Category Archives: civil liberties

The Encyclodpedia of

Check out a thorough collection of articles about 9/11 via NYMAG‘s Encyclopedia of 9/11.

What Dinh didn’t anticipate was a profound shift in liberalism and, therefore, in the politics of the country. Even with a Democrat now in the White House, the liberalism that protects the right of the individual against the majority—the politics of civil rights and abortion and gay marriage—has diminished, in favor of one that aims to improve the lot of the median man. Obama’s liberalism is for the majority, not against it. This spirit, and the unlikely endurance of the Patriot Act, owes something to the central psychological events of the decade: the vitality and threat of new economic competitors, the social violence initiated by the authors of obscure financial instruments, but first and most of all September 11—each of which evoked a particular feeling, that we were all together, under attack. .::Patriot Act

Concerns For Transgender Travelers

This new TSA nekkid booty-scanner/German pat-down policy may have an impact on the lives of transgender people that a ninja like myself didn’t even anticipate. How would you feel if every secret about your genitalia were suddenly revealed, or worse, if you were outed against your wishes in front of co-workers or friends?

The new policy presents transgender travelers with a difficult choice between invasive touching and a scan that reveals the intimate contours of the body. Unless and until NCTE and our allies can get these unreasonable policies fixed, NCTE encourages transgender travelers to think through the available options and make their own decisions about which procedure feels least uncomfortable and less unsafe. (Source – complete with travel tips)

Unfortunately, someone’s genitalia and/or chest not matching up with their gender presentation and/or marker may be enough to raise an inspector’s suspicions. A trans person is then put in the position of having to explain their situation, which is not something most of us enjoy doing, particularly those living stealth. But really for any of us, it is uncomfortable and opens us up to the possibility of judgmental reactions from these strangers who have authority over us in that moment. Explaining to someone why I have a vagina, or why there is an elastic band around my waist with a pouch and a fake dick sounds like something really triggering.

Also, pat-downs are “conducted by same gender officers.” Obviously this could lead to awkward and even dangerous situations for trans people whose appearance may not lead to an obvious perception of male or female, or whose gender markers haven’t been changed, don’t match, etc. (Source)

Will Phillips: Give the Kid a Ninjie Award

With 2009 winding down it’s time for us to start talking about our yearly awards. For the record, we’ve done this every year since the main site was born (one cold June day) and we’ve never once, I don’t think, given a legitimate award. When I read the now widespread article about Will Phillips in the Arkansas Times, I knew this was going to have to be the first, hopefully of many, ninjie awards for the year.

Let’s recap. Will skipped from the 3rd to the 5th grade, because, as you will soon learn, he’s way smarter than your average Joe.

Being only 10 years of age, he has clearly already surpassed the few teachings that primary school can hope to offer him. His deal, you ask? Well he refuses to say the pledge of allegiance.

Now, in 3rd grade I myself read that book, In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson, which was the first instance I remember of perceiving an inherent farce to the pledge. I think it’s because I had never much focused on the words, and when I did I realized that some of the lofty concepts in the pledge are not fully attained in practical application in our society. Still, I had no good, entirely American reason to boycott the pledge.

Will’s deal is that his parent’s are the ill gay rights activists. Will supports his parents’ effort by attending rallies with them. It’s evident that their cause has rubbed off on him. When Will realized that Americans were seeking to block homosexual rights he decided that he was going to stop saying the pledge. Obviously, in middle America this is going to cause, at teh very least, a small kerfuffle. The whole thing ended with this dude telling his teacher to jump off a bridge. For serious. That’s what I call “American.” Read the article, he’s gangster.

I’m posting this mostly because I heard that the kids in his school have taken to calling him names and harassing him in the hallway. Will, if you need some ninjas to come straighten some stuff out for you, we’ll hand-deliver this ninjie. People call us names too, for supporting gay rights, Cuba, and all that. Keep your head up, kid. You just might be the best kid ever.

Rulings on Prop 8 Coming Tomorrow

The Associated Press
Posted: 05/25/2009 11:54:01 AM PDT
Updated: 05/25/2009 11:54:01 AM PDTSAN FRANCISCO—Gay marriage supporters are holding a prayer service on the eve of the California Supreme Court’s expected ruling on the legality of a voter-approved ban on same-sex nuptials.

The group Marriage Equality USA plans to hold the interfaith event Monday night at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.

