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D.C. court dismisses racial discrimination suit against nonprofit, former exec

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsJan 14th, 2022

We talked to more than 30 people to find out why the $2.2 trillion bond giant Pimco keeps making headlines for the wrong reasons

Asset manager Pimco has faced lawsuits and bad press over the past few years. It's denied the allegations, but clients are raising concerns. Emmanuel Roman, chief executive officer of PIMCOAnthony Devlin - PA Images/Contributor/Getty Images; Samantha Lee/InsiderPimco, the $2.2 trillion bond giant headquartered in Newport Beach, California, has faced a run of lawsuits and bad press over the past few years — and clients are starting to ask questions.In February, the pension consultant NEPC, which advises several Pimco clients, gathered some of its most senior executives for a conference call with the asset manager. The NEPC executives wanted to address the growing laundry list of lawsuits and negative headlines hanging over Pimco. The month before, 21 women had sent a sharply worded letter to the company's executive management team, denouncing how it treats the women and people of color who work there.  The letter, from current and former Pimco employees, followed a November 2020 lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court by two female employees who accused the firm of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation and alleged that Pimco had a "fraternity culture." In February, three more women joined the lawsuit. In 2019, a former senior in-house lawyer had filed a lawsuit alleging gender, racial, and disability discrimination, while the year before, the head of the firm's defined-contribution practice sued the firm for alleged gender- and age-based discrimination, a suit that was settled. (The firm has denied the allegations in the ongoing lawsuits and has vowed to fight them in court.) In 2018, the head of portfolio-management risk resigned after an internal investigation into allegations that he inappropriately touched a lower-ranking Pimco employee at a charity event, according to a Wall Street Journal report.Insider conducted more than 30 interviews and reviewed hundreds of pages of company and investor disclosures to try to address the same question NEPC asked in that February meeting: why Pimco is so often in the news for the wrong reasons. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL STORY HERE: Pimco boss Manny Roman was supposed to usher in a new era at the $2.2 trillion bond giant. But discrimination claims and bad press hang over the firm, and some clients are starting to lose patience.  Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 21st, 2021

SEC Sued for Approving Nasdaq’s “Racist, Sexist” Board Diversity Rules

Washington, D.C. – The National Center for Public Policy Research has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) over the SEC’s approval of the Nasdaq Stock Market’s board diversity rules, which require Nasdaq-listed companies to either establish board of director quotas on the basis of race, sex and sexual orientation, or […] Washington, D.C. – The National Center for Public Policy Research has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) over the SEC’s approval of the Nasdaq Stock Market’s board diversity rules, which require Nasdaq-listed companies to either establish board of director quotas on the basis of race, sex and sexual orientation, or explain why they have not done so. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Walter Schloss Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Walter Schloss in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more The SEC Lacks The Authority To Establish Board Diversity Rules The National Center, represented by the New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA), argues that the SEC lacks the authority to establish such quotas. The SEC's regulatory authority, established by the 1934 Securities and Exchange Act, is limited to regulation of securities to ensure honest markets and to enforce federal laws that punish fraud. The lawsuit asserts that approving market rules establishing quotas for boards of directors exceeds that limited authority. "The SEC has grown increasingly politicized in recent years, and especially since the arrival of Chairman Gary Gensler," said Scott Shepard, Director of the National Center's Free Enterprise Project. "It has a narrowly circumscribed authority: that of protecting shareholders in limited ways. In no way does this extend to social engineering of the sort attempted by the Nasdaq rule. It was thus illegitimate for the SEC to approve the rule. The approval was especially appalling because the rule in effect requires companies to either subordinate merit to illegal race-, sex- and orientation-based discrimination, or open themselves to the howling left-wing mob." The SEC approved Nasdaq Stock Market LLC Rules 5605(f) and 5606 on August 6. The rules require that listed companies (a) must disclose information about their board members' self-identified gender, race and sexuality; and (b) either include on their board minimum quotas of individuals of certain gender, racial and sexual identities or publicly explain why the board does not meet such quotas. Nasdaq offers companies access to a list of "board-ready diverse candidates" who could meet the quotas. The ultimate enforcement mechanism for failing to adhere to these rules is the delisting of the company from Nasdaq. The National Center submitted a comment to the SEC during the approval process in which it argued that the quotas exceed the SEC's authority, are unconstitutional and illegal and are impermissibly vague. "In allowing Nasdaq's board plan to go forward, the SEC is completely flouting the U.S. Constitution," said Justin Danhof, executive vice president of the National Center. "The folks who run Nasdaq may have no clue what is and isn't constitutionally permissible, but the lawyers and regulators at the SEC ought to know better. Companies should be free to appoint directors who will help their firms prosper. Mandating board appointments based on the color of candidates' skin, their gender and their sexual partners is not only unconstitutional, but also pandering, racist, sexist and just plain offensive. Let's hope the court issues a commonsense decision overturning this radical scheme." Nasdaq's board diversity rules are also being challenged in parallel lawsuits. About FEP Launched in 2007, the National Center's Free Enterprise Project focuses on shareholder activism and the confluence of big government and big business. Over the past four years alone, FEP representatives have participated in over 100 shareholder meetings - advancing free-market ideals about health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, food policies, media bias, gun rights, workers' rights and other important public policy issues. As the leading voice for conservative-minded investors, it annually files more than 90 percent of all right-of-center shareholder resolutions. Dozens of liberal organizations, however, annually file more than 95 percent of all policy-oriented shareholder resolutions and continue to exert undue influence over corporate America. FEP activity has been covered by media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Variety, the Associated Press, Bloomberg, Drudge Report, Business Insider, National Public Radio and SiriusXM. FEP's work is prominently featured in Stephen Soukup's new book The Dictatorship of Woke Capital: How Political Correctness Captured Big Business (Encounter Books) and Kimberley Strassel's 2016 book The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech (Hachette Book Group). The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 60,000 active recent contributors. Sign up for email updates here.The New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit civil rights group founded by prominent legal scholar Philip Hamburger to protect constitutional freedoms from violations by the Administrative State. NCLA's public-interest litigation and other pro bono advocacy strive to tame the unlawful power of state and federal agencies and to foster a new civil liberties movement that will help restore Americans' fundamental rights. Follow us on Twitter at @NationalCenter for general announcements. To be alerted to upcoming media appearances by National Center staff, follow our media appearances Twitter account at @NCPPRMedia. Updated on Nov 29, 2021, 10:27 am (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkNov 29th, 2021

10 Things in Politics: Dems scramble after Virginia

And there is only one Black juror in the trial for Ahmaud Arbery's killing. Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics. Sign up here to receive this newsletter. Plus, download Insider's app for news on the go - click here for iOS and here for Android. Send tips to bgriffiths@insider.com.Here's what we're talking about:An electoral wipeout in Virginia has Democrats scrambling to deliver on Biden's $3 trillion economic agendaBlack Peloton employees are questioning the company about low payThere is only one Black juror in the trial for Ahmaud Arbery's killing President Joe Biden. Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images 1. VIRGINIA FALLOUT: Democrats are anxious to get to work. President Joe Biden and other top leaders responded to the party's drubbing in Virginia by renewing efforts to pass trillions of dollars in new spending, hoping that voters will reward them next November. But Democrats don't fully agree on why they struggled so much in Virginia, New Jersey, and parts of New York. And there is still disagreement over the party's massive social-spending plan.Key quote: "We got majorities in both houses, so people want us to deliver," Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia told Insider, urging his colleagues to pass Biden's economic agenda, which has stalled in two separate pieces of legislation: a nearly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan and a roughly $1.75 trillion package of social and climate initiatives.Here's where things stand:House Speaker Nancy Pelosi vowed swift passage: House Democrats began procedural steps toward passing the social-spending plan last night. Pelosi, who has long vowed to pass only a bill that could make it to Biden's desk, also moved to reinstate a four-week paid-family-leave proposal and a costly and controversial tax break that would overwhelmingly benefit higher-earning Americans.Not everyone is on board: Sen. Joe Manchin, a key swing vote, has long expressed skepticism about including paid leave in the social-spending plan. Pelosi's move essentially dares Manchin to block the popular provision, which still might get axed from the final bill.Democrats even disagree on why they are struggling: "Nobody elected him to be F.D.R. - they elected him to be normal and stop the chaos," Rep. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia told The New York Times of voters' apparent frustration with Biden. His approval rating has dropped nationally and cratered in places like Virginia in recent months.Biden himself wasn't convinced that passing his agenda would've stopped the bleeding: "I'm not sure that I would be able to have changed the number of very conservative folks who turned out in the red districts who were Trump voters," the president told reporters. Biden added that voters "want us to get things done," reiterating his call for lawmakers to pass both parts of his economic agenda.Meanwhile, Republicans are salivating about 2022: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy boldly predicted his party would flip more than 63 seats, the number Republicans reached during the 2010 tea-party wave. Democrats have (at least) five reasons to be worried about the midterms.2. Gov. Phil Murphy eeks out a reelection victory: Murphy narrowly defeated the Republican Jack Ciattarelli, becoming the first Democratic governor to win reelection in the state since 1977. See the full results here.The other election stories you should be watching:A truck driver may beat the most powerful New Jersey state senator: Sen. Steve Sweeney, who has led the New Jersey Senate for over a decade, continues to trail the Republican Edward Durr, who reportedly spent just $153 on his campaign. More on what would be a massive shake-up.Republicans flipped control of Virginia's House of Delegates: Democrats are still not conceding that their narrow majority was toppled amid a terrible night for the party. But Republicans appear to now have a 52-48 advantage.Sen. Kyrsten Sinema's hometown voted for a $15-an-hour minimum wage: Tucson voters passed a measure that would gradually increase the minimum wage to $15 by 2025.3. There is only one Black juror in the trial for Ahmaud Arbery's killing: Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley denied a motion to change the racial makeup of the jury in the murder trial of three men over the killing of Arbery in 2020, the Associated Press reports. Walmsley found "there appears to be intentional discrimination in the panel" but ruled the trial should go forward since defense attorneys could cite reasons beyond race for striking eight Black jury candidates. More on the news.4. Fed plans to start reining in its economic aid this month: After deploying unprecedented economic support for 20 months, the Federal Reserve plans to start putting its tools back in the toolbox. The Fed said in a statement that since the US economy had made "substantial further progress" toward key recovery goals, it would start reversing course and shrinking its asset purchases. Here's what the Fed decision means for its outlook on monitoring inflation.5. SCOTUS appears ready to expand gun rights: Justices heard arguments about a New York gun-permit law in a major case whose outcome could dramatically expand Second Amendment rights. The conservative members of the court, who hold a 6-3 majority, appeared receptive to the argument that carrying a gun outside the home "is a fundamental constitutional right" that shouldn't require any special reason. More on what justices said about the biggest Second Amendment case at the Supreme Court in over a decade.6. Republicans mount near-unanimous opposition to voting-rights bill: Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska was the sole Republican senator who voted to advance to debate on the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, a major item of voting-rights legislation that would've restored some provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 struck down by the Supreme Court. The measure failed to get the necessary 60 votes needed to open debate under the Senate's filibuster rules. Here's what's next for Democrats in their push for federal voting-rights legislation. Peloton; Alyssa Powell/Insider 7. Black Peloton employees are questioning the company about low pay: Peloton has been promising pay equity since 2019. Now a group of employees known as "Black@Peloton" has been sharing salaries and raising questions. Four Black current and former employees described personal experiences at Peloton that they said showed a pattern of underpaying certain workers.8. Legal experts detail how Dominion could take over MyPillow: Dominion filed a $1.3 billion defamation suit against MyPillow and CEO Mike Lindell in February over Lindell's spreading of widely debunked conspiracy theories about the 2020 election. The litigation has led to people joking that Dominion will soon own the pillow company. But there are two real ways legal experts say Dominion could end up owning MyPillow if it won in court.9. Pentagon watchdog finds no misconduct in Kabul drone strike: Lt. Gen. Sami Said, the inspector general of the Air Force, told reporters the strike in Afghanistan's capital was a consequence of "execution errors combined with confirmation bias and communication breakdowns." The August strike killed 10 civilians, including seven children. The full report on the strike, which includes several recommendations on how to avoid similar incidents in the future, is classified. More on why a watchdog found the strike didn't violate the laws of war.10. Exiled Papa John's founder cannot stop eating the chain's pizza: "Papa John" Schnatter told Bloomberg he had tried somewhere in the realm of 800 pizzas over the past 18 months. He isn't consuming the whole pies but "sampling" them instead - a kind of anecdotal quality assurance that he said was returning lackluster results. More on the former founder's turn against Papa John's.Today's trivia question: Who was the first sitting president to have his picture taken? Email your answer and a suggested question to me at bgriffiths@insider.com.Yesterday's answer: Eight presidents have been born in Virginia, the most of any state. The most recent was Woodrow Wilson.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 4th, 2021

