Monday Links

The Virginia Court of Appeals has ordered Yelp.com to turn over the identities of seven pseudonymous reviewers who posted comments critical of Virginia-based Hadeed Carpet Cleaning. Hadeed Carpet claimed that the individuals writing negative reviews were not actual customers of theirs–and this was apparently good enough for the court, which ruled that the First Amendment does not protect opinions if they are based on false statements. Okay, if that’s the case what’s to stop, say, movie studios from suing people for writing negative reviews of movies they haven’t actually seen?

Sweden’s Justice Minister, Beatrice Ask, recently posted a link on Facebook to an article about marijuana-related deaths in Colorado–without realizing that the Daily Currant article, titled “Marijuana Overdoses Kill 37 In Colorado On First Day Of Legalisation”, was satire. Ask later claimed that she knew the article was satire all along, but was just trying to make a point about the dangers of marijuana (she probably also believes that Reefer Madness was a documentary).

The Tennessee judge who ordered a baby’s name changed from Messiah to Martin is still maintaining that she did nothing wrong, even while she is being charged with violating the judicial code of conduct. This woman isn’t fit to play a judge on TV, much less in an actual courtroom.

– During a recent show, The Five co-host Bob Beckel claimed that all Nigerians are “scam artists” and that Iranians feed their children to dogs. Yeah, and all old white men are kiddy rapists. (See how that works?)

The ACLU has teemed up with hip hop duo Insane Clown Posse to sue the FBI over the agency’s classification of the group’s fans (known as “Juggalos”) as a criminal gang. I for one am shocked–shocked–that the federal government would so carelessly label an entire group of people as criminals.

Somali militant Islamist group Al-Shabaab has banned the use of the Internet in territories under its control, despite the fact that the group itself regularly uses Facebook and Twitter to communicate with its followers. Al-Shabaab has in the past sought to ban movies, soccer, and dancing at weddings, and no doubt this latest attack on modernity will be just as successful.

– And finally, a Minnesota Republican state legislator is introducing a bill that would legalize Sunday liquor sales in the state. The bill is expected to receive bipartisan support in the legislature, and Governor Mark Dayton says that if it passes he will sign it into law. The question is, though: can they do this without at the same time raising alcohol taxes?

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