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workplace protection--not as hotbutton as Marriage Equality or Don't Ask Don't Tell, but far more essential

ENDA House hearings start tomorrow --a record 94% of Fortune 500 companies now provide Sexual Orientation Discrimination Protection, and 89% of Americans polled believe Homosexuals should have equal rights in terms of job opportunities. Repeatedly introduced and then killed since 1994, the 2007 version--H.R. 2015--Employment Non-Discrimination Act (text of bill)--includes transgender protection for the very first time. The TVC is just one of many organizations fighting it. (there is a religious exemption, but groups like the TVC would be covered by it)
posted by amberglow on Sep 4, 2007 - 58 comments

Next they'll want to drive

Who can count the ills visited upon modern society by women's suffrage? Dr. John Lott would include government spending, taxation and social programs. Lawrence Auster thinks that it's worth considering an end to the experiment of women's suffrage. (And is mocked and responds). Perhaps he'll find an ally in former senator Kay O'Connor.

On some level, it's heartening to see conservatives conserving 100-year-old arguments.
posted by klangklangston on Aug 13, 2007 - 54 comments

At least a chimp will never be elected president. Oh, hang on...

"Our main argument is that Hiasl is a person and has basic legal rights,” said Eberhart Theuer, a lawyer leading the challenge on behalf of a Vienna animal rights group. “We mean the right to life, the right to not be tortured, the right to freedom under certain conditions,” Theuer said. “We’re not talking about the right to vote here.” Some primatologists support the legal action, while others aren't so sure. Brazilian courts have already granted a chimp the right to a petition of Habeas Corpus.
posted by unSane on May 8, 2007 - 80 comments

Freedom of Sights and Sounds

The Digital Freedom Campaign believes that new technologies are essential to the creativity and innovation, and that digital technology enables anyone and everyone to be an artist and an innovator. The DFC is dedicated to defending the rights of artists, innovators, creators and consumers to use lawful technology free of unreasonable government restrictions and without fear of costly lawsuits.
posted by terrapin on Mar 28, 2007 - 10 comments

persecution complex? prosecution complex?

The First Freedom Project --new from the Dept of Justice, announced at the Southern Baptist Convention along with a call for their help---specifically and only to protect the religious from discrimination against them. Many are not impressed: The administration has often ignored the importance of the no establishment principle by supporting attempts of governments to endorse a religious message, using tax dollars to fund pervasively religious organizations, allowing religious discrimination in hiring for federally funded projects, ... Legal strategies and actions from groups like the Alliance Defense Fund and ACLJ are now official DOJ policy, it appears. ...In his statement, Gonzales mentioned several cases litigated by ADF and its allies ...
posted by amberglow on Feb 23, 2007 - 56 comments

...at the end of the day, we're specimens to be dissected, examined and studied so that you may teach a "lesson" that you view as important. ...

We Are Not Freaks --from Silber's Power of Narrative--and applicable to all who fall outside the norms.
posted by amberglow on Feb 17, 2007 - 31 comments

"more than two centuries of surveillance in America"

Tracked In America --the stories of 25 individuals who have been targeted by the U.S. government. The stories span from World War I to the post-9/11 world.
posted by amberglow on Jan 23, 2007 - 4 comments

If I Only Had A Heart

Robot Rights.
posted by jimmythefish on Dec 21, 2006 - 61 comments

The (Wedding) March of Progress

The grooms wore khakis and leather boots. Two game rangers, Vernon Gibbs and Tony Halls, became the first same-sex couple to legally wed in South Africa on December 1, a day after President Thabo Mbeki's government authorised gay marriages. SA is the 5th country allowing fullly equal same-sex marriage rights--Worldwide timeline of advances here, from 1979 until now. (In other news: Israel just officially recognized full rights for marriages made abroad, and Mexico City just approved Civil Unions)
posted by amberglow on Dec 4, 2006 - 23 comments

Human Development Report 2006

Clean water is a right: "The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) published its annual report on human development. It denounces the world's complacent disregard for such unglamorous subjects as standpipes, latrines and the 1.8m children who die each year from diarrhoea because the authorities cannot keep their drinking water separate from their faeces. The study is both coldly analytical and angry..."
posted by kliuless on Nov 24, 2006 - 18 comments

Israel gets teh gay!

