A thought-provoking essay over at Taki’s Magazine explores the issue. (here)
by Tatiana von Tauber
Would you find your spouse immoral if s/he asked you for an open marriage? If you’re like the general population, probably so and that’s because monogamy in marriage is so entrenched in our Judeo-Christian culture as the best way that it’s very difficult to pull out of such a norm; however, I believe Newt Gingrich showed a higher level of moral character than his current judgment dictates with respect to his second ex-wife, Marianne Gingrich’s disclosure he asked her for an open marriage.
In politics as in marriage a lot of things happen in the background that aren’t always in plain view. Mixing the desires of more than one individual requires compromises otherwise you’re left with lies for solutions. Just look at history for evidence.
By Newt Gingrich asking his second wife – now the ex – for an open marriage he actually proved his moral character via his ability to simply be honest about his feelings and desires and ask in spite of the backlash from what would traditionally be considered immoral (from their camp anyway).
This honesty is honorable. While the request may or may not be, there cannot be confusion between the difference of the request and the honesty which manifested it.
I suppose Marianne Gingrich would have preferred her ex husband to exhibit typical politician behavior and pin a little twinkie behind closed doors, then lie about it to his wife only for her to discover later he was a sperm donor too. Poleeze.
Some people prefer truth and others like the illusion. For me, a president who likes truth based on the situation at hand is a better choice than the cowardly liar – though at press time he’s denying the open marriage allegation but then that just shows you lies are the skin of politics. Strip the skin and kill the beast.
The public and the media won another battle recently in Nevada, when the state’s Supreme Court ruled that the Nevada open records law should be expanded to allow the public access to logs of e-mails.
The Nevada Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Reno Gazette-Journal, which previously had been denied a request pursuant to the Nevada Public Records Act that asked for former Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons to turn over 100 e-mails that spanned a six-month period during his tenure in office. The e-mails were sent from a state-issued account. The opinion overturned a U.S. District Court opinion that had granted the newspaper access to just six of the e-mails.
Chief Justice Nancy Saitta, who wrote the opinion, stated that under NPRA, the requester is at the very least entitled to a log that should contain “a general factual description of each withheld record and a specific explanation for nondisclosure.” The Nevada Supreme Court concluded that the log was required and that the district court judge erred in denying the request for the log.
The Nevada Legislature enacted the NPRA in order to ensure that all public books and records would remain open unless specifically declared by law to be confidential. Judge Saitta explained that the Legislature amended NRPA in 2007 to “provide that its provisions must be liberally construed to maximize the public’s right of access,” and “conversely, any limitations or restrictions on the public’s right of access must be narrowly construed.” Additionally, the burden fell on Gibbons to show that the records were confidential.
Nevada’s defining open records law case, Donrey of Nevada v. Bradshaw, 106 Nev. 630, 798 P.2d 144 (1990), established a “balancing test” for analyzing claims of confidentiality. The balancing test measures the public’s right to know against the individual’s right to privacy.
The test has been both a boon and a burden to Nevada media. Although the courts generally have applied the test liberally and overturned many denials for requests, some public entities employ the balancing test in an effort to push media outlets to litigate (and spend significant financial resources doing so) rather than give up the information without a fight.
This recent opinion is just one more victory for those seeking more transparent government in Nevada. This year the Nevada Legislature created an Open Meeting Law Task Force to make changes to the state’s Open Meeting Law. In addition to creating steeper penalties for those who violate the Open Meeting Law, the task force also sought to expand the definite of “reporter” to include citizen journalists and bloggers.
Read the Nevada Supreme Court’s complete opinion here.
By Tatiana von Tauber
And if Obama had two boys?
I’m deeply disappointed by the recent decision to eliminate easier access to the so called morning after pill by girls 17 and under. I fully get where Obama gets his mindset from. I’m a parent of 2 girls, one 13 and very pretty.
