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We are a worldwide social network of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and secular humanists.

Information

Take Action

This is a place for petitions and other political action movements.

 

Location: #world
Members: 18
Latest Activity: Jan 29

Discussion Forum

Do Corporate Leaders Pay Attention to Their Bottom Line: Their Profits?

Started by Tom Sarbeck. Last reply by Tom Sarbeck Oct 10, 2016. 2 Replies

Customer protests have moved a few companies to quit ALEC (the most extreme of the many conservative lobbying organizations).Will customer protests move companies to reconsider their use of our…Continue

Tags: politics, corruption

Blasphemy in Indonesia: a jail sentence

Started by Michel. Last reply by Neal Jun 15, 2012. 1 Reply

This, from Atheist Alliance International:Dear AAI Members and SupportersAlexander Aan, the Indonesian atheist who was attacked and arrested after posting 'God does not exist' on Facebook, has been…Continue

Tags: crime, law, jail, blasphemy, Indonesia

It's Time to GET MONEY OUT of politics - PETITION

Started by Sydni Moser. Last reply by Chris Apr 15, 2012. 7 Replies

 Bailouts. War. Unemployment. Our government is bought, and we’re angry. Now, we’re turning our anger into positive action. By signing this petition, you are joining our campaign to get money out of…Continue

Will Monsanto's RoundUp ever be Banned?

Started by Chris. Last reply by Chris Mar 10, 2012. 2 Replies

I started reading about the reduction of butterflies because of round up and found the links more interesting. Here are a couple of them:A …Continue

Tags: drinking, water, contamination, Organisms, GMO

Human Rights Watch

Drones in the Service of Human Rights

Garbage is piled near a highway in Beirut, Lebanon January 19, 2016.

© 2017 Reuters

Human Rights Watch released a report this month that included, for the first time in our history, photographic evidence collected with an autonomous robotic plane, commonly called a drone.

Built by Sensefly, a subsidiary of Parrot Group, our small, hand-launched drone helped us to investigate the health risks of widespread open burning of household waste in Lebanon – a result of the government’s failure to manage solid waste – in innovative ways that complement our traditional research.

We operated our drone over three open dump sites with official permission and collected several thousand aerial images at a resolution impossible for satellite sensors.

The images revealed fresh burn scars and large ash deposits from extensive prior burns. This corroborated witness testimony about the open burning of waste that has caused respiratory illnesses and other serious health problems in nearby communities.

The potential of drones, and robotic technology more broadly, for human rights investigations is strongest when satellite sensors are not feasible or appropriate to use.

Drones can operate under heavy clouds and at times of the day and night when satellite sensors cannot. And drones allow us to collect images and live video remotely at a level of detail impossible with even the most advanced satellite technology.

Most importantly, drones offer an alternative to field research that can be significantly safer and more secure, for example, when physical access is restricted or denied.

At the same time, the use of drones in human rights investigations presents a range of legal, security, and privacy issues that require special consideration, especially in insecure environments where the possession or use of such technology could endanger ourselves and others.

To address these issues, Human Rights Watch conducts a rigorous review before any drone flight. As we and others deploy new technologies, documenting abuses cannot come at the expense of ethical and professional norms.

Israel Detains French Human Rights Worker Without Charge

When French President Emmanuel Macron sits down with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this Sunday – International Human Rights Day – French-Palestinian binational Salah Hamouri will enter his 111th day in Israeli administrative detention – detention without charge or trial.

Salah Hamouri.

© 2012 Alain Bachellier

Israeli authorities detained the 32-year-old researcher, who works for the Palestinian human rights group Addameer, after raiding his home in East Jerusalem in late August. At the time of his arrest, Hamouri had been preparing to visit his wife and toddler son in Paris. The family had been forced to live separately ever since Israeli authorities deported Hamouri’s wife, a French national, last year citing “security reasons.” Hamouri never did make his family reunion, and has been detained since without charge or trial based on secret evidence. In September, an Israeli court confirmed a military administrative order to detain him for six months, and that can be renewed.

This isn’t Hamouri’s first time in Israeli detention – authorities imprisoned him between 2005 and 2011. After about three years in pretrial detention, an Israeli military court sentenced him to seven years in prison for charges related to an alleged plot to kill Israel’s former chief rabbi. In 2011, then French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé expressed regret that the case against Hamouri lacked strong evidentiary support. Human Rights Watch has documented how military trials by the Israeli army, which have a near 100-percent conviction rate, fall well short of any standards of justice. He was subsequently released in 2011 as part of a prisoner exchange deal.

Hamouri’s current case is hardly unique – Israeli authorities are also holding Addameer board member Khalida Jarrar and 451 others in administrative detention as of November 1, according to Israel Prison Service figures. While international humanitarian law permits administrative detention in temporary and exceptional circumstances, Israel’s expansive use of administrative detention in year 51 of its occupation raises questions about its legality.

