1. image: Download

    ilovecharts:

Countries With Similar US State Prison Populations

The U.S. only has about 5 percent of the world’s population, but nearly one-quarter of the global prison population (x).

    ilovecharts:

    Countries With Similar US State Prison Populations

    The U.S. only has about 5 percent of the world’s population, but nearly one-quarter of the global prison population (x).

     
  2. If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?
    — 

    Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (via theatlantic)

    This, my friends, is a textbook example of false equivalence. It’s pretty shocking to hear such sophomoric drivel coming out of the mouth of a man who sits on the highest court in the land.

     
  3. chiefelk:

    In the past 24 hours, two new article emerged regarding the importance of VAWA for Native American women. PLease visit Facebook.com/Save.Wiyabi.Project for more information about how you can help. 

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/12/09/1167923/-Hey-House-GOP-How-many-Native-women-will-be-raped-today

    http://masculinityu.wordpress.com/2012/12/10/not-in-our-name-a-sobering-realization/

     
  4. a-more-perfect-union:

    From the article:

    Leahy explained the provision, probably the least understood of the three additions in the Senate bill: It gives tribal courts limited jurisdiction to oversee domestic violence offenses committed against Native American women by non-Native American men on tribal lands. Currently, federal and state law enforcement have jurisdiction over domestic violence on tribal lands, but in many cases, they are hours away and lack the resources to respond to those cases. Tribal courts, meanwhile, are on site and familiar with tribal laws, but lack the jurisdiction to address domestic violence on tribal lands when it is carried out by a non-Native American individual.

    That means non-Native American men who abuse Native American women on tribal lands are essentially “immune from the law, and they know it,” Leahy said.

    The standoff over including VAWA protections for Native American women comes at a time of appallingly high levels of violence on tribal lands. One in three Native American women have been raped or experienced attempted rape, the New York Times reported in March, and the rate of sexual assault on Native American women is more than twice the national average. President Barack Obama has called violence on tribal lands “an affront to our shared humanity.”

    Of the Native American women who are raped, 86 percent of them are raped by non-Native men, according to an Amnesty International report. That statistic is precisely what the Senate’s tribal provision targets.

     
  5. A loss in the Supreme Court could set the gay rights movement back for decades.
    — David Cole, writing in February, about the prospects for the Court’s review of California’s Proposition 8. (via nybooks)
     
  6. • The average prison sentence for men who kill their intimate partners is 2 to 6 years. Women who kill their partners are sentenced, on average, to 15 years. 17 A pair of Maryland cases vividly illustrates this inequality in sentencing. 18 In one case, a judge in Baltimore County, Maryland sentenced Kenneth Peacock to 18 months for killing his unfaithful wife. The very next day, another judge in the same county sentenced Patricia Ann Hawkins to three years in prison for killing her abusive husband. Significantly, the prosecutor in the Peacock case requested a sentence twice as long as the one imposed, while the prosecutor in the Hawkins case requested one-third of the sentence imposed.
     
  7. This is disturbing:

    What has been shown in research is that professional athletes are much less likely to be convicted of intimate violence crimes than are non-athletes. In a 1997 study, Northeastern University’s Jeffrey Benedict and Alan Klein found that the athletes in their sample who were charged with sexual assault were only convicted 31 percent of the time, compared with a 54 percent conviction rate for the general population. In 1995, Maryann Hudson at the Los Angeles Times found that athletes charged with domestic violence were only convicted 36 percent of the time, compared with a 77 percent general conviction rate. In a 2010 Harvard Law Review article, Bethany Withers wrote that “conviction rates for athletes are astonishingly low compared to the arrest statistics. Though there is evidence that the responsiveness of police and prosecution to sexual assault complaints involving athletes is favorable, there is an off-setting pro-athlete bias on the part of juries.”

    I have a feeling you’ll see similar discrepancies when comparing any group of famous and powerful people to the general population.

     
  8. Democracy was well-practised in the Americas before the Europeans even knew what democracy was.
    — 

    Dr. Daniel N. Paul, Native American historian and Mi‘kmaq elder (via selchieproductions)

    That the Constitution and Bill of Rights were probably influenced by Iroquois law is one of the best-kept secrets in history. Most American children are taught that our founding documents arose entirely from the European Enlightenment tradition.

