Federal Communications Commission: In the Matter of Complaints Against Various Television Licensees Concerning Their February 25, 2003 Broadcast of the Program “NYPD Blue”. Although ABC argues, without citing any authority, that the buttocks are not a sexual organ, we reject this argument, which runs counter to both case law and common sense.
ABC should have cited Wikipedia, the preeminent authority on the Internet. 😉 Wikipedia lists the 10 anatomical parts in female mammals that are involved in sexual reproduction and constitute the reproductive system. As expected, the buttocks aren’t one of them.
However, we all know that occasionally Wikipedia is wrong. I’m not sure that this is one of those times though.
Although Congress is extremely busy working on the “growth package” to stimulate the moribund economy, maybe it can impanel a blue-ribbon committee to investigate whether the human buttocks are sexual organs. Because, if the buttocks have a reproductive function, America deserves to know. Seriously, there are potential Constitutional implications if couples can reproduce through butt sex, as the FCC contends.
Today, the U.S. Courts announced free public access to federal court records (via PACER). I headed straight to the press release to soak in all the details as I imagined accessing all the wonderful legal briefs hidden behind PACER’s pay wall.
However, before you head to the PACER website, you should know that free access is only available in 14 states. No problem, right? No. Within these 14 states, you only have free access if you visit one of the 16 libraries participating in this project. Gulp. Free is looking a lot less free by the second. Damn. Only the feds could craft such a devilish plan to offer free access to an internet resource from designated bricks-and-mortar locations.
This is where living in California, the most populous state in the nation pays dividends, or so I thought. I quickly saw that two of the libraries were located in California: the San Bernardino County Law Library and Sacramento County Public Law Library.
Not Los Angeles. Not San Diego. Not San Jose. Not San Francisco. Not Long Beach. Not even Fresno! Who made this decision? Was it out of spite? They picked two locations in the Great State of California where people do NOT live.
In New York, free PACER is only available at one location: Fordham Law School. But, It’s in New York City. I guess Cheektowaga and White Plains didn’t want to participate. 🙄
Los Angeles Times: Democrats Calculate Risk on Tax Hikes. More than two decades after presidential candidate Walter F. Mondale called for tax increases — and lost the White House in a landslide — the Democratic Party is on the verge of a major political gamble: Some of its leading members are proposing an array of tax hikes on wealthier Americans.
Happy Halloween. The Democratic Party showed up at my door dressed as Britney Spears. Seriously, can you act any more self-destructive than running on tax hikes? Despite the overwhelming unpopularity of the Quagmire in Iraq, the Republicans just may pull off another four more years in the White House at this rate. The problem confronting the Democrats is a clash between traditional perceptions and modern-day realities. As The Wealth Report has pointed out, Americans who have reached the traditional measures of wealth don’t feel wealthy. The sad fact is that millionaires are middle-class in many parts of American nowadays.
Households earning $200,000 or $250,000 aren’t wealthy in California, New York or other high-cost states. In fact, a husband and wife each earning $100,000-$125,000 a year in Silicon Valley may only be mid-level employees. Not management. Not wealthy. Just another middle-class, working family that the Democrats have decided to attack. Go Britney!
Fox News: Iran Sanctions, Bush Administration Rhetoric Worries Lawmakers. The Bush administration ratcheted up pressure on Tehran last week with new sanctions on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps — labeled a terrorist group by the U.S. Senate — but several lawmakers are wondering whether the latest step is a move closer to military action.
Who doesn’t love anniversaries? Next Sunday, November 4th, will mark the 28th anniversary of takeover of the American embassy in Tehran by those Iranians. To commemorate the event, Condoleezza Rice announced yet another sanction, this time targeting the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. Brilliant! After 28 years of extremely poor relations, I would think that (1) we are running out of people to sanction in Iran, and (2) any additional sanction will only prove to be yet another meaningless gesture by now. Count me among the unimpressed. If you believe some in our country, the real way to trigger the downfall of civilization in a country is by offering free, uncensored access to the Internet combined with unlimited access to gambling, pornography and MP3s websites. Since nothing else seems to work, maybe we should test this out on the Iranians. Oh, and don’t forget to shower them with RU-486 and condoms.
