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May 17, 2012

Oakland considering law making it illegal to carry shields, paint, or lighter fluid

The law would define shields as a weapon, which seems like a complete perversion of thought. Oakland law targets violent protesters - Inside Bay Area
OAKLAND -- A proposed law would make it easier for police to arrest Occupy Oakland agitators by prohibiting them from possessing their weapons of choice at protests. The proposal would make it a misdemeanor to bring a host of items to protests including shields, fire accelerant and pressurized paint sprayers that several Occupy members have used against police officers and on private property. Rather than having to catch Occupy agitators in the act of damaging property or using the makeshift weapons, police would be able to arrest protesters they saw carrying the prohibited items, potentially weeding out agitators before protests get violent. "It's not the end all be all, but it does provide an extra tool that makes it more likely that vandals will get arrested," said Councilwoman Pat Kernighan, who heads the council's Public Safety Commission that will take up the proposal on Tuesday. Occupy Oakland member Mike King feared the law would give police greater latitude to search protesters and lead to even stricter prohibitions. "It's just a way of controlling and manipulating what should be constitutionally permitted forms of protest," he said. Attorneys with the ACLU and National Lawyers Guild did not return calls Wednesday. . . . Those arrested under the ordinance would face up to six months in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
*via Susie Cagle on Twitter*

Erotica publisher claims book banning is a violation of First Amendment rights

I'm pretty sure he's wrong. I don't think the First Amendment forces libraries to carry your crappy Twilight fanfic BDSM pap. '50 Shades of Grey' Publisher -- Library Bans Are Unconstitutional | TMZ.com
The publisher behind the steamy New York Times bestseller "50 Shades of Grey" is coming out swinging against libraries that have banned the book -- claiming the censorship violates readers' First Amendment rights. A rep for Random House tells TMZ, the publishing house "fervently opposes literary censorship and supports the First Amendment rights of readers to make their own reading choices." The book, in case you don't know, is about a man and his sex slave in Seattle -- hooray! -- and libraries in Georgia, Wisconsin, and Florida have already banned it due to its racy content.

May 11, 2012

U.S. Military is teaching officers to go to war with all of Islam

We aren't at war with Islam. We aren't at war with 99% of Muslims. We are actually allies with quite a bit of the Middle East. Teaching young, impressionable officers this religious persecution Crusader-esque hate speech does a fundamental injustice to our military. It makes us weaker, because it makes us stupid. For a more in-depth look, check out Jeff Sharlet's Harper's piece, "Jesus Killed Mohammed: The crusade for a Christian military.". U.S. Military Taught Officers: Use 'Hiroshima' Tactics for 'Total War' on Islam | Danger Room | Wired.com

May 09, 2012

The last time North Carolina amended their constitution on marriage it was to ban interracial marriage

And today they made gay marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships double illegal. Does it ever feel just when the majority strips rights that they enjoy from a minority group? Twitter / @thinkprogress: FACT: Last time North Caro ...

May 04, 2012

Judge rules you can be fired for "liking" the wrong thing on Facebook

Some employees liked on Facebook the page of a man who was running against their boss for office. So he fired them. The employees maintain that the "like" on Facebook is speech and should be protected. But the judge says that the "like" isn't speech and so it was perfectly legal to fire them. Judge rules that you can be fired for "Liking" the wrong thing on Facebook
As November 2009 elections loomed, B.J. Roberts, the sheriff of Hampton, Va., allegedly learned that six of his employees were actively supporting one of his opponents in the election, Jim Adams. Several employees had recently expressed their support for Adams by clicking the "like" function on Adams' Facebook page and by attending a barbeque fundraiser. . . . Roberts then called a department meeting in which he advised the staff to get on the "long train" which him, rather than ride the "short train" with Adams, according to the six employees' complaint. After Roberts won re-election, he fired several employees, including three civilian workers and three uniformed deputy sheriffs who supported Adams. These six booted workers, thinking their Facebook 'Like' was the cause of their dismissal, sued Roberts for violating their First Amendment rights. Their position: a Facebook 'Like' is protected free speech. U.S. District Judge Raymond Jackson's position: It is the Court's conclusion that merely "liking" a Facebook page is insufficient speech to merit constitutional protection. In cases where courts have found that constitutional speech protections extended to Facebook posts, actual statements existed within the record.