Mayor Michael Bloomberg has continued his public persona as the Captain Ahab of great big sugary drinks. The state Supreme Court Appellate Division has issued a second opinion that Bloomberg’s ban on large soft drinks in New York City is unconstitutional. Yet, Bloomberg has pledged to fight on with more appeals to defend a law that is not only paternalistic but utterly unconstitutional.
Russian Lawmaker Vitaly Milonov is promising to arrest Olympic athletes found to be in violation of the country’s new abusive anti-gay law. The “gay propaganda” law has led many to call for the games to be shifted from Russia since the host country would arrest athletes who are openly gay. In the meantime, a boycott of Russian vodka has picked up steam around the world in protest of the crackdown on gays and lesbians.
Raif Badawi, who started the ‘Free Saudi Liberals’ website to discuss the role of religion in Saudi Arabia, has been sentenced to a Saudi “court” to seven years in prison and 600 lashes for his engaging in free speech. It is the latest outrage from our closest Arab ally. Yet, we continue to treat Iran as part of the axis of evil while our allies deny basic rights and enforce draconian Medieval laws against dissidents and non-believers.
After years of abuse in confinement from denying him a charge to denying him counsel, Pfc. Bradley Manning finally had a trial on the most serious charge against him: aiding the enemy. He was convicted on lesser charges. The verdict should again focus attention on the mistreatment of Manning by the Obama Administration for leaking classified reports and diplomatic cables. Many of these documents showed that the U.S. government was lying to the public and to its allies.
Brian Cisneros, 34, is accusing the Los Angeles Police Department of assaulting him without provocation last week. Cisneros says that he was riding his bike when officers allegedly jumped out of a cruiser and beat him severely. He was charged with “for no lights after hours of darkness.” He has charged the officers with police abuse in a complaint.
There is a tragedy in California that has led to a particularly challenging question of proximate causation. It appears well established that Arman Samsonian, 19, was driving recklessly when he slammed his SUV into a utility pole and a fire hydrant. It was a bad combination. When two individuals ran over to help, they were both electrocuted to death by the electrified water from the hydrant in contact with a fallen wire. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Karen Nudell last week approved charges of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence for the deaths of good Samaritans, Irma Zamora (right) and Stacey Schreiber (left). The defense insists these were unforeseeable intervening acts that should not be the basis for criminal charges.