PATH: BS | Legal

Oklahoma Video Game Violence Law Struck Down

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Oklahoma is the latest state to have a video game law permanently thrown out. Following a preliminary injunction against the unconstitutional law last year, the court has issued a new decision to permanently enjoin Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry's law, which singled out video game companies for games with "inappropriate violence" while not putting such restrictions on other media.

READ MORE | 2 comments since 2009-10-27 13:48:09 | Comment on this Article

Appeals Court Rules Alcoholics Anonymous Is Sanctioned Religion

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Alcoholics Anonymous, the renowned 12-step program that directs problem drinkers to seek help from a higher power, says it's not a religion and is open to nonbelievers. But it has enough religious overtones that a parolee can't be ordered to attend its meetings as a condition of staying out of prison, a federal appeals court ruled Friday.

In fact, said the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, the constitutional dividing line between church and state in such cases is so clear that a parole officer can be sued for damages for ordering a parolee to go through rehabilitation at Alcoholics Anonymous or an affiliated program for drug addicts.

We've also noted before, statistics show AA - Alcoholics Anonymous' program is no more effective than not attending ANY program.

READ MORE | 42 comments since 2013-05-08 11:37:18 | Comment on this Article

"Unauthorized Adhesive" Lands War Protesters In Jail

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[Activists]
A coalition of groups representing the VoteToImpeach.org movement were arrested yesterday when they held a press conference in Washington D.C. announcing a September 15th demonstration against the Bush administration.

Less than 18 hours ago, National Park Service Police turned a September 15 Press Conference, held in front of the White House, into a chaotic scene. On the pretext that there was no permit for a three foot long folding table that the media placed their microphones on, the police intervened in the middle of the press conference to announce that it was an unpermitted activity. Three people were arrested and are still being held in jail. They include Adam Kokesh, an Iraq war veteran; Tina Richards of Grassroots America; and Ian Thompson an ANSWER Coalition organizer.

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Boeing Implicated In CIA Rendition Torture Scheme

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The ACLU has brought a lawsuit against a Boeing subsidiary accused of falsifying flight plans to air traffic controllers to cover up CIA flights where people were "kidnapped" and tortured in foreign countries.

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Cops Catch Crooked Crack Customer

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A Georgia woman spent good money to buy what she thought was a quality product. After spending some time with said product, she found that it was a fake. Incensed, she called the police and demanded that they come over to take some action. Unfortunately the product was crack cocaine, and the action was to arrest her.

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Man Sues 1-800-Flowers for Uncovering Affair

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A married man is suing 1-800-Flowers for $1 million for revealing that he was cheating on his wife. Just deserts? Sheer stupidity? Or the worst customer service ever?

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AT&T Censors Anti-Bush Comments From Pearl Jam Concert Broadcast

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According to Pearl Jam's website, portions of the band's Sunday night set at Lollapalooza were missing from the AT&T Blue Room live webcast. Fans alerted the band to the missing material after the show. Reportedly absent from the webcast were segments of the band's performance of "Daughter," including the sung lines "George Bush, leave this world alone" and "George Bush find yourself another home."

Update: While AT&T claims the censorship was a "mistake", according to Wired's Listening Post, concerts streamed on the Blue Room by The Flaming Lips and the John Butler Trio have also been censored for political reasons. If true, this action coupled with past allegations aimed at AT&T suggests an unnerving pro-Bush political agenda from one of America's biggest telecoms.

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Passed: "Protect America Act" Pisses On Constitution

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If you e-mail or phone or otherwise contact anyone outside of the United States, you'll be pleased to know that now Congress has given Bush the power to tap your conversations without any court order.

Oh Wait, get this.. it's called "The Protect America Act."

The Senate bowed to White House pressure last night and passed a Republican plan for overhauling the federal government’s terrorist surveillance laws, approving changes that would temporarily give U.S. spy agencies expanded power to eavesdrop on foreign suspects without a due process.

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Fugitives Turn Themselves in...To God?

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It's looking like Tennessee's first-ever fugitives safe surrender. On its first day, well over 100 people with outstanding warrants turned themselves in to designated churches across the state. But why did they turn themselves in? Did they expect God to cut them some slack for their transgressions? Why does the government need special programs to get people who want to surrender to do so?

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ACLU Sues Louisiana Judge Over Jesus

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A small southern Louisiana town is the latest battleground for a classic First Amendment showdown over the separation of church and state, pitting a feisty judge with a painting of Christ in his courthouse against the nation's top civil liberties group.

