Free Speech Wins (Again) at the Supreme Court
David French writes:
… Given existing First Amendment jurisprudence, there would have been a constitutional earthquake if SCOTUS hadn’t ruled for Tam. The Court has long held that the Constitution protects all but the narrowest categories of speech. Yet time and again, governments (including colleges) have tried to regulate “offensive” speech. Time and again, SCOTUS has defended free expression. Today was no exception. Writing for a unanimous Court, Justice Alito noted that the Patent and Trademark Office was essentially arguing that “the Government has an interest in preventing speech expressing ideas that offend.” His response was decisive:
[A]s we have explained, that idea strikes at the heart of the First Amendment. Speech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other similar ground is hateful; but the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express “the thought that we hate.”
Quick, someone alert the snowflakes shouting down speeches on campus or rushing stages in New York. There is no constitutional exception for so-called “hate speech.”
Indeed, governments are under an obligation to protect controversial expression. Every justice agrees. The ruling is worth celebrating, but when law and culture diverge, culture tends to win. The law protects free speech as strongly as it ever has. The culture, however … (read more)
Source: National Review
In two First Amendment rulings released this week, the justices argue they’re saving would-be censors from themselves.
Matt Ford reports: The U.S. Supreme Court handed down two notable victories for free-speech advocates on Monday as it nears the end of its current term. The two First Amendment cases came to the Court from starkly different circumstances, but the justices emphasized a similar theme in both rulings: Beware what the free-speech restrictions of today could be used to justify tomorrow.
In the first case, Matal v. Tam, the Court sided with an Asian-American rock band in Oregon named The Slants in a dispute with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The PTO had denied band member Simon Tam’s application to register the group’s name as a trademark, citing a provision in federal law that prohibits the office from recognizing those that “disparage” or “bring … into contempt or disrepute” any “persons, living or dead.” Read the rest of this entry »
In a handwritten declaration from jail, a fourth man has accused Seattle Mayor Ed Murray of paying him for sex. A Murray spokesman denied the latest allegations, calling them a ‘sensational media stunt.’
A Murray spokesman denied the latest allegations, made in a court filing late Tuesday, calling them a “sensational media stunt.” The mayor’s lawyers Wednesday morning redoubled their effort to get a judge to sanction the attorney who submitted the new court filing and is representing another man who filed a lawsuit last month.
The new accuser, 44-year-old Maurice Jones, said in a sworn court declaration he was introduced to Murray by Delvonn Heckard, the Kent man who filed last month’s lawsuit claiming Murray sexually abused him as a teenager in the 1980s.
Jones’ declaration, filed in King County Superior Court, was brief, saying he had been to Murray’s Capitol Hill apartment at an unspecified time and that Murray “gave me money for sex.”
ulie Kays, one of Heckard’s attorneys, said Wednesday that Jones was in his midteens at the time. “He recalls at least two instances when, as a teenager, Murray paid (him) for sex. Once at Murray’s apartment and once in a car,” she said.
Jones’ declaration added he was “not part of any right-wing conspiracy” and that he is gay — a reference to Murray’s argument that accusations against him by Heckard and two other men are politically motivated.
The handwritten declaration was taken at the King County Regional Justice Center in Kent on Tuesday by Kays and Lincoln Beauregard, Heckard’s lead attorney.
Jones, who has a lengthy criminal record, has been held on drug charges since late March.
The document was prepared and passed through a glassed-off visitation partition to Jones for his signature, Kays said. The declaration was filed in court along with a photograph of Beauregard holding the document, with Jones on the other side of the glass partition. Both men are smiling.
As he has with previous allegations, a Murray spokesman vehemently denied the latest claim. Read the rest of this entry »
What is the least diverse place in America? It’s the institution that most actively seeks racial, ethnic, gender, and cultural diversity: the college campus! Colleges want students to look different, but think the same. Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA, explains.
This video with Charlie Kirk is part of an exciting partnership between PragerU and Turning Point USA that will include videos with other young conservatives like Ben Shapiro, Antonia Okafor, Matt Walsh, and more. Visit here to learn more.
A male student accused of sexual harassment committed suicide after campus officials denied him due process.
