Uriel-238’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Sep 22nd, 2018 @ 10:50am


    Right there is where you lost me. If you have no respect for those with opposing views, how do you expect them to have respect for you?

    While your argument (that anecdotal data is weak) is valid, it raises the matter that we don't have statistical data from an impartial source, largely due to efforts by the Department of Justice to obfuscate what data exists (and regarding this we do have statistical data going as far back as the mid 20th century).

    Government by the people depends on transparency. As we have nearly zero transparency, a clear data trail that shows proper procedure was followed at all times, that public rights were considered always. Without that, the public can't govern, and the state agencies are in control.

    That's what a police state is. Autocracy by state agents.

    Law enforcement officers are treated by the US legal system entirely differently than civilians, and for that we do have statistical data. It's clear they are regard as a higher caste than the rest of us proles. This just isn't disputable given the data we have.

    It's time to go back to school So What.... to learn what makes an argument or not.

  • Sep 22nd, 2018 @ 9:01am

    Lies, failing cams, destruction of public record

    What we're establishing here (in that they do all these things and it is evident) is that the common law enforcement officer is no better a witness, and has no better a code of honor than the common street criminal, despite that they are held in higher regard by our courts of law.

    Just because they have the job of keeping peace and enforcing laws and the motto to serve and protect doesn't mean they actually do these things. In fact, it seems more often they're serving entirely different intentions.

  • Sep 22nd, 2018 @ 1:40am

    The proper recourse then...

    Might be to retroactively acquit anyone convicted if an officer involved in the arrest or investigation of the case used the Tiger Text app for work communication during the interim the case was open.

    Use of the app during this period indicates an agent of state was destroying evidence. That said evidence might have been incriminating, exonerating or neither becomes irrelevant once it can no longer be reviewed. It's gone.

    When correct police protocol is not followed, and the rights of the public are ignored, it is the state -- including its taxpayers -- who must suffer the consequences, which means letting potentially dangerous people go free, so that innocent lives are not falsely imprisoned.

    Of course nowadays, we believe none of that Blackstone's formulation business anymore.

  • Sep 21st, 2018 @ 12:56pm

    Bomb Threats

    I am a bit worried that someone's going to see something / say something and she's going to get in trouble for people freaking out about arty suspicious boxes.

  • Sep 21st, 2018 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Re: Sunday school

    Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop declined [Craig's and Mullins'] cake request, informing the couple that he did not create wedding cakes for same-sex marriages owing to his Christian religious beliefs, although the couple could purchase other baked goods in the store. (wikipedia), but they weren't asking for a specific message or a specialized cake, rather they requested one of Phillips' stock designs.

    The notion that there are other businesses that will serve a given group has been a justification to ignore public accommodations since before the civil rights movement (when non-whites could only get served in colored neighborhoods). It's not a remedy. Religious discrimination remains discrimination nonetheless.

    As for my comments regarding women having no souls (and remaining subservient to men) that remains part of the Roman Catholic dogma (granted, in the United States, the more conservative the clergy get, the lest seriously the laity take it), granted, the Pope could (and should IMO) declare otherwise from the pulpit, but so far he has not. I suspect the College of Cardinals can apply pressure to the Pope -- lethal pressure if necessary -- which is why no Pope yet hasn't declared universal salvation retroactively to save 200 billion souls. (Catholic dogma is more cruel than the Elder Gods.) At the same time the Southern Baptists (big in the United States) have declared in their statement of faith that women should graciously submit to their husbands, and they push policies to assure that grace need not apply when women get uppity and demand equal treatment. It's a sentiment pretty common among right-leaning denominations.

    This is not to say that all of Christendom is this way, of course. There are forty thousand separate denominations (not including non-denominational churches which go by their own custom-brew statements-of-faith). Many focus on Jesus' notions of tolerance and inclusion, and then there are the Universalists, who accept that their own faith is not exceptional and doesn't give them any special favor.

    If I look at the numbers, left-leaning Christian denominations are considerably less popular, but as Catholic Americans demonstrate there are a lot of parishioners whose own belief systems are entirely more liberal than the official positions of the churches they attend. That happens a lot.

    The thing for me is, it's a natural human desire to want to belong to the cool kids club, the Gryffindors, the Real Americans or what have you, and as such those churches that promise that they're the One True Faith (and all others burn in Hellfire) are more popular. It's just better marketing. It also can't be true for all of them simultaneously.

