Citizen-Journalist Fined for Telling the Truth
Apr24

Citizen-Journalist Fined for Telling the Truth

by Walter Brasch Vera Scroggins of Susquehanna County, Pa., was found to be in contempt of court, Thursday, and fined $1,000. Her offense? She tells the truth. Truth is something that apparently has bypassed the court of Judge Kenneth W. Seamans, who retired at the end of 2014, but came out of retirement to handle this case. The case began in October 2013. Scroggins, a retired real estate agent and nurse’s aide, was in Common Pleas...

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Sick and Tired Workers: An Epidemic of Corporate Greed
Apr17

Sick and Tired Workers: An Epidemic of Corporate Greed

Snaking its way through the Pennsylvania legislature is a bill that will block local governments from requiring companies to provide sick leave, even if unpaid, that is more than required by state or federal regulations. There are no Pennsylvania or federal regulations requiring companies to provide sick leave. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 39 percent of all employees, and 79 percent of all employees in food service and...

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A Tragedy of Errors: the North Charleston Shooting and Its Aftermath
Apr14

A Tragedy of Errors: the North Charleston Shooting and Its Aftermath

Here we go again. White cop confronts black man. Black man resists. White cop kills black man. Event generates national media furor. Black community protests war on black men, gets angrier. We seem to be stuck on an endless repeating loop. The confrontation between Officer Michael Slager and 50-year-old Coast Guard veteran Walter Scott in mostly poor, mostly black North Charleston, South Carolina, started out uneventfully enough. A...

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Will Hillary Clinton’s ‘Epilogue’ be a Prologue?
Apr10

Will Hillary Clinton’s ‘Epilogue’ be a Prologue?

On Friday, Hillary Clinton published at the Huffington Post a new epilogue to her 2014 memoir, Hard Choices. In her epilogue, titled “A New Chapter” at the Post, Clinton muses at length on the “wonder,” the joys and responsibilities of being a mother and a grandmother and of sharing those with Bill. While I would not go as far as saying that her epilogue offers “her clearest articulation yet of why she wants to be president,” I would...

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A Call for Fair Pay for College Athletes
Apr10

A Call for Fair Pay for College Athletes

by Walter Brasch Some people foolishly believe the purpose of a college education is to further one’s education. To explore new cultures and views. Perhaps to help make a difference in the world. They, of course, are wrong. The purpose of going to college is to party, make contacts, and get a job. Sometimes the job is as a shift manager at a fast food restaurant. Sometimes it’s as a professional athlete. March Madness, the nation’s...

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The United States Is A Humiliating Also-Ran When It Comes To The Stuff That Really Matters
Apr10

The United States Is A Humiliating Also-Ran When It Comes To The Stuff That Really Matters

If you have the sinking feeling that the American colossus is becoming a little frayed around the edges, then a new study will be a very cold shower. While the U.S. still has the biggest and baddest military and can wipe out anything and anybody on earth with the flick of a neocon’s wrist, while it continues to maintain the technological edge with a tsunami of new products from Apple and other innovators, and while its music and...

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Why Does Racism Persist?
Apr05

Why Does Racism Persist?

If anyone took the demise of Jim Crow and the election of a black president to mean that racism was dead, reports of the Justice Department on Ferguson and Philadelphia are sobering reminders that racism lives. Racism is proving as stubbornly hard to eradicate as the mythical Hydra which sprouted two new heads for every one that was cut off. Until, that is, Hercules found and severed the beast’s immortal head. What is...

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Apple Finally Admits to Big Problem with Chargers!
Apr01

Apple Finally Admits to Big Problem with Chargers!

Tech insiders were caught off guard this morning when Apple’s CEO Tim Cook used the first day of April to call an unexpected press conference. It seems after months and even years of behind the scenes speculation, Apple has finally come clean on why most of their computer, iPhone and iPad chargers have an alarmingly high rate of failure. The following is the statement Tim Cook read and released to the media today. Press Release From...

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Update: The ‘Battle’ for  Equal Rights in Indiana
Mar31

Update: The ‘Battle’ for Equal Rights in Indiana

Update: Philip Bump at the Washington Post (original post, below) may have been a little premature. The state of Arkansas now comes along and also decides that gays and lesbians need to “win” their rights. The New York Times: Despite intensifying criticism from business leaders both within and outside of Arkansas, the state legislature on Tuesday passed its version of a measure billed as a religious freedom law, joining Indiana in a...

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Why Should Extremists Have All the Fun?
Mar25

Why Should Extremists Have All the Fun?

