Weekend Open Thread—and Updates to Old Stories


Have at it. 

Consider the updates below to prior stories covered here at H&R mere starter material…

The sentencing date of Julie Amero, the Norwich, Conn. teacher accused of showing pornography to her middle school class has been postponed for the second time. Though no reason was given for the postponement, tech and computer experts from all over the country have been pressuring state officials to intervene on her behalf. And with good reason. Her prosecution was a joke, and a fine illustration of what can go wrong when cyber-crimes are pursued by people who have limited knowledge of the technology behind the crimes they're prosecuting. She could get up to 40 years in prison. But even if she gets probation, it's an outrage. She should never have been tried.

The invaluable TechDirt reports that the National Association of Broadcasters is mounting an astroturf campaign to preven the XM-Sirius merger. As TechDirt's "Carlo" points out, NAB is likely going the astroturf route because an open and aggressive campaign against the merger would show that land-based radio stations consider satellite radio a competitor. The argument against the merger is that the two satellite companies compete only with themselves—not with terrestrial radio, Internet radio, and other forms of media—thus making the merger a monopoly. So NAB trying to stop the merger by throwing lots of money into an astroturf campaign arguing that NAB and its members are completely unconcerned about the merger.

Here's a terrific editorial (not just because it mentions me) by Canada's National Post on the case of Basile "Billy" Parasiris, the Quebec man who shot and killed a a police officer during a drug raid on Parasiris' home. Parasiris claims he thought he was being attacked by criminals, an assertion supported by the fact that his son called 911 during the raid. Police now claim to have found three small bags of white powder in Parasiris' home, though they haven't yet confirmed what it is (at least not that I can find in online news reports). He's facing murder charges.

• Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson has introduced a bill that would grant gun ownership rights to residents of the District of Columbia. If you'll remember, Sen. Orin Hatch introduced a similar bill a while back, which some interpreted as an NRA-backed attempt to undermine the Parker case, which resulted in a milestone 2nd Amendment victory last month. Hutchinson insists her own NRA-backed bill would not undermine Parker. Alan Gura, lead counsel for the plaintiffs in Parker, says she's wrong .