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.

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.

Blashpemy, free speech and the law, part 2

Continuing on this line of thought:


Kansas woman charged in flag-desecration case files suit

By The Associated Press
OMAHA, Neb. — A Kansas woman accused of violating Nebraska’s flag-desecration law two years ago filed a lawsuit Dec. 30 against more than a dozen officials, including the state’s governor and attorney general, whom she alleges are trampling on her rights.

The lawsuit filed on Shirley Phelps-Roper’s behalf in U.S. District Court in Lincoln argues that Nebraska’s flag law and another state law that restricts protests at funerals should be declared unconstitutional and barred from being enforced.

(Remainder of story at link, above.)

To be continued…

NYC National Debt Clock runs out of digits

NEW YORK – In a sign of the times, the National Debt Clock in New York City has run out of digits to record the growing figure.

As a short-term fix, the digital dollar sign on the billboard-style clock near Times Square has been switched to a figure – the “1” in $10 trillion. It’s marking the federal government’s current debt at about $10.2 trillion.

[Remainder of newsbrief item at link, above.]

Short-term fix; that seems to be the word of the day, um, week…month? As I recently posted over at LiveJournal:

A Fable for Our Time:

A Japanese company and an American company decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River. Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race.

On the big day, the Japanese team won by a mile.

The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat.

A team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action. Their conclusion was the Japanese team had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 8 people steering and 1 person rowing. So American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion.

The consulting firm advised that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing.

To prevent another loss to the Japanese, the American’s rowing team’s management structure was totally reorganized to consist of 4 steering supervisors, 3 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager. They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 1 person rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the “Rowing Team Quality First Program”, with meetings, dinners and free pens for the rower. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses.

The next year the Japanese won by two miles.

Humiliated, the American management:

  1. laid off the rower for poor performance,
  2. halted development of a new canoe,
  3. sold the paddles, and
  4. cancelled all capital investments for new equipment.

The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses.

The next year’s racing team was outsourced to India.