Equaldex: the collaborative LGBT knowledgebase!
A crowd-sourced, verified, beautifully presented representation of equal rights (and how they are specifically denied) for LGBT folks. [via reddit]
In England coats of arms and other issues of heraldry are registered and administered by the College of Arms
. But what if some base scoundrel displays your family's ancient and noble coat of arms without the right to do so? You sue them in the Court of Chivalry
. [more inside]
In Conversation: Antonin Scalia "On the eve of a new Supreme Court session, the firebrand justice discusses gay rights and media echo chambers, Seinfeld and the Devil, and how much he cares about his intellectual legacy ("I don’t")." [more inside]
Early English Laws
is a project to publish online and in print new editions and translations of all English legal codes, edicts, and treatises produced up to the time of Magna Carta 1215. [more inside]
Drugs have changed a lot in the past ten years. You have, mainly, these two men to blame
of the fervor
. Laws are flexing
accordingly. [Shulgin previously: 1
The man likely to be Australia's next Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, has used a lunchtime speech to the conservative think-tank the Institute of Public Affairs to call for Australia's racial vilification laws to be wound back
Section 18C makes race hate speech unlawful, but not illegal.
Abbott's calls come in the same week that Facebook has been in the firing-line over hosting the controversial "Aboriginal Memes" page. [more inside]
Hey New York, take your Central Park
and shove it! (via) [more inside]
Federal Prosecutors Are Allowed To Break Laws and Ethical Violations
U.S. Senator from Alaska, Ted Stevens was charged with and convicted of corruption
in 2008. The prosecutors were admonished by the judge for their actions during the trial such as sending home to Alaska, a witness who would have helped Sen Stevens. Furthermore in direct violation of Brady v Maryland
, the prosecutors withheld evidence from the defense
. The DoJ decided that the DoJ did nothing wrong
with such violations because they were not explicitly told not to break the law. Because the judge took the government at their word, that they would obey the law, he did not issue a court order demanding that they do so, therefor allowing the attorneys carte blanche.
Since 1988, the Center for Reproductive Rights
has compiled a visual map of the laws regulating abortion throughout the world. Earlier this month, they released their 2011 Map in pdf
and updated their online World Abortion Laws Map
in a new interactive format which allows country comparisons and provides text of abortion laws for certain countries. (Via Good: Can I get an Abortion Here? The Abortion Rights Map of the World)
Da first ting ya gotta do, see, is friend da Brooklyn Underground Anglers Association
's facebook page, who will hook ya up wit Dr. Claw, da Lobstah Pushah [more inside]
Copycat of Arizona's immigration status bill
has passed the Mississippi Senate by a vote of 34-15. The difference here is that there is a precondition with the immigration status check. Though selection cannot be based on race, color, or country of origin but ability to English can cast enough suspicion to warrant a check on immigration status.
Last week, the UK government announced an end to 'vanity websites in Government', calling for 600 government websites to be closed down, and 50% budget cuts for those which remain. Six days later, the government launches PR exercise website http://yourfreedom.hmg.gov.uk
Also recently launched was Your Freedumb
to enable citizens easily see some of the more 'interesting' suggestions on Your Freedom. For example, repeal the Second Law of Thermodynamics, abolish Facebook and Twitter sites
and repeal Sod's Law.
‘If You Voted for Obama, Seek Urologic Care Elsewhere’
'A doctor who considers the national health-care overhaul to be bad medicine for the country posted a sign on his office door telling patients who voted for President Barack Obama to seek care "elsewhere."' This is but a new twist in the continuing debate over a physician's right to refuse treatment
. [more inside]
The US House of Representatives today passed a Cash-for-Clunkers bill
, giving people up to $4,500 to trade in their old cars for newer, more efficient cars. Inspired by European
successes, the bill is naturally not without its detractors
"This series explores the black spots in American law: areas in which our laws are routinely and regularly broken and where the law enforcement response is … nothing. These are the areas where, for one reason or another, we've decided to tolerate lawbreaking and let a law—duly enacted and still on the books—lay fallow or near dead." The first two entries are prescription drug abuse
and internet pornography
DUI for NOT Driving while Drunk
A New Jersey appellate court yesterday upheld the principle that convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) can be imposed on individuals who were not driving. This is not one of those kooky old laws on the books
, as introduced
by inventor Peter Suber
): a game of self-modification—every move is an attempt to alter the rules governing how the game is played. Further
from wikipedia. [A great deal more within.]
