Equifax must give FREE credit protection & monitoring services and more for LIFE
For the duration of each person’s lifetime, Equifax must provide for FREE, unlimited security freeze and unfreeze at all credit bureaus, credit monitoring (detection and alert) at all credit bureaus, credit score on a monthly basis, counseling and resources to fully resolve identity theft, and reimburse for any money stolen due to the data and identity theft. On Thursday, Equifax disclosed that a data breach it discovered on July 29 may have impacted as many as 143 million consumers in the United States. This will certainly impact your or someone you know. The data that was stolen were things that we cannot easily change, such as social security numbers, date of birth, name, address, driver's license number, among other information. What can someone do with this information? They can steal your identity. They can open and use credit cards or obtain loans with your information, and ruin your credit. They can go buy a mobile phone and get mobile service, compliments of your identity, and the bills will go to you. They can steal your identity to take a job and elect not to withhold taxes so that you are on the hook for the taxes. They can file a tax return and make it look like you get a refund, but the refund will be sent to the thieves. They can use your information to obtain medical care from a doctor and hospital, get expensive drugs and medical equipment with the bills going to you, and possibly resulting in a denial of medical services to you because your limits have been reached. After the thieves use your information to steal from you, your credit will start to get impacted. Unpaid bills will go on your credit. In our credit based society, you need good credit to rent an apartment or house based, obtain a job, obtain a student loan, open lines of credit for a credit card or for your small business loan, etc. The stolen data will persist and will retain its value to the attackers for years to come because we cannot change information, such as our SSN, DOB, and our names. Identity thieves will ruin what we have worked so hard for. The data is extremely valuable and greatly impact our everyday lives and future lives. Don't forget that children's identities are also valuable because they have clean credit to start with and most parents don't monitor their children's credit. Imagine your child trying to obtain a student loan, or getting his first job or apartment, but being denied for identity theft that happened years before. Equifax was careless, negligent, and reckless in their data security and now they only want to give the affected consumers 1 year of free credit monitoring, when they know full well how valuable the information is to the hackers and that the information is the key to our identities. Our personal data cannot be changed so identity theft can still take place years from now. The average victim spends nearly $500 and 30 hours resolving just one identity theft incident. Now consider how many credit cards can be applied for, how many mobile phones can be purchased, how many other things can and will happen during your life now that this information is out there in perpetuity and multiply this by the cost and time averages. Equifax must make this right by providing each service for free, for the duration of each person’s lifetime: Security freeze and unfreeze with all credit bureaus (unlimited), Credit monitoring (detection and alert) with all credit bureaus through a third party (Equifax cannot provide the detection and alert because Equifax cannot be trusted), Credit score on a monthly basis from all credit bureaus, Counseling and resources to fully resolve identity theft (through a third party because Equifax cannot be trusted), and Reimburse for any money stolen due to the data and identity theft.
Adverse effect of GOP tax bill on Graduate students in the US
Graduate students in the US are already living at the survival line. They are working hard to push forward the frontiers of science in all directions and trying to make a better tomorrow than today. Their disposable income is barely reaches 20k per year ( stipend for being TA or RA) and this money goes all to their consumption needs with almost nothing left to save. The new GOP tax bill is going to make the tuition waiver taxable which is estimated to cost each graduate student about $2000 a year and this will push most of the graduate students even lower the survival level. As a result, they should cut down their daily expenses to get along with the new budget and this means they will buy and consume less necessary stuff. On the other side, local businesses will suffer as well because students will spend less money in local restaurants, bars, games and etc. In all, this bill is going to put more financial pressure on graduate students and also hurt local businesses across the US. Please sign and share this petition to support all graduate students in the US and also opposing this unfair tax bill.
