So I was listening to NPR this morning. And they were talking about how Los Angeles is voting to raise it’s minimum wage to $15 per hour.
Of course they had the usual experts there talking about how jobs will be lost because the money has to come from somewhere.
And I call bullshit.
You have people at the top of business, in all sectors, taking home insanely massive paychecks. And as a society we allow that to be subsidized on the backs of the poorest workers while complaining that they can’t make money without slave wages.
Frankly, i’m sick of this shit. Rather than a minimum wage I propose a “maximum wage”. No person can be paid more than half a Million dollars per year in net pay, bonuses and stock.
If you need more than half a million dollars per year to maintain your “standard of living”, then fuck you for being a greedy pretentious prick. The excess will be taxed and a substantial share of it distributed to those at the bottom of the economic ladder.
It’s past time to keep paying the insane salaries of the feudal lords from the blood, sweat and tears of the peasant masses. The system is a sham. We need to break out the torches and pitchforks and take back equality.
Likely news you have heard nothing about, but I found it very interesting.
In New Brunswick back in 2008 a young lady by the name of Erica Sparks was injured in a car accident. She attempted to sue the other driver for damages. The insurance company of the other driver fought the claim.
During the trial they decided they wanted to see Spark’s facebook photos to determine the level of her injuries.
The Judge (Fred Ferguson) decided she might try to delete her photos before being forced to hand them over, so he ordered her lawyer (James Crocco) to mislead her by hiring another lawyer to summon her to his office.
He was not allowed to tell her anything about the meeting at which she was under court order to login to facebook and provide the photos.
How exactly will things change if judges get an idea that they can hand down a court order to force a lawyer to do something against the client’s best interest?
Now to start with I in no way condone the actions in Austin, Texas this morning. Violence does not solve problems. Killing innocent people is horrible. Period.
But when something like this happens in our modern era and online information turns up about it that information seems to vanish at a shocking pace.
Case in point, Joe Stack’s website at embeddedart.com. If you went there after about 10am PST this morning you got this message. You could still see the cache of the page on Google, but that was cleared about an hour later.
For future reference I post a cache of the original site here.
Strangely enough the hosting company T35.net returned the page as it was originally while I was writing this for unknown reasons. Then by the time I finished writing the site was offline again and pointing to http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2010/0218102stack1.html. That page says the original replacement message said the page was taken down at the request of the FBI. Perhaps in all fairness the company was not the one covering it’s butt, rather it was the Feds.
When I emailed the webmaster at T35 they responded with: “Yes, we did receive several requests from the FBI (to remove the page). They were made over the phone.”. I would give a lot to know what the FBI was thinking when it made those requests.
Likely, we’ll never know the whole truth.
Roxanna Saberi was convicted of spying today in Iran following a one-day closed-door trial.
Can you say “sham”? Good, I knew you could.
I hope she realizes that many of us back in the USA are hoping for her safe return. Maybe at least when she gets back and all this is over it might make the memories a little less harsh to know she was not really “alone”.
Iran Convicts U.S. Journalist Of Spying
April 18, 2009
NPR.org, April 18, 2009 Â· An Iranian court has convicted U.S. Iranian journalist Roxana Saberi of spying and sentenced her to eight years in prison. Saberi, who has reported for NPR, only recently learned of the espionage charge.
Saberi’s lawyer was not allowed to ask the court about bail. She has been jailed at Evin Prison in Iran since Jan. 31.
The deputy director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, Robert Mahoney, says her sentence is too harsh.
“We believe that Roxana Saberi’s trial was not transparent,” he said. “And it does not seem that she has been treated fairly. We would call on the Iranian authorities to release her on bail pending appeal because we believe she should not be confined in Evin prison.”
NPR’s CEO Vivian Schiller says Saberi has already been held in for three months. Schiller has appealed to the Iranian government to show compassion and allow Saberi to return immediately to the United States.
I just love the way they did this commercial. Took me forever to find a copy of it, it’s around 10 years old.
(Direct Download link: Here)
Let’s take a moment to remember Charles Singleton.
He was convicted of murder by Arkansas in 1979 for stabbing store clerk Mary Lou York twice in the neck. He was executed by the state on January 6th, 2004.
While that was a terrible crime and he should have definitely been punished for it the part of this I want people to remember is how the state managed to kill him.
In 1986 the Supreme Court proclaimed it illegal to execute people unless they understood that they were being put to death and why.
An appeals court based in St Louis ruled in February 2003 that the constitution’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment would not be violated if the authorities forcibly gave antipsychotic medication to the inmate, Charles Laverne Singleton. It was this decision that was upheld by the Supreme Court later that year.
So in short if you’re crazy we can still execute you by making you take medication so that we think you’re sane enough to execute, regardless of your mental state when you commited your crime.
