When it hits you, no matter how much you expect it, it comes as a surprise — a literal shock, like a baseball bat swung hard and squarely into the small of your back. That sensation — which is actually two sharp steel barbs piercing your skin and shooting electricity into your central nervous system — is followed by the harshest, most violent charlie horse you can imagine coursing through your entire body. With the pain comes the terrifying awareness that you are completely helpless. You cannot move. You lose control of almost everything and the only place you can go is down, face first to the floor.
That’s what it feels like to be hit with a Taser.
posted by Horace Rumpole
on Apr 5, 2013 -
"India's supreme court has ruled against Swiss drug giant Novartis in a landmark case
that activists say will protect access to cheap generic drugs in developing nations." [more inside]
posted by vidur
on Apr 1, 2013 -
, the latest project of the nonprofit Sunlight Foundation
, is an easy to navigate comprehensive database of activities from all state capitols that makes it easy to find your state lawmaker, review their votes, search for legislation, track bills and much more.
posted by joedan
on Mar 2, 2013 -
Makers: Women Who Make America
is a sweeping 3-hour documentary of the movement for women's equality in the last half of the twentieth century. Airing this month on US public television, it's accompanied by an online archive of videos
of interviews with individual women in leadership across a variety of fields. Leaders and activists, celebrities and pioneers, and everyday women retell the story of their awakening, organizing, and world-changing efforts.
posted by Miko
on Feb 28, 2013 -
Historically the United States (on a state by state basis) has given almost complete freedom to parents to name their children, both first name and surname, with results like "Fly-fornication," "Mahershalalhashbaz," "Encyclopedia Britannia," "States Rights" (who was killed in battle as an officer for the confederacy), "Trailing Arbutus Vines" and many more. (Naming Baby: The Constitutional Dimensions of Parental Naming Rights
, Carlton F.W. Larson, 2011 [SSRN
]). In October 2012, however, New York courts made two interesting rulings that reflect limitations on renaming, if not naming, rights, for both adults and children. [more inside]
posted by Salamandrous
on Feb 27, 2013 -
Sexual Assault In The U.S. Military
is the focus of a serious contender for Best Documentary Feature at this year's Academy Awards. The Invisible War
is a groundbreaking investigative doc that sheds light on the under-reported epidemic of sexual abuse against female members of the military
, as well as the lack of punitive action in these crimes: of the 8 percent of sexual assault cases that are prosecuted in the military, only 2 percent result in convictions. A female soldier in a combat zone is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire.
By official estimates
from The Department of Defense, 19,000 violent sexual crimes occurred in the military in 2011 alone
. Sexual assault is grossly under-reported
in the military. In 2011, 3,191 assaults were reported when its likely that somewhere between 19,000 and 22,000 assaults occurred.
The women in the film speak about the physical and mental abuse they underwent while serving in the military - and about the the lawsuit they joined and the verdict in which their experiences were labeled "occupational hazards".
The film is already garnering much attention, especially as front-running Oscar Nominee - and lawmakers are taking notice. [more inside]
posted by fantodstic
on Feb 19, 2013 -
My Eight Years with a Gun
"If the government was powerless to stop this onslaught, then the gun in my pocket was a declaration that the city had broken the social contract."
posted by bitmage
on Feb 7, 2013 -
Since first appearing on the scene in 1977, Judge Dredd
has been the comic-book world’s answer to Dirty Harry, serving as judge, jury and executioner in a dystopian future.
Now, in the latest issue of 2000AD, titled “Closet,” it appears as if the legendary lawman is coming out of the closet.
On the first page of the comic, Dredd is shown sharing a passionate kiss with another man
, with a caption reading: “I guess, somehow, I’d always known I was gay. I was just too scared to admit it.”
Note: these links contain SPOILERS
. [more inside]
posted by chavenet
on Jan 26, 2013 -
Nicole Ryan, a Nova Scotia teacher, offered a hit man $25,000 to bump off her husband because the police would not protect her from his abuse
(longer, audio only
). In her first 2010
trial, where she raised the defense of duress, she was aquitted; the Crown's 2011
appeal of that acquittal was dismissed, and her third 2013
trial resulted in a stay. But the victim didn't go on the stand to tell his side of the story. [more inside]
posted by saucysault
on Jan 22, 2013 -
Jennie Linn McCormack "isn’t the only woman in recent years to be prosecuted for ending her own pregnancy. But her case could change the trajectory of abortion law in the United States": The Rise of DIY Abortions
. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Jan 3, 2013 -
Can autonomous vehicles navigate the law? This year has been full of big news about the progress of self-driving cars. They are currently street legal in three states and Google says that on a given day, they have a dozen autonomous cars on the road. This August, they passed 300,000 driver-hours. In Spain this summer, Volvo drove a convoy of three cars through 200 kilometers of desert highway with just one driver and a police escort. Cadillac's newest models park themselves. The writing, one might think, is on the wall. But objects in the media may be farther off than they appear.
posted by modernnomad
on Dec 14, 2012 -
In October, 18-year old high school senior Ryan Romo was arrested
for the sexual assault of a child (someone 16 or under, by TX state law).
