" how the metadata program could have stopped 9/11 -- a claim that has been debunked so many times it's barely worth discussing any more."
We all know it's been debunked, but why are network news shows letting this get by? Where's the hard-hitting journalist who will call these people out for this nonsense? But this goes back to the issue of how the media has to play nice to large organizations out of fear that their press credentials will be revoked. Challenge a senator about the NSA? Sorry, you're not invited to the White House correspondent's dinner. And you'll have to sit in the back of the room during any press conference... assuming you're allowed in.
We should all know by now that a defense lawyer's job is to convince the judge or jury that the defendant is innocent (or had reasons for doing something). When there's obvious video evidence, a lawyer will try anything, the most famous of which is "blame the victim". We shouldn't be surprised when some lawyers use outlandish excuses like this.
Compare this reaction to what happened when Ellen Degeneres' screener copy of the "Walter Mitty" movie was leaked. I'm sure this movie was either DVD or Blue-Ray, which would be far more valuable than a cam-corded version. Why didn't the MPAA call in ICE to raid Degeneres' studio for her "movie theft".
Somehow I think this is a poorly-planned publicity stunt for the MPAA, AMC theaters, "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" (the movie the guy was watching), or even Google Glass. First, like other posters are saying, it seems awfully convenient that ICE agents were available to show up at the theater so quickly: "an hour into the movie", as the guy says. It seems almost like a set-up: maybe the guy had been to the theater before and an employee wanted the $500 bounty. Then the theater had the agencies on "standby" in case this happened again.
It also seems like extreme overkill. The article on BuzzFeed makes it sound like there was a team of police and agents waiting for the guy. Yet if someone shoplifts a DVD from a store (which is a real theft), one or maybe two police officers will be called. But as the MPAA wants us to believe, recording a movie will cause much more financial damage than actually stealing a DVD.
In all fairness, this doesn't sound like the usual scam of "send me $2,000 and I'll send you a million". Maybe the lady really thought she was helping him start his own business. And to be honest, she did help him build his business- the business was taking money from gullible people, but still.
Swear an oath to uphold the Constitution... nah, I'll pass
So how is it that people who are sworn to uphold the Constitution find it so easy to violate all the amendments? You would think they'd be first in line to demand Snowden be given a fair trial with legal counsel. Instead, they brand him a traitor and want him executed without a trial.
But like everyone is saying, if people at the NSA see nothing wrong with violating the 4th amendment, why not break the 6th amendment and any others that will help their cause? And like any other fanatics, there's no reasoning with them: Snowden is a traitor and he must die. The other question is whether these people think he should be killed as a punishment for what he's done or to send a message to any other would-be whistleblowers?
The Weather Channel operates in basically two modes: For most of the year, the weather is so calm that they have time in their schedule to run reality shows like "Storm Chasers" or "This week in weather history".
Yet when a storm approaches, they get into panic mode and every storm is Snowpocalypse or Wintermageddon or or Super Terrible End of the World We're All Gonna Die Rain Storm.
I can see why people get tired of these ups and downs. If I were a DirectTV customer, I'd vote for a calmer weather channel... or just check my phone where there's no "weather anchor" in a rainy city telling me even more rain is coming.
I guess I'm missing a step in the process, but why is sending 100 million notices to Google something to brag about, like it's some kind of victory? Is Google hosting the illegal files? How much illegal content was taken down compared to how many links were removed? (Hint to the RIAA: there's a big difference.) Why weren't the RIAA's bots/ agents/ representatives told to follow the links and serve these notices to the offending sites who actually host the files? Oh, right, because it's easier to shoot at Google than go one-by-one through the list of infringing sites, which might be hosted in Russia, China, North Korea, or some other place that's of reach of US laws.
Do the people at the RIAA even understand the concept of a search engine? Do they not realize it would be like removing a card from a card-catalog that lists an illegal book? Okay, this makes it slightly more difficult for someone to find the book and its content, but it's still on the shelves for anyone to find. Wouldn't it be better to remove the illegal book instead of the card (or link) that points to it?
Also, like other posters are saying, how many of these notices have the RIAA sent to Bing or Yahoo? Or do they not realize that (gasp) people could use another search engine to find the illegal content?
