If police accounts are proven, Andrew Sosa of Cape Coral, Florida stands as one of the truly worst human beings in the news this week. Sosa was arrested for child neglect after he allegedly left an infant in a car for hours as he partied in a strip club.
Archive for the 'Society' Category
We previously discussed the lesbian waitress in New Jersey, Dayna Morales, 22, who attracted international attention after being denied a tip by a family which allegedly wrote on the check that they did “not agree with your lifestyle.” The family later came forward with evidence suggesting that Morales had lied and that not only did she receive a tip from them but that they supported gay rights. We have been discussing the growing evidence that Morales appears to have lied — particularly after former friends can forward to say that she has a history of habitual lying. The question that we discussed was her criminal and civil liability after she and the restaurant attracted thousands of customers and donations after the national media covered her alleged mistreatment. Now, the restaurant has said that they have let Morales go and that all donations will be returned.
Many of us on this blog have been advocates for years in favor of medical marijuana legalization. Frankly, as I have expressed before, I fail to understand the logic, let alone the humanity, that would sustain opposition to such drugs for people who are suffering. This woman however made a video that is simply remarkable. It shows the improvement, particularly in speech, that she experiences after using medical marijuana for her cerebal palsy.
By The People For The Dollars: Washington Initiative Process Dominated By Out Of State Corporations.Published 1, December 8, 2013 Constitutional Law , Courts , Free Speech , Politics , Society 16 Comments
Submitted by Darren Smith, Guest Blogger
The initiative process in Washington State is designed to allow individual citizens to participate in the law making process and collectively to work together to bring this cause to fruition. But is this century old tradition, rather uncommon in the various governments of the world, suffering from the effects of corporate interest and losing its original purpose?
Continue reading ‘By The People For The Dollars: Washington Initiative Process Dominated By Out Of State Corporations.’
Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)-Guest Blogger
This past week the main stream media made a big deal about the unemployment rate declining to the five-year low of 7%. While it was good news that over 200,000 jobs were added to the economy and that the unemployment rate decreased, the economy and main street are still lagging behind Wall Street. The Federal Reserve has been attempting monetary easing strategies in an effort to stimulate the economy. It may have worked for Wall Street, but the rest of us are still catching up.
“The Federal Reserve is the only central bank with a dual mandate. It is charged not only with maintaining low, stable inflation but with promoting maximum sustainable employment. Yet unemployment remains stubbornly high, despite four years of radical tinkering with interest rates and quantitative easing (creating money on the Fed’s books). After pushing interest rates as low as they can go, the Fed has admitted that it has run out of tools.” Ellen Brown Continue reading ‘Revamp the Federal Reserve’
Tags: aviation, Hickham Field. James F. Gates, Pearl Harbor, WW-2
Contributed by Charlton Stanley (aka Otteray Scribe), Guest Blogger
I remember where I was and what I was doing shortly after one o’clock in the afternoon on December 7, 1941. My dad called me in to where he and a couple of his friends were sitting by the huge Stromberg Carlson 350R console radio, its front doors swung open. They were leaning forward, hanging onto every word coming out of the polished walnut cabinet. The breathless announcer was talking so fast he sometimes stumbled over his words. The usual calm and soothing baritone of a professional radio news reporter was replaced by an almost panicked staccato, an octave higher than his voice would have sounded normally. One phrase has stayed stuck in my mind’s ear all these years, “They stabbed our boys in the back!”
At first I thought they were talking about Japanese soldiers bayoneting our soldiers and sailors in the back, as I had seen them do in the newsreels of the massacre of Nanking. Even as a kid, I knew war was on the horizon. Six weeks earlier, a Nazi U-boat had sunk the destroyer USS Reuben James as it escorted a convoy of cargo ships carrying food and supplies to England.
Everyone thought that when war did come, it would come from Europe. No one but a few farsighted tacticians like General Billy Mitchell were looking west, and even predicting that an attack would come by air. Mitchell was Court Martialed for his outspoken military and political heresy. When Americans were killed in what was to be the first military engagement of WW-2 with the sinking of the Reuben James, President Roosevelt held back committing troops and sailors to combat despite the provocation. Hitler was counting on that kind of restraint, or he would not have been so bold as to sink an American warship. He knew the US was not prepared to fight a war, since American troop levels had been drawn down to very low numbers, and much of the equipment was either obsolete or obsolescent. The country was recovering from the Great Depression, and needed time to re-arm.
