Archive for January, 2013

130130054219_Naomi McKinneyBoozer PhotoWhile they are arresting seven-year-olds in New York, South Carolina schools are expelling a six-year-old girl for bringing her brother’s toy gun into school. We have been discussing the steady stream of absurd actions taken by school officials under “zero tolerance” policies. For a prior column, click here. This is yet another example. This little girl picked up her brother’s toy gun. Rather than call the parents into the school and reprimand the girl, these school officials chose to expel her from Alice Drive Elementary in Sumter, South Carolina. It is bizarre that Principal Sheree T. Boozer (right) could not simply see a child’s mistake for what it is.

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800px-New_five_dollar_billWilson Reyes is one of those hardened criminals who are hard to break. Police handcuffed Reyes, threw him in a cruiser, and interrogated him for a reported ten hours. Yet, Reyes insisted he was innocent and had to be released . . . to his mother. The seven-year-old boy was accused of stealing $5 on a playground at his school.

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220px-USS_Guardian_aground_in_January_2013While we often criticize our government on this blog, it is important to remember that there remains great differences between this government and those around the world in areas like the environment. In an extraordinary decision, the United States Navy has decided to disassemble the $277 million USS Guardian, an important minesweeper, rather than further damage a coral reef by pulling it off the reef. This follows an equally impressive approach to drilling in the Antarctic by U.S. explorers.

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220px-Sperm_whale_podOk, this has nothing to do with the law or politics, but I cannot resist. Brit Ken Wilman, 50, is a wealthy man after his dog Madge starting playing with a smelly rock on the beach. It turned out to be a rare piece of whale vomit. However, that is not the interesting thing about the story. What is interesting is that the whale vomit is worth more than £100,000.

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460px-49ers_Logo.svgI would expect that of all of the NFL teams to espouse homophobic views, the San Francisco 49ers would probably be the least receptive forum. That did not appear to deter 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver who raged against gays in the locker room just days before Super Bowl XLVII. In contrast, Ravens player Brendon Ayanbadejo has used the Superbowl to advocate the rights of same-sex couples. (Conversely, Ravens center Matt Birk came out opposing equal rights for gays in marriages). Suddenly, the Superbowl has become a debate on gay and lesbian rights.

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diaper3After a DEA dog alerted agents at an airport, they found a diaper filled with powder. The problem is that it was being worn by an adult woman, Priscilla Pena, and the powder was cocaine. They then found a similar diaper on her friend Michelle Blassingale on the same flight from the Dominican Republic.

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Carmen-Ortiz-144x150We previously discussed the ignoble role played by U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz in the prosecution of Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide after being relentlessly pursued by her office in a questionable prosecution. As critics around the world questioned her methods and judgment, Ortiz issued a less than credible defense of the case. Now her office is again the subject of allegations of excessive prosecution of a small motel owner where her staff sought to seize his property.

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