YOUR CIRCUMCISION IS COMING BACK TO HAUNT AND ANGER YOU! SO IS YOUR EX-GIRLFRIEND: “The feminists hadn’t shown up yet, but they could, at any moment, with their protest signs and screaming. The threat of them was an infuriating and exhilarating specter throughout the weekend, a symbol of the oppression facing the men’s rights activists who had gathered to meet for their inaugural conference. Early Friday before the opening session, a wispy trail of men — mostly white, college-through-retirement-age — waited for the doors to open outside of this Veterans of Foreign Wars outpost in suburban Detroit. One man talked about his ex-wife. A lot of guys talked about their ex-wives. Ex-wives and ex-girlfriends were often cited as the catalysts to these men’s realizations that the world had become a hostile and dangerous place for males. Such realizations are what activists sometimes call “red pill moments,” and although attendees coalesced around different issues — paternity fraud, circumcision, false rape allegations — the binding theme was that almost everyone here had experienced a version of a red pill moment. In the months leading up to the International Conference on Men’s Issues, much of the rest of the country hunkered down on discussions of gender: a White House task force studied sexual assaults on college campuses. A shooter in Santa Barbara, Calif., killed two women and four men because, he said in a manifesto and video posted before his attack, he believed women had unjustly withheld affection from him. A #YesAllWomen campaign highlighted broader experiences of misogyny. At the ICMI, where about 200 participants had preordered tickets, there was a parallel discussion of gender issues: Men, attendees believed, were the ones under threat of attack. This conference was their response, their rallying call to action. “Men are second-class citizens,” said Gary Costanza, a pleasant gray-haired man from Long Island. He was particularly interested in divorce issues, saying that custody should always be split and financial child support should not exist. He just wanted the same rights as everyone else. That’s all any of them said they wanted. The same rights as the “privileged women,” as various attendees described the female gender. The entitled, increasingly “narcissistic women.” That’s all.” (via Washington Post)
JUST LIKE A MAN:
YESTERDAY’S OTHER BAD NEWS – THE FIRST AMENDMENT IS THE NEW SECOND AMENDMENT, OR TENTH, OR WHATEVER: “In a 5-4 decision by Justice Samuel Alito, the Supreme Court dealt a serious blow to public sector unions on Monday, although the opinion fell short of the claim made by the anti-union litigation shop that argued that case, which sought to undermine the finances of all public sector unions. The plaintiffs in this case, and their anti-union attorneys, argued that non-union members cannot be required to reimburse unions that bargain on their behalf for the costs it incurred during that bargaining. Without those reimbursements, the financial viability of the unions is in jeopardy. Alito’s opinion in Harris v. Quinn recognizes a category of “partial public employees” who cannot be required to contribute funds to the collective bargaining that they benefit from. This case involved Medicaid home health workers who are paid by the state but who work directly for individual patients. Nevertheless, the case hints that the Court will deal additional blows to public sector unions in the future. Alito labels a seminal Supreme Court opinion allowing unions to collect reimbursements from nonmembers “questionable on several grounds.” Harris is a First Amendment decision. As Justice Stephen Breyer pointed out at the oral arguments in Harris, and as Emily Bazelon expands upon over at Slate, Harris is the latest effort by conservatives to use “the First Amendment as their weapon” in order to implement their preferred policies through the judiciary. The purpose of the First Amendment, is to ensure a robust debate where no ideas are suppressed, so that the American electorate is best equipped to make choices at the polls. As Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes explained in 1919, “the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out. That at any rate is the theory of our Constitution.” Harris, however, turns this principle on its head. As Justice Elena Kagan laid out at oral argument, [s]ince 1948 . . . there has been a debate in every State across this country about whether to be a right-to-work State and people have disagreed. Some States say yes, some States say no. It raises considerable heat and passion and tension, as we recently saw in Wisconsin. And — but, you know, these are public policy choices that States make.” The plaintiffs in Harris argued, in Kagan’s words, that “people have been debating the wrong question when they’ve been debating that, because, in fact, a right-to-work law is constitutionally compelled.” The purpose of the First Amendment, according to the plaintiffs in Harris, is not to foster democracy, it is to render democracy irrelevant. This is a radical rethinking of our Constitution. And it was just embraced by five justices of the Supreme Court of the United States.” (via Think Progress)