Admiral Yamamoto took Roosevelt’s options away from him that Sunday morning. Hitler was said to be furious with his Japanese allies.
Which brings us to the story my cousin Jimmy.
Submitted By: Mike Spindell, Guest Blogger
Many blogs have been written here that deal with the phony “War on Drugs” and the negative effects it has on society, particularly those lacking resources, or being people of color. This piece is not about the “War on Drugs”, but this ridiculous “war” has actually driven the abuses of our criminal justice system that is my topic today. Because the “War on Drugs” provides context for this subject I’ve included links at the bottom that supply the context behind my opinions here. Human Rights Watch produced a report this week about how most defendants in Federal drug cases are forced to plead guilty under the threat of the imposition of a mandatory sentence. I read an article in Huffington Post referencing this study and it immediately brought to mind two aspects of law enforcement and prosecution today that raise my ire.
The first is the process of plea bargaining, which I believe makes a mockery of our Criminal Justice System. The second is the concept of Mandatory Minimum Sentencing (MMS) which in my opinion leads inevitably to miscarriages of what we would like to call justice. The idea of negotiation, bargaining if you will, is that each of the two sides has the ability to provide enough of value to be able to establish a mutually beneficial contract. Clearly though when it comes to a Prosecutor bargaining with a defendant there is, except in the case of the wealthy/powerful, an unequal negotiation. The Prosecution has the authority and resources of the State backing it up. Most defendants and indeed most people in prisons, have little resources. In the public’s (thus jury’s) mind, most defendants are really guilty until proven innocent, despite the “presumption of innocence” that is supposedly a hallmark of our legal system. Adding immeasurably to the Prosecution’s resources are “Mandatory Minimum” sentences (MMS). They were instituted by legislators who wanted to appear “tough on crime” and so represent drastic solutions to punishment needs, in order to appear as “tough” as possible. With the trump card of MMS prosecutors are in a position to threaten a defendant to “cop a plea” to avoid a more draconian prison sentence. The Human Rights Watch study shows how these two procedures have become a feature of American Criminal Justice that in my opinion makes a mockery of it. Continue reading ‘Cheap Justice, Bad Law = Broken System’
Minding Your “P”s and “P”s: Richmond (Va) Restaurateur Defends “Right” To Video Customers In BathroomsPublished 1, December 6, 2013 Bizarre , Criminal law , Justice , Society 33 Comments
By Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger
A restaurant owner in one of Richmond’s rural suburbs is defending his use of a surveillance camera in the men’s room. Owner of Calabash Seafood Restaurant and Club Midway, Dennis Smith, isn’t letting anybody tell him how to protect his property from would-be vandals. “I’ve been doing this for 34 years. I’m not concerned with the public’s opinion of how to run my business,” said the 55-year-old owner. “I know how to run it better than anybody. I don’t need them, the county, the government or anybody else telling me how to do it.”
New York Police Respond To Unarmed Disoriented Man in Traffic By Shooting Two Innocent Women . . . Prosecutors Charge Man With The Police ShootingsPublished 1, December 6, 2013 Bizarre , Criminal law , Politics , Society 48 Comments
On September 14, Glenn Broadnax, 35, allegedly jumped in front of cars in New York’s Time Square. He was reportedly disoriented and, according to his counsel, was communicating with dead relatives in his mind. However, two police officials feared that the unarmed Broadnax was reaching for a weapon. They responded with a barrage of gunfire that cut down two bystanders. Now, prosecutors have charged Broadnax with assault for the shootings by the police officers on the theory that “recklessly engaged in conduct which created a grave risk of death.”
We previously discussed the curious case of Dayna Morales, a lesbian waitress a tip because they refused to support her “lifestyle.” An ex-Marine and server at Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater, N.J., produced a receipt that said “I’m sorry but I cannot tip because I don’t agree with your lifestyle and how you live your life.” People flocked to the restaurant to leave big tips for Morales and she received national acclaim for donating the tips to the Wounded Warrior charity. She was later challenged by the couple who produced a receipt showing that they did in fact tip her, never wrote anything on the receipt and actually support gay rights. Former friends also came forward to allege that Morales is a habitual liar who was discharged from the Marine Corps for failing to go to training. She has since been suspended from her job at the restaurant. We explored the possible criminal and civil liability that Morales could face if she had in fact lied. I noted that Morales’ promise to give the windfall of sympathetic tips to Wounded Warriors was a good idea to avoid allegations of fraud. However, new local coverage reports that Wounded Warriors has no record of the donations, though she may have made the donations under a different name or in a different locality.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has issued an interesting opinion in the case of Royal v. CCC&R Tres Arboles on what constitutes sexual harassment and retaliation. Denise Royal alleged that she was the subject of repeated sniffing by co-workers and was later fired for complaints of being continually sniffed. The Fifth Circuit ruled that sniffing can constitute sexual harassment.