Tesla was ordered to pay $137 million to a Black man who said he was subjected to racist abuse while working as an elevator operator at the company

Owen Diaz, who worked at Tesla's Fremont factory as a contractor, said colleagues told him to "go back to Africa," per CNBC. Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Jae C. Hong/AP Tesla must pay $137 million to a former contracted worker who brought a racial harassment case, a jury ruled. Owen Diaz worked at Tesla's Fremont factory as an elevator operator in 2015. Diaz said colleagues told him to "go back to Africa," and that he suffered sleepless nights. See more stories on Insider's business page. A San Francisco federal court jury on Monday ruled that Tesla must pay $137 million to a Black man who said he endured racist abuse while working at the company's Fremont, California, plant as an elevator operator.Owen Diaz was hired at the factory via an agency in 2015. Per CNBC, he told the court that colleagues would verbally abuse him and other Black workers, for example telling him to "go back to Africa." He also said racist graffiti was scrawled in the bathrooms, per CNBC.Diaz told the court that he suffered "sleepless nights" and weight loss after he lost his appetite, per Bloomberg, which first reported the decision. "Some days I would just sit on my stairs and cry," he told the jury, per Bloomberg.The jury awarded $130 million in punitive damages and $6.9 million for emotional distress, per the reports.David Oppenheimer, a clinical professor of law at Berkeley Law, told Bloomberg that he believed it was the "largest verdict in an individual race discrimination in employment case."In reaction to the verdict on Monday, Tesla's VP of people, Valerie Capers Workman, published a blog post arguing that the facts of the case didn't justify the verdict.For example, she said that Diaz encouraged his son and daughter to work at Tesla with him - in court, Tesla attorney Tracey Kennedy said Diaz's account "simply doesn't make sense" in light of this encouragement, as reported by Bloomberg.Workman wrote that Tesla recognized "that in 2015 and 2016 we were not perfect. We're still not perfect. But we have come a long way from 5 years ago." Since then, Tesla had added an employee relations team that investigates employee complaints, as well as a diversity, equity, and inclusion team, she wrote."We acknowledge that we still have work to do to ensure that every employee feels that they can bring their whole self to work at Tesla," Workman wrote. "And as I posted in July, we will continue to remind everyone who enters the Tesla workplace that any discriminatory slurs - no matter the intent or who is using them - will not be tolerated."Diaz's attorneys told CNBC that Diaz was only able to bring his lawsuit publicly because he hadn't signed a mandatory arbitration agreement. Arbitration agreements force employees to bring complaints privately outside of court.In an interview with The Daily Beast after the jury's verdict was announced, Diaz said Tesla CEO Elon Musk hadn't contacted him. "Elon has not called me, sent me a letter, a text, sky writing, or sent up one of them spaceships to say I'm sorry," he said.Diaz told The Daily Beast he was considering using some of the money he was awarded to start his own business and then hire former prisoners and people experiencing homelessness. Tesla did not immediately respond when contacted by Insider for comment on the verdict in Diaz's case.Diaz is not the only Black worker to file a racial harassment suit against Tesla.Tesla was ordered to pay $1 million to a Black former employee called Melvin Berry in August 2021. Berry started working at Tesla in 2015, but said he resigned a year later. Berry said supervisors called him the N-word, and that he saw racist graffiti in the workplace.In July, Protocol obtained sworn testimonies from Black workers at Tesla describing experiences of alleged racial harassment and abuse. The testimonies were filed in March 2021 as part of a lawsuit first filed in 2017.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 5th, 2021

A racial discrimination suit against a leading cable company may move forward, U.S. appeals court says

The First Amendment cannot be used to throw out the black-owned TV programmer's suit against Charter, according to the appeals panel......»»

Category: topSource: washpostNov 19th, 2018

A racial discrimination suit against a leading cable company may move forward, U.S. appeals court says

The First Amendment cannot be used to throw out the black-owned TV programmer's suit against Charter, according to the appeals panel......»»

Category: topSource: washpostNov 19th, 2018

Judge rejects Trump spokesman"s effort to retrieve hundreds of financial documents back from Jan. 6 committee

Budowich said that that he provided the Jan 6. Committee, with at least 1,700 pages of documents and sat for "roughly four hours of sworn testimony." US President Donald Trump arrives to speak to supporters from The Ellipse near the White House on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC.BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images A District Judge said that the Jan 6. Committee could hold on to Trump's spokesman's financial records. Spokesman Taylor Budowich sued the Jan 6. Committee and JP Morgan in December. Budowich argued that the bank turned over hundreds of docs before he could challenge the subpoena. A US District Judge rejected an attempt by former President Donald Trump's spokesperson Taylor Budowich on Thursday to retrieve hundreds of financial documents that his bank provided the House select committee investigating the events of January 6, 2021.Budowich and Conservative Strategies, Inc. sued the Jan. 6 committee, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, JP Morgan, and other individual members of the committee over a subpoena for his financial records from JP Morgan. The suit was filed on December 24 in the US District Court for the District of Columbia.Judge James Boasberg denied Budowich's motion at a hearing on Thursday, on the grounds that it's unconstitutional to request that members of Congress return subpoenaed materials."There really is no question that this Court has no jurisdiction to order Congress under the Speech or Debate Clause to return documents that it has received," Boasberg, an Obama-appointee, told the court, according to The Hill.Budowich couldn't be immediately reached for comment. In December, he released a statement that "the Constitution only applies if your party is in charge" in response to the subpoena.In the December lawsuit, Budowich revealed that he provided the House select committee investigating the events of January 6, 2021, with at least 1,700 pages of documents and sat for "roughly four hours of sworn testimony," according to court documents.His attorney argued that the move to subpoena the financial documents is a violation of the Financial Privacy Act and said that Budowich was unable to challenge the subpoena before JPMorgan disclosed private financial records, "despite that JPMorgan and the Select Committee had actual written and verbal notice that Plaintiffs were bringing an imminent legal challenge to the congressional subpoena."According to the filings, Budowich also underwent a four-hour deposition with the committee and "answered questions concerning payments made and received regarding his involvement in the planning of a peaceful, lawful rally to celebrate President Trump's accomplishments." Lawmakers on the committee are investigating whether Budowich was connected with diverting $200,000 to a nonprofit that helped organize the "Stop the Steal" rally."According to information provided to the Select Committee and press reports, you solicited a 501(c)(4) organization to conduct a social media and radio advertising campaign to encourage people to attend the rally held on the Ellipse in Washington, DC, on January 6, 2021, in support of then-President Trump and his allegations of election fraud," Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson wrote to Budowich in November.Over the last few months, the committee has issued subpoenas to Trump family members and confidants including Budowich, Rudy Giuliani, and Alex Jones, for their alleged roles in Jan. 6.This week, the committee received a bulk of requested documents from Trump, after the Supreme Court rejected a request for records to be withheld.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 22nd, 2022

