Archive for the ‘September 11th 2001’ Category
By Emil Protalinski | February 18, 2012, 2:15pm PST
Summary: A federal judge has struck down a Louisiana law meant to keep registered sex offenders from Facebooking with minors because it encompasses too many types of websites.
Chief Judge Brian Jackson has thrown out a state law banning sex offenders from using Facebook and other social networks saying it was unreasonable and unconstitutional. In the Middle District of Louisiana, Jackson ruled that the law, which took effect in August, was too broad, as it encompassed many commonly read news websites, as well as social networks. During a hearing a few months before his ruling, Jackson noted the statute’s definition of “chat room” meant that the court’s own federal website could be included. He did, however, hint at the possibility of approving a more narrowly-defined law.
“Although the Act is intended to promote the legitimate and compelling state interest of protecting minors from internet predators, the near total ban on internet access imposed by the Act unreasonable restricts many ordinary activities that have become important to everyday life in today’s world,” Jackson wrote in his 17-page ruling (embedded above), according to CBS Houston. “The sweeping restrictions on the use of internet for purposes completely unrelated to the activities sought to be banned by the Act imposed severe and unwarranted restraints on constitutionally protected speech. More focused restrictions that are narrowly tailored to address the specific conduct sought to be proscribed should be pursued.”
“We take the safety and security of our users, especially the many young people on Facebook, very seriously,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. “We have consistently supported bills that criminalize usage of social networking sites by registered sex offenders. Our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities already bars these individuals from using Facebook and we would welcome the potential of criminal penalties to strengthen these provisions.”
The ACLU of Louisiana filed the lawsuit challenging the law in August on behalf of two sex offenders, identified only as John Doe and James Doe in court filings. The organization argued the terms used in the law barred sex offenders from browsing any website that allows users to create profiles about themselves or that has chat rooms, instant messaging, and e-mail.
The attorney general’s office meanwhile defended the statute, and said it would appeal Jackson’s ruling. Lawmakers, backed by Governor Bobby Jindal, insisted said the law was designed to keep sex offenders from preying on children in online forums, including Facebook.
“Louisiana families should have the comfort of knowing their children are able to go online without the threat of sex predators,” Jindal said in a statement. “It’s offensive that the Court would rule that the rights of sex predators are more important than the rights of innocent children. As the father of three young kids, I will do everything in our power to protect Louisiana families and that includes appealing to the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and bringing legislation this upcoming session to fortify and strengthen the law. The Internet is the virtual playground where sex offenders are trying to strike and prey on our kids. We must have the tools to crack down on monsters that are preying on our kids. If these predators want to search the internet for a victim, they won’t be able to do it in the State of Louisiana.”
A 10-year-old Mexican girl has given premature birth to a baby boy weighing 1.5 kilograms (3.3 pounds), Mexican media outlets reported.
The mother was initially admitted to Hospital de la Mujer in Puebla, located about 60 miles southeast of Mexico City, on Oct. 22, suffering from seizures and other medical problems. Surgeons at the hospital delivered the infant by Caesarean section after a 31-week pregnancy.
According to UpFront News, hospital officials have confirmed the birth.
Hospital director Rogelio Gonzalez told The Latin American Herald Tribune that the child is in the neonatal intensive care unit, recovering from pneumonia. The mother, who has since been released, has been breastfeeding the child.
“[She] comes every day with her mother to breastfeed her son every four hours and she is recovering very well from her surgery,” Gonzalez said.
The young girl, who is almost 11 years old, is reportedly from the San Francisco Totimehuacan community. According to Gonzalez, the state’s minimum age of consent is 12 and abortion is illegal unless the mother was the victim of a sexual assault. As a result, the Puebla state Attorney General’s Office has been notified of the birth and is investigating. The agency did not immediately reply to a request for comment from The Huffington Post.
Other girls have given birth at that age or younger. In August 2010, an 11-year-old girl who was allegedly raped by her stepfather gave birth after she was denied an abortion because she was in her fourth month of pregnancy, ksee24.com reported.