On the death of Nelson Mandela, the case of Williamson County State’s Attorney Charles Garnati before the the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission would seem to confirm just how much work has yet to be done. Garnati has been called to account to an argument in a murder trial that contrasted the black defendant with people “in our white world.”
There is something fascinating about this video where a monkey seems to be teaching a human (or at least uses a human) to crush leaves. The man should watch closely. We previously saw how monkeys have a much more efficient way to peel bananas.
Michigan is the latest state to have DNA clear a man imprisoned for years for a crime that he did not commit. What is most striking about the case of Jamie Peterson (right) is that lawyers had fight to re-test evidence that could prove his innocence. Prosecutors opposed the simple re-testing of evidence in the case that was not analyzed previously (as have prosecutors in other states). Finally, prosecutors relented and it was shown that it belonged to a man that police had cleared in first-degree murder in 1998. A second man was arrested this week but police insist that Peterson is not cleared. The case also shows the great cost to the rule of law that was presented by the Supreme Court ruling that there is no right to such testing in a post-conviction case. Chief Justice Roberts decision in the 5-4 case in District Attorney’s Office v. Osborne allows prosecutors and police to resist such simple testing to prove innocence in cases like Peterson’s. Indeed, the Court has produced an all-too-common double standard for citizens. It ruled in 2013 that police could routinely take DNA samples from suspects to use against them but the same individuals have no right to access to DNA testing to prove their innocence.
You Have The Duty To Remain Silent . . . : Dallas Police Officers Barred From Making Statements For 72 Hours After Shootings To Review Videotapes and Other EvidencePublished 1, December 4, 2013 Bizarre , Criminal law , Politics , Society 31 Comments
There is an astonishing story out of Texas where the Dallas Police Chief David Brown quietly changed a rule that would require officers involved in a shooting to wait 72 hours before making a statement. There is no cognizable public interest behind such a rule, but it comes after a scandal where a surveillance video showed one of Brown’s officers shooting a mentally ill suspect for no apparent reason. The video contradicted the officer’s testimony and undermined the charge against the victim. Brown’s solution was not greater disciplining and monitoring of officers but to impose a delay to allow officers to craft their statements.
We have often discussed how airlines have gradually stripped passengers of basic comforts and, more importantly, basic rights. That was evident this week in the Gainesville Regional Airport when an entire plane of passengers was told to get off their flight. Some said that they were told of “mechanical problems” the favorite mantra of airlines canceling flights for any reason, including too many unsold seats. However, passengers were a bit peeved when they looked out the window and saw the University of Florida men’s basketball team get on the plane. It appears that the airline decided to dump the ticketed passengers to fly the Gators to Connecticut for a game against the University of Connecticut.
I have previously said that I find the work (and lifestyle) of Pope Francis to be inspiring. However, that bond became only stronger yesterday when it was revealed that the Pope once worked as a bar bouncer. It appears that, before laying hands on the faithful, Pope Francis would lay hands on the boozeful. He just gets cooler and cooler by the day.
House Judiciary Committee To Hear Testimony On President Obama’s Authority To Suspend Or Change Federal LawsPublished 1, December 3, 2013 Academics , Congress , Constitutional Law , Courts , Politics , Society , Supreme Court , Testimony 58 Comments
This morning I will testifying in Congress before the House Judiciary Committee on “The President’s Constitutional Duty to Faithfully Execute the Laws.” The hearing will address areas where President Obama has ordered the delay or nonenforcement of federal laws. While I happen to agree with some of these policies, I have great reservations about this record and its implications for the separation of powers.
