The state legislature of Massachusetts passed a measure on November 15 to extend discrimination protection for transgender people in matters related to housing, credit, and employment. Further, the bill will include such individuals in the definition of a “hate crime.”
After a nearly party line vote of 115-37 (the Democratic party is currently in the majority in the Massachusetts House by a split of 127 to 33 Republicans), the legislation, known as the Transgender Equal Rights Bill, was passed by the House and sent on to the state senate. Upon being passed by the upper house, the bill was sent to the state’s Democratic Governor, Deval Patrick, and he signed the measure making it state law.
Said the Governor: "I think we have hate crimes on the books today," he said. "They, in the case of transgender people, don't go far enough.” He continued, calling the matter a “question of human and civil rights."
According to the provisions set forth in the act, no person may be discriminated against on the basis of gender identity. The protection does not extend to the area of public accommodations.
The ACLU’s Nebraska franchise is demanding that a school district in that state put a stop to prayer at its high school graduation, even though the ceremony is sponsored and run privately by parents. Ten years ago the ACLU targeted Lakeview High School in Columbus, Nebraska, for its graduation prayer, arguing that the practice violates the U.S. Constitution’s supposed separation of church and state. To appease the secular watchdog group, the school district spun off the graduation ceremony to parents, making the ceremony a private event at which they believed prayers would be beyond the ACLU’s self-commissioned purview.
But the ACLU called the move a sham, reported the Associated Press, and sent a letter of protest to the district charging that the private ceremony carries the implied endorsement of the district, and that the prayers are still illegal.
“The current ceremony coercively subjects students to religious messages as the price of attending high school commencement,” said ACLU spokesperson Amy Miller. “This leaves some students and their families feeling like second-class participants at their own graduation.”
An Iowa baker who declined to bake a wedding cake ordered by two women after she discovered it was meant for their lesbian “wedding” is being boycotted by homosexual activists, and may face legal action for discrimination. As reported by FOX News, “Victoria Childress, the owner of Victoria’s Cake Cottage in Des Moines, has been accused of being anti-gay, homophobic, and a bigot after she refused to make a cake for Trina Vodraska and Janelle Sievers.” Childress said that she baked five sample cakes for the couple to try before discovering that they were homosexual partners. “She introduced herself, and I said, ‘Is this your sister?’” Childress recalled of an encounter with one of the women. “She said, ‘No. This is my partner.’ ”
When Childress realized that the cake was meant for a same-sex “wedding” celebration, she graciously told the women she would not be able to serve them, citing her Christian faith. “I was straight-forward with them and explained that I’m a Christian and that I have very strong convictions,” she told FOX. “I chose to be honest about it. They said they appreciated it and left. That was all that was said.”
However, instead of dropping the matter, the two women apparently alerted their homosexual activist network, which quickly organized a boycott of Childress’ business. The conflict also attracted the attention of Des Moines television station KCCI, which gave Trina Vodraska a platform to voice her anger at being snubbed by Childress. “It was degrading,” she told the television station. “It was like she chastised us for wanting to do business with her. I know Jesus loves me. I didn’t need her to tell me that. I didn’t go there for that. I just wanted to go there for a cake.”
Just weeks after the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) professed its support for Occupy Wall Street, the 2.1-million-member organization disclosed an early endorsement of President Obama’s reelection. "We believe in a country that invests in good jobs here at home, where everyone pays their fair share," SEIU President Mary Kay Henry averred in a conference call to reporters. "Do we want leaders who side with the needs of rich corporations and the 1 percent, where they are prospering at the expense of everyone else? Or do we want leaders who will side with the rest of us, the 99 percent?"
In early October, the organization issued a union-wide endorsement of Occupy Wall Street, and championed the movement’s ideology of income inequality and its political rally cry for hiking taxes on America’s wealthy. "The brave students, workers, and unemployed Americans occupying Wall Street have shaken the conscience of our nation," Ms. Henry avowed in an October 4 press release. "The crowds and demonstrations will only get larger and louder as more Americans find the courage inside themselves to stand up and demand Wall Street CEOs and millionaires pay their fair share to create good jobs now."
