Christopher Jamison, the Abbot of Worth in West Sussex, has accused Disney of “exploiting spirituality” to sell its products and corrupting youth. Even worst, he says that Disneyland is now a modern day pilgrimage site.
Archive for November, 2008
An Arizona appeals court has reinstated an interesting lawsuit by the Havasupai Indians who alleged that researchers at the Arizona State University and University of Arizona misused blood samples taken from members of the northern Arizona tribe. The tribe insists that it agreed to the use of blood samples to look into genetic links with the high incidence of diabetes among its members. The tribe lives in an isolated village lies deep in a gorge off the Grand Canyon. Among the claims, the tribe alleges that researchers were using the blood samples to establish that their predecessors migrated to the area — which contradicts the tribe’s religious belief that it originated in the Grand Canyon. The tribe and individual members are seeking $60 million in damages.
I predict palm readers will soon appear in Livingston Parish, Louisiana. Alright, I had a little help from a federal court in New Orleans. A court has ruled that the parish prohibition on soothsaying, fortune telling, palm reading, clairvoyance, crystal ball gazing, mind reading, card reading “and the like” is unconstitutional. Now, the parish government has voted to rescind the law and allow the tarot cards to fall. Other cities are following suit in addressing these prohibitions.
California’s Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) has officially opened an investigation in the role of the Church of Latter Day Saints in financing and failing to report nonmonetary contributions to support Proposition 8 — the successful resolution that barred same-sex marriage. The investigation was requested Californians Against Hate.
Well-known defense attorney Walter L. Blair, who practiced with the Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. and has litigated some high-profile cases, is facing very serious criminal allegations and making some controversial claims in his own defense. Blair, 57, is representing himself after being indicted for money laundering and witness tampering. He is hardly telling his client to take a low profile and avoid public controversy. Blair has filed a lawsuit alleging racism and anti-Jamaican bias is behind the indictment.
An incredible story has emerged out of New York. Doreen Giuliano, 46, has admitted to assuming a fake identity to seduce Jason Allo, a contractor who lived in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn who was a juror on her son’s murder trial. Three years ago, John Giuca from Brooklyn was convicted with another man in the 2003 killing of Mark Fisher, a college student from New Jersey who was found beaten and shot five times.
People in Kentucky are just now hearing about one of the state’s priorities in fighting terrorism, as stated in the 2006 anti-terrorism law. The Kentucky Office of Homeland Security’s list of core duties includes “stressing the dependence on Almighty God as being vital to the security of the Commonwealth.” This includes the duty to post a plaque at the Emergency Operations Center praising the Almighty. It is the work of State Rep. Tom Riner, a Southern Baptist minister, who not only does not appear to accept the separation of church and state but believes that he has every right to use homeland security to advance his religious views.
The holiday carnage has begun. An employee at the Long Island Wal-Mart was trampled to death as shoppers stampeded to grab special deals on “Black Friday” after Thanksgiving. In the meantime, the video below shows shoppers at another Wal-Mart fighting each other over the last XBox in the store.
The Vatican has warned that omodern technology, such as the internet and mobile phones, could be leading people from salvation. That IPhone may be networking with the Devil by reducing your spiritual advancement regardless of how many time you invoke the almighty in OMG text messages.
U.S. District Judge Lawrence P. Zatkoff has ruled that a lawsuit by Susan McBride, a Detroit planner, can go to trial on allegations that a co-worker’s perfume made it difficult to breathe and work. The claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act could produce a major new precedent for people claiming chemical sensitivity in working around anyone with cologne or perfume.
Attorney Joe Caramagno has become an Internet sensation after showing up drunk in court (two hours late) and trying to convince the judge in the video below that he can still try the case and “play injured.” Caramagno claimed to have a concussion from an accident despite reports that he smelled of tequila.
Iranian justice reached a new low this week with a Sharia court ordering that acid be dropped in the eyes of a man who blinded a woman for spurning his marriage proposals. The man only identified as Majid will be blinded under a system of “qisas” or fair retribution in the medieval system.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and thank you for making this blog such a success — and so much fun. We had over a million hits in the first year and continue to grow each month. I hope that you have a litigation free holiday. In celebration, I give you the annual Turkey Tort below and a video of the Palin Turkey slaughter.
