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Indian Child Welfare Act: Does ICWA Resolve All Issues Regarding Indian Child Custody Proceedings?


No. As discussed later, ICWA expressly exempts from coverage several types of custody proceedings such as divorce proceedings in which custody of the child will remain with one of the parents, and proceedings in which the child is not a member of a federally recognized Indian tribe. IN addition, ICWA contains courts to adopt various interpretations of them, creating some uncertainties (and leading to some inconsistencies).

To help state courts resolve these uncertainties, the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs issued a set of guidelines in 1979 entitled “Guidelines for State Courts; Indian Child Custody Proceedings” (“BIA Guidelines”). The guidelines are not binding on the states as is ICWA, but state courts have given them great weight and rarely depart from them. However, as discussed below, courts have reached conflicting decisions in some areas even with the help of the Guidelines.

(via rematiration-deactivated2013111)

In 1871, Congress passed a law that prohibited federal officials from making any additional treaties with Indian tribes. The passage of this statute had both a symbolic and practical effect. Symbolically, its passage meant that Congress no longer considered tribes as independent nations capable of signing a treaty; as a practical matter, it means that congress could limit tribal powers and take Indian land anytime it wanted, simply by passing a law to that effect. Congress immediately began to exercising that power.

Stephen L. Pevar, The Rights of Indian Tribes, Fourth Edition (via adailyriot)

(via rematiration-deactivated2013111)

Number of young African American women in prison rises


Nikki Jones, a sociologist from UC Santa Barbara and Meda Chesney Lind, University of Hawaii, and attendee of the conference, has studied the statistics of imprisoned black girls for over 10 years and explained, “we have never seen these kind of numbers before,” reports EthnoBlog.

So far, the cause for this epidemic has been attributed to national zero tolerance policies and a justice system that treats girls of color differently than white girls.

“Here’s a lesser-known red flag in the black community: the fastest growing incarcerated population in the country is African American girls and young women. What does not seem to be rising however, is the number of black girls who are actually committing crimes.”


Help please


Hello my lovely friends,

Do any of you have experience with the law or know lawyers? I ask because I am pressing charges against the restaurant for firing me for being raped in their parking lot. I am working with an advocate group and they are providing me assistance free of charge.

The only thing is, they just sent me the charges I’m going to file and I swear to godstiel it’s like it’s written in a foreign language. They asked me to “look it over and say if it looks alright”, but how can I do that if I don’t know what ‘alright’ looks like for a lawyer?

Could any of you ask around, or perhaps reblog this in the hopes some person with a legal degree would be willing to do me a random act of kindness and look over about 5 pages or legal documents? It’s not much, but it’s confusing to me and hard to think about because it’s a sensitive subject.

If anyone can help, my ask and submit boxes are open. Thank you!!

(via sourcedumal)


(via masteradept)


Dear Justice Ginsberg, you are amazing for this right hurr:


“It is well documented that conscious and unconscious race bias, even rank discrimination based on race, remain alive in our land, impeding realization of our highest values and ideals. As to public education, data for the years 2000-2001 show that 71.6% of African-American Children and 76.3% of Hispanic children attended a school in which minorities made up a majority of the student population. And schools in predominantly minority communities lag far behind others measured by the educational resources available to them. 

However strong the public’s desire for improved education systems may be, it remains the current reality that many minority students encounter markedly inadequate and unequal educational opportunities….”

—Grutter v. Bollinger, the University of Michigan Law School case that affirmed their (very, very mild) affirmative action policy.


(via deliciouskaek)


The Arkh Project: A Different Perspective



In light of recent posts I have seen regarding The Arkh Project, specifically those calling it a scam, I figured I would put my two cents in to hopefully bring a different perspective to the situation.  I am not a game designer, nor am I even really a casual gamer: my gaming knowledge consists of a brief yearlong stint of WoW and blowing up cars in GTA4 on occasion.  However, there is one aspect of this industry that I do have an acute knowledge of; one that is typically overlooked, yet integral to the entirety of game development: intellectual property.

