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Comment Re:Rubber Stamp (Score 4, Informative) 94

Your comment is very presumptuous about both my point and my views. I don't care about NSL's or FISA warrants. I don't care about going after terrorists or enemy combatants. I care about Americans in America who the government is abusing. I care about real people, whom I have personally spoken with, who have and are facing these issues, not people in some thought experiment. Some of them are non-Abrahamic religious minorities that the government seems obsessed with, mostly due to a lack of understanding of their religion. People and causes you have never heard about...

I care about warrants issued by in district courts that function as rubber stamps. I read search warrants every day and more then you may suspect are very weak. They have a very diluted view on what probable cause is. These warrants are generally sealed and in many cases the subject of them is never notified that they were the subject of a search. I am not just talking about electronic records; mail, cars, homes are all searched in this way. I think you would be shocked at the number of packages that both state and federal search warrants are obtained for and are not found to contain anything illegal. In these cases the package is repacked and delivered to the recipient without notification. These searches as documented in my local courts are no more accurate than a coin toss. But if you are on the wrong side of the coin toss, good luck, your life just got incredibly difficult.

If someone wants to make you a target than all an agent of the government needs is to claim to have been identified by an informant, that claim alone passes as probable cause in this world. The "informant" is never made available to the judge for questioning, they just take the agents word for it. The records of this search could stay sealed for years but don't expect a notification when its unsealed if you are an unknowing subject of one. As for subpoenas, they are rubber stamped, they are not subject to judicial review. The government just issues them to themselves. The court only gets involved if you say no.

As for something that impacts me, if a warrant is actually supported by probable cause, and the judge makes an inquiry into the facts of the matter, then I am cool with it being issued. What more often happens is the judge reads the application and signs it. When you fail to be skeptical, then you become a rubber stamp. I believe that it should be very hard for the government to invade your privacy or convict you of a crime. Our society has given the government far too much latitude in these matters and it needs to be rolled back.

Submission + - They came for my Craigslist but I said nothing. Then they came for my Backpage.. (

nerdpocalypse writes: Six years after Craigslist's adult section shut down, Backpage's adult section suddenly stopped and put up a banner decrying government censorship. This comes in the context of Congressional investigations into facilitation by Backpage of prostitution, child prostitution, and sex trafficking. The owners were brought up on similar charges in California last month but they were thrown out due to the Communications Decency Act of 1996 which says basically that if website owners decide not to closely monitor content they are not liable for that content.
The Senate launched an investigation. The same owners are due to testify in front of the Senate this week. They threw in the towel, or rather the red banner.

Comment Re:Computer scientists don't understand sociology (Score 1) 1321

The only way to ensure no monkey business is to have a new take on the secret ballot. Either return to pre-1884 public voting and publish everyone's choice or some anonymized identifier so people can verify their ballots were counted as marked. No amount of audit trails will ever be truly verifiable if state actors are in the mix.

Comment Re:Should Be... (Score 2) 499

So you think marijuana should be illegal for the same reasons I assume? Whatever the state deems in a persons best interest should be law, right? What about when the state is wrong? Like perhaps when they told us to change our diets to try and avoid heart disease and made the problem worse? Randomness in society performs an important function. Without it we can create some genetic messes that are beyond our current understanding. For that reason, people should be left to live their lives however they want. Let the passage of time decide if it matters, not men who usually get things wrong. I get that the risk of adverse vaccine reactions is far lower then what the risk would have been for the condition being vaccinated. That doesn't change a person who does the risk/reward and sees no upside to a rare condition in their area with a known risk factor. It doesn't make them stupid, they evaluated the risk/reward environment and came up with a different answer then you did. If that answer burns them, so be it. You can't use force and ridicule to make people do everything you want and win every argument. Due to that mindset, we are going to get President Trump. Good job guys...

Comment Re:Should Be... (Score 0) 499

The thing with people who make arguments like this is they rarely have children and usually state a desire to never have children. But they sure are concerned about what our children are doing. Being a parent is incredibly complex compared to what I expected. Even as a biomedical scientist, I can't bring myself to get on the case of parents who choose different paths. For those that think its such a big deal, they should have kids and get them vaccinated or whatever thing they will be bitching about what parents do next week.

Comment Re:Willing to pay up in cases of death/injury? oth (Score 1) 103

Assuming that the auto-drive was on and there was no tampering of the system then, it should be payed out the same way as no-fault insurance (a model we should have moved to decades ago).

Just wanted to point out how no fault works as it is commonly misunderstood. No fault coverage, more commonly called something like personal injury protection (PIP), is a bucket of insurance that covers the policy holder and members of their household. This coverage is usually a small amount of money like $20k. It pays for the first $20k in medical bills and work loss resulting from an accident for the policy holder. In no way does no fault or PIP absolve a party to an accident from liability. If a person is injured in an accident, their PIP/no fault coverage pays their first 20k in medical bills and if the other driver has some level of fault, their liability coverage pays the remaining claims. Its also important to understand that everyone has some level of fault in an accident, even the guy who was hit in a parked car. If you live in a no fault state review your policy and correct your worldview on the most misunderstood insurance concept that has ever been devised.

Comment Re:Fiduciary responsibility? (Score 1) 387

Facebook has a duty to protect its core business. People are more likely to abandon Facebook if they try and push a political slant. People are not stupid and see through crap like that. The general discourse on Facebook is already so low that I closed up shop there months ago and have no plans to return. It has become a cesspool. If Facebook wants to become the next Myspace, they should be sure to give those on the edge of quitting a little push.

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