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Archive for the ‘law’ Category

Canada’s CBC News warns Canadians not to carry much money south of the border because the police will steal it.

Used to be, only corrupt 3rd world nations had police that would just blatantly steal your money. Guess that means we’re one of those, now. The problem is, corruption on that scale is bad for business. Tourists decide to take their money elsewhere, somewhere where it won’t get stolen. Businessmen whose businesses churn a lot of cash decide to invest their money elsewhere, not in the United States. And so forth.

The modest reforms that Congress is proposing will not end the corruption, but will at least reduce some of the incentives behind it. In the end, the U.S. Supreme Court is going to have to rule that the 4th Amendment is, in fact, the 4th Amendment, and prohibits seizing things without a warrant and probable cause. Until then, police departments will continue to steal more money than thieves.

Yeah, well, I’m not holding my breath on that one, not with this Supreme Court…

– Badtux the 3rd World Penguin

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At least, for the purposes of voting. Apparently the U.S. Supreme Court is going back to the future again, voting for state-mandated racial segregation (at least for the purposes of voting), 61 years after it overturned that decision. Except without even the fig leaf of “separate but equal” to cover for their blatantly racist decision.

For those of you who voted for Jill Stein, thus putting the Orange Racist Pussy Grabber into office… are you satisfied?

Oh wait, you’re all lily white anyhow, so why would you care about minority rights, hmm?

– Badtux the Law Penguin

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HIPAA is the law here in the United States. It is a Federal law that protects patient privacy and prevents hospitals from releasing information about patients and that has very few exceptions. Basically, these are the exceptions:

  1. The transfer of patient information is necessary in order to provide appropriate medical care to the patient.
  2. The patient or, if the patient is unconscious, the patient’s next of kin, gives consent.
  3. The patient is under arrest and in the custody of the State.
  4. The police have a warrant for the medical records or medical procedure being requested.

If a nurse violates this law by, say, allowing a police officer to draw blood from a comatose patient without any of the above, she will at the very least be suspended, if not fired and have her license yanked by the state licensing board. Hospitals take this shit seriously. Not only is it the law, it’s their duty to their patients.

So anyhow, this cop by the name of Detective Jeff Payne demanded of the burn unit head nurse, Alex Wubbels, that she allow him to draw vials of blood from a patient for drug screening. He didn’t have consent from the patient. The patient was not under arrest. He had no warrant, he couldn’t get a warrant because there was no probable cause because the patient was the victim of a crash caused by a fleeing criminal and was not himself accused of any crime. From what I can figure, this detective wanted the blood in order to prove that the patient, a reserve police officer, was not under the influence of drugs at the time that the criminal’s car jumped the median and smashed into his truck.

Thing is, none of that allows the nurse to allow him into the patient’s room, much less perform a medical procedure. He’s not next of kin. He has no warrant. The person in the room is not in the custody of the State i.e. is not under arrest. Under HIPAA she’s not even allowed to tell him what room the patient is in without permission from the patient or the patient’s next of kin. So he’s demanding she break the law, and she puts in a phone call to the hospital’s administrator and puts the administrator on speakerphone to talk with the officer, and the administrator explains the exact same thing to the officer, i.e., that the nurse is not allowed under the law to tell him anything about the patient or allow him to do anything to the patient unless one of those last three conditions is true. At which point the officer goes fucking postal on the nurse, jacking her up and hustling her out the door and cuffing her because she’s there and the administrator wasn’t, apparently.

As far as I know, he still didn’t get his fucking blood, because hospital administrators were already on the way with lawyers in tow and put a stop to that shit. He was forced to let Nurse Wubbels go, and slunk away.

And his police department didn’t even give him a fucking paid vacation. They took him off of the phlebotomy program, of course. No fucking way was any hospital in the Salt Lake City area going to give him the time of day again. But hey, reprimand? Nope, didn’t happen. Suspension? Nope, didn’t happen. It’s almost as if a cop can just fucking assault anybody anywhere at any time for any stupid reason and the command staff just shrugs and says, “what can we do?”