Ashe Schow reports: If every other egregious example of a male student denied due process after being accused of sexual misconduct gets ignored – this one should not be.
A male student who was accused of sexual harassment committed suicide just days after the University of Texas at Arlington ignored its own policies in order to punish him. The accused student’s father, a lawyer acting as the administrator of his son’s estate, is now suing the school for violating his son’s Title IX rights.
College administrators, as well as members of the media and legislators, would do well to remember the name Thomas Klocke. Klocke, a straight male, was accused by a gay male student of writing anti-gay slurs on his computer during a class. Klocke vehemently denied the accusation, and administrators who investigated the incident acknowledged there was no evidence to support the accuser’s claims, yet Klocke was still punished.
The accusing student, who is being sued by Klocke’s father for defamation, claims that in May 2016, Klocke made a comment during a class about “privilege,” and then proceeded to open his laptop and type “gays should die” into his web browser’s search bar. The accuser (who is not being named because Watchdog was unable to contact him for comment) claims he typed into his own browser search bar, “I’m gay.”
The accuser next claimed that Klocke feigned a yawn and said under his breath: “Well, then you’re a faggot.” The accuser says he told Klocke he should leave the class, to which Klocke allegedly responded: “You should consider killing yourself.”
The accuser claims he was made so uncomfortable by the exchange that he waited until the end of class and spoke to the professor, who allegedly told him to contact student support services. There is no documentation to suggest the professor was interviewed in the course of the investigation in order to corroborate the accuser’s claims. The attorney for Klocke’s father, Kenneth Chaiken, told Watchdog the professor never provided a witness statement, suggesting he was never asked what he saw that day.
Not following procedure
Klocke insisted that what happened in that mid-May class in 2016 was completely different than what the accuser claimed. Klocke said his accuser made unwelcome sexual advances toward him. Klocke rejected the advances, telling his eventual accuser that he was straight. The lawsuit suggests that this rejection led the accuser to make up his story, possibly out of fear that he himself could be accused of sexual misconduct.
Instead of seeking support services, the accuser reached out to Associate Vice President of Student Affairs Heather Snow, with whom he had a friendly relationship. The accuser was close enough to Snow to refer to her by her first name at times, and Snow quickly became the accuser’s advocate, helping him to draft a complaint against Klocke and conducting the disciplinary procedure without following the school’s Title IX policies.
The lawsuit alleges that UTA’s Title IX coordinator was not informed of the allegation, even though Snow suggested it constituted sexual harassment. This is a violation of UTA’s policies regarding sexual misconduct, which state complaints “should be made to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinators.” Snow was neither.
Further, UTA’s Title IX policies state that the Title IX coordinator is responsible for overseeing the investigation and assigning an investigator. The investigator must then produce a report based on facts gathered and present it to the Title IX coordinator and deputy coordinator before any hearing.
Klocke received no hearing, even though he contradicted his accuser’s claims. Had Snow properly reported the complaint to the Title IX coordinator, Klocke would have received necessary protections from the school. By doing things on her own terms, Snow was able to deny Klocke his rights as stated in UTA policy.
Snow took control of the disciplinary procedure that involved a complaint she wrote herself. She enlisted the help of UTA’s associate director of academic integrity, Daniel Moore, and had him tell Klocke he was immediately prohibited from attending the class where the incident was alleged to have occurred. Klocke was completing the course as part of a short, pre-summer semester in order to graduate that summer.
When Klocke was informed that an accusation had been lodged against him, he was not told the name of his accuser. Klocke was also informed that he could not contact anyone in the class, directly or indirectly, effectively denying him any ability to find witnesses to corroborate his story.
His accuser was able to remain in the class and find witnesses. He found only one, who didn’t corroborate his account but did say he overheard someone say “you should leave.” This could have been said by either Klocke or his accuser in either of their stories.
Klocke told Moore he needed to attend the class and asked for more information about the accusation against him. Moore ignored this request but sent Klocke a “summons letter” on May 20. The lawsuit alleges Moore never informed Klocke that this was a Title IX investigation (as Moore usually handled academic issues) or Klocke’s rights under Title IX.
