IN New York City, the Freedom of Speech has become the Requirement to Lie

From RedState:

Bill de Blasio apes Vladimir Putin with New York City law

You will be made to care.

By: Neil Stevens (Diary)  |  December 22nd, 2015 at 10:00 AM

In 2013 the Russians passed a law, signed by Vladimir Putin, banning speech deemed to be ‘propaganda’ about homosexuality. This law has, of course, drawn criticism worldwide from leftists. Not for the censorship, but for being ‘anti-gay.’

Well now we know why. New York City is passing its own censorship law, just going the other way with respect to “nonconfirmity” and “gender identity.”

Backers claim that “This is an extremely positive development for transgender New Yorkers who face enormous rates of discrimination, unemployment and difficulty accessing things like health care that people take for granted,” according to Thomson Reuters, but key provisions have nothing to do with being denied access to jobs and services. This is about controlling the speech of others.

Consider what NYC’s own ‘legal guidance’ says:

The NYCHRL requires employers and covered entities to use an individual’s preferred name, pronoun and title (e.g., Ms./Mrs.) regardless of the individual’s sex assigned at birth, anatomy, gender, medical history, appearance, or the sex indicated on the individual’s identification.

…The law also recognizes that unlawful sex stereotyping often manifests itself as anti-gay epithets, or attributing a particular sexual orientation to individuals who do not conform to sex stereotypes.

…Covered entities may avoid violations of the NYCHRL by training all staff on creating and maintaining an environment free from sex stereotyping.

Got that? If you speak in a manner not deemed correct, you will be liable for fines up to $250,000, according to a number of vague, subjective factors. But if you submit your staff for propaganda in the other direction, you will be given wiggle room. There is the proof that this is about information and speech codes, not “anti-discrimination.”

There’s a bit more at the original. Mr Stevens points out that the left used to care about freedom of speech — a point I have made previously concerning the attitudes of the left in the 1970s — but now, seeing themselves as more empowered, not only do not care about freedom of speech, but are actively hostile to it; only the speech with which they agree can be tolerated. Robert Stacey Stacy McCain noted, in an article on the feminist studies programs at Concordia University in Quebec:

The syllabus for “Feminist Perspectives on Culture” includes a paragraph on “Learning Environment” which explains that “the production of research on culture . . . cannot be apolitical, value-free, neutral, non-biased.” Professor Olszanowski declares that “her role is to offer an analytical framework for understanding culture from a feminist standpoint” before issuing this warning:

It is the responsibility of all to create a learning environment where one can safely say what one thinks, keeping in mind the collective responsibility of all to create an environment free of racism, sexism, heterosexism, cissexism, cisgenderism, classism, ageism and ableism.

A student “can safely say what one thinks,” but only if what is said does not violate the “responsibility” to “create an environment” that excludes a long list of possible Thought Crimes. Of course, if every student in this senior-level class has already taken at least 30 hours of Women’s Studies courses, they have almost certainly attained a level of intellectual homogeneity that would rival the Soviet Politburo under Stalin, so that Professor Olszanowski’s warning is a pro forma gesture.

Freedom of speech is a concept that the left support as a term in general — kind of like how the totalitarian nations across the globe proclaim their support for democracy — but impose so many “reasonable restrictions” on the freedom of speech as to make the concept virtually meaningless. To today’s left, freedom of speech must be limited by being wholly inoffensive to anyone who the left might see as a victim of traditionalism. Such concerns do not apply to offending Catholics, Christians in general, or Jews, of course, but we all know that they don’t really count.

But Mayor DeBlasio’s new ordinance goes even further. Note the legal “guidance:”

The NYCHRL requires employers and covered entities to use an individual’s preferred name, pronoun and title (e.g., Ms./Mrs.) regardless of the individual’s sex assigned at birth, anatomy, gender, medical history, appearance, or the sex indicated on the individual’s identification.

