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Uncategorized

A Call for International Solidarity with Women of Basra

Excerpt from petition to End the Genocide on Women of Iraq:

Since the 2003 occupation of Iraq, these cities were open land to “Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice- PVPV” Islamist militant squads, gangs and individuals.

These groups have increased over the few years to positions of governmental officials, institutions, militias, self-appointed vigilantes and hired guns.

They guard the university gateways from “evil” unveiled women. They crack down on mixed gatherings of students. They also detain disobedient students in assigned detainment and torture rooms.

When a woman is killed, the only given justification is that she was promiscuous or adulterous. While in fact, the top of the female death toll list is occupied by PhD holders, professionals, activists, regular office workers, and then prostitutes.

This PVPV campaign terrorizes the female population so as to restrain women into the domestic domain and end all female participation from the social and political scene.

On behalf of Iraqi women, the OWFI demands that the officials establish and train “Protection of Women – PW” squads to roam the southern cities streets 24/7. These squads need to receive gender sensitive training and to prioritize women’s lives over barbarian values, whether tribal or religiously fundamentalist.

The occupation troops’ existence in the city of Basra offered no help or support to women. Therefore, this issue should not be used as a pretext to prolong the stay of occupation troops.

View the complete petition…

Read about Yanar Mohammed’s visit to Texas.

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Stonewall Democrats file for Metroplex Races

DENTON — Two openly gay Democrats have filed to run for state office in conservative districts represented by incumbent Republicans.

John McClelland is running for the District 64 seat in the Texas House of Representatives, and Edra Bogle is running for the District 14 seat on the state Board of Education.

Get the complete story at the Dallas Voice:

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Civil Rights in Credit Scores? A Report

Preliminary findings indicate a strong relationship between credit scores and claims

experience. Poor credit scores are associated with increased claims activity. Furthermore, the study

found that Black, Hispanic, young, and low-to-moderate income policyholders tend to have worse credit

scores than White, Asian, older, and high income policyholders. [Texas Department of Insurance: Credit Scoring Study (Dec. 30, 2004)]

Excerpts below under Read More.

Race & Ethnicity

The

Legislature directed the Department to address whether the use of credit
information has “any

disproportionate impact on any class of individuals, including
classes based on income, race or

ethnicity.” As described in detail below, the
Department has determined that in the individual

policyholder data, there are consistent patterns reflecting differences in credit scores, most notably,

between different
racial/ethnic classes. Other classes also present patterns, as discussed below

(pp. 10-11.)

For each data set, the Department compared the average and median credit

scores by
race and found a consistent pattern across all models. Whites and Asians, as a

group,
tend to have better credit scores than Blacks and Hispanics. In general, Blacks have

an
average credit score that is roughly 10% to 35% worse than the credit scores for
Whites.

Hispanics have an average credit score that is roughly 5% to 25% worse than
those for Whites. Asians

have average credit scores that are about the same or slightly
worse than those for Whites (p.

13).

Chart 4 shows that Blacks and Hispanics make up an increasing percentage of

the
individuals in a given credit score range as the credit scores get worse while Whites
make up

an increasing percentage of the individuals in a given credit score range as the
credit scores get

better. For example, the bar with the best credit scores (+40 to +45%)
shows that Whites make up

about 90% of the drivers. In the far left bar with the worst
credit scores (-25% and less), Whites

make up about 35% of the drivers. On the other
hand, Blacks make up about 2% of the policies in the

best credit score range and about
33% in the worst credit score range. In a pattern similar to

Blacks, Hispanics make up
about 5% of the drivers in the best credit score range and 28% of the

drivers in the
worst credit score range (p. 14).

Credit Score &

Risk

For personal auto insurance, the relationship between pure premium and

credit score
was examined. Chart 7 is characteristic of the data sets analyzed. It shows that

as
credit scores improve, the pure premium or average loss per vehicle decreases.
Conversely, as

the credit scores worsen, the average loss per vehicle increases (p. 18).

For homeowners

insurance, the data did not readily lend itself to a pure premium
approach given the wide range of

differences in insured values. Therefore, the
relationship between loss ratio and credit score was

examined. In this analysis, the loss
ratio was calculated using the premiums adjusted to the level

they would have been
prior to the use of credit scores. Chart 8 shows the average adjusted loss

ratio for each
decile of credit scores. (Charts for all available data sets can be found in the

Appendix.)
Like the personal auto data analysis, the homeowners data shows that as the

credit
scores improve the loss ratios improve (p. 19).

Frequency Not

Severity

The Department also looked at claim frequency7 and claim severity8. The

data shows
that credit score has a stronger relationship to frequency than severity. That is, as

the
credit scores improve, the frequency decreases, i.e. people have fewer accidents or
claims.

Severity may decrease as well, but not at the same rate as the frequency. For
some data sets,

severity is nearly flat (p. 20).

