Why A Heterosexual, Married, North Carolinian Father Of Three Cares About LGBT Equality
. Married father of three boys writes eloquently about the reasons why he opposes the proposed constitutional amendment banning any legal relationship recognition for same-sex couples. The amendment goes before voters in May primary election
, when heavy Republican turnout is expected. Meanwhile Senator Goolsby
says that it is all about "empowering voters" "so no activist judge is able to decide on his or her own what marriage is." [original
Hartwick College, a small school in New York's Catskills, is the beneficiary of a trust that “could ultimately shatter the nation’s financial structure.”
Start a home business, get rich quick, win financial freedom!
If you watch late-night TV, you've heard it all before. But what's the story behind these slick pitchmen and their dubious schemes? Enter The Salty Droid
, your ornery metal guide to the corrupt underworld of scam-marketing scum. This charmingly acerbic bot
(owned and operated by mild-mannered Chicago dog-lover Jason Michael Jones [inter-view, long talk + transcript]
) is a valiant crusader against the vile con-men who bankrupt the elderly and the desperate with beautiful lies
. Exposed so far:
A shadowy "Syndicate"
of frauduct-pushing personality cults
polluting the media with blogspam
and woo-woo talking points
. Boiler rooms
in the Utah desert where telemarketers farm credit from easy targets
with cunning, probing scripts [PDF]
. Powerful politicians bought wholesale
. Believers left to die in fraudulent new-age vision quests
. It's a soul-crushing beat, enough to make one feel like a regular catcher-bot in the digital rye
. But somebody's got to do it -- preferably someone with plasma nunchucks and titanium skin
Several commentators are advocating
of the practice of law.
Phillip Howard argues here that rather than protecting our freedoms, the U.S. legal system has actually begun to restrict our liberties and paralyze society.
Life as a working professional has increasingly become what Howard describes as "a legal minefield". In this talk from the TED 2010 conference, Howard suggests 4 ways of helping to fix what he deems "a broken legal system." [more inside]
Army vet with PTSD sought the treatment he needed by taking hostages – but got jail instead.
"Fifteen months of carnage in Iraq had left the 29-year-old debilitated by post-traumatic stress disorder. But despite his doctor’s urgent recommendation, the Army failed to send him to a Warrior Transition Unit for help. The best the Department of Veterans Affairs could offer was 10-minute therapy sessions — via videoconference. So, early on Labor Day morning last year, after topping off a night of drinking with a handful of sleeping pills, Quinones barged into Fort Stewart’s hospital, forced his way to the third-floor psychiatric ward and held three soldiers hostage, demanding better mental health treatment." [Via] [more inside]
The perfect location for the perfect crime.
Due to a loophole in the US Constitution there is an area of Yellowstone Park
where you may be able to get away with a major crime. U Michigan Prof
Brian C Kalt looks into
and gauges your chance at success
. Someone has tried
. [more inside]
The job market is saturated and graduates are unable to get hired anywhere to get proper training. Law professors Richard Rhee and Bradley Borden have a solution: law schools should open their own law firms.
Where the sidewalk ends:
A new walking code of conduct, 10 proposed rules for New York City sidewalks.
Is the SEC Covering Up Wall Street Crimes?
"A whistleblower claims that over the past two decades, the agency has destroyed records of thousands of investigations, whitewashing the files of some of the nation's worst financial criminals."
An anonymous, tenured, mid-career faculty member
at a Tier One law school shares his/her observations on the state of contemporary American legal education.
The History of Torture—Why We Can't Give It Up.
"Some 150 years ago, the West all but abandoned torture. It has returned with a vengeance." [Via]
Drew Curtis' FARK.com has settled a lawsuit with a patent troll.
The popular "not news" site was sued by "Gooseberry Natural Resources LLC" which held a ridiculous broad patent (6,370,535) that it claimed covered the basic concept of generating a press release online.
Other sites targeted included Reddit, Digg, Slashdot, TechCrunch & Others.
In the case of Fark, the suit was settled for $0. Curtis writes, "I paraphrased our best one-time settlement offer as "how about jack sh*t and go f*ck yourself."
The Secret History of Guns.
"The Ku Klux Klan, Ronald Reagan, and, for most of its history, the NRA all worked to control guns. The Founding Fathers? They required gun ownership—and regulated it. And no group has more fiercely advocated the right to bear loaded weapons in public than the Black Panthers—the true pioneers of the modern pro-gun movement. In the battle over gun rights in America, both sides have distorted history and the law, and there’s no resolution in sight." [Via]
"On Tuesday 21 June 2011 six photographers were assigned different areas of the City to photograph. Some used tripods, some went hand held, one set up a 5 x 4. All were instructed to keep to public land and photograph the area as they would on a normal day. The event aimed to test the policing of public and private space by private security firms and their reaction to photographers. All six photographers were stopped on at least one occasion. Three encounters led to police action. This is what happened.
" (The actual video starts at 1:14.)
Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey defends his appointment of Sohail Mohammed to the state bench.
Sohail Mohammed is New Jersey's first Indian-born Superior Court Judge.
"After Christie nominated Mohammed in January for the judgeship, the former federal prosecutor found himself accused of cozying up to Islamic radicals. Mohammed’s confirmation hearing before the state Senate included two hours of grilling, including inquires about Sharia, jihad and Hamas." [more inside]
"When legal teams need to prove or disprove the authorship of key texts, they call in the forensic linguists. Scholars in the field have tackled the disputed origins of some prestigious works, from Shakespearean sonnets to the Federalist Papers."
