Archive for the ‘Society’ Category

10409231_707381359356504_6530552318647936744_n-640x853There is another controversy raising the increasing assertion of authority of school officials over pictures and statements made by students outside of school. In Massachusetts, Jamie Pereira was suspended from school after a photo of her and her boyfriend, Tito Velez, both 16, holding Airsoft rifles was posted on Facebook. A caption beneath the photograph read: “Homecoming 2014.” The picture looks like a new American Gothic for some and a threat to others. However, the controversy again raises the limits and discretion of school officials in monitoring speech outside of school for students and teachers alike. There was good reason to be concerned but the punishment was due to the disruption caused rather than an actual threat from the picture.

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210ba04e-d6d3-49fe-8e61-41cc9735b6b8-620x372There is a highly disturbing controversy outside of Salt Lake City where Darrien Hunt, 22, was shot six times by police officers who claimed that he charged them with a sword. Hunt was dressed in a Japanese anime costume with a 2 ½ foot steel sword that the family insists was nothing more than a prop. An autopsy released this week shows that several of the shots entered in the back of his body. The case has raised racial concerns since Hunt was black and the officers were white.

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India flagflag-rainbow1There is a bizarre and disturbing case out of India where an Indian man has been criminally charged after his wife filmed homosexual liaisons in their home and took the evidence to the police. It is a crime punishable by life in prison to engage in homosexual relations in India. The case is an insight not only into the abusive Indian criminal code but the traditions of such arranged marriages. What is interesting is that the wife, a dentist, has also charged her in-laws with a crime after alleging that they had to know that their son was gay before the marriage.

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300px-god2-sistine_chapelI have previously discussed my admiration for Pope Francis, who strikes me as a truly holy man in every true sense of that term. Francis has pulled the Church into the Twenty-First Century with massive reforms and new approaches. This week saw one of the most remarkable such changes: Pope Francis announced that it is perfectly consistent to be a Catholic and an evolutionist. For many Catholics who cannot deny the evidence that the Earth is billions rather than thousands of years old, the announcement shows that it is possible to believe in both God and evolution.

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350px-Washington_Redskins_logo.svgHaving watched the Redskins-Cowboys game last night, this story caught my eye. I previously wrote a Washington Post column on the controversy over the Redskins name. In the column, I mentioned that a large number of both Native Americans and non-Native Americans do not view the team name to be offensive and explored the issue of of who should decided such questions. A story in the Washington Post discusses a vocal opposition to changing the name “Redskins” in Red Mesa, Arizona. It is the other “Redskins” team from Red Mesa High School — a school composed of largely of Navajos.

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220px-Chocolate02Finally, a study that we can believe in and truly get behind. A study published in Nature Neuroscience found that chocolate has a natural compound from cocoa that can reverse age-related memory loss. The problem is that you have to eat so much that you immediately remember that you have a serious weight problem.

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IMG_1445IMG_1219I have been organizing my pictures from my recent trip to Italy and was struck by the many people that we met on our wanderings. The led to the column below.

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