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Comment Re:Man the FL state attornies just want to fuck up (Score 1) 569

In terms of why not let juries hear evidence? Well because it may not be relevant and it may bias them. Just because someone did X that people do not like it does not also follow that they did Y. That is why you can't generally mention a defendant's prior bad acts unless they somehow relate to the particular case. So if someone was convicted of robbery in the past, you can't bring it up in an unrelated murder case just to try and make them look like a bad guy.

In your example there, true a previous robbery does not mean a person commited a murder. But it does demonstrate that this person has little or no regard for the law and has a history of committing serious crimes.

Comment Re:If he had only learned from the Simpsons (Score 1) 135

They own the jail. And the courts. And the legislature. And if you want to run for office you take their money and probably not directly from their hands.

So no, none of them in jail.

Atypical /. poster that doesn't know the difference between illegal, and unethical. In turn, doesn't know that many of said changes were made by government in the first place which allowed things to happen. Following with that, banks used the system in place. So you end up with: Illegal no, unethical yes.

Actually the point was that we would have a stronger nation and a better world if there were more overlap and less distinction between illegal and unethical.

And you may wish to brush up on your own history there. The bankers have a long history of trying to control the nation's currency, beginning with Andrew Jackson (who was shot in a pointless duel), again with Abe Lincoln (who was assassinated after issuing interest-free greenbacks), and finally succeeded with the current Federal Reserve system. Incidentally, Kennedy wanted to revert back to government-issued currency.

Banks funded the politicians who put the system in place. You're an asshole to read my post in the most hostile he-must-be-a-total-idiot manner possible and then assume ignorance on my part because of your assumption. This kind of shit and the way it's become so fashionable lately is why intelligent adult discussion on this site is becoming such a rarity.

Comment Re:Voice votes (Score 1) 106

True, bipartisan support is hard to find since the rise of the Tea Party

Yes, that's because "bipartisan" is usually code for "time for Republicans to acquiesce to the demands of the Democrats". Unlike most Republicans who just want to appeal to their base and do whatever is politically expedient to get re-elected, the Tea Partiers generally operate on a belief system. This is why lots of more mainstream Republicans don't like them, because they will say and do things perceived to hurt the Republican party's election odds.

For some reason people here just love to assume things that were never said, and read meanings into posts that are simply not there, so I'll reluctantly add: I don't like either major party one damned bit. I wish we had more of a parliamentary system where third, fourth, and fifth options were viable. But what I observed remains true. The Democrats have lots of support in the media and are effective at portraying their postions as mainstream and normal, with any dissenters branded as "racist" or otherwise bigoted, which many Republicans are afraid of and don't know how to stand up to.

Comment Re:They needed to use it. Duh. (Score 1) 106

Why is it gun owners in internet threads so often find it necessary to convert almost any discussion about the government to gun control? Are there people at banging on your doors demanding your weapons while simultaneously threatening to shoot you? The days of the Wild West are over. When are people going to get it?

Why is it that one cannot mention a clear, simple, easy-to-understand example in order to illustrate a point without the small-minded becoming obsessively hung-up on the example while missing the point being made with it?

The example I gave would be valid and legitimate whether or not I believed anyone should own a gun. The hypocrisy was the point. In fact I salute the way several European countries do things: they ban citizens from having guns AND the police (generally, with some exceptions) don't have guns either. That's how you do it without being a hypocrite about it.

I personally do like gun ownership, yes, but it is you who are trying to convert this into a gun-control debate. You are emotionally reactive and small-minded, unable to use reason to understand the distinction between a useful example and the point being made. I hope that one day you realize the self-limitation this represents, for that realization alone will overcome said shortcoming.

Comment Re:They needed to use it. Duh. (Score 3, Insightful) 106

Where's the news? As soon as some politicians notice that some "illegal" tool, device, substance or whatever is useful to them, suddenly it's no longer illegal.

That's actually a bit unusual.

A more typical example would be the anti-gun politicians who really don't want any private ownership of firearms at all ... but their own guards are armed. Usually the politicians are complete hypocrites about it because they think they're special and the rules for everyone else shouldn't apply to them.

Comment Re:They've blown the case against the defendant (Score 1) 569

And now they're lashing out in spite at whoever's nearest. No coincidence that this only happened after the jury retired.

How pathetic they are for dealing with it that way. They could instead be glad that a man received a fair trial that wasn't some kangaroo court where guilt was already assumed. You know, the way the system is supposed to work?

Comment Re:Man the FL state attornies just want to fuck up (Score 5, Interesting) 569

Seriously, I think the state had a pretty good manslaughter case against Zimmerman

While I think Zimmerman should have stopped following Martin once the police were contacted, following someone on a public street is not actually illegal in any way in Florida. Legally Zimmerman didn't do anything wrong there. Then he was promptly jumped and attacked by Martin. Had Martin used his fists alone I would absolutely want to see Zimmerman punished, but Martin didn't stop there. Martin was slamming Zimmerman's head into the pavement, something that can cause death or permanent disabling injury. He was, in effect, using the concrete as a deadly bludgeoning weapon. Zimmerman wouldn't have had a chance to try to flee considering he was on the ground getting pounded. That lead to Martin being shot. Correct me if I have any of that wrong (not liking it doesn't make it false...).

