• Category Archives Ethics
  • Watch: Groups Applaud Delaware Gov. Markell for Personal Message on Recent Wave of Anti-transgender Legislation

    Today, in response to a wave of anti-transgender legislation in several states around the country, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D) released a personal, detailed video message standing up for transgender equality and combatting the misinformation and scare tactics that proponents of these discriminatory bills use. Gov. Markell—who is the only sitting governor to have signed laws that enforce both sexual orientation and gender identity protections in employment, housing, and public accommodations—is uniquely positioned to address the mean-spirited attempts that seek to undermine lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, nondiscrimination laws and require discrimination against the transgender community.

    Equality Delaware, the Center for American Progress, and the National Center for Transgender Equality applaud Gov. Markell for his continued leadership on behalf of transgender people and their families. In response to Gov. Markell’s video message, those organizations released the following statements:

    Lisa Goodman, president of Equality Delaware, said, “Gov. Markell has consistently stood on the side of fairness and equality and today is no different. Proponents of H.B. 2 rushed their bill through the North Carolina legislature in a matter of hours because they knew that when the public has the time to learn about trans people, they respond with affirmation and support. By speaking as a governor who has worked on trans issues, and as someone who cares about transgender people in his own life, Gov. Markell has helped insert into the national conversation the compassion and facts that are missing in the actions and statements made by opponents of equality.”

    Laura E. Durso, Director of the LGBT Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress, said, “As the LGBT community, and transgender people in particular, continue to face an unprecedented number of discriminatory state bills, it remains imperative for those of us living in states and communities with protections to stand up and speak out against hate or discrimination wherever it occurs. Gov. Markell’s video message may be one of the most personal and detailed trans-specific statements ever made by an elected official of his stature. We thank him for helping to educate the public on trans equality and urge other elected officials to follow suit and make clear to the transgender community that there are leaders around the country fighting for them.”

    Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said, “It is so important for elected officials like Gov. Markell to vocally and consistently support transgender people and to do their part to educate the rest of the public on who transgender people are. Gov. Markell has always demonstrated solid leadership, including three years ago when he signed wide-ranging protections for all transgender Delawareans into law.”

    Source: http://www.americanprogress.org


  • John Oliver On Donald J. Drumpf, a.k.a. Trump: No Kidding, Watch This #MakeDonaldDrumpfAgain

    This is an amazingly honest assessment of Donald J. Trump, a.k.a. Drumpf (no kidding). This is important political commentary.

    What is Drumpf’s true net worth? The answer may surprise you. Even shock you.

    You must, must watch this video.

    And you will learn that Trump’s real, ancestral name was “Drumpf.”

    No kidding. No kidding at all.

    And thank you to John Oliver!

    Want more information? Try here!

    http://donaldjdrumpf.com/

    You can also pick up a Chrome extension from that site that will change Donald Trump’s name to Donald J. Drumpf on every website you visit.


  • Vatican Cardinal Admits ‘Enormous Mistakes’ in Church’s Sex Abuse Handling

    Cardinal George Pell
    Cardinal George Pell

    The Catholic Church has taken an enormous step in admitting ‘enormous mistakes’ in the Church”s handling of abuse cases – worldwide.

    From the National Catholic Reporter:

    One of the Catholic church’s highest ranking cardinals, Vatican official George Pell, faced four hours of questioning about his role in the clergy sexual abuse crisis in his native Australia in an extraordinary overnight hearing Sunday, in which he admitted the church “has made enormous mistakes” in its handling of dangerous priests.

    And, in response to a specific question, Pell stated, “I am not here to defend the indefensible.”

    The Cardinal testified via video-link, answering questions from “Gail Furness, the lead counsel assisting Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, [who] led Pell through years of the church’s response to sexual abuse, fact by fact.”

    And this:

    About 150 people attended Sunday night’s hearing in Rome, where Pell sat alone at a small table in the corner of a large hotel ballroom, testifying to a camera set up with a television screen. Security was extraordinarily tight, with Italian, Australian and Vatican officers scanning the crowd, and frisking everyone who entered the room.

    Pell is expected testify via video link from Rome for the Royal Commission sitting in Sydney for at least three more nights.


  • Netanyahu Derailed: Blames Palestinians for the Holocaust (Video)

    Netanyahu is off the rails, blaming the Palestinians for Hitler’s Shoah, which lead to the death of six million Jews and five million others.

