With holiday hiring upon us, job prospects for the hard to employ are looking up – if only on a temporary basis. But for the 65 million Americans with criminal records, even a temporary job is often out of reach. That’s why the Target Corporation’s removal of criminal history questions from its employment applications is such promising news. While many state and local governments have decided to “ban the box” on job applications asking applicants if they’ve ever been convicted of a crime, Target represents one of the most prominent companies to do so.
In the now-famous speech that he gave to a congregation in Memphis the night before he was assassinated in April of 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King spoke at length about travelling roads. If he were given the option to live in any period, he said, he would trek through the dark dungeons of Egypt, across the Red Sea, and then on to Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, the Renaissance, the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation and the establishment of the New Deal programs before landing at that time, the politically perilous year of 1968.
Peer support is a system of giving and receiving help founded on key principles of respect, shared responsibility, and mutual agreement of what is helpful. Peer support is not based on psychiatric models and diagnostic criteria. It is about understanding another’s situation empathically through the shared experience of emotional and psychological pain. When people find affiliation with others whom they feel are “like” them, they feel a connection.
Thanks to the mass privatization of public water systems and the fake rhetoric of “clean coal,” we’re all at higher risk for disasters like the Elk River chemical spill.
West Virginia is facing a massive disaster with no end in sight. And if we don’t do something about anti-regulation zealotry, the mass privatization of public water systems and the real dangers of coal and other dirty energy productions, we’ll all be at risk of similar disasters in the future.
JAISAL NOOR, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network, and welcome to this latest edition of The Ratner Report.
Now joining us is Michael Ratner. He's president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York, chair of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights in Berlin. He's also a board member for The Real News Network.
Thank you so much for joining us, Michael.
MICHAEL RATNER, PRESIDENT EMERITUS, CENTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS: Good to be with you again, Real News and Jaisal.
Congratulations to all DC workers and to the advocates who helped push the DC Council to pass unanimously the Fair Minimum Wage Act and Earned Sick and Safe Leave Amendment Act of 2013 today without allowing the bills to be weakened by amendments.
Although news reports have shared some of the highlights of the worker protection bills just passed by the DC Council, here are some of the details, which weren’t always covered.
If we turn the late South African leader into a nonthreatening moral icon, we’ll forget a key lesson from his life: America isn’t always a force for freedom.
Now that he’s dead, and can cause no more trouble, Nelson Mandela is being mourned across the ideological spectrum as a saint. But not long ago, in Washington’s highest circles, he was considered an enemy of the United States. Unless we remember why, we won’t truly honor his legacy.
A handful of peace activists gathered outside of Fort Carson on Sunday to protest the military's continued detention of a self-proclaimed conscientious objector who recently gave birth.
At the heart of their concerns: Army Pfc. Kimberly Rivera's newborn son, Matthew, is not receiving breast milk because Rivera is not allowed to keep him with her at Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar in San Diego, where she's being held, according to her civilian lawyer, James Branum.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Activists and labor organizers launched an initiative Tuesday to get a referendum on the ballot in 2014 to raise the minimum wage in the nation’s capital to $12.50 an hour, and the hourly rate for tipped workers to $8.75, by 2017.
Activists have long criticized Walmart for failing to pay its employees living wages, and instead relying on the state to step in and pay for the healthcare and food of workers. In Canton, Ohio, another Walmart recently demonstrated this kind of corporate welfare by holding a food drive—for its own employees.
“Please donate food items so associates in need can enjoy Thanksgiving dinner,” reads a sign accompanied by several plastic bins.
Understandably, the food drive has sparked outrage in the area.
Scott Messick is a 54-year-old retired health insurance consultant from Conroe, Texas. His wife runs a small yarn shop. They're both on his former employer's health insurance plan for retirees, and Messick says that he and his wife together pay $964 a month in premiums, and a $12,000 annual deductible (the amount of money they have to pay out-of-pocket each year before the insurer will pay any expenses). Starting in January, their premiums will shoot up to $1,283 a month, he says. Earlier this month, Messick logged on to the federal insurance exchange website to shop for a new plan.
2013 is a significant year in my work for justice. It was 50 years ago the National March on Washington made history and Dr. King wrote his famous letter from the Birmingham Jail. Fifty years ago, the Washington Peace Center was founded. Twenty-five years ago, I served as the Coordinator of the Washington Peace Center. Ten years ago, United for Peace and Justice was born, a campaign in which I continue to serve as a National Convener. One year ago, I joined the Peace Center Advisory Council.
The following is the transcript of a speech that was given by WPC board member, Vasudha Desikan, at our 50th Anniversary party in May.
This past weekend, I was obsessively watching “Friday Night Lights” on Netflix. For those of you who don’t know, the show is about this Texas high-school football team that is down and out, until this passionate but straight talkin’ coach with a vision instills them with hope and discipline, and they end up going to the State championships. I won’t give any more spoilers, promise.
For me, the fiftieth anniversary of the Peace Center has two meanings. On one level, realizing that I have been associated with the Center for 30 of my 51 years makes me feel much like I did when I received my first solicitation from AARP last year: How can I be so old? On another, it reminds me that I made a commitment to the Center from which I have derived a great deal of satisfaction. In the autumn of 1983 I climbed up the narrow stairs to the attic offices the Center then had in the Friends Meeting of Washington, and in my heart I have never come back down.
