still don't trace all the john does.)

    Considering the degree of willful opacity that exists in our nation's agencies, and the Snowden revelations which came in years after the fact, it's putting a fuckton of faith into the integrity of our nation to suggest that nothing worth consideration is going on clandestine, and shielded from view by classification or a lack of records. We even make a point not to count drone strike bugsplats very thoroughly.

    We don't have statistics of attacks per capita to compare. We can't say the US is better, but US agencies are working really hard to prevent anyone from looking at those numbers so to make a comparison. They're willfully hiding something, and it doesn't make sense they'd be concealing good or even mediocre implications.

    And we are still a nation that kidnaps, that holds people indefinitely without due process and tortures. And moreover, common civilians have come to thinking this is acceptable policy for a nation of allegedly free peoples with allegedly guaranteed rights.

    Yes - but as in the article it is enforced by self appointed vigilantes.

    You think hate crimes in the US are perpetuated by other than self appointed vigilantes? Think about how many Churches of the US, and Representatives in state and national congress push not only to deprive gays of equal rights, but also to push for rights of those who attack gays violently to do so in the name of religious expression? (No, I'm not kidding.)

    Gay hate is epidemic in the United States, even after SCOTUS ruled their right to marry. Mostly from our religious extremists, who, regardless of whether they believe they're following your interpretation of scripture, absolutely believe they're following theirs.

    Non-white oppression is systemic. Counties are commonly patrolled by white police forces that harass and bleed minority communities, as we've seen time and again since Ferguson. No, not all of the United States is this way, but much of it is.

    So, no, I am skeptical that the US might compare well to the middle east when it comes to human rights concerns. We pretend we're better. We may aspire to liberty and equality. But we don't have the records to demonstrate it.

  • Jun 24th, 2016 @ 1:40pm

    L'esprit de l'escalier

    Observe that none of the issues I mentioned are even topical during a presidential election campaign.

    They don't talk about it, because all the candidates are going to continue the same policies.

    And the people don't care. It's not getting raised.

  • Jun 24th, 2016 @ 1:37pm

    Re: Re: "White guilt"

    Considering that blacks are protected by the (current, amended) US Constitution and meanwhile blacks are grossly and systemically oppressed and exploited in regions throughout the US, I'd say we continue to suck when it comes to federal government protecting minorities when the local government has been corrupted by local prejudices against minority communities.

    We also suck when it comes to protecting victims of sexual assault, even though we definitely want to.

    We also suck when it comes to child welfare issues, even though representatives push child welfare all the time.

    Still, in Kuwait, isn't the war against apostates decreed from the top? That sounds like the national administration isn't even trying.

    And regarding our government actions, in all cases, the outcry against them is from a conspicuously small minority. Most of the United States people can't be bothered (largely because they're too busy trying to eek out a meager living in an unforgiving economy).

    So no, the people are playing along and paying their tea-taxes, albeit for understandable reasons. But it does make them complicit in the crimes of the state.

    At least it was thought so within and without after Nuremberg.

  • Jun 24th, 2016 @ 1:27pm

    Re: Re: I'm not sure which is better...

    Umm, no. Islam, like many other religions, is all about giving up agency in one's own life and following someone else's decrees.

    There are a lot of decrees in Islam and debates about what certain ones mean.

    Getting to the meat of the matter, only some Muslims are violent and war on the infidel. Is that to say those that don't are less Muslim than those that do? Or vice versa?

    They still have agency in where they choose to focus and where they don't.

    Very much incidentally, the same way that, say, the Roman Catholic Church and the Southern Baptist Convention can choose to focus more on the War against Gay rather than the War against Poverty.

    Ministers like to pretend that religion is about hard lines and absolutes, but in practice among the laity, it's not.

  • Jun 24th, 2016 @ 12:49pm

    "I would never take my mother out cruising with me."

    You presume he was cruising? And that Mom didn't want to go and would rather stay home?

  • Jun 24th, 2016 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: It's Facebook

    If Capitalism is about companies seeking profits using all available means, even those that are immoral or unethical, then yes the ideology of Capitalism is worth rejecting.

    It doesn't work anyway, since government lobbying towards regulatory capture produces one of the strongest profit margin. I could create a business model (and some have) of simply lobbying officials to subsidize me. And that could be (in some cases, is) vastly profitable without actually producing anything.

    Capitalism only works when tightly regulated.

