Monday, February 26, 2007

A blogger in California is bringing into question the right for public officials to use the popular form of communication to express some of their own thoughts. Ed Jagels has a blog like so many other people across the country, and he uses it for the same purposes that many other people do, but Jagels just isn't anyone, he is a prosecutor for Kern County. He started the blog to take on what he felt was unfair journalism by a local paper, but the concerns are about the ideas he is expressing that effects it may have on the outcome of cases in trial. Jagels is not the only one, there is a growing number of public officials from across the country using blogs as an outlet to express their opinions. While their defenders argue that they have the right to free speech just like anyone else, it doesn't address the concerns voiced by those who question it about the ability of public officials to remain above the issues. At the end of the day I think there is a relatively simple answer to this question, treat them like reporters, if they publish information that would have been kept from press, or that the press has been ordered not to publish, they should be held to account for those crimes.

Researchers for the New York Daily News have uncovered a strange connection between the well know black activist Al Sharpton and the well known segregationist supporter, Strom Thurman. After more than two weeks of research, genealogists have uncovered what they are claiming to be evidence that Sharpton's ancestors were owned as slaves by Thurman's ancestors. This is an ironic link between one of the strongest current voices for civil rights and one of the most ardent defenders of the segregation. Sharpton, who discovered the news on Sunday wants to test his DNA against Thurman's to see if they might share any of the same bloodline, he added that he couldn't learn anything more shocking than he already has.
Bit Torrent a site that has become known as a source of pirated movies and other digital goods has changes it stripes and is moving to become a legitimate business. It has signed deals with a number of major and minor movie production firms for the rights to sell their products over the Internet. It is moving into a field that is growing more and more crowded, and while it has a well known brand on the Internet, it does not have the backing of Disney or any of the three big net works who are working with other companies.
A case that could change the way police chases are operated is going before the Supreme Court. It deals with a case involving a teen named Victor Harris. Harris had evaded police and lead them on a high speed chase after an officer attempted to stop him for a traffic violation. The speeds of the chase were up to 80 and 90 miles an hour, Harris in a Cadillac with police on his tail. When officers attempted a PIT maneuver, Harris lost control of his car, and crashed into a ditch. The resulting crash leaves him quadriplegic, and officers defending their actions. The case brings into question how far and how fast should the police chase a suspect, while police claim that to not pursue could lead to more chases as suspects know that the police will quit pursuit, these chases put lives at risk. Lawyers for Harris argue that the original offense did not provide officers enough justification for the use of what amounts to the use of deadly force.
Angelina Jolie has been invited to join the Council on Foreign relations, the council which has no educational requirements for joining seeks people who take part in world affairs. The exclusive policy group includes big names like Condoleeza Rice, Dick Cheney, Colin Powel, Alan Greenspan and other as its members. Her participation in the group has support from a number of people in the group, "Bring her on," said Dr. Gordon Adams, an international-affairs professor. "The idea of having Henry Kissinger and Angelina Jolie in the same organization is dazzling."

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