Uriel-238’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Aug 26th, 2016 @ 12:05pm

    Police Brutality in the US

    Despite that US law enforcement demeanor is supposed to be guided be Peelian principles (yes, really.) They have metamorphosed into what is nothing more than a well-funded street gang, or more accurately, the brute squad of a feudal barony.

    But that is a different issue than a post 9-11 cultural fear of Muslims and angry Arabs. The police are financially motivated to find and seize loose cash and valuables, and will do so regardless of who holds them.

    To be fair, I have no idea if law enforcement in other nations hold the same privileged caste that they do here, if they can confiscate, incarcerate or even murder with impunity like they can in the states.

  • Aug 26th, 2016 @ 7:28am

    Re: Re: Islamophobia

    Well if it isn't acceptable to think such things, how are you supposed to know if the person wearing a burqa is just a devout Muslim woman or a suicide bomber?

    I didn't say it wasn't acceptable, but that the same logic applied universally leads to conclusions we find distasteful, e.g. that the Republican party is the pro-torture party (which they pretty much still are). If you don't want to come to those conclusions as well, you'll have to refine your model.

    It's easy to oversimplify things, especially when we're trying to analyze violent events in order to understand and prevent them. We just have a lot of people with a lot of legitimate disagreements, and with our numbers we're going to have a lot of belligerence and a few crazies mad enough to pop off.

    Can you name a single Christian group that has committed organized acts of terrorism in multiple countries such as Spain, France, the U.S., etc?

    You mean like the Óglaigh na hÉireann (more commonly, the Provisional Irish Republican Army)? Are they too far in the past? They're not gone, just inactive.

    Christian terrorism takes place largely in India, Lebanon and Uganda. We just don't see so much of it on the news here in the states because that's brown-people news, and who cares about that?

    When was the last time that a school shooter said he was doing it because the bible commanded him to?

    Christian terrorists in the US like to go after abortion clinics. Robert L. Dear and Scott Roeder are two recent examples. Both were convinced Jesus was with them when they went active. Both of them were openly celebrated by Operation Rescue. And they continue to this day to seek out recruits willing to go that extra mile.

    Robert Doggart, an anti-Islam terrorist in the US was discovered by the FBI as amassing munitions consistent with other rampage attackers in the US with intent to attack Muslim institutions. He still believes Jesus wants him to kill Muslims. He remains at large.

    And we haven't yet gotten into Pirates and Emperors material in which terrorism is condoned because it is conducted (often on large scale) by entities that are considered legitimate. The CIA drone-strike campaigns which do little but massacre civilians in Afghanistan and Pakistan is, by any reasonable definition, terrorism. And a massacre. What do we call terrorism when it is authorized by the White House? The president could, with a single signature, save more lives than all the deaths by firearms in the US.

    Interestingly, the drone strikes are a total non-issue in our election campaign. It's not acknowledged at all. We in the US are amazingly comfortable with terrorism when it's happening to inconsequential people in nations we don't like much.

    Generally, from what I've experienced and understood of militants, they often have legitimate grievances which are not directly religious in nature (the sides may be cut by faith but that's about it) or they just like to watch the world burn. Either way, religion assuages some guilt and presents some means to dehumanize the enemy. And then we even have an atheist ideologist that convinced himself it was acceptable to shoot up some innocents. It always takes something more than faith to compel one to kill.

    But most Muslims -- even those who are outraged by acts of western imperialism -- are determined to be peaceful, even pacifist. And yes, this is despite that some of their own scripture, taken literally, could be interpreted to call them to arms. (So it is for Jews and Christians.)

    I'm sure that if you were to ask most bombing victims, they would say that they didn't think anything of the nice Muslim who walked into the shop/market/wherever and were taken completely by surprise when the place exploded.

    I'm sure that San Francisco pedestrians consistently give drivers the benefit of the doubt, sometimes even after they've been hit and permanently disabled. Just because a few drivers are careless or distracted doesn't mean we should judge the vast majority by them, and SF pedestrians have a statistically greater cause to be paranoid.

    The cure for terrorism, really, is to ignore the the causes and organizations. Detect and prosecute the offenders. Comfort the bereaved. Respect the fallen. But don't give time of day to the alleged causes that motivate them. Sadly, the fear and anger from terrorism turns news of it into click bait, and is used by our leaders to convince us to consolidate power. Terrorism is the perfect device by which to reverse centuries of progress away from totalitarian dictatorship.

