Thursday, December 15, 2022

Tucker Carlson Projecting White Supremacy on "Liberals"

Here is some of Tucker Carlson moaning about how liberals are Nazis, from Tucker Carlson Tonight on December 14, 2022:

“So at this point, there are plenty of White people in America who are descended from slaves, and there are plenty of Black people in America who are descended from slave owners.

“So how do you know who qualifies for government reparations? Well of course there is only one way to find out: that is old-fashioned race science. Nazi race science.

“So the state will have to certify the racial purity of its citizens in order to send them money. That’s gonna have to happen. Do we really want to go there? Do we really want to do that? Amazingly, liberals really do.”

– Tucker Carlson, December 14, 2022

There are not a lot of white people descended from African-American people who were enslaved in the United States but they exist.

If we're using the racist "one drop of blood" standard from the United States that inspired the Nazis in the first place to hunt for Jewish people in distant parts of people's family trees, it is possible that nearly everyone has some "African" DNA - there were also other standards.

My 23 & Me test revealed 0.2% traces coming from around Senegal, and another 0.2% from around Kenya. Those, however are from the distant past and definitely did NOT come from victims of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. But for "one drop of blood" standards, I could be African-American - indeed, every human alive has distant ancestors who lived in Africa about 74,000 years ago. Most of my ancestors did not even arrive from Italy until after 1900 (though my paternal grandmother's parents made it to the US before the end of the 19th century)

Other standards used in America allowed persons with non-white ancestry to be considered "white" as long as it was less than 1/8 black - they even had terms for graduated distinctions of "colored" - mulatto for 1/2, quadroon for 1/4 black, and octaroon for 1/8 black - I certainly do not use these terms in ordinary conversation, except to point out the extent of more modern racism and its continuing effects.

I have seen these terms in some racial restrictive covenants that were adopted in connection with farm or estate subdivisions to residential lots, in places like Westchester and Nassau counties in New York (one in particular that comes to mind was a subdivision near Pinebrook Boulevard in New Rochelle).

For example, Thomas Jefferson's rape/relationship with his wife's half sister, the enslaved Sally Hemings (who was a quadroon in this manner of reckoning, with one-quarter African ancestry, (according to Wikipedia) one of many slaves he inherited from his father-in-law, John Wayles. Hemings's mother Elizabeth (Betty) was bi-racial, the child of Susannah, an African woman and Captain John Hemings. Sally's father was John Wayles who was the father of Jefferson's deceased wife Martha. Therefore, she was half-sister to Jefferson's deceased wife and approximately three quarters white.)

Their children were 1/8 black - or octaroons, and (according to Wikipedia) Heming agreed to return with Jefferson from France and return to slavery (as she was technically "free" in France), provided that Jefferson would emancipate their children, despite their being octaroons - while the children's children, if producing children with a white person, would have been considered to be white on their own without further need for emancipation. Regardless of percentage of "blood" all of Sally Hemings descendants would be descendants of slaves under the California proposal.

According to the NY Times on December 1st (revised on December 5th), 2022 (see:

the California task force deciding these things, did not recommend either a "one drop of blood" or a cutoff percentage of "less than 1/8" - which makes it different from old American laws or Nazi race laws. The article states:

Californians eligible for reparations, the task force decided in March, would be descendants of enslaved African Americans or of a “free Black person living in the United States prior to the end of the 19th century.” Nearly 6.5 percent of California residents, roughly 2.5 million, identify as Black or African American.

So - all one would need to do would be to trace a single ancestor to an enslaved African-American, or, since many slave records were poorly kept, to a "free black person living in the US in or prior to 1900."

Not all African-American people will qualify - and perhaps many people would qualify who would otherwise be "white" but for a single free black person living in the US in or before 1900 being an ancestor. At least if people can trace their ancestry to the end of the 19th century they would be able to prove their entitlement.

Needless to say, this 'system' bears no resemblance whatsoever to either Nazi race classification policies or their inspirations from American examples.

Now, let's look at what constituted "black" in America at the end of the 19th century. For me, despite Italian-Americans not being considered "white" in America until after the Second World War, until then, southern Italians and Sicilians were in an intermediate status, grouped with African-Americans in many ways - but for the purpose of these reparations, those who arrived before 1901 would definitely not be considered to be "free black persons."

