Thursday, November 6, 2014

Voting Law Changes in 2012- Brennan Center for Justice

Brennan Center for Justice

Voting Law Changes in 2012

Over the past century, our nation expanded the franchise and knocked down myriad barriers to full
electoral participation. In 2011, however, that momentum abruptly shifted.
State governments across the country enacted an array of new laws making it harder to register or
to vote. Some states require voters to show government-issued photo identification, often of a type
that as many as one in ten voters do not have. Other states have cut back on early voting, a hugely
popular innovation used by millions of Americans. Two states reversed earlier reforms and once again disenfranchised millions who have past criminal convictions but who are now taxpaying members of the community. Still others made it much more difficult for citizens to register to vote, a prerequisite for voting.
These new restrictions fall most heavily on young, minority, and low-income voters, as well as on voters with disabilities. This wave of changes may sharply tilt the political terrain for the 2012 election. Based on the Brennan Center’s analysis of the 19 laws and two executive actions that passed in 14 states, it is clear that:
These new laws could make it significantly harder for more than five million eligible voters to
cast ballots in 2012.1
The states that have already cut back on voting rights will provide 171 electoral votes in 2012–
63 percent of the 270 needed to win the presidency.
Of the 12 likely battleground states, as assessed by an August Los Angeles Times analysis of
Gallup polling, five have already cut back on voting rights (and may pass additional restrictive
legislation), and two more are currently considering new restrictions.2
States have changed their laws so rapidly that no single analysis has assessed the overall impact of such moves. Although it is too early to quantify how the changes will impact voter turnout, they will be a hindrance to many voters at a time when the United States continues to turn out less than two thirds of its eligible citizens in presidential elections and less than half in midterm elections.
This study is the first comprehensive roundup of all state legislative action thus far in 2011 on voting
rights, focusing on new laws as well as state legislation that has not yet passed or that failed. This
snapshot may soon be incomplete: the second halves of some state legislative sessions have begun.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Freedom's Reading: The Discovery of Two Alabama Freedom Libraries. -M. Selby

Selby, Mike. (2013). Freedom's Reading: The Discovery of Two Alabama Freedom Libraries. Southeastern Librarian, 61(3), 11-18.

Freedom Libraries were originally a product of ‘Freedom Summer’—the voting registration campaign launched by  various civil rights organizations in Mississippi during the  summer of 1964. Information about these libraries has  been extremely limited, so much so that their very
existence remains “virtually unknown even within the  American library community” (Cook 3). This changed in  2008, when Karen Cook’s dissertation provided a comprehensive and exhaustive look at Mississippi Freedom Libraries. She positively identified over 80 different ones.

Selby tells the story of the The Selma Freedom Library and the The Hayneville Freedom Library.

See also:  Frederick W. Heinze-

The Freedom Libraries of Mississippi (originally published in 1965).

Genocide-"Watchers of the Sky” -

Raphael Lemkin, who lost much of his family in the Holocaust, decided to create a name that would match the crime and spent the rest of his life crusading for its acknowledgment.
Watchers of the Sky (2014) Poster
y animating pages of his notebooks. The film’s director, Edet Belzberg, told me that when she found the original notebooks in a collection at the New York Public Library, she knew she wanted to let Lemkin’s own scribbled writing show how the word “genocide” came to be. On one page, he drew a circle around “THE WORD,” connecting it with a line to another circled phrase, “MORAL JUDGMENT.”
“He really believed that this word could unite people to keep it from happening again,” Ms. Belzberg said. A student of linguistics before embarking on his legal career, he recognized the power of words to shape opinions. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights-New Books

Amnesties, Accountability, and Human Rights

For the last thirty years, documented human rights violations have been met with an unprecedented rise in demands for accountability. This trend challenges the use of amnesties which typically foreclose opportunities for criminal prosecutions that some argue are crucial to transitional justice. Recent developments have seen amnesties circumvented, overturned, and resisted by lawyers, states, and judiciaries committed to ending impunity for human rights violations. Yet, despite this global movement, the use of amnesties since the 1970s has not declined.
Amnesties, Accountability, and Human Rights examines why and how amnesties persist in the face of mounting pressure to prosecute the perpetrators of human rights violations.
Chains of Justice

The most comprehensive account of the National human rights institutions—state agencies charged with protecting and promoting human rights domestically--(NHRI} phenomenon to date, Chains of Justice analyzes many institutions never studied before. With its global scope and fresh insights into the origins and influence of NHRIs, Chains of Justice promises to become a standard reference that will appeal to scholars immersed in the workings of these understudied institutions as well as nonspecialists curious about the role of the state in human rights.

