Archive for the ‘judiciary’ Category

I’m Back, Losers!

economics / education / environment / judiciary / politics / religion / security / technology

Sort of.


For a while.

We’ll see if I like it or not. My life has had some twists and turns lately, and maybe I need a release. Or a drink.

Yeah, probably a drink.

Or 11.

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Less talk, more obeying

education / judiciary / politics / security

Wow. Just wow.

“But I don’t want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking. I want them to get out of the way so we can clean up the mess. I don’t mind cleaning up after them, but don’t do a lot of talking.”


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I blame YouTube (Cop Fail Edition)

judiciary / security

Coming soon to a DARE program near you!

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They don’t know Kacey like I know her


And by “know” I mean “search on Google for about 5 minutes”.
You know you don’t need to turn on the television, ever again, when you get stuff like this sent to you. Behold, the tale of Kacey Montoya: CBS 2 Morning Anchor.
Okay, so I sort of have a history of stuff like this, but I figure that this deserves special attention. The reason being, there, oh king of the MCPs*? Because Kacey Montoya, unlike the legion of blondes from the FOX News Mansion, works for CBS.
How she got away is a mystery. Did Roger Ailes buy CBS?
Anyways, here’s the best song ever written, from Kacey herself.

Hmm…good looks and the ability to upload to YouTube. Seems like time for me to work on my wedding proposal.
*Male Chauvinist Pig. You just don’t hear that much, anymore.


Strippers, Iowa, and mad blog hits

economics / judiciary

Look, people, for whatever reason, my blurb on an Iowahawk post is probably the most–viewed post in my return to bloggerdom. For the love of taco sauce, the entire time I lived in Iowa, there were never — never — even the remotest hints of anything even approximating interesting going on. Now the place is paradise.
Well, if you like that sort of thing.
Floods, corn, and illegal, underage strippers, I mean. That’s what Iowa is all about. Underage strippers who also happen to be the sheriff’s niece.

It all began on July 21, 2007, when a 17-year-old niece of Sheriff Steven MacDonald climbed up on stage at Shotgun Geniez in Hamburg and stripped off her clothing. Owner Clarence Judy was charged with violating Iowa’s public indecent exposure law.
Judy responded that the law doesn’t apply to a “theater, concert hall, art center, museum, or similar establishments” devoted to the arts or theatrical performances.
“Dance has been considered one of the arts, as is sculpture, painting and anything else like that. What Clarence has is a club where people can come and perform,” said his lawyer, Michael Murphy.
Murphy noted that the club has a gallery selling collectible posters and other art, and it provides patrons with sketch pads.

I don’t know where to start with this one. Suffice it to say, somebody needs to un–loop that loophole before the tourism industry picks up.

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YouTube & Obama: Building a Religion

judiciary / politics / religion

Google has officially censored my Barack Obama video.Cake Secret
You have to click through an age–verification page to see this video on YouTube. The reason being…it’s so effective. There’s nothing in this video that I couldn’t show in my Sunday School class.
Can you say Vimeo?

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The Difference (Protest Edition)

judiciary / security

This is not a protest.
This is a protest.

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‘Unconstitutional,’ Atheist

judiciary / politics / religion / security

One of the purposes of returning to full–time(ish) blogging was to engage the public with the ideas that religion is part of our everyday life. Regardless of what specific religion, we all have a varying relationship to the supernatural. I would even go so far as to say that some people value their supremacy over supernatural things to be what they would call their religion.
I won’t argue with that. That’s the central idea of Atheism, the belief that humans are not subject to some set of supernatural laws. It is the belief that myths are the natural outcome of fear and ignorance. Atheism can be convincing.
It would make sense then, that Atheism wouldn’t be popular in the armed forces, One of the ways the soldier keeps himself in good morale is through the use of the supernatural. The idea that someone or something is going to keep them safe, even though logic would say otherwise. Another manifestation of hope — whether it be real or imagined — is always encouraged.
After reading a story today about a Soldier who was decrying an ‘unconstitutional’ treatment by the US Army, I could see his argument. That would be, of course, if there was at least a token effort to research the most salacious claim in the article:

His sudden lack of faith, he said, cost him his military career and put his life at risk. Hall said his life was threatened by other troops and the military assigned a full-time bodyguard to protect him out of fear for his safety.

Excuse me, but WHAT?
The part about the bodyguard makes this entire story read differently. Of course, the reporter wouldn’t know (or care) that Army units only do that as a last resort. They just don’t have enough people around to babysit all day.
From my (admittedly limited) experience, I know there are only thee times you put a bodyguard on somebody:
1. They are a threat to other people (think sociopath)
2. They are a target of revenge
3. They are wholly incapable of performing their job (thus need protecting)
For the sake of argument, I’ll give him that he is the target of revenge. Okay, so where are the investigations? If the Haditha Marines taught us anything, it’s that the military will eat it’s own young long before any of us find out about it. Is there any more to this story than a claim of ‘intolerance’?
Probably not. But that’s more of an experienced–based gut feeling than from the (horribly biased, incomplete) known facts of the case. My opinion is that this is just a trouble–maker whose story got to the right desk, and now it’s part of the leverage in some political statement, and not about (and never was about) this kid.

“Our Pentagon, our Pentacostalgon, is refusing to realize that when you put the uniform on, there’s only one religious faith: patriotism,” Don King Weinstein said.

Um, yeah. What I thought.

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The YouTube Privacy Debacle

judiciary / security / technology

YouTube sellout?

In yet another case of judiciary run amok, the Viacom v. Google case is really turning ugly for lovers of individual liberties. The story in a nutshell is as such:

  1. The judge rules that Google must divulge YouTube’s server logs, giving another entity access to private data.
  2. Privacy groups decry the ruling because (among other things) it may be in violation of federal law.
  3. The act of giving another company this type of information will do more harm for YouTube and more to help Viacom then the proprietary YouTube technology (that everybody already copied and made better in 2007).

Michael Arrington makes an excellent point at TechCrunch:

But perhaps one of his bright young clerks or interns could have told him that (1) handing over user names and a list of videos they’ve watched to a highly litigious copyright holder is extremely likely to result in lawsuits against those users that have watched copyrighted content on YouTube, and (2) YouTube’s source code is about as valuable as the hard drive it would be delivered on, since the core Flash technology is owned by Adobe and there are countless YouTube clones out there, most of which offer higher quality video.

YouTube’s core value is in it’s network effect – the library of content along with its massive user base.

The ramifications of this precedent aren’t clear yet, but it could mean that other companies could be forced to both store and be ready to hand over private data if any other companies sees an infringement of its copyrights. While I view copyright is important, it isn’t worth giving strategic enemies — fiscal or otherwise — another way to track movements of people.

There is one positive to take from this ruling. Since we know that people will continue to use whatever means to get the truth out, companies will have to learn to use strategies that both help them make money and keep their users alive.

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