WILL THE COUNTY COMMISSION DO THE RIGHT THING WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY DOING THE WRONG THING? YES, SAYS FRED BRUMMER, AT LEAST FOR NOW: “Boosters of a charter referendum that would make all Orange County races partisan contests are pressing elected leaders to put it on the ballot in November. Last week the groups Citizens for Informed Voters met the petition requirement to get the ballot measure before voters, topping the roughly 45,000 that were needed. But technically, the Orange County Commission must still vote to place it on the ballot. That didn't happen the last -- and only -- time that a petition campaign successfully met that voter petition requirement. In 2012, advocates for a mandatory paid sick time referendum collected a similar number of signatures, but the Commission opted to delay its placement on the ballot. A judicial panel later ruled that this violated the county charter, and ordered the measure to appear on the next countywide ballot, which will be Aug. 26. However, Republican lawmakers last year passed a law that preempted local governments from enacting such rules, so it's basically a straw poll that voters will weigh in on. But advocates for the pending partisan charter measure don't want to see that delay tactic happen again. In a message that's been moving across social media in the last couple days, supporters are asking: "Orange County Commissioners: Are you going to break the law again? Don't deny 50,000 voters" Election Supervisor Bill Cowles said he had not received any indication that the measure would not be approved for the ballot by the County Commission. And one of the key architects of keeping the paid sick time measure off the 2012 ballot said this latest petition-driven referendum does not appear to be as objectionable. "It's gotta go on the ballot," said Commissioner Fred Brummer, who said at this point he would vote to put it to voters this in November. Brummer sided with tourism and other business leaders in opposing the paid sick time measure's ballot placement in 2012, agreeing with those who said it was misleading, confusing and would cost jobs. "I don't know that this has the same flaws," Brummer said, referring to the partisan-race proposal.” (via Orlando Sentinel)
PAM BONDI BLEEDS XENU IN THE NAME OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING. IN OTHER NEWS, XENU LOVES HUMAN TRAFFICKING: “Attorney General Pam Bondi, who already has raised millions for her re-election campaign, can expect to pull in more dollars Tuesday night at a Clearwater fundraiser where all six organizers are prominent members of the Church of Scientology. Bondi’s “special guest,’’ the invitation says, will be U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-Indian Shores. Hosting the event are Liz and Michael Baybak, owners of a 23rd-floor penthouse in the swank Water’s Edge condos downtown. The tower, perched on a 40-foot bluff, affords stunning views of Clearwater Harbor to the west and, in every other direction, Scientology’s many buildings. Baybak is chief executive of Michael Baybak and Company, a Clearwater-based business services consulting firm. Baybak and his wife have been major donors to Scientology. They also have been occasional contributors to congressional candidates, federal elections records show. They could not be reached for comment. Other organizers are Brett Miller, who has been active for years in local Republican politics, and his wife, Dr. Jill Hagan, a Clearwater dentist; and Joanie and Steve Sigal, co-founders of a Clearwater marketing company, SJS Associates. The two couples also have contributed to local, state and congressional candidates, most of them Republicans. Reached by phone Monday, Miller and Steve Sigal hung up on a reporter, refusing to discuss how many guests are expected and whether any non-Scientologists are invited, other than Bondi and Jolly. Bondi is aware Scientologists are staging the event, said campaign spokeswoman Christina Johnson. She said Bondi first connected with Scientologists in 2010 when she and other elected officials toured some of the church's Clearwater facilities. Bondi spoke then to a group of Scientologists about human trafficking and the evils of pill mills, a topic that resonated because Scientologists sponsor what they tout as the largest antidrug program in the world. At Tuesday's fundraiser, she will return to those themes, Johnson said. "It's like-minded folks sharing the same goals: Protecting children against drug overdoses and human trafficking,'' Johnson said. One of those topics rings with irony. From 2009 to 2011, the FBI investigated church work sites, primarily in California, focusing on physical and mental restrictions and probing whether they constituted human trafficking. The investigation ended with no charges filed.” (via Tampa Bay Times)
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