Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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Jadagul
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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Aresen wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 21:35
Jadagul wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 21:25
Aresen wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 21:09
Jadagul wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 21:03 Presumably they can recoup the losses from the bank account you have there.
You are assuming there is anything in the account. Unless you are going to put a hold on every deposit until the check has cleared*, it doesn't work that way. People want to cash checks so they can spend the money.

*We did this in the bank where I worked for anyone who was not an established customer. We had an average of one screaming mad customer every day because of it.
You're gonna have money in there eventually. Tax refund or stimulus payment or welfare or social security.
And you will have politicians huffing and puffing about 'taking the money people NEED TO LIVE in order to pay debts'. And that's assuming the individuals involved do not simply open a different account for the new deposit. (Which is where that large database I mentioned comes in.)
Part of the pitch, at least in the Yglesias take on this, is that there's no "open an account". You get an account when you're born, tied to your social security number. You have that account until you die.

So I guess yeah, that does imply a giant database.

Edit: I didn't mean "they'll put your tax refund and social security there if that's where you choose to have it deposited". I meant "They'll put your tax refund and your social security there, and then if you want it somewhere else you can do a bank transfer".
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D.A. Ridgely
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

Yeah, the one thing Social Security numbers were never, ever going to be were national identity numbers.

Oh, and Thoreau, some of us were supporting the old ACLU before you knew what it was.

But everyone's right that the USPS can't afford to lose billions every year.

That's a job for the Defense Department.
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Shem
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Shem »

thoreau wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 21:31 How does the postipankki deal with the lady who's there with a suspicious-looking check and some elaborate story about how rent's due and she just needs at least part of the check in cash? Because I've done plenty of volunteer work with a certain population, and, yeah.

Give me a proposal for a postal bank that deals with her in a way that won't get an immediate suit from the ACLU (new or old version), and comes at least close to breaking even, and I'll hear it out. Otherwise, um, let's just have the USPS stick to analog spam. It's what they're good at.
"Sorry, we only cash pre-printed checks same-day. But, thanks to your USPS Debit Card, you can set up a Venmo or PayPal transaction with that person, and we can withdraw the funds once we get them. Here's a listing of apps you can use, plus directions. Have a pleasant day!"
thoreau wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 19:26 Anyway, I've gotta go to the post office to make a wire transfer to the ACLU. Because the Post Office is where all the hip, woke Millennials hang out, so they can be with the Common People.
Y'know, if you Gen Xers were half as smart as you think you are, you would have accomplished something beyond "complaining about how other generations are oppressing you." Sure that dot-com thing turned out to be a bust, but I'm told America is a land of endless reinvention.
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Shem
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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Number 6 wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 22:16 I’d be willing to bet that they do it at a loss.
I haven't seen their books, but their rules seem to be set up to mitigate a lot of risk. Plus, they really, really want to be a bank, and doing part of that in an unsustainable way is not a good way to win over skeptical regulators.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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If the question is whether there is some level of basic financial services that could be provided more cheaply than the check cashing places do, the answer may very well be yes. I'd want to know why chains accustomed to operating in low income neighborhoods haven't already leveraged their scale to do it, but whatever. I'll let the experts sort it out. I'm pretty sure high risk loans won't be among those services but I'll let others sort out check cashing.

If the proposal is give everyone an account as a basic right, and thereby solve an equity issue, OK, fine. But there is something deeply ironic about proposing a system that WILL require ID and PINs and whatnot as a way of serving a population segment that has trouble with that for a whole host of reasons.

I will just sit and make some popcorn and watch the ACLU debate itself over this. I'd like to hear how it is equitable for the government to give everyone an account that could never be safe without some sort of ID or PIN requirement administered by the government, but inequitable to require that ID at the polls.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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D.A. Ridgely wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 19:05 Meanwhile...

Soooooooo unless I'm misreading this the core complaint is that they advertised on fb using lookalike lists? Bc that is not particularly notable.

