Tag Archives: civil liberties

  clipbait

John Oliver: Cops Legally Stealing All Your Cash And Cars Because ‘Civil Forfeiture’ (Video)

It's kind of like pennies from heaven
John Oliver takes on one of the more boring but insidious scandals in Our Republic today: the phenomenon of civil asset forfeiture. That’s when police seize cash, vehicles, or any other property they believe was used in a crime, regardless of whether the stuff’s owner is found guilty of a crime or not. Read more on John Oliver: Cops Legally Stealing All Your Cash And Cars Because ‘Civil Forfeiture’ (Video)…
  Slow Eddie

Boy, That Edward Snowden Really Screwed Up, Says Edward Snowden

Though it’s always nice to be right, we really wish we had been wrong about Edward Snowden. We wish that he truly had been the super-genius martyr for freedom depicted by his most fervent supporters — and, if we’re being honest, by Snowden himself, with his talk of “sacrificing himself” and “risking his life” and so on. But he is not a super-genius martyr. He’s a naive idealist who’s in way over his head. And now, to his credit, it looks like he’s finally ready to acknowledge this: Two sources close to him told the Daily Beast that he “instantly regretted” his appearance on Russian state TV to ask shirtless Russian godhead Vladimir “the Botox Fox” Putin a softball question about Russia’s security apparatus, to which Putin naturally responded with transparent, regime-serving lies. “It certainly didn’t go as he would’ve hoped,” one of these sources said. “I don’t think there’s any shame in saying that he made an error in judgment.” Nope, no shame in that! But where, then, is the shame? Let’s find the shame. Read more on Boy, That Edward Snowden Really Screwed Up, Says Edward Snowden…
  Snowjob

Three Possible Explanations For The Snowden-Putin Tele-Potemkin, None Of Them Very Nice (VIDEO)

Spongy-faced Russian Emperor Vladimir Putin did some kind of Face The Motherland forum on his own personal television network, and he had a Very Special Guest: American/Russian hero/traitor Edward Snowden! Snowden began by stating that America’s intelligence-gathering methods are indiscriminate, ineffective, and abusive, then asked Putin if Russia did the same things. According to Slate’s transcript, Putin responded, in part: “We don’t have a mass system of such interception, and according to our law it cannot exist … [W]e don’t have as much money as they have in the States and we don’t have these technical devices that they have in the States. Our special services, thanks god, are strictly controlled by the society and by the law and are regulated by the law.” Putin did NOT go on to explain that, on the other hand, of course he personally directs Russia’s police and armed forces to violently squash any hint of civil protest against his government, and of course he’ll just go around slicing off pieces of other countries for Russia to eat in violation of international law, because that would undermine his point about being pretty much the best and sexiest beacon of Law and Freedom. He is a smart dude! Putin’s reasons for wanting this exchange on television are clear. But what about Snowden’s? Here are three of them, and sorry Team Snowden, none are very flattering to your guy. Read more on Three Possible Explanations For The Snowden-Putin Tele-Potemkin, None Of Them Very Nice (VIDEO)…
  creating a diversion

Arizona Helping Prostitutes By Arresting Them, Sending Them To Church

Vice has a pretty disturbing story about a “diversion program” in Phoenix that’s aimed at getting women out of prostitution, whether they want to get out or not. Yr Wonkette is officially libertarian on the question of sex work, though of course we recognize that there’s much bad and exploitative about it — sex trafficking, for instance, is definitely criminal and terrible — but count us on the side of addressing those abuses through decriminalization and providing social services to women (and not incidentally, providing enough of a safety net for everyone that no one ever becomes a prostitute unless she really really wants to), rather than by trying to arrest prostitution out of existence, considering how well that approach has worked. Read more on Arizona Helping Prostitutes By Arresting Them, Sending Them To Church…
  dicktember

Retired Wyoming Pastor Just Too Sexy To Not Solicit Sexytimes From Undercover Cop

Rev. Bryant Badger, 75, a retired pastor in Casper, Wyoming, was arrested near a park Sunday and charged with public indecency after trying to have sex in an SUV with an undercover cop. The sting operation was prompted when a high school coach found “multiple obscene notes” in a portable toilet at a local park and reported them to police. The ha-ha part of the story, of course, is Badger’s lame excuse for soliciting sex by leaving notes in a park toilet: The affidavit says Badger told police he had a high sex drive and could not control his urges to have sex. “It’s wrong,” Badger said, according to the report. The not quite as hilarious question is maybe why a sting operation was necessary to go after an old man who wanted a blowjob and who initially invited the officer to come to his home, where whatever indecency that might have gone on would definitely not have been public. Read more on Retired Wyoming Pastor Just Too Sexy To Not Solicit Sexytimes From Undercover Cop…
  we are the holodeck men

