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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

by sitting she stood up.

Rosa Parks, RIP
posted by amberglow on Oct 24, 2005 - 194 comments

U.S. soldiers videotaped desecrating Taliban corpses.

U.S. soldiers videotaped desecrating Taliban corpses. The bodies were positioned to face Mecca and burned -- an act of desecration that violates Islamic burial rites and the Geneva Conventions. A U.S. PsyOps specialist broadcast an inflammatory message to the nearby town in order to incite an attack. "Attention, Taliban, you are all cowardly dogs. You allowed your fighters to be laid down facing west and burned. You are too scared to come down and retrieve their bodies. This just proves you are the lady boys we always believed you to be."
The video aired last night in Australia, but hasn't surfaced yet in the U.S. It won't be long, though.. "Wow, look at the blood coming out of the mouth on that one, fucking straight death metal."
posted by insomnia_lj on Oct 20, 2005 - 237 comments

Ciudad Juarez

lacitedesmortes - documentary on women murdered in ciudad juarez -- lacitedesmontes.net is not in English, but through its flash presentation and navigation, it should explain enough about the brutality of the unfortunate events that took place in Ciudad Juarez. Since 1993, almost 400 women and girls have been murdered and more than 70 remain missing in Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua, Mexico. While the region's law enforcement as well as state's attorney general were either incompetent or corrupt, more than a dozen women's rights groups were created to solve the murder as well as to stop the violence in the region. Thanks to international organizations such as Amnesty, UNIFEM, and IACHR, the number of violent murder on women in the region has degreased for a while, however, the battle still continues. More resources here.
posted by grafholic on Oct 13, 2005 - 11 comments

Bush administration threatens veto against Geneva Convention.

Bush administration threatens veto against Geneva Convention. After hearing about the latest torture scandal in Iraq, Republican Armed Services Committee Senators John McCain, John W. Warner, and Lindsey Graham are seeking an amendment to a defense bill which would require the military to abide by the Geneva Convention... but the Bush administration is reportedly opposed to any such legislation, and have threatened to veto it. To make matters worse, many prominent Congressional Republicans are also opposed to abiding by the Geneva Convention, to the point that overturning such a veto is far from assured.
posted by insomnia_lj on Sep 26, 2005 - 63 comments

Deadbeat Gays?

In three different decisions, the Californa Supreme Court has ruled that gay and lesbian couples who raise children are lawful parents and must provide for their children if they break up. Lambda urged the court to rule in favor of finding gays and lesbians as lawful parents under California law "to protect families." The National Center for Lesbian Rights hailed the decisions as "a tremendous victory for children, for parental responsibility, and for common sense." Links to the decisions here, here, and here. (all pdf) Mathew Staver of Liberty Counsel "a nonprofit litigation, education and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of human life and the traditional family" derided the decision as defying logic "and common sense by saying that children can have two moms. That policy establishes that moms and dads as a unit are irrelevant when it comes to raising children."
posted by three blind mice on Aug 24, 2005 - 57 comments

Remember Kelo!

Remember Kelo? After winning a landmark eminent domain ruling from the Supreme Court, the New London Development Corporation now wants to pay residents based on value they held in 2000, rather then 2005, which would leave them unable to buy equivalent new home in today's real estate bubble.

Then also want to charge back rent. In some cases up to $300 thousand. Susette Kelo herself now owes $56k.
posted by delmoi on Aug 19, 2005 - 66 comments

Hidden from History?

Claudette Colvin --a Montgomery teen arrested 9 months before Rosa Park's now-famous refusal to sit in the back of the bus. There were 4 women who stood up before Mrs. Parks, yet most of us know nothing about them. It was their actions that led to the Supreme Court overturning segregation on public transit, yet Rosa Parks is the visible symbol. On worthy and "unworthy" messengers and symbols.
posted by amberglow on Aug 13, 2005 - 14 comments

the sunlight of a public trial

..I would like to convey the message that our system works. We did not need to use a secret military tribunal, or detain the defendant indefinitely as an enemy combatant, or deny him the right to counsel, or invoke any proceedings beyond those guaranteed by or contrary to the United States Constitution. ...We can deal with the threats to our national security without denying the accused fundamental constitutional protections. ...--U.S. Western District Judge John Coughenour, while sentencing "Millennium Bomber", Ahmed Ressam. With 60 Terror Plots foiled in the past 10 years, and pretty much none foiled due to the DHS and Patriot Act, it has to be asked-- Why isn't regular law enforcement and all the rest enough? (a little more inside)
posted by amberglow on Jul 27, 2005 - 38 comments

at least it's not Luttig?

