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Dale Modisette
Worked at Host of The Helping Wiccan
Lives in Livingston, Texas
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Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Livingston, Texas
Previously
Channelview, Texas - Houston, Texas - Livingston, Texas - Beaumont, Texas - Nacogdoches, Texas - Baytown, Texas - La Porte, Texas
Contact Information
Work
Phone
281-301-5326
Story
Tagline
To be or not to be is not the "?" but the answer!
Introduction
Amazon Wish List : 

My Google+ Communities
Some of 98 I'm apart of 
Green Party (owner)

YouTube channels I'm subscribe to:
Some of 322 channels



I'm 6'7" 183 lbs (was 265 lbs 4 years ago) hazel eye's w/ a blue ring around them when happy.


I've been a Wiccan for over 18 years. 

Well I've lived 42 years and lived in 104 places and had 101 jobs (out of them 5 were my own company's : Computer repair, Wholesale coffee, Mobile detailing business from cars, yachts as well as personal aircrafts, Lawn care service and Web Design. From the time I was 10 years old  till age 13 I lived at Boys and Girl Harbor in La porte, Texas  I'm human again. Of all my family throughout history I was the first person to ever graduate high school. I went  3 different colleges/universities starting with  San jacinto college North,  Kingwood College; now known as _Lone Star College_ after 2007 and last was Stephen F. Austin State University. I've been on disability for the past 3 years and in that time I have read/listen to just over 750 book, I have been working on designing sustainable village just for starters but I'm hoping once thing are more clear in my mind I will once again be a part of the the world at large.  This will not be my last move or my last business for I have way to much stuff to do before I am reincarnated and have to start again. Hell it be my luck I have to go through multiple reincarnation before I'm human again.
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Favorite Books, Movies, Music, Tv Shows, Food, Podcast, Anime, Games and Websites
I have read/listen to 750 books since 2010, now only I knew how to write well I'd have one hell of book review blog.I know I need a ghostwriter for my reviews, hmmmmmm someone who like to write but does like to read and like to work for only $1 a review. (evil grin)

*2010 : 80 books*
http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/4526526-dale-modisette?utf8=%E2%9C%93&utf8=%E2%9C%93&read_at=2010&view=covers&per_page=30

*2011 : 91 books*
http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/4526526-dale-modisette?utf8=%E2%9C%93&read_at=2011&view=covers&per_page=30

*2012 : 196 books*
http://www.goodreads.com/user_challenges/326517

*2013 : 185 books*
http://www.goodreads.com/user_challenges/589635


I loved the book, I gave it 5 stars and wish I could've given it more. To me this series is one of my 6 favorite heroine series.*

1. Jane Yellowrock series by Faith Hunter
2. Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs
3. Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep
4. Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K. Hamilton
5. Kitty Norville series by Carrie Vaughn
6. Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews

(B) The Game, Matrix, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, The Craft, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Harry Potter (all of them), Life is Beautiful, Grease 2, The Notebook, Dr. Horrible Act-1-2-3, Kung Fu Panda, Sneakers, The Game, The.Transformers-The.Movie (1986)

(C) Enya, Mozart, NIN (Pretty Hate Machine), Peal Jam (Black CD) Blue Grass,The Ting Tings, Lady Sovereign, Miley Cyrus, Dar Williams, Avril Lavigne, 4minute 

(D) Fried Chicken, Homemade Biscuits, Pot Roast, homemade Apple pie, Ice cream, Mexican

(E) (Podcast) Security Now, Lance & Graal Pagan pod cast, CoffeeGeek and Celtic Myth Podshow

(F) (TV Show) 
Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Blade, Eureka, Stargate SG-1, Battlestar Galactica, Charmed, The West Wing, Smallville, Falling Skies, Commander in Chief, The Sopranos, Pretty Little Liars, Stargate Atlantis, True Blood (HBO), Big Love (HBO), Being Human US, Bones, Teen Wolf, Castle, Chuck, Fairly Legal, Necessary Roughness, Hellcats, Hells Kitchen, House, Hung, Leverage, Royal Pains, NCIS, Merlin, Nikita, Sanctuary US, Stargate Universe, Supernatural, The Big Bang Theory, The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, The Gates, The Vampire Diaries, Top Gear UK, Warehouse 13, The Arrow, 

