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Listing of New York Senators On the Fence or Opposed to Marriage Equality [15 Jun 2009|06:48pm]

20 senators publicly stated their support for equal marriage, 32 are needed to pass the bill. Please check this list and contact your state senator and urge them to support marriage equality for all couples.

Marriage is a civil rights issue, nobody should be denied the 1,800 state and federal benefits that come with marriage, such as the right to visit a loved one in a hospital, file joint tax returns, co-adopt kids, and many other rights and privileges enjoyed by heterosexual couples.
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Coalition to Stop False Arrests of Gay Men in NYC [10 Feb 2009|02:06pm]

There has been an epidemic in New York City of false arrests of gay men under the guise that they were solicited by prostitutes who were really undercover cops. Several adult porn shops and bookstores catering to men have been the target of the New York Police Dept.

Find out more, get involved, join the protest:
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Did Obama Team Play us On Bishop Robinson? [19 Jan 2009|01:18pm]

During the inauguration kick off party at the Lincoln Memorial, openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson of the Diocese of NH gave the opening prayer.

The problem is it was not televised by HBO or NPR and there were 'technical difficulties' making it nearly impossible for the crowd of 500,000 to hear a word.

Demand to know why Bishop Robinson was part of the "pre-show" and therefore not taped.

More info and contact info at http://queersunited.blogspot.com/2009/01/did-obama-team-play-us-over-bishop.html
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Might the "Bradley Effect" Also Hold True for Queer Issues? [23 Oct 2008|12:25pm]

Today's open forum is set to examine whether we may see something similar to the "Bradley effect" on queer issues in the upcoming election.
"The Bradley effect, less commonly called the Wilder effect, is a proposed explanation for observed discrepancies between voter opinion polls and election outcomes in some American political campaigns when a white candidate and a non-white candidate run against each other. Named for Tom Bradley, an African-American who lost the 1982 California governor's race despite being ahead in some voter polls, the Bradley effect refers to an alleged tendency on the part of some voters to tell pollsters that they are undecided or likely to vote for a black candidate, and yet, on election day, vote for his/her white opponent." (Wikipedia)
The "Bradley Effect" was a shocking dose of reality about the inconsistency of polls to determine how truthful people are about their voting decisions. It also went on to show the racial implications of the governor's race.

While it is now 26 years later, the notion of a "Bradley Effect" has resurfaced because Barack Obama, a bi-racial candidate is running for president of the United States of America. It is interesting to ponder whether people are indicating they will vote for the democratic ticket while in private will vote against it because of the racial implications.

I also wonder whether this can be applied to certain LGBT issues up on the ballot this Nov. 4th. There are marriage amendments in California, Arizona, and Florida this year. There is also the question of a constitutional convention in Connecticut and a ban on adoption by unmarried co-habitating couples in Arkansas. All of these referendums hold major implications for Americans straight and gay.

People opposed to gay rights often argue that they "have gay friends" or are "not bigoted against gays." It has become increasingly unpopular to be associated with "homophobia." Is it possible there is a segment of the population that claims they will vote against these marriage amendments and in favor of LGBT rights while secretly espousing another point of view to hide their own fear of being labeled a bigot?

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Republicans Against Prop 8: "It's Backwards" [22 Oct 2008|03:03pm]

I am not republican by any means but glad to see some people on our side.

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Don't let voter fraud happen to you! [21 Oct 2008|11:05pm]


Steal Back Your Vote! from Greg Palast on Vimeo.

Steal back the vote
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ACLU Fights Wiretapping Law Approved by Obama, McCain and Bush [18 Jul 2008|01:03pm]

(NOTE: I tried crossposting this item to the [info]liberal community, but it was rejected without explanation, though, as usual, it meets all guidelines for posting to that supposedly "open" community)

When Pres. George W. Bush and Sen. Barack Obama BOTH agreed on unconstitutional amendments to the foreign intelligence surveillance act (FISA) last week, it raised questions about Obama's consistency on civil liberties and about how to best fight this assault on the Fourth Amendment and the right to privacy. I try to answer these questions with some clips from a Barack Obama news conference and from spokespeople for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in my 5 minute 43 second YouTube video at:

ACLU Fights Wiretapping Approved by Obama, McCain and Bush

If you're interested in the sources I used for my video...

