Archive for category Privacy
I love the fact that Alan Grayson was able to get back into congress along with Elizabeth Warren. NOW when I get the old, “they’re all the same” refrain, I can say, “well not exactly”.
Alan names his amendment to H.R. 1960 the, “The Mind Your Own Business Act”. When was the last time you heard somebody in congress come up with a plan that didn’t have an Orwellian name? Republicans are always so proud of people on their side who just come right out and say what they think. It’s usually crazy as hell, but they say it anyway. Alan shoots from the hip too, but it sparks something in your brain that says: this really makes sense. Also, for years, Republicans were prohibited from disagreeing with anything a Republican in the hierarchy said. Grayson can say he disagrees with Obama’s stance, because he’s a Democrat. That’s my hope.
MSNBC is supposed to be “the liberal channel”, so why is the host of this segment trying to “get something” on Grayson for insinuating the Nazi’s would have loved to have a “Total Information Awareness” type of system that is going in to full gear, very soon. Grayson answers a question with a question, but it’s a good one, which the host, basically, answers by saying, ‘I’m the one asking the questions here’.
The question Grayson asks is,
How do you feel about the fact that the Government is keeping a record of every single phone call that you make?
I’m totally perplexed at the media coverage Edward Snowden is getting at this late date. He’s not the only whistle-blower on this matter. We have known for many years the government had planned to collect, and has been collecting as much information about every one of us as they could. Now that they are close to having the ability to get EVERYTHING, we get polls that tell us Americans WANT to have all their private information collected to…
AND I’M REALLY GETTING TIRED OF HEARING THIS…
Keep us safe.
If the government is serious about keeping me safe, they’d stop spending so much money on secret surveillance, prisons and war. What I really need to keep me “safe” is single payer healthcare and “food security”.
I think Grayson’s best quote in the video is this:
Martin, you are completely missing the point. The point is that we’re taking measures that are not correlated in any sense with our safety, and even if they were it would be beneath our dignity as human beings. That’s what this is all about. All right, listen. You could always make people safer by taking extreme measures. If, for instance, we lowered the speed limit to 10 miles per hour, people would be safer. If we outlawed knives and forks, people would be safer. If we made everybody fly on the airlines naked, people would be safer. None of those things corresponds to my sense of human dignity, and I think I’m not the only one who feels that way….
If you’d like to support congressman Grayson’s amendment, you can sign up here.
The Family Research Council (a group the SPLC identified as a hate group for its ongoing use of lies, distortions and untruths about glbt persons) and Liberty Institute, another right wing organization, recently released a study which they claim documents more than 600 instances of hostility toward religious liberty:
Liberty Institute attorney Justin Butterfield tells OneNewsNow what his group hopes to accomplish with the study’s findings.
“We want to raise awareness of the issue. A lot of people think that hostility because of people’s religious beliefs and attacks on religious liberty are things that happen elsewhere in the world, not in the United States,” he notes. “We just want to show that it actually happens with increasing and alarming regularity here in the United States.”
Liberty Institute President Kelly Shackelford and FRC President Tony Perkins are presenting the study before the Republican Party Convention platform committee to raise that awareness.
I’ve been very skeptical about claims made by the religious right concerning discrimination against and bigotry towards Christians. However, this report is based on an audacious claim – 600+ incidents of hostility towards religion? Documented and published? As a matter of due diligence I figured I owed it to myself to check out the report. I downloaded the report. It’s 135 breezy pages long consisting of short summaries of instances the authors identify as hostility to religion and citations (either the case information or links to online news reports). The report is helpfully broken down in sections based on what type of hostility the authors deemed to have occurred (i.e. public expressions of faith, in schools, workplaces, about monuments and public displays, etc.)
I picked a few cases at random. Read the rest of this entry »
Given that the Republican party has been indulging in some of the most absurd antics imaginable and are actively pursuing policies that hurt women, I can’t figure out for the life of me why American women aren’t unbelievably, publicly, and undeniably angrier.
