Uriel-238’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Oct 22nd, 2016 @ 9:04pm

    Very high Poe factor.

    Very authentic and yet so could be satire.

    So unsure.

  • Oct 22nd, 2016 @ 8:43pm

    TV Cops going over the line.

    Yes. During the 70s and 80s we had a lot of maverick / loose cannon / rule-breakers, which gave way to the police procedural in the 90s and aughts where they sought to find out who really done it.

    But the police aren't interested in who committed the big crime. They decided in advance whether you're the bad guy, and once you're targeted, figure out what to pin on you to give you prison time. And if you have something they want (say a swanky car) they'll just figure out a way to get probable cause, so they can cease the car.

  • Oct 21st, 2016 @ 11:58pm

    Bringing blacks out of poverty

    In 2007 (the stats I have) the poorest forty percent of US citizens had 0.2% of the wealth, where the top 0.1% owned 35%.

    That was before the subprime mortgage crisis, during which our wealth became even more disparate and has only gotten worse ever since.

    We like to dally about with what counts as poverty but I can assure you that all of those people in that 40% are in the police-can-kill-you-with-impunity category. They're probably also in the bad-neighborhood category.

    So, while I think helping Black families escape poverty is a splendid idea, I do not imagine we're going to be making progress in that regard for decades. (Or ever, if our current temperature trends continue unabated.)

    So we need to also get our law enforcement officers to stop shooting and robbing those who are neither rich nor government agents.

    We should also make our bad neighborhoods less bad. Requiring state agencies to serve all neighborhoods equally would be a good start. Not that this will happen in our current corporate-controlled political clime.

    While I'm wishing, returning the United States to a nation of laws, in which everyone is subject to the same laws and the same justice system, would also be nice. As things are, those of us who cannot afford a defense (including those of us whose assets get seized by the US) don't get actual due process.

    Since none of that will happen, I guess we'll have to watch people continue to perish by blue murder, including a disproportionate number of black men, and watch as more and more civilians arm themselves and shoot back.

    I'm sure at some point the numbers will become terrible enough that we'll be willing to enact policy changes, rather than reframe it as It's not easy being a cop.

  • Oct 21st, 2016 @ 11:29pm

    Re: Re: Different behavior

    Maybe that's what they're doing.

    Do elaborate, please!

    I assume you're referring to some action, policy or program other than letting police gun down or beat down innocent civilians, yes?

  • Oct 21st, 2016 @ 4:27pm

    Different behavior

    If black lives mattered the way that white lives mattered, the number of innocent blacks killed by police would not be disproportionately high compared to the number of whites.

    Unless one group disproportionately behaves differently than the other.

    Interesting qualification. What common different behavior do you imagine?

    Are you meaning to imply there's a racially- or culturally-compelled behavior on behalf of Black Americans that drives police to escalate situations involving them to hostility?

    And if that behavior was common enough to create a statistical anomaly, don't you think it is the state's responsibility to accommodate for it.

  • Oct 21st, 2016 @ 2:16pm

    What police work is like...

    My grudge is not about what police work is like, rather what it isn't like, e.g. Law & Order, CSI, Without A Trace, even Hawaii Five-0 or Adam-12. Which is to say we on the civilian end cannot expect justice to be served. We cannot expect the police to book the right guy. We cannot expect to survive a police encounter with all our parts and belongings intact.

    (That is to say I once considered a career in criminal investigation like all the other CSI-wannabe geeks until I learned enough to become dangerous.)

    The notoriously corrupt GCPD in Gotham would be, compared to real-world precincts, a national exemplar of police honesty.

    And yet, we, the public, are expected to regard the GCPD as so corrupt that only superheros could save it. Considering that the fictional Gotham is actually more honest than even provincial precincts, I'd say maybe it's time to disband the entire system and start again with the Bow Street Runners.

    Heck, the FBI lies to the fucking US Senate with impunity, in blatant defiance of oversight. US law enforcement has proven itself time and again to be nothing but another street gang with no interest beyond its own prosperity.

    Eventually we should start asking if it would be better to just hire the Sicilian Mafia to keep the peace, because I'd wager they'd do a less bad job for cheaper.

    So call me an armchair general if you like, but I know well enough that our entire Department of Justice is not doing any of the job that it's supposed to do, except sustain an illusion that we live in a society of laws.

    We live in a society of men, specifically, police officers, and we live free at their discretion.

