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Archive for the ‘civil rights’ Category

(*) Exclusions apply. Offer void if you are a poor person in South Carolina, in which case you get jailed without ever seeing a lawyer. Offer void if you own property that the police want to own, in which case it gets taken from you without you being charged with any crime. Offer void if you’re a black man running away from the police. Offer void if you are one of the 2/3rds of Americans who live in a Constitution-free “border zone”.

Offer void unless your net worth is at least $100,000,000. In that case, you have plenty of liberty and justice, even to the point of being able to take a public beach and make it your own private beach in defiance of California law.

Because remember, all men were created equal, but some are more equal than others.

— Badtux the “Some exclusions apply” Penguin

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So says Mike Ditka.

15 year old Elizabeth Eckford wasn’t being oppressed as she attempted to be the first black student in Little Rock High, she was merely being alt-welcomed.

Patrick Harmon wasn’t being oppressed by being shot in the back for being black in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was alt-rewarded.

Rosa Parks wasn’t being oppressed by being arrested for sitting at the front of the bus, she was being alt-praised.

The black day care worker in Pennsylvania wasn’t being oppressed by her employer getting a bigotted letter telling them to fire her for spreading black cooties to their children, she was being alt-praised.

Four little girls killed by a KKK bomb in Birmingham, Alabama weren’t being oppressed. They were being….

Oh fuck it. Mike Ditka is a fucking dumbass who played too much without a helmet.

That is all.

– Badtux the Oppression Penguin

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Racists to the left, liberals to the right? WTF, NOPD?

Take a look at the flags on the left. Specifically, the white flags with a black cross on them. That’s the flag of the League of the South, a Southern secessionist organization whose leader has a bad habit of saying racist and bigoted things in the pages of their magazine. Things like “In a free & independent South, Islam would be banned, Muslims deported, and all mosques closed down.” They’re protesting the take-down of racist monuments in New Orleans, Louisiana.

A friend of mine suggested that the statue of Jefferson Davis that the City of New Orleans pulled down a couple of days ago be replaced with a statue of Ruby Bridges. I snorted. Yeah, that’d certainly send the racist bigots into spittle-flecked rage!

But that got me to thinking about Norman Rockwell. Which seems strange at first glance. The beloved painter of Midwestern schlock?

But in 1963 Norman Rockwell painted this:

The Problem We All Live With

Norman Rockwell was in his late 60’s when he painted this scathing condemnation of racism, depicting Ruby Bridges integrating the New Orleans Public Schools in 1960, flanked by four hulking Deputy U.S. Marshals enforcing the court order. How does a man at that time of life, a time of life when most people’s thinking becomes ossified, suddenly decide that civil rights are important enough to basically set his career aside and dive in with something like this?

Given all the neo-Confederate and White Power signs I saw around the demolishing of the Jackson Square monument to white supremacy, it looks like we took two steps forward, but have gone one step backward. But I am always in awe of the fact that sometimes courage comes in small packages as well as large, the courage of a small child and the courage of an old man who has nothing to prove but plenty to stand for. Seems to me that we need some more of that, today — people today do what’s convenient, rather than doing the right thing. Because the right thing is hard. But without people doing the right thing, evil wins.

And sometimes it takes a sixty-something-year-old painter of cornball schlock — and a six year old child — to point that out.

– Badtux the Wistful Penguin

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And they kicked a blind woman and her guide dog off a plane because they didn’t want to re-seat her to someplace where her dog could sit on the floor in front of her. Despite the fact that the Americans with Disabilities Act says they have to accomodate her and re-seat her if a seat can be found.

But they’re American Airlines, which has a long history of violating the law regarding service dogs. They regularly harass and bully people and claim impunity. They have even continued this conduct after signing a consent decree saying they wouldn’t do it anymore.

This is, of course, a blatant violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, but they don’t care about the law, because they don’t have to — a federal government that is 100% owned by big corporations is refusing to enforce the law against said big corporations.

