• Category Archives Legal
  • Florida’s Medieval Unwedded Cohabitation Law Punishes Hundreds

    This is archaic, punitive, and barbaric.

    This…, is Florida.

    From policestateusa.com:

    Hundreds of Floridians are being fined and imprisoned for the crime of living with a romantic partner without government permission, thanks to an old-time cohabitation law that is still in effect.

    As stated in Chapter 798 of the Florida Statutes:

    798.02?Lewd and lascivious behavior.—If any man and woman, not being married to each other, lewdly and lasciviously associate and cohabit together, or if any man or woman, married or unmarried, engages in open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior, they shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

    Second-degree misdemeanors in Florida are punished by fines of $500 or up to 60 days in jail.

    The law dates back over a century, crafted by authoritarians bent on using the state as a mechanism for social engineering and population control. The state’s primary means to this end was in forcing citizens to get permission to marry, in the form of marriage licenses. To prevent certain “undesirable” pairings of citizens, the state was empowered to deny couples the right to marry each other.

    Florida resident Sierra Hooper tells Turning Left, “It’s just crazy to me that there is a law for that here … not only can an employer fire you at any time,  you can be arrested as well for who you live with.”

    Welcome to Rick Scott’s “Right to Work” Florida.

    Social engineering, indeed, socialism, at its worst.

    Read more here.

  • Protests for a Living Wage Commence

    McDonald's protest
    Dozens of people were arrested during a minimum wage protest outside a Detroit McDonald’s. (Credit: Bill Szumanski/WWJ Newsradio 950)

    Low-Wage Workers ‘Movement’ Flexes Its Muscles Nationwide

    Employees of the fast-food industry demand $15 minimum wage and better workplace protections as actions expected in 150 cities across the country

    Fast-food workers are out in force nationwide on Thursday as they participate in a day of action designed to highlight the scourge of low-wages and push a series of demands to combat the persistent poverty endured by those who form the backbone of  the profitable multi-billion dollar industry.

    Led by organizers at FightFor15—and supported in their call by the Service Employees Union International (SEIU), grassroots organizers, and other workers’ rights groups—the fast-food employees say that singular actions that first started in New York City in 2012 and then spread to other cities have now become a national movement. Pushing for a $15 per hour “living wage” for all workers is the central but not sole demand of the workers and those who back them.

    Organizers are expecting worker strikes and solidarity protests in 150 U.S. cities as employees of Burger King, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and other chains demand a dramatic increase to the minimum wage, better workplace protections, and the right to organize and join a union.

    According to NBC News:

    In Kansas City, Missouri, workers are expected to walk out of 60 restaurants. Latoya Caldwell, a Wendy’s worker, is one of dozens of fast food employees in Kansas City who plan to sit down in a city intersection, lock arms and get arrested.

    “We’re a movement now,” Caldwell said on Wednesday before starting a shift at Wendy’s. She and several co-workers said that 25 of the more than 30 non-management employees in their restaurant have pledged to strike. “We know this is going to be a long fight, but we’re going to fight it till we win,” said Caldwell, 31, who is raising four children alone on $7.50 an hour and was living in a homeless shelter until earlier this year.

    The strikers cite frustration about their continued struggle to survive at the bottom of the labor market even as the broader economic news seems positive. “They say the economy is getting better, but we’re still making $7.50,” said Caldwell. “Nobody should work 40 hours a week and find themselves homeless, without enough money to buy them and their kids food, needing public assistance.”

    Early reporting in the day documented actions in Detroit, Chicago, New York, Charlotte, New Orleans and elsewhere.

    In Detroit, protesters protesting outside a McDonald’s early on Thursday were arrested after they locked arms and sat down in the street, blocking local traffic.

    The local CBS news affiliate reports:

    Kaya Moody, a 20-year-old single mother who works at a different McDonald’s location in Detroit, has taken part in several protests and she admits it hasn’t been an easy sell.

