Saturday, April 23, 2011

Re-Segregated Schools - For Shame!

Recent national reports indicate that many schools across the country, most particularly in the south, are more segregated today than they were when Brown v. Board of Education was decided in 1954. How we forget our history! It's also due in large part to the school choice movement. Many of the choices, including charters, open enrollment, and various form of vouchers were creative ways to get around integration requirements. I warned about this in the book MYTHS OF EDUCATIONAL CHOICE in 1992 - but I forgot to warn about the consequences of forgetting our history. Those who forget their history are doomed to repeat it - something like that!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Government Shutdown - What Hypocrisy!

Republican Speaker Boehner announced tonight, just minutes before the deadline for a federal government shutdown, that a deal had been reached. He said that they (Republicans & Tea Partiers) had fought to cut government spending. Therein lies the total hypocrisy! The news all day long was about Planned Parenthood and abortion, not budget and spending. Senator Kyle said that abortion was 90% of the work of Planned Parenthood. That's not even close to accurate! FYI, Planned Parenthood does cancer screening, women's health, and birth control - which ironically reduces the number of abortions. The amount they wanted cut from Planned Parenthood - that held up the deal and threatened to keep pay from military families - is a tiny, insignificant part of the budget. The Republicans have been all about political and social issues, not the budget. Watch what they do, not what they say!

Wonder where their budget concerns were when we went into Iraq? And Bush pushed tax cuts with two wars ongoing?? Wonder what Iraq has cost us anyway? Wonder what the cost has been of taking the focus away from Afghanistan in 2003? Wonder why all the GOP noise about budget and spending ignores the costs of the wars started under GOP administrations?

Class Action Essential for Walmart

Most women - hell, most people of any protected class - cannot afford to challenge their employer individually. Even when they try, most drop out of the impossibly long, complicated, demeaning process long before any resolution for or against. We almost lost our house before winning the first federal lawsuit on job discrimination and then simply could not afford to appeal a bad summary judgment decision on the second lawsuit on discrimination and retaliation. There will be no justice for the 1.5 million Walmart women if there is not class action status. Any doubts, read the book PLAINTIFF BLUES, which describes just how difficult challenging can be for an individual.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Retaliation Rising!

The number of retaliation claims skyrocketed 55 percent between 2000 and 2009, from 21,613 to 33,613 claims, respectively, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In 2010, for the first time ever, retaliation under all statutes (36,258) surpassed race (35,890) as the most frequently filed charge, according to the EEOC. Retaliation claims currently account for 36 percent of all EEOC charges--the highest percent yet. Simply put, the number of claims have risen because the amount of retaliation is rising.

Why is this? BECAUSE RETALIATION WORKS! The problem with the laws against job discrimination is that they all require that the victim stand up and file a complaint. That makes the victim vulnerable to retaliation. As the Supreme Court finally acknowledged in Burlington Northern v Costas in 2006, there are a myriad of ways an employer can intimidate and retaliate against employees. Once this happens to a complaining employee in the workplace, all other employees run for cover. It has a "chilling effect" on the willingness of others to complain or cooperate in any investigation.


Saturday, February 26, 2011


Forget history at your own peril. The traditional concept is "Those who forget the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them." There were long, bitter and violent battles to earn the right to collectively bargain, to have unions, to strike. These union rights were part of riding us of child labor, protecting worker safety, challenging job discrimination, securing better wages and benefits - the list goes on. But a generation passes and those memories are lost! We take what our parents and grandparents fought for for granted. It was unions that launched the successful rise of the middle class in America and it is the loss of unions that is part of the growing gap between rich and poor in this country. The U S Census reported in 2009, "The top-earning 20% of Americans — those making more than $100,000 each year — received 49.4% of all income generated in the U.S., compared with the 3.4% earned by those below the poverty line, according to newly released Census figures. That ratio of 14.5-to-1 was an increase from 13.6 in 2008 and nearly double a low of 7.69 in 1968."

That's why unions!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Huge Respect for Egyptians

It is thrilling today to watch the news of the revolution from Egypt. What courage it took for those on the street! (Older folks will remember similar scenes of tanks in the street from Tiananmem Square in 1989.) Today in Egypt gives a whole new meaning to the adage, "there's strength in numbers." It also gives emphasis to the power of the press (including the new social media). If the international reporters had not risked and stayed the course in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the protesters in the streets might not have felt so empowered or the government forces so restrained. One can only hope now that history will not repeat itself, as Santayana warned, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Hopefully, this revolution will not proceed as it did for Robespierre and the French Revolution, "La revolution devoure ses enfants," but will progress like the American Revolution. General Washington became a President, not a King.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Judges and Justice

There have been several news reports about the shortage of federal judges in recent years. Why is that? Gridlock in the senate! The opposition party simply refuses to allow Presidential appointments to be confirmed. One senator has been able to simply put a secret "hold" on a nomination and nothing happens. The problem then becomes the tendency of the existing federal judges to use summary judgement to help clear the backlogged docket. And that's not justice! The U S Senate needs to clean up its act, reform itself and get about the nation's business.


