Category: ‘Government’

Alice, there is no Santa Claus

October 24, 2014 Posted by suefairview

Letter: Linares Debate Response Misunderstood

To the Editor:

I attended the debate between State Senator Art Linares, Emily Bjornberg, and Colin Bennett on October 8th at Valley Regional High School. With regard to the letter from Sue Huybensz, who also attended the debate, I am certain that she misunderstood the discussion. In particular, she completely misinterpreted the response by Senator Linares regarding his stand on the SCOTUS Hobby Lobby decision. In no way did Senator Linares say that he is opposed to a woman’s right to choose. He pointed out that this issue is not germane to candidates running for the State Senate. If he were running for the United States Senate or were in line for consideration for a position on the Supreme Court, the issue of what methods of birth control must be paid for by a private enterprise would be a worthwhile topic for debate. At a debate for election to State Senator, the issue is a red herring. When Art shared that he was raised Catholic, he was pointing out that nobody’s personal and religious beliefs supersede the laws of our country. The aim of Senator Linares on the evening of October 8th was to bring the debate’s discussion back to issues that are germane to CT residents, issues that a state senator is empowered to do something about: returning prosperity and top-notch educational and  professional opportunity to the residents of our state.  As a CT woman, I plan to cast my vote for Senator Art Linares.

Sincerely,

Alice van Deursen

Essex

 

Here is my response:

I completely agree with you that Mr. Linares was stating that the SCOTUS decision was not applicable to his candidacy. Its just that I completely disagree. I think that we need strong advocates for women’s rights in the capitol as well as in all elected/appointed public positions. Most moderate Republicans would fit this bill. Have a look around you at what is happening in this country. States, such as Texas, Mississippi, North Dakota, Michigan, Colorado, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Ohio are making it more difficult for women to obtain abortions. Those decisions are all being made in state senates.  The Hobby Lobby decision a distinct slippage of women’s rights. Are you aware that women earn 23 cents less on the dollar than men, that fewer women enter STEM studies than men, that women are still discriminated against in our country? Across the board, women’s rights are threatened by right-wing extremists such as Mr. Linares seems to be and it is a constant fight to maintain what women have won. His views are not in keeping with this district or the times we live in. These reasons are why women’s issues are not a “red herring”.

If his comment about his religion was to say that religion doesn’t matter, then why didn’t he just say that? Are his debating skills that lacking, or was he just hedging or being disingenuous? Whether I misinterpreted his meaning or not, why couldn’t he just be honest and open about his feelings on this issue and women’s rights like the other candidates were? Perhaps women’s issues don’t matter that much to Mr. Linares. But, we’ll never know because he won’t agree to another debate.

You can thank your long gone sisters for your right to vote for a candidate that might take rights away from you.

Sue Huybensz

Deep River

Recent letter to the editor re: State Senator Art Linares

October 22, 2014 Posted by suefairview

Here is a recent letter to the editor that I wrote about CT State Senator Art Linares:

connecticut-state-senator-art-linares

AN OPEN LETTER TO REPUBLICAN WOMEN ON ELECTION DAY

I am a fellow Republican woman who always wanted to be married, but I wanted a career instead of children. Thankfully, when I headed to college in 1974, I had access to birth control and due to Roe v. Wade I also had access to what could be a very excruciating choice. [Thankfully I never had to make that choice.] So it was time travel for me to hear Art Linares’ answer to this question at the debate held on October 8 at the Valley Regional High School: “Where do you stand on the SCOTUS Hobby Lobby decision?” Linares only stated that “he was raised Catholic and isn’t up for appointment as a Supreme Court Justice.” In other words, Linares is against a woman’s right to choose even birth control!

Haven’t we already dealt with this issue 40 years ago? This extremely right-wing view could have totally changed my life and taken my choice to have a career away from me. Also, I would note that extremist views such as Linares’ are not a fit with his own district’s constituency.

Birthing a child sometimes can be life-threatening. Linares doesn’t care: “No exceptions.” I have had a colleague who died from a brain hemorrhage while she was trying to have a child.

I may have wanted to hear more on Linares’ stances, but it seems he doesn’t like to show up to debates.

Please, if you value your choices as a woman, do not vote for Art Linares.

Sue Huybensz

Deep River

So far it has been published in valleynewsnow.com and Lymeline.net.

Did Rick Perry Have An Innocent Man Executed? YES HE DID!

August 4, 2014 Posted by suefairview

From Joe.My.God.:

“Even though 41 inmates have been exonerated by DNA evidence since he took office, Rick Perry says he has no trouble sleeping.”

