Hans leads police to Nina's body - Mandriva

This is a discussion on Hans leads police to Nina's body - Mandriva ; On Wednesday 09 July 2008 20:11, someone who identifies as *Dan C* wrote in /alt.os.linux.mandriva:/ > On Wed, 09 Jul 2008 08:27:42 +0200, Aragorn wrote: > >>>> Yep, read about it this morning. Seems I was wrong in my assumption ...

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Thread: Hans leads police to Nina's body

  1. Re: Hans leads police to Nina's body

    On Wednesday 09 July 2008 20:11, someone who identifies as *Dan C* wrote in /alt.os.linux.mandriva:/

    > On Wed, 09 Jul 2008 08:27:42 +0200, Aragorn wrote:
    >
    >>>> Yep, read about it this morning. Seems I was wrong in my assumption of
    >>>> his innocence. Still, I think that it must have been a case of
    >>>> manslaughter rather than premeditated murder, though.

    >
    >>> Why would you "think" that? Why "must" it have been manslaughter
    >>> rather than premeditated? Do you have evidence that the trial did
    >>> not have?

    >
    >> Let's just say that I have reason to believe that the trial (and the
    >> investigations leading /to/ the trial) did not proceed as unbiased as
    >> it(/they) should have.

    >
    > Unless you were there for the trial, conducted the interviews, and had
    > access to the entire evidence inventory, you do NOT have "reason to
    > believe" that.


    Evidence as was available was presented in court and reported by the
    sources through which I have kept at current with the proceedings at
    the trial.

    > You are basing your "reason to believe" on biased news reporting,
    > obviously unofficial blogs, and third-hand gossip.


    I don't see any bias whatsoever in a literal summary of who showed up
    when, was wearing what and said what - as quoted literally. I also
    don't think that a reporter live-blogging from the courtroom via a
    laptop and a wireless connection would have had any time to insert any
    bias in his reporting.

    > None of those are legally solid enough to provide actual "reason to
    > believe".


    Neither did the evidence as presented in court, as noted by the judge
    and as admitted to by the District Attorney. It was all circumstantial,
    and the fact that at least one - and if I remember correct two - judge(s)
    refused to precede over the case on the grounds that the evidence itself
    wouldn't stand in court says enough.

    My opinion that the trial against Hans Reiser was a lucky strike is based
    upon my own interpretation of literal quotes and unbiased reporting
    whatsoever - show me one instance where the reporter displayed any bias
    _in_ _favor_ _of_ _Reiser_ and I'll buy you a case of beer.

    Source #1:
    http://www.sfchroniclemarketplace.co...id=37&auth=230

    Source #2:
    http://www.wired.com

    Hans Reiser is guilty of having caused the death of his wife; this is now
    a given since he admitted to having killed her and has lead the police to
    the place where he buried her remains, but all throughout the trial there
    was a very reasonable doubt on whether Hans Reiser had even killed her -
    or whether she was even dead in the first place, as she could just as well
    have been abducted - not to mention on whether it was premeditated murder,
    second degree murder or manslaughter in the event that he had indeed killed
    her.

    Naturally, and specifically given the poor evidence against Reiser, the
    District Attorney would go for murder in the first degree. That is after
    all standard procedure if the defendant persists at pleading not guilty and
    won't strike a plea bargain with the District Attorney's Office. And so
    that's what Paul Hora was pleading to the jury, and that is what the jury
    eventually concluded, as the path of a possible voluntary or involuntary
    manslaughter was never explored in court.

    > Sorry, no insult intended, but that's how it is.


    No, that's how *you* interpret what _I_ have said. I believe I've made myself
    more clear in the above paragraphs, and I am supplying you with the sources
    of information which have lead me to conclude that the trial did not go by
    as it should have - both from the prosecution's side and from the defense's
    side.

    --
    *Aragorn*
    (registered GNU/Linux user #223157)

  2. Re: Hans leads police to Nina's body

    On Wed, 09 Jul 2008, in the Usenet newsgroup alt.os.linux.mandriva, in article
    , Aragorn wrote:

    >*Moe Trin* wrote


    >> Where those sources you used either official, or a reasonably
    >> unbiased source like 'Court TV' or one of the less unbiased, but
    >> _relatively_ balanced two newspapers (Oakland Tribune or San
    >> Francisco Chronicle)?

    >
    >One of them was Henry K. Lee's blog and I believe he was from one of those
    >two newspapers/agencies.


    Lee is a stringer for the SF Comical - he wouldn't be making false
    statements, but he isn't the court reporter, nor is he completely
    unbiased. His job is to write material that sells newspapers.

    >The other one was from a website called Threat Level.


    Sorry - I don't do anonymous posters.

    >This has happened. There were many accounts of either attorney
    >objecting and of the judge calling them both to the bench or even in
    >his office in mid-trial. In the end however, DuBois' objections were
    >mainly overruled,


    That's not totally unusual. Defense will usually grab at every straw
    they see - their job is to get the defendant off free. The prosecution
    doesn't have the same incentive, but they will protest when they see
    the need.

    [O.J. Simpson's legal fun]

    >Okay, you have me at a disadvantage here. I don't know all the details
    >of the American legal system


    Two types of court - criminal and civil. Criminal is where you may be
    tried for violating a law - such as murder or driving to fast. The
    defendant is on one side, and the government is on the other. In a jury
    trial, the entire jury has to agree that without a doubt, the defendant
    is guilty. In a _civil_ case Party A was wronged by Party B, and is
    seeking relief from Party B (so Party A files suit - sues - Party B,
    which often means seeking monetary reward from Party B). In MOST cases,
    the government isn't involved (other than supplying the courtroom and
    judge). The case is decided by a majority vote. This means it's a lot
    easier to gain a decision, as you don't have to _prove_ beyond any
    doubt, but merely have to convince a majority. That was O.J.'s problem.

    Assuming a jury trial (not all trials have juries), the people on the
    the jury are lectured by all three sides - defense, prosecution, and the
    judge (and members of his staff) that they must ONLY make a decision
    based on the evidence presented. If they can't do this, they are not
    selected to be on this jury. While the prosecutor and defense attorney
    (and their staffs) try to see that the defendant and any witnesses are
    presentable, it's what they say/present while under oath that counts,
    and the jury is usually instructed to ignore other things. If the
    defendant is being a problem and the judge agrees, the defendant MAY
    be put in a separate room, and view the proceedings over closed-circuit
    television - the jury seeing/hearing from the defendant if needed also
    by closed-circuit TV.

    This jury took three days of deliberation to return a verdict. During
    those three days, they were not playing cards, or watching the ball
    games. They talk - a lot - and try to agree what happened based on the
    evidence presented. If there is even a _hint_ that they did something
    else, we get a mis-trial and we get to replay the game with a new jury.

    Criminal trials by jury are never fun - I've been on two such trials.
    The two sides get to present evidence that supports their side of the
    story, with the judge there to keep everyone following the rules. The
    jury listens and watches what is presented. Then they go into a meeting
    room and try to reach a decision based on that information. What
    other people like you or me think/feel/know/believe doesn't matter a
    damn. It's the jury that makes the decision, and that is what counts.

    No, it's not perfect. Tell me what is.

    >I don't even know the details of ours, because the legal system is a
    >whole world of its own, with a vocabulary comprised of articles,
    >paragraphs, sections and subsections - so I apologize for making
    >the comparison. ;-)


    The legal system exists primarily to give employment to lawyers.

    >I know that William DuBois was Reiser's defense attorney, yes, and
    >that Larry Goodman was the Alameda County Supreme Court Judge presiding
    >over the case. And I also know that he, Hora and DuBois all know
    >eachother quite well. ;-)


    It's a trade group - they really do work in the same buildings and often
    see each other. This means absolutely nothing as to their conduct "on
    the job". The DA's office people are lawyers. Judges are also lawyers -
    appointed (sometimes elected) from the common mob of lawyers. Oh, and
    that is the County Superior Court, not the Supremes. There are state
    and federal supreme courts and they handle appeals, not common trials.

    Old guy

  3. Re: Hans leads police to Nina's body

    On Thu, 10 Jul 2008 04:31:07 +0200, Aragorn wrote:

    >>> Let's just say that I have reason to believe that the trial (and the
    >>> investigations leading /to/ the trial) did not proceed as unbiased as
    >>> it(/they) should have.


    >> Unless you were there for the trial, conducted the interviews, and had
    >> access to the entire evidence inventory, you do NOT have "reason to
    >> believe" that.


    > Evidence as was available was presented in court and reported by the
    > sources through which I have kept at current with the proceedings at
    > the trial.


    OK, so (like I said), you weren't actually there during the
    investigations or the trial, and are relying on "reported" information to
    base your conclusions on. Sorry, that doesn't count for much.

    >> You are basing your "reason to believe" on biased news reporting,
    >> obviously unofficial blogs, and third-hand gossip.