In October, the French Foreign Ministry called for Hamouri’s rights to “be respected” and expressed hope for his release, saying that, “the systematic and abusive use of administrative detention undermines the right to fair trial and the right to a defense.” Macron should use his bilateral meeting with Netanyahu to call for Hamouri to be either charged or released promptly. Macron should also press his Israeli counterpart to end Israel’s other systematic abuses of Palestinian rights.

Intimate Partner Violence is an LGBT Issue

A man sells rainbow flags near The Stonewall Inn, on the eve of the LGBT Pride March, in the Greenwich Village section of New York City, , U.S. June 24, 2017.

© 2017 Reuters

During its first year in office, the Trump Administration has steadily chipped away at federal laws protecting LGBT people from discrimination. The administration has withdrawn guidance protecting transgender youth in schools, banned transgender people from serving in the military, undermined LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination protections in federal court, and sided with people and organizations who want to discriminate against LGBT people for religious reasons.

In 2018, another crucial protection is at risk of being erased. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), designed to support survivors of intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and stalking, contains important provisions prohibiting discrimination against LGBT people in the services it funds and supports. The protections were added when the law was reauthorized in 2013, making it the first federal law to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. With these provisions, VAWA has helped ensure that all survivors are able to better access care.

Support for LGBT people who have survived abuse is critical. A 2015 survey of research by the Williams Institute noted that most studies “found a lifetime prevalence of [intimate partner violence] among lesbian and bisexual women, gay and bisexual men, and transgender people that is as high as or higher than the U.S. general population.” LGBT survivors face unique barriers to accessing services, ranging from a lack of awareness to heteronormative assumptions that they don’t need protection from abuse to overt discrimination and exclusion by service providers.

VAWA helps address these barriers. LGBT-inclusive provisions have encouraged providers to undergo training and ensure services are accessible and effective for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. They have named LGBT people an underserved population, allowing providers to use earmarked funds to address their unique vulnerabilities. And they have ensured that transgender people are able to access shelters consistent with their gender identity.

These 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence are the last before Congress is scheduled to reauthorize VAWA. In 2013, Republican leadership in the House of Representatives fought hard to strip LGBT protections from the bill, delaying VAWA reauthorization for months. Advocates have expressed concern that inclusive provisions of the law will come under renewed threat in the upcoming reauthorization. In 2018, Congress should refuse to make the elimination of intimate partner violence for LGBT people a partisan issue. Instead, it should reauthorize an inclusive VAWA that commits to addressing gender-based violence in all its forms. 

Comment Wall

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Comment by Chris on January 29, 2017 at 7:49am

They along with other media outlets should stop calling the Affordable Care Act "Obama Care"

http://fair.org/home/action-alert-tell-cnn-to-stop-using-trump-prop...

CNN is uncritically adopting the Donald Trump administration’s preferred label for Muslim nations caught under its arbitrary ban: “terror-prone countries.”

On at least three occasions since the executive order was signed, CNN has used the term without scare quotes or explicit reference to the Trump administration talking points, instead using the demonstrably incorrect and pejorative phrase as an objective descriptor of the nations targeted by Trump’s order:

Trump Eyes Temporary Ban on Refugees (1/25/17)A senior White House official made it clear that Trump will not sign executive orders Thursday targeting the refugee program or immigration from terror-prone countries.
Trump Signs Executive Order to Keep Out ‘Radical Islamic Terrorists’ (1/28/17)The order bars all persons from certain terror-prone countries from entering the United States for 90 days and suspends the US Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days until it is reinstated “only for nationals of countries for whom” members of Trump’s cabinet deem can be properly vetted.
What to Know About Trump’s Visa and Refugee Restrictions (1/28/17)An executive order signed by Trump on Friday bans all people from certain terrorism-prone countries from entering the United States for 90 days.

In these reports, CNN is reflexively adopting a Trump talking point without any qualification or explanation. What’s more, it’s factually untrue.

As several outlets have noted (e.g., Intercept, 1/28/17; NPR, 1/27/17; Huffington Post, 1/28/17), since at least 1975, nationals from the countries Trump is banning entry from have killed zero Americans in terror attacks. Whereas countries that have had some of their citizens involved in US political violence (and sometimes even fund designated terror organizations), such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and UAE, are entirely omitted from the administration’s list.

If stopping immigrants from “terror-prone” countries was the objective, the list Trump provided would make no sense. By adopting the Trump administration’s framing, however, CNN is treating it as a rational response to a realistic danger.

Smearing entire countries as “terror-prone,” of course, puts immigrants from these countries at risk at a time when xenophobic hate crimes are on the rise. Responsible news outlets should be discouraging scapegoating, not fueling it with lazy and malicious generalizations.

Given that no one, in or outside the administration, has shown how these countries’ nationals are more “terror-prone” than other immigrants, CNN’s adoption of the label is little more than mindless—and dangerous—stenography. CNN should only use the term in direct quotations from the Trump administration.

ACTION:

Please contact CNN and tell the network to stop adopting the Trump administration’s “terror-prone” label as its own description of the countries targeted by Trump’s immigration order.

