Massachusetts State House
Massachusetts State House
Free Ahed Tamimi
My name is Nasri Akil from Toronto, Canada. I started this campaign to support" Ahed Tamimi", her mother "Mariam", her cousin "Nur" and the other kids detained by the evil hands of the Zionists of the fake state of Israel. In a desperate hope to get enough signature to put pressure on decision makers to do something about the constant twisted detention of Palestinian kids. In turn this will expose the evil of the zionists and pressure the international community. I would like to mention here that this petition has nothing to do with race or religion or ethnicity. It's pure right against wrong. Zionism is not Judaism. Judaism is a religion not a race. Many Jews are not Zionists. Most Zionists are not Jews. Many Zionists hate Jews. Opposition to Israel is NOT anti-Semitism. Ahed Tamimi, 16, was arrested ( kidnapped actually ) by Israeli forces in the middle of the night. Since she was a young child, she has been active in weekly demonstrations against Israel’s theft of her family’s land in occupied Nabi Saleh. But as Tamimi stands against Israeli occupation, she underscores: whenever a people face oppression, we must show solidarity. Israeli soldiers shot Ahed Tamimi's relative in the head, leaving the teenage boy in a coma, and then invaded her family home. She demanded that the occupying Israeli soldiers leave her property immediately, shouting "don't touch me" and "leave!" Now she's in Israeli military detention, where 75% of Palestinian children report assault. Ahed is a child, and like thousands of Palestinian children she could be humiliated and abused if we don't get her out fast. She has become another child statistic of the countless other children detained illegally in Israel. Her court date is December 25th, 2017. She was taken into question at the Moscobiyeh prison, notorious for it's dungeon cell, torture tactics fully utilized on children, and extensive harassment. She was put in isolation, left in an icy cell, without proper food. In fives days she was moved three times. Why? To exhaust and break her. When her mother arrived to be there with her, she too was arrested. We demand that Ahed and all Palestinian children are released from Israeli prisons now. The international community must put an end to the ill-treatment and detention of Palestinian children. Enough is enough. Ahed Tamimi represent all the innocent kids in the Isareli detention and represent the Palestinians struggle against the illegal occupation of Palestine. Since 1967, Palestinian children in the Occupied Palestinian Territory have been living under Israeli military law and prosecuted in military courts. Israeli military law, which fails to ensure and denies basic and fundamental rights, is applied to the whole Palestinian population. Israel is the only country in the world that automatically prosecutes children in military courts that lack basic and fundamental fair trial guarantees. Since 2000, at least 8,000 Palestinian children have been arrested and prosecuted in an Israeli military detention system notorious for the systematic ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian children. Around 500-700 Palestinian children are arrested, detained and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system each year. The majority of Palestinian child detainees are charged with throwing stones, and three out of four experience physical violence during arrest, transfer or interrogation. Unlike Israeli children living in illegal settlements in the West Bank, Palestinian children are not accompanied by a parent and are generally interrogated without the benefit of legal advice, or being informed of their right. They are overwhelmingly accused of throwing stones, an offense that can lead to a potential maximum sentence of 10 to 20 years depending on a child’s age. AHED TAMIMI will go to trial on Christmas Day for slapping an Israeli soldier, illegally trespassing on her property, the day after her 15-year-old cousin was shot in the face. In December 2011, Mustafa Tamimi was killed during a protest in the village when an Israeli soldier shot him in the face with a tear gas canister. One year later, Israeli soldiers shot and killed Rashadi Tamimi in the village. One wonders why the "slap" is the Crime? I decided to do something about it and start with what I can. So that's why I am here asking you to help me help Ahed, her family and all the other kids. I also started a fund raising campaign on "GoFundMe" hoping to raise enough money to hire as many legal advisors to support Ahed and the others legaly in the court and get some justice. I mean enough is enough...I can't sleep I can't eat and these kids are experiencing all of that twist. Someone must do something. This is not right. This is not humanity. We cannot make this acceptable by doing nothing. I earnestly ask that at the very least, we make some noise in support of Ahed Tamimi and the other children that are held prisoners with no charge, no defense, all in violation of international laws. She is one, but we are many. It takes a united front to add pressure, to induce accountability and hopefully give freedom to the oppressed, weak and innocent. To Ahed and all the children in Israeli jails: We stand by your side, and are holding you in our hearts. We will not give up until you are free. You are not alone. As a wise man ounce said: "Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible" Sign. Support. Make Noise. Add Pressure. Be Human. what if Ahed was your daughter, sister or just a friend? What would you do?
