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diafol

Nice link RJ. Wonder if the UK will extradite me? You reckon I could get 15 years, based on that guy's experiences? Land of the Free. Until you open your mouth.

AM, Britain's Oyster Card (might be limited to London for now), France has something similar, the Netherlands have a national chipcard system now, you can't even get a week long or longer ticket there anymore without linking the card to your bank account and social security number, plus sending in address information, passport photograph, etc. etc. to the issueing agency.

As to license plate recognition being computationally intensive, it's now so common mobile units are fitted in most any police car, even in camera systems recording every single passing car on the highways at dozens of locations, and those can handle hundreds of cars a minute easily on what's effectively the computational power of a low end laptop PC.

Britain's Oyster Card (might be limited to London for now)

They are limited to London and I thought you could buy/top them up with cash so they aren't linked to any of your personal information. I will check though the next time I'm in London. Boston, USA also has re-chargable cards but they definitely can be bought/topped up with cash & aren't linked to any personal data.
Didn't know about the Netherlands, I'll keep it in mind when I travel there.

Combined with tracking cars, the government can now have a pretty accurate picture (within walking distance from the nearest bus stop) where most everyone in the country is, in near real time.
And that doesn't worry you?

No -- only criminals have something to fear. I could care less if government tracks my whereabouts -- they would quickly find my life very boring.

Are you also OK with them reading your email? Since 2003 they have been photographing the outside of every piece of mail processed by the Postal Service. How would you feel if they opened your snail-mail and read that? What invasion of your privacy would you NOT consent to? Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (the Republican party nominee for governor) launched a new campaign website Wednesday highlighting his efforts to reinstate Virginia’s Crimes Against Nature law. This would make oral sex illegal, even between consenting adults (including married couples). Would you be OK with having your bedroom monitored to ensure that you complied with that law? What exactly are your limits of tolerance?

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diafol

only criminals have something to fear...

I'm afraid that that argument is very myopic and dangerous to the rest of us who feel differently. It's a virulent statement that gets embedded in the psyche. It's a mantra almost. In a mature democracy, the people should decide what its governement can and can't do. They are not given carte blanche to fritter away our basic rights to privacy, BUT, they pass legislation or pass a wink and a nudge to an agency so that all our dirty little secrets are laid bare. Of course, the populace should be outraged and demand summary executions of its bent politicians. But no, we get the quoted statement. This appeases the masses in the belief that the Dark Side is not the dark side at all. A neat little Jedi trick, wonder where Lucas got his ideas?

The US administration has overcome another hurdle in its quest for the power to indefinitely detain US citizens and others who are suspected of being affiliated with terrorists. Congress has granted the president the power to arrest and hold suspects without due process. This was granted as part of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012. The president has said he will not abuse this power, however, in light of the actions of his administration so far, his assurances carry little weight.

Couple this with the mass gathering of meta-data and you get a system ripe for abuse. If your cell phone data shows that you are within several "hops" of a suspected terrorist or terrorist sympathizer you may be indefinitely detained without charges even being laid.

A few years ago I was only two steps removed from the pope and several heads of state of foreign nations. It doesn't take many hops to connect anyone with a "person of interest."

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (the Republican party nominee for governor) launched a new campaign website Wednesday highlighting his efforts to reinstate Virginia’s Crimes Against Nature law.

What you failed to mention is that everyone is laughing at that campaign. I doubt anyone will have to be concerned about it becoming law of the land.

With regard to allowing the government to read your email or track your whereabouts... While I have nothing to hide either, that doesn't mean I want to give the government the power to do so. The government is made up of people, and people with power is dangerous. At what point is too much control? By the time you decide its too much, it will be too late.

I fortunately have not lived first hand in a country where the government does as it pleases but my family (and wife's family) have. They all fled to this country a few decades ago thank fully because they saw what was coming for them. They left their homes, got on a plane and came to this country basically with their clothes on their back, not knowing the language and not knowing if there would be jobs awaiting. I have friends here that still have family left behind. I've spoken to these people. Life isn't all that great for those who decided back then "I've got nothing to hide".

Don't lower the bar because one day you may be accused of something and you won't be able to raise that bar just for yourself because you have nothing to hide. It would be too late then.

commented: well said +0

What you failed to mention...

