Archive for March, 2011

There is an incredible lawsuit pending in Salt Lake City, Utah. Perry Tucker and and his fiancée Brieanne Matson were concerned when Joey Tucker left the house without taking his diabetes medication and may have taken a sleeping pill. They allege that Salt Lake police officers responded by forcing Tucker off the road into a concrete barrier and then shooting him to death. The police insist that Tucker was a danger and reversed his car toward the officers.

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Marilyn Leisz has a novel tort lawsuit in Paterson, New Jersey. A jury is deliberating over her claim that Bergen County plastic surgeon Dr. Paul Parker botched her plastic surgery so that she can no longer close her eyes.
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The Indiana House has approved one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation, but not after a bizarre debate led by sponsor state Rep. Eric Turner (R). When Democratic legislators asked for an exception for rape and incest, Turner cried foul and warned that women would just fake rapes to get some of those free abortions. The Indiana House agreed and rejected the amendment.
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President Barack Obama has continued his morphing into George W. Bush this week with a speech today calling for expanded oil drilling — a departure from his promise to focus on renewable energy. Tell me who this sounds like: “Producing more oil in America can help lower oil prices, can help create jobs and can enhance our energy security.”
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Indian legislators in Gujarat have banned a book by Pulitzer-Prize winner Joseph Lelyveld because it reportedly suggests that Mahatma Gandhi was gay. The book discusses Gandhi’s relationship with a German man named Hermann Kallenbach (who is shown here on the right with Gandhi). Lelyveld insists that the legislators are misreading the book, “Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle With India,” but the legislators want the book banned. Of course, Candhi was a champion for free speech but the legislators see no contradiction.
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Before the oral argument in the Walmart case this week, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia was ticketed for causing a four car accident on the George Washington Parkway.
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The video below is part of an investigation by the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office into a confrontation between officers from rivaling jurisdicitons: the Darby and Colwyn Police departments. After the Colwyn police arrested a man a block over the line in Darby, a confrontation occurred at the scene.

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This could make for an interesting lawsuit. A college senior in Colorado has filed a Better Business Bureau complaint against Essaywritingcompany.com, owned by Jordan Kavoosi, after the Minnesota company allegedly failed to deliver the paper in time. This may appear a bit odd since the student is complaining about a company that cheated her in her effort to cheat, but the student wants a refund.
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A vegan couple in France has been charged with criminal neglect after the death of their 11-month-old daughter. Sergine and Joel Le Moaligou were charged after their daughter died from vitamin deficiency due to the fact that they only fed her mother’s milk. In a prior column, I wrote about the disparate treatment given parents who kill their children for religious reasons as opposed to non-religious neglect.
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Sometimes I get the feeling that politicians engage in a type of political Garanimals games: match any two or three signature words to enhance their political effect. Newt Gingrich warned citizens of how atheists and Islamic radicals would join together to destroy American. Now, presidential candidate Rick Santorum has combined abortion with social security to say that America’s
“abortion culture” is the reason that the Social Security system is failing. He would have gotten the full ten points if he added “feminists” or “environmentalists” in the dire warning.

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This lovely place is Mercury — the first image taken from a spacecraft in orbit around the planet. The picture was sent back by NASA’s Mercury Messenger probe.

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Dr. Wendy Walsh has added to the increasing claims against atheists from their taking over the country in league with Islamic radicals (Gingrich) or destroying the world (various political and religious leaders). Dr. Walsh has told the nation on CNN that “studies” show atheists always die first in survival situations.
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Police in Fort Lee, New Jersey are accused of locking a van of teens in a police van without heat or water for 14 hours. The teens were rounded up at high school house party over the weekend and apparently forgotten until a passerby heard the teens screaming.

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An amazing discovery has occurred in England where a 2,500-year-old human skull was discovered and inside was a well-preserved 2,500-year-old human brain. It was well preserved in the wet soil in the area.

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With the United States economy tanking and vital programs being cut for lack of money on both the federal and state levels, President Barack Obama has already spent over $600 million in just six days in the Libyan war. The U.S. is now actively fighting the war on the side of the rebels — an intervention in a civil war that has been embraced by liberals like Nancy Pelosi.

