REM’s Michael Stipe Endorses Bernie Sanders For His ‘Honesty And Realness’

first_imgFrom Red Hot Chili Peppers to Jon Fishman, musicians continue to expound their support for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Most recently, R.E.M. frontman, Michael Stipe, told Rolling Stone why his vote would go to the Democratic candidate. “In art and in music, I seek out and listen for honesty and realness. That’s why I’m backing Bernie Sanders for President of the United States. In politics, he is the person who is offering me the most honesty and the most realness.” Well said, Mr. Stipe, well said.He further explains himself off-camera:“I’m a feminist. I’ve marched, supported and fought for black rights, privacy rights and LGBTQ rights. I’m deeply concerned about the environment. I’m completely freaked out by fracking. Sanders takes positions on all of these issues that have [outshone] any other candidate that I’ve seen — and I have looked, believe me. I identify with him. I’m a proud liberal, but I also lean more center when it comes to policy. I get it that there are people who don’t see things exactly the way I do.“I’ve been around long enough to see when a politician is waffling or dodging hard questions, or trying to alter or rewrite the positions they have taken. Sanders is refreshingly not that. Listen, politics is not easy, and America is so vast — there are lots of different viewpoints out there. It’s refreshing to have a candidate who speaks his mind, who makes sense, who isn’t demagogic. His appeal and his honesty — once people see who he is and what he stands for — is perfect for now. It’s very 21st century. It is idealistic, but also realistic.”You can read more about his political opinion in this interview, or watch Stipe’s endorsement below:[via Rolling Stone]last_img read more

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Strong statement on abortion access