    > I don't see any bias whatsoever in a literal summary of who showed up
    > when, was wearing what and said what - as quoted literally. I also
    > don't think that a reporter live-blogging from the courtroom via a
    > laptop and a wireless connection would have had any time to insert any
    > bias in his reporting.


    Well, I do. It doesn't take any time to put your own "spin" on a story as
    you type it. Again I am not saying that is necessarily what happened, but
    it certainly was possible, and therefore reaching conclusions such as you
    have stated (like "must have been manslaughter") is completely baseless.

    >> None of those are legally solid enough to provide actual "reason to
    >> believe".


    > Neither did the evidence as presented in court, as noted by the judge
    > and as admitted to by the District Attorney. It was all circumstantial,
    > and the fact that at least one - and if I remember correct two -
    > judge(s) refused to precede over the case on the grounds that the
    > evidence itself wouldn't stand in court says enough.


    Well, obviously the evidence *did* stand up in court, enough for a verdict
    to be reached. In case you didn't know, people are convicted *every day*
    on nothing more than circumstantial evidence. It's still just as valid,
    and the conviction is just as real.

    > My opinion that the trial against Hans Reiser was a lucky strike is
    > based upon my own interpretation of literal quotes and unbiased
    > reporting whatsoever - show me one instance where the reporter displayed
    > any bias _in_ _favor_ _of_ _Reiser_ and I'll buy you a case of beer.


    I don't have enough information to show you that, but then again I am not
    the one who is making claims (assertations, really) that the trial was
    biased or even corrupted. That's the difference between our positions.

    I'm gonna be away from computers for the next several days, so any replies
    to this will have a delayed response from me...


    --
    "Ubuntu" -- an African word, meaning "Slackware is too hard for me".
    The Usenet Improvement Project: http://improve-usenet.org


  4. Re: Hans leads police to Nina's body

    On Thursday 10 July 2008 06:20, someone who identifies as *Dan C* wrote
    in /alt.os.linux.mandriva:/

    > On Thu, 10 Jul 2008 04:31:07 +0200, Aragorn wrote:
    >
    >>>> Let's just say that I have reason to believe that the trial (and the
    >>>> investigations leading /to/ the trial) did not proceed as unbiased as
    >>>> it(/they) should have.

    >
    >>> Unless you were there for the trial, conducted the interviews, and had
    >>> access to the entire evidence inventory, you do NOT have "reason to
    >>> believe" that.

    >
    >> Evidence as was available was presented in court and reported by the
    >> sources through which I have kept at current with the proceedings at
    >> the trial.

    >
    > OK, so (like I said), you weren't actually there during the
    > investigations or the trial, and are relying on "reported" information to
    > base your conclusions on. Sorry, that doesn't count for much.


    By the same token, witnesses being heard in the courtroom are also "reported
    information". Still that information is taken for granted, if only because
    the witness must be sworn in.

    >>> You are basing your "reason to believe" on biased news reporting,
    >>> obviously unofficial blogs, and third-hand gossip.

    >
    >> I don't see any bias whatsoever in a literal summary of who showed up
    >> when, was wearing what and said what - as quoted literally. I also
    >> don't think that a reporter live-blogging from the courtroom via a
    >> laptop and a wireless connection would have had any time to insert any
    >> bias in his reporting.

    >
    > Well, I do. It doesn't take any time to put your own "spin" on a story as
    > you type it. Again I am not saying that is necessarily what happened, but
    > it certainly was possible, [...


    There is no reason whatsoever as to why two unaffiliated reporters working
    for different news agencies would put a(n identical) spin on the events in
    a courtroom or deliberately misquote witnesses, attorneys or the judge
    himself for that matter.

    > ...] and therefore reaching conclusions such as you have stated (like
    > "must have been manslaughter") is completely baseless.


    I was also including my own evaluation of Hans Reiser's personality as an
    Aspie, and being one myself, I understand such a person's logic, and
    knowing myself as well as a number of other Aspies, I know that it would be
    nearly impossible - note: "/nearly/ impossible", so not /entirely/
    impossible - for an Aspie to commit a coldblooded murder.

    Besides, Hans Reiser already confessed that he strangled Nina while they
    were physically fighting, so I see no premeditation in that. Of course,
    you can now argue that they may have been physically fighting because she
    was fighting for her life, but then I don't think that Reiser would have
    opted for strangulation if he really did plan on killing her. There would
    have been lots of other and far less conspicuous ways to kill a person if
    it was really planned ahead.

    >>> None of those are legally solid enough to provide actual "reason to
    >>> believe".

    >
    >> Neither did the evidence as presented in court, as noted by the judge
    >> and as admitted to by the District Attorney. It was all circumstantial,
    >> and the fact that at least one - and if I remember correct two -
    >> judge(s) refused to precede over the case on the grounds that the
    >> evidence itself wouldn't stand in court says enough.

    >
    > Well, obviously the evidence *did* stand up in court, enough for a verdict
    > to be reached.


    The verdict of first degree murder, as purported by the D.A. from day one
    without that he had a shred of evidence, because Reiser chose to plead not
    guilty. Like I said, standard procedure.

    The rest was all a matter of credibly establishing that Nina Reiser was
    indeed dead and not simply missing, and of convincing the jury. It is my
    belief that in this particular case, the D.A. simply managed to convince
    the jury that it all went down as he claimed that it did, because the
    evidence was circumstantial at the start of the trial and it was still only
    circumstantial when the judge sent the jury off to deliberate.

    > In case you didn't know, people are convicted *every day* on nothing more
    > than circumstantial evidence.


    I find *that* hard to believe. I'm pretty convinced that others may be
    convicted over circumstantial evidence, but certainly not every day -
    unless you are talking worldwide, of course. If that were the case, then
    there would be something seriously wrong with the legal system.

    > It's still just as valid, and the conviction is just as real.


    The conviction is real, yes. It's official, there's no denying that.

    >> My opinion that the trial against Hans Reiser was a lucky strike is
    >> based upon my own interpretation of literal quotes and unbiased
    >> reporting whatsoever - show me one instance where the reporter displayed
    >> any bias _in_ _favor_ _of_ _Reiser_ and I'll buy you a case of beer.

    >
    > I don't have enough information to show you that, but then again I am not
    > the one who is making claims (assertations, really) that the trial was
    > biased or even corrupted. That's the difference between our positions.


    Yet you *are* making claims that my two independent sources of information -
    which I have supplied to you - were biased and were putting a spin on
    things.

    As a sidenote, I think that if those reporters were really twisting the
    facts in that way, then judge Goodman or prosecutor Hora would certainly
    sue those agencies for libel.

    > I'm gonna be away from computers for the next several days, so any replies
    > to this will have a delayed response from me...


    No problem. The 'Net isn't going anywhere. ;-)

    --
    *Aragorn*
    (registered GNU/Linux user #223157)

  5. Re: Hans leads police to Nina's body

    On Thu, 10 Jul 2008, in the Usenet newsgroup alt.os.linux.mandriva, in article
    , Aragorn wrote:

    >*Moe Trin* wrote


    >> Two types of court - criminal and civil. Criminal is where you may be
    >> tried for violating a law - such as murder or driving to fast.

    >
    >Driving too fast is considered "criminal" in the US? We've got special
    >police courts for that kind of stuff, and usually that kind of offenses
    >only goes to trial if the offender doesn't pay the speeding tickets.


    That was meant to show a range of crimes. Nearly all speeding violations
    are handled by mail - and if you _do_ go to court, it would be a low
    level, like a police court. But if you are ridiculous (we had some idiot
    busted for 140 MPH in a 65 MPH zone - 225 KM/H vs 105 limit), then you
    may wind up in criminal court rather than the lessor, and suffer
    _substantially_ greater punishment (in this case, 6 months as a guest of
    the county sheriff and a $5000 fine).

    >You Americans also have something called "double jeopardy", which says
    >that a person can never be convicted for the same crime twice.


    That's the same fifth Amendment - "nor shall any person be subject for
    the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall
    be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor
    be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law"

    >I don't believe we have that over here, and as such it would open the
    >door to a renewed trial in the event of a mistrial, provided that new
    >evidence can be found.


    If you are tried and convicted OR acquitted - you're done. No second
    chance. A _mistrial_ doesn't count, because no verdict was reached,
    but it's up to the prosecution whether they will retry the case. New
    evidence of the _SAME_ crime doesn't change things, but _MAY_ get you
    charged with something else.

    Old guy

  6. Re: Hans leads police to Nina's body

    On Thursday 10 July 2008 21:55, someone who identifies as *Moe Trin* wrote
    in /alt.os.linux.mandriva:/

    > On Thu, 10 Jul 2008, in the Usenet newsgroup alt.os.linux.mandriva, in
    > article , Aragorn wrote:
    >
    >> Driving too fast is considered "criminal" in the US? We've got special
    >> police courts for that kind of stuff, and usually that kind of offenses
    >> only goes to trial if the offender doesn't pay the speeding tickets.

