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Comment Re:Under what authority? (Score 1) 298 298

I don't think police take people into custody without asserting some law has been broken - however wrong they may be. That's why the court is there. Fighting the police in real time is the worst way for an individual to change the system without ending up a martyr at best. Smart people don't fight the police directly...they change the leadership over time.

I agree wholeheartedly that smart people don't argue with cops, because you will lose every time, regardless of the merits (that seems to be what happened in the recent unpleasantness with the woman who may or may not have hanged herself in jail--she failed to, in the words of Eric Cartman, respect his authoritah, and as a result went to jail for the crime of failing to signal while changing lanes).

Whether or not this is the smart play does not, however, make it the just one. In a JUST society, we would discipline those who casually abuse their authority in an attempt to simply cut off debate about whether or not they are correct in their actions, and not argue about whether the victim of that abuse deserved it or not. Imagine a world where Rosa Parks simply obeyed the order to go to the back of the bus, that civil rights marchers simply obeyed the orders to disperse, and everyone else in that era simply did what they were told--because in the end, this is what "smart" people are advocating.

Once upon a time, our smartest people did not simply accede to the demands of power. Today, we do. You get the government you deserve.

Comment Re:Will this slow down the Internet? (Score 1) 314 314

Looks like Akamai did their homework and put up a good delivery system.


That was what I came here to say. To be fair, MS did "do their homework" by outsourcing their CDN to someone who actually knows what they are doing. That said, I can't help but wonder how they can claim to be competent to host something like Azure when they won't even run their own services on their platform (it's like back when they used to run Hotmail on BSD).

Comment Re:Under what authority? (Score 1) 298 298

It is absurd on its face to suggest that a policeman should be able to take you into custody without being able to tell you what law you broke (because it doesn't exist). To suggest otherwise allows any policeman anywhere in the US to take anyone into custody for any reason ("I didn't know that sitting on your porch drinking lemonade was not a crime, my bad").

I agree with you that we have too many laws and that no one (no matter what legal experience they may have) can know them all. However, in a JUST system, the outcome of this is that the police do not enforce laws they are ignorant of, or that they do not understand, rather than enforcing "laws" that do not exist.

Comment Re:Under what authority? (Score 5, Informative) 298 298

The cops enforce the law selectively, incorrectly, or in ways they know to be blatantly false.

Your rant is dead on, but the above portion of it is accurate in even more ways than you might suspect--for example, the Supreme Court recently said that it;s OK for a police officer to arrest you, because of something that he THINKS is illegal, even if it isn't, because (and to quote Dave Barry here, "I am not making this up") it is unreasonable to expect a police officer to know all the laws they are enforcing.

So if you, Joe Citizen who has no training in law or any intersection with it, do something illegal that you did not know it was illegal, you can be charged, because "ignorance of the law is no excuse." If Joe Policeofficer arrests you for sitting on your lawn when that activity was perfectly legal, that's ok, because police can't be expected the know the law.

Honestly, the US today is like Franz Kafka, Joseph Heller, and George Orwell all got together and wrote a manual called "How to Fuck Up Democracy" and some assholes in government made it required reading.

Comment Re:Nonsense law still can't be ignored (Score 1) 157 157

This is not something new at all, and not at all at odds with the 4th amendment. The 4th amendment protects you from "unreasonable searches" - not *all* searches, and they can't issue the warrant in the first place without probable cause (as determined by a judge who signs the warrant). Lastly, the place to be searched (Facebook) and the things to be seized (photos and comments) are well specified. Where is the 4th amendment violation?

In the situation we are discussing, Facebook cannot argue that the search is unreasonable, because they lack standing. I agree completely that the government has the power to search (when properly sanctioned by the courts) but when an argument hinges on what is, or is not, reasonable, how you can say this protection is not violated by the prevention of the argument? The government has further ensured a situation where there is no one to argue the point, since the target of the warrant is not informed, either.

The thought experiment below ("someone else stolen a fictional pig) is quite similar to something I had started to write in my post above, but abandoned because my construct was not clear and muddied my argument. Thanks to the AC for making the argument for me.

Rights must be read broadly, and powers narrowly, lest the state (which has effectively unlimited resources) run roughshod over the people.

Comment Re:"Pocket dialed"? (Score 2) 179 179

I'm sorry. I have a bonnet full of beans this morning because I have a stomach ache.

I had a doctors appointment this morning, and he did things to me that customarily involve at least dinner and a movie under normal circumstances, so I, too, feel the need to be technically correct (the best kind of correct!)

The idiom you're looking for is "bees in your bonnet" not "beans." The reference is to having a head full of ideas, though I believe you are using the more modern usage relating to irritation (which I believe comes from a time when women might wear floral arrangements in their headgear, which quite probably would attract pollinating insects. Having a bee in your bonnet would be quite distressing if it were literal. I do not, however, have any sourcing for this, it is merely an inference on my part).

