(From Charles Platt) Is this a real threat, or just posturing? The ADA has already been extended far beyond the areas in which is was first designed to apply. I can certainly imagine regulations compelling web sites to be “equally accessible” to the disabled. Discussion here.
I used to have neighbors in Flori-duh, whose argument (to me anyhow) against gay marriage was “what am I supposed to tell my kids?“
Louis CK had a funny reply to that.
“It doesn’t have ANY effect on your life. What do you care? People try to talk about it like it’s a social issue. Like when you see someone stand up on a talk show and say ‘How am I supposed to explain to my child that two men are getting married?’ I dunno, it’s your shitty kid, you fuckin’ tell ‘em. Why is that anyone else’s problem? Two guys are in LOVE but they can’t get married because YOU don’t want to talk to your ugly child for five fuckin’ minutes?”
The issue came up with my daughter, yesterday. Age 4.
She asked what I was reading. I told her, “an article about a Supreme Court case” – 5 questions later, and it was time to make something up, or just tell her, and see if she got it.
I brought up one couple we know who are legally married (and happen to be my son’s “godfathers”). I told her “they are married, like mama and daddy, because they love each other.”
“Oh” she said.
I then told her about our cousin and his boyfriend of 25 years – who we also refer to as “cousin.” I said “they love each other just as much, but they are not allowed to get married, because they live in Las Vegas, which is in Nevada.”
“Oh. That’s not fair.”
There… conversation had. That wasn’t so hard.
I’m glad that my four year old understands the Equal Protection Clause better than some judges. When the gay marriage cases come before the Supreme Court, I’ll be impressed if Samuel Alito or Clarence Thomas are able to show as much intellect and wisdom as a girl who thinks that Santa Claus is a member of the First Amendment Lawyers’ Association.
Anonymous has now targeted Hunter Moore.
In a release published today, Anon writes:
Greetings citizens of the world, We are Anonymous.
This is a call to all Anonymous worldwide, you have a chance to make a real difference in the lives of hundreds of bullied teenagers and protect them from real harm such as rape or stalking.
Hunter Moore, Founder of previous revenge pornography site http://www.isanyoneup.com is coming back stronger than ever from the shutdown of his previous website. This capitalist makes money off of the misery of others.
People submit pictures of others naked to his website and he posted their social networking profiles along with the pictures.
This time he is taking it a step further and plans to list physical addresses next to the victims pictures along with a map to their house, self proclaiming that he has singlehandedly enabled the stalking of hundreds.
His servers are up. he already has domains he is secretly testing and will go public soon. He hides behind a loophole of section 230 of the United States online decency act which states he cannot be held legally accountable for third party submitted content.
This is a call to all of anonymous. We Will hold hunter moore accountable for his actions, we will protect anyone who is victimized by abuse of our internet, we will prevent the stalking, rape, and possible murders as byproduct of his sites.
Operation Anti-Bully. Operation Hunt Hunter engaged. We are Anonymous, we are Legion, we do not Forgive, we do not Forget, Hunter Moore, EXPECT US. (source)
I applaud them for it. I do have one issue with the missive — I don’t think that Moore is as protected by Section 230 as he likes to believe.
But, lets set the legal issues aside for this post: Moore is a douchebag, and deserves everything that Anonymous may throw at him. Here’s why:
Once upon a time, girls weren’t all paranoid about being raped, having shit slipped in their drink, or being stalked. Then, douchebags discovered rohypnol, stalking, etc., which ushered in a new era of “Why has this asshole just showed up at my table with a drink in his hand? Does he think I’m an idiot?”
Now, thanks to these clowns, you need to convince the girl that she should have sex with you AND that you’re not going to rape her or cut her into little pieces. Girls who were once approachable are scared to death to even have a conversation with you in a bar. All because of douchebags who need to circumvent rejection with drugs. And stalking. Lots and lots of stalking.
The douchebag’s MO is to shit out a cloud of fear. That cloud of fear supports an ecosystem that only benefits two kinds of people — other douchebags and second-wave feminists who absolutely love women in fear, because it makes their bullshit message resonate with just enough terrified women to keep a few of them signing up for their classes. Never forget the best way to control behavior is through FEAR. Just like the TSA, fear creates a justification for existence. There is the implied message of “If you challenge me, I’ll fucking spank you, so you better choose wisely.” But, if you take away fear, the assholes evaporate.
