Boing Boing 

Bigoted officials: First Amendment means we don't have to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples

Rural county and town clerks are refusing to issue marriage licenses or perform civil ceremonies for same-sex couples, despite the Supreme Court's ruling last week.

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US Customs and Border Protection: America's largest, most corrupt police force


The force is the largest in America, with a starved and ineffectual Internal Affairs department, which has been powerless to check the Border Patrol's slide into collusion with drug-runners, shootings of protesters, and extreme violence in border areas.

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Christ, What an Asshole

"Internet access is not a necessity or human right" -Michael O’Rielly, Republican FCC Commissioner

Why parents in Cincinnati camp out for 16 days to get a kindergarten spot


Scarce kindergarten places at magnet schools like the Fairview-Clifton German Language School are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis to parents who camp out for weeks, clearing their tents every morning so the kids won't be disturbed by the tent-city on the school's lawn.

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Not just Germany: the NSA has been spying on France's leaders since at least 1995

A new release of top secret NSA docs by Wikileaks shows the US spy-agency has intercepted the phone conversations of the past three French presidents, the French ambassador to the USA, and others.

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The snitch in your pocket: making sense of Stingrays


If you've been struggling to make sense of the stories about Stingrays (super-secretive cellular surveillance tech used by cops and governments) (previously) this week's Note to Self podcast does the best job I've yet seen (heard) of explaining them.

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Seattle's tent cities


Seattle has America's fourth-largest homeless population and virtually everything homeless people do is illegal in Washington State, which has added 288 new offenses related to homelessness to its statute-books since 2000 -- amazingly, this did not convince those homeless people to stop being homeless.

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John Oliver commissions Helen Mirren to narrate an audiobook of the CIA Torture Report

Despite a hard-fought battle to publish the CIA Torture Report, very few people have read it, including some of the report's starring villains.

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Navy openly solicits for 0-day bugs to weaponize


A solicitation on FedBizOpps from the Navy asks security researchers to sell them their "vulnerability intelligence, exploit reports and operational exploit binaries affecting widely used and relied upon commercial software."

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Anti-surveillance steamroller still rolling through Congress

The USA Freedom Act set the first legal limits on spying in a generation, and were immediately followed by 3 more surveillance-blocking amendments from the House, and now, a week later, there's 2 more bipartisan curbs on surveillance.

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Being a cop just keeps on getting safer


The police will tell you that the reason they're arming up with surplus military gear and pursuing a shoot-first posture to their job is that being a cop is deadly business -- but as the saying goes, you're entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.

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Thousands of American kids are getting free university educations in Germany

German higher education is essentially free, even for foreign students, and many courses are conducted entirely in English.

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How and why to default on your student loan


Lee Siegel defaulted on his student loans because it was "absurd that one could amass crippling debt as a result, not of drug addiction or reckless borrowing and spending, but of going to college" just because "he had the misfortune of coming from modest origins."

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Divining the capabilities of the FBI's ubiquitous spy aircraft


The FBI has filled the skies of America's cities with covert aircraft, crisscrossing overhead, bristling with sensors and cloaked in mystery, from the shell companies that own them to the obfuscated tail-numbers they sport.

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House easily passes further anti-surveillance amendments


The USA Freedom Act was a very timid curb on surveillance powers, but it was also the first time since the 1970s that Congress limited spies' powers -- and it won't be the last.

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Swiss cops' dawn raid snags top FIFA officials


Six top executives of international football's (notoriously corrupt) governing body were arrested at the crack of dawn in their Zurich hotel by Swiss police acting on a US criminal corruption warrant.

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Hedge funds buy swathes of foreclosed subprimes, force up rents, float rent-bonds


When a giant hedge fund is bidding on all the foreclosed houses in a poor neighborhood, living humans don't stand a chance -- but that's OK, because rapacious investors make great landlords.

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