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Gender: Male
Hometown: Delaware
Member since: Fri Jan 20, 2006, 07:14 PM
Number of posts: 40,836

Journal Archives

Do you support laws against Holocaust denial?

France, of course, does not have the First Amendment that we do.

Free exercise of religion is one big difference between the US and France which, in general, restricts public expressions of religion. For example, we've had lively discussions of the French ban on religious headwear in schools and often the point was raised that "France is different", which it is.

Another area of difference is that France, like many European countries, has a criminal law which provides up to a year in jail for questioning the occurrence of the Holocaust:


"those who have disputed the existence of one or more crimes against humanity such as they are defined by Article 6 of the statute of the international tribunal military annexed in the agreement of London of August 8, 1945 and which were a carried out either by the members of an organization declared criminal pursuant to Article 9 of the aforementioned statute, or by a person found guilty such crimes by a French or international jurisdiction shall be punished by one month to one year's imprisonment or a fine."

The U.S. approach to these things is the maxim, "the answer to bad speech is more speech" while many other countries have taken the position that the discussion on certain topics is over and done.

I've seen the sentiment expressed here that one is either for free expression of all kinds or one is opposed to it.

Do restrictions against certain forms of speech and, I must say, a particularly idiotic and pernicious type of speech, pose a problem, or is it possible to define a specific topic to be off limits without falling into a slippery slope of creeping restrictions on speech.

Tangentially one thing I have noticed is that European lawyers consider our near absolutism on the topic of free speech to be a peculiar American fetish. My work is principally in internet trademark issues, and a recurring problem in international arbitrations in the subject are domain names of the form (trademark)sucks.com. European arbitrators nearly unanimously find that criticism of companies by use of such domain names is an unlawful use of the trademark, while US arbitrators find such domain names permissible on free speech grounds. The arguments in these cases invariably devolve into the Europeans essentially dismissing the U.S. position as some kind of paranoid obsession.

But before you go calling me a Nazi, I just want to point out that applying our approach to free speech issues to a European context is not always met with the enthusiastic agreement of Europeans.

As an example, I had to go to a US court in order to reverse this decision:


The dissent, written by the U.S. arbitrator on the panel, aptly states my continued irritation at the difference between Americans and Europeans on the entire subject.

Okay, don't tell anybody... this is the REAL plan for "The Interview"

They set up a website at SeeTheInterview.com where, for the mere entry of a credit card number and expiration date, you can watch the movie.

So, every data thief is going to use a stolen credit card number to watch it.

Solstice Greetings!

My sunset tonight....

Solstice Ride Today

"Too much Sony drama"


The threat became a convenient foil for Sony's worsening headlines, and has been re-reported to extremes, fanning flames of terrorist attack hysteria from Hollywood to Fox News, to the US Government. As media attention shifted to the alleged threat, the White House decided that the Sony hack was now a 'serious national security matter'. Despite the lack of credible evidence that North Korea is behind the attack, and the FBI saying there's nothing linking North Korea to the Sony hack, many now believe it to be true, helped along with outlets like the Washington Post stating "intelligence officials" believe with "99% certainty it's gotta be North Korea.

The whole thing turned into even more of a three-ring circus Wednesday when the New York Times and other outlets announced that an 'unnamed source' at the White House said it was North Korea, followed by a named source from the White House Thursday morning saying the White House refused to confirm North Korea as the culprit.

By Thursday, the amount of respected infosec professionals, researchers, hackers and professional security researchers calling the North Korea theory out as BS is truly a news story unto itself. Sony's poor reaction to everything about this attack isn't escaping seasoned infosec industry members. One called it "beyond the realm of the stupid."

Interesting links in article.

Initially, the hackers were demanding money, is that correct?

Odd thing about the right and Cubans

Ask them whether we should grant citizenship to people who enter the uS unlawfully.

I've been waiting for one to say, "I suppose now Obama will grant amnesty to illegals from Cuba."

Um, wait....

Police Killings In Jamaica - Race Not A Factor, Figures Much Higher


Since 2000, security forces have reported killing nearly 3,000 people on the island of 2.7 million. Last year, 258 people died at the hands of law enforcement. In comparison, police fatally shot 13 people last year in Chicago, a US city with the same population as Jamaica.

Almost all of those killed have been written off by police as armed criminals who died in shootouts. A tiny percentage of the cases have made it to the courts, and only one Jamaican officer has been convicted of an unlawful killing since 2006, according to a 2013 human rights report by the US State Department.

I just got a call from the "Computer Support Department"

...which sounded like it was located in a foreign call center.

Usually I pretend to be playing along and acting really, really dumb by misinterpreting every one of their instructions.... "Wait, you want me to turn the internet off? I don't know how to do that!"

Eventually they get fed up, or I get tired of acting, and we do not part amicably.

Today it was:

"Que? No hablo Ingles. Espanol por favor."

For a moment there, when I got that the guy understood what I was asking, and was going to either take a stab at it or switch me to someone else.

But, alas, he was not up to my blowing smoke up his ass in Spanish either, but he very politely apologized for not speaking Spanish.

It's good to know the scammers have upped their customer service standards.

Have we had the "Thanksgiving Dinner Ends In Shooting" story yet?

And, if not, is there a pool on which state gets to claim firsties?

I'll put in a spot on Pennsylvania. Texas and Florida nutballs come and go, but there's a respectably steady supply of them in PA.

what's the best way to wash a condom?

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