Will Ireland be the first country to legalize same-sex marriage?

Tomorrow Irish citizens will vote on whether same-sex marriage should be legal. If they vote ‘yes’ on this referendum, Ireland will become the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote.

Early polls indicated over three quarters of the country are in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage.

 Photo Credit: Niall Sweeney (tumblr)

 

 

 

Elizabeth Warren Keeps It 100

President Obama and Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren are at unreconcilable odds regarding fast-track trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership of 12 Pacific Rim nations. Earlier this week Senator Warren released a report entitled: Broken Promises:Decades of Failure to Enforce Labor Standards in Free Trade Agreements

Love how she doesn’t waste time getting to straight to the point in the title!

Senator Warren said: “The facts show that, despite all the promises, these trade deals were just another tool to tilt the playing field in further of multinational corporations and against working families.”

Thanks for keeping it 100, Senator Warren!

 

President Obama is Right: The Narrative Needs to Change

President Barack Obama very poignantly said that the media narrative portraying America’s poor as  “leeches” on the system, needs to end.

In a discussion at Georgetown University this past Tuesday, President Obama said the right-wing media like Fox News goes out of its way to portray poor + and struggling Americans as “sponges, leeches, don’t want to work, are lazy, are undeserving.” This couldn’t be further from the truth – and the narrative really needs to change. Perpetuating a false image of struggling Americans is not only inaccurate, but it further stigmatizes and alienates this already disadvantaged population.

But back to President Obama – here is a section of his discussion on poverty at Georgetown University on May 12, 2015:

There’s always been a strain in American politics where you’ve got the middle class, and the question has been, who are you mad at, if you’re struggling; if you’re working, but you don’t seem to be getting ahead. And over the last 40 years, sadly, I think there’s been an effort to either make folks mad at folks at the top, or to be mad at folks at the bottom. And I think the effort to suggest that the poor are sponges, leaches, don’t want to work, are lazy, are undeserving, got traction. And, look, it’s still being propagated.

I mean, I have to say that if you watch Fox News on a regular basis, it is a constant menu—they will find folks who make me mad. I don’t know where they find them. They’re like, “I don’t want to work, I just want a free Obama phone”—or whatever. And that becomes an entire narrative, right? That gets worked up. And very rarely do you hear an interview of a waitress—which is much more typical—who’s raising a couple of kids and is doing everything right but still can’t pay the bills.

And so if we’re going to change how John Boehner and Mitch McConnell think, we’re going to have to change how our body politic thinks, which means we’re going to have to change how the media reports on these issues and how people’s impressions of what it’s like to struggle in this economy looks like, and how budgets connect to that. And that’s a hard process because that requires a much broader conversation than typically we have on the nightly news.

Transcript courtesy of the White House 

Profits made from slavery

Apparel workers

Photo Source: AP/Mahesh Kumar A

If you buy clothes from major American apparel companies like H&M, Gap, Zara, and JC Penny’s, then you’ve contributed to exploitation of the workers that make the clothes.  I was shocked to recently learn that most of the world’s clothing is produced in Bangladesh, and other developing countries.  Check out this info-graphic from Department of Commerce:

Apparel-Imports-to-the-United-States-Feb-2014_chartbuilder (1)

It seems pretty obvious that major US multinational corporations outsource clothing production to developing nations  because of the lack of workers rights + protections in those nations. These corporations continually earn more and more profits while the employees that make their products are subjected to conditions nothing short of slavery. Just two short years ago nearly 1,130 workers died at Rana Plaza in Bangladesh producing clothes for brands we all know and own. It is alleged that management locked the doors in order to keep employees from stealing clothing. The locked doors trapped the young workers in the burning building, with no chance of getting out alive. This is just one of the many atrocities that workers in developing countries must endure.

When will corporations value workers that generate their profits? Without the very workers they exploit, they wouldn’t have products to sell. When will these corporations be held accountable for the poor working conditions for their employees? When will America say enough is enough? Cheap clothes or equality? You make the choice.