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Social Justice Discussions For The 21st Century

Third Circuit Upholds Transgender Right To Bathroom Of Identity


      This just in -- kids in public schools have a legal right to use the bathrooms of the gender they identify with in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

      It only impacts a small number of kids, but it represents significant progress towards acceptance of transgender identity.


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      A Democrat Compromise Immigration Bill


          I'm seeing compromise bills proposed from both the House and from Cruz. THe House bill would compromise by ending all child separations, and by restoring and increasing DACA - but would require giving in on funding for the Wall.

          Cruz- who makes my skin crawl generally - this time has a reasonable compromise that doesn't require giving in on anything. His bill would create detentions centers for the entire family so there would be no separations, triple the size of the border judiciary and require hearings within 14 days. This doesn't help us with DACA but also doesn't hurt us with the Wall. (The 14 day rule eliminates the triggering of Flores, which is the legal requirement to release the kids after 20 days and results in the separations.) The drawback is that some asylum seekers with legitimate cases may need more time - though I understand there are provisions in the bill to get extensions.

          Neither of these two approaches is perfect, but they so seem to be reasonable AND PASSABLE ways to eliminate the child suffering we are seeing now.

          Why not a compromise bill from our side??? Here's my idea:

          A bill that would require us to go back to "catch and release" but with the following modifications:

          funding for --

          (1) ankle bracelets and monitoring devices for every single person caught coming in illegally;

          (2) manpower to pick up each detainee and his family on the day of their trial; and

          (3) vastly increase the judiciary for deportation/asylum hearings and greatly decrease the time period in which such hearings would occur.

          My guess is that the money we save by not detaining people is more than what this proposal would cost, but I'm not doing it to save money.

          Instead, I'm doing it because it would address the Republican concerns for both people not showing up and disappearing, as well as for sending a strong deterrent message to potential illegal immigrants.

          Do you think the Party leadership could/would support something like this?

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          Opinion | ‘If It Could Happen To Them, Why Can’t It Happen To Us?’


              For those of you among my friends who lean right, maybe this will help you understand why raising hell about the border separation outrage is not just a cynical political ploy, but based on real angst:


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              US Withdraws From UN Human Rights Council


                  Immigration Appeal To Compassion

                  Ran into this article appealing for more compassion on the border -- from possibly a surprising source -- a fundamentalist Orthodox Jewish-American publication.

                  It was in my opinion very fair, and appealed to those who see themselves as Conservatives to have more openness on immigration.


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                  Beto O'Rourke On The Children At The Border


                      I don't live in Texas, I cannot vote in Texas, and I'm well aware that good people can have different opinions on emotionally laden matters. But count me personally as supporting what Beto O'Rourke wrote:

                      When our country takes kids away from their mothers and fathers as punishment for coming to this country to seek asylum, when we call those kids "unaccompanied alien children" after we've forcibly "unaccompanied" them and sent them to shelters without any clear idea of when, or if, they'll see their moms and dads again...we'd like to say this isn't us, this isn't what we do, this isn't America.

                      Today, we did something about it. We took action.
                      With less than 24 hours notice, thousands of our fellow Americans made the trip to Tornillo -- where a makeshift shelter of tents has been constructed to hold those children -- to bear witness, to testify to our fellow Americans, and to force us to act.

                      Under a bright sky and a sun that burned our faces and the backs of our necks, we remembered that we were there for the families who'd traveled under these same skies -- for thousands of miles -- and endured under this same sun, arriving to this country burned, dehydrated and desperate. Like millions of families over the course of our history, they finally arrived, in the hope that they had found refuge, shelter and asylum when their own country could no longer protect them from hunger, brutality and death.

                      They came only to discover that under a new zero-tolerance policy, that those parents who had risked everything to bring their children here -- as any parent, any human would do -- as Amy and I would do in the same situation -- would have their children taken from them.

                      So we marched to the Tornillo tent city that was constructed last week to house the children of those parents and the children who had arrived without parents. There are over 200 children in there right now. Up to 4,000 coming over the days and weeks ahead.

