FOSS uber-guru Richard Stallman on CISPA: “nearly abolishes” 4th Amendment

Russia Times interviewed Richard M. Stallman — the guy who in many folks’ estimation singlehandedly made the “greybeard” meme — on CISPA, and here’s what he had to say.

A choice quote:

If you store any data in a US company, that company – with few exceptions – is legally required to hand that data over to US government without even a search warrant, so I think both individuals and governments should take precautions to make sure that their citizens’ data is not being handed over to US companies or their foreign subsidiaries, which are also subject to that same hypocritically named Patriot Act.

This naturally means that I am opening myself to all manner of privacy violations by blogging on a US-hosted network. Yes, CISPA still has to pass the Senate, and the veto pen, but that’s small consolation given Obama’s less than stellar record on civil liberties. I consider the Senate to be the Maginot Line for this one.

Hat tip Greg Laden, who has so many blogs of his own, yet he still had to throw me this red meat.

MP Stephen Woodworth won’t answer a simple question about rape and abortion

The question in question is, “if a woman is raped, do you support her right to an abortion?”

Woodworth’s the guy that’s trying to reopen the abortion debate as a private member proposal despite Harper’s campaign promise that the present abortion laws would not be revisited yet again. So, with tacit approval from his party — who, while they aren’t backing him explicitly, certainly are more than willing to allow the debate to happen, and with their steamroller house numbers would almost certainly win if they voted in lockstep with their party — here we go again. Expect no engagement on the topic in parliament, since that’s well out of fashion these days. But expect at the same time some heavy trolling on the internet to make it seem like there’s popular support. Not that the populace brought this forward, or are encouraging it.

Oh sure, he’ll engage personally with people like Steve Thoms (SomeCndnSkeptic) on Twitter for weeks on end, getting science wrong, getting the law wrong, getting simple words wrong, and smearing opponents as being like Bashar al-Assad, dictator of Syria.

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Trolling to be illegal worldwide (Updated: bill dead!)

Update: The below is mostly nullified as the bill was sent back to the House with amendments, but died anyway. Thank goodness. Of course, all the other non-trolling-related nonsense mentioned below still stands!

Well, if you happen to troll someone in Arizona, anyway.

Arizona House Bill 2549 passed both legislative houses last Thursday and is now awaiting approval from Arizona’s governor Brewer. The statute states that,

“It is unlawful for any person, with intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend, to use a ANY ELECTRONIC OR DIGITAL DEVICE and use any obscene, lewd or profane language or suggest any lewd or lascivious act, or threaten to inflict physical harm to the person or property of any person.”

If the electronic devices and means are employed to stalk a victim, the penalty bumps up to a class 3 felony.”

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General Zoi: “So I tried to go to a brony meetup today”

Consciousness-raising is usually a pretty difficult thing, especially if you’re trying to become a presence in a community to which you’re only peripherally involved, and the event that inclines you toward trying to do so also gets you irritated or annoyed or angry. Given the circumstances, I think General Zoi probably did about as well as I might have managed myself.

Since it was just the three of us, we were kind of just sitting around having rather stilted conversation, waiting for other people to show up. The organizer started talking about other people who had RSVPed. I do not recall what exactly prompted him to say this, and I really wish I could, but he suddenly said, “One of the people coming is a trap. They used to be a guy.”

I looked at him. “Trap?”

“It’s from General Akbar. ‘It’s a trap!’”

“I don’t really care where it’s from. Why did you call her a trap?”

“That’s what the Internet calls them.”

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Underwhelming response to trans rights bill, overwhelming response to trans beauty queen

I don’t know if you realized it when it happened, but last time around here in Canada, when bill C-389 amending the standing 1977 Canadian Human Rights Act to include transsexual and transgender rights was about to pass in the last parliament, it became a victim of the 2011 election when the government was dissolved before it could become law.

The process, which had taken almost a year, fell apart before its proponents’ eyes. Transsexual and transgender persons came within a hair’s breadth of being protected under our Charter, but became an accidental casualty instead of Harper’s bid for more power. They truly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

If you have a memory that stretches all the way back to 2011, you’ll remember the common media narrative and pushback against this bill was that it was the “Bathroom Bill” — a bid to allow “perverts” to use a woman’s bathroom despite having a penis, and possibly prey on unsuspecting little girls. Suddenly, public bathrooms would go from safe havens to molestation central.

