CNN: Stop Promoting Animal Torture on Anthony Bourdain's 'Parts Unknown'
CNN has built a reputation as a respectable, informative news network. But by glorifying the most insidious forms of animal cruelty on Anthony Bourdain's gruesome TV series Parts Unknown, the network has sunk to a disturbing new low in so-called entertainment. Bourdain's show depicts barbaric and sadistic acts such as cutting open a live snake to remove its beating heart; wrestling a goat to the ground before slicing his throat and drinking the blood; and laughing callously about a chef ripping the intestines from a live duck. Through Parts Unknown, Bourdain is desensitizing people around the world to animal torture, and turning suffering into a joke. With his popularity and status, Bourdain could be doing a lot of good in the world; yet he chooses the road of misery and death. CNN must be held to the highest accountability for their programming -- and it's time to take animal torture out of their lineup. By continuing to air this macabre experience masquerading as a travel show, CNN is directly responsible for brutal animal abuse. Help stop the glorified cruelty. Sign now to urge CNN to stop promoting animal torture!
Provide Media Coverage for our US Citizens in the Virgin Islands Disaster Relief Efforts
Over 110,000 American citizens live in the United States Virgin Islands. The Islands of St. Thomas and St. John have suffered devastating destruction to their homes, businesses, restaurants, resorts, and overall infrastructure. With little to no internet capabilities, no electricity and running water, as well as communication challenges the residents have months and months of rebuilding ahead. Major news outlets and media sources have given intermittent, if any, coverage at all to this dire situation. Relief efforts are finally coming in, but more coverage of this situation is desperately needed. Many of us don't live on island but hold a special place in our hearts these people and their home. Fundraising efforts are underway, but we need more exposure to make this a success. These people are American citizens, and they need our help! Please help us secure more media coverage of their needs and fundraising opportunities. All we are asking is to include these relief efforts in the landscape of the overall broadcasting. Those wishing to donate can find three reputable organizations here: St. John Community Foundation: https://stjohncommunityfoundation.com St. John Rescue, Inc.: www.stjohnrescue.com/donate St. John Animal Care Center: http://www.stjohnanimalcarecenter.com/donate
Normalizing the term ‘Alt Right’ is not okay
Alt-right is a manufactured label that is a stand-in for white supremacists, white nationalists, and fascists. The media has said it won't use the term without, as The New York Times says, "...a blunt explanation of its meaning." (December 4, 2016). Yet, in that same issue, in a separate article, Richard B. Spencer was referred to as the head of an Alt-Right website and an Alt-Right group from Montana. No explanation, blunt or otherwise. When I was in sixth grade, my peers and I were ushered into Room 8 at Estabrook Elementary School to watch the devastating Holocaust documentary Night and Fog. In contrast to today’s climate, it’s shocking to think that ten-year-olds were exposed to such nightmarish images of mass, systematic murder. But without that moment, and the many that followed that exposed me to all manner of hateful white supremacist and fascist acts, I’m not sure I would have the passion to speak out today against any toehold such monsters might gain in our society. I don't want my children, their peers, or my community to be in a heightened state of fear, but nor do I want them to feel a false sense of security through the normalization of a term that can only recall the images that struck me with such force so many years ago. It is with that commitment that I ask you to read and sign this petition calling upon the media to ban the term alt-right—a charade—from their coverage. The undersigned appeal to all media to refuse to use, and thereby appear to endorse, the term Alt-Right. The term is a veil, one designed to confer legitimacy on a threat to all the values that the United States of America stands for. Right now in our country, growing numbers of people feel they have been given permission to express their hatred. We already have plenty of names for them—white supremacists, white nationals, fascists, neo-Nazis. So far, they are a disparate group, without a universal umbrella under which to gather. When you name something, it becomes a container. It becomes a place where the formerly disconnected can amass, like the magnet of an Etch-a-Sketch gathering to it all the metal shavings and dragging them to wherever you want them to go. Alt-Right is that container which gives those filled with hate a single place to cohere. We pride ourselves on our freedom of the press, one where censorship and manipulation has no place. Alt-Right is a marketing tool; it is a brand name designed by clever wordsmiths to make its purpose sound benign. It must be delegitimized, beginning with a refusal to accept its usage. The press has been clear about defining Alt-Right as fascist. But, at some point, the term will become shorthand and shorthand will imply that this vile movement has earned acceptance. When so many people in our country are searching outside of the political status quo for identification and the disenfranchised are vulnerable to leaders who manipulate their frustrations, the media must do all it can to strip the veneer from euphemism and obfuscation and not to be complicit in the validation of a movement that should never be considered an alternative at all. Language matters. Do not let Alt-Right become an accepted part of our vernacular and our system.