In addition to the new hardcover and ebook releases, the Penn Press fall 2014 list includes many first-time paperbacks, among them: The First PrejudiceCrusade and Christendom;Porta PalazzoDeath by EffigyPublic Education Under SiegeIn the Crossfire; and The American Mortgage System.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Call for Papers: Perspectives on Libraries as Institutions of Human Rights and Social Justice

Perspectives on Libraries as Institutions of Human Rights and Social Justice is an edited volume from the Advances in Librarianship book series devoted to the ideals, activities, and programs in libraries that protect human rights and promote social justice. Human rights are based on the belief that all individuals deserve certain equal rights as members of society, while social justice is based in the social and societal structures that foster equality based on laws and policies. Institutions of human rights and social justice support equality in their communities, and an increasing number of roles embraced by libraries evidence their commitment to equality.

Guided by this commitment, libraries of all types, as well as the professionals who work in these institutions, engage in many practices and services to meet community needs.  In the age of the Internet, the ability of public, school, academic, and special libraries to meet community needs is dependent upon their ability to reach those communities and individuals who face barriers to information access created by literacy, technology, language and other factors. Although not always described in this manner, libraries’ efforts to support societal inclusion for a large number of individuals who rely on libraries for access and education can aptly be characterized as support for human rights and social justice. Key topics at the intersection of information, human rights, social justice, and technology include information access, information literacy, digital inclusion, education, social services, intellectual freedom, and freedom of expression, among many others.
Academic, public, school, and special libraries all have important programs that seek to meet individual and community needs related to human rights and social justice, while the library profession has embraced many ethical principles and values based on rights and justice. This book, edited by Ursula Gorham, Natalie Greene Taylor, and Paul T. Jaeger, will include contributions that will encompass:
  • ·Reports of current initiatives and activities in libraries to promote and enable human rights and social justice;
  • ·Discussions of the roles of human rights and social justice in conceptions of the field of librarianship, as well as in library and information science education;
  • ·Examinations of partnerships between libraries and other organizations to support human rights and social justice;
  • ·Historical and philosophical considerations; and
  • ·Explorations of related issues of law, policy, politics, and economics
Contributors will represent researchers, educators, and practitioners from a range of fields. The book is intended to serve as an important resource for library professionals in all types of libraries, a reference for researchers and educators about all types of libraries, and an introduction to those in other fields about the contributions of libraries to human rights and social justice.
Please direct inquiries and chapter ideas to Ursula Gorham at ugorhos [at] gmail [dot] com.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai, Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi win 2014 Nobel Peace Prize

Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai, Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi win Nobel Peace Prize

Product Details
Yousafzai was attacked in 2012 on a school bus in the Swat Valley in northwest Pakistan by masked gunmen as a punishment for a blog that she started writing for the BBC's Urdu service as an 11-year-old to campaign against the Taliban's efforts to deny women an education. Unable to return to Pakistan after her recovery, Yousafzai moved to Britain, setting up the Malala Fund and supporting local education advocacy groups with a focus on Pakistan, Nigeria, Jordan, Syria and Kenya.

Yousafzai, Malala, and Christina Lamb. I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban. 2013.

Kailash Satyarthi has saved thousands of lives and has helped thousands of children escape slavery by conducting raids on factories and communities where children are held as bonded workers.
Satyarthi, Kailash, and Bupinder Zutshi. Globalisation, Development, and Child Rights. Delhi: Shipra, 2006.

Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai

Saturday, September 27, 2014

"The Heritage of WikiLeaks: A History of Information Ethics" by Jared Bielby

"The Heritage of WikiLeaks: A History of Information Ethics" 

by Jared Bielby

From an already established praxis for the field of Information Ethics, the following thesis will outline an ethics and a historical foundation for WikiLeaks through the exposition of a four-part history of Information Ethics. It will first trace the historical development of the field of Information Ethics and secondly sketch the development of a theoretical foundation for collaborative information and knowledge studies as exemplified by the wiki phenomenon, a model, as will be argued, that arises from library ethics. Situating the foundation of WikiLeaks within the framework of the wiki model, it will address issues of privacy, intellectual freedom and social responsibility, access to information, information literacy, anonymity, transparency and intellectual property as being similarly foundational to wiki studies, library ethics, and WikiLeaks, and will conceive WikiLeaks as inevitably arising from the same historical dialectics as Library Ethics. The wiki  collaborative knowledge model will then be addressed from a platform of information theory and philosophical ontology, ultimately looking at the wider philosophical consequences of the saturation of information, information control and flow, message and messenger and information as moral entity, surveying the ontology debates  between Rafael Capurro and Luciano Floridi, and exploring the implications of information accountability as commentated on by Slavojek and others.