Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Mr. Trump is at risk of impeachment, if not indictment. His advisers, former and current, including family members are at risk. Foreign leaders no longer trust Mr. Trump with confidential information. In short, we have a narcissist under siege. As anti-hate rallies are being held across the country, President Trump continues to appeal to the basest levels of human behavior. President Trump would consider the eruption of civil and international war righteous.
Mr. Trump is neither a clown nor a buffoon. He is a danger. His ego is not being fed, other than through weekly cabinet sessions where his minions sprinkle praise upon him. Lack of ego feeding, combined with resistance to him as a leader, has created conditions that will lead to destruction. The only question being his or ours.
If Mr. Trump cannot receive what he perceives as a deserved level of adoration, he will do what he can to cause the disruption of civil society. Disruption, if not destruction, of our society would be appropriate punishment from this narcissist's perspective.
Our governmental leadership parallels pre-war Germany. Our nation has the opportunity to defeat Trump-fascism. Haters are in the minority. Organized resistance must happen on the national and local levels and must be strategic and persistent. Subsequent posts will document how resisters are organizing and what tools seem most effective. We encourage our readers to share their experiences.
Thursday, August 10, 2017
The US record on gender equality is dismal. Rwanda, largely as a consequence of the loss of men in the 1994 genocide, has made significant progress in the legal status of women. At that time, the population of Rwanda was 70% female. The Rwandan constitution ensures gender equality in all matters. In the 2013 elections, 64% of the members of parliament were female. Women are guaranteed three months paid maternity leave.
By contrast, the US guarantees no paid maternity leave. In the recent health care discussions, some men wanted to remove health care coverage for maternity. 86% of women participate in the work force compared with 56% of US women. However, despite laws requiring equality for women, true equality has not been achieved. Women earn 88 cents for every dollar earned by men. In the US the that : men's resistance.
Rwandan women experience domestic violence at the high rate of 1 in 3. Recently progress has been made in enforcing laws against abusive men, but the most significant barrier to stopping violence against women universally is men's culture in opposing gender quality. In a story reported in WeNews, woman's advocate Peace Ruzage, of Aspire Rwanda, said "“The problem of violence against women in Rwanda, as with many African countries, is rooted in the cultural beliefs and notions of masculinity reinforced through generations.” True for the US as well.
Monday, August 7, 2017
Two opinion pieces were published this week that underscore the foundation of racism upon which the Trump Administration policies are built. Both pieces follow the "leak" this week of a memo outlining the Department of Justice's plans to pursue dismantling of affirmative actions programs. Both pieces point out the absurdity of portraying US whites as victims. Prof. Carol Anderson , is the author of White Rage, the Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide. She reminds us in her NYT opinion, white men benefit from flexible undergraduate admissions programs. If objective scores and grades were the predominant selection method, white males would be a distinct minority on campus. Flexible admissions policies that consider gender as a bona fide admissions factor, benefit white males as much as anyone else. But it is race of which whites most complain.
In his New Yorker piece, Jelani Cobb focuses on the heart of racist thinking. Whites view their economic status comparatively. One African American succeeding financially is an affront to less affluent whites. The underlying assumption that whites deserve to be successful in every way before any person of color "succeeds", (however that is defined), is the source of white resentment. Whiteness as the ideal standard is what Trump and many followers look to preserve.
Mr. Trump may not be a seasoned politician. He may be unable to deliver on his major campaign promises. But he knows how to stoke his base. Through feeding anger and irrationality, Mr. Trump has begun his re-election campaign.
Sunday, August 6, 2017
You may recall for Martha Davis' post on preemption, Missouri legislators overrode St. Louis' efforts to raise the minimum wage within city limits.
Missouri continues to lead the nation in disregard of human rights. In response, last week the NAACP issued its first ever state-wide travel advisory. The NAACP warns people of color to avoid the entire state of Missouri through August 28th. The warning comes after a disturbing series of events. Since the presidential election, an increase in race based incidents has been reported nation wide. Missouri was, of course, the scene of the notorious Michael Brown killing. Recently the Missouri Attorney General revealed that African-Americans are 75% more likely to be stopped by police. Derrick Johnson, interim NAACP president and CEO stated: “The numerous racist incidents, and the statistics cited by the Missouri Attorney General in the advisory, namely the fact that African Americans in Missouri are 75 percent more likely to be stopped and searched by law enforcement officers than Caucasians, are unconscionable, and are simply unacceptable in a progressive society."
