Washington Post op/ed: Black votes should count 167% more than yours

“One man, one vote” has been a bedrock of democracy.

In an op/ed in the Washington Post, Theodore R. Johnson, who describes himself as “a career naval officer, former White House fellow and doctoral candidate in law and policy at Northeastern University,” proposes a non-monetary reparation for slavery in the form of giving more weight to black votes.

Theodore Johnson

Here’s Johnson’s op/ed of August 21, 2015:

If you want to shut down a conversation about race, just say the word “reparations.” Even black Americans are divided over the idea that money can compensate for the vestiges of an evil institution that ended 150 years ago; only 60 percent think the government should make cash payments to descendants of slaves. White Americans, on the other hand, have reached a consensus: In a YouGov poll taken shortly after the Atlantic published Ta-Nehisi Coates’s viral feature, “The Case for Reparations,” 94 percent were opposed.

Yet a year of protests over disparate law enforcement practices, a decade of particularly sharp income inequality and centuries of imparity in America show that racial reconciliation is impossible without some kind of broad-based, systemic reparations. Recognizing the original sin is simply not enough; we must also make moral and material amends for our nation’s treatment of African American citizens. But if a pecuniary answer can’t fix the structural disadvantage — and it can’t — what can?

Weighted voting.

Thanks to a compromise between Southern slaveholders who wanted enslaved blacks counted in the population, for the sake of boosting Southern congressional representation, and Northern whites who didn’t, the framers enshrined the three-fifths clause in the Constitution. This agreement set the census value of a slave as 60 percent of the value of a free person. Even after the 13th Amendment neutralized the political (and moral) compromise by abolishing slavery, Jim Crow laws, which contravened the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equality, stopped blacks from voting. The just answer today is to invert that ratio. If black Americans were once counted as three-fifths of a person, let each African American voter now count as five-thirds.

Reparations in America have come to mean “free” money, so any serious discussion about them also mandates a discussion of how much — an exercise doomed to failure. Other ways of imagining reparations (as the spilled blood of more than half a million Union soldiers during the Civil War; as affirmative action in universities and workplaces; as subsidized education) don’t involve cash payments, but they also don’t do enough to combat the structural disadvantages black Americans face — disadvantages that have gone largely unaddressed by our legislative and executive branches.

That’s because the problem is almost unfathomably large. In a report titled “The Unfinished March,” the Economic Policy Institute found that school segregation, black unemployment, lack of access to fair housing and living wages, and abysmal African American household wealth remain at essentially the same levels of disparity today as they did in 1963, when the March on Washington occurred. Median household wealth today is $141,900 for whites and only $11,000 for blacks. Despite making up only 13 percent of the population, black Americans are 27 percent of those living at or below the poverty line; the white unemployment rate is 4.6 percent, while it’s 9.6 percent for blacks; during the housing bubble of the mid-2000s, 53 percent of blacks received high-cost mortgages, while only 18 percent of whites did; the black incarceration rate is 2,207 per 100,000, compared with the national rate of 707 per 100,000; nearly 3 in 4 black children today attend segregated schools; in many communities, blacks have poorer health outcomes and access to just half the social services of whites. The list goes on ad nauseam.

These are national issues that require policy solutions — and the political will to implement them, which clearly doesn’t yet exist. That’s why reparations should be apportioned in the exercise of a civic right (a duty, even) long denied to the descendants of the enslaved. A five-thirds compromise would imbue African Americans with a larger political voice that could be used to fight the structural discrimination expressed in housing, education, criminal justice and employment. Allowing black votes to count for 167 percent of everyone else’s would mean that 30 million African American votes would count as 50 million, substituting super-votes for the implausible idea of cash payments.

This weighted vote, coupled with an increasingly active black electorate that in 2012 had a higher voter participation rate than whites for the first time in history, would offer African Americans an outsize influence on national and state elections. Politicians, finally, would have to truly compete for the black vote, or a substantial share of it, to attain or remain in office. This would provide an incentive, even for purely self-interested politicians, to prioritize African American policy concerns and act on them, or face a loss at the polls.

True, the five-thirds notion is out of sync with the “one person, one vote” mantra the nation prides itself on. But the precise legal meaning of that phrase is still unclear, which is why the Supreme Court will review it next term in Evenwel v. Abbott. That case is about the basis for determining a district’s size: Should it be the total population or just the population of eligible voters? Currently, a district with a significant number of ineligible voters (children, undocumented immigrants, transient military personnel) counts those residents toward its population, thereby adding weight to the ballots of its eligible voters. (Naturally, districts with low numbers of such ineligible voters don’t appreciate their residents’ votes counting for less.)

Even the U.S. Senate, where Delaware has just as much say as California, belies the notion of strict representation as a means to protect the rights of the minority. In the House of Representatives, Montana has one member to speak for its entire population of 1 million people, while Rep. Jim Langevin, from Rhode Island’s 2nd Congressional District, has just 525,000 constituents. Our votes are already weighted.

