Picture of the APRL Library from the 2nd floor with the organizational logo and the words "American Philatelic Research Library," "Stamplibrary.org," "Ribbon Cutting," and date and town printed on top of the picture

Historic Preservation and the APRL

Picture of the APRL Library from the 2nd floor with the organizational logo and the words "American Philatelic Research Library," "Stamplibrary.org," "Ribbon Cutting," and date and town printed on top of the picture

Ribbon-Cutting Program brochure

The grand opening ceremony of the APRL at the Match Factory in Bellefonte was held this morning here in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.

About 15 years ago, the American Philatelic Society (APS) and the American Philatelic Research Library (APRL) purchased the Match Factory complex here in Bellefonte . When purchased, the Match Factory was a structure with extremely leaky roofs and walls.

Over the last decade, the APS and the APRL  took the time and effort to restore this grand, historic building. This morning, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to open up the newest section. It is a two-story research Library containing the largest set of philately research materials in the world.

This slideshow gives you a quick picture of the speakers that were at the ceremony along with the crowd from around the country who came to help celebrate this great moment.

Are You a Political Nerd?

Drawing of Uncle Sam pointing his finger at you

Do you know our US political structure?

Do you know what’s in the US Constitution? Do you know what oligarchy or anarchy mean? Are you, in essence, a political junkie?  Here’s  a quiz from Women.com that can answer some of these questions for you.

https://www.women.com/laney/quiz-only-1-in-50-people-can-get-100-percent-on-this-politics-test-can-you?layout=embed

Let us readers know how you did. And have fun.

I Believe and I Vote

I believe in democracy.
I believe in every citizens’ right to vote.
Without intimidation or fear.
I believe in justice and opportunity for all.
For our Mothers, Daughters, and Sisters…
For our Fathers, Sons, and Brothers.
… It’s the American Way.
What about you?
Remember in November!
VOTE!

Words are very powerful.  Sometimes, however, pictures are worth a 1000 words.

Here’s one such video.  Believe in yourself and your power as a voter.  Get out and vote!

Complete Video with audio 10-10-2016 from George Polisner on Vimeo.

Civic Works -GOTV Video for 2016 -George Polisner and Muhammad Azim.

Out of the Closet

For my friends, family members and others who are in the “closet” for fear our current political climate. Whether you are you gay, straight, Muslim, black, a sexual assault survivor, …, or just fearful of putting up a yard sign in your yard. This is for you…

Nel's New Day

National Coming Out Day has been commemorated every October 11 for the past 28 years. It began in 1988 by marking the one-year anniversary of the 1987 March on Washington Lesbian and Gay Rights and continues to invite LGBT people to come out of the “closet” and proudly announce their sexual orientation and gender identity. The “closet” has been more and more associated with the LGBT community because, as Judy Grahn wrote in 1984:

“At present the term ‘closet’ implies a scandalous personal secret, or skeleton, in the family closet. In the case of a Gay person, it refers more precisely to being the skeleton in the family’s closet. That skeleton is the reality of Gayness itself. The sometimes violent and always frightening suppression of Gay culture often forces Gay people to live in the closet, in a secret world….”

The past few decades have marked a time when LGBT…

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For Many Women, Trump’s ‘Locker Room Talk’ Brings Memories of Abuse

A version of this article appears in print on October 11, 2016, on page A1 of the New York Times.

Central Oregon Coast NOW

OCT. 10, 2016

assault Jill Gallenstein of Los Angeles wrote on Facebook about her experience with sexual assault. “This is RAPE CULTURE — the cultural conditioning of men and boys to feel entitled to treat women as objects,” she said. Credit Emily Berl for The New York Times

It was the author Kelly Oxford, a social media powerhouse, who got things started on Friday night.

“Women: tweet me your first assaults,” she wrote on Twitter at 7:48 p.m. “They aren’t just stats. I’ll go first: Old man on city bus grabs my ‘pussy’ and smiles at me, I’m 12.”