first_imgThe Supreme Court issued a historic decision Monday, weighing in again in the nation’s fractious abortion debate. In a 5-3 ruling, the court overturned a Texas law requiring that abortion clinics maintain hospital-like standards at their facilities as well as admitting privileges at local hospitals. Pro-life activists argued that the rules were aimed at protecting women’s health, but those in the pro-choice camp countered that the law left many abortion clinics with no choice but to shut down and infringed on women’s constitutional rights. The court agreed. “Neither of these provisions offers medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes,” wrote Associate Justice Stephen Breyer in his majority opinion. Harvard Law School’s I. Glenn Cohen, a professor of law and faculty director at the School’s Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology & Bioethics, spoke with the Gazette about the ruling. Cohen filed an amicus brief in support of the court’s decision.GAZETTE: What exactly did this ruling say?COHEN: It declared unconstitutional a Texas law that targeted abortion providers. These “targeted regulation of abortion provider,” or TRAP, statutes are popular across the country. This one had two main provisions. First, the admitting privileges requirement provides that physicians performing or inducing an abortion must have active admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion facility. And second, the surgical-center requirement requires abortion facilities to meet the minimum standards for ambulatory surgical centers under Texas law.GAZETTE: Can you set the historic precedence for this vote? How does it compare to Roe v. Wade and, more recently, Planned Parenthood v. Casey?COHEN: This is the strongest blow to the abortion restriction agenda since Planned Parenthood v. Casey, in 1992, in which the Court upheld the right to have an abortion, but also applied a new legal standard — the “undue burden” standard — to restrictions on abortion access. After a series of losses over the last few years on partial birth abortion and other cases for the pro-choice camp, this was an important win. As I noted on my blog, it will make it easier to challenge these kinds of restrictions because of three elements of the way the court interpreted its prior ruling in Casey.First, the Court signaled that much less deference is due to legislatures than has been true in prior cases. Second, the ruling clarifies what constitutes an “undue burden” — the standard established in Casey — instructing lower courts to balance the burdens a law imposes on abortion access against the benefits the restrictions supposedly confer. Finally, it clarifies the “large fraction” language from Casey, rejecting the lower court’s more restrictive view as to how many women in Texas had to be negatively affected to make the law unconstitutional.GAZETTE: Similar versions of this law exist in numerous other states. How will this decision affect those states going forward?COHEN: While the specifics matter (much of this case was about how good the evidence was that these laws would have the effect of shutting down abortion clinics and to what extent), such that one cannot make a prediction as to any state without knowing the specifics, this much is clear: Those opposed to such laws will have a much easier time challenging them after this opinion than before it.GAZETTE: You wrote on your blog that the language in this decision was much different from that of the gay marriage cases, and that all of the opinions, with the exception of Justice [Ruth Bader] Ginsburg’s, are in the “technocratic mode of writing.” Is that significant?COHEN: I don’t know that I can do it better than in my blog’s words so here is a recap of that post:All the opinions, except perhaps Justice Ginsburg’s very short concurrence, are decidedly in the “technocratic” mode of writing as opposed to what we might call the Kulturkampf (i.e., a deep conflict between cultures, civilizations, or value systems) mode that characterized much of Justice [Antonin] Scalia’s dissents on these kinds of issues. These opinions are written for lawyers, not the public. I would have to do a proper count to be sure, but it seems to me that something like two-thirds to three-quarters of the total pages of these sets of opinions are devoted to issues that only lawyers will be able to engage in.‘This feels so different than the other social policy decisions the court has weighed in on in the past and even this term.’The emotional dial of these opinions is turned largely to the sleepy end. While Justice [Clarence] Thomas, in particular, frequently writes in his opinion that the court is inventing special rules for abortion cases, the typical reader would not feel the passionate disagreement about abortion come out at all in these opinions. Instead, they seem much more to be the kinds of things you would find in civil procedure and federal courts textbooks — a high level of lawyerly back and forth. This feels so different than the other social policy decisions the court has weighed in on in the past and even this term.What explains the turn to the technocratic abortion opinions? Authorship may have something to do with it. Justice Breyer writes more commonly in this style than the other left-leaning justices. Also, Justice Scalia’s absence is felt, for one could have imagined the kind of no-holds-barred and pungent dissent he might have written. Ultimately, though, I suspect that this has much to do with the court trying to manage the political realities of this election cycle and the likelihood of remaining only eight for a time to come. One can sense the court feeling the need to stay above the fray a bit more in these times of so much partisan rancor.GAZETTE: Were you surprised that Justice [Anthony] Kennedy sided with the majority, given his support for the ban on partial-birth abortions in 2007?COHEN: With Kennedy you never know. At oral argument he asked hard questions of both sides. This term, in Fisher, for the first time ever he sided to uphold an affirmative-action program, so it shows he looks at every case anew. I do think his prior partial-birth abortion decision had a very distinct hue to it, with a kind of woman-protective argument that many found problematic, so maybe that reaction influenced him here.GAZETTE: Do you think that it’s significant that even with the court missing a justice, it ruled in a liberal direction? Even though the vote was 5-3, do you think Scalia’s presence on the Court could have made a difference in this decision?COHEN: Well, numerically speaking he would not have swayed the vote. I think the biggest difference would be in the tone of the dissenting opinion. Scalia, who was an excellent writer, also had much more of a poison pen. I also think the themes of Kulturkampf one saw in his gay-rights decisions (especially the gay marriage decision, Obergefell v. Hodges) would have expressed themselves much more if he was writing. Justice [Samuel] Alito’s dissent and even Justice Thomas’ opinion are more low-key and more dry, technical, lawyerly than Scalia would likely have written. For some, that makes these opinions better, but for the average member of the public a blistering Scalia dissent would probably have been better to stir the passions of those who are in favor of these restrictions on abortion.last_img read more

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Student government changes hands