I was not aware of the reaction but I am not surprised. I just do not understand why Republican candidates insist on promoting ideas that are pretty much guaranteed to cost them even more votes in coming elections? Do they really enjoy the steady morph into the monster raving looney party? I mean Cuccinelli is not just any Republican shooting off his mouth. He is the officially nominated candidate for governor. It's like Sarah Palin. Easy to cut her from the herd when she is just one insane voice in the wilderness. Much harder when she was endorsed as the VP candidate. That just taints the entire party.

What many fail to realize that VA Crimes Against Nature laws are still on the books. Sure there are people who laugh at Cuccinelli; many people think that the sodomy laws are dead - settled law, it is called. But look at what the SCOTUS has overturned; they have ignored precedent in the past and can do so again. There have been at least 2 UNSUCCESSFUL attempts to remove the C.A.N. laws from the books; that is correct, the C.A.N. law is 'unconstitutional' but the VA legislature can/will not remove the law from their books.

Tracking cars requires image processing which is still computationally expensive

Hunh? Tracking cars via the license plate is a simple damned database seach. Every cop car in Seattle automatically scans every single car it passes every day, all day, 24 hours a day. It is all logged into a database - now what do you think would be used as the key? A simple search on the db key will bring up every time that plate was scanned whether it was parked or moving; using google maps with the data gives a detailed record of every where the car was passed and the time of day. Add simple pattern matching to begin suspicion. The boring things you do every day when looked at by person/system looking for a pattern will find a pattern that could be suspicious.

We used to have a panel-type quiz show in Canada called "This Is The Law". From Wikipedia:

It presented short, humorous vignettes which ran with musical accompaniment rather than a soundtrack, and challenged panelists to guess which (obscure) law was being broken by the "Lawbreaker" character... who always got arrested at the end of the vignette... The vignettes were quite subtle, and more often than not, despite many guesses, the panelists were unable to come up with the law that was actually being broken.

Would you be OK with having your bedroom monitored to ensure that you complied with that law? What exactly are your limits of tolerance?

Only intollerant people want to restrict the freedom of others to do as they wish as long as it's not directly affecting their own freedom...

What you failed to mention is that everyone is laughing at that campaign. I doubt anyone will have to be concerned about it becoming law of the land.

And that means you're to support it for the simple reason that you're not planning on having oral sex and therefore have nothing to lose in supporting the plan?
'Cause that is how you should react based on your attitude that you have nothing to hide and therefore it's ok if the government track your whereabouts 24/7 and read all your mail.

I just do not understand why Republican candidates insist on promoting ideas that are pretty much guaranteed to cost them even more votes in coming elections?

There are radical crackpots on both sides of the aisle... It's just that the leftist ones who want to nationalise all industry, confiscate all income, and turn the place into a communist one party state are shielded by the press and you don't hear much from them.
"you have to vote for it so you can know what's in it" comes to mind. Sounds familiar?

We have several useless laws that politicians refuse to remove. Spitting on public streets is one of them.

On average an American (and the same is true in many countries) breaks 20 laws a day without knowing it, laws he doesn't even know exist let alone could comprehend why the heck they exist, why what he did was illegal.
Laws against spitting on public streets come to mind, but they're everywhere.
And in many cases it's impossible to not break a law, as you can very quickly run into laws that contradict each other. IOW by complying with one you automatically break another.
Prime example of that are the traffic laws here. It's illegal to drive in the fast lane unless overtaking. At the same time it's illegal to change lanes unnecessarilly, so it's illegal to switch back to the slow lane after overtaking unless someone comes up from behind who's faster than you.
A former colleague was once fined 300 Euros because of that, he stuck in the fast lane of an onramp to merge into traffic (the slow lane merged out to another highway he didn't want to take). He was stopped and fined for "sticking in the fast lane too long" despite having a very good reason for being there...

Prime example of that are the traffic laws here. It's illegal to drive in the fast lane unless overtaking. At the same time it's illegal to change lanes unnecessarilly, so it's illegal to switch back to the slow lane after overtaking unless someone comes up from behind who's faster than you.

Similarly in Canada there was a guy who drove at the speed limit for the highway (100km/h) and got a ticket for driving too slowly because everyone else actually does 120km/h on the highway.

And that means you're to support it for the simple reason that you're not planning on having oral sex and therefore have nothing to lose in supporting the plan?