On Tuesday morning, the state’s high court plans to rule on a series of lawsuits seeking to overturn Proposition 8.

Opponents of the gay marriage ban argue that the issue was improperly put before voters; they say it revised the state constitution’s equal protection clause to such a dramatic degree that it first needed the Legislature’s approval.

But during a March hearing, several justices appeared skeptical at the idea of overturning a law passed by the voters.

Here at PoltricksMNP, we’ve never had a whole hell of a lot of faith in the good common sense of people in general, I mean, not to insult your intelligence.  If you’re reading this, I’m assuming you’ve read our blog before.  So, having done that, you’ll know that we’re not known for having any amount of blind faith in the legal system or process.  When I heard about the upcoming prop 8 rulings tomorrow, I figured that this was just the forum to air those views that may be contrary to the mainstream.

A lot of people have asked me recently about my support for gay marriage, but mostly in terms of pure ignorance like: “are you gay, my ninja?” No, I’m not gay, but that’s beside point anyway.  The point is, how can a real life human being not support basic human rights for another real life human being?  Aren’t we civilized enough to care about one another, at least in statute?

Here’s my example, ready?  If you’re a hick (which I am slightly against, but I digress) and you drink moonshine out of a boot and beat up on your wife, well,  you can probably assume that as a ninja, first and foremost, I don’t approve of your disgusting way of life.  That doesn’t mean that I don’t think that you have the same right to life as anybody else out there.  I would never suggest that somebody who leads a life that doesn’t live up to my standards is somehow sub-standard on the human scale – even in the face of what I would consider to be reprehensible behavior.

Therefore, how you gonna try and deny somebody rights on the basis that you don’t like them or their kind?  I am sick and tired of these needlessly sophisticated arguments about the institution of marriage and the family unit and everything else non-sequitur under the sun.  These people need to at least grow enough sack to admit that they just don’t like gay people.  I’m saying… I do happen to know that I never even heard the words “institution of marriage” in a sentence until gay marriage became an issue.  Nobody has seemed particularly concerned with the family unit until now (at least not enough to turn off the TV once a week between 1966 and today).  That’s okay with me.  I mean, I myself have no problem with gay people, but it’s personally within your rights to dislike whoever you want.

What is not within the right of a citizen of a true republic is the power to trample on the rights of another citizen- especially without some logical basis for it.  Especially when in this case their is no chance of harm to society for letting people be people.  This same paradigm holds true, if not formally true, in regards to how I feel about torture.  the information obtained from treating people inhumanely is not worth it.  Otherwis, what is the point.  If we can’t be “better” than the “terrorists” then why are we fighting them and claiming to stand against the ideologically?  Certainly they, too believe in the “by any means necessary” approach, eh?

I’ve come to realize that I view discrimination against gays and blacks as the same thing.  Of course some people, especially some black people, will be up in arms about that statement.  No, you numbnuts, it’s not the EXACT same thing (furthermore, nothing is the EXACT same as anything else…. in the universe) but it’s damn close.  It’s so close that they use the same arguments that they tried to use to justify Jim Crow.  “Oh, blacks and whites can’t co-exist, and certainly not inter-marry.”  “What will happen when blacks are raising white children?” “What will happen to the family unit when the races are mixed?”  “What do we tell the school children about the niggers?”

All of a sudden, these things which were not a concern during 200 years of slavery are now THE most pressing issues justifying Jim Crow?  The anti-gays (gaysists) even go as far as to offer a revoltingly insulting “separate-but-equal” argument in these so-called civil unions.

“What’s the difference?  It’s the same water… just different fountains, a black one and a white one.”  Maybe it’s time we stop living like that.

More to come… feedback appreciated and encouraged.

.::Prop 8 Article via Mercury News

Obama, Just Saying ‘No’

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0M6orSr5QvA[/youtube]

In the not-so-important but definitely over-hyped Obama ‘online townhall’ – where the President took questions in the form of Youtube videos voted-on by internet users – Obama took the time to address a question that received a great number of votes, but that he would not be discussing in-depth: legalization of marijuana.

Now, I didn’t expect this President to legalize marijuana – but his age, and previous comments about ‘inhaling frequently’ had me thinking he wouldn’t end up dropping some condescending bullshit like “I don’t know what this says about the online audience“.

