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Comment: Re:Really? .. it comes with the job (Score 1) 772

by JonathanR (#48560609) Attached to: CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

I think the US Constitution purports to apply to federal actors. It seems to be worded in a way to put limits on their behavior.

As Lysander Spooner wrote:

But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.

Personally, I think its purpose is to dupe people into believing that the racket that calls itself the United States of America is somehow a legitimate form of thuggery.

Comment: A Sense of Community (Score 1) 205

by JonathanR (#48552057) Attached to: The Failed Economics of Our Software Commons

Not everything boils down to rational economics. People do lots of things voluntarily, without expectation of immediate financial gain.

The other issue with infrastructure type software (viz. OpenSSL) is that once created, they only occasionally require modification. It isn't a full time job. It'd be better managed by some interested custodians in their spare time (or rather; in time they choose to allocate to the pursuit); than for the software to be owned and managed by some organisation which assigns square pegs to round holes in order to get some half-arsed patches written and out "on time and within budget".

Comment: Severance agreement? (Score 1) 398

by JonathanR (#48551445) Attached to: Displaced IT Workers Being Silenced

Somebody needs to explain why anyone would sign a "severance agreement". If you're going to fire me, then fire me. If you want my ongoing loyalty, then respect me and pay me (which really means continue to employ me).

If you force me to sign a "severance agreement", then you've not actually got any contractual agreement, since it was signed under duress. Of course, there's always the point about consideration. I might be interested in waiving the duress; for a price.

Comment: Re:Biased summary (Score 1) 282

by JonathanR (#48127493) Attached to: Four Dutch Uberpop Taxi Drivers Arrested, Fined

I obviously see it differently. Yes price is a factor. But Australia went to regulated taxis for safety reasons. Both that safety of the driver and the passenger. Here most taxi drivers are their own business and operate under the banner of the major brands.

Also I don't see how I am being taken from a government approved start to finish? Unless you mean a street address? I think you are stretching a bow here. Regulation is not inherently bad

This is bullshit. Each state racket has their own scheme of licensing, it isn't unified across the continent. As for most taxi drivers owning their own business; you'll more likely find that the licenses are owned by (and traded amongst) a class of wealthy investors who wouldn't see fit to sit their arses in the driver's seat of a cab.

The drivers are likely to be impoverished newly minted immigrants who get paid a pittance and, typically lacking in local language fluency, get fleeced when legal things go awry.

Comment: Re:Biased summary (Score 3, Insightful) 282

by JonathanR (#48127455) Attached to: Four Dutch Uberpop Taxi Drivers Arrested, Fined

But that doesn't make it right.

Its what makes society function. Not every "outdated law" can be compared to the civil rights movement. Some bad laws you live with, because the alternative of everyone determining which laws apply to them is called anarchy, and works well for noone.

I think you'll find that most people don't consult "the law" as a benchmark for determining their behavior. Saying that "the law" is what makes "society function" is a classic example of the correlation equals causation logical fallacy. Just because a law prescribes or proscribes a particular behavior, doesn't mean it is the motivating force for undertaking or abstaining from such behavior.

Comment: Where are the guarantees? (Score 1) 264

by JonathanR (#48081031) Attached to: Brits Must Trade Digital Freedoms For Safety, Says Crime Agency Boss

They expect us to make the trade, but provide no guarantees that they will perform on their half of the bargain.

See Sousa v City of Antioch for a pertinent example of them denying their obligations.

Citizenship is supposed to involve reciprocal duties of allegiance and protection. Protection is not guaranteed, but you betcha they'll guarantee to get their pound of allegiance.

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