Disability for Firefighters with Parkinson's Disease due to toxins on the job. (MA H.1455)
A fire can expose firefighters to millions of chemicals and toxins. We have become aware of the massive risks these toxins pose for first responders, who breathe them in, ingest them, and absorb them through the skin while putting their lives on the line. Most states have adopted “cancer presumptive laws,” meaning that if a firefighter gets cancer on the job, they are automatically awarded accidental disability to see them through their illness. But the increased rate of Parkinson’s Disease (PD), a degenerative brain disorder, in firefighters has mostly been ignored. I am a firefighter who was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s. I am not alone -- while the rate of PD in the general population is 3 out of 1000, it is 30 out of 1000 for firefighters. I am young to be experiencing this disease, but that’s often how it works for emergency responders, and there is mounting evidence that our exposure to burning chemicals is the culprit. I have 12 years left until I reach retirement, and, unfortunately, I am not sure I'll be able to keep working that long. My state of Massachusetts has great presumptive laws for firefighters, not only for cancer, but for heart and lung disease as well. It is now time for our legislators to include Parkinson’s Disease among these illnesses. We cannot ignore the connection between toxic chemical exposure and PD anymore. While PD usually develops slowly among the general population, symptoms often hit firefighters fast, seemingly out of nowhere. Research now suggests that toxin-induced PD has a more rapid onset than genetic PD, another indicator that we are, indeed, contracting this illness on the job. For those of us struggling with Parkinson’s, walking, talking, grasping and even blinking become increasingly difficult tasks to accomplish. Needless to say, continuing to work as firefighters while battling this disease is most often not possible. Indiana recently became the first state to include Parkinson’s in its presumptive law. This has provided unimaginable relief to many firefighters, who were running out of sick time, and facing unemployment and massive medical bills due to their debilitating disease. We now must band together and demand that more states recognize the link between firefighting and PD, and include PD among the illnesses covered by their presumptive laws. Please sign this petition to include Parkinson's in Massachusetts’ presumptive law, which would allow firefighters with Parkinson's to retire on full accidental disability.
Congress: Let all children of U.S. military service members unite with their families!
I’m Jenifer Bass, a U.S. Navy veteran, who served for 10 years, one-third in the Asia-Pacific region. It was due to my travel between ports in countries like Japan and Thailand that I first encountered amerasian children, and descendants, of U.S. service members and civilian contractors previously stationed overseas. Filipino Amerasians are abandoned and neglected biracial children of Filipino mothers and American fathers (mostly members of the US armed forces). In the Philippines alone, more than 52,000-plus children were born and left behind after the U.S. Navy withdrew the last of its military personnel in 1992. Right now, the U.S. government won’t legally recognize them as U.S. citizens, despite having been born to an American parent. The Philippine Embassy won't help them either. As a former US colony between 1898 and 1946, the Philippines was home to millions of US soldiers and their dependents, even after its independence. Until 1992, the country hosted two of the largest US military facilities outside the US – Clark Air Base and Subic Naval Base, which played major roles during the Vietnam and first Gulf wars. In 1982 US Public Law 97-359, or the Amerasian Act of 1982, allowed children from Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Kampuchea, or Thailand to move to the US and eventually become American citizens, but those who were from the Philippines were excluded from the law, an exclusion which was upheld by the US Senate on the basis that many Filipino Amerasians were “conceived from illicit affairs and prostitution”, and were born during peacetime. Today, there are estimated to be more than 250,000-plus children. Many amerasians are caught in a no-man’s land of discrimination and poverty -- most left behind by U.S. service members who are unaware that they’ve fathered children overseas. My friend John Haines is one of these sailors. In 2011, John discovered he was the father of a half-Filipino daughter, Jannette. He attempted to unite with her through the American Homecoming Act -- but was frustrated to learn that the Act did not apply to Filipino children of U.S. service members. Today, all John wants is to be united with his daughter and grandchildren. He, like so many other veterans are living with a “hole in their hearts” as they search for ways to unite with their children. There is hope. The Uniting Families Act of 2018, HR 1520, creates a specialized visa allowing military veterans and eligible civilian contractors to sponsor their children and grandchildren for U.S. citizenship. Currently, blood relationship must be proven by DNA test and the total number of visas granted will be capped at 5,000 each year. The issue takes on more urgency as so many of our veterans from our wars in Southeast Asia are getting older and dying each day -- without the chance to connect, or in some cases, reconnect with their own children. John’s daughter Jannette has already undertaken the DNA testing process, conclusively proving her relationship to her American father. All she’s waiting for is the opportunity to permanently unite with her father. There is a PBS documentary, "Left by the Ship" (2010), documenting a day in the life and the personal struggles as a Filipino amerasian on the never ending search for identity and their struggles to connect to their American military families. Please sign this petition to tell Congress that these families cannot wait another day. Pass the Uniting Families Act of 2017, HR 1520, now!
