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Monday, January 21, 2013

A President's Shame: Aaron Swartz Commits Suicide And Don Siegelman Is In Prison On Obama's Watch

Aaron Swartz

We mark the birthday of civil-rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. today, along with the re-inauguration of President Barack Obama. Sadly, the recent suicide of cyberactivist Aaron Swartz hangs over both events, a grim reminder that the justice for which King fought has been allowed to veer badly off track by our nation's first black president.

To be sure, Obama inherited a dysfunctional justice department from George W. Bush, one marked by historic abuses of prosecutorial powers. But Obama has done precious little to clean up the mess, and now the Aaron Swartz tragedy rests at his doorstep.

The death of Swartz, at age 26, makes you sad upon first reading about it. As you begin to learn more about the circumstances behind his suicide, you become angry. As you realize how much he had to offer, and how easily his death could have been avoided, you begin to seethe. I'm past seething to the point of wanting to see Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz and her assistant thugs run over by a bus.

Why the visceral reaction on my part? Perhaps it's because, as a resident of Alabama, I became intimately familiar with bogus federal charges against our former Democratic governor, Don Siegelman, during the Bush years. That case has become known as perhaps the most notorious political prosecution in American history. The Swartz case was tinged with politics of a different sort; it seems to have had little to do with Swartz's politics, but Ortiz apparently saw the case as one that might advance her cause for higher office.

Instead, it might make her go down as one of the most loathed Democrats ever. An online petition calls for her ouster, and the U.S. House Oversight Committee has launched an investigation of her. In many ways, Ortiz seems like a cross between Leura Canary and Alice Martin, the Bush-era duo who went after Siegelman here in Alabama.

In fact, the Swartz case raises all sorts of ugly reminders about the Siegelman debacle. Let's take a look at a few of them:

* Both Swartz and Siegelman faced financial ruination--We don't know for sure how much Siegelman was forced to spend on his legal defense, but it almost certainly ranged well into the seven figures. Sources tell Legal Schnauzer that the former governor's second defense lawyer, Haskell Slaughter's G. Douglas Jones, charged him $300,000--and Jones did not even take the case to trial.

Swartz also was looking at being financially destroyed. A Boston Globe article quotes John Summers, a friend of Swartz and the editor of The Baffler magazine:

Swartz never profited from the material he downloaded, was “financially ruined’’ by the federal case, and still needed $100,000 for his defense, said Summers. 
“He was looking at entering federal prison and being branded a felon, which would change his life for doing something that is at best the equivalent of trespassing,” he said.

* Neither Swartz nor Siegelman sought to benefit financially--It long has been established that Don Siegelman did not benefit financially from the transaction that landed him in federal prison. The contribution went to a campaign to establish an education lottery in Alabama.

Even Carmen Ortiz, in a statement after Swartz's death, acknowledged that he did not seek to experience financial gain:

On Wednesday night, the U.S. Attorney's office in Massachusetts broke its silence over the Swartz case. A statement from U.S. Atty. Carmen M. Ortiz extended "heartfelt sympathy" to Swartz's family and supporters but held firm on the office's stance that Swartz should serve at least six months in prison. Her prosecutors handling the case, she said, had acted "reasonably." 
"The prosecutors recognized that there was no evidence against Mr. Swartz indicating that he committed his acts for personal financial gain, and they recognized that his conduct -- while a violation of the law -- did not warrant the severe punishments authorized by Congress and called for by the sentencing guidelines in appropriate cases," Ortiz said in the statement.

* Both Swartz and Siegelman were targeted for actions that many legal experts do not consider crimes--In the Siegelman case, he was charged with federal-funds bribery under a statute that is virtually indecipherable. In the context of a campaign contribution, as in the Siegelman case, one has to look to case law to have any grasp of the fine line between an illegal "quid pro quo" and standard political activity. More than 100 former state attorneys general have stated that the alleged actions in the Siegelman case did not constitute a crime.

