Posts Tagged Equal Rights

Starved Government Won’t Die But Poor Increasingly Suffer

Legal Inequality


Read this: Inequality is all around us and as it spreads it’s ugly head pops up in seemingly unintended places, but one has to wonder about that. At the very least it is a product of simply not caring. It is pretty commonly accepted that starving government programs (excepting the military) is a tactic utilized constantly by the right in order to feed public contempt for government. As profitable corporations pay no taxes or receive giant refunds and the flight of potential tax revenue as corporations and the wealthy hide money in off shore tax havens has resulted in most of our government programs becoming grossly and intentionally underfunded. The result is: conservative or liberal, we are all frustrated with our government whenever and wherever we interact with it. This is not really news but a closer look at certain specifics illustrate that loss of basic constitutional rights (for the poor of course) can proliferate as a result.

The article below from The Nation Magazine, by Sara Mayeux focuses on our starved legal system where typical austerity focuses cuts on programs that can least afford them. Read the rest of this entry »

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Non-Basketball Thoughts With (Librarian) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Abdul-jabbar


Read this:  As an avid basketball player and fan, I just had to include this.  In the two articles below from The Nation Magazine, author Dave Zirin interviews Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on a whole range of subjects.  Kareem has always been one of my favorites and I am glad to see him in an article in The Nation Magazine.  He always seems to be overly serious, seeming to have trouble with the shallow focus of many, particularly in the world of professional sports.  Zirin says that “sitting down with a basketball legend with a genius-level IQ demands eclectic questions and invites delicious answers.”  Somehow they never get to basketball and that is appropriate today.  After the interview Zirin say he “somewhat understood what makes Kareem that ‘different kind of cat’.”  He goes on to suggest that a less athletically gifted Kareem would “have been perhaps a New York City librarian, content amidst the stacks of books and fulfilled by showing that one troubled kid how to find joy in the written word. Librarian Kareem would also have written crime thrillers with a social justice bent after work, just as a hobby.”

Well Kareem is writing and creating some notice in the process.  He even recently got under the skin of “The Donald”.  The first link describes the lead up to the interview with Kareem and the second link deals with some of his main points of emphasis.


1st article:

http://www.thenation.com/article/kareem-abdul-jabbars-beautiful-mind/

2nd article:

http://www.thenation.com/article/my-major-problem-kareem-abdul-jabbars-powerful-essay-ferguson/

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“Homosexuality Is An Abomination”, Selective Use Of The Bible

The West Wing character Dr. Jenna Jacobs


Watch or read:  One of my favorite old shows, The West Wing, abounded with great writing, on very real issues, that we sometimes still face today.  The Daily KOS article below, by Jen Hayden, beautifully demonstrates an answer, more like a counter, to religious arguments focusing on the Bible and calling homosexuality an abomination.  By demonstrating the selective use of the Bible to support some historical issues / practices and not others, it becomes crystal clear that things are just not that simple.   After fictitious President Bartlett delivers his counter, everyone is left speechless and the room is silent. You can’t help but feel well done Mr. President.  Too bad it is not always this easy, but if we arm ourselves with a little more knowledge maybe we can help to silence more of these feeble arguments.


http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/09/04/1418403/-This-is-how-you-challenge-people-who-use-the-Bible-to-defend-discrimination?

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Time For Dept. of Labor & Labor Secretary Perez to side with Main Street

 Bank - Get Out of Jail  Sign the petition:  This Credo Action petition questions whether or not criminal banks – “banks that recently pled guilty to felony charges for rigging exchange and interest rates” should be allowed to keep their “trusted” status.  If we don’t act fast, criminal banks that broke the law will get to keep their perks as trusted stewards of Americans’ retirement savings.  “Senator Elizabeth Warren is demanding that the Department of Labor conduct a thorough and tough public hearing before granting these banks waivers allowing them to keep their ‘trusted’ status”.  Please stand with Senator Warren against “get out of jail free” waivers for banks.


http://act.credoaction.com/sign/dolwaivers?sp_ref=132163202.4.14122.e.57322.2&referring_akid=14957.8347606.MhENib&source=mailto_sp

 

 

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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Under Attack Again

