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Gender: Male
Hometown: Arizona
Home country: USA
Member since: Wed Jul 16, 2008, 08:35 PM
Number of posts: 29,322

About Me

Left Lane Only is my board. https://leftlaneonly.proboards.com/

Journal Archives

Top Human Rights Tweets Of The Week





Posted by AZProgressive | Sun Aug 29, 2021, 08:45 PM (0 replies)

Sanders, Tlaib hold presser on climate justice FULL (The Hill)

Posted by AZProgressive | Sat Aug 28, 2021, 07:12 PM (0 replies)

58 Years After Historic Rally, Thousands March on Washington for Voting Rights, DC Statehood

A summer marked by rallies, motorcades, and pressure campaigns targeting lawmakers standing in the way of voting rights legislation culminated on Saturday in the 2021 March on Washington, where thousands demanded that Congress pass far-reaching measures to protect and expand the right to vote.

Demonstrators traveled from across the country to mark the 58th anniversary of the historic 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

As groups including the Poor People's Campaign, Stand Up America, and Public Citizen have for months, thousands of protesters called on Congress to pass the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and to eliminate the legislative filibuster to do so if necessary.


The For the People Act would grant statehood to Washington, D.C.; ban partisan gerrymandering; implement automatic voter registration for federal elections, and take other major steps to expand voting rights.

Posted by AZProgressive | Sat Aug 28, 2021, 04:53 PM (0 replies)

Texas Prisons Stopped In-Person Visits and Limited Mail. Drugs Got in Anyway.

Last year, the Texas prison system unwittingly started a controlled experiment.

Agency leaders have long blamed prisoners’ friends and families for a constant flow of drugs they say are often smuggled in through visits and greeting cards. To combat this, prison officials in early March set up new rules curtailing prisoner mail. Two weeks later, they shut down visitation to fight the spread of the coronavirus.


No, they did not, an investigation by The Texas Tribune and The Marshall Project found. Instead, staff and prisoners say the problem is worse, and agency data show guards are finding just as many drugs and writing up even more prisoners for having them.

The main source of the drugs, according to more than a dozen people who lived or worked in Texas prisons over the past year: low-paid employees in understaffed facilities.


Posted by AZProgressive | Thu Aug 26, 2021, 09:20 PM (3 replies)

Defying War Hawks, Biden Plans to Stick With Afghan Exit Deadline

President Joe Biden reportedly intends to stick with his self-imposed August 31 deadline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, rejecting calls for an extension from hawkish GOP lawmakers, members of his own party, and European allies.

During a Tuesday call, according to the Wall Street Journal, Biden told the leaders of G7 nations that the U.S. is on track to meet the withdrawal deadline and that the Pentagon is developing contingency plans in the case of any delay.

The U.S. president's decision to stand by the August 31 deadline provoked immediate howls of outrage from pro-war Republican lawmakers, who accused Biden of capitulating to the Taliban's demand for a timely withdrawal—even though the Pentagon has recommended adherence to the original deadline, warning that staying longer could pose security risks.

On Monday, as Common Dreams reported, Taliban leaders made clear that they would not accept any U.S. effort to push back the withdrawal date—and that any extension would "provoke a reaction."

Posted by AZProgressive | Tue Aug 24, 2021, 04:10 PM (2 replies)

We Reject the Right-Wing Attacks on Racial Justice and Our Classrooms

As of the middle of August, more than two dozen states have introduced—and 11 states have enacted—bills or rules to restrict the teaching of history and contemporary social realities. Right-wing activists have mounted similar attacks at school board meetings throughout the country. This stunning barrage of legislation and policies aims to ban teaching critical race theory (CRT), and supposedly “divisive topics” in the curriculum.

But the real target is the truth.

The anti-CRT campaign echoes the Big Lie that Trump won the election. It is the curricular counterpart to the wave of voter suppression laws promoted by the same far-right political forces that have tried to rewrite the history of the 2020 election and cover up the attempted coup on Jan. 6. Although the particular framing of these laws and penalties varies across states, they are all part of a coordinated campaign of repression meant to enforce a single emphatic message to educators: Shut up or else. The Republican sponsors of these measures fear that in the wake of last summer’s massive Black Lives Matter protests, the anti-racist debates and discussions that have permeated society are seeping into the classroom. With scary buzzwords and misleading framing, both right-wing and corporate media have amplified and spread the perception that classroom teachers are poisoning the minds of children, inviting a wave of harassment against them.

Some provisions of these laws are so sweeping one can imagine teachers finding it virtually impossible to follow the law even if they wanted to. In Tennessee, teachers are prohibited from even including any material in the curriculum that promotes “division between, or resentment of, a race, sex, religion, creed, nonviolent political affiliation, social class, or class of people.” This law would make it impossible to teach Thomas Jefferson’s letter proposing colonization of formerly enslaved people outside the United States or Andrew Jackson’s justification of the Indian Removal Act or Franklin Roosevelt’s “second bill of rights” speech. The penalties for violating these teaching bans range from fines levied against individual teachers and revocation of their teaching licenses, to withholding state funding and rescinding accreditation of school districts, to the threat of lawsuits by parents.

Posted by AZProgressive | Mon Aug 23, 2021, 01:27 PM (1 replies)

Ilhan Omar's Genuine Progress Indicator Act: An Important Step for Sustainability

On July 30, Representative Ilhan Omar introduced the Genuine Progress Indicator Act, which would require federal agencies to evaluate economic policies using the metric known as GPI, alongside the traditional Gross Domestic Product (GDP). If other representatives get on board, this could be an important step in building a socially and environmentally sustainable society.

