Monday, November 11, 2013

Enjoy the silence... and other updates

From Pendleton Street Arts District here in Greenville. Not sure what the wheel is about, or the sun nuts, but its art, so its okay.

More on my Flickr page.


As I sit here worrying over whether the entire upstate is being slowly poisoned with radioactivity, I've decided to post some links I've been mulling over.

The adoptive parents of Baby Veronica, not satisfied that they WON their big case, are now suing the Cherokee Nation for court fees. (Do you BELIEVE these people?) They are seeking a cool one million dollars:
NOWATA, Okla. — Attorneys for the adoptive parents of a 4-year-old girl caught up in a custody dispute are seeking $1 million in legal fees from the Cherokee Nation and the girl’s biological father, who is a member of the tribe.

Attorneys representing Matt and Melanie Capobianco have filed paperwork seeking the legal fees incurred while fighting the lengthy custody battle over 4-year-old Veronica.

In September, Dusten Brown handed Veronica over to the Capobiancos after the Oklahoma Supreme Court lifted an emergency stay keeping the girl in Oklahoma.

The Tulsa World reports attorneys for the Capobiancos are seeking $1 million to be split among four law firms. The newspaper reports none of the money would go to the Capobiancos.

Attorneys for Brown and the Cherokee Nation declined to comment on the filing.

Google has been ordered to block images in a privacy case. This may set a precedent, since as you know, ordinary people do not have the right to make Google do squat... but rich people (specifically Max Mosley) sure do! (Biographical note: Max is the son of Oswald Mosley, whom non-British rock fans mostly recognize as the subject of "Less Than Zero" by Elvis Costello.) According to the New York Times:
LONDON — A French court ruled Wednesday that Google must remove from its Internet search results all images of a former Formula One car racing chief at an orgy. The ruling in the privacy case could have ramifications for the tech giant’s operations across Europe.

Max Mosley, the former president of the International Automobile Federation, had filed the lawsuit in September to force Google to automatically filter from its search engine links to images from a British newspaper report in 2008 that included photos and a video of Mr. Mosley participating in a sadomasochistic sex party.

The former Formula One head successfully sued the News of the World in a London court for breach of privacy and was awarded £60,000, or about $96,000, in damages.

On Wednesday, the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Paris backed Mr. Mosley’s attempts to force Google to block references to the images from appearing in Google’s search results worldwide. The company said it would appeal the decision.

Mr. Mosley argued that French law makes it illegal to take and distribute images of an individual in a private space without that person’s permission. But Google said that would limit freedom of speech, forcing the company to block search results without any person or court overseeing the context in which the images appeared.

Analysts said the ruling against Google could lead to greater restrictions on what was accessible through search results and could prompt more people to demand that the United States technology company remove references to their private activities.

“At this point in time, the pendulum is swinging toward individuals’ privacy and away from freedom of speech,” said Carsten Casper, a privacy and security analyst at the consulting firm Gartner in Berlin.
As part of the settlement ordered by the French court on Wednesday, Google will have to filter out nine images of Mr. Mosley from its worldwide search results. The company must pay him 1 euro in compensation and it will be fined 1,000 euros every time that an image is found through its search engine, starting at the beginning of next year.

“It’s a fair decision,” said Clara Zerbib, a lawyer at the law firm Reed Smith in Paris who represented Mr. Mosley in the lawsuit. “This case isn’t about censoring information, but about complying with French law.”
The lawsuits relate to a 2008 report in The News of the World, a British newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., which was later closed because of its ties to a phone hacking scandal. The article described Mr. Mosley’s activities as a “sick Nazi orgy.” The allegations were particularly damaging, as Mr. Mosley is the son of Sir Oswald Mosley, a pre-World War II-era British fascist, and Mr. Mosley had sought to distance himself from his father’s activities.

By pursuing legal action in France and Germany, Mr. Mosley was taking advantage of more stringent data privacy legislation in those countries compared with either the United States or Britain, according to privacy analysts. In France, for example, it is a criminal offense to record someone else without his or her consent in a private space.

Google is facing a number of privacy lawsuits in Europe.

How would the world's coastlines look if all the ice melted?

Well, for starters, Florida would be history. Here is the interactive map.

Charleston, Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach would also be gone, meaning that the South Carolina coast would start somewhere around Columbia, by my reckoning.


I am opposed to assisted suicide. I thought I might have said this before on this blog... but then again, when I do a search, find that I have hedged and have not stated my opposition outright, so here it is: No.

