Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which deals with employment discrimination, adds sex as a protected category. Over the years, Title VII’s prohibition on sex discrimination has been expanded to include sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination. One has to wonder, though—how did sex end up in Title VII as a protected category, if it’s not anywhere else in the law? Join me for a historical odyssey into the realm of unintended—but awesome—consequences.
President Lyndon B. Johnson was adamant about getting the Civil Rights Act passed. It would prove to be one of the signature achievements of his time in office, and the major event that sparked the reshuffling of party positions*. Continue reading →
This bit of news from the legal world probably shouldn’t come as much of a surprise:
Florida Bar President Ramon Abadin invited every male South Florida law firm managing partner to a speech he gave Wednesday about gender bias in the legal profession. Apparently just one showed up, the head of a small law firm.
“I’m highly disappointed there aren’t more positions of power here in the room,” he said. “I realize I’m preaching to the choir.”
Anger bubbled over in the sold-out room dominated by women in the Miami chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers. The chapter hosted Abadin weeks after a Florida Bar survey of female attorneys found widespread sexism in the justice system, with 43 percent of women reporting personal experience with gender bias.
“I thought the number should be zero,” he said. “In my naive mind, maybe it would be 5 percent. But people privately tell me the number is actually higher.”
I am a bit too angry to see straight, but need to share the utter, reprehensible ridiculousness of this:
An ex-stripper who went on to law school and later was elected a judge was found dead inside her Nevada home Sunday, The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
Her body was discovered during a welfare check, the report said, and authorities do not suspect foul play.
Municipal Judge Diana Hampton, who was 50, was known by colleagues as a hard worker and appeared to be the perfect picture of health. Her death shocked colleagues, one of whom told the paper he planned to have lunch with the judge this week.
Hampton, who served as a municipal judge for more than a decade, worked with youth in the community to discourage them from crime.
Hampton took an unusual route to her judgeship. She was criticized during her 2005 run for Henderson Department 3 for working as a stripper in Las Vegas prior to pursuing law school. It was a part of her past she did not disavow and reaffirmed that her past had nothing to do with how she would rule from the bench.
“From the very beginning, she decided she was going to be a judge,” said Joe Sciscento, a justice of the peace who knew Hampton for more than 20 years. “She was dedicated to that. She was focused on that, and she wouldn’t let things get in her way.”
It’s worth pondering for a moment just how difficult it is to survive on $2 per day. That’s a single gallon of gasoline. Or half a gallon of milk. If you took a D.C. bus this morning, you have 25 cents left for dinner. Among this group in extreme poverty, some get a boost from housing subsidies. Many collect food stamps — an essential part of survival. But so complete is their destitution, they have little means to climb out. (The book described one woman who scored a job interview, couldn’t afford transportation, walked 20 blocks to get there, and showed up looking haggard and drenched in sweat. She didn’t get hired.)
Edin is a professor specializing in poverty at Johns Hopkins University. Shaefer is an associate professor of social work and public policy at the University of Michigan. In several years of research that led to this book, they set up field offices both urban and rural — in Chicago, in Cleveland, in Johnson City, Tenn., in the Mississippi Delta — and tried to document this jarring form of American poverty.
What’s also perfectly clear is that a series of horrendously edited videos accusing Planned Parenthood of ghoulish criminal activity has effectively amplified the anti-choice outrage machine, which has to include the well-known terrorist fringe of the movement. As with the connection between the protest and the attack, there’s no way to know at this point whether the terrorist or terrorists responsible were specifically incited by the videos, but it’s reasonable to conclude that the videos, while being fraudulently produced, have touched off a new chapter of unmitigated sanctimony and bug-eyed fury over Planned Parenthood and other clinics that offer reproductive services for women.
Of course, the fakery of the videos, as well as the reality that Planned Parenthood saves considerably more lives than abortion services performed is irrelevant in the face of single-minded automatons who are feverishly motivated by the very thought of an aborted fetus. Nothing, in their minds, morally outweighs the photographic images of fetuses. Nothing. Yes, it’s all very graphic to laypeople, but the procedure shouldn’t in any universe morally justify threats or acts of terrorism. The same can be said about too many congressional and state level Republicans who are wasting untold millions of dollars in taxpayer revenue to investigate Planned Parenthood based on completely false charges. No wonder Florida Governor Rick Scott scrubbed the results of his investigation when they ended up showing zero wrongdoing on behalf of the clinics.
Nobody can doubt that virtually all of the president’s political enemies would vehemently defend themselves against a charge of racism. Virtually all of them observe the forms and taboos of political correctness. If any very visible one of their own should insult the president by a recognized racial slur, they would all join in the predictable outrage. But the paramount fact of this moment in the history of racism is that you don’t have to denominate the president by a recognized racial slur when his very name can be used as a synonym.
This subtilized racism is not only a perhaps unignorable lure to Republican politicians; it can also be noticeably corrupting to Democrats.
In Kentucky, for example, where Obama is acknowledged carefully to be “unpopular,” candidates of both parties have been, and still are, running “against Obama.” If the president comes into the state to visit, some Democratic candidates, like Republican candidates, become conspicuously busy elsewhere.
Though we are a nation of immigrants, a segment of the American people has always wanted to walk through the door and then close it behind them, keeping everyone else out. This segment dates back most clearly to the nativist movement that took place in the years leading up to the Civil War. When the nativists have their way, the US stops being a nation united by principles of freedom and justice. We are unfortunately witnessing a resurgence of these politics. An understanding of their history, and the history of their defeat, could help to embolden the contemporary generation.
Only a few decades after the American Revolution, the “bad’ folk were the Irish escaping from the famine and British oppression. Many of the nativists of that time were Protestant, mostly Presbyterian and Lutheran, living in Ohio, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. One of the strangest parts of their story was their flag, which carried the banner “Native Americans Beware of Foreign Influence.” Of course, none of the nativists were American Indians. In fact, Indians were branded as “bad’ folks as well.
It’s tough being a man in today’s world, right, fellas? I mean, threats to our masculinity are everywhere, and as everyone knows, masculinity is both all-powerful and more delicate than the finest porcelain china. Stare too long at the color pink, and risk the whole thing shattering around you. Then, once your masculinity is gone, all you can do is, uh…..
Well, I actually have no idea because everything I just said is ridiculous bullshit.
Anyway, a dilemma for many men is this: How can they enjoy iced coffee without drawing the attention of insecure sad sacks who think iced coffee isn’t sufficiently manly to meet some arbitrary standard?
You could ignore the sad sacks in favor of people who might actually be interesting, or you could drink iced coffee specially formulated for men (or at least cynically marketed to them):
Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And, but for the interference with his arrangement, there would be no cause for such marriage. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.
If Chief Justice Warren and his associates had known God’s word and had desired to do the Lord’s will, I am quite confident that the 1954 decision would never have been made. The facilities should be separate. When God has drawn the line of distinction, we should not attempt to cross that line.
My dog and I recently celebrated our eighth adopt-a-versary. Since I also treat that day as her birthday, and the vet estimated that she was about two years old when I got her, that means that last month was her tenth birthday. She has been recovering from knee surgery since early June, so it was a very low-key celebration. I do plan on doing a bit more to celebrate when she’s off restricted duty.
She likes to sleep a lot anyway, so her “light duty” assignment works out okay most of the time.
Since she has been confined to a crate for more than a month, and since we have had numerous people coming and going through our house for various reasons (e.g. the squirrel urine problem that I still don’t want to talk about here), I have noticed something that has always happened, but that happens much more frequently under the present circumstances. To paraphrase a typical exchange with a visitor, in dramatic form: Continue reading →