Republicans often paint the ACLU as some shadowy cabal of elite communists plotting to destroy the government and subvert traditional family values. But the ACLU does a lot of important work fighting for Americans' constitutional rights — free speech, free expression, free press.
And now, free porn…
The American Civil Liberties Union is suing a Washington state library district for not offering access to online porn…The search censorship by the North Central Regional Library also means some websites — such as Google Images and YouTube — are blocked too. The board decided the filter serves its mission to promote reading and lifelong learning…
The ACLU is representing three library users and a nonprofit organization, and argues that federally funded libraries should disable their filters upon the request of an adult.
“This case is about an overly broad filtering policy that has restricted an adult student from using the Internet for a class assignment and a professional photographer from accessing art galleries online,” ACLU cooperating attorney Duncan Manville said in a statement.
While the 2012 Republican candidates have yet to comment on the controversy, I think it's fair to assume that Mitt Romney would side with the ACLU. After all, he can't resist a money shot.
If the case makes it all the way up to the Supreme Court, the justices would likely rule in favor of the ACLU and the porn industry. The liberal members of the bench have always stood firmly on the side of civil liberties. As for the right wing of the court, if there's one thing we've learned from Citizens United, it's that the conservative justices fully support whoring themselves out for cash.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: ACLU, Citizens United v. FEC, Constitution, Education, Laws, Porn, Sex, Supreme Court
Faced with the unsettling news that Congress is still somehow more popular than Fidel Castro, a bipartisan group of representatives began an effort to rectify the situation by holding hearings on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which would punish companies for posting pirated content online and prove that censoring the Internet isn't just for authoritarian communist states anymore.
But a few Members of Congress think shutting down all access to a domain because a user uploaded copyrighted material to a website is going just a little bit too far…
More recently, we've seen growing opposition within Congress itself. The latest SOPA opponent: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
Reacting to a tweet from San Francisco resident Jeffrey Rodman, the San Francisco Democrat tweeted on Thursday that her colleagues "need to find a better solution than #SOPA." She also urged Congress: "#DontBreakTheInternet." This seems to be the first time Pelosi has weighed in on the SOPA debate, and it suggests that the concerns of SOPA's critics are being heard on the Democratic side of the aisle.
And Pelosi is far from the only member of Congress opposed to the legislation. On Tuesday, ten members of Congress signed a "dear colleague" letter expressing concerns with the bill. The signers were nine Democrats plus Rep Ron Paul (R-TX), a libertarian-leaning candidate for the GOP presidential nomination.
Maybe, but then again, when someone on the bus sneezes in your face, is the proper response to hand them a tissue and ask them to excuse themselves? Or, should you take out a gun and blow their brains out? Sure, the first solution is "targeted" and commensurate with the offense, but the second is oh so satisfying and permanent.
Such is the thinking of SOPA sponsor and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, who believes the appropriate reaction to our favorite series of tubes being clogged with pirated material is to rip up the pipes and bludgeon the high-tech and social-media industry until the piracy stops. And who (except politicians of wildly divergent opinions like Nancy Pelosi and Ron Paul, and law professors, and engineers, and civil libertarians) could disagree?
Photo by Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Group/Getty Images
Tags: ACLU, House of Representatives, Internet, Lamar Smith, Nancy Pelosi, Ron Paul, Twitter
For the United States, there are a few downsides to being number one in such highly competitive rankings as "most prisoners" and "highest incarcaration rate per capita." Although accounting for 25% of the world's prison population while containing only 5% of the world's total population is an impressive feat, this accomplishment comes with certain costs; housing, securing, and providing medical attention to hundreds of thousands of inmates is an expensive proposition.
Now Texas, ever the leader in the burgeoning field of pissing off the ACLU, has come up with an ingenious $2.8 million cost-cutting solution. Do all those prisoners really need to eat three times a day?
Texas prison officials last month ended the decades-old practice of serving last meals to inmates about to be executed after one man ordered an elaborate feast of hamburgers, pizza and chicken-fried steaks that he did not eat.
But the 300 inmates on death row are not the only ones coping with food restrictions.
Thousands of other inmates in the Texas prison system have been eating fewer meals since April after officials stopped serving lunch on the weekends in some prisons as a way to cut food-service costs. About 23,000 inmates in 36 prisons are eating two meals a day on Saturdays and Sundays instead of three. A meal the system calls brunch is usually served between 5 and 7 a.m., followed by dinner between 4 and 6:30 p.m.
Of course, it's always possible to get even more creative. With nearly 500 executions since 1976, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice has all the ingredients one needs for soylent green.
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: ACLU, Food, Prison, Texas
Once again, the American Civil Liberties Union wants to ruin our government's Jesus-given right to do something awesome. This time, the socialist hippies who run the ACLU's Massachusetts clubhouse are all pissed off about totally legal sexytime patdowns at the airport…
The Boston Herald reports that Transportation Security Administration screeners at Logan International Airport are testing what one official called an 'enhanced patdown.' It lets screeners use a palms-forward, slide-down search procedure on passengers' bodies.
Sounds hottt, right? Not to the freedom-haters at the ACLU!
The ACLU questions whether the new technique is effective enough to justify what it calls a "seemingly constant erosion of privacy."
It is really sad that the ACLU prefers terrorism and tragedy to brief, efficient, seductive, luscious, steamy, romantic touchy-feely sessions with a strong yet gentle TSA employee. Also, hel-LO, this is necessary for us to avoid another 9/11 and thus another Terrorist Victory Mosque!
Why does the ACLU hate going to second base for American Safety?
Tags: ACLU, Homeland Security, Massachusetts, Terrorism
Hey, it's the modern world! We live in the '90s, right? (Radical, dude!) Gone are the days when a teenage girl's request to attend her high school prom with her girlfriend would be flat-out refused. Remember back then? That was hella lame!
No, today they just cancel the whole prom…
The Itawamba County [Mississippi] school district's board decided Wednesday to drop the prom because of what it called recent distractions but without specifically mentioning the girl's request, which was backed by the American Civil Liberties Union.
The student, 18-year-old high school senior Constance McMillen, said the cancellation was retaliation for her efforts to bring her girlfriend, also a student, to the April 2 dance.
You know, though, you really can't blame the Itawamba County school board for this. This is just the sensible thing to do. Like, let's say they allow this girl to attend the prom with her homosexual lesbian sapphic girlfriend and then an earthquake happened in, I don't know, Guam or something. Then, who would everybody be pointing their fingers at? Yep. Itawamba County school board is just covering their asses.
But do you know who I feel sorry for in all this? (Besides the Itawamba County school board, I mean.) This poor girl. Just imagine how she's dealing with the scorn thrust upon her by her peers for her lesbian ways and their baleful consequences. She must be inconsolable after having gone through this ordeal so far…
"A bunch of kids at school are really going to hate me for this, so in a way it's really retaliation," McMillen told The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson.
Somehow, I think she'll get through this okay. I've just got a feeling.
Tags: ACLU, Education, LGBT, Mississippi