aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Saturday, February 17, 2007
MPAA rips off freeware author
The author of ForestBlog, a blogging tool, has discovered that the MPAA was using his code in violation of his license. He gives the code away for free, but requires that users link back to his site and keep his name on the software. The MPAA deleted all credits and copyright notices from his work, and used it without permission. They ripped him off:
Way back in October last year whilst going through the website referals list for another of my sites I stumbled across this link. That’s right, my blogging software is being used by the MPAA (Motion picture Association of America); probably one of the most hated organisations known to the internet. Cool, I thought, until I had a look around and saw that all of the back links to my main site had been removed with nary a mention in the source code!
Now, as Patrick Robin (the software author) notes, this probably wasn’t the outcome of a high-level board meeting wherein the executive committee decided to rip him off. It was more likely the work of a lazy Web person at the MPAA who was cutting corners at work.
But the MPAA believes that employers should be held responsible for employees’ copyright infringements. They want you to know that if you download movies at work, your employer will also be named in the suit. Infringe as we say, not as we do.
This reminds me of Warner Music chief Edgar Bronfman, Jr’s admission that his kids downloaded infringing music. He shrugged it off, saying that he’d dealt with the matter privately. Other parents are not so lucky: when their kids get caught downloading music, the RIAA sues them for every penny, through a thuggish boiler-room operation. READ ON
Why Julie Amero was convicted: a detective and a juror speak
Here we have a statement from Detective Mark Lounsbury, a crime prevention officer with the Norwich Police Department:
Dear Mr. Bass, Unfortunately the truth in this matter is yet to be told to all those who were not located in the courtroom during the trial. Those in the courtroom saw and heard the truth. Once sentencing is done the truth CAN BE presented to the world IF they want it. I’m thinking the world doesn’t want to hear the truth. IGNORANCE IS BLISS. The lies are exciting, bringing up STRONG emotions. OMG, that poor person, victimized by the Evil Government and its minions.
It continues to amaze me how people can base their opinion on what is fed to them. Did anyone ask the Expert for the evidence he recovered which would support his claims? The “curlyhairstye script”, those pornographic googlesyndication.com generated pop ups? BUNK also known as errors of commission. Would you like to know the truth? Once sentencing is over I’d be more than happy to let you see the source code, scripts, etc.
I’ve received allot of calls and emails regarding this. All from people interested only in TELLING me their opinions or TELLING me they’re going to get me. Not once has anyone called or written me to ASK me a question. They apparently have what they want. I work hard every day for the victims of crime. I search for the truth not for me but for them. If what the newspaper reported about my testimony was my actual testimony, taken in context, don’t you think there would have been some consequences, a rebuttal, something.
Feel free to write if you wish.
“Mr. Bass” is Steve Bass of PC World. He wrote. Here’s what he got back:
The day before Bass posted an email from a juror, “...The bottom line was that it didn’t make a difference who or how the porn sites showed up on the computer...” With that I’ve decided to go back and append this plea to all of my Amero posts:
WE NEED A COMPUTER FORENSICS INNOCENCE PROJECT; a Barry Sheck and Peter Neufeld of the computer forensics world. We need experts who believe in the presumption of innocence and are willing to spend the time it takes to dig through logs, registry entries and hard drives to find exculpatory material when present. This is hardly the first case of its kind and, unfortunately, it’s not likely be the last. Prosecutors who look for - and presume - guilt do selective searches for data supporting guilt; those accused rarely have the resources to pay computer forensics experts to counter that selective evidence.
Gay Pastor Loses Ruling, But Not His Flock—Yet
Many in the 350-member Atlanta congregation say they don’t plan to let the Rev. Bradley E. Schmeling leave the pulpit Aug. 15, as ordered last week by an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) disciplinary committee because he is in a gay relationship.
Defying the order could end Atlanta’s oldest Lutheran church affiliation with the ELCA, cutting off the small church and its members from the large denomination’s resources, including community service programs, hymn books and access to synod officials for guidance on legal, financial and spiritual matters. [...]
Much like a trial, a closed-door disciplinary hearing committee of 12 ELCA members, both lay and clergy, heard evidence for nearly a week in January. Seven of them felt the rule as stated left them no choice but to defrock Schmeling. But the committee also wrote that, if not bound by the church’s rules, they “would find almost unanimously that Pastor Schmeling is not engaged in conduct that is incompatible with the ministerial office” and would order no discipline.
Further, the committee suggested that the ELCA remove its rule and reinstate gay clergy who were removed or resigned because they were in a same-sex “lifelong partnership.”
At the ELCA’s last national meeting in 2005, a proposal to allow synods to decide if they would accept a pastor in a same-sex relationship failed after getting nearly half the 1,000 votes, short of the required two-thirds majority.
St. John’s members and gay rights groups hope Schmeling’s case will provide the final push for change.
August should be interesting.
