The Rolling Stones fight the law, and the law wins

The Rolling Stones fight the law, and the law wins

On June 29, 1967, Keith Richards sat before magistrates in Chichester, West Sussex, England, facing charges that stemmed from the infamous raid of Richards’ Redlands estate five months earlier. Though the raid netted very little in the way of actual drugs, what it did net was a great deal of notoriety for the already notorious Rolling Stones. It was during this raid that the police famously encountered a young Marianne Faithfull clad only in a bearskin rug, a fact that the prosecutor in the case seemed to regard as highly relevant to the case at hand. In questioning Richards, Queen’s Counsel Malcolm Morris tried to imply that Faithfull’s nudity was probably the result of a loss of inhibition due to cannabis use:

QC Morris: "Would you agree in the ordinary course of events you would expect a young woman to be embarrassed if she had nothing on but a rug in the presence of eight men, two of whom were hangers-on and the third a Moroccan servant?"

Richards: "Not at all."

Morris: "You regard that, do you, as quite normal?"

Richards: “We are not old men. We are not worried about petty morals.”

With that one line, Richards emphatically established himself as the spokesman for a generation that did not share the values of the British establishment. The charges brought against him by that establishment, however, were quite serious. While Mick Jagger stood charged with illegal possession of four amphetamine tablets he’d purchased in Italy, Richards faced the far more serious charge of allowing his house to be used for the purpose of smoking what the law at the time referred to as “Indian hemp.”

Judging from his defiant attitude on the stand, Richards may not have taken the possibility of conviction very seriously. No marijuana had actually been found in Richards’ possession, but on the evidence presented at trial of a “sweet incense smell” detected by police, Richards was convicted and sentenced to one year in prison. Jagger was also convicted and sentenced to three months, but he was immediately released pending an appeal.

Richards, on the other hand, was sent directly to Wormwood Scrubs prison on this day in 1969, where he was greeted like, well, a rock star by his fellow inmates. Richards would spend only one night in prison, though, as he was granted bail the following day, also pending appeal. His conviction would later be overturned based on the prejudicial nature of the evidence of the naked young woman in a bearskin rug. For his part, Richards was definitively pleased: “I like a little more room, I like the john to be in a separate area,” he later said, “and I hate to be woken up.”


Disability History: The Disability Rights Movement

President George H.W. Bush signing the Americans with Disabilities Act. Photo inscribed to Justin Dart, Jr., 1990.

Image from the National Museum of American History (CC BY-SA 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/nationalmuseumofamericanhistory/20825041956/)

Treatment and perceptions of disability have undergone transformation since the 1900s. This has happened largely because people with disabilities have demanded and created those changes. Like other civil rights movements, the disability rights movement has a long history. Examples of activism can be found among various disability groups dating back to the 1800s. Many events, laws, and people have shaped this development. To date, the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the subsequent ADA Amendments Act (2008) are the movement’s greatest legal achievements. The ADA is a major civil rights law that prohibits discrimination of people with disabilities in many aspects of public life. The disability rights movement continues to work hard for equal rights.

Organizations by and for people with disabilities have existed since the 1800s. However, they exploded in popularity in the 1900s. The League of the Physically Handicapped organized in the 1930s, fighting for employment during the Great Depression. In the 1940s a group of psychiatric patients came together to form We Are Not Alone. [2] They supported patients in the transition from hospital to community. In 1950, several local groups came together and formed the National Association for Retarded Children (NARC). By 1960, NARC had tens of thousands of members, most of whom were parents. They were dedicated to finding alternative forms of care and education for their children. [3] Meanwhile, people with disabilities received assistance through the leadership of various presidents in the 1900s. President Truman formed the National Institute of Mental Health in 1948. Between the years 1960 and 1963, President Kennedy organized several planning committees to treat and research disability. [3]

The US Congress has passed many laws that support disability rights either directly or by recognizing and enforcing civil rights. Civil rights laws such as Brown v. Board of Education and its decision that school segregation is unconstitutional laid the groundwork for recognizing the rights of people with disabilities. Several sections of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, which specifically address disability discrimination, are especially important to the disability rights movement. Section 501 supports people with disabilities in the federal workplace and in any organization receiving federal tax dollars. Section 503 requires affirmative action, which supports employment and education for members of traditionally disadvantaged minority groups. Section 504 prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in the workplace and in their programs and activities. Section 508 guarantees equal or comparable access to technological information and data for people with disabilities. The regulations for Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 were written but not implemented. In 1977, the disability rights community was tired of waiting, and demanded that President Carter sign the regulations. Instead, a task force was appointed to review them. Afraid that the review would weaken the protections of the Act, the American Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities (ACCD) insisted they be enacted as written by 5 April 1977, or the coalition would take action. When the date arrived and the regulations remained unsigned, people across the country protested by sitting-in at federal offices of Health, Education, and Welfare (the agency responsible for the review). In San Francisco, the sit-in at the Federal Building lasted until April 28, when the regulations were finally signed, unchanged. This was, according to organizer Kitty Cone, the first time that “disability really was looked at as an issue of civil rights rather than an issue of charity and rehabilitation at best, pity at worst.” [4]

The 1975 Education of All Handicapped Children Act guaranteed children with disabilities the right to public school education. These laws have occurred largely due to the concerted efforts of disability activists protesting for their rights and working with federal government. In all, the United States Congress passed more than 50 pieces of legislation between the 1960s and the passage of the ADA in 1990.