The Progressive Logic Of "Build Back Better"... And Its Dangers

The Progressive Logic Of 'Build Back Better'... And Its Dangers Authored by Charles Lipson via RealClearPolitics.com, “Build Back Better” is far more consequential than the earlier COVID relief packages. That’s why Democrats are so angry at those who blocked its passage and so determined to push it forward. Why is BBB more important than the COVID legislation? Because pandemic relief was essentially a massive stimulus program, with the usual smorgasbord of treats for favored groups, but little more than that. Although BBB is also a massive stimulus, its real importance lies in the permanent entitlement programs it would launch, everything from universal pre-K and Medicare expansion to mandated paid leave from private employers. Those are major building blocks in the Democrats’ long-term plan to construct a full-fledged social-welfare state along European lines. Achieving that ambitious, transformational goal — while making irreversible changes in how America governs itself — is why the party is fighting so hard and why the left is so furious about the Senate stalemate, personified by West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, a Democrat who refuses to go along, either to pass the bill or eliminate the filibuster to pass President Biden’s non-budget initiatives. Enacting these massive, new entitlements is one reason the House bill is rightly called “progressive.” The second, equally important reason is that nearly all Democrats, except Manchin and his Arizona colleague Kyrsten Sinema, are willing to break the Senate’s longstanding rules and procedures to achieve their desired outcome. This determination to override traditional governing procedures and the institutions that embody them has been a hallmark of capital-P Progressivism since Robert “Fighting Bob” La Follette came roaring into the Senate in 1906. By 1912, Theodore Roosevelt was running for president as the Progressive Party nominee. Woodrow Wilson, the man who gained the Oval Office by TR’s third-party candidacy, had embraced progressivism while a professor (and later college president) at Princeton. Wilson and progressive public intellectuals such as Herbert Croly explained their rationale far more candidly than their political descendants do. The Constitution, they rightly noted, encumbered our national government with its enumerated powers, decentralized federalism, multiple veto points for any new policies, and strong protections for private property, contracts, and minority-party rights. Progressives argued that those restraints may have been fine for the 18th and 19th centuries but not for the 20th, which needed a far more active state. Although 21st century progressives are uncomfortably standing in Woodrow Wilson’s shadow on account of his racial policies, their basic contention is the same: The “old” Constitution is outmoded. Its restrictions stand in the way of a more powerful, activist, centralized government. Creating that government is what progressive legal scholars mean when they advocate for  a “living Constitution,” which achieves desired outcomes by ignoring restraints in the “old Constitution.” They have largely succeeded. Progressives have gradually remodeled America’s government, beginning with Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. During FDR’s first term in the White House, the Supreme Court ruled that most of those programs violated the Constitution. Roosevelt found that intolerable and on the heels of his 1936 landslide reelection, threatened to expand the court and pack it with pro-New Deal justices. The blowback caused FDR to retreat, but the mere threat helped achieved his desired results. Sitting justices began approving his programs or retiring, replaced by FDR’s nominees. It proved to be an inflection point for the high court and for American government. Since then, the Supreme Court has successively loosened the old Constitutional restrictions and approved major accretions to centralized power, much of it located in Washington bureaucracies. Whether the current court, with its conservative majority, will continue to do so is one reason nominations are now so hotly contested. The fight is over fundamental issues. Washington’s centralized power, substantially engorged by Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, is how America is governed today, less by statutes and more by executive diktat and bureaucratic rules, which are enforced and adjudicated mainly by the very agencies that promulgate them. Congress now sees its role mainly as overseeing those agencies. It’s not very good at it. This centralized administrative state with its expansive powers is why Washington bureaucracies presume they have the authority to require private businesses with over 100 employees to fire workers who refuse COVID vaccinations. It is why the Department of Education can demand private universities comply with a vast range of federal rules and regulations if any of their students or faculty receive federal loans or grants (as all universities do, except Hillsdale). It is why Washington bureaucrats can tell K-12 schools what kind of lunches to serve, a task once handled solely by local school boards and seized from them without any congressional debate. Washington money means Washington rules. Those regulations go well beyond statutory laws or constitutional protections against discrimination. They have suppressed the Constitution’s basic federal structure and gradually erased the line between “public” and “private” enterprises. This web of centralized control and bureaucratic rules has “progressively” usurped control over most aspects of American public and private life, making civil society subordinate to the administrative state. Expanding this centralized state and endowing it with still more cradle-to-grave programs is the main aim of Build Back Better. Achieving that won’t be easy because the Democrats didn’t run on that platform and didn’t win enough votes to enact it. Joe Biden won mainly because he wasn’t Donald Trump, because he promised to return the country to normality after four turbulent years and outlined a vague center-left agenda to do it. Those promises went out the window after Biden took office. The window opened wider when Democrats captured Georgia’s two Senate seats in runoff elections. Those victories in early January cost the Republicans control of the upper chamber. Since Democrats already controlled the House, just barely, they now held both branches of Congress, as well as the White House. Only the Supreme Court was beyond their grasp, and they are threatening to take it, too, by going where even Franklin Roosevelt dared not tread. Nonetheless, the Georgia victories gave the incoming Biden team an opportunity, and they seized it. They opted, in their words, to “fundamentally transform America.” What they failed to acknowledge was that Biden was in a far weaker position to do that than Roosevelt in 1936 or Johnson in 1964. Those presidents carried overwhelming majorities into the White House and Congress. Biden did not. His position was weak at the beginning and has gone downhill ever since. It’s not surprising, then, that the White House has such trouble passing Build Back Better. What’s seems odd is that Biden has refused to change course. He is still hellbent on passing an ambitious, left-wing agenda. The budgetary elements can pass the Senate with a simple majority under budget reconciliation rules. But that requires the support of all 50 Democrats since Republicans are united in opposition. Vice President Kamala Harris could then break the 50-50 tie and pass the gargantuan bill. But Joe Manchin has proved an immovable object, objecting to the legislation’s accounting tricks, the massive deficit it creates, and the fuel it pours onto an overheated economy. Since Biden won less than 30% of the West Virginia vote while losing every single county in the state, he has no leverage over the only Democrat in the state’s congressional delegation. Budget reconciliation rules don’t cover all of Biden’s proposals. These additional proposals could be blocked by filibuster, unless the filibuster itself were eliminated. That could be done by a simple majority vote, but it would fundamentally change the Senate by ending its traditional protections for the minority party. That’s why then-Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused President Trump’s demand to do it. That’s why Democratic Sens. Manchin and Sinema refuse to change the rules now, despite pressure from Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. The debate over the filibuster rule has received a lot of attention, and properly so. So has the flip-flop by Democrats who stoutly defended the rule when they were in the minority. But the real issue here is not Schumer’s blatant hypocrisy. The deeper issue — one that has largely been missed — is how the effort to overturn Senate rules and pass BBB fits so neatly into the larger sweep of progressive politics. That’s not just because Democrats want to permanently expand the social-welfare state and “fundamentally transform America.” It’s also because they are willing to smash venerable institutions and procedural safeguards to do it. The same logic applies to their effort to nationalize election laws. That, too, is probably doomed because of the filibuster. If it did pass, it’s also likely that the Supreme Court would strike it down because the Constitution specifically delegates election lawmaking to state legislatures, with national courts stepping in only to protect individual rights. The latest initiatives by Biden, Schumer, and Nancy Pelosi may fail, but they won’t be the progressives’ last hurrah. They’ve been winning for over eight decades and came within two Senate votes of winning this time. They’ll keep trying until voters send them a clear message that the administrative state is already too big, too intrusive, too far removed from control by citizens’ elected representatives. Its continued growth and unchecked power threatens our oldest institutions, our freedoms, and our liberty under law. The voters’ message must be unambiguous: Stop trying to fundamentally transform America. We never asked for it, we don’t want it, and we never gave you permission. Tyler Durden Wed, 01/12/2022 - 19:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 13th, 2022

Insiders reveal what it"s really like working at Amazon when it comes to hiring, firing, performance reviews, and more

Amazon employs 1.3 million people, and it can be a tough place to work. Here's what it's like to work at the world's largest e-commerce company. Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Andy Jassy.David Ryder/Getty Images; Isaac Brekken/AP Images for NFL, File; Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images; Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images; Emanuele Cremaschi/Getty Images; Ohannes EiseleAFP via Getty Images; Marcos del Mazo/LightRocket via Getty Images; Samantha Lee/Insider Insider is investigating Amazon's workplace amid a major effort to unionize the company. The e-commerce and cloud giant has a complex performance-review system some employees say is unfair. Amazon is investigating allegations of gender bias in its Prime division after Insider reporting. See more stories on Insider's business page. Amazon is the second-largest US employer and still one of the fastest-growing in the country. It offers income and benefits to well over 1 million people, and it's been a source of jobs and shopping convenience during the pandemic.With that level of influence, Amazon's operations have come under intense scrutiny, which has prompted a nationwide unionization effort. The following covers everything you need to know about what it's like to work at the company.How Amazon culls its workforceUnder outgoing CEO Andy Jassy, Amazon's cloud unit has built up an impressive roster of cloud security partners — but they often also work with competitors Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.Reuters/Richard BrianInsider is investigating Amazon's system for improving, or ousting, employees deemed underperformers. Once managers label workers as struggling, they are put on a "Focus" coaching plan. If they fail there, the workers are moved to another program called "Pivot," and then finally to an internal company jury that decides their fate at the company.The system has been criticized by some current and former employees, who say it is unfairly stacked against them and can encourage managers to give bad reviews to good staff. Amazon says it gives managers tools to help employees improve and advance in their careers. "This includes resources for employees who are not meeting expectations and may require additional coaching. If an employee believes they are not receiving a fair assessment of their performance, they have multiple channels where they can raise this," a company spokesperson said recently.Amazon has a goal to get rid of a certain number of employees each year, which is called unregretted attrition. Some managers at the company told Insider they felt so much pressure to meet the target that they hire people who they intend to fire within a year.Read more Inside Amazon's complex employee-review system, where workers feel left in the dark and managers expect to give 5% of reports bad reviewsFlow chart: An exclusive look at Amazon's controversial system for fixing or ousting underperforming employeesHundreds of Amazon employees join an internal Slack channel to criticize its opaque performance-review systemSome Amazon managers say they 'hire to fire' people just to meet the internal turnover goal every yearLeaked documents show Amazon Music wants to scrap a controversial companywide performance review system that some say unfairly fires employeesThe company has been hit with allegations of biasKyodo News via Getty ImagesThere's been a rash of lawsuits filed against Amazon alleging gender and racial bias. In May, five current and former female employees sued the company Amazon, claiming "abusive mistreatment by primarily white male managers."In February, Charlotte Newman, a Black Amazon manager, filed a suit alleging gender discrimination and sexual harassment. And last year, a high-profile female engineer called on the company to fix what she saw as a "harassment culture," Insider reported."We do not tolerate discrimination or harassment of any kind," an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement. "We immediately investigated Ms. Newman's sexual harassment claim and fired her harasser."The investigation resulted in "corrective action and additional training requirements for those in her reporting line," the spokesperson added. "We also reviewed Ms. Newman's interview process, leveling and onboarding, and determined that she was properly placed in her role at the company. We are currently investigating the new allegations included in the lawsuit."Read more Amazon Prime employees say women get few promotions and there's a culture of aggressive male-dominated managementAmazon is investigating allegations of gender bias in its Prime team after Insider reportingAmazon faces 5 lawsuits from warehouse and corporate employees alleging discrimination and retaliationAmazon's warehouses churn through workersRobotic Amazon warehouses use robots to ferry shelves of items around the warehouse floor. Above, a photo taken in an Amazon warehouse in the UK.Isobel Asher Hamilton/InsiderThe company's fulfillment centers employ hundreds of thousands of people, offering pay and benefits that are competitive versus other retail-industry jobs. But the work can be grueling, some staff don't stick around long, and there are growing efforts to unionize this modern blue-collar workforce.Amazon warehouses are partly automated, using robots that zip around the shop floor fetching pallets of merchandise and bringing them to employees who pick the correct items and pack them for shipping. The company hires thousands of extra temporary workers each year to support a surge in orders during the holiday shopping period.During the pandemic, online orders have jumped at an unusual time for Amazon. It prompted an unprecedented hiring spree last year but caused tension with workers concerned about entering warehouses that could spread the virus. These issues came to a head earlier this year, when employees at a fulfillment center in Bessemer, Alabama, voted on whether to form a union. The effort failed, but there's a bigger union push gathering steam.In his final shareholder letter as CEO earlier this year, Jeff Bezos defended Amazon's working conditions, but said the company needed "to do a better job for our employees."Read more6 current and former Amazon warehouse employees explained why they think turnover is so highAmazon warehouse workers are reportedly almost twice as likely to face serious injuries compared to rivals like WalmartAmazon defeated a vote to form a union at its warehouse in Bessemer, AlabamaThe International Brotherhood of Teamsters voted in late June about organizing Amazon workersAmazon's delivery network relies on thousands of driversSmith Collection/Gado/Getty ImagesThe company partners with UPS, FedEx, and the US Postal Service, but it also operates a massive fleet of in-house delivery vehicles. These vans are driven by a combination of employees, third-party courier services, and contract workers.Amazon is known for imposing strict time constraints on drivers and tracking how many times they stop and how fast they drive. While the company factors in break times — a 30-minute lunch and two 15-minute breaks — some drivers say they either can't or don't want to take them.Earlier this year, a US lawmaker tweeted that Amazon workers have to pee in bottles. The company denied this, but multiple drivers confirmed it was part of the job. Amazon later apologized and said drivers have trouble finding restrooms because of traffic and being on rural routes, adding that the issue has been exacerbated by closed public bathrooms during the pandemic.Read moreAn Amazon driver lost her job after the company's algorithm fired her. A day in the life of an Amazon delivery driverAmazon drivers describe paranoia of working with surveillance cameras that monitor them constantlyI'm an Amazon delivery driver who's had to pee in water bottles and eat lunch in my vanHow to get a job at AmazonJob seekers line up to apply during "Amazon Jobs Day" at a fulfillment center in Fall River, Massachusetts, in August 2017.Brian Snyder/ReutersAmazon remains an important employer that is growing quickly. Unlike some of its Big Tech rivals, the company offers a range of positions, from highly technical roles to blue-collar jobs. It's recruiting methods range from massive job fairs to tough one-on-one interviews.The company ranks among the top employers among technical students. In a survey published last year, Amazon came 10th in a survey of engineering students, beating out Intel and IBM but trailing Tesla and SpaceX.Read more How to master Amazon's ruthless interview process and get a job there, according to insidersThe Amazon executive in charge of recruitment reveals what it takes to get a job at the e-commerce giant4 mistakes to avoid if you want to succeed in Amazon's application processRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 4th, 2022