Obama’s decision to side with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius who overruled scientists at the Food and Drug Administration was a poor one. While he’s coming from a good place, may be a good father and honorable in doing what he thinks most parents would want, he just missed to boat of doing what’s actually in the best interest of young girls rather than what’s in the best interest of a parents’ wish for young girls. As far as HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, may you have bad traffic and no easy access parking the entire holiday season! And I mean that.
Nothing, and I mean, nothing is more important to me as a female than ensuring other females have rightful ownership of their reproductive system no matter what their age. Without our womb, society can’t get very far. It’s the most powerful tool women have and thus, the rest is repeat history.
State of the female union
The majority of young girls – exampled as 11 and 12 year olds for the poor reasoning labeled “common sense” which aided the elimination of this pill over the counter, aren’t that young often enough to discredit the good of the pill to older girls. It blatantly discriminates.
While it would statistically occur perhaps, the numbers would be small to have little girls, basically, just head over to the supermarket by the condoms isle and buy a $50 pill. This is so ludicrous that you have to be an idiot to side with it if not for political reasons. AND, if young girls did do that, then bravo for them taking pro-active measure to fix their screw up.
Who to trust when adults don’t give you all the facts?
I have never seen an influx of pro-lifers opting to fund, house or care for the millions of unplanned children of the world. embryos are great in utero. They’re fresh potential to mold. Religion needs followers and governments need taxes. Someone has to produce human beings at all costs.
“The FDA did not have the data to support a decision of this magnitude,” said Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Pa. “The secretary pointed out obvious deficiencies in the research and acted in the interest of young girls.”
Really? Of this magnitude? This pill has been used for decades in Europe and the issue of great magnitude is the subtle and sly attempt to strip females of what has always been rightfully theirs.
How to Fix this?
Here’s a suggestion then which truly does act in the interest of young girls:
How about yearly comprehensive sex education for boys and girls in the pubic school system mandated by federal and secular standards, not state. In GA my daughter met several young girls who actually believed they could get pregnant from kissing! This is sick in a country which claims such global superpower.
What about introducing reasonably easy access to free or reduced priced condoms or birth control to under aged girls instead of empty promises of abstinence whilst a nice hard cock stands to seduce. Perhaps if we reframe the way we view sex and morality the morning after pill can be marketed as an “Oops! Did you miss your birth control pill last night? We understand the heavy responsibilities a vagina and womb bring, so we’re here to help. Plan B. Here for you when Plan A bombs.” However, because it’s also used and known as an abortion pill, everything changes.
If God was so intelligent, why didn’t he make it so menses began at 18? If God can allow pre-teen girls to get a period, the intent is quite frankly, for them to reproduce. The morality stick should be poking God himself, not our young females. It’s sickening that taxpayers fund government salaries and research to pay for morality treatments as we hush science, logic and individual freedom.
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain recently hired celebrity “pit bull” libel lawyer Lin Wood to defend him against the multiple sexual accusations that have surfaced in recent weeks.
Wood became earned his libel litigation chops after representing Richard Jewell, the American security guard who police considered to be a suspect in the Centennial Olympic Park bombing at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Later, Wood represented the parents of JonBenet Ramsey, the woman who accused Kobe Bryant of sexual assault, and Gary Condit, the politician who was thought to be connected with the disappearance of intern Chandra Levy.
Slate Magazine’s XX Factor columnist Kate Julian even dubbed Wood the “anti-Gloria Allred” based on the juxtapositions of why the two attorneys originally made the choice to enter law school (Allred says its because of a comment a nurse made to her after receiving a botched illegal abortion after being raped; Wood says he knew he wanted to become an attorney after finding his father crying with the lifeless body of his mother lying nearby) and because Allred represents Sharon Bialek, one of Cain’s accusers. Needless to say, Cain has brought in the big guns. Anyone another attorney describes as the “pit bull you have chained to a stake guarding your house” is someone to be feared in the courtroom.
Wood maintains that he isn’t planning to litigate yet, but told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the accusers “should think twice, anyway.” Ladies, you are now on notice.