Self-advocacy groups have also shaped the national conversation around disability. Self-advocacy means representing one's own interests. Such groups include DREDF (Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund), ADAPT (Americans Disabled for Accessible Public Transportation, later changed to Americans Disabled Attendant Programs Today), and the CIL (Center for Independent Living). The CIL provides services for people with disabilities in the community. The CIL began in the early 1960s at Cowell Memorial Hospital . Located in California, Cowell Memorial Hospital was once listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building is now demolished, but its legacy remains. The hospital supported the "Rolling Quads" and the "Disabled Students Program” at University of California Berkeley. Students Ed Roberts and John Hessler founded both organizations. Both men lived with physical disabilities and needed to find housing options after their acceptance to the university. University dormitories could not manage Roberts' iron lung, an assistive breathing device for people with polio, or Hessler's physical needs. Hessler and Roberts instead lived at Cowell Memorial Hospital when they arrived at college in the early 1960s. With the assistance of College of San Mateo counselor Jean Wirth, they demanded access to the school and encouraged other students with physical disabilities to attend UC Berkeley. They also influenced school architecture and planning. UC Berkeley eventually created housing accommodations for these students. It was there that the students planted the seed of the independent living movement. The independent living movement supports the idea that people with disabilities can make their own decisions about living, working, and interacting with the surrounding community. This movement is a reaction to centuries of assisted living, psychiatric hospitals, and doctors and parents who had made decisions for individuals with disabilities.

Roberts, Hessler, Wirth and others established the Disabled Students Program at UC Berkeley. Although this was not the first program of its kind-- Illinois offered similar services beginning in the 1940s-- the UC Berkeley Program was groundbreaking. They promoted inclusion for all kinds of students on campus. The program inspired universities across the country to create similar organizations. Many of these organizations are still active today.

Dr. Frank Kameny at Pride, 2010.

Photo by David (CC BY-2.0 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Frank_Kameny_June_2010_Pride_1.jpg)

The Rolling Quads and CIL are among two groups from the disability rights movement. Disability activists also work with other communities to attain their goals. People form communities based on shared values, ideas, and identity. The strength and activism of a community can help change attitudes across society at large. Perceptions of disability and resulting treatment often intersect with other groups advocating for their civil and human rights. One example of this change is the treatment of the the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer (LGBTQ) community. Doctors regarded homosexuality as a disease well into the 20th century. They could send men and women to psychiatric hospitals for their sexual preference. It was not until the 1970s that this "diagnosis" changed.

The Dr. Franklin Kameny Residence is part of this important history. Kameny had served as an astronomer and worked with the U.S. Army Map Service. In the 1950s, he refused to reveal his sexual orientation to the government. In response, the US government fired Kameny from his job. Kameny spent the rest of his life working as an activist and advocate for LGBTQ rights. His home provided the space for people to safely express and identify themselves. In 1973, Kameny successfully led the fight to abolish homosexuality from the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The DSM is the official handbook used by healthcare professionals to diagnose psychiatric issues and disabilities. This decision legally removed the status of homosexuality as a disorder. It also helped shift perceptions of homosexuality. More and more people began to understand it was not wrong or defective. The Kameny Residence continues to help us recognize and embrace the work of the gay civil rights community.

Other activists also took to the streets and demonstrated for disability rights. Some of these protests occurred at locations that are today listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1988, students at Gallaudet University, the only American university specifically for deaf students, led the "Deaf President Now" protest. Students made several demands, calling for a Deaf president and majority Deaf population on the Board of Trustees. This week-long protest resulted successfully in the appointment of deaf president, Dr. I. King Jordan. Their protest inspired inclusion and integration across communities. [5]

Two years later in 1990, protesters gathered on the steps of the United States Capitol building. They were anxiously awaiting the passage of the ADA, which had stalled due to issues around transportation. Public transit companies fought against the strict regulations for accessibility, and their lobbying efforts slowed the entire process. In response, a group of individuals with disabilities headed for the Capitol. They tossed aside their wheelchairs, walkers, and crutches and ascended the steps. This event has since become known as the "Capitol Crawl." By dragging themselves up the stairs, these protesters expressed their daily struggles due to physical barriers. In so doing, they highlighted the need for accessibility. Iconic images of this event spread across the country. The Americans with Disabilities Act ultimately passed in July of 1990 and was signed by President George H.W. Bush. The ADA and other civil rights legislation have transformed opportunities for people with disabilities. However, over 25 years later, there is still much work to be done.

This article is part of the Telling All Americans’ Stories Disability History Series. The series focuses on telling selected stories through historic places. It offers a glimpse into the rich and varied history of Americans with disabilities.


References:
[1] Disability Minnesota. The ADA Legacy Project: A Magna Carta and the Ides of March to the ADA, 2015
[2] Disability History. Disability Militancy - the 1930s Fountain House. The Origin of Fountain House.
[3] Michael Rembis, “Introduction,” in Michael Rembis, ed. Disabling Domesticity (Palgrave Macmillen).
[4] Grim, Andrew. “Sitting-in for disability rights: The Section 504 protests of the 1970s.” O Say Can You See? Stories from the National Museum of American History, July 8, 2015.
[5] Disability History. Disability Militancy - the 1930s Fountain House. The Origin of Fountain House.


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Mick Jagger's 1971 wedding was 'skin-crawlingly embarrassing'

The year 1971 had already been a hectic one for the Rolling Stones. In March, at lead singer Mick Jagger’s urging, they became the first rock band to declare themselves tax exiles from the UK, relocating to France in order to escape England’s high tax rates on the wealthy.

With the band scattering throughout France on April 1, the beginning of the British tax year, the French-speaking Jagger landed in Biot, a “picturesque hilltop town.” It was a sensible move for him because his girlfriend, Bianca Perez-Mora Macias, lived in Paris, and the couple were to be married in May.

The high-class wedding, writes journalist David Hepworth, “marked the establishment of rock and roll as a viable branch of high society.”

