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breakingnews:

NRA rejects gun controls, blames violent video games and movies
National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre defiantly blamed violent video games and movies, the media, gun-free zones in schools and other factors during the organization’s first public statement following the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn. last week. 
NBC News reports:

LaPierre, who was interrupted by Code Pink protesters twice during a statement (during which he refused to answer questions), said that the students in Newtown might have been better protected had officials at Sandy Hook Elementary been armed. He said that putting a police officer in every single school in America might make schools safer.
“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” he said, asking Congress to immediately appropriate the money to put a police officer in every single school in the country.

Photo via NBCNews.com

breakingnews:

NRA rejects gun controls, blames violent video games and movies

National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre defiantly blamed violent video games and movies, the media, gun-free zones in schools and other factors during the organization’s first public statement following the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn. last week. 

NBC News reports:

LaPierre, who was interrupted by Code Pink protesters twice during a statement (during which he refused to answer questions), said that the students in Newtown might have been better protected had officials at Sandy Hook Elementary been armed. He said that putting a police officer in every single school in America might make schools safer.

“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” he said, asking Congress to immediately appropriate the money to put a police officer in every single school in the country.

Photo via NBCNews.com

(via brooklynmutt)

cancerninja:

theatlantic:

Symbolic Legislation to Nowhere: Why Statehouses Fail in Governance

The fact that Virginia lawmakers evidently didn’t understand what their law would mean to women, and what it would require of doctors, didn’t stop the legislators from pushing forward with the measure anyway. Ignorance of the law may be no legal defense to you and me, but ignorance of the law among those who are passing the law surely is the definition of bad governance. For the politicians now scrambling away from Virginia’s measure, however, pleading ignorance perhaps is easier today than confessing the truth, which is that the pols who supported the measure probably didn’t care in the first place if its mandated procedures offended women. That was the whole point, wasn’t it?
At a minimum, the barely-averted disaster in the commonwealth raises questions about whether the same intellectual disconnect is happening in New Hampshire, where the Republican-dominated legislature is pressing ahead with anti-abortion measures over the objections of medical experts. Or in Iowa, where a GOP lawmaker recently introduced a bill that would ban abortions and generate potential life sentences in prison for doctors who perform what the law calls “feticide.” Or in Nebraska, where legislators are considering a bill that would create a legal defense — justifiable homicide, it’s called — for the murder of a doctor who intends to harm a fetus.
[…]
America, sadly, has grown accustomed to “symbolic” legislation which is designed not to advance the public good, or even to become sustainable law, but rather to appease particular interest groups. The campaign promise becomes the pending measure; the donor’s crusade becomes the subject of public hearings. And what is squeezed out of the legislative process as a result of such pandering is the more moderate legislation, the more practical measures, which do stand a chance of passing constitutional muster and which do solve real problems in sensible ways. That’s no way to run a country — or even a state.
When public outrage forced them into a choice this week between appearing stupid about the ultrasound law or appearing venal toward it, Virginia’s Republican lawmakers, and the Commonwealth’s governor, chose to act stupid. It’s a choice that zealous lawmakers all over the country would be forced to make if their own senseless, unlawful legislation ever made it to the Supreme Court. But chances are those bills never will. Instead, America’s pet legislation will continue to whistle to all the political dogs out there while wasting everyone else’s time and money.
Read more. [Image: Associated Press]


relevant.

cancerninja:

theatlantic:

Symbolic Legislation to Nowhere: Why Statehouses Fail in Governance

The fact that Virginia lawmakers evidently didn’t understand what their law would mean to women, and what it would require of doctors, didn’t stop the legislators from pushing forward with the measure anyway. Ignorance of the law may be no legal defense to you and me, but ignorance of the law among those who are passing the law surely is the definition of bad governance. For the politicians now scrambling away from Virginia’s measure, however, pleading ignorance perhaps is easier today than confessing the truth, which is that the pols who supported the measure probably didn’t care in the first place if its mandated procedures offended women. That was the whole point, wasn’t it?

At a minimum, the barely-averted disaster in the commonwealth raises questions about whether the same intellectual disconnect is happening in New Hampshire, where the Republican-dominated legislature is pressing ahead with anti-abortion measures over the objections of medical experts. Or in Iowa, where a GOP lawmaker recently introduced a bill that would ban abortions and generate potential life sentences in prison for doctors who perform what the law calls “feticide.” Or in Nebraska, where legislators are considering a bill that would create a legal defense — justifiable homicide, it’s called — for the murder of a doctor who intends to harm a fetus.

[…]

America, sadly, has grown accustomed to “symbolic” legislation which is designed not to advance the public good, or even to become sustainable law, but rather to appease particular interest groups. The campaign promise becomes the pending measure; the donor’s crusade becomes the subject of public hearings. And what is squeezed out of the legislative process as a result of such pandering is the more moderate legislation, the more practical measures, which do stand a chance of passing constitutional muster and which do solve real problems in sensible ways. That’s no way to run a country — or even a state.

