huffingtonpost.com
Breaking Boundaries, Finding Happiness: Being Transgender In Korea
Living as a 'sexual minority' in Korea forces individuals to climb a steep and precarious stairway to happiness.

“I want to become a person who breaks down boundaries. There are many walls and boundaries in people’s hearts and minds that separate them from other people. I want to be a person who breaks down those invisible walls and boundaries, "transgender author KIM Bee said at the Empathy Monthly Forum.

After I decided I would write something about her talk, I found myself staring at the blinking cursor for a good hour without writing anything. Her life was too intense and too beautiful to encapsulate on a page. I wanted to write about KIM Bee the person, and not just KIM Bee the transgender author.

CLICK THE HEADER LINK TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE.

dailysignal.com
Judge Makes Government Pay Legal Fees
The legal fees went to Lyndon McLellan, a North Carolina store owner who had $107,000 seized by the IRS

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the federal government is required to pay McLellan’s legal fees, his expenses, and interest earned on the money the IRS seized in a case that could set a “powerful precedent” for victims of forfeiture fighting to be made whole.

“When the government takes people’s property without justification and then tries to walk away—what this decision really stands for is the idea that the government doesn’t get to put the cost of its mistake on the person who has done nothing wrong,” Robert Johnson, a lawyer with the Institute for Justice, who represented McLellan, told The Daily Signal. Johnson added:

Adam Smith insisted that “taxes should be proportional to how much a person benefits from living in society.”

For more: http://www.libertarianism.org/columns/adam-smith-public-policy-four-maxims-taxation#.vrlrs8h:QQRv

every presidential candidate does hours and hours of endless debate prep where they are grilled by their own campaign consultants and participate in a mock debate with a stand-in for the other candidate

all of these are filmed

yet you’ve never seen so much as a photograph from one, never mind video

In the 2000 campaign, a Bush campaign staffer gave Bush’s debate prep video to the Al Gore campaign. The Gore campaign went immediately to the FBI and turned her in. She went to prison.

All this just because these candidates don’t want to expose their ‘vulnerable moments’ of them innocuously practicing debates. So much so that they will actually look out for their political enemies just to make sure the game stays safe for everybody.

Please oh please tell me that politicians “can’t keep secrets”. 

care2.com
These Students Were Put In Solitary Confinement For Owning Too Many Books
An ACLU report found that children in Nebraska are being forced into solitary confinement for offenses like not following directions, or owning too many books.

It’s not unusual for students to be reprimanded for talking back to authorities or passing notes (nowadays more likely to be texts). But the state of Nebraska seems to be taking those punishments to an extreme. A recent report from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) found that children in juvenile detention centers are being forced into solitary confinement for offenses as minor as refusing to follow directions, passing notes or, heaven forbid, owning too many books. (How is that an offense?)

I am not making this up.

The ACLU report, entitled “Growing Up Locked Down,” found that the state used solitary confinement as a punishment for young people extensively across multiple juvenile detention centers. This in spite of the fact that solitary confinement is considered a form of torture by the U.N., and in recent years, has been outlawed and scaled back in the United States.

In Nebraska, however, children are being forced into isolation for the most minor offenses, including: “talking back to staff members, having too many books, or refusing to follow directions.”

It is absolutely necessary that this question of legal plunder should be determined, and there are only three solutions of it:

1. When the few plunder the many.
2. When everybody plunders everybody else.
3. When nobody plunders anybody.

Partial plunder, universal plunder, absence of plunder, amongst these we have to make our choice. The law can only produce one of these results.

Partial plunder. — This is the system which prevailed so long as the elective privilege was partial; a system which is resorted to, to avoid the invasion of socialism.

Universal plunder. — We have been threatened by this system when the elective privilege has become universal; the masses having conceived the idea of making law, on the principle of legislators who had preceded them.

Absence of plunder. — This is the principle of justice, peace, order, stability, conciliation, and of good sense, which I shall proclaim with all the force of my lungs (which is very inadequate, alas!) till the day of my death.

And, in all sincerity, can anything more be required at the hands of the law? Can the law, whose necessary sanction is force, be reasonably employed upon anything beyond securing to every one his right? I defy any one to remove it from this circle without perverting it, and consequently turning force against right. And as this is the most fatal, the most illogical social perversion which can possibly be imagined, it must be admitted that the true solution, so much sought after, of the social problem, is contained in these simple words — LAW IS ORGANIZED JUSTICE.