EJ Graf – pondering something similar – posted at The American Prospect:
My world has changed since I first came out in the Mesozoic era. Back then, I thought women were easily on the road to full equality, and could rest. Making it possible to introduce “my friend” without fear was far more exciting. That’s flipped. Now it feels as if I’ve won as a lesbian, but that as a woman, things have been utterly static and sometimes worse. Toy aisles are far more gendered than when I was young. There is less access to abortion than when I was young. The gendered wage gap has been effectively stagnant for about fifteen years. I could go on. I deeply hope that the ferment of the past months means, as Linda Hirshman suggests, that the women’s movement, that sleeping beauty, is reawakening.
Is there a point at which American are going to get fed up with a government that is too often actively hostile to their interests and needs, that allows men to pontificate about women’s lives and pass laws that affect women’s every day freedoms? Are we at or past that tipping point?
Back in 2008, pondering yet another Utah scandelette over the sex, I wrote:
There’s a tendency to believe that if the speaker in question . . . means what she says in all seriousness that we are required to treat it seriously. But some claims are simply unserious. Treating them as if they are meaningful or serious does not make them so. It also makes it difficult to sort out what to do in response to the truly serious – i.e. teens in Davis county texting each other nude pictures of themselves.[snip]
Not all concerns about morality are of equal value or weight. That an adult would be so offended by a window display in a shopping mall that she feels she must write a letter to the editor is laughable. Like the people who were mortally offended at Janet Jackson’s boob during the Super Bowl (and who demanded that such family entertainment not be besmirched by boobs) the complaint does not deserve to be treated with any seriousness.
I was reminded of that post when I heard the story on KSL of the parents in Kaysville who were upset because a local shop window displayed lingerie – near a movie theatre. Some daft person from a group calling itself Women for Decency was mentioned in the article: Read the rest of this entry »
Just as you think there might be a slim chance of making Utah liquor laws more reasonable, you wake up in the morning and read this (SLTrib.com):
A proposal to scan the driver licenses of bar patrons and keep it on file in a state law enforcement database is a good start, says Senate President Michael Waddoups, but he wants to see the program go further.
Waddoups, R-Taylorsville, says he wants to see the database idea start with private clubs, but extend to restaurants that serve diners beer and liquor.
That would greatly expand the scope of the data collection and create a new requirement for restaurants, which are not required to have people sign up as members in order to serve beer and liquor. There are fewer than 400 clubs and taverns and nearly 1,100 restaurants licensed to serve alcohol.
So Senator Waddoups wants a record maintained of people who are doing a perfectly legal activity? And why? Get ready to spit your coffee:
“In a restaurant, if they’re serving alcohol, the person ordering the alcohol should show the ID,” said Waddoups, who was receiving a demonstration of the license scanners after the Legislature’s budget meeting Friday. “At some point, the restaurant would feed [the information] into the central database.”
That way, he said, if the restaurant patron left the restaurant and went to a bar, the bartender could know the customer may have already been drinking and might need to be watched more closely.
Okay, I go back to my original belief that they need to administer IQ tests before people can serve in elected office.
Not only is this new idea extremely burdensome to businesses, it certainly would be found to violate individual rights of privacy. Let’s see now, what other legal activities can we keep track of people doing?
And tourists? Well, they’ll stay away in droves once they find out we’re going to keep their names in our Big Brother law enforcement database of bad evil people who drink a glass of wine with dinner.
If you read only one article this week, read this one:
Suddenly, the doctor was at the door to my mother’s room again. He waved me out into the hall. He needed a medical directive. Immediately. Her vital signs were tanking. If we were going to put a tube in her, and put her on machines that could breathe for her, it had to be now. Right now. So it fell to me to walk back into my mother’s room, tell her she was going to die, and lay out her rather limited options. She could be put under and put on machines and live for a day or two in a coma, long enough for her other two children to get down to Tucson and say their good-byes, which she wouldn’t be able to hear. Or she could live for maybe another six hours if she continued to wear an oxygen mask that forced air into her lungs with so much force it made her whole body convulse. Or she could take the mask off and suffocate to death. Slowly, painfully, over an hour or two.
