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July 12, 2012

Verizon claims First Amendment gives it the right to censor the internet

Verizon Wireless wants to 'edit' your Internet access | Politics, Policy, and Technology - CNET News
What if your wireless provider gave you Internet access and search results according to what it decided was a "priority"? As a Verizon Wireless customer, I'm furious at the idea that it would "pick favorites" over what I was actually looking for -- especially if it was an emergency. But that's just what Verizon is fighting in court to do right now. Verizon has filed a brief (Verizon vs. FCC) with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit for the "freedom" to edit your Internet, dear customer. If you think this would remain a Verizon issue, think again. If Verizon gatecrashes Internet access filtering, you better bet that other ISPs will hustle to get on the train to sell Internet "priority" spots to the highest bidders. This comes at the same time that Verizon is set to win approval from the FCC, according to reports, in an airwave buyback deal from a group of cable companies (including Time Warner and Comcast). Only the U.S. Justice Department can block the deal. Verizon is suing to have the FCC's net neutrality order thrown out -- and it's not the first time, as Verizon was quick to challenge the FCC about this very issue in 2011 when the FCC first set such rules. . . .

July 02, 2012

Florida cop refuses to let rape victim take emergency contraception on "religious grounds"

Because cruelly forcing a woman to carry her rapists child to term is more empathetic and loving and Christ-like than allowing her to have contraception. In Florida. Theocracy in a Florida Jail -- The Legal Satyricon
A woman, identified only as “R.W.” went to a rape crisis center in Tampa. She got a pair of morning-after pills, you know, so she wouldn’t have to suffer through a rape AND 9 months of carrying the rapist’s child. She then went to the police station to report the rape. Thereafter, a TPD officer accompanied Plaintiff back to the scene ofthe crime to investigate. (Dkt. 16, at 31). At some point, however, the officer discovered that Plaintiff was the subject of an arrestwarrant for failure to appearand failure to pay restitution. After making this discovery, the officer arrested Plaintiff and took her to the Hillsborough County Jail on OrientRoad in Tampa, Florida (hereinafter “Jail”). The remaining anti-conception pill was taken from Plaintiff upon her arrival at the Jail. (Op. at 2). Yeah, that’s bad enough, right? End the story here and the cops are fucking douchebags. It gets worse. She had already popped her first morning after pill. The second one had to be taken 12 hours later. Since she happened to be in jail, she had to ask her captor for the second pill. When R.W. asked for her second pill, Hillsborough County Jail “private contractor” Michele Spinelli refused on religious grounds. Plaintiff remained in jail overnight,and the next morning requested the anti-conception pill from Spinelli explained thatthe doctor atthe Rape Crisis Center had prescribed it to ensure that Plaintiffdid not become pregnant as the resultofthe rape. (Dkt. 16, at 138). In response, “Spinelli told the Plaintiffthat Spinelli would not give herthe pill because it was against her (Spinelli’s) religious beliefs.” (Dkt. 16, at p 39). (Op. at 2) She did not get pregnant, but she did sue — as she should have.

June 06, 2012

It's 2012 and teachers are still being fired just for being gay

Cincinnati Teacher Hired Then Fired When School Found Out He Is Gay | ThinkProgress
Music teacher John Zeng says that several hours after being hired at Cincinatti Hills Christian Academy, he was called back by school officials and asked if he is gay. When he asked why that was relevant, they replied that the school has a policy of not employing gay teachers. “What they did was very painful,” Zeng said. “I hope that many of their school families and supporters don’t feel that way.” School officials refuse to answer questions about the incident.