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Raine1967

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Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 01:48 PM
Number of posts: 11,431

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Many Federal Websites to be shut down -- including THOMAS

This is the kinda stuff that a lot of pundits don't want to report about, It's all the so called little things that are going to affect people. From WaPo: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/09/30/a-bunch-of-federal-web-sites-will-shut-down-with-the-government/

Cyrus Farivar at Ars Technica reported Saturday that both the Federal Trade Commission and the Library of Congress sites will be taken offline and replaced with splash pages. The Sunlight foundation says that this includes THOMAS, the official source of legislative information. That means there won't be an official online resource to track when or if Congress comes to a deal to start things back up. (snip)

Even the sites that don't go down may not function at regular capacity. The Department of Veterans Affairs, for example, says the agency's home page will be "updated intermittently." The Federal Elections Commission site will remain online "but static."
A number of agencies' contingency plans made no mention of their online presences, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice. But last week, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) provided some general guidance that seems to imply that many government Web sites will be down.
The USDA website is DOWN.

The first comment at the WaPo article makes a really good point:

I don't know how we can call ourselves an open, free, and transparent society if THOMAS shuts down and the American people can no longer follow the actual legislation and debate regarding the shutdown. Every other government website can shut down, but not the website that actually shows you the bills and resolutions. This makes us no better than the governments that shut down the Internet for censorship reasons during times of crisis.

This is insane. To all of our fellow DU'rs here and overseas, that are affected, I send you --


I have a few friends that fully expect to be home very early from work this afternoon.

Why can we Rec a locked post?

I was curious and clicked on a locked post. This one: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023687793

I was even more curious and saw that I could Rec it even to it was locked. I unrec'd immediatly. Is it beneficial to DU to have the ability to be able to Rec a post that is locked? I know the odds are slim, but could this post be rec'd to the greatest page after it was locked?



Bo Obama has a new Sister!

http://www.whitehouse.gov/meet-sunny?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_content=081913p2&utm_campaign=meetsunny



Sunny was born in Michigan in June 2012, and arrived at the White House today. Just like Bo, she’s a Portuguese Water Dog, which works great for the Obamas because of allergies in their family.

Sunny is the perfect little sister for Bo – full of energy and very affectionate – and the First Family picked her name because it fit her cheerful personality.

In the past, Bo has been eager to help the First Family with their official duties, from visiting Walter Reed and the Children’s National Medical Center, to inspecting the Holiday decorations at the White House, to greeting guests at the White House on tours and during the Easter Egg Roll, but in October, the First Lady told reporters that she hosted a “doggie play date” because “Bo doesn't have enough dog interaction.” So now, in addition to helping with those official duties, Bo takes on the important role of big brother!


(I cross posted this after I posted in GD)


Hello SUNNY! "Who's a good girl?"

Bo Obama has a new Little sister!

http://www.whitehouse.gov/meet-sunny?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_content=081913p2&utm_campaign=meetsunny



Sunny was born in Michigan in June 2012, and arrived at the White House today. Just like Bo, she’s a Portuguese Water Dog, which works great for the Obamas because of allergies in their family.

Sunny is the perfect little sister for Bo – full of energy and very affectionate – and the First Family picked her name because it fit her cheerful personality.

In the past, Bo has been eager to help the First Family with their official duties, from visiting Walter Reed and the Children’s National Medical Center, to inspecting the Holiday decorations at the White House, to greeting guests at the White House on tours and during the Easter Egg Roll, but in October, the First Lady told reporters that she hosted a “doggie play date” because “Bo doesn't have enough dog interaction.” So now, in addition to helping with those official duties, Bo takes on the important role of big brother!

Does anyone know where/who the 'Snowden is on the Plane' rumor got started?

It's a question I have not been able to find the answer to. I don't want to assume, I am looking for the source -- the earliest reports of this rumor.

Thank you if you can help!

(Edited to correct spelling)

FBI arrests 2 local men for alleged terrorist plot

Source: www.news10.com (ABC Albany news station)

ALBANY, N.Y. - The Federal Bureau of Investigation out of Albany has charged two area men, including one General Electric employee, with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, by allegedly scheming to create a radiation emitting device to kill targeted people.

The FBI has charged 49-year-old Glendon Scott Crawford of Galway and 54-year-old Eric Feight of Hudson have been arrested and charged after a lengthy undercover investigation that began in April 2012.