You can see the full July 1, 2008, Barack Obama news conference from which I took a short clip for my video at Obama news conference

You can see ACLU Legislative Counsel Michelle Richardson's full June 21, 2008, appearance on C-SPAN's Washington Journal at Michelle Richardson on C-SPAN

You can see more about the ACLU's fight against the FISA Amendments Act (including the ACLU video from which I took a short clip) at ACLU Fights Warrantless Wiretapping

And, you can see Sen. Barack Obama's full February 16, 2006, statement on the USA PATRIOT Act Reauthorization at Sen. Obama's statement on his support of the 2006 Patriot Act Reauthorization

Finally, as always, I appreciate all feedback :-)
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Supreme Court Restores Rule Of Law To Guantánamo [12 Jun 2008|11:09am]

[ mood | chipper ]


Decision Represents Beginning Of End Of Failed Detention Policy, Says ACLU

NEW YORK - In a stunning blow to the Bush administration's failed national security policies, the Supreme Court ruled today 5-4 that the U.S. Constitution applies to the government's detention policies at Guantánamo. The Court concluded that detainees held at Guantánamo have a right to challenge their detention through habeas corpus.

The following can be attributed to Steven R. Shapiro, Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union:

"Today's decision forcefully repudiates the essential lawlessness of the Bush administration's failed Guantánamo policy. It should also mark the beginning of the end of the military commission process, which permits the use of coerced evidence and hearsay and thus cannot survive the constitutional scrutiny that today's decision demands. It is time to close Guantánamo, end indefinite detention without charge and restore the rule of law."

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Memorial Day Free Speech Victory! [26 May 2008|10:03am]

(NOTE: I tried crossposting this item to the [info]liberal community, but it was rejected without explanation, though, as usual, it meets all guidelines for posting to that supposedly "open" community)

As a member of the board of the Sacramento County Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), I was honored to help bring about the Memorial Day VICTORY for free speech on the Capitol Mall medians that I describe in my 5 minute 44 second YouTube video at:

Memorial Day Free Speech Victory!

After telling the story of how the ACLU helped the Sacramento Coalition to End the War put up the Iraq Body County memorial, I end my video by asking the questions:

Aren't 120,000 white and red flags remembering the soldiers and civilians who have died in the Iraq War an appropriate memorial to the cost of war on this Memorial Day 2008? and

Shouldn't people in a free country have the right to express themselves on a large grassy median area leading up to the state capitol like the one you've seen in this video?

If you're interested in the sources I used for my video...

You can get more details about the Sacramento Coalition to End the War's fight to put up that flag display (and some still photos I used in my video) at: Flag Display Fight

You can find the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals opinion I quote in this video, Warren v. Fairfax County, 196 F.3d 186 (4th Cir. 1999) (en banc), at: Warren v. Fairfax County

You can find more information about the Iraq Body Count flag display pictured in this video at: Iraq Body Count

You can find video of the two sessions of the Sacramento City Council from which I took clips for my video at: May 13 Sacramento City Council session

And at: May 20 Sacramento City Council session

You can find the local CBS news affiliate story on the flag display from which I took a short clip for my video at: KOVR CBS 13 flag display story

Finally, as always, I appreciate all feedback :-)
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U.S. War Crimes Uncovered by the ACLU [04 Sep 2007|02:28pm]

Newly released documents regarding crimes committed by U.S. troops against civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan detail a pattern of troops failing to understand and follow the rules that govern interrogations and deadly actions.

The documents, released Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union ahead of a lawsuit, total nearly 10,000 pages of courts-martial summaries, transcripts and military investigative reports about 22 incidents. They show repeated examples of troops believing they were within the law when they killed local citizens.