So I guess it's pretty definite that I won't be entitled to these particular reparations. And I am okay with that.

One sad thing is that racial discrimination against African-Americans that resulted in keeping them "in their place' did not stop at the end of slavery. And even with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, there has still been massive discrimination in many government programs, including the GI Bill and farm subsidies, that have been disproportionally discriminatory against African-Americans.  This California proposal does not appear to address the victims those much more recent disparities and/or their descendants

Even now, attempts to even things up in the agricultural subsidies area have earned the ire of white farmers who see an even playing field as somehow unfair and reverse-racist.

Tucker Carlson and his ilk are merely projecting their own white supremacist views into the discussion, in a terribly confusing and disingenuous way. That very well-meaning California commission is far from "Nazi." The Putin-admiring Tucker, on the other hand, is much closer to that classification.

Sunday, December 4, 2022

The threat is real - It is time to prepare for the worst

The Christian Nationalist Fascist wing of the GQP controls state governments in Florida, Texas and in most GQP-controlled states. And they are up to the genocidal tricks of their religious and political forbears, albeit with a slightly different emphasis for their primary targeting.

In this modern variation on the theme, they are still following the Ten Stages of Genocide playbook.

In the current setting, the first group of victims are transgender kids.

The first moves based on a false claim that they are protecting girls they start with laws othering trans girls in school sports based on largely specious claims as to facts, denying them access to school restrooms and locker rooms that appropriately comport to their gender. Also affecting trans boys, as they end up having to use the girls' facilities - these laws lead to bullying, ostracism, increased cultural stress, and are designed to increase the suicide rate.

Then the laws to deny access to appropriate medical care, once again on a false claim, that they are protecting children from being recruited by groomers and peer pressure (the rapid onset gender dysphoria canard); first to trans kids (and then extending to adults on Medicaid and prohibiting coverage by private insurance).

At the same time, they are criminalizing parents who are supportive of their children, arresting and imprisoning the parents, and placing the children in state-supervised care, where they are forcibly de-transitioned.

The laws to deny trans people access to gender-appropriate public restrooms to be followed by arrests and imprisonment in the wrong prisons, with either the trans individual in permanent solitary confinement, or subjected to cruel treatment and abuse by guards and other inmates,

They don't even really have to set up death camps, as the existing system will do their dirty work for them.

They are going after Drag Shows and Drag Queen Story Hours. Laws are in the hopper and being enacted to deny drag in the entertainment industry and written broadly enough to also to ban transgender people from performing at any sort of venue.

The entire LGBTQ+ community will be next - already there are laws in place in Florida such as the Don't Say Gay Law (as written it is only ridiculous but as interpreted it is being used to enforce cis-het grooming in schools and to suppress any mention of anything trans or gay in classrooms, even references to non-straight family relationships.

They are going after non-Christians in Florida - when a Jewish mom volunteered to do a Hannukah presentation focusing on holiday traditions but not mentioning God, at first the school district refused, until she threatened to sue (and at some point, when the Christian Nationalists exert greater control, they won't back down).

We've seen the SCOTUS overturn Roe, and many of these states have ramped up their War On Women (over and above, this also exacerbates their war on trans men, too) doubled down on their abuse of reproductive rights, with outright bans on abortion, criminalizing miscarriages, and hamstringing doctors who can no longer provide many kinds of necessary medical care to pregnant people.

The rise of the sinister constitutional sheriff movement further underpins the far-right Christian Nationalist drive toward genocide - in many jurisdictions, the police protect the white supremacists and Christian Nationalists and look the other way when they get violent, attacking Drag Shows and LGBTQ+ night clubs - the shooting in Colorado Springs might have been averted if the local sheriff (a member of the seditious constitutional sheriff movement) had obeyed the law - instead his refusal to enforce the law is only punishable as a misdemeanor, and there has been no move by state authorities to remove him from office and prosecute.

People of color are already impacted by the stop woke and so-called Critical Race Theory bullshit (again, this time to protect white children from knowing their parents are white supremacist extremists) - when these White Supremacist Christian Nationalists say they are against CRT, they mean they are against the teaching of history in classrooms, instead pushing the false narratives that have been woven into American history textbooks since 1905.

