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Sunday, May 19, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Told You So

I love to say I told you so.

The U. S. Attorney's Office in a "status report" filed in federal court last week said it no longer needed Apple's help to hack a cell phone.

"The government has now successfully accessed the data stored on Farook's iPhone and therefor no longer requires the assistance from Apple Inc.," the report said.


So, um, how did the government crack the iPhone's security?

What did it find out?

There seems to be no mention of these things.

Have you seen the answers in any news stories about this?

Now flash back to this very column on Feb. 29. Here's what I said: "What the FBI should have done was announce that it got into the cell phone and got some juicy but now-classified information."

Now you know why you don't know. Perception is more important than reality.

Told you so.

Blowing smoke: Have you ever considered the impact on the environment caused by lack of marijuana?

What would air quality be like if no one was smoking weed?

And how much closer to global warming disaster would we be if everyone had to drive to marijuana dispensaries rather than having grass conveniently delivered to neighborhoods?

OK, I hadn't considered any of these issues either. Fortunately, an organization called Union of Medical Marijuana Patients, Inc. has brought this subject to light.

And a California Court of Appeals panel may have put it back to dark.

In the ruling Union of Medical Marijuana Patients, Inc. v. City of Upland, the court established the precedent that a city can ban mobile marijuana dispensaries without conducting an environmental impact review.

It's another defeat for the green movement.

The city's disregard for the smoking environment prompted the suit from the UMMP, which apparently protects not only the environment but also civil rights. It describes itself on its website as a "not-for-profit civil rights organization" that defends the rights of medical cannabis patients "through thoughtful legal and political action."

The group's thoughtful suit said Upland's ordinance banning mobile dispensaries would increase travel by residents needing to get to their weed and also increase "indoor cultivation activity within the city, which would result in increases in electrical and water consumption, waste plant material and odor, and hazardous waste materials associated with fertilizing and harvesting marijuana plants."

If people start growing their own food, the place could become totally unlivable. You might as well be living on a farm.

For some reason, the court couldn't understand the problem with the ordinance. You may want to avoid traveling to Upland after this - without doing your smoking first.

Trigger warning: You may want to stop reading now, if you're squeamish or sensitive.

If you're still with me and you enjoy being grossed out, check out a ruling from the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division, Matter of Berger v. New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, in which the court protects the privacy of a guy who may be infecting babies.

It seems that a mohel - a guy who performs ritual circumcisions - may have been infecting babies with herpes. If you haven't read the ruling yet, try to imagine how this is possible.

Now consider that if the mohel had been cutting up the babies - say with a really unsteady hand - the court probably wouldn't have kept his identity secret.

But since he was passing on his own virus, he had a right to privacy.

If you're a new parent in New York, you may want to reconsider your baby rituals.

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