Involuntary Porn sites (like those run by Hunter Moore, Eric Chanson, Craig Brittain, and Chance Trahan) are the online equivalent of the asshole who goes to a bar with roofies in his pocket, or who stalks a girl who won’t give him the time of day. They punish all women through fear because they got rejected by their high school prom date or some chick in a bar or…whatever. They get off on the smell of fear and the resultant power over a woman and this is the drug that gives them the warm tinglys.
Imagine if no women had to live in fear of a shithead ex-boyfriend or these dickless fucks. Forget the morality of what they do, if you want, and think about from a purely utilitarian / economic perspective. Without these nimrods, a woman would always feel comfortable letting you take naked pictures of her. Women would feel comfortable sending you those pics as a “hey good morning” present. More naked pictures of girls means a better world for everyone, in my humble opinion.
Real men don’t get off on scaring women. Real men get off on trying to take that fear away.
Not because we are nice, or chivalrous. OK, some of us are, but more importantly, it’s because we want more naked pics and Hunter More and Craig Brittain are fucking with that.
So fuck you, Hunter Moore. Fuck you, Eric Chanson. Fuck you, Chance Trahan. And Fuck you, Craig Brittain.
Any man who gets off on putting women in fear loses his man card.
Good hunting, Anonymous.
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the director of the “Innocence of Muslims” movie, which has been blamed for setting off riots and murders in Islamic countries, has (conveniently?) been arrested for violating the terms of his probation. Among the terms of his probation: He was not allowed to se the Internet or a computer, which I presume he had to do in order to create and distribute his film. (source). From the sounds of it, the guy isn’t the most savory character in the world.
So yeah, it seems to me that he probably violated his probation.
Greg Pollowitz at The National Review wrote:
Listen, if you’re a two-time felon who is out on parole and told not to use an alias in business dealings or use the Internet and then you lie to reporters at the AP and WSJ using your alias and admitting you used the Internet, then what do you think is going to happen? (source)
Which is the only reason that he is now being held without bail, right? (source). Right?
It doesn’t have the slightest bit to do with the content of his film or the way that a bunch of idiots, brainwashed with superstition, reacted to it.
Let us presume that my cynicism is misplaced. Let us presume that it has nothing to do with that. It still sends the wrong message — that when the government does not like your speech, it can find a way to get you, First Amendment or no First Amendment.
Nikki Finke and Dominic Patten, at Deadline Hollywood saw it this way:
His arrest today is an apparent U.S. attempt to appease worldwide Muslims and their clerics and governments demanding for the YouTube video to be removed and its filmmaker punished. In an address on Tuesday condemning the content of the video, President Obama explained, “The strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression, it is more speech.” This legal action is a way to preserve America’s First Amendment principles but at the same time find a roundabout but legitimate way to punish Bakoula for the crudely made film that portrays the Muhammad as a religious fraud, womanizer and pedophile. (source)
I’m not saying that Nakoula should get a free pass for his probation violations. I am not saying that Finke and Patten are correct. Pollowitz has a hell of a good point. Nakoula couldn’t have made his probation violations any more public, and thus prosecutors had to do something.
Nevertheless, if Muslims are allowed to riot and kill people because they are offended at how their imaginary friend gets portrayed, I’m allowed to be offended when the government sends the message (on purpose or not) that “if you publish a film that we don’t like, we’ll find a way to put you in jail.”
By J. DeVoy.
“What what, in the butt?” was the question recently before justices Easterbrook, Cudahy and Hamilton in the appeal of Brownmark Films LLC v. Comedy Partners from the Eastern District of Wisconsin. (Opinion) At issue was whether South Park’s interpretation of Samwell’s “What What In The Butt,” as performed by Butters in the episode “Canada on Strike,” was non-infringing fair use under 17 U.S.C. § 107. More interestingly, though, was that Comedy Partners raised the defense on a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss – without any discovery or opportunity therefor (see FRCP 56(d), formerly Rule 56(f)). The Eastern District of Wisconsin agreed that South Parks’ rendition of What What In the Butt was fair use, and dismissed the Complaint at the pleading stage.
