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  • May 15th, 2015 @ 11:47pm

    Government capture

    This is a lovely example of government capture by a corporation.

    A corporation that will bring 35 permanent jobs to the entire U.S.; will bay $negative taxes; will profit no company in the U.S.; risks environmental damage; destroys property rights; won't provide the U.S. with a single drop of oil; and...well, there is not a single visible upside to Keystone XL that can possibly outweigh even one of the negatives.

    Yet the government (every level) is bending over backwards for Keystone; not only to give them permission but to secure their land and protect their activities; including as described here, suppression of public comment and activism.

    No matter what pithy platitudes may be mouthed by our legislators or courts: anyone who gets in the way will be pepper-sprayed, tazed, clubbed, beaten, stomped, arrested, jailed, sued, imprisoned, terrorized, or declared a terrorist; or will be forced by loss of employment, eminent domain, or other tricks to move. By the time it's over we will possibly even see people burned out or murdered.

    Keystone XL is happening; might as well accept it. Our lapdog government hastens to do its fawning duty.

  • May 14th, 2015 @ 5:54pm

    What I heard

    ... blah... blah... blah... unrestricted corporate free speech... blah... blah... right to lie... blah...rights belong to the rich... blah... blah... blah... blah... blah... individuals should shut their lousy lying, interfering mouths... blah... blah... blah...

  • May 13th, 2015 @ 6:35pm

    Long, long road

    FUD from rich people...versus our federal Congresspeople...

    Don't get too attached to the good news, there's a long way to go before this does anything useful (even if Congress somehow manages to pass it).

  • May 12th, 2015 @ 8:22pm

    New policy probably not as stated

    I'm betting the new policy actually goes something like this:

    Under the new policy there must either be probable cause to believe an illegal act is taking place other than the act of structuring; or the case must be prosecuted as a national secret.


    Basically, national security trumps all. Which would explain why they're irritated about this case: they declared it a nation secret so the press and Congress wouldn't be a nuisance...and here they are, being a nuisance.

    And, if so, that would mean the policy really didn't change at all, and the fact that they said it did is merely propaganda...hiding a national secret interpretation of the rules.

  • May 11th, 2015 @ 4:36pm

    Simile? Or is it Allegory?

    One day a large brontosaurus named Vinny went for a walk. A raptor named Tim came along and chewed off one of Vinny's legs. Vinny said, "I don't really want that leg anyway, all it did was complain I was too big and too heavy." The end.

  • May 11th, 2015 @ 4:31pm

    (untitled comment)

    “There’s an obvious piece of legislation that we need to start working on,” Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., said during a Homeland Security Committee hearing on “Jihad 2.0“.

    Listen, Senator, as Apple and Microsoft can both assure you, the correct term is "Jihad 10".

  • May 11th, 2015 @ 4:10pm

    Re: Don't give up your rights.

    It doesn't matter. If you go follow those rules, they just bring in the drug dog.

    And since almost all cash is contaminated with drugs, the dog will detect it and...bye, bye, money! (And that assumes they aren't teaching the dogs to indicate on cash itself, which they could do and probably are.)

  • May 11th, 2015 @ 4:07pm

    When will it stop?

    Don't get me wrong: First of all, I detest monetary forfeiture. It is a bankrupt concept; the only example under U.S. law where a possession can be taken simply because it is a possession.

    Nevertheless, forfeiture is a reality of life; it's like hurricanes, fire, and flood. You protect yourself from those disasters with insurance. In the case of forfeiture, the protection is simple: Do not carry large amounts of cash. How long does this have to go on before people get that?

  • May 9th, 2015 @ 1:07am

    Re:

    Also, whatever you do, don't check back, because we might have had to remove that clause this week due to all the media attention, but we'll be stuffing that clause back in there next week.

  • May 9th, 2015 @ 1:03am

    Re: Re:

    Arbitration is fine, if it is fair arbitration. What that does is remove the random element of the jury, which is often problematic for both sides.

    What I would like to see changed with arbitration is that, instead of having to use the company's captive arbitrator/partner, such clauses require that the arbitrator must be acceptable to both sides; or, alternatively, that the arbitrator is responsible for losses due to unconscionable decisions.

    As it stands, arbitrators tend to be in a partnership with the company and are prone to decide in the company's favor even when the company is wrong.

  • May 8th, 2015 @ 10:27am

    Re:

    Given its history (as reported in that article) it looks to me like Consumer's Research has always been more oriented to corporations and corporate practices, than to consumers.

    Maybe that's why the split?