Missouri Bill SB 43, signed by the governor on June 30th, virtually legalized individual harassment and discrimination in the state, while prohibiting self-defense by those who experience the harassment. This bill restricted the civil rights African-Americans and other vulnerable populations, including women and immigrants. The bill shifted the burden to the Plaintiffs to prove that their protected class was the "motivating" factor in the firing or other damaging action. Not only was the burden of proof shifted, but the amount of potential damages is capped. The governor disguised his discriminatory action by referring to this law as a "pro-business" move.
The NAACP issued the state-wide advisory partially in response to the implementation of the "Jim Crow" bill, SB 43.
Wednesday, August 2, 2017
Education Secretary DeVos has requested comments on de-regulation. Much recent controversy concerns which standard is to be used by schools in determining whether a student is responsible for sexual assault and other gender based harassment and discrimination under Title IX.
Many comments submitted to date are anti use of the “preponderance of the evidence” standard even though that standard is the one used in civil rights and other discrimination claims. Proponents of the use of a higher standard claim that when sexual assault is alleged, the risk of expulsion and damage to the accused’s reputation demands the use of “clear and convincing” or “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Survivor advocates defend the use of the “preponderance of the evidence” as necessary not only for consistency in discrimination claims, but because any higher standard makes successful hearings on the part of the survivor nearly impossible.
Over 100 law professors have signed a White Paper drafted by Profs. Kathleen Baker, Deborah Brake and Nancy Cantalupo. The White Paper explains the historic use of the “preponderance of the evidence” standard in discrimination cases.
Comments on whether de-regulation of Title IX is necessary or beneficial may be made here. Comments are due on before mid-night on August 21.
Those law professors posting are welcome to send their comments to the HRAH Blog editors who will organize them for publication on the blog.
Monday, July 31, 2017
Last week the Justice Department submitted a brief arguing that the anti-discrimination law Title VII do not protect LGBT employees. The administration filed an amicus brief in a New York case in which the government is not directly involved. The brief was filed on the same day that the President announced in a tweet that transgender individuals would not be permitted to serve in the military.
By filing, Justice Department has made it clear that the administration is withdrawing Obama era guidance that Title VII's provisions protect from discrimination based on gender identity.
The case before the court was brought by a man who was fired after disclosing to the a customer that he is gay. The circumstances were that Mr. Zarda, an employee who accompanied customers o parachute jumps, told a female customer with whom he was about to do a tandem jump that he is gay. The customer's husband complained to the employer, who then fired Zarda. Mr. Zarda sued under Title IX.
While courts are not mandated to follow Justice's guidance, many do. Mr. Zarda's case will be a test of whether the courts will be guided by the new administration's interpretations or will consider marriage equality and other changes in federal law sufficient to reinterpret the reach of Title VII. We have seen the importance and power of an independent judiciary over the past six months. How the court decides is not a slam dunk for Mr. Sessions.
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
In an effort to show his conservative base that he has not lost his way, on Wednesday President Trump announced that he is banning all transgender individuals from military service. President Trump hid behind medical expenses that he claims the government incurs in supporting trans military personnel. The PBS Newshour estimated that the transgender related medical costs incurred by the government is around $2,000,000 per year. The military spend approximately $10,000,000 per year on Viagra and related drugs. The New York Times reported estimates of fewer than 2,500 and later up to 11,000 transgender individuals on active duty. But the National Center for Transgender Equality places the number at 15,000.00. Trump said that he would not accept or allow trans soldiers to serve. While undefined at the moment, this language indicates that trans individuals on active duty will be forced to leave the service. The loss of 15,000 military personnel would be significant.
The trans community is among the most disadvantaged in our society. Trans and other sexually non-conforming individuals face a higher rate of sexual assault and other abuse than the general population. Housing, employment and other opportunities are limited due to discrimination. Now the president has banned trans individuals from one path to earning a living that was open to them. Further, the move implies that trans people are not capable of defending our country and of participating in work that is open to others. The pronouncement, and the public shaming that it triggers, is cruel.
This latest presidential move points out the ever expanding need for human rights advocacy at home.
To read more, here is commentary from the New Yorker
UPDATE- Military chiefs are refusing to implement Trump's edict unless ordered to by the Secretary of Defense.
