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Apple’s head of security indicted in Santa Clara County CCW case (morganhilltimes.com)
672 points by spike021 57 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 955 comments

Kinda reminds me of that time the Cupertino City Council asked Steve Jobs for free Wifi and iPads in the hearing to approve Apple's new campus:


But I guess they all had a good laugh in the end, so it doesn't count?

Half of the joke was probably the Cupertino city council being jealous of Google providing free wifi for Mountain View.

Jobs has a good point about "paying taxes." In the last few years, a lot of people in the Bay Area outside tech are saying things like "why doesn't tech do more to build more housing." They pay taxes, and tech workers living in the cities are paying income and property taxes. The communities should be asking themselves why they, themselves, aren't building more housing. What did they think these added tax dollars should be going it?

You don't even need tax dollars to build more housing, all you need is not NIMBYism.

Unfortunately the Bay Area has that in spades.

Everyone important in the Bay Area already got theirs. If you're important enough, eventually you will get yours too.

NIMBYism is great if you're a somebody.

Yes, in communities like Cupertino, the cities themselves are downright hostile to housing: https://medium.com/yimby/the-latest-on-vallco-explained-9d37...

When the planning commission of a city likens housing advocacy to "an onslaught of anarchists and YIMBY Neoliberal fascists", rational process has pretty much broken down.

It exists everywhere

It is demonstrably worse in BA than in most other places in the US.

Places like Japan don't seem to have much of a problem with it at all.

Places like Japan have negative birthrates and restrictive immigration policies.

NIMBYism is a reaction to a sudden influx of newcomers to an area. As such, hot remote work spots like Bend, OR are very likely experiencing a similar NIMBYist mindset.

Tokyo has continuous growth, and almost no NIMBYism. While Japan as a whole has negative birthrates and restrictive immigration policies, Tokyo has neither.

The comment you’re responding to is a real, important difference between Japan’s response to growth (in the Tokyo area) and other cities and regions’ responses to growth. Handwaving it doesn’t help.

I'm curious what you think is the difference between Japan's response to growth versus other places. Given the fact that Japan zones on a federal vs local level, this already reduces the potential of NIMBYists blocking new development. However this does not mean that NIMBYism does not exist there.

It largely doesn’t exist there because they’re so monocultural. Zoning in the US was created explicitly to preserve racial divisions in neighborhoods.

"We pay our taxes" sounds a bit disingenuous from a company that is famous for aggressively offshoring its profits to avoid paying US and California taxes, the latter of which would directly contribute to local housing programs.

Normally, I'd say that actually cheats the federal government out of tax revenue (for now), but Apple actually is incorporated in California, not Delaware, and California has various corporate taxes.

That said, it doesn't make sense for the global profits of a company like Apple to get taxed in California or Cupertino. The accounting isn't necessarily easy, but it makes more sense to tax where was money was made (which is murky and complicated) than to funnel it all to the HQ; Apple is more than just a spaceship in one city.

This isn't to say Apple isn't doing things to avoid paying taxes, either. My point is that using corporate taxes of a company with global sales to solve local issues doesn't make sense.

Apple's marketing is that the money is made in California. Designed by Apple in California has long appeared as a feel good on their products that are assembled overseas.

I would point you to all that cash sitting offshore that they can't repatriate back to the US, and can't seem to find productive use for in the countries where it sits. That is the direct result of tax planning. I haven't been keeping up with the cases, but I know Amazon won, and Coca-cola just lost, not sure where Apple's cases are in tax court. Hopefully they aren't an EY audit/tax client.

Okay. My belief is that their marketing is more indicative of their ethos than their tax planning though.

They are in fact an EY client (as is Coke). Not sure about Amazon

Apple's effective worldwide tax rate is ~25%, which is actually slightly higher than other US multinationals. That is also not counting taxes on income/capital gains paid by California employees, which are obviously pretty sizable.

"Apple’s effective U.S. federal income tax rate was just 7.3% in 2011. Apple claimed its tax rate in 2011 was 24.2%, one-third less than the official tax rate of 35%. But the Senate subcommittee found its rate was no more than 20.1%, allowing "Apple to claim credit for $3 billion of deferred taxes on overseas income that are not owed until the profits are brought back to the United States. Since Apple has said that is not likely to happen, its effective tax rate in 2011 was just 7.3% – $2.5 billion in taxes actually paid against $34.2 billion of income before taxes. [Exhibit 1a, pp. 38-39]"[0]

[0] https://americansfortaxfairness.org/issues/corporate-taxes/h...

But Apple doesn't exactly have a history of "paying taxes".

Sure it does -- Apple's effective worldwide tax rate is ~25%. Like every US multinational, Apple structure themselves to optimize their tax burden, but it's not like they "have a history of not paying taxes".

you're on a tear posting this at face value

Thank you for posting. This is exactly what I thought about. Anyone other than Steve probably would have said something like “that’s something we can look into and explore.” Leave it to Steve to be like “nah. We pay our taxes. That’s good.”

    Steve: I'm a simpleton I've always had this view that we pay taxes and the city should do
    those things. That's why we pay taxes. Now if we can get out of paying taxes I'll be glad to put up Wi-Fi.

Here's how you write a quote:

> Steve: I'm a simpleton I've always had this view that we pay taxes and the city should do those things. That's why we pay taxes. Now if we can get out of paying taxes I'll be glad to put up Wi-Fi. reply

It was probably more "even a broken clock is right twice a day" than a principled stand. He was notoriously cheap. He avoided paying child support for a long time, short-changed Wozniak, etc. [1]

[1] https://www.businessinsider.com/steve-jobs-jerk-2011-10

After working there for a bit the most amazing story I heard is that he would lease a new car every six months so that he wouldnt need to get a plate put on it so he could park in the handicap spot without getting ticketed.

Three questions:

1) How does not having a plate let you park in the handicapped space? The regulation is probably written such that you are required to have the handicapped plate or placard, and displaying no plate would be probable cause here.

2) Why not just have Apple reserve a parking space for the CEO or Steve Jobs outright? There's no regulations against reserving parking spaces in such a manner that I'm aware of.

3) Why is there so much worship in the tech industry of complete assholes like this?

1) I don't think it lets him park there, but it's hard to write a ticket without a plate number.

2) Agreed. This story makes no sense, although there is a picture of his car in a handicapped spot, so maybe he just did it once?

3) Lots of brilliant and successful people are assholes. Most people admire the first two qualities and not the third.

I thought the handicapped spot story and the every-six-months-new-car-for-no-plates story were separate. Steve didn't want a license plate on his car because he thought it messed up the aesthetics. He was also a jerk and parked in the handicapped spot because he could.

They’ve always been separate stories to me too and I’ve heard the same “aesthetics” point a bunch too (which doesn’t make it “true”, but sounds plausible anyway).

Unfortunately, people sometimes idolize the assholery because they associate it with being brilliant and successful. You can be kind and visionary!

I was always under the impression this was less about being cheap, but more about being really idiosyncratic about the way license plates look on cars.

Leasing a new car every 6 months is not cheap. It literally costs 6x as much as leasing the exact same car every 3 years (the industry norm).

I'm sure they made him a deal. Besides, the dealer could sell the car to somebody else later on at a markup because of its provenance.


I’m sure you’re joking, but I think Jobs was referring to property taxes. I’m not sure how much other tax they could contribute to a local town (sales tax is probably much less than the property tax).

Looks like the property at 1 Infinite Loop was assessed at $330M last year, https://www.sccassessor.org/index.php/online-services/proper...

And the property at 1 Apple Park was assessed at $823 million. 1 Apple Park alone is $11m/yr in property tax.

It’s not illegal to joke about bribery.

Correct. And it’s not illegal to investigate when nominal jokes about bribery may be construed as code inviting actual bribery.

I recognize the clever point. Investigations in cases such as these will gather evidence to bring to a grand jury, which will issue indictment. So investigation would either proceed to either the grand jury trial, or be abandoned due to lack of evidence. In the case of jokes, it would be the latter, and experienced offices would recognize this early, perhaps before beginning, and focus on other cases.

I'm not sure why people are treating this like it's bribery.

Free wifi would be something that inures to the benefit of the city / jurisdiction, not primarily to the individual decisionmakers or their department. It may not be something legitimate that they can make planning approval dependent upon, but an elected body trying to negotiate something that sweetens the deal for their electorate is completely legitimate.

Indeed, back before California ended development controls, my city's planning department effectively ran a huge reverse auction, picking the housing developments that would make the biggest street and park improvements in excess of the statutory minimums to authorize for each year's development quota. (A bit more complicated than that: various ways that the development exceeded building code or had additional amenities also counted for points in the "competition").

Yeah, Apple doesn't pay taxes, they sure got the last laugh.

Can't believe all the Apple apologists here. Bribing public officials is a crime, period. It isn't an "unfortunate situation" or anything else that people are calling it. It also doesn't matter who initiated the bribe. The employee, and potentially the company itself, absolutely need to be charged and prosecuted for it.

A private citizen of limited means paying a bribe is somehow reasonable because there's a huge power imbalance.

Refusing to pay a bribe is also a refusal to participate in a racket. Local police can be extremely petty and extremely violent [1]. If a police officer told me he'd let me off for a bribe, I would probably pay it. I wouldn't be paying to get what I want. Rather, I would be paying to avoid the appearance that I disapprove of the bribery (and the possibility of resulting reprisal).

E: And, of course, I would report that bribe as soon as it was safe to do so. And, of course, I'm referring to a scenario where I, as an individual private citizen, am told to pay money to a person with a gun who controls my immediate safety... which, importantly, brings us to the second half of this comment:

But this isn't that.

A high-level exec at one of the world's most powerful companies paying off a local LEO for a permit instead of, IDK, contacting the State or the Feds, is beyond inexplicable.

[1] https://oklahoman.com/article/5666549/woman-recognizes-attac...

> A high-level exec at one of the world's most powerful companies paying off a local LEO for a permit instead of, IDK, contacting the State or the Feds, is beyond inexplicable.

The problem is that, at least in many jurisdictions, gun permits basically only exist as a means for police to solicit bribes. There's literally an entire industry of people whose job is bribing police departments to get gun permits. C.f.: https://www.google.com/search?q=nyc+concealed+carry+bribes

This sort of thing is the result of a permitting policy called may-issue. Basically it means the party that issues permits, usually the local sheriff or police department, can deny a concealed carry application for any reason. States adopt this policy as a way of punting CC policy making down to the local level.

In practice the may-issue policy has repeatedly proven to be an irresistible opportunity for graft. Despite this some states continue to maintain may-issue policies, including California and New York.

This is exactly right! When there's no clear set of criteria for a permit and people get denied for this or that or maybe no reason at all. Just try getting a (unrestricted) LTC in Boston, near impossible -- unless you "have friends". This is how LTCs (License To Carry) work in Massachusetts, it's city by city dependent on the Chief of Police.

The criteria should be clear and contestable in court. Like it or not, it's a constitutional right and the law should be "shall issue" (unless good reason not to -- and I'm all for reasonable "good reasons not to").

I say this as a big proponent of the right to self defense on a personal level, the current legal view is that, gun possession in the public square is not a right, it is a privilege, one that can be revoked as seen fit by the government. What is a right, is to keep and bear arms, this means one can maintain possession of their arms without fear of confiscation on their personal property or property in which they have expressed approval of the private owner.

This is why even as far back as the early 1800's it was not uncommon for local sheriff's to mandate a leave your guns at the sheriffs post at the edge of town policies. Yet, the local barkeep could still have a shotgun under the counter. Town was the public square, where the local bar, while a public establishment, was a private proprietorship.

Many of these type of rights extend from the pre-US castle doctrine laws which summed up shortly basically conferred the concept, that a person is king of their castle, the states rights should be significantly curtailed, when it comes to a personal private property. More modern day utilization tends to just boil it down to self defence, in ones private property, but historically it held a view which helped shape many of the personal liberties that were incorporated into the Bill of Rights.

Since nearly the foundation of the USA public possession has always been seen as a privilege extended by the state. In earlier times this was generally pathwork local law and the local sheriff view of guns carried in their town. Now it is generally more formalized via a state based licencing scheme.

A good read on rulings that imply it is a privilege:


Converse to the last paragraph though is that while precedence and the lack of challenges early on to public restriction lead to the concept of public possession being a privilege, the subject is now in modern day being battled out in the courts, and there have been some rulings ignoring history policy precedence

A good read on rulings that imply it is a right:


With all that being said, may issue is fraught with corruption and unnecessarily restrictive, in my state we have a shall issue and it works well, especially coupled with our strong castle doctrine laws. So well, that at the entry of my state an anti-gun group put up a billboard that said "Visitor's Warning - Florida residents can use deadly force". The billboards actually has the opposite effect than the group had intended so they removed them.

I would be a proponent of each state going to a shall issue system and extending the public privilege to a national recognition and reciprocity system, much like the state's driver licence systems are. That being said, it's fairly consistent that the state has almost since the beginning seen public possession as a privilege extended and not an absolute right.

A good read on the subject and precedence for public gun carry, from a purely historic perspective is this article:


on a completely tangential rant, class 3 FFL transfers, require a sheriff's signature and are just as rife with corruption and cronyism. I used to live in a county where the local sheriff was very vocal about the fact that he would not sign for class 3's, yet every deputy or buddy, cousin or uncle had one. I would love to see the local law enforcement sign off requirement, for Class 3 be removed and rather just make it a duty to inform local law enforcement that one is in possession of a class 3.

> gun possession in the public square is not a right, it is a privilege, one that can be revoked as seen fit by the government.

Right or privilege, it should not be conditioned by bribes. And when a LEO is involved in a bribery case their punishment should start at several times that of the other (non-authority) person because it seems like that right/privilege comes at the end of extortion.

No argument there, I am not a fan of may issue, just ban public carry for everyone in those states and let the chips fall, but the connected don't like it when their bodyguards can't carry guns. In essence it is a ban for only a certain class of people.

As a matter of principle, I will contest any attempt to frame the right to carry on one's person a weapon into the same vein as a driver's license. It is an explicitly granted right. If you look at how traffic enforcement has worked out (in spite of the fact we still play it up as a privilege), senior citizens and the disabled are still at a major disadvantage in mobility in their more enfeebled years, and no semblance of lessening of the regulations of any option to move around ever becomes apparent. It is also utilized as a significant source of revenue generation as particularly notorious small towns are well known for changing up speed limits ob chunks of major roads they straddle just for the bump in revenue.

It is also notable, that gun control also fell under that same set of "State's rights" contributing to the original Civil War, and to hell with the well soap boxed dolts who insist that the only issue the Civil War was predicated on was Slavery. It wasn't. It was only indirectly so because the framework for expansion of Slavery was seen as falling under the banner of State's rights at the time, just as much as gun control itself was also seen as falling under State's rights. It's not a dog-whistle, it's what it bloody was.

Tangent aside, it basically boils down to the fundamental division of "rural v. Urban" in the United States, and to be frank, I side with the ruralites. Just because a bunch of people gather together in one place should not generate some emergent privilege that everyone loses an explicitly granted right except law enforcement. Period. Gun control almost universally arises out of some group being uncomfortable with another group having guns, and the group that's uncomfortable tends to be fine and dandy letting the authorities strut around with them, and would be unlikely to carry anyway; much like how pro public-transit folk seem to be more than okay with onerous vehicle regulation, but balk when the same laws or tenets are applied to them. Better to just not throw anyone under the bus at all.

Call me a yokel if you want. I've seen too much flung in the way of wrapping up other folk's rights in my lifetime in the name of public safety with no signs of a return in sight. Until I see some loosening up, or some honest give and take, I"m in the "not one more inch" camp.

I am not your opposition on this, just stating how the law currently looks at it, and citing the precedence that has been cited before, specifically gun control in the wild west. That being said, I am OK with it being a privilege if it were a universal shall issue. I would prefer that it be decided that it is a universal right, but I am ok with either outcome. I am not a fan of may issue as it tends to be a privilege that only well the privileged gets to enjoy.

