Tag Archives: poverty

Homophobia: Africa’s new apartheid

Homophobia: Africa’s new apartheid

“The construction of sin and categorical notions of sexuality over the past four centuries on the continent are inextricably linked to colonialism, the Church and the ambitions of the state. And ‘independence’ from the colonial powers, as it came, was a shame, for it often did little to inspire independent thought. If anything, the struggle for gay rights in so many African countries today tells us about a continent still battling the demons of colonialism, a continent that is still in the process of negotiating an identity – as articulated, again, through the lens of the colonial master. Among the greatest challenges many African democracies face today are the continued existence of one-party states and the lack of strong civil institutions.”

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Call Welfare “Transitional Living Fund,” Says Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee

CBS DC

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9o1556cO7pg?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent&w=580&h=357%5D

WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) says it’s time to stop blaming economically struggling Americans for their plight.

“Maybe the word welfare should be changed to something of a transitional living fund,” she said in a speech on the House floor. “For that is what it is, for people to be able to live.”

Lee noted that 50 years since the start of Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty” there have been great strides towards raising the standard of living for all Americans.

She noted that infant mortality rates, child hunger and the number of Americans living in poverty have all declined.

Though those problems still exist, she said.

Speaking as Democrats work to push through legislation to help Americans who have been unemployed for over a year, the congresswoman said perhaps it was time to refer to those benefits as “a transitional outreach to individuals who are chronically unemployed.”

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Noam Chomsky: America hates its poor

Noam Chomsky: America hates its poor

“The enormous benefits given to the very wealthy, the privileges for the very wealthy here, are way beyond those of other comparable societies and are part of the ongoing class war. Take a look at CEO salaries. CEOs are no more productive or brilliant here than they are in Europe, but the pay, bonuses, and enormous power they get here are out of sight. They’re probably a drain on the economy, and they become even more powerful when they are able to gain control of policy decisions.”

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Top 45 lies in Obama’s speech at the UN

Top 45 lies in Obama’s speech at the UN

“4. ‘Together, we have also worked to end a decade of war,’ Obama said. In reality, Obama pushed Iraq hard to allow that occupation to continue, and was rejected just as Congress rejected his missiles-for-Syria proposal. Obama expanded the war on Afghanistan. Obama expanded, after essentially creating, drone wars. Obama has increased global U.S. troop presence, global U.S. weapons sales, and the size of the world’s largest military. He’s put ‘special’ forces into many countries, waged a war on Libya, and pushed for an attack on Syria. How does all of this ‘end a decade of war’? And how did his predecessor get a decade in office anyway?”

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Meet the Republicans Who Gobbled Millions in Farm Subsidies and Voted To Slash Food Stamps (VIDEO)

Meet the Republicans Who Gobbled Millions in Farm Subsidies and Voted To Slash Food Stamps (VIDEO)

“Between 1995 and 2011 US tax payers gave away 6.2 million dollars in farm subsidies just to members of Congress or their immediate families. Farm subsidy payments are released yearly to recipients who claim them and are issued  regardless of financial or economic need. A Senate Bill  from 2012 which attempted to make changes to the way the farm subsidies are paid out, was shot down by the same Congressional representatives who continuously demand requirements like drug testing, income documentation, work or training, time limits and many other harsh guidelines for impoverished families who dare ask for help with food.” 

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Despite Supreme Court Ruling, at least 15 States Still Allow Mandatory Life Sentences for Juveniles

Despite Supreme Court Ruling, at least 15 States Still Allow Mandatory Life Sentences for Juveniles

This is what happens when our government allows a for profit prison system to operate in our country. It’s heartbreaking to know that our country imprisons more people than any other country. What’s worse is that profit driven prison systems do not help the country, instead it creates a demand for prisoners and our youths and the disenfranchised are already paying the price. 

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This week in poverty: ’90 percent of workers aren’t getting bupkis’

This week in poverty: ’90 percent of workers aren’t getting bupkis’

‘“If you really want to get wages to grow broadly for everybody it means confronting power in the workplace,” said Mishel. “Confronting the fact that we have an economy geared toward creating huge corporate profits and rising stock prices, but not rising wages, and an economy constructed to give some people power and other people less power.’

Mishel also takes issue with the common assertion by President Obama and others that education is a big part of the solution to the wage problem.

‘Whatever President Obama wants to do in schools or getting more people to go to college is not going to change the fact that wages for college graduates have stagnated for ten years,” said Mishel. “More than 25 percent of college graduates are in managerial or business occupations, and they haven’t had a wage increase in ten years. How can anyone think the answer to the wage problem is going to college?’”

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Transnational Anti-Imperialism and Middle East Women’s Studies

Transnational Anti-Imperialism and Middle East Women’s Studies

“While teaching courses in US Women of Color Feminisms and American Studies on the one hand and Middle East Women’s Studies on the other, I have run up against the limitations of area-studies divisions that continue to predominate within Middle East Women’s Studies—such as the framing of American Studies (including US Women of Color and Native American Feminist Studies) and Middle East Studies (including Middle East Women’s Studies) as separate fields and the United States and the Middle East as geographically bounded regions. Such divisions obstruct the possibilities for engagement with important questions such as whether and to what extent racist/classist/heterosexist US prison structures have anything to do with the US war on terror. In fact, a particular strand of feminist scholarship that I will refer to here as Anti-Imperialist Transnational Feminist Studies (AITFS) has been asking such questions for decades, and these questions are now more imperative to Middle East Women’s Studies than ever before.”

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How “Real” Is “Orange Is The New Black”? Comparing The Show To The Memoir To The Numbers

How “Real” Is “Orange Is The New Black”? Comparing The Show To The Memoir To The Numbers

“The privatized prison system benefits prison-building corporations, the companies who facilitate the expensive phone services and the manufacturers of commissary goods — but it also greatly benefits companies who “employ” prisoners to boost their bottom line. UNICOR, for example, “employs” more than 3,000 prisoners starting at 23 cents an hour manufacturing electronic equipment, most of which is for the Department of Defense. UNICOR made over $900 million in revenue last year. In Danbury, Kerman writes, the FCI inmates worked in a UNICOR warehouse making military radio components for a dollar an hour. In Danbury, inmates needed a GED to earn over 14 cents an hour, and a GED program was offered within the prison.

The facilitation and purpose of “work assignments” varies widely from institution to institution — some claim work assignments will give you valuable skills for the real world, others aim to keep the institution going on the cheap, most serve to simply keep inmates busy during the day, and many are essentially a legal form of slave labor.

The show and the memoir are consistent with their portrayal of the work program at Danbury, from the toxic mold preventing Piper from doing the education program to her eventual assignment of electrical.

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