More Study

Scheduled

Charts 7 through 10 are based on univariate analysis; they consider

the relationship
between claims experience and a single variable (credit score). In reality there

are many
other variables that impact claim costs, including type of vehicle, ZIP code and age

of
driver. Further, many of these variables are plausibly related to credit score directly
(e.g.,

age of driver) or indirectly via another variable (e.g., high traffic congestion via
territory). For

example, high claims experience for younger drivers may reasonably be
explained by fewer years of

driving experience rather than their low credit scores.
Similarly, as an example of an indirect

relationship, high claims experience in certain
areas of the state may reasonably be explained by

factors such as high traffic
congestion and crime rates rather than low credit scores. Thus, the

issue is not whether
credit scoring is related to claims experience, but rather, whether credit

scoring provides
additional information, over and above traditional or existing rating variables,

which can
enable an insurer to more accurately predict losses. Additionally, it should be

ascertained whether the impact of credit scoring (both positive and negative) is
lessened due to

other explanatory variables.
To answer these questions, it is necessary to augment the univariate

analysis
discussed above by incorporating a multitude of other variables known to impact

claims.

The Department is in the process of conducting such a multivariate analysis using

the
individual policyholder data and will report its results by January 31, 2005 (pp. 22-

23).

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Ramsey Muniz Uncategorized

Irma Muniz: The Time is Now to Free Ramsey

Dear Friends:

The year 2010 is a year for change as we have increased the efforts to free Ramsey Muniz! Support received on national and international levels demonstrates that the time is now!

On an international level, a recent article by Amigas de Mumia, México states,

“To the sound of drums, a little over a hundred of us demanded freedom for Mumia Abu-Jamal outside the United States Embassy in Mexico City on December 9, 2009, as well as for Leonard Peltier, the men and women of MOVE, the Angola 3, Sundiata Acoli, Los Cinco, Francisco Torres, Hugo Pinnell, Ruchell Magee, Marilyn Buck, Dr. Mutulu Shakur, the Puerto Rican Independentistas, David Gilbert, Ramsey Muñiz, the environmental prisoners and all the social activists that this government intends to bury alive.”

Our requests for prayers and spiritual intervention have made their way to India, as correspondence regarding Ramsey Muñiz was delivered to Amma. We feel blessed for a spiritual connection with Amma, a woman who is considered by many throughout the world as a living saint and prophet.

Nationally, we are most grateful for the support demonstrated by Rosa Rosales, National President of LULAC, who recently met with us to provide assistance in the efforts to free Ramsey Muñiz. The compassion and love that she demonstrates makes her a true leader, and we hold her in great esteem for the work that LULAC has done to help us.

Joe Ortiz, National Civil Rights Director for the American GI Forum, continues to provide support and we extend our gratitude to the American GI Forum for the assistance that they continue to provide.

As we move forward to free Ramsey Muñiz , the list of organizational support continues to grow, and we call on all organizations and individuals to join this movement. The need to unite in this humanitarian cause is critical and the time is now!

We continue to thank God for the signs given to us that Ramsey will obtain the freedom that he so rightfully deserves! Thank you for the assistance that you have provided to free Ramsey Muñiz.

Sincerely,
Irma Muñiz
www.freeramsey.com

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Texas is an Indian Word

“Did you know the name ‘Texas’ comes from a Caddoan Indian word?” asks the Native Languages website. “It is a Spanish corruption of the Caddo word Taysha, which means ‘friend’.”

“Friend” is what Caddoans called the early Europeans in a typical sign of indigenous hospitality.

With this heritage in mind, we are taking some interest in events in South Dakota, where the Republic of Lakotah last month repudiated all its broken treaties with the USA.

Weighing heavily on the side of bad faith is a 1903 Lone Wolf ruling by the US Supreme Court which placed all tribal affairs under Congressional sovereignty.

As Kevin Gover recounted on the occasion of the 175th anniversary of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, failure is the appropriate term to use when it comes to the history of official dealings with Indigenous Indian peoples.

Gover himself was one of several federal officials held in contempt by a US Court for “destroying documents in a landmark suit filed by American Indians.” The Cobbell case alleges that the US government has for the past century mismanaged funds held in behalf of a half million indigenous people. And so far, the courts seem to agree.

The plain truth is that European peoples have not been “friends” to the indigenous populations, even if we call ourselves Texans today.

So the developments in South Dakota bear serious reflection.

We like the feisty statement of solidarity issued by the Mohawk Nation News.

And we recommend serious consideration of the recent UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

These materials remind us that whenever we hear calls to “restore the US Constitution” we are hearing from a very particular center of historical recollection. If the US Constitution is one’s vehicle for progress, then the Republic of Lakotah reminds us that there are traditions of justice that still need starting.

–gm

See also: Ron Garmon’s report in LA City Beat.