In Rush to Strike Syria, US Tried to Derail UN Probe

john kerry

Gareth Porter: The real reason for the Obama administration’s hostility toward the U.N. investigation appears to be the fear that the Syrian government’s decision to allow the team access to the area indicates that it knows that U.N. investigators will not find evidence of a nerve gas attack.

Grasp the Future: You Can Vote, But You Can’t Work

Malcolm X

Vijay Prashad: One of the great triumphs of the past two decades has been the gradual and by now almost total demise of the legitimacy of the current phase of capitalism, in other words, neo-liberalism.

Controlling Women’s Bodies

american burqa

Ruth Rosen: What neither side wants to say is that this is a counter-reformation, an attempt to return women to the early 1960s, before birth control pill existed and the Supreme Court established the right of contraception in the United States.

Republicans Ramp Up War on Women

american taliban

Tanya Somanader: Republicans in Congress and across the country are introducing a variety pack of extreme anti-abortion bills — including personhood initiatives, heartbeat bills, and fetal pain bills — that saw some success last year.

The GOP’s 10 Most Extreme Attacks on a Woman’s Right to Choose

women's equality

Tanya Somanader: 10 bills stood out as particularly perturbing and far-reaching efforts to stymie women’s access to abortion services, birth control, and vital health services like breast cancer screenings.

Cholera Petition Suggests UN Caused “Involuntary Genocide” in Haiti

haiti cholera

Georgianne Nienaber: According to the complaint, the United Nations allowed contaminated fecal material to discharge into the Meille River thereby allowing the waters to be contaminated by “omission and negligence.

Ohio’s “Heartbeat” Bill: A Flagrant Violation of Roe v. Wade

abortion

Julie Driscoll: It’s mind-blowing in the extreme that states – such as Ohio, Mississippi before it, Kansas, Alabama, Idaho, Indiana, Oklahoma and others – believe they can just do the big blow-off of Roe v. Wade and strip women of rights that are guaranteed under federal law.

Ohio’s “Heartbeat” Bill: A Flagrant Violation of Roe v. Wade

abortion

Julie Driscoll: It’s mind-blowing in the extreme that states – such as Ohio, Mississippi before it, Kansas, Alabama, Idaho, Indiana, Oklahoma and others – believe they can just do the big blow-off of Roe v. Wade and strip women of rights that are guaranteed under federal law.

Hope and Change: Landmark Human Rights Victories

khymer rouge

Julie Gutman: As the international community prepares to mark the 61st annual Human Rights Day on December 10, here is a short list of some of the best human rights developments of 2011 outside the Middle East.

LA First Major City on “Move to Amend” Bandwagon

Move to Amend LA co-chairs Mary Beth Fielder and Daniel Lee savor their victory at the press conference afterwards.

Michael R. Evans: Los Angeles became the first major city to call for a constitutional amendment to abolish corporate personhood as a City Council resolution passed unanimously before hundreds of enthusiastic local residents

Geneva Diary: In Search of the Voice of the South

geneva united nations

Vijay Prashad: What you have now is sullenness with most of the world defensive and annoyed with the arrogance of the United States and the other members of the Group of Seven (mainly Britain and France).

The US Human Rights Network Conference

national human rights conference

US Human Rights Network Conference – International Human Rights Day is December 10th. The USHR Network is conducting a conference at the Radisson LAX this week

Free Speech: The Outrage Override

free speech

Carl Cohen: But the freedom to speak on matters of public concern is not divisible by topic or party. We will protect that freedom for everyone, including nasty and disgusting folks, or we will lose it.

Why We Must Occupy Democracy

assault and pepper spray

Robert Reich: The First Amendment is being stood on its head. Money speaks, and an unlimited amount of it can now be spent bribing and cajoling politicians. Yet peaceful assembly is viewed as a public nuisance and removed by force.

The Christian Fascists’ Personhood Campaign

human egg

Sikivu Hutchinson: Ever immune to morality, reason, church-state separation precedents and an understanding of the basic laws of biology, the most flat earth reactionary segment of the pro-death anti-choice movement wants to circumvent constitutional protections for abortion by conferring personhood on fertilized eggs.