Incredibly, these POS Christian Nationalists have won relatively easily in the 2022 elections in these states, despite the electorate knowing about these things - and now we know why those elections went the way they did in Germany in the early 1930's - as with the Germans, people in these GQP states do not care, as long as they are not the (current) targets or do not see themselves as targets (white Christian women, as one example, who vote against their interests).

I'm concerned about the situation, including the worry that 2024 might bring them into control of the Senate, the House and the Presidency, so they can ambitiously pursue the genocide on a national basis.

I've researched, and it appears that my born-in-Sicily paternal grandfather was not naturalized as an American citizen until nearly a year after my father was born - that allows me, if I jump through all the documentation hoops, to apply for Italian citizenship under their jus sanguinis law. (My eldest son is also in the process, and I have asked if I can piggyback on his application.)

Getting that dual citizenship would mean I could also get an Italian passport, and escape to the EU once things get bad enough. If the 2024 election goes the way it might, I'll have from November 2024 to mid-January 2025 to safely get over there. Being in New York, if I stay after that, I might still be able to escape through Canada even after January 2025, if I want to wait and see if they're really going to do this.


Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Tooting My Own Horn!

On August 16, 2022, The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit delivered a landmark ruling interpreting the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as being transinclusive, on an appeal from a dismissal from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in the following decision WILLIAMS v KINKAID, et al., 2022 WL 3364824 (4th Cir. August 16, 2022) I grant the 4th Circuit ruling on in the is from August 2022. For analysis published in THE HILL, See:

Americans with Disabilities Act protects transgender people, judge rules

BY Brooke Migdon - Aug. 16, 2022

Over 11 years ago, I wrote an article published in THE HILL where I predicted this outcome, based on the clear language of the statute as written

Bringing order out of chaos – a modest proposal


For those who think actually reading my article is a TL:DR experience, here is the relevant quote:

"While the appears to exclude transgender people, there is an exception to the statutory exclusion if the gender issue is biologically based – and the modern medical understanding of brain development indicates that this is indeed the case."

The statutory provision in question, 42 USC §12211(b)(1) involves a specific exclusion from the definition of disability in the statute, that, when it was written, also has an exception to the exclusion:
“. . . transvestism, transsexualism, pedophilia, exhibitionism, voyeurism, gender identity disorders not resulting from physical impairments, or other sexual behavior disorders”
At the time the ADA was being drafted, Senator Jesse Helms wanted to make sure that "immoral disorders" were excluded, and he, and Senator William Armstrong, both Republicans, urged their colleagues to vote against the ADA because it did not contain such an exclusion, as drafted by Senator Ted Kennedy and Senator Tom Harkin, and in order to obtain passage of the bill, the "moral" exclusions were added - but as underlined in the above quote from the statute, the exclusion for gender identity disorders had an added caveat - they were excluded ONLY if "not resulting from physical impairments." In 1965, a blue-ribbon medical commission convened by the New Yok City Department of Health, concluded that medical and surgical treatment for transsexual patients was "merely palliative: - only to make the patient feel better. At that time, medical and scientific understanding of the brain and its structures was not well known.

In 1989, when Jesse Helms insisted on excluding "immoral disorders" fromn the ADA, even he had no objection to carving out from the exclusion, those gender identity disorders resulting from physical impairments. At the time, science knew that there were genetic and developmental conditions that result in people being intersex, with several physiological conditions being well documented. But it was not until 1999 that studies identified physiological bases for the existence of transgender people - in particular, the neuron density of the central section of the Basal Stria Terminalis in the brain's hypothalamus (BSTc), and within a decade, other scientists had isolated a number of genetic traits that create genetic predispositions for such physiological developments in the brain. These advances in science made it clear that transgender people could fall into the exception to the exclusion, since the basis is not a matter of "morality" but is based in physiology. In my own 2009 lawsuit against the New York City Department of Health, relating to the New York City regulations relating to birth certificate corrections for transgender people, I was able to prevail against the City's motion to dismiss based on the scientific advances, and the City's regulations being "arbitrary and capricious," in order to overcome three very bad cases from the 1970's that had rejected the petitioner's challenges to the regulations as created after the 1965 blue ribbon commission report had been made.(Prinzivalli v. Farley, Supreme Court, New York County, No. 114372/2009 (Decision of Judge Joan Madden, 6/28/2010))
With reference to the ADA, while the Fourth Circuit ruling appears to be the first federal appellate decision, there have been previous favorable rulings following the interpretation that was suggested in my article, as had been advanced by the Obama Administration Justice Department, including: BLATT v. CABELA'S RETAIL, No. 5:14-cv-04822, 2017 WL 2178123 (E.D. Pa. May. 18, 2017) INC.
which was cited in Williams, together with a string of other later district court cases, Venson v. Gregson, No. 3:18-cv-2185, 2021 WL 673371 (S.D. Ill. Feb. 22, 2021) ; Iglesias v. True, 403 F. Supp. 3d 680 (S.D. Ill. 2019) ; Doe v. Mass. Dep't of Corr., 2018 WL 2994403 (D. Mass. 2018); Edmo v. Idaho Dep't of Corr., No. 1:17-cv-00151, 2018 WL 2745898 (D. Idaho June 7, 2018). I am certainly gratified that my 2011 article at least predicted the way the courts would interpret the ADA. Since the article does not seem to have been cited as a source, I can't conclude that my article had any direct influence on any of the federal court decisions - but those decisions were correctly made, and I am grateful for that.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