    It's also better marketing to teach people they need to fight evil things, rather than make good things. When we're hungry and frustrated, we sooner thirst for an enemy to vanquish than look towards making a working solution.

  • Sep 21st, 2018 @ 10:22am

    This smacks of SLAPPiness

    This feels like some larger art-controlling entity threatening a small under-funded artist as an aggressive means to quash competition.

    It sounds like a lawsuit Hendry could win if she could afford it at all.

  • Sep 21st, 2018 @ 10:10am

    Frontier justice

    I think it's a form of revenge, justified

    Modern justice is supposed to involve consideration of the facts, deliberation, determination of guilt and punishment, reparations or rehabilitation appropriate to, and in proportion to the original crime.

    This isn't that.

    To be fair, what the US does is a mockery of the justice ideal, illustrated to some degree by an elected official regarding the tasing of an eleven-year-old child as acceptable.

  • Sep 20th, 2018 @ 10:44am

    Clinton's private email server

    Right now, we're still working out the social ramifications of every request to a clerk to print this suddenly becoming public record. It's a problem both legal and cultural in large corporations as well, especially when those records can be collected as evidence.

    The problem with her private email server is that it wasn't secure enough for classified materials. And I'd forgive this except the administration she served prosecuted people as spies for carelessly handling classified materials. They also overclassified like mad.

    (The Trump administration is, if anything, worse.)

    It's hard to get on her case about it when the official servers are not very well secured, and are just as susceptible to Russian hackers. So it seems we only use our security policies to persecute enemies of the current administration.

  • Sep 20th, 2018 @ 10:31am

    Sunday school

    Speaking as your friendly neighborhood atheist, while I worry about the indoctrination of children, it's less about teaching them stuff that might later turn out to be untrue (most Americans survive Santa Clause pretty well).

    But I personally worry about American exceptionalism and revisionist history taught in public school than I do Sunday school. Granted, worry about some of the teachings that may be harmful. If we teach a child anti-gay rhetoric and Hellfire-for-the-unbelievers, that's going to get awkward when he starts having feelings for the wrong people. Heck the no-sex-before-marriage thing starts getting awkward when he starts having feelings for any people.

    But when it comes to pointing out the missteps of religion, we nonbelievers are the new kids on the block.

    An evangelist SBC community will gladly send their own children to hellfire-and-brimstone Sunday school all the while grumbling about the nice Muslim family down the street sending their kids to mosque to be indoctrinated. And they have plenty to say about Catholics sending their progeny to parochial school to get molded into the perfect Catholic shape.

    And no one likes when someone else's faith gives them privilege to tread on other people's rights.

    But if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints® hates non-whites believing them to be under the curse of Ham. The Church opposed the civil rights movement of the sixties and adjusted its own policy (but not its teachings) until the seventies. And if companies had a closely held belief in Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints® dogma decided they could neither serve nor employ black people, we'd hold them liable according to our laws against discrimination, and rightly so.

    If that sort of discrimination would be clear and obvious there, I don't understand why it seems legit when women are discriminated against by Hobby Lobby, or gays are discriminated against by Masterpiece Cakes.

    The difference is that 16 million people are taught that blacks suffer the Curse of Ham. Over a billion people are taught that gays go to Hell, and women have no souls and are servants and baby-incubators.

    To me, that's iniquity justified by religion, and implies that the rights conferred by religion supersede rights established by the state. We secularists have a lot to resent.

  • Sep 19th, 2018 @ 7:46pm

    Pointing a phone at the monitor

    Wait...they don't know about ctrl-printscreen or the freaking Snipping Tool?

    Are these people still in the 1990s?

  • Sep 19th, 2018 @ 4:50pm

    Cautionary Tales

    Well Tanzania seems to be eager to set itself up as a cautionary tale for the rest of the world.

    Hopefully it comes to its senses before that cautionary tale plays out.

  • Sep 19th, 2018 @ 4:47pm

    Disappearing Inc

    Disappearing Inc was a 90s-era response to the permanent record that email communications left, and was one of the early services that made emails unreadable after its expiration date.

    It didn't do so well. Clerks simply got into the habit of printing out emails or transferring the plaintext to permanent files for sake of records. It was a tedious addition to their regular duties.

    It's not to say that they don't have use, but it is curious that law enforcement would want their own correspondences to vanish yet want access to everything their suspects ever thought and did.

  • Sep 19th, 2018 @ 4:41pm

    F11 before screen-cap is your friend.

