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Muddling Through

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Member since: Fri Jun 13, 2014, 07:54 AM
Number of posts: 20,794

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The War on Cameras Just Went Code Red

This seems like a really bad ruling.

"Hoo boy. Via the Twitter feed of Mike Hewlett comes news of a recent court ruling that should worry us all.

Fields vs. City of Philadephia concerns two people photographing and filming the police in public areas. Each had their cameras confiscated. From a Legal Intelligencer account of the action:

U.S. District Judge Mark Kearney of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania issued his ruling in two consolidated cases filed against the city of Philadelphia by citizens whose cellphones were confiscated after they either photographed police activity or were barred from filming police activity.

Neither of the plaintiffs, Richard Fields nor Amanda Geraci, were filming the police conduct because they had a criticism or challenge to what they were seeing. For Fields, he thought the conduct was an interesting scene and would make for a good picture, Kearney said. And for Geraci, she was a legal observer trained to observe the police, Kearney said.

"The citizens urge us to find, for the first time in this circuit, photographing police without any challenge or criticism is expressive conduct protected by the First Amendment," Kearney said.

Fields was taking pictures of cops outside a house party they were looking to bust. When he wouldn't leave or answer questions about what he was doing, he was arrested and cited for obstructing "public passages." Geraci was at an anti-fracking rally and about to film the police but was prevented from doing so. Both claimed in court that they were retaliated against for exercising or trying to exercise their First Amendment rights."

Balance of article at link:
Posted by Muddling Through | Tue Feb 23, 2016, 06:23 PM (7 replies)

Black Lives Matter meetings run afoul of library's policy


What is irony?

"NASHVILLE — Library officials have told Nashville's chapter of the Black Lives Matter movement that meetings restricting those who attend by race aren't allowed on public property.

The decision has outraged Black Lives Matter members. But Nashville Public Library officials said they’re following a library policy that specifies all meetings at their facilities must be open to the public and news media.

“The library didn’t cancel anyone’s meeting,” said library spokeswoman Emily Waltenbaugh, referring to a Black Lives Matter meeting Saturday that has been moved to a church. “We’re taxpayer funded. We have to be open to anyone any time.”

For the past few months, the Black Lives Matter movement here has had chapter meetings at the North Branch Library.

But the group has a rule, said Joshua Crutchfield, an organizer of the Nashville chapter: Only blacks or other minorities are allowed to attend. That means whites are excluded."
Posted by Muddling Through | Sun Feb 21, 2016, 07:46 PM (17 replies)

Americans investing heavily in firearms, including …


"Looking for a hot investment? How about the Second Amendment? Thanks to Barack Obama, gun sales have gone through the roof, and so have shares in firearms manufacturers. Institutional investors have noticed, and stocks in firms like Sturm Ruger and Smith & Wesson have become part of widely held investment funds and retirement portfolios. Reuters reports that many people may be “unwitting” beneficiaries of this boom, including the man many credit for it:

Barack Obama might seem an unlikely investor in the firearms industry. But the U.S. president, a fierce advocate for gun regulation, has money in a pension fund that holds stock in gun and ammunition companies.

Although Obama’s stake is minuscule, worth no more than $30, it reflects a much larger surge of investment.

The president is among millions of Americans buying into gun companies – often unwittingly – as mutual funds have increased such holdings to record levels, according to a Reuters analysis of institutional investment in firearms companies.

Since Obama was elected in 2009, mutual funds have raised their stakes to about $510 million from $30 million in the nation’s two largest gun manufacturers with publicly traded shares, Smith & Wesson Corp and Sturm, Ruger & Co. That means such stocks are now common in retirement and college savings plans.

The influx has helped to boost both companies’ shares by more than 750 percent during the Obama presidency; each now has a market value of about $1 billion."

That could explain a whole bunch of nagging questions.

Posted by Muddling Through | Sun Feb 7, 2016, 03:56 PM (24 replies)
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