    “We always get the ‘Do you really think you deserve $15 an hour as a fast food worker?’ We get that a lot and I just feel like, who doesn’t deserve $15 an hour, you know? It’s a living wage. No one can survive off of $8.15 an hour, it’s almost impossible,” Moody told WWJ’s Ron Dewey.

    The protests have been going on for about two years, but organizers have kept the campaign in the spotlight by switching their tactics every few months. In the past, supporters have showed up at a McDonald’s shareholder meeting and held strikes. The idea of civil disobedience arose in July when 1,300 workers held a convention in Chicago.

    Kendall Fells, an organizing director for Fast Food Forward, said workers in a couple of dozen cities were trained to peacefully engage in civil disobedience ahead of the planned protests.

    Dispatches and photos from other actions are being shared on Twitter under the#StrikeFastFood hashtag:

    #StrikeFastFood Tweets

    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

  • The Three False Premises of the Ryan Poverty Plan (TalkPoverty.org)

    Stephen Pimpare at TalkPoverty.org performs a critical analysis of Congressman Paul Ryan’s so-called “poverty plan.”

    You won’t want to miss it:

    So what’s so bad about Paul Ryan’s thinking about poverty?

    First, there’s nothing new in it. He offers block grants, cuts to programs, new work requirements, school vouchers, regulatory repeal, more money to faith-based initiatives, and privatizing social services, presenting us with little more than fresh marketing for tired ideas that — when tried in the past — made people’s lives worse, not better. Even the proposals that might seem promising are badly designed — like his way of expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit.  With the possible exception of his proposals to reduce some mandatory minimum sentences — which advocates of all stripes have been agitating for for decades — it’s old wine in old bottles.  Why should we treat it as newsworthy or innovative?

    There’s a deeper problem with Ryan’s approach beyond the details of his proposal.  The foundation itself is rotten: the project is built upon three fatal, false premises.

    Read the full analysis here at CommonDreams.org

  • Video: President Obama Torpedoes a Loaded FOXNews Question

    From our friends at Occupy Democrats:

    BRET HENRY: President Obama, as you grappled here with all these national security challenges, I have two questions. One, back home we’ve learned that 40 military veterans died while they were waiting for health care, a very tragic situation. I know you don’t run the Phoenix Office of Veterans Affairs, but as Commander-in-Chief, what specifically will you pledge to fix that?

    And, secondly, more broadly — big picture — as you end this trip, I don’t think I have to remind you there have been a lot of unflattering portraits of your foreign policy right now. And rather than get into all the details or red lines, et cetera, I’d like to give you a chance to lay out what your vision is more than five years into office, what you think the Obama doctrine is in terms of what your guiding principle is on all of these crises and how you answer those critics who say they think the doctrine is weakness.

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, Ed, I doubt that I’m going to have time to lay out my entire foreign policy doctrine. And there are actually some complimentary pieces as well about my foreign policy, but I’m not sure you ran them.

    Here’s I think the general takeaway from this trip. Our alliances in the Asia Pacific have never been stronger; I can say that unequivocally. Our relationship with ASEAN countries in Southeast Asia have never been stronger. I don’t think that’s subject to dispute. As recently as a decade ago, there were great tensions between us and Malaysia, for example. And I think you just witnessed the incredible warmth and strength of the relationship between those two countries.

    We’re here in the Philippines signing a defense agreement. Ten years ago, fifteen years ago there was enormous tensions around our defense relationship with the Philippines. And so it’s hard to square whatever it is that the critics are saying with facts on the ground, events on the ground here in the Asia Pacific region. Typically, criticism of our foreign policy has been directed at the failure to use military force. And the question I think I would have is, why is it that everybody is so eager to use military force after we’ve just gone through a decade of war at enormous costs to our troops and to our budget? And what is it exactly that these critics think would have been accomplished?

