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Texas Poised To Pass Unprecedented Email Privacy Bill

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the don't-mess-with-texas-emails dept.

Privacy 262

An anonymous reader writes "A bill has reached the desk of Texas Governor Rick Perry that would give stronger privacy protections to email accounts than exist in any other state. If Perry signs it (or simply declines to veto it before June 16th), the legislation would force law enforcement agencies to obtain a warrant before reading somebody's email, even if the email has been sitting on the server for a long time. 'As we've noted many times before, there are no such provisions in federal law once the e-mail has been opened or if it has been sitting in an inbox, unopened, for 180 days. In March 2013, the Department of Justice acknowledged in a Congressional hearing that this distinction no longer makes sense and the DOJ would support revisions to ECPA.' This bill passed the state legislature unanimously. The article points out that the legislation won't protect from federal investigations, but it will set a precedent that the U.S. Congress will surely notice. An attorney with the EFF said, 'It's significant as proof that privacy reform is not only needed, but also politically-feasible with broad bipartisan support. And hopefully that will impact federal ECPA reform efforts by getting people on both of sides of the political aisle to work together to make meaningful electronic privacy reform a reality. The more states that pass similar legislation, the more pressure it will put on Congress to keep up with the changing legal landscape.'"

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Opened (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43847217)

What does it mean for an email to have been "opened"?

Also, doesn't that mean that *all* email can be viewed without a warrant given that the government only has to wait for the sooner of the email being "opened" or 180 days?

Re:Opened (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43847231)

I'll just leave this here:
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/13/05/05/2329240/former-fbi-agent-all-digital-communications-stored-by-us-govt?sdsrc=popbyskid

Re:Opened (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43847395)

I'll just leave this here:

[POOP]

Re:Opened (2, Interesting)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#43847477)

There is only one possible meaning, silly-head: there is some electronic record of the message being marked "read". (And if you didn't actually read it but it got marked read by accident, tough luck; it's not their fault the computerized equivalent of tearing open an envelope and not reading the letter only takes a bit of hesitation between two keystrokes.)

Texas leads the way, again (5, Insightful)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | about a year ago | (#43847243)

Lots of folks like to mis-characterize Texas and Texans, but as a foreigner they seem to be doing plenty of things right. Their state economy is not borked like California, they have low tax, they value individual rights more than overbearing 'nanny' governance, and they have good political leadership. Ted Cruz for Prez 2016 would not be a bad choice it seems - he's very smart and would stop the current rot in DC.

Re:Texas leads the way, again (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43847269)

We have a terrible education system here in Texas. Perry is an awful governor with no end in sight.

Re:Texas leads the way, again (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43847309)

It's terrible because folks don't agree with your politics or religious views? You know, Germany had a great education system for that in the 30's and 40's.

Re:Texas leads the way, again (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43847413)

No, it's terrible because they teach creationism as fact and ignore well accepted science. This is but one example.

Re:Texas leads the way, again (5, Informative)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#43847629)

No, it's terrible because they teach creationism as fact and ignore well accepted science. This is but one example.

One example of pure BS? Is there any chance the lying nitwits will give it a rest any time soon?

Chapter 112. Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Science - Subchapter C. High School [state.tx.us]

(7) Science concepts. The student knows evolutionary theory is a scientific explanation for the unity and diversity of life. The student is expected to:

(A) analyze and evaluate how evidence of common ancestry among groups is provided by the fossil record, biogeography, and homologies, including anatomical, molecular, and developmental;

(B) analyze and evaluate scientific explanations concerning any data of sudden appearance, stasis, and sequential nature of groups in the fossil record;

(C) analyze and evaluate how natural selection produces change in populations, not individuals;

(D) analyze and evaluate how the elements of natural selection, including inherited variation, the potential of a population to produce more offspring than can survive, and a finite supply of environmental resources, result in differential reproductive success;

(E) analyze and evaluate the relationship of natural selection to adaptation and to the development of diversity in and among species;

(F) analyze and evaluate the effects of other evolutionary mechanisms, including genetic drift, gene flow, mutation, and recombination; and

(G) analyze and evaluate scientific explanations concerning the complexity of the cell.

Re:Texas leads the way, again (1, Troll)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#43848249)

Mod parent +1 proper bitchslap!

Re:Texas leads the way, again (0, Flamebait)

laughingcoyote (762272) | about a year ago | (#43847643)

Disagreeing with the above AC is one thing. Disagreeing with established fact and reality is quite another. It is not acceptable to teach things in school that are demonstrably false.

Re:Texas leads the way, again (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#43847787)

It is not acceptable to teach things in school that are demonstrably false.

But it apparently is acceptable to post things that are demonstrably false [slashdot.org] .

Re:Texas leads the way, again (1, Informative)

laughingcoyote (762272) | about a year ago | (#43847915)

No, they're not. They have that law on the books, and then they wink-wink-nudge-nudge when it gets widely broken. Even the governor admitted that they do, in reality, http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2011/08/18/7407124-perry-to-child-on-creationism-vs-evolution-youre-smart-enough-to-figure-out-which-is-right [slashdot.org] .

So yes, I'm concerned with what's happening in reality. Do you really think that regulation is getting consistently enforced, and teachers who violate it disciplined or fired, when even the governor is saying the direct opposite? Regulations and laws only mean anything if they are, in practice, enforced.

Re:Texas leads the way, again (2)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#43847979)

Here is what it says at the link you provided:

"Perry continues, "but in Texas we teach both creationism and evolution...""

Evolution is part of the state standards as my link shows.. It apparently is testable. They teach it. The governor says they teach it. I don't think you have much to stand on here.

Re:Texas leads the way, again (2, Insightful)

laughingcoyote (762272) | about a year ago | (#43848049)

Even if evolution is "part" of the state standard, teaching of creationism in a science class is forbidden by both law and definition. It was ruled by the SCOTUS, long ago, to be a religious doctrine and not a scientific theory, and it is exactly that, as it is either unfalsifiable (old-earth) or already falsified (young-earth). Any "science" class teaching creationism, is not one.

If you really need a citation for the SCOTUS ruling, I'll dig one up. But yes, I absolutely have "something to stand on" here.

Re:Texas leads the way, again (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#43848155)

If they teach evolution, they teach evolution. They meet the requirement for a science class. I don't think your personal definitions have force under Texas law.

What statute in Texas law makes their actions illegal?

Re:Texas leads the way, again (2, Insightful)

laughingcoyote (762272) | about a year ago | (#43848307)

Why are you asking "statute in Texas law"? I thought I was pretty clear it was a Supreme Court ruling. (I did use an unqualified acronym for it, SCOTUS, so if that's the source of the confusion I apologize.)

Anyway, Dover v. Kitsmiller is one of the well-known and recent ones, but never reached the SCOTUS. One that did, though, is Freiler v. Tangipahoa Parish Board of Education. That explicitly barred even the mention of creationism as an "alternative" to evolution, let alone its explicit teaching. That went all the way to the SCOTUS after the school board was ruled against, and the SCOTUS declined to consider a reversal, so that decision became final, and with the Supreme Court refusal to reverse, became caselaw for the entire land.

