The power of III

Summum ius summa iniuria--More law, less justice

22 June 2011

Update for previous post: US Airways very particular about whom they harass

Six days before a college football player was arrested at San Francisco International Airport in a dispute that began when a US Airways employee asked him to pull up his sagging pants, a man who was wearing little but women's undergarments was allowed to fly the airline, a US Airways spokeswoman conceded Tuesday.
A photo of the scantily clad man was provided to The Chronicle by Jill Tarlow, a passenger on the June 9 flight from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Phoenix. Tarlow said other passengers had complained to airline workers before the plane boarded, but that employees had ignored those complaints.

Acceptable airline attire.
Jill Tarlow
Acceptable airline attire.

US Airways spokeswoman Valerie Wunder confirmed she'd received the photo before last week's incident in San Francisco and had spoken to Tarlow, but said employees had been correct not to ask the man to cover himself.
"We don't have a dress code policy," Wunder said. "Obviously, if their private parts are exposed, that's not appropriate. ... So if they're not exposing their private parts, they're allowed to fly."

So, does that mean Deshon Marman, the University of New Mexico player yanked from an Albuquerque-bound flight June 15 at SFO, was displaying his private parts when his pajama pants sagged to mid-thigh level?

Wunder declined to comment on the incident directly. Police have said only that Marman's boxer shorts were exposed, and his attorney said surveillance video would prove Marman's skin had not been visible.

Police arrested Marman, 20, who grew up in San Francisco, after he allegedly refused an US Airways employee's request to pull up his pants to keep his underwear from showing. Marman's later refusal to comply with the pilot's orders to get up from his seat led to his arrest on suspicion of trespassing, battery and resisting arrest, police said. The San Mateo County district attorney has not determined whether he will charge Marman.

Read more:

Another ridiculous case of authorities harassing an individual for no reason

Passengers evacuated when citizen stands up for his rights to wear pajama pants onto aircraft, and the crew takes exception, and calls the cops. The guy is a college football player at University of New Mexico on full athletic scholarship.

Link to
Thank G-d for YouTube.

WTF? This aint the America I grew up in!

Yankees in Washington State:

People who hope to beat the summer heat by swimming, floating or boating on rivers in King County must wear a life vest or face an $86  fine.

A divided County Council on Monday passed a personal flotation device ordinance by a five to four vote. Opponents said it was an intrusive move by "big government."

"This Council sometimes thinks it's everybody's mom," said Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, who voted "no."
Supporters said the new rule will save lives.

Baaaaahh! All you sheep!!
Don't forget your life vest!!

The law appears to be the first of its kind in the state. Staff with the Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington said Kitsap and Clark counties had rules about people wearing life vests while on sail boards, water scooters and other water craft, but it didn't appear any other county required swimmers to wear the  devices.

link to article

21 June 2011

Sotheby's to auction major artifacts of the War Between the States

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee characterized Virginias Civil War secession as a revolution and President Abraham Lincoln uncharacteristically scolded a couple for their lack of loyalty to the Union cause in letters scheduled to be sold at auction.
The letters, along with a trove of Civil War treasures that includes the opera glasses Lincoln carried into Fords Theatre the night of his assassination, will be up for bidding Friday at Sothebys, the New York auction house.

The opera glasses could fetch up to $700,000. The Lincoln letter, which was never mailed, is notable for its fiery tone and Lees because it lays bare the gravity of his decision to stand by his beloved Virginia as it bolted from the North.
Lee and Lincoln were among the defining personalities of the Civil War, which is being recalled during 150th anniversary commemorations.

This image provided by Sotheby's shows a rare Second National Confederate Flag from the CSS Alabama, held by family tradition to be the flag struck during the June 19, 1864 battle with the USS Kearsarge. it is among several items that will be up for bidding Friday, June 17, 2011 at Sotheby's in New York, along with a trove of  Civil War artifacts. (AP Photo/Sotheby's)

This image provided by Sotheby's shows a pair of German opera glasses carried by President Lincoln at the April, 14, 1865 performance of Our American Cousin at Ford's Theatre - the evening he was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth. The glasses, which have a pre-sale estimate of up to $700,000, will go up for bidding Friday, June 17, 2011 at Sotheby's in New York, along with a trove of Civil War artifacts. (AP Photo/Sotheby's)

Hmmm....can't resist impulse....trying, trying,....oh heck:

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

George Carlin break

Today an anonymous commenter left this comment on one of my previous posts  :
"Real shit."