    >
    > That was meant to show a range of crimes. Nearly all speeding violations
    > are handled by mail - and if you _do_ go to court, it would be a low
    > level, like a police court. But if you are ridiculous (we had some idiot
    > busted for 140 MPH in a 65 MPH zone - 225 KM/H vs 105 limit), then you
    > may wind up in criminal court rather than the lessor, and suffer
    > _substantially_ greater punishment (in this case, 6 months as a guest of
    > the county sheriff and a $5000 fine).


    Over here I don't think there's a prison sentence to such an offense, albeit
    that one /may/ be decided on in court later on, but such an offense would
    absolutely yield an immediate withdrawal of the driver's license - and at
    that speed, most likely for life, without having the chance of applying for
    a driver's license ever again - and impounding of the vehicle.

    As for the fines, I think that for that particular offense and the given
    speed, the fine would be far higher than USD $5000. As for the prison
    sentence, our prisons are already overpopulated and so any sentence less
    than one year is "indefinitely postponed", which in practice means that it
    is to be seen as probation.

    Any similar offense, regardless of the measures taken by the court to
    prevent it from happening again - some people do drive without driver's
    licenses and in vehicles that do not have an insurance - within the time of
    probation will result in a prison sentence exceeding one year and thus to
    be carried out in full, minus time served already before the trial and an
    eventual sentence reduction on good behavior (with release on parole), plus
    an additional and even much higher fine than the original fine.

    If the second offense takes place beyond the term of probation, it will be
    tried like a new case, but the judge will of course take the earlier
    offense into account when sentencing the defendant.

    >> You Americans also have something called "double jeopardy", which says
    >> that a person can never be convicted for the same crime twice.

    >
    > That's the same fifth Amendment - "nor shall any person be subject for
    > the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall
    > be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor
    > be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law"


    So you guys have quite an elaborate fifth amendment. ;-)

    >> I don't believe we have that over here, and as such it would open the
    >> door to a renewed trial in the event of a mistrial, provided that new
    >> evidence can be found.

    >
    > If you are tried and convicted OR acquitted - you're done. No second
    > chance. A _mistrial_ doesn't count, because no verdict was reached,
    > but it's up to the prosecution whether they will retry the case. New
    > evidence of the _SAME_ crime doesn't change things, but _MAY_ get you
    > charged with something else.


    And what if you have been found guilty in court - either by a judge or by a
    jury, depending on the offense - and sentenced, and then later on new
    evidence to the same case is discovered which acquits you from the crime
    you were convicted over? Would the case then be re-opened?

    --
    *Aragorn*
    (registered GNU/Linux user #223157)

  7. Re: Hans leads police to Nina's body

    On Fri, 11 Jul 2008, in the Usenet newsgroup alt.os.linux.mandriva, in article
    , Aragorn wrote:

    >*Moe Trin* wrote


    >> But if you are ridiculous (we had some idiot busted for 140 MPH in a
    >> 65 MPH zone - 225 KM/H vs 105 limit), then you may wind up in
    >> criminal court rather than the lessor, and suffer _substantially_
    >> greater punishment (in this case, 6 months as a guest of the county
    >> sheriff and a $5000 fine).


    >Over here I don't think there's a prison sentence to such an offense,
    >albeit that one /may/ be decided on in court later on, but such an
    >offense would absolutely yield an immediate withdrawal of the driver's
    >license - and at that speed, most likely for life, without having the
    >chance of applying for a driver's license ever again - and impounding
    >of the vehicle.


    My understanding of this case was that this was a second offense, and
    yes, that gets a longer suspension of the driving rights. Speeding like
    many other laws is a state law, and the punishment varies by state.
    This was considered a "serious violation" of the laws, which adds to the
    punishments.

    >As for the fines, I think that for that particular offense and the
    >given speed, the fine would be far higher than USD $5000.


    I don't write the laws.

    >As for the prison sentence, our prisons are already overpopulated and
    >so any sentence less than one year is "indefinitely postponed", which
    >in practice means that it is to be seen as probation.


    We have the same overpopulation problem, so the county has an auxiliary
    jail called 'Tent City' - literally large army tents in a barbed wire
    enclosure. It's not a resort.

    [Second offense]

    Similar - but again, this is a state matter, and may be (is) different
    in other states.

    >So you guys have quite an elaborate fifth amendment. ;-)


    The actual constitution was written in 1787 and was ratified by 9 of
    the 13 states by June 1788. The ten amendments were proposed by the
    first session of congress and ratified by December 1791. Amazing how
    much law was in such a small document.

    >And what if you have been found guilty in court - either by a judge or
    >by a jury, depending on the offense - and sentenced, and then later on
    >new evidence to the same case is discovered which acquits you from the
    >crime you were convicted over? Would the case then be re-opened?


    Not automatically. You (your lawyer) would have to file an appeal. In
    such case, it's _usually_ a non-jury proceeding, and the outcome would
    be either no change, a reduction of sentence, or a release and
    removal of the record of conviction. It's not considered "double
    jeopardy" because they can't increase your sentence for _this_ crime.

    Old guy

  8. Uses for old systems (Was: Re: Hans leads police to Nina's body)

    On Fri, 11 Jul 2008 10:41:35 -0400,
    Adam wrote:

    > Totally unrelated question: I was given an OLD (ca. 1995) system
    > unit... it's running Win95B but I could probably get Damn Small Linux
    > on it eventually. Is there anything useful I could do with it?
    > (Anybody have any ideas, no matter how wild?) Or should I just pitch
    > the thing? Is it worth starting a separate thread for this? Local
    > LUG members, and several web sites, had suggestions, but none that,
    > to me, would be worth the cost of electricity and the desk space.


    Without some idea of the specs of the machine, it'd be difficult to say
    for sure, but if it can manage to run X successfully, you could use it
    to login to another Linux box on the LAN with XDMCP. Since all of your
    login session actually runs on that other system, and this one merely
    provides the display and relays your keyboard and mouse input, even a
    very low-spec 'puter can often handle this sort of arrangement nicely.

    HTH!

    --
    Bill Mullen
    RLU #270075



  9. Re: Hans leads police to Nina's body

    On Fri, 11 Jul 2008, in the Usenet newsgroup alt.os.linux.mandriva, in article
    , Aragorn wrote:

    >Non-serious is [...] less than 10% above the maximum


    Depends - generally they don't bother you up to 5 or 10 MPH over the
    limits - though in my younger days I got plenty of "warning tickets"
    in that range. In that state (Connecticut), the warning carried 3
    points, and if you got 10 points in any 12 month period, you lost your
    license (1st time one year, second time 3 years, third time permanent,
    but as noted this varies by state).

    >A severe offense is when you exceed that 10%. A heavy offense is when
    >you exceed the speed limit by 40 km/h or more (or drunk driving),
    >which may lead to an immediate withdrawal of your driver's license for
    >a by the police officers themselves, usually for two to four weeks.


    If you are over the 5-10 MPH range (or in it, if you are unlucky) on
    up to _perhaps_ 30 MPH over (less in some areas), you'll get lots of
    points (in Connecticut, it was 10 points - there goes your license),
    and a fine. Repeat offenders tend to loose the license, and are subject
    to substantial fines - upwards of hundreds of dollars. Drunk driving
    is a major no-no and your license is gone at 0.08% BAC. You're also in
    jail for 10 days and fined $250 for the first offense. A second offense
    is 90 days and $500, and _if_ you get your license back (in a year) you
    may be required to install an ignition interlock (breath tester before
    the car will start). 3rd DUI in five years _or_ DUI while a person
    under 15 is is the vehicle - 2 years jail, 3 years suspension, and the
    ignition interlock is now mandatory.

    There is another punitive measure: the cost of the mandatory vehicle and
    driver insurance. The cost of the insurance depends on age, sex, and
    driving record. You are asked for three documents (vehicle and driver
    license, and proof of insurance card) at all traffic stops or accidents.

    [Tent City]

    >Prisons in Belgium are prisons, so I don't think they're quite the
    >holiday park either, but given the overpopulation understaffing
    >problem, some may have less comfort than others, and yet many
    >facilities have a surprising degree of comfort.


    Most definitely NOT here. Comfort is air conditioning which brings
    the temperatures inside down to ~27-29C. Tent city lacks that, and the
    cooling is provided by misters (very fine water sprays). For most of
    the year, the humidity is very low, and the evaporation of the mist
    reduces the local temperature. This doesn't help on days like today
    (had some substantial thunderstorms last night, and more are forecast)
    when the dew point and temperature at 08:00 was 21 and 24C = 83% RH.

    >There are no labor camps here.