    (Source: english.ruvr.ru)

     
  9. Good information.

     
  10. sinidentidades:

    The U.S. Senate approved an amendment on Thursday that strips a controversial provision from the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act that allows the “indefinite detention” of American citizens within the U.S. by the military.

    The amendment passed by a vote of 67 to 29. All but four of the Senators who voted against civilian trials for Americans were Republicans. Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Mark Pryor (D-AR) crossed over to oppose the amendment, and they were joined by Joe Lieberman (I-CT).

    The amendment reads: “An authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without charge or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States apprehended in the United States, unless an Act of Congress expressly authorizes such detention.”

    A similar amendment put forward by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in 2011 failed to clear the Senate by a vote of 45 to 55. In that vote, 11 Democrats crossed over to oppose civilian trials for American citizens.

    The 2011 NDAA was signed by a reluctant President Barack Obama, who added a signing statement explaining that his administration would not allow Americans to be detained by the military without access to a speedy trial, as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Critics warned, however, that allowing the provision to remain codified in law could spell disaster during some future administration. Even so, Republicans threatened to sink the bill, which authorizes the annual military budget, if the “indefinite detention” language was not kept intact.

    This year, things are shaping up differently. Fresh off his successful reelection bid, President Obama said Thursday that he will veto the NDAA if Congress keeps additional language in the bill that prevents him from transferring military prisoners into civilian custody. That language in the 2011 bill effectively blocks the president from closing down Guantanamo Bay, the military prison where 166 so-called “terror war” prisoners from the Bush-era remain today.

    A Government Accountability Office report requested by Sen. Feinstein and released earlier this week says that the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice have more than enough secure prison space inside the U.S. to house the remaining Guantanamo Bay prisoners without concern for safety. A total of 377 inmates who’ve been charged with or convicted of terrorism are already residing in U.S. prisons, the report noted.

    This is good, though not great. People who aren’t U.S. citizens or resident aliens can still be imprisoned indefinitely by the military without trial. I don’t think many people realize this, but the U.S. Constitution extends a number of civil rights to non-citizens who are on U.S. soil because it refers to “persons” rather than “citizens” when specifying those rights. The 2012 NDAA actually narrows civil liberties by specifying that only citizens and legal permanent residents can’t be indefinitely detained without trial.

    And, as this article points out, the law only guarantees the right to trial for citizens and resident aliens (which the 2011 version didn’t). It does nothing to limit the president’s power to apprehend, arrest, and detain anyone (citizen or non-citizen, on U.S. soil or not) suspected of posing a danger to the United States.

     
  11. darkjez:

    roropcoldchain:

    RECLAIMING Their VOICE: The Native American Vote in New Mexico & Beyond (42 min.) Narrated by PETER COYOTE, this film is OSCAR-nominated, EMMY-winning, filmmaker Dorothy Fadiman’s latest documentary. “RECLAIMING Their VOICE” follows Native Americans in New Mexico taking a stand against injustice in the political process. Personal stories demonstrate how minority communities are using their voting rights as they participate more fully in elections. These stories capture a microcosm of growing awareness and activism which is taking root across the United States. In addition to documenting the Native American suffrage movement historically, the film follows a groundbreaking project led by the Laguna, NM Native community. Their efforts lead to significant positive changes in New Mexico state election law. This story serves as a model for how other minority populations throughout the U.S. can work together to make sure they can cast their votes and that their votes will be counted. This film documents: * The Pueblo Revolt (1680) * Wounded Knee (1890) * The Sacred Alliance for Grassroots Equality’s fight to protect the sacred art of the Petroglyph National Monument * The Pueblo of Laguna’s 500 Voter Project * The passage of legislation to ensure greater election security for Native Americans * The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People

    Reblogging to make sure I view this later

     
  12. This article is so weird. It starts talking about Lena Dunham for no particular reason. Reading it is like when your drunk, Republican uncle corners you at Thanksgiving to rant about immigration.