Monday, July 24, 2017
Those advocating for the civil right to counsel have enjoyed a major victory. Last week, New York City's mayor DeBlasio signed a bill ensuring that low income tenants facing eviction will have counsel appointed. The legislation is the first in the country to mandate and fund appointed counsel for housing court eviction defendants. Manhattan Councilman Mark Levine said "The worst landlords have used housing court as a weapon, hauling tenants into court on flimsy eviction cases because they knew in the vast majority of cases, the tenant would not have a lawyer. "
The program will be phased in over five years and tenants in certain zip codes will be the first to receive the benefit of appointed counsel. The maximum income for qualification for appointed counsel will be $49,200.00 for a family of four. The program is expected to help 400,000 tenants per year.
John Pollock of the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel commented: "New York City's historic step forward is a watershed moment for the national right to counsel movement, and already we've heard of cities and states lining up to be he next one to advance the critically important right to counsel in housing cases."
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
The animal welfare and animal rights movement in the US has accelerated during the past two decades. But the US is not close to expanding legal rights to animals as has been done elsewhere.
In 2008, the Spanish parliament extended rights to chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans and bonobos. This animal measure was not the first for members of the European Union. In 2002, Germany extended rights to animals through its constitution. In 1999, New Zealand passed measures granting protective rights for apes. While some argue that legal rights should not be limited to human-like species, there is no question that these measures are light years ahead of any US initiatives.
Most of the US protections of animals comes from a perspective of correcting cruel human behaviors toward them. Statutes reflect the intention to restrain human actions toward animals, but they do not reflect the perspective that, like humans, animals have inalienable rights. Struggling to preserve the rights that we have, it is unlikely that rights for humans will expand during the next few years. Any movement to recognize, on a formal basis, inherent rights of animals is not likely to be successful in the near future.
In a 2014 essay, William Shultz, former director of the ACLU, acknowledged that he was wrong when he earlier argued that "no rational person would believe that animals could claim the same kinds of rights as humans." He called upon us to examine which creatures should have a claim to rights.
Given the current lack of understanding of human rights on the federal level, animal rights advocates, like human rights advocates, will continue to be most effective on the international and local levels.
At the recent G-20 meeting, for example, the leaders adopted "High Level Principles on Combatting Corruption Related to Illegal Trade in Wildlife and Wildlife Products". While again the principals seek to protect animals from human cruelties, continued recognition of their need for protection may lead to the dialogue on whether protective action is at the same time acknowledging innate legal rights of animals.
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Last week, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, met with selected groups to hear from stakeholders on Title IX processes when sexual assault is alleged. First she met with those who feel Title IX discriminates against males who are accused. The following day she met with survivor advocates who want the current state of hearings to continue. The controversy revolves around the "Dear Colleague" letter sent in 2011 to colleges and universities outlining a list of standards to be employed, and in some cases, aspired to, when universities deal with sexual assault complaints. Among other things, the letter instructed campuses to use the "preponderance of the evidence" language when deciding whether or not the accused student is responsible for the alleged behavior.
The letter gave other instructions, however, use of the lower standard of proof is the one most challenged by those who advocate for the accused. Criminal lawyers often demand that the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard should be used at Title IX hearings. Title IX hearings are civil in nature and can have different goals than either the civil or criminal justice systems. The safety of the complaining students as well as the community, is paramount, as is education of the student found responsible in an attempt to avoid future troubling behavior. The process views itself as more remedial than punitive.
There is no doubt that some results of Title IX hearings are bewildering, and others have denied basic due process rights for the responding student. Those deficiencies must be corrected. But the problem is not the standard of proof. Nor is the answer to turn a quasi-civil proceeding into a criminal one. The answer to those deficiencies is to enforce training standards and have access to an effective appeals system. To raise the standard of proof to the criminal one is to revert to a system where the complaining student will rarely succeed.
So what do we expect from Secretary DeVos? We know that the Obama administration's guidance on transgender students was withdrawn. We know that DeVos initially opposed withdrawal of the regulation but ultimately ceded to Attorney General Sessions. We have a president who admits to sexually assaulting women. We cannot expect an objective assessment of what a fair Title IX decision making process would look like.
We can expect additional barriers to successful Title IX claims. Whether that will be accomplished through raising the standard of proof, creating a new one, or some other change, we can expect diminished rights for complaining witnesses. After all, before the ink was dry on his presidential appointment to head an education task force, Chairman Falwell announced that one target of his work will be to limit the federal government's reach into higher education's handling of Title IX obligations.