Moore also never told Klocke that he would not be allowed a hearing. He was never informed that Snow – who was not an impartial party – was running the show, even helping Moore determine a punishment. Read the rest of this entry »
Obama Subverts Antiquities Act to Unilaterally Seize Land
Dan Calabrese writes: When you think of a national monument, you probably think of a beautiful statue or some stately structure that honors a former president. They’re nice to have, nice to go look at. You probably don’t think of a “national monument” as 1.5 million acres of land that contains crucial natural resources the nation needs, but thanks to the national monument designation, can’t touch.
“It is extremely disappointing that President Obama has declared another national monument here in Utah, ignoring the voices of so many in our state, particularly those closest to the designated space. By significantly restricting access to a large portion of public lands in Utah, the President weakens land management capabilities and fails to protect those the Antiquities Act intended to benefit.”
— Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes
Welcome once again to the final days of the Obama presidency, in which the whole point is to take abuse of executive power to new and, Obama homes, irreversible new heights. Screw your neighbors. Screw your own country. You’ve got nothing to lose at this point, and you think you’ve come up with a way to do it that leaves your successor helpless to reverse your abuses once you’re gone. One day it’s drilling in the Atlantic and the Arctic. The next it’s the de facto declaration of war against one of your best allies.
“Now you’ve decided to make official what you’ve long believed – that all property ultimately belongs to the state, whose primary interest in said property is to prevent said land from ever benefiting the people in any way.”
Now you’ve decided to make official what you’ve long believed – that all property ultimately belongs to the state, whose primary interest in said property is to prevent said land from ever benefiting the people in any way.
“Obama sees governing as a form of ideological combat. However much he may pretend he wants to help Trump get off to a good start, his actions say exactly the opposite. This gigantic federal land grab is only the latest example of Obama cleverly abusing executive powers in his waning days to hamstring the incoming administration, while structuring his actions in such a way that Trump can’t simply revoke what Obama has done.”
And if that means you’re seizing 1.5 million acres on the thinnest of premises, hey, you’re Barack Obama. At this point, it’s what you do:
The White House announced that The Bears Ears National Monument in Utah will cover 1.35 million acres in the Four Corners region. The move is a victory for Native American tribes and conservationists for whom the land is considered sacred, but sparked intense opposition from Republicans. Read the rest of this entry »
Journalists Can’t Pose as FBI Agents, but Heck Yeah, FBI Agents Actually Can Pose as Journalists, Inspector General SaysPosted: September 16, 2016
The FBI also did not violate policy when an agent impersonated an editor with the Associated Press in 2007, the Inspector General found.
Alan Neuhauser reports: FBI agents may impersonate journalists while conducting undercover investigations, and an agent who posed as an editor with the Associated Press during a 2007 investigation did not violate agency policies, the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General found in a report released Thursday.
“The Associated Press is deeply disappointed by the Inspector General’s findings, which effectively condone the FBI’s impersonation of an AP journalist in 2007. Such action compromises the ability of a free press to gather the news safely and effectively and raises serious constitutional concerns.”
— Associated Press Vice President Paul Colford, in a statement
The conclusion sparked consternation across social media by journalists, civil rights groups and some legal experts, who have argued that the practice – by its very existence – threatens to heighten public mistrust of reporters, damage journalists’ credibility and have a chilling effect on sources and whistleblowers who may fear that their contacts in the media are actually undercover agents.
“The Associated Press is deeply disappointed by the Inspector General’s findings, which effectively condone the FBI’s impersonation of an AP journalist in 2007,” Associated Press Vice President Paul Colford said in a statement. “Such action compromises the ability of a free press to gather the news safely and effectively and raises serious constitutional concerns.”
The inspector general’s report acknowledged that the practice calls for “a higher level of approval” by FBI supervisors than was in place in 2007. Policies on impersonating journalists at the time were “less than clear,” it found. However, a new interim policy adopted this June – one that permits agents to pose as journalists so long as they get approval from two high-ranking officials and an undercover review committee at headquarters – meets that requirement.
