Monday, 24 December 2007

Rants

Merry Christmas, cheeseheads, here's your police state

If you're ticketed by Green Bay [Wisconsin] police, you'll get more than a fine. You'll get fingerprinted, too. It's a new way police are cracking down on crime.

If you're caught speeding or playing your music too loud, or other crimes for which you might receive a citation, Green Bay police officers will ask for your drivers license and your finger. You'll be fingerprinted right there on the spot. The fingerprint appears right next to the amount of the fine.

Police say it's meant to protect you -- in case the person they're citing isn't who they claim to be. But not everyone is sold on that explanation. - WBAY-TV
They're going to fingerprint everybody because of about 5 cases a year in which the person ticketed presents someone else’s ID.  But the report quotes a lawyer who says it’s “optional.”  Yeah, right.  Wanna argue with a cop?


Via Slashdot firehose.

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Rants

Making it "better to be a litigious jerk"


School punishes the victim, in the name of "zero tolerance."

According to the Williamson County [TN] School System, self defense is no defense when it comes to getting suspended for fighting.

At Fairview High School, at least, it is an automatic five day suspension. -- WKRN.com
The victim was suspended despite a surveilance video and a Sheriff's department investigation. Oh yes...
The Williamson County School District declined to comment on camera...
There's nothing like accountablity. (Too bad this is "nothing like accountability.") Weasels.

More: Darren at Right On the Left Coast:
Perhaps a lawsuit or two and administrators will wake up to this rabid injustice.
Glenn Reynolds:
[If self-defense is no defense,] I think she should sue the school system and principal for failing to protect her...
In general, it's probably better to be a litigious jerk in these circumstances. They've made clear that that's the behavior they want to reward.
A couple commenters to Darren's post point out:
...the school officials aren't the ones who pay-out the fees and awards over the course of protracted litigation. The taxpayers do.
My response: So who elects the school boards who appoint those officials? Santa Claus?

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Naming Names:

STILL MORE:  Hey, maybe somebody should ask them about this:
Unsafe School Choice Policy - Under the Tennessee State Board of Education's Unsafe School Choice Policy, any public school student who is the victim of a violent crime as defined under Tennessee Code Annotated 38-111(g), or the attempt to commit one of these offenses as defined under Tennessee Code Annotated 39-12-101, shall be provided an opportunity to transfer to another grade-level appropriate school within the district.
So if you blame everyone equally, well hey, there's no victim, right?


Via: Instapundit.

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Monday, 10 December 2007

Rants

Civil Forfeiture may come to your computer, thanks to Congress


Read the proposed law. It seems obvious. Sure looks like they've been bought:

* Any computer or network hardware used to "facilitate" a copyright crime could be seized by the Justice Department and auctioned off. The proceeds would be funneled to the agency's budget. The process is called civil asset forfeiture, and typically the owner does not need to be found guilty of a crime for his property to be taken.
Yes folks, all the fun of the drug war, now coming to copyright enforcement!

Oh yes, the proposed law also creates a new federal agency
Probably the most extensive part of the PRO IP Act is its creation of a new federal bureaucracy called the White House Intellectual Property Enforcement Representative, or WHIPER.
...a federal agency to enforce CIVIL law.

Before I would have said they're crazy. Now...

Naming names: The guilty are:
Lamar Smith R-Texas, House Judiciary Committee minority leader
Howard Berman (D-Calif.), chair of the copyright law subcommittee
Adam Schiff (D-Calif.)
Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.)

Via: Slashdot

UPDATE (Related) 071211 17:50:
Now (in Atlantic v. Howell) the RIAA is arguing that that making personal copies of songs from one's CD onto one's computer is an infringement.
That contradicts the arguments they made to the Supreme Court in MGM v. Grokster. Story is here.

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Saturday, 08 December 2007

Rants

Pay no attention to the gang on the press bus


The media's sudden interest in the Mike Huckabee candidacy has dismayed a number of conservative commentators[1].  All that media attention lends an air of inevatiblity to his nomination, despite the fact that the process hasn't even passed the Iowa caucuses yet.  Are we getting an accurate picture?  What's actually going on here?

