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Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Dec 09, 2012 Same-Sex Issue Pushes Justices Into Overdrive
QUOTE: The speed with which the court is moving has some gay rights advocates bracing for a split decision. The court could strike down the federal law, the Defense of Marriage Act, saying that the meaning of marriage is a matter for the states to decide. At the same time, it could reject the idea that the Constitution requires states to allow same-sex marriage, saying that the meaning of marriage is a matter for the states to decide....However the court rules in the California case, its very decision to consider it is a change from the caution of an earlier era.
New York Times Aug 10, 2012 Why Asset Forfeiture Abuse Is on the Rise: It’s time to build a wall of separation between government power and the profit motive.
QUOTE: throughout the United States, government agencies increasingly rely on “civil forfeiture” to bolster their strained budgets. The more assets these modern-day tax collectors seize, the more money they have for new equipment and other things....We should all be concerned that district attorneys—who are, by law, supposed to pursue justice first and foremost—are perpetrating abuses of property rights so that they can fill their coffers with money that comes primarily from people who have not been convicted of any crime.
Reason Aug 08, 2012 UC report on anti-Semitism draws ire
QUOTE: To students who regard Israel as an essential Jewish homeland, this event and others like it that are staged each year on University of California campuses seem hostile, like poorly concealed anti-Semitism - especially when the Israeli flag with its Star of David is paired with a Nazi swastika, says a new report by a UC fact-finding team seeking to understand Jewish students' experiences
San Francisco Chronicle Apr 28, 2012 How Apple Sidesteps Billions in Taxes
QUOTE: The growing digital economy presents a conundrum for lawmakers overseeing corporate taxation: although technology is now one of the nation’s largest and most valued industries, many tech companies are among the least taxed, according to government and corporate data. Over the last two years, the 71 technology companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index — including Apple, Google, Yahoo and Dell — reported paying worldwide cash taxes at a rate that, on average, was a third less than other S.& P. companies’.
New York Times Mar 07, 2012 More Angst Over Pepper Spray
QUOTE: The UC police union and the former officer at the center of the controversy filed for the stay after hearing from a lawyer that the report would contain confidential personnel information, the release of which is prohibited under state penal code....Cruz Reynoso, the law professor emeritus at Davis and former associate justice of the California Supreme Court who was tapped to chair the task force, was outraged at the request – in particular, at its last-minute delivery – and worried that it could prevent the truth of what happened from coming out.
Inside Higher Ed Dec 12, 2011 Amazon Denies It Has a Small-Business Problem (You're the Boss)
QUOTE: For years — since its inception — Amazon has been at implicit war with local brick-and-mortar stores. Last week, the implicit seemingly became explicit when Amazon began a promotion that encouraged customers to check out prices at local retailers and use a specially designed “Price Check” smartphone app to report what they found back to Amazon. Customers who then purchased the same item from Amazon received a 5 percent discount, up to $5.
New York Times Nov 20, 2011 Officers Put on Leave After Pepper Spraying Protesters
QUOTE: The University of California, Davis, said on Sunday that two police officers had been placed on administrative leave after using pepper spray on seated protesters in a widely recorded encounter on Friday afternoon. Reflecting widespread anger over the police behavior...
New York Times Nov 11, 2011 CNN Sets Off a Debate on Race and Technology
QUOTE: In the documentary, the blogger and venture capitalist Michael Arrington is shown saying “I don’t know a single black entrepreneur.”....Already, the program has people talking about a disparity that is often not broached in technology circles — the staggering lack of diversity in Silicon Valley
New York Times Sep 25, 2011 Controversy erupts over Campus Republicans bake sale plans
QUOTE: baked goods will be sold to white men for $2.00, Asian men for $1.50, Latino men for $1.00, black men for $0.75 and Native American men for $0.25. All women will get $0.25 off those prices....a statement about pending legislation that would let the California universities consider race or national origin during the admission process.
CNN (Cable News Network) Sep 22, 2011 Report: Border Patrol abuses widespread
QUOTE: nearly 13,000 testimonies whose results were released in a report this week. The findings went beyond denial of food and water. Migrants held by the Border Patrol spoke of being exposed to extreme heat or cold, sleep deprivation, death threats, and psychological abuse such as blaring music with lyrics about migrants dying in the desert.
CNN (Cable News Network) Aug 19, 2011 Feds investigate L.A. sheriff's office for civil rights violations
QUOTE: The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is being investigated for alleged "systemic" civil rights violations during routine traffic stops by trying to identify people who live in publicly subsidized housing...
