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Anti-Polygraph Instructor Who Was Targeted By Feds Goes Public 197

Posted by Soulskill
from the nothing-but-the-truth dept.
George Maschke writes "Last year, the McClatchy newspaper group reported on a federal criminal investigation into individuals offering instruction on how to pass polygraph tests. The ongoing investigation, dubbed 'Operation Lie Busters,' has serious free speech implications, and one of the two men known to have been targeted is presently serving an 8-month prison term. The other, Doug Williams, himself a former police polygrapher, has this week for the first time gone public with the story of federal agents' February 2013 raid on his office and home (video). Williams, who has not been charged with a crime but remains in legal jeopardy, is selling his story in an e-book. Public interest website AntiPolygraph.org (which I co-founded) has published a synopsis."
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Anti-Polygraph Instructor Who Was Targeted By Feds Goes Public

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  • by jennatalia (2684459) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @10:05PM (#46096967)
    Don't talk about passing a lie detector test.
    • In other words, "Don't ask me no questions and I won't tell you no lies."

      • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @10:24PM (#46097051) Journal

        "Don't ask me no questions and I won't tell you no lies."

        I am afraid to the government of United Police State of America this is no longer enough.

        What is going on in the supposedly Western Democracy nowadays is that it is marching towards fascism. From the United States to France to England to many more lapdog countries, fascist tendency of the various governmental entities have arisen.

        Used to be that one is innocent until found guilty, but no longer.

        These days, we are all guilty, no matter if we have done everything. We are so guilty that they can charge us with _anything_ they like.

        In other words, the difference between Russia/China and the Western Democracy is shrinking, and shrinking fast.

        But at the very least, China and Russia never pretend to be "democratic".

        • by amiga3D (567632) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @10:27PM (#46097069)

          "People's" Republic of China?

          They're way worse than what we've got here. I don't like the current trend but it's a long slide down the slope yet to go.

          • by dbIII (701233) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @10:41PM (#46097137)
            They are improving while other places are going the other way, which is making it difficult to say "as bad as China" even though the crossover point has not yet been reached.
          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Just FYI, from past posts taco is clearly a chinese refugee that obtained US citizenship. So he's more qualified than most to say whether or not this is becoming People's Republic of America or whatever. Possibly even moreso than me as a lifelong US citizen. They're only worse in that there is no shame in what they do, but otherwise we are the worse ones. By building an illusion of "land of the free". But then again at least we have shame in that.

            • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @02:34AM (#46097907) Journal

              They're only worse in that there is no shame in what they do, but otherwise we are the worse ones. By building an illusion of "land of the free". But then again at least we have shame in that.

              Tell you a secret ...
               
              We, the people, at least _some_ of us, are feeling shameful of the situation our country is marching towards.

              However, those who rule us, the ones in the Washington D.C. and _their_,/i> masters, not only do not feel any shame whatsoever, they actually are feeling so damn proud of their so-called accomplishment !

              Amongst the hundreds of Senators and Congressmen/women, how many of them actually feel that they have wronged the country, by voting in all these draconian laws, and by allowing the White House (no matter who's the POTUS), the NSA (and all the spooks) to violate the Constitution the way they have ?

              When I wrote to my representatives (state and federal) exclaiming my exasperation of what is happening in America and to the Americans, do you know what they told me ?

              The same old "We are doing that to fight terrorist" bullshit !

              • A famous quote from the Vietnam War was a statement attributed to an unnamed U.S. officer by AP correspondent Peter Arnett in his writing about Bn Tre city on 7 February 1968:

                "It became necessary to destroy the town to save it", a United States major said today. He was talking about the decision by allied commanders to bomb and shell the town regardless of civilian casualties, to rout the Vietcong.

                This isn't much different than what we're being told today. "We need to sacrifice our freedom in order to preserve it."

                Write to them again. Keep writing to them until they understand that their justification makes no fucking sense.

          • Why the scare quotes around "people's"?

            Anyway, I think the comparison with places like China and Russia is less than helpful. In stead, let's compare with the US of, say, three decades ago -- when there were still two superpowers and the US had to at least pretend to be the good guys, to maintain support of its allies and at least some good will on the part of the non-aligned bloc.
             

            • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @03:51AM (#46098151) Journal

              In stead, let's compare with the US of, say, three decades ago -- when there were still two superpowers and the US had to at least pretend to be the good guys, to maintain support of its allies and at least some good will on the part of the non-aligned bloc.

              I arrived at USA some thirty-odd years ago. At that time, for me at least, USA was a country where liberty of the citizens were respected.

              If what you said is true... that is, USA did all that to gain support from its allies and to portray to the world that USA is the "Good Guy", then what about now ?

              Does it mean that USA no longer has to pretend to be that "Good Guy" anymore ? That it can start wantonly violating the liberty of anybody it wants ?

              If that turns out to be true, then USA no longer has the authority to criticize _anybody_else_ regarding human rights, regarding liberty, regarding democracy, regarding so many things that USA used to stand for.

              Can you comprehend what kind of world we are living in now ?

              I ran away from China precisely because they did not (and still do not) respect the liberty of the citizen. If ever USA becomes a place just like China, I do not know where else people can aspire to be, if they were to run away from tyranny !

              • by erikkemperman (252014) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @04:04AM (#46098193)

                Does it mean that USA no longer has to pretend to be that "Good Guy" anymore ? That it can start wantonly violating the liberty of anybody it wants ?

                Well, that is sort of what it looks like from where I'm standing.

              • Does it mean that USA no longer has to pretend to be that "Good Guy" anymore ? That it can start wantonly violating the liberty of anybody it wants ?

                If that turns out to be true, then USA no longer has the authority to criticize _anybody_else_ regarding human rights, regarding liberty, regarding democracy, regarding so many things that USA used to stand for.

                Can you comprehend what kind of world we are living in now ?

                I guess people without any hope for something better are so much easier to control. And by "control" I mean "manipulate" into serfs and canon fodder.

              • by ediron2 (246908)

                > If ever USA becomes a place just like China, I do not know where else people can aspire to be, if they were to run away from tyranny !

                Oh, if only there was another continent (or two!) of countries with the opportunities and amenities of modern cities, but with governments not as oppressive as some in Asia and North America.

                (/sarcasm... also, no insult intended yet, canada.)

          • by Imrik (148191)

            "People's" is a reference to the economic policy (communist) rather than the political structure.

          • by Paul Jakma (2677)

            This would be the China where a *lower* proportion of the population are in jail than the USA? I.e. you've a significantly better chance of being free in China than in the USA.

        • Bin Laden (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @10:46PM (#46097157)

          One of Bin Laden's goals was to turn the US into an oppressive country like the ones in the Arab World,

          Even after stating the goal, here we are going that way. It's amazing how easily people can be manipulated.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @01:05AM (#46097663)

            That he wasn't working for the 'family business' all along, and that Bush's family hadn't been colluding with bin Laden's in order to bring exactly this about.

            With the WTC knocked down 3/5 of the tallest skyscrapers in the world are now Muslim, at least 1 of them was build by bin Laden construction firms, and between 'preferential access to oil' and Halliburton's recent relocation to Dubai, the whole situation begins seeming overly suspect. Nevermind the fact that 9/11 happened just in time to keep Bush from getting impeached (does anybody remember what his approval rating were looking like pre-9/11? Clinton had a high approval rating AFTER lying to congress about getting his dick sucked and spooging all over an intern's dress.)

            Combined with the fact that the majority of the terrorists were Saudis and none of them were Iraqi (were any Afghan?), it begs the question of why exactly our targets were chosen as such if not due to conspiracy.

            • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @01:49AM (#46097789)

              They were all Saudis and Egyptians. Ironically, from perhaps the best "allies" the US had in the Arab world at the time. Egypt is of course different now.

            • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @03:49AM (#46098141)

              Iraq was in the neocon's crosshairs well before 9/11. See PNAC [wikipedia.org], which published manifestos to the effect that "if only there was some kind of crisis we could exploit to further the American hegemony, by force if need be". Signatories include folks like Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Armitage, and so on.