    Nor here. As part of your sentence at city/county level, you may be
    assigned "road work" - which means walking along the sides of the roads
    picking up trash, but given the lack of things to do otherwise...

    >Then it sounds a lot like the USA are in fact a confederation rather
    >than a federation. Or at least very close to it. ;-)


    Section 8 of Article 1 of the constitution - the feds handle national
    issues, such as defense, relations with other countries, minting of
    currency, post offices, regulation of commerce, and enacting laws
    necessary to enforce the constitution. Section 10 of Article 1 - the
    states are not allowed to mess with those national issues. The 10th
    Amendment merely says "The powers not delegated to the United States
    by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved
    to the States, respectively, or to the people." Some licenses (my
    pilot and radio operator license for example) are issued by the feds.
    Others, like the drivers license and vehicle registration, come from
    the individual state - although all _other_ states accept those
    licenses as long as you are living in the issuing state - and if you
    loose your license in one state, you can't go to another state and
    get one there.

    >You'd also be amazed of the amount of laws and paperwork exist here
    >in Belgium, which has a nationwide population only the size of New
    >York City. :-)


    You'd be amazed - maybe horrified - of the amount of laws and paperwork
    in New York City - never mind the stuff from New York state.

    Old guy

  10. Re: Hans leads police to Nina's body

    On Fri, 11 Jul 2008, in the Usenet newsgroup alt.os.linux.mandriva, in article
    , Aragorn wrote:

    >See, the thing is that most traffic accidents with injuries or
    >fatalities here in Belgium are caused by trucks on weekdays and by
    >inexperienced drivers - read: young people - who may or may not be
    >under the influence of alcohol or drugs on weekends.


    A new law in Arizona sets significant limits on teen drivers, relating
    to night driving, and numbers of people under 18 who can be in the
    car at the same time. You may also loose your license for any trace
    of alcohol or any drugs (that actually goes up to age 21), speeding,
    or reckless driving and a number of other offenses.

    >Trucks are a real problem because (a) truck drivers often drive
    >overloaded trucks


    Weigh stations (generally near state borders, but some states have
    them all over the place) and portable scales. Overweight? The vehicle
    doesn't resume travel until it's unloaded below the limit, AND the
    owner and driver are fined. They also look for faulty equipment, worn
    tires, lights, etc.

    >truck drivers work long hours and are often under a lot of stress,
    >causing them not to respect the legally established rest periods and
    >the 8 hours of driving maximum per day


    There are similar restrictions - and you may be required to show the
    log books - which includes today's starting time/location - at weight
    check points, and if you get pulled over for any reason. There are
    fines, and you may loose your commercial license for repeated violations.

    >In addition to the above two paragraphs, there is the fact that
    >truckers typically don't give a rat's rear end about other traffic
    >participants. So if they're driving that closely together near an
    >entry lane and you happen to try entering the highway from that lane,
    >you're /foobarred,/ because they won't let you in.


    Did I mention that police vehicles don't have to be marked as such?
    Well, some states do require a sign on the back and doors, but don't
    specify what the sign must look like. Hmm, blue car, blue sign, and
    blue letters saying POLICE - yup, that's legal. And the flashing blue
    and/or red lights - they're usually concealed.

    >Another problem that we're now facing is youth crime.


    And you think this is unique?

    Old guy

  11. Re: Hans leads police to Nina's body

    On Fri, 11 Jul 2008, in the Usenet newsgroup alt.os.linux.mandriva, in article
    , Adam wrote:

    [tribal lands - a.k.a. $NATIVE_AMERICAN nations]

    >Again, those are places where federal, and other municipal, taxes
    >don't apply. BTW, does anyone here know what would happen if a crime
    >were committed in a place like that?


    Depends - you would _probably_ be subjected to tribal law (just as you
    would be subject to Japanese law if you committed a crime in Japan),
    but if incarceration is involved you'd likely be handed over to the
    feds who would act as an agent for the $NATIVE_AMERICAN nation.

    [price of ciggies]

    >In the U.S. it has varied by brand for as long as I can remember. Now
    >I'm seeing signs for obscure brands for $4+/pack, and name brands for
    >$5+/pack.


    Geez that's cheap. The price varies by city, county and state, as each
    has their own set of taxes, as well as the expected variation in the
    price/profit per store. "Generics" here are in the $5.50 range, while
    the national brands are right around $6.00. I was in Las Vegas two
    weeks ago, and the prices were about $0.30 higher. I think it's
    already been mentioned that most governments see tobacco and booze are
    an unlimited source of tax revenue, and it's "what the sheep will pay"
    for limits.

    Old guy

  12. Re: Hans leads police to Nina's body

    On Fri, 11 Jul 2008, in the Usenet newsgroup alt.os.linux.mandriva, in article
    , Adam wrote:

    >Moe Trin wrote:


    >> That's good. That problem was annoying.

    >
    >Are you referring to the dropped dialup connections


    Yes

    >My parents stayed with the same dialup ISP I'd been using and the
    >dropped connections got even worse. They recently switched to
    >NetZero dialup, and, lo and behold, no dropped connections at all.


    Hmmm... I thought they were not having significant problems, but you
    were. Well, it's been a while.

    >My one-year contract has expired. (Yes, it's been that long!) I'm
    >aware that switching from Verizon DSL will probably be a pain.


    I've seen some horror stories in other newsgroups. It _shouldn't_
    be that big of a deal.

    >I believe what happened was that the NYS AG submitted anonymous
    >reports of child porn sites to the various ISPs, and then the ISPs,
    >in violation of their /own/ TOS, did nothing to block what was they
    >then had been told was a site of CP. To avoid a major suit for false
    >advertising (i.e. not following their own TOS), they settled.


    I've heard that. I've also heard stories that the original anonymous
    complaints to the A/G may have been from one or more of the ISPs as a
    way to get out of a service that was not well used.

    >Someone pointed out that this change would probably cost VZ. Before,
    >they could simply get all the posts for, e.g.,
    >alt.binaries.multimedia.watchingpaintdry,


    Hmmm - that one isn't on giganews

    >only once, and then all the VZ customers could then get it from VZ's
    >own newsserver. Now, each request for a post from that group will
    >have to be sent over the 'net to some third-party newsserver.


    To an extent, yes. Looking at the list of groups I'm following and
    the rough bandwidth figures, I've got 27 alt.* groups (no alt.b*), and
    34 comp.* groups, and the alt.* needs twice the bandwidth. Thing is, the
    A/G can't touch what's inside the packets - Verizon has no control
    other than censorship which would cause all kinds of waves.

    >> Where did you buy it?

    >
    >The letter that came with the coupon(s) listed stores (with addresses)
    >in my area that carried the things. I'd planned on doing research, but
    >happened to be at Wal-Mart and saw an endcap display, so it was a
    >semi-impulse purchase. $50 + tax on $50 - $40 coupon = $10+.


    I haven't gotten the coupons yet, and my local Wal-Mart is a mess right
    now due to reconstruction. I was in there a week ago, and spent 20
    minutes looking for stuff I should have found in less than five.

    >Totally unrelated question: I was given an OLD (ca. 1995) system unit...
    >it's running Win95B but I could probably get Damn Small Linux on it
    >eventually. Is there anything useful I could do with it?


    Depends - I'm using a 486-33 as a print spooler, and two Pentium-90s as
    file servers. Might be overkill for you. I also have a 486DX2 with a
    bunch of external SCSI drives as a backup server. It runs 24/7 because
    my sister in Connecticut uses it as a remote backup - I do the same
    with a... /proc/cpuinfo says it's a P133 at her place. None of my
    servers use X, so that reduces the horsepower requirements a lot.

    >> Had a minor accident on the bicycle and got slightly b0rked.


    >Ouch! Have you recovered from that yet?


    Yeah - big problem is that any cut on the head normally bleeds easily,
    and the aspirin aggravates the problem. Had a beautiful black eye for
    about two weeks as well.

    >> diagnosed as possible Valley Fever, but inactive. A PET scan about
    >> six months ago said it was calcinofied - and inactive.) Whoopie.

    >
    >Is that anything worth worrying about?


    Valley fever is, as it's not uncommon here and can be fatal. But I've
    got enough other things wrong that it's the least of the problems. They
    yanked a benign tumor out of me earlier, and there is something else
    screwing with my blood work that they haven't found yet. Apparently
    not critical/fatal, but they're looking.

    Old guy

  13. Re: Hans leads police to Nina's body

    Aragorn wrote:
    [Belgium]
    > The laws generally don't conflict, but there are certain departments that
    > exist on both the regional and federal level, and their ministers may state
    > opposing opinions, which indeed leads to all kinds of trouble.


    Here, there's a definite hierarchy, though there are often similar
    departments. Federal, state, county, municipality... they may not like
    the regulations passed higher up, but have to comply. Or, as I said,
    they can pass more restrictive regulations.

