Politics (formerly Election 2012)

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:31 pm

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Brekkie » Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:49 pm

The articles are accurate in stating that, as a consular officer (and a very minor, unimportant one at that), her limited diplomatic immunity does not cover her against these kind of charges.

Additionally, these kind of charges are fairly unsurprising. Attempted human trafficking and exploitation of domestic servants by diplomats from countries where such behavior is "culturally normal" is fairly common. They have their little low-chaste servant girl (and in the case of male diplomats, sex-slave) who comes from the urban slums and doesn't have any identity documents like a birth certificate or anything. So the diplomat gets something printed up (it's not a forgery if it's government-issued?) to satisfy the visa application requirements. We do the best we can to come up with a reason to say no, but often everything technically checks out and we can't come up with a good reason for refusing the visa.

As for the strip-searching and imprisonment with "hardened drug-addicts", I'm tempted to say that is just hysterical fabrication due to the horror at a upper-chaste elite being called out on their bullshit. And if the entire arrest had been handled by the Diplomatic Security Service, I'd stake my reputation on it. But apparently she was handed over to the US Marshals for processing after the initial arrest, and I am less familiar with their methods. So I'm not sure.

The main issue here is that whoever authorized this arrest to go forward apparently wasn't thinking very hard about the bigger picture of it being right before the Indian elections. Much more attention should have been given to message-crafting and involving the Indian authorities more closely in the investigation so that the Indian government could have kept face by disowning her and allowing her to be quietly "Persona Non Grata'd". Clumsy and near-sighted.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Wed Dec 18, 2013 5:01 am

Thanks for your input. Now I wonder how the US is gonna handle their security in India, since India is like "here, go get them".

Not sure if others are interested
http://www.stuffyoushouldknow.com/podca ... -immunity/

Now, reading about that girl and their family, apparently, they're known for doing shady business in India, but getting away with it for being upper caste and whatnot.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby fuzzygeek » Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:27 am

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:36 am

fuzzygeek wrote:Image


*facedesk*
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:22 am

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25441231
Brazil snubs Boeing as collateral damage as part of giving the finger to the US and the NSA.

And to be honest, I'm perfectly ok with that, given that I still don't think it was ethical of them to intercept Petrobras. You could make a better case for intercepting the brazilian government than their state-run petroleum company.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Darielle » Thu Dec 19, 2013 6:07 pm

Additionally, these kind of charges are fairly unsurprising. Attempted human trafficking and exploitation of domestic servants by diplomats from countries where such behavior is "culturally normal" is fairly common. They have their little low-chaste servant girl (and in the case of male diplomats, sex-slave) who comes from the urban slums and doesn't have any identity documents like a birth certificate or anything. So the diplomat gets something printed up (it's not a forgery if it's government-issued?) to satisfy the visa application requirements. We do the best we can to come up with a reason to say no, but often everything technically checks out and we can't come up with a good reason for refusing the visa.

As for the strip-searching and imprisonment with "hardened drug-addicts", I'm tempted to say that is just hysterical fabrication due to the horror at a upper-chaste elite being called out on their bullshit. And if the entire arrest had been handled by the Diplomatic Security Service, I'd stake my reputation on it. But apparently she was handed over to the US Marshals for processing after the initial arrest, and I am less familiar with their methods. So I'm not sure.

The main issue here is that whoever authorized this arrest to go forward apparently wasn't thinking very hard about the bigger picture of it being right before the Indian elections. Much more attention should have been given to message-crafting and involving the Indian authorities more closely in the investigation so that the Indian government could have kept face by disowning her and allowing her to be quietly "Persona Non Grata'd". Clumsy and near-sighted.


That last one gets a little weirder.

- She's seen as a "women's rights advocate"
- She obtained something against the employee from the High Court of India (I don't particularly trust any of the reporting on the specifics atm, and what she obtained varies from injunction/arrest warrant on blackmail or something else entirely). She's convinced someone in some authority that it's the maid who is up to shenanigans.
- The entire outrage is based on presumably what her father and her contacts can achieve. They're rich, they have a history of using money/power to get things they want against the rules, and so on. That may be the entire bloody reason a maid was even warranted.
- The last thing is that the agreement made with the employee may have been made by someone else entirely, and may have been negotiated (and even paid) in India completely. Not that that excuses her, as she should have been aware of the laws in the US, but it's a bit different if her initial agreement was to pay a higher salary than any maid would get back in India and give her a boost to the US (in the minds of the people being outraged back home in India). I find it more likely that her (or someone else in her employ) hired the maid in India, brought the maid to the US doing visa shenanigans, the maid was probably overworked by any normal standard (especially if she was expected to be available 24/7), and the maid or someone else was educated enough to know or find out what US minimum wage laws involve, and then that escalated into HER attempting to use contacts/money to discredit the maid not thinking that the maid would be smart enough or that the US legal system would ever get involved. Now there's a fun drama.

