They played the 2010 results instead of the 2011 results.
Crowd reactions were noticeably different.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Sen. Scott Brown, R-MA, has revealed that he was sexually abused multiple times at the age of 10.
Brown told CBS News in an interview for “60 Minutes” that the abuse came at the hands of a camp counselor.
“Fortunately nothing was ever fully consummated, so to speak, but it was certainly back then very traumatic. He said, ‘If you tell anybody then I’ll kill you, you know, I will make sure no one believes you.’ And that’s the biggest thing – when people find people like me at that young vulnerable age who are basically lost, the thing that they have over you is they make you believe that no one will believe you,” Brown said in the interview.
“So you never reported it?” asked CBS's Lesley Stahl.
“No. My mom will read about it for the first time. My wife hasn’t read about it. No, no I didn’t tell anybody. That’s what happens when you’re a victim. You’re embarrassed. You’re hurt.”
Brown also said that as a boy growing up in Wakefield, Mass., he also had to deal with physical and psychological abuse by his multiple step-fathers. Each of his parents were married four times and he has said that his father was not around very much.
In an interview with ABC’s Barbara Walters for “This Week” shortly after his election in January of 2010, Brown described the violence he encountered at home.
“My parents were both loving, and they still are,” Brown told Walters. “When they were divorced, I was one years old, but they were always there for me. When I referred to the violence in the home, it was with my mom's husband -- a couple of husbands. And I do remember getting up in the middle of the night and, you know, having to be the man of the family and come and rescue her and getting knocked around pretty good.”
“And it's made me appreciate my strong family and the fact that I have two great kids. I'm not going to cry. And, you know, I've learned from my parents' mistakes to do everything that they may have done wrong. And it was from youth. It wasn't from anything, you know, personal because they're both great people, and I love them to death.”
“But I've tried to learn from their mistakes and have a sense of humor. You know, when things are getting stressful around the house, to be more patient, be more tolerant and just, you know, just be open with our relationship. So 23 years, I've been married, and my kids are 21 and 19. And there's nothing I wouldn't do for them.”
“And I would probably think divorce would never have been an option in your life?” asked Walters.
“It never has come up,” replied Brown. “We've always had a -- we've always gotten along so well. We -- we respect each other. I respect her career. She respects what I'm doing. We laugh and we have to. We kind of cry when we have to. We solve problems when we have to. I have to admit, I don't know what I'd do, you know, she's such an integral part of my life; you know, my kids come my family.”
I have nothing but the upmost respect for Scott Brown, regardless of our different political beliefs. Anyone who is reading this about him and thinking lowly of him, let it be known that sexual assault knows no ideological boundaries. It's rough getting to a place where one feels comfortable to talk about such things and overcoming these hardships has made him a stronger person.
And screw the people giving him bullshit about it in those comments at the source by saying "they're boys and boys always want it." because that is definitely never the case. That is one of the least thought-through dismissals of sexual assault ever.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
By John Donnelly
For the second year in a row, the U.S. military has lost more troops to suicide than it has to combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The reasons are complicated and the accounting uncertain — for instance, should returning soldiers who take their own lives after being mustered out be included?
But the suicide rate is a further indication of the stress that military personnel live under after nearly a decade of war.
Figures released by the armed services last week showed an alarming increase in suicides in 2010, but those figures leave out some categories.
Overall, the services reported 434 suicides by personnel on active duty, significantly more than the 381 suicides by active-duty personnel reported in 2009. The 2010 total is below the 462 deaths in combat, excluding accidents and illness. In 2009, active-duty suicides exceeded deaths in battle.
Last week’s figures, though, understate the problem of military suicides because the services do not report the statistics uniformly. Several do so only reluctantly.
Figures reported by each of the services last week, for instance, include suicides by members of the Guard and Reserve who were on active duty at the time. The Army and the Navy also add up statistics for certain reservists who kill themselves when they are not on active duty.