Cameron Todd Willingham was executed in Texas in 2004 for allegedly setting a fire that killed his three young daughters 13 years earlier. He always claimed his innocence, and the arson investigation used to convict him was questioned by leading experts before Willingham was executed. Since 2004, further evidence in the case has led to the inescapable conclusion that Willingham did not set the fire for which he was executed. The Texas Forensic Science Commission issued its report on the convictions of Cameron Todd Willingham and Ernest Willis on April 15, 2011 recommending more education and training for fire investigators and implementing procedures to review old cases.

NEWS BROKE YESTERDAY THAT THE JAILHOUSE SNITCH WAS COERCED INTO GIVING DAMNING TESTIMONY AGAINST CAMERON TODD WILLINGHAM.

TEXAS EXECUTED AN INNOCENT MAN.

Read about it here.

California’s Condoms in Porn Bill (AB 1576) Clears Senate Labor Committee

June 25, 2014 Posted by suefairview

This story is from the Digital Journal:

AHF: With Three Votes, California’s Condoms in Porn Bill (AB 1576) Clears Senate Labor Committee

Read the rest of the article here.

Response to the Sword’s “10 reasons for gay porn stars to be more angry, and scared, about AB1576″

June 20, 2014 Posted by suefairview

Here is the link to the article at the Sword. Read AB 1576 here.

I will respond on a point-by-point basis.

1. It’s a solution to a problem that’s non-existent
In the last nine years there have been zero reports of HIV transmission on adult film sets. And where was the state, and Cal/OSHA, back at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s when porn studios were shooting bareback without acknowledging the risks of HIV transmission? We’re talking about tackling a problem 30 years too late that isn’t even a problem anymore — setting aside the example of Treasure Island Media which pretends to flout the notion of HIV safety, even though, anecdotally, they do sero-sort. Semi-monthly testing is already mandatory for all active performers. Also, Truvada is making the condom issue even more of a moot point for gay men, as long as its taken properly.

Untrue! There have been at least 2 reports of HIV transmission on adult film sets; both Cameron Bay and Rod Daily became infected and seroconverted to HIV+, respectively, in August of 2013 [http://www.aidshealth.org/archives/18040] and both men testified in support of this bill. More infections are alluded to in the discussion of the bill. The second point about “this legislation is too late” is irrelevant to the core argument. Besides, if it would have been helpful earlier, why isn’t it helpful now? When the bill is enacted, semi-monthly testing will be required at all studios. Truvada is also irrelevant to the core argument because patient compliance is dependent on the individual and cannot be relied on without testing.

2. The bill will move the industry out of state, at least at first, and possibly overseas.
That means that a performer who comes to San Francisco for a week to shoot for five studios will probably end up doing a lot more traveling to get the same amount of work. And since budgets are already low, we’ll likely see a decrease in jobs available overall. In the wake of the passage of Measure B in L.A., a bunch of straight porn companies have already relocated to Nevada.

Only barebacking studios will be forced to move; not companies who are currently using condoms who should be able to comply with the bill easily.

3. AB1576 removes the element of choice from performers.
For HIV-negative gay models, this means they will no longer be able to perform with HIV-positive models with protection should they choose too, further stigmatizing a disease the industry has long learned how to deal with.

Untrue! The bill does not state this anywhere. Nothing will change in this regard.

4. The entire thing is poorly written, disease-shaming, and not well thought out.
As Habib points out, “The language of the bill also utterly ignores people who are already living with HIV. There’s no structure in place to protect HIV+ performers from being blacklisted… The bill would also require two HIV+ men to get tested and used condoms if they wanted to do a scene together. That’s lunacy.”

The bill is not disease shaming. Please point out where this is for me. I don’t see it anywhere and this is the second time you have claimed this. This bill is written in the form and language of all regulations and thus might be considered poorly written by other authors, but then all regulations are! The language is clear and understandable, plus can be held legally binding. This is what is desired in regulatory bills. Blacklisting point: The studio will keep confidentiality by assigning a responsible person to keep the records. This will mean that HIV status will remain unknown to everyone, just like it is now. BTW: Where is the link to Conner Habib‘s statement? You did not provide it and I couldn’t find it on his blog.

5. Anyone producing content on their own, and not abiding by the letter of the law, could go to jail.
The law would also criminalize any adult production that violates its tenets — so you might actually see some performers, particularly those who are involved in production in some way, or shoot a sex tape, or doing webcam work — going to jail.

The potential for incarceration reflects how important an offense like HIV transmission is to the State. I do not feel that incarceration is too much punishment for someone who risks infecting another individual with HIV. Do you?