With all that being said, I see magazine capacities, foregrip bans, scary gun cause it is plastic and black and those kind of rulings as a direct affront to the 2A because they apply to stuff in my home, I would be a felon if I lived in those states, literally one day I would be legal and the next I am a felon. With no recourse, even the Automatic Weapons Ban in the 80's allowed for the FFL 3 classification and the tax stamp to keep the weapons one already owned and while I am not advocating for a grandfathering of reasonable capacity magazines, and black rifles I am citing that in the AWB there was at least a path to keep your existing stuff legal.

You seem much more level headed and well informed than most of the people arguing gun ownership on either side of the issue. I'd just like to point out a small thing, that by calling the automatic weapons ban in the 80's the "AWB" you are conflating terms between the Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986 (known as FOPA) and the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act of 1994 (known as the AWB). People are generally confused between the legal definitions of "automatic weapon" and "assault weapon". I find it useful to be very specific about which you are discussing to avoid confusion and petty arguments about terminology that can keep the discussion from moving forward.

You are right I got my facts confused, meant to say fully automatic weapons ban. I apologize for the misinformation, I misspoke on automatic/fully automatic and I know that is a huge issue of contention so it was an unacceptable slip, as well I should have looked up the actual laws name. Again I apologize for misleading information and thank you for clarifying the information for people.

I believe that I am level headed (at least I like to believe that I am), because I am first and foremost a pacifist but I acknowledge the logic that if someone is trying to harm you, you have a right to not be harmed. I respect devout pacifist and totally understand their logic, that the principle of pacifism is more important to them than self defense because violence flows from a few wells, fear/insecurity, despair/desperation, anger and jealousy. They believe to neutralize violence you are not violent against those that are in one of those states, rather one should be merciful on their them due to their torment, and that mercy is show in love for them and all people. I honestly admire that level of pacifism but don't know if I can ever get there, I get it, I accept that these are the primary drivers of violence but it's hard to be that principled and understanding while standing down the barrel of a gun. As VanZant so aptly put it in "gimme 3 steps", "Well it ain't no fun staring straight down a 44". I may be able to in a situation involving only myself, but with my wife and kids I just cannot see myself getting there. Thus I only carry a firearm when I am with my family. I used to be anti-handgun when I was young and would have been fine with a ban on them. It was not until later in life that I realized that people will literally, pick up a stick and kill someone else, so while handguns primary purpose is human on human violence, I realize that it is just an object and ascribing the violence to the object only blurs what we all need to fix as humans and that is man's inhumanity to man.

> gun possession in the public square is not a right, it is a privilege, one that can be revoked as seen fit by the government.

I'm not sure what you think "bear" means in "the right to keep and bear arms."

The Constitutional right to own a firearm doesn't mean much if you're not allowed to have it outside of your home.

That is the questions being proposed, and to be honest I am a 2A person, I would like it to mean bare in public for non criminals but that is not the current ruling or historic rulings by the supreme court. As it sets bare means you can pull out your gun and use it as part of a state sanctioned militia (don't really exist anymore) or as the most recent ruling specified, in self defense. What is not "legally" clear is "where". Well it is legally clear, the only place right now you have the right is on your private property, or property you have been given permission to possess a weapon on. In states if you have a CCW or they have other carry laws, you are afforded the privilege of being able to bare in public and common property with some restrictions. Again this is not my definition, this is what they have ruled.

And that is the current arguments being made, as their is the implication that by the preamble about the state needing the people to be armed to supply the militias if needed, that if they were called into the militia they would almost certainly not be baring arms on their property. We also have to take into account history, and historically the government did not strictly control open lands they were considered open lands or communal so pre-1900's carry laws being what they where, generally only applied to entering and leaving town, pretty much everywhere else no one has beef with someone having a gun. Times have changed, federal uninhabited land is shut off from the people for the most part and rights generally don't extend there anymore, as well town is a whole lot bigger now. These are arguments being made in support that the framers actually meant the right was "in public"

It's not a matter of what I think it means, it's a matter of what the supreme court thinks it means. So far they have been a mixed bag, the inherent self defense ruling was good but honestly should have been a no brainer. Given that one of the founding fathers was killed in a dual, and duals up until the 1900's where pretty much considered mutual self defense.

I think the ninth court hosed the decision on the Federal Assault Weapons Ban as this directly affected guns of similar features but different looks one could own or features that could be placed on guns. None of that really bothered me as a Browning BAR 300 win-mag with a modified magazine for high capacity would absolutely dominate the battlefield, but the key there is the precedent because by being able to ban pieces of the gun (because they only recognize the receiver as the legal gun), they have set the path for the current bans on magazine capacity and that is concerning because if it stands based on precedent, the 7 round magazines restriction, can legally be reduced to 1 round magazines, in effect only legalizing single shot weapons and while I know in the movies and video games, everyone dies from the first shot, the reality is a higher percentage of people survive shoutouts than die from them, even after receiving multiple gunshot wounds.

"This is why even as far back as the early 1800's it was not uncommon for local sheriff's to mandate a leave your guns at the sheriffs post at the edge of town policies. Yet, the local barkeep could still have a shotgun under the counter. Town was the public square, where the local bar, while a public establishment, was a private proprietorship."

I wish people had a better sense of this earlier social arrangement.

It was the most conservative of approaches to gun possession and was imposed by the town elders who wanted to regulate and order behavior in the public sphere.

Now we find ourselves in bizarro world where firearms politics are exactly flipped: a free wheeling "let-do" policy is championed by "conservatives" and a highly regulated policy is championed by "liberals".

In reality, a historical perspective shows us that the ownership of modern weapons by average citizens is off the charts liberal. That is absolutely where it sits on a political spectrum of rights. It is, historically, the prerogative of the most conservative and reactionary interests to prohibit/restrict arms.

All that to say: I prefer the conservative approach. I, too, was very young once and very excited to exercise my rights and privileges ... I open-carried regularly, had a CCW, etc., and the result was a lot of discomfort and bad feelings. Carrying a firearm is a provocative act and it makes sense that conservative actors in a community would try to keep that at bay.

I wish people had a better sense of this earlier social arrangement.

I think some of that has to do with the everreal presence of government in today's day and age. In the wild west, well it was the wild west. Other than the long arm of the law there was very little government or regulation, people did not feel the need that the founding fathers did. In all reality they were pretty free.

Contrast that with today and we have moved more and more issues to the federal level, we have pretty much abandoned the republic for an empire and now we are pushing social issues and regulation to a federal level. This does not end well, it never has.

When we has 50 strong independent governments that had more to do with peoples day to day lives and the federal government just stepped into the states business or rights issues, people had 50 shots at finding a representative government. Not so today, as more and more, the states (governmentally) look like cookie cutters of one another. I think this has set the "all or nothing", "I am not giving one inch" mentality that pervades discussion today, on almost every subject and it is coming from both sides. At a certain point, one side or the other is going to believe they need to stand up to federal government, because they no longer have a representative government and the ones that have guns tend to be of the mentality that those chickens are coming home to roost for their side.

The thing is that liberalism is now basically the only mainstream political philosophy in western countries. "Conservatives" and "liberals" are arguing over different aspects of liberalism.

Sorry, I caught this comment late, but I agree I consider myself an enlightenment era liberal. Most people today peg me on the conservative spectrum, which is not true both parties have been in lock step on the real issues and squabbling it out on "emotional" issues. This is the reason that Clinton doubled down on Regan's/Big Bush's foreign policy and Little bush -> Obama progressed similar domestic controls. They honestly don't fight about anything they care about, just trigger issues, like sectional rights, the second amendment, abortion. I call them trigger issues, as they serve to divide people but honestly they could care less which way the chips fall on those issues which is why they never get resolved, but just keep getting stoked by the politicians.

To be honest even classic liberalism is dead, both are progressives when it comes to free trade, and unification of regulations across the globe.

> gun possession in the public square is not a right, it is a privilege, one that can be revoked as seen fit by the government.

Driving is also a privilege, yet no one has to bribe anyone to get a drivers license.

> Like it or not, it's a constitutional right and the law should be "shall issue" (unless good reason not to -- and I'm all for reasonable "good reasons not to").

I believe the state of the law is that either concealed carry or open carry must be available. They can't both be may-issue, but one can be if the other isn't.

And I tend to agree that that's enough to satisfy the argument "it's a constitutional right".

That's not correct. California makes open carry flatly illegal, and concealed carry is may issue.

>States adopt this policy as a way of punting CC policy making down to the local level.

They implement it as a wink and nod end run around the 14th amendment. The whole purpose is so that the states can play dumb when the towns "accidentally" install sheriffs/police chiefs who turn out to be racist and deny all the irish/blacks/latinos their rights.

No, this has American politics inside out. Red states are typically shall issue and blue states are typically may issue. To the extent that it's about introducing discretion as an means to accomplish a specific policy objective by stealth, that objective is gun control, not racism. An end run around the 2nd amendment, not the 14th.

What does red or blue have to do with this?

Rights are for everyone. Government privileges always end up favoring particular groups for personal or political reasons. To demote a right to a privilege is to prefer this kind of favoritism over equal protection of the laws.

If "blue" states just didn't like guns, then they would simply ban all CCW permits. But they do like guns -- as long as the "right" kind of people have them and the guns look the "right" way.

>If "blue" states just didn't like guns, then they would simply ban all CCW permits.

There's a pesky amendment that prevents that so they settle for restricting "undesirables" (a definition which is a moving target over time).

The second amendment seems to protect some kind of carrying. It's not clear from my reading that it protects concealed carry.

Agreed that rights are for everyone, equally applied. It only has to do with it insofar as the conditions he mentions: red states tend to be shall issue, blue states tend to be may issue. If you doubt that's true, look at this map:


Now, that map is 18 years old and things may have changed a little since then, but I doubt it's changed much. This is why, as mentioned above, "may issue" is ripe for graft and corruption.

Army and Navy laws, Cruikshanks v. US, point systems for handguns, gun control in CA are irredeemably motivated by the fear of giving black men the means to defend themselves and their rights.

I find it hard to believe that Californians' main reason for gun control is anti-black racism. I'd like to hear some evidence for that claim.

The 1967 Mulford Act originated in California with the goal of disarming BLack Panther Party members to restrict their (lawful) armed patrols of Oakland neighborhoods.

It was introduced by a Republican, garnered bipartisan support, and enacted by (then governor) Ronald Reagan, with support from the NRA, with the espoused claim of "not harming a single honest citizen."

Arguably, 1967 is not today, but even to people like myself, who try my absolute damnedest to look for non-racial motives where others ascribe racially motivated malice, it looks like it was just designed to disenfranchise Black Panthers of the same 2A right as their white peers.

"I find it hard to believe that Californians' main reason for gun control is anti-black racism. I'd like to hear some evidence for that claim."

Here is a picture that seems, almost, to come from am alternate reality:


"Throughout the late 1960s, the militant black nationalist group used their understanding of the finer details of California’s gun laws to underscore their political statements about the subjugation of African-Americans. In 1967, 30 members of the Black Panthers protested on the steps of the California statehouse armed with .357 Magnums, 12-gauge shotguns and .45-caliber pistols and announced, “The time has come for black people to arm themselves.”"


"The display so frightened politicians—including California governor Ronald Reagan—that it helped to pass the Mulford Act, a state bill prohibiting the open carry of loaded firearms, along with an addendum prohibiting loaded firearms in the state Capitol. The 1967 bill took California down the path to having some of the strictest gun laws in America and helped jumpstart a surge of national gun control restrictions."

Nearly all gun control measures in the US are rooted in racism. Some in Jim Crow, some in other eras -- but most of them were to ensure that the "wrong people"* couldn't protect themselves.

The nfa wasn't, unless you're broadening anti-gang sentiment in the 30s to like anti Irish it italian sentiment.

And it's dubious that this is true for other regulations against "assault weapons".

You don't think the 94 crime bill (AWB) was racist? Everyone else does...

There's two answers to this, that both have a bit more nuance than I expect HN to be okay with.

One is that the AWB wasn't a racist provision of the overall bill. The gun control measure was not rooted in racism.

The second is that the bill as a whole wasn't "rooted" in racism. It certainly was a bad bill that had terrible consequences, and we should undue a lot of the damage it did, but the intent of the bill was, in part, to help the black community (and it had support from many people in the black community at the time). Horribly misguided in hindsight though.

Sure it was.

The crime bill was designed to stop the "super predators" (to quote two democrat presidential candidates). It was a racist depiction of black men. It included a provision to outlaw scary black guns. You can't really divorce the two and pretend they're not related.

Like I said, if you aren't interested in discussing this topic with nuance, don't respond here. HN isn't for simple political flamebait and potshots.

Why not both? Gun control laws have a very long history of racial motivations.

Laws don't have motivations. People have motivations.

Yes, and that includes motivations to write and pass laws. Apologies for the shorthand there.

I call BS considering 99% of sheriffs are locally elected officials. They aren't "accidentally installed".

On a side note, the nice thing about sheriffs being elected is they don't have to listen to a god damn thing the state tells them to do (within confines of law obviously). They work directly for the people of their community.

But what if you are a minority in that community and they aren't dependent on your vote to be elected?

No, otherwise you'd seem them in areas with high racial strife.

It's a way of allowing rich limousine liberals to get security guards with guns, while denying the common person the same right.

Exactly. In NYC retired cops can't even get them, but bodyguards of the rich can. Not to mention all gun laws are infringements of the second amendment.

Why would retired police have special access to this sort of permit? The entire justification for it is that their dangerous job necessitates special privileges. That justification doesn’t apply to retired people. It may apply to actively employed private security, I don’t know. At least the reasoning makes sense, though.

If you've been an LEO for 10 years or more there's a federal law that allows you CCW anywhere (without a specific permit, just some ID that affirms your LEO status).

So much for equal rights, some I guess are more equal than others!

You are referring to the LEOSA Laws but even they are problematic as a former LEO could be arrested for having a magazine that holds more than 7 rounds.

Good question. I believe if anyone would be qualified for a permit, it would be them. Not that they should receive special access. The current system isn't based on qualification, but on privilege.

See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_Enforcement_Officers_Safet...

"The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) is a United States federal law, enacted in 2004, that allows two classes of persons—the 'qualified law enforcement officer' and the 'qualified retired or separated law enforcement officer'—to carry a concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States, regardless of state or local laws, with certain exceptions."

or need. A retired NYPD cop doesn't need a gun - a bodyguard might.

Often those bodyguards are ex-NYPD, which is how they got the concealed permit in the first place.

The whole point is demonstrating a need for a concealed weapon, not qualification or competency.

The 2nd amendment does not require "need". The whole "may issue" concept is broken. Why doesn't California have a reciprocity policy like most other states? Not only can I not carry there, I cannot even bring the gun I have in my pocket right now into the state because it's not "approved" there.

The issue, is that we have not even got to the CCW "need" part. The issue is they are still battling out is: is public carry a right or a privilege? Currently the state views it legally as a privilege, per the last supreme court ruling, thus at the moment it does not fall under the purview of the 2nd amendment. And can be restricted not unlike a drivers licence as driving is a privilege. If that changes, then all states would be restricted from placing any requirements on the public possession of weapons. The problem is there is a lot of precedence dating back to at least the early 1800's on the restrictions of carrying in public. See my post above for details on the right vs privilege of public carry.

To be clear, the argument that is being played out is not on owning weapons, that has been decided. The argument that is being played out is does the spirit of the 2A incorporate a conferred right to carry in public. History and precedent dating back to the early 1800's says it does not. But there is that tricky "bare" part in the 2A as the spirit of the law would assume that they were not just protecting the right to "bare" them on one's own private property, given the pre clause about people needed to be armed so that the militias had a good supply of armed men, to ensure a free state.

On a related note, I see magazine restrictions as a more direct affront to the 2nd amendment. If they stand, then it can be abstracted to the amount (any amount) of ammunition can be restricted, which means the most restrictive states can and will outlaw everything, but single shot weapons to comply with the letter of the 2A rather than the spirit.

This is a 14A issue, not a 2A issue.

