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Comment Illegal versus Actionable (Score 1) 210

You don't seem to understand the difference between criminal and civil law.

Criminal statutes establish some conduct as illegal (theft, rape, murder, etc.), and commission of such offenses will cause the state to act against you.

Civil law establishes rules under which individual parties may sue each other for relief, damages, etc. Libel is a civil infraction. If you write something that is maliciously untruthful about another person (and though it creeps me right the fuck out, businesses *are* legally considered persons for these purposes) and it damages them in some way, they have standing to sue you in court.

In short, the state is not telling you that you are subject to criminal prosecution for lying, but the law does allow for anyone who you lie about to sue the pants off you.

Comment Civil versus criminal law (Score 5, Insightful) 210

The 1st amendment doesn't apply, as libel is a civil infraction.

You're still free to say/write whatever the hell you like, but if you do so maliciously and mendaciously and it causes articulable damages to another person, then they have grounds to bring suit. It's not the government that acts against you, it's the injured party.

Comment It's not that you lose if you don't show... (Score 1) 389

It's that if you don't answer the complaint, then the plaintiff files a motion for summary judgement. Hearing no objection from the defendant, judges typically grant such motions, legally affording plaintiffs all relief they were seeking in their complaint, which nearly always includes attorneys' fees.

Of course, then the plaintiff has to actually collect on the awarded judgement.

Comment "Surprising?" Hardly... (Score 1) 98

" is surprising to many that Congress would abdicate their role in determining the specifics of agreements that may have far reaching implications for their constituents."

No, it's only surprising to those who cling to a childishly naive belief that Congress actually serves a constituency of voters, rather than face the reality that it serves the interests of corporate oligarchs first and foremost.

Comment Bless you. (Score 2, Insightful) 126

This was my immediate reaction to skimming the front-page blurb.

Seriously, differentiation of "effect" and "affect" is neither a difficult nor novel concept. This just reflects editorial laziness, which does call into question in the mind of the audience the quality of information being conveyed.

Comment It depends on your field. (Score 1) 317

For example, I'm in the IT security field, and a CISSP does carry a good bit of weight.

I've also worked in virtualization, and have a VCP5 certification...I can tell you it might or might not mean something to a prospective employer, but I can damned sure tell when I'm talking about the workings of a particular client's virtual infrastructure whether their people are VCPs.

You are false data.