Alaska Dispatch News
July 1, 2015
Summer recess can come none too soon for the U.S. Supreme Court—some of those folks clearly need a timeout.
The dissents of Justices Antonin Scalia and John Roberts to last week’s decision on the same-sex marriage for Obergefell v. Hodges removed any doubt these supposed judicial leaders of our society have fallen into “partisan rancor” that “impedes their ability to carry out their functions.” Ironically, those are the words of Chief Justice Roberts describing the dysfunction of Congress in a speech in 2014.
Scalia sounded like a petulant teenager when he said (because he didn’t like the reasoning of the majority of his colleagues) he would “hide his head in a bag” if he were to join in such an opinion of the court written by five of the nine top jurists in the country. And the learned Scalia wrote “Huh?” in his dissent — expressing his puzzlement with the majority ruling. “Huh” in a U.S. Supreme Court opinion?
Thousands, including parents, babies and dogs, flocked to the Supreme Court after its ruling on same-sex marriage. Supporters spoke about how they thought the ruling helped maintain and support families.
THIS is a strange moment for sex in America. We’ve detached it from pregnancy, matrimony and, in some circles, romance. At least, we no longer assume that intercourse signals the start of a relationship. But the more casual sex becomes, the more we demand that our institutions and government police the line between what’s consensual and what isn’t. And we wonder how to define rape. Is it a violent assault or a violation of personal autonomy? Is a person guilty of sexual misconduct if he fails to get a clear “yes” through every step of seduction and consummation?
According to the doctrine of affirmative consent — the “yes means yes” rule — the answer is, well, yes, he is. And though most people think of “yes means yes” as strictly for college students, it is actually poised to become the law of the land.
About a quarter of all states, and the District of Columbia, now say sex isn’t legal without positive agreement, although some states undercut that standard by requiring proof of force or resistance as well.
Clarence, we all get that you’re hating on anything that liberals like. Government that exists above the level of anarchy, more rights than a medieval Russian serf, free access to oxygen, etc., etc.
The notion that enslavement does not involve the loss of your dignity and humanity? And you wrote that down on paper and published it for the world to see?
This is a vision into the interior of a deranged mind, filled with nothing but reflexive anger and hatred. When human beings are chained up and sold as objects - that, by definition, costs them their humanity. When they are whipped, raped, tortured, worked to death - that is the very essence of loss of dignity.
Clarence (I will not call him Justice Thomas any further, since whatever principles he adheres to no longer have anything to do with Justice) seems to believe in the fiction that some noble slaves were able to perservere and hold their heads up high with dignity
This is in keeping with the whole right-wing myth that everyone can just pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, if they aren’t shiftless and lazy, and just work hard.
It is a belief that is only possible if someone is either demented, or willfully delusional. Magical thinking.
Of course it was upheld. More good cause for celebration today. Clearly this is a court well able to confuse or enable the right or the left. Bush V Gore, Citizens V United, Second Amendment, The ACA, and now Marriage Equality. Any and all claims the court is utterly beholden to one side or the other are now largely discredited.
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on Friday that it is legal for all Americans, no matter their gender or sexual orientation, to marry the people they love.
The decision is a historic victory for gay rights activists who have fought for years in the lower courts. Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia already recognize marriage equality. The remaining 13 states ban these unions, even as public support has reached record levels nationwide.
The justices found that under the 14th Amendment, states must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and recognize same-sex unions that were legally performed in other states. Justice Anthony Kennedy delivered the majority opinion and was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Stephen G. Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor.
The lead plaintiff in Obergefell v. Hodges is Ohio resident Jim Obergefell, who wanted to be listed as the surviving spouse on his husband’s death certificate. In 2013, Obergefell married his partner of two decades, John Arthur, who suffered from ALS. Arthur passed away in October of that year, three months after the couple filed their lawsuit.
In case you missed the presser.
A good read.
What led to McKinney, Texas, Police Corporal Eric Casebolt’s unnecessarily aggressive approach to breaking up a crowd of predominantly black teens at a pool party last week? As I wrote previously, police training that emphasizes a Warrior mentality likely contributed, and implicit racial bias may also have played a role. But there was perhaps another factor, one that’s too often overlooked: stress.
Let me be clear: Corporal Casebolt’s actions were profoundly inappropriate; the McKinney Police Chief accurately described his actions as “out of control” and “indefensible.” In no way am I attempting to absolve him. But according to his attorney, Corporal Casebolt responded to the pool party after dealing with two different suicide calls earlier that day, including one in which a man publicly shot himself in the head. That’s extremely telling. Taking officer stress seriously could have potentially prevented the McKinney debacle.
The law enforcement culture has a deep and abiding regard for bravery, resilience, and strength. Officers are expected to take care of business, to keep it together and do what they need to do. They are supposed to handle each call—no matter how stressful, disturbing, or emotional—and go onto the next without missing a beat. Struggling to deal with the stress of the job is considered a sign of weakness, an inexcusable personal failure. Within the profession, officers who can’t handle the realities of police work may be viewed with thinly veiled distrust, if not contempt.
