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Comment Re:Cry More (Score 2) 139

If you are a real journalist doing a real story, you will already have other sources that support whatever story you are writing. Getting the FOIA data may be the "smoking gun" you need to publish your story. Paying for that is the coast of doing business, and in many cases, you are just paying for actual costs of photocopies.

Having the public information "leak" early should have minimal impact on your ability to recover the investment you have put into researching the story and interviewing people for quotes. If anything you will be in a stronger position to explain what the data means and increase audience for story.

If you can't compete with that much of a head start, then maybe you need to try harder next time.

Comment Re:Cry More (Score 3, Insightful) 139

I did read it. And I stand by what I said. They only reason not to publish every public document held by the government is because there are some documents for a variety of reasons need to be held private, at least for a period of time. And yes, it take effort to sort out which is which. However, once that effort has been made, by someone paying to sort it out. The reason for holding it back disappears.

I think that it is more likely, is that with greater access to these pre-vetted documents, more issues of public interest could pursued and exposed. Something missed by a few eyes could be seen by many more.

Comment Re:What a surprise (not) (Score 1) 265

If 5 seconds ago, someone attacks you and tries to take your weapon

Unfortunately for your argument, even that circumstance is under dispute. By some accounts, the officer tried to quickly open his car door while he was too close to Brown, the door bounced off him and hit the officer, and then the officer shot Brown (the first time) in retaliation for his own stupidity.

I agree the facts are under dispute. I'm merely pointing out the scenario where lethal force is justified.

the only way to deescalate it back to a non-lethal level is complete and unconditional surrender.

(Continuing the same account) after getting shot the first time, Brown ran away (justly fearing for his life), got shot at again, and turned around attempting to surrender. Then the officer continued shooting until he fell over dead.

Again, more facts that are disputed. I don't know that he was fired at when his back was turned, and I don't know that he was actually trying to surrender.

The lesson black Americans are learning from this atrocity is:

  • If you attempt to assert yourself, you will be murdered.
  • If you attempt to flee, you will be murdered.
  • Even if you attempt to surrender, you will still be murdered!

If any lesson can be learned by black or white Americans, it should be this. Don't rob stores. If a cop tells you to get out of the road, do it without comment, and certainly don't take a swing at him though the window of his police vehicle. But, if you've done the first three, under no circumstances reach in and try to grab his gun.

Comment Re:What a surprise (not) (Score 0) 265

None of the shots hit him from behind. All three autopsies agree on this. The rest of that quote is just noise.

8+ shots fired rapidly in two bursts within 10 seconds doesn't not indicate much for either side. In defensive situations, you fire until the threat is stopped. I don't think at any point the cop ever thought "I'm going to kill this kid". I think he reacted to a situation that escalated quickly into a life or death situation much the same as any person would. Maybe he overreached, but maybe he used the exactly the amount of force needed to resolve the situation. I simply don't have enough information to know and I doubt anyone getting their information from media reports does either.

If 5 seconds ago, someone attacks you and tries to take your weapon, yes, the threshold for justification of lethal force is crossed. In fact, once the altercation escalates to the point of struggling for a cop's weapon, the only way to deescalate it back to a non-lethal level is complete and unconditional surrender. The cop has every right to attempt to stop a fleeing attacker even if lethal force is required.

Comment Re:What a surprise (not) (Score 0) 265

Actually, yeah, if you try to disarm a cop and get wounded doing it, then you try to flee, the cop has the right to use force (including lethal) to effect an arrest.

There are conflicting accounts as to if the guy was trying to surrender, or if he attempted to lunge for the cop a second time. I honestly don't know what was happening. But, I don't think the cop was planning on killing the guy. Possibly his judgment got clouded after the struggle during which his gun discharged twice. Against a much larger/younger/stronger assailant anything short of him falling to the ground spread eagle should be viewed suspiciously.

Comment Re:What right do they have anyway? (Score 4, Insightful) 144

The point is to determine if each request is covered by the law. The problem is that the requests they get are not individually approved by a court, that would make it too easy. Instead, they HAVE to be the judge of which requests are covered by the law.

Personally, I think this is a BS law. If something is legally present on web, ie. a ten year old news story, then it should be index-able. However, if there a a factual problem, or contains private information, then the site owners should be required to correct it or take it down. The idea of going after the index is ridiculous, not effective and lazy.

Comment Re:Imminent Threat (Score 1) 249

Off the top of my head, I can only imagine a situation where a phone is strongly suspected to contain information relating to a kidnapping, bombing, etc where the information may lead to the rescue of a victim or victims. In other cases they can collect the phone while they wait for a warrant from a judge.

"Consider a spherical bear, in simple harmonic motion..." -- Professor in the UCB physics department