Your last sentence says it all. Who, exactly, are the lawyers who are taking cases like these? I guess this really does show that some lawyers will take their client's money even if there's no basis for the case. And who pays when the plantiff loses? Does this come out of the fee the client paid their lawyer? Or is Inhale, Inc stuck with the bill for their lawyer AND they have to pay the defendants?
I don't know if you can blame the lawyer for this. After all, I'm sure he's in the same situation as doctors: the client comes to them with instructions and the statement "if you don't help me, I'll find someone who will". It takes a pretty ethical lawyer to turn down business just because he knows he can't win.
Just name the team for something to do with the city
I think at this point most people think the term is offensive for a football term. However, I also think the team owner has become so entrenched in his own opinion that he can't change his mind without "losing face".
But as I said before in a similar thread, this whole issue could be avoided by naming the team after something that relates to Washington, like the Capitals (hockey) or Senators (baseball). I think the team should be called the Washington Presidents. Their logo could be a headshot of George Washington for home games and a headshot of Lincoln for away games.
Then again, going by what some of the other posters are saying, I'm sure there would be some people who would be offended by a sports team using our great leaders for such a crass purpose as a team logo.
You say vast sums of money will be spent getting to the bottom of this? Sorry, but I disagree 100%.
First, the MPAA isn't going to risk offending its own screeners over this "accident" or "miscreant", especially someone as public as Ellen Degeneres. Does anyone think for a minute that Degeneres, or any of her staff, will even be questioned about this?
Second, I would be willing to bet that there will be a story from the MPAA in the next few days about how they just scored another "win" by arresting a teenager trying to record 5 seconds a movie on her cell phone.
Yet again, it's easier for the industry to blame technology instead of looking at the root causes. Did television kill the movie industry in the 1950's by causing people to stay at home? Of course it did- that's why 2013 and 2012 had the biggest movie revenue ever. Why is this? Did the movie industry kill all the televisions? Did they lock up everyone who watched TV?
And did the movie industry lock up everyone who used a VCR? Okay, they may have tried, but they backed down when they found out how much money they could make by selling movies. Now there's a novel approach: get people to pay #5 to $10 (per person) to see the movie in the theater and then charge them $10 or $20 to own the movie, not to mention the rental agreements with places like Blockbuster or Hollywood Video.
If 2013 was yet another banner year for the movie industry, can they please stop with the "we're getting beaten down by piracy" whining?
I completely agree. Unfortunately, it seems like too many people are almost being trained to hit the panic button instead of calmly going through the correct channels. Why call the school and get an "everything's fine" message when the parent can call 911 and lock down three schools, presumably because little Johnny isn't answering his phone because his teacher told him to turn it off.
We also need people to get upset and protest reactions like this. Otherwise, like other posters are saying, people will get used to this kind of response. Little Suzy isn't answering Mom? Use this situation as a precedent and call 911 to lock down a school.
"...since any serious terrorist or terrorist group has known for years that electronic communications wasn't exactly secure, and have done everything they can to avoid using it."
You bring up a lot of good points. Not to get off topic, but what's to stop terrorists from doing exactly this? What if they put out false "chatter", fully knowing the lines aren't secure saying that they're going attack JFK airport the day before Thanksgiving. They wouldn't have to actually do anything but sit back and watch as the US government shuts down one of the busiest airports on the busiest travel day.
People like us say, "Well, duh, we told you this would happen", but politicians say "That's collateral damage. Better to have 1 research site go down than have 20 porn sites."
Yet people who want porn will find a way, but people who need the educational sites may or may not be expert enough to know how to install work-arounds or patches. And why should a rape victim who needs a counseling service have to install anti-filtering software to find a nearby counseler?
And when will people rise up and say enough of this? I sort-of understand the mentality of "it's not happening to me, so I don't care", but what about all the people who use the sites that are now blocked? Will it take the government blocking Facebook or Twitter for people to realize these filters are a bad idea? Seriously, how long will it be until someone on the site-blocking committee sees an article about breast cancer on Facebook and decides the government needs to block it? Or, worse: Apple isn't playing nice with the EU, so let's block all of their IP addresses and shut off people's access to iTunes.
Maybe I'm reading the quote wrong, but it sounds like Putin isn't so much envious of the NSA as he about Obama not suffering because of the leaks. The NSA spied on everyone, we all know it happened, yet not one single Republican is talking about even impeaching Obama because of it. (Yet they talk of impeachment for lesser things.)
