Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Facebook Hoax ~by Legal Pub

Fake, fraud, misleading... perhaps all appropriate words to describe internet b.s.  Yet, so many internet users do not know the difference between truth and hoax.   Viral Facebook hoaxes need to be ignored!  Don't like them or share them, ignore them.

For example, claims that Facebook is about to make a change to its privacy settings, and unless you pay a small fee, everything in your profile will become public is simply  untrue. Another Facebook hoax is that if you post certain legal language as your status then your photos and other information will be protected by Facebook.
  You have probably all had a friend post: "As of September 28th , 2015 at 10:50 p.m. Eastern standard time, I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use my pictures, information, or posts, both past and future. By this statement, I give notice to Facebook it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, or take any other action against me based on this profile and/or its contents. The content of this profile is private and confidential information."  The post typically goes on to warn you that if you don't copy and paste this status, your privacy will be compromised.  Both assertions are complete fabrication. 
Facebook does not own your photos.  You are responsible for your own content.  You can decide who can see your posts by checking the appropriate privacy settings.  Facebook’s Terms of Service.  When you post a photo, Facebook's permission to use them is limited to how you set your settings. Privacy settings.  Furthermore, once a Facebook user deletes a photo, it can not be recaptured.  In any event, merely writing a post about privacy would never prevent anyone from copying any content you choose to post. Once something is published, you can not prevent those from receiving the content from saving it to an external hard drive and storing it for later use.  Snopes.  
Be smart!  Use your privacy settings and control who sees your content and by all means, ignore the hoax spam! 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Using Religion As An Excuse Must Stop ~by Legal Pub

Using religion as a weapon is a bad idea because it allows one to rationalize any bad behavior or means to justify an end.  Muslim extremists can justify murder or any other crime in the name of Allah.  Likewise Christians can rationalize any action in the name of their savior.  But rationalization does not excuse violence or harming others.  When someone shoots up an abortion clinic, it is wrong.  When someone sets off a bomb at a race, it's wrong.  Quit hiding behind religion to rationalize hurting others.

Why the rant?  Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis in Kentucky is using religion to propagate her own agenda and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is trying to capitalize on the opportunity.  Everyone has a right to an opinion.  Everyone has a right to protest.  However, no one has a right to willingly violate a court order.  If you don't like the judge's ruling, appeal.  Seek an injunction pending the appellate court ruling. Better yet, quit your job!
All the jail side rallies in the world don't change the fact that Kim Davis willingly committed contempt of court because she refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. Disobeying a federal court judge who is enforcing the United States Supreme Court's decision is not heroic.  It is not something to be admired. It is plain and simply refusing to attempt to change the law using proper channels.

If Kim Davis can disobey the law in the name of her beliefs, so can anyone else.  Timothy McVey believed bombing the Oklahoma government building was justified.  Did his belief excuse murder? Abortion clinic volunteers have been attacked and even shot, does belief in God justify the means? There are reasons why there is a separation of church and state in our constitution.  So often I hear right wing conservatives advocate for prayer in school and Christian values.  This is all fine, until the majority advocate a religion other than fundamental Christian beliefs.  As soon as the schools begin pledging allegiance to Allah, these same folks will be leading the charge to eliminate such coercion from the public schools.

Huckabee, a former Baptist minister, has conservative views.  While he has a right to be against gay marriage, he has no right to condone willfully violating a court order.  This is not a matter of religious freedom.  Davis could have avoided jail by simply quitting her job, requesting reasonable accommodations such as allowing deputy clerks to sign the marriage licenses or pursuing legal action.  Asking Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear to accommodate Davis' "religious conviction," and not force her to grant licenses to gay couples after being arrested for disobeying a court order appears a bit disingenuous.  

Photo courtesy of AP.
If the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, allows Davis to remove her name and title from official marriage certificates the problem is solved. That is what her lawyers are now requesting; however, there is no apparent reason the request could not have been made prior to being held in contempt of court.
The U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in June of 2015. Davis refused to follow the Supreme Court's ruling. Federal Judge Bunning ordered Davis to issue the licenses but Davis chose to disobey the order.  Since that time, deputy clerks (except her son Nathan) have issued licenses to gay couples. Kim has options.  One is to follow the law.  Another is to seek a different line of work, perhaps one where she does not have to follow the law.

Update 9-8-15:   U.S. District Judge David Bunning lifted the contempt order but directed Davis not to interfere with the granting of licenses by her deputies.