the Supreme Court Short List --read it and weep, or not. CNN is already reporting it's John Roberts, and not Edith Clements. Bush announces at 9pm est. Roberts worked for both Reagan and Bush 1, btw.
posted by amberglow on Jul 19, 2005 - 185 comments

Go North, Young Man

Canada Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage. "We are a nation of minorities. And in a nation of minorities, it is important that you don't cherry-pick rights," said Prime Minister Paul Martin. "A right is a right and that is what this vote tonight is all about."
posted by digaman on Jun 28, 2005 - 143 comments

a failure for the Fourth Amendment

LossofPrivacyFilter: 1) Patriot Act Expansion Bill Approved in Secret, which now provides a new ‘administrative subpoena’ authority (that) would let the FBI write and approve its own search orders for intelligence investigations, without prior judicial approval. ...Flying in the face of the Fourth Amendment, this power would let agents seize personal records from medical facilities, libraries, hotels, gun dealers, banks and any other businesses without any specific facts connecting those records to any criminal activity or a foreign agent. ..., and from the Justice Department: 2) Most health care employees can't be prosecuted for stealing personal data, and finally, 3) Citibank admits losing 4 million customer files.
These 3 examples all within the past few days--any others i missed?
posted by amberglow on Jun 8, 2005 - 31 comments

Update on Microsoft and Ralph Reed

Update to previous posts on Microsoft and erstwhile consultant Ralph Reed: As discussed here, here and here, Microsoft had been paying conservative consultant Ralph Reed a princely monthly sum.
posted by Morrigan on May 29, 2005 - 8 comments

All your content are belong to us

Think you're in full control of your computer? Think again. Intel has just quietly added one of the necessary components of Microsoft's (and the TCG/TCPA's) DRM technology, Palladium, to the PC platform. Some say this is a move against rampant Chinese software piracy, others think it's a power grab by the content producers. Left unchecked, content and software producers will have the final say in how you use your computer, fair use be damned.
posted by id on May 28, 2005 - 55 comments

Amnesty report 2005

The Amnesty International 2005 report is hot off the press. This annual report describes the current human rights situation in each country around the world. The BBC cover it well with a special PDF enabling you to look up the report on any country. CNN give more limited coverage, without including a link to the full report. The overall picture is that freedom is spreading, thanks to the US government - freedom to torture, enslave, and kill with impunity.
posted by cleardawn on May 25, 2005 - 28 comments

Who'da thunk it?

Peta Kills Animals
posted by konolia on May 10, 2005 - 137 comments

Dude, be prepared. Be that Boy Scout they won't let you be anymore.

The Uses of Canaries--and what canaries need to do --...Why go to all that trouble when we have reduced the homosexual, himself, to nothing more than a body part? Remove the homo -- he's just a diseased body part, after all -- and the problem is solved. Of course there will always be those so pathologically sex-panicked that they have to rely on their Think Pieces to get their pornography fix. Not worth worrying about, generally. But when United States Senators start in with the Depravity Fillip, and the DF starts showing up in the campaign literature of various groups... well, you want to keep your eye on that sort of thing. You maybe want to start thinking about that famous canary in the mine-shaft. ...
posted by amberglow on May 9, 2005 - 51 comments

Fabulous news!

UpdateFilter: Microsoft bows to pressure, supports gay rights after all.
posted by thedevildancedlightly on May 6, 2005 - 39 comments

For whom these vile shackles, These long-prepared irons?

Vive la Revolution. Are DVD Copy Protection technologies now illegal in France? (via techdirt).
posted by seanyboy on Apr 25, 2005 - 5 comments

Microsoft refuses to support gay rights bill

Microsoft pulls support for gay rights. Under pressure from a local conservative church, Microsoft - long honored for their progressive stance on GBLT rights - quietly pulled its support for a Washington State law that would have made discrimination based on sexual orientation illegal. Today, the Washington State Senate killed the bill by a vote of 24-25.
posted by falconred on Apr 21, 2005 - 91 comments

The "Constitution Restoration Act"

The "Constitution Restoration Act". `Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the Supreme Court shall not have jurisdiction to review, by appeal, writ of certiorari, or otherwise, any matter to the extent that relief is sought against an entity of Federal, State, or local government, or against an officer or agent of Federal, State, or local government (whether or not acting in official or personal capacity), concerning that entity's, officer's, or agent's acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.'

