New ACLU Report And Web Hub Reveal Rise In Political Spying Across United States

http://www.aclu.org/free-speech-national-security/new-aclu-report-and-web-hub-reveal-rise-political-spying-across-united

June 29, 2010

Review Finds Incidents In At Least 33 States

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (202) 675-2312 or media@dcaclu.org

WASHINGTON – Political surveillance and harassment by U.S. law enforcement agencies are on the rise with incidents reported in at least 33 states since 9/11, according to a review published today by the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU also announced the launch of a new “Spyfiles” web hub on domestic political surveillance, which will serve as a comprehensive resource on domestic spying.

Political spying – rampant during the Cold War under the FBI’s COINTELPRO, the CIA’s Operation Chaos and other programs – has experienced a steady resurgence in the years following 9/11 as state and local law enforcement are being urged by federal law enforcement agencies to participate in counterterrorism practices.

“In our country, under our Constitution, the authorities aren’t allowed to spy on you unless they have specific and individual suspicion that you are doing something illegal,” said Michael German, ACLU Policy Counsel and former FBI Special Agent. “Unfortunately, law enforcement in our country seems to be reverting to certain old, bad behaviors when it comes to political surveillance. Our review of these practices has found that Americans have been put under surveillance or harassed by the police just for deciding to organize, march, protest, espouse unusual viewpoints and engage in normal, innocuous behaviors such as writing notes or taking photographs in public.”

The ACLU released its report of 111 incidents in 33 states and the District of Columbia in conjunction with the launch of its new “Spyfiles” web hub on domestic political surveillance, which will serve as a major new resource on domestic spying for the benefit of reporters, researchers, bloggers and any other interested members of the public. It will include a database of documents obtained through state and federal open-records requests as well as links to news reports and other relevant materials.

“In a democracy, there is no place for political spying or surveillance or the collection of information about routine daily activities of citizens by government,” said German. “The ACLU has been warning against domestic political spying for several years now. From our lawsuits against Defense Department spying in the middle of the past decade, to our work on fusion centers, to our ongoing close cooperation with our affiliates in states across the nation to monitor and combat these activities, the ACLU is determined to prevent the emergence of a domestic secret police apparatus in this country.”

United States law enforcement agencies, from the FBI to local police, have a long history of spying on American citizens and infiltrating or otherwise obstructing political activist groups.

“We are determined to prevent the emergence of a domestic secret police apparatus in this country,” said German. “Yet, as the ACLU’s report shows, these activities continue to take place with a regularity that shows there are systemic problems at work that must be monitored closely.”

The ACLU’s review of domestic surveillance incidents can be found at: www.aclu.org/free-speech-national-security/policing-free-speech-police-surveillance-and-obstruction-first-amendme

The ACLU’s Spyfiles page can be found at: www.aclu.org/spyfiles

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Culture Wars? Restart? WTF? WTF?

The Christo-Nazis over at National Organization for Heterosexist Marriage put up their oh so predictable spew hatred in reaction to yesterday’s court ruling that it was un-American and un-Constitutional to deny married LGBT/T people their Constitutionally guaranteed equal rights.

Please note the highlighted text:

NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MARRIAGE DECRIES
BOSTON FEDERAL JUDGE’S DECISION
STRIKING DOWN THE DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT

“A Boston judge has no moral right to decide the marriage question for the people of the U.S.”
– Brian Brown, President, National Organization for Marriage

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) released the following statements today in response to a federal judge in Boston ruling the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional.

“Under the guidance of Elena Kagan’s brief that she filed when she was Solicitor General, Obama’s justice department deliberately sabotaged this case,” charged Brian Brown, President of NOM, referring to the Justice Department’s brief which described DOMA as discriminatory. Despite the explicit language in DOMA that the law was designed to protect children’s right to their mothers and fathers, the judge disavowed that DOMA has anything to do with responsible procreation. “With only Obama to defend DOMA, this federal judge has taken the extraordinary step of overturning a law passed by huge bipartisan majorities and signed into law by Pres. Clinton in 1996. A single federal judge in Boston has no moral right to decide the definition of marriage for the people of the United States,” Brown continued.

“Does this federal judge want to start another culture war?” asked Maggie Gallagher, Chairman of NOM. “Does he really want another Roe. v. Wade? The simple fact is that the right of the federal government to define marriage for the purposes of its federal law and federal territories has been clear since the late 19th century, when Congress banned polygamy. Only an incompetent defense could have lost this case. We expect to win in a higher court.”

