“A dentist acted legally when he fired an assistant that he found attractive simply because he and his wife viewed the woman as a threat to their marriage, the all-male Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday. The court ruled 7-0 that bosses can fire employees they see as an "irresistible attraction," even if the employees have not engaged in flirtatious behavior or otherwise done anything wrong.”—Not The Onion: This is the legal reality of fireable hotness in America today.
The Terrorists Have Won
The thing about the current state of the NSA Domestic Spying programs is that nobody seems to care.
This problem of apathy is probably because privacy loss on this scale is not really a tangible thing to most people. It’s hard to imagine how big a city is, let alone a country, and how many people are seeing your every tweet, status update, phone call, etc.
You threaten to “take away” people’s guns, they balk.
You threaten to “take away” people’s health care, they scream bloody murder.
But you tell them that the government is spying on them? Well, no biggie! They do that to everyone, and it’s to stop Terr’ists™.
What seems to happen is that people think of it as an either/or question:
1. The government has to watch everyone
2. The Terr’ists™ among us will kill us all.
It rarely seems to occur to us that this reactionary spying is caving into what the terrorists want. When you live in constant fear of being killed going about your everyday life, then, to turn a phrase, the terrorists have won.
When you have the NSA doing elaborate legalistic acrobatics to say that seizing phone records, passwords, bank information, is not “unreasonable search and seizure” because it’s not on paper, that’s some bull.
So where does it stop?
Submitted by: kellanium
The next time
You say to me
“Don’t you feel hot in that?”
I will reply
It’s none of your damn
Because if you really cared
For my comfort,
Perhaps you would have
For me in France-
Where my body
Was dragged and
Till it was broken,
And my civil liberties
Edward Snowden & the NSA Leak: The Basics
Q. Do you know what’s up with Edward Snowden and this NSA leak? I can’t find anything on exactly what he leaked? — hippydippysays
A. Absolutely. Here are the basics:
► Edward Snowden is responsible for what is being described as the “biggest intelligence leak in the NSA’s history.”
► I don’t know the details on everything he leaked, but remember all that news from last week about the NSA spying on users of Facebook, Google, Yahoo, etc.? That came from Snowden’s whistle-blowing. His own summary of the leak is:
“That the NSA routinely lies in response to congressional inquiries about the scope of surveillance in America. I believe that when [senator Ron] Wyden and [senator Mark] Udall asked about the scale of this, they [the NSA] said it did not have the tools to provide an answer. We do have the tools and I have maps showing where people have been scrutinised most. We collect more digital communications from America than we do from the Russians.”
► Snowden is currently in Hong Kong, comparatively outside the reach of the U.S. government. He may never be able to return to America again, and will likely proceed to Iceland to be safer from extradition.
► Glenn Greenwald did an interview with Snowden in which they discussed his motivations for whistle-blowing and much more. It’s definitely worth a read. Here’s a taste:
Q: Why did you decide to become a whistleblower?
A: “The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything. With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. If I wanted to see your emails or your wife’s phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your emails, passwords, phone records, credit cards.
“I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things … I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under.”
► This piece goes into extensive detail about Snowden himself, if you’re interested in more background on him as a person.
Rebloggable by request.
The Xenophobe Party
The xenophobia has already begun.
Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky) in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid today urged him to reconsider immigration legislation because of the bombings in Boston. “The facts emerging in the Boston Marathon bombing have exposed a weakness in our current system,” Paul writes. “If we don’t use this debate as an opportunity to fix flaws in our current system, flaws made even more evident last week, then we will not be doing our jobs.”
Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), senior Republican senator on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is responsible for an immigration reform bill, is using much the same language – suggesting that the investigation of two alleged Boston attackers will “help shed light on the weaknesses of our system.”
Can we just get a grip? Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is a naturalized American citizen. He came to the United States when he was nine years old. He attended the public schools of Cambridge, Massachusetts, not far from where I lived.
Immigration reform is not about national security, in any event. It’s about doing what’s right, and giving the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in America — many of them here for years, working at jobs and paying withholding taxes, and many of them children — a path to citizenship.
It’s about making sure they aren’t exploited by employers and others who know they won’t complain to authorities. And giving their families the security of knowing that they can live peacefully and securely without fearing deportation.
That path shouldn’t be so easy as to invite others from abroad to abuse the system, and the nation has every right to demand that undocumented immigrants pay a penalty and move to the back of the queue when it comes to attaining citizenship. But the path should be reasonable, straightforward, and fair.
Other Republicans want President Obama to declare the surviving Boston bombing suspect an “enemy combatant,” in order to question him without any of the protections of the criminal justice system.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) says treating him as an enemy combatant is appropriate “with his radical Islamist ties and the fact that Chechens are all over the world fighting with Al Qaeda.”
Hold it. Tsarnaev was arrested on American soil for acts occurring in the United States. No known evidence links him to Al Qaeda. He is Muslim — so is Graham really saying Muslims are presumed guilty until proven otherwise?
