Sunday, July 06, 2014
Federal Gov’t Sues Wisconsin Company, Says English-Language Requirement is 'Discrimination'
This is an attack on the most basic liberties
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a federal agency tasked with enforcing workplace discrimination laws, is suing a private American business for firing a group of Hispanic and Asian employees over their inability to speak English at work, claiming that the English-language requirement in a U.S. business constitutes “discrimination.”
Judicial Watch reported Tuesday that the government is accusing Wisconsin Plastics, Inc. of violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on “national origin.” The government argues this includes the “linguistic characteristics of a national origin group.”
Irene Garcia, the blog editor and Spanish media liaison for Judicial Watch, called the EEOC’s accusation “ludicrous.”
“That’s ludicrous and an overreaching of government,” Garcia told CNSNews.com. “If you are a private company in the United States, you should be able to require your employees to speak English.”
According to a news release from the EEOC, Chicago Regional Attorney John C. Hendrickson said the Green Bay-based company’s English requirement is based on “superficial” reasoning.
"Our experience at the EEOC has been that so-called 'English only' rules and requirements of English fluency are often employed to make what is really discrimination appear acceptable. But superficial appearances are not fooling anyone,” Hendrickson said in the release. “When speaking English fluently is not, in fact, required for the safe and effective performance of a job, nor for the successful operation of the employer’s business, requiring employees to be fluent in English usually constitutes employment discrimination on the basis of national origin — and thus violates federal law.”
But Garcia said the ability to speak English is necessary for employees of Wisconsin Plastics, Inc., but that the employees in question “were not able to speak English at any kind of level that would be considered proficient.”
“In this case some English is necessary to communicate with supervisors and stuff like that, and the EEOC just went after this private company because some employees were being marked down for not having English skills. So that doesn’t really make sense,” she said.
Garcia added that the lawsuit, filed on June 9, is just the latest in a slew of attempts by the EEOC and the Obama administration to go after American businesses for so-called “discrimination.” She cited numerous cases in which the EEOC has accused businesses of discriminating by requiring workers to speak English, running background and criminal checks, and enforcing company-wide restrictions on head coverings, including those worn by some Muslim women.
“We’ve seen some decisions that are kind of radical that we haven’t seen in the past, under Republican or Democrat administrations,” she said, claiming the EEOC under the Obama administration is “on a roll.”
Many lawsuits brought by the EEOC subjectively twist the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include things it was never meant to cover, Garcia added.
“We’re seeing a lot of these kinds of law suits using his civil rights law to sue on behalf of all these different causes that I believe violate the spirit of the law,” Garcia explained.
“In terms of religious and language rights under the Civil Rights Act, that’s what the administration is using to offer and extend protects when really and truly there’s no place for them [in the law],” she said.
Vatican Document Reaffirms Traditional Marriage -- Pastoral Approach Towards Gays
A document released by the Vatican last week reaffirmed longstanding Catholic teaching that marriage is exclusively between a man and a woman, and ruled out same-sex unions as its equivalent.
“There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family,” Instrumentum Laboris states, quoting a 2003 church document that said “under no circumstances can they be approved.”
But Instrumentum Laboris also addressed the Church’s need to show compassion towards those with homosexual inclinations. It garnered mixed reviews from gay advocacy groups who said that while they were pleased with the “new, welcoming tone,” they were also “disappointed” that the Church did not change its stance on same-sex marriage.
The document discusses the findings of a worldwide Vatican survey which “was divided into eight groups of questions on marriage and the family” and sent to “a significant number of dioceses, parishes, movements, groups, ecclesial associations and families” in November in preparation for the Extraordinary Synod on the Family called by Pope Francis, which will be held at the Vatican in October.
According to the survey, “every bishops’ conference voiced opposition to ‘redefining’ marriage between a man and a woman through the introduction of legislation permitting a union between two people of the same sex.”
The document also points out that the bishops “are clearly opposed to legislation which would allow the adoption of children by persons in a same-sex union, because they see a risk to the integral good of the child, who has the right to have a mother and father, as pointed out recently by Pope Francis.”
However the document emphasized that it is also Church teaching that “men and women with homosexual tendencies ‘must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.”
The bishops voiced a need for a better pastoral response towards such persons, finding that “on the whole, the extreme reactions to these unions, whether compromising or uncompromising, do not seem to have facilitated the development of an effective pastoral programme which is consistent with the Magisterium and compassionate towards the persons concerned.”
For example, the document stated that when people living in homosexual unions “request a child’s baptism, almost all the responses emphasize that the child must be received with the same care, tenderness and concern which is given to other children.”
“Many responses indicate that it would be helpful to receive more concrete pastoral directives in these situations,” the document stated, referring to the survey results.
“Should a reasonable doubt exist in the capability of persons in a same sex union to instruct the child in the Christian faith, proper support is to be secured in the same manner as for any other couple seeking the baptism of their children. In this regard, other people in their family and social surroundings could also provide assistance,” the document explains.
At their October gathering, the synod fathers will “thoroughly examine and analyze the information, testimonies and recommendations” in the document.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), an organization “working for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender equal rights,” called the document an attempt by the Vatican to “embrace a new, welcoming tone needed towards LGBT people.”