    Though maybe some people like being ruled by a despotic king.

  • Aug 25th, 2016 @ 10:48pm


    The wetsuits I've worn get hot quickly when out of the water. They're meant to insulate from the ocean.

    As for women, it really depends on their modesty or whether or not people around them would be offended by nudity. After an industrial dive, everyone is exhausted and no one has the energy to ogle anyone else, or be offended by nudity, so they'll strip down. But I can see someone donning a top if post-dive footage is needed for a show or something.

  • Aug 25th, 2016 @ 10:44pm

    Freedom to discriminate against others.

    If it were up to me, the 9th amendment would prevent the first-amendment rights of one person or entity from asserting inequality on other persons. Refusing to serve a person because he's gay would be regarded similarly to refusing to serve a person because he's black.

    Which is to say I completely disagree with SCOTUS' Hobby Lobby ruling.

    I've never seen a Hobby Lobby, so I've never had the opportunity to not shop there and pay more at a competitor's for a hobbyist item to avoid shopping there.

  • Aug 25th, 2016 @ 9:42pm

    Re: Re: Burqinis et. al.

    I wonder what the reaction would be if the christian religions suddenly decided that all christian women must wear a nun's habit in public.

    Except that supposition doesn't reflect the current situation. Not all Muslims are suddenly deciding that all Muslim women must wear the hijab. Yes, it's mandated in some Islamic states, and France may have some families in which the women are pressured to wear Hijab, but to be sure a man in France who attacked improperly adorned women would be regarded as a criminal and a madman, and not tolerated.

    I'd be in favor of banning all religion.

    The problem there is that it's difficult to tell what counts as religion, what counts as ideology, and what counts as non-ideological information (e.g. the Theory of Evolution). We human beings suck at being able to separate out what is a fact (an observed event in nature) from what is an opinion, let alone notions like the value ratio between capital and labor.

    And as western culture is, religions would just pretend to be non-religions in order to be legally disseminated.

  • Aug 25th, 2016 @ 9:26pm

    Re: Islamophobia

    I forgot to italicize my quote. I hope it makes sense.

  • Aug 25th, 2016 @ 9:25pm


    Yes it's Islamophobia because something like that would NEVER happen...

    From this, I take that you are saying it's not Islamaphobia (id est, acceptable) to assume that a Muslim might dress as a woman and hide a bomb in his burqa because you can link to incidents in which terrorists did such a thing, yes?

    By the same logic can we assume that the people of the United States endorse massacring brown people considering how little anyone complains of the CIA drone strike programs (yet we do complain when someone shoots up a school of white children and kills twenty of them). That's legit, right?

    How about that conservative Americans and members of the Religious Right endorse the CIA Extrajudicial Detention and Interrogation program (id est, the state kidnapping and torturing people without due process), since so many of those outspokenly endorsed the torture program during the Bush years. That works too, right?

    I take we can assume by the article above that all French hate Muslims to the point they cannot stand seeing someone dressed in Islamic fashion.? Fucking bigots.

    Or maybe, just maybe, terrorists will terrorist, and it really doesn't matter what their religion is, considering western history is deluged in the blood of true Christians and Christian heretics.

    Once you decide that a certain logic is valid to condemn one group, you must apply it to all groups to which the paradigm fits.

    Unless you want to specially plead for one of them.

  • Aug 25th, 2016 @ 4:24pm

    (untitled comment)

    We've done this before. You might even remember some instances, such as when things were a bit rough in Northern Ireland. Yeah, it's still pretty tense there, (especially with Brexit looming.)

    The difference between (say) the US and Saudi Arabia is that here in the US we try to respect the rights of the individual, where in Saudi Arabia, the rights of the individual are disregarded.

    And that's the thing, it should be up to the woman. If a woman wants to wear a full-body swimsuit (burqini or otherwise) it should be her right to wear one, even if the local custom is to swim in a (limbless) one-piece, or a French-cut or nude. She should have the right in all cases to make her own decisions, and we condemn any nation that tries to impose limits on her, whether that is Saudi Arabia who wants all women completely concealed (including the face) or France, who disfavors Muslim-indicative attire.

    Fuck those nations for their contempt of their own people.

    Now, yes, some women in France (or here in the US) are forced by their husbands to do things they don't want. We here in the US have a considerable domestic abuse problem in and out of Islam. We want those women (and male victims) to be informed that they can escape that abuse if they want, and will be safe and supported once they do.

