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Administration Ordered To Divulge Legal Basis For Killing Americans With Drones

Aighearach Re:I am confused on this issue (299 comments)

Nonsense. In the US, we send in para-military police to burn their stronghold down, and shoot them if they come near windows. We're not going to use drones. Why? I'll give you 2 reasons:

1) police unions
2) jobs

yesterday
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Administration Ordered To Divulge Legal Basis For Killing Americans With Drones

Aighearach Re:I am confused on this issue (299 comments)

Stop! You there, with the rifle, in the foxhole. You are under arrest! You need to report to the Courthouse so I can find out if I'm allowed to shoot you!

yesterday
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Administration Ordered To Divulge Legal Basis For Killing Americans With Drones

Aighearach Re:I am confused on this issue (299 comments)

You're exactly right, this is a non-issue made up entirely of ignorant prognostications about history and Law. During war it is legal to kill whoever you believe to be the enemy. And bystanders are considered unfortunate.

Citizenship has nothing to do with the air strikes. And the location of the pilot is even less of an issue. The only normal legal question is, was the target at least partially military, and was war declared.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A...

Congress declared war on non-state entities. Some of them turn out to be American citizens. Of course, we make up 5% of the world's population. There are probably a couple Americans on each side in every war in the world, especially if we count these paper Americans that were born here to foreign parents and then raised overseas.

My own prognostication is that it will turn out the opinion is secret because legally they could go much further than they have chosen to go, and it would be unpopular to imagine us doing as much as is legal in war.

yesterday
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Administration Ordered To Divulge Legal Basis For Killing Americans With Drones

Aighearach Re:Booo, America sucks (299 comments)

You do know that China and North Korea are nothing alike... right?

If we're less repressive than China, we're already miles apart from North Korea.

yesterday
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Administration Ordered To Divulge Legal Basis For Killing Americans With Drones

Aighearach Re:Booo, America sucks (299 comments)

If nobody is perfect, then being less bad is always the goal.

yesterday
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Administration Ordered To Divulge Legal Basis For Killing Americans With Drones

Aighearach Re:I thought there were rules about this already? (299 comments)

That is complete nonsense. During WWII lots of American citizens were killed in Europe for fighting for Germany. This has always been the case.

The protections in the Constitution are the laws of the Land. They apply here, in this place, the United States of America. They do not automatically apply anywhere in the world where an American walks, most certainly not if he walks into a war zone.

You don't have to like it, but the Congress declared war on non-State entities. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A...

Not to mention the Civil War! Imagine it with this nonsense idea about not killing your own citizens... the secessionists would always be allowed to kill the Union soldiers... "not ours!" But the Union soldiers wouldn't be allowed to kill the secessionists. "I demand by force of arms that you're still an American... so I surrender." It is pretty obviously a new claim when you imagine what real historical situations would have been like if that had been the rules.

yesterday
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Administration Ordered To Divulge Legal Basis For Killing Americans With Drones

Aighearach Re:Easy there, A/C. (299 comments)

You do your beliefs ill service

Perhaps his views are simply that rabid, and he does them perfect service.

yesterday
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Administration Ordered To Divulge Legal Basis For Killing Americans With Drones

Aighearach Re:Secret Laws? (299 comments)

If you can't tell the difference between a "secret law" and a secret legal opinion given to the President, then you're going to be appalled at all sorts of imaginary things, sorry to say.

My counter prediction is that since this ruling is somewhat of an outlier, the SCOTUS will indeed touch this, and overturn it. It seems on dubious ground anyways, even if people like the outcome in this particular case; how easy should a wavier be? By the logic of this decision, since the government has discussed public safety related to nuclear weapons, they've waved any rights to secrecy.

This is an awful ruling, regardless of the potential for a popular outcome in this case.

yesterday
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Administration Ordered To Divulge Legal Basis For Killing Americans With Drones

Aighearach Re:Obligatory (299 comments)

So let me get this straight, it's perfectly OK to kill people with drones as long as they're not American citizens?

I'm surprised in 2014 people still don't understand this stuff, but the nationality of the target makes no difference. What matters is if they are outside of the US, in which case US laws don't apply, and if they're covered under the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists.