Intellectual diversity, Georgia style
So we got us a bill here in the Georgia House - House Bill 154 the “Intellectual Diversity in Higher Education Act” - that sets out to authoritatively define just exactly what diversity means:
the bill states that “Teachers should not take unfair advantage of the immaturity of students by indoctrinating them with their own opinions before the students have had an opportunity to examine other opinions.” This presupposes that the ideas of teachers, most of whom have post-graduate degrees, are uninformed by their years of study and that students should regard those ideas with suspicion. It presupposes that a geneticist does not know more about the genome than his students, and it encourages his students to take what he tells them as simply his opinion. It presupposes that an ecologist does not know more about climate change than her students. For a teacher to impart what he or she thinks is not to “take unfair advantage of the immaturity of students.” It is to empower students to develop their own good judgment on the basis of sound knowledge about the world.
From the Georgia constitution:
(b) The board of regents shall have the exclusive authority to create new public colleges, junior colleges, and universities in the State of Georgia, subject to approval by majority vote in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Such vote shall not be required to change the status of a college, institution or university existing on the effective date of this Constitution. The government, control, and management of the University System of Georgia and all of the institutions in said system shall be vested in the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. (Article VIII , Section IV(b))
Via Jim’s blog, “So, how does all this legislation fit within a conservative philosophy of government?”
Evolution’s a Jewish plot and the earth don’t turn
“Indisputable evidence - long hidden but now available to everyone - demonstrates conclusively that so-called ‘secular evolution science’ is the Big-Bang 15-billion-year alternate ‘creation scenario’ of the Pharisee Religion,” reads the letter that went out under [Georgia State House Republican Rep. Ben] Bridges’ name. “This scenario is derived concept-for-concept from Rabbinic writings in the mystic ‘holy book’ Kabbala dating back at least two millennia.”
It seems that the actual author or analyst, I guess you might say, was a fellow named Marshall Hall, the husband of Bridges campaign manager, Bonnie Hall. Then they sent it out over Bridges’ signature to state legislators in Texas, California, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Ohio. And they didn’t stop by letting the cat out of the bag on evolution. They also blew the whistle on all this hokum about the earth revolving around the Sun.
Barnes’ memo pointed fellow state legislators to the information at fixedearth.com which rails against the “a mystic, anti-Christ ‘holy book’ of the Pharisee Sect of Judaism” and claims that “the earth is not rotating Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ nor is it going around the sun.” They’ve even caught on to the “centuries-old conspiracy” on the part of Jewish physicists to destroy Christianity.
Our man Bridges won’t even offer a Tim Hardaway-like apology (read: forced + fake) like the one issued by Texas Republican Warren Chisum. Chisum is Texas House Appropriations Committee Chair and he used the state House operations system to distribute the memo throughout the Texas state legislature. (Here’s Chisum’s cover letter and the Bridges’ memo.)
Bridges is not returning calls; a good thing. He acknowledges “considering filing legislation this year to remove evolution from Georgia’s public schools” and denies having anything to do with the memo this way:
Bridges said the views in the memo belong to Hall, though Bridges said he doesn’t necessarily disagree with them.
“I agree with it more than I would the Big Bang Theory or the Darwin Theory,” said Bridges, who sponsored unsuccessful legislation in 2005 that would have required Georgia’s teachers to introduce scientific evidence challenging evolution. “I am convinced that rather than risk teaching a lie, why teach anything?”
Obviously, if he had his way, we wouldn’t!
Gays the new Jews (reprise)
In response to an important NYTimes Magazine piece, What’s Their Real Problem With Gay Marriage? It’s the Gay Part by Russll Shorto (subscription, excerpted here), Andrew Sullivan wrote (gone now that he’s moved to The Atlantic but quoted here):
Ah, yes. The danger of the Jews/Gays spreading their disease throughout society, their enormous power despite tiny numbers, their ability to pass, their threat to children, their flaunting of their disagreement with the New Testament. It’s all so familiar. I think the arguments now made by some Christianists are replicas of the old anti-Semitism, peddled by so many Christians in the past: that Jews are to be loved, but loving them is dependent on their conversion to Christianity; that you can love individual Jews while disdaining Judaism; that Jews’ stubbornness in resisting conversion is evidence of their inherent evil; that such evil, at some point, has to be segregated from mainstream society as much as possible. Gays are not the new blacks. They’re the new Jews.
I was reminded of that quote after reading Wonkette’s post, Gay Hater Admonished On Proper Gay-Hating Techniques. In it we learn what concerns Concerned Women for America about Tim Hardaway’s offensive anti-gay remarks:
Concerned Women for America (CWA) is disappointed that a man who is respected by many sports fans would make such inflammatory remarks. “Hardaway’s comments are both unfortunate and inappropriate,” said Matt Barber, CWA’s Policy Director for Cultural Issues. “They provide political fodder for those who wish to paint all opposition to the homosexual lifestyle as being rooted in ‘hate’ Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ His words do not represent the feelings of the vast majority of people opposed to the homosexual agenda. It’s perfectly natural for people to be repelled by disordered sexual behaviors that are both unnatural, and immoral Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ However, the appropriate reaction is to respond with words and acts of love, not words of hate. Jesus Christ offers forgiveness and freedom for all sinners, and that is the heart of the Gospel message. Thousands of former homosexuals have been freed from the homosexual lifestyle through acts of love. Hardaway’s comments only serve to foment misperceptions of widespread homosexual ‘victimhood’ which the homosexual lobby has craftily manufactured.”
NOTE: I thought Concerned Women for America had finally gotten themselves a woman spokesperson. Apparently not.