PLAINTIFF BLUES is the true story we just had to tell. After several false starts with traditional publishers and editors, self-publishing seemed the only option. Our experience with was just exceptional. The service was terrific. A book coach was free and answered every question promptly. Every bill was as quoted or less, every time estimate was right-on or early. PLAINTIFF BLUES was self-published in 2007 and won awards in 5 different categories in 2008. Since then, the book has been reprinted and sold more than enough copies to pay all the publishing bills and provide for a couple of "revenge" vacations to boot! (Check the revenge link on the website) I've had wonderful experiences at book signings, book clubs and other speaking engagements. The book is always available online as a POD (print-on-demand) book from all the major websites including Amazon (including Kindle version), Barnes and Noble, etc.

However, several books remain from the last, off-set printing and we want to make them available to more readers. We have dropped the prices for the remaining books by 40% (including shipping). The rates are even lower for multiple copies - which will work well for book clubs or other groups.
Go to to order.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Judicial Activism - Very Interesting!

Obviously, judicial activism is much like beauty or happiness. Either it's in the "eye of the beholder" or "it's a state of mind." The other possibility is that all political reference to the judiciary is hypocritical at best. Conservatives view any judicial decision allowing gay marriage as "judicial activism." Liberals view judicial decisions overturning Obamacare as "judicial activism." The one judicial hypocracy that stands out from the rest is Bush v. Gore (2000). Recall that five, states'-rights, conservative justices shot down the State of Florida to put Bush in the White House.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Obamacare PLEASE!

Opponents of the current health care reform call it socialized medicine and say they don't want the government coming between them and their doctor. They want to keep the current "free enterprise" system we have and be able to see whatever doctor they want and have access to all the care modern science can provide.

They are living in a mythical world. The only institution that ever comes between me and my doctors is my insurance company. I have heard my doctors complain on several occasions about having to get permission from the insurance company for a particular test or treatment they wanted to prescribe. After the third broken ankle, the doctor wanted me to have a bone scan to check for possible osteoporosis - only to be told by the insurance company that they wouldn't pay for the test unless I had a diagnosis of osteoporosis. Isn't that Catch-22?

As it is today, my insurance company stands squarely between me and my doctor. They decide what drugs I take, what doctors I see and what treatments I can have. They do it for profit! Before I retired, I couldn't even chose my insurance company because it was provided by my employer. Where's the private enterprise in all this? We have no choices anyway. Need a hew hip? Try shopping around for the best quality or the best deal! You can't get a single doctor or clinic or hospital to quote you prices - where's the private enterprise - competition - in all of this?

Opponents of Obamacare warn of government rationing of health care. Just another part of their mythical world. Rationing already exists, only it's done by income status and the insurance companies. Let's have some fairness - Obamacare is a good start.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Stewart Restores Sanity - AGAIN!

Following the tragic events in Tucson, Arizona this past weekend, the airwaves were filled with all kinds of agonized hand-ringing and polarized finger-pointing - culminating in the all encompassing idiocy, "we're all to blame." The most sincere, sane expression of the horror and confusion we all felt, without any of the nonsense, came from Jon Stewart in his opening monologue on the Daily Show, Monday, January 10, 2011. "We can't outsmart crazy." How ironic, that it takes a comedian on a fake news show to get it right!

Who Needs A Glock?

The tragic events in Tucson got me to think about my guns and gun ownership. I own several guns and would fight to protect my ownership thereof. But I don't love or worship my guns as it seems so many NRA folks do. I simply enjoy the activities that the guns are a part of. I also own three freezers that contain the fish and game we harvest. And I love figuring out how to prepare and cook this bounty. Check out the Living Well link under the list of Revenge Links on the lower left-hand side to see pictures of some of our "harvesting" adventures.

However, I do not own a semi-automatic 9 mm Glock. I can't imagine a reason to use one. Seriously, who needs one? What possible legitimate reason can there be for anyone to own or carry or conceal a semi-automatic hand gun or an AK47 or any other automatic weapon? Why do our laws allow such easy access for people to buy these kinds of guns that have absolutely no legitimate use? Near as I can tell, the only thing these automatic weapons are good for is killing a lot of people quickly. We need to get rid of the easy access to these killing machines