Submitted by Lawrence Rafferty, (rafflaw), Guest Blogger
Earlier this month, President Barack Obama announced that he was considering an Executive Order that would mandate that all contractors who receive Federal money must disclose their political contributions. Since I am not a big fan of Executive Orders and since President Obama was not a big fan of Executive Orders when he was a candidate, I was not especially enthralled about the possibility of another Executive Order. However, once I read what the proposed Executive Order was going to do, I have to admit that I embraced it with open arms. Continue reading ‘John Yoo Calls the Kettle Black’
Last Wednesday, the Supreme Court handed down its ruling in the case of AT & T Mobility v. Concepcion. The justices split along ideological lines once again. The 5 to 4 decision came down on the side of corporations—and most likely eliminated the right of citizens to band together to bring class action lawsuits against large corporations.
The Concepcion case involved cellphones and a common type of contract that requires customers to press their claims through arbitration instead of through lawsuits. As reported by Robert Barnes in The Washington Post, these types of contracts “which mandate individual rather than group claims, are becoming standard for companies offering loans, cable service, credit cards and even employment.”
Well, the Alabama Senate finally got around to it. A vote Wednesday eliminated Jim Crow laws and other segregationist measures in the State’s 340,000 word constitution that was adopted in 1901. The struck language eliminates requirements for separation of the races in educational institutions and the infamous polls taxes. The vote was 22-9 with all Republican senators voting in favor of the legislation.
Some Democratic legislators opposed the bill as too little, too late. Sen. Linda Coleman, D-Birmingham, said there were still racist problems in Alabama’s constitution, including schools that she said are not equitably funded. “This bill to me is a farce. It’s a smokescreen,” Coleman said. ” Jim Crow is still here…. We know there are disparities,” she added. Continue reading ‘‘Bama Finally Bids Jim Crow Adieu’
In the 1969 case Chimel v. California, the Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision, held that an “arresting officer may search the arrestee’s person to discover and remove weapons and to seize evidence to prevent its concealment or destruction.” The search also included “the area “within the immediate control” of the person arrested, meaning the area from which he might gain possession of a weapon or destructible evidence.” This case created the Chimel rule allowing warrantless searches incident to a lawful arrest.
After arresting hundreds of Christians for attempting to worship in unapproved services, the Chinese have turned to Buddhists for a crackdown that has reportedly taken the lives of two Tibetans. Chinese forces raided the Kirti Monastery (shown left) after accusing monks of disrupting social order and . . . wait for it . . . defaming their religion. That’s right, the government that occupied Tibet, killed Tibetan monks, sent the Dalai Lama in hiding, and destroyed countless temples has accused these monks of defaming their own religion.
We have previously followed the trend against free speech in the West ranging from anti-blasphemy laws (including a resolution supported by President Obama) to hate speech prosecutions for criticizing everything from religion to homosexuality to overweight people. England has been a focus of many of these stories. Now, on the Isle of Wight, musician Simon Ledger, 34, has been arrested after singing “Kung Fu Fighting” and a passing person of Chinese descent cried foul.
It turns out Barack Obama is . . . is . . . a citizen. The White House has released President Obama’s long-form birth certificate to put the growing controversy to rest over his birth. Many of us have been critical of the birther conspiracy theories. However, I am not sure why the White House did not do this earlier since it addresses the allegations fully. It will be interesting to see that, now that Obama has produced the certificate, if the movement for state ballot laws declines. While it has been repeatedly stated that the laws are not about Obama, but we will see. Continue reading ‘Aloha, Birthers: Obama Releases Long Form Birth Certificate’
A bus driver in Texas received an extraordinary $21,000 settlement for conduct that justifiably led to his termination. Edwin Graning received the settlement from the Capital Area Rural Transportation System (CARTS) in Texas after he was fired for refusing to drive two women to a Planned Parenthood clinic last year. This seems a case of putting the CARTS before the horse in reaching a settlement before the other party has made a viable claim.
Keith Cowing is a blogger on Space Ref, a science blog, and was surprised recently to receive a call from the White House. White House staffer Rick Weiss reportedly called to warn him that his inclusion of the seal of Executive Office of the President of the United States violated federal law because it could be viewed as a product endorsement. A review of the blog entry demonstrates the claim to be preposterous in my view and I am unsure why the White House is spending such much time searching for seal misuses rather than . . . let’s see . . . war crimes. Continue reading ‘HEY LOOK, THE WHITE HOUSE SEAL IS NOW ON THE TURLEY BLOG!’
In Waukegan, Illinois, Helen Miller is suing over what is traditionally viewed as an act of God: a tree branch that fell during a thunderstorm and impaled her in the stomach while she was driving. Such acts normally cut off proximate causation, but she is suing the Vista Health System Surgery and Treatment Center for allegedly failing to properly maintain the tree.
President Barack Obama this week stepped over the line of both protocol and ethics by publicly declaring Bradley Manning guilty of crimes. During a speech, Obama stated Manning “broke the law” to an audience in an act that could be challenged as undue command influence in the military system and violates a long-standing rule of presidents refraining from prejudicing trials. Manning is accused of being the source for the wikileaks material, which have shown that the Administration and prior Administrations have lied to the American people in various areas of policy.
