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Comment Re:Right idea, wrong amendment (Score 1) 263

In context, what do they have to do with anything? We're talking about a specific legal concept, considered to be created by the right to jury trial, not the intangible, intuitive rights, like the right to pick your friends.

I swear, the "you're forgetting the 9th amendment" cockroaches climb out for the places where they can be as wrong as possible. The point of the ninth amendment was to prevent people from passing laws of the form: "It's not forbidden to trod on gay rights to marry in the constitution, therefor such laws are a-okay and don't infringe anyone's rights in any way" It, specifically does not outline powers like jury nullification.

Also while we're here: the 10th amendment doesn't reserve the power of states to deny free speech or secede, it doesn't grant people the power to be "sovereign citizens." It doesn't make it so states can do whatever they feel like, as long as it's not something the feds can do(much as people like to read it as such). It just outlines the basic principle of federalism, in case some people would look at the unamended constitution and go "yep that's all there's ever going to be."

If I am wrong on this, I am open to correction, but IIRC ... these Amendments were created partly out of the Founders' fear that having a Bill of Rights at all would cause some to believe that those rights specifically enumerated are the only rights anyone has. Not all of the Founders wanted any Bill of Rights for just this reason.

I'm glad they decided to have one. Finding ways to complicate language like "shall make no law" and "shall not be infringed" in order to do what they want to do anyway has slowed down the statists significantly. We'd have probably already lost the republic by now if there were no enumerated rights.

I've always thought the notion of a "Constitutional scholar" is amusing, in a sardonic sort of way. The Constitution is written in relatively plain language and is not difficult to understand. It's so simple that much complexity has to be added to it, externally, in order to find loopholes and justifications for selectively applying it.

You mentioned state power? I think the one trick the Founders either didn't think about or didn't think we would tolerate is the modern practice of manipulating the states with their own money. The federal government taxes the citizens of a state and then offers them some of their own money back if the states adopt policies the federal government finds desirable. Most states are dependent on this money and are in no position to do anything but bend over and take it. This is a direct attack against the notion of federalism and a significant power grab by the feds. It's definitely not what was intended and it's simply an abuse of power.

Comment Re:rights (Score 1) 263

It seems to me you just like to go down swinging...

Tempered with good judgment, this is an admirable trait.

The only part of it I reject is this culture of disclaiming things that were never actually claimed and the expectation that I should embrace this practice. If I stop short of saying something, there was a reason for that. A reader who mentally inserts words that were not present has a problem with his or her own imagination, not with anything I said.

Comment Re:Copyright 1 Year? (Score 1) 263

Let's lobby to have copyright changed to 1 year until expiry, and settle for 10 years when the companies bitch and complain.

I appreciate the practicality of your idea. But once, just for once, I want to see something shoved down the copyright industries' throats that they really don't like, and watch them bitch and cry and moan when they have no choice but to bend over and take it. Just so they know what it feels like. Yes, I know it's a visceral desire that may not be the most constructive idea, but just try telling me that wouldn't be satisfying. I bet they'd throw temper tantrums like spoiled two-year-olds.

Comment Re:rights (Score 1) 263

Jury nullification is a civil right ruled to be protected by the constitution, implicitly not explicitly. It's not like there's a line in the 6th amendment that says "juries can decide laws aren't right."

... and if I had ever claimed it was explicitly declared, then I would understand the point of your post.

Comment Re:non violent offenders in prison = overcrowding (Score 1) 263

Although I'm all in favor of marijuana decriminalization, I also don't believe that prisons are full of people who have done nothing more than get arrested with a little bit of weed. Groups like NORML tend to exaggerate this a lot. They claim someone is locked up "just for pot" when in fact they had enough to be considered a dealer along with an illegal firearm. Quite a bit of difference.

In many US states, an otherwise perfectly legal firearm becomes an illegal firearm the moment a person is in possion of both it and some weed.

So yes, more drug-war insanity.

