Monday, February 23, 2015

Sometimes Authority is Just Plain Wrong! ~by Legal Pub

... Gardening > Winter Products > Shovels & Scoops > Bulldog Snow ShovelSometimes, authority gets sidetracked and becomes incredibly wrong.  Take for instance New Jersey where police recently threatened to arrest two Somerset County teenagers going door to door offering to shovel snow.  While there may be local ordinances that prevent door to door solicitation, it was never meant to ban these high school seniors from distributing their fliers door to door.  Yet, that is exactly what Matt Molinari and Eric Schnepf were told by local police in Bridgewater.  .
Police apparently confronted the youth after receiving calls concerning suspicious young men with paper fliers and shovels.  Who next, the Girl Scouts?  While neither Moinari nor Schnepf were arrested, they apparently were lectured as to the law. 
There is nothing wrong with the intent of banning scam artists from harassing residents. But this goes to far.  What society needs is more hard working young men like these two teens. Common sense suggests that shovelers going door to door are not scam artists.  Yet common sense is needed not amended legislation. Sen. Mike Doherty proposed legislation blocking local ordinances as they apply to those  offering to shovel snow within 24 hours of a storm warning. Entrepreneurship and hard work are virtues that need to be promoted, not repressed.
Besides Legal Pub, New York Times, USA Today and Glenn Beck were also apparently offended by the local authorities lack of common sense. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

New Age Bonnie and Clyde Hit the Banks? ~by Legal Pub

Times are changing. So is crime. Recent news suggest that an internet hacking ring has stolen as much as a billion dollars from banks around the world.  Cyber-security firms are suggesting better security and higher rewards for bringing hackers to justice.   Since 2013, hackers have been credited with more than 100 banks heists in 30 countries.  Russian security company Kaspersky Lab suggest that the problem needs to be addressed.

Can hackers familiar with the banks' operations, use that knowledge to steal money without raising suspicions?  Can ATMs be reprogrammed to transfer money to fake accounts?  Are hackers interested in the money or identities?  Hackers seem to have differing answers depending on whether they are infiltrating Russia, U.S., Germany, China or Ukraine banks .In one case, $7.3 million was taken by hacking an ATM.  Meanwhile, the U.S. is focusing on improving cyber-security after breaches in Target, Home Depot, Sony and Anthem's computers.
Congress needs to replace the antiquated patchwork of state laws with a national standard giving companies 30 days to notify consumers if their personal information has been compromised.  Furthermore, the government needs to authorize companies to fight back by hacking the hacker's computers and freezing their abilities.  After all, we have the right to bare arms for self defense, why not give Sony the right to fight back and freeze all of the hacker's assets?  In the states, we shoot back at crooks.  Why not extend the principle to the internet?

Monday, February 9, 2015

Bruce Jenner No Stranger To The Lime Light ~by Legal Pub

Bruce Jenner was an Olympic decathlon star in 1976.  He was on the Wheaties box. He even was a regular on the Kardashian show (Keeping Up with the Kardashians.)  Lately, there are rumors that the 65 year-old may be transforming into a woman after recently ending a 23 year marriage. None of that warrants attention at Legal Pub.  However, a recent auto accident involving the media icon may be fair game. Jenner was involved in an accident that resulted in the death of a woman.  His publicist recently indicated that Jenner had not been texting prior to the chain-reaction collision in Malibu.

Apparently, Jenner is willing to offer his cellphone records that show he was not distracted at the time of the four vehicle crash on the Pacific Coast Highway.  Sources suggest that Jenner's Cadillac Escalade rear-ended a Lexus sedan that had hit a Toyota Prius.  It is unclear at this time why the Toyota Prius had slowed or stopped on the highway. What is clear, however is that the Lexus veered into oncoming traffic and collided nearly head-on with a Hummer.  Kim Howe, 69 years-old, was the driver of the Lexus.  Unfortunately, Kim lost her life in this accident.

Jenner has cooperated with authorities and has been quoted as saying, "My heartfelt and deepest sympathies go out to the family and loved ones, and to all of those who were involved or injured in this terrible accident... It is a devastating tragedy I cannot pretend to imagine what this family is going through at this time. I am praying for them."

The white Lexus had damage to both front and rear-ends.  Jenner apparently passed a field sobriety test and submitted a blood sample to police. The question is whether subpoenas for phone records will be issued.  Even if all of the data is produced, experts offer differ in the interpretation of the data when the question is whether the driver was texting at the exact time of the accident. Whenever anyone dies in an accident, it is tragic.  Whenever anyone associated with the Kardashians does anything public, it has potential to end up in a media circus.  In the middle of all of the stories and publicity, the memory of Kim Howe and her tragic death should not be tarnished or forgotten.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Love, Is It All in the Eyes of the Politician? ~by Legal Pub

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee could be a presidential hopeful.  But on Super Bowl Sunday, the politician said being gay is a lifestyle choice akin to choosing to drink alcohol or use profanity.  This former Baptist pastor may win the 2016 Republican presidential nomination but he also apparently believes that forcing people of faith to accept gay marriage as policy is on par with telling Jews that they must serve "bacon-wrapped shrimp in their deli."  Open mouth, insert foot.

