Facebook Should Not Be In A Safe Harbor

Opinion

Facebook is currently protected by a legal provision called “safe harbor”. The legal definition is that it gives legal protection from liability under specified conditions.

Safe harbor is necessary for such industries that provide the pipes through which data flows because their only purpose is to link two opposing points with information. They do not create the content, they provide the connections between the send and receive points. They should not be responsible for the content they move through their pipes, thus the safe harbor legal provision. The key point in this is these companies must not create any data content.

The phone company links homes and businesses with voice and computer signal data so does internet service providers. The phone company does not create the content; it just move it from place to place.

Visually think in you mind that this company as a pipe company. Pipe companies should not, normally, be sued for what passes through their pipes.

Facebook creates content and moves content. It does two things at the same time. It is similar to the phone company and also a news paper company. Yet, Facebook uses safe harbor as an excuse not to receive any legal claims against it for the content it creates from its “reporters”.  Facebook’s safe harbor arguments are utterly false and legally stupid at any simple level of common reason. Facebook does move content that they do not create thus hugging the safe harbor protection. But, they do create the content when it is put up to their web site platform. Their web site platform now can be thought of as a newspaper creating content. Private text messages between Facebook members would be a pipe movement but once a member puts up any display of a still image, movie, or pronouncement, then those individuals are Facebook “reporters”. Facebook becomes like a newspaper and the person putting up that type of information is acting like a reporter for a newspaper. In once sense, Facebook is a type of electronic newspaper because it is a vehicle of display, not a pipe.  In fact, Facebook “is a fully fledged news organization on a scale we have never seen”.

https://hbr.org/2011/03/facebook-is-the-largest-news-o

With that type of content, Facebook must act to supervise within a reasonable time to remove such content that offends, creates or transmits disinformation, is inflammatory, libelous, or could suffer legal actions against it. In other words, Facebook must not be protected with the provisions of safe harbor.

The United States currently has offered safe harbor protection for Facebook, allegedly for political reasons.   Some of the Facebook staff are Donald Trump supporters such as Peter Thiel a Facebook Inc. board member.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-11-01/peter-thiel-praises-trump-pledges-to-support-his-2020-campaign

 

Posted May 31, 2019

Continuum Of Treason

Continuum is a mental realization, a mental tool, that we use as a means to realize natural and man made things we view in life. It is a really interesting intellectual way that we can visualize, in our minds, some opposite situations that are related. We are, in effect, placing a mental ruler of varying length between two opposite situations that we see, when those situations lend themselves to be measured together.

For a continuum to work there should be two opposite extremes but they are connected typically by degree. We typically “see” or realize the connection of the two extremes because they shout at us that they are opposite and connected in some way. But, there should be a factor of degree or how much of one side or the opposite side we are looking at and set a value on that point. The word I used is “degree” and that is vitally important to appreciate because it is a concept that will link the two opposite extremes. Typically there is more or less degree of something. There are an incredible number of continuum’s.

Let me offer some simple continuum examples followed by how each can be measured:

  • Light to Dark (Light meter)
  • Happiness to Sadness (Expressions on a person’s face)
  • Dry to Wet (Rain gauge)
  • Still air to Hurricane (Anemometer)
  • Short to Tall (Ruler)

The word “to”, in the above examples means that there can be a transition or movement from one extreme to the opposite extreme or one side to the opposite side. This transition can be short or long or any length. It is up to the person telling or writing where on the continuum scale we are concerned.

A really good continuum is one where the two opposite extremes are far apart because we are more likely to notice the differences. A really good example is the change of seasons. When this takes place in the northern hemisphere where the trees change color and plants go dormant the continuum process is very slow but unmistakable.

Some continuum’s lend themselves to be shown in graphic form.  When showing a continuum graphic, there are some common standards that some people use. Usually a line is used and the end points are labeled as to the minimum at one end and maximum at the other end. Typically the graphic continuum line is horizontal but for some measurements like height it is usually vertical. Let me show you a continuum line for treason (see below).

Accident        Collude        Coordinate         Conspire         Treason
X_______________________________________________X

In the Mueller Report there is a continuum that is revealed in the Introduction To Volume I. This continuum is explained as the degree that the Trump administration worked hand in hand with the Russians. At one end of the continuum is low criminal level called helping, which might be done by “accident”. Next serious might be helping Russia on purpose, called “collusion”, for some implied gain by one or both parties. The next, more serious degree is to “coordinate” with Russia. This third to last degree, coordinate, is considered illegal in the United States. The Mueller Report hones into two points on the continuum, collude and coordinate. For some reason collude is not illegal. Obviously coordinate is illegal because it implies BOTH parties are working together for a single purpose. But, I propose that coordinate might also mean that BOTH parties were working together but avoided detection.

