Author Archives: ew

About ew

ew came of age during the winddown to the Vietnam War, and like many other Americans, as soon there wasn't an issue that didn't affect him personally, he became indifferent. This gradually changed during the Reagan and Bush I years, continued through the Clinton years and finally came to a head with the passage of the Patriot Act in 2001. He works as a freelance consultant/tester for various music hardware and software companies, and lives in Minnesota.

‘Important Step’: EPA Finalizes Rule to Clean Up Forever Chemical Contamination

While praising the move, campaigners also said that the agency “must require polluters to pay to clean up the entire class of thousands of toxic PFAS chemicals, and it must ban nonessential uses.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 4-19-2024 by Common Dreams

Used at military bases ad civilian airports, PFAS in firefighting foam has contaminate drinking water across the country. Photo: Department of Defense/Public domain

Environmental and public health advocates on Friday welcomed the Biden administration’s latest step to tackle “forever chemicals,” a new Superfund rule that “will help ensure that polluters pay to clean up their contamination” across the country.

“It is time for polluters to pay to clean up the toxic soup they’ve dumped into the environment,” declared Erik D. Olson, senior strategic director for health at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “We all learned in kindergarten that if we make a mess, we should clean it up. The Biden administration’s Superfund rule is a big step in the right direction for holding polluters accountable for cleaning up decades of contamination.”

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‘The Opposite of Leadership’: US Vetoes Palestine’s UN Membership

Palestine’s permanent observer at the United Nations said the resolution’s failure “will not break our will, and it will not defeat our determination.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 4-18-2024 by Common Dreams

Robert A. Wood, deputy permanent representative of the United States to the United Nations, vetoes Palestine’s U.N. membership during the Security Council meeting on April 18, 2024. (Photo: Manuel Elías/United Nations)

U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration on Thursday used the country’s veto power at the United Nations Security Council to block Palestine’s bid to become a full member of the U.N.

While 12 nations voted in favor of Palestinian membership and two abstained, the United States is one of five countries—along with China, France, Russia, and the United Kingdom—who have veto authority at the Security Council.

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‘Ed Scare’ Deepens​ as 4,000+ Books Banned in First Half of School Year

“The bans we’re seeing are broad, harsh, and pernicious—and they’re undermining the education of millions of students across the country,” said one lead author of a new PEN America report.

By Brett Wilkins Published 4-16-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: nataliesap/flickr/CC

U.S. school districts banned more books during the first half of the current academic year than during the entire last scholastic year, a report published Tuesday revealed.

PEN America recorded 4,349 book bans across 52 school districts in 23 states during the fall 2023 semester, more than double the 1,841 titles that were prohibited during the spring term and more than the 3,362 volumes reported banned nationwide during the entire previous academic year.

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Starbucks seeks Supreme Court protection from being ordered to rehire baristas who say they were fired for union-promoting activities

By Michael Z. Green, Texas A&M University Published 4-11-2024 by The Conversation

Starbucks workers rally and march in Seattle. Photo: Elliot Stoller/flickr/CC

What factors must a court consider when the National Labor Relations Board requests an order requiring an employer to rehire terminated workers before the completion of unfair labor practice proceedings?

That’s the central question that the Supreme Court will consider on April 23, 2024, during oral arguments in the Starbucks Corp. v. McKinney case. The global coffee shop chain is challenging the NLRB, the federal agency responsible for enforcing U.S. workers’ rights to organize, saying that the agency used the more labor-friendly of two available standards when it asked a federal court to order the company to reinstate workers at a Memphis, Tennessee, store who lost their jobs in 2022 amid a nationwide unionizing campaign.

The Conversation U.S. asked Texas A&M law professor Michael Z. Green to explain what’s behind this case and how the court’s eventual decision, expected by the end of June, could affect the right to organize unions in the United States.

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House Dems, GOP Team Up to Expand Warrantless Spying on Americans

“The House has voted to allow the intelligence agencies to violate the civil rights and liberties of Americans for years to come,” said the ACLU’s senior policy counsel.

By Jake Johnson. Published 4-12-2024 by Common Dreams

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson speaking with attendees at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s 2023 Annual Leadership Summit at the Venetian Convention & Expo Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.. Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/CC

The U.S. House on Friday passed legislation to expand a major mass spying authority after voting down a bipartisan push to attach a search warrant requirement to the heavily abused surveillance law.

