The US government can brand you a terrorist based on a Facebook post.

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You read that headline right.  Taken together, you can’t help but wonder: are you already on the watchlist?  More at The Guardian.

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NSA Surveillance: It’s Much Worse Than You Think

NSA

I published a piece with CNN today on NSA surveillance under the Section 702 FISA program. It’s much worse than you think.

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It’s Time to Close the Workplace Sexual Harassment Loophole

workplace harassment

There’s an absurd loophole that allows employers to escape meritorious claims of employment discrimination.  Here’s the piece I published earlier this summer in The Guardian.

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Americans’ Complicity in the Prison Rape Crisis

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Rape and sexual assault are as basic to the prison experience as bars and bunk beds. When did rape become a laughing matter?  More in Al Jazeera America.

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Spying on Muslims is Legal?

NYPD Pic

I published a column last week with CNN Opinion on religious surveillance.  Since 9/11, the NYPD has used community mapping, video surveillance, photography and confidential informants to map Muslim life in and around New York.  No detail has proved too remote for the prying eyes of the NYPD.  Mosques, student groups, restaurants, even grade schools, have all been surveilled, absent any evidence of wrongdoing.  Regrettably, a New Jersey court recently ruled that the spying program is legal, and found that monitoring Muslims was the only way to stop terrorism arising from the Muslim community.  I believe the decision is shameful and diminishes the Bill of Rights.  You can read more at CNN Opinion.

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Tipped Workers Haven’t Had A Raise Since 1991

A waiter carrying a tray of tea

Last Thursday, February 13 (2/13), advocates rallied, organized, and spoke out in support of raising the US tipped minimum wage of $2.13.  Tipped workers include parking lot attendants, bellhops, baggage porters, waiters, waitresses, and food deliverers.  They haven’t seen a raise since 1991.  In real terms, $2.13 in 1991 is worth $1.24 today.  I’m a member of the National Coalition to Raise the Minimum Wage, and am particularly pleased to support this issue.  You can read more in the Guardian.  

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Private Prisons Profiting From Mass Incarceration

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The United States is the prison capital of the world.  Despite having 5% of the world’s total population, the U.S. houses roughly a quarter of the world’s prisoners. The majority live in cramped, shameful squalor.

In their efforts to curb prison overcrowding, some states are sending inmates to private out-of-state prisons hundreds or even thousands of miles away from home.  This policy impedes rehabilitation, hurts families, and rewards rent-seeking prisons.  I co-authored this piece with Holly Kirby, a researcher and organizer with Grassroots Leadership.  I currently serve on Grassroots’ Board of Directors.  You can read more in Al Jazeera America.

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