Tag Archives | rights

Brutality is Our Society’s Trademark—From the Justice System to Healthcare

Protesters hold a banner that reads, "Health Care is a Human Right." (Photo: Jobs With Justice/cc/flickr)

Protesters hold a banner that reads, “Health Care is a Human Right.” (Photo: Jobs With Justice/cc/flickr)

Donna Smith writes at Common Dreams:

Over the past several weeks, we’ve seen so many examples of brutality played out in our cities — and mostly our most impoverished areas — that it isn’t difficult to see why so many people are in the streets.  Many say white people cannot truly understand the deep racial issues that target African American people and their communities, and that is no doubt true.  But that sort of thinking also keeps groups of people apart who might otherwise band together to exert powerful forces on the corruption that manifests itself in so many places in our society.

Since I advocate for transformation of our health care system, I see brutality — economic and physical — exerted on patients all the time.  Yet patients often do not speak up or gather enough support to wage even a small protest. 

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Protests Go Global as Ethiopians March Against Police Brutality in Tel Aviv

This post was originally published on Common Dreams. See more of Lauren McCauley’s posts here.

Several thousand people, mostly hailing from Israel’s large Ethiopian population, took to the streets of Tel Aviv on Sunday to protest racism and police brutality against ethnic minorities.

According to reports, marchers blocked highway traffic chanting and bearing signs which read: “A violent policeman must be put in prison” and “We demand full equal rights.”

The protest was sparked by the release this week of a video which shows an Ethiopian-Israeli man in an IDF uniform being beaten by police. Demonstrators are demanding an investigation into the attack and are calling for an end to what they say is an epidemic of brutality against Israel’s minority populations.

During a similar protest in Jerusalem on Thursday night police reportedly unleashed tear gas and stun grenades against demonstrators. As the crowd continued to swell on Sunday, the Times of Israel reported that police are threatening to use force.

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Insurance Companies Blatantly Ignore ACA’s Free Birth Control Mandate

Since the ACA's birth control requirement went into effect in August 2012, more than 48 million women no longer face cost barriers to accessing birth control, according to the National Women's Law Center. (Photo: UC Irvine/flickr/cc)

Since the ACA’s birth control requirement went into effect in August 2012, more than 48 million women no longer face cost barriers to accessing birth control, according to the National Women’s Law Center. (Photo: UC Irvine/flickr/cc)

This was originally posted on Common Dreams.

Not only are insurance companies across the country flouting the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) birth control coverage mandate, they are violating a slew of other women’s health requirements related to maternity care and more, the National Women’s Law Center charged in dual reports released this week.

“Insurance companies are breaking the law by denying women coverage to which they are entitled,” NWLC vice president for health and reproductive rights Gretchen Borchelt said in a statement. “The Affordable Care Act has made dramatic improvements in women’s health coverage, but insurers’ failure to comply with its requirements has serious consequences that affect women every day.”

In State of Birth Control Coverage: Health Plan Violations of the Affordable Care Act(pdf), NWLC looked at coverage of FDA-approved birth control methods—which the ACA says must be covered without co-payments or deductibles—and found widespread violations nationwide.… Read the rest

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Things that are not in the Constitution

rights endowed

Seems like every day there is a new story about something some politician is doing or saying that isn’t in the Constitution. Just in case you’re losing track of exactly how many things are not in the constitution, there is a list linked below. Some of the things that are listed are implied powers. Others are powers that congress adopted through the necessary and proper clause. Some of the things listed are not in the constitution and are government policies that are outright unconstitutional. Others aren’t listed because they are considered state powers. Lastly, lots of the rights listed as not in the constitution are powers protected by the 9th and 10th Amendments. I just wish that they had mentioned that the word “democracy” isn’t in the Constitution.

Have you ever heard someone say, “That’s unconstitutional!” or “That’s my constitutional right!” and wondered if they were right? You might be surprised how often people get it wrong.

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Norwegian Muslims to Jews: If Someone Wants To Attack You, They’ll Have To Step Over Us First

Abby Zimet writes at Common Dreams:

In the wake of last week’s attack on a Copenhagen synagogue – along with the Paris terrorist attacks, the murders of three young Muslims in Chapel Hill, and growing anti-Semitism across Europe – a group of young Muslims in Norway have organized a Shabbat “Ring of Peace” around an Oslo synagogue to, in the words of its 17-year-old organizer, “extinguish the prejudices people have against Jews and against Muslims.” Concerned the event could prove “counter-productive” in an increasingly volatile climate, the leader of Oslo’s Jewish community agreed to it only if at least 30 people signed up. To date, over 1,500 have, agreeing with organizers’ argument that, “Islam is about protecting our brothers and sisters, regardless of which religion they belong to.” The event has also sparked a wave of online campaigns expressing similar solidarity, including #IGoToSynagogue #WeMustStickTogether #MuslimsAndJewsRefuseToBeEnemies #ChildrenOfAbraham #AbrahamIbrahim. Explained one attendee for the Ring of Peace, “We all have to live under the same sky.”

