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Comment: Re:Not surprised (Score 1) 170

by Yakasha (#47384807) Attached to: Privacy Oversight Board Gives NSA Surveillance a Pass

"You should not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harm it would cause if improperly administered." -- Lyndon Johnson, 36th President of the United States

In other words, don't assume YOUR side will always be enforcing those laws you want enacted.

And takes us back to the age-old disagreement of which is more important: the benefits, or stopping the wrongs it can bring.

Imho, liberty requires you "do no harm", first.

Comment: Re:Bullshit. (Score 1) 170

by Yakasha (#47384783) Attached to: Privacy Oversight Board Gives NSA Surveillance a Pass

Now you're talking about two conflicting Constitutional questions. Totally different issue because the Constitution tells exactly how to resolve that dispute: the courts.

That is what I have been saying.

You said slander. Different issue.

Also agree, but then the problem of language is always there. Two people can read the same sentence in the Constitution and think it means two different things. To quote Bill Clinton "It depends on what the meaning of the words 'is' is."

That is not a problem. Like I said, that is what SCOTUS is for. And once scotus makes a ruling, if the people don't like it, they can amend the Constitution to make it more palatable. If the government ignores the constitution, what is the people's remedy? There is none. The Constitution is the only remedy for all disputes with the government.

I mostly agree, but now we get to the crux of the problem. My statements have been about how rights have exceptions because at times they will conflict with other rights, and only one can be honored.

This is also where you're getting distracted from the actual issue. The point is, the people's rights never conflict for they are not involved in this or any other dispute with the government. This isn't a question of "who's rights are more important". This is a question of "Can the Federal government ignore the 4th Amendment (or any other section of the Constitution) because national security (or any other non-constitution based reason) is more important?". The Constitution very specifically states what rights the Government has. If the Feds ignore the 4th, they're ignoring the entire document.

The basic argument regarding the NSA's actions is to what degree do actions to protect your right to live in this country and have it continue to exist (i.e. right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness) balance against other rights such as those contained in the fourth amendment.

Where does the Constitution give the Government the power, the right, or the authority to guarantee or pursue life, liberty and happiness? It doesn't. That is the goal of the document (as implied by the declaration of independence), not the how. The how is in the list of powers given to the feds. ALL other powers reside with the States or the People. The wording you're using still suggests that you believe the Constitution is defining our rights. But as I've said, it is there to define the government's rights. So if the Constitution doesn't say the feds have the power, then they don't. It is an open & shut case as long as you abide by the Constitution. The 4th Amendment MUST be upheld.

I believe it is not an all one way or the other, and I think there is a valid argument regarding the need for balance. I also think the NSA and the President have gone beyond their powers and acted unconstitutionally. And before someone says it, no, this is not a contradiction of thought or cognitive dissonance.

Its not a contradiction, it is just short-sighted. If you argue for "balance" in ways that allow the government to violate the Constitution, you nave no argument to stop them from doing it.

I agree that there is never a need or justification to deliberately violate the Constitution, but when Congress or the courts balances one right against another, is that a violation, since if so, it is a no-win situation. One of the rights must be violated since they conflict and cannot both be honored.

I already covered this.

Comment: Re:Bullshit. (Score 1) 170

by Yakasha (#47374049) Attached to: Privacy Oversight Board Gives NSA Surveillance a Pass

So if a person gives aid and comfort to the enemy (Article Three, Section 3) by revealing state secrets, let's say in print in a paper, during a war as declared by Congress (Article One, Section 8), which right wins: the constitutional definition of treason, or the right to free speech contained in the First Amendment? Remember, you said "your right to speak is specifically protected by the Constitution, without caveats".

Now you're talking about two conflicting Constitutional questions. Totally different issue because the Constitution tells exactly how to resolve that dispute: the courts.

It's just that I can see that the world is in color, not just black and white.

It is not about the world or how I or you think it should be or is. It is about acknowledging that we will always disagree about what color the world is; and agreeing to some guidelines that both of us think is acceptable enough to make the world as awesome as possible. It is about what the Constitution says, or doesn't say; why it says it; and what happens if you ignore it. That document is the end-all-be-all of our entire system of government. It is supposed to sit there for those moments when there is doubt as to whether or not something the government is doing is acceptable by the people. It is supposed to answer whatever burning question you have as to whether or not the government has the right to do something. That is truly what the Constitution is: a definition of the government's rights, not ours; we KNOW our rights for they are inherent and inalienable. We collectively decided that we will "give up" some, specific, rights in the interest of obtaining all the benefits a central government has to offer. To make it absolutely clear which rights we were willing to give up, and what the government could do with them, the Constitution was written. It can only do its job if we always agree on what it says. Not what it should say, but what it actually says.

