Every gay and lesbian federal employee has just lost their protection from discrimination. Gay and lesbians in the entire federal workforce have had their job protections officially removed by the office of Special Counsel. The new Special Counsel, Scott Bloch, says his interpretation of a 1978 law intended to protect employees and job applicants from adverse personnel actions is that gay and lesbian workers are not covered.
Bloch said that the while a gay employee would have no recourse for being fired or demoted for being gay, that same worker could not be fired for attending a gay Pride event.
How I Lost the Big One
Lawrence Lessig on losing Eldred v. Ashcroft: "We had in our Constitution a commitment to free culture. In the case that I fathered, the Supreme Court effectively renounced that commitment. A better lawyer would have made them see differently."
Two Years After 9/11: Ashcroft’s Assault on the Constitution.
"Under the direction of Attorney General John Ashcroft, the Department of Justice has undermined the constitutional rights of all Americans as it has prosecuted a war on terrorism since the September 11, 2001 attacks, according to a new report
released today by People For the American Way Foundation
" [via TalkLeft
.] On the bright side, I hear the Patriot Act Summer Tour
"This is an experiment in property rights in the digital age, something that's gotten surprisingly little attention."
An intrepid netizen is auctionioning a song he bought from the iTunes Music Store on eBay
. The license doesn't seem to explicitly cover (much less prohibit) this action. As more and more things become digital, what do we do with things we no longer want that have "value" but no physical substance?
"First they came for the Greens..."
Texas' proposed "Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act," which its backers are hoping to extend nationally, is the next step after Patriot Acts I and II. The president of the Center for Constitutional Rights says the legislation criminalizes "basically every environmental and animal-rights organization in the country,"
which means that if you don't even march
with, but send money
to any of them, you may be tacitly waiving your 4th-amendment rights. [More inside]
The Supreme Court
is currently hearing arguments about the constitutionality of homosexual sex. While this may not be news, just listening to some of the comments by the conservatives on the court can be a chilling experience, whether you are straight or gay.
Is it possible that there can be supreme court justices, supposedly the best of the best, who are really
The Future of Copyright?
Spoof GUI alerts from new media artist Perry Hoberman
. Wry, yet creatively chilling satire . Also be sure out the rest of the "ACCEPT" exhibit
, especially the OK/Cancel
dialog boxes and My Life in Spam
. Hey, has anyone here seen this exhibit in person?
Federal appeals court rules that the US can hold citizens as enemies,
without the protection of constitutional rights, 'at need' in time of war.
So much for the "home of the free and the brave".
Mass arrests of Muslims in LA.
The BBC is reporting US immigration officials in Southern California have detained hundreds of Iranians and other Muslim men who turned up to register under residence laws brought in as part of the anti-terror drive.
, FOX News
, and the like have extensive coverage.....sort of.
“A nation is little more and nothing less than a conversation. [T]he conversation that is the United States has continued for more than 200 years as a lover's quarrel between equality and justice.” A gallery of ways this “conversation” is still taking place in the ways we live the Constitution’s 27 Amendments
You Have The Right To Remain Silent
Police can hold people in custody and force them to talk, so long as their incriminating statements are not used to prosecute them, U.S. Solicitor Gen. Theodore B. Olson and Michael Chertoff, the chief of the Justice Department's criminal division, say in their brief to the court.
It "will chill legitimate law enforcement efforts to obtain potentially life-saving information during emergencies," including terrorism alerts, if police and FBI agents can be sued for coercive questioning, they add
ready to talk or will I have to get my rubber hose and smash your face with my club?
Should non-citizens have the same rights under the law as citizens?
What about those who have naturalized? A poll given by NPR
, The Kaiser Family Foundation
, and Harvardâ??s Kennedy School of Government
finds that a majority of those taking the poll think that, if accused of terrorism, a non-citizen should have fewer rights than a citizen. You can take the poll yourself here
Jose Padilla is an US citizen
being held without any rights granted to US citizens. And now the AG thinks he's a small fish
will they let him go or give him a trial? Or will the government just keep him?
The Axis of Medieval.