Don Siegelman
Similar confusion exists in the Swartz case, where he was alleged to have entered a closet at MIT to download academic articles that were offered for a charge at the online site JSTOR. Swartz felt the articles, which had been written based on publicly funded research, should be free to the public. As John Summers noted above, this might have been, at most, an act of criminal trespass--and that is a state violation and not even a misdemeanor in many jurisdictions. So why was this treated as a federal crime?

Writing at The Atlantic, Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig said any wrongdoing on Swartz's part amounted to violation of a terms of service agreement:

Aaron's alleged "crime" was that he used MIT's network to access a database of academic journal articles (JSTOR) and download millions of those articles to his laptop computer. He didn't "hack" the network to secure those downloads: MIT is a famously open network. He didn't crack any special password system to get behind JSTOR's digital walls. He simply figured out how JSTOR was filing the articles that he wanted, and wrote a simple script to quickly gather those articles and then copy them to his machine.

Perhaps Swartz violated his contract with JSTOR, Lessig writes, but that normally does not lead to felony charges under American law:

The "terms of service" (TOS) of any website are basically a contract. They constitute an agreement about what you can and can't do, and what the provider can and can't do. Not everything on a website is governed by contract alone: Copyright and privacy law can impose property-like obligations independent of a TOS. But the rules Aaron were said to have violated purported to limit the amount of JSTOR that any user was permitted to download. They were rules of contract. Aaron exceeded those limits, the government charged. He therefore breached the implied contract he had with JSTOR. And therefore, the government insists, he was a felon. 
It's that last step that is so odd within the tradition of American law. Contracts are important. Their breach must be remedied. But American law does not typically make the breach of a contract a felony. Instead, contract law typically requires the complaining party to prove that it was actually harmed. No harm, no foul. And in this case, JSTOR -- the only plausible entity "harmed" by Aaron's acts -- pled "no foul." JSTOR did not want Swartz prosecuted. It settled any possible civil claims against Swartz with the simple promise that he return what he had downloaded. Swartz did. JSTOR went away.

The Obama Justice Department, however, would not go away. It insisted that Swartz be punished with prison time, a guilty plea to a felony, and a bankrupting fine--or he would have to prove his innocence in a bankrupting trial. Writes Lessig:

We have built a system of criminal law that depends upon our trusting the government. Few civil libertarians from either the right or the left, though, will be surprised that it turns out that the bureaucrats manning the battle stations cannot be trusted.

It seems clear that we cannot trust individual prosecutors to exercise their discretion in a reasonable fashion. It also seems clear that we cannot trust Main Justice to exercise oversight over the rogues in its ranks. Tim Wu, of The New Yorker, makes that point in a piece titled "How the Legal System failed Aaron-Swartz--and Us."

Yes, most of the time prosecutors do chase actual wrongdoers, but today our criminal laws are so expansive that most people of any vigor and spirit can be found to violate them in some way. Basically, under American law, anyone interesting is a felon. The prosecutors, not the law, decide who deserves punishment.

43 comments:

Coyote Lane said...

Roger, I'm also "seething" about Aaron, 26, genius, and with the gene of altruism at that young.

I am to the point of wanting every "government employee" on the FEDERAL CREDIT WELFARE in the United States to be doing a little time to learn how it feels to be powerless. Ankle bracelets, handcuffs, whatever demeans these freaks of nature to a level of getting understanding.

That is, ALL who and whom have been Jack Boot Nazis, in this time of George's faux Terror War and handing the poly addict's agenda over to the poly addicted "Obama" who is NOT who we were sold to BE-LIE-VE HOPE springs eternal.

Governor to be of the State where the first BAR was set-up TO MAKE CERTAIN ALL U.S. OF A. CITIZENS' HAVE ACCESS TO OUR COURTS!

The ICLEI and Agenda 21 "Green Nazis," what they were called in Montana, 2001!

America is going to suffer austerity until through 2014. Why is the question?

Because Tim Geithner who pays the Gov. wanna be in Massachusetts Carmen Ortiz, to bring down her own country. She is truly the epitome of moron US Attorney.

Your writing here, my. I do believe you just keep outdoing yourself, Mr. Journalist at the top of human consciousness.

Thank you so much.