And in Toronto, this Blind Trust Project:

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Consumer Self-Defense: 12 Ways to Drive GMOs and Roundup off the Market

'Although Monsanto, industry scientists and corporate agribusiness claim that GMO crops and foods, and the chemicals that accompany them, are perfectly safe and therefore need no labeling or independent safety-testing, hundreds of independent scientists, that is, those not on the payroll of Monsanto or its minions, cite literally hundreds of studies showing that GMOs and their companion chemicals, such as Roundup, are extremely toxic. ' (Photo: Stephen Melkisethian/flickr/cc)

‘Although Monsanto, industry scientists and corporate agribusiness claim that GMO crops and foods, and the chemicals that accompany them, are perfectly safe and therefore need no labeling or independent safety-testing, hundreds of independent scientists, that is, those not on the payroll of Monsanto or its minions, cite literally hundreds of studies showing that GMOs and their companion chemicals, such as Roundup, are extremely toxic.’ (Photo: Stephen Melkisethian/flickr/cc)

Ronnie Cummins writes at Common Dreams:

“Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food,” said Phil Angell, Monsanto’s director of corporate communications. “Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA’s job.” – New York Times, Oct. 25, 1998

“[GMO] Labeling advocates say the issue is about transparency, not safety. Scott Faber, head of the national Just Label It campaign, testified that consumers want to know what they are buying and how the food was produced.

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Jailed Whistleblower Chelsea Manning Wins Battle to Receive Hormone Therapy

Pfc. Chelsea Manning in this undated file photo provided by the U.S. Army. Defense Department officials say hormone treatment for gender reassignment has been approved for Chelsea Manning, the former intelligence analyst convicted of espionage for sending classified documents to the WikiLeaks website. (Photo: U.S. Army/File)

Pfc. Chelsea Manning in this undated file photo provided by the U.S. Army. Defense Department officials say hormone treatment for gender reassignment has been approved for Chelsea Manning, the former intelligence analyst convicted of espionage for sending classified documents to the WikiLeaks website. (Photo: U.S. Army/File)

Jon Queally writes at Common Dreams:

Chelsea Manning, the U.S. Army whistleblower who leaked thousands of internal military and State Department documents to help expose wrongdoing by the U.S. government, will receive the hormone treatment she has been fighting to receive since she was first sent to Ft. Leavenworth prison in 2013.

Manning is serving a 35-year sentence for releasing, among other materials, video footage of U.S. soldiers gunning down civilians from a helicopter in Iraq in 2007. Following her conviction, Manning came out publicly as transgender and soon upon her arrival at Ft. Leavenworth requested that she been given the hormone therapy which the medical community officially agrees is essential to her health and well-being.

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Are You Living with a Terrorist?

The cover of an internal National Counterterrorism Center report which includes a rating system designed to analyze the proclivity of individuals to become radical extremists. (Image: screenshot)

The cover of an internal National Counterterrorism Center report which includes a rating system designed to analyze the proclivity of individuals to become radical extremists. (Image: screenshot)

Jon Queally writes at Common Dreams:

A government document obtained by journalists at The Intercept reveals the National Counterterrorism Center developed a complex set of criteria to help determine if individuals in the U.S. may be more vulnerable than others to the allure of violent extremism and created a “rating system” that would help law enforcement agents rank such prospects.

Posting the complete NCTC document (link/pdf)—which was marked “Unclassified” but also “For Official Use Only” (FOUO)—to their website on Monday, The Intercept reports:

The rating system, part of a 36-page document dated May 2014 and titled “Countering Violent Extremism: A Guide for Practitioners and Analysts,” suggests that police, social workers and educators rate individuals on a scale of one to five in categories such as: “Expressions of Hopelessness, Futility,” “Talk of Harming Self or Others,” and “Connection to Group Identity (Race, Nationality, Religion, Ethnicity).” The ranking system is supposed to alert government officials to individuals at risk of turning to radical violence, and to families or communities at risk of incubating extremist ideologies.

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Why Cuba, and Why Now? One Missing Perspective on the Story

Unpolluted Caribbean Beach, similar to the endangered beached of Cuba. (Photo: Hugo Marin)

Unpolluted Caribbean Beach, similar to the endangered beached of Cuba. (Photo: Hugo Marin)

Hugo Marin and Joyce Meghan, writing at Common Dreams:

The so-called “thaw” between the United States and Cuba has been celebrated by many on the political Left and Right in the United States, while disdained by those on the far Right. What has been absent from the conversation has been the voice of the Pro-Global South and the Cuban people in Cuba. It is critical for Westerners involved in this debate to organize the information in a global and historical context that centers on the Cuban people and their interests.

The mid-far Left views the thaw as a path toward a positive relationship with Cuba and a means to close the Guantanamo Bay Prison. The bipartisan center views this as a path toward a diplomatic relationship with Cuba that would include vast capitalist opportunities for US corporations.

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