Posts Tagged With: laws

A NO GHC PARTY

We have a party person in our neighborhood. I believe GHC is the active ingredient marijuana, a hot subject in Calaveras County.  Thus the party about GHC on the 20th, the day the government made some kind of announcement?  Unsure.

Can’t drive, can barely type, incapacitated by my surgery-told I have massive tears and if I don’t follow the rules to the letter, I may never be well. So, I’m resting. Can’t drive, must depend on others for just about everything. House looking like a junk yard. Jim took pictures. We didn’t stay long though Jan provided a great fun event.

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DSC05118 (Copy)I ate finger foods and wished there was MJ in the brownies. Maybe better than the oxcycotin they prescribed. I read where it is miracle drug for animals. Woof! Woof!

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A HOME IN MANTECA.

DSC05103 (Copy)No longer homeless, my brother has a job and is working in Manteca. I drove down and took him to lunch for his birthday. He is still attached to his bible and a new church. He is refurbishing a rental that was burned out from the inside. His pay is a place to live. He previously built a house in Hayward for the owner before he had his stroke. Now, he lives and works in the same place. A good deal for both.

As anyone who reads my blog knows, I’ve been an advocate of housing homeless people. It works in other states and is cheaper than shuttling them around and treating them as though they are human trash. The highest costs come from arresting them and creating a revolving door through the courts for trespassing, drunkenness, drugs, or aberrant behaviors. Mental patients are among the most common people on the streets and hospitalizing or jailing them is more costly than housing and treating them.  I’m sure I will be addressing this subject in the future.

 

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RE-BLOGGING, Whistleblower.

Guest Blog


I’m grateful for the whistleblowers who have provided us with transparency and exposed illegal practices by employers or by the government. California, New Jersey, and New York have friendly whistleblower laws.  I read where some states have made it against the law to report abuses in their states, but I couldn’t find it on the net-yet.

Whistleblower Who Exposed White House Tampering with Climate Science Dies

By Paul Thacker

Rick Piltz passed away last Saturday. He spent decades working in the federal government and state government in Texas, and was a prominent whistleblower during the Bush administration. He later founded Climate Science Watch.

I first met Rick Piltz after reading a 2005 New York Times story exposing a concerted effort by the Bush White House to down play links between greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. The story was a blockbuster and featured leaked documents with the actual handwritten edits of White House officials. I eventually figured out the leaker was Rick Piltz.

I was working for a science journal and called to ask if he would do a Q&A with us. At that time, I was beginning to realize that the White House was trying to bury and deny scientific evidence that harmed corporate products or was at cross purposes to Republican party ideology. This effort extended to EPA chemical regulations and FDA approval of birth control. That’s why I wanted to interview Piltz. I wanted the view of a veteran government expert to explain to scientists how scientific policy really happens. Not the theory, but the actual practice.

We met at a bar close to the White House in the late afternoon. I wanted a casual discussion in a relaxed environment so I could get him to be as honest as possible. I figured hanging out at a bar over a couple of beers would be best. This was his first time speaking up since he had left the government.

Piltz was nervous and stressed during the interview. He had just left a secure job, because he could no longer take what was happening in the U.S. Global Change Research Program, the federal group created to help the nation address global warming. He didn’t know what he was going to do next in his career.

The main White House perpetrator, he told me, was Philip Cooney, a former employee at the American Petroleum Institute, who the White House had hired to coordinate the nation’s reports on climate change. Within days of the New York Times article, Cooney resigned from the White House and was then hired by Exxon Mobil, a company that had a long track record of disseminating disinformation on climate change.

During our talk, Piltz made it clear that the White House was doing everything possible to create confusion on climate change. “With all these arcane debates about climate models and cost–benefit economic models, the general public can’t get their arms around climate change,” he said. What the administration didn’t want was for people to start learning about what was going to happen in their communities: how climate change was going to affect grain farmers in the Midwest, people living on the Gulf Coast, and New Yorkers dealing with a subway system that could get flooded by storm surge.

When you stop discussing arcane scientific algorithms, he said, you create a national discussion. “[Y]ou start talking about real things that affect people.”

What Piltz said nine years ago has come into sharper focus. The year after Piltz went public, hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast and devastated New Orleans. Some scientists say it was made more powerful by climate change. In a moment of recent irony, the Secretary of Energy visited Houston, Texas, to warn locals that the city’s petroleum infrastructure—including the Ship Channel and refineries—are vulnerable to climate change. The politics have also evolved. Corn growers in Iowa are worried now that global warming will harm agriculture and formed a political action committee to oppose a politician who denies climate change. Piltz was even right about hurricanes affecting Manhattan subways, something that I thought was absurd at the time. After hurricane Sandy wracked New York City, Lloyds of London stated that the storm surge from sea level rise caused 30 percent of the economic loss. That’s $8 billion in New York alone.

Piltz later founded Climate Science Watch, a program with the Government Accountability Project. He didn’t want another government job, he told me, because he was tired of working for other people and moving their agenda forward. It was time for him to go it alone.

Exposing how the White House was manipulating government reports on climate change spurred congressional investigations and coverage by 60 Minutes and several documentaries. The issue of scientific integrity became so acute that one of President Obama’s first directives after he was elected concerned restoring integrity to the scientific process.

Unlike many in the environmental community, Piltz did not quickly jump on the Obama bandwagon. He knew that the problems dealing with scientific integrity was ingrained in both parties, and he never yielded from criticizing the new President.

Created in part by financially conflicted think tanks and their academic compatriots, a new meme has emerged: scientists who speak out are no longer scientists; they are “activists.” The point is to discredit a scientist who does not sit quietly on the sidelines, publishing research in academic journals that most citizens will never read. Nowhere is this more rampant than in climate science, an area where experts with incredible math skills find their research torn apart by attorneys who probably couldn’t pass a course in differential equations at a local community college.