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Newt Gingrich is on a roll. Only a couple of weeks ago, Gingrich explained how his “passion” for the country led to his repeated adulterous affairs. Now, he is warning about the importance of the next presidential election — and presumably his election: “I am convinced that if we do not decisively win the struggle over the nature of America, by the time they’re my age they will be in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists and with no understanding of what it once meant to be an American.” There you have it. Atheists and Islamic radicals will take over — a curious alliance to be sure.

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For those of us who are incredulous at the changing rationales for our intervention in the Libyan civil war, Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough has come to the rescue. He told reporters that “we don’t make decisions about questions like intervention based on consistency or precedent. We make them based on how we can best advance our interests in the region.” Thus, inconsistency is the consistent policy that we are trying to advance?

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If the simple pot possession case against Willy Nelson is any measure, West Texas justice appears based on some fundamental differences from the rest of the country. While such minor charges are generally handled by mail, Hudspeth County’s judge Becky Dean-Walker has demanded that the star appear before her in her courtroom. Now, County Attorney Kit Bramblett is joining in on the fun with Nelson by offering a plea only if Nelson sings “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” for the court. I hate to be a cold blanket, but find this neither funny nor tolerable for a legal system. Both the judge and the prosecutor appear to be intoxicated by celebrity crime.

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There is an interesting ruling out of Oregon where the Court of Appeals ruled that teeth cannot be treated as a dangerous weapon for the purposes of establishing a basis for first-degree assault conviction of Scott Russell Kuperus II. It is a clear case of prosecutorial over-charging and a trial judge who failed in protecting against such abusive claims.
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There is a bizarre confrontation in Salisbury, Connecticut where state police have applied for a warrant to arrest Superior Court judge Corinne L. Klatt after refusing to sign a prior arrest warrant. Salisbury Resident Trooper Mark Lauretano charges that Klatt is guilty of coercion and hindering a criminal investigation by refusing to sign the warrant.

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It is one of the worst pranks played in schools. A friend starts to sit down and a student holds a pencil pointing up on the chair. Millions of kids have either been the culprit or the victim of this prank. However, in Ohio, one such 12-year-old child has been arrested and charged criminally after he played the prank during choir class — leading to the other 12-year-old boy being sent to the hospital.
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A Texas jury sentenced James Steven Corley, 52, to 99 years in jail after his 16th conviction for driving while intoxicated. The jury deliberated only an hour after the guilty verdict in handing down the extreme sentence.
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There may be a lawsuit in the making in Ohio where a mother has accused Army recruiters of causing her son’s death through draconian dieting techniques. The death of Glenni Wilsey, 20, would normally be a pure case of assumption of the risk. However, the recruiters allegedly recommended a bizarre and dangerous course to qualify for the Army’s EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) Unit.
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 Submitted by Elaine Magliaro, Guest Blogger

A few days ago, I was listening to All Things Considered on NPR while I was driving in my car. Host John Burnett was talking about an investigation into Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility in Mississippi. The prison facility for youthful offenders is being run by a private company called GEO Group. According to NPR, privatized prison services are a $3 billion dollar industry in this country—and GEO Group is our nation’s second largest for-profit prison operator.

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-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

 

John Brennan

 

John O. Brennan is Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, and Assistant to the President. In remarks made at the Brennan Center for Justice, NYU School of Law, Brennan presented a forceful public call for the closure of the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center and the use of the federal courts to try some of the detainees there. Key word: some.

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 Submitted by Elaine Magliaro, Guest Blogger

Rudy: Hey, Jack, did you hear about that naughty dog named Denver who ate a whole bag of cat treats while his owner was out of the house? Well, his owner figured out who the culprit was and gave him a timeout in the kennel. Maybe Mom and Dad should do the same thing to you when you empty my food dish!

Jack: Aw…you don’t mean that, do you, buddy? We Labs are active dogs. We need continual sustenance so we can maintain our high energy level.

Rudy: Energy smenergy! I’d like you to stay the heck away from my cat food!

Jack: Rudy, little bro, I may feed from your food dish—but I’d NEVER eat a whole bag of your kitty treats! Trust me.

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-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

in 2004, in an effort to increase minority home ownership, then-Gov. Pawlenty urged the Minnesota Housing Financing Agency (MHFA) to partner with local groups and businesses. The MHFA partnered with the African Development Center (ADC), developing culturally sensitive financial products that would allow Muslims to own homes. Sharia (Islamic law) prohibits the payment or acceptance of interest fees for loans of money. Charging interest on loans is also forbidden according to Jewish law.

