New DHS Policies, Predicted 11 Days Ago

When Will We Know?”—an ongoing series

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today released two memos from Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly that explain how the department will detain and prosecute undocumented immigrants and criminal immigrants. For any readers who follow the “rogue” Citizenship and Immigration Service Twitter account @ALT_USCIS, the publication of the memos—and details inside them—comes eleven days after that account supplied those details. (CNN and other news outlets reported the existence of the memos two days ago.)

There are many online accounts of government employees (including at least two accounts whose writers claim to be inside the White House itself) who have “gone rogue” and are hard at work sharing with the world all the changes that have been introduced since the new presidential administration took the reins of power. @ALT_USCIS is a must-read account as of right now. If journalism is the first draft of history, this Twitter account is supplying the previews.
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A New Interpretation of Title IX?

When Will We Know?”—an ongoing series

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No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.—Title IX

A U.S. Department of Justice draft memorandum that proposes “recommendations on the interpretation and enforcement of Title IX” was leaked today by one of the many online accounts of government employees who have “gone rogue” and are hard at work sharing with the world all the changes that have been introduced since the new presidential administration took the reins of power.

The Twitter account that published the document three hours ago, @ALT_USCIS, is operated by insiders who claim to be employed at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, and has been a reliable source for information about the “ICE Raids” that took place the last two weeks. That reliability is the reason I am sharing the documents here.

The main thrust of the leaked draft memo is to change operational procedures in our nation’s schools and law enforcement from what has been a history of protecting victims of sexual assault to a new standard in which those accused of sexual assault are to be protected.
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The Old Stone

Because the Rosetta Stone was (is) a document of a very important decree, it was carved into granite; however, its preservation into the modern era (it was found in 1799) is an accident of circumstance. Without it, we would not have the term “Rosetta stone,” and then where would we be?

Because it is the document of a very important decree, it has a date on it, a date that may have been as important to its readers as July 4, 1776, is to some Americans. The date is given as 18 Meshir during the ninth year of Ptolemy’s reign; that date is March 27, 196 BC.
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A Summons for Samar Badawi: Updated 2/15

Earlier today, Saudi Arabian human rights activist Samar Badawi was questioned by authorities with that nation’s Bureau of Investigation and was allowed to leave after the interview.

On her Twitter page, she reported that the Bureau wanted to ask her about her human rights activities:

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A Summons for Samar Badawi

Saudi Arabia’s Bureau of Investigation yesterday contacted Samar Badawi (above), the wife of Waleed Abulkhair and sister of Raif Badawi, and asked her to report to the Bureau at 10:00 a.m. February 15. She reports that no reason for the summons has been given.

On January 12, 2016, she was arrested and released on bail one day later. She was charged with operating her husband Waleed’s Twitter account.

Samar Badawi is the sister of Raif Badawi, the human rights writer who was convicted of apostasy and other charges and sentenced to ten years in prison and 1000 lashes with a cane. Waleed is Raif Badawi’s lawyer as well as his brother-in-law, and he is in prison for his human rights advocacy as well.

Because no reason for the summons has been offered, Samar of course can not prepare for the questioning. This is a common form of judicial harassment in nations that use a judiciary as a tool to intimidate.

I will post an update when information becomes available tomorrow. This is Samar Badawi’s Tweet about the summons:
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Chaucer and Valentine’s Day

The Invention of Love …

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Because of the rampant commercialism associated with the holiday, Valentine’s Day is considered a “Hallmark holiday,” a day selected by a blindfolded intern at Hallmark HQ and pegged as one we consumers are told to celebrate by spending. It isn’t.

In the grocery store last week, the center of which is holiday-red right now and overstuffed with heart-shaped balloons and streamers, as if the store manager himself demanded a ticket-tape parade for Cupid, I walked past a fellow shopper who, shaking her head, declared out loud, “Valentine’s Day! Already?” because that is what we say when we view holiday decorations in stores nowadays. (Each reminder of time’s passage is responded to as a newly experienced emotional trauma in our culture, each time we encounter it.) It was February 10, the decorations had been up in this particular store since January 2, and there was no hint of irony in the person’s exclamation.

Starting in the late 1700s, publishers started to print and sell Valentine’s Day-oriented books, usually guides for young men to use in composing their love notes. On this much, most cultural historians seem to agree. The disagreements begin with who Valentine might have been and why February 14 is his feast day and extend to the question about what any of this has to do with chalky heart-shaped candies and smooching.
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A Victory for the Autonomous Nation of Anarchist Libertarians

In the last week of January, members of a group that calls itself the Autonomous Nation of Anarchist Libertarians started to reside in an unoccupied mansion owned by a Russian oligarch in London. The group earned a legal reprieve today.

Since the group took over residence a legal case has proceeded through the court system to evict them from the premises. At different times, police have been called to attempt to take advantage of any moments in which the residence might be empty—lines of moving vans have been assembled outside to and the group has posted photos—and on several other occasions “groups of fascists” (as A.N.A.L. has described them in posts online) have been employed to take over the several doorways to the mansion and block entry to the property.

The group outwitted the blockade by erecting ladders from the sidewalks to the second-story windows.

The group at times numbers activist Lauri Love among its fellowship, whose legal case has been documented on this website. He faces extradition to the United States to face unspecified hacking charges and if he is sent to the U.S. and is convicted, faces multiple sentences that could add up to 99 years in prison.

A post from one hour ago (6:00 p.m. EST February 13) on the group’s Facebook page reads in part: “… the possession order was strictly for the land of the address, not the building itself, which effectively means they don’t have any power.”
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A Valentine’s Day Disaster

It was as if every wish I had made in childhood for a hole in the ground to open up and rescue me had been answered in reverse …

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I bear a scar from the first Valentine’s Day that I had a reason to celebrate as Valentine’s Day, as a part of a couple.

Until my current relationship, my romantic history was a long walk alone in an empty field, punctuated by moments in which I interrupted someone else’s walk, attempted to try a relationship, and discovered that I try people’s patience instead. (All the women I have dated are brilliant and accomplished and I was lucky to get to know them; I was stuck at age 15 for an astonishingly long time, however.)

My love right now, my soul mate, Jen, is quite brilliant and accomplished, and for the first time in my life, four-plus years now, I am an equal partner and have opened myself up to having an equal partner. Not too bad for a 48-year-old 15-year-old.
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