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Winner of CIA's Extraordinary Rendition Vacation Trip Tells All

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What's it like to win the dream vacation of a death-time? Bisher al-Rawi tells the story of how helping track radical Muslims landed him on a one-way trip to the illegal torture factories in Afghanistan. A four year wild ride where he ended up in Guantanamo and was later released with no charges filed.

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Defense Says George W. Bush's Name Can't Be Used In Court

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Apparently President George W. Bush is now so unpopular that some lawyers believe the mere mention of his name in front of a jury could tip the scales against them.

Attorneys Michael P. Laffey and Robert P. DiDomenicis of Holsten & Associates in Media, Pa., are defending Upper Darby Township, Pa., in a civil rights suit brought by Harold Lischner, an 82-year-old doctor who claims he was falsely arrested for displaying an anti-war sign at a Bush campaign event in September 2003.

With the case set to go to trial on July 23, the defense lawyers recently filed a flurry of motions, including one that asked Eastern District of Pennsylvania Judge Gene E.K. Pratter to prohibit the plaintiff from mentioning Bush’s name.

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Free Speech is Killing Our Children!

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The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee passed a bill today that would allow the FCC (the great and powerful Oz of this country's communication infrastructure and content) to fine broadcasters for "slip of the tongue" expletives. Well shit.

READ MORE | 3 comments since 2007-08-26 07:53:01 | Comment on this Article

At Least OUR Combatants Can Still Use The Courts- To Sue US

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The Army Reserves--an institution where, according to their advertisements on tv, you can wear a cool beret while flying in a helicopter and learning about computers. Signing up, however, means your "part-time" service commitment to our armed forces can get full-time in a hurry. Enter Sgt. Erik Botta, who is about to get his fifth all-expense-paid vacation in the Middle East.

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Christians Disrupt Hindu Prayer In Senate

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For the very first time, a Hindu delivered the morning invocation in the Senate chamber — only to find the ceremony disrupted by three Christian right activists. Check out the video.

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Be A Detective: Help Analyze FBI Documents

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The Electronic Frontier Foundation has managed through a FOIA request and other legal maneuvers to obtain thousands of pages of previously-classified FBI documents. Now they're asking you, the general public to help them pour through the documents and be the "checks and balances" that our government is sorely lacking.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2007-07-13 19:45:18 | Comment on this Article

Olbermann: Bush Now A President Of A Rabid Corner Of The GOP

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In the wake of Bush's commutation of Scooter Libby's sentence for perjury, Keith Olbermann has a special comment on the depths to which Bush's white house have now sunk... See the video where this MSNBC anchor makes a very convincing case for demanding the resignation of Bush and Cheney.

READ MORE | 2 comments since 2007-07-22 02:45:44 | Comment on this Article

There May Soon Be A High Price To Pay For Taking Pictures In NYC

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[Beating Dead Horses]
Some tourists, amateur photographers, even would-be filmmakers hoping to make it big on YouTube could soon be forced to obtain a city permit and $1 million in liability insurance before taking pictures or filming on city property, including sidewalks.

New rules being considered by the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting would require any group of two or more people who want to use a camera in a single public location for more than a half hour to get a city permit and insurance.

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Supreme Court Rules Against Separation Of Church And State

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The Supreme Court ruled Monday that ordinary taxpayers cannot challenge a White House initiative that helps religious charities get a share of federal money.

The 5-4 decision (along predictable party lines) blocks a lawsuit by a group of atheists and agnostics against eight Bush administration officials including the head of the White House Faith-Based Office.

READ MORE | 2 comments since 2009-11-21 21:32:57 | Comment on this Article

White House May Be In Contempt Of Congress

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It's no secret the Executive branch has contempt FOR Congress, but now they may be in Contempt OF Congress.

House Judiciary Committee Democrats warned yesterday they would pursue a contempt of Congress motion if the White House fails respond to subpoenas for testimony and documents related to the firings of U.S. attorneys last year.

The deadline for a response is Thursday, June 28. If the White House does not comply, it opens the possibility of a constitutional showdown between the two branches. In an ironic twist, the Department of Justice (DoJ) would be called on to enforce the contempt motion.

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British Petroleum's Quest To Patent The Color Green

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The High Court of Australia has dismissed a bid by BP to have the green Pantone color 348C used in its logo registered as its trademark. Despite the setback, BP has registered the color green in over 20 countries.

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Courts Tell Prez: You're Not Above the Constitution

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President George W. Bush's broad assertions of power in his war on terrorism are under assault by U.S. judges who have rejected his indefinite imprisonment of enemy combatants and the domestic spying program.