The killings include the drowning of a man soldiers pushed from a bridge into the Tigris River as punishment for breaking curfew, and the suffocation during interrogation of a former Iraqi general believed to be helping insurgents.

[link to full article]

Other killings included:
  • A man shot after a search of his home near Balad uncovered illegal weapons and anti-American literature. Immediately after the shooting, according to testimony, Sgt. 1st Class George Diaz, who was convicted of unpremeditated murder, said, "I'm going to hell for this." Diaz also was convicted of mistreating a teenage detainee when he forced the youth to hold a smoke grenade with the pin pulled as Diaz questioned him at gunpoint.

  • A suspected insurgent in Iraq by Staff Sgt. Shane Werst, who said the man appeared to be reaching for a weapon. Werst was acquitted of murder despite acknowledging he had fired and then planted a chrome Iraqi pistol on the suspect to make his claim of self defense more believable.

  • In a previously unreported case, Pfc. James Combs was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for shooting an Iraqi woman from a guard tower in what he claimed was an accident, though court documents and testimony indicate his weapon was set to fire multiple shots despite a regulation advising against such a setting.

  • Another previously undisclosed case involved Sgt. Ricky Burke, who was charged with murder for killing a wounded man alongside the road following a firefight. Staff Sgt. Timothy Nein, a member of Burke's military police company, testified he heard Burke say before the shooting, "It's payback time."
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Fox News Helps Bush Hide Scope of His New Power to Spy on US [27 Aug 2007|01:14pm]

(crossposted to anti_bush; REJECTED w/o explanation by moderator of liberal)

Both before and after the Democratic Congress handed the Bush Administration sweeping new spying powers on August 4, Fox News ran stories that misleadingly minimized the scope of those new powers as well as misrepresented the protections lost from the old law. To prove my point, I combine Fox News "Special Report with Brit Hume" clips from August 3, 6, and 20, 2007, in my latest 5 minute 40 second YouTube video at:

Fox News Helps Bush Hide Scope of His New Power to Spy on US

If you prefer using an embedded video player: click here for embedded video playerCollapse )


The rest of the August 7 segment of "The Colbert Report" from which I used a short clip is available in full on the Comedy Central website at: http://www.comedycentral.com/motherload/index.jhtml?ml_video=90951

The old version of the FISA law to which I refer in my video is available online at: http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/50/1801.html

The new version of the FISA law to which I refer in my video is available online at: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=110_cong_bills&docid=f:s1927enr.txt.pdf

The ACLU ad campaign to which I refer that criticized the deal between the Democratic Congress and the Bush Administration is available online at: http://action.aclu.org/site/DocServer/BAAAD_ad.pdf?docID=1541

I've also added this video as one of DOZENS of examples to my YouTube playlist at: Fox News Bias

And, finally, as always, I appreciate all feedback :-)
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Principal fired for praying in school [08 Aug 2007|02:23pm]

...but I bet the usual suspects won't be throwing a fit about this one [link]
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Falwell flags??? [16 May 2007|02:22pm]

I noticed flags at half staff at a school and a fire station.  Could that be for Rev. Falwell, and wouldn't that be some kind of violation of separation of church and state?
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Coerced Confessions No Good from Iran But OK from the FBI? [12 Apr 2007|09:41am]

(crossposted to conservatism; REJECTED by moderator of liberal)

Coerced confessions were involved in two different stories I saw reported in the news last Friday, April 6. The different ways we treat coerced confessions obtained by Iran and by the FBI led me to ask some serious questions for you to answer at the end of my latest 4 minute 2 second YouTube video at:

Coerced Confessions No Good from Iran But OK from the FBI?

If you prefer using an embedded video player: click here for embedded video playerCollapse )

I got the material I fairly used in my video from a variety of sources.