If you don’t think this is a gross violation of people’s civil rights then you should not be reading this website.
Online murder, well it was bound to happen sometime.
Online divorcee jailed after killing virtual hubby
By MARI YAMAGUCHI, Associated Press Writer Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press Writer – Thu Oct 23, 3:48 pm ET
TOKYO – A 43-year-old Japanese woman whose sudden divorce in a virtual game world made her so angry that she killed her online husband’s digital persona has been arrested on suspicion of hacking, police said Thursday.
The woman, who is jailed on suspicion of illegally accessing a computer and manipulating electronic data, used his identification and password to log onto popular interactive game “Maple Story” to carry out the virtual murder in mid-May, a police official in northern Sapporo said on condition of anonymity, citing department policy.
“I was suddenly divorced, without a word of warning. That made me so angry,” the official quoted her as telling investigators and admitting the allegations.
The woman had not plotted any revenge in the real world, the official said.
She has not yet been formally charged, but if convicted could face a prison term of up to five years or a fine up to $5,000.
Players in “Maple Story” raise and manipulate digital images called “avatars” that represent themselves, while engaging in relationships, social activities and fighting against monsters and other obstacles.
The woman used login information she got from the 33-year-old office worker when their characters were happily married, and killed the character. The man complained to police when he discovered that his beloved online avatar was dead.
The woman was arrested Wednesday and was taken across the country, traveling 620 miles from her home in southern Miyazaki to be detained in Sappporo, where the man lives, the official said.
The police official said he did not know if she was married in the real world.
In recent years, virtual lives have had consequences in the real world. In August, a woman was charged in Delaware with plotting the real-life abduction of a boyfriend she met through “Second Life,” another virtual interactive world.
In Tokyo, police arrested a 16-year-old boy on charges of swindling virtual currency worth $360,000 in an interactive role playing game by manipulating another player’s portfolio using a stolen ID and password.
Virtual games are popular in Japan, and “Second Life” has drawn a fair number of Japanese participants. They rank third by nationality among users, after Americans and Brazilians.
Your papers please…
TSA Announces Enhancements to Airport ID Requirements to Increase Safety
June 23, 2008
Beginning Saturday, June 21, 2008 passengers that willfully refuse to provide identification at security checkpoint will be denied access to the secure area of airports. This change will apply exclusively to individuals that simply refuse to provide any identification or assist transportation security officers in ascertaining their identity.
This new procedure will not affect passengers that may have misplaced, lost or otherwise do not have ID but are cooperative with officers. Cooperative passengers without ID may be subjected to additional screening protocols, including enhanced physical screening, enhanced carry-on and/or checked baggage screening, interviews with behavior detection or law enforcement officers and other measures.
Under the law that created TSA, the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, the TSA administrator is responsible for overseeing aviation security (P.L. 107-71) and has the authority to establish security procedures at airports (49 C.F.R. – 1540.107). Passengers that fail to comply with security procedures may be prohibited from entering the secure area of airports to catch their flight (49 C.F.R. – 1540.105(a)(2).
This initiative is the latest in a series designed to facilitate travel for legitimate passengers while enhancing the agency’s risk-based focus – on people, not things. Positively identifying passengers is an important tool in our multi-layered approach to security and one that we have significantly bolstered during the past 18 months.
In short if you refuse to show ID as is your constitutional right you will not be allowed to fly, if you have lost it, or forgot it you will.
Why? We don’t know, since the Bush administration has made all TSA documents “Secret”. Nothing like being forced to follow secret laws.
This morning I see in the news:
"The Pentagon has announced charges against six Guantanamo Bay prisoners over their alleged involvement in the 11 September 2001 attacks in the US. Prosecutors will seek the death penalty for the six, who include alleged plot mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. The charges, the first for Guantanamo inmates directly related to 9/11, are expected to be heard by a controversial military tribunal system."
This is being sent to “The Convening Authority” and will take a minimum of 120 days before they return a decision.
One must think about this situation tho, it’s been 6.5 years since 9/11. Most of these detainees have been held in Gitmo for over 5 years. There is no serious reason to think that they just now came up with enough evidence to begin a trial.
I feel it’s an obvious attempt to sway the electorate before the November Presidential elections.
Furthermore I think these tactics are only going to get worse as the election grows closer.
So let’s start off with facts.
In the USA the current Copyright “Law of the Land” is the “The Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA) of 1998”
Under this act as a general rule, for works created after January 1, 1978, copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. For an anonymous work, a pseudonymous work, or a work made for hire, the copyright endures for a term of 95 years from the year of its first publication or a term of 120 years from the year of its creation, whichever expires first.
Let’s think about this for a minute. The life of the author, plus 70 years.