GDP measures how much is bought and sold within an economy. It assumes that more is always better. The GPI is a more nuanced measure, and it subtracts for things that are bad for society and the environment. GDP was invented to try to calm boom and bust cycles in an economy. It was not intended by its inventors to measure the health of an economy. The GPI measures an aggregate of about 26 different factors and combines them into one simple number. It adds for things such as consumption and leisure, and subtracts for things such as inequality, pollution, and crime. Vermont, Maryland, Oregon, and several countries are already experimenting with using the GPI.

Economic growth is a nickname for increased GDP. Many nations, and many commentators on the economy, have come to use increased growth as an indicator of a healthy economy. They do this even though more growth can be terrible for the environment and for human wellbeing. More growth often goes along with increasing levels of poverty. GDP counts as positive things that are bad for society, such as more economic activity that has to happen to deal with a natural disaster. And GDP doesn’t measure bad things such as poverty, increased greenhouse gas emissions, or death from air pollution. In terrible times we can have high levels of inequality, the rich getting richer, pollution levels soaring and money being spent cleaning the pollution, and increased GDP. Focusing only on GDP discourages us from asking a deeper set of questions of our economic policies: What are we doing that helps us meet real human needs? What are we doing to develop environmentally sustainable practices?

GDP measures throughput in the money economy. The aspects of our world where we take care of each other without using money are invisible to it. Feminist economists have argued since the 1980s that much of what we do to meet our needs through household labor should be considered productive economic activity. If I cook dinner for friends, that does not count as economic activity in the GDP. If they buy dinner at a restaurant, it counts. Measuring an economy based on GDP encourages us to think that more buying and selling is in itself a good thing, even though a world where more of what we do to meet our needs is done without buying and selling is likely to be more satisfying than one where all labor becomes capitalist wage labor.

Posted by AZProgressive | Sun Aug 22, 2021, 01:09 PM (5 replies)

No, George W. Bush doesn't deserve a pass on Afghanistan

It seems like only yesterday that the President of the United States was standing on the pile of rubble of the World Trade Center with a bullhorn telling the world, "I can hear you! The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon." That iconic image of President George W. Bush promising vengeance 20 years ago was America's primal scream in the wake of the horrific terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the echoes of that scream still reverberate today.

But to watch the febrile pundits on TV and read the agitated screeds of hundreds of observers and experts over the past few days, you would never know that the Afghanistan "mission" came out of such a primitive war cry. The sad truth is the war was an act of revenge. The attacks of 9/11 were truly terrifying and wanting to hit back was a natural human response. But leaders are supposed to rise above such emotions and make rational decisions in the national interest. Clearly, that doesn't always happen. For a variety of reasons, they instead start wars, which are the most irrational human activity of all. America has been acting irrationally about Afghanistan ever since.

Of course, they always have a reason and the Afghanistan war had a bunch of them. It was said that we needed to invade to find the villainous mastermind Osama bin Laden who had been sheltered there. President Bush famously said, in another of his primitive statements that everyone seemed to relish, "Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists." But he rejected an offer by the Taliban to hand over bin Laden in exchange for the U.S. to stop bombing their country. He wanted that war.

Sensing that it was important to provide some reasoning that wasn't quite as crude, it didn't take long for other rationales to quickly become part of the marketing for the war. There was also the long-held dream of such neoconservative think tanks as the Project for a New American Century of a Pax Americana, a grandiose plan to bring Jeffersonian democracy to the world at the hands of the mighty U.S. military. Where Bush had once promised a "humble" foreign policy, he now backed the idea that wreaking revenge by invading Afghanistan would be very good for Afghanistan.

Posted by AZProgressive | Thu Aug 19, 2021, 03:34 PM (3 replies)

US to erase student debt for those with severe disabilities

The Biden administration announced Thursday it will automatically erase student loan debt for more than 300,000 Americans with severe disabilities that leave them unable to earn significant incomes.

The move will wipe out more than $5.8 billion in debt, according to the Education Department, and it marks the start of a broader overhaul of a program that has been criticized for having overly burdensome rules.

“We’ve heard loud and clear from borrowers with disabilities and advocates about the need for this change and we are excited to follow through on it,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement.

The federal government offers student debt relief for people who are “totally and permanently disabled” and have limited incomes. But the current rules require them to submit documentation of their disability and undergo a three-year monitoring period to prove they’re earning little pay.

Posted by AZProgressive | Thu Aug 19, 2021, 02:12 PM (1 replies)

NRA Must Be Dissolved After Failing to Clean Up Misconduct, New York Says

The National Rifle Association hasn’t cleaned up rampant financial and managerial misconduct as it claimed over the past year, illustrating the need for the gun-rights group to be dissolved, New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a court filing.

A failed bid for bankruptcy protection earlier this year exposed the hollowness of the organization’s claim to have corrected the mismanagement, which included lavish spending by its longtime leader Wayne LaPierre and other serious lapses, James said in an amended lawsuit in New York state court. The attorney general said even the bankruptcy judge had cited the “shocking” level of authority LaPierre exercised over the group.

James, who sued to dissolve the New York-chartered nonprofit a year ago, said in her new complaint Monday that the NRA’s “evasion of accountability” has “continued unabated.” She said the organization’s leaders intentionally disregarded proper corporate governance, wasted charitable assets, falsely reported improper transactions, and allowed insiders to take advantage of the NRA.

Several alleged abuses were highlighted during a bankruptcy trial in Texas federal court, where a judge in May rejected the NRA’s attempt to reorganize as not having been filed in good faith. The court wrote that the NRA’s bankruptcy was part of an inappropriate attempt to avoid James’s lawsuit. The judge also said he was concerned about the “surreptitious manner” in which LaPierre excluded NRA board members and executives from his decision to file for bankruptcy.

Posted by AZProgressive | Wed Aug 18, 2021, 02:50 PM (6 replies)
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