    [US "Articles of Confederation"]
    >> Its flaws were the main reason the Constitutional Convention of 1787 was
    >> held, which produced the national constitution that, with amendments, is
    >> still in use. In preparation for that convention, James Madison studied
    >> past governments and constitutions to see what worked.


    I should add that the original purpose of the Constitutional Convention
    was to amend the Articles of Confederation, but they soon decided to
    scrap those and start from scratch. (Except there were already 13
    states and therefore 13 state governments.)

    > Well, in my opinion, ideally, Belgium would cease to exist and the regions
    > become independent nations.


    That sounds like a pretty radical change! (Although it did happen with
    the Soviet Union.) The map of Europe has changed so much in the past
    two decades that I can't even keep track of it. I admit I don't follow
    European politics that closely, but isn't the trend toward unification
    these days instead of the opposite, what with the EU and all?

    > And of course, the King is totally against the division of the country.


    Somehow monarchy usually likes to keep the status quo.

    > You know, this struggle isn't new, and dates back to long before Belgium
    > even existed as a nation.


    I was surprised to discover that happened as recently as 1830.

    > Flemish - which itself is a dialect of Dutch


    To my wholly untrained ear, Dutch sounds a little like German to me,
    though of course they look quite different in writing. (After all,
    Dutch, German, and English are all Germanic languages.)

    >> (I don't want to get into a philosophical discussion here, though.)

    >
    > A pity, because aside from the fact that more philosophy is needed in this
    > world, I personally also enjoy philosophizing.


    I'm thinking this is a newsgroup for Mandriva Linux, after all. I did
    have one semester of college-level philosophy, in an attempt to find
    answers to the BIG questions in life, or at least figure out what the
    questions were, but I don't think I found any.

    > I
    > would never use a distribution whose makers have signed the same villainous
    > and poisonous FUD patent deals with Microsoft as so many already have.


    I have a hypothetical question for you. What if you needed a complex
    specialized application, and the only one available was from a company
    you disagreed with, but the app itself was ideal for your purposes,
    well-written, well supported, and inexpensive? (And, hypothetically,
    there was no other program available that even attempted this task.)

    [Ubuntu]
    > Yet, they are giving their distribution away for free, so they do need to
    > get their corporate income elsewhere. It's no different from what RedHat,
    > Novell/SuSE or Mandriva do.


    But Ubuntu seems to be the only distribution with a sort of world
    philosophy and ideals. All the others seem to be just software.

    > And speaking of the house distribution to this newsgroup, I've already said
    > it a long time ago and I've been saying it ever since: Mandriva is
    > suffering from a severe degree of corporatitis.


    I'll have to take your word for it. I've really never dealt with them
    directly, just downloaded the OS and run it. I'm not really familiar
    with any other distro, so I'm not even sure what's Linux, and what's
    just Mandriva's way of doing things. I'm a pragmatist (in the more
    general sense), so I'll probably stick with it until I see sufficient
    reason to change.

    Adam

  14. Re: Hans leads police to Nina's body

    >> I'm aware that switching from Verizon DSL will probably be a pain.
    >
    > I've seen some horror stories in other newsgroups. It _shouldn't_
    > be that big of a deal.


    I'm not even sure whom I should switch to. Somehow almost everybody
    claims that their own ISP is the absolute worst.

    >> I believe what happened was that the NYS AG submitted anonymous
    >> reports of child porn sites to the various ISPs

    >
    > I've heard that. I've also heard stories that the original anonymous
    > complaints to the A/G may have been from one or more of the ISPs as a
    > way to get out of a service that was not well used.


    That's possible... but what would that have gotten them? I don't think
    the ISPs came off any better because of that "reason".

    >> alt.binaries.multimedia.watchingpaintdry,

    >
    > Hmmm - that one isn't on giganews


    Probably bandwidth. Some of the videos there are several days long,
    especially the ones of enamel house paint.

    >> Now, each request for a post from that group will
    >> have to be sent over the 'net to some third-party newsserver.

    >
    > To an extent, yes. Looking at the list of groups I'm following and
    > the rough bandwidth figures, I've got 27 alt.* groups (no alt.b*), and
    > 34 comp.* groups, and the alt.* needs twice the bandwidth.


    Well, I'm basically using as much bandwidth for newsgroups as before,
    only now almost all of it requires VZ to get it thru the 'net from other
    newsservers.

    [DTV converter]
    >> The letter that came with the coupon(s) listed stores (with addresses)
    >> in my area that carried the things.

    >
    > I haven't gotten the coupons yet, and my local Wal-Mart is a mess


    My letter listed RadioShack, Best Buy, Circuit City, and Wal-Mart
    stores, all within a half hour's drive from my home. The coupons are
    only good for 90 days after being issued. Most converters block any
    analog signals; look for one with "analog pass-through" (I think that's
    what it's called) if that's important to you.

    >> Is there anything useful I could do with it?

    >
    > Depends - I'm using a 486-33 as a print spooler, and two Pentium-90s as
    > file servers. Might be overkill for you. I also have a 486DX2 with a
    > bunch of external SCSI drives as a backup server.


    Yep, I think it would be overkill for me. I'm not running any kind of
    server, and my main system handles print spooling well enough. And I
    don't want to buy any more drives for the old box when I'd be better off
    buying drives for the new one.

    > Valley fever is, as it's not uncommon here and can be fatal. But I've
    > got enough other things wrong that it's the least of the problems. They
    > yanked a benign tumor out of me earlier, and there is something else
    > screwing with my blood work that they haven't found yet. Apparently
    > not critical/fatal, but they're looking.


    Oh dear! It always seems to be something, doesn't it? When things go
    too smoothly, I'm now suspicious.

    Adam

  15. Re: Hans leads police to Nina's body

    Moe Trin wrote:
    >> BTW, does anyone here know what would happen if a crime
    >> were committed in a place like that?

    >
    > Depends - you would _probably_ be subjected to tribal law


    But what would happen if a crime were committed, say, halfway across the
    Atlantic on a ship or plane? Who's in charge there?

    > [price of ciggies]
    >
    > I think it's
    > already been mentioned that most governments see tobacco and booze are
    > an unlimited source of tax revenue, and it's "what the sheep will pay"
    > for limits.


    I just bought gasoline today (July 12 2008, Hyde Park, NY, USA,
    $4.279/gallon which is I think about 0.714 Euros per liter), and the
    signs there for cigarettes ranged from $4.77 for obscure brands up to
    $5.70 for Marlboros (packs of 20). I think the state cigarette tax is
    again the highest in the country. I agree with you about tobacco and
    liquor taxes being practically unlimited.

    Adam

  16. Re: Uses for old systems (Was: Re: Hans leads police to Nina's body)

    Bill Mullen wrote:
    >> Totally unrelated question: I was given an OLD (ca. 1995) system
    >> unit... it's running Win95B but I could probably get Damn Small Linux
    >> on it eventually. Is there anything useful I could do with it?

    >
    > Without some idea of the specs of the machine, it'd be difficult to say
    > for sure, but if it can manage to run X successfully, you could use it
    > to login to another Linux box on the LAN with XDMCP. Since all of your
    > login session actually runs on that other system, and this one merely
    > provides the display and relays your keyboard and mouse input, even a
    > very low-spec 'puter can often handle this sort of arrangement nicely.


    Thanks, Bill, great idea! It's a 100 MHz 486DX, 48 MB RAM, 420 MB HD
    (remember when something like that was SOTA?), so I'm not sure offhand
    if it's powerful enough to run X. I really like your idea of using the
    old machine as a terminal for the new one. None of the "uses for an old
    computer" web pages mentioned that, probably because they're thinking of
    Windows. If I didn't live alone (and therefore not need another
    terminal), I'd go with it. Thanks again!

    Adam

  17. Re: Hans leads police to Nina's body

    On Thu, 10 Jul 2008 09:28:52 +0200, Aragorn wrote:

    >> OK, so (like I said), you weren't actually there during the
    >> investigations or the trial, and are relying on "reported" information
    >> to base your conclusions on. Sorry, that doesn't count for much.


    > By the same token, witnesses being heard in the courtroom are also
    > "reported information". Still that information is taken for granted, if
    > only because the witness must be sworn in.


    Exactly. That's a significant difference. Persons tend to be quite a bit
    more likely to tell the truth when they know that lying can send them to
    jail for perjury. Please don't try to misdirect things with statements
    like that. There is a HUGE difference between *testimony* by sworn
    witnesses, and *reporting* by journalists.

    >> ...] and therefore reaching conclusions such as you have stated (like
    >> "must have been manslaughter") is completely baseless.


    > I was also including my own evaluation of Hans Reiser's personality as
    > an Aspie, and being one myself, I understand such a person's logic, and
    > knowing myself as well as a number of other Aspies, I know that it would
    > be nearly impossible - note: "/nearly/ impossible", so not /entirely/
    > impossible - for an Aspie to commit a coldblooded murder.