 CFPB

Protect it

 Sign the petition:  Too often progressives / liberals fight hard for something, win and then go on vacation thinking the battle is over.  Not so and we need to always remember that.  Victory is a never ending battle, just look at Roe v. Wade.  The group Americans for Financial Reform has put together a petition needing attention as conservatives move to reverse recent accomplishments by Senator Elizabeth Warren since creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  As the article says, “…Wall Street lobbyists and their friends on Capitol Hill” are going “after the agency conceived by Senator Elizabeth Warren to bring fairness and transparency to the banking and lending markets. Once again, the special interests have made a special target of Washington’s only financial regulator with a mandate to put the interests of consumers first – an agency that over the past 4 years has delivered $5.5 billion in refunds and restitution to consumers cheated in one way or another by financial companies big and small.”  When the powerful lose a battle they don’t panic, they very effectively regroup and try to find another way (often a very deceptive way) to reverse that previous loss and maybe turn it into their kind of victory.  One popular technique is to attach a bill to another very popular, often unrelated bill, effectively daring their peers to vote no on the primary action.  “Not for the first time and not for the last, the enemies of bank regulation are trying to use budget bills and other “must pass” legislation to push fellow lawmakers and the President into accepting measures that would never stand a chance of being signed into law on their own. This bill still has a long and twisty road to travel; to make sure these sneak attacks on Wall Street reform do not succeed, we need all parties to know we’re watching. We need to make our opposition loud and clear.”  Please sign this petition letting everyone know we are watching and there will be consequences.


http://action.civilrights.org/site/Survey?ACTION_REQUIRED=URI_ACTION_USER_REQUESTS&SURVEY_ID=4681&s_src=150628email

 

 

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When 100 Year Old Case Law Should Be Abandoned

 US Territories Rights  Read this and become angry:  There are many stories about things the US Government does in our name that make you, let’s say, not very proud.  Sometimes you can somewhat understand the logic behind it, but other times you just find yourself saying, REALLY.  Our treatment of people in island territories such as American Samoa and Puerto Rico, is unbelievable.  For that matter why isn’t DC a new state or part of one of the existing states.  In all of these stories the people who live in these areas have various marginalized rights as US citizens and sometimes not even that.  The article in the link below, from Mother Jones Magazine By Pema Levy tells the story of American Samoans being denied “Birthright Citizenship” as the Federal Appeals Courts continue to reference “Racist Caselaw” that originated in the early 20th century.  One judge in that decision “refers to the inhabitants of the new territories as ‘savage’ and ‘alien races’,” while another judge stated “that granting citizenship to an ‘uncivilized race’ in a new territory would ‘inflict grave detriment on the United States ‘”.  This is only the way we officially perceive American Samoa, who knows how we feel about other territories.  After reading this article I bet you will be brimming with pride.  Everything our government does is not always good and we need to remember that and speak out for change.

http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/06/appeals-court-denies-birthright-citizenship-american-samoans

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Right to Work, HOGWASH – It’s A Well Disguised Path to Less For Workers

 Labor Characters Read this:  The attached article from the Economic Policy Institute, by Elise Gould concludes that “there has been an erosion of collective bargaining across the nation and it hurts workers’ wages and benefits”.  Ms. Gould points out that “one key factor in the divergence between pay and productivity is the widespread erosion of collective bargaining that has diminished the wages of both union and nonunion workers. In fact, the erosion of collective bargaining has been a key factor undermining pay growth for middle-wage workers over the last few decades.”  At the same time, there is a total disconnect between productivity and the typical workers compensation providing charts to support this.Since the 1070’s there has been a creatively mislabeled push in certain states to make them “right to work” states.  The main factor here is to nullify the ability of unions to collect their member fees as an automatic payroll deduction.  This policy strangles unions ability to recieve funding.  So what actually is the relationship between wages and right-to-work status?  This article says “at their core, right-to-work laws hamstring unions’ ability to help employees bargain with their employers for better wages, benefits, and working conditions. Given that unionization raises wages both for individual union members as well as for nonunion workers in unionized sectors, it is not surprising that research shows that both union and nonunion workers in right-to-work states have lower wages and fewer benefits, on average, than comparable workers in other states.”

Read more in the attached short article and remember when voting – a candidate for “right to work” is only concerned with corporations.

http://www.epi.org/publication/congressional-testimony-the-erosion-of-collective-bargaining-hurts-workers-wages-and-benefits/

 

 

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Bipartisan bill meant to help survivors of human trafficking blocked by GOP because of possible abortions

 Human Trafficing
Sign the petition:  Sometimes it just seems the GOP have no common sense and are maybe even fond of punishing victims.  In this case, Justice for Victims in Trafficking Act, “a bipartisan bill meant to help survivors of human trafficking is being hijacked by Republicans who are putting anti-abortion political grandstanding before women’s lives.”  It seems so simple that these people, these victims, need help without anyone dictating moral right and wrong.  “The majority of human trafficking victims are women and girls. They need access to the full range of reproductive health care services without additional barriers erected by Republicans in Congress.”
 

 

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