Chief diversity officers at companies like Wayfair and LinkedIn share strategies for getting into the field

Zendesk's InaMarie Johnson said those interested in a job should demonstrate empathy and educate themselves on how to be inclusive. Hiring for diversity officers spiked in 2020 and 2021, and many companies are still building out their diversity teams.Courtesy of Zendesk Companies are hiring diversity leaders as it becomes increasingly important to corporate strategy. Insider spoke to diversity officers in tech, retail, and software on how they landed their roles. They come from a wide variety of backgrounds, showing there is no one path into DEI work. See more stories on Insider's business page. Dalana Brand, the vice president of people experience and head of inclusion and diversity at Twitter, knows that lots of people are looking to work in the fast-growing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) field. She frequently fields questions from aspiring DEI leaders."I can't tell you how often my phone rings with younger folks who are, like, 'How do I get into DEI? How did you get into the DEI?,'" she told Insider in a July 2021 interview. "There's not one path."DEI is a growing field. The hiring of new diversity chiefs of companies listed on the S&P's 500 index nearly tripled from December 2020 to March 2021, per research by management consultancy Russell Reynolds Associates reported on DiversityInc. Many companies continue to post openings for diversity and inclusion roles. The median income for a chief diversity officer role is $126,000, according to PayScale.InaMarie Johnson, the chief people and diversity officer at Zendesk, has been in HR for over 30 years. She took on the role of chief diversity officer in 2019, in addition to her job as chief people officer."It was really important to me to make sure that our DEI efforts were in the C-suite, and since I was already chief people officer reporting to the CEO, I felt like that would be the best way to ensure that all of the conversations we were having — strategy, customers, product delivery — could be aligned and threaded with the diversity, equity, inclusion," Johnson said.But you don't need a background in HR. Vinay Kapoor, global head of DEI at FactSet, worked in technology until he was 30. Rajiv Desai, former head of global diversity, engagement, equity, and CSR at Gartner, worked as an auditor and financial services consultant for over a decade before getting into the field. He now works as an independent DEI consultant for small and midsize organizations.While understanding HR and how engagement ties to the overall business strategy was a missive repeated by several DEI leaders about their job, experiences outside the business world can be helpful.Desai talked about the opportunity to gain experience in equity work as a volunteer. Brand said those with teaching or social-work backgrounds could develop into strong DEI leaders. And JT Saunders, the chief diversity officer at Korn Ferry, reflected on how his experience as a campus tour guide prepared him."It really taught me how to think on my feet, to be able to quickly assess situations, read people and their emotions, and be able to change my thinking or approach," Saunders said. "A big part of this role is spending your day talking to multiple people from different cultures, from different experiences of diverse backgrounds."Insider spoke with six current and former DEI leaders to get their best advice for getting into this highly desirable field.Editor's note: This article was orginally published in July 2021. LinkedIn's Rosanna Durruthy: Leverage your personal experienceRosanna Durruthy, vice president of global diversity, inclusion, and belonging at LinkedIn.Courtesy of LinkedInDiversity, equity, and inclusion is always transforming, LinkedIn exec Rosanna Durruthy said. If you're interested in a DEI role, don't be afraid to tell the hiring manager how you might do things differently, she added."Envision how you can make a difference," she said. "What possibilities can I bring to this role as a result of my own experiences, my engagement with the world and what I know can be an obstacle that's not readily seen by another?"Wayfair's KeyAnna Schmiedl: Show that you're already doing the workKeyAnna Schmiedl, head of diversity and inclusion at Wayfair.Lyndsay HannahTo be successful in a DEI role, Schmiedl said you have to be comfortable with conflict management and communication — and not always having the answers on hand."You have to be a bit adventurous, and you definitely have to be resourceful," she said.To land a DEI job, Schmiedl recommends highlighting a time when you led DEI efforts in an organization or within your company, or a time when you "built relationships across difference."By that she means perhaps there was a time you volunteered with the LGBTQ+ employee resource group or mentored a young person from a different racial or ethnic background."Show that you've been doing some of the things you'll be doing in a business environment in this role," she said.CBRE's Tim Dismond: Develop your interpersonal skillsTim Dismond, chief responsibility officer at real estate company CBRECBREDiversity officers are in constant contact with people from different teams within an organization, so it's crucial to develop your communications and collaboration skills, CBRE exec Tim Dismond said. "The DEI function should not live in a silo and neither should its teams," he said. "The job requires a delicate balance of interpersonal skills like listening and empathy married with an action-oriented and results-driven mindset." Korn Ferry's JT Saunders: Understand how diversity fits into your businessKorn Ferry chief diversity officer JT Saunders.Korn Ferry.Saunders believes you need to understand the drivers of the business and where DEI fits into that picture."To understand business and how organizations function is absolutely critical," he said. "Getting the skill capability of understanding of how to run a business and why the strategy looks the way it does is going to be really critical."Saunders acknowledges that any professional path can lead you into DEI leadership. He noted an increase in people who become DEI executives after working in the business side of the company. For example, lawyers or bankers who become chief diversity officers."You have to understand culture and you have to understand business," he explained. "It's not just enough to be a D&I practitioner and understand best practice. I think you really have to be able to round yourself out with the understanding that you're a business leader who does D&I, and that's how we're going to make a difference right here."Zendesk's InaMarie Johnson: Educate yourself on how to be inclusiveZendesk's chief people and diversity officer, InaMarie Johnson.ZendeskInaMarie Johnson said to first acknowledge the mission of promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Every single person in an organization has a responsibility to be better to their coworkers and every person also has thoughts for how the company can be more inclusive to their viewpoints. It's why Johnson recommends looking inward first."This role is as much about design as it is change and transformation, both for the company and the individual level," she said. "We all need to go on our own personal journey to become more aware, to understand our language and its impact."Johnson said that in addition to change, transformation, and empathy, "really walking in the shoes of someone else and staying open" is another key attribute."I would say it starts with all of us at a personal level," she said. "Do your own personal work first, understand where you are in terms of your openness and your experience, your language. There's great assessments out there."Rajiv Desai, former head of global diversity, engagement, equity, and CSR at Gartner: Look outside work to promote equity and inclusionRajiv Desai, former head of global diversity, engagement, equity, and CSR at Gartner.Rajiv DesaiRajiv Desai recommended that people interested in DEI work connect with their purpose and map out what they want their work to look like. Many DEI opportunities exist outside the traditional workplace."You can become an activist, you can get into social-justice work for a nonprofit, you can get into philanthropic activities to drive this work forward," he said. "It doesn't always have to be a professional call."Because of all the DEI opportunities that exist outside work, you may want to focus on equity in your community rather than making it part of your everyday job. You can dip your toes in equity work through employee resource groups or by working with peers to take on small-scale inclusion projects at the company.Desai also suggested getting a certification in DEI. In addition to the learning opportunity, the coursework can help you decide if this path is right for you.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 4th, 2022

Federal judge blocks Pentagon from punishing Navy SEALs who refused COVID-19 vaccines on religious grounds