Start another culture war?  This sounds like fascist every where decrying movements for social justice everywhere.

You just know when they talk about traditional values they are talking about women being subservient to men, sodomy being illegal, no birth control, no abortion as well as Jim Crow laws to keep black folks in their places.  They never let go of red baiting and black listing.

You know one thing for certain.  Unions are not part of their vision of the good old days nor is the GI Bill because they hate everything associated with the New Deal.

The Culture War has always existed.  It is just that those in power have used every possible means to squash the liberation movements that grew out of the Civil Rights struggle and the movements of the 1960s and 70s.

Culture War…  Bring it on…  I’m tired of being ruled by KKKonservative Fascist Family Values.

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3.3 Million Americans Will Have Lost Unemployment Benefits by Month’s End

From Fire Dog Lake:

By: emptywheel Friday July 9, 2010 11:40 am

More than one percent of all Americans — 3.3 million people — will have lost their unemployment benefits by month’s end if Congress doesn’t pass an extension of long-term benefits.

Continue reading at:  http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2010/07/09/one-percent-of-all-americans-will-have-lost-unemployment-by-months-end/

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GLMA, NCLR Urge Investigation of Alleged Misuse of Prenatal Drug to Manipulate Sexual Orientation

“We know that it isn’t being done solely to prevent lesbianism, but our
concern is that the possibility of preventing lesbianism is being used
as a draw. Doctors and scientists shouldn’t play into and reinforce
homophobia to lure people into their studies. For a doctor to use fear
of our community to convince people to pursue or to not pursue a certain
course of treatment is unacceptable and unethical.” Kate Kendell,
Executive Director National Center for Lesbian Rights

(San Francisco, CA, July 7, 2010)—Today, the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association and the National Center for Lesbian Rights respond to the recent article published by the Bioethics Forum of the Hastings Center, a nonpartisan bioethics institute, investigating the abuse of the steroid dexamethasone by administering the drug to pregnant women in the attempt to prevent female children from having atypical genitals or from growing up to be lesbian.

A statement from The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association and the National Center for Lesbian Rights:

“The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association and the National Center for Lesbian Rights are deeply concerned by recent reports that some medical providers have subjected pregnant women and children to serious medical risks by administering or recommending prenatal dexamethasone in order to prevent female children from having atypical genitals or from growing up to be lesbian. We strongly condemn such treatments as unethical and morally reprehensible. The goal of medical treatment is to alleviate human suffering and illness—not to stamp out the natural diversity of human existence. We urge the Department of Health and Human Services to take immediate action to investigate these allegations.”

The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.
www.nclrights.org.

The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association’s mission is to ensure equality in health care for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and health care providers.
www.glma.org.

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Friday Night Fun and Culture

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Happy Birthday You’re Fired!!!

Say what?

I was terminated last night.

I had worked at this place for over three years and had two promotions.  I went from working as an associate to being a shift supervisor and then a senior shift supervisor.

I was being praised by both those under me and those above me right up to the termination.

Since April I had been working as Event Manager, a position I was never trained for.  During that period I received scant assistance or instruction yet I did the job.  I put in 10 and on a couple of occasions 12 hour days.

Even though the position of Event Manager was never internally posted I applied for it.  After all I was doing the job without any training, I had experience. I had risen from the ranks. But in the corporate fascist state merit is not a basis for reward.

The hired someone from outside and have spent the last month training her as well as seeing she has every possible tool to succeed  whereas they gave me none of that and set me up to fail.

I watched as the company purged people who had worked several years or longer as event managers or shift supervisors.

We were placed in gotcha positions where we were screwed one way or another. Hard, deep and dry.  No matter how hard we worked or how honest we are we have found ourselves labeled as dishonest.

All so the corporate suits do not have to pay un-employment compensation.

Ironically I was thanked and praised for all my hard work and for my ability to keep the operation running during the period after they terminated the woman who had been event manager.  This dick then turned around and fired me in a way that hurt me more than just about any other thing he could do. He challenged my honesty.  He even told me that my putting down a lunch break and then working through it was a reflection not of my diligence but rather of my dishonesty.

Come the Revolution…

I spoke with the woman who had been my supervisor prior to being fired and learned that the reasons for her termination were as bogus as mine.

Suck it up, It don’t mean nothing…  And people wonder why I hate the Capitalist Pigs.

We need unions to prevent the corporations from fucking us.  And the unions need to include the lower management people.