On October 31, CultureMap Dallas's managing editor, Claire St. Amant published an article
asking, "Is this Highland Park baseball star a rapist?" St. Amant ended her article, stating: If it's a case of impulsive teenage decisions, remorse and guilt, then no one suffers more than 18-year-old Ryan Romo. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen
on Nov 26, 2012 -
What does proper authorization to access a computer system mean?
Robert Graham of Errata Security writes about the recent conviction of Andrew Auernheimer (aka weev)
for “hacking” AT&T. Two years ago, weev discovered a bug
in AT&T's website that exposed the email addresses of customers with iPads. According to weev, the flaw was reported as per responsible disclosure practices by first informing AT&T before bringing it public. However the FBI investigated and arrested him under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). On 20th November 2012, he was found guilty
of identity fraud and conspiracy to access a computer without authorization.
posted by destrius
on Nov 21, 2012 -
Early English Laws
is a project to publish online and in print new editions and translations of all English legal codes, edicts, and treatises produced up to the time of Magna Carta 1215. [more inside]
posted by jedicus
on Nov 21, 2012 -
Obama won Ohio by two points, and Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown won by five, but Democrats emerged with just four of Ohio’s 16 House seats. In Wisconsin, Obama prevailed by seven points, and Democratic Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin by five, but their party finished with just three of the state’s eight House seats. In Virginia, Obama and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine were clear victors, but Democrats won just three of the commonwealth’s 11 House seats. In Florida, Obama eked out a victory and Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson won by 13 points, but Democrats will hold only 10 of the Sunshine State’s 27 House seats. The Revenge of 2010
: How gerrymandering saved the congressional Republican majority
, undermined Obama's mandate
, set the terms of the sequestration fight
, and locked Democrats out of the House for the next decade
. It's not a new problem
. But if the Supreme Court guts the Voting Rights Act
, it could get a whole lot worse
. And the electoral college may
. (What's gerrymandering, you ask? Let the animals explain. Meet the Gerry-mander. Peruse the abused. Catch the movie. Or just play the game. Previously.)
posted by Rhaomi
on Nov 14, 2012 -
"It seeped through the walls. It wafted up stairwells and elevator shafts. It was so bad, it rendered the other units on Nowell's floor unrentable. It was so bad, it made people dry-heave as they walked down the hallway. It was so bad, it caused the inspectors who examined Nowell's unit to gag and tear up. It was so bad, it attracted vermin. It was suffocating, overpowering, disgusting, distressing. It smelled like sour milk. Like diarrhea. Like mold." [The Man Who Smelled Too Much
posted by vidur
on Nov 8, 2012 -
From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films
were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating
, preparing for being drafted
, and shyness
, as well as to children on following the law
, the value of quietness in school
, and appreciating our parents
. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health
, what kind of people live in America
, how to keep a job
, supervising women workers
, the nature of capitalism
, and the plantation System in Southern life
. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives
as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Nov 1, 2012 -
The Corpus Juris Civilis
, also called the Code of Justinian, is a foundational document in (continental) Western law. Perhaps because of its limited impact on the common law, no English translation existed until the 1930s. The best English translation
of the two main parts of the CJC, the Codex Justinianus
and the Novels
, was the life's work of a single Wyoming Supreme Court Justice, Fred H. Blume
. [more inside]
posted by jedicus
on Oct 23, 2012 -
On October 29, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
, a conflict about “first-sale doctrine”
. The doctrine, which has been law in the U.S. since 1908, allows people to buy and then subsequently sell items (books, furniture, electronics, dvds, etc.) without needing additional permission from the copyright holder.
Supap Kirtsaeng came to the United States from Thailand to study mathematics and attempted to save money by having his family purchase textbooks in Thailand and ship them to him. After reading up on the first-sale doctrine, Kirtsaeng began to sell these textbooks to others on eBay. He made $37,000, before he was sued by John Wiley, a textbook publisher. A jury found his copyright infringement to be willful. He was ordered to pay $75,000 per work for a total penalty of $600,000. He appealed, and lost at the 2nd Circuit.
The Library Journal notes that if the Supreme Court rules against Kirtsaeng, it could mean the end of public libraries
. Marketwatch warns that it means the end of resale as we know it
. Hollywood Esq. does the most cogent job of putting this IP fight in perspective of other IP fights
before the Court.
posted by dejah420
on Oct 9, 2012 -
"A blue cloud of smoke wafted over the Famous Five statue that sits just east of the Senate doors. No one seemed to be going insane or looking like they were about to personally invade the United States. There were people of all colours in the crowd, but if any of them were members of The Ring, they hid it well. The peaceful demonstrators were, however, breaking the law, smoking a banned substance that could in theory have landed any one of them in prison." Emily Murphy’s legacy lives on in more ways than most care to remember.
posted by mannequito
on Oct 1, 2012 -
The DoJ drops all remaining investigation and prosecution of US War on Terror deaths/murders through harsh tactics/torture: "No Charges Filed on Harsh Tactics Used by the C.I.A." [NYT
] Glenn Greenwald reacts and describes the cases that just got dropped. [Guardian
] Second link is arguably a violence trigger, but is better and bothers to do things like talk to the ALCU.
posted by jaduncan
on Sep 2, 2012 -