              Then 9/11 happened, with no Iraqi connection whatsoever, the manifestos were unpublished and lo and behold, the US administration -- now composed of pretty much the same people -- conned their country and the UN to start (another) illegal war. People were hanged for this kind of thing in the past.

              Please notice I am not arguing these people were somehow behind the attack, as some seem to think, or allowed it to happen despite intelligence that something was afoot.

              You might also like to read up on Carlyle Group [wikipedia.org] which had a meeting on the morning of 9/11 which included folks like Bush Sr, James Baker, and apparently a member of the Bin Laden clan.

              • If you find this stuff interesting, I recommend the book Dirty Wars by Jeremy Scahill. It was recently recommended by someone on slashdot (in a similar context), so I went and ordered it on Amazon. I'm only a quarter of the way through, and holy fuck is it eye-opening.

                It goes pretty far back to show how Iraq was in the crosshairs a looong time before 9/11. It also shows what lengths Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc. went to to corrupt our intel to ensure that we'd end up in Iraq, regardless of whether they had anyt
            • Nevermind the fact that 9/11 happened just in time to keep Bush from getting impeached (does anybody remember what his approval rating were looking like pre-9/11?

              You may not be aware, but low approval ratings are not an impeachable offense.

            • by Type44Q (1233630) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @09:32AM (#46099607)

              it begs the question of why exactly our targets were chosen as such if not due to conspiracy

              Not to mention, you've summed up only a mere ten percent or so of all the "inconvenient aspects" of the official version... but good luck reaching those with their heads stubbornly and desperately buried in the sand; their thoughts and beliefs on the subject (all having been well-vetted by the media for comfort-inducing consumption, of course) are profoundly resistant to common sense, the nature of cause and effect, physics/engineering knowledge... not to mention brutally-obvious lessons of history *cough* Reichstag fire [wikipedia.org] *cough.

              • it begs the question of why exactly our targets were chosen as such if not due to conspiracy

                Not to mention, you've summed up only a mere ten percent or so of all the "inconvenient aspects" of the official version... but good luck reaching those with their heads stubbornly and desperately buried in the sand; their thoughts and beliefs on the subject (all having been well-vetted by the media for comfort-inducing consumption, of course) are profoundly resistant to common sense, the nature of cause and effect, physics/engineering knowledge... not to mention brutally-obvious lessons of history *cough* Reichstag fire [wikipedia.org] *cough.

                Well said. And I applaud you for posting under your username. Posts on this topic are often done as AC, since it is not a popular topic for most. The official account of that day is lacking, leaving us to wonder what is really going on. The thing is, coming to that realization is disconcerting, because it calls into question what we know and how we know it. If such a thing could be covered up, what else could be? Most people will not believe such a thing because it does not fit into their world view.

          • by triclipse (702209)
            Especially believing in that fairy tale starring "Osama Bin Laden" ... if you have believed that much then it is probably too late for you anyway.
          • by l0ungeb0y (442022)

            You do know who Mr. Laden's biggest backer and financier was don't you?
            It was the US Gov't. So of course we've "fallen for it".

            • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @02:38AM (#46097917) Journal

              Do you know who financed the invasion of Iraq ?

              The Saudis.

              Yes, our boys and girls who serve in the Army, Navy, Marine and Air Force of the United States of America, went to fight a war in Iraq, because the Saudis are paying for it.

              In other words, our military became a mercenary force, at least in the Desert Shied / Desert Storm era.

              • Do you know who financed the invasion of Iraq ?

                The Saudis.

                Really? So all that massive debt we built up during that war is being paid by them? Sweet. the GOP can quit their attempts to gut the social programs.

              • by dwpro (520418)

                That's absurd, even if the Saudis funded the entire invasion it was hardly only their interests at stake. You may be surprised to know that virtually the entire world supported stopping Saddam/Iraq from taking over Kuwait and reducing the military power of the psychopathic ruler.

        • by LordLimecat (1103839) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @10:50PM (#46097183)

          I take it youve never been to Russia or China.