I took my first clip from a story on PBS's NewsHour about the release of British sailors from Iran that you can find in its entirety at: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/military/jan-june07/soldiers_04-06.html

My second clip comes from a KXTV channel 10 story on the new trial hearing in the Hamid Hayat case that you can find in its entirety at: http://www.news10.net/display_story.aspx?storyid=26350

My third clip comes from a PBS Frontline story from last year that you can see in its entirety at: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/enemywithin/view

As a final source, the quote from the Atlantic article referenced in my video is available at: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200610/waldman-islam/7

And, as always, I appreciate all feedback :-)
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Maintainer Asking a Favor :) [09 Apr 2007|05:27pm]

If you think of it, could you please use [tags] in your posts from now on? I've enabled them for use by all users.

This will allow us to easily search subjects and review archived posts on any given subject.

Thank you!
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LAPD get new flashlights too small to be used as weapons [01 Apr 2007|05:24am]

That's right... because of several high-profile incidents where the LAPD (and other police forces) used their large, heavy flashlights to repeatedly bludgeon people, they're being issued smaller, lighter flashlights.

[link to article]

(instead of replacing the offending officers, they're replacing the offending flashlights)

Edit: Yes, the officer in the story was fired, but that's the exception to the rule.
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Can a Public Library Screw Your Constitutional Rights? [29 Mar 2007|10:06am]

(crossposted to conservatism; REJECTED by moderator of liberal)

Politicians often VOTE to screw folks' constitutional rights, but you don't often see them SAY they are doing it while they do it. In her statement caught here for which she later apologized, Sacramento City Councilwoman Bonnie Pannell revealed just such an attitude behind her vote to censor adults viewing constitutionally protected material using internet access in public libraries. You can see her statement (as well as a short clip of my appearance at the hearing) in my latest 1 minute 56 second YouTube video at:

Can a Public Library Screw Your Constitutional Rights?

If you prefer using an embedded video player: click here for embedded video playerCollapse )

For more information about the unconstitutional internet access policy adopted by the Sacramento Public Library Authority, see agenda item 7.1 and accompanying materials at: http://www.saclibrary.org/about_lib/auth_board/070322/agenda_03_22_07.pdf

Also, the Sacramento Bee coverage of the March 22, 2007 hearing of the Sacramento Public Library Authority was available at the time of this posting at: http://www.sacbee.com/101/story/142825.html

And, as always, I appreciate all feedback :-)
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Please Read - This One's Got Me Angry [13 Mar 2007|03:54am]

Egyptian blogger Kareem Amer was just sentenced to 4 years in prison for things he wrote in his blog. What did he write in his blog which earned such a harsh sentence? He criticized Islam and the King of Egypt.

There's a site [here] which is working to free Kareem. They're also translating his blog entries into English so you can know exactly what earned such a harsh sentence.

Please support him in any way you can. Learn and get involved. And most of all, cherish your freedom of speech.

If I were criminally liable for criticizing President Bush I'd be put away for life. This is serious stuff... and this is a prisoner of conscience.
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Autistic kid assaulted, kicked out of restraunt. [25 Feb 2007|05:43am]

[ mood | pissed off ]

It's still apparent that us geeky sorts are unwelcome where the cool kids hang.

Graphictruth: The Evil Monkey with the bloody burrito should have been a clue...

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An appeal [21 Jan 2007|06:33pm]

Firstly, I apologize if this sort of post isn’t allowed, but I found this community to be relevant to my search, so here I am.

I run gsa_lj, one of the largest and fastest growing gay-straight alliances on LiveJournal. However, despite our initial mission to be a support network for youth, the focus of the community has evolved. Our members are largely educated, mature, and eager to expand their horizons. Previous outreach efforts have been made to teachers, parents, and those of faith in an effort to diversify our ranks.

Personally, I'm a gay Republican with a libertarian streak, although most members are liberal. I am an ACLU member, and I know I'm not alone in that within the community.

Discussion of relevant politics and current events are common, but the community is multi-faceted. I’m attempting to further increase the level of intellectual discourse. We’re always looking to better ourselves.

I ask that you join our efforts, if you’re interested in such issues. At the very least, check out the community. See the type of posts and comments that are present. Read our user-info page, and see for yourself why our members are satisfied. I have a feeling you’ll be impressed.

If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me.

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