Uriel-238’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Mar 22nd, 2019 @ 7:38pm

    Convictions rather than fair adjudications

    This is something we've long established. The justice system has long been rated by its number of convictions rather than by the number of fair adjudications determined without error. But there are no methods of oversight in place, so as far as most are concerned, a conviction is a criminal contained.

    Curiously, we also see acquittals as escaping justice and tough on crime means giving suspects without means little to no chance to adequately make their case.

    We do have some nonprofit groups that look to publicize convicts that were exonerated later, but they receive little empathy, as do those in prison when it comes to abuse. Ours is a society in which don't drop the soap jokes are routine and come up even in children's programming. Yes, we are teaching our children by implication that prison rape is acceptable.

    Our legal system and penal system may be so corrupt from their intentions that we may have to demolish them entirely and create another system anew, because there's just too many people who benefit from how the system works now and rapturously profit from the mass suffering it perpetuates.

  • Mar 21st, 2019 @ 3:46pm

    "Both officers were dealing with the driver at the time"

    If that's the case then there would be video footage of them managing the driver, yes?

  • Mar 21st, 2019 @ 11:16am

    Failed body cam

    Body cam fails are prevalent in police-involved suspicious circumstances. At this point they should lose benefit of doubt whenever a body cam fails and a suspicious circumstance occurs.

    This is a highly suspicious incident with a body cam fail. And a death is involved.

    The law enforcement officers involved deserve no benefit of doubt.

  • Mar 21st, 2019 @ 1:29am

    Tranquilizers for disagreeable patients.

    It bothers me when posts start with something like:

    Unfortunately this article seems to come from a biased point of view as opposed to one that exhibits education and experience pertaining to this subject matter...

    ...but rather than getting into the specific points (to illustrate the bias) simply assume it's true and obvious for everyone:

    ...which sadly only goes into feeding the fear and mistrust of those who risk their lives to serve and protect us every day.


    It is far more concerning in situations like these to have an officer who opposes the use chemical sedation than one who will advocate for it.

    Having been in partial-hospital programs, it's been distressing to me how eager nurses can be to administer tranquilizers when their authority is challenged. I didn't raise my voice. I didn't make any threats or show any physical signs of aggression. I only raised questions about what the nurse was doing and why the program group was being subjected to it. In minutes I was face to face with the ward psychiatrist all-too-happy to dispense me a pill that would turn me into a drooling idiot. And this was without consulting my current psychiatric physician.

    If the case at the McAuley Institute was unique, I could report it as an anomaly protocol. But this tactic is typical in the psychiatric sector as recent as the late aughts and there's no indication that things would have gotten better since then, considering the change in political clime. (I was in PHP in the late 1990s). Patients are typically sedated for the convenience of nurses without consideration of what the patient needs, or whether his grievance has legitimacy.

    So it would only follow that we allow for suspects to be sedated for the convenience of law enforcement, rather than in the best interests of the suspects they are detaining, without consulting the suspect's / patient's physicians and legal council first.

    Institutional power is dangerous.

  • Mar 20th, 2019 @ 8:36pm

    "People who have no need to obey our laws"

    Law enforcement? Plutocrats? Corporations?

  • Mar 20th, 2019 @ 3:00pm

    Schrödinger's Inmate

    The previous calculation error resulted in two homicides by an inmate who was released too early.

    To clarify, the two homicides were by two separate mistakenly-released inmates. Jeremiah A. Smith and Robert T Jackson according to this article.

    The article also suggests Smith was released in May rather than August of the same year, so while the homicide was facilitated by a three-month-early release. So he was probably likely to recitivize anyway, just in August rather than May. Contrast if Smith had a few more years to serve, in which case the North Spokane's occupants (and Smith's character) may have changed considerably.

    But he was being released in August, which means he was likely to recidivize anyway. Which means Caesar Medina, the victim, would be alive, unaware he escaped death. And whatever victims were spared thanks to this incident do not know they escaped death by a software error.