Restricting CCWs in a manner that would absolutely not fly for free speech, voting, or some other right isn't the issue. The issue is that some states have set up discretionary license issuing schemes that in practice violate the 14th amendment.

I don't disagree that the may-issue / shall-issue is a 14A as people are not getting equal protection under the law. My GP post was addressing the issue that many are under the impression that the 2A is interpreted as a universal right to have a gun anywhere at any time and that we are are still legally addressing that question. The 14A is important but secondary to that question. If it is decided that public carry is a 2A right then this 14A issue disappears but if it does not just like speech it is subject to reasonable restrictions, I cannot have a nuke, I cannot have bio weapons, I cannot have destructive devices, these don't make sense to extend to privileges. Public carry for the reason of self defense, does. As I said, if they go to a will-issue like FL and TX and universal reciprocity like the drivers licence system. I have no problem with the interpretation remaining that it is a privilege. It is not an unreasonable infringement on the 2A.

There are restrictions on free speech in public, I cannot yell fire into a crowd, I cannot incite a riot, I cannot tell people to vote for Jo Jorgensen while I am waiting in line to vote. Same with voting, I cannot vote twice even if my freedom of expression wants to.

This issue at hand is with those rights, they do not logically make sense to extend the spirit of the law via allowing some of those prohibited things via privileges.

This is why the 5th is such a good parallel, because I have an inherent freedom of movement but I don't have an inherent right to do it via the public roads, using an automobile. I have the privilege to do so via a licence. Now I can own an auto, I can offroad all over my property, that is my right but as soon as I hit the public pavement it becomes a privilege.

going back to the first, I can yell fire in my house all day long that is my right, but if I pick up the phone and utilize the public networks via dialing 911 and yell fire it is a very different situation. Again, it just does not make sense for the 1st to have some of it's limitations extended into privileges.

My overarching point is the 2A issue is not settled, many tend to take one stance or the other, but it is very much in flux, that will decide if the 14A issue is really a moot point.

The 2nd amendment also doesn’t guarantee concealed carry handguns, nukes or RPGs.

You can have long guns, stored properly in NYC afaik.

That's not actually correct, it says "arms", not "some arms". If you take guidance from the "militia" part (possibly dubious, as it's generally interpreted as a preamble), a militia, in a current defensive war, would require anti-tank and anti-aircraft rockets and missiles, at the very least. The problem with that is, in Heller, the militia is not really part of the test anymore. You might be able to argue against suitcase nukes, and they don't really have a defensive or targeted offensive purpose, and are only really useful for terrorism.

And yet, you can't buy anti-tank or anti-aircraft weapons.

You actually can, if you can afford the paperwork and storage requirements.

It's quite involved and expensive ($200 tax per round on anti-tank rounds just to start with), but it's not impossible. Just prohibitive in cost.

The clear intention of the second amendment is that the citizens have the right to have and carry around anything that would be needed to wage war at the highest level, in order to defend themselves from anyone including the government. Just as the founding fathers had very recently finished doing.

You are clearly correct. All constitutional scholars seem to agree on this. The founding fathers were very concerned about the possibility of future tyranny from government they were crafting. Ensuring that the citizens had guns, and limiting the power of the government were both ways to prevent such tyranny. It's a shame that more people do not understand the mindset of the founding fathers. (Not to imply that they all had a common view on this. There was much disagreement and negotiation.)

I don't think that's the clear intention at all.

If that were so clear, we wouldn't have all of the litigation and laws around the 2A as we do.

It's only not clear to people who wish the second amendment said something else.

Hopefully with the supreme court we have now, we can strike down every unconstitutional gun law (all of them) in the next few years.

Which is, itself, a violation of the full faith and credit clause of the constitution.

>Why would retired police have special access to this sort of permit?

Ask New Jersey. They explicitly allow retired LEO to have CCP. Meanwhile the law is so complicated and it's so unusual for even security guards to get a CCP that they sometimes get arrested anyway even with the permit: https://reason.com/2020/03/10/new-jersey-security-guard-arre...

> Not to mention all gun laws are infringements of the second amendment.

This is phrased like a legal argument but it's missing all the important parts.

A CEO I know (billion dollar revenues, multinational corporation ) tells me that:

1.The tricky bit is knowing the right amount of the bribe to pay.

Pay a Senator or a member of the House too little and you have made a powerful enemy.

Pay too much and they figure that they have a sucker that they can keep milking. And of course, you have also wasted a couple of extra million that could have been directed to another Senator....

2.The bribes are structured as payments via "lobbyists" or as "campaign donations"

3.In every country bribes are structured just well enough to evade local scrutiny.

Thus in Indonesia it is suitcases of cash.

In the US it is directorships of companies or well paying board jobs for children of politicians or investments in a politicians son-in-laws hedge fund.

In The Netherlands it's kind of the same I think. Politicians often end up with very lucrative private sector jobs at the end of their political careers. No doubt at least part of the jobs granted is payment for services rendered and part to get access to a political party.

In the EU it's the same situation as well. I mean this situation [0] with Neelie Kroes is quite suspect as well, isn't it?

>Taxi app Uber, which continues to battle regulatory clamp downs and legal confrontations in Europe, has appointed a former VP of the European Union’s executive arm, the European Commission, to its public policy advisory board as it looks to grease the gearbox of its regional fortunes.

The ex-VP in question, former digital agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes — who stepped down from her role in the European Union’s executive body in November 2014, after serving a five-year term in digital policy (and some 10 years in all as a European Commissioner) — was a vocal supporter of Uber during her time in post.

Prior to leaving office in 2014, for example, Kroes loudly condemned a ban of Uber in Belgium, publicly proclaiming that “Uber is 100% welcome in Brussels and everywhere else as far as I am concerned.”

I believe this kind of corruption is endemic in the Western world. For most "normal" voters this kind of corruption is quite invisible I believe, in contrast to people being payed directly a suitcase of money.


[0]: https://techcrunch.com/2016/05/06/uber-appoints-former-ec-vp...

This claim is not something you need a CEO friend to tell you. Anyone on Reddit's conspiracy theory boards could give you exactly the same message. (BTW it's interesting to note that in my limited experience high level execs are just people, and prone to the same foibles as other people too. They don't automatically have insight into all things.)

So, at least in that issue, people on Reddit's conspiracy theory boards are less gullible than you, and other people believing these things don't happen/are rare, and that we live in a Disney world...

(And a difference with the CEO, that you probably missed, is that they have more likely than not done these kind of bribes themselves).

I'm gullible for my skepticism about an anonymous internet commenter's "CEO" friend's generic "in-the-know" boasts?

No, it's gullible because the CEO might not exist, and the boast might never been uttered to the OP...

...but the bribing and the situation described (including similar calculations) goes on every day, in every single country, since forever.

So to compare it to conspiracy theory takes a lot of gullibility on the good intentions, clean hands, and lawful operating of businesses, politicians, local officials, and/or the rich. Or maybe a better word would be "naivety".

This is not "Elvis is Alive", "The KKK killed Kennedy" or "PizzaGate".

This is all too common, everyday, corruption.

This sounds like some dialogue from a Scorsese film...

Don't forget lavishly paid speeches and inexplicably popular books of memoirs.


I disagree. It's useful for triangulation.

I know an urban county in California where it's an open secret that one can greatly increase one's chance of having a carry permit approved by making the maximum allowed contribution to the sheriff's reelection campaign.

This kind of reminds me of the UC admissions bribery scandal. There are legally approved ways to bribe schools and politicians, so if one is inclined to do so, at least follow them. But in both cases the idiots in question have gone about it in a flagrantly illegal fashion. I am not condoning the practice, but merely recognizing the system as it actually functions.

The frustrating thing in the US is that bribing the sherrif or the head of the university is legal, but bribing the low level paper stamper is illegal.

That provides huge incentives for the most corrupt to rise to control the institutions they’re supposedly policing.

I work in a library. I've learned though our ethics training that we can't accept cookies from patrons because that might be seen as bribery. There's a strange requirement to accept food: you have to eat it in front of the giver. So we can't take cookies, but the legislator can be fed by lobbyists.

I can’t speak to your state laws, but at the federal level, giving certain officials free food would be a felony, unless it was finger food provided at a “widely attended event.”

Which naturally includes junkets to posh resorts.

So just take one cookie and eat it right there.

I don't think these are the same thing. Donating to the Sherriff's reelection campaign is a lot closer to a bribe than donating to a university, because the Sherriff is benefiting personally a lot more than the head of a university is from a donation to the school.

It would be more analogous if the donations were somehow made to the Sherriff department's budget.

Getting doners is a big part of a university president's "re-election campaign". Everyone has a boss they need to impress.

Your link specifically calls out New York City. I could not find anything related to concealed carry permits and bribery for Texas. This indicates a poor implementation of law/regulation.

This is because Texas is a shall issue state where generally, you apply, meet the specified requirements, get a background check, pay your fees and the state will issues you a permit. If you pass all the checks you get the permit, no other considerations are made.

New York is a may issue state which generally/usually means a local law enforcement official will make a judgment call. Some have a blanken no issue policy, others sometimes waive that blanket no issue policy if they can be persuaded.

That sounds highly prejudicial. The Texas approach sounds far more sane and equitable.

Reminds me of an episode in 'Billions'.

That's probably one of the craziest things I've heard. Never commit a crime to look a certain way because it won't look that way tomorrow. The police could be trapping you. If not they now have dirt on you. How in the world can you explain that to a judge if it came to that?

Honestly, this sounds like it's coming from someone that lives in a country where bribes aren't commonplace.

It's good that you and I both live in countries like that; but, in some countries, you report your bribes on taxes, they're so common.

From the other comments in this thread, it's suggesting that the CCW permit process in California is very bad and broken and these bribes have been an illegal method of actually getting CCW permits.

I used to work for one of the oil giants. They had codified standards for bribery, a la: "While we do not approve of bribery, we recognize that in some places we do business, they are an unfortunate necessity. To that end, we have standardized our practices to keep everyone involved as safe as possible".

I hope there standard was to not do it, because it is a US crime for any US national, citizen or resident as employee, officer or agent of a US corporation to bribe or otherwise corrupt a foreign official.


One common exception is the so called grease payments which you’ll need to get anything done in any reasonable time frame.

> Regarding payments to foreign officials, the act draws a distinction between bribery and facilitation or "grease payments", which may be permissible under the FCPA, but may still violate local laws. The primary distinction is that grease payments or facilitation payments are made to an official to expedite his performance of the routine duties he is already bound to perform.

I have worked for a non-US company that was owned by a US company. I had to go through training and one of the courses was about bribery.

It was an absurd experience. The training material kept repeating that I absolutely could not bribe a non-US official. However, in my country ALL officials are non-US and bribery is also illegal so what were they trying to tell me with this "non-US" criterion?

The message I got from training course is that bribery is bad (I knew that), bribery is illegal (I knew that) but it's okay if I bribe a US official (really?).

My understanding is there is an exception for bribes needed to get an otherwise typical process complete. In other words, you’re entitled to some permit, but without a bribe you’d never get it or not get it in a reasonable period of time.

Such a payment is considered a grease payment (and not a bribe), which is lawful under FCPA.

I think you're assuming your parent is an American?

(Looks like they're Australian: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25194634)

It is likewise illegal for Australian citizens, residents or corporations (with the same sort of "Facilitation Payment" carve-outs mentioned elsethread):


A bit of both. I live in the US now, but grew up in Australia (and born in Scotland, so I have quite the passport collection at this point).

It’s funny - I did give that some thought - and then concluded (VERY INCORRECTLY I ADD), well he worked for one of the BIG oil companies — more likely than not an American.

Upon giving it a little more thought it turns out that only 2 of the top 10 oil companies are American. So, yeah, my bad.

I wouldn't call it paying a bribe so much as paying a ransom. It does not surprise me at all that this is happening given how much authority the Sherrif's have over CCW and how few they give out.

Show me the incentives and I will show you the outcome.

The ability to deny something is very powerful. Gives others great power over others.

I know a guy who works on oil tankers and he was doing a gig in Africa. As he told it, basically every port there has a deal where you have to smuggle oil or stuff for them and tricks to get through standard inspections etc., etc.

So a new captain comes on board and first port they get in he refuses to do this - they refuse to let them in the port - they were out at sea without resupply 20 days and running out of food... the company had to fly in a different captain to relieve this guy and he told me by day 2 weeks in they were already joking around how the captain could have an accident ...

> but, in some countries, you report your bribes on taxes, they're so common.

Can you give any examples of those countries? Countries with high amount of bribing tend to also be countries with large off-the-record economies, therefore I am skeptical of that proposition.

FYI in the US, you can claim tax deductibility on bribes paid in foreign countries iff they are not legally classified as bribes in the respective local laws.

>> but, in some countries, you report your bribes on taxes

> Can you give any examples of those countries?

Germany used to be like this, but it they changed the law many years ago. I don't know if there are any such countries remaining. The article below is from 1995, when bribes were still tax-deductible.


I know of examples from El Salvador, but couldn't find good info on their tax laws in Spanish. This report mentions that extortion rackets are so pervasive that larger companies hire full time negotiators to manage their bribes, and have it built into their business models. No matter how you codify it, or whether or not you really call them officially "tax deductible", they are in fact a real operating cost that an American business doesn't ever have to consider but a third world one does, and it drives up cost for the end consumer.

Extortion is mainly demanded from businesses, but local residents may also have to pay “taxes” or renta to access their homes. No business sector is spared, and goods and professional services may be demanded instead of, or in addition to money. Large businesses and transport operators have dedicated employees to negotiate extortion fees, which are built into >their financial models. Implicit risk starts as soon as someone is targeted to pay, and it rises if they are unable to pay or the renta charged increases. Those who refuse to pay are killed.


I remember reading in the calguns forums a few years back that sheriffs had de-facto outlawed concealed carry in CA with this extortionate program.

By the way Apples head of security isn’t the only one. Nanci Pelosi has had a CCW for a long time while simultaneously fighting to suppress gun ownership in her own city and state.

That's nothing new. Senator Dianne Feinstein got a permit to carry a concealed handgun in San Francisco. There has always been one set of rules for the powerful and another set for the rest of us.

She had one because the anarcho hippie terrorist groups of SF targeted her and shot up her home several times. When the group was arrested/disbanded, she let her permit lapse.

While I agree it sucks that some rich and powerful people seem to live by a different set of rules, it's not like she had a permit just for kicks.

My childhood home was burgled several times and death threats written on it. I was assaulted several times.

But I’m not rich and powerful, so.

I recall Sherif telling my dad if he shot someone, to make sure the body was in the house pointing toward the inside. That way he wouldn’t be arrested.

So we were under constant assault, and if we tried to defend ourselves we had to make sure everything was “perfect” so as not to get arrested.

Complete insanity.

Moved away as fast as possible.

To be fair, there's a difference between being a victim of a crime that could happen to anybody, and being a target and likely future victim.

No. I think that’s part of the problem.

I’m not allowed to defend myself. At least not with a big check list to ensure I don’t goto jail.

I recall advise like keep a bat and glove in car at all times. Glove is the “reason” you have something to defend yourself with.

Nonsense games to protect yourself because some Pampered people don’t think you should be allowed to.

But that’s the whole point of a CCW permit. If you’re at risk you should be allowed to have one, and yet she works to make that impossible for all but the powerful and connected. It’s fine that she has one but it’s not fine that she doesn’t let regular Californians go through the same application process without money or connections.

My point was to show that she had a legitimate need, then let the permit lapse when she no longer had a need. She didn't have one for an abuse of power.

I wasn't debating the merits of the CA shall issue policy.

In other words, don't pick a fight where there isn't one.

Don't senators get (armed) govt security protection anyway when they are threatened?

She was mayor of San Francisco at the time.

> My point was to show that she had a legitimate need

No one was arguing otherwise. The comments you were replying to were clearly about the hypocrisy of anti-gun politicians.

> In other words, don't pick a fight where there isn't one.


In the spirit of the 2nd amendment, you shouldn’t need a permit. Also happens to close one avenue for corruption.

