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Comment Re:Since when is money laundering a "loophole"? (Score 1) 406

Money laudering in US politics hit the big time during the Watergate scandal. Details are never quite clear, but basically CREEP -- the Committee to Re-electe the President -- funnelled a then extraordinary $60 million or so through mexico to help fund Nixon's relelection campaign. Some of this money was used to finance dirity election tricks, rat-fucking, a famous letter which caused a governors campaign to implode I believe, and of course the watergate bugging itself and related operations.

Nixon won the 1972 election campaign.

Comment Re:Credibility gap (Score 1) 280

> Gitmo will close by the end of my first term.

Broken promise. He actually tried and was blocked.

It depends on what you mean by the word "close" because there are two potential meanings for "Close GITMO":

1) End the practice and shut down the prison.
2) Shut down the prison, retain the practice and simply move it to another location.

Obama's intention was #2, specifically, to "close" GITMO and move the practice to the Thomson SuperMax Prison in Illinois. Even liberal members of Congress voted against funding this proposal, but it has been deftly spun by the Obama admin as "Obama tried to close GITMO but congress blocked him." There is a lie of omission there so that despite being technically true, it leads to a totally false impression.

Comment Re:Use end to end encryption? (Score 1) 234

Which is exactly why real reform will require revisiting the the Third Party Doctrine. The 3PD is a Supreme Court principle that if you share information with a 3d party, even if that 3rd party promises confidentiality, and even if they do not breach confidentiality, the Feds can just have the info _without_ any sort of 4th Amendment analysis -- the 4th is just not applicable. The logic behind this is that the 4th only applies when you have a reasonable expectation of privacy, and if share information with anyone at all, you lose that expectation.

I don't agree with this -- it's sort of the Long John Silver standard, dead men tell no tales. I think there is place where people do act reasonably when they share info with at least some third parties because the fact of the matter is, you can't navigate modern life without such sharing. Justice Sotomayer recently made this point in her concurrence in the Jones GPS case. See PDF page 19:

Anyway, Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act is merely a codification of the 3PD. Destroy 3PD, and you instantly unconstitutionalize the masspionage.

Comment Re:NIH has addressed this (Score 2) 189

That's right. The journal that Cortney Grove gave as an example, Topics in Language Disorders , does provide free access to papers funded by NIH, Wellcome Trust and Howard Hughes

Nope. Doesn't appear to.

Here's an example paper which I picked at random from the journal : Differentiating Speech Delay From Disorder: Does it Matter?. There's a paywall on the journal site with a $30 fee.

And here's the result of a search on PubMed for the same paper. I'm danmed if I can find it there.

Perhaps this is due to my search coming from outside the US, but I doubt it. I don't think the papers are being made available, or at least, they are being made less accessable than the paywalled versions.

Comment Re:Simple (Score 1) 189

To make universal knowledge a reality, it is first necessary to have all books and journals available in torrents and file sharing sites everywhere.

I knew a researcher from a place around Eastern Europe way. He claimed he had access to a university alumni forum where almost any paper could be requested, and an aluimni working at an institution with access would post the request within hours.

They are light years ahead of us over there.

Comment Re:The Limbaugh Doctrine (Score 2) 280

Well the President shouldn't know about these things. That's what his Secretaries of State are for.

The President is the Head of State. I put those capitals in for a reason. It is an almost religious position. A large part of the authority and legitimacy of the state is invested in the current head of state and their behaviour has to be of an appropriately high standard. This is difficult under an executive presidency like the US, but the principle still applies.

Of foremost concern here is the simple principle that there are certain things the president should not see or hear. Sometimes countries need to spy on others, or assassinate people, or steal, or whatever. But there is absolutely no reason why the President needs to be told about these things. The only time the President should hear about things like this is in the newspapers, shortly before he makes a pledge to hold the guilty responsible.

The President is not going to be able to uphold the law if all of the lawbreakers make him an accessory before or after the fact as a matter of routine.

This is to say nothing of the loss of legitimacy that comes with being involved this close to the coal-face of the uglier side of state operations. As bin Laden was being killed, the President should never have been allowed into a room where live images of people being shot and killed were displayed on screen. Without exaggeration: His aide-de-camp deserves to be court-martialed for allowing that. The damage to the image of the US President as a head of state will take decades to undo. Heads of State do not watch gunbattles on live feeds.

There is Politics, or PR-Politics as it is practised today. There is Government, and the business of running it. Then there is Diplomacy and grand and murkier business of deal with other countries.

And finally there is Statecraft, the art of running a country wisely. No PR-man, economist, scientist or other technocratic advisor can speak with any authority on this most essential of topics. It is nebulous, yet essential to all actions of the state. Systems ; political, economic, national, international, are made or unmade by the actions of senior officials and heads of state. It is essential that these actors have the gravity and respect necessary to inspire confidence in their actions. It is simply not possible to do this effectively if you have been repeatedly seen emerging from the latest political abattoir, covered from head to twitter feeds in fallout gore and scandal. Heads of State have to be above such things.

Comment Re:I donâ(TM)t suppose... (Score 1) 622

This isn't like a rape case because the reporter who dressed hot isn't getting fucked, it's the people who trusted her with their secrets and who dressed plainly who are getting fucked. The rape analogy just doesn't hold up. She has a lot more in common with the rapist because her actions have enabled the rapist to rape a lot of people.

Comment Re:Electronic storage (Score 1) 622

The advantage paper files have is that they cannot be transmitted over the internet/remotely accessed by an attacker because wood pulp just doesn't transmit.

The disadvantage is that there is no way to secure paper, at least not in the affordability realm of normal people.

However, a computer that is never connected to the internet, on which encrypted copies of the documents are stored, is affordable to the average person and would provide a high degree of security. The Feds would have to have a backdoor in the encryption software. Maybe -- we'll never really know on that. Another alternative would be to get an exploit on the air-gapped computer by the use of infected media, then executing a warrant to get the computer. Arranging this would be time consuming and expensive though and isn't possible to do for every reporter.

Anyway, I think encrypted files on an air-gapped never internet connected computer would be better than paper in a file safe.

Comment Re:I donâ(TM)t suppose... (Score 1) 622

Jesus -- go back to Viet Nam, probably farther really, but why do you think Nixon abandoned Bretton Woods which tied the dollar to gold? We couldn't afford all the bullshit warmongering Kennedy and LBJ embroiled us in, which Nixon continued. We needed to print dollars without restraint to pay for the bullshit -- and we still do.

As for Clinton, it's easy to look good short term by liquidating our stored wealth, essentially cashing it in for a one time payment during the free trade agreement boom. But now that we're way down that road of exporting our jobs for a temporary boost to stock prices, what exactly are we going to do in the future? Blowing your inheritance is just as stupid as living off credit.

Fuck 'em all. Democrats and Republicans hate America and Americans.

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