Bizarre, Freedom, Funny, News, Rights

The topless ladies of Times Square

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In what has been a boon for nudist visibility (at least in terms of media coverage), New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill DeBlasio have denounced a group of scantily clad women in Times Square. Terming themselves the “desnudas,” which means “naked” in Spanish, the topless women typically paint themselves red, white, and blue, and pose with passersby for money.

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Real Estate, Rights

7 neighborhood rules that can get you fined—or arrested

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Who would have thought than an unattractive lawn could land you in jail? But that’s exactly what happened in 2008 to 66-year-old Joe Prudente, a Florida man who spent a day in jail for letting brown patches grow in his yard, Slate reports. It’s said that a man’s home is his castle, but homeowners can’t do whatever they please on their property. They must follow city and county ordinances and any applicable homeowners association (HOA) or regime rules in their neighborhood. The consequences of not doing so can be severe; violating city and county ordinances can lead to steep fines and potential jail time, while ignoring HOA rules can lead to liens and eventual foreclosure.

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Business, News, Rights

Amazon: Thrilling workplace or legal nightmare?

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In a much-read August 16 New York Times article, Seattle-based Amazon.com was both heralded as an innovative, even “thrilling” place to work, and pilloried as every employee’s worst nightmare. If the NYT’s interviews are any indication, Amazon may be flirting with some significant employment law liability.

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Crime & Lawsuits, News, Rights

The system for punishing sex offenders is broken

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Think “sex offender,” and you probably picture a creepy guy who likes to lure children to his van with candy. But that’s not the whole picture. The sex offender registry, which currently stands at over 850,000 registered sex offenders, is comprised of many people who should not be lumped into the same category as violent sex offenders and pedophiles.

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Crime & Lawsuits, Freedom, News, Privacy, Rights, Technology

How to bring drones back down to earth

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Officially known as “Unmanned Aircraft Systems,” drones have become a trending topic over the last few years. With the use of drones by the military, ongoing media attention, and Amazon.com’s commitment to bringing drone-based delivery service by the year 2020, questions regarding their appropriate use have been growing in importance for law enforcement and civilians alike.

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Consumer Protection, Freedom, Rights

If you smoke pot, you can still get fired

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Federal law says that pot is as dangerous as heroin, more addictive than cocaine, and has no accepted medical purpose. Yet 23 states and DC have legalized medical marijuana in some form. Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and D.C. have also de-criminalized recreational marijuana use. For the average worker – and their employers – this federal-state law paradox can have huge impact in the workplace.

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News, Rights

Are chimps about to become people?

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No, chimps are not people. That’s what a New York State Supreme Court ruled in late July. But the judgment, which stated that the matter is open for discussion and could soon change, was viewed as a step in the right direction for animal rights advocates. As animals gain more rights and as the legal definition of personhood expands, it may be just a matter of time before the law sees chimpanzees, and perhaps other animals, as more than mere property.

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Freedom, Government & Politics, News, Rights

Can the next president roll back the marijuana tide?

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The momentum to legalize marijuana appears to have picked up speed over the past several years, and public opinion has kept up. The federal government (which has not kept up with these legal changes) does have some authority it could wield over the states. That authority, however, has limits.

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Rights, Safety

Should pit bulls be illegal?

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Many dog owners think of their pets as members of the family, but that’s not how the law sees it. Aggressive dogs may be put down by a court order, and all owners are responsible for dog bites and injuries incurred by their dog. Sometimes, the law goes even further. In many parts of the country, owners of certain breeds considered “vicious”—usually pit bull-type dogs, Rottweilers, Doberman pinschers, and German shepherds—are subject to tighter restrictions due to breed-specific legislation, or BSL, which is also called breed-discriminatory legislation.

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Bizarre, Funny, Privacy, Rights, Technology

Pocket-dialing: A cautionary tale

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The butt-dial: one of the more common, and occasionally embarrassing, faux pas of the cell phone age. Accidentally dialing someone is awkward enough, but now, thanks to a ruling by a Cincinnati federal appeals court, it could mean that any conversation you have during an unintentional phone call could be made public.

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