human rights

Philippines: Lawmakers studying the filing of bill against hate crimes

A pair of reform-oriented lawmakers has expressed plans to file a critical measure that could curb hate-motivated crimes and violence directed at the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

Akbayan Rep. Barry Gutierrez and Dinagat Islands Rep. Kaka Bag-ao drew upon the recent brutal murder of Ms. Jennifer Laude by a US serviceman believed to be a manifested hate crime as grounds for a renewed effort to push for a nationwide protection of LGBT persons.

"Akbayan is seriously studying the possibility of filing an anti-hate measure that will increase the protection of members of the LGBT community who remain vulnerable to various forms of violence and crimes due to their sexual preference. We have tinkered with this before and Jennifer's killing has created a new urgency," Gutierrez said.

Labor Day isn't being celebrated by far too many US workers this year

America's Damaged Workforce

excerpt from , "Occupying America: We Shall Overcome"

by Rev. Paul J. Bern

432 austerity



What if Jesus showed up in Ferguson Mo.? What would he say and do?

What Would Jesus Protest?

By Rev. Paul J. Bern




Capture of Philippine fugitive general Jovito Palparan hailed as victory for Aquino

Philippine security forces yesterday captured a fugitive former army general wanted over the kidnapping of two students, fulfilling a promise by President Benigno Aquino to bring high-profile criminal suspects to justice.

Military spokesman Ramon Zagala said agents arrested Jovito Palparan in Manila.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said the arrest of Palparan showed the government would "end the culture of impunity" characterised by human rights violations under Aquino's predecessor, Gloria Arroyo.

Palparan, 63, has been on the run since December 2011 after a court issued a warrant for his arrest over the kidnapping and disappearance of two female left-wing activists in Bulacan province north of Manila in 2006.

The two remain missing. The retired major general, who was in charge of a regional army unit, has denied any involvement.




As evidenced by the legalization of cannabis in Washington, Colorado, and Uruguay, as well as wheels set in motion elsewhere, we live in an age in which fresh winds are blowing through the drug political landscape. According to a Gallup poll, nearly 60 percent of Americans are now in favor of legalizing cannabis; in Latin America not only government leaders but even countries are becoming activists for change; in Europe some 80 percent of British politicians agree that prohibition has failed, and as more and more people wake up to the fact that current policies cause more harm than good, this trend is expected to continue.


Class War: Thailand’s Military Coup

Outnumbered by the country’s rural voters, Thailand’s once vibrantly democratic urban middle class has embraced an elitist, anti-democratic agenda

After declaring martial law on May 20, the Thai military announced a full-fledged coup two days later. The putsch followed nearly eight months of massive street protests against the ruling Pheu Thai government identified with former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The power grab by army chief Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha came two weeks after Thaksin’s sister, Yingluck, was ousted as caretaker prime minister by the country’s Constitutional Court for “abuse of power” on May 7.

The Thai military portrayed its seizure of power as an effort to impose order after two rounds of talks between the country’s rival factions failed to produce a compromise that would provide Thailand with a functioning government.

Deftly Managed Script

Albert Woodfox Speaks to the Experts About 42 Years of Solitary Confinement

The essay featured below, Albert Woodfox Speaks to the Experts, from the Why Am I Not Suprised? blog is reprinted in full with permission of the author. 

The Philippines-Bangsamoro Agreement

The Bangsamoro Agreement: A Step towards Re-imagining and Rebuilding the Philippine Nation

Akbayan Party extends its warmest congratulations to the Bangsamoro people, particularly to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) as it signs today a historic, landmark peace agreement with the Philippine government.

Indefinite global stagnation

On the Global Conjuncture, February 2014

The key feature of the global landscape is the continuing stagnation of the centers of the global economy, the United States and the European Union.  The promise of sustained recovery from the financial implosion has eluded the United States for over three years now while most of Europe remains mired in very deep recession, with the notable exception of Germany.

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