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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

New Civil Liberties Group Launched

Announcing FIRE Student Defenders

By July 17, 2017 
 
After noticing an alarming number of due process injustices across the nation in university conduct hearings, FIRE decided to take action. We are thrilled to launch the FIRE Student Defenders program, which will help students start groups dedicated to defending student rights on campus.

The judicial process provides a great opportunity to teach students about why their rights are important. Often in campus disciplinary proceedings, there is no guarantee that students will be notified of the allegations against them, have sufficient time to prepare their defense, have the opportunity to present their case to an impartial hearing officer or panel, obtain access to exculpatory evidence, or be able to hire a lawyer. These and other elements are necessary to ensure accused students receive a fair hearing. It is essential to have students on campus who can help their fellow students advocate for a fair process.
Student Defenders will be able to provide each student with a comprehensive overview of their rights and options within the campus conduct process. They will serve as allies to students — providing explanations of each step of the process, answering questions, and oftentimes just being there to listen. By offering this assistance to all students, Student Defenders will make each university community a better, fairer place.
FIRE is pleased to provide students with the resources they need to start a Student Defenders group of their own, including a comprehensive start-up guide, sample constitution, tips for recruiting and training members, logos, templates for flyers, and much more. FIRE is also able to offer $150 grants to assist with starting a group on campus, and $50 grants for advertising 

While these groups have no formal connection to FIRE and will vary in size and structure, they will be united in their mission to promote legal equality and protect due process for their fellow students.
To learn more about our new program or how to start a Student Defenders group on campus, visit us at studentdefenders.org or email us at studentdefenders@thefire.org.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

I don't know what excuse Anya Kamenetz can possibly offer for relying on a blatantly biased intermediary source like _Slate_ for this story. One of the most egregious falsehoods is the claim that SAVE "lobbies against domestic violence protections," for which no evidence whatever is offered, nor even a source. And it tries to stir up outrage over their pointing out that much DV is initiated by women -- a claim treated as self-evidently malicious -- even though the US government itself is the source on which the claim is based: http://www.saveservices.org/wp-content/uploads/Seven-Facts-Every-American-Should-Know-About-DV.pdf

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/07/15/537023511/uproar-over-education-department-officials-approach-to-campus-sexual-assault


Thursday, July 13, 2017

This morning I attended a Certified Peer Specialist Information Session at the Department of Behavioral Health, 801 Market St. My friend Maria Pupo, who first made me aware of opportunities like this by telling me about PRO-ACT, also attended and we sat together. I'll be reviewing the information I received to determine if I can apply for the next CPS training.

For my participation today, I got three tickets for the Recovery Idol and Fashion Show at the Dell Music Center on August 25.

Friday, July 07, 2017

I Reach Out and (Hopefully) Make a Difference

Eight days ago I went along with a door-to-door fundraiser for an organization with which I was considering employment. I found some of his conduct quite offensive and decided to communicate my concerns with the charity on whose behalf he was acting. I wrote them as follows:



Inappropriate conduct by fundraiser

To whom it may concern:


Last Thursday I shadowed an employee of one of the contractors who go door-to-door to enroll support for your organization, [company's name deleted]. I decided not to take the job because of conduct on his part that I found disturbing and inappropriate.



More than once, when a prospect told him they didn't want to sign up at the door but would look Child Fund up online, this [company] employee, T---- J------ , responded by repeating to them that only one out of ten thousand people seeing the TV ads responds by sponsoring a child. Whether or not this is true (and I'm a bit skeptical since he seemed to state a higher figure to me between doorbells), how could it be relevant to the prospect in question? Since they just told him they were going to research your organization online, they are in an utterly different situation. Not responding to a TV ad you've passively watched is obviously different from breaking a promise you've just made to someone in person, face-to-face. And, since any reasonably intelligent person can see this, they can also see that he's 1) calling them a liar, 2) blatantly trying to blackmail them emotionally, and 3) by acting as if they won't notice 1) and 2), insulting their intelligence.


While it's possible that, in spite of all this, those individuals nonetheless went online and enrolled, Mr. J------'s obnoxious behavior surely left a bad taste in their mouths that made them less likely to do so. In fact, since he did this more than once, he may have cost Child Fund Inc. more enrollees than the two he actually signed up at the door during the period I shadowed him.


After we returned to the [company] office, I tried to convey this to him, saying if someone behaved this way toward me I would shut the door in their face. And I'm not someone lacking in social concern; one reason he thought me a promising potential employee is that I've often done door-to-door canvassing and other work for causes as a volunteer. But soft-hearted isn't the same as soft-headed.