During the Bush administration, the Supreme Court upheld the indefinite military detention of Yaser Esam Hamdi, an American citizen. But he was captured carrying a weapon on an Afghanistan battlefield, and the Court said the purpose of wartime detention was to keep captured enemies from returning to fight, and that “indefinite detention for the purpose of interrogation is not authorized.”
Memo to the Xenophobe Party: The so-called “war on terror” is a war without end. If we arrest American citizens and hold them indefinitely without trials, without lawyers, and without the protection of our system of justice, because we suspect they have ties with terrorists, where will that end?
Our civil rights and liberties lie at the core of what it means to be an American, and we have fought for over two centuries to protect and defend them.
The horror of the Boston Marathon is real. But the xenophobic fears it has aroused are not. I would have hoped United States senators felt an obligation to calm public passions than pander to them.
We need immigration reform, and we must protect our civil liberties. These goals are not incompatible with protecting America. Indeed, they are essential to it.
“What strikes me about the event is the ease with which authorities were able to lockdown entire metropolitan areas, preventing US citizens from leaving their homes in order to go to their jobs, to doctor’s appointments, to the grocery store, or to walk their dogs. This is a precedent. It sets the stage for martial law, although it is not being called that, and for daylight curfews. Is this what Homeland Security meant two years ago when its leader said the agency had shifted its focus from terrorism to domestic extremists? ”—Paul Craig Roberts
Stunning VIDEO: Court marshal sexually assaults woman then arrests her for objecting to it
I actually had to choke back tears watching this video today. A Nevada woman in family court with her 2-year-old daughter is groped TSA-style by a male court marshal who asks her to lift up her shirt. She returns to the courtroom to plead with the judge for a female marshal to do the search. At that point, the court marshal has her arrested for telling her story to the judge, demanding that she recant.
The judge sits there the entire time, playing with the woman’s daughter while the marshal arrests her on the trumped up charge of “making false accusations about a police officer.”
Here’s the video:
from News 8, Las Vegas:
Multiple employees and managers at the Clark County family court are under investigation for allegedly covering up a sexual assault by a court marshal.
The I-Team has uncovered video showing a woman claiming a court marshal sexually assaulted her. She was later arrested by that same marshal. The marshal has since been fired.
The I-Teams investigation shows how the internal affairs investigation is revealing much larger problems at family court.
There are multiple marshals involved and allegations ranging from sexual assaults to choking a citizen in court. The investigation began with a 2011 video that shows family court marshals arresting a woman because she claimed one of them sexually assaulted her.
Monica Contreras went to family court with her 2-year-old daughter in August 2011. She was in the courtroom only a few minutes on a routine divorce case. Her husband filed for a Temporary Restraining Order against her during their divorce. He never showed up in court so the order was denied.
According to internal court documents, as Contreras was leaving, family court marshal Ron Fox ordered her into a waiting room for an unexplained drug search.
Contreras said Fox touched her buttocks, breast, and ordered her to lift up her shirt. A later internal investigation by Clark County courts validated her claims. Contreras went back into the same courtroom and told hearing master Patricia Donninger that her requests to have a female marshal handle the search were ignored.
“I think I’d rather have a female in here and he went anyway. I was just offended by it. I’m just offended that he asked me,” an upset Contreras told Donninger, who did not respond to her.
The video shows Marshal James Kenyon preparing to arrest Contreras. She can be heard pleading with him.
“For what, sir? Why would I be arrested? Can you please tell me?”
Marshal Kenyon is heard telling Contreras to turn around and put her hands behind her back. As Contreras continues to ask why she is being arrested, marshal Ron Fox replies.
“Because of false allegations made against a police officer,” he told her.
The I-Team could find no law that would support the arrest. It is also highly unlikely a sexual assault victim would be placed under arrest by the alleged assaulter.
After repeated attempts by the marshals to get Contreras to recant her story, she breaks down.
“Let me go. It was all lies. I don’t want to deal with anything. It was all lies. All lies. All lies. All lies. Please stop,” she said.
Fox tells Contreras the only way she can avoid jail is to step up to the microphone and recant. Contreras agrees, but does the opposite.
“You put me in a room. You asked me to lift up my shirt without a witness,” Contreras said into the microphone.
At that point, Fox replied, “OK, take her to jail.”
For four minutes, Contreras pleaded to hearing master Patricia Donninger to listen to her, but Donninger never acknowledged Contreras, instead she talked and played with Contreras’s daughter.
“How can you do this to me? How can you watch?” Contreras pleaded.
To me, firing the marshal is not enough. These people should be serving time in prison. It’s not enough to be fired after sexually assaulting a woman. Any other case would result in prison time, but for some reason this case is different because the marshal was in uniform.
The judge should be disbarred and put in prison, for being complicit with this crime in her courtroom.