In a Houston, Texas, case, UMG v. Hightower, the RIAA subpoenaed a high school student on 24 hours notice to appear for a deposition at 9:00 A.M. at their lawyer’s office, on a school day. The student was the son of the defendant.
It gets worse: the day in question was one in which the student was required to show up to take the TAKS test, a state-wide standardized test that’s required for graduation.
This is called abuse of process. It goes beyond the fishing expedition aspects, and gets into “now we’re going to use this to screw up your life.”
Operation Ore has become embedded in public consciousness as the landmark police operation that tracked down people – almost always men – who allegedly paid to access child pornography via computer. In all, 7,272 British residents were on its target lists, more than 2,000 of whom have never been investigated; and 39 men have killed themselves under the pressure of the investigations. Ore has dragged big names into the spotlight – such as the musicians Pete Townshend, the Who guitarist, and Robert del Naja of Massive Attack, both falsely accused of accessing child pornography.
New evidence I have gathered for my work as an expert witness in defence cases shows that thousands of cases under Operation Ore have been built on the shakiest of foundations – the use of credit card details to sign up for pornography websites. In many cases, the card details were stolen; the sites contained nothing or legal material only; and the people who allegedly signed up to visit the sites never went there.
The reason that everyone jumps on this bandwagon is because it gets the votes.
Everyone hates it. Everyone wants the government to “do something about it”. Everyone wants it done today.
So very little thought is put into these projects and the more people that can be swept up, the better. That way you’re fairly sure, statistically, that you’ll get one of the “bad guys”.
Even better is you get to hand-pick the “bad guys” – you can remove anybody you want from society just by the right accusation.
Racing barefooted after kicking off her flip-flops, Cyndie pushes her son Derek Madsen, 10, up and down hallways in the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento on June 21, 2005, successfully distracting him during the dreaded wait before his bone marrow extraction. Doctors want to determine whether he is eligible for a blood stem cell transplant, his best hope for beating neuroblastoma, a rare childhood cancer, which was diagnosed in November 2004.
The #3 story on Tuesday’s Countdown was “over here and over there.” Keith Olbermann said:
“It is an unspeakable and overwhelming tragedy, up to 30 young Americans killed violently, pointlessly, and the rest of us left with an urgent and almost helpless feeling that somebody could have done something to prevent it, and that everybody must do something to protect the next potential victims.
And yet, the same number of young Americans of approximately the same age have died in Iraq in the last 10 days. clearly, while one make take issue with the comparison, one may not ignored the similarities.
Moreover, in a more practical sense, the deaths in Iraq could have been much more readily prevented, and the desire much more easily fulfilled to protect the more potential victims there.<
No one questions the nation's grief about Virginia Tech -- but have we suppressed our grief about Iraq?"
"It seems fair to ask the question: If the violent deaths in Virginia send a nation into shock and expressions of concern and anxiety, why isn't a continuous flow of American blood in Iraq generating a similar reaction?"
Have you ever downloaded tunes off of LimeWire? Swapped TV show torrents? Then don’t bother trying to work for the NSA.
At a recent recruiting session, an Agency staffer told wannabe spooks that “illegal file sharing” was one of the things that would keep them from getting the security clearances needed to work at the NSA. (Spending time in the Peace Corps was another).
Quick question: Since practically every college kid in the country has done some illegal online swapping, doesn’t that effectively cut the NSA’s pool of new recruits to like, zero?
The Church of Scientology has dispatched “ministers” to provide “grief counseling” for shell-shocked youth at Virginia Tech – but critics suspect the sect hopes to convert the vulnerable students.
“It’s shameless, how they milk human tragedy to promote their organization,” charges Rick Ross, whose CultNews.net has long tracked the group, which counts Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Kirstie Alley among its members. “These young people [at VT] are experiencing trauma. What they need are qualified mental health professionals.”
HollywoodInterrupted.com’s Mark Ebner brands the Scientologists as “vultures” who are “hindering legitimate, heroic rescue efforts with their spurious ‘therapies,’” such as a “touch assist” – a light massage, which, Ebner says, is “supposed to distract them from their tragedy. It’s a form of mini-hypnosis.”
“They did this at Ground Zero [after 9/11],” says Ross. “They did this in New Orleans [after Hurricane Katrina]. They look for very high-profile disaster that can be milked for photo ops” to promote the Church.
Church official Sylvia Stannard tells us that about 20 “ministers” are in Blacksburg, Va. “We’re doing a lot of emotional counseling, which is kind of our speciality,” says Stannard. “We prohibit our people from proselytizing,” but she adds, “they are going to tell them they are Scientologists” and “they will answer questions.”
Dinesh D’Souza has a truly awful opinion piece up in which he basically accuses atheists of being hateful robots. Why? Because Richard Dawkins wasn’t invited to any of the memorials at Virginia Tech, and because he couldn’t spot any atheists in the crowds (I’m wondering what he thinks we look like, that he can say there weren’t any there.)
Is this really one of the prominent thinkers of the American Right?
Notice something interesting about the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shootings? Atheists are nowhere to be found. Every time there is a public gathering there is talk of God and divine mercy and spiritual healing. Even secular people like the poet Nikki Giovanni use language that is heavily drenched with religious symbolism and meaning.
Has Mr D’Souza tried asking around? I suspect that even when tragedies don’t occur, he has problems finding atheists. Does he think we vanish in a puff of smoke when evil occurs? We’re here. We’re mourning the death of those students and faculty, too — that we are left out of any public acknowledgment of our existence does not mean we do not feel the pain, too.
To no one’s surprise, [Richard] Dawkins has not been invited to speak to the grieving Virginia Tech community. What this tells me is that if it’s difficult to know where God is when bad things happen, it is even more difficult for atheism to deal with the problem of evil. The reason is that in a purely materialist universe, immaterial things like good and evil and souls simply do not exist. For scientific atheists like Dawkins, Cho’s shooting of all those people can be understood in this way–molecules acting upon molecules.
Dawkins has not been invited to speak, true enough; it’s understandable, since he is living in a far-off country and doesn’t have any direct ties to Virginia Tech, as far as I know. Has the Pope, the Dalai Lama, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch, David Miscavage of the Church of Scientology, the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Premier of the People’s Republic of China, or David Hasselhoff been invited to speak? Shall we take that as a rebuke of everything they stand for?
Microsoft spent millions of dollars advertising its next generation OS ‘Windows Vista’ in China, in fact the IT juggernaut threw up the biggest Vista Ad on the 421 meter high Jin Mao tower in Shanghai China. However after 2 weeks (Jan 19 to Feb 2) from launch Microsoft managed to sell a mere 244 copies of Windows Vista. Software piracy is rampant in the middle kingdom and a pirated version of Vista sells for a mere $1 on the streets.
With these numbers I wonder what the justification is Microsoft uses to burden their legitimate, paying customers with the product activation and “genuine advantage” crap. It sure isn’t “stopping piracy”.