This article claims that this bill is almost certain to pass, and that if it does that no Federal court or judge will have jurisdiction over any Federal, State, or local government entity or official who claims God's law.

Are these claims true? Why isn't there a fuss?
posted by lupus_yonderboy on Apr 8, 2005 - 72 comments

YOU BUY IT!!!

The rights to Pokey the Penguin(archive)-the entire body of work, characters, likenesses, etc.- are for sale on eBay. Is this the end of an infrequently updated and incoherent era that spanned nearly seven years?
posted by PinkStainlessTail on Apr 1, 2005 - 21 comments

Conscientious Objector Policy Act attempts to further mutilates our basic rights

Conscientious Objector Policy Act would allow Michigander doctors and health care providers to refuse treatment on moral, ethical or religious grounds. Yet another OMG MORALZ OMG sort of bill. But wait, what are morals? And does Nicole Kidman figure into this somehow?
posted by taursir on Mar 30, 2005 - 59 comments

MA, NY, CA--who's next?

Love and Marriage, Love and Marriage... California joins New York in a lower-court decision for marriage equality, with the judge stating, "The idea that marriage-like rights without marriage is adequate smacks of a concept long rejected by the courts — separate but equal," ... And in DC, Ken Mehlman, (closeted) head of the RNC, in an interview with the AP, backslides on his party's trumpeting of anti-gay sentiment: - It's not his job as head of the party to tell states whether they should allow same-sex couples to wed or form civil unions. "Certainly our platform states that the party is committed to ensuring that there is traditional marriage," he said, but he didn't think the party should take a position on state initiatives. More on today's court decision here.
posted by amberglow on Mar 14, 2005 - 132 comments

Padilla

So, what now? Do they charge him? He's an American citizen who's spent 2½ years in custody - charged with no crime - without his lawer, access to due process, habeas corpus, etc. He has no constitutional safeguards and can be held like that because the president says he can be held like that. Who says the president has that power? The president does. Could he have even made a "dirty bomb?"
posted by Smedleyman on Mar 2, 2005 - 29 comments

Senator: Decency Rules Should Apply to Pay TV, Radio

Senator: Decency Rules Should Apply to Pay TV, Radio. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens said he disagreed "violently" with assertions by the cable industry that Congress does not have the authority to impose limits on its content. "If that's the issue they want to take on, we'll take it on and let the Supreme Court decide," he said.
posted by johnnydark on Mar 1, 2005 - 39 comments

Holy macaroni!

Miracleman is arguably one of the finest superhero comics ever made, but it has been dogged by legal disputes even in its pre-post-modern, pre-Alan Moore days, when it was called Marvelman. But the many fans and would-be fans of the modern comic have suffered greatly as a result of a big rights dispute which kept the existing work from being reprinted, so enthusiasts and interested parties have had to pay big bucks for the existing copies out there or console themselves with companion books (which also go out of print!).

But there is an end in sight! Neil Gaiman, one of the parties in the dispute, has good news to report.
posted by sninky-chan on Feb 28, 2005 - 15 comments

Grin and bear it.

Seizure of land for the public good or unconstitutional cash grab? Originally, the power of eminent domain was used by government to condemn property for the public good, usually to build railroads or highways or bridges. This power has been expanded to redevelop dilapidated neighbourhoods, and ultimately, "economic development" (public good by way of jobs and taxes). What will you do when Pfizer wants to build a research facility *on* your backyard and your government helps them do it? Hint: it's nothing new, just wait for 2008 or 2012 (maybe).
posted by loquax on Feb 23, 2005 - 40 comments

If we do not step forward, then we step back.