However, a person living in a dangerous neighborhood has just as much right to protection as an elected official. And the 2nd Amendment doesn’t have a qualifier “if you can prove you need it.”

What gets me as a Brit is when wealthy Hollywood celebrities campaigning for gun control point to our country's gun laws as an example and then insist that of course their security guards should be allowed to carry guns. (Private sector armed security is basically illegal here.) Of course, what really really gets me is when they talk about our total ban on guns while insisting that their security guards don't count because they have handguns and not big scary rifles, because the total UK ban they're likely thinking of is on handgun ownership specifically.

One rule for me, another for thee...

Er, no. Different laws at different times. If CC were made illegal, it would be illegal for her too. Or is she actually advocating for different laws for different people?

What do you do when you want it to be legal for some people and illegal for other people? Make an opaque approval process and don’t approve very many people. My understanding based on some details I heard a few years ago (so I am no expert) is that this is exactly what happened.

Yes but you shouldn’t need a permit to get one, in the spirit of the 2nd amendment. Having permits just makes 2 classes of people, those with connections to the sheriff and regular Joes.

She and her class are above the laws.

IDK why you're getting downvoted.. I looked into this when I moved to SF and was astonished that it was basically impossible to get a CCW. Coming from the Detroit area this was a MAJOR shock to me.

I'm surprised Pelosi thinks she even needs one. Rules for you and not for me.

A CEO from Japan came over to America to give a speech at his new factory. His English wasn’t great, so he spoke, and the translator spoke to everyone.

Well at one point he went on about thanking local government officials, and that he would be sure to give them gifts for approving the project.

The translator wisely left that part out.

Confused, the CEO later asked why, then was shocked to learn that bribery is a bad thing in America.

Google Fu is weak, so haven’t been able to find the original source. (May have been a Japanese language book)

> bribery is a bad thing in America

Well. At least openly talking about it.

Pretending it doesn't work in Americaa is ostrich syndrome. Just the first google result to prove my point. https://www.usnews.com/news/elections/articles/2020-10-22/tr...

That doesn't scream "real" to me. Bribery is illegal in Japan. Thats why there is informal "gift giving"

I've gone through various "International Training" sessions at my company and one of the things they teach is that if a foreign official says something like, "hmmm... your papers are invalid, but I can help you out for $100" or similar, you should pay and immediately report (and expense) it on return. I know one coworker who went through this traveling through a small country.

That is illegal according to US law. At my company, we are explicitly taught the opposite: paying "facilitation fees" is prohibited and illegal and that the employer will fire you and throw you under the bus if they find out you did so. They explicitly mention that this is not allowed even if it is the norm in the country in which you are doing business.

I have never heard of a major company that didn't advise its employees to pay bribes abroad.

Whether it's legal or illegal is almost aside the point, someone can choose between either breaking some arcane, unenforced US law, or potentially spending months/years in some hellhole of a third-world jail or prison while the Embassy slowly negotiates a release. And in some places, that's assuming someone doesn't just "disappear" or get robbed and shot on the spot.

It'd often be better to get fired and federally charged than to risk what your company advocates. In a worst case scenario, at least you know what you're getting, at least you'll have competent legal defense, and at least there will be a high -- virtually unprovable -- standard of evidence required for a federal jury to indict.

Every Fortune 100 company I've worked for has annual training that stresses the companies no-bribes no matter the reason policy.

Then we get pulled over in Mexico with a VP with us and it's a totally different reality on the ground.

The company doesn’t want you to not pay bribes — they just want to be able to say that they told you not to if you get caught.

So there's a difference between paying off the cop for a speeding ticket, and bribing the Minister of Resources for a contract.

Most companies want you to pay the cop to not take you to jail on fake charges.

The don't want you to pay the M. Resources (or at least not officially).

International Conglomerates keep 'Sunshine Funds' - i.e. money off the regular books in overseas accounts for this activity.

It's part of doing business in 1/2 the countries around the world, literally impossible to do business without it.

> I have never heard of a major company that didn't advise its employees to pay bribes abroad.

That would be conspiracy. No, absolutely this does not happen. Now, at the micro level it does happen that individual executives rope their employees in to fraud at their direction. But absoutely no "company" anywhere "advises" its employees to pay bribes as a matter of policy.

I think most companies would prefer their employees not go missing in some African hellhole or get incarcerated on bullshit charges wherever.

There's little difference between bribes and highway banditry in some places, and not playing along will very likely not end well for you.

Recourse in cases of abuses of power is already hit-and-miss in so-called "civilized" countries. I wouldn't count on it in countries that can't even agree on who's in charge somewhere.

People are actually downvoting my post (and the one where someone confirmed that this happened at three Fortune 100 companies).

It's one thing to be a boy scout, but it's another entirely to get accused of severe, frivolous charges while abroad, or to drive up to an armed cartel/militant roadblock, and then say "I'm sorry, bribes are against corporate policy and illegal in my country" when asked for $50.

Shame on any company for creating a clause like that and risking their employees lives instead of just remaining silent on the matter. Make no mistake, bribery isn't optional in many parts of the world, it's a robbery by a uniformed official.

I think people in the overall thread are getting confused about different kinds of bribes.

A bribe needed to get a lucrative contract for your company: not ok.

Paying off a local cop so he won't throw you in jail for no reason: totally ok.

The US is concerned with preventing the former, not the latter. I would be surprised if any US company is advocating people pay the first kind of bribe, at least publicly, as that's quite illegal in the US (I'm sure it happens, but as quietly as possible). But I would not be surprised if US companies tell employees to pay the second kind of bribe, as well they should.

This thread reminds me of John McAfee's bribery guide http://www.whoismcafee.com/the-travel-guide/

That was an interesting and mind-numbingingly depressing read at the same time

Absolutely. This is a good point.

Courtside tickets to an NBA game? Not okay.

"Your vehicle does not have the permits. You need to come with me" at gunpoint in sub-Saharan Africa? That's a matter of life and death, potentially.

You are entirely incorrect. One of the largest mining, minerals and petroleum companies in Australia has it right there in the employee handbook sitting on your desk on Day One.

So lets dial back the absolutes, huh?

Yes, this happens frequently. They are termed "facilitation payments" rather than bribes, they are budgeted and accounted for as expenses, and the official direction of briefing materials at at least three Fortune 100 companies (that I know of) directs people to pay them.

I am not sure why you were being downvoted, exactly. While there is a difference between the two terms, it seems like an area that firms could easily fudge, until someone actually investigated the specific case.

> What is the Difference Between Bribery and Facilitation Payments?

> Facilitation payments are different from bribes in that they’re offered or solicited in return for a service a person or a company is entitled to receive. In contrast, bribes are offered in return for undue and illegal advantage. [0]

Do we know if these executives were deserving of the CCP? It would appear they were, from the post’s link:

> Sung—second in rank only to Sheriff Laurie Smith in the sheriff’s office—is accused of deliberately holding back four concealed carry weapons (CCW) permits for Apple’s security team until the Cupertino-based corporation agreed to donate 200 iPads worth about $75,000 to the Sheriff’s Office, Rosen said. Sung and Jensen allegedly worked together to solicit the exchange of CCW permits for the tech donation from Apple.

The much larger corruption seems to be on the LEO side to me. Which of the two actors swore an oath to uphold the law?

If it wasn’t for clickbait, the headline would focus on the LEO.

[0] https://www.ganintegrity.com/compliance-glossary/facilitatio...

There's a difference between a bribe to win a contract or similar vs. the case where you feel in danger - e.g. you come across a roadblock in rural Mexico and an armed official wants a "clear up your paperwork" payoff to let you pass. That's the scenario the training covers.

Exactly, and it's clearly permitted to pay in that case because being able to travel involves routine govt action. I have no idea where this legal advice is coming from.

> routine govt action

Like issuing a concealed-carry permit to a non-felon ex-Navy corporate executive.

OP describes a ransom, not a bribe. Charge the govt official who demanded the ransom, not the citizen entrapped in the scheme.

Except most of these guys either paid the bribe or had it ready to go until they heard sirens. These guys could have easily reported the solicitation but instead they participated in it. This isn't the case where a cop is threatening to throw you in jail or plant drugs on you unless you pay up right now, this is a state permit process. No one had their life or freedom directly threatened over not having more CCW permits for their security team.

The sheriff deputies fucked up. The CCW applicants fucked up. Everyone got caught and everyone is going to suffer the consequences.

Reporting it would have meant no chance of getting the permits. I am not going to fault anyone who plays along with a facilitation payment even when it's the US government demanding it.

I have no idea where this legal advice is coming from.

From the usual IANAL crowd: "I saw it on the internet, so it must be true."

And if you're an actual lawyer, internet rules dictate that anything you know is trumped by a Wikipedia link.

To be fair, the Wikipedia pages on law that I've read are quite good (IANAL, just interested), probably because they rarely touch on politics.

Or, perhaps it's that those editors who distort other areas of the wiki to fit their political biases aren't interested in law. It could be either or both (or neither, but I'm biased towards myself;)

I have seen both in training, but in different contexts.

jbuzbee is referring to international travel training you go through if you apply to travel to/through a "red"/"restricted" country. They are not referring to the generic "don't take a bribe for a contract" training.

IANAL, but I think a general rule of thumb is: will this bribe get me out being detained against my will (or worse) for doing nothing wrong? If yes, then it's ok. But: if I don't pay this bribe, the only consequence will be that my company doesn't win this contract -- that's not an ok bribe to pay.

> That is illegal according to US law.

Not always. If the local laws don't classify it legally as bribe you can pay it and even claim it on your taxes as cost of doing business.

This is incorrect. It's classified as a "grease payment", not a bribe. It's explicitly allowed under the FCPA.

"That is illegal according to US law."

Can I ask if you are an attorney - because this is absolutely 100% false. You are spreading misinformation here.

If your employer fires you for paying a facilitation fee to advance a routine govt action or travel then you should absolutely sue them.

> The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 is a United States federal law that prohibits U.S. citizens and entities from bribing foreign government officials to benefit their business interests.


> Regarding payments to foreign officials, the act draws a distinction between bribery and facilitation or "grease payments", which may be permissible under the FCPA, but may still violate local laws. The primary distinction is that grease payments or facilitation payments are made to an official to expedite his performance of the routine duties he is already bound to perform

one of the things they teach is that if a foreign official says something like, "hmmm... your papers are invalid, but I can help you out for $100" or similar, you should pay and immediately report (and expense) it on return

I used to work for a company with a similar policy and training. "Airport tax" was how it was expensed, even if you weren't flying.

Your company trained you to pay bribes? That sounds...unusual, and not at all lawful (according to US law, if you are based in the US).

Sounds like there's a distinction under the FCPA between actual bribery (illegal) and grease payments (legal), where an official requests a bribe to do their job.


There is an exception under the foreign corrupt practices act (FCPA) that if you do as parent poster described (pay and report as such) then it is legal. Otherwise you are correct, it is highly illegal.

Wow, TIL.

You are spreading misinformation here.

In many countries everyone has to pay a facilitation fee (aka bribe) for routine govt actions.

These are for things like:

obtaining permits, licenses, or other official documents to qualify a person to do business in a foreign country; processing governmental papers, such as visas and work orders; providing police protection, mail pickup and delivery, or scheduling inspections associated with contract performance or inspections related to transit of goods across country; providing phone service, power and water supply, loading and unloading cargo, or protecting perishable products or commodities from deterioration; etc

How in the WORLD to folks giving legal advice here not have even this basic understanding of the law?

I acknowledged that here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25193691. I never claimed I was giving legal advice.

But also, it seems like it's a bit of a grey area:

"As a general principle of the Foreign Corrupt Practises Act (FCPA), in the United States, firms and businesses in the US are prohibited from making any payments to foreign officials for routine governmental action. However, any payment that does not effect the decision of the foreign official is not considered a bribe. For example, a businessman in the States may make a payment to a government official to expedite a deal or transaction. Such a payment is considered a grease payment (and not a bribe), which is lawful under FCPA.

In this regard, it becomes necessary to understand when an amount paid turns from a grease payment to a bribe, which is illegal under law. This is a grey area under the law which is still to be clarified. There are numerous factors that could play a role in demarcation between the two, which include: the amount of payment, the frequency of the payment, the status/level of the foreign official to whom the payment has been made, the outcome of the case regarding which the payment was made, etc."[1]

The training at my company is pretty strict about never making any "grease payments", so certainly there's some doubt.

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_Corrupt_Practices_Act#...

My company training also states that in situations where you are in possible danger, you should pay the bribe and then document and report it (with the company). For instance, you and a co-worker is in a car accident, you are fine, but your co-worker has a broken leg, you go with your co-worker to the hospital, upon arriving at the hospital you are told the doctor has gone home for the day, but for the right price, someone might be able to get him/her back. There is a "Safe Harbor" exception in these cases, however you must document and report.

Yep, they did and do. And we are a US company with lots of lawyers. My coworker was at a tiny island airport in the middle of the Pacific. If he didn't pay, he wasn't going anywhere.

I had corporate training, annually, that said to do the exact opposite. We were not even allowed to give or accept innocuous gifts like tickets to a game without getting it approved by our legal department.

That's an entirely different class of bribe. There is no personal threat to you there. In some parts of the world, your livelihood, if not life, may be threatened.

"Call Legal if the police officer in Nicaragua is threatening to throw you in jail without arrest until you give him cash" is a reasonably sure way to put yourself at further risk/in grave peril.

If the gift is to secure business this is likely true especially if the business relates to some govt or official of another country. Very strict there - you can't pay a bribe to get business or as part of business development.

However, if you need to pay a "facilitation fee" to exit the country (called routine govt action) that is not about securing business or getting a competitive advantage such as a customs waiver, then paying the fee may be permitted (for a number of reasons).

What I think US folks don't realize is some dept's overseas basically pay their staff through these unofficial fees, they set some rates for service, but nothing goes through treasury and no enabling legislation exists. But they also don't get money from their treasury to operate (or its stolen by folks above them) so that's how they keep operating.

People forget that facilitation fees were the norm not long ago: in Britain in 18th century you'd have to pay the judge for judging you and the prison for keeping you. You can imagine that the size of your payment greatly influenced how you were treated.

In Russia prior to USSR, facilitation fees is how all officials earned money, that was the official policy. That's only 100 years ago that is was not even considered corruption / bribery. Obviously that disease is still festering in Russia and the country as a whole is paying a grave toll for it.

Lastly, do keep in mind that as a local you can probably tell is a payment can be declined withoit repercussions, but as a foreigner you don't really know.

That makes sense, and you’re right. I’ve never worked or lived anywhere that bribes or “facilitation fees” were the norm. The closest I’ve come is a public bus in Vietnam where the driver and fare collector guy made up their own rates contrary to the posted fares.

It isn't going to be taught unless you are going to be doing business in a country where it is the unavoidable norm with the people who are known fordoing it. Otherwise you will be trained to not pay bribes.

I have it on good authority that all apple employees are trained to not pay any kind of bribes. Didn't realize that training would need to be applied in the states tho

That's bad training. If they are stuck in a country because they won't pay the $20 exit fee because authorizing legislation was not properly adopted, then apple are idiots.

It will take one person dying because of this policy for apple to be sued to hell and back.

That's why organisations use proxy security and travel agents to pay those bribes. It's built into the price.

American Express GBT, BCD Travel, CWT, FCM Travel, they all offer it. It's usually expensed as "Consulting" or "Advisory", however never separated in invoiced line-items.

Every single large tech organisation has made lip-service commitments publicly to not accept bribes, but also operate in countries where it's the absolute norm. How is that handled? Through an intermediary.

If you are in a life-threatening situation you are encouraged to cooperate; the training isn't stupid.

> That's bad training. If they are stuck in a country because they won't pay the $20 exit fee because authorizing legislation was not properly adopted, then apple are idiots.

Oh so they are stuck somewhere during a business trip? In that case, they would contact their company for assistance.

Alternatively, it's just a job. The penalties tend to go as far as firing the employee. If it's a life and death situation that's an ok outcome. I mean, if we insist in discussing these convoluted scenarios...