Now it is important to remark, that to organize justice by law, that is to say by force, excludes the idea of organizing by law, or by force any manifestation whatever of human activity — labor, charity, agriculture, commerce, industry, instruction, the fine arts, or religion; for any one of these organizations would inevitably destroy the essential organization. How, in fact, can we imagine force encroaching upon the liberty of citizens without infringing upon justice, and so acting against its proper aim?

Here I am encountering the most popular prejudice of our time. It is not considered enough that law should be just, it must be philanthropic. It is not sufficient that it should guarantee to every citizen the free and inoffensive exercise of his faculties, applied to his physical, intellectual, and moral development; it is required to extend well-being, instruction, and morality, directly over the nation. This is the fascinating side of socialism.

But, I repeat it, these two missions of the law contradict each other. We have to choose between them. A citizen cannot at the same time be free and not free. M. de Lamartine wrote to me one day thus: — “Your doctrine is only the half of my program; you have stopped at liberty, I go on to fraternity.” I answered him: “The second part of your program will destroy the first.” And in fact it is impossible for me to separate the word fraternity from the word voluntary. I cannot possibly conceive fraternity legally enforced, without liberty being legally destroyed, and justice legally trampled under foot

-Frédéric Bastiat, “The Law” (1850)

Watching the Fine-Bros corporation’s subscriber count plummet fills me with determination

Watch its drop live:

http://www.livecounts.x10host.com/?channel=Fine%20Brothers%20Entertainment

See the statistical damage in context
http://vidstatsx.com/TheFineBros/youtube-channel

see how they pissed everyone on the internet off
https://www.reddit.com/r/videos/comments/43490c/the_fine_bros_from_youtube_are_now_attempting_to/

see why this is such a big problem:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3_fRUHOAfE

see how their response video still doesn’t make what they are attempting any better:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0S-uKfUd-g

See a sassy magical cartoon fish slam them if legal issues aren’t your forte:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=No_Vti186Tk

How this relates to Undertale:
Basically, this proves Undyne’s speech really is true, individually, we, like the monsters, are weak and easily brushed off, like a droplet of water, but with our hearts beating together, we spread and swell and crash upon you like a mighty wave, eroding your castle, determined to act as one and STRIKE YOU DOWN!

Corporations may be powerful and have money to corrupt and get their way, but with enough upset citizens, a violent uprising will succeed. Just like how Undyne will lead the monsters and overthrow Toriel if the human has killed too many monsters. Its this that major corporations need to remember, “Memento Mori”, “remember that you must die”. No matter how much money or power you are, no matter how big your corporation is, your security is not foolproof, all it takes is a group of people, someone with a gun or a knife, and its over for you. its so easy to get pictures and info on people these days, and the positions in companies, its so easy to spread, before you know it you have thousands of people that will attack you physically or economically the second they see you. Theres a lot of disgruntled people out there, and no matter how good your lawyers are, how much determination you have, how much power you think you wield….. you can still die, and in this world……you don’t have any resets or save files………

You would be amazed how many NDA’s, Copyrights, lawsuit summons, DMCA takedown notices, Contracts, Super PAC paperwork, and Lobbyist funded bills a single sharp knife can cut through. 

advocate.com
Audience Gasps at Lawmaker's Transphobic Reasoning
State Sen. David Omdahl of Sioux Falls, South Dakota called transgender students "twisted."

The audience audibly gasped at what one South Dakota state senator said on Saturday in support of a bathroom bill targeting transgender people in the state. Republican State Sen. David Omdahl of Sioux Falls was taking part in a regular “Legislative Coffee” breakfast meeting with constituents, reports the Argus Leader, when the bathroom bill was raised by opponents in attendance.

He backs the bill, which would ban transgender people from using the bathroom that coincides with their gender identity.

“This is definitely a good bill. What’s this about?” he asked rhetorically. “This is about protecting our children. I’m sorry if you’re so twisted you don’t know who you are.”

That’s when the audience gasped and was told to quiet down.

CLICK THE HEADER LINK TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE.

Statement to the media by the United Nations’ Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, on the conclusion of its official visit to USA, 19-29 January 2016


The rest of the world is concerned about racism in America probably more than our own government. 

Below you can see the extracts from the latest statement made by UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent. Or you can see the whole text here.