first_imgWhen outgoing student body president Grant Schmidt and vice president Cynthia Weber entered office a year ago, the duo was determined to enact initiatives to make student government relevant to the student body.“We didn’t take on personal preferences,” Schmidt said. “Students were constantly giving us feedback. It made our jobs a lot easier.”The administration soon found the best way to find out what students cared about was not through formal student surveys, but just by talking to students.“A lot of it is informal,” Weber said. “If you want to get the real opinions of students, you just need to be a real student.”From large programs ranging from the restructuring of commencement and the introduction of Transpo Route 7A to small things like having baskets of mints outside the dining halls, Schmidt and Weber said they attempted to focus their agenda on improving everyday student life at the University.“The student body at Notre Dame is on its toes,” Weber said. “They care about everything.”Weber said by taking care of the everyday essentials of student life, student government was able to boost its credibility in tackling worldwide social justice issues through programs such as the Global Water Initiative.“Things like Transpo, which did get a lot of exposure, allowed us to use the support for other programs,” Schmidt said.Schmidt, who described his administration as “responsive,” said he was forced to tackle issues that arose at the last minute, such as improving off-campus safety after two Holy Cross students were abducted in September and sponsoring aid initiatives following the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile.Another goal of the Schmidt-Weber administration was to improve student government’s relations with the University administration.“Student government is right now and hopefully will be consulted before every major decision,” he said.Schmidt said there were not any major initiatives he wished his administration could have tackled, although he said he wished the changes in du Lac, the student handbook, had been enacted during his term and the University had not chosen to move the pep rallies to Irish Green.In addition, Weber said student government needed to become more involved in the academic side of the University in the long term.When asked what advice they had for the incoming administration of sophomores Catherine Soler and Andrew Bell, Schmidt and Weber said the focus needs to be on the students.“Be present and energetic, and love the honor of serving the students at Notre Dame,” Weber said.Furthermore, Weber said the pair should continue to foster close ties with the administration but also stand up for what is needed.“The ability to respectfully disagree is key,” she said.Schmidt said the pair should also be aware of the complicated dynamics of community relations in the city of South Bend.“We currently have a very good footing with the city of South Bend,” he said. “But community relations is not something that just stops.”Ultimately, Schmidt and Weber feel their time in student government has been productive and personally fulfilling.“We wanted to be present throughout Notre Dame,” Schmidt said. “And we feel we positively changed the brand of student government.”Schmidt, who is a senior, plans to attend law school next year, while Weber, a junior, said she wants to focus on her studies and become “informally involved in the University.”“It really has been a privilege to serve in student government, especially at Notre Dame,” Schmidt said.last_img read more

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Doctor treasures Mother Theresa’s compassion

first_imgIt may come as a surprise that Mother Theresa had something to teach a cardiologist about medicine, but Dr. Paul Wright said that is exactly what happened. Wright, a prominent cardiologist and Notre Dame graduate, spoke at Hesburgh Library Auditorium Tuesday about his journey through medicine and how his experiences with Mother Teresa changed the way he practices medicine. Wright said at the beginning of his medical career his practice in California was grounded in his strong educational background. He said, however, his life and career lacked a sense of purpose, which ultimately left him dissatisfied and lost.   “The eternal question endured … Why are we here?” Wright said. Spiritually distraught, Wright sought out the wisdom of Mother Teresa, who was staying in a nearby homeless shelter at the time. Although Mother Teresa was incapacitated due to a recent heart attack, she agreed to meet with Wright. Wright said he was “brought to his knees” upon witnessing Mother Teresa’s insistence on humility and compassion despite her weak physical state. “In all my years as a physician, I had never seen anything as breathtakingly beautiful as Mother Theresa emanating compassion,” Wright said. Mother Theresa introduced Wright to the ideology of compassion, he said. Mother Teresa addressed Wright’s questions about the meaning of life by reducing his complex concerns to the simple practice of alleviating the pain of others. Wright said he was astounded by the clarity of her advice. “Something so unique, so special. … This compassion. Her compassion,” Wright said. Wright said he went forth from this meeting with the aim of adopting a new dynamic approach to his practice of medicine, one which reflected the self-giving of Mother Teresa and her fellow missionaries.  Wright said Mother Teresa told him to remain aware of the full spiritual import of his efforts to heal people.  “Don’t forget who you’re touching,” Wright said, quoting Mother Theresa. “You’re touching humanity. You’re touching Christ within humanity.” Wright said he continued to work with Mother Teresa, assisting in her efforts to initiate a medical clinic in Tijuana, Mexico and ultimately traveling with her to Calcutta, India.  Through his witness of the intense suffering of the poorest of the poor at the moment death and the Missionaries of Charity’s awe-inspiring response, Wright said he came to understand compassion in a way that he would not have been able to otherwise.  Wright said in this way Mother Theresa healed him spiritually. “She turned out to be my physician,” he said. Wright said all people have a human responsibility to attempt to alleviate the suffering of other people and, by doing so, manifest the example which Mother Theresa has provided. Most importantly, for Christians it is a matter of living out a faith identity, he said. “Christianity is being compassionate,” he said.last_img read more