Campaign contribution, lobbying fees, consultants fees...

Tomato, tohmahtoh

When a person with a gun says do something, you do it.

Especially if said person is an LEO in a country famous for above-the-law LEOs.

Principles are easy to have from the safety of a keyboard. How many of us would keep them in a real world situation?

I guess it depends on whether the Apple guy had a reasonable fear for his life. If the Sheriff said, "Hey it would be cool if you guys gave me some iPads maybe I could grease the wheels on your gun permit," then I don't buy it. A reasonable person should not be afraid of the sheriff at that point. There's some risk in reporting the situation, but it's not that serious. Maybe you don't feel comfortable reporting him, so perhaps you decide you don't need that CCW after all. Giving the bribe is far from the only option, and the presence of any element of risk is not carte blanche for illegal activities.

If the sheriff said gimme the iPads or I'll blow your brains out, that's another story. But I guess that's not what happened here.

I think this is the particularly pathetic thing. Low level LE does this all the time, but in this case, Apple (and the security guy) should have reached out to their (likely) myriad contacts within the FBI/DOJ/CA State. It’s one thing if the little guy caves to government extortion. It’s another thing altogether if the big guy is willing to tolerate it where it could do something about it.

Yeah, that's the point I was trying to make. GP is appalled at commenters breaking for Apple, and I'm just pointing out that their response is best understood as a projection of themselves into Apple's shoes. And in that case the response is reasonable. But of course the unreasonable thing those commenters need to realize is that Apple is insanely powerful and insanely powerful institutions putting up with corruption is Not OK.

Is it ‘Apple’ or is it the head of security though?

Depends on how disposed you are to like the company I guess? When a high level director at Google does something bad, we say on here that Google did something bad. Same at Facebook. I don't know why it should be different for Apple.

But the issue in question at the moment isn't about whether we get to rub things in the face of apple-loving posters. The question is about whether this individual wields the supposed power Apple has in this situation.

It’s the head of apple security. That is Apple. Apple would do well to swiftly terminate their relationship and get in front with PR statements of their own and further acts to minimize blowback. Then, when the head of security has his day in court, Apple will be vindicated. Then, and only then, is it the head of security. Until that point it’s entirely Apple (and why companies make such a big deal about anti-bribery training)

FWIW, it would be just as bad of a look if instead the head of security’s wife was engaged in this scheme at her own workplace. And Apple would be 100% correct to still terminate their relationship for fear of bad press

As there's no indication in the article that Moyer or his team were threatened with violence, I'm reading and responding to your post as a theory ("People's ethics are often overridden under the weight of authority.") vs advice for the future ("When a person with a gun says do something, you should do it"). Let me know if I'm mistaken.

Your question is difficult to answer, but I ask in return: Is a general propensity to engage in an act sufficient to excuse it?

I will concede that "every person has their price". At some point we cross the line from "asking for a bribe" to "engaging in extortion" to "direct threats of violence".

Moyer ran the ethics and business conduct programs. Is there an expectation that someone in that position does have a durable set of principles, and a price higher than a CCW permit?

The appropriate consequences for the involved parties are, of course, along completely different ethical lines.

There was zero threat to get the payment. There are certain counties and sheriff's where campaign contributions are one of the main routes towards obtaining a permit. No one is getting pressured by threat of force to do this. This is not a new game in CA. Other's have been called out for it.

I feel like this thread went a bit south... the second half of my comment starts with:

>> But this isn't that.

That’s a little dramatic.

It's normal in CA because that is what elites do, often. They pay bribes to obtain general privileges of the public that are being withheld. Similar to the college admissions scandal. For CCW permits this has been an open secret in some jurisdictions for decades. Pay to play is elitist, classist, and hopefully they will be convicted for doing it.

The mistake they made was bribing individuals instead of making a sizable donation to the department and then casually chatting up the brass at a heavily sponsored fundraising event, over a few glasses of wine, about how frustrating the delays have become for everyone.

This sort of thing won't ever stop because of a few convictions, same deal with the college admissions scandal. It just raises the price.

Unfortunately, not only is it explicable, its common practice. Just a few years ago in NYC some of the highest ranking police officers in the city along with members of the prosecutors office were involved in a very similar scheme where they were selling gun permits (which are very difficult to get in NYC) to Orthodox Jews. To make things worse, the political connections of those involved in this massive crime allowed their names to be mostly excised from the reporting of this story in a variety of news outlets despite the case being covered for more than a year.


I had to pay two bribes (200 USD, then another 300 USD) to Cancun police to get a friend out of jail so he could make his flight home. They asked when his flight was (~3 days later), then said they'd hold him until the day after the flight unless I paid up. Definitely felt more like a ransom than a bribe in that I didn't really have a choice not to pay.

I can definitely see how some people get suckered into bribes sometimes (especially with armed, intimidating police), but it doesn't seem like that is the case here.

I used to work in emergency assistance (think travel insurance claims) and any job that took you to a number of countries in SEA meant you took $500 to $1000 USD for bribing officials for the sole purpose of retrieving passports.

I agree but I want to point out it's actually worse than you make it sound. One of the indicted officers is second in command in Santa Clara County!

> A high-level exec at one of the world's most powerful companies paying off a local LEO for a permit instead of, IDK, contacting the State or the Feds, is beyond inexplicable.

The State or the Feds don't issue CCWs in California. Chief local law enforcement officers only, which means sheriffs and police chiefs.

>> A high-level exec at one of the world's most powerful companies paying off a local LEO for a permit instead of, IDK, contacting the State or the Feds, is beyond inexplicable.

> The State or the Feds don't issue CCWs in California. Chief local law enforcement officers only, which means sheriffs and police chiefs.

No, but they do investigate other LEO agencies for corruption. See: the article.

Right, and how long is that investigation going to take.

Meanwhile Apple is short dozens of security guards to have a full detail necessary to protect the lives and wellbeing of the highest ranking executives in the country.

The head of security at Apple is charged with protecting the lives and wellbeing of the top execs.

He performed exactly as the incentive structure recommends.

The crime is bribery, which determines the jurisdiction is federal.

Which laws were being overlooked by the bribe is not relevant.

Was going to upvote you, but I think even a private citizen of limited means failing to inform the Feds is an unforgivable offense against our society as well.

Knowing about public corruption, and not reporting it, is tantamount to racketeering. No matter how much power you have.

There are plenty of extenuating circumstances. For example, if you were a spouse of a corrupt law enforcement officer who's already facing domestic violence, would it be racketeering if you did not report your spouse's conduct? I am willing to bet it wouldn't (you have a credible fear of being assaulted, or worse yet, losing your life if you did so).

This is why things like anonymous tip lines and whistleblower laws exist. You are encouraged, in general, to report misconduct. But there are very specific situations where it's illegal to not report misconduct.

Spousal privilege would cover this specific example, I think? But the example could be shifted to adult dependent child, maybe, to create the same situation.

There was a time when reporting malfeasance to the federal authorities was the obvious right thing to do.

Now it is clear that reporting criminal acts to eg. the FBI is very risky; if the officer is politically aligned to the politically and societaly dominant party, and you are not, you're toast.

There isn't a politically and socially (?) dominant party in the US. There were recently bitterly and closely contested federal elections there.

downvote all throwaways >gun reference, or izzit

Local police can be extremely petty and extremely violent [1]. If a police officer told me he'd let me off for a bribe, I would probably pay it

That isn’t a bribe, it’s extortion.

As an aside it’s hilarious that Apple wants concealed carry permits for its staff while replacing the gun emoji with a water pistol. Just goes to show a corporation’s marketing is nothing to do with what it really believes.

I disagree. I dislike Apple's practices as much as anyone, but when the #2 person at the sheriff's office is the one soliciting the bribe, you have a problem with the police department that even Apple cannot be expected to fix.

You can argue that they should have gone straight to the DA, and you might even be right, but the only way for this problem to get fixed is by cleaning house at the police department, not by scolding Apple for trying to work with corrupt officials.

Keep in mind that it's incredibly rare for any DA to go against the police, so this case is already unusual. We'll have to wait and see if they actually have the evidence / wherewithal to see this one through rather than just settling out of court for a slap on the wrist.


I actually agree with the comments suggesting that Apple and similar companies will learn from this experience and will use it as an example when trying to ensure that it doesn't happen again, and in that sense, it's important that they be punished too.

I think the point I'm trying to make is that, on a moral level, the police department comes off looking way worse than Apple here, and their punishment should be higher.

Police are given a special position in society where we essentially trust them to conduct themselves professionally and uphold the law fairly. When that trust is misplaced, the checks are slow and unreliable, and corrupt cops can cause a whole lot of mayhem while we're waiting. So if you're going to go after police corruption, you'd better hit hard. It's really, really bad for society to have police who are so comfortable asking for bribes this openly.

It's also bad for companies like Apple to feel like they can just pay the bribes to grease the wheels, but it's a different kind of bad. It's a "We should punish Apple to discourage a tragedy of the commons" kind of bad, while police openly asking for bribes is a "betraying the public trust" kind of bad.

Apple can absolutely be expected to fix it! They'll have someone trained to deal with this exact scenario, and employees will have been exposed to similar scenarios in mandatory anti-bribery training, and instructed exactly how to respond. In fact, I can guarantee this is gonna become a textbook example that all other companies are gonna be using in their training going forward. Bribery is a big deal for companies on this level, especially those teetering in the world of luxury like Apple is.

NO - these aren't workplace permits, they are personal licenses for the employees. They can already carry guns on their building grounds without a permit. The company is stepping in on behalf of their employees for to get these permits issued to them as individuals, so Apple's willingness to participate in the bribery is on the company. I do agree that the police have done the far greater crime in the abuse of their authority. No one really cared when the only permit issued by the city of Oakland was to Jerry Brown's personal assistant Jacques.

How do you know Apple was stepping in on behalf of employees?

It sounds like it was the Employees alone.

The articles frame it as the Head of Apple security acting on the behalf of 4 potential Apple security team licensees - so at least 3 of those Apple employees aren't him. He's acting on behalf of his employees, I'd say that is Apple stepping in.

And this is why your company develops strict anti-bribery programs as soon as reasonably possible.

Apple already had those programs (I’ve taken the training!) - they are not enforcing their policies, and protecting someone who broke them.

Why do Apple guards need to carry guns in the first place? Those guards should just be monitoring and alerting real law enforcement if a break-in happens. If someone goes postal, then I guess there should be several normal folks at Apple already carrying and able to protect the general public.

> If someone goes postal, then I guess there should be several normal folks at Apple already carrying and able to protect the general public.

So your solution is other, probably lesser-trained, individual Apple employees should be concealed-carrying so they can respond to a workplace shooting? Let's ignore that Apple probably doesn't allow this in the first place but even if they did I would not want to work in an environment where my coworkers were walking around with guns all the time. I have no problem with guns or CCW but in the workplace is a different story for me.

Yeah, when you put it that way...

Then help me understand. You have a shooting on the Apple campus, your ideal response is...? From your previous comment it sounds like you expected Apple employees who have their CCW and are carrying to handle it, was I mistaken?

In theory that could be a scalable approach. Citizens taking command and you will eventually have more armed people on Apple campus. But I tend to agree with your argument now. People just aren't trained for it.

Esp. because the story continues with the Santa Clara County Sheriff's office extorting other bribes from other parties.

They didn't even touch the Sheriff.

> Sheriff Laurie Smith, who has the authority to issue CCW permits, has not been charged with a crime.

Either i. the sheriff knew about/was in on this scheme and must be put in prison or ii. the sheriff didn't know about how her number two was soliciting bribes using her authority to grant/deny licenses and must resign because that is just gross negligence.

Which one is it?

In another incident, Sung “extracted” a promise from Chadha for $6,000 worth of luxury box suites at a San Jose Sharks game on Valentine’s Day, 2019, before issuing Chadha a CCW permit, Rosen said.

“Sheriff Laurie Smith’s family members and some of her biggest supporters held a celebration of her reelection as sheriff in Chadha’s suite,” Rosen said.

She's definitely not painted in a good light, that's for sure.

The sheriff's have been very crafty to not generate any evidence of wrongdoing. Unless one of her direct reports decides to turn against her and testify there will be no evidence that she ever directly communicated the monetary requirements to get a permit. Prior to this it has largely been indirect evidence used to probe CCW issuance, looking at the correlation of donations to permits being issued and non-donors getting denied permits. Sheriffs have even quashed that in that many won't readily give out or accept the paperwork to apply for a permit so there is never a record of a denial that is subject to sunshine laws. If you keep it verbal, there is no evidence if no one will testify.

It simply may be that they don't have enough evidence in this instance to charge the sheriff.

Sadly you can't force anybody to resign for gross negligence, even if it was true.

Punishing Apple is absolutely part of the fix. It gives all future, um, victims more incentive to not play along and increases the chances that future extortion will be exposed.

Don't go to the DA - they work with these people. Go to the feds since this violation of your rights is being committed under the color of law.

California is a may issue state, the sheriff's office can decline to issue a permit for any reason. Soliciting the bribe is illegal for other reasons, but failing to issue the permit is not a rights violation under California law.

...any legal reason...

Actually, denying the permit via an illegal action (requesting a bribe) is not a lawful denial and would result in the violation of your equal protection rights.

They do not have to provide the reason. Does it matter if the real reason is illegal?

If they solicit a bribe, one would reasonably assume that a failure to pay would result in a denial. If you have a recording of that, then you could provide probable cause that it was illegal.

If you weren't propositioned with a bribe, then true, it wouldn't be apparent why you were denied.

California is a two-party consent state. It's safe to assume a LEO soliciting a bribe would not also consent to having that solicitation recorded. So the only way you are getting that recording is illegally. Depending on how you record them, you could be facing several charges yourself and there's no guarantee that anything will come of it for a variety of reasons. You might even be caught doing it, which could be disastrous. In short, it's a pretty big gamble.

Two party consent doesn't matter here. The federal courts have consistently upheld that it is one's first ammendment right to record public officials in the performance of their duties. As a member of the public, you are permitted to record your interactions with police.

Now, could it still end badly? Sure. If they are willing to break the law for a bribe, then why not take it further if they find out you are recording.

Local police have been noticeably resistant to rules allowing recording. A large fraction of the civil rights violations documented by Amnesty International against BLM protestors were exactly against people who were only recording what was going on.

Therefore no matter how much you might be within the right, I would personally not be willing to record the police unless it was under the direction of another police force that was ready to barge in.

Well, you do it without their knowledge of course. Cellphone in pocket for audio, etc. When dealing with corrupt people, secrecy is paramount.

And now they just claim that it wasn't them in the recording. The concealment doesn't exactly help audio quality.

Secret recording protip: get the target to identify themselves in a unique manner. Such as affirmative responses when called by their name and nickname. A certain action others can corroborate such as a triple high pitched sneeze. Or sounds that are unique to them such as a cell phone text message chime. Combine the above for maximum impact.

Present this to a lawyer and watch them work their magic.

Good luck!

I currently have a case where a trooper lied to a judge to conceal exculpatory evidence and it is documented. I emailed a few firms for a free consultation. So far I have not found a civil lawyer willing to take it. Decided to email the ACLU too, so we'll see if we hear back from them.

You should listen to the reason why all of those civil lawyers are not willing to take it. Listen very carefully. I would advise you to believe the word of several people telling you why it’s not possible...

No one has told me it's not possible. I have a trooper and a lawyer from a other area of law telling me it sounds like a good case. The lawyers that I have contacted only a few days ago simply haven't responded yet.

If we're going down that rabbit hole... then it's all tyranny and should be torn down and rebuilt to fit the rule of law.

Which federal court ruled you could record the police in private in a two-party consent jurisdiction?

If they are on-duty, they have no expectation of privacy.


And do you think it's likely they'll be 'on duty' when this discussion occurs?

You're really trying very hard to downplay the risk of gathering this evidence. If you are discovered and you gathered evidence, you might have that evidence confiscated or you might just be dead. If you are discovered but didn't manage to get the evidence, you might be charged with wiretapping. (Or they might just kill you anyway.) Even if all works out in the end, you're looking at a legal battle. (Most people don't want to be the one fighting a case that sets precedence even if federal courts largely seem to rule in their favor.) And all that struggle is for evidence that might not even convince anyone to start an investigation and/or may not be admitted to court.