When public outrage forced them into a choice this week between appearing stupid about the ultrasound law or appearing venal toward it, Virginia’s Republican lawmakers, and the Commonwealth’s governor, chose to act stupid. It’s a choice that zealous lawmakers all over the country would be forced to make if their own senseless, unlawful legislation ever made it to the Supreme Court. But chances are those bills never will. Instead, America’s pet legislation will continue to whistle to all the political dogs out there while wasting everyone else’s time and money.

Read more. [Image: Associated Press]

relevant.

Most patent cases are not about copying

The researchers studied 193 patent cases and found only 21 of them—that’s 10.9 percent—that contained even an allegation of any copying, whether that’s copying from a patent or from a patent-holder’s commercial product.

And here’s the kicker: more than half of the copying allegations they did find were from pharmaceutical and chemical cases. Remember that a big chunk of patent litigation involves branded drug companies fighting generic drug makers to determine when generic drugs can be marketed—and generic drug companies, of course, are legally required to make exact copies of a branded drug. So there’s good reason to consider pharma/chemical cases separately.

Once you set aside life sciences, copying in patent law goes from rare to almost nonexistent. Of the 193 cases analyzed, 76 were disputes over non-software computer related patents: only two of those cases included allegations of copying. Software patents were litigated in 67 lawsuits: again, only two plaintiffs alleged copying.To put it another way, in computers and software, less than 3% of the patent lawsuits studied involved allegations of copying, and less than 1% involved proof of copying.

(Source: thepriorart.typepad.com, via wonklife)

5 Reasons You Should Never Agree to a Police Search (Even if You Have Nothing to Hide)

(1) It’s your constitutional right.

The 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects us against unreasonable searches and seizures. Unless police have strong evidence (probable cause) to believe you’re involved in criminal activity, they need your permission to perform a search of you or your property.

You have the right to refuse random police searches anywhere and anytime, so long as you aren’t crossing a border checkpoint or entering a secure facility like an airport. Don’t be shy about standing up for your own privacy rights, especially when police are looking for evidence that could put you behind bars.

(2) Refusing a search protects you if you end up in court.

It’s always possible that police might search you anyway when you refuse to give consent, but that’s no reason to say “yes” to the search. Basically, if there’s any chance of evidence being found, agreeing to a search is like committing legal suicide, because it kills your case before you even get to court.

If you refuse a search, however, the officer will have to prove in court that there was probable cause to do a warrantless search. This will give your lawyer a good chance to win your case, but this only works if you said “no” to the search.

(3) Saying “no” can prevent a search altogether.

Data on police searches are interesting, but they don’t show how many searches didn’t happen because a citizen said no. A non-search is a non-event that goes unrecorded, giving rise to a widespread misconception that police will always search with or without permission.

I know refusing searches works because I’ve been collecting stories from real police encounters. The reality is that police routinely ask for permission to search when they have absolutely no evidence of an actual crime. If you remain calm and say no, there’s a good chance they’ll back down, because it’s a waste of time to do searches that won’t hold up in court anyway.

(4) Searches can waste your time and damage your property.

Do you have time to sit around while police rifle through your belongings? Police often spend 30 minutes or more on vehicle searches and even longer searching homes. You certainly can’t count on officers to be careful with valuables or to put everything back where they found it. If you waive your 4th Amendment rights by agreeing to be searched, you will have few legal options if any property is damaged or missing after the search.

(5) You never know what they’ll find.

Are you 100 percent certain there’s nothing illegal in your home or vehicle? You can never be too sure. A joint roach could stick to your shoe on the street and wind up on the floorboard. A careless acquaintance could have dropped a baggie behind the seat. Try telling a cop it isn’t yours, and they’ll just laugh and tell you to put your hands behind your back. If you agreed to the search, you can’t challenge the evidence. But if you’re innocent and you refused the search, your lawyer has a winnable case.

(Source: azspot)

How the FCC Can Take the Money Out of Politics

James Madison, a key shaper of the U.S. system, believed that on any important issue there would be more than one faction in the body politic who would contend with one another until a compromise was reached. He also assumed that despite inequalities of resources, there would be sufficient controversy about legislation that extreme positions would be moderated. But when we have 400 billionaires buying our elections, it is perfectly possible for a handful of cranks to deeply influence the outcome and then to dictate policy positions to their clients, the winning politicians. The moderating influence of the broad electorate has been vitiated. That dynamic has produced what many puzzled voters have termed the Republican “clown car” in this election season. The democratic bargain struck by the founding generation, whereby we all have a chance to influence our country’s destiny, is in danger of being undone, with unimaginable consequences. Occupy the FCC.