Comment Re:This! This! 1000 Times! (Score 2) 263

though I guess it should be noted that US congress passing laws for **AA only affects the UK after the WIPO says "a good reason to extend UK copyright terms are to be parallel with the US"

There's no point in having different nations if they can't have different cultures and different laws so the world can see which thrive and which are self-defeating and (get this) actually learn from their examples.

Comment Re:rights (Score 3, Insightful) 263

Don't forget that it's practically unenforceable. An unenforceable law is soon made a mockery of.

The UK recently extended our copyright term from fifty years to seventy for music. Mainly to make sure the Beatles stay covered - it's important to make sure their property rights are protected, or they might not make any more music.

Heh that's hilarious and I appreciate the irony you're spelling out (or I could act like a typical Slashdotter and assume I'm the only one who got it because everyone else is so stupid). Of course, the entire purpose of a short-term copyright that expires is that the artist has an incentive to make NEW works, not continuously profit from old ones.

The real problem with unenforcable laws that are widely broken is that they give the government an excuse to target someone they don't like. Many of these laws would require a police state to enforce, something the political class is only too happy to provide ("think of the children!"). Look at the way the idiotic War on (some) Drugs has destroyed the 4th Amendment for an easy example.

You end up with all kinds of mental-gymnastic nonsense just to let them do what they wanted to do anyway. A police dog is a device used to perform a search. Using a dog's nose to search a vehicle is no different from using the police officer's hands and eyes. It performs the same task for the same purpose. It's merely more efficient. Yet it's legal to have roadblocks with police dogs that effectively search everybody in a given area, with no warrant and no probable cause, and if the dog gives an indication (after using its nose to search) then that's all the excuse they need. That's just one example. It's insane. We're willing to give up fundamental liberty in the name of making sure adult people don't smoke weed.

If this society thrives and continues to prosper, it won't be because it deserves to.

Comment Re:rights (Score 2) 263

Doesn't your selective application of the law make you as bad as any criminal? The law is, in theory, decided by all of us, so you don't get to pick and choose, IMHO

What I described is in fact laid out by the US Constitution, the highest law of the land. Jury nullification is a civil right protected by the Constitution. So no, I'm not being selective.

Look, if you're hostile to the idea that's fine, tell me why you dislike it. But don't make shit up just to find fault with it. Let's have an adult conversation instead.

Comment Re:rights (Score 3, Insightful) 263

It's generally accepted that withholding rights from some is required to ensure public safety or other collective benefit.

In some cases, I feel that infringing upon certain rights is unacceptable no matter what. Copyrights and patents will always be absolutely disgusting to me because of their effect of private property, and copyright's effect on freedom of speech.

Copyright wouldn't be nearly so bad if it stuck to its original term of (IIRC) fourteen years. That's fourteen years, during a time when movable type was one of the most advanced information dissemination technologies available. Now we can reach many, many more people in much less time, resulting in much greater distribution (and sales) of a work than anything that was possible in the late 18th century. Logically, achieving a similar balance would now mean a shorter copyright term, but instead it's been ridiculously extended. This is why so few people respect it anymore; it simply isn't respectable and hasn't been in a long time.

It's disgusting and maybe no reform would ever satisfy you. I can't speak for you there. As for me, I think a reasonable copyright term of say, 5-10 years, would remove nearly all of the problems with it. I also think that would put a bigger dent in piracy than any unreasonable new laws.

Comment Re:rights (Score 5, Informative) 263

So which is it: Do you oppose putting anybody in jail, or do you think freedom of movement isn't a fundamental right?

Generally this is resolved by only depriving people of civil rights with due process (but the US government is increasingly finding ways around that pesky little detail...).

Likewise, there is too much ignorance about the purpose of juries. The purpose of a jury is not merely to determine if the person transgressed a law. The purpose is also to determine if that law should be enforced. If I for one were ever on a jury and the accused is on trial for a nonviolent marijuana possession charge, I would acquit him or her even if I were certain that they did in fact do the deed, because I fundamentally believe that regulating the consciousness of adult people is beyond the scope of government.

Jury nullification is an interesting read, though if you are familiar with it and make this known, you are not likely to be selected for a jury. This demand for mindlessly applying a set of rules with no judgment is a sure sign of a broken system.

