Saturday, May 24, 2014

"Mammals don’t respond well to surveillance. We consider it a threat. It makes us paranoid, and aggressive and vengeful."

"It's been nearly 18 years since the world said goodbye to legendary rapper Tupac Shakur, however new information about his death continue to be released. The latest comes from Chris Carroll, a retired sergeant with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, who revealed in a new feature with Vegas Seven what 2pac's alleged last words were. Although Tupac is also known for writing poetry, his final words were less of an ode to deep and insightful works and more of a big middle finger to authority. "He looked at me, and he took a breath to get the words out, and he opened his mouth," Carroll said. "And then the words came out: 'F--k you.'""

"The latest politician to seek to ban a firearm deliberately designed to be producable in privacy, with minimal skills, and beyond the reach of government officials, is Carl Judge, a member of the state parliament in Queensland, Australia...

Judge and his party join politicians in Philadelphia, New York City, and elsewhere in attempting to illegalize that which is intended to render laws toothless...

"It is very difficult to do anything about it," Troels Oerting Joergensen, head of the European Cybercrime Centre at Europol, told the New York Times. "Of course you can say that it is illegal, but as with everything else on the Internet, you can always get it from somewhere." "Proposed legislation to ban 3D printing of weapons may deter, but cannot completely prevent their production," a United States Department of Homeland Security bulletin noted. "Even if the practice is prohibited by new legislation, online distribution of these digital files will be as difficult to control as any other illegally traded music, movie or software files.""

"Biologist Peter Watts makes some good points: Mammals don’t respond well to surveillance. We consider it a threat. It makes us paranoid, and aggressive and vengeful."

"For one thing, they weren’t used to thinking of humans as mammals, or that certain types of stalking behavior make us feel treated not just like criminals (as the common refrain would have it), but like prey.  The connection between pareidolia and the religious impulse seemed new to most of them, too.  Most of all, I don’t think anyone was expecting a biologist with absolutely no legal knowledge to brazenly advocate a middle-finger strategy against government demands for metadata— to suggest that destroying one’s data outright might be preferable to handing it over when the spooks came calling. Possibly because the audience contained so many people from the government."

"It's our Internet. We made it, and it has remade us, changing the way we communicate, learn, share and create. We want the Internet to continue to live up to its promise, fostering innovation, creativity and freedom. We don't want regulations that will turn our ISPs into gatekeepers, making special deals with the few companies that can "pay to play" and inhibiting new competition, innovation and expression. Start your letter to the FCC..." 


"A few months ago I got a speeding ticket while driving through a southern state. (I’ll just leave it at that for now.) I was definitely speeding, so the stop didn’t bother me. Neither did the specific fine for speeding — $62. What I found appalling were the add-ons. There was a court fee, a processing fee, some sort of vague “assessment,” and a few others charges I don’t recall. In the end, the ticket cost me over $250. The extras amounted to several times the cost of the initial infraction. I hadn’t had a speeding ticket in over five years. But the last time I got one, I was only asked to pay the cost of the fine for the infraction itself. So this is a new thing...

This is happening everywhere. In California, running a red light will cost you $549 — $100 for the fraction, plus $449 in added fines, fees, and assessments unrelated to the infraction itself....

If lawmakers want to get people to slow down by jacking up the fines for speeding, that’s one thing. Go ahead, take a vote, and make yourself accountable to your constituents. But these extra fines, fees, and assessments are being added on the sly. And they have nothing to do with highway safety...

Some jurisdictions have even found ways to charge people “booking fees” after an arrest, even if the arrest never results in a criminal charge, a policy recently upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. My favorite example of this nonsense, though it isn’t in the NPR report, is crime labs. Believe it or not, in some jurisdictions, crime labs are paid fees only if their analysis leads to a conviction. (The fees are then assessed to defendants.) Think about the incentives at work there...

Failure to pay these fines results in — you guessed it — more fines, plus interest. If the debt is sent to a collection agency, those fees get tacked on, too. Ultimately, inability to pay the fines can land you in a jail cell. Which is why we’re now seeing what are effectively debtors’ prisons, even though the concept is technically illegal...

...fellow libertarians and I are often criticized for our opposition to policies like primary seat belt laws, helmet laws, aggressive enforcement of jaywalking laws, or nuisance laws, such as carrying an open container in public. The criticism is usually that these are petty concerns, and people who spend time opposing them are out of touch with the real world. But these sorts of laws give police more excuses to make pretext stops when profiling for drug couriers. Once they have you, they can take your cash, car, jewelry or other possessions based only on the flimsiest evidence that it might be connected to drugs. They’re opportunities for harassment. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that even a crime as petty as a seat belt violation is justification for an arrest — and all of the life disruptions that come with a trip to jail. (Don’t forget that no matter what the offense, a trip to jail can also include a strip search.) Heavy enforcement of these sorts of crimes can breed distrust between police and the communities they serve, and creates more interactions that carry the risk of escalation."