Israel recognizes same-sex marriageswn performed abroad. But even heterosexual Israelis are still often forced to marry abroad by Orthodox rabbis. Israel has partialy recognized same sex civil unions since 1994.wp The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, and South Africa are the only other nations to legalize same sex marriage; however, most European nations recognize some form of civil union.wp

Gay Palestinians often seek refuge in Israel since they may be tortured or killed by the Palestinian Authority; this continues dispite the fact that Jordanian law, as would be applied in the west bank, does not criminalize homosexuality. Israel sadly does not often grant gay Palestinians refugee status, forcing them to remain hidden within Israel.
posted by jeffburdges on Nov 22, 2006 - 37 comments

We're coming to your town, we'll drag your budget down

On November 7th, Americans have much to decide. While the two major parties joust for control of the Senate and House, many a ballot initiative does not recieve the scutiny required. Consider Oregon's Rainy Day Amendment, Arizona's HOPE Amendment, California's Protect Our Homes Initiative or Idaho's Proposition 2. Examine the Taxpayer Bill of Rights in Maine and Proposal 6 in Michigan - weigh them against three bills in Montana. [more inside]
posted by EatTheWeak on Nov 5, 2006 - 20 comments

Do animals know more than we think?

A recent article recently came out in the Wall Street Journal, which cited new study from Stanford about animal consciousness. Elephants grieve, bees create mental maps, dolphins recognize themselves in mirrors. Snakes have more brain cells than humans, and chickens worry about the future. What are your thoughts? Does this change the way we treat animals?
posted by PetBoogaloo on Nov 3, 2006 - 86 comments

civil unions? marriage?

NJ says yes to same-sex marriage! (altho it might not be called that in the end) -- link to pdf of ruling here.
posted by amberglow on Oct 25, 2006 - 138 comments

Franklin Kameny Papers Online

The Kameny Papers Project preserved and presents the papers of gay rights pioneer Franklin Kameny, who had activists picketing the White House in 1965, well before Stonewall. The website includes a nice archive of his papers, including correspondence, a small photo gallery, and some charming hate mail from members of Congress. See also the Franklin Kameny pages at the Rainbow History Project. Yesterday, the Library of Congress accepted Kameny's papers. [via Andrew Sullivan]
posted by LarryC on Oct 7, 2006 - 9 comments

A Fair Wisconsin Votes No

Gay Marriage Debate Turns Violent A violent brawl broke out on Tuesday during a discussion in a Wauwatosa restaurant over the proposed same-sex marriage referendum, and the incident was apparently caught on videotape. Video of the brawl here. 39 days until Wisconsin votes "No" on the civil unions and marriage ban.
posted by thefreek on Sep 29, 2006 - 84 comments

...from that block came the sound of screaming ...

Meet the new jailers-- Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad is at the centre of fresh abuse allegations just a week after it was handed over to Iraqi authorities, with claims that inmates are being tortured by their new captors. Mass executions, torture again, etc. How bad is it when the inmates plead for us to come back? (Warning--this second link is graphic evidence of what we did there--NSFW)
posted by amberglow on Sep 10, 2006 - 27 comments

After the operation it was confirmed...

Sherri Finkbine --as reported by BBC News, on this day in 1962 (video clip too)--her travails and travels, the law, publicity, and what happened afterwards. (more here from American Prospect in 05: ...A Gallup Poll taken that year showed that the majority of Americans supported Finkbine, and her case was a turning point ...)
posted by amberglow on Aug 26, 2006 - 16 comments

Human Rights Watch, Watched

Human Rights Watch, Watched "Who will guard the guardians?" asked Roman satirist Juvenal. Now we must ask, who is watching Human Rights Watch, one of the world's best-financed and most influential human rights organizations? It turns out that they cook the books about facts, cheat on interviews, and put out pre-determined conclusions that are driven more by their ideology than by evidence. These are serious accusations, and they are demonstrably true.
posted by Postroad on Aug 21, 2006 - 62 comments

Federal Appeals Court: Driving With Money is a Crime.

Federal Appeals Court opinion "We respectfully disagree and reach a different conclusion... Possession of a large sum of cash is 'strong evidence' of a connection to drug activity." Even if no evidence of a drug related crime is provided, you are guilty until proven innocent. BTW, they wont return the money.
posted by IronWolve on Aug 20, 2006 - 103 comments

This might explain why the U.S. keeps getting caught spying on peaceful war-protestors.

