Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

OB-HR523_yelplo_CV_20100226101452Zwick Window Shade Co., a Chicago business, has a novel approach to business. When a husband and wife were not happy with their service and wrote a slightly negative review on Yelp, the company sued the couple for libel. It is one of a growing number of such cases where businesses seek to punish those who express their views about service.

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michelle-carter-conrad-roy-iii-charged-with-manslaughter-for-urging-teen-boys-suicide-leadmichelle-carter-conrad-roy-iii-charged-with-manslaughter-for-urging-teen-boys-suicide-leadThere is a deeply troubling case out of Massachusetts where prosecutors have charged Michelle Carter, 18, with the death of Conrad Roy, 18. What is different about the case is that there is no dispute that Roy killed himself. Carter is being charged for text messages encouraging Roy to go through with the suicide. If true, Carter played a despicable role in this death but the question is whether it should be treated as a crime when it was Roy who made the decision and took the action to take his own life. I have previously written how such cases should be handled by civil litigation as a general rule.

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by Charlton (Chuck) Stanley, weekend writer

FAA logoLast August, I wrote a blog post entitled The FAA and NTSB vs. Common Sense. The reader can save time by going back and reading that post at the link, because it sets out the main premises of this article.

The FAA has been under growing pressure from all segments of the aviation community to relax the standards for a Third Class medical certificate. This pressure has come from recreational pilots, manufacturers of aircraft and aircraft components, small airport operators, and small businesses. Part of the reason for this pressure is that general aviation is slowly dying.

When the FAA was created, their primary mission was to promote aviation. That includes making it safe and affordable for the flying public. However, the FAA, being bureaucrats who hate to give up power and control once it is in their grasp, asked for comments on a proposed rule change.

That was back in 2009. The initial proposal was denied in 2010. The proposed rule was resurrected, but the FAA has been slow-walking the changes–for more than five years. There has been virtually no progress toward doing away with the Third Class Medical certificate.
Last year, while being questioned, FAA officials made some vague concessions, but would not be specific.

Instead of promoting aviation, I have come to the conclusion that some segments of the FAA resemble a certain character in the Dilbert comic strip; Mordac, the Preventer of Information Services, also known as Mordac the Refuser.

Exasperated, several members of the bipartisan House and Senate Aviation Caucus introduced H.R. 3708: The General Aviation Pilot Protection Act of 2013 (GAPPA). S2103, an identical measure, was introduced in the Senate.

This year, we have a new Congress, and the General Aviation Pilot Protection Act 2 was introduced in the House (H.R. 1062) and the Senate (S.571) last Thursday, Feb. 25, 2015. GAPPA-2 will protect general aviation pilots from liability on charitable flights, extend legal protections to FAA representatives, and require FAA contractors to provide information under Freedom of Information Act requests.

A group of aviation industry leaders sent identical letters to the Senators and Representatives who introduced the GAPPA-2 bills in Congress this week.

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220px-Recep_Tayyip_ErdoganLike most of the world, we have watched the rapid decline of civil liberties in Turkey after the election of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his coalition of Islamic parties. Just last month, we discussed the arrest of Mehmet Emin Altunses, 16, who allegedly committed the crime of “insulting” Erdoğan. calling people who use birth control “traitors” and saying Muslims discovered America, you are not allowed to be disrespectful or insulting in discussing Erdoğan. The lawyer for a model and former Miss Turkey says she could face up to two years in prison for social media posts that prosecutors have deemed to be critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. This includes the recent arrest of a Dutch journalist while Erdogan announced that Turkey was now a leading protector of the free press. The downward spiral of civil liberties in Turkey under Erdogan and the Islamic parties continued this week with announced prosecution of model and former Miss Turkey Merve Buyuksarac, 26, for criticizing Erdogan. At issue is a simple satirical poem on Buyuksarac’s Instagram account.

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Bruce_Rauner_August_2014

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

I have to give Governor Bruce Rauner credit for not taking long to show his hand and publicly attack the Higher Education system in Illinois.  It has only been a few weeks since he was inaugurated and he recently unveiled his budget.  A budget plan that slashes over $200 million just from the University of Illinois alone.

At the very time Gov. Rauner announced he wants to slash the Higher Education budget for all universities in the State of Illinois by almost a third, he claimed that his budget makes education a priority!  (more…)

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By Cara L. Gallagher, weekend contributor

Abigail Fisher and her eponymous affirmative action case headed to the SCOTUS last week, again. The question we’re all wondering with this news is: If the Court takes this case, are affirmative action policies in college admissions dead? Despite graduating from Louisiana State University almost three years ago, Fisher said it is her hope that the Justices take this case again and end what she and the Project on Fair Representation believe is the unlawful use of race in college admissions at the University of Texas, the school she sued after she was denied acceptance. The question they’re asking the justices to answer this time is “whether the Fifth Circuit’s re-endorsement of UT’s use of racial preferences in undergraduate admissions can be sustained under the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.”

The Court punted in the 2013 decision, remanding the case back to the lower court (more…)

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by Charlton (Chuck) Stanley, weekend blogger:

SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI_color3In the summer of 2011, James Craig Anderson, an African-American man, was the victim of one of the most brutal murders one could imagine. It was all caught on security cameras in a parking lot in Jackson, Mississippi. Ten white teenagers, motivated by blood lust and blind hatred of black people, set out to find someone to kill.  They went to Jackson, MS, which they called, “Jafrica'” Their paths crossed that of James Craig Anderson that evening.

 

The crime is well documented, and those security camera videos are horrific. I am not going to embed them here. If the morbidly curious want to see them, they exist if you know where to look. This post is not about the single murder, but about a single Federal District Court Judge. The Honorable Carlton Reeves presides over his courtroom for the Southern District of Mississippi. He is the second African-American to be appointed to the Federal District Court in Mississippi. The other is Judge Henry Wingate, who was appointed by Ronald Reagan.

 

Last Tuesday, February 10, 2015, Judge Reeves pronounced sentence on three of the convicted killers. It was a long speech. He told them to sit down while he read what has been called an “unflinching account” of Mississippi’s troubled past, making a direct connection between that past to the three defendants before him.

 

Judge Reeves’ sentencing remarks are reproduced in their entirety below the fold. He is blunt, honest, and willing to look into the abyss of Mississippi’s history. It is worth reading.

 

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