The Culture of Non-Accountability, Ferguson Edition

By: Saturday September 27, 2014 9:37 am

The shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and the continuing actions of Ferguson and St. Louis County officials are providing a textbook case study in avoiding accountability. There are lots of steps along the way, but at the end, the big lesson is that the protection granted by a culture of non-accountability is only for those in power.

 

Government Tries to Alter Court Transcript in EFF NSA Spying Case

By: Tuesday September 9, 2014 3:13 pm

This is one of the crazier things I’ve seen in a while, and as someone who works with a lot of whistleblowers, that’s saying something.

The EFF is suing the NSA and other government agencies in the case Jewel v. NSA, attempting to stop illegal dragnet surveillance. According to EFF there was a hearing on June 6 in a crowded courtroom, but after it was over the government asked to have “classified information” that they had presented in open court removed from the court transcript. And they wanted to do so in secret so it would never be a matter of public record.

Moreover, EFF was under a gag order not to speak about it until today

Justice Department Investigation Uncovers Routine Conduct Which Suggests Police are Racists and Thieves

By: Wednesday July 23, 2014 8:56 am

The results of a Justice Department (DOJ) investigation into the Newark Police Department show the police force engages in a routine pattern of unconstitutional policing. Police illegally stop thousands of pedestrians without articulating any “reasonable suspicion” for stopping them. They unconstitutionally arrest people, and the department’s lawless policing disproportionately affects black residents.

Hobby Lobby Aftermath: Employment Non-discrimination Act Losing Major Support Due To Religious Exemption

By: Wednesday July 9, 2014 11:05 am

The Employment Non-discrimination Act (ENDA) has been losing major supporters who are concerned that the law contains an overly broad exemption for religious discrimination against the LGBT community. The ACLU, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund, and other civil rights organizations have already withdrawn support for the current version of ENDA. The controversy over ENDA stems from an exemption for religious discrimination, something recently in the news due to the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Hobby Lobby case.

This 4th of July

By: Thursday July 3, 2014 5:36 pm

As the nationalistic ritual known as the 4th of July approaches, let me start off by listing a few facts about the US that you may or may not know…

The entire population, guilty of deliberate indifference

By: Tuesday June 3, 2014 1:30 am

When a group that is viewed with disdain by the public as well as the legal system, this is the sort of thing that happens as a consequence.

A police badge is not a license to kill

By: Saturday April 5, 2014 6:40 pm

A police badge is not a license to kill.

Arizona’s SB 1062 and The Human Nature of Hate

By: Monday March 3, 2014 6:17 pm

I’ve tried to let the veto of SB 1062 percolate in my mind for a bit and settle on its meaning. Some, like Brian Beutler, have argued that the veto of SB 1062 has ended the use of “religious freedom” as a pretext for anti-gay discrimination. I think the veto is even more significant than that, as it assures the end to formal anti-gay discrimination in the US. To see why, it is important to place the veto not in the context of politics, but in the context of our conflicted human nature.

Late Night: Feed ‘em to the Lions

By: Thursday February 27, 2014 8:00 pm

Lately, I’ve had it about up to my ears with this business of “Religious Liberty.” Why, in heaven’s name, should people who loudly and gaudily believe false and harmful things, and yet think that by so doing they should feel unburdened by the laws we heathens must follow, need any more liberty than they already have? If anything, these cretinous sociopaths need less than the rest of us, as they demonstrate each day.

RIP: Pete Seeger

By: Tuesday January 28, 2014 8:00 pm

Pete Seeger, folk singer and activist whose music and straight talk inspired generations of musicians and activists, has died. He was 94. Known for songs like “If I Had a Hammer,” “Turn, Turn, Turn,” and “Where Have All the Flowers Gone”, Seeger–who joined the Young Communist League (YCL) in 1936 and the Communist Party USA in 1942, eventually drifting away from them in the early 1950s–performed for troops in the South Pacific during World War II. He was convicted of contempt of Congress after refusing to answer questions at the House Un-American Activities Committee.

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