interpreting the constitution
number 105    
Supreme Court Business Block Limits Remedies on Wage
previous editions archive
A decision rendered last week by the
US Supreme Court made it more
difficult for workers to sue their
employers for wage discrimination.  
The court made the ruling in a case
where a female employee of the
Goodyear Company found out that
she had received less pay than her
male counterparts over a 20-year
career.  An all male majority of 5-4
ruled that employees forfeit their right
to pursue legal claims under Title VII
of the Civil Rights Act if they do not
file suit against their employer within
180 days of the discriminatory action.

The majority opinion, authored by
newly appointed justice Samuel Alito,
Jr., disagreed with the plaintiff’s
that each new paycheck that the she
received that reflected a disparity in
pay was a new and separate
discriminatory act.  

In disagreeing, the court also
contradicted the long established
legal opinion of the federal agency
that enforces Title VII, the Equal
Employment Opportunity
Commission.  The Commission has
used the same argument made by
the plaintiff in her lawsuit against
Goodyear successfully in many pay
discrimination lawsuits since the
establishment of Title VII.  The
Commission has also received
monetary awards for plaintiffs
calculated, in part, on the number of
paychecks received by
an employee that reflected wage

In an uncommon move, Justice
Ruth Bader Ginsburg read the
dissenting opinion aloud from the
bench, stating that the majority
opinion consciously disregards
“common characteristics of pay

In the opinion for the majority Alito
wrote, in answer to Ginsburg’s
argument, that current effects of
discrimination alone "cannot
breathe life into prior, uncharged”
acts of discrimination. Title VII also
protects against discrimination on
the basis of race, religion and
its all true
interpreting the constitution

crowd control

spread of the red

one nation, under surveillance

fun d' mental

in bed with the red

red state rebate

spread of the red
Federal Agencies Stumble as America Continues to
Patients Not
Of Their Contribution
A study released late last month
reported that the infrastructure of the
nation is dilapidated and
deteriorating due to lack of
investment by the federal

The report published, by the Urban
Institute, that reviewed infrastructure
in developed nations around the
world found that the “United States is
on the cusp of a crisis,” because
“neglect- deterioration, congestion,
and reduced reliability-appear across
all sectors” of its transportation

The report echoes a study by the
American Society of Civil Engineers
that was released in 2005 that
assessed an overall grade of ‘D’
after reviewing America’s
infrastructure.  The ASCE report
reviewed a wide array of
infrastructure systems including
power transmission systems and

The Urban Institute report compared
American infrastructure and cultural
attitudes about support of
infrastructure investment with other
countries and found that “America is
more of a follower and no longer a
world leader when it comes to
infrastructure.”  Because the federal
government has reduced funding to
support national infrastructure, the
US does not pursue innovative
strategies to solve congestion
problems like other industrialized
nations.  The result, the study’s
authors say, is that "the condition of
our infrastructure results in lost
productivity and quality of life.”

The ASCE report estimated that
America’s school facilities required
over $200 billion to be brought into
condition”.  The ASCE study also
reported that 27 percent of the  
bridges in the US are “functionally
obsolete” and that maintenance
funding for the national power grid
has declined by 1 percent each
year since 1992.

Although the Urban Institute study
suggested that public-private
investment schemes may help to
develop funding for the repair and
reconstruction of American  
infrastructure, both groups found
that federal expenditures on
critical infrastructure have been
dangerously inadequate over the
past few years.  The authors of
the Urban Institute study warned
that, without substantial
investment and planning, “at
some point, the system is going to
grind to a halt.”           
it's all true
The Food and Drug
Administration has given
approval to a consortium of
hospitals in the US and
Canada to conduct a medical
study where the patients who
are subjects of the medical
experimentation have not
given their consent to be
experimented on.  The $50
million, five-year experiment
will take place in 11 cities
including Seattle, Milwaukee,
Pittsburgh and San Diego.  
Over 20,000 patients will
receive experimental
treatments without giving their
consent to be tested.  

The Resuscitation Outcomes
Consortium has planed to test
two different unused
treatments on patients who are
victims of severe trauma, heart
attack or other catastrophic
emergency.   The researchers
want to test the new
technologies on patients who
have been seriously injured
and are therefore unable to
accede to participate in a
medical experiment.  

