Drinking and eating contests were once the rage. While most (though not all) of the drinking contests are gone, eating contests are still prevalent. The risk of choking is obvious in such contests as is tragically evident in Connecticut in a new filing. The family of Caitlin Nelson, 20, is suing Sacred Heart University for her death in a pancake-eating contest. The filing is based on “the preventable dangers associated with amateur eating competitions.”
We have been previously discussing our ridiculous medical insurance system where citizens are hit with obscene charges — often by design to ensnare those unwilling or unable to challenge the charges. It can range from an $18,000 charge for a napping child to $15,000 for tiny screws to $89,329 for a $750 serum. The system exists because Congress allows it to exist in conformity with an army of lobbyists for the pharmaceutical and medical industries. The latest example was laid out by National Public Radio (NPR). Professor Janet Winston, 56, who teaches Humboldt State University, was charged $48, 329 for allergy testing at Stanford Health Care. Continue reading “California Professor Charged $48,329 for Allergy Tests By Stanford Health Care”
San Francisco has triggered a national debate over its decision to register undocumented migrants to vote in school board elections. However, a more pressing controversy may be the amount of money spent on the effort. San Francisco spent $310,000 to register just 49 people in the city. That translates to $6,326 a vote. The measure has created an interesting split among advocates as some have warned the city could be giving ICE a ready-made list for roundups of deportations. Continue reading “San Francisco Spends $6,326 A Vote To Register 49 Undocumented Migrants To Vote”
We just hit another milestone this weekend with over 35,000,000 views. We are also recently closing in on 60,000 followers on Twitter. We like to call the site the “little engine that could” among blogs with our growing collection of people from around the world. Despite a few contributors who insist on personal characterizations and attacks, this site strives to be a place for civil but passionate discourse on legal and policy issues of our time (and perhaps a few wacky stories).
We often use these milestones to look at the current profile of the blog and its supporters around the world. As always, I want to offer special thanks to Darren Smith who continues help up with periodic technical problems and our many regular commentators and readers. We try to keep this blog as an open forum with as little interference or monitoring of the comments as possible. Given our free speech orientation, we try not to delete comments and, for that reason, we are deeply appreciative of how most people avoid personal or offensive comments in debating these issues. Obviously, our open forum allows trolls and others to spew comments that are at times offensive and obnoxious but we continue to believe that civil and balanced comments will prevail. Thank you for voluntarily assuming restraint over the tenor and content of your comments.
So here is our current profile:
In the aftermath of NBC cancelling Megyn Kelly’s show after her comments of growing up with black face costumes, the controversy continued over on CNN after CNN political analyst Kirsten Powers declared that the feelings of white people are irrelevant in barring the use of Indian and other costumes as cultural appropriation. When commentator Kris Paronto (who is famous for his role in guarding the CIA annex during the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi) criticized Powers for saying the feelings of white people “didn’t matter,” Powers responded by calling Paronto and others criticism her “racists.” The exchange is an example of how little dialogue is actually occurring despite the focus on this issue. I have been critical of university efforts to ban certain Halloween outfits, but I can see the objections raised over their depiction. The problem is that no discussion is possible when maintaining an opposing view is instantly and conclusorily dismissed as racist. Continue reading “Costume Controversy Over Halloween Heats Up After Megyn Kelly’s Cancellation”
A new decision from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) confirms the all-out assault on free speech that has taken hold of Europe. In a chilling decision, the ECHR upheld a fine levied against an Austrian woman who called Muhammad a pedophile for his arranged marriage with a young girl while in his 50s. The court ruled that such views are not protected by free speech because they violate “the right of others to have their religious feelings protected.” The decision confirms the near complete subjugation of free speech to religious and other views in society. Continue reading “European Court Upholds Prosecution Of Woman For Comparing Muhammad’s Marriage To A Six-Year-Old Girl To Pedophilia”
I have the honor today to delivering the keynote address at the school’s 12th Annual Conference on America’s Founding Principles and History. This year’s conference is entitled Hail to the Chief (Justice): An Examination of the Evolution of the Supreme Court. My address is entitled “Chief Among Equals: A Comparative Analysis of Chief Justices In History. It will be held in the Gaines Theatre at 3 pm.