When somebody decides "Section {whatever} doesn't apply in situation X because I don't think it should" (and that is what any argument boils down to if you're not citing some other part of the Constitution), they change the Constitution. The moment somebody justifies violating the Constitution with a reason other than some other part of the Constitution, that justification has just been implicitly included in the document. As those other reasons are not codified in the Constitution, they are included arbitrarily and open to any interpretation the powers de jour feel like. And as the entire decision to include or exclude is without rules or bounds, that means the government's powers are likewise without rules or bounds.

By saying there are exceptions to the rules as specified in the Constitution, you are saying there is no limit to the government's power for any right, at any time, can be justified as being too important; or too minor; or not intended by the framers; or not applicable to the times; to deny to the government. That is why we're here today, in this situation. Because at some point in the past, somebody decided that Section XYZ didn't apply. So now anybody and their mother is using that same logic to say the 4th Amendment doesn't apply. The debate going on today is "when can the government violate citizen's rights?", but that question was already answered over 250 years ago with a detailed list!

If the President or Congress feels there is a situation where the 4th Amendment doesn't apply, they can damn well put it to a vote and have the Constitution changed legitimately; for that process is detailed clearly and has been used successfully many times. There is never a need, justification, or right for the government to violate the Constitution.


Comment: Re:Bullshit. (Score 3, Insightful) 170

by Yakasha (#47373111) Attached to: Privacy Oversight Board Gives NSA Surveillance a Pass

Another example is a person's right to free speech does not include libel and slander. When two or more rights conflict, lawmakers and the courts must sort out who's rights win. So from a purist's point of view, there are valid reasons to "violate" certain rights, since use or protection of one right may violate another.

The problem with that argument is that your right to speak is specifically protected by the Constitution, without caveats. Your right to not be slandered is not. The Constitution grants Congress various powers. None of which include violating the Constitution in any way, shape or form.

So from a true purist's point of view, there is never a valid reason to violate certain rights, because nobody has that right.

Does your right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" have more or less weight than your rights under the 4th amendment

That is up to me to decide, not the Federal Government, because nobody ever gave them the right to decide.

It is not a black-and-white problem as is often portrayed on Slashdot, such as you have done above.

I think it is. But I know I'm in the tiny minority that believes if you want an exception to the Constitution, you're supposed to pass an amendment.

Comment: Re:Not surprised (Score 2) 170

by Yakasha (#47373003) Attached to: Privacy Oversight Board Gives NSA Surveillance a Pass

Wait, what? All of a sudden we've decided that violating rights is OK if it makes us more secure? When did we decide that? I don't remember any court decisions that said "well, it's unconstitutional, sure, but it's OK because..."

Why do you think it is sudden? Congress, with the courts approval, have been infringing on Constitutional rights since the Constitution was written. They make exceptions all the time: when you can speak (no "fire" in a crowded theater); when you can assemble (Sorry "Occupy", move along... move along...); which guns you're allowed to buy (all without infringing on your right to keep & bear!); and when a warrant is required to execute you (Drone, zooooom, boom!).

The ends justify the means in each of those cases, so it does now too, and will again in the future.

Comment: Re:a few hundred years earlier than that (Score 1) 1304

by Yakasha (#47361769) Attached to: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

Progressives complain that corporations only worship profit, and then when they act on other values, they demand they only worship profit.

Not funny at all. That is what happens when you attempt to apply individual thought processes to ever shifting groups.

Some progressives complain about worshiping only profit.
Some progressives demand it.
Some progressives stupidly do both.

Conservatives complain about government interference.
Conservatives demand the government stop gays from getting married.
Conservatives complain about welfare.
Conservatives get bailouts for their businesses.

See how that "works"?

Comment: Re:One's "god's will" the other isn't (Score 1) 1304

by Yakasha (#47361535) Attached to: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

My kidneys are MINE thank you very much, don't hook me up to another person as a dialysis machine against my will, even if it saves that person's life. It puts ME at risk and is a great imposition on me. And even if I agree to it at some point, I can change my mind about continuing to risk my life by providing dialysis.