What has not been reported in the recent collapse of Attorney General Michael Mukasey is that just before he fainted, Washington State Supreme Court Judge Richard Sanders stood up and called him a tyrant.
Police in Zephryhills, Florida have charged Henry Ben Morgan with a felony for obstructing the extinguishment of a fire plus a misdemeanor for resisting arrest when he attempted to run into his burning home to save his pets and put the fire out. The pets perished, his house burned down, and he is now looking at jail time.
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman has struck down Florida’s ban on the adoption of children by gay people. She found that the law was unconstitutional given the absence of any legal or scientific reason that sexual orientation should be the basis for such a prohibition.
Meleanie Hain is not a soccer Mom to be trifled with in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Other parents were a bit perturbed when she showed up to guns wearing a holstered pistol to watch her 5-year-old play. She successfully filed Second Amendment challenge after her concealed-weapons permit was revoked by the sheriff.
Parents at Condit Elementary School in Claremont, California have forced the kindergarten to bar children from dressing in traditional Thanksgiving outfits as based on racial or ethic stereotypes. After 40 years of this tradition, no one Pilgrim hats, Indian outfits, or bonnets.
Connecticut Judge E. Curtissa R. Cofield is at the center of a firestorm after an arrest for drunk driving during which she hurled racial epithets at a black police officer. She also succeeded in striking a police cruiser with her BMW. Cofield, who is also black, is now the subject of both a criminal proceeding and a proposed legislative investigation.
Rico Todriquez Wright, 25, was delighted with the popularity of his latest rap song, “Hitting Licks for a Living.” However, one person noticed one line from the song: Living’ and there’s a line that says ‘Chad Blue knows how I shoot’.” Licks is slang for a robbery and Chad Blue was shot in 2006 by Wright. Now, Wright has been given 20 years in jail and 20 years of probation for the crime. The guy who found the song particularly interesting? You guessed it: Chad Blue
The symbolism is perfectly exquisite. President George Bush, who has given out fewer pardons than any modern president, felt that he could not leave office without releasing Leslie Owen Collier of Charleston, Mo., who pleaded guilty in 1995 to unlawfully killing three bald eagles in southeast Missouri. Bush is generally viewed as the most hostile president to environmental protections in modern times. His pardons seemed to reflect that profile with another pardon going to a hazardous waste violator who was given a mere probation sentence. I will be discussing the Bush pardons with Rachel Maddow tonight.
The murder trial of Lillo Brancato seems like life following fiction for the actor from the Sopranos and The Bronx Tale. Brancato, 32, is accused of killing an off-duty police officer, Daniel Enchautegui, who came upon him and his drug dealer friend, Steven Armento, breaking into an apartment. Armento shot Enchautegui, but the prosecutors are seeking to prove that Brancato knew his friend was armed and therefore shares in his guilt.
False imprisonment cases are relatively rare but Boy George is standing trial in England for the false imprisonment of a male escort. In addition to the crime of false imprisonment, it is possible for Norwegian escort Audun Carlsen, 23, to sue civilly. The trial is unfolding in an appropriately named Snaresbrook Court and Boy George, 47 (whose real name is George O’Dowd) denies the charges.
Just when you thought that football star Michael Vick’s reputation could not get any worse than after his conviction for dog fighting, it does. A new report states that Vick personally killed at least seven of his fighting dogs by hanging or drowning. The report also says that Vick failed police polygraph tests in which he denied killing animals.
Phillip Sherman has a super-sized problem. He went to a Fayetteville, Arkansas restaurant and left his cell phone on the table with nude pictures of his wife. While he said the store promised to hold the phone for him, the pictures and embarrassing information appears on the Internet. He is now suing McDonalds for $3 million dollars.
In what may be the first acoustic Eighth Amendment violation for cruel and unusual punishment, Fort Lupton Municipal Judge Paul Sacco has sentenced noise violators to listen to music that they do not like. I can barely stand hearing I Write the Songs once a year in an elevator. I often claw at the door to get out a floor early. On the serious side, it is the latest in a dangerous trend of novel punishments where judges appear to have sport with citizens pulled before them.
Waukegan radio station WXLC is being sued after having women compete to go on a date with a “great guy” Travis Harvey, 46. The radio station did not mention that Harvey had been convicted of violating an order for protection. He has now pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the “winner” in the contest, a 24-year-old who went on the date in February 2007.