Secretary DeVos deserves credit for her defense of transgender policies and for any empathy she might have for survivors of campus assault. The predominant criticism of her is that she does not fundamentally understand Title IX. But no matter, the boys are in charge.
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Any exploration of changing human rights advocacy starts with exploring the intentions of the advocate.
Most of my clients have experienced gender violence. Most typically my clients have additional barriers due to color, immigration status, disability and poverty. Their lives are burdened in ways that I can only imagine.
I, on the other hand, live very differently. Being a law school professor is a privileged life. I have the additional freedoms that whiteness brings. While empathy is important, effective advocacy for those unlike ourselves requires more.
I must be careful not to bring any arrogance to my advocacy; particularly where clients may not challenge me for fear of alienating the person who can navigate them through a complex and often hostile system.
So how has my advocacy changed? I am more mindful than ever to reflect on my own motivations. I am more mindful of the consequences of my actions, including my advice to clients. I must consider the newly changed circumstances of my clients' lives. My clients have become even more vulnerable. Immigrants are presumed to be undocumented and even those who are not experience harassment and violence. Risk of deportation has multiplied since January. Gender harassment has increased, as it has for all less powerful social groups. But what is causing much increase in my clients' underlying fear is that harassment and abuse are gaining acceptance as a cultural norm.
Fear in some form has been a near constant in my clients' lives. But the fear was more targeted: fear of reprisal from an estranged intimate partner or fear of being deported should they engage the legal system. While specific fears remain, a more generalized fear has sprouted from the uncertainty that the cultural shift has brought. Increased street harassment is a good example of one source of heightened generalized fear. So I must be mindful not to judge my clients' decisions made in light of these concerns and I must listen even more carefully to their words. Advising clients of what is or is not a reasonable fear has become more difficult. All of our experiences are shifting in the face of this unleashed hostility and incivility.
Mindfulness has never been more important in human rights advocacy.
Thursday, July 6, 2017
In prior posts, Martha Davis announced that Mountain View (CA) city council passed a resolution designating the municipality as a human rights city. Prof. Francisco Rivera, informed us of concerns and frustrations that arose during the city council debate and the important work that his students did in educating council members on the human rights framework.
In late May, Mountain View mayor, Ken Rosenberg, discussed the challenge of implementing the vision of a human rights city. In an op-ed opinion, Rosenberg announced that Mountain View would be home to an institute whose goal is to create 100 human rights cities all over the world “based on learning and integrating human rights into every aspect of our daily lives”. Beautifully said.
Mayor Rosenberg credited the work of The People’s Movement for Human Rights Learning for educating him and others to the human rights way of life. Mayor Rosenberg also acknowledges that The People's Movement has the expertise to implement the vision of the new institute.
You may read the complete op-ed here.
Tuesday, July 4, 2017
This blog posted earlier about the psychologists who developed and promoted "enhanced interrogation techniques" at the request of the US government. We last reported that the suit survived a motion to dismiss. The suit is now in the discovery process, and depositions have begun. What is becoming clear is the perversion that has been used in both applying the torture and the use of shaming views of masculinity to coerce interrogators into using the techniques. One prisoner was placed underground in a plastic bag. Waterboarding, sleep deprivation, nudity, stress positions, placing men in small boxes for long periods of time and use of insects were some of the implemented tortures that yielded no useful or new information.
Those forced to implement the torture were themselves subjected to psychological abuse. Some soldiers conducting the torture were told that a nuclear bomb was about to be dropped on the United States and obtaining information was urgent. When one soldier resisted, after seeing the effects of the torture, he was called a p___y.
The defendant psychologists are claiming the defense of never having met those who were tortured. They claim that despite recommending the use of torture, they never designated the specific individuals to be subject to the torture. How then could they be liable to these men and to the estate of one man who died?
The case raises no new theories of liability but does speculate on whether the defendants will succeed in their use of Nuremberg-style defenses when the psychologists were not soldiers acting under military orders. The trial is scheduled to begin on September 5th in Spokane, Washington. You may click here to access The Daily podcast on this topic.
Sunday, July 2, 2017
June was filled with international Pride events. Let's not lose perspective and forget that public Pride demonstrations still require courage of the LGBTI community. Marriage equality success can present sexual identity freedom and acceptance as a false norm.
Being anything but "straight" remains unsafe.
