Posts Tagged Activism
by: Heather Callaghan
Sunday, August 5, 2012
You can only retain freedoms if you act to preserve them. – Karl Tricamo
Stay-at-home dad Karl Tricamo was another unsuspecting gardener just going about his favorite hobby and following the rules. He loves to garden with his 55 heirlooms and dislikes GMOs and pesticides.
But, like so many others now, he was pushed around and literally stalked by “Code Enforcers” out to aggressively eradicate any “nuisance” that doesn’t match the rest of their desired Stepford neighborhood. This is after he, also like many targeted for garden deconstruction, painstakingly followed the rules.
“I just thought it would be an excellent way to help provide for my family,” he said. “People have been gardening since the beginning of human civilization, and the First Lady has even been setting an example by gardening at the White House! I never expected it to be so controversial.”
City officials in Ferguson, Missouri do not care if someone is trying to feed his family on his turf; so they literally cited Tricamo’s landlord with ‘Failure to meet the minimum standards of the City of Ferguson exterior appearance code.’
Now, doesn’t that sound like a highly subjective code? It would, had it been an actual code instead of an intimidation tactic.
Karl’s neighbors seemed to be in accordance with his fruitful yard plan. One of them even allowed Tricamo to plant tomatoes in her garden as a “show of solidarity.”
by: Jane Phelan
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
In a startling reversal of fortune, a Sacramento Superior Court judge ruled last Friday to stay the revocation of activist psychologist Dr. Robert Fettgather’s license to practice psychology.
Dr. Fettgather’s license had been ordered revoked in May after he refused to submit to a psychiatric examination ordered by the California State Psychology Board. The revocation was set to come into force on July 27. The stay grants Dr. Fettgather permission to work as a licensed psychologist until the writ can be heard requesting the Board’s decision be entirely overturned.
Blasting the Psychology Board for launching an action against Fettgather without justification, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley declared that the Board lacked good cause to compel him into a psychiatric evaluation. Judge Frawley also raised concerns that the Administrative Law court further denied Fettgather’s right to due process in refusing to hear any evidence from Fettgather. According to Fettgather’s attorney, Dr. Bruce Ebert, Frawley also raised questions as to the cavalier manner in which the Psychology Board had attempted to force Fettgather into a psychiatric exam.
In an interview July 30, Ebert stated, “If there was any part of government that should understand the seriousness of ordering someone to undergo a forced psychiatric exam it should be the Board which regulates the practice of psychology.” Ebert went on to say, “We all need to be concerned when psychiatry is used as a weapon rather than as a tool for mental health.”
Fettgather had run into difficulties last year when his advocacy for his disabled son, David, who is under a conservatorship and held in custodial care, raised the ire of a State Assemblyman. Doctor Fettgather had spoken at a Town Hall meeting and criticized Assemblyman Jim Beall for failure to follow through on the plight of David. Assemblyman Beall then made a report to the Dignitaries Protection Unit of the California Highway Patrol, alleging that Fettgather had threatened him. The report was investigated and considered to be of no merit, according to the CHP. However, shortly thereafter the State Psychology Board contacted Dr. Fettgather and stated that they were investigating him.
Monday, July 30, 2012
According to court documents, Adam “Ademo” Mueller, journalist and co-host of nationally syndicated radio talk show Free Talk Live, has been indicted on three counts of felony wiretapping. The charges are a result of a vlog Mueller posted on CopBlock.org about an incident involving alleged police misconduct, which featured recorded interviews of on-duty public officials.
by: Brandon Turbeville
Thursday, July 26, 2012
In yet another example of how the nation’s waste management methods are absolutely unsustainable, a long-running debate between two waste disposal companies and a South Carolina environmental regulatory agency regarding the shipping of 300 railcars containing about 60,000 to 78,000 tons worth of radioactive dirt from New Jersey to South Carolina landfills is beginning to heat up yet again.
The waste at issue would be coming from a housing site in Sayreville, New Jersey that is currently being redeveloped and “cleaned up” for future purposes. The soil was originally recovered from an industrial cleanup site by the Raritan River, located south of New York City.
While it is claimed that the majority of the dirt contains “natural radiation,” SC regulators claim that radiation has been “technically enhanced” and has become more concentrated while at the site in New Jersey. This would, of course, cause the material to become more radioactive.
Yet Sayreville Seaport Associates, the company currently housing the contaminated soil, is still determined to outsource its own radioactive garbage to the Lee County, South Carolina dump that sits off of Interstate 20.
Unfortunately for Sayreville, the Lee County garbage dump, which is operated by Republic Services, is not designed for radioactive industrial waste – it is only designed to hold household garbage. Indeed, even the household garbage that it currently holds has become somewhat of a local issue regarding the overwhelming smell caused by the landfill.
With that in mind, it is fortunate that some South Carolina environmentalists and some state lawmakers are opposing the new dumping effort.
For months, we’ve been raising the alarm about the serious civil liberties implications of the cybersecurity bills making their way through the Senate. Hours ago, we received some good news.
A new bill called the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (S 3414) is replacing the prior Lieberman-Collins Cybersecurity Act (S 2150). This new bill drastically improves upon the previous bill by addressing the most glaring privacy concerns. This is huge, and it’s thanks to the outcry of Internet users like you worried about their online privacy. Check out the new bill (PDF).
Make no mistake – we remain unpersuaded that any of the proposed cybersecurity measures are necessary and we still have concerns about certain sections of the bill, especially the sections on monitoring and countermeasures. But this was a big step in the direction of protecting online rights, and we wouldn’t be here without the support of Internet users contacting Congress in droves.
- Ensuring that only civilian agencies—not the National Security Agency—are in charge of our nation’s cybersecurity systems. Let’s face it, we don’t want the agency that’s been spearheading the illegal warrantless wiretapping program for over 11 years to be charged with protecting citizens’ privacy interests in the realm of cybersecurity.
- Ensuring data isn’t shared with law enforcement except in very specific, limited circumstances. Language in the first Lieberman-Collins Cybersecurity Act would have allowed data collected under cybersecurity purposes to be passed to law enforcement if there was evidence of criminal activity. This raised major concerns about our online service providers snooping through our communications for potentially incriminating data and passing it to the government without a warrant—a digital Big Brother. The new language of the bill limits data flowing to the government to information which appears to pertain to 1. A cybersecurity crime investigation; 2. An imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm; and 3. A serious threat to minors, like sexual exploitation and threats to physical safety.