Safety of Public and Law Enforcement Threatened by Budget Cuts and Privatization
This week the Bureau of Prisons has started to eliminate roughly 14% (or 6,000) law enforcement positions throughout the Agency. This is catastrophic for the safety and security of our institutions and the community. The proposed cuts are coming at a time of severe understaffing in most of our federal prisons, because the BOP has left thousands of authorized correctional workers’ positions vacant all year. In 2005 the BOP instituted an initiative known as “Mission Critical” in which staffing at the BOP institutions was reduced to the minimal amount necessary to safely operate each facility. Since then we have continued to operate under this “bare bones” approach, which was less staff than what we really needed – the administration did not take into account leave usage, injuries, military service, emergency situations etc. when calculating these numbers. Since then, they have relied upon initiatives such as augmentation at various times (The term augmentation refers to the practice of using teachers, secretaries, nurses, etc. to cover the vacant correctional officer positions as opposed to hiring the law enforcement officers needed). They only left enough personnel in the prisons to cover essential operations, so whenever something happens outside of that, like inmate medical trips or staff using sick leave when they are ill or injured, the Agency is then forced to pay overtime to law enforcement officers to cover it. Their miscalculation in staffing led to massive amounts of overtime due to the sheer amount of disturbances and medical care in the institution, coupled with the injuries and stress borne by the staff. This leaves fewer staff able to respond to emergencies in the prison, and fewer to prevent violence and assaults. It also results in one law enforcement correctional worker supervising hundreds of dangerous felons - terrorists, gangs, and murderers – with no backup. This administration is setting the agency up for failure. As violence and recidivism rises, and our staff struggle to meet ACA accreditation requirements, the line staff will be blamed for these failures, and the administration will point to this as an excuse to contract out our law enforcement role to the private prison industry. The highly trained staff that work for this agency (30% of which are military veterans) have already proven that we provide the essential, inherently governmental function in a much more responsible and cost-effective manner than the private industry. The historical data and evidence backs this up without question. If we allow the administration to sabotage our operations with the dangerous staffing changes and policies, I’m confident that they will use the results against us, and I’m sure the shareholders in the private prison industry will profit from it. The number of staff assaults and inmate assaults continue to rise in the Bureau of Prisons, and it appears the agency is turning a blind eye to the safety of the community that we are sworn to protect from the nation's most violent offenders These poorly implemented tactics have led to the increased escape attempts and assaults within the BOP, for both inmates and our law enforcement personnel. Agency leaders have stated that assaults and escapes are the chances we take in this line of work. Its disheartening to know that they are willing to take chances with the safety of the community as well as the safety of the law enforcement that work behind the fences. We are asking that our elected officials properly fund our prisons, stop the reductions of safe staffing, and support our law enforcement officers. A vote for BOP cutbacks is a vote for unsafe prisons, unsafe communities and a vote against law enforcement. Call 202-224-3121 or 844-669-5146 and tell our law makers not to cut back on safety
Bill Summary This bill will require the creation and installment of a new student reporting system that will be accessed by all agencies that deal with children, create an educational seminar on child abuse incorporated into their early education curriculum and up through high school, add additional changes to the way Child Protective Services operates, and restrict records for deceased children from being redacted Background We have heard many stories of child abuse and neglect as a nationwide, systemic problem, citing case overloads as part of a bigger issue. According to the 26th Child Maltreatment Report created by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1575 child fatalities reported in 2011; 1619 child fatalities reported in 2012; 1551 child fatalities reported in 2013; 1583 child fatalities reported in 2014; and 1585 child fatalities reported in 2015, nationwide. In 2015, nationwide, 78.61% of those children were all school age or otherwise, < 2 years old. On May 22, 2013, Gabriel Fernandez, DOB February 20, 2005, received emergency response services due to full arrest as a result of approximately 8 months of child abuse and neglect at the hands of Pearl Sinthia Fernandez and Isauro Aguirre. Over the course of 8 months, over 50 reports were phoned into social workers to report abuse that went undocumented and unfounded, along with phone calls made to sheriff’s deputies, in regards to Gabriel. In particular, Gabriel’s teacher, Jennifer Garcia, made numerous phone calls to the social worker on his case, citing his injuries. Gabriel succumbed to his injuries on May 24, 2013, in what we know now as one of the worst cases of child abuse known to the United States of America. On November 15, 2017, Isauro Aguirre was found guilty of 1st-degree murder with special circumstances of torture. A trial for Gabriel’s mother, Pearl Sinthia Fernandez, and the four social workers involved with Gabriel’s case are still pending. When looking into other child abuse fatalities, it was found that the Department of Child and Family Services began redacting all of their records to prevent the community from researching cases. Transparency is vital to instill confidence in the agencies entrusted to protect children. According to “The economic burden of child maltreatment in the Unites States and implications for prevention” (Child Abuse and Neglect. The International Journal. Fang, Brown, Florence, Mercy 2012), cited by the Center of Disease Control, “The estimated average lifetime cost per victim of nonfatal child maltreatment is $210,012 in 2010 dollars, including $32,648 in childhood health care costs; $10,530 in adult medical costs; $144,360 in productivity losses; $7,728 in child welfare costs; $6,747 in criminal justice costs; and $7,999 in special education costs. The estimated average lifetime cost per death is $1,272,900, including $14,100 in medical costs and $1,258,800 in productivity losses. The total lifetime economic burden resulting from new cases of fatal