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Supreme Court: Wal-Mart Is Above the Law

Posted by libhom Monday, June 20, 2011 5 comments

Sign that says Yr Gettin Yr Class War Up in My Uterus.
The Supreme Court is just as guilty as Wal-Mart this time.

During the late 19th Century, the US Supreme Court was a notoriously corrupt subsidiary of wealthy and corporate interests. The current Court seems determined to match its filthy past if not surpass it. And, it didn't stop with the blatantly illegal Citizens United decision.

Now, the Supreme Court has decided that Wal-Mart cannot face a class action suit on behalf of all of its female employees who work in a misogynist corporate culture deliberately designed to promote and perpetuate discrimination. The Majority decision (with an almost as blatantly illegal concurring decision" included these enormously disturbing comments by anti American, neo Nazi "Justice" Scalia. (Iowa Independent 6/21/11)

“The crux of this case is commonality — the rule requiring a plaintiff to show that ‘there are questions of law or fact common to the class,’” wrote Justice Antonin Scalia. “That language is easy to misread, since ‘[a]ny competently crafted class complaint literally raises common question.’ For example: Do all of us plaintiffs indeed work for Wal-Mart? Do our managers have discretion over pay? Is that an unlawful employment practice? What remedies should we get?

“Reciting these questions is not sufficient to obtain class certification. Commonality requires the plaintiff to demonstrate that the class members ‘have suffered the same injury.’ This does not mean merely that they have all suffered a violation of the same provision of law.”

Scalia adds that there must be “some glue holding the alleged reasons,” in order to answer the question of why some female workers were disfavored. There is no proof, he states, that Wal-Mart “operated under a general policy of discrimination” toward all female workers, noting that the company’s announced policy bans discrimination on gender. He dismissed earlier testimony by Dr. William Bielby, a sociology expert, who pointed to analysis of the company’s social framework to show a pattern of stereotyping by Wal-Mart.

We know the ruling had no basis in law because it was written by Antonin Scalia, author of the fraudulent and treasonous Bush v. Gore decision. However, it is critical to point out certain extreme dishonesties in this rhetoric.

Scalia is perfectly aware of the absolute fact that all the women workers of Wal-Mart do share the same injury: blatant sex discrimination due to a system that deliberately disfavors women. The statistics of sex discrimination provided by the victims of Wal-Mart's discrimination prove just that beyond the shadow of a doubt. No one can honestly dispute this. Scalia's dismissal of critical testimony is a shocking example of how he works to rig cases based on the rightist outcomes he wants rather than following the law.

Even the concurring opinion was reprehensible. It claimed that there might be another basis for the class action suit, but not the perfectly reasonable, legal, and factual basis provided by the plaintiffs. This case is precisely the kind of case where middle class and poor Americans should be able to band together in class action lawsuits to address injuries they have suffered as groups at the hands of evil corporations.

One common thread in all of this bullshit was that the lawsuit was "too big." It wasn't the lawsuit that was too big. The Executive and Legislative Branches of the US government already introduced "too big to fail" as a guiding standard for dealing with crooked banks. Now, the US Supreme Court has introduced the following illegal theory into its rulings on corporations:

Too Big to Obey the Law

 

Some of the Venomous Homophobes AT&T Has Given Money To

Posted by libhom Wednesday, June 15, 2011 3 comments

As many of you already know, AT&T gave money to the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce, a viciously heterosexist organization which has fought to block local LGBT rights laws in that state. Garden State Equality has withdrawn an award they gave to AT&T in response. (I would love to know why they gave an award to a homophobic corporation like AT&T in the first place, but that's another story.)

AT&T has a history of giving money to heterosexist politicians as well. Here are some of the bigots that have received money from AT&T.

Rep. Michele Bachmann

Sen. Robert Bennett

Rep. John Boehner

Rep. Roy Blunt

Rep. Eric Cantor

Rep. Darrell Issa

Sen. John "Keating Five" McCain

Sen. Rand Paul

Sen. Pat Toomey

It's sickening that GLAAD would even take AT&T's homophobic money, much less allow themselves to be bought and doing lobbying for AT&T against queer content and especially queer activist content on the Internet. The depths to which GLAAD has sunk are sickening.

 

In my last posting on AT&T's purchase of GLAAD's support of their homophobic merger with TMobile, I made an important point about who owns corporations and how that can be devastating for queers.