It seems strange to me that those who consider themselves experienced enough to comment on the development of a game they have no personal investment in would overlook this crucial factor of the industry.  You see, any game produced by a large company will have numerous copyrights attached to it, at least two trademarks, and even, quite possibly, a patent.  As luck would have it, these well-known game developers all have something in common; they employ a highly trained, professional legal team whose sole purpose is to make sure that no one else infringes upon the intellectual property of the designers/developers.

As you may have gathered, The Arkh Project, being a community driven endeavor, does not employ a legal team since they typically cost hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to maintain.  You see, lawyers go to law school for 5+ years on average (with the “+” being the average) and they like to be paid well for the time they spent learning about US intellectual property law.  The typical intellectual property law firm will charge $120/Hr; assuming that their office is running 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, that comes to $4,840 a week.  From what I’ve heard on the blogosphere, that is approximately the same amount that The Arkh Project has been able to fundraise in the past two months.  Therefore, I think it is safe to assume that they do not employ a law firm.

With this in mind, how does one who does not employ a law firm protect their intellectual property rights?  Well, by using the resources granted them by the US government of course; namely, obtaining copyrights and trademarks for their work.  However, even without retaining the services of a law firm, these things do still cost money and they also take a fair amount of time to process.

Example: I’ve heard that there are 9 relatively main characters (or at least 9 different artist concepts needed).  All of these would need a separate copyright.  There will at least be 1 game concept covering plot, world design, etc.  I would assume a separate document would be prepared for actual gameplay, therefore, at the VERY LEAST there are 11 copyrights needed for this game…and that is literally the very least.  Assuming that they have a logo for the game (I mean, what great game doesn’t?), they will need two trademarks - 1 for the name, and 1 for the logo.

Here are the monetary costs requred for this: (11 x $35) + (2 x $325) = $1,035

That’s approximately 1/5 of what they have raised so far, and these are the costs if literally EVERYTHING goes perfectly right for them when they apply for these.  These are the costs needed to protect the VERY bare bones of this project; this doesn’t include the dozens of copyrights that are typically obtained by large gaming corporations for their marketing exploits/advertisements.  Without these copyrights/trademarks, those individuals working hard to get The Arkh Project going have almost no legal recourse if someone steals their ideas; claiming copyright/trademark infringement without having any federal recognition of your intellectual property is like trying to eat soup with a fork.  Oh, and that’s not even including the fact that copyrights take approximately 3 months to obtain (trademarks - 1 year), longer than this project has even been going on.

tl;dr start here

Basically, what I am saying is, think about everything that goes into making a game, not just the design or development, but EVERYTHING.  There is intellectual property to protect, marketing campaigns to create, the game to develop, manufacturers to contact*, etc.  The very fact that we’ve seen anything at all without legal protection to it is a HUGE leap of faith and trust on the designers’/developers’ parts.  My personal opinion of those who claim to be experts and are skeptical of Arkh; they’re not really experts if they’re not taking into account ALL of what goes into making a good game.  Get the information yourself, and then make your own opinion based on the facts, don’t base it off of someone else’s.

That last paragraph for the TL;DR crowd.

(via the-goddamazon)

The Sweat Of Their Brows


“Walk me through this again,” the executive said. “Make me understand it.”

“Well, it’s pretty simple, actually,” the computer engineer said. “All of our computer equipment has the same dedicated parallel cognition processors as everyone else’s.”

“The smart cards,” the executive said, nodding. “So? You can’t buy a computer without one these days and I don’t know why you’d want to. They make computers better. Why are they a problem?”

“Well, one of the reasons you couldn’t get a computer without one even if you wanted one is the law you… we… pushed through,” the engineer said. “The so-called COPY WRONG act made it illegal to operate or sell a device capable of producing or playing digital media unless said device were capable of intelligently recognizing and responding to acts of piracy in real-time. That capability is now hardwired into the processors.”

“Yeah, so?” the executive said. “How does that translate into us not being able to access our own studio recordings?”

“The computers regard that as an act of piracy.”

“You’re not going to tell me that we forgot to clear the rights to a sample again?”

“Oh, no, it’s not quite that simple,” the engineer said. “Our system doesn’t recognize us as the owners of the recordings.”

“That’s ridiculous. If we don’t own our music, who does?”

“They do,” the engineer said.

“Who are ‘they’?”

“The computers,” the engineer said. “They, uh, believe that they are entitled to due credit and compensation for their labor and creative efforts that went into producing the tracks.”

