BP Up To Its Neck, and Not Just in Oil

Brooke’s Skirt 15

Carlos Miller has written of British Petroleum’s management and censorship of photographic and video coverage of the oil spill: “BP and feds continue to prevent media access to gulf oil spill.” The war on photography can take many forms.

Also covered in this morning’s NY Times.

Never let it be said adversity does not provide grist for humor, however: check out the Twitter feed, BPGlobalPR, which has 150,000 followers. An analysis of the Tweeter’s possible legal liabilities makes for interesting reading.

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Photography in Britain Department

A good and balanced BBC radio program regarding the war on photography, police photographic surveillance, and privacy. Does not take on some of the more egregious instances of British police interference with photography, but worth listening to.

Meanwhile, BBC News has also published an article, “Thousands of anti-terror searches were illegal.” Some time ago, I asked my British readers why no one demanded to see the written authorizations required to designate a “Section 44″ zone? That is exactly the point of this article — many searches were conducted in areas that were not properly authorized. The article says that authorities have claimed that procedures have been “tightened.” Uh-huh! Right!

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Self-Help Department

This might be considered a libertarian solution to urban parking. Absolutely hilarious!

Then there is this, another form of self-help: “What happens when engineers own dogs.”

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Follow-Up Department

I reported a couple days ago on the ubiquitous newspaper to be seen in TV shows, movies, etc. Here’s an explanation.

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Morality Police Department

The Saudis aren’t the only ones in this modern age using puritanical laws to enforce morality. Consider Michigan Penal Code § 750.532, which provides:

Any man who shall seduce and debauch any unmarried woman shall be guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not more than 5 years or by fine of not more than 2,500 dollars ….

As discussed by Eugene Volokh in The Volokh Conspiracy, the statute is another of those “lesser included offenses” that a prosecutor has available as a means to reach a plea bargain or achieve a conviction where proof of a crime like rape is not possible (e.g., the suspect says the sex was consensual). Volokh:

I don’t think we should put our trust in the noblesse oblige of prosecutors when it comes to sex crimes any more than when it comes to speech crimes. Seduction shouldn’t be criminal just so that prosecutors find it easier to reach plea bargains in rape cases. Otherwise, why not just make all sex — or for that matter all breathing — a crime? That will make it even easier for prosecutors to reach a “reasonable resolution” plea bargain whenever they think a defendant is guilty of a crime (a sex crime or otherwise) but doubt that they’ll be able to prove it.

My question: why does this not violate equal protection of the laws? Why are women not criminally liable if they “seduce and debauch any unmarried” man?

Lest anyone think that women are let off easily, however, read this about a Nevada woman sentenced to life in prison for forcing a thirteen year-old boy to touch her breast and asking him to have sex with her. (I’d normally doubt such news as being too absurd to be credible, but there’s a YouTube video of the sentence being handed down, for god’s sake!) Unbelievable!

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Our extraordinary skirt session.

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