Jagger chartered a plane to fly 75 friends who only learned of the wedding the day before, including Paul McCartney and his family, Ringo Starr, Peter Frampton and Ronnie Wood (who wouldn’t join the Stones for another four years), from the UK to Saint-Tropez.

As McCartney and Starr were embroiled in a harsh legal battle, they were seated far apart.

Jagger and his beloved faced their first major obstacle the morning of the wedding, when Bianca discovered that according to French law, the couple had to make clear “what property they held in common.”

Mick and Bianca answer questions from the media following their ceremony. Getty Images

It was only then that she learned “how little this was” and “threatened to call it off, facing Jagger with the prospect of the most humiliating reversal in front of his peers. She eventually relented.”

Obstacle number two also came courtesy of French law, which declared that before the church ceremony — which Jagger had choreographed with the pastor — there had to be a civil ceremony at the town hall, which was open to the public.

Jagger had been hoping to keep the paparazzi at bay, but even the town’s mayor couldn’t override the law or refuse entry to the hundreds of photographers who had flown in with no idea of their good fortune. “When the bride and groom eventually arrived, late and already perspiring, pushing their way as best they could through the crowds of pressmen, holiday makers and rubberneckers,” Hepworth writes, “they appeared harassed and faintly shocked.”

“I hope my other son doesn’t become a superstar.”

- Mick's father, Joe Jagger, the day after his son's wedding

As camera flashes just feet away from the couple dominated the ceremony, Jagger’s parents, “for whom he was always ‘Mike,’ stood in the middle of this mayhem, looking unsurprisingly like people who were watching their son disappear into a mad new world. Their place at their son’s right-hand side had been usurped by [Atlantic Records head] Ahmet Ertegun. He was the daddy now.”

Once the ceremony moved to the church, the Stones’ public-relations person, Les Perrin, who found himself responsible for this madness, had the priest lock the church doors. This led to the unfortunate instance of Jagger having to bang on the door like a commoner for entrance, in full view of the photographers.

The town’s mayor couldn’t override the law or refuse entry to the hundreds of photographers who had flown in, not realizing that the law would give them full access. Getty Images

At the reception, stars like Julie Christie and Brigitte Bardot danced the Frug to the sounds of an all-star jam that included Stephen Stills, Terry Reid, and members of Santana, to name a few. Keith Richards would have joined, but he was “passed out flat on his back with his mouth open.” (One attendee would later swear to the author that Richards wore a Nazi uniform to the ceremony.)

Meanwhile, Jagger’s ex, Marianne Faithfull, celebrated the marriage in her own special way — by “sleeping off the effects of a shot of Valium and three vodka martinis” she took “to deal with the fact that Mick was marrying someone else,” in a cell at the police station in the Paddington Green section of London. Years later, in her memoir, she noted the physical resemblance between Bianca and Mick, calling it narcissism and writing, “Mick married himself.”

In recounting the nuptials, the event was found to have been so chaotic that “three men — Richards, saxophonist Bobby Keys and [film director] Roger Vadim — all claimed to have been best man.” Even the bride became confused about the facts. She later claimed to some that Who drummer Keith Moon “invaded” the hotel room she shared with Mick. The author discovered that Moon was en route to a show with his band at the time.

Marianna Faithful would later write that her ex’s wedding was narcissism, noting how closely Mick and Bianca resembled each other. “Mick married himself.” Getty Images

“The Jagger wedding was the shabbiest free-for-all in the history of both rock and marriage and skin-crawlingly embarrassing for all the key participants,” writes Hepworth.

The most dejected participant might well have been Jagger’s father, Joe, who “looked and felt like a stranger at his eldest son’s biggest day.” Throughout two separate vows and the ceremony, he never had a chance to present his son and new daughter-in-law with his gift, which left the event with him.

Speaking to a reporter afterward, his take on the day was summed up with, “I hope my other son doesn’t become a superstar.”


More from Opinion

In tacit recognition of this economic fact of life, the Biden administration says it will seek a global compact that will standardize corporate taxes throughout the world in order to reduce the incentive for companies to relocate out of the U.S.

This is a fantasy. Nations are no less subject to incentives than rock bands or corporations.

Someone, somewhere, will offer the opportunity to keep more of what you earn, and productive business and individuals will respond.

George Harrison stated the problem memorably, and before acting accordingly: "Let me tell you how it will be, one for you 19 for me, ‘cause I’m the taxman…yeah, I’m the taxman."

Why would we assume that in today’s ever more mobile economy, the wisdom distilled in those lyrics would be less true than when they were first sung some 50 years ago?

History may not repeat itself, but like a good Beatles’ tune, it likely rhymes.


The Rolling Stones fight the law, and the law wins - HISTORY

Jumpin' Jack Flash

Songfacts®:

"Jumpin' Jack Flash" marked a transition to guitar rock for the Rolling Stones. Early on, they were more of a blues band, which reflected the influence of founding member Brian Jones. The went psychedelic on their previous album, Her Satanic Majesties Request, but by 1968 Jones was less a factor in the band and the group shed his influence. In 1969, they fired Jones, who was found dead in his swimming pool less than a month later. With Mick Jagger and Keith Richards firmly in charge, they became lavishly successful with stadium rockers like "Brown Sugar" and "It's Only Rock 'N' Roll."

"The Stones became the guitar band we know today once Brian left the band," says Danny Garcia, director of the documentary Rolling Stone: Life and Death of Brian Jones. "During the '60s the band evolved from an R&B band to a pop band to a psychedelic band until they found their sound with 'Jumpin' Jack Flash' in '68."

Comments: 69

  • Patricia from Coatbridge Having fun with this song
  • Kawa from Tokyo, Japan Hi Music lovers,

1. Spring-heeled Jack is an entity in English folklore of the Victorian era.

2. Google "Spring-heeled jack entity" if you want evidence. Click Wikipedia's explanation.

3. From Wikipedia Spring-heeled Jack section 2.2 Paranormal Conjectures in the box labeling all the sections on the left. This is the part of theory that explains how this entity possibly got the nickname Jumpin' Jack Flash. Here is what is written in Wikipedia.