Conspire, second to the last right side continuum point, is definitely a crime.  The Mueller Report failed to establish this activity took place by the Trump administration.

The last, far right, point on the continuum is treason and this is definitely illegal. It is a bit different in that it specifies that individuals actually work against the interests of the country.  The Mueller Report did not show examples of this continuum extreme by the Trump administration.

Let me state this again. In the Mueller continuum he talks about three out of the five main continuum measure points:  collude,  coordinate and conspire. The continuum begins with less formal and works toward more formal working together between Trump administration and Russia. Let’s read the definition of all five continuum points:

Accident: “an event that happens by chance or that is without apparent or deliberate cause”. Obviously we have no concern for individuals in the Trump administration helping Russia by accident.  This is the low end of the continuum, non criminal.

Collude: “cooperate in a secret or unlawful way in order to deceive or gain an advantage over others”.  This sure sounds like we are getting close to criminal activity.

Coordinate: “negotiate with others in order to work together effectively” implying, in this case, that the Trump administration was working with Russia toward some nefarious end.  But, “”coordination” does not have a settled definition in federal criminal law”.  The Mueller Report states that coordination requires an agreement – tacit or expressed – between the Trump Campaign and the Russian government on election interference.  The Mueller Report failed to support the view that the Trump administration came to this level on the continuum.  (The Mueller Report goes on to state “That requires more than the two parties taking actions that were informed by or responsive to the other’s actions”.  I think this is a mistake in the report because it states “more than the two parties”.  Coordination typically implies two or more parties.  Two is enough to make coordination!)

Conspire:  To make secret plans jointly to commit an unlawful or harmful act.  The Mueller team used this threshold on the continuum to trigger a response that the Trump administration broke the law which they did not reach.

Treason: the action of betraying one’s country, the United States.  There are no reports that the Trump administration approached this level on the continuum.

One definition of treason uses the word “betray’ which has further meaning of “expose one’s country to danger by treacherously by giving information to an enemy.” Think of the number of times Donald Trump had private consultations with the ruler of Russia and no one was allowed to record what took place.

Looking at the above continuum points, I find it impossible not to categorize “collude” as a crime. But, collusion, itself, is not a specific federal crime. The dictionary definition comes close to saying that the Trump administration did commit a crime. The Trump administration did collude with the enemy of the Untied States, Russia, as outlined in the Mueller Report. Russia wants a weak United States and Putin viewed Trump as acting toward that end. Donald Trump received help in getting elected and possibly received more secret benefits from Russia. That should be illegal and a punishment should be handed out to those who participated in those acts..

References: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/07/12/what-is-collusion-215366

Posted: May 14, 2019

 

Global Warming Is The Most Important Threat to Our Country and Our Near Future Existence.

Earth is being destroyed by some of us. Because of the actions or lack of action of a few individuals, global warming will cause close to 8 billion people to die.  Life on planet Earth may die off due to the actions of some humane beings.  Such a horrendous crime against civilization calls for new penalties. A new top legal level needs to be added to our world legal system which is applied to all nations and all people.  The purpose of this change to our legal system is to help the future survival of Earth, if it is not too late.

The people of the United States and the United Nations should consider penalties for those individuals, businesses, corporations and groups participating in the endangerment of the United States and planet Earth to the extent that it is determined that either or both will cease to survive in the future. If it is determined that such activities of those individuals  includes working toward exacerbating climate change to any significant degree, determined by scientists, the following actor activities shall be penalized for those efforts:

Actor Activities:

  • Direct or indirect owner or anyone having any control interest in any business that creates product or activities that enhances endangerment to the future of Earth’s future survival.
  • Any individual who is solely or part of a larger lobby group who’s effort is to impede the efforts of stopping climate change.
  • All politicians and judges who make legal rulings that are found to allow other actors to move their activities forward to damage Earth.
  • Any person’s activity that is deemed meeting the level, set by a ruling body of scientists, of being significant enough to contribute to damaging Earth.

Criminals Defined:

  • Any individual or group that directly or indirectly is involved in harming Earth’s climate to a significant degree determined by scientist and the courts.
  • Any individual that holds control over any other person, agency, business and/or corporation which has significantly contributed in the expected future extinction of any portions of Earth.

Significant penalties shall follow after the courts have made the determination that those individuals have significantly participated in the criminal act shall incur the following penalties.

Penalties:

  • Removal of all current and future assets from those individuals and their value is transferred to the state.
  • Removal of all control including stock price benefits and their value is transferred to the government.
  • Confiscation of all tangible assets including past and future family and business inheritance.
  • Removal of all personal stock sale benefits now and in the future.
  • Seizure of all property owned by the individual.
  • Removal of all personal inheritance and inheritance of any wealth or value component given to family members prior to being charged with this crime in an effort to hide those assets.
  • Seizure of any gifts given to family or friends, prior to being charged with this crime, in an effort to hide those assets.
  • If the activity of individuals reaches a high enough level, determined by the courts with the advice of scientist as to the level of involvement in propelling climate change, either of two penalties will be applied. If a low level of criminal activity, incarceration for life. If the criminal level is high, termination of those people from living by the act of a public execution shall take place.