and nonfatal child maltreatment in the United States in 2008 is approximately $124 billion. In sensitivity analysis, the total burden is estimated to be as large as $585 billion. Findings concluded that the cost of living children who suffered maltreatment, in 2008, estimated a lifetime amount of approximately $210,012, while those whose maltreatment resulted in fatality cost an estimated lifetime amount of approximately $1.3 million. Problem There is a systematic failure in communication with regards to the safety and welfare of at-risk children who depend on adults to protect them. Had there been a system in place to allow for all agencies to effectively communicate with one another, and track all reports and documents, in regards to any reported child abuse, that may have helped save Gabriel’s life. Children depend on adults for protection and safeguarding. We are in an era of technology where we have need to improve, exponentially, our ability and duties to safeguard children. Records for child abuse fatalities should be unsealed and social workers who have repeat fatalities need to be investigated and retrained. Solution I. A nationwide system needs to be installed, in all schools, child welfare agencies, law enforcement agencies, doctor’s offices, and district attorney’s office, that help mandated reporters create electronic SCAR (Suspected Child Abuse Report), allow the agencies to track reports and status of child abuse. a. The system shall have an alert for law enforcement and social worker of any extended absence that doesn’t have any parent contact/medical documentation over a 2-day period/as reported by the attending school. b. The system shall have an alert for law enforcement and assigned social workers and their supervisors of any non-enrollment of children within a 2-day period. c. The system shall have an alert for CPS supervisors for a daily review of any child that has repeated reports. d. In conjunction with each agency, especially if a school alert comes in, an immediate action plan is put in place to ensure the safety of the child. e. Doctor’s may flag any injury as possible child abuse which will create an electronic SCAR. f. District Attorney’s office will have the ability to create customizable reports and alerts based on criteria needed to help with cases and decisions made in regards to court cases and as needed. II. A child abuse curriculum needs to be created and implemented starting at early education and moving up through high school. This curriculum needs to be implemented into the foster system and the juvenile hall system as well. The curriculum should include a discussion on all forms of abuse, from sexual harassment/sexual assault to all types of child abuse that can occur within the home. III. Specific changes need to be made within the Child Protective Services to ensure adequate and complete recording. a. Assign nurses to social workers for house visits and documentation of any abuse to any child. b. Social workers assigned to Child Protective Services need to be able to handle the caseloads and demonstrate effective investigative and communicative skills. The requirement is 40 hours of in-service training to advance from CSW II to CSW III. c. If a worker cannot perform their tasks effectively, there needs to be immediate consequences or corrective discipline to ensure the safety of children in their care. d. Supervisor technique training needs to be provided to all current and future supervisors, to help ensure supervisory skills. Additionally, they need to also have all the knowledge of working as a Child Protective Services social worker prior to being a supervisor for that department. e. Computer systems must be well maintained and updated on a 5-year basis, to the most current technology, to keep up with efficiency. f. Any fatalities under a social worker must be thoroughly investigated and the worker must be removed from the Child Protective Services department until uptraining is completed and they can prove themselves capable of the position. g. Mandatory recorded interviews with social worker, nurse, and interviewee. IV. Law Enforcement needs to be accountable and understand that child abuse claims are not only important but need to be documented. a. Any type of child abuse needs to be reported, via the new system, which will generate a SCAR b. Any call to a scene should include an address lookup to see if there are children residing at the residence and if there are any child abuse reports made, to make sure they have a well-rounded understanding of what they are walking into. c. The alert for suspected child abuse reports should be reviewed by Special Victims Unit, or a specific unit, to ensure that follow up. V. Educational institutes should have the ability to have access to the system and file reports based on extended absences, tardiness or signs of abuse. a. Teachers should be able to file a SCAR from their desk in their classroom b. An alert from school should immediately trigger with Law Enforcement and Child Protective Services. VI. Doctor’s office will be able to flag and note a child’s record in ways that will flag agencies depending on the situation. a. Extended absences will be flagged to go directly to school’s attendance office and immediately alert school of extended absence. b. The doctor can flag any abnormalities that appear to be child abuse that will create a SCAR to alert Child Protective Services of injuries and suspicions. VII. All documents pertaining to a deceased child shall be made available, via an amendment to privacy laws, with all redaction markings removed. VIII. Increase Statute of Limitations for felony child abuse should be increased from 3 years to 6 years. In Many cases, children are not aware that they are victims to begin with. Often, it is not a single event, but consecutive instances over a span of time which requires that the statute be extended to the point where the victim first files a report of abuse. IX. Failure to Report Child Abuse should be changed from a straight misdemeanor to a “wobbler” with a 3 or 6-year statute of limitations. Negligence to report abuse is not an acceptable excuse to prevent a child from obtaining criminal action. Purposefully declining or avoiding to file a report of abuse should be met with the more severe penalty. X. Children who are in a coma or dying in manners consistent with murder or suspected foul play must undergo autopsy once deceased. XI. Mandatory Child Abuse Education classes for all new welfare applicants. XII. Adults living in a household, and witnesses to abuse of any minors within that household, who fail to report or try to prevent abuse to minors shall be charged as follows: a. Non-fatal injury to child - Accomplice to Child Abuse – min. 1-year b. Child Abuse resulting in fatal injury – Accomplice to Child Abuse resulting in Fatality – min 10 year.
