Feds: Privacy Does Not Exist in ‘Public Places’

From Wired: http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/09/public-privacy/#ixzz10ELMkW00

By David Kravets

The Obama administration has urged a federal appeals court to allow the government, without a court warrant, to affix GPS devices on suspects’ vehicles to track their every move.

The Justice Department is demanding a federal appeals court rehear a case in which it reversed the conviction and life sentence of a cocaine dealer whose vehicle was tracked via GPS for a month, without a court warrant. The authorities then obtained warrants to search and find drugs in the locations where defendant Antoine Jones had travelled.

The administration, in urging the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to reverse a three-judge panel’s August ruling from the same court, said Monday that Americans should expect no privacy while in public.

“The panel’s conclusion that Jones had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the public movements of his Jeep rested on the premise that an individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy in the totality of his or her movements in public places, ” Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Smith wrote the court in a petition for rehearing.

Read More http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/09/public-privacy/#ixzz10ELMkW00

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Feds: Privacy Does Not Exist in ‘Public Places’

Bitter Tales from the Massive White Underclass in Joe Bageant’s “Redneck” Memoir

I write more about class than most LGBT/T folks do.  That’s because I grew up poor and working class.  Awareness of my working class roots is why I am a leftist.

When I come across a book that relates to the class structure and class oppression, well that’s a book I’m going to want to read.  Joe Bageant’s book isn’t out yet here in the US and the link on Alternet takes you to Amazon UK.

From Alternet: http://www.alternet.org/books/148237/bitter_tales_from_the_massive_white_underclass_in_joe_bageant%27s_%22redneck%22_memoir/

“Economic, political, and social culture in America is staggering under the sheer weight of its white underclass, which now numbers some sixty million.”
September 20, 2010 |

The following is an excerpt from the introduction of Joe Bageant’s new book Rainbow Pie: A Redneck Memoir (Portobello Press, 2010).

The United States has always maintained a white underclass — citizens whose role in the greater scheme of things has been to cushion national economic shocks through the disposability of their labor, with occasional time off to serve as bullet magnets in defense of the Empire. Until the post-World War II era, the existence of such an underclass was widely acknowledged. During the U.S. Civil War, for instance, many northern abolitionists also called for the liberation of ‘four million miserable white southerners held in bondage by the wealthy planter class’. Planter elites, who often held several large plantations which, together, constituted much or most of a county’s economy, saw to it that poor whites got no schools, money, or political power. Poll taxes and literacy requirements kept white subsistence farmers and poor laborers from entering voting booths. Often accounting for up to 70 per cent of many deep-southern counties, they could not vote, and thus could never challenge the status quo.

Today, almost nobody in the social sciences seems willing to touch the subject of America’s large white underclass; or, being firmly placed in the true middle class themselves, can even agree that such a thing exists. Apparently, you can’t smell the rabble from the putting green.

Public discussion of this class remains off limits, deemed hyperbole and the stuff of dangerous radical leftists. And besides, as everyone agrees, white people cannot be an underclass. We’re the majority, dammit. You must be at least one shade darker than a paper bag to officially qualify as a member of any underclass. The middle and upper classes generally agree, openly or tacitly, that white Americans have always had an advantage (which has certainly been the middle- and upper-class experience). Thus, in politically correct circles, either liberal or conservative, the term ‘white underclass’ is an oxymoron. Sure, there are working-poor whites, but not that many, and definitely not enough to be called a white underclass, much less an American peasantry.

Economic, political, and social culture in America is staggering under the sheer weight of its white underclass, which now numbers some sixty million. Generally unable to read at a functional level, they are easily manipulated by corporate-political interests to vote against advances in health and education, and even more easily mustered in support of any proposed military conflict, aggressive or otherwise. One-third of their children are born out of wedlock, and are unemployable by any contemporary industrialized-world standard. Even if we were to bring back their jobs from China and elsewhere — a damned unlikely scenario — they would be competing at a wage scale that would not meet even their basic needs. Low skilled, and with little understanding of the world beyond either what is presented to them by kitschy and simplistic television, movie, and other media entertainments, or their experience as armed grunts in foreign combat, the future of the white underclass not only looks grim, but permanent.

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/books/148237/bitter_tales_from_the_massive_white_underclass_in_joe_bageant%27s_%22redneck%22_memoir/

Posted in Class War, Discrimination, Economic Issues, Employment, Poverty. Comments Off on Bitter Tales from the Massive White Underclass in Joe Bageant’s “Redneck” Memoir

Jill Johnston, Critic Who Wrote ‘Lesbian Nation,’ Dies at 81

In the first few years after Stonewall, Jill Johnston, then a writer for The Village Voice gave words of poetic and sometimes crazy wisdom to a movement that was crunchy, furry and non-conformist.  When others presented a corporate semi-assimilationist face she was a blue jean and sandal wearing hippie who dressed like she too shopped in thrift and vintage clothing stores.

At times filled with the sort of rage Ginsberg called “the rage to live, the rage to be saved”.  Beat, hippie creative artist and writer full of passion and anger, some time inner directed.  She was a contradiction.

She spoke at the Women’s Building and I had the pleasure of hearing her speak.

