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Coming to America: The History of Mail-Order Brides – Utne Reader Online

Posted: February 20, 2017 at 7:07 pm

Mail-order brides have deep roots in American history, dating back to the colonial period.

By Marcia A. Zug February 2017

Modern mail-order brides are often stereotyped as young foreign women desperate to escape their homeland, but there was a time when mail-order brides were seen as strong pioneer women. There have been mail-order brides in America as long as there have been Europeans in America but the course of time has changed the perceptions of these women. In Buying a Bride: An Engaging History of Mail-Order Matches (NYU Press, 2016) author Marcia A. Zug traces the history of mail-order brides in America from colonial times to the present.

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“As Catherine looks out across the water, she wonders what her life will be like when she reaches Virginia. She knows that conditions will be hard, but life in England was also hard. At least in the colony, there is the possibility of advancement. The Virginia Company has assured her and the other women that they will have their choice of marriage partners. They have promised that the men are wealthy, or at least will be with the womens help, and that the women will have a share of this wealth. Catherine knows it is a risk, but she has been assured she can always return home if she changes her mind. Regardless, Catherine expects to stay. There is little for her back in England. She will marry a colonist and help found a nation.”

The above thoughts illustrate what I believe one of the first mail-order brides might have felt as she traveled thousands of miles from England to settle in the Virginia colony. There is no actual record of the hopes and fears of these young women. Nevertheless, we do know that their arrival in 1619 was eagerly anticipated and desired.

Marriage was vital to the success of the colony. Wives were needed to create stable family units, produce and care for children, and cement Americas racial and cultural hierarchy. However, the difficulty was that few European women were interested in immigrating. In fact, female immigration to the colonies was so rare that when a group of forty women from La Fleche, France, began boarding a ship for Canada in 1659, the townspeople tried to prevent their departure because they were convinced the women were being kidnapped. Mail-order marriage helped resolve this problem. These women immigrated when others would not, and consequently, their presence was considered critically important.

The risks the early settlers faced were substantial. Most potential colonists had heard frightening accounts of disease and famine, and many of these stories seemed to indicate that women were particularly vulnerable. One horrific tale from Virginia involved a colonist who slue his wife as she slept in his bosome, cut her in pieces, powedered her & fedd upon her till he had clean devoured all her parts saveinge her heade. In the northern colonies, settlers such as the Puritans and the Quakers accepted these risks as the price of religious freedom, and as a result, these areas had little difficulty attracting large numbers of family groups. In contrast, the southern colonies, which lacked this religious draw, had a much harder time finding families willing to accept the dangers and hardships of colonial life. A handful of women came to the colonies shortly after the first male settlers arrived, but their numbers were small, and even fewer came with their children. Moreover, some families, like that of Sir Thomas Gates, sent their daughters back to England if their wives died. As early as 1609, a broadside (poster) produced by the Virginia Company of London demonstrated that the colonys governing body recognized the need to recruit women. The broadside was directed at family groups and specifically emphasized that both men and women were needed for the better strengthening of the colony. Nevertheless, despite such appeals, few families immigrated to the southern colonies. Instead, the majority of southern colonists were single men, primarily individual speculators and fortune hunters, who came to profit from Americas abundant land and natural resources and then return home. As colonial historian Julia Cherry Spruill has noted, these men were not interested in building permanent homes in Virginia or in cultivating lands to be enjoyed by future generations. They simply planned to make their fortunes and then return to England.

The transient nature of the southern population was problematic, and it quickly became clear that the lack of women was threatening the future of the fledgling colony. In 1614, the Virginia Companys lawyer, Richard Martin, spoke before the House of Lords and highlighted the threat posed by the colonys gender disparity. He informed the members, a significant number of whom had shares in the com- pany,that Virginia desperately needed honest laborers, with wives and children. He then recommended the appointment of a committee to consider ways to increase family immigration. Other members of the Virginia Company shared Martins immigration concerns. However, class politics ultimately prevented consideration of his proposal. Martin was only a lawyer and not a lord, so his requests, which went beyond legal advice, were considered presumptuous. One contemporary described his speech as the most unfitting that was ever spoken in the house. Consequently, not only were Martins appeals ignored, they resulted in punishment. The day after appearing before the House of Lords, Martin was arraigned for contempt. He was brought before Sir Randall Crew, the Speaker of the House, forced to kneel, and given following admonishment:

“The case was this a petition relative to the Virginia Company had been presented, and an order for the Council to appear, that he as their Attorney had represented himself with diverse Lords. That the House at first was disposed to listen to him with all due respect and love; that the retrospect of the Virginia Plantation was acceptable, for it had been viewed with the eyes of love. But afterwards, he has impertinently digressed, for it was not his place to censure and advise. The House had therefore brought him before them, and although many were his acquaintances, yet all now looked upon him with the eyes of judges, and not as private friends.”

After Martins censure, the issue of family immigration was dropped, but the lack of women remained a significant problem. Finally, in 1619, the Virginia Companys treasurer, Sir Edwin Sandys, who now controlled the company, decided to address the issue. He warned his fellow shareholders that if immediate action was not taken, the colonys gender imbalance would soon breed a dissolucon, and so an overthrow of the Plantation. Sandys recommended sponsoring the immigration of single women because he believed their presence would make the men more setled [and] lesse moveable and decrease the number of men who, because of the dearth of women, stay [in the colony] but to gett something and then return for England. This time, the recommendation to address the colonys female immigration problem was met with approval. After hearing Sandyss suggestion, Lord Francis Bacon, a founding member of the company, immediately expressed his public support declaring it time to plant with women as well as with men; that the plantation may spread into generations, and not ever pieced from without. Shortly after Sandyss request, the company began recruiting single women to marry the Jamestown colonists.

In the spring of 1620, ninety mail-order brides arrived in Jamestown. Their arrival was considered a success, and the next year Sandys requested funds to transport an additional one hundred women. By this time, the company was in financial difficulties and no longer had the necessary money. However, because Sandys insisted that more women were absolutely essential, the company agreed to raise the money by subscription. Due to these efforts, another fifty brides were sent to Jamestown. Altogether, the Virginia Company sponsored the immigration of 140 mail-order brides. The arrival of these women was intended to reduce the number of male colonists returning to England, but this was not the only reason female immigration was considered necessary. Despite the femaleless wasteland described by Sandys, the colony did not actually lack women. America was filled with indigenous women, and relationships between the male colonists and native women occurred almost immediately.