New York Times: A Medical Publisher’s Unusual Prescription: Online Ads. Reed Elsevier, which publishes more than 400 medical and scientific journals, . . . introduced a Web portal, www.OncologySTAT.com, that gives doctors free access to the latest articles from 100 of its own pricey medical journals and  plans to sell advertisements against the content.
As we all know, Reed Elsevier also happens to own Lexis-Nexis, a subscription-based legal research tool that many attorneys use. I think that these companies are starting to realize that more people are doing their own research online, and not necessarily through subscription-based websites. And, while they can squeeze a good handful of dollars from medical and legal professionals, they may be able to make even more money from these same professionals by opening up their resources to the general public.
Some people worship God, while others believe that Google is God. While Google’s ability to deliver relevant search results appear miraculous at times, Google can miss the mark. For the standard Google web search, I know that Google’s algorithm can be attacked by spammers and made to seem “off.” But, what’s up with Google Maps? Lately, I’m discovering that Google Maps isn’t as accurate as many would assume.Exhibit A: MarylandSo, when I searched for Maryland, why did Google Maps take me roughly 12 miles to the wrong side of the Maryland Virginia border? Was Virginia a victim of some weird gerrymandering scheme where a narrow 12-mile strip of land was ceded to Maryland? 😉 Surprisingly, Yahoo Maps knows where Maryland is, but no one thinks Yahoo is God.Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case. Google thinks Sunrise, FL is about 6 miles off the Florida west coast. But, Yahoo knows that Sunrise, FL is really off the Florida east coast.But, that’s not all. Google places Kensington, CA in San Diego, but Yahoo knows that Kensington, CA is north of Berkeley, CA. I thought that where a city or state was located should be pretty well established. Evidently, Google begs to differ.
Have you ever billed a client for watching videos on YouTube? If this sounds too preposterous, consider this blog post from David Swanner, a South Carolina personal injury lawyer. David Swanner reports that his client was waiting to turn left at an intersection when a car driving in the opposite direction spun-out and struck the client’s car. In this case, the collision was caught on video and posted on YouTube. You can find the videos as well as David Swanner’s write-up at his South Carolina Trial Law Blog.
We’ve added US Tax Court Opinions to our legal research collection. Give the Googlebot a few days to index the opinions and soon they’ll be searchable via Google.
Justia just released a beta version of their Federal District Court Filings & Docket search engine. Want to know why you should check it out?
- Free. It won’t cost you a dime, or a nickel or even a penny. It is free. No registration required. Nothing. It’s really free! But that’s not all…
- Fast. It is fast. Almost too fast, if that is even possible. Just like when Google returns relevant search results in fractions of a second that leaves you wondering whether it really searched through each and every web page in its database. Justia’s docket search is that fast. What about all the allegedly frivolous litigation clogging the courtrooms? Surely, it must take a few seconds to scan through all those records, right? Nope.
- Fun. Who knew lawsuits could be so much fun? Look up which companies are suing and which ones have been sued. Before, it would have cost you some pocket change to run the same searches on PACER. Now that the cost of searching is free, you can try out all those searches that previously weren’t worth paying for (or that you couldn’t bill to a client).
- Search by Type. Let’s say you’re interested in certain types of lawsuits, such as torts, real property or civil rights. Well, you can select from a list of 105 different types of lawsuits to view. How’s that for customization?
- RSS Feeds. Don’t want to return to the Justia site to run the same search each morning. Then, subscribe to an RSS feed. For example, you can grab a feed of all federal lawsuits involving Google.
Ordinarily, I would classify legal research advertising under the “things that aren’t funny” category. But, the Westlaw marketing folks put together an entertaining video on stress toy abuse. My favorite line was when they criticize “the clumsiness of free legal research sites” with “primitive search tools.” I would love to hear a response from Scott Kinney, the Vice President and General Manager of FindLaw, which claims to be the highest-trafficked legal Web site. When your parent company comes out with an ad slamming your product, look out below.