(Source: azspot)

Federal Appeals Court Allows ACLU Challenge to Warrantless Wiretapping Law to Proceed | American Civil Liberties Union

somepolitics:

sarahlee310:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit today denied the government’s request that all of the court’s judges rehear a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union challenging the FISA Amendments Act (FAA), a law that gives the executive branch virtually unchecked power to collect Americans’ international emails and telephone calls. In March, a three-judge panel of the court unanimously ruled the plaintiffs have the right to challenge the constitutionality of the law.

Please reblog this. This is extremely important and what I believe to be the first step toward reducing the crazy, post 9/11 security laws. Thank you ACLU.

(via abokononist-deactivated20120714)

Appeals Court Reinstates $675,000 File Sharing Verdict

infoneer-pulse:

A federal appeals court on Friday reinstated a whopping $675,000 file sharing verdict that a jury levied against a Boston college student for making 30 tracks of music available on a peer-to-peer network.

The decision by the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reverses a federal judge who slashed the award as “unconstitutionally excessive.” U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner of Boston reduced the verdict to $67,500, or $2,250 for each of the 30 tracks defendant Joel Tenenbaum unlawfully downloaded and shared on Kazaa, a popular file sharing peer-to-peer service. The Recording Industry Association of America and Tenenbaum both appealed in what has been the nation’s second RIAA file sharing case to ever reach a jury.

» via Wired

If you want to see more jobs created – change patent laws

Sometimes it’s not the obvious things that create the biggest problems. In this case one of the hidden job killers in our economy today is the explosion of patent litigation.

Every technology company I have is getting hit by patent lawsuits that are the biggest bunch of bullshit ever. Every week it seems like a new one comes up. Between having to pay our lawyers a lot of money to review each, to increasing insurance rates and settlement costs because we can’t afford to pay to fight the nonsense, it’s an enormous expense. So much so that money that would have gone to new hires to improve and sell the product has to be saved to pay to deal with this bullshit.

I’m not talking about a new company that had an idea that someone beat us to. No sir. I’m talking about companies that have been doing business the same way for years that are getting hit by patent trolls . These aren’t operating companies that are trying to protect their business. These are companies that aggregate patents and raise capital for the sole purpose of suing companies and extorting money from them.

Also sounds like someone listed to This American Life a few weeks ago

(Source: azspot)

A 25-year-old Spanish man has been ordered by a judge to leave home and look for a job after he took his parents to court for stopping his allowance money.

CNN

I’m pretty sure that’s not the way he wanted his suit to end … though I’m not sure what he expected.

(via squashed)

Have to admit that takes giant balls to sue your parents because they took away allowance money and you’re 25 years old…

Personal note, I kind of wish my parents would take my 28-year-old brother’s “allowance” away…

think4yourself : Caught redhanded... with chalk

:: Chronicle of Higher Ed :: (via not-en*tire,ly)

More on this University of Arizona chalking story.

A friend of mine in her first year of law school saw this story and decided it would be fun excuse to search through statutes on LexisNexis. Here’s what she found about the statutes that are being violated per the charges this student is facing.

First, the “criminal damage” charge:

  • "Criminal Damage" as defined by the Arizona Criminal Code Title 13 Chapter 16 includes "Drawing or inscribing a message, slogan, sign or symbol that is made on any public or private building, structure or surface, except the ground, and that is made without permission of the owner."

If the chalking was on the sidewalk (a.k.a. “ground”) as the story says it was, this student will get out of this one…unless they’re building floating sidewalks or building sidewalks on buildings in Tucson

and now the “disrupting university operations” charge which in my friend’s opinion “is even MORE vaguely worded.”

  • A.R.S. (Arizona Revised Statute) § 13-2911 (2008)

    § 13-2911. Interference with or disruption of an educational institution; violation; classification; definitions

    A. A person commits interference with or disruption of an educational institution by doing any of the following:

    1. Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly interfering with or disrupting the normal operations of an educational institution by either:

    (a) Threatening to cause physical injury to any employee or student of an educational institution or any person on the property of an educational institution.

    (b) Threatening to cause damage to any educational institution, the property of any educational institution or the property of any employee or student of an educational institution.

    2. Intentionally or knowingly entering or remaining on the property of any educational institution for the purpose of interfering with the lawful use of the property or in any manner as to deny or interfere with the lawful use of the property by others.

    3. Intentionally or knowingly refusing to obey a lawful order given pursuant to subsection C of this section.

In regards to this statute, my friend noted: “Clearly this is just something they chose to use whenever someone pisses them off. […]Seems like University assy-ness run amok to me…”

I know there are a few followers who are much more versed in law than I am so feel free to add anything

But thanks TB for the additional info!