As early as 1608, after disease and starvation wiped out nearly a third of the original Jamestown colonists, a large number of the male survivors began taking Indian wives. By 1612, the Spanish ambassador to England reported that between 40 to 50 Englishman . . . had married Indian women. He also informed the company that nearly all of these men had abandoned the colony for their wives villages. Only two years earlier, the entire population of Jamestown consisted of sixty colonists. Consequently, the number of desertions described by the ambassador was shocking. Just as concerning was the fact that these desertions seemed unstoppable. Virginia Governor Dale had already decreed that deserters were to be hanged, some burned, some to be broke upon wheels, others to be staked and some to be shot to death. This law had little effect, and colonial men continued to leave the colony.

Desertions contributed to the already declining population, while also undermining the moral justification for the entire colonial endeavor. Virginia settlers had rationalized colonization by highlighting the supposed differences between themselves and the countrys native inhabitants. Captain John Smiths 1607 report on the native population of Virginia epitomized this trend, characterizing the local Indians as cruel, irrational, vengeful, treacherous, and barbaric. He also accused these tribes of Satanism. He described the Virginia Indians as devil worshippers who prayed to idols shaped with such deformity as may well suit with such a god and claimed they practiced child sacrifice. Such accusations seemed to confirm the English colonizers belief in their moral and religious superiority. However, intermarriage threatened these distinctions.

Britains recent colonizing venture in Ireland had demonstrated that settlers were extremely likely to adopt the customs and manners of native inhabitants with whom they intermixed. One typical report from the Irish colony bewailed the number of Englishmen who in small time have grown wild in Ireland, and become in language and qualities Irish. This report also noted the paucity of Irishmen who do in exchange become civilized and English. Virginias colonial leaders worried that marriage to Indian women would lead to similar results. Specifically, they feared that intermarriage would cause European men to abandon their civility and become indistinguishable from the heathen savages. This fear was then further exacerbated by the perceived sexual availability of Indian women. In John Smiths 1612 account of life in the early Virginia colony, he wrote about his visit to one of Powhatans (Pocahontass father) villages and noted that in any of these villages, an Englishman could expect a woman freshly painted red with pocones and oil to be his bed fellow. Smith also detailed his own experience. He claimed to have been greeted by 30 young women [who] came naked out of the woods (only covered behind and before with a few greene leaves), their bodies all painted, some white, some red, some black, some partie colour, but every one different. He then described being invited back to their lodging where they more tormented him than ever, with crowding, and pressing, and hanging upon him, most tediously crying, love you not mee? Similar, although less colorful, accounts were provided by colonist and company secretary William Strachey, who declared that the local women were most voluptious and eager to embrace the acquaintance of any Straunger.

In order to prevent desertions to the native villages and lessen the attractions of native women, colonial leaders described white/Indian relationships as religiously prohibited. In his 1609 sermon, the colonial Reverend William Symonds railed against the dangers of miscegenation. Symonds cited the biblical injunction that Gods people in Canaan keepe to themselves, and not marry nor give in marriage to the heathen, that are uncircumcized, and he warned that the breaking of this rule jeopardized ones chance for eternal salvation and risked all good succese of this voyage. Symondss religious admonishment did little to stem the flow of desertions, and even within the colony, some determined men found ways around this prohibition. The most famous intermarried colonist was John Rolfe. In his letter to Governor Dale seeking permission to marry Pocahontas, Rolfe acknowledged the heavie displeasure which almightie God conceived against the sonnes of Levie and Israel for marrying strange wives. Nevertheless, he argued that this concern was inapplicable to his own relationship, because Pocahontas was converting to Christianity and, thus, their marriage would actually be furthering Gods work and assisting with Rolfes owne salvation. Rolfes arguments were persuasive and earned Dales endorsement of the marriage.

By 1619, it had become clear that neither religious prohibitions nor capital punishment was a sufficient deterrent against intermarriage. The company, therefore, concluded that the best way to reduce desertions and ensure the colony remained racially and ethnically distinct was to provide colonial men with a viable marriage alternative to native women. Understandably, the women recruited to fulfill this important task were chosen with care. They were not prostitutes, criminals, or beggars. In fact, out of the thirty-eight women whose social status is known, eight had links to the gentry. According to the company records, four of the women were the daughters of gentlefolk; two others had uncles and one cousin (once removed) who were knights; and the eighth was described as the daughter of Mr. Gervase Markham, of the Nottinghamshire gentry. In addition, the company insisted that all the women had been received . . . upon good recommendation.


Coming to America: The History of Mail-Order Brides – Utne Reader Online

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Governor Bevin joins amicus brief over California Second … – WKYT – WKYT

Posted: at 6:55 pm

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) – Governor Matt Bevin has joined in filing an amicus brief over a California Second Amendment case.

The governor’s office announced on Monday that Governor Bevin has joined 25 other states in the brief over Peruta v. San Diego County. The second amendment case is challenging if a California law restricting citizens’ rights to carry handguns outside their homes for self-defense is constitutional.

An amicus brief is a legal document filed in court cases by non-litigants with a strong interest in the subject matter.

The 26 states in the brief say that, when it comes to regulating gun rights, California thinks that the State can do things that would be unthinkable in other areas of constitutional law.

The other states included in the brief are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

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PH economic freedom ranking jumps from 70th to 58th – Inquirer.net

Posted: February 19, 2017 at 11:07 am

Solid macro fundamentals sustained despite a change in administration last year helped the Philippines jump 12 spots to 58th in the 2017 Index of Economic Freedom (IEF) of Washington-based conservative political think tank The Heritage Foundation.

In a statement Sunday, the governments Investor Relations Office (IRO) claimed that with the Duterte administrations 10-point socioeconomic agenda ultimately aimed at slashing the poverty incidence to 14 percent by 2022 from 21.6 percent in 2015, the countrys economic freedom ranking is expected to further climb in the medium term.

The Heritage Foundations latest annual global survey covering 186 countries showed that the countrys 2017 position leaped from 70th in the 2016 IEF due to a higher score of 65.6, up 2.5 points from last year.

The IRO noted that the Philippines 2017 score exceeded not only the global average of 60.9 but also Asia-Pacifics 60.4.

The IRO quoted The Heritage Foundation as attributing the gains in the countrys higher score as well as ranking to notable successes in fiscal policy, government spending and monetary stability.

According to the IRO, The Heritage Foundations IEF measures economic freedom based on 12 quantitative as well as qualitative factors that were being grouped into four broad categories or pillars, namely: government size (fiscal health, government spending and tax burden); open markets (financial, investment and trade freedom); regulatory efficiency (business, labor and monetary freedom); as well as rule of law (government integrity, judicial effectiveness and property rights).