Fortean authors, particularly Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark, list "Spring-heeled Jack" in a category named "phantom attackers", with another well-known example being the "Mad Gasser of Mattoon". Typical "phantom attackers" appear to be human, and may be perceived as prosaic criminals, but may display extraordinary abilities (as in Spring-heeled Jack's jumps, which, it is widely noted, would break the ankles of a human who replicated them) and/or cannot be caught by authorities. Victims commonly experience the "attack" in their bedrooms, homes or other seemingly secure enclosures. They may report being pinned or paralyzed, or on the other hand describe a "siege" in which they fought off a persistent intruder or intruders. Many reports can readily be explained psychologically, most notably as the "Old Hag" phenomenon, recorded in folklore and recognized by psychologists as a form of hallucination. In the most problematic cases, an "attack" is witnessed by several people and substantiated by some physical evidence, but the attacker cannot be verified to exist.

4. Someone apparently started calling this entity Jumpin' Jack Flash because it could jump long distances because of the springs in its heels.
5. YouTube has a four part series of videos titled "They Sold Their Souls For Rock N Roll (Part 3 of 4)." I leave a link for part 3 because from the 38:40 - 39:45 minutes section it states, and I quote "Marianne Faithfull said that Jagger harnessed all of the entities. Lucifer, Jumpin' Jack Flash. The dark, violent, group mind of the crowd-chaos, and Pan. That frenzied power caused many of the casualties of the 60's."
Quoted from Marianne Faithfull, Biography
Here is a link to that (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NfSBVewinE

6. Regardless of whether Jack was a real "entity", a "phantom attacker", "prosaic attacker", or "Old Hag" phenomenon it is apparent that somewhere along the line Spring-heeled Jack garnered the nickname Jumpin' Jack Flash.

7. Here is a link to a YouTube video titled "They Sold Their Souls For Rock N Roll" so you can go to minute 38:40 and watch to minute 39:45 and see for yourself.

8. This is the best evidence I have found on this subject. Decide for yourself after watching the 1 minute and 45 seconds part of the YouTube video and by reading what is in Wikipedia. Or, become friends with Mick and Keith and ask them personally. Also, please read Wikipedia's info on Spring-heeled Jack. Or, buy Marianne Faithfull's biography and read it, but it seems there a more than one biography's about Marianne. In that case, buy all the biographies about Marianne and kill a weekend reading until you find "Marianne Faithfull said that Jagger harnessed all of the entities. Lucifer, Jumpin Jack Flash. The dark, violent, group mind of the crowd-chaos, and Pan. That frenzied power caused many of the casualties of the 60's. "


Cost of Living 1964

How Much things cost in 1964
Yearly Inflation Rate USA 1.28%
Yearly Inflation Rate UK 3.5%
Year End Close Dow Jones Industrial Average 874
Average Cost of new house $13,050.00
Average Income per year $6,000.00
Gas per Gallon 30 cents
Average Cost of a new car $3,500.00
Loaf of bread 21 cents
United States Postage Stamp 5 cents
Average Monthly Rent $115.00
Ticket to the movies $1.25

Below are some Prices for UK guides in Pounds Sterling
Average House Price 3,360

1964 as the war in Vietnam and US Congress Authorizes war against N Vietnam more American servicemen were dying, and after three civil rights workers were murdered in Mississippi the president signed the Civil Rights act of 1964 but this did not stop the violence as it continued to increase in many American Cities. Lyndon Johnson was also returned to power after a landslide victory. This was also the year The Beatles took the world and America by storm and Beatlemania went into overdrive as they released a series of number one hits including "I want to hold your hand" , "All my Loving" . Other British groups also found success including The Rolling Stones and The Animals and together with the American Talent of The Supremes and Bob Dylan many say this was one of the greatest years for music in the last century. Also one young loud talented boxer by the name of Cassius Clay won the Boxing World heavyweight championship from Sonny Liston.


The GOP War on Voting

As the nation gears up for the 2012 presidential election, Republican officials have launched an unprecedented, centrally coordinated campaign to suppress the elements of the Democratic vote that elected Barack Obama in 2008. Just as Dixiecrats once used poll taxes and literacy tests to bar black Southerners from voting, a new crop of GOP governors and state legislators has passed a series of seemingly disconnected measures that could prevent millions of students, minorities, immigrants, ex-convicts and the elderly from casting ballots. “What has happened this year is the most significant setback to voting rights in this country in a century,” says Judith Browne-Dianis, who monitors barriers to voting as co-director of the Advancement Project, a civil rights organization based in Washington, D.C.

Republicans have long tried to drive Democratic voters away from the polls. “I don’t want everybody to vote,” the influential conservative activist Paul Weyrich told a gathering of evangelical leaders in 1980. “As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.” But since the 2010 election, thanks to a conservative advocacy group founded by Weyrich, the GOP’s effort to disrupt voting rights has been more widespread and effective than ever. In a systematic campaign orchestrated by the American Legislative Exchange Council &ndash and funded in part by David and Charles Koch, the billionaire brothers who bankrolled the Tea Party &ndash 38 states introduced legislation this year designed to impede voters at every step of the electoral process.

