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I propose the "No Worker/ Tax Payer Left behind Bill" which is simple. Of course, this is a whim writing and debatable. Backgrou...

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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Six Percent Trust the Mainstream Media- Here's an example of why.

I speak from someone not supporting either of the candidates. However, the media was wrong claiming a victor and "historic moment" etc. the night before the final Super Tuesday.

Even after California (whose vote may have been suppressed by this shoddy journalism the night before), Hillary Clinton has won just 2,184 pledged delegates. She needs 2,383 pledged delegates to become the "presumptive nominee" before the convention- 199 short. Taking into consideration the final primary in Washington D.C. next week which awards 45 delegates, assuming she wins, she'd still need 154 more pledged delegates to become the Democrat's "presumptive nominee". This means that even after the last ballot, she is shy 154 delegates and by rules of the Democrat party, they wait until the convention to choose their nominee which then includes super delegates (which is undemocratic in and of itself). Super delegates are not allowed to cast a pledge prior to Wed. of their convention. This means that at most she would have at most the title of "likely nominee" would be more fitting by a media pretending to be fair and unbiased.

As Bernie Sanders claims, the AP, using un-named sources doing polling of those party leaders named at whim as "Super Delegates" (who also wished to remain anonymous) yet to cast their "super delegate" vote which cannot take place until the convention is like calling an entire election based on polling weeks before the election date in November or using exit-poll data on the day of the election. With proper persuasion (such as an indictment of Clinton based on her flouting the laws as Secretary of State), super delegate votes may yet change to Sanders.

This is exactly why no one trusts the media (6% trust according to the AP in APR, 2016). When they are wrong, others try to cover for them such as here. What the AP did to Sanders the night before the last "Super Tuesday" was absolutely wrong.

The irony is that the narrative-creating bias (what the media chooses to report on, how often, how saturated, and when- Friday vs. a Monday) is usually skewed left with the Republican party complaining (and rightfully so based on research found here). But this time, they hurt the Socialist Bernie Sanders probably due to the deep pocket of the Clintons and all of the former Clinton and Obama staffers working as "journalists" at the largest news rooms such as George Stephanopoulos of "Good Morning America" and ABC News "This Week" who also broke journalistic standards by being a major contributor this election cycle to Hillary Clinton. Other examples include media titan and owner of CNN (known in some circles as "Clinton News Network") Ted Turner who is also a major donor of Clinton.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Affirmative Action: What once helped minorities only hurts them