I can't stop crying about how horrible this country has become in its GREEN AGENDA 21. Which is why Aaron was considered a threat. He did not comply with a one world government that uses We People as nothing but a disposable commodity to get rid of once the sucking sound of our bone marrow gets done.

Anonymous said...

"... The Internet community clashed over what happened, with some asking why “it’s okay for Kanye West to diss George Bush, but it’s wrong for Lupe Fiasco to question Obama war policies....”

"... This was not the first time that the US leader has come under fire from the rapper. In 2011, Lupe Fiasco called Obama – and “the United States of America” – “terrorists.”

"... #FiascoGate: US rapper pulled off stage over inauguration anti-Obama rant ....

"... American rapper Lupe Fiasco was thrown off stage by security guards as he performed a 40-minute anti-Obama song during a pre-inauguration event at a Washington, DC, concert hall Sunday night....

­"... “Lupe Fiasco just got thrown off stage here at the Hamilton Live after he went on an anti-Obama diatribe mid set,” Josh Rogin, a reporter with Foreign Policy magazine, posted on Twitter.

"... During the concert, the singer played a lengthy anti-war song and told the audience he didn’t vote for Barack Obama, according to witnesses. When he was told to move on to the next song, he refused, and “a team of security guards came on stage and told him to go.”

see RT for entire story

Anonymous said...

Sad story! I believe this should be looked at as a wrongful death. Suicide under duress!

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 9:40--

I agree with you. Prosecutorial immunity will be a challenge for any legal claim, but I hope the family looks into all possibilities.

Anonymous said...

Profound stuff, LS. Thanks.

legalschnauzer said...

Coyote:

Love your phrase--"the gene of altruism."

That gene is becoming a rarity.

Sharon said...

As a Dem, I wanted this to be a feel good day. But your post sobered me up real fast.

TLR said...

I hadn't thought about the similarities between Swartz and Siegelman, but they are undeniably there. You've written a lot of good posts lately, but this is one of your best.

Anonymous said...

Looks like they declared this kid a national security risk. Once that happens the bullseye is cemented to the forehead.

Zachery d Taylor said...

As far as I can tell the worst thing Aaron Swartz may have done is to commit a "thought crime." Our current copyright and intellectual property laws are a disaster for the education system and they're designed to make educational material "property" that can be controlled by the elites that can ensure that only those that can afford outrageously high tuition rates jacked up by copyright laws and other tactics can afford to obtain the education they need to participate in society.

As I have put it previously "Copyright violators are thought criminals"

http://open.salon.com/blog/zacherydtaylor/2011/01/26/copyright_violators_are_thought_criminals

We can do much better if we at least try to find a way to create grants for those that do research for many projects that benefit all people. It costs much more to restrict access to educational material in the computer age than it does to allow it to spread freely. This system is unjustifiable if we look at it from scratch. It is only the commitment to "traditional" laws that make some people think this is justifiable combined with the possibility that they may be blinding themselves to inconvenient problems and alternative solutions.

Anonymous said...

I believe today marks the day of the REAL agenda coming out if you will. The true face of this man will now be shown and we have been warned. There will be many more sad stories like this in the days, months, and years to come. Tragic

Bo said...

What an incredible line this is . . .


"Basically, under American law, anyone interesting is a felon."

Great piece by Timothy Wu. Thanks for the link.

Spasmoda said...

Bo--

Thanks for pointing that out. Siegelman's crime was "being interesting." If he had sat on his ass and done nothing, like current guv Robert Bentley, he would have been fine.

Anonymous said...

Would Aaron Swartz still be alive if Congress or Eric Holder had done something about the Siegelman case?

jeffrey spruill said...

Is it at all possible to equate Carmen Ortiz with Leura Garrett Canary?

Both seem to share a "C'est la vie" attitude towards prosecutions.

Anonymous said...

@ Zachary

I admire your wishes of betterment. However, seeing The voucher/ grant system is a huge root of our present corruption disasters, I must say that would only further the problems, corruption and NWO agenda! Government grants come with arbitrary intent and ease of benefitting corrupt psychopaths. Our country is currently entrenched in the grant/ voucher system and it's what is causing the corruption in our legal system. Especially family court! Follow the money trail and start at the top. It's truly amazing and criminal!