The partial shutdown of the federal government has entered its 16th day, and the nation is now on the brink of a default as the government’s borrowing authority ends tomorrow. On Tuesday, Fitch Ratings warned it could cut the the U.S. government’s AAA debt rating if a deal to raise the debt limit is not reached. In a statement, Fitch said, "The prolonged negotiations over raising the debt ceiling ... risks undermining confidence in the role of the U.S.
October 7 marked the 12th anniversary of the Afghanistan War, but you wouldn’t know it by reading the papers. In fact, “America’s longest war” has become so unpopular that both the media and the Obama administration have done everything in their power to sweep the whole matter under the rug hoping that people just forget about it. But it’s hard to forget about it when US troops keep getting blown up like they did on Sunday. Just look at this from CBS News:
The shutdown of the federal government which began at midnight today is a body blow to our economy that could prove difficult to bear. Coming on the heels of the automatic budget cuts of sequestration, which are already forecast to cost 750,000 jobs this year, and three years of an anemic economic recovery, the furlough of almost a million federal workers is just not what the economy needs right now. The shutdown was touched off by a Senate vote yesterday to turn down a measure that would have kept the government operating for 10 weeks in exchange for a one year delay in Obamacare.
DC has a rich history of housing cooperatives, in which each resident owns a share of the entire property, not just their unit. While relatively unknown, there are at least 120 co-ops in DC, many of which are a great source of stable, affordable housing.
In a cooperative, each resident owns a share in the corporation that owns their property, entitling them to reside in a specific unit. The corporation has a board of directors and a management company, which maintains the property, screens new residents, and determines monthly fees or carrying charges.
On 9/5/13, the Washington Peace Center sponsored a teach-in about the proposed bombing of Syria. Featuring Rania Masri and Bassam Haddad, it was a fantastic presentation and conversations about the context and history of the proposed bombings, why this was happening now, what the alternatives were and what we could do about it.
It changed everything.
That's the mantra that emerged from the horrific attacks of September 11, 2001. In certain areas of our collective lives, it was an accurate description. Security concerns increased. The United States went to war in two far-away lands. It engaged in brutal practices that amounted to torture and opened secret prisons and the ever-controversial Guantanamo facility. Ugly barriers went up around public facilities. Navigating airports became a new kind of nightmare.
President Barack Obama’s August 31 announcement that he would seek congressional authorization to strike Syria has complicated an aggressive Israeli campaign to render a US attack inevitable. While the Israelis are far from the only force in bringing the US to the brink of war – obviously Assad’s own actions are the driving factor – their dubious intelligence assessments have proven pivotal.
Sixty-eight years have passed since atomic bombs were used against people for the first time — on Aug. 6, 1945, in Hiroshima and three days later in Nagasaki. Policymakers the world over should take concrete action toward the abolition of nuclear weapons by listening to what Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui said in his 2013 Peace Declaration on Tuesday, the 68th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing.
“We won the battle, now we need to go win the war,” shared defense attorney David Coombs following today’s verdict. “Today is a good day, but Bradley is by no means out of the fire,” he said to dozens of emotional supporters outside of the Fort Meade, Maryland military courtroom. Coombs expressed subdued optimism going into the expected month-long sentencing phase of the court martial that will determine how long Bradley Manning will remain in confinement.
We call for a massive mobilization to shut down either Tallahassee or Sanford, Florida in August or September to: a) present a comprehensive set of structural demands and b) help congeal the broad social justice movements fighting for justice for Trayvon Martin to be able to develop and advance a comprehensive BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaign.
Some Preliminary Demands:
Repeal the “Stand Your Ground Law”
Blood stained the street a few days before we moved into our home in Hartford, CT. in 1997. Our welcome block party was to be a vigil. It smelled of something rancid perfumed in eulogies of self-righteousness.
Two years after the Arab uprisings fuelled a wave of protests and occupations across the world, mass demonstrations have returned to their crucible in Egypt. Just as millions braved brutal repression in 2011 to topple the western-backed dictator Hosni Mubarak, millions have now taken to the streets of Egyptian cities to demand the ousting of the country's first freely elected president, Mohamed Morsi.
Beginning at 8:30 AM this morning, non-union, federally-contracted workers plan to walk off the job at the Ronald Reagan Building and Old Post Office Pavilion in Washington, DC.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, which determines what states and jurisdictions are covered by Section 5, is invalid after less than 50 years of protecting African Americans and people of color. The currently covered areas are places that historically have disenfranchised people of color, or those for whom English is their second language. But Chief Justice John Roberts has ruled that the formula, which was last updated in the late 1960s-early 1970s, must be updated by Congress so that it covers areas that violate voting rights today.
Given the massive investment in national security after 9-11, recent news that the federal government is spying on hundreds of millions of people in the United States and around the world may not have come as a surprise. Polls suggest that a majority of Americans are shrugging their shoulders at the revelations of a government espionage effort against them. But an uncomfortable reality of the once secret scheme is the degree to which people of color are disproportionately caught up in the government’s dragnet.