The IEF reveals a positive relationship between economic freedom and a variety of positive social and economic goals such as poverty elimination, greater per capita wealth, healthier societies, cleaner environments, and democracy, the IRO noted.

In the 2017 IEF report, The Heritage Foundation highlighted the countrys solid economic performance amid a challenging global economic environment, according to the IRO.

The Philippines has achieved notable economic expansion, driven by the economys strong export performance and inflows of remittances, The Heritage Foundation said.

The Philippine economy grew 6.8 percent last year, among the fastest in the region, as both public and private consumption and investment increased amid solid fundamentals.

In 2016, cash sent home through banks by Filipinos living and working abroad hit a record $26.9 billion, up 5 percent from $25.607 billion in 2015 to surpass the governments 4-percent growth target.

The latest Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas data also showed that the 2016 foreign direct investment target was already exceeded during the first 11 months, as end-November net inflows reached $6.973 billion, up 25.4 percent year-on-year as well as higher than the $6.7-billion goal for the entire year.

Also, the Philippine government continues to pursue legislative reforms to enhance the overall entrepreneurial environment and develop a stronger private sector that is needed to generate broader-based job growth, the IRO quoted The Heritage Foundation as saying.

In the 2017 IEF, the country posted the highest jump in monetary freedom of 18 notches to 68th from 86th last year.

The IRO also noted of high rankings on government spending (22nd) as well as fiscal health (26th).

The Heritage Foundation also underscored the stability of the countrys financial sector, adding that in 2016, the central bank announced that it would end a 17-year moratorium on the granting of new banking licenses, the IRO added.

Given the 2017 IEF ranking, the Philippines economic freedom was deemed moderately free, the IRO said.

According to The Heritage Foundation, economies tagged as moderately free provide institutional environments in which individuals and private enterprises benefit from at least a moderate degree of economic freedom in the pursuit of greater competitiveness, growth and prosperity, according to the IRO.

The IRO quoted economic managers as attributing the countrys higher economic ranking as well as score to gains from policy reforms undertaken by the government to maintain macroeconomic stability and enhance the countrys business and investment environment.

The BSPs firm commitment to maintain price stability and promote a sound and inclusive financial sector and the positive results we have achieved thus far have contributed to the big improvement of the Philippines IEF ranking, Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. said.

The benign inflation environment has enabled the economy to further accelerate in 2016, a remarkable feat given the uncertainty and volatility in the global scene. With the BSPs relentless efforts to pursue proactive reforms to improve governance and risk management in banks, the Philippine banking system remains a pillar of strength that will support the rapid pace of growth of the economy, Tetangco added.

For his part, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said that the significant jump in our countrys ranking in the 2017 IEF by 12 rungs from 70th to 58th validates the assiduous efforts by the Philippine government to sustain high growth and achieve economic inclusion by freeing some six million Filipinos from poverty.

For the Philippines to aspire to move up higher from the moderately free to the mostly free category in the near future, the Duterte administration needs to pursue without letup its comprehensive tax reform program along with other bold reform initiatives to keep the high-growth momentum, upgrade the living standards of the Filipino poor, eliminate official corruption, and improve the ease of doing business in order to attract more investments and create jobs for all, Dominguez added.

According to the IRO, the IEF is an annual index and ranking created by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal in 1995 to measure the degree of economic freedom in the worlds nations.

The IEF ranking of countries is used as input by other institutions for their respective governance and competitiveness ratings, such as the World Bank for its Worldwide Governance Indicators. Likewise, the index is used by some institutions in formulating policy, the IRO explained.

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State to appeal denial of federal disaster aid for Ascension, St. James tornado victims – The Advocate

Posted: February 18, 2017 at 4:32 am

The state plans to appeal the decision to exclude Ascension and St. James parishes from a federal disaster declaration that left residents there ineligible to receive federal assistance for their losses during the Feb. 7 tornadoes.

“We’re in the process of trying to appeal that,” said Mike Steele, communications director for the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

The state has 30 days to file the appeal, Steele said Friday.

“Our people will be reaching out to the parishes for more information,” he said.

President Donald Trump on Feb. 11 approved a disaster declaration for individual assistance for Orleans and Livingston parishes. The declaration allows residents in those parishes who suffered losses to apply for financial assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The state on Friday also resubmitted its request for a disaster declaration for another form of federal assistance, public assistance, for Orleans, Livingston, Ascension, St. James and Jefferson parishes, Steele said.

Public assistance provides reimbursement to state and local governments for a portion of the cost of such work as debris removal, repairing damaged buildings and roads following a disaster.

The state has not yet received word on its initial request for public assistance, Steele said.

The state, however, resubmitted its request for public assistance “to stress the importance of getting the declaration on that,” he said.

President Donald Trump on Saturday approved a federal disaster declaration for Orleans and L

A large twister with estimated wind speeds of about 140 mph that injured 33 people in New Orleans East and damaged some 300 properties was one of six tornadoes that touched down Feb. 7 in the Baton Rouge and New Orleans areas.

In Livingston Parish, two people were seriously injured when a tornado struck their home in Killian. Elsewhere in the parish, homes were damaged in Watson where four people were injured.

In Ascension Parish, a tornado touched down southwest of Donaldsonville, then traveled northeast across the city with most of its destruction centered along St. Patrick Street, near the city’s historic district. One injury was reported in the downtown area while three injuries were reported elsewhere in the parish.

CF Industries received some damage and a veterinarian clinic near the plant was badly damaged.

In St. James Parish, some 25 to 30 homes were damaged, some severely. Two injuries were reported there.

Donaldsonville Mayor Leroy Sullivan said he was disappointed when he learned that Ascension Parish had not been included in the federal disaster declaration for individual assistance.

“It was devastating,” Sullivan said of hearing the news. “You have people who have lost their homes or have homes that were heavily damaged.”

In order for residents to receive assistance, a household must be within a presidentially declared disaster area.

Ascension and St. James parish officials did not seem optimistic Friday that federal individual or public assistance would be forthcoming.

Criteria to receive a disaster declaration for the individual assistance program are subjective, according to the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

A declaration request must show that an effective response to a disaster is beyond the capacity of the state and local government and that a significant number, historically more than 75, uninsured primary homes received major damage or were destroyed, according to GOHSEP literature.

To receive a presidential declaration for public assistance, a parish must meet a threshold in damage of $3.57 per resident.

