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farleftlib

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Hometown: PA
Member since: Sun Dec 20, 2015, 10:55 AM
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ACLU plans challenge to ruling finding no First Amendment right to film police

ACLU plans challenge to ruling finding no First Amendment right to film police


http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20160225_ACLU_plans_challenge_to_ruling_finding_no_First_Amendment_right_to_film_police.html

Civil rights lawyers said Wednesday that they intend to appeal a federal court ruling in Philadelphia that citizens do not necessarily have a right protected by the First Amendment to record police activity.

In an opinion issued Friday, U.S. District Judge Mark A. Kearney wrote that unless a videographer announces the recording as an act of protest or a challenge to officers, police are free to stop it.

"While we instinctively understand the citizens' argument, particularly with rapidly developing instant image sharing technology, we find no basis to craft a new First Amendment right based solely on 'observing and recording' without expressive conduct," Kearney wrote.

But in an age of expanding surveillance - from instant cellphone photo sharing to increased use of police body cameras - the American Civil Liberties Union and its partners in the case were not alone in raising an eyebrow at Kearney's conclusions.

Civil rights lawyers say the public's right to record images has been established in other courts, including U.S. appellate courts based in Boston, Chicago, and Atlanta. Kearney's ruling also landed in a city with a tumultuous history of conflict over public recording of police activity.

"Without a protected right to film officers, the ability of the public to monitor police activity is really reduced," said Mary Catherine Roper, one of the ACLU lawyers involved in the two cases on which Kearney ruled. "We know how effective video has been in creating a conversation about police accountability. Video does not always show police officers are misbehaving, but without it, it's really hard to convince people of misconduct by the authorities."


This is a very interesting case. If you recall, in 2000 the Philadelphia police made mass arrests during the RNC that year. The judges had given them permission to infiltrate peaceful protestors at a puppet warehouse. The cops arrested them all and left them sitting handcuffed in hot police vans for hours without food or water. All the arrests were thrown out and the city paid millions in damages.

I hope the ACLU prevails in this, especially with all the police shootings going on.

ACLU plans challenge to ruling finding no First Amendment right to film police

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer

Civil rights lawyers said Wednesday that they intend to appeal a federal court ruling in Philadelphia that citizens do not necessarily have a right protected by the First Amendment to record police activity.

In an opinion issued Friday, U.S. District Judge Mark A. Kearney wrote that unless a videographer announces the recording as an act of protest or a challenge to officers, police are free to stop it.

"While we instinctively understand the citizens' argument, particularly with rapidly developing instant image sharing technology, we find no basis to craft a new First Amendment right based solely on 'observing and recording' without expressive conduct," Kearney wrote.

But in an age of expanding surveillance - from instant cellphone photo sharing to increased use of police body cameras - the American Civil Liberties Union and its partners in the case were not alone in raising an eyebrow at Kearney's conclusions....

"Without a protected right to film officers, the ability of the public to monitor police activity is really reduced," said Mary Catherine Roper, one of the ACLU lawyers involved in the two cases on which Kearney ruled. "We know how effective video has been in creating a conversation about police accountability. Video does not always show police officers are misbehaving, but without it, it's really hard to convince people of misconduct by the authorities."
saying they "should reasonably anticipate and expect to be photographed, videotaped and/or audibly recorded by members of the general public."

Since then, the ACLU of Pennsylvania has led a group of civil rights lawyers in bringing cases involving civilians who were challenged or arrested while recording police carrying out their work.

In 2014, the group launched a social media initiative under the Twitter hashtag #PACopWatch to draw attention to officers who continued to ignore the Police Department's policy.



Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20160225_ACLU_plans_challenge_to_ruling_finding_no_First_Amendment_right_to_film_police.html



Police have been seizing cell phones and recording devices and in one case locked a kid who was recording arrests in a police van. Scary stuff.

I think I made two converts today

So, a few days a week I drive two elderly gents in my neighborhood to their doctors' appointments. They are both on SS and today for the first time the subject of politics came up. We were talking about the Uber driver who shot six people over the weekend and the subject of gun control came up and that segued into politics in general and I steered it to the primaries.

They volunteered that they were Dems so I asked them who they wanted nominated for the GE and without any enthusiasm they said, "Hillary, I guess." I asked them if they would be happy with her as president and of course they said she was better than any republican but that was all the good they could come up with. They said they wished Kerry or Biden had run and I said that I believed the field had been cleared so that Hillary would win and they agreed.

It was obvious they get their information from cable news sources so we got into her viability in the GE. We talked about the email investigation and they thought it wasn't that big a deal, that private computers are more secure than government ones. I was in disbelief, I don't know if that's some new meme the MSM is pushing or not. I asked them if they thought any SoS should be using private email to transmit top secret info and they said "of course not." So there is some cognitive dissonance going on.

I pointed out that whomever the republicans nominate, they would use this against her and it would be quite effective in stirring up opposition to her because the republicans put National Security as one of the top 2 or 3 issues on their agenda. They obviously hadn't considered this before so that was good. It got them thinking she was vulnerable here. That after 8 years of Obama the republicans are stirred up already and that would add to it.