You know, because homosexuality and transsexuality are all about molesting little kids. Or something.

So, you might be surprised to know that this time around, now that Bill C-276 by Liberal MP Hedy Fry and C-279 by NDP MP Randall Garrison were introduced and now that by luck of the draw Garrison’s bill was read into the Parliament, pretty much nobody’s taking it seriously at all.

Not the media, not the MPs, nobody.
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Ontario judge (maybe) to anti-choice activist: “You’re wrong and your God’s wrong”

Hat tip to Ibis3 for pointing this story out to me.

Apparently, according to “pro-life” news aggregator LifeSiteNews.com, Justice S. Ford Clements dispensed approbation judiciously to an anti-choice protester by the name of Mary Wagner who’s been harassing abortion clinic patients in violation of her probation. Dammit Janet reports:

[Wagner] was charged with mischief and two counts of failing to comply with probation orders (indicating previous brushes with the law, yes?).

She’d been harassing patients and workers at the Bloor West Village Women’s Clinic. But she’s not content to stand on the sidewalk with gory pictures; she enters the clinic with flowers, brochures, and counselling in-person harassment.

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Matt Barber Godwins the whole abortion debate

And the shameless application of icing on the nonsense cake: pro-lifers are like Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

He actually thinks that abortion of a blastocyst is exactly like killing an adult human being for religious reasons. A woman’s right to bodily autonomy is exactly like the Holocaust. Unbelievable. How do you reason with people like him, exactly?

Via Right Wing Watch.

Women marrying their rapists: the “perfect solution”?

What a strange few days it’s been for me. It’s 25°C today, and it’s been about that for the past several days. And all the while, while sweating and cursing the unnatural heat, I’ve been working crazy hours and basically ignoring the goings-on on the intertubes. I honestly feel something like one of those Sims characters, whose Fun meter has completely bottomed out and is waving frantically at the camera and yelling about a video game controller or something. For some reason, I consider mocking ridiculous nonsense on the internet to be stress relief in a way.

But, where to start? There’s just so much! I guess I’ll just have to pick the most execrable piece of news I’ve come across; the piece of news that makes all my own personal travails seem like the first-world problems that they are. Something so damning of humanity that I can retreat comfortably into the crazy amounts of overnight work I need to do tonight as though it was a candlelit warm bath with a glass of wine.

Something like this story. Emphasis mine.

The suicide of Amina Filali, a Moroccan 16 year old instructed by a court to marry her rapist, has sparked outrage on the internet and protests in the streets of Barat, Morocco’s capital. A law allowing rapists to escape prosecution if they marry their victims is an “embarrassment”, campaigners say – which is one way to put it, although some might prefer “psychological torture” or “total disgrace”.

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Here we go again. Tory to reopen abortion debate in Canada

Despite Harper’s campaign promise that the abortion debate would not be reopened yet again, one of the bare few line items on his agenda I actually agree with, it looks like those “values” politicians in his extreme-right party just can’t leave well enough alone. Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth is attempting to get Parliament to take up debate on the topic by calling into question the legal definition of “human being” — and he may just get away with it, because he’s exercising his power as a private member to make his proposal, leading to debate and a vote. All this without sullying the Harper government’s reputation, such as it is, for following through on all its campaign promises.

Woodworth wants Parliament to create a committee of politicians whose task it will be to review a law that says unborn children are not legally considered human beings. If parliamentarians agree to Woodworth’s request, a special committee would review Section 223 of the Criminal Code that says a child becomes a human being only after its complete birth and not while it is still a fetus.

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Anti-woman Republican quotes, spoken by women

Sounds pretty different when women are saying these things, doesn’t it? Sounds more… wrong, somehow.

As though you could get any more wrong than a bunch of stodgy old men legislating or pontificating on how women’s rights need to be abrogated. And all while these rights are being destroyed systematically.

Yeah, when you piss off over half of the voting populace, you’ve got three courses of action: either stop trying to take away their rights, finish the job and also take away their right to vote, or simply accept defeat and withdraw your ideology from the marketplace of ideas. What’s it going to be, GOP?