    Damn, I just *knew* you'd find a way to inject the Aspie angle into this
    thread, just like you do in pretty much *every* thread you participate in.
    It's completely irrelevant to the case, and /please/ don't expect me (or
    anyone else) to think Aspies are so unlikely to commit a murder. They may
    be less likely than other folks (I don't know), but so are nuns, priests,
    grandparents, retards, etc, etc, etc, etc,.... Those subcategories of
    people *DO* in fact occasionally commit such crimes.

    > Besides, Hans Reiser already confessed that he strangled Nina while
    > they
    > were physically fighting, so I see no premeditation in that.


    You are very naive.

    > Of course, you can now argue that they may have been physically fighting
    > because she was fighting for her life, but then I don't think that
    > Reiser would have opted for strangulation if he really did plan on
    > killing her.


    I don't see how you could possible know what Reiser may or may not have
    been thinking, or even speculate on it.

    > There would have been lots of other and far less conspicuous ways to
    > kill a person if it was really planned ahead.


    Perhaps. Doesn't mean that a LOT of folks aren't killed by strangulation.
    They are.

    >> Well, obviously the evidence *did* stand up in court, enough for a
    >> verdict to be reached.


    > The verdict of first degree murder, as purported by the D.A. from day
    > one without that he had a shred of evidence, because Reiser chose to
    > plead not guilty. Like I said, standard procedure.


    And your point? There was apparently enough evidence of first degree
    murder for a jury to convict him of it.

    > The rest was all a matter of credibly establishing that Nina Reiser was
    > indeed dead and not simply missing, and of convincing the jury. It is
    > my belief that in this particular case, the D.A. simply managed to
    > convince the jury that it all went down as he claimed that it did,
    > because the evidence was circumstantial at the start of the trial and it
    > was still only circumstantial when the judge sent the jury off to
    > deliberate.


    That's what good lawyers do. They "convince a jury" that their side is
    correct. Sometimes it's easy, and other times it takes more work. As
    previously stated, this is how it works, and it happens every day.

    >> In case you didn't know, people are convicted *every day* on nothing
    >> more than circumstantial evidence.


    > I find *that* hard to believe.


    Again, you are very naive. I am referring of course to how things happen
    in the USA, and your lack of understanding may be related to that fact.

    > I'm pretty convinced that others may be convicted over circumstantial
    > evidence, but certainly not every day - unless you are talking
    > worldwide, of course. If that were the case, then there would be
    > something seriously wrong with the legal system.


    I am speaking only of the legal system in the USA. It happens every day,
    and I would guess that it's numbered in the *thousands* of times per day
    across the entire country. This does not indicate anything wrong with the
    legal system, as it is perfectly allowed by the existing laws.

    >> It's still just as valid, and the conviction is just as real.


    > The conviction is real, yes. It's official, there's no denying that.


    Yes. My point was that it's just as real whether the verdict was arrived
    at with circumstantial evidence, or physical/material evidence. Makes no
    difference in the end.

    >> I don't have enough information to show you that, but then again I am
    >> not the one who is making claims (assertations, really) that the trial
    >> was biased or even corrupted. That's the difference between our
    >> positions.


    > Yet you *are* making claims that my two independent sources of
    > information - which I have supplied to you - were biased and were
    > putting a spin on things.


    Wrong. Go back and read what I've written again, and show me where I made
    such claims. I simply said that it *may* have been biased, because the
    writers of said information were not present in the investigation rooms,
    courtroom, jury rooms, etc... Only the people present at those places can
    actually *KNOW* what the evidence really was.

    While the justice system in the USA (or anywhere else) is not perfect, it
    is the best that we can do with the existing laws as they are written. I
    do believe that the USA's system is probably the best overall in the world
    as to providing a fair trial to all accused criminals, and protecting
    their rights. Yes, mistakes are made, but if one cannot have any faith in
    the system, then there is nothing left but anarchy. I think the present
    state of affaires is preferable to that.



    --
    "Ubuntu" -- an African word, meaning "Slackware is too hard for me".
    The Usenet Improvement Project: http://improve-usenet.org


  18. Re: Uses for old systems (Was: Re: Hans leads police to Nina's body)

    Adam wrote:
    > Bill Mullen wrote:
    >>> Totally unrelated question: I was given an OLD (ca. 1995) system
    >>> unit... it's running Win95B but I could probably get Damn Small Linux
    >>> on it eventually. Is there anything useful I could do with it?

    >>
    >> Without some idea of the specs of the machine, it'd be difficult to say
    >> for sure, but if it can manage to run X successfully, you could use it
    >> to login to another Linux box on the LAN with XDMCP. Since all of your
    >> login session actually runs on that other system, and this one merely
    >> provides the display and relays your keyboard and mouse input, even a
    >> very low-spec 'puter can often handle this sort of arrangement nicely.

    >
    > Thanks, Bill, great idea! It's a 100 MHz 486DX, 48 MB RAM, 420 MB HD
    > (remember when something like that was SOTA?), so I'm not sure offhand
    > if it's powerful enough to run X. I really like your idea of using the
    > old machine as a terminal for the new one. None of the "uses for an old
    > computer" web pages mentioned that, probably because they're thinking of
    > Windows. If I didn't live alone (and therefore not need another
    > terminal), I'd go with it. Thanks again!
    >
    > Adam

    Might want to try SliTaz 1.0 which is quite small
    at 25 Megabytes in ISO.

    http://www.slitaz.org.

    SliTaz is an acronym of course and think about Small, light and
    so forth.
    Moved it with my little SD card reader from the Inspiron to the
    Dimension and wrote it to a CD. It looks very nice though I couldn't
    find instructions on doing dial-up but they have a package I found
    when I went to:

    http://www.slitaz.org/en/doc/handbook/index.html

    This uses Joe's Window Manager and is fast on the old 700 MHz
    Inspiron even running from the disk. Look at the handbook
    and you will see hacks/options for low memory usage. You will
    also see full information on what you might be able to do, and
    it will install to hard disk.

    later
    bliss -- C O C O A Powered... (at california dot com)

    --
    bobbie sellers -(Back to Angband)Team *AMIGA & SF-LUG*

    "It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
    It is by the beans of cocoa that the thoughts acquire speed,
    the thighs acquire girth, the girth become a warning.
    It is by theobromine alone I set my mind in motion."
    --from Someone else's Dune spoof ripped to my taste.


  19. Re: Hans leads police to Nina's body

    On Sunday 13 July 2008 05:44, someone who identifies as *Dan C* wrote
    in /alt.os.linux.mandriva:/

    > On Thu, 10 Jul 2008 09:28:52 +0200, Aragorn wrote:
    >
    >>> OK, so (like I said), you weren't actually there during the
    >>> investigations or the trial, and are relying on "reported" information
    >>> to base your conclusions on. Sorry, that doesn't count for much.

    >
    >> By the same token, witnesses being heard in the courtroom are also
    >> "reported information". Still that information is taken for granted, if
    >> only because the witness must be sworn in.

    >
    > Exactly. That's a significant difference. Persons tend to be quite a bit
    > more likely to tell the truth when they know that lying can send them to
    > jail for perjury. Please don't try to misdirect things with statements
    > like that. There is a HUGE difference between *testimony* by sworn
    > witnesses, and *reporting* by journalists.


    Still, I think with a possible lawsuit on the charges of libel hanging over
    a reporter's head if he/she were to twist facts around with regard to what
    a judge or DA has said or done, I think most journalists would be quite
    cautious about what they write. I may be wrong, but that's how I see it.

    >>> ...] and therefore reaching conclusions such as you have stated (like
    >>> "must have been manslaughter") is completely baseless.

    >
    >> I was also including my own evaluation of Hans Reiser's personality as
    >> an Aspie, and being one myself, I understand such a person's logic, and
    >> knowing myself as well as a number of other Aspies, I know that it would
    >> be nearly impossible - note: "/nearly/ impossible", so not /entirely/
    >> impossible - for an Aspie to commit a coldblooded murder.

    >
    > Damn, I just *knew* you'd find a way to inject the Aspie angle into this
    > thread, just like you do in pretty much *every* thread you participate in.


    That's because (a) Hans Reiser shows all the traits of being an Aspie -
    along with some other traits which may be unrelated but nevertheless
    psychologically or neurologically place him out of the ordinary - (b) Hans
    Reiser was described as being an Aspie by at least one witness and by his
    own defense attorney William DuBois - albeit that I have already admitted
    to the fact that he had not been officially diagnosed as such - and (c)
    whether you like it or not, I *am* an Aspie and this *does* mean that I am
    different, that I /think/ differently, that I /react/ differently in direct
    communication[1] with anyone else, so there is nothing wrong in my talking
    of Aspies in general, or in my reference to my own affliction with Asperger
    Syndrome when I believe it is relevant.