A Novel Idea: Addressing Legitimate Concerns of the Opposition

Perhaps the single most important thing for Congress and state legislatures - when advancing legislation, to address legitimate fears and concerns of the opposition party(ies)/group(s).

If we dig deeply enough, the scary opposition rhetoric resonates with their supporters for some reason.

Sometimes these can be addressed through education.

Sometimes there are ways of addressing concerns without harming the effect of proposed elections.

I tried to accomplish this with GENDA, the bill that I wrote in 2002, that did not pass both houses of the New York State legislature until January 2019, after a 'blue wave' election delivered a convincing Democratic majority to the NY State Senate, but no one in the Republican Party was willing to introduce an amendment even when I actually gave them the language.

When I drafted GENDA in 2002, the operative language for trans-inclusion in the human rights law was modeled on the NYC Human Rights Law as amended that year, and the then-recently enacted Rhode Island Human Rights Law.

While GENDA was pending in the legislature, eventually becoming an annual passage in the Democrat-controlled State Assembly, and either dying in committee, or failing to advance on a committee vote, in the Republican-controlled Senate (even when a few Democrats split from the Democratic caucus and formed the IDC (Independent Democratic Caucus) to support GOP leadership as a means toward "Power sharing." (The Blue Wave in the 2018 elections would have given Regular Democrats a majority of their own, plus most of the IDC got knocked off and did not get re-elected). Around 2011, the national scene for trans-inclusive human rights laws started seeing laws being enacted (first in Connecticut, and then in several other states. including Utah in 2015). that included specific language requiring trans folks to verify their "real" status as being trans. The fear among the opposition was not about trans women in women's restrooms or locker rooms, it was actually all about men pretending to be women - as outlined in a speech made by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, in which he stated that if the law allowed it when he ws in high school, he'd have said, "Hey coach, I feel like a girl today," so he could use the girl's locker room, to ogle teen girls in various states of undress. The addition of so-called "show your papers" language (though there are many ways to establish one's bona fides) did not cause any problems in those states - and allowed those bills to move forward with Republican support.

Addressing legitimate concerns of the opposition requires the opposition to be open to negotiation. Unfortunately, it still requires all sides to participate in serious discussion.

Congress stopped doing this when the GQP adopted a scorched-earth policy against President Barack Obama, even when Obama (who is relatively conservative) introduced bills like the ACA, that were based on Republican laws (one prominent GOP think tank immediately reversing its own analysis when the ACA was introduced). In New York, I approached GOP leadership int eh Senate, with a view toward having a GOP Senator introduce an amendment to GENDA that would add that language - I even gave them the language and explained how it had worked in Connecticut and even Utah. But their reaction was more like the way Congress treated proposals coming from President Obama. In New York, the GQP Senators feared Conservative Party state chair Michael Long, who was profoundly anti-trans, and who threatened that any GOP senator who supported trans rights in any way would lose their Conservative Party line. SO, when GENDA did get passed in January 2019 with Democrats in control of the State Senate, the Republicans had lost their opportunity to help shape the legislation. There is so much legislation out there, in Congress and in state legislatures, that could benefit from the legislators on all sides actually hashing out what the real and legitimate concerns are and finding ways to address them. If legitimate concerns are being addressed, then it is not even a compromise, it's actually crafting a better bill. So many issues can be tackled this way, if only the parties are willing to be frank and honest. In today's polarized America, with the far right afraid of progressives, and vice versa, it might be time to see where there is actually common ground. It is not too late.

