Tanner Andrews’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Oct 22nd, 2018 @ 7:45am

    no worries there

    seriously consider simply shutting off access in that country

    Much simpler solution: have no office in that country. With no office, and presumably a corresponding lack of assets, they are free to ignore any decrees from Vietnam.

    Think of it as a message: ``I fart in your general direction, which I am allowed to do from here in the States because we have a First Amendment and you all have an unappetizing little dictator.''

  • Oct 20th, 2018 @ 12:57pm

    Student Government is Like Unto Passing Gas in a Hurricane

    And that's likely why the student government is not screwing around here

    Student government normally has no actual power as to the operations of the school. It does, often, assist in deciding how to dole out student activity fees to student groups, but cannot set the level of fees. Of course it has no effect on hiring, firing, or advancement of administrators.

    So, when the student representatives threaten a vote of no confidence or censure, that means that perhaps the student newspaper will report the result. The actual effect is readily ignored.

    Of course, since I am out of their state, I do not expect that my comment will have any more effect on ISU administration than a student vote of no confidence.

  • Oct 19th, 2018 @ 4:35am

    (untitled comment)

    it seems like a waste to buy something with options/accessories that one will never use

    Often it is cheaper for the vendor to make it that way. If all the units are fundamentally the same, then you have less cost of differentiation.

    That does not mean that they cannot, via straps or jumpers, enable a subset of the available options.

    Car vendors are notorious for this. I used to have one which supposedly lacked the car alarm feture. Certainly there was no user interface provided. However, over the years, something fell off and the car thought it had an alarm, just no way to disarm it other than to disconnect the battery and wait.

    Radio vendors likewise. Jumpers let them decide which frequencies you were allowed to hear, based on the intended country of sale.

  • Oct 11th, 2018 @ 1:34am

    Re: Re: Re: What?

    law of matire


  • Oct 11th, 2018 @ 1:32am

    Re: Re: What?

    Having a sign implying the republican party supports molesting children seems like it would be breaking at least a few laws.

    Depends on how you define law. Let us consider a few.

    (1) Observation of science, e.g. ``law of matire''. Nope.

    (2) Law of math, e.g. commutative law. Nope.

    (3) Law of the U.S. Nope, not even plausible due to First Amendment.

    (4) Law of Texas. Maybe, not licensed there, and Texas does some weird stuff. However, due to incorporation, Near v. Minnesota, 283 U.S. 697,707 (US 1931), any such weird stuff would be struck down. So, nope.

    (5) Law of the imagination of Padpaw. Well, maybe, I suppose, but that is a rather weak and surprising sort of law.

    Are you sure that you are not just full of something organic and odoriferous? Until that is answered, I doubt that we would benefit from exploring whether a political party that associates with Roy Moore can actually be defamed.

  • Oct 6th, 2018 @ 8:55am

    Re: Re:

    Sharia does not outlaw having a sense of humor

    True,though this is less freedom than you might hope. Having the sense of humor is perfectly legal. Expressing it, on the other hand, brings down condemnation, bombing, shooting, and imprisonment under anti-blaphemy laws.

  • Oct 5th, 2018 @ 1:24am


    The only reason the ruling [Korematsu v. U.S., 323 U.S.214] was overturned

    It gets worse. The ruling was not overturned, and is still good law to this day. The conviction was vacated four decades later, at the trial level, when the government misconduct (concealment of evidence, untruthful representations to the court) came out, but the precedent stands.

    There obiter dicta suggesting that the Supreme Court might not follow Korematsu, but this is unconvincing in that the holding follows it.

  • Sep 29th, 2018 @ 10:53am

    Zoho and Legitimate Services

    I guess I was mos surprised to see that someone was using them for legitimate servcies. Normally when I see them it is where they are promoting some sort of dodgy advertising or co-branding campaign in which they would like me to take part.

    So far I have declined their "pink" invitations.

  • Sep 26th, 2018 @ 1:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    American Family Association v. San Francisco. City officials found to have violated the First Amendment for merely complaining about an advertisement they disliked, pressuring TV and radio stations not to carry it.

    Actually, in that case, the trial court found no claim. Taking the AFA allegations that the city cmoplained about adverts as true, the trial court dismissed and was affirmed. The city did condemn the ads and the rhetoric therein, and it was at least plausibly argued that the TV stations responded to that condemnation.

    This was insufficient to state a claim. The other cases mentioned included some sort of official sanction; even in Bantam Books, the letters were followed up with police visits. The dissent ignored this difference, but the majority of the panel found that without some sort of coersion there was no claim. Government is free to complain, indeed, nearly all politicians have opinions.

    The difference between AFA v. San Francisco and your other cases was that there was no threat, criminal or regulatory, stated or implied. In the other cases there was threat of government coersion.

  • Sep 17th, 2018 @ 12:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Shocked

    privately owned phone company and Postal Service can choose not to allow communication over its medium

    Not quite. While the postal service is a creature of Congress, it generally acts as a common carrier. The phone company, railroad, and such like are actual common carriers.

    In return for certain privileges which may give them effective monopolies, they agree to carry all traffic presented, subject to capacity, at published rates. They cannot turn away farmer Smith's phone calls, or his corn, because they do not like his views.

  • Sep 16th, 2018 @ 10:50am

    Not a Real Article 3 Court

    It is called a court, but it is actually an administrative agency. Under the U.S. Constitution, Congress can create real courts as it will, but they are distinguished by the manner of appointment of judges and the lifetime duration of those appointments.

    Administrative agencies, on the other hand, are also within the discretion of the legislature to create, but they do not fall under Article 3. Generally, the executive gets to control the staffing, possibly with legislative advice and consent.

