Recently in Civil Rights Category

Poor Timing

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Okay, if you want to hold a protest, first rule of thumb; never schedule it when it will impact individuals and families more than it will bureaucracies and corporations.

(McClatchy) WASHINGTON -- Unwilling to gamble with their on-time arrivals, the nation's airline passengers on Wednesday ignored calls to protest heightened airport security measures on the busiest travel day of the year.

Airports from Los Angeles to New York reported no major passenger-related slowdowns as of Wednesday evening, as the Thanksgiving travel crush reached its peak with an estimated 1.6 million people taking to the skies.

At the Sea-Tac Airport between Seattle and Tacoma, the longest lines Wednesday morning formed at Starbucks. Travelers were able to proceed from the check-in counter through security checkpoints and on to their respective gates without delay. Airport observers noted that crowds were thin compared even to a non-holiday weekday.


Now, had this been scheduled during a time of political/financial travel, than there might have been a higher level of participation from civic-, and liberty-, minded individuals. But during a holiday? When people simply want to get together with their families and enjoy each others company? Sorry, but it was a stupid idea to hold a obstinately political protest during a non-political holiday. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Yes, I know many families argue politics during holiday get togethers. But that's more about family dynamics, not about politics itself.

Instead, use this as civil disobedience during, say, some major international gathering of world leaders in the United States, such as a G-20 summit. When it becomes obvious that the scanners and invasive pat-downs are used as a protest tool against other issues, then you will see some substantial changes.

Still Taking Off Shoes?

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It just blows my mind that in the 21st Century, in the United States, it is necessary to remove one's shoes to enter an airplane. I mean, how pathetic is that?

Look, I am poor. I do not travel by plane. But if I did, I would make damn sure I wore the sweatiest, stinkiest, nastiest socks possible. In fact, along with National Don't Go Through The Scanners day, I suggest a National Wear Dirty, Nasty, Stinky Socks to the airport day. Oh, and make sure the shoes you take off are the ones you used to clean the barn with just hours earlier. Preferably the hog barn. They stink the worst. I know what I speak of. Personal experience from my younger days.

Now, if you don't clean a barn, there's always stepping in doggy doo. If you don't have a dog, I am sure your neighbors do. No doubt they'd let you walk through their yard before you depart to the airport. Just make sure you step on every doo you come across. And don't scrape it off.

If you have a cat, well, then you have a litter box. Like I need to explain that further?

Seriously, let's get some civil disobedience going. Walk your doggy doo to the airport! It will be fun.

What A Piece Of Work!

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Seriously, what is wrong with this man?

• Showed up at the home of a private citizen three times, including once at 1:30 a.m. That incident is especially telling because it clearly was about harassing Mr. Armstrong, not engaging in free speech.

• Further engaged in behavior that, while not perhaps sufficient to charge criminal stalking, was harassing, uninvited and showed a pattern that was in the everyday sense, stalking.

• Harassing Armstrong's friends as they were socializing in Ann Arbor;

• Numerous calls to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office, Armstrong's employer, in an attempt to slander Armstrong -- and ultimately attempting to cause Pelosi to fire Armstrong;

• Attempting to "out" Armstrong's friends as homosexual -- several of whom were not gay.

Cox said Shirvell engaged in his campaign against Shirvell on company time and posted attacks on Armstrong on the Internet while at work.

If his attempt was to look homophobic - well - he did a damn fine job.

I Beg To Disagree

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There is quite a bit of discussion on the Obama's Justice Department's appeal of Judge Virginia Phillips's ruling on DADT (did I avoid the massive double negatives that usually occurs with this issue?). I completely understand why the move was done. I would write it again, but let me instead copy and past from one of my comments over at "The Same Rowdy Crowd."

Wish I could agree with you. But one of the responsibilities of the Administration, and the Justice Department, is to uphold the rule of law. We saw what happened to our country when George Bush was in office; much of the damage done was by his failing to uphold laws. Whether or not you agree with a law is immaterial, as President of the United States he does not get to pick and choose which laws to uphold, he is required to uphold them all. His statement that he wants it repealed is not only legitimate, but it is the correct way to go about righting the travesty that is DADT.
The second greatest failure of the Bush Administration was it's failure to uphold the laws of the land. As a result, we have seen our nation's food supply poisoned, witnessed what appears to be one of the greatest systemic frauds (mortgage paperwork? We don't need no stink'n paperwork!) in the history of our country, and have watched as we marched to war, all because of a failure to follow the rule of law.

Bitch all you want about the move to appeal Judge Virginia Phillips's ruling - President Obama is doing his job. Had President George W. Bush also upheld the rule of law, we would never have invaded Iraq.

That's A Lot Of Pings

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Seriously, there are some lazy people in Federal Law enforcement. 8 million pings? There are not enough terrorists in this country to justify that many pings in one year.
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Why Distracted?

