A website has posted an extraordinary video (below) showing not only the abusive treatment of a citizen by border and local police, but highly compelling evidence of a false police report by a driver to cover up his own illegal turn that caused an accident in New York City. The driver, Ted, had installed a Timetec Roadhawk Dashcam out of fear of unlawful traffic stops. It was a fortuitous decision because it would capture an extraordinary false charge and abusive treatment by law enforcement officers — following by a false police report. By the way, the postings report this as a Border Police vehicle but it appears a van from the Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
A story this week caught my eye: Paris’ Pasteur Institute has disclosed that it lost thousands of tubes of samples of the deadly Sars coronavirus. I read the story with a mix of astonishment and irritation. As I have previously discussed, I represented Dr. Thomas Butler, a former Texas Tech professor, who was criminally charged after he revealed that a small number of vials containing bubonic plague samples had disappeared — possibly sanitized by accident. Butler self-reported the loss and was immediately the subject of a bizarre FBI investigation by the Bush Administration and former Attorney General John Ashcroft. He was later hit with a series of national security charges and labeled “Dr. Plague” by the media. While the jury rejected virtually all of the national security counts but a minor allegation on shipping (unrelated to the missing vials), the world’s leading expert on plague was still sent to jail. The Pasteur Institute lost 2,349 vials and the French government is correctly treating it as a non-criminal matter.
The United Nation’s appears to be addressing a few matters other than Crimea. The Children’s Fund of UNICEF has launched its campaign Poo-to-Loo featuring Mr. Poo, a singing pile of human feces for reviewing in India. The video is below if you have finished your breakfast.
The Brennan Center is an impressive public interest organization with an equally impressive staff of lawyers who advocate for legal reforms. While widely viewed as a liberal and pro-Obama organization, it often offers well-reasoned and compelling legal analysis. It is out of this respect for its work that I have to take a moment to criticize an aspect of its recent publication of “15 Executive Actions” for President Obama to take to counter opponents in Congress. Authors Michael Waldman and Inimai M. Chettiar are both highly credible and respected individuals in this field. I clearly do not agree with them on their view of Obama’s unilateral actions. I recently testified (here and here and here) and wrote a column on President Obama’s increasing circumvention of Congress in negating or suspending U.S. laws. However, one argument appears to have become a “talking point” with the White House and, in my view, should not appear in any serious academic or legal analysis: the simple comparison of the number of executive orders by presidents as a measure of their relative circumvention of Congress.
Two high school students at St. Anthony’s High School in Long Island have been suspended indefinitely after they walked into an after-hours sporting event wearing a Confederate flag draped over their shoulders. We recently discussed another suspension of a student involving a Confederate flag. I have the same free speech concerns in this case. The question is whether other flags would also be confiscated and the student suspended in my view. While I can certainly understand how this flag represents racism for many, others view the flag as a symbol of Southern heritage and heroism. I often see them in Virginia and recoil a bit due to the association with slavery. However, my concern is where the school is drawing the line on speech.
I have to say that a story in the New York Observer (from Reddit) caught my eye for a reason other than the account of cockroaches falling on people eating at Blue Ribbon Sushi in Soho in New York City. People eating said that the insects dropped from the ceiling and one crawled up the leg of a diner. Here is the thing I thought was most amazing: the owners of Blue Ribbon Sushi reportedly addressed matter by offering to charge only half for the meals of the affected customers. Really? Cockroaches fall around the plates of your customers and crawl on the tables and floors and you offer a half-off meal? Please tell me that this is a false report by the Observer.
Various countries, including the United States, have been choking under China’s air pollution which is circling the globe. While China has steadily diminished the health of its own people with a disastrous priority on production at any cost, it is now affecting not just the pollution levels of other countries but, according to a new report, weather in the United States. New data released on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that Chinese pollution is altering weather patterns in North America and causing the recently intense weather patterns from cyclones, heavy rains, and other erratic weather events.