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Superstitious Nonsense. Not.

Pupil’s name is Chad Farnan. His teacher, James Corbett. He taught history. At Capistrano Valley High School in southern California. Teacher had decided the Bible to be false, and one day told his students about that. Creationism is “superstitious nonsense,” he mocked.

Chad sued his teacher. Friday a federal judge agreed with Chad. “Guilty,” said the judge.

Good deal.

Read more here.

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Applause for the Supreme Court Gun Possession Ruling

Within the past hour, the Supreme Court issued a clear constitutional interpretation of the second amendment, ruling that Americans have the right to own guns for self-defense and for hunting.

This was a historical ruling, being in U. S. history the first major pronouncement from the Supremes on gun rights. In a 5-4 ruling, the District of Columbia’s 32 year-old-ban was judged incompatible with gun rights under the Second Amendment.

Writing for the majority, Justice Antonin Scalia said that an individual right to bear arms is supported by “the historical narrative” both before and after the Second Amendment was adopted.

The Constitution does not permit “the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home,” Scalia said. The court also struck down Washington’s requirement that firearms be equipped with trigger locks or kept disassembled, but left intact the licensing of guns.

Yahoo News

While I personally dislike guns and am very uncomfortable with them, I believe one of American’s basic rights is to possess guns and to protect our homes and families by force if necessary. I sincerely pray to God that will never happen, but we must have the ability to be so prepared.

I applaud this Supreme Court ruling.


My devotional blog is here.


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A Day of Shame in California

Yesterday was a shameful day in California. For on that day, the California Supreme Court ruled that a law defining marriage as the union between one man and one woman is unconstitutional.

This is outrageous. Christianity and every other major religion speaks for marriage in this way. Furthermore, overwhelmingly passed in 2000 by the constituents of California was Proposition 22, a statue protecting traditional marriage, defining marriage as being between one man and one woman.

In handing yesterday’s decision, these four liberal judges blatantly disregarded the will of the people. Justices Marvin Baxter, Ming Chin and Carol Corrigan dissented.

Justice Ming Chin Justice Marvin Baxter Justice Carol Corrigan

Justice Baxter writes:

The court majority “does not have the right to erase, then recast, the age-old definition of marriage, as virtually all societies have understood it, in order to satisfy its own contemporary notions of equality and justice.

I’m certainly far from the only person feeling outrage about this development.

The president of the Campaign for Children and Families, reacted with dismay, insisting “marriage is naturally for a man and a woman.”

“If the institution of marriage is redefined and therefore destroyed in the law, the wellbeing of children is threatened, both emotionally, socially, even physically,” Thomasson added.

A coalition of religious and social conservative groups have vowed to attempt to add a vote calling for a ban on same-sex marriage when California goes to the polls in November’s election.

Perhaps our shame can be mitigated, and this unrighteous and unfair ruling will be reversed.


My devotional blog is here.

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Court Orders Starbucks to Pay One Million Dollars

In a file phnoto customers wait for their orders inside a Starbuck's coffee house Thursday, Nov. 17, 2005, in Alameda, Calif.  A Superior Court judge on Thursday, March 20, 2008,  ordered Starbucks Corp. to pay its California baristas more than $100 million in back tips and interest that the coffee chain paid to shift supervisors.    (AP Photo/Ben Margot/file)

A few weeks ago, here on this site, we got to talking about tipping–and during that conversation someone brought up the subject of dropping tips into containers in such places as Starbucks, where, beyond the preparation of the product, little service is given. Well, it seems Starbucks has got themselves into a bit of a bind–at least in one court in California–for the tips have not been going to the barristas, but management has been giving the tips to supervisors. And that appears to be illegal.

SAN DIEGO — A Superior Court judge on Thursday ordered Starbucks Corp. to pay its California baristas more than $100 million in back tips and interest that the coffee chain paid to shift supervisors.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Patricia Cowett also issued an injunction that prevents Starbucks’ shift supervisors from sharing in future tips, saying state law prohibits managers and supervisors from sharing in employee gratuities.

All the details are here and here.