 "Everything around us seems to point at the idea that men are simpletons and children (which ignores 10,000 years of history, of course). The result is domineering women, and emasculated men. Unfortunately, while that makes for funny one liners in sitcoms, it kind of fucks up people’s relationships..."

"If you truly love someone, you should be prepared to do things for them that you wouldn’t do for anyone else, even at great personal expense to yourself.  That’s the very essence of love; wanting to please your [spouse] just because."

Friday, May 23, 2014

Training - "Your ancestors..."

5/23 - chins, ab wheel

"Crazy Seems Good To Me."

"All statements are true in some sense, false in some sense, meaningless in some sense, true and false in some sense, true and meaningless in some sense, false and meaningless in some sense, and true and false and meaningless in some sense.  And if you repeat that 600 times you will receive enlightenment.  In some sense."


They get it.

He knows.  He has the documents.

"Today the House of Representatives approved a watered-down version of the surveillance reform bill known as the USA FREEDOM Act by a vote of 303 to 121. Revisions to the bill demanded by the Obama administration were so troubling that several prominent supporters, including Reps. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), ended up opposing it.

...the bill was so weakened in behind-the-scenes negotiations over the last week that the government still can order—without probable cause—a telephone company to turn over all call records for "area code 616" or for "phone calls made east of the Mississippi." The bill green-lights the government's massive data collection activities that sweep up Americans' records in violation of the Fourth Amendment."

Of course, that's just what they want you to think.   ​The Military Is Shutting Down Its Weather-Controlling Death Beam:
"The official objectives of HAARP are to "identify, investigate, and, if feasible ... serve to enhance future DOD Command, Control and Communications capabilities … Research areas that will be explored include generation of very low and extremely low frequency waves, generation of geomagnetic field-aligned irregularities, electron acceleration, and investigation of upper atmospheric processes." But, earlier this month, the military gave official notice to Congress that it intends to dismantle HAARP this summer. David Walker, deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for science, technology and engineering, said this is "not an area that we have any need for in the future" and that research funds would be better spent elsewhere. "We're moving on to other ways of managing the ionosphere," Walker explained...  It's that sort of language that has inspired conspiracy theories since HAARP's inception"

Patton Oswalt is Awesome.

"Thailand's army seized control of the country and suspended the constitution on Thursday after rival factions failed in talks to end six months of political turmoil, causing the nation's 19th coup in 82 years. While General Prayuth Chan-ocha, head of the army and now acting prime minister, did not use the word "coup" in his televised announcement to the nation, he said the takeover was necessary "in order for the country to return to normality quickly, and for society to love and be at peace again".  The coup became apparent during Thursday's negotiations when Prayuth asked the caretaker justice minister, Chaikasem Nitisiri, whether the government was ready to resign. "As of this minute, the government will not resign," Chaikasem allegedly answered, according to the English-language Nation newspaper. "So, as of this minute, I decide to seize ruling power," Prayuth retorted. An electoral commissioner who was at the negotiations said that Prayuth had told the assembled company: "Everyone must sit still."

...The military's seizure of power has become routine and a sad reality of Thai politics," said Karim Lahidji, of the International Federation for Human Rights. "Two days after it publicly declared that it was not going to stage a coup, the military seized power and plunged Thailand into a deeper political crisis." Observers say Thailand's next move will depend on just how well the various factions, and the public, respond to the military takeover. "This coup looks like many others going back to the 1970s: the language used, the seeming solidarity among the main branches of the security forces," said Michael Montesano, co-coordinator of the Thailand studies programme at Singapore's institute of south-east Asian studies. "They've inherited a mess and how they're going to manage it depends on how much resistance there is to the government that they attempt to install." Connors said, though, that the fact that there had been so much talk of resistance proved this coup was different from all the others. "They've never had a coup like this, in which this potential of mass resistance is so strong," he said. "It's only imaginable that this coup will be incredibly repressive as a response.""

"Tourism officials put a brave face on the latest twist in the long-running civil strife, saying it was too early to gauge the impact on tourist arrivals, which already dipped nearly 6 percent in the first three months of the year. "It might look scary and to outsiders it might sound violent, but if we look at it from another angle it should bring more security and peace which should reassure tourists," said Supawan Tanomkieatipume, vice-president of the Thai Hotels Association. But some travel agencies said they expected a further fall in bookings after Tuesday's news, especially from corporate travelers, who can be more sensitive to political risks."