Julius Nyang’Oro, the former chairman of the Department of African and Afro-American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been charged with a felony count of obtaining property by false pretenses. The charge is exceptionally rare because it involves $12,000 that Nyang’Oro received for a summer course that he taught. While the course originally was meant to have regular classes, Nyang’Oro structured the class as an independent paper course. Notably, the university did not actually lose the $12,000 but recouped it in his final paycheck. Before his resignation in 2012, Nyang’Oro had a roughly $160,000 a year salary.
Police Called To Texas High School To Break Up Fight, Police Taser Teenage Boy, And Leave Him With Severe Brain InjuryPublished 1, December 2, 2013 Criminal law , Society 28 Comments
Maria Acosta has sued the Bastrop County, its police department, and its school district after a tragic accident left her son Noe Nino de Rivera with a brain injury. Acosta says that her son had broken up a fight at Cedar Creek High School when police arrived. They told him to put his hands in the air, but she says that they shot him anyway with a taser that knocked him to the ground where he struck his head causing “a severe brain hemorrhage”. Randy McMillan, a Bastrop County sheriff’s officer who works as a school resource officer, is named in the lawsuit. Police say that Noe Nino or “N.N.” acted “aggressively.”
It is that time of the year for our annual blawgletting — the ABA top blog competition. We have once again been selected as one of the top 100 legal blogs and this year inducted into the Hall of Fame. It appears that, as an inductee, this will be our last year to compete for top blog so we should go out with a bang. We are in the highly competitive News/Analysis category and it is time to release our minions upon the field for one last blog battle. You can vote here. It just take a few seconds to register to avoid vote rigging.
A court in Tokyo has ordered a hospital to pay a 60-year-old man $411,100 (or Y38 million) for its negligence in 1953 in the switching of him with another baby. The man’s biological family was quite wealthy and the other baby was given a life of luxury with his other three brothers. The man however was sent to a poor Japanese family, never married, and is now an unemployed truck driver. What was interesting about the case is that at least one of the couple suspected something was wrong after the switch.
Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)-Guest Blogger
The five alleged 9/11 defendants currently being held at Guantanamo Bay where they have been detained since 2006, are currently preparing their defenses for trials that are scheduled for September 2014. All five defendants have been subjected to what the United States government called enhanced interrogation techniques at CIA black sites even before they got to Gitmo. Continue reading ‘Kangaroo Commissions and Torture’
Tags: CryptoLocker, encryption, extortion, ransomware, scam
Submitted by Charlton Stanley, Guest Blogger
“I am regularly asked what the average Internet user can do to ensure his security. My first answer is usually ‘Nothing; you’re screwed’.”
– Bruce Schneier
The quote by Professor Bruce Schneier at the top of this article is the unvarnished truth by one of the leading internet and cryptography experts in the world. Which brings us to the subject of this story. The latest threat to everyone’s computer is a form of malware called “Ransomware.” This is not new, having first appeared years ago. Those first attempts were clumsy, the software codes easily broken, and the perpetrators caught. However, in the past few weeks the threat is back, more sophisticated and more dangerous than almost any malware threat to date. Although often referred to as a virus, it is not a true computer virus, because it does not self-propagate. It is a Trojan. Ransomware does not try to steal your files, passwords or photographs. Rather, it holds them hostage until you pay a ransom. There are several ransomware viruses going around, but CryptoLocker is the one getting the most media attention. How it works is this; you click on a file that may have arrived by email. Sometimes it will arrive by clicking on a web page link. Possibly a PDF of some business letter or report. Shortly after clicking an infected link, the image at the left appears. You will have no warning until it is too late. When the warning box appears, your files are already encrypted. Follow me over the flip to see the message:
Last night, I watched the Steelers game with friends from Pittsburgh in a perfect day of food and football. The game produced a controversy that rivals the NBA “Great Spill” controversy of 2013. In this case, Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin appeared to many to intentionally stand in front of Baltimore Ravens’ Jacoby Jones as he was running toward a potential game winning touchdown in the second half. His actions seemed to force Jones to move away from the line and allow a tackle by a Steelers defender. The Ravens still won but the question lingers.
The NBA obviously has its own courts, but does it have proper cause to punish Brooklyn Nets head coach (and former point guard) Jason Kidd who was fined $50,000 for spilling a beverage at the game with the Los Angeles Lakers. The Nets were down two with only 8.3 seconds left but had no timeouts. Worse still, Lakers’ Jodie Meeks was on the free-throw line. Then it happened. A fortuitous spill that delayed the game long enough for the Nets to devise a plan. It did not help. They lost 99-94 and . . . of course $50,000.