One of the studies, which
began last summer, treats
injured patients with a more
concentrated saline solution
than is currently given to
trauma patients.  In another
test, planned to begin next
month, patients whose hearts
have stopped beating will be
given three minutes of CPR
before being treated with
electric defibrillators.

Patients who will be given
these experimental treatments
will be selected at random.  
Individuals can only opt-out of
the experimentation by wearing
a special bracelet.     
it's all true
one nation, under surveillance
National ID Could Be in the Cards
Euro to the US Dollar,
January  through 14 May 2007
Congress resumes debate this week
on a range of immigration legislation
packages that contain proposals to
adapt the Social Security card to
include a biometric imprint and digital
information. The bills, which are
supported by law enforcement and
immigration reform groups, seek
extensive modifications to the design
and purpose of the card. One House
proposal under consideration would
make the new cards the only legally
valid form of identification for
employment in the US.    

The biometric imprinted on the card
could include a digital fingerprint or
photograph, an iris scan, or other
information. Because the card would
be required for all employment and
tax purposes, adoption of the
proposals would eventually affect
every US worker, creating, according
to critics, a
de facto National ID card. Opponents
of the measures also warn of
enormous costs related to
implementation of the card, and
inevitable inaccuracies in
government databases.

The Congressional proposals are
based on the existing Basic Pilot
Program, a voluntary service that
allows employers to verify workers’
status and eligibility using federal
data. But civil liberties and
immigrants’ rights advocates have
assailed Basic Pilot over inaccurate
or out-of-date information, saying
that the system places the burden of
proof on workers when discrepancies

The proposals also mirror aspects of
the Real ID program being
introduced by the Department of
Homeland Security. States are
required to issue Real ID driver's
licenses by 2009.         
it's all true
fun d' mental : wholly
Neighbors Wary of American Theocracy
A former Canadian ambassador to
the US recently described America as
“a theocratic state”.  Frank
McKenna, who was the Canadian
Ambassador to the US in 2005 and
2006, said, “right now the United
States is in many ways a theocratic
state, not dissimilar to some of the
other religious states in the world
where religion has a huge part to
play in government.”

McKenna made the comments when
he spoke recently before the Ottawa
Chamber of Commerce.  The former
ambassador was comparing the
set” differences between
Americans and Canadians on
social and economic issues.  
McKenna said "it is hard to
imagine a time in our history when
we’ve been more divergent in
terms of our cultural and social

McKenna said that evangelicalism
impacts policy making in the US
but Canada has a "dramatically
different mindset."  McKenna said,
unlike the US, “Canada is a truly
secular state. Religion and politics
don’t mix in this country.”  
it's all
Papal Fallibility Apparently In Tact
Pastor's Pulpit Politics Prompt Probe
The head of the Catholic
Church recently told an
audience in Brazil that the
forced Christianization of the
indigenous people of the
Americas was a blessing that
native peoples “longed” for
prior to European
colonization.  Pope Benedict
XVI told a conference of
bishops “Christ is the savior
for whom they were silently

The pope went on to say that
the European colonists’ forced
Christianization of Native
Americans “did not at any
point involve an alienation of
the pre-Colombian cultures,
nor was it the imposition of a
foreign culture.”   The pope
was speaking about the history
of the Catholic Church.

Historians and activists who
advocate for the rights of
indigenous peoples demanded
that the Pope apologize for the
statements, reminding the pontiff that
native people were not only enslaved
by European colonists but forced to
adopt Christianity or be killed in many
cases.  In 1455 Pope Nicholas
authorized the colonists to “vanquish
and subdue all…pagans.”  

Brazil's 2000 census reported that
the country is home to over 700,000
citizens who descend from Native
American ancestors.  More than
2000 native tribes were either wiped
out or were assimilated into Brazilian
culture over the course of

The Roman Catholic leader has, in
the past, made statements that other
groups have considered to be
insensitive.  In October 2006, the
pope angered Muslims when he
quoted a Byzantine emperor who
said that some of the teachings of
Islam are “evil and
it's all true
The Internal Revenue Service has
sent and investigative demand to a
fundamentalist Christian church in
Kansas after local officials
complained that the pastor uses his
pulpit to deliver political messages.