Not only does the NYCHRL require “employers and covered entities” to not insult someone who is so mentally ill that he does not know what sex he is, but requires actively supporting the mentally ill person’s delusions, by referring to him by a false name and incorrect title. Under the provisions of the NYCHRL, “employers and covered entities” must treat the mentally ill individual as though his mental illness was normal, truthful and real. The “transgendered” have a mental illness which results in them lying to themselves; the ordinance would require other people to tell lies in support of those delusions. This isn’t just the avoidance of insult; this is the requirement to lie.

As for me, I will tell the truth here: Bruce Jenner has plenty of money, and I’m sure that he can find some quack to castrate him, build him a faux vagina and stick fake boobs on his chest, but he is still male, has always been male, and regardless of whatever personal mutilations he chooses to undergo, will always be male. Those who are “transgendered” are, in fact, the sex they were born, and nothing can change that, neither hormones nor surgery nor their own delusions. We may have some sympathy for the afflictions through which they go, but I will never lie and say that they are anything other than the sex they were born, and I will not consent to go along with their mental illnesses.

Expert witnesses

It can be very difficult to win a case in court if you are not properly prepared. Juries can be very unpredictable. Therefore, you need to make sure that your case is incredibly strong. Your first order of business when you know you will be going to court is to hire a good lawyer. He or she should be extremely skilled with many years of experience handling cases in their particular area of the law. The lawyer will then begin to build your case. This might include the hiring or an expert witness. This is a person who has a high level of expertise in a particular field. Therefore, the court recognizes the person as an expert. The person will them be paid to testify on your behalf. Here is how you can go about selecting the ideal expert witness.

1. What is their fee going to be?

Money will be a concern for the vast majority of people when they are going to hire an expert witness. After all, you will already be paying your lawyer and various court costs. This means that many people will only have a limited amount of money they can afford to spend on an expert witness. People who supplement their income giving expert witness testimony understand this fact. Therefore, they are occasionally willing to lower their fee or offer a payment plan. It would be in your best interests to talk to a variety of expert witnesses to see how much their fees vary.

2. How much experience does the person really have?

Expert witnesses are not created equal. You will find that the amount of experience these people have in their particular fields has a tendency to vary greatly. This is why you must probe deeply into a person’s background before you agree to hire them to testify for you. Do not simply assume that the person will be fine. Hiring a bank expert witness can be accomplished by visiting http://www.mrichardsconsulting.com/optimizinguseofexperts.html.

3. Are they good on the stand?

Just because a person has a great deal of knowledge on a particular subject does not necessarily mean that the person will be good when the moment of truth arrives and they are summoned to testify. Some people speak better and more convincingly on the stand than others. Watch video of the person’s previous testimony to see if it meets you expectations for your own case.

Time’s half up! When can we finally admit that Affirmative Action has failed?

President Barack Obama speaks in front of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, on March 7, 2015 (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty)

On March 7, 2015, the fiftieth anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” President Barack Obama stood at the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma, Alabama, and said:

Fifty years from “Bloody Sunday” our march is not yet finished. But we are getting closer.

On June 23, 2003, Associate Justice Sandra O’Connor wrote, in the majority opinion in Grutter v Bollinger:

It has been 25 years since Justice Powell first approved the use of race to further an interest in student body diversity in the context of public higher education. Since that time, the number of minority applicants with high grades and test scores has indeed increased. We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today.

That was 12½ years ago; the 25 years Justice O’Connor specified is half up. For the majority of that 12½ years, the United States has had an African-American President, a man who won two elections; it would seem as though the voting rights sought by the marchers in Selma had not only been secured, but have had a powerful impact.1 The obvious question has to be: have the problems of black Americans been addressed, mostly under a (half) black President, successfully enough in the last 12½ years, for us to have any confidence that the 25 year time frame the Supreme Court said should be sufficient will actually have solved the problems? Or have blacks in America made so little — if any — progress in the last 12½ years as to make the Court’s willingness to set aside the plain words of the Constitution as to mean that we might as well actually obey the Constitution than be willing to set it aside to achieve some noble gain?

