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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Illegal, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 11 of 11
1. What one author did when confronted by a pirate

If you’re a (book) pirate, don’t cross swords with mega-author Terry Goodkind. As the London Observer reports:

Goodkind was outraged, and decided to name one of the pirates on his Facebook page, posting the perpetrator's details – including a photo – and prompting an onslaught of online fury against him.

Read the whole story here.


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2. Diamonds are forever ..... by Miriam Halahmy

"It's our diamond birthday," my oldest friend Jean announced to me earlier this year. So me and the Queen - we arrived at the same point together somehow. There was no escaping it. On May 31st 2012 I would join the ranks of old codgers, senior citizens, OAPs, and the worse thing? I won't even get my freedom pass until July 2014.
The only way to cope was to plan a zillion celebrations - just like the Queen. I invited some of my writer friends over for what I called, 'A writer's brunch' in the garden. They loved it! We drank Prosecco and talked about books and I even thought of making a speech. Fortunately I abandoned that idea quickly and read a poem instead. No, I didn't take photos and plaster them all over Facebook. We just relaxed and enjoyed each other's company.
Although I didn't get any diamonds ( because I became one??) I got some great presents. This one could have been from the Queen I suppose. Actually it was from another friend, Liz, who went diamond the month before me. "Its got your dates on it," she quipped.


My lovely husband ( who gave me far too many presents) has discovered that you can get pictures onto mugs. So here is one of his presents ( the patriotic teapot is from my daughter.)


We all went out for lunch and suddenly, after the meals, my daughter says, "Turn round mum." And there was the cake. I was speechless ( unusual for me!)


The waitress was giving me such strange looks so I said, "Don't worry, its my book cover." She smiled with relief.
So if you are about to go diamond here are three tips :
1. Ignore the friends who gasp in horror - they don't mean anything, its just such a big number and everyone wants to be 40 something these days ( yeah, even the 20 somethings - don't ask me!)
2. Have lots of little parties and celebrations, it helps you to absorb the impact coming up to meet you.
3. And make sure you get your book cover on a cake - its utterly amazing!

I'm happy for you to comment, but don't feel you ALL have to wish me happy birthday - there was loads on Facebook and we don't want to clog ABBA up.

7 Comments on Diamonds are forever ..... by Miriam Halahmy, last added: 6/10/2012
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3. Will John Edwards be indicted?

By Peter J. Henning


The criminal investigation of former Senator and presidential candidate John Edwards for secretly funneling money to his ex-lover Rielle Hunter is moving toward a conclusion, and there is a good chance he will be indicted if federal prosecutors can link the payments to his campaign committee or find that contributors were deceived about the purpose of the donations.

Voicemails released by North Carolina television station WTVD show Edwards’ connection to keeping his affair with Ms. Hunter secret.  An NBC New report in February disclosed that federal prosecutors were planning to take the deposition of one of the sources of nearly $1 million used to keep Ms. Hunter out of sight while she was pregnant with their child.

The investigation into payments made to Ms. Hunter while Mr. Edwards was running for the 2008 Democratic nomination for President has been going on for almost two years.  According to campaign records, she was purportedly paid for producing campaign videos.  A former top aide to Mr. Edwards, Andrew Young, originally claimed to be the father of the child, but has now turned on his former boss and described in detail how large sums were provided to support Ms. Hunter, who is not a target of the investigation.

Sex scandals involving politicians normally just end the person’s political career, at least in this country.  And paying off a secret lover to buy silence is not normally a crime, at least when the politician uses his own money.   According to Mr. Young, however, the money came from wealthy donors, including $700,000 from Rachel “Bunny” Melloon, an aged wealthy patron of Mr. Edwards, who gave personal checks hidden in candy boxes.

The funds provided for Ms. Hunter pose a problem for Mr. Edwards if the money was collected for his presidential campaign committee and instead was tapped to make payments on her behalf, or even given directly to her.  Politicians once viewed their campaign accounts as something akin to a personal piggy bank, and the money can still be used for a number of things that have little to do with actually running for office, like paying for an attorney to defend against an ethics investigation or even a criminal investigation.

Mr. Edwards would not be the target of a grand jury investigation were it not for a provision added to the federal campaign finance laws in 2002 as part of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act.  That law, codified at 2 U.S.C. § 439a, states that a campaign contribution or donation “shall not be converted by any person to personal use.”  The statute contains a list of uses that would be considered “personal,” such as buying clothes or paying for a vacation.  While it does not specifically list payments to an ex-lover to keep the person quiet while running for President, that would certainly seem to come within the term “personal use.”