"Despite the chaos, people on the street have welcomed the military's action. "It's good that the military came out so that everything will be over," said 29-year-old Panatda Butsopha, a street merchant who has been unhappy with prolonged political turmoil and street protests. "I'm not surprised to hear the military staged a coup," said Chatchai Leethahan, a 36-year-old motorcycle taxi driver whose stand is at the center of the commercial district of Bangkok, which has been the backdrop of several government-related protests. "I think where a conflict between two groups continued unresolved, having someone come in to put an end to it is good," said Tueanjit Putipongpokai, a 29-year-old in downtown Bangkok, who came to the city's commercial area to look for soldiers with whom to take selfies. "I don't think the situation can be any worse than it has already been, although I didn't expect the coup to take place this soon."" 

Hugh Jackman FTW.

"I want you to be nice..."

 "What a tidy but self-defeating fiction the “good faith” presumption has revealed itself to be over my 25 years in the law. The more I study criminal justice, the clearer it is to me that public officials on every level of our justice system are wholly unworthy of the benefit of the doubt the law ascribes to their actions. To even say this, I realize, is to cross some sort of decorous boundary that proper lawyers and judges are still conditioned to observe. But here we are. I am no longer a believer in the presumption of “good faith.” I’ve simply seen too much evidence of bad faith...

Much of this boils down to a failure to understand and appreciate the trappings of public choice. We tend to assume that public employees always act in the public interest — or at least we write our laws and structure our government in a way that assumes it. But there’s nothing transformational about a government paycheck that turns the name on the “payable to:” line into an altruist. This isn’t to say that government employees are especially evil or awful or terrible, only that they’re just as human and fallible as anyone else. Yes, some areas of government attract and reward certain traits and personalities, and that in some cases this is a bad thing. For example, I think that the profession of politics in general attracts and rewards the very sorts of people we should least want running the country...

The fact that the criminal justice system is run by fallible human beings wouldn’t be such a problem if we recognized it, made sure that the system was governed by checks and balances to compensate for it, and structured internal incentives in a way that ensured we were delivering just and fair outcomes as often as possible. But that isn’t what has happened, mostly because our political discourse hasn’t allowed for it...

Progressives tend to be dismissive of public choice theory in general. Conservatives tend to buy into it, except when we’re talking about criminal justice. For whatever reason, conservatives have long believed that while EPA or FDA bureaucrats are susceptible to the trappings and corruption of power, somehow cops and prosecutors are immune to it...

Unfortunately, it’s the politicians who make policy. Naturally, most politicians are either skeptical of public choice theory or oblivious to it. After all, every politician is himself a public servant, and believes he or she obviously got into the profession for only the noblest of reasons. These are the people who make the laws that govern the system, and the people who are supposed to provide oversight and accountability when things go wrong. Throw in the influence of the police and prison guard unions and prosecutors’ associations, and the massive law-enforcement pork available for congressmen to bring home to their districts, and you remove any political incentive for an elected official to position himself as a criminal justice watchdog....

The courts are reluctant to second-guess the motivations of law enforcement officials. The most notorious example of this is the collection of cases that provide a “good faith exception” to Fourth Amendment violations. Instead of guarding the rights of citizens not to be subjected to illegal searches, the courts have chosen not to “punish” police who unintentionally violate those rights. But if a police officer says the violation was unintentional, the courts have put the burden on the plaintiff to prove otherwise. The practical result of many these decisions is to draw a roadmap for rogue cops to violate the Fourth Amendment. Just claim that you made a mistake. And since cops tend to be rewarded for making arrests that lead to convictions, the cops who follow the roadmap have a professional advantage over the cops who don’t...

Not only do courts and bar associations fail to adequately police and punish rogue prosecutors, a prosecutor’s performance is generally measured exclusively on his or her ability to put lots of people behind bars. Yes, there are conscientious prosecutors who decline to charge someone in the interest of justice all the time. But deciding not to charge someone isn’t the sort of thing a prosecutor boasts about in a press release, touts when running for reelection, or that attracts headhunters from high paying white-shoe law firms. Every incentive nudges prosecutors toward charging as many people as possible with the most serious charges possible to seek the longest sentence possible. Between impotent bar associations, courts reluctant to sanction, and prosecutors’ absolute immunity from lawsuits, there’s little to no risk of punishment for going to far. Yes, there are lots of good prosecutors out there. But why should we make it hard on them?"

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Training - "Nobody said it was gonna be easy..."

5/22 - squats, calf press, stairs, curls, leg xt

"Age: 49 Height: 5'3" Weight: 124 lbs off, 113 lbs contest Years Bodybuilding: 8 months"




 That joy when you make a rep you weren't sure about.  I love seeing stuff like that.