Address by Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin on Gay Marriage. Taking the bull by the horns, Mr. Martin speaks to the House of Commons regarding Bill C-38, The Civil Marriage Act:
"This question does not demand rhetoric. It demands clarity. There are only two legitimate answers – yes or no. Not the demagoguery we have heard, not the dodging, the flawed reasoning, the false options. Just yes or no."
One of the finest speeches from a Canadian politician in memory, and an important read for Canadians and Americans alike.
posted by Jairus on Feb 17, 2005 - 168 comments

No, He's Not Your Puppy, He's Your Narc

Canadian Couple Offers Drug Dog for Hire (Reuters link)
A couple bought a dog trained to sniff drugs for $20,000 and now they will hire it out to sniff around your kid's stuff to see if they've been doing drugs within the last 30 days for a mere $20 a sniff (they also have a sliding scale for businesses that need them).
Where to draw the line between concern and obsession for keeping one's children safe? Some sites are keeping tabs on the infringement of children's rights including privacy. Which begs the question, Do Children Have a Right to Privacy?
posted by fenriq on Feb 4, 2005 - 46 comments

Adulthood

Does "Tried As An Adult" Mean Anything Anymore? I don't like the kid. I despise the defense. But what does it mean to try a 12 year old as an adult? Are we only willing to grant the responsibilities of adulthood, and not the rights? Or are some things too horrifying to yield to the innocence of youth?
posted by effugas on Feb 2, 2005 - 52 comments

Citizenry

Bravery and citizenship: Memphis Norman died the other day. He was one of the citizens, who, along with Anne Moody, whose book "Coming of age in Mississippi," vividly describes their action, sat at a Woolworth's lunch counter and took abuse in 1963.
posted by goofyfoot on Feb 1, 2005 - 0 comments

Blogs help reform in Iran

Blogs contribute to political reform in Iran (New York Times): Former vice-president of Iran, Mohammad Ali Abtahi, said that he learned through the Internet about the huge gap between government officials and the younger generation. "We do not understand each other and cannot have a dialogue," he said. "As government officials, we receive a lot of confidential reports about what goes on in society. But I have felt that I learned a lot more about people and the younger generation by reading their Web logs and receiving about 40 to 50 e-mails every day. This is so different than reading about society in those bulletins from behind our desks."
posted by hoder on Jan 16, 2005 - 7 comments

Turning the tables on Anti-Choice Protesters

Turning Pickets Into Pledges Planned Parenthood has launched a new program that "creates a no-win situation for anti-choice protesters — the more picketers who demonstrate outside a Planned Parenthood clinic, the more donations that clinic receives." This campaign allows supporters to pledge between 25 cents and one dollar per protester -- not a lot of money, but it adds up to thousands over time.
posted by zarq on Dec 23, 2004 - 29 comments

Survey finds support for restricting Muslim-Americans' freedoms

Survey finds support for restricting Muslim-Americans' freedoms Nearly one in two Americans believe the U.S. government should restrict civil liberties for Muslim-Americans, according to a nationwide Cornell University poll on terrorism fears. The survey also found respondents who identified themselves as highly religious supported restrictions on Muslim-Americans more strongly than those less religious. Curtailing civil liberties for Muslim-Americans also was supported more by Republicans than Democrats, the survey found. The amount of attention paid to TV news also had a bearing on how strongly a respondent favored restrictions
posted by Postroad on Dec 18, 2004 - 135 comments

Massachusetts gays divorcing

Gay divorce Well, if the track record of straight marriages is any indication, this was bound to happen sooner or later. "Less than seven months after same-sex couples began tying the knot in Massachusetts, the state is seeing ts first gay divorces."
posted by livingsanctuary on Dec 10, 2004 - 20 comments

Bring on the lawyers, SOM allegedly steals student's design

Thomas Shine, a former Yale student, is suing David Childs for copyright infringement Mr. Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill for copyright infringement over the design of the Freedom Tower located at Ground Zero. Shine alleges in his lawsuit that the proposed Freedom Tower was "strikingly similar" to his "Olympic Tower" design for the proposed 2012 Olympic Games in New York.
posted by plemeljr on Nov 10, 2004 - 21 comments

Taking the Long View

Only in 1967 did Loving v. Virginia overturn vigorously-enforced laws against interracial marriage in these 15 states--Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. Only in 1964 did the Civil Rights Act overturn laws against equal access to voting, public accommodation, and public education. Only in 1963 did the Equal Pay Act mandate that men and women be paid the same wage for the same work at the same job. History isn't a superhighway, leading us in straight lines toward utopia. We fall back and we move forward, but over the past fifty years, the United States has become considerably more inclusive and equality of access to opportunity has widened. Take a look at this article from the Atlantic Monthly in 1956--1956!--if you don't believe me.
posted by Sidhedevil on Nov 4, 2004 - 190 comments

Save Betamax

Save Betamax.
posted by seanyboy on Sep 13, 2004 - 4 comments

Volunteers for America!

