civil liberties


In news coverage of the GOP health care bill, outlets should be asking how in the hell they justify premium hikes for survivors of rape, sexual assault, and domestic violence – all considered pre-existing conditions under the AHCA.


The ACLU received $24.1 million in online donations this weekend

  • In a typical year, the American Civil Liberties Union gets about $4 million in online donations. 
  • But over this past weekend, the organization received $24.1 million from online donors, six times what it normally receives in a whole year.
  • By the end of the night on Sunday, the group had received a total of $24,164,691 from 356,306 people over the weekend — many from people who had never donated to the ACLU before. Read more

Hey everyone, just a reminder that yesterday the supreme court decided that its unconstitutional for the police to look through your phone unless they have a warrant, EVEN if you are placed under arrest.

HOWEVER, the police CAN search your phone without a warrant if given verbal consent and they AREN’T required to tell you that you can request that they get a warrant. It’s up to you to know your rights, so PLEASE PLEASE reblog this so we can spread the word!

Watch on

Brian Kilmeade: James Clapper came out and said, “I’m national intelligence director. If somebody wiretapped Trump Tower I would know about it, and it didn’t happen.”

Judge Napolitano: He actually didn’t say it that way, he chose his words very carefully. He said if somebody got a FISA warrant for this I would know about it. The president doesn’t need a FISA warrant, because the statute authorizes him to bypass FISA. And, quite frankly, Brian, we are all skeptical of anything James Clapper says because he lied under oath. We all know that. When Senator Wyden asked him is the NSA spying on tens or hundreds of millions of Americans, and he answered no, senator Wyden knew the answer was yes, General Clapper knew that the answer was yes, they gave him a chance to correct the answer, and he didn’t do it…
Theresa May says the internet must now be regulated following London Bridge terror attack
New international agreements should be introduced to regulate the internet in the light of the London Bridge terror attack, Theresa May has said. The Prime Minister said introducing new rules for cyberspace would “deprive the extremists of their safe spaces online” and that technology firms were not currently doing enough. The Prime Minister made the comments outside Downing Street on Sunday morning in the aftermath of the van and knife attack that saw seven people killed and dozens injured.

As much as I hate terrorism, I really don’t like the direction this is going in…

Factions of the Democratic Party

Sequel to my Post in Factions in the REpublican party, Factions in the Democratic Party Ok so last time I went over the factions of the Republican Party, lets do the same for the democrats.  Two things to understand first that are critically.  Firstly like with the GOP, I am not talking about the Centrists who are part of the party, even though they are a major element.  The centrists are basically an entirely separate party who due to the two party system split themselves between the Dems and the Reps, and are sort of their own thing, but know that especially among the leadership of the Dems there are a lot of centrists which is where Clinton fell as a leader on the political spectrum, I am more talking about the main democratic base just like I was with the Republicans.  Secondly,  a big difference between the democrats and Republicans is that the democrats are more a collection of core interest voters, each of whom has a certain topic which is “there” core issue.  There are fully formed ideologies in the Democrats but they don’t really vote on those, while in the Republican party the seven factions are roughly speaking seven fully formed ideologies, who reluctantly work together.  This will be more important I swear. So what are the interest groups of the Democratic Party?

    The Civil Rights Faction

     Those who prioritize Civil Rights.  These are the people who are marginalized and oppressed groups within the US and want to fight back against systemic oppression. Women, African Americans, Latinos, Asians, Native Americans, Jews, Muslim, GSM, the disabled, and any other group who have historically been targeted by bigotry and hate make up this faction.  As you can tell that is a wide variety of people and they are not really united, I mean go unto any Social Justice forum and you will see African American activists being sexist, Feminists being transphobic, Gay men being nasty to gay women (and both to bisexuals), Transgendered people being Islamophobic, Muslim hating Jews and via versa etc etc.  

      But in the last decade has lead to a far greater sense of shared identity among these various groups, they fight and they squabble and many reject the notion of having anything in common, and many are bigots among them but we’ve been seeing more and more people give at least lip service on all or almost all of the issues, which is why I am counting them as a single voting bloc.  Or rather, when we are up against the Republican Party they are a single voting bloc, because the GOP has made it its business to target…all of those groups and so among people who identify strong with these groups, they tend to serve as a single faction.  When I say identify btw, I mean that they understand they are an oppressed group and make voting decisions based on that choice.  As this election showed, not all women come out and vote based on gender issues, not all Latinos vote based on racial issues, not all gay men vote based upon homphobia ect.  But many do, and for good reasons because one party is trying to kill them and the other is mostly content to say how sad it is as they die, so among all of these groups you have identity factions trying to protect their lives, and during election years they tend to come together and vote as a bloc. 