Recognizing the Humanity of the Oppressor

The most profound thing I have read recently, relating to why we must treat those evil forces (to me, Republican politicians like Florida's Gov. Ron DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, and their soul-crushing destructive agendas, both of whom somehow cruised easily to re-election, despite their evil agendas) that persecute and oppress us (LGBTQ+ people, and others), as fellow human beings. We must recognize their humanity even as they demonize us.

"And according to the Rebbe, one had to resist the temptation to split the world into good and evil, even in moments when the world was crushing the soul. One had to resist the temptation to see the world as the opposition of angelic and demonic forces. Yes, the demonic forces were twisted, fallen, distorted, perverse, unrecognizable, sick, terrifying—all of that and more. But they were not fundamentally untouchable, unreachable, unredeemable, nor were they the “other.” The great teaching of the name was, as he would have said in Yiddish, that alz ist Gott—that everything is one, because 'everything is God.' "
- Rabbi Mark Sameth, THE NAME, citing the mystical teachings of Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapira
Rabbi Shapira was spiritual leader of the Hassidic community of Warsaw during World War II and was executed by Germans, at a death camp, in 1943.
He had buried in Warsaw, several years of Torah commentaries, which were published in Israel in 1960 as "Holy Fire."

Thursday, November 10, 2022

The Ten Stages of Genocide as they relate to GQP Plans for Trans Kids and beyond

 (credit to Gregory H, Stanton, president of Genocide Watch)

The Ten Stages of Genocide:

The stages are:

  1. Classification – The differences between people are not respected. There’s a division of ‘us’ and ‘them’ which can be carried out using stereotypes, or excluding people who are perceived to be different.

  2. Symbolisation – This is a visual manifestation of hatred. Jews in Nazi Europe were forced to wear yellow stars to show that they were ‘different’. 
  3. Discrimination – The dominant group denies civil rights or even citizenship to identified groups. The 1935 Nuremberg Laws stripped Jews of their German citizenship, made it illegal for them to do many jobs or to marry German non-Jews.
  4. Dehumanisation – Those perceived as ‘different’ are treated with no form of human rights or personal dignity. During the Genocide in Rwanda, Tutsis were referred to as ‘cockroaches’; the Nazis referred to Jews as ‘vermin’.

    The first four stages as to trans kids In Texas, Florida and other "Red States," bills have been introduced, passed by the state legislatures and even enacted into law, that treat transgender children as "other" - excluding transgender girls (and boys) from participating in school sports, using the appropriate locker rooms and bathrooms.  In some of these states, trans boys are forced to use the girls' bathrooms and locker rooms, play on girls' teams (or if they won't, to abandon the sport)

    Making trans children use facilities that are inappropriate, marginalizes them. Calling them by "deadnames" and misgendering them  is
  5. Organisation – Genocides are always planned. Regimes of hatred often train those who go on to carry out the destruction of a people.

    In Texas, the State Attorney general Ken Paxton, has mobilized the state Division of Child Protective Services to arrest supportive parents of trans children,
    forcibly place trans children in custody and force them to detransition

    In Florida, because of bad interpretations of their so-called "Don't Say Gay" law, teachers are resigning or losing their jobs, and are being replaced by unqualified military veterans who are known to be ultra-rightwing supporters of the Governor, and the governor has removed a duly elected county prosecutor who refused to kowtow to the Governor's orders.

  6. Polarization – Propaganda begins to be spread by hate groups. The Nazis used the newspaper Der Stürmer to spread and incite messages of hate about Jewish people.

    Ultra-Right groups all over America have been demonizing trans people for years, and have been amplifying their calls to discriminate against transgender children and their supportive parents.  
  7. Preparation – Perpetrators plan the genocide. They often use euphemisms such as the Nazis’ phrase ‘The Final Solution’ to cloak their intentions. They create fear of the victim group, building up armies and weapons.

