TagCivil Liberties

Right Wing Group Threatens Toys R Us Over Gay Wedding in Archie Comics

A right wing group called One Million Moms is threatening a boycott against Toys R Us for carrying

Toys R Us didn’t respond to HuffPo’s request for comment, but here’s what they got from Archie Comics CEO Jon Goldwater:

As I’ve said before, Riverdale is a safe, welcoming place that does not judge anyone,” he wrote. “It’s an idealized version of America that will hopefully become reality someday. We’re sorry the American Family Association/OneMillionMoms.com feels so negatively about our product, but they have every right to their opinion, just like we have the right to stand by ours. Kevin Keller will forever be a part of Riverdale, and he will live a happy, long life free of prejudice, hate and narrow-minded people.

Huffington Post: One Million Moms Threatens Toys ‘R’ Us With Boycott Over Archie Comics’ Gay Wedding Issue

Bill Whitcomb, who brought this story to my attention, says “Obviously, I haven’t been keeping track of Archie, but I’m surprised that they are this progressive.” Same here, but I do remember seeing this on Boing Boing.

Government Proposes to Forbid London Urban Explorers From Speaking To Each Other for 10 Years

Last year four members of the London Consolidation Crew were caught exploring the abandoned platforms of Aldwych tube station four days before the Royal Wedding. They were let off with a warning. But now Transport for London is trying to stop the group from even associating with each other:

Last month TfL applied to issue anti-social behaviour orders which would not only stop them undertaking further expeditions and blogging about urban exploration but also prohibit them from carrying equipment that could be used for exploring after dark. Extraordinarily, it also stipulates they should not be allowed to speak to each other for the duration of the order – 10 years. […]

For Garrett, part of the goal is helping to iron out the security loopholes they exploit. But this “service to the city” has proved a double-edged sword. “What this all comes down to is the Olympics because what we’re doing could make London’s security seem weak, which is embarrassing for TfL,” he says.

“But rather than stifling our free speech to tell Londoners there are security weaknesses all over the system, they should probably call us and bring us on as consultants to help fill these gaps.”

Guardian: Underground ghost station explorers spook the security services

See Also:

Place Hacking, a blog on urban exploration with tons of photographs and videos.

Night Vision

This news story on Ningunismo and the late Agent 222 (aka Roy Khalidbahn aka Rodrigo Sierra)

ACLU Sues Library for Blocking Wiccan Websites

Pentacle

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Eastern Missouri sued a local public library on Tuesday for allegedly blocking websites related to Wicca, a modern pagan religion.

Anaka Hunter of Salem, Mo., said she tried to access websites about Wicca, Native American religions and astrology for her own research, but the library’s filtering software blocked the sites.

According to the ACLU, the software labeled the sites as “occult” and “criminal.”

The Hill: ACLU sues library for blocking Wiccan websites

Bonus: the library director is accused of saying she had an obligation to report people who accessed said sites to the police.

Have we really learned nothing from the West Memphis Three fiasco?

Plan the Government-less Internet at Contact

Contact is an unconference organized by Douglas Rushkoff on the subject of building new, government-less Internets. The event will be held in New York City on October 20 2011.

Here’s part of Rushkoff’s explanation of the event:

At the epicenter of CONTACT will be the Bazaar – a free-form marketplace of ideas, demos, haggling, and ad-hoc connections. If you have visited the Akihabara, Tokyo’s ultra-vibrant open-air electronics market, or the under-the-highway open-air jade market of Kowloon, or even the Burning Man festival, you understand the power of combining commerce, physical location, and serendipity. A decidedly unstructured counterpart to the convened meetings, solo provocations, and the MeetUpEverywheres, the Bazaar will bring p2p to life, encouraging introductions, brokering, deal-making, food-tasting, and propositions of every kind. It is where the social, business, political, and spiritual agendas merge into one big human agenda.

Contact will hope to revive the spirit of optimism and infinite possibility of the early cyber-era, folding the edges of this culture back to the middle. Social media has come to be understood as little more than a marketing opportunity. We see it as quite possibly the catalyst for the next stage of human evolution and, at the very least, a way to restore p2p value exchange and decentralized innovation to the realms of culture, commerce and government.

Content was never king. Contact is. Please join us, and find the others.

Shareable: The Evolution Will Be Socialized

See also: 3 Projects to Create a Government-less Internet and 4 More Projects to Create a Government-less Internet

Klintron Talks Ad-Hoc Networking on Web TV Show

You’ll only hear my voice, though, we didn’t do live video in. I’m talking about the subjects raised in my government-less Internet series. I start about 11:57 minutes in, and I’m followed by Johnny Diggz of Tropo and Geeks Without Bounds who talks about some of the more practical, boots on the ground type stuff people are doing to keep communications networks working during emergencies.

