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Appellate Court Judges Cite ‘1984’ to Expand Corporate First Amendment Rights

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A divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a decision on Tuesday supporting a deeply-cherished belief of many huge corporations: that the First Amendment shields them from government requirements to provide information about their products.

The case involved a provision in the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform act ordering corporations to disclose their use of “conflict minerals” from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The DRC is rich in minerals used in cell phones, laptops and many other gadgets, and demand for them has helped fuel what’s been called “Africa’s World War.”

In finding for the National Association of Manufacturers, the D.C. Circuit judges declared that to be unconstitutional compelled speech.

There have been some similar previous cases. In 2011, tobacco companies sued the Food & Drug Administration on First Amendment grounds and stopped it from requiring them to put graphic photographs of the effects of smoking on cigarette packages.

But when the wonderfully-named American Meat Institute sued the Department of Agriculture to try to roll back regulations forcing them to tell consumers where the animals they’re eating were born, raised and slaughtered, they lost.

What’s most noticeable about the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals conflict minerals decision — written by George H.W. Bush appointee Raymond Randolph and joined by Reagan appointee David Sentelle — is that it reads less like a dispassionate legal treatise and more like an extremely long, nicely-typeset right-wing blog post.

For instance, Reynolds muses, “If the government required labels on all internal combustion engines stating that ‘USE OF THIS PRODUCT CONTRIBUTES TO GLOBAL WARMING’ would that be fact or opinion?” Of course, that would be a fact, but to Reynolds it’s merely “the opinion of many scientists.”

But best of all are his quotations from both 1984 and Darkness at Noon — perhaps the two most famous anti-totalitarian novels ever written. The citations don’t make much sense wedged into the decision, but the implication is clear: forcing Apple to tell you whether there’s tantalum from Congo in your iPad is the kind of thing Joseph Stalin would do.

Obama appointee Sri Srinivasan strongly disagreed, noting that the government justifiably requires public companies to disclose lots of facts they would rather keep to themselves. But he was outvoted 2 to 1.

The ruling is yet more evidence that the current extremist ideology of corporate America and its judicial allies is not going to moderate itself.

They have a specific future in mind for us — one in which the Constitution protects all huge corporations and no actual humans — and they’re doing everything they possibly can to make it happen.

The post Appellate Court Judges Cite ‘1984’ to Expand Corporate First Amendment Rights appeared first on The Intercept.

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digdoug
7 days ago
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"They have a specific future in mind for us — one in which the Constitution protects all huge corporations and no actual humans — and they’re doing everything they possibly can to make it happen."

Just because it's alarmist doesn't mean it isn't true.
Louisville, KY
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"Pixar is bulletproof, assholes"

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John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer of Pixar, writing in The Onion: I've Got You Dumb Motherfuckers Eating Right Out Of My Hand.

Yes, after the success of our first few movies we had a hunch you'd continue to enjoy the wonderfully designed animation and our smart, lyrical writing, but I didn't think we'd create a horde of drooling morons ready to drop everything just to watch a fucking rat cook dinner. Time and time again, though, there you chumps are, lined up around the block with your stupid little kids, eager to have your stupid little hearts filled with whimsy.

See also Disney's Lasseter: Woody will find love in 'Toy Story 4'.

Tags: John Lasseter   movies   Pixar
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cinebot
9 days ago
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100% factual
toronto.
digdoug
9 days ago
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Legitimately lol'd
Louisville, KY
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World Elephant Day (26 photos)

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Since 2011, August 12 has been set aside as World Elephant Day. Supported by numerous conservation agencies, it’s it's a day to “spread awareness, share knowledge, and provide solutions for better care and management of both captive and wild elephants,” according to the organizer’s website. Elephants face numerous challenges, including poaching, habitat loss, exploitation, abuse, and proximity to human conflict and poverty. The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists African elephants as “vulnerable” and Asian elephants as “endangered.” On this World Elephant Day, I present a collection of images of these amazing animals.
Melbourne Zoo's newest Asian elephant receives a nudge from her mother after going on display to the public for the first time on February 10, 2010. (William West / AFP / Getty)
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digdoug
11 days ago
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SO FUZZY
Louisville, KY
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5 years ago the schmoop and I (and 2 other friends and many tens...

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5 years ago the schmoop and I (and 2 other friends and many tens of thousands of strangers) drove hours to see a couple of clowns make fun of our great nation. As of tonight neither of them are on TV anymore. Mitch McConnell is still in the senate, Cable news isn’t any more interested in truth, or context, some people still eat pizza with a knife and fork. It seems like it was all a waste.

But, thanks for the laughs Mr. Stewart. And Mr. Colbert? I’ll see you in hell!

#tbt #rallytowel #jonvoyage

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digdoug
20 days ago
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selfshare.
Louisville, KY
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Louis CK: Of course... But maybe?

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This four-minute bit by Louis CK puts me on the floor every time I watch it and then makes me feel really horrible.

Everybody has a competition in their brain of good thoughts and bad thoughts. Hopefully, the good thoughts win. For me, I always have both. I have like the thing I believe, the good thing, that's the thing I believe and than there's this thing. And I don't believe it, but it is there. It's always this thing and then this thing. It's become a category in my brain that I call "of course, but maybe".

I love his gestures throughout this bit...the material is great but the physical comedy really sells it. So so good. (And, of course, terrible.)

Tags: Louis C.K.   video
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digdoug
21 days ago
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Went to see him in St Louis a few months before this aired. This bit that night had several jokes that were different.. I wish so badly I had made some notes of them... it was the best part of the show. (And it was an awesome show)
Louisville, KY
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GIFBrewery, for all your animated GIF creating needs

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by Dan Moren

I’m not a frequent GIF-maker by any means—and there’s no shortage of excellent GIFs out there—but sometimes an animated image is the only real way to convey exactly what you’re feeling.

I’ve played with a bunch of different tools for making GIFs, and I’ve found them to be a mixed bag—especially the web-based ones, which all too often restrict certain features for “premium” users, or produce less than great quality results.

But I’ve been pretty pleased with GIFBrewery for OS X. It handles the videos I’ve imported with aplomb, supports cropping, resizing, and very easy trimming, which is key when making a good GIF.1 And because producing a compact animated image is important, it also lets you reduce the number of frames, change the delay between them, and simplify the color palette.

GIFBrewery

GIFBrewery also has probably the strongest text tools I’ve found, giving you full control over fonts, colors, alignment, and even when the text fades in or out.

Honestly, my GIF needs are pretty simple, so I haven’t even had a chance to use all of the advanced features that GIFBrewery has: image overlays, visual filters, rotating/mirroring frames, and so on.

For the $5 asking price, seems to me you can’t do much better.


  1. I’ve recently been importing video clips from playing Destiny, which the Xbox One by default records in 30 second increments—too long for most GIFs.

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digdoug
23 days ago
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I bought this a while back, used it quite a few times. Definitely worth $5
Louisville, KY
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