Protect Immigrant Physicians From Executive Order, Protect Patients From Losing Doctors
Dear Madam, Dear Sir, On January 27th 2017, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) which implemented a 90-day suspension of visas and other immigration benefits to all nationals of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Libya and Somalia. Legal experts believe this suspension may be extended indefinitely. We have learned that there is a tremendous amount of confusion regarding the implementation of this order. The latest information we have obtained reveals that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has put a hold on all visa extensions and immigration benefits (including adjustment of status and employment authorization) for citizens from the above-mentioned countries who are inside the United States. We have been notified about cases involving physicians and their families who left the United States for a short vacation or a humanitarian mission and were not allowed back into the United States. The unrealistic conditions required in the EO for discontinuing the suspension make it very likely that this EO will turn into a permanent ban. We, physicians and healthcare providers of various nationalities practicing medicine in the United States in a variety of different fields, are directly impacted by these decisions and we would like to voice our deepest concerns and strongest opposition to this measure, as it directly affects patient care as much as it affects us. This EO will result in a lot of hard-working, compassionate physicians who go above and beyond in patient care not being able to have their legal status extended, not being able to continue practicing medicine, not being able to serve their patients and communities because their work authorizations will not be renewed, and not being able to see their families abroad for years. As it is, many physicians have not seen their families in several years due to the unfortunate and tumultuous events in their home countries. Many International Medical Graduates (IMGs) who are in search for residency training positions will also be blocked from matching to a residency spot, and many medical researchers will not be able to continue contributing to science and development. These bans have highly negative consequences. The unethical and discriminatory treatment of law-abiding, hard-working, and well-integrated immigrant physicians fundamentally contravenes the founding principles of the United States. The long term effect of this EO will result in a decline in the number of practicing healthcare providers in USA causing abrupt cessation of patient care, which will affect patient safety and work flow in vast institution throughout the country. We appreciate all the supporting statements issued by multiple medical organizations including the statement by the American College of Physicians on Jan 31st, 2017. We find it a source of relief knowing that our medical society realizes how important immigrant physicians are to the American communities. However, we would like to respectfully ask for more. We would like for all possible legal action to be taken to make sure that physicians will not be forced out of the country and out of practice. We also need a strong push towards allowing physicians from the above-mentioned countries to enter the United States. We strongly urge the use of all possible legal power to have this Executive Order rescinded due to its tremendously negative impact on physicians, their families, and on patient care.
Stop Reza Aslan's Hateful Show Against Hinduism
Dear CNN, We the undersigned demand that you not broadcast the show "Believer with Reza Aslan" that is to air on Sunday, 10 PM EST, which is running a segment on Hinduism. As per the preview available on your website, this segment indulges in out-of-context exotica on Hinduism by this so called scholar of religions. The show characterizes Hinduism as cannibalistic, which is a bizarre way of looking at the third largest religious community in the world. Hinduism is different from what is commonly understood as religion in the West. It needs a deeper understanding. One cannot use the religion framework that is in vogue in the academia to understand Hinduism. The Hindu spirituality encapsulates a unique knowledge system that transcends the material and the non-material. Hinduism gives complete freedom to its practitioners to pursue spiritual knowledge in a way that suits them. There is no religious authority that enforces any kind of law, any commandment, any fatwa. Hindus are governed by the law of the land as determined by a democratic polity. There is no system of shepherds, popes or mullah to tend the flock. This openness in Hinduism manifests in a plethora of practices - some of them could be seen as exotic - as per the discourse in the western parlance. Thus, necessitating a nuanced approach to understanding Hinduism in its totality first. Only then the specifics - as cited in the show - could be understood in its proper context. By decontextualizing the sect Mr. Aslan is showing, he is equating Hinduism with all other religions that are governed by a single book, which are commandments driven, which have religious bureaucracies, and have history of countless genocides committed in the Jihads and the Inquisitions. By such a portrayal of Hinduism, the showman is setting the stage for the most ghastly genocide of Hindus in America paralleled only by genocide of Native Americans, of Jews in Nazi Germany and Africans in Namibia, and so many others. The genocide against Native Americans were committed precisely because they were seen as "uncivilized" by the Europeans. Your showman is going to accomplish the same Sunday night with CNN as a platform. Sirs, the morning after, the Monday morning, when Hindu kids go to school in America, they will be bullied by their classmates as cannibals ! Some may even commit suicide. A few deranged of the society will get their guns and open fire in Hindu temples to eliminate the "cannibals" of the society. And in all these acts you as a news organization will share the responsibility. May we bring your attention to the book "An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States" by Dr. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, which documents how Native Americans were characterized by the settlers and precisely why the American genocide was committed against them. Sir, you are about to add another chapter to the book of American genocide.Stop the broadcast of Reza Aslan !
