Irish Voters Abroad Returning Home To Vote On Same-Sex Marriage Referendum

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

100px-Coat_of_arms_of_Ireland.svgOn Friday Irish Citizens went to the polls to vote by referendum on a constitutional amendment allowing same-sex marriage. If passed Ireland will join nineteen other nation states who have legalized such marriages and will be the first to enact the petition by popular referendum.

The topic of the referendum garnered such strong interest it is expected that a large percentage of Ireland’s 3.2 million registered voters will go to  the polls. In fact, reportedly, unexpectedly high numbers returned home at their personal expense to cast votes.

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Toronto Man Fired By Employer After Being Shown Insulting Female Reporter With Obscene Expression

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 8.20.44 AMWe have another case of a man fired for obnoxious conduct outside of his workplace. While we recently discussed this issue with regard to academics, it is increasing common for private employers to fire people who make themselves notorious with thuggish or insulting conduct in public. The latest is Shawn Simoes, who appears to have the mentality of a three year old and taunted a female report with a disgusting sexually explicit heckle on television. He was an engineer with Hydro One, which fired him after the scene was posted outside of BMO Field.

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Report: Labor Unions Contributed To Clinton Foundation

225px-Hillary_Clinton_official_Secretary_of_State_portrait_cropThis is shaping up for another bad week for Hillary Clinton with stories on another undisclosed and unofficial email account that was used during tenure as Secretary of State as well as a New York Times story on the role of Sidney Blumenthal in seeking business with the State Department while continuing as an unofficial and controversial adviser to Clinton. However, the story that I found most interesting is a report that unions have been pouring significant money into the Clinton Foundation. The Foundation has been accused of being a conduit for donors and foreign governments to give money to the Clinton, who have used the Foundation to hire loyalists (like Blumenthal) and pay for luxury travel for the Clinton family. While some have denounced the Clinton Foundation a “slush fund,” the New York Times has offered a more tempered criticism of the Foundation for its business dealings and advancement of Clinton’s political interests. Yet, Clinton supporters insist that the Foundation has done important work around the world. The use of union funds to support the Foundation would in my view be the most serious of the past disclosures, though it has received less attention than the huge sums paid by corporate and foreign figures trying to influence Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.

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Boston University Professor Grundy Accused Of Another Series of Offensive Postings

GrundyPic-150x150Boston_University_seal.svgWe have been discussing the racist tweets of Saida Grundy, an incoming assistant professor of sociology and African-American studies at Boston University, who used twitter to denounce white men as the central problem at universities and described how she tries not to do business with white people. After an outcry from alumni, Boston University president Robert Brown expressed “disappointment” with her statements and Grundy herself apologized for what she called “indelicate” wording. She has called the statements “indelicate” and says that they were in response to unidentified events. The response has been withering with many saying that few would view the comments “indelicate” if a white professor encouraged people not to buy things from black people or calling black males as the problem on colleges. She now stands accused of a fairly unhinged exchange with a white woman who expressed her personal feelings over an article attacking actress Patricia Arquette for her call at the Oscars for equal pay for women.

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Duke Professor Under Fire After Tweeting Statements Condemned As Racist

u1582200px-Duke_University_Crest.svgWe recently discussed the case of Saida Grundy, an incoming assistant professor of sociology and African-American studies at Boston University who released a series of tweets denounced by many as racist and sexist, including calling white males the main problem on college campuses and admitting how she tries not to buy anything from white people. While many called for Grundy to be fired, some of us defended her racist and sexist comments as an exercise of free speech done outside of her teaching responsibilities. However at the time, I noted “released a series of tweets denounced by many as racist and sexist. “White masculinity isn’t a problem for america’s colleges, white masculinity is THE problem for america’s colleges.” Now we have such a case and it does appear to confirm some of our concerns that the same standard is not applied to those with opposing views. Duke University professor Jerry Hough has reportedly been placed on leave after posting comments online that were also denounced as racist. While Grundy was allowed to apologize for “indelicate” comments about whites, Hough is facing calls for termination and has reportedly been put on leave. [UPDATE: there are some stories indicating that Hough may have been on academic leave rather than “put on” academic leave.  It is not clear from various reports.]

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What is the Cost to Purchase a State Supreme Court?

Chief Justice Roberts

Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)-Weekend Contributor

The answer to the question posed in the title, in the state of Wisconsin, is $8 Million dollars.  For those of us who think Judges are not and should not be politicians, the situation in Wisconsin is especially disturbing.  However, Wisconsin is not alone in this dilemma.  Thirty nine states elect their judges and the money flowing into those campaigns is increasing the concerns of special interests “purchasing” justice. Professor Turley has also commented in the past about the alarming amounts of money flowing into judicial elections.

In a recent United States Supreme Court decision, Chief Justice Roberts weighed in on money and politics in judicial elections.  “Last week, the United States Supreme Court upheld a Florida judicial rule that prohibits candidates for election to state judgeships from personally soliciting money for their campaigns. ‘ “Judges are not politicians,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., wrote in the majority opinion in the 5-4 decision, “even when they come to the bench by way of the ballot.” He went on, “Simply put, Florida and most other States have concluded that the public may lack confidence in a judge’s ability to administer justice without fear or favor if he comes to office by asking for favors.” ‘ New Yorker Continue reading

Boston University Professor Saida Grundy Apologizes For Racist and Sexist Comments As “Indelicate”

GrundyPic-150x150Boston_University_seal.svgWe have been discussing the curious start of the academic career of Saida Grundy, an incoming assistant professor of sociology and African-American studies at Boston University, who released a series of tweets denounced by many as racist and sexist. “White masculinity isn’t a problem for america’s colleges, white masculinity is THE problem for america’s colleges.” In a January tweet, Grundy wrote: “Every MLK week I commit myself to not spending a dime in white-owned businesses. and every year i find it nearly impossible.” Previously, she posted comments like “Deal with your white sh*t, white people. slavery is a *YALL* thing.” With many objecting that the University would have fired a male or white professor for such comments directed against blacks or women, donors have begun to revolt and the University was forced to issue a statement condemning the comments. Now, after a surprisingly long period of silence, Grundy has apologized but may have aggravated the situation further. She has called the statements “indelicate” and says that they were in response to unidentified events. The response has been withering with many saying that few would view the comments “indelicate” if a white professor encouraged people not to buy things from black people or calling black males as the problem on colleges.

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