If you don't trust the locals (DA), then go to the FBI. They are setup to deal with this. You don't pay the bribe.

Keep in mind that it's incredibly rare for any DA to go against the police, so this case is already unusual. We'll have to wait and see if they actually have the evidence / wherewithal to see this one through rather than just settling out of court for a slap on the wrist.

Which raises the question, why did it happen this time?

My best guess is that the Santa Clara DA did the math, said, "I'm in a liberal part of a liberal state where people overwhelmingly support BLM and distrust the police. How can I best generate some positive publicity for myself?"

The concealed permits mess has been well-known for ages. So it wasn't a question of the DA having just learned about it and becoming shocked. And going to the Feds wouldn't have helped much since they don't care too much (else they would have acted ages ago). The question is why the DA decided to make an issue of it.

Honestly, I think it is because of the high level of the payments it could no longer be ignored, and the sheriff pissed off someone more powerful than them. Usually this stuff would entail a couple of thousand per individual, the whole process was based on insider networking/understanding, no explicit quid pro quo, and the money was slated to an organization that was set up to receive funds for other legitimate purposes so there is some level of transparency. Based on the article, Santa Clara had taken this to a whole new level with what was being demanded and the demands were explicit.

You won't be able to convince me that Apple could not have brought this to light in some way. They definitely share a hefty part of the blame.

"The biggest company in the world vs. County Sheriff" and you think Apple had no other options?

Baloney. The whole reason that laws exist to punish the person paying the bribe, even if the bribe was originally solicited by an official, is to force that person to bring it to higher authorities, i.e. the FBI.

This type of corruption is even more endemic in other countries and I'm sure many companies would find it easier to just pay the bribe than comply with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, but that's why the act was written in the first place.

Agree. Also Apple security are in a long term beneficiary position with any given law enforcement entity, especially one which effectively controls the limits of Apple's personal security measures wrt firearms.

To me this seems it would make the "or else" really difficult to think past. What can they do? If they detonate the leadership structure of some department by going on the offense, what is the likelihood they hurt their own ability to work with LEO types in the future? That would be a really hard position. But maybe there are details we just don't have here.

I don't see any Apple apologists here in the comments. Who are you referring to?

All I see is the fact that the Apple employee didn't initiate the bribe, the sheriff's office demanded it (extorted it) and the employee was put in the unfortunate immediate situation of either not getting their lawfully permitted license, or paying the bribe.

At the end of the day it's bribery so of course the employee deserves to be charged (and Apple if it approved it in any way), but the sheriff's office officials deserve much harsher punishment quite clearly.

"the employee was put in the unfortunate situation of either not getting their lawfully permitted license, or paying the bribe"

...or immediately going to the FBI.

These permits in CA are may-issue, not shall-issue. The sheriff can deny for any reason (of course they aren't supposed to ask for a bribe).

Why give police the power to decide these permits? Power corrupts

>Why give police the power to decide these permits?

So that they can make an end run around the 14th amendment, deny all the blacks, deny all the mexicans, deny all the chinese while the state looks the other way, or at least that's what the tacit understanding was ~70yr ago when people were voting for politicians who supported these policies.

Exactly—this is the same reason cops have discretion over who they fine for traffic violations vs. who they let off with a warning: so that the "right" people don't end up having to pay fines.

Having been recently subjected to an invalid traffic violation, it seems discretion means they go after the easy target that will most likely pay (someone caught dead to rights, or looks like they don’t have time or money to fight the case). I watched who the cop pulled over after me and every person was someone who had the means and likelihood to pay the fine rather than fight what was a bogus trap (based on the perceived value of their cars; recent model year, none less than 40k)

I simply went to court and the officer never showed up, but I didn’t see any of the other people pulled over that day in court either (while reasons could explain this away I find it hard to believe of the 7 people I observed none of them paid the fine or took a driving course from the comfort of their own home to be done with it)

Usual think of the children stuff. Basically, someone who shouldn't have a permit could hypothetically get one and then go on a killing spree, so we need to give police and sheriffs full powers to deny them. If I remember rightly, one of the main things the American gun control movement has been campaigning for is the removal of shall-issue policies which require police and sheriffs to issue permits like these unless they have a specific legally-defined reason not to, and replacing them with the kind of may-issue policies that allow arbitrary denials and this sort of corruption - and they're quite happy to point at dead kids and accuse anyone who gets in their way of supporting child murder to achieve this.

Contrary to the wishes of gun control organizations, the resulting trend has actually been towards shall-issue and constitutional carry over the past few decades.

Ironically anyone intent on committing murder get to conceal carry at will.

Agreed, this makes 0 sense to me. There should be an explicit list of reasons for which police should be able to deny these permits, and the police should have to show their evidence as to why they believe one of these reasons apply.

The problem with this is pretty obvious. When some scumbag like a pimp or similar without a conviction goes for a permit, you end up in a situation where the police are enabling certain types of undesirable behavior.

IMO, discretion for this sort of thing should be with a judge, not a cop.

How are they enabling undesirable behavior? Wouldn't the behavior occur anyways? Most people would be stupid to create a paper trail for themselves if they plan to use a weapon in a crime. Hence the reason close to 50% of guns recovered from a crime were stolen.

How would a judge or a cop have any impact on a situation without a conviction? They wouldn't know any better without additional data.

Denying permits may not be as effective at thwarting career criminals as you may think.

Perhaps, but providing them with CCWs will be effective at thwarting career police chiefs.

How so?

Think about the NY Post headline for any action like this.

“Guns for Thugs - Sheriff Arms Pimp”

The permit doesn't provide anyone with arms.

> (of course they aren't supposed to ask for a bribe)

Oh they just weren't "supposed" to ask for bribes. Nothing illegal here, just a honest guy going above and beyond on his job to keep America safe.

May-issue doesn't legalize bribery. See: the indictment.

Yeah, I'm not saying it makes it right. I'm saying it makes it possible.

Soliciting bribes is explicitly against the law, and that has nothing to do with "may" vs "shall" issue.

Deniability. i.e. the sheriff can say the permit wasn’t issued because its at their discretion, not because someone didn’t pay a bribe. That said, even with a "shall" situation there are hoops to jump thru that can be used to set this same kinda situation up.

however the official in a shall issue state is then lying on documents, by jumping through hoops to deny applications if they are not paying the bribe.

And thus leaves a paper trail that you can use for a civil rights violation complaint to the FBI or at least internal affairs.

You just get a recording of them soliciting the bribe. Not so hard.

Private parties recording conversations without consent is illegal in California.

I've seen a few people on here state this. I really wish people knew their rights better.

Federal judges have consistently ruled that recording public officials in the performance of their duties is a right under the first amendment. As a member of the public, you can record your interactions with police without their consent.

> As a member of the public, you can record your interactions with police without their consent.

You can do it without their consent, but can you do it without their knowledge?

Yes, you can record them secretly. That's according to the federal courts that hold that it is your first amendment right. Don't be surprised if they try ro charge you under the state's laws. You would then have to file a federal lawsuit claiming your rights are being violates. It all depends on exactly how stupid or corrupt the specific officer is.

Apple should just add it to the EULA of the iPhone :)

It’s clear that this applies to uniformed cops performing duties in public places.

It is much less clear that it applies to a private conversation with a senior officer in a police station.

> > public officials in the performance of their duties

> conversation with a senior officer in a police station

Are you seriously suggesting that conversing with a public official at their place of work about official business doesn't qualify as part of their official duties?

(Aside, two party consent is a genuinely broken system for a wide variety of reasons. I consider violating it to be a laudable act of civil disobedience.)

I’m suggesting that an attorney could definitely argue that a particular conversation was not part of a persons official duties, depending on the content.

Attorneys argue things like this all the time. And Judges rule on their arguments.

What I’m asking about is whether any existing ruling makes this point clear.

Some states have exceptions to the 2 party rule in general, such as if you think a crime may be committed, or a crime from a specific list. This can apply to everyone, not just police.

I think it would be hard to argue that a conversation with a CCW applicant in which you ask for stuff in exchange for issung a CCW isn't acting in an official capacity. The only person who can issue it is the person holding that office. Not to mention, the calendar/schedule/sign-in book should have a memo a out the purpose of the visit (the pretext he was called down to the station).

The department / police union could argue that if it’s not sanctioned behavior it is not part of the officers duties.

No they couldn't. That would be equivalent to saying committing a crime creates a right to privacy that didn't exist previously. And if it wasn't part of their official duties, why would the department/police union be defending the officer?

You do sometimes see cases where a police union defends an officer accused of some crime, but that's usually because they're putting up some BS story about how they actually were doing their duty, eg an officer busted in possession of drugs who tries to argue it was actually an undercover investigation of the drug scene.

Some of those stories can be very imaginative (See Abner Louima).

Please explain how this same scenario would work under a shall-issue scheme?

Edit: Since you wouldn't respond... denying a permit under a shall-issue scheme would require proof that they didn't meet the statutory requirements instead of providing the issuer with the ability to hide their reason behind an arbitrary excuse.

> Since you wouldn't respond

I didn't respond because I was asleep (??)

> Please explain how this same scenario would work under a shall-issue scheme?

It doesn't matter: Soliciting bribes is against the law.

Everything else is just arguments about if a particular arrangement makes bribery more or less likely.

Not per se, but Good luck getting anything out of police department after you call the FBI on them.

Soooo extremely poor judgement?

There are two categories of bribes.

If you bribe someone to get something that you're not qualified for, that is clearly wrong on the part of both the applicant and the permit approver.

But if you're being denied something you should get, unless you bribe them, I am more sympathetic to the applicant.

the employee was put in the unfortunate immediate situation of either not getting their lawfully permitted license, or paying the bribe

He was the chief security officer of the biggest company in the world. He absolutely had many other options.

I don't see any Apple apologists here in the comments. Who are you referring to?

You do realize that your comment here is exactly what "apologists" means, right?

> He absolutely had many other options.

The only legal option I can see is "move out of CA", which probably means get another job. Which, you know, people sometimes do if they feel strongly about the right to carry, but likely wasn't in his set of considered options.

> He was the chief security officer of the biggest company in the world.

Oh, you're suggesting he use Apple to, uh, "lean on" the sheriff? That seems much worse. One might even hope that was not one of his possible options, even as CSO...

> The only legal option I can see is "move out of CA", which probably means get another job. Which, you know, people sometimes do if they feel strongly about the right to carry, but likely wasn't in his set of considered options.

You didn't consider "report it to the DA, state police, or FBI" as an option?

> Oh, you're suggesting he use Apple to, uh, "lean on" the sheriff? That seems much worse. One might even hope that was not one of his possible options, even as CSO...

I absolutely did not read this in the GP's post. Whether it is what he meant or not, it's an ungenerous take. A more generous take is that with the resources available to him, reporting a bribe solicitation to the appropriate authorities is much less risky than it would be for (say) a random citizen of San Jose.

> reporting a bribe solicitation to the appropriate authorities is much less risky than it would be for (say) a random citizen of San Jose.

To say the least! He has the entire weight of the Apple legal department behind him, and that isn't something any sheriff's department would take on lightly.

> I absolutely did not read this in the GP's post. Whether it is what he meant or not, it's an ungenerous take.

I can confirm I didn't mean this! That's a stupid idea.

I don't really understand how randallsquared got that from what I said.

I think both of your responses can be cleared up by noting that @nl was responding to, and quoted:

> the employee was put in the unfortunate immediate situation of either not getting their lawfully permitted license, or paying the bribe

In this context, "options" mean "options to fulfill the CCW licensing goal".

Reporting it to the DA, state police, the FBI, or anyone else wouldn't further the CCW licensing goal (though it might fulfill others, and I'm certainly not arguing against it!).

Similarly, saying he had other options (for "getting their lawfully permitted license") because he was the CSO of the biggest company in the world may well have other meanings I didn't catch, but reporting bribe solicitations is not one, unless the dialogue had already veered from it's previous aim.

> In this context, "options" mean "options to fulfill the CCW licensing goal".

I think that is artificially closing the options.

Firstly, and most obviously - he could report the illegal activity by the sheriff and wait.

Secondly, he could sue, and ask the court order the licenses be granted immediately if there was a time-critical need.

There's probably other options available for relief too, and I'm pretty sure the Apple legal department could think of them!

> I think that is artificially closing the options.

Ah. I took the quote to be the prompt for your reply, as mentioned above.

> Secondly, he could sue, and ask the court order the licenses be granted immediately if there was a time-critical need. There's probably other options available for relief too, and I'm pretty sure the Apple legal department could think of them!

In spite of Moyer being CSO for Apple, I hadn't realized that Apple Corporation was paying the bribe!

You are right that with the company directly involved, there are more options, and it was my misreading/skimming of the article which led me to the wrong conclusions, there.

> The only legal option I can see is "move out of CA", which probably means get another job.

How could that possibly be the only option?

Sue the sheriff's department is an obvious one, as is contact the FBI.

> Oh, you're suggesting he use Apple to, uh, "lean on" the sheriff? That seems much worse. One might even hope that was not one of his possible options, even as CSO


No of course not.

Off the top of my head:

* Get Apple's lawyers advice (which would not be "pay an illegal bribe")


As mentioned in another subthread, I mis-skimmed the article and thought it was about his own personal CCW licensing, rather than being something Apple was actively involved in.

After going through the process of building a house in CA, I believe we should decriminalize offering of bribes, but not solicitation of bribes.

$100K’s of dollars (>> 10% of the total project cost) have been extracted from us by various bureaucratic processes that are outside what is explicitly specified by the law.

I am confident that this would not have happened if we were well politically connected, and had friends that worked at PG&E.

I honestly don’t know if we were “just supposed to know” that we needed to make some specific charitable or political donation or something like that, because no one has explicitly solicited a bribe from us.

If it were legal to offer bribes, I could go online, and search for information on who to pay off, and to what ends.

Even better, California could fix the law to eliminate these gray areas. In the Apple case, they could move from “may issue” to “shall issue”.

In my case, there could be bounds on permit review durations, and also the cost / benefit of “environmental” regulations: if some ask is too expensive homeowners could “buy credits” by doing something else that would be more effective for the same amount of money.

To be clear, the money they extracted from us for “the environment” will substantially increase our carbon footprint, impact on local wildlife and on the watershed — we planned to voluntarily spend that money to mitigate those impacts because we’re extremely concerned about the environment. Now, we’ve been forced to waste it in low impact ways. I’m not upset that we were forced to spend the money. I’m upset it was wasted.

I live in a developing country with a ton of bribery that is way, way down the Transparency International rankings.

Your ideas come across as pretty naive and out of touch with how bribery works in the real world. Which is okay, not everyone is an expert on everything. But your comment would come across a lot better if you had used some tentative language instead of definitive language on a topic it is clear you don't know much about in the real world.

Bribes are rarely solicited in the real world, so that's the first place you theory falls down. I've only rarely had someone say something that could even vaguely be construed as soliciting a bribe. They aren't dumb, after all. Instead what usually happens is you get a run-around for unspecified reasons until you offer the bribe. You submit the paperwork and they tell you it is filled in incorrectly but don't tell you what part is wrong or how to fill it in correctly. The nurse only checks on you once a day until you give her an envelope of cash. The accountants auditing your books ask for receipts of every single everything until take them to dinner and offer them a present for all the hard work they've done so far. The fire department finds all kinds of ways to not certify your new office for occupancy until you give them some "coffee money".

The second problem with you theory of bribery is the offering bribes changes the structure of compensation dramatically. The expectation of receiving bribes becomes part of the expected total compensation for a position. But this gray money -- the delta between official compensation and bribes -- becomes a revenue stream that everyone above you on the hierarchy can and will tap into.

In practice this means you have to pay a huge bribe to get any job. Where I live, to get a job as a police officer, or a nurse, or a flight attendant, you have to pay a bribe to whoever is hiring. Not a small bribe. Like a year of salary. Which means either you come from a family rich enough to have that kind of money laying around or borrow money from a money-lender.