(G) (Anime)
1. Bamboo Blade
2. Bleach
3. Blood +
4. Claymore
5. Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
6. Crest of the Stars
7. Familiar of Zero
8. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
9. Initial D
10. Log Horizon
11. Naruto Shippuden
12. Psycho-Pass
13. Soul Eater
14. Sword Art Online

(I) (Games) MineCraft, Bejeweled Twist,Magic: The Gathering and AD&D 2nd 
 
                          

Bragging rights
I have moved 104 times and have had 101 jobs, that said I did move 35 time before I got out of high school
Work
Occupation
Consultant
Employment
  • Host of The Helping Wiccan
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Male
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Friends, Networking
Other names
LordShrill, Lord Shrill, Damntion, Dartanyan Modisette

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Dale Modisette

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List of what's wrong :

1.) Min. Wage
2.) Education 
3.) Healthcare 
4.) Money in Politics 
5.) Climate change
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One of the best movies depicting this is Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (1939) and I believe should should be played at least once in High School history/government class.
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Arizona Lawmakers Approve Controversial Abortion Bill
By David Schwartz | 03/26/2015
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/26/arizona-abortion-bill_n_6944724.html

PHOENIX, March 25 (Reuters) - Arizona lawmakers on Wednesday passed a controversial measure blocking women from buying insurance that includes abortion coverage through the federal health care exchange.

The fiercely-debated bill also requires doctors to tell women they could possibly reverse the effects of a drug-induced abortion, a claim that critics called "junk science."

The legislation was approved by an 18-11 vote in the Republican-controlled Senate, with two Democrats voting for it. House lawmakers on Monday approved the bill by a 33-24 margin.

It now goes to Arizona Republican Governor Doug Ducey, who has not indicated whether he will sign or veto the bill. He has said he is opposed to abortion.

A governor's spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment on Wednesday.

Supporters said the bill would prevent taxpayer money from paying for abortion services, as many individuals insured through the federally-run exchange receive government subsidies.

The measure exempts cases of incest, rape and life-saving situations from the coverage ban.

Opponents countered, saying there was no proof that public dollars had been used for the elective procedures and calling the law an overreach.

The Guttmacher Institute, a research group supporting the right to abortion whose reports are cited by both sides in the debate, says abortion coverage for those eligible for federal subsidies is limited to cases of rape, incest and life-endangerment.

During debate on the Senate floor, the most heated topic was the bill's requirement that patients be told the effects of abortion pills may be undone by using high doses of a hormone.

"This is junk science, this is quack medicine," said Senate Minority Leader Katie Hobbs, a Phoenix Democrat. "There is absolutely no evidence anywhere... that supports this as a valid medical procedure."

Backers say there is ample evidence that the reversal is possible if acted upon quickly, though they provided no peer-reviewed studies to support that claim.

"This is a great day for woman in Arizona who are considering getting an abortion to get all the facts they need and a great day for Arizona taxpayers," said Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy, a conservative group that pushed for the measure.

In December, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked Arizona from enforcing a state law that restricts access to abortion-inducing drugs by prohibiting off-label uses of RU-486, the so-called "abortion pill." (Editing by Curtis Skinner and Ryan Woo)
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High School Censors Native American Teen at Graduation Ceremony
By Beth Greenfield, Senior Writer | May 19, 2015
https://www.yahoo.com/parenting/high-school-censors-native-american-teen-at-119374360802.html

In what’s become somewhat of an annual controversy, a high school is refusing to allow a Native American senior to wear a sacred eagle feather at graduation.

“It made me really upset because it made me feel like I have to hide who I am,” Waverly Wilson, a senior at Lakes High School in Lakewood, Wash., told KIRO-TV. She was referring to the principal’s initial suggestion that she wear the feather under her gown, rather than on the tassel of her cap, as she had wanted to do. Later, when Wilson was told she could wear the feather, a gift from her uncle, as a hair ornament, the student said she would not accept the compromise. “It’s not an ornament,” she said. “It’s so much more than that. It’s representing who I am, and what all I have worked for.”

Earlier this year, school districts in Oklahoma and North Dakota also told Native American students they could not wear eagle feathers at their commencement ceremonies. Similar cases made headlines in 2013 — most notably that of Chelsey Ramer, whose Alabama private school attempted to fine her $1,000 for wearing an eagle feather on her mortarboard after being warned not to do so.