At that time, authorities received information that Crawford had approached local Jewish organizations seeking out individuals who might offer assistance in helping him with a type of technology that could be used against people he perceived as enemies of Israel.

The complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Albany states that their scheme was to create a mobile, remotely operated, radiation emitting device "capable of killing targeted individuals silently with lethal doses of X-ray radiation."


Read more: http://www.news10.com/story/22633665/fbi-charges-2-local-men-with-terrorist-plot



Galway is a suburb of Schenectady NY and Hudson is about 40 minutes south of Albany NY. This is very disturbing to me.

The Right of Women to be Secure in Their Persons Against Unreasonable Searches

There has been a lot of talk about the fourth amendment the past few weeks with the 'revelation' that the NSA has been monitoring everyone's communications in the past, present and future of the world*. US officials are afraid that the leaker may defect to China. That's not really important in some quarters as the NSA has apparently breached the fourth amendment. From PolicyMic:
The Fourth Amendment protects people's "papers" as well as their "persons," "houses," and "effects," from "unreasonable searches and seizures," such as those by the NSA.

Despite being approved by a secret FISA court, the acquisition of private information from all Americans seems to be a quite obvious breach of the 4th Amendment's protections against unreasonable search and seizure, the same amendment the National Security Agency pushed the government to "rethink."
Reading the entire piece is worth the time, it is really quite good. What I personally found interesting was that it shows for myself the complete hyperbole on both sides of this debate. I've found the laser like focus on the 4th amendment fascinating as of late.

Here is the text of the Fourth amendment:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


Quite often when discussing this particular amendment, it's with regard to government invasion of privacy and the idea that a search warrant is needed by the court. There are exceptions to that. in fact -- many exceptions. As with all amendments, and the United States Constitution as a whole, the interpretation is never as simple as the written word. This is why we have a Judicial branch, headed by the Supreme Court as one of the three branches of our government.

It was that court, in 1973, that ruled one landmark case that forever changed the lives of women. It was called Roe. V. Wade:
The issue before the Court:
Roe v. Wade was filed on behalf of a pregnant single woman, who challenged a Texas law that permitted abortion only to save the life of the mother. At the time of the court's decision, 30 states had laws similar to the Texas law.

The Court's ruling:
In a 7-2 vote, the Court said that the Texas law violated the due process clause of the 14th Amendment. Justice Harry Blackmun, writing for the majority, argued that a woman's decision to end her pregnancy is protected by a broad right of privacy, which though not explicitly laid out in the Constitution, previously had been found by the court to exist within the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth and 14th Amendments, as well as the penumbras, or shadows, of the Bill of Rights.

However, the Court recognized that the state had a legitimate interest in protecting the health of the pregnant woman, and Justice Blackmun's decision laid out a framework in which varying degrees of state regulation was allowed based on the stage of the pregnancy. The decision held that the state could not prohibit abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy; in the second trimester, states could issue regulations "that are reasonably related to maternal health"; and in the final trimester, once the fetus is viable beyond the womb, the state could regulate or even prohibit abortion except in cases "where it is necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the life or health of the mother."



So basically what happened there is that privacy was protected under the Fourteenth Amendment's liberty clause. Ironically, it relied upon the amendments mentioned, in particular: The fourth. It protects a woman's right to privacy. Things aren't always as simple as just quoting one amendment.

Women have the right to privacy when making a decision that affects their personal liberty. Since abortion was not specifically mentioned in the Constitution, this right was able to be challenged (the 9th). We have a right not to incriminate ourselves (the fifth) when we choose to have this procedure and we have a right to express ourselves and not keep it secret (the first).

Eight years before Roe. v. Wade was decided, SCOTUS heard another case, Griswold V. Connecticut:
In Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), the Supreme Court ruled that a state's ban on the use of contraceptives violated the right to marital privacy. The case concerned a Connecticut law that criminalized the encouragement or use of birth control. The 1879 law provided that "any person who uses any drug, medicinal article or instrument for the purposes of preventing conception shall be fined not less than forty dollars or imprisoned not less than sixty days." The law further provided that "any person who assists, abets, counsels, causes, hires or commands another to commit any offense may be prosecuted and punished as if he were the principle offender."