     
  13. Slavery…is legal in prisons because the Thirteenth Amendment permits it:  “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime…”

    Obama’s reelection, while a beacon of hope, is not the end of struggle against racism and the residue of slavery.  We need to strike that clause from the Constitution. Why? Because slavery WAS and IS an abomination. “The land of the free” has the largest prison system in the world, and it is full of Black people.  The prison-industrial complex is a growth industry; occupied cells produce money, and prison work pays well below minimum wage if it pays at all.  According to The Sentencing Project, a third of Black men ages twenty to twenty-nine are under criminal  justice supervision.  One in four will be incarcerated in their lifetime, most often for non-violent and victimless crimes.  Thirteen year olds are getting life sentences.  Two-million human beings are doing time in the U.S., and five-million more are newly released, on probation, awaiting trial, or awaiting sentencing.  These numbers don’t account for the millions of families affected, or the four-hundred thousand people in immigration prison.  They certainly don’t account for those afflicted by mental and physical illness and the reduced life expectancy associated with cycling in and out of the prison system. Striking Article One of the Thirteenth Amendment might aid in ending America’s addiction to criminalizing Black people (maybe we need a Twelve Step program on racism while we’re at it).

     
  14. tetw:

    by Matt Labash

    Clements decided to use the Supreme Court’s own ruling, effectively permitting cities to seize homes for private economic gain, to go after the home of one of the Supreme Court’s own, David Souter…

    I’m torn. I disagree with this SC ruling and I think this is a sort of clever way to draw attention to the ruling. But the guy behind it is a fucking Randian. Look at this:

    Suffering from a cold on the long drive up from the Boston airport, he got lost repeatedly. He’s pretty bad about asking for directions. “I have to verify everything myself,” he says. “That’s objectivism. You get everything directly from the source—it’s part of our epistemology.”

    Also, David Souter is apparently a huge cheapskate and lives in squalor.

     
  15. Why we should remain vigilant

    The repudiation of openly misogynistic candidates by voters in the 2012 election doesn’t mean we can relax. Religious zealots and conservative misogynists in our country are still trying to roll back reproductive rights at the cost of women’s lives, health, and freedom:

    • In 2011, Ohio Republicans supported a measure to make abortions illegal after the fetus has a heartbeat. The measure did not make exceptions for rape, incest, or the life or health of the mother. The Ohio Senate is actually planning on reconsidering the bill during its lameduck session.
    • Conservatives have been fighting at the state level to defund Planned Parenthood. An Ohio House Committee just cleared a bill that would strip $1.7 million from Planned Parenthood clinics in the state. This, despite the fact that “exit polls from Election Day showed that 56 percent of Ohioans support legal abortion all or most of the time, while just 39 percent thought it should be illegal”. Anti-abortion legislative attempts do not reflect the will of the people, but the will of a fanatical minority trying to impose their beliefs on everyone else.
    • In 2011, the US House of Representatives passed a resolution, H.R. 358, which would override legal protections for the life and health of pregnant women. H.R. 358 would give health providers the right to “exercise their conscience” during medical emergencies, by, for example, refusing to perform abortions.
    • The Ninth Circuit Court will review a case that tests the constitutionality of an Arizona law that was signed by Governor Jan Brewer in April. The law bans all abortion procedures beyond 20 weeks from a woman’s last menstrual period.
    • According to the NYT, in October 2012, “a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld a 2004 Ohio law that limits a woman’s right to choose to have a first-trimester abortion with the drug mifepristone, rather than undergoing surgery…By mandating a protocol that is no longer medically supportable, Ohio’s law leaves women who might safely opt for a medication abortion between 49 and 63 days of pregnancy with only a surgical option. Women who choose a medication abortion earlier in the first trimester are forced to consume three times more medication than needed, increasing the risk of side effects. “
    • Religious groups are legally challenging portions of health care reform which requires employers to cover contraception. In July and October, respectively, judges in Colorado and Michigan ruled in favor of Catholic employers who refused to cover contraception for employees. These two cases are just the tip of the iceberg: “Individuals, businesses, hospitals, schools and universities have filed more than three dozen lawsuits challenging the requirement for employers and health plans to cover contraceptives.”