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Comment: Re:Interesting. I'd think the opposite (Score 2) 190

by blahplusplus (#48668105) Attached to: The World Is Not Falling Apart

Problem is both the above posters are ignorant. Modern publics are so illusioned they don't know which end is up.

Reasoning and the human brain doesn't work the way we thought it did:

Manufacturing consent

Most have no clue what's really going on in the world... the elites are afraid of political awakening.

This (mass surveillance) by the NSA and abuse by law enforcement is just more part and parcel of state suppression of dissent against corporate interests. They're worried that the more people are going to wake up and corporate centers like the US and canada may be among those who also awaken. See this vid with Zbigniew Brzezinski, former United States National Security Advisor.

Brezinski at a press conference

The real news:

Look at the following graphs:

IMGUR link -

And then...

WIKILEAKS: U.S. Fought To Lower Minimum Wage In Haiti So Hanes And Levis Would Stay Cheap

Free markets?

Free trade?

"We now live in two Americas. One—now the minority—functions in a print-based, literate world that can cope with complexity and can separate illusion from truth. The other—the majority—is retreating from a reality-based world into one of false certainty and magic. To this majority—which crosses social class lines, though the poor are overwhelmingly affected—presidential debate and political rhetoric is pitched at a sixth-grade reading level. In this “other America,” serious film and theater, as well as newspapers and books, are being pushed to the margins of society.

In the tradition of Christopher Lasch’s The Culture of Narcissism and Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death, Pulitzer Prize-winner Chris Hedges navigates this culture—attending WWF contests, the Adult Video News Awards in Las Vegas, and Ivy League graduation ceremonies—to expose an age of terrifying decline and heightened self-delusion."

Important history:

Comment: Ummmm... About twice in 16 years (Score 1) 111

by Sycraft-fu (#48661265) Attached to: Apple Pushes First Automated OS X Security Update

In my time in IT, that's what I've seen. There was an update to the 3com 905 drivers back in the day that BSOD's systems, since then there have been more rigorous driver testing. After that there was the recent Windows 7 update that had a problem on some systems. We didn't see any issues on any of our some 400 Windows 7 systems, but I did verify it was real. MS rolled it back with another automated patch.

Oh and I suppose XP SP3 though that wasn't automatic, and the only systems it "broke" were ones with Malware infections so I hardly count that.

So... ya... Personally, I'll take an issue ever decade or so in trade for having a system that it up to date. However, if you'd rather not patch your stuff go ahead, just don't do it on my network, I'll block you.

Comment: Re:And how many were terrorists? Oh, right, zero. (Score 1) 275

by Jane Q. Public (#48653757) Attached to: TSA Has Record-Breaking Haul In 2014: Guns, Cannons, and Swords

People who need to transport their legally owned firearms can do so through the simple act of checking them.


That was GP's whole point: anybody stupid enough (or forgetful enough) to try to carry something like this onto a plane just isn't much of a threat.

Comment: Re:Crime Lords (Score 5, Insightful) 224

by Jane Q. Public (#48653647) Attached to: GCHQ Warns It Is Losing Track of Serious Criminals

I'd say that the abuse of methods used by the authorities against normal citizens was revealed and that has also caused some trouble for the authorities when trying to monitor criminals.

This is a common syndrome in erstwhile free societies: the police are always complaining that they can't catch criminals, that they need more leeway and exemptions from the law themselves in order to do so.

And when people believe them, the inevitable result is less freedom and more Big Brother.

Anybody who thinks Snowden did not ultimately do us all a huge favor isn't seeing straight.

Comment: Re:Not seeing the issue here (Score 1) 204

by Jane Q. Public (#48649359) Attached to: Judge: It's OK For Cops To Create Fake Instagram Accounts

Actually, there is.

There are exceptions, but in most states they are few and specific.

They can and have broken into buildings and houses in pursuit of suspects/criminals fleeing.


There is actually a long list of things- some of which even cause people to lose their life that the police seem to be absolved from which if you or I had done would be instant jail time.

"Seem to be absolved from" is not the same as legal. That's a straw-man argument. I wrote "they're not allowed". The dog is not allowed on the bed. That doesn't mean the dog doesn't get up there sometimes. Only that it isn't supposed to.