Sullivan said that by using the 2010 census count for Ascension Parish of approximately 107,000 people, he calculated the required dollar amount of damage needed for the parish to be eligible for public assistance would be approximately $387,000.

St. James Parish President Timmy Roussel said Friday that his parish would need about $80,000 in damage to be eligible for public assistance.

The parish government has spent approximately $20,000 on work after the tornado doing such jobs as removing debris and trimming trees, Roussel said.

In Ascension Parish, Rick Webre, director of the parish’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said the parish has spent $30,000 in cleanup so far.

“I’m not confident that Ascension Parish will achieve the individual assistance or public assistance threshold,” he said.

Follow Ellyn Couvillion on Twitter, @EllynCouvillion.

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Over Democrats’ objections, Senate OKs ‘religious freedom’ bill – wtvr.com

Posted: February 17, 2017 at 1:14 am

RICHMOND, Va. Democratic officials and the American Civil Liberties Union blasted Republican senators after they passed a religious freedom bill that would protect people who refuse to marry same-gender couples.

HB 2025, sponsored by Del. Nicholas Freitas, R-Culpeper, cleared the Senate on Thursday on a party-line vote of 21-19. The bill protects organizations and their employees who refuse to participate in the solemnization of marriage based on a sincerely held religious belief.

Freitas said the legislation was a response to Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffes executive order that prohibits state contractors from discriminating based on sexual orientation.

This is simply about preventing the government from punishing a religious organization because it doesnt fit with a current governor or anyone elses interpretation of social standards, Freitas said when introducing the bill in committee.

The bill would protect a religious organization from losing a state contract or its tax-exempt status because of the groups beliefs regarding marriage. It also would protect individuals from losing state employment, grants or acceptance into a public university if they refuse to participate in the marriage of a same-sex couple.

Democrats, who unanimously voted against the measure, contended it would sanction discrimination against gay and lesbian couples. On Tuesday, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam celebrated the third anniversary of a federal court ruling in the Bostic v. Rainey case legalizing same-sex marriage.

On Thursday, Northam, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor, criticized the Senate for approving HB 2025.

We cannot go backwards. We need to continue to be open and welcoming to all, no matter who you are or who you love, Northam said in a press release.

Claire Gastanaga, executive director of the ACLU of Virginia, urged her groups supporters to oppose HB 2025 and SB 1324, an identical bill that passed the Senate last week and is now before the House Committee on General Laws.

If these bills are signed into law, same-sex couples could be denied services at church-run facilities, hotels or resorts affiliated with religious organizations, or at hospitals owned by religious groups, even if the services are funded by taxpayers, Gastanaga said.

Del. Marcus Simon, D-Falls Church, argued on the House floor that HB 2025 is unnecessary because the Religious Freedom Restoration Act already makes it illegal for public bodies to discriminate against faith-based organizations on the basis of their religious beliefs.

A similar bill was introduced last year and failed in part because of the argument articulated by Simon.

However, Republicans said they fear that McAuliffes executive order could lead to discrimination against faith-based organizations that object to same-sex marriage.

We had the governors executive order, which I believe does just that, or at least creates a mechanism where that can be accomplished, Freitas said.

Democrats expressed concerns over the bills potential economic consequences. North Carolina experienced economic losses after its government passed a similar law last year.

At the beginning of the legislative session, McAuliffe vowed to veto any bill he considered discriminatory. Northam said the governor would veto HB 2025.

At his news conference Tuesday, Northam vowed to protect gay and lesbian Virginians from discrimination.

Just before the holidays, I completed a seven-city tour that ended in Salem, Virginia, where I was pleased to welcome the NCAA soccer tournament, Northam said. That championship was relocated from North Carolina after the state passed anti-LGBT legislation, as was the NBA All-Star game and major businesses. As long as Im here, as long as Gov. McAuliffe and Attorney General (Mark) Herring are here, Virginia will be inclusive. We will not be like North Carolina.

Carol Schall, one of the plaintiffs in the Bostic v. Rainey case, also spoke at the news conference. She discussed HB 1395, which would have repealed language in state law that bans same-sex marriage. Even though the language is no longer valid, the bill, sponsored by Del. Mark Sickles, D-Fairfax County, died in a House committee.

Names matter. Names like mom and wife make all the difference in the world, Schall said. In past years such as this year, Del. Sickles proposed to repeal outdated constitutional amendment encoding discrimination in our great Constitution.

Sickles called for a full House vote on the issue. He also discussed HJ 538, his proposal to repeal a constitutional amendment adopted by voters adopted in 2006 that defines marriage as being between one man and one woman. Sickles resolution died in a House committee on an unrecorded vote.

Constitutional amendments require approval in two legislative sessions before they can be presented to voters on a November ballot.

If this constitutional were passed and it passed again next winter, by the time it got to the voters in November of 18, 1.2 million people in our state will have come of age, Sickles said. They want to speak to this. They do not want the people of the 2006 cultural and societal milieu to speak forever.

By Julie Rothey with Capital News Service

CNS reporter Tyler Hammel contributed to this report.

Capital News Service is a flagship program of VCUs Robertson School of Media and Culture. Students participating in the program provide state government coverage for Virginias community newspapers and other media outlets, under the supervision of Associate Professor Jeff South.

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Welcome to the era of transhumanism – New Atlas

Posted: at 12:41 am

In a compelling webseries from 2012 entitled H+, we were introduced to a future world where much of the population has a hi-tech implant, allowing individuals a direct neural interface with the internet. As often is the case in science fiction, things don’t turn out well for those technological pioneers. A virus infects the implant and chaos quickly descends on a human race that has become biologically fused with technology.

The series was an overt examination of a transhumanist future, with the title H+ being an appropriation of the common transhuman abbreviation. Five years after the series’ birth, we live in a present even more entrenched on a path towards the realization of transhumanist ideals.

Early in February 2017, innovative billionaire Elon Musk reiterated an idea he had floated several times over the past year: Humans need to merge with machines. Musk sees a direct brain/computer interface as an absolute necessity, not only in order for us to evolve as a species, but as a way of keeping up with the machines we are creating. According to Musk, if we don’t merge with the machines, we will become useless and irrelevant.

While Elon Musk does not self-identify as a “transhumanist,” the idea of fusing man with machine is fundamental to this movement that arose over the course of the 20th century. And as we move into a tumultuous 21st century, transhumanism is quickly shifting from its sci-fi influenced philosophical and cultural niche into a more mainstream, and increasingly popular, movement.