We have often discussed the lack of separation of temple and state in Israel as well as the control of religious figures on aspects of public life. A story this week vividly illustrates the problem. A rabbinical court has fined a woman hundreds of dollars for refusing to circumcise her baby son and thereby endangering her child. Many doctors are questioning the necessity and value of circumcision, which is generally left up to the parents. However, this is an issue with both religious and medical importance in Israel. The mother was fine $150 dollars every day that the boy was left uncircumcised.
There is a new study out of the University of Japan that explains a lot to people who find cats, including their own, remarkably aloof and uninterested in them. The study suggestions that pet cats are capable of recognizing their owner’s voice but simply choose to ignore them. This, it is suggested, was the result of a long evolutionary history that selected such dismissive traits.
We previously discussed the lesbian waitress in New Jersey, Dayna Morales, 22, who attracted international attention after being denied a tip by a family which allegedly wrote on the check that they did “not agree with your lifestyle.” The family later came forward with evidence suggesting that Morales had lied and that not only did she receive a tip from them but that they supported gay rights. Now, former friends are going public with allegations that Morales is a habitual liar. The irony is that, after the prior posting drew analogies to Stolen Valor cases, Morales is now accused of lying about her service with the U.S. Marine Corp. Morales has remained conspicuously silent despite numerous media appearances during the rise of the story.
Fitness Advocate Removed From Facebook After A Posting Critical of Plus-Sized Woman In Article Allegedly Labeled “Hate Speech”Published 1, November 29, 2013 Constitutional Law , Free Speech , Media , Society 45 Comments
With many of us rolling out of bed moaning from the food the consumed on Thanksgiving, I felt a wonderfully depressing fat story was appropriate to get us back into our guilt-ridden regimes. Maria Kang, fitness guru and mother of three, is not exactly the bedside nurse that you would want on such occasions. Kang has been banned from Facebook after she criticized an online article showing plus-size women in lingerie. While this is not a free speech issue involving the government, there is a question of whether Facebook should have taken it upon itself to punish someone for her view of obesity and what she views as an unhealthy lifestyle. More importantly, the controversy raises the issue of the expanding definition of “hate speech.”
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. This is my favorite holiday with all of the essential elements of joy: food, friends, and football. As a Bears fan, I get to watch the Packers and the Lions compete today and I am guaranteed to leave a winner. Continue reading ‘HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!’
In celebration of Thanksgiving, I give you our annual Turkey Torts of a few potential and actual lawsuits from this holiday. Personal injury and criminal defense attorneys have much to be thankful for in a holiday that often brings family members together in sometimes awkward or hostile or inebriated circumstances. The result is a horn of plenty for litigators. It also may make any tense or dysfunctional moments with family today seem a bit less significant. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!
We have previously discussed how Barack Obama has become the president that Richard Nixon always wanted to be. From his Administration’s comprehensive attack on privacy and civil liberties, investigation of journalists, to his claim of unilateral authority to kill citizens, Obama has created an Imperial Presidency that could haunt this nation for generations. He has succeeded with the silent acquiescence of many liberals and Democrats who have embraced personality over principle in continuing to support his Administration. Now, a new report documents how the National Security Agency under Obama has been gathering records of online sexual activity and evidence of visits to pornographic websites to be used as part of a proposed plan to harm the reputations of people consider radicals. The obvious comparison to Nixon is only dwarfed by the comparison to J. Edgar Hoover, but again the silence is deafening from the Democrats. In the meantime, the so-called “reforms” of the NSA as expected would preserve the massive data-gathering programs of the agency — as guaranteed by such “reformers” as Dianne Feinstein.
TSA Spends Roughly $1 Billion On Program That Resulted In One-Half Of One Percent Of Arrests For Identified PassengersPublished 1, November 27, 2013 Bizarre , Politics , Society 19 Comments
We have been discussing how, while cutting educational, environmental, and scientific programs, Congress continues to spend wildly on defense and national security regardless of documented waste or failures. Even titanic failures do not result in discipline or termination for officials. Given this record, the behavior detection program of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) must be viewed as a relatively success. TSA has spent roughly $900 million over the last 5 years for behavior detection officers to identify high-risk passengers. The result? One-half of one percent of flagged travelers were arrested and the number of terrorists was zero.
