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PoliGraph: Drazkowski same-sex marriage claim misleading

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A constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage will be on the ballot next fall. Between now and then, voters will be barraged with ads, opinion pieces, and direct mail opposing and favoring the effort.

Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, fired an early shot in the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Those who argue that banning same-sex marriage will be bad for the economy are wrong, he wrote in a November 21, 2011, opinion piece.

"To the contrary, the facts show that states with a marriage protection amendment are our top performing economic states," he wrote. "For example, eight of the top 10 'best states for business' according to a survey of 556 CEO's by Chief Executive Magazine have a state marriage amendment in their constitution. "

Drazkowski's claim is misleading.

The Evidence

Chief Executive Magazine surveyed 556 chief executive officers who rank the best states for business.

It's true that eight out of the top 10 states listed in the survey have constitutional amendments that ban same-sex marriage.

But Chief Executive Magazine Editor JP Donlon said that Drazkowski is wrong to link a ban on same-sex marriage to economic performance.

"We neither looked or thought about such a correlation because it doesn't have a bearing on a state's performance one way or another," Donlon said.

Rather, the survey asked the CEOs questions about taxes and regulatory issues, quality of workers and living environment in each state.

It's also useful to look at other rankings. For example, Forbes Magazine released its list in November, and it includes Iowa, where same-sex marriage is allowed. A recent study conducted by the Williams Institute found that legal same-sex marriage boosted the wedding and tourism industries in Iowa by upwards of $13 million.

That's not to say that families aren't important to the economy, said Skip Burzumato, assistant director of The National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia. Drazkowski also cites one of the Marriage Project's recent papers in his op-ed.

The project has found that "when children are raised in intact, married families, they cost the state less," Burzumato said. "They require special education at a lower rate and they encounter the criminal justice system at a lower rate."

But the group hasn't looked at how same-sex families affect the economy.

Mark Regnerus, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin has just started looking at how children of same-sex parents fare. He said it's too soon to tell whether their employment futures, for instance, are any better or worse than those who grow up with opposite-sex parents.

"In general, stable parental marriage is good for subsequent personal employment of the children [as adults]," he said. "If gay marriage fostered the same stable traits that now occur in married, mom/dad families, then it would foster greater employment. It is, of course, too soon to say whether gay marriages will closely mimic straight ones. Maybe; maybe not."

The Verdict

Drazkowski's claim is misleading. While eight of Chief Executive Magazine's top 10 states best for business have constitutional amendments that ban same-sex marriage, there's no correlation between the bans and the business ranking.

SOURCES

The Red Wing Republican Eagle, Column: Citizens should favor marriage amendment, by Rep. Steve Drazkowski, Nov. 21, 2011 (subscription only)

Chief Executive, Best/Worst States for Business, by JP Donlon, May 3, 2011

Texas Constitution, Article 1, Section 32, accessed Dec. 9, 2011

Florida Constitution, Article 1, Section 27, accessed Dec. 9, 2011

Georgia Constitution, Article 1, Section IV, accessed Dec. 9, 2011

Virginia Constitution, Article 1, Section 15-A, accessed Dec. 9, 2011

South Carolina Constitution, Article XVII, Section 15, Dec. 9, 2011

Utah Constitution, Article 1, Section 29, Dec. 9, 2011

Nevada Constitution, Article 1, Section 21, Dec. 9, 2011

The Sustainable Demographic Dividend: What do Marriage and Fertility Have to Do With the Economy, accessed Dec. 9, 2011

ABC News, Gay Marriage Has Boosted Iowa's Economy, Study Concludes, by Elizabeth Hartfield, Dec. 8, 2011

The Williams Institute, Estimating the Economic Boost of Marriage Equality in Iowa: Sales Tax, December 2011

Interview, JP Donlon, editor, Chief Executive Magainze, Dec. 8, 2011

Interview, Skip Burzumato, Assistant Director, The National Marriage Project, Dec. 9, 2011

E-mail exchange, Mark Regnerus, associate professor, University of Texas at Austin, Dec. 9, 2011

E-mail exchange, Jason Wenisch, spokesman, Rep. Steve Drazkowski, Dec. 9, 2011

Pepsi HIV hoax circulates via text, internet

The Pepsi HIV hoax which circulated through texts, email and social networking sites sent many people to the internet to seek the truth, some just laughed it off.

