Sunday, May 2, 2021

Domestic and Foreign Priorities, 100 Days Shaping a Transitional Presidency and Beyond

 


Culminating a speech on a joint session of Congress, US President Joseph R. Biden mark his first 100 days in  office with his new American Jobs Plan. The American Jobs Plan will invest in America in a way we have not invested since we built the interstate highways and won the Space Race. As of this writing the President is now on a tour trying to sell this plan.

As any new President's 100 days, Joe Biden's Presidency has been successful with an approval rating way above the 50's than his predecessor. Although considered lower the Bush and Clinton in lieu of the factors of the 2020 elections still lingering lies created by his predecessor. He came to this presidential race with the main goal of the solving the greatest pandemic logistics in the USA for Covid-19. To date, we have about 220 million Americans vaccinated and were seeing the light of the freedom.

Yet, as we know towards the 100 days of this presidency, the biggest and probably the most important and non popular Presidential decision was "Afghanistan". We all know that Joe Biden's career was in the in the Foreign Relations and diplomacy. He was also clear that he wanted to unify and be a transitional President from the chaos of the last four years. We also know his empathy as well as his own losses and stories which I can just speculate in major decision like this, you really put what is best for the country first, 

Why may I say that? Britannica explains,  The development of foreign policy is influenced by domestic considerations, the policies or behavior of other states, or plans to advance specific geopolitical designs. Leopold von Ranke emphasized the primacy of geography and external threats in shaping foreign policy, but later writers emphasized domestic factors.  Diplomacy is the tool of foreign policy, and war, alliances, and international trade may all be manifestations of it.

As we discussed about this American Jobs Plan on trillions of dollars in the coming months then we talked about debt and America being the wealthiest nation on earth. Then we have this non ending debates between politicians while the low income people in America are still suffering to survive everyday and small businesses still trying to find working capital each day, these are prime examples of "domestic considerations" the policies of behavior right here in the United States of America.  The funds that we are spending overseas on the war on Afghanistan for example will help this domestic considerations.

On my take on Diplomacy, what the US needs to look into is the life after the US withdrawal in Afghanistan. We know that there could be some exodus to neighboring Pakistan as refuge.    Pakistan stays afloat on an IMF loan with strict conditionality should be a consideration as an example to look into. There should be on the ground efforts established within Afghanistan itself to protect human rights and women by funding agencies the the USAID missions. 

The human and financial costs of the two foreign ‘mis’adventures have been phenomenal: in Vietnam close to 59,000 American soldiers lost their lives; in Afghanistan it is pushing close to 2,500 fatalities and more than 20,000 wounded. In terms of US dollar value in 2019, both Vietnam and Afghanistan have cost US tax payers more than one trillion dollars each; with some independent estimates putting the figure for Afghanistan adventure close to two trillion dollars.

My take on this as this President moves beyond his 100 days there are still so many emergency domestic issues that needs to be address as his priority.  Like what he is now doing on India, he is sharing whatever we can to help but still the main focus is on the domestic front. 


Sunday, March 14, 2021

A Beginner's Guide to America's Culture Belief's on Race, Immigration, Equality and Views Nowadays

 

Bestselling author, Roya Hakakian upcoming book describes the book as A stirring, witty, and poignant glimpse into the bewildering American immigrant experience from someone who has lived it. Also, a mirror held up to America.

Myself being middle age living half of my life in the USA, I can totally agree with her. I till this day still ask questions on inclusion. A good example was on a Friday afternoon in a downtown San Francisco's retail location men's restroom which was open for the public. Right after using it passed  walking pass  the stalls,  a middle age heavy set Caucasian man assumed I was headed to the walk out the door and yelled to me "washed your hands". I politely showed in my hands my sanitizers and uttered I had it. Most public restrooms in San Francisco's downtown area are not open due to the homeless problem and vandalism and also the lavatories are really extremely dirty and infected with bacteria. At any rate here's an example why I simply raise the statement of inclusion having live half of my life in America. For all you know the guy had good intentions of reminding me simply to wash my hands but here is where the culture's perspectives open up. 