It appears that city officials in Oak Park, Michigan do not have enough crimes or infrastructure issues to address. The officials took it upon themselves to outlaw clown halloween costumes because they are just too scary. The illogic of the measure is only equalled by its futility. It is precisely the type of measure that characterizes the “nanny state” where officials impose their own whims and will on citizens. The ban from the Halloween celebration is meant to protect “people [with] phobias and anxiety about clowns.” Continue reading “Michigan Town Bans Clown Costumes From Annual Halloween Celebration To Protect People With Clown Phobias”
Telemundo has posted a highly disturbing video of a white woman screaming profanities at a Spanish-speaking family and demanding to see their passports. The offensive tirade captures our age of rage in this country. The video was taken by the Guatemalan woman who appears the target of the enraged diatribe at Andy’s restaurant in Lovettsville, Virginia. The incident is painfully reminiscent of the video of New York attorney Aaron Schlossberg that we discussed earlier in the year.
Janet Arsanian, a teacher at Cortney Junior High School, is facing calls for her termination after her son dressed as Adolf Hitler for Halloween. The controversy rekindles our long debate over the free speech rights of teachers and public employees in controversial statements or actions in their private lives. Arsanian insisted that “we don’t worship Hitler or agree with what he did.” More importantly, there is no allegation that Arsanian has shown any intolerance or inappropriate responses in her role as a teacher. I share to reaction of many to such a costume as offensive but, as many on this blog know, I tend to follow a robust view of free speech in such controversies. Continue reading “Nevada Teacher Faces Calls For Termination After Her Son Dresses As Hitler For Halloween”
By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
Often we can find value in the wisdom of other cultures, especially when we have arrived at an impasse where opposing groups cannot find common ground and the same arguments tend to dominate the discussion. Often this results from the refusal or inability to find outside evidence or analysis.
I believe eventually such an impasse over the NFL kneeling controversy will become moot as the interest in such displays will eventually go away, like many other movements. People eventually move on to other controversies. Yet for those who desire to continue to debate the matter, a family member of mine suggested watching the following video produced in India that structurally presents the same type of controversy–of whether or not to stand during their national anthem at sporting events.
What I found fascinating was seeing the expression of the two sides’ positions through the lens of one of the cultures in India, and especially the contrast between an element representing the traditional thinking versus a younger generation having a different definition of fairness and inclusiveness.
Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the call by alumni and professors at St. Lawrence University to strip Sen. Susan Collins (R., Maine) of her honorary degree in light of her vote to confirm Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The university has now confirmed that they have never rescinded an honorary degree and will not start with Collins. Putting aside the prevalent “rape culture” declared by almost a hundred faculty members, the two letters reflect the diminishing hold of intellectual honesty and integrity at our places of higher education.
I wrote a column yesterday in The Hill newspaper on the effort to strip away the honorary degree awarded to Sen. Susan Collins (R., Maine) in 2017 in retaliation for her vote to confirm Justice Brett Kavanaugh. One of the letters seeking the rescission was from roughly 100 professors from virtually every department within St. Lawrence University. What was most surprising was the assertion of these faculty members that St. Lawrence University has a “rape culture” and that Sen. Collins’ vote was in furtherance of that culture. Notably, there are only 217 full-time and part-time faculty at the university.
I have written a great deal about the disturbing case of Feminist Studies Associate Professor Mireille Miller-Young who criminally assault pro-life advocates on campus of the University of California at Santa Barbara. I have expressed my shock that she was not fired by the University of California and how she was supported by many faculty and students in her violent response to a pro-life display. Now however she will be honored as a featured speaker at the University of Oregon’s Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Part of its “black feminist speaker series,” Miller-Young will “discuss her work on black feminism, labor and sex work.” The College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of English promise that the series will show “the radical potential of black feminism in the work that we do on campus and in our everyday lives.” She will presumably leave out her work leading students in a violent attack on free speech. Continue reading “California Professor Who Assaulted Pro-Life Advocates Is Featured by Oregon To Help Students “Embrace . . . The Radical Potential of Black Feminism in Our Everyday Lives””
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) effectively called President Donald Trump a welcher after she took a DNA test as he demanded on national television on the promise that he would donate $1 million to her favorite charity. While the test by a Stanford professor showed only that she was between 0.097 per cent and 0.156 per cent American Indian, it was still a DNA test. Warren called on Trump to donate to the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center. President Trump however initially denied that he ever made the offer and then changed the offer retroactively to require his testing Warren. Continue reading “Warren Takes DNA Test Showing Distant Native American Heritage . . . Trump Denies Pledging One Million Dollars”