Coyote Lane said...

Thanks LS for the compliment. Wish I could take credit, but it was William Greider ["Secrets of the Temple"] who sent autographed books of his to me for an original drawing by Donald P. Wilson.

He said, in essence, that "the gene of altruism," had been lost in America in a majority and we must get back to restoring this "gene" to save ourselves.

That was early on in these times, before the real Shit hit. I can't help but wonder what Bill Greider is thinking - regarding the Don and Aaron assassinations of character and body-mind-spirit.

To shine a light on the corruption in the State of Oregon, here is the piece I have LONG been waiting to report about, I am no writer so I do the best I can in getting words to work. Not gifted like you are in the language arts.

"... A trial judge decided, in 1987, that the charge was not “proportional” to the crime, and the state appealed to the Court of Appeals which reversed. The state Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeals, so the case came back to Douglas County for trial. What followed was a 25-year saga of attempted, official homicide. The key players were the county prosecutor obsessed with McDonnell’s death, a sympathetic Supreme Court seemingly willing to undertake any sophistry or corruption of the law to assist in killing Mr. McDonnell and a series of state court trial judges who missed virtually no opportunity to circumvent their duties as trial judges in order that Mr. McDonnell be put to death...."

to be continued.

Anonymous said...

Obamacare is a voucher system! Nazis were doing the same things with society pre-Holocaust. The voucher system helped them gain power, enslave and murder millions! We are far more advanced than they were.

Coyote Lane said...

"... The voucher/ grant system is a huge root of our present corruption disasters, I must say that would only further the problems, corruption and NWO agenda! Government grants come with arbitrary intent and ease of benefitting corrupt psychopaths. Our country is currently entrenched in the grant/ voucher system and it's what is causing the corruption in our legal system. Especially family court! Follow the money trail and start at the top. It's truly amazing and criminal! ....

Yes, it is called FEDERAL SOCIAL CREDIT. This is the digital "money" we've been sold and the fearful are those that know and have continued to allow the FRAUD to continue.

JUDICIAL TOP LEVEL DECIDERS OF WHAT GOES ON, THREATENED TO INVOKE THE "FEDERAL SPENDING CLAUSE," should the current zionists not begin to slow down the psycho destruction of America and that was before the imposter in chief got totally insane.

Start with the Supreme Court.

Vested interests and the U.S. Constitution does not mention the "lawyer" word, Counsel is what each and every one of US is, "Appearing Special and not General," it is our birthright.

Until the money is transparent in the US we have WORSE THAN AFRICA'S APARTHEID. This has been stipulated more than once by more than just I, Coyote Lane!

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 10:42--

Thanks for making a great point. If Karl Rove, Leura Canary, Mark Fuller and others had been hauled off to prison where they belong . . . yes, I think Aaron Swartz still would be alive. Carmen Ortiz and other prosecutorial thugs would have thought twice before bringing weak, politically driven cases.

Anonymous said...

The Agenda is to eminent domain US, as Aaron proved.

He looks like an elf. His spirit, may he rest in peace, did all that any energy could in America, to show US the Nazi's agendas here in the aughts.

The Nazis came here and this is what we now get to understand, just how advanced they've gotten since WWII.

All Americans with brain cell synapses need to not consume. Once the consumption is stopped then there is no more verve for the zionist nazis to cannibalize.

Obama makes me puke. Bush made me also vomit. Both these addicts and certainly Nazis, are criminals of the worst insanity, worse than Hitler, Stalin, Attila The Hun.

Not bringing the criminally insane into checkmate has caused the U.S. of A. to degenerate to the point of perhaps there is no more room to change the behavior, IT has been institutionalized via "vouchers" that indeed were what was used in World Wars, ALL, to do what the "elite" do: rape, pillage, plunder, kill and name a vile evil act that Rollins' et al did not and do not commit.

Anonymous said...

I'm delighted at today's post LS and especially at the comments regarding the grants/ vouchers! THIS IS the cause of core rot!

