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Comment: Re:Now we can call it... (Score 5, Insightful) 68

This is an incredibly shortsighted view, and I find it alarming that it has been modded up.

there is little to no room for being "just" ... The Supreme Court "Justices", in particular, like to imagine themselves as "calling balls and strikes", regardless of whether the resulting judgment matches anybody's notion of justice.

The reason they have to do follow the law without imposing their arbitrary whims on the people that come before them, is that the law is BY DESIGN written by people who have to stand for reelection after they pass the laws (yes, there's the issue of whether our representatives actually represent us, and whether outside factors such as big money unduly influence elections, but it's not particularly relevant to the principle that's being questioned here).

There is one dimension of justice in everybody following the same law, but only one of many.

The idea of laws applying equally to everyone is a HUGE DEAL. It's the practical application of the whole "all men are created equal" thing.

Judges following their own notion of "just," and disregarding the law in cases where they felt it was unjust, would cause a lot of decisions that you would certainly find horrendous. As it is, judges face very little accountability. The supreme court justices are appointed "in good behavior," which is usually interpreted as "lifetime appointment, with the option to impeach them if they start acting completely horrible." So there's a very good reason why their job descriptions leave very little wiggle room to do whatever they feel like. Yes, the supreme court frequently makes decisions that I find appalling, but at least they have to back it up based on law and precedent. In the system you're yearning for, they wouldn't even have to do that, if they felt that "justice" (whatever they felt like that meant that day) demanded it.

I would propose that the next time a "Justice" declares himself to be "calling balls and strikes", that we rename his title to "Umpire", as "justice" is orthogonal to his self-defined description.

Call them "Umpire" if you want, but under your proposed system, we'd have another title for them - monarch.
I can't believe I have to spell this out, since it's high-school-civics-level stuff

Comment: Re:Google isn't human (Score 1) 228

by Spent2HrOnAName (#40409893) Attached to: Free Speech For Computers?
Rights come with responsibilities. If corporations can have the same rights as humans, they need the same responsibilities. This isn't just about the rights of people to freely assemble. It's also about protecting the rights of individuals. As James Madison wrote in Federalist no. 10, we cannot protect our freedoms unless we limit the power of factions.

When a human commits wrongdoing, they go to jail. When a corporation commits wrongdoing, they get a bailout. Until I see a corporation go to jail like a human, I don't want to hear about how they deserve free speech like a human.
Your Rights Online

Filesonic Removes Ability To Share Files 412

Posted by samzenpus
from the closing-shop dept.
Ihmhi writes "In the wake of the Megaupload takedown, Filesonic has elected to take preventative measures against a similar fate. The front page and all files now carry the following message: 'All sharing functionality on FileSonic is now disabled. Our service can only be used to upload and retrieve files that you have uploaded personally.' Whether or not this will actually deter the U.S. government from taking action remains to be seen."

Comment: Re:What's that supposed to mean? (Score 1) 71

It's no better here in the states. Here we have "secret holds," whereby a single senator can prevent a bill from being voted upon by anonymously witholding consent, thereby preventing the unanimous consent needed to bring the bill to the floor of the chamber. While in theory this was designed to allow legislators to have time to study a bill that directly affects his or her constituency, in practice it just allows one asshat to obstruct indefinitely. Thankfully the practice has been weakened in the current congress (replaced by the good ol' fashioned filibuster, which shows no sign of going anywhere anytime soon). More info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secret_hold

But hey, at least it looks like democracy if you squint from a distance.

I find you lack of faith in the forth dithturbing. - Darse ("Darth") Vader

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