Category: Society

Fighting “Information Disorder”: Aspen’s Orwellian Commission on Controlling Speech in America

The Aspen Institute has issued the results of its much heralded 16-person Commission on Information Disorder on how to protect the public from misinformation. The commission on disinformation and “building trust” was partially headed by Katie Couric who is still struggling with her own admission that she edited an interview to remove controversial statements by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The Aspen recommendations however are a full-throated endorsement of systems of censorship. Continue reading “Fighting “Information Disorder”: Aspen’s Orwellian Commission on Controlling Speech in America”

Yankee Doodling the Media: How ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ Became a Rallying Cry Against News Bias

Below is my column in The Hill on the growing “Let’s Go, Brandon” movement, which is a unique response to what many people view as a bias media. It is the modern equivalent of the adoption of “Yankee Doodle Dandy” by colonists in using what was a contemptuous expression as a rallying cry of defiance.

Here is the column: Continue reading “Yankee Doodling the Media: How ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ Became a Rallying Cry Against News Bias”

Spooky Torts: The 2021 List of Litigation Horrors

Here is my annual list of Halloween torts and crimes. Halloween of course remains a holiday seemingly designed for personal injury lawyers around the world and this year’s additions show why. Halloween has everything for a torts-filled holiday: battery, trespass, defamation, nuisance, product liability and more. This year, we have the usual fun frights caught on camera, nuisance complaints from “triggered” neighbors, and the occasional misdirected murder investigation. However, there are still some notable additions that raise more legal frights.

So, with no further ado, here is this year’s updated list of actual cases related to Halloween. Continue reading “Spooky Torts: The 2021 List of Litigation Horrors”

Judge Orders Philadelphia to Remove Plywood Box Covering Columbus Statute

Common Pleas Court Judge Paula Patrick issued an order on Friday that Mayor Jim Kenney and the city of Philadelphia must remove the plywood box covering a statue of Christopher Columbus. The 144-year-old statue was covered up due to protests that the explorer represents racial injustice and abuse. Other Columbus statues have been destroyed, including one in Baltimore. When asked about that destruction, Speaker Nancy Pelosi shrugged and said “people will do what they do.”  For his part, Kenney has announced that his administration will appeal the ruling in an effort to keep Columbus covered from public view. Continue reading “Judge Orders Philadelphia to Remove Plywood Box Covering Columbus Statute”

Princeton Facing Possible Legal Action After Labeling Professor Racist for Opposing Race-Based Faculty Perks

We just discussed a lawsuit by UCLA Professor Gordon Klein who alleges that the university threw him under the bus over a controversial email when it suspended him and posted statements strongly suggesting that he is racist. Now a second such case may be developing at Princeton with an even more direct university allegation of racism against Classics Professor Joshua Katz. The university recently featured Katz in a mandatory freshman orientation video that included a “Race and Free Speech” section in which he is condemned as a racist. According to the site College Fix, his lawyer has said that legal possible action is being explored. Continue reading “Princeton Facing Possible Legal Action After Labeling Professor Racist for Opposing Race-Based Faculty Perks”

“I Will Not Wear a Mask”: New Mexico Professor Placed on Leave After Refusing To Take Vaccine or Wear Mask

A New Mexico State University professor is the latest professor to pledge to challenge COVID mandates after a strident anti-vaccine lecture that contained comparisons to the Nazis and concentration camps. Business law Professor David Clements had just received the teaching excellence award but could not attend the ceremony over his refusal to wear a mask. The video shows students leaving the lecture, which I felt was inappropriate and over-the-top for making this point. Professor Clements has every right to challenge the mandate but I was astonished by the length and intensity of this lecture that became a diatribe before the students who came for a business law class.  Clements was later put on paid administrative leave. Continue reading ““I Will Not Wear a Mask”: New Mexico Professor Placed on Leave After Refusing To Take Vaccine or Wear Mask”

The New Federalist Party: Biden Moves Forward With the Greatest Federalization Push Since Adams

President Joe Biden has long pledged to “build back better” but in the last few months it has become clear that his transformative plans go beyond mere infrastructure and extend to our very structure of government.

From abortions to elections to rents, Biden is seeking to federalize huge areas to displace state law. Not since John Adams and his Federalist Party has the country faced such a fundamental challenge to our system of federalism. Continue reading “The New Federalist Party: Biden Moves Forward With the Greatest Federalization Push Since Adams”

California Medical Ethics Expert Sues University Over Vaccine Mandate

We recently discussed the lawsuit filed by a George Mason University professor who refused to get the Covid vaccine upon the recommendation of his doctors and due to his natural antibodies after recovering from the virus. GMU later relented and gave him an exception. However, now a University of California professor has sued on the same ground. Aaron Kheriaty, professor of psychiatry and human behavior at the University of California at Irvine, is the latest effort to force review of the issue of natural antibodies as a protection from Covid. Continue reading “California Medical Ethics Expert Sues University Over Vaccine Mandate”

“The Light is Better Here”: Garland Pledges To Protect Abortion Clinics From “Attack”

The Day the Music Died: Taliban Ban Music and Then Execute Leading Afghan Folk Singer

Roughly 50 years ago, Don McLean released his son song, “American Pie” with its famous line about “The Day the Music Died.” It was a reference to when Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. Richardson died along with pilot Roger Peterson in an airplane crash. For Afghans, the day the music died coincided with the Taliban takeover of their country. Nothing drove home that fact than the horrific killing of Afghan folk singer Fawad Andarabi, who was executed by the Taliban for playing music. Continue reading “The Day the Music Died: Taliban Ban Music and Then Execute Leading Afghan Folk Singer”

Tennessee Prosecutor Accused of Telling Deputies to Destroy Pictures of Brutal Beating

A very disturbing case of alleged police brutality just got far worse after defense counsel for Jim Jones, 62, alleged in open court that a prosecutor with the District Attorney for Lawrence County, Tennessee told a deputy sheriff to delete pictures of the beaten Jones.  The prosecutor “has been terminated” but the question is whether the disclosure will feature in a trial for civil damages.

Continue reading “Tennessee Prosecutor Accused of Telling Deputies to Destroy Pictures of Brutal Beating”

Two “Widows,” Two Funerals, and a Lawsuit: Baltimore Funeral Home Sued In Bizarre Alleged Bait-and-Switch

In my torts class, we discuss liability for the mishandling of corpses as well as torts like the intentional or negligent infliction of emotional distress related to deceased remains. The latest such example could well be a torts final hypothetical. Wylie Funeral Homes in Baltimore is accused of giving a widow an empty urn and lying about the handling of the remains of her deceased husband. It only gets more bizarre from there. We will be discussing this case in class for years to come.

Continue reading “Two “Widows,” Two Funerals, and a Lawsuit: Baltimore Funeral Home Sued In Bizarre Alleged Bait-and-Switch”

Oregon Suspends Need For High School Graduates To Be Proficient in Reading, Writing, and Math

I was once told by a pilot that jet bridges are the most dangerous places in aviation because “no one dies on the plane.” When someone has a fatal episode on a plane, the preference is to move the person outside to “call the code” on the bridge rather than require the plane to be held or quarantined due to the death. If you just move them outside, they died somewhere else. The result is that it can be challenging to determine how many people actually die on airplanes.

That story came to mind this week as more schools moved to end standardized testing — a move that can guarantee no one fails in their schools. In this case, students who lack proficiency in basic subjects are being sent out into society or even college to fail somewhere else. Anywhere other than the school. Continue reading “Oregon Suspends Need For High School Graduates To Be Proficient in Reading, Writing, and Math”

Res ipsa loquitur – The thing itself speaks