The bill to reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) for two years passed by a vote of 273-147, with 59 Democrats and 88 Republicans voting no. More Democrats voted for the bill than Republicans.

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‘Absolutely Absurd’: Tennessee GOP Advances Concealed Guns for Teachers

“We should not be afraid to send our kids to school, but extremist lawmakers are hellbent on expanding the gun lobby’s guns everywhere agenda and putting our kids at risk,” said one state campaigner.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 4-10-2024 by Common Dreams

Moms Demand Action members protest a Tennessee bill to arm teachers on April 9, 2024. (Photo: Moms Demand Action Tennessee/Facebook)

Gun control advocates, including families of mass shooting survivors, condemned Tennessee Senate Republicans for a 26-5 vote along party lines on Tuesday to advance legislation allowing teachers and staff to carry concealed firearms in public schools.

“Since the devastating shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville last year, the [Tennessee] Legislature has had the opportunity to take meaningful action on gun safety,” said Moms Demand Action executive director Angela Ferrell-Zabala. “Instead, they have chosen to ‘debate the safety of their communities’ behind closed doors in a process that has often excluded their constituents and their own colleagues.”

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US Government Sued Over ‘Unethical Destruction’ of Wolf Population

“The Fish and Wildlife Service is thumbing its nose at the Endangered Species Act and letting wolf-hating states sabotage decades of recovery efforts,” said one conservation leader.

By Jessica Corbett Published 4-8-2024 by Common Dreams

Gray wolf. Photo: USFWS Midwest Region/flickr

A pair of conservation coalitions on Monday made good on their threats to sue the U.S. government over its denial of federal protections for gray wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains, where state killing regimes “put wolves at obvious risk of extinction in the foreseeable future.”

The organizations filed notices of their plans for the lawsuits in early February, after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) determined that Endangered Species Act protections for the region’s wolves were “not warranted.” The Interior Department agency could have prevented the suits in the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana by reversing its decision within 60 days but refused to do so.

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Mexico Cuts Diplomatic Ties With Ecuador After ‘Intolerable’ Quito Embassy Raid

“This is a flagrant violation of international law and the sovereignty of Mexico,” said Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 4-6-2024 by Common Dreams

Screenshot: TRT World Now/X

Mexico on Friday night announced the suspension of diplomatic relations with Ecuador after police stormed the Mexican Embassy in Quito and kidnapped former Ecuadorian Vice President Jorge Glas, who was granted asylum after being convicted of what he claims are politically motivated corruption charges.

“Alicia Bárcena, our secretary of foreign affairs, has just informed me that police from Ecuador forcibly entered our embassy and detained the former vice president of that country who was a refugee and processing asylum due to the persecution and harassment he faces,” Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said on social media following the raid.

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Dark Money-Backed ‘No Labels’ Drops Third-Party Presidential Bid

One observer quipped that No Labels was calling it quits “to spend more time with their lobbyists.”

By Brett Wilkins. Published 4-4-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: No Labels/X

Less than a month after No Labels announced it would nominate a “unity ticket” for the 2024 presidential election, the group said Thursday that it is abandoning its longshot third-party White House bid.

“No Labels has always said we would only offer our ballot line to a ticket if we could identify candidates with a credible path to winning the White House,” the group said in a statement. “No such candidates emerged, so the responsible course of action is for us to stand down.”

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Islamophobic Smear Campaign Against ‘Historic’ Judicial Nominee Condemned

“We urge senators to assess Mr. Mangi’s nomination based on his credentials and qualifications for the job, not his religion, race, or ethnicity.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 4-2-2024 by Common Dreams

Adeel Mangi speaks at his U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on December 13, 2023. (Photo: Graeme Sloan/Sipa USA/via Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 4.0)

A coalition of over 125 rights groups on Tuesday urged the U.S. Senate to vanquish an onslaught of Islamophobic attacks and confirm Adeel Mangi, who would be the first Muslim American to serve on a federal appeals court.

As some right-wing Democrats consider joining with Republicans to block his nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, the groups explained in a letter to senators that they came together to support the Oxford- and Harvard-educated attorney, “highlight Mr. Mangi’s tremendous qualifications, and condemn the baseless and bigoted attacks being waged against this exceptional and historic nominee.”

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