The former Baptist pastor is counting on social conservatives and evangelicals who have input in early nominating to help him.  His comments seem to solicit support from the conservative corners of his party.  Yet he also appreciates different viewpoints on gay marriage, adding that he has gay friends. Nevertheless, he remains opposed to rights for gays and lesbians.  Rhetoric is central to a politicians arsenal. As such, politicians lose credibility and sacrifice their integrity in the pursuit of fame and power.  (Yes, most of us watch House of Cards.)

What would we like to hear?  The truth.  In 2016 it is time for government to get out of the marriage business!  Instead of state sanctioned marriage, leave spiritual bonding and commitment ceremonies up to religions and private groups without government involvement.  Enforce the Constitutional separation of church and state. As such, anyone can become committed to any other consenting person provided that organization accepts such relationships.  Individual churches and organizations can decide whom they want bonded spiritually in eternal commitment.  However, the government should no longer mandate automatic property rights.  Consequently, if someone wants to own property jointly, title the property in both names. If you want a joint bank account with your significant other, go to the bank and put the account in both names. The list goes on and on. No more automatic 50% ownership of assets after a ceremony.

However, politicians will only say what they think will get them elected. Consequently, don't look for changes anytime soon even if it is the right thing to do in 2016.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Star Athletes Face Legal Realities? ~by Legal Pub

Sooner or later entitlement and special treatment ends.  For some athletes it is sooner rather than later. Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey, two ex-Vanderbilt football players were accused of raping a female student.  The defense suggested that the defendant athletes were too drunk to rape the victim. A jury apparently saw through the defense and returned a conviction for each defendant.  

Was the jury correct when they rejected a defense which claimed that the accused were only acting in conformity with a college culture which promotes binge drinking and promiscuous sex? The jury returned its verdict after only three hours of deliberation.  It is probably two hours and fifty five minutes longer than what most juries would have deliberated under the circumstances.

In 2013, the victim was a 21-year-old neuroscience and economic major.  She testified that she did not remember what happened other than waking up in a strange dorm room. However, the jury saw cell phone photos and video that Vandenburg apparently had sent during the events. Yet, despite witnesses seeing an unconscious woman partially clothed in the dorm hallway, no one called the police. 
Both defendants were convicted of four counts of aggravated rape, one count of attempted rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery.  Both defendants were tried together. Attorneys for Vandenburg argued that Brandon did not assault the victim.  However, Vandenburg was apparently recorded on video laughing and encouraging others. Batey's attorneys argued that the photos and video did not show show Cory assaulting the victim. Both defendants lawyers argued that their clients were too drunk to know what the were doing and that the college culture of binge drinking and promiscuous sex was to blame. 

The prosecutor, Deputy District Attorney Tom Thurman suggested that the defendants excuses were red herrings and that athletes think that the law doesn't apply to them. "That's the culture that you really saw here . their mindset that they can get away with anything," Thurman said. Both defendants will be sentenced in March.  

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

And I Always Thought I Have to Wash My Hair Was An Excuse To Avoid A Date ~by Shell

29 year-old Ann-Marie Gray said no to a man but it just didn't work.  Consequently, Ms. Gray felt like she needed to do more.  So, in order to dodge unwanted advances, the British woman faked her own death.  What a way to avoid a date.  Mirror 
29-year-old Ann-Marie Gray went on a few dates with a man she met on a dating cite. After she decided it was not a love connection, she tried to cancel the next date.  The suitor persisted and messaged that he was on his way over. Ms. Gray messaged back: "Hi there. This is Ann-Marie's sister. I am really sorry to tell you but she was taken into the hospital last night with a very serious illness, so she won't be available for a while. Sorry about that. If or when she comes around and is feeling better, I will get her to message you."
But the gentleman caller did not give up.  He tried to visit her at the  hospital which prompted the following message from Ms. Gray, "I am really sorry to tell you but we lost her last night."
Some guy's are clueless.  The gentleman caller apparently did not get it until he saw Ms. Gray posting on the dating website a few months later. Quite frankly, I am surprised that the jerk did not ask the "imaginary sister" to meet him for coffee.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Terrorism on the Keyboard? -by Legal Pub

It is clearly a different world.  Power may no longer mean who has the most guns.  Technology may now be a better indication of one's standing in the world.  Even terrorist groups seem to grasp the importance of technology.  To further illustrate the point, hackers apparently temporarily took control of the U.S. Department of Defense Central Command Twitter and You Tube page. The cyber hackers claim to be associated with the Islamic State known as ISIS.  More specifically, "Cyber Caliphate" took over the @CENTCOM Twitter account for around a half hour. For a short period of time, the CENTCOM YouTube page  displayed ISIS propaganda videos according to NBC News.

"AMERICAN SOLDIERS, WE ARE COMING, WATCH YOUR BACK, ISIS," was a message displayed by insurgents. In a tweet, hackers warned:
"...We broke into your networks and personal devices and know everything about you.  You'll se no mercy infidels.  ISIS is already here, we are in your PCs, in each military base.  With Allah's permission we are in CENTCOM now.  We won't stop! We know everything about you, your wives and children..."

Another tweet published allegedly internal documents outlining multiple military scenarios involving China and the Korean peninsula. The most ironic part is that the hacking was occurring while President Obama spoke about the need for more rigid online security. Business InsiderHuffington Post.

 "CyberCaliphate" has in the past taken credit for hacking a Maryland television station and the Albuquerque Journal newspaper. The DoD website was also running very slow after the hacking started.  It is unclear why; however, power is knowledge and right now the good guys don't know.