Don't blame Disney. This evil starts with Amazon, they're the ones that allow your purchased products to be stolen back again on a whim.
So, the article says that Amazon said that this was a glitch and has now been corrected... so perhaps we could get a real story with some actual verification that users have access to their purchases again. Seems like this story is way way overblown. If it were true, then obviously people are due refunds... but it doesn't appear to be true.
The difference with the mail is that you are giving your letter to a Federal agency to deliver it to the intended recipient. They know the sender and recipient because you are voluntarily telling them.
In the case of "business records" kept by a private company or an individual I say they have a right to keep those records private unless the government obtains a warrant.
Whether it is an individual or a business it doesn't matter. If I have a letter from you in my possession then it is my fourth amendment right to keep that private unless the government has a warrant. But it would also be my right to surrender that letter to the government at their request.
The parts I object to regarding current practices are the government demanding that letter and forcing me to turn it over and the fact that congress has interfered with private contracts between companies or individuals and other individuals by saying that companies or people are not liable for violating their privacy agreements by complying with government requests for data. If I have an agreement with you that you will not give my letter to anyone without a warrant, then courts should uphold that as a legal contract.
Companies should be free to refuse demands for data that don't come with a warrant and customers should be free to sue companies if they violate their privacy agreements by conveying specified business records to the government. And therefore companies should be able to compete on the strength of their privacy agreements and customers can decide what level of privacy they want.
you obtain the necessary warrant and then perform whatever action is necessary without breaking the law. was that so hard?
No it shouldn't be. As long as the businesses keep the records for a period of time, then you can leave them in place with the businesses until you have enough for a warrant.
Data mining for suspicious patterns on the communications and records of millions of Americans that otherwise aren't related to any targeted persons or haven't accessed any targeted websites should be off limits.
Also, even if we lowered the standard to something less than a warrant for foreign intelligence and terrorism cases, you don't "connect the dots" by collecting all the dots first and then sorting them out later. Target known terrorists, suspected terrorists and connect the dots from there using a network approach starting with the originally targeted and monitored persons or web sites.
The only thing you might miss from the approach of only requesting data relevant to an ongoing investigation with particular named targets is the random lone terrorist that doesn't communicate with known terrorists or access terrorist websites that are being monitored. Or perhaps fit some sort of e-profile for some sort of targeted behavior. But that is the line where creepy and big brother meet the road and we shouldn't be treading in those waters... to mix metaphors.
As it stands now everything that is being discussed publicly is about catching people that interact with known terrorists or terrorist web sites which means you should be monitoring all the communications of known terrorists already based on a warrant for a named person and can spider out your monitoring based on frequency, type and content of communications with additional requests based on information derived from the first warrant. The result should also be of higher quality because investigators will be dealing with less noise.
And you will change your view if you have a drugged out guy pounding on your door threatening to kill you after he assaulted your neighbor and was vandalizing your apartment building. Luckily the door held and he eventually gave up. And frankly I am glad I didn't have a gun because I don't really want to shoot anyone even in self defense. But as it was my roommates and I were prepared to defend ourselves as best we could with blunt objects... speaking of "caveman thinking". It wasn't even a high crime area.
Then the police show up 45 minutes later after you call 911 and don't bother getting out of their patrol car to take a statement or even verify that you are the person that had called, then perhaps you might feel differently about the need for armed self defense. Guns are rarely a good means of self defense and they are a last resort. Most gun owners I know understand that. But there are unfortunate times when they might be necessary.
When those around you act like cavemen and threaten or use force against you or your family, then "caveman thinking" is all we have left to survive with. Most people can't hire private security or have a protection detail like many politicians and notable proponents of ever greater gun control. For many a gun is what would allow them to defend themselves in a terrible situation.
People in high crime areas get guns to protect themselves because the police can't or simply don't protect them. Moving forward in a logical way to me would be to make sure that our laws protect the second amendment right to keep and bear arms and that includes the universal and basic right to the same kinds of guns that every traffic cop might have. While focusing on making sure those whose crimes or mental conditions make them ineligible don't actually get guns. When we reduce crime, violence and social injustice then fewer people will want or need guns and that would be a good thing. Until then asking law abiding people to disarm themselves before the criminals is a non-starter and we have already gone too far in that direction in some states and localities.
Um, this started under GWB -- it's even in the summary.
I think this is entirely misleading. June 1, 2009 was when GM filed for Bankruptcy protection. The terms of their bankruptcy and government bailout investments were largely negotiated in the months immediately before that during the Obama administration.
The Wall Street Bailouts happened under the Bush administration (just with the support of Senator/Candidate/President-Elect Obama).
By comparison, the bankruptcy restructuring and government investments in GM and Chrysler were relatively smooth because they essentially used well established bankruptcy law to perform the restructuring. But I recall the debate at the time, it took a big political fight to prevent just another Wall Street style bailout.
The fundamental, if not always stated, purpose of most of these gun laws is to make it harder for law abiding people to own guns. With the goal of reducing the number of guns in circulation. By creating a climate of fear and uncertainty, about compliance with gun laws, gun control advocates are trying to isolate gun owners politically through attrition in their numbers over time.
I do agree that a society with fewer guns will in fact reduce the overall number of gun deaths. My concern is that the trade off between the short term goal of safety which would trade away an enduring Liberty just isn't worth it. And will ultimately lead to a less safe and secure society as the people that control the guns both legally through the government or illegally through criminal gangs will feel more emboldened to oppress and threaten those without effective means of self defense.
My ideal is a society where people don't threaten to take away people's second amendment rights and fewer and fewer people feel the need to exercise the right to keep and bear arms. The only thing that the recent push to further regulate guns (on top of layer upon layer of current gun control laws) has done is increase the number of guns in society. Not only is gun control a failure, it is counter-productive to its own express goals.
People that are willing and able to take on the responsibility of gun ownership should do so and our government should support them with reasonable regulations and laws and not burden them with unnecessary, redundant and conflicting laws as is the case now.
This is essentially what was done to settle the White Cross Monument dispute at the Mojave National Preserve.
I agree that religious and other forms of speech should not be biased or endorsed by government on public land. Doesn't mean there can't be a tasteful compromise to still allow religious monuments that are visible from public land.