Where to even begin? Let’s start with the headline speakers. Not even one person was invited to represent the affected communities from around the country, nor was one of the hundreds of members of Americans Against Fracking invited to discuss why a ban on fracking is crucial.
Instead, the GOP invited the Environmental Defense Fund, a group that has decried efforts to ban fracking, claiming that if “best practices” are used, it can be done safely. EDF is a “strategic partner” of the pro-fracking Center for Sustainable Shale Development alongside corporate giants Chevron and Shell. In his testimony, EDF’s representative repeated many industry talking points.
In Brazil, the disturbing impact of a "Chega Freire" or Enough with Freire" reactionary movement appears to be gaining momentum, bolstered by the interests of right wing activists and their sympathizers who seek to advance a staunchly instrumental and prescribed form of education across the country. Critical opponents of "Chega Freire" point to the barbarism of a banking educational approach that functions to censor open dialogue and critical reflection within education, by way of a curriculum that disembodies students from their own learning.
From the article on April 22, 2015: Congressmembers Jan Schakowsky of Illinois and Mark Pocan of Wisconsin, both Democrats, have made no secret of their strong opposition to fracking. Last December, for instance, as new rules were being formulated on the opening new areas of public lands to energy exploration and extraction, they introduced a bill to ban fracking entirely on public lands...Today they upped the ante with the reintroduction of the Protect Our Public Lands Act, which they announced at a press conference in Washington DC. H.R. 1902 would prohibit fracking, the use of fracking fluid and acidization for the extraction of oil and gas on public lands for any lease issued, renewed or readjusted. The bill is being touted as the strongest bill against fracking introduced in Congress so far.
A quick reading of the leaked chapter makes it clear why TPP sponsors have gone to great lengths to keep their negotiations secret. The document substantiates claims by opponents that the TPP is a corporate-rights agreement designed to facilitate the export of U.S. jobs, allow corporations to sue governments for enacting labor and environmental protections, make it illegal for governments to favor local businesses, and advance the colonization of national economies by global corporations and financiers.
Just weeks before the Fox Creek quake, British Columbia's oil and gas commission drew a definitive link between fracking and 231 seismic events in the northeast of the province, at a natural gas field known as the Montney Trend.
Honn Kao, a research scientist with the Geological Survey of Canada in Victoria, B.C., has no doubt that human activities triggered the earthquakes.
"The key issue is how big is the induced earthquake and when is the biggest induced earthquake to happen. I think that is the remaining question," said Kao, who is among a group of scientists leading research into industry-induced tremors.
New Mexico took a big step toward protecting children’s and parents’ rights when, last week, Governor Susana Martinez signed into law a bill ensuring that a parent’s decision not to administer psychotropic drugs to a child is not grounds for a child being removed from parental custody by Child Protective Services (CPS).
From the article: The International Indian Treaty Council has issued a statement calling for international support to stop the desecration of Native Hawaiians’ sacred Mauna Kea Mountain. The statement also calls on the United States to abide by its international obligation to protect human rights and Indigenous Peoples’ sacred sites.
Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com//2015/04/15/treaty-council-calls-us-and-international-support-mauna-kea-160010
Well, I think it’s the culture, right? So, again, we want to either talk about rotten apples, in the case of Mr. Bates, who is the shooter, but we ignore, as you just pointed out, that the space in which policing happens is a space that looks much more like how we treat enemy combatants. If you’re an occupying army, then the rules of engagement are such that any perceived threat is a legitimate response for execution. We have police officers who not only are judge, jury and executioner, but also celebrate victory in the annihilation of people who have posed an ostensible threat to them. So, we really have to look at the contradiction between the coziness of an individual who pays to be on the police force and the total alienation of the police from the members of the community that they are there to protect and serve. That gap has grown greater than it has ever been.
Photo: After months of campaigning, a bill that prohibits fracking for two and a half years passed overwhelmingly in the Maryland legislature. Photo credit: Don’t Frack Maryland
Yesterday, the Maryland House of Delegates passed legislation, that would prohibit fracking permits in the state until October 2017. According to the article, Governor Hogan’s position on the bill is unknown, but the Senate and House passed the bill with a veto-proof majority.
We’re kidding ourselves if we assume those “A” grades being hung on American schools based on scores on standardized tests mean that the students who attend them are being taught to think. We’re kidding ourselves if we assume the high test scores of students in Finland or Poland or South Korea mean they’re being taught to think. Standardized tests are sideshows on the periphery of effective schooling because they can’t evaluate original thought, without which humankind can’t adapt to continuous change and survive. What matters is our individual and collective ability to make sense of the world as it was, is, and could be, and the means to that end are far too varied and complex to be measured by machine-scored tests.
The newest batch of RFRA laws go further than their predecessors. As Think Progress and others have noted, while the federal and early state RFRA laws focused on blocking state actions that supposedly put a "substantial burden" on religious beliefs, measures like the one passed in Indiana are rare in extending the law's purview to disputes between private parties, such as a business and a customer.
But another reason for the strong public backlash to the Indiana bill and other recent measures is evolving attitudes. Part of this changing sentiment is being chalked up to shifting views about gay marriage and LGBT rights, especially among millenials. While support for same-sex marriage is still lower in many Southern states, over time the needle has moved -- albeit slowly -- in the South and country to growing acceptance and support.
There's another factor that may be playing into changing views about gay rights and "religious freedom" bills, which hasn't received as much attention: the declining clout of white evangelicals, especially in their stronghold in Southern states.
The issue in Bender arises in cases involving disabled miners with at least 15 years of qualifying coal-mine employment. For these claims, the Affordable Care Act revived a presumption that shifts the burden to the coal company opposing the miner’s claim of benefits to disprove the existence of pneumoconiosis or show that it did not contribute to his respiratory disability. This major change affects thousands of claims, making it easier for disabled miners and their families to receive federal black lung benefits.
The issue is what standard of causation coal operators must meet to rebut the presumption that a miner’s disability was caused by his pneumoconiosis. Coal operators argue that they can rebut by showing that pneumoconiosis was not a “substantially contributing cause” of the miner’s disability. The Department of Labor and claimants disagree and argue that a coal company must “rule out” any connection between pneumoconiosis and disability.
On Tuesday, April 7, 2015 Gerald Hankerson, the President of the Seattle/King County NAACP and Rita Green, the Education Chair of the Seattle/King County NAACP, began our press conference with a powerful idea and a call for action that holds the potential to help produce a tremendous social transformation. Together their opening remarks at the press conference—a gathering of parents, teachers, and community leaders that I helped to organize in opposition to the Common Core “Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium” (SBAC) tests—represent a clarion call to both education advocates and social justice activists across the country. Their simple, yet mighty, proposition is that the movement to oppose high-stakes standardized testing and the Black Lives Matter movement (and other struggles against oppression) should and can unite in a great uprising in service of transforming our schools into an environment designed to nurture our children, in body and intellect, rather than to rank, sort, and reproduce institutional racism.
[Photo: Students at Harlem Success Academy, a free, public elementary charter school in New York. Chris Hondros/Getty Images]
From the article:
"Former staff members described students in third grade and above wetting themselves during practice tests, either because teachers did not allow them to go to the restroom ... or because the students themselves felt so much pressure that they did not want to lose time on the test," The Times reports.
One former teacher told The Times that she heard a Success Academy vice principal from another school "praise the dedication of a child who had wet his pants rather than take a break."