AMERICAN VALUES SURVEY: Majority of Americans Prefer Life Without Parole Over Death Penalty

A majority of Americans prefer life without parole to the death penalty, according to the 2015 American Values Survey by the Public Religion Research Institute. The poll of 2,695 Americans found that 52% preferred life without parole, while 47% preferred the death penalty. The poll found that respondents’ views on capital punishment tracked their views about racial justice and differed greatly by race. 53% of all Americans agreed with the statement, “A black person is more likely than a white person to receive the death penalty for the same crime,” while 45% disagreed. But 82% of blacks and 59% of Hispanics agreed with the statement, while fewer than half (45%) of whites agreed. Only 37% of those who saw racial disparities in the application of the death penalty supported capital punishment, while the death penalty drew support from 59% of those who disagreed that blacks were more likely than whites to receive death sentences. White Americans’ views on this question differed greatly by social class, with 54% of college-educated whites saying blacks were more likely than whites to receive the death penalty and 58% of white working-class Americans saying this was not the case. Views about the perceived fairness of the death penalty also split sharply along partisan lines. 64% of Republicans disagreed with the statement on racial disparities, as compared to 28% of Democrats. Independents were evenly divided. Overall, about two-thirds (65%) of Democrats said they preferred life without parole, while 67% of Republicans said they preferred the death penalty.  

(“Survey|Anxiety, Nostalgia, and Mistrust: Findings from the 2015 American Values Survey,” Public Religion Research Institute, November 17, 2015; Full Report; News Release.) See Public Opinion and Race.

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Bemidji State’s Summer Ojibwe Immersion Camp Wins National Award

Bemidji Summer Camp

Published November 24, 2015

BEMIDJI, MINNESOTA — Bemidji State University’s Ojibwe Language Summer Camp — Ojibwemowin Niibinishi Gabeshi — which offers a unique opportunity for students to become immersed in Ojibwe culture, has won the Innovative Award for Non-Credit Programs from the North American Association of Summer Sessions.

Jan Yopp, the association’s committee chair for creative and innovative awards, said Ojibwemowin Niibinishi Gabeshi was recognized for “its impact on students and adaptability for other campuses.”

The association recognizes member schools that offer creative and innovative programs each year at is annual conference. The awards are meant to highlight the importance of curriculum development, acknowledge programs that make outstanding contributions to the management, operation or marketing of summer sessions, and to give its members an opportunity to learn from one another.

Entries are judged on creativity, uniqueness, benefit to students and adaptability to other institutions.

“We have a unique program and its impact on students is so great,” said Angie Gora, BSU’s summer programs director. “Even if we didn’t win, it was important to let others know that we have this camp. There’s an opportunity for for other universities to do programs like this.”

About Ojibwemowin Niibinishi Gabeshi
At Bemidji State’s Ojibwemowin Niibinishi Gabeshi, Anishinaabe faculty and staff teach campers about the Ojibwe language, history, cultural traditions and Native arts. Current Bemidji State students serve as camp counselors, chaperoning students to daily activities and facilitating evening programs. Ojibwe language proficiency isn’t required to participate in the camp.

At the 2015 camp, students spent their mornings in daily language courses where they learned commands, how to use those commands in sentences, and how to formally introduce themselves in Ojibwe. Campers also learned about food sovereignty, explored a local farm and learned the differences between indigenous foods and processed foods.

During the second week, students learned Ojibwe crafts. In addition to drawing and painting projects, they learned how to do bead work and completed a small leather project. In the evenings, they explored traditional games, participated in an Ojibwe language table and enjoyed recreational time on Lake Bemidji. Campers also learned basic first aid and CPR techniques and were shown how to use an Automatic External Defibrillator by Leech Lake Ambulance Services.

2016 Camp Information
Dates are set for the 2016 Ojibwemowin Niibanishi Gabeshi. The two-week camp will be held July 11-15 and July 18-22. Registration materials are now available on the conference website.


The post Bemidji State’s Summer Ojibwe Immersion Camp Wins National Award appeared first on Native News Online.

Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ Hats Are Mostly Made By Latinos In SoCal: LAist

Before Donald Trump turned his presidential campaign into one based on racism, xenophobia, and blatant lies, it was basically a kitschy little hat that read “Make America Great Again.” Turns out those hats are made by the same people that Trump once vilified as criminals and rapists.Those trademark red trucker caps with white all-caps lettering (also available in several other styles, including camo with orange lettering) are the product of the Cali-Fame hat factory in Carson, where most of the employees are Latino. “When we first got the order [for Trump’s caps], I said to myself, ‘Just wait until he sees who’s making his hats,'” Yolanda Melendrez, who works at the Cali-Fame factory, told the L.A. Times. “‘We’re Latinos, we’re Mexicans, Salvadoreños.'” Melendrez is a Mexican immigrant who was brought to this country by her parents when she was a baby.”A lot of what he says about Latinos is not correct,” she adds. But in the end, to her, a job’s a job: “I get paid to do it and it pays my bills.”Brian Kennedy, president of Cali-Fame, gave his employees the same message when they were asked to make the hats by the Trump campaign. “I said to them, ‘We’re not political. We’re here to work,'” he told the Times. “And I haven’t gotten any negative comments.” As for how his company was connected to Trump in the first place, it’s because Cali-Fame has been making hats for Trump’s golf courses for a while.