In the San Francisco area, home to the nation's largest and oldest Chinatown, there were at least 18 attacks against Asians in February alone, TODAY previously reported. An 84-year-old Thai American, Vicha Ratanapakdee, was pushed to the ground in January and died from his injuries a few days later, NBC News reported. In 2020, New York City police recorded 28 hate crimes against Asian Americans, up from three in 2019, quoted from https://www.today.com/news/anti-asian-violence-history-anti-asian-racism-us-t210645  Another issue that came up during this Covid-19 is when the term "China Virus" was downplayed by no other than the 45th President of the United States. This has enabled an anti-Asian hate and violence campaign. 

Meanwhile, there's an influx of undocumented children on the southern border trying to enter after Biden rolled back a number of Trump-era immigration policies, including the “Remain in Mexico” policy that advocates say gutted the nation’s asylum system and the "zero tolerance" policy of separating families at the border.  It is extremely hard for politicians based on my personal experiences having dealt with them of their desire for power and wealth to understand the true meaning of "Asylum". If you make from $170,000 to $300,00 and have net worth's of $2M to $10B or more and ambitions to even be the President of the USA you will never need to know the meaning of what it stands or what the word "Immigration" is about in a real democracy.

Hakakian grew up in a Jewish family living in a middle-class neighborhood in Tehran in the 70's in her book and I remember my father serving in the US Army at the same time at the base. She mentioned about her scarf as part of her dress code and when she arrived in New York's subway in 1985 after her asylum she tried to reach for her scarf realizing she had none physically.   Here also shows as immigrants bring memories with us when we settle in the US. 

Just like a few months ago when we had these marches on the boarded windows on the  downtown streets in Portland, Or and San Francisco, CA it reminded me back in the Philippines when  then Ferdinand Marcos was about to declare Martial Law, those were the same pictures, and then again during the EDSA revolution when he again tried to hang on to power before fleeing for asylum and to where, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA through the help of Republican President Ronald Reagan.

In the case of the Iran empire itself, the Shah of Iran eventually went into asylum also in the United Sates for health reasons. This is is how politicians interrelates with the two words mentioned.  Hence for decades is also why this country has not enacted a real Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill.

The topic is huge for discussion but where does one begin?

Saturday, January 30, 2021

As a New Global Hope After 2021 Awaits, What's In Store for the Youth Leaders

 
I had the privileged to read the United Nations Youth Report today of 2018 

ISBN: 9789213632567, Copyright @2018 at the United Nations. All Rights Reserved. New York USA. 

It's Executive Summary focuses on the Youth and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Advancing Youth Development, youth policies and the role of the youth.

Reading on Chapter 3: Youth Employment's Formal versus informal I'm happy to note that some of our initiative's then in my time with APEC has been followed through with this initiatives. 

Page 27 also touch on Entrepreneurship Education something which was really very close to me personally to this which is why I continue on to this day on a private capacity through bookselling. The report is very much accurate in describing about the necessity or subsistence entrepreneurs are those who are self employed because they cannot secure work elsewhere and are focused into self employment by "economic necessity". They are indeed making up a large share of the informal economy but lack the capacity to become true engines of "growth". 

This report is very comprehensive for the inter-agency and although I commend that I believe it will be a good blue print moving forward, I have to also note as a reader that some of the 2020 goals set especially for developing countries were not really or just partially met observing as a lay person no longer in policy initiative roles. At the same there were so many recent events alone since last year in a global perspective that affected every nation in the world.

We have a lot of soul searching, re-direction, re-focusing, questions to ask, and prioritization. There's so many high priorities that affects human existence of survival to education and economics. The global pandemic right now is taking much of our daily lives. As we await for the cure and vaccines for normal life to be back, it's also a time to plan. When I saw this report I got reminded myself on the focus alone in the USA. A new World Leader with more than a week in power almost 40 executive orders with a lot of global hope.

