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Comment Re:Federal Cop Experience (Score 4, Interesting) 223

but for every dirty cop, there are at least a thousand who are trying to make their neighborhood better.

And those thousand want the dirty ones gone, I bet.

I have a very high opinion of police. The level of professionalism has gone up so much in the past 40 years (at least in Northern cities) that it's like a completely different animal. Used to be, the guy from the people you hung out with who became a cop was the last guy you'd want with any authority. Now, the young people going into the academy are first-rate. I deal with them every day, living two blocks from the Chicago Police Academy. Maybe my perspective has changed, now that I have a family and property, but I know for sure they've changed. For the better.

The civilians who are giving the orders? Not so much. They seem more entranced by paramilitary hardware and tactics than by community policing, which is a damn shame.

Comment Re:Who watches the watchers (Score 4, Insightful) 223

How often do you actually hear about a police officer in America doing something wrong on national tv?

And from that you take away that police seldom do anything wrong?

By your logic, "Honey, I've told you I've never cheated on you, so that's proof I'm not cheating on you!"

My mother was a cop, and my uncle a us marshall your ideas of cops sneaking around and all of them doing illegal things like legalized crooks is hilariously stupid

Nobody says that "all of them" are doing illegal things. But they're supposed to be held to a much higher standard than the rest of us, because they're the ones who have power.

Here in Chicago, we went through decades where a Division Commander was running a torture regime which put scores of people in jail and on death row by torturing confessions out of them. For the decades that was happening, nobody heard about it, so by your standard, it wasn't happening.

It doesn't take a big percentage of crooked cops to put the entire system at risk. Just ask the people over at the Innocence Project, who have, as of now, gotten over 300 people off death row by using DNA evidence, about the damage police misconduct and prosecutorial overreach does. Ask one of those guys who were waiting for a lethal injection until a group of volunteers peeked under the skirts of police departments and found something very foul.

Most cops I know are a lot less sanguine than you are about police misconduct, which splashed mud on them and makes their job a lot harder. Every one of them can tell you stories of bad cops and the damage they do.

Comment Re: Sign me up (Score 1) 379

Others, like the fire marshall, or code inspector, or UL Labs, may have things to say, but not the utility.

That's why the solution is to develop the technology and speed up adoption to the point where it's simply too late for anyone to do anything about it.

Sort of the way the Internet started. By the time the powerful corporations knew what it was, it was too late to for them to own it. Of course, they've spent the past decades trying to own it, which is why we need A) net neutrality laws and B) off-the-grid, ad hoc networking. I know "off-the-grid" networking sounds like an oxymoron, but I've heard it explained very well by some smart people. It's why I'm pushing for some of the "white space" in the spectrum to be left open as a public preserve.

Comment Re: Sign me up (Score 1) 379

Well, for one thing, the plan is to be able to use multiple fuels: "The first-generation Cube runs off natural gas, but it can generate power from a variety of fuel sources, including propane, gasoline, biofuel and hydrogen.". That alone cuts into the hegemony of the big energy companies.

The goal, though, it to be able to locally source your biofuel and/or hydrogen.

Also, remember this fuel cell is at 80% efficiency. That reduces dependency all on its own.

Comment Re: Yeah, that's just what the world needs (Score 1) 625

They take 20-30 years, not because of less medicalizing - but because of more.

I'm not arguing against health, or good medicine. But we have industry segments that make trillions out of stretching your final agonies, leaving your families impoverished by your passing, while stealing from the kinds of real medical benefit that result in higher standards of living.

US has lower quality medical outcomes than Bulgaria, for many common measures.

Comment Re:Yeah, that's just what the world needs (Score 1) 625

It's not what I want.

It's what will happen. It's what's supposed to happen.

It's not life, without death. No death? No Beethoven or Taj Mahal or Pericles or Haiku.


Without an end, there is no way to face your existence with grace and courage. Bu don't worry. That's empty speculation. You will get old - if you're lucky.

And? You will certainly die.

Comment Sign me up (Score 1) 379

I'm willing to overpay for one of these. I really believe that a lot of good can come from off-the-grid power, and I would invest to help that happen.

So much of our lives is about how this corporation or that government agency has us by the balls. So much of our politics is payback. How something like this could change the balance of power back toward the hands of the individual!

It's not just traditional energy companies that worry about something like that happening. There's a lot of entrenched power in the hands of a shrinking number of people because people can be squeezed. I think about it every time I have to fill the car with gas.

The other key would be open-source, off-the-grid networking. Think about how life and politics would change in the absence of Big Energy and Big Telecom. I'm sure someone else would try to step into the void left by these behemoths, but once you start down the road away from dependence, it gets easier to get rid of the next tyrant.

Comment Re:American Justice (Score 5, Interesting) 255

Just weeks after NSA boss Alexander said that a review of NSA spying found not even one violation, the Washington Post published an internal NSA audit showing that the agency has broken its own rules thousands of times each year
  • NSA whistleblowers say that the NSA collects all of our conversations word-for-word
  • While the government initially claimed that mass surveillance on Americans prevented more than 50 terror attacks, the NSAâ(TM)s deputy director John Inglis walked that position back all the way to saying that â" at the most â" one (1) plot might have been disrupted by the bulk phone records collection alone. In other words, the NSA canâ(TM)t prove that stopped any terror attacks. The government greatly exaggerated an alleged recent terror plot for political purposes (and promoted the fearmongering of serial liars). The argument that recent terror warnings show that NSA spying is necessary is so weak that American counter-terrorism experts have slammed it as âoecrazy pantsâ

  • The feds are considering prosecuting the owner of a private email company â" who shut down his business rather than turning over records to the NSA â" for refusing to fork over the information and keep quiet. This is a little like trying to throw someone in jail because heâ(TM)s died and is no longer paying taxes
  • Mass spying creates an easy mark for hackers . Indeed, the Pentagon now sees the collection of âoebig dataâ as a âoenational security threatâ ⦠but the NSA is the biggest data collector on the planet, and thus provides a tempting mother lode of information for foreign hackers
  • IT and security professionals are quite concerned about government spying
  • Congress members are getting an earful from their constituents about mass surveillance
  • Only 11% of Americans trust Obama to actually do anything to rein in spying
  • A Congressman noted that â" even if a mass surveillance program is started for good purposes â" it will inevitably turn into a witch hunt

Comment Re: Yeah, that's just what the world needs (Score 1) 625

What? And subject myself to the uncritical indoctrination that seems to guide your prejudice?

You seem not to be able to see past technological fetishism - the sort that admires scientism - as exemplified by this proposed medicalization of aging.

These are propositions that use scientific learning in the technological pursuit of of human fears and personal demands. This is the same basis for justifying and admiring eugenics or brainwashing.

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