When she first posted the message, Ms. Oxford said in an interview later, she did not expect more than a handful of replies. “It was such a personal question,” she said. “I thought, ‘No one is going to share anything on Twitter.’”

Yet by Saturday morning, she was getting…

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Republicans Must #DumpTrump: Trump’s Lewd Language & Sexual Assault Braggadocio

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, here’s something you can do.

Yesterday, the Washington Post released a 2005 video of Donald Trump. In this video and news article, Trump, using lewd language where he essentially brags about sexually assaulting women.


Video Courtesy of the Washington Post (Trigger Warning: Crude, lewd language)

A few hours after the video was released, Trump released a classic non-apology in a statement, saying “I apologize if anyone was offended.” What he said was that he was sorry for others being offended by his language and behavior condoning sexual assault.  Not that he was personally sorry for his offensive behavior.

A few hours after that, he released a short video again “apologizing” saying“I said it. I was wrong and I apologize.”  I put apologizing in quotes because he then immediately segued into blaming the Clinton’s for abuse of women saying that they both abused women but he only used bad language.


Video Courtesy of USA TV.

His “apology,” stated:

“I’ve said some foolish things. But there’s a difference between the words and actions of other people. Bill Clinton has actually abused women and Hillary [no last name mentioned as he consistently does with men] has bullied, attacked, shamed, and intimidated his victim”

Trump saying he hasn’t abused women???!!! His words in the 2005 video speak otherwise:

“I did try and f— her. She was married.”

“I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married”

“You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait.”

Grab them by the p—y. You can do anything.”

All of these statements meet the definition of sexual assault as defined by the FBI:

Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Falling under the definition of sexual assault are sexual activities as forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape.

In 2013, I wrote a blog about the climate of indifference related to sexual assault on college campuses.  This is no different. Trump’s indifference towards women and his misogynistic and possibly criminal behavior is unacceptable and disgusting.  As Bridgette Stumpf, co-executive director of Network for Victim Recovery of D.C. told the Washington Post:

“That’s nothing less than someone talking about committing sexual violence — the kissing, the grabbing. He’s talking about women as if they’re objects, as if they don’t have a right to consent to the way someone touches them. This is how sexual violence becomes accepted in our culture.”

So what can you do?  If you are a survivor of a sexual assault or abuse OR personally know someone who has been assaulted or abused, please take a moment to sign the UltraViolet.org letter to Republican leaders, candidates, and elected officials.

Only your first name will be used to protect your privacy.  This letter calls upon…

 “ALL Republican leaders, candidates, and elected officials to take a stand against sexual assault and abuse–and take a stand against your own nominee for President. You must not only denounce Trump’s words, but clearly and unequivocally denounce his candidacy and do all in your power to make sure that this sexual predator never sets foot in the White House. And we urge you to support strong policies that will end the epidemic of sexual assault in this country and support survivors of abuse.”

This has to stop.  No “Assaulter in Chief!” Please sign this letter now!

Just In: Unlocking Abortion Coverage in the Keystone State

Info and link to a guide on abortion access under Pennsylvania’s Medicaid Program. As this shows, we need to have Congress repeal the Hyde Amendment.

Women's Law Project Blog

unlocking

The Women’s Law Project, in collaboration with the National Health Law Program, just published Unlocking Abortion Coverage in the Keystone State, an initiative of the Reproductive Health Data and Accountability Project.

Unlocking Abortion Coverage in the Keystone State is a report and guide for abortion providers that addresses rules governing coverage of abortion under Pennsylvania Medical Assistance, Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program.

Pennsylvania Medical Assistance provides public health coverage to low-income people who meet certain eligibility criteria. Though coverage of abortion care under Medical Assistance is extremely limited, federal and state laws and policies require Medical Assistance to cover abortions in cases of rape, incest, and life endangerment.

You can download or read the guide here.

Last week, Philadelphia became the 11th city to officially call on Congress to repeal the Hyde Amendment, the federal law that prohibits federal dollars from funding abortion through Medicaid except in these narrow…

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