Uriel-238’s Techdirt Profile


About Uriel-238

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  • Oct 19th, 2017 @ 11:04am

    Kim Dotcom

    The Kim Dotcom raid was a corporate action using ICE as mercenaries in which an alleged civil grievance was used to justify the use of ambiguous US law to attack a business and its civilian owner.

    Considering the case is still in litigation, and continues to show no wrongdoing by Kim Dotcom, I'd say it's a bad example of anything, except how US agencies can be too-easily prepurposed to function as corporate heavies.

  • Oct 18th, 2017 @ 9:25pm

    what if the company is foreign?

    If US-based companies are susceptable to third party searches by the United States, doesn't that incentivize me as a business to use foreign-based cloud services? Especially since the US DoJ is known for regarding Fourth Amendment protections as inconvenient.

    By the time this era is done the US may be as isolated as North Korea.

  • Oct 18th, 2017 @ 1:52pm

    Re: Re: The chiefs can't stop him from returning to duty.

    Yes. That is exactly how much sense it makes.

    This is according to Jon Oliver's recent deep dive on police brutality. I've not looked up where he got the data, but it is in character with the unions.

  • Oct 17th, 2017 @ 6:53pm

    This makes me think about the common reverse situation.

    A lot of criminals are caught because the police use tracking technology (e.g. cell-tower spoofers) that the criminal isn't aware of. And many of those technologies have not been reviewed by the courts to assure they are safe, reliable (don't produce false positives) and they don't violate the rights of the public.

    It doesn't fly suspects argue they didn't know about the new tech and wouldn't have been caught if it wasn't used (and thus it wasn't fair play.) Judges consistently would rather get the bad guy than protect the public from encroachments by the state.

    And the Department of Justice will has even lied to the courts in order to keep new field tech from review. This is how we know the DoJ is not a service to the public but an organized crime syndicate interested in its own profits and ends.

  • Oct 17th, 2017 @ 6:42pm

    The chiefs can't stop him from returning to duty.

    I'm pretty sure that he can still get a job as a police officer, even if the public recognizes him as the nurse-attacker. Many districts have laws against considering the past actions of an officer when considering rehiring him, and he can sue in those cases if he suspects he was turned away from an assignment on those grounds.

    Seriously. The benevolent police unions control the precincts like Capone controlled Chicago.

  • Oct 17th, 2017 @ 11:39am

    "obama's faithful"

    In our last election, we got the drone strikes candidate, and then we got the even more drone strikes candidate. We voted the latter in.

    The only reason Trump isn't using the intelligence sector to route out dissidents is he doesn't know how. But should he ever learn, it is totally within his character to do so and round them up into work camps.

    This isn't about Obama's state versus Trump's state (or Obama's state vs. Bush's state). Obama has been discharged. No agent works for him, though some may still seek to carry out old missions rather than the new ones.

    Though Trump has certainly been moving to shift the loyalty of agencies to him personally, starting with ICE and CBP, rather than to the United States. It's terribly similar to the Schutzstaffel, Hitler's personal army, in contrast to the general Wehrmacht. And they're constructing work camps.

    Every president since Nixon (if not before) has strived to consolidate power, unconcerned about what happens when the other guys (whichever other guys) get it, or what happens when agents of the state start regarding the public as the enemy.

    We're in a police state now. It's been trending that way at least since the 60s. During the Bush and Obama eras lines were crossed that showed that the people are no longer governed by consent but by force.

  • Oct 16th, 2017 @ 12:49pm

    There are no such things...

    as impartial judges or, for that matter legitimate law enforcement needs.

    Even government agencies openly abuse their access to private data. And then they fail to secure that data from outside hackers.

  • Oct 16th, 2017 @ 12:15pm

    The point is moot.

    The behavior of the current administration, the DoJ and its respective agencies have demonstrated that they not only don't hunt down evil people (rather they pick at low hanging fruit), but also they're not trustworthy themselves, and often make rackets from their own authority.

    Even if we could make a secure backdoor, there is no-one on Earth trustworthy to keep it.

    The recent Equifax hack illustrates this. Those trusted with the data they already have aren't trustworthy.

  • Oct 15th, 2017 @ 11:41am

    Pardons all around, then...

    So what are we to make of the pardon? That violating people's Rights is okay?

    Well, hell, that's all this Sheriff did. Why shouldn't he get the same pardon?

    That is the message Trump would be sending if he pardoned Sheriff Hobby.