    In Red States, they are calling some of their moves against trans and gay children "parental rights" or "protecting children" to cloak their intentions 
  8. Persecution – Victims are identified because of their political beliefs, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other difference, and arrest lists/death lists are drawn up. People are sometimes segregated into ghettos, deported or starved and property is often expropriated. Genocidal massacres begin.

    Texas and Florida are already inching into Stage 8 when it comes to transgender kids - other red states are not far behind - AND if Congress is controlled by Republicans in 2023-2024, only presidential vetoes will be able to stem the tide of national legislation to demonize trans people - and they will not stop with trans kids, or "the gays" but the white Christian Nationalists will not stop until they can go after non-christians, people of descent other then Northern European, and women, to various extents
  9. Extermination – The hate group murders their identified victims in a deliberate and systematic campaign of violence. Millions of lives have been destroyed or changed beyond recognition through genocide.
  10. Denial – The perpetrators or later generations deny the existence of any crime.

FOR THE WANT OF A NAIL (2022 Election Edition - post-election preliminary version)

For the want of better judicial appointments, the NY Court of Appeals was lost.

For the want of the right judges, the redistricting case was lost.

For the want of redistricting approval, the 9th and 17th Congressional Districts were lost.

And IF Republicans end up with 218 or 219 house members:

For the want of those Democratic Representatives, the Congress was lost.

All because Andrew Cuomo appointed the wrong judges.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

 Fix Senate Imbalance: add New States via Subdivision:

 A Letter to My Senators (a version also sent to Congressman Jones)

January 30, 2021


The Honorable Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator for New York and
United States Senate Majority Leader
322 Hart Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington DC 20510
The Honorable Kirsten E, Gillibrand
United States Senator for New York
478 Russell Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington DC 20510



Dear Senators:

I am Joann Prinzivalli, one of your constituents from White Plains New York.  I wrote to you on January 25th about the insurrection, restoring and expanding the Fairness Doctrine and breaking up media conglomerates.  Today, I am writing about fixing unequal representation in the Senate.

There is a lot of buzz about the Filibuster rule, and how Senator McConnell acquiesced in allowing a vote on organizing the Senate only once he had assurances from two “blue dog” (no insult intended) Democratic Senators, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, that they would not vote to eliminate the filibuster. (I’d support a restoration of the speaking filibuster.)

My idea is not in the “buzz,” but I think it will bring much-needed change in the Senate to make it fair. Allow states to subdivide!

Article I Section 3 of the Constitution originally provided, as to the Senate:

Section 3.

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state, chosen by the legislature thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote.

The 17th Amendment modified that slightly:                                        

Amendment XVII

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote.

Because of Article I and the 17th Amendment, the United States Senate currently has enshrined in it a rule that runs counter to the principle of “one person, one vote.”

Article V of the Constitution concludes the description of the amendment process with a clause stating

            “. . . that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate

The Constitution makes it clear that each state is entitled to equal representation in the Senate, and that even a constitutional amendment cannot change this unless it is ratified by every state.

The SCOTUS has applied the “one person, one vote” principle to state legislatures, and particularly their upper houses – many states with bicameral legislatures mimicked the federal system, treating their upper houses as representative of counties, each county being treated equally regardless of population, or used some other unequal method of apportioning upper house representation. This was changed in states and in many municipal governments after the Supreme Court decided Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533 in 1964.

In Westchester County, where I live, the Town of Greenburgh was successful in challenging the composition of the County’s legislative body, which was at that time the Board of Supervisors, in Greenburgh v. Board of Supervisors of Westchester County 49 Misc.2d 116 in 1966, leading the way to a proportionally-represented Board of Legislators in 1970.

Moving back to the U.S. Senate – you cannot change the voting power of Senators to deprive each state of equal suffrage, BUT what may be possible would be to allow each state to divide itself into a number of states equal to the number of representatives that the state has in the House of Representatives, or use some other equitable formula.  This could result in a Senate twice the size of the House, but it would make for a Senate without as great a disparity in representation.

Constitution Article IV Section 3 provides limits:

“New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress”

While you consider admitting Washington DC and Puerto Rico as states, you might want to consider having Congress authorizing states to divide along the manner outlined, and then leaving it to the legislature of each state (of those that can) to decide for themselves whether they want to subdivide.