    Congress created the FISA courts but did not bring them within Article 3. There are no lifetime appointments, and FISA courts do not fall within the common-law rule of public access to the courts.

    Since FISA courts are not real courts, you will generally not see things such as due process adversarial hearings. Due process is expressly ruled out, because it is a secret ``court'' -- the non-government side is not even supposed to know that anything is going on, contrary to any notions of notice-and-hearing inherent in due process.

    Essentially, then, you have the executive (law enforcement) lying to the executive (admin agency ''court''). Right, the executive cannot be trusted to tell itself the truth, and now the executive is complainting about being lied to by the executive.

  • Sep 4th, 2018 @ 3:52am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Many in mail order would say the same thing [conceal identities]

    I guess a lot of us did not realize how reprehensible the mail order business was. Admittedly, I buy a lot of my stuff from local merchants, so maybe I just have not been exposed to enough mail order for the full effect to sink in.

  • Sep 3rd, 2018 @ 8:57pm

    Utter the Name and Summon the Monster

    utter the name "Monster Energy"

    And along comes a huge, ugly troll, bearing a bunch of overpriced audio/video cables.

  • Sep 1st, 2018 @ 2:11am

    Re: Re: Re: "It's not a violation of the fifth!" "Prove it."

    If I served on a jury that learned that evidence was tampered with even a smidgen like this or any other way I would enact nullification.

    I think a better way to put it would be that, if either side offered tampered evidence or otherwise knowingly offered unreliable evidence, you would weigh that very heavily against them. In other words, you would be performing one of the core functions of a juror, which is assessing credibility.

    This has the advantage of fairness: if either side is trying to be dishonest, they suffer the consequences. It also makes it clear during jury selection that you are going in there intending to fairly weigh the evidence, not going in there with bias or intent to do anything improper.

    Many judges and essentially all assistant state's attorneys would object loudly to the idea of nullification. Indeed, they would probably argue that mention of the term is sufficient to strike you for cause. Since improper nullification is probably not what you intended, you should be clear.

  • Aug 28th, 2018 @ 8:15pm

    Re: Re: One of the advantages of dictatorships...

    Judicial Review, it is not, technically one of the enumerated powers of the judiciary

    It will come as no surprise that the judiciary sees things differently. In Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (US 1803), the supremes said that the idea that a written constitution did not imply judicial review would be an ``absurd result''.

    In other words, when we enumerate the limited powers, judicial review pretty much falls out of that. If you have a written constitution and a judiciary, then you get review for free: no further enumeration is required.

  • Aug 12th, 2018 @ 11:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: When privateering was halted officially...

    stray quote in the middle of your markdown

    Yes, it is unfortunate that HTML is no longer supported. HTML is the more common markup language and is more familiar to people, but every so often someone comes up with a ``better'' idea to confuse folks.

  • Aug 9th, 2018 @ 3:37am

    First God made idiots. That was for practice.

    It is hard to see how the school board gets very far in this one. I think the U.S. Supremes decided Florida Star v. B.J.F., 491 U.S. 524, back in 1989.

    Same fact pattern, newspaper obtained and published information that the govt entity thought they should not have. Exception taken. In Florida Star, the trial court found newspaper liable, as did the DCA, but the Supremes reversed.

    Since the newspaper obtained the information lawfully, if through unsurprising govt screw-up, they get to publish it. Even if it had not been obtained lawfully, it is not clear that punishment would be permitted. See NY Times v. U.S., 403 U.S. 713, commonly known as the ``Pentagon Papers'' case.

  • Aug 8th, 2018 @ 12:34am

    The Problem with Jurisdiction Shopping

    The problem is that the sorts of services most commonly seen in these cases have users from all over. Arguably they are subject to the laws of the states in which they have users. Zippo Manufacturing v. Zippo Dot Com, 952 F.Supp. 1119 (W.D. PA 1997).

    There, the bulletin board service had many users in the district, and the court found it not unreasonable to hale them into the wilds of western PA. Where does it end: Techdirt has readers in many states, should it be sued for our posts in every state wherein pI and my fellow users are to be found?

    Alternatively, shall we artificially limit access to on-line fora, so that only people in states with good anti-SLAPP laws may post? How shall we enforce this? Technology is not there.

    All of this assumes good faith. That assumption is unsound. Consider Carefirst of Maryland v. Carefirst Pregnancy Centers, 334 F.3d 390 (US 4th Cir. 2003). There, the Maryland atty made a small donation to the Chicago entity via its web site, and used that donation as its basis for claiming jurisdiction in Maryland. Atty's donation was only contact with Maryland, but of course the web site could be viewed virtually anywhere.

    The trial court correctly found no jurisdiction in Maryland, and was upheld on review. But a large entity such as Blue Cross (the Maryland plaintiff, using the ``Carefirst'' name) has the resources to be offended, and to at least require appearance is a foreign jurisdiction. There is no injury to Blue Cross from such abuse. The Chicago entity has the pleasure of paying both its Illinois counsel and the counsel in Maryland.

  • Aug 8th, 2018 @ 12:00am

    Re: Re: Really?

    the baseball "world series" where only one country takes part.

    I suppose it should be noted that the ``World Series'' is actually named for the original sponsor, the New York World (newspaper). There was never intended any suggestion that people from outside the States should be in any wise involved.

  • Aug 3rd, 2018 @ 4:54am

    Re: Re: A Pig is Pretty Much Required in a Sausage Label

    Why? You can make cartridges from other meats too

    Because if you put other types of meat in there, it is not good sausage. It is just a poor imitation, fit mostly to serve to inmates in Yankee prisons.

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