So in short, American Airlines is a criminal enterprise that refuses to obey the law, and the government refuses to enforce the law against it. That’s the sort of situation that leads to massive lawsuits or, if lawsuits have been barred by law, eventually leads to violent revolution. And violent revolution never ends up well for the country that does it. I can’t remember one that turned out well, whether it was the Russian Revolution that put the Communists in charge, or the Egyptian Revolution that put the Islamists then the Army in charge, all that happens is that the most violent win and then impose their will upon the rest of the people at gunpoint.

— Badtux the “These people are criminals” Penguin

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Yep, it’s true. The 1st Amendment applies to government employees too. Which is why these government employees can set up their own unofficial Twitter feeds on their own private time:

resistance

So, what about all the gag orders that are coming down from the Trump administration, saying that government employees cannot speak to the media etc.? They are only effective while the employee is at work. Once the employee has left work, the employee has all the same 1st Amendment rights as you and I and can speak as much as he wants, as long as he makes it clear that he is speaking for himself and not for his department.

In short, any attempt to prevent government scientists from releasing government research *on their own time*, or submitting papers to scientific journals *on their own time*, or preventing agency officials from tweeting climate change facts *on their own time*, are blatantly unconstitutional and illegal. The data is public domain. The government legally cannot restrict access to it in any way.

Will that stop the Trump administration? Nope. They’ll fire the employees, then fight the inevitable lawsuits. Then Congress will set the employee’s salary to $1, which basically is the same as firing him. Which will result in *another* lawsuit, since that blatantly violates the Civil Service laws set by Congress, and the Democrats in the Senate for damn sure ain’t gonna let a repeal of Civil Service through without filibustering it. Which is one reason why these feeds are being kept semi-anonymous. It’s easy to figure out who’s behind them, if you have an org chart of the agencies in question, but proving it — and creating an excuse to fire the people behind it — is quite a bit harder.

But in the meantime, it’s hilarious that National Park Service rangers and a dictionary are leading the resistance against the Trump regime….

– Badtux the Free Speech Penguin

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Aftermath of D.C . protests. We shall rebuild.

Aftermath of D.C. protests. We shall rebuild.

There’s right wingers whining about the amazingly destructive protests against the Trump Administration, which have resulted in a few dozen arrests and a burned-out trash can (we shall rebuild though after this mass destruction!) and maybe a few people delayed getting to work or getting home from work. Ignoring the fact that there was plenty of right wing violence after the election of Barack Obama, including torching a black church, they have a point.

Look. I mean, I have no idea why a black man might be protesting an attorney general who promises to take voting rights away from black people in the Old South rather than enforce voting rights, or why gay men might be protesting a vice president who advocates attaching electrodes to their balls and shocking them with electricity in order to “cure” their gayness, or why parents of handicapped children might be protesting a Secretary of Education whose opinion is that schools should not be legally required to educate the handicapped, or why Muslims might be protesting a Secretary of Homeland Security who advocates rounding up all Muslims into concentration camps, or why women might be protesting the notion that Big Government should have control over their pussies, or etc. I mean, I’m a white straight Christian male, none of that matters to me, right?

So gosh darn it, all those protesters should just give up all those rights quietly rather than inconvenience me on my daily commute! That’s the only right thing to do. Right? Right?!

– Badtux the Snarky Penguin

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mlk-poverty

Yes, today is when we celebrate the life of a happy token negro who never said anything threatening and was like all peace and love and all that. Kinda this kindly uncle (tom) figure who just magically made civil rights (sort of) happen for black people by being nice.

Of course, the real Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a fireball. He didn’t encourage violence because a minority attempting to gain equal rights via violence is a minority asking to be exterminated, but he had no problem inconveniencing racists in every way possible while pandering to the tv news crews and to politicians like LBJ all the way. He also knew that poverty and ignorance had to be eliminated. Every conversation with LBJ where I’ve read the transcript, he’s pushing for anti-poverty programs and education programs. For everybody, not just for black people, because he knew that poverty and ignorance fed racism the way that june bugs feed ducks.

Then he was killed and became a martyr, kindly uncle (tom) who was all peace and love and all that and polite, like, and certainly not threatening to us white folk. SIGH. History re-written. So it goes.

– Badtux the History Penguin

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