Archive for May, 2008

On Thursday, an abusive arrest of a journalist was recorded in Alalbuquerque, New Mexico. The video is below. In the clip, APD Officer Daniel Guzman appears to pummel KOB-TV cameraman Rick Foley after telling him to move to a different location. Not only is Foley arrested without cause but $50,000 in camera equipment is reportedly ruined.
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A French court in Lille, France has annulled the marriage of a young Muslim after the husband discovered on his wedding night that his bribe was not a virgin. The French court agreed that the lack of virginity was sufficient for an annulment in a decision drawing considerable criticism in France.

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Police in Fullerton now believe that the arrest of Sunny Hills High School teacher Gregory Abbott, 31, was a set up — perhaps by his estranged wife and an associate.

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Two university professors have been caught up in an alleged insider trading conspiracy, including respected lecturer and retired St. John’s University professor, Dr. John F. Marshall. He is accused of giving Pace University Professor Alan L. Tucker insider information, resulting in Tucker making a cool $1.4 million on the tips in 2007. Dr. Marshall’s brother-in-law, Mark R. Larson is also accused of buying shares of I.S.E. stock based on the tips.

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Just a few weeks after 15 women were burned as witches in Kenya, witch burning has continued in India. Last week, an indian woman in Bhuganeswar, India between the latest victim of this international practice.
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Sen. Barack Obama is dealing with yet another screed from a long-time associate and preacher, Michael Pfleger, a Catholic priest. In the video below, Pfleger attacks Hillary Clinton and notions of white entitlement. It is yet another example of the perils of faith-based politics now practiced by both the Republicans and Democrats. What is most annoying, however, are these religious leaders who pander to racial hatred or intolerance — only to immediately apologize when those words become public.
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In yet another expansion of the regulation of student speech, the Second Circuit has ruled against high school student Avery Doninger who contested her punishment for posting an objectionable message on an Internet site about Lewis Mills High School. When she objected to the cancellation of a school event in vulgar terms, school officials barred her from running for Senior Class secretary. In Doninger v. Niehoff, the Second Circuit upheld the right of school officials to punish students for out-of–school speech in a major blow to both the first amendment and student rights.

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Hedge-Fund Manager Stuart Sugarman, 48, like to scream while spinning. To the irritation of many, Sugarman routinely yells things like “Woo-woo!” or “Great song!” or “Good burn,” or “You go, girl!” It was apparently too much for Stockbroker Christopher Carter, 44, at an Equinox gym at 85th Street and Third Avenue in New York. After telling Sugarman to quiet down and allegedly being told to “make me,” Carter pushed Sugarman off his bike. He now faces a year in jail and Sugarman has testified as a victim of spin rage. (more…)

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In yet another blow to the Texas officials who ordered the mass removal of children from the Yearning for Zion Ranch, the Texas Supreme Court has agreed with an appellate court that they must be returned. Officials will now have to reunite as many as 450 children with their parents. It is not must a rebuke to Child Protective Services, which adopted the most extreme measures in the case without evidence of individual guilt, but to District Judge Barbara Walther who showed very little concern over the rights of the accused parents in the matter. (more…)

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A U.S. Marine had a curious way to show Iraqis that we are not crusaders in the country to claim their country for Jesus: he passed out Christian coins at a checkpoint. Iraqis complained and the Marine has been pulled for duty in Falluja.

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I wanted the readers of this blog to hear it directly from me. It is true. Jonathan Turley has been arrested as a “dangerous and violent” knife-wielding attacker in Northern Ireland. In what will come as little surprise, the court found that Turley is in need for treatment for “emotionally unstable and dissocial personality types.” However, this blog will continue despite the arrest.

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Boy, growing up I thought the Catholic nuns were tough. Yet another elementary teacher has been caught on tape using public humiliation and class condemnation as a pedagogical tool. In New Albany, Indiana, Kristen Woodward (a teacher at S. Ellen Jones Elementary School) verbally abused 5-year-old Gabriel Ross in front of the class, even getting his friends to condemn him. It is something out of the Pol Pot Guide to Elementary Teaching. The tape recording is linked below.
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Two bizarre stories are emerging out of Texas and Minnesota. In Austin, Billy Dan Carroll, 53, has been arrested of sexually assaulting an eight-year-old girl — despite his work as a child advocate against abuse. In Minneapolis, Russell Simon Jr, 45, is being held on attempted murder (using a statue of John Wayne) –despite his work as a popular motivational speaker on such things as anger management.