Comment Re:Not a registrar problem. (Score 2) 119

Dick move? You better believe it. Piss off a sizable community? Hell yes. Perfectly legal? Yup. The right way to do it to avoid future liability? Unfortunately, most likely.

That reminds me of a saying I once heard: "we will have world peace when the last lawyer is strangled with the entrails of the last banker."

Comment Re:First world problems (Score 1) 90

The problem is as long as religions exist that say safe sex is bad and multiplying good? All you are doing is breeding more poverty. I don't know how much hate I've gotten for daring to say we should offer a one time payout of a couple grand for women to get their tubes tied and men to get snipped but the simple fact is if they'd sell their reproductive rights for a quick buck they would be shitty parents anyway and the world is better off.

But as long as you have clergy in third world countries that say things like "condoms give you AIDS" to keep people from using them? Then all you are doing when you feed the starving in the third world is breeding the next gen of beggars sadly.

You blame the religion but the true blame lies with those who mindlessly follow (any) religion without questioning both its doctrine and the men who administer it.

That, and at least around here, daring to suggest that someone who doesn't know where their next meal will come from is not in a good position to become a parent is like turning the sacred cow into cheap hamburger. It's amazing how angry and emotional some people will get when you point out what should be common sense. It's part of a larger general movement to dismantle the notion of personal responsibility and the idea that cause precedes effect or decision precedes result.

I personally would never consider impregnating a woman under such circumstances. If I somehow did, the inevitable and predictable suffering of the child would be personally my fault, the result not of "luck" or "the way things went" but my own poor judgment and lack of discipline. That, by the way, is the single number one way to become poor and to remain in poverty: having children you know you cannot afford.

So long as it is voluntary, I like your idea concerning surgical sterilization. The payout could be increased to tens of thousands of dollars and it would still be a bargain compared to what a bunch of poorly (and usually singly) parented children are going to cost society when they grow up. The only people who would truly have a complaint are those who profit from the private prison industry and politicians who need have's and have-not's to secure elections.

Comment Re:So guys... (Score 1) 90

This is one of those lessons that lots of people are just going to have to learn the hard way. A lot of completely predictable, entirely preventable problems are like that.

And the problems all seem to stem from someone trying to make a buck at the expense of the ignorant. If only we had a way to prevent leeches from preying on the uninformed.

Actually those leeches are a symptom and the ignorance itself is the problem. You will never run out of symptoms if you don't deal with the root problem.

Comment Re:First world problems (Score 1) 90

What a stupid comment.

You are reading and writing this on Slashdot, a website dedicated to tech exotica. It is almost by definition a place intended for those who are assured of having regular meals and healthcare checks and literacy and owning multiple computers (e.g., news for /nerds/).

Why are you surprised that "first world problems" would be discussed here?

Should we only discuss "serious" problems like how to get fresh water or to keep the local warlord from raping our daughters until the third world gets its act together? Should we completely ignore the implications of these "first world problems" until that mythical time when all the world is brought up to our level? Why bother having a site like Slashdot in that case?

A lot of people don't recognize that working to help those who are in poverty is useful and might constructively reduce suffering, while talking to those who are not impoverished and trying to make them feel bad about it is useless, childish, and changes absolutely nothing.

We've had the ability to feed, clothe, and shelter every last man, woman, and child on this planet a few times over ever since the Industrial Revolution. The fact that we haven't done so is why, if there are any advanced aliens who can travel here, they have wisely decided that we're not worth meeting.

Comment Re:So guys... (Score 1) 90

I don't mind my desktop or laptop hooked up via IPv6.

I do mind my fridge or power grid hooked up and controllable via IPvVERSION_NUMBER. I really don't need another reason to find my fridge doors suddenly full of ads, or my freezer's ice cube trays suddenly melted, or my bedroom suddenly ill-HVAC'd, or my Northeast US suddenly dark...yet again...

This is one of those lessons that lots of people are just going to have to learn the hard way. A lot of completely predictable, entirely preventable problems are like that. Isn't our species great?

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