                      My 7-year-old son Henry called me to wish me a happy father's day this morning before we left for the march. I told him I loved him and I'd see him soon but today we were marching to be there for those kids being detained in Tornillo. He asked me if Tornillo was a jail or if it was a camp. And I told him it's kind of like both at the same time.

                      And then he asked me, "Why, dad? Did they do something wrong?"

                      There's no more important time to be alive than this one. To be an American, to be on the U.S.-Mexico border, to have the opportunity to define who we are as a country.

                      What's happening right now, it's on us, all of us -- no person, no party, no administration however powerful. It's on all of us, the people of America.

                      And after today I know that America is ready to meet this challenge, this test -- a moment that will define us for the rest of our lives and for the history to be written long after we're gone.

                      Whether it was Angela who came in from Rockport, a city still recovering from Hurricane Harvey. Or the delegations from Midland, Lubbock, Dallas, Austin and Houston. Joe, who took two flights from Boston. All the kids from El Paso, the teachers from Fort Hancock, the families from New Mexico. A woman who learned about this 20 hours ago in Salt Lake City, and jumped in the car stopping only for gas and a McDonald's.
                      People from all walks of life. Musicians (thank you David Garza and Jim Ward!), teachers, veterans, retirees, activists and shut-ins. People who've never been involved in politics, people who hold public office, people who want to hold public office. And people who want to hold those in public office accountable.
                      Veronica Escobar, our former County Judge and future Congresswoman who initiated the call to action and brought us together. Lupe Valdez who for the day suspended her campaign for governor and flew to El Paso, got a few hours of sleep and then drove to Tornillo to help lead the march. Fernado Garcia. Ruben Garcia. Cristobal Joshua Alex. Melissa Lopez. Congressman Joe Kennedy.

                      Today we were able to bear witness, to ensure that this is on us, on our conscience. And that we bear that burden now because we know it will be unbearable for long -- that it will force us to act, to push, to pressure, to ensure that our laws reflect our kids, those kids, and that idea and ideal of America that we still hold true.

                      No good tough important thing has ever happened in this country because Congress, Presidents, people in positions of power, woke up and decided to do the right thing. It's only ever happened when the people of this country forced those who had the power to use it for our common good.

                      I saw that today, and I am grateful that I got to be part of it.


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                      America Is The Richest, And Most Unequal Country


                          As I sit at my keyboard on this Father’s Day, contemplating what exactly I desire to say regarding the current policy that is separating young children from their parents as they come to the US for asylum. I, like many of you here at Yabberz, am lost. Like many of you, looking at the picture of the two-year-old crying her eyes out, while her mother is being patted down by a US Border Patrol Agent. That picture will forever be seared in my memory. Continually reminding me how cruel we can actually be to our fellow humans.

                          As a country, we are the richest according to this Fortune article:

                          Not surprisingly, the U.S., Canada and European countries dominate the top 10 list of wealthiest countries. But this year, for the first time, China moved past Japan in the number #2 spot, largely because of the appreciation last year of equity markets there. The U.S. remains in the top spot, with 41.6% of the world’s wealth, according to the report by Allianz, a financial services giant. China — 10.5% Japan — 8.9% U.K. — 5.6% Germany — 3.9 France — 3.5 Canada — 3.0% Italy — 2.9% Australia — 2.0% South Korea — 1.6%

                          It’s obvious why those who are destitute, live in constant fear of gang violence for their children, would want to move to a country where they could make a better life for themselves and children. If not for what they are trying to escape from, and they had an economic structure that allowed them to advance, they would stay in their own country. But in places such as Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua that structure doesn’t exist or if it does, is tilted toward the wealthy.

                          Looking at the picture and reading about a mother having her nursing baby taken from her, and not told anything about her child where abouts, moved me to find this passage from Roots and share it with you:

                          As Kunta crouched with his wife in the hall, drowning in his shame, they heard some genes, muted conversation between the massa and the sheriff … then the sound of feet moving, scuffling faintly …then Kizzy’s crying, and the sound of the front door slamming shut.

