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Comment Re:Why is Obama more like to pardon? (Score 1) 379

when the U.S. government illegally invalidated his passport and stranded him in Russia.

"Illegally" invalidated his passport? Do you have a United States Passport? I do, page 5, "This passport is the property of the United States. It must be surrendered upon demand made by an authorized representative of the United States Government. This is in line with SCOTUS precedent, incidentally, and only a fool would believe it's the obligation of any Government to make it easier for you to flee from prosecution.

Comment Re:I love how Manning's detractors never mention.. (Score 1) 379

Your outage would be more impressive if you had realized that I was discussing Snowden, not Manning.

I would not accuse Manning of being motivated by a desire for the limelight; he sought no public recognition and was only outed by someone that he foolishly confided in. If you're going to commit a Federal felony you should probably have the discipline to keep your mouth shut. I think that he was used by all sides -- Assange certainly did him no favors; there's another glory seeking asshole that needs the affirmation of the masses -- and I would not put him in the same category as I place Snowden.

Comment Re: like Clinton, he'll pardon a lot of people (Score 4, Informative) 379

It can't go against the "Rule of Law" when he is expressly granted that power by our most supreme law. There is no law in the United States that trumps the Federal Constitution. That document gives him the power to pardon Federal offenses. It does not -- as people erroneously believe -- give him the power to pardon State offenses. He could give Snowden a full pardon but Snowden could just as easily find himself charged on the State level for any number of crimes.

The American separation of powers doesn't work the way you seem to think it does either. The Executive is responsible for initiating criminal prosecutions and it has some discretion in how it exercises this power. It's true that in other countries -- Civil Law jurisdictions -- an Independent Judiciary both brings charges, prosecutes, and adjudicates them, but that's not how it works here. The Executive brings charges and prosecutes them before the Judiciary which adjudicates.

Comment Re:Why is Obama more like to pardon? (Score 4, Insightful) 379

He exposed programs and technologies that provided real foreign intelligence and were no threat to American citizens.

That's because he doesn't view himself as an American citizen. He is on the record as saying that he's a "Citizen of the World," whatever that means. I rather liked Robert Gates assessment of him, "He said the government has built an institution of oversight over intelligence-gathering for the past 40 years, and there are avenues for people to pursue with the authorities if they believe a law has been broken. Gates said for Snowden to make public his allegations instead “is an extraordinary act of hubris.”

Hubris indeed; a 29 year old decided that he knew better than the hundreds of elected officials that we the people appointed to make these sorts of decisions on our behalf. Nobody elected him or entrusted him with this sort of power, he just took it for himself. Then, as if that wasn't enough, he leaks EVERYTHING, to foreign media. At least Ellsberg leaked to a reputable American media outlet that takes pains to scrub information that would endanger lives. Snowden's media buddies just dumped everything out there without any consideration whatsoever of the consequences.

Then, the final insult, he runs away to a country that stands diametrically opposed to every human right he claims to champion. This happens AFTER he makes himself the story, by outing himself, rather than at least trying to remain anonymous, as Deep Throat did. It speaks to a personality that craves the affirmation of the public spotlight, which brings me back to Secretary Gates' comment about hubris.

Comment Re: like Clinton, he'll pardon a lot of people (Score 5, Insightful) 379

The real question is why do they even have the power to arbitrarily circumvent the law at all.

It's a power granted to the President by the United States Constitution. How does the exercising of this power represent the "circumventing" of the law when our most supreme law specifically grants him this power?

If you don't think he should have that power, well, that's an argument, but removing it from him is no simple task. Personally, I would question the wisdom of such an attempt, as would many others.....

Comment Re:lol (Score 1) 441

Oh, I don't worry about my personal safety much at all. For one thing, the vast majority of murders are criminal on criminal. I'm not a criminal, but a "citizen" (to borrow from the parlance of The Wire), and "citizens" that get killed are most typically killed by friends or loved ones, e.g., domestic violence.

That's not to say it can't happen -- it obviously does -- but it's rare enough that I'm not going to lose sleep over it. I traveled all over the Western World and encountered far scarier places than New Orleans. If the worst does one day happen, well, c'est la vie. At least I didn't live in fear. :)

Comment Re:lol (Score 1) 441

For example, if you get a speeding ticket in New Orleans, it is ALWAYS advantageous to show up to set a court date, and not pay automatically even IF you are guilty as hell.

They are only interested in the revenue

Emphasis mine. I moved here about six months ago; the local expression is, "It's easier to get away with murder than a parking ticket in New Orleans."

Sadly, if you look at the murder solve rate, that's not an inaccurate statement. It really is all about the all mighty dollar.

Comment Re: Twenty five thousand light years (Score 1) 159

Imagine the crushing disappointment of the alien anthropologists when the signals are successfully decoded. I think there was even a Star Trek: The Next Generation, where an alien scientist learns that the Federation monitored her civilization's entertainment broadcasts prior to first contact, and the response is predictable horror. So it is here; American Idol may be the first impression we make on an alien civilian. $deity help us....

Comment Re: Are foreign devices fully secure? (Score 1) 138

how can South Korea be expected to be a signatory to a North Atlantic treaty?

Geography wasn't the point that I was making. The point I was making -- perhaps I should have stated it more clearly -- was that there are varying degrees of "alliance" with the United States of America, defined by law, treaty, and custom. South Korea is not in a category that would let them anywhere near Presidential communications -- not even the Five Eyes get that -- so the point that they're an "ally" is rather moot in this instance.

South Korea is a Major non-NATO ally, a term with a specific legal meaning.

Comment Re:"Hacked" is a strong word (Score 1) 98

In the olden days of /., 'hack [catb.org]' would have been more about technical skill and an inquisitive attitude, rather than legality or authorization. Even with the later, incorrect usage of hacking to mean cracking, I wouldn't say that "doing stuff without a permission" is synonymous with "hacking".

It may not be synonymous for the /. community but it almost certainly is for John Q. Public. Language evolves over time; even the Google definition for "hack" (which I couldn't directly link, hence thefreedictionary) includes, "use a computer to gain unauthorized access to data in a system."

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