Thursday, January 19, 2012

Scott Walker Recall Going Forward in Wisconsin

In the middle of 2011, Wisconsin voters started the process of recalling state senators after Republicans passed anti-labor legislation through the state congress. Due to recall laws though, Governor Scott Walker wasn't able to be targeted in the initial surge of voter dissatisfaction since officials must be in office for at least a year before they're eligible for recall. Well, it's been a year and earlier this week Democrats turned in more than 1 million names to the state’s Government Accountability Board, almost twice the required amount, making a recall election almost guaranteed.

Even though this is only the first step in what may turn out to be a long process, the vast quantity of signatures sends a strong message. Now we just have to sit back and see what happens.

It's times like these I love politics.

Read more: Behind Wisconsin Democrats’ Million-Signature Show of Force in Walker Recall Effort

Monday, January 9, 2012

An Update

Politics are boring me. I just can't find the energy to care lately and it's starting to worry me a little. I'm sure things will pick up when there's a singular Republican candidate to focus my annoyance on, but as of now I feel sort of indifferent about it all. I'm not entirely sure why.

In other news though, spring semester started today and my classes are amazing so far. Gender and Horror is gonna be as awesome as I had hoped and my Gender and Social Change professor is a ball of energy. Seriously, if I could bring her home in my pocket I would. It's nice having all my generals out of the way and focus my specifically on my major. If I can avoid getting as lost as I did today I'll be a happy Alana.

I've also had a few interesting experiences with Ryan. I've come to realize that I was never fully comfortable in our relationship. I know this probably seems odd, but I always felt like I wasn't interesting enough for him. This is completely shocking to anyone who has actually met Ryan, but I couldn't help but feel like I always had to have something to say that would make him more...animated I guess. I didn't even know it was something I felt until I didn't have to do it anymore. Now that I no longer waste my energy trying to think of things to talk about, I see what a silly thing it was to do. Slowly I've come to realize that I was always a little worried I wasn't enough. And I don't know if that's how other people feel in their relationships, but I don't think it's healthy.

I want someone I can fight with. Someone who's passionate and silly and interesting on their own. Someone I don't feel the need to "entertain." Even though it's hard to admit these things to myself, it's also freeing.

I know this post was super random, but that's a little bit about what's been happening with me.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Fuck I Look Like

I stumbled upon Kai Davis on tumblr and I'm completely smitten. Only a high school senior, Davis is part of the Philly Youth Poetry Movement. This poem is about the idea that intelligence is a white trait.

Sickle is another amazing poem to check out.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Mandated Reporting of Child Abuse Suspects

In the aftermath of the Penn State controversy regarding Sandusky and allegations of child abuse, some politicians are trying to expand the laws for mandated reporting of suspected child abuse. Sponsored by Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.), the Speak Up to Protect Every Abused Kid Act would require mandatory reporting of incidents of child abuse or neglect for all adults. The definition of child abuse or neglect under the law would also be expanded to include “any deliberate act, on the part of an individual other than a parent or caretaker, that results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, or sexual abuse or exploitation, or that presents an imminent risk of serious harm to a child.”

According to the Family Defense Center, the four main changes made in the law introduced by these amendments include:
1. An expansion of the definition of child abuse to include “any deliberate act, on the part of an individual other than a parent or caretaker that results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, or sexual abuse or exploitation, or an act or failure to act that presents an imminent risk of serious harm;”

2. Inclusion of mandatory reporting of abuse by non-parents and non-caretakers when a “deliberate” act results in serious harm to a child;

3. A requirement that states provide a system allowing reports of abuse or neglect be made to both the child protective service agency and law enforcement agency, whereas current law only requires states provide a system for reporting to the child protective service agency;

4. A requirement that mandatory reports of child abuse be made “by any adult.”

This video also does a good job of highlighting some of the concerns people are having about the proposed law. I really liked how everyone feels a little different about the idea. The conversation does get a bit off track with the old slippery slope argument, but they bring it back near the end.

I do think the claim that some people may purposely abuse the system a bit absurd since that's a possibility with our current system. In fact, I have first hand experience with someone calling child protective services on us in order to basically punish us. The situation was annoying and quite intimidating, but after an interview the case was dropped. Opponents of the proposed law make it sound like social workers are going to be snatching away children on the mere whisper of abuse. It's a bit unrealistic in my opinion.

I do think there are valid concerns about the funding a law like this would require though. Even a substantial increase in calls to hot lines would require more resources and that's not even including the need for more social workers to investigate the new influx of tips. There's also concern about the wording the bill uses. What constitutes "serious emotional harm?" The Family Defense Center breaks down numerous concerns far better than I ever could, but I'm still not sure how I feel about the bill. Many states already have mandatory reporting for all adults and there doesn't appear to be any difference from what I can see.

I think we can all agree that more needs to be done to protect children, but I think educating people how to identify signs of abuse would go a lot further than something like this. I'm a firm believer that having an open and honest dialogue is always the first step to solving any sort of problem though and at least this has got us talking about it for the moment.

Until a Kardashian steals away our attention of course.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011