Headline Correction: ‘Donald Trump Reaches Turning Point, Endlessly Surviving Empty Threats from Disgruntled Media’Posted: June 4, 2016
Paul Waldman writes: The news media have come in for a lot of criticism in the way they’ve reported this election, which makes it exactly like every other election. But something may have changed just in the last few days. I have no idea how meaningful it will turn out to be or how long it will last.
But it’s possible that when we look back over the sweep of this most unusual campaign, we’ll mark this week as a significant turning point: the time when journalists finally figured out how to cover Donald Trump.
They didn’t do it by coming up with some new model of coverage, or putting aside what they were taught in journalism school. They’re doing it by rediscovering the fundamental values and norms that are supposed to guide their profession. (And for the record, even though I’m part of “the media” I’m speaking in the third person here because I’m an opinion writer, and this is about the reporters whose job it is to objectively relay the events of the day).
If this evolution in coverage takes hold, we can trace it to the combined effect of a few events and developments happening in a short amount of time. The first was Trump’s press conference on Tuesday, the ostensible purpose of which was to answer questions about a fundraiser he held in January to raise money for veterans’ groups. In the course of the press conference, Trump was at his petulant, abusive worst, attacking reporters in general and those in the room. “The political press is among the most dishonest people that I’ve ever met,” he said, saying to one journalist who had asked a perfectly reasonable question, “You’re a sleaze.” These kinds of criticisms are not new — anyone who has reported a Trump rally can tell you how Trump always tosses some insults at the press, at which point his supporters turn around and hurl their own abuse at those covering the event — but Trump seemed particularly angry and unsettled.
To see how the press looked at that revealing event, it’s critical to understand what led to it. It happened because the Post’s David Fahrenthold and some other reporters did what journalists are supposed to do. They raised questions about Trump’s fundraiser, and when they didn’t get adequate answers, they investigated, gathered facts, and asked more questions.
It was excellent work — time-consuming, difficult, and ultimately paying dividends in public understanding. And Trump’s attack on them for doing their jobs the way those jobs are supposed to be done couldn’t have been better designed to get every other journalist to want to do the same. They’re no different than anyone else: When you make a direct attack on their professionalism, they’re likely to react by reaching back to their profession’s core values to demonstrate that they can live up to them. Trump may have wanted to intimidate them, but it’s likely to have the opposite effect. Read the rest of this entry »
Gamer Madhani reports: The University of Missouri student who filmed assistant professor Melissa Click call for “muscle” to eject him from a protest site on campus says he has filed a complaint with police alleging simple assault.
Mark Schierbecker said that he filed the complaint with campus police late Wednesday and was waiting to hear if they would press charges against Click, an assistant professor in the university’s Department of Communication. A police department spokesman, Major Brian Weimar, confirmed the complaint had been filed.
“We are looking into this and following up,” Weimar said.
Click did not immediately respond to request for comment.
Video of a confrontation by Schierbecker on Monday showed allies of the Concerned Student 1950 movement berating another student-journalist, Tim Tai, who was trying to photograph a campsite that protesters had established on the university’s quad. At the end of the video, Schierbecker approaches Click, who calls for “muscle” to remove him from the protest area. She then appears to grab at Schierbecker’s camera. Read the rest of this entry »
As liberal adults abdicate, the kids take charge on campus.
By bonfire of the academy we mean a conflict of values about the idea of a university that now threatens to undermine or destroy universities as a place of learning. Exhibit A is the ruin called the University of Missouri.
In the 1960s—at Cornell, Columbia, Berkeley and elsewhere—the self-described Student Left occupied buildings with what they often called “non-negotiable” demands. In the decades since, the academy—its leaders and faculties—by and large has accommodated many of those demands regarding appropriate academic subjects, admissions policies and what has become the aggressive and non-tolerant politics of identity and grievance.
This political trajectory arrived at its logical end this week at Missouri with the abrupt resignation of the school’s president, quickly followed by its number two official. The kids deposed them, as their liberal elders applauded either out of solidarity or cowardice.
The cause of President Tim Wolfe’s resignation is said to be his failure to address several racially charged incidents on campus and the threat by its Division One football team to boycott this weekend’s game unless he stepped down.
