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    • CommentAuthorroadscum
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2012
    Eeep! Fortunately for me, Essex and the south east of England are not noted for their snow covered mountain roads.
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2012
    @Vorn - I have no problem with the 'appeal to ridicule' example they're giving though.
  1.  (10575.3)
    What could I say? I guess we have another hire whether he’s qualified or not. Here’s the bottom line: My ability to select the best candidates for our positions has been irreparably compromised by looking into their private lives. I’ve been “tainted” by knowledge of their sexual orientation, illnesses, religion, political affiliations, and other factors that expose us to anti-discrimination legislation. We can't even claim that the employee improperly disclosed these matters to us, as we are the ones initiating the investigation of their private doings.
  2.  (10575.4)
    @Vornaskotti - re: the argument wallchart, I particularly like that the "novelty" item has the Apple Logo as its symbol.
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2012
    @Si - although, that example does fall foul of at least two of the other fallacies shown there. I'm also slightly bothered by the slight bias towards using examples that atheists seem to use frequently.
  3.  (10575.6)

    What in the good godammit ugh motherFUCK.

    I'm constantly confused by people's reactions by the fact that when you go to jail you get strip-searched. I just assumed everyone knew that was standard procedure. It actually exists for a reason, and no, not just any cop can strip search a person for just any reason, that's not what that ruling says. There are some shitty articles out there, with shitty headlines, trying to cause fear and anger over a very serious policy that exists for safety reasons. My biggest issue with this has been, and continues to be, is the guy behind this suit was wrongfully arrested. THIS is a much bigger deal. Inmates right to privacy? Not so much.

    If anyone needs to ask questions about this kind of thing, to someone who knows a little something about the subject, feel free to ask.
    • CommentAuthorOxbrow
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2012
    From the Ellis Twitter: Everything old is new again: "trans-oceanic tubes" are "back".

    Yes, visiting family in Australia will only take two and a half hours if (a) they ever build this massive global engineering project and (b) I don't mind being fired along a railgun at 4000 miles per hour. I can see two problems with this already.
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2012
    @Govspy, the issue isn't prison, it's jail. It's when you get arrested for any small infraction and get held at a police station, you can be strip-searched. Prison? Prison makes sense to me.
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2012
    @ dorkmuffin

    Honestly, jail makes sense to me. If you're in jail, the police have presumably executed a proper arrest warrant against you and have satisfied due process that they can detain you against your will. So you have, through due process, had some of your normal rights as a citizen (ie, freedom of movement) reduced or removed temporarily. It seems only reasonable that your expectation of privacy will also be reduced, up to and including strip searches.
  4.  (10575.10)
    @Oxbrow: I can visit family in Australia a lot faster than that. It's just a matter of clever engineering: I live in Australia, near my family.

    I guess this is why I can never throw anything away. It's because I already live in Away.
  5.  (10575.11)

    I fail to see a distinction. If god forbid, I or anyone I knew were locked up behind bars for any amount of time, I'd like to know the officers did everything in their power to remove the chance of the other people locked up having weapons. We know inmates can make their own knives, etc, but I think it's useful knowing that they're not bringing in large amounts of drugs, or even (as recently we've seen) putting a gun up their ass. That guy was arrested on a minor traffic infraction.

    People are saying that some offenses are so minor that they shouldn't require being strip searched. That's like telling people we're going to be giving certain inmates free passes to bring in shit. Unless somehow you're keeping those people locked up in a different area, maybe I could see that; like the drunk tank. But since drunks are at a high risk of suicide in jail, that might not be a good idea.

    Also, some people are mules, and deliberately get arrested to smuggle things into county. This helps fight that. Arrest, and being held without bail means a reduction in rights. You are not free to go, being the most obvious. The right to privacy is non-existent in jail. Obviously, bad cops abuse laws and need to be held accountable. Goes without saying, or at least it should be. But laws like this are in place for one reason: to protect the inmates and staff in the prison. If it makes people uncomfortable, shucks guys, I'm sorry. But it helps people not get stabbed as much, and I'm always going to be in favor of people being stabbed less often.
    • CommentAuthorWood
    • CommentTimeApr 4th 2012
    In France, since last year, they stopped systematically strip-searching people put in police custody (that's people locked in a cell at the police station for up to 48 hours, while being questioned. They are not in contact with other inmates). There was no increase in violence, mutilations, suicides or other incidents. Source : Procureur Molins (a procureur is the French equivalent of a district attorney) in a conference about police custody that was live-tweeted by prominent lawyer blogger "Maitre Eolas" yesterday.
    • CommentAuthorWood
    • CommentTimeApr 4th 2012
    Meanwhile... Night in the cells accidentally became two years in solitary

    Stephen Slevin was driving along a rural highway in southern New Mexico in August 2005 when traffic police pulled him over and arrested him on suspicion of drink-driving, along with a string of other motoring offences.

    By the time all of the charges against him were dismissed and Mr Slevin was released from custody, it was 2007. For reasons that remain unclear, officials had forced him to spend the intervening two years in solitary confinement.

    During the ordeal, he claims to have been denied access to basic washing facilities for months at a time. He'd lost a third of his body weight, grown a beard down to his chest and was suffering from bed sores. Prison officials had also ignored his pleas to see a dentist, forcing him to pull out his own tooth. They declined other requests for attention, including an audience with a mental health professional. He duly became delirious and says that by the time of his release he'd "been driven mad".
  6.  (10575.14)
    Seems strip searching new prisoners is standard practice in the UK -- although, interestingly, they seem to remain half clothed throughout...
  7.  (10575.15)
    /end thread derail

    Sorry had to vent folks, been reading too many facebook comments re: the strip searching news articles.
  8.  (10575.16)
    Remember that Georgia senator that compared women to livestock? It was during discussion of a proposed bill to criminalize abortions after 20 weeks. And it just passed.
    • CommentAuthorMrMonk
    • CommentTimeApr 4th 2012 edited
    Robot Evolution

    My niece worked in the author's lab for several years. I'll be checking to see if she's mentioned in his book.
    • CommentTimeApr 4th 2012
    @GovSpy, you and I have completely different perspectives on this, and that's totally fine. I DO agree with you on the prison thing. It's of the utmost importance to me that the US Prison system (which is its own kind of interesting and unique and special) remains as safe as possible.

    I just take issue with being able to order strip searches on any minor arrest because I frankly don't have all that much faith in the abilities of our police officers to not abuse the power. And maybe that's just me being incredibly pessimistic, but I think that's fine. Just two different world-views is all.
  9.  (10575.19)
    Hm, could be that quite a bit of the sound and fury over this comes from the startling frequency of mass arrests at Occupy protests and the almost biweekly emergence now of some sort of police brutality/mishandling scandal. I actually don't disagree with anything GovSpy says* in the abstract, but when you consider this decision in light of the other recent events it gets a whole lot scarier.

    Of course, maybe the solution isn't to be up in arms about this decision but to be up in arms about the other ways in which the police in a lot of areas seem to be systematically failing the whole serve and protect/don't abuse power/&c. thing. Or, perhaps targeting the politicians who keep writing laws that encourage and often demand what we see as abuse of power. The Supreme Court is an easy target for anger here, but I'm not sure that makes them the best one, and I say that as someone uncomfortable with the ruling myself.

    *In part because, well, this is his field, and I'm just an art historian. The hell do I know?
  10.  (10575.20)