ElectionProtection is a clearinghouse for folks who want to be part of the US electoral process. They've already shown their stuff in primary elections. They're set to go in Florida. The group is a coalition effort of People for the American Way and a bunch of other organizations--some of the usual leftish/centrist suspects (Working Assets, the ACLU, the NAACP), and some rather strange bedfellows (the United Church of Christ, the African American Ministers' Leadership Council). One hopes that people of all political stripes will be welcomed in this effort to get the vote out and educate people about their rights. One (well, this one, anyway) hopes as well that those of us who post about our impatience with the US electoral process on MeFi will put our time and/or money where our pixels are.
posted by Sidhedevil on Sep 3, 2004 - 3 comments

AnwarFilter

Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia's dissident ex-deputy PM, released from prison after sodomy charge quashed. More background at the Free Anwar campaign, Human Rights Watch.
posted by plep on Sep 3, 2004 - 4 comments

Just Cause Law Collective

The Just Cause Law Collective is an excellent resource for outlining what your rights as citizens or non-citizens are within the U.S. in text and illustrations that are understandable by the layperson. It also includes advice on how to survive police encounters and a special section for activists. via BoingBoing
posted by substrate on Aug 23, 2004 - 22 comments

BugMeNot Registration

BugMeNot.com now requires registration. For employees, partners, affiliates or legal representatives of any site which enforces compulsory user registration to view content, that is. It should only take a moment.
posted by brownpau on Aug 11, 2004 - 28 comments

Stephen Galton is a big baby!

Lawyer files class action lawsuit after being flamed by message board users on Yahoo. Message Board users over-react, and then Slashdot gets hold of the story. Let the emailing, telephoning and name calling begin. (via slashdot)
posted by seanyboy on Aug 6, 2004 - 25 comments

ThoughtCourt

I Think (Therefore) I'm Guilty? A convicted sex offender is barred from public parks and the zoo in Lafayette, Indiana after he revealed to his psychologist that he entertained thoughts of sexual contact with children, while visiting a park. Here's John Doe's history of arrests and charges for alleged sexual offences.
posted by Gyan on Aug 2, 2004 - 59 comments

School sucks...

Monroe County Family Court Judge Marilyn O'Connor ruled March 31 that two parents "should not have yet another child which must be cared for at public expense."
Unconstitutional? Maybe. But not sufficiently so for the NY ACLU to say much anything about it. Maybe the Judge could have recommended the same sex-ed scheme that shows, in parts of England and Wales where it [called A Pause] was trialled in 104 schools, sexual intercourse among 16-year-olds fell by up to 20 per cent. Now that may mean we have to have more discussion of oral and manual, with less genital-genital emphasis. Anything that promotes the right to say 'no' amongst vulnerable young folks is alright by me.
posted by dash_slot- on May 9, 2004 - 19 comments

Mistreatment of Prisoners Is Called Routine in U.S.

Mistreatment of Prisoners Is Called Routine in U.S. "Physical and sexual abuse of prisoners, similar to what has been uncovered in Iraq, takes place in American prisons with little public knowledge or concern, according to corrections officials, inmates and human rights advocates..."
posted by Postroad on May 8, 2004 - 34 comments

So What are you doing on April 25th?

March For Women - because America is not a great place to be a woman. The time is right for a public demonstration of historic size in support of reproductive freedom and justice for all women. Threats to these rights have never been so systematic and coordinated, and the lives and health of women have never faced such peril. See ya there! I will be the woman in the embroidered denim jacket - the one my mom wore when she marched for the exact same rights, 40-odd years ago. sigh.
posted by kristin on Mar 30, 2004 - 123 comments

The Alexandria Declaration

The Alexandria Declaration. Between March 14 and 17, 2004, intellectuals, scholars, economists and activists from around the Arab world met at the new Alexandria Library in Egypt for the Arab Reform Conference. Among the recommendations of the conference was that all Arab governments should ratify "all international conventions on the rights of women providing for the abolition of all forms of discrimination against them."
posted by Ty Webb on Mar 29, 2004 - 5 comments

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