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Look Through Any Window

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger


This morning we present The Hollies in glorious STEREO!

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Submitted By Lawrence Rafferty, (rafflaw), Guest Blogger

 

 

When someone mentions the United States Chamber of Commerce to me, I automatically think of the recent claims that were made that the Chamber solicited campaign donations from foreign corporations during the last election cycle. “A ThinkProgress investigation has found that the Chamber funds its political attack campaign out of its general account, which solicits foreign funding. And while the Chamber will likely assert it has internal controls, foreign money is fungible, permitting the Chamber to run its unprecedented attack campaign. According to legal experts consulted by ThinkProgress, the Chamber is likely skirting longstanding campaign finance law that bans the involvement of foreign corporations in American elections.” Think Progress   While that may be an atrocious and possibly illegal funding of domestic elections with foreign money, I am not currently interested in that “activity” of our friends at the Chamber of Commerce. Something else caught my eye! (more…)

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Submitted by Elaine Magliaro, Guest Blogger

The Society of Jesus, Oregon Province—a group of Jesuits who serve the Northwest—has agreed to pay a settlement of $166 million to childhood victims of sexual and physical abuse. The abuse of approximately 500 Native Americans and Alaskan Natives is reported to have taken place at mission and boarding schools operated by the Jesuits on Indian Reservations in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, and Montana.

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-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

Bryan Fischer is the director of analysis for government and policy for the American Family Association (designated a hate group by the SPLC), which claims 2 million online supporters and 180,000 subscribers to its AFA Journal. Fischer recently said that the First Amendment doesn’t apply to Muslims, writing: “Islam has no fundamental First Amendment claims, for the simple reason that it was not written to protect the religion of Islam.”

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-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

Liberty Dollar

Bernard von NotHaus, 67, was convicted making coins resembling and similar to United States coins; of issuing, passing, selling and possessing Liberty Dollar coins; of issuing and passing Liberty Dollar coins intended for use as current money; and of conspiracy against the United States.

von NotHaus was charged with violation of 18 U.S.C. § 485, conspiracy to possess and sell coins in resemblance or similitude of any foreign gold or silver coin current in the United States or in actual use and circulation as money within the United States.

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19th Nervous Breakdown

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger


Presented for your listening enjoyment, The Rolling Stones, in glorious STEREO!

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The Syrian government has reportedly opened fired on protesters soon after President Bashar al-Assad promised to put an end to protests. The reported massacre occurred in the city of Sanamin near Daraa. Given President Barack Obama’s rationale for going to war in Libya, doesn’t that mean we will soon be bombing Damascus as we have Tripoli? After all, both Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton insisted that they had no choice when it was clear that the government was shooting protesters. Now, Syrian protesters can claim the same right to a U.S. led “time-limited, scope-limited military action.”

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This highly disturbing video (below) has just come to light showing five Brazilian police officers pushing around a young unarmed boy. He is then shot five times, including in the cheRst.
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Roughly four out of ten Americans still like that old testament version of God — full of wrath and fury. A poll by Public Religion Research Institute and Religion News Surveshows that forty percent of our citizens still believe that God directs such disasters like the Japanese earthquake for a purpose. It is not clear what God had against the Japanese, but these citizens believe it was for a divine purpose. They are not alone Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara called the earthquake and tsunami in Japan tembatsu — or “divine judgment”
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We have previously followed the feudal system created by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona. Arpaio’s insatiable desire for media attention has led him to turn over areas of his office to Hollywood producers. Last week, Arpaio’s unhinged administration gave the public another bizarre scene as Steven Seagal was seen attacking a home with a tank, armored cars, bomb robot, and dozens of SWAT team members. The crime? Suspected involvement in cockfighting.