MSM and many claim of frivolous federal spending but you never hear talk of what is purchased and spent on! The " War on Women" is very real, clear, present and extremely dangerous. War on Men and minorities came first. For some reason children are left out of metined categories and fit mostly into the War on Women! It should be called the War on Women AND CHILDREN!!! The battle has long begun brewing for the imminent War on the Elderly! By 2014 and implementation of Obamacare, it will be in full swing! I'm quite pissed that they will soon be trying to murder my parents and grandparents!

For now, we have a chance to make our voices heard by contacting our legislatures, reps and Senators about stopping this murderous spending rampage. The House Ways and Means committee will be meeting in March to decide whether or not to continue funding various social programs that are proven to harm families. In fact, these programs are killing families and making corrupt politicians, judges, attornys, and nonprofits RICH! Children are being taken from loving homes and pimped out by our courts to abusers, pedofiles and foster care because of this grant/ voucher system! If a mother trying to protect her children they are certainly taken from her after she reports the abuse. The movie Sofie's Choice is a perfect depiction of this, we just aren't yet put in the lines for work seekers yet. It's happening by and through our courts. What these hubris filled thugs needs to understand when destroying lives is that it WON'T be tolerated for long and then once figured out, the people will have a very clear picture of who the enemy REALLY is!

Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood
Child Support Enforcement
TANF
Prisoner Re-entry
And the list goes on....

Are ALL programs that should be defunded in March!
So far this year even more money has been thrown into these programs. This must STOP one way or another! If the government won't stop it then the state and local officials should stop taking these federal grants and vouchers that simply amount to blood money and carnage!

Anonymous said...

I was involved for the defense as an expert witness in a case jinned up by the government against a colleague. Got a call from a Justice Dept. attorney trying to coerce me into not testifying on the defendant's behalf. At that point, I knew that justice in this country was a shell game.

Anonymous said...

I don't know which I like better, the story or comments! No doubt LS all props go to you.

Vouchers are definitely aiding in court case rigging! Bonnie and Sherri Rollins are certainly victims. Although this isn't the only way these cases are being rigged. There is a collective "loop" of money sources and players.

There are evidence in cases where wealthy millionaires and billionaires are lying about income and worth to receive judgements of minimal if any child support while giving attorneys and judges large amounts of bribes to give them a favorable outcome. This isn't isolated and is quite possibly as big a conspiracy as LIBOR! Possibly worse if you take into account that in a civilized society human life should be priceless!

Violent criminals are being recruited out of prison and relieved of harsh sentences so as to enter our court system upon release! They are being released and soon after gaining custody of children that they should not even be allowed to visit! In many cases those children are what landed their butts in prison in the first place due to pedofilia! Alabama's own Children's Trust Fund aka The Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention is one of the main evil doers! They are recruiting abusers, pedofiles and prisoner to the court system by pointing them in the direction of how to get the ball rolling.
Who should have fingers pointed at them? Far too many to mention but a good start is The Department of Health and Human Services! That female director Kathleen Sebelius could be the most psychotic female politician in history! Yes, women are aiding in waging these "wars" on our society!

Anonymous said...

Wow! I am very happy to be here at Legal Schnauzer, Roger Shuler, the people are not comment posters .. higher intelligence DO have our wits about us and can gather to co-create the perfect storm and must before we can't.

Storm against the murder of those of us who are "grandparents," I am that! And the children! WHITE MEN have been a target!

"... Since September 11th 2001, with the West re-oriented to seeking out and destroying 'terrorists' wherever they might be found (or imagined!), those minorities which have not already secured rights (and many who have) find themselves categorised as 'terrorists' by central governments....

http://www.pilibrary.com/articles1/Capitalism%20and%20its%20Colonies.htm

My "woman" story is about the Court in Oregon doing the best it had the power to do and OMG how long has the "Jew State" been at the Agenda 21? Since the Ford and Rockefeller criminals PROVIDED VOUCHERS [1960s] and what did these morons want to do? Of course, MANUFACTURE SOCIETY. What "society?" We are living the "reality" of how insane our country got to be.

VOUCHERS, call it DIGITAL DEBT CREDIT. The Wars and global colonizing has been via "vouchers" since Vienna.