I think it's a damned shame that Martin got himself killed at such a young age. If it were up to me there would have been no conflict, or the mere sight of a gun would have scared him off and it would have ended there, but let's be clear about this: if you want to violently attack a stranger who has not initiated violence against you, you are taking a risk. It's a poor choice to make and all the sadness in the world about what happened doesn't suddenly make this a wise move.

Punishing Zimmerman doesn't change this reality, but it might make others who get attacked choose victimhood because they are afraid of the legal consequences of defending themselves. We already have states where homeowners hesitate to shoot a home invader because they might get in serious trouble, and all this does is lower the risk of burglarizing the law-abiding which in turn can only make burglers more bold. If being a violent criminal is a great way to remove oneself from the gene pool, I am absolutely fine with that. I have no sympathy for those who initiate violence. They live by the sword and sometimes they die by the sword. That's their choice. They are not victims. I reserve my sympathy for victims.

The worst part? Sounds like the evidence wasn't really relevant.

What is the value of refusing to let the jury hear this evidence? If it is truly irrelevant then it shouldn't influence their decision anyway. What damage could be done that the judge was trying to prevent by disallowing it?

Incidentally it certainly can't be worse than the photos shown of Martin when he was twelve years old, an obvious attempt to make him look as helpless and childish as possible to further demonize Zimmerman rather than showing him as he actually was, big enough and strong enough to do some damage to another man and old enough to know better. When people have to resort to these kinds of emotional appeals and outright distortion and propaganda tactics to make their case, I have to assume it is because the facts are against them.

Comment Re:Fuck 'em (Score 1) 204

It is rather difficult to trust a group of people with a long history of lies, abuses, manipulation, and little or no accountability. This is one of those hard facts that doesn't just go away. It takes a long time and a lot of effort to restore broken trust, especially when it has been repeatedly broken with little or no consequence to the perpetrators.

So the thing to do is to boot all gov't employees? I think there is a fallacy here, that 100% of feds are working on surveillance technology. NSA implemented SELinux - what if those types of security researchers want to go? Just screw 'em?

I'm curious how you read what I wrote and think that is what I am suggesting. I double-checked and I just can't find anyplace where I said we should throw the baby out with the bathwater.

The problem, as I identified it, is that this government does not seem interested in re-establishing mutual trust between itself and the citizenry. If it were interested in that, it could start by increasing transparency and accountability. If it *really* wanted to do that, it could reduce its own size and power (yeah I know, keep dreaming ...) and return to having most governance come from the states.

Comment Re:Fuck 'em (Score 2) 204

There was proof even before. About the only thing that was revealed by Snowden was the exact names of the companies that were helping the NSA (and a few more similar details). I don't know why suddenly it's become such a big issue when it wasn't before. Maybe everyone was distracted by gay marriage or abortion or banks or spying on the press or something. The number of scandals going on is rather ridiculous. I'd still rather have it be a big issue than not.

It's a big issue now because mainstream, average people either didn't know about it, or were in denial about it and preferred to ignore those who tried to bring this to their attention. Or they branded them with labels like "tin-foil hatter" or "conspiracy nut" and the like. It's the standard procedure for how small-minded people treat those who have clearer vision than themselves (they can't just disagree, or be skeptical, they have to denigrate).

Now they can't do that anymore so it's finally getting the attention it deserves.

Comment Re:Fuck 'em (Score 1, Insightful) 204

It is rather difficult to trust a group of people with a long history of lies, abuses, manipulation, and little or no accountability.

That also explains why I don't trust much coming out of the "hacker" community, either. :)

See what happens when you make sweeping generalizations about a community based on the wrongdoings of some members of that community?

If you thought your one-liner taught me a valuable life lesson, your smug expectations deserve to be disappointed. What you think you're point out is trivial, obvious, and only a moment's thought reveals why it's wrong.

Characterizing a government is not a "sweeping generalization" like, say, characterizing a race or ethnic group. A government includes those at the top who make the important decisions and those who have chosen to carry out those decisions. This is not a "community", it's a voluntary organization. No one is making any of them behave the way they do. "Just following orders" didn't work at Nuremberg and it doesn't work here, either.

What you seldom or never see is "the wrongdoings of some members" being investigated and prosecuted by the other members. What you often see is that life suddenly gets very difficult and unpleasant for whistleblowers. People choose to work in these positions and to carry out these activities because they believe in and support them.

I'm sorry but portraying corrupt officials and the silent consent of their lackeys, massive unconstitutional abuses such as the NSA spying, and a long list of other scandals that usually result in a resignation at the very worst, as "mean ol Causality picking on poor helpless extremely powerful people" is so goddamned naive.

Comment Re:Nobody "Excluded" Anybody (Score -1, Troll) 204

They didn't "exclude" the Feds. They simply warned them that given the current atmosphere, it might not be wise for them to attend. There's a pretty damned big difference.

Then they really don't understand how police and federal agents think.

These aren't people who intend to prevent a confrontation or back down from one for the sake of getting along. These are people who want a confrontation because they want an excuse to use force, look good before their bosses, and justify their existence and performance to the media. Confrontation is what they train for and overwhelming force that cannot be resisted is their method (but they'll happily charge someone for trying - if they survive).

Asking these people not to show up under these circumstances is absurd. It only makes them more interesting in attending. Racking up arrests and filing charges is how these people show their bosses that they are doing their jobs. That can be done by finding criminals and it can also be done by making criminals.

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