Nestlé Under Fire For Drawing Tens of Millions of Gallons Of Water For Sale While Paying Only $524 Under An Expired Permit

250px-Nestlé.svg220px-Drinking_waterThere is an interesting controversy brewing over the continued removal of water by Nestle from California’s water supply during the record drought in that state. Nestle continued to remove millions of gallons of water from the San Bernardino National Forest to sell as part of its Arrowhead bottled water brand. While the rest of the state is facing stringent water reductions, Nestles has been criticized for removing 27 million gallons of water from 12 springs in Strawberry Canyon under a permit that expired in 1988. The expired permit’s fee for the water, according to critics? $524.

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Indian Village Council Sentences Two Sisters To Be Raped As Punishment For Brother Running Away With Woman From Higher Caste

1024px-Flag_of_India.svgAccording to various media reports and Amnesty International, an all-male village council in India sentenced two sisters, including a 15 year old girl, to be raped as punishment for their brother running away with a married woman from a higher caste. The accounts state that Meenakshi Kumari, who is 23, and her younger sister, will then be paraded naked with their faces blackened through the streets as part of this disgraceful, primitive sentence.

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Court In Egypt Sentences Al-Jazeera Reporters To Three Years Imprisonment

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Flag of EgyptWe previously wrote HERE and HERE of the arrest, conviction, and sentencing several Al-Jazeera reporters for the dubious accusation of aiding the Muslim Brotherhood through their coverage of the “civil war” in Egypt.

Now in its latest retrial, the Court sentenced Peter Greste, Mohammed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed to three years imprisonment for operating without a press license and broadcasting material harmful to the state. An international outcry likely will follow.

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Garbage In, Garbage Out: San Jose Considers Installing License Plate Readers On Garbage Trucks

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

garbage-truck-scaniaSan Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and Councilmen Johnny Khamis and Raul Peralez proposed installing license plate readers on garbage trucks. If there is one thing apparently that is important to the collection of your trash and rubbish it is reading every license plate in the neighborhood it seems. The city officials believe it will make a strong dent in the number of stolen and wanted vehicles left out in the street around garbage day.

The proposal involves installation of the readers and feeding the license data to the central computer system that serves the police department’s LPRs installed on patrol cars. It promises to be a monumentally cost inefficient system despite what city officials might claim. The civil liberties implications notwithstanding.

Psst, car thieves of California: be sure to take in your stolen car when you take out the trash.

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License Plate Data Mining By Police Partially Curtailed By Red Tape After 80Gb Drive Got Full

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

TRS-80 Model 1Those who strongly advocate for both privacy and efficient government are sure to be perplexed.

Oakland Police, which has a License Plate Recognition system that gathers thousands of its citizens’ license plate data via cameras, decided to reduce their license plate data-mining retention time after the underlying hard drive storing the data filled up, crashing the storage system. The culprit was a desktop computer running Windows XP on an 80 gigabyte hard drive.

If that wasn’t enough the replacement of this hard drive, at least, was curtailed by a firewall of red tape that seems to have prevented the city from buying a replacement drive. A one terabyte hard-drive can easily be found for fifty dollars.

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WA State Senators Declare Supreme Court Order “Unconstitutional”

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

wa-constitutionA sign of the current education situation in Washington State took a turn for the obvious when, showing a fundamental lack of knowledge of basic civics, a coalition of Washington State Senators declared an order of the State Supreme Court to be Unconstitutional. That’s right, the several senators seem to have missed a key portion of their junior-high education relating to which branch of government has the ultimate say in constitutional matters and perhaps the workings of our tripartite government.

The claim of unconstitutionality stems from an open letter penned by several state senators describing the “constitutional crisis” caused by a rogue state supreme court. Previously the court held the state in contempt for failing to provide for the constitutionally mandated primary duty of funding basic education. It ultimately prescribed a penalty of $100,000.00 for each day the legislature failed to furnish the court with a suitable plan to address shortcomings enumerated in McCleary v. State.

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Laugh Less, Protest More? Comedians Reportedly Avoiding Colleges and Universities Due To Speech Regulations

nicubunu_open_mouthThere is an interesting story out this week of how comedians are avoiding college campuses due to the increasing levels of speech regulations and complaints over speech deemed insulting to any group. We have been discussing the rapid expansion of speech controls on campuses and the loss of core principles of free speech that once defined American academia. The rule today appears to be to laugh less and protest more on campus.

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