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.
To open and maintain more public ATV/Dirtbike Trails in MA
As of right now I am up to $750 in fines for simply riding an ATV on public town land. The areas in which I and other ATV/Dirtbike enthusiasts use are created by ATVs and Dirtbikes to go in and around areas like landfills and powerlines. These are not beautiful places to hike or walk your dog but they suit us just fine. The problem is our State's strict laws on offroad vehicle use. Basically, if you own an ATV in MA the only place you are able to ride is Pittsfield MA, which is practically in another state form where I live. Because of this I and many others head to their local spots. Some are old quarries, sandpits and powerlines. However these are all illegal and I can attest to that. Like I stated before I am up to $750 in fines for simply wanting to have fun and not bother anyone. The state is not doing its part in providing enough safe space for outdoor recreational use for all of its residents. In my town alone there are over 70 acres of protected land that are permissible to be used by foot, bicycle or horseback. Some of this army land looks like it was used for nuclear experiments (no growth in forest and all sand). Yet still these sandy areas, perfect for riding ATVs and dirt bikes, is still illegal. As riders and residents of Massachusetts we need to propose the State to do something about this. Riding ATV's and dirtbikes should not be considered a crime! There is a need to have more legal places to ride! In order to do this people need to register their machines. If everyone in the state registered their machines the state might be persuaded to take action. Massachusetts should also look to change the rules of legal dirt bike only areas to allow both ATVs and dirtbikes; for example Freetown State Forest and the Wrentham Trails. This would at least give ATV riders some other options without traveling 3 hours. Regardless we need to start a conversation with the State!
Naturopaths are not doctors: stop legitimizing pseudoscience
The purpose of this petition is to voice opposition to legitimizing naturopathy through state licensure and mandated insurance reimbursement. Naturopaths are attempting to become legally recognized as "primary care physicians" in all U.S. 50 states and become Medicare providers. This is a dangerous future. UPDATE: This petition has expanded to include Canada, where naturopaths are also aggressively lobbying for licensure in all provinces and inclusion in healthcare programs. In Canada and the U.S., naturopathic education is shared across the border via a common accrediting agency, the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (see below). Thus, a naturopath who graduated from Bastyr in Washington state can then become licensed in Ontario. It is only natural that opposition to NDs should be applied to all of North America. Naturopaths are not trained similar to physicians, nurse practitioners, or physician assistants. Naturopaths are trained in a hodgepodge of antiquated methods, mystical theories, and bare-bone fundamentals of medicine. Naturopathic students are required to master homeopathy, energy modalities, herbalism, chiropractic-like manipulations, and therapies involving heat and water. There is a strong emphasis on anti-vaccine promotion and alternative cancer treatments. This petition concerns naturopaths who graduated from programs approved by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education. These programs are attempting to circumvent comprehensive medical training by misrepresenting their academic rigor to lawmakers and the public. This is our chance to make a stand against pseudoscience masquerading as legitimate medicine. Please sign this petition to show your support for blocking naturopathic licensure, scope of practice expansion, and inclusion in federal and state health care programs. Naturopaths are not doctors, and they should not be treated as such. Below is a list of references with data and expert opinion on naturopathic education and practice: Atwood, Kimball C., IV (2003). "Naturopathy: A critical appraisal". Medscape General Medicine 5 (4): 39. Atwood IV, Kimball. C. (2004). "Naturopathy, pseudoscience, and medicine: Myths and fallacies vs truth". Medscape General Medicine 6 (1): 33. Barrett, Stephen (2013). "A close look at naturopathy". QuackWatch. Wilson, K. (2005). "Characteristics of Pediatric and Adolescent Patients Attending a Naturopathic College Clinic in Canada". Pediatrics 115 (3): e338–e343. Busse, Jason W.; Wilson, Kumanan; Campbell, James B. (2008). "Attitudes towards vaccination among chiropractic and naturopathic students". Vaccine 26 (49): 6237–6243. Wilson, Kumanan; Mills, Ed; Boon, Heather; Tomlinson, George; Ritvo, Paul (2004). "A survey of attitudes towards pediatric vaccinations amongst Canadian naturopathic students". Vaccine 22 (3-4): 329–334. Mielczarek, Eugenie V.; Engler, Brian D. (2014). "Selling Pseudoscience: A Rent in the Fabric of American Medicine". Skeptical Inquirer 38.3. Boon, Heather S.; Cherkin, Daniel C.; Erro, Janet; Sherman, Karen J.; et al. (2004). "Practice patterns of naturopathic physicians: Results from a random survey of licensed practitioners in two U.S. States". BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine 20 (4): 14. "Testimony in Opposition to H. 1992 and S. 1205, An Act to Create a Board of Registration in Naturopathy". Massachusetts Medical Society. Massachusetts Medical Society. Downey L, et al. (2010). "Pediatric vaccination and vaccine-preventable disease acquisition: associations with care by complementary and alternative medicine providers.". Matern Child Health J. 14 (6): 922–30. Lipson, Peter. (2016). Naturopaths: Fake Doctors in White Coats? Forbes. Caulfeild, Timothy. (2013). Don't legitimize the witch doctors. National Post. Palmer, Brian. (2014). Quacking All the Way to the Bank: Naturopaths are winning insurance coverage for medical nonsense. Slate. Various authors. Naturopathy vs Science. ScienceBasedMedicine.org. Bellamy, Jann. (2015). 2014: Chiropractors, naturopaths and acupuncturists lose in state legislatures. ScienceBasedMedicine.org. Hermes, Britt. (2015). ND Confession, Part 1: Clinical training inside and out. ScienceBasedMedicine.org. Hermes, Britt (2015). ND Confession, Part II: The Accreditation of Naturopathic “Medical” Education. ScienceBasedMedicine.org. Hermes, Britt. Naturopathic Diaries.