The Washington Post published some interesting charts:

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In spite of all of the action that the government has taken, from passing anti-discrimination laws which included making private businesses “public accommodations,” in spite of Affirmative Action programs which metastasized from the original intention of being programs in which schools and employers had an outreach program to notify members of minority communities that opportunities for applications existed to outright quota systems,2 the impact of such programs has been virtually zero.

Click to enlarge.

Nor have the various programs have had any impact on the disparity between the income of blacks and whites. However, the chart also shows that another minority group, Asian-Americans, have higher incomes than do whites. As we have documented previously, Asian-Americans are actually being discriminated against in collegiate admissions, yet they are outperforming all other groups in economic success.

Can we do something really radical like tell the truth here? For whatever reasons exist, none of the many government programs and interventions have made any appreciable impact on the disparity between the races in either educational performance or economic results. Under Democratic and Republican Presidents alike, whether the Congress was controlled by Republicans or Democrats,3 it just didn’t matter: nothing changed in the economic relationships between blacks and whites, or really between any of the racial/ethnic groups measured.

This has to call into question the reasoning of the Supreme Court in Grutter: the Court clearly disliked approving a government program which was very blatantly against the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and giving the “compelling government interest” reason as its justification. But now, after all of these years, both before the Gratz and Grutter decisions and after, none of the programs justified as compelling government interests have actually worked. Violating the simple constitutional requirement that the government treat everyone equally, to achieve that noble end, has not worked!

So, why should we continue with this farce? It is ridiculous to hold that we need to sidestep the Constitution to get something needed done, when the programs to get that something done do not work.4 Why not, at this point, admit that these things have failed, and say, OK, we are going to do something really radical like follow the Constitution, because things won’t be any worse if we do obey it.

It’s time to end Affirmative Action, and it’s time to end all racially-based programs that the government has.5 Trying to apply discrimination to fight discrimination has always been a ludicrous concept, and it has now failed in practice as well as theory.
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From the University of Texas:

Amicus Briefs Demonstrate Support for University

From educators to politicians, business leaders to students, more than 65 groups have written to the U.S. Supreme Court backing UT Austin’s position in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin.

December 9, 2015

In the wake of the university’s arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 9 in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, it is clear that the university has a broad base of support. From constitutional scholars and educators to politicians, business leaders and students, more than 65 groups have written to the U.S. Supreme Court backing UT Austin.

Latin for “friend of the court,” Amicus Curiae briefs are filed by groups not directly tied to the case but who are still interested in the outcome.

Here’s a look at some of the briefs filed on the side of UT Austin.

Industry Leaders Want Diverse Hiring Pool

Leading businesses and industry groups — including 45 Fortune 100 companies from 3M and eBay to Microsoft and Starbucks, as well as DuPont, IBM, Intel and groups like the New York Bar Association — all filed Amicus Curiae briefs to support UT Austin.

In the briefs, these groups say the diverse student bodies at higher education institutions like UT Austin provide the best possible hiring pool when recruiting applicants. Like the narrowly tailored, holistic admissions process used on the Forty Acres, a complete-picture approach is used by most industry leaders when hiring new employees.

Universities Aver Benefits of Diverse Student Body

Across the higher education landscape, other universities stepped up to offer support for UT Austin.

Officials from more than 65 higher education institutions — including all eight Ivy League universities and eight leading public research universities — in addition to groups like Teach for America and the Associations for American Law Schools and Medical Colleges are all supporting UT Austin’s policy.

Like UT Austin, these universities, groups, administrators, researchers and professors believe admissions policies can’t be reduced to formulas but instead should include consideration of how each individual might contribute to and benefit from the student body.

There is more at the link. That the University would want to continue its Affirmative Action program is easily understood: despite being in a conservative state, university leaders are almost uniformly liberal in their political orientation. The question that none of them will ask is whether Affirmative Action has actually worked.