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The California Ford dealership in Mojave and Rosamond that told non-believers and civil libertarians to “shut up and sit down” has recanted the ad after worldwide criticism — blaming one of their promotional people and claiming that the ad was not “closely reviewed.” Frankly, I am not sure what is worst. The original screed of Kieffe and Sons or their effort to shift blame for an ad that they reviewed but did not “closely review.” In the meantime, both the Kieffe and someone named Horne claiming to be the author of the ad have run the statements below on the web.

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The Wisconsin Supreme Court reprimanded Justice Annette Ziegler, who recently joined the Court, for conflicts of interest in cases that she handled as a circuit judge. Ziegler committed obvious judicial ethics violations in hearing cases involving a bank on which her husband was a director. Legal and ethics experts have decried the decision as insufficient — arguing that Wisconsin judges use a double standard for their own misdeeds and that lawyers are treated more harshly in such sentences.
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Dunkin’ Donuts has pulled an ad featuring Rachael Ray after Fox commentator Michelle Malkin objected that a scarf that she was wearing resembled a keffiyeh, a traditional headdress worn by Arab men. It appears that even clothing resembling Arab clothing is viewed as an outrageous play for terrorists seeking donuts with their coffee. With the withdrawal of the ad, it is hoped that Homeland Security will lower the risk level to taupe. The company insists that no insult was intended and insists that its stores are safe for customers to come and enjoy “old-fashion donuts” and that bastion of American strength, the Apple Fritter.
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Writer Matt Taibbi has a hilarious account of going undercover to the camp of former John McCain supporter Rev. John Hagee. One highlight is requiring the faithful to throw up “demons” that range from “incest” to “hand-writing analysis.”
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Harvard Law School professor Charles R. Nesson saw the arrest of Richard E. Cusick and R. Keith Stroup as an opportunity to challenge the Massachusetts ban on marijuana — insisting that the law did not even meet the minimal “rational basis” test and seeking jury nullification. Instead, his clients were not even given an evidentiary hearing, found guilty quickly by the jury, and sentenced to time served.
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It is enough to make Tony Soprano and the guys at the BaDa Bing! weep. Patsy Hamaker, a stripper at The Furnace in Birmingham, is suing the strip club over a car accident: claiming that she was pushed to drink with clients to raise revenue and that her employer should have stopped her from driving given her intoxication. (more…)

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The North Coast Women’s Care Medical Group treated Guadalupe Benitez, of Oceanside, with fertility drugs for roughly a year. However, when they learned that she was a lesbian, they refused on religious grounds to inseminate her. Now, just on the heels of its historic same-sex marriage ruling, the California Supreme Court has taken the case.
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French skydiver Michel Fournier had everything in place todya for his much-touted attempt to break the world record for a parachute jump height. The only small problem is that his balloon left without him: bidding farewell to both the bid and over $200,000. The video is below.
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In Southern California, Kieffe and Sons do not want non-Christians and civil libertarians to drive Hondas — or at least anything other than their Fords. The dealership has added a standard package of prejudice to its car sales with the ad below denouncing those who oppose prayer in school and intermingling of church and state — full religious intolerance is standard with each car but specific sectarian hatred is optional with some models. (more…)

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Pennsylvania Chief Justice Ronald Castille has threatened sanctions against the League of Women Voters and disciplinary measures against its attorney, Paul Rossi, for being judicial misconduct charges related to his predecessor. The League has alleged that former Chief Justice Ralph Cappy had “secret negotiations” with legislative leaders in 2005 before the Court upheld the 2004 slots law and the Legislature passed a controversial pay-raise for judges. It is not clear what is more outrageous: the original allegations or Castille’s use of his office to threaten litigants and lawyers seeking a hearing. This is particularly troubling when Castille himself is implicated in the allegations. (more…)

