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COLUMBIA, Pa. — The end of the road, where the street suddenly stops and the towering wall of corn begins, always called out to Linda Fischer. She would pedal her bike there slowly as a child, back before they built any houses on the road, when it was just the cornstalks growing thick toward the sky. It was the silence she found there, the holiness she felt in that stillness, that led her to dedicate her life to God.
Fischer has always known this land as sacred.
Now the 74-year-old nun and her sisters in their Catholic order suddenly find themselves fighting to protect the land from an energy company that wants to put a natural gas pipeline on it.
Behavior of state leaders, state policy community raise warning flags
The last seven years in North Carolina politics and policy have been extraordinary. In a very short period of time, a once moderate state has been transformed into a kind of laboratory for far right policies and a testing ground for what we are coming to know now as Trumpism. On issue after issue, state legislative leaders have aggressively pursued an ultra-conservative agenda that seeks to radically remake the state’s social contract.
This month, the Supreme Court struck down a law that treated unwed mothers and fathers differently when granting citizenship to their children born outside the United States — the requirements for fathers were stiffer. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, authoring a majority opinion joined by five other justices, wrote that the law was based on gender stereotypes that violated the notion of equal protection. (photo from Naturally Healthy Parenting) Continue reading
The Trump administration has an interesting definition of diversity.
Now that the Republicans have passed a bill to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, they’ve got to start the hard work of putting together an Unaffordable Care Act, better known as Trumpcare – and they’ve found just the right men for the job. “Men” being the operative word: 13 men and zero women were initially chosen for the Senate healthcare group.
“I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As the result of the (Civil) War, corporations have been enthroned. … An era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people… until wealth is aggregated in a few hands… and the Republic is destroyed.” – Abraham Lincoln, 1864
Equal Pay Day 2017 is Tuesday, April 4, marking how far into the year that women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year. Women make up almost half of the workforce, are the sole or co-breadwinner in half of American families with children, and are graduating from college at higher rates than men. Yet, on average, women continue to earn considerably less than men. In 2015, women working full-time, year-round made only 80 cents for every dollar earned by men, a gender wage gap of 20 percent.
A message from the ACLU of North Carolina. Rather than cleanly repeal House Bill 2 March 30th, the North Carolina General Assembly passed and Governor Roy Cooper signed a new law — HB 142 — that keeps in place many of the most harmful parts of HB 2. It is not a real repeal, and it doesn’t leave North Carolina the way it was before HB 2 was rushed into law last year.
[Editor’s note: In the new Washington, D.C. of Donald Trump, many once-settled policies in the realm of consumer protection are now “back on the table” as predatory businesses push to take advantage of the president’s pro-corporate/anti-regulatory stances. A new report from the Center for Responsible Lending (“Been there; done that: Banks should stay out of payday lending”) explains why one of the most troubling of these efforts – a proposal to allow banks to re-enter the inherently destructive business of making high-interest “payday” loans should be fought and rejected at all costs.]
Banks once drained $500 million from customers annually by trapping them in harmful payday loans. In 2013, six banks were making triple-digit interest payday loans, structured just like loans made by storefront payday lenders. The bank repaid itself the loan in full directly from the borrower’s next incoming direct deposit, typically wages or Social Security, along with annual interest averaging 225% to 300%.
22 million—number of people the Congressional Budget Office says would lose health insurance coverage under the health care plan currently being considered by the U.S. Senate (“CBO: Senate Bill Would Raise Premiums, Deductibles, or Both for Most Marketplace Consumers, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, July 26, 2017)
1,300—amount in dollars more that a 40-year-old with an income of $26,000 would pay in premiums for a silver level health care plan under the Senate health care plan (Ibid)
Asita Moloti has been leading workshops on gender equality and climate change in the tiny nation of Tuvalu since 2004. “While men’s and women’s lives are both impacted [by climate change], they are impacted differently,” Moloti said. “We have learned that women are more at risk than men.”
Following traditional roles, Tuvaluan women are responsible for cooking, monitoring water usage, and managing family welfare with whatever resources are available. Continue reading
In Donald Trump’s America, few groups are as demonized as Muslims — and women worldwide are always oppressed based on their gender. But given the current president’s past comments about Islam, Muslim women will suffer the double-edged sword of Islamophobia and misogyny, and if they are Black or darker-skinned, they will experience discrimination as well. Intersectional feminists need to show up for Muslim women in the face of these dueling axes of oppression, because we cannot push for the rights of some without working towards the rights of all. Continue reading
A2A: In reference to the question posted on Facebook, about whether Trump could be impeached for his hiring/appointing practices – K.R.writes: Appointing UNFIT SUBORDINATES …seems like Betsy DeVos may have been appointed because she gave much money and her brother was brokering a deal for the administration with the Russians also undermining the Constitution and subverting the government by appointing people to destroy agencies??/? any thoughts –
The Freedom Caucus, led by our own Representative (R) Mark Meadows, is against the American Health Care Act (AHCA) because the bill does not deliver on the group’s promise of fully repealing “Obamacare” (ACA). Specifically, the Freedom Caucus wants to strip the ACA’s coverage for Essential Benefits, which are listed as (See Healthcare.gov):
By Frida Berrigan, Waging Nonviolence | Op-Ed By now, my inchoate hopes that our nation will just wake up from the bad dream of Trump — or even more remotely that he’ll be impeached by a radicalized Congress — have turned to dust and floated away. He seems here to stay, and I need to figure out how to stay human, stay upright, with him in the White House.
Ask 2 Answer: “The Repubs keep calling Social Security and Medicare entitlement programs and they are not – we paid and pay for them…” Here is my take: Republicans and Libertarians have turned the word “Entitlements” into what is called a “snarl word” – a politically-charged word delivered in a demeaning, sneering tone. I get it – words matter… like “Enhanced Interrogation” vs. “Torture.” But, seriously, in the grand scheme of things, what does it matter what Republicans do with the lexicon? If it makes you feel better, refer to the programs as “federal retirement benefits.” Try not to get worked up with what the less imaginative call them.
NC women call for equal rights following Nevada’s ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) Women’s equal rights advocates call on the leaders of both chambers to take action on current ERA bills sitting in Committees on Rules. (Raleigh, NC) March 22, 2017 – Members from various organizations supporting equal rights for women in North Carolina will be in the gallery of the legislative House Chamber at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 27, when Representative Carla Cunningham will recognize the work of all women and men to secure equal rights and congratulate the ten counties and municipalities that have passed an ERA resolution. Adoptions of ERA resolutions are rolling across the state since record-setting numbers of women’s rights advocates participated in the historic Women’s March in DC in January of this year.