  • Oct 21st, 2016 @ 11:49am

    Re: Re: policing

    I have worked with the police at detox which often meant dealing with admissions that were out of control.

    It is curious why police would be working with people on detox at all. Statistically, Crazy lives matter even less than blacks, and the mentally disabled demographic is even at greater risk for blue assault than Blacks.

    As we've been seeing on line and in classrooms, people not only need to be completely rational to avoid getting shot by the police, but have to follow very strict specialized protocol (id est, they can't act naturally), and that only reduces the risk of a civilian getting murdered or robbed. We now teach not getting shot by cops in United States high schools.

    A detox center shouldn't be staffed with law enforcement, but people trained to manage those with mental disorders.

    Maybe by saying you worked with police you are referring to ones that brought sick people in, which means they've already decided to manage the poor sod humanely, rather than just shooting him or beating him unconscious. You're probably seeing more of the duty-minded officers than the ones who'd just execute the poor sod where he stood.

    As for police officers getting taunted and abused, they are paid and given power to be the babysitters of the world. The same reason we don't accept that your hired fourteen year old neighbor isn't allowed to beat to death your tantrumy toddler, it shouldn't be acceptable for police officers just to shoot, or beat, or rob, or indiscriminately harass and jail whoever they want. And right now it seems the police (especially the police unions) are accustomed to having exactly that latitude. And no, statistically, police officer is not that dangerous a job.

    It seems common to believe police are looking for a reason to restrain and shoot people.

    Considering some of the videos and incidents we've seen, it's evident that yes, some police officers are indeed looking for a reason to escalate a situation to violence. This is on account that police have been seen on video unnecessarily escalated situations to violence, often resulting in the severe injury or death of civilians. This is on account that officers discharged for being overly violent typically and routinely get rehired in new precincts to offend again... and again.

    It may correlate with our current trend that some police, such as, Jeronimo Yanez, the one who executed Philando Castile was given days of don't hesitate to kill training and only a couple hours of lecture on de-escalation, but we don't have any clear statistics as to how many other officers have been similarly trained. I know in the 70s the local police of an LA suburb were trained more in negotiation and de-escalation than in tactics. And that was while the Mafia was still in full operation.

    I'm sure there are police who don't do this, on account of knowing some personally who've had a long, illustrious non-violent career of de-escalation. Not all are bad apples. But right now the bad apples are defining policy and the good apples are getting pushed out or forced to keep low and quiet (i.e. cease being good apples).

    Also remember that there are bad neighborhoods where the good people depend on the police for protection.

    Bad neighborhoods are the result of ineffective policing, usually when a county decides a given district deserves less priority on the presumption the people there deserve less. Then street gangs form as a reaction to this lack of state presence. It's nice that sometimes a bad neighborhood might get someone that wants to make a difference, but remember, ghettos were made through preferentialism. The impoverished never choose to live in crime-ridden squalor. They're forced there.

  • Oct 21st, 2016 @ 10:44am

    A modern version?

    A few bad clementines will spoil the whole five-pound bag.

    Works practically and as a metaphor.

  • Oct 21st, 2016 @ 10:25am

    BLM and the NAACP are ABOUT racism.

    Black Lives Matter is addressing the issue that white lives are preserved in ways that non-white lives (e.g. the lives of blacks) are not, and that's a racial discrepancy. If black lives mattered the way that white lives mattered, the number of innocent blacks killed by police would not be disproportionately high compared to the number of whites.

    The NAACP was similarly founded to give black individuals a boost in academic advancement specifically to counteract what was an obvious disparity in opportunity: more blacks eligible for advanced college educations were being rejected or forced out due to financial concerns than whites. From what I understand their efforts are only partially successful, and they aren't even able to reduce that disparity by even half.

    (Granted, neither organization addresses the issue cleanly, whites vs. non-whites or blacks vs. non-blacks, so if you want to accuse them of racism you can point out that they don't help non-whites outside the African-American demographic.)

  • Oct 20th, 2016 @ 10:32am

    It's still the wrong bowl of skittles.

    Using John Oliver's numbers, out of all the Syrian refugees we've already accepted in the last fourteen years, only three have been arrested on terrorism-related charges (without actually committing any acts of terror), so we can say they were skittles that were rejected for maybe being poisonous.

    Those three were found in a bowl of skittles 784,000 strong, so a bowl of 500 liters of Skittles, weighing 3.13 metric tons.

