Friday, June 07, 2013

Friday news and notes

1.  People were worried about DNA collection....  now our government is mining our telephone calls with secret court orders.  James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, responds here.

2.  In lighter news, AUSA Mike Garofola is still on the Bachelorette. Reality Steve has this summary of him from the first episode:

Michael: He takes her back to the fountain to try and retrieve the coin she threw in with Sean since it’s defective now cuz’ he didn’t choose her. Which she said 5 months ago was the biggest mistake he’s ever made, but now she’s over it. I don’t think I’d be dipping my hand in that fountain water anytime soon. I’m sure drunk PA’s probably use that as their toilet during the late night hours. So in addition to his diabetes, I’m guessing we can expect Michael to contract Hep C this season.

And in the second episode, the gang raps. Mike G. comes in at the 1:43 mark:

3. While you are watching video, apparently this hearing on kosher meals in the prisons will be posted at this link soon.  In the meantime, Curt Anderson has this:

Florida is moving ahead with a plan to offer kosher meals in all state prisons by the end of the year, a corrections official testified at a hearing Tuesday on a U.S. Justice Department lawsuit demanding such a program.
James Upchurch, assistant Department of Corrections secretary for institutions, said food following the strict Jewish dietary rules would be served beginning in July at the 2,000-inmate Union Correctional Institution in north Florida and then would expand through the fall to 60 facilities across the state.
"We will make the policy work," Upchurch told U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz at the hearing. "When you run a prison, there are security problems with everything you do. We don't see any that are insurmountable at this point."
Florida previously offered kosher meals at selected prisons for three years until 2007, then began a pilot program at a South Florida prison in 2010. The Justice Department's Civil Rights Division filed a federal lawsuit last year demanding that the state be required to offer kosher food at all prisons.
A Justice Department lawyer, Michael Songer, said that despite the state's assurances, the U.S. wants the judge to issue a kosher food order so that the policy couldn't simply be changed in the future. Kosher diets and other tenets of religious faith are protected for prisoners by the 2000 Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, he said.
"The state is not willing to make an enduring commitment to providing kosher meals," Songer said. "We believe Florida has been refusing to provide kosher meals in violation of the law for years."
The judge did not immediately issue a ruling, nor did she decide on a motion by attorneys for Muslim inmates seeking to join the case so they can get halal or kosher meals in prison. Seitz said Florida and the U.S. should be permitted to respond to that motion in writing before she rules.


Anonymous said...

so embarrassing

Bob Becerra said...

I believe the NSA mining of our call information with secret court orders is an outrage. Repeal the Patriot Act! How about some transparency in government?

Bob Becerra said...

and repeal FISA!

Anonymous said...

terrorists would love some transparency too. that is the issue: who are you more afraid of? islamic terrorists tearing down a building or the fed govt watching your every move. don't like either choice but will rely on the good faith of the people we put into office. that should be the most important attribute we look for every four years.

Bob Becerra said...

Understood, but I choose not to rely on the good faith of the government. Who is watching it? Or do we just lie down for more and more "mission creep" by it for the sake of purported safety?

Anonymous said...

this is not mission creep; it is exactly what the patriot act was intended to do, and why judges sign off on these warrants. there are no surprises here, other than its disclosure to the public. if you choose not to rely on govt good faith that is understandable. distrust of every branch of govt is also understandable, which is indeed one of the goals of the terrorists to begin with. sadly, mission accomplished.