Setting aside the obvious unconstitutionality of a government institution treating people differently based on race, Justice Sandra O’Connor and the majority in Grutter were basing their permission to continue a narrowly-tailored Affirmative Action plan on it being a compelling government interest, to achieve a specified good; if the specified good is not being achieved by the program, there is no justification whatsoever for continuing with a program which is in violation of the Constitution!6

Writing on a completely different subject, Jonathan Chait, the (mostly) liberal writer for New York Magazine, said:

(D)ata can change liberal economic thinking in a way it can’t change conservative economic thinking. Liberals would abandon, say, new environmental regulations if evidence persuaded them the program was not actually improving the environment, because bigger government is merely the means to an end.

Yet, while all of the data show that Affirmative Action simply has not worked, the left will never abandon it; contrary to the esteemed Mr Chait’s claim, the left never abandon liberal programs, because they are wholly unwilling to look at the actual results, and Justice O’Connor’s statement that the Grutter majority believed “that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved” 12½ years ago is being tested in the crucible of real life. Unless there a heck of a lot more progress in the second half of the then-majority’s quarter century than there has been in the first — and more than half of that time was under our first (half) black President — we will continue to see what we already know to be the case: racial discrimination in the future will be no more successful in promoting equality than racial discrimination in the past.

Perhaps, just perhaps, if we try something really radical like not discriminating on the basis of race, things will get better for the black community in America. After all, it doesn’t seem like non-discrimination can do a worse job than Affirmative Action has done.
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Cross-posted on RedState.
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  1. In both 2008 and 2012, the Republican nominee won a majority of the votes cast by whites; Mr Obama would not have won either election had blacks not been allowed to vote.
  2. In the companion case to Grutter v Bollinger, Gratz v Bollinger, the Supreme Court held that the University of Michigan could not maintain an automatic 20 point racial preference when it came to collegiate admissions. The University of Michigan is a state school; Gratz would (probably) not apply to a private college.
  3. From 1963 through 2015, Democrats have controlled both Houses of Congress for 32 years, Republicans have controlled both Houses for 11 years, and there was split party control for 9 years. During the same 52 years, Democrats controlled the White House for 24 years, and Republicans for 28. During that 52 year span, Democrats had complete party control for 14 years, while the GOP had such control for 5.
  4. A point which also applies to the left’s continual advocacy of gun control.
  5. I see no problem if private institutions wish to continue with Affirmative Action; they are not the government and not subject to the Fourteenth Amendment.
  6. I do not accept the idea that a particular good justifies or permits setting aside the Constitution or the law; I am making this point strictly for the purposes of debate.

Why Donald Trump is leading

I am not a Donald Trump fan by any means, but he illustrated the difference between himself and the other candidates very starkly yesterday. When Hillary Clinton said, completely untruthfully, about Mr Trump being in a recruitment video for Da’ish, other Republicans said that she was untruthful, or that she had a problem with the truth or the facts; Donald Trump just said, flat out, that she is a liar.

From Around the Blogroll

William Teach posted two articles on the Pirate’s Cove which demonstrate the real theory underlying the climate change agenda: totalitarian control! In Warmists Should Totally Watch Out For The New Deniers, Mr Teach caught this one point:

That would have troubling consequences for climate change if it were true, but it is not. Numerous high quality studies, including one recently published by Mark Jacobson of Stanford University, show that this isn’t so. We can transition to a decarbonized economy without expanded nuclear power, by focusing on wind, water and solar, coupled with grid integration, energy efficiency and demand management. In fact, our best studies show that we can do it faster, and more cheaply.

And in Warmists: Non-Voluntary Investments Required To Solve Hotcoldwetdry Conundrum, Mr Teach notes that the warmists, his one-word label for the people who are oh-so-worried about global warming climate change, have no belief in freedom or democracy, but that all must be compelled to participate — which means, in the end, to pay for — in reducing global warming climate change.

What is “demand management?” Basically, it is the use of various means to allow some people to tell everyone else what they really want. We see it all the time, because advertising is a form of demand management, the attempt to create a desire among consumers for a hitherto less desired product. But when the government takes on that role, with the police power of the state at its back, demand management means enforcing conditions which channel demand into government-restricted channels.