In Native American culture, receiving an eagle feather as a gift represents “the greatest honor that an individual can have,” Ray Ramirez, spokesperson for the Native American Rights Fund, tells Yahoo Parenting. “So when an individual achieves something the tribe considers significant, such as graduating high school, he or she would receive the eagle feather.”

Neither principal Karen Mauer-Smith nor a spokesperson for the Lakewood school district returned calls requesting comment from Yahoo Parenting. But in an email forwarded to Indian Country by Wilson’s mom Andi Dillon, a member of the Fort Belknap Indian Community, Mauer-Smith wrote, “I am sorry but the Eagle Feather cannot be worn on the outside of the gown or the cap, as per district policy. I have had students in previous years ask the same question and the answer has been the same.” The district bans students from altering the appearance of their graduation caps and gowns in any way.

Ramirez was not surprised to hear about Wilson’s situation, as he says the NARF, a national organization based in Colorado, hears of “dozens of cases that come up every year.” Just last week, he says, the organization filed lawsuits against two districts in Oklahoma about eagle feathers at graduation. In January, it succeeded in getting a North Dakota school district to allow eagle feathers to be an exception to its “non-adornment” policy of graduation caps and gowns.

“It should be very clear cut, and there shouldn’t be any discussion about it,” he says, noting that the American Indian Religious Freedom Act — as well as many legal precedents citing the religious significance of eagles and eagle feathers in Native American culture — should make the student’s right clear.

But Perry Zirkel, a professor of education and law at Lehigh University, isn’t so sure. In general, he says, matters of school graduation dress codes, legally speaking, “favor the district because graduation is a school sponsored event.” Thus, a student’s potential First Amendment expression claim “would likely lose, because the district only needs a rational, not compelling, basis — here, decorum, if not safety.” Wilson arguing a First Amendment free exercise of religion, he adds, “would likely lose, because she apparently would not be claiming a genuine religious tenet (unlike, for example, the dress of a Sikh), and it would be difficult to argue national origin discrimination because the policy applies to all.”

For Wilson, it’s simply a matter of pride. “Just to be able to wear my eagle feather on graduation day would just mean the world to me,” she said. “It’s honoring my ancestors and my elders, and basically who I am  — Native American.”
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Discussion  - 
 
I'm looking for new writers/moderators for this community. 

Community Moderator :
In this role of community moderator as expected, they would stimulate discussion by responding thoughtfully to posts and starting new discussions to get feedback on ideas or get the community thinking about a specific topic. It would also be good to have them blogging in the community within their areas of expertise. 

Community Writers : 
In this role of community writer they'd write on said topic of their choosing, for example low magick, herbs and candle magick at least once a month. 
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My area of study is runes right now
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The Wiccan Rede
(Full Version)

Bide within the Law you must, in perfect Love and perfect Trust.
Live you must and let to live, fairly take and fairly give. 

For tread the Circle thrice about to keep unwelcome spirits out.
To bind the spell well every time, let the spell be said in rhyme. 

Light of eye and soft of touch, speak you little, listen much.
Honor the Old Ones in deed and name,
let love and light be our guides again. 

Deosil go by the waxing moon, chanting out the joyful tune.
Widdershins go when the moon doth wane,
and the werewolf howls by the dread wolfsbane. 

When the Lady's moon is new, kiss the hand to Her times two.
When the moon rides at Her peak then your heart's desire seek. 

Heed the North winds mighty gale, lock the door and trim the sail.
When the Wind blows from the East, expect the new and set the feast. 

When the wind comes from the South, love will kiss you on the mouth.
When the wind whispers from the West, all hearts will find peace and rest. 

Nine woods in the Cauldron go, burn them fast and burn them slow.
Birch in the fire goes to represent what the Lady knows. 

Oak in the forest towers with might, in the fire it brings the God's
insight. Rowan is a tree of power causing life and magick to flower. 

Willows at the waterside stand ready to help us to the Summerland.
Hawthorn is burned to purify and to draw faerie to your eye. 

Hazel-the tree of wisdom and learning adds its strength to the bright fire burning.
White are the flowers of Apple tree that brings us fruits of fertility. 