Claims of support for women and women's rights in the current regime are nothing more than hot air according to Mr. Kristof. He says their record and the facts tell a different story. The details are shocking. Kowtowing to religious fundamentalists in the US causes devastating results abroad.
Would programs like these qualify for using some of the wealthiest persons dollars instead of a tax cut?
WHAT IS THE CBDTPA?
The law would force all new personal computers and digital home entertainment devices sold in the United States to have government-approved "policeware" built-in.
This policeware would restrict your use of copyrighted material on these devices -- including music files and CD's, video clips, DVD's, e-books, and more.
This saturday is the 2002 National Day of Action
Online communities have done a good job of covering stories about big corporations abusing their powers online to squelch the efforts of programmers, researchers, designers, music enthusiasts, etc. But what about their offline agenda? Masquerading beneath the guise of the Adventure Pass program
is an attempt to extend corporate control to our public lands.
From the press release:
"Among others, primary sponsors of the fee demo and Adventure Pass are Walt Disney Corp., KOA Campgrounds, and Coleman Co. If the fee demo becomes law, the legislation will allow these companies and other to develop
commercial enterprises on public forest lands in partnerships with the Forest Service."
FBI orders ISP to remove Daniel Pearl murder video
[not work safe, or even home safe] that surfaced shortly after his death
has been targeted by the FBI for removal on the internet, apparently using the 1996 federal obscenity law. Anyone want a Bonsai Kitten
or a Y2K Video
The Editors Note speaks volumes: After this story was edited, FBI spokeswoman Sandra Carroll called Wired News to say the bureau was merely giving advice to websites hosting the Pearl video -- and was not threatening prosecution.
Pro-life protester wins settlement.
Background: As Ann Norton, 57, and friend Diane Roberts picketed an abortion clinic, a passerby who disapproved of Norton's sign tore it from its backing, leading Roberts to telephone police. One officer was dispatched to the clinic to file a report, but several days later, the center said, Norton and Roberts were informed by police they were being charged with a violation of state law for displaying the graphic sign. Michigan statutes prohibit the public display of pictures of murder.
is trying to get Congress to pass a six-point Consumer Technology Bill of Rights to protect the legitimate rights of honest consumers who buy copyrighted content legally. You can read about the issue and the group in Walt Mossberg's WSJ column
Providence firefighters forced to march in gay parade.
Is firefighters' participation in a gay rights parade "...an important demonstration of community solidarity"
as claimed by one side, or should participation by public servants be limited to volunteers?
Bigots are alive and well in America.
Here we are still fighting for equal rights for all Americans. Some will find this link uplifting because of the outpouring of community support, but to me it's just another sign of how quickly intolerance turns to attempted murder.
We interrupt your war on terror to attack abortion rights...
The Bush administration has declared that a fetus is an unborn child
. And why not? Everyone believes in prenatal care. And of course, if the government wanted to extend medical coverage to poor pregnant women under the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIPS), it could have done so directly. But then, what fun is that?
Thank Mahalia Jackson for King's "I have a dream."
"On August 28, 1963, under a nearly cloudless sky, more than 250,000 people, a fifth of them white, gathered near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington to rally for 'jobs and freedom.'... Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had originally prepared a short and somewhat formal recitation of the sufferings of African Americans attempting to realize their freedom in a society chained by discrimination. He was about to sit down when gospel singer Mahalia Jackson
called out, 'Tell them about your dream, Martin! Tell them about the dream!' Encouraged by shouts from the audience, King drew upon some of his past talks, and the result became the landmark statement of civil rights in America--a dream of all people, of all races and colors and backgrounds, sharing in an America marked by freedom and democracy."
Maybe you DO have to be born in France!
After much debate, and worldwide press, the French Parliament has decided that you were supposed to be born. Glad to know that. So much for the worst FPP ever.
In death, J.D. O'Neal leaves few with fond memories
“Jerry Dow O’Neal II owned The Current News
, a small gay magazine. [...] By last month, when J.D. O’Neal committed suicide to avoid prosecution and shame, hardly anyone in Kansas City considered him a good friend. The 37-year-old white-collar crook and gay-rights opportunist had created enemies throughout the community. [...] ‘It was important for [J.D.] to appear successful.’ [...] ‘I’ll believe he’s dead when I see the body’ ”
WE ARE WATCHING YOU.
