Rights

“Pro-life” and “pro-choice” activists oversimplify the abortion debate by using catchphrases.       Photo credits: Left to Right, Top to Bottom: Elvert Barnes/Flickr, Sylvia McFadden/Flickr, Jordan/Flickr, Duke University Archives/Flickr, Alan Liefting/Wikimedia, University of Toronto Students for Life/Flickr, William Murphy/Flickr, SimonaR/PixaBay, Collage by WhoWhatWhy

The Failed Rhetoric of the Abortion Debate

Debaters on the subject of abortion never really clash head-on — they don’t even talk to each other. They just trade cliches, endlessly recycling words that deny what is really at stake. And “pro-life” and “pro-choice” are just black-and-white abstractions. They fail to address scientific, ethical, and moral gray areas, such as the definition of “personhood” and the devastating effects that anti-abortion legislation has on the actual lives of women.

Photo Credits: Steven Melkisethian/Flickr               The shooting of Michael Brown sparked protests and rallies in Ferguson and beyond, including this one hosted by the Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition in Silver Spring, Maryland.

The Ferguson Report. Part 1: Breathing While Black, and Other Offenses

It has been said that African-Americans are often arrested for “driving while black.” In fact, African-Americans seem to be arrested for walking, talking—or just breathing—while black. Here we present excerpts from The Ferguson Report, an astonishing catalog of grinding daily harassments, humiliations—and worse—by a police department intent on keeping a people “in their place” while earning revenue for the city by writing as many tickets as possible.

The Ferguson Report. Department of Justice Investigation into the Ferguson Police Department. US Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division. The New Press, New York, London. 2015

Some states, many traditionally Republican strongholds, have more voting restrictions than states which customarily vote Democrat.

Republicans Dominate States with Poor Democratic Health, Study Finds

A new study shows that there is a wide gap between states when it comes to providing access to the ballot box for their citizens. States won by President Barack Obama generally performed much better with regard to ballot box access while those won by Mitt Romney in the last presidential election did very poorly.

Photo credit: Mercy For Animals / YouTube

Graphic Video Reveals Severe Mistreatment of Chickens

Factory farms have increasingly come under fire for their cruel treatment of animals. In early July, Mercy For Animals, a Chicago-based animal advocacy non-profit, obtained a video of employees at a contract farm for Tyson Foods severely mistreating chickens and baby birds being raised for mass distribution. Just what happens to the food we eat before we eat it, and whose responsibility is it to make sure that animals raised for slaughter do not endure unnecessary hardship?

Though FBI reports are often admitted as evidence, they are sometimes so unreliable that even a federal judge once refused to be interviewed unless he could review the report first. Photo credits: WGBH News (screen capture) / YouTube, US Marshals Service / Wikimedia

FBI’s Amazing Trick to Avoid Accountability

Only the astonishingly unaccountable FBI could get away with consistently not recording its investigative interviews not only of suspects but of witnesses—then having its agents write up reports based on “memory.” A former Deputy District Attorney tells the story of one judge who felt uncomfortable letting the Bureau wing it when he himself was in the hot seat.

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