The City of Second Chances

julie gutman

Julie Gutman: On Labor Day, Let’s Celebrate L.A.’s Status as a Bastion of Human, Immigrant and Workers’ Rights

FBI Probe of VA Crime Should Expand

upside-down-flag-wide

Jeff Norman: Now that the FBI is investigating a homicide committed on VA property, federal authorities may also investigate shady land use deals the VA made.

First Amendment of the United States Constitution

george carlin

Elizabeth Knipe: Of course, this most free-wheeling of all the Amendments in the Bill of Rights is probably the most controversial. The old saying, one man’s poison is another man’s remedy might apply here.

Our Supreme Corporate Court: 3 Strikes and We’re Out!

corrupt-justice

Gary Corseri: While the Court has been telling the wealthy “Full speed ahead,” some 45 million Americans have been getting by on food stamps, and several million more are too worried about their jobs &/or foreclosures to help bankroll local or national candidates

Dangerous Distortions: Anti-Abortion Fascists and Third World Allies

latino-abortion-wide

Sikivu Hutchinson and Diane Arellano: As with the abortion-as-black-genocide billboards unleashed by the far right Radiance Foundation, the Latino billboards evoke reductive hyper-religious narratives of sinning promiscuous bad women and “breeder” good women.

States with Arizona-style Immigration Laws Face Costly Legal Battles

sysiphus-wide

Seth Hoy: Despite repeated warnings from business groups, tourism and industry boards and advocates about the hefty price tag attached to Arizona-style legislation, state lawmakers continued to push “get tough” copycat proposals.

Defending ‘Our Mother’s Gardens’

sikivu hutchinson

Sikivu Hutchinson: Whenever a rape case becomes high profile, the inevitable questions about the victim’s reputation, race, whereabouts, and alleged complicity in the assault are trotted out.

Election Results March 2011

Election Day

Election results for the March 8, 2011 election in Los Angeles are almost completely tallied. The results shown here were obtained from the Los Angeles City Clerk’s office. As newer information becomes available, this post will be updated. Check here for continuing updates.

Time for a Pro-Quality-of-Life Movement

pro-life-wide

Tina Dupuy: The wedge issue of abortion is a red herring. It’s a giant distraction – a shiny thing we all focus on and a drain on resources which could actually be going to making “life” better for American children.

ACLU Pasadena-Foothills: Bullying and Our Children

ACLU Bullying and Our Children

ACLU-SC Pasadena-Foothill Chapter Presents: Bullying and Our Children, a discussion with James Gilliam Deputy Executive Director of the ACLU-SC March 8, 7 p.m;

A Message to Trafficking Victims That Their Lives Matter

rachel-lloyd

Rachel Lloyd: Sara Kruzan was 16 years old when she was charged with killing her 31-year-old pimp, a man who had been grooming her since she was 11 years old and trafficking her since she was 13.

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A “Good Sign” For My Old Kentucky Home

Muslim Man Praying

Berry Craig: A Somali man’s request for a permit to establish a place of worship in a small town in Kentucky was turned down because the townspeople claim there wouldn’t be enough parking spaces.

Does the First Amendment Separate Church and State?

jon butler

Is Thomas Jefferson’s famous phrase “wall of separation between church &
state” too broad an interpretation of the First Amendment? Historian Jon
Butler argues that original intent of the First Amendment was even broader
than that.

Will Militarization of the First Amendment Undermine the Republic?

Military Funeral

Ivan Eland: Why has this reverence for the military arisen and become patriotic when it runs counter to the nation’s founders’ suspicions of large standing armies and foreign military adventures? A skeptic would attribute the excessive exaltation to guilt.

A Burning Question: Extremists on 9/11

nazi book burning

Tina Dupuy: While the debate about books by those who read had been centered on the iPad versus the Kindle – Dove World’s debate is the bible versus the kindling. Which makes bloodletting suddenly seem forward thinking.