This has been done before: the old Soviet Union used “demand management” as the basis of its various “Five Year Plans,” setting up the Soviet economy based upon what the government decided were the economic demands. It was so successful that the USSR is now just a bitter memory in the ash heap of history.

Never forget: when the left tell you something, they not only believe that they are smarter and wisr than you, but that they have the right to use the power of government to compel you to go along with what they say!

And now, on to the blogroll!

Rule 5 Blogging: On the Front Lines Against Islamist Terrorism

It’s the weekend and time, once again, for THE FIRST STREET JOURNAL’S version of Rule 5 Blogging. Robert Stacey Stacy McCain described Rule 5 as posting photos of pretty women somewhat déshabillé, but, on this site, our Rule 5 Blogging doesn’t put up pictures of Agam Rodberg in her summer clothes, but women, in full military gear, serving their countries in the armed forces. The terribly sexist authors on this site celebrate strong women, women who can take care of themselves and take care of others, women who have been willing to put their lives on the line in some not-so-friendly places, women who truly do have the “We can do it!” attitude.

This week, we focus on the Israel Defence Forces again; in the war against Islamist terrorism, it is Israel which is on the front lines, and which has been on the front lines since 1947. Whatever our forces will have to endure and defeat, the IDF has already seen, and conquered.

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Continue reading ‘Rule 5 Blogging: On the Front Lines Against Islamist Terrorism’ »

The public are voting on the left’s gun control agenda They are voting with their decisions to buy firearms.

William teach has called President Barack Hussein Obama the “gun salesman of the decade,”1 and I have to agree: it seems that every time he opens his mouth about taking away the rights of law-abiding Americans, people start exercising those rights more vigorously. “Politicalwoman” posted a diary on RedState about the things she heard in the gun sales line, and while it’s an anecdotal story, it reflects the truth about why there has been a surge in firearms sales.

WH Working on Gun Control Plan; Calls Recent Surge in Gun Sales a ‘Tragic Irony’

By Susan Jones | December 11, 2015 | 5:35 AM EST

(CNSNews.com) – Keeping guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them continues to be a priority for President Obama, and the White House is sending hints that he plans to do it soon by executive action.

Meanwhile, a White House spokesman on Thursday called it a “tragic irony” that legal gun sales are soaring.2

Speaking at a vigil in Newtown, Conn. Wednesday night, Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett said the president has asked his team to send him a proposal “in short order” outlining how he can use his executive authority to expand background checks on gun buyers without congressional action.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest was asked about Jarrett’s comment at Thursday’s White House press briefing:

There’s more at the link, but the very ironically-named Josh Earnest said:

So, you know, I described this, I think, in a briefing earlier this week as a tragic irony, that the more that we see this kind of violence on our streets, the more people go out and buy guns. And that is — that is both ironic and tragic.

I think the president’s view is that he is going forcefully advocate for the kind of gun safety measures that common sense tells us will not prevent every act of gun violence, but even if it makes some acts of gun violence less likely — and we can do all of that without undermining the Constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans — then why wouldn’t we do it?

Oh, maybe because the American people don’t see our President as even remotely interested in not “undermining the Constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans?” If President Obama could simply issue an executive order banning the private ownership and possession of firearms by everyone, he would do so, and so so immediately.

That more gun control legislation would not stop the bad guys from getting firearms was something that Mr Earnest conceded, though he perhaps didn’t mean to:

There are statistics about the large quantity of guns that are rather readily available on street corners and in gun stores all across America.

And what gun control legislation is going to stop gun sales which “are rather readily available on street corners?”

None, of course, because such sales are already illegal, but the people who buy guns on street corners are not only not interested in obeying gun control laws, but aren’t terribly interested in obeying laws in general.

That is the problem the left can never seem to understand: criminals, by definition, don’t obey the law, and people who plan to break the law, or to make a terrorist attack, are not going to let gun control laws deter them. If Syed Farook and his ugly wife weren’t afraid of launching an attack that could, and thankfully did, result in them being killed, what would make anyone think that fear about breaking a gun control law would stop them?