    But the beach of Nice is not the battleground for that. Especially since some women want to wear the burqini.

  • Aug 25th, 2016 @ 1:45pm

    What's more interesting to me is that you're continuing to blame Obama

    ...As if Romney or McCain would have been better?

    The system is irreparably corrupt. Putting Trump into office is only going to make it worse by (as what happened with Bush) providing a puppet for people to hate while people behind him steer public assets into their own coffers. Trump would let it happen, and probably wouldn't even care how it affects his image in history.

    I'm not arguing Clinton is a good choice. As someone who believed Obama's 2008 campaign promises of reform (Hope and change, remember that?) what he did is not what I voted for. But then again, Bush before him went hard right and full hawk despite his Compassionate Conservative campaign in 2000. Even after he lost the popular vote, and knew the nation was more liberal than he was.

    And yes, Clinton may continue to put the US further in debt (a topic worthy of its own discussion) but trump is not going to pull us out of debt, or even put us in less debt. As I said, most likely he'll subsidize those interests that will motivate him, possibly by having a shill insult him in public.

    No president is going to fix the nation. That's the problem. And blaming presidents for not fixing the nation doesn't move us any closer to fixing the nation.

    So yeah, social unrest if that's what you want to call it may be what dismantles the United States, but that's going to happen no matter who goes in the oval office, because the hands in the puppet (whichever puppen) aren't interested in fixing the nation for the long term, or in the interest of the people.

    Which was something I was trying to say in the first place. Please try to look past the party contest.

  • Aug 25th, 2016 @ 1:26pm

    Burqinis et. al.

    Um, Nuns are monastic, not clergy. And yes, some wear simple clothing out in public.

    But disallowing women to wear burqas or hijab or any other part of attire mandated by religion is the equivalent of disallowing a kippah. It is a violation of freedom of religion.

    To be fair I don't know if freedom of religion is as valued in France as it is in the US. I had always thought that France was Catholic and that regulation of other religious practices was acknowledged and accepted.

    Regardless, in an egalitarian state, any regulation of religious practice has to apply to all religions, not just a specific subset.

    Incidentally, wetsuits are often worn without a beach-ready swimsuit on underneath, rather have their own undergarment layers, if not a layer of grease.

  • Aug 25th, 2016 @ 1:14pm

    Sharia law in Saudi Arabia

    I suspect that those who suffer the harshest from Sharia law in Saudi Arabia don't have great options for escaping Saudi Arabia. Here in the US we have women trapped in Fundamentalist Muslim counties and we have Scientologists who are desperate to get out of their abusive circumstances, who know there are sanctuaries to which they can go, and yet are terrified to make that move.

    Moving from what you know to what you don't is considerable process even when you have enough support for it to be low risk. And in Saudi Arabia, low risk it is not.

  • Aug 25th, 2016 @ 8:03am

    So say there's this official...

    ...and he really wants to own all your shit and fuck your wife.

    He just needs to find something to pin on you, it doesn't even have to be a frame or a trumped charge, just enough to get probable cause.

    The SWAT guys come in, shoot up your house, take you to jail. Everything you own is seized via civil forfeiture. Chance of conviction (with no solid evidence) is 90%+, now you're in lock up.

    So he says to your wife, be my love slave and your hubby gets to stay in the swanky white-collar prisons. Refuse, and I'll make sure he's Bubba's plaything for a long, long time.

    If your wife doesn't cooperate, he can make you disappear into one of the secret infomax prisons, where you live under fluorescent lights 24/7 and the guard who walks up and down the hallway never talks to you. Ever.

    And this official, say a police chief, or a deputy mayor or even some civic-building middle office clerk, can totally do that. Has done it. There are more false convicts in US prisons than there are actual criminals. It's too bad that we can't separate the guys who were targeted from the guys with bad luck to be in the wrong place, from the guys who actually committed crimes. We have no functional justice system that actually determines guilt from innocence.

    Someone should write a story.

  • Aug 25th, 2016 @ 7:48am

    "Wow, so Reagan set the country on fire?"

    You don't get metaphor?

    Fair enough. No, he didn't literally set the nation on fire, but he did bring us a lot closer, by rekindling nuclear escalation with the Soviet Union. Nixon and Carter negotiated with the USSR and stood behind Peaceful Coexistence. But for Reagan (like Wilson) allowing for the godless Soviet Union to continue was intolerable to him, and he he felt that the fall of the USSR was the only acceptable outcome, even if it all had to end in nuclear fire.