You don't have to like that the US declared war against an loosely defined group of non-state entities. But you should be aware that it happened. Many people are so ignorant of these things, they think it is just lawlessness; they surely will be ineffective at changing that law.

In the case of actual Americans targeted, they were listed as targets and family members made relevant requests for review that the Courts threw out. So they had due process, a lot more than is actually required in war.

Let me get this straight, it does not matter if the pilot is remote, or in the aircraft. Killing with drones is no different than with any other aircraft, which is itself no different than a soldier with a rifle. It is the exact same legal issues. There was a declaration of war, there was a declared target, and he was killed.

yesterday
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Administration Ordered To Divulge Legal Basis For Killing Americans With Drones

Aighearach Re:above the law (299 comments)

We haven't done [principled thing that we have done by-and-large and at tremendous expense] with [notable exceptions that generate tremendous outrage]. I just don't know.

I don't like the failures, but everyone going "We don't actually obey the constitution anymore" don't put forth any meaningful metrics to show that it changed, and a subjective examination of American history shows lots of abuses from day 1.

Suppose you have my, and a couple hundreds of other dedicated peoples' promised assistance to fix the problem. Propose a first step.

There is no way to know who or what to believe on some of this stuff. The attitude of acceptance of a perceived lack of lawfulness is almost enough to make me wonder... what if the NSA wasn't spying, but wanted to get us to accept it so they could start? Just launch a Snowden Attack and make us think it already happened, and watch everybody roll over. And then if people actually resist it, it can turn out to be not true. I don't think that is what is happening. I just think people's response is so pathetic, the knowledge hasn't done any positive good, and people might be more accepting of it now than they would have predicted they would be. Propose a first step?!? Invent an IQ-ray that makes people smarter.

yesterday
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Administration Ordered To Divulge Legal Basis For Killing Americans With Drones

Aighearach Re:SCOTUS (299 comments)

Reporting for duty! *looks around* OK, Government still functions, for better or worse. No counter-revolution needed yet. I'm going back to the basement to read scotusblog

yesterday
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Eyes Over Compton: How Police Spied On a Whole City

Aighearach Re:Is it really much more than goes on already? (183 comments)

He better peep while he can, but the time he's 14 he'll get charged as an adult and have to register as a sex offender for life!

yesterday
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Eyes Over Compton: How Police Spied On a Whole City

Aighearach Re:Is it really much more than goes on already? (183 comments)

The legal issues have already been well explored by the Courts. "But the pilot is remote/robotic" is just like "on the internet," it is not an impressive distinction. The drug was had the Courts already deciding that the cops can fly around and arrest you from whatever is in plain view from above, but they can't deploy technology such as IR (without a warrant) to detect indoor pot growers.

There is no warrant required in the US for "surveillance," only for "searches." It isn't a "search" unless it can detect something extra beyond what can be seen by looking from a legal vantage. Land ownership doesn't extend upwards into navigable air space.

It is so settled that lawyers will refuse to bring it up, and if they try to, most judges will not even allow them to make the argument.

Cops are even allowed to peep through the 1/32nd inch gap in apartment blinds, where the string goes through the slat... assuming he is standing in a publicly accessible walkway. You don't have to like it, but it does get to be the Law.

yesterday
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Ask Slashdot: Professional Journaling/Notes Software?

Aighearach Re:Org mode (166 comments)

I've been using emacs for 15 years for all my software development.

That said, orgmode doesn't look very useful. If you're wanting note-taking software that specifically allows formulas to be written in lisp, then it is surely the way to go. Or if you not only use emacs, but also use emacs for things other than editing, then perhaps it is just the nerdy tool for you.

I don't think I'd put it in a list of tools targeted at professional journalists for taking notes, though.

TuxCards, dokuwiki, freemind, freeplane all look a lot more like the sort of tool being asked for here. Suggesting kitchen-sink type of tools for emacs sure doesn't help popularize emacs for what it is good at, either.

2 days ago
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Google and Facebook: Unelected Superpowers?

Aighearach Re:Who watches the watchers (239 comments)

Republicans are currently attacking the 17th Amendment because they're scared of changes in demographics that will marginalize their right-wing views, and if they can strip the right to vote on Senators away from the People, and return it to the State Legislatures, then they can elect Senators based on gerrymandered State-level district lines, instead of by popular vote within the State.