    It's not just part of my life, it is part of what defines me as a person.
    Not my fault. I was born that way.

    *[1]* Usenet conversations constitute direct communication in that respect,
    as does anything in which there are the two pronouns "you" and "I". If I
    am reading or hearing things from a third person perspective, then there is
    a 60% chance that I can bypass some of the social limitations imposed upon
    me by my condition.

    For instance, in a direct communication, I may not be able to see irony or
    sarcasm, or a simple pun, while when I am simply monitoring a conversation
    between two other people, I might pick up on the pun/sarcasm/irony more
    easily.

    > It's completely irrelevant to the case, and /please/ don't expect me (or
    > anyone else) to think Aspies are so unlikely to commit a murder. They may
    > be less likely than other folks (I don't know), but so are nuns, priests,
    > grandparents, retards, etc, etc, etc, etc,.... Those subcategories of
    > people *DO* in fact occasionally commit such crimes.


    I am in this case - and out of a simple compliance with the fact that we are
    defining murder here as being "the intentional and premeditated termination
    of another person's life" - talking of premeditated murder, and considering
    that Aspies are less likely to commit premeditated murder than neurotypical
    people, I was stating an assumption.

    In the original reply where I vented my opinion, I did use the word
    "probably" or "likely", or something of that sort. This means "not with
    the utmost certainty, but rather statistically to be likely". I believe I
    also vented that it was my (personal) opinion.

    >> Besides, Hans Reiser already confessed that he strangled Nina while
    >> they were physically fighting, so I see no premeditation in that.

    >
    > You are very naive.


    If I am, then so is the judge (and even certain jury members), because both
    the judge and at least one juror have in the meantime - after the trial of
    course, but before and after Nina's body was found - already vented that
    they believe it was rather a "heat of the moment" kind of crime - and a
    crime of passion, for that matter - than premeditated murder.

    Judge Larry Goodman has even said that he already believed that it was
    indeed a case of voluntary manslaughter rather than of premeditated murder
    before the trial started, but given that Reiser refused to accept a deal
    with a plea for voluntary manslaughter (and even involuntary manslaughter),
    the D.A. decided to prosecute with premeditated murder in mind.

    >> Of course, you can now argue that they may have been physically fighting
    >> because she was fighting for her life, but then I don't think that
    >> Reiser would have opted for strangulation if he really did plan on
    >> killing her.

    >
    > I don't see how you could possible know what Reiser may or may not have
    > been thinking, or even speculate on it.


    That's because you have no understanding of how someone like that's brain
    works, whereas I do. You have already exhibited - and I am *not* saying
    this in any blaming, accusing or insulted way, but rather as an observation
    - to have a rather paranoid viewpoint with regard to other people's
    motives. By definition, this means that you cannot see through someone and
    that you therefore take on a defensive stance as a preemptive strategy.

    I on the other hand am - as you put it - more naive - and yes, that *is* a
    consequence of my condition - and therefore perhaps more prone to being
    fooled by someone with bad intentions. Yet I have a very strong
    understanding of my own condition and of people with the exact same
    condition, and I also spend a lot of time analyzing everything my brain
    gets to process, which is something neurotypical people rarely do.

    Neurotypicals - "normal" people, if you will - are more easily distracted
    and when distracted do not return to what they were originally thinking,
    unless it is something of extreme importance. I on the other hand have the
    tendency to overprocess and doublecheck everything. I am more meticulous
    about just about everything than a Swiss watch maker, so to speak.

    And I am *very* good at psychoanalysis, not just because of my scrutiny of
    everything, but also because it was part of my education - you may remember
    that I've studied a paramedical direction before I got into IT.

    >> There would have been lots of other and far less conspicuous ways to
    >> kill a person if it was really planned ahead.

    >
    > Perhaps. Doesn't mean that a LOT of folks aren't killed by strangulation.
    > They are.


    Killed, yes. Murdered with premeditation, far less likely. If
    strangulation is used as the method for premeditated murder, then it is
    generally not done with one's hands around the victim's throat, but then
    rather from behind, with a piece of string, without that the victim saw the
    killer coming.

    (Yes, I've put in my military service as well, and we did learn all kinds of
    techniques for sending the enemy to the proverbial Netherworld, with or
    without weapons. I started off as a Candidate Reserve[1] Petty Officer
    with the Infantry Storm Troopers - somewhat comparable to the US Marine
    Corps - but ended out as a private in an Administrative Contingent due to
    an internal injury during combat training in full packing at -8°C.)

    *[1]* The Reserve is similar to the American National Guard. Every draftee
    is part of the Reserve until a given amount of time after completing your
    draft term, which may vary depending on the administration handling your
    file - in my case, I was fully decommissioned at the age of 28, which was
    only seven years after my term was up.

    Privates were seldom summoned again after their initial draft service, but
    petty officers and officers were typically summoned for a one to two week
    "camp" once every year or every two years. You could forfeit those camps,
    but then you'd have to give up on your rank.

    I was supposed to be a sergeant at the end of my term, but due to my injury
    and a one month stay at a military hospital, I never got to complete the
    tests needed in order to become a corporal first.

    When I was stationed at that administrative base later on then, I had to
    along on logistics missions to other bases a few times, and I then ran into
    three of the guys from my room when we were in training. They had made it
    to sergeants, but they were also the only three draftee sergeants on the
    base where they were stationed, and so they had a whole weekend of duty
    every three weeks. They were far worse off than me, because I had two
    guard duties per month (in a heated room, with television in the back) and
    two one-week maintenance duties during my whole draft term.

    >>> Well, obviously the evidence *did* stand up in court, enough for a
    >>> verdict to be reached.

    >
    >> The verdict of first degree murder, as purported by the D.A. from day
    >> one without that he had a shred of evidence, because Reiser chose to
    >> plead not guilty. Like I said, standard procedure.

    >
    > And your point? There was apparently enough evidence of first degree
    > murder for a jury to convict him of it.


    Apparently, despite the conviction itself, the judge and D.A. - and at least
    one juror, off the record - agree (and already believed before the trial
    started) that it was probably not first degree murder. The fact that the
    D.A. went for first degree is the consequence of Reiser's refusal to plead
    anything but "not guilty".

    So it was a legally technical decision to accuse him of first degree murder,
    not an assessment of what had really happened, particularly not because
    there wasn't even any evidence to indicate what *had* happened at all. It
    was all speculation, and a very wild speculation at that.

    >> The rest was all a matter of credibly establishing that Nina Reiser was
    >> indeed dead and not simply missing, and of convincing the jury. It is
    >> my belief that in this particular case, the D.A. simply managed to
    >> convince the jury that it all went down as he claimed that it did,
    >> because the evidence was circumstantial at the start of the trial and it
    >> was still only circumstantial when the judge sent the jury off to
    >> deliberate.

    >
    > That's what good lawyers do. They "convince a jury" that their side is
    > correct.


    Of course! That's how the system works. But evidence is important, and in
    this case, there was _no_ direct evidence whatsoever. There was a
    defendant who pleaded not guilty, there was a woman who had disappeared
    under suspicious circumstances, there were many other suspicious characters
    in the disappeared woman's life at the time of her disappearance, there
    were a lot of dubious witnesses, there was an inadequate police survey -
    because Reiser managed to lose them for a while - there was inadequate[1]
    and inconclusive forensic evidence (as admitted to in court by the
    forensics experts) and there was a lot of emotional reaction, both from
    Nina's mother and from Paul Hora himself.

    Other than that, they had virtually nothing to go on, so whatever verdict
    they reached was solely inspired by the pleas of the attorneys, in this
    case being District Attorney Paul Hora.

    But who is to say that Paul Hora was immune to human failure? It was
    basically his plea (with all the audiovisual cues he deployed in the
    courtroom) against everything else. And as a prosecutor, it is neither his
    place nor his job to back off from his goal. His goal was and still is to
    get a conviction, in every case. Nothing less.

    Add to that the fact that Reiser didn't make himself very popular with the
    jury due to his antics in the courtroom, and you'll see that the impact of
    the emotion factor upon the ruling over guilt or innocence of the
    individual jury members becomes bigger.

    *[1]* Some evidence - notably with regard to the DNA samples taken from the
    pillar in Beverly Palmer's home - could not be considered valid because of
    a screw-up by the forensics detectives when they were gathering evidence
    and running tests.

    The sample and the tests could not guarantee that the blood was indeed from
    Nina Reiser - and given that the cause of death was strangulation, all DNA
    recovered from blood samples in this case is therefore irrelevant - as DNA
    from Hans Reiser himself had also been found on the pillar. The other DNA
    sample came from blood on a sleeping bag cover and was definitely Nina's,
    but could have ended up there in thousands of ways, including menstruation.
    This source of the bloodstain could not be established due to its age, as
    it appeared to predate Nina's disappearance by quite a few years.