I wasn't sure what he meant, but it reminded me of this great Carlin routine. 

Maybe that commenter will read this and explain to me which way he meant...

So! Now the word shit is okay for the man. At work you can say it like crazy. Mostly figuratively, Get that shit out of here, will ya? I don't want to see that shit anymore. I can't cut that shit, buddy. I've had that shit up to here. I think you're full of shit myself.  He don't know shit from Shinola, you know that?  Always wondered how the Shinola people felt about that. Hi, I'm the new man from Shinola, Hi, how are ya? Nice to see ya. How are ya?
 Boy, I don't know whether to shit or wind my watch. Guess, I'll shit on my watch.
 Oh,the shit is going to hit de fan.
 Built like a brick shit-house.
 Up, he's up shit's creek. He's had it.  He hit me, I'm sorry.
 Hot shit, holy shit, tough shit, eat shit, shit-eating grin. Uh, whoever thought of that was ill.  He had a shit - eating grin!He had a what?
 Shit on a stick.
 Shit in a handbag. I always like that. He ain't worth shit in a handbag.
Shitty. He acted real shitty. You know what I mean? I got the money back, but a real shitty attitude.
 Heh,he had a shit-fit. Wow! Shit-fit. Whew! Glad I wasn't there.
All the animals--Bull shit, horseshit, cow shit, rat shit, bat shit.First time I heard bat shit, I really came apart. A guy in Oklahoma, Boggs, said it, man. Aw! Bat shit. Vera reminded me of that last night, ah.
 Snake shit, slicker than owl shit.
 Get your shit together.
 Shit or get off the pot.
 I got a shit - load full of them.  I got a shit-pot full, all right.
Shit-head, shit-heel, shit in your heart, shit for brains, shit-face, heh! I always try to think how that could have originated; the first guy that said that. Somebody got drunk and fell in some shit, you know.
 Hey, I'm shit-face.  Shit-face, today. 
 Anyway, enough of that shit. 

Bitcoin: Hacked from Hong Kong IP address, prompting flashcrash of value.

Verbatim post, from


The Bitcoin Nightmare

Here's a replay (via Bob Murphy) of the bitcoin flash-crash recorded in real time. Bitcoins went from $17.00 to 1 cent:

The crash occurred because of a hack of one of the bitcoin dealers, Mt Gox.

Below is a part of the post-hack reports that
Mt. Gox has put out:
Huge Bitcoin sell off due to a compromised account
One account with a lot of coins was compromised and whoever stole it (using a HK based IP to login) first sold all the coins in there, to buy those again just after, and then tried to withdraw the coins. The $1000/day withdraw limit was active for this account and the hacker could only get out with $1000 worth of coins...

Service will not be back before June 20th 11:00am (JST, 02:00am GMT). This may be delayed depending on what is found during the investigation...

[Update - 2:06 GMT] What we know and what is being done.
•It appears that someone who performs audits on our system and had read-only access to our database had their computer compromised. This allowed for someone to pull our database. The site was not compromised with a SQL injection as many are reporting, so in effect the site was not hacked.
•Two months ago we migrated from MD5 hashing to freeBSD MD5 salted hashing. The unsalted user accounts in the wild are ones that haven't been accessed in over 2 months and are considered idle. Once we are back up we will have implemented SHA-512 multi-iteration salted hashing and all users will be required to update to a new strong password.
•We have been working with Google to ensure any gmail accounts associated with Mt.Gox user accounts have been locked and need to be reverified.
•Mt.Gox will continue to be offline as we continue our investigation, at this time we are pushing it to 8:00am GMT.
•When Mt.Gox comes back online, we will be putting all users through a new security measure to authenticate the users. This will be a mix of matching the last IP address that accessed the account, verifying their email address, account name and old password. Users will then be prompted to enter in a new strong password.
•Once Mt.Gox is back online, trades 218869~222470 will be reverted.

If you receive ANY email which seems coming from Mt.Gox asking you to download something (certificate, generating program, etc), DO NOT DOWNLOAD. Do not either input your password on any site which is not MTGOX.COM.