Our esteemed President was educated at some of the finest universities in this country, at Occidental College, at Columbia University, and at Harvard Law School, but somehow, some way, completely lacks the simple common sense which should inform him, should inform anyone, that the people who want to commit crimes, the Islamists who want to become jihadi, don’t give a rip about obeying gun control laws, and only care about gun control to the extent that their potential victims are more likely to be unarmed. At some point, we have to ask how the President, and how the left in general, can be so just plain stupid.
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  1. The “u” and “i” are side-by-side in a standard keyboard, and I made a typographical error on the first draft, calling our esteemed President the “gin salesman” of the decade, but I can see where my typo might not have been an error; this President has surely driven too many good people to drink!
  2. CNS could be dismissed by some as a conservative-leaning news site, so I shall add this link to the very much leftist-leaning NBC story documenting the significant increase in firearms sales.

Rule 5 Blogging: American Policewomen!

It’s the weekend and time, once again, for THE FIRST STREET JOURNAL’S version of Rule 5 Blogging. Robert Stacey Stacy McCain described Rule 5 as posting photos of pretty women somewhat déshabillé, but, on this site, our Rule 5 Blogging doesn’t put up pictures of Lacey Chabert in her summer clothes, but women, in full military gear, serving their countries in the armed forces. The terribly sexist authors on this site celebrate strong women, women who can take care of themselves and take care of others, women who have been willing to put their lives on the line in some not-so-friendly places, women who truly do have the “We can do it!” attitude.

While we normally feature female soldiers in these posts, the American soldiers who are on the front lines against Islamist terrorism in the United States are not in the military, but are the police. This is a new type of duty for them, and they are just now getting on board with the tactics and training to deal with the hidden terrorists, now often American citizens or legal residents, who have forsaken their American identities for the imagined glories of jihad. Too often we have no intelligence as to whom the home-grown jihadi are, until they strike, but while our nation’s elected leadership are too timid and too politically correct to identify the threat, because our wimp of a President is so terribly afraid of offending Muslims, the police out on the streets have to do the hard and dirty work responding to attacks about which they had no advance notice.

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Continue reading ‘Rule 5 Blogging: American Policewomen!’ »

From Around the Blogroll

From The Wall Street Journal:

Support Builds for Global Agreement on Climate Change

Final draft receives backing from EU, India, despite watering down obligations

By Gabriele Steinhauser and Matthew Dalton | Updated Dec. 12, 2015 12:08 p.m. ET

PARIS—Delegates from 195 nations participating in climate talks here appeared close Saturday to an international deal to tackle global warming that, if implemented, would force businesses and citizens to sharply reduce their use of fossil fuels and could fundamentally transform the global economy.

Some large players, including the European Union and, crucially, India, threw their support behind the latest proposal fairly quickly and many delegates expressed optimism that it would be approved later in the day. Others, however, cautioned of last-minute obstacles, since objection from a single country, no matter how small, could still derail a deal.

For the first time, all of the world’s countries—rich and poor—would be expected to take action to limit their greenhouse-gas emissions and thus contain global warming. Ahead of the negotiations, 186 governments had made pledges on how to limit their emissions in the coming decades, although scientists say their plans fall far short of what is needed to keep global temperatures at a manageable level. .  .  .

The new draft released early Saturday afternoon watered down obligations both for developed and developing countries—an attempt to iron out long-standing disputes that could backfire as talks draw to a close—when compared with a previous proposal published Thursday.

Crucially, a requirement for rich countries to mobilize at least $100 billion in annual aid to help poorer countries adapt to the effects of climate change and build up greener power generation—one of the major sticking points during the talks—has been moved from the body of the deal into an accompanying decision.

That could make it easier for the U.S. government to ratify the deal without involving Congress, but risks being interpreted as less convincing by developing countries. At the same time, states that were classified as developing countries when climate talks began decades ago but are now growing rapidly are expected to chip in only voluntarily.