Yet, one thing I haven't seen with with this new Biden/Harris administration is somehow some focus on the Youth Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Minorities, Disabled  Youth Involvement. Something I will be watching from a far if there will be some interest.


Sunday, January 17, 2021

I have a dream for freedom and for Anarchy, reflecting on two persons on democracy.

As  we reflect on Dr. Martin Luther King's  message by revisiting his celebrated I Have a Dream speech in its entirety delivered on August 28, 1963, part of the speech says "It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note in so far as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked insufficient funds". 

Another part of the speech continues, "This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning: My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrims' pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring". 

 In October 30,2020 ALL NEWS from the White House articles quotes: 

Nearly 400 miles of new border wall system is now complete. Just as important, the Trump Administration is prosecuting and deporting violent criminals, stopping the flow of illegal drugs, and closing the loopholes that help human smugglers while hurting our own citizens, including legal immigrants". Illegal immigration hurts everyone. It empowers criminals, bankrolls human smugglers, and fuels transnational gangs. It costs both legal immigrants and U.S. citizens a shot at the American Dream. It endangers law enforcement officers, makes our communities less stable, and puts law-abiding workers and businesses at a disadvantage.

It is the same narrative, today we celebrate the heroism on Dr. King. He started the fight risking his own life for democracy. January 6, 2020 will be read by generations after our life time when the Supreme leader of White Supremacy led an unsuccessful insurrection to democracy and people of color in the United States of America. 

This hate extends to the undocumented immigrants mostly on the front lines of the dreaded pandemic a lot of which classified as essential workers. A lot of whom are hard working law abiding, tax paying members of the society who cannot even access unemployment or health care in this country. 

As the I have a dream speech mentioned I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today. Martin Luther King continued. 

I believe that it is the right first direction to tackle an immigration reform in this country to show the insurrects that people of color are here to stay as part of the land of the free, the greatest democracy in the world and they have to accept we cannot be extinct. 

No one can compete with American workers when they’re given a fair and level playing field, which has not happened for decades.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Life moving forward 2020, a new hope out of the a year of the Covid-19 Pandemic

 
San Francisco, Ca 4 hours before the clock ticks to 2021 where the shelter in place is about to expire on Monday just got extended indefinitely in lieu of the looming crisis in the State's almost out of ICU beds. Meanwhile, local authorities has been vocally strict tonight on private gatherings that might trigger more unforeseen infections. I had to appreciate watching John Meyer on CNN's special New Year's broadcast while he plays the piano and sings live from LA as replacement of the annual fireworks display at the waterfront at the Embarcadero Pier. I started with the Anti-Masking Meeting photo image courtesy of the  ©newspapers.com/aschultz138 From the San Francisco Chronical, 25th January 1919 to give a little history on "Restricting what people can do is always hotly debated, and the recent debate in the press on the need to wear masks while in public spaces and on public transport is not a modern concern. Historian Samuel Cohen has referred to the ‘anti-mask league’ of San Francisco in early 1919, which gained backing from several thousand people opposed to wearing a mask" https://microbiologysociety.org  As we know all the way back in March San Francisco was the first city to place a shelter in place and tonight out of caution again hence is why it extended it's shelter in place indefinitely until the State's Covid-19 crisis is over. If you are resident of San Francisco or are familiar with the city you understand why SF is indeed highly cautious on this. Notwithstanding on the 1919 history, similar to what Los Angeles is now undergoing, the city is heavily dense with a large homeless population and also a lot of communities of color and minorities. It's like a time bomb in laymen's terms that especially with the new discovered strain of covid-19, when an area like the tenderloin neighborhood area gets hits for example, that alone will already take the whole infrastructure beds of the city's San Francisco General Hospital. 


American Crisis, author Gov. Andrew Cuomo ells the riveting story of how he took charge in the fight against COVID-19 as New York became the epicenter of the pandemic, offering hard-won lessons in leadership and his vision for the path forward.

