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Dec. 5th, 2011 @ 04:15 pm People, it is time to kick up a HELL of a fuss.
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pestering
From:galadrion
Date: December 5th, 2011 09:49 pm (UTC)
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Hm... So they are saying that recording an event in a public venue is illegal? Right, it's getting closer to time for another revolution.
From:(Anonymous)
Date: December 5th, 2011 10:05 pm (UTC)

Good luck with that.

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This is the next logical step after the "1st Amendment zones". First restrict people's speech and actions, then outlaw them entirely. The average policeman/woman is also (with some legitimacy) getting sick

As for another revolution...unless you can rally the majority of the military behind you, you'd better hope the Lord himself is backing your movement or you're toast on two legs. The differences between the British armed forces and ours is about like those between a squadron of Z-95 Headhunters and a Super Star Destroyer.
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From:rhjunior
Date: December 5th, 2011 11:36 pm (UTC)

Re: Good luck with that.

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do not discount the capacity of a domestic insurgency... especially one in a nation where every other person is carrying a firearm and has another stowed away.
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From:zarpaulus
Date: December 6th, 2011 03:21 am (UTC)

Re: Good luck with that.

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And our military has over 40 years of experience fighting guerrillas with full-auto AK-47s, the only advantage a domestic insurgency would have would be the "someone you know" factor.
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From:kire_duhai
Date: December 6th, 2011 03:44 am (UTC)

Re: Good luck with that.

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As a military member, I'd like to posit that getting the majority of the military behind something like that, even at this (relatively) early stage, might be difficult, but is far from infeasible.
If our rights get trampled much farther you can guarantee they'd be on board. *Especially* if the ones trampling those rights continue to have a distinct hatred for the military that shows in their policy-making.

-Kire Du'Hai
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From:kire_duhai
Date: December 6th, 2011 05:21 am (UTC)

Re: Good luck with that.

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Oh, and a quick side-note:
The guerrillas with full-auto AK-47s knew so much about using them that we sometimes caught them making shoving motions when they fired them, ostensibly because they thought it made the bullets go farther.

I daresay the citizenry of the U.S. knows a thing or two more about using their guns.

-Kire Du'Hai
From:difdi
Date: December 7th, 2011 10:25 pm (UTC)

Re: Good luck with that.

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Yeah, fighting guys who sincerely believe that whether a bullet hits or not is entirely up to Allah, not whether you aim at the target or have any skill with your weapon, is a VERY different thing from tangling with someone who goes to the range every weekend or two.
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From:zarpaulus
Date: December 7th, 2011 10:41 pm (UTC)

Re: Good luck with that.

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I think you overestimate how many serious gun owners live in the States. And how many would actually, when the chips go down and the bullets start flying, shoot at an army of people with assault rifles, body armor, and tanks.
From:difdi
Date: December 8th, 2011 12:22 am (UTC)

Re: Good luck with that.

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If you're shooting at tanks with a .30-06 you're using the wrong tool for the job. Think Ewok, not Butch & Sundance. Then again, ANFO is cheap and any junior high chemist can make thermite.
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From:zarpaulus
Date: December 8th, 2011 04:50 pm (UTC)

Re: Good luck with that.

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Those explosives you listed are also obsolete for military use.
From:difdi
Date: December 8th, 2011 11:56 pm (UTC)

Re: Good luck with that.

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So is TNT, and it's still used as a measurement of explosive power. Just because something is considered obsolete for military use, doesn't mean it's useless. By modern standards, the M-16 is obsolete, and so is the M-4A1. But militaries continue to use them and they work just fine for what they were designed to do.

And I'd love to see how effective a tank is with every opening (possibly including the barrel) fused shut by exposure to 3000-4000 degree temperatures and a spray of white-hot molten iron.
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From:tomyironmane
Date: December 11th, 2011 08:07 pm (UTC)

Re: Good luck with that.

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strictly peaking, I THINK you have to do something impressive to thermite to get it to "spray."

As for obsolete weapons, the M1903 Springfield 30-06 still has an avid following more than a hundred years later, as it's a rather accurate rifle, chambered in a powerful cartridge that is lethal to a thousand yards.