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The parents of Staff Sgt. Ryan Maseth are fighting to preserve their lawsuit against military contractor KBR, which is seeking to dismiss their wrongful death lawsuit. Maseth was one of a number of soldiers who died of electrocution in showers maintained by KBR. Rep. Jason Altmire is calling for an investigation, but he is only half right. Altmire and his colleagues should be holding hearings on the elimination of the Feres Doctrice, barring soldiers from suing the military in such cases. (more…)

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A new judge is under scrutiny over improper her relationship and conduct. Ana Gardiner, the chief criminal judge for the 17th Judicial Circuit, is accused of having a romantic relationship with defense attorney John Cotrone and also discussing pending murder cases over dinner with prosecutors — including laughing about the evidence, jurors, and capital charges.

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On this Memorial Day, I looked with great anticipation to the completion of the Pentagon memorial. After all, it has taken years and $22 million dollars (with a $10 million endowment) to complete. The first pictures were released below and I must say that I positively hate the design.

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To the relief of many, the Mars Phoenix landed on Mars without incident. NASA has released the pictures below taken on the Red Planet’s arctic plains. This was the conclusion of a 296-day voyage and years of planning.

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The American Red Cross could have at least served coffee and donuts this week to the legal team of Johnson & Johnson: a court all but vanquished the claims of the company that the Red Cross had violated its trademarked use of the iconic red cross on white background. Judge Jed Rakoff of the United States district court said that Congress gave the charity the right to use the Greek cross and that it could therefore sell the right to use it to competitors.
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This week, we have seen another golden oldie from the Saudi legal system. Nour Miyati was severely abused by her employer who had tied up the Indonesian maid for a month and refused her food and basic necessities as punishment. Ms Miyati, 25, ultimately needed hospitalization and, after gangrene set in, they had to amputate her fingers and toes. While insisting that Islamic law protected servants, the Saudi courts just overturned the conviction of the couple responsible, including the wife who had admitted the abuse. Their punishment? $640.
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In Port St. Lucie, the family of nine-year-old Alex Barton are exploring a lawsuit against teacher Wendy Portillo and the school district of his humiliation in front of his class. Alex is in the process of being diagnosed with autism, but Portillo still reportedly punished him by making him stand in front of the class as students were invited to list the things that they hate about him — then led a vote to throw him out of class. This apparently comes from the Lord of the Flies school of teaching.
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Pennsylvania Rep. Paul Kanjorski has attracted some Internet attention with the release of the video below where he appears to admit that the Republicans played up the war for political purposes.

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Controversial American author and academic Norman Finkelstein has been arrested at Ben Gurion international airport near Tel Aviv and forced to leave the country. Various news reports indicate that he may be banished from Israel for ten years on on “security’ grounds.”

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A product liability case may be in the early stages this week with the issuance of a warning by the Food and Drug Administration that Mommy’s Bliss Nipple Cream, marketed by MOM Enterprises Inc. of San Rafael, California, is a serious danger to nursing babies. Products connected to infant tend to bring the fastest and most costly litigation — as MOM may soon discover. (more…)

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Hillary Clinton has been criticized for coming up with new rationales for staying in the race from the popular vote to superdelegates to red state successes. Yet, few were prepared for her latest rationale: Obama could be dead before the summer convention. This was the most obvious interpretation given to her use of the Robert Kennedy assassination as a justification for staying in the race through June: Kennedy was cut down in June 1968. The video link is below. (more…)

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Veteran TV journalist Barry Nolan has been fired by Comcast for his public criticism of the decision by the local Emmy Awards to honor Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly. The termination occurred at a time when Fox has allegedly threatened a retaliation campaign against NBC if it does not stop criticism of O’Reilly on MSNBC. At issue are some core questions of journalistic ethics and free amendment rights.