NSA Chief Used Replica Of Set From Popular ‘Star Trek’ TV Program To Impress Congresscritters, Win Support For Spying

Foreign Policy has a detailed, insightful profile of the “cowboy” approach to surveillance taken by NSA Director Keith Alexander. There’s a lot of important, outrageous, we-should-be-worried-about-this stuff in there about his cavalier approach to the law and to civil liberties and privacy. And we’re going to completely ignore all that, because somebody sent us a link to this BoingBoing post and all we could think was, “Oooh, SHINY!” Cory Doctorow sets up the part of the story that matters to us: [The] top spook is fan of science fiction movies and built his old command room to look like the bridge of the Enterprise from Star Trek: The Next Generation. He sold members of Congress by letting them sit in the big chair and “play Picard.” OK, look, we know that we should be seriously bothered by this, and on one level we are. But at the moment, our inner 12-year-old is running our grey matter, so we can only murmur, “Cooooooool.” Read more on NSA Chief Used Replica Of Set From Popular ‘Star Trek’ TV Program To Impress Congresscritters, Win Support For Spying…
  Kind Of A Dick

Edward Snowden, We Need To Talk

First things first: Thank you, Edward Snowden. You made a few more people care that we pawned away some valuable shit that might be tough to get back. (There was some panic buying on Feeling Safer, can you blame us?) Now, maybe our rights, our privacy, and the abuse of secrecy will become, gasp, issues debated in Congress. Anything’s possible! Now then: Fuck you, Edward Snowden, ur doing it wrong. Yr Wonkette can think of between several and a lot of ways you could have revealed how the NSA is involved in some stuff that all citizens deserve to be informed about, but are not. For example: If we were you, we would have left out your latest “revelation” about how the US is doing spy things in China (cyberly) to gain “access to the communications of hundreds of thousands of computers.” Read more on Edward Snowden, We Need To Talk…
  when you see it you'll shit BRICs

Boston Police Anti-Terror Unit Too Busy Investigating Peaceniks To Notice Tsarnaev Kids

So there’s all sorts of weird stuff turning up about the background of Boston bomber guy Tamerlan Tsarnaev, like how Florida cops shot and killed a boxing friend of his the other day … after the friend implicated himself and Tsarnaev in a 2011 triple homicide and then pulled a knife on the cops. Oh, and that triple killing occurred on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, and at least two of the victims were Jewish, so it was muslimterrorjihad and not “killing pot dealers”? Frankly, we will not have any idea what to think about all that until Amanda Palmer writes a shitty poem about it. But it does at least seem clear that, as a DigBoston article suggests, the Boston Police Department’s anti-terrorism unit focused its attention on a whole bunch of things that had pretty much fuck-all to do with terrorism. And god knows, no one has ever suspected the BPD of being a hotbed of competence — this is the city that declared war on cartoon aliens in 2007, after all. On the other hand, if you’re an anti-terrorism squad, you probably should be investigating people who like bombs-n-stuff, rather than, say, “Veterans For Peace” or even Code Pink, no matter how loud and interrupty they might be. Read more on Boston Police Anti-Terror Unit Too Busy Investigating Peaceniks To Notice Tsarnaev Kids…
  Faux Nooz

Megyn Kelly Simply Does Not Care For Those Black Helicopters Coming To Spy On Our Elections

Oh, Megyn Kelly! Don’t ever change, OK? Here is Megyn Kelly on Fox “News,” informing us that there may be an “extra set of eyes” on election day and those eyes may belong to the United Nations. Note the contempt with which she says “United Nations,” by the way, she might as well have been saying “the Muslim Brotherhood.” So anyway, yes! There MAY be an extra set of eyes! And they MAY belong to the United Nations! (They will probably belong to Jimmy Carter.) This is because “left-leaning civil rights groups,” aided by the Democrats, have called for U.N. election monitors because they SAY there are efforts to suppress the minority vote. Then she has a lady from True the Vote (which has been attempting to suppress the minority vote) offer the opinion that it’s “breathtaking,” the hypocrisy we’re seeing, just breathtaking, that they have gone to an INTERNATIONAL BODY that contains countries who have voter IDs! Can you believe that? Read more on Megyn Kelly Simply Does Not Care For Those Black Helicopters Coming To Spy On Our Elections…
  great moments in constitutional interpretation