A pair of recent rulings, one from military judges and the other from a U.S. appeals court, delivered new legal setbacks for Bush's tactics in dealing with terrorism suspects held at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, or in the United States.

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White House Launches "Surge" Of Lawyers

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[Get-Rich-Quick]
President Bush announced today, the deployment of nine additional lawyers as "Special Counsel to the President", presumably in an attempt to quell the evil insurgent forces in Congress who are seeking classified documents from the administration as part of ongoing investigations.

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If I Were On Broadcast Television I Would Say "F*ck Yeah!"

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[Entertainment]
A U.S. Appeals Court (the shoulder to cry on of the federal judiciary) recently overruled federal regulators who had decided that expletives spoken on broadcast tv is in violation of decency standards. The New York court said that the FCC's new policy on so-called fleeting expletives "arbitrary and capricious." An arbitrary and capricious conservative federal policy about decency? No shit.

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Don't Screw With The Phone Companies, Says Bush

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Picture this: you are a law-abiding citizen of the United States of America (well, the important laws, anyway). You make a phone call to anywhere--could be a cousin in Turkey, a friend in New Jersey, your congressman in D.C. You later find out that the phone company you used to place that call has been feeding all or some of this information to the government without any form of oversight and in violation of communications privacy laws. You're pissed and you're thinking about suing, right? Not so fast.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2007-05-09 01:39:48 | Comment on this Article

Army Bans Soldiers From Posting/Talking Online

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The U.S. Army has ordered soldiers to stop posting to blogs or sending personal e-mail messages, without first clearing the content with a superior officer. The directive, issued April 19, is the sharpest restriction on troops' online activities since the start of the Iraq war. And it could mean the end of military blogs, observers say.

The administration is fond of saying everything is going great in Iraq and it's just the media who is distorting the truth. Well, I guess not letting the people who are over there report to the rest of the world would also be distorting the truth?

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You're Free To Go...Not So Fast

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[Military]
More than a fifth of the approximately 385 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have been cleared for release but may have to wait months or years for their freedom because U.S. officials are finding it increasingly difficult to line up places to send them, according to Bush administration officials and defense lawyers.

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US Airways Doesn't Like To Be Criticized

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[Mean People]
Let's say you're sitting in your seat on U.S. Airways and the flight attendant goes into the obligatory safety speech prior to takeoff. Only this one does the whole thing so fast you can hardly understand what is said. The guy next to you comments about the hasty demonstration, and the next thing you know you're in police custody and being investigated by the FBI... wait, what?

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Make Fun of Some Religion And The U.N. Will Break Your Thumbs

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A resolution has recently passed the U.N. Human Rights Council which calls upon member governments to "take resolute action to prohibit the dissemination including through political institutions and organizations of racist and xenophobic ideas and material aimed at any religion..." What that means in U.N.-eze is that people and governments must be nice to proponents of religion and must show respect and tolerance for all people's religious beliefs. But the resolution in the wrong hands could have some pretty unsavory consequences and there's one group on the planet who are just cynical, jaded, and smart enough to see it. They are...

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2007-04-09 11:19:15 | Comment on this Article

Busting The Whole Thing Wide Open

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Rep. Henry Waxman has sent a letter requesting the pleasure of the Secretary of State's company in April to testify before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which he chairs. The purpose of her little visit will be to discuss the claims by the administration that Iraq had sought uranium from Niger prior to our invasion. These claims were later discovered to have been based on forged documents. The reason this is a big deal is that it violates two Executive Orders and a section of the United States Code. But who would prosecute such a crime?

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ISP Comes Forward Victim Of FBI "Gag Letters"

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The Washington Post has run a very interesting op-ed piece, one of the first, if not the first ever anonymous letter from someone who was ordered to be quiet on the issue of the Feds invading peoples' privacy.

The Justice Department's inspector general revealed on March 9 that the FBI has been systematically abusing one of the most controversial provisions of the USA Patriot Act: the expanded power to issue "national security letters." It no doubt surprised most Americans to learn that between 2003 and 2005 the FBI issued more than 140,000 specific demands under this provision -- demands issued without a showing of probable cause or prior judicial approval -- to obtain potentially sensitive information about U.S. citizens and residents. It did not, however, come as any surprise to me.

