mother jones


Black Stats by Monique Morris

Great article on Mother Jones about “The Origins of Anti-Litter Campaigns”

According to Heather Rogers’ Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage, the entire anti-litter movement was initiated by a consortium of industry groups who wanted to divert the nation’s attention away from even more radical legislation to control the amount of waste these companies were putting out. It’s a good story worth retelling.

With a dozen peer-reviewed studies showing the transition to 100 percent clean, renewable energy (sourced by the wind, water, and sun) is technologically possible, what would you do to help our cities, towns, states, and country make this transition as quickly as possible so every American has access to affordable clean energy over the next 30 years?
House GOP Blocking Abortion Access for Raped Soldiers

if an Army medic serving in Afghanistan is raped and becomes pregnant, she can’t use her military health plan to pay for an abortion. If she does decide to get an abortion, she will have to pay for it with her own money. And if she can’t prove she was raped—which is difficult before an investigation is completed—she may have to look for services off base, which can be dangerous or impossible in many parts of the world.

Wow. This is just cruel.

Nothing changed after 13 people were killed at Columbine, or 33 at Virginia Tech, or 26 at Sandy hook. Each of those tragedies came with the same breaking news coverage as Columbine, but none generated the same sense of action because fewer and fewer people actually believed things could change. The last 15 years have been a lesson in how “never again” can be cowed into “I need a drink.”

And that’s insane. It’s an insane thing to have to accept that problem as an inevitability. It’s an insane reality to have to shrug off.


We’re not sure exactly where she was born, or when she was born, but we know that Mary Harris was from somewhere in Cork County, Ireland, and immigrated to North America with her family as a child to escape the Irish famine. In her early twenties, she moved to Chicago, where she worked as a dressmaker, and then to Memphis, Tennessee, where she met and married George Jones, a skilled iron molder and staunch unionist. The couple had four children.  Then tragedy struck: a yellow fever epidemic in 1867 took the lives of Mary’s husband and all four children. Mary Harris Jones returned to Chicago where she continued to sew, becoming a dressmaker for the wealthy. “I would look out of the plate glass windows and see the poor, shivering wretches, jobless and hungry, walking alongside the frozen lake front,” she said. “The tropical contrast of their condition with that of the tropical comfort of the people for whom I sewed was painful to me. My employers seemed neither to notice nor to care.” Then came the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Mary once again lost everything.

After the fire, Mary began to travel across the country. The nation was undergoing dramatic change, and industrialization was changing the nature of work. She worked with the Knights of Labor, often giving speeches to inspire the workers during strikes. She organized assistance for workers’ strikes, and prepared for workers’ marches. In June 1897, after Mary addressed the railway union convention, she began to be referred to as “Mother” by the men of the union. The name stuck. That summer, when the 9,000-member Mine Workers called a nationwide strike of bituminous (soft coal) miners and tens of thousands of miners laid down their tools, Mary arrived in Pittsburgh to assist them. She became “Mother Jones” to millions of working men and women across the country for her efforts on behalf of the miners. Mother Jones was so effective the union would send her into mines, to help miners to join unions. In addition to miners, Mother Jones also was very concerned about child workers. To attract attention to the cause of abolishing child labor, in 1903, she led a children’s march of 100 children from the textile mills of Philadelphia to New York City “to show the New York millionaires our grievances.” She led the children all the way to President Theodore Roosevelt’s Long Island home.

A political progressive, she was a founder of the Social Democratic Party in 1898. Mother Jones also helped establish the Industrial Workers of the World in 1905. For all of her social reform and labor activities, she was considered by the authorities to be one of the most dangerous women in America. In 1912, Mother Jones was even charged with a capital offense by a military tribunal in West Virginia and held under house arrest for weeks until popular outrage and national attention forced the governor to release her. In her eighties, Mother Jones settled down near Washington, D.C., in 1921 but continued to travel across the country. She died, possibly aged 100, in 1930.  Her final request was to be buried in the Miners Cemetery in Mt. Olive, Illinois, where you can visit her grave today.

