Archive for March, 2009

England flag200px-flag_of_the_united_statessvgFirst, there was the embarrassing and insulting treatment of the Brown family by the White House during the recent state visit. Now, the White House has put out a briefing booklet that appears to go out of its way to insult the British from referring to them as a declining world power to elevating France over Britain as an ally to noting its small size. It seems that the White House has been taken over by anglophobes.

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corri-fetman-playboy-lawyer-of-loveChicago divorce attorney, Corri Fetman, 45, is suing Playboy magazine alleging that an executive Thomas Hagopian harassed her and eventually dropped her column from the magazine where she wrote under the nom de guerre “Lawyer of Love.” Fetman previously posed nude for the magazine and has maintained a highly controversial practice in my home town of Chicago.
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supreme courtIn Philip Morris USA v. Williams, the Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal as “improvidently granted” in a long struggle with the Oregon Supreme Court. The Court had previously sent the case back twice to tell the Oregon court to review its huge punitive award. In this staring contest, the U.S. Supreme Court just blinked after the Oregon Supreme Court refused to consider the issues sent back on remand — instead upholding its $79.5 million punitive award million award on state grounds. With interest, that award may have doubled.

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41587058-12191952ht_ramkissoon_080812_mnProsecutors in Maryland appear to have cut a bizarre deal with a former religious cult member. Ria Ramkissoon, 22, agreed to plead guilty in the murder of her 1-year-old son, Javon Thompson, but, if he is resurrected, the deal is off.
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george20skumanickThere is a very interesting case out of Pennsylvania where U.S. District Judge James M. Munley granted a temporary injunction to prevent Wyoming County District Attorney George Skumanick Jr. (left) from charging three teen girls who appeared in seminude photographs traded by classmates. A common practice called “sexting.” It is extremely uncommon to see an injunction of a criminal charge.

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genthumbgenthumb-1Three generation of Shoemakers are in jail tonight in a fight over a dog. Police in Walkersville, Maryland were called to the home after a man said that his father Michael Shoemaker, 42, (left) and his 17 year old brother had broken into his house and stolen his dog.

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torture -abu ghraib225px-george-w-bushThe Washington Post is reporting that the torture ofhigh-value captive, Abu Zubaida produced nothing but false leads — in direct contradiction of suggestions by former Vice President Dick Cheney and others who endorsed the torture program and use of waterboarding. Moreover, the report indicates that the Administration quickly learned that Zubaida was not the high-profile, highly placed Al Qaeda operative that they told the public. I discussed the latest developments on this segment of Countdown.

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125px-flag_of_moroccosvgMorocco has joined the list of Islamic nations denying freedom of religion to its citizens. Five women were arrested by authorities and sent to Spain after they were caught allegedly in the act of converting Muslims to Christianity. Presumably, any effort to teach Muslims the benefits or values of Christianity could qualify for this particular offense.

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logo-sealhunt09People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has been repeatedly criticized over its pet program that seems long on euthanasia and short on adoption. Now, the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) published documents online showing that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) killed 95 percent of the adoptable pets in its care during 2008. As noted below, CCF is as controversial as PETA however.

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torture -abu ghraib200px-flag_of_spainsvg Spanish investigating magistrate Baltasar Garzon has passed a 98-page complaint to prosecutors that accuses former Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and five others violations of international law, including torture.
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gavel2An interesting case has emerged from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals which removed Judge Dean Whipple of the Western District in Kansas City, Missouri for bias in a contract case. The judge insists that he was pushed over the edge in an exchange with Fred Starrett of Lathrop & Gage in Overland Park, Kansas who represented Sentis Group Inc., and owner Alan Barazi, regarding a contract with Shell Oil Co. to operate 29 mini-mart gas stations in Kansas City.
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sendbinaryAccording to an Internet report, Washington, D.C. lawyer Thomas Dunlap of Dunlap, Grubb and Weaver has been peddling a tape for a “friend” of Vice President Joseph Biden’s daughter, Ashley, allegedly snorting cocaine at a party in Delaware. With rising criticism in the press, Dunlap reportedly has withdrawn from his controversial role in this political version of the Michael Phelps pot shot. Radar Online is suggesting that the presumably now former friend may have set up Biden by buying the cocaine and hiding the camera — claims that (if proven) could lead to liability for the individual.
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jason_leroy_savageOne of our favorite Valentine stories has come to an end. Jason Leroy Savage, 29, has been sentenced for having sex with a car wash vacuum. He was given 90 days in prison in Saginaw County, Michigan where they never set their vacuums for shag.
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Canine Racial Harmony

humorous-006_smallIn light of the racial animus raised in the Covington & Burling dispute, we submit this photo to show how other species have learned to overcome such issues.

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125px-star_of_davidsvgthumb_election_scales1Courts in various countries are increasing being asked to enforce the judgments of religious courts — a trend that bothers many civil libertarians. These cases often involve private agreements to submit cases to such courts in arbitration or mediation. An interesting case in New York, however, shows that such courts often lack back professional or ethical guarantees. A New York trial court has thrown out the ruling of a religious court on the grounds of a “judge” in a Rabbinical Court (Beth Din) having possible bias.

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