And I recently remembered the reasons for my opposition, whilst reading Bad Cripple's eloquent blog. He is far more poetic and personal on the topic than I could ever be:
I think we people with a disability are feared. We are the one and only minority that can be joined via illness or accident. Our atypical bodies also symbolically represent the limits of medical science. Please do not talk to me about joint decision making strategies between physician and patients. Do not talk to me about informed consent. Do not talk to me about patient centered care. These buzz words are cultural ideals we aspire to reach. I am not suggesting we do away with these concepts. They should be valued. But my reality, my experiences when I try to access health care is radically different. [UK-Guardian writer Stella] Young quotes Marilyn Golden, a long time opponent of assisted suicide who perceptively observed: "we are asking the wrong questions when it comes to assisted death: We have to ask, do people with disabilities have true choice and self determination, in terms of living outside of nursing homes? In terms of housing that is truly affordable and accessible? In terms of the kind of services that really allow them to lead meaningful lives? In many cases, no."

These are the sort of questions we should be discussing. Why do people, all people, want to die? What drives a person to think death is preferable to living? Pain is not the primary variable. People choose to die because they fear losing their independence and autonomy. And here the link between end of life issues and disability is glaringly obvious to me. When I see a person with a disability I think of all the things a person can do. The same can be said for any person approaching the end of life. I think what can this person do? How can their life even with death impending be enhanced? This is not typically how others with no exposure to disability or end of life issues think. Instead we isolate the disabled and elderly--a historic pattern we have yet to break.

Nico Lang writes at Salon: America still can't accept Lady Gaga's bisexuality, or anybody else's. The title says it all.

The comments are also very interesting and instructive.


Camille Lewis shared with me this article about icky local Tea Party busybody Harry Kibler:
Kibler’s approach to political activism doesn’t rely on subtlety and consensus-building. He prefers open and direct confrontation, and his energy is inexhaustible. I recently spoke with him about his latest project, an effort to stop the Greenville County Council from imposing a one percent sale tax for the purpose of road maintenance.

“I’ve had so dad gum much fun doing this,” he tells me, “it ought to be against the law.”
Would that it were so.

Read it and weep.



:: Today on our radio show, the redoubtable Occupy the Microphone, we discussed the case of George Stinney, a 14-year-old who was executed by the state of South Carolina in 1944. Currently, there is a renewed effort to clear his name and get his conviction overturned.

:: What happened to the Middle Class? Ask Alice. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

:: I love this! ----> The Myth of Re-enchantment (

:: The Lack of Gentle Platonic Touch in Men’s Lives is a Killer (GoodMenProject)

:: Hope your Veterans Day has been good; don't forget my post last year on this holiday. It is even more accurate now than it was then. Take heed and beware.

:: And finally, here is your CUTE QUOTIENT CONTENT for this month... and possibly for the whole year. I have bookmarked this, and I go to it when I need to feel calm, centered and happy. TOO CUTE FOR WORDS: Baby Goats and Friends. SQUEEEEEEEE! Gonna die. Gonna. Just. Die. (And they upload more all the time, from everywhere.)


Due to Daylight Savings Time, its dark when we leave the radio station now.

There is nothing quite as magical as driving through the crisp, autumnal dark, peering at all the headlights... and then Enjoy the Silence by Depeche Mode pops up on your radio dial. Otherworldly, perfect.

All I ever wanted, all I ever needed... is for special moments like this to go on forever. :)

Enjoy the Silence - Depeche Mode


Mama Moretti said...

Those baby goats! OMG, so sweet!

Gorgeous Gregg said...

Nader says he opposes euthanasia until we have universal health care for all to avoid the prospect that folks will choose to die rather than impoverish their families. I understand that.

Daisy, please take a look at the thread on Facebook today. I need to stay on the road today and won't make it back in time to be on the show.

Lindsay said...

I haven't been by your blog in a while, so I am only now reading this post!

I really don't know what to think about assisted suicide, because I know that what Bad Cripple says is true --- that, if we do legalize it, a whole lot of old, sick and disabled people will be pressured to end their lives. I know this because, as a person with a developmental disability, I know a lot about the devaluing of disabled lives at the other end of the lifespan --- when a parent kills a disabled child, because said child is just too hard to take care of. So even though I have a very different experience of disability than Bad Cripple does, mine has enough in common with his that I can see the truth of what he says quite clearly.

I *would* like the option to end my life quickly and painlessly whenever I want, though. But in a society as ableist as ours is, I know that if that option were made available, that there would be coercion. So I guess it's "No" for me too, unless we can bring about a massive cultural change ...

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