Sexist View of How Women Speak

Nel's New Day

From Emma Gray’s “28 Pieces from 2015 That Should Be Required Reading for Women,” I picked my favorite by Jennifer Lawrence. (Thanks to Alexandra Petri and the Washington Post.)

Jennifer Lawrence wrote:

“A few weeks ago at work, I spoke my mind and gave my opinion in a clear and no-[BS] way; no aggression, just blunt. The man I was working with (actually, he was working for me) said, ‘Whoa! We’re all on the same team here!’ As if I was yelling at him. I was so shocked because nothing that I said was personal, offensive, or, to be honest, wrong. All I hear and see all day are men speaking their opinions, and I give mine in the same exact manner, and you would have thought I had said something offensive.”

“’Woman in a Meeting’ is a language of its own. It should not be, but…

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NOW renews call for federal investigation into Sandra Bland’s death

December 30, 2015

Washington, DC – Anyone who doubts that the U.S. criminal justice system is in crisis need look no further than Waller County, Texas, where a grand jury has declined to issue any indictments in connection with the death of Sandra Bland.

Ms. Bland, a vibrant 28-year-old graduate of Prairie View University, who had returned to Texas to accept a job at her alma mater, was verbally and physically abused by white trooper Brian Encinia in the course of a routine traffic stop. She was arrested and held in the Waller County jail, where she was found hanging in her cell after three days. The local authorities say it was suicide, but her family and friends believe there was foul play.

Six months ago, NOW called for a federal investigation into the circumstances of Sandra Bland’s death, and we renew that call today. The public deserves an honest and transparent accounting. What was said and done to Sandra Bland during those three days at that county jail? What help did she request? Were her requests denied or delayed? Who made those decisions?

To gain a full understanding of Sandra Bland’s death, it is also imperative to take Waller County’s ugly history of racism into account. The Ku Klux Klan burrowed into the area in the 19th and 20th Centuries, and lynchings of Black people took place there from the late 1800s to the early 1950s. White officials’ targeting of Black residents continues right into the present, exemplified in the repeated recent efforts to suppress the vote of Prairie View University students through unlawful intimidation, restriction and regulation.

Officials in Texas failed Sandra Bland, from the moment Trooper Encinia began verbally and physically abusing her to her death in custody three days later. Their apparent unwillingness to hold anyone accountable for her needless suffering and death is not acceptable. With the whole country now watching this case, it is time for the U.S. Department of Justice to step in.

For Press Inquiries Contact

Tamara Stein, planner@now.org, (951) 547-1241

View this statement online by clicking here.

Tamir Rice on Trial

Nel's New Day

Over 13 months ago, a 12-year-old boy carrying a toy gun was shot down in a Cleveland park on November 22, 2014. It took 401 days for a grand jury to exonerate the policemen, largely because of the prosecutor’s dragging his feet. Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty’s rigorous defense of the police officers was to persuade the grand jury to not indict the officers. McGinty brought in his own expert witnesses for that purpose—almost never done in a grand jury—and then grilled the experts brought by a lawyer for Tamir Rice—again an anomaly in grand jury practice. The prosecutor’s leaking of negative information about the boy and selective use of information to excuse and defend the actions of the killers was background for his blame for the 12-year-old “man” with “gun,” a fake.

McGinty’s  out-of-state experts, retired FBI agent Kimberly Crawford and Colorado-based S. Lamar Sims, have a history of sympathy…

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Supreme Court set to make pivotal rulings on abortion, affirmative action and immigration

December 29, 2015
The Los Angeles Times

As the nation heads into a presidential election year, the Supreme Court is set to decide half a dozen politically charged cases in 2016 on such topics as abortion, affirmative action, contraceptives and immigration.

In several cases, conservatives are hoping the high court will shift current law to the right or block President Obama’s policies, while liberals are defending the status quo.

But with justices closely split along ideological lines, the cases are likely to yield a series of 5-4 decisions and make clear the next president’s appointees could tip the law sharply to the right or left.

Here are the major cases scheduled for decision by June.

Abortion: The court will decide whether Texas can enforce two regulations that would force about three-fourths of the state’s abortion clinics to close.

One measure requires clinics to use only doctors with admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. A second requires abortion facilities to match the standards of an outpatient surgical center.

The first question before the court is whether these regulations will protect the health of women — as state lawmakers assert — or hinder reproductive care “by drastically reducing access to safe and legal abortion” in large parts of Texas, as abortion rights advocates contend.

In the background is a larger question about the nature of abortion rights set out in the Roe vs. Wade decision: Is it a constitutional right that trumps state regulations that may interfere with a woman’s choice, or is it a limited right subject to restriction? The case of Whole Woman’s Health vs. Cole will be argued March 2.