Zoltan Istvan, a prominent futurist and transhumanist, is currently making a bold political run for the position of Governor of California. “We need leadership that is willing to use radical science, technology, and innovation what California is famous for to benefit us all,” Istvan declared in a recent editorial published by Newsweek. “We need someone with the nerve to risk the tremendous possibilities to save the environment through bioengineering, to end cancer by seeking a vaccine or a gene-editing solution for it.”

Simply put, transhumanism is a broad intellectual movement that advocates for the transformation of humanity through embracing technology. Thinkers in the field opine that our intellectual, physical and psychological capabilities can, and should, be enhanced by any and all available emerging technologies. From genetic modification to make us smarter and live longer, to enhancing our physical capabilities through bioengineering and mechanical implants, transhumanists see our future as one where we transcend our physical bodies with the aid of technology.

The term “transhuman” can be traced back several hundred years, but in terms of our current use we can look to 20th century biologist and eugenicist, Julian Huxley. Across a series of lectures and articles in the 1950s, Huxley advocated for a type of utopian futurism where humanity would evolve and transcend its present limitations.

“We need a name for this new belief,” Huxley wrote in 1957. “Perhaps transhumanism will serve; man remaining man, but transcending himself, by realizing the new possibilities of and for his human nature.”

Huxley’s ideas were arguably inspired by influential speculative fiction of the mid-20th century from the likes of Arthur C. Clarke and Robert Heinlein, and consequently his more specific transhumanist philosophies went on to influence a generation of cyberpunk authors in the 1980s. It was in this era that the first self-described transhumanists began appearing, having formal meetings around the University of California.

With the pace of technological advancement dramatically accelerating into the 21st century, transhumanist thinking began to manifest in more specific futurist visions. Cryonics and life extension technology was one focus of transhumanists, while others looked to body modification, gender transitioning and general biohacking as a way of transcending the limits of our physical bodies.

Plenty of criticisms have been lobbed at transhumanists over the years, with their extreme views of the technological future of humanity causing many to question whether this is a direct pathway to losing touch with what makes us essentially human. The fear that we will merge into some kind of inhuman, god-like, robot civilization quite fairly frightens and disturbs those with more traditional perspectives on humanity.

Science fiction classically reflects many fears of transhumanist futures, from Skynet taking over the world to a Gattaca-like future where genetic modification creates dystopian class separation. But prominent transhumanist critic Francis Fukuyama has soberly outlined the dangers of this modern movement in his book, Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution.

Fukuyama comprehensively argues that the complexity of human beings cannot be so easily reduced into good and bad traits. If we were to try to eliminate traits we considered to be negative, be it through genetic modification or otherwise, we would be dangerously misunderstanding how we fundamentally function. “If we weren’t violent and aggressive we wouldn’t be able to defend ourselves; if we didn’t have feelings of exclusivity, we wouldn’t be loyal to those close to us; if we never felt jealousy, we would also never feel love,” he writes.

Some of the more valid concerns about the dawning transhumanist future are the socioeconomic repercussions of such a speedy technological evolution. As the chasm between rich and poor grows in our current culture, one can’t help but be concerned that future advancements could become disproportionately limited to those with the financial resources to afford them. If life extension technologies start to become feasible, and they are only available to the billionaire class, then we enter a scenario where the rich get richer and live longer, while the poor get poorer and die sooner.

Without exceptionally strong political reform maintaining democratic access to human enhancement technologies, it’s easy to foresee the rise of a disturbing genetic class divide. As environmentalist and activist Bill McKibben writes: “If we can’t afford the fifty cents a person it would take to buy bed nets to protect most of Africa from malaria, it is unlikely we will extend to anyone but the top tax bracket these latest forms of genetic technology.”

The looming specter of eugenics hovers over a great deal of transhumanist thought. In the first half of the 20th century the term became disturbingly, but not unreasonably, associated with Nazi Germany. Sterilizing or euthanizing those who displayed characteristics that were deemed to be imperfect was ultimately outlawed as a form of genocide. But as the genome revolution struck later in the century a resurgence in the philosophical ideals of eugenics began to arise.

Transhumanist thought often parallels the ideals of eugenics, although most self-identifying transhumanists separate themselves from that stigmatized field, preferring terms like reprogenetics and germinal choice. The difference between the negative outcomes of eugenics and the more positive, transhumanist notion of reprogenetics seems to be one of consent. In a 21st century world of selective genetic modification, all is good as long as all parents equally have the choice to genetically modify their child, and are not forced by governments who are trying to forcefully manage the genetic pool.

Prominent transhumanist advocate Nick Bostrom, labeled by The New Yorker as the leading transhumanist philosopher of today, argues that critics of the movement always focus on the potential risks or negative outcomes without balancing the possible positive futures. He advocates that the mere potential of a negative future outcome is not enough to stifle technological momentum.

Bostrom lucidly makes his point in an essay examining the transhumanist perspectives on human genetic modifications. “Good consequences no less than bad ones are possible,” he writes. “In the absence of sound arguments for the view that the negative consequences would predominate, such speculations provide no reason against moving forward with the technology.”

At first glance it would seem like the transhumanism movement would be synonymous with atheism. In 2002 the Vatican released an expansive statement exploring the intersection of technology and religion. The statement warned that changing a human’s genetic identity was a “radically immoral” action. The old adage of the scientist playing God certainly raises its head frequently in criticisms of transhumanism. Zoltan Istvan even penned an op-ed entitled “I’m an Atheist, Therefore I’m a Transhumanist” in which he, rather weakly, attempted to blend the two movements.

But there are some compelling intersections between religion and transhumanism that point to the possibility that the two sides are not as mutually exclusive as one would think. A poll by the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, founded by Nick Bostrom, discovered that only half of the transhumanists it surveyed identified as either atheist or agnostic.

Lincoln Cannon, founder of both the Mormon Transhumanist Association and the Christian Transhumanist Association (the very existence of these entities says something), has been advocating for a modern form of post secular religion based on both scientific belief and religious faith. Cannon sees transhumanism as a movement that allows for humanity to evolve into what he labels “superhumans.”

In his treatise titled, “The New God Argument,” Cannon envisions a creator God akin to our superhuman future potential. He posits an evolutionary cycle where we were created by a superhuman God, before then evolving into becoming our own superhuman Gods, from which we will create new life that will worship us as Gods and continue the cycle anew.

The New God Argument presents a fascinating case for an evolution of religious thought, but it also pushes transhumanism into the realms of spirituality in ways that are bound to make many of the movement’s advocates uncomfortable. Another more extreme religious offshoot of transhumanism is Terasem, a self-described “transreligion.”