Having said that, again yes there are exceptions. But those exceptions are very specific and we know what they are.

Though they sometimes might not get prosecuted for breaking the rules, they sure as hell should. That's a genuine societal problem, not how things are "supposed to" be.

Comment: Re:And on the plus side... (Score 1) 328

by Jane Q. Public (#48649329) Attached to: 11 Trillion Gallons of Water Needed To End California Drought

I don't think that these two assertions are simultaneously possible. If "they" corralled the snow melt - all of it - then where did they put it?

"They" put it in huge reservoirs. I used to live there, and I know them well. Also the Central Valley, where a close relative owned a farm / ranch. I am intimately familiar with these things.

And don't ben an ass. "All"? Of course not. Being deliberately literal when I was not doesn't make for compelling arguments. It's pretty obvious that I was oversimplifying.

Still, the basic point remains. Stand at the mouth of the San Joaquin "river" most of the year and see how much water comes out. I have pictures of my grandfather with strings of large salmon caught in that river, back before it was being mostly used up. Now, it's not very common to see more than a trickle most of the year. And ask residents of L.A. about their "river". You've probably seen it in movie "chase scenes"... a vast concrete canal with seldom more than puddles at the bottom of it.

And don't forget groundwater: they've been gradually depleting the aquifers for generations, and they were aware of it.

Comment: Re:And on the plus side... (Score 1) 328

by Jane Q. Public (#48649271) Attached to: 11 Trillion Gallons of Water Needed To End California Drought

Can you figure out the rest?

Yes, I certainly can, and the answer is no.

Guess what? Oregon and Washington make use of that water. Shipping it down to California seriously diminishes quality of life for those who live there, not to mention the environmental destruction that would ensue.

Let California go broke. Hell, it is anyway. People can buy their food from elsewhere.

Comment: Re:I.D. Please (Score 1) 204

by Jane Q. Public (#48649229) Attached to: Judge: It's OK For Cops To Create Fake Instagram Accounts

And if so, what is the liability for the company if they do or don't make the account viable again.

IANAL, but my understanding is that you are not generally required to go out of your way to assist the police. You are not a policeman, you aren't being paid to be one.

Even phone companies insist on payment for allowing wiretaps, or government requests for information. And even those are only mandatory because there are specific laws that say so (such as CALEA).

Comment: Re:here's a real-life case to explain criminal int (Score 1) 204

by Jane Q. Public (#48649209) Attached to: Judge: It's OK For Cops To Create Fake Instagram Accounts

Ignorance of the LAW generally isn't an excuse, but mistake of FACT IS an excuse.

Unfortunately, though, we now have far too many laws, including contradictory laws. Even if somebody had their own legal library, every year some things change. A hypothetical typical, reasonable citizen could not possibly know them all, much less be reasonably expected to. They wouldn't have time to do anything else.

So here's my question: since our common law system is supposed to be based on the reasonable man principle, and it is provably not reasonable to expect the average citizen to know most laws, much less all, how could ignorance of the law NOT be a valid excuse?

Comment: Re: Why wouldn't it be? (Score 2) 204

by Jane Q. Public (#48648825) Attached to: Judge: It's OK For Cops To Create Fake Instagram Accounts

I don't think anyone has yet fought this one in the courts, so it may not stand up to judicial scrutiny, but it is most definitely used as the "stick" to convince someone to accept a plea bargain.

Have you been living under a rock the last 5 years?

Yes, prosecutors have tried to use the TOS thing as an excuse to prosecute. But that is being actively fought by EFF, EPIC, and a whole alphabet soup of other organizations acting as amici to the courts, and with actual legal defense as well.

It is pretty clear that Congress never meant the law to apply to situations like Aaron Swartz, for example. Government prosecutors have been fighting actually getting that one to court though because they know they'll lose, and they want to retain the ability to threaten people with it.

Comment: Re:Not seeing the issue here (Score 1) 204

by Jane Q. Public (#48648791) Attached to: Judge: It's OK For Cops To Create Fake Instagram Accounts

Also, and undercover cop can smoke a bowl with you and still arrest your ass for having/selling/using.


Police are not allowed to break the law in order to enforce the law.

I'm not saying they never do it, but if they do, they're just as much criminals as anyone else. There is no law or principle that gives police a pass for breaking laws.

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