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Comments

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Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

goodmanj Re:Memory Troubles: (507 comments)

"The last time the Russians got this aggressive was their invasion of Afghanistan under Jimmy Carter"
I think you're forgetting that they invaded Georgia when George W. Bush was president.

Wow, I had no idea Jimmy Carter was the leader of Afghanistan, but if so it makes sense that Russia would follow up by invading his home state...

yesterday
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

goodmanj Re:It's democracy, stupid. (612 comments)

Social mobility and democracy are not the same thing, and neither are the opposite of communism.

The actual amount of social mobility in today's American democracy is damn near zero. Obama was raised in a family of anthropologists and bank vice presidents, and let's not even talk about the Bushes. Gorbachev's parents were farm workers.

(Picking on Gorbachev because he was the only Soviet leader born after the revolution.)

about a week ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

goodmanj Re:It's democracy, stupid. (612 comments)

Agree. But it's not just autocracy either: whoever you are, if you believe you live in an unfair world where you're constantly being cheated, you will cheat too since it's the only way to get what's yours. Fairness inspires fairness, corruption breeds corruption.

about a week ago
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Massachusetts SWAT Teams Claim They're Private Corporations, Immune To Oversight

goodmanj Re:As a Massachusetts resident... (534 comments)

You're missing the point. The individual SWAT cops who bust down your door are employed by the cities they serve, not the LEC. The LEC has no law enforcement authority: it's just a phone tree, a seminar room, and a place to park the SWAT truck.

Or so they'll say.

about a month ago
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Massachusetts SWAT Teams Claim They're Private Corporations, Immune To Oversight

goodmanj Re:Repeat after me... (534 comments)

I never said the military doesn't have rules, but they're not the rules you want for dealing with intranational criminal violence. That ROE is missing a little bit of info on how to talk armed men into surrendering, how to disable them without killing them, how to arrest them without screwing up their Miranda rights, how to avoid contaminating a crime scene, how to avoid property damage, the list goes on.

I don't want my military to know all that stuff. I want them to be good at killing enemy combatants when civil authority has been abandoned. If you make soldiers be cops, you get dangerous cops and terrible soldiers.

about a month ago
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Massachusetts SWAT Teams Claim They're Private Corporations, Immune To Oversight

goodmanj Hypothetical rationale (534 comments)

This conversation's going nowhere because we've started with a one-sided news report and all of us agree that this is bullshit. It's chest-high full of straw men in here. So here's an attempt to describe the SWAT teams' legal rationale for this. It comes from reading the news report, reading the Law Enforcement Councils' website, and living in Massachusetts so I know how local government works. Plus a lot of "what would I do if I were evil" speculation.

Massachusetts has very weak county government. Local law enforcement, even in rural areas, happens at the town level. Many small towns have like one cop car and two cops, and can't afford a crime lab, a drug lab, a K-9 unit, and whatnot. The county provides specialist services to all the towns within it, but SWAT teams are not one of these services. It makes total sense that local towns would form a cooperative association (the LECs) to pool their limited SWAT resources.

From what I read on their websites, it looks like SWAT personnel don't work for the LEC. They're ordinary town cops who're assigned duty to work with other town cops through the LEC. That is to say, the LEC has no law enforcement authority, but the individual cops do. The LEC provides equipment storage, networking, and shared training for the town cops. As far as I can tell, legally, the LEC is just a place to park the SWAT van, a seminar room for Powerpoints, and a phone tree.

It's not a private army, I bet they'll say, it's a professional association, just like how your city's dentists all get together at the country club first Tuesday of the month. All the personnel are employed by the towns. All the equipment belongs to the towns. You want the public records for your recent 3 a.m. visit by the battering ram boys? Talk to your town.

Now, clearly, this is all bullshit. But it seems to me to be well-crafted bullshit, created by the SWAT teams' lawyer buddies, and we're not going to make it go away unless we appreciate it for what it is.

about a month ago
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Massachusetts SWAT Teams Claim They're Private Corporations, Immune To Oversight

goodmanj Re:Repeat after me... (534 comments)

PS: but nothing I said above is a defense of the Massachusetts LECs' disgusting legal fiction.

about a month ago
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Massachusetts SWAT Teams Claim They're Private Corporations, Immune To Oversight

goodmanj Re:Repeat after me... (534 comments)

I strongly disagree. The military, including the national guard, has lots of training in killing, but little training in hostage recovery, preservation of criminal evidence, the rights of suspects, and protecting the safety of bystanders.

The police fall down on these things a lot, but at least they know how they're *supposed* to work. The national guard are the people you send in when you intend to kill citizens and you don't intend to have a trial afterward. (This is why the "peaceful" deployments of the guard in the civil rights era ended with dead citizens: that's their job.)

