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Debate Central / Is Ted Cruz in hypocrite mode again?
« on: Today at 02:18:20 PM »
Ted Cruz Introduces Bill Limiting Pronouns and Names Despite Going by His Own Chosen Name

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, legally named Rafael Edward Cruz, has introduced a bill in the U.S. Senate titled the Safeguarding Honest Speech Act. The legislation proposes prohibiting federal funds from enforcing policies requiring federal employees to use preferred pronouns or names other than an individual’s legal name.

The Safeguarding Honest Speech Act states that the bill is "to prohibit the use of funds to implement, administer, or enforce measures requiring certain employees to refer to an individual by the preferred pronouns of such individual or a name other than the legal name of such individual, and for other purposes."

Cruz introduced the legislation along with U.S. Rep. Andy Ogles, a Republican from Tennessee.

"Forcing anyone to use pronouns that don’t accord with a person’s biological sex is an unconstitution al violation of the First Amendment. As the Supreme Court held, ‘If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion.’ The government has no business compelling anyone to use pronouns that contradict biological reality,” Cruz said in a joint-press release about the bill on November 17.

Ogles added: “Can you imagine getting reprimanded or fired from your job for not using an individual’s ‘preferred pronouns’? Unfortunately, that is exactly what the Biden regime has imposed in its latest guidance from the Department of Health and Human Services. The radical Left is actively coercing the speech of individuals – all in service of a delusional woke agenda. The American people shouldn’t be asked by their government to subsidize violations of the Constitution of the United States."

This move by Cruz, who is widely known by a nickname for his middle name, “Ted,” rather than his legal first or middle name, Rafael Edward, has sparked a debate not only about the bill’s potential impact on the LGBTQ+ community but also about the perceived irony in the senator’s personal name usage. Critics, including advocacy groups and members of the LGBTQ+ community, also view the bill as regressive in recognizing and respecting gender identity in federal workplaces.

Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, addressed the bill’s implications and the inconsistency in Cruz’s name choice in a statement to The Advocate.

“Anti-LGBTQ extremists attempting to erase trans people by purposely ignoring their pronouns, gender, and authentic name are nothing new. In fact, we even have names for these insidious acts: misgendering and deadnaming. This latest attempt by Senator Cruz, who does not go by his own legal name, to prohibit the federal government, the nation’s largest employer, from respecting employees’ authentic name and pronouns, is not only dangerous and demeaning, it’s hypocritical,” Ellis said.

Ellis’s statement highlights the severe effects of misgendering and deadnaming, practices that show disrespect for a transgender person’s gender identity and can lead to psychological distress, discrimination, and violence. This perspective from GLAAD emphasizes the potential harm of the bill and the critical nature of its implications.

Brandon Wolf, national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, also criticized the bill. He focused on the contrast between Cruz’s personal name choice and the bill’s emphasis on legal names.

“The irony of Ted Cruz, who is known by his chosen nickname, attempting to use the government to police the names that others use is lost on no one. This bill is a shameful attempt to control others and will be rejected,” Wolf said.

Cruz’s office did not respond to a request for comment from The Advocate.

A focal point of the Safeguarding Honest Speech Act is deadnaming, a practice central to the debate. Deadnaming, the act of referring to a transgender person by their former name without their consent, is not only an invasion of privacy but also undermines the individual’s true, authentic identity. Not only can deadnaming cause emotional distress, but deadnaming can expose transgender people to discrimination and violence, compromising their safety and well-being.

When it comes to pronoun use, the Trevor Project’s 2021 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health found that transgender and nonbinary youth who had their pronouns respected attempted suicide at half the rate of those who did not. This starkly illustrates the critical importance of respecting an individual’s chosen name and pronouns, underscoring the potentially harmful consequences of legislation like Cruz’s bill.

The legislation is not expected to go anywhere under Democratic control of the Senate.

...because some are held in the "garage".. ???

Sacramento sergeant disciplined for arresting man for being drunk in public in his own garage

After letting the man out, he entered the garage, yelling at the deputies near the garage door opening. Polete decided to arrest him for being drunk in public, according to an April 20, 2020, letter from Chet Madison, then a chief deputy.

..the road" photos  ;D O0:

The Single & Dating Scenes / Can you find true love on OnlyFans?
« on: November 29, 2023, 10:15:29 PM »
Teen Mom’s Farrah Abraham Reveals She Met Boyfriend on OnlyFans, Made Him Sign NDA

Following first being introduced on OF, Abraham and her now-boyfriend matched via a dating app after she spent three months working with a dating and relationship coach. The two became official in late September, and she revealed she made him sign a non-disclosure agreement.