All told, a dozen states have approved new obstacles to voting. Kansas and Alabama now require would-be voters to provide proof of citizenship before registering. Florida and Texas made it harder for groups like the League of Women Voters to register new voters. Maine repealed Election Day voter registration, which had been on the books since 1973. Five states &ndash Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia &ndash cut short their early voting periods. Florida and Iowa barred all ex-felons from the polls, disenfranchising thousands of previously eligible voters. And six states controlled by Republican governors and legislatures &ndash Alabama, Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin &ndash will require voters to produce a government-issued ID before casting ballots. More than 10 percent of U.S. citizens lack such identification, and the numbers are even higher among constituencies that traditionally lean Democratic &ndash including 18 percent of young voters and 25 percent of African-Americans.

Taken together, such measures could significantly dampen the Democratic turnout next year &ndash perhaps enough to shift the outcome in favor of the GOP. “One of the most pervasive political movements going on outside Washington today is the disciplined, passionate, determined effort of Republican governors and legislators to keep most of you from voting next time,” Bill Clinton told a group of student activists in July. “Why is all of this going on? This is not rocket science. They are trying to make the 2012 electorate look more like the 2010 electorate than the 2008 electorate” &ndash a reference to the dominance of the Tea Party last year, compared to the millions of students and minorities who turned out for Obama. “There has never been in my lifetime, since we got rid of the poll tax and all the Jim Crow burdens on voting, the determined effort to limit the franchise that we see today.”

T o hear Republicans tell it, they are waging a virtuous campaign to crack down on rampant voter fraud &ndash a curious position for a party that managed to seize control of the White House in 2000 despite having lost the popular vote. After taking power, the Bush administration declared war on voter fraud, making it a “top priority” for federal prosecutors. In 2006, the Justice Department fired two U.S. attorneys who refused to pursue trumped-up cases of voter fraud in New Mexico and Washington, and Karl Rove called illegal voting “an enormous and growing problem.” In parts of America, he told the Republican National Lawyers Association, “we are beginning to look like we have elections like those run in countries where the guys in charge are colonels in mirrored sunglasses.” According to the GOP, community organizers like ACORN were actively recruiting armies of fake voters to misrepresent themselves at the polls and cast illegal ballots for the Democrats.

Even at the time, there was no evidence to back up such outlandish claims. A major probe by the Justice Department between 2002 and 2007 failed to prosecute a single person for going to the polls and impersonating an eligible voter, which the anti-fraud laws are supposedly designed to stop. Out of the 300 million votes cast in that period, federal prosecutors convicted only 86 people for voter fraud &ndash and many of the cases involved immigrants and former felons who were simply unaware of their ineligibility. A much-hyped investigation in Wisconsin, meanwhile, led to the prosecution of only .0007 percent of the local electorate for alleged voter fraud. “Our democracy is under siege from an enemy so small it could be hiding anywhere,” joked Stephen Colbert. A 2007 report by the Brennan Center for Justice, a leading advocate for voting rights at the New York University School of Law, quantified the problem in stark terms. “It is more likely that an individual will be struck by lightning,” the report calculated, “than that he will impersonate another voter at the polls.”

GOP outcries over the phantom menace of voter fraud escalated after 2008, when Obama’s candidacy attracted historic numbers of first-time voters. In the 29 states that record party affiliation, roughly two-thirds of new voters registered as Democrats in 2007 and 2008 &ndash and Obama won nearly 70 percent of their votes. In Florida alone, Democrats added more than 600,000 new voters in the run-up to the 2008 election, and those who went to the polls favored Obama over John McCain by 19 points. “This latest flood of attacks on voting rights is a direct shot at the communities that came out in historic numbers for the first time in 2008 and put Obama over the top,” says Tova Wang, an elections-reform expert at Demos, a progressive think tank.

No one has done more to stir up fears about the manufactured threat of voter fraud than Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a top adviser in the Bush Justice Department who has become a rising star in the GOP. “We need a Kris Kobach in every state,” declared Michelle Malkin, the conservative pundit. This year, Kobach successfully fought for a law requiring every Kansan to show proof of citizenship in order to vote &ndash even though the state prosecuted only one case of voter fraud in the past five years. The new restriction fused anti-immigrant hysteria with voter-fraud paranoia. “In Kansas, the illegal registration of alien voters has become pervasive,” Kobach claimed, offering no substantiating evidence.

Kobach also asserted that dead people were casting ballots, singling out a deceased Kansan named Alfred K. Brewer as one such zombie voter. There was only one problem: Brewer was still very much alive. The Wichita Eagle found him working in his front yard. “I don’t think this is heaven,” Brewer told the paper. “Not when I’m raking leaves.”

K obach might be the gop’s most outspoken crusader working to prevent citizens from voting, but he’s far from the only one. “Voting rights are under attack in America,” Rep. John Lewis, who was brutally beaten in Alabama while marching during the civil rights movement in the 1960s, observed during an impassioned speech on the House floor in July. “There’s a deliberate and systematic attempt to prevent millions of elderly voters, young voters, students, minority and low-income voters from exercising their constitutional right to engage in the democratic process.”

The Republican effort, coordinated and funded at the national level, has focused on disenfranchising voters in four key areas:

Barriers to Registration Since January, six states have introduced legislation to impose new restrictions on voter registration drives run by groups like Rock the Vote and the League of Women Voters. In May, the GOP-controlled legislature in Florida passed a law requiring anyone who signs up new voters to hand in registration forms to the state board of elections within 48 hours of collecting them, and to comply with a barrage of onerous, bureaucratic requirements. Those found to have submitted late forms would face a $1,000 fine, as well as possible felony prosecution.

As a result, the law threatens to turn civic-minded volunteers into inadvertent criminals. Denouncing the legislation as “good old-fashioned voter suppression,” the League of Women Voters announced that it was ending its registration efforts in Florida, where it has been signing up new voters for the past 70 years. Rock the Vote, which helped 2.5 million voters to register in 2008, could soon follow suit. “We’re hoping not to shut down,” says Heather Smith, president of Rock the Vote, “but I can’t say with any certainty that we’ll be able to continue the work we’re doing.”

