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Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

This week, our first place winner on the insightful side is Qwertygiy responding piece-by-piece to a commenter who was rabidly defending the CBP’s constitution-free zones:

Alright, let’s go step by step.

Controlling borders is a big part of national defense.

Absolutely correct. If you don’t exert any amount of control over who comes in and out of your country, you don’t really have a country. You can’t determine where your citizens are, or even who your citizens are.

There’s also the Coast Guard always on patrol, besides Navy at times.

Not quite the same as the CBP. The Coast Guard and the Navy operate outside the actual coastline borders of the United States. It is much, much, much more difficult for them to intercept a US citizen who is proceeding directly from one point in the country to another the way that the mentioned CBP officers do. They are much more akin to airport security than the CBP, because the only place that there is a lane that they can block, is at the ports.

The border has been determined to be a necessary transition zone

As stated above, it certainly is important to exercise control over what crosses your border…

as EVERY country practices

…but not every country does, no. The Schengen Area in Europe has practically no border control as far as people go. Once you’re inside the European Union, you’re inside the European Union. You don’t need an extra check to get from Germany to France.

and while extended powers the 100 mile range inside it seems extreme

Whoa, whoa, whoa. It’s absolutely extreme. Now we’re not talking about the border anymore. The border is the edge of the nation, with no physical width. Not 100 miles inland. If we were talking about state borders instead of the nation’s border, that would mean that the entire states of Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia consist of nothing but their border! South Carolina would have about 20 square miles in the city of Columbia that are not part of the border! Georgia would have a similarly sized pocket east of Macon, and Arkansas would only have a 10-by-10 spot north of Conway! A little patch of forest would be the only free space in Idaho! That’s how huge of a constitutionally-ignoring zone we’re talking about here.

it’s clearly necessary too.

I very, very highly doubt this.

How is the border patrol more effective — necessary amounts of more effective — when it is spread out over 100 miles instead of stationed within a more reasonable amount, like 2 miles of the border? Even 5? How many more people have they caught improperly entering the US after they’ve already gotten 50 miles inland? And how many of those that they did, might have been stopped earlier if the border patrol had increased their density by moving closer to the border they’re patrolling?

No. Do you locks on your house and car, snowflake? Same principle.

I think you misunderstood his question. If every law in the US is given the force of law via the constitution… and the CBP is given power by the laws of the US… then the CBP’s power comes from the constitution. And if the constitution has no power 100 miles from the border… the CBP has no power 100 miles from the border, either.

As far as locking my house, I don’t know about you, but I put a lock and doorbell on the outside doors, not 10 feet inside the house. I don’t need to lock the kitchen door or put a doorbell on my bathroom door.

TL:DR; Control of the border is important. 100 miles inland is not the border.

In second place, we’ve got a response from Fat Man & Ribbon to the insane prosecution of Justin Carter for terroristic threats:

Interesting how they nab the joker while ignoring the mass murderer.

Almost every time there is a mass shooting, authorities claim they were aware of the individual …. but did nothing. Why is this acceptable behavior?

For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we start with a response from PaulT to the idea that pre-digital publishing proves Section 230 is unnecessary:

“How did society using PRINT work?”

By having a very limited amount of content and significant costs associated with printing and distributing everything they prints, on a one-off, daily, weekly, monthly, whatever schedule. The staff working for the publication are responsible for creating all content, except for a small amount of curated user content. This allows for humans to effectively edit and check all content, and realistically have a single human editor in place who is responsible for all content.

None of this is possible, or even desirable, in an online system where thousands of pages of content can be generated by people who are not employed or edited in any way by the publisher before publication. It’s a fundamentally different paradigm, and must therefore be treated differently. Section 230 offers one very simple rule, but one that is vital for online publications to operate with user generated content – the people who wrote the content are responsible for what’s in it, not the website they wrote it on. This isn’t that much different from the print days, in fairness, it’s just that the publication don’t employ the people who generate the content like they did in the old days, so they must be protected.

As usual, you’d be much less of an obnoxious angry fool if you bothered to learn the fundamental nature of what you complain about.

Next, we’ve got a short and sweet anonymous response to the senator who proposed fining social media companies for not removing bots fast enough:

I wonder if the senator would feel the same way if political robocalls were defined as bots.

Over on the funny side, our first place winner is David with a response to our assertion that violent video games don’t make people violent, but they do make politicians stupid:

Can we please stop blaming video games for preexisting conditions? Pretty please?

Thank you.

In second place, we’ve got an anonymous comment about the NRA’s praise of Ajit Pai for killing net neutrality:

Dan Schneider actually made a lot more comments about how heroic Ajit Pai is, but if you want to read or watch them you need to upgrade to the Xfinity FREEDOM Package for another $5.99 a month.

For editor’s choice on the funny side, we start out with a response to that second place winner, in which another anonymous commenter made a correction:

Don’t be absurd. $5.99 was last month’s price. Now it’s $29.99 a month.

And finally, we’ve got one more comment about the CBP, this time from Michael who proposed an important addition to the generous border zones:

If you live more than 25 miles from an airport and more than 100 miles from a border, you are clearly intentionally trying to avoid the constitution-free zone and therefore suspicious enough for the US government to get a warrant to search you and your property.

That’s all for this week, folks!

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Author: Leigh Beadon

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