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friendly_iconoclast

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Member since: Fri Sep 8, 2006, 12:47 PM
Number of posts: 15,068

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Carefully applied witness immunity could become *very* useful come January...

...against the current nest of vipers currently controlling the Republican Party. They have little
to no loyalty to each other, much less the nation.

Not-so-gentle reminders that "the early witness gets the deal"
would help along those lines

For example, conviction for failure to register as a foreign agent carries a much lower penalty
than one for espionage.

And yes, it would mean that some would escape with little to no penalty.
I'd argue that in some cases this might be a price worth paying.

In the immortal words of Steely Dan:

"Throw back the little ones
And pan-fry the big ones
Use tact, poise, and reason
And gently squeeze them..."

Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed Oct 28, 2020, 05:29 PM (9 replies)

Fark just gave Donnie a third-degree burn: "Trump is the coward's idea of a man's man"

https://www.fark.com/comments/11000970/Trump-is-cowards-idea-of-a-mans-man
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed Oct 28, 2020, 04:50 PM (4 replies)

The Founders explicitly stated that it is our *duty* to pack the Supreme Court...

...or eliminate the Electoral College, or end the lifetime appointment of justices (if a majority sees fit to do these things).

"What? Where did they say that?", you might well ask-
In the preamble to the Declaration of Independence:

https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration-transcript


..."We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security"...

Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Tue Oct 27, 2020, 06:04 PM (7 replies)

(U.S.) Cops Turn to Canadian Phone-Tracking Firm After Infamous 'Stingrays' Become 'Obsolete'

https://gizmodo.com/american-cops-turns-to-canadian-phone-tracking-firm-aft-1845442778

Law enforcement agencies across the United States are scrambling to secure funding for new cellphone-tracking equipment after the maker of the controversial “Stingray” device quietly announced last year it would no longer sell equipment directly to local law enforcement.

L3Harris Technologies, formerly known as the Harris Corporation, notified police agencies last year that it planned to discontinue sales of its surveillance boxes at the local level, according to government records. Additionally, the company would no longer offer access to software upgrades or replacement parts, effectively slapping an expiration date on boxes currently in use. Any advancements in cellular technology, such as the rollout of 5G networks in most major U.S. cities, would render them obsolete.

“Harris Corporation has advised that effective June 2020 they will no longer provide cellular tracking technology and vital software updates,” the Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) said in a report from May of this year...

...The MDPD and at least five other law enforcement agencies have turned to a North Carolina company named Tactical Support Equipment to supply new cell-site simulators known as the Nyxcell V800/F800 TAU—surveillance technology manufactured by a Canadian firm named Octasic...

Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Sun Oct 25, 2020, 08:15 PM (0 replies)

Union-Leader backs Biden -- its first Democratic endorsement in 100 years

That whirring sound you hear is Bill and Nackey Loeb turning over in their graves...

https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/25/media/new-hampshire-union-leader-democrat-endorsement-joe-biden/index.html

Conservative New Hampshire paper backs Biden -- its first Democratic endorsement in 100 years

..."Building this country up sits squarely within the skill set of Joseph Biden. We have found Mr. Biden to be a caring, compassionate and professional public servant," the Union Leader editorial board wrote on Sunday. "He has repeatedly expressed his desire to be a president for all of America, and we take him at his word."

The paper's editorial board did however highlight what it calls "significant" policy disagreements with Biden, which the board says it expects to spend a "portion of the next four years disagreeing with."

"Joe Biden may not be the president we want, but in 2020 he is the president we desperately need," the editorial continued. "He will be a president to bring people together and right the ship of state."...


I'd pay good cash money to see Donnie's reaction to this bit:

...Despite the board's policy disagreements with Biden, it wasn't enough to endorse President Donald Trump, who is scheduled to visit New Hampshire on Sunday. The newspaper's board wrote that Trump is "not always 100% wrong, but he is 100% wrong for America."...
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Sun Oct 25, 2020, 04:55 PM (4 replies)

A Joe Biden White House will have little time and less love for 'Britain's Trump'

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/oct/25/johnson-dangerously-close-to-one-us-president-wht-if-biden-wins


If he becomes the next US president, who will be Mr Biden’s ‘special friend’ in Europe? Certainly not Boris Johnson

Andrew Rawnsley

Sun 25 Oct 2020 04.14 EDT
Last modified on Sun 25 Oct 2020 07.48 EDT

When the long race for the White House ends, another begins: the sprint to be the first European leader to be granted an audience by the new US president. In 2016, Theresa May was distraught to have got a wooden spoon in the competition to put in an early congratulatory telephone call to Trump Tower. That made her even more neuralgic about beating a path to Washington ahead of her European rivals. Mrs May had to throw in the promise of a Trump state visit to the UK – I rather rudely called it “pimping out the Queen” – to ensure that she got to the White House first.