    But no, the gates Reagan opened was to corporate lobbyists and the allowance of soft money in campaigning, from which we now have the corporate deadlock on politics today.

    But yes, it goes back to the eighties, and even further than that, but you might have to history some if you're going to comprehend anything beyond the party rhetoric.

    Good thing you have the internet.

  • Aug 25th, 2016 @ 7:02am

    ugh. Premature posting.

    An absent verb to be can ruin an entire presentation.

  • Aug 25th, 2016 @ 7:00am

    And all you think to do stroke your harp while it burns.

    Ah, it seems you and I were having different conversations entirely. I was talking about the virtues -- and necessity -- of a large powerful government. You seem to be seeing government as not a tool for creating a civilization but a campaigning chip by which to extol your party platform of choice.

    Considering the GOP is ready to spend billions on a useless wall and create Neuremburg laws regarding the Nonwhite and Muslem problems, the DNC distaste for dissent starts looking mild, particularly given the previous Repuplican administration burned spies and representatives for less than an imperfectly lined toe.

    Even before the current Trump problem, the GOP's platform had long festered down to who is or isn't allowed to fuck. And any pretense by the GOP of taste for small governmend disintegrates with military considerations.

    But the GOP is the only competition against which the DNC runs, and the more pathetic your caracatures of candidates run, the less the DNC has to do to compete, which is how Hillary can effectively run with total technical incompetence. The GOP failure to compete, gave the DNC a monopoly on rationality, and like Comcast, they provide shitty service at ridiculous cost.

    I'm not sure if the historians are going to argue that Reagan was the dolorous stroke from which the US bled out, or George W. Bush, but both of those guys were picked from the post-Southern-Strategy GOP pool, and between them, the shining city is ablaze. The proverbial barbarians are at our gates.

  • Aug 25th, 2016 @ 1:16am

    Conservative Christian Law as interpreted by the Religious Right in the US

    I'm not very fond of that stuff either.

    Really, it's come to using one ideology or another (religious or otherwise) to give legal preference to some people over others.

    And in the United States of America as I was taught to believe we operated, that's complete bullshit.

    (I grew up into disappointment, yet we still teach the ideals of social equality to our children, and to them we continue to pretend that's the way things are now.)

  • Aug 24th, 2016 @ 9:03pm

    not even a glimpse.

    If assets were to be returned and convictions vacated and convicts awarded damages, then maybe we could call this a rare glimpse of justice.

    For now it is the tattered shread of hope for an apology some day by our descendents.

  • Aug 24th, 2016 @ 4:19pm

    End FPTP, End electoral college.

    Since it would take a constitutional amendment to change the voting system to other than FPTP and it would take a constitutional amendment to remove the electoral college and go by popular vote, we could just do them both in one amendment.

    One amendment. One ratification.

    Not likely, but not less likely either.

  • Aug 24th, 2016 @ 4:13pm

    Sharia law

    I'm sure that Sharia law is a terror among Muslim children as well. It is a monster like Nuremburg laws and Jim Crow laws or even the Religious Right platform.

    Sharia is extreme enough that I can only believe most Muslims want to escape it, much as most people in camps of the Islamic State want nothing more but to flee them unscathed.

  • Aug 24th, 2016 @ 4:07pm


    We decided that proper and reasonable treatment of refugees was important after the Napoleonic wars, and the standards for such treatment remain enshrined as a testament to humanity in the Geneva and Hague conventions.

    Hospitality and fair treatment of refugees is not a duty that one nation owes to another nation, it's a duty that each of us, as individuals who benefit from national laws and identity, owe to all other individuals, considering that but for the grace of God (or your luck and fortune) you could also be outlawed by your own state and pushed out of its borders... or just executed and cremated in a mass oven.

    Of course, thanks to George W. Bush's administration the Geneva Convention doesn't mean as much as it once did, and we will have to relearn why we created and ratified it in the first place.

    So you can choose to vote against allowing refugees into your borders. You can choose to deny others sanctuary when their own have turned against them and the trains are getting packed and the ovens are on day and night.

    But when fortune turns around, and it happens to you, or your grandchildren or your descendants down the line, when they become the persecuted, when the death camps are cooking once again, you had best hope that the people controlling those borders are kinder, more empathetic or more honorable than you are.

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