Brownmark did not include the original What What In the Butt video, nor South Park’s adaptation, in its Complaint. South Park Digital Studios did, however, attach both videos to its motion to dismiss, relying on the incorporation by reference doctrine. On appeal, the Seventh Circuit resolved this issue in South Park’s favor:
Because the claim was limited to the production and distribution of a single episode, the district court was correct to rely solely on the two expressive works referenced in Brownmark’s amended complaint and attached to SPDS’s motion, as well as the allegations in the complaint, to decide on the fair use defense.
SPDS relies on the incorporation-by-reference doctrine to maintain that reliance on the attached works does not violate Rule 12(d), which requires that Rule 12(b)(6) or 12(c) motions containing materials outside of the pleadings be converted into motions for summary judgment. It is well settled that in deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a court may consider “documents attached to a motion to dismiss . . . if they are referred to in the plain- tiff’s complaint and are central to his claim.” Wright v. Assoc. Ins. Cos. Inc., 29 F.3d 1244, 1248 (7th Cir. 1994). In effect, the incorporation-by-reference doctrine provides that if a plaintiff mentions a document in his complaint, the defendant may then submit the document to the court without converting defendant’s 12(b)(6) motion to a motion for summary judgment. The doctrine prevents a plaintiff from “evad[ing] dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) simply by failing to attach to his complaint a document that prove[s] his claim has no merit.” Tierney v. Vahle, 304 F.3d 734, 738 (7th Cir. 2002). (Op. at 5)
But the Seventh Circuit noted a curious wrinkle to this analysis:
While the application of this doctrine to the present case would seem to allow SPDS’s action, no court of appeals has ruled that the content of television programs and similar works may be incorporated by reference. Several district courts have concluded that the doctrine does apply to such works. See, e.g., Burnett v. Twentieth Century Fox, 491 F. Supp. 2d 962, 966 (C.D. Cal. 2007); Zella v. E.W. Scripps Co., 529 F. Supp. 2d 1124, 1131-32 (C.D. Cal. 2007); Daly v. Viacom, 238 F. Supp. 2d 1118, 1121-22 (N.D. Cal. 2002). And we think it makes eminently good sense to extend the doctrine to cover such works, especially in light of technological changes that have occasioned widespread production of audio-visual works. The parties, however, did not brief this issue, and so we reserve the resolution of the question for a later date. (Op. at 5-6)
Ultimately finding that the Eastern District of Wisconsin was within its jurisdiction to grant dismissal, the appellate court engages in a relatively truncated fair use analysis under the four factors of 17 U.S.C. § 107. The reason for the brevity?
Since Brownmark never opposed SPDS’s fair use argument in the district court, we consider the argument waived. (Op. at 9)
Ouch. And, since it’s the Seventh Circuit, that means automatically shifting attorney’s fees and costs under 17 U.S.C. § 505. What What In the Butt, Indeed.
Perhaps the overlooked gem of this opinion is that the Seventh Circuit has forever enshrined my favorite South Park meme: Internet Money.
The South Park Elementary school boys—Cartman, Stan, Kyle and But- ters—decide to create a viral video in order to accrue enough “Internet money” to buy off the striking Canadians. The boys create a video, “What What (In The Butt),” (WWITB) in which Butters sings a paean to anal sex. Within the show, the video is a huge hit, but the boys are only able to earn “theoretical dollars.”
As the South Park episode aptly points out, there is no “Internet money” for the video itself on YouTube, only advertising dollars that correlate with the number of views the video has had. It seems to this court that SPDS’s likely effect, ironically, would only increase ad revenue. Any effect on the derivative market for criticism is not protectable. Id. at 592. And the plaintiff has failed to give the district court or this court any concrete suggestion about potential evidence indicat- ing that the South Park parody has cut into any real market (with real, non-Internet dollars) for derivative uses of the original WWITB video. (Op.)
Of course, when I use “Internet Money,” it refers to settlements from BitTorrent infringers and others who pay for their wrongdoing. But, it is evocative of the constant challenge of monetizing the digital ether of the World Wide Web.
Apparently, some guys in Egypt hope to have one last romantic moment with their wives once they die. For up to six hours post-mortem. At least they are putting in a time-bar; else, Cleopatra and Nefertiti had better start chastity belt shopping.