Chief Justice Roberts said it best in Parents Involved (2007) when writing, "The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race." This is true concerning the horrific history of our nation and it is true today in social experimentation with our youth and young adults. The only time it was not so true was in the immediate aftermath (a generation, two at most, to correct the injustice of the Jim Crow era elevating persons of color into management and other realms of society in order to set the black community up for future success. In the unlikely event of community resistance to these programs, I could even see extending the programs slightly longer. 
Fast forward to a day and age where even an African American is currently on the Supreme Court, an African American is serving his SECOND elected term in the White House, 46 members of Congress are black (not to mention the amount of all other ethnicities now in Congress and on the Supreme Court), it is time to stop using race as a factor in schools, government, and definitely in the private sector. 
In today's more enlightened America, affirmative action does more to harm the minority community (especially black and Hispanic communities) than good. And Affirmative Action actually has shown to harm Asians (the model minority community according to many experts) than to even the Caucasian community. First I will address African American/ Hispanic harm and then Asian discriminatory effect of affirmative action. 
According to black scholars such as Shelby Steele of Stanford University, affirmative action has created a perception of black doctors and other licensed professionals that they are not as qualified as Caucasians because many have arrived to prestigious schools not on achievement, but by affirmative action (Tweedy, 2015). In California where racial preferences were banned, more black and Hispanic applicants actually accepted enrollment when qualified not on race due to the stigma of only getting a slot by affirmative action was no longer present (Sander & Taylor Jr., 2012). Additionally, where academic achievement is mismatched by affirmative action bumps and thus enrollment into prestigious colleges, the well above average drop out rate and licensure failure rate for black and Hispanic students further led to stereotypes of intelligence being lower amongst those communities than were those who actually were fully qualified educationally and actually kept up or exceeded their Caucasian peers (ibid).  This harm is further reinforced by data below in how Asians have been actually harmed by affirmative action below. 
Recently a lot of media attention was shown to what many call the "model minority" of our nation; those of Asian decent. The book "Tiger Mom" made headlines because of the strict discipline in Asian homes toward academic achievement and the highest percentile of two-parent homes of all ethnicities in the United States has created upward mobility of the Asian community than both any other minority or majority population. (I attribute the upward mobility nearly 100% to the familial function of a community and this is corroborated with criminality and poverty by ethnicity and their averages of divorce and single parenthood patterns pertaining to each ethnic group.) <- before I get beat up, I am speaking in macro, not micro. Anyone individual can show an exception such as our President. Like I say, not all smokers get lung cancer, but the macro trend is such that we say smoking causes lung cancer! 
Looking at admissions outside of California and other states where affirmative action has been banned, an Asian applying for medical school with scored between 27-29 on their MCAT and held a 3.4-3.59 undergraduate GPA had a 28% chance of acceptance to medical school, a Caucasian with the same had a 34% chance, whereas Hispanic and Black applicants with the same had a 68% and 84% chance respectively! This means, due to the overwhelming representation of Asians in medical schools and their in-tact communities, one of the smallest communities in our nation is actually the most discriminated against! See the chart below showing the results of the study by the American Enterprise Institute.
So the point is, it is time for Affirmative Action to end. It has now reached past the point of help to the point of harm. 

Perry, M. J. (2013, April 4). Acceptance rates at US medical schools between 2010-2012 reveal racial preferences for blacks and Hispanics. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
Sander, R., & Taylor, S., Jr. (2012, October 2). The painful truth about affirmative action: Why racial preferences in college admissions hurt minority students -- and shroud the education system in dishonesty. Retrieved April 23, 2016, from http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/10/the-painful-truth-about-affirmative-action/263122/
Tweedy, D. (2015, October 2). What It's Like to Be a Black Man in Medical School. Retrieved April 23, 2016, from http://time.com/4044851/black-man-in-a-white-coat/

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Will the Supreme Court strike down Texas' New Abortion Law? My prediction

SUBJECT Potential Ruling and Effects by The Supreme Court Concerning Texas' HB 2 Omnibus Abortion Bill.

In this posting, I attempt to ascertain the ongoing litigation in regard to the abortion regulations passed by the Texas legislature and signed into law by then Governor Rick Perry in 2013.

Upfront prediction: Although it is impossible to determine in which way the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will rule, especially in light of the vacancy of one of the nine seats due to the untimely death of the influential Justice Scalia, we believe the Texas amendments will be struck down by a 5-3 vote with Justice Kennedy joining with the four liberal judges.

Further below, I will address other options that are not as likely including the case being remanded back to the district level for “evidence” which could leave the stay in place while it works its way back to a nine seat SCOTUS. Another, albeit unlikely event, is that the court rules 4-4 “per curiam” which would allow the law to stand, but not set precedent. Per curiam is a term used when there is a tie in the SCOTUS due to a justice’s absence or recusal from a case. The least likely scenario is one of the liberals switching sides along with the moderate Justice Kennedy joining with the conservatives to uphold the law. Another variable will depend on the current nomination for SCOTUS being confirmed amid the election season in which we could see a shifting of the parties in the White House and a more conservative member nominated.

Essential Background Information: The law is known as House Bill (HB) 2 and titled the Texas Omnibus Abortion Bill. HB 2 amends Texas’ Health and Safety Code at §2, subchapter A, chapter 171 which regulates abortions to add the provisions as paraphrased:

1.    Physicians must have active admitting privileges at a hospital which provides obstetrics and gynecological services within 30 miles of the clinic which provides OB/GYN services

2.    Physicians provide a 24 telephone number to the patient which reaches a clinical staff member for any complications that may arise from the procedure as well as the contact information (name and telephone number) to the nearest hospital to the home address of the patient.
a.    HB 2 stipulates violation of these provisions just stated as a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of no more than $4,000.