When COVID-19 besieged the United States, New York State emerged as the global “ground zero” for a deadly contagion that threatened the lives and livelihoods of millions. Quickly, Governor Andrew Cuomo provided the leadership to address the threat, becoming the standard-bearer of the organized response the country desperately needed. With infection rates spiking and more people dying every day, the systems and functions necessary to combat the pandemic in New York—and America—did not exist. So Cuomo undertook the impossible. He unified people to rise to the challenge and was relentless in his pursuit of scientific facts and data. He quelled fear while implementing an extraordinary plan for flattening the curve of infection. He and his team worked day and night to protect the people of New York, despite roadblocks presented by a president incapable of leadership and addicted to transactional politics.

Cuomo, did what he had to do but we have to note also that prior to his actions, he did not think that Covid-19 was a problem. When he realized the problem and tackled it, he did his best as much of our state and local leaders. The pandemic response varied from state to state then. In California, for example Gov. Gavin Newsom was the first Governor to install the shelter in place and California had a good success in Spring to Summer of bending the pandemic curve on infections and hospitalizations.

As we end 2020. Newsom even has a recall battle due to the state restrictions on lockdowns and mask while the State of CA's had a total of 2,245,379 cases where there was  27,237 today and 428 deaths  out of a total death of 25,386.

One of the biggest challenge of the pandemic crisis  from acknowledgement, testing to now vaccinations really boils down to a  national body or response. It's been a pin pointing between the Federal and State levels of government. The promised 20 million vaccinations as we end 2020 was only 2 million. Meanwhile Astra-Zeneca's vaccine in the Uk just got approved and might get the English vaccinated by half of 2021. One of the debatable discussions is that the United Kingdom has a National Health Service.

Looking at the incoming Biden-Harris administration's Covid-19 plan, it talk's about:

Establish and fund a U.S. Public Health Service Reserve Corps to activate former Public Health Service Commissioned Corps officers to expand medical and public health capacity. By creating the Reserve Corps, we will have a larger team of health professionals to deploy across the nation to help train health care systems in detection and response, educate the public, provide direct patient care as needed, and support the public health infrastructure in communities that are often under-resourced and struggling.

Looking at this plan, I found the paid sick leave for Covid-19 where California's paid sick leave tax incentive for employers expires tonight when the clock ticks to 2021. 

The Biden Plan calls for an emergency paid leave program that will ensure that all workers can take paid leave during the COVID-19 crisis. It calls for passage of the Healthy Families Act with the addition of an emergency plan that will require 14 days of paid leave for those who are sick, exposed, or subject to quarantines—while also ensuring that employers will not bear any additional costs for such additional leave in the midst of this crisis. 

So let's hope, watch and see moving forward for a new hope this 2021.


Sunday, December 20, 2020

A Review on Criminal Dissent vis a vis foregoing public speeches, opinions and the law on seditious conspiracy.

 

Criminal Dissent - Wendell Bird (Author)  writes In the first complete account of prosecutions under the Alien and Sedition Acts, dozens of previously unknown cases come to light, revealing the lengths to which the John Adams administration went in order to criminalize dissent.

The campaign to prosecute dissenting Americans under the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 ignited the first battle over the Bill of Rights. Fearing destructive criticism and “domestic treachery” by Republicans, the administration of John Adams led a determined effort to safeguard the young republic by suppressing the opposition.

The acts gave the president unlimited discretion to deport noncitizens and made it a crime to criticize the president, Congress, or the federal government. In this definitive account, Wendell Bird goes back to the original federal court records and the papers of Secretary of State Timothy Pickering and finds that the administration’s zeal was far greater than historians have recognized. Indeed, there were twice as many prosecutions and planned deportations as previously believed. The government went after local politicians, raisers of liberty poles, and even tavern drunks but most often targeted Republican newspaper editors, including Benjamin Franklin’s grandson. Those found guilty were sent to prison or fined and sometimes forced to sell their property to survive. The Federalists’ support of laws to prosecute political opponents and opposition newspapers ultimately contributed to the collapse of the party and left a large stain on their record.