**Antony & Cleopatra, Act I, scene iii
Update: Story was fake. Sorry folks.
By Laura Tucker
Michael Lucas of Lucas Entertainment recently wrote a heartbreaking post about the suicide of former porn actor turned personal trainer Dror Barak. Lucas describes Barak as “shy, smart, sweet-natured, and serious,” someone who helped him out at the gym because Barak was worried Lucas would hurt himself.
Lucas takes aim at the commenters on the websites reporting Barak’s death, countering their cold-hearted sneers with warm stories about his friend. Props to Lucas for calling out those who chose to make assumptions about a man they didn’t know.
Nice people don’t do porn, one commenter said. Well, here’s one who did.
Read Lucas’ post here.
By Larry Sutter, Special to the Legal Satyricon
The Southern District of New York recently issued its order dismissing the United State’s case against Julian Heicklen. The order is available here. While this is an interesting case about the protection of speech advocating jury nullification, what is even more interesting is the story behind it – from both the people involved to the affect it has had on New York’s legal community.
The Defendant: An 80-year-old retired chemistry professor who believes in freedom and liberty. Like, a lot. He stands in front of the federal courthouse in lower Manhattan handing out pamphlets advocating jury nullification. Calling him “cantankerous” is an understatement that does violence to the language: With his counsel’s motion to dismiss still pending, he addresses a letter to the federal judge who has his case firing his court-appointed standby federal defense counsel–a letter in which the salutation is “Dishonorable Judge Wood,” and the closing is “yours in disgust and hatred.” Among other requests, the letter sought the indictment of the District’s US Attorney.
As part of the investigation, the US Attorney sends an undercover agent posing as a juror to talk to the professor – who advises him he has the right to decide both the law and the facts in the interest of justice. The professor is then indicted for violating the federal jury tampering statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1504. Ironically, such a charge does not merit trial by jury.
The federal defenders, who moved to dismiss the case on every possible ground before they were fired, including § 1504’s vagueness and overbreadth in violation of the First Amendment. But even in their briefs, the defenders refer to their client as a “shabby old man distributing his silly leaflets.”
New York’s legal community has drawn its battle lines over the case, spawning numerous articles on our precious heritage of freedom. Prominent attorneys forecast that mere anarchy would be loosed upon the world—as two eminent lawyers argued last December in The New York Law Journal:
“Pause for a moment to imagine how this would work in practice with cases involving politically heated and classically divisive social issues….Runaway jury verdicts would amount to little more than a random 12-person vote….Talk about an engraved invitation for chaos—indeed, anarchy.”
Indeed? Indeed! Which the prosecutors were glad to echo. Last month, an Assistant U.S. Attorney characterized Heicklen’s advocacy as “an absolute threat to the system,” during a hearing on the defendant’s motion to dismiss.
But then comes a noble-visaged Portia of a judge to render justice between these parties. Filleting the statute as skillfully as the countermen at Zabar’s wield their razor-sharp knives upon the $28-a-pound Nova Scotia salmon, Judge Kimba Wood rules that because the statute—giving effect to all its language, not allowing any of its provisions to be condensed or duplicated—only forbids attempting
“to influence the action or decision of a juror upon an issue or matter pending before that juror or pertaining to that juror’s duties by means of a written communication made in relation to a a specific case pending before that juror or in relation to a point in dispute between the parties before that juror.” (Emphasis the Court’s.)
Therefore, generalized exhortations—as opposed to urging the juror to throw a specific case—are OK. (source) And you don’t even have to get to all those tricky First Amendment issues, do you?
Nevertheless almost half the decision is spent not getting to the First Amendment issues. In particular, the judge found that the danger, whatever it might be, in free-floating jury nullification advocacy wasn’t clear or present enough to pose “a danger to the administration of justice.” Why shouldn’t the jurors respond as sympathetically to the judge’s instructions to follow the law as she gives it as they might to Heicklen’s exhortation to disregard it? Indeed, Judge’s Wood statutory interpretation reached the same result Heicklen’s counsel urged in their overbreadth argument, namely, that to convict Heicklen for what he was doing would be to punish protected First Amendment activity, viz., speech not directed to a specific case or matter before a particular juror.
