Published on Dec 13, 2012
The internet is a powerful tool for communication, but it can sometimes be a double-edged sword. As most of us have seen or experienced, the internet can bring out the worst behavior in people, highlighting some of the cruelest and most hurtful aspects of humanity. Issues such as bullying online and trolling have garnered a lot of attention recently, prompting questions about who does, and should, regulate the internet, and what free speech means online.
Alice Marwick, Professor at Fordham University
Whitney Phillips, Lecturer at New York University
Andy Sellars, Berkman Center For Internet & Society, Harvard University
Proposal 6 must be defeated at the polls to stop a billionaire’s attempt to enshrine his monopoly into the Michigan Constitution.
Billed as the democratic-sounding ‘People Should Decide’ proposal, supporters say a yes vote will give you a voice in whether a new Detroit-Windsor bridge is built with public dollars.
We wonder if a ballot measure has ever been so cynically named, because Proposal 6 isn’t about democracy at all. It’s about protecting the monopoly of Matty Moroun, owner of the Ambassador Bridge, at the expense of Michigan’s economic interests.
Yes, advertisements about the supposed costs to Michigan taxpayers of the New International Trade Crossing have been compelling. They have also, according to the non-partisan Michigan Truth Squad, ranged from flagrant misrepresentations to all-out lies.
So let’s put aside the images of teachers and other ordinary folk claiming to be concerned about ‘real people’ and look at three crucial reasons this proposal should be defeated.
The proposed bridge is critical to Michigan’s economic future
The 83-year-old Ambassador Bridge carries 25 percent of all U.S.-Canada trade, but its location is inefficient for commercial vehicles. A new bridge that connects directly with Ontario’s 401 highway would be good for business and is vital to our economic future.
The Troll has been spamming the airwaves with attack ads and postal mail. DO NOT BE TRICKED by his deceptive methods. The only one to benefit by the passing of Proposal 6 is The Troll, everyone else will suffer.
VOTE NO ON PROPOSAL 6.
Syrian authorities on Thursday sent text messages over cell phones nationwide with a message for rebels fighting President Bashar Assad’s regime: “Game over.”
The messages signed by the Syrian Arab Army also urged the rebels to surrender their weapons and warned the countdown to evict foreign fighters has begun. The texts appear to be part of the regime’s psychological battle against the rebels, but are highly unlikely to have any effect on fighters intent on toppling Assad.
Syrians say they began receiving the messages a day after rebels bombed a military command center in Damascus — a major security breach of the heavily guarded capital that highlighted the regime’s growing vulnerability in the face of a rebellion growing in confidence and capabilities.
People with cellular subscriptions received the messages while those with prepaid phones did not, residents in the Syrian capital said.
This almost sounds like Fegelein is back to committing antics.
A Wayne County judge this morning sent billionaire Manuel (Matty) Moroun and his chief deputy at the Ambassador Bridge company, Dan Stamper, to jail until they are in compliance with his order to finish building ramps connecting the Ambassador Bridge to nearby expressways.
Lawyers sought stays of his order, but Circuit Judge Prentis Edwards denied the motion and others seeking the immediate release of the two men.
Wayne County sheriff’s deputies led both men out of court through a back door in the courtroom at 10:15 a.m.
Defense lawyers declined comment after the hearing but said they would appeal immediately to the Michigan Court of Appeals.
Michigan Department of Transportation Chief Operating Officer Greg Johnson said it would take at minimum a year to complete ramps, lanes and other unfinished elements of the project if the Bridge Company cooperated fully.
“We take no joy or satisfaction in seeing these men incarcerated,” Johnson said, adding, the state only wants to see the project completed.
Earlier: Lawyers argue Moroun doesn’t control bridge
Earlier in the hearing, Judge Edwards said, “It is clear” that the Detroit International Bridge Co. ‘does not intend to comply with the court order’ to finish work delayed by more than two years.
DETROIT, MI — A team of nine lawyers for the Ambassador Bridge company made a last-ditch plea Thursday to Detroit judge Prentis Edwards not to appoint a receiver to complete court-ordered construction work on the bridge’s U.S. plaza.
‘You can’t plug in a party with no background on this and yet somehow has the ability to complete this project,’ said lawyer Phillip Alber.
‘There are innumerable details that are the source of this impasse. I don’t believe removing (the bridge company) and plugging in someone else would lead to completion of the project.’
Edwards deferred his decision until Jan. 12.
Billionaire bridge owner Matty Moroun has failed to complete a redesign of the Detroit plaza in accordance with a ruling by the judge in February 2010.
