Watched Interview, a so-so Steve Buscemi vehicle, yesterday while working. About an abortive interview and its aftermath between a journalist (Buscemi) and a “vacuous starlet” (Sienna Miller). The film was OK, but what really pissed me was the fleeting but obvious crappy CGI. They had rented a small truck (into which Buscemi’s taxi rear-ends), and they used CGI to “paint” some moving company logo on its side (rather than pay to paint a real one, and then later have to remove it).
The problem? As the camera panned, the logo shifted in place. No one caught this is post production? Or didn’t they care? Or had the budget run out by then?
Civil Liberties Department
Recent developments on civil liberties fronts, thanks to the ACLU Blog of Rights:
- States are setting about contravening the 14th Amendment guarantee that any person born in the U.S. will have U.S. citizenship. Patently violations of the Amendment, but that’s never stopped a sufficiently passionate but idiotic state legislator.
- Don’t be caught carrying a cellphone if arrested in California — the state Supreme Court has ruled that police may search the phone’s entire contents incident to an arrest, no matter how trivial the charge.
- Reaction to Justice Antonin Scalia’s recent remarks that seem to deny that women have rights protected by the Constitution:
Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t. Nobody ever thought that that’s what it meant. Nobody ever voted for that. If the current society wants to outlaw discrimination by sex, hey we have things called legislatures, and they enact things called laws.
This is an “Originalist” speaking. As the blog puts it:
It is troubling that a justice on the Supreme Court continues to espouse the view that women are not protected by the Constitution and worrisome that he brings this perspective to his decision-making. Luckily, the majority on the court — and of the public — do not share this view. We have come too far to turn back the clocks.
- Comments regarding the Administration’s proposed “National Strategies for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace.”
The NSTIC (“N-Stick”) proposal, which was released in draft form last June, proposes the creation of an online identity “ecosystem,” which the report defines as “an online environment where individuals, organizations, services, and devices can trust each other because authoritative sources establish and authenticate their digital identities.”
The ACLU thinks this proposed system would severely harm online privacy and ability to comment anonymously. While I have my issues with anonymous comments, I have no issues with their continued necessity. “[A]nything that resembles a national identity system or a ‘driver’s license for the Internet’ must be vehemently opposed.”
A lengthy blog entry, worth reading if you are concerned about Internet security, identity and privacy.
Speaking of “Papers, Please” Department
I may have mentioned — or perhaps only linked to — the Papers, Please! blog. They identify themselves as “The Identity Project,” itself part of something called the “First Amendment Project.” The writer(s) take very strong positions on civil liberties matters, especially as they relate to travel, air security, etc. Hence the title, which refers to demands made by totalitarian state security personnel, where travel, or even mere presence in certain locations, can be proscribed.
I bring it up because several recent entries disturb, principally that of two days ago entitled, “Tidbits from the TSA show “screening” being used as illegal general criminal dragnet, not for aviation security,” which details what PP describes as revelations from FOIA requests (or perhaps lawsuit-related demands)made of the Department of Homeland Security. According to PP, when TSA detains a person for special attention, such as “a more intrusive search or interrogation, summoning local law enforcement officers, etc.,” numerous identity details are recorded and saved, including the following:
- Drivers license,
- Government ID,
- Military ID, and
- Visa numbers.
Troubling, the whole thing, troubling indeed.
Arizona’s Flip Side Department
Radley Balko spent some time yesterday going on at length about violence, the violence against public officials and those who would advocate same, the anti-violence rhetoric that we will now hear in abundance, but finally — and his principal point — the violence that our government perpetrates against innocent or undeserving citizens frequently and as a matter of course: “Violence, Government Violence, and Anti-Government Rhetoric.”
[I]t’s worth remembering that the government initiates violence against its own citizens every day in this country, citizens who pose no threat or harm to anyone else. The particular policy that leads to the sort of violence you see in these videos [of violent police raids of supposed drug dealers' residences] is supported by nearly all of the politicians and pundits decrying anti-government rhetoric on the news channels this morning. (It’s also supported by Sarah Palin, many Tea Party leaders, and other figures on the right that politicians and pundits are shaming this weekend.)
Balko presents a very disturbing graphic, a U.S. map showing locations where police violence has killed innocent Americans. You won’t find this kind of discussion elsewhere.
Different Than Little People Department
James Clyburn, a South Carolina Congressman, thinks congresscritters should be treated differently at airports, perhaps even permitted to skip the security lines. From The Hill:
“I really believe that that is the place where we feel the most ill at ease, is going through airports,” Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), who serves as assistant minority leader in the House, said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Clyburn called for the Transportation Security Administration, which administers airport security checkpoints, to interact “a little better” with the Capitol Hill Police.
“We’ve had some incidents where TSA authorities think that congresspeople should be treated like everybody else,” he said. “Well, the fact of the matter is, we are held to a higher standard in so many other areas, and I think we need to take a hard look at exactly how the TSA interact with members of Congress.”
It’s “The People’s House,” so long as they aren’t expected to actually act like people.
Voluptuous, trim and fit.