DHS's CyberStorm-- --Recognizing the imminent threat hippies and assorted leftists obviously pose to us all, a massive cyber terror simulation (international and involving 115 organizations) recently came to light: ...The attack scenario detailed in the presentation is a meticulously plotted parade of cyber horribles led by a "well financed" band of leftist radicals who object to U.S. imperialism, aided by sympathetic independent actors. At the top of the pyramid is the Worldwide Anti-Globalization Alliance, which sets things off by calling for cyber sit-ins and denial-of-service attacks against U.S. interests. WAGA's radical arm, the villainous Black Hood Society, ratchets up the tension on day one by probing SCADA computerized control systems and military networks ...
posted by amberglow on Aug 17, 2006 - 28 comments

New music, new business model

Wish you could have bought shares of Pearl Jam before they were famous? Fans sponsor bands in $10 'parts'. Once 5000 parts have been pledged, the band gets a proper studio recording. Tracks are made available free. CD's are sold. Money goes to the band and to the 'believers' who sponsored them. Might work. Probably better than this model.
posted by gregor-e on Aug 17, 2006 - 30 comments

sunny day...

Ernest and Bertram --short film, formerly one of the best films you can't see after debuting at Sundance in 2002, with Sesame's lawyers then cracking down and forcing it to be pulled--now on youtube.
posted by amberglow on Aug 15, 2006 - 27 comments

Under the spreading chestnut tree I sold you and you sold me...

Panel Suggests Using Inmates in Drug Trials PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 7 An influential federal panel of medical advisers has recommended that the government loosen regulations that severely limit the testing of pharmaceuticals on prison inmates, a practice that was all but stopped three decades ago after revelations of abuse. Cruel and unusual punishment?
posted by Unregistered User on Aug 13, 2006 - 43 comments

Still, neither Nixon nor Reagan changed the division's procedures for hiring career staff

"If anything, a civil rights background is considered a liability." Meet the politically-appointed career staffers of the Justice Dept.'s Civil Rights Division: ... the kinds of cases the Civil Rights Division is bringing have undergone a shift. The division is bringing fewer voting rights and employment cases involving systematic discrimination against African-Americans, and more alleging reverse discrimination against whites and religious discrimination against Christians. ... Thorough Boston Globe article on how the administration disbanded the hiring committee in 2002 to appoint lawyers with a very different vision of what civil rights are, and the ensuring and ongoing results.
posted by amberglow on Jul 23, 2006 - 24 comments

How bout that voting rights act hummm?

The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro Frederick Douglass, an escaped slave and abolitionist, was asked to give a Fourth of July speech while slavery still existed. His fiery talk is what this section is about: People within America recognizing that the American promises ring hollow. Bush tells CBC he's 'unfamiliar' with Voting Rights Act Also see: LCCR Disappointed that House Failed to Vote on Voting Rights Act Reauthorization Bill "No President has ever done more for human rights than I have." George W. Bush
posted by Unregistered User on Jul 3, 2006 - 47 comments

When in Texas...

Texas Riparian Law I found this intriguing because I 1) live in Texas, 2) have walked many Texas creekbottoms, 3) have a lot of lawyer friends, and 4) as an English major, find the language somehow beautiful.
posted by rleamon on Jun 29, 2006 - 25 comments

The Porter-Blair debate.

Henry Porter is the British Editor of Vanity Fair. In the current issue he attacks what he describes as "[Tony] Blair's campaign against rights contained in the Rule of Law". The article follows a series of columns for The Observer and an extraordinary exchange of email between the two men, and has resonance in probably all countries in the Western world.
posted by Neiltupper on Jun 28, 2006 - 37 comments

...the emancipation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from bigotry disguised as religious truth ...

Faith In America asks a simple question: Is using religious teachings to deny equal rights to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people any less wrong than using religious teaching to discriminate against people of color, against equality for women or against people of different cultures wanting to marry? (check their ad campaign too--some great ones) Meanwhile, clueless elected officials like Barack Obama continue to buy into the GOP lies that all people with faith are conservatives/Republicans, and that Democrats are hostile to people with religious beliefs.
posted by amberglow on Jun 28, 2006 - 116 comments

Congress Hates Internet Users

I just heard some sad news on talk radio. Net Neutrality was found dead in Congress this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the community will miss it. Even if you didn't enjoy its work, there's no denying its contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.
posted by brownpau on Jun 9, 2006 - 96 comments

Bush vs The US Constitution

Power Surge: The Constitutional Record of George W. Bush Not much of this report from the Cato institute will be surprising to MeFites, but it is a great document [31 page PDF] that summarizes Bush's consistent disregard for the Constitution and drive for greater executive power.
posted by knave on May 3, 2006 - 27 comments

slippery slippery slope

All those in favor of a mandatory web labeling law, say "ay!"
posted by trinarian on Apr 22, 2006 - 23 comments

.

