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Comment: Re:yet if we did it (Score 1) 370

No. The only way to hope to (re-?)establish order and honor in the police is to hold them to the very laws they are expected to enforce. If there are no consequences when they disobey the laws, then they will continue to become more arbitrary, dishonorable, an untrustworthy.

For that matter, they should be held to a higher standard. A police officer should be held more stringently to obedience to the law than a normal citizen, and the punishment should be harsher (though not by too much) when they break the laws.

That they are not is quite clear, so their powers should be reduced, because they have been repeatedly shown to not be trusted with the ones that they have. For this reason I am in favor of requiring a camera that they cannot disable to be upon them at all times, and that malfunction of the camera should mean that they are not paid for that period AND that an independent investigation of the case is launched. It should record sound as well as video, and should be immediatedly transmitted to a secure read-only cache. Also, they should be on leave without pay from the instant the camera is disabled until it is repaired.
This is clearly an onerous requirement, and if the police had been shown to be at all trustworthy I wouldn't consider anything this strict. They have, however, shown that they cannot be so trusted.

Also, any action that they take while the camera is known to be non-operational and they are in uniform should be considered taken "under the cloak of authority", i.e., if they commit a crime, there is an additional penalty because they are fraudulently claiming to represent the law. Because of this the camera should be equipped with a soft beep that plays intermittently while it is operational, and a louder chirp that plays intermittently (once every 2 sec.?) while it is non-functional. Perhaps the chirp could encode the camera id, so that others recording in the area would have information as to which one.

Comment: Re:yet if we did it (Score 1) 370

OK, then *I'll* say that the supervisor who said that was legal superior and ordered police to follow it should be charged with ... I want "conspiracy to commit manslaughter", but I don't think that's possible, so I'd settle for malfeasance. And I don't think that excuses the officer from negligent homocide....unless you want to argue that he did it intentionally.

The fact that this is a part of a pattern of behavior means that I don't think he should be exonerated even if the evidence were to show that in this particular case the bicyclist *did* swerve out in front of him.

Comment: Re:Free market escapades! (Score 1) 69

by HiThere (#47802043) Attached to: China Gives Microsoft 20 Days To Respond To Competition Probe

Imagined? I doubt that. From what I read in the summary it sounded like they were pissed off when their old programs couldn't read the new file format. To me that sounds fair. I don't think very highly of breaking backwards compatibility. It's occasionally necessary, but extremely more rarely than it is done. Usually it seems a strategy to force a purchase of new versions. And to me that sounds like abuse of a dominant market position. (I'd say abuse of monopoly, but somebody always thinks that means there aren't any competitors.)

Comment: Re:Globalization (Score 1) 397

by HiThere (#47794395) Attached to: Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

Sorry, but I think you're wrong.

The problem here appears to be that the Irish subsidiary of MS is a wholly owned subsidiary, so MS (the US corporation) has control over it. If MS were an Irish corporation, and the US corporation were a wholly owned subsidiary of it, then the US corporation would not have control over the Irish corporation.

A secondary problem is that currently the US corporation is being ordered to force the Irish corporation (which it controls) to violate Irish law. Presumably if the ownership were inverted the Irish court would not do some equivalent ruling (being a bit less megalomaniacal). But even if it did something stricktly analogous, the US doesn't protect the data on consumers so there would be no law violated. (Which, of course, means that it's not strictly analogous....analogies are slippery.)

Comment: Re:Jail them for contempt (Score 1) 246

by HiThere (#47786673) Attached to: US Government Fights To Not Explain No-Fly List Selection Process

Your mistake is assuming monolithic intent. Even a single judge has intentions that vary from minute to minute...just as yours do. When you factor in a large number of judges you get a large variation in intent. Sometimes they are even worse than you are currently imagining. Sometimes they are focused on the rule of law. Sometimes they are of some idealistic bent or other.

So the kind of result that you are expecting is possible, but not inevitable, even with a judge that usually bends to the wind. And some judges rarely do that.

Even so, I figure that the trend toward centralized authoritarianism is designed into they sysstem, given the greatly improved speed of communication and transportation. And, of course, the closing of the frontier. There's now nowhere to go to escape them. This makes designs that were only a bit authoritarian at the start ("I smell a rat. It squints towards monarchy."--Patrick Henry on the US Constitution) much more authoritarian now. The British system, with all its faults, is a lot better, but then it *evolved* under tyranny. (Unfortunately, they've been disabling their safeguards over the recent decades. Now Lords can be members of the House of Commons, IIUC, and that's totally insecure. The change they *should* have made would be to continue the separation, but so automatically promote into the aristocracy anyone who is sufficiently rich and powerful. Possibly also a provision to demote from the aristocracy the heirs of anyone who loses their wealth and power...but with a time lag to allow them to recover without loss of "status".)

Comment: Re:THIS (Score 1) 246

by HiThere (#47786551) Attached to: US Government Fights To Not Explain No-Fly List Selection Process

There really *is* a difference. It rarely translates into action, but it infuses the rhetoric used. The Democrats want more people to like them, and the Republicans want more powerful people to like them. So they say the things they think will cause that to happe, while acting as self-serving greedy immoral power-seeking proto-despots (who are trying to lose the "proto-").

Comment: Re:It'd be nice... (Score 1) 246

by HiThere (#47786507) Attached to: US Government Fights To Not Explain No-Fly List Selection Process

I take it you haven't known many. I'll agree that many of them believe that "all rights belong to the proprietor", and many of them don't stop to think that the title to the property is given by the state.

Or maybe the people I knew were just anarchists who called themselves libertarians.

Comment: Re:It'd be nice... (Score 1) 246

by HiThere (#47786435) Attached to: US Government Fights To Not Explain No-Fly List Selection Process

Depends on your metric, and not everyone uses the same one.

Example: Do you count Snowden's revelations as a part of Obama's transparency? Some do. Some don't. You can argue either way. Arguments over "sound bite" ideas aren't worth much. And quantity isn't as important as quality, but how do you measure quality?

FWIW, I could Bush's Iranian missles as a strong and important example of lack of transparency. (Most people couldn't see through it...even years later many people still believed it.) It's hard to think of anything quite as "qualitatively important" that Obama has hidden...though we may find out one in a few years, or decades.

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