"The FBI added that its research is 'always mindful of constitutional, privacy and commercial equities,' and that its use of new technology can be challenged in court and in Congress." No really, go ahead, try and stop us if you don't like it. That's your (snicker, snicker) right.
cat fighting sex kittens no pussies
Erotic women's fights are booming in Japan, with all the trimmings: schoolgirl outfits, firecrackers set off in bodily orifices, and bitter rivalries between leagues. Is this progress? (via Mouth Organ
Carnivore and other forms of snooping approved by congress
there has been some references to what this articles deals with but this gives a slightly broader perspectve.
First Amendment advocates fear erosion of rights in aftermath of attacks.
In the aftermath of the worst terrorist attack in America, First Amendment proponents expect and fear that the nation's heightened national security concerns will soon overpower some of its basic freedoms.
And so it begins
- "Federal police are reportedly increasing Internet surveillance after Tuesday's deadly attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Just hours after three airplanes smashed into the buildings in what some U.S. legislators have dubbed a second Pearl Harbor, FBI agents began to visit Web-based, e-mail firms and network providers, according to engineers "
How do you think the attacks of the 11th will affect civil liberties?
China is on an 'execution frenzy'
executing more people 1750+ over the past 3 months then the rest of the world combined over the past 3 years.. according to Amnesty International. The parades and stadiums add a nice Roman-era twist.
Protect your Right to be Human
and practice the freedom to be yourself! Support this peaceful campaign to uphold your right to be human, support the Wherever You Are
Global Self-Awareness Action on Sunday, July 1st, at 2pm (GMT)! Go out into the public domain, and take off your clothes; protest naked!
"If I don't do this, who can?"
Courtney Love, a unionist? She may be the only one to put the Music Industry to task, and challenge practices that enslave struggling artists, turning shining stars into short-lived comets. That is, provided she doesn't just settle out of court. D'ya think she can do it? Or is this just more smoke & mirrors?
Take my 4th Ammendment, I don't want it
...I find it amazing that some people will actually sign up for this. Basically you put a decal on your car that tells the police they can pull you over without cause, between 1am and 5am. Ostensibly to prevent car theft, and late-night joyrides by teenagers. Even if I didn't drive late at night all the time, this strikes me as a foolish bargin, giving up far too much, for far little benefit.
Louisiana legislation decides that Darwin was "racist."
It's not just the fundamentalist right... now it's Democrats pushing for the demonization of evolution. The full text of the resolution (in PDF format) can be found here
is a Salon article about it. And this is the full text of "Darwin's Descent of Man"
, so that someone can point to me where exactly is Darwin suggesting that some races are "more evolved" than others... I mean don't they read
the books before they start putting stickers on them?
I hope ASCAP is proud.
I don't know about you, but I'll be sure to notify all Girl Scouts I know, that singing copyrighted material (you know like "Happy Birthday and "God Bless America") at camp might just land there camp directors behind bars.
Be careful what you say online.
At least if you're in the UK, where an anonymous poster to 2 message boards now faces charges of defamation after the courts ordered the disclosure of their identity. ISP Totalise
used existing law to force Motley Fool to disclose the details of an anonymous poster to their message boards
alleged to have made defamatory comments. Landmark case or storm in a teacup?
Privacy makes strides online.
I'm actually pretty amazed by the ruling - while I think this is a great thing, could it be used for evil?
My God! Brits actually have rights!
Of course, it's not part of their constitution
since they don't have one, but they actually have a codification of things the government can't do to them.
Police State 2000.
"What makes you think you can edit content?" the federal judge asked city officials. "Isn't that classic censorship and prior restraint?"
can states have a foreign policy?
the Supreme Court today will review whether state and local governments can protest human rights in other nations by restricting purchases from companies that operate in those countries. the court will decide whether states, by restricting purchases, are making foreign trade policy, which, under the Constitution, is the duty of the federal government.
Get the petition.
They need one million signatures before April 20 to get it back on the November ballot. If you're in California, print out the petition and start drumming up support today. It's not so often you get a second chance like this. Show the country that California does indeed, rock.