I'm not sure this will get through to you as you seem to be in a state of partisan rage, but I'll try:
Rep. King did not utter the words "we should block immigration reform", but that is exactly what he's trying to do. He's been ranting against immigrants for as long as he's been in congress, so it's pretty obvious what he's doing here. He picked up some unfounded rumor linking the bombing to an immigrant and "we need to look at the bigger picture" means stalling whatever legislation was about to be passed.
Nowhere did this article claim that he uttered those words. It's Mike's conclusion that this is what he's trying to do, and not only is it a pretty obvious conclusion, he even provided the actual quote so that you can come to your own conclusion, so there's absolutely zero reason why you should throw a hissy fit. Nobody was being lied to here.
That's very interesting and I never thought of dilution of trademark in these terms, but I still don't think it really applies here. Let's take the core argument in bold:
But because of the inveterate tendency of the human mind to proceed by association, every time they think of the word “Tiffany” their image of the fancy jewelry store will be tarnished by the association of the word with the strip joint.
Makes sense in the Tiffany example, but less so in the Ben & Cherry's case. First of all, because they slightly change the names (including the product names) it is clear that it is meant to be a parody, so when you see the actual "Ben & Jerry" name it is less likely that you think of the porno you recently saw and much less likely that you need to put in any mental effort in figuring out which brand it refers to. Now, if there was a "Ben & Jerry's" advertising in the local paper that's actually an Escort Service, that dilution by tarnishment argument would be much more straight forward. I think by simply having changed the names they'll probably be ok with a parody defense.
You might have a point if the Pirate Party actually was for people who like to pirate stuff. Seeing as it's really easy to find out what they're actually about you're either incredibly lazy or willfully spouting nonsense to derail the conversation.
First of all, as mentioned by Designerfx, Der Spiegel is hardly a credible source for news relating to the Pirate Party as they've been fighting them tooth and nails for the past two years.
Secondly, the fact that they're turning their focus on less radical solutions that actually have a chance of being part in negotiations with the established parties is a sign of maturity, not that they're "losing their way".
Their constituents want to see some kind of return on their "investment" (vote), and in order for that to happen the Pirate Party needs to actually get things done. It's only logical that they focus on things that stand a chance of getting done instead of only the long-term pie in the sky ideals.
The falling poll numbers are a direct reflection of their inability to shape the political landscape. To counter this, they need political victories, so they need to pick the fights that they can win.
Repeating the message ad nausea won't do much to change the behavior of officers. There needs to be some kind of penalty for overreaching. Only if they're afraid of consequences will they stop the harassment.
I think the dilution of trademark claim has legs. Rimowa makes pricy but quality products. While I probably won't want to use a replica DVD box as luggage, seeing a flimsy plastic case break at the first drop to the floor certainly doesn't reinforce Rimowa's image of quality products.
Can't blame him for trying to game a broken system for his advantage. Had it worked, him and his children and grandchildren never would have to work another day in their lives. If he seriously thought he was in the RIGHT however then he's a complete idiot.
Can you elaborate on the point about intellectual property?
If you're publishing something in a public forum without written consent, that's problematic. I want the photos to represent the standards of the restaurant. If I post a fuzzy picture from Schwa, for example, I don't think it would be right to spread that.
These are the same people who love to sue people for leaving less than stellar feedback on public forums. Now RJ Cooper outed himself not only as a douche, but it's also clear that he doesn't even understand what intellectual property is. Way to go, RJ!
When principles and your own selfish interests collide, few people stand by the former. Which is why the people arguing in favor of copyright are the ones who stand to gain from it. All the hogwash by maximalists about how strengthening copyright would somehow benefit society is akin to billionaires preaching the benefits of a trickle down economy. It's refreshing that Twain at least doesn't pretend his stance would be based on anything other than a sense of entitlement.
"I look at the price of other books for the same consumer and price my book the same because that's what the consumer has shown he's willing to pay."
Right, but that's an incomplete equation and it's a very volatile assumption. There are a multitude of reasons why consumers are willing to pay a certain price, and none of them have anything to do with the fixed costs of producing the product, which was the point of the article. You are right that the price of similar books play a role in the perceived value of a book, so it's an obvious starting point in setting the price, but it's also not the only factor.
Consumers are aware of the marginal costs of digital copies so that lowers the perceived value of an e-book. Also, DRM lowers the perceived value of an e-book, so one book may sell better at the same price as another simply because one may be DRM-free and the other isn't.
The reason looking at the price of competing products kind of works is that someone else already did the work for you of figuring out what the market will bear, but it's still a shortcut and it may or may not work to copy that. Then there's the whole issue of monopolies and price fixing in the publishing industry which makes it very hard to gauge the perceived value consumers are putting on a product, so you run the risk that there's such a large disparity between price and perceived value that eventually a large number of consumers not only look to piracy as an alternative but feel justified in doing so. That's a trend you need to factor in when pricing an e-book. If you just keep the prices high because everybody else does you're undermining consumer trust and in the long term you're shooting yourself in the foot.
The point that you're missing so spectacularly is that "borrowing" samples from each other is part of their culture, so they should be in favor of strengthening fair use to allow for these things. So they can speak out against current copyright laws as they relate to fair use without having to call for abolishing all copyright.
A consumer boycott large enough to make a dent is unrealistic and would just be used as extra fuel in the debate of why they need new legislation ("See, sales are down dramatically, PIRACY!")
What needs to happen in the music industry is a boycott by the artists. If the popular artists refuse to sign deals with the major labels and sell directly to the consumers (or use a co-op label) then the tides are really turning. I think this is just a matter of time, too. SOPA became so toxic that no politician wants to be associated with it. Artists, too, should be distancing themselves from the industry.
In the film industry it is slightly more complicated and it will take longer to bypass the gatekeepers, but I believe it is possible.
I also like his objection to touring: Aretha Franklin shouldn't have to drag her 78 years old butt on stage. Well yeah, he's right. Just like everybody else has retired by that age. It's called planning ahead and managing your finances. The sense of entitlement these guys display is just mind-boggling and, frankly, insulting to anybody working normal jobs.
Naw, they complained to the pirate party via email. Well, they didn't accuse them of anything really, just "expressed concern". Maybe they thought this way the story makes the news and therefore the message reaches the intended audience :)