Remove the penalty that prevents people with disabilities from marrying!
When we think of marriage equality, we think about the ongoing fight LGBT couples face, but another minority group must deal with the stark reality that they are better off living in long-term committed relationships, without marriage. Like LGBT couples, these couples are denied the right to over 1,100 rights afforded to married couples. They have been denied access into their loved ones hospital rooms, faced family disputes over wills and have been denied spousal benefits from their partners workplace or the government in the event of their partners death. These are people with disabilities. Many people rely on the government for medical and financial assistance. Without medical insurance they would have no way to live independently. They would be forced into nursing homes (some already are), which would cost the government significantly more than getting Medicare and/or Medicaid does. At the same time, this assistance comes with a price. The government expects married couples to share income and that affects any assistance the couple receives. For many, their spouse makes too much (even if they make meager SSDI payments). This cuts into the healthcare services these couples receive. For some, their able-bodied partners make too much to allow them to qualify for medical assistance, if married, but not enough to pay out of pocket for costly medical equipment, medicine, or any other needs the disabled partner has. Add in the fact that even when a person with a disability can work, the opportunity for quality medical insurance is hard to find, due to their pre-existing condition and you will understand why many couples with disabilities are forced to live in domestic partnerships. Also, if two people with disabilities marry and they are on SSI or SSDI, their payments are CUT significantly, making it hard for them to maintain independence and afford their own food, shelter, clothing or other necessities. The time to stand up is now!! Let your Senators and Representatives know you want to remove the income caps placed on individuals with disabilities, so they can keep the government assistance and still be able to get married. Every loving couple deserves the right to marry. No one should have to choose between their wheelchair and their love, their therapy and their love, their medication and their love, their ability to eat or have a roof over their head and their love!! Those are not choices!! Help make it possible for those with disabilities to share their love without being penalized!Join our fight for marriage equality for people with disabilities:https://www.facebook.com/MarriageEqualityForPeopleWithDisabilities
Urge MA Legislators to Support Rape Survivor Rights
Earlier this year, I returned to the Massachusetts State House to testify on an issue that I am passionate about: justice for survivors of sexual assault. This journey began almost a year ago when I met a young woman who told me that the horror of her rape did not end with the crime itself. She described how traumatizing it was to not be informed of even her most basic rights. She explained to me how she struggled to locate her own rape kit and has lived, for several years, in a state of limbo, unsure whether it will be displaced or destroyed. Her experience is all too common. This broken system works against those it is supposed to serve and, equally important, against those who work within it to make Massachusetts a better place, people I was proud to work with as Attorney General. Currently, the lack of standardized and transparent procedures deprives 406,000 survivors living in Massachusetts of their basic liberties. After enduring the trauma of rape, survivors face secondary traumatization if systems remain opaque and inefficient. It also hamstrings the work of law enforcement, prosecutors, and advocates as they strive tirelessly to support survivors and their ability to pursue justice. As a former district attorney, I know that law enforcement works best when we work alongside victims of crime. When our policies promote trust and help serve the needs of the community, we are all safer. The Bill of Rights for Victims of Sexual Assault standardizes the best practices that we see working across the state and draws on the innovations that we’ve seen implemented across the country, from California to Washington, DC. This bill: · Protects access to a counselor: every survivor has a right to a sexual assault counselor. Waiving the right to a counselor once does not negate this.· Establishes air and efficient rape kit procedures: missing or destroyed kits are unacceptable. To prevent this and delays, a tracking system must be developed. This makes our communities safer and keep survivors out of a distressing state of limbo.· Prioritizes accountability and consistency: standardized procedures and access to clear information ensure that survivors understand their rights and options.· Guarantees fundamental rights, no matter what: civil rights should never be contingent on reporting or pursuing legal action.· Gathers diverse and experienced voices: assess progress and future actions with a task force made up of professionals who help survivors heal and seek justice, across diverse communities. Join me in urging state legislators and the governor to move swiftly to make this bill law and continue Massachusetts’ tradition as a leader in civil rights.