Or an M-1 Garand
Or an M-14/M-1A
Or a M1911
Or a Colt SAA
Or a Lee-Enfield SMLE, if you happen to be a fan of the .303

I'll remind you that these are all "obsolete" weapons. To make matters worse, some of the nastiest snipers ever to stalk two-legged prey were using what essentially amounts to a HUNTING rifle. The Mosin-Nagant, the Rem 700, The Win Model 70... hell, OSS used to occasionally utilize .22 LR because it was small, easily concealed, and childishly easy to suppress.

And while the M-16 is a princess when it comes to reliability, I don't see people lining up to take a round from an M-16 type weapon... especially because it is, despite being a princess when it comes to maintenence, still capable of hitting targets to 500 yards.
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From:cpt_tyrell
Date: December 13th, 2011 03:21 am (UTC)

Re: Good luck with that.

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On the other hand, insurgent and terrorist groups have been taking out the latest and greatest military hardware money can buy with improvised jets of molten copper.

Just because the military has stopped using something doesn't make it "obsolete". They've just moved on to bigger and better things. Mixing a little charcoal, sulfur, and potassium nitrate and stuffing inside a sealed metal tube is about as old-school as you can get short of breaking out flint axes, but it'll still really mess up a squad of GIs.
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From:delphshadow
Date: December 12th, 2011 10:19 pm (UTC)

Re: Good luck with that.

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Actually, what you're describing is a mistake that most shooters without the benefit of comprehensive training make. Because the gun shoves backwards, they get into the habit of trying to compensate by moving the gun forward as they pull the trigger. It makes intuitive sense but is completely wrong, especially if the weapon is on fully-automatic mode where the only way it can be even remotely accurate is if it's properly stabilized against the shoulder. The error is not due to stupidity or childlike thinking but not knowing the best way to fire the weapon. Even an experienced civilian shooter who goes to the range daily is prone to the same error. The military is, obviously, different because a soldier who can't shoot straight is a liability in a firefight.
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From:kire_duhai
Date: December 15th, 2011 07:31 am (UTC)

Re: Good luck with that.

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What the witnesses described to me, through demonstration, did not appear like the typical anticipation response at all. Not even close.

When experiencing the problem you describe, a particularly jittery person will move the barrel an inch or so downward and lean forward a little bit when firing on an empty chamber they didn't expect.

The motions I spoke of were shooting from the hip while swinging the weapon forward, as if trying to 'throw' the bullet out of the barrel.

Do note that this is second-hand info from a Corporal I met on my AT, and Marines like to talk big. But in my experience, they don't tend to talk about our enemies like they're more stupid than they are, because they don't want us junior Marines making foolishly overconfident mistakes.

Besides which, my only point was that the citizenry of the U.S. would make a more competent and successful revolutionary guerrilla force than the enemies we're currently fighting overseas, and that's pretty self-evident by my reckoning.

-Kire Du'Hai
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From:delphshadow
Date: December 17th, 2011 11:09 pm (UTC)

Re: Good luck with that.

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Oh, no doubt about that whatsoever. I just thought that what you were describing sounded like a common error of insufficient education rather than the childlike thinking of "I can make the bullet go further if I push the gun forward."
From:galadrion
Date: December 6th, 2011 03:10 am (UTC)

Re: Good luck with that.

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At this level, you're not going to be facing the military. This level is the police and the elected officials, and the most they can call in (if they've got the governor on board) is the National Guard. The military actually is not allowed to get involved in something of this nature - see the Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibits military enforcement of state law enforcement powers, except if the orders to do so come directly from an Act of Congress or the Constitution itself.

I do see a voter revolt as a likely outcome from this, though. If this man is convicted and sentenced to 75 years, every elected official involved is probably going to be looking for a new job come the next election, and every appointed official is going to be called on the carpet by his (elected) superior (and probably gong to be looking for a new job soonest). This entire situation is ridiculous - if these jurisdictions attempt to make it illegal for citizens to secure evidence for those citizens' legal defense (which is this case here), the Supreme Court is going to break said jurisdictions.
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From:nefaria
Date: December 6th, 2011 12:43 am (UTC)
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Just a taste of what's coming as our government gets bigger and our civil rights get smaller.
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From:delphshadow
Date: December 6th, 2011 03:29 am (UTC)
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One thing I'm mildly curious about: how many states have laws against recording ordinary citizens without their consent? Because if states had those laws, I could almost see tacking on a "you're not allowed to record the police without their consent" because the police are, after all, citizens. In the absence of that, however, this seems unjust to an extreme.