An Indonesian TV crew was invited to Malaysia for their Visit Malaysia Year 2007 campaign but encountered many problems. They write up about it
- and start a flurry of comments and controversy across the Malaysian government about blogging. [more inside]
The folks at DownsizeDC
have this crazy idea that the members of Congress should have to read
the bills that they vote on. Here
is their plan to make it happen.
Australian gun laws claimed to reduce mass shootings.
, a study prepared by Australian pro-gun lobbyists
and published in the British Journal of Criminology argued that tougher gun laws in Australia did little to lower murder or suicide rates.
A newly released report
agrees that historically declining murder rates were mainly responsible for the decline in average gun homicides from 93 to 56 per annum. In the USA there were approximately 10000 gun homicides in 2004
. The report emphasises there have been no mass shootings since the laws were enacted.
NJ says yes to same-sex marriage!
(altho it might not be called that in the end) -- link to pdf of ruling here
"What does a bill mean when I sign it into law? Why, whatever I choose for it to mean
, no more, no less." This isn't the way I learned this stuff on Schoolhouse Rock
; I'm unsurprised Congress isn't pleased
by 'signing statements'
, either. Even the Supreme Court isn't all that happy
. No wonder he's only vetoed one bill in 6 years.
The Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act (S. 1955)
has passed out of committee and is now slated for a floor vote. The bill is ostensibly designed to save small employers money and extend health insurance options to employees who hadn’t had them. What it is actually likely to do is end basic health insurance
coverage for women (and diabetics); birth control, regularly taken prescriptions, cancer screenings, maternity care, and more. Women in every state will lose benefits.
S. 1955 would allow insurance plans to ignore important state laws that protect patients, directly affecting more than 90 million Americans
Nearly Half of Americans want to let states legally regulate and tax marijuana the way they do liquor and gambling. Zogby International
will pimp there services to just about anyone these days, including NORML
for a poll on American's attitudes towards pot. According to the poll 65% of 18-29 year olds and 50% of 50-64 year-olds are cool with weed being legal and controlled like booze. The former slackers of Generation X
, 30-49 year-olds, oppose it by 58% and the geezers over 65 oppose it by only 52%.
The pool shows some interesting generational attitudes. Is the 30-49 age group still following Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No
" mantra or is this the attitude of parents worried about their kids? I thought these folks were supposed to be the slacker generation, and now they're the strongest opponents to legalization.
Aside from saving money on admission to Disney World and other theme parks, Florida residents can now use deadly force
A series of ads being runned in British papers warns potential tourists of Florida's new Shoot-First law
(or the "Stand Your Ground" law
for the 'backers out there). Paid for by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
. [Previously on mefi]
Jurisimprudence. The Big Book of Fandom & Internet Law
, brought to us by the kind folks at fandom_wank
has been conveniently indexed on del.icio.us.
Sexuality, politics, and memory
in Twentieth-Century Germany. The introductory chapter
of Dagmar Herzog's brilliant, deeply researched, and beautifully written book, and an informative review
by Thomas Laqueur. (via nextbook)
If we don't ban the sexy cheerleaders,
the terrorists will have won.
The Academic Freedom Bill of Rights
is slowly making its way through the Florida Senate. This bill would give students the right to sue professors if they feel their beliefs are not being respected during a class.
91 pounds of LSD?
...at that dosage level, Pickard and Apperson possessed 2 billion hits of acid—enough to give every person in the Western Hemisphere two doses and still have 250 million hits left over.
is writing about acid again at Slate.
Reform of the Rockefeller Drug Laws
, perhaps the most draconian in the nation, is being seriously debated right now on the floor of the New York State Senate. By the magic of the internets, you can watch this historic event happen, live.