There is more at the link, but the last quoted paragraph contains the money line: “That could make it easier for the U.S. government to ratify the deal without involving Congress.” President Obama does not want to involve the Senators and Representatives elected by the People, because he knows full well that the Senate would never ratify this as a treaty; the Constitution requires a 2/3 supermajority of the United States Senate to ratify a treaty. Were this held to be a congressional/executive agreement, a simple majority of both Houses of Congress could accept it, but that would be less binding than a formal treaty.

Your Editor did something really radical like actually read the draft proposal, and found this part:

Article 20

1. This Agreement shall be open for signature and subject to ratification, acceptance or approval by States and regional economic integration organizations that are Parties to the Convention. It shall be open for signature at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 22 April 2016 to 21 April 2017. Thereafter, this Agreement shall be open for accession from the day following the date on which it is closed for signature. Instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession shall be deposited with the Depositary.

Article 21

1. This Agreement shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the date on which at least 55 Parties to the Convention accounting in total for at least an estimated 55 percent of the total global greenhouse gas emissions have deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.

The agreement itself calls for the signatory nations and organizations to ratify the agreement. If President Obama actually signs this agreement — and it is still a draft agreement at this point — he will never actually submit it to the Congress for ratification. That is actually common practice for a President who knows that the Senate, or the Congress as a whole, will not ratify a particular treaty or international agreement. However, there is nothing, nothing at all, which prevents the Senate Majority Leader from simply taking the signed agreement and holding a ratification vote on it!

It would be interesting, and really fairly amusing, to watch the spectacle of the President of the United States sending his minions to the Senate to tell the Members that the Senate, constitutionally assigned the duty of treaty ratification, that it has no business voting on the agreement! Just as amusing would be the Senate Democrats filibustering a vote on an agreement that a Democratic President signed, just to prevent anticipated rejection.

We have, supposedly, a democratic representative republic, but our 44th President seems to see himself as our Führer, ruling by decree, unable to tolerate a recalcitrant Congress doing its constitutional duty. Well, nuts to that! Senator Mitch McConnell needs to stiffen his spine and not wait for the President to submit the agreement for ratification, but take control of the process himself, assign it to the proper committee, see to it that hearings are held, and hold a Senate ratification vote. Let’s see if the American people, via their elected representatives, really want this agreement burdening their lives.

And now, on to the Blogroll!

Care For Your Veterans: What You Can Do For Them This Year

Care for Your Veterans: What You Can Do For Them This Year

No matter where you fall on the scale of neoconservatives or liberals, you probably care about the health of the veterans that serve your country. They’ve done a lot for you, so it isn’t it time for you to do something for them?

You don’t have to go crazy though, and you don’t have to spend a ton of money helping veterans. Use this guide to determine what you can do this year for those that have served your country so proudly.

Donate Money

One of the hardest things for veterans organizations to do is to raise money. After all, many people think that the US government should be taking care of veterans needs, so why would they have to give money?

The fact is that the government doesn’t always provide everything a veteran will need once they return home. For many, even paying for counseling that they need for PTSD and other traumatic problems can be difficult.

Donate even a few dollars this holiday season to an organization in your area. That way you’ll be contributing to veterans that need your help without breaking the bank.

Holiday Gifts

Many veterans don’t have gifts for the holidays and they don’t have the means to be able to provide gifts for their children over the holiday season. Buying toys for them to give to their kids is one of the best things you can do over the holidays.

Look for veterans organizations in your area that organize an annual toy drive for the people they work with. You don’t have to give a bunch of gifts – even one small item you get at the toy store while shopping for your kids can create a happy holiday for a veterans family.

Food Donation

Veterans don’t always have enough to eat if they’re unable to work regular full-time jobs. Many veterans also have families that they need to support, but doing so isn’t always an easy task after coming back from overseas.

While the government should be providing some help for these individuals and their families, it isn’t always enough. That’s where you can really come in and help out the veterans and their families.

Donating items like canned food can really make a difference in their lives on a day to day basis. You don’t have to spend a lot either. Even $10 worth of canned food can make a huge difference.