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I've been hearing, and reading, a lot lately on how investigating law breaking by the Bush administration would end up distracting Obama from his job of stewarding the country. How, exactly would Obama be distracted. It's not like the White House will be running any investigation. Let's remember, the Justice Department is an independent agency, not beholden to, or controlled by, the White House.

If memory serves me well (large amount of drugs and alcohol years ago make it not so much a possibility), when Nixon tried to control an investigation, he actually sealed his fate and ended up resigning.

Honestly, I think the village idiots are confused. It's they who would be distracted. We are talking about people who willingly, and easily, walked hand in hand with the Bush administration into the Greatest War Against Terror. And by hand in hand, I mean lead by the Bush administration because the villagers seem unable to walk and chew gum at the same time.

Okay, that was unfair. But it felt soooooo good to type.

Anyway, Obama's concern, which does hold merit, is that the American people would be distracted by the investigations, and the Republicans in the congress would step up their obstructionist behavior (and possibly a few complicit Democrats). However, is an increase in obstruction by Republicans any more of a problem then what they are doing now? And with the Blue Dogs already complicit in obstructing Health Reform....., well, I don't think it would be much worse then what he already faces. As for the American people? For the most part they are always distracted by something. Usually with the Legacy Media's help.
This is what Sarah Palin meant when she said it:

I've been struck by this since the beginning. If it is the case that the president can designate an Office of Legal Counsel functionary to immunize government officials and employees against criminal behavior, then it is true, to all intents and purposes that "if the president does it it's not illegal."
And, from this article, we also learn that Cheney, who developed his executive beliefs and values from the Nixon White House, ordered the CIA to not inform Congress about the secret wiretapping programs.

(NYT)The Central Intelligence Agency withheld information about a secret counterterrorism program from Congress for eight years on direct orders from former Vice President Dick Cheney, the agency's director, Leon E. Panetta, has told the Senate and House intelligence committees, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said Saturday.
Next week sure is going to be an interesting news week.
Between you, me, and the lamp post across the street; John's right:

If I had to guess, we will see the end of DADT and homosexuals will be openly serving in the military before a tobacco ban.
It wouldn't surprise me in the least if the smoking ban is used as a means to negotiate the end of DADT.

Gay Marriage

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Say what you will, Gay Marriage would not be happening today if it wasn't for the remarks of Rick Santorum back on April 7th, 2003. Because of his crass, homophobic, and blindingly stupid remarks, a backlash of momentous proportion has now resulted in the 6th state making gay marriage legal. You go Rick!

My Intuition Calling

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This move to fight the gay marriage ban strikes me as right. Mustang Bobby is cautioning that a quick move to the Supreme Court could cause a backlash, as seen with several other cases. However, those cases were not quickly rushed to the courts, but made their way through the usual process of courts, appeals, etc., until they appeared before the SCOTUS.

This whole movement for gay marriage has happened quite quickly. In my 47+ years*, I've never seen social change occur at this pace. No doubt, it seems to be the tone for this particular issue, California and Florida not withstanding. For there to be a quick move to address this issue in front of the SCOTUS is in complete harmony with the advent of this topic. My gut tells me this will work out. I wish I could point to something concrete facts to support my intuition, but I can't. But then, if I could, it would be called reasoning, not intuition. Duh!

Oh, and as a side note, in a not totally unrelated topic, the California Supreme Court did not rule the ban on gay marriage to be constitutional. At least not from what I read of the decision. What they did was hold up the process by which the ban was passed. Hopefully, Californians will pull their collective heads out of their collective asses, and reform their ballot initiative process. Because, quite frankly, Proposition 13 has destroyed them. But then, what the hell do you expect when you number it 13?

* Yes, I'm old. What of it?

Idiots!

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If you want proof that the extreme social conservatives are complete idiots, go read this post over at All Spin Zone.

OK, this one shouldn't be surprising. We know, for instance, that the whack jobs on the social conservative extremist end of the GOP spectrum are a bit on the dim side and don't play all that well on the internet. Well, it was last Wednesday that the National Organization for Marriage launched their 2M4M campaign, not understanding that "M4M" is a standard abbreviation in personals for "man looking for man." In other words, their cute slogan reads like a solicitation for group gay sex. Hey, even Rachel Maddow has made fun of it. Today we find that the National Organization for Marriage was so stupid as to not buy up the domain names for their new initiative.
Wait for the punch line.......

www.2m4m.org is now a place of inclusion that stands for civil rights.
Teh stup, it burnzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Editor's note; typing errors from the original site corrected.

Profiled

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I am in a piss poor mood at the moment. In fact, too mad to write coherently about being stopped in River Falls by a cop. Suffice it to say, I believe The GirlFriend™ and I were stopped because of looking poor. You know, poor = criminal = drug addicts.

Yes, I kept my mouth shut about being a chemical dependency counselor. Honestly, I know when someone has made up their mind about me. I run into it all the time. I can see it in their eyes, and hear it in their voice. It's my job. And I do it well.

This dick of a cop pulled us over because he thought he had a couple of drug addicts from Minnesota.

Damn, it really pisses me off.

More later.

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