          I guess my objection to the comparison isnt that we dont have major problems, its that when someone busts out a comparison like that it makes a mockery of the whole discussion. I would rather the real problems be discussed than that we get hysterical to the point that noone wants to hear about it anymore. I would rather, for example, that instead of hordes of people claiming that we're no more free than china, that people instead pressed their representatives for real action regarding NSA overreach.

        • by students (763488)

          Both China and Russia hold elections. They pretend to a degree.

        • I am afraid to the government of United Police State of America this is no longer enough.

          What is going on in the supposedly Western Democracy nowadays is that it is marching towards fascism.

          OK ... that would make one Barack H. Obama the fascist leader for over five years now. Right? He is in charge of these agencies.

          But at the very least, China and Russia never pretend to be "democratic".

          Um, yeah they did ... Communism always maintained that it was the "true" democracy, that it truly spoke for the will of the common people, who needed bold leaders to speak and act for them, and were incapable of successfully working their will through the regular machinery of democracy.

        • by jythie (914043)
          "These days?"

          Go back to any decade and one will find comments like this one, go back a century and one finds comments like this one. Things only seem better in the past because problems in the present are fresher in our memories.
    • by Joce640k (829181) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @04:30AM (#46098279) Homepage

      Don't talk about passing a lie detector test.

      You jest, but that actually *is* the first rule of passing a lie detector test.

      In the 'informal' pre-polygraph chat they'll usually fish for how much you know about polygraphs.

      • by mjwalshe (1680392)
        Ah you mean when the UK tested the polygraph they got a unbelievable 37% fail rate on the 250 people in the sample (security service officers)
  • Tip from the master, George Costanza [youtube.com].

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @10:28PM (#46097071)

    If your own government does this to its own people, we can expect way fucking worst things to happen to us foreigners.

    I hope I never have to go to the USA again. Nice people on the east and west coasts, but the ones who control everything are crazy motherfuckers.

  • by CopaceticOpus (965603) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @10:33PM (#46097091)

    Critics of this federal investigation have claimed that it has the potential to trample free speech, create an atmosphere of fear, and could lead to the wrongful imprisonment of those that the government deems troublemakers.

    However, unnamed sources within the government have taken a more positive outlook, stating that this investigation has the potential to trample free speech, create an atmosphere of fear, and could lead to the wrongful imprisonment of those that they deem troublemakers.

    • by fatphil (181876)
      You, sir, have won this thread. Personally I've have made it +5 insightful, but +5 funny's better than nothing.
  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @10:34PM (#46097101)

    He wasn't just teaching people how to pass a lie detector. He was instructing people (undercover agents) who he knew would be committing all kinds of illegal acts including statutory rape and drug smuggling. That's where you cross a fuzzy line between crime and blissful ignorance. In the same way, if I walk into a pawn shop and buy a cheap TV, it's not a crime. But, if the owner tells me it's cheap because his cousin stole it, then I'm engaging in an illegal transaction..

    • by mysidia (191772)

      But, if the owner tells me it's cheap because his cousin stole it, then I'm engaging in an illegal transaction..

      And if he tells you this after you already paid, or after you already loaded it into your car and just need to pay the debt?

      "No returns, exchanges, or refunds"

      • No, receiving stolen goods is a crime. The act of paying is irrelevant.

        • by mysidia (191772)

          No, receiving stolen goods is a crime. The act of paying is irrelevant.

          However, you received them before learning they were stolen. Book 'em danno!

          And that's just a simple scenario.

          Imagine the pawn shop owner tells you (after you signed the credit card slip, and he loaded the TV in your car), that the television was so cheap, because his brother stole something the shop traded to get the TV, or robbed a bank, and the shop used the money to buy extra televisions -- or - the pawn shop reported "vandal

          • Irrelevant if you keep them and don't report it. The act of buying them has no bearing on the crime.

          • Consider the latter cases, where the shopper has still facilitated a crime, which they were unaware of until after the fact, despite the goods themselves not being stolen goods.