UN:

During the visit, the Working Group assessed the situation of African Americans and people of African descent and gathered information on the forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, Afrophobia and related intolerance that they face. We studied the official measures and mechanisms taken to prevent structural racial discrimination and protect victims of racism and hate crimes as well as responses to multiple forms of discrimination. The visit focused on both good practices and challenges faced in realising their human rights.
We welcome the recent steps taken by the Government to reform the criminal justice system and combat racial discrimination and disparities.
The US has a growing human rights movement which has successful advocated for social change. Following the epidemic of racial violence by the police, civil society networks calling for justice together with other activists are strongly advocating for legal and policy reforms and community control over policing and other areas which directly affect African Americans.


Despite the positive measures, the Working Group is extremely concerned about the human rights situation of African Americans.

The colonial history, the legacy of enslavement, racial subordination and segregation, racial terrorism, and racial inequality in the US remains a serious challenge as there has been no real commitment to reparations and to truth and reconciliation for people of African descent. Despite substantial changes since the end of the enforcement of Jim Crow and the fight for civil rights, ideology ensuring the domination of one group over another, continues to negatively impact the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of African Americans today. The dangerous ideology of white supremacy inhibits social cohesion amongst the US population. Lynching was a form of racial terrorism that has contributed to a legacy of racial inequality that the US must address. Thousands of people of African descent were killed in violent public acts of racial control and domination and the perpetrators were never held accountable.
Contemporary police killings and the trauma it creates are reminiscent of the racial terror lynching of the past. Impunity for state violence has resulted in the current human rights crisis and must be addressed as a matter of urgency.

Recommendations:

The following recommendations are intended to assist the United States of America in its efforts to combat all forms of racism, racial discrimination, Afrophobia, xenophobia and related intolerance:
- There is a profound need to acknowledge that the transatlantic slave trade was a crime against humanity and among the major sources and manifestations of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and that Africans and people of African descent were victims of these acts and continue to be victims of their consequences. Past injustices and crimes against African Americans need to be addressed with reparatory justice.
- Monuments, memorials and markers should be erected to facilitate this important public dialogue. Education must be accompanied by acts of reconciliation, which are needed to overcome acts of racial bigotry and legacies of injustice. To accelerate the process of desegregation, federal and state legislation should be passed recognizing the experience of enslavement.
- Community policing strategies should be developed to give the community control of the police which are there to protect and serve them. It is suggested to have a board that would elect police officers they want playing this important role in their communities.
- In imposing the sentence, the welfare of the family of the accused should be taken into account, with particular attention to the best interests of the child.
- Targeted measures should be developed with the community to raise awareness and reduce crimes against LGBTQI community, in particular against transgendered women.
- The Working Group encourages the government to undertake impact-oriented activities in the framework of the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024).
The Working Group welcomes the cooperation and engagement with the international human rights system to combat racial discrimination. We hope that our report will support the Government in this process and we express our willingness to assist in this important endeavour.

3

Ismael Fernandez is about as polished as his black leather shoes. His hair is neatly trimmed and combed to the side. He moves his hands when he speaks, purposefully punctuating his points. And he says things like this: “There needs to be change in Wilder, and just in politics in general. We need to have younger people coming in, so that’s why I decided to run.”

Fernandez is not your typical 19-year-old.

He’s a freshman at the College of Idaho, studying Spanish and history, and he is one of youngest elected politicians in Idaho history.

In November, Fernandez was elected to sit on the City Council of his hometown, Wilder, Idaho. He was one of four Latinos elected, making Wilder, with its roughly 1,500 citizens, the first city in the state of Idaho to elect an all-Latino city council. In the same election, it even elected a Latina mayor to boot. They were all sworn in mid-January.

“I’m very excited and very proud to be part of that,” Fernandez said on a gray November winter day. “The Latino generation that I’m part of, we’re kind of activists and all about empowerment and I think it’s very empowering to the Latino community.”

A Tiny Town In Idaho Welcomes The State’s First All-Latino City Council

Photos: Kyle Green for NPR

Most Americans Say Government Doesn’t Do Enough to Help Middle Class

At a time when the middle class in the United States is losing ground, most Americans say the federal government provides too little help to this segment of society. And as voters begin casting the first ballots in the 2016 presidential election, neither political party is widely viewed as supportive of the middle class in this country.