How the hell did you derive that from my statement??? You are trying to make an association where there is none.

It's illegal to drive in the fast lane unless overtaking. At the same time it's illegal to change lanes unnecessarilly, so it's illegal to switch back to the slow lane after overtaking unless someone comes up from behind who's faster than you

But it is necessary to change lanes after overtaking, so I doubt that would be breaking the law. Anyone ever get a ticket for that?

How the hell did you derive that from my statement?

Granted, making that connection was questionable, but I can see how one might be tempted to make it. I got the impression that you were OK with Cuccinelli wanting to outlaw oral sex simply because the reaction was pretty much ridicule and there was no chance of it becoming law. Doesn't it bother you that the officially sanctioned Republican candidate for governor has taken the position that you should be jailed for having oral sex, even if it is with your spouse? It would be one thing if some whack-job independent candidate started campaigning on a down with cheeseburgers or other idiotic platform but when the candidate from a major party starts talking about putting people in jail for consensual sexual relations then you should be very worried.

Same-sex marriage is illegal in Indiana, the Supreme Court decision notwithstanding. Starting on July 1 of next year, same-sex couples simply applying for a marriage license in Indiana can be fined $10,000 and be sentenced to 18 months in prison. These are the kind of laws that can get passed when people just sit back and say, "it doesn't affect me. Why should I care?"

Doesn't it bother you that the officially sanctioned Republican candidate for governor has taken the position that you should be jailed for having oral sex, even if it is with your spouse?

No -- why? becuse I know he's just crazy as a bedbug and no one in his/her right mind will take him seriously. I don't let loonies bother me -- I just ignore them.

Ban on same sex marriages has been around for thousands of years. There are still many countries where it is illegal. No doubt that Indiana will eventully abandon that law. I was against it too until someone asked me how same sex marriage will affect my own marriage -- I couldn't think of any good reason other than "it's always been that way".

I think you are missing my point. My point was that the crazies have hijacked one of your only two poiltical parties, and that party controls one of your two houses of government, and that party has effectively shut down the government. And the party that is in power (in name only) seems to feel that mass surveillance is a good idea.

I would be very concerned.

no one in his/her right mind will take him seriously

They took him seriously enough to make him the official Republican candidate. I presume that means the entire Republican party is not in its right mind.

I don't know but I presume he became the republican candidate before he made those statements. Politicans of all parties often make stupid silly statements that they later regret.

Do you recall the definition of a "gaffe"? It's when a politician accidentally tells the truth.

Are you indulging yourself with some Dragon-baiting RJ? :)

Sometimes I just can't help myself. As much as I like AD, our views on certain things are poles apart. Getting back to blanket subpoenas, you might have a look at this transcript from a speech by Senator Ron Wyden given on Tuesday, July 23, at the Center for American Progress in Washington

For those people who are OK with the current surveillance he raises a point especially worth considering. If the government were to pass legislation requiring every man, woman and child to carry a device which would continuously report their precise location, record all of their conversations and possibly even take pictures, the reaction of the public would be outrage. Fox News pundits especially would go ballistic (unless done by a Republican president). But cell phones are essentially capable of doing just that.

The laws against spitting in public served a very good purpose when they were put in place - chewing tobacco use was nearing 50% of the population at one time - every bar had spitoons everywhere for this same reason. Along the same lines, most people think that Prohibition was a complete failure, but what it did was change how Americans drank. Before prohibition, people drank beer for breakfast; alcohol was everywhere all the time. With Prohibition, drinking became something that people went out to do. Without Prohibition, the US would be much like Russia.

But I digress.

I just ran into this - so those of you who think unconstitutional Crimes Against Nature laws are harmles.

“This is a law that is currently on the Louisiana books, and the sheriff is charged with enforcing the laws passed by our Louisiana Legislature,” Hicks said. “Whether the law is valid is something for the courts to determine, but the sheriff will enforce the laws that are enacted.”

Do you still think that Crimes Against Nature laws are a laughing matter?

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diafol

That would be hilarious if it wasn't so seriously sad. The world has moved on, leaving certain parts of the world like some Former Yugoslavian States, Lithuania, Italy and certain US states languishing in their primitive backwaters. Unfortunately the law makers and shapers of these nations and states do not have the political courage to challenge these prejorative laws. They are a disgrace to the human race.