    My job as Commander-in-Chief is to deploy military force as a last resort, and to deploy it wisely. And, frankly, most of the foreign policy commentators that have questioned our policies would go headlong into a bunch of military adventures that the American people had no interest in participating in and would not advance our core security interests.

    So if you look at Syria, for example, our interest is in helping the Syrian people, but nobody suggests that us being involved in a land war in Syria would necessarily accomplish this goal. And I would note that those who criticize our foreign policy with respect to Syria, they themselves say, no, no, no, we don’t mean sending in troops. Well, what do you mean? Well, you should be assisting the opposition — well, we’re assisting the opposition. What else do you mean? Well, perhaps you should have taken a strike in Syria to get chemical weapons out of Syria. Well, it turns out we’re getting chemical weapons out of Syria without having initiated a strike. So what else are you talking about? And at that point it kind of trails off.

    In Ukraine, what we’ve done is mobilize the international community. Russia has never been more isolated. A country that used to be clearly in its orbit now is looking much more towards Europe and the West, because they’ve seen that the arrangements that have existed for the last 20 years weren’t working for them. And Russia is having to engage in activities that have been rejected uniformly around the world. And we’ve been able to mobilize the international community to not only put diplomatic pressure on Russia, but also we’ve been able to organize European countries who many were skeptical would do anything to work with us in applying sanctions to Russia. Well, what else should we be doing? Well, we shouldn’t be putting troops in, the critics will say. That’s not what we mean. Well, okay, what are you saying? Well, we should be arming the Ukrainians more. Do people actually think that somehow us sending some additional arms into Ukraine could potentially deter the Russian army? Or are we more likely to deter them by applying the sort of international pressure, diplomatic pressure and economic pressure that we’re applying?

    The point is that for some reason many who were proponents of what I consider to be a disastrous decision to go into Iraq haven’t really learned the lesson of the last decade, and they keep on just playing the same note over and over again. Why? I don’t know. But my job as Commander-in-Chief is to look at what is it that is going to advance our security interests over the long term, to keep our military in reserve for where we absolutely need it. There are going to be times where there are disasters and difficulties and challenges all around the world, and not all of those are going to be immediately solvable by us.

    But we can continue to speak out clearly about what we believe. Where we can make a difference using all the tools we’ve got in the toolkit, well, we should do so. And if there are occasions where targeted, clear actions can be taken that would make a difference, then we should take them. We don’t do them because somebody sitting in an office in Washington or New York think it would look strong. That’s not how we make foreign policy. And if you look at the results of what we’ve done over the last five years, it is fair to say that our alliances are stronger, our partnerships are stronger, and in the Asia Pacific region, just to take one example, we are much better positioned to work with the peoples here on a whole range of issues of mutual interest.

    And that may not always be sexy. That may not always attract a lot of attention, and it doesn’t make for good argument on Sunday morning shows. But it avoids errors. You hit singles, you hit doubles; every once in a while we may be able to hit a home run. But we steadily advance the interests of the American people and our partnership with folks around the world.

    A full, complete, thoughtful, reasoned response.

  • Rand Paul’s Cliven Bundy Says People Think He’s Racist Because Martin Luther King Jr. Didn’t Finish His Job

    Cliven Bundy
    Cliven Bundy

    Well, now I know who Cliven Bundy is, and I wish I didn’t.

    And, for the life of me, I don’t understand why he’s getting so much attention.

    Bundy has been allowing his cattle to graze on federally-owned lands. The feds don’t want that to happen any more. Bundy used an “ancestral rights” argument, likening his treatment to the way Native Americans were treated by the United States.

    This man is a real tool.

    Here is part of a CNN interview where he blames Martin Luther King Jr. that he, Bundy, can’t say anything he wants, like the N-word, calling black men “boy,” etc.

    Watch as he moves from offensive to more offensive.

    And, until he came out with his racist comments, Senator Rand Paul and other members of the GOP adopted him as their new love child.

