The Bay Area has a secret, and it’s this: the area is not as liberal as it appears.
California’s Bay Area enjoys a reputation as one of the most liberal regions in the country, a locale infamous for ‘San Francisco values,’ the alleged libertine attitudes of the Castro, the quirky ‘How Berkeley Can You Be?’ parade, and many more things large and small that project an attitude of liberality, heightened consciousness about social issues, and community to the rest of the nation. When the conservative right wants to set its targets on what it sees as the latest sin of the left, its eyes often look to the Bay Area, and the state as a whole has been at the core of a number of controversies ranging from tighter environmental protections to the legalisation of marijuana to marriage equality.
The Prawer-Begin Plan may or may not pass—but it is already in motion.
On Saturday, thousands gathered across Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories to demonstrate against the Prawer-Begin Plan—a controversial bill currently under review in the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) that could displace up to 40,000 Palestinian Bedouin from the Negev Desert.
Already, the implementation of Obamacare has been troubled.
The woeful state of health care in the United States has made the country into something that would be a laughingstock, if the stakes weren’t so high. While most other Western nations have managed to create functional (though by no means perfect) systems for ensuring that residents are connected with health services, the United States flails within a system that primarily benefits private insurers, pharmaceutical companies, and hospital conglomerates. Attempts at reform under the Obama Administration have proved difficult. While residents were never promised single payer healthcare (the most obvious solution to the country’s troubles) to begin with, the actual level of health care reform differs radically from that advertised.
These justifications are about building exclusionary and elite community environments, not about upholding actual religious values.
In the Australian state of New South Wales, there’s a series of exceptions for private schools in the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977. This means that these schools can hire and fire staff, and refuse admission to and expel students, based on their disability status, sexual orientation (actually, specifically, ‘homosexuality’), sex, age, marital or domestic status, or if they are transgender. Alex Greenwich, an independent Member of Parliament representing Sydney, has just introduced a bill called Anti-Discrimination Amendment (Private Educational Authorities) Bill 2013, which aims to remove these exemptions. It’s unclear as yet whether this bill will pass. It has the support of the Labor Party, which is the opposition in NSW parliament. However, the Liberal and National parties, the coalition of which is in governance, have not yet announced how they will handle Greenwich’s proposal. What, then, is riding on this bill?
Schwarz gives us a glimpse through a looking glass filled with contradiction, frustration and ultimately death.
Mere miles from El Paso, Texas, one of the safest cities in America, lies Ciudad Juárez, ground zero for the drug war – only conventional wars have rules of engagement. The battle raging within our neighbor to the south is something far more disturbing since Juárez is at heart a no man’s land, where rhyme and reason do not exist. Enter veteran photojournalist Shaul Schwarz. With honest artifice-free filmmaking and gorgeous lush cinematography – that allows us to viscerally experience the surreal nature of life on either side of the U.S.-Mexico border – the Israeli director has created a debut feature equal parts elegant and eye-opening. Shifting from the tale of a hugely popular, Los Angeles-based musician whose “narcocorridos” celebrate the drug lord lifestyle, to a Mexican crime scene investigator who puts his life on the line everyday sifting through the chaos, Schwarz gives us a glimpse through a looking glass filled with contradiction, frustration and ultimately death. After having played to great acclaim at this year’s Sundance and Berlin film festivals, “Narco Cultura” opens in NYC in November with a national rollout to follow.
Given how Proposition 8 went, California’s trans community could be facing defeat snatched from the jaws of victory.
In 2008, while much of the United States celebrated President Obama’s victory and a historic moment for the United States, California progressives reeled from the successful passage of Proposition 8, which eliminated marriage equality in the state. As the nation’s eyes turned to the state and this chilling example of the potential abuses of the initiative and referendum system, it raised a great deal of questions about how California progressives had lost out so ignominiously, and how they could recover.
Amongst the supernatural shows on television this season comes an interesting entry: Once Upon A Time in Wonderland, ABC’s spinoff of its hit Once Upon A Time. Unlike the original series, which draws upon myth, folklore, and fairy tales, this [...]
Amongst the supernatural shows on television this season comes an interesting entry: Once Upon A Time in Wonderland, ABC’s spinoff of its hit Once Upon A Time. Unlike the original series, which draws upon myth, folklore, and fairy tales, this show is based at least in part on a more recent entry into the literary canon: Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, a bizarre 19th century text littered with complicated allusions, surrounded by controversy, and yet utterly beguiling and fascinating.
With Abbott focusing on merit and openly critical of affirmative action and creating opportunities for underrepresented groups, the tide is shifting once again against people with disability.
Prior to Australia’s recent federal election, Global Comment feature writer Chally Kacelnik wrote about the rise of far right parties in Australia explaining that both options in our two party preferred system were sliding further to the right. Although as Chally noted much of Labor’s policies have swung to the right in recent years, they introduced a National Disability Strategy (NDS) which for the first time took Australians with disability seriously by pledging support for education, employment, infrastructure and inclusion. The NDS which was endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in February 2011 was developed following a nation-wide public consultation process with over 2,500 people. The policy which had bipartisan support has six priority points:
The GULAG taught an entire generation shame, hatred and fear – and that knowledge has been passed on.
Russian actor Alexei Panin used to be mostly famous for overturning tables in restaurants when he’s in a bad mood. Or for the ugly custody battle he had with his ex-wife over their daughter. Or for his drinking.
Are we supposed to think that police brutality is okay when it’s conducted by a disabled man?
The autumn 2013 television season seems determined to impress with a broad array of shows featuring disabled characters, almost all of whom are in cripface, played by nondisabled actors. (The exception is Michael Fox on his eponymous comedy.) Apparently nondisabled audiences are simply clamoring for inauthentic representations of the lived experience of disability—or networks are angling for their own diversity cookies al la Glee.
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