You may remember my interest in the Mantis Shrimp?
Here’s some more.
You may remember my interest in the Mantis Shrimp?
Here’s some more.
When Martha Stewart left prison in 2004 after serving a five-month sentence for conspiracy and obstruction of justice, she issued an emotional plea on behalf of the women she did her time with, many of whom were locked up for nonviolent drug offenses. “I beseech you all to think about these women,” Stewart said in a statement (PDF). “They would be much better served in a true rehabilitation center than in prison where there is no real help, no real programs to rehabilitate, no programs to educate, no way to be prepared for life out there.”
Stewart recognized that many women with drug convictions were victims of lives crippled by poverty and hardship and that a little assistance from the state would be much more beneficial to them than a heavy dose of punishment.
Sadly, thanks to a hastily added provision to the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), also known as the Welfare Reform Act, which aimed to reduce welfare dependence, not only are women with drug convictions unlikely to get the help they need before or during their incarceration, but many of them will also face being barred for life from receiving most forms of public benefits — from cash assistance to food stamps — after they serve their time.
A new report by the Sentencing Project, a nonprofit dedicated to reforming the U.S. criminal-justice system, examined the impact of the PRWORA provision, which affects those convicted in state and federal courts of felony drug offenses. Titled “A Lifetime of Punishment” (PDF), the report found that an estimated 180,000 women were being subjected to a lifetime exclusion from welfare benefits, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. The purpose of the prohibition, presumably, is to deter drug use and the criminal behavior that sometimes arises from it by making it harder for addicts to trade food stamps or use cash benefits for drugs. However, the report found no evidence that this goal was being achieved. On the contrary, by denying benefits to those most in need, the ill-conceived embargo, which is in full effect in 12 states (and in partial effect in 25 others), may be having a particularly devastating impact on women and children of color — and may be more likely to perpetuate the cycle of poverty and addiction that leads people to abuse or sell drugs in the first place.
THE PDF: A Lifetime of Punishment is worth reading.
Also see: Portrait of Women in Prison
All links are mentioned in the article.
I have to wonder what behavior, exactly, results in a i a felony conviction in each State.
Titled “Be That Guy,” the 30-second animation was first played at a NASCAR race in mid-November. It shows a race, one of our great American pastimes, where a lot of people are crammed together in a loud public arena to cheer as slightly larger Hot Wheels careen around in circles (growing up in the land of INDYCAR, I still don’t get it). In the short, the crowd’s attention suddenly sets on a cartoon bro about to casually slap a woman vendor’s butt—until his friend reaches out and stops him. Advice flashes across the screen: “HANDS ARE FOR BEER AND HIGH FIVES,” and the crowd goes wild for That Guy!
The description for the video explains it succinctly:
“That Guy—like many men—sees women as equals. But That Guy is NOT silent when men treat women otherwise. That guy stands for something better. That Guy is the MAN.”
The PSA is sponsored by Breakthrough, a nonprofit based out of the U.S. and India that works to make violence and sexism socially unacceptable through the use of media and community engagement projects. Breakthrough makes an appeal for bystander intervention and treating violence against women as a public health issue that needs to be addressed by the entire culture.
Engaging men in this effort is vital to show that misogyny will not be tolerated. Lynn Harris, Breakthrough’s communications director, explains to Al Jazeera that their is goal to make men think: “Maybe next time my friend is being a tool, I’ll tell him to knock
To be close friends, men need to be willing to confess their insecurities, be kind to others, have empathy and sometimes sacrifice their own self-interest. “Real men,” though, are not supposed to do these things. They are supposed to be self-interested, competitive, non-emotional, strong (with no insecurities at all), and able to deal with their emotional problems without help. Being a good friend, then, as well as needing a good friend, is the equivalent of being girly.
Of course, not all men buy into these prescriptions for male behavior, but these expectations do influence most men’s friendships at least a little bit. They mean that, to make good friends, men have to take risks. In a context in which being a man is good and being friendly is being womanly, each time a man tries to form intimate bonds with another man, he potentially loses status. Men who want truly close friends have to fight the instinct to protect their standing above all else. This isn’t easy, as they’ve been told for a lifetime that their status as male, and their place in that hierarchy, is a significant part of why they’re important and valuable human beings.
Men also have to find other men who are willing to take those risks with them. Knowing who to reach out to isn’t always easy, as men often wear a masculine guise, a mask that projects masculinity and hides the things about them that are disallowed. In one study of men’s experiences, one college-age man explained: “I am more of an emotional person. … I never really felt much like who I [pretended to be] because I [was]… putting my man face on.”
Take for example a young woman whose parents staunchly oppose abortion yet who are also abusive. For her, parental consent requirements not only disregard her personal agency and ability to make a personal choice, they may put her in danger if she has to report her pregnancy to her parents.
For young people who need to keep their abortion secret from family or friends, 24-hour waiting periods are also dangerous as they make it all the more difficult for a young person who must take time off school or give their parents reasons for being away. This is especially true for young people living in states where abortion clinics are few and far between, not to mention prohibitively expensive.