Rep. McKeon: Due Process Should Be Treat for Good Little Humans Only

Now look here, whiners. The tearful consternation over the United States executive branch’s special new indefinite detention superpowers over any human Earthling including its own citizens that it can pin down long enough to slap a “TERRORIST” sticker on his forehead and haul him away at its very own special Pope-caliber hyper-infallible discretion — it’s very touching, but House Armed Services Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon and his merry band of Bush administration demons have put out a scary letter to remind you that due process is a “reward,” not a right as you might have believed, in error. Read more on Rep. McKeon: Due Process Should Be Treat for Good Little Humans Only…
  logical

Florida GOP Lawmakers Propose To Drug Test Everyone But Themselves

It is a very tough job finding something to do in the Florida legislature these days, what with everyone having a job and home values doing well, and certainly the state isn’t being invaded by hordes of rapidly-multiplying, large-mammal-eating swamp monster snakes, so House Republicans are reviving one of their favorite policy time-killers, randomly drug testing large swaths of citizens without cause at the cost of millions of dollars to the state in exchange for no savings. Who gets to pee in the cup this time? “All state employees” are the lucky winners, except for …oh hang on there’s a caveat… oh right, except for elected lawmakers themselves. Because, says bill sponsor Rep. Jimmie Smith, this would, uh, violate lawmakers’ First Amendment rights. Good thing nobody else has those! Read more on Florida GOP Lawmakers Propose To Drug Test Everyone But Themselves…
  nouveau fascism

San Francisco’s BART Blocks Protester Cell Phones For (Totalitarian) Fun

We would not have picked San Francisco for the first American city where “They” would start using autocratic control tactics on its disgruntled citizens, but here it is: civil liberties advocates are binging on tinfoil hats full of margaritas because the apparently fascist hippies running popular urinal and firing range the Bay Area Rapid Transit District blocked cell phone service at select rail stations where activists were planning a protest, to “safeguard safety with silence” or whatever nonsense alliterative Orwellian word combination sounds creepiest. (The BART actually has cell phone service, unlike the rest of America’s hobo transit, haha.) The protest was organized to call attention to the always-controversial BART transit police’s killing of homeless man Charles Hill, a protest which to transit officials must have sounded like “London riots in ur subway system.” Good thing they have an “off switch” for their customers’ phones! FIRST AMENDMENT SAY WHAT?? Read more on San Francisco’s BART Blocks Protester Cell Phones For (Totalitarian) Fun…
  the fabric menace

Feds End Their ‘Watch On Muslin Men,’ Newspaper Reports

Wonkette operative “Paul G.” sends in this rewritten AP article printed in the St. Petersburg Times. Look, the death of bin Laden actually resulted in a slight restoration of civil liberties! But we’re still going to call them “Muslin.” Speaking of which, are our friends on Facebook still concerned about “the Muslin’s”? Read more on Feds End Their ‘Watch On Muslin Men,’ Newspaper Reports…
  well that's embarrassing

Obama Forced To Listen To People Sing About How Terrible He Is

President Obama held a fundraiser in San Francisco yesterday, and, would you believe it, some people don’t like the fact that he hasn’t honored his campaign promises! Slow-working security guys failed to wrangle a group of protestors at the $5,000 a plate gig, and they were able to complete a protest song. “That was a nice song,” the illegal-prison president responded. Nice in that he will stop violating civil liberties and such? No. Read more on Obama Forced To Listen To People Sing About How Terrible He Is…
  eww gross yuck eww

State Department Gave 4,500 Sex Offenders Passports In 2008, Because That’s an Important Thing To Know

The Governmental Accountability Office has released a STARTLING report saying that our previously unperverse State Department gave out 4,500 passports to registered sex offenders back in 2008. How has Hillary Clinton not already been put in stocks and branded with a scarlet letter for this? Oh wait, passports are sort of a right for U.S. citizens regardless of how Polanski they have been. Read more on State Department Gave 4,500 Sex Offenders Passports In 2008, Because That’s an Important Thing To Know…
 

If It’s Tuesday, There’s Verifiable Proof of Gonzo Lying

On April 27, 2005, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told the Senate intelligence committee that there hadn’t been a single case of the FBI violating civil liberties since the establishment of the Patriot Act. Naturally, this means that there had been at last six reports of “legal or procedural violations” that Gonzales had personally received. Read more on If It’s Tuesday, There’s Verifiable Proof of Gonzo Lying…