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Polls Disagree On Who Leads In The Reed, Mitrano Congressional Race

first_imgStock ImageWASHINGTON — Polls regarding the Tom Reed – Tracy Mitrano race for Congress seem to show two very divergent results.A recent poll showed Mitrano trailing Reed by seven percent as of last month, with a 47-40 lead for Reed, the incumbent.However, a second poll, released by the Reed campaign, paints a very different picture.The second poll, has Reed up by almost 19 points. The poll tallies show Reed at 54.6 percent, Mitrano at 35.9 percent and Libertarian candidate Andrew Kolstee at 2.2 percent. The poll shows the following vote totals as Reed, the Republican, Conservative, and Independence Party, receiving 1,125 votes; Mitrano, the Democrat and Working Families Party, with 738 votes, Kolstee, the Libertarian candidate, with 45 votes and 151 respondents listed as undecided.In 2016, Reed defeated Mitrano with 130,323 votes (54.2 percent) to Mitrano’s 109,932 votes (45.8 percent). Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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University of California system to divest its fossil fuel investments

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The San Diego Union-Tribune:Top financial officials with the University of California announced Tuesday morning in an opinion article in the Los Angeles Times that the school system plans to undertake a major divestment from fossil fuels.The stocks and bonds to be sold off are currently part of UC’s $13.4 billion endowment and $70 billion pension fund.The article — penned by Jagdeep Singh Bachher, UC’s chief investment officer and treasurer and Richard Sherman, chairman of the UC Board of Regents’ Investments Committee — comes after faculty across the 10-campus system held a historic vote in July to demand divestment of the endowment.Teachers, backed by a vocal student movement, have said to the UC Regents that dumping the oil and gas holdings represents an ethical obligation in the age of climate change. They also argued that investing in fossil fuel companies has become increasingly risky because extractive activities will likely, and perhaps abruptly, be significantly restricted in the future to limit damage to the environment.Sherman of the UC Board of Regents has, as recently as August, rejected the second argument, saying that divestment would be in conflict with the university system’s “fiduciary duty.”However, in Tuesday’s article, he and Bachher said the decision to divest was based solely on what’s best for the system financially. “We believe hanging on to fossil fuel assets is a financial risk,” they wrote. “That’s why we will have made our $13.4-billion endowment ‘fossil free’ as of the end of this month, and why our $70-billion pension will soon be that way as well.”More: UC to dump fossil fuels holdings in pension and endowment funds worth $83 billion University of California system to divest its fossil fuel investmentslast_img read more

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Appellate Practice Section to meet with DCA judges

first_img Appellate Practice Section to meet with DCA judges Appellate Practice Section to meet with DCA judges July 1, 2006 Regular Newscenter_img The Appellate Practice Section has grown almost tenfold since it was founded and is pursuing a variety of activities, including a joint retreat with appellate judges and monitoring judicial nominating commissions.Supreme Court Clerk and section Chair Tom Hall told the Bar Board of Governors recently that the section started 11 years ago with 154 members, and now has more than 1,400 and is still growing.Despite that successful growth, Hall said the section feels that government lawyers are underrepresented in its membership and is working to correct that.“Approximately 60 percent of all appeals are processed by government lawyers, yet few are members of the section,” Hall said. “We’re very positive about that [recruitment efforts] because they do the bulk of the work in the appellate courts.”The section will soon accomplish one of its long-range goals when it has a joint meeting with the Conference of District Court of Appeal Judges. Hall said 20 DCA judges are expected to attend and the meeting will focus on when and why the DCA judges choose to write or not write an opinion on an appeal.“We’re going to have a lively discussion,” he promised.The section is also working on two state-related issues: JNCs and the legislative push to create branch DCAs.“We are having a lot of concerns about the way the judicial nominating commissions are working,” Hall reported. “It’s becoming clear that a lot of longtime, experienced appellate lawyers are not getting respect from the JNCs. We’re going to try to get some of our members on the JNCs to address that.”On the branch DCAs, Hall said the section is concerned that lawmakers are trying to create branch offices without any input from the courts on needs. He said the section will work to preserve the authority of the court system on that issue.last_img read more

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Nominating committee selects 10 for slate in NAFCU Board elections