CNN (Cable News Network) Aug 19, 2011 In California, Victims’ Families Fight for the Dead
QUOTE: The rights of families like the Tays to be heard has been a fundamental tenet of a movement since California passed its first victims’ bill of rights three decades ago — a model that has been followed by states across the nation....with a United States Supreme Court mandate in May to reduce the populations of California’s overcrowded prisons, Gov. Jerry Brown has thus far upheld 207 of the parole board’s 253 decisions to release convicted killers.
New York Times Aug 09, 2011 Pimps feed on twisting Californian dream
QUOTE: the fight against prostitution has been refocused and now the prostitutes are treated as victims..."With us changing our focus to trying to arrest the pimps, pimping carries a three year mandatory sentence here in California, so to us we have more of an impact because if we can arrest one pimp we can in theory shut down three or four girls because if their pimp's out, it gives them the opportunity to escape the life that they're in."
CNN (Cable News Network) Jul 13, 2011 Amazon Takes On California
QUOTE: Amazon said this week that it would push a voter initiative in California that could eliminate sales tax for virtual sellers with only a modest physical presence in the state. Its move instantly escalated the company’s long-running battle with many states over collecting sales tax, taking the question directly to voters. And it has sharply intensified its dispute with physical retailers like Wal-Mart Stores and Target, which have vowed to fight the measure.
New York Times Jun 29, 2011 California targets Kindle lab in Amazon tax spat
QUOTE: Amazon.com said today that it's reluctantly severing ties with affiliates in California, a move that it hopes will let it continue shipping products to state residents without collecting sales taxes.... The measure says that any retailer who "through a subsidiary" has any "place of business" in California must collect sales taxes.
CNET Jun 14, 2011 Court upholds gay judge's ruling on Proposition 8
QUOTE: A federal judge who ruled against a ban on same-sex marriage in California and later revealed that he is gay showed no evidence he was prejudiced in the case, according to a ruling Tuesday...."It is not reasonable to presume that a judge is incapable of making an impartial decision about the constitutionality of a law, solely because, as a citizen, the judge could be affected by the proceedings,"...
CNN (Cable News Network) Jun 04, 2011 Efforts to Ban Circumcision Gain Traction in California
QUOTE: When a group of activists proposed banning circumcision in San Francisco last fall, many people simply brushed them aside. Even in that liberal seaside city, it seemed implausible that thousands of people would support an effort to outlaw an ancient ritual that Jews and Muslims believe fulfills a commandment issued by God... Activists say the measures would protect children from an unnecessary medical procedure, calling it “male genital mutilation.”
New York Times May 23, 2011 Justices, 5-4, Tell California to Cut Prisoner Population
QUOTE: Conditions in California’s overcrowded prisons are so bad that they violate the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday, ordering the state to reduce its prison population by more than 30,000 inmates.
New York Times Mar 27, 2011 The New Grave Robbers
QUOTE: This so-called descendible right of publicity has created a new kind of business: corporations that acquire and market dead people... Congress should step in and enact a federal right of publicity. In doing so, it should establish clear First Amendment protections and set forth a relatively short term for the right of publicity to survive death (perhaps 10 years). Most important, the law should provide a mechanism that allows people to opt out of marketing their identities after death.
New York Times Feb 05, 2011 States Struggle to Disarm People Who've Lost Right to Own Guns
QUOTE: Tens of thousands of gun owners, like Mr. Perez, bought their weapons legally but under the law should no longer have them because of subsequent mental health or criminal issues.
New York Times Jan 03, 2011 Strained States Turning to Laws to Curb Labor Unions
QUOTE: Faced with growing budget deficits and restive taxpayers, elected officials from Maine to Alabama, Ohio to Arizona, are pushing new legislation to limit the power of labor unions, particularly those representing government workers, in collective bargaining and politics...in some cases — mostly in states with Republican governors and Republican statehouse majorities — officials are seeking more far-reaching, structural changes that would weaken the bargaining power and political influence of unions, including private sector ones.
New York Times Dec 20, 2010 Homes at Risk, and No Help From Lawyers
QUOTE: a new state law that sharply restricts how [lawyers working on loan modifications] can be paid.... unintended consequence: the honest lawyers can no longer afford to assist Ms. Bell and all the others who feel helpless before lenders that they see as elusive, unyielding and skilled at losing paperwork.
New York Times Nov 03, 2010 Ouster of Iowa Judges Sends Signal to Bench
QUOTE: An unprecedented vote to remove three Iowa Supreme Court justices who were part of the unanimous decision that legalized same-sex marriage in the state was celebrated by conservatives as a popular rebuke of judicial overreach, even as it alarmed proponents of an independent judiciary.
