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VIDEO: "People Are Awesome: This Young Activist Took Michele Bachmann to Task on Gay Marriage"

 

During a town hall, 16-year-old Jane Schmidt, the head of her school’s Gay-Straight Alliance, asked the famously anti-gay congresswoman how she would support the LGBT community. After Bachmann said that “all Americans have the same civil rights,” Schmidt pressed her, even as virtually all the adults in the room broke out in applause in response to Bachmann’s reply.

“Then why can’t gay people get married?” Schmidt asked. They can, Bachmann assured her, as long as they marry a person of the opposite sex. A lengthy exchange ensued, wherein Schmidt kept her cool while calling out Bachmann’s bullshit answers.

It’s one thing to tweet an insult or bang out an angry blog post, but it takes real courage to ask tough questions of a politician standing right in front of you as your entire community stares you down. It’s moments like these when YouTube and the First Amendment make especially cozy bedfellows. Maybe the next generation isn’t so doomed, after all.

(Source: bencrowther)

South Africa Under Fire For 'Dirty Energy'

fyeahafrica:

As host of the current United Nations Climate Conference, South Africa is under the spotlight and under fire for what many are calling a “dirty energy” policy. More than 90 percent of South African electricity is produced from coal - believed to be the worst contributor to greenhouse gases and climate change. Activists are calling for the government to develop alternative and clean supplies of energy.

South Africa is among the top five coal producing and exporting countries in the world.  And, with voracious energy needs, South Africa relies almost exclusively on coal to power its homes, businesses and economy.

And, the government here has plans to grow its coal dependency in the short -term by opening another two new coal-powered energy stations.

This has environmentalists worried that there is no view to evolving a clean energy policy.   And, as host of the U.N. Climate Conference in the Indian Ocean city, Durban, South Africa is attracting scrutiny like never before.

There have protests in Durban against all kinds of so called anti-green policies. South Africa is being lumped in with some of the world’s largest carbon polluters, like the United States, Russia and China. 

Professor Patrick Bond, a leading academic in Durban and a clean energy activist, says he had hoped that democratic South Africa would reverse its dependence on what he calls dirty energy, but that this has not happened.

“Like the apartheid system, the use of coal, like black labor, was terribly destructive by the big companies that set up apartheid to serve their profitability interests,” said Bond. “So, we have never taken into consideration the environmental costs. It’s a long legacy that we thought post-apartheid could change.”

He says South Africa has failed to underwrite job-creating renewable energy systems since the first democratic elections in 1994.

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"Groups Plan To ‘Occupy Wall Street,’ But Their Goal Is Not Yet Set" - CBS New York

occupywallstreet:

Woohoo! Hitting the big media, finally:

“We need to get government back into the hands of the 99 percent, not the one percent,” Csapo said. “Right now, the law is currently written for the one percent, and we are seeing an incredible amount of wealth being extracted.”

“The aim is getting back to more of a participatory Democracy,” said Csapo.

The Occupy Wall Street website says “We also encourage the use of nonviolence to achieve our ends and maximize the safety of all participants.”

The original call to occupy Wall Street was put out by a group called Adbusters, which describes itself as a “global network of culture jammers and creatives working to change the way information flows, the ways corporations wield power, and the way meaning is produced in our society.”

The hacker/protest group Anonymous has also reportedly thrown its support behind the Sept. 17 protest.

What do you think: Is it a protest for protest’s sake? A social media experiment? Or a genuine expression of something more profound?

whataboutateakettle:

hearts-and-sleeves:

“Not Acceptable” is a powerful and compelling 30 second television PSA which gives voice to a variety of diverse communities each of whom expresses that it is not acceptable to call them by what were once common words, but are now recognized as offensive slurs. It culminates in actress and self-advocate Lauren Potter from “Glee” stating that it is not acceptable to use the word ‘retard’ and she and “Glee” co-star Jane Lynch make a call to action to stop using the word and to promote the acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and to make their pledge online at http://r-word.org.

My father put this PSA together that will be airing tonight during Glee! It is so important that you take a listen to the important message that this video has. People like my sister deserve your respect, and that starts by removing the “R-word” from your vocabulary.

Such a good PSA. I hate it when any of these words are used D:

This is amazing! Also, if you are still one of those people still using the “R-Word” in conversation just think twice about it. After all, this is 2011 and not 1950

(Source: life-in-w0nderland)

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