State Dept Announces $95K Grant to Teach Haitian Inmates How to Sew

State Dept Announces $95K Grant to Teach Haitian Inmates How to Sew

(CNS News) – The State Department did not have success finding a grant recipient last year, so it decided to again announce a $95,000 grant opportunity for a pilot program to train Haitian inmates in textile production and assembly so that they can sew uniforms for other inmates.

“The objective of the program is to provide training to inmates that will provide them with valuable skills for employment in textile production and assembly, which they will then use to create standardized uniforms for Haiti’s inmate population,” the grant announcement said.

“The grantee will need to work closely with the Haitian Department of Prison Administration (DAP) to hold trainings within DAP facilities, involve DAP personnel through a ‘train the trainer’ model, and coordinate details on inmates’ uniform production,” the announcement said.

“Having standardized uniforms is important for DAP, because corrections officers cannot differentiate between inmates and civilians. Differences in inmates’ street clothes can prompt discrimination in how they are treated by corrections officers, or can incite theft from other inmates,” the grant said.

The grant recipient “should aim to train at least 100 DAP inmates in textile production skills, and at least one DAP personnel in each participating prison.” The training is expected to be delivered to “at least four prison facilities in Haiti’s Ouest Department, including the Youth Offenders’ facility in Delmas 33 and the PetionVille Women’s facility.”

Applicants are expected to propose “key personnel and trainers who are fluent in French and/or Haitian Creole, and all course materials must be delivered in French and/or Haitian Creole (not through interpretation).”

Haiti’s prisons are severely overcrowded with the current prison population exceeding the intended capacity by 5,487 inmates. “Women, men, juveniles, and serious/petty offenders are not separated consistently across the system,” the grant announcement said.

Not only is the program an effort to alleviate “severe overcrowding and improve humane conditions” within Haiti’s prison system, but it is expected to provide inmates with skills they can use to re-enter society and reduce recidivism. Inmates can use these skills to “facilitate their entry into the job market.”

“Inmates targeted for participation should be convicted prisoners with remaining sentences between 2-5 years, with higher priority on those with less time remaining.”

The grant is being issued by the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. One grant is expected to be awarded with an award floor of $40,000 and an award ceiling of $95,000.

“The award may be extended up to two years based on INL’s program priorities, good performance on the award, and pending funding availability,” the State Department said. previously reported on the grant on July 16, 2013, but the grant was never awarded, according to a State Department spokesman, who told Tuesday that the grant opportunity posted on Feb. 3, 2014 is a continuation of the grant announced on June 3, 2013. Since that grant was never awarded, the grant opportunity was announced again.
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Snowden: The NSA is ‘setting fire to the future of the Internet’

Snowden: The NSA is ‘setting fire to the future of the Internet’

(Yahoo) – National Security Agency contractor-turned-leaker Edward Snowden told attendees at the South By Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas, on Monday that they are “firefighters” against mass surveillance.

“The NSA … they’re setting fire to the future of the Internet,” Snowden said. “The result has been an adversarial Internet.”

Snowden spoke via teleconference from Russia — where he was granted asylum from U.S. espionage charges — through seven proxies, organizers said. A green screen behind Snowden projected an image of the U.S. Constitution.

“It’s nothing we asked for,” Snowden said of the NSA’s surveillance. “It’s not something we wanted.”

Snowden dismissed U.S. lawmakers who say his leaks have threatened national security.

“These things are improving national security,” Snowden said. “We rely on the ability to trust our communications.”

People should be able to open emails without fear of spying, “whether they be journalists or activists,” Snowden said.

“We’ve actually had tremendous intelligence failures because we’ve been monitoring everybody’s communications rather than suspects,” Snowden said.

He said tips that could’ve alerted authorities to accused Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the so-called underwear bomber, were missed as a result.

“What did we get from bulk collections?” Snowden said. “We got nothing.”

Snowden also criticized U.S. intelligence officials like James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, for “cheering” the NSA rather than holding it accountable.
“We have an oversight that could work,” Snowden said. “The overseers aren’t interested in oversight.”

The session — billed as “A Virtual Conversation with Edward Snowden” — was moderated by Ben Wizner, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy & Technology Project and Snowden’s legal advisor.

“If he were here in the United States he would be in a solitary cell,” Wizner said.

Snowden’s appearance at SXSW comes two days after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gave a similar speech to the conference from the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he has been living in asylum.

Last week, U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., wrote a letter calling on SXSW conference organizers to cancel Snowden’s appearance.

“I am deeply troubled to learn that you have invited Edward Snowden to address SXSW on privacy, surveillance, and online monitoring in the United States,” Pompeo wrote. “Certainly an organization of your caliber can attract experts on these topics with knowledge superior to a man who was hired as a systems administrator and whose only apparent qualification is his willingness to steal from his own government and then flee to that beacon of First Amendment freedoms, the Russia of Vladimir Putin.”
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Top 10 Idiotic Quotes to Justify ObamaCare Impact

 Top 10 Idiotic Quotes to Justify ObamaCare Impact

ObamaCare, ObamaCare, how shall we excuse you? Although the justifications and excuses for job and wage loss bound, we searched for some of the most idiotic excuses and pseudo-explanations to be found to date. The list of possibilities is almost infinite, but we found a fair representation, although the inclusion here reflects the author’s personal opinion and are listed in no particular order.

“At the beginning of this year, we noted that as part of this new day in health care, Americans would no longer be trapped in a job just to provide coverage for their families and would have the opportunity to pursue their dreams.” – White House spokesperson Jay Carney.
“So it’s not going to cost jobs. It’s going to shift how people make a living and reach their aspirations. … This was one of the goals. To give people life, a healthy life, liberty to pursue their happiness. And that liberty is to not be job-locked but to follow their passion.” – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
“We have the CBO report, which rightfully says that people shouldn’t have job lock. If they — we live in a country where there should be free agency. People can do what they want.” – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev).
“In some cases these people might have two jobs right now … one of those jobs they’re no longer going to work. … these jobs will be filled. It’s not going to have an impact on our economy. We have people waiting to work.” – Senator Ben Cardin (D-Maryland)
“How many of you are single women with children, in a dead-end job? You’re there because of your health insurance. You would rather have the opportunity to spend the next couple of years with your child.” – Obummer, Jr. (Joe Biden, VP)
“It also allows people to take risks that further their careers and benefit the economy as a whole, like going part-time in order to go back to school, leaving a job in order to start a business, or moving to a better job, perhaps at an employer that does not offer coverage.” – Chairman, Council of Economic Advisors Jason Furman.
“What the CBO really said is that people are going to have freedom and choice. Something — liberty — something we thought Republicans were for.” – Rep. Gwen Moore.
“What CBO said is that many American workers would have freedom. Now that’s a good word. Freedom to do things that they couldn’t do. The single mom who’s raising three kids has to keep the job because of health care can now spend some time raising those kids. That’s a family value.” – Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York)
“What the Congressional Budget Office is saying is that we’re going to discourage kids having to have latchkeys. We’re going to have parents being able to come home, working reasonable hours; people are going to be able to retire. People might be able to actually cook dinner rather than have to order out and get some takeout.” – Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.)
“I find it really kind of ironic that back in 2007 when Sen. [John] McCain proposed a health plan, conservatives hailed it as a plan that would break job lock. … Well, the Affordable Care Act does end that job lock, that is not a bad thing, it’s a good thing.” – Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland) in a statement made during a House Budget Committee Hearing.

My personal response?

“Are you on DRUGS?”

If liberty is your goal, how ’bout liberating people from paying their bills that this idiotic requirement prohibits?

Liberty? Get real.