4 More Projects to Create a Government-less Internet

I did a follow-up to my story last week about wireless mesh network projects, adding four more projects to the original list of three.

ReadWriteWeb: 4 More Projects to Create a Government-less Internet

Also, I’ll be on This Week in Cloud Computing tomorrow around 3:45 PST talking about wireless ad-hoc networks.

3 Projects to Create a Government-less Internet

I wrote about three different projects that are working to create a government-less Internet over at ReadWriteWeb:

In Cory Doctorow’s young adult novel Little Brother, the protagonist starts an wireless ad-hoc network, called X-Net, in response to a government crack-down on civil liberties. The characters use gaming systems with mesh networking equipment built-in to share files, exchange message and make plans.

The Internet blackout in Egypt, which we’ve been covering, touches on an issue we’ve raised occasionally here: the control of governments (and corporations) over the Internet (and by extension, the cloud). One possible solution, discussed by geeks for years, is the creation of wireless ad-hoc networks like the one in Little Brother to eliminate the need for centralized hardware and network connectivity. It’s the sort of technology that’s valuable not just for insuring both freedom of speech (not to mention freedom of commerce – Egypt’s Internet blackout can’t be good for business), but could be valuable in emergencies such as natural disasters as well.

Here are a few projects working to create such networks.

ReadWriteWeb: 3 Projects to Create a Government-less Internet

I also wrote a piece on how some Egyptians are getting around the Internet crack down.

SubGenius Custody Battle Finally Over, but Reverend Magdalen is Still Banned From Keeping SubGenius Materials in Her Home

I’m a little late in reporting this, but here’s some good news:

The final deadline of September 22, 2010 came and went without any last-minute attempts by Reverend Magdalen’s former boyfriend to appeal the custody decision. This means that the custody case is now officially CLOSED IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK. Any further attempts to disrupt Magdalen’s relationship with her son would have to be filed in the state of Georgia. This means that he would most likely have to SPEND MONEY to do so.

In other words: After four years of hell and over $100,000 in costs to her, IT’S OVER. And the final result is an anticlimax: Magdalen, her husband, and her ex-boyfriend are back to the status quo. That, plus she is still the only SubGenius officially banned from keeping SubGenius materials in her home, where her innocent son might accidentally come across them and become corrupted into the corrupt, obscene, decadent SubGenius cult that got his Mom into trouble in the first place.

The High Weirdness Project: Reverend Magdalen

(Thanks Trevor)

I’m very saddened, however, that Magdalen is still banned from possessing SubGenius materials in her own home. That can’t possibly constitutional.

United Nations No Longer Condemns the Execution of Homosexuals

The General Assembly passes a resolution condemning extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions and other killings every two years. The 2008 declaration included an explicit reference to killings committed because of the victims’ sexual preferences.

But this year, Morocco and Mali introduced an amendment on behalf of African and Islamic nations that called for deleting the words “sexual orientation” and replacing them with “discriminatory reasons on any basis.” […]

The resolution, which is expected to be formally adopted by the General Assembly in December, specifies many other types of violence, including killings for racial, national, ethnic, religious or linguistic reasons and killings of refugees, indigenous people and other groups.

Reuters: U.N. panel cuts gay reference from violence measure

The Protest Psychosis: How Schizophrenia Became a Black Disease

Protest Psychosis:  The Protest Psychosis: How Schizophrenia Became a Black Disease

Jonathan Metzl, author of The Protest Psychosis: How Schizophrenia Became a Black Disease, interviewed in Psychology Today:

By the mid- to late-1960s, however, schizophrenia was a diagnosis disproportionately applied to the hospital’s growing population of African American men from urban Detroit. Perhaps the most shocking evidence I uncovered was that hospital charts “diagnosed” these men in part because of their symptoms, but also because of their connections to the civil rights movement. Many of the men were sent to Ionia after convictions for crimes that ranged from armed robbery to participation in civil-rights protests, to property destruction during periods of civil unrest, such as the Detroit riots of 1968. Charts stressed how hallucinations and delusions rendered these men as threats not only to other patients, but also to clinicians, ward attendants, and to society itself. You’d see comments like Paranoid against his doctors and the police. Or, Would be a danger to society were he not in an institution.

Psychology Today: How Schizophrenia Became a Black Disease

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