Tesla was extremely upset to learn that the employees who'd been injured and maimed in its factories spoke to Reveal News about the unsafe working conditions and culture of cover-ups at the Tesla plants. Read the rest
Corey King, a sheriff's deputy in Washington County, Georgia put out an arrest warrant for his wife, Anne King, after she posted on Facebook: "That moment when everyone in your house has the flu and you ask your kid's dad to get them (not me) more Motrin and Tylenol and he refuses."
Anne King's friend, Susan Hines, commented on the post, calling Deputy King a "POS." "Give me an hour and check your mailbox," she wrote. "I'll be GLAD to pick up the slack."
Deputy King told his ex-wife to delete the post. When she didn't, he requested a warrant to arrest both women on a charge of "intent to defame another, communicate false matter which tends to expose one who is alive to hatred, contempt, or ridicule, and which tends to provoke a breach of peace.
CNN reports on what happened next, which shouldn't surprise you:
The next day, a Washington County court magistrate issued warrants for both Anne King and Hines.
The women were charged with "criminal defamation of character," processed and spent about four hours in jail before posting $1,000 bail.
At their hearing, state-court judge stated there was no basis for the arrest and the case was dropped.
"I don't even know why we're here," the judge said, according to the complaint.
Also not surprising, Anne King is suing for compensatory and punitive damages and Deputy King is saying it's not his fault; it's Magistrate Judge Ralph Todd's fault for actually issuing the warrants. Read the rest
"The Gentle Author" is the maintainer of Spitalfields Life, a blog that has featured a brilliant and moving series of essays about the history of East London; Author is also sharply critical of the plans by giant property developer Crest Nicholson to redevelop the site of a Victorian chest hospital and dig up an ancient tree called the Bethnal Green Mulberry. Read the rest
Trump seemed to think it would be a good idea to send the publisher of Michael Wolff's book, Fire and Fury, a letter demanding it to cease publication and "issue a full and complete retraction and apology." The letter had the effect of boosting sales of the book, and also of giving Henry Holt's lawyer the opportunity to write a hilariously scathing response.
The best part is on the last page:
Read the rest
Lastly, the majority of your letter -- indeed, seven full pages -- is devoted to instructing Henry Holt and Mr. Wolff in meticulous detail about their obligations to preserve documents that relate in any way to the book, the article, President Trump, his family members, their businesses, and his Presidential campaign. While my clients do not adopt or subscribe to your description of their legal obligations, Henry Holt and Mr. Wolff will comply with any and all document preservation obligations that the law imposes upon them. At the same time, we must remind you that President Trump, in his personal and government capacity, must comply with the same legal obligations regarding himself, his family, their businesses, the Trump campaign, and his administration, and must ensure all appropriate measures to preserve such documents are in place... Should you pursue litigation against Henry Holt or Mr. Wolff, we are quite confident that documents related to the contents of the book in the possession of President Trump, his family members, his businesses, his campaign, and his administration will prove particularly relevant to our defense.
Trump is freaking out over Michael Wolff's new behind the scenes book about the Trumpian White House, Fire and Fury:
I authorized Zero access to White House (actually turned him down many times) for author of phony book! I never spoke to him for book. Full of lies, misrepresentations and sources that don’t exist. Look at this guy’s past and watch what happens to him and Sloppy Steve!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2018
Wolff couldn't be more pleased by Trump's meltdown, and his attempt to stop the book's publication. "Where do I send the box of chocolates?" Wolff said in an interview on NBC's "Today":
Michael Wolff, the author of a new book that gives a behind-the-scenes account of the White House, defended his work Friday, insisting he spoke with President Donald Trump on the record and calling the commander in chief "a man who has less credibility than, perhaps, anyone who has ever walked on earth."
Wolff, in an exclusive interview on NBC's "Today," said that everyone he spoke to for the book, "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House," described the president the same way.
"I will tell you the one description that everyone gave, everyone has in common: They all say he is like a child," Wolff explained. "And what they mean by that is, he has a need for immediate gratification. It is all about him."
Wolff added that "100 percent of the people around" Trump, "senior advisers, family members, every single one of them, questions his intelligence and fitness for office."