    This is a quantum mechanics calculation, isn't it?

  • Mar 20th, 2019 @ 2:15pm

    But what about ICE?

    But without repair shops to shut down what will California-based ICE agents do now?

  • Mar 19th, 2019 @ 3:33pm

    Death as result of police encounter

    Police-involved deaths are still averaging about a thousand per year, so not terrible considering police encounters per year. But conspicuous among all of them is the obscurity of the facts.

    We're expected to trust law enforcement to be truthful (when false testimony is epidemic) and that they acted appropriately and in good faith even when publicly known evidence tells a different story. And when evidence exists that suggests there was misconduct, we the public are asked to trust them, often while they withhold evidence in the hands of law enforcement, whether it would vindicate them or not.

    So the public is learning not to trust law enforcement to be truthful or act in good faith.

    You're probably not going to die from a police encounter, but if they do kill you, there will be no justice and no compensation for your family, and the guy who got you will probably continue to have a job policing and eventually shooting other people.

  • Mar 19th, 2019 @ 2:54pm

    Kama-Sutra Yoga Suicide

    It's my new grunge band.

  • Mar 19th, 2019 @ 2:20pm

    "...If the law doesn't apply to everyone..."

    Prosecutorial Discretion is an established practice here in the states discussed at length both here and Popehat which is only one of the ways selective enforcement is practiced in the United States.

    So we've long established before the current era the law doesn't apply to everyone. It bugs me how often the US is talked about as a nation of laws when we totally aren't.

  • Mar 19th, 2019 @ 2:11pm

    Scared police officers murdering people.

    They're currently in their freikorps phase with some agencies going into their Sturmabteilung phase.

    When the ICE purges the CBP we'll know that they've gone full Schutzstaffel.

  • Mar 19th, 2019 @ 2:05pm

    Scared police officers murdering people.

  • Mar 19th, 2019 @ 2:02pm

    Cop hate

    It's not hatred of law, nor of law enforcement. It's presuming that since police officers are so commonly caught of misconduct and have been so willfully looking to obstruct checks on their power and obfuscate information used to watch their conduct that there are no arguments to be made that they're conducting themselves properly.

    Feel free to try to make one.

  • Mar 19th, 2019 @ 1:06pm

    Favoring work that is productive

    My point was that I disagree with you. Only people combating avolition (regarded as a common symptom of depression) will stay in their houses, drink cheap beer, and watch everything the entertainment industry can produce. That human beings are, as observed by the psychiatric sector, a rather industrious lot.

    Yes, it is a common notion that people are intrinsically lazy, a belief we get from Calvanist protestantism a notion persistent enough to drive western society to force prisoners to turn a crank for their meals (later, the treadmill actually produced a useful output. Both devices resulted in prisoners starving to death for failing meet work quotas). It's the same notion that drove the system of workhouses and drives penal slave labor programs that persist in the US today. So I would submit there is an intrinsic danger in capitalism of bending society towards cruelty, and in some cases, disaster.

    And yet, capitalism doesn't favor all work that is productive and useful, or even essential work. Note how parents do a tuckfun of work that isn't even recognized in the US. Note the quality of life on which teachers subsist. In our society, we regard fetuses as far more valuable than actual children, the welfare benefits of whom our current administration (an administration directed by capitalists) is currently determined to defund.

    There are biases in what work capitalism values and how much it's willing to pay for it. Again, here in the states, most of our workforce are under-employed, earn a pittance for the work they do and have no job security.

    So the question is, do we dare try out a system that may drive people to produce what they want, themselves, (rather than what a capitalist wants) at the risk that no-one else will want it? Considering what capitalism has wrought of our society, such an experiment would have to fail pretty badly to do worse.

  • Mar 19th, 2019 @ 10:55am

    What's wrong with the law

    If the law was consistently enforced, maybe. Because then even aristocrats, corporations and public officials would get tracked down.