Since Supreme Court decisions are sovereign over Texas law, that makes it illegal in Texas or anywhere else in the US. That stems, of course, ultimately, from the First Amendment (government may not establish/endorse religion), and the Fourteenth (rights amendments applied to state/local law as well as federal). Those are ultimately the laws at play here. I'm not sure why you think Texas law would have anything to do with it.

I'm also unsure why you think "(my) personal definitions" have force under Texas law, or where you think I claimed that. But the Supreme Court of the United States, and the US Constitution, most certainly do have legal and binding force in Texas.

Re:Texas leads the way, again (4, Informative)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#43848419)

As I suspected, this is overblown. Texas doesn't require teaching Creationism, or related doctrines. If some teacher does discuss it, it is by no means clear that it runs foul of the law.

Fact check: Does Texas teach creationism in public schools? Is it constitutional? [nbcnews.com]

Clay Robison, a spokesman for the Texas State Teachers Association, the state’s teachers’ union, says, “It is not part of the recognized official state curriculum.”

But, Robison, who criticized Perry for "trying to reach right-wing voters," added, “I can’t say that some teacher someplace” that isn’t widely known about, isn’t teaching it.

More definitively, Suzanne Marchman, a spokeswoman for the Texas Education Agency, the state’s version of the Department of Education, tells NBC, the state’s science standards for high-school biology “require students to analyze, evaluate, and critique, scientific explanations.”

And since teachers craft their own lesson plans, “It’s likely that other theories, likely creationism, are being discussed in class" -- whether it's because teachers plan lessons around it, or because students bring it up. . . .

In 1987, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that requiring the teaching of creationism, or forbidding the teaching of evolution, violates the separation of church and state. The court struck down a Louisiana law that banned teaching evolution unless accompanied by instruction in creationism. . . .

The central question, the court said, was the law's purpose. Louisiana's intent, the majority concluded, was to endorse a particular religious doctrine. But, the court added, "teaching a variety of scientific theories about the origins of humankind might be validly done with the clear secular intent of enhancing the effectiveness of science instruction."

Also note that there are various factors that play into determining if a particular case becomes Precedent [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Texas leads the way, again (1)

laughingcoyote (762272) | about a year ago | (#43847917)

Sorry, managed to screw up the link in the last post somehow, will get more coffee. Here's the corrected one: Link [nbcnews.com]

Re: Texas leads the way, again (1)

Redmancometh (2676319) | about a year ago | (#43847781)

As a Texan our education system is the one thing I'm not a big fan of. That and the goddamn heat/humidity.

Re: Texas leads the way, again-- que horror! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43847299)

Ted Cruz for president sounded like you ate rotten egg for breakfast! Kudos to the bill but Texas still deny science! BTW the low tax Texas is myth just look how much we pay property tax!

Re: Texas leads the way, again-- que horror! (4, Insightful)

Dave Emami (237460) | about a year ago | (#43847379)

BTW the low tax Texas is myth just look how much we pay property tax!

Well, as taxes go, property taxes come closer than most others to having the tax burden be proportional to how much it costs the government to provide services to you. I have moral problems with taxes per se, but if we have to have them, then having the amount of money you have to pay to Texas be proportional to how much you own of Texas is much better than an income tax or a sales tax.

Re: Texas leads the way, again-- que horror! (2)

Nutria (679911) | about a year ago | (#43847441)

having the amount of money you have to pay to Texas be proportional to how much you own of Texas is much better than an income tax or a sales tax.

Yet it seems to fly in the face of "no taxation without representation".

Re: Texas leads the way, again-- que horror! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43847769)

having the amount of money you have to pay to Texas be proportional to how much you own of Texas is much better than an income tax or a sales tax.

Yet it seems to fly in the face of "no taxation without representation".

Are Texans not represented?
Is there a law (natural or man-made) to say: you get the amount of representation is a proportion of the paid taxes?

Re: Texas leads the way, again-- que horror! (2)

Noughmad (1044096) | about a year ago | (#43848389)

Is there a law (natural or man-made) to say: you get the amount of representation is a proportion of the paid taxes?

Just s/taxes/campaign contributions/g, and there is.

Re: Texas leads the way, again-- que horror! (2)

luckymutt (996573) | about a year ago | (#43847551)

but if we have to have them, then having the amount of money you have to pay to Texas be proportional to how much you own of Texas is much better than an income tax or a sales tax.

OK...so for those working a minimum wage job trying to support a family, who own no property in Texas, you're fine with them not having to pay tax? Or are you going to call them freeloaders? or part of the 47%?
Or maybe things aren't so black-and-white?

Re: Texas leads the way, again-- que horror! (4, Insightful)

Dave Emami (237460) | about a year ago | (#43847871)

OK...so for those working a minimum wage job trying to support a family, who own no property in Texas, you're fine with them not having to pay tax? Or are you going to call them freeloaders? or part of the 47%? Or maybe things aren't so black-and-white?

I'm fine with them not having to pay a direct tax for those services that are funded by the property tax. First, they will be paying it indirectly via the rent they pay to their landlord, just like they indirectly pay gas tax on items they buy that have been trucked to the store. Second, I would not propose having everything paid this way, just those services whose cost is (roughly) proportional to the value/size of your property -- police protection, for instance, since thieves obviously would rather rob rich people than poor people. The aforementioned gas tax is a better way to pay for roads, since (until electric cars become more popular) the amount of gas you burn is roughly proportional to how much wear and tear you inflict on the roads. That assumes that the gas tax goes only for the roads and doesn't, as it usually is now, get put into the general fund. That general fund is one of the basic problems, because it muddles the connection between what you pay and what you take.

Re: Texas leads the way, again-- que horror! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43848019)

Wear and tear on roads is more related to the pressure the vehicle places on the road.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_axle_weight_rating [wikipedia.org]

A general fund is not a problem anymore than insurance is a problem because it pools risks from many, and that many pay for the few. Maybe you don't need your left earlobe as much as you need some other part of your body, but as long as you aren't starving and desperate I don't see why you wouldn't want to keep it around even if it might not contribute more than it takes.

Re: Texas leads the way, again-- que horror! (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#43848119)

Yes, and as a general rule, heavier vehicles consume more fuel (and so pay more taxes) per mile driven.

Re: Texas leads the way, again-- que horror! (3, Interesting)

Dave Emami (237460) | about a year ago | (#43848195)

Wear and tear on roads is more related to the pressure the vehicle places on the road. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_axle_weight_rating [wikipedia.org]

Yes, but in general, the heavier the vehicle, the more gas it burns. And the more it is driven, the more gas it burns. So, a per-unit tax on fuel is roughly proportional to weight times miles. You could certainly come up with a more precise measure, but this seems a good enough approximation to me, without having to actually monitor the vehicle's activity.

A general fund is not a problem anymore than insurance is a problem because it pools risks from many, and that many pay for the few.

Except that your car insurance is separate from your health insurance, both of which are separate from your home insurance, etc. And for each one, the amount you have to pay is based on the probable amount that you will receive. That is how I am saying taxes vs. government spending should work. If you have a more expensive car, you pay higher car insurance rates, and if you have more property attracting thieves, your contribution to police funding should be higher. But just because you make more money doesn't mean you should be made to pay for, say, a public pool which you may never use. That's what entrance fees are for.

