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  • Feb 13th, 2016 @ 3:12am

    Next up: REALLY general warrants

    'We want to hack someone at some point.'

  • Feb 12th, 2016 @ 10:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Which company do you think will have an easier time getting production up to speed? Lilywhite Pharmaceuticals, who is new to the business, or Cartel Inc., with their decades of pre-existing experience in growing, harvesting, refining and distributing the stuff?

    Let's see, the pharmaceutical company, who has the resources, experience and connections in dealing with creation and distribution of drugs to legitimate markets, and have no problem with inviting government inspectors to look over their books and faculties...

    ... or the cartels, who suddenly find their clandestine markets nearly worthless(who's going to go to some alley or warehouse when they can just go to the drug store?), their growing and production facilities that they would really rather the government not know about or investigate(just because part of their business is legal doesn't mean all of it is), and their books that they would really rather the government not get a look at.

    The cartels would be ahead of the game in some parts, but when it comes to distribution through legal channels they would be woefully behind, and it wouldn't take drug companies very long at all to catch up on the production and refinement process.

    Most of them don't even make the product they sell; they get it from someone bigger, who gets it from someone bigger, who gets it from the massive cartels who would laugh all the way to the bank if legalization actually happened.

    No, I'm pretty sure they'd be cursing up a storm due to the massive drop in price that would occur thanks to legalization. Marijuana for example is a freakin' plant, anyone with a pot of dirt, water and some sunlight can grow it, yet in areas where it's still illegal it sells for a nice bit of money, not because it's difficult to produce, but because of it's illegal nature. Make it legal, regulate and tax it, and the number of producers will increase significantly, which will cause the price and profits to drop significantly.

    Alcohol is made from sugar and yeast, and in a pinch you can literally make yeast out of thin air, so anyone could make booze in their basement. Stuff like cocaine and heroin are a completely different story on the production side, so no, that's not a good comparison at all.

    You missed the point. I mentioned Prohibition not because of how hard or easy it is to make the illegal substance in question, but to highlight what happens when you take something with significant demand and make it illegal. With legal sources gone if someone wants access they have to go to illegal sources, and thanks to the risky nature of selling prices skyrocket. As a result, crime in general, and organized crime in particular both get a huge boost to profits and power.

    In addition you also turn a whole bunch of people that were acting within the law into criminals, and if they're already breaking the law in one way, they're much more likely to do so in other ways.

  • Feb 12th, 2016 @ 10:52am

    If at first you don't succeed, fail fail again

    You'd think that if they had the time to write and send legal threat they could have taken the five minutes required to see how well other threats against TD have gone, but I guess all their focus was on wishful thinking and polishing up their bluffs.

    If nothing else they could have found out that one of the quicker ways to get their letter made public was to try and claim that TD wasn't allowed to make it public, might have saved them a little embarrassment.

  • Feb 12th, 2016 @ 10:04am

    Re: Re: Companies who ignore the past are bound to repeat it

    Could be, suppose I hadn't considered it from that angle. They give ground here so that they can point to it and claim that they're doing everything they reasonably can to comply with the court orders, and argue as such in court.

    I still don't believe that the regulators will accept it as being 'enough', and I'm almost certain that they will continue to push for a global de-listing, but it might be enough for other courts to buy, even if I don't care for the precedent.

  • Feb 12th, 2016 @ 10:00am

    Trying to have it both ways

    They lie in public because that's what's going to be repeated and used to defend their indefensible actions. They make the 'apology' on the other hand as quietly as possible so that while they can point to it as being there, it's not what most people are going to remember and think of, the lies are.

  • Feb 12th, 2016 @ 9:21am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Not exactly. I'm saying that if we're not willing to take it that far, we need to stop claiming that such a thing as "the war on drugs" exists, because it does not.

    Don't look at me, I'm not the one who named it that.

    Where did I ever say we need to punish users? Why are you trying to attack me on that point?

    I said not to attack you, but to try and point out that despite the insane laws the demand is still there, and it will almost certainly always remain that way. So long as there's a demand, there will always be someone willing to meet that demand, and given that it's better that the source be as 'safe' a one as possible.

    Don't be ridiculous. Legalization legitimizes them. Suddenly you have a bunch of experts with experience in producing and distributing harmful drugs that no one else has; who do you think is going to take the lead in the newly-opened legitimate markets?

    The companies who would make significant profits in the new market, and can do so legitimately. Which do you think people are going to want to buy from more, some random guy they meet who may or may not be offering a pure product, or a company that is required by law to have their product checked for quality to make sure it's as safe as it can be?

    There's also the matter of scale, what costs an individual dealer a significant amount to make a company can make much cheaper, which means they can undercut individual dealers in price, leading to yet another reason for people to buy from them.

