Sunday Train: Reflections on a visit to the East Coast

Your intrepid sustainable energy and transport reporter was recently required to engage in some official business with an overseas consulate located in New York city, and in order to be able to afford to sit and wait as the wheels of bureaucracy as long as might have been required, obtained lodgings in a relatively cheap motel in New Brunswick and took the NJ Transit Northeast Corridor train back and forth. This week's Sunday Train is a collection of scattered observations made along the way.

Topic: 

Column: 

3

The Breakfast Club (Wake Me Up When September Ends)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We're a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we're not too hungover  we've been bailed out we're not too exhausted from last night's (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and
weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our
boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late,
it's PhilJD's fault.

Topic: 

0

Study estimates 24000 transgender people will be disenfranchised by Voter ID

The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law has released a new study, this time concerning the affects of Voter ID. The Potential Impact of Voter Identification Laws on Transgender Voters in 2014 General Election, written by Jody Herman, concludes that there could be over 24000 eligible transgender voters across ten states who will not be able to vote because of Voter ID laws.

The Institute finds that there are approximately 84000 eligible transgender voters in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin. All those states have photo voter ID laws except Wisconsin...which might have one come election time. The study estimates that 28% of those eligible voters do not have valid photo ID that reflects their gender and name sufficient to the standards of the laws.

 

 photo transgendervoting_zpsb8208d4e.jpg
 

Lawmakers should not overlook the consequences of enacting stricter voter ID laws on transgender voters. Election officials must consider the potential impact of these laws in the upcoming November elections. Voter ID laws create a unique barrier for transgender people who would otherwise be eligible to vote.

--Herman

Topic: 

3

The Breakfast Club (Sailing Takes Me Away)

The Breakfast Club (Sailing Takes Me Away)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We're a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we're not too hungover  we've been bailed out we're not too exhausted from last night's (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it's PhilJD's fault.

Topic: 

Column: 

3

Gender Prison: Canadian Human Rights Tribunal issues ruling protecting allies

The Human Rights Tribunal basically ruled that is a violation of rights to attempt to force someone else to act in a bigoted manner.

The case was Salsman v. London Sales Arena Corp. Salsman is notable because the highest damages awarded did not go to any of the three transgender individuals involved but to their non-transgender employer.

The case involved three transgender women who were working at the booth of Karen Clarke-McIlwain at the Trails End market in London, Ontario which is operated by London Sales Arena Corp.

Clarke-McIlwain rented the booth at Trails End in order to sell candles.On September 10, 2011, transgender woman Daniella Freeman was working the booth along with two transwomen friends, Judith Salsman and Falicity Chartrand.

That evening Clarke-McIlwain received a telephone call from the market manager on behalf of the store's owner, Edward Kikkert. Market management claimed that the call was to "pass on" complaints about the burning of incense at the booth and that those attending the booth were "scantily clad" and "inappropriate for the family market."

Topic: 

Column: 

3

Turnout for Teachout and Wu

Unlike some I still have a thin shred of hope in the power of the ballot because I don't think people are stupid as a whole, just slow to learn and easily influenced.

We've had 40 years at least to prove that neo-liberal, trickle-down, perfect market economics do not work. They have demonstrated failure in tangible ways that show up at your dinner table every day as you CCPI substitute pet food for people food and wear out your cheap off shored rags in weeks and not years. Your quality of life is declining and it's harder to disguise.

This is not the inevitable increase of entropy, it's the result of management decisions made by our government to enrich our elites at the expense of everyone else.

Fortunately conditions like this do not persist. Whenever there are too many of us and not enough of them there is a revolution. The propaganda becomes repetitive and unbelievable, the cognitive dissonance too much to overcome.

You are not alone. Millions of people see the same things you do, think the same things you think. Including the elites, that's why they are worried and are investing so heavily in more propaganda and more coercive tools for the suppression of mass sentiment. Submit to the charms of illusion or the iron boot of oppression, it matters not as long as you submit.

But ultimately they are dependent on your voluntary submission. They make the calculation that they can distract you with bright and shiny objects or so disillusion you that apathy seems rebellion.

My cynicism is dark and deep, but not that deep. Nope, I'm actually an optimistic sort of guy- not that it does any good.

I think that politicians, who remain at least nominally subject to a process of public approval, and pundits/media news people, who are more directly and immediately dependent on their audience, are open to influence from the populace and ignore it at their peril.

Ways to show that are by showing up at the polls and voting Third Party, changing your registration to a Third Party, or by voting for Third Party candidates like Teachout and Wu in major party primaries. If nothing else you can make Chuck Todd's head explode which is always fun.

I approach this incrementally and pragmatically. If we continue to vote for the lesser of two evils, it is still evil. If the current conditions persist more radical solutions than mine will gain urgency.

If I seem like a centrist, I AM! My beliefs are rooted in the core of New Deal Democracy and Keynesian Economics. It is Andrew Cuomo and his corrupt crony capitalism and double dealing 'bi-partisanship' that prop up the corpse of the New York Republican Party as a Boogieman too scary to dare deserting a Democratic Party that has abandoned every principle and promise.

I am not afraid.

I'd prefer that it not come to pitchforks and torches because I'm more comfortable not being poked and fire has a disturbing tendency to spread beyond your magical circle of intent, but you use the tools you have and if you doubt their efficacy in a modern environment I invite a closer study of recent developments where overwhelming power has not produced the desired results. Humans are a recalcitrant and obstinate lot.

Should you live and vote in New York as a registered Democrat I invite you today to take positive action and indicate your disapproval of Andrew Cuomo and Kathy Hochul.

Vote for Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu.

It is really the very least you can do.

Topic: 

3

Pages

Subscribe to Voices on the Square RSS