Comment Re: Makes sense to me (Score 2) 157 157

The abuse of information obtained by secret warrants is a known fact and not up for discussion just because you're a government shill.

I agree wholeheartedly with your general points, but the above is simply unhelpful. People can have legitimate differences of opinion on a topic--or be ignorant of certain facts--and not be a "shill" for either side. Simply claiming that anyone you disagree with is involved in some conspiracy on the other side is not the way to win an argument.

Comment Re:Nonsense law still can't be ignored (Score 1) 157 157

2) Even if the warrant was improper, Facebook isn't the defendant here and isn't the right person to challenge it anyways. Let's say the prosecutors suspect that you used rat poison bought at the local mom & pop general store to poison somebody. And the mom & pop store doesn't have any computers - you paid cash and they just took an old fashioned carbon copy imprint of your credit card. So they get a warrant to go through all those paper receipts to prove that you bought the rat poison. The mom & pop store isn't in the position to challenge that warrant, only you are. This case with Facebook is the same thing just "on a computer"

This might be case law, but is entirely at odds with the plain language of the 4th amendment. You might be searching for information about the suspects, but you are searching the papers and effects of the mom & pop to do so! What about THEIR legal protections? Coupled with wonderful things like the good faith doctrine, and the above is, frankly, terrifying since the police could use anything they find against Mom & Pop, because they weren't searching for it when they found it.

It is apparent that the US is, if not already a police state, fast becoming one. Allowing the government even more power in criminal justice matters is a very bad idea, and we should weigh VERY heavily what we believe is acceptable.

Comment Re:Take home real life messages (Score 1) 265 265

5. Don't you wish you had a solar panel now? That will keep working, even in cloud cover. Enough for a fridge and microwave.

FWIW, grid tie solar is typically designed in a way that it doesn't work during local outages (with the intent of preventing your solar energy from backfeeding into the grid and potentially killing or injuring line workers). That's not to say that it MUST be designed in such a manner (transfer switches can solve the problem) but that it typically is.

Comment Re:FFS (Score 1) 412 412

It's not that hard a concept to grasp. You are changing the meaning of the word by robbing it of it's power to offend. If you change "nigger", or "faggot", or "gook", or what have you, into a casual greeting or display of affection, then if ceases to be offensive. People aren't calling you names, they are greeting you.

Except that as long as a white dude who says, "what's up my niggahz!" is seen as an insensitive, racist asshole, you're actually NOT doing the above. If you want to dilute the word to where it has no power, I think that's great, and wish all involved the best of success. If you want to ensure you can still use that word as a weapon against someone of the wrong color who says it, then I begin to wonder about your motives, and who the real racist is.

Comment Re:FFS (Score 3) 412 412

For example, there's been attempts at reclaiming the word, which is why you hear it in rap lyrics sometimes.
Meanwhile, there's also been a push to reclaim these kinds of words, which is why you sometimes hear it used in friendly conversation and song lyrics.

How the hell do you reclaim that particular word, and what kind of use would the reclaimed word be put to? My helicopter might go "wop wop wop," there might be a "chink in my armor," and when my wife throws a cup of ice water at me, I might end up with a "wet back" but I sure as hell cannot conceive of a non-insulting everyday use of "nigger." Also, your suggestion that, say, hip hop artists are using that particular word in an attempt to mainstream it (again, to what purpose?) is just absurd and smacks of grasping at any straw imaginable to justify your position that it's ok for some people to use it, but not okay for others.

The word in question belongs in the dustbin of history. People who get bent out of shape when they hear it should probably put pressure on their own communities, because other than a few backwoods idiots running around in sheets, the only thing keeping that word alive is popular culture which originates from the very people who should be most offended by its use.

Comment Re:Social mobility was killed, but not this way (Score 1) 1032 1032

FWIW, I sympathize with your plight. The "I have rich parents, but they disowned me, so now I can't afford education" situation really does suck, and there appears to be no desire by anyone to fix it. I assume this is to prevent people who don't need aid from structuring their lives to get it anyway, but that's cold comfort to someone in your situation.

Have you considered trying somewhere like Western Governor's University? It's not a diploma mill, and if you can self educate on top of what you're learning, you can seriously cut your costs down by accelerating your program.

Comment Re:Social mobility was killed, but not this way (Score 1) 1032 1032

If your household income is lower than $80k (IIRC), tuition is waived. Live at home and go to a local school rather than going to UC Berkeley when you're from San Diego, and you can have minimal living expenses (unless your parents charge you rent).

I'm by no means claiming things are easy, or would be utopic, but if someone were to focus on how to go to school on a budget, then doing so is certainly achievable. You can absolutely argue that someone who has the academic potential to attend a top tier school but cannot do so due to financial reasons is a tragedy (and I would agree), but as someone else noted, life isn't always fair.

After an instrument has been assembled, extra components will be found on the bench.