Heicklen is said to be pleased and is reported to be planning to resume his post Monday in Federal Plaza and, afterwards, go to lunch with his supporters. Dutch treat, of course. It’s reported (on Scott Greenfield’s Simple Justice blog) that his email to this effect was signed, “one small step for a shabby old man, but a giant leap for justice and our country.”
#SexistTrousers was trending on Twitter this week, with many up in arms about the care instructions on a pair of pants. (Source.) The subject of their ire was a label on chinos that first gave the typical cleaning instructions for 100 percent cotton pants, followed up with the remark, “Or Give It To Your Woman. It’s Her Job.”
The purchaser of the pants bought them from Madhouse, a retailer in the UK. Floods of tweeters complained about the pants, vowing never to shop at the store again. One woman was quoted as saying, “Lately I can’t tell which decade I’m living in. What brand are those trousers?! I can only assume that’s a joke.” The company later released a statement saying that it had not been aware of the label before this point.
“I can only assume that’s a joke”? Of course, it’s a joke! The first time I saw the label, I laughed. The tag is hardly offensive to the level of boycotting the brand or the store. In fact, if a guy of mine had these pants, it would probably be an endless inside joke we both could share time and again without it getting old and brought us closer. Lighten up a bit, ladies.
Besides, in my house, it’s always been the person who has the most pairs of underwear doesn’t have to do the laundry–a domestic game of chicken. I always win.
By Tatiana von Tauber
I’m embarrassed to be an American woman with witness to the current state of the Union.
Being a woman is without a doubt the most difficult process of becoming I’ve ever undertaken especially since I began my role as a mother 14 years ago. Nothing prepares you for the experience of motherhood better than truth and so I feel the same about the future of young girls in America. There are many I know who were totally lost in the wake of the conservative pool of stupidity in the days of GWBush and his side’s abstinence education policies in American schools. There is an entire generation of kids who are completely misinformed about birth control and sex because of religion.
More and more I feel battered by having the feeling women were given erotic beauty for reproductive purposes – that selfish gene – and then, as though being whores weren’t enough, women were thrown into the immature flatlands of male needs where they were then expected to create synthesis. However, a bit of a power struggle later, women became those to not only seduce, but birth, nurture and support an entire family, if not society yet be given “jump for the carrot” freedom on body parts – by the very men they birthed! How did America come to be like this? If American politics continue to enter the domain of a female’s sex life, America has little to offer women of the next generation.
I’m drained from realizing Congress is really a bunch of men who can’t get their heads out of the female genitalia. If they don’t pay to get in one they pay for others to stay out of one! For the men who are playing around with this issue, women are only a piece of ass and little more, except maybe for their little girls who are a piece of ass for the boy next door. For women who support recent attacks on female rights in the name of being faithful to a God, I have no words, only disgust.
Reproductive rights, the womb, women’s health – all of it has to do with the absolute power this birth right gives to women; and patriarchy has never been stronger in modern America! As an American I am so appalled at this downfall of this great nation – that the womb and its ownership, the vagina and a woman’s health are on the table of political discussion rather than the real issues that need immediate attention, it all makes me want to throw up on Congress.
The bottom line to all this rhetoric is this: women have the power to veto men through sex and men don’t like that. Thank you Dr. Leonard Shlain for helping me understand this through your wonderful work, Sex, Time and Power (may you rest in peace) but how about a little help down here with the rest of the blind folks, eh?
The last time I checked, my kidney belonged to me and nobody could force me to do anything specific with it. The main reason the womb is different is because it controls males’ sex lives. The fact that women are under attack, in America, in 2012 stuns me.
Here’s my contribution to the debate: “Feminist War of 2012″. I designed this back in 2007 or so and struggled with a proper title. The Image just found its perfect match and almost sadly, its perfect time.Bonus material to chew on:
Speaking of controlling women, this is an example of how women get screwed by men and the baby fantasy and how media uses them to make money to help glorify the chaos and continue the cycle. See Kate Gosselin, mother of 8 now.
Great post and kick ass quote: The Body Politic, “This campaign needs more women and less gynecology” – Virginia Heffernan
By J. DeVoy
A few years ago, the Dove Campaign For Real Beauty tried to give false hope to plain janes everywhere that actual beauty doesn’t exist at all, and is a consequence of extensive photoshopping. A viral youtube clip showed an above-average girl getting made up, and then photoshopped into a supermodel.