It was her choice.
“No mask,” she said, “no pain.”
Her nurse promised to give her enough morphine to deaden any pain she might feel after my mother made her choice: She would take off the mask. She would go now. I told the doctor and then ran sobbing—no longer trying to hold it together—into the waiting room to get my stepfather, my sister, and my aunt. Things were worse than they were five minutes ago. Get in here, I said, get in here now.
We said our good-byes—doesn’t that sound dignified? But her mask was still on and her body still convulsing. Good-byes reduced my affable stepfather to wracking sobs; good-byes sent me and my sister falling to the floor beside our mother’s deathbed. We held a phone up to my mother’s ear so she could hear one of my brothers shout his good-bye over the whir and thump of the oxygen machine, while we tried desperately to get my other brother on the phone . . . [Snip}
Then my mother was ready. The mask came off, she held tight to our hands, and the morphine went in. Her grip slackened. My mother was still alive, in there somewhere, beyond our reach. Was she in pain? We don’t know. She couldn’t talk to us now, or focus on us, but she was awake, her eyes open. She gasped for breath, again and again, and we sat there, traumatized, waiting for her heart to stop, waiting for the very first sound that I had ever heard—my mother’s heart beating—to go silent.
People must accept death at “the hour chosen by God,” according to Pope Benedict XVI, leader of the Catholic Church, which is pouring money into the campaign against I-1000.
The hour chosen by God? What does that even mean? Without the intervention of man—and medical science—my mother would have died years earlier. And at the end, even without assisted suicide as an option, my mother had to make her choices. Two hours with the mask off? Six with the mask on? Another two days hooked up to machines? Once things were hopeless, she chose the quickest, if not the easiest, exit. Mask off, two hours. That was my mother’s choice, not God’s.
Did my mother commit suicide? I wonder what the pope might say.
I know what my mother would say: The same church leaders who can’t manage to keep priests from raping children aren’t entitled to micromanage the final moments of our lives.
If religious people believe assisted suicide is wrong, they have a right to say so. Same for gay marriage and abortion. They oppose them for religious reasons, but it’s somehow not enough for them to deny those things to themselves. They have to rush into your intimate life and deny them to you, too—deny you control over your own reproductive organs, deny you the spouse of your choosing, condemn you to pain (or the terror of it) at the end of your life.
The proper response to religious opposition to choice or love or death can be reduced to a series of bumper stickers: Don’t approve of abortion? Don’t have one. Don’t approve of gay marriage? Don’t have one. Don’t approve of physician-assisted suicide? For Christ’s sake, don’t have one. But don’t tell me I can’t have one—each one—because it offends your God.
Fuck your God.
At it’s core, it’s about choice isn’t it and the Religious Right wants to make our choices for us.
“We are here to stand up for the unborn, to stand up against the dogs of hate who defend abortion on demand,” Wimmer said. [snip]
The supporters said the cost of the fight will not be an issue. Wimmer said that a group based out of Washington, D.C., which he would not identify, has committed to doing all of the legal work defending the bill for the state.
Cause, you know, that can’t turn out badly for Utah. **cough**Vouchers**cough**
What is Carl Wimmer smoking? “Dogs of hate who defend abortion on demand”? Is that some kind of free association quote from the AmTaliban Weekly Reader?
The news that Bristol Palin, age 17, is five months pregnant has, to say the least, focused attention on questions of sexuality education (her mother, Republican VP candidate, current Governor of Alaska, is on record supporting abstinence-only), and reproductive freedom (the Governer opposes abortion except in the exceedingly rare circumstances it is necessary to save the mother’s life). The Palin’s claim that Bristol “chose to keep the baby.” As Ann at Feministing points out:
In reality, Bristol’s actual “choice” was probably not whether to terminate the pregnancy or carry it to term, but whether raise the child herself or put it up for adoption.
Debra Haffner says: