Category: International

Five Texans Sue After Being Barred From State Jobs For Refusing To Sign A Required Statements On Israel

I have previously written about the increasing state and federal efforts to impose bans on contractors and employees who refuse to sign agreements not to boycott Israeli products. The agreements raise serious free speech concerns under the First Amendment and contravene a host of constitutional rights from speech to religion to association. Now a speech pathologist in Texas is suing after she was barred from employment with the school district after nine years of work with developmentally disabled, autistic, and speech-impaired elementary school students in Austin, Texas. The lawsuit on her behalf was filed in the Western District of Texas is the latest federal challenge to these laws.

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Pushing the Envelope: Man Reportedly Commits Brazen Theft at Airport

It is rare to see a brazen act of theft committed in public but a video shows this man casually taking envelopes of cash containing $9,000 at a security checkpoint in Rome.  The man’s calm demeanor is striking as he takes the money literally from the man behind him going through security.

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Putin On The Rap: Russian President Says Rap Will Not Be Banned But “Directed” By The State

For an authoritarian leader like President Vladimir Putin, this may seem like the height of liberalism.  Putin told cultural advisers  that the rising popularity of rap music will, not be banned by rather “we must lead it and direct it.”  It is not clear what Putin rap might sound like but it is clearly going to be something Stalin rather than Solzhenitsyn would dance to.  We all know what Soviet central planning did to the economy.  We can now watch the same magic of centrally planned rap music.

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“Satan Is Sitting Inside Them”: Russian Orthodox Priest Under Review After Violent Baptism

Ilia Semiletov will face a church court and could be struck off after he was seen three times forcing the naked child's head in the font in Yessentuki, south west Russia

I am sorry but it really seems like Father Ilia Semiletov has some issues and it is really not a little Satanic girl. The Russian orthodox priest is under review after the shocking videotape below where he is shown violently pushing a little girl into a baptismal font to remove the Satan within her.

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Quebec Theater Fined In For Actor Lighting Fake Cigarette On Stage

One could imagine a number of things that might draw the attention, if not the ire, of aspiring censors in Quebec in the performance of Conversations avec mon pénis, starting with the woman dressed as a giant penis.  However, the $500 fine levied against the theater was for Marc-André Thibault sitting next to the giant penis while he smoked a fake cigarette on stage.

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British Ads Barred in 2019 From Showing Any Form Of Gender Stereotype

We have previously discussed how Great Britain has embraced the “nanny state” in regulating speech and conduct that are deemed unhealthy or inimical to good social policy.  The latest example are new rules to take effect in 2019 the will ban sexist or gender stereotypes from advertising. This includes showing men or women in gender stereotypical activities because such images are deemed to contribute to pay inequality or psychological harm.

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Egyptian Actress Faces Incarceration Over Wearing Revealing Dress To Film Festival

Egypt is again showing the world that it is regressing into medieval religious orthodoxy under the enforcement of Islamic values through criminal laws. The latest victim of religious orthodoxy is actress Rania Youssef who may go to jail for wearing a revealing dress.  That’s right, she is facing criminal charges for wearing a dress at the Cairo Film Festival.  Just for the record, I hate the dress.  But that is a stylistic matter. The case is an attack on free speech and what is most disturbing is that it is the work of two lawyers who seem to relish being vehicles of repression and intolerance. Continue reading “Egyptian Actress Faces Incarceration Over Wearing Revealing Dress To Film Festival”

Road Rage: Man Hit Elephant . . . Elephant Crushes Man

African_elephant_maleIn Thailand, police are dealing with a rather novel case of road rage after a man was driving at an excessive speed through the Khao Yai National Park after being warned about animals on the road and hit an elephant in its back legs. The elephant proceeded to crush the car with the man in it.

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Russian Orthodox Church Priest Consecrates Holy Anti-Aircraft Missile Of Antioch

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Move over Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, the Russians have a more potent form of holy-war materiel.

On November 29th, Russian Military Forces deployed at Dzankoy, Crimea an S-400 Anti-Aircraft System as part of its military occupation of the peninsula. Not to be without an appropriate blessing for this divinely inspired weapon system, the military arranged for consecration of these Anti-Aircraft Missiles of Antioch by priests of the Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate.

Pie erucae dominus
Dona eis requiem

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Temple University Refuses To Fire Professor Dumped By CNN For Anti-Israel Comments

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Temple University professor and CNN contributor Marc Lamont Hill caused a stir after he spoke before the United Nations and made pro-Palestinian statements that critics claimed were thinly veiled calls for the elimination of Israel.  CNN promptly fired Hill and many at Temple University demanded that the media studies professor also be fired.  Temple correctly stood firm on the free speech rights of faculty to speak out on such important but controversial issues. While disassociating itself from the merits of the commentary, the university stated that “we acknowledge that he has a constitutionally protected right to express his opinion as a private citizen.” Continue reading “Temple University Refuses To Fire Professor Dumped By CNN For Anti-Israel Comments”

Lewinsky Implicates Bill Clinton In Federal Crimes As The Clintons Embark On 13-City Speaking Tour

225px-Bill_ClintonBelow is my column in The Hill newspaper on the underreported disclosures made by Monica Lewinsky in her recent interviews with A&E.  Even with the Clintons starting a popular 13 city speaking tour, there has been little coverage of the fact that Lewinsky implicated Bill Clinton in a myriad of possible federal crimes. Indeed, the interview by Frank McKenna, the former Canadian Ambassador to the United States, conspicuously avoided any questions about Clinton’s alleged sexual assaults or the new disclosures by Lewinsky about his alleged encouragement for her to lie to federal investigators.  The disconnect is mystifying.  Democrats continue to line up to hear Bill Clinton who was accused of multiple women of sexual assault and only last week was implicated in crimes by Lewinsky.  That disconnect could come back to haunt Democrats if they seek to hold Trump accountable for conduct that they have dismissed by Clinton.

Here is the column: Continue reading “Lewinsky Implicates Bill Clinton In Federal Crimes As The Clintons Embark On 13-City Speaking Tour”

Will Manafort Sue The Guardian? Former Trump Campaign Chair Declares Assange Story “Totally False and Deliberately Libelous”

UnknownIn my column yesterday, I discussed the major news story out of the Guardian that former Trump Campaign Chair Paul Manafort repeatedly met with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The Guardian reported that  Manafort visited Assange in Ecuador’s London embassy in 2013, 2015 and in spring 2016. That last visit allegedly occurred around the same time as Manafort’s selection as Trump campaign chair. Ecuador’s Senain intelligence agency reportedly said that the logs include “Paul Manaford [sic]” and mentioned “Russians.”  Now however Manafort and Wikileaks have completely denied the story and Manafort charged that the story is “totally false and deliberately libelous.”  If so, that could lead to an interesting defamation lawsuit that should be relatively easy to prove either way. Continue reading “Will Manafort Sue The Guardian? Former Trump Campaign Chair Declares Assange Story “Totally False and Deliberately Libelous””

Saudi Prince: “The CIA Is Not Necessarily The Highest Standard of Veracity”

It may be the single least self-aware statement of the year.  Prince Turki al-Faisal has insisted that the CIA assessment that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi can be dismissed because “the CIA is not necessarily the highest standard of veracity or accuracy in assessing situations.”  This is coming from a government that has issued a series of bold-faced lies about its murdering of the journalist from claiming that Khashoggi was actually alive to blaming him for a brawl in the consulate to now insisting that a group of men (including those closely tied to the Crown Prince) carried out the murder without his knowledge.  Of course, even President Trump cannot decide if he will believe his own intelligence officials or the Crown Prince.  Trump said continued to say that it is not clear that the Crown Prince ordered the killing despite incriminating tapes and overwhelming evidence to the contrary — as well as leading Republicans saying that continued denials are unbelievable and embarrassing for the country. Continue reading “Saudi Prince: “The CIA Is Not Necessarily The Highest Standard of Veracity””

The Khashoggi Murder: Trump Suggests “The Vicious World” May Be More To Blame Than The Saudi Crown Prince

donald_trump_president-elect_portrait_croppedPresident Donald Trump continues to refuse to accept the findings of his own Administration and overwhelming evidence of the guilt of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the savage murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.  Trump’s refusal has continued despite the report of a tape of a  “smoking gun phone call” of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with an alleged instruction to “silence Jamal Khashoggi as soon as possible.” In a new interview, Trump has suggested that perhaps we should all just agree on blaming a “vicious world.”  Continue reading “The Khashoggi Murder: Trump Suggests “The Vicious World” May Be More To Blame Than The Saudi Crown Prince”

“Maybe He Did And Maybe He Didn’t!”: Trump Signals That He Will Ignore His Own Administration’s Conclusions On Culpability of Crown Prince

donald_trump_president-elect_portrait_croppedSaudi Arabia flagPresident Donald Trump signaled today that he will simply not accept the conclusions of his own CIA which found with confidence that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the brutal murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. If true, it would represent one of the lowest moral moments for this country.  Update:  Trump just reportedly dismissed the issue by saying “it is what it is.”  What it is is murder and the question is what we are.  Continue reading ““Maybe He Did And Maybe He Didn’t!”: Trump Signals That He Will Ignore His Own Administration’s Conclusions On Culpability of Crown Prince”