    With regards to real world examples of how the legal status of something affects the criminal element, I'd say you'd need look no further than the US Prohibition period. The illegal status of alcohol made production and sales an extremely lucrative business for organized crime, vastly increasing their power and crime rates in general during the period it was in effect. Once it was made legal again however they were quickly undercut by 'legitimate' sellers who were able to sell cheaper, and their profits and power took a dive as a result.

    Or we could stop incarcerating drug victims without throwing the baby out with the bathwater by legalizing drug dealing and thereby creating millions of new drug victims. Just a thought.

    There will always be a demand for drugs, which means there will always be a demand for those selling them. This is not likely to change any time soon, if ever, so as I noted above, the best thing to do then is try to figure out the best way to minimize harm from it, and the best way I believe this can be managed is to cut the criminal element out of the loop, give people legitimate and 'safe' sources to get their fix from, while providing rehabilitation for those that need and/or want it.

  • Feb 12th, 2016 @ 7:50am

    Re:

    The reason "the long-running and totally futile 'war on drugs'" has been so destructive is that we've never actually had one. Sure, they use the term, but when's the last time you heard of drug dealers being treated as enemy combatants? If you try to fight a war like it's not a war, of course you're going to lose. (Just look at Vietnam!)

    So just to clarify, because I've got to be reading that wrong(or at least I hope I am), are you saying that drug dealers should be allowed to be shot on sight? Something that we don't allow for any other crime?

    Anyone who thinks we need more of that, rather than considering it a pernicious evil to be utterly eradicated, needs to have their head examined.

    And anyone who think that this will ever happen clearly hasn't studied human nature or history. We have laws in place that can put people behind bars for life for drug use or even possession, and people still use them. Drug use will always occur, there will always be people looking for something to perk them up or get them buzzed, so knowing that the question changes from 'How do you stop it?' to 'How do you minimize the harmful effects?'

    Legalization pulls the rug out from under organized crime, drastically reducing their power and crime rates(for evidence just look at how Prohibition in the US caused an increase in crime, from robberies to murders. The USG even resorted to adding poison to alcohol and even that didn't do anything but kill a bunch of people).

    Taxation allows you to track it's sale, and provides money for the next step, rehabilitation.

    Rehabilitation allows you to wean those that are addicted off of drugs, and combined with legalization people who would otherwise have kept silent for fear of being incarcerated will likely be willing to step forward to get the help they need.

  • Feb 12th, 2016 @ 7:27am

    Companies who ignore the past are bound to repeat it

    Still, the big question now is whether or not French regulators will find this an "acceptable" compromise, or if they will continue to insist on global censorship over accurate information in an effort to suppress truthful information.

    No guessing needed, now that Google has indicated that it's willing to back down in part, you can be absolutely sure that it's only a matter of time until they're back to demanding that Google's efforts aren't good enough and insist that Google globally delist links to prevent people from being able to view them.

    As their actions have clearly shown, the french regulators have no interest in just making sure that people in france are blocked from viewing memory-holed pages/articles/sites, they want everyone to be blocked from viewing them so that no amount of effort will allow someone to bypass their censorship. As such anything short of that will be considered not good enough, and they will demand even more so long as they can.

  • Feb 12th, 2016 @ 2:24am

    Just treat it like booze during prohibition, because that worked great

    If they wanted to 'reduce threats to public health' with regards to drugs, they could do that in three steps.

    1. Decriminalize drug use, treating it instead the same as booze and cigarettes.
    2. Tax sales of now legal drugs.
    3. Offer free rehabilitation for users who want to quit, paid for by taxes from #2.

    #1 completely undercuts the criminal groups who make insane profits due to the illegal nature of drugs, and cutting them out of the loop means a huge drop in crime. #2 allows the government to both make a profit from sales and track them, and #3 allows those who need and/or want help to get it.

    Of course none of these will ever happen so long as politicians are more concerned with being heard than being right, and who care more about looking like they're 'doing something' rather than actually fixing the problem. Not to mention how many people who currently quite enjoy the power and profits from the 'war on drugs' who would suddenly find themselves out of a job thanks to legalization.

    But no, while the 'war on drugs' has been going on for several decades at this point with no sign of working, and if anything just making things worse I'm sure a few more decades, maybe a century or two and the scourge of illegal drug use will be eradicated for good.

  • Feb 11th, 2016 @ 11:57pm

    Re: Re:

    The term you're looking for is hypocrite, not troll. He sees nothing wrong with insulting others, claiming that it's simply his 'opinion', but when someone expresses their 'opinion' regarding him suddenly it's grounds for a lawsuit as it's a serious offense.

    'I should be able to do/say X but you aren't allowed to' is standard hypocrite behavior.