Source: Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ Hats Are Mostly Made By Latinos In SoCal: LAist

How an accidental forest saved a village from a storm for the ages | Human Nature – Conservation International Blog

A lot of Filipinos have Typhoon Haiyan stories — recollections of the storm (known locally as Yolanda) that swept through the country in 2013, killing more than 6,000 people and devastating entire towns. The Silonay story is less dramatic than it could have been.“We didn’t evacuate,” Bool said. “The whole community stayed [in Silonay] because we thought that our mangroves will protect us.” And they were right — although the town flooded during smaller typhoons, the mangroves kept Haiyan’s waves at bay.Bool credits hearing about the devastating impact of Haiyan on the town of Tacloban (located on another island) as a wake-up call alerting everyone in her community about the true value of these coastal forests. “It became an eye-opener here, and when they learned how Typhoon Yolanda destroyed Tacloban, and how one island in Samar was spared because of the mangroves.”But their benefits go beyond storm protection — there are everyday victories, too.“It’s where the fish lay their eggs, and that’s why the supply of the fish in our seas is continuous,” said Morel Bool, a Silonay fisherman and Alma’s cousin. “Before there were mangroves here, fishing was quite difficult, and it got to a point that our catch was so limited that we had to venture farther.” Thanks to a growing fish population, dolphins have even begun returning to the area after years of absence.

Source: How an accidental forest saved a village from a storm for the ages | Human Nature – Conservation International Blog

Portugal′s new prime minister seeks alliance with far left, greens | News | DW.COM | 24.11.2015

Costa’s appointment as prime minister on Tuesday came after his unprecedented anti-austerity alliance with Communists, Greens and the radical Left Bloc toppled Portugal’s 11-day-old conservative minority government this month, after a dramatic parliamentary vote in October.Following the success of the pact, Costa is now trying to persuade the Portuguese President, Anibal Cavaco Silva, to allow him to form a government with the Communist Party and the Left bloc.Anti-austerity measuresThe key aim of the alliance is to ease austerity measures which were adopted after Portugal’s 78 billion-euro ($83 billion) bailout in 2011. The country only stopped receiving payments in May 2014.Austerity seemed to be reaping its first positive results in 2015, with the Portuguese economy growing 1.5 percent in the first half of this year compared to the same period last year. The unemployment rate also fell to around 12 percent, compared to 17.5 percent in early 2013.The opposition, however, claims that austerity has hit the middle class too hard and “destroyed millions of Portuguese lives,” according to the Communist Party official Jeronimo de Sousa.The leftist alliance intends to roll back tax cuts, as well as cuts in pay, pensions and public services. There has also been speculation about restoring several public holidays that were cut to boost productivity.

Source: Portugal′s new prime minister seeks alliance with far left, greens | News | DW.COM | 24.11.2015

In Renovation of Golf Club, Donald Trump Also Dressed Up History – The New York Times – Why can’t they just say he is a pathological liar for profit.

historians” had told him that the golf club site was known as the River of Blood. But he said he did not remember their names.AdvertisementContinue reading the main storyAdvertisementContinue reading the main storyThen he said the historians had spoken not to him but to “my people.” But he refused to identify any underlings who might still possess the historians’ names.Continue reading the main storyInteractive Graphic: Who’s Winning the Presidential Campaign?“Write your story the way you want to write it,” Mr. Trump said finally, when pressed unsuccessfully for anything that could corroborate his claim. “You don’t have to talk to anybody. It doesn’t make any difference. But many people were shot. It makes sense.”In its small way, the plaque bears out Mr. Trump’s reputation for being preoccupied with grandeur, superlatives and his own name, but less so with verifiable facts, even when his audience is relatively small.

Source: In Renovation of Golf Club, Donald Trump Also Dressed Up History – The New York Times

Rise in Early Cervical Cancer Detection Is Linked to Affordable Care Act – The New York Times

Researchers say there has been a substantial increase in women under the age of 26 who have received a diagnosis of early-stage cervical cancer since the health law came into effect in 2010.

Source: Rise in Early Cervical Cancer Detection Is Linked to Affordable Care Act – The New York Times

A Definitive Debunking of Donald Trump’s 9/11 Claims – The New York Times

Confronted by Bill O’Reilly, Mr. Trump essentially shrugged: “I retweeted somebody that was supposedly an expert, and it was also a radio show.” He has said, variously, that 200,000 or 250,000 Syrian refugees would be coming to the United States; the Obama administration’s actual goal for next year is 10,000, as reported.Indifferent as Mr. Trump is to facts, in retailing the myth of the dancing Muslims, he could not face a more sober and careful fact-finder than Mr. Farmer.Now a professor of law at Rutgers University, he led the Sept. 11 commission’s investigation of the disarray in the nation’s air defenses on that morning and exposed as fiction claims by the Pentagon that fighter pilots were in hot pursuit of the hijacked airliners. In fact, military officials did not know about three of the four hijacked planes until after they had already crashed. That became the subject of a book by Mr. Farmer, “The Ground Truth,” which was hailed by Jacob Heilbrunn in The New York Times as a “precise and reliable accounting of what happened.”Mr. Farmer said isolating and stigmatizing Muslims now, whatever its short-term political appeal, would spawn more alienated Muslim youth and potential recruits for the Islamic State.“Whatever the message, it is just plain wrong to cite thousands of Muslims dancing in Jersey City or Paterson on 9/11 as support,” Mr. Farmer said. “That simply never happened.”

Source: A Definitive Debunking of Donald Trump’s 9/11 Claims – The New York Times

Lesvos: Crossing to Safety by UNHCR

A relieved Afghan family, clearly still suffering from the trauma of a rough sea crossing at the hands of people smugglers, disembarks from a flimsy vessel onto a Lesvos beach.
© UNHCR/Giles Duley

via Flickr

Lesvos: Crossing to Safety by UNHCR

An Afghan family of several generations disembark from an overcrowded boat. Almost 40 per cent of refugees currently arriving on Lesvos are from Afghanistan.
© UNHCR/Giles Duley

via Flickr