Granted, I actually understand and sympathize with the motive of the laws even if I don't have any sympathy for the laws themselves. There is effectively no recourse available to a police officer whose on-tape conduct is edited to turn them into a bad guy and then published to the point that it becomes impossible to correct. Sterling example of this is the famous videotape of the police taking swings at Rodney King: it wasn't until much later that we started learning that very important facts were conveniently edited out of the tape and this fact is still not widely-known even well over a decade later. Such dishonesty and manipulation provably causes massive disturbances (the 1992 LA riots) and the destruction of individuals... which, I believe, is why these laws are even given a hearing, much less passed.
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From:kire_duhai
Date: December 6th, 2011 04:00 am (UTC)
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Courts are supposed to take into account the limitations of evidence; there's a margin of error regardless of what media is used. But what is the most valued testimony in courts today? The eyewitness. *Despite* the fact that they're among the most unreliable types of testimony available. Why? Because it's emotive. And so are videos, especially skillfully edited ones.

However, we shouldn't try to balance the shortcomings of our courts by making laws to make up for their incompetence.

Despite what most people think, privacy is not a right. It's a privilege. If you don't want to be embarrassed by recordings of you, don't do embarrassing things that might be recorded. And if they edit innocent footage to make it look damning, they should be charged with perjury the same as anyone who lies in a normal manner.

I used video recording in court myself, and I'm willing to bet it had a lot to do with why I was acquitted. Recordings are invaluable tools for finding truth. We shouldn't ban them from use in courts just because courts are failing to see their limitations; that they can be manipulated into lies just like anything else. That just answers laziness with more laziness.

That said, I don't think these laws were made to prevent abuse of video recordings anyway. They were made to protect public officials from citizens, when it's supposed to go the other way 'round.

-Kire Du'Hai
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From:maulkin12
Date: December 6th, 2011 09:21 pm (UTC)
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Besides, nothing is stopping the police from recording their own stuff - indeed, most of the time they *do*. But if the police recording 'mysteriously' vanishes and civilians aren't allowed to record the police out in public... Yeah, that's a problem. A big one.
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From:delphshadow
Date: December 9th, 2011 08:55 am (UTC)
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I appreciate your perspective and find it very well-argued and interesting but it's totally beside the point, Kire. I'm not talking about the use of the videos in a legal sense but the use of them in a media sense. I cited the Rodney King case, not as a reference to the subsequent trial but as a reference to the fact that public knowledge of the event was shaped by a dishonest recorder who omitted the context of what he recorded, convicting the police officers in public opinion and causing a riotous reaction to their exoneration in court. The police officers were not innocent but the fact that the video was made by someone out to get them completely changed what the truth was perceived to be and even when the complete story became available, the police officers as racist thugs beating a black man for no reason became The Official Truth and the entire truth is still not widely known.

This is why I say that I understand the motive even if I have no sympathy for the law. A public official has no recourse against being defamed by a propagandist with a video camera and a cause which, to me, makes the emotional appeal of "illegal to record the police" even stronger.
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From:kire_duhai
Date: December 9th, 2011 06:35 pm (UTC)
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It applies either way, really. Whether it's perjury or plain old slander (or libel, as the case might be), there are already laws in place for those things. Trying to head off the problem by making it illegal to record events not only throws the baby out with the bathwater, it doesn't solve the problem very well. It's like trying to prevent perjury (because it can mislead juries, and breed injustice) by making it illegal for witnesses to speak in the courtroom; it's just as absurd.

Yes, I too understand the emotional appeal of wanting to prevent riotous reactions to slanderous or biased accounts, at least when faced with the riotous reactions. But finding recourse for public officials faced with defamation of character (which, luck would have it, is another civil charge) will take more thought than blaming the camera for the operator's misuse. I can't say I know what an appropriate solution *would* be, but I do think I can be confident in saying that that sort of law is not only an ineffective one, but offensive, in that it takes away freedom and protection from people to protect public officials. The public officials knew what they were getting into when they signed up. The rest of the citizenry? No such option.

-Kire Du'Hai
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From:delphshadow
Date: December 9th, 2011 09:23 pm (UTC)
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"Whether it's perjury or plain old slander (or libel, as the case might be), there are already laws in place for those things."

