June 7, 2013 |
There's a lot we don't know about the secret court order giving the federal government access on an "ongoing daily basis" to millions of telephone records, and that's a large part of the problem. But we know enough from a report in Britain's Guardian newspaper, which essentially has been confirmed by officials, to conclude both that current law gives the government too much leeway to monitor the communications of its citizens, and that the Obama administration is exploiting that authority as aggressively as the George W. Bush administration did. The result is a brave new world of pervasive surveillance that Americans should find alarming.
May 27, 2013 |
ATHENS - Four years ago the emir of Qatar was sailing his yacht through the Ionian Sea when he spotted a patch of tiny islands. Spellbound by what he saw - six specks of sun-soaked lush greenery jutting from translucent, turquoise Greek waters - the oil-rich monarch decided to buy them. The purchase proved a royal headache. Although the ownership deeds were clear and the government had waived its right to reclaim the pine-covered atolls, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani was put at the maddening mercy of Greek bureaucracy.
May 14, 2013 |
Citizen scientists, environmentalists and anyone who lives near a power plant -- your services are requested. Climate change scientist Kevin Robert Gurney needs your help in a grand undertaking: the mapping of all the power plants in the world. It's a big job, and he and the people in his lab cannot do it alone. Gurney, an associate professor at Arizona State University, builds carbon dioxide emission data models that help him and others better understand how carbon moves around the planet and how it effects climate change.
May 10, 2013
Re "The case for citizen jurors," Opinion, May 3 AB 1401 is a bill in search of a problem. The need to expand the pool of jurors to include noncitizens due to high no-show rates has no empirical support. Our no-show rate is generally predictable, which is why we summon more jurors to satisfy the need. As a Los County Superior Court judge, I have spoken to thousands of citizens answering the call of jury service. I convey to them that they should view their summons as an invitation to be considered "citizen judges" in a trial.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 8, 2013 |
In some parts of Koreatown and South Los Angeles, one in three adult residents is in the country illegally, according to a study released Tuesday by researchers at USC. Countywide, about one in 10 adults is an immigrant who crossed the border illegally or overstayed a visa, the study found. Many of those immigrants have put down roots here: Half have been in the country for more than a decade, and 12% are homeowners. Many are also the parents of American citizens. In Los Angeles County, one in five children has a parent living in the country illegally, according to the study.
May 5, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Speaking to the graduating class of Ohio State University in Columbus on Sunday, President Obama called on the students to embrace the school's motto, “education for citizenship,” and to press the government to act. He encouraged students to work to narrow the income gap between the middle class and the wealthy, to improve education for children and protect them from gun violence, and to better the environment, among other things....
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 5, 2013 |
The jobs of the nation's citizen soldiers are supposed to be safe while they are serving their country: Federal law does not allow employers to penalize service members because of their military duties. Yet every year, thousands of National Guard and Reserve troops coming home from Afghanistan and elsewhere find they have been replaced, demoted, denied benefits or seniority. Government agencies are among the most frequent offenders, accounting for about a third of the more than 15,000 complaints filed with federal authorities since the end of September 2001, records show.
May 3, 2013 |
A bill in the California Legislature would open jury duty to noncitizen legal residents, a risky experiment in fundamental U.S. law. The Assembly last week passed a bill that immediately drew nationwide attention - for all the wrong reasons. There goes that wacky Golden State again! Assembly Bill 1401, which now goes to the state Senate, would allow noncitizens who are legal residents to serve on juries. If this becomes law, California will be the only state that opens its jury pool to noncitizens.
April 30, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Americans do not have a right to obtain public records from states other than their own, the Supreme Court ruled Monday, dealing a setback to businesses and researchers who gather data across the nation. The unanimous decision upheld laws in Virginia and a handful of other states that release some public records only to their own citizens. "This is disappointing. We have a national information economy now, and all sorts of activities depend on data from all 50 states," said Washington attorney Deepak Gupta, who represented two men who had challenged the "citizens only" provision of Virginia's public records law. Despite the ruling, Gupta said the trend has been for states to open their public records on an equal basis.
April 30, 2013 |
Assembly Democrats may have hit on an ingenious way to make citizens take their jury summonses more seriously: Last week they passed a bill that would allow noncitizens to serve on juries. Suddenly, outraged commentators and bloggers who feared the loss of a key measure of citizenship were referring to "jury service" instead of "jury duty. " Although the news was generally reported accurately, some went overboard; at foxnews.com, for example, the headline said: "California bill would let illegal immigrants serve on juries.