But the Air Force and Marine Corps do not include any non-mobilized reservists in their posted numbers. What’s more, none of the services count suicides that occur among a class of reservists known as the Individual Ready Reserve, the more than 123,000 people who are not assigned to particular units.
Suicides by veterans who have left the service entirely after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan also are not counted by the Defense Department. The Department of Veterans Affairs keeps track of such suicides only if the person was enrolled in the VA health care system — which three-quarters of veterans are not.
But even if such veterans and members of the Individual Ready Reserve are excluded from the suicide statistics, just taking into account the deaths of reservists who were not included in last week’s figures pushes the number of suicides last year to at least 468.
That total includes some Air Force and Marine Corps reservists who took their own lives while not on active duty, and it exceeds the 462 military personnel killed in battle.
The problem of reservists’ suicides, in particular, has been a major concern to some lawmakers. A Pentagon study this year confirmed that reservists lack the support structure that active-duty troops have.
Some types of reservists are more cut off than others. Rep. Rush D. Holt, a New Jersey Democrat, says that members of the Individual Ready Reserve and other categories of citizen-soldiers do not receive a thorough screening for mental health issues when they return from deployments.
One of those soldiers, a constituent of Holt’s named Coleman S. Bean, was an Army sergeant and Iraq War veteran who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder but could not find treatment. He took his own life in 2008.
Moved by Bean’s story, Holt wrote a bill requiring phone contacts with these reservists every 90 days after they come home from war. The House adopted Holt’s provision as part of its defense authorization bills for both fiscal 2010 and fiscal 2011. But conferees writing the final version of the bills took it out both years.
Holt said in December that Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain was responsible for that decision in the most recent bill. A spokeswoman for McCain, Brooke Buchanan, would not state his position on the provision. Instead, she said House members had removed it.
A House Armed Services Committee spokeswoman, Jennifer Kohl, said the House reluctantly pulled the provision from the bill because of the opposition of senators, whom she did not name.
Holt said a fuller reckoning of the number of suicides among military personnel and veterans is needed not so much to tell lawmakers and the public that there is a problem — that, he says, they know. Rather, it is needed to more accurately gauge the extent to which programs to help troubled troops are having an effect.
"In order to know whether the steps we’ve taken work," Holt said, "we’re going to have to have more detailed knowledge of who’s out there."
Allow this to sink in. These statistics are boggling and horrifying.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
The House Republicans' first major technology initiative is about to be unveiled: a push to force Internet companies to keep track of what their users are doing.
A House panel chaired by Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin is scheduled to hold a hearing tomorrow morning to discuss forcing Internet providers, and perhaps Web companies as well, to store records of their users' activities for later review by police.
One focus will be on reviving a dormant proposal for data retention that would require companies to store Internet Protocol (IP) addresses for two years, CNET has learned.
Tomorrow's data retention hearing is juxtaposed against the recent trend to protect Internet users' privacy by storing less data. Last month, the Federal Trade Commission called for "limited retention" of user data on privacy grounds, and in the last 24 hours, both Mozilla and Google have announced do-not-track technology.
A Judiciary committee aide provided a statement this afternoon saying "the purpose of this hearing is to examine the need for retention of certain data by Internet service providers to facilitate law enforcement investigations of Internet child pornography and other Internet crimes," but declined to elaborate.
Thanks to the GOP takeover of the House, the odds of such legislation advancing have markedly increased. The new chairman of the House Judiciary committee is Lamar Smith of Texas, who previously introduced a data retention bill. Sensenbrenner, the new head of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, had similar plans but never introduced legislation. (It's not purely a partisan issue: Rep. Diana DeGette, a Colorado Democrat, was the first to announce such a proposal.)
Police and prosecutors are the biggest backers of data retention. FBI director Robert Mueller has said that forcing companies to store those records about users would be "tremendously helpful in giving us a historic basis to make a case" in investigations, especially child porn cases. An FBI attorney said last year that Mueller supports storing Internet users' "origin and destination information," meaning logs of which Web sites are visited.