Various people had criticized the new groping searches by the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) as assault and, when done on children, something akin to molestation. According to police, one alleged child pornography addict found the TSA the perfect job. TSA Officer Thomas Gordon Jr. of Philadelphia has been arrested for uploading explicit pictures of young girls to an Internet site. What is astonishing is that Gordon posted a photograph of himself in his TSA uniform. Continue reading ‘TSA Screener Arrested For Child Pornography’
Michigan’s Republican State Sen. Bruce Caswell wants the poor to dress appropriately to their station in life — that is, with second-hand clothes. Caswell introduced legislation to require children in the state’s foster care system to buy clothes at stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army under restrictive “gift cards” that would give $79 clothing allowance for the kids. Caswell is the chairman of the DHS Appropriations Subcommittee.
How much do you want that really perfect cup of coffee? This article from Reddit caught me eye. It was not that Kopi Luwak is the world’s most expensive coffee at as much as $3000 a pound (though I have seen other bags offered for as little as $200 a pound, but then again, you have to ask yourself, is it pure civet poop?). It was the unique processing used to produce the beans. Continue reading ‘Cacaccino: Civet Droppings Become World’s Most Expensive Coffee’
iPhones and Android smartphones regularly transmit their locations back to Apple and Google. The location information is used for the estimated $2.9 billion location-based services market. Location-based advertising targets consumers with location-specific advertising on their mobile devices.
According to research, the HTC Android phone collects location information every few seconds and transmits the data back to Google several times an hour.
Happy Easter to all of our bloggers and readers that are celebrating today. The bunny came last night for all four kids and even Molly got a basket full of bones and pig ears. The kids are already showing the signs of sugar saturation.
Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) has proclaimed Friday, April 22, 2011, to Sunday, April 24, 2011, as Days of Prayer for Rain in the State of Texas. He didn’t ask for any prayers to end the drought or put out the wildfires, he just asked for prayers for rain in the state of Texas. While looking at the weather radar tonight, it was raining somewhere in Texas, so I guess it worked. It’s a miracle.
All you Christian warriors out there best make ready for battle! Sean Hannity and the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue are now claiming that there is a war on Easter. “Oh no!” you say. “Who would do such a thing?” Why, Lady Gaga, comedian Ricky Gervais, and a few other dastardly demons—that’s who.
I even heard it through the grapevine that the CEO of Easter Bunnies, Inc., is hopping mad. I was told that he’s organized his bunny brigade and worked in co-operation with the president of Hatchling Chicks Corporation to devise a plan to go after anti-Easterites like Lady Gaga and Gervais.
Get your trebuchets ready! I’ll bring eggs. We’re planning to meet in Mister MacGregor’s garden tomorrow at the first light of dawn. We’ll shell the hard-boiled enemies of Easter ova and ova again until they surrender. They won’t know what hit them.
Submitted by Lawrence Rafferty, (rafflaw), Guest Blogger
When I hear Illinois Senator Dick Durbin’s name, I usually think of a moderately progressive Democratic Senator. What I don’t expect to hear from someone with Durbin’s pedigree are statements to the effect that cuts to Social Security are “on the table”. But that is exactly what he said recently when asked about his work with the so-called Gang of Six. Continue reading ‘Senator Dick Durbin We Hardly Knew Ye’
You remember Standard & Poor’s, they’re the credit-rating agency that blessed the fraud-based mortgage securities issued by Wall Street banks with AAA ratings, deceiving gullible investors around the world. Senator Carl Levin (chair of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations) recently named this company a “key cause” of the economic crisis.
The GOP hearts Ayn Rand. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and his father Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), all mention the works of Ayn Rand as being influential in their lives. Even Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas references her work as influence in his autobiography. Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve, is an acolyte of Rand’s thinking and knew her personally.
I would like to focus on one aspect of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism, and its implications for Christianity.
Twenty five year-old Ryan James Stephens will probably never be confused with actors Rex Harrison or Eddie Murphy but he may be the new Dr. Doolittle. Stephens has been charged with violating Cincinnati’s ordinance prohibiting citizens from “talking” to police dogs.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has issued an interesting decision concerning the prerogative of police to order a suspect to exit a car after smelling marijuana smoke coming from within. Seems the opinion turned on the Bay State’s decision to decriminalized possession of less than one ounce of the wacky weed in 2008. Continue reading ‘Odor Of Marijuana Not Enough For Probable Cause’
There is a very sad story out of Princeton where Professor Antonio Calvo, 45, has committed suicide after the university refused to renew his contract — a decision that not only meant the loss of his directorship of the Spanish program but his having to leave the United States since the move terminated his visa. He had taught at Princeton for ten years.
This is the quintessential French story. Anyone who has gone to France knows that you can expect that someone will be striking and shutting down parts of Paris. However, the Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité (CRS) police force is taking a stand on a matter of French privilege — the right to drink while on duty. After all, if the French cannot have a glass of wine while fighting terror, the terrorists have won.
Helen Beard, an English tourist in Orlando, caught more than a tan in Florida this week. Beard showed that legendary English backbone when she caught a 2-year-old child who fell from a fourth-floor balcony of at the Econo Lodge on International Drive in Orlando. Beard is an inspiration to us all and a fine representative of that stalwart people of Britannia. Continue reading ‘British Tourist Catches Falling Baby in Florida’