The Alien and Sedition Acts launched a foundational debate on press freedom, freedom of speech, and the legitimacy of opposition politics. The result was widespread revulsion over the government’s attempt to deprive Americans of their hard-won liberties. Criminal Dissent is a potent reminder of just how fundamental those rights are to a stable democracy.

At this moment and time, the news media writes about the coup intents speculation caused by the the 45th President's failure to concede to the incoming 46th President elect and the worry that the Republican's and the 74 million Trump voters that will hinder the Biden presidency deeming it illegitimate.

At the same, while writing this blog on the eve of the deadline of the stimulus negotiations on Capitol Hill by Congress debates, the news media is also reporting on leak unverified oval office meetings about discussions on the intent of "Martial Law".  If your someone who have not seen Martial Law in a developing country then you wouldn't really understand the realities of this.  However, if you are then the first thing that will come to your mind will be for all these ages, why did America became the riches nation on earth, why did all the immigrants immigrated to America to make land of the free and make rich! As the only dictators that these ideas would even be an idea are the desperate autocrats who will do anything, I mean anything! in a third world country!

Hence is why The United States has a federal law against seditious conspiracy in Tile 18 of the US Code, 18 U.S.C. S. 2384. "The Sedition Act made it a crime, in effect, to criticize the president, Congress, the federal government as a whole, or its measures, whether by press or speech." As a result, Bird has properly called for a re-evaluation of the Act, dismissing previous historians' largely-successful attempts at whitewashing and rightly condemning the Act's powerful supporters, such as Alexander Hamilton, President George Washington, and President John Adams.


Sunday, November 15, 2020

From Essential Workers on Covid-19 Mixed Status, Heroes Act, Demographics that gave Victory to a what a real Immigration Policy Reform

 Undocumented workers and their families contributed more than $1.6 trillion to the nation’s gross domestic product in 2018. This was while the Trump Administration launched it's Zero Tolerance policy on Immigration while undocumented neighbors buy groceries, pay taxes and support local businesses in economic activity that generates $190 billion in government revenue nationwide.

Undocumented immigrants disproportionately work in essential sectors and earn lower total wages compared to their US-born counterparts. A lot of them are in the food supply chain, groceries, meat packaging, manufacturing, transport, delivery, retail, housekeeping, maintenance, janitorial, farming, merchandising to name a few. COVID-19 infection rates for Latinxs are the highest of all ethnoracial groups in California and Los Angeles. California has one of the highest unemployment rates (over 30%) among the poorest and most vulnerable undocumented workers and their mixed-status family members (more than 5.3 million).

When these undocumented immigrants get sick with Covid-19, they cannot even claim for unemployment insurance.  Deferred action protections and legal work authorization should be immediately granted to all essential workers3. The important role of undocumented workers in the economy provides a strong argument for a policy of legalization and a pathway to citizenship within a broader program of immigration reform.

“Undocumented workers are fundamental to our economy, especially during the pandemic when many of them are the essential workers who are keeping us fed, safe and healthy,” said Sonja Diaz, founding director of the Latino Policy and Politics Initiative. “It would be only fair to recognize their contributions by including them in recovery efforts, and it is also clear that we cannot rebound from this crisis if we leave them behind.”

 Most undocumented workers are employed on the front lines, earning less than their legalized counterparts despite sharing equal labor responsibilities and risks. They are also excluded from receiving financial assistance from federal, state, and local governments, even though they boost the economy through tax contributions and consumer spending and stimulate employment and local investment. The pandemic has revealed the important role undocumented workers play in keeping the economy afloat.

From the recent conclusions of our elections on the changing demographics of the different demographics and sectors, we know the major issues start from healthcare, race, economy, as well as the changing needs even in a particular culture. Our nation is still divided and still in need of healing but time is always takes precedence in this process. Yet to heal to start the process we need to recognize the disparities of the effects of the pandemic both on on the deaths, cases as well as those essential workers such as the essential workers whom a big part are the non-documented whom sometimes we don't hear about when we talked about essential workers on Covid-19. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Where do We Go From Here to Heal, Move and Rise Mr. President Elect

 

What Do We Do Now?: A Workbook for the President-Elect Hess, Stephen  A Workbook for the President-Elect," complete with exercises to fill in and boxes to tick off; but it is also a compelling primer for the average citizen." Frank Gannon, Wall Street Journal.