    From the New York Times:

    Mr. Netanyahu said in a speech to the Zionist Congress on Tuesday night that “Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jews,” according to a transcript provided by his office. The prime minister said that the mufti, Haj Amin al-Husseini, protested to Hitler that “they’ll all come here,” referring to Palestine.

    “ ‘So what should I do with them?’ ” Mr. Netanyahu quoted Hitler as asking Mr. Husseini. “He said, ‘Burn them.’ ”

    Prof. Meir Litvak, a historian at Tel Aviv University, called the speech “a lie” and “a disgrace.” Prof. Moshe Zimmermann, a specialist of German history at Hebrew University, said, “With this, Netanyahu joins a long line of people that we would call Holocaust deniers.”


  • Congresswoman Robin Kelly Is Up For Re-Election, And You Should Vote For Her

    From Congresswoman Robin Kelly:

    Believe it or not, it is that time again.
    I am running for re-election for Illinois’ 2nd Congressional District.
     I need your help, because without your support we cannot continue to fight to reduce gun violence, stimulate economic development and job creation, provide high quality educational options for our children and affordable health care within our communities.
     Much has been achieved, but much work remains.
     Please join me for a volunteer meet-up on Thursday, October 15, 2015, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM, at the Quarry Event Center, located at 2423 E. 75th Street, Chicago, Illinois, (corner of Essex Avenue and 75th Street). Complimentary parking available. 
     Please stop by for some refreshments, critical campaign information and take some petitions. I need to get at least 3500 signatures.
     If you are not able to attend the Kick-Off Event, please sign up here to volunteer.
     For additional information regarding the campaign and volunteer updates, please visit my website at  www.robinkellyforcongress.org.
    Thank you in advance for your support.

    We are happy to offer our support.

    And our vote.


  • So It Turns Out Pope Francis Did NOT Invite Kim Davis Personally, Or, At All

    So it turns out that Pope Francis did NOT invite Kim Davis to a personal audience. NOR did a personal audience with Pope Francis between the pontiff and Ms. Davis occur.

    Her lawyer is lying.

    I’m shocked that lawyers would lie.

    I know that you are too.

    But Kim Davis’ lawyer is part of a recognized hate group, the Liberty Counsel.

    From the New York Times:

    Ever since it became public that Pope Francis met in Washington with Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples, the questions have been swirling: Why did he meet with her, and was it meant as a political statement?

    As it turns out, the Vatican said on Friday, the pope did not mean to endorse Ms. Davis’s views. It also said he gave her no more than a typical brief greeting, despite what her lawyer described.

    Instead, the Vatican said that Francis gave only one “real audience”: to someone later identified as one of his former students, Yayo Grassi, a gay man in Washington who says he brought his partner of 19 years to the Vatican’s embassy in Washington for a reunion. They even shot video.

    The disclosure, after the Vatican’s unusual attempt to correct the impressions left by Francis’ meeting with Ms. Davis, added to days of speculation about whether Francis intended to send a message on the place of gays in the church, or conscientious objection, and whether his advisers had fully briefed him on Ms. Davis, or had their own agenda.

    The Vatican spokesman emphasized that the meeting with Ms. Davis was arranged by the office of the Vatican’s ambassador in Washington, not by anyone in Rome — including the pope.

    Read more here.


  • Letter to Coffee Party Community from Founder, Annabel Park

    A letter from Annabel Park, founder of the Coffee Party, a wonderful organization that is now run by a group full of self-interest.

    The original motto of the Coffee Party? Incite Civility! She wrote the following commentary on CNN in 2010. She and Eric Byler gave their hearts and souls to the Coffee Party, a group counter to the Tea Party and their shouting, embodied with the notion that civil discussion could advance great ideas.

    The Coffee Party deserves better than the current board, refusing to hold open elections for a few years now, contrary to the organization’s bylaws, contrary to any notion of good faith, contrary to common sense.

    Please read the following, read the lawsuit, and sign on.

    Dear Members of the Coffee Party Community,

    I’m writing on behalf of concerned Members of the organization who have taken an extraordinary step of filing a lawsuit against the Board of Directors for financial self-dealing, misuse of Membership’s personal data, and other abuses of power. Here is a link to the lawsuit filed last December in Washington DC. And, here is a more colloquial explanation of what has taken place behind closed doors.

    When I left Coffee Party leadership in 2011, we hired consultants to oversee the creation of a governing board of directors accountable to, and elected by you, the Members. Sadly that is not what happened.