What’s more, five-thirds has a redemptive, lyrical quality to it: The weighted portion of the vote could be interpreted as the voice of those who earned the right to the ballot but were unjustly silenced. Too sentimental? Fine. Economics and statistics could help assign the right value for proper weighting. The magnitude of the challenges and the corresponding solution could be taken up by Congress as a giant math problem, but in the end, racial reconciliation requires a moral and political mandate to make black America whole.

This plan should be temporally limited in scope, since the point is not to permanently install a historical equivalence but to erase structural disadvantages. Weighted voting could be fixed to some predetermined period of years, say 24, which is only about a third of the number of years the three-fifths compromise was in place. This amount of time would include multiple presidential, congressional, state and local elections, as well as referenda. Each elected office, no matter its term, would face several elections, allowing their constituencies successive opportunities to hold their representatives accountable.

And then the problem of who exactly is eligible must be addressed. Would a biracial voter qualify? A black immigrant? And what exactly is an election official to do when Rachel Dolezal shows up to claim her five-thirds vote? The government shouldn’t be the sole arbiter of who gets to be black — nor flirt with archaic prescriptions such as the one-drop rule in determining a voter’s race. The most straightforward approach would be to limit access to weighted voting to those American-born citizens who have demonstrated through government documents, such as drivers’ licenses or birth certificates, that they identify, and are identified by others, as black or African American. There are bound to be instances where this approach is challenged, and one answer would be to model guidelines after the general requirements for establishing American Indian or Alaska Native ancestry as outlined by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which involve establishing that a lineal ancestor belongs to a specific tribe and then producing vital records that document a relationship to that ancestor.

Granting reparations in this way would empower African Americans but gifts nothing: Black voters would still have to claim their share of reparations at every election — a suitable settlement in a nation allergic to handouts. Weighted-vote reparations would require African Americans to register and turn out in order to achieve the desired impact on public policy. It would require sustained civic and political engagement.

Of course, weighted-vote reparations are only slightly more politically feasible than a multi-trillion-dollar payout. But we have to consider novel approaches to racial reconciliation — including apology, forgiveness and, yes, some kind of restitution — if we are serious about ridding the nation of barriers to opportunity and overcoming the racial discrimination woven into America’s fabric. If racism is the culprit, then dismantling it requires the same tools that constructed it.

Here’s my response to Theodore Johnson:

Booker T. WashingtonMilwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke

~Éowyn

Sacramento gets a ‘D-plus’ in small business survey, and it’s an improvement

You get the best thing on earth when you consistently vote democrat.

lauren bacall

Sacramento Bee: Sacramento earned a “D-plus” grade in an annual survey measuring small-business friendliness among cities nationwide, an improvement from the three previous years, when Sacramento received an “F” grade.

In a report released Tuesday, Sacramento ranked 85th among 95 U.S. cities, according to San Francisco-based Thumbtack, an online marketplace to help consumers hire professionals for special projects.

This year, Sacramento received failing grades in seven of 10 categories, including employment, regulations and health/safety. Sacramento’s top grade was “C” in the training/networking programs category.

“Sacramento small businesses tell us the regulatory environment is one of the worst in the country and needs to improve if the city wants to be a great place to start and run a small service business,” said Jon Lieber, chief economist of Thumbtack.

As it did last year, California received an “F” grade in 2015. The survey ranked the top five most business-friendly states as Texas, New Hampshire, Utah, Louisiana and Colorado, respectively.

Thumbtack’s results were based on interviews with nearly 18,000 small-businesses owners nationwide, including 209 in Sacramento.

DCG

Japan’s worst day for teen suicides. “Collective thinking” part of the problem?

japanese youthJapan’s “killer collectivism” has been around for some time.

CNN: Nanae Munemasa was at elementary school when the bullying started. The 17-year-old student says she was beaten by boys with broom sticks, slapped in the girls’ bathroom, and even attacked during a swimming lesson. “I was the last one to get out of the pool,” she said. “A brush flew out of nowhere and it hit me underwater. I nearly drowned. I had a huge bump on my forehead.”

Nanae started skipping school, and even thought about taking her own life.

Suicide spike

She’s not alone. More Japanese school pupils commit suicide on September 1 each year than on any other date, according to figures collated by Japan’s suicide prevention office over a period of more than 40 years.

The grim spike in the statistics is linked to the typical start date of the new school term after the summer holiday has ended. “The long break from school enables you to stay at home, so it’s heaven for those who are bullied,” Nanae said. “When summer ends, you have to go back. And once you start worrying about getting bullied, committing suicide might be possible.”

