Canada appoints first trans judge
A Canadian man has made history by becoming the country’s first transgender judge. Kale McKenzie, a judge for Manitoba, was sworn in during a ceremony held in Winnipeg yesterday (12 February).

McKenzie, who was officially designated a judge in December, has received a lot of support throughout Canada, with one judge saying: ‘Kael is the first self-identified transgender judge in Canada and that is something to be celebrated’.

Hon. Gord Mackintosh, the Minister for Justice and Attorney General, said: ‘It’s historic… anytime the court can be more diverse, I think it strengthens the court, it makes it more legitimate, it gives it greater authority’

Anne Krahn, who was sworn in alongside McKenzie, said: ‘I am pleased to be part of an administrative team who are supportive and from whom I have so much to learn’

Speaking to the courtroom, McKenzie said: ‘I’m overwhelmed by the kind comments today.’

McKenzie also shared how his appointment has helped trans people in Canada, including parents of trans children.

He said: ‘They acknowledged their fears for their children’s’ futures, and somehow my appointment helped allay some of those fears… They came out with a message of renewed hope that their children would have bright and prosperous futures, regardless of their gender identity.’

McKenzie also thanked his family for their support, saying: ‘I have two great sons. This day would not be complete without them. They’ve been the centre of my universe and I love them very much. I’m glad they agreed to miss school today.’

It’s very clear to me that the people who are asking for a backdoor encryption key do not understand the technology,” he added. “You cannot have a backdoor key for the FBI. Either hackers will find that key or the FBI will let it get stolen. As you saw, it the [Department of Justice] just got hacked. The [Office of Personnel Management] got hacked multiple times. If our federal government cannot keep 20 million extremely sensitive security records, I don’t see how our government can keep encryption keys safe.
Law and Justice

What is law? What ought it to be? What is its domain? What are its limits? Where, in fact, does the prerogative of the legislator stop?

I have no hesitation in answering, Law is common force organized to prevent injustice; — in short, Law is Justice.

It is not true that the legislator has absolute power over our persons and property, since they pre-exist, and his work is only to secure them from injury.

It is not true that the mission of the law is to regulate our consciences, our ideas, our will, our education, our sentiments, our works, our exchanges, our gifts, our enjoyments. Its mission is to prevent the rights of one from interfering with those of another, in any one of these things.

Law, because it has force for its necessary sanction, can only have as its lawful domain the domain of force, which is justice.

And as every individual has a right to have recourse to force only in cases of lawful defense, so collective force, which is only the union of individual forces, cannot be rationally used for any other end.

The law, then, is solely the organization of individual rights, which existed before legitimate defense.

Law is justice.

So far from being able to oppress the persons of the people, or to plunder their property, even for a philanthropic end, its mission is to protect the former, and to secure to them the possession of the latter.

It must not be said, either, that it may be philanthropic, so long as it abstains from all oppression; for this is a contradiction. The law cannot avoid acting upon our persons and property; if it does not secure them, it violates them if it touches them.

The law is justice.

Nothing can be more clear and simple, more perfectly defined and bounded, or more visible to every eye; for justice is a given quantity, immutable and unchangeable, and which admits of neither increase or diminution.

Depart from this point, make the law religious, fraternal, equalizing, industrial, literary, or artistic, and you will be lost in vagueness and uncertainty; you will be upon unknown ground, in a forced Utopia, or, which is worse, in the midst of a multitude of Utopias, striving to gain possession of the law, and to impose it upon you; for fraternity and philanthropy have no fixed limits, like justice. Where will you stop? Where is the law to stop? One person… will only extend his philanthropy to some of the industrial classes, and will require the law to dispose of the consumers in favor of the producers. Another… will take up the cause of the working classes, and claim for them by means of the law, at a fixed rate, clothing, lodging, food, and everything necessary for the support of life. A third… will say, and with reason, that this would be an incomplete fraternity, and that the law ought to provide them with instruments of, labor and the means of instruction. A fourth will observe that such an arrangement still leaves room for inequality, and that the law ought to introduce into the most remote hamlets luxury, literature, and the arts. This is the high road to communism; in other words, legislation will be — what it now is — the battlefield for everybody’s dreams and everybody’s covetousness.

Law is justice.


And it would be very strange if it could properly be anything else! Is not justice right? Are not rights equal? With what show of right can the law interfere to subject me to the social plans of [the social reformers] rather than to subject these gentlemen to my plans? Is it to be supposed that Nature has not bestowed upon me sufficient imagination to invent a Utopia too? Is it for the law to make choice of one amongst so many fancies, and to make use of the public force in its service?

Law is justice.

And let it not be said, as it continually is, that the law, in this sense, would be atheistic, individual, and heartless, and that it would make mankind wear its own image. This is an absurd conclusion, quite worthy of the governmental infatuation which sees mankind in the law.

What then? Does it follow that, if we are free, we shall cease to act? Does it follow, that if we do not receive an impulse from the law, we shall receive no impulse at all? Does it follow, that if the law confines itself to securing to us the free exercise of our faculties, our faculties will be paralyzed? Does it follow, that if the law does not impose upon us forms of religion, modes of association, methods of instruction, rules for labor, directions for exchange, and plans for charity, we shall plunge eagerly into atheism, isolation, ignorance, misery, and egotism? Does it follow, that we shall no longer recognize the power and goodness of God; that we shall cease to associate together, to help each other, to love and assist our unfortunate brethren, to study the secrets of nature, and to aspire after perfection in our existence?