            The crime is knowingly receiving stolen goods. Bizarrely, buying goods that you _think_ are stolen even though they are not (for example if I told you that all the TVs in the pawn shop are cheap because they are stolen and you believe me) is an attempted crime in the USA and illegal as well. Just difficult to prove.

            "Knowingly" doesn't mean that you have 100% proof, it means that a reasonable person would suspect that theft was involved. And whether you know it or not, the stolen goods don't become your p

    • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @11:01PM (#46097229)

      Ugh... you're missing the plain and simple truth that polygraphs DONT WORK. They are complete horseshit, like Organic food, Chiropractors and astrology. If the FBI declared that only "Leos" could be entrusted with drug cases, and this guy was teaching people how to trick the FBI into thinking they were "Leos" so they could steal the drugs, would he be helping them in any way? No, because astrology is bullshit.

      • by epine (68316) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @11:52PM (#46097411)

        Ugh... you're missing the plain and simple truth that polygraphs DONT WORK. They are complete horseshit ...

        No, you're missing the point.

        Imposing the polygraph protocol on the polygraph subject forces the polygraph subject into a highly disadvantaged mode of engagement. If the horseshitness of the polygraph test were to become the subject of public outrage, the powers-that-be would lose a valuable interrogation tactic.

        It runs deep. The cloud of uncertainty over being convicted by a fallible machine with no viable recourse or defense adds to the psychological stress of the subject. This effect would be greatly lessened if the damn thing actually worked. Basically the polygraph examiner gets to sit there and decide your fate in an elaborate ritual of faux objectivity.

        How could you say that this doesn't work? Faux objectivity practically bats clean-up in the fine-grinding mill of democratic disempowerment.

        Do you consent to a polygraph test?

        Absolutely, so long as I'm not forced to hang my head and grunt monosyllables.

        Are you refusing to take the polygraph test?

        No. I'm refusing the invasive, fucked up protocol that you've willingly elaborated around the idiotic, frightening wires. Wire me up, then engage me in normal conversation, eye to eye. Not my fault if your machine has no technical merit once stripped of the demeaning ritual. If that bugs you, work harder. Innovate. Get the captains of industry on the blower. To hear them tell it, they innovate twice a day and thrice on Saturdays. Surely simple eye contact does not exceed your far-reaching dystopian prowess?

        Hardly anyone would consent to answering questions within these bizarre strictures without the quasi-religious deference to the cult of the coloured wires. It's such a Milgramesque whitecoat scam, which nevertheless works a treat if your subject complies.

        • by fishybell (516991) <(moc.liamtoh) (ta) (llebyhsif)> on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @12:44AM (#46097589) Homepage Journal

          Basically the polygraph examiner gets to sit there and decide your fate in an elaborate ritual of faux objectivity.

          So the FBI read the handbook on giving an audit with an e-meter?

          • by idontgno (624372)

            I just wish Voigt and Kampff would hurry up and invent their machine.

            Then again, given current trends, the authorities would probably start "retiring" normal citizens as well as real replicants.

        • by gl4ss (559668)

          no no no no..

          who loses most if faith of the government on the polygraph tests is lost? the guys selling polygraph snake oil, of course. almost all cases they do is for the government for job applicants. it doesn't work for that and simply gives the polygraph guys a) a lot of power about who gets in(bj's galore) and b) gives them a lot of money to spend on booze and hookers.

          I'm pretty sure they took a polygraph test saying that they really believe polygraphs work though!

        • by El Puerco Loco (31491) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @04:04AM (#46098199)

          That's not at all how they are used. They are treated as an objective and reliable instrument for revealing deception. They ask you some control questions, ones that they know you will answer truthfully and ones that they assume you will lie about. If your response to the real questions matches the ones that they figured you lied about, then they declare that you are lying, and you don't get whatever job or security clearance you applied for. If there wasn't enough differences in your physiological response between the assumed truth and lie responses to determine which is which, they declare it inconclusive and you don't get the job or security clearance you wanted. Despite the fact that numerous controlled studies have shown that they don't work at all, they are treated as infallible by the investigators. Otherwise squeaky clean applicants are denied police jobs all the time based on polygraph results. Yet somehow police corruption is still rampant.