Vienna was the first failed CAPITALIST STATE. Why? The House of Rothschild of course did what the "Wall Street" criminals did to US: Cut off the CREDIT.

Vouchers only for the worst. I actually had a man who was out of prison and hired by the new ELECTRICAL SMART fascist agenda ~ Nazi Green ~ tell me he was out of the "bucket" and there to make sure my power was never to be turned on again!

Also, a woman I know is a "Foster Parent" and is paid handsomely to take in children that provide a very substantial income: Two Thousand Dollars and more per month, while the "family of origin" get to rot in the hell of losing their children.

Thank you Roger.

Anonymous said...

Was this what was done to Aaron?

"... Britain’s Daily Mail, as another exception, wrote that research in electromagnetic weapons has been secretly carried out in the USA and Russia since the 1950’s and that „previous research has shown that low-frequency waves or beams can affect brain cells, alter psychological states and make it possible to transmit suggestions and commands directly into someone’s thought processes...

~ High doses of microwaves can damage the functioning of internal organs, control behaviour or even drive victims to suicide.”

http://www.globalresearch.ca/psychotronic-and-electromagnetic-weapons-remote-control-of-the-human-nervous-system/5319111

Anonymous said...

>>>Wait a minute, if these were “previously identified systemic weaknesses” and if JPMC “failed to adopt and implement a compliance program” that would shield the American financial system from a tsunami of drug-tainted cash annually washing through the economy, especially “in light of the customers’ cash activity and business type,” why then has OCC issued another toothless Consent Order rather than forcing the bank to comply with the law? Accordingly, federal regulators charge:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/banking-crisis-on-wall-street-wrist-slap-for-too-big-to-fail-or-jail-jpmorgan-chase/5319899

Anonymous said...


I could not resist commenting. Well written!

Redeye said...

Thanks for keeping it real Legal Schnauzer. Another "democrat" bites the dust.
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-57564746-504083/ray-nagin-former-new-orleans-mayor-indicted-on-21-corruption-charges/

Anonymous said...

"... Meanwhile, players such as JPMorgan are getting involved in the commodities market in a major way. Of all people, JPMorgan banker Blythe Masters, who became world-famous for the role she played in inventing the first credit derivatives, now heads the bank's global commodities division.

.. Things haven't changed much in the latest preferred sector of many investment bankers: At first, the banks only hedge against risks, but then they sell these risks and, to do so, they invent new and increasingly complex methods. Eventually, the volume they move around on the financial markets becomes so big that they acquire overwhelming influence. "If you ask me, this is the next scary thing," says one banker.

.. So is the system incapable of being reformed? Frankfurt personnel consultant Andreas Halin, who has been in the business for many years, answers the question with a telling comparison.

"... Money is like saltwater," he says. "The more you drink, the thirstier you get...."

Snakes and Ladders: Investment Banking on the Brink

http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/investment-banking-faces-massive-layoffs-and-identity-crisis-a-877710-2.html

Anonymous said...

Maybe instead of talking about it we should contact Dana and see what we can do to help her getting her father out of prison. You know we could be writing letters by the hundreds mailing them to the White House getting someone's attention. Do you not think in this world it is time we step up and do something instead of sitting back waiting on the person next to us to do something? Would you contact Dana and get an interview with her with information on what we can do to help?

Anonymous said...

Today Assistant US Attorneys are only interested in forcing people into pleading guilty to felonies so they can get promoted up the ladder. Very few are interested in justice. I knew a little bit about a case in B'ham and the AUSA was promoted to a judge after a drug case that was some what high profile. Some of the defendants had very little culpability but he would not let them plead to any thing less than a felony even though they got no jail time only probation. If they went to trial they were facing multiple felonies and a minimum of 5 years in imprisonment. he didn't give a damn about what was justice only the felonies to add to his record to prove he was a tough attorney.

Something is very wrong with our justice system today. I thought Oboma would clean out the Alabama "gang" but to my horror he left them in office.

jeffrey spruill said...

Anon@7:00 PM

Tell me about it!

