Let [some people’s] Freedom Ring?

October 30, 2022 0 comments

I just want to understand… How is restricting other people’s access in public spaces supporting freedom?

You want to restrict thing, like books, in your home or your private institution, fine.

But Individual opinion in public spaces, like public libraries, or private spaces, like not your house (between consenting adults), should be off limits… if you believe in freedom.

Don’t like a something?

Don’t check it out. Just walk on by. Mind your own business.

It’s that simple.

Putting Lives at Risk for Political Points

Two Texas doctors filed a case in August 2021, requesting the court to rule that Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit discrimination based on gender identity in healthcare.

Unlike some previous challengers to the HHS policy, the doctors did not assert a claim based on religious liberty, instead arguing that the interpretation would interfere with their ability to provide health care based on their professional understanding of individual patient circumstances.

[Like abortion restrictions? ]

While the case was pending, a court decided against the government in a separate action over the same interpretation, imposing a limited injunction that applied to the parties in that case.

HHS has since announced a notice of proposed rulemaking to finalize its interpretation of Section 1557, which remains in progress.

This week, the president of the American Medical Association has chastised anti-abortion Republicans for interfering with Americans’ personal medical decisions.

Dr. Jack Resneck stated that in emergency departments around the country, doctors are being forced to consult with attorneys before providing possibly life-saving treatment to patients experiencing pregnancy complications.

“When we have politicians inserting themselves into really complicated and really personal medical decision-making that we think should be made between a doctor and a patient, that’s really what’s creating this danger,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mehmet Oz, the Republican candidate for a U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania, said Tuesday that as a physician, he has been involved in very difficult abortion situations and wants the federal government to stay out of it, but he also believes abortion decisions should be made by “a woman, her doctor, and local political leaders.”

Book Banning for All

First, the MAGAs flooded school libraries with book removal demands.

Then they tried, and failed a few times, to defund independent public libraries that didn’t obey their demands to remove books off their shelves.

Private book businesses, like Barnes & Noble, are now reporting that they are being served with MAGA letters threatening lawsuits if they do not remove books from their shelves.

The Real Indoctrination

Ryan Walters, the Republican candidate for Oklahoma state superintendent, has vowed to force all teachers in the state to complete a “patriotic education” curriculum developed by Hillsdale College, a right-wing Christian college in Michigan.

The Republican candidate for governor of Arizona has declared that she wants to mandate Hillsdale College “patriotic” curriculum be taught to all students in Arizona public schools.

At a majority-White event called “Black Voices for Kari,” the former local news anchor and current Republican MAGA candidate for governor of Arizona insisted that our culture has “done our men wrong” by “basically telling our boys being a man is a bad thing,” when “there is no such thing as toxic masculinity” and “fathers are the most important parent.”

“The black family used to be so tight, so strong, but that changed when jobs started going to China,” she added, emphasizing the need for “strong fathers” for “strong women.”

She introduced a new voting conspiracy, saying it’s “curious” that Arizona closed polling places in schools and churches during the pandemic in favor of “massive vote centers,” where “it’s harder to know what’s going on.”

Arizona introduced voting centers in 2011.

Jerone Davison conducted the invocation, in which he asked God to “bind up the hands of the wicked, the wicked [Democratic] party, and cast it back to the pits of hell.”

Republicans Want to Redefine “Blackness”

Republicans have asked the Supreme Court to narrow the definition of “Blackness” in order to weaken Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

Alabama and Louisiana have both urged the Supreme Court to determine that anyone who identifies as Latino and Black on the census is not considered a Black person for redistricting purposes.

Alabama has gone so far as to say that race should not be considered at all when creating voting districts unless there is strong proof of racial discrimination intent.

Since a 2003 Supreme Court decision focusing on Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, the definition of “Black” has included everyone who checks the box for Black as well as any other racial or ethnic category such as white, Asian, and Hispanic or Latino, which the federal government considers to be an ethnicity of any race.

Louisiana argues that a case concerning Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act should not be applied to their Section 2 case, claiming that “no court has ever conclusively settled the question of to what degree persons who self-identify with more than one racial or ethnic identity should be categorized for purposes of the Voting Rights Act.”

Both states claim, without evidence, that state actors are “artificially inflating minority counts,” and they argue that a more limited definition of “Black” would prevent minority voter counts from unfairly influencing redistricting maps.

Not Enough White Men Work at Starbucks

Last year, former White House aide Stephen Miller, known for his hardline conservative views on immigration and other issues, founded America First Legal (AFL).

On Tuesday, AFL sent a letter to U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission urging the agency to investigate a pair of Starbucks training programs designed to increase workplace diversity.

Starbucks reported in January that 71% of its employees are female and 48% are persons of color, which AFL highlighted as evidence of the company’s anti-white and gender discrimination.

“This means that white employees, particularly white men, are statistically underrepresented in the company’s workforce and may face discrimination,” the AFL wrote.

EEOC investigations are typically initiated by worker complaints or allegations.

Claiming Starbucks is violating its fiduciary duty to shareholders by conducting “racist” programs, AFL petitioned the agency to issue a rare “commissioner’s charge” to allow an investigation into Starbucks’ training programs without a worker complaint.

A single commissioner on the EEOC’s five-member board can approve a commissioner’s charge.

The agency has a Democrat chair, but Republicans maintain a 3-2 majority.

Employment TRAPs

Dozens of workers and advocates in healthcare, trucking, retail, and other industries have complained to US regulators over companies charging employees substantial sums of money, at least four figures, for training reimbursement if they resign.

Training Repayment Agreement Provisions, or TRAPs, are being investigated by US authorities and Congress.

The Cornell Survey Research Institute found that a training payback arrangement covered approximately 10% of American workers polled in 2020.

TRAPs have existed in a limited capacity since the late 1980s, especially in high-wage occupations where employees acquired valuable training that is transferable from one employer to the next.

However, in recent years, non-transferable company-specific training has grown more common in low-skilled jobs or industries where workers already have licenses.

Opponents claim that employers utilize TRAPs to restrict worker mobility in order to avoid raising wages or improving working conditions.

Companies claim TRAPs are necessary because retaining employees is difficult when workers have more power while unemployment is low.

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) claims regulatory bodies and Congress have no authority over TRAPs because employment agreements are exclusively state issues.

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