I honestly have no clue what this term “activist” means. If my doctor, for instance, tells me to eat better or risk cardiovascular disease, I would listen and try and make dietary changes. I wouldn’t think that, by giving medical advice, my doctor was a crusader against cattle ranchers and the potato chip companies.

Piltz spent decades in science policy and had a clear understanding of how science can get distorted, buried and misused if it inconveniences people in power.

“Scientists see politics as beneath them,” he said. “So they don’t learn how to engage policy makers. You can’t just drop some journal article over the transom and hope for the best.”

The danger for scientific experts isn’t just in speaking up. The danger is also remaining silent.

Rick wasn’t afraid to speak up. He will be missed.

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WOMEN HAVE TO FIGHT.

House Republicans let the Violence Against Women Act Expire just days before mass protests in India about brutal rapes. The Medieval attitude in India is similar to what it was and still is in the U.S. in many ways. Blame the victim:  She was wearing tight jeans or a revealing blouse;  she was drinking in a bar, or she wandered into the wrong part of town, she wasn’t a virgin, she is too friendly with the wrong kind of men. An eleven year old victim was wearing make-up and looked 20. The message, it is okay to rape a 20 year old?

Add to that supposedly intelligent elected officials describing pregnancies from rape “a gift from God”, and “women lie regularly about rape.”  All the rapes that didn’t result in pregnancy, are they a gift from God too?

Steubenville, Ohio teens joked online about the unconscious teen who had just been raped. They are middle class Americans, not sociopathic monsters, but officials in Steubenville decided these young football players had made a mistake and downplayed the consequences of their act. The message, if you are a hotshot athlete, it is okay to rape and joke about it?

Thousands of women are raped in the military but know if they report it they will lose their jobs and never be promoted. When they do report it, the man is rewarded and the woman punished. Another powerful message of unequal justice for women and the need for special protections for women who endure the most violence of every kind at every age.

Here are rape statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Sexual assault…it’s not about lust and desire, it’s a violent crime of POWER, CONTROL and DOMINANCE

  • Every 45 seconds someone in the United States is sexually assaulted.
  • 1 out of every 7 women currently in college has been raped (2), however, 9 out of 10 women raped on campus never tell anyone official about the rape.
  • 1 in 10 men is raped in his lifetime , 1 in 7 of those victims will have been assaulted before the age of 18.
  • More than 61.5% of rapes are never reported to law enforcement.
  • Approximately 28% of rape victims are raped by their husbands, 35% by an acquaintance, and 17% by a relative other than spouse.
  • 74% of sexual assaults are perpetrated by assailants well known to the victim.
  • A female child victim is 7 times more likely to be re-victimized as an adult.
  • Nearly 6 out of 10 sexual assaults occur at the victim’s home or the home of a friend, relative, or neighbor.
  • 1 in 15 rape victims contract a sexually transmitted disease (STD) as a result of being raped.
  • 1 in 15 rape victims become pregnant as a result of being raped.
  • The United States has the world’s highest rape rate of all countries that publish such data- 13 times higher than England and more than 20 times higher than Japan.
  • An American woman is 10 times more likely to be raped than to die in a car crash.
  • 61% of rape victims are females under the age of 18.
  • Contrary to common belief that violent crime rates are notably lower in rural areas, an  analysis of location data collected for the National Women’s Study found that 10.1% of women living in rural areas had experienced a completed rape as compared to 13.6% of women living in urban and suburban communities—hardly a notably lower rate.

These statistics are not the most recent, but the incident of rape has increased, not decreased.

I take this very personally because I fended off two rapists working together when I was 18 years old and working for the Sheriff’s Department. I was at a bus stop near a field in San Leandro, 9:00 at night.

I was followed by a stranger and talked myself out of a rape walking home from a babysitting job when I was 12 years old. The parents came home drunk in a cab and shoved me out the door to fend for myself without a dime for a phone call in my pocket. What saved me is this man, age 25, knew my brother. Weeks later he was arrested for rape and murder, convicted and sent to prison.

My oldest daughter was the victim of a “crotch dive” three times in three different cities where she worked. Once while running early in the morning, once in a shopping center parking lot in the daytime, and once in a movie theater. Incidents like this are frightening and demeaning.

My youngest daughter was assaulted by 5 young boys approximately 12-13 year olds in France while waiting for a bus. She backed up against a wall and kept cursing and swinging her purse at them until some adults appeared and they fled.

Movies will have you believe that attacks against women happen in dark alleys by a single intent perpetrator by a women who uses poor judgement. Statistics tell a sadder story of assaults by family members and friends.

I wrote to my representative to protest that vote, not that it did any good. But, educate your daughters, your nieces, your sisters. Find out what kinds of defensive moves work best. Carry mace or pepper spray available in small hand held containers. Rapists like girls with long hair. It is easy to control them by grabbing them by the hair. Put your hair up inside of a cap while running.  Screaming and being loud and fighting will sometimes divert an intended assault to an “easier” victim. Put your phone down your bra if you feel insecure. Run if you have the opportunity as fast as you can anywhere. Toss your purse and valuables in your pursuers path, if you have them, except your phone is in your bra. Run up on someone’s porch and pound on the door and scream. Roll up into a ball if you are knocked down. Or if grabbed from behind, sink heavily to the ground and roll up into a ball and scream and kick.  But, the best move is to be prepared.  Be aware of where you are. Walk quickly and purposefully. Stay away from dark places. Always carry your keys balled up in your fist with the sharp end protruding through your fingers when in a strange place headed for your car.  It is a weapon. There are so many different situations, bars, date rape drugs, elevators, home invasion. The Web will offer many suggestions. Check them out for your young girls going off to college. Be safe.

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