Who Keeps E-Mails?

fishing expedition
If you're following the BPI vs. ABC "pinkslime" lawsuit, than you might be aware that the company is attempting to subpoena emails from several journalists and food safety experts.

Mother Jones Fascinating Murder Mystery with an NRA Twist—and Documents

Photo of gun associated with early murder trial, included in Mother Jones story.

Mother Jones has a fascinating, longer look at an early murder mystery associated with none other than the NRA's general counsel, Robert Dowlut. It would seem that Dowlut was originally convicted of second degree murder, a conviction that was later overturned.

In an act I've come to expect from Mother Jones, the publication has also provided easy access to all of the documentation that provided the basis for the story.

Responding to Charity Navigator's DA on the Humane Society of the United States

circus elephants on parade

Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.

I was sent a link to a story and asked if it was true. The story noted that Charity Navigator, the charity watch dog group, had attached a Donor Advisory to the Humane Society of the United State's listing, specifically because of the lawsuits related to the Ringling Brothers circus.

Writing from the Bleeding Edge

a tangled mess

Photo by Jonathan Arehart cc BY-NC-SA 2.0

One of the challenges writing a book on technology is not only do you need to put words together in some form of coherent, possibly even interesting, manner, but you also have to understand the underlying technology enough to be able to explain it to others.

Do I look pretty? Web site design tedium

I think I need a new look for my web site. Singular, now, since I merged everything back into one space. I decided people find stuff via social media anyway, so why worry about separating topics into separate web sites.

Besides, what a pain to manage.

But now, I think I need a new look and I haven't a clue what I want. I see two trends in modern website design among the looks I've been exploring. I call them the Minimalist and the Maximalist.

The Minimalist is the design you see at the Node.js Blog and a lot of other primarily techie sites (though I am seeing it at New York Times and other major publications). It's centered, minimal, no sidebars, few graphics—clean and plain. These pages are so trim, they load before you even know you want to see them.

Who Owns the Law?

I follow several legal cases, most related to animal welfare, climate, the environment, or agriculture and food. Like others, I have a PACER account, which gives me access to most court documents at the federal level, but at a price. I'm not overfond of the cost, as I've noted in the past, but I am, at least, grateful for such simple access to the documents.

I also re-publish the documents for access by all, and that includes discovery material and and evidence exposed during a trial. If it's posted by PACER, it's public domain. When I pay for PACER I'm paying for access to the system, not the documents. So far, no cease and desist letters, knock on wood.

Billy Sol Estes and Congress are why the USDA is ordering machine guns

The tea-soaked conspiracy crowd has a new rai·son d'être this week: a procurement request from the USDA for machine guns and ammo. As RT.com notes, "The request has captured the attention of many conservative, pro-gun websites...which have raised questions about it." These same gun loving web sites even managed to excite an Oklahoma Congressional member, Representative Jim Bridenstine, who sent a letter to the USDA demanding answers.

It's ironic that sites that support arming every single human being for any reason object to arming federal agents who are enforcing criminal laws. And it's unfortunate that Congressional members are unaware of laws passed by Congress.

Animal Welfare Groups Settle with Feld Entertainment

Last update

I've had a day to get over the shock at the settlement amount.

All of the statements by the animal welfare folk I posted links to make logical sense. And believe it or not, once I got over the shock at the amount of the settlement, I wasn't necessarily against a settlement in the ESA attorney fee battle—though, I believed it was important to continue the fight in the RICO case. What I had expected was a settlement closer to the amount given in the original animal welfare attorney fee reply—about five million.

This amount would have been a loss for the groups, yes, but it wouldn't have been such a PR bonanza for Feld. The larger amount, though...that's going to cut deep, and not just in a monetary sense.

Regardless of what I've said today, I am not mad at the groups. I am profoundly disappointed, which, in some ways, is worse.

Responding to Food Safety News' Editorial on the Vermont GMO Laws

Also published at Food Safety News

In a May 3rd editorial , Food Safety News Editor Dan Flynn wrote a rather scathing editorial about Vermont's new GMO labeling law. Among the criticisms he asked a question:

If there is some skilled member of the bar out there who has done the sort of professional analysis that is normally available, please send it to me. I truly would like to see it. I am certain this bill is a mess; I am just trying to figure out how messed up it is.

Look, Do not Touch

bear cub

Photo credit: Ray Morris, licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license.

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