Thursday, June 04, 2020

An Analysis.

We have probably all heard about the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights ruling on trans athletes, well here is GLAD’s analysis of that ruling.
Transgender Girls and School Sports: What Does the Office of Civil Rights Letter Mean?

Good news: nothing right now
“For nearly 50 years, Title IX has served as a bedrock for establishing fair and equal educational opportunities. Any move the Office of Civil Rights takes to wield Title IX as a weapon against transgender high school girls erodes the significance of this landmark civil rights law.”
-Jennifer Levi, GLAD Transgender Rights Project Director
What is the effect of the letter?The letter has no immediate effect. To be sure, OCR’s position that CIAC’s trans-inclusive policy violates Title IX is very alarming. It is also in the same vein of civil rights rollbacks and anti-LGBTQ policies we have seen emerge from the Trump administration since January 2017 However, the letter contains no authoritative legal analysis and its issuance has no immediate legal impact on CIAC or the schools to which it was addressed, much less any other schools, districts, or other statewide athletic associations. And, while it threatens the CIAC and the schools with loss of federal funds, OCR has no authority to deny these entities of federal funds by the issuance of this letter. It’s also important to note that in its entire history, OCR has never denied any entity federal funds for either alleged or demonstrated violations of Title IX.

Why doesn’t the letter have any immediate effect?While the U.S. Department of Education is charged with enforcing the law, it does not have the ability to change the law or ultimately decide what the law means. The power to interpret the meaning of Title IX lies with the courts. There is a pending federal lawsuit in which CIAC and the five schools to which OCR’s letter is addressed are defending current Connecticut policy which authorizes transgender girls to participate in girls’ sports. Initially, ADF sought an accelerated determination by the federal court hearing the case. However, with the cancellation of the spring sports season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the court has taken the case off any accelerated schedule. As a practical matter, any action taken by OCR, in follow up to the letter, will not be able to move more quickly than the pending lawsuit.
This is not going away for a long, long time. There is going to be a lot of court rulings before this is settled with luck we will have a new president, a real president in the White House before this is settled.

We also have a Supreme Court ruling coming out this month on if we and sexual orientation are covered under “sex” in Title VII.

In another case before the Supreme Court this time it is about “religious freedom” to discriminate.
Trump admin to Supreme Court: Let adoption agencies reject LGBTQ families
Washington Blade
By Chris Johnson
June 3, 2020

In the latest example of the Trump administration seeking to enable legal discrimination against LGBTQ people, the Justice Department is calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to allow religious-affiliated adoption agencies to refuse child placement into LGBTQ homes.

In a 35-page brief, U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco and other Justice Department attorneys maintain the City of Philadelphia has “impermissibly discriminated against religious exercise” under the First Amendment by requiring Catholic Social Services to abide by a contract requiring LGBTQ non-discrimination practices in child placement.

“Governmental action tainted by hostility to religion fails strict scrutiny almost by definition,” the brief says. “This court has never recognized even a legitimate governmental interest — much less a compelling one — that justifies hostility toward religion.”
The case is about whether a religious organization that is receiving public funding can discriminate in using that funding. In the past the courts have found that they could not… once again it will boil down to how Chief Justice Roberts votes.
Although the case involves Catholic Social Services refusing to abide by the terms of its contract, the Justice Department framing of the litigation makes it seem like the City of Philadelphia is an aggressor and unfairly targeting Catholic Social Services, asserting the municipality is allowing for exemptions in some cases, but not religious-affiliated adoption agencies.
This June 30th is going to be a busy day for the court.

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

I’m Old As Dirt.

I’ve seen a lot and I have seen that nothing has changed
I’ve seen the civil rights movement of the fifties and sixties and nothing has changed.
I’ve have seen the sit-ins and the marches and nothing has changed.
I’ve seen blood on the streets of New Haven and nothing has changed
I’ve seen the uprising in Newark, Los Angles, and other cities around the country and nothing has changed.
I have heard the promises of politicians both Republicans and Democrats and nothing has changed.
I have heard the promises of police departments to change but nothing has changed.

There have been promises made, laws written by both parties but nothing has changed.

Trump has been appointing white judges by the hand full, as of January 85% of his appointments are white.
"What stands out to me is that President Trump is deliberately nominating the least diverse class of judicial nominees that we have seen in modern history," said Kristine Lucius, executive vice president for policy at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. "It is stunning to me that 2 1/2 years in, he has not nominated a single African American or a single Latinx to the appellate courts."
In Congress there are 54 Democrats and 2 Republicans who are minorities and one of the two Republicans is retiring.

In education his Secretary of Education DeVos is cutting funding to public schools and giving the funding to private schools and religious schools.

His Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Carson is doing everything he can to cut housing assistance for low income families.

The voters knew he was a racist but it didn’t matter to them, but they were mad that a black man was president.

A friend say if you hear mean, intervene.

We can pass all the laws but nothing will change until the people change.