And those laws exclude police officers who can have the most vicious lies spoken about them or printed about them without any legal recourse.

"I can't say I know what an appropriate solution *would* be, but I do think I can be confident in saying that that sort of law is not only an ineffective one, but offensive, in that it takes away freedom and protection from people to protect public officials."

I think it'd be peachy keen if legal recourse against defamation, libel, and slander was given equally to every single American citizen regardless of what they do for a living. To me, this seems a simple and very elegant solution to the problem because all the mechanisms to carry it out already exist and have withstood the test of time. That said, this isn't taking away freedom and protection from people to protect public officials; it's taking away the freedom to harm from people to protect other people.

"The public officials knew what they were getting into when they signed up."

To some extent, yes, although in terms of the law "public official" includes law enforcement. I don't think anyone can really know what it's like to have no recourse against being smeared and defamed simply because you joined a particular profession that the courts consider equivalent to an elected position in terms of protections against defamation and libel.
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From:kire_duhai
Date: December 12th, 2011 01:11 am (UTC)
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"And those laws exclude police officers who can have the most vicious lies spoken about them or printed about them without any legal recourse."

And that is, in fact, unfair, if true. Not that I'm necessarily doubting you, but from where do you hear this?

"...it's taking away the freedom to harm from people to protect other people."

...Except that freedom to record has far more power to protect than to harm. At least in my humble opinion.

"I don't think anyone can really know what it's like to have no recourse against being smeared and defamed simply because you joined a particular profession that the courts consider equivalent to an elected position in terms of protections against defamation and libel."

Oh, man... Funny you should mention that. I worked for two years as a correctional officer in a federal prison under a contracted corporation. And the one reason that *I* had to be held personally, legally liable for an alleged federal *felony* that occurred because of a chronic, systemic problem in the facility was because they considered me a "public officer".

As I said earlier, I was acquitted of the charges, largely due to the fact that I used video surveillance in my testimony. But the case would have been against the *company*, instead of myself and the other defendant, if we hadn't been under the legal term 'public officer'.
... Oh, and I joined the USMCR after I lost that job. Do they have no recourse either? Because I don't remember any of that mentioned in training. I'm pretty sure I can still sue for defamation of character and press charges for libel. Heck, I'm pretty sure I could back when I worked at the center, for that matter.

-Kire Du'Hai
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From:delphshadow
Date: December 12th, 2011 08:01 pm (UTC)
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"Not that I'm necessarily doubting you, but from where do you hear this?"

I did some searching through Google and read the court reasoning behind various dismissals of police officer defamation/libel/slander suits. They employed the exact same standard of proof set out for public officials under the US Supreme Court decision New York Times v. Sullivan. Thus, I reason that they're treated as public officials for the purpose of such lawsuits.

"...Except that freedom to record has far more power to protect than to harm. At least in my humble opinion."

It's a very sharp double-edged sword because recordings are like any piece of factual data: it becomes whatever the user wants it to be. This is why, in that YouTube video RH posted a long while ago with a law professor and a police officer both recommending that you NEVER talk to the police without a lawyer, they said their advice holds even if the interview is recorded. I think the potential balances out primarily because there's no way to know what a person making the recording is trying to accomplish. Everyone who makes a recording of the police doing something would say "I'm trying to protect others" even if their sole intent is to edit the video to smear the officers.

"Oh, man... Funny you should mention that. I worked for two years as a correctional officer in a federal prison under a contracted corporation..."

I admire you for your service, then, but it doesn't have any bearing on my statement. The fact that you know what it's like doesn't change the fact that the typical person cannot appreciate what it's like prior to experiencing it.
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From:kire_duhai
Date: December 12th, 2011 08:50 pm (UTC)
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Video recordings can indeed be abused just like any other kind of media (writing, speech, sound recording, etc.) to be used one way or another. The advantage of devices that can record independent of the user (you can leave them on and they'll simply record data, whether you want it to or not) is that they MUST have truth somewhere in there. It may be taken out of context, it may even have elements of total fabrication inserted (CG compositing, reenacted fake footage, etc.), but it must include actual truth, somewhere. It may be double-edged, but the edge of truth is a little sharper, by my reckoning.