Why do you hate Democracy, and why do you hate the Constitution?

2 days ago
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Google and Facebook: Unelected Superpowers?

Aighearach Re:Who watches the watchers (239 comments)

Do you notice that the "Republic" is a type of "Democracy"?

You missed the words "free" and "direct" in the definition of Democracy. In Democracy, everybody chooses. In a Republic, some undefined set of people choose. Also, a Democracy is direct but a Republic can be direct, or indirect. Therefore, assuming the definitions you quoted, a Democracy is a type of Republic, but most Republics are not Democracies.

Sheesh...

Couldn't agree more! ;)

2 days ago
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Google and Facebook: Unelected Superpowers?

Aighearach Re:Who watches the watchers (239 comments)

The Framers were specifically, clearly, and explicitly against "Democracy." That is why only a small percentage of people were allowed to vote, and they only voted on who would then go on to vote for the rulers. They were focused instead on guarantees of civil rights and local control of local issues.

The original system of electing "electors" who then choose the President was based on the English parliamentary system, but effectively with a different parliament (the Electoral College, a title borrowed from German aristocracy donating a Prince who held a vote towards electing the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire) for choosing the President than for writing laws.

For example on local governance one of the big complaints was that the King would rescind the laws even of his own appointed local Governors, because he didn't want to allow the colony to be well-governed. Important and routine things like local taxes to fund local government were rescinded, leaving the colony in perpetual partial-anarchy, and interfering with the establishment of long-term business ventures. The fight was more about ensuring that local governance is allowed, and is conducted according to understood Rights, than it was about who got to choose the leaders.

Words change, but ideals of Democracy are something that came later, and have not yet succeeded in supplanting the Republic that we have. Many States, such as mine (Oregon), have local Democracy through a Ballot Measure system. At times the State Legislature has passed laws we didn't like, and we have in those cases repealed them. We also write and pass laws directly that the legislature lacks the courage to pass. But at the Federal level there is not even a legal mechanism to hold a direct election, and not a single national direct election has ever been held. But don't be confused; for many supporters of Democracy, that is the eventual goal; to create a national system where we can over-ride individual laws or decisions by the Legislature, and even enact new laws by direct vote. There are many issues that the political parties are 51/49 split on where the People in general are 70/30 on that issue. With actual Democracy we could resolve most of those issues in popular ways.

That the serfs don't even understand the basic terminology certainly adds to the difficulty in promoting those types of changes.

2 days ago
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Google and Facebook: Unelected Superpowers?

Aighearach Re:Who watches the watchers (239 comments)

If your premise is that corporate leaders are not people, I can guarantee you I would form a militia and fight to restore American ideals of personal freedom.

Corporations are not people, but corporate employees are. It is none of my business if a politician changes jobs and becomes a corporate employee.

And how would you decide what jobs you'll let former pols do? It is like inverted Fascism; fascism was the merger of the functions of business and State, this would be a merger of the functions of anti-business and State.

2 days ago
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Google and Facebook: Unelected Superpowers?

Aighearach Re:Who watches the watchers (239 comments)

Thank you! Thought I'd give a shout-out from another fan of civics.

I also want to point out that here in Oregon we have direct Democracy and also "Representative Democracy." Most laws are State laws, not Federal, and we have real and direct control of those laws; when we want to. And the rest of the time it functions as a Republic, with elected representatives doing the daily work.

The 17th amendment stuff is funny. A bit of submarine attack; you're suggesting it would increase Democracy to remove the right of the People to choose Senators, and return power to State legislatures to appoint them. Given your interest in civics, you surely know that repealing the 17th Amendment would reduce Democracy. It is the current Republican response to changing demographics; if the State legislature chooses the Senators, then you can ensure Republicans get selected by local gerrymandering.

The 17th Amendment is part of the Constitution. This nonsense about the "original" Constitution seems to deny that the "original" Constitution says that the Amendments are PART of it.

I'll give you a B+ for civics, but a C- on propaganda. Your Constitution dogma is self-contradictory.

2 days ago

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