Further additions to the Health and Safety Code added under the title “Preborn Pain Act” include:

3.    A ban on abortions at 20 weeks’ post-fertilization or later
a.    unless the life of the woman is at risk, substantial (and irreversible) non-psychological harm (to prevent using diagnoses that self-harm could take place) to the woman would occur, OR
b.    the unborn child is known to have a severe fetal abnormality as defined by § 285.202 which is defined as “a life threatening physical condition that, in reasonable medical judgment, regardless of the provision of life saving medical treatment, is incompatible with life outside the womb.”

4.    In the event that it is medically necessary to perform an abortion after 20 weeks, the physician must choose a method of abortion which gives the unborn child the greatest chance of survival should the abortion be unsuccessful except in the cases of the life or health of the woman defined above and the severe fetal abnormality as defined in § 285.202. 
a.    Prohibits any cause of action against a woman who receives an abortion regardless of legality. But,
b.    under the “Preborn Pain Act”, the doctor may receive administrative penalties by the Texas Medical Board, including suspension or forfeiture of medical license and/ or a $5,000 fine for each day of non-compliance.

5.    The amendment also mandates protection of the identity of a woman receiving an abortion who through these amendments were named as a victim or witness unless a court through hearings determine that no alternative exists in and it is essential to the administration of justice.   

Final amendments pertain to abortion-inducing drugs under HB 2:

6.    All abortion inducing drugs must be prescribed by a physician and
a.    must be in accordance with FDA guidelines outlined in the final printed label authorized for the drug and
b.    only in the amounts prescribed by the clinical management guidelines by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Practice Bulletin as they were published January 1st, 2013.

7.    A physician must physically examine the patient and document in her medical records the gestational age and the intrauterine location of the fetus.

8.    The physician must provide to the patient a copy of the FDA approved final printed label and the same telephone information stipulated earlier in these amendments.

9.    The physician must schedule a 14 day follow-up appointment and document all reasonable attempts to ensure the patient attends the follow-up.

10. At the follow-up, the physician must confirm the termination was completed and assess the degree of any bleeding. Any complications as defined under the MedWatch Reporting System that arises must be reported to the FDA through the MedWatch Reporting System.
a.    Violations can result in the doctor receiving administrative penalties by the Texas Medical Board to include suspension or forfeiture of medical license and/ or a $5,000 fine for each day of non-compliance.

Not to be outdone, the Senate also added an additional restriction in their version of HB 2 which was HB 5 and later renamed by the Governor in special session as HB 2:

1.    All abortion clinics must be equivalent to the minimum standards of an ambulatory surgical center.  

Litigation Challenging the Amendments since Enactment. Two notable cases have arisen since these amendments were passed; Planned Parenthood v. Abbott and Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.

In Planned Parenthood, the plaintiffs asked the federal court to immediately block the most concerning aspects of the amendments; the restrictions placed on abortion through medication and the requirement for physicians performing abortions to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital (many of whom were denied based on a hospitals religious affiliations or lack of income generating potential since it is rare for a patient to require hospitalization due to abortion[i]). Although relief was granted by the federal district judge, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the lower court and upheld the provisions. The SCOTUS refused to hear the case which allowed the law to proceed[ii].

However, another lawsuit was filed by Whole Woman’s Health, a private provider of abortion in several states including Texas. In this case, while proceeding through the courts (currently at the Supreme Court), the SCOTUS by a 5-4 decision[iii] issued a stay preventing the enforcement of mandatory upgrades of abortion clinics to ambulatory surgical center standards and blocked the physician hospital admitting requirements in clinics operating in McAllen and El Paso, Texas until decided.  