Twenty percent of all seized assets will go to government administration for this program and the remainder assets will be distributed to agencies working toward stemming climate change.

 

Posted: February 19, 2019

 

United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia Reflects American Values.

December 19, 2018, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ruling in the case of Michael Thomas Flynn, shocked most of the United States by not rendering a quick decision to give Flynn no jail time. Why was there such a disconnect between the nation’s expectations and how the judge presided?

Ever since President Trump became the leader of the United States and showed himself to seemingly act like a crime boss, there has been a slow slide downwards of expectations on the part of the American public for this administration to act honorably, responsibly, compassionately, and legally. The alleged crime boss has also taken to undermine some public institutions. The alleged crime boss fails to value research, facts and convention. He seems to show bias against minorities and women instead of representing all Americans equally. These behaviors seem to be motivated for self gain and ignorance. He uses lies, falsehoods, intimidation, and threats to put pressure on anyone who he thinks crosses him.

Here is a viewpoint.

As a result, the public may have taken on a tenor of diminished expectations toward this administration and maybe the outlook for this nation. When we expect so little, might this not also put the same shadow upon the people who work in our national institutions?

Maybe because the whole nation has lowered it’s expectations for proper political and legal action resulting from the dark pale put upon this nation by this woeful lack of proper leadership that we are shocked to experience one legal mind that still maintains the values of the Constitution and all the proper legal values growing from that document. It, thus, happened that the low expectations going into the legal proceedings, December 18, 2018, contrasted sharply with the judge’s ruling. We should commend U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan for standing up for and making legal pronouncements that support proper USA values and more importantly becoming a champion for the rule of law and for setting the past American values into their proper elevated place, and ideals that we all should be supporting.

Another interesting happening in the hearing is that the judge made the suggestion that Michael Flynn may have been a traitor. I think this may have been a decided calculation on the judges part. He may have been warning the alleged crime boss followers, family and friends that they too are treading close to being traitors or may have already done so.

U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, just might have decided to be a preacher, an advocate, for the US legal system and the political system to maintain its core values.

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan is my hero figure for December 2018 and maybe for the year of 2018.

Read the Mueller indictment against 12 Russian spies for DNC hack. (29 Pages)

It is recommended that you read the Mueller indictment against 12 Russian spies for DNC hack.  Follow the link below to view and thus read the document:

https://www.justice.gov/file/1080281/download

This document is considered a primary historical source which, for most of us, is rather unusual.  Typically, we read other peoples views and reports about the primary source material.  Now you get to read a primary source!

Posted July 14, 2018

Is President Donald Trump A Criminal?

The Trump Organization – A Racketeering Enterprise?

The following open paragraph is from a research document conducted by ©2018 Tom Adams and Dennis Aftergut.

Investments by Donald Trump and the Trump Organization reveal patterns highly suggestive of criminal conduct, particularly of money laundering. Multiple publicly available sources report that Trump regularly had investment partners who were criminals and had consistent links to money laundering entities.

A copy of this document can be found here:

https://speier.house.gov/sites/speier.house.gov/files/180122%20Trump%20Organization_.pdf

Trial Problem #2

Quite a few years back I found myself being a juror in a case (Riverside, California) where some alleged juvenile gang members shot up a neighborhood (Lake Elsinore).    No one was injured.  The gang members were after a young man who did not fit into their group.  From my point of view, the trial was all but smooth and honest.  The defense attorney, throughout the trial, gave hand signals to the teenagers who had to testify as to what to say in clear view of the jury.  The judge was busy grading papers and failed to catch this flagrant, egregious, unethical behavior.

The second incident, I am not perfectly sure was a problem, just a very strong suspicion.  The jury was shown a video taped interview at a police station of one of the juveniles.  the audio was not that good so each juror was given a book full of pages giving us what was being said so we could follow along.  All of a sudden I picked up some words that heavily implied that this youth might have coerced a witness.  I looked down at my note book and there it was, words that told me there was a good chance that the person we were seeing in the video might have lied and coerced a witness.   It could have been a mistake of the person who tried to write down the text from listening the tape.  But I had spotted the problem from the audio I was listening too from the video presentation.  This could not be a problem because the lawyers must have perused the video and corresponding text given to the jury.  I did not know what to do.  The rest of the day, I looked back at that part of the book to see if I had made a mistake.  There it was, words that, to me, implicated this young man in a more serious crime.  An elderly couple, that allegedly were the target of the alleged coercion by the remarks in the book, took the stand and I looked carefully for any hint that they were not telling the truth but detected none.  After lunch, I went home and drafted a letter to the judge.  When we went back into the courtroom, I handed the letter to one of the police officers at the door.  The judge was handed the letter and called the attorneys over for a private consultation.  The attorneys allowed us to take one book into the jury room and the video playing device when we broke to decide the case.  I asked for the book but could not find the passage.  I had my book bookmarked where the problem was by bending back the top edge of the offending text page.  I could not find the same page in this new book.  The jury wanted to speed up the decision process and my issue, I decided, was not going to be pursued.  Every person in the jury was offended by the defense attorney’s actions.  The prosecution did not have a very strong case.  We all were very disappointed in the parents of the alleged gang members.  All the families seemed middle class, white, anglo, affluent, and seemed spoiled.