Britain - Stamping Out Terrorism. One Peaceful Protestor At A Time.
"The Home Office proposes "to make it an offence to protest outside homes in such a way that causes harassment, alarm or distress to residents" [PDF
] This sounds reasonable enough, until you realise that the police can define "harassment, alarm or distress" however they wish. All protest in residential areas, in other words, could now be treated as a criminal offence. The government will also seek to "suggest remedies" for websites which "include material deemed to cause concern or needless anxiety to others"."
"Want to get arrested? Walk home with me."
It's LawForKids, the site devoted to giving the kids the education they need about drinking and other kewl stuff through the aid of really
crappy cartoons. Plus, enjoy the intellectual and grammar-rich discussion
on hard knocks in Juvie, plus Flash games
about being a good citizen. Not sure about discouraging kids from crime, but I sure as hell want to stay away from a life of web design now.
It's the equivalent of "You can play the CD on three designated CD players that support the DRM. Like, it will play ONLY on xyz brand cd player and only three of those that you pick
. Yes, you have to stick to that brand of cd player (the iTunes player, the supported OS of iTunes, no unix support in sight) and too bad if you have a fourth one in the bedroom. It's not gonna play in your second car's player either. Nor in the kitchen. Nor on your neighbor's player. Nor can you trade it on the used market when you're tired of listening to it. "
"They finally found a way to sell you some wind. Even better, they will restrict the direction and force in wich the wind will blow, how often and where it will happen..."
As "DVD-Jon" Johansen goes to retrial
, a backlash is rising in the media & community
towards Apple's DRM (digital rights management), a week after this same kid created an open-source program that lets users copy
the songs that they bought onto other sources.
Picture Hunt time!
How many women are in this picture? (more inside)
is smacked with a lawsuit for doing nothing when four employees complained of same-sex harassment from their boss
. Among the allegations, one claims that the woman "[invited] one of the plaintiffs to her house to engage in some type of sexual activity with her dogs." You've gotta love the local tv news treatment of any given situation. Streaming video also available.
PA helmets repealed from heads.
At midnight tonight, Pennsylvania will become the sixth state since 1997 to repeal its mandatory motorcycle helmet law. Actually, there are a few qualifications. The guys who put this together
are probably keen on PA's state store new Sunday hours
It's illegal to answer questions about where something is produced...
if it's produced in Israel. Or so a Missouri company has just discovered. They've been fined for answering the question
, "Are any of these products made in Israel, or made of Israeli materials?"
U.S. warns Canada against easing pot laws
"David Murray, right-hand man to U.S. "drug czar" John Walters, says he doesn't want to tread on another country's sovereignty, but warned there would be consequences if Canada proceeds with a plan to decriminalize the possession of marijuana."
Remind me never to cohabit heterosexually, "openly and notoriously,"
in North Dakota.
The Code of Hammurabi
is generally recognized as the first laws ever written. Hammurabi was the ruler who chiefly established the greatness of Babylon (present day Iraq), the world's first metropolis.
to fire up a smoke in NYC has now chimed. As of today, it is now illegal to smoke in any public indoor space, including bars. The New York City Indoor Smoke-Free Air Act of 2002
gives further detail as to what defines a public indoor space. That, not including your residential lease that may prohibit as well. As Andrew Jacobs writes, Walk a Mile for a Camel? Not Far Enough Anymore.
On September 17, 1998, in response to an armed robbery call, Houston police burst in to the home of John Lawrence
. The police didn’t find a robber (nor would they – the call was deliberately false), but they did find Lawrence having sex with another man, Tyrone Garner. Lawrence and Garner were promptly charged with “engaging in homosexual conduct,” a misdemeanor under Texas law. They paid their fine and began a long legal challenge to Texas’ anti-sodomy law. That challenge has finally reached the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court, which today agreed to hear their appeal early next year
. Standing in the way is the Court’s own 1986 decision in Bowers v. Hardwick
, in which it held that anti-sodomy laws are constitutional
. That may be about to change.