You might find some inspiration in the Utah Enabling Act of 1894 (28 Stat. 107), which was signed into law by Grover Cleveland on July 16, 1894 – the new enabling act would have to create a mechanism for each new state to form itself, within those states whose legislatures agree to partition themselves into states bounded by their then-present House boundaries. 

One might wonder what impact this might have on other boundaries, including municipal boundaries.  New York City, for example, is comprised of five counties.  It would be divided into a number of states, each of which would have two US Senators and one US representative (some of them still crossing over City borders) – one might want to continue other boundaries to operate – so the legislation should address an intermediate level of government between states and federal government by redesignating divided states as Regions (or use some other term) to permit each Region to retain its former state and municipal governing structures, with the new states created from them existing  for the purpose of representation on the House and Senate (though with some added mechanism to address other state-level issues).

Then there is the issue of redistricting – once a state elected to become a Region divided into a number of States, what would happen when redistricting would require boundary changing to add or subtract States that were once merely Congressional Districts?  It wouldn’t - each state would be protected from downsizing, but could conceivably add a representative without having to further subdivide.

It’s not an elegant solution, but it is certainly no worse than some of the “compromises” that gave rise to the original Constitution. Perhaps you might want to at least give it some thought. Thank you for taking the time to address this issue as I hope you will.





Joann Prinzivalli

Monday, January 25, 2021

Open letter to My Senators and Congressman: January 25, 2021

 The following was sent vis e-mail, in slightly altered form, to each of the addressees - this is a composite :

January 25, 2021
The Honorable Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator for New York and
United States Senate Majority Leader
322 Hart Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington DC 20510
The Honorable Kirsten E, Gillibrand
United States Senator for New York
478 Russell Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington DC 20510
The Honorable Mondaire Jones
United States Representative for the
17th Congressional District of New York
1017 Longworth House Office Building
United States House of Representatives
Washington DC 20510
Dear Senators and Congressman Jones:

I am Joann Prinzivalli, one of your constituents from White Plains, New York.  Before I get to the task at hand, I offer my congratulations to Congressman Jones on his election, and to Senator Schumer for his much-deserved elevation to the position of Senate Majority Leader.

For more than forty years, I have watched as our nation has slid inexorably toward disaster in a slow-moving train wreck.  A resolution of the constitutional crisis occasioned by the recent insurrection in which our Capitol Building was invaded by violent thugs whose actions were precipitated by the words of the former president, and current members of the Senate and of the House, must take priority.

I understand from news reports, that the Articles of Impeachment of the former president will be delivered to the Senate at 7 PM today – I urge the Senate to take swift action.  There is enough evidence for a conviction just based on televised speeches made by the former president and his social media communnications.  While there was sufficient evidence presented in his first impeachment, numerous members of the Senate not only broke the special oath, Senators McConnell and Graham openly stated that they would be forsworn. Later destructive actions of the former president can be laid at their feet.  This time around, the way they treat the trial should be evidence of whether they support the insurrection.

Next, there is the matter of those Senators and Representatives who incited, encouraged, planned, or participated in the insurrection, or have given aid or comfort to the insurrectionists, most notably Senators Cruz and Hawley. They must be expelled from their office as being disqualified from holding that office or any other, by virtue of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. While Article I Section 5 of the Constitution calls for a two-thirds majority to expel a Senator, the 14th Amendment provision makes it clear that in the event of supporting insurrection, the expulsion is automatic, requiring only a finding of fact, ad it is reinstatement that requires a two-thirds vote.

To the extent that Senators or Representatives indirectly promoted the Rebellion by continuing to falsely assert the illegitimacy of the election well after all legal challenges had been disposed, but who are not held to have been disqualified from holding office, they should be censured by their respective House, and only expelled if they persist in crossing the boundaries of free expression.

Once the Congress has put its houses in order, legislation must be written and enacted that strangles the roots of the problem.