...truck in the near future:

Toyota’s upcoming 2024 Tacoma is pushing the beloved pickup to new heights. Adding to the mix is the addition of solid-state battery tech inside the Tacoma. Unfortunately, this advanced type of battery isn’t quite big enough to power the vehicle and is tasked with only powering part of the sound system.

Marriage & Family Life / Can she be a good stepmom? I don't think so
« on: November 29, 2023, 06:09:22 PM »
Susan Smith, nearing parole after murders of young sons, says she'd be 'good stepmom': report
The South Carolina woman gained notoriety in 1994 when she claimed a Black man took her kids, before admitting she sent car into lake with kids strapped in

Notorious South Carolina inmate Susan Smith reportedly told one of several suitors that she would make a "good stepmom" as her first parole hearing approaches in her life sentence for drowning her two boys.

Smith, 52, also told her admirer on the recorded jailhouse phone call from Leath Correctional Institution last month that she "could see [herself] around kids," per transcripts obtained by The Messenger.

"You'd be great, babe," responded the suitor, one of more than half a dozen corresponding with Smith, the outlet reported.

Per South Carolina Department of Corrections records, Smith began her 29-year sentence on Nov. 4, 1994, after she was convicted on two counts of murder in the deaths of sons Michael Daniel Smith, 3, and Alexander Tyler Smith, 14 months.

Initially, then-22-year-old Smith told investigators that a Black man had carjacked her while the two boys were still inside the car.

Days later, she wept alongside husband David Smith on national television, pleading for their safe return:

"Your mama loves you so much," she said during one news conference.

But ultimately, Smith admitted that there was no carjacker – she let her car roll into John D. Long Lake and watched as the vehicle sunk with the two children still strapped into the car seats.

Her prospective affair partner and ex-boyfriend, Tom Findalay, penned a letter a week earlier that prosecutors said drove Smith to drown the boys:

"Susan, I could really fall for you. But like I have told you before, there are some things about you that aren't suited for me, and yes, I am speaking about your children," he wrote, per Deseret News.

Michael Daniel Smith, 3, and his 14-month-old brother Alexander Tyler Smith, are shown in a family photo. Prosecutors argued that Smith drowned the two boys to garner the affections of an affair partner who didn't want kids – but Smith has long argued that she suffered a psychotic breakdown. (Reuters)

But Smith has long argued that she did not drown her children for a man's sake, claiming instead that she had a psychotic breakdown.

Now, relatives are not shocked by the near half-dozen men who have reached out to Smith while she's behind bars, telling The Messenger that "guys have always flocked to Susan."

"She's always been into guys, obviously," one relative told the outlet. "It would be the best case scenario for her, to be in a relationship. So she's hoping to find the right man to live with if she gets out."

David Smith holds up a picture of his murdered sons Michael and Alex after his ex-wife Susan Smith was sentenced to life imprisonment on two counts of murder in Union, South Carolina. A relative of Smith's former husband said he intends to oppose Smith's parole next year. (Reuters)

With her first parole hearing scheduled for Nov. 4, 2024, the mother plans to request her release.

Former husband David Smith – who appeared by her side on national news stations during the fruitless search for their dead children and was later pictured weeping at the boys' funerals – intends to oppose her release.

"David still thinks of his boys every day, and doesn't ever want Susan to get out," one of the man's relatives told The Messenger. "She belongs in jail… she is exactly where she needs to be – in prison. And we will do what it takes to keep her there."

Grief-stricken David Smith is pictured weeping amid a crowd of mourners as he leaves the funeral for his kids Michael and Alex. (Thomas S. England/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Smith's suitors are vying to help her post-release, per conversations reviewed by the outlet, offering her money and accommodations .

One man offered her a car, another offered her a place to stay with his relatives when she is paroled, while another spoke in recorded conversations about moving in together and starting a family.

One of the men told the outlet that he "just [found Smith] interesting and misunderstood" and that the woman is "not what you think she is."

"She's a good person who did something terrible when she was young and not in her right mind – people can change," he told the outlet.

Smith's search for love has gone on inside prison walls, too, with People reporting an illicit sexual relationship with a prison guard alongside marijuana use and self-mutilation in her disciplinary record.

