This is one of those stories that can put some in a difficult position. On one hand, it seems like progress that a hateful Islamic Cleric was sentenced for destroying a Bible in light of the litany of prosecutions of people for insulting Islam. However, in the end, it is simply the same denial of free exercise and free speech under blasphemy laws. Whether it is a Koran or a Bible, the act (as hateful and obnoxious that it is) remains an exercise of free speech and should be protected as a basic human right.
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Egypt Denies Basic Civil Liberties To Its People . . . The United States Responds With $1.3 Billion In Military Aid For GovernmentPublished 1, June 18, 2013 Constitutional Law , Free Speech , International , Society 78 Comments
This week President Barack Obama ordered the intervention into yet another war after Syria crossed his “red line” by using chemical weapons against its own people. However, over in Egypt, denying civil liberties and free speech appears no barrier to U.S. aid. In the very same week as using human rights to justify another intervention, the Obama Administration quietly approved $1.3 billion in annual US military aid to Egypt. Both Israel and Egypt continue to receive billions in such aid every year despite the reduction or termination of basic environmental, educational, and other programs in the United States.
A passenger reportedly on a China Air flight looked out and got a rare glimpse into the attitude of Chinese freight handlers. What is remarkable is that this guy was averaging less than a 30 percent hit ratio — often throwing three boxes without any making it on the conveyor belt at Guangzhou Airport.
While Senators could not be troubled to go to a simple briefing on the NSA warrantless surveillance program and some like South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham shrugged off the importance of privacy, the same Senators are demanding the intervention into yet another war in the Middle East. It does not matter that we have major educational and environmental programs being cut for lack of funding. It does not matter that our invasion in Iraq is an ongoing nightmare. We are being told to intervene in a civil war where Sunnis and Shia are carrying out centuries of hatred with atrocities on both sides. Senators want the U.S. to enforce a no-fly zone which would involve direct attacks on Serbian air forces while President Obama has already pledged to directly support rebel forces with arms.
The Price of Silence: Supreme Court Rules That Pre-Miranda Silence Can Be Used Against Defendant To Prove GuiltPublished 1, June 17, 2013 Constitutional Law , Criminal law , Lawyering , Society 74 Comments
In a major loss for individual rights vis-a-vis the police, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that prosecutors could use a person’s silence against them in court if it comes before he’s told of his right to remain silent. The prosecutors used the silence of Genovevo Salinas to convict him of a 1992 murder. Because this was a non-custodial interview, the Court ruled that the prosecutors could use his silence even though citizens are allowed to refuse to speak with police. It is of little surprise that the pro-police powers decision was written by Samuel Alito who consistently rules in favor of expanding police powers.
New York Man Finds Four Vandals Destroying Home, Forces Them Into Closet Until Police Arrives . . . And Then Arrested For Endangering The VandalsPublished 1, June 17, 2013 Criminal law , Society 38 Comments
Jesse R. Daniels, age 53, has a right to be a bit confused. He heard vandals destroying his father-in-law’s house that they were remodeling next door in the Village of Clyde. He told his wife to call police and he ran over and confronted the intruders. He found four young boys with hammers who destroyed the interior and forced them into a closet until police arrived. The parents of the vandals insisted on charging Daniels who was arraigned last week on charges of endangering the young boys who caused an estimated $50,000 in damage to the home.
Paranoia and police power are never a good combination, but Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan appears to have readily embraced both. With thousands protesting his destruction of the secular traditions of Turkey and authoritarian power, Erdogan has called on his Islamic supporters, crushed protesters with tear gas and clubs, and now blamed an international conspiracy led by the media, particularly the BBC and CNN. Turkish police have been attacking makeshift hospitals with tear gas, including an attack that led to a pregnant woman losing her baby in a miscarriage. It was a tragic symbol of the cost of Erdogan to the future of this nation.