Estelle Griswold, the executive director of Planned Parenthood League of Connecticut, and Dr. C. Lee Buxton, doctor and professor at Yale Medical School, were arrested and found guilty as accessories to providing illegal contraception. They were fined $100 each. Griswold and Buxton appealed to the Supreme Court of Errors of Connecticut, claiming that the law violated the U.S. Constitution. The Connecticut court upheld the conviction, and Griswold and Buxton appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which reviewed the case in 1965.
That decision was decided by the Supreme court with a vote of 7-2. The decision was arrived upon by asserting "the First, Third, Fourth, and Ninth Amendments also protect a right to privacy.
"The Court continued, “The Third Amendment in its prohibition against the quartering of soldiers ‘in any house’ in time of peace without the consent of the owner is another facet of that privacy. The Fourth Amendment explicitly affirms the “right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” The Fifth Amendment in its Self-Incrimination Clause enables the citizen to create a zone of privacy which government may not force him to surrender to his detriment. The Ninth Amendment provides: ‘The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."


And yet, here we are, 40 years later, with stories like this. Here are the basic bullet points:
• Mandates invasive ultrasounds, and forces women to pay for the cost of the extra procedure themselves.
• Requires doctors to describe the ultrasound images to women seeking abortions, including details about the fetal heartbeat.
• Extends the waiting period for abortion to 48 hours, and eliminates the option for women to bypass it because of a medical emergency.
• Requires doctors to tell women scientifically disputed information about abortion risks.
• Requires doctors to tell patients how much money they earn from each abortion procedure.
• Punishes doctors who don’t comply with the new restrictions with a felony charge and up to a $1 million dollar fine.


It's been well-documented here on this blog, but it is worth noting once again: women's health, our reproductive freedom, is under attack.

[img][/img]

Those attacking our rights, and by direct extension women, are disregarding and abusing the fourth amendment.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Women have been fighting for OUR right against unreasonable searches -- the likes of a totally medically unnecessary medical procedure that is being employed to humiliate women seeking out a MEDICAL procedure. Roe. V. Wade did not mandate morality. In affect it stated: The decision held that the state could not prohibit abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy; in the second trimester, states could issue regulations "that are reasonably related to maternal health"; and in the final trimester, once the fetus is viable beyond the womb, the state could regulate or even prohibit abortion except in cases "where it is necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the life or health of the mother." This should NOT be up for debate.

So can someone tell me why the NSA story is so much more important than my right to a medical procedure? Why is your right to have phone sex* (and not get caught) more important than my right to end an unwanted pregnancy? Why is this more important than Doctors' rights to practice medicine as they see fit and in accordance with the degree they received? NARAL Virginia, upon Governor Bob McDonnell signing Virginia UltraSound abortion law put out a statement calling the law "an unprecedented invasion of privacy and government intrusion into the doctors' offices and living rooms of Virginia women."

Caring about the right to privacy should be more than who is looking at your emails, it should include how government literally is legislating what they think should go into your *HooHaw*-- just because you don't have one, you certainly know someone who does.

Remember earlier I quoted an article from PolicyMic:
The Fourth Amendment protects people's "papers" as well as their "persons," "houses," and "effects," from "unreasonable searches and seizures," such as those by the NSA.

Despite being approved by a secret FISA court, the acquisition of private information from all Americans seems to be a quite obvious breach of the 4th Amendment's protections against unreasonable search and seizure, the same amendment the National Security Agency pushed the government to "rethink."

Here is another article from PolicyMic:
The right to privacy that many of us hold as central to our civil liberties today is not one that is found in the Constitution, at least not explicitly. The word “privacy” never appears in the Constitution, nor is the right to the ambiguous concept of privacy ever articulated or enumerated. Instead, the right to privacy as we know it today is founded on legal reasoning extrapolated from the protections found within the Constitution’s language.

In Griswold, the Supreme Court concluded that while there was no explicit mention of privacy in the Constitution, the privacy rights implied in the Bill of Rights and subsequent amendments demonstrated that the Founders intended a general right to privacy to be recognized and respected by the state. For example, the Court reasoned that the First Amendment protected the privacy of personal faith, the Fourth Amendment protected the privacy of one’s person and belongings, and so on and so forth.

Using this inductive reasoning, the Court concluded that the right to privacy was found in the “penumbras” and “emanations” of the Constitution and that it protected a “right to marital privacy” that unquestionably made the decision to use or forego contraception as a private one.