This unique and daunting process always involves at least some mistakes—in hiring, perhaps, or in policy priorities, or organizational design. Early blunders can carry serious consequences well into a president's term; minimizing them from the outset is critical. In What Do We Do Now? Stephen Hess draws from his long experience as a White House staffer and presidential adviser to show what can be done to make presidential transitions go smoothly. Here is a workbook to guide future chief executives, decision by decision, through the minefield of transition.

I start with this as in the most recent transition in 2016 was a very good example of the failures right from the start of the transition process. This transition is the most consequential and historical one in our lifetime considering the dynamics, demographics and show of election results in the last 2 nights in our elections. From the Miami Cuban and Puerto Rican  Conservative Latinos in Florida citizens fearing  of socialism, to the new Mexican Latinos in Arizona from California more Liberal, to the African American voter turn out's in Georgia and Texas. Another good point to note is on top of the voter's list is a recognition of the racial divide which is now well showcase on how the results of this elections has come to a divided House and Senate.

Whatever the results of the presidential vote on Nov. 3, the time between Election Day and Inauguration Day seems set to be a dark and terrifying 11 weeks in the history of the United States. However, perhaps there’s some comfort to be taken in the fact that we’ve experienced fraught transitions before—and longer ones. To wit: When Abraham Lincoln won the election of 1860 and prepared to take the reins from James Buchanan, who had kept a promise he made in his inaugural address not run for a second term, we suffered through a four-month slog of turmoil, because until the passage of the 20th Amendment in 1933, inaugurations used to take place in March. And during Buchanan’s endless lame-duck period, quite a bit went down: Seven states declared for secession, and Southerners seized forts and garrisons, arming themselves for the war we know now was coming.    Quote from

As we go through the final hours of the last remaining electoral college numbers to get to 270 to solidify our Mr. President Elect, as a nation we should start lowering the temperature and shifting the message to  We should praise whoever concedes as that would make it so much easier to heal and to transition. We should also remember Covid-19 had just reach 100,000 cases. We have to get back to solving the problems on Covid-19 and the stimulus as January 21 is still months from now. Meanwhile, people are sick, cannot pay bills and rent so the sooner a transition gets to work the better while the current administration works on the stimulus.

For Now, Let Us Respect the results, Welcome the President Elect and Thank the President.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

The Contradiction, Systemic Inequality to American Democracy, Why Minorities need to Vote

"The inability to fully participate in the democratic process translates into a lack of political power—the power to elect candidates with shared values and the power to enact public policy priorities. As a result, people of color, especially Black people, continue to endure exclusion and discrimination in the electoral process, more than 150 years after the abolition of slavery". quoted from the American Progress Organization. 

                               The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that the Trump administration can end census field operations early, in a blow to efforts to make sure minorities and hard-to-enumerate communities are properly counted in the crucial once-a-decade tally. The decision was not a total loss for plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging the administration’s decision to end the count early. They managed to get nearly two extra weeks of counting people as the case made its way through the courts. 

At issue was a request by the Trump administration that the Supreme Court suspend a lower court’s order extending the 2020 census through the end of October following delays caused by the pandemic. The Trump administration argued that the head count needed to end immediately to give the bureau time to meet a year-end deadline. Congress requires the bureau to turn in by Dec. 31 the figures used to decide the states’ congressional seats — a process known as apportionment.

Apportionment is the process of dividing the 435 memberships, or seats, in the U.S. House of Representatives among the 50 states based on the apportionment population counts from the decennial census.  The apportionment population count for each of the 50 states includes the state’s total resident population (citizens and non-citizens) plus a count of the overseas federal employees (and dependents) who have that state listed as their home state in their employers’ administrative records.