Eighth grader Anthony Soltero shot himself on Thursday, March 30, after the assistant principal at De Anza Middle School told him that he was going to prison for three years because of his involvement as an organizer of the April 28 school walk-outs to protest the anti-immigrant legislation in Washington. The vice principal also forbade Anthony from attending graduation activities and threatened to fine his mother for Anthony's truancy and participation in the student protests." Anthony was learning about the importance of civic duties and rights in his eighth grade class. Ironically, he died because the vice principal at his school threatened him for speaking out and exercising those rights," ...
posted by amberglow on Apr 7, 2006 - 206 comments

AT&T-->NSA. WTF? -EFF

EFF Accuses AT&T of diverting internet traffic to NSA. "More than just threatening individuals' privacy, AT&T's apparent choice to give the government secret, direct access to millions of ordinary Americans' Internet communications is a threat to the Constitution itself. We are asking the Court to put a stop to it now." More details from the EFF.
posted by jikel_morten on Apr 7, 2006 - 69 comments

Take one more step, and see what happens...

Police abuse remains one of the most serious and divisive human rights violations in the United States. The excessive use of force by police officers, including unjustified shootings, severe beatings, fatal chokings, and rough treatment, persists because overwhelming barriers to accountability make it possible for officers who commit human rights violations to escape due punishment and often to repeat their offenses. This reporter went out to discover just how hard it would be to anonymously file a complaint report. As it turns out, he was threatened, roughed up, and even intimidated by the suggestion that he would be shot. After reporter Mike Kirsch filed this story, the retaliation was swift and one would have thought, illegal.
posted by dejah420 on Apr 5, 2006 - 67 comments

Morality as Strategy

Are you a Republican candidate for Senate facing a tough election and having trouble getting endorsements from your own party? It's time to take in an all-American baseball game with the Commander-in-Chief, target teh gay menace, and amend the US Constitution so American voters don't have to see any more of this over their morning corn flakes. "I think this will save him," Burress said of DeWine. "I think this move right here, regardless of the reason, will send him back to Washington." Of course, it's not just a GOP thing.
posted by digaman on Mar 31, 2006 - 39 comments

Why is there more social acceptance, but less and less progress towards legal rights and equality?

...his boyfriend Josh. --beautiful story, made all the more poignant at a time of more and more state constitutional amendments ensuring second-class citizenship, and a Democratic party urging us to just shut up already, but still give.
posted by amberglow on Mar 4, 2006 - 49 comments

what you need right now isn't the righteous anger the rest of the blogosphere will give you. You need more.

For the women of South Dakota: an abortion manual --building on the history and expertise of Jane, , an underground referral and abortion-providing group in Chicago in the 60s, Molly provides the vital info women in South Dakota (and maybe elsewhere soon) need.
posted by amberglow on Feb 26, 2006 - 133 comments

"She's done a lot of good."

Laurel Hester, RIP --because she and her partner fought, New Jersey police and fire department employees can now name anyone--not just a spouse--as a beneficiary for pension rights, helping to protect those they love after they're gone. Just one person who made a difference.
posted by amberglow on Feb 20, 2006 - 15 comments

D: Yes, it does, because I've already had this discussion with him, and I've already been asked to change the signs, and I did. And I looked up all the statutes.

Red State, Meet Police State --take a big anti-Bush bumper sticker, some DHS cops, and an outspoken and educated federal employee. Put them in Boise, Idaho. Mix well. "It's the First Amendment for a reason--not the last, not the middle. The first."
posted by amberglow on Feb 16, 2006 - 251 comments

even posting "Pepsi Blue" would make us liable.

"Drove my Chevy to the levee..."? That's a lawsuit. "Pass the Courvoisier"? Yup. Lawsuit too. Artwork using Barbie Dolls? Lawsuit again... It's all part of the Trademark Dilution Revision Act, which would eliminate the non-commercial "fair use" protections of trademarks in art, literature, and speech-- To amend the Trademark Act of 1946 with respect to dilution by blurring or tarnishment. It goes to the Senate Judiciary Committee on the 16th, and there's a large roster of groups fighting it, including the American Library Association, EFF, and more, saying that consumers as well as artists would be preventing from exercising their free speech rights unless it's amended.
posted by amberglow on Feb 3, 2006 - 35 comments

Ideology of Equality

Coretta Scott King passes away at age 78.
posted by googlebombed on Jan 31, 2006 - 51 comments

...respecting and defending the life and dignity of every human being...

