Saturday, July 7, 2007


YouTube now hosts a video of prison guards stuck outside a Massachusetts maximum security prison cell as inmate John Druse murdered pedophile priest John Geoghan. Druse jammed the cell door closed with a paperback book. Cell not designed well? Guards not really trying their hardest to enter (Father Geoghan probably not winning any popularity contests with guards or inmates)? As Good As News suspects the paperback in question was a real page turner, the guard leading the charge just couldn't put it down.

Universal Music Group (a subdivision of a subunit of conglomerate Vivendi) and Apple are in a stand-off on terms for Apple's license of music released by Universal. Universal a music giant (one-third of US new releases) but Apple is already third largest distributor. iMagine, Apple is already hot on Walmart's heels at the top of the music distribution business and the iPhone has just begun. My favorite story here is Vivendi - twenty years ago a French utility with a boring water business, but now the Vivendi execs are living large. Sure, water is today's hottest commodity and music is a nightmare business as artists get paid while customers download for free, but that is the shareholder's problem. Vivendi execs roll down limo window and shout, "you chase Walmart, Mr. Jobs, we're late for the party with Shakira".

Sixth Circuit panel dismisses no warrant wire-tap challenge on grounds that plaintiffs did not have standing- not allowed to pursue their claims because they could not show they were harmed in any specific way by NSA taps without warrants. Standing argument generally makes sense here, but in a secret wiretap case you may never know you lost a job, a chance to get a new job, a security clearance - all because of something NSA misunderstood when you were calling your great uncle Babaganoush in Lebanon. (Kudos to anyone who remembered Danny Thomas show.) How can you sue for damages caused by a secret wiretap when you never find out about the secret wiretap? Cheney-Rove-W regime will probably not be able to hide behind standing Catch 22 forever as a wiretap case is being heard in a different circuit. The CRW crew will be long gone by the time this reaches the Supreme Court. The conservative coalition CRW will leave behind on the high court may not warm to no warrant taps. Civil liberties, this Court says ho hum, but Executive branch slighting the Judiciary by going warrantless - might draw a rap on the knuckles from J. Scalia and company.

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