    Watch the interview and cringe:

    H/T: http://www.politicususa.com

  • KKK Forms Neighborhood Watch in Fairview Township, PA

    Here’s something you don’t see every day.

    From Think Progress:

    After a string of local break ins, a Pennsylvania chapter of one of America’s largest hate groups is taking matters into its own hands. On Monday, the Ku Klux Klan established aneighborhood watch to monitor criminal activity in Fairview Township, Pennsylvania.

    According to the imperial wizard, Frank Ancona, the task force was developed to complement existing police efforts — and people in the town have purportedly called on the KKK to do what local authorities aren’t. In the past two months, there have been more than nine alleged vehicle break ins, including a few at a local FedEx. A burglar also attempted to steal from a home in the area.

    “It’s just like any neighborhood watch program. It’s not targeting any specific ethnicity. We would report anything we see to law enforcement,” Ancona told PennLive. “We don’t hate people. We are an organization who looks out for our race. We believe in racial separation. God created each species after its kind and saw that it was good.”

    The last line tells all. I’ll repeat that:

    “We don’t hate people. We are an organization who looks out for our race. We believe in racial separation. God created each species after its kind and saw that it was good.”

    So some of us are of a different species?

    Watch out if you’re of the wrong “species” in Fairview Township.

    And rest well:

    To draw attention to the KKK’s efforts, members have passed out fliers to promote the new endeavor. For instance, one flier assures Fairview Township residents that they can sleep soundly knowing that the KKK is wide awake.

    This is not a joke.

  • Take Action: Sign Jeff Merkley’s Petition – Disclose the Big Money!

    From , Jeff Merkley U.S. Senate candidate from Oregon:

    Ever since the Supreme Court’s outrageous Citizens United decision, corporate spending on political campaigns has skyrocketed.

    But much of that spending never gets disclosed anywhere. We have no idea who is attempting to influence our elections.

    Republicans in Congress may have blocked action, but the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has the power to do something about it. They can create a rule that requires corporations to disclose to their shareholders (and thus, to the public) whether and how much they are spending to influence voters.

    But so far, the SEC has opted to do nothing. That’s not OK.

    Sign our petition and tell the SEC it’s time to stand up and take action.

    If we’re going to fix our democracy, we have to make sure that voters know who is trying to pick winners and losers in our elections.

    Jeff Merkley

    Sign on!

  • The Science of Arousal and Rape: Popular Science

    Worth your time to drop over here and read this article.

    An excerpt:

    Rape is not always violent. Some survivors surrender to protect themselves or their loved ones. Some are intoxicated, drugged, physically or mentally incapacitated, or in a position without power. Some (doubly horribly) are children. Rape does not always include penile penetration. Some rapists are married to their victims. Some rapists are women. Some women rape men. And sometimes, in the middle of an act that is always a violation, a rape survivor will experience increasingly intense physical sensations leading to climax – an orgasm.

    Judges, juries, prosecutors, all in the legal system need to be aware. An orgasm during rape does not imply consent. In fact, it only makes the shame greater.

    Worth your time.

  • Can I Say That I Love The Pope? After This (Video), I Certainly Do

    What you see here seems so simple.

    So simple.

    But remember this…

    What you see is anything but simple…

    This man "proves" by example.

    "Teaches" by example.

    "Loves" by example.

    This pope understands the teachings of Christ.

    And none of those teachings stipulate that Christ never, ever said, "DO NOT LOVE."

    On the contrary.

    First, there is no ordination in the Catholic Church higher than bishop.

    Cardinals are appointed. Popes are elected.

    The Pope is Bishop of Rome, and has an incredible amount of authority, power, whatever.

    Which is why this is so striking.

    The pope confessed his sins to "an ordinary priest."

    Wow. Wow. And, Wow.

    Love this guy, forever.

    Francis should be the Patron Saint of Popes, moving forward.

    I love him.