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  • Mar 15th, 2018 @ 8:20am

    Re: Re: Re: "Well if you don't need the money..."

    I would hope that "we are the elected city government, who are chosen by the people to represent their interest ands govern on their behalf, and you are city employees, so when we ask you for accounting of funds, you should immediately hand over what documentation you have (and which you darn well better be keeping), followed by, if necessary, a more comprehensive and up to date list when completed in a reasonable time frame" is a thought that would be unanimously held by the entirety of the city council, and that they'd be willing to act on.

    ... I'm not being hopelessly idealistic, am I?

  • Mar 13th, 2018 @ 11:26am

    Re: Why?

    Two solutions:

    1) The electorate decides that they don't like this anymore, and votes for a D.A. who will prosecute cops, even if it means reduced conviction rates. Probably won't happen.

    2) The government provides for a special prosecutor who exclusively prosecutes cop cases (or perhaps all government corruption cases). Might happen.

  • Mar 13th, 2018 @ 11:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Nice double Standard! No, "negligent homicide", serious.

    Good catch, AC. I misread the following:

    "Breea Gross, 18, was driving when the crash occurred and was cited for driving without a license, seat belt violation and three counts of child safety restraint violation."

    So the driver was also cited . I (erroneously) thought that only the mother had been cited/charged regarding the child safety restraint violation.

  • Mar 13th, 2018 @ 10:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Nice double Standard! No, "negligent homicide", serious.

    I believe that the mother was also the driver, so its a moot point. But where I live, seat belt infractions, child restraints, etc. are the responsibility of the driver of the vehicle (unless its a commercial vehicle).

  • Mar 12th, 2018 @ 12:06pm


    But if we are going back to the Middle Ages, does that mean we become wizards? What with our ability to divine information and (somewhat, thank you basic physics and electric circuits classes) control the power of electricity, and all? :b

  • Mar 12th, 2018 @ 11:50am

    Re: Re: Preempting whiners some more

    Firstly, authors(which has been extended to cover all artists) and inventors have the "exclusive right" to their "writings and discoveries", which are copyright and patent protections, respectively.

    There is nothing in the constitution that says that that right is not transferable (i.e. sellable), which is what has happened.

    The original holder of the copyright is the author/artist. If a corporation owns a copyright, it is because they bought the copyright, either directly, or indirectly via a commission or employment contract. An author/artist is granted an exclusive right, which they can and do then sell (or in the case of a work for hire, they sell ahead of time; future performance of a legal act being something that can and is sold all the time).

    The IP system exists to protect, promote and reward the development of art and science; I believe it succeeds in doing so. IT IS NOT EFFICIENT IN ITS OPERATION, it can be improved (please, let's improve it, its horrible, especially in litigation, length of protection, and fair use standards), but it does perform its function.

    The system is Constitutional, and I don't feel it is corrupt. Inefficient, yes, but not broken.

  • Mar 9th, 2018 @ 2:29pm

    Re: Reporters took time to document this

    I disagree. This is news. It may not be what we want to hear, or we want to happen, but it has happened and it potentially important and relevant. If it leads to an attempt of censorship, the early warning could be valuable in thwarting it.

    Would you say the same if it was "violent internet content" rather than "violent video games" in the crosshairs? It would just be the next iteration of the SOPA/PIPA/SESTA/BS hydra to pop up.

  • Mar 2nd, 2018 @ 9:53am

    Re: Your papers, Comrad

    My inner-pendant is compelling me to state that "Comrad" is actually spelt with a terminal "e".

    Also, about marijuana, New Mexico allows it, but federal law (which is constitutionally superior) does not. Federal officers following federal law, when it is in conflict with state law, does not strike me as a problem, incidentally.

    Other than that, in total agreement.

  • Feb 27th, 2018 @ 3:14pm

    Re: Re:

    Is this only at the national level, or does that include state and (possibly) local as well? Because that number seems really small.

    Lets say that number is only to the US Congress, and they only contribute to half the congresspeople. That number works out to less than $4,000 a candidate, which to my knowledge is tiny (for political campaigns).

  • Feb 27th, 2018 @ 3:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I must disagree. It is simple. Not EASY, but SIMPLE.

    Some might say that this is the benefit of a Westminster-style parliament, with multiple parties, that one can vote .

    I disagree. I think it should up to the voters, to weigh issues and determine the greatest good and the least evil.

    There are, then, two issues:
    1) People are not willing to put in the effort, and resort to the status quo (or delegate their power and responsibility to a third party, such as a political party)
    2) People are willing, and have weighed issues differently than one would like.

    While the voting turn out numbers suggest #1, #2 is a certainly possible. In either case, the solution is the same, and in my view universal:

    It is not enough to know something is wrong, or to declare that something is wrong. One must convince others that it is wrong, and what to do about it.

  • Feb 21st, 2018 @ 8:52am

    Re: Our Insect Overlords

    I, for one, welcome our insect overlords...something, something, hive-mind.

  • Feb 16th, 2018 @ 12:53pm


    The Shield law does not prohibit investigating the source; it only prohibits compelling the journalist to name their source.

  • Feb 16th, 2018 @ 12:51pm

    Re: Re: As I recall....

    The reporting of the information is legal, but the leaking of the information to reporter may be illegal.

    So they may not have to lie to the judge, as they are persuing a legimite investigation into a legitamite crime.

    Whether the leaking of this information SHOULD be illegal is another question entirely, but that rests upon the legislature and/or the people, rather than the policy and the judiciary.