The issue for prosecutors is whether the money passed through Mr. Edwards’ campaign committee, or whether it was simply presented to donors as a way to “support” the candidate but never intended to be a campaign contribution.  Federal law imposes strict reporting requirements on campaign contributions, and limits donations to an individual candidate to $2,500. The amount of money collected on behalf of Ms. Hunter clearly exceeded statutory limitations, which may show that the payments were never meant to be related directly to Mr. Edwards’ short-lived campaign for the presidency.  Apart from the campaign finance issue is the question of whether financial support provided to Ms. Hunter was properly reported a

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4. Cover Stories: Illegal by Bettina Restrepo

illegal.jpgBettina Restrepo's Illegal has a windswept but urban cover, which is an intriguing combination, I think. The book is about a girl whose father crossed the boarder from Mexico to the US three years ago. They've stopped hearing from him, so she and her mother make the hard decision to follow him into Texas and try to find him.

"For the cover, I imagined two trailer-truck doors with the title in graffiti. But, I also knew that the art directors they have at HarperCollins could design something beyond my expectations. I only have a silly picture I drew (below). This is why I don't even try to suggest art. I leave the art to the experts.

"I received pictures of the shirt the model wore and they asked if it was okay (it was, I have one similar to it!). Then, when the font came out wonky and Frankensteinish (below) - they quickly agreed [with my objections] and came back with the beautiful barbed wire font.

frankensteinfont.jpg
"They asked me if I like royal blue or the purple. Hands down - purple..."

Read the rest of Bettina's Cover Story, and watch the trailer, on melissacwalker.com.

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5. When booze was illegal...

It began with the best of intentions. Worried about the effects of alcohol on American families, mothers and civic leaders started a movement to outlaw drinking in public places.

Over time, their protests, petitions, and activism paid off—when a Constitional Amendment banning the sale and consumption of alcohol was ratified, it was hailed as the end of public drunkenness, alcoholism, and a host of other social ills related to booze.

Instead, it began a decade of lawlessness, when children smuggled (and drank) illegal alcohol, the most upright citizens casually broke the law, and a host of notorious gangsters entered the public eye.

Check out the Bootleg book page, where you can download a chapter excerpt, read the author's epilogue, and sneak a peak at the glossary accompanying the book!

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6. Othello and Hamlet on Hayling Island by Miriam Halahmy


 I must admit when I started to write my cycle of three novels set on Hayling Island ( off the south coast of England), Hidden, Illegal, Stuffed - I didn’t give a thought to Shakespeare, but somehow the Bard has presented himself on the Island in more ways than one. As a natural fan I have embraced it with open arms.





Hamlet appeared first. Perhaps I should say here that apart from being one of my favourite Shakespeare plays, as far as I’m concerned Hamlet is a teenager, about to be sent over to school in England and this is why he never really takes the plunge and avenges his father’s murder. When writing, Illegal, with the main character Lindy Bellows as a vulnerable lonely girl from a dysfunctional family, I decided that Hamlet is the play she’s studying in school. At the back of my mind I had a quote from an article written at the time Paul Schofield died, which described Hamlet as a ‘spiritual fugitive.’ But that altered in my mind to ‘spiritual refugee’ and my image was born. Lindy starts to think of herself as a spiritual refugee in the first chapter and this image continues throughout the book. When she teams up with fellow misfit Karl, who has been mute for two years, she tells him he’s also a spiritual refugee.

However, I am not keen on books which take  well known plays or books and put them centre stage. I kept a firm grip on the role of Hamlet  in Illegal. Lindy is not about to turn into a literary boffin. My point was that even the most unlikely of students can be captured by the greatest literature and find something which is significant to their own lives. This is what happens to Lindy. She doesn’t suddenly become an expert on Shakespeare, but throughout the novel there is a strand which moves to the foreground from time to time because Lindy has identified with this particular Shakespeare character in her own way.

2 Comments on Othello and Hamlet on Hayling Island by Miriam Halahmy, last added: 3/28/2012
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7. Great Britain: 2020

As we peek into the future to see just what life will be like in the UK in 2020, a grim sight lies before us…

Power is now firmly in the hands on the heavily armed, tear-away children, nurtured by the recent Labour government, and statistics show over half the population is now Muslim. Christianity is an underground religion, practiced secretly, for fear of retribution, and the NHS has decided it will ONLY treat foreigners. Council houses are reserved exclusively for gypsies, asylum-seekers and paedophiles. And education (in the areas it’s still available face-to-face) is a guarded operation, with the teacher sitting behind bullet-proof glass and children wearing full body-armour (with an army of translators at the ready). Adults have resorted to leaving their boarded-up homes only in large gangs, or in tanks provided by the army. (The army is now boasting such fine military planners as the two prospective young terrorists recently found not guilty of planning toblow up their school, after hoping to kill hundreds of their innocent schoolmates.) 