  • Feb 11th, 2016 @ 11:11pm

    Winning the battle but losing the war

    What makes this defamatory:

    "@RealJamesWoods @benshapiro cocaine addict James Woods still sniffing and spouting."

    And this not defamatory:

    @stevmg Well, put down your crack pipe, and retread my timelines. You'll find plenty there.

    Both are implying that the other is using drugs, the only difference is the wording.

    When Woods calls someone a 'rat', is that a statement of fact that the other person is indeed a rodent? When he calls someone 'scum', is that a statement of fact as well?

    The funny thing is, as TAG has pointed out several times, if Woods 'wins' here given his past posting history he's opening himself up to a world of trouble as he has a history of replying abrasively to anyone critical of him(as this lawsuit demonstrates abundantly), and while he got away with it before as simple hyperbole and 'statements of opinion' a 'win' here could change that.

    Now when he tells people to 'put down the crack pipe' he's not just saying that their thinking is messed up, he's making a statement of fact that they are a drug user, and that opens him up to claims of defamation.

  • Feb 11th, 2016 @ 10:57pm

    Re: Can others sue Woods?

    Oh not at all. You see he's rich, which means all of his statements are clearly just opinion and not to be taken serious. People saying mean things about him though, unless they too are rich, are clearly all statements of fact, and can absolutely be treated as such.

    /poe

  • Feb 11th, 2016 @ 10:52pm

    And if they /do/ sue...

    "Now students, your next assignment will be to draft a counter-notice to the legal filing against Baby Blue, pointing out the various flaws within it. Please be as detailed as possible, as your filings will be examined by practicing lawyers, with your various arguments used to craft the 'official' counter-notice by the lawyers working on the case."

  • Feb 11th, 2016 @ 9:53am

    Re: In what world

    The world where they don't have any real competition, so they can make any claims and charge whatever they want for crap service, safe in the knowledge that the majority of their customers have no choice but to pay them.

  • Feb 11th, 2016 @ 9:50am

    Re: More and more to fail at

    They're too busy looking for money or any valuable to care about such trifles as guns and/or bombs. That cash isn't going to steal itself after all.

  • Feb 11th, 2016 @ 9:48am

    Re:

    Oh but you see, that's the best part(for any terrorist), they don't have to do squat, the government and it's agencies are more than willing to violate rights and make life hell for the citizens without any prompting at all.

    They can just sit back and relax, watching the various governments do more damage to the public than they ever could have.

  • Feb 11th, 2016 @ 9:44am

    Re:

    The 'funny' bit is that driving is more dangerous than flying, and by being so toxic the TSA has actually caused, albeit indirectly, more deaths than they've saved as people decide that they'd rather drive than have to deal with the hassle of flying.

  • Feb 11th, 2016 @ 9:44am

    Re:

    43% success rate... detection rate of 59.5%...

    75% success rate is passable comparatively, in that it's at least slightly better than the 'you have more accuracy with a coin toss' of other dogs, but even then one-in-four searches are allowed that would otherwise be illegal, and that is far too high.

    If dogs are going to be allowed to act as legal, on the spot 'probable cause' issuers, then their accuracy needs to be as perfect as possible, in the range of a 5-10% error rate at most before their nose is no longer given legal weight.

  • Feb 11th, 2016 @ 7:15am

    (untitled comment)

    - If your laptop has Minecraft installed, TSA agents will carefully check your maps. If any of them contain anything based upon real-world buildings then it will be treated as evidence of 'terrorist planning', and the laptop will be seized and the proper authorities notified. Any maps with TNT crafted and/or stored will result in both laptop and traveler shot on the spot as clear and present threats.

    - Any laptop with a black case will be seized as evidence of ill intent on the part of the traveler. Proper professional laptops have silver/gray or white cases.

    - TSA agents will carefully check any music playlists on the laptop. Any that contain a song with 'bomb', 'fire', 'gun' or similar words in the title or lyrics will result in seizure of the laptop and detainment of the owner.

    - Any laptop with an estimated worth of $1500 or more will be seized. No traveler needs a laptop that valuable, only a would-be-terrorist would carry one in an attempt to disguise a potential weapon.

  • Feb 11th, 2016 @ 4:55am

    One and a half out of five

    "We’re not going to sit back and let the disrupters just disrupt,” Iger said. “We’re going to participate in some of that disruption. And we’ll decide when the time is right to be more disruptive than we have been if we really think the business model is shifting rapidly. So far we do not see that."

    From the sound of it while they're still mostly stuck on the first stage of acceptance, denial, they might be ever so slowly moving along and have finally reached stage two, anger. If they can get through the next two, bargaining and depression and move on to the last step, acceptance in time they might be able to salvage enough to not be completely left in the dust, though I wouldn't put high odds on it given how long it's taken them to reach step two.

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