Remember when AT&T was broken up as a monopoly to try to increase competition years ago under antitrust laws? Well, AT&T has been buying up competitors ever since, trying to regain its monopoly status. These days, this is especially dangerous since telecommunications companies are Internet providers and so much queer and queer activist content has moved to the Internet. Allowing these kind of corporate takeovers poses a potentially existential threat to the LGBT civil rights movement.

AT&T will be able use any monopoly to censor queer activism and queer content. Given the fact that most corporate executives and major shareholders are viciously heterosexist, racist, and sexist Republicans, it would be highly surprising (actually shocking) if they didn't abuse their power, absent the prospect of losing customers to competitors.

Queers have fought so hard against the censorship of queer content. We still have a long way to go. However, it is more likely than not that AT&T will move things way backward if they succeed in their ultimate goal: establishing a total telecom monopoly.

I should also point out that rich Republicans, and the wealthy elites in general, have shown an increasingly totalitarian mindset and have been increasingly hostile to civil liberties and the US Constitution.

Of course, these critiques apply to all oppressed minorities, as well as liberals, progressives, and leftists. Corporate "news" outlets already are heavily censored by their owners. The Internet is critical for getting so much information that usually is suppressed in corporate outlets.

From a Free Press email promoting their Action Alert which addresses other aspects of the issue:
Back in the 80s, AT&T’s power was near absolute. That’s why government regulators stepped in to break it up and protect the American people against abuse.

Now, with AT&T’s planned $39 billion takeover of T-Mobile, we’re reaching the danger point again.

Tell the FCC: Step in Now to Stop AT&T’s Mega-Merger

Unless the FCC rejects this merger, Americans stand to lose control over the future of communications.

That's why so many have already flooded the FCC with comments since news of this outrageous merger became public. And that's why we need you to speak out again today.

We can’t let just two companies – AT&T and Verizon – control nearly 80 percent of the mobile marketplace. If the FCC rubber-stamps this deal, we’ll be giving these companies unchecked power — at our expense.

That means you’ll be paying more to have AT&T drop your calls; and access to popular applications like Skype, Slingbox and Google Earth will be limited even further … if AT&T lets you use them at all.

Keep in mind that AT&T eventually will try to buy Verizon.

Take Action Now!

 

AT&T Buys GLAAD's Betrayal

Posted by libhom Saturday, June 04, 2011 3 comments

gold coins
Photo: trader_john

I was involved in the LA Chapter of GLAAD to a certain extent early on, when GLAAD still fought against heterosexism in the media. GLAAD has gone way downhill since. In recent years, they actually were run by a homophobic Republican.

I had hoped that GLAAD would get less heterosexist after that clown left, but it's just doesn't get better.

Remember when AT&T was broken up as a monopoly to try to increase competition years ago under antitrust laws? Well, AT&T has been buying up competitors ever since, trying to regain its monopoly status. These days, this is especially dangerous since telecommunications companies are Internet providers and so much queer and queer activist content has moved to the Internet. Allowing these kind of corporate takeovers poses a potentially existential threat to the LGBT civil rights movement.

AT&T will be able use any monopoly to censor queer activism and queer content. Given the fact that most corporate executives and major shareholders are viciously heterosexist, racist, and sexist Republicans, it would be highly surprising (actually shocking) if they didn't abuse their power, absent the prospect of losing customers to competitors.

In full knowledge of all of this, GLAAD issued a letter to the FCC supporting the merger. After the controversy became public, GLAAD issued a statement including bizarre rationalizations that insult the intelligence of anyone with an IQ over 60. Some people were asking why GLAAD did this. The answer is readily available in another press release on their site.

GLAAD Receives $25,000 Grant from AT&T

AT&T is a major donor that gives amounts of money to GLAAD that are small to the multinational corporation and large to the faux media activist organization. AT&T has been able to buy GLAAD's betrayal, and GLAAD hasn't exactly lost sleep over the heinous thing they have done because they stopped giving a shit about the queer community well over a decade ago.

sign saying, we the people, not we the corporationsLiving in a corporate police state would be just fine for AT&T, but it is deadly dangerous to oppressed communities like queers. We need to fight back when groups that claim to speak for us throw us under the bus so they can overpay their executives.

Note: I want to thank the guys at Feast of Fun for alerting me to this issue by putting up this news story and discussing it on their podcast. Their podcast is quite entertaining, yet it also includes important news, information, and insights. The only people that will make GLAAD and the HRC even act like they care about the queer community are dedicated podcasters, bloggers, and grassroots activists.

 

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