    In the fallout from multi-level marketing scheme scandal, this Board of Directors has disqualified all candidates nominated to challenge them, and run themselves unopposed in elections to avoid oversight, transparency, and debate about their conduct.

    They prefer to appoint new Directors rather than allowing you to elect them, thus, the Coffee Party’s resources and energy seem to go toward fighting the Membership’s lawsuit and suppressing dissent through censorship, and the purging of dozens of founding and long-time Members, rather than toward campaigns and actions that might impact the real world.

    In the interest of moving forward as a community, I would like to invite you to an informal Coffee Party community meeting that you can participate in online and in person.

    —————————————————

    WHEN:  August 22, 2015, 3pm-5pm ET

    WHERE In-Person: 1101 Hamilton Street, Suite 158A, Allentown, PA 18102

    WHERE By Phone: Register for the Maestro call here.

    —————————————————

    You can RSVP here or by replying to this email. Link for the livestream will be posted on Original Coffee Party Facebook group and online discussions and a vote will take place there.

    This meeting is at the end of a day-long conference, Awaken We the People, organized by some original Coffee Party founders, including me, about creating a national network of local organizers. Leaders of other networks and organizations including Occupy Wall Street will be participating. The conference is free and open to the public, from 9am to 3pm. I urge you to attend this as well. Please RSVP.

    Along with the future of the lawsuit, the agenda for the Coffee Party community meeting (3pm-5pm) will include a number of action ideas about how we can advance the principles of the original vision.

    The Members’ lawsuit asks the court to force the Board of Directors to hold legitimate and fair elections, as prescribed by the bylaws, where no candidate can be disqualified arbitrarily.  The Defendants’ and their lawyers say they intend to fight this, and currently the Members are seeking more people to sign on in order to refile the complaint with the requisite number of plaintiffs (about 20 more plaintiffs are needed).

    The plaintiffs have recently secured a lawyer in DC who has agreed to take on our case pro bono. This is a big opportunity in terms of seeking a legal remedy.

    Unless the plaintiffs see the lawsuit through, it’s very likely that this democracy movement we started in order to fight corruption will continue to thwart democracy and embody corruption. But restoring the integrity and renewing the mission of the Coffee Party will require us all to work for it. At this meeting we’ll decide whether it’s worth it. We would like to make the discussion an open and civil one in the original Coffee Party tradition.

    If you’re interested in finding out more about the lawsuit, we will conduct several informational calls prior to the August 22nd meeting with plenty of time for you to ask questions. Or, you can join and participate in the The Original Coffee Party Facebook group where many of us have gathered for the time being.

    On a personal note, starting in October, I will be embarking on a year-long road trip across the country, Coffee with Friends Across America. Although inspired by John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley: In Search of America, my dream has a contemporary twist to it. I hope to meet many of my 5000 facebook friends and 3000 followers including all of you.

    During the trip, I hope we can share authentic stories from Main St and search for real solutions together. I hope that videos and content that we make together can impact the national conversation leading up to the 2016 election. To get updates on this, please follow me on my facebook page.

    Thanks again for your interest in the aims of the original Coffee Party. Don’t hesitate to contact me on Facebook or by replying to this email to discuss any of this.

    Sincerely,

    Annabel Park

    PS – Please sign this “Step Down Now” petition already signed by 590 people.


  • ThinkProgress: Alabama Lawmakers Vote To Bring Back the Electric Chair

    From ThinkProgress:

    The Alabama House passed a bill this week that would allow the state to once again put people to death by electric chair if the currently low supply of lethal injection drugs runs out or if the Supreme Court places limits on which drugs can be used to execute inmates in a case currently pending before the justices.

    The vote came just days after a majority Utah’s legislature approved a bill to bring back the practice of executing people by firing squad. Other states are debating the merits of using gas chambers.

    After the European Union banned exports of drugs used to kill human beings in 2011, states have been scrambling to find a reliable supply, often turning to secret, poorly regulated sources.

    These bills to revive older methods of execution were proposed following a series ofbotched executions in which inmates suffered long and seemingly painful deaths — calling into question whether the drugs are as effective and “humane” as their supporters claimed.

    Yet medical experts say the electric chair — which was used for hundreds of years — is an even more torturous and gruesome method of execution. Because the equipment is old and few people know how to operate it, it has often malfunctioned.

    How sad. How so terribly sad.

    Read more here