    But while that does seem to be the kind of state that Trump would prefer to live in, where the proles don't have rights, Trump is anything but consistent, even with his own biases.

    Trump less follows an ideology and more is a force of nature, and what he sees on television more influences what he does than any specific platform.

    To me, that's actually scarier than Hitler or Caligula.

  • Oct 14th, 2017 @ 10:31pm

    Re: Re: Doesn't anybody call bullshit on this tidbit?

    Supposing that scenario for a moment, it would certainly reflect a noteworthy trend.

    So far Trump as pardoned one guy for racial profiling, a practice of which Trump approves. If he were to start pardoning all sheriffs regarding matters of conduct (or all sheriffs for any crime at all) that would actually reflect the president wasn't acting out of momentary whimsy, but might indicate an actual policy.

  • Oct 11th, 2017 @ 12:31pm

    Re: "Police come with a power of authority"

    Stupid markdown markup fail.

    Peelian principles.

  • Oct 11th, 2017 @ 12:30pm

    "Police come with a power of authority"

    That interpretation of police powers dispels the notion of policing by consent of the people as per the {Peelian principles.](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peelian_principles)

    I agree with you that that is how the police conduct themselves throughout the United States. But it does mean that we can dispense entirely with the notion that we are a free people governed by the people. It makes a farce of our statements of unity, such as the nation's anthem and pledge of allegiance.

  • Oct 10th, 2017 @ 4:36pm

    Murderers vs. felons

    Ah, Anonymous Coward your comment didn't make sense to me because (last I checked) convicted murderers go to prison for a long time, and when they get out, it seems to me to follow that they don't keep their gun rights.

    It turns out that a federal law already prevents any felon from owning or holding a gun, though, granted, there is a process to get that right restored by the convicting state.

    So why'd you think I was talking about black murderers? I'm still not sure.

    I'm going to just give you the benefit of the doubt, Anonymous Coward, that you didn't actually research crime statistics, yourself, but got your factoid from literature your Wizard gave you. That is, you brought it up out of ignorance rather than malice.

    It turns out, though, we have way, way more felonies than we have murders.

    It's hard to provide a direct, numerical comparison because there's no place that keeps a tally of felony convictions by year. We had 15.6 thousand murders in 2015. It was a bad year. (This is: convictions of at least third-degree murder, not merely manslaughter.)

    It's hard to mesh that with another statistic that states 8% of the US population are convicted felons. That's roughly 26 million felons. About 8 million of them are in prison. Ours is the highest incarceration rate of any nation.

    Obviously they all didn't get convicted in 2015, but some of those felons are responsible for more than one felony, so the two numbers don't mesh easily.

    Still, I expect we can concur there's a lot of non-murderous felony going on, at least of higher-order magnitudes than there is murderin'. Yes?

    Also that is before we observe the US court system is one that provides every disadvantage to non-affluent suspects to assure a nearly 100% indictment rate and a 90% conviction rate. That's not to say the innocent are sorted from the guilty, but that a guy was grabbed by the police, and now he's doing time. The rich have rights. The police and officials are above the law. And the rest of us are below the law.

    And that's before we consider the racial biases that are evident in the Department of Justice and the legal system. It's super easy for blacks to end up not only a felon, but a violent felon if a police officer decides the guy is resisting arrest. Ours is a nation where you can have six officers club you into the hospital and then charge you with assaulting a police officer, not because you did anything, but because they don't like your face.

    Why are half the murderers blacks? I don't know. You seemed to want me to infer something. In fact, it takes several Wikipedia pages to explain the popular hypotheses in brief why they kill each other more than we do. And several books have been written about the phenomenon. I'd guess that gangs can't turn to the legal system to resolve disputes, so they settle things violently. It's why Italians liked to kill each other in the roaring 1920s.

    What I do know is that in the 70s, black guys were stereotypically known for raping white college women, or at least for being blamed for it and lynched, when there wasn't a courtroom that would convict him. We've since discovered black-on-white rape is pretty darned rare. It's super easy to blame our woes on marginalized groups. We still do that a lot today.

    So I'm personally hesitant to presume convicts were fairly investigated, tried and convicted, and the numbers were fairly counted.

    We do live in a police state, after all.

  • Oct 10th, 2017 @ 12:13pm

    Border police are the new SS

    Trump has already been grooming Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement to be his personally-loyal army. They're the new Schutzstaffel and are already engaged in a reign of atrocities.

    This new barrage of legal exceptions follows suit.

