Could you be seen as the terrorist next door?

first_imgI was an ordinary American until Nov. 27, 2006, when I became a terrorist, or more accurately, what I call a “stand-by terrorist.” Perhaps I cannot truly own this newfound nickname until the government decides to prosecute me for word crimes, if that day ever arrives. Until then, I just think of myself as being on stand-by, just as are most – if not all – Americans, whether they realize it or not. You may wonder how words can amount to a terrorist act in the land of the free and home of the outspoken. It is not widely known, but Congress last year passed legislation called the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, which can be used to prosecute civil disobedience and speech as “domestic terrorism” when an animal-related business loses profits and property. The act also protects corporations that pollute and destroy the environment. You may ask: What does this have to do with me because I’m no nature fan or animal lover? Well, it could eventually have very much to do with you because the AETA – a natural child of the Patriot Act – is likely to be the first of many assaults on the social-justice movement in favor of corporations and other moneyed interests. If you think you may want to use your free speech some day to criticize something, anything, then you had better be very concerned. You should also be concerned about whether law enforcement protects you from the bin Ladens of the world or fritters away your hard-earned tax dollars investigating pacifists. The American Civil Liberties Union says the FBI uses “counterterrorism resources to monitor and infiltrate (nonviolent) domestic political organizations that criticize business interests and government policies.” An FBI special agent recently told me that planting undercover agents at legal, peaceful events – with hopes that they will somehow learn about illegal activities – is a favored tactic of the bureau. What are the parameters of AETA and who could be tangled in its web, slapped with prison time and branded a terrorist? Could Oprah Winfrey – the beloved and successful talk show host – and her former vegetarian guest, Howard Lyman, be prosecuted as terrorists if they were to repeat anti-beef comments made to Winfrey’s 15 million viewers in 1996? It is indeed possible, because the AETA is overbroad, vague and subject to the whims of law enforcement. That much was evidenced last year when six young, New Jersey Web site operators became the first individuals convicted on “animal enterprise terrorism” charges. The young people were part of the Stop Huntington Cruelty campaign, which targeted the Huntington Life Sciences animal research labs. The site operators did nothing more than assert their First Amendment rights: They posted videotape of tortured dogs inside HLS and reported the legal and illegal handiwork of activists, which eventually caused the corporation to lose profits and to be dropped from the New York Stock Exchange. The FBI was unable to catch the underground activists, so it targeted the Web site operators, who are serving up to six years in prison for their speech. If the government fails to catch a thief or saboteur, should it be allowed to pursue the CNN reporter who delivers the news? Or an outspoken op-ed columnist? Or six kids from New Jersey with a Web site? The AETA ignores Shakespeare’s recommendation, “Don’t shoot the messenger,” potentially stigmatizing a “speaker” with the most heinous, post-9-11 label in America: terrorist. America is about nothing if it is not about fairness and free speech. The AETA does not comport with this image. It is unjust and unconstitutional, and it interferes with the prosecution of real terrorism against the American people. Once we faced a “red scare”; now we are bombarded with a “green scare.” The time has come to ask yourself: Do you really want to be on stand-by or do you want to take a stand? And are you now, or could you someday be, the terrorist next door? Charlotte Laws, Ph.D., is the author of a chapter of the 2006 book, “Igniting a Revolution: Voices in Defense of Mother Earth.” She is founder and president of the Los Angeles Directors of Animal Welfare and is a member of the Greater Valley Glen Council.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Ombudsman’s concern over care of Donegal children with disabilities

first_imgThe Children’s Ombudsman has criticised the Health Service Executive and Tusla over a lack of records of children with disabilities who are in care in Donegal.Concerns were raised today over the unclear identification of the number of children in care in the HSE CHO1 area, which includes Donegal.Ombudsman Niall Muldoon highlighted issues in the working relationship between the HSE and the child and family agency, Tusla, which he said is affecting the supports and services available to some children in care with special needs. According to the HSE the identification of children with disabilities who are in care is still ‘in progress’ in Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Cavan, and Monaghan. Dr Muldoon accused the HSE and Tusla of being in disagreement over figures.The criticism comes a year on from Molly’s Case, a report published by the Ombudsman for Children in 2018.Molly’s case was centred around a girl with Down Syndrome and severe autism who was abandoned at birth.Molly was placed in foster care, but her foster family were forced to complain to the Ombudsman for Children’s Office (OCO) about the level of supports and services being provided by Tusla and the HSE. It emerged that this was an issue affecting 471 other children across Ireland. The Ombudsman’s office called on both agencies to work together to improve the services being provided to some of the state’s most vulnerable children.Tusla has now identified 483 children with a moderate or severe disability in their care, but the Ombudsman says the HSE is not in agreement on this figure as they cannot agree on the definition of a child with moderate or severe disability.Dr Niall Muldoon said: “Since last year some definite progress has been made, particularly for Molly herself but the working relationship between Tusla and the HSE is still of concern. It is not good enough that the HSE still has not identified the children in question.“These children are among the most vulnerable in the country. Many of them are nonverbal and therefore literally have no voice. Everything possible should be done to plan for these children and to provide the care that they need. We must also ensure that foster carers looking after these children are fully supported and that they are not fighting for services.“I will continue to monitor these issues for the next twelve months, engaging with both the HSE and Tusla.” Ombudsman’s concern over care of Donegal children with disabilities was last modified: April 8th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:children’s ombudsmanDisabilitiesfoster carelast_img read more