There is a time and a place for military suppression of unrest, but the SWAT team is an absolutely necessary middle ground between the beat cop and martial law.

about a month ago
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Germany Scores First: Ends Verizon Contract Over NSA Concerns

goodmanj Re:Are you getting it yet? (206 comments)

"US doesn't have any allies any more; just enemies"

That's not true! We have lots of allies. "Ally" means "someone we give $billions of military aid to despite the fact that they hate us and murder their own citizens", right?

about a month ago
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How LEDs Are Made

goodmanj Re:impressive Americans (93 comments)

Seriously. Adapt to the local social norms, moron, you're making me embarrassed to be an American.

(Well, okay, that's far from the most shameful thing we Americans have done overseas, but still.)

about 2 months ago
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How LEDs Are Made

goodmanj Re:25 year old technology (93 comments)

Sparkfun is a hobby electronics company. Surface-mount LEDs are a pain to solder by hand, and impossible to prototype.

about 2 months ago
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Sifting Mt. Gox's Logs Reveals Suspicious Trading Patterns

goodmanj Re:Merchants never see or touch a bitcoin ... (143 comments)

By definition, BitCoin is money. Troll more elsewhere. "any article or substance used as a medium of exchange, measure of wealth, or means of payment, as checks on demand deposit or cowrie."

Sure, it's money. It's just not very good money.

about 2 months ago
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Sifting Mt. Gox's Logs Reveals Suspicious Trading Patterns

goodmanj Re:Hahahahhahaha (143 comments)

You can be sure that there are at least as many bitcoin proponents who would like a government to simply stay out of the whole affair and let them engage in vigilantism as there are those who would like a government to provide a remedy.

To be sure. The value of this social experiment is not so much in pointing out the hypocrisy of the anarcho-libertarians, or convincing them they're wrong, but in showing everyone else what an anarchist "utopia" actually looks like in practice.

about 2 months ago
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Robbery Suspect Tracked By GPS and Killed

goodmanj Re:ANOTHER DEAD BODY! SWEET JUSTICE! (450 comments)

It's that cops always want to cover their asses. But sometimes the suspect *does* shoot first. In this case, there are dozens of eyewitnesses who should be able to straighten out the truth.

about 2 months ago
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Robbery Suspect Tracked By GPS and Killed

goodmanj Re:ANOTHER DEAD BODY! SWEET JUSTICE! (450 comments)

Nope. Probably because we don't discriminate against them.

HA HA HAHAHAHAHAA!

http://www.gmu.edu/programs/ic...
http://www.theguardian.com/com...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M...

Sorry, you were saying something? Europe is absolutely racist, it's just a bit less visible because the minority population is smaller, less visible, and doesn't try to hold power. Also, the historical repercussions of your past racism are less visible because you guys mostly kept your slaves in your colonies rather than in your backyard: it's a lot easier to pretend that Nigeria isn't your problem any more than to abandon Birmingham.

about 2 months ago
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Robbery Suspect Tracked By GPS and Killed

goodmanj Re:ANOTHER DEAD BODY! SWEET JUSTICE! (450 comments)

Great analysis. Another statistic I'd like to see is a comparison of number of shootings due to police error: cop misses and hits bystander, cop mistakes fake gun for a real one, cop shoots self in foot.

One could argue that cops shooting bad guys and getting shot in turn is part of the ugly job of law enforcement: the bigger tragedy is when innocents get killed.

about 2 months ago
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Robbery Suspect Tracked By GPS and Killed

goodmanj Re:ANOTHER DEAD BODY! SWEET JUSTICE! (450 comments)

"Sir, I don't have a gun. Would you please don't shoot at me until my associates arrive?"

Yes, that's pretty much how it works. As others have noted, it works because guns are the exception rather than the rule. But another advantage: when a gun is in the picture, the beat cops back off and call the professional shooting-people cops, who're actually trained in the art of shooting people, as opposed to the American beat cops who will shoot kids with water pistols, black men reaching for their wallets, miss and shoot bystanders, shoot themselves in the foot, etc.

about 2 months ago
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Russia Wants To Establish a Permanent Moon Base

goodmanj Russia wants a lot of things. (313 comments)

Russia's manned space program basically consists of announcing plans to do amazing things, which come to nothing as they keeping on doing the same stuff they were doing in the 1980s. As opposed to the U.S. manned space program, which consists of making plans to get back to the stuff they were doing in the 1980s, which come to nothing.

(Unmanned is another story.)

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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Forging DNA evidence: a how-to guide

goodmanj goodmanj writes  |  more than 4 years ago

goodmanj writes "Looking to commit the perfect crime and pin it on your enemy? The New York Times explains how to fabricate DNA evidence, as demonstrated by an Israeli biotech firm. Grab a sample of your enemy's hair, amplify the DNA in it, mix it in with a sample of DNA-free blood, and sprinkle it around the crime scene. If you can't get a strand of hair, you can just use the DNA profile data routinely collected by various government agencies. The perfect frame job!"
Link to Original Source

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