Naturally, American women, whose average BMI is starting to resemble a pretty good ACT score, are upset about these computer-enhanced depictions of beauty. Pay no attention to the fact that they’re 20 pounds heavier as a group than they were in 1990 – it’s the marketers’ fault! And now, this collective delusion has metastasized into proposed legislation: Arizona House Bill 2793.
The thrust of the bill is concisely stated in its plain language:
A. AN ADVERTISER SHALL NOT USE POSTPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES TO ALTER OR ENHANCE PRINTED MEDIA ADVERTISEMENTS THAT ARE DISTRIBUTED OR DISPLAYED IN THIS STATE.
B. IF POSTPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES ARE MADE IN AN ADVERTISEMENT THAT IS DESCRIBED IN SUBSECTION A OF THIS SECTION, THE FOLLOWING DISCLAIMER MUST BE CLEARLY AND LEGIBLY STATED IN THE ADVERTISEMENT:
POSTPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES WERE MADE TO ALTER THE APPEARANCE IN THIS ADVERTISEMENT. WHEN USING THIS PRODUCT, SIMILAR RESULTS MAY NOT BE ACHIEVED.
C. AN ACT OR PRACTICE IN VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION IS AN UNLAWFUL PRACTICE UNDER SECTION 44-1522 AND SUBJECT TO ENFORCEMENT THROUGH PRIVATE ACTION AND PROSECUTION BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. THE ATTORNEY GENERAL MAY INVESTIGATE THE ACT OR PRACTICE AND TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION PURSUANT TO CHAPTER 10, ARTICLE 7 OF THIS TITLE. (source)
Of course, this is a huge waste of time and resources, and the bill will never become law. In fact, its sponsor, Kate Hobbs (D-Phoenix) acknowledges the bill has virtually no likelihood of success, and is just another annoying publicity stunt at the expense of addressing real issues.
We just wanted to bring it to the table and start a discussion,” she said. “We need to bring attention to these body-image issues, especially with young girls. Girls need to know that they don’t have to look perfect.” (source)
I get that self image is important to women, especially young ones who haven’t been exposed to the withering criticism of anyone who has ever accomplished anything in life (let alone perennial curmudgeons like Scott Greenfield and Brian Tannebaum). But there’s an easier solution: Instead of imposing new restrictions on advertisers and content producers, why doesn’t Hobbs tell her constituents to put the fucking donuts down? If she’s going to involve the legislature, why not create a refundable tax credit for people’s gym memberships? That would send a better message: That by in large, you are in control of your life experience, and it is not the responsibility of others – especially those trying to sell something – to accommodate shame and guilt.
If advertisers used normal people in their materials, nothing would ever get sold. What’s next, banning female porn talent from getting fake breasts? Barring men from going to the gym, lest they use their labor to deceive women into finding them attractive? In this day and age, with airbrushing having been prevalent for at least two decades, nobody looks at a magazine or other image and thinks “this is a wholly accurate depiction of reality.” Airbrushing and editing is as commonplace and readily accepted as Makeup – something that Hobbs will waste state resources trying to ban next, so that she can bring attention to the scourge of women being forced - forced, I say! – to use eyeliner to enhance the appearance of their eyes.
Thankfully, there are some voices of reason in Arizona:
Louie Moses, creative director of the Phoenix-based Moses Anshell advertising agency, said the advertising industry should be allowed to police itself.
“I don’t like legislation that tells us what to do and what not to do in marketing,” Moses said. “I know what’s right.” (source)
Yes. And that is because the First Amendment protects speech, not feeeeelings. But, with people like Katie Hobbs in office, the frivolity of emotion will fight for center stage, and against bedrock constitutional principles prohibiting this kind of limitation on speech. Sure, cigarettes bear warning labels – but they also cause cancer and death. An overly flattering depiction of someone causes, what, a pang of guilt in the reader that he or she should be on a recumbent bike?
Katie Hobbs, who confirms all of my negative assumptions about social workers, apparently believes that her political office is the appropriate platform for this kind of advocacy. She is mistaken and, I believe she should be voted out of office. Her time could be spent getting Arizona to adopt a badly needed anti-SLAPP statute that has meaningful consequences for abusive litigation (the current one is garbage). Instead, she has chosen to be the enemy of expression.