Not releasing any privacy audits etc is a shit move presuming it wasn't written in crayon, though.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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Shem wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 22:39 Y'know, if you Gen Xers were half as smart as you think you are, you would have accomplished something beyond "complaining about how other generations are oppressing you." Sure that dot-com thing turned out to be a bust, but I'm told America is a land of endless reinvention.
Whatever.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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I thought we were the latest "me generation" that showed our sell-out status by getting and keeping jobs. That's what people have told me since the late 90s, at least...
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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The ACLU is going to court to try to keep Washington state's department of corrections from responding to an FOIA request.

https://thepostmillennial.com/aclu-bloc ... ns-prisons

Because blocking FOIA requests is at the heart of what the ACLU stands for.

I'm not going to attempt to sort out a stance on gender and prison, because ultimately we're talking about a vulnerable population yet also a potentially violent one (these are criminals) in a fundamentally inhumane system. I don't know that I have a systemic answer for the "right" place to put people under these circumstances. But releasing aggregate data (not talking about individual records) is going to help people who want an informed discussion rather than speculation and anecdotes. So one would hope the ACLU would be on the side of getting the government to release data.

Next up: ACLU amicus brief on behalf of the NSA?
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Eric the .5b »

I realize it's snooty and woke and whatever to have standards about journalistic and opinion outlets, but...given the site's breaking headline of the day is a Project Veritas story, and the article itself cites a right-wing radio host for key claims, do we have any other outlets corroborating this story?
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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Also, after decades of giving a hearty laugh at the incidence of sexual assault of both male and female inmates by each other and guards, suddenly these people are terribly, terribly concerned about the assault dangers posed by what's apparently a single-digit number of individuals in their prison system. Sounds legit.
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thoreau
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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Eric the .5b wrote: 16 Apr 2021, 16:14 I realize it's snooty and woke and whatever to have standards about journalistic and opinion outlets, but...given the site's breaking headline of the day is a Project Veritas story, and the article itself cites a right-wing radio host for key claims, do we have any other outlets corroborating this story?
I wouldn't normally cite them, but they posted what they claim are original documents, so other outlets will be able to vet the story.
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thoreau
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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Eric the .5b wrote: 16 Apr 2021, 16:22 Also, after decades of giving a hearty laugh at the incidence of sexual assault of both male and female inmates by each other and guards, suddenly these people are terribly, terribly concerned about the assault dangers posed by what's apparently a single-digit number of individuals in their prison system. Sounds legit.
FWIW, my tentative inclination is probably towards putting most or all transwomen inmates in women's prisons. But FOIA isn't just for people I agree with.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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The state of Washington is under no obligation to let the ACLU know about every FOIA request they receive, so it remains entirely unclear as to how the ACLU became aware of this woman's FOIA in the first place.
Well, given that the State of Washington is required to give the people whose information they'll be releasing a heads-up, I'd say one of them probably told the ACLU, Mr. Deliberately Inflammatory Clickbait Article.

I've had my information FOIAed under Washington's insanely open Pubic Records Act. The Freedom Foundation wanted my name, address, phone number, email address, and birthdate, presumably so they could send me mailers, as well as sell my information to their donors once they had a chance to parallel-construct a database, since they're *ahem* not allowed to use the information fire commercial purposes. When we protested the huge threat having our birthdate released along with all that information presented, we were essentially told there wasn't much for it, and the law was the law. In fact, the only thing that made them climb down was when the union threatened to sue them, and the prospect of bad press from that made them back off. The birthdate, not anything else. There were also concerns about stalking and domestic violence victims having their info released, they said they'd redact that, but who knows. At least one of the people with those concerns still got the mailers that came after.

Point is, if I were a trans person looking at a bunch of angry extremely online right wingers figuring out exactly where they could find me, I'd be pretty worried too. "Aggregated information" only really protects you when there are too many options to be able to pick out individuals.
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Eric the .5b
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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thoreau wrote: 16 Apr 2021, 16:27
Eric the .5b wrote: 16 Apr 2021, 16:14 I realize it's snooty and woke and whatever to have standards about journalistic and opinion outlets, but...given the site's breaking headline of the day is a Project Veritas story, and the article itself cites a right-wing radio host for key claims, do we have any other outlets corroborating this story?
I wouldn't normally cite them, but they posted what they claim are original documents, so other outlets will be able to vet the story.
thoreau wrote: 16 Apr 2021, 16:28 FWIW, my tentative inclination is probably towards putting most or all transwomen inmates in women's prisons. But FOIA isn't just for people I agree with.
If it's real, sure. As it is, it's a couple of scans of printouts surrounded by claims the mainstream media is working to suppress the story because of the mighty juggernaut that is the trans agenda. I'd be stunned if there's not at least one major lie in this story. (Probably in the context of what information was actually requested.)
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