Impeach Donald Trump on Day One
On January 20, 2017, Donald J. Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States. On January 20, 2017, the United States House of Representatives must, as a matter of law and constitutional duty, initiate impeachment proceedings against the president as soon as he speaks the words of the presidential oath. Mr. Trump's expressed intent to not fully divest from some of his business holdings, put him in immediate violation of the Emoluments Clause of the United States Constitution (Article I, Section 9) when he swears the oath of the presidency on Inauguration Day. The Emoluments Clause is meant to deter the foreign governments from buying influence with federal officials. That's just the tip of the iceberg. We are seeing nearly daily examples of ineptitude and belligerence by the president-elect and his transition team that suggest very strongly that he is not fit to lead. 17 intelligence agencies have concluded that Russians engaged in cyber espionage against the United States, specifically with the intention of assisting Mr. Trump in a victory over his Democratic opponent. The FBI and CIA have concluded that these directives came directly from Russian President Vladimir Putin. Mr. Trump denies knowledge of this crime against our country despite being confronted with it in all three Presidential debates and himself calling for a hostile foreign power to commit an act of cyber warfare on an American political candidate, in and of itself a potentially treasonous act. The Constitutional authority to initiate impeachment proceedings against an American president rests with the U.S. House of Representatives, and any member of the House may initiate impeachment proceedings. The constitution very specifically lays out what constitutes basis for impeachment and what doesn't: Treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. Once a congressperson initiates the proceedings, the matter is directed to the House Judiciary Committee for further review. Here is my expanded piece on Donald Trump's violation of the Constitution such that the House should initiate impeachment proceedings immediately, live now at The Huffington Post. - My name is Alex Mohajer and I am the Political Director of Bros4Hillary, a political progressive advocacy organization that has been at the forefront of a grassroots movement to ensure the integrity of our free and fair elections. In 2016 we received national media attention for our work and were named to LGBTQ Nation's Top 8 People Working To Elect Hillary Clinton. I am also a contributing writer and commentator for the Huffington Post. You may tweet me at @alexmohajer.
Congress: Americans are Innocent Until Proven Guilty. Pass Civil Forfeiture Reform Now!
For over 35 years, I’ve run a dairy farm in rural Maryland. Through hard work, my wife and I built up a modest nest egg. But five years ago, the IRS seized our entire bank account—more than $60,000. In February 2012, two government agents came to my farm and told me they seized the account simply because my wife and I deposited cash in the bank in amounts under $10,000. I’m not a criminal, just a small-business owner who handles a lot of cash. We mainly sell milk at farmer’s markets, where customers usually pay in cash. My wife and I were never charged with a crime. But that didn’t stop the government from confiscating our hard-earned money. Thanks to “civil forfeiture,” the government can seize private property even if the owner hasn’t been convicted or charged with a crime. After years of fighting and with help from the Institute for Justice, I won back every single penny the IRS wrongfully took. But the civil forfeiture laws are still on the books and continue to harm thousands of ordinary Americans. In fact, just this week the Department of Justice announced that it was increasing the use of civil forfeiture to take property from Americans without convicting them of a crime.This needs to end, for good. Twenty civil rights organizations including the Institute for Justice, ACLU, and many others, have already called on Congress to pass reform, and now I'm hoping that you will join them. That’s why I’m calling on Congress to pass three bills—the RESPECT Act, the DUE PROCESS, and the FAIR Act—and stop the feds from taking other Americans' hard earned money.
