Sunday, February 07, 2010

FYI: Super Bowl Double-Standard; Homeless Death Sentence; Counting America's Immigrants

Unidos Venceremos! United We Will Win!
~Peta~de~Aztlan~ Sacramento, California, Amerika
Email: @Peta_de_Aztlan
"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable."
~ President John F.Kennedy ~ Assassinated November 22, 1963

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Subject: Super Bowl Double-Standard; Homeless Death Sentence; Counting America's Immigrants Weekly
February 1 - February 7

Super Bowl Double-Standard; Homeless Death Sentence; Counting America's Immigrants


When CBS made the decision to inject abortion politics into the Super Bowl by running a commercial from the anti-choice and homophobic group Focus on the Family, the network set off a storm of criticism from progressive activists charging CBS with maintaining a discriminatory double standard.

In years past, CBS has regularly rejected advocacy ads from progressive groups, including a 2004 MoveOn ad that criticized President Bush's fiscal irresponsibility and an ad from the United Church of Christ showing them welcoming a gay couple who had been turned away from another congregation.

CBS ultimately refused to back down in the face of this criticism. But while Focus on the Family was able to have their thinly veiled anti-choice Super Bowl ad approved, their $4 million investment - money they spent after laying off 20 percent of their staff - also bought something else: collaboration and bridge-building among women's rights and gay rights activists.

As's team of bloggers argued this week, the controversy surrounding this advertisement has illustrated why every gay rights advocate should be a feminist, and why every feminist should be a gay rights advocate.

Yes, this advertisement sparked controversy. But it might also spark a combined movement for change that lasts much longer than a 30 second commercial.

Politics aside, we hope you enjoy your Super Bowl weekend - which can now come complete with some great sustainable Super Bowl snacks - and check out the updates below for more news from the world of social change.


Top Actions This Week

Tell Sarah Palin and the Tea Partiers to Stop Lying
by Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
Take action »

Tell Congress to Recognize the Armenian Genocide
by Coalition to Recognize the Armenian Genocide
Take action »

Prosecute FLOCK for Animal Neglect and Cruelty
by Animal Law Coalition
Take action »


Homeless Death Sentence
We know for a fact that homelessness, especially when it's chronic, is often a death sentence. Compounding factors like substance abuse, an absent network of social support, and a fear of shelter or social services because of trauma can lead to a toxic combination that makes being on the streets fatal. But communities don't have to stand still and watch this happen. Homelessness blogger Noah Jennings writes that organizers in Hartford, Connecticut are implementing a new tool -- a Vulnerability Index -- to help them determine people seriously at risk among the homeless population. Could this be duplicated in other cities around the country, too? (Read more)


Counting America's Immigrants
Spurred by criticism, the U.S. Census Bureau decided to increase outreach to immigrant communities in order to reassure immigrants about the 2010 Census. Sounds like a smart move, but according to Immigrant Rights blogger Prerna Lal, the implementation wasn't particularly stellar. Politicians and members of the Census Bureau drove through immigrant communities with police cars and large unmarked white vans. And this was supposed to be an effort to allay fear? (Read More)


Denying DNA Evidence
In less than three weeks, Hank Skinner is scheduled to be executed in Texas for murders he says he didn't commit. Criminal Justice blogger Matt Kelley writes that untested DNA evidence could set him free, but the state's governor, Rick Perry, is refusing to examine it. Even by the standards of our most execution-happy state, this is an unacceptable performance. Let's tell the Governor to put the brakes on Skinner's execution today, and make sure all evidence is considered before a death sentence is carried out. (Read more)


Heart Attack Grill
Arizona's Heart Attack Grill, home of the quadruple bypass burger and the flatliner fries, is suing Heart Stoppers Sports Grill in Florida for infringement. That has Health Care blogger Josie Raymond wondering whether the United States, where two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese, just isn't big enough for two restaurants that joke about killing their customers ...while slowly killing their customers. (Read more)


Haitians vs. Somalis
The human devastation in Haiti is astronomical, and extraordinary U.S. government funding support is fully needed. But is the solution to borrow against other humanitarian assistance programs across the globe? War and Peace blogger Sidney Traynham writes that this could have disastrous implications for places like Somalia and Pakistan, essentially becoming a policy rooted in the philosophy of robbing Peter to pay Paul. Haiti needs a supplemental budget request, not a loan from other disaster survivors. (Read More)


Have a great week,

- The Team

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