      • That is absolutely not the point. He was effectively aiding and abetting guys (undercover agents) who were trying to subvert lie detectors for nefarious means and he was *aware* of it. If there's a door in the bank with a shitty lock and you give someone advice on how to pick it, that doesn't make you any less of a criminal if the door had a good lock.

    • I thought only the guy who went to prison took the "were going to use the knowledge to get away with a crime and we're totally not cops trying to bait you" bait.

    • by TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @11:26PM (#46097311)
      " He was instructing people (undercover agents) who he knew would be committing all kinds of illegal acts including statutory rape and drug smuggling."

      This raises a bigger question --- if these undercover agents are known to be going out and statutory raping people, why aren't the Feds arresting them?

      I am rather disappointed and concerned that these drug smuggling, statutory raping, undercover agents are getting off scot free --- when the Feds should be arresting these undercover scoundrels who are trying to beat these polygraph tests.
    • by Sique (173459)
      No. Polygraph testing gets you a certain chance of passing (independent of your real intentions), and he just increased the chance of passing (still independent of your real intentions). So the intentions of the people who wanted to be taught passing the polygraph detector shouldn't play any role -- and if it was just so the own career is not spoiled by the results of a completely botched test. And in general: People who want to successfully work undercover have to have the ability to withstand an attempt t
    • by Paul Jakma (2677)

      The lie detector test is based on ignorance. Teaching people how to pass it amounts to telling them the scientific truth about the polygraph's efficacy: It has none, so don't worry about it, and don't volunteer information.

      If it's a crime to tell the truth about pseudo-scientific quackery, then we're fucked.

  • Show me ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PPH (736903) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @10:50PM (#46097177)

    .... the man and I will find you the crime.

    -- Lavrentiy Beria, Stalinâ(TM)s head of the secret police

  • As in it will happen presently.

    Grrr.

    • by Rob the Bold (788862) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @12:17AM (#46097479)

      As in it will happen presently.

      Grrr.

      Merriam-webster.com states this in usage notes:

      Both senses ["without undue delay"] and ["at the present time"] are flourishing in current English, but many commentators have objected to sense 2 ["at the present time"]. Since this sense has been in continuous use since the 15th century, it is not clear why it is objectionable. Perhaps a note in the Oxford English Dictionary (1909) that the sense has been obsolete since the 17th century in literary English is to blame, but the note goes on to observe that the sense is in regular use in most English dialects. The last citation in that dictionary is from a 1901 Leeds newspaper, written in Standard English. Sense 2 is most common in contexts relating to business and politics (the fastest-rising welfare cost is Medicaid, presently paid by the states and cities — William Safire)

      The American Heritage Dictionary's note:

      Usage Note: An original meaning of presently was "at the present time; currently." That sense is said to have disappeared from the literary language in the 17th century, but it has survived in popular usage and is widely found nowadays in literate speech and writing. Still, there is a lingering prejudice against this use. The sentence General Walters is ... presently the United States Ambassador to the United Nations was acceptable to only 48 percent of the Usage Panel in the 1999 survey.

      And Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary:

      The meaning “now” of presently dates back to the 15th century; it is currently in standard use in all varieties of speech and writing. The sense “soon” arose gradually during the 16th century. Strangely, it is the older sense “now” that usage guides sometimes object to. The two senses are rarely if ever confused. presently meaning “now” is most often used with the present tense (The professor is presently on sabbatical leave) and presently meaning “soon” often with the future tense (The supervisor will be back presently).

      In other words, there exists a small cadre of Grammar Nazis that are presently objecting to the original usage of "presently" for the sake of objecting. Because for an "obsolete" word, it's still getting pretty good mileage.

      • Pretty much every "rule" of grammar that people get angry over has no factual basis. Starting a sentence with "and" or "but" dates back to the equivalent of a miss manners column, and the "split infinitive" is based on a combination of self-righteousness and total ignorance of the fact that infinitives were one word in latin but already split in english.