The criminalization of HIV-AIDS exists in the majority of US jurisdictions, with many of those making it a crime for an individual living with HIV to have sex with another without disclosure of the HIV status and that person's informed consent. These statutes often do not require proof of intent to transmit the disease; and actual inability to transmit the disease due to effective medical intervention presents no defense. The enforcement of these laws primarily against people of color is not unnoticed.
Members of the LGBT community are more likely to be the targets of US hate crimes than any other minority.
While we celebrate the expansion of legal equality, let's remember that the specific "equalities" recognized are more along the path of joining heterosexual norms, rather than a celebration of sexual minorities as respected individuals who may equally participate in our society upon their terms. Those "equalities" remain, in fact, narrow. We must exlore whether what our culture encourages is more than demanding conformity with heterosexually based cultural institutions.
Let's try to correct and avoid heterosexuality as the norm. Whiteness as the norm in fashioning race based remedies has resulted in the endurance of bias, implicit and explicit. We are early in the journey of ensuring effective remedies for members of the LGBTI community. Will we avoid the mistakes of the past in forcing alignment with false norms? We will have some indication from SCOTUS next term.
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
The Earth does not have an unlimited ability to sustain its inhabitants. President Trump either does not care or does not understand this urgency.
Ten governors have pledged to continue compliance with the 2015 Paris Agreement despite the announcement of recent US plans to withdraw. The states have formed the bipartisan US Climate Change Alliance. The Alliance pledges to reach the goal of reducing greenhouse emissions by 26-28% of 2005 levels by 2025. This would ensure compliance with the goals of the Clean Power Plan, a plan that is now under review per the order of the President.
The governors join mayors, companies and universities that have organized and plan to file reports with the UN in lieu of those typically filed by member national governments. The collaborative was the idea of former NY Mayor Bloomberg who has pledged $15 million of his own money to the replace the US contribution that would have been made to fund the UN's costs in operating the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Local US advocates have assumed leadership in the human rights movement. This was a topic of discussion at the recent HR conference held at Columbia University.
Monday, June 5, 2017
Much discussion among judges and lawyers these days is devoted to access to justice. The growing divide in the US between those with resources and those without is particularly apparent in access to legal services. Hourly billing at rates of $400.00 and up are unaffordable even for those previously considered middle class. In many cases, Judges report litigants self-representing in up to 80% of cases that involve family law and housing. More and more of those in need of legal services to protect basic human needs are unable to find legal help. Particularly hard pressed are those who do not qualify for help from Legal Services organizations and those who do not have funds for significant retainers.
Addressing the need for affordable legal services is part of the education of human rights lawyers. When viewed through a human rights lens, adjusting ones practice to provide low cost, yet competent representation, permits clients to secure the principles voiced in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The ability to make a living while protecting clients' human rights must be incorporated into legal education. Technology permits lawyers to reduce overhead in many ways, including the ability to work from home and renting a conference room as needed. Technology also broadens the geographical range one can build a client base, now that video conferencing is routine. Technology has made the delivery of services to those of limited means a realistic option. One way to create Human Rights lawyers is to show students and new graduates how to have a practice that will address crucial human rights and sustain them financially. Bill Henderson and others have written extensively on changing the delivery of legal services. His arguments and advice also support human rights lawyering.
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
The assault on the press continues. Last week we posted about a reporter in North Carolina who was arrested after persistently asking questions about health care to Health Secretary Tom Price.
Health care seems to be a sensitive topic. On Wednesday, a Guardian reporter was body slammed by a Montana congressional candidate on the eve of the election. Ben Jacobs reported that having asked the candidate about the Congressional Budget Office's estimates of over twenty million people who would lack health insurance under Trumpcare, candidate Greg Gianforte slammed the reporter to the floor, breaking his glasses and injuring one of the reporter's elbows.
The lid is off of civil behavior. The press, those charged with the responsibility to seek truth, are one of the first public casualties. The Sheriff's office is investigating. The special election is happening now.
Warning: Reporting can be dangerous to your health.
UPDATE: On election morning Mr. Gianforte was charged with assault. Fox News reporters corroborated Mr. Jacob's account of events.
Sunday, May 21, 2017
During a recent Boston demonstration against forced marriage of minors, word came that Governor Christie vetoed a bill overwhelmingly passed by the New Jersey legislature that would restrict marriage to those who are age 18 and older - no exceptions. Among the reasons Christie cited for his veto was that the bill was contrary to some "religious customs". Those religious customs are part of the silencing of females and undermining their autonomy.