The First Liberty Institute, representing 35 Naval Special Warfare sailors, sued the DOD in November over President Joe Biden's vaccine mandate. A member of the US Marine Corps receiving a vaccination.Carl Court/Getty Images A nonprofit representing 35 Navy SEALs sued Biden and the DOD over his vaccine mandate. The Navy had refused many service members a religious exemption to Biden's vaccine mandate. On Monday, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction preventing the DOD from punishing them. A US federal judge blocked the Department of Defense from punishing a group of Naval Special Warfare sailors who refused COVID-19 vaccines on religious grounds.The First Liberty Institute, a nonprofit legal organization representing 35 Navy SEALS, sued the DOD and President Joe Biden in November over the administration's vaccine mandate.Biden set a deadline of December 14 for all US military personnel to get vaccinated, but allowed exemptions to be granted on religious grounds. However, the Navy has so far approved none of the 3,247 requests for religious exemption from the vaccine, as Insider's Bethany Biron reported last week.The lawsuit said the 35 service members faced a range of disciplinary measures for refusing the vaccine, including being administratively separated from their vaccinated colleagues or dismissed.In a Monday filing, US District Judge Reed O'Connor said the soldiers were within their rights to to request a religious exemption to vaccination and ordered a preliminary injunction to prevent the DOD from punishing them."The Navy service members in this case seek to vindicate the very freedoms they have sacrificed so much to protect," O'Connor wrote in the order."The COVID-19 pandemic provides the government no license to abrogate those freedoms. There is no COVID-19 exception to the First Amendment. There is no military exclusion from our Constitution."A DOD spokesperson told Insider it was "studying the decision."The White House did not immediately return a request for comment. The service members in the suit declined the vaccine on the grounds that aborted fetal cell lines are used in the production of vaccines, which are an "affront to their Creator," O'Connor said.Fetal cell lines are cells grown using DNA from aborted fetuses. They were used in the development of several mRNA vaccines, and during the production of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.Of the 35 SEALs represented in the suit, 19 had requests for a religious exemption denied by the Navy, O'Connor wrote, adding that the Navy does not respect religious exemptions."The Navy has not granted a religious exemption to any vaccine in recent memory," O'Connor wrote. "It merely rubber stamps each denial."O'Connor also said that the threat of 35 unvaccinated SEALs to the safety of the Navy was not sufficient, as most other personnel were vaccinated. "The Plaintiffs' loss of religious liberties outweighs any forthcoming harm to the Navy. Even the direst circumstances cannot justify the loss of constitutional rights. Fortunately, the future does not look so dire. Nearly 100% of the Navy has been vaccinated," he said.As of Thursday, the Marine Corps has dismissed 206 Marines for refusing to get vaccinated.O'Connor said in the order that he had dismissed Biden as a party in this case, as the court has "no declaratory or injunctive power" against him.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 4th, 2022

Haitians Sue Biden Admin Over "Racist Treatment" In Del Rio Border Encampment

Haitians Sue Biden Admin Over "Racist Treatment" In Del Rio Border Encampment Authored by Charlotte Cuthbertson via The Epoch Times, Several Haitians who crossed into the United States illegally are suing the Biden administration over “racist treatment” of the approximately 15,000 Haitians who gathered in a primitive encampment in Del Rio, Texas, in September. The Haitian Bridge Alliance, a nonprofit based in California, joined 11 Haitians in filing the suit on Dec. 20, the group announced on Twitter. The lawsuit alleges the Biden administration mistreated the Haitians with “calculated indifference.” “They were denied food, water, and medical care. They were physically and verbally abused. And they were summarily expelled without an opportunity to request asylum and without consideration of the danger they would face in Haiti or Mexico,” the lawsuit charges. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) didn’t respond to requests for comment by The Epoch Times. The lawsuit alleges that the Biden administration has been using the Title 42 health directive against Haitians and other illegal immigrants. Title 42 was put in place in March 2020 to help curb the COVID-19 pandemic by stopping nonessential border travel. “Consistent with the United States’ long history of anti-Haitian and anti-Black immigration policies, the Biden administration has used the Title 42 process as a cudgel to deny thousands of Haitians an opportunity to access the U.S. asylum process,” the lawsuit states. Thousands of illegal immigrants, primarily Haitian nationals, started streaming across the Rio Grande—which divides Texas and Mexico—and gathering under an international bridge in Del Rio, Texas, in early September. The conditions quickly became crowded and squalid as law enforcement struggled to handle the overwhelming influx. At its height, the area held around 15,000 mostly Haitian illegal immigrants who were waiting to be processed by Border Patrol and were walking back and forth across the river to Mexico for supplies. Illegal immigrants take supplies back and forth between Acuña, Mexico, and the United States (far side) across the Rio Grande, the international boundary with Mexico, in Acuña, Mexico, on Sept. 20, 2021. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times) All of the Haitians that The Epoch Times spoke to at the time had been living in Chile or Brazil for years before deciding to come to the United States. They all said it wasn’t an option for them to return to Haiti and that they were determined to get into the United States one way or another. Many had destroyed their visas and documentation from other resident countries before they crossed into the United States, as evidenced by the discarded identification documents on the Mexican side of the river. Some said they believed it would be more difficult to deport them if they discarded their papers. The camp was cleared by Sept. 24, with the majority of the Haitians being released into the United States to await a future court date. None were tested for COVID-19. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said on Sept. 24 that approximately 2,000 Haitians had been deported to Haiti on 17 repatriation flights. Mayorkas said that since Sept. 9, when the Haitian crisis began to escalate, Border Patrol had encountered nearly 30,000 illegal immigrants in Del Rio. Of those, approximately 12,400 were released with a court date or a notice to check in at a federal immigration office within 60 days. Some 8,000 returned to Mexico voluntarily. Another 5,000 were being processed to determine whether they should be expelled or let go with a notice. Border Patrol drops van loads of Haitians who crossed the U.S. border illegally at local NGO Border Humanitarian Coalition to catch a bus to San Antonio or Houston, in Del Rio, Texas, on Sept. 22, 2021. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times) The lawsuit alleges that at least 99 expulsion flights to Haiti carrying more than 10,000 asylum seekers have occurred since mid-September. Customs and Border Protection didn’t respond to a request to confirm those numbers. One Haitian couple highlighted in the lawsuit said they came to the United States with their 1-year-old after living in Chile for several years. “They never received an opportunity to seek asylum or explain why they feared returning to Haiti,” the lawsuit states. The couple also allege they were shackled while being transported back to Haiti. DHS began to restrain illegal immigrants bound for deportation while transporting them after a group of Haitians overtook a bus and tried to flee. On Sept. 20, when a busload of Haitians realized they were going to be deported, they started fighting with Border Patrol agents, forced the bus to stop, and fled. Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers responded to the scene and eventually detained all the individuals. “When the migrants found out they were going to be sent back to Haiti, they took the bus over and they fled,” said Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, at a press conference in Del Rio on Sept. 22. “If it wasn’t for the men and women in uniform, DPS, we do not know what would have happened.” The Haitian couple in the lawsuit was returned to Haiti, and the mother and child have since traveled to Chile, while the father remains in Haiti, according to the lawsuit. “They plan to return to the United States to seek asylum,” it states. Thousands of illegal immigrants, mostly Haitians, live in a primitive, makeshift camp under the international bridge that spans the Rio Grande between the U.S. and Mexico while waiting to be detained and processed by Border Patrol, in Del Rio, Texas, on Sept. 21, 2021. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times) The lawsuit highlights also the Border Patrol horse patrol unit that sparked furor after several photographs and video footage showed agents grabbing people who illegally crossed from Mexico. White House officials decried the images and promised an investigation, while other critics claimed that Border Patrol agents were “whipping” the Haitians with their reins, which Border Patrol said is a technique to keep people from being trampled by the horse. The inspector general for the DHS subsequently refused to take up the investigation. The lawsuit charges senior White House and Homeland Security officials with developing a “Haitian deterrence policy,” which was “deliberately indifferent to humanitarian concerns, and focused on expelling Haitian asylum seekers as quickly as possible.” On a policy level, the Biden administration has been lenient on illegal immigrants, including through policy changes that allow most to be released into the United States. Mayorkas announced on May 22 an extension for Haitians currently eligible under the temporary protected status (TPS) program that was put in place after the 2010 earthquake. That allowed Haitians who were already in the United States before the earthquake to stay, as their country was deemed unsafe to return to. TPS holders get work permits and are shielded from deportation. The original 2010 designation for Haitians was extended several times until the Trump administration announced in January 2018 that it would end effective July 22, 2019. Subsequent lawsuits allowed the designation to remain in effect. On Aug. 3, Mayorkas dramatically increased the number of Haitians eligible for the program by announcing that all Haitians who had made it into the United States by July 29 this year would now be eligible to apply for TPS. Thousands of illegal immigrants amass in Del Rio, Texas, on Sept. 16, 2021. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times) It’s difficult to know whether Haitians who have gained residency in another country, such as Chile or Brazil, are eligible for asylum in the United States. Asylum-seekers need to prove that they have suffered past persecution or have a well-founded fear of future persecution in their home country because of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. But persecution is generally considered state-sanctioned or condoned, which means the government of the alien’s home country is the sponsor of the persecution. For example, in North Korea, the regime itself persecutes Christians. Most claims of asylum in the United States are ultimately rejected, including roughly 90 percent of claims from Central Americans. A backlog of more than 1.3 million cases, with approximately 610,000 pending asylum applications, is being handled by a corps of immigration judges that numbered 539 as of April. Most asylum-seekers must wait years before their claims are adjudicated. The lawsuit is seeking an end to the use of Title 42 and the “Haitian deterrence policy” for the defendants and Haitian nationals in general. It’s also asking for the deported Haitians to be brought back to the United States to pursue asylum claims, as well as “further relief as the court deems just, equitable, and proper.” Tyler Durden Thu, 12/23/2021 - 20:10.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytDec 23rd, 2021

A Culture War in Four Acts: Loudoun County, Virginia. Part Two, "The Incident”

