Miscellany

Coalition Forms to Oppose Parts of Antiterrorism Law

Battle lines were drawn Tuesday in the debate over the government’s counterterrorism powers, as an unlikely coalition of liberal civil-rights advocates, conservative libertarians, gun-rights supporters and medical privacy advocates voiced their objections to crucial parts of the law that expanded those powers after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Keeping the law intact “will do great and irreparable harm” to the Constitution by allowing the government to investigate people’s reading habits, search their homes without notice and pry into their personal lives, said Bob Barr, a former Republican congressman who is leading the coalition.

Mr. Barr voted for the law, known as the USA Patriot Act, in the House just weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks but has become one of its leading critics, a shift that reflects the growing unease among some conservative libertarians over the expansion of the government’s powers in fighting terrorism.
Too bad only Russ Feingold had the balls to vote against it in the first place…

Coalition Forms to Oppose Parts of Antiterrorism Law

Miscellany

As Town for Deaf Takes Shape, Debate on Isolation Re-emerges

Standing in an empty field along a wind-swept highway, Marvin T. Miller, who is deaf, envisions the town he wants to create here: a place built around American Sign Language, where teachers in the new school will sign, the town council will hold its debates in sign language and restaurant workers will be required to know how to sign orders.

Nearly 100 families – with people who are deaf, hard of hearing or who can hear but just want to communicate in sign language – have already publicly declared their intention to live in Mr. Miller’s village, to be called Laurent, after Laurent Clerc, a French educator of the deaf from the 1800’s.
If you don’t like it… don’t live there!

As Town for Deaf Takes Shape, Debate on Isolation Re-emerges

Miscellany

Sports, Sex and Eternal Youth

For Hoberman the manic fury of the drug war is rooted in the belief that drug use is a dire challenge to the productivity and efficiency that are essential to America’s prosperity and survival, with marijuana the signature threat to “the morale of a society that must produce and consume to survive.” However, he notes that, given this emphasis on productivity, it is “only a deeply irrational view of drug abuse” that makes alcohol and nicotine acceptable while “recreational drugs that do far less damage to health and workplace productivity” are demonized.

Sports, Sex and Eternal Youth

Miscellany

No Checkpoint, No Self-Defense

“It was not self-defense,” Sgrena said. “The soldiers were to the right of us on the side of the road, they started to shoot from the right and kept shooting from behind but most of the shots came from behind, Calipari was shot from the right and I was shot in the shoulder from behind. When we stopped, they were behind us. We could see that all the back windows of the car were broken from behind. If they are afraid, they can stop the car, they can ask it to stop, then you can shoot at the wheels but they didn’t do that. They didn’t try to stop the car and they shot at least ten bullets at the level of people sitting inside the car. If Calipari had not pushed me down they could have killed me.”

This case sheds important light on the culture of impunity surrounding the U.S. occupation of Iraq. If this is how Washington treats Italy, one of its closest allies in the so-called war on terror, when U.S. soldiers kill the country’s second-highest ranking intelligence official, imagine the struggle Iraqis face as they die in the tens of thousands.

No Checkpoint, No Self-Defense

Miscellany

Military Recruiting 101

Why does the military have direct access to the private information of American high school students? Under the No Child Left Behind legislation, Sec 9528, education funding in America has been turned into a recruiting tool for our military! Buried in this legislation is a section that mandates student’s private information be given directly to the military unless the student’s parent or guardian opts their records out — meaning that a request letter from the parent or guardian must be submitted to the school to keep the student’s records private.

Military Recruiting 101

Miscellany

Love on the Borderline

A few months before Ganzon and Javanella applied for his green card, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS), part of DHS, sent an interoffice memo outlining how personnel should handle requests by transsexuals. In the memo dated April 16, 2004, William Yates, associate director of operations, stated that “CIS personnel shall not recognize the marriage, or intended marriage, between two individuals where one or both of the parties claims to be a transsexual, regardless of whether either individual has undergone sex reassignment surgery, or is in the process of doing so.”

Love on the Borderline