And thus far, doctored footage is relatively easy to detect. It may *eventually* get to a stage where footage is capable of being completely fabricated with little evidence, but not yet.

This is why I say the balance swings toward the benefit of recordings rather than detriment, however slightly. And if something is to be prohibited, I think the potential for abuse should vastly outweigh the potential of good use, not just slightly outweigh it.

And while not everyone can understand what it's like (My own situation was only marginally similar, so *I* don't really understand) to be without recourse against those who slander you maliciously, I think that those who do recognize that the sort of people who listen to the slander (those who don't care to investigate context) aren't the type whose opinions should be cared about much. The value of the opinion of those who know they're doing their job right and correctly far outweighs the mud-slinging of a mob.

That's how I think about it, anyway.

-Kire Du'Hai
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From:delphshadow
Date: December 12th, 2011 10:31 pm (UTC)
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"It may *eventually* get to a stage where footage is capable of being completely fabricated with little evidence, but not yet."

Well, actually, we've been at that point for some time but the means is prohibitively expensive. Which goes to show that if someone is sufficiently motivated, not even something that MUST have the truth somewhere on there is vulnerable.

"The value of the opinion of those who know they're doing their job right and correctly far outweighs the mud-slinging of a mob."

But it's the mud-slinging mob and not the rational responsible people that're liable to act on the fabrication. As we've been seeing with the "Occupy" movement, the problem is never the majority but the tiny segment that is bonkers and capable of causing damage far out of proportion to their numbers. That and the previous response all said, however, I concede your general point.
From:difdi
Date: December 7th, 2011 10:33 pm (UTC)
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Quite a few states have laws that require all parties to a private conversation consent to a recording (or at least be aware of the recording happening and continue the conversation regardless of it). Most states make a distinction between public and private. All states exempt law enforcement from the laws, though many require a warrant to qualify for the exemption.

Two states actually forbid recording public conversations without permission, Illinois and Massachusetts. Massachusetts bans secret recordings, Illinois bans them all.

I live in Washington state, which is an all-party consent state, but the law specifically targets private conversations. Recording in public isn't illegal here, and public officials CANNOT have private conversations in any official capacity, ever (one could even argue(though there is no case law on this) that if a officer tells you that you can't record his conversation with you, it cannot be anything but a voluntary encounter).
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From:sledgomatic
Date: December 6th, 2011 08:17 am (UTC)
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As I recall, Ralph, you posted a video sometime back of an officer explaining that a citizen should, ideally, never talk to the police directly. And especially never divulge information except through a filter of legal representation.

Heck'd if I can find it...
From:(Anonymous)
Date: December 6th, 2011 05:57 pm (UTC)
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You probably want something like this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc
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From:cardaxiro
Date: December 7th, 2011 12:31 am (UTC)
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Actually, I remember that video, too; it was a law professor making the argument that by talking to the police without legal representation, you're effectively voiding your Fifth Amendment right, because missing even minor details can make you look guilty, whether you are or not.

Here's a direct link to the first half of the lecture in question: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8z7NC5sgik
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From:deckardcanine
Date: December 21st, 2011 06:17 pm (UTC)
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Gosh, does that mean I shouldn't have asked one for street directions a few months ago?
From:(Anonymous)
Date: December 6th, 2011 02:55 pm (UTC)
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Can't watch the video at work, but I believe I found a print copy of it on the web.

One, this is an old case, the Circuit Court Judge threw it out on it's ear in late September.

Two, the cops didn't bring the charges, it was done by one pissed off judge. The victim had a long running dispute, he worked on cars in his driveway, and was getting cited with 'eyesore' ordinance violations, which he challenged. This was set off when he was told there would be no official court transcript he brought a tape recorder for his own record of the proceedings. The judge hit the roof when she found out (report doesn't give her name, but does use the female pronouns) accused him of 'violating her privacy' and got him slapped with an easedropping charge that carried a 15 year maximum, and added four more when she found he recorded his interactions with the cops.

So sanity eventually prevailed, and it wasn't the cops this time folks. Sounds like a single powermad judge who had the ear of an ADA.
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From:rhjunior
Date: December 10th, 2011 12:05 am (UTC)
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Whether judge or police is irrelevant to the fact that the law in question is what enabled this violation of civil rights.
From:(Anonymous)
Date: December 10th, 2011 06:43 pm (UTC)

Allison case

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You're late to the party, folks. Allison's charges were dismissed back in September by Judge Frankland, who said the Illinois eavesdropping statute is unconstitutional. No word yet on whether the State's Attorney will appeal. They may, and the Illinois Attorney General may involve herself because it's a state law in question.

