There is an interesting controversy out of Youngstown, Ohio where attorney Andrea Burton have been jailed for five days for contempt in refusing to take off her Black Lives Matter pin. Youngstown Municipal Court Judge Robert Milich ruled that such pins are a distraction and inappropriate for the courtroom, but Burton refused to yield.
With states and cities struggling to support schools, infrastructure and other basic necessities, our government continues to spend wildly and wastefully with little political accountability. The latest such example is the $1.4 billion dollars spent on abstinence-only education as an effort to reduce the spread of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa from 2004-2013. A new study shows that the program never showed any success and yet the government continued to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into Africa because the program was politically attractive.
The infamous Iranian Basij militia cracked down on the use of satellite dishes by confiscating 100,000 dishes in Tehran. Iranian prosecutors insisted that dishes expose families to UnIslamic influences and are “morally damaging.” The dishes were destroyed in a triumphant ceremony before General Mohammad Reza Naghdi, head of Iran’s Basij militia. Most people view Naghdi’s crackdown as a pathetic and laughable example of religious orthodoxy that still strangles Iranian society. However, Naghdi heralded the latest achievement of his extremist forces.
There is a little reported story out of the Democratic National Convention where two Sanders delegates have been barred from attending the event. The problem was not their credentials or their conduct. State Sen. Tim Ashe (right below) and Ken Dean are men and the DNC ruled that there were simply too many of that kind in the delegation. Vermont was ordered to replace them with women, any women, so long as the delegation was equal. Ashe and Dean have filed challenges for good reason.
We have followed the rise of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has single-handedly destroyed Turkey’s secular traditions and rolled back on civil liberties. With the support of Islamic parties, Erdogan used the recent failed coup to complete his work in arresting his critics, forcing the resignation of thousands of secular academics, and suspending all civil liberties in a proclaimed state of emergency. The United States helped create the tyranny rising in Turkey in its support of Erdogan as he systemically dismantled the only secular, free country in the Arab world. Now, Erdogan is threatening the United States that he wants his greatest critic, US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, delivered to him and that a failure to yield to his demands would be a “big mistake.” Now, one could easily dismiss this threat as the ravings of an egomaniacal, delusional dictator with a persecution complex. However, Erdogan already forced German Chancellor Angela Merkel to reject basic free speech rights to appease him.
Saudi Arabia’s top Islamic clerics have renewed a prior religious edict or fatwa that warns against playing Pokemon in order to expressly denounce the playing of the wildly popular mobile phone application Pokemon Go as UnIslamic and evil. This will come as a shock to my kids and their cousins who recently coerced me to drive around the neighborhood to bag a few Pokemon (while correctly me that it is not pronounced “pokeMAN.”) One would have hoped that with Sunni following the Saudi Wahhabi sect beheading people and enslaving girls, Pokemon Go would seem fairly low on the list of “to do” subjects for clerics.
Yesterday, we discussed how the case against Disney in the death of two-year-old Lane Graves seemed to be getting worse for the company by the day with a new controversy over a poster instructing employees to mislead tourists asking about the risk of alligators. Many of us felt that Disney richly deserved to be sued and that such a lawsuit could produce valuable deterrence for Disney and other companies in the future. However, to the surprise of many, Matt and Melissa Graves of Elkhart, Nebraska have announced that they will not sue Disney for the death of their son in the lagoon at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa at Florida’s Walt Disney World.