Since I don’t like dishing out criticism without proposing an alternative, here’s a solution: If you’re threatened by the depictions in advertisements, look better. My morning regimen is 2 ozs of apple cider vinegar, followed by a whey protein shake and a cocktail of pills including VPX Redline Black-on-Blue, Zinc, Magnesium, Vitamin D and Vitamin C. Lift heavy 2-4 times a week, and try to do 30 minutes of cardio a day. That’s pretty much it.
I know that it’s tempting to think “oh, that’s $xxx I could bill in the hour it took me to do all that!” Well, how is your billing going to look when you’re laid up for a week, (or two, or three) following a heart attack, bypass surgery, or stroke? What about the months of subsequent rehab, and the fact that these changes will have to be made in your lifestyle anyway – presumably when your billing rate is even higher? With prevention, a triple-bypass can be reduced to an outpatient angioplasty, which ain’t that bad in the scheme of things. Just as importantly, though, you can look good until the end, and not have to have your poor little feelings trampled by an overly flattering advertisement.
Apparently likes strip clubs. (source)
I suppose it is news because those of us who like strip clubs are, on average, more intelligent than those who hate them. Lets face it, your average dipshit holding a bible, or your average feminist-who-hates-her-father isn’t going to be all that bright. So, us pervs like to think that there’s a connection between high intelligence and high sex drive / sex interest.
So yay, Stephen Hawking and I have at least one thing in common.
By J. DeVoy
Remember Falling Down, where Michael Douglas goes on a rampage in LA, shooting up a McDonald’s, a phone booth, and attacking a construction project with a rocket launcher? Cathartic, no? This appears to be even better.
The thing about Falling Down is that it did not go far enough in its attack on the perverted state of America normalcy. It expressed frustration at common daily difficulties, but failed to indict the metastasizing culture that produces these inefficiencies. God Bless America appears to remedy these defects by glamorizing the wanton and gratuitous murder of reality television “stars,” famous-for-fame’s-sake celebutards and generic douches who talk in the theater, insist on recording everything via cell phone, etc. Here’s hoping for a scene where the protagonist walks into a restaurant and blows away my latest disfavored class – people who take pictures of unremarkable food they order so they can instantaneously upload them to facebook (“they’re not french fries, they’re pommes frites!“).
As the Joker once said, “this town needs an enema!” Swap “town” for “western civilization” and we’re making progress. Surely the whiner crew will come out wringing their frail hands, warning of copycat acts of violence against famous people. Even if these hypochondriac claims had merit, the only reasonable response is, happy hunting. Will Brangelina get your backwoods joke of a state to enact a badly needed Anti-SLAPP statute with teeth? Leonardo DiCaprio is on the record as caring more about polar bears than your rights. Would it be so bad if they all… disappeared?
Obviously nobody’s seen the full film yet. Even if it’s terrible, I suspect it will have a significant cult following, likely among the alternative right. The fact that such a film was even made, though, reflects a recognition that enough people are meaningfully dissatisfied with the status quo that they would enjoy – and pay to see – its simulated murder.
By J. DeVoy
While illegal in 39 states, assisted suicide in not illegal in Georgia. The state attempted to create the illusion that the practice was illegal, however, by outlawing public advertisement of assisted suicide services through OCGA § 16-5-5(b). The statute did not forbid all offers to provide assisted suicide services, but only those publicly advertised. Today, the Georgia Supreme Court struck down the law as an impermissible content-based restriction on free speech. Final Exit Network, Inc. v. Georgia, Case No. S11A1960 (Ga. Feb. 6, 2012).
Applying both the Georgia Constitution and the U.S. Constitution, the Georgia Supreme Court subjected § 16-5-5(b) to strict scrutiny. Succinctly stating the position of its opinion, the Georgia Court wrote:
It is not all assisted suicides which are criminalized but only those which include a public advertisement or offer to assist. This distinction takes the statute out of the realm of content neutral regulations and renders it a selective restraint on speech with a particular content. See Ward v. Rock Against Racism, 491 U. S. 781, 791 (109 SC 2746, 105 LE2d 661) (1989) (“The principal inquiry in determining content neutrality . . . is whether the government has adopted a regulation of speech because of a disagreement with the message it conveys.”) (source.)
