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BeckyDem's Journal
BeckyDem's Journal
April 26, 2022

Walmart Wants ADA Case Retried

by Shaun Heasley | April 26, 2022

Eight months after a jury ordered Walmart to pay a former employee with a disability over $125 million for failing to provide appropriate accommodations, the retailer is seeking a new trial.

Marlo Spaeth, who has Down syndrome, worked at a Manitowoc, Wis. Walmart for more than 15 years, always garnering positive evaluations, but she was fired in July 2015 after she struggled to adjust to changes in her longtime work schedule, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which sued Walmart on behalf of Spaeth.

In July 2021, a jury found that Walmart violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and awarded Spaeth $150,000 in compensatory damages and $125 million in punitive damages. The award was subsequently reduced to $300,000, the maximum allowed under the law.

Now, however, Walmart claims that it was unaware that Spaeth’s difficulty adjusting to her new schedule was related to her Down syndrome diagnosis. In a court filing last week, the company said that Spaeth never provided a doctor’s note and cited an EEOC medical expert who testified that most people — including most medical professionals — “have no idea” that people with Down syndrome have trouble adjusting to new schedules.


( Fuck Walmart...aka corporate sociopaths. )

April 24, 2022

Charles M. Blow@CharlesMBlow: During the summer of protests after the murder of George Floyd,


( Absolutely, racists fear their children will feel empathy..therefore CRT must be discredited. )

to Charles great thread.
April 24, 2022

International Women's Day: Dramatic deterioration in respect for women's rights and gender equality

March 7, 2022

Alarming assaults on women’s rights around the world in 2021/22.
Legal protections dismantled, and women human rights defenders now at unprecedented risk.
Protection and promotion of women’s and girls’ rights and support for women human rights defenders crucial, including for Covid-19 recovery.

Governments must act decisively to reverse regressions and uphold human rights for women and girls.

Catastrophic attacks on human rights and gender equality over the past twelve months have lowered protection for and upped threats against women and girls across the globe, Amnesty International said today.

Excerpt: Amnesty International's Secretary General, Agnès Callamard
Events in 2021 and in the early months of 2022 have conspired to crush the rights and dignity of millions of women and girls


( This is where we still are. )

April 22, 2022

America's gun culture - in seven charts

4 hours ago

It was over 50 years ago when the administration of President Lyndon Baines Johnson declared that "firearms are a primary instrument of death in American crime" and that it was "primarily the result of our culture's casual attitude towards firearms and its heritage of the armed, self-reliant citizen".

At the time, about 90 million guns were circulating in the country. Today, there are many more guns and many more deaths.

Firearms deaths have become even more of a fixture in American life, with the 1.5 million that took place between 1968 and 2017 higher than the number of soldiers killed in every US conflict since the American War for Independence in 1775.

In 2020 alone, more than 45,000 Americans died at the end of a barrel of a gun, whether by homicide or suicide, more than any other year on record. The figure represents a 25% increase from five years prior, and a 43% increase from 2010.

( I am guilty of feeling numb most of the time, but this is fucking sickening. )

2 house parties, an Easter fete and a mall were among the sites of at least 10 weekend US mass shootings


April 22, 2022

How Families Are Advocating For Children With Disabilities In Foster Care

by Claudia Boyd-Barrett, California Health Report | April 21, 2022

Theo Haskew has fetal alcohol syndrome, intellectual disability and autism. His adoptive mother Jennifer Haskew says that parents fostering and adopting children with disabilities should receive more information about how to care for and advocate for them. (Kristi Salmeron Meneses)

FRESNO, Calif. — Sheri Louie fell in love with Kristina the moment she saw her at the group home for medically fragile children in Fresno. A licensed vocational nurse, Louie had spent years working with children like Kristina who need special medical equipment to stay alive. But something about the fragile baby with expressive eyes felt unique.

“I had a connection with her. It was more like how I felt with my daughter,” said Louie, whose biological daughter, Cynthia, is one year older than Kristina. “I loved all the kids there, but I loved Kristina different.”

Kristina has cerebral palsy, autism and Moebius syndrome, a neurological disorder that causes facial paralysis. She’s one of thousands of children with physical and developmental disabilities who enter California’s foster care system each year. These children often require specialized care, therapy and education services. Because of their disabilities, they can be harder to place with a foster or adoptive family — now called a “resource family” by the state — than children without disabilities.

Yet, like Louie and her husband, Kenny, many families do foster and ultimately adopt children with special health care needs. That’s despite challenges these families often encounter, such as receiving insufficient medical supplies to care for the children and incomplete information from child welfare agencies about the children’s health histories. Foster families and their advocates are working to mend the gaps in the system that can cause undue stress on these children with disabilities, who, in most cases, have already been through trying times before coming into foster care. Because the children are considered wards of the state, advocates say that California should do more to protect them and ensure their health conditions are well managed. This is also a racial justice issue, because Black and Native American children are disproportionately enrolled in foster care, due to societal inequities.