All of that being pure speculation of course. I do like how the dumbass politicians back in India are clamouring for a dropping of all charges based on her nonexistent diplomatic immunity, and will probably buy into villifying the maid in every way. I expect support will drop out from under them because the corruption will bubble forth and transform "government outrage at the US" into "public outrage at the government".
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Thu Dec 19, 2013 6:24 pm

Yeah, the entire outrage is based on the fact that she was treated as if she was from a lower caste. Even if she was treated better than the average person in the US, its still inconceivable someone of her caste would be treated like that in India. The whole caste thing is still pretty prevalent.

Her and her family are filthy rich, and according to some articles, they were involved in some kind of housing fraud but got away with it.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Brekkie » Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:53 pm

Klaudandus wrote:Yeah, the entire outrage is based on the fact that she was treated as if she was from a lower caste. Even if she was treated better than the average person in the US, its still inconceivable someone of her caste would be treated like that in India. The whole caste thing is still pretty prevalent.

Her and her family are filthy rich, and according to some articles, they were involved in some kind of housing fraud but got away with it.


Yep, exactly.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Darielle » Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:59 pm

Klaudandus wrote:Yeah, the entire outrage is based on the fact that she was treated as if she was from a lower caste. Even if she was treated better than the average person in the US, its still inconceivable someone of her caste would be treated like that in India. The whole caste thing is still pretty prevalent.

Her and her family are filthy rich, and according to some articles, they were involved in some kind of housing fraud but got away with it.


Actually, it's a little more complex. Among other details in the building scam (one of them - there are more than one) are that she and her family qualified for it as a dalit. Caste isn't as big in this at all so much as sheer power/money and the idea that I'm pretty sure she believed, her father believed and all the people outraged about it believe that she DID have diplomatic immunity and a rising tide in India where people feel India is being treated poorly (especially in comparison to China) by the US. You'll see it in the comments all over the place.

Tack on that strip searching is this big "thing" (not just for higher-caste) for "hardened criminals" as opposed to just being standard procedure to prevent things like weapons going into prisons.

There was some outrage a while back about some Walmart planning to open in India (something about small shopkeepers which is frankly bullshit for reasons I can go into if you'd like), some stuff about US companies exploting workers in the subcontinent etc. and I'm pretty sure the politicians are trying to ride off that.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Brekkie » Thu Dec 19, 2013 8:56 pm

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby cdan » Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:14 am

Never mind bird flu, its affluenza that's sweeping the world.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:12 am

cdan wrote:Never mind bird flu, its affluenza that's sweeping the world.


A judge will be more lenient on you if you got affluenza, and melanin deficiency, than if you got brokeitis.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Sat Dec 21, 2013 3:36 pm

http://www.dw.de/snowden-ally-appelbaum ... a-17315069

Not Helping, guys.

This is one of those cases where I want more Snowden leaks, out of spite.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Darielle » Mon Dec 23, 2013 1:12 am

Brekkie wrote:http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/outrage-and-overreaction/article5474979.ece

indian op-ed


http://www.firstpost.com/world/indias-d ... 01033.html

"Further it is economical in addressing the allegation by Mr. Bharara’s team that under the contract she signed with Ms. Richard (the servant) and submitted to the State Department to obtain an A-3 ‘domestic worker visa’ she had promised the equivalent of $9.75."

This, of course, the diplomat did not intend to pay and did not in fact pay.

Writing for Hindustan Times, former foreign secretary Kanwal Sibal said the Americans should have continued to let Indians abuse the law: "There is much chicanery involved here. Indian diplomats taking domestic staff to the US accept the minimum wage requirement when all concerned, including the US visa services and the State Department, know this is done pro-forma to have the paper work in order. To imagine that the US authorities are duped into believing that our diplomats will pay their domestic staff more than what they earn is absurd. The US authorities have been clearing such visas for years to practically resolve the contradiction between reality and the letter of the law."

On another note, I didn't even know that THESE existed:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/indi ... 763592.cms

But the comments on that are beyond stupid.

"USA was the 1 st country to use nuclear bombs in Japan Now they are forcing other countries to stop nuclear projects Its like saying you don't eat I have eaten and am full !!!!! Now they have let off a Diplomat who has committed a crime. Why have double standards ?? This hypocrite policy should not be tolerated and all nations of the word should not tolerate such BULL !!!"

Like .... wat ....
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Fri Dec 27, 2013 10:15 am

Klaudandus wrote:
Paxen wrote:
Klaudandus wrote:That said, the electronic surveillance is so incredibly easy to defeat, provided you want to put in the effort -- just look at General Van Riper's tactics in the Millenium Challenge 2002, where he defeated the opposing team by using non-electronic means of communication -- The judges of the war game had to rewrite the rules in order to restrict what Van Riper could and could not do in order to defeat him the 2nd time around.