Pepsi Tropicana
A sample message, according to Con-Slayer.com, goes:

Important message....for d next few days, do not drink any product from pepsi company like pepsi, tropicana juice, slice, 7up , coca cola, etc,,as a worker from the company has added his blood contaminated with HIV. watch NDtv ...please 4ward this 2 every 1 u care about.....please spread!

Another one reads:

To all my fellow facebook friends n family please do not drink pepsi from tha bottles a company worker has put his contaminated HIV blood in some of tha bottles thanks

A netizen that goes by the name "Vasu" says:

First of all HIV can spreed only by 3 ways
1. Blood Transmission , Transfusion
2. Unsafe Sex with an HIV positive.
3. Through birth from HIV positive mother.(wich is 70% preventable now)
Even a mosquito bite cant spread it. HIV virus cannot live in external cosmos. Its only survival habitat is blood If the blood comes out and gets frozen or dissolved before entering another body the HIV virus dies.

More facts and reader comments are available at Con-Slayer.com.

PepsiCo in its website's FAQ page vehemently denied the allegation that Pepsi bottles and Tropicana packs were contaminated with HIV infected blood saying the story is "absurd" and "an attempt to malign the company's reputation."

While assuring the public that "Pepsi and Tropicana are 100% safe," "made in automated plants," and "untouched by hands," the company urged recipients of such fraudulent messages to ignore and not forward it.

PepsiCo made an appeal to receivers to avoid sharing the hoax message "as it may lead to spreading of baseless rumours causing unnecessary worry amongst consumers and may attract legal action for maligning the company's reputation."

We are uncertain if those texts or similar messages reached the Philippines, but for us, spreading it is clearly a waste of time and resources.

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The Con 2007 Movie trailer

Trailer

Video Rating: 4 / 5

The Con

From acclaimed director Lasse Hallstrom comes the unbelievable true story of Clifford Irving, the writer who faked the authorized autobiography of reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes and came close to pulling off the media scam of the 20th century. Irving's elaborate attempts to substantiate his claims – forgery, plagiarism, and falsifying legal documents – spark a media frenzy and take Irving down a neurotic spiral as he begins to suspect a vast conspiracy including the U.S. government and corporate empires are plotting against him.The Con is a happy surprise. Surprise because, for once, having a film's release date bumped back half a year didn't mean it's a dog. Happy because Lasse Hallström's dancing-on-eggshells comedy about a notorious literary scandal of the 1970s is bounteously entertaining, with more solid laughs and certainly slyer wit than, say, the latest Will Ferrell romp.

The subject is the world-shaking con an unsuccessful writer named Clifford Irving (Richard Gere) ran on some supposedly sharp cookies in the highest echelons of Manhattan publishing. Irving persuaded McGraw-Hill and Life magazine that ultra-reclusive tycoon Howard Hughes had selected him to transcribe his memoirs. It's pure balderdash, a desperate improvisation by a glib-talker who's perennially one jump ahead of the repo men. But the epic audacity of Irving's scam, the quicksilver way he weaves imaginary and accidental real-life details into beguiling patterns, and the legendary self-isolation of his supposed subject all conspire to keep the fiction afloat ... for a while.