When she isn't flirting with prospective post-release lovers, Smith often speaks with friends and family about her potential parole:

"Prepare now what you will say when you're given the chance to speak at your parole," Smith's friend Ruth said in a recorded May phone call, according to The Messenger.

"Say you were young and may have had postpartum depression, which can last as long as three years after birth," the friend continued. "I will keep you in my prayers. Meanwhile, get your speech ready for the Parole Board. It won't be easy."

General Discussion / So Asians scare White folks that much eh?
« on: November 29, 2023, 06:04:26 PM »
Fear of Competition? Research Shows That When Asian Students Move In, White Families Move Out

Asian Americans increasingly find themselves at the center of scorching debates over educational opportunity and fairness, whether related to admissions practices at highly selective colleges or pressing concerns over social exclusion in school.

Now research evidence demonstrates that they face racial isolation simply by entering the classroom. A recent study of wealthy California suburbs finds that white families drift away from public schools as more Asian students enroll in them — and fears over academic competition, rather than outright racism, may play the biggest role in driving the departures.

Circulated this summer by the National Bureau of Economic Research, the paper offers an unusually granular view of population-level changes in a highly affluent and desirable milieu. It also reveals a stark and somewhat disturbing response to the presence of Asian Americans, one of the fastest-growing and highest-achieving ethnic groups in the United States.

My Husband and I Hired a Sex Worker. Then I Think We Crossed a Line.
I hope we didn’t make some kind of faux pas.

My husband and I are in our late 40s, having been married for 16 years and together longer than that. We both recently and completely separately got promotions at our respective jobs, which means a sudden huge boost to the household income and a serious urge to celebrate. We managed to get the kids to spend a weekend with their cousins and decided to party it up while they were gone. Part of that partying involved hiring an escort. I don’t want to reveal where we live, but this is perfectly legal where we are, as long as you do it through an agency. A very nice young woman, let’s call her “Daisy,” came over shortly before noon and stayed until maybe 20:30. There was a lot of sex, and everyone enjoyed themselves. But there is one part of it that gave me a little pause.

It was getting near suppertime, and while my husband and I had broken off to eat a bit, Daisy hadn’t had anything except some water she had brought with her. We were planning on ordering some food and asked if she wanted anything, especially since she hadn’t eaten since at least lunchtime. She got this almost frightened look and said she wasn’t supposed to take food from clients. But then, about a second later, she said she would like some vegetable rolls but we absolutely had to promise not to tell anyone. We do this, order the food, and she practically tears those rolls apart. Again, she asks us not to tell anyone before she eventually leaves later on.

I want to be sex-positive and support sex workers. And I hope we didn’t make some kind of faux pas or caused some kind of trouble for Daisy. But it was strange and didn’t make any sense that she couldn’t eat on the job, especially if we were feeding her. And, I mean, we had her over for almost nine hours—of course she’d get hungry in the meantime. What exactly is she supposed to do? Did we do something awful that we should try to make amends for?


You didn’t do anything awful you need to make amends for. And if Daisy broke some rule of her agency or booker, the last thing you should do is draw attention to it by making an apology.

When I first started appearing at conventions, I was warned against taking food or drink from attendees. Even accepting a sealed bottle of soda or water would get a skeptical eye from some more experienced co-workers. The reason being that while most people are, well, not trying to drug you (for nefarious reasons, no less), someone might be. Daisy might have weighed her hunger and made a judgment call based on the fact that the food was coming from a restaurant. Nine hours is a long time to go without food, though, so I’m puzzled as to why she didn’t bring her own. If you decide to hire an escort again for a long session, you might mention your absolutely normal habit of eating regularly to the agency and see what they say. You might try something like “We’ll be ordering dinner halfway through and want to know whether Roxie has any dietary restrictions.”

Shimano Was the Victim of a Ransomware Attack and Didn’t Pay the Ransom. Hackers Then Published a LOT of Data.

Shimano, one of the world’s leading cycling component manufacturers, came under fire from hackers at the beginning of the month, when the company was the victim of a ransomware attack involving 4.5 terabytes of sensitive company data.

Who perpetrated the ransomware attack?
According to Cycling News, “The attacker, LockBit, is a cybercrime group that uses malware to breach sensitive company data and then attempts to extort money in exchange for avoiding its public release.

“Cyber-crime protection company Flashpoint describes it as the world's ‘most active’ ransomware group, saying it is responsible for 27.93 percent of all known ransomware attacks.”