        They care primarily about hate crimes, the rise of the Alt Right, BLM and other examples of police brutality, Stop and Frisk, Immigration reform, an insensitive and uncaring media that treats them like spoiled children because they don’t care much for being abused regularly, completely segregated and unfair school system, anti welfare policies aimed at screwing them over, a totally unrepresentative entertainment industry that thrives on offensive negative stereotypes, a chunk of the country that seems to think women having control over their own bodies and Gay people wanting to get married is somehow something to be contested over, and of course an internet culture that basically sees the existence of free speech means that it is their duty to make these already oppressed people miserable every minute of every day.  Also keeping the Republicans out of power because the Republicans have made it clear they want to kill these people just to watch them die.   

     Class Advocates

 The second group are the old founders of the modern democratic Party, people who care about class.  These are ex union workers, the lower classes, working classes and increasingly the middle class.  They aren’t all white, but the majority of them are, and they know full well they are getting fucked over by the current state of the country.  They are furious primarily at the wealth gap, declining wages, lobbying in politics, these horrible trade deals that seem to exist to fuck them over, the total lack of political oversight on corporate shadiness, the total breakdown of welfare, the constant threat to Social Security/Medicare/Madicaid, the total lack of a reasonable healthcare policy, the fact that Wall street basically wasn’t punished for the crash, the low Corporate Tax rate, the rising wealth gap, the slow death of the middle class, right to work states, our broken infrastructure, and lobbying, seriously these guy really hate lobbying.  Some of them defected to Trump during the election in a few Rust Belt States.   

     The Anti War Faction

 Then we have the anti war people, who really want the War on Terror to end and have been spending the last 15 years in a constant state of endless sadness.  They want to reduce the war, they want to cease torture, they want to close Gitmo, they want to want to stop supporting coups abroad, they want nuclear disarmament, and they want to ratchet down tensions with the rest of the world.  The thing they really want is for us to rethink our relationship to Israel and Saudi Arabia.  These guys never get what they want and live in a state of constant sadness.   

      The Environmentalists 

 Then we have the environmentalists who want us all not to die from Climate Change.  Their primary goal is for us not to die from climate change, and likely because we never listen to them, we are all going to die from Climate Change, thanks Baby Boomers thanks a lot.   

      Civil Liberties

 And finally the people who want to defend Civil Liberties, they think that the 1st and 4th amendment have taken a beating that needs to be corrected, they want a non corporate owned Press, they want to curtail the power of the CIA and NSA, they want greater government openness and government accountability, they want to have more accountability for government screw ups and they want to end the War on Drugs.   Oh and also everybody on this list would like Prison Reform, College Reform, and Public Education reform.   Now you might notice something looking at all of these groups, none of them have really gotten much of their core demands met since 1980, or at all, because again the Democratic Party is not actually led by leftists, its led by Centrists who have a different sent of priorities than the liberals.  


     All five of these factions feel like they aren’t ever heard, like the main power centers ignore them and don’t take them seriously, like they are constantly fighting against society at large, and every day things get worse for their interest. And they are correct because Reaganism and Neoliberalism have really fucked over the Left.  Also notice something important, Hillary Clinton doesn’t belong to any of these groups, because she is in the Centrist Group, within the Civil Rights the Feminists mostly like her but mostly because they want somebody to finally break the glass ceiling but that is about it, none of these groups were really having their interests met by either Clinton or Kaine.   But looking at these groups you will notice…they don’t contradict.  You can care about the death of the middle class, systemic oppression, the environment, opposing the war abroad, and NSA overreach without any ideological contradiction, which simply isn’t true of the Republicans.  Jingoism, Libertarianism, Alt Right, Know Nothing Nationalism, Conservatism, the Religious Right and the Bushiness Party all actively contradict each other and if it wasn’t for the two party system they would basically fall apart.  That just isn’t true for the Democrats, and that is why our infighting still hasn’t gotten to the level of vitriol that you see on the right.  It is also why they turn out up vote more, the GOP base (not its leaders its base) is more ideological than us, and so if they feel like their ideology is dying out, they commit themselves fully. If the Left actually unified for once in their life and put aside those difference, we could basically emerge victorious because if the five factions worked in tandem we would win over a lot of republicans and independents, and between these five groups you have a majority of the country, and in particular among the youth.  As the elder population starts to die off, these views will become more and more mainstream, we just need to harness that energy in the meantime.   

