18 June, 2008

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Before we get to the blood and the bone, a follow-up on my post regarding the AP's inane ideas about how fair use works. I didn't think they'd descend into outrageous stupidity, but they did:

The AP's disharmony with bloggers may have only just begun, as the alternative it's now offering to being served with takedown notices involves paying an up-front sum for excerpting online articles -- as few as five words.

A meeting between the Associated Press' Vice President for Strategic Planning Jim Kennedy and Robert Cox, who heads the Media Bloggers Association, is now planned for Thursday of this week. The subject at hand is the AP's attempt to find a new way of sharing AP content, which now involves a fee per excerpt based on its word length.

Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake echoes your cantinero in saying, "12.50 For Five Words? 'Bite Me' Indeed, AP." I, myself, am still recovering from the fact that I read a Michelle Malkin post and didn't have to reach for an airsick bag once. I even agree with that insane bitch in this one instance. And I hope she gets the $132,135 the AP now owes her for their use of her own work.

But I think my favorite of all is the sharp middle finger Markos over at Daily Kos is shoving in their eye:

Lots of blogs are calling for boycotts of AP content. Not me. I'm going to keep using it. I will copy and paste as many words as I feel necessary to make my points and that I feel are within bounds of copyright law (and remember, I've got a JD and specialized in media law, so I know the rules pretty well). And I will keep doing so if I get an AP takedown notice (which I will make a big public show of ignoring). And then, either the AP -- an organization famous for taking its members work without credit -- will either back down and shut the hell up, or we'll have a judge resolve the easiest question of law in the history of copyright jurisprudence.

The AP doesn't get to negotiate copyright law. But now, perhaps, they'll threaten someone who can afford to fight back, instead of cowardly going after small bloggers.

Tell 'em, Kos!

Look for me to be quoting extensively from an AP article in the very near future. I could use the publicity.

In other news from people who don't understand how the law works, Carpetbagger reports that MSNBC's political blog posed a question by ultra-moron Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard: "Would bin Laden get habeas rights?" The Anonymous Liberal answers: duh-huh.

First, of course Bin Laden would get habeas rights if he were held at Guantanamo. Since when do rights vary based on your name? But more importantly, why should anyone find it troubling that Osama would have such a right? If he sought to petition a court, it would result in the easiest and most predictable judicial decision ever. Habeas corpus just means that you have the opportunity to challenge the lawfulness of your detention. The evidence against Bin Laden is overwhelming. He would have the right to challenge his detention, but he would lose, quickly and decisively.

But beyond that obvious point, there's a deeper ignorance at work here. Embedded in Hayes question is the bizarre and completely unamerican notion that your legal rights should somehow depend on how "bad" a person you are. The more serious the crimes for which you stand accused, the less rights you should have under the law. But that's quite obviously not how any system of rights is supposed to operate. Hayes' question is like asking whether a serial killer has the right to counsel or the right to a jury trial. Of course he does. The whole point of due process is to determine whether someone is guilty. It's the punishment that is supposed to vary depending on the seriousness of the crime, not the process.

And that's what I used to love the most about this country: at one time, we tried to make sure they laws applied equally to everybody, no matter how popular or unpopular the people in question were. But our nation's fucktarded far right just can't wrap their heads around the idea that laws aren't supposed to play favorites. They're in good company with the AP, here, thinking they can define the law to mean what they want it to mean. Maybe the AP's just come under the influence of the Bush Regime, which has repeatedly demonstrated a propensity for making up interpretations of the law as they go along.

We come now to the shining example of just how outrageous, how immoral and evil, these people are, and how they believe the law is theirs to break into any shape they wish:

For those still concerned about U.S. torture policy, yesterday was not an encouraging day.

A senior CIA lawyer advised Pentagon officials about the
use of harsh interrogation techniques on detainees at Guantanamo Bay in a meeting in late 2002, defending waterboarding and other methods as permissible despite U.S. and international laws banning torture, according to documents released yesterday by congressional

Torture “is basically subject to perception,” CIA counterterrorism lawyer Jonathan Fredman told a group of military and intelligence officials gathered at the U.S.-run detention camp in Cuba on Oct. 2, 2002, according to minutes of the meeting. “If the detainee dies, you’re doing it wrong.” [emphasis added]

Mr. Fredman. You just turned the torture and murder of a human being into an LOL caption. That is how fucking sick and depraved this country's political leaders and their eager lackeys have become.

"If the detainee dies, you're doing it wrong."

Well, you did it wrong, then, didn't you?

At today’s House Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil Rights hearing on torture, Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell, told Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) that over 100 detainees have died in U.S. custody, with up to 27 of these declared homicides:

NADLER: Your testimony said 100 detainees have died in
detention; do you believe the 25 of those were in effect murdered?

WILKERSON: Mr. Chairman, I think the number’s actually higher than that now. Last time I checked it was 108.

Like Carpetbagger said: "I liked it so much more when we were the good guys."


Blake Stacey said...

I think you'll appreciate this. Call it a walk down Nostalgia Lane.

Efrique said...

Kos link is fubar.

george.w said...

AP gets no right of Habeas Corpus hearing in the court of reality; they're making themselves pariahs, no appeal.

Timothy McVeigh had the right to a Habeas Corpus hearing though. The willful misunderstanding of rights, or even worse the notion that someone forfeits a right because the crime of which they are accused is monstrous, is one short step from the assumption of guilt. Until recently our country was one of the few that presumed innocence.