And the International Association of Chiefs of Police, which will be sending a representative to tomorrow's hearing, previously adopted a resolution (PDF) calling for a "uniform data retention mandate" for "customer subscriber information and source and destination information." The group said today in an e-mail exchange that it still supports that resolution.
Jim Harper, director of information policy studies at the free-market Cato Institute, says the push for legislation is an example of pro-regulatory Republicans. "Republicans were put in power to limit the size and scope of the federal government," Harper said. "And they're working to grow the federal government, increase its intrusiveness, and I fail to see where the Fourth Amendment permits the government to require dragnet surveillance of Internet users."
Representing the Obama administration at tomorrow's hearing will be Jason Weinstein, deputy assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's criminal division, who has previously testified (PDF) on intellectual property infringement and was chief of the violent crime section of the U.S. Attorney's office in Baltimore.
For now, the scope of any mandatory data retention law remains hazy. It could mean forcing companies to store data for two years about what Internet addresses are assigned to which customers (Comcast said in 2006 that it would be retaining those records for six months).
Or it could be more intrusive, sweeping in online service providers, and involve keeping track of e-mail and instant-messaging correspondence and what Web pages users visit. Some Democratic politicians have previously called for data retention laws to extend to domain name registries and Web hosting companies and even social-networking sites. The police chiefs' proposal talks about storing information about "destinations" that Internet users visit.
AOL said today that "we are waiting to see the proposed legislation to understand what data needs to be retained and for what time period."
These concepts are not exactly new. In June 2005, CNET was the first to report that the Justice Department was quietly shopping around the idea, reversing the department's previous position that it had "serious reservations about broad mandatory data retention regimes." Despite support from the FBI and the Bush Justice Department, however, the proposals languished amid concerns about privacy, liability, cost, and scope. (Would coffee shops, for instance, be required to ID users and log their activities?)
Retention vs. preservation
At the moment, ISPs typically discard any log file that's no longer required for business reasons such as network monitoring, fraud prevention, or billing disputes. Companies do, however, alter that general rule when contacted by police performing an investigation--a practice called data preservation.
A 1996 federal law called the Electronic Communication Transactional Records Act regulates data preservation. It requires Internet providers to retain any "record" in their possession for 90 days "upon the request of a governmental entity."
Because Internet addresses remain a relatively scarce commodity, ISPs tend to allocate them to customers from a pool based on whether a computer is in use at the time. (Two standard techniques used are the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol and Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet.)
In addition, Internet providers are required by another federal law to report child pornography sightings to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which is in turn charged with forwarding that report to the appropriate police agency.
When adopting its data retention rules, the European Parliament required that communications providers in its 25 member countries--several of which had enacted their own data retention laws already--retain customer data for a minimum of six months and a maximum of two years.
The Europe-wide requirement applies to a wide variety of "traffic" and "location" data, including the identities of the customers' correspondents; the date, time, and duration of phone calls, voice over Internet Protocol calls or e-mail messages; and the location of the device used for the communications. The "content" of the communications is not supposed to be retained.
But last March, a German court declared the national data retention law to be unconstitutional.
So how is this small government? This seems like government interfering where it shouldn't as with the PATRIOT Act, although I'm sure that this would pass and not be challenged as unconstitutional ... Oh wait a minute - The PATRIOT Act was introduced in the House of Representatives as H.R. 3162 by Frank James Sensenbrenner, Jr. on October 23, 2001. While he did not write it, he did support it.
But never-mind data retention, what about data protection? This is personal data we're potentially gathering about people, and I've heard little to nothing about how collection is going to be delimited, for how long data is going to be preserved, and what will be the recourse if somewhere along the line something or someone screws up and an innocent person suffers as a result?
Please Republicans. You're now reneging on one of the few things I like about your side.
On a final note --
Shit, now the government will know how much time I spend playing Tetris.