    > Sometimes it's easy, and other times it takes more work. As
    > previously stated, this is how it works, and it happens every day.


    I know how it works. I was just stipulating that this was not quite your
    average court case, where either guilt or innocence are very clear, or
    where there is at least a shred of conclusive evidence.

    If in this case any conclusive evidence was found, then the case would not
    have been rejected on the exact grounds *of* inconclusive evidence by at
    least one and possibly two other judges before Judge Larry Goodman decided
    to accept it, and then such evidence would have had to be presented in
    court, which is something that did not happen.

    So I was not making any statements on the legal system. I was making
    statements per title of my personal opinion *on* *this* *particular*
    *trial.*

    >>> In case you didn't know, people are convicted *every day* on nothing
    >>> more than circumstantial evidence.

    >
    >> I find *that* hard to believe.

    >
    > Again, you are very naive. I am referring of course to how things happen
    > in the USA, and your lack of understanding may be related to that fact.


    Fair enough.

    >> I'm pretty convinced that others may be convicted over circumstantial
    >> evidence, but certainly not every day - unless you are talking
    >> worldwide, of course. If that were the case, then there would be
    >> something seriously wrong with the legal system.

    >
    > I am speaking only of the legal system in the USA. It happens every day,
    > and I would guess that it's numbered in the *thousands* of times per day
    > across the entire country. This does not indicate anything wrong with the
    > legal system, as it is perfectly allowed by the existing laws.


    Of course it is allowed by existing laws. I was not suggesting that this
    particular trial went against what is legally defined. But that's exactly
    the difference between a trial and a law. Laws are (for most part) clear
    directives, whereas the outcome of a trial is variable.

    >>> It's still just as valid, and the conviction is just as real.

    >
    >> The conviction is real, yes. It's official, there's no denying that.

    >
    > Yes. My point was that it's just as real whether the verdict was arrived
    > at with circumstantial evidence, or physical/material evidence. Makes no
    > difference in the end.


    Not to the conviction, no. Any conviction is always final unless there is
    an appeal and this appeal is accepted.

    On the other hand, I'm not sure as to what happens to the conviction as
    noted on the defendant's record when a bargain is reached between the
    defendant and the court, as is the case for Reiser now. I believe he
    received an offer to a reduced sentence and an alteration of the verdict to
    either voluntary or involuntary manslaughter - I am not sure what the exact
    deal was - if he gave up the location where he buried Nina's body, which he
    eventually did, and which to *me* was undeniably conclusive of his guilt at
    the termination of her life.

    Yet, while it is now clear to the whole world *that* he killed her, it still
    says nothing about *how* or *why* he killed her, and so therefore I was
    venting my personal opinion regarding those circumstances, based upon what
    I could assess of his personality and the conditions regarding the
    relationship between Hans Reiser and his deceased wife.

    My opinion was just that: my opinion. It was not intended as something
    absolute or even admissible in court. It was - if you will - an "educated
    guess", and I am willing to acknowledge this fully, just as I wanted to
    point out that the D.A.'s whole plea was nothing other than an educated
    guess.

    The difference between my guess and his is that his made enough of an
    impression on the jury to persuade them into finding the defendant guilty
    of premeditated murder. But given the absence of any real evidence, the
    poor and inadequate investigation of both leads and forensic evidence in
    this particular matter, the dubious and emotional witnesses and the
    emotionally manipulative multimedia presentation utilized by D.A. Paul Hora
    in the courtroom - both during his opening statements, during his
    questioning of the witnesses and during his two end pleas - it still
    remained guesswork, despite the verdict.

    And as such, I repeat that it was a lucky strike. He was guessing that
    Reiser killed Nina, and convinced the jury to rule that Reiser did kill
    her. And so now it turns out to be true, but by the same token, Nina could
    still have been alive and held hostage by some sicko she met on the
    internet.

    It was not at all inconceivable, and therefore - in the interest of
    preserving Nina's life and liberating her if she were indeed held captive
    somewhere - this lead should have been explored just as well. And the fact
    that it hadn't been was admitted to by the investigating officers in court,
    with only "we were sure the defendant had killed her" (or something of
    those likes) as their explanation as to why they hadn't. Apparently the
    fact that they were sure without an explanation as to why they *were* so
    sure was good enough for Hora.

    Defense attorney DuBois didn't know what to make of that either, apparently.
    Maybe it was good enough for him too, but if I were on the jury, I would
    surely want to know why those police investigators were so sure, because to
    my knowledge, it is up to the jury to find the defendant guilty or not
    guilty, not up to a police detective, whether this is in the United States
    of America or in any other civilized nation.

    >>> I don't have enough information to show you that, but then again I am
    >>> not the one who is making claims (assertations, really) that the trial
    >>> was biased or even corrupted. That's the difference between our
    >>> positions.

    >
    >> Yet you *are* making claims that my two independent sources of
    >> information - which I have supplied to you - were biased and were
    >> putting a spin on things.

    >
    > Wrong. Go back and read what I've written again, and show me where I made
    > such claims. I simply said that it *may* have been biased, because the
    > writers of said information were not present in the investigation rooms,
    > courtroom, jury rooms, etc... Only the people present at those places can
    > actually *KNOW* what the evidence really was.


    They were not in the judge's office, and they were not in the jury's
    deliberation room. They were however present in the courtroom, and I have
    given you two links to their reports on the case, so you *can* verify for
    yourself what they have literally written, if you can find the time and the
    place to do it.

    > While the justice system in the USA (or anywhere else) is not perfect, it
    > is the best that we can do with the existing laws as they are written. I
    > do believe that the USA's system is probably the best overall in the world
    > as to providing a fair trial to all accused criminals, and protecting
    > their rights.


    I don't think there's a whole lot of difference between the American system
    and that in most European countries, or at least, those part of the EU -
    it's one of the preconditions for any member state wishing to join the
    European Union.

    I do however see room for at least one major improvement in the US courtroom
    system, i.e. you guys have to swear on the Bible, which makes the
    separation between church and state kind of blurry. What do you do when a
    defendant or witness is agnostic, or what do you make them swear on if they
    are Muslims or Jews?

    > Yes, mistakes are made, but if one cannot have any faith in the system,
    > then there is nothing left but anarchy. I think the present
    > state of affaires is preferable to that.


    Oh, no argue about that from me. I definitely agree with that assessment.
    But then again, I was not criticizing the system.

    I was stating my personal opinion - for whatever it is worth - about this
    one particular trial, and I never even once suggested that it violated any
    American laws.

    I was merely stipulating that certain leads in the investigation were left
    unexplored and when this was noted in court by the defense, no valid
    explanation was ever given, and certain statements were even stricken from
    the record by direct order of the judge or by request to the judge from
    D.A. Paul Hora, which (to me) seemed almost a reference to some covert
    operation about which any official debate was strictly forbidden.

    (Don't get me wrong (again); I'm not saying that this was the case, I am
    saying that it bore resemblance _to_ such a case).

    --
    *Aragorn*
    (registered GNU/Linux user #223157)

  20. Re: Hans leads police to Nina's body

    On Sunday 13 July 2008 02:59, someone who identifies as *Adam* wrote
    in /alt.os.linux.mandriva:/

    > Moe Trin wrote:
    >>> BTW, does anyone here know what would happen if a crime
    >>> were committed in a place like that?

    >>
    >> Depends - you would _probably_ be subjected to tribal law

    >
    > But what would happen if a crime were committed, say, halfway across the
    > Atlantic on a ship or plane? Who's in charge there?


    As I understand it, the Captain then represents the Law of the country whose
    flag the ships sails (or plane flies) under.

    >> [price of ciggies]
    >>
    >> I think it's
    >> already been mentioned that most governments see tobacco and booze are
    >> an unlimited source of tax revenue, and it's "what the sheep will pay"
    >> for limits.

    >
    > I just bought gasoline today (July 12 2008, Hyde Park, NY, USA,
    > $4.279/gallon which is I think about 0.714 Euros per liter),


    1.55 Euro per liter over here. I've just filled my tank last night. ;-)

    > and the signs there for cigarettes ranged from $4.77 for obscure brands up
    > to $5.70 for Marlboros (packs of 20).


    It's been a while since I've smoked a brand that came in packs of 20, but my
    current brand is Belga Filter King Size - they are the length of Marlboros,
    versus their shorter "normal" siblings - and they are 5.30 Euro per pack.

    > I think the state cigarette tax is again the highest in the country.


    In Belgium taxes on cigarettes are very high, but in the Scandinavian
    countries they are outrageous. 8-/

    > I agree with you about tobacco and liquor taxes being practically
    > unlimited.


    In The Netherlands, the car is called "the Holy Cow". Probably because over
    here in Europe, the owners are milked dry.

    --
    *Aragorn*
    (registered GNU/Linux user #223157)

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