The registration law took effect one day after it passed, under an emergency statute designed for “an immediate danger to the public health, safety or welfare.” In reality, though, there’s no evidence that registering fake voters is a significant problem in the state. Over the past three years, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement has received just 31 cases of suspected voter fraud, resulting in only three arrests statewide. “No one could give me an example of all this fraud they speak about,” said Mike Fasano, a Republican state senator who bucked his party and voted against the registration law. What’s more, the law serves no useful purpose: Under the Help America Vote Act passed by Congress in 2002, all new voters must show identity before registering to vote.

Cuts to Early Voting After the recount debacle in Florida in 2000, allowing voters to cast their ballots early emerged as a popular bipartisan reform. Early voting not only meant shorter lines on Election Day, it has helped boost turnout in a number of states &ndash the true measure of a successful democracy. “I think it’s great,” Jeb Bush said in 2004. “It’s another reform we added that has helped provide access to the polls and provide a convenience. And we’re going to have a high voter turnout here, and I think that’s wonderful.”

But Republican support for early voting vanished after Obama utilized it as a key part of his strategy in 2008. Nearly 30 percent of the electorate voted early that year, and they favored Obama over McCain by 10 points. The strategy proved especially effective in Florida, where blacks outnumbered whites by two to one among early voters, and in Ohio, where Obama received fewer votes than McCain on Election Day but ended up winning by 263,000 ballots, thanks to his advantage among early voters in urban areas like Cleveland and Columbus.

That may explain why both Florida and Ohio &ndash which now have conservative Republican governors &ndash have dramatically curtailed early voting for 2012. Next year, early voting will be cut from 14 to eight days in Florida and from 35 to 11 days in Ohio, with limited hours on weekends. In addition, both states banned voting on the Sunday before the election &ndash a day when black churches historically mobilize their constituents. Once again, there appears to be nothing to justify the changes other than pure politics. “There is no evidence that any form of convenience voting has led to higher levels of fraud,” reports the Early Voting Information Center at Reed College.

Photo IDs By far the biggest change in election rules for 2012 is the number of states requiring a government-issued photo ID, the most important tactic in the Republican war on voting. In April 2008, the Supreme Court upheld a photo-ID law in Indiana, even though state GOP officials couldn’t provide a single instance of a voter committing the type of fraud the new ID law was supposed to stop. Emboldened by the ruling, Republicans launched a nationwide effort to implement similar barriers to voting in dozens of states.

The campaign was coordinated by the American Legislative Exchange Council, which provided GOP legislators with draft legislation based on Indiana’s ID requirement. In five states that passed such laws in the past year &ndash Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin &ndash the measures were sponsored by legislators who are members of ALEC. “We’re seeing the same legislation being proposed state by state by state,” says Smith of Rock the Vote. “And they’re not being shy in any of these places about clearly and blatantly targeting specific demographic groups, including students.”

In Texas, under “emergency” legislation passed by the GOP-dominated legislature and signed by Gov. Rick Perry, a concealed-weapon permit is considered an acceptable ID but a student ID is not. Republicans in Wisconsin, meanwhile, mandated that students can only vote if their IDs include a current address, birth date, signature and two-year expiration date &ndash requirements that no college or university ID in the state currently meets. As a result, 242,000 students in Wisconsin may lack the documentation required to vote next year. “It’s like creating a second class of citizens in terms of who gets to vote,” says Analiese Eicher, a Dane County board supervisor.

The barriers erected in Texas and Wisconsin go beyond what the Supreme Court upheld in Indiana, where 99 percent of state voters possess the requisite IDs and can turn to full-time DMVs in every county to obtain the proper documentation. By contrast, roughly half of all black and Hispanic residents in Wisconsin do not have a driver’s license, and the state staffs barely half as many DMVs as Indiana &ndash a quarter of which are open less than one day a month. To make matters worse, Gov. Scott Walker tried to shut down 16 more DMVs &ndash many of them located in Democratic-leaning areas. In one case, Walker planned to close a DMV in Fort Atkinson, a liberal stronghold, while opening a new office 30 minutes away in the conservative district of Watertown.

Although new ID laws have been approved in seven states, the battle over such barriers to voting has been far more widespread. Since January, Democratic governors in Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire and North Carolina have all vetoed ID laws. Voters in Mississippi and Missouri are slated to consider ballot initiatives requiring voter IDs, and legislation is currently pending in Pennsylvania.

One of the most restrictive laws requiring voter IDs was passed in South Carolina. To obtain the free state ID now required to vote, the 178,000 South Carolinians who currently lack one must pay for a passport or a birth certificate. “It’s the stepsister of the poll tax,” says Browne-Dianis of the Advancement Project. Under the new law, many elderly black residents &ndash who were born at home in the segregated South and never had a birth certificate &ndash must now go to family court to prove their identity. Given that obtaining fake birth certificates is one of the country’s biggest sources of fraud, the new law may actually prompt some voters to illegally procure a birth certificate in order to legally vote &ndash all in the name of combating voter fraud.

For those voters who manage to get a legitimate birth certificate, obtaining a voter ID from the DMV is likely to be hellishly time-consuming. A reporter for the Tri-State Defender in Memphis, Tennessee &ndash another state now mandating voter IDs &ndash recently waited for four hours on a sweltering July day just to see a DMV clerk. The paper found that the longest lines occur in urban precincts, a clear violation of the Voting Rights Act, which bars states from erecting hurdles to voting in minority jurisdictions.

