Archive for the ‘Society’ Category

635520224284194052-attorneyThe allegations facing lawyer Michael Fine, 57, are truly bizarre. Police say that Fine convinced clients to let him hypnotize them and then had sex with them while telling them to forget everything but their legal discussions from the office visits.

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640px-Coat_of_arms_of_Senegal.svg900px-Flag_of_Senegal.svgWe have been watching with alarm as African nations pass more draconian anti-homosexual laws. Senegal has added its name to his ignoble list. President Yahya Jammeh signed a new law that establishes life imprisonment for some homosexual acts. Jammeh is a vehemently and vocal anti-gay leader who told gays and lesbians in 2008 to leave the country or risk decapitation. Five women have now been arrested as accused lesbians in what human rights groups are calling a national campaign of terror and torture by the police.

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La_monstrua_desnuda_(1680),_de_Juan_Carreño_de_Miranda.We have often discussed obesity rates in the world on this blog and their causes. However, a new report makes an interesting finding. First, not too surprising, it says that Americans are fatter than we previously thought. Second, and more surprising, the reason for the underreporting is that people think or say that they are taller than they are. The study findings were presented by researcher Zachary Ward of the Harvard School of Public Health.

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What Are You Thankful For

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

Although I am a few days early, I wanted to wish all RIL readers a Happy Thanksgiving.  I would guess that most of us have many things to be thankful for at this time.  I am thankful for my wife of 40 years and my four kids and their spouses and significant others, and of course, my 3 beautiful grandchildren.  And I am thankful that we all have our health.  I am also thankful that my 91-year-old mother is still with me and my 4 siblings.

While our family has had its ups and downs, we always seem to pull together to solve the problems and issues facing us.  I am glad that many of us will be together at Thanksgiving to share one of the best family times of the year.

At this time of the year, many of us have many things to be thankful for.  I thought it might be a good idea to offer the chance for our readers to tell us what they are thankful for.

Let’s hear what you and your family are thankful for during this holiday season.  What can it hurt?  Happy Thanksgiving!

 

” The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.”

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

Since the Great Recession officially started in December of 2007, millions of people have lost their homes to foreclosures.  It turns out that many of those foreclosures may have been fraudulent or in violation of foreclosure laws. According to the Southern Essex County, Massachusetts Register of Deeds, John O’Brien, a forensic audit of his recording files suggests that at least 75% of the mortgage assignments were invalid.

“My registry is a crime scene as evidenced by this forensic examination. The Audit makes the finding that this was not only a MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems) problem, but a scheme also perpetuated by MERS shareholder banks such Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan and others. I am stunned and appalled by the fact that America’s biggest banks have played fast and loose with people’s biggest asset – their homes. This is disgusting, and this is criminal.” Nation of Change (more…)

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By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

artur-masPresident of the Generalitat of Catalonia, Artur Mas i Gavarró, his deputy, and his education minister face prosecution by the Spanish Government for alleged civil disobedience, abuse of power, usurpation of duties, and embezzlement of public funds according to a statement released by the public prosecutor’s office of the Spanish Government.

In what many see as clearly dubious prosecution by Spanish authorities, President Mas remarked: “It is sad to see that when the Catalan people want to express their opinion … the reaction of the state comes from the courts and prosecutors.”

The action comes several weeks after Catalonia held a non-binding vote on independence from Spain, buoyed by what many Catalonians hailed as a close race with the Scottish Independence referendum, a worrisome event to the Spanish government.

The matter brings into the discussion of Parliamentary Immunity and Executive authority held by other nations, and the chilling effect the threat of prosecution can have for representative government of constituents.

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By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

police-officer-body-camIn what could prove to be a larger issue nationally, several departments in Washington State are considering removal of wearable cameras on police officers due to what has shown to be a greatly expensive and time consuming requirement to provide public disclosure to citizens requesting recordings.

Poulsbo, Washington Police Department received a blanket request for all videos recorded by the police cameras. The blanket request for six months of data might cause the department to stop future recordings.

Washington has some of the most open public records laws in the United States but there are many exemptions from public disclosure for various reasons. Editing these recordings is required for compliance with both sides of the Public Disclosure laws and there are time requirements. Such costs could prove to be the demise of recordings that have, as this website has often mentioned, revealed both violations of civil rights and topics of praise for police officers in general.

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