This desperation can make British prime ministers look pathetically needy, but there is a reason why they set so much store by displays of proximity with the Oval Office. How important a prime minister is to the United States, the planet’s largest economy and most potent military force, sends a message about how much influence the UK wields in the world. So it is telling that Number 10 is resigned to the prospect that Boris Johnson will not be the first name on Joe Biden’s call sheet if he becomes the 46th president. Nor is there any expectation that Mr Johnson will be first in line when they hand out invitations to the White House. He has already quit a race UK prime ministers are usually pretty good at winning.

“There is an intrinsic problem for Boris,” observes Sir Christopher Meyer, the UK’s ambassador in Washington during the presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W Bush. “The Democrats think Boris is a pea from the same pod as Trump.” Being “Britain’s Trump” goes down almost as poisonously as being Trump himself among many in Team Biden. They are bracketed together in the minds of Democrats not just because both are rule-breaking populists who have polarised their countries and trashed historic alliances. Likely members of a Biden administration remember examples of the Tory leader’s insultingly Trumpian behaviour. Ben Rhodes, who was deputy national security adviser when Mr Biden was vice-president to Barack Obama, has remarked: “I’m old enough to remember when Boris Johnson said Obama opposed Brexit because he was Kenyan.” A more recent inflammatory episode exposed a complete absence of thought in Number 10 about the man whom the polls suggest will be the next US president.

One of the most essential things to know about Mr Biden – it would be on the first page if anyone wrote a book called Biden for Beginners – is that he is a Catholic who is extremely proud of his Irish ancestry. Mr Johnson was either blithe or ignorant about that when he declared that he was ready to break international law by dishonouring clauses concerning Ireland in the withdrawal agreement with the EU. Mr Biden was one of the voices in the chorus of American condemnation that the Johnson government was jeopardising the Good Friday agreement. “That was profoundly clumsy and stupid,” says Sir Chris. “It immediately ignited the Irish-American lobby in Washington, which is second in power only to the pro-Israeli lobby.”...






Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Sun Oct 25, 2020, 04:20 PM (1 replies)

A Joe Biden White House will have little time and less love for 'Britain's Trump'

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/oct/25/johnson-dangerously-close-to-one-us-president-wht-if-biden-wins


If he becomes the next US president, who will be Mr Biden’s ‘special friend’ in Europe? Certainly not Boris Johnson

Andrew Rawnsley

Sun 25 Oct 2020 04.14 EDT
Last modified on Sun 25 Oct 2020 07.48 EDT

When the long race for the White House ends, another begins: the sprint to be the first European leader to be granted an audience by the new US president. In 2016, Theresa May was distraught to have got a wooden spoon in the competition to put in an early congratulatory telephone call to Trump Tower. That made her even more neuralgic about beating a path to Washington ahead of her European rivals. Mrs May had to throw in the promise of a Trump state visit to the UK – I rather rudely called it “pimping out the Queen” – to ensure that she got to the White House first.

This desperation can make British prime ministers look pathetically needy, but there is a reason why they set so much store by displays of proximity with the Oval Office. How important a prime minister is to the United States, the planet’s largest economy and most potent military force, sends a message about how much influence the UK wields in the world. So it is telling that Number 10 is resigned to the prospect that Boris Johnson will not be the first name on Joe Biden’s call sheet if he becomes the 46th president. Nor is there any expectation that Mr Johnson will be first in line when they hand out invitations to the White House. He has already quit a race UK prime ministers are usually pretty good at winning.

“There is an intrinsic problem for Boris,” observes Sir Christopher Meyer, the UK’s ambassador in Washington during the presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W Bush. “The Democrats think Boris is a pea from the same pod as Trump.” Being “Britain’s Trump” goes down almost as poisonously as being Trump himself among many in Team Biden. They are bracketed together in the minds of Democrats not just because both are rule-breaking populists who have polarised their countries and trashed historic alliances. Likely members of a Biden administration remember examples of the Tory leader’s insultingly Trumpian behaviour. Ben Rhodes, who was deputy national security adviser when Mr Biden was vice-president to Barack Obama, has remarked: “I’m old enough to remember when Boris Johnson said Obama opposed Brexit because he was Kenyan.” A more recent inflammatory episode exposed a complete absence of thought in Number 10 about the man whom the polls suggest will be the next US president.