However, if Cain does end up filing defamation claims in court, he will have a high hurdle to jump. Because of Mr. Cain’s status as a public figure, in a claim of defamation, he needs to show actual malice. Actual malice is knowledge that a statement is false, or publishing a claim with reckless disregard as to its validity.
Of course, truth is an affirmative defense to claims of libel or slander. If the allegations against Cain turn out to be true, he is just plain out of luck. However, even if their validity cannot be proven, Cain faces the additional challenge of showing actual malice. Such a showing can be difficult to prove, as it speaks to the knowledge the publisher of the information had that it was false. According to the standard set forth for libel in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, actual malice isn’t a simple matter of, say, a newspaper failing to adequately check its sources, but requires “recklessness” with the handling of the information. This means that in order to prove a claim of libel, the plaintiff would have to show that the defendant had actual doubt of the truth of the information, and acted recklessly in publishing the material, which it knew to not be true.
At this point, it isn’t clear who is telling the truth. Karen Kraushaar, the other non-anonymous accuser, has said she won’t comment further on the situation until the other women come forward and identify themselves. But, we may very well soon see the pit bull be let loose from the stake.
Looks like Herman Cain is having a three way and not in the awesome sense. A third woman has reportedly come forward with an allegation that Mr. Cain acted inappropriately toward her. While I’m sure someday Mark might take a pro-sexual harassment case to the Supreme Court, arguing for the 1st Amendment right to be saucy, for now it is considered unlawful.
A side note to political candidates: if you have a skeleton or three in your closet, reveal it yourself. It will come out and you want to control the message.
Sexual harassment is a fascinating area of the law. Sometimes, and rarely, it is blatant quid pro quo, the old casting couch. Most times, it is something said that offended the listener, with some sexual or gender based content, that is deemed to have gone too far. It’s like pornography, Rule 34 aside, you generally know it when you see it. The hard fought cases are the ones where it is less clear. According to the article:
she said Cain told her that he had confided to colleagues how attractive she was and invited her to his corporate apartment outside work.
Maybe that implied he wanted to sleep with her. Maybe he was paying her a compliment and the invitation was platonic or business related. President Obama is an attractive man and I’d welcome him to dinner at my house. It doesn’t mean I want to become the First Lady by proxy. As to the complaint Mr. Cain “settled” or reached an “agreement” on (synonyms to me, different to him), he states that it was about a comparison he made of a female coworker to the height of his wife. If that was a pickup line, it is the worst ever; what woman gets turned on by a man who compares her to his wife? I’m pretty sure that violates Ashley Madison’s own standards. But, she may have taken it as such, and maybe that is what he intended. There may be more to it, but he isn’t talking and she is bound by a confidentiality agreement. Given both of these, and whatever the third is, you can see why these cases take a lot of lawyering.
As to the two that settled, it sounds like a year’s severance was given for one, and the other got something confidential. A year’s severance is a pretty nice package; it’s not nuisance. Confidentiality, on the other hand, does not imply a large settlement; some companies demand it even for nuisance suits. They don’t want to set any form of precedent.
Some commenters have suggested she breach the confidentiality clause. That is a huge no-no. She’d likely have to repay the money, and the statute of limitations has run on filing a claim. Plus, she’d probably owe attorneys’ fees. And we’ve all seen how much it sucks to be hit with attorneys’ fees. Others have suggested Mr. Cain is violating a non-disparagement clause. My guess is: no. Like confidentiality clauses, these are typically one sided. An employee might get a neutral reference clause, but it usually isn’t as broad as the non-disparagement clause given to the employer.
My advice to Mr. Cain: don’t blame Gov. Perry or Romney. Air your dirty laundry now. And watch what you say in the future. I don’t want to hear any claim that “is” is ambiguous.
Politics, economic debate, and now hot chicks.
And incredible bad asses:
And even judges with some balls (ok, this was in Nashville)
If you had to create a chart of the things I like and the things I don’t like, vaginas and the TSA would clearly be at opposite ends. The vagina is truly a wonderful thing, when properly cared for. Your mileage may vary depending on diet, grooming, genetics, and a host of other factors. But, in general, vaginas are a wonderful thing.