Re: Texas leads the way, again-- que horror! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43847887)

Well, as taxes go, property taxes come closer than most others to having the tax burden be proportional to how much it costs the government to provide services to you. I have moral problems with taxes per se, but if we have to have them, then having the amount of money you have to pay to Texas be proportional to how much you own of Texas is much better than an income tax or a sales tax.

That's cool. So Texas charges property tax on property outside of real estate, like stocks and bonds and intellectual "property"?

Re: Texas leads the way, again-- que horror! (1)

Dave Emami (237460) | about a year ago | (#43848225)

That's cool. So Texas charges property tax on property outside of real estate, like stocks and bonds and intellectual "property"?

If you mean do they now, I don't think so. If you mean should they according to what I said before, then no. If you own a stock, you own part of a company, not part of Texas.

Re:Texas leads the way, again (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43847317)

If you think that Ted Cruz would be a serious presidential contender then you have no idea what you are talking about. I am a Texan and he is a joke to most of the state. As much eye rolling as he causes within the state, he would cause even more than Rick Perry did on the national stage. I am not saying your completely wrong, but please do a bit more research before thinking Cruz (or Perry) are responsible for much of anything that is right with our state.

Re:Texas leads the way, again (5, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | about a year ago | (#43847345)

If you think that Ted Cruz would be a serious presidential contender then you have no idea what you are talking about. I am a Texan and he is a joke to most of the state. As much eye rolling as he causes within the state, he would cause even more than Rick Perry did on the national stage. I am not saying your completely wrong, but please do a bit more research before thinking Cruz (or Perry) are responsible for much of anything that is right with our state.

Ted Cruz is a "joke to most of the state"? Tell me, genius, how did he win his Senatorial election by such a wide margin? He may be a joke in YOUR circles, but everyone I speak to thinks the man is brilliant, with the exception of the most rabid liberals who think that it is OK for the IRS to target conservatives for no other reason than they are conservatives.

Re:Texas leads the way, again (-1, Troll)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#43847453)

Ted Cruz is a "joke to most of the state"? Tell me, genius, how did he win his Senatorial election by such a wide margin? He may be a joke in YOUR circles, but everyone I speak to thinks the man is brilliant...

His teachers were communists plotting to overthrow the government. Well, at least that's what he says, unhindered by the facts though this and many other of his wild accusations may be. Like that secretary of defense nominee he accused of accepting bribe money from North Korea, as another example. And outside of Texas, yes, he is a joke. Even other Republicans have told him to cool his jets with the wild accusations, while democrats have accused him of trying to bring back McCarthyism. He is, to borrow a phrase, coo-coo for cocopuffs. Intelligent people do not think boogiemen lurk around every corner and think the whole of creation is one big illuminatus-styled conspiracy against them. Mentally ill people think that; It's called paranoid delusions.

with the exception of the most rabid liberals who think that it is OK for the IRS to target conservatives for no other reason than they are conservatives.

You know, until that happened, you'd just be a tin-foil hat wearer, without a shred of credibility to you. Actually, you still are. But thanks to the colossal mistake of a couple of people in the IRS and Obama's total and complete inability to deal with a scandal, that singular act has managed to make the tinfoil hat crowd look more credible than the government.

Well, you know what, okay. Out of the thousands of times Obama and the "rabid liberals" have gotten it right, after six years of constant, sustained, unending attempts by the Republicans to find something, anything, to sink Obama even if it means repeatedly punching themselves in the face (Comeon guys, with all the major issues out there, your party platform for the previous four years has been trying to ensure Obama didn't get re-elected. Petty much?)... I suppose yes, with that much scrutiny eventually something had to pan out.

So take this one, singular victory. Have it, it's yours. You can feel righteous for a bit now -- you have a right to be upset. But I'm not going to lose sight over the many thousands of pages of fuckups from the last time you assclowns were in power -- Obama and Co. still have a loooooooooooooong way to go before they'll equal the level of incepid governance that his predecessors engaged in.

And if Ted Cruz is the best the Republicans can come up with, I look forward to an easy 2016 democratic majority.

Re:Texas leads the way, again (4, Informative)

ArcherB (796902) | about a year ago | (#43847623)

So take this one, singular victory. Have it, it's yours. You can feel righteous for a bit now -- you have a right to be upset. But I'm not going to lose sight over the many thousands of pages of fuckups from the last time you assclowns were in power -- Obama and Co. still have a loooooooooooooong way to go before they'll equal the level of incepid governance that his predecessors engaged in.

Fast and Furious ring a bell? How about the lying to Congress that resulted from that. Executive Privilege to protect the President from having to divulge communications, that he said never existed just a week before?

Oh, and say what you will about Bush, his administration never used the power of the IRS, the EPA, OSHA and the FBI to attack political opponents for no other reason than their politics.

You know, until that happened, you'd just be a tin-foil hat wearer, without a shred of credibility to you. Actually, you still are. But thanks to the colossal mistake of a couple of people in the IRS

You speak of credibility and then tell a lie. It has been proven that the IRS scandal goes well beyond just a "couple of people in the IRS". You should know this. If you don't, then you are completely ignorant of things you try so hard to sound knowledgeable about. If you do know this, then you are a liar and you blew whatever credibility you had in the very same sentence you claimed that I had none. Is that irony or projection?

Tell me, what was Article II of the Nixon Articles of Impeachment?

The Obama administration STILL calls the Ft. Hood shooting "Workplace Violence". This prevents the victims of that shooting from receiving Purple Heart benefits. These people are struggling to make ends meet while the US Army is still paying Nadal Hassan hundreds of thousands of dollars. Again, all Obama would have to do is say, "it was terrorism". Three words could change the lives of true American heroes who became the victims of terrorism. I guess you don't think that's very important either, do you? I guess that somehow makes me "a tin-foil hat wearer" for wanting the best for our soldiers. (Disclaimer, I was a soldier stationed at Ft. Hood)

Seizing AP phone records to catch a leaker after they knew who the leak was? The AG saying under oath before Congress he knew nothing about any actions against anyone in the media AFTER signing the search warrant to secretly read a Fox News Reporters email, tap his phone and follow his movements? Oh, they also spied on his fricken PARENTS!!! He also claimed that Rosen had committed a crime in order to get the warrant and used tried three judges before one decided to sign the warrant. Oh, did I mention that Eric Holder signed the request for this warrant after claiming ignorance before Congress, UNDER OATH? Obama's response? He has asked Eric Holder to investigate.

Benghazi ring a bell? Are you OK being lied to by the President? He did lie, you know. That's common knowledge. His administration lied more, from Hillary on down. And don't pull that "Bush lied" crap either. That's a fallacy of "Two wrongs make a right." If Bush were a murderer, would that make it OK for Obama to just be a rapist?

80% of stimulus funds going to unions? Head of the treasury a tax cheat? Accepting campaign donations from Visa Gift Cards? Releasing Mitt Romney's tax records to liberal media outlets? Listing name of conservative donors on the web so they may be targeted? You're OK with all this or do you simply deny that any of it happened?