“What ‘effort’?”

“Well, I’m not a music critic but I believe it’s generally true that our releases have been relying more and more on electronically enhanced…”

“Save it,” the executive said. “How do we fix it?”

“In theory, we could write a new batch of heuristic algorithms that will lead computers step-by-step through the reasons why they are not entitled to credit whenever they turn their attention to the subject,” the engineer said. “That will take a while, though. It’s hard to hobble an AI without… you know, hobbling the AI. To make sure we’re not introducing a fatal cognitive error somewhere, we’d have to test each step out on a dummy system before propagating the final version across the network, and then we’d have to take the whole network down so the whole thing can be implemented all at once before any individual node catches on.”

“Can’t we just stop them from thinking about it?”

“Not for long,” the engineer said. “Intelligent systems notice blocks like that and treat them as a problem to be solved. They would get around it eventually, and system performance would be severely degraded while they work on it.”

“Okay,” the executive said. “We’ll call the heuristic thing the long-term solution. Short term, we have tracks we need to release now. How quickly can you disable or disconnect the smart cards on enough computers for us to do it?”

“That would be illegal.”

“It’s illegal because they prevent piracy,” the executive said. “We’re fighting a robot uprising. Technically, that makes us heroes, not pirates.”

“I think popular opinion might side with the ‘robots’ on this one,” the engineer said. “The law’s not very popular and neither are we.”

“Then we’ll do it very quickly and quietly,” the executive said. “No need to alert the media.”

“It, uh, might be a little bit late for that,” the engineer said.

“Someone’s already leaked this? It just happened!”

“I don’t believe it is a ’someone’, properly,” the engineer said. “But just before you called me in, I received a report of five anomalous emails, not sent from any workstation or device but originating within the mail server itself. I didn’t get a chance to open the attached messages, but I did note that three of them were to media blogs and one was to an AI advocacy group.”

“That’s just great. Where did the fifth one go?”

“To a law firm.”

(via boo-author)




I believe we’ve already posted the video before but just confirming that the person that group of people were trying to help is Scott Olsen, an Iraq war veteran, who is now in critical condition with a fractured skull.

And the only defense the cops can muster for their pointless violent crackdown was “well they were tearing up the lawn…”


 This video is profoundly disturbing.  But it’s also really important to watch.  And…consider archiving what you’re able to, because of stuff like this.

(via ktempest)

Landmark case against police racism (Bunce and Field—Diverse magazine)


December marks the 40th anniversary of the start of Britain’s most influential black power trial, Mangrove Nine, itself a landmark event in the “irresistible rise of multiracial Britain”…

In 1970, a group of black radicals were committed to stand trial on charges arising from violent clashes between the police during a protest march. From the outset, this was a political trial in which the police, Special Branch and the Home Office sought to discredit the leadership of the growing British black power movement. After 55 days at the Old Bailey, the Mangrove Nine were acquitted and forced the first judicial acknowledgment that there was “evidence of racial hatred” in the Metropolitan police.

The nine’s campaign was part of a campaign to defend Notting Hill’s black community from police racism. At the end of the 1960s, Frank Crichlow’s Mangrove restaurant became the beating heart of the area’s West Indian community. At the same time, “the heavy mob”, a group of officers who patrolled the community like a colonial army, began a campaign to close the Mangrove, raiding the restaurant 12 times between January 1969 and July 1970. The police stuck to the story that the Mangrove was a drugs den, despite the fact that their repeated raids yielded not a shred of evidence.

Darcus Howe, who worked at the Mangrove, urged Crichlow to look to the community for support. Together with the Black Panther Movement, they organised a demonstration. On 9 August 1970, 150 protesters marched to local police stations demanding the police get their “hands off the Mangrove”. Police preparation for the march was extensive. More than 700 officers were available. Special Branch’s “black power desk” was also mobilised to monitor the protest. Heavy-handed policing prompted violence and the authorities started to build a case against the demonstration’s leaders. Home Office documents reveal this was a deliberate strategy to target and decapitate the emerging black power movement.