Grapes grow upon the vine giving us both joy and wine.
Fir does mark the evergreen to represent immortality seen. 

Elder is the Lady's tree burn it not or cursed you'll be.
Four times the Major Sabbats mark in the light and in the dark.

As the old year starts to wane the new begins, it's now Samhain.
When the time for Imbolc shows watch for flowers through the snows. 

When the wheel begins to turn soon the Beltane fires will burn.
As the wheel turns to Lamas night power is brought to magick rite. 

Four times the Minor Sabbats fall use the Sun to mark them all.
When the wheel has turned to Yule light the log the Horned One rules. 

In the spring, when night equals day time for Ostara to come our way.
When the Sun has reached it's height time for Oak and Holly to fight. 

Harvesting comes to one and all when the Autumn Equinox does fall.
Heed the flower, bush, and tree by the Lady blessed you'll be. 

Where the rippling waters go cast a stone, the truth you'll know.
When you have and hold a need, harken not to others greed. 

With a fool no season spend or be counted as his friend.
Merry Meet and Merry Part bright the cheeks and warm the heart. 

Mind the Three-fold Laws you should three times bad and three times good.
When misfortune is enow wear the star upon your brow. 

Be true in love this you must do unless your love is false to you. 

These Eight words the Rede fulfill: 

"An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will"
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Students sue Florida college for alleged forced vaginal probes
Civil rights lawsuit claims probes were part of training in a medical diagnostic sonography class at community college
Tuesday 19 May 2015
http://www.theguardian.com/law/2015/may/20/students-sue-florida-college-for-alleged-forced-vaginal-probes

Two female college students said they were forced to endure almost weekly vaginal probes as part of a medical diagnostic sonography class at a Florida community college, according to a civil rights lawsuit filed in federal court.

The lawsuit by the women, identified as Jane Doe I and Jane Doe II, accuses Valencia College in Orlando, Florida, of violating their right to free speech and to protection from unwarranted searches under the first and fourth amendments.

But Carol Traynor, a spokeswoman for Valencia College, said in a statement on Monday that using volunteers, including students, for medical sonography training was a nationally accepted practice.

The women’s lawsuit contends they protested but were bullied into submission.

“Valencia’s established and widespread policy was to browbeat students who did not consent to those invasive probes and threaten plaintiffs’ academic standing as well as their future careers until the students complied,” the lawsuit states.

The procedure in question involved a transvaginal ultrasound probe in which a technician inserts a lubricated probe to detect problems with fertility or other issues, according to the lawsuit, which describes the probe as large and not recommended for females who have not had sexual intercourse.

The women allege they submitted under duress to the probes, which at times required their bodies to be sexually stimulated by other students to facilitate insertion, according to the complaint filed by lawyer Christopher R Dillingham.

“Plaintiffs endured these invasive probes without a modicum of privacy. Plaintiffs would disrobe in a restroom, drape themselves in towels, and traverse the sonography classroom in full view of instructors and other students,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit states that students in the Valencia program were able to practise on actual patients during clinics in hospital and had available anatomically correct dummies.

The complaint states that the clinical and laboratory co-ordinator initially told the students that the probes were voluntary. But when the women protested they were told they could find a different school, would be blacklisted from local hospital jobs and their grades would be reduced, the complaint says.

Dillingham wrote in the complaint that he had been unable to find another sonography program in which students practised vaginal probes on each other.
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Oil CEO Wanted University Quake Scientists Dismissed: Dean's E-Mail
The billionaire CEO of Continental Resources told a dean at the University of Oklahoma that he wanted earthquake researchers dismissed
By Benjamin Elgin | May 15, 2015
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-05-15/oil-tycoon-harold-hamm-wanted-scientists-dismissed-dean-s-e-mail-says

Oil tycoon Harold Hamm told a University of Oklahoma dean last year that he wanted certain scientists there dismissed who were studying links between oil and gas activity and the state's nearly 400-fold increase in earthquakes, according to the dean's e-mail recounting the conversation.

Hamm, the billionaire founder and chief executive officer of Oklahoma City-based Continental Resources, is a major donor to the university, which is the home of the Oklahoma Geological Survey. He has vigorously disputed the notion that he tried to pressure the survey's scientists. "I'm very approachable, and don't think I'm intimidating," Hamm was quoted as saying in an interview with EnergyWire, an industry publication, that was published on May 11. "I don't try to push anybody around."