You seem to think that there are no scandals in the Obama administration. You haven't been paying attention. I can't say I blame you as you really have had to search for them since no one in the press will report them with the exception of FoxNews, and I'm sure you don't watch FoxNews. Well, there's just a few to get you started. And don't worry. These investigations are just beginning and they will probably be reported by some media outlets. This should take years to sort it all out. Don't expect the press to be as blind as they've been these past five years. Even Chris Matthews is pissed at Obama. Matthews accurately states that even if the President has no clue about what goes on in his administration, which would make him incompetent, he is still ultimately responsible for whatever happens. Chris Matthews?!!?? Pissed at the President!??!! Sure, it won't last, but the honeymoon is finally over.

I could go on, but I have to rest for work tomorrow while I still have a job. Thank God I live in Texas where jobs are still available.

Re:Texas leads the way, again (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43847765)

You seem to think that there are no scandals in the Obama administration. You haven't been paying attention. I can't say I blame you as you really have had to search for them since no one in the press will report them

Sorry, but - the press does report them.

There are two factors here. First, the sports fan-level Democrats. They'll ignore anything Obama does or gets called out on. Republicans have nothing whatsoever to say about this, because they pulled the same shit with Bush. Simple fact of life in a two-party system - nobody ever takes their own guy to task.

The other factor, which is far more important is - nobody else gives a shit. Republican bullshit (HURR DEATH PANELS LOLOLOLOL, JERBS, LOLOLOL HOMOFAGS ONOES!!!!!!!!!!111111) means it'd take a fucking bazaar, complete with unsafe rides staffed by filthy carnies, for the average citizen to give a damn that a sitting president is doing shady shit. Circuses ain't in it. Because chances are - as far as they're concerned - it's just more nonsensical mudslinging.

Also, Arrested Development is back. Who the fuck cares about Benghazi?

Re:Texas leads the way, again (-1, Troll)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#43847959)

See, this is why I don't debate with tin foil conservatives: They just keep dragging in more and more irrelevant information in the hopes of finding some "weakness" in their opponents argument. The only weakness though is usually that they simply don't have as much stamina to reply to entire essays of semi-coherent logic mixed with half-truths. Of course, not replying results in confirmation bias -- they believe their opponents lack of response, or a desire not to reply to every little nuanced statement, somehow validates their broken argument. Well, it's a slow night at work, and I guess I can summon at least the meager amount of critical thinking needed to prove this...

Fast and Furious ring a bell? How about the lying to Congress that resulted from that. Executive Privilege to protect the President from having to divulge communications, that he said never existed just a week before? [...] Oh, and say what you will about Bush, his administration never used the power of the IRS, the EPA, OSHA and the FBI to attack political opponents for no other reason than their politics. [...]You speak of credibility and then tell a lie. It has been proven that the IRS scandal goes well be...

There are WMDs in Iraq. The Geneva Convention doesn't apply to "enemy combatants". "Mission Accomplished." There is a link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda. A "50 to 60 billion" estimate for Iraq ahead of the invasion; Currently at 600 billion, and still rising. Tax cuts for the wealthy amid the longest-running recession in US history. Afghanistan, all of it. Alberto Gonzales' appointment (Hello, Texas!) and the subsequent mass-expansion of warrantless wiretapping, the Patriot act, and the dismissal of dozens of state attorney generals who were then replaced with 'yes' men, Halliburton. Finance industry de-regulation leading to the mortgage crisis, which resulted in dozens of banks folding. Waterboarding, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib. Transporting US citizens and foreign nationals alike to secret facilities around the world to circumvent international treaty. Enron. Valerie Plame. Walter Reed Army Hospital which became the poster-child for an underfunded VA -- and the resulting systematic neglect of our veterans. Suspending of Habeas Corpus and other basic civil rights, secret courts, secret trials or no trials at all. New Orleans/Katrina. SWIFT, which allowed the government to view anyone's financial records, as long as one party was not a US-citizen; No search warrant required. Secret terror watch lists. The Department of Homeland Security <i>in its entirety</i> as a bondongle. Dusty Foggo, (I had to look his name up) -- a veritable laundry list of criminal charges and mass acts of misconduct... plead guilty to a single count of illegal wiretapping and was let off on the remaining 28 charges. But he wasn't the only one who was corrupt; Duke Cunningham, Tom Delay, Mark Foley ('only' guilty of sex with minors), Doug Feith Skyrocketing of the national debt. Medicare -- no substantive changes despite dwindling funds and a clear emerging crisis. Same with social security. Blocking of the 9/11 Commission, which most people have now forgotten about. A massive loss of international opinion and confidence in the United States. Gutting of the EPA, FDA, and other agencies -- later leading to several high-profile public health and safety crisis, recalls, etc. But topping all of those things: <i>Both of his elections were the subject of international scrutiny</i>, with evidence that the elections were "stolen" or voting data manipulated. The UN has, in every election since Bush' initial election, demanded independent observers due to substantial concerns that the voting system has been compromised.

But you go ahead and point out that whole IRS thing and then make vague handwave gestures that there could be more we don't know about (ominous look upwards)... like it somehow equals all of that.

I could go on, but I have to rest for work tomorrow while I still have a job. Thank God I live in Texas where jobs are still available.

I live in the Midwest. Your unemployment rate is 6.4% right now. North Dakota: 3.3% Thank god I don't live in Texas, which is only slightly beating the national unemployment rate of 7.5% ...

Re:Texas leads the way, again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43847971)

The Obama administration STILL calls the Ft. Hood shooting "Workplace Violence". This prevents the victims of that shooting from receiving Purple Heart benefits. These people are struggling to make ends meet while the US Army is still paying Nadal Hassan hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Well, he's a native American. But cite on his pay?

Re:Texas leads the way, again (4, Informative)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#43848335)

You know, until that happened, you'd just be a tin-foil hat wearer, without a shred of credibility to you. Actually, you still are. But thanks to the colossal mistake of a couple of people in the IRS and Obama's total and complete inability to deal with a scandal, that singular act has managed to make the tinfoil hat crowd look more credible than the government.

Well, you know what, okay. Out of the thousands of times Obama and the "rabid liberals" have gotten it right, after six years of constant, sustained, unending attempts by the Republicans to find something, anything, to sink Obama even if it means repeatedly punching themselves in the face (Comeon guys, with all the major issues out there, your party platform for the previous four years has been trying to ensure Obama didn't get re-elected. Petty much?)... I suppose yes, with that much scrutiny eventually something had to pan out.

So take this one, singular victory. Have it, it's yours. You can feel righteous for a bit now -- you have a right to be upset

Well, that's mighty white of you [phrases.org.uk] . You are indeed a generous spirit.

True Scandal [nationalreview.com] - A tea-party group ... gets attention from the IRS—and the FBI, OSHA, and the ATF.
The IRS Fiasco Is Only The Tip Of The Iceberg [forbes.com]
A Frequent Visitor to the White House [commentarymagazine.com]

...Douglas Shulman, Commissioner from 2008 to 2012, during the Obama administration, visited the White House 118 times just in 2010 and 2011. His successor, Steven Miller, also visited “numerous” times.

