A sensible attitude

It has always been absurd that the followers of a faith that believes in an all-powerful deity would think that they need to take law into their own hands or to require the government to crack down on what they see as heresy and heretics. If their god is upset, surely he could deal with it by himself? Conversely, the fact that their god did not do anything must be because he was not upset by whatever it was that got his followers all hot and bothered.
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Will Weinstein be prosecuted vigorously?

I have written before about how Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. does not prosecute big banks or the moneyed class but goes after those who have little power, such as minorities.

Media mogul Harvey Weinstein can be accurately described as a monster. Reporter Ronan Farrow who broke much of the story that implicated Weinstein in cases of rape and sexual abuse is a little wary as to whether the prosecution will be vigorous because of the fact that the person who is in charge of this case is Vance, the same person who dropped charges on earlier allegations after Weinstein’s lawyers made big contributions to Vance’s election campaigns.
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Yep, Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer really knows what women want

The charges against former media mogul Harvey Weinstein, that he abused and raped multiple women, keep growing even as his trial on some of the charges begins. But it seems like he has found his soul mate in his lawyer.

What century is she living in? And what have everyday courteous behavior and mild pleasantries got to do with rape and sexual abuse?

Protest, demonstration, revolt, uprising, rebellion, or riot?

The First Amendment to the US constitution lists five freedoms, two of which are expressed as “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances”. But what happens when the people cease, for whatever reason, to be ‘peaceable’ in their petitioning? Then what the situation is called becomes a critical element in how it is viewed and responded to. Each of the words protest, demonstration, revolt, uprising, rebellion, and riot can be used characterize a situation in which a large number of people have assembled in public in defiance of the authorities because the normal channels through which those grievances can be redressed are deemed to be ineffective. But which label is used is important in creating general public perceptions.
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Curious understanding of the word ‘divisive’

The Hallmark TV channel, that has become synonymous with bland programming and anodyne content, had shown an ad from a wedding planning company called Zola that features a lesbian couple briefly kissing at the altar on their wedding day. This of course caused anti-gay bigots to get the vapors and an obscure conservative group called One Million Moms, part of the American Family Association, contacted the Hallmark CEO to complain and the company pulled four Zola ads that featured same-sex couples but not two that did not.
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Film review: The Report (2019)

I saw this film yesterday that is based on real events and found it to be very gripping. It stars Adam Driver as Daniel Jones, a member of Senator Diane Feinstein’s staff, who was assigned by her to investigate reports of torture by the CIA. Despite the fact that the CIA refused to cooperate with him, over five years he and a small team painstakingly built up a dossier of all the illegal and immoral actions and war crimes that were committed under the justification of ‘keeping us safe’. They produced a comprehensive torture report that the CIA and the White House of Bush and Obama tried to avoid releasing.
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Scott Warren acquitted in second trial

It took the jury just a few hours to acquit the human rights activist who was charged with breaking the law because he provided food, water, clothing, and shelter, to weary immigrants crossing the desert regions on the US-Mexican border. The first trial had ended in a hung jury and the Customs and Border Protection agency decided to try him again and this time urged the judge to not allow Warren to bring up the cruel policies of Donald Trump as a defense.
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CBP wants retrial of Scott Warren to omit mention of Trump policies

Readers may remember the case of Scott Warren who was arrested and charged for providing food, water, clothing, and shelter to weary undocumented migrants who had undertaken the dangerous trek over arid and barren land on the southern US border. The trial resulted in a hung jury that refused to convict him. Of course, the Customs and Border Protection agency has decided to waste time and money by retrying him.
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John Oliver on the evil of SLAPP lawsuits

It is a terrific show with a rousing finale. You should really check it out.

As I have said many times before when Jon Stewart was host of The Daily Show, while you may be able to win a public spat against ordinary people, it is a big mistake to get into one with a professional comedian who has his own show with a stable of writers and a network that has deep pockets and backs them up. You will always end up looking ridiculous.

But as Oliver says, SLAPP lawsuits can have a chilling effect on pretty much everyone else which is why we need all fifty states, not just the current thirty, to pass anti-SLAPP legislation.

Trump family grifters have to pay fine and take courses

In a resolution of a case brought by New York’s attorney general Letitia James, a judge has ordered Donald Trump to pay $2 million to charities not of his choosing as a fine for the fact that he used his supposedly charitable foundation to pay for his campaign.

Judge Saliann Scarpulla said Mr Trump had “breached his fiduciary duty” by allowing funds raised for US veterans to be used for the Iowa primary election in 2016.

The money was raised in a televised fundraiser during a Republican primary debate that Mr Trump skipped.

“I direct Mr Trump to pay the $2,000,000, which would have gone to the Foundation if it were still in existence,” the judge wrote, saying it must be paid by Mr Trump himself and should go to eight charities he has no relationship to.

Mr Trump said the case had been resolved and that he was “happy to donate” $2m to the Army Emergency Relief, Children’s Aid Society, City Meals-on-Wheels, Give an Hour, Martha’s Table, United Negro College Fund, United Way of Capital Area and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Ms James said Mr Trump had admitted to “personally misusing funds at the Trump Foundation”.

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