What kind of data was leaked?
Escape Collective first reported earlier this month that the hackers threatened to publish 4.5 TB of confidential data unless Shimano paid an unspecified ransom. The leaked data includes, according to Escape Collective, confidential employee details, financial documents, a client database, and other confidential company documents.

The hackers put a deadline on the ransom for November 5, 2023. And when demands were not met, the notice on LockBit’s website changed, stating that “all available data [had been] published”. But there was no corresponding download link to access the data.

Until recently. Escape Collective updated their report late last week saying that when contacted, “a cyber-security firm active in the space suggested that the delay in publication could indicate Shimano was in negotiations. Multiple attempts to contact LockBit itself via Sonar, a web messenger in the Tor darknet browser, went unanswered.”

..shoveling snow  ;D:

More than 40 inches of snow blankets the Northeast as storm snarls morning commute

Significant winter weather hit communities across the interior Northeast on Wednesday morning, causing at least one fatal road accident and potentially bringing chaos to the morning commute.

As expected, more than 40 inches of snow fell over the past two days over parts of the Great Lakes and interior Northeast in the first significant lake-effect snow event of the season.

The heaviest snowfall was recorded at Constableville, New York, where 42.7 inches landed.

All lake-effect snow warnings expired at 7 a.m. Wednesday, but some scattered snow showers will continue across the Great Lakes throughout the day. Heavy snowfall is not expected through the rest of Wednesday, but 1 or 2 inches of snow will still be possible.

Here's the link to that thread over 5 years ago:,395486.msg4931854.html#msg4931854

So after 5 years, my AGM battery dropped a notched to 12.4 volt. It's still good but should be 12.6 volt or more so I trickle charged it and went back to the healthy range. Still working well after all these years and countless starts  O0:

Rose Bertram’s 5 Photos From Curaçao That We Can’t Get Over
The Belgian model made her third consecutive SI Swimsuit appearance in 2017

I took these photos of Curacao not too long ago:

General Discussion / Oxymoron in Texas
« on: November 28, 2023, 10:53:11 PM »

Texas AG’s office argues women should sue doctors — not state — over lack of abortion access

Lawyers in the Texas attorney general’s office said Tuesday that women should sue their doctors, not the state, over a lack of access to abortion in defending the state’s strict law.

Beth Klusmann of the Texas Attorney General’s Office made that point in oral arguments before the state Supreme Court in a case challenging Texas’s abortion ban, which bars doctors from providing abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected — typically around six weeks into pregnancy — with exceptions only for cases in which the life of the mother is at risk.

“If a woman is bleeding, if she has amniotic fluid running down her legs — then the problem is not with the law,” Klusmann said. “It is with the doctors.”

Klusmann was responding to plaintiffs in the case, who had charged the legislation had plunged the state into a “health care crisis.”

The lawsuit in Zurawski v. Texas was brought by 22 women who said that state law had forced them to carry nonviable and dangerous pregnancies to term — in other words, to go through the ordeal of pregnancy with a fetus that would not survive, and that in many cases was putting them at serious risk.

The suit brought by the Center for Reproductive Freedom charges that many of the 22 women were denied care because, despite the severity of the damage that the nonviable pregnancy was doing their body, doctors told them they weren’t quite sick enough for it to be clearly life threatening.

Forty businesses have also signed a brief in support of the suit — arguing that ambiguities in the law have incurred a substantial financial cost: nearly $15 billion in lost revenues, and businesses and employees leaving the state.

The plaintiffs argued that the 2021 law flew in the face of a long history of doctors being allowed to determine when abortion was necessary to preserve the health of the mother under state law — even when the procedure, in general, was not legal.

They contended that while the legislation included language intended to allow abortions in life-threatening cases, it was so vaguely worded — and its penalties so harsh — that it amounted to a total ban that threatened the lives of mothers already carrying babies who would not survive.

“The last two years are an aberration from a centuries-long practice in Texas that allowed physicians broad discretion over when abortion was necessary to preserve their patient’s lives,” said Molly Duane, an attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights.

For most of Texas history, Duane argued to the court, doctors in the state were allowed to perform abortions if they had a “good faith” belief that they were necessary to save the life of the mother.

That changed in 2021, when the state Legislature passed Senate Bill 8, which exposed Texas doctors to harsh penalties — potential life in prison, loss of their medical license and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines — if they perform an abortion on a fetus with a heartbeat.