A Culture War in Four Acts: Loudoun County, Virginia. Part Two, "The Incident” By Matt Taibbi, via Substack An Underground Railroad simulation at an elementary school brings a long-simmering political dispute out into the open, triggering a bizarre series of unfortunate events February 5th, 2019. An educational consultant named Dr. Linda Deans walked to the lectern at a meeting of the Loudoun County School Board. Addressing issues like black student underrepresentation in the gifted programs and overrepresentation in disciplinary cases, she asked the board to remedy matters through more funding of diversity and inclusion positions. Loudoun had a diversity officer, but Deans stumped for a department. “To be real about equity and inclusion, contracting out the work might be a good idea because insiders may be — hmm — influenced by politics,” she said, pausing to apply a dollop of contemptuous stank on the hmm. She went on: “I highly recommend that LCPS offer this serious work to a reputable organization, such as the Loudoun Freedom Center.” The Center, where Deans worked, is a nonprofit founded by charismatic local pastor and new NAACP chapter president Michelle Thomas. The meaning was clear: Loudoun had race problems, and if the board wanted to be credited with taking those seriously, it had to make a financial commitment, and to the right destination. Deans was followed by the Education Chair for the local NAACP chapter, Robin Burke. Burke and husband Steven had recently met with Loudoun’s Director of Teaching and Learning, and weren’t happy. “On Wednesday, January 16th, 2019,” she says, “my husband and I attended a meeting facilitated by Mr. James Dallas to discuss our concerns regarding our son… being denied admission to the Academies of Loudoun.” She paused. “We are convinced that the admission process is disjointed, unfair and represents a clear example of historical institutional racism. Therefore, we expect now more than ever that our straight A-student [son] be unconditionally admitted to the Academies of Loudoun.” The Board was silent for a moment, some members confused. They only set policy and had no power to intervene in an individual gifted admissions question. Also, the admissions process was blind: reviewers had no access to names or racial identities, seeing only test scores, grades, courses taken, etc. To some members, this was an obvious reply to any charge of “historical institutional racism.” To Burke, the blind nature of the testing was the racism. The fact that Loudoun had race-neutral admissions was “true, therefore problematic,” she told me by email. “By removing personal identifiable information,” she added, “it is impossible to assess an applicant’s unique experiences alongside traditional measures of academic achievement such as grades and test scores.” Burke had reached out to several officials about her son. After correspondence didn’t result in changes, she went public with complaints. Asked about this, she replied, “As the Chair of Education for the NAACP, I represent all students of color,” adding that, “These claims were brought to the attention of the School Board and the Superintendent,” whose “inaction led to the NAACP contacting the AGs office.” Loudoun has a gruesome history on race and schools. In 1956, the county infamously voted to defund schools rather than follow the Supreme Court’s historic Brown v. Board of Education desegregation order. Not until 1962 did the first black student attend a “white” school. Segregation was essentially pried from the cold dead fingers of this county’s grandfathers and great-grandfathers, and suspicions in the black community naturally linger. However, the current controversies aren’t a clear continuation of civil rights-era battles. Some aspects may be similar, but the legal context at least is reversed: in place of a decades-long effort on the part of groups like the NAACP to expunge racial considerations from the law, the new thinking is that progress is impossible without them. Whether or not that’s a warranted belief is a separate issue, but it’s how the new debate is framed. Heading into the winter of 2018-2019, a dispute between county officials and the NAACP had been escalating. This disagreement would eventually be memorialized in the aforementioned formal complaint to the Virginia Attorney General’s Office, called NAACP Loudoun Branch vs. Loudoun County Public Schools. Loudoun’s NAACP leadership increasingly felt statistical inequities in areas like gifted admissions or discipline were explained by racism, and policy proposals often mere cover for perpetuation of an inherently discriminatory system. For a long time, they clashed in this with an old guard of county officials trying to cling to do-gooder liberalism’s once-standard position that a variety of addressable factors, including racism but also economics and other issues, were the cause of discrepancies. The latter group’s idea for addressing gifted admissions once involved things like Loudoun’s adoption of EDGE (“Experiences Designed for Growth and Excellence”). The plan was to provide “intensive, engaging support” early in elementary school to talented-but-disadvantaged students to help them compete in the difficult admissions processes ahead. The school system had long been pushing back against more drastic action, like eliminating standardized testing, that might heighten complaints about a lack of rigor in Loudoun’s once-celebrated school system. The county had already eliminated final and midterm requirements in 2015, leading some parents to complain of their kids being left unprepared for college. NAACP officials were more and more uninterested in those concerns, demanding direct intervention to square ugly numbers. In 2017, after data was released showing 88% of Loudoun teachers were white compared with only 48% of students, then-NAACP chapter head Philip Thompson threatened to file a federal civil rights complaint. “We believe we will only see an increase in the number of minority teachers when LCPS puts requirements on the people hiring the teachers,” Thompson said. Rhetorically, this was walking a fine line, since Supreme Court cases like the 1977 Regents of the University of California v. Bakke had deemed explicit racial quotas in public education illegal. According to the Loudoun Times-Mirror, Thompson hastened to add he wasn’t “suggesting the school division adopt racial hiring quotas,” merely applying pressure to meet “targets.” However, putting “requirements on the people hiring” seemed to have a clear meaning. By 2019, the NAACP seemed out of patience, moving toward the Ibram Kendi conception of equity, which holds that “there is no such thing as a nonracist or race-neutral policy.” As Kendi puts it, “racial discrimination is not inherently racist. The defining question is whether the discrimination is creating equity or inequity.” Loudoun in this view fell under the latter category, even if the admissions inequity, for instance, overwhelmingly redounded to the county’s Asian minority. (Ironically, Asians were also massively underrepresented in school hiring in 2017, making up 3% of teachers despite being 20% of the student body, though this fact didn’t make it into the NAACP complaint). When asked about the legality of quotas, which she would later publicly support, Burke’s response was that the legal system itself was part of the problem and therefore not relevant. “As you are aware, the legal system has protected and in some cases perpetuated systemic racism. It was LEGAL to own people,” she said. She added: “LCPS needs to make of amends for the wrong they have done, by helping those who have been wronged, African American students and families. Reperations [sic].” Late in the fall of 2018, a group of fourth-grade teachers at Madison’s Trust elementary school in Brambleton, Virginia got together to plan the curriculum for Black History Month in February 2019. At the time, principal David Stewart was following in the footsteps of Superintendent Eric Williams, described on school websites as a devotee of an educational theorist named Philip Schlechty, by pushing a program called Project-Based Learning. Schlechty scoffed at the idea that a teacher was a mere “facilitator” of “personal development,” seeing the educator as a more muscular figure who helped ensure the “functioning of a democratic society” by “transmitting the collective wisdom of the group” through “authentically engaging activities.” Loudoun’s schools touted “Project Based Learning” as such an “engaging” approach that fused the “3 Rs” (a Relevant, Rigorous, and Responsive curriculum) and the “4 Cs” (utilizing Critical thinking, Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity). What did those seven letters mean, at a school like Madison’s Trust? In practice, that classroom instruction might be bolstered by cross-pollinating lessons with a gym class. The 4th grade team that fall was working on a “PBL” on “Notable African Americans.” One of the school’s three PE teachers volunteered that he’d been to a conference years before, where he’d heard about a plan that sounded to him like a potential complement to any lesson about Harriet Tubman. Ian Prior of the Loudoun parent group Fight for Schools later brought details forward in a story for The Federalist, and noted in a longer private report that this teacher had attended the 2011 meeting of the Virginia Association For Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (VAPHERD) at the Hyatt Regency in Reston. There, a program was presented called “Underground Railroad” In “Underground Railroad,” kids in a PE class are led through an obstacle course simulating the path of slaves to safety along Tubman’s famous road to freedom. Along the way, they stop at various stations, where they might be introduced to a “drinking gourd” to learn that slaves used the Big Dipper constellation to help find the north star, or help each other move through hula hoops, or watch a video about Tubman, etc. Such simulations have been going on for at least thirty years, if not longer. One educator I spoke with who’d used a version of the program, Geoffrey Bishop of “Nature’s Classroom” in Mukwonago, Wisconsin, said he thought he first came across the idea at a conference in New Hampshire 35 years ago. The most famous “UGRR” simulation is the Kambui Education Initiative, a re-enactment founded by Kamau Kambui, a former devotee to a Malcolm X-inspired secessionist group called the Republic of New Afrika. The Initiative takes place in a thousand-acre slice of Minnesota’s Wilder Forest, dates back to the late eighties at least, and is part living museum, part outdoors adventure. Anthony Galloway, a pastor and equity coach who does use the term “critical race theory” in describing what his “Dare 2 Be Real” program teaches, cites experience with the Kambau Initiative as part of his credentials. However, both he and the current head of the Initiative, Chris Crutchfield, vehemently deny that he or Galloway had anything to do with any public school programs. “It’s abhorrent to me that people might think that,” Crutchfield says. “If it’s not done in the right way, it can be problematic.” In the end, the origin story doesn’t really matter. As the New Yorker wrote last year, “UGRR” simulations became a craze beginning in the nineties, long ago reaching into public school classes from coast to coast. Writer Julian Lucas described it as part of a movement to replace the old Schoolhouse Rock heroes with progressive updates: The runaway has emerged as the emblematic figure of a renovated national mythology, hero of a land that increasingly sees its Founding Fathers as settler-colonist génocidaires. In their stead rises a patriotism centered on slavery and abolition, and a campaign to set the country’s age-old freedom cult on a newly progressive footing. No matter who came up with the Madison’s Trust lesson plan, the idea clearly grew out of this same nest of ideas, with the aim of valorizing Harriet Tubman, Henry “Box” Brown, and other Railroad figures. Until there were complaints, there were plenty of progressive educators in Virginia who seemed to think these simulations were a good idea. A story in the Virginia Pilot from 2006 showed teachers boasting of how lifelike they’d made theirs. In that case, a pair of PE teachers in Chesapeake “transformed their gym into an eerie obstacle course” and “allowed the school’s 800 students to experience a little of what the slaves encountered during their nighttime runs.” Parents volunteered to play roles as slave-catchers and “patrolled the gym to the recorded sounds of barking dogs and galloping horses,” and teachers added heavy doses of verisimilitude: Students who made unnecessary noise or skipped obstacles found themselves caught and wearing gray construction paper manacles. There were no second chances. The slaves never got any, the teachers explained. “Some first- and second-graders cried,” the Pilot noted, in a deeply buried lede. A version of this was even officially approved for use in Loudoun County at one point, only to be discontinued years before the 2019 incident. Though the Loudoun County Schools declined to speak on the record for this story, it’s safe to say there’s disagreement about who signed off on what at Madison’s Trust, whose much watered-down version incidentally didn’t involve dogs or manacles. The Physical Education teachers are adamant that principal Stewart, as well as the Dean, Robert Rauch, visited the simulation in its first days — all of this took place between a Monday and a Wednesday on February 4th, 5th, and 6th, of 2019 — and gave it a thumbs-up. Other teachers and even Stewart tweeted about it in approval, claiming the students were “100% engaged.” Those messages have since been deleted. An amazing part of this story is how close it came to never happening. “We would have been fine not going cross-curricular,” one of the three Physical Education teachers told me. “We’d have been just fine doing our normal stuff.” Much later, what happened in the district would be portrayed as a white backlash against teaching the “truth” about America’s past. Buzzfeed for instance would eventually describe the Loudoun controversy as an effort by “right-wing activists” to “ban lessons and conversations around race, racism, and slavery.” A Washington Post article described local citizens as being against “efforts to promote racial justice,” and blamed Donald Trump and his followers for seeing “hateful lies” in “teaching about slavery and racism.” Yet the triggering incident in Loudoun clearly involved an overenthusiastic attempt to teach students about the Underground Railroad. Any progressive’s knee-jerk response to this story would involve aching to go back in time, Terminator-style, to quash thoughts of sticking “conversations about slavery” in a period normally reserved for volleyball and sack races. The issue wasn’t teachers trying to sabotage an antiracist lesson plan, but rather trying too hard to teach one. Even if you saw it as problematic, it was surely the opposite of not wanting to “teach about slavery and racism.” What happened next followed the pattern after simulations in Carrolton, Ohio, in 1997 (“Living-History Lessons Resurrect Old Wounds”), or Atlanta in 2013 (“Parent Says Slavery Experiment at Camp Went Too Far”) or Chicago in 2018 (“Illinois School Made Black Students Pretend to Be Slaves”) or countless other places: things went wrong. The typical complaint involved a black student coming home with a tale about having been asked to role-play a slave in school, followed by said child’s parent going somewhat understandably ballistic (“That’s when the blood vessel kind of broke,” is how one Atlanta parent described hearing his daughter’s story). The parents of one black child complained about the Brambleton simulation, and what followed was a perfect metaphor for so much of what’s wrong with modern American politics. Continue reading over at Matt's substack Tyler Durden Fri, 12/17/2021 - 19:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 17th, 2021