Raider Richie Incognito on drugs, booze, fights and ‘crazy stuff’

first_imgIn a revelatory — and disturbing — new TV interview, controversial Raiders offensive lineman Richie Incognito insists that he’s not a “ticking time bomb.”“I hope not. I think history will suggest that I am,” Incognito tells reporter Bernie Goldberg during a segment for “Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel” that airs on Tuesday (10 p.m., HBO). “But I really am working hard to kind of differentiate from that person and really not make the same mistakes that I have made before to put me in those …last_img read more

Here’s what you need to know about the Giants’ search for a new manager

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Giants’ search for Bruce Bochy’s successor has officially begun.At an end-of-season press conference held Tuesday at Oracle Park, president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi announced the club has identified two internal candidates who will be interviewed this week.Bench coach Hensley Meulens and third base coach Ron Wotus will be among the eight-to-10 candidates the Giants speak to about their managerial vacancy over the next month.“They will be in to at …last_img read more

Stay healthy while traveling when you can’t drink the water

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Karen Mancl, Professor Food, Agricultural & Biological EngineeringIt is a shame to get sick on vacation. Camping and hiking spots in remote areas may have unsanitary water supplies. Most importantly traveling outside the United States poses a risk to travelers, since water treatment is not as reliable in other countries. What can you do to protect yourself and your family from getting sick?Boil water before drinking is the standard recommendation. Boiling water for just a minute is extremely effective at killing bacteria and parasites that can make people sick. When is doubt – drink boiled water! Any heat source – electric or gas range, camp stove, wood fire and even a microwave oven – heats water to boiling temperatures and kills disease-causing microbes.What if you can’t boil the water? If boiling water might not be feasible. Other disinfection options are available.Disinfection tablets containing chlorine or iodine are available for campers and travelers to disinfect a small volume of water. Many different companies market disinfection tablets that can be easily added to water bottles. Always follow the directions on the package. Remember adding chemicals will change the taste of the water.Sunlight is an amazing disinfectant and is the key to solar disinfection (SODIS). The ultraviolet light in sunlight kills pathogens on contact. To use sunlight to disinfect water, the water must be very clear and placed in the sun in clear containers. Clear plastic water bottles and plastic bags can be used for solar disinfection. The water should be exposed to sunlight for at least 4 and up to 10 hours to kill microbes.So remember to be safe, boil water for 1 minute before drinking. If boiling is not possible, adding disinfection tablets works to clean water. However, adding chemicals to water changes its taste and while safe, may not be palatable. Disinfecting batches of water in the sun is a low energy, non-chemical solution when traveling or camping.To find out more about water testing and disinfection check the website for the Ohio State University Soil Environment Technology Learning Lab at setll.osu.edu.last_img read more

One Fine Day With a Ventilation Expert

first_imgI had the pleasure of attending an all-day seminar in Atlanta recently by Gord Cooke, one of the rock stars of the building science community. I have known him for a while and heard him speak a few times in the past, but was unaware of his close connection with the ventilation industry.His approximately 30 years of involvement with the design and sales of Heat Recovery Ventilators (HRVs) gives him a wealth of experience in ventilation system design. The title of the seminar was quite a mouthful, “Multifamily Whole-house Ventilation and Helping Builders Gear-up for the 2030 Challenge,” and while multifamily ventilation was discussed, the discussions where much broader, and in my view, more interesting that the title suggested.Venting about ventingAs I continue to learn about building science, one issue that continues to bother me is the ASHRAE 62.2 standard, and some people’s insistence that every building must have equipment installed to provide the calculated ventilation rate per that standard.I have always felt that ventilation is a moving target, and the amount necessary to keep a particular home healthy is very subjective. If the homeowners smoke, have wall-to-wall carpeting, have indoor pets, use toxic cleaning products, and fry a lot of food, then 62.2 may well be too little ventilation. But if another homeowner doesn’t wear street shoes in the house, has no carpeting, uses benign cleaners, and doesn’t have pets, then 62.2 may well be too much ventilation.I felt that my views were reasonably well supported in this presentation – Gord suggested installing a system that can provide ventilation at the rate required by 62.2, but include a user-friendly control that allows them to vary the total ventilation rate for maximum comfort. You can’t force people to ventilate, but you should provide them the ability to do so.Getting perilously close to information overloadBy the end of the day my head was filled to overflowing with information, including formulas for calculating the impact of ventilation on heating and cooling loads (too complicated to include here), appropriate types of air intakes (wide screens provide better airflow, insect screens tend to clog too easily), installation and commissioning techniques (use appropriate equipment to balance ERVs and HRVs after installation, some manufacturers include pressure taps right on the box), and obscure factoids (good ventilation reduces the effect of hangovers).Two of tidbits that came up in discussion helped to reinforce some of my theories. First, exhaust ventilation in humid climates usually does not create as much of a problem with moisture infiltration into wall cavities as people think. Second, even in Canada, it is hard to justify blowing insulation into closed wall cavities – because of the the overall expense and the potential for moisture problems. I have long believed that insulating older, previously uninsulated wall cavities can create more problems than it solves, and it was nice to have some reinforcement on that subject.Agreeing to disagreeAs the day wrapped up, Gord discussed the fact that he often found himself in disagreement with other ventilation experts he respects and considers his friends.This supports my belief that the ventilation is still very much a work in progress. There are some who lean towards the maximum amount of ventilation, and others who are more flexible in their approach. It will be interesting to watch the experts’ opinions as they evolve along with codes and regulations over the next several years.last_img read more