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Indiana prosecutor Carlos Lam has resigned in a bizarre scandal where he admitted to sending an email to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker suggesting that he get a supporter to attack him to frame the unions and discredit their cause. While first denying that he sent the email, Lam eventually fessed up and resigned. Indiana prosecutors seem to be a bit obsessed with the union protests in Wisconsin. If you recall, we previously followed the case of Jeffrey Cox, a deputy attorney general, who was fired after reportedly suggesting the use of live ammunition against protesters.
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Many citizens are breathing a sense of relief today. When we saw the Obama Administration bomb the capital of a sovereign nation and openly support rebel forces in the field, many jumped to conclusions and asked how Obama could start a war without congressional approval under Article I. White House Spokesman Jay Carney has finally set the record straight. This may look like war but it is really “a time-limited, scope-limited military action.”
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President Obama has continued his attack on basic constitutional and legal principles with an astonishing new order that allows investigators to not only hold domestic terror suspects for longer periods but to deny them Miranda rights under a strained interpretation of the public safety exception. Obama had attempted to get this change from Congress but was rebuffed. He has now again adopted a tactic of his predecessor and acted unilaterally to trump recognized constitutional rights.
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There is an interesting case out of Berkeley, Illinois involving alleged religious discrimination. The Obama Administration is supporting former teacher Safoorah Khan who alleged discrimination at her middle school after she was refused leave of three weeks to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca. The school insists that she was the only math lab instructor and would have left at the critical end-of-semester period for the school.

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Environmentalists are again calling foul after the announcement of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar that the Obama Administration has approved the expansion in coal mining and four new permits for deepwater offshore oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The increased coal production could cause U.S. climate pollution to rise by more than 50 percent, Glenn Hurowitz, a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy, has claimed that the expansion of the coal production could increase pollution by more than 50 percent.

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Recently, we saw how Wisconsin Justice David Prosser is running for reelection after calling Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson a “total bitch.” Throwing aside notions of judicial decorum, Prosser has insisted that he meant every word, including his promise to “destroy” her. Now, it has been disclosed that Prosser and three of his fellow conservative justices voted to rejected an ethics rule barring them from hearing cases of major campaign contributors and then reportedly adopted a rule drafted by corporate lobbyists.
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Former Qwest Communications CEO Joseph Nacchio is suing Herbert Stern and his New Jersey law firm, Stern & Kilcullen LLC for overbilling and a “negligent” defense. Stern’s partner, Kevin Kilcullen, also was named as a defendant. Nacchio includes the allegations that the lawyers charged him for underwear. Please tell me this is a misunderstanding over the meaning of the term “briefs.”

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CNN’s Nancy Grace has long been an embarrassment for many lawyers as a type of legal Glenn Beck. As noted in this column and prior blogs, Grace (who often refers to her work as a prosecutor) was repeatedly sanctioned for abuses and was viewed as something of a scandal in Alabama. Even in the face of lawsuits, CNN has kept her snarling, abusive show for the same reason Fox has kept Beck — in a blind pursuit of ratings without consideration for decent or journalistic values. This clip, however, shows that Grace not only can attack guests and savage constitutional rights — she feels equally competent to attack meteorologists over weather and science.
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As the costs of the latest military campaign in Libya reaches hundreds of millions of dollars for the United States, Germany is pulling out of the operation out of concern over being pulled deeper in the conflict. In the meantime, Britain is expanding the mission to call for the assassination of Gaddafi — the leader of a sovereign nation in the midst of a civil war.

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The Ninth Circuit has handed down a decision affirming the earlier decision striking down the Stolen Valor Act. Passed in 2005, the Act has been criticized by civil libertarians as an attack on free speech. Here is a prior column on the Act. Now, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski has added his own voice to this debate — finding such lies protected under the first amendment. In a concurring opinion, Kozinski notes “Saints may always tell the truth, but for mortals living means lying.”

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We just saw how one Chinese mogul decided to display his wealth by paying $1.5 million for the world’s most expensive dog. Now we have a Chinese businessman, Han Nan, who wanted to show his frustration over the failure of Lamborghini to fix a problem with his Gallardo. His solution: hire workers to destroy the car with sledgehammers . . . to teach his mechanic a lesson. The price of the car is much higher given the need to ship to China.

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I was a bit astonished this morning in watching CNN to see a story on the rescue of U.S. pilots after their F-15E Eagle crashed in Libya. The story did not mention what would appear the most newsworthy aspect of the story: the allegation that our helicopter mowed down Libyans who ran out to help the pilots.
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This is a fascinating video that I saw on Reddit. Russian troops are trying to trigger a controlled avalanche but it turns out a bit bigger than anticipated in North Ossetia, Russia.
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