I saw this on Reddit and found it truly breathtaking. A high-priced resort has created a make believe Shanty town so that the upper class can experience the feeling of utter poverty. It is reminiscent of the failed effort of Disney to create an an attraction where people could “feel like slaves” by picking cotton under the eye of white bosses. After a long and intense fight, Disney abandoned the plan. The Shanty Town vacation is available at Emoya Private Game Reserve, Luxury Hotel, Conference Centre and Spa. For the record, the picture at the left is a real Shanty Town.
The White House has caught Hunger Game fever with a competition of which Turkey will become the White House Thanksgiving Turkey: Caramel or Popcorn. To assist the President, we have our own poll below on who is the biggest Turkey this year.
In what seems destined to be a blockbuster decision in the making, the Supreme Court has accepted a religious challenge to the Affordable Care Act. The decision could force a reexamination of the Court controversial 2010 ruling in Citizens United in considering whether companies have religious rights to match the speech rights embraced by the Court. The case involves objections from businesses and individuals like David Green, founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby, who insist that the Act’s required support for contraceptive services violates religious rights. Two cases were accepted: Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. (13-354); and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius (13-356). I will be discussing the cases this morning on CNN.
New York Court Rules That Jury Properly Denied Liability Under The Emergency Rule When Woman Crashed After Her Bikini Top Was UntiedPublished 1, November 26, 2013 Society , Torts 64 Comments
There is an interesting ruling on the scope of the emergency rule out of New York. Brittany Lahm, 24, was sued by a passenger in her car after it crashed on the way back from the beach — killing Brandon Berman, 19, and injuring others. The appellate court however ruled that the jury could properly conclude that she was faced with an emergency when Berman suddenly untied her bikini top while she was driving — causing her to let go of the wheel to cover up herself. The question turns on whether the act of Berman was truly sudden and unanticipated. It is a novel claim: Berman was acting so badly that Lahm should not have been surprised by his untying of her bikini top.
For days, there has been much outrage on the blogosphere about a couple who refused to give a lesbian waitress a tip because they refused to support her “lifestyle.” Dayna Morales, an ex-Marine and server at Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater, N.J., produced a receipt that said “I’m sorry but I cannot tip because I don’t agree with your lifestyle and how you live your life.” People flocked to the restaurant to leave big tips for Morales and she received national acclaim for donating the tips to the Wounded Warrior charity. Now the couple has come forward and claims that it is all a hoax. Worse yet, they say that they have proof.
Oops, Our Bad: WHO Withdraws Claim That Half of New Cases of HIV Infections In Greece Are Self-Inflicted [Updated]Published 1, November 26, 2013 Bizarre , International , Society 22 Comments
A new World Health Organization report contains a truly shocking claim: roughly a half of new HIV infections in Greece are self-inflicted to get the monthly 700 euro payment for those with AIDS. It is the sign of the desperation felt by many in the country to get government benefits after the austerity measures required under European bailout agreements. The report also says that suicides are up 17 percent between 2007 and 2009 and then another 25% in 2010. In 2011, they were up another 40%. Now WHO has withdrawn the claim and says that there is no evidence to support it.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a lawsuit that, if true, would stand as one of the most grotesque and vicious cases of police abuse in recent memory. Marlene Tapia says that she was arrested and forced to strip naked for a contraband examination. The officers at the Metropolitan Detention Center (Bernalillo County New Mexico) claimed that she had a plastic baggie in her vagina and, according to the lawsuit, forced her to bend over and as punishment sprayed mace inside of her vagina.
The Florida Gators appear to be so good that they have to play against themselves to keep the game interesting against Georgia Southern. It worked. The lower ranked Georgia Southern beats Florida 26-20 . . . but it didn’t do it alone.
I am very happy to report that our blog has been inducted into the ABA Journal’s Hall of Fame for legal blogs around the world. We just received word this afternoon with the start of this year’s competition for the top News/Analysis blog. This is also our sixth year in being selected as one of the top 100 legal blogs in the world. Of course, this is the closest that an endomorphic law professor can get to any Hall of Fame. I am grateful to the ABA Journal staff not just for this distinction but for holding this competition each year to feature the wide variety of legal blogs. For all of us who were the last to be selected on sports teams growing up, this is our pudgy, wheezing victory lap. While people like Pete Rose may be a hundred times more athletic, we made it into the Hall of Fame (pending any last minute gambling scandals).