This story isn't new to cinema, though few reviewers seem aware of that. In 1973 Orson Welles told it as part of F for Fake, a kaleidoscopic meditation on art, forgery, and the slipperiness of media, in which the real-life Irving was a semi-witting participant. But there's no need to beat up on The Con for being inferior to that postmodern masterpiece. Hallström and a deft cast do a killer job on the skyscrap! er corpo rate world where there are always more people in the room than there are useful purposes for them to serve (see especially Hope Davis, Stanley Tucci, and Zjelko Ivanek); Marcia Gay Harden summons up a daft Viking serenity as spouse Edith Irving, a.k.a. "Helga R. Hughes"; and Alfred Molina rates a supporting Oscar nod for his balletic suspension between bemusement and panic attack as Dick Suskind, Irving's researcher accomplice and conscience-in-default. As for the con artist in chief, Richard Gere dials back the narcissism of previous performances to limn a schmuck just suave enough to seduce even himself. --Richard T. Jameson

List Price: $ 9.99 Price: $ 2.70



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Pepsi HIV Hoax Circulates; Pepsi Claims its Untrue

Pepsi HIV Hoax Circulates; Pepsi Claims its Untrue



An SMS has been circulating that Pepsi products are contaminated with HIV but Permanis Sandilands Sdn Bhd has clarified that this is a hoax.

Its marketing vice-president Hemalatha Ragavan said there was no truth to it.

She urged people not to believe such claims.

"This SMS started circulating in India in July and even there, no one believed it," she said yesterday.

The SMS reads:

for d next few days, do not drink any product from pepsi company like pepsi, tropicana juice, slice, 7up , coca cola, etc,,as a worker from the company has added his blood contaminated with HIV. watch NDtv ...please 4ward this 2 every 1 u care about.....ok. Please note seriously."


Hemalatha said Pepsi products were produced according to the strictest safety standards and were safe for consumption.

"It is scientifically proven that HIV cannot be transmitted via food or drinks anyway," she said, adding that different versions of the same rumour had made the rounds before.

However, she said those rumours involved other companies' food items.

- Source

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The Hoax

Soon to be a major motion picture -- a no-holds-barred account of the most notorious literary hoax of the twentieth century, written by the perpetrator himself

Before Oprah and TheSmokingGun.com had ever heard of James Frey, there was Clifford Irving. In 1971, he burst onto the literary scene, claiming to have been granted the right to pen the authorized biography of the famously reclusive icon Howard Hughes. Forged documents seemed to bear out his claims, and McGraw-Hill awarded him a contract for the then-enormous sum of 0,000. When Hughes himself emerged from seclusion to denounce Irving as a charlatan, McGraw-Hill stood by their author. It wasn't until Hughes filed suit, and Swiss bank officials got involved, that Irving finally confessed. The Hoax, first published in 1981, is Irving's explosive account of his own misdeeds -- and the inspiration for a soon-to-be released movie starring Richard Gere.

List Price: $ 14.95 Price: $ 0.80



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Senator Wants Answers from DHS Over Domain Name Seizures - Wired News

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) said Friday he would demand answers from the Department of Homeland Security about its domain seizure program known as Operation in Our Sites after it was revealed that the government kept a hip-hop music review site's name for a year without affording the owner a chance to challenge the seizure.

Wyden also wants to know why there was no court record of the case, other than the initial seizure filing a year ago.

"I expect the administration will be receiving a series of FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] requests from our office and that the senator will have very pointed questions with regard to how the administration chooses to target the sites that it does," said Jennifer Hoelzer, a Wyden spokeswoman. She said the senator was "particularly interested in learning how many secret dockets exist for copyright cases. There doesn't seem to be an obvious precedent or explanation for that."

Wyden's interest comes a day after federal authorities returned the domain name dajaz1.com, which was back online greeting visitors Friday with a powerful message about proposed web-censorship legislation that expands the government — and copyright holders — power to shutter and cripple sites suspected of copyright infringement.

The federal government already has the power to seize web domains under the same forfeiture laws used to seize property like houses, cars and boats allegedly tied to illegal activity such as drug running. A year ago, it started invoking that law against sites marketing and trafficking in counterfeit goods, unauthorized sports streaming and unauthorized music — seizing more than 350 domain names in all.

One of those sites caught in that crackdown (.pdf) was dajas1.com. Operation in Our Sites, run by the Department of Homeland Security, accused the site of allowing its users to download pre-release music. But as it turns out, some of that music was sent to the popular blog by the artists or labels.