The Chinese regime is perfectly happy with sex, guns, and rock ‘n roll. However, it has banned the latest Guns N’ Roses album for one word that is strictly forbidden for Chinese consumers to contemplate, let alone dance to: democracy. The Chinese have banned the new album, “Chinese Democracy” for its offensive content. Here is your Zen for the morning: if a billion Chinese dance to Chinese Democracy, but do not officially hear it– does it make a sound?
American elected officials showed a shocking lack of knowledge about government, history, and basic constitutional principles in a national survey. They scored a failing grade of just 44 percent on a basic test of knowledge of our nation in a quiz by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI). Average citizens scored 49 percent. Note: many of these people scored less than a random or blind selection of answers — quite an achievement.
Algeria’s highest court (in a country supposedly committed to secular values) has imposed prison sentences on three men caught smoking during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. In a purported triumph of the rule of law, the Algiers appeals court reduced the prison sentence from three years to two months. However, the men were still convicted for “offending religion.”
Gary Khera, went with his wife to the Union Mission in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina to give money to charity. The church, however, told him to take off his religious turban while inside the mission — Sir, you have to take your turban off. This is the United States. The Church stands by the demand that religious headwear have the same status as a baseball cap. A typical turban, or dastar, (as shown left) should not be removed by a religious Sikh.
Tabitha Mullings is suing Brooklyn Hospital Center after a “medical mistake” allegedly led to the loss of all of her limbs during a visit over a simple kidney stone. Mullings was sent home with painkillers, leaving an infection untreated due to the failure to have a blood test performed. She collapsed in a matter of days into a semi-coma, only to wake without any arms or legs.
Malaysia’s top Islamic body has banned Muslims from practicing yoga, saying that yoga can corrupt Muslims and introduce them to elements of Hinduism. The decision was made by the National Fatwa Council, which says that yoga is based on elements of Hindu worship and chanting.
Former Republican legislator Robert A. McKee, 59, has been sentencing to more than three years in prison for possession of child pornography. McKee was not just a First Christian Church trustee and executive director of the Hagerstown Big Brothers Big Sisters — he was a key sponsor of the Child Protection from Predators Act this year.
When Kenyatta Hillman and his friend were stopped by an Orange County deputy sheriff for speeding, he thought it was a simple matter of a ticket. Then the officer spied a new Xbox in the backseat. The officer insisted on checking if the Xbox serial number showed that it was stolen. It wasn’t, but the officer said he wanted to keep it anyway and took off with the Xbox and various games. When Hillman went to retrieve it, the station initially said it had no such item.
Florida School officials at the Stuart’s Spectrum Jr./Sr. High School had a twelve-year-old Florida student arrested for “deliberately passed gas to disrupt the class.” What is astonishing that that there were not only clueless teachers who would call police on such a matter, but that they found abusive police officers who would make an arrest on such grounds. This is not the first arrest due to flatulence in the first degree.
The good people of Vineland, New Jersey are demanding that an elementary school cafeteria worker and playground monitor be fired from her $5,772 a year part-time job because of her prior work in the adult entertainment industry. Louisa C. Tuck, 32, was known as Crystal Gunns and the parents want her fired despite the fact that her prior job was legal and she has done nothing wrong as a part-time worker. Indeed, the only problem is likely to be the number of father’s crowding the lunchroom in a sudden interest in having a meal with their children.
This video should be a classic for years to come. Gov. Sarah Palin gave an interview this week after giving a turkey the annual reprieve — a photo op that all politicians crave. This is not exactly what they strive for. As she speaks to reporters, look over her shoulder. A man proceeds to slaughter less politically connected turkeys behind her.
In bombshell testimony, Ashley Grills, a co-worker and friend of Lori Drew, admitted under a grand of immunity that it was her idea to set up Megan Meier, 13. Grills also admitted that she was the one who sent the terrible final message that told Meier that the world would be better without her — just before Meier committed suicide.
Extremist Hindu groups have reportedly offered rewards or bounties on killing Christians in India. There has been a sharp increase in attacks on Christians in India. This controversy has sprung up in England after the government refused to bar entry to members of such groups as Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), despite their allegedly offering such bounties as $250 for killing a pastor and other such rewards.