Terasem recalls a 1990s-styled new-age sentiment with its four core beliefs: life is purposeful, death is optional, God is technological, and love is essential. Founded by millionaire entrepreneur Martine Rothblatt, Terasem functions as both a spiritual transhumanist movement and a charitable organization that invests into technological research. The movement is especially focused on cryonic technology and researching ways to preserve human consciousness through downloading one’s thoughts and memories into either a mainframe or an independent social robot.

At the turn of the century, a transhumanist community began to form that fused the ethos of computer hacking with a body modification movement determined to create do-it-yourself cybernetic devices. These “Grinders” embraced cyborg technologies that could be directly integrated into their organic bodies.

Biohacking can take the form of pharmaceutical enhancements that hack one’s body chemistry, to implanting electronics into the body such as magnets or RFID and NFC tags. These transhumanist grinders sit at the furthermost borders of the movement, experimenting on their own bodies with occasionally quite extreme DIY surgical procedures.

Lepht Anonym is a Berlin-based biohacker who advocates cybernetics for the masses. Lepht (who identifies as genderless) has performed numerous body modifications over the past decade, including implanting neodymium metal discs under fingertips to enable the physical sensing of electromagnetic fields, and several internal compass implants designed to give a physical awareness of north and south magnetic poles.

But the biohacking movement is moving in from the fringe, with several tech start-ups arising over the past few years with an interest in developing a commercial body modification economy. Grindhouse Wetware, based on Pittsburgh, has been prominent in creating technology that augments the human body.

The company’s most prominent device is called the Northstar, which is an implant that it is hoped will have Bluetooth capabilities allowing the user to control their devices with simple hand movements. The first iteration of the device simply had an aesthetic function with LED lights under the user’s skin that mimic a form of bioluminescence. Future uses for the Northstar could see it interfacing with your smartphone, tracking biometric data, such as blood sugar, or acting as a controller for a variety of devices connected to the internet of things.

Transhumanism is moving inexorably into the mainstream as technological advances accelerate. Proponents advocate we dive head first into this brave new cybernetic world, while traditionalists grow increasingly nervous.

Regardless of one’s personal view there is undoubtedly an enormous number of people lining up to have that first brain/computer interface implanted into their head, or to genetically cue a set of specific characteristics for their baby. We live in exciting times that’s for sure … now excuse me while I re-watch Gattaca and hope it doesn’t turn into a documentary-like premonition of our future.

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Welcome to the era of transhumanism – New Atlas

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SA, Seychelles nationals held in narcotics crackdown – The Standard (press release)

Posted: February 15, 2017 at 9:38 pm

Four foreigners suspected to be drug dealers were arrested in Mombasa and an unknown quantity of narcotics seized.

Detectives from various agencies apprehended two South Africans and two Seychellois at an apartment near Nyali Beach hotel yesterday morning.

They were identified as Dominguez and Nedy Micock from Seychelles and Barend Nolte and Marc Faivelewitz from South Africa.

The suspects were taken to Port Police Station.

Regional police boss Philip Tuimur said the Government Chemist will confirm the quantity and type of narcotics police found.

But lawyer Cliff Ombeta told The Standard on Sunday that the South Africans had come to work as bodyguards of Vicky Goswami, an Indian who was extradited recently.

ALSO READ: No political link to war on drugs, says DP William Ruto in Coast tour

Goswami, brothers Baktash and Ibrahim Akasha, and Gulam Hussein (Pakistani) were extradited to the US to face drug trafficking charges.

The arrests came as police hunt for two other foreign nationals wanted for serious crimes.

Muhammad Nadeem Iqbal and Waseem Iqbal from Pakistan are wanted by the Government of Pakistan for serious crimes.

The Pakistan embassy in Kenya has twice written to the Kenyan authorities on the issue.

The High Commission of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan presents its compliments to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Republic of Kenya and has the honour to forward herewith extradition documents in respect of Mr Muhammed Nadeem Iqbal and Waseem Iqbal received from the Federal Investigation Agency Islamabad. The extradition documents were requested by Interpol Kenya. The esteemed ministry is requested to kindly forward the extradition documents to Interpol Kenya.

Muhammad Nadeem Iqbal and Waseem Iqbal from Pakistan had been deported by the National Security Intelligence (NIS) four years ago.

It is not clear how the duo re-entered Kenya.

ALSO READ: Mombasa Deputy Governor and officials in row over Sh4m county cash

On July 29 and August 16, last year, Interpol published on their website fugitive wanted for prosecution control number: A-6929/7-2016 IQBAL Waseem and Muhammad Iqbal control number A-7490/8-2016.

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SA, Seychelles nationals held in narcotics crackdown – The Standard (press release)

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Local robotics teams represent Montana at super-regionals competition – KTVH

Posted: at 9:22 pm

HELENA Two local robotics teams will represent Montana at the super-regionals competition in Tacoma, Wash. in March.

The two teams, X-team Robotics and Fusion Robotics recently took first and second place respectively at the first tech challenge in Bozeman.

Consisting of both high school and middle school students, the two teams from Helena will compete against teams from eleven other states for a chance to represent the U.S. at the world championship.

The teams recently had a chance to show off their creations to community members and got a surprise visit from Governor Steve Bullock.

Both the coaches and the governor said they couldnt be more proud and impressed by the teams creativity.

Ean Berg the X-Team Coach said, Its fun going to the competitions. You see what kids come up with and itll just amaze you sometimes because youre like wow thats really thinking outside the box.

Democrat Governor Steve Bullock of Montana said, These are kids who are rock stars in all of the schools throughout Helena. And theyre applying creative genius, solving problems in ways that they can teach all of us grown-ups quite a bit.

As for the teams, they said they had a blast working with each other on this project. Win or lose theyre just honored to be able to represent Montana.

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Local robotics teams represent Montana at super-regionals competition – KTVH

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California officials lift evacuation order for 200000 threatened by damaged dam – CBS News

Posted: at 12:06 am

OROVILLE, Calif. –Authorities have lifted an evacuation order for nearly 200,000 California residents who live below a dam with a damaged spillway that threatened to collapse and cause catastrophic flooding.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said Tuesday that residents should stay prepared in case the situation changes. He says the water level at the lake behind Oroville Dam, the nations tallest, is low enough to accommodate expected storm.

Crews have working around the clock atop the crippled Oroville Dam, making progress on repairs ro the damaged spillway. The work led to the lake level reducing by at least 8 feet overnight at a Northern California reservoir that has been central to the life of the towns around it for a half century.