Responsibilities Required From Social Media Regarding Military Romance Scamming
THE CAUSE: Military Romance Scammers are all over social media networks. These scammers use pictures, names and valor's of men and women who are actively serving in our military, retired or are deceased. The scammers are aware how highly Americans think and feel for their military and they use this to pull at the heart strings of vulnerable men and women. Working with a retired Colonel from the United States Army whose pictures, name and child have been used in the scammers story, I have come to realize just what an epidemic this is. Unfortunately, many of the victims are afraid, ashamed, and embarrassed to come forward. Many just want to forget about the scam and move on with their lives. That is why I bring this petition to you. Due to the overwhelming numbers of fraudulent accounts throughout social media and the unidentified number of victims, we need to be the voice. Social Media has a great amount of power, and with power comes an abundance of responsibility. THE BATTLE: Because of the majority of military romance scammers residing in other countries, the United States has very little jurisdiction over these criminals, therefore we must work from where and what we know, and that is through the United States and our legislative system. We are looking to encourage social media sites to provide more public service announcements by way of television, movie theater ads, magazines, radio, etc. and provide additional man power to their fraudulent account tracking system as well as upgrading their security system to recognize these duplicated accounts that are recreated literally moments to hours after being deleted. Facial recognition does not solve all problems, especially when these scammers are using generic pictures (flowers, hearts etc.) on their profiles and cyber security is unable to recognize this discrepancy. OUR PROPOSAL: We are working hard to find a Champion to take on our proposal to amend the 230 Communications Decency Act of 1996 with the focus on identity theft. When this law was put into place 20 years ago there was little to no thought of the extreme type of crimes that could and or would be posted onto the social media platforms. This law gives social media a "get out of jail free" card, in other words, they are not held responsible for anything posted to their site by their own consumers. These sites are used as breeding grounds, and the social media companies are fully aware. We are not people who promote regulation, however it is very obvious, in previous news stories and with our own investigation, that self regulation is not the answer to consumer safety and security. We are proposing routine technology upgrades, additional staff to match growing population and ongoing up to date education. Items that are not successfully being done under self regulation. PERSONAL NOTE: I am a very proud daughter to a mother who served in our Navy, and brother and father who served in our Army. I also have multiple cousins, aunts and uncles who have served and the thought of our military being abused and disrespected is appalling! My mothers friend fell victim to a scammer using the pictures of the Colonel I am currently working with, thus being the reason I have become so involved. I, like many others, had no idea what an epidimic this has become and what little is being done. Social Media needs to take on more responsibility for this breeding ground than they already have, not just for the sake of the victims, but for the sake of our security, and Military whose job is to protect us. What security is social media providing them? Obviously, not the right kind. Scammers are the cancer to the social media world and it's time our companies and legislature took a stand and initiative to help prevent such illness within our military community and every day victims.
MAKE IT A FEDERAL CRIME TO KILL A CHILD.
MAKE IT A FEDERAL CRIME TO KILL A CHILD. Our most precious resources must be protected. They are vulnerable and innocent. Babies and children and being killed in hundreds per year. This is not acceptable in this great country of ours. Stronger laws are greatly needed to punish these people that prey on our children. Whether a stranger or a family member, these individuals must be held accountable. Some states are not doing their jobs well. There is great disparity in sentencing or even convictions. Some individuals are pleaded out and serve little to no sentencing time. This injustice cannot continue. All of you, President Trump, House Representative Goodlatte, and all house members have children and grandchildren. Put yourselves in the position of having a child sexually assaulted, gravely injured and there is no justice. Only then, could you possibly imagine the pain you would feel. Us, child advocates like myself, want the government to pay attention to these hushed crimes. Children cannot advocate for themselves, and dead children cannot cry out for help. Please help. Please listen to our pleas. Thank you!
Bring pets in during freezing temperatures
There are many cold days during the winter months in Virginia. Many animals are left out in the cold during these months. This petition is to inforce bringing all pets indoors when the temperature outside is below 32 degrees. This petition also suggests that animals should not be left outside for more than 3 hours during these freezing temperatures. Animals deserve to have food, water and a warm shelter just like we do.
Pass H.R. 2737: Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2015
On June 11, 2015, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and Sen. Mazie Hirono introduced HR 2737 & S 1555 respectively as the Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2015. The pending legislation, “directs the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives to make appropriate arrangements for the award of a single Congressional Gold Medal to the Filipino Veterans in recognition of their dedicated service during World War II.” Other groups have been formally recognized by the United States with the Congressional Gold Medal for World War II service; they include the Tuskegee Airmen, Montford Point Marines, Navajo Code Talkers, Women Air Service Pilots, Japanese American Nisei Soldiers and Puerto Rican Soldiers. Filipino World War II Veterans are equally deserving of this honor. In order to pass HR 2737, the bill requires sponsorship from 290 congressional representatives, S 1555 needs 67 senators. Today, HR 2737 has 312 cosponsors, S 1555 has 71. I would like to ask your assistance in reaching out to your congressional representative to get their support as a sponsor for the pending legislation. Time is not on our side; the number of remaining Filipino Veterans is fast decreasing. We need to pass these bills before the 114th Congress come to a close at the end of the year.