Japan has one of the highest rates of suicide in the world, and it is the leading cause of death among those aged 15-39. The government’s figures show that in total 18,048 under-18s took their own lives between 1972 and 2013.

Nanae said she became a target for bullies after she transferred schools for a short time before returning — meaning she was branded as a truant. When the bullying worsened, she considered suicide, but did not go through with it. “I thought that actions such as cutting my wrist would cause trouble for my parents, and committing suicide would not solve anything.”

collectivism

Collective thinking

In the end, Nanae decided to stop going to school and stayed at home for nearly a year.

Nanae’s mother, Mina Munemasa, was supportive of her daughter’s decision. “Nanae was saying things like, ‘If I jump off the Tokyo Tower, I think I can fly,” Mina said. “I don’t think school is a place where you have to risk your life to go.”

Nanae thinks the Japanese education system’s focus on collective thinking is at the root cause of the problem.

“In Japan, you have to fall in line with other people. And if you cannot do that, you’re either ignored or bullied,” she said. “You are required to have a unified opinion, and it crushes the uniqueness every person has. But that uniqueness is not something to destroy.”

Some experts agree. Child psychiatrist Dr. Ken Takaoka said the suicide rate increases when school restarts because schools “prioritize collective (action). Children who do not get along in a group will suffer.”

Living hell

To raise awareness of the issue, a Japanese non-profit organization, Futoko Shimbun, is even printing a newspaper for children who stay home to avoid bullying. Keiko Okuchi, one of the organization’s representatives, said the problem is exacerbated by a culture that dictates that going to school is the only option. “It is a living hell for children who know that they’ll be bullied at school, yet they have no other choice but to go,” she said.

Now, Nanae has returned to her studies and is also singing in a pop band called Nanakato along with her brother. Nanae hopes that one day they will have enough fans to fill Tokyo’s famous arena Budokan, and play their music in a foreign country.

Nanae is also trying to help others being bullied by writing a blog about what she went through. “It would be great if (the blog) helps at least one person stop thinking about committing suicide,” she said.

Nanae’s mother said her daughter’s time on the Internet was a key factor in helping her get through the bullying. “By creating connections with people in Japan as well as other countries, she was able to regain her confidence,” Mina said. “Adults tend to say that the Internet is dangerous but there are definitely some children who are saved by it.”

DCG

Pets who steal our bed . . . and we let them!

pets in bedpets in bed1pets in bed2pets in bed3pets in bed4pets in bed5pets in bed6pets in bed7Gaby in bedpets in bed8pets in bed9pets in bed10pets in bed11

Source: The Dodo

~Éowyn

Video Comparison: Visual Features of “Real” Shooting vs. Parker/Ward Shooting Footage

Originally posted on Memory Hole:

wdbj-reportYouTube video presents “real bullet shots and fake shots in Virginia WDBJ TV News Live Broadcast Shooting.”

The video presents footage of shooting an actual handgun, complete with recoil/muzzle flip, spent casings exiting the weapon, and bullet impact versus the footage of the August 26 reported shooting of broadcast journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward which suggests the potential use of blanks or the equivalent during the event.

View original 45 more words

Good heavens. What happened to Jenner’s face?

This is Bruce Jenner, age 32, in 1981:

Bruce Jenner 1981

This is Bruce “call me Caitlyn” Jenner, age 65, in August 2015, after extensive “feminizing” facial surgery:

Bruce Caitlyn Jenner August 2015

Jenner looks neither man nor woman. He looks evil.

See also:

The Devil is transgender

Please join me in reciting this prayer.

A Prayer of Exorcism and for Deliverance

O Lord, hear my prayer
And let my cry come unto Thee

God of heaven, God of earth,
God of Angels, God of Archangels,
God of Patriarchs, God of Prophets,
God of Apostles, God of Martyrs,
God of Confessors, God of Virgins,
God who has power
to give life after death and rest after work:
because there is no other God than Thee
and there can be no other,
for Thou art the Creator of all things,
visible and invisible,
of Whose reign there shall be no end,
we humbly prostrate ourselves before Thy glorious Majesty
and we beseech Thee to deliver us by Thy power
from all the tyranny of the infernal spirits,
from their snares, their lies and their furious wickedness.
Deign, O Lord,
to grant us Thy powerful protection
and to keep us safe and sound.
We beseech Thee
through Jesus Christ Our Lord.
Amen.

From the snares of the devil,
Deliver us, O Lord.
We beseech Thee to hear us.

~Éowyn

50 Shades of Exile

Is our land about to vomit us out?

cute-unicorns-and-rainbows

Sexual perversion has been a prime mover in the destruction of civilizations. Is America next?

“‘Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. But you must keep my decrees and my laws. The native-born and the foreigners residing among you must not do any of these detestable things, for all these things were done by the people who lived in the land before you, and the land became defiled. And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you.’”
– Leviticus 18:24-28


God forbid!