CNN reinstate Kathy Griffin
Kathy Griffin is a comedian and sometimes they do things that make us uncomfortable to prove a point. Granted sometimes they go over the line but in this case the punishment does not fit the crime. Hey, I don't even like Kathy Griffin, but I believe she was making an honest, albeit exaggerated, statement about how she feels about the current administration. Punish her, sure, but letting her go is too harsh. I don't want to mention the Republican cable mouthpiece but after threats to then President Obama, they glorified and even elevated the status of those has been celebrities. You don't have to let her go to prove a point to anyone, we know where the real news is.
The ending of The Yulin Dog Festival
This is so pressing we can not stop now. There is a dog meat festival in Yulin, China that last for 10 days. Where they brutally torture dogs before they consume them for meals. The forms of torture include boiling them alive, beating them to death, starvation and dehydration, and keeping them in very small cages with over 10 dogs in one. We would like to stop this festival because it is inhuman to commit this kind of act to a poor innocent dog.
Stop Calling Immigrant Prisons "Detention Centers"
My name is Sylvester Owino, and I was in “immigrant detention” for 9 years. My name is Carlos Hidalgo, and for a year and half I was incarcerated in “immigrant detention centers.” That is what the media, government, and for-profit prison companies who run these facilities call them, but in reality, these are immigrant prisons. People in immigrant prisons are not serving a sentence, but simply awaiting the outcome of our request to stay in the US. Those of us who have lived behind the locked gates and barbed wire know that the term “detention center” does not accurately describe the conditions and truth of what happens on the inside. We, who have survived these brutal places, are requesting that media organizations - The Associated Press, The New York Times, the LA Times, the Washington Post, and other influential media outlets, call these facilities what they are: immigrant prisons. Until we are honest about the fact that these are prisons, the inhumane conditions inside will continue to be covered up by the term “detention center,” and the corporations running the facilities will continue to make millions off of the suffering of the people inside. If these are harmless “detention centers” … Why do they look like prisons, why are they run like prisons, and why are they owned by prison companies? We were incarcerated in facilities run by the two largest for-profit prison companies in the country. Carlos was in GEO Group’s Adelanto immigrant prison, and Sylvester in CCA’s Otay immigrant prison in San Diego, among other facilities. We both experienced countless human rights abuses. We worked for the for-profit prisons for $1 a day, cleaning and cooking. Carlos was put in solitary confinement for 6 days for organizing a hunger strike to protest inhumane treatment. Sylvester filed complaints on behalf of friends who were beaten by guards. In Adelanto immigrant prison, 3 people have died in the last 7 months, and 6 people have attempted suicide since December 2016. Dozens of us have gone on hunger strikes to try and change things. In order to end the abuse, we must first call them prisons and then close them. Starting with Adelanto. Sylvester & Carlos Supported by: o Inland Empire Immigrant Youth Collective, IEIYC o Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice, ICIJ o Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement, CIVIC
Bring back January 2018 commencement at MSU
Recently, Montclair State University cancelled the undergraduate commencement for students completing their degree in December 2017. The university had already established a commencement date and students were prepared to graduate at the end of January. With two months left of the semester, the university sent an email earlier this week stating that January commencement would not be happening. This is unfair to the students at Montclair State and we deserve a January commencement just like the students receiving their masters and PhD degrees are. We deserve to celebrate our accomplishments.
#SAVEH2B: Save Small & Seasonal Businesses!