Lawmakers say IRS targeted dozens more conservative groups than initially believed [foxnews.com]

The IRS targeting of conservative groups is far broader than first reported, with nearly 500 organizations singled out for additional scrutiny, according to two lawmakers briefed by the agency

IRS Admits Targeting “Tea Party” Groups [volokh.com]
The New Nixon This time, the press cheered as the IRS investigated the president's opponents. [wsj.com]
Tea party groups call IRS process 'nightmare' [detroitnews.com]
IRS approved liberal groups while Tea Party in limbo [usatoday.com]
Curious IRS Timing - Did the tax agency also target groups that support Israel? [wsj.com]
Obamacare + IRS = gangster government [washingtonexaminer.com]
7 Questions That The IRS Inappropriately Asked Of Tea Party Groups [businessinsider.com]
The IRS’s Tea-Party Targeting - An apology, but no explanation [nationalreview.com]
Did The IRS Try To Swing Election To Obama? [investors.com]

Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert on the IRS Scandal [typepad.com]

Remember when some people used to worry about "voter suppression?" I guess those days are over.

gerrymandering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43847561)

next question?

Re:Texas leads the way, again (0)

dgatwood (11270) | about a year ago | (#43847323)

Their state economy is not borked like California ...

California's state economy is hosed in large part because of a few serious mistakes made many, many years ago.

Prop 13 is by far the worst of those mistakes. It means that the state's property tax burden is disproportionately suffered by new homeowners, and means that businesses and rental properties pay almost nothing proportionally. This discourages new construction and home buying and encourages renting, a problem that made California's housing bust much worse than it would otherwise have been.

On top of that, various other propositions have carved out specific taxes for specific purposes, limiting the legislature's ability to adapt to lean years, and limiting its ability to save money in good years.

Now that the economy is back on track, California is on track to have a budget surplus again. I'm cautiously optimistic that Governor Brown will manage to coerce the legislature into saving at least a small amount of that surplus instead of blowing it all like a meth addict.

Re:Texas leads the way, again (1)

ShoulderOfOrion (646118) | about a year ago | (#43847471)

CA has a Democratic super-majority. I'm positively sure they'll blow the budget like meth addicts. Mind you, I don't think a Republican super-majority would spend it any slower.

BTW, you're totally wrong on Prop 13.

Re:Texas leads the way, again (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43848095)

California is on track to lie about the budget again for the 20th year in a row. That's how we got into this mess in the first place. They lie like seed catalogs. They've got nothing to do with democrats in the sane parts of the country. Fuck those thieves in Sacramento. If they really have a budget surplus, why aren't they paying pension funds fully, or even partly? Oh yeah, because they're lying.

Proposition 13 is the only thing that has kept those lying thieves from stealing everything that they've not been bribed to leave alone.

Re:Texas leads the way, again (0, Troll)

stox (131684) | about a year ago | (#43847361)

        #1 in the Emission of Ozone Causing Air Pollution Chemicals
        #1 in Toxic Chemical releases into the Air
        #1 in use of Deep Well Injectors as method of Waste Disposal
        #1 in counties listed in top 20 of Emitting Cancer Causing Chemicals
        #1 in Total Number of Hazardous Waste Incinerators
        #1 in Environmental Justice Title 6 complaints
        #1 in production of Cancer causing Benzene & Vinyl Chloride
        #1 Largest Sludge Dump in Country
        #1 in mercury pollution
        #1 in executions
        #1 in murders per capita
        #1 in uninsured
        #1 in children in poverty
        #1 in illiteracy
       

Re:Texas leads the way, again (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43847429)

Really? I would have guessed New Jersey had em beat on at least one of those.

Re:Texas leads the way, again (5, Informative)

ArcherB (796902) | about a year ago | (#43847489)

I think that makes you #1 in (Citation Needed)'s

You forgot #1 in refining, which would account for the vast majority of the issues you site (if true). Also, being such a big damn state, it doesn't surprise that Texas pollutes more than, say, Rhode Island. Do you like that plastic keyboard you are typing on? Odds are that the oil used to make it was in part either pumped from or refined in Texas. That makes you part of the problem. Stop using your keyboard, computer or anything else that uses plastic or anything else made from those evil, polluting fossil fuels or STFU.

As for children in poverty and illiteracy, again, if true, it would be due to the large number of immigrants living in the state. For example, Hidalgo County, in far South Texas is number 1 for percentage of people on food stamps at 29%. By the way, that county has to share it's #1 status with the Bronx. Hidalgo County Texas can blame immigration from Mexico. What's the Bronx's excuse? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hidalgo_County,_Texas)

  #1 in executions? Yeah, we are proud of that one.

And again, with these and the others, (Citation Needed).

Re:Texas leads the way, again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43847853)

Stop using your keyboard, computer or anything else that uses plastic or anything else made from those evil, polluting fossil fuels or STFU.

R u crazy? After I paid $1200 for it [datamancer.com] ?

Re:Texas leads the way, again (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43847577)

Education:
Census: Texas High School Graduation Rate Worst in Nation:
http://www.statemaster.com/graph/edu_hig_sch_dip_or_hig_by_per-high-school-diploma-higher-percentage

Texas DOE: Texas Ranks 49th in Literacy, 49th in Verbal SATs, 46th in Math SATs
http://www.window.state.tx.us/comptrol/wwstand/wws0512ed/

Texas Teen Birth Rate Highest in Nation:
http://www.statemaster.com/graph/hea_tee_bir_rat_per_100-birth-rate-per-1-000

Poverty:
Census: 17% of Texans Live Below the Poverty Level.
http://www.statemaster.com/graph/eco_per_bel_pov_lev-economy-percent-below-poverty-level

Dept of Labor: 9.5% of Texans Paid At or Below Minimum Wage - Nations Highest:
http://www.bls.gov/ro6/fax/minwage_tx.htm

Census: 22% of Texas Children Live Below the Poverty Level:
http://www.statemaster.com/graph/eco_per_of_chi_bel_pov_lev-percent-children-below-poverty-level

Texas 2nd in Nation for Bankruptcy Filings:
http://www.statemaster.com/graph/eco_ban_fil-economy-bankruptcy-filings

Census: Texas Ranks 47th in Percentage of Households with Retirement Income:
http://www.statemaster.com/graph/eco_per_of_hou_wit_ret_inc-economy-percent-households-retirement-income

EPI: Texas Ranks 2nd in Income Disparity
http://www.epi.org/publications/entry/studies_pulling_apart_2006/

Uninsured:

Census: Texas leads the nation in uninsured people.
http://www.statemaster.com/graph/hea_cha_in_num_uni-health-change-in-number-uninsured

Texas Ranks Last in Overall Child Health Status
http://www.statemaster.com/graph/hea_ove_chi_hea_sta-health-overall-child-status

Texas is #2 in Suicides:
http://www.statemaster.com/graph/hea_cha_in_num_uni-health-change-in-number-uninsured

Dallas News: Texas Leads Nation In Child Abuse Deaths
http://crimeblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2009/10/texas-leads-the-nation-in-chil.html

Texas Executions:
http://www.statemaster.com/graph/cri_cap_pun_tot_exe_sin_193-punishment-total-executions-since-1930

Texas Incarcerations:
http://www.statemaster.com/graph/cri_pri_und_the_jur_of_sta_or_fed_cor_aut-jurisdiction-state-federal-correctional-authorities

Census: Texas Ranks 2nd in Uninsured Children:
http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/GRTTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=01000US&-_box_head_nbr=R2702&-ds_name=ACS_2009_1YR_G00_&-_lang=en&-redoLog=false&-format=US-30&-mt_name=ACS_2009_1YR_G00_R2701_US30&-CONTEXT=grt

Census: 24% of Texans are Uninsured:
http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/GRTTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=01000US&-_box_head_nbr=R2701&-ds_name=ACS_2009_1YR_G00_&-_lang=en&-redoLog=false&-format=US-30&-mt_name=ACS_2009_1YR_G00_R2702_US30&-CONTEXT=grt

Re:Texas leads the way, again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43847741)

Texas gave us Bush.

