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Comment: Re:Malice? more like incompetence... (Score 1) 495

by danheskett (#47357965) Attached to: Microsoft Takes Down Domains

Agree this is extremely sloppy. In fact, it's tempting to take the motion, replace the parties, and file it against Microsoft against some unsuspecting judge, with regardings to the next broken update that Microsoft pushes down the wire to Windows or Office. It is functionally identical to the claims they make and demonstrate.

It's also just not true. There is no irreparable harm that justifies exigency, the ex parte motion making, or the TRO. The harm is of course reparable. There is nothing stating why it had to be granted today. No real reason.

Comment: Re:Should the US government censor political blogs (Score 1) 308

by danheskett (#47298983) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Lawrence Lessig About His Mayday PAC

The people arguing about disproportionate influence are doing a bad job. Disproportionate influence is poorly stated way of saying "disproportionate access". People with lots of money have additional access to the levers of influence than others. You can still have idiots like Karl Rove and his "maths" spending a quarter billion dollars and still loosing badly. And you can still have idiot billionaires like Zukerburg and Murdoch trying to reform immigration, despite it's overall unpopularity.

Comment: Re:Should the US government censor political blogs (Score 1) 308

by danheskett (#47298959) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Lawrence Lessig About His Mayday PAC

In your theory, the tort is not that you can't donate to Democrats, it's that you can donate to Republicans. It's a clear cut equal protection clause. The government must have a compelling state interest in regulating the donation to Democrats but not Republicans, otherwise, it fails equal protection and is unconstitutional.

It is not a 1st amendment issue either under current law or any previous interpretation of it.

Comment: This is what a right is (Score 5, Insightful) 128

by danheskett (#47296269) Attached to: Prisoners Freed After Cops Struggle With New Records Software

I see this is an unmitigated good thing. Accused of a violent crime or not, we are all endowed with the right, recognized and protected by the Constitution, to due process, and a speedy trial.

IT problems don't abridge that right. Police officers having a tough day don't abridge that right. The learning curve doesn't abridge that.

Comment: Re:Oh my ... (Score 1) 253


It's not nearly as bad as you think. When you think about where you want us to be, and how far we are, consider that, even with the largest propaganda effort in 50 years working 24/7, with endless patriotic messages and the complete fabrication of a cause for war, the Iraqi war was never that popular. On it's best day, it was a bare majority. After it started, it immediately lost it's luster and it never recovered. War, and the things you mentioned, are deeply unpopular.

What we have are three related problems:

1. The propaganda machine makes it difficult to get oxygen to dissenting points of view. You can thank the White House and the Judy Miller's and Robert Novaks of the world.

2. The Government can spend without sacrifice to do things that we don't want them to do. I give Pres. Obama immense credit for stepping back on Syria. There is a cadre of powerful people in this country who will never stop trying to get the US to insert itself into foreign conflicts. Every massacre, every war crime is another sick opportunity to contort American in the world cop role. People are wise to it. Syria was a strong indicator that the easy quick cable-war error is declining.

3. People are afraid, irrationally, of things that are not that realistic.

The way to solve all three involving a mandatory enforced balanced budget. The mans for paying for the Iraq war is what was missing that would have stopped the invasion. Bush got 100% Republican support and about 1/3 of the Democrats to codify the Iraqi war. The missing element was we should have been asked to pay for it. Taxes, reductions in spending, something to pay for it. Congress has abdicated it's spending authority and purse strings, and it's a real shame.

Comment: Re:Oh my ... (Score 1) 253


You are completely right and it's great to hear it. The creation and systematization of "unlawful" status is the largest shame on America's soul since Vietnam. And you are right. To this day, we have CIA officers who can't leave the US because we used these shameful tactics to kidnap men off the street of foreign countries, in daylight, and spirit them away.