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The newly elected Lib-Dem goverrnment - voted inafter the late Conservative leader, David Cameron, was discovered to be nothing but a holographic image, projected by the President of America (as was Tony Blair), in order to control our country from afar – are using the military police to import illegal drugs, bought from the Afghan government, in order to keep the children on the streets as calm as possible. They still believe there’s some way out ofthis mess. 

Image via Wikipedia

Anyone who was able jumped ship years ago. Now only the poorest remain, along with the millions of half-blind elderly people who’ve been imprisoned for failing to pay the fines handed out for recycling offences (such as accidentally disposing of a potato peeling in the box designated for tin cans).

Image via Wikipedia

Aaah, but such is life!

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8. Great Britain 2020: Life After New Labour

As we peek into the future to see just what life will be like in the UK in 2020, a grim sight lies before us…

Power is now firmly in the hands on the heavily armed, tear-away children, nurtured by the recent Labour government, and statistics show over half the population is now Muslim. Christianity is an underground religion, practiced secretly, for fear of retribution, and the NHS has decided it will ONLY treat foreigners. Council houses are reserved exclusively for gypsies, asylum-seekers and paedophiles; inner-city areas resemble scenes from District 9.

Education (in the areas it’s still available face-to-face) is a guarded operation, with the teacher sitting behind bullet-proof glass and children wearing full body-armour (with an army of translators at the ready). Adults have resorted to leaving their boarded-up homes only in large gangs, or in tanks provided by the army. (The army is now boasting such fine military planners as the two prospective young terrorists recently found not guilty of planning to blow up their school, hoping to kill hundreds of innocent school friends and teachers.) 

Image via Wikipedia

The newly elected Lib-Dem government - voted in after the late Conservative leader, David Cameron, was discovered to be nothing but a holographic image, projected by the President of America (as was Tony Blair), in order to control our country from afar – are using the military police to import illegal drugs, bought from the Afghan government, in order to keep the children on the streets as calm as possible. They still believe there’s some way out of this mess…

Image via Wikipedia

Anyone who was able to jumped ship years ago. Now only the poorest remain, along with millions of half-blind elderly people who were imprisoned for failing to pay the fines handed out for their recycling offences (such as accidentally disposing of a potato peeling in the box designated for tin cans).

Image via Wikipedia

Suicide is now the only option.

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9. The National Consequences of Arizona’s Crackdown on Illegal Immigration

Elvin Lim is Assistant Professor of Government at Wesleyan University and author of The Anti-intellectual Presidency, which draws on interviews with more than 40 presidential speechwriters to investigate this relentless qualitative decline, over the course of 200 years, in our presidents’ ability to communicate with the public. He also blogs at www.elvinlim.com. In the article below he looks at the national immigration debate. See Lim’s previous OUPblogs here.

Immigration is likely to become the new theater of the culture wars because Arizona’s new immigration law has further nationalized the immigration issue. Illegal immigrants in the state would be more likely to move to nearby states like Texas and California, and especially to those cities where sanctuary ordinances have been passed. Since immigrants settle disproportionately in California, New York, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Illinois, we would expect these states to be most affected by Arizona’s new law.

Arizona is correct, then, that there can be no state solution to the illegal immigration problem. But that is not so say that the state is doing anything to alleviate the problem by taking things into its own hands. In fact, Arizona’s new law is only going to worsen the national problem.

What is missing in the contemporary debate is the asymmetry of support for legal sanctions against those who are here illegally, but not against those who hire illegally, namely businesses who hire illegal (and also lawyers and lobbyists who help them defend the conditions which make this possible). This puts the illegal immigrant in the worst of all worlds, harassed and harangued by the law, and in no position to bargain with prospective employers who are still relatively free to hire them at any price because of half-hearted enforcement of the Legal Arizona Workers Act. This puts downward pressure on wages, and even more native animus against illegal immigrants.