[Update - 6:30 GMT] Still here. Still working hard to get things online.
•SHA-512 multi-iteration salted hashing is in enabled and ready for when we get users reactivating their accounts
•We are going to push our relaunch time to 2:00am GMT tomorrow so we have time to launch a our new backend and withdraw passwords.
Thanks to everyone sending the supportive emails and our extremely patient users
[Update - 12:52 GMT] Account recovery page will be up tomorrow morning (Japan time)
We have almost completed the account recovery page and are waiting for result to unit tests and intrusion tests (and more than anything, don't want to put something online and go to sleep just after, best way to get screwed), so the page will be put online tomorrow morning.

It will allow every user to claim ownership of their account based on proof such as deposits, withdraws, password (if complex enough), email or notarized documentation.

Once it is deemed enough users had the chance to get their account back, the exchange will be open again (opening time will be announced at least 24 hours in advance). It will still be possible to file claims for user accounts after this.

I had been very tempted by Bitcoin previously;  scared off for now...

No double standard: Walter Williams on black racism.

The late South African economist William Hutt, in his 1964 book, The Economics of the Colour Bar, said that one of the supreme tragedies of the human condition is that those who have been the victims of injustices and oppression "can often be observed to be inflicting not dissimilar injustices upon other races."

Born in 1936, I've lived through some of our openly racist history, which has included racist insults, beatings and lynchings. Tuskegee Institute records show that between the years 1880 and 1951, 3,437 blacks and 1,293 whites were lynched. I recall my cousin's and my being chased out of Fishtown and Grays Ferry, two predominantly Irish Philadelphia neighborhoods, in the 1940s, not stopping until we reached a predominantly black North or South Philly neighborhood.

Today all that has changed. Most racist assaults are committed by blacks. What's worse is there're blacks, still alive, who lived through the times of lynching, Jim Crow laws and open racism who remain silent in the face of it.

Read America's New Racists at LewRockwell

20 June 2011

Supreme Court decision: No right to counsel for civil matters. Welcome to debtor's prison 2.0

Verbatim quote:

The United States Supreme Court just ruled that an individual facing civil commitment for failure to pay child support doesn’t not have an automatic right to a lawyer.
The 14th Amendment’s due process clause allows a state to provide fewer procedural protections to civil contempt defendants than in a criminal case, which is governed by the Sixth Amendment,” said Justice Stephen Breyer.

As someone who has arrested and caused the imprisonment of quite a few people for child support warrants, two questions always floated in my mind.

First, it costs a county roughly $30,000 a year to imprison someone.  That’s about $82 a day.  During this time the individual obviously cannot work, find work, or do anything productive.  The children the individual is supposed to be supporting isn’t receiving any money either.  Wouldn’t that $82/day better be spent feeding, clothing, or housing a child?

Second, civil commitment for child support really is a debtor prison.  Didn’t this country allegedly abolished them in the 1800′s?

link here.


Wikipedia entry for Debtor's Prison, United States:

United States

In 1833 the United States abolished Federal imprisonment for unpaid debts,[5] and most states outlawed the practice around the same time.[6][7] Before then, the use of debtor's prisons was widespread; signatories to the Declaration of Independence, James Wilson and Robert Morris were both later incarcerated, as were 2,000 New Yorkers annually by 1816. Henry Lee III, better known as Light-Horse Harry Lee, a Revolutionary War general, former governor of Virginia, and father of Robert E. Lee, was imprisoned for debt between 1808 and 1809.[8] Sometimes, imprisonment would result from less than sixty cents' worth of debt.[9]

Six states (Arkansas, Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, and Washington) allow debt collectors to seek arrest warrants for debtors in default if all other collection methods have failed. Whether a debtor will actually be prosecuted or not varies from state to state, county to county, and town to town. The individual is taken into custody and is typically required to submit financial documentation to the courts (to facilitate seizure of assets or wage garnishment), although in some cases the individual may be held indefinitely until a payment plan is reached or the debt is paid in full, especially if the individual is insolvent.[10] Other states have outlawed this type of collection action (Tennessee and Oklahoma have ruled it unconstitutional).[11] unless the court finds that the debtor actually possesses the means to pay—except in the case of child support obligations.[12][13][14]

Most state constitutions, including Minnesota's, have clauses dating to the 1850s that expressly prohibit the jailing of people for their debts. [15] Some people[13] make the claim that it is unconstitutional in the United States to incarcerate someone solely for failing to pay a debt. However, there is little settled law on this matter and plenty of precedent for de facto debtors' prisons.[12][13][14]