The youngest mother on record for giving birth is Lina Medina. According to Mid Day, she was five years old when she gave birth to a baby boy in 1939. The father was not positively identified.
In regard to this most recent case, Gonzalez told aciprensa.com he has the “best expectations” for the child’s recovery.
By Robin Yeamans
The US Supreme Court in January,2010, declared void a federal law forbidding last-minute political attack ads by corporations and labor unions within 30 days of a primary election in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Comm’n. Because it relates only to ads shortly before an election, the decision does not open the floodgates for corporate money to pour into elections—those gates were opened long ago. Instead, the case reflects the triumph of corporations taking open, direct control of the government and elections. Many complain that the Supreme Court now treats corporations legally as “persons,” with the same rights as humans. The Supreme Court has long treated corporations as “persons” entitled to 14th Amendment due process (1886) and 1st Amendment free speech (1978).
In reality courts elevate the rights of corporations far above the rights of flesh-and-blood persons. When a non-wealthy person wants to affect US politics, he can use the internet (and be ignored) or take up a picket sign.
To express political dissent, as at the WTO in Seattle or the Democratic National Convention in 2004, noncorporate persons had to enter fortified pens, resembling internment camps, where they could display their picket signs — far from any delegate to the event.
To give corporations the same rights as most Americans, the Supreme Court would have to limit corporations to using picket signs, and herd the corporations with their little paper signs into pens cynically called “free speech zones” or “demonstration zones.
”A judge who okayed one “demonstration zone” (“DZ”) described it in Coalition to Protest Democratic Nat. Convention v. City of Boston (2004) 327 F.Supp.2d 61, 66-67: “The ‘designated demonstration zone’ is . . . 300 feet by 90 feet. The . .. eastern edge faces the outdoor parking lot that will be used as a bus terminal for arriving and departing DNC delegates. “. . . . Most. . . of the DZ lies under unused Green Line tracks. The tracks create a . . . grim, mean, and oppressive space whose ominous roof is supported by a forest of girders that obstruct sight lines . . . .”
The judge indicates that although directly under the tracks an adult can stand up, at the tracks’ edges “diagonal girders slope at approximately sixty degree angles to the ground. . . . . [I]n practice, the area under the tracks is quite restricted by the girders. . . . [A] person of normal height could not carry a sign underneath the girders without lowering it to head level or lower. . . .” Further the DZ is surrounded by two rows of concrete barriers, and at the top of each “is an eight foot high chain link fence. A tightly woven mesh fabric . . . covers the outer fence, . . .
This is the DZ the judge found adequate for workers’ free speech. In Citizens United the Court found the limit on last-minute ads was a virtual “ban” on corporate speech. Herding working people into grim pens is considered not a “ban” but a reasonable limit on time, place and manner of speech. This is blatant favoritism in favor of corporations.
As the economy hardly needs workers, our constitutional “rights” are crashing down while corporations’ “rights”are mushrooming. The Democratic Party’s call for restoring the limits on last-minute political ads is pathetically inadequate to address corporate control of elections. We need to take back our government.
Ten years ago today I was living in California, and actively in the middle of the fight of my life. This fight was about my continuing to be a devoted, loving mother to my beautiful, awesome biological children. My life was stressful beyond belief. I was at the point of seeing the” writing on the wall.” I knew I was about to lose my precious children simply because my ex was ruthless enough to take them away from me combined with the fact that he had plenty of money to do so. Evil merged with wealth is a nasty combination to be around.I was down to a whisper of myself , as I could not eat due to fear and stress. Some people deal with intense stress by drinking, sleeping or by doing drugs. That is not me, but I needed to keep my mind busy so I went back to school. While in school, I did not have to think about what I knew was the horror of my future; Life without my precious children.
Thankfully,school kept me so busy that all I could do is think about the next assignment , next test. I knew it was a quick fix solution, but I simply did not know what else to do. I was in panic/ survival mode.
