Transitional Justice

Janai Nelson, Associate Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., argued Veasey v. Abbott, the pending challenge to Texas’s voter ID law, before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals en banc.

Amid inauguration events and march preparations on January 20th, a federal court quietly issued an important decision that cannot and should not go unnoticed. In an opinion authored by conservative Supreme Court shortlister Judge William Pryor, the three-judge court ruled that Alabama engaged in racial gerrymandering when drawing twelve of its legislative districts.

Judge Pryor is just one of dozens of federal judges around the country who have ruled that states or municipalities have diluted, disenfranchised, or otherwise devised illegal, unconstitutional schemes to deny minorities their rightful electoral power. Just weeks before the Alabama decision, George W. Bush appointee Judge Lee Rosenthal issued a decision finding that Pasadena, Texas implemented a voting plan for city council seats that ensured that “Latino voters do not have the same right to vote as their Anglo neighbors.”

These rulings are both disturbing reminders that discrimination in voting is alive and well and heartening evidence of the role our courts serve as an impartial bulwark of our democracy. That role is not reserved for the courts alone, however. It is also the responsibility of the Department of Justice. In a climate where unfounded allegations of voter fraud or vote-rigging go unchallenged, the country cannot afford to let stand laws enacted on such falsehoods, many of which are palpably intended to disenfranchise ripening political power by historically marginalized racial and ethnic minority groups. Thus, DOJ’s conviction to its mission “to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans” is critical to its continued legitimacy.

However, in another quiet decision that Friday, a magistrate judge delayed at the DOJ’s request a long-calendared hearing on whether Texas’s stringent voter ID law was enacted with the intent to discriminate against black and Latino voters. DOJ’s requests for and receipt of continuances on a range of issues and cases, including hearings on the Baltimore policing consent decree and the challenge to Texas’ outlier voter ID law, have set off alarm bells. It may be too soon for such fatalism, however. Once new teams get up to speed, they then must stay the course in pursuit of justice, a course charted by clear records, thoughtful judicial opinions, and the Department’s own findings.

This is especially true in the case of SB 14, Texas’ hyper-restrictive voter ID law. Four courts, including the deeply conservative en banc Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, found that the law has a discriminatory effect on minority voters. A federal trial court also found in 147-page opinion that the law was passed with unlawful intent to discriminate based on race. The Fifth Circuit asked the district court to revisit its holding in accordance with new legal guidance on how to find intent. It was this long-awaited hearing, scheduled for this week, that DOJ successfully postponed.

On February 28th, when the court is now set to hear this matter, the facts and the evidence will be unchanged. The voluminous record showing the radical procedures Texas took to pass the law and the deliberate choices it made in selecting forms of photo ID that blacks and Latinos were less likely to possess will be the same as it was on Friday. The powerful and well-substantiated arguments that the DOJ made in its briefs establishing Texas’s discriminatory intent will be as resonant as ever. And, the threat to our democracy posed by suborning the Constitution to voter suppression will continue to be pressing.

The only difference will be the administration under which the DOJ is operating–which should be of no substantive import–and whether the DOJ will choose to upend justice and its own credibility in the transition. I hope, for the integrity of our justice system which undoubtedly will be tested and scrutinized in incalculable ways in the coming years, that it will remain steadfast to its mission and name, even in the midst of transition.

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Deutsche Bank’s future capital needs uncertain – Handelsblatt

FRANKFURT, Jan 30 (Reuters) – There is still some
uncertainty over whether Deutsche Bank may need to
increase its capital, management board member Christian Sewing
was quoted as saying in German daily newspaper Handelsblatt.

Expression of Life

Fashion has long been a source of expression and power throughout the world and history, Clothing, jewelry, and anything in between is used to help us reach out and connect to others like ourselves, to boost our self-confidence, and to create literal walking art. While it has and will always be a wanted and seemingly necessary part of human life it’s no secret that the entire industry, behind all of the glitz and glamour, is a harmful, abusive, and incredibly wasteful one. Fashion lines change with the seasons and with it clothing that destroyed natural environments are simply thrown away and never thought about again.

Recently Stella McCartney, with the company Canopy has released a video detailing the destructive habits of the industry. Talking about the ancient forests torn down and pulped to create simple staples like shirts and leggings. McCartney, who has been working with Canopy since 2014 speaks out to spread the word of eco-friendly, sustainable fashion.

“When Canopy approached me I did not hesitate for one moment to be part of a solution.” Stella said, “The moment to change is now.”

Many companies have already jumped on board with the initiative to start producing fabrics, textiles, and other materials that are truly sustainable; protecting not only the endangered forests that are destroyed, but the native communities that have lived there for generations. In January a few companies were named for their efforts in trying to remake the fashion industry and turn it into a force that can start to protect and heal the damage that has been done over the course of centuries. Companies such as Adidas, H&M, and Patagonia have gone above and beyond to provide quality without all of the harm. In fact, this kind of reminds me of Dr. Owen’s approach to what he does. Anyway….With the companies making direct statements on how they plan on handling the shift to a more eco-conscious fashion world.