Edwards ordered the bridge company to remove toll booths, gas pumps and several bridge piers after ruling that the company illegally constructed them on city property and in violation of a state government agreement under the $230-million Gateway Project.
Moroun is facing contempt of court penalties for failing to comply and has been ordered — along with other bridge executives — to appear at the Jan. 12 hearing to face sanctions that could include imprisonment.
The judge listened to arguments Thursday from lawyers for the bridge and the Michigan Department of Transportation regarding whether a receiver should be appointed to complete the court-ordered work.
Alber urged the judge to appoint a mediator who could sit down with both parties ‘all day and every day until every issue is resolved.’
Another bridge lawyer, Craig John, urged Edwards to carefully weigh who best offers the greatest likelihood of ‘getting to the goal-line’ on the project’s completion.
‘There is no reason to appoint a receiver because progress is being made,’ John said. ‘The project is close to completion and the bridge company should be allowed to complete it with due diligence.’
But the state’s Assistant Attorney General Robert Mol, representing MDOT, told Edwards the bridge company and its lawyers have become adept at ‘lots of talking and no action’ when it comes to finishing the project under the court order.
‘(The bridge company) has not built what this court ordered it to build,’ Mol said. ‘The conflict here is that (the bridge company) refuses to accept that and they keep arguing for a whole new design.’
Thanks to the legal impasse and lack of completion by Moroun under the court order, trucks entering the U.S. have been forced to reach I-75 and I-96 in Detroit by using local streets.
And nearly two years after the ruling, car drivers are forced to weave through a maze of local streets, service drives and lanes through Moroun’s massive new duty free complex in order to get on the bridge.
Read more: windsorstar.com
In the last year, newspaper copyright troll Righthaven has brought its dubious lawsuits in two states: Nevada and Colorado. (Update: a lawyer in South Carolina says Righthaven filed a single case there as well.) With a new ruling today from a Colorado federal judge overseeing all of Righthaven’s cases there, courts in both states have now told Righthaven to take a hike—and to pay court costs before it goes.
Righthaven’s business model has been based largely on suing small-time bloggers and forum posters who have copied articles or photos from the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Denver Post. When threatened with a federal lawsuit for copyright infringement, many of these users decided to settle for a few thousand dollars instead. It turns out they needn’t have done so, however; Righthaven never had the right to sue them in the first place.
That’s because the operating agreement between Righthaven and the newspapers only gave Righthaven a bare right to sue. But a Nevada judge overseeing numerous Righthaven cases looked at the agreement and ruled that there was no such right in copyright law and that only a true copyright holder could litigate in defense of its own works.
Today, Judge John Kane in Colorado came to the same conclusion in one of the numerous Righthaven cases he oversees there. In his view, the assignment of a bare right to sue runs counter to the constitutional goal of furthering progress in the arts and sciences—the stated justification for copyright.
I had no idea this guy was such a complete jackass. Apparently, he’s not as smart as he thinks he is. Ugh, what a creep.
When commenters on MetaFilter started ragging on a recent Wall Street Journal story by Scott Adams, the Dilbert creator and sexist jackass who last month opined that “women are treated differently by society for exactly the same reason that children and the mentally handicapped are treated differently,” one user, “plannedchaos,” leapt to his defense. “He has a certified genius I.Q., and that’s hard to hide,” noted plannedchaos, who went on to ask, “Is it Adams’ enormous success at self-promotion that makes you jealous and angry?”
Mr. Chaos has apparently long been a fan of Adams; Gawker noted Monday that early this year, he was posting on Reddit that “It’s fair to say you disagree with Adams. But you can’t rule out the hypothesis that you’re too dumb to understand what he’s saying. And he’s a certified genius.” How fortunate for Adams there are people in the world not “too dumb” to understand the certified genius. It just happens that they’re all Scott Adams. On Friday, the cartoonist admitted on MetaFilter that he and plannedchaos are one and the same. My tie! It’s curving upward in astonishment!
Adams further countered on Monday with a fabulously self-congratulatory blog post account of his actions, explaining, “Conflict of interest is like a prison that locks in both the truth and the lies. One workaround for that problem is to change the messenger. That’s where an alias comes in handy. When you remove the appearance of conflict of interest, it allows others to listen to the evidence without judging.” Oh, it was about the evidence! The evidence that, as plannedchaos wrote, “Everyone on this page is talking about him, researching him, and obsessing about him” — especially plannedchaos. Adams also draws parallels between his situation and that of Orange County Republican Party central committee member Marilyn Davenport, who has been attacked for forwarding an email with Obama’s head Photoshopped onto a chimp. (Both she and Adams, he argues, were victim of the Internet’s lack of “context.”)