New York Times Oct 06, 2010 On the Media: Onetime TV consumer watchdogs now ply their trade elsewhere: David Horowitz, Alan Mendelson and Judd McIlvain fight to build even modest audiences nowadays.
QUOTE: where programs dubbed as the "news" fob off paid promotional segments, touting products and services, like legitimate consumer reporting. We're talking about ads that aren't identified as ads. The putative radio and TV watchdogs of yesteryear, meanwhile, have been pushed to the margins. They work for commercial interests or operate in obscure niches, fighting to build even modest audiences.
Los Angeles Times Jul 02, 2010 Illinois Stops Paying Its Bills, but Can’t Stop Digging Hole (Payback Time)
ABSTRACT: For the last few years, California stood more or less unchallenged as a symbol of the fiscal collapse of states during the recession. Now Illinois has shouldered to the fore, as its dysfunctional political class refuses to pay the state’s bills and refuses to take the painful steps — cuts and tax increases — to close a deficit of at least $12 billion, equal to nearly half the state’s budget.
New York Times Jun 09, 2010 Calif. Voting Change Could Signal Big Political Shift
QUOTE: message Californians sent when they voted Tuesday to radically rejigger elections in the nation’s most populous state. Under Proposition 14, a measure that easily passed, traditional party primaries will be replaced in 2011 with wide-open elections. The top two vote-getters — whatever their party, or if they have no party at all — will face off in the general election.
New York Times May 26, 2010 California Puts Vote Overhaul on the Ballot
QUOTE: a [California-Ed.] ballot measure that would replace traditional primaries in state and Congressional elections with, effectively, two rounds of voting. All candidates would run in the first round, and the top two vote-getters — regardless of party affiliation, or unaffiliation — would then face each other in the general election. Voters’ ultimate choice could be two Republicans or two Democrats, or two candidates with high name recognition, or deep pockets, or populist appeal.
New York Times Apr 27, 2010 Update: Terry Childs found guilty: The admin who kept San Francisco network passwords now faces a maximum of five years in prison
QUOTE: Terry Childs, the San Francisco network administrator who refused to hand over passwords to his boss, was found guilty of one felony count of denying computer services...
InfoWorld Apr 19, 2010 Justices Get Personal Over Privacy of Messages
QUOTE: The question in a case argued Monday in the Supreme Court sounded both irresistible and important: Did a California police department violate the Constitution by reading sexually explicit text messages sent by an officer on a department-issued pager?
New York Times Apr 05, 2010 Case Will Test N.F.L. Teams’ Liability in Dementia
QUOTE: California’s workers’ compensation system provides a unique, and relatively unknown, haven for retired professional athletes among the 50 states, allowing hundreds of long-retired veterans each year to file claims for injuries sustained decades before. Players need not have played for California teams or be residents of the state; they had to participate in just one game in the state to be eligible to receive lifetime medical care for their injuries from the teams and their insurance carriers.
New York Times Oct 17, 2009 In California, a Fight Against Faux Disabilities and Fake Permits
QUOTE: Every day all over California, officials say, untold masses of people are falsifying, misusing and generally abusing special license plates and windshield placards meant to provide easy access to parking for disabled drivers.
New York Times Oct 14, 2009 Schwarzenegger signs bill to crack down on paparazzi: The law will toughen existing regulations on paparazzi, but it could be challenged in court on First Amendment grounds.
QUOTE: Some legal experts agree that it [the new paparazzi law] raises First Amendment issues and could chill the gathering of information.
Christian Science Monitor Oct 09, 2009 Legislation targets those who bet on death: Some investors pay seniors for the right to take out life policies on them. Proposed bill in California has some industry support.
QUOTE: New efforts are underway in Sacramento to regulate how investors buy and sell existing life insurance policies, a practice that critics contend allows speculators to make money by wagering on when a person will die.
Los Angeles Times Oct 07, 2009 ACLU Says Extracting DNA From Suspects Unconstitutional (Threat Level)
QUOTE: [California] Proposition 69 requires detainees to provide a saliva or sometimes a blood sample upon felony arrest. The sample is stored in state and FBI databases, even if the arrested person is never charged or convicted of a crime.
Wired Sep 19, 2009 California Proposes Plan to Ban Sale of High-Energy TVs
QUOTE: the state's [California] regulatory mavens have formally proposed regulations that would force the industry to make more energy-efficient models.
Time Magazine Sep 10, 2009 War of technologies in California speeding case: Parents of a teen driver use data from a GPS vehicular tracking device to fight a speeding charge based on radar guns.
