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Surprising No One, “Pro-Life” Groups Refuse to Comment on Caged Immigrant Children

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immigration children protest cages

Imagine if anti-abortion groups cared about children as much as they care about a fetus.

If they did, one can imagine the outcry we’d be seeing now at the horrors happening at the border, where thousands of young children are being taken from their parents and kept in chain-link cages, often with the U.S. government showing little to no ability to reunite those families, let alone interest in doing so. You would think that the slogan “Families Belong Together” is one that these groups would rally behind, but it will come as a surprise to no one, I’m sure, to hear that’s not the case.

In response to a New York Times article titled “You Can’t Be Pro-Life and Against Immigrant Children,” anti-abortion group The Susan B. Anthony List released a statement that essentially boils down to “Wanna bet?”

“From its inception Susan B. Anthony List has been completely dedicated to protecting the first right without which no other rights matter: the right to life,” the statement reads. “Our sole mission is to restore that profound right. Therefore, we refrain from public comment on immigration and many other topics, including other policies that impact families.  It is not in our purview to speak on behalf of our members on other issues.”

Except the group has commented on immigration issues before, when it suits them. In a Spanish-language attack ad on Barbara Boxer in 2010, the group criticized not just her pro-choice and pro-LGBT stances, but also made some specious claims that she was anti-immigration. Because that’s apparently a useful talking point when trying to appeal to a Hispanic voter base, but not when actual children are in need.

This group says their objective is protecting the “right to life,” yet their Twitter bio states that they are “working to save babies and their moms.” There are a lot of babies and moms that could use a mobilized force like SBA List, if only they were dedicated to protecting “babies” beyond the first nine months of gestation. As adamant as they are that life begins at conception, it also seems for them to end at birth.

(via Jezebel, image: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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angelchrys
10 hours ago
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State Department Dragged in Poorly Timed Facebook Live Chat on “Family Travel Hacks”

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state department family travel chat

Donald Trump’s administration has a well-deserved reputation for poor communication skills, both with the public and among its own ranks, but an ill-timed State Department live chat on “Family Travel Hacks” is may be the most incredibly cringe-worthy demonstration of their lack of coordination yet. That’s quite the accomplishment in the same week they can’t seem to agree on whether their “zero tolerance” policy of separating immigrant families is #MakingAmericaGreatAgain or a lie made up by the media.

The live Q&A session took place at 10AM today, and everyone was pretty confused as to where the hosts were getting the questions that they actually answered on camera, because pretty much the entire comment section was filling with sarcastic barbs over the administration’s awful immigration policies. (See for yourself in the full video, here.) That comes as no surprise to anyone who’s ever watched any other Facebook live stream of anything related to the Trump administration, which are known for the trademark sea of angry face emoji streaming across the bottom.

Really, this probably resulted in way more participation than a State Department live chat about traveling would normally expect, but they probably still weren’t all that thrilled about it. Here are just a few of the comments (you can read them all here) the State Department representatives—who may very well feel the same way, honestly—had to pretend not to see:

“Do you provide nut-free cages for children with allergies?”

“I heard that kids travelling with their families would get to attend an impromptu summer camp for several months, is there a registration fee for the kennels and do they get to play with the concrete blocks on the windows? My kids love playing with blocks!” Oh, yeah, Fox News’ Laura Ingraham actually tried to compare the detention centers to summer camps, another odd choice when people are already accusing your side of putting people in camps. There’s a whole Wikipedia editor battle raging over what kind of “camp” the administration has created, but “summer camp” isn’t one of the options.

“What’s the difference between a cage and chain-linked partition? Asking for a child.” Yes, there has also been argument over what exactly constitutes a “cage,” which has gotten exactly the reaction it deserves.

If that’s not ridiculous enough, Border Patrol even described the term “cage” as “not inaccurate,” but made sure to clarify that people are “not being treated like animals.”

“Hi! Do the kids need to bring their own space blanket before they head off to your concentration camps or is that provided by you? Also, where is the girls concentration camp?” We’ve also been given few looks inside detention centers, so far only really getting to see one where boys are being kept, which is unsettling for a number of reasons.

“If I am mistaken for a foreigner trying to enter the country illegally and ICE takes my children away and locks them in a cage will the State Department help me get them back?”

Problems in the United States’ immigration system may not be new, but we’re in a much more dire situation with an administration that is actively trying to make them worse, rather than better, just to hurt and scare people, and we’re unlikely to get much help from a Republican party that’s trying to curtail all immigration. Anyway, enjoy the freedom to mock people on social media while it still exists.

(via @JordalUhl on Twitter, image: U.S. State Department)

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Rain in anime.

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A Tumblr.
tumblr_ngbqovJiDc1sk1rjvo1_500

tumblr_o04pk8Hfm81s6bqo7o3_540tumblr_o04pk8Hfm81s6bqo7o7_540tumblr_ojxwhwnN0c1v3uic3o1_540tumblr_omsba3MfnX1w5k72fo1_500tumblr_noyy7y8POW1takfzvo1_540

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Christian Siriano Doesn’t Get Why More Designers Don’t Make Plus-Size Clothing: “Do We Not Want to Triple the Business?”