1.      The Fairness Doctrine. The Federal Communications Commission adopted the Fairness Doctrine in 1949, with the rise of television, requiring that television news provide a reasonable balance of views, and in 1959 that television news provide “varying opinions on the paramount issues facing the American People.”  This bulwark of fairness was scuttled by the Reagan Administration in 1987.  By 1993, opponents of fairness in media promoted the Telecommunications Act, signed by President Clinton in February 1996.  The loss of the Fairness Doctrine for broadcast news, and the failure to regulate internet and cable news media has resulted in a Balkanization of news media, a diverse proliferation of biased and partisan news coverage, deepening the divide in the populace, and widening the differences among Americans.  It is not only media content sources themselves, but aggregators and republishers (even indirect republishers such as Twitter and Facebook) that contribute to the problem,   The result, in the recent election, is that millions of Americans have been convinced by their news providers, and by some of their elected officials, that a free and fair election was tarnished by widespread fraud, fraud that has been refuted at every level save the level of the media and politicians sowing dissension and insurrection.  The Fairness Doctrine must be restored and expanded to cover broadcast media as well as internet media. 

2.      Break Up media conglomerates.  Communication Industry deregulation has led to a great deal of merger activity in the media – having local and national print, broadcast, and cable news in the hands of a few large corporate entities is bad for freedom of the press – while the freedom of the press has always militated in favor of those wealthy enough to own a printing press, or buy access to one, having a variety of press outlets all controlled by a small number of large conglomerate owners, is bad for the government and for the People.  In addition, it is critical that as to the internet, content providers and internet service providers (ISPs) be separately owned, with ISPs being treated as public utilities subject to federal and state regulation.  When it comes to content providers that are merely platforms for user-provided content, they should be treated both as public utilities and as content republishers.

There are so many other pressing issues facing this Congress, and the new Administration, and other legislation that must also be passed to undo the harm of the past 40-plus years of our history.  Prioritizing the above will do much to help create a media environment in which “news” is factual, and news-opinion as to the issues of the day are presented with a view toward airing legitimate differences of opinion.

Thank you for taking the time to address these issues as I hope you will.


Joann Prinzivalli

Friday, June 14, 2019

My Lincoln-inspired keynote speech kicking off World Pride in White Plains

Remarks of Joann Prinzivalli at the
2019 Westchester Pride Flag Raising
White Plains, New York, June 2, 2019
A half century ago, transgender, gay and lesbian people at the Stonewall Inn defiantly rose up in resistance against police oppression. From the resulting riot, gay liberation organizations conceived the movement for LGBTQ human rights, dedicated to the proposition that we, too, are created equal.
As we stand here today, we still engage in that struggle for civil rights so long denied to us.  It is a test of our resolve to achieve justice and bring life to the aspirational founding principles of our nation that all are entitled to certain inalienable rights, We have come far in gaining our rights here in Westchester County, in our State, and in several other states. We have marriage equality in the state and the nation, but the struggle continues, nationally and in many other states, as the opponents of equality and justice are emboldened by the current federal administration in its work against human rights and dignity – they deny transgender people the right to serve in the military, they allow doctors, hospitals and medical professionals to refuse to provide treatment to LGBTQ people on so-called “religious” grounds, they allow homeless shelters to refuse accommodation to transgender people, they deny U.S. citizenship to newborn children of gay American citizen parents just because they were delivered outside the country through surrogacy. The current federal administration chisels away at our civil rights with a “death of a thousand cuts.” And our community is not the only target of their wrath.
We gather here today to raise the Rainbow Flag as a symbol of that promise of equality that is a bedrock American principle, and to celebrate our victories – including this year’s enactment of the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act. We resolve to continue the work toward justice and equality in the face of oppression, so that our civil rights movement, so conceived and so dedicated, may prevail against the forces of darkness.
In a larger sense, we are not alone in our dedication to the struggle – we stand on the shoulders of the giants who took those first steps fifty years ago, and on the shoulders of those who have continued to incubate that journey toward justice.
As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, paraphrasing 19th century Unitarian minister Theodore Parker, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”  To this I can add a firm belief that this arc does not bend on its own – it requires the hard work of people, like the people gathered here today, to continue to bend that arc toward justice, and toward universal respect for the inherent worth and dignity of every human being.
The words that are said here today may soon be forgotten, but as we celebrate the achievements we have won and the work that has been done, we dedicate ourselves to the unfinished work, and we remember those who have gone before us and are not forgotten – we pledge that that their work and our work shall not have been in vain, and that we will prevail.  We must be the midwives to enact the promises of the Declaration of Independence to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness so that they are not merely hollow, empty, myths without substance – making America a true beacon of hope shining our light to the world.