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I have an interesting constitutional case developing before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Older pilots are challenging the Fair Treatment for Experienced Pilots Act, Pub. L. No. 110-135, 121 Stat. 1450 (2007). The legislation presents not only a raw example of age discrimination but a possible bill of attainder.
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Eddie Walker, the principal of Irmo High School in Columbia, S.C., is resigning in the wake of a decision by the Lexington-Richland School District 5 officials, to allow the creation of a gay club at his school. He has cited his own religious views for the protest move.

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Waddah (Martin) Mustapha could not get over the horror of it. The hairdresser was drinking from his bottled water when Waddah found a flouting dead fly. For his suffering (including depression and phobias), he was awarded $341,775. The Supreme Court of Canada had other ideas, and threw out the award — ruling 9-0 that Culligan of Canada could not be liable for psychological damages. (more…)

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The House Judiciary Committee on Thursday served a subpoena on former top Bush aide Karl Rove in another showdown with the White House. He is being called to answer questions about the firing U.S. Attorneys and the politicization of the Justice Department. His lawyer had earlier indicated he would testify. The real question is the stomach of the House for taking real action in wake of the likely failure to appear. (more…)

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Polygamous parents in Texas won a major ruling today from the Texas appellate court in the opinion below. As we have discussed on this blog, the trial court appears to have ruled down the line with the Texas government — requiring little in terms of individual suspicion against these parents. Now, the trial court will have to do a little more to ensure that justice is tailored to the cases before her and not simply declare all parents presumptively unfit until proven otherwise.

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A mob has burned alive 15 women who they accused of being witches in Kenya.

In the meantime, Tanzania has had to enact special protections for albinos who are being mutilated and killed by witch doctors for good luck.

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Alaskans are going to court to challenge the listing of polar bears — unwilling to allow actions to protect endangered polar bears if it would threaten oil and gas revenues. The Alaskan politicians have a long and uninterrupted record of being the most hostile anti-environmentalists in government. Gov. Sarah Palin has joined this infamous line — once again making her government as mere extension of the oil industry. Given the recent corruption tapes showing Alaskan legislators promising to “sell [their] souls to the devil”, it appears that the fireside sale continues. (more…)

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Recently, this blog explored the criminal charges against men who have liaison with inanimate objects ranging from bikes to gates to picnic tables, click here. However, now Edward Smith has publicly admitted that he has made love to over 1000 cars, including his current serious relationship with ,a white Volkswagen Beetle named Vanilla. It appears that in England sex with a bike in private will get you jail time, but motorized “girlfriends” are apparently acceptable. (more…)

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The Ninth Circuit has handed down an important decision on gay rights and the military. The three-judge panel did not strike down the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy but it did reinstate the lawsuit of Major Margaret Witt, a decorated Air Force nurse. The ruling forces the government to prove that the policy advances an important government interest. (more…)

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Walter Moore of Max Motors in Butler, Missouri recently had a brainstorm. What is the other thing beside a car that everyone should have. The answer is obvious: a semi-automatic handgun. Putting the lead back into American cars . . .

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A CNN report out of Basra gives a dark insight into the work and values of the religious groups in the city. After the pullout by the British, groups meted out their own justice according to their own perverse understanding of Islam. Rape of women and killings were common. In one case, a woman was executed for living without her husband.
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Judge Robert Somma of the United States Bankruptcy Court has everyone debating whether he is a judge or not. Somma first resigned after being caught drunk driving while wearing a dress and make up. He then tried to unresign and now it is not clear and a few litigants and their lawyers would like to know.
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In a glimpse into the insanity and inhumanity that fuels Al Qaeda, Pakistani police have found this video of a 12-year-old boy who cuts off the head of a victim and holds the severed head up as the adults scream “Allah o Akbar” joyfully at the scene. Police have also uncovered what they called a “suicide training nursery.”

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It was not enough that Christine Ruther, 19, broke into a candy store. It wasn’t even the fact that she removed her baby from the stroller to fill it with hot candy. It was the fact that the police were able to follow the candy wrappers to arrest her and her confectionery criminal friends in Cincinnati.

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This blog has been following (and criticizing) the increasing criminalization of America as politicians make every infraction a crime. The Canton City Council is now joining this trend with a reckless abandon: threatening to jail citizens who do not cut their grass.
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