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Comment: Lazy DOJ (Score 1) 403

If the only way you can get a conviction is with access to encrypted documents, the law you're enforcing is probably unconstitutional... Or the prosecutor is REALLY bad at their job.

And remember kids, the DOJ is executive, not judiciary. They can think whatever dumb shit they want. That doesn't mean a judge is going to agree with them.

Comment: Re:What does it mean? (Score 2) 160

by Brennan Pratt (#48854307) Attached to: A State-By-State Guide To Restrictive Community Broadband Laws
From the actual article:

"These data do not necessarily mean that 82% (78% + 4%) of housing units have two or three competitive options for wireline broadband service—the data used here do not provide adequate information on price and performance to determine if multiple providers present in a given area compete head-to-head."

So that's kinda a big fat nothing statistic.

Comment: Re:Long Game + Lazy Prosecution (Score 1) 562

by Brennan Pratt (#48847095) Attached to: Obama: Gov't Shouldn't Be Hampered By Encrypted Communications
Right. I invented it in the OP you responded to. That dictated the context. Since this appears to have gone outside that context, I decline to respond further. See my other response on the ways in which data is different, and the "is it speech" split on 5th Amendment protections.

Comment: Re:Long Game + Lazy Prosecution (Score 1) 562

by Brennan Pratt (#48846697) Attached to: Obama: Gov't Shouldn't Be Hampered By Encrypted Communications
Even more relevant to your "data is physical evidence" is this: http://www.scotusblog.com/2014... In the context of 4th Amendment and search pursuant arrest, the court found that data is NOT simply the contents of a locked container that police would ordinarily be able to search without a warrant. Data is different, and there's no consensus on whether 5th Amendment protections shield someone defying a court order to decrypt something.

Comment: Re:Long Game + Lazy Prosecution (Score 1) 562

by Brennan Pratt (#48846591) Attached to: Obama: Gov't Shouldn't Be Hampered By Encrypted Communications
Data is an abstraction of physical objects that can't be interpreted without the help of a machine. An encryption key usually takes the form of language that enables mathematical way of interpreting otherwise inscrutable contents. Imagine you're being arrested for possession of pot, but your back yard appears to be filled with ferns, and some magic word would change the contents like an old-style speakeasy. And that ain't even touching on the implications of deniable partitions. And this doesn't really address at all my main point: if encrypted data is your only source of evidence, you're either really bad at your job or prosecuting a thought crime.

Comment: Long Game + Lazy Prosecution (Score 2) 562

by Brennan Pratt (#48841233) Attached to: Obama: Gov't Shouldn't Be Hampered By Encrypted Communications
It seems like this might be one part "make the Republicans look like terrorist-loving pedophiles by mindlessly opposing me," and one part "make sure even the stupids want encryption."

Also, if encrypted information is required to convict someone? The prosecutor is either REALLY bad (and then the person should go free anyway), or the law under which that person is being prosecuted is unconstitutional. Encryption takes speech and makes it secret. We have very few exceptions to free speech, and all of them involve generating eyewitness testimony and physical evidence. A competent prosecutor could make a case without it.

Comment: Re:Love how he had all these great ideas (Score 1) 417

by Brennan Pratt (#48817161) Attached to: Obama Unveils Plan To Bring About Faster Internet In the US
We are not yet in a single-payer system, which means the market remains in the driver's seat. Where it can go and what it might do have been limited compared to what came before, but the government has principally limited the market in places where the market, if left to its own devices, would simply take advantage of those that need it the most. The market's treatment of pre-existing conditions is a known black mark against those that argue that free market forces will fix everything. They won't. Free market sees the uninsured being denied access to emergency rooms and the elderly being discharged when their incipient deaths are no longer profitable, or when a more profitable disease comes along and the space is needed. That is what free market health care looks like. It is not something any democratic majority (or any particular collection of sane people) would want. The health care market needs the government to give it some paved roads to drive on, to extend your driver's seat analogy. Otherwise it'll just be driving through human lives and accumulated wealth with indifference. Also, when a collection of laws creates a health entity (ACO) that is exempt from regulation, that's allowing the market more freedom, not less.

You're going to need to explain the FU bit about cost controllers. It forced an administrative/medical care ratio on insurance companies. That means that insurance companies can't pile on administrative costs forever. It also increased the minimum requirements of insurance so that what "insruance" is isn't $25 a month feel-good, get-sick-and-die policy. Is that your complaint? That insurance companies are now required to offer something that can actually be substantively described as "insurance"?

As I said, this bill did a lot-lot. Most of which isn't something a non-legal or non-health observer would necessarily notice. We don't necessarily need more doctors (just allow nurses to practice within the scope of their training, that's one of several quick fixes) or more hospitals. Just because you cannot see or understand the difference doesn't mean the difference isn't there. Your nonsense about buck-passing might apply to the Medicare changes (a fraction of the PPACA), but not to much else. The President and the Democrats and a couple Republicans actually -did- something. If its a buck passed, then its a buck that no one else has bothered or managed to pass in the history of the US.

And speaking as a healthy white 30-something male, the exact type of person who is now being forced to participate in a collective risk pool my age group has traditionally opted out of: fine. I get it. This is part of being a community, and paying taxes sucks, but this is the least horrible option available that the government was actually able to pass. (And full disclosure: my plan is not subsidized by premium tax credits.)

Comment: Re:Love how he had all these great ideas (Score 1) 417

by Brennan Pratt (#48815045) Attached to: Obama Unveils Plan To Bring About Faster Internet In the US
If nothing else, it gave the market, which has long proported to be capable of self-management (an earnest lie, health is an infinite good and doctor/nurse shortages are a realistic concern) a last chance to prove it. And it was a step forward, and the only step forward that was available at the time. More specifically, it granted the federal Medicaid authority methods for managing costs in experimental programs, promulgated a form of health entity exempt from kickback and stark for purposes of experimentation, unified risk pools, and at least put the mechanism in place to incentivize large employer insurance -- even if the current fine attached to non-providing is generally less than the cost of providing (because it wasn't properly matched to an index). The Medicaid Expansion SCOTUS opinion (which is incoherent, given Medicaid's history) also complicated things, and the current SCOTUS challenge related to poor drafting also didn't help.

It also closed the authorization window for Medicare that people were using to defraud the government.

This bill did a lot-lot. Most of which isn't something a non-legal or non-health observer would necessarily notice. That doesn't mean the bill's architects and the president that actually got it passed don't deserve mad props.

Comment: Re:Love how he had all these great ideas (Score 5, Insightful) 417

by Brennan Pratt (#48810945) Attached to: Obama Unveils Plan To Bring About Faster Internet In the US
Obamacare was the most radical healthcare reform in a century. And also probably fifty years overdue. Regardless of the difficulties of implementation, it was a law we needed, and he got it passed.

Mind you, every right-thinking person ought to find the scales just about even with this domestic spying bullshit. The man was a Constitutional professor, and instead of thinking like an academic -- who would have known the direction SCOTUS was heading and that bullshit like the third party doctrine had no place justifying the disclosure of involuntarily produced records -- and instead thinks like a lawyer -- who did something because there was no case law directly on point that said he couldn't. That's a dick move. Even if Bush put it in place, Obama defended it. Total dick move.

Comment: AIDS treatment might be effective... (Score 1) 193

http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/27/...
Assuming this is honest, it seems amazing. Mortality rate down to 13%. When you're talking epidemic, throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks seems like the only way to do it. You think they have problems getting people to go to the hospital now, imagine how hard it would be if word went around that you might wind up in a control group?

Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success. -- Christopher Lascl

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