September 7 roundup

by Walter Olson on September 7, 2011

  • Truth through intimidation? U.K.: “Chronic fatigue syndrome researchers face death threats from militants” [Guardian] Nanotechnologists are target of Unabomber copycat [Chronicle of Higher Education]
  • Blogger (and frequent Overlawyered commenter) Amy Alkon criticizes intrusive TSA agent by name, agent threatens $500K libel suit [Mike Masnick/TechDirt, Mark Bennett]
  • NYT fans “pill mill” hysteria, heedless of the costs [Sullum]
  • Patent litigant “pursued baseless infringement allegations in bad faith and for an improper purpose.” More loser-pays, please [NLJ, PoL]
  • Great moments in link solicitation [Scott Greenfield] Quality bar at feminist lawprof blog may not be set terribly high [Popehat]
  • “Wow, this photo got over 475 views from being reposted on Overlawyered” [Erik Magraken]
  • “Popular Comic Strip Has Fun With Wacky Warnings” [Bob Dorigo Jones]

{ 5 comments }

1 KAL 09.07.11 at 10:13 am

Healthy Unabomber copy cats bombing nanotechnologists are not exactly the same thing as patients who are primarily house and bed bound with a severe neuroimmune disease sending mostly obnoxious emails – as science writer Carl Zimmer writes on his Discover blog, it’s not like CFS patients are bombing labs.

The problem with skimming headlines is that factual inaccuracies and omissions are often overlooked in favor of sensationalism.

There is a huge difference as well between healthy animal rights activists and patients following the ACT UP model of activism in the Internet age.

2 Richard Nieporent 09.07.11 at 10:19 am

“Chronic fatigue syndrome researchers face death threats from militants”

It would appear that the condition is not debilitating enough. :)

“Using threats and intimidation to prevent scientists pursuing specific avenues of research or speaking out is damaging not just science. It harms society,” she said.

Tell that to the Global Warming true believers who try to prevent skeptics from getting their research published.

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/09/editor-in-chief-of-remote-sensing-resigns-from-fallout-over-our-paper/

3 E-Bell 09.07.11 at 5:46 pm

Re: “pill mills”

I can sympathize with the libertarian argument about drug legalization, particularly where there’s a legitimate medical necessity for prescription meds.

HOWEVER, Florida (and in particular, South Florida) is a hotbed of prescription drug fraud. The doctors in these “pain clinics” often prescribe these drugs without examining the patient (or without ever seeing the patient). In some cases, the doctor merely signs a bunch of blank scripts and leaves it to untrained staff to fill them.

I suppose I can also understand the fear that legitimate doctors will get caught up in pill-mill hysteria, but from what I can tell, not too many of those have been targeted.

4 Jack B. 09.07.11 at 6:25 pm

The link to Mark Bennett’s blog contains a link to Marc Randazza’s response to the the suit against Amy Alkon. It needs to be read by one and all. As Bennett says, it’s a thing of beauty.

It makes me weep that Nancy Grace is considered a “legal expert” when Marc Randazza is out there kicking ass and taking names. In a perfect world, he’d be the one with his own prime time show.

5 Bumper 09.08.11 at 3:15 pm

Jack B..
Total agreement on Marc Randazz’s response. I stand in total awe of anyone who can bring Stone and Parker into a first case b-slapping. A true work of art.

To further my education, I visited RestMyCase.com, the web site of opposing counsel, Vicki Roberts, who no doubt holds Nancy Grace in the highest of esteem. More electrons are spend extolling Ms. Roberts connections to the entertainment and film industry than the legal profession. But anyone who devotes an entire web page to two amateur photos of their late dog pretty well seals the deal for me.

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