Groups opposed to the Australian government's plan to impose a mandatory filter on Internet access formed a new political party. The organizer of the "Australian Sex Party," Fiona Patten, said that party members were in agreement with the need to protect children, but did not think the Internet should be reduced to a G rating. Coincidentally, Patten is also head of the "Eros Association," an adult-entertainment lobbying group.
Link: "Sex party to heat up Australian politics," AFP (Nov. 17, 2008).
A piano was discovered set up in the middle of a forest in Massachusetts, and authorities were at a loss as to how or why it had been left there. "The Baldwin piano discovered in the Bells Neck woods appears to be in perfect working condition and had a matching bench as if it had recently been played."
Link: "Police want to know who left piano in Massachusetts forest," FOX News (Nov. 24, 2008).
Rock musicians banded together in December to demand that the U.S. military stop using their songs to
torture use enhanced interrogation techniques on detainees at Guantanamo. FBI agents stationed there reported numerous incidents in which interrogators blasted detainees with songs by Nine Inch Nails, AC/DC, Pantera, and many others, around the clock and at maximum volume. One detainee told his lawyer, "There was loud music, Slim Shady and Dr. Dre for 20 days . . . . [It was] nonstop over and over." I assume that the really bad guys get Michael Bolton, but still, this is not right.
Link: MSNBC (Dec. 9, 2008).
Senator Larry Craig's appeal, filed as part of his effort to change his plea from "guilty" to "just kidding," was rejected by the Minnesota Court of Appeal on Dec. 9. Among other things, Craig argued that the First Amendment protected his conduct in that infamous airport bathroom stall. But, the court held, "even if Appellant's foot-tapping and the movement of his foot toward the undercover officer's stall are considered 'speech,' they would be intrusive speech directed at a captive audience, and the government may [therefore] prohibit them."
Cite: Craig v. Minnesota, No. A07-1949 (Minn. Ct. App. Dec. 9, 2008) (emphasis mine).