        • Pretty much every "rule" of grammar that people get angry over has no factual basis. Starting a sentence with "and" or "but" dates back to the equivalent of a miss manners column, and the "split infinitive" is based on a combination of self-righteousness and total ignorance of the fact that infinitives were one word in latin but already split in english.

          Anyone who objects to starting a sentence with and should be given this fine example of a sentence:

          And is a conjunction.

      • In other words, there exists a small cadre of Grammar Nazis that are presently objecting to the original usage of "presently" for the sake of objecting.

        You're absolutely right. Thanks so much for providing all the usage quotations.

        I agree with you that GP is completely misguided on this question, but there actually *IS* a situation where the usage of "presently" is confusing, and where careful writers and speakers should take care.

        Take a look at the last usage guide you mention:

        The two senses are rarely if ever confused. presently meaning "now" is most often used with the present tense (The professor is presently on sabbatical leave) and presently meaning "soon" often with the future tense (The supervisor will be back presently).

        This is important advice that actually distinguishes the idiomatic usage of the two meanings. No one but a grammatical Nazi moron should object to the summary's "one of the tw

  • Passing is easy (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @10:57PM (#46097211)

    To pass a lie detector test, you must 'believe' the lie is true. This uses the same form of imagination that actors use to give a performance. For the Human mind, both reality and memories of reality are but an illusion. We have no direct contact to the 'real world'. Our 'senses' are physical mechanisms of our body that are minds cannot directly perceive. An internal 'reality' is created using different types of memory, heavily processed versions of the data provided by our sense systems, and 'thought'.

    So, creating false realities through practice is child's play for most people. 'False' or alternate memories are trivially implanted if a person has pre-awareness of the lies they will need to tell. Training the imagination even allows for spontaneous false realities to be created in real-time.

    And then you have bio-feedback training, which means learning to consciously adjust breathing rates, heart rate, and sweat response. I recall this kind of thing was popular in the 60s, 70s and early 80s as a method for improving meditation and relaxation. It is not unexpected that when bio-feedback was a technique commonly known by the average sheeple, lie-detectors fell into disrepute, but now the term is probably unknown to most of you, the pseudo-science of lie detection has made a comeback.The 'usefulness' of lie-detectors is EXACTLY the same as the usefulness of those phony bomb detectors (made from novelty golf-ball detectors) that were in the news recently.

    Lie detectors are NOT used because they are accurate, but as tools of oppression when security theatre is used as an excuse to target 'enemies' of the State. Team Obama and Team Blair push such disgusting nonsense, so the incredibly evil abusive regimes that the UK and USA support can deploy the same pseudo-scientific equipment in their constant war against democracy activists, and use 'positive' results as an excuse for torture, imprisonment and execution. How many people do you think suffered the most horrifying ill-treatment because of the 'positive' results given by the fake bomb-detectors that MI6 distributed in Tony Blair's various war-zones?

    • Re:Passing is easy (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @11:50PM (#46097405)

      Easy methods to defeat lie detectors do not even require body/mind training so that you can present a "truthful" facade to the machine. One trick is to make all your responses correspond to extreme and erratic indicators of "lying," completely throwing off the baseline "normal." You clench internal muscles even when you're answering the "easy" initial calibration questions. This way, you don't even have to worry about maintaining perfect calm mind/body control when they spring an unexpected twist on you; go ahead and freak out, but the machine's readings will already be all over the place.

      • One thing I've always wondered is whether or not you could just carry on an internal dialog to defeat them.

        Q: "Is your name John Smith?"
        Internal Q: "Are you a murderer?"
        Answer: "Yes."

        "Were you at the scene of the crime?"
        "Is your name John Smith?"
        "No."

        Q: "Are you 20 years old?"
        QI:"Is the sky green?"
        A: Yes.

        You would be lying no matter what. You're just lying to every internal questions.

    • Re:Passing is easy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tragedy (27079) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @12:42AM (#46097575)

      To pass a lie detector test, you must 'believe' the lie is true.

      Actually, to pass a lie detector test, the tester must believe what you are saying is true. They're not objective tests.

  • by jcr (53032) <jcr.mac@com> on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @11:07PM (#46097243) Journal

    There's a reason they're not admissible in court.