  • Oct 20th, 2016 @ 10:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: That is awesomely funny...and sad

    I'm still wondering why hot-mic talking still trumps (ugh) the whole point where he raped a thirteen year old (or rather coerced her into having sex and her mother into cooperating). That's looking like it may not even have been an isolated incident.

    Trump is not just a creepy stalker lech, but an outright sexual predator. Who's committed sexual predator crimes like raping little girls.

    As for his fitness for running the president, look up the Last Week Tonight bit on scandals. Mr. Oliver juxtaposes nicely the amount of Clinton scandal in comparison to the amount of Trump scandal, the latter just usually being buried in his moat of outrageousness.

    As he puts it, it's very reasonable to be angry at some of the things Clinton has done, but if so, you have to be outraged at what Trump has done. Then he showers himself with raisins.

  • Oct 20th, 2016 @ 10:07am

    Napoleonic Code

    It's part of the Napoleonic Code: The emperor is subject to the same laws that is the lowest civilian.

    Sadly, as with our practice of prosecutorial discretion we don't believe in that here in the states.

    Also corporations are treated very differently, despite being regarding as people, instead they're fined and insufficiently so, for wrongdoing. So a company has very little reason to change its policies if the legal costs are less than the benefits of the policy.

    Ergo, Exxon-Valdez, Deepwater Horizon...and possibly Trump, if he's found some clever way to prevent DAs from prosecuting him directly, instead prosecuting Trump, Inc.

  • Oct 19th, 2016 @ 8:02pm

    One critical point seems to have been missed.

    We (that is the public) are the media.

    There is nothing special about a news correspondent from a professional news service.

  • Oct 19th, 2016 @ 12:26pm

    letting kids do drugs

    I think sexting with a boyfriend is more in the risk magnitude of doing pot with buddies or having a beer than doing heroin.

    It's still something that we want our kids doing with knowledge of and respect for the dangers involved. Not that we actually provide easy-access accurate risk assessments for any of these things.

  • Oct 19th, 2016 @ 12:20pm

    By the people

    Nullification is a sabotage of a court case: you find in clear and willful contradiction of your actual belief in face of the evidence. Any potential jury member indicating in advance that he might consider jury nullification to prevent unjust laws being applied will get thrown out of jury duty.

    Last I checked the legal system regards the jury as the last line of defense, the assurance that government is by the people.

    In that light, it is not only proper, but necessary for the jury to obstruct any conviction, even if a juror personally disagrees with the law

    If you take away the jury's ability to adjudicate, if you're restricting how they are allowed to think, then you are sabotaging that government by the people thing.

  • Oct 19th, 2016 @ 12:13pm

    The inevitable outcome...

    ...and if you pass an image or two to your officer buddies who enjoy a pretty-looking teen now and again, no harm done.

  • Oct 19th, 2016 @ 12:07am

    The IOT industry is afraid. I have seen its true face.

    The accumulated filth of all their greed and arrogance will foam up about their waists and all the heedless early-adopters and parsimonious developers will look up and shout Save us!... and I'll whisper no.

  • Oct 18th, 2016 @ 4:40pm

    Re: Re: What about practicing witchcraft?

    Russia isn't trying to be communist anymore.

    Is containment of Soviet expansionism still an active US policy? That would be telling if it was.

  • Oct 18th, 2016 @ 4:23pm

    Excellent for spies and terrorists.

    For the rest of us, I suspect our lifestyles of convenience won't account for a daily plug-in.

    Still, there are more tricks for hiding and encrypting data than there are for detecting it. I expect that eventually the courts will go full MiniPAX until people are filling our prisons on account of having suspected hidden data they won't reveal.

  • Oct 18th, 2016 @ 4:14pm

    The current "false bottom" technology

    disguises the encrypted data as unused memory clusters, so there is no clear proof that you even have encrypted data at all.

    Or don't...which presents a problem.

    Frankly, as things are, a judge can just declare that you have contraband data and have effectively hidden it. Even if he claims that it's some secret cloud account.

    Which means, yeah, a judge could hold you for contempt for no actual reason with no actual evidence. You can try to invoke habeas corpus, but I don't think there is real proof they have except We have more guns than you. Or their court is backed by the power of force, not the power of law.

    Then off to jail you go for fourteen years. Longer, since it's hard to get out when you're forgotten.

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