The site's homepage on Friday was dominated by a video pointing to alarming legislation known as the Protect IP Act — which is stalled in a procedural muck — that a Senate committee passed months ago basically giving copyright owners the right to shutter websites believed to be dedicated to infringing activities. Judicial oversight is not needed. In a recent editorial, we spoke about such dangers that this and a similar proposed House measure are ripe for abuse. After all, if the movie industry had its way, the VCR would have been outlawed.

Techdirt disclosed Thursday that for a year, the government refused to allow the site's owner, who goes by the moniker Splash, to challenge the November 2010 seizure of the domain name by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office, which is a branch of DHS. The only publicly available court record regarding the seizure was the initial filing of a court order a year ago. Everything else was sealed — invisible to Splash, his lawyer, the public and the press. On Thursday, the site was returned to the owner of the Queens, New York-based site with the only explanation being that forfeiture was unwarranted.

ICE's complaint against the site listed four songs that the site allegedly linked to in violation of copyright law. Three of them were e-mailed to Splash by record executives associated with labels that belong to the Recording Industry Association of America, which helped create the complaint.

"It's not my fault if someone at a record label is sending me the song," Splash told The New York Times last year.

His attorney, Andrew Bridges of San Francisco, said in a telephone interview Friday that the issue underscores that "powerful corporate copyright interests have taken advantage  of the post 9-11 era to obtain the services of Homeland Security to enforce commercial interests."

The Immigrations and Customs Enforcement's public response to keeping Splash's property for a year, without due process, boils down to a belief that it's acceptable collateral damage:

Operation In Our Sites utilized the civil forfeiture statute provided by Congress for intellectual property theft to seize domain names of 350 separate websites engaged in copyright or trademark violations. In each instance, ICE, working with our partners at the Department of Justice, demonstrated the requisite probable cause to a federal magistrate judge to justify the seizure of the website. This process is the same that federal law enforcement uses for seizures of all types. During the subsequent forfeiture process, law enforcement continued not only to investigate potential criminal wrongdoing, but to objectively consider all applicable evidence resulting from the ongoing investigation. The goal of every law enforcement operation is to ensure a just result. In the case of this domain name — out of 350 seized — the government concluded that the appropriate and just result was to decline to pursue judicial forfeiture.

It just seems wrong that the United States would seize somebody's property without affording any opportunity for a challenge — and ICE has tried to say that sites can fight back.

The Justice Department told Wyden in May that the Operation in Our Sites would indeed allow targets an opportunity to challenge the seizure. The only known challenge so far to Operation in Our Sites was by  the Spanish site Rojadirecta, which prevailed on First Amendment grounds Wednesday.

"Property owners are are entitled to challenge the forfeiture of their property, in which case the government would be required to demonstrate the basis for forfeiture by a preponderance of the evidence," Ronald Weich, an assistant attorney general, wrote (.pdf) Wyden in May. "Even where the government can demonstrate that property was used to commit a criminal offense, an innocent owner who was unaware of the criminal activity, or who took reasonable measures to notify law enforcement upon learning of the criminal conduct, may nevertheless avoid forfeiture."

The dajaz1.com seizure was based on an investigation from the RIAA, which said in a statement that for the 18 months before the site was seized, "nearly 2,300 recordings linked to the site were removed from various file-sharing services."

"We are aware of statements by the site operator that suggest that music companies themselves were the source of at least some of the thousands of recordings available on Dajaz1. Even assuming this to be accurate, it does not excuse the thousands of other pre-release tracks also made available which were neither authorized for commercial distribution nor for uploading to publicly accessible sites where they were readily downloadable for free," the RIAA said in a statement.

Apparently the RIAA is none too happy about the dajaz1.com site being given back, and suggested it was returned for "technical issues."

"If the site continues to operate in an illegal manner," the RIAA said in a statement, "we will consider all our legal options to prevent further damage to the music community."

Photo of Ron Wyden: Charles Dharapak/AP

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Malloy urges source in fraud allegations to come forward

Governor Malloy is urging News 8's source from Tuesday night's exclusive welfare fraud story to come forward.

Video Rating: 0 / 5



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