Facebook Admits Its “Fact Checks” Are Just Opinions

Here’s our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, risks to your prosperity… and on occasion, inspiring poetic justice. Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Injured on the Commute… While Working From Home? One major perk of working from home is having no […] Here’s our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, risks to your prosperity… and on occasion, inspiring poetic justice. .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Ray Dalio Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Ray Dalio in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Injured on the Commute… While Working From Home? One major perk of working from home is having no commute. Well, a shorter commute. You still have to walk from your bed to your desk. And that can be quite dangerous. A German man was commuting to his downstairs home office when he fell down the stairs, and broke his back. He said that because he was on his way to work, he was entitled to workplace accident insurance. His employer’s insurance company refused to pay the claim, and it went to court. Now the court has ruled that the man is in fact entitled to compensation, because the walk downstairs was no different than his commute to work. Click here to read the full story. Facebook Admits Fact Checks are Opinion, Not Truth Journalist John Stossel posted a video on Facebook which suggested that government mismanagement of forests was a bigger cause of California’s wildfires than climate change. But Facebook’s fact checkers labeled the video “misinformation” because they viewed Stossel’s report as a denial of climate change. But Stossel never denied climate change. His entire point was that government mismanagement makes the problem much worse. After Facebook refused to remove the label, Stossel decided his only recourse was to sue over defamation— after all, the public was being told that he is a journalist who spreads misinformation. In court documents responding to the suit, Facebook admitted that its fact checks are really just opinion. “The labels themselves are neither false nor defamatory; to the contrary, they constitute protected opinion.” So fact checks are just the opinions of some random Facebook employees. And that means they have nothing to do with objective truth. Click here to read the full story. US Government Doubles Import Duty on Canadian Lumber In May 2021, lumber futures prices in the US were four times higher than the average from the previous five years. At $1,600 per thousand board feet, it added about $36,000 to the price of building a single family home. And while the prices have fallen from their peak in May, they are rising once again. Now the US government has doubled the import duty on Canadian lumber from 8.99% to 17.9%. Keep in mind that inflation has now reached 6.8%. Yet by increasing the import duty, the government is deliberately making lumber MORE expensive. Naturally we totally believe these people are committed to providing affordable housing. Click here to read the full story. Biden Wants to Ban Companies From Firing Striking Workers Unionized workers for Kellogg, the cereal company, have been striking for two months to demand higher wages and more benefits. Kellogg has made six offers to union members, but all have been rejected. Now the company, which has already hired temporary replacement workers, is moving to make those replacements permanent. This prompted President Biden to chime in, saying: “Permanently replacing striking workers is an existential attack on the union and its members’ jobs and livelihoods. I have long opposed permanent striker replacements and I strongly support legislation that would ban that practice.” So, in addition to making lumber more expensive, he also wants to ban companies from hiring replacement workers when their current employees refuse to work. That would essentially mean unionized workers could demand any absurd wage or benefit they want, and companies would be powerless to say no. It doesn’t take a PhD in economics to see how this would lead to even worse inflation. Click here to read the full story. Canceling Student Debt is Apparently a Civil Right Now… The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is urging people to sign a petition in favor of canceling $50,000 of student loan debt per borrower. Now, you may be confused about why an organization dedicated to ‘civil liberties’ wants the government to forgive student loan debt. The ACLU explains that “canceling student debt can help close the racial wealth gap by over 20 percent – securing financial stability and economic mobility for Black, Latinx, and other people of color who are disproportionately burdened by loans, while addressing the debt crisis for millions.” Clearly, redistributing wealth is now a civil right. Click here to read the full story. Colorado Governor Says Restrictions are Over Colorado Governor Jared Polis turned his state into a dictatorship in the name of stopping the spread of COVID. But now, amid the media-hyped new omicron variant, Polis says that lockdowns and mask mandates will not return to Colorado, at least not at the state level. “The emergency is over,” Polis said. “You know, public health [officials] don’t get to tell people what to wear; that’s just not their job… You don’t tell people to wear a jacket when they go out in winter and force them to. If they get frostbite, it’s their own darn fault. If you haven’t been vaccinated, that’s your choice. I respect that. But it’s your fault when you’re in the hospital with COVID.” Obviously his assertion assumes that the only people who catch COVID and end up in the hospital are unvaccinated heretics. But at least he used the all-important words “choice” and “respect”. We’ll see if he can stick to his word. Click here to read the full story. On another note… We think gold could DOUBLE and silver could increase by up to 5 TIMES in the next few years. That's why we published a new, 50-page long Ultimate Guide on Gold & Silver that you can download here. Inside you'll learn... How you could Double Your Money with an asset that has a 5,000 Year History of Prosperity Why gold could potentially DOUBLE, and why silver could increase by up to 5 TIMES The 5 smartest, safest and most lucrative ways to own gold and silver (and one way you should definitely avoid) Why gold is the ultimate anti-currency and insurance policy against the systematic destruction of the US dollar (that everyone should at least consider owning) Why ETFs are a lurking timebomb and why you want to avoid them like the plague And everything else you need to know about buying, owning, storing and investing in precious metals This 50-page report is brand new and absolutely free. Article by Simon Black, Sovereign Man Updated on Dec 17, 2021, 4:32 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkDec 17th, 2021

McDonald’s to pay Black store owner $33.5 million to end bias suit

McDonald’s will pay $33.5 million to a former baseball player who owns multiple franchises to end a lawsuit he brought against the company accusing it of racial discrimination.McDonald’s will pay $33.5 million to a former baseball player who owns multiple franchises to end a lawsuit he brought against the company accusing it of racial discrimination......»»

Category: topSource: chicagotribuneDec 17th, 2021

Supreme Court considers religious freedoms in a case that could narrow the separation between church and state

Two families turned to Maine's tuition-assistance program to enroll their kids in faith-based schools. But the state funds only go to "nonsectarian" schools. The U.S. Supreme Court building is seen at sunset in Washington on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021.Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images The Supreme Court on Wednesday heard a challenge from two families who claim that Maine violated their religious rights. The families applied for funds from Maine's tuition-assistance program to enroll their kids in faith-based schools. But state funds only go to "nonsectarian" schools. The court's conservatives appeared receptive to the parents' position.  The Supreme Court on Wednesday considered whether Maine violated religious rights in a case that could narrow the separation between church and state in the United States. The justices heard a challenge to a Maine rule that excludes faith-based schools from a tuition-assistance program. In Maine, school-aged children have the right to a free public education. But some areas of the state do not have public schools. To ensure the student's right is met, Maine devised a program that offers taxpayer funds to cover students' tuition fees at nearby private schools. In 2018, two families, the Carsons and the Nelsons, wanted to enroll their kids in private schools that offer religious teaching. They sought funding from the state but did not qualify, as the law requires the school to be "nonsectarian" in order to be eligible. The Carsons and Nelsons sued the state.In the case of Carson v. Makin, the families argue that this rule is discriminatory and violates their First Amendment right to exercise religion freely. A lower court ruled against their challenge. But the Supreme Court, which in recent years has protected religious liberties, took up their appeal. "It is only because of religion that they are excluded. You can call that discrimination based on religious use. You can call it discrimination based on religious status. Call it what you will. Either way, it is discrimination based on religion and either way, it is unconstitutional," Michael Bindas, a senior attorney at the Institute for Justice, argued on behalf of the parents on Wednesday.Christopher Taub, Maine's chief deputy attorney general, defended the state's rule to the justices on Wednesday."The reason that schools that promote a particular faith are not eligible to participate is simple: Maine has determined that as a matter public policy, public education should be religiously neutral," he said.The court's conservatives, who make up a 6-3 majority, seemed receptive to the challenge from the parents.Justice Samuel Alito questioned whether a school that is associated with a religious group and teaches students about religious beliefs concerning equality, dignity, and charity work, but doesn't impose a religious "dogma," would be disqualified from Maine's program."Public schools often have a set of values that they want to instill — public service, be kind to others, be generous," Taub responded. "What would make the difference is whether children are being taught that your religion demands that you do these things."Alito interrupted Taub, saying: "Then you really are discriminating on the basis of religious belief. What I described is, I think, pretty close to Unitarian Universalism, and that is a religious community."Chief Justice John Roberts also raised concerns about how Maine's rule could discriminate between religions, which Taub pushed back on."You're discriminating among religions based on their belief, right?" Roberts asked. Justice Brett Kavanaugh pointed out that the parents "are seeking equal treatment, not special treatment.""They're saying don't treat me worse because I want to send my children to a religious school rather than a secular school. Treat me the same as the secular parent next door," he said.Justice Elena Kagan, a liberal, raised a hypothetical about whether the state would allow a school that teaches white supremacy to apply for its tuition-assistance program."Knowing what I know about Maine and our legislature, a way would be found to ensure that that school is not allowed to participate," Taub said.Alito followed up on that question, pressing Taub on whether a school that teaches critical race theory would be allowed to apply for the program."If teaching critical race theory is antithetical to a public education, then the legislature would likely address that," Taub said.—Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) December 8, 2021The Supreme Court will hand down a ruling on the case by the end of next June.The decision will also impact the hotly debated issue of "school choice." Proponents of school choice say it offers options beyond the traditional public school system, while critics say it erodes public schools, which most students in the US attend.The court's "conservative justices may be poised to turn America's foundational principle of religious freedom on its head," Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a nonprofit organization, said in a statement following Wednesday's arguments. "Maine's program is intended to support secular and inclusive education. Like church-state separation, public education is a unifying force in our society that ensures everyone is treated equally under the law regardless of what we believe, what we look like, our level of ability, or who we love."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 8th, 2021

Byron Allen’s $10 billion racial discrimination suit against McDonald’s over ad spending dismissed

A federal judge dismissed a suit against the burger chain filed by media companies owned by Allen over the way it spends its advertising dollars.A federal judge dismissed a suit against the burger chain filed by media companies owned by Allen over the way it spends its advertising dollars......»»