QUOTE: A California speeding ticket case to be decided in coming weeks puts a new twist on the age-old cops versus drivers battle, pitting police radar against personal GPS tracking devices.
Christian Science Monitor Sep 02, 2009 Dugard case: Is California's parole system overstretched?
QUOTE: criminal justice experts say the arrest of Phillip Garrido, a registered sex offender who was under GPS monitoring, for Ms. Dugard's 1991 abduction is just one example of why the state's [California's] parole system needs to be overhauled.
Christian Science Monitor Aug 10, 2009 Calif. Prison Rocked by Riot Has Troubled Past
QUOTE: A California prison badly damaged over the weekend by a riot that injured 250 inmates has a record of poor maintenance, shoddy safety protocols, dangerous overcrowding and riots, three inspection reports since 2006 show.
New York Times Aug 08, 2009 Fatal Sunshine: The Plight of California's Farm Workers
QUOTE: Last week, the ACLU and the blue-chip law firm Munger, Tolles & Olson sued California's occupational-health and safety agency... According to the lawsuit "large numbers of agricultural employers fail utterly to provide basic access to water and shade for their employees" and, as a result, hundreds suffer heat-related illnesses and hospitalizations — or worse — each year .
Time Magazine Aug 04, 2009 California Prisons Must Cut Inmate Population
QUOTE: A panel of federal judges ordered the California prison system on Tuesday to reduce its inmate population... The judges said that reducing prison crowding in California was the only way to change what they called an unconstitutional prison health care system that causes one unnecessary death a week.
New York Times Jul 31, 2009 Do Public Colleges Rip Off Students?
QUOTE: the budget crises, especially California’s, have the institutions [public universities] approaching a tipping point at which the democratic dynamism of the public research university turns into a sloppy copy of the famous private research universities
Jul 26, 2009 Tests for California's 'pot economy': Medical marijuana booms in cities such as L.A., with some eyeing its revenue potential. But there's pushback, too.
QUOTE: as [medical marijuana] dispensaries have sprouted across this and other California cities, they face pushback from local residents unhappy with their new neighbors and officials concerned about inadequate oversight of a novel business.
Christian Science Monitor Jul 13, 2009 Marking the 50th anniversary of the first U.S. nuclear meltdown
QUOTE: A reactor in Chatsworth began leaking radioactive gas on July 14, 1959. Some area residents blame the facility for their health issues and say the site remains contaminated.
Los Angeles Times Jul 09, 2009 Plan to restore rare trout sparks protests
QUOTE: The [trout restoration] plan calls for the poison rotenone to be used along 11 miles of Silver King Creek, its tributaries and Tamarack Lake Creek.
USA TODAY Jun 11, 2009 Criminal law in California A voice for the forsaken: A law that is tough on crime can also be wantonly cruel
QUOTE: IN 1995, a year after Californians voted for a “three strikes and you’re out” law that guaranteed much tougher sentences for criminals who reoffend, Curtis Wilkerson stole a pair of socks that cost $2.50. Since Mr Wilkerson had already been convicted of abetting two robberies in 1981... his petty theft was counted as the third strike. He was sentenced to life in prison.
Economist Apr 17, 2009 California's drought raises rural-urban tensions over water: Farms see fallow fields and laid-off workers, and some urban consumers face their first water cuts in two decades.
QUOTE: California's third year of drought is stirring up long-standing... tensions between farmers in northern and central California and urban consumers in the state's dry Southland.
Christian Science Monitor Jan 18, 2009 Marriage Ban Donors Feel Exposed by List
QUOTE: dotting the online display are thousands of red arrows... identifying the addresses of donors who supported Proposition 8, which outlawed same-sex marriage in California. It is exactly those arrows that concern supporters of the measure, who say they have been regularly harassed since the election...
New York Times Nov 26, 2008 Verdict in MySpace Suicide Case
QUOTE: A federal jury here issued what legal experts said was the country’s first cyberbullying verdict Wednesday, convicting a Missouri woman of three misdemeanor charges of computer fraud for her involvement in creating a phony account on MySpace to trick a teenager, who later committed suicide.
New York Times Nov 05, 2008 Left at the Altar: What happens now to gay marriage, in California and elsewhere?
QUOTE: On Tuesday, California voters passed Proposition 8, the amendment to the state constitution that eliminates the right of same-sex couples to marry, scuttling a California Supreme Court ruling in May that granted that right.
Slate Sep 26, 2008 California's secretary of state says open-source software is needed to safeguard electronic voting systems.
QUOTE: The study revealed a variety of problems, from software vulnerabilities that could let an attacker install malicious software that changes the outcome of a vote, to opportunities to tamper with the devices while they are held in storage.
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