6. The law would present extremely serious violations to privacy around HIV
Companies would be required to report positive test results to the state, but there’s no language addressing confidentiality in these results, and nothing preventing insurance companies from finding out results or penalizing those found to be HIV+, who were able to keep their status confidential in the past.

Studios will have to take responsibility in this area and protect their employees’ privacy. Employee privacy is already being protected all over the country in areas such as Radiation Safety and for those who work with blood bourne pathogens [https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_id=10051&p_table=STANDARDS]. Regulations in California are here [http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/855249-california-code-of-regulations-title-8-section.html]. Thousands of private corporations and health management concerns are dealing with these type of regulatory standards without issues pertaining to privacy. Thus, there should be no change from the previous situation as far as loss of privacy.

7. AB 1576 doesn’t even understand how the industry works.
Assembly member Isadore Hall, who helped craft the bill, seems to believe that porn performers are all employees of their respective companies, when by and large they are all independent contractors.

I fail to see why this makes any difference. Information might need to be shared across studios between the caretakers of records, that is all.

8. Michael Weinstein is a self-aggrandizing, panic-mongering fool.
We’ve said it before, but this asshole behind the AIDS Healthcare Foundation would have us all believe that Truvada is a sham, and all sluts should be shamed.

This point is irrelevant to the discussion of AB 1576.

9. Many of your favorite porn stars will disappear from the screen, and be outed as HIV+.
Fan should all know by now that many performers on the gay side of the industry are HIV+, and they perform, safely and with condoms, with HIV-negative and other positive performers. AB1576 will essentially create a witch hunt for these performers, and out them by virtue of their sudden absence from the industry.

Totally untrue! The bill says nothing about changing HIV+ performers’ participation in the industry. Their participation can continue so long as they use condoms.

10. The bill is framed like an anti-porn crusade, and lots of respectable organizations have come out against it, as well as over 1,000 performers signing this petition.
If you don’t trust me, then listen to the Harvey Milk Democratic Club, the Transgender Law Center, the St. James Infirmary, the Erotic Service Providers Union, the Center for Sex and Culture, and the Adult Performers Advocacy Committee.

Where and how is the bill “like and anti-porn crusade”? How come you haven’t provided links to these organizations who are purportedly against AB 1576? The bill will require more work in the record-keeping sense as well as for studios to spend more on some beneficial things for its models. Let us keep in mind that no industries like more regulation, whether it benefits the environment or employees. I see no difference in the case of this legislation.

All I see is fear-mongering on behalf of the Sword towards this beneficial new regulation which will attempts to ensure the safety of employees in the adult entertainment industry.

Read an in-depth discussion of these and more points for and against the bill here. The document lists supporters of the bill as:

  • AIDS Healthcare Foundation
  • American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • Beyond AIDS California Academy of Preventive Medicine
  • California Communities United Institute
  • California Employment Lawyers Association
  • California Medical Association
  • California Public Health Association-North
  • California State Association of Occupational Health
  • Nurses Fielding School of Public Health, UCLA
  • National Coalition of STD Directors
  • Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California
  • Professor Jeffrey Klausner of Medicine and Public Health, UCLA Worksafe

Opponents were:

  • Cutting Edge Testing
  • Free Speech Coalition
  • Ireland Entertainment
  • Manwin USA
  • Sean Darcy, MD Professional Corporation
  • Unsound Labs
  • Valley Industry and Commerce Association
  • Vivid Entertainment, LLC

BOTTOM LINE

Make your own informed decision as to the whether or not the bill is any good. Please don’t just read the Sword; this is only a one-sided discussion of the bill by a person with no apparent regulatory or corporate experience in safety matters. Further, I find the writing of his article irresponsible, since the author should state upfront that he is a crony of the porn industry and thus has his own agenda.

Cameron Bay, adult film performer who became infected with HIV while working in the adult industry in August 2013

·       Rod Daily, adult film performer who became HIV positive while working in the adult industry in August 2013

– See more at: http://www.aidshealth.org/archives/18040#sthash.X8tmqs8q.dpuf

Cameron Bay, adult film performer who became infected with HIV while working in the adult industry in August 2013

·       Rod Daily, adult film performer who became HIV positive while working in the adult industry in August 2013

– See more at: http://www.aidshealth.org/archives/18040#sthash.X8tmqs8q.dpuf

Cameron Bay, adult film performer who became infected with HIV while working in the adult industry in August 2013

·       Rod Daily, adult film performer who became HIV positive while working in the adult industry in August 2013

– See more at: http://www.aidshealth.org/archives/18040#sthash.X8tmqs8q.dpuf