MacBride has been making the rounds with media throughout the district, and some local and federal officials and Beltway insiders say this suggests he is setting himself up for a higher position in the Obama administration.

http://hamptonroads.com/2012/12/us-attorney-raises-his-profile-ambitious-cases

Anonymous said...

Completely agree with all about the voucher/ grant system! How do the overthrowers justify these atrocious crimes? DEFICIT REDUCTION! It's all in the name of deficit reduction and/or recovery and it's complete BS! Destroy the society and you own the people. Scumbags or rather "pus bags" in DC

jeffrey spruill said...

And the feds are nothing but bumbling idiotic criminals.

Just look at this guys face. He has no idea what's happening. Just waiting to pick up his paycheck:

http://hamptonroads.com/node/189481

Zachery d Taylor said...

Anon at 10:44 1/21 there certainly needs to be some review of a new system and consideration of potential problems but there are as many if not more problems with the current system and the mass media isn't even considering alternatives.

The truth of the matter is that the current copyright system does more to protect the publishers and copyright attorneys than it does to protect the authors that it was intended to protect. It is already a grant system or something similar and copyrights that were supposed to retire long ago have been renewed without justification. There are also projects that are already financed by the government and then after the grant is already paid for they often give them the copyrights on top of that so the government is subsidizing this work. One of the examples of that that I cited is the work of Philip Zimbardo and Stanley Milgream who both studied how to manipulate members of the public then they used copyright laws to partially control research that was financed by the government and then used to manipulate the public in several ways.

This is beyond outrage.

One example of ways to overcome this was presented by the Baker Brothers and cited by Robert MCChesney and John Nichols in a couple of their books. It involves a check off in the tax returns that would enable individuals to chose which project their taxes would go to so that the public would be choosing where the grants go or at least they would have some say.

This would mean that if I liked Susan Linn's book "Consuming Kids" I could check it and when enough people follow up the copyrights would be paid for and it would enter the public domain and Susan Linn would be paid for the good work that she did and it would receive wider distribution. If you chose something else to support that would be your prerogative.

Anonymous said...

Zachary,

You are entitled to your opinion and we can agree to disagree I suppose. I think your idea would be better served by the private sector raising money. Great excuse for a gala!

I'm sure you've been told before that nothing in life is free. Government grant are no exception. That money comes with strings and stipulations. If its intended for a good cause, it certainly won't end up that way!

Take a look at this. This is what our tax dollars and government grant money is used for;

"EDUCATION TED Meet the fathers and daughters who danced the night away in prison Posted by: Kate Torgovnick January 14, 2013 at 12:39 pm"
blog.ted.com/page2/

As sad as it is that these children have fathers in prison and these idiot dads chose to screw up their kids by commiting crimes does not justify placing them in a prison enviornment and indoctrinating them with dangerous values and principals. To glorify this is shameful and destructive to to their future! This is of absolutely no benefit to the daughters and every bit so to the thugs sponsoring this event and the criminals it serves.

Zachery d Taylor said...

Anon at 2:59, 12/22 thanks for pointing out this page.

http://blog.ted.com/2013/01/14/meet-the-fathers-and-daughters-who-danced-the-night-away-in-prison/

I'm not sure I agree with your conclusions though. In the short term I think this is probably a great idea; in the long term it would be better to adress the long term casues of crime so that these fathers would ahve better opportunities to participate in society and they wouldn't wind up in jail in the first place.

This isn't simple and it would involve acknowledging inconvenient facts that those in power routinely ignore or even supress. One of the leading causes of crime and violence regardless of the circumstances of these parents is violence at an early age starting with child abuse which leads to bullying and additional violence later in life. this could concievably be part of a program that would reduce this; although there are other edcuational effortst that could do much more and they should be done as well.

Another problem is the lack of economic opportunities that many people ahve in this unfair and corrupt economic system especially for minorities. Adressing this would involve challenging the oligarchies and the political parties that enable the elites to supress real participation from the majority in this so-called democracy.

Anonymous said...

Zachary,
You miss the point. This shouldn't be about the offenders in this circumstance. It should be about those girls! This was and is a BAD idea. Considering that our system now is indoctrinating what was bad is now good and what was good is now bad it is no wonder that you say this is good. That's what we are now suppose to think and our corrupt system wants us to think so that they can further their NWO agenda!