Category: topSource: chicagotribuneDec 1st, 2021

Should Public Companies Be Required to Have Women on Their Boards? A California Court Will Decide

(LOS ANGELES) — When then-California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the nation’s first law requiring women on boards of publicly traded companies, he suggested it might not survive legal challenges. Three years later, a judge will begin hearing evidence Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court that could undo the law credited with giving more women seats… (LOS ANGELES) — When then-California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the nation’s first law requiring women on boards of publicly traded companies, he suggested it might not survive legal challenges. Three years later, a judge will begin hearing evidence Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court that could undo the law credited with giving more women seats in boardrooms traditionally dominated by men. The California law has spurred other states to adopt or consider similar laws. The conservative legal group Judicial Watch brought the lawsuit claiming it’s illegal to use taxpayer funds to enforce a law that violates the equal protection clause of the California Constitution by mandating a gender-based quota. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] “They are creating a classification that either prefers or discriminates against one class or in preference of another,” attorney Robert Patrick Sticht said. He said the state doesn’t have a compelling government interest to create the mandate. Another conservative legal group has filed a separate lawsuit in federal court claiming the law violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. Former Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, who authored the legislation, said the bill did not impose a quota because boards don’t need a certain percentage of women. Corporations can meet the requirement by adding women without undermining the rights of male board members. She said the plaintiffs should be embarrassed for claiming the law is discriminatory. “I find that to be incredibly ironic and hypocritical,” Jackson said. “Any time you try to make significant change to the status quo the powers that have been institutionalized to this kind of discrimination are likely to fight back.” The law required publicly traded companies headquartered in California to have one member who identifies as a woman on their boards of directors by the end of 2019. By January, boards with five directors must have two women and boards with six or more members must have three women. Penalties range from $100,000 fines for companies that fail to report board compositions to the California secretary of state’s office. Companies that do not include the required number of female board members can be fined $100,000 for first violations and $300,000 for subsequent violations. Fewer than half the nearly 650 applicable corporations in the state reported last year that they had complied. More than half didn’t file the required disclosure statement, according to the most recent report. No companies have been fined, though the secretary of state can do so, said spokeswoman Jenna Dresner. The state has argued in court papers that it hasn’t used taxpayer funds to enforce the law. Dresner and the state attorney general’s office declined to comment on pending litigation. Supporters of the law said it has already had a big impact in California and beyond. Washington state passed a similar measure this year and lawmakers in other states, including Massachusetts, New Jersey and Hawaii, have proposed similar bills. Illinois requires publicly traded companies to report the makeup of their boards. Several European countries, including France, Germany, Norway and Spain, require corporate boards to include women. Before the California law went into effect, women held 17% of the seats on company boards in the state, based on the Russell 3000 Index of the largest companies in the U.S., according to the advocacy group 50/50 Women on Boards. As of September, the percentage of board seats held by women climbed to more than 30% in California, compared to 26% nationally. Still, some 40% of the largest companies in California need to add women to their boards to comply with the law, the group said. With a deadline approaching, “there’s a lot of scrambling going on,” said Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire, CEO of 50/50 Women on Boards. She’s also heard anecdotally that other companies are waiting to see how the court rules. Berkhemer-Credaire said she is confident it will be upheld. If it is found unconstitutional, it could slow progress, but she thinks pressure from institutional and private investors will continue to lead to more women being named to corporate boards. “The train has left the station,” Berkhemer-Credaire said. Adding pressure on the issue, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in August approved Nasdaq’s proposal that most of the nearly 3,000 companies listed on the exchange have at least one woman on their boards, along with one person from a racial minority or who identifies as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or queer. There’s no penalty for companies that don’t meet the Nasdaq diversity criteria, but they must publicly explain why they could not comply. The Nasdaq rule and a California law signed last year requiring publicly traded corporate boards have a member by January from an underrepresented community — including Black, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, or someone who self-identifies as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender — are also facing lawsuits. When the California law was proposed, an analysis by the state Assembly noted: “The use of a quota-like system, as proposed by this bill, to remedy past discrimination and differences in opportunity may be difficult to defend.” Brown signed it amid the budding #MeToo movement over sexual misconduct. “I don’t minimize the potential flaws that indeed may prove fatal to its ultimate implementation,” the Democratic governor said in a letter. “Nevertheless, recent events … make it crystal clear that many are not getting the message.” Judicial Watch sued in August 2019 and the Pacific Legal Foundation sued three months later on behalf of a shareholder who said the law would force him to discriminate on the basis of sex. The latter case was thrown out by a federal judge, but revived by a unanimous panel of the 9th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals. Although the California Chamber of Commerce had opposed the law, it didn’t sign on to the litigation and no company has joined the legal effort being led in Los Angeles by three California residents. They sued under a provision that allows taxpayers to prevent unlawful government expenditures......»»

Category: topSource: timeDec 1st, 2021

South Africa Won’t Appeal Court Ruling on Black Mine Ownership

Mining exploration and investment in South Africa have dwindled in recent years amid the regulatory uncertainty South Africa ruled out challenging a High Court ruling that struck down some key changes to mining rules that govern Black ownership targets, in a move that may potentially revive investor interest in the industry. In September, the High Court struck down some key provisions introduced to the mining charter in 2018 by Mines Minister Gwede Mantashe. It included a rule stipulating that an ownership target of 26% for Black investors in South African min—ing companies would remain in perpetuity. That meant miners that had previously met the threshold would need to find new Black shareholders if the original ones exited their holdings. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] The court also ruled that some of the other changes made to the charter were unconstitutional as the minister doesn’t have the power to make law. The court backed a challenge by an industry lobby group representing the biggest producers in South Africa. “Appeals to the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court, the outcome of which remain uncertain, may take several months or years to conclude, and will prolong legal uncertainty and delay transformation,” the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy said Tuesday in a presentation to lawmakers. The mining charter, first introduced in 2004, is aimed at distributing the benefits from mining more widely among South Africans to make up for racial discrimination during apartheid. Mining exploration and investment in South Africa, the largest producer of platinum and rhodium and formerly the world’s top gold miner, have dwindled in recent years amid the regulatory uncertainty. The ministry said it would enforce mining rules according to the court ruling. It would also reconsider other options to promote transformation in ways that reinforce “legal certainty.” Mining companies “recommitted the industry to transformation” in talks held between the ministry and officials from the Minerals Council South Africa, the industry lobby group said. “Minister Mantashe has also acknowledged this commitment as one of the reasons not to lodge an appeal” against the court ruling in September, the council said in a statement......»»

Category: topSource: timeNov 23rd, 2021

2 lawyers who tried to challenge 2020 election results were ordered by judge to pay $187,000 as they "should have known better"

Attorneys Gary D. Fielder and Ernest John Walker neglected their ethical duty in filing the "fantastical" case over the 2020 election, the judge said. Supporters of former President Donald Trump gather near his Mar-a-Lago home on Feb. 15, 2021.Joe Raedle/Getty Images A pair of Colorado lawyers were fined $187,000 over a failed lawsuit challenging the 2020 election.  A judge slammed them for not properly investigating their claims. They appealed the decision. They now have to contribute towards legal fees of defendants they accused of election-rigging. A judge ordered two lawyers to pay $187,000 towards the legal fees of the companies and organizations they accused, unsuccessfully, of rigging the 2020 election. Lawyers Gary D. Fielder and Ernest John Walker filed their class-action suit in December 2020.It accused a group of tech companies, nonprofits, and politicians of conspiring to unlawfully snatch away a Trump election victory, according to court documents seen by Insider. The case was dismissed in April.The fine, ordered on Tuesday, is one of the first times a financial penalty has been attached to a rebuke of the mass of lawsuits seeking to undermine President Joe Biden's election win. The payment was a reminder of the lawyers' "higher duty" not to advance poorly investigated claims that "strike at the heart of our democratic system," Judge N. Reid Neureiter wrote in court documents released Monday and seen by Insider.Fielder and Walker are challenging both the sanction and the case's dismissal, calling the fine "unfathomable."Their crowdfunded lawsuit accused figures like Mark Zuckerberg, Priscilla Chan and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, as well as Dominion Voting Systems. There is no evidence that any of them interfered in the election.The lawyers, calling their case the "largest civil rights class action in history," sought $1,000 compensation for every registered voter in the US, which would run to some $160 billion.Neureiter found it so frivolous that he brought Fielder and Walker into a hearing and called the case "fantastical" and "the stuff of which violent insurrections are made," as Insider's Jacob Shamsian reported. Accusing the lawyers of working in bad faith, the judge wrote that the pair had not thoroughly investigated the claims and had created a "cut-and-paste" job from similar lawsuits, such as those filed by Sidney Powell, which also failed in court. In a lengthy conversation with Insider in July, he insisted he and Walker were working in good faith. Nonetheless, Neureiter sanctioned the pair in August, kicking off the process leading up to Tuesday's fine. As of August 27, Fielder and Walker agreed to a combined fine of $11,062.50 to cover the legal costs of a number of Pennsylvania and Michigan public officials named in the lawsuit, including Whitmer, court documents show. But the pair appealed the much larger fines, totalling $186,922, towards the legal fees of Facebook, Dominion and the election-reform nonprofit the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL).In their defense, the lawyers said that if their case was so absurd, the defendants should not have spent so much on their own legal fees, suggesting that $10,000 each as a maximum.Neureiter disagreed, noting that these defendants had to retain high-profile — and expensive — lawyers due to the seriousness of the accusations being made.He also pointed out that the lawyers had funded their case by crowdfunding from "arguably innocent and gullible" members of the public, and never hired the experts they claimed they would."As officers of the court, these attorneys have a higher duty and calling that requires meaningful investigation before prematurely repeating in court pleadings unverified and uninvestigated defamatory rumors that strike at the heart of our democratic system and were used by others to foment a violent insurrection that threatened our system of government," the judge wrote. The order may have a chilling effect on future cases, Neureiter said — but said this was "the kind of 'advocacy' that needs to be chilled."Fielder told Insider he found the decision "unfathomable," repeating the claims, that have been rejected in court, that the defendants had "clearly interfered" with the election."We are not going to stop fighting for the rights of the people to vote in free and fair Presidential elections," he added."This is the cross to die on."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 23rd, 2021