• A new court ruling makes it a federal crime for an employee to use a work computer in a manner that violates employer-authorized access. What’s that mean? Blogger and law professor Orin Kerr points out that the following common workplace behavior may now be subject to prosecution:
The best employee in a larger company might spend thirty minutes writing up a report, and then spend one minute checking personal e-mail and twenty seconds to check the weather to see if the baseball game after work might be rained out. He might then spend ten more minutes working on the report followed by two minutes to check the online news. Over the course of the day, he might use the computer for primarily personal reasons dozens or even hundreds of times.
All verboten, says the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. “Astonishing implications for the scope of government power,” concludes Kerr.
• So using a taser on a handcuffed man more than 15 times in under a minute is not supposed to be standard operating procedure? Huh. News to these Alaska cops, who were found not culpable (for now, at least) for using excessive force on one Thomas Olson. That’s because, the judge decided, when the incident occurred back in 2006, there wasn’t enough case law to determine “how much Tasing was too much Tasing, so [the officers] had no way of knowing whether they violated Olson’s rights.”
• It was a big day for the hundreds of millions who excitedly pucker their lips when presented with royal arse-cheeks. Matt Zoller Seitz, in Salon: “The coverage of this whole ceremony and its run-up was revoltingly obsequious and almost entirely devoid of news value, and so altogether bubble-brained that it makes me think that if there is such a thing as karmic payback for wrong priorities, we’re due for some major trauma.”
• Corporatist Donald Trump is the runner-up candidate among the current field of Republican presidential contenders. Is there a rational reason why so many GOP-leaning voters favor a guy who passionately supports the Supreme Court’s Kelo vs New London outrage? Kelo is a virtual litmus test of a candidate’s commitment to small government and to property rights, two of the cornerstones of the GOP’s professed ideology. Trump not only fails the test, he doesn’t seem the slightest bit embarrassed or conflicted by it (of course, he’s a man who, for better or for worse, has made a career out of not being embarrassed or conflicted). Stephen Littau has more.
• Bonus: The Onion has also been in a Trump state of mind lately.
Rogier is a Dutch-born, New-England-dwelling multi-media maven (OK, a writer and photographer) whose dead-tree publishing credits include the New York Times, Wired, Rolling Stone, Playboy, and Reason.