Workers hoisted giant white bags filled with rocks, and at least two helicopters planned to fly in rocks Tuesday then release them into the eroded area of the spillway. Dump trucks full of boulders also were dumping cargo on the damaged spillway.

Backhoes load boulders into dump trucks as emergency personnel work to fix the damage below the emergency spillway at Oroville Lake


The first test of these fixes will come as early as Wednesday, when a series of storms this area, CBS News John Blackstone reports.

The lake that for five decades has brought residents holiday fireworks and salmon festivals could have brought disaster.

Never in our lives did we think anything like this would have happened, said Brannan Ramirez, who has lived in Oroville, a town of about 16,000 people, for about five years.

Recent reports indicate that environmental activists and local government officials warned more than a decade ago about the risk of catastrophic flooding below a major Northern California dam, the very scenario that threatened to unfold in Oroville over the weekend.

State and federal regulators dismissed those fears at the time, saying they were confident the hillside that helps hold back hundreds of billions of gallons of water was stable and did not need to be reinforced with concrete.

In this Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, aerial photo released by California Department of Water Resources shows the damaged spillway with eroded hillside in Oroville, Calif.

William Croyle/California Department of Water Resources via AP

That decision has come under scrutiny now that the hillside, which acts as an emergency spillway for the reservoir, was put to its first test in the dams nearly 50-year history.

The acting head of the states Department of Water Resources said he was unaware of the 2005 report that recommended reinforcing with concrete an earthen spillway that is now eroding.

Im not sure anything went wrong, Bill Croyle said. This was a new, never-having-happened-before event.

Evacuee Crystal Roberts-Lynch didnt buy the explanations.

I know that somebody did not pay attention to the warning signs, she said. Someone in charge was not paying attention. It was their job to pay attention to what was going on with the dam.

Play Video

Nearly 200,000 people evacuated from their homes in Northern California are still unable to go home. If an emergency spillway at the Oroville Dam…

Oroville is a Gold Rush town in the Sierra Nevada foothills, some 70 miles northeast of Sacramento, nestled near the foot of the dam. The dam was completed in 1968 and is the nations tallest, at 770 feet. Houses and churches are perched on tree-lined streets near the Feather River. Old, ornate Victorian homes sit alongside smaller bungalows.

Everybody knows to go there for the Fourth of July, Roberts-Lynch said of the lake. Then theres festivals wrapped around the salmon run. The mother of three, who has lived in Oroville for 10 years, was staying at a Red Cross evacuation center in Chico.

Local businesses, including one that sells supplies for gold-panning, dominate a downtown area that spans several blocks. A wide range of chain stores sit a short distance away along the main highway.

The lake brings in an enormous part of the economy for the town. It definitely is a people-catcher, said Brannan Ramirez, who has lived in Oroville for about five years. We get people from all over the country.

Cities and towns farther down the Feather River also are in danger.

Play Video

More heavy rain and widespread flooding is expected in the western U.S. Chief meteorologist Eric Fisher from our Boston affiliate station WBZ is …

Yuba City, population 65,000, is the biggest city evacuated. The city has the largest dried-fruit processing plant in the world and one of the largest populations of Sikhs outside of India.

The region is largely rural and its politics dominated by rice growers and other agricultural interests, including orchard operators. The region is dogged by the high unemployment rates endemic to farming communities. There are large pockets of poverty and swaths of sparsely populated forests, popular with anglers, campers and backpackers.

For now, its all at the mercy of the reservoir that usually sustains it, and provides water for much of the state.

If anything, we would have thought that the dam would have been constructed better, Ramirez said.

Over the weekend, the swollen lake spilled down the unpaved, emergency spillway, which had never been used before, for nearly 40 hours, leaving it badly eroded.

Officials defended the decision to suddenly call for mass evacuations late Sunday afternoon, just a few hours after saying the situation was stable, forcing families to rush to pack up and get out.

There was a lot of traffic. It was chaos, said Robert Brabant, an Oroville resident who evacuated with his wife, son, dogs and cats. It was a lot of accidents. It was like people werent paying attention to other people.

California Gov. Jerry Brown

AP/Nick Ut, File

Gov. Jerry Brown said Monday that he sent a letter to the White House requesting direct federal assistance in the emergency, though some federal agencies have been helping already.

Brown has had harsh words for President Donald Trump, and the state has vowed to resist many of his administrations efforts.

But the governor said at a news conference that hes sure that California and Washington will work in a constructive way. Thats my attitude. There will be different points of view, but were all one America.

The governor said he doesnt plan to go to Oroville and distract from efforts, but he tried to reassure evacuees.

My message is that were doing everything we can to get this dam in shape and they can return and they can live safely without fear, Brown said.

But evacuee Kelly Remocal said she believed the public officials working on the problem are downplaying everything so people dont freak out.

I honestly dont think theyre going to be able to do it, fix the problem, she said. This requires a little more than a Band-Aid. At this point they have no choice but to give it a Band-Aid fix.

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California officials lift evacuation order for 200000 threatened by damaged dam – CBS News

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Anti-Trump fervor sparks a new, liberal kind of tea party activism – Detroit Free Press

Posted: February 14, 2017 at 11:51 am

Kathleen Gray and Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press Published 11:05 p.m. ET Feb. 13, 2017 | Updated 5 hours ago

President Donald Trump has barred all refugees from entering the United States for four months. See how many resettled here last year and how they differ from other immigrants. USA TODAY NETWORK

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Tech companies had strong responses to Donald Trump’s executive order banning immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S., and some took action in response. USA TODAY

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Hear the chants protesters belted out at San Francisco International Airport on behalf of refugees banned under President Trump’s executive order on immigration. USA TODAY NETWORK

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US President Donald Trump’s executive order suspending refugee arrivals for at least 120 days and barring visas from seven Muslim countries has lost its first legal battle after a federal judge ordered detainees at US airports be released. Video provided by AFP Newslook

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Protests flared as President Trump’s executive order blocked refugees from entering U.S. airports, including travelers who already had valid visas. USA TODAY NETWORK

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In the wake of President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration Friday, many critics quickly took up a familiar rallying cry, lifting words from the Statue of Liberty that have for decades represented American immigration. Time

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President Donald Trump has barred all refugees from entering the United States for four months, and indefinitely banned all refugees from Syria. USA TODAY NETWORK

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Lawyers say dozens of travelers from countries named in President Trump’s recent executive order were held at John F. Kennedy International Airport and other airports Saturday amid confusion about whether they could legally enter the country. Time