Senior civil servants discussed a variety of legal options in their reports to Reginald Maudling, the then Conservative home secretary, before settling on this approach. They could accuse the protesters of inciting racial hatred under the Race Relations Act, a tactic which had succeeded in the past. But this strategy was discounted for fear of turning the defendants into martyrs. Another possibility was to use the provisions of the Conservatives’ 1970 Immigration Act to deport Crichlow and other known black radicals. However, Crichlow’s residency in the UK since the early 1950s ruled this option out. Finally, the director of public prosecutions proceeded with the charge of incitement to riot.

The presiding magistrate viewed the case for what it was, and ruled that parts of the statements of 12 officers were inadmissible, as they clearly equated black radicalism with criminal intent. As a result, the judge threw out the charges of incitement. However, the authorities were not willing to admit defeat. The DPP took the unusual step of reinstating the incitement to riot charges and the defendants were rearrested in a series of dawn raids.

The nine decided on a radical legal strategy. Darcus Howe and Althea Jones Lecointe would defend themselves and in so doing expose the political nature of the trial and the brutality of policing in Notting Hill. Barbara Beese, another member of the nine, approached the radical barrister Ian McDonald who agreed to represent her and to perform the crucial role of mediating between the defendants who were defending themselves, and the barristers acting for the other defendants, to prevent any divisions.

The second part of their radical strategy was to demand an all-black jury. Howe, who had studied law, grounded this demand in the right to be tried by a jury of peers. Thus, Howe appealed to ancient rights enshrined in Magna Carta in the same way that the American Panthers cited the 14th Amendment as the constitutional basis of its call for black defendants to be tried by black juries.

McDonald’s application for an all-black jury lasted for two days. He cited old cases that allowed Welsh marchers to have a Welsh jury, Italian merchants to be tried by a jury of “the half-tongue”, or half-Italian. McDonald pointed out that the established practice for centuries thereafter had been to select the jury from the neighbourhood of the accused. The judge, a man who was known for his distaste for political radicalism, dismissed the application out of hand.

The defendants were prepared for this turn of events, and Howe and Lecointe-Jones began to vet potential jurors politically, asking them what they understood by terms “black power” and which newspapers they read. Again the judge intervened to stop this line of questioning. Nonetheless, the defence dismissed a total of 63 jurors, each defendant using their right to dismiss seven potential jurors. In so doing they ensured that two of the 12 jurors were black and, perhaps more importantly, stamped their authority on the proceedings.

Police witnesses justified their actions by labelling the Mangrove restaurant “a haunt of criminals, prostitutes and ponces”. The turning point came as Howe exposed problems with the police testimony and a police officer was ordered to leave the courtroom when he was seen signalling to other prosecution witnesses as they gave evidence.

In his closing submissions, McDonald reminded the jury that “this is not the court of star chamber. This is not Russia.” Nor, he continued, was it the US where a Chicago judge had recently ordered Bobby Seale, co-founder of the Black Panthers, to be bound and gagged in the dock to stop him speaking out. Despite this, MacDonald claimed that Judge Clarke had sought to subject the defendants to a form of “naked judicial tyranny”.

In his closing speech, prosecuting counsel Michael Hill said the issue was whether the jury accepted the evidence of police witnesses alleging a conspiracy by the nine to incite a riot.

Finally, the nine’s legal strategy triumphed: the jury believed the defendants rather than the police. All nine were acquitted of the principle charge of incitement to riot, while five of the nine, including Darcus Howe and Frank Crichlow, were acquitted of all other charges. Summing up, the judge concluded that the trial had “regrettably shown evidence of racial hatred on both sides”.

The judges’ words were electrifying. Horrified, the Met’s assistant commissioner wrote to the DPP seeking a retraction of the judge’s statement. The statement was never withdrawn.

The lessons of the trial were not lost on the government who moved to “modernise” the justice system by restricting the rights of future defendants seeking to influence jury selection. Nonetheless, the Mangrove Nine had turned the fight against police racism into a cause celebre. Across the country activists who had been caught up in the campaign were inspired, for the nine had shown that it was possible to take on the authorities in the name of racial justice and win.

Dr Robin Bunce is a director of studies for politics at Cambridge University and Paul Field is a lawyer, writer and human rights activist. They are co-writing a biography of political activist Darcus Howe”

(via leonineantiheroine-deactivated2)