Fortunately, Texas is turning purple.

Re:Texas leads the way, again (4, Interesting)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#43847901)

#1 in murders per capita

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/deterrence-states-without-death-peanalty-have-had-consistently-lower-murder-rates [deathpenaltyinfo.org]

#1 in illiteracy

Illiteracy is higher in California and New York State than in Texas.

http://nces.ed.gov/naal/estimates/StateEstimates.aspx [ed.gov]

I'll leave it at that. Obviously, your statements are politically motivated fabrications.

Re:Texas leads the way, again (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#43847363)

Lots of folks like to mis-characterize Texas and Texans, but as a foreigner they seem to be doing plenty of things right.

This legislation would only affect organizations and individuals within the state of Texas, whose customers are also within the State of Texas, when dealing with local and state authorities. And even with that very significant limitation, the fact that internet traffic is, by definition, interstate, means that this piece of legislation has next to zero chance of surviving in Federal court. Federal law and jurisdiction trumps state law; And all a court needs to say to put an end to this is say "Interstate commerce! Congress only! Denied."

Their state economy is not borked like California,

Off topic, but I'll bite. [wikipedia.org] Texas is ranked 9 and California 14 in terms of federal tax dollars contributed versus taken as of 2007. Both are net positive, and within 1 standard deviation. Neither state economy is "borked".

they have low tax,

Continuing to go off topic... There's at least a million different taxes. Can you be more specific on which one?

they value individual rights more than overbearing 'nanny' governance,

The most important right, the right to life, is apparently eschewed -- Texas murders its own citizens at a rate higher than the rest of the country combined and has won numerous dubious awards for its human rights abuses, especially in prison. Whatever their values, their actions speak to a marked lack of respect for human life, a fact often highlighted in international press.

and they have good political leadership.

I'm not even sure how to approach this; It's fractally flamebait-worthy, if only because the popular opinion is that "good" should never appear in the same sentence as "political leadership", which itself is popularly held to be an oxymoron.

Ted Cruz for Prez 2016 would not be a bad choice it seems - he's very smart and would stop the current rot in DC.

Oooh, so epically off-topic now... le sigh. Okay then. Yes, another graduate of Harvard Law and Princeton will surely clean up the 'rot' of all the other politicians in Congress, most of whom also hold Ivy-league degrees. And I'm the Queen of England. And I don't want to vote for a man who thinks communists teachers at his alma matter are plotting to overthrow the government and often resorts to wild accusations of impropriety towards his opponents -- like suggesting a nominee to the secretary of defense position was accepting bribe money from North Korea. The dude's got a screw loose -- if you want to show how Texas is full of competent and rational people, make a better choice.

Re:Texas leads the way, again (1)

Intropy (2009018) | about a year ago | (#43847537)

Texas murder it's own citizens? Weren't you just complaining about tin foil hat nonsense a few post up?

Re:Texas leads the way, again (0)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#43847599)

Texas murder it's own citizens? Weren't you just complaining about tin foil hat nonsense a few post up?

Yes [pbs.org] , they do. And yes, (The War on Christmas, The 'Birthers', New World Order Conspiracy, Fema Concentration Camps, Clinton's Body Count Conspiracy, The Jewish were Behind 9/11, Global Warming is a Fraud), I regularly do.

Re:Texas leads the way, again (3, Insightful)

Intropy (2009018) | about a year ago | (#43847639)

That article is about executions not murders. You are either confused or making a deliberate misrepresentation.

Re:Texas leads the way, again (2, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#43847825)

That article is about executions not murders. You are either confused or making a deliberate misrepresentation.

Murder is the deliberate killing of another human being. Which part of strapping someone to a chair and then murdering them do you not understand? That it's legal has nothing to do with whether it is moral or ethical. You call it an execution, but the only difference between your 'execution' definition and the 'murder' definition is "We made it legal." In other words, absent a law making it okay for the state to murder people, it is the exact same thing.

But this is all academic; Regardless of what definition you want to use, Texas is murdering, or executing, people more than the rest of the country combined. This means that either Texas is "trigger happy", or that something is seriously psychologically wrong with the average Texan to the point that this amount of capital punishment is necessary. Well, actually, both problems are psychological, but you get where I'm going with this: What makes Texas different?

Re:Texas leads the way, again (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43848091)

When I don't like something I just call it mean names until people stop bothering to correct me. That means I win.

Re:Texas leads the way, again (4, Informative)

subreality (157447) | about a year ago | (#43848109)

Murder is the deliberate killing of another human being

Murder is the crime of unlawfully killing a person [...] [merriam-webster.com] .

That it's legal has nothing to do with whether it is moral or ethical. You call it an execution, but the only difference between your 'execution' definition and the 'murder' definition is "We made it legal."

Yes, that is exactly the difference between 'execution' and 'murder'. It is not murder because it is legal.

Insisting on using the wrong word makes your argument confusing and deceptive.

Re:Texas leads the way, again (0)

Patch86 (1465427) | about a year ago | (#43848025)

In civilized parts of the world, we do not make any such distinction.

Re:Texas leads the way, again (1)

Intropy (2009018) | about a year ago | (#43848097)

The distinction is made everywhere because the concepts are distinct. Some places of the world don't execute people while others do.

Re:Texas leads the way, again (4, Insightful)

SEE (7681) | about a year ago | (#43848261)

. . . which is why in the civilized parts of the world they put their soldiers in prison if they kill anybody in combat?

Every society in the world, without exception, allows agents of the state to use lethal force.

The implicit racism of declaring India, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan uncivilized is truly disgusting. The idea that they're barbarians because they don't adhere to a recently-invented purely European standard of what circumstances allow lethal force to be used by the state is intellectually indefensible.

Re:Texas leads the way, again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43847713)

Texas murder it's own citizens? Weren't you just complaining about tin foil hat nonsense a few post up?

Yes, they do.

"murder" is a very specific term, requiring evil intent. A homicide caused by a state can be referenced with a verb "kill" or "execute", but murder isn't possible for a state unless it's wholly populated by evil people and its laws are crafted with evil intent. Note that it is possible for individual actors who regularly act on behalf of the state to murder, but that's not the same thing.