    But as it is, it's very easy to break the law, and it's very easy to put away people disliked by officials (conspiracy and espionage are old favorites), and it's very easy for prosecutors to engage in prosecutorial discretion and give out mulligans to his friends.

    Our current administration has established that crime is what other people do so your free-for-all methods of hunting down criminals is going to turn into a free-for-all method of hunting down untermenschen. That we tag a crime on them first is just a procedural detail.

  • Mar 18th, 2019 @ 3:27pm

    ICE Has Access To ALPR Databases

    Because of course they do?

    Surveillance missions don't creep, they infect.

  • Mar 18th, 2019 @ 3:23pm

    The fruit of wisdom

    The fruit of wisdom wasn't an apple until Apple made a deal with the Church, about twenty years after the Wonder account.

    The original Apple story was Eris who tossed her magic golden iPhone into a semi-divine wedding turning it into a goddess free-for-all. Garments were rended. Wardrobes malfunctioned. Everybody flashed everybody.

    Best. Party. Ever.

  • Mar 18th, 2019 @ 12:47pm

    Heh, I just realized this makes an argument for Basic Income

    Human beings in my experience doing social work, are crazy industrious. Sure, those who suffer from major depression may couch-potato out for months at a time, but the rest of us get antsy, bored, stir-crazy. Even when we don't have to worry about electric bills or where our next meal is coming from, we start jonesing for something productive to do.

    So what do we do? Some of us build models, or write fan fiction or volunteer at soup kitchens or turn our Terraria worlds into giant calculators (thereby teaching ourselves electronics logic) or creating giant sculptures in Minecraft.

    Some of us become computer gurus who go to MUGs or PCUGs or LUGs every week to share our ninja skills with other users. (Do Mac users and Linux users still try to convert Windows users?)

    And some of us take toys that are broken (including toys broken at the corporate service end) and fix them or repurpose them. When researching the new Hello Barbie doll I found a hobbyist hacking My Friend Cayla to customize her conversation, and had created a better user interface for the doll's Android app.

    One thing we've determined about capitalism is that it's really shitty at rewarding people for the work they do, except when it's appreciated by someone who already has money (typically not the public) and even then our plutocrats are known being super opinionated and not tipping well.

    Basic income would fuel end-user cross services, including a lot of (currently under-supported) open-source projects to get additional support that rich capitalists aren't willing to support. Granted some of them will be unpopular and stupid. But some of them will be really useful, especially to those of us who don't have gazillions to into projects.

    Would BI waste more income than our current system which funnels money into the coffers of those who manufacture addictive schlock (and addictive drugs)? I'm guessing probably not.

  • Mar 18th, 2019 @ 12:25pm

    The right to make informed decisions

    Our entire society is based about coercing people into making critical decisions under duress without being fully informed what they're getting into.

    Heck, the institution of marriage is based on keeping horny people from humping until they get a lifelong, committed license, which they commonly did before they even knew that person. Heck, for centuries almost all marriages were arranged.

    Our entire economy runs on hidden costs, on hidden contingencies, on incomplete instruction manuals, on warranties that don't cover raindrops or magnetic fields or high humidity.

    Service guarantees, for that matter, that don't cover hostile takeovers, or corporate bankruptcy.

  • Mar 18th, 2019 @ 10:49am

    "Doesn't follow"

    You can argue maybe it's a slippery slope, but right now companies who control services on which devices are dependent can do so with impunity, having to face nothing more than disgruntled customers.

    As things are, we have operating systems that can be bricked from the support end, or that depend on phoning home to continue. In the case of Windows 10, while it's not (yet) dependent on phoning home, it's difficult to get it to function when ti doesn't, and Microsoft can brick it when decides a given end user isn't worthy. So far, Microsoft's use of this power has not yet been shown to be malicious as far as I know. (Though stories of bricked XBoxes sometimes suggest spite.)

    It might be prudent for our regulators to mandate that they have an end-of-life plan to facilitate continuity of service or at least transition to non-service-dependent use. Thanks to Anonymous Coward for lending me a term for it.

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