We weren’t sure if Rapinoe stepped on the grate or in the hole beside it, but it was a noncontact injury. It was really scary. The players were upset. The coaches were upset. The staff was upset. And right then, I started taking pictures of the practice field…We go to the stadium field. We start looking a little bit more at the field and bending over and picking up the little rocks. We see the huge bumps in the line, and the field turf actually pulls up…. “This isn’t okay.” We still practiced, because the fans were right there. I remember saying, “I’m not going to practice in that goal.” The far end was worse than the near end, so we moved everything to one end. But I told my goalkeeper coach, “I will not go into that goal.” I think I just had visions of another knee injury. We shortened the practice, and then right when we got on the bus, it was kind of like, “Hey guys, what are we doing?” We all discussed it right there on the bus, and right there we were just like, “We can’t do this.”
—  Hope Solo interview with Mother Jones [x]

Jason Chaffetz’s misleading data chart at Yesterday’s Planned Parenthood hearing gets debunked

Right-wing media have spent months promoting a deceptive data chart from the anti-choice Americans United for Life that on September 29 became the cornerstone of Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s (R-UT) cross-examination of Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards at a House Oversight Committee hearing aimed at defunding the organization. The chart’s data is out of proportion and neglects to document numerous services performed by the women’s health care provider to make it appear as if most of what Planned Parenthood does is pregnancy terminations.

Rep. Chaffetz Uses Deceptive Chart To Smear Planned Parenthood In Congressional Hearing. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, displayed a misleading chart while questioning Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards during a September 29 hearing that suggested the number of abortions performed by the health care provider has spiked since 2006 as its other services declined. Chaffetz attacked Richards for “deny[ing]” the validity of the data, but was caught off-guard when Richards informed him that the data and graph he was relying on was provided by Americans United for Life (AUL), an anti-choice group. 


National Memo: The Graph Was “Disingenuous At Best And Criminally Idiotic At Worse.” In a September 29 article, The National Memo argued that Chaffetz’s hearing displayed “a nakedly partisan agenda” and “a complete dishonesty regarding basic math.” The article argued that the graph used by Chaffetz “made absolutely no sense” because there was no accurate scale to compare the number of abortions Planned Parenthood performed to the number of preventative care services they conducted, and concluded that the chart itself was “disingenuous at best” and “criminally idiotic at worse.”

Mother Jones: The Graph Ignores The Y-Axis. In a September 29 article in Mother Jones, Kevin Drum attributed the deceptiveness in the chart displayed by Chaffetz to an utter disregard for scale and proportion in the y-axis. Drum replotted the data “using conventional ‘numbers’ and 'slopes’” to show how the data would look if they were not misleadingly charted, and included another image which compared all “other services” provided by Planned Parenthood to the abortions it provides.

Vox Corrects The Misleading Chart, Adds Vital Context On Other Services. In a September 29 article, Vox pointed out that chart used by Chaffetz makes it appear as if abortions performed by Planned Parenthood have risen dramatically while preventative services have been cut. Vox plotted what an accurate chart of Planned Parenthood services would look like, broken down into categories: Abortion services increased modestly, cancer screenings and contraception services declined, and STI/STI testing and treatment increased.

h/t: Julie Alderman at Media Matters For America 


People rightly flipped out across the internet last month over news that the Swedish parliament would not be repealing a barbaric law that forces sterilization on trans people seeking to change their gender on legal documents. While it’s despicable that Swedish politicians are opposing the law change, much of the outrage, no doubt, occurred because people previously didn’t realize that a forced sterilization law existed in Sweden. 

Considering how shocking people find Sweden’s law, it’s worth pointing out the country is 1 of 17 in Europe (shown in red) that require trans people to have a surgical procedure that results in sterilization before legal gender change is made to their identification ID. The law is currently under review in Denmark, the Netherlands, and Portugal, and in Ireland a name change (which acknowledged gender change) was granted for one woman after a legal challenge that went to the high courts, but no laws exist on the matter.

More at Mother Jones.


Toni Tipton-Martin’s The Jemima Code has Arrived!

Check out what the Smithsonian, Mother Jones, and the washingtonpost have to say about it:

Oh, and Michelle Obama has invited author Toni Tipton-Martin to the whitehouse TWICE. No big deal.

Originally posted by huffpostpolitics

Ruby Session was shaking as she read on. The year was 2007, and the letter was addressed to her son Timothy Cole. “I have been trying to locate you since 1995 to tell you I wish to confess I did in fact commit the rape Lubbock wrongly convicted you of.”

Ruby sat down, stood up. A picture of Tim in a tuxedo, taken at his junior prom, smiled from the mantle. Before his trial the prosecutor had offered him a deal to plead to lesser charges. “Mother,” Tim had said, “I am not pleading guilty to something I didn’t do.” He was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Thirteen years later, he died behind bars.

The Texas criminal-justice system has long had a harsh reputation, but it has drawn renewed scrutiny with Gov. Rick Perry’s run for president. During the past 11 years, Perry has presided over 238 executions, including the infamous case of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was put to death based on a dubious arson investigation. In a September debate, Perry famously said that he had lost no sleep over the possibility of an innocent man being executed on his watch.

“No Country for Innocent Men.” — Beth Schwartzapfel, Mother Jones

See more #longreads on the death penalty