Y’know, twenty years ago when the original “militia” neo-Nazi movements were breaking up in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing, David Neiwert was committing acts of journalism and publishing articles tracking where all these fucking Nazis were going. What he found out was that a lot of them were getting hired by police departments that were busy staffing up due to Bill Clinton’s program to put 100,000 additional cops onto the streets and which correspondingly had lowered standards and didn’t look too hard at those people. Thus the FBI warnings about neo-Nazi infiltration of police departments. So anyhow, it’s 20 years later now. Those fucking Nazis are no longer just foot soldiers. They’re now in leadership positions in police departments all around the country. Thus the Oath Keepers hate group, which claims over 30,000 law enforcement members.

And this is the result — even the non-Nazis in police departments have absorbed the whole “ve must haff ORDER!” mentality of the Nazis, and disregard the whole law part of the term law and order. We live in a day and age where it doesn’t matter what the law says. It doesn’t matter what the Constitution says.

All that matters is the attitude of the cop that rolls up on you.

And that doesn’t describe a democracy. That describes a police state in all but name.

– Badtux the Sovok Penguin

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Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona, found guilty of criminal contempt for defying a judge’s order to stop targeting brown people. Sheriff Joke is going to jail. Good.

People ask, “how did he stay Sheriff for so long, 24 years, despite all the racist things he did?” Excuse me? He stayed Sheriff for 24 years *because* of his racist policies. All the old white racist retirees from Indiana on the west side of Maricopa County loved the fact that he was “tough on darkies”. The only reason he finally got kicked out is that the old farts are dying out and being replaced by people not quite as racist. That, and he finally ran out of deputies to throw under the bus when the Sheriff’s Department was found guilty of misdeeds, and people got tired of the sideshow.

– Badtux the Racism-smellin’ Penguin

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His jobs program apparently is… lawyers.

Yep, Donald Trump’s lawyer has hired a defense lawyer to defend him (the lawyer) against charges of colluding with Russia. Everybody in Trump’s family has hired a lawyer to defend them against charges of colluding with Russia. Donald Trump hired a different lawyer (other than the lawyer who hired the lawyer) to defend him against the charges of colluding with Russia, and it appears that Trump’s Russia lawyer (Kasowitz) is going to have to hire his own lawyer given his own history of collaborating with the Russians. Mike Pence has hired a personal lawyer too to deal with Russia inquiries, and Stephen M. Ryan, the lawyer for Trump’s original lawyer that needed a lawyer to defend him against Russia collusion charges, apparently is also going to need a lawyer because he, too, has been called to testify about Russia collusion. So the lawyer for the lawyer needs a lawyer.

Dear Appalachia: if you guys need jobs, Donald Trump has the jobs program for you! Just go to law school as a defense attorney, move to Washington D.C., and bingo, you’ll be hired immediately by the lawyer of a lawyer of a lawyer who needs to defend another lawyer against charges of colluding with Russia. It’s lawyers all the way down!

– Badtux the Snarky Penguin

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So, email. It was invented in 1965 with the first time-sharing systems at MIT. Students at MIT wrote a program called “MAIL” that allowed sending email to each other, as documented by one of the early developers who worked on the MIT systems. By 1970 email programs had gotten a bit more sophisticated, with the development of the modern inbox as part of the Multics project. In 1971, the first version of Unix, created by people who’d worked on Multics who were pining for some of the features of Multics, included a program called ‘mail’ to allow sending email to other users on Unix systems. Then in 1971 Ray Tomlinson, a developer of the ARPANET (a predecessor of the Internet) at BBN (a government contractor), sent the first email across the ARPANET between two computers. By 1972 he’d developed the syntax of using the “@” sign to separate the user name and the destination, so that the ARPANET email system didn’t need to know the user accounts on all systems on the ARPANET simultaneously and so that a user “badtux” at one site and a user “badtux” at another site wouldn’t be confused with each other. Initially the DEC 10 (Tenex) and Multics operating systems supported Internet mail. Obviously others followed.

