|Posted on December 31 at 12:22 pm with 14 notes||Reblog|
Congress decides every aspect of your electronic life can be spied on without a warrant and you can’t know how much spying is going on.
by Cory Doctorow
They voted down every single privacy amendment to FISA, the act that lets the NSA spy on you without a warrant. They voted down the amendment that would let you hear rough estimates of how much the NSA was spying on you. Obama spoke out against amendments that offered less privacy protection than the ones that he voted for in 2008.
The common-sense amendments the Senate hastily rejected were modest in scope and written with the utmost deference to national security concerns. The Senate had months to consider them, but waited until four days before the law was to expire to bring them to the floor, and then used the contrived time crunch to stifle any chances of them passing.
Sen. Ron Wyden’s amendment would not have taken away any of the NSA’s powers, it just would have forced intelligence agencies to send Congress a report every year detailing how their surveillance was affecting ordinary Americans. Yet Congress voted to be purposely kept in the dark about a general estimate of how many Americans have been spied on.
You can watch Sen. Ron Wyden’s entire, riveting floor speech on the privacy dangers and lack of oversight in the FISA Amendments Act here.
Sen. Jeff Merkley’s amendment would have encouraged (not even forced!) the Attorney General to declassify portions of secret FISA court opinions—or just release summaries of them if they were too sensitive. This is something the administration itself promised to do three years ago. We know—because the government has admitted—that at least one of those opinions concluded the government had violated the Constitution. Yet Congress also voted to keep this potentially critical interpretation of a public law a secret.
Tellingly, Sen. Rand Paul’s “Fourth Amendment Protection Act,” which would have affirmed Americans’ emails are protected from unwarranted search and seizures (just like physical letters and phone calls), was voted down by the Senate in a landslide.
Guys. This is important stuff going on.
|Posted on November 25 at 10:41 am with 9,966 notes||Reblog|
I don’t care if you don’t normally reblog stuff like this. I’m tired of nobody caring. Reblog it. Signal boost it to your followers. Sign it yourself. Make your parents and your non-Tumblr friends sign it. Just get it signed.
You see, there’s been a petition going around for the past week or so. This is a petition that could potentially save many, many, lives including mine.
Now, ever since I first saw this petition, on 18 November 2012, the signatures have gone up by 1,000. It currently has about 3,000 signatures.
That’s not much, considering it needs 25,000 signatures by December 14th.
Now why am I upset, do you ask? Because if this were any other petition, Tumblr would have bombed the shit out of it right now. Gay rights? Transgender rights? Women’s rights? It would have a hundred thousand notes and probably be at least halfway finished by now.
But nobody cares about autistic people.
Nobody cares that we are consistently being denied live-saving organ transplants because we are autistic. Even if you do not like autistic people, or do not know much about autism at all, you have to admit that this is wrong. It’s not even legal. That’s right, this is a petition to make doctor start following the law. That’s how much prejudice there is against us.
Please, if you live in the United States, take a few minutes out of your day. Make an account on whitehouse.gov, which you can use to sign many other important petitions, and SIGN THIS PETITION.
I know for a fact that if this weren’t about autistic people, it would have more signatures If tumblr can raise money for a Homestuck project but not get a few thousand signatures to save lives? I will be very, very, very disappointed.
If you don’t live in the US, please please signal boost this to your followers and make sure they know how important it is that they sign this. This is a terrifying reality and we are being given a chance to do something about it. Please, please help.
I cannot impress on you how important this is. If you care about anything at all, please sign this and reblog it so your followers can sign it. Lives of people like me depend on it.
|Posted on October 5 at 1:47 pm with 747 notes||Reblog|
UT Sorority Throws Racist ‘Fiesta Party’
A UT student blog named #racistATX, documented the annual “Fiesta Party” thrown by two campus sororities at a downtown Austin bar.
Participants, as seen in the video above, dress in stereotypical Mexican wear and openly parade down 6th Street.
As seen in a story by Texas blog Burnt Orange Report, partygoers also came dressed as an “ILLEGAL ALIEN” and a Border Patrol Agent.
A party based on the mocking of Mexican culture is unacceptable and should be condemned by University of Texas.
This is not “just a joke,” much less “honoring of Mexican culture,” it’s blatant racism.
It’s 2012, it’s time to speak up and demand that these sororities be held accountable!