Although I tip well in a restaurant or a hotel, I don’t usually leave a tip in this kind of place, for I don’t feel I am being served–I pick up my own coffee, take it to the table, clean up and so on. I really never considered that the barristas had to count on tips to earn a fair wage. I think I resent that, for these drinks are already pricey to begin with, and I believe Starbucks and other such companies should pay their workers an adequate wage. Someone is making lots of money.

Well, because of this ruling Starbuck’s barristas will get some money back, but by the time the attorneys get their fees for this class-action suit, there will be little left.


My devotional blog is here.

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Nataline Sarkisyan Dies After CIGNA Denies Liver Transplant

Because of my friend Bethani Roam’s recent struggle with liver failure, a subsequent liver transplant, and then an on-going battle with the threat of rejection, the story of Nataline Sarkisyan is one I find touching. It has raised distinct and unavoidable questions this evening.

It is a heart-breaking story. Nataline died last night at UCLA Medical center, the result of leukemia and subsequent liver failure…and some would say, the result of her health insurance company refusing to approve a liver transplant. On December 11, her doctors contacted CIGNA for authorization, which the company refused to issue. On Thursday, around 150 people, including her family and nurses protested outside CIGNA’s offices in Glendale, CA. The uproar prompted CIGNA to reverse its decision, and during the protest, a messenger came with the word of the insurer’s change of mind.

The victory cheers were short-lived. Within hours, Nataline died. The authorization for the liver transplant had come too late.

Now according to the Associated Press:

Attorney Mark Geragos said he plans to ask the district attorney to press murder or manslaughter charges against Cigna HealthCare in the case. The insurer “maliciously killed her” because it did not want to bear the expense of her transplant and aftercare, Geragos said.

Is something wrong with our medical situation here in America? Should insurance companies have more say over the treatment of a patient than does the doctor? This does not seem right to me, and I grieve for this family. At the same time, I don’t perceive CIGNA as an evil entity, with no heart, and set on merely accumulating money. Perhaps I am naive.

Do you have thoughts about medical care in America? I believe it to be the best in the world, but when I hear of cases such as these, it brings me up short, and I must pause to consider their ramifications. For it could be me…could be my child…or another of my loved ones. What is the solution?


My devotional blog is here.

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Off to Prison, You Donut Snagger


donutsIMG_3028.jpgPicture courtesy of Bees Kitchen

Noted to be at a location in Farmington, Mo of a mid-morning in December, Scott Master walked into the store. A nod to chilly weather, Masters wore a hooded sweatshirt, a sweatshirt which among other things had ample pockets. Oblivious to the fact that within the span of a few months he would become world-renown, he strolled the aisles of the quiet store and then approached the donut case. He gazed at the sugary morsels. The sign posted over the donut case read: 52 cents each. I’m not sure about this part, but I suspect that standing stock still, he turned his head in all directions, checking to see if he were observed as he considered the deed. Thinking it to be an unnoticed move, he reached in his hand and grabbed one of the freshly fried donuts.

Safe now, he supposed, no one having raised an alarm, he casually moved past the seven green checkout lanes. He walked the space between the customer service desk and the pharmacy heading for the side exit. Had he raised his head as he walked through the door, he would have seen a large sign reading Country Mart Thanks You.

The clerk was named Gibbs and she had seen it all. “I saw him take a donut,” she said to a co-worker. “Let’s see if he pays for it.” He didn’t pay. The co-worker followed him to the parking lot and suggested Master go back into the store. Masters declined, offering instead the donut in question. She declined, grabbed Master’s arm, and a tussle ensued. The police were called, and Masters was arrested.


The push is being treated as minor assault, which transforms a misdemeanor shoplifting charge to a strong armed robbery with a potential prison term of five to 15 years. Given Masters’ criminal past, prosecutors could boost that sentence to 30 years to life.

The 41-year-old Masters has been arrested more than a dozen times for crimes ranging from shoplifting to drug possession to torching a car for insurance fraud.