  • Jun 24th, 2016 @ 12:38pm

    "White guilt"

    Um, no.

    My point was that authoritarianism happens in any state, among any people, not that we're as bad or worse.

    But now that you mention it, let's look at what the Land of the Free does tolerate:

    ~ The CIA extrajudicial detention and interrogation program
    ~ The drone strike program, which just massacres civilians.
    ~ The NSA Mass surveillance program which now shares its data stockpile with other nations and law enforcement.
    ~ A three-caste police state, in which the most of us are presumed guilty and robbed or murdered with impunity.
    ~ A rape state in which boys-will-be-boys (and corporations-will-be-corporations) attitudes still prevail.

    Not a comprehensive list.

    So...yeah, we might be as bad. Or even worse.

  • Jun 24th, 2016 @ 12:29pm

    Jefferson v. Lincoln?

    Heh. The Democratic and Republican party have done a whole bunch of position trading over the years.

    The Great Emancipator originally wanted to ship all the slaves back to Africa, not seeing a solution for integration here. It was only infeasible. Also, he wasn't a Southern Strategy Republican, founded from the push to allow religious schools to continue to exclude blacks and retain federal funding. All the other issues (Abortion, Prayer in schools, etc.) came later.

    As for Jefferson, though being a man of his time (it'll be difficult to find a non-slave owner among our nation's founders), he actually founded the United States of America, and he founded the separationists. The precursors to the GOP were the loyalists, e.g. pro-redcoat authoritarians.

  • Jun 24th, 2016 @ 12:19pm

    "You're right, but might get killed anyway"

    Always. It's why there's courage in dissent.

    Civilization is always a continuous fight against the natural order (toothier animals eat the less-toothy animals). Fighting this fight also depends on enough supporters who tire of the toothiest animals making all the decisions.

    I mean, we really could accept (say) our continuing retreat back to feudalism and serfdom under corporate rule. But I think we still have an understanding of why that is a miserable state to live in, yes?

    Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have its dissenters too, and some of them think it's worth speaking out then letting their nation stay as it is.

    For some it's worth dying for.

  • Jun 24th, 2016 @ 12:11pm

    We have plenty of authoritarians here.

    Plenty pop up whenever we talk about a stupid or abusive law, or a stupid / abusive misuse of law. It's a regular techdirt commentary feature.

    When kids get jail time for sexting each other, our pro-authority sector will even come out and say the law's the law, and it's the kids fault for breaking it!

    We humans like authority. They're loud and seem to know what they're doing, and it makes us feel safe in emergencies.

  • Jun 24th, 2016 @ 12:06pm

    Re: Re: 'Got a few barnfuls of hay for that needle hunt you were busy with...'

    The only thing that scares me is about that is that some administrations would just burn all the extra hay.

    Right now I'm thinking of the 40,000 or so traitors executed after the July 20 plot (including nationalist-but-not-Nazi-enough-for-Hitler Erwin Rommel).

    I would hope the Sauds are not paranoid or sheltered enough to engage in a mass apostate-by-rumor genocide, but they might be.

  • Jun 24th, 2016 @ 12:00pm

    I'm not sure which is better...

    Persecution and violence because it corresponds to accepted scripture,

    or persecution and violence that is contrary to accepted scripture?

    I think they're both terrible and both common.

    Fortunately, we can presume that Muslims have agency in their own lives, and can choose for themselves whether or not they are going to follow someone else's decree to betray or kill.

  • Jun 23rd, 2016 @ 11:33pm

    And THIS is why we need robust anonymity tools like TOR

    [no message follows.]

  • Jun 23rd, 2016 @ 9:36pm

    Re: Re: Decisions based on which side is more likable

    I think in this case, jury selection may be part of the cause.

    And their susceptibility to manipulation is part of the stupid.

  • Jun 23rd, 2016 @ 9:32pm

    Okay: Hacking BY THE STATE of a NON-STATE PROPERTY implies malicious intent.

    Alright, let me clarify:

    When a representative of the state such as a government agent hacks into a civilian device without the consent of its owner...

    That's malicious.

  • Jun 23rd, 2016 @ 4:30pm

    To me it doesn't make sense for IP to fall into government hands...

    ...except to keep it all available to everyone as public domain works.

    I can see trademarks of sufficiently complex emblems, maybe, so that a state agency seals, so that the mark can be used to indicate official correspondence. But other than that...no.

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