Comment by Chris on January 9, 2014 at 11:13pm
Comment by Chris on June 24, 2013 at 2:09am

I sent them the following quick letter: Does Joe Klein often include gaffs about the secular community in his articles, or does his religious bias only see secularists as a enemy to disparage when he gets a good opportunity?   Obviously it's perfectly acceptable to Time's editorial staff for Klein to insult a large percentage of the American public. I thought Time was at its lowest point with the excessive coverage of the OJ Simpson trial, not I see it's reached a new low.

During the OJ trial I had subscriptions to several news weekly magazines like Time and didn't renew them because of their excessive coverage. I wonder if the success of the coverage of that show helped networks decision to produce reality tv programs and the flood of real murder tv shows.

Comment by Neal on June 23, 2013 at 5:15pm

Time Magazine's cover article on "How Service Can Save Us" has this great paragraph:

… there was an occupying army of relief workers, led by local first responders, exhausted but still humping it a week after the storm, church groups from all over the country — funny how you don’t see organized groups of secular humanists giving out hot meals — and there in the middle of it all, with a purposeful military swagger, were the volunteers from Team Rubicon.

Nice. I don't have a subscription to Time, so caught up with the article at The Friendly Atheist.

I did as requested, and wrote a quick letter to the editor:

Why was there a seeming need for slamming the secular groups in the United States? Being an atheist who has given up his own cash to help those in need from natural disasters, I find it appalling that the article in question casts aspersions on those who helped in their own ways.

Joe Klein writes, "funny how you don’t see organized groups of secular humanists giving out hot meals."

Well Joe, it's funny to me how far your head is up your ass. I guess no good deed goes unpunished. Sorry we didn't stick up a big sign for you to ignore. I take it that all the theists who sat on their asses wasting the world's air with their useless prayers are to be commended for their stupidity. Screw Time Magazine.

An apology for your self-serving text should be issued. Are you guys really clueless about how large this community is? I hope you'll soon find out.

If you're so inclined, go fuck with the bastards.

Comment by Chris on September 8, 2012 at 1:18pm

A Massive Ray of Hope on Climate

By Avaaz.org

07 September 12

 

limate change is accelerating, but there’s a massive ray of hope: clean energy is booming, producing nearly 20% of the world's electricity! Incredibly, the US and EU are threatening to stifle this breakthrough - but together we can stop them.

In the last decade the Chinese government has invested billions in solar, sending panel prices plummeting and making clean green tech almost as cheap as dirty fossil fuels. But the US and EU, who give billions in taxpayer subsidies to Big Oil and Coal, are about to drive solar prices back up by putting tariffs on China, and now China is threatening to retaliate. A full on trade war is brewing that could kill the crucial green energy revolution.

The EU and US are deciding right now. Most of the solar industry is against tariffs - and now massive public support could tip the balance. Sign the urgent petition to save solar – if we build a 500,000 strong petition, Avaaz will make a formal submission to the US International Trade Commission and EU trade Commissioner calling for talks not tariffs:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/a_ray_of_hope_on_climate/?bYIwnbb&v=17644

China has a poor human rights and environmental record, and its strategy of flooding the global market with subsidised goods could be found to be too aggressive. But the right response to this is not tariffs, it is investment. While China, the EU, and the US all funnel billions into Big Coal and Oil to destroy our planet, China is also providing huge loans and subsidies to the solar industry. And that's exactly what other governments have failed to do.

Following the bankruptcy of a handful of US and EU solar manufacturers, some lobbyists are pushing politicians to blame China, instead of their own insufficient and inappropriate subsidies. Some claim that domestic jobs are threatened by low cost Chinese panels, but the truth is the opposite - experts predict that tariffs could cost 60,000 jobs in the US alone. The vast majority of jobs in the solar sector outside of China are in installing and servicing panels, not manufacturing them, so cheaper panels now means more work, and more jobs. And less climate change.

The EU trade Commissioner initiated the investigation into tariffs today and the US ITC proceedings are about to kick off. Written statements to both must be submitted in days to be considered. We're in a race against the clock to green our economies and prevent catastrophic climate change, and Chinese success in green tech could be the perfect catalyst for the rest of the world to scale up the technology and sustainably bring down prices. Let's make sure the EU and the US don't kill our ray of hope:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/a_ray_of_hope_on_climate/?bYIwnbb&v=17644

In the world most of us everywhere want, our governments would incentivise clean energy, and not hand out our tax money to polluters making record profits from dirtying our land, air and water and destroying our planet. Today, we can save solar, and take one step closer to that future.

Comment by Neal on July 6, 2012 at 7:20am

Cool.

Comment by Michel on July 3, 2012 at 12:49pm

Seen last night in San Francisco:

Comment by Neal on July 2, 2012 at 10:04am

As far as I can tell from the main media outlets, there are no protests going on anywhere worth covering. Nice photo.

Comment by Doone on July 1, 2012 at 8:14pm
Comment by Chris on July 1, 2012 at 8:13pm

Great composite picture. Was America silent that week?

 
 
 

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