A retired United Methodist minister set himself on fire to protest lingering racism in his hometown of Grand Saline, Texas, later dying in a Dallas hospital of his injuries. The Rev. Charles Moore, 79, wrote in a two-page letter left for the authorities, "I would much prefer to go on living and enjoy my beloved wife and grandchildren and others. But I have come to believe that only my self-immolation will get the attention of anybody and perhaps inspire some to higher service." Moore drove to Grand Saline from his home in Allen on June 23, pulled into a Dollar General parking lot, doused himself with gasoline and set it on fire. read more
Justice Ruth Ginsberg said the ruling on the Hobby Lobby case was based on a misreading of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and would likely open the door to a host of unintended consequences. "Little doubt that RFRA claims will proliferate, for the Court's expansive notion of corporate personhood -- combined with its other errors in construing RFRA -- invites for-profit entities to seek religion-based exemptions from regulations they deem offensive to their faith," she wrote. Ginsberg concluded that the contraception mandate did not impose a substantial burden on Hobby Lobby or Conestoga Wood Specialties -- and therefore did not violate the RFRA. "Suppose an employer's sincerely held religious belief is offended by health coverage of vaccines, or paying the minimum wage, or according women equal pay for substantially similar work?" Ginsberg asked. read more
The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals said no this week to tracking your movements using data from your cell phone without a warrant when it declared that this information is constitutionally protected. The Davis decision, suggests that the U.S. government's collection of other kinds of business records and transactional data, called "metadata," for law enforcement and national security collection may also be unconstitutional. read more
Things are heating up in politically and financially in Florida's campaign over a November referendum to allow doctors to prescribe marijuana. Deep-pocketed Republicans have jumped into the battle. The Drug Free Florida campaign, which opposes the amendment, has raised $2.7 million, including a $2.5 million contribution from Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a major Republican donor. And This week, the non-partisan Florida Sheriffs Association began a separate "educational campaign" against the amendment. The Florida amendment is also enmeshed in the hot race for governor. Republican Governor Rick Scott opposes it, while former Governor Charlie Crist, who is seeking to return to the office as a Democrat, supports it.
A recent episode of the Hamas-affiliated television program Pioneers of Tomorrow featured a disturbing combination of talking bee mascot and a discussion of shooting Jews -- all of them.
In the clip, a young girl says that she wants to become a policewoman some day, "so that I can shoot Jews."
The host of the program -- a very young woman, asks, "All of them?" The young girl responds, "Yes."
Earlier in the clip, the bee character advises a caller, a young boy, to punch Jews when he sees them: "Make their face red like a tomato."