Giving new meaning to the term Freedom Fighters
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2740) 12 years ago
Voting against a Woman's Right to Choose is one thing... abortion is a very difficult issue.

But how 30 senators from the GOP could vote against a woman's right to file criminal charges against the man (or men) who rape them is a complete mystery....

In short, Halliburton and other defense contractors require their employees to agree to binding arbitration for all complaints against the company or its employees. While legally this policy is only binding on civil matters, it has resulted in a denial of due process regarding criminal matters when those crimes occur on DOD assignments outside of the US. Outcome: Over 40 women who were raped while posted in Iraq not only have been denied their day in court, they've had to watch their attackers get off scott free.

The GOP used to be thee party that stood up for law and order and the "little guy." But given this last vote, it's hard to think of them as anything but stooges for Halliburton's corporate risk-reduction policies.

Of course, I'm sure Jimbo and Heath will offer some lame excuse in a futile attempt to legitimize the R's behavior (et tu, Rick?) --- but for the thinking world, voting to restrict a woman's right to pursue justice against a rapist (and in the case of gang situations, rapists!) is going to be really hard to understand.

Forget the understand part. It's hard to believe. But here are the facts in black and white:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/t...n/15485424

For those of you who don't like The Nation, here's an alternate source:

http://www.minnpost.com/s...ontractors
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3741) 12 years ago
This is serious and disgusting but I don't think that a company should be faulted for the reprehensible behavior of its employees, nor do I think that the Government should stop doing business with them. These people should face prosecution and jail time but to fault the company is misguided IMO unless a company has fostered such an atmosphere.

Then hang em' high I say.

[This message has been edited by Kyle L. Varnell (10/18/2009)]
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2740) 12 years ago
KYLE KYLE KYLE - It was the COMPANY that was preventing the woman from pursuing criminal charges. Nobody is faulting the company for raping the women. Sheesh - did you bother to read either ONE of the articles? If you did and you still made that statement, then I'm afraid you're entering Jimbo Territory.

*******

In fairness to Republicans, all of the female R senators voted for the amendment, as well as a few male R senators. This is a quote from one of them:

"I can't see in any circumstance that a woman who was a victim of sexual assault shouldn't have her right to go to court."
Republican Sen. George LeMieux of Florida

That man makes sense, Kyle. Please, go read the articles.
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3741) 12 years ago
Steve,

I did read the article and that's why I said

These people should face prosecution and jail time but to fault the company is misguided IMO unless a company has fostered such an atmosphere.

Halliburton should be prosecuted for this 100%.

[This message has been edited by Kyle L. Varnell (10/18/2009)]
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2740) 12 years ago
OK Kyle. My bad. Your statement (repeated above) seemed to miss the point that Halliburton had not only fostered the environment, but has fought and lobbied to maintain it.

Color me relieved :-phew-:
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supporter
Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4459) 12 years ago
A couple problems here, Steve.

First, a court decided almost a year and a half ago to let the case in question go forward regardless of any arbitration clause.

The real travesty is lack of criminal prosecution, and if a true cause were to be taken up, clarifying those kinds of jurisdictional issues with legislation would be the logical thing to do. And I think the law is fairly settled that no amount of arbitration language in a contract could stand in the way of a criminal prosecution.

But lets look at the actual Franken Amendment...

Sec. 8104. (a) None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used for any existing or new Federal contract if the contractor or a subcontractor at any tier requires that an employee or independent contractor, as a condition of employment, sign a contract that mandates that the employee or independent contractor performing work under the contract or subcontract resolve through arbitration any claim under title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or any tort related to or arising out of sexual assault or harassment, including assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment, or negligent hiring, supervision, or retention.

So even though the case in question has been ruled to be beyond the bounds of arbitration, your friends in DC are still poster-childing it to serve your club owners' (trial lawyers') fantasy of undoing all arbitration altogether. Which is a very dangerous thing.

Aside from that, your saying things like "voting to restrict a woman's right to pursue justice against a rapist" is akin to saying something like "A vote against the Patriot Act is a vote for slamming airplanes into skyscrapers"

At best the Franken Amendment is in ill-conceived overreaction. At worst, it is an incredibly cynical exploitation of the situation.
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2740) 12 years ago
At worst Halliburton's decision to attempt to impede any citizen's ability to pursue criminal charges against rapist is a travesty. At best it's === well, there just plain isn't a "best" to be found here.

Rick, despite what you think, I don't like the idea of a legislated solution for every fault and foible. But when corporations try to do things like this, they make it damned hard to fault quick reactions in Congress. Bottom line: If they hadn't tried to get away with it, there would be no need for legislation.

As for the court's decision on the matter, I'm surprised that you would rely on that particular argument. Careful Rick, or someone might draw the conclusion that you're defending activist judges!
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4459) 12 years ago
they make it damned hard to fault quick reactions in Congress.


Can't really call it quick. The arbitration argument was set aside by a federal judge in May '08. Seems like a long time for a knee jerk to be showing up all the sudden today.

As for the court's decision on the matter, I'm surprised that you would rely on that particular argument. Careful Rick, or someone might draw the conclusion that you're defending activist judges!


Not sure setting aside contract terms in situations where they don't comply with the law could be considered activist. No living or breathing documents required for that.
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2740) 12 years ago
Gee Rick - first you're accusing Congress of overreacting, and then you criticize them for taking so long to react. Which is it?

As for the case law, I didn't bother looking it up, but I'm guessing that the court decision you are referring to is not from an appellate court - I know for sure it isn't a Supreme Court ruling. So Rick, answer me this: Why should an obvious violation of an American's right to due process and a speedy trial (and remember, those rights apply to the victim as well as the perp or perps) be tolerated by Congress any longer than necessary?

My understanding is that Halliburton was preparing to appeal that court decision. Why should the women who were raped have to go through prolonged and drawn out court proceedings over and over again? Such a process is a very minor financial expense to a company like Halliburton, but it is a major expense both financially and emotionally to the victims. WHY would anyone - conservative or liberal - want Congress to stand by and let that process lumber along when the RIGHT thing to do is so obvious?

Again, I'm surprised that anyone who believes in the Constitution and "law and order" would defend the corporation's position on this. Wanting to protect the tenets of "contract law" is just a plain mystifying position.

Surely there must be some other more compelling motive.

If there isn't, then what in the world is the GOP coming to?
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