HEJE Overview 10-16-17

DSO: Today we review four long-form pieces, focusing on one per area: Healthcare (Why Medicare for All means freedom); Environment (A just rebuilding in the wake of Harvey, Irma, and Maria); Justice (How Chicago gets a few of its guns); Education (The demise of Midwestern flagship Research I universities).

Selections from Jacobin (Healthcare), The Center for American Progress (Environment), ProPublica Illinois (Justice), and The Atlantic (Education).

Oh, and a bonus piece in “Health” (courtesy Mother Jones) on the opioid epidemic as it plays out on a daily basis in northeastern Ohio.

Enjoy! Continue reading “HEJE Overview 10-16-17”


HEJE Overview 10-14-17

Is Anybody Still Listening?

As a citizen, voter, and human being, I am writing this message to anybody who’s still listening to express my grave concern over a great many issues arising in the past few weeks/days/hours.

These include—but are not limited to—the following. Continue reading “HEJE Overview 10-14-17”

HEJE Overview 10-11-17: Justice

Decimating Public Employee Unions: Janus v. AFSCME


“The Supreme Court’s decision to take Janus’ case has generated headlines across the country, with union leaders asserting that a decision in Janus’ favor will hurt government-worker unions. But that’s a distortion of what the case is about. Janus is about restoring First Amendment rights to government workers, giving them a choice whether to support a union. It’s about ensuring their ability to exercise the same rights as every other person in this country. And it does not mean the end of government-worker unions in Illinois.”

–Mailee Smith, “Janus v. AFSCME could mean more freedom for Illinois’ government workers,” Illinois Policy Institute (October 9, 2017)

Two words to watch out for in the title: “freedom” and “government”.  They have different meanings from those we were taught. Continue reading “HEJE Overview 10-11-17: Justice”

HEJE Overview 9-21-17: Justice/Injustice


From this week’s annals of justice: “Naked from the waist down, mentally ill man throws flower pot through neighbor’s window, brandishes a garden hose with a metal nozzle and a garden basket at Hamilton County, Ohio, police. The officers Tase him, break his ribs after he declines to cooperate, struggles. Coroner: He died a natural death. Sixth Circuit (over a dissent): His wife can’t sue the police.”

–on Roell v. Hamilton, Cty., Ohio

Background of the case here. Roell died at the scene where he was tased and his ribs were broken. The Sixth deemed the amount of force used on Roell, who suffered from schizoaffective disorder, was not inappropriate.

Today’s Justice/Injustice overview considers the ongoing protests in St. Louis following the acquittal of Jason Stockley last week, the growing chasm between the view of law enforcement officers held by blacks and whites, an upcoming case filed on behalf of disabled veterans whose pensions have been “disappeared” by fraudulent loan companies, Georgia’s planned execution of a mentally-disabled man, one of whose original jurors expressed explicit racial bias pre-trial, plainclothes ICE agents onsite at the Brooklyn DA and refusing to identify themselves to a Brooklyn DA bureau chief, and the anti-civil rights recent legal career of the administration’s nominee to head up DOJ’s Civil Rights Division.

It’s a veritable cornucopia of (In)justice we’re following. Continue reading “HEJE Overview 9-21-17: Justice/Injustice”

HEJE Overview 8-31-17


Houston has been a flooding calamity waiting to happen for decades. The local and state governments stubbornly have refused to prepare it for a perfectly predictable meteorological catastrophe. Between its wild west zoning practices, its lascivious and unregulated romance with the petrochemical industry, and the fundamental facts of its underlying geology, the fourth-largest city in America essentially has sprawled itself across a dry lake bed, the consequences of which, we are finding out now, include the discovery that political obstinance, like water, inevitably finds its own level.”

Charles P. Pierce on the long-term effects of Harvey Continue reading “HEJE Overview 8-31-17”

HEJE Overview 8-30-17: Justice/Injustice

On the docket:
Today we glance at a range of legislation, provisions, and court cases of interest, including the ERA (remember that?), an administration decision not to require employers to track pay by gender, race, and ethnicity (rescinding a new provision of the Obama administration), an 11th District case involving an Alabama community bound and determined to secede from … its own school district (for the sake of the children …), the Wisconsin redistricting case headed for SCOTUS this fall, and two developments in Illinois: AVR (Automatic Voter Registration) and a case filed by the IL AG in the 7th District to compel the CPD to do what the DOJ won’t compel the department to do.  Continue reading “HEJE Overview 8-30-17: Justice/Injustice”

HEJE Overview 8-22-17


“At his Supreme Court confirmation hearings in March, then-Judge Neil M. Gorsuch spoke to Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) with grave sincerity, saying, ‘Senator, the independence and integrity of the judiciary is in my bones.’ To Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), he promised: ‘I do take seriously impartiality and the appearance of impartiality.’

“As the saying goes, however, actions speak louder than words.”

The new Justice’s deeds speak out, loud and clear. Continue reading “HEJE Overview 8-22-17”