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Written by Basil on 10/17/2009 3:58 PM. Filed under:

TRIGGER WARNING This article, or pages it links to, contains information about sexual assault and/or violence against women which may be triggering to survivors.

Senator Al Franken, the junior senator from Minnesota and Saturday Night Live alumnus, recently introduced an amendment to the defense spending bill currently being debated in Congress.

Jamie Leigh Jones was drugged and gang-raped by her co-workers while she was working as a defense contractor in Iraq. She was drugged andWhen she reported the rape to her employer, she was locked in a storage container. Once she finally escaped and returned to the States, she was prevented from suing her employer, KBR, who was at the time a subsidiary of Halliburton, by a mandatory arbitration clause in her contract.

Franken’s amendment proposed to deny funds to defense contractors who required mandatory arbitration for “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.” (Text) As Jon Stewart said, in the video to your right: “Seems like a slam dunk.”

So, that it was not a slam dunk seems to me, on the face of it, absurd. Who would vote against a such a bill? It seems clear and obvious that this is for the common good, unequivocally. There’s no hidden agenda in this amendment. It’s all right there in black and white: If you are receiving government funds as a defense contractor, you have to make sure you prevent your employees from being raped or otherwise harmed for any reason.

Did I miss something? Don’t answer that. I don’t want to know why the thirty Republican senators sold their souls to Haliburton. It’s a rhetorical question.

And these are the people telling us that the poor don’t need health care. Somehow, I think this should not be a surprise.

In all, nine Republican senators “crossed the aisle” to vote for this amendment sponsored by Franken and nine other Democrats. Really, though, why would this not be a bipartisan, unanimous vote? Don’t answer that. It’s a rhetorical question.

In the video to the left, see Franken’s proposal of the amendment on the floor of the Senate.


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2 Responses to “Rape-nuts”

  1. Fr. Andrew Says:

    Here’s at least one alternate view.

  2. Basil Says:

    Father, please. The text of the amendment, which I quoted and to which I linked at the Library of Congress, makes it clear that it is specifically for issues of civil rights and sexual assault.

    Our “us versus them” false dichotomy of a political system has persuaded us to support “our team” even when they support flagrant evil. It makes me sick.