However, Equally Blessed, a group that claims to be “faithful Catholics committed to full equality for LGBT people in the church and civil society,” said in a statement that they were “disappointed by the lack of listening evidenced in the report released by the Vatican yesterday in preparation for the Synod which will discuss ministry to the family.”
“We hoped that this Synod signified a new openness in the Church to truly dialogue,” the group said. “The Bishops once again claim that the problem is not that their teachings clash with the Biblical teaching of love, but that Catholics are unaware of the teachings. Catholics are not unaware, rather they have long struggled with these teachings, and ultimately reject them as inconsistent with the Gospel.”
But the document makes it clear that ecclesial leaders are not about to change the Catholic Church’s “constant teaching on marriage and family.”
“The great challenge will be to develop a ministry which can maintain the proper balance between accepting persons in a spirit of compassion and gradually guiding them to authentic human and Christian maturity” as embodied in that teaching, the document states.
The question worth posing is why radical Islamic ideals appeal to young people who have often benefited from life in the West. It is clear that their embrace of radical Islam is coupled with a rejection of the way of life of their parents and also of the communities they inhabit. Such a generational rebellion against the old ways is not confined to Muslim youth. When you talk to young radical British Muslims it is obvious that they are motivated by impulses shared by many of their non-Muslim peers.
Take their rejection of Western consumer society: ‘Are you willing to sacrifice the fat job you’ve got, the big car you’ve got, the family you have’, asks Abdul Raqib Amin in his ISIS-sponsored video. His views, which draw on the anti-consumerist rhetoric of Western radicalism, are shared by a significant section of European youth. Indeed, it could just as easily be a statement made by a member of Occupy. But Amin is not just a radical protester, and he reminds his audience that he also belongs to a distinct youth subculture by asking: ‘Are you willing to sacrifice this, for the sake of Allah?’
What security officials characterise as radicalisation should be understood as an expression of generational estrangement. Young Muslims’ estrangement from and resentment towards Western society is logically prior to any radicalising message that they might subsequently internalise. Many young people, who find it difficult to gain meaning from their experience in Western society, react by rejecting Western society. Their Muslim peers sometimes go a step further and express their alienation through the medium of a jihadist outlook. The attraction of this outlook is that it provides a coherent and edgy identity. It offers the cultural resources for the constitution of an Islamic youth subculture. Unfortunately, unlike the typical manifestation of the generation gap, the embrace of a jihadist youth subculture can have some very destructive consequences.
Most young people who are attracted to jihadist websites are not searching for a new religious experience or worldview. Their behaviour is not all that different to the numerous non-Muslim Westerners who visit nihilistic websites and become fascinated by destructive themes and images. Jihadist social media, just like certain conventional internet sites, provide young people with an outlet to let off steam. Young people use these sites to express their frustration and alienation, often using extravagant language to boast about their behaviour, against a background of Middle East imagery and angry Western rap music. Jihad is often presented not just as a religious duty, but as an exciting adventure. For many, these are ‘cool’ sites that allow users’ fantasies to flourish. For others – a relatively small minority – such sites provide something more: a medium through which they can make sense of their lives.
Arrogant State politicians aiming to circumvent free speech -- in defiance of SCOTUS
HAD THE Supreme Court struck down the Massachusetts abortion clinic buffer-zone law over a strenuous dissent from the four liberal justices, the truculent reaction from many state politicians — who promptly vowed to find some new restriction that would get around the ruling — might have been easier to justify.
But all nine justices agreed that the Massachusetts law indefensibly violated the First Amendment. Even the court's staunchest defenders of abortion rights — three of them women — had to remind Beacon Hill that citizens have a right to speak on public sidewalks. That's a pretty basic component of American liberty. It would have been reassuring to hear Bay State officials acknowledge as much.
Instead, Attorney General Martha Coakley proclaimed that "this fight is just beginning again" and blamed the 9-0 ruling not on Massachusetts overreach but on a Supreme Court that "from the beginning was hostile." One of the Democrats running to succeed Coakley, prosecutor Maura Healey, declared it "unconscionable" that the justices would "deny a few seconds of privacy to women going to see their doctors." Warren Tolman, another AG hopeful, urged lawmakers to "identify immediate action enforceable by the legislature and by local municipalities" to replace the 35-foot barrier. House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray signaled support for passing a bill before formal legislative sessions end on July 31.
But before rushing to enact another misguided law, Massachusetts politicians might want to reflect on the message at the heart of the court's rebuke: Assuring safe access to clinics is a legitimate and important concern, but it doesn't validate a sweeping deprivation of the free-speech rights of people who pose no safety threat.
"A painted line on the sidewalk is easy to enforce," the court ruled, "but the prime objective of the First Amendment is not efficiency." If troublemakers block the entrance to a clinic, you have every right to stop them. You don't have the right to draw an arbitrary barrier across public sidewalks and used to criminalize peaceful speech or leafleting.
There are far less obnoxious ways to maintain public order than by taking "the extreme step" of a no-free-speech zone. Beacon Hill should have known that, the Supreme Court said. It wasn't a close call.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.