Yet an e-mail obtained from the university by Bloomberg News via a public records request says Hamm used a blunt approach during a 90-minute meeting last year with the dean whose department includes the geological survey.

"Mr. Hamm is very upset at some of the earthquake reporting to the point that he would like to see select OGS staff dismissed," wrote Larry Grillot, the dean of the university's Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy, in a July 16, 2014, e-mail to colleagues at the university. Hamm also expressed an interest in joining a search committee charged with finding a new director for the geological survey, according to Grillot's e-mail. And, the dean wrote, Hamm indicated that he would be "visiting with Governor [Mary] Fallin on the topic of moving the OGS out of the University of Oklahoma."

Kristin Thomas, a spokeswoman for Continental, says the company has no comment.
Hamm's meeting with Grillot resulted in no apparent changes at the university. Reached by telephone, Grillot confirmed his discussion with Hamm. He declines to name any individuals that the oil company CEO wanted to have fired but says nobody was dismissed from the Oklahoma Geological Survey and that he never discussed Hamm's displeasure with OGS staffers.
"I didn't want it to impact their day-to-day work," he says. "Foremost for us is academic freedom." Grillot adds that Hamm was not added to the search committee for the new OGS director.

Alex Weintz, a spokesman for Governor Fallin, didn't respond when asked whether Hamm had asked the governor to remove the geological survey from the university, but said the arrangement is set by statute. "The governor does not have the authority to decouple OU and OGS, nor has she proposed doing so," he said in an e-mailed statement.

Catherine Bishop, the university's vice president of public affairs and one of the recipients of Grillot's 2014 e-mail, didn't respond to requests for an interview, but she defended Hamm in an e-mail: "Mr. Hamm absolutely did not ask to be on the search committee or to have anyone from Continental put onto the committee, nor did he ask that anyone from the Oklahoma Geological Survey be dismissed," she wrote.

Asked about the difference between her statement and Grillot's 2014 e-mail, Bishop responded: "Please note that the bottom line is that University of Oklahoma will not tolerate any possible interference with academic freedom and scientific inquiry." She added in a subsequent message: "Neither Mr. Hamm nor anyone from Continental Resources served on the search committee."
The newly hired incoming director of the OGS, Jeremy Boak, will start work in July. Boak, who has been working as director of the Center for Oil Shale Technology and Research at the Colorado School of Mines, says that he had no communication with Hamm or Continental Resources during his interview process.

Hamm has been a generous donor to the University of Oklahoma, including a 2011 gift of $20 million for a diabetes research center named after the oilman. University President David Boren, a former U.S. senator, sits on the board of directors of Hamm's Continental Resources.

In the email he wrote about his meeting with Hamm, Grillot—who himself sits on the board of Pioneer Natural Resources, an Irving (Tex.)-based oil and gas company—noted that he saw Boren leaving Continental's corporate offices before he went in to see the CEO.

Boren said in an e-mailed statement that he was unaware the dean was meeting with Hamm and that Grillot never passed along any requests for Hamm to serve on the OGS director search committee, nor any request to "remove a member of the OGS staff." He also said Hamm never told him of his interest in serving on the search panel, and he said that the matter was never discussed at any Continental board meetings.

"The facts speak for themselves," Boren said. "No OGS staff member has been terminated or threatened with termination. No research has been stopped or modified. An independent search for the OGS Director has been conducted, and a distinguished graduate of Harvard has been selected. The University has more than once expressed its total commitment to academic freedom in this matter."

Scientists overwhelmingly attribute the sharp rise in earthquakes across swaths of the central U.S. to the oil and gas industry, primarily the deep underground disposal of vast amounts of wastewater, which is produced with oil and gas. The injected water can alter underground pore pressures and cause faults to slip, earthquake scientists say.

In Oklahoma, where the number of earthquakes of a magnitude 3.0 or greater increased from an average of 1.6 a year before 2009 to 585 last year, researchers at the OGS have been slower than many others to draw a link between the industry and the earthquakes. 

