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News Update – Supreme Court, Aaron Hernandez and more

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Let’s be clear, the Supreme Court of the United States is still led by conservatives. The Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act. The Supreme Court also struck down California’s Proposition 8. Basically, the Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s decision. Let’s be clear. The Supreme Court did not step out on a limb and boldly go where no man has gone before. As a matter fact, they wimped out. The Supreme Court had an opportunity to tell gay and lesbian Americans that they had the exact same rights as any and all other Americans – to marry anyone whom they love. That is not what the Supreme Court did. Instead, the Supreme Court made what in my opinion was a very narrow ruling. The question still remains about whether gay marriage is legal throughout the land and the answer has to be no. If you happen to live in the correct state, gay marriage is okay in that state. I’m sorry, but I understand that there are lots of people who are very happy, but I continue to be disappointed by the closed-minded cowardice of what is supposed to be the greatest court in the land.

Wendy Davis is awesome!!!

Yesterday, I talked about the New England Patriots tight end, Aaron Hernandez. Today, Mr. Hernandez was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. 90 minutes after his arraignment, the New England Patriots released Aaron Hernandez. He is on his own.

I would like to point everyone to Linda Greenhouse’s article in the New York Times. In my opinion, Linda Greenhouse was the best legal reporter in the country when she retired couple years ago. The article:

“While any racial discrimination in voting is too much,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. told us in Tuesday’s decision gutting the Voting Rights Act, “Congress must ensure that the legislation it passes to remedy that problem speaks to current conditions.”

Well, here’s a current condition: the ink was barely dry on the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder when Attorney General Greg Abbott of Texas announced that his state’s voter-ID law, blocked by a federal court last summer, “will take effect immediately.”

The Texas statute has the most stringent requirements of any voter-ID law in the country. The three-judge federal panel, pointing out in a 56-page opinion the several less onerous versions that the Legislature had rejected, found that the state had failed to meet its burden under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act to show that the law wouldn’t have the effect of suppressing the minority vote.

With his precipitous in-your-face move, the Texas attorney general may be doing us a favor, making clear that the court’s decision has real and immediate consequences. Welcome to the Roberts court’s brave new post-Voting Rights Act world.

Roger Federer gets bounced out of the second round of Wimbledon. Maria Sharapova is also out.

By |2013-06-27T22:38:20-04:00June 26th, 2013|Civil Rights, Sports, Supreme court|Comments Off on News Update – Supreme Court, Aaron Hernandez and more

Friday Afternoon News Roundup

Friday Afternoon News Roundup

supreme CourtI’ve been ridiculously busy lately. I hope this News Roundup finds all of my readers in good health.

I’m still a little confused why a Democrat would not support comprehensive background checks on all gun sales. It makes no sense. As a matter fact, it’s unclear to me why every American would not support this simple act.

I know there’s been lots of discussion over the Supreme Court this week. They’ve heard two big cases regarding gay marriage. You can read a comprehensive discussion of California’s proposition 8 here.  The Supreme Court also heard arguments for and against the Defense of Marriage Act. Personally, I have a problem when the United States government decides to discriminate against any group of people.

Sexual assault should not be tolerated in the military. This is a no-brainer.

It is kind of funny how our whole system is now in jeopardy because bees cannot find their ways back home. All of our agriculture really depends on bees being able to pollinate flowers. There’s a whole industry that has developed to move bees from one place to another in order to improve pollination rates. Now, unfortunately, these bees seem to have a problem with orientation. This could be extremely problematic. (Then again, it seems to be the job of the media to make us uneasy or frightened about something. There’s always something. See the next paragraph!)

We all know that the United States and other countries have increased sanctions against North Korea. Well, we’ve upped the ante by flying to B-2 stealth bombers near North Korea and dropping test charges on a South Korean test range. North Korea is a particularly sticky wicket. Its proximity to South Korea makes any significant intervention really problematic, yet it is clear that we cannot sit back and do nothing. North Korea is on the path to holding the world hostage as it sits on some sort of nuclear weapon.

A pair of studies suggest that hospital resident work hours may lead to more errors (here and here or here and here). Although this study got a lot of play in the media, there was no significant, in-depth discussion. Somewhere around 10 or 15 years ago New York lawmakers decided that medical house staff were making errors because of their unreasonable work hours. Following this, work hours were cut further still in order to protect patients. According to a new study, error rates may be increasing. Everybody wants to decrease preventable errors. The big question is how do you do this without harming medical education. A young physician does not have his experience to fall back on and therefore must be exposed to a wide variety of scenarios in order to be confident upon graduation. How do you do this? Currently, nobody has a good answer.

North Carolina is looking to limit early voting because… it has been bad for democracy?

Finally, scientists are closing in on Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak.


Grab Bag

It should be no surprise to anyone that members of the gay and lesbian community are upset and disappointed with Barack Obama. The community had high hopes for President Bill Clinton, who let them down on a number of occasions, including the laughable policy Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. I think it is time for progressives to be truly… progressive. We cannot stand back and wait for change. We need make it happen. This is a civil rights issue. To this end, the gay and lesbian community needs to organize as they did in the mid-1980s. They need to march from Washington to Miami and from Houston to LA. They need to get support from the mainstream progressive community. We need to write Congress and force our congressmen to introduce legislation that would eliminate discrimination based on sexual orientation. This would resend the indefensible Defense of Marriage Act and would also eliminate Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. I guarantee that President Barack Obama would sign such legislation. On the other hand, Obama is not to make the same mistake that President Bill Clinton did, which is to get out ahead of the public on gay and lesbian issues. Clinton lost standing with the Pentagon because he forced, or tried to force, equality in the military.

If you question whether there is a media bias in this country, I would ask you to look no further than the Washington Post. They just fired liberal columnist Dan Froomkin. Their reasons for firing him are somewhat nebulous. He was never given the real status of a columnist. Instead, he was simply given a blog. The blog did not have a high profile (no links from the front page… can be found on the opinion page in the bottom left-hand corner). Yet he had a loyal following. I guess one of my questions is what does a columnist need to do in order to get fired? If a columnist is completely wrong on multiple occasions, does that get you fired? Charles Krauthammer’s been so wrong for so long it’s hard to imagine anyone being less correct. He continues to advocate for torture. So, if advocating for torture doesn’t get you fired… then maybe being a liberal and standing up for liberal principles may be the problem.

There was a very interesting story that the New York Times posted yesterday about their reporter David Rohde. He was kidnapped by the Taliban seven months ago. He somehow managed to escape and he found a Pakistani army scout who took them to a nearby army base. Congratulations to David. Unfortunately, his driver who was also kidnapped did not escape. It will be interesting to see if the Americans or the Pakistanis find the location of this Taliban base.

Finally, conservatives continue to complain that Barack Obama has not been outspoken enough about the Iranian uprising. If we’ve learned nothing from the past eight years we have clearly learned that words have consequences. After George Bush confronted the Iranian government and called them part of the Axis of Evil, they accelerated their nuclear program. They are now closer than ever to developing a nuclear bomb. George W. Bush inflamed Iranians and Muslims with his rhetoric. Barack Obama has been more cautious and thoughtful, in my opinion. He released a statement yesterday that some may describe as timid. Former Secretaries of State Burzynski and Kissinger have supported Obama’s approach. Even George Will has called criticism of Obama’s approach “foolish.” The death of this young Iranian woman at the hands of the Iranian police could have significant repercussions.

Graphic Video of a woman who died in the Iranian protests:

By |2009-06-21T13:40:57-04:00June 21st, 2009|Civil Rights, Iran, Media|Comments Off on Grab Bag
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