Mr. J------ defended himself by saying he was the top performer at his office (Philadelphia). But how is his performance measured? Only by enrollments at the door. Those who decline to do so but say they'll look up Child Fund online aren't tracked, so there's no way of telling how many potential enrollees he's turned off. What I can tell you is that the two people he did enroll that afternoon didn't do so because of his obnoxious behavior. In both cases they were eager to enroll as soon as they heard who he was representing, since they'd heard of it from people close to them who were already enrolled. So, his offensive behavior accomplished nothing on behalf of Child Fund, but may well have cancelled out the enrollments he did get.


The other thing he said in his defense was that he was simply doing what [the company] had trained him to do. All that means is that it's not just T---- J------, but a whole organization of people who may be costing Child Fund many potential supporters.


While I decided not to be part of that organization, I felt it behooved me to inform you of this troubling situation. Thank you for your attention.


Sincerely,


[my name]
I received this reply today:

That was a very difficult email to read. From the bottom of my heart thank you so much for taking the time to compose and send us the account of your experience.

I have forwarded your full email to our department that handles the face to face vendors and they will ensure that this is addressed immediately.

We want you to know that the behavior you outlined is not acceptable behavior for our representatives and we deeply apologize to you for your unpleasant experience having to witness it. Unfortunately, it seems that we have missed out on the opportunity to have you represent us, but perhaps another opportunity will arise. For now, suffice it to say, that you have assisted enormously by sharing this information and I, personally, am grateful.

Thank you again for your support of our work and please let me know if there's anything we may assist you with.

All my best,
Victoria

For additional information regarding ChildFund International and our programs to help children in need around the world, please visit our website at http://www.ChildFund.org.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Quote of the Day

This poster can currently be seen in the office of PRO-ACT (Ambassadors for Recovery) in North Philadelphia: "This Printer Shall Be Called Bob Marley... Cause It Be Jammin"

Sunday, July 02, 2017

"Chicago Dyke March: Full of Shame!"

That's the title of publisher Mark Segal's opinion piece in the latest Philadelphia Gay News, concerning the expulsion from that event of a contingent carrying rainbow flags with a Star of David superimposed on them. The reasons Segal gives for condemning this action are pretty much word-for-word the same ones I would make, centering on the wrongness of politically stereotyping people on the basis of their ethnicity or religion.

Anti-Zionism isn't and shouldn't be an excuse for anti-Semitism -- and I say this as an anti-Zionist and a past volunteer with the International Solidarity Movement.

The fact it even needs to be said is a sad comment on the pathological evolution of much identity politics in recent times. The symptoms are manifest in the rationale for the expulsion given by one of the march organizers, that the flags "made people feel unsafe." It's funny how, as the number of incidents escalates in which this phrase is used, it's almost never the people who use it who seem to be the ones actually experiencing physical force or violence.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

New Master's Degree Program in Coercive Control Announced

This news from the International Cultic Studies Association:

Surprise! CNN Producer Caught Admitting Corporate Media Aren't All About High-Minded Journalistic ideals

You read it here first: it turns out cable news coverage is "all about ratings," according to a CNN supervising producer secretly recorded by Project Veritas: www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/06/26/project-veritas-undercover-investigation-cnn-producer-admits-network-hyping-mostly-bullsht-trump-russia-scandal-for-ratings/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=daily&utm_content=links&utm_campaign=20170627

John Bonifield admits the scrutiny they're giving covering President Trump reflects what they think their audience wants to believe. Of course the same thing goes for every other media outlet -- and not just "mainstream" media as the PV narrator puts it, but non-mainstream sources too, including Breitbart which is publicizing this story.

And for those who've forgotten, during the campaign CBS's Les Moonves admitted to giving Trump tons of free advertising -- without which he may well have never become President -- for the exact same mercenary motive: http://www.weeklystandard.com/les-moonves-donald-trump-is-good-for-cbs/article/2001329. Note also Bonifield's remark about how they only spent a day and a half on the climate accords, then were told to go back to Russia. This is just more evidence that they're only interested in ratings, not "ideological" motives like keeping our planet habitable.

The corporate media's loyalty is only to their own bottom line, not any kind of political agenda.


Quote of the Day

   Cassie, I want to thank you. You could have gone the easy route. You could have gone back to being comfortable, blocking everything out. You could have cut and edited the movie to try and make them look bad.
   But you didn't. You sat down, you listened, and in the end, you even examined and changed your entire world view based on all the new information you had gathered.
   I respect you very much.

-- MuseHijinks, commenting on The Red Pill movie trailer on Youtube.