On this site and in my personal life I often rant about the decline of our society, about liberal judges, about undisciplined young people, about the lack of enforcement of our laws, and about prison sentences so light and inappropriate they are laughable. Now, what do I say? How would I judge Masters were I so asked? Should a man actually go to prison for 30 years because he stole a 52 cent donut? But wait, it’s not just the donut. He is a repeat offender. He should be taught a lesson. He should pay for his crimes. But isn’t such a sentence excessive? Are the prisons too full to hold a donut thief? What about community service? Does this punishment fit the crime? Is this what we really want? Would it be downright silly to lock up a donut thief for 30 years? Is this another example of the judicial system gone wrong? But can I have it both ways? Should the clerk have chased down the donut thief in the first place? Well, why not? He stole a donut, didn’t he?

I don’t know. You tell me. 🙂

EDIT 8:30 Thursday Here is a case that may be harder to judge than the previous one–a much more serious case.

The father of a 14-year-old Texas girl who was raped, sodomized and then strangled with a belt and shoe laces, wants to know why President Bush supports halting the execution of the Mexican national who confessed to killing his daughter and her friend.

Fox news

Warning: You will need a strong stomach to consider all the details. Read the entire article here.


My devotional is here.

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Can a Man Sue God?

I know you probably read a couple a days ago about Senator Ernie Chambers and this business of suing God. The “esteemed Senator” accused God of sending natural disasters, inciting fear among the world’s population and of terrorizing millions.

LINCOLN, Neb. – The defendant in a state senator’s lawsuit is accused of causing untold death and horror and threatening to cause more still. He can be sued in Douglas County, the legislator claims, because He’s everywhere.

State Sen. Ernie Chambers sued God last week. Angered by another lawsuit he considers frivolous, Chambers says he’s trying to make the point that anybody can file a lawsuit against anybody.

Chambers says in his lawsuit that God has made terrorist threats against the senator and his constituents, inspired fear and caused “widespread death, destruction and terrorization of millions upon millions of the Earth’s inhabitants.”

rest of the article here

And then,

Poof! ‘God’ Answers Suit, Asserts Lack of Jurisdiction

From ABA Journal

A response to a legislator’s lawsuit from “God” asserts the court lacks jurisdiction to hear a Nebraska legislator’s lawsuit against him.

John Friend, clerk of the Douglas County District Court in Omaha, told the Associated Press the response was one of two filed on God’s behalf. State Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha sued God earlier this week to make the point that anyone can file a frivolous lawsuit.

“This one miraculously appeared on the counter,” Friend said. “It just all of a sudden was here—poof!”

The suit also argues that God is immune from earthly laws, he has not been served with the suit, and he should not be blamed for human suffering.

“I created man and woman with free will and next to the promise of immortal life, free will is my greatest gift to you,” it read.

No contact information was on the filing, although it lists St. Michael the Archangel as a witness. Several local lawyers denied that they wrote the response, but they told Omaha’s Action 3 News they are available if God needs them.

“[God] hasn’t called me yet!” said lawyer James Martin Davis.

A second response from “God” lists a phone number for a Corpus Christi law office.

Oh, well. One can’t deny we have an exciting governmental body. What next, I ask?


My devotional blog is here.


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A Child Molester Set Free to Roam Our Streets

If I weren’t so troubled about our judicial system, and if I weren’t so distressed about the morals in our society, and if I weren’t so touched by helpless children, and if I weren’t so concerned about the seemingly downward spin of my country, I might be quiet about the incomprehensible rulings that are routinely and blatantly slammed down by liberal judges. These decisions must not be ignored–they cannot be ignored–but we as caring citizens must speak out against such ridiculous, outrageous and downright dangerous behaviors. The threads and weavings of our country have taken on strange and twisting pattern; pattern that demonstrates insidious and deliberate ravelings, so that in recent years has become visible a decaying fray and an evil undercutting of moral thought, judgment and accountability. We occupy a fearful place.

Mere days ago, Judge Katherine Savage dismissed a case against Mahmu Kanneh, in which he was charged with repeatedly molesting a seven-year-old girl. The judge dismissed the case saying the delays in the three-year-old case had violated Mahamu Kanneh’s guarantee of a speedy trial. The man is now free–roaming our streets. He served a total of one day in jail.

