Daily Archive: 06/10/2012

Jun 10 2012

Rant of the Week: Stephen Colbert

The Word – Sink or Swim

Scientists predict an economy-destroying, 39-inch sea level rise, but North Carolina drafts a law to make it eight inches.

Jun 10 2012

On This Day In History June 10

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

June 10 is the 161st day of the year (162nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 204 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1990, Luther Campbell and fellow 2LiveCrew members are arrested on obscenity charges

Though the First Amendment to the Constitution clearly states that the U.S. Congress “shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech,” free speech is widely understood to have its limits. It is dangerous and potentially criminal, for instance, to yell, “Fire!” in a crowded theater. But what about yelling “$&%#@!!” in a crowded nightclub? Lenny Bruce and other comedians tested the limits of that practice in the 1960s, but it was not until the late 1980s that the issue of obscenity came front and center in the world of popular music. The group that brought it there was 2LiveCrew, a hip-hop outfit led by Luther “Luke Skyywalker” Campbell. On June 10, 1990, just days after a controversial ruling by a Florida federal judge, Campbell and two other members of 2LiveCrew were arrested on charges of public obscenity after performing material from their album As Nasty As They Wanna Be in a Hollywood, Florida, nightclub.

As Nasty As They Wanna Be

In 1989, the group released their album, As Nasty As They Wanna Be, which also became the group’s most successful album. A large part of its success was due to the single “Me So Horny”, which was popular despite little radio rotation. The American Family Association (AFA) did not think the presence of a “Parental Advisory” sticker was enough to adequately warn listeners of what was inside the case. Jack Thompson, a lawyer affiliated with the AFA, met with Florida Governor Bob Martinez and convinced him to look into the album to see if it met the legal classification of obscene. In 1990 action was taken at the local level and Nick Navarro, Broward County sheriff, received a ruling from County Circuit Court judge Mel Grossman that probable cause for obscenity violations existed. In response, Luther Campbell maintained that people should focus on issues relating to hunger and poverty rather than on the lyrical content of their music.

Navarro warned record store owners that selling the album may be prosecutable. The 2 Live Crew then filed a suit against Navarro. That June, U.S. district court Judge Jose Gonzalez ruled the album obscene and illegal to sell. Charles Freeman, a local retailer, was arrested two days later, after selling a copy to an undercover police officer. This was followed by the arrest of three members of The 2 Live Crew after they performed some material from the album at a nightclub. They were acquitted soon after, as professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. testified at their trial in defense of their lyrics. Freeman’s conviction was overturned on appeal as well.

In 1992, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit overturned the obscenity ruling from Judge Gonzalez, and the Supreme Court of the United States refused to hear Broward County’s appeal. As in the Freeman case, Gates testified on behalf of Navarro, arguing that the material that the county alleged was profane actually had important roots in African-American vernacular, games, and literary traditions and should be protected.

As a result of the controversy, As Nasty As They Wanna Be sold over two million copies. It peaked at #29 on The Billboard 200 and #3 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. A few other retailers were later arrested for selling it as well, including Canadian Marc Emery who was convicted in Ontario in 1991, and would later gain fame as a marijuana activist. Later hard rock band Van Halen sued over an uncleared sample of their song “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” in The 2 Live Crew Song “The Fuck Shop”. The publicity then continued when George Lucas, owner of the Star Wars universe, successfully sued Campbell for appropriating the name “Skywalker” for his record label, Luke Skyywalker Records. Campbell changed his stage name to Luke (and changed the record label’s name to Luke Records) and the group released an extremely political follow up album, Banned in the USA after obtaining permission to use an interpolation of Bruce Springsteen‘s Born in the U.S.A. The 2 Live Crew paraphernalia with the Luke Skyywalker or Skyywalker logos are often sought-after collector’s items.

Jun 10 2012

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Punting the Punditsis an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

The Sunday Talking Heads:

Up with Chris Hayes: Guests and topic information not listed.

The Melissa Harris-Perry Show: Guests and topic information not listed.

This Week with George Stephanopolis: Guests and topic information not listed.

 

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: On the 40th Anniversary of Watergate, the reporters who broke the story for the Washington Post, Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward are guests; Gov. Martin O’Malley, D-Md., the head of the Democratic Governor’s Association; AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka: the chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI).

The Chris Matthews Show: This week Mr. Matthews is joined by Katty Kay, BBC Washington Correspondent; Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Beast Editor, The Dish; Andrea Mitchell, NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent; and John Heilemann, New York Magazine, National Political Correspondent

Meet the Press with David Gregory: MTP will not air Sunday due to NBC Sports coverage of the French Open.

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Ms. Crowely talks to President Obama’s Senior Campaign Adviser, David Axelrod about the race; Senator John McCain (R-AZ) on national security leaks and the latest on the ongoing crisis in Syria; the debate over the use of drones with Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA,) and Rep. Peter King (R-NY.); and finally, a reporter roundtable (no names announced) on the political news of the week.

Jun 10 2012

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

Assad’s response to Syria unrest leaves his own sect divided

  Some Alawites want him to crush opposition; others say he’s risking their future

 By NEIL MacFARQUHAR

After Jaber Abboud, a baker from Baniyas, Syria, first lashed out publicly at President Bashar al-Assad for failing to promote real change, his neighbors ignored it.

But Mr. Abboud and most of his community are Alawites, the same religious sect as the president. When the popular uprising broke out, many believed that if the Assad family fell, they were doomed. They closed ranks and turned on Mr. Abboud, boycotting his pastry shop and ultimately forcing him to leave town.

“The neighborhood is split – half are dejected and subservient, the rest are beasts,” he said in a telephone interview from nearby Latakia. “It is depressing to go there, it’s like a town full of ghosts, divided, security everywhere.”




Sunday’s Headlines:

Iran’s nuclear program: 4 things you probably didn’t know

The state of Gaza: Five years after Hamas took power in the city, how has life changed for its citizens?

Egypt to have second go at constitution assembly

The battle for peace in the slums

Strict Singapore divided by arrest of its own Banksy