consultants are sandburs

Thursday, January 17, 2013 petition time. A two-for special.


Please sign this petition to clean one rotten apple from the Justice Department.

The petition gives a link or two about why it is a necessary step.

This is what the ass had to say for herself.

To understand more, google= "aaron swartz"

Many have signed already.

UPDATE: Further online info about Swartz, with links worth following, here, here, here and reporting that JSTOR, the site with the paywall that Swartz contested, makes this month a partial concession to some free public access. Read about PLOS, with a goal to provide quality scientific publishing free of any paywall. FURTHER UPDATE: Two related petitions are here and here; the latter addressing the statute used against Swartz. Guardian has two of the best reports; here and here, so was this a make-an-example prosecution blessed by IBM? That can be inferred, but it's a guess. FURTHER UPDATE: Economist reports, per this mid-article excerpt:

For although programming was his first love, campaigning was his true vocation. He co-founded Demand Progress, a group that rails against internet censorship and which played a prominent role in the online campaign last year that helped to scupper proposed anti-piracy legislation supported by Hollywood film studios and other content owners. His Guerrilla Open Access Manifesto of 2008 presaged—and perhaps inspired—recent threats by academics to shun journals that charge readers for access.

Around 2006 he obtained—though he would not say how—the complete bibliographic data for books held by the Library of Congress. He thought it unfair that the Library's catalogue division charged hefty fees to provide this information, which, being the work of the government, had no copyright protection within the United States. So he posted it in the Open Library, which aims to provide an entry for every book in existence as part of Internet Archive, a project founded by the internet entrepreneur Brewster Kahle to store a copy of every web page of every website ever to go online.

Aghast at how federal court documents were available only for a price from the inappositely named Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system, in 2009 he used the free access temporarily granted to public libraries to retrieve 18m pages of PACER's 500m documents before he was cut off. They ended up on, founded by Carl Malamud, a veteran advocate of open access, also known as the internet's public librarian. The FBI investigated but did not pursue charges.


A petition having a much lower present recognition rate, but one I endorse as sound beyond any doubt, and have signed exactly as with the above petition.

This link for the petition.

This link for a Bachelor's Thesis on Food Banks, Nonprofits, and ways of fighting hunger, or in the instance of this petition making the fight against hunger easier.

I have blogged much about the case Moore v. Hoff, the "Johnny Northside" blogger free speech - First Amendment litigation that John Hoff and lawyer Paul Godfread fought to make it judicial precedent in Minnesota that a blogger or newspaper publishing the truth cannot be sued on any claim arising from the publishing of such truth. Defamation law long rested on that basis, but an indirect tortious interference theory of recovery had to be fought on appeal to gain a decision that a truthful publishing is not tortiously interfering with any protected interest of a public figure or quasi-public one.

One taking on a public persona has no insulation from the truth.

Well, with that as background -- this one is Hoff's petition. Meritorious in any event, but noteworthy in addition for its origin.

I mention Hoff in the hope that if you respect his making precedent that is beneficial for us all, making good law, that is good reason to take time to read and sign the petition. Good reason beyond the inherent merit.

Many need to sign soon. Please help.

Again, emphatically, every reader is urged to sign both petitions. Each merits it.

Rather than a separate post, after mentioning Hoff and his Moore v. Hoff litigation above, although apart from the petitions this post can be extended with news related to that case and persons involved.

Jill Elenor Clark, a frequent judicial candidate, represented the Plaintiff Jerry Moore, who prevailed at trial to the tune of a $60,000 judgment against Hoff. On appeal there was a reversal with the case published as precedent as reported elsewhere on Crabgrass. Moore was held to reimburse costs to Hoff, on appeal.

Now Clark, since that case was argued in the Court of Appeals, has had her license to practice law called into question, and the license was suspended by Supreme Court order, dated Jan. 16, 2013; as reported by Abby Simons of Strib, here. In Simons' final paragraph the case she refers to is Moore v. Hoff.

Hoff has posted the court's order online, here.

I find it somewhat ironic that, as recited in the memorandum-order, the initial complaint against Clark was filed Feb. 23, 2012, and now almost a full year later (Jan. 16, 2013)  the Supreme Court has acted to suspend the license to practice, but the order itself requires further activities on a time frame reaching to about the one-year anniversary of the initial complaint filing, (perhaps, indeed probably beyond), and things drag on and on. The judicial process sometimes is slow, and here there were contested positions and the question of a disability, a mental impairment, complicating things.

Another report of the Clark license suspension is online at MinnLawyer Blog, at this specific link. That report summarizes much of the court's memorandum-order, with hints of how federal filings may have caused added delay. [UPDATE: Both statewide daily papers now report on Clark; PiPress, here.]

_______________FURTHER UPDATE______________
Leaving aside that digression, again I urge and plead for readers to sign both petitions. Hoff offered a comment to the post, which I am posting here instead, in the hope more will see it than if left as a comment:

Thanks for linking to my petition. We only need approximately 100 signatures at this point in order to be on the "public" portion of the White House website at which point I hope the thing will snowball. So I hope some of your readers will send the link around via email and help us get over the hump with just 100 more signatures

I believe I may have a number of readers, who if all signing, may put the petition over the hump, or close to it. Hunger is an incredibly nasty thing, it should not exist in our nation, and the intent of Hoff's petition is to lessen its effect. Please sign it. It stands more in need of attention now than the Aaron Shwartz - persecution situation.

___________FINAL UPDATE_________
This will wrap up the post. Anything else pertinent enough to post will be by separate posting.

The petition references the Bill Emerson Act, with a helpful google of the full formal name given now for reader follow-up, if desired (Wikipedia, here).

Having linked to an academic paper above, it may help to present the first four introductory pages as clickable thumbnail images, for hunger-related information many of us, myself included, did not already know:

That puts the second petition item in a stark but true context, where it is not at all burdensome for readers to sign onto the petition.

Not to belabor the point, but the first petition is carrying much weight already, while the second one needs attention and participation. Meaning you. Sign it.

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