Questions in the Law & Government category.
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February 24

Er, What Rights *Do* I have at the Border?

US citizen flying into the US. Do I have to give the Border Patrol access to all my computer files, social media, etc.? Can they ask for my social media passwords if I don't bring a computer? What rights, if any, do I have at the border? I have nothing to hide, I just don't like gummint poking its nose in my bidness.
posted by Native in Exile at 5:05 PM - 21 answers

This thing about cities, language and anarchy that is on the tip of my

Ugh, this is on the tip of my brain. I read a blog post reviewing a book that talks about how cities are standardized, or normalized or otherwise legitimized using either policy or language or possibly the land grid system promoted by Jefferson. It may have been an anarchist-anthropologist who was posting about this. I do recall that that the setup for the blog post may have said something like [word x] means literally to "make legitimate" or something like that. It may have had something to do with James C. Scott's Seeing Like a State. I ask because I'm teaching a class on the Introduction to Rhetoric and came across this line: "Important to Pico's philosophy was the conviction that humans employ language to order teh chaotic world of nature." So I guess I'm trying to dig up the original concept of making cities readable through imposing law or language on them. Thanks, smart Mefistianeros.
posted by mecran01 at 8:18 AM - 8 answers

February 23

Refresher on Gov't & Politics, books and blogs please

I know that this sounds like a silly question. But, can you provide tips on staying abreast of current events and politics? I feel like I need a basic refresher on government and politics, where is a good place to start with the basics?- I believe that Jon Stewart wrote a book a while -thoughts. [more inside]
posted by Boyd at 2:58 PM - 3 answers

February 22

Canadian Warranty Law between distributor and dealers

Fair and Reasonable VS Established Rates for Shop Labor Refunds [more inside]
posted by aetg at 7:17 AM - 2 answers

n00b question about the actual procedure for refugees, please advise

One of my former students in Malaysia, from Yemen, has asked for my help. I do not know what to do. [more inside]
posted by Meatbomb at 5:13 AM - 3 answers

February 17

Can I build on an old UK Visa?

I was granted Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK in 2010, but left almost immediately afterwards. I assume it's automatically revoked and useless in cases like that - or is it? [more inside]
posted by cotton dress sock at 6:37 PM - 4 answers

People look at you funny when you're in a small town

My question is about how to fight small scale corruption in a small town (in the US). I believe there are some MetaFilter readers here who are involved with local government. I have a friend (John) who is involved in local politics in a very small town. John is part of an organization comprised of several elected individuals who have oversight over a small budget (think a town council, county commissioners or school board). However, due to the way the local and state government is set up in his state and jurisdiction, there is little oversight of the group. The issue is continual shady dealings that go largely unnoticed by the public. [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 3:11 PM - 8 answers

February 16

How can an American expat oppose Trump?

Like most people here, I'm aghast at what's been happening. Unlike many, I'm not in the US. I am still flailing about for how best to focus my energy. [more inside]
posted by forza at 5:15 PM - 22 answers

Any good protests planned in DC next week?

I'm going to be in DC next week. I do not like Donald Trump. Are there any protests planned from Feb 19 - 24? My 10- and14-year old children also do not like Donald Trump, and would like to join me. [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 3:04 PM - 4 answers

Filing my taxes. A bit complicated, but solvable. Thoughts appreciated.

I need to file my taxes, but this is slightly convoluted (due to the Social Security Administration). Any suggestions would be great! [more inside]
posted by dubious_dude at 2:08 PM - 10 answers

February 15

Who are the Reporters' Reporters?

I'm interested in following established and respected journalists who have very deep ties to and sources in specific parts of the U.S. political establishment. In other words, rather than covering U.S. politics generally, these journalists are widely known for their expertise with a specific thing (examples below the fold). Basically, who do other reporters look to as the definitive source on X agency/party/Congressperson/state/whatever? [more inside]
posted by sallybrown at 1:24 PM - 7 answers

February 14

Termites and attachment issues

I live in a semi detached house in Toronto. Our attached neighbours (tenants) recently moved out to escape what she called "slum" conditions (termites up to the second floor, mold in the basement). We have been treated for termites and appear to be mold-free, but I'm wondering what our legal rights are. Is there a governing body that can tell me if we can compel the attached owner to treat for termites?
posted by lizifer at 9:58 AM - 2 answers

February 13

Guantánamo Bay

Looking for the recent history of our detention program. Esp. the government's legal justifications, the challenges, and the resulting changed policies.
posted by ebesan at 6:36 PM - 4 answers

February 12

I want to run for school board. What books/resources should I get?

I am not an educator but want to make sure my school district is the best it can be. What should I read/watch/listen to about education, education theory, and more so I can make a difference? [more inside]
posted by Stynxno at 3:19 PM - 7 answers

Are there any good general books (academic-ish) on voter supression?

I'm curious as to whether anyone can give me some pointers for digging into the problem of voter suppression (past and present) in the USA. I'm looking for stuff that deals not just with Presidential and federal elections but how it plays out at the state and local level as well. [more inside]
posted by AdamCSnider at 1:19 PM - 5 answers

Asking the Wizard

I want to use a two-sentence quote from the Wizard of Oz in a personal writing project. Since every word is probably copyrighted, how do I go about getting permission to use it?
posted by CollectiveMind at 8:04 AM - 7 answers

February 10

A history of American political parties

I am looking for a survey level overview on the history of American political parties. I'd prefer a book that begins with the Federalists and reaches to modern political parties. [more inside]
posted by Hop123 at 12:49 PM - 3 answers

What is the best way for an anti-Trump group to register ourselves?

What are the benefits and disadvantages around the different ways to register a lefty activist group in New York/New York City? We are looking at a 501c3, 501c4, fiscal sponsor, an LLC (???) or something else. [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 12:36 PM - 8 answers

New US Constitution groups/thinktanks

Given that the US Constitution is over a couple of centuries old, and that the world has changed dramatically since its introduction, I imagine a number of American groups have proposals for full replacements for governing the United States. Please link me to any of these you're familiar with (along with - if possible - a précis about their most notable differences from our our current constitution). Note: I am not looking for proposed single amendments, but for full-scale replacements.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:49 AM - 12 answers

February 8

Tea Party:Tea Party Express::Anti-Trump Democrats:???

I would like to support leftist candidates for all sorts of offices in the US government, not just in general campaigns where we can win an open seat or unseat a Republican incumbent, but also in primaries where a Democratic incumbent is doing an inadequate job (like Dianne Feinstein, for example, I so badly want to her go away.) Is there a national organization working on this? [more inside]
posted by contraption at 12:12 PM - 7 answers

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