Republicans need to keep in mind that Huckabee (or any other "religious" candidate, for that matter) is the kind of candidate that the media believes Republicans would nominate. What's more, he is also the kind of candidate that the media would like Republicans to nominate. But neither of these qualities makes him the kind of candidate that Republicans (necessarily) should nominate.

more...

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Wednesday, 05 December 2007

Rants

The *wife* lived happily ever after


Tom Smith, on Premonition:

...the wife foresees that her husband is going to die, which he is going to do because he is going to cheat on her, but he doesn't because he loves her too much after all, but he is killed anyway, fate being what it is, but fortunately he has just bought a fat new life insurance policy so the wife gets to buy a big new house. The end. I wonder who thought that one up. Why not just kill the husband at the beginning and end the movie early so we don't have to watch it? My lovely wife Jeanne agreed that it was much better for the husband to die horribly, crushed by a big truck, than it would have been for him to live and cheat on his wife, better for all concerned, really.

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Tuesday, 04 December 2007

Rants

Oooh, that smarts!


Glenn Reynolds posted a pointer to this New York Times article by science writer John Tierney: "In the Future, Smart People Will Let Cars Take Control" Tierney notes the recent advances in "driverless" car technology, and extols its value in improving road capacity, traffic flow, fuel efficiency, and safety. But then he writes:

Smart cars will never be infallible, but they don’t have to be. They just have to be better than the drivers who now cause more than 90 percent of traffic accidents and kill a million of their fellow humans per year.
Tierney (and Reynolds) ignore two powerful groups: The Luddites, and the trial lawyers. It's easy to imagine the usual suspects railing loudly against introducing "inherently unsafe" smart-car technology,[1] as the lawyers, demanding 100% infallibility, jump in to litigate it out of existence.

But all objections would be swept away through legislation making "smart cars," (however imperfect) mandatory. That would fit perfectly with the statist dreams of the gentry liberals (after all, anything that reduces the liberty of the rabble is a good thing, right?), while stifling the bar (if it meets government standards, who cares if it kills people?).

And should some future government busybody decide that the trip you want to make to grandmother's house for Christmas is "unnecessary," well, you'll never get out of the garage.


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[1] You know, like those inherently unsafe nuclear power plants, which, in the U.S., have killed fewer people than Ted Kennedy's car.

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Saturday, 01 December 2007

Rants

Just shut up!


Let me see if I understand all of this correctly.

• We are supposed to remain silent about a predominately black culture that romanticizes treating all women as “hos,” advocates murder, especially of police officers–and whose top examples have actually engaged in gang warfare that has resulted in public murders, because it’s a cultural thing and who are we to judge.
• We are supposed to remain silent about female genital mutilation, which traumatizes young girls and wrecks any chance for a normal sexual life, because it’s a cultural thing and who are we to judge.
• We are supposed to remain silent about jihad, because contrary to all observable evidence, it doesn’t mean that an jihadi is a fanatic ready to commit mass murder on the premise that he is a soldier for Allah who is promised an adolescent’s idea of paradise full of virgins– because it’s a cultural thing and who are we to judge.

BUT… :

It is the complaints–sometimes vicious–about American cultural traditions that we are most supposed to remain silent about. Under this meme, Christopher Columbus was a genocidal, greedy maniac and Santa Claus is an evil tobacco addict, fat slob and a potential child molester, who shows his racism and contempt for other cultures by wishing people a Merry Christmas and offering a jolly “ho, ho, ho”, because this is an automatic, and unbearable, insult to anyone who doesn’t celebrate Christmas, or who might be a whore.

Have I got that right? It seems to me that the only constant is that we are to remain silent no matter what.

Above prompted by this story:
America’s top doc told the Herald yesterday that Santa Claus should slim down, in the latest blow struck in a global politically correct crusade against the jolly fat man.
Mike Hendrix:
...Since when does the Surgeon General dictate how much a Christian saint should weigh? How is this not state encroachment on religion? ... Do you really think you clowns get to redefine the legend of Santa Claus for the rest of us by your silly little proclaimations?

You want cultural warfare, you got it. Just be careful what you wished for.

More reaction:

Related (via Blair):
Save Santa Claus's Home From Melting, Seattle Mayor Urges Kids

Meanwhile... in England a school is banning Santa's red suit, because it might remind children of Coca-Cola.

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[1] with slight typographical (and 2 words of rhetorical) enhancement - o.g.

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