Affirmative action: The court’s conservatives think the Constitution and the civil rights laws forbid schools and colleges from admitting students based on their race, and they would like to strike down affirmative action policies that favor some applicants over others based on their race or ethnicity.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, seen as the swing vote, has agreed with conservatives in the past and condemned admissions policies that set “numerical goals indistinguishable from quotas.” But he has also refused to end all affirmative action.

In December, the court heard Fisher vs. University of Texas for a second time to decide whether the school’s admissions policy is constitutional.

Union fees: The court could deal a severe blow to the union movement in a case from California. The justices will hear a free-speech challenge to pro-union laws in more than 20 states that require all public employees to pay a “fair share fee” to their union, even if they are opposed to the union and refuse to join.

Rebecca Friedrichs, an Orange County teacher, sued the California Teachers Assn., saying the forced fees violate her rights under the 1st Amendment. Friedrichs vs. CTA will be argued Jan. 11.

Voting districts: Voters elect representatives to Congress, state legislatures and city councils in districts that are drawn to represent equal numbers of people. But that could change.

The court is considering an appeal from Texas that argues these districts should represent roughly equal numbers of eligible voters, rather than using the current system, which counts all people, including children, immigrants and prisoners.

The appeal relies on the “one person, one vote” rule established in the 1960s. If the justices agree in the case of Evenwel vs. Abbott, the ruling could have a major effect in states such as California, Florida, New York and Illinois because they have large populations of immigrants.

Contraceptives: The court will decide its fourth case on Obama’s healthcare law, and the second involving a religious freedom challenge to a regulation that requires employers to include no-cost coverage for contraceptives in their health insurance policies.

Churches are exempt from this requirement. Under a separate accommodation, religious nonprofits, such as Catholic Charities or the University of Notre Dame, need not provide nor pay for the coverage, but they must notify the government of their religious objection.

In a series of lawsuits, Catholic bishops and Protestant colleges contend the accommodation did not go far enough. The Catholic leaders said they would be “complicit in sin” if they made the required notification because doing so would “trigger” a process for providing the disputed contraceptives.

Obama’s lawyers say the mere signing of a notification does not “substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion,” quoting the 1993 federal law on religious liberty. Nearly all of the U.S. appeals courts rejected the challenges, but the high court agreed to hear seven appeals from religious entities. They were consolidated into a single case, Zubik vs. Burwell, scheduled to be heard in late March.

Immigration: The fate of Obama’s broadest effort to shield immigrants from deportation rests with the justices. His lawyers are appealing rulings by a judge in Texas and the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans that blocked Obama’s latest immigration action from taking effect.

It would have shielded as many as 5 million immigrants who have lived in the country illegally for at least five years and have a child who is a citizen or legal resident. Those who come forward and qualify would be offered work permits.

If the justices agree in the next few weeks to hear the case of United States vs. Texas, it will be a major test of the president’s power to change immigration policy without seeking approval from Congress. But if the justices turn down the appeal, Obama’s action will probably remain on hold until he leaves office.

Twitter: @DavidGSavage

ACLU sues Dignity Health over Redding Hospital’s Refusal to Perform Contraception Surgery

The Sacramento Bee, DECEMBER 29, 2015 5:27 PM

Christians v. Separation of Church & State

Nel's New Day

The month of December is always the Christian depiction of their being victimized because of their belief that the secular world is trying to take away their traditions—many of them pagan. Much of their myth about the “War on Christmas” centers around nativity scenes. For example, the Daily Caller complained that Nebraska was forced to remove the nativity scene from the capitol in exchange for a display from atheists. Actually, the Thomas More Society, which put up the nativity scene, waited too late to get the available space after December 18.  Seven other groups used the display to demonstrate the separation of church and state, including scale models of a church, a wall, and federal government buildings to demonstrate the separation of church and state. Instead of asking these people if they could leave up their display, the Thomas More Society preferred to go to the press.

nativity founding fathersTexas Gov. Greg…

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Best Feminist Quotes – 2015

Love this blog!!!

Nel's New Day

From Ms, Vienna Urias ‘ best feminist quotes of 2015:

Just like that, 2015 is coming to a close. Despite some serious ups and downs, 2015 became the year that same-sex marriage was legalized, global support for women’s education surged and feminist consciousness soared. So let us bask in the feminist glory of the year with a few of our favorite quotes from 2015.

  1. Malala-Yousafzai“When you said in your speech, ‘If not now, when? If not me, who?’, I decided there’s no way and there’s nothing wrong by calling yourself a feminist. So I’m a feminist and we all should be a feminist because feminism is another word for equality.” — Malala Yousafzai, in conversation with Emma Watson in November.
  1. Sen.-Claire-McCaskill“As one of just 20 women currently in the Senate, it’s important to me to encourage more women to run for office…But equally important is encouraging more men to…

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