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Christian Siriano plus-size fashion

The fashion industry is notoriously elitist when it comes to which body types are expected to be embraced by designers. The average American woman is a size 16 to 18, but many clothing retailers stop short of those sizes. When it comes to high-end designers, even someone who wears a size 6 would likely have trouble finding couture. Christian Siriano, though, is a welcome respite from fashion industry snobbery.

In a recent interview with Elle, Siriano says that including plus sizes in his line has tripled his business. He can’t see, then, why more designers don’t increase their inclusion. “Why wouldn’t you do that?! Do we not want to triple the business? Do we not think these women should wear our clothes?”

He goes on to call out the prejudices in size discrimination. “Do we not want these women to have beautiful things because we’re afraid they’re not beautiful? What is going on here? Of course it’s a process to make things in bigger sizes. The patterns are different. There’s more fabric involved. But we will never charge more for a larger size, because that’s not the right thing to do. The whole point of being a designer is to make people feel good, we’re here to make people look cute in a dress. You want to look cute in a dress and you’re a size 26? Why not?!”

Siriano has dressed a number of high-profile actresses with non-conventional celebrity body types, including Leslie Jones,

Whoopi Goldberg,

and Oprah.

In an industry plagued with not just sizism but racism as well, it’s wonderful to see someone like Siriano who really does design for all bodies.

“You have to put it in people’s faces,” he says. “We’re visual. It has to be on the runway to get through to people. We’re all stubborn, even me. So when it’s on the runway, it’s there… Now, our business is 50 percent plus size. The reason it’s going so much is because the retailers will go with us. We got Moda Operandi to change their whole website—now they go up to our sizes! Knowing we have a part in change like that, it’s amazing… but it’s still crazy to me that it’s not the norm.”

(via Elle, image: Andrew Toth/Getty Images for YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund)

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Judge orders Kris Kobach, lead lawyer behind the voter fraud myth, to attend legal classes

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A federal judge on Tuesday struck down Kansas Secretary of State and notorious voter suppression architect Kris Kobach’s documentary proof of citizenship law, and ordered Kobach, who decided to represent himself in the litigation and repeatedly violated basic rules of civil procedure, to attend six hours of continuing legal education classes.

During trial in March, Kobach argued that he had evidence that a significant number of non-citizens were registering to vote in Kansas. The only way to prevent this type of voter fraud, he argued, was his law which required voters to show a proof-of-citizenship document like a passport or birth certificate when they registered to vote.

The ACLU, which represented the voters in the lawsuit, argued that the law disenfranchised eligible voters, especially students and low-income citizens. According to the ACLU, the Kansas law blocked more than 35,000 people in that state from casting a ballot between 2013 and 2016 — about 14 percent of all new voter registrations.

The judge agreed with the ACLU.

“The court finds no credible evidence that a substantial number of noncitizens registered to vote,” Judge Julie Robinson wrote in her opinion. “Instead, the law has acted as a deterrent to registration and voting for substantially more eligible Kansans than it has prevented ineligible voters from registering to vote,” she later added.

She also rejected Kobach’s idea that his small sample size was just “the tip of the iceberg” when it came to illegal voters.

“This trial was his opportunity to produce credible evidence of that iceberg, but he failed to do so,” she said. “The court will not rely on extrapolated numbers from tiny sample sizes and otherwise flawed data.”

Robinson has previously sanctioned Kobach for withholding evidence and in April, ordered him to be held in contempt of court for disobeying her order to send eligible voters postcards notifying them of their registration status. At trial, Robinson repeatedly had to explain to Kobach and his staff attorneys basic rules of evidence and civil procedure.

“I’m not going to allow anybody to testify to a document that’s not in evidence,” she said at one point. “Evidence 101. I’m not going to do it.”

On Wednesday, she took that discipline to a new level.

“The disclosure violations set forth above document a pattern and practice by Defendant of flaunting disclosure and discovery rules that are designed to prevent prejudice and surprise at trial,” Robinson wrote. “The court ruled on each disclosure issue as it arose, but given the repeated instances involved, and the fact that defendant resisted the court’s rulings by continuing to try to introduce such evidence after exclusion, the court finds that further sanctions are appropriate.”

She didn’t stop there.

“It is not clear to the Court whether Defendant repeatedly failed to meet his disclosure obligations intentionally or due to his unfamiliarity with the federal rules,” she wrote. “Therefore, the court finds that an additional sanction is appropriate in the form of Continuing Legal Education. Defendant chose to represent his own office in this matter, and as such, had a duty to familiarize himself with the governing rules of procedure, and to ensure as the lead attorney on this case that his discovery obligations were satisfied despite his many duties as a busy public servant.”

Kobach, a Yale Law School educated attorney and a former legal professor, will have to sit for an additional six hours of continuing legal education classes on federal or Kansas civil rules of procedure or evidence. And American voters are spared from Kobach’s effort to enact more stringent requirements on citizens seeking to register to vote across the country.