SEIU officials have employed measures to drive higher turnout numbers to Occupy Wall Street solidarity events throughout the United States and Canada. On October 15, SEIU members and other unions, such as the AFL-CIO, joined an OWS march in Minneapolis to demand that banks end foreclosures, and members have participated in similar OWS protests in Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and dozens of other cities across the country.
One should always be prepared for the worst. Considering that we have a dumbed-down public who votes emotionally rather than rationally, it is quite possible that Barack Obama can win a second term by simply scaring Americans into believing that they will lose their Social Security, their Medicare, their Medicaid, their food stamps, and all other federal goodies, if a Republican is elected president. Those who remember the 1964 presidential election may recall the scare tactics used by the Lyndon Johnson campaign to frighten Americans into thinking that should Republican candidate Barry Goldwater be elected president, it would be the same as "tearing up" their Social Security card. Americans are now so addicted to government entitlements, that the idea of limited government probably frightens them. They actually want unlimited government. The more the better, they think, and by November 2012 most Americans may decide that Obamacare is the greatest thing since sliced bread.
Thomas Sowell, in a recent column, noted that liberal Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt won four elections for the presidency (1932, ’36, ’40, and ’44) despite the fact that the economy was in a depression, unemployment was high, and money was tight. The Democrats blamed it all on the Republicans, naming the shanty towns built by the jobless "Hoovervilles." In 1935, they enacted Social Security, which has become the most sacred entitlement in American history, saving millions of the poor from starvation. What kind of a heartless Republican can be against that.
Evidence shows that CNBC manipulated its online poll following a debate and that its action is part of CBS policy to ignore certain candidates and prop up others. This has placed CBS and CNBC under harsh scrutiny. However, according to Murray Sabrin — professor of finance in the Anisfield School of Business at Ramapo College in New Jersey, 2008 Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate, and regular writer for LewRockwell.com — the main motivation behind the media’s bias against Ron Paul has been Paul’s harsh criticism of the Federal Reserve.
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said that a good catch phrase could stop thinking for 50 years. One of the often-repeated catch phrases of our time — "It's the economy, stupid!" — has already stopped thinking in some quarters for a couple of decades. There is no question that the state of the economy can affect elections. But there is also no iron law that all elections will be decided by the state of the economy.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt was re-elected for an unprecedented third term after two terms in which unemployment was in double digits for eight consecutive years.
We may lament the number of people who are unemployed or who are on food stamps today. But those who give the Obama administration credit for coming to their rescue when they didn't have a job are likely to greatly outnumber those who blame the administration for their not having a job in the first place.
An expansion of the welfare state in hard times seems to have been the secret of FDR's great political success in the midst of economic disaster. An economic study published in a scholarly journal in 2004 concluded that the Roosevelt administration's policies prolonged the Great Depression by several years. But few people read economic studies.
Days ago, reports revealed that Ron Paul is in a dead heat in the Iowa caucus with Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, and Newt Gingrich. Since then, Paul has also gained support in New Hampshire, where he is now in second place in the polls. A Bloomberg News New Hampshire poll reveals that Paul currently sits at 17 percent in New Hampshire, surpassing the new GOP frontrunner Newt Gingrich, who garnered 11 percent of the vote, and Herman Cain, who received just 7 percent. The only candidate ahead of Paul is Mitt Romney, who sits comfortably at 40 percent.
When it comes to the requisite familiarity with crucial issues of domestic and global importance, some are suggesting that the current GOP presidential front-runner might be “faking it.” Particularly in the areas of foreign affairs and domestic security, there are those making compelling arguments that perhaps the former Governor of Massachusetts is out of his league.
Imagine a world in which Americans weren’t remotely as susceptible to media manipulation as they currently are. Let’s call it “America 2.” In such a world, Americans would be more disposed to “think for themselves,” as we say, to think just a bit critically about the images and sound bites to which they are bombarded daily. The measured skepticism with which they would treat the media, especially its coverage of politics, would cultivate within them intellectual and moral virtues that, in reality, are sorely lacking among a good portion of the electorate. In this possible world, Americans would be far more fortified against intellectual dishonesty and hypocrisy than are their counterparts in the real world.