Photo: Suzan Cooke:  Jill Johnston, LA Women’s Building Circa 1978

From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/21/arts/21johnston.html?_r=1&ref=obituaries

Published: September 21, 2010

Jill Johnston, a longtime cultural critic for The Village Voice whose daring, experimental prose style mirrored the avant-garde art she covered and whose book “Lesbian Nation: The Feminist Solution”spearheaded the lesbian separatist movement of the early 1970s, died in Hartford on Saturday. She was 81 and lived in Sharon, Conn.

The cause was a stroke, her spouse, Ingrid Nyeboe, said.

Ms. Johnston started out as a dance critic, but in the pages of The Voice, which hired her in 1959, she embraced the avant-garde as a whole, including happenings and multimedia events.

“I had a forum obviously set up for covering or perpetrating all manner of outrage,” she wrote in a biographical statement on her Web site, jilljohnston.com.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/21/arts/21johnston.html?_r=1&ref=obituaries

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Jill Johnston, Critic Who Wrote ‘Lesbian Nation,’ Dies at 81

Senate repeal of ban on gays in military falters

There is no such thing as a decent Republican.  All Republicans are scum.  Lickspittles for the ultra right wing rich bigots and racists.

From Raw Story: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/09/senate-repeal-ban-gays-military-falters/

By The Associated Press
Tuesday, September 21st, 2010 — 1:33 pm

A Senate bill to repeal the ban on gays serving openly in military appears headed for defeat

A Senate bill to repeal the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy appeared headed for defeat Tuesday, a major setback for gay groups that saw the vote as their last chance this year to overturn the 17-year-old ban.

Advocates had been optimistic that the Democratic-controlled White House and Congress could overcome objections to repeal of the law barring gays from serving openly in the military. The move is unpopular among Republicans, military officers and social conservatives.

But in the end, Senate Democrats were expected to fall at least one vote short of the 60 needed to limit debate and advance the legislation .

Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins, the only Republican to support repealing the law and widely seen as the crucial 60th vote, announced Tuesday that she would not support advancing the bill because Democrats wouldn’t allow the Republicans sufficient leeway to offer amendments.

Continue reading at:   http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/09/senate-repeal-ban-gays-military-falters/

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Senate repeal of ban on gays in military falters

GOP House hopeful Jim Russell praised racist practices, advocated eugenics in 2001 essay

I have been repeatedly scolded by conservative “True Transsexuals” for calling Republicans on their basic Nazi impulses.  I have had the ridiculous “Godwin’s Law” (the one that lack a corollary injunction regarding Red Baiting) thrown at me so many times I think it is a rule made up by Nazis to prevent criticism of their Nazi like behavior and thinking.

But when people advocate racism or for that matter anti-LGBT/T hatred and discrimination, including advocating execution of LGBT/T folks what else can one call them?  If the jack boot fit I say make them wear it.

Some of these ugly hateful bastards ought to have swastikas carved into their foreheads ala “Inglorious Basterds” so that the world would see them for what they are.

From Raw Story: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/09/republican-house-hopeful-jim-russell-exposed-racist-writings/

By Stephen C. Webster
Monday, September 20th, 2010 — 8:25 pm

A New York Republican hoping to displace the long-serving Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey will face an increasingly steep climb to electoral victory thanks to a revelation by Politico’s Maggie Haberman, who dug up some of his published works and noted a number of distinctly racist elements in a 2001 piece published by the right-wing Occidental Quarterly.

Jim Russell, who enjoys the support of his state’s Republican Party and conservative establishment, has maintained a strongly anti-immigrant stance in his campaign against Lowey, who defeated him in 2008.

The same could be said of his 2001 essay for Occidental [PDF link], titled “The Western Contribution to World History,” which advises parents to establish “appropriate ethnic boundaries” for their children, and criticizes the film “Save the Last Dance” for depicting an interracial relationship.

He also opined against the racial integration of public schools and praised two individuals for their antisemitic ideas on how to limit the spread of Jews.

Continue reading at: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/09/republican-house-hopeful-jim-russell-exposed-racist-writings/

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on GOP House hopeful Jim Russell praised racist practices, advocated eugenics in 2001 essay

Report: FBI tailed Iowa groups

Sometimes it seems like we are living in one of those Hollywood suspense movies like “Enemy of the State” or “V for Vendetta”, a virtual panopticon where the state knows your every thought, where you go and what you buy or read.  Then when you convince yourself that you are only being paranoid the truth comes out and you learn you were being surveilled  by secret police who have spied on the most innocuous meetings and activities you can imagine.  Not only that but they have compiled a dossier regarding your thoughts and activities.

From Omaha World Herald: http://www.omaha.com/article/20100920/NEWS01/709209903/501#report-fbi-tailed-iowa-groups

Published Monday September 20, 2010

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — New FBI documents show agents did extensive surveillance of Iowa City protest groups before the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn. — including documenting the comings and goings of activists.

The FBI counter-terrorism records show political activists were secretly photographed and FBI agents staked out their homes. Agents went through activists’ garbage and their cell phone and motor vehicle records. The records also show other law enforcement officials documented activists as they visited libraries, food stores, restaurants, taverns and a church.

Continue reading at:  http://www.omaha.com/article/20100920/NEWS01/709209903/501#report-fbi-tailed-iowa-groups