Follow Racist ATX
congrats on ur fuckery
|Posted on August 28 at 10:56 am with 1,787 notes||Reblog|
Buzzfeed reports that the trial court judge in California who has taken over hearing the federal court case over Prop 8 has declared the case closed. Technically, this should allow same-sex couples to marry in California starting immediately.
The order comes despite the fact that proponents of Proposition 8 have requested the Supreme Court to review the case because, Judge James Ware wrote today, all requests to stay the judgment in the case have been denied. The proponents made no request of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court to stay the case pending resolution by the Supreme Court.
It is not immediately clear what impact Ware’s order will have or whether the proponents of Proposition 8 will seek a stay of the order with a higher court.
Holy CRAP you guys, this is huge. If the Supreme Court refuses to take this case, this is over and we’ve won. HOLY CRAP. In the meantime, GO GET MARRIED IN CALIFORNIA!
|Posted on July 12 at 1:03 pm with 1,625 notes||Reblog|
|Posted on June 27 at 12:21 pm with 137 notes||Reblog|
A top Navy officer has been reassigned after failing to take action when sailors engaged in anti-gay hazing, according to a report uncovered by the Associated Press.
Master Chief Machinist’s Mate Charles Berry was serving as “chief of the boat” on the USS Florida and was allegedly aware of hazing in which a sailor faced attempted rape at knifepoint. For eight months, the sailor was repeatedly referred to using gay slurs on board and threatened with sexual assault, and Berry was reassigned when it was discovered he did not inform his chain of command about the hazing.
The report says there was a culture of hazing and sexual harassment aboard the submarine and there was inadequate knowledge about the Navy’s policies against it to stop the behavior before the sailor reached that point.
More counseling and training was ordered at all levels to avoid similar problems in the future.
“The Navy’s standards for personal behavior are very high and it demands that sailors are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. When individuals fall short of this standard of professionalism and personal behavior, the Navy will take swift and decisive action to stop undesirable behavior, protect victims and hold accountable those who do not meet its standards,” the Navy said in the March 30 statement.
This is a serious issue that doesn’t get a whole lot of press coverage. Give this article a read for some good background.
|Posted on June 10 at 6:23 am with 5,723 notes||Reblog|
Justice for Tasered 8-Months-Pregnant Woman!
Police in Chicago used a Taser on an African-American woman who is 8-months-pregnant because she parked in a handicapped parking space.
Tiffany Rent parked there because she was trying to calm down her 3-year-old daughter. She tried to explain what happened but they wouldn’t listen, and gave her a ticket for $200.
The police, who had blocked her in, started insulting her — one told her to call Jesse Jackson — and Rent got into her car because she was scared. They tasered her through the window, and her boyfriend, Joseph Hobbs, had his elbow dislocated while trying to protect her. This all happened in front of her children.
Rent and Hobbs were taken into custody and charged with resisting arrest and simple assault. Rent was taken to the hospital for treatment, and may have to deliver her baby early because of the stress.
Please tell the Chicago Police Department to do a full investigation of this incident and get justice for Tiffany Rent!
I don’t even know what to say. I am incredibly appalled and angry. Justice for Tiffany Rent!
|Posted on April 5 at 9:15 pm with 3 notes||Reblog|
|Posted on March 31 at 10:20 pm with 4,378 notes||Reblog|
The Harry Potter author is to write an episode Doctor Who, the BBC has confirmed.
Rowling, who has recently announced an adult novel, will be working closely with show runner Steven Moffat as he develops the upcoming seventh series.
Speaking to BBC News, he said: “We are excited to be working with such a legendary talent. Rowling’s episode will take the show in a new direction, and we’re all very excited to see how it’s received.”
|Posted on February 28 at 7:35 am with 55 notes||Reblog|
A group of women has formed a new political action committee to recruit and support candidates to defeat elected officials who back the ultrasound and so-called personhood bills.
Women’s Strike Force, which boasts several former elected officials, formed after Virginia spent last week in national headlines for its attempt to require women to undergo mandatory trans-vaginal ultrasounds before an abortion.
“As a former member of the General Assembly and Virginia’s first woman in Congress, I fought for women’s rights in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s,” Leslie Byrne said in a statement. “We must move the commonwealth and the nation forward, not backslide to denying women rights.”
This is amazing and I’m pleased to see people reacting in this way.
[NB: It’s more than just cis women’s rights that are backsliding. Also, I keep saying this, but this is not simply the burden of ladies. I appreciate and am pleased that (cis) women are leading the charge but this should really be everyone’s concern.]