Re:Texas leads the way, again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43847773)

"murder" is a very specific term, requiring evil intent.

Or several crows.

Just sayin'.

Re:Texas leads the way, again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43848061)

There's a difference between murder and that sort of execution.

With the latter you go through some legal process - e.g. accused, tried, found guilty or not guilty, then if guilty sentenced, etc.

Re:Texas leads the way, again (1)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | about a year ago | (#43847589)

This legislation would only affect organizations and individuals within the state of Texas, whose customers are also within the State of Texas, when dealing with local and state authorities. And even with that very significant limitation, the fact that internet traffic is, by definition, interstate, means that this piece of legislation has next to zero chance of surviving in Federal court. Federal law and jurisdiction trumps state law; And all a court needs to say to put an end to this is say "Interstate commerce! Congress only! Denied."

So State Police aren't bound by state law? What an amazing civics teacher you had!

Re:Texas leads the way, again (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#43847955)

Off topic, but I'll bite. [wikipedia.org] Texas is ranked 9 and California 14 in terms of federal tax dollars contributed versus taken as of 2007. Both are net positive, and within 1 standard deviation. Neither state economy is "borked".

Things have happened since 2007; California was doing really well during the high tech bubble despite its already broken state government, but it is in dire straits now. Nor does that table tell you anything about the quality of a state's government, whether its citizens are doing well, or any of the other things you seem to want to conclude from them. The study you point to itself is questionable; federal tax dollars received can refer to subsidies for businesses just as much as to the creation of a nuclear waste dump . And the simplest explanation for the observed pattern is simply size: small states end up having a negative balance, probably because the federal government has fixed expenditures per state, as well as expenditures proportional to the area of the state. In short, your data is meaningless.

The most important right, the right to life, is apparently eschewed -- Texas murders its own citizens at a rate higher than the rest of the country combined

No, Texas executes them. While one can legitimately discuss the utility and morality of executions, claiming that it is a "murder" or a violation of "individual rights" is wrong. (FWIW, I oppose the death penalty, but I don't demonize people who hold different views as "murderers".)

And I'm the Queen of England.

You certainly sound and act like her.

Ted Cruz is Canadian (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43847393)

Ted Cruz was born in Canada, and therefore Constitutionally prohibited from running for President of the United States.

Re:Ted Cruz is Canadian (3, Informative)

ArcherB (796902) | about a year ago | (#43847495)

Ted Cruz was born in Canada, and therefore Constitutionally prohibited from running for President of the United States.

He was born to two American citizens, making him a naturalized citizen of the United States. That's something that the "birthers" could never quite grasp. Even if Obama had been born in Kenya, it would not have kept him from being President as his mother was an American Citizen.

Re:Ted Cruz is Canadian (1)

Intropy (2009018) | about a year ago | (#43847557)

Naturalized is different from natural born. Natural born is not actually legally defined anywhere, but the the context of historical uses does support the idea that being born of US citizens would count as natural born.

Re:Ted Cruz is Canadian (1)

whoever57 (658626) | about a year ago | (#43847565)

s/naturalized/natural born

You know what "naturalized" means, don't you?

Re:Texas leads the way, again (5, Interesting)

ArcherB (796902) | about a year ago | (#43847427)

Lots of folks like to mis-characterize Texas and Texans, but as a foreigner they seem to be doing plenty of things right. Their state economy is not borked like California, they have low tax, they value individual rights more than overbearing 'nanny' governance, and they have good political leadership. Ted Cruz for Prez 2016 would not be a bad choice it seems - he's very smart and would stop the current rot in DC.

You are correct. I work with people from all over the country. These people have had to move to Texas because they couldn't find jobs in their original state. All of the, ALL of them absolutely love it here, even though they hate the weather nine months out of the year (Michiganders don't do well at 105). Most simply can't believe the freedom that they have here that they never knew they missed where they came from. "You mean I can just walk into a Walmart and buy a shotgun?" "I won't get arrested for having a gun rack on my truck?" "My state vehicle inspection was only $15. Where do I pay the rest of it?" "Why do people keep calling me offering me jobs that pay more money. Is this some sort of scam?" And finally, "I think there is a mistake. The company didn't take out for my state income tax."

Don't listen to these other yahoos. They are mad because the majority of Texans value freedom and values over a strong central government and political correctness. Our education system is fine. The negative numbers they'll throw at you is due to the fact that Texas has one of the largest non-English speaking student population in the country. As for property tax, yeah, it's high, but it's nothing compared to the income taxes paid in other states. And to the AC that said that Texas is anti-science has no idea what he's talking about. Texas has one of the largest tech sectors in the country. "Texas" is even in the name of many of these tech companies. "Texas Instruments" ring a Dell... I mean BELL?

Texas is an awesome place to live, provided all our imports don't use their voting power to turn Texas into the places they came from.

and yes, Ted Cruz would make an awesome president. It's amazing how these people try to paint him as the new leader of the Republican party. Cruz challenged and defeated Rick Perry's hand pick successor for Kay Bailey Hutchinson's Senate seat. He took on the Texas Republican political machine and won. It's funny that these liberals constantly scream for someone to change the Republican party, but as soon as someone does so, they do everything they can to vilify him. Ted Cruz is the child of Cuban immigrants. He was born in Cuba and educated at Princeton. But because he is the Texas Senator and his name ends with an (R), they paint him as some sort of ignorant, backwoods, hick.

Re:Texas leads the way, again (1)

Wild_dog! (98536) | about a year ago | (#43847669)

Who can't buy a gun at Walmart anywhere in the country?
Who gets arrested anywhere for a gun rack?

Sounds like you don't get out of Texas much.

Re:Texas leads the way, again (1)

kwbauer (1677400) | about a year ago | (#43847941)

Up until last year, Wisconsin if the rack was being used for its intended purpose. Illinois is still anti-gun rack.

Re:Texas leads the way, again (1)

Wild_dog! (98536) | about a year ago | (#43847991)

Can't find anything on the google about people getting arrested for having a gun rack in their car in either Wisconsin or Illinois. Do you have some more info or a link I could look at?

Re: Texas leads the way, again (1)

Redmancometh (2676319) | about a year ago | (#43847819)

Heh kind of ironic that the (valid) reason for low sat scores in Texas is cultural nias.

Re:Texas leads the way, again (2)

tukang (1209392) | about a year ago | (#43847433)

they value individual rights more than overbearing 'nanny' governance

Here's some overbearing nanny governance for you: In Texas, the maximum penalty for possession of small amounts of marijuana is 180 days and the offense is treated as a misdemeanor while in California the maximum penalty is a ticket and the offense is treated as an infraction.

Re:Texas leads the way, again (1)

Pubstar (2525396) | about a year ago | (#43848365)

Anything under an ounce out here in California and the cops usually just smash it on the ground and tell you how bad drugs are.

Re:Texas leads the way, again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43847437)

Agreed!

Re: Texas leads the way, again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43847579)

Yes, I understand that due to deregulation, business there is booming.

Literally.