Prisoners have very few constitutionally protected privacy rights. Having also worked in an office that vetted FOIA requests it's clear to me that what the law is intended to do is a good thing and the way it's used often is not a good thing. I have grown more skeptical of the ACLU over recent years, but I'd have to see real court filings to weigh in on the merits of the suit.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Jennifer »

FWIW, the ACLU's Twitter feed has several recent tweets affirming the importance of trans rights in general, but nothing about this lawsuit (but also nothing about the really appalling new Florida law wherein members of girls' sports teams (but not boys' sports teams) will be required to submit to genitalia inspections in the event anyone expresses any doubts about the kid's gender).
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Shem
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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thoreau wrote: 16 Apr 2021, 16:27
Eric the .5b wrote: 16 Apr 2021, 16:14 I realize it's snooty and woke and whatever to have standards about journalistic and opinion outlets, but...given the site's breaking headline of the day is a Project Veritas story, and the article itself cites a right-wing radio host for key claims, do we have any other outlets corroborating this story?
I wouldn't normally cite them, but they posted what they claim are original documents, so other outlets will be able to vet the story.
Did you note that the documents they posted immediately contradicted the article? Specifically the part where they said the person requesting the information was sued? That's probably also why they didn't provide the name of the court case.

Also, did you do any vetting yourself? The ACLU-WA website provided this explanation as to why they sued:
Didn’t one of the original requests ask for the size of the transgender population in DOC custody? How is that private?
In general, the Department of Corrections is not under an obligation to create records in response to a Public Records Act request. Instead, they will provide records from which the requestor can answer their own question. This means that in response to a request for information about the size of the transgender population, DOC may provide raw, individual, and personally identifiable information. DOC collects private health information and other extremely sensitive information for the purposes of managing the heightened risks of sexual and physical violence that transgender, non-binary, and intersex people face in custody. DOC policies state the information will be kept confidential and they go to considerable lengths to ensure confidentiality when gathering and analyzing this information in order to protect the safety and privacy of those identified. This lawsuit is meant to protect that personal information.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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Shem wrote: 17 Apr 2021, 13:26
Also, did you do any vetting yourself? The ACLU-WA website provided this explanation as to why they sued:
Didn’t one of the original requests ask for the size of the transgender population in DOC custody? How is that private?
In general, the Department of Corrections is not under an obligation to create records in response to a Public Records Act request. Instead, they will provide records from which the requestor can answer their own question. This means that in response to a request for information about the size of the transgender population, DOC may provide raw, individual, and personally identifiable information. DOC collects private health information and other extremely sensitive information for the purposes of managing the heightened risks of sexual and physical violence that transgender, non-binary, and intersex people face in custody. DOC policies state the information will be kept confidential and they go to considerable lengths to ensure confidentiality when gathering and analyzing this information in order to protect the safety and privacy of those identified. This lawsuit is meant to protect that personal information.
First, personal information can easily be redacted. I worked with an office at the Pentagon where we had six law students basically doing that all the time. Second, that "doesn't have to create a record " answer is technically true, but if the information is in an electronic database and easily searched and extracted from it, that doesn't count as creating a new record. If that's the meat of the suit, I would expect the ACLU to lose on appeal.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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The postmillenial whatever site is quillete jr so safe to assume it's lying and why do they care so much? But the wa alcu answers are weird and suspicious.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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D.A. Ridgely wrote: 17 Apr 2021, 14:27 First, personal information can easily be redacted. I worked with an office at the Pentagon where we had six law students basically doing that all the time.


If there's only a handful of people in an entire faculty that meet the requirements, redacting their identity information doesn't actually do all that much to obscure identity. And while I haven't checked, I have been to the local women's prison enough times to know the numbers we're talking about are almost certainly comparatively small.
Second, that "doesn't have to create a record " answer is technically true, but if the information is in an electronic database and easily searched and extracted from it, that doesn't count as creating a new record. If that's the meat of the suit, I would expect the ACLU to lose on appeal.
Having seen the records keeping of the State of Washington up close (and been a victim of same) I believe you have a lot more faith in both the idea that the databases used will uphold the rules of data normalization, and that the state will be able to provide information safely than is perhaps warranted.