  • May 6th, 2015 @ 8:56pm

    Internet.org irrelevant

    So let me get this straight: Internet.org is adopting a 2005 service model in 2015? That just means that it is obsolete before it starts. It will prove irrelevant.

  • May 5th, 2015 @ 9:08pm

    The reality of liability

    Yes, the liability got them. If a city has the lists and doesn't use them and misses a bad guy: well then that city gets sued by...

    ...the motel.
    ...the motel's occupants.
    ...the dead occupant's families.
    ...the motel's employees.
    ...and/or the motel's neighbors.

    Which, in this case, means...

    ...every motel.
    ...every motel's occupants.
    ...every dead occupant's families.
    ...every motel's employees.
    ...and/or every motel's neighbors.

    And then city's lawyers all had a Richter 9 panic attack and then...

  • May 5th, 2015 @ 10:05am

    DOJ Investigator Barbrady responds

    "Okay, people, we looked. Nothing to see here people, move along."

  • May 5th, 2015 @ 9:48am

    Zuckerberg "responds"

    Imaginary Newsie: "Canada, The Netherlands, Norway, Chile, Slovenia, Estonia, Japan, Finland and now potentially Indiahave all passed neutrality rules banning zero rating of apps. Don't you think that this will interfere with your plans for internet.org?"

    Imaginary Zuckerberg response: "No worries: we'll resolve all those nuisance laws just as soon as TPP is signed."

  • May 2nd, 2015 @ 2:46pm

    Re: Re: It's just on the tip of my tongue

    You're missing the point; don't get distracted by Sauron's so-called "person-hood". This is about the rings...I mean, keys.

    There might be multiple keys, but I bet among those will still be just one key, that does the work of all the other keys. One key to rule them all. Because otherwise DEA might get possessive and refuse to share it's key with FBI, and we all know how bad that will be.

    So this promise of key splitting is just nonsense--no matter what, there will be one key that rules them all.

  • May 2nd, 2015 @ 2:20pm

    Say it isn't so

    I was told a story once by someone who worked for the government, reviewing food at port of entry to the United States. He related what happened one time, when he rejected a shipload of orange juice because it was contaminated. The administrator's first move was to yank him off the case. Then, they ordered test after test after test--according to him, sixteen tests in all--until they finally found a test that was bad enough to pass the orange juice. Then they approved it for entry. He, of course, was cashiered for his temerity, sidelined to the point that he finally resigned.

    See, the reality was: his job was not to evaluate and approve or reject food at the port of entry. His job was to evaluate and unconditionally approve it.

    So you might think a patent examiner's job is to evaluate a patent, and approve or reject it. But God help any examiner who might be so bold as to reject a patent.

  • May 2nd, 2015 @ 1:51pm

    Re: Re:

    I agree. The claim should have been filed against the assets of the drug lords.

    No doubt, there has already been a "U.S. against A Bunch of Assets" case, and the assets are in the hands of the DEA, but I don't see that as a problem. First his truck was damaged, then there was a forfeiture case; so his claim is antecedent to the forfeiture claim.

    That is: I think he can make a case that he should have been recompensed out of the assets before the government forfeited the residue. As an non-ally party of the drug lords he is certainly entitled to that recompense, and his claim comes first.

    Of course, that will have a negative effect on the DEA, since they won't get to keep all those cool assets; they'll have to fork some back to him. Does anyone outside of DEA have a problem with that?

  • Apr 30th, 2015 @ 12:07am

    Nothing grea$e$ wheel$ like a clo$e partner$hip

    I predict that Waze's speed trap and police tracking will become peculiarly inaccurate...anywhere a Waze-police partnership sprouts.

  • Apr 28th, 2015 @ 9:25pm

    Re:

    I should think that spelling out the exceptions and exemptions is better.


    It depends on how those exemptions are spelled out. In actual practice, in this country right now, the exceptions aren't in the law, but the courts have a reasonably clear set of principles to apply.

    What concerns me about Manne's exceptions, more properly the exceptions being created by big content, is that the exceptions will be preclusive. Such as, in geometry: Anything square is exempt but never anything rectangular (squares are rectangles, so the exemption for squares is meaningless in this construction).

    E.g., pretend rules that rule against everything and pretend exceptions that except nothing.

    I don't see the argument as one between big content, trying to protect their interests in content, and everyone else trying to protect their interest in free speech.

    It looks more to me like big content is trying to establish rules that will make it the official only source for content; that will bar all competitive content sources. Elimination of competition is nothing new, and big companies of any flavor hate it (whatever they might say in Congress about free markets).

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