Every foreign leader should be envious of how our leaders can do so much to erode our freedoms with no consequences.
Ah, yes, the old idea of using a simple fix to a complex problem. Instead of using red light cameras (or even police officers on the corner), why aren't we asking why people are running the lights. Is there too much traffic for the road? Are the lights taking too long to cycle and people are getting impatient, etc? But, it's much easier to install a red light camera than to redesign the road to deal with the traffic.
When I commute home, there are sections of the road with 4 traffic lights within 2 miles ans stretches of road with no light. Can anyone guess what happens at rush hour? Traffic from one light backs up through the other light, yet traffic completely breaks up in the open stretch of road. My unscientific conclusion: traffic lights cause traffic, which causes people to get impatient, which causes people to run red lights. Therefore, the solution is to figure out how to do away with the traffic lights.
The problem with today's media is that there's so many stories that every outlet needs a catchy (or hyperbolic) title to get attention. Which sounds better: "Snowden writes open letter to Brazil" or "Snowden to spy on US people in exchange for asylum in Brazil and probably $1 billion to enjoy Carnivale". At least they didn't go with the typical link-bait headline of "You won't believe what Snowden did to Brazil" or "10 things you need to know about Snowden and Brazil".
The photographer is a private business and can chose whom to do business with, or not do business with. Sure, it might be discriminatory, but like many people are saying, aren't there other photographers in town that would be happy to do the job, and I assume be happy to get the income?
Photography is a creative service, hence the free speech issue. However, this further supports the idea that the photographer has every right to refuse service to a client if he doesn't think he can do a good job. How is this any different from refusing to do a wedding shoot on a volcano? "Sorry, it's too dangerous" "No it's not- you're discriminating against volcano lovers". Okay, that's a stretch of an example, but still.
As for the posters asking if they had a business, could they turn away blacks and gays? Sure- it's your business and you can choose whom to serve and whom not to serve. But you need to be ready for the consequences, such as negative publicity, loss of business, and so on. And you would have no right to complain when a competitor opens and "steals your business" because they cater to the people that you're excluding. Or like another poster said, simply say "we're closing for a private event".
I think the problem with this story is that the photographer said she couldn't do the job because of religious reasons, which made the couple angry, which started the fight. If the photographer had simply used a more generic excuse such as "I'm booked that weekend" or simply "I'm not available, but let me recommend someone else", none of this would have happened. Then, of course, the photographer saw she was facing a lawsuit, so she had to claim it was a free speech issue and get the ACLU involved. I'd be willing to bet that these are the kinds of people who would take their argument to the Supreme Court simply on the principle, rather than agreeing to use another photographer.
You're absolutely right. We need to keep this "war" going by finding and accusing Muslims before they become "terrorists". After all, this is WAY more easier than trying to figure out why so much of the Middle East hates the US. Could it be because of our foreign policy and imperialism in the area? Nah. Could it be because we invade sovereign countries and topple their leadership in an attempt to force our values on a section of the world that's descended from empires that are thousands of years old? Nah. All Muslims are bad and they should be killed. End of discussion.
And where do we get the idea that all Muslims are bad? There are around 1 billion Muslims in the world yet we judge all of them based on the actions of a few terrorists. That would be like saying all Catholics are evil because of the Spanish Inquisition or that all Christians are evil because of the Crusades.
What would happen if this issue happened in Iran or Iraq? People in the US would lose their minds about how the "evil government" had ensnared an innocent American. Yet over here, many people are fine with the idea, as long as it catches an evil Muslim.
Would this law apply to other collectible markets, such as comic books? I can imagine DC Comics would love to get a cut from the next auction of Action Comics #1 or Detective Comics #27 which sell for $2 million each.
But why stop at artwork? Why can't law apply to any product that goes up in price? If I own a house, sell it for $70,000, but then the next buyer sells it for $100,000, should I get a cut of that? How about the buyer after that? Can I get a cut from every buyer who's ever lived in any house that I've owned? Who's going to maintain this kind of paper trail to make sure everyone is paid what they owed? Will all 10 previous owners of a house show up at closing to get their cut? What will this do to the price of goods if every person gets a cut of the sale? What will this do to society- will it create an entire class of people who do nothing but collect royalties on things they've owned in the past?