Yikes, that's an awesome/terryfying story. The bit about communications isn't the critical part, though - the important stuff seems to be that carriers can't dodge, can't take a hit (and their defenses can be saturated by low tech attacks) and that attacks are too reliant on electronic signatures to find targets (a carrier can't go dark, a cruise missile site doesn't need an electronic signature). Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennium_Challenge_2002 (And a random angry blog post: http://www.exile.ru/articles/detail.php ... =35&PAGE=1)


Yep. I know most people overlook the communications part, but not me. It shows what you can do when you don't rely on electronics. Heck, you can openly communicate on a CB radio and still defeat it provided you use something as simple as a Book Cipher. To make things interesting, you could probably have a set rotation of book ciphers. Takes a lot of effort, but without the context, the message is useless to anyone else that is on the wire listening to it.

Electronic encryption right now is meaningless seeing that the standard in use was compromised since its implementation.
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The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) paid $10 million to vendor RSA in a “secret” deal to incorporate a deliberately flawed encryption algorithm into widely used security software, according to a Reuters report that is reigniting controversy about the government’s involvement in setting security standards.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:41 am

Klaudandus wrote:http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/12/16/judge-deals-nsa-defeat-on-bulk-phone-collection/


http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/28/us/ns ... .html?_r=0

A federal judge in New York on Friday ruled that the National Security Agency’s program that is systematically keeping phone records of all Americans is lawful, creating a conflict among lower courts and increasing the likelihood that the issue will be resolved by the Supreme Court.


Some judges ruled against the NSA, others in favor of it. Time for some Supreme Court action!
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Amirya » Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:23 pm

I've read a couple of different articles about the previous ruling, and now I'm utterly confused.

Pauley apparently writes that there's no evidence that the NSA uses the bulk metadata for anything other than disrupting terrorism.

Leon apparently writes that there's no evidence that the NSA uses the bulk metadata to disrupt terrorism.

What the hell? So is the NSA disrupting terrorism with the metadata or not? If no, why the hell not? If yes, where's the evidence - hell, what are the stats on how many plans have been disrupted since, oh, 01/01/2013?
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Nooska » Sat Dec 28, 2013 8:15 am

Sound slike its simply a pro/anti NSA ruling - it seems to be he same argument, just differing judgements on it.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Paxen » Sat Dec 28, 2013 9:43 am

Simple, the NSA doesn't use it for anything! They just keep it around for a rainy day.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Nooska » Sat Dec 28, 2013 1:22 pm

But isn't the hallenge in collecting it (rather than using it)? (Unlawful search I'm guessing).

Of course, fruit of the poisoned tree ins't a deterrant for the NSA, since nothing they would actually act on would ever see the inside of an US courtroom anyway.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Sun Dec 29, 2013 7:59 am

Somehow I missed these

http://www.spiegel.de/international/wor ... 40135.html
http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013 ... mmissioner

And I'm sorry but...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-glas ... 90948.html
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/201309 ... rism.shtml
http://rt.com/news/nsa-leaks-mexico-government-458/
(From oldest to newest)

Let me rehash again that it would be much easier to swallow the whole NSA spies to keep us safe from horrible Al-Qaeda if it wasn't so grossly invested in state sanctioned corporate espionage on the side.

and just for lulzy
http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-d ... -non-guilt
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Fri Jan 17, 2014 5:50 am

So there's this

http://timesfreepress.com/news/2014/jan ... tennessee/

The legislation would ban new health insurance exchanges established under the law. So far, more than 36,000 Tennesseans have signed up for coverage under the exchanges. More than 2 million people had enrolled through the end of the year, according to the most recent nationwide statistics.

but with the law of unintended consequences (although since its a republican, might be intended after all...)

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20140 ... ck_check=1

That could cause immediate problems for TennCare. Since Jan. 1, the state’s Medicaid program has been using HealthCare.gov to sign up new enrollees until a new state-run website is completed.

And then this

http://www.nashvillescene.com/pitw/arch ... cal-center

Since the law "empowers the General Assembly to enact sanctions, fines and penalties for violation of the proposed law and gives the state’s Attorney General the right to file a lawsuit against violators," will hospitals have to figure out not only if patients have insurance but how they got it before they risk treating them?
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fivelives » Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:08 pm

I was at work the other day and of course we have to have Faux News Network playing 24/7. No idea why - I've complained endlessly about it - but the talking heads were going on and on about how Obamacare is illegal.

I just wanted to mail them a letterbomb full of anthrax and radioactive waste with a little letter in it that says "Obamacare IS A LAW. Laws, by their very definition, cannot be illegal, especially since the United States Supreme Court already ruled the legislation passed constitutional muster."

Seriously, is there any way to get administration to stop turning the waiting room televisions to 24 hour news channels? I work 12+ hour shifts, Teh Stupidz is starting to give me migraines. I'd much rather watch NCIS marathons, or even the lifetime movie channel, or ANYTHING but news networks.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby KysenMurrin » Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:46 pm

What's the situation with licensing fees for public broadcasting? Could be restrictions what they can show.
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