If Arizona is serious about controlling illegal immigration, it should proactively punish employers who hire illegals rather than focus its energies on a hit-and-miss strategy of authorizing law enforcement officials to check the immigration status of suspicious persons. This policy would then escape the “racial profiling” controversy because employers would have to check the immigration status of all potential employees (and not just those who look a certain way). It is somewhat disingenuous for Arizona to disproportionately target illegal immigrants but not legal citizens acting illegally, for at the very least this asymmetry about our tolerance of different kinds of illegality tells us that Arizona’s law isn’t purely about respect for the law qua law. Rather than focus on the supply of illegals, shouldn’t the state equally address the demand thereof?

The national immigration debate, which has currently centered on racial profiling, misses out on this central defect of federal immigration policy, which is that we focus too much on border security and not enough on the glaring fact that over a third of illegal immigrants became illegal because they over-stayed their visas, and the only reason why they could afford to do so was because they were able to find employment.

President Obama was wise, nevertheless, to have taken immigration reform off his agenda for this year, for if he hadn’t, Congress would have been forced to enact a quick-fix law that would have exacerbated the pathologies of our current immigration regime. In the long run, t

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10. The Proposed New Copyright Crime of “Aiding and Abetting”

By Michael A. Carrier


The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has caused concern for many reasons, such as secret negotiations and controversial provisions.  Today, more than 70 law professors sent a letter to President Obama asking that he “direct the [U.S. Trade Representative] to halt its public endorsement of ACTA and subject the text to a meaningful participation process that can influence the shape of the agreement going forward.”

Despite this beneficial attention, one clause has slipped under the radar.  Article 2.14 of ACTA would require participating nations to “ensure that criminal liability for aiding and abetting is available.”

This liability would apply to parties that assist others in engaging in “willful . . . copyright . . . piracy on a commercial scale.”  Such scale includes “commercial activities for direct or indirect economic or commercial advantage.”  These terms are not defined in the agreement.  As a result, it would appear that any activity that would give an “indirect” commercial advantage (including the downloading of a single copyrighted song) could lead to criminal liability.

While such a consequence would appear severe, it is not even the most concerning part of Article 2.14.  That distinction is reserved for the “aiding and abetting” basis for liability.  Any party that plays a role in assisting infringement could be liable for criminal liability.  The identity of such parties is worrisome:  Personal computer manufacturers.  Electronic device makers.  Search engine operators.  Each of these entities could play a role, however indirect, in contributing to copyright infringement.

Although copyright’s secondary liability law is not a model of clarity, courts have sought to ground its elements in balanced policies.  Judicial tests have asked if devices have noninfringing uses (Sony).  If the party has knowledge and materially contributed to the activity (contributory infringement).  If it has a financial interest and the right to control (vicarious liability).  If it has an intent to induce infringement (Grokster).

Aiding-and-abetting liability lacks such nuance.  It is borrowed from criminal law.  And it is used to punish those who assisted in the crime.  The getaway driver.  The fraudulent check presenter.  The cocaine distributor.  In the criminal law arena, such liability reaches broadly to deter true criminal conduct.

In the context of secondary copyright liability, in contrast, such a standard is not appropriate.  Not when copyright is subject to competing public policies.  Not when technologies could be held criminally liable for allowing search, performance, or retrieval.  Not when these monumentally significant issues—which would dramatically expand U.S. liability—were never even debated.

In 2004, Congress considered adding “aiding and abetting” liability to copyright law.  Its attempt, the Induce Act, failed.  The secretive ACTA is not an appropriate vehicle to circumvent this failure and dramatically expand secondary liability.

Michael A. Carrier is a Professor of Law at Rutgers Law School-Camden who teaches and writes in the areas of antitrust, intellectual property, and property law. He is the author of Innovation for the 21st Century: Harnessing the Power of Intellectual Property and Antitrust Law and editor of the forthcoming volume, Critical Concepts in Intellectual Property Law: Competition.

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11. Illegal - Review


Publication date: March 8th by Harper Collins/Katherine Tegen Books
ISBN 10: 0061953423 / ISBN 13: 9780061953422

Category: Young Adult Fiction
Format: Hardcover
Keywords: Realistic Fiction, Illegal Immigration, Gangs





A promise.

Quinceañera.
A promise that we would be together on my fifteenth birthday...

Instead, Nora is on a desperate journey far away from home. When her father leaves their beloved Mexico in search of work, Nora stays behind. She fights to make sense of her loss while living in poverty—waiting for her father's return and a better day. 

When the letters and money stop coming, Nora decides that she and her mother must look for him in Texas. After a frightening experience crossing the border, the two are all alone in a strange place. Now, Nora must find the strength to survive while aching for small comforts: friends, a new school, and her precious quinceañera.

4 Comments on Illegal - Review, last added: 3/19/2011
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