The university’s campus, in Columbia, is not far from Ferguson, Mo. Among the charges against President Wolfe was that his response to the shooting of Michael Brown was inadequate, which is to say, he did not sufficiently take the side of the protesters or rioters. Since Ferguson, the left-wing Black Lives Matter group has come to prominence and intimidated even presidential candidates. This has been accompanied by successive claims of racial grievance against public and private institutions.
In the United States, by now the instinct of the overwhelming majority of people is to address such complaints in good faith, investigate them and remediate where necessary. Only the tiniest minority would wish to see racial grievances bleed indefinitely. Yet the kids assert that America is irredeemably racist. Read the rest of this entry »
Sean Davis writes: After desperately trying to gin up media coverage of student protests at the University of Missouri, once of the school’s media professors is now furiously trying to “muscle” the press off campus to prevent them from covering student protests that rapidly spiraled out of control Monday.
Mizzou president Timothy Wolfe announced his resignation on Monday after members of the school’s 4-5 football team announced they would boycott team activities unless the school acceded to certain demands surrounding racial equality. Unsurprisingly, Wolfe’s resignation did little to quell the mob.
On Monday afternoon, activists who had demanded Wolfe’s resignation abruptly demanded that media stop covering their activities on the public campus of the taxpayer-funded university. At the center of those demands was Melissa Click, an assistant professor of mass media within Mizzou’s communications department….(read more)
Prince Majed bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who is the son of the late King Abdullah, allegedly engaged in the lurid behavior at his $37 million mansion in Beverly Hills, according to a lawsuit filed by a trio of women who worked for him there, the Daily Mail reports.
The lawsuit accuses Al Saud, 29, of being drunk and on drugs — and of making crude sexual advances on men and women alike.
The prince is accused of getting on top of one woman and grinding on her in a “sexual and aggressive manner.” He also allegedly threatened the life of another woman after she refused to “party” with him, the report said. Read the rest of this entry »
The suit claims that in September 2013, 30 employees were targeted for dismissal, mostly older and minority employees. They were replaced ‘in virtually every case by a white employee under the age of 40,’ the suit claims.
Keith J. Kelly reports: The New York Times Co. and its chief revenue officer are being sued by a former ad executive with nine years of service for “age, gender and race” discrimination after she got a new boss.
Tracy Quitasol, a 51-year-old Asian-American woman, was let go in January 2014 by Meredith Levien, who was a high-profile hire from Forbes two years ago and is now the chief revenue officer of the NYT Co.
Quitasol had been heading the Idea Lab, designed to come up with new digital ad programs, and was the executive director of product marketing and ad platform innovation.
The most explosive claim in the suit is the allegation that Levien, in a downsizing that took place in September 2013, let go predominantly older and minority employees.
A Times spokeswoman pointed out the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has passed on taking action on Quitasol’s complaints and said, “We plan to mount a vigorous defense against this suit.”
On the personal front, Quitasol claims in the Manhattan federal court suit that her problems began when Levien — then the executive vice president of advertising — along with the company’s human resources department failed to curb a junior-level staffer who refused to follow her instructions.
Quitasol claims it was a case of “gender discrimination” by the male employee — who, the suit claims, would only respond to instructions from male superiors. She brought the problem to the attention of Levien and HR who, the suit alleges, failed to take action. Read the rest of this entry »
Will Dana, Rolling Stone’s Managing Editor During University of Virginia Rape Hoax Catastrophe, Suddenly UnemployedPosted: July 29, 2015
The magazine commissioned an analysis of the article by the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, and its report in April cited failures at every stage of the reporting process. After the report was made public, Rolling Stone retracted the article.
The magazine has since been the target of lawsuits from an assistant dean at the university and by three members of the fraternity at the center of the article, who filed a defamation lawsuit on Wednesday.