Precedent: Two notable cases shaped abortion law in the United States over the past forty plus years. The most known case which legalized abortion as a fundamental right is the well known Roe v. Wade[iv]. While that case legalized abortion by judicial fiat, the lesser know Planned Parenthood v. Casey[v] allowed states to place certain restrictions on abortion.

Roe v. Wade: The court held in Roe v. Wade and its sister case, Doe v. Bolton, that a woman has a right to choose whether or not to terminate a pregnancy until fetal viability. In Roe, the court held that the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment protected a woman’s right to privacy, but did hold that as the pregnancy matured, the state’s vested interest increased. These interests include the health of the woman and the potential viability of the fetus. Therefore, in the first trimester, states could do little to restrict an abortion. In this trimester, it was strictly the choice of the woman. In the second trimester, states could place regulation on abortion if their interests were in the health of the mother; that is, they could regulate procedure, but not outlaw abortion[vi]. The SCOTUS arbitrarily declared the fetus as not viable during these first two trimesters. In the third trimester, states could outlaw abortion when a fetus is known to be viable outside of the wound except in a case of a woman’s health being in jeopardy.

The Roe v. Wade decision laid out a trimester framework for determining legality
of abortion. 
Planned Parenthood v. Casey: In the last two years of the 1980s, Pennsylvania enacted a series of provisions prior to a woman being allowed to have an abortion. These provisions included a 24 hour waiting period as well as some consent requirements. One consent requirement mandated minors seeking an abortion to inform at least one parent unless a judge declares otherwise. The other requirement was notifying a marital spouse her intent to have an abortion except in certain circumstances. Although a district court declared all restrictions unconstitutional, the court of appeals reversed the district court on all restrictions except the husband notification. This decision was appealed the SCOTUS.

The SCOTUS in 1992 reaffirmed Roe stating the need to preserve the institutional integrity of the judicial branch by affirming and reaffirming prior decisions made by the same court; this is referred to as stare decisis (Latin for “to stand by things [already] decided) also known as precedent[vii]. The SCOTUS reaffirmed the right of a woman to have an abortion before viability of the fetus without interference nor substantial obstacles emplaced by the state unless the state’s interests are strong enough to support a particular prohibition.

The SCOTUS confirmed the state’s power to restrict abortions after fetal viability so long as their exceptions for the woman’s health as the state does have a legitimate interest from the outset of the pregnancy in protecting a woman’s health and the life of a fetus after viability[viii] without regard to strict trimester guidelines found in the Roe decision. This, the SCOTUS affirms is a liberty protected by the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment and the protections afforded to the citizenry against unwarranted governmental intrusion into their private lives.

The result of this decision by the SCOTUS was that the states could enact these restrictions except the spousal notification with the dividing line being whether or not a restriction places an “undue burden” on the right to have an abortion prior to fetal viability.

The open question: What constitutes an “undue burden”? As often happens in a SCOTUS decision, a new term or line is drawn, but the SCOTUS fails to adequately define that line or what that term entails. This is what happened in Casey with the “undue burden” standard. Although the undue burden standard has applied to earlier cases pertaining to different rights, this is the first time it was used in the relatively newly established right to abortion. The only definition mention to the undue burden standard in this case was by Justice John Paul Stevens in his partial concurrence/ partial dissent when he stated an undue burden is if either too severe or lacks a legitimate and rational justification[ix].

Oral arguments in current Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt: With the undue burden standard inadequately defined, this gave rise to the current case concerning the Pennsylvania restrictions outlined in this memorandum. On March 2nd, 2016, oral arguments took place before the SCOTUS[x]. As was expected, the four liberal justices on the SCOTUS drilled the attorney (the state’s solicitor general) representing Texas and the three remaining conservative justices directed their questions to the attorneys representing Whole Woman’s Health including the Solicitor General of the United States who helped advocate for them.