Until the people stand up and say enough is enough.

It is amazing that so many people have stood up and marched to end the discrimination and for racial justice. It is also amazing how many are out there for the first time. But what will only count is how they vote on election day.

  • It is not just racist police…
  • It is also education inequalities.
  • It is also income inequalities.
  • It is also housing inequalities.
  • It is also healthcare inequalities.
  • It is also employment inequalities.
  • It is also voting inequalities.

And the list goes on and on…

A trans man friend who has an excellent job and lives in suburbia told me that when “she” walked down the street she never got stopped by the police but once he transitioned “he” was routinely stopped and asked what he was doing in the neighborhood.

What can be done? I don’t know.

It has to come from the people… not just the minorities but all the people.

I read somewhere that most people make up their minds on who they are going to vote for minutes before voting.

There was a meme and video that was circulating around Facebook about how they knew about COVID-19 a year before the pandemic broke out. They claimed that H.R. 748 the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act was introduced in January of 2019 proving that the COVID-19 pandemic was planned or known about in advance.

But if they did any homework and researched it they would have found out that it was totally false.

It is quite common for bills to be introduced for one thing and changed to another thing that is all together different from the original bill (They do that to save time. The original that didn’t have enough steam to pass but made it through the committees is gutted and made into a new bill. The resurrected bill doesn’t have to go through the committee process.).

With freedom comes responsibility.
― Eleanor Roosevelt

And part of that responsibility is to educate yourself on the issues of the day and to make informed electorate.

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

I Am Concerned

We are at a pivot point where we are facing the direction that our country will go and what concerns me is the person who is in charge of our country.

The COVID-19 virus has created great stress in our country and Trump is driving a wedge into that stress and politicized the virus. And into that gap was another murder of a person of color by a police officer and the outrage that came out of the murder Trump is pouring acid into the wound.

Yesterday he used force to clear a path to a church to make a political speech defiling the church sanctuary to pour more acid into the hate.

Also yesterday he threaten to use the military to curb the protests.

In addition there are outside agitators who are infiltrating the peaceful protests to stir up violence, their goal is a race war. Add to that reports of foreign powers that honed their skills on the 2016 elections are now creating unrest between the races.

My concerns are that Trump will declare marshal law and bring into the military to seize power under an emergency decree.

It happened before.

In 1933 Hitler in the middle of a crisis seized power.

This is from Jewish History
Hitler was able to mobilize criminal elements into street thugs who literally beat up his enemies. These became a paramilitary organization, the “brown shirts,” named after their uniforms. Hitler took unemployed people off the street, gave them a brown shirt with an armband sporting a swastika, taught them the Nazi salute and handed them a stick to beat others. Suddenly, these powerless people had power.

None of this could have come about without financial backing and Hitler found ready financial support among the German industrialists. They were uneasy with him, but at least he wasn’t a communist calling for the seizure and nationalization of their businesses. They were confident that their financial power would control him – but, in the end, it would be he who would manipulate them to do his bidding.
There are so many parallels between now and then.

Trump’s “Brown Shirts” are the Tiki Torch parade of the white supremacist and now we find out that white supremacist are inciting the violence in the protests. Trump has the financial backing of the “One Percenters” of Wall Street.
More than anything else, the Great Depression helped boost Hitler. In the election after the Depression first struck the Nazis doubled their seats in the Reichstag, the German Parliament, going from 7% to 13.5% of the vote. And in the ensuing election they reached 21%. At their height they would reach about 40%.
We are also in the grips of wealth inequities that is creating a divide between the have and the have nots that has been exasperated by the virus with health inequities.
Once Hitler got power, however, no one controlled him. He increased the activities of his brown shirts, even beating to death opposing politicians. Then he presented the Reichstag with the Enabling Act, a bill that would give him absolute powers, in effect making the Reichstag powerless. Although it was political suicide to vote for it, no one dared vote against Hitler and it was passed into law.
We have seen this here in Trump’s impeachment which the Republicans rendered Congress powerless to control Trump.

Throw into this the Posse Comitatus Act and we have a recipe for disaster. The law was modified in 2007 with the Defense Authorization Bill.
`Sec. 333. Interference with State and Federal law
`The President, by using the militia or the armed forces, or both, or by any other means, shall take such measures as he considers necessary to suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy, if it--
`(1) so hinders the execution of the laws of that State, and of the United States within the State, that any part or class of its people is deprived of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law, and the constituted authorities of that State are unable, fail, or refuse to protect that right, privilege, or immunity, or to give that protection; or
`(2) opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes the course of justice under those laws.
In any situation covered by clause (1), the State shall be considered to have denied the equal protection of the laws secured by the Constitution.'.
Add a Secretary of Defense Esper who said “I think the sooner that you mass and dominate the battlespace, the quicker this dissipates and we can get back to the right normal” to put down nationwide protests.

Add the November elections.

Stir the mix and you have a recipe for a coup d'etat.