How do you get the money to pay back the money-lender? By taking bribes, of course.

Your boss knows approximately how much you're making in bribes each month and will expect you to pass it along every month. After all, he borrowed a ton of money to pay a bribe to get his promotion and needs to pay off that debt.

And if you're complaining about >10% of the total project cost going to bureaucratic processes, your idea would result in 30% or more of the total project cost going to bribery. Since that's exactly what happens here.

I second this description. Bribery and corruption in Vietnam is endemic. A new employee gets a job by paying their first year’s salary. That means they have to collect bribes to survive. After their first year collecting bribes, they habit is engrained.

Edit: I just noticed you are also in Vietnam. So sad for such an otherwise lovely place.

If people paying had no legal incentive to keep their bribe private after the fact, then accepting a bribe would be much riskier than it currently is in the US.

Once it became common knowledge that some officials were extracting bribes, it would be simple to jail them.

After all, if I paid a bribe, and it was legal to pay it, but illegal to receive it, I’d certainly document the payment as well as I could.

After the house was built, you can bet I’d try to recoup my funds, and also figuratively burn the county office to the ground by pursuing every option I could in the press and in court.

I don’t think I’m naive as you think. The officials in this area behave exactly as you describe. The difference in my situation is that, if there was concrete evidence of bribery at the planning office, it would be prosecuted and it would make headlines (just as the bribery case in the article did.)

Local governments that withhold building permits and corruption at PG&E have become so politically contentious that the state government has had to repeatedly intervene.

> I believe we should decriminalize offering of bribes

I too would like to erode confidence in our public servants.

It's become far too difficult for public servants to extort me, something needs to change.

Can you be more specific? The experience I had with house construction permitting in a big California city was completely above-the-table and reasonable.

It looks like the iPads were for the department, not the guy's personal use. It's a little bit dubious given that it's the same agency asking for and receiving the benefit, but money is fungible. Suppose the Sheriff had insisted on iPads for some other department, like the schools.

Governments do stuff like this all the time. In fact constituents get mad when they don't. The Planning Commission is considered derelict in its duty if it just gives away a building permit without getting something good from the developer in return (park, street cleaning program, extra BMR units, promise to use union labor).

SFMTA considers corporate philanthropy, coverage of unprofitable neighborhoods, and low-income discount programs when deciding who gets the permit to run scooters in San Francisco.

If it is bribery when a government agency asks a permit applicant to spend a bit on the agency's mission, then there's a lot more to prosecute all over the Bay Area.

It's almost like the system of permits for concessions is actually a corrupting force in cities! In my city many development projects went ahead because of various promises (low income housing, cultural venues, etc) and the developer didn't follow through in any meaningful way - i.e. a theater was built, no shows ever took place there. Or low income housing was transitioned to market rate housing within 5 years.

But at least these things happened in public, through a semi-transparent process of development permits with public consultations. The process is semi-fixed, the incentives are off, but it's not a straight up bribe behind closed doors.

When it's the commissioners driving the negotiation, the sunlight angle is true. Often, though, it's the activist group which rallies speakers against the project and then negotiates with the developer privately. The developer makes a donation to the activist group, and then members appear at the next meeting to withdrawn their objection. I've seen the tail end of one of these in 3 or 4 of the ~25 planning meetings I've watched.

Issuing CCW permits isn't a negotiation of city land or development. It is literally a Driver's License for carrying a firearm in public. Should the DMV counter person get to haggle with every person trying to get a driver's license in the name of the public good?

Not against individuals, but against companies? Absolutely. There was a big push to do more "value capture" from the Big Tech commuter shuttle buses in exchange for permission to run on San Francisco streets. It was largely stymied by state law, which SF activists didn't quite have the momentum to change, but it was a big thing in local politics for a while.


The problem with San Francisco’s “value capture” ideas as seen on 48hills.org is that they often want to capture the value of the choice that has positive externalities (e.g. riding a bus down highway 101, or building housing) while not capturing the value of the choice that has negative externaltities (e.g. driving a private vehicle, or underutilizing land during a housing shortage). This blind spot often undermines their self-proclaimed label of “Progressive”.

Ironically, the article also compares buses to a “$250,000 fee San Francisco charges taxi operators for a medallion”. That’s a payout to the previous owner with an initial 5% transfer tax, not a fee, and it was actually a big mistake for the city to have made it a payout rather than “value captured” rent to the city (which could be adjusted), since the city is being sued and is about to go to trial for it (https://webapps.sftc.org/ci/CaseInfo.dll?CaseNum=CGC18565325).

Agree, and targeting a very small subset of companies would be a pretty hard bar to pass when they should be crafting laws that treat all commercial traffic fairly. I remember it all well, I follow bicycle and transportation stuff.

These are individual licenses, not corporate licenses.


You’re making up stuff about things you don’t know about. Accepting gifts is always an issue in government, and often a serious crime for the employee, regardless of who benefits. Accepting or demanding compensation for official action is corruption, regardless of the beneficiary.

Negotiating public contracts, seeking public benefit, or enforcing requirements related to permitting is not bribery or corruption. You may not like poor people, public access to urban space, or union labor, but community standards based on law are not corruption.

Officials administrating the permitting process have discretion to act. The appointing authority ultimately controls them, and the people ultimately hold them accountable.

Go back to the original city council meeting where Jobs announces the new Apple headquarters. The council asks if they’ll be getting free Wi-Fi with the campus or anything. Not a straight up pay to play, but things like the above commenter described DO happen.

"Officials administrating the permitting process have discretion to act."

City councils are political bodies, and within their jurisdictions are the ultimate authority on what should and should not be allowed.

LEOs are employees of the state, and are meant to follow the dictates of the legislature or other political body that governs them.

If you want to negotiate a legitimate trade of public donation in exchange for a CCW, that needs to be done publicly through democratic and legal processes.

Go back to the recording of the meeting where the undersheriff asks for a large donation to the Sheriff's department to compare.

Better/cheaper municipal IT is the same kind of public benefit as more urban space or services for poor people. The sheriff's discretion over CCW is the same as the planning commission's discretion over construction.

I think both are slimy but neither are corruption, per se, both institutions are serving the public interest.

This is a California thing, or at the very least a rich city thing.

Where I live building permits are basically shall issue. They're happy to have the development.

Quid pro quo for CCW permits is definitely bribery. Yes, there is a lot of negotiation and back scratching in govt, and a lot of it is unethical and illegal as well.

> Can't believe all the Apple apologists here. Bribing public officials is a crime, period.

Apple or no Apple, no one in America should be deprived of their Constitutional rights. I'm more concerned that authoritarian states like California can get away with depriving the people of our explicit rights under American law than I am with people paying bribes just to exercise those rights.

Apple leaders have spoken publicly in favor of such deprivations. It would be interesting to check whether the company itself has made contributions to that cause under the guise of charity.

Fair enough. It is their right. The nature of rights being what they are, the Apple execs can publicly call for eradication of others' rights and the would-be gun owners can get their guns without each other's approval, unless very exacting political-legal hurdles were overcome.

Was there any indication that one of these security personnel failed a background check? Used a straw purchaser or gun show loophole? Had friends and family worried about what he planned to do? Had an active domestic violence case?

Since when was CCW a Constitutional right? You don't need one to carry.

Unless your state is open carry you do in fact need a permit to carry in public. In fact, some open carry states (ex Texas) still require a permit to do so.

I'm always frustrated but amused at how uninformed many of my fellow Americans are about the gun laws here (frequently it's the ones pushing for additional laws).

Ok, you appear to be right about California. In my defense, I live elsewhere.

One of the minor pitfalls of Federalism- I can't keep track of the laws in all 50 states.

Gun activists have been waiting for a Supreme Court majority that actually does its job. I would expect people’s 2nd amendment rights to be restored in CA soon.

The key language from the courts is "reasonable regulation" on the use of firearms. That's a bit vague, but "we've created a process to let you concealed carry, but we won't actually issue a permit to anyone" pretty obviously fails the "reasonableness" test. If the restriction was that concealed carry is flat out illegal, that might actually be more legally tenable than this discretionary nonsense in places like the Bay Area. Of course, CCW regulations that are clearly limited to safety and competence with firearms and limit the discretion of issuing officials are almost certainly compatible with the Constitution.

Just for the sake of comparison, the rule that was struck down in DC v. Heller (which firmly established that the Constitution protects an individual right to keep and bear arms for defense, subject to reasonable regulation by the state) required gun owners to keep their weapons "unloaded and disassembled or bound by a trigger lock" at all times.

You definitely need a ccw to open carry a loaded firearm in many jurisdictions

25 states are unrestricted plus 6 which may have local restrictions. Over 30 for rifles.


What is unconstitutional about prosecuting people of crimes that they commit by bribing officials?

I’m not following your logic.

Bay Area Sheriffs withhold a constitutional right in the issuance of permits, which results in something of value being created that they can hold for political or financial favor.

Even if you disagree with concealed carry, 2/3 of the counties in CA will issue you a permit no problem that allows you to carry statewide. There is no reasonable argument for not issuing permits here.

I totally agree with you, but I think the clear implication of baryphonic's comment is that the State of CA was being "authoritarian" here by denying the permit, as opposed to the sheriffs dept. Which, I'd point out, doesn't make much sense given that it is in fact the State of California which is bringing the charges against these people in the sheriffs dept for demanding bribes in exchange for a constitutionally protected government service.

> I totally agree with you, but I think the clear implication of baryphonic's comment is that the State of CA was being "authoritarian" here by denying the permit, as opposed to the sheriffs dept.

I'd argue that the state is slightly authoritarian by allowing local officials such discretion, but that's more a matter of taste. However, if I was arrogant enough to think the Bay Area, LA and San Diego were representative of the entire state in terms of their approach to gun permits and this is actually not the case, then I apologize.

> Which, I'd point out, doesn't make much sense given that it is in fact the State of California which is bringing the charges against these people in the sheriffs dept for demanding bribes in exchange for a constitutionally protected government service.

Interesting framing. But the people who should have been entitled to these services and were coerced into paying bribes are also facing charges. The state's foremost goal appears be defending its own authority zealously, and worrying about things like legal rights after the dust settles.

He's referring to the Right to Keep and Bear arms only being recognized in those who can afford to bribe the local Sheriff.

California's gun laws are pretty blatantly unconstitutional, even without the bribery.

California has the most stringent gun laws but also the a lowest gun violence death rate per capita.

More people were allowed to pursue the "life" option in the Declaration of Independence. The first item of unalienable rights our forefathers stated all people had.

What do you do when two rights directly infringe upon eachother?

26th in homicide according to wikipedia [0] but what is your point?

The 'typical' murder involves people that know each other and has a motive. Loose firearm regulations enable mass shootings [1][2] which are more indiscriminate.

Everyone has the right to bear arms but what do we do when that infringes on other peoples right to life? I think it's a cogent question.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_homicid...

[1] https://www.wired.com/story/the-looser-a-states-gun-laws-the...

[2] https://www.bmj.com/content/364/bmj.l542

> Everyone has the right to bear arms but what do we do when that infringes on other peoples right to life? I think it's a cogent question.

Clearly the state has laws against murder. And California even has laws that "enhance" sentencing criteria for anyone guilty of using a firearm in the commission of a felony.[1] Also, "mass shootings" are also illegal and are incredibly rare.

Also, I have a right to "property"/"pursuit of happiness" (per Fifth Amendment and the Declaration of Independence). In the Bay Area, if I leave my laptop in my trunk, it'll be stolen. If you leave CA (or at least the Bay Area) and visit a state with slightly looser restrictions, laptops can peacefully spend a dinner in the trunk without being stolen. I have to imagine that criminals who know they have very little to fear from armed ordinary citizens are emboldened by the restrictions on firearm ownership. By the logic above, the correlation (note: I have no data other than the ubiquitous "BRING YOUR LAPTOP INSIDE!!!" signs all over the place in the Bay Area) must mean that the state is neglecting a right to property, therefore the fun restrictions should be relaxed. Or maybe using aggregate statistics and correlations isn't the best approach to analyzing legal-political issues in the absence of a very strong signal.

[1] https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySectio...

I wonder, why is the auto-contents-theft thing so bad in the bay area? I’ve stopped even renting a car when I visit after two friends had separate break-ins on prior trips. Maybe I just got unlucky and these are anecdotes, but geish.

When California Proposition 47 passed in 2014 it reclassified many auto burglaries from felonies to misdemeanors. So DAs in many counties stopped prosecuting those.

In what state won't you be prosecuted for murdering someone stealing your laptop?

Based on what is on the laptop possibly Texas, if the laptop had open access to your life savings or was your work laptop and one would lose a substantial sum given the loss of business from losing the laptop, or it held trade secrets then it may qualify as highly defensible property, in which case in Texas it would possibly not be prosecutable, but even those are long odds:


>the 'typical' murder involves people that know each other and has a motive. Loose firearm regulations enable mass shootings [1][2] which are more indiscriminate.

Mass shootings are a rounding errors and should not be used to motivate public policy. Catering to asinine edge cases like that is why we all have to take off our shoes when we fly.

If you want people to murder each other less then you need to reduce the size of the illegal economy (mostly drug trafficking) so that those industries can settle their disputes with contracts and court orders instead of violence. Basically everything else pales in comparison to that type of violence.

Fewer than 200 Americans die every year from rifle homicides. This includes mass shootings. More die from falling in the shower or getting punched.

Don't worry. The government will be coming to restrict and backdoor your general purpose computer as well. Any device that could be hijacked by a botnet is a threat the utilities systems and to people's right to life.

Infringing on tyrants’ right to life is the point of the 2nd amendment.

The lowest? I checked wikipedia and was able to find that Arizona had a 30% lower rate in 2016 and is a "shall issue" state.

2013 rates age adjusted[0], Arizona had a higher per capita death rate at 14.1 vs 7.7 with California.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firearm_death_rates_in_the_Uni...

I found those age adjusted rates some time after I posted. It strikes me as odd. I'm sure if we adjust by enough rates we can come to whatever conclusion we want. What if we adjusted for gang prevalence and suicide rate as well?

I would agree if California was a shall-issue state for CCW, but it's a may-issue state. Essentially it's arbitrarily up to the sheriffs department if you can get a CCW.

Personally, I chose to live in shall-issue states.

The sheriff's department wasn't allowed to refuse the permit for this reason, as evidenced by the fact that the officials involved are also being criminally charged for the bribery scheme.

They're being charged because it looks like they accepted a bribe, not because they refused a permit. If they hadn't paid there'd be nothing to charge them with.

For all the people saying - ‘he should have gone to the FBI’ this is a key point.

If he didn’t pay the bribe there would have been nothing to report.

I can't see how any may-issue schemes are legal when it comes to equal protection rights.

If may-issue schemes are applied in a way that evaluates the individual case on neutral and non-discriminatory criteria, even if a subjective element of judgment exists, it certainly can comply with equal protection rights.

If they're applied in an unequal way, of course that's different.

There's no such thing as a non-discriminatory may-issue scheme. They are by definition discriminatory.

If the criteria isn't codified, then how can it be equally applied?

Courts are very familiar with adjudicating such ambiguity and have been throughout history. They simply have to avoid discriminating in ways that violate the law, but other forms of subjectivity.

As a stupid but illustrative hypothetical example, if the official decides each morning whether he will approve all CCW applications he sees that day or none of them based on a die roll before leaving home, and then unilaterally changes it a month later to go based on whether the last digit of the local CBS affiliate's high temperature forecast from the 7am newscast is odd or even, these stupid rules and rule changes would be completely compliant with the equal protection clause.

They have to provide legal reasoning. Simply using an arbitrary die roll would not be lawful, unless the legislature specified it.

Using a die roll would be arbitrary and capricious (and thus I assume illegal), but would it violate equal protection specifically? I suspect not.

It's probably illegal, agreed, but because it wouldn't pass even the rational basis test for a Second Amendment infringement. It definitely wouldn't violate the equal protection rights.