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A Tale Of Two Registrars And 75,000 Screwed Customers

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What happens when you do business with a seemingly professional domain registration company and then they blip off the Internet and you lose control of your domain? Well, you might be dealing with the New Jersey-based domain company called "RegisterFly" - whose management team tried to oust each other, which resulted in their customers getting shafted and not having access to their domains. The CEO of the company is accused of mishandling funds. The web site has been up and down, and now there are actually two separate versions of the same web site online at .net and .com that look to be run by different groups.

What does ICANN, the authority that's supposed to regulate this industry have to say? Apparently not much other than, "Hey, don't do that!"

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2007-04-17 20:50:30 | Comment on this Article

Bill Maher Says Americans Have Made Sacrifices

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In exploring reasons why the "War in Iraq" isn't going so well, some liberals say it's because Americans have not been asked to make sacrifices for the war. Bill Maher, in his "New Rules" segment on HBO's Real Time, has a different take.

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That's Just My Jesuit Baby's Daddy

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An 83-year-old retired Jesuit priest living on Gonzaga University's campus has a couple of problems. According to a lawsuit filed against him, the Jesuit order (also named in the suit) knew that Father James Jacobson "repeatedly violated his vow of celibacy." But that's not where it ends for the dirty old man--that's where his problem STARTS.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2007-03-13 10:46:29 | Comment on this Article

Bong Hits For Jesus Heads For Supreme Court

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[Activists]
An Alaskan high school student decides to test the limits of free speech, and test it he will!

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2007-03-06 10:13:50 | Comment on this Article

McDonalds- You Want Missiles With That?

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Missiles are dangerous. That's just one of those things EVERYBODY knows--from a helicopter pilot shucking and jiving over Tikrit to an eight-year-old with an XBox 360. The problem for one North Carolina woman in Virginia is what a jury can DEFINE as a missile.

READ MORE | 2 comments since 2007-02-22 02:02:45 | Comment on this Article

The Perfect Gift For YOUR Sexual Deviant- Recommended By Judges!

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A New Jersey man (you know this story is going to involve the word "convicted" shortly) stands convicted (there it is) of arranging sexual encounters with two 14-year-olds he came into contact with through MySpace (the Internet-- Because Parents Don't Have Enough Sleepless Nights). He's been sentenced to a couple of years in the can, five years probation, and one of the cruelest punishments meted out by our justice system in recent memory...

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How Does a Brain Damaged Child Cross The Road? Heeleys!

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[Diamond Studded Toenail Clippers]
A New Jersey family is suing the maker of those annoying tennis-shoe-hidden-skate shoes after their 10 year old boy crossed the street in them, slipped and was hit by a car and now has brain damage.

No word if the brain damage was caused by the car, or inherited from his parents.

READ MORE | 5 comments since 2009-07-20 21:10:40 | Comment on this Article

Judge Clamps Down on Zyprexa Lawsuit Wiki

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The drug, Zyprexa, has been the subject of payouts by Eli Lilly in cases over its alleged side effects. The pharmaceutical company still faces a large number of product liability lawsuits which claim that the schizophrenia and bipolar disorder treatment has caused patients to gain weight or to contract diabetes. Eli Lilly has already paid out $1.2bn to settle suits before they reached court, including $500m just last week.

A wiki about the controversy, zyprexa.pbwiki.com, published a link to internal Eli Lilly documents which the New York Times said showed that the company deliberately downplayed the side effects of the drug, which are alleged to include weight gain, high blood sugar levels and diabetes.

The judge in one of the product liability cases, federal district Judge Jack Weinstein, ordered the site and a number of named individuals to refrain from distributing the documents or causing them to be distributed.

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Holy Equal Protection, Batman!

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A Moroccan man, Mounir el Motassadeq, has been sentenced following a conviction for his role in the September 11th attacks and for belonging to a terrorist organization. Once he has served his fifteen-year sentence, he will be deported back to Morocco. Where do you think this fair and equitable application of justice took place? America?

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State Department Googles Sanctions Against Iran

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When the State Department recently asked the CIA for names of Iranians who could be sanctioned for their involvement in a clandestine nuclear weapons program, the agency refused, citing a large workload and a desire to protect its sources and tradecraft.

Frustrated, the State Department assigned a junior Foreign Service officer to find the names another way -- by using Google. Those with the most hits under search terms such as "Iran and nuclear," three officials said, became targets for international rebuke Friday when a sanctions resolution circulated at the United Nations.