So yes, let's keep debating. Today I ask why is my body and the rights of women so much less of a priority in this nation? Women are being attacked far more virulently in this nation than the NSA is going after Americans -- and that is still up for debate to be really honest. People upset about this NSA story are not having their words erased or taken away. Women are having their right to privacy taken away EVERY DAY through legislation. You'll have to pardon me for not placing the same amount of outrage on this NSA story that I have had over the loss of the rights women have gained to make their own personal choices.

Are we really supporting some previously anonymous person who may very well have State Secrets hiding in China and ignoring something that is directly affecting women everyday? Sometimes I think that we pick and choose the Constitution to fit our argument. I'm sure I'm not innocent in that accusation but it is worth saying that nothing is ever as simple as it seems. Personally I wish this much energy was spent on protecting ACTUAL and real civil rights violations in this nation. What happened to the right of women to be secure in their persons against unreasonable searches? Are people really more upset about META-data collection than government mandating that women are forced to have a trans-vaginal ultrasound with something that looks like this? [img][/img] [c]Would you consider this a reasonable search?[/c]

Maybe I should put a (NSA surveilled) smartphone in my vagina before I get a trans-vaginal untrasound. You think think that will get the attention of the so-called civil libertarians to the plight of the war on women?

I know, now you're saying: 'Raine, that's just crazy talk.' Yeah, I guess it is -- so is comparing what the NSA is doing to Nazi Germany.

[img][/img] [c]This image existed LONG before we EVER heard of Edward Snowden. Hell, it existed before BAH ever hired him.[/c]

:peace: and <3
Raine


*Use of hyperbole intended.

(ETA: I wrote this. here is my original post. )

Maryland passed new tough gun control laws -- with something for Guns rights advocates:

http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2013-04-26/news/bs-md-gun-law-exemptions-20130426_1_gun-bill-state-gun-gun-store

As a person who wants to see stricter gun laws, I think this is a good step in the right direction. It's an easy compromise.

A little-noticed provision tucked at the end of the sweeping gun legislation approved by the General Assembly last month would shield from view key state gun records that now are public — a change that was pushed by gun-rights advocates during the intense legislative debate and passed unknown to the most ardent gun-control supporters.

Current laws allow the Maryland State Police to release the names of people who apply to buy guns, who hold collector's licenses and concealed-carry permits, as well as details about weapon sales. Under the new gun bill, which Gov. Martin O'Malley has said he will sign, that information would no longer be available to the public.




Uhm... caption this?



Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/25/george-w-bush-library_n_3154513.html#slide=1044202

The GOP -- Forcibly Taking Away History

What is rape and date rape?

Rape is sex you don’t agree to, including forcing a body part or object into your vagina, rectum (bottom), or mouth. Date rape is when you are raped by someone you know, like a boyfriend. Both are crimes. Rape is not about sex — it is an act of power by the rapist and it is always wrong.

Date rape drugs, which often have no smell or taste, can be given to you without you knowing at parties or in a club — especially where alcohol is served. Alcohol can make you less aware of danger and make you less able to think clearly and resist sexual assault. If you are given date rape drugs, you may not be able to say "no" to unwanted sex and you may not be able to clearly remember what happened.

Remember: even if you were drinking, it is NOT your fault.


The above is from GirlsHealth.gov The site is owned and maintained by the Office on Women's Health in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It's an official government site geared towards girls and young women between the ages 10 to 16 to "learn about health, growing up, and issues they may face. Girlshealth.gov promotes healthy and positive behaviors in girls, giving them reliable and useful health information in a fun, easy-to-understand way. The website also provides information to parents and educators to help them teach girls about healthy living."

Date Rape doesn't stop once a person turns 17. It's important that we have sites like this out there for the younger people in our nation. Date rape is Rape. It no less forceable or legitimate form of rape.

Here are a few things about rape.
Myth: Rape is only committed by strangers in dark alleys and parking lots.
Fact: As many as 84 percent of women are raped by someone they know, such as friends, family or an acquaintance.

Myth: If a woman is raped, then she must have deserved it, especially if she agreed to go to the man's room or wore sexy clothing.
Fact: No one deserves to be raped. Being in a man's room or wearing revealing clothing does not mean a woman has agreed to have sex.

Myth: Women who don't physically fight back haven't been raped.
Fact: If a woman did not or could not consent to having sex, it is considered rape. Forcing a woman to have sex against her will, whether she physically fights back or not, is rape, plain and simple.

