Retiring Chimps, Archie Comics and Fighting Malaria – It’s Care2 Friday Wrap Time!
Have you had a good week? I hope so. It’s certainly been a busy one, with many diverse stories for you to catch up on; some that will make you angry, others that will delight, and a couple that might even leave you scratching your head in thought. So let’s get started:
Did you hear that thud? That was blogger Beth Buczynski’s jaw hitting the floor in both disbelief and outrage over this next story from the Environment channel. As many of you will be aware, the Deepwater Horizon, an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico, exploded and sank last week, releasing 42,000 gallons (1,000 barrels) of crude oil per day into the ocean. Despite the fact that several of the rig’s workers are still missing, and that the slick is 400 sq. miles wide and spreading, a White House spokesman said there was no reason to give up plans to expand offshore drilling. I won’t say much. I’ll just say, don’t get on Beth’s bad side, and make sure to read her post here.
With the news that the oil spill might be worse than first feared, Nancy Roberts follows up on this story and asks how many lives must be lost, animals suffer, ecosystems be destroyed and livelihoods crushed before we kill offshore drilling once and for all? It’s a passionate and hard-hitting piece that I know you’ll want to have your say on, so find out the latest here.
Now over to our Animal Welfare channel. Have you heard the latest? Heather Moore brings us the great news: Lufthansa airlines has stopped shipping dogs and cats to laboratories! This news comes less than 24 hours after PETA posted an action alert and photos showing beagles in crates that were to be shipped to a Charles River Laboratory in Scotland by the airline. This is a great, uplifting post, so make sure you give it a look.
Next in Animal Welfare, Sharon Seltzer brings us news that you’ll just go bananas for. Coming soon is the national Chimp Retirement Party! The event on May 2 is being used to rally support for passage of the Great Ape Protection Act which would ban chimpanzees from being used in invasive research experiments. You can find out more about this great initiative here.
Lastly in Animal Welfare, Alicia Graef tells us how, prompted by the death of trainer Dawn Brancheau, who was drowned by SeaWorld’s Orca whale Tillikum, the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife, held a hearing on Tuesday to debate the future of marine mammals in captivity. Read Alicia’s overview of the hearing here.
Over in the Trailblazers channel, Suzi Parrasch tells us how Echoing Green, whose mission it is to identify bold, new, innovative social entrepreneurs, has just announced the 25 finalists for its 2010 fellowships which provides much needed seed funding to young social entrepreneurs. Find out who’s in the running here.
Also in our Trailblazers section, Care2 founder Randy Paynter has a post called “Slacktivism: Why Snopes got it Wrong About Internet Petitions” in which Randy tells us why Snopes.com missed the mark when it said that Internet petitions were nothing more than “slacktivism.” Outrageous, right? Read the post and have your say!
In our Poltics channel, there’s one hot-topic at the moment: Arizona’s immigration law. Blogger Jessica Pieklo has a historical perspective on Arizona’s new, highly controversial immigration legislation in which she documents the state’s struggle to find a balance between legitimate use of police power and the rights of individuals. It’s fascinating, informative and has provoked quite the discussion, so get involved with the debate here.
Next up in Politics, Judy Molland brings us the news that 500 mayors across the U.S. have teamed up to create Mayors Against Illegal Guns, an initiative urging for legislation to close the gun show loophole which can allow anyone to buy a gun with no background check. Read “Guns Kill – Close the Gun Show Loophole” here. There’s a Care2 petition for you to sign, too!
Last up in Politics, Aaron Pendell updates us on the financial reform battle. After enduring three votes to advance financial reform legislation for debate on the Senate floor, and under the threat of an all-night session from the Democrats, Republicans voted unanimously to address the measure. Find out which three senators you should be keeping an eye on during the reform debate now.