At any rate, I doubt the goal is to defeat the request entirely. As I noted above, the state has an insanely permissive Public Records access law, and it's quite difficult to circumvent. More than likely, the goal is to make sure the state actually does the extra work to avoid releasing personal information, rather than just handing over a spreadsheet with names removed and literally everything else included.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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Shem wrote: 17 Apr 2021, 19:00
D.A. Ridgely wrote: 17 Apr 2021, 14:27 First, personal information can easily be redacted. I worked with an office at the Pentagon where we had six law students basically doing that all the time.


If there's only a handful of people in an entire faculty that meet the requirements, redacting their identity information doesn't actually do all that much to obscure identity. And while I haven't checked, I have been to the local women's prison enough times to know the numbers we're talking about are almost certainly comparatively small.
Second, that "doesn't have to create a record " answer is technically true, but if the information is in an electronic database and easily searched and extracted from it, that doesn't count as creating a new record. If that's the meat of the suit, I would expect the ACLU to lose on appeal.
Having seen the records keeping of the State of Washington up close (and been a victim of same) I believe you have a lot more faith in both the idea that the databases used will uphold the rules of data normalization, and that the state will be able to provide information safely than is perhaps warranted.

At any rate, I doubt the goal is to defeat the request entirely. As I noted above, the state has an insanely permissive Public Records access law, and it's quite difficult to circumvent. More than likely, the goal is to make sure the state actually does the extra work to avoid releasing personal information, rather than just handing over a spreadsheet with names removed and literally everything else included.
You don't need identifying information to gain access to, for example, how many pre-menopausal prisoners are being prescribed whatever the appropriate dosage of estrogen may be. And why that may not pinpoint the numbers at issue, it will close in on it.

Look, I worked for DoD. We've never passed an audit in the department's history. Shit gets lost all the time. Big expensive shit, too. But my point remains that you can't refuse a FOIA request on grounds that you don't have a record you could generate with minimum effort.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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If the number in a particular facility would be identifying, can't they redact facility names and just report a systemwide number?

I get all the privacy reasons why some aspects of this request may be impossible to comply with. And it may be that WA law is different from the federal laws DAR is most familiar with. But, frankly, I think that the fact that the numbers are small means that if aggregate numbers were released the alleged problem would look a whole lot less frightening. More public info, less fear, more opportunities for informed conversations about protecting a vulnerable minority. Sounds like a civil libertarian win to me. Assuming there is a legal and feasible way to do it.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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thoreau wrote: 17 Apr 2021, 19:29 If the number in a particular facility would be identifying, can't they redact facility names and just report a systemwide number?
They can, but I don't particularly have a lot of faith they would, absent someone forcing them to. Which is, I suspect, what the lawsuit is about.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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Shem wrote: 17 Apr 2021, 19:38
thoreau wrote: 17 Apr 2021, 19:29 If the number in a particular facility would be identifying, can't they redact facility names and just report a systemwide number?
They can, but I don't particularly have a lot of faith they would, absent someone forcing them to. Which is, I suspect, what the lawsuit is about.
Well, the lawsuit was filed by the ACLU, not by the people seeking the info. It is apparently about the privacy rights of the individuals who might be named, so in that sense I guess I can't expect the ACLU to try to find a compromise that advances the goals of the people seeking information. They took up the case of their clients, so their duty has to lie with those clients, not with trying to help people seeking info on them. That I get.

I guess in that sense I don't fault them as much as I initially did. I will say that I hope there's a way to get aggregate numbers out. This would protect the privacy of the individual inmates, provide transparency, keep the state in the role of releasing information and complying (at least partially) with requests, and hopefully enable informed debate. Mind you, these are all "ought" preference statements, not "is" statements about public information laws in WA.

If the laws do not enable this, if it's literally a choice between either releasing nothing or releasing private info (and the later is obviously not an option) then I hope the laws are changed. And I would hope the ACLU would get behind such a change, so that the civil liberties goals of government transparency and individual privacy are both advanced.
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