Flipping off the po-po
The ACLU of Colorado earns kudos for providing free criminal defense services to Shane Boor, a 35-year-old Colorado man who flipped off a Colorado State Patrol officer. Boor, who has no criminal record, was on his way to work when he passed a state trooper who had just pulled over another driver. Boor flipped the officer the bird — only to have another state patrol officer show up at his workplace later that morning and hand him a criminal summons. Boor faced criminal prosecution — and possible jail time — for a hand gesture.
But after the ACLU intervened, the state patrol dropped the charges, acknowledging that the use of one’s middle finger is a free speech issue.
“Our client engaged in peaceful, silent symbolic expression that is protected by the First Amendment,” said Mark Silverstein, ACLU’s legal director. “The protection of the Constitution is not limited to speech that is acceptable in polite society. The First Amendment also protects expression that may be disrespectful, coarse or even vulgar. It’s rude to flip off a cop, but it’s not a crime.”
Someone at state patrol HQ needs to pass word along to the two officers involved in Boor’s case. Hell, maybe they should hold a briefing for the entire force. That way taxpayers won’t have to foot the bill for another bullshit summons or additional court time.
Can marriage be saved?
Data released by the U.S. Census department reveals that married couples no longer make up the majority of U.S. households. They now account for only 48 percent of households, down from 52 percent in the last census. What’s up with that?
Well, for starters, lots more heterosexual couples are living together with no plans to marry. The number of unmarried cohabiting couples has jumped by 13 percent since 2009, to 7.9 million. Also, with people living longer, more elderly individuals are finding themselves living alone. Further, the census collected data on same-sex partners, who no longer feel the need to pretend to be roommates.
While conservatives lament this, wringing their hands and crying into their grape juice, they’re missing an obvious solution. If they want to change those statistics and show how truly important marriage is for the American family, all they need to do is legalize gay marriage.
Rape and ‘virginity checks’
An Egyptian general admitted that female protesters arrested during the March 9 demonstrations were subjected to involuntary “virginity checks.” This blatant violation of women’s human rights was first brought to light by Amnesty International, which claims women were beaten, blasted with stun guns, strip-searched and then forced to submit to vaginal exams — sometimes with soldiers in the room — to determine whether they were still virgins.
The Egyptian government at first denied these claims. Then a senior Egyptian general apparently found his balls and admitted that female protesters were, indeed, subjected to these exams.
“We didn’t want them to say we had sexually assaulted or raped them, so we wanted to prove that they weren’t virgins in the first place,” the general said. “None of them were [virgins].”
First, it doesn’t take a penis to break a hymen. It’s quite possible for a woman’s hymen to rupture or break as a result of physical activity. But most importantly, women who aren’t virgins can still be raped. Forcing these women to endure vaginal exams under threat of violence is itself a form of sexual assault.
It’s a case of military men using sexual violence as a means to bully women who dared to speak their minds.