A conservative magazine called the Philando Castile case a “miscarriage of justice”

  • One conservative voice broke rank with the right in speaking out on the Philando Castile case, calling the Friday acquittal of the officer who fatally shot the licensed gun owner in Minnesota a “miscarriage of justice.”
  • “This is unacceptable,” National Review correspondent David French wrote about the verdict in a Sunday afternoon edition of its The Corner column. “It represents the most extreme possible deprivation of civil rights and civil liberties,” he continued.
  • Castile, by all accounts, was a law-abiding, licensed gun carrier who had committed no crime prior to being pulled over for a broken tail light on July 6, 2016. Read more (6/19/17)

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kokiri85  asked:

What did you think of Comey? I felt like the fact that both Democrats and Republicans were mad at him seemed like a GOOD sign, like it implied solid impartiality and willingness to push back against people in power, but maybe that's simplistic?

In a second message, kokiri85 added:  Er, just to be clear, I’m not asking if you think it was appropriate for Trump to fire Comey, I feel like that’s kind of a different question. Just, whether the criticism against Comey would hold water on it’s own, outside this context.

This entire situation is bizarre, and evolving so rapidly I confess I feel I’ve barely been able to keep abreast of all the new developments and angles.

On the subject of Comey personally, it’s hard to say. The most attention I’d paid him before his firing had less to do with his election-related behavior and more to do with his stances on issues of privacy and civil liberties. As Trevor Timm at The Guardian recounted back in October, Comey has a bad record on mass surveillance:

Yes, Comey did curtail a small part of the NSA’s sprawling surveillance program in 2004, however, that occurred before the public ever knew of the existence of any NSA domestic program. The version of illegal warrantless wiretapping that the New York Times revealed in 2005, which sparked a firestorm of liberal criticism and widespread accusations of illegal conduct, was the program that Comey was totally fine with and signed off on.

On indefinite detention and torture:

During the Bush administration, Comey also aggressively defended the arrest and due process-free imprisonment of a US citizen, Jose Padilla, on US soil. He was held as an “enemy combatant”, tortured, and refused a lawyer for three and half years —  to this day, one of the most egregious violations of the Constitution by the Bush administration. In addition, Comey also gave his legal sign-off on torture techniques during the Bush administration, despite harboring personal doubts.

And on encryption:

Since taking over at the FBI, speaking up without all —  or any —  of the facts has become a Comey specialty. He has led a high-profile two-year fight to essentially outlaw end-to-end encryption, a vital tool that protects citizens’ privacy and security. He has done so freely admitting he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, while his demands fly in the face of the opinions of many prominent computer scientists, who have argued mandating backdoors in encryption is impossible to do safely and a recipe for disaster.

Comey has even cast privacy concerns as childish, suggesting civil libertarians are refusing to have “an adult conversation” about digital security.

All this to say, it is difficult to judge whether Comey was a force for integrity and independence where investigation into Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are concerned. Though I take your point about the bipartisan animosity — and I say this without at all suggesting the next FBI director is likely to be an improvement — his broader record is such that I’m not especially sorry to see him go.

This evening at the Whitney, artist Danny Lyon will speak with Congressman John Lewis about his lifelong advocacy of civil liberties and his current leadership on issues including gun control and voting rights.

Tonight’s conversation takes place amid wrenching events for this country: the shooting of forty nine people at a gay nightclub in Orlando on June 12, followed weeks later by shootings in Baton Rouge, Minnesota, Dallas, and Brooklyn. These tragedies have shaken communities across the country, demanding that we acknowledge and address the racial, social, and political divides that plague our country and that have given rise to decades of violence and loss.

Congressman Lewis and Danny Lyon first met in a related period of turbulence and change in the 1960s: Lewis was serving as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and Lyon was a principal photographer of the Southern Civil Rights Movement and a staff member of SNCC.

Tonight’s program pays tribute to their more than fifty years of friendship. At a moment when national action is urgently called for, it also brings together two men who—whether through political leadership or through image-making—have dedicated their lives to social activism and to bringing greater equality and empathy to our national culture. 

Follow the conversation on Twitter, and check back on in the coming days for footage of the event.

Danny Lyon (b. 1942), Arrest of Taylor Washington, Atlanta, 1963. Vintage gelatin silver print.  9 7/16 × 6 ¼ in. (24 × 16 cm); Collection of the artist. © Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York


Military Firm Used “War on Terror” Tactics Against Standing Rock Protest

The collusion between militarized thugs in uniforms and corporations has become more clearer which now poses a threat to American society (based on leaked documents).