  • Oct 9th, 2017 @ 5:35pm

    "half of all murders are committed by blacks."

    Oh, do elaborate. What is your point?

  • Oct 9th, 2017 @ 11:37am

    Criminals and the Mentally Ill

    I think the problem with taking guns away from criminals and the mentally ill is largely less fair than it sounds.

    Regarding criminals, which criminals are those? Every felon? That's mostly black guys who drew too much attention from the police. Violent offenders? That won't include the countless domestic incidents that the police refuse to file, but it will include every guy (most nonwhite) that the police can pin, typically on nonwhites, often while the police are beating the crap out of them shouting stop resisting!

    Regarding crazies, which would be those? Proper protocol before denying rights to a human being on account of the crazy is for a psychiatrist to assess the person and decide he (she) is a danger to himself or others. The only problem is, that's a temporary assessment. After he's calmed down, or is no longer suicidal, should he be allowed to have guns again? He's certainly allowed to be a juror.

    Most reactionaries to rampage shooters would insist it's not enough. Adam Lanza (Sandy Hook) was diagnosed, but not regarded as a danger to himself or others. James Holmes (Aurora) was only seeing a psychiatrist for anxiety. (And may have been triggered to act by the SSRIs he was prescribed. Common SSRIs like Prozac and Paxil make a small number of patients psychotic. Usually it's interrupted in time.)

    The thing is, all the shooters are crazy. We interview failed suicide bombers from Iraq and retired IRA militants and they all say the same thing: they have to kill themselves internally, go to that suicide place where they're apathetic about living, in order to do what they have to do.

    Rampage killers (like all terrorists) are suicides with a lot of rage, a need to be heard and seen. And much like gun suicides, out of dozens of guys thinking about shooting up a Starbucks, only one is going to follow through.

    TLDR: Filtering out crazies and criminals sounds great on paper. Practically, criminals is going to come down to marginalized groups and poor people, and crazies is going to either miss most actual killers or sweep up massive amounts of false positives.

    Frankly, I expect that background checks don't have a much better record, and it raises the question of exactly what background checks check for. Didn't play well with others in Kindergarten?

  • Oct 8th, 2017 @ 12:57am

    Determined mass killers

    Oklahoma city bombing. 168 deaths ~700 deaths from a bomb made from fertilizer. It is the second worst attack in the US, short of 9/11. Not a gunman.

    Determined killers will get creative. Or these days they'll print and smith their own gun parts.

    We need to fix this not by addressing common weapons of choice but the motive. It's suicide with rage. Treat that, and you reduce the rate of incidents.

    Of course that would mean the US would have to take mental health seriously. I guess it's just easier to ban some more gun parts.

  • Oct 7th, 2017 @ 1:13pm

    What I'd like to see come out of this is...

    A detailed analysis of Paddock's movements in the hours approaching the shooting. It may come down to nothing, but it may reveal details that are useful in understanding the nature of rampage killers.

    It'll also serve as a counterpoint to our analysis of Lee Harvey Oswald's movements before and after shooting JFK. While we're 90%(-ish) sure he was a lone gunman, we still have instants where he should have been witnessed, yet wasn't, and are still fodder for alternative theories.

    If we have the cameras, lets make use of them.

    Regarding London, what is curious to me is why more cameras aren't solving more crimes, or at least assuring that crimes are solved and confirming by camera that those who are convicted are in fact guilty.

  • Oct 7th, 2017 @ 12:02pm

    My fantasy is to turn it into a critical thinking lesson.

    Remember, kids, we trust the people with basic rights, and occasionally they'll use those rights in hurtful ways. But if you give up those rights for safety and security, it looks a lot like this.

  • Oct 7th, 2017 @ 11:59am

    That's the problem right there.

    The way it's supposed to work is that law enforcement officers get a warrant under reasonable grounds for suspicion, or they have probable cause (because they saw something and preferably caught it on camera). With warrant in hand that specifies what they're searching for they search your home.

    And if they came in with a drug warrant and found your stockpile of guns, they're SOL. It's inadmissible until they leave, go back, get another warrant for your stockpile and then come back.

    But the way it works is they search your home. At gunpoint, or over a dead body sometimes. Sometimes they get a retroactive warrant later, and in plenty of times a judge will declare evidence admissible anyway because tough on crime = no rights for you.

    Recently the United States Supreme Court ruled that evidence discovered illegally is admissible if the crime is serious enough. (Serious enough in this case was something like possession of paraphernalia. It was maddeningly slight.)

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