Category: Law

Meet Your 2016 Legislation

It’s January — a time of credit card debt, resolutions you don’t intend to keep, and new legislation that kicked in at the turn of the calendar. What laws are going to be making your life better — or worse — in 2016? Let’s take a look.

Oregon militia bulldozes Native American archaeological site, still NBD

During their weeks-long occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, armed militants have declared their intention to return the federal land to its “rightful owners.” They’ve also made it apparent that by “rightful owners,” they weren’t talking about the Burns Paiute tribe, whose ancestral lands encompass the reserve. And on Wednesday, they made their priorities clear when they bulldozed a path through a Burns Paiute archaeological site.

When a deadly act of fear and ignorance is deemed “objectively reasonable”

When a grand jury last week failed to pass down an indictment on Timothy Loehmann, the Cleveland police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice in public park last winter, they did so under the influence of three reports declaring the shooting “objectively reasonable.” In other words, in light of the circumstances the officers thought they were facing, it was reasonable for them to shoot Rice after rolling up and assessing the situation for less than a second.

Quick hit: An armed militia has occupied a federal building in Oregon, but whatever, NBD

On Saturday, a group of armed men seized control of the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge outside of Burns, Oregon. The building was unoccupied at the time they took control and they hold no hostages, but Ammon Bundy (son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, he of his own anti-government standoff in 2014), has said that they “will be [t]here as long as it takes,” up to several years, adding, “We have no intentions of using force upon anyone, (but) if force is used against us, we would defend ourselves.”

Tamir Rice

No indictment (That’s a NYT article, by the way). And the took the opportunity to say that the child looked older than twelve (he didn’t; adults need to learn what twelve looks like, and regardless, it isn’t a capital crime…

Quick hit: This is not a thing that happens

Content note: rape and rape apologia Bullshit. Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. You don’t accidentally fall on somebody and penetrate their vagina with your penis. I can’t believe this defense flew, and after only 30 fucking minutes of deliberations. Who thinks this?…

Today’s horrifying news

In today’s (well, I read it yesterday) horrifying news, a Tennessee woman is being charged with attempted murder after trying to self-abort with a coat hanger when she was 24 weeks along. After she began bleeding profusely her boyfriend rushed…

Thoughts on nail salons

Thinking about the 1909 Shirtwaist Strike got me thinking about immigrant women workers today. You may have read these NYT articles about the exploitation and abuse of undocumented immigrant women working in nail salons in New York City. What these…

White men with guns

So, ludlow expressed some confusion over the intent of this post. Here’s the story: The most embarrassing thing to me about it is that I used the wrong word. Should be “rein.” The post was originally supposed to be a…

Hundredth verse, same as the first: Talking mental health after mass shootings

We’re now almost four weeks out from the shooting at an Oregon community college that killed nine people and injured ten more, and we know what that means: We can now stop “caring about mental health care” without guilt. Time heals all weaknesses in the mental health system, and while it becomes a subject under great scrutiny whenever a gunman commits a mass shooting, the passage of time, and the accompanying passage of fear, washes away those concerns pretty effectively. (Until the next shooting, of course.) And it happens isn’t because we manage to effectively address all of our problems in the interim but because discussions purportedly focused on Improving Mental Health Care are actually all about Protecting The Good People From The Crazies.

If your cause is solid, you shouldn’t have to lie about it. (Yeah, there’s more video.)

When I was little, in our house, lying was basically the worst offense you could commit. Honesty was a huge thing then, and it remains a huge thing for me now. That’s one reason all of these attacks on Planned Parenthood have been especially heinous to me — the lying to get undercover footage, the misleading editing to create violations that were never committed, the video Carly Fiorina lied about seeing. And now there’s more footage, more Carly Fiorina was right! footage, showing an abortion, unless it doesn’t, but no it totally does, or at least it looks like an abortion, but okay that’s not important because Planned Parenthood is evil.