The Fashion Mall hasn’t much lived up to its name. Already faltering a decade ago, the South Florida shopping mall has since been hammered by a hurricane, vacated by its tenants and put into bankruptcy, all the time, it turns out, being partially owned by a fugitive from China. As WSJ’s Esther Fung and Kris Hudson report:
Busted plans to redevelop the dilapidated mall have featured in a lawsuit between its Chinese investors. Du Zhenzeng, a steel baron from northern China, sued his naturalized American business partner, Wei Chen, for using their business “as his personal piggy-bank” to fund a flashy lifestyle that includes a Bentley and yacht trips, according to testimony in that lawsuit.
In a court hearing in October in Fort Lauderdale, Mr. Du’s lawyers said he invested nearly $160 million in the mall development project. Mr. Chen said the funds Mr. Du promised never materialized…. (more)
Paul Bedard writes: Liberal philanthropist George Soros and the Ford Foundation have lavished groups supporting the administration’s “net neutrality” agenda, donating $196 million and landing proponents on the White House staff, according to a new report.
“These left-wing groups not only impacted the public debate and funded top liberal think tanks from the Center for American Progress to Free Press. They also have direct ties to the White House and regulatory agencies. At least five individuals from these groups have ascended to key positions at the White House and FCC.”
And now, as the Federal Communications Commission nears approving a type of government control over the Internet, the groups are poised to declare victory in the years-long fight, according to the report from MRC Business, an arm of the conservative media watchdog, the Media Research Center.
“The biggest money in this debate is from the liberal foundations that lavish millions on self-styled grassroots groups pushing for more and more regulation and federal control.”
— Phil Kerpen, president of American Commitment
“The Ford Foundation, which claims to be the second-largest private foundation in the U.S., and Open Society Foundations, founded by far-left billionaire George Soros, have given more than $196 million to pro-net neutrality groups between 2000 and 2013,” said the report, authored by Media Research Center’s Joseph Rossell, and provided to Secrets.
[More – Inside Obama’s net fix]
“These left-wing groups not only impacted the public debate and funded top liberal think tanks from the Center for American Progress to Free Press. They also have direct ties to the White House and regulatory agencies. At least five individuals from these groups have ascended to key positions at the White House and FCC,” said the report which included funding details to pro-net neutrality advocates. Read the rest of this entry »
The attorney general seems intent on taking one more jab at the police before leaving the Justice Department
Jason L. Riley writes: When all was said and done, the events that unfolded in Ferguson, Mo., last summer were not extraordinary but rather all too familiar. Eighteen-year-old Michael Brown, a black robbery suspect, resisted arrest, attacked a police officer and was shot dead. We’ve seen this movie many times before. But what might have prompted a helpful discussion about high crime rates in black communities has instead prompted a dishonest debate over police behavior.
“…the Justice Department seems to have come to the same conclusion as the Ferguson grand jury and found no grounds for a criminal prosecution of Mr. Wilson. Mr. Holder might now be trying to justify his bigfooting by suing the city, but there is probably no basis for that, either. Hence, the leak to the media that a civil lawsuit may be in the works.”
Professional agitators in the civil-rights community push false narratives to stay relevant, but we should expect more from the Justice Department. Instead, we have Attorney General Eric Holder channeling Al Sharpton . Last week Mr. Holder said that he will soon announce the results of his Ferguson investigation. CNN, citing “sources,” reported that Darren Wilson, the police officer involved in the shooting, is unlikely to be charged but that Justice is preparing to sue the Ferguson police department “over a pattern of racially discriminatory tactics used by police officers, if the police department does not agree to make changes on its own.”
“This is about expanding federal power in the police departments. The lawyers at Justice believe they are the ones who should be promulgating national standards of how cops should behave. And police departments are so afraid of bad publicity that they agree to settle the case with all kinds of rules that Justice wants to impose.”
— Hans von Spakovsky, former Justice Department attorney
After months of looking into the incident, the Justice Department seems to have come to the same conclusion as the Ferguson grand jury and found no grounds for a criminal prosecution of Mr. Wilson. Mr. Holder might now be trying to justify his bigfooting by suing the city, but there is probably no basis for that, either. Hence, the leak to the media that a civil lawsuit may be in the works. The leak was an egregious breach of protocol and, in effect, a threat. We’ve seen this movie before, too.