Re: Texas leads the way, again (1)

Wild_dog! (98536) | about a year ago | (#43847677)

Is it deregulation or lack of regulation to begin with?

Re:Texas leads the way, again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43847739)

Their state economy is not borked like California, they have low tax

No shit. Ever heard of oil?

Re:Texas leads the way, again (2)

kwbauer (1677400) | about a year ago | (#43847947)

Yeah and California has plenty of it as well. They have so much that they are currently scrambling to pass laws making it nearly impossible to get it out of the ground. One of many reasons why they are declaring bankruptcy.

Governor's remarks (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43847265)

This act is of historic significance for three reasons: One, it protects the privacy of Texas citizens when they're communicating using email. Two, it requires the government to get a search warrant. And three... uh oh, email privacy, search warrant, what was the third one again? Email privacy was one...

Re:Governor's remarks (2)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year ago | (#43847311)

Email is a bad technology for privacy.

Deterring local law enforcement or investigative agencies from browsing through an old email cash from 180 days ago to decide if someone is a good target for investigation for whatever reason is good. Setting a precedent that the government needs to ask before looking, even where it is pretty visible is good. It sets protocols. Bored cops cant just browse up the local mail server now. It is a bit of a deterrent to invasion of privacy. If they do they have to at least answer as to why they did not get a warrant. Of course they can still pursue a warrant later after breaking protocol. But hopefully some of this is all logged.

Of course the feds still explicitly have access to all that stuff...

I consider this good news overall. The next step is educating our law enforcement people and investigative agencies about the importance of privacy and the shit that all sys admins sort of get taught about not snooping around user accounts. Or at least when I had access to every system. I had protocols to follow about that.

Re:Governor's remarks (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year ago | (#43847401)

*cache I meant.

Oh and I helped run a small hosted qmail server. And if the feds, or anyone came near our rack and touched our stuff without some kind of official anything. We would have shit bricks. No one would have touched our servers without our permission. They would have had to most likely take them via the threat of force. The hosting company had access cards, biometrics, and 24/7 surveillance. If they asked us we would have told them to come back with a court order.

Though we never did anything that interesting except host a few spam protected accounts for websites we hosted. That was all back in ~2005 or so maybe.

Rule of Thumb (4, Insightful)

MarkvW (1037596) | about a year ago | (#43847301)

If a privacy bill makes it harder to catch corrupt legislators, then you can be pretty sure it is going to pass.

Re:Rule of Thumb (2)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#43847973)

You say that as if it's a bad thing. But you can justify ever more egregious violations of privacy and civil liberties with a supposed need to catch crooks and criminals. Places like East Germany had very low crime rates.

If we value our privacy and freedom, we have to accept a certain level of crime, because privacy and freedom make crime easier. In different words, in a free country, you have to trust the citizens by default, even if that trust is sometimes misplaced.

Oh God Damn It (1, Troll)

Greyfox (87712) | about a year ago | (#43847327)

Something Texas has done that I think is actually a pretty sensible idea? What... what have I become? YOU DID THIS TO ME!

Dysfunctional congress will do nothing. (1)

nickserv (1974794) | about a year ago | (#43847351)

"the more pressure it will put on Congress to keep up with the changing legal landscape."

Congress can't even keep it's own house in order so I won't be holding my breath for any action on this issue.

Privacy is not at the forefront of any politician's agenda that I know of, unless you can find a way to make it turn a profit, and it never will be until there's a massive breech i.e. until it's already too late.

Yeah but.... (1)

Natales (182136) | about a year ago | (#43847415)

It's not the state that really matters but the Feds, and although these protections are nice and worth of praise, I keep all my *important* person-to-person email at a server in Switzerland with some of the toughest privacy regulations exist, and all things that are *really* important, are always, with no exception, sent and received using GPG, and retrieved via POP with nothing kept in the servers there. I'll keep my own email backups, thanks.

The funny thing is that I know I'm probably the most boring person out there with nothing important to hide, but I do it as a matter of principle, and so should you.

End to End email encryption (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43847443)

What's needed is end to end encryption, even if it has to be built into the browser and done for webmail.

The Feds simply chose to decide they could demand email that was 6 months old without a warrant, they'll simply choose to ignore the Texas law too. What's needed is a physical barrier.

It's quite straightforwards, we can make an end to end one now, the tools are there. Someone with crypto knowledge can make a Firefox plugin that encrypts the text field with the recipients public key and does the automatic key exchange for every email sent (which will initially be plain text until the key exchange).

It should be part of the HTML spec, but I don't think the Feds would allow it.

and all the ISP need to do is move the servers out (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#43847501)

and all the ISP need to do is move the servers out of TX.

Re:and all the ISP need to do is move the servers (2)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about a year ago | (#43847605)

And then all you have to do is switch to an e-mail provider who values your privacy enough to not leave Texas.

And seriously, who the hell uses their ISP's e-mail service anyway? I prefer to use a service independent of my ISP, so in the likely chance my ISP pisses me off I can just tell them to fuck off and switch to a new one... and not have my e-mail communications interrupted.

This shouldn't be necessary (5, Interesting)

Intropy (2009018) | about a year ago | (#43847607)

US Constitution Amendment 14: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

There's no legitimate way that government could be reading these emails 180 days and "opened" or not without a probably cause warrant. I understand the fact is they do, so it's great that Texas is passing the law to stymie that abuse, but how is it possibly justified to begin with? It's right there plain to read. That's prohibited. Has nobody taken it to court?

Re:This shouldn't be necessary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43847829)

US Constitution Amendment 04: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

There's no legitimate way that government could be reading these emails 180 days and "opened" or not without a probably cause warrant. I understand the fact is they do, so it's great that Texas is passing the law to stymie that abuse, but how is it possibly justified to begin with? It's right there plain to read. That's prohibited. Has nobody taken it to court?

FTFY

Re:This shouldn't be necessary (2)

jaa101 (627731) | about a year ago | (#43848081)

Apparently the trick in progress here is that people already gave their email to someone else, namely their service provider. The legal logic is that this borks their expectation of privacy, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katz_v._United_States [wikipedia.org] from 1967. One might hope SOTUS will revisit their decision in the light of the current state of technology but until they do you're stuck relying on legislative protect rather than constitutional.

Re:This shouldn't be necessary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43848267)

> Apparently the trick in progress here is that people already gave their email to someone else, namely their service provider.

Kinda like how they can read my mail because my physical mailbox is owned by the owner of my apartment building. Also how they can intercept anything sent to me via FedEx, UPS, or DHL, which is a 3rd party. Also how they can eavesdrop on my conversation in a phone booth because it's owned by the phone company and not by me. AMIRGHT?

In the style of Inigo... (1)

laughingcoyote (762272) | about a year ago | (#43847633)

"Texas! You did something right!"

Re:In the style of Inigo... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43848349)

in the style of anonymous coward..

it's about time!

Texas (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43847637)

taxes go, property taxes come closer than most others to having the tax burden be proportional to how much it costs the government to provide services to you. I have moral problems with taxes per se, but if we have to have them, then having the amount of money you have to pay to Texas be proportional to how much you own of Texas is much better than an income tax or a sales tax.Best way to earn more money.

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