The court goes on to further eviscerate the state’s justification for banning advertising of assisted suicides:
The State argues §16-5-5 (b) is narrowly tailored because it reaches only those who publicly offer to assist in suicide and then, in fact, undertake an overt act to accomplish that goal. Had the State truly been interested in the preservation of human life, however, it could have imposed a ban on all assisted 5suicides with no restriction on protected speech whatsoever. Alternatively, the State could have sought to prohibit all offers to assist in suicide when accompanied by an overt act to accomplish that goal. The State here did neither. (source.)
The Final Exit Network decision is a very short but devastating opinion. It also raises a number of concerns about the social and legal status of suicide in America. For states with significant elderly populations – Florida, Nevada and Arizona come to mind – the manner by which they restrict assisted suicide may come under attack. A full legal ban on all forms of suicide and assisted suicide, premised on the value of human life, likely would withstand constitutional attack. If this goal is achieved from an outside angle as Georgia attempted, though, the laws may not withstand judicial scrutiny.
Being old – and especially extremely old – is a miserable existence. I support strong penalties for murder and taking the lives of other human beings. But when someone can no longer walk, can barely talk, has had their mental faculties degraded by alzheimer’s (or just old age), and has regressed to the point of requiring diapers to avoid daily humiliation, there is a serious question as to what value and dignity that life has left. Would it be so bad if we allowed them to choose a time and place to bring about the end, rather than forcing them through years of semi-conscious misery to vindicate what are ultimately religious principles? The same is true of the very ill – if it’s clear that the much needed liver or kidney transplant is not going to arrive in time, why be subjected to a degrading life of seizures, dialysis and pain?
The same arguments about medicinal marijuana, which liberals and libertarians are so fond of – that it helps people, and it does not directly harm anyone else – are equally applicable to suicide. For many people, suicide is the best and possibly only way out from under whatever dilemmas are facing them, whether medical, psychological or financial. By outlawing suicide, those who seek an exit are forced to inhumane and painful ends, using guns and pills to bring on a quick ending – and facing even worse consequences if they fail. The unreasonable social shame surrounding suicide forces people who ultimately choose this route to live longer, more unpleasant lives, enduring the harsh scrutiny of others in the process.
Central to the concept of liberty is one’s right to do what he or she pleases until it runs into the rights of others. Your life should, to the fullest extent possible, belong to you, which includes the way it is lived as well as the way it is ended. The broad sweep of laws and public attitude against suicide is inimical to a truly free society. Moreover, it is hypocritical for the United States to tout its position on freedom and yet take such a draconian position on suicide, assisted or otherwise. While debates rage on about rights to own guns and receive healthcare, the right for citizens to have full control over their lives, including ending them without stigma or obstruction, has been totally overlooked.
by Tatiana von Tauber
Would you find your spouse immoral if s/he asked you for an open marriage? If you’re like the general population, probably so and that’s because monogamy in marriage is so entrenched in our Judeo-Christian culture as the best way that it’s very difficult to pull out of such a norm; however, I believe Newt Gingrich showed a higher level of moral character than his current judgment dictates with respect to his second ex-wife, Marianne Gingrich’s disclosure he asked her for an open marriage.
In politics as in marriage a lot of things happen in the background that aren’t always in plain view. Mixing the desires of more than one individual requires compromises otherwise you’re left with lies for solutions. Just look at history for evidence.
By Newt Gingrich asking his second wife – now the ex – for an open marriage he actually proved his moral character via his ability to simply be honest about his feelings and desires and ask in spite of the backlash from what would traditionally be considered immoral (from their camp anyway).
This honesty is honorable. While the request may or may not be, there cannot be confusion between the difference of the request and the honesty which manifested it.
I suppose Marianne Gingrich would have preferred her ex husband to exhibit typical politician behavior and pin a little twinkie behind closed doors, then lie about it to his wife only for her to discover later he was a sperm donor too. Poleeze.
Some people prefer truth and others like the illusion. For me, a president who likes truth based on the situation at hand is a better choice than the cowardly liar – though at press time he’s denying the open marriage allegation but then that just shows you lies are the skin of politics. Strip the skin and kill the beast.