The resident population counts include all people (citizens and non-citizens) who are living in 

the United States at the time of the census. People are counted at their usual residence, which is the place where they live and sleep most of the time.

The resident population also includes military and civilian employees of the U.S. government who are deployed outside the United States (while stationed or assigned in the United States) and can be allocated to a usual residence address in the United States based on administrative records from the Department of Defense.

The resident population counts for the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Island Areas are not included in apportionment calculations (because those areas do not have voting seats in the U.S. House of Representatives), but they are included in other data products.

Note: The resident population counts are available down to the lowest levels of geography (i.e. census block), but only the state totals are used for apportionment. The more detailed resident population data are included in other census data products that are used for redistricting and many other purposes.

Are undocumented residents included in the apportionment population counts?

Yes, all people (citizens and noncitizens) with a usual residence in the 50 states are included in the resident population for the census, which means they are all included in the apportionment counts.

How is the apportionment calculated?

The apportionment of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives is calculated every ten years using the method of equal proportions, according to the provisions of Title 2, U.S. Code. Congress decides the method used to calculate the apportionment. This method has been used in every census since the 1940 census. The method computes "priority values" based on each state's apportionment population.as quoted from census.gov.

On July 21, the White House released a memorandum regarding the 2020 Census with the subject line, “Excluding Illegal Aliens From the Apportionment Base Following the 2020 Census.” In the memo, signed by the president, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross is ordered, after the census is completed this fall, to remove from each state’s count the number of “illegal aliens” living there. Only then will the census numbers be presented to congress for the reapportionment of the House.

One target in specific is California. “Current estimates suggest that one state is home to more than 2.2 million illegal aliens, constituting more than 6% of the State’s entire population.  Including these illegal aliens in the population of the state for the purpose of apportionment could result in the allocation of two or three more congressional seats than would otherwise be allocated.” The president is relying on a 2016 Pew Research Center study that stated there was 2.2 million undocumented residents in California. The same study reported that there are 725,000 undocumented residents in New York State.

So let us now focus now on the recent events. From the debates where we have heard  the words, "Stand by and Stand back",, " I'm Speaking", " Ka,,mam,,la, Ka,ba,,la", "Monster", to we have turn the corner. Such words that the only answer would be "democracy requires the full participation of its citizens"

In 2018, The United States Supreme Court gave the approval stamp for voter suppression Husted v. A. Philip Randolph when people skip elections. This is the same tactics being used today in this pandemic to prevent prevent from voting.

The 44th President was the opening for people of color, having the first black Asian minority woman vice presidential candidate can eventually create that opening that will be here to stay which is why it is such a threat unfortunately, But embracing it especially if it leads to victory will start a process of healing. It will not eradicate the persistent problem immediately. The structural reforms and conversations can be started for policies for the future generations not to be also victims.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Remembering RBG, her fight , the history, the relevance, the review, why both sides are fighting for her seat for generations to come.

 Let us start from the Fundamental Rights Federalism after the civil war. The Republicans in the 38th Congress enacted the 38th Amendment, eliminating the power of states to enforce slavery within their borders. But Southern states almost immediately used the rest of their vast police powers to enact Black Codes to oppress the newly freed slaves. Their aim was to come as closely as possible to restoring slavery in everything but name.

In response to this, the Republicans in the 39th Congress used their 13th Amendment enforcement power to enact the Civil Rights Act of 1866. Although they overrode the veto of President Johnson by super-majorities in both houses, some in Congress saw the need to write these protections into the Constitution lest courts question Congress’s power to enact the Civil Rights Act.

The Republicans thus created the Fourteenth Amendment. Section 1 forbade states from violating the fundamental rights of their own citizens, placing new federal constraints on all three branches of state governments. Section 5 granted Congress the power to enforce those constraints. With the passage of the 14th Amendment, the federal government could now prevent states from violating the privileges and immunities of their citizens; depriving anyone of life, liberty, or property without due process; and denying anyone equal protection. Following on its heels, a similar provision was enacted to prevent states from denying citizens the right to vote based on their race. The Reconstruction Amendments, taken together, thus ushered in what we can call “Fundamental Rights Federalism.”