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Shortly after signing documents in the Oval Office, President Donald Trump said his crackdown on refugees and citizens from seven majority-Muslim countries “is not a Muslim ban.” (Jan. 28) AP

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Iran says U.S. citizens are no longer welcome in the country. Buzz60

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Activists protested on Saturday the detention of two Iraqi citizens at New York City’s JFK airport, one day after President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning citizens from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the US. IMAGES AND SOUNDBITES Video provided by AFP Newslook

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US President Donald Trump unleashed a wave of alarm Saturday with his order to temporarily halt all refugee arrivals and impose tough controls on travelers from seven Muslim countries. Video provided by AFP Newslook

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Lawyers are taking action against President Donald Trump’s immigration policy. Veuer’s Keleigh Nealon (@keleighnealon) has the story. Buzz60

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President Donald Trump’s signing of an executive action to bring sweeping changes to the nation’s refugee policies is causing fear and alarm for immigrants in the U.S. whose family members will be affected. (Jan. 27) AP

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Confusion, worry and outrage grew Saturday as President Donald Trump’s crackdown on refugees and citizens from seven majority-Muslim countries took effect. (Jan. 28) AP

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Speaking backstage at the SAG Awards, actress Lily Tomlin admits she’s worried about Donald Trump “changing the laws.” (Jan. 30) AP

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Protests to President Trumps executive order on immigration have been polarizing for other reasons. USA TODAY NETWORK

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On the red carpet before the SAG awards, Lily Tomlin, Dev Patel, Jeffrey Tambor, and others express shock over the travel ban signed by President Trump. (January 29) AP

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Oscar season is looking more and more like one very well-dressed protest against President Donald Trump after a fiery SAG Awards where Hidden Figures triumphed. (Jan. 29) AP

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Two American basketball players are unable to rejoin their team in Iran due to the countrys response to Donald Trumps immigration ban, according to Chris Mannix of The Vertical. Time Sports

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For the second day in a row after President Trump signed an executive order banning immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations, protesters gathered by the hundreds and flooded their local airports. USA TODAY NETWORK

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Donald Trump’s executive order on ethics looks a lot like Obama’s, which looks like Clinton’s. Video provided by Newsy Newslook

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White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus confirms green card holders moving forward will not be affected. Time

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Hundreds of protesters in Boston chanted and held signs opposing President Trump’s executive order banning all refugees and citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the U.S.

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The former New York City mayor says he helped craft the president’s executive order temporarily barring refugees and some foreign citizens. Video provided by Newsy Newslook

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A federal judge issued an emergency order Saturday night temporarily barring the U.S. from deporting people from nations subject to President Donald Trump’s travel ban. Time

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Donald Trump signed an executive order Friday that temporarily bans refugees from entering the U.S. Video provided by Newsy Newslook

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Washington State Governor Jay Inslee used fiery words to describe his feelings on President Trump’s executive order banning legal U.S. residents and visa-holders from Muslim-majority nations entering the U.S. USA TODAY NETWORK

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Protests have erupted for the second day after US President Donald Trump issued an executive order to temporarily bar refugees and citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S. (Jan 29) AP

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How many refugees did the U.S. admit in 2016, anyway?

Tech world responds harshly to Trump’s immigration ban

Protesters: ‘We are people; we are not illegal’

Donald Trump immigration ban loses first legal battle

Protests erupt at U.S. airports over refugee ban

‘Give me your tired, your poor’: Statue of Libertys immigration poem

Trump’s refugee screening takes immediate effect

Protestors rally at JFK Airport over President Trump’s executive order

Trump says refugee crackdown ‘not a Muslim ban’

Iran says U.S. citizens are no longer welcome in the country

Activists protest Trump’s immigration policy at JFK airport

Sudanese react to US control on travelers from Muslim countries

Refugees detained at U.S. borders challenge Donald Trump

Immigrants with affected family fearful of ban

Trump refugee ban prompts outrage

Tomlin: ‘We have to be vigilant and stop certain behaviors’

Immigration ban protests spark backlash

SAG actors express shock over Muslim ban

Protest of Trump’s immigration ban nabs SAG Awards spotlight

Report: American players stranded in Dubai amid travel bans

‘No hate, no fear’: Protests continue nationwide

Part of Trump’s ethics order might look familiar

White House: Green Card Holders Won’t Be Subject to Immigration Order

Immigration ban protesters gather in Boston

Giuliani: Trump’s travel ban is about danger, not Muslims

Federal Judge Bars Deportations Under President Trump’s Immigration Order

Judge blocks removal of immigrants under Trump’s executive order

Gov. Inslee: ‘What type of inhumane attitude allows this?’

Raw: Protests Continue After Immigration Ban

Kelly Breen, of Novi, attended her first protest in January outside of the Troy congressional office of U.S. Rep. David Trott, R-Birmingham.(Photo: Kathleen Gray/Detroit Free Press)Buy Photo

As the election results began rolling in late onthe evening ofNov. 8 and it appeared that Republican Donald Trump was going to win the presidency, Kelly Breen could watch no longer.

It was looking worse and worse, so I grabbed a beer and my dog and took a walk to the park to think, said the 39-year-old Novi resident, attorney and supporter of Democrat Hillary Clinton. The next day, I came home from work and my husband said, ‘Youre going to do something, arent you?'”


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It was her turn to get politically active, so her husband said he would pick up the slack with their two kids and Breen got to work, starting small and applying for a couple of vacancies on various Novi city commissions.

And late last month, she attended her first protest a rally to support the Affordable Care Act that attracted a couple of hundred people on a Monday lunch hour in front of the Troy congressional office of U.S. Rep. David Trott, R-Birmingham.

With peoples lives at stake, you have to think what is the issue is at hand. Right now, its the Affordable Care Act and that people in war-torn areas have a safe place to be, she said. Those are actual life-and-death matters.

Breen is just one of thousands of people in Michigan who are getting politically active in the wake of the election of Trump as the 45th president of the U.S.

From the millions of people around the world who attended the Womens March the day after Trump was inauguratedJan.21 to the 200 people who showed up at a Washtenaw County Democratic Party meeting on Super Bowl Sunday to the 600 people who crowded into a town hall meeting hosted by U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, R-Cascade Township, last week, the early days of the Trump administration are beginning to look like the tea party movement that blossomed in 2009 in response to the presidency of Barack Obama.

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Anti-Trump fervor sparks a new, liberal kind of tea party activism – Detroit Free Press

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