Some random thoughts

about tech companies boycotting North Carolina (or anywhere else) over the recently passed Discrimination Act (in this case, North Carolina House Bill #2).

If they wanted their threat to have any immediate effect, every windows computer & phone (don’t laugh, I’m sure there are at least a few in the state!), every Google device, Android OS, Apple product, etc., would have an overnight update to no longer operate within the geographic boundaries of the state.

Every motion picture currently showing in the state would immediately be pulled from every streaming service still accessible and from every theater.

That, friends and neighbors, is how to conduct a boycott in a technological society.

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Lesko, who says she’s not Catholic and has “no moral objection against contraceptives,” doesn’t think many employers will take advantage of bill’s provisions. Perhaps not. But one is too many.

And yes, this is exactly what it will come to because the people who think up things like “religious exemptions” generally only think in terms of their own belief structure.

religious exemptions

This advisory brought to you due to the following article:

Noxious Arizona birth control bill pulled for a rewrite under pressure

Can they really do that?

So, in the social media news of the day, we find the following story:

Employers ask job seekers for Facebook passwords

(The remainder of the article is at the link, above.) My subject question is largely rhetorical, obviously, they *can* ask you that. However, is it legal that they do so? That will be a matter for someone willing to file a court challenge to it and the lawyers, judges and possibly juries who hear the case, when it does eventually get filed, which I am fairly certain that it will.

For the record, Facebook, and pretty much every single social media site out there includes in their Terms of Service (those pesky things most people don’t bother reading before clicking the “I accept” link, that indicates that you should not, under any circumstances, comply with such a request:

 Facebook’s Terms of Service, Section 4, paragraph 8: “You will not share your password, (or in the case of developers, your secret key), let anyone else access your account, or do anything else that might jeopardize the security of your account.” 

 That’s pretty clear to me, and as for allowing any prospective employer to see who my friends are on a social media site (or anywhere else, for that matter), I have a loud, resounding “Fuck, no.” I don’t consider it anyone else’s business who I have granted access to my posts (even if 99% of my Facebook posts are public to begin with – largely because they mostly are links to other things posted publicly on the internet.) I don’t even like allowing the very few apps I’ve authorized for Facebook to have the access they want – I see no reason why any app should need to see my information “even when not using the site”, and again, they should not need any information about my friends/associates. But that’s a slightly different rant.

Having had my personal life thoroughly investigated in the past (I formerly held a security clearance of high degree, and that’s about as specific as I’ll get on the matter publicly), I understand the desire of employers to access that type of information, but again, what I post on line is none of their business, unless I happen to be talking about them specifically, in which case it is likely going to be one of those public posts, such as this, which will eventually make its way towards my Facebook. You may have noticed at no point have I mentioned the name of any such company engaging in said activity – that’s deliberate. It’s also pretty much the way I like to conduct my life.

Say what?

Noted Elsewhere as a response to someone’s rebuttal argument about something that I’m quite certain was positively earth-shattering in its importance, was this gem:

“Wait, what’s that? None of these claims can be supported by actual facts and evidence, or even make sense? WELL FUQ YOU, THIS IS MY OPINION, AND OPINIONS DON’T NEED FACTS TO VALIDATE THEM. IT IS IN THE FIRST AMENDMENT THAT I GET TO SAY WHATEVER THE FUCK I WANT AND NO ONE CAN EVER DISAGREE WITH ME OR ELSE THEY’RE UNAMERICAN, SLUTTY TERRORISTS.”

Sad to say that this opinion is held by more than a few people, and only the part about opinions not needing facts to validate them is accurate.

The first amendment doesn’t have a damned thing to do with opinions – yours, mine or otherwise – and if our educational system wasn’t so fucked by a lack of funding, the factual amendment might actually still be taught in school.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” 

That’s what it actually says.

There have been many discussions over the centuries (we are working on the third one for this country) about exactly what ‘freedom of speech’ means, and while more than a few restrictions have been placed on aspects of speech, but you know, the ability to disagree with someone, even on the internet, still exists.

Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell and other lies we tell our children

Since Congress cannot muster the huevos y cajones to actually repeal this crappy piece of law, I think they should amend it.

Below is the pertinent section; now, in your mind (or prefered text manipulation system, change all of the references to homosexuals and their homosexual acts to non-specific people and their sexual acts. (There is some additional text both before and after this section that would need tidying up to bring into compliance as well, but this is the important part.)

(b) Policy.— A member of the armed forces shall be separated from the armed forces under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense if one or more of the following findings is made and approved in accordance with procedures set forth in such regulations:
(1) That the member has engaged in, attempted to engage in, or solicited another to engage in a homosexual act or acts unless there are further findings, made and approved in accordance with procedures set forth in such regulations, that the member has demonstrated that—
(A) such conduct is a departure from the member’s usual and customary behavior;
(B) such conduct, under all the circumstances, is unlikely to recur;
(C) such conduct was not accomplished by use of force, coercion, or intimidation;
(D) under the particular circumstances of the case, the member’s continued presence in the armed forces is consistent with the interests of the armed forces in proper discipline, good order, and morale; and
(E) the member does not have a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts.
(2) That the member has stated that he or she is a homosexual or bisexual, or words to that effect, unless there is a further finding, made and approved in accordance with procedures set forth in the regulations, that the member has demonstrated that he or she is not a person who engages in, attempts to engage in, has a propensity to engage in, or intends to engage in homosexual acts.
(3) That the member has married or attempted to marry a person known to be of the same biological sex.

Let’s see….

(b) Policy.— A member of the armed forces shall be separated from the armed forces under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense if one or more of the following findings is made and approved in accordance with procedures set forth in such regulations:
(1) That the member has engaged in, attempted to engage in, or solicited another to engage in a homosexual act or acts unless there are further findings, made and approved in accordance with procedures set forth in such regulations, that the member has demonstrated that—
(A) such conduct is a departure from the member’s usual and customary behavior;
(B) such conduct, under all the circumstances, is unlikely to recur;
(C) such conduct was not accomplished by use of force, coercion, or intimidation;
(D) under the particular circumstances of the case, the member’s continued presence in the armed forces is consistent with the interests of the armed forces in proper discipline, good order, and morale; and
(E) the member does not have a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts.
(2) That the member has stated that he or she is a homosexual or bisexual being, or words to that effect, unless there is a further finding, made and approved in accordance with procedures set forth in the regulations, that the member has demonstrated that he or she is not a person who engages in, attempts to engage in, has a propensity to engage in, or intends to engage in homosexual acts.
(3) That the member has married or attempted to marry a person known to be of the same biological sex.

Yeah, that would fly real well, don’t ya think?

Fed judges: Wash. felony inmates should get vote – Seattle- msnbc.com

Fed judges: Wash. felony inmates should get vote – Seattle- msnbc.com

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Incarcerated felons should be allowed to vote in Washington to ensure that racial minorities are protected under the Voting Rights Act, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.

The 2-1 ruling by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the 2000 ruling of a district judge in Spokane. That judge had ruled that state law did not violate the act, and dismissed a lawsuit filed by a former prison inmate from Bellevue.

While I do believe that voter rights should be restored upon completion of sentence, I also believe this ruling to be wrong. I do not believe that inmates should be allowed to vote, regardless of race, religion, ethnic origin, marital status or any other exception.

This state law was applied in all cases, but because there is a higher number of persons of color who are incarcerated, the 9th Circuit Court believes it is “diluting” the voter pool.

Sorry, but that there are a higher number of persons of color in prison is reflective of many factors – unequal application of criminal laws, access to better attorneys and the like, which need to be addressed separately from voting issues by reform within the legal and judicial systems.