For instance, in early 2013, the scientific journal Geology published a paper that tied Oklahoma's largest-recorded quake—a 5.7-magnitude temblor in 2011 near the small town of Prague that injured two people and destroyed 14 homes—to oil and gas wastewater injection. Around the same time, the OGS put out its own statement to counter the findings, describing the Prague quake as "the result of natural causes." (The agency has since evolved in its stance; it issued a statement last month that said: "The OGS considers it very likely that the majority of recent earthquakes, particularly those in central and north-central Oklahoma, are triggered by the injection of produced water in disposal wells.")

In October 2013, the OGS signed a joint statement with the U.S. Geological Survey, saying they were "evaluating possible links between these earthquakes and wastewater disposal related to oil and gas production activities."

Within days, the state agency's top seismologist, Austin Holland, had a meeting with Patrice Douglas, then one of three elected members of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which regulates that state's oil and gas companies. Also present was Jack Stark, then-senior vice president for exploration at Continental and now its president. "The basic jist [sic] of the meeting is that Continental does not feel induced seismicity is an issue and they are nervous about any dialog about the subject," wrote Holland in an e-mail to his superiors. 

A month later, Holland was called into a meeting with Hamm and Boren—a gathering that has received extensive media attention this year, including from Bloomberg Businessweek, after it was revealed through emails made public in March. Holland told Bloomberg Businessweek that the meeting with Hamm and Boren was "just a little bit intimidating."

Continental said earlier this year that the late-2013 meeting was focused on earthquakes and fracking, rather than wastewater injection. The conversation was "cordial and an information exchange with Austin," Thomas, the company's spokeswoman, said in a March email.
—With Matthew Philips
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Migrant workers are sometimes referred to as the backbone of the U.S. agricultural industry. So, what would happen to farms without these immigrants?
Published on May 24, 2015
Learn More:

Opportunity or Exploitation: The Bracero Program
http://amhistory.si.edu/onthemove/themes/story_51_5.html
"Over the program's 22-year life, more than 4.5 million Mexican nationals were legally contracted for work in the United States (some individuals returned several times on different contracts)."

Hiring Locally for Farm Work Is No Cure-All
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/05/us/farmers-strain-to-hire-american-workers-in-place-of-migrant-labor.html?_r=0 "The H-2A program, in particular, in trying to avoid displacing American citizens from jobs, strongly encourages farmers to hire locally if they can, with a requirement that they advertise in at least three states. That forces participants to take huge risks in guessing where a moving target might land - how many locals, how many foreigners - often with an entire season's revenue at stake."

United States Farmworker Factsheet
http://saf-unite.org/content/united-states-farmworker-factsheet "Despite farmworkers' economic and cultural contributions to the communities where they live and work, they continue to be the some of the lowest paid, least protected, and unhealthiest workers in the United States."
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Published on May 24, 2015
Find out the real story behind this iconic image of a mother and her children in 1930's America.

This weekly storytelling series uses the imagery of photographers and adventurers around the world to give us a deeper connection to and understanding of the human condition.

More information on Dorothea Lange's "Migrant Mother" photograph - www.loc.gov/rr/print/list/128_migm.html
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Contest  - 
 
In celebration of us getting just over 400 members I decided to have rite writing contest :
Litha / Summer Solstice / Midsummer Sabbat (June 21 or 22 [or December 21/22 in the southern hemisphere]). Remember (Winner will receive an audiobooks from Audible.com) Due by June 20, the winner will choose 3 books and I will choose from them as your prize.
  
1. The use of herbs
2. The use of Magickal symbols
3. The use of candle magick
4. I like it written for least 4 people to perform

(This is the minimum things that you will need in your rite).
Post under Contest
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Here's what the NRA got stripped from Louisiana's anti-domestic violence bill
By Emily Lane | May 18, 2015, updated May 19, 2015
http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/05/heres_what_the_nra_got_strippe.html

When a sweeping package of anti-domestic violence bills received nearly the full backing last year of the Louisiana Legislature and Gov. Bobby Jindal, the state suddenly became a leader for laws aimed at combating domestic abuse, advocates say.  

This year, however, legislation pitched to expand on what was passed last year -- and address issues that came out of a newly created Domestic Violence Prevention Commission -- has encountered significant roadblocks. Opposition on one bill (HB 488) seeking to enact a number of protective measures for victims of domestic violence came from the National Rifle Association. 

