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Current Topic: Civil Liberties John Gilmore's suit over secret FAA regs in SF court on 1/17
Topic: Civil Liberties 9:09 pm EST, Jan 14, 2003

] I'm asking for a declaration from the court that would
] overturn the unconstitutional requirement that US persons
] must show ID to travel throughout the US. Not only
] airplanes, but trains, buses, cruise ships, and major
] hotel chains are now enforcing ID requirements, largely
] at the behest of the Federal Government.

This is actually a very interesting case. I scanned through a number of case documents. If Gillmore can prove that the ID requirement exists in most means of transportation then the government's arguments will fall, because the government is simply saying that its ok to restrict one form of travel if other options are available.

Whats more interesting is that Gillmore has provided a very compelling arguement that the "no-fly list" is unconstitutional because it is not limited to verifying that the people who fly are not carrying weapons. The defense the government offers is that Gillmore doesn't have standing to challenge the no-fly list because he's not on it. Gillmore counters that the "no-fly list" is the reason for the ID requirement and therefore he has a basis to challenge it. I'm not really clear on the standing issue after looking at these documents, but if he does have standing I think the "no-fly list" may fall, and if he doesn't, then the first person who does will probably topple it. Most of the people on the list are not the sort who make good plaintifs, but there have been examples of people who have the same NAME as people on the list who have been hassled. Any one of those people probably has standing and a reasonable arguement to end the practice. John Gilmore's suit over secret FAA regs in SF court on 1/17

3 tech workers freed after INS detention / Bay Area men face deportation hearings
Topic: Civil Liberties 7:31 pm EST, Jan  7, 2003

] "The government is trying to paint a picture of
] terrorism, but these dentists, lawyers and high-tech
] workers are not the terrorists," she said. "Not the ones
] who willingly go the INS office for a six-hour
] registration process."

Fallout from last month's mass detention... 3 Canadians working in Silicon Valley were detained for a week because they got their dates screwed up. INS is catching a fair amount of hell in the press.

3 tech workers freed after INS detention / Bay Area men face deportation hearings Harvey Silverglate on state of civil liberties at end of 2002
Topic: Civil Liberties 6:03 pm EST, Jan  5, 2003

] "The two fundamental pillars of liberty, without which no
] other rights are secure, remain alive and fairly healthy:
] the separation of powers with the judiciary refusing, so
] far, to defer entirely to the executive branch and the
] freedom of the American people to voice dissent."

This is a fairly even handed look at what has gone on with Civil Liberties in the last year. Its a little wordy, and covers a lot of ground that MemeStreams readers are likely already familiar with, but it offers a reasonable conclusion on the state of things at this time. Which is to say that a lot of bad things have been attempted, but they have not been uniformily successful, and several of the key pillars of what we call freedom are still intact despite some serious challenges. Harvey Silverglate on state of civil liberties at end of 2002

Journalists go trashing.
Topic: Civil Liberties 1:30 pm EST, Dec 30, 2002

] "Portland's top brass said it was OK to swipe your
] garbage--so we grabbed theirs."

Real journalism is almost non-existant these days. This is a gem. You may have heard rumblings about this controversy. The government in Portland has been swiping people's trash without a warrant for several decades. Fortunately, a judge has declared this practice unconstitutional.

Journalists go trashing.

Another Barlow Rant about TIA
Topic: Civil Liberties 2:47 am EST, Dec 20, 2002

] "I have long maintained that we are headed to a future of
] completely transparency, where both personal privacy and
] institutional secrecy would vanish and we would be
] forced, as are people in small, gossip-y towns, to create
] societies tolerant enough to accept an certain amount of
] personally eccentric behavior and even private, though
] widely-known, scandals. Instead, we know seem headed into
] a future where The All-Seeing Eye can know everything
] about us and we can know - or say - nothing about It. I
] can't imagine leaving a less promising future to my
] descendents. Nor can I imagine why the American people
] are so willing to inflict such a future on their kids
] that driving a few blocks to vote against it was too much
] trouble."

Attached to this article is another article about the intelligence establishment that has been memed before.

Eric Fromm said that FEAR is what created Nazi Germany. People don't want to stand on their own two feet in a world where men destroy great buildings in dramatic suicide attacks. They want to cower under someone who will keep them safe. They raise up people like Hitler. Radicals who will defend their interests no matter what the human cost.

"The only thing you have to fear is, fear itself." We were once the kind of society that was not afraid. Just a few generations back. Are we going to find that strength of heart, or are we going to continue to cower? Thats what I want to know.

Another Barlow Rant about TIA

12.17.02 - ACLU Press Release - Oakland City Council Expected to Pass Resolution Opposing the USA Patriot Act and Executive Actions
Topic: Civil Liberties 12:59 pm EST, Dec 18, 2002

Little vs Big Brother:

Oakland sets to pass civil liberties resolution countering unconstitutional provisions of Patriot Act.

I like this idea, but its going to take a hell of a lot more then 50 cities to make this point. And the one I'm in is never going to participate. People in Nashville like doing what they are told too much.

12.17.02 - ACLU Press Release - Oakland City Council Expected to Pass Resolution Opposing the USA Patriot Act and Executive Actions

RE: My God is better than your God
Topic: Civil Liberties 7:56 pm EST, Dec 11, 2002

flynn23 wrote:
] School district bans holiday decorations.

On the one hand, students have a protected right to religious speech.
On the other hand, it is illegal to turn a school into a chapel, or to coerce religious messages upon a captive audience.

Its possible that hanging a bunch of religious material up in a school could constitute the latter, but its extremely unlikely in a holiday context. Courts are not stupid. They aren't going to declare this establishment unless it IS really establishment.

One wonders about the facts of the case. What promped this decision? This article is fairly short on facts. The idea of children's art being torn off the walls is fairly sensational. The fact that they don't say WHY leads me to suspect that if they did it would make the story less interesting.

The article I'm linking here is a reasonable coverage of religious rights in schools. It does not cover this issue exactly. However, it does have this to say about holidays:

"Generally, public schools may teach about religious holidays, and may celebrate the secular aspects of the holiday and objectively teach about their religious aspects. They may not observe the holidays as religious events. Schools should generally excuse students who do not wish to participate in holiday events."

RE: My God is better than your God

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