Archive for the ‘Society’ Category

7259483_GThere is an interesting case out of Coral Springs, Florida where a woman on probation allegedly videotaped her rape by former parole officer Zachary Thomas Bailey, 50. The brazen criminal conduct alleged in the case has led police to search for more victims. It may also raise collateral civil litigation over whether the state officials knew or should have known of the actions of this man.

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Wedding_cake_with_pillar_supports,_2009This week, I appeared on the CNN special addressing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) in Indiana. While I have been a long-standing supporter of same-sex marriage, I raised concerns over the dismissive treatment of religious concerns over the scope of anti-discrimination laws and how they may curtail free exercise of religion. I have previously written both columns and academic work on this collision between the two areas of law. In the program, I raised an example of the growing conflicts that we discussed earlier on this blog of a bakery that refused to make a cake deemed insulting to homosexuals while other bakers are objecting to symbols that they view as insulting to their religious views. This issue also came up with an advocate for LGBT rights on the show:

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220px-Washington_Post_buildingPresident_Barack_ObamaWe have previously discussed the criticism of reporters, newspapers like the New York Times, and international groups that President Obama has run one of the most hostile Administrations in history to press freedom and public openness. Now that Democratic stalwart, the Washington Post, has joined in the chorus of critics, detailing the secretive, almost Nixonian culture of the Obama Administration in a new article.

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Screen Shot 2015-03-28 at 6.19.45 PMLast week, there was a compelling moment in the meeting of the Nebraska Oil and Gas Commission when a Nebraska farmer stepped forward to discuss the plan to allow 80 truckloads carrying 10,000 barrels per day containing fracking wastewater into Nebraska. Then the farmer offered the Commissioners a simple challenge: you drink it.

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Screen Shot 2015-03-28 at 3.07.25 PM.JPGWe have previously discussed how the social media craze of posting selfies seem to leave any room for . . . well . . . decency. The latest controversy concerns the East Village gas explosion that injured 25 people and collapsed three building — causing extensive physical and property injuries. While emergency personnel were still digging through rubble to try to find survivors, people started to show up to take selfies.

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By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

old-drugstoreThere are some things in this world that are made to be so easy they become aggravatingly complicated, undeniably annoying, and leave us wondering why we bother. So began a devolution as some might call it and I went back to the local option. I cannot see reason to return.

This is how I abandoned the local option, embraced Corporate American Drugstores, and finally realized what I had lost and how I could regain it.

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By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Michael Kelley

Michael Kelley

In yet another example of insensitive, zero-tolerance approaches, school faculty members of Wichita East High in Wichita, Kansas reportedly compelled a special needs student athlete having both Down syndrome and autism to remove a varsity letter his mother bought for him. He was given instead a girl’s sweater to wear.

School officials stated he could not wear the varsity letter because he was not a member of the varsity team. Apparently they were forced to act upon this transgression because “one parent complained” and therefore no exception could be made for this student.

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