Disenfranchising Ex-Felons The most sweeping tactic in the GOP campaign against voting is simply to make it illegal for certain voters to cast ballots in any election. As the Republican governor of Florida, Charlie Crist restored the voting rights of 154,000 former prisoners who had been convicted of nonviolent crimes. But in March, after only 30 minutes of public debate, Gov. Rick Scott overturned his predecessor’s decision, instantly disenfranchising 97,491 ex-felons and prohibiting another 1.1 million prisoners from being allowed to vote after serving their time.

“Why should we disenfranchise people forever once they’ve paid their price?” Bill Clinton asked during his speech in July. “Because most of them in Florida were African-Americans and Hispanics and would tend to vote for Democrats &ndash that’s why.”

A similar reversal by a Republican governor recently took place in Iowa, where Gov. Terry Branstad overturned his predecessor’s decision to restore voting rights to 100,000 ex-felons. The move threatens to return Iowa to the recent past, when more than five percent of all residents were denied the right to vote &ndash including a third of the state’s black residents. In addition, Florida and Iowa join Kentucky and Virginia as the only states that require all former felons to apply for the right to vote after finishing their prison sentences.

I n response to the GOP campaign, voting-rights advocates are scrambling to blunt the impact of the new barriers to voting. The ACLU and other groups are challenging the new laws in court, and congressional Democrats have asked the Justice Department to use its authority to block or modify any of the measures that discriminate against minority voters. “The Justice Department should be much more aggressive in areas covered by the Voting Rights Act,” says Rep. Lewis.

But beyond waging battles at the state and federal level, voting-rights advocates must figure out how to reframe the broader debate. The real problem in American elections is not the myth of voter fraud, but how few people actually participate. Even in 2008, which saw the highest voter turnout in four decades, fewer than two-thirds of eligible voters went to the polls. And according to a study by MIT, 9 million voters were denied an opportunity to cast ballots that year because of problems with their voter registration (13 percent), long lines at the polls (11 percent), uncertainty about the location of their polling place (nine percent) or lack of proper ID (seven percent).

Come Election Day 2012, such problems will only be exacerbated by the flood of new laws implemented by Republicans. Instead of a single fiasco in Florida, experts warn, there could be chaos in a dozen states as voters find themselves barred from the polls. “Our democracy is supposed to be a government by, of and for the people,” says Browne-Dianis. “It doesn’t matter how much money you have, what race you are or where you live in the country &ndash we all get to have the same amount of power by going into the voting booth on Election Day. But those who passed these laws believe that only some people should participate. The restrictions undermine democracy by cutting off the voices of the people.”

This story is from the September 15, 2011 issue of Rolling Stone.


9. Salvatore Acquaviva vs. Madonna

You might be surprised to learn about this one. It shook Madonna fans worldwide after all.

In 2005, a Belgian Songwriter, Salvatore Acquaviva came forward claiming that the parts of the superhit song ‘Frozen’ had been taken from his early 1980s song ‘Ma Vie Fout Ie Camp.’ To everyone’s astonishment, the plaintiff won.

Although the judge did not consent to award damages for the plaintiff, Frozen was prohibited to be played on Belgian TV and radio. The remaining CD’s for sale were removed from the shelves as well.


The Rolling Stones fight the law, and the law wins - HISTORY

For many people, Ronnie VanZant was Lynyrd Skynyrd.

"Mr. and Mrs. Lacy VanZant announce the birth of a son on Thursday, January 15. Mrs. VanZant is the former Miss Marion Hicks." ( Florida Times Union -- January 23, 1948) At the time, little did anyone realize those few, sparse words would herald the arrival of a man destined to change the outlook of an entire generation of music. Today, nearly twenty years after the death of that VanZant son, his words ring on with increasing power, authority and adoration.

Born just over five pounds in Jacksonville's St Vincent's Hospital, Ronnie grew up in one of the toughest households in one of the toughest areas of Jacksonville, Florida's Westside "Shanty Town." This toughness permeated his entire being, almost from day one. Growing up on Mull Street, Ronnie was the undisputed king among the boys who would gather to play baseball or football -- games that usually degenerated into raucous free-for-alls because of a missed catch or disputed strike. These games introduced Ronnie with his first love -- baseball. He hoped that sports would rescue him from Shanty Town and recalled in 1975, "I went as far as playing American Legion ball. The next step would have been AA. I played center field. I had the highest batting average in the league one year and a good arm. You've got to have a good arm to play outfield. Gary was good too, but he gave it all up when he got to like the Rolling Stones."

Another early passion of Ronnie's was to remain with him throughout his life. Ronnie loved to fish. In the earliest days he and his friends would wander down to nearby Cedar Creek with simple poles and croaker sacks later fishing provided him the necessary rest and relaxation he needed to escape from the mounting pressures of success with Lynyrd Skynyrd. When the band would return home to Florida after touring for weeks on end, Gary and Ronnie would head out fishing as soon as they woke the next day.

Ronnie's musical interest first centered around playing his father's guitars and piano, but found that being the frontman suited his nature best. In early 1964, Ronnie heard that a group of students he knew at Lakeshore Junior High were putting together a band and needed a singer. He went to the audition and promptly announced that he was the new singer for the band. The others knew they couldn't beat Ronnie in a fight, so Ronnie became the singer for Us.

A short time after landing his first gig, Ronnie met Gary Rossington and Bob Burns. After deciding the three of them would try and make some music and tracking down an amplifier -- reluctantly supplied by Allen Collins -- they witnessed the genesis of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Practicing anywhere and anytime their parents and neighbors would tolerate the noise, the band, first called My Backyard, then the Noble Five, gelled with the addition of bass player Larry Junstrom. One of the band's favorite places to practice was in Allen's living room while his mother worked evenings at the local Woolworth's. Allen's mother recalled that she would return home shortly after nine at night and whenever the band practiced at her house, Ronnie would be the first out the door to greet her with a kiss on the cheek.