[Check out Jason Riley’s book “Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed” at Amazon]
In 1994, Congress passed a bill that made unlawful “the pattern or practice” of conduct by police “that deprives persons of rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.” Since the law’s inception, the Justice Department has taken action against more than 50 state and local police departments, and nearly all have opted to settle rather than litigate. Investigations often come at the urging of groups like the NAACP and ACLU. Read the rest of this entry »
WASHINGTON — Activists who organized the dormant Occupy Wall Street movement are suing another activist for control of the main Twitter account, and one of the plaintiffs says there was no other option but to turn to litigation to solve the dispute.
“We can either go and beat him up or we can go to court.”
— Marisa Holmes, video editor, part of the core organizing team of Occupy
The conflict centers around @OccupyWallStNYC, one of the main Twitter feeds that distributed information during the movement’s heyday in 2011. The OWS Media Group filed a lawsuit against organizer Justin Wedes on Wednesday, which is also the third anniversary of the beginning of Occupy Wall Street. The group, led by activist Marisa Holmes, is seeking control of the Twitter account as well as $500,000 in damages.
The Twitter account, which used to be shared among several activists, is now under the control of Wedes, who explained his decision to take over the Twitter feed in a blog post in August:
A thread about “self-promotion” became just another shaming session. If we start from a place of assuming bad intentions – i.e. discouraging “self-promotion” over encouraging solid, relevant content – we will end up with rules that shame rather than empower. Group members took on the task of limiting others to “1 to 2 tweets per day” (or week) on a topic, a form of censorship that would never have been allowed in the earlier days of the boat. I had to say enough!
“We can either go and beat him up or we can go to court,” Holmes, a video editor who was part of the core organizing team of Occupy, told BuzzFeed News. “And quite frankly if we go and beat him up then we could end up with countersuits against us, and that puts us in a more damaging position and we don’t really want to do that anyway.” Read the rest of this entry »
A letter from the RNC. I decorated it a little…
The Fine Print: Support Building for Congress to Bring Obama to Court for Not Faithfully Executing LawsPosted: December 12, 2013
30 members support the House Resolution calling for civil action
Daniel Halper reports: Congressman Tom Rice of South Carolina, a Republican, is sponsoring a resolution in the House of Representatives that would, if adopted, direct the legislative body “to bring a civil action for declaratory or injunctive relief to challenge certain policies and actions taken by the executive branch.” In other words, Rep. Rice wants to take President Obama to court for not faithfully executing the laws.
“President Obama has adopted a practice of picking and choosing which laws he wants to enforce. In most cases, his laws of choice conveniently coincide with his Administration’s political agenda. Our Founding Fathers created the Executive Branch to implement and enforce the laws written by Congress and vested this power in the President. However, President Obama has chosen to ignore some of the laws written by Congress and implemented by preceding Presidents,” Rice wrote in a letter to fellow House members to ask them to co-sponsor this resolution.
“This resolution allows the House of Representatives to bring legal action against the Executive Branch and challenge recent actions, inactions, and policies.”
Soft-drink makers, restaurateurs and other businesses are suing to block the city’s move to end the sale of super-sized, sugary drinks in many eateries.
The American Beverage Association and others sued the city Friday. City officials had no immediate response.
The city Board of Health approved the unprecedented regulation last month. It would stop restaurants, cafeterias and concession stands from selling soda and other high-calorie drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces.
The rule is set to take effect in March.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg calls it a reasonable, promising way to curb obesity.
The lawsuit says the unelected health board shouldn’t be telling people how much soda to drink. The suit also says the rule “burdens consumers and unfairly harms small businesses.”
- Industry sues over NYC crackdown on sugary drinks (kmov.com)
- Industry sues over NYC crackdown on sugary drinks (ktvb.com)
- Industry sues over NYC crackdown on sugary drinks (kansascity.com)
- Industry sues over NYC crackdown on sugary drinks (seattletimes.com)
- Industry sues over NYC crackdown on sugary drinks (bostonherald.com)
- Soda Industry Sues NYC Over Sugary Drink Limits (wibw.com)
- Industry sues over NYC crackdown on sugary drinks (sfgate.com)
- Soda industry not sweet on NYC ban, sues city to block it (nj.com)