Arguments by the State of Texas focused on the health and safety of women as the focus of the law. By laying these claims, they could feel they can stay on the side of the Casey decision while restricting abortion. The conservative justices largely seemed to agree as Justice Alito pointed out that some of the Whole Woman’s Health facilities have been cited for major health violations such as holes in the floors where rats could enter. He also notes that the restrictions are very little to do with abortion itself, rather safety measures such as entrances at grade level, elevators to upper floors, and hallways large enough for a stretcher if needed.

Whole Woman’s Health argued that these are tactics only to place such restrictions on abortion, that abortion would be severely limited. These types of laws are what abortion supporters refer to as “Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers” or “TRAP” laws.

For this, they had some anecdotal evidence. Since enactment, over a dozen clinics were forced to close. The Conservative Chief Justice noted that the clinics closed prior to the law taking effect with the liberal Justice Elena Kagan finding it odd that when notified the clinics would incur the costs of transforming to a surgical center they closed, but when the stay was put in place, they reopened. The liberal justices also repeatedly made it a point that some women would have to travel 200 miles or more twice just to receive an abortive medication found elsewhere over the counter.

Finally, the lone moderate and swing justice, Justice Anthony Kennedy suggested that they remand the case back to the lower court for more information. This would serve a vital purpose. By time the case winds its way back to the SCOTUS, there will be a ninth judge to affirmatively rule on the matter with precedent avoiding a 4-4 per curiam decision without precedent. If this were to happen, although not certain, it would likely result in a stay remaining in place blocking the enforcement of the law[xi].


It is my opinion that the most likely scenario is that the SCOTUS will vote 5-3 to reverse the amendments to the Texas law as an undue burden in violation of Roe and Casey. We predict that the oft unpredictable and swing voter on the SCOTUS, Justice Kennedy will side with the four liberals on the SCOTUS.

The second most likely scenario is that the case will be remanded back to the lower courts for more evidence on whether the remaining clinics can serve the abortion needs adequately. In this scenario, the stay would more than likely remain in place[xii]. The third most likely scenario would be the SCOTUS voting 4-4 in the case which would allow the law to take place until reheard with a full court. This per curiam decision, as noted above, is not precedent setting and would only affect the jurisdiction of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals (which includes Louisiana and its new law). This would entail the swing voter on the SCOTUS voting with the conservative block. The least likely is a scenario where a liberal justice AND Justice Kennedy join with the conservatives and uphold the law.

It is my view that there is a greater than 90% probability that the abortion clinics in Texas will remain open for the foreseeable future. Even if a Republican were to win office and nominate a conservative to replace the late Justice Scalia’s seat, there is still more than a 50% chance the amendments to the Texas law would be largely struck down. It was Justice Kennedy after all that authored the compromise “undue burden” in the 5-4 Casey decision in the 1990’s.

From the Pro-Abortion Guttmacher Institute
From the Pro-Life group "Online for Life"

[i] Opposition to Requirements for Hospital Admitting Privileges and Transfer Agreements for Abortion Providers. (2016). Retrieved April 15, 2016, from http://www.apha.org/policies-and-advocacy/public-health-policy-statements/policy-database/2015/12/14/11/04/opposition-to-requirements-for-hospital-admitting-privileges-for-abortion-providers

[ii] Planned Parenthood v. Abbott. (2014, March 27). Retrieved April 15, 2016, from https://www.aclu.org/cases/planned-parenthood-v-abbott

[iii] See application 14A1288, Whole Woman’s health et. Al. v. Hellerstedt, 576, U.S. (undecided)

[iv] Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973)

[v] Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992)

[vi] Roe v. Wade, (1973). (2016). Retrieved April 16, 2016, from https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/roe_v._wade_1973

[vii] Stare decisis is not absolute as the SCOTUS has overturned its prior decisions on a host of issues such as capital punishment, Jim Crow laws etc. Where the court deems a prior court made an egregious error, it is willing to overturn itself.