Forced marriage is something Americans associate with foreign countries. And when the topic is raised in the US, citizens associate the practice with some immigrant cultures. While the practice may be more common with certain cultural and religious groups, forced marriage of children is not limited to those born outside of the United States. "Shotgun" weddings have a long history in US Christian tradition and resulted in no fewer forced marriages than other religions and cultures.
Unchained At Last was founded by Fraidy Reiss, herself a survivor of forced marriage. Hers
was arranged in a conservative religious community and, like the majority of teen marriages, was to an older man who abused her. After several years, Fraidy was able to escape the abusive marriage with her children. She attended Rutgers University against her husband's demands and became an investigative journalist. Fraidy graduated first in her class. She recognizes that most women are limited in their ability to escape abusive forced marriages due to lack of "finances, religious law and social customs." She founded Unchained at Last to assist women in escaping from and resisting forced marriages. Unchained is leading forced marriage prevention legislation demonstrations across the county
Representative Kay Khan and Senator Harriet Chandler filed a Massachusetts bill that would restrict marriage to those age 18 and older, without exception. Parents would no longer have the ability to assent to a minor's marriage, judges would have no ability to waive the age requirement and pregnancy would no longer provide justification for underage marriage. Currently in Massachusetts, there is no minimum age for children to marry with judicial and parental consent.
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Attorney General Sessions recused himself from investigating the Trump - Russia relationships during the presidential campaign. That left any decision to appoint a special counsel up to Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein. Rosenstein was flooded with advocates' demands for appointment of special counsel. Today he appointed Robert Mueller to the position.
Rosenstein took a step toward discerning the truth, but the scope of Mueller's investigation is narrow. Rosenstein limited Mueller's investigation to Russia's interference with the 2016 presidential election. While such interference is significant on its own, there are other issues hovering around the edge of election tampering that need investigation. The president's comment, some say threat, to Comey about the existence of tape recordings is worth of investigation, particularly when combined with reports of the President's attempted interference with Comey's Flynn investigation.
Muller's first act might be to seek enlargement of the scope of his investigation.
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
The firing of FBI Director James Comey has placed us in political and perhaps constitutional crisis. President Trump fundamentally does not believe in political process and constitutional protections.
Human rights, and more specifically US civil rights, are threatened. Expectations of presidential incompetence and buffoonery were widespread on inauguration day. But the worst fears were that the dangerous behaviors exhibited by prior extreme narcissistic leaders would surface, evidenced by disregard of democratic process and by impulsive, maniacal acts. The firing of James Comey is the triggering act of disregard for independence that see Americans struggling to preserve human rights. In addition to human rights conveyed at birth, our civil rights were empowered through the Bill of Rights and constitutional amendments.
The anti-democracy demon is loose.
The excuse for the firing was clever. Comey’s mishandling of the Clinton email issue was deliberate interference with free elections. Comey himself ignored protocol and three times made announcements that placed Secretary of State Clinton in a position of being damned if she protested Comey’s behavior and damned by letting the information sit in the public consciousness.
Comey, for his part, failed to disclose the summer investigation of Trump – Russia connections. His focusing on misuse of a personal email server, which has had no proven detrimental impact on our country’s safety or political health, smelled of misogyny and election tampering particularly when coupled with his withholding of information that might prove treasonous. While Comey may have conducted an “independent” Clinton investigation, his use of the information was not neutral.
So yes – firing Comey based upon the Clinton email investigation could be justified.
The problem is that the firing did not happen on January 21.
But firing Comey now over the email investigation is pretext and will not save the president from exposure. Whether the President’s narcissism at being publicly challenged by Comey by continuing the Russia investigation triggered the Comey firing or it was the knowledge that treasonous acts are about to be exposed is almost irrelevant.
Fully exposed is this: What our president most fears is truth. And he is willing to use extreme measures to prevent challenge and exposure. He is willing to undermine, if not destroy, established democratic processes in order to preserve his self-image.
Case in point: almost lost in the shadow of the Comey firing was the arrest of reporter who repeatedly asked Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price if domestic violence would be a pre-existing condition under Trumpcare. The reporter was arraigned and released only after posting $5,000.00 in bail. First amendment freedoms are threatened.
While this is a time when Americans should be afraid, this is not the time to engage fear based responses. Americans have shown recent resistance through organized and spontaneous activism. Human rights activists within and without our borders have proven to be skilled strategists. Goal number one must be development of a global plan to contain Trump.