Personal Leave

I have experienced some major health issues recently which will limit my ability to post here for a while. I hope to be back to a more normal routine soon, especially in view of the rich fodder for blog posts provided by the US election season.

Ted Cruz: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Senator Ted Cruz, once hailed as the “intellectual” of the US Republican 2016 presidential primary field, continues to provide amusement. Mediaite reports that the Cruz campaign pulled an ad after finding out that they had accidentally hired a softcore porn actress, Amy Lindsay, to promote the religiously conservative senator. (Perhaps surprisingly, Lindsay says she is “a conservative and a Christian” who plans to support Cruz or Donald Trump.)

I have previously criticized Cruz for flamboyantly opposing Net Neutrality despite his not knowing what it was.

Amy Lindsay

Amy Lindsay, via Mediaite.com

Playboy Drops Nudity; TPP Deal Endorsed

Playboy magazine, once synonymous with naked pictures, has rebounded from a years-long slump after getting rid of nudity to become “safe for work.” In a time when the Internet seems saturated with sex and erotica, Playboy’s website visitors increased by 500% since it eliminated full nudity last year. Now its first non-nude print magazine is set for release this week:

Playboy’s web traffic went through the roof when it dropped the nudity

On a darker note, the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, most of which was negotiated in secret, passed another milestone with little media attention. CNet’s Claire Reilly reports:

Dubbed by opponents as “the dirtiest trade deal you’ve never heard of,” the Trans-Pacific Partnership has finally been endorsed Thursday, with trade officials from 12 countries around the Pacific Rim signing off on the complete text of the controversial deal in Auckland, New Zealand.

http://www.cnet.com/news/pacific-grim-how-the-controversial-tpp-signed-away-your-digital-rights/

Porn Laws and PayPal Settlement

I still can’t type much, but here are a couple of stories from Xbiz which my readers might find interesting.

Legendary First Amendment lawyer Marc Randazza analyzes and criticizes a recent Utah proposal to declare porn a public health hazard. He nicely covers the history of US and Canadian porn prohibitions, from the Comstock Act to the infamous MacKinnon laws:

http://www.xbiz.com/news/legal/203882

PayPal will settle with some customers whose accounts were frozen between April 19, 2006, and Nov. 5, 2015. This may affect some people who tried to donate to the TT forum a few years ago right before its account was suspended:

http://www.xbiz.com/news/legal/203895