As a young American progressive, I grew up learning that the 1973 Roe assured me a right to an abortion and that once the Supreme Court released the ruling their decision was final - I would never be restricted by my government from making the reproductive decision I deemed fit for myself. As I continue to grow older and learn more about American policies on reproductive rights, I continue to learn that that is simply not the case.
The complaint alleged that Logan College violated Title IX—the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education—when the school told Kostal that its policy did not excuse absences related to pregnancy or childbirth and that she had to return to school immediately following her emergency Caesarean surgery or be penalized for any courses missed during her recovery.
Eleven days after her emergency Caesarean delivery, Kostal returned to classes—before she had fully recovered—in an effort to avoid being penalized for missing classes. In order to drive to school safely, Kostal had to stop taking her pain medications. At school she had to sit or stand for long periods of time without proper rest or medication and became extremely rundown both physically and mentally. One professor who taught two of Kostal’s masters-level classes penalized her for missing exams while she recovered from childbirth. Kostal received failing grades in those two courses, lost tuition money and fell behind in achieving her masters and doctorate degrees scheduled for Spring 2014. Before her hospitalization, Kostal had an “A” average in one of those classes and a “B” average in the other.
Good news, citizens! You have the right to refuse a warrantless search of your premises. It’s a right that’s guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment. But that right won’t protect you from the consequences of your failure to roll over for law enforcement. Nope, the right to not be subjected to a warrantless search can actually be held against you — not in a court of law, mind you — but by the police themselves.
Eric Crinnian, an attorney in Kansas City, Missouri, says police came to his door looking for parole violators, and got upset when he refused them permission to tramp through his house and paw through his possessions. In fact, he claims, one cop went so far as to threaten to shoot his dogs if he made them abide by the requirements of the law by getting a search warrant to look through his home.
Here’s the direct quote from the news article:
“If we have to get a warrant, we’re going to come back when you’re not expecting it, we’re going to park in front of your house, where all your neighbors can see, we’re gonna bust in your door with a battering ram, we’re gonna shoot and kill your dogs […] and then we’re going to ransack your house looking for these people.”
This sounds suspiciously like a threat (several threats, actually). This is the classic “you can do this the easy way or the hard way” persuasion technique that’s been deployed by law enforcement since there’s been law enforcement. Even when not spoken out loud, the “or else” always hangs in the air when LEOs “ask nicely” for permission to do things they can’t legally do without your consent.
“By force, it never happens,” Dharampal Singh Yadav declared of rape. He was standing with a gaggle of men at a barber stall outside the Sarojini Nagar market. Most of the men agreed… .
These presumptions and ways of talking about women can be found up and down Delhi’s class ladder. Consider the recent case of Tarun Tejpal, a muckraking crusader and newspaper editor who resigned after being accused of sexually assaulting a female subordinate. What the woman detailed in leaked correspondence as the forcible removal of her underwear and physical penetration was described by Mr. Tejpal as “drunken banter” — banter, like tango, being a thing that takes two.
To talk of rape with so many of Delhi’s men is to discover a chasm between the world of their minds, flush with medieval ideas of womankind, and the world of the modernizing megacity in which they find themselves. In fact, many men — including those at the barber stall that day — attribute the rape problem to vertiginous social change that has created new temptations at a faster rate than the new habits to cope with them.
The barber put it simply: Rape isn’t a man’s fault. “It’s the fault of the times,” he said.
It was Saturday September 1, 2007 and I was in Monte Carlo for a friend’s wedding.
We prayed that morning at the local synagogue and later walked to the nearby Hotel de Paris. Entering the lobby, I was surprised at the large security presence. I soon learned that the legendary former South African president Nelson Mandela was a guest in the hotel.
As it happened, he was sitting in one of the stately public rooms on the lobby floor as I passed by.
I instinctively wanted to meet the iconic statesman. The slim chance of gaining access to meet Mandela did not stop me from asking the security guard at the door if I could please step in to bless the former president. Just then, a second member of the security detail approached and asked what I wanted. The first bodyguard explained that I was a rabbi who wanted to bless Madiba on the holy Sabbath. They agreed to let me go over to greet him.
As I approached the former president, he looked up and beamed. I was dressed in the full Chabad Shabbat attire, the flowing black frock and black fedora, and since I had just left the synagogue my white and black tallit was draped over my shoulders.
(My son wrote this reminiscence of his meeting with Mandela)
The William Ayers Wrote Obama’s Book Guy, aka Jack Cashill, proffered one of the more toweringly stupid comparisons yesterday:
Last week, Cashill appeared on TheDoveTV to promote the book and was asked what he thought about the possibility that the Justice Department might file civil rights charges against Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin. Cashill was not supportive, to say the least, primarily because “George Zimmerman may have been the least racist person in the state of Florida.”
In fact, Cashill stated, Zimmerman was a civil rights hero and prosecuting him “would be like going after Nelson Mandela on civil rights, or Mother Theresa”:
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Last updated: 2013-11-25 9:27 pm PST
You don't have the slightest understanding of the difference between government action and private action, and you have certainly destroyed any case you might otherwise have had with this Senator. -- Senator Gorton, to which Frank Zappa responds with "Is this private action?"