TO PRIVACY DAY
little rant is basically an e-mail I sent to my E-List about
Right To Privacy Day. If you'd like to receive my little rants in
e-mail form, just send me an e-mail requesting to be added to my
Today, March 22, is the 40th anniversary of the
Baird v. Eisenstadt Supreme Court case that laid the groundwork
for Roe v. Wade. It's here on FindLaw for those interested: Baird
v. Eisenstadt or Google for other interesting articles about
the case. Regardless of how anyone feels about abortion, privacy
is an extremely important issue in terms of people's rights. I
don't agree with Bill Baird on all the issues, but I'm 100% in
agreement on privacy.
In Massachusetts, where Bill Baird
is from, today is a holiday: Right To Privacy Day. Bill's trying
to make this a national holiday, and I hope everyone who receives
this e-mail will join with me in helping make Bill's dream a
reality. Please write your legislators. Tell them you'd like
March 22 to be National Right To Privacy Day.
I had the
privilege of speaking on the same panel as Bill at a convention
in Florida some years back. But it was also, frankly, scary.
Bill's a hero of mine, and also, I'm proud to say, a friend. His
Family Planning clinic has been firebombed and he's been shot at.
Yes, somebody actually tried to assassinate this man. So standing
next to him before an audience I'm thinking, What if somebody
tries to shoot him again? What if they miss and hit me instead?
But I wouldn't have missed sharing the stage with Bill for
anything. To show their admiration for Bill, the organizers of
the convention gave him a computer and a bullet-proof vest. I'm
not kidding; they gave him a bullet-proof vest.
while I think every day should be National Right To Privacy Day
to make sure people's rights are always protected, if we can make
Right To Privacy Day a legally recognized holiday, we'll keep the
issue of privacy in the public consciousness. And that would be a
I know that some who are on my little e-mail
List live in countries other than the US. Privacy and human
rights are an international issue, though. I hope whatever
country you live in you have freedom, and the more free countries
we have the better chance we have of attaining freedom and
personal autonomy for all.
Bill's website is Pro Choice
On a personal note, I've just leased a new car.
After months of off-and-on looking I finally decided on a Nissan
Versa. I pick it up from the dealership tomorrow. My old Saturn
finally failed. I'm sorry to have to give up the old car but it
was time for a change anyway.
I test drove everything
from a Ford Focus to a Mazda 3 to a Smart Car. The Versa best
meets my needs and I got a good deal on leasing it. A friend of
mine has always leased his cars so I'm trying his advice and
going with leasing rather than buying.
When I bought my
Saturn, it was an easy, no-pressure experience. (If Saturn was
still in business I'd just get another one; it's a great car.)
Not so with some of the dealerships I visited. In some cases I
was thinking, I wonder if I can get a clause in the contract that
says I get to put my hands around the throat of the salesperson
for just thirty seconds. That's all I want; just thirty seconds.
I'm kidding, I'm kidding. You all know that I'm a peaceful,
easy-going guy, and that I try to be on good terms with everyone.
But some of these sales people even riled me up.
eventually I found a good dealership and a good car.
I had time and didn't need a new car immediately, I rented a few
different vehicles from Enterprise to drive for a few days each
so I'd get a real experience driving them and seeing how they
handled under actual driving conditions not just taking a test
drive around the block. I really wanted to pick the right car.
The Enterprise people were great and it was easy and
comfortable dealing with them. We joked around a lot, and I made
a joke about having to do their job for them on the last car I
rented before leasing the Versa. What did I have to do? I had to
set the clock ahead for Daylight Savings Time. I joked with them
that I wanted the three seconds it took me to do that deducted
from my rental time.
My joking comment, however, brought
a response I had not expected when one of the Enterprise agents
told me that he had gotten a traffic ticket for making a turn
during the time when such a turn was prohibited. He had looked at
the clock, read the sign and determined by the clock in the car
that it was legal to turn at that time. The clock was set
incorrectly. He challenged the ticket in Court. And he won. Way
to go! Right on!
Don't let the system push you around.
Always stand up for your rights.
A National Right To
Privacy Day would help citizens to remember that they have rights
and that they can stand up for those rights. (You knew I'd bring
this rant back to law and politics and rights; I always do.)
Kathy Bates, who stars in a really good TV show titled
Harry's Law (and there are so few really good TV shows) was the
guest on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (another really
good show) recently. She mentioned that an upcoming episode of
her show addressed the issue of spy drones being used by law
enforcement agencies to spy on US citizens. The drones are
coming. They will be spying on us. Unless we do something to
change the laws that are allowing this to happen.
paraphrase the TV commercial of a certain airlines: You are still
free to move about the country. That may change. And will, if
certain political forces have their way.
please contact your legislators.
Have a great Right To