One of the most essential things to know about Mr Biden – it would be on the first page if anyone wrote a book called Biden for Beginners – is that he is a Catholic who is extremely proud of his Irish ancestry. Mr Johnson was either blithe or ignorant about that when he declared that he was ready to break international law by dishonouring clauses concerning Ireland in the withdrawal agreement with the EU. Mr Biden was one of the voices in the chorus of American condemnation that the Johnson government was jeopardising the Good Friday agreement. “That was profoundly clumsy and stupid,” says Sir Chris. “It immediately ignited the Irish-American lobby in Washington, which is second in power only to the pro-Israeli lobby.”...



Worth repeating:



"Ben Rhodes, who was deputy national security adviser when Mr Biden was vice-president to Barack Obama, has remarked: “I’m old enough to remember when Boris Johnson said Obama opposed Brexit because he was Kenyan.”





Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Sun Oct 25, 2020, 04:15 PM (10 replies)

NY Times: Activists Turn Facial Recognition Tools Against the Police

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/21/technology/facial-recognition-police.html

“We’re now approaching the technological threshold where the little guys can do it to the big guys,” one researcher said.

By Kashmir Hill

Oct. 21, 2020

In early September, the City Council in Portland, Ore., met virtually to consider sweeping legislation outlawing the use of facial recognition technology. The bills would not only bar the police from using it to unmask protesters and individuals captured in surveillance imagery; they would also prevent companies and a variety of other organizations from using the software to identify an unknown person.

During the time for public comments, a local man, Christopher Howell, said he had concerns about a blanket ban. He gave a surprising reason.

“I am involved with developing facial recognition to in fact use on Portland police officers, since they are not identifying themselves to the public,” Mr. Howell said. Over the summer, with the city seized by demonstrations against police violence, leaders of the
department had told uniformed officers that they could tape over their name. Mr. Howell wanted to know: Would his use of facial recognition technology become illegal?

Portland’s mayor, Ted Wheeler, told Mr. Howell that his project was “a little creepy,” but a lawyer for the city clarified that the bills would not apply to individuals. The Council then passed the legislation in a unanimous vote...



Good. Per the article, this is already being done in France, Hong Kong, and Belarus.

Time to start doing it to the violent right wing, who just love to post photos of themselves online.
Lets see how many can be identified via their photos!
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Thu Oct 22, 2020, 05:52 PM (3 replies)

NY Times: Activists Turn Facial Recognition Tools Against the Police

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/21/technology/facial-recognition-police.html

“We’re now approaching the technological threshold where the little guys can do it to the big guys,” one researcher said.

By Kashmir Hill

Oct. 21, 2020

In early September, the City Council in Portland, Ore., met virtually to consider sweeping legislation outlawing the use of facial recognition technology. The bills would not only bar the police from using it to unmask protesters and individuals captured in surveillance imagery; they would also prevent companies and a variety of other organizations from using the software to identify an unknown person.

During the time for public comments, a local man, Christopher Howell, said he had concerns about a blanket ban. He gave a surprising reason.

“I am involved with developing facial recognition to in fact use on Portland police officers, since they are not identifying themselves to the public,” Mr. Howell said. Over the summer, with the city seized by demonstrations against police violence, leaders of the
department had told uniformed officers that they could tape over their name. Mr. Howell wanted to know: Would his use of facial recognition technology become illegal?

Portland’s mayor, Ted Wheeler, told Mr. Howell that his project was “a little creepy,” but a lawyer for the city clarified that the bills would not apply to individuals. The Council then passed the legislation in a unanimous vote...



Good. Per the article, this is already being done in France, Hong Kong, and Belarus.

Time to start doing it to the violent right wing, who just love to post photos of themselves online.
Lets see how many can be identified via their photos!
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Thu Oct 22, 2020, 05:38 PM (3 replies)

Gut feeling: Rudy G. will try to cut a deal to save his own sorry ass

Trump's circle is just the modern version of the Julii as depicted in "I, Claudius",

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I,_Claudius_(TV_series)

so knowing his record, and the 'loyalty' Trump's crew have for each other- well, I'd lay a Benjamin
on Rudy singing...
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed Oct 21, 2020, 03:27 PM (5 replies)
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