Steps to Financial Freedom: Teaching Children Smart Financial Habits

first_imgMaking savings and smart financial decision making a part of the daily family conversation is an excellent way for parents to encourage this responsible behavior.What strategies for teaching children about smart spending have you heard about? What works well? What doesn’t work so well? Contributions by Molly Herndon and Carolyn BirdOne of the most important things a parent can instill in their child is a sense of financial responsibility, but talking to children about money is often not a priority for parents. Parents who model smart financial behavior teach even very young children how to make decisions that align with their values and goals. A very basic message parents can share with children is that financial decision-making is about making choices. Parents who are intentional about children how to make choices among many options have a better chance at being successful in helping their children develop the practice of active decision-making. The best news is a little effort can have a big payoff, as these lessons are likely to be carried into adulthood. Here, in the final installment in the November-long “Steps to Financial Freedom” series we offer tips PFMs can suggest to families to teach their children to be savvy consumers.Look for Teachable MomentsA family’s day is made up hundreds of opportunities to talk about money. Whether your client’s family is shopping, watching television commercials, running errands, paying bills, or buying gas, each consumer exchange presents a chance to teach valuable lessons. Encourage clients to take the time to engage their child in the process by explaining what’s happening, asking questions, and answering their child’s questions. A teachable moment can be as simple as letting the child know that if they spend all their money at the fast food restaurant, then there won’t be enough money to buy the action figure when you go to the store later that day or week. It won’t take long for the child to understand that once the money is spent that other items cannot be purchased. Soon, the child will begin to prioritize what is important to them without parental coaching.Parents don’t have to go it alone. The program Thrive by 5 is designed to teach preschoolers about saving and spending. Involving your older children in your decision process can provide valuable lessons. Encourage your clients to help older children learn to be savvy decision-makers by helping their parents identify sales and better prices. Soliciting children’s observations about banking and credit processes gives parents an opportunity to gauge the child’s understanding, correct misperceptions, and to reinforce valid observations. However, the most valuable moments are the observations children make are those of their parent’s financial management practices. So, a great place to start in teaching financially savvy children is to support clients in striving to be a financially responsible role model.Use Current EventsSome parents may avoid topical conversations about the economy and finances in front of their children out of a fear of making their children anxious. PFMs, you can teach your clients that talking about the economy may actually decrease children’s anxieties. Tell clients they don’t have to shy away from discussing the current state of the economy; just find a way to reach the child on their level. The NYU Child Study Center has some suggestions on how to approach the topic of the economic downturn, by a child’s developmental stage.It is important to talk to children if a friend or relative has lost a job. Tell clients to explain why this happens and talk about any anxiety the economy may be causing for their children. Specific to military families, openly discussing how deployment impacts a family’s finances can relieve children’s fears. Prompt clients to talk about changes to a family’s finances and the adjustments that will need to be made.Family Engagement America Saves has a Military Youth Saves program in which kids can take a pledge to save, get tips for saving, and parents can read suggestions for smart saving strategies. We will highlight the Military Saves campaign in a future posting, when the campaign gets up and rolling in the early part of 2012.Families should look for ways to save and budget together so that children can learn by contributing to the development of a healthy spending plan. Tell clients to ask children to come up with new ways to save money in the house. For example, parents can ask children to determine which pizza coupon offers the better deal.Some families might decide to give children allowances in exchange for chores; suggest clients assign a monetary value to certain tasks in the home so that even very young children may begin to understand the consumer process. Parents should also be encouraged to help their child manage their money by supporting their saving for goals, which teaches the lesson of being rewarded for saving.last_img read more