Fire and Fury is currently the best-selling book on Amazon. Read the rest
On December 15, Ars Technica ran a story by veteran security reporter Dan Goodin in which Goodin reported on a disclosure by Google researcher Tavis Ormandy, who had discovered that Keeper Security's password manager, bundled with Windows 10, was vulnerable to a password stealing bug that was very similar to a bug that had been published more than a year before. Read the rest
The Indiana Attorney General’s office has filed a lawsuit against the Abbey Inn in Nashville, Indiana, "claiming the hotel’s policy of levelling a charge against guests for negative reviews violated the state’s Deceptive Consumer Sales Act," reports Southern Living magazine.
Katrina Arthur and her husband stayed in the Abbey Inn hotel in Brown County in March 2016. They said problems started as soon as they arrived. “The room was unkempt, and it looked like it hadn’t been cleaned since the last people stayed there,” Arthur told Call 6, the investigative arm of a local ABC news affiliate, the Indy Channel. “We checked the sheets and I found hairs and dirt,” she said.
She said the hotel had no visible staff they could talk to at the time, and that calling the number on the front desk didn’t work. “I actually had to clean the room myself,” she said.
When Arthur received an email after her stay asking her to leave a review, she decided to be honest.
“I wanted people to know not to waste their money because I know people save their money for special occasions,” Arthur told the Indy Channel.
However, soon after leaving the review, Arthur says she was charged $350 and threatened with legal action, prompting her to delete the review. She has not received the money back.
From Miami Herald story "‘Nightmare’ hotel reeked of sewage — and charged guests $350 for complaining, lawsuit says":
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Attorney Andrew Szakaly, who owns the hotel, wrote a letter to Arthur on April 2, 2016 telling Arthur that her negative review included “false statements” that had caused “irreparable injury” to his business, according to Indiana’s attorney general.
Disney has ended its blacklisting of the LA Times' movie critics from advance screenings -- a move it took in retaliation for a pair of in-depth, investigative articles that cataloged the one-sided deals it has extracted from the city of Anaheim, where it is the largest employer, taxpayer, charitable giver, and political contributor -- after the nation's movie critics announced that they would not review nor consider for awards any Disney movie. Read the rest
After running Daniel Miller's long, excellent features about the many ways in which Disney has manipulated the local politics of Anaheim (home of Disneyland) to extract huge subsidies from the cash-strapped city, the company retaliated by barring its film critic from future press screenings of its films, a move that the company confirmed, calling the coverage "unfair." Read the rest
Leah Rothman was a segment director on the Dr Phil show for 12 years, until (she says) she and her co-workers were locked in a room by Dr Phil and screamed at and threatened by the show's host, who was upset by leaks from the show's staff. Read the rest
Charlie Chaplin's 1940 movie The Great Dictator features one of the greatest anti-authoritarian speeches of all time, so it's no surprise that Thailand's censorship-crazed king is abusing his country's grotesque lese majeste laws to order Youtube to remove clips of Chaplin's masterpiece. Read the rest
Thailand's insane lese majeste laws make it radioactively illegal to criticize the royal family, reflecting a profound insecurity about the legitimacy of the ruling elites there that can only be satisfied through blanket censorship orders whenever one of the royals does something ridiculous, cruel or both (this happens a lot). Read the rest
[Update 5/9/2017: the head of communications at Purple posted a lengthy comment on Reddit about the powder and the lawsuit. In short, she says that "This powder is safe and there are lots of studies that support this," and that "we believe Ryan Monahan, owner of Honest Mattress Reviews, is not 'independent' as he claims, but is working with a competitor to disparage our brand." A vigorous thread of replies follows her comment.]
Ryan Monahan, who reviews mattresses (and used to work for a mattress company called GhostBed), is being sued by a company called Purple Mattress. Here's a video Monahan made about the lawsuit. Monahan says he's being sued because he publicly asked why Purple mattresses have white powder, what the powder is, and whether or not it is safe to inhale. Read the rest
Living treasure and outspoken atheist Stephen Fry has a classic bit from a two-year-old episode of RTE's "The Meaning of Life" in which he answers the question, "What would you say to God if you died and found yourself at the gates of heaven?" Read the rest
Real Alternatives organizes and funds the notorious, deceptive anti-abortion centers ("crisis pregnancy centers") that pretend to be abortion clinics, luring in women who wish to terminate their pregnancies with deceptive advertising and then lying to them about abortion procedures in an effort to coerce them into carrying their fetuses to term; they got $30,000,000 from the state of Pennsylvania and are now suing the state over an audit that was triggered by nearly $1M worth of unaccounted-for state funding. Read the rest