PLEASE ASK CONGRESS TO #SAVEH2B AND SUPPORT IMMEDIATE CAP RELIEF! American Small and Seasonal businesses are currently approaching their busiest season of the year and they will not be receiving their seasonal guest workers. Without these legal, temporary employees American businesses and workers are in jeaprody. The H-2B Visa nonimmigrant program allows employers to hire foreign workers to come to the United States and perform temporary nonagricultural services or labor on a one-time, seasonal, peakload or intermittent basis. H-2B workers are not considered immigrants. In order to qualify for an H-2B Visa, an employer must prove that there are not sufficient U.S. Workers who are capable of performing temporary services or labor. MYTH: H-2B WORKERS TAKE JOBS AWAY FROM AMERICANS.FACT: American workers are guaranteed first chance at every job later filled by an H-2B temporary laborer. By law, every open position must be properly advertised in the community and requires employers to hire any able and willing American workers to fill open positions. The fact is that H-2B temporary workers actually support American jobs and the U.S. economy. The H-2B program provides an opportunity for seasonal businesses to operate at a greater capacity, thereby retaining their full-time American workers and contributing more to their local economies. Additionally, temporary foreign seasonal workers help support many upstream and downstream jobs. According to the American Enterprise Institute study on Immigration and American Jobs, every H-2B worker creates or sustains 4.64 American jobs on average. MYTH: EMPLOYERS DON’T EVEN TRY TO HIRE AMERICAN WORKERS TO FILL THESE TEMPORARY HARD LABOR JOBS.FACT: Employers work extremely hard to hire American workers because 1) it is dramatically cheaper to do so, and 2) the law requires that employers demonstrate that every effort has been made to hire Americans before they can start the process of trying to hire a temporary foreign laborer. Again, the fact is that the vast majority of American workers are not interested in temporary seasonal manual labor jobs. Geography is a big obstacle for many employers; for example, many resort communities don’t have a sufficient local labor pool. And, in many cases, these types of seasonal jobs may not be appropriate for high school students due to the hours or labor laws that prohibit the use of heavy machinery by minors. MYTH: PAYING HIGHER WAGES WILL ENTICE AMERICAN WORKERS AND SOLVE THE SEASONAL TEMPORARY LABOR SHORTAGE.FACT: Hourly pay for these types of jobs have gone up significantly over the last few years because employers who use the H-2B program are required to pay their H-2B workers and similarly employed American workers a premiumwage dictated by the U.S. Department of Labor. These temporary manual labor jobs often pay considerably more than the minimum wage, but American workers still won’t take the positions. Sadly, in many cases, employers who obey the law and use the H-2B program are often competing against businesses that choose to illegally hire undocumented immigrants and pay those workers considerably less. If wages were raised even higher, seasonal employers who use the program would not be able to sustain their businesses or their American workers. MYTH: THE H-2B PROGRAM REPRESSES WAGES FOR AMERICAN WORKERS BY PROVIDING A CHEAPER LABOR SOURCE.FACT: Hiring H-2B workers is a much move expensive and risky option. In addition to the fact employers are required to pay H-2B workers and similarly employed American workers a premium wage that is often well above the federal minimum wage, complying with the H-2B program is extremely costly, complicated and wrought with uncertainty due to an overly restrictive cap and a constantly changing regulatory environment. Employers turn to the H-2B program as a last resort, after extensive efforts to recruit American workers. MYTH: H-2B WORKERS OVERSTAY THEIR VISAS AND EXACERBATE ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IN AMERICA.FACT: According the U.S. Department of Homeland Security visa overstay in the H-2B program are rare. Workers who do overstay their visas are barred from using the program ever again. The fact is that the vast majority of H-2B workers and their employers are meticulous about compliance. Not following the strict program rules means the end of a well-paying seasonal jobs that allows these workers to provide for their families and still maintain their homes in their native countries – a risk these workers are not willing to take since they generally return to the same employer year after year. Additionally, when approving H-2B visas, the U.S. Consulate confirms workers’ ties to their home countries. Further, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security requires employers to promptly report any H-2B workers who do not report for work or who complete their work earlier in the season than anticipated. MYTH: THE H-2B RETURNING WORKER EXEMPTION IS UNNECESSARY.FACT: The H-2B program’s annual 66,000 cap (33,000 for each half of the fiscal year) is not adequate to meet the demands of a growing economy. The cap for the first half of the fiscal 2017 was reached on January 10. The second-half cap was reached on March 13, leaving many seasonal employers shut out of the program with no access to legal seasonal laborers. Without the returning worker exemption passed by Congress with bipartisan support and signed into law by the President, many companies will have to close their businesses, lay off American workers or turn away customers.This provision is essential to the survival of small and seasonal businesses across the country and should be made permanent. An H-2B returning worker exemption is a narrow solution to a seasonal workforce shortage that focuses on workers who are valuable to their seasonal employers and who have never violated the terms of their past visas or other U.S. laws. These workers do not pose a security risk and they are not taking away jobs from Americans. For more information please visit: https://www.SaveH2b.orghttps://www.h2bworkforcecoalition.com https://youtu.be/UTYVEirlu3o To contribute further, please contact your Congressmen/women and tweet using the hashtag: #SAVEH2B