As a result, officers may deny—even to themselves—that the stress they’re under is getting to them. If they do recognize that they are having difficulties, they’re unlikely to share that with peers or supervisors. Officers take pride in their ability to do a tough job, a job many people simply are not cut out for, so they are often reluctant to do anything that may call into question their fitness for duty. Self-worth isn’t the only thing at risk; many officers fear that admitting to emotional difficulties will limit their opportunities for advancement or even jeopardize their careers. Even when officers realize that they are emotionally shaken, they may feel especially obligated to ignore their own infirmity when they feel that other officers are depending on them.
Surveillance Video Proves NYPD Cops Lied About Dirt Bike Wreck That Killed Driver and Left Passenger Brain Dead
How much of a lie does it take to put a cop in jail?
Newly released surveillance footage showing a New York City police car mowing down a dirt bike, leaving a 20-year-old man dead and his 17-year-old male passenger paralyzed with brain damage, proved witnesses were correct when they accused the NYPD of lying.
Now the family of the teen is suing the New York City Police Department.
The incident took place in October 2012 but the video is just now surfacing, disproving the NYPD tale that police were not pursuing the occupants on the dirt bike, but that it tried to “overtake” the police vehicle before it lost control, swerving in front of the patrol car, which was when the cops struck the bike, killing Ronald Herrera and leaving Leonel Cuevas paralyzed.
But even back then, witnesses contradicted the official police report, according to a New York Daily News article published December 10, 2012.
Perhaps the Patriot Act will finally sunset. Ya know how the bad police departments will have a work / ticket/ arrest slowdown when under political pressure? I’m waiting for the NSA or FBI to do exactly the same when their extraordinary powers diminish a bit. NSA and FBI have the most authority to lose. Might they play the circumstances to advantage? Stay tuned. Let’s not stop there, we need to take a look a touch deeper. technology is increasingly intrusive and storage limits are very temporary.
There are some new and not so new technologies involving us out in public, Legally public view where it is legal to record your presence. Sidewalk, driving, out at parks etc. In one instance the police may record and database the license plates on the public roads, limited by their resources only essentially. Which enjoy cheaper cameras and electronics same as we do. The police would argue it’s all out in public so any database and any use of that data would be legal without any probable cause. Okay I’ll give them that point. Very clear legal ground.
But what about tools like fake cell phone towers? “Stingray” These can be ground based, in a vehicle or on specially equipped aircraft sniffing up cell phone data. Metadata and content perhaps. Heck of a locator tool! Again they are making use of freely transmitted radio signals. Digital of course but not necessarily secure in any way. Again I grant the point about the nature of the signals as freely transmitted and public by nature and function. Probably 1st Amendment protected.
Public cameras such as we see in London en masse and increasingly here on highways and high density traffic areas. All public areas. It all becomes digital data files. What’s the limit?
This kinda removes my argument made in a previous page about the NSA and FBI using Patriot act and FISA powers and National Security Letters, demands really sent to ISP’s. Now we are talking about long protected ground. Same as I can go use my cameras in public spaces.
Our best legal control point is the use of the public data. i’d not argue against the use in the pursuit of a terrorist. or an armed man. Somewhere a kidnapper or armed bank robber on the run might get caught with these tools. Let’s keep that advantage for public safety.
Somewhere between terror attack conspiracies and parking enforcement we need to set some limits. We need to limit who can get that raw data. i’d say no commercial sale or release ever. I’d also argue that the data should have a time limit set after a public review, not storage capacity. I’d also ban the use of that data from civil suits like divorce and liability trials. Now let’s look that one step further. Legally, our legislators can limit the use of that data. Also legally a local authority like the state, county, city and even police departments can have policies.
Those checkpoints might either serve an unfiltered desire for shiny new tools and use them from traffic violations on up, or they can choose to set limits, certain protections for the use of this massive public database. After all they sure want certain protections for the use of the video from dash cam and uniform cameras right?
What about when budgets are tight and baby needs a shiny new helicopter or drone fleet? Those databases could be leased or sold to commercial enterprises. McDonald’s might want to know who drives right by one on the way home from work to hit that GoogleAd on your browser as you read this Page. or a divorce lawyer might be very interested in a plaintiffs trips to the strip club or an “Ashley Madison” inspired tryst. What if some enterprise put a lot of this on the cloud, just up there for browser access? Enter a license plate and backtrack many of us via freeway cams? We already have a kind of internet extortion going on with our old public arrest records being put on the web. Is that not bad enough?
At risk of a topic too nuanced for public interest or chancing Snowden/Rand Paul/ACLU issue fatigue I’d say we deserve a good public review of how public data can be used. Law enforcement first, and maybe set some precedents for the upcoming swarm of camera drones and that footage.
This is an awkward question for the polling feature, so please do leave your thoughts in the comments.
More: At the links above.