Roe v. Wade, 33 years old today. With abortion back in the news due to the Supreme Court nomination of Alito, will the Ideological Rumble over the issue ever be settled or are we doomed to see questionable declarations like today's recognition of "National Sanctity of Human Life Day, 2006"? ...creating a society where every life has meaning...-- every life? Really?
posted by amberglow on Jan 22, 2006 - 200 comments

Bush's executive order allowing some warrantless eavesdropping on those inside the United States ­...­ is based on classified legal opinions...

"The White House asked The New York Times not to publish this article, arguing that it could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny." What's the article about? The NSA, and you, if you've ever called internationally or sent email overseas: ...the intelligence agency has monitored the international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people inside the United States without warrants over the past three years in an effort to track possible "dirty numbers" linked to Al Qaeda, ... (very long, NYT--and the NSA's mission is to spy only on communications abroad)
posted by amberglow on Dec 15, 2005 - 74 comments

YetAnotherFilter

LibertyFilter is an aggregator of freedom-focused bloggers, with some original content of its own as well. Great way to keep up on current happenings (good and bad) regarding our rights. Note, however, not much actual filtering seems to occur.
posted by knave on Dec 2, 2005 - 9 comments

One man's terrorist...

The Cult of Zaoui. Algerian Ahmed Zaoui arrived in New Zealand in December 2002, having been convicted in Belgium and France (in absentia) for terrorism-related offences, on a false passport requesting refugee status. He was imprisoned for two years (spending ten months in solitary confinement) as a result of the Security Intelligence Service issuing a security risk certificate, before the NZ Supreme Court granted him bail. He now lives in a Dominican Priory in Auckland under curfew, but manages (accompanied by his crusading young lawyer) to give public lectures, offer eulogies, publish a book of poetry, appear in a music video (wmv), sing onstage at the NZ Music Awards, inspire a fund-raising cookbook "Conversations over Couscous", and has become (depending on your viewpoint) a reluctant or carefully cultivated celebrity.
posted by szechuan on Nov 21, 2005 - 13 comments

Sony pwns your computer part II

Sony steps in it again. In the midst of the uproar about the Sony rootkit previously mentioned here, J. Alex Haldeman found a second sneaky piece of work in Sony CD's. It's pretty clear now that the only safe way to listen to music from Sony is to steal it. [via]
posted by pjern on Nov 12, 2005 - 72 comments

the 28th Amendment?

A explicit Right to Privacy Amendment? Dan Savage asks: why can't we have one?--...Here we are, decades after Griswold, and social conservatives and liberals are constantly arguing about whether or not the right to privacy, which is a popular right (naturally enough), and one to which most Americans believe they're entitled, is actually a right to which Americans are entitled, constitutionally-speaking. ... It affects all aspects of our lives-- from sexuality to procreation to speech to property to employment to housing, so isn't it time?
Europe has one, in the European Convention on Human Rights : Article 8-the right to respect for private and family life, home and correspondence. ...Article 8 offers general protection for a person’s private and family life, home and correspondence from arbitrary interference by the State. This right affects a large number of areas of life ranging from surveillance to sexual identity - it is framed extremely broadly. However, the right to respect for these aspects of privacy under Article 8 is qualified. ...
posted by amberglow on Nov 3, 2005 - 50 comments

Politics and fat

America's Waistline. A new piece examines the politics of the fat. Despite the growing numbers of people who are becoming obese, the fat acceptance movement remains oddly stunted in terms of membership. The growing civil rights movement faces many problems, including presenting a respectable face to the public. You see, many of the people who are in charge are feeders (NWS). Many wonder how the movement be taken seriously when so many who lead are sexual deviants and much of the revenue generated for size acceptance efforts is through pornography? Still, the battle rages on.
posted by skjønn on Nov 3, 2005 - 155 comments

Sony pwns your computer

Do you play Sony DRM-protected CD's on your computer? If so, you might be wide open in terms of security. It seems that Sony is installing an almost-impossible to find rootkit on the computers of purchasers of their music. Their EULA doesn't mention the fact that their "small, proprietary" program goes much too far, managing to bypass security software, firewalls, etc. You might want to do this, anyway.
posted by pjern on Oct 31, 2005 - 60 comments

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