End Massachusetts motor vehicle EXCISE TAX
Every year we are charged excise tax, for the privilege of registration and use of our personal vehicles/property. However, we also pay to register these vehicles renew our driver license and registrations and have inspections every year, As well as Auto Insurance and car payments. When asked. we are told, a vague description of its uses. Such as, tax goes towards the "general fund" for "lawful purposes." How, are we to know what this money is actually used for. We are not shown documentation, As to where these funds are used. We hear the same old fable. That it goes toward maintenance of Roads. While a large percentage of streets and highways, are filled with potholes. Our towns and cities are crumbling beneath our tires. NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION
Call for Blue States to Move On
What happened to make this country the focus of judgment, laughter, and fear from the rest of the world? The industrialized world outside of the United States enjoys a better quality of life and general happiness that most of us can only imagine. First class education, comprehensive health care, clean food/water/air and an overall better relationship with their fellow citizens. And as a country, we have higher mortality rates at younger ages, poorer health, and an impoverished population who can't learn new skills without going deeper into debt. As much as we like to blame Donald Trump for our national problems; these problems were here before him, and they will still be here if Trump is removed from office tomorrow. We have a political system that centralizes power to a consolidated political center in Washington, DC and an economic center in New York City. Our Electoral System will isolate the power to determine the direction of our political system to a very small, easily manipulated portion of the electorate in a strategic location.Worst of all, we have a large portion of the population who will empower a mentally unstable man to the highest office in the world; just so they can say “We Won”. This group is constantly complaining about a simply lost world with plentiful jobs in their communities. And now, they have the nerve to complain about losing the federal government programs they benefited from and voted against.It's time we said “ENOUGH” and have Progressive States and Communities band together and share resources and ideas to provide a better quality of life for its people, that the Trump Administration wants to take away. And furthermore, we need to ensure that we only support States and Communities who will change their policies for its people. We can no longer provide assistance to the Red States, just so they can abuse and neglect their citizens for business interests. For the future of this nation, we need to explore every legal method possible to protect the people from an extremely dangerous President Trump. A Values-Based Alliance of the States (VBAS) is one way of resisting this new reality of government, and the dangerous changes that we all know are inevitable. I understand that the constitution will not allow us to directly stop this monstrosity, but it will allow us to devalue it. A VBAS of certain states with similar values and policy preferences can and will use its population centers and economic influence to co-op, share resources, and implement policies with other co-opted states, while not having to depend on or engage the federal government. Examples: There are certain states with a majority of people that believe single-payer healthcare system (CA, MA, VT, NY, WA, OR, IL, HI.). If those states passed laws to provide single payer health care for its people, a Single Payer Healthcare VBAS organization of those states can share resources to improve efficiencies, expand medical training/education amongst the co-opted states, negotiate pharmaceutical/treatment, amend needed tax policies and petition the US Government. This would also force neighboring states to decide if they want to change their internal policies to provide single payer, so they can join the Health Care VBAS. A resident of Indiana might ask his state to join the VBAS because he could literally see his next-door neighbor in Illinois fully covered, and using a Doctor that just came back from his training at a medical school in California.Although the VBAS states cannot legally sign the Paris accords, they can change their internal policies to abide by its recommendations. There could be an environmental protection VBAS, where the states involved agree to abide by the Paris accords, improve safety protocols within its states, take climate change seriously, and provide economic preference to states and nations that do the same. CA, OR, NY, MA, VT, WA HI, and NV could agree to be a preferred customer of states or nations that voluntarily reduce its carbon emissions and address climate change, instead of LA or TX, which most likely will not.Other issues could include minimum wage, education, trade agreements, gun control and virtually every policy not adjudicated solely by the federal government.As more VBASes are organized and more states agree to join them, Donald Trump and the ignorance of future presidents become less and less relevant. Please sign this petition and pass it on to as many people as possible.