Law is justice.

And it is under the law of justice, under the reign of right, under the influence of liberty, security, stability, and responsibility, that every man will attain to the measure of his worth, to all the dignity of his being, and that mankind will accomplish, with order and with calmness — slowly, it is true, but with certainty — the progress decreed to it.

I believe that my theory is correct; for whatever be the question upon which I am arguing, whether it be religious, philosophical, political, or economical; whether it affects well-being, morality, equality, right, justice, progress, responsibility, property, labor, exchange, capital, wages, taxes, population, credit, or Government; at whatever point of the scientific horizon I start from, I invariably come to the same thing — the solution of the social problem is in liberty.

-Frédéric Bastiat, “The Law” (1850)
Transphobic Bathroom Bill Dies in Washington State
The state Senate barely defeated legislation that would have repealed the state's new gender-neutral bathroom policy.

Washington’s state Senate has killed a transphobic bill — but only by a hair. Legislators voted 25-24 to defeat SB 6443. The bill would have repealed a new rule issued by the state’s Human Rights Commission that allows transgender people to use public restrooms that correspond with their gender identity.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia dead at 79
Antonin Scalia, the influential conservative and most provocative member of the U.S. Supreme Court, has died, leaving the high court without its conservative majority and setting up an ideological confrontation over his successor in the maelstrom of a presidential election year.

Is Alien Technology Here? | Interview Dr. Steven Greer of the Disclosure Project

Abby Martin talks to UFOologist Dr. Steven Greer about his work with the Disclosure Project, an organization that has collected testimonies from over one hundred US government officials concerning the existence of extra-terrestrial life.
Jim Obergefell and Andreja Pejic Get Real About the 'T' in LGBT
Jim Obergefell, a leading advocate for marriage equality, and the world's most famous trans model talk about the adversities faced by transgender people.

With the recent media attention and public support surrounding transgender male models such as Ben Melzer and Aydian Dowling, one might think that broad acceptance of all trans people is inevitable. However, even within the so-called LGBT community, prejudice against trans and gender-nonconforming people still arises, as a recent petition to LGBT media and advocacy groups asking them to “Drop the T” illustrates.

This tension was the topic of discussion for Jim Obergefell, the lead plaintiff in the marriage equality suit that resulted in the freedom to marry nationwide, and Andreja Pejic, the world’s most famous trans model, as they sat down for an interview with Amanda Silverman of Foreign Policy.

Pejic was adamant about the impact that sharing one’s own story can have.


The data from IoT products can potentially be hugely valuable. Many include microphones and motion sensors, for example, such as new smart TVs, kids’ toys and voice-controlled products like Amazon’s Echo.

It wasn’t just the internet of things that Clapper is worried/excited about. He also references that artificial intelligence is provided a similar risk/opportunity. By meddling with or anticipating the results of algorithms, a huge number of AI systems “are susceptible to a range of disruptive and deceptive tactics that might be difficult to anticipate or quickly understand.” On the flipside, however, they also “might create or enable further opportunities to disrupt or damage critical infrastructure or national security networks.”

It amazes me how Michigan’s state government is still telling its citizens to purchase water filters that have already proven not to work. People are quite literally being poisoned as we speak, and nothing is being done about it. Where is Attorney General Lynch? Why are people still being poisoned after all this time has passed?
Alabama school officials reviewing rules for transgender students
Alabama education officials have spent the past few weeks reviewing legal issues regarding transgender students accessing locker rooms and restrooms on school properties.

Officials with the Alabama Association of School Boards reviewed legal issues and provided information about federal action last year that placed requirements on an Illinois school system to allow a transgender student equal access to a girls’ locker room, reported. The meeting took place during the winter in the cities of Hoover, Huntsville, Selma, Decatur, Anniston and Chickasaw.

“We’re not trying to change anyone’s minds,” said Sally Smith, executive director with the AASB. “It was about this issue and what’s happening and these are the things to consider and the pivotal issues with the law.”

The session prompted some school officials to consider measures in dealing with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender matters. The AASB’s subject during its winter meetings was prompted by an agreement last year between a suburban Chicago school district and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights to provide locker room access for a transgender student who identifies as a girl and participates on a girls’ sports team. The agreement was approved in December. It required the school system to install five privacy stalls in the locker room that the transgender student must use and any other girl can choose to use as well.

Initially, school officials wanted the student to change beyond privacy curtains installed in the girls’ locker room, and the student agreed that she would probably use the curtains to change. But the federal government said the transgender student needed to make the decision voluntarily, and not because of the district’s instructions. Alabama is one of seven states where athletes participate on teams determined by the gender indicated on the student’s certified birth certificate.

Malissa Valdes-Huber, spokeswoman with the Alabama Department of Education, said there is no statewide rule or policy regulating building facilities, and that it’s up to local schools to abide by their rules. Lou Campomenosi, president of the Baldwin County chapter of the Common Sense Campaign tea party, suggested the Baldwin County School Board consider reconfiguring one of its portable classrooms into a restroom for transgender students.

With overcrowding and growth in student population, the Baldwin County School System has among the most portable trailers utilized as a classroom within the state. Cecil Christenberry, a Baldwin County School Board member, said the portable classroom-into-bathroom consideration isn’t on the district’s radar.

“The key words are respect and rights for everyone,” said Christenberry, about what the AASB’s message has been to local school boards. “We’re going to have to be proactive. It’s going to be a hot topic.”