READ MORE | 2 comments since 2006-12-11 20:27:31 | Comment on this Article

I'm Dreaming of a Porn Christmas

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Florida, the state that should probably just go ahead and drop into the Gulf already, is the site of yet another legal battle--this time over Pornaments, adult-themed Christmas ornaments. Despite having a hilarious name (and causing me to fall all over myself trying to figure out which Christmas carol to use in the title--Oh Come, Oh Come, Emanuel?), there are adults, religious groups, and lawyers (natch) gearing up to protest the allegedly offensive product.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2008-03-07 01:02:33 | Comment on this Article

Starr Goes After Freedom Of Speech, Bong Hits

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The Supreme Court entered into a free-speech dispute Friday involving a high school student suspended over a "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" banner, displayed off school property, but in view during a school event.

Former Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth Starr represents the Alaska school board in this legal dispute over a student's banner.

Principal Deborah Morse ordered the 18-year-old senior to take down the sign, which he refused. This led to a 10-day suspension for violating a school policy by promoting illegal drug use.

READ MORE | 2 comments since 2006-12-04 11:41:49 | Comment on this Article

U-Haul Has A Problem With People Who Have Ford Explorers

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A couple who drove from Florida to South Carolina to clean out a storage area got a rude awakening when they were notified by U-Haul, that because they drive a Ford Explorer, the company won't rent them a trailer.

"I was told that they (U-Haul) will not lease to any Explorer -- regardless of age, towing capacity, etc. On my return from Florida, I saw TrailBlazers, small pickups and even a small Kia sedan pulling a U-Haul trailer,"

U-Haul doesn't have a safety issue with the vehicle. It seems they've noticed that people who drive Ford Explorers are litigious bastards that they'd rather not deal with.

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McDonald's Seeks To Patent Their Sandwiches

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[Junk Food]
McDonald's wants to own the rights to how a sandwich is made.

The fast-food chain has applied for a patent relating to the 'method and apparatus' used to prepare the snack.

The burger company says owning the 'intellectual property rights' would help its hot deli sandwiches look and taste the same at all of its restaurants.

One must logically assume then that the next step would be to patent the taste of cardboard and crap.

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Stop "Stop Snitching"

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[Mean People]
The rise of a "stop snitching" movement by gangbangers has led to the harassment, terrorizing, and murder of innocent civilians across the country. Edna McAbier, a neighborhood activist from Baltimore, was almost killed when her house was firebombed after snitching on drug dealers in her neighborhood. She now lives under a false name working from home "in a distant town she doesn't dare to name full of people she doesn't dare to know." A 14-year-old Washington girl was killed when police showed up at her house asking about a murder. A 35-year-old man ordered his daughter to testify in front of a judge that she did NOT know anything about a murder case and now faces persecution.

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Woman Sues After Receiving Ticket Over Anti-Bush Bumper Sticker

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[Activists]
A woman who was ticketed for having an obscene anti-Bush bumper sticker filed a lawsuit in federal court Monday against a county in the state of Georgia and its officials.

Denise Grier, 47, of Athens, Georgia, got a $100 ticket in March after a DeKalb County police officer spotted the bumper sticker, which read "I'm Tired Of All The BUSH**."

Grier also seeks a declaration in federal court that her bumper sticker is considered constitutionally protected speech because she is "uncertain and insecure regarding her right to display her bumper sticker in DeKalb County," the lawsuit said.

Hey, do your part to piss off the culture police by purchasing a controversial bumper sticker.

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Hormel Loses Bid To Own "Spam"

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[Viral Marketing]
The producer of the canned pork product Spam has lost a bid to claim the word as a trademark for unsolicited e-mails. Hormel has been trying to prevent software companies from using the word "spam" in their products, a practice it argued was diluting its brand name. Research has shown that via Google, most searches for "spam" had absolutely nothing to do with the food product.

It's a shame the spammers don't have some sort of union. This case looks like grounds for them to claim that the meat product is usurping their famous brand.

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Internet Defamation Case Awards $11M In Damages

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[Mean People]
A Florida woman has been awarded $11.3 million in a defamation lawsuit against a Louisiana woman who posted messages on the Internet accusing her of being a "crook," a "con artist," and a "fraud."

Of course it didn't help her case to not show up in court to defend herself. However, the plaintiff continued the lawsuit on principle because it "hurt her feelings."

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Runaway Bride Runs to Court

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Jennifer Wilbanks, aka The Runaway Bride, is SUING her former fiancee. You may recall that Ms. Wilbanks bolted days before her expensive Atlanta wedding and later called from Albuquerque saying she had been kidnapped. Later she recanted her incredibly flimsy story and did some community service for telling a false story to the police.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2006-10-14 15:18:09 | Comment on this Article

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