April 19, 2022

The assault on Azovstal Russian bombardment reportedly destroys Mariupol metalworks plant --

Full title: The assault on Azovstal Russian bombardment reportedly destroys Mariupol metalworks plant — a Ukrainian stronghold also sheltering civilians

On Tuesday, April 19, the deputy commander of Ukraine’s Azov Regiment said that Russian bombardment had destroyed Mariupol’s Azovstal plant “almost completely.” The metalworks plant was serving as a Ukrainian stronghold, where the Azov Regiment and 36th Marine Brigade continued to defend the besieged city. What’s more, according to Ukrainian authorities, at least 1,000 civilians (including children) were hiding in underground shelters at the industrial complex at the time of the Russian assault. Here’s what we know so far.

On Monday, April 18, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reported that Russia had begun a “battle for the Donbas,” having focused “a very large part of the entire Russian army” on this offensive. Meanwhile, in the south-west of the Donetsk region, the battle for Mariupol (which Zelensky called the “heart of the war”) was ongoing — Ukraine’s Azov Regiment and 36th Marine Brigade were holding the line at the Azovstal metalworks plant.

On Tuesday, April 19, for the second time in three days, the Russian Defense Ministry called for the surrender of the Ukrainian forces at the Azovstal plant (the statement was addressed to “fighters from nationalist battalions and foreign mercenaries”). Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev, who heads Russia’s ​​National Defense Management Center, said that the “offer” was made “taking into account the catastrophic situation that has developed at the Azovstal metallurgical plant” and was “also guided by purely humane principles.” Allegedly, three humanitarian corridors would be made available to those who wished to surrender.

The Russian Defense Ministry also called on these forces to lay down their arms on April 16. In addition, the ministry claimed to have obtained radio intercepts of the Azovstal defenders allegedly asking Kyiv for permission to surrender, only to be told that they would be shot. How many Ukrainian troops are in the Azovstal plant is currently unknown; the Ukrainian side hasn’t disclosed this information. However, the militia of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” (DNR) claims that there are no more than 2,500 Ukrainian troops at the site.


April 19, 2022

America's Highest Earners And Their Taxes Revealed

Secret IRS files reveal the top US income-earners and how their tax rates vary more than their incomes. Tech titans, hedge fund managers and heirs dominate the list, while the likes of Taylor Swift and LeBron James didn’t even make the top 400.

by Paul Kiel, Ash Ngu, Jesse Eisinger and Jeff Ernsthausen. April 13, 2022

Excerpt: Which people and professions rake in the most income year after year? Which are most adept at shielding that money from the taxman? And what does this tell you about America?

A trove of IRS data obtained by ProPublica has the definitive answers, revealing the incomes and tax rates of the 400 Americans with the highest incomes from 2013 to 2018. It took an average of $110 million per year in income to crack that list — with plenty of names you would expect and some that may surprise you.

Excerpt: In theory, our tax system is designed to tax the rich at higher rates than everyone else. That’s not the way it works at the loftiest incomes. The data reveals a system where the very highest earners, on average, pay far lower tax rates than the merely affluent do. And even among the top 400, some groups have it better than others: Tech billionaires pay rates well below even other business owners.

We sought comment from every person named in this story. Most did not respond or declined to comment. See their responses.

April 18, 2022

For a Black Man Hired to Undo a Confederate Legacy, It Has Not Been Easy

Devon Henry and his company have taken down 23 monuments in the South, including the infamous Robert E. Lee statue in Virginia, in part because few others were interested.

Devon Henry stands among the pieces of a pedestal that once held a statue of Robert E. Lee in Richmond. His general contracting company has hauled away 15 pieces of Confederate statuary in the city.Credit...Sanjay Suchak

Matt Stevens

By Matt Stevens
April 17, 2022

RICHMOND, Va. — As Devon Henry and his construction team take down the last remnants of statues that long dotted this former capital of the Confederacy, they have developed a grim game.

Random passers-by, some in vehicles, others on foot, often make known their disapproval of Mr. Henry’s work — so often, in fact, that Mr. Henry, who is Black, began to keep count of the many times he or a Black crew member were called an incendiary racial slur.

The count is 72 and climbing, according to Mr. Henry, who has emerged as the go-to statue remover not only for this city, but for all of Virginia and other parts of the South.

Statue removal has become a lucrative line of work amid the ongoing national reckoning over traumas past and present. But in Richmond, where a 21-foot figure of Robert E. Lee towered over the city for more than a century, officials say no amount of government pleading produced a candidate interested in dismantling the city’s many monuments during the tense and sometimes violent days of summer 2020.


( I wish I could say I was shocked. )

April 14, 2022

Opinion: For Putin to face justice, we must join the International Criminal Court

By Ilhan Omar
Yesterday at 2:14 p.m. EDT

The International Criminal Court in The Hague in 2019. (Peter Dejong/AP)

For me personally, it evokes a traumatic past. As an 8-year-old girl in Somalia, I remember watching armed militias go by my family’s window, hearing bombs go off outside our doors and wondering if our house was next.

No child in Ukraine or anywhere in the world should have to witness what I witnessed as a little girl.

Accountability is the key to prevention. If there are no consequences for committing these atrocities, we will find ourselves in the same place in the future. Putin must be charged and held fully accountable for his crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court (ICC). And anyone responsible for this illegal war of aggression must face justice.

( Seems long overdue. )

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