Pregnancy is very much analogous.


I agree with you elsewhere so don't shoot me, but that is a horrible analogy... unless you include your choice to shoot the other person in the kidney.

Far more people choose pregnancy, or the action that obviously results in pregnancy, than kidney failure.

Comment: Re:wtf does baseball have to do with anything? (Score 1) 265

by Yakasha (#47351677) Attached to: Tech Workforce Diversity At Facebook Similar To Google And Yahoo

What if language started to gradually change such that citizens, residents, or passport holders of Luxembourg became known as Europeans? Wouldn't that necessarily imply that they're more European than other Europeans? Wouldn't that come across as arrogant to you?

That is in no way a similar situation. Is it the very first country on 2 continents? Does it have "Europe" in its name? Was the name first chosen by non-locals? Was the name selection a choice of the entire English speaking world? Did continent suddenly become synonymous with country?

Also, a majority of commonplace continent models include a single continent named "America" which can then be further subdefined into North, South, and possible Central regions, much like Asia is often further subdivided as Minor, South-East, etc. Much like many would argue that there is no continent named South-East Asia, so too would they argue that there is no continent named North America. I was never taught this in US public schools, so I'm not surprised to hear so many "Americans" bring this point up.

lol we're done.

Comment: Re:Violation of DLA 1033 program (Score 1) 534

There is nothing wrong with having SWAT teams armed to the teeth and willing to invade your home at a moments notice on merest of pretexts! They are protecting your freedom so stop whining and embrace with love the men and women who serve and protect you from evil doers wanting to harm your loved ones and take over your wonderful country! Let them go about their work unencumbered by petty laws and lets keep America free for the true lovers of freedom not the whining dogs who bark at a little discomfort as our warriors of freedom do their job and keep our country safe!

I'm just trying to make sure only the GOOD swat teams invade my home on a no-knock warrant, shooting my dog & grandfather to serve me a speeding ticket. Not the lawless "We're an NGO so we're exempt from reporting laws but still a GO so we get cool weapons" ones.

Comment: Re:The answer nobody likes... (Score 1) 286

by Yakasha (#47336943) Attached to: What To Do If Police Try To Search Your Phone Without a Warrant

Now I know you are trolling, since the median citizen commits an average of three felonies a day.

I heard that before, and it seems to be a quote from some book, but I have never ever heard any evidence of that. So tell me three things that an average citizen with no intent of breaking the law might do that would be felonies.

(bold mine)
Its the title of a book.

Comment: Re:The answer nobody likes... (Score 1) 286

by Yakasha (#47336935) Attached to: What To Do If Police Try To Search Your Phone Without a Warrant

The link doesn't answer the question.

Please tell me the three felonies I probably committed today.

What did you do? That is the point of the book: you won't know what you did wrong until the DA files charges and you get arrested.

It is stuff like fraud & using computers without authorization. The problem is that there are literally thousands of laws & regulations with the power of law that are vague or outdated, combined with the current popular trend for DAs to ignore intent (more specifically the lack thereof) & Grand Juries when deciding to prosecute. Seemingly innocent, common things that people do every day can, have, and will again be prosecuted.

Comment: Re:The answer nobody likes... (Score 1) 286

by Yakasha (#47336777) Attached to: What To Do If Police Try To Search Your Phone Without a Warrant

How about, "don't have evidence of crimes on your phone," because "you aren't a criminal."

Are you absolutely sure you don't have evidence of a crime on your phone? Because there are professionals, such as Harvey Silverglate, that think you probably do. Personally, I'm more inclined to believe him than either your or my own understanding of the literally thousands of laws & regulations that would turn you into one. Read Three Felonies A Day. Good book.

because there was a bad cop once, and since he wasn't instantly outed by co-workers, that all cops are part of his nefarious plan to subvert your rights at all junctions.

Way to understate the criminal activity of entire divisions , entire towns and even the entire police force for major US Cities. Shall I mention the federal agencies engaged in some questionable to illegal spying?

NOT assuming cops are out to get you is exactly how you get fucked over. That is why the first words out of every criminal defense attorney are synonymous with "shut up."

So, you can let them search your phone. And when they find evidence of something you thought was innocent, like a picture of your kids taking a bath, and arrest & charge you, you can come back here, read this, and slap your forehead.

"But this one goes to eleven." -- Nigel Tufnel