Also, one of them has a prison record for some drug offense so I brought up mandatory minimums and the for-profit prison industry which Hillary supports and that got them angry. I said that her husband's policies resulted in many more people being locked up for non-violent drug offenses and that it was only getting worse and would continue with a Clinton presidency. Bernie OTOH would try to end it.

We were getting close to our destination so I really tried to sell Bernie and they of course said "He doesn't really have a chance." I disputed this with how far he has come and how fast. Despite the hype , he's actually ahead. I also said he would protect and even expand SS and they could never count on Hillary for that. I said people are starting to believe in him and he has a better chance in the GE and I think that clinched it for them.

I hope so anyway. I will see them later this week and now that this subject has been broached I will continue to work on them. Wish me luck.

The Kangaroo Court and Bernie Sanders

For many months now, Bernie Sanders has faced accusations from various media and political sources that he has a "race problem." For example, he moved from New York to lily-white Vermont, his rallies are filled with white faces, his focus on economic policies and his overreliance on his civil rights activities from the distant past. That he wasn't seriously harmed during his activist period.
That he is colorblind. That he spoke condescendingly to members Black Lives Matter.

The worst part, IMHO, is that his civil rights bona fides have been called into question, scrutinized and dismissed as insignificant or nonexistent as if he had claimed to be a civil rights hero, made a serious gaffe, or some racist skeleton had been found in his closet. When this meme, for that's what it is, actually came out of left field apropos of his encroachment on demographics believed to belong exclusively to Hillary Clinton.

The problem is that the people making these accusations, and that have put Sanders' candidacy on trial, not only want to play the prosecution's role, but also judge, jury and executioner. They have proposed that the prosecution will never rest and that defense is not only implausible, but not permitted to be enacted because mounting a defense of Sanders is racist. Or pandering. Or Berniesplaining. I'm sorry but that is stifling dissent at best and race baiting at worst.

The failure of the political discourse to address these concerns without descending into name-calling long predates this primary. Witnesses for or against Bernie Sanders are either deemed off-limits or hopelessly compromised. Subjects are considered taboo. Who decides? AAs get to determine which issues are the most important to them and reject any candidate they believe falls short. But when they smear him by promoting Capeheart's and Brock's obvious biases and conflicts of interest, it's time to chop it up.

You want to call white liberals racists? Go ahead, have at it. But how can you tell white people or POC Bernie supporters their input is irrelevant and unwelcome when you're making blanket condemnations? Are we guilty of microinvalidations during these discussions? More than likely. But the stakes are way too high for either side to keep quiet or walk on eggshells for fear of the eagerly pointing finger of the opposition.

Like it or not, MLK and the Poor People's Campaign and Sanders' economic populist platform are closely related. He's promoting voting rights. He has a 100% rating from NAACP. He, not Clinton, is calling for an end to for-profit prisons and police brutality. I will continue to bring up these important issues because that's what supporters do for their candidate while the game is still in play. Especially when there are multiple threads a day denouncing him while people are still making up their minds.

It feels as though we've been transported back into the early Bush presidency after 9/11 when Ari Fleisher remonstrated, "You need to watch what you say, watch what you do." Nowadays it's, "You're not doing your candidate any favors by bringing this up." Yes, we are all doing him a favor when we dispute tired old canards.

Rep. James Clyburn recently endorsed Hillary Clinton but in 2008 he opined there was an almost unanimous view among AA that the Clintons would do anything and everything necessary to damage Obama to the point he would never be elected. He made the case that Clinton is the better candidate in a room full of young AA Bernie Sanders supporters. They were not moved. Both candidates have high-profile supporters in the AA community. This is the time for not against, a discussion of issues facing all voters.

Hillary is capable of acts of racism that are anti-democratic and that should chill voters:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/12511272815

Nuts and seeds

I'm always looking for ways to eat healthy and that means less meat and more veggies. Beans and legumes are good ways to incorporate plant protein into our diets and I substitute wherever I can. However, for the sake of ingesting more omega-3 fatty acids, I'm turning to nuts and seeds these days. I eat nut butters, put nuts in salads, on top of oatmeal and in stir fry dishes. I'm also using chia seeds in smoothies. Chobani yogurts have those new "flip" containers, many with nuts in them. Some salsas even use nuts and seeds and they are very delicious too.

Do you have any recipes or thoughts on how to eat more of these?

Here's one of my new finds:
http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Mexico-Pumpkin-Seed-Salsa

Pumpkin Seed Salsa (Sikil P'ak)

Ingredients:

1 1⁄4 cups raw, unhulled pumpkin seeds (available at nuts.com)

 2 plum tomatoes, cored

 1 habanero chile, stemmed (or less hot chile)

 3 tbsp. finely chopped cilantro

 3 tbsp. finely chopped chives

 Kosher salt, to taste

Instructions:

1 Heat an 8″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add pumpkin seeds, and cook, swirling pan often, until lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a food processor, and process until smooth, about 45 seconds; set aside.