The IRS asked that pastor Mark
Holick of the Spirit One Christian
in Wichita, KS, respond to 31
interrogatories regarding his overt
support of a Christian candidate for
Secretary of State and his
condemnation of candidates he
believes are sinners.
The IRS is investigating Holick’s
supplying congregants with voting
instruction sheets, allowing a
candidate to “minister” in his
church and posting a billboard
that said the  state’s governor
had donated monies that could
fund 1000 abortions.  

Holick said that the investigative
demand was “crazy," and his
billboards “were not political
activities,” but were intended to
“lift up Jesus.”      
it's all true
Public confidence in
church or religious
selected countries
source: Viroqua






previous editions

 Links of the Week

CRS Report : Federal and
State Quarantine and Isolation
Yale Law School Paper :
Convergences and Omissions
in the Reporting of Corporate
and White Collar Crime

Bottle : Syria, 11th-12th
century, Glazed clay, Freer
and Sackler Galleries

Hound Dog Taylor : Wild About
You Baby   Ann Arbor Blues
Festival, 1973

contact us  
spread of the red
Deployment Extended, Becomes Open-Ended
Young US Males
Inhabit Stag Nation
A series of public statements by
senior White House and Pentagon
officials has revealed Bush
administration plans to sustain a US
military presence in Iraq for a period
of several decades, including the
operation of at least four large bases
that have been constructed since the
March 2003 invasion. Over the last
week, White House spokesman Tony
Snow and Defense Secretary Robert
Gates have both spoken approvingly
of the “Korean model,” in which a
force of more than 30,000 US troops
has remained in place to assist with
security and logistics on the
partitioned peninsula for over 50
years. The top US commander in
charge of operations in Iraq later
endorsed the concept of an extended
deployment as “a great idea.”  

Snow first invoked the comparison at
a White House news conference,
saying that President Bush would like
to see the US role in Iraq develop
similarly to South Korea, where,
according to the press secretary,  
“the United States is there as a force
of stability.”  Gates then voiced his
support for the concept, telling
reporters that he envisions US forces
remaining in Iraq “for a protracted
period of time, but in ways that are
protective of the sovereignty of the
host government.” Gates went on to
say that a long-term military
presence would be  
reassuring for US allies in the region.

The comments immediately drew
criticism from domestic opponents of
administration policy, with Senate
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)
saying the president was “telling
Americans that he may keep our
troops mired in Iraq for as long as
half a century.”  Others accused the
White House of using a flawed
analogy in an attempt to present an
upbeat assessment of conditions on
the ground in Iraq, arguing that the
so-called “Korean model” was not
applicable to the current situation.
Congressional Democrats have been
trying to pressure the administration
into scheduling the withdrawal of
troops from Iraq, but the president
has remained adamantly opposed to
such a timetable.

Some observers warn that
references to the "Korean model" will
damage efforts to convince Middle
Eastern governments that the US is
not planning permanent military
bases in Iraq. Security analyst  
Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings
Institution told the
Los Angeles
, "In trying to convey resolve,
he conveys the presumption that
we're going to be there for a long
time. It's unhelpful to handling the
politics of our presence in
it's all true
Males in their 30’s in the US
received 12 percent less income
in 2004 than the same group
earned in 1974, a decline that
challenges many American
assumptions about economic
mobility and equal opportunity,
according to a report released
last week by the Pew Charitable
Trusts. Researchers also found
that the rate of increase of family
incomes, which had risen sharply
as more women entered the
workforce in recent decades, has
slowed significantly. The study is
the first in a series by a broad
coalition of research institutes that
will focus on issues of economic

The study found that the decline
had occurred over the last 12
years, with incomes in 1994 more
than 5 percent higher than 1974
levels. Gains in family incomes
levelled off after 1974,and
showed further reductions since
1994. One of the report’s authors,
John E. Morton of Pew, told the
Los Angeles Times that the
results of the cross-generational
income study raise the prospect
that a growing number of
Americans will “believe that the
rules of the game are no longer
it's all true
back to top of
verbatim                                                                          number 20.5
"Tremendous challenges await this nation,
and there will be hardships ahead.  Faith will
not make our path easy, but it will give us
                                      Washington  DC  02.07.07
…others call it
verbatim                                     number 20.4
"Some call this
civil war…
…I call it pure evil."
Washington DC  03.28.07
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