 




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wreichard
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Bwahahaha. Don’t mess with a judge.
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angelchrys
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These Japanese-Americans Were Sent To Internment Camps, Then They Helped The U.S. Fight Nazis

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“My whole life, I questioned whether or not I could have done what my grandfather did,” says Rob Sato. “How do you go risk your life for the country that has put your family in prison?”

Sato’s grandfather, Roy Sato, was a teenager during World War II, and he and his family were among the more than 120,000 Japanese-Americans, the majority of whom were U.S. citizens, incarcerated in internment camps because of their ethnicity.

In late 1944, he was drafted in the United States Army and became part of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a segregated unit of Japanese-American soldiers who fought in Europe. Sato drew in part from his own family history while illustrating the comic “442,” which is available through the mobile phone subscription service Stela.

They were being imprisoned by their own country and yet faced with this choice ... fight for this country or try to prove one’s ‘Americanness.’

Written by Koji Steven Sakai and Phinneas Kiyomura, “442” is fiction based on history, including the rescue of “The Lost Battalion,” the Texas 141st Regiment. It was a mission that resulted in the loss of hundreds of the 442nd Regiment soldiers. Sakai, who had worked at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles for 13 years, had long been familiar with the history of the 442nd team.

A illustration from “442.” Image via Rob Sato, used with permission.

“It remains one of this critically under-told stories in terms of World War II,” says Ryan Yount, former editor-in-chief and creative director of Stela Comics, who edited “442.”

This chapter of U.S. history remains relevant, particularly in light of President Donald Trump’s executive order banning travel from several Muslim-majority countries, his plans to make camps for undocumented children, and the possible inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census. On a broader level, though, the incarceration of Japanese-Americans during World War II and the service of the 442nd should prompt us to ask: Who is considered “American” and why?

“People revert to an atmosphere of myth that they want to live in,” Sato says. “There’s a fantasy that they want to live in about the past that you take into the present. Knowledge about this gives you a sense of the reality of human nature and what can happen if you drop the ball.”

Illustration by Rob Sato, used with permission.

Incarceration of Americans

In February 1942, Executive Order 9066 allowed for the incarceration of Japanese-Americans living on the U.S. West Coast. They were forced from their homes and taken to assembly centers, primarily in California, before they were sent to camps across the country.

This kind of racism didn’t just happen overnight. U.S. law at that time barred Japanese immigrants from citizenship.

“They were completely cut off for life,” Sato explains.

When he was a kid, Sato’s grandfather would sometimes speak in schools about the incarceration and 442nd. While working on the comic, Sato looked to his family to learn more about that history. His grandfather is in his 90s today, so Sato opted to ask “gentle questions” when he saw him.

The Satos in Rohwer Relocation Camp in Arkansas. Photo via Rob Sato, used with permission.

“My dad had interviewed him in college, so there were old interviews,” Sato says. “My oldest uncle did a lot of gentle prodding here and there so he had information that he could give me.” There were also photos from the time period that Sato hadn’t previously seen that were included in his recent exhibit at the GR2 gallery in Los Angeles’ Sawtelle Japantown neighborhood.

Sato’s great-grandfather migrated to the U.S. in the early 1900s, and his great-grandmother arrived in 1919, yet they weren’t allowed to become citizens. Sato’s grandfather, though, was born in Stockton, California, making him a U.S. citizen at birth. But at that time, there was also the Alien Land Law in California that barred non-citizens from owning land and primarily affected Japanese immigrants living in the state.

“When my grandfather was born, he was the firstborn male in the family, so they immediately bought land under his name to have a stake,” Sato says. But, when Japanese-Americans were incarcerated, they also lost their property.

Roy Sato in Italy. Photo via Rob Sato, used with permission.

Then there was what’s known as the “loyalty questionnaire.” The survey asked many questions, but two questions in particular — numbers 27 and 28 — had major ramifications. Question 27 asked if one was willing to serve in the military. The following question asked if one was willing to give up loyalty to the Japanese emperor.

“I think the standard line, and also the one my grandfather said, was it’s like being asked the question, ‘Have you stopped beating your wife?’” Sato says. “There’s no answer that doesn’t implicate you in some way.”

Japanese-Americans were thrust into a horrible situation: They were imprisoned without the option or means to defend themselves — their livelihoods stripped from them — and then a number of young men either volunteered for or were drafted into the military.

“The real crux for me was this choice that the Japanese-Americans were having to face,” says Yount, “that they were being imprisoned by their own country and yet faced with this choice of what to do, whether to sign these papers to sign up and to somehow fight for this country or try to prove one’s Americanness or to not.”

Illustration from “442.” Image via Rob Sato, used with permission.

Enacting change

The service of Japanese-Americans in World War II helped bring about changes in the United States. “World War II was a watershed event in a lot of ways,” Sakai says. “The bravery of the 442nd and other segregated units changed our nation’s history.”

In 1948, President Harry Truman signed an executive order that desegregated the military. A few years later, the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 allowed Japanese immigrants, among others, to become citizens.

“The argument was how could we keep citizenship away from these parents who gave their children’s lives to this country and say you don’t deserve to be citizens of this country,” Sakai says. “That didn’t make sense back then and it still doesn’t make sense. It’s important that we remember that today when we talk about immigration and other things.”

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angelchrys
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