Why, should it extend past the life of the author? I mean we’re protecting someone’s work, why should their heirs be able to rake in cash just because they got lucky about who their parents are?
Often we might hear statements like:
Current U.S. Copyright Law represents an attempt by Congress to balance the rights of creators and copyright proprietors with the rights of copyright users.”
But how can this be more of a lie? There is no “balance” here, the copyright holder has total rights over almost every single aspect of their work.
Now you might be saying “Well, do you think we should just screw anyone that creates anything?
And to that I ask, do you know how long copyright is in the constitution?
The copyright act of 1790 set a copyright on books maps and charts for a period of 14 years. Paintings, drawings and music were not even included until 1891.
Since Congress has steadily raised the term limit on copyright from the original 14 years to something around 150 years, copyright holders are being given what amounts to a property right on an installment plan. This is a straightforward plundering of the public domain in order to benefit a handful of large, copyright-rich corporations such as Disney and AOL Time Warner
Can you give me any logical reason to NOT go back to 14 years?
If you’re going to tell me “People would lose money”. Frankly, I don’t care, that’s like saying “Someone will not be as rich”, i’m not going to shed any tears because a creator’s children doesn’t get paid.
If people are only going to create things because they get paid endless streams of money to do so, maybe they should stop making things and leave that work up to the artists that do it because of an internal drive and desire to create their art.
Judge Ann Akin started sentencing the defendants in the Oregon Eco-arson cases today. Calling the defendants terrorists for their politically-motivated property crimes.
Saying that: “Intimidation can play no role in changing the hearts and minds of people in a democracy”
Perhaps she should direct this message to big business and politicians in Washington too. They’re both far more guilty of intimidation than the firebombers are.
But then there are still enough voters that seem to think security is more important than freedom.
That scares me more than the firebombers.
So, I got to thinking about the hunt for Bin Laden. And I started realizing that:
#1, Bush has not mentioned him much at all.
#2, Bush has not seemed to put much effort into finding him either.
My thought is that Bush needs him alive as an antagonist. If we captured or killed Bin Laden then Bush’s “Global War on Terrorism” would lose it’s steam rather quickly.
Voters would shift from thinking about security and start asking about other issues. This would mean the Republican juggernaut would lose most of it’s steam.
Of course it’s losing power just based on public opinion, but what other explaination can really account for the fact that he is still at large?
Those of you that have known me for awhile knew I predicted this.
Maine’s online sex offender registry was taken down after two people listed on it — Joseph L. Gray, 57, and William Elliott, 24 — were shot and killed over the weekend. The suspect, Stephen Marshall of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, died Sunday on a bus entering Boston after shooting himself.
Maine officials say Marshall looked up the victims on the state’s online sex offender registry.
I knew it was just a matter of time before someone used the registry as a wanted list and took revenge for themselves.
When are we going to stop putting scarlet letters on these people?
I’m not sure how many of you know this, but the border watch group “The Minutemen” cannot stop anyone they see crossing the border.
It’s currently not enough of a crime for a? US citizen? to detain someone for.
If congress makes entering the US illegally a felony, it will be.
It would also be legal for someone to go down to the local day-labor streetcorner and make a citizen’s arrest on anyone that cannot prove themselves a citizen.
Of course the “arresting citizen” could later face court trouble, but that’s doubtful to stop many people who would consider it their civic duty and don’t care.
Just what we need, gunbattles erupting on streetcorners, gotta love it.
By a 6-3 vote, the court granted the administration’s request not to review the case of Jose Padilla, an alleged member of al-Qaida arrested in Chicago in 2002, because the administration last November met Padilla’s demand to be indicted in a civilian court and transferred from a Navy brig to a civilian jail.
So they hold the guy for? two years without charge? and it was all perfectly legal. lovely.
So, the jury decided he can be put to death.
Let’s all take a moment and cheer for revenge, and the justification of killing someone out of hatred and spite. We must kill all our enemies so that our view of the world prevails.
There, now you’re the same as Al-Qaeda. Feel good?
Muhammad is scheduled to go on trial May first for six murders in a wave of shootings that terrorized the Washington, D-C area. He’s already been convicted and sentenced to death for a sniper shooting in Virginia.
Maryland prosecutors say? a conviction? in the state would ensure his continued incarceration and would give relatives of the six people killed in Montgomery County their day in court.
Ok, correct me if i’m wrong but why in the hell are we putting someone already sentenced to the death penalty on trial again? What is “Continued Incarceration”, are we going to lock up the body after he’s dead?
As for the relatives getting their day in court that’s just petty, if they want to confront him in court they should have? to pay the extra court fees for the trial. It would be far cheaper to have the state send these people to therapy for the rest of their lives.
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