By 1973 the situation of incompatible email systems on the ARPANET had reached the point where a meeting had to be called to standardize email on the ARPANET. The ARPANET community then tossed out a multitude of proposals which were discussed and hashed out over the course of the year, mostly via email (!). EMAIL accounted for 2/3rds of the traffic on the ARPANET that year. The first SPAM on the ARPANET apparently happened in 1975. By 1976 the Queen of England sent an email message on the ARPANET. In 1976. By 1978, the BSD Unix Mail program had been written with folders and the ability to easily move messages between them, and an email reader had been implemented in MacLisp inside Multics Emacs, thereby proving the adage that Emacs is not a text editor, Emacs is an operating system.

Also in 1978, a 14 year old kid in New Jersey by the name of Shiva Ayyadurai started writing an electronic version of the inter-office mail system for what later became Rutgers Medical School and finished writing it sometime in 1979. He called it EMAIL. Some time later, in 1982, he illegally copyrighted it. (Illegally because it was done as a work for hire for the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey which paid him as an employee to write the program, and thus the copyright, which was automatically granted upon the program first being distributed under the terms of the Copyright Act of 1976 which took effect on January 1, 1978, legally belonged to the medical school under the Work for Hire doctrine).

So. That’s a brief history of email up until 1979. In 1980, the limitations of using a bag on the side of the FTP protocol to pass email messages around the Internet reached the breaking point, and SMTP (Send Mail Transport Protocol) was invented and ARPANET’s email transitioned to that new protocol, which is still in use today as our standard Internet EMAIL protocol to transmit messages between email servers all over the world. And in 1983, the current IPv4 Internet protocol replaced the original IMP protocol and it is still in use today. None of which is controversial in any way… except Shiva Ayyadurai says he invented email, and he’ll sue anybody who says differently. Despite all that easily documented history that I mention above. Documented history including, for example, the original Unix manuals from 1971, or the source code for the original MIT email program from 1965 which can be downloaded from historical archives and viewed for yourself, or etc.

And no, those were not instant messaging programs. The BSD ‘mail’ program from 1978, for example, is the exact same program that is shipped with every Linux system in the world today. You likely haven’t seen the program if you date to the GUI era, but I used it back in my BSD days in the early 80’s before we had all this fancy GUI shit, and it implements all the functionality you’d expect of an email program — it has subject headers and From headers, it has folders, you can move messages between folders, etc. It was email. Period. And not invented by Shiva Ayyadurai.

So Shiva Ayyadurai says he’s tired of being called a liar and a fraud? Then he should quit lying and should quit fraudulently claiming to have invented email. And if he doesn’t want to read articles like this on the Internet? Then he should quit being the sort of fucking asswipe who sues news publications that publish the true history of email.

Note: Feel free to copy and paste. This is the kind of asshole who deserves all the negative publicity he has bought by suing a news source for, well, reporting the truth.

– Badtux the Annoyed Penguin

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A federal judge halts Trump’s executive order punishing sanctuary cities because it violates the 10th Amendment.

The hilarious part: Do you know where that Supreme Court ruling came from that says that the Federal government can’t force cities to do stuff they don’t want to do? Guess what: It was a right wing lawsuit that did this. Specifically, Printz v. United States, 521 U.S. 898 (1997). This lawsuit was filed by a couple of right-wing gun nut sheriffs who didn’t want to do the firearms background checks called for by the Brady Bill. The final decision held that, under the 10th Amendment, the Federal government could not force local sheriffs to perform firearms background checks on behalf of the Federal government. To quote the decision: “… the Federal Government may not compel the States to enact or administer a federal regulatory program”. And immigration is decidedly a federal regulatory program, as pointed out in the Supreme Court ruling on another right-wing lawsuit, Arizona v. United States 641 F. 3d 339 (2012), which held that immigration was a Federal responsibility and states could not enact their own laws regulating or restricting immigration.

So. Any Federal judge worth their salt looks at Printz, looks at Arizona, and rules on the merits that the Federal government cannot force states to enforce Federal immigration law. If Trump really wants to argue this, he’ll be going all the way to the Supreme Court, and it’s doubtful that he’d win — even the right-wing judges on the court aren’t going to overturn their very own decision made in 1997, a decision that, by and large, is good for right wingers.

But of course he probably knew all that when he scrawled out that executive order in crayon and tossed it over the transom, he’s just doing it for political reasons, so …

– Badtux the Law Penguin

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