    What impresses me is that the Massachusetts State Police online investigators don't know this.

    So not only are they engaging in extracurricular investigative activities but are really bad at it.

    (F11 works on most browsers and quite a few productivity applications. It may not work on all of them.)

  • Sep 19th, 2018 @ 2:46pm

    Imobilizing targets

    Back in the 1980s there was a Sheriff out in the Stanislaus area (on the California side of the state line near Carson City and Reno) who, rather than using police attack dogs instead used search and rescue dogs.

    Originally it wasn't his choice, they were just available. But given that folk lost out in the bush will sometimes get disoriented and run away from rescue, the dogs were trained just to knock them off their feet and keep them on the ground until their handlers caught up. But they did such a good job of apprehending suspects without hurting them too much that he recommended changing the training of police dogs towards search-and-rescue methods.

    On hard ground like concrete sidewalks, knocking someone over can still cause injury, but far less risk of serious damage than shooting someone. Definitely way better for kids.

    As for guns that don't require line of site, we have and use drones with predator missiles. And the CIA is happy to firebomb civilians at a rate of fifty per person-of-interest. So I think we've established that state agents can't be trusted with such devices.

  • Sep 19th, 2018 @ 9:59am

    Last I recall of the Senate

    They were all I'm no nerd but I disagree. and even recently affirmed their position of contentious ignorance.

    Ron Wyden has been pretty much the only voice of dissent.

    Is this going to change?

  • Sep 19th, 2018 @ 9:52am

    The intersection of religious services and public accommodations

    That raises some interesting questions, if all religious congregations are regarded as not being public-facing services that would have to obey public accommodations.

    All the major Christian churches have processes of excommunication, and the incidents are countless in which smaller churches shunned their own parishioners once they were outed as gay.

    Wow, there are so many benefits to being religiously affiliated that it's a wonder that every company and corner store doesn't have closely held values and beliefs.

    Have there been any further rulings made defining the privileges of religion-affiliated institutions since Hobby Lobby?

  • Sep 18th, 2018 @ 11:13pm


    Is this satire?

    Poe factor 0.98

  • Sep 18th, 2018 @ 3:03pm

    John Becker doesn't care about anyone.

    Empathy, compassion, even concern about the interests of the constituency are all not prerequisites for political office. Becker was voted in by people who don't know him, and he doesn't know the people he represents. His re-election is not contingent on his pursuit of the best interests of his constituency. Why should it concern him that an agent of state brutally assaulted a child? A minority prole child at that.

    It would surprise me if his district wasn't Gerrymandered all to hell, and voting minorities sufficiently obstructed to assure his incumbency continues. Even if the opposition manages 66% of the vote he'll keep his office. He has no incentive to even pretend to be concerned.

    Have we yet admitted that what we live in is not a fair democracy?

    Have we yet decided that we, in fact, want a democracy badly enough to force change?

    Until then, we live in a no fucks given society. Becker is hardly an elected representative but an aristocrat. Becker genuinely regards the proles as beneath them. He truly regards the children of proles as larvae of vermin. And he has no need to even pretend to feel otherwise.

    This is the norm. And until we change things drastically, it will continue to be the norm.

  • Sep 18th, 2018 @ 12:02pm

    Re: And where is the nation of truth?

    I think we've well established that hypocrisy is the norm in the US, if not in human society in general, that there is no equal treatment, and that the proles are denied rights as a matter of course. Their gripes are legit while ours are whining by snowflakes. and if the power dynamic were ever to reverse, we couldn't be trusted not to privilege ourselves over them.

    It's been this way for generations. I suspect we've only imagined true equality under law as an ideal.

    Ours is a more perfect union in contrast to some very, very imperfect unions that preceded it. The bar was really low.

  • Sep 18th, 2018 @ 11:48am

    Ah the Sorites Paradox

    When did a few grains of sand become a pile.

    When did the cyborg (as we replaced his bio parts with computers and servos) become a robot?

    It's only a matter of time before we'd have to meddle with legal examples.

    At what level of income does my private catering thing I do for friends sometimes become a public-facing service that has to adhere to state accommodations policies?

    At what headcount does a private group become a public group? At what quantity of occupation does a community -- regulated by homeowners associations and local customs of propriety -- have to yield to the rights defined by state?

    When is a religious commune no longer a large household?

    Online or off, I think this question has remained not-clearly answered.

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