Soon after its enactment, however, the Supreme Court systematically neutered the Fundamental Rights Federalism of the Reconstruction Amendments through such cases as The Slaughter-House Cases (1873),U.S. v. Cruikshank (1875), The Civil Rights Cases (1883), Plessy v. Ferguson(1896), and Giles v. Harris (1903). As a result, the powers accorded to the federal government lay dormant until the Court and Congress took them up again in the early Twentieth Century to protect economic liberties in cases like Lochner v. New York (1905) andBuchanan v. Warley (1917). Eventually, beginning in the 1930s until today, the Court largely withdrew from this area in favor of to protecting so-called “fundamental rights” and the civil rights of “suspect classes” like racial minorities.

 Courtesy of Constitution Center Org 

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg built her career on the fight for women’s rights. Before her days as a judge, she acted as general counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), where she argued over 300 gender discrimination cases—six before the Supreme Court—and cofounded the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project. As a civilian, Ginsburg earned a reputation as a dogged advocate for gender equality. As a judge, first during 13 years as a U.S. Court of Appeals judge, then during 27 years as a Supreme Court Justice, she built upon that legacy.

“Equal Protection” for women and men means males cannot be preferred to females.

Ginsburg took advantage of prior civil rights rulings on race—and male plaintiffs—to help illustrate why the Supreme Court should end gender discrimination. Many of her cases hinged on the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, which provides that people shall be equally protected by U.S. laws. Through a barrage of smaller cases, she chipped away at discriminatory laws.

But it was Reed v. Reed, a 1971 case for which Ginsburg wrote the plaintiff’s brief, that relied on the 14th Amendment. A minor, Richard Lynn Reed, known as “Skip,” died and his mother wanted to be designated as administrator of his estate. Sally and her husband, Cecil Reed, had separated. Despite Sally filing a petition first, Cecil’s application was automatically approved because of an Idaho statute that stated that “males must be preferred to females” when there was more than one qualified person available to administer someone’s estate.

Ginsburg argued that this violated the Equal Protection Clause. The Supreme Court unanimously agreed and struck down the Idaho statute. It was the first time the Court had ever applied the Equal Protection Clause to a law that discriminated on the basis of gender.

Gender-based discrimination hurts men too—Ginsburg argues her first case before the Supreme Court.

Another case that hinged on gender discrimination and government benefits was Frontiero v. Richardson. The 1973 case was the first Ginsburg argued before the Supreme Court. When a woman in the U.S. Air Force applied for benefits for her dependent husband, she was told she’d have to prove he was a dependent, even though men in the Air Force didn’t have to prove that their wives were dependent on them.

Courtesy of History.com/news

I cited some of these relevant articles to make more sense to in explaining the importance of what is at stake on this issue. Why suddenly the focus one politics of this elections suddenly change. Why when there's about 200,000 deaths and rising on Covid-19 without a vaccine, still with failed testing and no plan, and every single prescriptions now has a co-pay and even now is in danger of perhaps not even being covered due to pre-existing condition.

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear oral arguments on two cases challenging the Affordable Care Act a week after Election Day in November. This is the seventh challenge to the landmark health care bill in eight years, and if it is successful, it could have far-reaching consequences for health care in the United States.

This is the most priority issue at this point at this current Trump administration's ultimate goal from the very beginning is to struck and eradicate the Affordable Care Act's Protection to people with pre-existing conditions. This is nothing different to Trump's plan of Herd mentality of inoculation by contamination instead of a vaccine and using mask. 

From the Affordable Care Act, to Equal Pay, Voting Rights, Reproductive Rights, Immigration, Police Reform and so the next nominee who takes over Justice Ginsberg will be in this court after my lifetime in the next generations to come. This is why this fight is such a high stake for all of us. We all know how democracy works in America. It is up to us to act together and unify to make it happen.

May God Bless Us All in This Fight.

Alex Esguerra