There are a lot more Myths and facts there. Here is another fact-- Not all women who are raped are quite mature enough to understand that they actually were raped. They aren't all over the age of 18. They may be female, but that doesn't automatically make them knowledgeable of what rape actually is.

[c]Rape is sex you don’t agree to, including forcing a body part or object into your vagina, rectum (bottom), or mouth.[/c]

Here are some more statistics:
For every 1,000 women attending college, there will be 35 incidents of rape in a given academic year.
51.8 percent of rapes occur after midnight.
62 percent of completed rapes occur by classmates or friends.
16 percent of male students who committed rape, and 10 percent of those who attempted rape, did so with at least one other attacker.
57 percent of rapes occur while out on a date.
Women are 10 times more likely than men to be victims of rape or sexual assault.

The GOP has been attempting to redefine what rape is. "Legitimate", "forceable" are a few terms that we have seen tossed around the past few days. There is a definite idea that some rapes are more serious than others according to people like Paul Ryan. People like him believe abortion access should only be if the life of the pregnant women is in danger-- people like Paul Ryan like to say the word mother-- except, they aren't-- they are pregnant. In the eyes of some men, if a rape isn't forceable, a woman should not have access to abortion should she become pregnant. Rape and incest are not a good enough reason for them to allow a woman to have access to an abortion. To them, Date rape isn't even a legitimate rape because often times, it's not forceful rape in their view. A 13 year old girl who may not know what sex is gets raped by a neighbor, possibly one she trusted -- and it is not longer really a rape. In the meantime we have the federal government saying it is. How do we teach our young women with such conflicting messages?

In other words, if a woman was raped by an acquaintance, that rape didn't really happen. What kind of message does this send to our nations youth? What type of message does it send when we tell women : IT WAS NOT YOUR FAULT only to find out that now it suddenly IS their fault because they were not "forcibly" raped?

It sends the message that their history is no longer legitimate in the eyes of other people. Imagine that for a minute. Read this person's story
On a rainy night, whose events I’d suppressed for years until hearing a report about date rape on NPR brought it back.

Following a big exam, my resident advisor (RA) treated his rugby friends and me to a beer at a neighborhood roadhouse. After we returned to the dorm and said our goodnights, there was a knock at my door. The rugby team captain asked if he could sleep on my roommate’s vacant bed, since it would be such a rainy walk up campus.

I still don’t know why I let him in. I was not drunk; I remember every minute of the next hour. I said no, he said yes. I struggled; he was the rugby player. When he had finished raping me, he went back to his dorm in the rain. I remember him calling the next day to “see how I was.” I remember hearing people laughing in the background.

He was the friend of my RA, someone I respected. It didn’t make sense. I told no one. I stayed in my nightgown the whole next day.

For years I thought that by letting the guy in, I was somehow complicit in the crime.
According to Paul Ryan and Todd Akin, that rape was not legitimate or forceable enough.

I'm glad you have read this far.....

I've been thinking a lot about this. I am horrified and astounded that these people would put the burden of rape back on women, as if it is our fault. I'm angry. It is personal for me; I am a rape survivor. I knew my attacker. For a period of time, I too thought I was complicit. According to the GOP, my rape never happened. That means my recovery, my education, my knowledge of what happened to me in 1986 didn't really happen. That is my history, and I am proud of my history, warts and all. I don't want people to feel sorry for me, and I am not a victim anymore. I am stronger because of what I unfortunately went through. Given a choice, I would rather have chosen to be strong without being raped. This is who I am. I went to Planned Parenthood and got the help I needed after I was raped. It changed my life, in many ways for the better. I have chosen to take my experiences to advocate for others that may have gone through what I did, or to prevent it from happening to people in my life.

The thing is, you know people who have been raped. They may not be telling you for whatever reason they choose. The least of these reasons should be shame. I don't want people to be told that what happened to them really didn't happen. That is cruel. It also can be deadly.

I resent the Republican party for trying to erase my history and the history of every woman that has ever been raped. How we choose to go forward should be our choice, not defined by a radical ideology that I would call rape deniers. Don't let them do that to us.

Don't let them take away my history. Thank you for letting me share it.

Peace and Love,
Raine

Original Post: http://www.fourfreedomsblog.com/Blog.php?Act=ViewBlogPost&BlogID=2057&Hide=0

I wrote this. I thank Happyhippychick for the inspiration to do so. http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021165133
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