                          “Kizzy! Kizzy chile! Lawd Gawd, don’t let ‘em sell my Kizzy!” As she burst out of back door with Kunta behind her, Bell’s screams reached away out to where the field hands were, who came racing, Cato arrived in time to see Bell screeching insanely, springing up and down with Kunta bearhugging her to the ground. Massa Waller was descending the front steps ahead of the sheriff, who was hauling Kizzy, after him – weeping and jerking hers backward – at the end of a chain.

                          “Mammy! Maaaaaamy!” Kizzy screamed.

                          Bell and Kunta leaped up from the ground and went raging around the side of the house like two charging lions. The sheriff drew his gun and pointed it straight at Bell; She stopped in her tracks. She stared at Kizzy. Bell tore the question from her throat. “You done dis thing deys says?” They all watched Kizzy’s agony as her reddened, weeping eyes gave her answer in a mute way – darting imploringly from Bell and Kunta to the sheriff and the massa – but she said nothing.

                          “O my Lawd Gawd!” Bell shrieked. “Massa, please have mercy! She ain’t meant to do it! She ain’t knowed what she was doin’! Missy Anne de one teached’er to write!”

                          Massa Waller spoke glacially. “The law is the law,. She’s broken my rules. She’s committed a felon. She may have aided in a murder. I’m told one of those white men may die.”

                          “Ain’t her cut de man, Massa! Massa, she worked for you ever since she big ‘nough to carry your slopjar! An’ I don cooked an’ waited on you han’ an’ foot over forty years, an’ he … gesturing at Kunta she stuttered, “he done driv you eve’ywhere you been for near ‘bout dat long. Mass, don’ all dat count for sum’ni?”

                          Massa Waller would not look directly at her. “you were doing your jobs. She’s giong to be sold – that’s all there is to it.”

                          “Jes’ cheap, low-class white folks splits up families!” shouted Bell.

                          “You ain’t dat kin’!”

                          Angrily, Massa Waller gestured to the sheriff, who began to wrench Kizzy roughly toward the wagon.

                          Bell blocked their path. “Den sell me and’’er pappy wied’er! Don’t split us up!” - Roots by Alex Haley

                          I ask that you let the last sentence of this scene sink in, close your eyes, image hearing these words, “Den sell me and’’er pappy wied’er! Don’t split us up!” Sell her father and me as well, do not split up our family. Allow us to remain a family. Which is all those who came seeking asylum are asking.

                          But, no, that is not what Trump wants. And Jeff Sessions – the racist he is – doesn’t want it either. He is all for separating children from their parents. In his feeble brain, it’s a ‘deterrent.’ If you don’t want your suckling babies ripped from your breast, then stay in your hell-hole country. We don’t need your kind here. That is what he Sessions is saying when he calls it a deterrent.

                          The same is true for Kelly when he said: "I wouldn't put it quite that way," Kelly said. "The children will be taken care of — put into foster care or whatever.” Like our foster care system doesn’t have problems. By his statement, he is admitting that he doesn’t care about these kids, after all, he also doesn’t believe they will be able to assimilate, because of their lack of education and English speaking skills. Such a bigoted statement is coming from a man who is completely ignorant of facts that prove his statement demonstratively wrong.

                          The nerve of Sessions to use the Bible as justification for his order of separating children from their parents is in-of-itself a sin against the God he claims to believe. I recommend that he read past Romans 13:1, 2 to verse 9 & 10: “For the [law code], “You must not murder, You must not steal, You must not covet,” and whatever other commandment there is, is summed up in this word namely, “You must love your neighbor as yourself.” v10: Love does not work evil to one’s neighbor; therefore love is the law’s fulfillment.”

                          Finally, Sessions statement around domestic abuse is not a cause for seeking asylum, I suggested Mr. Sessions you watch this video, and you just might want to contact the reporter and have her go into more detail about what she witnessed when covering the story.

                          I close with the following:

                          We have come to the place that I told

                          you of. You will see the miserable people

                          who have lost the good of intellect. - Dante’s Inferno

                          Sessions and Kelly clearly have lost any intellect they may have had, in Trump’s case, he had none to lose.




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