Best wishes to all on this Memorial Day. We are camping today in the Shenandoah but my thoughts will be with my late father, Jack Turley, who served in the Pacific with the Navy and all of the others who served and continue to serve this country.
Archive for May, 2010
An arrest in New Hampshire has revealed a shocking story of a 15-year-old girl who was raped and impregnated by a leading church member at the Trinity Baptist Church in 1997. She was allegedly forced by the church to stand before the congregation and apologize before being taken out of state — and out of the reach of police investigating the rape.
Hollywood stars appear to be yearning for some authoritarian relief. This week, Oliver Stone proclaimed his deep admiration of Hugo Chavez, who has stifled dissent and cracked down on journalists in his country. In the meantime, Woody Allen stated that Obama should be given dictatorial powers.
We have been following how police in the United States and abroad have started to arrest people filming them in public, including today’s story out of California (here). Maryland police continue (in my view wrongly) to claim that recording them in public is a crime in that state as shown in this video from the Preakness.
When Michael Clauer went to Iraq as a captain commanding over 100 soldiers in Iraq, he was likely contemplating many potential dire consequences, but he probably was not thinking about the threat posed by his homeowners’ association. Because Clauer’s wife did not pay the homeowners’ fees, the association foreclosed on his $300,000 house and sold it for $3,500. They owed only $800. The story reveals the gross abuse allowed under a Texas law which gives such associations the right to foreclose on homes for failure to pay ANY amount — and to foreclose without a court order. Select Management Co., which runs the development, has refused any comment.
After months of evading questions, the White House appears to have confirmed that it did play a leading role in trying to get Rep. Joe Sestak to drop out of the race against now defeated Sen. Arlen Specter. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel reportedly asked former President Bill Clinton to offer an unpaid position on an intelligence board in exchange for Sestak pulling out.
In a little reported story, scientists have made a breakthrough in the fight against Ebola — the often fatal “bleeding disease.” Thomas Geisbert of Boston University and a team of researchers have developed an experimental drug that appears to protect monkeys from the most lethal strain of Ebola.
While the Catholic Church may be criticized for covering up crimes by priests and resisting efforts to discipline offenders, it seems to waste to time with errant nuns. Sister Margaret McBride has been excommunicated for the offense of approving an abortion to protect the life of a mother as a senior administrator of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix. There does not even appear to be any room for mitigating circumstances in such a case. Bishop Thomas Olmstead (left) immediately excommunicated McBride.
Pakistani fertilizer dealer Malik Mohammad Iqbal, 42, and his eunuch partner “Rani” Kashif, 19, are at the center of a controversy over whether they were throwing a party with other “eunuchs” or throwing a wedding party. They have been charged with trying to wed and unnatural acts under a Sharia-based law.
Two Israeli activists were arrested for shouting insults at White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in Israel this week. The activists spotted Emanuel in Jerusalem’s Old City with his family and shouted “Jerusalem is not for sale.” Heck, Rahm Emanuel is known to say worse stuff in a shower, here. That would be protected speech in the United States, but it appears that you can be arrested for shouting at celebrities and high-ranking officials in Israel.
There was a time when we got things like the Beatles and Monty Python from our British cousins. The most recent import from England, however, is far less redeeming: vodka eyeballing. Upset that vodka shots took too long to be absorbed into their blood streams, British drinkers have discovered that pouring vodka directly into your eye socket results in a faster avenue to inebriation.
The legal situation over the Deepwater Horizon explosion appears to be getting more serious as accounts emerged that there was a serious argument between Transocean and BP officials shortly before the blast — with references to the possible use of the blowout preventer. One BP official, Robert Kaluza, has become the first known person associated with the blast to invoke the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination to refuse to answer questions.
Amnesty International (winner of the Nobel Peace Prize) has issued a 430-page report accusing both Israel and Hamas of war crimes. While few have any illusions about Hamas and its violation of international law, the accusations against Israel are quite damaging and join those of the United Nations investigation by the Goldstone Commission.
A truck hauling 7,000 hives was involved in a four-car accident in Minnesota. A report says that “rescue crews were using fire hoses to douse an angry swarm of bees.” That does not seem like a good way of calming irate bees.
In my younger days, I worked as an assistant to a bee researcher at the Chesapeake Bay Center for Environmental Research in Maryland. We would use smoke to quiet the bees, but that might not appeal to firefighters.
For the full story, click here.
The United States Senate yielded again to demands from the powerful pharmaceutical lobby and killed two separate proposals that would have allowed citizens to obtain cheaper drugs in the United States. Both the White House and Congress have been killing such proposals despite the fact that soaring drug costs are crippling many families. The vote was 51-48 on the first bill by Sen. Byron Dorgan (with 25 sponsors).
Arizona Senatorial candidate and conservative commentator J.D. Hayworth may have some explaining to do to the “greatest generation” and his high school history professor. Hayworth has insisted that the United States never declared war on Germany in World War II — leading to this video. (I must say that with the Frog video on immigration (here), this Arizona election is becoming quite entertaining). As Thomas Jefferson said, “History, in general, only informs us what bad government is.”
The Washington Post has an interesting article today on the stock trades of Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.). I have been a long critic of members playing the stock market (here) given the dangers posed by insider information and advantage. With considerable resources tied up in particular areas, members can influence the markets through legislation or anticipate market shifts due to forthcoming changes.
Jason Robinson, 32, has been removed as head football coach for the Mandarin High School in Jacksonville, Florida after allegedly sending inappropriate pictures to his 20-year-old girlfriend. The age of the girlfriend makes this story rather interesting since two adults sharing such pictures should not normally be a matter for discipline let alone removal.
We have been following the sexual harassment lawsuit filed by former George Mason Clinical professor Kyndra Rotunda (wife of constitutional law professor Ron Rotunda) against George Mason Law School and Dean Daniel Polsby (left). This week, U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema not only dismissed the sexual harassment claims against Polsby and the school but barred Rotunda from amending her complaint.
There is a growing controversy in Illinois where School District 113 has blocked the Township High School ‘s Girls Varsity Basketball Team from traveling to Arizona in December due to the passage of that state’s controversial immigration law. I was asked to consider the argument of the District that it was compelled to bar such travel as a constitutional matter. While I respect (and share) the concerns of the Board over this law, I do not believe the trip is barred as a matter of constitutional law. Given the hard work of these girls in achieving such a honor, I believe the board should reconsider its decision if they make the championship. While there remain legitimate objections to the law, I do not believe that this bar on travel is compelled as a legal matter.
It appears that officials will not allow free range chickens to roam on election day in Nevada. Republican Senate candidate Sue Lowden has been ridiculed for her comment about how people used to barter for medical care. Critics have suggested that she was looking back fondly on the way “our grandparents would bring a chicken to the doctor.” Now, officials have banned chicken suits at polling places to stop critics from ridiculing Lowden.
Rape shield laws have always been controversial with defense counsel and some civil libertarians because they shield the identity of the alleged victim but not the alleged attacker. Now, the coalition government in England appears ready to address that controversy by banning the identification of both alleged victims and criminal defendants in rape cases.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) has turned to humor and an amphibian advocate to make her case to Arizona voters — making fun at critics who have been denouncing the Arizona law without reading it. The video has become a hit and pushed Brewer ahead of her Democratic opponent in the race, Terry Goddard.
The Obama Administration appears close to doing what many thought was unthinkable from a political standpoint: opposing the enforcement of federal law for any illegal immigrants caught in Arizona. That appears to be the suggestion of John Morton, assistant secretary of homeland security for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in an interview this week.