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » Ten candidates have been selected by the NAFCU Nominating Committee for the four open positions in this year’s NAFCU Board elections. Two of the 10 are incumbents.NAFCU member credit unions will receive the association’s nominating ballot with the slate of candidates in an email April 3. The ballot must be returned by April 17. Additional candidates will be considered if they get five write-in nominations on the nominating ballot.The At-Large (three-year term) candidates include:Jan Roche, incumbent (State Department Federal Credit Union, Virginia); andTodd Cain (Emery Federal Credit Union, Ohio).The Eastern Region (three-year term) candidates include:last_img read more

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Everyone deserves digital . . . right?

first_imgImagine leaving your home early, wearing a face mask and gloves as you head to your local credit union branch. Upon arrival, you see your fellow members wearing their own PPE and standing six-feet apart to keep a safe distance next to a red hashmark on the sidewalk,  while waiting their turn to be called forward to access their accounts and services.This is the reality for many of the Caribbean’s credit unions, where approximately 80% operate without digitization. With a national emergency declared in many of the nations throughout the region, many credit unions have only been allowed to be open two days a week for a limited number of hours per day. Too many members standing in line waiting are seeing their credit union branches close before they can even get in, putting an additional layer of stress on the daily challenges they face.Members waiting to enter their credit union in Antigua. (Note the red social distancing hash marks they are standing by.) Photo courtesy of the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions (CCCU).Millions of credit union members worldwide are facing similar barriers. A lack of digitization touches not only credit unions, but national associations as well. In Ukraine, the entire credit union system was closed for weeks before reopening due to an exceptional advocacy effort. But the work there continues, with efforts to provide PPE supplies to each credit union in order to assure safe member service.In Asia, credit union staff are meeting members where they are—out in the street—and providing them with cash withdrawals or loans to help them get by.But imagine for a moment a credit union movement that is fully digitized. Members are staying safe in the comfort of their own home, accessing services and staff online or via a mobile app. Staff can serve members and work with their colleagues in a safe, secure way.In the context of COVID-19, the Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions and World Council of Credit Unions has shined a stronger spotlight on accelerating digital transformation of credit unions everywhere. Digital is no longer seen as a convenience. It is a necessity to maintain staff and member safety while keeping credit union doors open.The Everyone Deserves Digital campaign was created to generate stronger awareness for and provide support to global credit union digitization. Connected to World Council’s Challenge 2025: the global digitization of credit unions, the campaign supports the growth and creation of development projects that focus on digitizing credit unions and providing digital tools to members.There are over 85,400 credit unions worldwide, yet far from all of them provide digital services to their members. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that digital transformation of the front-end member experience and back-end office operations is vital for the survival of credit unions and our movement.Shouldn’t digital services be considered a universal membership right as well as a tool to keep everyone connected with a credit union in a safe and secure way? We think so. Join us in this global effort to strengthen and sustain credit unions worldwide ahead the next global crisis.A Member waiting to enter their credit union in the Caribbean. Photo courtesy of the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions (CCCU). 70SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Mike Reuter Mike Reuter is the Executive Director of the Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions, the 501c3 charitable nonprofit that supports the World Council of Credit Unions in its mission of providing … Web: https://www.woccu.org Detailslast_img read more

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Police to probe three banks in Maria Lumowa fraud case

first_imgRead also: Maria’s extradition shows up other fugitive failuresShe fled Indonesia just before she was named a suspect by the National Police in 2003, and authorities captured her in July of this year after Serbia granted Indonesia’s extradition request. Awi said the investigators had questioned 14 witnesses and named 16 suspects in the case, including Maria. The other 15 suspects have been found guilty and have served their sentences, Antara reported. (vny)Topics : The National Police’s Criminal Investigation Department (Bareskrim) plans to investigate three banks in connection with a loan scam allegedly orchestrated by recently captured fugitive Maria Pauline Lumowa.Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Awi Setiyono said the move was made to track down the money obtained in the scam. “Investigators will look into three private banks in relation to the money obtained from a fictitious letter of credit,” Awi said Tuesday, as reported by kompas.com.Maria allegedly used a fictitious letter of credit to get US$136 million and 56 million euro in bank loans from Bank Negara Indonesia issued to her company PT Gramarindo Group between 2002 and 2003. The scam was allegedly worth Rp 1.7 trillion. last_img read more

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