Decoding Your E-Mail Personality
Ben Zimmer, of Language Log discusses the Facebook case and forensic linguistics
in the NY Times. [more inside]
"I decided I had to do something to save this person’s life. That killing someone in Dallas is not an answer for what happened on Sept. 11." Rais Bhuiyan
petitions the state of Texas to stay
the execution of a white supremacist who shot him and murdered two others in a hate-motivated crime
It took the photographer Donald Weber more than five years to make his way inside a Ukrainian police interrogation room.
For months, Weber showed up every morning at police headquarters
, where he sat on a wooden bench in a drab hallway, waiting to ask the suspects if they’d let him witness their interrogations. When they agreed
, he sat and watched from his chair in a small room as a damaged light fixture cast spider-web patterns on the wall. [more inside]
Last Monday, the Israeli Knesset (legislature) passed the Law for Prevention of Damage to State of Israel through Boycott
), which, among other things, makes it a civil offense for residents of Israel to advocate economic boycotts against Israel or any geographic region under its administration, including the Occupied Territories
. This means that while individual Israelis may themselves refuse to buy products made in the settlements
, they run the risk of being sued if they publicly call upon others to do likewise. [more inside]
The Brain on Trial.
Advances in brain science are calling into question the volition behind many criminal acts. A leading neuroscientist describes how the foundations of our criminal-justice system are beginning to crumble, and proposes a new way forward for law and order.
"We may someday find that many types of bad behavior have a basic biological explanation—as has happened with schizophrenia, epilepsy, depression, and mania." [more inside]
Public interests will be harmed absent requiring defendants to make available unencrypted contents in circumstances like these. Failing to compel Ms. Fricosu amounts to a concession to her and potential criminals (be it in child exploitation, national security, terrorism, financial crimes or drug trafficking cases) that encrypting all inculpatory digital evidence will serve to defeat the efforts of law enforcement officers to obtain such evidence through judicially authorized search warrants, and thus make their prosecution impossible.
The "if you were innocent, you'd have nothing to hide" argument rears its head, in a big way. [more inside]
July 1st is the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party
(Official English website). Since 1979, China has been on a course of economic reform
, first initiated by Deng Xiaoping
, who climbed from disgrace during the Cultural Revolution to lead China away from a communist economy. Now, however, with the anniversary of the Party coming up, at least in Chongqing
, the fastest growing city
on the planet which 32 million people call home, the East may once again be Red. [more inside]
The Hardest Cases: When Children Die, Justice Can Be Elusive
A joint investigation by PBS Frontline, ProPublica and NPR has found that medical examiners and coroners have repeatedly mishandled cases of infant and child deaths, helping to put innocent people behind bars. (Via. (Article contains descriptions of children that have been killed by abuse. May be disturbing / triggering to some readers.) [more inside]
Two weeks ago, the Wisconsin Supreme Court voted 4-3 [video]
the controversial anti-union Budget Repair Bill
, which a district judge had declared void due to a law requiring 24 hours' public notice of meetings. The Supreme Court's deliberations were heated. The liberal Justice Ann Walsh Bradley now says that after she asked conservative Justice David Prosser to leave her office, he put his hands around her neck
in a choke-hold
. Justice Prosser denies the allegation. [more inside]
In a 32 page report to Congress [pdf]
President Obama concludes:
...the current U.S. military operations in Libya are consistent
with the War Powers Resolution and do not under that law require
further congressional authorization, because U.S. military
operations are distinct from the kind of “hostilities”
contemplated by the Resolution’s 60 day termination provision.
Now, the New York Times reports
that this legal opinion was reached by rejecting the views of top lawyers at the Pentagon and the Justice Department. It is instructive to compare President Obama's actions
with those of his predecessor, George W. Bush. [more inside]
Today, Judge Donovan of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles ruled
[link is to pdf of decision] that DOMA
is unconstitutional. 19 judges join his opinion. [more inside]
and social activist Fahmi Fadzil
was sued for defamation by media company Blu Inc
after a Tweet in January alleging that the company maltreated a pregnant friend who was an employee. His punishment? To tweet 100 times over 3 days
I've DEFAMED Blu Inc Media & Female Magazine. My tweets on their HR Policies are untrue. I retract those words & hereby apologize.
Responses from other Malaysian Twitter users, mostly on Fahmi's side, have been interesting.
In a chilling development, six Italian scientists (and one government official) are facing manslaughter charges
for failing to predict the April 6, 2009 earthquake that killed 309 people.
With the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act
being argued in lower courts
, it's probably also worth looking
at Vermont's adoption of single-payer health care
: "On May 26, Gov. Peter Shumlin of Vermont is expected to sign legislation
that will create universal coverage in the state—eventually. Vermont will use subsidies from the Affordable Care Act
to help create a Canada-style system. And its system, or so the theory goes, will become so popular and cheap that the rest of America will want to copy it." [more inside]
“Watching the video I thought that it was wise of Major League Baseball to combine this sort of sentimental moment with mass speculative litigation. It kept brand values strong. I felt strangely grateful
that I could have a moment to remember that afternoon. Surprised by the evidence of both copyright violation and father-daughter affection.” —Paul Ford, “Nanolaw with Daughter” [more inside]
If you have had sex in Florida in the last week, technically, you broke the law.
Due to some unfortunate wording, Florida's new bestiality law technically outlawed sex between two animals.
"An act relating to sexual activities involving animals; creating s. 828.126, F.S.; providing definitions; prohibiting knowing sexual conduct or sexual contact with an animal; prohibiting specified related activities; providing penalties; providing that the act does not apply to certain husbandry, conformation judging, and veterinary practices; providing an effective date."
The People vs. Goldman Sachs
. Matt Taibbi's latest magnum opus (previous coverage
) lays out the full case for federal prosecutions against the Vampire Squid according to Sen. Carl Levin's Senate Subcommittee on Investigations. [Wall Street and the Financial Crisis: Anatomy of a Financial Collapse 650 page pdf