It’s a world sprung anew. Even as we tweet away, others are watching. Transparency will be even more important – it’s time to end the Patriot Act. Only if we are vigilant about our rights, and work to be part of the legal architecture that builds around our new forms of communication, will those rights be upheld. It’s up to us.
Published: December 12, 2009
The government is increasingly monitoring Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites for tax delinquents, copyright infringers and political protesters. A public interest group has filed a lawsuit to learn more about this monitoring, in the hope of starting a national discussion and modifying privacy laws as necessary for the online era.
I drove through Pecos once in 2006. It was in the evening, we were late, and my family, in the back of the RV was hot and already tired of the trip from SF to Leander, where my older daughter lived. There might have been three other cars on the road with me. A man was out on the main road with a big bunch of gorgeous looking cantaloupes – a tired man. His eyes bored right into mine as I passed. I hated myself even as I was doing it, but I passed him and his cantaloupes by.
Later, in the real estate news I saw homes going for next to nothing. I saw a hundred acre farm, it could have been that tired old man’s, flat and plowed, with water and a home, for sale for less than most RV’s. Desperation builds desperate lives. Profit based prisons sprout and grow is such places. They are a disease of human nature preying on the desperate and less than equal. They do not provide equal protection under the law, as I think of it. They do not profit society. They profit people like those running the Vanguard Group and Geo Corporation and Wackenhut.
A Death in Texas
Profits, poverty, and immigration converge
The Reeves County Detention Complex burns on the morning of February 2, 2009.
County Clerk Dianne Florez noticed it first. Plumes of smoke were rising outside the small West Texas town of Pecos. “The prison is burning again,” she announced.
About a month and a half before, on December 12, 2008, inmates had rioted to protest the death of one of their own, Jesus Manuel Galindo, 32. When Galindo’s body was removed from the prison in what looked to them like a large black trash bag, they set fire to the recreational center and occupied the exercise yard overnight. Using smuggled cell phones, they told worried family members and the media about poor medical care in the prison and described the treatment of Galindo, who had been in solitary confinement since mid-November. During that time, fellow inmates and his mother, who called the prison nearly every day, had warned authorities that Galindo needed daily medication for epilepsy and was suffering from severe seizures in the “security housing unit,” which the inmates call the “hole.”
As the article below states, in fact, civil rights have been warred against since the law’s inception in 1964 – essentially how long our country has been leading off to the right. Human rights, that include equality by sex, were never achieved, even though some rights have been eked out law by law. It will take years to put us back on the path. The time to start is NOW and this looks like a start.
Civil Rights Division To Clean Up After 8 Years of Bush
Posted Wed, 12/09/2009 – 07:08
“Bush packed the Civil Rights Division with right-wing lawyers and administrators determined to erase even the most elementary gains made by minorities.”
The Obama administration has accomplished one solid achievement that may go down in the history books as at least a partial reversal of fortune for racial minorities in the United States. For eight long years, the Bush administration waged vicious political warfare against the very concept of civil rights, as we had come to understand it in America. Equal protection under the law became a dead letter in the U.S. Justice Department, whose Civil Rights Division was transformed into a bulwark of white male supremacy and petty reaction….]
A settlement from a Democratic administration, and for the individuals who fought for their rights:
Tribal Justice News
[Attorney General Holder, Secretary Salazar Announce Settlement of Cobell Lawsuit on Indian Trust Management (AG) On Dec. 8, 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced a settlement of the long-running and highly contentious Cobell class-action lawsuit regarding the U.S. government’s trust management and accounting of over three hundred thousand individual American Indian trust accounts…