This is the second time that I have seen lawyers make decisions that impact the outcome of a trial in such a way that justice was not pursued in an honest and just manner.

I have looked for hours into the Internet to find a list of juror’s rights to speak up if a juror has an important issue to bring up and have found nothing.  I find it absolutely appalling that the very people that need to decide the outcome of a trial must remain mute.  This is a fragrant deficiency of the system.

Alleged Legal System Failure: RR Crossing

My sister, in the early 1970’s, had to sit as a juror in a case where a family brought a lawsuit against a railroad company. This took place in the city of Riverside, California. Two young male teens died at a railroad crossing. One of the young men owned a motor scooter and let his friend ride on the scooter with him, which is against the motor vehicle laws, therefore illegal. The scooter was designed for one person only. For some reason, which will never be known, the scooter-driver drove into the ‘side’ of the train engine at the railroad crossing and both teens were killed by the impact. It was not a front-end-of-engine impact.

The family believed that the railroad crossing protection against such accidents might not have functioned properly. I remember that my sister told me that any juror that knew electronics was excused, could not serve as a juror. I thought this rather odd.

After the trial was over my sister told me that the railroad company spokes person said the system was foolproof and spent a lot of time describing how and why it was foolproof. She then went on to describe, as best as she could, how the system worked to me. Her description was cursory but having training in electronics I spotted a number of factors that could be problem points for the system to be “flawless”. It occurred to me, at that time, why the defense lawyer might want a jury pool to be sanitized from any intellectual capacity to understand the nuances of electronics. The sanitation may have worked in favor for the rail road company, if the trial was allowed to run through its planned length — but for some reason known only to the judge, attorneys, railroad and family, the trial was declared a mistrial after a month-long trial period in the courtroom. The jury was not told why a mistrial was declared. For the jury, the hardest conclusion to arrive at was a choice between: 1) did the crossing ‘alarm’ fail and/or did the engineer forget to blow the train whistle, or, 2) did the young driver try to beat the train at the crossing and misjudge the speed of the train and the ‘slowness’ of his scooter with the (illegal) passenger on the back, over-estimating his horse power and timing at that moment.

A few years later I had to pick up my sister and she asked if a young man could also be driven home. I was driving, my sister sat in the front passenger seat, and the young man took a back seat in the car. We asked him where he lived and when he told us where his home was, my sister told him about a trial she participated in that involved a railroad crossing near this young man’s home. As we drove, the young man then told us that the community had continuous problems with that railroad crossing not functioning properly.  I could see out of the corner of my eye that my sister was shaken. After we dropped off the fellow at his house, my sister told me that she still felt confused and conflicted about the trial. She told me about how convincing the expert was who testified about how flawless the railroad crossing device was. The jury was told that the railroad company sent out THEIR inspectors to detect any problems but found none. We both felt that the lawyer, for the family, only needed to walk the area around the crossing to get a feel if there was a recordable level of malfunction with the crossing. My sister did not know if that was done.  At the trial, some testimony was presented by a couple of residents in the area explaining that there were a few problems with the crossing. The ‘neighborhood’ testimony was not ‘strong’ because people had to try and recall when and how that they had seen problems at the crossing, time of day, train whistle heard, or not, etc. — which is difficult when you do not have an accident or specific incident to magnify the memory associated with observed ‘problems.’

WSJ Article – Reflections From Surviving Law Firm

Prompted by a Wall Street  Journal article Monday, January 26, 2009, front page title “Recession  Batters Law Firms, Triggering Layoffs, Closings”, I sent off an e-mail to a  law firm in San Bernardino County to elicit a response.  Here are some  bullet points:

  • “Yes, a lot of firms are suffering.  The ones doing  the worst are the LARGE firm,s, with 600 $ + per hour rates, and the mega  clients who would write checks to them without a thought and are are now  cutting costs”
  • “We all expect it will slow in 2009, and as the CEO of  the Firm, I am projecting a 10% reduction in revenues.”
  • “So far, however, we have not seen it (reductions) and  personally, I am starting this year off  busy.”