State Rep. Helena Moreno, D-New Orleans, said the NRA's influence on her colleagues in the House Administration of Criminal Justice Commission forced her to scrap a handful of her bill's provisions. She advanced a substitute, pared-down version of the bill, instead. 

Kim Sport, chairwoman of the United Way of Southeast Louisiana Public Policy Committee, and of the state's domestic violence prevention commission, said she was especially disappointed the NRA's opposition effectively squashed a provision that would expand the definition of domestic abuse victims. 

The provision would have allowed those accused of abusing "dating partners" to be charged with domestic abuse battery, not just "household members." Sport said she was told the NRA "didn't want to increase the pool of people who will dispossessed of their firearms," so the group opposed that provision, among to others. 

A law passed last year would ban those convicted of domestic abuse battery -- even as a misdemeanor -- from owning a firearm. 

"It is a sad place in Louisiana where we allow a special interest group to say who will or will not be a victim of a certain crime under our statutes," Sport said.

Opponents at an April 29 hearing on the bill said "dating partner" can be too broadly interpreted; the 10-year firearm prohibition could apply to a much larger group of people. It might apply, one witness said, to someone who has been on a single date. Another opponent said the proposed law would invite false accusations.  

NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker emailed the following statement on May 5 to NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune, regarding the original legislation. 

"The NRA agrees that more can be done to protect victims of domestic abuse from their violent abusers, but HB 488 is so overly broad that it could make a felon out of a girlfriend who pulls a cell phone from her boyfriend's hand against his will.

"If the sponsor of the bill is serious about preventing domestic violence, she should focus on the provisions of the bill that would deter domestic abusers like better enforcement of restraining orders and increased penalties for people who violate restraining orders." 

When the NRA's opposition and influence over the committee became apparent, Moreno asked for another week to tweak her bill to get it into a posture the NRA would agree not to oppose. She did so after the criminal justice committee nearly killed her bill by a vote of 7-6. Once she made the changes requested by the NRA, the substitute bill (HB 842) sailed out of committee last week without objection from any committee member.

How the bill was changed

• Removes a provision adding strangulation to the definition of "serious bodily injury" regarding second-degree battery. Strangulation is often a red flag that abuse could lead to more lethal form.

• Removes "dating partner" as an extension of the definition of a victim of domestic abuse battery. Domestic abuse battery only pertains to scenarios when the victim is a "household member," which refers to spouses, family members or co-habitants (within five years of the incident). Sport said 50 percent of domestic violence victims are considered "dating partners," who do not live with and are not married to their abusers, especially those ages 16-24.

• Removes a provision that creates a felony-level stalking charge. Stalking is currently a misdemeanor. Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence Executive Director Beth Meeks testified that 76 percent domestic homicide victims were stalked before they were killed. 

• Removes a provision prohibiting a person convicted of stalking from possessing a firearm. 

• Removes a provision that increased penalties for violation of a protective order involving the use of force or the threat of a use of force.

• Removes a provision requiring fingerprinting for threatening to use force or a deadly weapon against a family member, household member or dating partner.

Here's what the bill still does

• The bill adds "family members" to the type of victim with respect to the domestic abuse battery statute.

• The bill increases penalties for violations of protective order when there's a battery or crime of violence.

• The bill requires fingerprinting of certain domestic abuse offenders to catch repeat offenders.

• The bill clarifies rules related court-monitored domestic abuse intervention programs, specifying offenders must participate for 26 weeks.

--

Chairman of the House criminal justice committee, State Rep. Joe Lopinto, R-Metairie, voted against the bill in its original form. He said the NRA opposition was an influencing factor for his vote but also that the original version of the bill was overly broad.  The substitute bill was the product of compromise, he said, which is not the preference of either side but resulted in in what he considered "a good bill."

"I don't think it was gutted down to nothing," Lopinto said. 

Of the lost provisions, Moreno said she's disappointed "we didn't get all of them."

"At the same time, we're still making steps forward. It's only by moving forward that we can continue to ... prevent domestic violence across the state."

The substitute version of the bill still faces approval by the full House before heading to the Senate for consideration. 

. . . . . .
Emily Lane is a news reporter based in Baton Rouge. Reach her at elane@nola.com or 504-717-7699. Follow her on Twitter (@emilymlane) 
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