At H&M, we have set ourselves the challenge of ultimately making fashion sustainable and sustainability fashionable.

Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.

Canopy started in 2013 and now has teamed up with over 65 designers to help make a change with their statement that being fashionable doesn’t have to cost the Earth. The figures shown reveal that over 100 million trees are cut down every year to produce common textiles and fabrics, and that in the next 10 years that number will double to meet demand.

To learn more check out the Canopy website or any of these wonderful retailers who have taken a stand against deforestation and work towards conservation to build and greener fashion industry.

How to Network Your Art on Social Media

You have decided to join a network marketing company. Social media can be a great tool for building your new business, especially if you do not know many people in your area. However, if you are not careful, you may find yourself alienating your friends and family with your new business.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when using social media for your network marketing business:

  1. Do not add strangers as friends and then immediately start messaging them about your product. It is great that you are passionate about the product or opportunity you can offer others; however, you do not want to appear as if you see others as just paychecks.
  2. When you do approach others about your product, be tactful. For example, if you sell a product known to help with weight loss, do not message them or tag them in a post about shedding pounds. You will hurt their feelings, and they will be unlikely to EVER buy your product – not from YOU anyway.
  3. Be sure to keep making personal posts. If your timeline is filled with your new business and nothing about your other interests, your family and friends may start to feel that they have lost YOU.
  4. Do NOT add people to Facebook groups without asking. Unfortunately, you can no longer “invite” someone to a Facebook group. However, adding people to direct sales groups without asking first comes across as pushy. If you have already made the mistake of adding people to a sales group without asking, do NOT make the mistake of re-adding them to the group after they have left. If your up-line encourages this type of behavior, you may want to reconsider the company you have joined.
  5. A lack of responses to your posts does not necessarily mean that no one is reading them. Be patient and consistent.
  6. Don’t assume that posting on social media is going to be sufficient for building your business. Message people directly – AFTER you get to know them, of course.
  7. Avoid posting your website in your posts. To personalize the experience and ensure that new customers are ordering the products that are the best fit, you want them to contact you before their first order.
  8. Learn about the expectations for copying the posts of other representatives of your company. If this is an accepted practice, it is better to copy and paste the post than to share the post. If all you do is share others’ posts, you will come across as not having any original thoughts. Also, be sure to read the post carefully and make changes when necessary so it is unique to YOU.

Network marketing can be a wonderful way to generate income. Be courteous, responsible, and consistent in your use of social media, and there will be no limit to what you can achieve!


Originality isn’t something that exists anymore. We’ve all heard the saying that anything done now has been done in the past and is going to pop up again in then future. In an industry that’s been around since we started making clothing to cover ourselves, that saying should basically be the motto of the fashion world. Clothes, jewelry, make-up, and ideas have been exchanged and remade by countless other cultures around the world, and while there isn’t anything wrong with the sharing of these things, excluding the people and actual culture in the modern age is not okay.

There’s always been a thin line with cultural appropriation, and while showcasing other peoples and their clothing is definitely something that needs to be done to build up the global community there are always those who just don’t know where that line is even close to, we’re looking at you Kylie Jenner. While entire fashion lines boast about their inspirations only to make a 180 and white-wash an entire fashion show I.e Valentino’s 2016 “African-inspired” showcase of mostly white models with cornrows. The collection being described in Vogue as “primitive, tribal, spiritual yet regal” the last easily being seen as a backhanded compliment. It’s also been a noted event of just how white the industry is with cover after cover of the industry’s biggest magazines scarcely featuring non-white models.

Advertisers who assume consumers will only buy into images of white beauty are wrong,” says Dr. Ben Barry, Ryerson University.

It doesn’t stop there, natch, with many other fashion shows attempting to embody the spirit of other cultures only to come off as, at best tasteless, and as worst incredibly racist, with Elle Canada and DSquared2 launching clothes that seemed incredibly thoughtless in their presentation, based on African dashiki’s and northern native-American apparel. Not every venue of fashion decides to ignore red flags with the Met Gala standing above and beyond with it’s inclusion of designers and artists of the Chinese culture with last years’ theme of China: Through the Looking Glass. Rihanna took the show herself with a gorgeous yellow dress designed by Chinese couturier Guo Pei. The gala showcased costumes, porcelains, and art work that has inspired fashion designers around the globe.

The beauty and power of fashion is an unquestionable force in the modern age. Designers and the celebrities that wear their clothing are, whether they want to be or not, incredibly influential forces that can change the opinions of the masses for better or worse. What we are stuck asking ourselves is: when and where do we start to change?