Well, Mr President, I’ll tell you what it says about the online audience – the audience that you exploited to elect you [you have a feckin' Twitter account - give me a break], and that you’ve made such a show of addressing in this silly ‘online townhall’ [and you know, forget the question itself - this could have been any topic, and just happens to be about marijuana use]. It says that we have legitimate views that you need to take the time to adequately and professionally address. It says that by electing you we thought certain completely valid issues would once again be discussed intelligently and maturely by the American people and our government. But instead, the question is the punchline of a Washington joke.

You’re looking more and more Presidential everyday, Mr. Obama – and that shit isn’t a compliment.

Al Qaeda Claims Cucumbers Un-Ladylike

Besides the terrible killings inflicted by the fanatics on those who refuse to pledge allegiance to them, Al-Qa’eda has lost credibility for enforcing a series of rules imposing their way of thought on the most mundane aspects of everyday life.

They include a ban on women buying suggestively-shaped vegetables, according to one tribal leader in the western province of Anbar.

Sheikh Hameed al-Hayyes, a Sunni elder, told Reuters: “They even killed female goats because their private parts were not covered and their tails were pointed upward, which they said was haram.

.::Read the rest at –> telegraph.co.uk

I kinda feel them, though. I mean… I’ve seen a few of the wrong girls pick up a few of the wrong vegetables and thought about implementing my own fundamentalist beliefs. Seriously though, I’m not sure how to take this report. If it’s serious then it ranks among the top ten goofiest reasons why the global Jihad will fail. If it’s not serious… then it’s in extremely poor taste… and puts a whole new spin on gazpacho.

Dallas Police Score Big

image-of-cocaine.jpg

An undercover police agent in Dallas, Texas probably shit his pants today after he found some 50 lbs. of cocaine hidden in hydraulic compartments of a 2004 Infinity coupe they seized two months ago. The po-lice have been using the car in undercover operations since.

Ninjas hope to find the ’99 Honda seized at the same time and sold at auction before the police do.

mumia is still not free

… but he got his death sentence overturned.

mumiapanthers1970.jpg

whats really good though, they decided he needs a new sentencing hearing but not a new trial? Its dope that he wont be on death row anymore, but this seems in a lot of ways like a bogus concession to make it seem like the justus system is doing the right thing when the actual trial was what was completely jacked up, not–objections to the death penalty in general aside–the sentencing.

anyways this post probably belongs on the politricks page, but here are some of Mumia’s thoughts on hip-hop music…

Check out the documentary A Case for Reasonable Doubt in its entirety here.

Fear-Mongering

Earlier today I posted about a great Op-Ed piece in the Post this morning about the fact that the PAA has expired. Well, this group, “Defense of Democracies” has taken it upon themselves to spread the message that we’d just better reconsider!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUXIKA38xHQ[/youtube]

Great article here about just who these people are.

53-40

That was the vote to confirm Michael Mukasey late Thursday night as our 81st Attorney General.

So let’s see. Now Chuck Schumer will forward legislation explicitly banning waterboarding, since his good buddy Mukasey assured him that such legislation would be enforced. It’ll pass the Senate with something like 90 votes, then it’ll get through the House with similar support. The President will cheerfully sign it, with the new AG by his side, talking about the importance of the rule of law. This will be swiftly followed by the grand tradition of Bush-era bipartisanship, pictured below:

bipartisanship

A day after the bill-signing, Charlie Savage will find, buried deep within the Federal Register, a newly written signing statement which pledges to uphold the waterboarding ban, so long as doing so doesn’t infringe upon the President’s dual role as Commander-in-Chief and head of the unitary executive branch. The story will run on page A9 of the Boston Globe, and might get a two-paragraph blurb in the Washington section of the New York Times. None of the networks will mention it.

Then, sometime in mid-February, Democrats in Congress will claim to be “troubled” and “deeply shocked” that despite AG Mukasey’s previous assurances, evidence continues to roll in that US agents are using waterboarding. There will be an angry letter from Chairman Leahy demanding that Mukasey testify on these matters before the Judiciary Committee. The White House will say no, it being inappropriate for a member of the Executive Branch to be summoned like an errand boy before Congress. The Senate will drop it in the name of compromise.

And far from Capitol Hill, at some undisclosed location, a prisoner in American custody will have water poured down his throat until he begins to drown. This will be done again and again until he tells his captors what they want to hear. To protect our freedoms.