September 11th 2001 found me taking an anthropology course and on my way to class. The radio was tuned to my favorite station, hosted by silly D.J’s who have pulled fake news stunts before that were edgy and sometimes funny. They came on the air and reported that a plane crashed into the twin towers in NYC. I was appalled and thought to myself ; now they’ve gone too far. I was upset that they would joke about such a potential event and I do not find that type of humor funny. As I ran to class I sat down and waited for my professor. She walked in with a sick , pale look on her face and announced to us that class was cancelled due to the tragedy of the World Trade Center . I was shocked and concerned. I know many dear friends and family all living around the area. I immediately left to drive home and for the next 24 hours I was glued to the phone making sure everyone close to me was safe.
Thankfully all my close friends and family were fine. A dear childhood friend’s husband was meant to go to work in the WTC that day but miraculously stayed home since he was sick.
As I watched the events reenacted on TV along with the rest of the country , my heart was breaking. NYC is my favorite city in the world. The people of NYC have always received a bad rap, in my opinion. My experiences with New Yorkers – being born and raised less than one hour away-is quite different from what the media portrays. I have lived in different places enough now to gain perspective about the people of NYC. In my mind they are the warmest, kindest people around. They understand the value of teamwork and are always ready to help a tourist who looks lost with quick directions and a welcoming smile. Yes they can be blunt and honest to a fault, but I prefer to know where things stand than be in the presence of someone too ” politically correct ” to tell it like it is. I love the people of NYC and everything about that city. To me it is the greatest city in the world. To have this type of tragedy be fall this strong , vibrant place and its wonderful people paralleled my life at the time, so I felt a deep kinship for several reasons.
Just like in the WTC event, a major event in my life shattered my soul . My motherhood, my very heart and soul was being violently destroyed . There was nothing I could do to protect myself as the perpetrator was a terrorist. He did not play by the rules of common decency . Honesty was not in his repertoire and “take no prisoners” was his philosophy. Like all terrorists he did not act alone in his plans but he is ultimately responsible for the execution as it was his dime funding the mission. A well thought out premeditated plan of destruction using terrorist tactics was playing out in my life and all I could do was watch helplessly. The very core of my being was violently crashing, burning and falling down into a wreckage of dust with tiny shattered pieces of heart, soul, flesh and bone mixed in. Just as in the 9/11 disaster , my personal disaster was intended for total destruction of me along with my life, and the evil mission was very successful indeed. But what the terrorists could not foresee or plan in the WTC situation was the strength and tenacity of the wonderful people of NYC . My personal terrorist did not foresee this of me either.
One of my favorite childhood holiday shows comes to mind;” How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” That mean evil Grinch was determined to steal the sweet, peace-loving citizen’s of Whoville’s Christmas. He was very successful, so Christmas morning that year resulted in all the Whos waking up and greeting a Christmas lacking in trees, presents, food ect.
What did they do in the face of such hate and destruction? They joined hands and sung songs of hope , peace, love and inspiration.
For it was never about the presents , food or trees.
It was about something a terrorist be it, the Grinch, WTC, or my personal one, could never understand, or embrace. For my personal situation it was never about piece of paper saying I no longer have custody of my children.
I AM their mother. They came out of MY body, and I love them with every fiber of my being. No one , and certainly no piece of paper could ever deny that truth. The love I pour out to my children is sincere, real and heals all wounds and misunderstandings. Love is stronger than any well thought out or well moneyed plan, birthed from hate and vindictiveness could ever be.
Just like the people of NYC who have since cleaned up the rubble and rebuilt their lives, Just like the Who down in Whoville, on Christmas morning who rose up and joined together in songs of love and peace, I am moving forward with faith and love. Just like the people of NYC will not let this single event define them..nether will I. Although we all wish 9/ 11 did not happen, we mourn the loss of lives and celebrate the heroes, the strong wonderful people of NYC will go on, to rebuild, and be strong survivors…So will I.
In addition, I have a new mission which was birthed from the debris of my intended destruction ; To help all the mothers and children dealing with family court terrorists worldwide make change happen, through peace and persistence. I have confidence that through our strength , love and through the tenacity of the strong survivors that we are, we can work together as a team to make family court terrorism obsolete.