The TSA is not a vagina. It is not even vagina like. Even though it is run by a bunch of twats, it can’t even get close to being in the vagina zone when it comes to coolness.
I’ve never hidden my hatred for the TSA. When I go through security, I always opt for the pat-down, and I make sure to make it difficult for the agent. Why? Because when I was in basic training, they taught us that it is our duty to make captivity as difficult for our captors as possible. I harass TSA employees when I see them in public, reminding them in grocery stores, theaters and anywhere else I find them that they are low forms of shit, and I advocate that we all do the same). They are only doing their jobs? Well so was John Demjanjuk.
As much as I hate the TSA, I must admit that we have something in common: We both got a thing for vaginas. Of course, I prefer mine to be over the age of consent — the TSA harbors no such prejudices. Nope, not at all.
But, if I may be so pompous as to declare myself qualified to offer instruction on how to care for and attract vagina — TSA, you’re doing it wrong.
The TSA’s latest victim is prominent feminist blogger Jill Filipovic, of Feministe fame. Ms. Filipovic recently took a trip to Dublin and, upon arriving, found a note from a TSA agent who’d discovered a vibrator in her luggage:
“GET YOUR FREAK ON GIRL” (source)
She reacted in a way that was noticeably un-second-wavy of her — with a sense of humor. She wrote:
Total violation of privacy, wildly inappropriate and clearly not ok, but I also just died laughing in my hotel room. (source)
The TSA’s reaction to this incident was predictable, given how it responds to terror threats: Namely, it enacted a remedy that will never be useful in the future. The screener got shitcanned.
But, is that really what anyone wanted? Filipovic has as much right as anyone to demand that this TSAsshole lose his or her job. Nevetheless, she did not call for the agent’s head. (She admirably dislikes Coldplay more than she dislikes this Agent).
It’s easy to scape-goat one individual here, but the problem with the note is that it’s representative of the bigger privacy intrusions that the U.S. government, through the TSA and other sources, levels every day. The invasion is inherent to the TSA’s mission, regardless of whether a funny note is left behind — the note only serves to highlight the absurdity of all this security theater. (source)
Filipovic went on to write that she is pleased that the TSA took the issue seriously, but firing one person who made a dumb mistake really misses the whole point.
I get no satisfaction in hearing that someone may be in danger of losing their job over this. I would much prefer a look at why ‘security’ has been used to justify so many intrusions on our civil liberties, rather than fire a person who made a mistake. (source)
Instead, the TSA seems to treat this as an isolated incident — or a failure by one of its drones. Meanwhile, the actual issue, which Filipovic tried to make us think about, is lost in the guffaws over the gooey gewgaw.
After we get done chuckling about Filipovic being anonymously told to “get her freak on,” I hope that we can think about how the TSA’s Freudian field day with our reproductive organs demonstrates the absurd nature of its very existence, the failure of its mission, the lie that it represents. It hasn’t got a damn thing to do with keeping us safe. I wish that we could think about how you should never try and have an agency devoted to such a high-falutin goal like airline safety, when you staff it with low-grade morons who are not fit to reproduce, let alone do anything else. Anyone who even wants that job must be a twisted, broken, loser; the kind of person who has lamented their loss of power ever since they left third grade and had to return the “hall monitor” sash to the principal’s office. Next time you are at the airport, just try detecting any intellect in the TSA agents you encounter. You will fail in that task. That alone should tell you that the agency has no reason to exist. If the job were actually important, we would never hire people who are this desperate, stupid, or lazy, to try and do it. And, when you give a powerless idiot a little bit of control, that misused power will find its own center, and that center is apparently our ‘nads.
