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Comment Mod parent up! (Score 1) 1833

I absolutely agree. Given the choice to reply or moderate a misleading or erroneous post I'll moderate every time, for exactly this reason. I don't think it's because the reply is wrong, rather it isn't seen due to having a low initial score, and coming at a later time when it is more likely to get overlooked.

Comment Re:Reposting my comment from the original article. (Score 4, Insightful) 1833

- Add the ability to edit comments until they are moderated or have a reply

This would have to be done carefully, i.e. you can't post an edit after someone has clicked the reply button (not actually posted the reply). And the person replying would need to be notified if the post had been changed since the page was loaded.

Earlier in this discussion someone suggested to allow appending comments to your own post with a timestamp, but not editing the original text. That might be a better approach.

Comment Executive orders are not law in and of themselves (Score 1) 289

For this to be true, there must be some law passed by Congress making the donation illegal, presumably when the recipient is a member of some group as determined by the executive branch. Anyone have the details?

The courts would never fall for this, but if there isn't a very good justification for the law, Citizen's United ought to apply...

Comment Re:Not just "unreasonable". (Score 4, Informative) 221

As I see it, every agency that has a hand in the domestic surveillance programs detailed by Snowden is in violation of Federal law, and yes these are felonies. From Title 18 of the United States Code:

241. If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or
If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured—
They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

242. Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or to different punishments, pains, or penalties, on account of such person being an alien, or by reason of his color, or race, than are prescribed for the punishment of citizens, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

Submission + - Slashdot creates beta site users express theirs dislike (slashdot.org) 4

who_stole_my_kidneys writes: Slashdot started redirecting users in February to its newly revamped webpage and received a huge backlash from users. The majority of comments dislike the new site while some do offer solutions to make it better. The question is will Slashdot force the unwanted change on its users that clearly do not want change?

Submission + - SCOTUS to weigh smartphone searches by police (yahoo.com)

schwit1 writes: The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Friday to decide whether police can search an arrested criminal suspect's cell phone without a warrant in two cases that showcase how the courts are wrestling to keep up with rapid technological advances.

Taking up cases from California and Massachusetts arising from criminal prosecutions that used evidence obtained without a warrant, the high court will wade into how to apply older court precedent, which allows police to search items carried by a defendant at the time of arrest, to cell phones.

Comment Re:Hold on there... (Score 4, Informative) 187

The judges know that a true adversarial process is not on the table - and never will be. They aren't calling for real reform. Mostly they are worried about their workload. This is all spelled out in the actual document which you can get here They don't want an advocate or adversarial process, because it wouldn't change anything.

Here is the full quote: "The participation of a privacy advocate is unnecessary and could prove counterproductive in the vast majority of FISA matters, which involve the application of a probable cause or other factual standard to case-specific facts and typically implicate the privacy interests of few persons other than the specific target. Given the nature of FISA proceedings, the participation of an advocate would neither create a truly adversarial process nor constructively assist the Court in assessing the facts, as the advocate would be unable to communicate with the target or conduct an independent investigation. Advocate involvement in run-of-the-mill FISA matters would substantially hamper the work of the Courts without providing any commensurate benefit in terms of privacy protection or otherwise; indeed, such pervasive participation could actually undermine the Courts' ability to receive complete and accurate information on the matters before them."

Of course, we already know the courts are not getting complete and accurate information, and they rubber-stamp orders anyway.

Comment Re:It's rigged (Score 4, Insightful) 187

Fire them and throw them into jail.

A federal judge will never go to prison for rendering judgments favorable to the administration.

Soap box, ballot box, jury box... all have been subverted or suppressed to the point of failure. Massive protests? We had some a couple years ago, they were shut down by riot police. Elections are subverted by the money and connections necessary to get your name on a ballot. The jury box is of little utility. The role of a jury today is lessened from what it once was. The DoJ is more interested in prosecuting whistle-blowers while declining to prosecute bankers or even investigate documented illegal acts within the Executive branch, past and present. Hell, Holder even thinks he can justify extra-judicial killings of Americans.

"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe

The "awkward stage" ends when the populace is more concerned with civil rights than American Idol. I don't see that happening yet. It might be possible to reign in some abusive practices without violence, but the more time passes the more difficult that will be.

Comment It's rigged (Score 5, Insightful) 187

If they're against an adversarial process, that suggests that the FISA court is not a neutral party. While I agree that it is inadequate, a third-party advocate for civil liberties would be better than the nothing that we have at the moment.

I'm suspicious of an advocate chosen by the court. Fox guarding the henhouse?

Then again, I'm also suspicious of secret court proceedings.

Submission + - NSA Can Bridge Air-Gapped Systems (nytimes.com) 2

jddeluxe writes: An article just published in the New York Times outlines how the NSA has compromised systems not connected to the Internet.
The practice, ongoing from 2008, " relies on a covert channel of radio waves that can be transmitted from tiny circuit boards and USB cards inserted surreptitiously into the computers. In some cases, they are sent to a briefcase-size relay station that intelligence agencies can set up miles away from the target."
Break out the tin foil hats...

Comment Re:Almost no one is killed by "assault weapons" (Score 1) 1862

Nice attempt to spin the story, but nothing indicates that it jammed because of his "haste". He did manage to change magazines. Those magazines tend to cause jams because of the forces involved with the long spring. Lives were spared because he used an extended magazine.

Reloading with a magazine takes almost no time... well under a second If you are competent. At Columbine, Sandy Hook and VA tech the shooters reloaded many times, and nobody stopped them.

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