Outraged British MP wants Gov. Scwarzenegger to sh
Anarchduke writes "Harriet Harman, an outspoken British MP, sent a letter asking Governor Schwarzenegger of California to shut down the website http://www.punternet.com/ This site offers customers of prostitutes in the UK the chance to rate the services they received. Prostitution isn't illegal by itself, although most activities surrounding prostitution are. Ms. Harmon, having missed the concept of paid entertainers, states, "Surely it can't be too difficult for 'The Terminator' to terminate Punternet and that's what I am demanding that he does." It seems a sudden switch to moral conservative for Ms. Harman, who had once come under fire for wanting to water down child pornography laws.
The webmaster of Punternet answered Ms. Harman's request in an open letter, whereby he explains the concept of freedom of speech.
In the USA, there is a concept called "freedom of speech" which is considered the most important personal right guaranteed by the Constitution. It exists specifically to prevent the sort of abuse of power that you are attempting. The Governor (indeed, even the President) has no authority with which to shut down a perfectly lawful enterprise such as PunterNet.
He also thanks the MP for her open letter to Schwarzenegger
In closing, I would like to thank you for the huge influx of traffic to my website which your actions have caused. I am sure that the ladies who are a part of the PunterNet community thank you as well, as they will no doubt benefit financially from the many new clients who might otherwise never have found them.
Now when we travel to Great Britain, we will know how to find the good hookers. Thanks, MS. Harman!"
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SCOTUS Says School Stripsearch Unconstitutional
Anarchduke writes "In what amounts to a victory for the rights of children, the Supreme Court ruled that the stripsearch given to then 13 year old Savana Redding by school officials.
In a near unanimous decision, the Supreme Court has drawn a line in deciding how far school administration officials can go. Since children have limited constitutional rights, and the Justices often favor school interest over students, this is a clear indication of how far overboard the school actually went.
According to the decision,
"When suspected facts must support the categorically extreme intrusiveness of a search down to an adolescent's body, petitioners' general belief that students hide contraband in their clothing falls short; a reasonable search that extensive calls for suspicion that it will succeed."
Justice Thomas dissented, believing that the fourth amendment protections should not cover even this level of intrusion. His prime concern is the decision "grants judges sweeping authority to second-guess [officials]" and that it changes the line at which the court had previously drawn regarding the fourth amendment restrictions handed down to schools. According to Thomnas, the Court:
"should return to the common-law doctrine of in loco parentis under which 'the judiciary wasreluctant to interfere in the routine business of school administration, allowing schools and teachers to set andenforce rules and to maintain order.' Morse v. Frederick, 551 U. S. 393, 414 (2007)."
IANAL, but the ruling in my opinion didn't go far enough to prevent the abuse of power by school officials. The LA Times agrees, and suggests that schools shouldn't be put into the position of deciding these issues, but that in the case of drugs allegedly secret inside the underwear of children, "they would be spared such decisions by laws in every state banning strip searches by school officials. If such searches are needed to protect schools and students, they should be done by police."
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If You /. You Drink Too Much
Anarchduke writes "Apparently, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism decided to take a fresh approach to identifying high risk drinkers. By utilizing "an established and widely used marketing research database and merged it with data from the CDC in order to identify high-risk drinkers..."
the NIAAA was able to locate new facts out of an already strip mined information resource.
As a result of their research, Howard B. Moss, the director for Clinical & Translational Research at the NIAAA said,"
"We identified the top 10 audience segments in the U.S. that engaged in twice-a-month, high-risk drinking," said Moss. "Five of these audience segments were made up of young adults, and five were middle-aged individuals. The young adult segment we called the 'Cyber Millenials,' with the highest rate of risky levels of alcohol drinking, represented well-educated, ethnically mixed, technologically sophisticated individuals..."
Oddly, other than the penchant for guzzling alcohol, the Cyber Millenials (okay I hate that name, it sounds so freaking lame) are among the most health conscious groups in American society. The NIAAA hopes that identifying this tech savvy group will help tailoring advertising campaigns to combat the binge drinking.
One wonders if they will bombard traditional media with the ads and shoot themselves in the foot?"