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Comment: Re:Not just iPhone (Score 1) 140

The answer to that question requires you to define which specific traits you're asking for.

I think the question should go to the person that claims that the US is a police state when that clearly isn't true.

The so-called "dragnet surveillance," by which I assume you are referring to NSA programs, is focused on terrorism and has at most limited relevance to criminal investigations, and none with political oppression.

US police forces aren't militarized. The US doesn't even have any gendarmes as many European countries do. Many US police forces, especially larger ones, do have a Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) team, but in many cases it will be a part time duty, and in either case it represents a small part of the police department. They don't have the right to enter houses based on "assumptions," they have to get a warrant just like any other police officers minus any unusual events that would provide an existing legal exception. The main controversy is in their overuse to conduct raids and searches which would have been handled differently in the past, along with various unfortunate incidents. It is a technique that in my opinion is overused, but that is a different matter than constituting a "police state."

If you want to go by those sorts of criteria, then most of Europe is a police state, and has been for a very long time. European countries have gendarmes, not the US. European countries engage in widespread surveillance over terrorism as well.

Comment: Re:Seriously, an iphone? (Score 1) 140

Kim Dotcom may not be such a good example.

Kim Dotcom Extradition Decision Delayed

The Internet entrepreneur and his fellow defendants— Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk —were due to appear in a New Zealand court at the end of July for a hearing on whether they would be sent to the U.S. to face charges including criminal copyright infringement, money laundering and conspiracy to commit racketeering.

It is ridiculous to pretend that extraordinary rendition is a threat to the rights of typical Europeans. Or did I miss a trend in Europe to join international terrorist groups?

Now look at what the claim was that I responded to: "The difference is that it is America that is a direct threat to my personal freedom and the personal freedom of much of the world."

Are you really going to try to claim that nonsense it true? If you want to do that I think you're going to have to cast a much wider net than a small handful of disputed extradition cases, including ones connected with terrorism.

Comment: Re:I found this article to be more informative (Score 1) 215

by cold fjord (#47441275) Attached to: After NSA Spying Flap, Germany Asks CIA Station Chief to Depart

I trust you'll be relieved to read this paper:

Did the U.S. Army Distribute Smallpox Blankets to Indians? Fabrication and Falsification in Ward Churchill's Genocide Rhetoric


In this analysis of the genocide rhetoric employed over the years by Ward Churchill, an ethnic studies professor at the University of Colorado, a "distressing" conclusion is reached: Churchill has habitually committed multiple counts of research misconduct—specifically, fabrication and falsification. While acknowledging the "politicization" of the topic and evidence of other outrages committed against Native American tribes in times past, this study examines the different versions of the "smallpox blankets" episode published by Churchill between 1994 and 2003. The "preponderance of evidence" standard of proof strongly indicates that Churchill fabricated events that never occurred—namely the U.S. Army's alleged distribution of smallpox infested blankets to the Mandan Indians in 1837. The analysis additionally reveals that Churchill falsified sources to support his fabricated version of events, and also concealed evidence in his cited sources that actually disconfirms, rather than substantiates, his allegations of genocide.


Ward Churchill was a professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder from 1990 until 2007, when he was fired for research misconduct.

Comment: Re:Good luck with that ... (Score 1) 190

by cold fjord (#47440937) Attached to: Eric Schmidt and Entourage Pay a Call On Cuba

There were "Occupy" activists that were pepper sprayed, and some were jailed. It was because they were involved in rioting, trespass, resisting arrest, or some other crime or disturbance, not because of the particular political reforms they were championing... when they could manage coherence on the question.

Comment: Re:Seriously, an iphone? (Score 1, Offtopic) 140

by cold fjord (#47436847) Attached to: Chinese State Media Declares iPhone a Threat To National Security

You don't seem to be acquainted with the concept of sovereignty. Law contains rights and responsibilities, but in general any body of law is limited to the territory of the sovereign government that created the law. American law governs America. Canadian law governs Canada. Finnish law governs Finland. Canadian law doesn't govern Finland, Germany, or America. Finnish law doesn't govern Italy or Cuba. The law of the sea is a special case. (I wouldn't be surprised if you are a pirate even if you don't sail the seas looking for mischief.)

If the legal protections of your country apply to Americans, why aren't lawyers from your embassy assisting Americans accused of crimes? Where are the social welfare payments? Do you suppose it is possible that the rights of citizens or residents of your nation don't apply to Americans in America?

If America truly does threaten your freedoms I assume you must be doing something unsavory and special.

+ - In New Zealand The Right To Silence And Presumption Of Innocence Are In Danger->

Submitted by cold fjord
cold fjord (826450) writes "The New Zealand Herald reports, "Fundamental pillars of the criminal justice system may be eroded whichever party wins the election this year, as both National's and Labour's proposals would look into changing the right to silence or the presumption of innocence in rape cases. Both major parties claim the current system is not upholding justice for victims, and are looking at changes that would effectively make it easier for prosecutors to obtain convictions. National wants to explore allowing a judge or jury to see an accused's refusal to give evidence in a negative light, while Labour wants to shift the burden of proof of consent from the alleged victim to the accused.""
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Not just iPhone (Score 1) 140

Anything coming out of the U.S. is a threat to everybody else's national security.

That sort of absolutist anti-American rant is ever popular on Slashdot, but it is nonsense, rubbish. It is like listening to a teenager chafing under parental authority complain that his parents are worse than Hitler when it is with practical certainly not true.

The US has helped keep the free world free since the end of World War 2, and some people resent that and the failure of their preferred ideology.

Comment: Re:Alternate use for this technology (Score 1) 170

by cold fjord (#47436121) Attached to: DARPA Successfully Demonstrates Self-Guiding Bullets

Just launch simple, dumb, and cheap unguided rockets from the Gaza Strip. Isreal has an "Iron Dome" defense system that is supposedly pretty effective at stopping them -- at $1,000,000 per shot. Great way to bankrupt an enemy...

That assumes you never take out the rocket launchers, their crews, or the ammunition depots with artillery fire or a bomb. I hear the Israelis have been known to do that. They also intercept the weapons at sea.

Israel Intercepts Iranian Arms Shipment

Last week, commandos from the Israeli naval forces intercepted and captured a Panamanian-flagged civilian cargo ship, called the KLOS-C, in the Red Sea near Sudan. It was carrying 181 mortar shells, around 400,000 rounds of ammunition, and 40 M-302 surface-to-surface missiles with ranges of up to 100-125 miles.

Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at the moment. -- Robert Benchley