“The abortion bans, as they exist today, subject physicians like my clients to the most penalties imaginable,” Duane said.

That ban holds even for complicated pregnancies where the fetus would not survive birth — something that in August caused a district judge to block the prosecution of doctors who performed abortions in those cases.

The same day that ruling came down, the office of Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) appealed it to the state Supreme Court — effectively keeping the ban in place.

Paxton’s office argued the suit was unnecessary, because the language in the ban allowed abortions in the case of “a life-threatening physical condition aggravated by, caused by, or arising from a pregnancy” that put the mother at risk of death or serious physical impairment.

In court, the state argued that the 22 women suing the state were the wrong plaintiffs going after the wrong target.

First, Klusmann argued that the women had no standing to challenge the 2021 law — because it targeted doctors, not pregnant women themselves.

Second, she argued that women with complicated and dangerous pregnancies should have no problem obtaining abortions under the law, and that they should be taking up their grievances with the doctors who had denied them the procedures they now argued were medically necessary rather than the state.

A woman risking death if she doesn’t get an abortion, Klusmann argued, would clearly “qualify for a medical emergency exemption. And so, if she has to come to court to make that happen, that is not the state’s fault.”

Judges honed in on that point, which opened the door to the broader argument that the women have no standing to bring a suit against the state because the people who injured them are their doctors.

In the case of a woman denied a medically necessary abortion, “why isn’t she suing her doctors? That sounds like medical negligence to me?” Justice Brett Busby asked.

“I disagree, Your Honor, because, as all of our patient-plaintiffs have testified, their doctors didn’t know what to do. Their hands are tied. The law acknowledges that physicians should not be waiting until death is imminent — and yet they are,” Duane said.

She gave the example of Amanda Zurawski, the woman who gave her name to the wider legal challenge — one of three dozen with similar cases who joined the suit.

In August 2022, Zurawski’s doctors told her that because of a problem with her cervix, her pregnancy — then at nearly 18 weeks — was no longer viable.

Because doctors could not perform an abortion, they sent her home, where her water broke. She rushed back to the emergency room — and, according to the legal complaint, found herself in a terrible limbo.

Because the fetus still had a heartbeat, and because she was not yet showing the signs of acute infection that would soon almost kill her, the doctors told her they had no option but to send her home, the complaint said.

“At this point, absent Texas’s abortion bans, a patient in [Zurawski’s] situation would have been offered an abortion or transferred to a facility that could offer the procedure,” the complaint read.

“But [Zurawski] was offered neither because the hospital was concerned that providing an abortion without signs of acute infection may not fall within the Emergent Medical Condition Exception in Texas’s abortion bans.”

So, according to the complaint, Zurawski spent nearly a week at home, growing gradually sicker, until her husband finally brought her back to the emergency room, where she was diagnosed with sepsis — a life-threatening chain reaction of infection cascading through the body.

By the time the baby — who didn’t survive — was delivered, and the series of infections had run its course, her uterus was so severely scarred that it threatened her ability to have future children, the complaint said.

Another woman, Cristina Nunez, said she nearly died of kidney failure while her hospital waited for her to become sick enough to legally justify an abortion.

Other plaintiffs described having to travel out of state to get abortions that would once have been uncontroversia l in Texas — or, in some cases, being unable to do so because in-state delays had kept them waiting so long that out-of-state doctors wouldn’t perform an abortion either

For the state, Klusmann argued that these cases — which the Legislature sought to avert with its language about protecting the life of the mother — did not rise to the level of a constitutional issue.

“The Legislature decided to value unborn life and prohibit abortion in all circumstances unless that life is going to conflict with the life of the mother — we’re just trying to identify when it’s, when it’s appropriate to end the life of an unborn child,” she said.

“The Legislature has set the bar high, and there’s nothing unconstitution al about their decision to do so,” she added.

“What is your response to [Duane’s] argument that she, that these plaintiffs do not want to sue their doctor because they feel their doctor has done nothing wrong?” asked Justice Debra Lehrmann.

“That is their choice,” Klusmann said. “They don’t have to actually obtain damages [from the doctors] if they don’t want to. But if they wish to gain clarity of law through perhaps a medical malpractice claim, that’s their choice.”

“But we can’t force them to do it,” she added.

General Discussion / Another win for real manual
« on: November 28, 2023, 10:42:06 PM »
Man pistol-whipped by would-be carjackers foiled by Porsche with stick shift in Bethesda, police say

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