After several years of practicing and name changes, Skynyrd, like any decent group of fledgling rock stars, started gigging the notorious one-nighters which led to management with Alan Walden and a chance to record a demo album with Jimmy Johnson in 1970. Although the demos did not attract a lot of attention from most of the record companies, the band was offered a contract with Capricorn Records. Demonstrating his own strength and determination that Skynyrd would succeed on its own terms, Ronnie vetoed the deal -- he wouldn't put his band in the shadow of the Allman Brothers. Skynyrd returned to the daily grind of one-nighters on the Southern bar circuit.

Ronnie married Judy Seymour in Waycross, Georgia on November 18, 1972. They met in 1969 when Gary introduced Ronnie to Judy at a One Percent gig at the Comic Book Club in Jacksonville. Several of the players in Lynyrd Skynyrd had now married and the time was getting close to when the band either had to make it or the members would not be able to support their growing families.

In 1973, however, things finally started coming together for Lynyrd Skynyrd. During a week-long stint at Funochio's in Atlanta, the band was discovered by the renown Al Kooper. After signing a record deal with MCA subsidiary Sounds of the South, Skynyrd entered the studio with Kooper producing. The result -- Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd -- started the band on its rise to fame with standards like 'Gimme Three Steps', 'Simple Man', and the incendiary, guitar-driven classic, 'Freebird'.

Gold and platinum albums followed a string of hit songs like 'Sweet Home Alabama', 'Saturday Night Special', 'Gimme Back My Bullets', 'What's Your Name?', and 'That Smell'. Over the four years Skynyrd recorded, the memories gradually turned into legends. Opening the Who tour. "Skynning" Europe alive. 1975's Torture Tour. Steve Gaines. One More From The Road . The Knebworth Fair '76.

Despite achieving tremendous success with Lynyrd Skynyrd, by late 1976 Ronnie began considering leaving the band. His health had suffered horribly from the rigors of nearly non-stop touring and partying and the birth of his daughter Melody in September caused him to reassess his life and his priorities. Although Gary and Allen convinced him not to leave, Ronnie did insist on toning down the "rotgut life" Skynyrd had been leading. This fresh approach, combined with the addition of Steve Gaines as Skynyrd's new third guitar player, re-inspired Ronnie and he wrote some of the best material of his career.

By October 20, 1977, Skynyrd's songs had become radio staples. Their latest album, Street Survivors , had just been released to critical and popular acclaim. Their ambitious new tour, just days underway, saw sellout crowds. Then it all fell away at 6000 feet above a Mississippi swamp.

At 6:42 PM, the pilot of Lynyrd Skynyrd's chartered Convair 240 airplane radioed that the craft was dangerously low on fuel. Less than ten minutes later, the plane crashed into a densely wooded thicket in the middle of a swamp. The crash, which killed Ronnie VanZant, guitarist Steve Gaines, vocalist Cassie Gaines, road manager Dean Kilpatrick and seriously injured the rest of the band and crew, shattered Skynyrd's fast rising star as it cut a 500 foot path through the swamp. Lynyrd Skynyrd had met a sudden, tragic end.

As Merle Haggard's 'I Take A Lot Of Pride In What I Am' played, Ronnie was laid to rest with his trademark Texas Hatters black hat and favorite fishing pole. Ronnie was memorialized with a simple, ten minute private service under cloudy skies in Orange Park, Florida surrounded by 150 close friends and family. Following a taped recording of David Allen Coe's 'Another Pretty Country Song', Charlie Daniels sang 'Amazing Grace'. Standing in front of the rose-covered brass coffin, minister David Evans, who had recently performed Gary's wedding, led the mourners with the message that Ronnie was not dead that he lived on in heaven in spirit and on earth in song.


Rolling Stone to Pay $1.65 Million to Fraternity Over Discredited Rape Story

Rolling Stone has agreed to settle a defamation lawsuit brought by the University of Virginia fraternity at the center of a discredited article about an alleged gang rape, effectively closing the door on a pivotal and damaging chapter in the magazine’s history.

Under the terms of the settlement, the magazine agreed to pay the Virginia Alpha Chapter of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity $1.65 million. The fraternity had originally sought a trial by jury and $25 million in damages.

“It has been nearly three years since we and the entire University of Virginia community were shocked by the now infamous article,” the fraternity said in a statement, “and we are pleased to be able to close the book on that trying ordeal and its aftermath.”

The fraternity said it planned to donate “a significant portion” of the settlement to groups that offer sexual assault awareness education, prevention training and victim counseling services on college campuses.

Rolling Stone declined to comment. Court papers on the settlement have not been filed but are expected in the coming days.

The settlement essentially brings to an end the legal issues facing Rolling Stone over the 9,000-word article published in November 2014. In April, the magazine and the writer of the article, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, settled a suit brought by a University of Virginia administrator, Nicole P. Eramo, who said the article defamed her and portrayed her as the “chief villain” of the story. (A federal jury had awarded Ms. Eramo $3 million in damages in November 2016.) A third lawsuit, filed by three former fraternity members, was dismissed last June, though that decision is being appealed.

The article, “A Rape on Campus,” was retracted in April 2015 after a Columbia Journalism School report that said the magazine failed to take basic journalistic steps to verify the account of a woman, identified only as Jackie, who said she was the victim of a gang rape. It was an embarrassing episode for a magazine that has long prided itself on its journalistic accomplishments.

The reputational hit also coincided with industrywide financial pressure.

In September, Wenner Media, the magazine’s parent company, sold a 49 percent stake in Rolling Stone to BandLab Technologies, a Singapore-based music technology company led by Meng Ru Kuok, the son of an Asian business tycoon. And in March, Wenner sold the celebrity magazine Us Weekly to American Media Inc., the publisher of The National Enquirer, for a reported price of $100 million.


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