Point of fact, the charges against Mr. Allison were for the audio recordings he made; there is no mention of videotaping in the case file. I got this info from a quick search for "Michael Allison, Robinson, IL" and followed a couple of links. If you do the same search, you can easily find information on the case.

I agree the law needs to be changed, but until it is, people in Illinois who record audio without consent are going to be charged now and then, and it's going to take a lot of time and money to keep them from going to jail and paying fines or court costs.
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From:caddan
Date: December 12th, 2011 02:00 pm (UTC)
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Ok, that one has been resolved.....but just like in whack-a-mole, we have a new issue...

http://www.rr.com/tv/topic/article/rr/55255142/57451182/Backlash_for_Lowes_as_ads_pulled_from_Muslim_show

"Calling the Lowe's decision "un-American" and "naked religious bigotry," Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, told The Associated Press he would also consider legislative action if Lowe's doesn't apologize to Muslims and reinstate its ads."
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From:sledgomatic
Date: December 12th, 2011 08:55 pm (UTC)
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"Sen. Lieu goes on to laud the show's message of peace, citing the Islamic world's thousand-year history of faithful adherence to treaties and never using peace-time as a ruse to stab supposed allies in the back."
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From:tomyironmane
Date: December 13th, 2011 12:23 am (UTC)
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Really? What universe does Senator Loopy live in again? I wanna emigrate there, where Muslims are peaceful, not raving lunatics who dance and ululate and throw candy to children when Americans die, and don't issue open contract hits against cartoonists for drawing someone who has a passing resemblance to Mohammed, and didn't hijack planes, attack Israel repeatedly, and kill women for daring to think on their own or for the heinous crime of being raped, and commit a series of offenses both heinous and barbaric against mostly unarmed and inoffensive civilians dating back to around AD 630-ish.
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From:sledgomatic
Date: December 13th, 2011 11:03 pm (UTC)
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Not really. That was a satirical, Onion-style quote I pulled from my caboose to illustrate some key points, though I suspect you knew that already.

But I'll clarify anyway for the kids watching at home.

Whatever the true intentions of the producers, and however truly American the families who have been showcased, the show is propaganda. No getting around that. The title practically screams it. Unfortunately, posterity has shown that muslims calling for peace are most often the least trustworthy.

A group of citizens brought these concerns to Lowe's, and that's why the ads were pulled. And you can't blame them. Who would want to associate their good name, let alone fund, a potentially subversive element?
From:(Anonymous)
Date: December 13th, 2011 08:34 pm (UTC)

Something we agree on.

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So Michael Allison's case was dismissed by a judge who acted from the bench and overrode the law on the constitutional grounds. Judge Frankland's ruling may have been appealed; I haven't seen any news on this since the case was dropped back in mid September.

This is a case that alarms people who believe in individuals, both on the left and on the right. Occupy Wall Street boards keep watching and acting about police who try to shut down the journalists, cover badge numbers in tape, and otherwise try to hide. Personally, I believe police in riot gear should all have their badge numbers as prominent as runners' numbers in marathons. If they do well, people can notice and praise them. It encourages good behavior.

The hard hurdle is personal. Would you join with people you don't agree, don't believe, and don't like to solve this one issue? Would you unite, on this one issue, with the Occupy Wall Street crowd or the university professor crowd? Politics is the hard choice of working together on issues you agree on while putting aside the others for another day.

Would you do it?
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From:rhjunior
Date: December 13th, 2011 10:28 pm (UTC)

Re: Something we agree on.

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You don't yoke an ox with an ass.


I do not have to "join" or "work with" someone to whom I am radically and diametrically opposed, just for the sake of one issue. In fact it's a formula for failure; for all that we agree on the problem, they will invariably differ with me on the solution.



The purpose of our system of governance is to enable people to place pressure on the ruling powers WITHOUT having to gang up into one faceless, voiceless, and inevitably brainless mob. Let the OWSers have their tantrum on their own; we of the mature class will stand over here and raise our own measure, undiluted by their erratic lunacy.