Now over to our Women’s Rights channel. In a passionately written piece, Jamie-Alexis Fowler writes “Women’s lives shouldn’t be a game of political oneupmanship. The constant battle over the Global Gag Rule has only hurt women around the world and has undermined U.S. investments in global health and democracy.” Well, this week there is a unique opportunity to take action to end this situation and support the Global Democracy Promotion Act. You can find out more by reading Stop the Political Hot Potato: Ditch the Global Gag Rule…For Good!
Next up in Women’s Rights, Robin Marty asks, “What lengths will some go to stop girls getting an education?” Well, news has emerged saying that militants who oppose education for girls in Afghanistan are using poison to scare them away from school. This is utterly shocking, and Robin warns that this could be the least of the dangers for girls trying to get an education in countries where this kind of repression is rife.
Lastly in Women’s Rights, a US study has revealed that men with so-called “traditional views” on the work and home roles of women – AKA sexists views – earn on average about $8,500 a year more than men who are more progressive. You just know that blogger Ximena Ramirez was not going to let this story pass without a comment, and she’s not holding back in Sexist Men Make More Money: A New Equally Unjust Wage Gap Revealed.
Moving on to our Education channel, Kristina Chew asks if seniority should really count when it comes to teacher layoffs? This comes as lawmakers from around the U.S. and school chancellors go up against teachers’ unions to overturn seniority rules. It’s a fascinating article that strips back arguments to tackle the fundamental question of how to accurately evaluate teacher performance. I know it’s a subject you’ll all care about and will no doubt have strong opinions on too, so take a look at the post here.
Lastly in the Education channel, the topic of sex education. When I was at school it involved a few oddly colorful wall charts and an embarrassed male teacher that would mumble the word “vagina” and tremble slightly whenever the term came up. Still I was grateful for the frank and honest approach. Not everyone appreciates such instruction, however. Ann Bibby brings us the news that angry parents in Ontario have forced the government to back away from comprehensive sex ed in the province’s public schools. Ann examines the case and tells us why schools, not parents, should teach kids about sex.
Next let’s go to our Civil Rights channel. Now, perennial high school student Archie has spent decades trying to decide between Betty and Veronica. Some things never change in Riverdale. But some things do. There’s a new kid in town. His name’s Kevin, and in a bid to be current and inclusive, the creators of Archie Comics have decided to make him gay. Blogger Ann Pietrangelo has the news, views, the right-wing hand wringing and her own take on this in her post “Archie, Betty, Veronica… and Kevin: The New Kid in School is Gay.”
Last up from Civil Rights, one of my small contributions. This week, the U.S. Supreme Court began hearing arguments in a case that asks the fundamental question of whether, when a citizen signs a petition to place an initiative on the ballot, is his or her privacy protected by the First Amendment as political speech, and if so, should aspects of Washington’s public disclosure law allowing for the release of petitioners’ identities be struck down? I have a quick overview of the case for you and information about the conservative groups and gay rights advocates that are involved. Check it out here.
Turning our attention to Care2′s Human Rights channel, M.I.A. has a message for you: genocide, violence and oppression are alive and kicking. The controversial and outspoken music star has a new music video out that she’s using to make this very point, and it’s been done in such a provocative way that that the video has now been pulled by YouTube. Find out more about the video by reading Natasha G.’s post now.
Over in our Health Policy channel, Emily Logan brings us a post on the importance of World Malaria Day. Malaria kills nearly 3,000 children a day and 1 million people per year, mostly in Africa. About 150,000 more mosquito nets are needed in order to achieve universal coverage. Find out how you can help today.
Lastly, did you know that April was National Child Abuse Awareness Month? By dedicating the month of April to this cause, campaign groups aim to raise public awareness so as to prevent child abuse and neglect and to encourage individuals and communities to take action to support children and families. But, as Kristina Chew writes in her emotive but sensitive post, child abuse happens every day, so staying informed is absolutely vital no matter what month it is. Learn more here.
And there you have it! Another week at Care2 and plenty of posts for you to enjoy and digest. Hope you have a great weekend, and thanks for making Care2 such a powerful vehicle of change and hope.