It’s hard to imagine what prompted Judge Savage to such action. Consider these facts:

1. Although insisting that the case was dismissed because an interpreter in Mr. Kanneh’s native tongue, Vai, could not be found, Mr. Kanneh attended and graduated from an American high school. He also attended a Community College where the classes were taught in English. As far as I have been able to determine none of the classes in either of the schools he attended were in his native language. He conversed with detectives in English.

2. He had waived his rights to a speedy trial.

3. It was judicial responsibility to find an interpreter.

4. There were qualified interpreters available–even on the day of the trial. The Washington Post reports that they were able to find three Vai interpreters.

Thank God that breaking news indicates the prosecutor is filing an appeal.  We must continue to be aware of the society around us. Thoughtfully, but bravely, let us use every vehicle available to speak out against the  drastically liberal trend of our judicial system.  Our children  and grandchildren are depending on us; they cannot fend for themselves. We cannot leave such decisions as these to go unchallenged.

ROCKVILLE, Md. — The prosecutor in the case of a Liberian native charged with repeatedly raping and molesting a 7-year-old girl said Monday that he is filing an appeal of a controversial judge’s ruling that dismissed all charges because an interpreter who spoke the suspect’s rare West African dialect could not be found.

Rest of the story is here. 


My devotional blog is here. 

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The Banning of Harry Potter Books

Picture from Fox News

This morning on Fox News I heard quite a discussion concerning the banning of Harry Potter books. I’ve heard such discussions before, but this is the latest one. It seems Laura Mallory has tried to have these books removed from school libraries in Gwinnett county, GA. Subsequent to the superior court judge ruling against her, Ms. Mallory is now threatening to take her case to the a federal court.

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — The adventures of boy wizard Harry Potter can stay in Gwinnett County school libraries, despite a mother’s objections, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Laura Mallory, who argued the popular fiction series is an attempt to indoctrinate children in witchcraft, said she still wants the best-selling books removed and may take her case to federal court.

“I maybe need a whole new case from the ground up,” said Mallory, who was not represented by an attorney at the hearing.

Superior Court Judge Ronnie Batchelor’s ruling upheld a decision by the Georgia Board of Education, which had supported local school officials.

Ms. Mallory argues that the Harry Potter books idealize witchcraft, and even cited statistics which she said indicate that large numbers of students, after reading these books, have inquired about the process of becoming a witch and are being directed in that way.

I have never read Harry Potter books, and have heard pros and cons about their merits. On one hand, I know there is a real surge among the world of black, ugly, and gothic darkness, which no doubt is a negative force among our young people.

On the other hand, I read Fairy Tales when I was a child, (and have read them to my children and grandchildren). In an honest look at those stories now, I see that some of them involved what might be considered unacceptable material. Think bubbling cauldrons, and cackling witches. Are those things harmful?…or innocent childhood stories? Are Harry Potter books harmful? Are they innocently written, or do they indeed glorify witchcraft, and lead youngsters down that road?

I’m interested in your opinions.


My devotional is here.

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Station Being Sued for Lowering Gasoline Prices

A motorist holds a fuel pump at a gas station in a 2006 file photo. U.S. consumer confidence declined more than expected in April on rising gasoline prices while inflation expectations rose to their highest since August 2006, a survey showed on Tuesday. (Luke MacGregor/Reuters)What!! This is outrageous! Gasoline is heading rapidly toward $4.00 here in the West. Relief, we need relief.

MERRILL, Wis. – A service station that offered discounted gas to senior citizens and people supporting youth sports has been ordered by the state to raise its prices.

Center City BP owner Raj Bhandari has been offering senior citizens a 2 cent per gallon price break and discount cards that let sports boosters pay 3 cents less per gallon.

But the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection says those deals violate Wisconsin’s Unfair Sales Act, which requires stations to sell gas for about 9.2 percent more than the wholesale price.

Bhandari said he received a letter from the state auditor last month saying the state would sue him if he did not raise his prices. The state could penalize him for each discounted gallon he sold, with the fine determined by a judge.

Read it all here. 


My devotional blog is here.