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Comment: Where's the ransom demands? (Score 1) 225

Does nobody remember the first few news stories that mentioned a ransom demand? I swear I read that - then the story changed to Korea + Guardians of Peace out of nowhere.

Korea's dialog and posturing almost entirely internalized. Their glorious leader is a big fan of Hollywood, has never before acted on a threat against the USA, and has put up with other movies without so much as a whimper. The threats and posturing with NK come before the action, not that we have ever seen much real action from them. Not that action accomplishes anything of any note.

And where are all the internal Sony communications about wrongful dismissal, sexual harassment and assault cover-ups, deaths on the job, and so on? These things happen in a company of Sony's size, Sony's exposure under these circumstances could be massive - who knows what skeletons are in their closet.

There's something fishy about this whole thing.

Comment: Re:Fake (Score 1) 876

by debrain (#48599685) Attached to: Apparent Islamic Terrorism Strikes Sydney

There are lots of terrorist attempts in Texas. For example, just in the past few months:

JW Confirms: 4 ISIS Terrorists Arrested in Texas in Last 36 Hours OCTOBER 08, 2014 -- 19 JUNE 2014 2 in Texas arrested in terror-related cases MARCH 28, 2014 FBI Smashes Alleged Radical-Right Terror Plot in Texas

You would be hard pressed to walk into a busy Starbucks here without a dozen people carrying guns, the terrorists wouldn't have hostages, they'd have a fight on their hands, and frankly they are cowards anyway, so they won't do that here.

It seems that many of these terrorists are largely unconcerned with their own death or the suffering of others.

Gun ownership does not appear to be, and it would not make sense if it were, a deterrent to terrorist attacks.

Comment: American Police are fearful, and should be avoided (Score 1) 481

by debrain (#48449761) Attached to: Cops 101: NYC High School Teaches How To Behave During Stop-and-Frisk

"It's unlikely that a high school student would come away with any other conclusion than the police are a fearful group to be avoided at all costs," says Eugene O'Donnell, a former police officer and professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

This is an important lesson for American youth ... but don't take my word for it ...

Avoid any police service that deviates substantially from Peelian principles (

1. To prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and severity of legal punishment.
2. To recognise always that the power of the police to fulfil their functions and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions and behaviour, and on their ability to secure and maintain public respect.
3. To recognise always that to secure and maintain the respect and approval of the public means also the securing of the willing co-operation of the public in the task of securing observance of laws.
4. To recognise always that the extent to which the co-operation of the public can be secured diminishes proportionately the necessity of the use of physical force and compulsion for achieving police objectives.
5. To seek and preserve public favour, not by pandering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolutely impartial service to law, in complete independence of policy, and without regard to the justice or injustice of the substance of individual laws, by ready offering of individual service and friendship to all members of the public without regard to their wealth or social standing, by ready exercise of courtesy and friendly good humour, and by ready offering of individual sacrifice in protecting and preserving life.
6. To use physical force only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient to obtain public co-operation to an extent necessary to secure observance of law or to restore order, and to use only the minimum degree of physical force which is necessary on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective.
7. To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
8. To recognise always the need for strict adherence to police-executive functions, and to refrain from even seeming to usurp the powers of the judiciary of avenging individuals or the State, and of authoritatively judging guilt and punishing the guilty.
9. To recognise always that the test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, and not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with them.

Comment: Re:Harvard Charter (Score 1) 203

by debrain (#48433013) Attached to: Harvard Students Move Fossil Fuel Stock Fight To Court

There are two aspects of the Harvard Charter which may give standing. First, the endowment has a specific purpose: "be for the advancement and education of youth, in all manner of good literature, arts, and sciences." And, good sciences say that investing in fossil fuels is a bad idea. Second, the Harvard Corporation is established so that it may be sued: "and also may sue and plead, or be sued and impleaded by the name aforesaid, in all Courts and places of judicature, within the jurisdiction aforesaid." So, disagreements about the endowment are supposed to be settled in court.

These are probably relevant, but may not be the ticket.

Standing is a question of *who can sue* (it is rather literal - you have a right to stand up at Court and be heard).

As you note, the charter gives a purpose, a *why*, deviation from which may give rise to liability. But the question is who can enforce. Does the Charter exist to protect the students? Faculty? The institution itself? Its property? Who is harmed by deviation from the Charter?

A relevant phrase might be "that may conduce to the education of the English and Indian youth of this country, in knowledge and godliness" as the *who* benefitting (and hence may have standing) is "English and Indian youth", antiquated racism though that may be. But who knows what a Judge would think or other status may be alive in this case.

The naming of the corporation gives no indication of standing to sue either. It just mentions jurisdiction and by this order, presuming you have standing, the name one would provide the Court to sue and enforce an Order against the corporation as a defendant.

Comment: Re:Standing (Score 2) 203

by debrain (#48432917) Attached to: Harvard Students Move Fossil Fuel Stock Fight To Court

That said, rule #1 of litigating is: You never know what a judge will say.

Litigation is, pretty much, learning a thousand ways why a stranger can, contrary to your expectations, agree or disagree with you.

The question of standing is non-trivial, and can include questions of contract, equity and wrongful interference (tort). Not having thought it out, but purely an example: these kids may argue their reputation tied to the university, and the university using fossil fuels could harm their future prospects. It sounds like a stretch, but then again I know folks that refuse candidates from MIT because of how that institution treated Aaron Schwartz. It's not an argument without basis.

But don't take my word for it. Let's see what happens.

These kids are pushing ahead with a noble cause against a tough institutional defendant with risky litigation for the betterment of the world. I think it's interesting and probably a worthwhile expenditure of their time. They could be on slashdot.

Comment: Prevent publication w/o a court order (Score 2) 301

by debrain (#48364829) Attached to: Police Body Cam Privacy Exploitation

FWIW, here's what I might suggest:

1. Make every video accessible by the public in-person at the police station and at a set of accredited institutions (i.e. public interest groups);
2. ban re-publication of the videos without a court order;
3. water-mark any video available outside the police station so that whoever copied it can be traced and their authority to receive copies revoked.

This would seem to prevent the problem of republication for commercial purposes, but still allow people who are involved in incidents or interested in police oversight to access and review the videos.

Comment: Re:Good thing Canada's pretty much a "Gun Free" zo (Score 0) 529

by debrain (#48205099) Attached to: Shooting At Canadian Parliament

The US has a 90:1 gun:citizen ratio.

The US has one of the highest murder rates in the world (3.6/yr/100000 people), being over 6x higher than Canadas (0.5/yr/100000 people).

I trust we can all do ourselves a favour and conclude that the balance of your post, and likely anything else you bother to write, is also laughably misinformed.

Do us all a favour and stop posting nonsense.

Comment: Re:Possible sequence (Score 1) 171

by debrain (#48074207) Attached to: Apple Sapphire Glass Supplier GT Advanced Files For Bankruptcy

The risk was not pushed onto GTAT so much as their creditors. Let's hope the investment community was as good at assessing the risk of GTAT as they were for subprime mortgages/Countrywide Financial, or Greece/Iceland/Argentina/etc, or Black Scholes/Long-Term Capital Management, or Lehman Brothers, or , or ... oh wait.

"If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?" -- Lily Tomlin