[viii] Casey at 844-869

[ix] Ibid. at 920

[x] The oral transcripts in their entirety can be read at http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/15-274_l53m.pdf

[xi] Garcia-Ditta, A. (2016, March 03). How Will SCOTUS' Swing Judge Rule on Texas Abortion Case? Retrieved April 16, 2016, from https://www.texasobserver.org/anthony-kennedy-scotus-hb-2-abortion/

[xii] The SCOTUS just recently stayed enforcement of a law in Louisiana pending the SCOTUS decision in the Texas case. In this case, June Medical Services v. Gee, Louisiana enacted a similar law to Texas in that providers had to have admitting privileges which forced four of five abortion clinics to close.  The fact that only one clinic would remain open could have been the reason for the stay.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Bernie Sanders and the Pope Have Great Intentions: But both lose sight of human nature

As one who leans Catholic, I am all for the tremendous work faith-based initiatives do to alleviate poverty through LIFE-CHANGE. But never confuse what charity does for the poor with what politicians do to the poor. Especially on the left. But the right is not innocent by any means!

I agree that the Parable of the Good Samaritan is great to live by. But equally important is the Parable of the Bags of Gold (Matthew 25: 14-30) which speaks of being smart and making wise choices in life as well as the Jude-Christian principal of Reap-Sow or as some call Karma or some call (in the streets) what goes around comes around. It boils down to perpetual handouts or hand-ups with self improvement mandates authored by the Republican party and signed into law by President Clinton.

I believe that the Democrat party (in a macro-sense), who would like to stay in power as much as the Republican Party does, caters to the less fortunate (admittedly for many by the circumstances given, but many by the poor choices made) and make them feel like a victim of society, addict them to "free" (really taxed or borrowed) money, and count on their vote so long as they can keep them down enough to depend on the might tax-dollar. The scariest thing the Democrats face is a real rising middle class who then start paying taxes and after seeing their paycheck say "What the heck!".

That is why I believe the left caters to illegal immigrants. They do not really care for the immigrant, they care about importing poverty who will always vote for a handout. Even at the risk of losing the declining union-vote whose workers are being displaced or wages being suppressed through an influx of cheap labor.

Similarly, the Democrat Party can care less for the single mom on welfare. In fact, they are scared to death (politically) to see a single mom get married, combining resources, and move into a payable tax bracket. Two-parent homes scare the heck out of the left. Why? Marriage alleviates poverty faster and more effectively than any handout could. How? If a single mother gets married, they lose their welfare as they now have a higher household income. And this is where the Republicans should get smart and very-slowly phase out benefits rewarding marriage instead of disincentivizing it. And Reagan was the father of equally destructive no-fault divorce as well!

From the Heritage Foundation
To quote George Mason University economist Walter E. Williams (who is African American) and the effects of welfare on minority communities (who Democrats rely heavily on for votes), 
“The welfare state has done to black Americans what slavery could not have done, the harshest Jim Crow laws and racism could not have done, namely break up the black family. That is, today, just slightly over 30 percent of black kids live in two parent families. Historically, from 1870s on up to about 1940s, and depending on the city, 75 to 90 percent of black kids lived in two parent families. Illegitimacy rate is 70 percent among blacks where that is unprecedented in our history."
From the Washington Post

This is not to say that there are no wealthy liberals. There are. They usually are liberal for personal reasons; environmentalism, homosexuality, pacifism or were simply raised that way and some of those ideals are good to hold. But when push comes to shove and an election is close, out come the buses to collect the poorest of the poor, buy them a meal, do same day registration (a whole different topic), and vote to put them over the edge. 

Bottom line, once the Democrat party run out of "victims" they run out of the votes they need to cross the finish line in close elections. This is not to say that Republicans are perfect (favoring Corporations over the populist vote) and that the Democrat party of old did not have a part in creating poverty in the black community through Jim Crow. But when do we go from hand-out to hand-up?

To quote Confucius, "Give a man a fish, and you'll feed him for a day.
Teach a man to fish, and you've fed him for a lifetime." And I would add at the risk of turning him into a Republican through empowerment.

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