    The former groups get to decide what the law is, the latter are to enforce and apply it.

  • Feb 1st, 2018 @ 12:50pm

    Re: "Reasonable"

    "Reasonable" is the word that introduces the subjectivity, and its all over the place in common law systems. The subjectivity is intentional, and incomes in three forms:

    1. "I know it when I see it": This is true subjectivity. It disallows rules to be skirted, to be followed to letter and bypass the spirit of the law, at the cost of lacking a clear black-and-white distinction between what is and is not allowed. It depends on the judgement of prosecutors, judges and juries, and the accused can argue
    what is reasonable.

    2. Declarations of "what is reasonable", by a competent authority, not mentioned in (this) law. This authority could be a governmental agency's regulation, scientific or industrial consensus, or trade group standards.

    3. Some combination of the two. For example, you could have a "I know it when I see it" scenario with say, toilet technology, and the accused could present various defenses that what they did was reasonable, based on say the regulations of the local water department or the guidelines of a national organization of plumbers.

    All of these are trying precisely regulate a moving technology, and are being writing (nominally) by politicians who are not guaranteed to have any idea of how these things work at the moment, much less how they will work in the future.

  • Jan 25th, 2018 @ 9:29am

    Why is less than a minute necessarily a rubber stamp?

    I found this with about 5 seconds of googling, being the first result for "example search warrant", presumably from an actual police department.Basically the questions before a judge is a) does probable cause exist for the search and b) is the scope of the warrant too broad, given the evidence at hand.

    It appears that for simple cases, probable cause can be established in a single paragraph, which should take more than 30 seconds to read (it took me 20, but I've been told I read fast) ant.php

  • Jan 25th, 2018 @ 9:14am

    Re: Define "bad"

    I agree with Coyne Tibbets. In support of this, I would say that in my experience reality falls between the optimistic and the pessimistic.

    The optimist in me states that the warrants are approved because they meet the legal criteria.
    The pessimist in me states that the warrants are rubber-stamped.

    The reality is probably in-between. Honestly, I think I would be more worried if after decades of communal experience, police officers didn't know what to put on their affidavits to secure a warrant; Either they would have to be utterly incompetent (and as I think officers who don't shoot unarmed suspects are more competent than those who do, and I think those who do are at least competent enough to stand trial, I think officers are competent) or the judges are applying a random and arbitrary test.

    So for anyone who disagrees I ask a simple question, and a more complex one: What percentage and time, in your ideal world, would be desired/acceptable? Why?

  • Jan 24th, 2018 @ 2:55pm


    The other cases are precedent, but the word doesn't mean what you think it does.

    Precedent is that which has come before; specifically, cases that have been decided on similar issues.

    There are essentially two types of precedent:
    1. Same court rulings: As a legal concept, a court is "supposed to, in ideal fairy land" rule the same way on the same issues, unless their are different relevant facts or the law has changed in the interim. Courts tend rule consistently with their past rulings, but are not required to.

    2. Higher court rulings are considered "binding" on lower courts (i.e. the higher court has shown which way it has ruled in the past,(see point#1), and will likely rule on appeal. Successful appeals are generally considered a BAD THING, i.e. someone has messed up and we're fixing the issue. Its good that its now fixed, but it shouldn't have been broken in the first place.)

    The issue is that this is the CA Supreme Court, so its binding on all other courts in California. The only appeal is to the US Supreme Court, who only take a fraction of the cases that request their review.

  • Jan 22nd, 2018 @ 9:56am

    Not the problem, but a symptom

    A query, from a non-lawyer:

    How is "Parallel Construction" different from the "Inevitable Discovery" exception to the Exclusionary Rule.

    Functionally they seem the same, in that evidence that would be excluded is allowed. The Inevitable Discovery doctrine is, to this layman, theoretical: That prosecution merely has to establish (to the low standard of a preponderance of evidence) that the . E.g. if the police torture a kidnapper for the location of their victim, anything they say would be inadmissible, but if there is enough physical evidence at the abduction point, the kidnapper could still be prosecuted.

    Parallel Construction merely seems like proving the theoretical case: i.e. actually using untainted evidence to prove the case, which is what would happen anyway if the original evidence was suppressed.

    Note that in the case of civil rights violations of the 4th amendment, the case is rarely dropped in its entirety, rather the illegally gathered evidence is suppressed (which may lead to the case being dropped due to lack of evidence, but that is not a direct effect).

    In summery, I think parallel construction is a logical behavior, if we hold that the punishment for violating the 4th amendment is merely you can't use *that* evidence. If you want to protect the 4th amendment, then have its violations have some consequences.

  • Jan 12th, 2018 @ 9:58am

    Re: It was Twitter which "didn't even meet the expansive definitions of hate speech".

    But the law puts the onus on Twitter, et al, to remove content, within 24hrs of posting, not governmental complaint. It also, incorrectly, in my opinion, targets not only companies, are able to afford to fight this in court, but also individual employees, which cannot. It is, in my opinion, a bad law, simply on the merits of its fine structure and lack of due process; and in the words of Abraham Lincon: "The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly." Strict enforcement of this law is showing its true colors.

  • Jan 11th, 2018 @ 10:37am


    They cannot be, due to part of the US Constitution.

    "...shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their attendance at the Session of their Respective Houses, and in going to and from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place."
    -US Constitution, Article 1, Section 6, also known as the "Speech or Debate Clause".