Sometimes I wonder why I use good brain cells in a doomed attempt to combat extremism. By now I’ve concluded that extremism, factionalism, discord and bile are essential components of the human genome. We’re squabbling creatures, and I can do nothing to alter that essential truth. It would be like fighting primal and unstoppable forces of nature: gravity, for example, or the Kardashians. At my age I should be conserving my...

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The Morality Police
Mar24

The Morality Police

In Saudi Arabia, the Mutaween are 3,500 public officials and thousands of volunteers who work for the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. They are responsible for enforcing strict religious laws. Among the many laws are those that require all women to wear head scarves and black gowns when in public. The “Morality Police” also exist in Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and several fundamentalist Arab...

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Berlin Must Reveal U.S. ‘Blackmail’ Over Snowden Asylum (La Jornada, Mexico)
Mar23

Berlin Must Reveal U.S. ‘Blackmail’ Over Snowden Asylum (La Jornada, Mexico)

Over the weekend it was reported that German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, when pressed by journalist Glenn Greenwald as to why Germany didn’t offer Edward Snowden political asylum, replied that Washington, ‘told us they would stop notifying us of plots and other intelligence matters.’ This editorial from Mexico’s La Jornada implores Germany to live up to its image as a ‘global benchmark of...

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American Compassion and ‘Invisible’ Disabilities: A Sequel
Mar20

American Compassion and ‘Invisible’ Disabilities: A Sequel

One of our freshest faces at The Moderate Voice (TMV), Daniel Faris, recently posted a story that has touched many hearts and attracted comments from several people who themselves suffer, or who know someone who suffers from “invisible” disabilities and who oftentimes do not receive the “American compassion” — the care and understanding — they deserve. But while it may be true that, in these cases, “American compassion”...

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One More Thing Finland Gets Right: Speeding Tickets
Mar17

One More Thing Finland Gets Right: Speeding Tickets

Across the country and the globe, drivers are perpetually fighting what they believe to be a broken system when it comes to speeding fines, whilst governments and public service departments reassure citizens that their procedures are correct and accurate. Nevertheless, there is a growing fear that the average individual is fair game for a complex and opaque revenue raising scheme that isn’t actually designed to protect motorists...

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American Compassion and ‘Invisible’ Disabilities
Mar17

American Compassion and ‘Invisible’ Disabilities

Some disabilities and illnesses are visible—and while these can sometimes lead to people treating you differently, rarely do others question whether or not something is amiss. But that’s not the case for those suffering from “invisible” disabilities. But don’t take this to mean that one form is better, or worse, or more worthy of attention; all human ailments are equally worthy of our attention and understanding. The...

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Women’s Rights and Roles
Mar17

Women’s Rights and Roles

2015 is the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action regarding the status of women. Though 189 governments signed the document, much remains to be done in democratic and non-democratic states to improve women’s lives. Democracy in any nation is a mirage unless all citizens have equal rights and equality of opportunity. This includes both genders as well as LGBT, racial, ethnic, and religious groups. However,...

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We’re running out of places to bury people
Mar14

We’re running out of places to bury people

We’re running out of places to bury people Chuck Bednar for redOrbit.com – @BednarChuck As the world’s population inches closer to the eight billion mark, there are growing concerns over an issue that might not be the sort of thing that you’d immediately think about: What to do with all of these they people once they die? According to the World Population Clock,...

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Disturbing trend in death rates for women aged 15-54
Mar13

Disturbing trend in death rates for women aged 15-54

Death rates for non-Hispanic white American women aged 15-54 have risen substantially in 7 of 13 groups of causes. Why is this news? Because, until recently, life expectancy trends for women had been increasing, not decreasing. Moreover, the death rates for non-Hispanic black American women declined during the same period, 1999 to 2011. An Urban Institute report released this month provided the analysis. From the report (link below):...

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The long shadow of racism
Mar13

The long shadow of racism

WASHINGTON — See, I keep telling you that old-fashioned racism is alive and well in this country. After the fraternity bus sing-along at the University of Oklahoma, do you hear me now? Frankly, the happy-go-lucky bigotry of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity brothers — captured on video and shown to the world — shocked even me. And I was raised in the South, back in the days when Jim Crow was under assault but...

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Don’t blame just religion for extremist violence—UN expert
Mar10

Don’t blame just religion for extremist violence—UN expert

Religion is just a mask some extremists use to justify violence that has many other causes, according to a United Nations human rights expert. Violence committed in the name of religion does not simply ‘erupt’, but stems from interrelated drivers that provide the fertile ground for hatred, said Heiner Bielefeldt, rapporteur of the UN Human Rights Council on preventing violence committed in the name of religion. It typically originates...

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