The selection for the Hall of Fame is latest distinction given this site which has strived to offer an alternative forum for those interested in passionate but civil discourse over the legal cases and issues of our day. Special thanks go to our talented and popular weekend team of guest bloggers: Mike Appleton, David Drumm, Mark Esposito, Gene Howington, Elaine Magliaro, Larry Rafferty, Darren Smith, Mike Spindell, and Charlton Stanley. I owe them a great debt for their insightful and gifted postings. The greatest thanks however goes to our readers and commenters who have placed this blog in the top ten most visited legal blogs in the world according to AVVO. We have strived to maintain a civility rule while discussing issues that may divide us. We do not want to be another echo chamber for one ideology or viewpoint. There are ample conservative and liberal sites that cater to that desire for reaffirmation. We value dialogue and different views. While we occasionally have some who stray into personal remarks, we have been remarkably successful in maintaining a high level of discourse. We even have some fun with the more bizarre legal and social stories.
We hope that all of our regulars will take the time to go and vote for the blog in the heavily competitive News/Analysis category. You only have to do a quick registration (used only to prevent vote stuffing) and then you can VOTE HERE.
Obama Administration Pushes New Trade Agreement That Would Further Enrich Pharmaceutical Companies And Discourage Lower Priced Generic DrugsPublished 1, November 25, 2013 Congress , International , Politics , Society 101 Comments
The Obama Administration has been widely criticized for being captured by the pharmaceutical industry, which has gotten the White House to block efforts to guarantee lower cost drugs and increase profits for these companies. Pharmaceutical lobbyists have in turn given huge amounts of campaign money to President Obama and Democratic members as well as jobs to former members. Even with this record, however, many are shocked by the White House pushing of a trade agreement that would undermine international efforts to reduce the cost of drugs and extend the patents for these companies to further increase their profits. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) allows for techniques like “evergreening” to extend patents for the industry, which in turn has continued its own evergreen record of high-paying jobs for political allies and massive campaign contributions for the White House and Congress. Everyone wins . . . except the tens of millions who cannot afford medicine. While these companies have valid interests in recouping their investment and making profits on new drugs (which are expensive to develop), the secrecy and sweeping impact of the TPP deserves far greater attention in the media.
We previously saw a father and his son arrested for ripping off a lottery winner at their New York convenience store. Now, we have a second case out of New York where a Long Island deli owner and his son allegedly tried to cheat a millon-dollar lottery winner out of his prize. Where the earlier convenience store family tried to rip off a drug addict, Karim Jaghab, 26, and his father Nabil Jaghab, 57, are accused of trying to tip off a 34-year-old man who did not speak English.
David Noel James, Baron of Blackheath, and his wife were horrified. The conservative Tory peer and his wife (who is a youth justice officer) were driving to Twickenham for a rugby game when they drove past a bus of children mooning them. Lord James wants the government to mete out punishment and not simply turn the other cheek at the little hoodlums.
Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)- Guest Blogger
We have all heard the cries that so-called entitlement programs like Social Security need to be cut in order to “save” them from extinction. Now that I am 62 years of age, I have become more interested in the issue of Social Security’s solvency.
CEO’s have gotten involved in the process through the now infamous Fix the Debt campaign initiated and funded by Billionaire Pete Peterson and the parallel campaign started by the Business Roundtable. Both of these campaigns are supported by big business and CEO’s of large corporations with no concern where their retirement funds are going to come from. Continue reading ‘Fix Social Security By Expansion’
Rotten to the Common Core?: On the Subject of Education Standards, Arne Duncan, “White Suburban Moms”…and Bad*ss TeachersPublished 1, November 24, 2013 Politics , Society 52 Comments
My attention turned toward public schools once again this week when I read reports about Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s apologizing for using “clumsy phrasing” when he made comments about some critics of the Common Core Standards—which he has championed. (Note: Common Core—a set of educational standards developed for public school students in kindergarten through twelfth grade—has been adopted by most of our states.) Duncan was speaking to a group of superintendents recently and just couldn’t help himself—it appears—when he said the following:
“It’s fascinating to me that some of the pushback is coming from, sort of, white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were, and that’s pretty scary. You’ve bet your house and where you live and everything on, ‘My child’s going to be prepared.’ That can be a punch in the gut.”