We have strayed from that idea that we have rights, granted by the creator, that are unalienable. Even if they want to kill us, they have a right endowed by God to due process. Even if they want to kill Americans, or poison Apple pie, or ruin baseball, they have rights. Not from the paper, not from the people, but from the creator.

The chickens are really coming home to roost.

Comment: Re:Oh my ... (Score 1) 253

All of that said, these foes are best described as insurgents or terrorists. They are willing to engage both military and civilian targets, to impersonate members of any local police or military, and are not themselves signatory to the Geneva Conventions and thus denied their protections. Their tactics involve terrorism and generally involve destabilization of a region which would basically be an insurgency against the existing power structure.

You are woefully wrong. Three main points:

1. There is no person who is not protected under the Geneva Conventions. At all. The question is how much protection. If you are a protected person under the 4th convention, you are owed additional protections. If you are not a protected person, you are treated according to one of the four buckets of treatment: non-combatant, combatant, surrendered or wounded combatant. In any case, there is no way under the Convention to hold a person indefinitely. If they are not a protected person, they must be released when hostilities are concluded. Now, you can say, "hey, we [were] occupying Iraq and Afghanistan, so the hostilities were not concluded", but if do say that, then the person is a national held by an occupying power.. which then confers to the prisoner Protected person status. And now you know why the Bush and Obama administration have created from thin-air the "unlawful" status. It does not exist, it's a legal fiction, and it's only reason to exist is to prevent the US government from treating the detainees as proper POW's or as protected persons. It is shameful.

2. Many individuals the government has treated as "unlawful combatants" are actually members of signatory countries. For example, British citizens, Saudi citizens, Egyptians, etc. When you say that they are not nationals of countries that are signatories to the conventions, it's often completely untrue.

3. There really isn't any circumstance that would permit any government from holding people without end, without charge. Either the captured men are soliders, in which case, they are POW's, and must be returned, or they are criminals, and they must be tried, or they are terrorists, and they must be tried.

Comment: Warrant (Score 1) 89

by danheskett (#47252029) Attached to: Help Crowd-FOIA Stingray Usage Across America

I don't care about how a private organization uses data about me, or generated by my devices. That a matter of contract law between me and a party that does not involve you or the government.

I do care that my papers and effects are protected. It is a God-given right to my papers and effects are secured against unreasonable searched and seizures, including against general warrants, and warrants that are not specific to the place and time to be searched. It matters not if the data comes directly from the police looking at my device, or installing something on my phone, or that they get it from a phone company.

Comment: Re:the joker in the formula (Score 1) 686

by GigsVT (#47219767) Attached to: Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

You are ignoring the fact that it seems like one highly intelligent and technology-developing species could probably not evolve in coexistence with another one on the same planet, at some point one would win and kill off the other one.

I'm sure it's been proposed/discussed many times before, but I don't know if this concept has an "official" name or not.

Comment: Re:Progenitors? (Score 4, Interesting) 686

by GigsVT (#47219707) Attached to: Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

Directionality is a mostly irrelevant consideration.

The fact that an antenna is 9db or 30db higher in one direction quickly becomes irrelevant with the vast distances of space. Antennas don't work like flashlights. They are more like a light bulb with a two-way mirror on one side that reflects 50% of the light and lets 50% of it through out the back. At VHF and above, things like mountains act like mirrors that reflect signals straight up (among other directions), as well.

You are somewhat wrong about AM... at least broadcast band AM is mostly only directional in the sense that there's dead zones straight off the ends of the dipole. They are shooting quite a bit of signal upward. Our ionosphere does strongly reflect and attenuate what would make it out to space in those bands though.

This goes toward your comment about the 50s and 60s... we have far more powerful transmitters in operation now (some VHF TV the better part of 1 megawatt!), and in bands that aren't reflected by the ionosphere. If anything we are getting louder and louder.

Unfortunately the first thing they might see of humanity is free-to-air broadcast TV, and just assume that we are all complete idiots.

This universe shipped by weight, not by volume. Some expansion of the contents may have occurred during shipment.