    -jcr

  • The article is from August. It's old and crusty and from a "Washington's insider website" --- translation = sensationalize the role of government including exaggerate and glamorify the role of government agencies to larger than life proportions to preach to the demographic choir = sell up the significance of all the departments including the law enforcement and homeland security ones.

    So, uh, what is the significance and recentness of this? Or this is a tinfoil hat link or what?

    It's a beltway, freebie, g
  • one of the two men known to have been targeted is presently serving an 8-month prison term.

    I'm having some trouble ascertaining exactly what this guy went to prison for. Several news stories repeat the above while failing to specify that the charges were , as best as I can tell, "obstruction and wire fraud." Was the obstruction charge specifically to do with the polygraph training? Other news sites say things like "Lie Detector Fraud" which suggests it's the fraud that got him jailed, rather than the lie detector part.

    So, was the obstruction charge actually because he obstructed justice by teachi

    • one of the two men known to have been targeted is presently serving an 8-month prison term.

      I'm having some trouble ascertaining exactly what this guy went to prison for. Several news stories repeat the above while failing to specify that the charges were , as best as I can tell, "obstruction and wire fraud." Was the obstruction charge specifically to do with the polygraph training? Other news sites say things like "Lie Detector Fraud" which suggests it's the fraud that got him jailed, rather than the lie detector part.

      So, was the obstruction charge actually because he obstructed justice by teaching others to beat the system (not that polygraphs are admissable in court) or was it something else entirely?

      If polygraphs are bullshit, aren't all polygraphers committing wire fraud? After all, they involve wires.

    • Chad Dixon was recently sentenced to eight months in prison for teaching federal job applicants how to beat a lie detector test. Dixon pleaded guilty last year to wire fraud and obstructing a government proceeding with his anti-polygraph business, reported the Star Tribune.

      - via a chain of blogs - could not access Star Tribune
      wire fraud just means using a telephone to conduct fraud. It is needed to give federal jurisdiction for the crime. Otherwise state law would apply.

      The crime of obstruction of justice, in United States jurisdictions, refers to the crime of interfering with the work of police, investigators, regulatory agencies, prosecutors, or other (usually government) officials.

      I'm sure it is illegal to lie in these job interviews. If he knowingling helps job applicants lie then he is an accessory to that crime.

      accessory: someone who gives assistance to the perpetrator of a crime, without directly committing it, sometimes without being present.

  • When faced with an inconvenient truth, the corrupt will try to hide that truth, and destroy those who would speak it. This is hardly a new phenomena for humankind. Thsoe who are not corrupt will, naturally, be joyously corrected and be happy to have improved their understanding of the world. Thus those who would try to suppress the truth about polygraphs can hardly be seen to be in the latter category, so why are they tolerated in government and police?

  • This guy is against junk "science" more than anything else.
  • The guy was charged with fraud. It happens that the fraud he was committing involved claims about how he could teach people to beat or use polygraphs. If he was busted for claiming he could teach people how to win the lottery this would not be in the news. Now he's making up claims about a government conspiracy as his defense.
  • My gut reaction to this was that the government is going to a new level in criminalizing information. Very scary!

    Then I read this: "The agents then posed as people connected to a drug trafficker and as a correctional officer who'd smuggled drugs into a jail and had received sexual favors from an underaged girl."

    That's pretty dumb. If they told him this was why they wanted to fool a polygraph and he still went through with teaching them then I can totally see how they can prosecute. He was attempting to he

  • I see two distinct issues. First of all, if his training works, than that just means the tests were never really that effective. You can't 'train' to beat an "Hepatitis" test, but you can train to beat an "Are you Christian test?"

    But more importantly, one of the problem with Lie detectors is that certain methodologies are more effective (not perfect) than others.

    In particular, "confirmation tests" (Confirmation example: the victim was shot in the face, so you ask did you shoot them in the arm, did yo

  • Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master.

    -- Peacekeeper Commissioner Pravin Lal

FORTRAN is a good example of a language which is easier to parse using ad hoc techniques. -- D. Gries [What's good about it? Ed.]

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