obama

Who would you nominate for a US Truth and Reconciliation Commission?

Photo by Pete Prodoehl Flickr/creativecommons

Nominations for the US Truth and Reconciliation Commission will be needed. A commission like this, used so successfully in South Africa and Germany, is something transactional justice lawyers and activists have been calling for as the only solution to the dilemma of racial unrest we are experiencing. These commissions are made up of stakeholders from all points-of-view who come together in a extra-judicial forum because they are not about punishment, just truth and reconciliation. It is through these commissions, and the whole of society's experience of them, that we can come together as a nation with a set ...

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Will President Obama Miss the Chance to Stand Up for Church-State Separation?

Mosaic by Charis Tsevis Flickr/creative commons

There is a portion of a 2007 presidential memo pertaining to the 1993 federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) that has been interpreted wrongly, distorted, as a safe harbor for legalized discrimination by tax-exempt faith-based organizations receiving federal funding. (This memo comes from the same George W. Bush's Office of Legal Counsel that brought us the memo making it okay to torture, by the way.) Recently 130 organizations, including American Civil Liberties Union (aclu.org), Americans United for the Separation of Church and State (au.org), National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (avp.org), and AFSCME, sent President Obama Read More

Combatting the Infection of the Religious Right

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"[Y]ou’re not able to see somebody else as a human being," 

Some may predict that the influence of the religious right is waning as the number of Americans identifying as evangelicals declines, but that misunderstands and underestimates the festering infection of their ideas, already in full flower. You can be an secularist but your world is still affected by the disease of fundamentalist thinking that has made and continues to make a deep impression on our laws and policies. The rubric of religious freedom has been fully distorted to protect racial bigotry and legalize discrimination. President Obama Read More

TODAY: Take Action for Net Neutrality

Flickr/creative commons

Last night, President Obama, in his State of the Union speech, made clear that net neutrality is important to everyone throughout the world. "I intend to protect a free and open internet, extend its reach to every classroom, and every community, and help folks build the fastest networks, so that the next generation of digital innovators and entrepreneurs have the platform to keep reshaping our world." We already know that if we don't continue to have unfettered and free access to this most important utility, the voices of so many people will be unnecessarily silenced, bringing us further under the ...

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Thousands of drug offenders to receive clemency

Step by step, month by month, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, as left us breathless as he and the Obama Administration have begun to heal America by destroying some of the malignant tentacles of the 40-year-old War on Drugs. April 2013 will become one of the greatest landmark in establishing human rights in our own country because Holder's most recent efforts will expand the eligibility for clemency to the 20% of all current prisoners who are serving sentences for marijuana possession, eventually freeing tens of thousands of people and improving the future for just as many families. He's hiring more lawyers ...

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White House Proposes Online Privacy Bill of Rights

(También en Español) News of Note: White House Proposes Online Privacy Bill of Rights the Obama Administration released a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights for online users, including the ability for browser users to opt out of being tracked by advertisers and others. The proposed document was described by the White House as "part of a comprehensive blueprint to improve consumers' privacy protections," while maintaining the Internet's growth and innovation. The Administration said the intent is to give users "more control over how their personal information is used on the Internet," and to help businesses grow while maintaining consumer ...

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Global Sexual Freedom Watch

The struggle for the civil rights for women, sexual minorities, and people who are HIV+ outside of the United States, in hundreds of countries, involves fierce protection against imprisonment, mutilation, violence, and death. The abuse of power is monumental, and first world countries mostly sit idly by while this miscarriage of humanity is put forward by governments, religions, commerce, and often vile social custom. This alone should make every American care about this silent genocide, the systematic "disappearing" of people who are HIV+ or lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender and gender-nonconforming (LGBT) and severe restrictions on the rights of women. Read More