2 Return skillet to heat and add tomatoes and chile; cook, turning as needed, until charred all over, about 5 minutes for the chile, 7 minutes for the tomatoes. Transfer to food processor with pumpkin seeds along with cilantro, chives, and salt, and pulse until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, and serve at room temperature.

Byko: Is America ready for a Jewish president?

Byko: Is America ready for a Jewish president?
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/20160216_Is_America_ready_for_a_Jewish_president_.html#bmlALwSxqeDCHcgQ.99


WHEN BERNIE Sanders won the New Hampshire primary, he became the first Jew to win a major party presidential primary - the first to even win delegates.

But how Jewish is he? Who even knows he's Jewish? Will it matter that he's Jewish?

In the recent Milwaukee debate, when asked how he felt about possibly "thwarting history" by blocking the path of the first woman president, Sanders replied enigmatically that, "from a historical point of view, somebody with my background, somebody with my views" would also be a first. Not exactly playing the Hebrew National card.

Hillary Clinton makes frequent mention of gender in her candidacy. Sanders never volunteers anything about his religion, and reluctantly replies to those questions. Is it personal, tactical, or practical?

Two of the three previous Jewish candidates for president - Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter in 1995 and Pennsylvania Gov. Milton Shapp in 1976 - were early flameouts, probably more because of policy and personality than religion. The same for Joe Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew who ran briefly in 2004. (Shapp, however, told friends he doubted he would have been elected governor under his obviously Jewish birth name, Shapiro, which he changed while in business to avoid prejudice.)

One person of Jewish ancestry was nominated: In 1964, Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater got the Republican nod. Goldwater's father was Jewish, but the conservative senator was raised Christian. At the time, Jewish journalist Harry Golden quipped, "I always knew the first Jewish president would be an Episcopalian."....

Often wrongly described as cranky, which is ageist and inaccurate, Sanders wants to be an "issues" guy and can be gruff when someone tries to inject what he regards as frivolities.




Undoubtedly it is. The author goes on to say he thinks it's not a big issue. I think Bernie is correct to keep this part of his identity out of the conversation about his candidacy, but that doesn't mean others won't interject it or aren't considering it as a flaw. There are still people who feel that this is a Christian country and the president, therefore, should come from one of the Christian denominations. The finger-gate article which recently appeared in WaPo, I believe, is a thinly-disguised Jewish dog whistle. While Bernie does not belong to the Israel-can-do-no-wrong faction, his very Jewishness places him in a minority. Nobody would dare openly state their anti-Semitism but that doesn't mean it isn't part of the virulent opposition that plagues Sanders.

Hillary's honesty problem hits home in NH

Hillary's honesty problem hits home in NH

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/big_tent/Hillarys-honesty-problem-hits-home-in-NH.html


NASHUA, N.H. – Voters in New Hampshire’s Democratic primary decided that the “L word” applies to Hillary Clinton.

No, not “liberal.” It’s the one that rhymes with “fire” and denotes a problem with honesty.

Just over a third of the voters (34 percent) in the primary said that honesty was the most important character trait in their decision on whom to support. Of that group, Sen. Bernie Sanders won 92 percent of their votes, to 6 percent for Clinton, according to exit polls.

Yikes.

Sanders defeated Clinton by a landslide Tuesday, winning more votes than anyone else in the history of New Hampshire presidential primaries. That big a victory will skew some exit poll numbers -- but 92-6?

Ron Senet, 33, of Londonderry, told my colleague Maddie Hanna that he voted for the Vermont senator because “I just feel that he’s not owned by anyone. I like his ideas,” even though he’s not sure how realistic they are.

But “I don’t trust Clinton,” said Senet, who works in the automotive industry. “I think she’s just a part of the political regime.”
...

It’s true that Republicans over the years have hit Clinton hard for a variety of things, some of it vicious or exaggerated. But she’s handed them plenty of ammunition, too, and it is noteworthy that she appears to think she has no responsibility for perceptions that she is not trustworthy.


Ouch! More at the link.

Fighting in Iowa, Hillary Clinton fears repeat of 2008 loss

Fighting in Iowa, Hillary Clinton fears repeat of 2008 loss
http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/20160127_ap_7a55844339354fb990ff9bd90c5f397d.html#1VlW3GyF0xtd8wg6.99

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) - When Bernie Sanders rolled into Decorah, nearly 2,300 people were waiting for him. Chants of "Feel the Bern" filled the spirited hall from a crowd roughly equivalent to a quarter of the town's population. "If we have the kind of turnout that I hope we can," Sanders told the rally, "then we're going to win here in Iowa."

Two days later, on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton received a far less raucous greeting in the same northeastern Iowa college town. A largely elderly crowd of 450 listened quietly, clapping politely at her applause lines.

It's all beginning to resemble a bad flashback for the second-time Democratic presidential candidate, who once again finds herself barnstorming through the frozen stretches of Iowa with a diminished lead in the polls and an underdog rival on the rise.
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