These kids will grow to think that bad behavior is accepted and will become the like or marry it! This subject has been researched thoroughly and there was a time when laws were considered on state and local levels banning children over 3 from visiting prisons. Obviously no longer.

It's telling to hear the organizer of this event say she didn't think anyone was "crazy" enough to allow such an event and along comes that crazy guy ie the sheriff. One of the cases mentioned was only doing 90 days. Is that too long to go without seeing your father in a prison setting? It obviously wasn't for Bonnie Calahane's children! If you know an adult who as a child visited a relative in prison, ask their opinion or rather do a character analysis on them. There are phones in prison!

Making criminals think that they get lax treatment because they are s parent sends a bad message and would make any criminal fall head over heels in love with that child but what about that " love" when they get out? Word travels fast amongst criminals and this gives incentive to plant the seed prior to going in. The criminals are in there because of free will one way or another. The children are in there because adults are being poor care givers and lack prudent decision making skills!

Anonymous said...

Zachary,
HHS gives responsible fatherhood grants for "mentoring children of prisoners" and " mentoring prisoners". The participating planners of this stupid event were undoubtedly grant recipients!

Zachery d Taylor said...

I agree that it should be about the best interest of those girls and if this isn't in the best interest of those girls then it shouldn't be done. However what is to happen with those girls if they're not rehabilitated with their fathers? Are there enough guardians to take care of them? I doubt it and even if there were many of them already have relations with their fathers and if they're positive they should be maintained.

I can't comment on specific cases with the information available to me but I have no doubt that in many cases if these fathers can get the appropriate rehabilitation, assuming that it is necessary and they have reasonable opportunities they can turn their lives around and help raise their children. Something needs to be done to break the cycle of poverty and assuming that it is a lost cause won't work.

This has been researched, as you say but not all the research has taken everything into consideration. In the seventies there were many more of these efforts; perhaps on too large a scale for them to handle with the knowledge they had then. Many of them failed, no doubt. If they cut back and sorted through the good efforts, keeping them and slowly increasing them as they could teach people how to do them properly and eliminating the bad programs we would be much better off today.

Instead they demonized all of them and came up with across the board cuts every where, well almost every where. Fortunately some of them were maintained and some of these succeeded. If they can be reviewed and the best of them can be expanded slowly, if necessary, to ensure that they're being done right then as big difference can be made to resolve many of these problems.

Besides what about the bad behavior of the most powerful people in society? In many cases we routinely look the other way at many of those while we hold those without many if any resources to the strictest standards when they have no chance of doing well without completely conforming to ideology that looks the other way at the problems of the elites.

Those with the most power may not want to look at their own faults and recognize the fact that they're often doing much worse than these people without resources but those without the resources have no choice and they see right through this. they know there is a double standard even if the most powerful decide to deny inconvenient facts.

Not that I'm saying their crimes were justified; although in many cases they just might have been held for unreasonable causes; but they may know if they're not going to have a chance anyway.

Right now our country is being looted by oligarchies who are devastating the environment among other things and we're supposed to worry more about holding those accountable that aren't in a position to turn things around anyway while ignoring that?

Not all of us agree.

Anonymous said...

Zachary,
I must say I'm somewhat taken aback by this last comment. You speak of holding elite accountable for their actions and appear to be looking at a macro picture of problems. If you so disagree with with corruption then why defend their decisions to intentionally endanger children by implementing programs such as these? If you want to rehab criminals (mind you some may be innocent) then why must children be used to do so? Its simply stupid. Why endanger a child's future for a craps throw of the dice? Are the guilty criminals worth that? Not all can be rehabilitated. Do you think child abusers and pedofiles can be rehabilitated? They cannot! These programs are aiding such offenders! You seem more concerned with helping the criminals than the children effected by them. No where did it say these kids did not have proper care givers! Yet you opined on that! I must say I have to wonder what your true agenda is!

Anonymous said...

The mothers that allowed it probably grew up with their fathers in prison. Which is probably why these little girls ended up with dads who are in prison. And the cycle continues!