I don't believe the legislature has to specify the criteria used, if they explicitly give the local officials discretion, but their criteria do have to have some rational objective.

That is just bullshit. May issue does not mean may according to bribe.

How do you explain denials in a may-issue system if the individual meets statutory requirements?

It's just like employment discrimination. In an at-will-employment jurisdiction, my boss is free to arbitrarily fire me, but cannot specifically fire me for e.g. my race.

(How do you tell the difference? Well, as in this case, usually people leave some sort of evidence, and the legal system has a process for demanding evidence and evaluating it. It's not perfect, but it's certainly not unenforceable.)

You’ve got it backwards. Instances where they do leave evidence are the exception, not the norm. Which is why the anti discrimination laws are somewhat toothless and the government tries to look for statistical evidence of discrimination.

Does the driving test requirement to receive a driver’s license mean that driver’s licenses are may-issue?

Nope, that's also shall-issue in most states. If you meet the statutory requirements (passing the test, age, etc), then they must issue the license.

But the test is necessarily subjective. The instructor can determine, for instance, whether the applicant drove recklessly during the exam.

Sort of. I kind of hate that reckless driving law since it is somewhat subjective. Each state should have case law about it and allow you your due process rights to challenge it too. But yeah, I can see in the context of the test that it could be a problem. If you record the test, then you should be able to challenge it (sad it sometimes comes to that).

I'm in a similar situation, actually. I had a trooper lie in court and even admit to it in the complaint investigation, but the investigator (another trooper) said it must be a misunderstanding. I'm curious how intentionally lying to cover up your mistake (exculpatory evidence) is a misunderstanding as a civil rights violation under Brady v MD, but I also don't want to get 'suicided'.

It would be extremely difficult to define all driving rules objectively even if you had extremely high resolution data of the car and its surroundings. Approximately as difficult as programming a fully autonomous car, I reckon.

Not really. The driving laws except for recklessness are very well defined.

That’s not the case. There are tons of driving laws that are based essentially on a subjective idea of what is safe or reasonable. Laws about cargo being secured safely. Laws about the driver’s view not being unreasonably obstructed. Laws about the driver being distracted. Laws about exercising appropriate caution in response to traffic, weather and road conditions, the presence of pedestrians and other dangers and obstacles, etc. There are tons.

Not when you look at case law. Also some of that varies from state to state.

The part of the test administered by the state is objective, in all three states in which I've obtained a license.

The part which is subjective is deputized to instructors, and one can shop around for a willing one.

The moral hazard you're alluding to is completely absent.

> Can't believe all the Apple apologists here. Bribing public officials is a crime, period.

This is absolutely true. Soliciting a bribe, as a public official, however, is a much (much!) worse crime. And that seems to be what happened here.

Absent more detail, I think I'm willing to buy that Moyer was just a normal corporate executive faced with trying to work around a corrupt bureaucracy. But yeah, more detail could change that.

> Bribing public officials is a crime, period.

In some countries, seeking bribes is a crime, but giving in to a demand for bribe is not. That seems fairer. When you became a public official you agreed to perform your job dutifully. If a public official refuses to perform his job unless a citizen provides him with a bribe, then it seems like the citizen was forced into bribery by the public official. How is it then fair to hold the hapless citizen responsible for the crime?

I think the idea is not to hold the hapless citizen responsible; instead you want to force the hapless citizen to report the solicitation.

I also pay bribes when I feel threatened for my safety and the person i’m talking to has the tools i need for my safety and demands rent.

The only people in the wrong here are the police .

We are talking about a high-ranking Apple executive who needed concealed carry permits. This guy literally runs a private global army. Let's not pretend he was scared for his life. He just chose to do what was easy for himself and the company (pay some pocket change) rather than take any possible legal route.

He was in charge of the executive protection team. They are armed because leaders of well known companies face constant threats and are kidnapping targets (Apple would obviously pay countless sums to get Tim Cook back safely for example).

The Bay Area and New York are notorious for withholding permits because it creates artificial scarcity, and off-duty cops are the only ones able to fill the demand.

That's not what happened here though, there's no competing off duty cops protecting Apple's executives.

That's exactly what's happening. Just because Apple/the head of security doesn't want to pay off duty/retired police who have CCW permits because of their LEO jobs, it doesn't mean that isn't completely relevant to the CCW issuance situation.

Hmm. From the article this wasn't a payment of cash to an official. It was a donation in kind to the police dept. I don't know any more than is reported in the article but I will say that some years ago I was subject to a similar "offer". Much smaller in scope, and the official wasn't in law enforcement, but similar enough in essence. At the time I thought it a little weird but also assumed "that must be how things work here". I passed because the cost wasn't worth the benefit to me. I certainly did not think that I should go inform the police that this official had solicited a bribe.

As a huge fan (with ink on my skin since 2000) and as a former employee, I’m deeply disappointed. I’m sad for the company’s employees who have to live with guilt by association. I know that the people there believe in what they do and their work has been tainted. For shame.

Slightly offhand, I wonder how this will alter Apple’s security approach down the line. Not whether they believe in security, but the right road to get there if there’s a shakeup.

Being an Apple apologist is one thing but being an apologist for corrupt government officials is reprehensible. I side with the underdog in this case.

Both can be bad you know.

Indeed. When Apple become extortionist you go to another handset maker, when the government becomes extortionist you either pay or go to jail. There is a scale of Evil.

The fact that a bribe is necessary is the problem. The second amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear arms and the “may issue” vs “shall issue” permitting process is a direct affront to that right. Anyone that meets the legal requirements for a permit should be entitled to one. It shouldn’t be up to the discretion of a public official to anoint chosen ones based on their own personal feelings. Either requirements are met or not. But a public official shouldn’t be evaluating “need.” That’s not the Jon of the public official. That would be like a public official deciding one media outlet should be allowed to publish and another one denied. Equal protection is violated. Two people with identically clean backgrounds should not have one person awarded a permit and another denied. To get a drivers license, you don’t have to prove a need to drive: you pass the test and pay the fee and you are good. And unlike driving, keeping and bearing a firearm is constitutionally protected.

> It also doesn't matter who initiated the bribe.

Well, it does make a legal difference as entrapment would invalidate the legal case against him. (I have no evidence this is what happened here--just pointing out a poor choice of words!)

If California had reasonable laws around guns then they could do this stuff completely legally. You don't need apologism to protest the ridiculousness of this.

>It also doesn't matter who initiated the bribe.

What a silly thing to say.

Whether or not you initiated a bribe does not defend your participation in it. True

But ignoring the balance of power for, what appears to be, a reason to hate on Apple is just daft. Shockingly so.

A police offer demanding a bribe is not the same as a police officer accepting one. Just ignores the entire social dynamic of humans. Power dynamics are the central theme of human relationships. This is just a weird form of victim blaming, though not for a moment am I suggesting anyone is innocent here.

The Undersheriff should be crucified as a means of deterrence. You can't have positions of power occupied by those seeking to corrupt them. Which, I think, is not far off your argument, you just want to seem to needlessly drag Apple into this.

They weren't involved, beyond their employee basically stealing their stock. Is that somehow their fault? Should we charge them with criminal negligence for trusting someone? That's not going to have long term consequences for whistleblowers at all

it's not clear exactly what happened in the article - did Moyer work w/ the sheriff's office to extort Apple for the permits?

Reminds me of the incidents with people working in security for other tech companies, e.g., Uber^1 and Ebay^2.

1. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24227437

2. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23537357

This was likely for Tim Cook's personal security detail.

Basically every high net worth or highly visible tech CEO has a PSD (really high end folks have a counter-kidnap team on standby).

It’s a reminder that most people think that as soon as the system isn’t fair or someone does something bad to you, it is now ethical for you to use any means to get what you think you deserve.

It's actually a reminder that most people think that when the state violates their fundamental rights they have a right to get their rights back by any means possible.


The permit does not secure the weapons, it allows them to be carried in public. The weapons would have been secured separately.

Why the company?

Seems like it was just this individual.

Indeed. I think this wasn’t a matter of Apple or the employee paying a bribe, but of the employee receiving one in exchange for stealing hardware from Apple.

I read the story as:

- Head of security team contacts police to get concealed carrying permits for his employees

- Police officer says “if Apple gives us 200 iPads, that can be arranged. On top of that, you’ll get $X”.

- Head of security team agrees, signs of for the Apple hardware, and receives a bribe.

If so, Apple was the only one paying, but the company probably wouldn’t have known about that (possibly, multiple employees would)

If this were the police asking for iPads in exchange for permits, I would call it extortion, not bribery.

> If so, Apple was the only one paying, but the company probably wouldn’t have known about that (possibly, multiple employees would)

If an Apple executive was the one running the entire thing, how is the argument that the company wasn't aware of it? What even is "the company" at this point?

That’s a gray area, but in this case (200 iPads worth about $75,000 versus a company that has a net income of over a hundred million a day, thousands of employees (even disregarding those working in their stores) and top-level execs that, probably, make over $75,000 net every week), I think it’s a safe bet it didn’t go really high up the chain.

Of course, that can change if it turns out Tim Cook knew about this. That would surprise me a lot, though.

Was it for the benefit of the company or individuals? Approved by the board?

The individual was arranging a donation to be provided by the company, which only didn't happen because of the investigation itself. That is, the bribe would have been paid by Apple.

But it probably had no idea that it was part of a bribe. How could it?

This article discusses the two circumstances under which US states may attribute criminal liability to a corporation: https://law.jrank.org/pages/744/Corporate-Criminal-Responsib...

Either of these standards would probably apply to a head of security who commits the crime as part of seeking concealed carry permits for an Apple security team.

CCW is the wrong kind of permit for armed employment. There's a different kind for that. The CCWs would only benefit the individuals, not the company.

Maybe the news article was being informal, or maybe they specifically wanted to carry concealed and not open. It still seems like whatever was being requested was on behalf of the security team he was overseeing as his primary job duty at Apple.

It's possible the journalist was wrong, but I believe the BSIS issues the professional license, not the sherriff. Open or concealed doesn't matter when it's for armed employment - the license from BSIS is what's needed. So it seems this was for personal CCW.

Edit: Never mind. CA is super stupid and requires a state license to carry a firearm for employment but would then also require a license from the sheriff to conceal it.

As discussed in the other subthread, CCW and BSIS would both be needed for concealed carry executive protection in California.

Hence my comment about not minding my comment and CA being stupid.

Who would have to know before you would consider "the company" as knowing it? This was a chief executive doing it

Head security guard is not exactly a ‘chief executive’.

And head security guard is very different from head of security. The laws attributing liability to the company don't only apply to actions of chief executive - Apple head of security would definitely qualify.

I'd say if the company was benefiting instead of just the individuals.

This was to indeed benefit Apple, by arming their security team.

Arming someone for employment is under a different permit from the CCW listed in the story. CCWs would not benefit Apple.

It absolutely benefits them. Nearly all executive protection teams are concealing. There is no public concealed carry of firearms in CA outside your property without a CCW. There is no parallel professional license that will allow you to do so in public. This is part of what lead to this weird situation for Apple.

Concealed or exposed, you need a BSIS license as an armed guard (executive protection) in CA.

No one is debating that, and the BSIS standards are absurdly low and they are available to everyone. There is no taint in the process for BSIS issuance that has been raised.

And this article isn't about bribing for BSIS licenses, it's about bribing for CCWs. So if the BSIS license is the one needed for professional carry, the CCW is moot from the company's perspective.

Edit: Never mind. CA is super stupid.

> Why the company?

Because you don't just randomly cough up a couple hundred anything from a company like Apple without it appearing on the books somewhere.

If it didn't appear on the books anywhere, then it sounds like Apple gave this department a quite significant "petty cash" fund and used this guy and department to do unsavory things so that the higher-ups can have plausible deniability.

Yeah, the company needs to get hammered, too.

Most of these companies do have charity/donation programs. How do you tell which are legitimate vs a bribe like this?

A legitimate "charity/donation" request will get transferred to the "charity/donation" department with appropriate paperwork.

A bribe like this will get buried into somebody's "untracked cash" account.

The problem is that this is "Standard Operating Procedure" for "Security" departments as they're generally ex-police themselves. That's why they didn't think anything of it.

I didn't see the part about it being buried instead of through official channels. Did it have that in there?

If this went to the proper channels it would IMMEDIATELY get flagged for conflict-of-interest.

All these big company "security chiefs" run in the same circle. It simply became known that the easiest way to get your CCW was bribery.

They already got folks at Facebook. Now Apple. They're going to get more.

And I love the quote that this is about the rivalry between "Rosen and Sheriff Smith." As we have repeatedly seen, even when the DA and Sheriff hate each other, the DA doesn't go after the police. If the DA is making a move, the Feds are already involved behind the scenes forcing the DA to move.

I suspect this fell out of some Federal security contract or a Federal security clearance background check for somebody.

The requested permits were for Apple's security team.

As a condition of employment, or personally?

Most states have separate licensing for armed employment.

I don't know if it's just a bribe either--who knows what they did to those iPads, I'm sure information from the police could be used for political gain.

Is it still a bribe when the public official initiates it? I hope they all get into trouble but I do wonder, when faced with a corrupt public official who is withholding government-provided services, at some point does that not simply become the necessary payment as opposed to a "bribe"?

It's always a bribe. In places without a fully-functional rule of law, it may also be the necessary payment (i.e., the payment of bribes may be expected to conduct business or get through a checkpoint or whatever), but it's still a bribe.

It's actually pretty common for bribes to be requested by the official - the first answer at https://www.quora.com/What-should-I-do-if-the-customs-office... has a description of how this sort of thing usually works.

It was be entrapment, but still a bribe. There are lots of cases like it.

> Can't believe all the Apple apologists here.

Really? HN has been a den of Apple, Microsoft, etc worship for a while now. In another thread on the frontpage, people are encouraging people to buy Apple TV. It's partly the social media PR teams these companies hire, it's the advertising and it's also the type of people HN attracts. It's sickening but what can you do.

yes; a forum for computer enthusiasts filled with people enthusiastic about computers.... what has this place come to indeed

No "computer enthusiast" is enthusiastic about apple. People who used apple products are generally laughed at by computer enthusiasts. Apple products are for non computer enthusiasts. Apple products are for sheep. Computer enthusiastics either build their own computer or buy cheap PCs and throw linux, bsd, etc on there.

> what has this place come to indeed

Indeed. And why a throwaway?

> yes; a forum for computer enthusiasts filled with people enthusiastic about computers.... what has this place come to indeed

Oh sure, there's 0 difference between proprietary black box software and free/libre open source... give me a break.

Tech's Great-Man theory has society idolizing Silicon Valley monopolizers:

"In the movie Steve Jobs, a character asks, “So how come 10 times in a day I read ‘Steve Jobs is a genius?’” The great man reputation that envelops Jobs is just part of a larger mythology of the role that Silicon Valley, and indeed the entire U.S. private sector, has played in technology innovation. We idolize tech entrepreneurs like Jobs, and credit them for most of the growth in our economy. But University of Sussex economist Mariana Mazzucato, who has just published a new U.S. edition of her book, The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths, makes a timely argument that it is the government, not venture capitalists and tech visionaries, that have been heroic.

“Every major technological change in recent years traces most of its funding back to the state,” says Mazzucato. Even “early stage” private-sector VCs come in much later, after the big breakthroughs have been made. For example, she notes, “The National Institutes of Health have spent almost a trillion dollars since their founding on the research that created both the pharmaceutical and the biotech sectors–with venture capitalists only entering biotech once the red carpet was laid down in the 1980s. We pretend that the government was at best just in the background creating the basic conditions (skills, infrastructure, basic science). But the truth is that the involvement required massive risk taking along the entire innovation chain: basic research, applied research and early stage financing of companies themselves.” The Silicon Valley VC model, which has typically dictated that financiers exit within 5 years or so, simply isn’t patient enough to create game changing innovation." [1]

[1] https://time.com/4089171/mariana-mazzucato/

I know this is a late response; but thank you for this comment it was very interesting.

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