Filipovic’s experience is no mere outlier. Take the recent tale of Amy Alkon — my client. The TSA only pried into what Ms. Filipovic inserts in her vagina; in Amy Alkon’s case, the TSA actually went up in there. Repeatedly. Four times over. Naturally, Ms. Alkon did not like this and used her free speech rights to express her outrage over the event, shining the light of truth upon the TSA’s misdeeds, and calling the agent’s actions “rape.” Filipovic herself reports that even the FBI would agree with this assessment. Unlike Filipovic, Alkon did not (so far) find out that her tormentor was fired. Ms. Alkon received a demand letter for $500,000 from Thedala Magee, the TSA agent with whom she had her little run-in. (Well, from her lawyer, but you get the point).
It might have been undignified for the screener to scrawl a note about Filipovic’s sex toy – but unfortunately, that seems to be where the bureaucracy got hung up, and the real discussion about civil liberties got swept under the carpet — again.
Oh, um… oh shit… not THAT kind of Democracy…
Tunisians revolt to throw off a repressive regime, and vote in an Islamist regime.
At least we now know that the “birthers” are non-partisan. They are descending upon Marco Rubio. (source)
Of course, the birthers are as stupid as ever. Rubio was clearly born in Flori-duh, and we still have “birthright citizenship.” End of that story.
On the other hand, it seems that Marco Rubio has been a little less than forthcoming about when the Rubios got to the United States. (source)
During his rise to political prominence, Sen. Marco Rubio frequently repeated a compelling version of his family’s history that had special resonance in South Florida. He was the “son of exiles,” he told audiences, Cuban Americans forced off their beloved island after “a thug,” Fidel Castro, took power.
But a review of documents — including naturalization papers and other official records — reveals that the Florida Republican’s account embellishes the facts. The documents show that Rubio’s parents came to the United States and were admitted for permanent residence more than two-and-a-half years before Castro’s forces overthrew the Cuban government and took power on New Year’s Day 1959. (source)
But if the Rubios left Cuba at that time, rather then when he lied about them leaving, well that would make me respect the Rubio family more. At that time, Cuba was ruled by Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar. Batista was by all measures, a fascist. He suspended the Cuban Constitution, civil liberties were nonexistent. Further, like Rubio today, he decided to cozy up to the big landowners and rich guys in Cuba to help them get richer at the expense of the average Cuban, who simply descended into deeper and deeper misery. Rather than give a shit about his own people, and not content to simply align himself with the upper 1% in Cuba, he made sure to also bring American organized crime into his circle of cronies. When the Cuban people got pissy about it, he decided to react by censoring the media and having his secret police force torture and kill “disloyal” Cubans, murdering approximately 20,000 of his fellow countrymen.
Nice guy, huh?
So the Rubio family left a Cuba ruled by this asshole? Good for them. In fact, if Rubio were telling the truth, about fleeing once Castro came to power, I would have a lot less trust in him. In 1959, Castro was seen as the leader of a popular uprising, and a revolution of necessity and national liberation. Chances are, if you fled Cuba in 1959, you were one of Batista’s cronies. You know, the murdering, torturing, organized-crime aligned fascists. Sure, Castro wound up being pretty much same as the old boss, and of course, many Cubans fled once that became apparent. Those Cubans could properly be described as fleeing tyranny. But in this case, Rubio could earn a lot more of my respect by acknowledging that his family fled from the Batista regime.
But then, his political base wouldn’t think too much of him. There is a damn good reason why Jeb Bush put Batista’s grandson on the Florida Supreme Court. Batista would have been very much at home in today’s Republican party.
By Jay Wolman
As the newest Satyriconista, with a practice of civil litigation and employment law in Boston, I thought I’d begin my first post with something high-brow. Everything sounds better in Latin. This was St. Augustine’s way of saying “Hate the player, not the game”. Fast forward 1500 years and the message remains relevant.
David Madden, the now former mayor of Weymouth, Massachusetts, a small town about a half hour south of Boston, is the player. The public sector pension system is the game. He is getting a lot of flack for manipulating the system to his benefit. Unlike most private sector pensions (union pensions excluded), public sector pension benefits in many jurisdictions, including Massachusetts, are not determined solely by how much the worker contributes to the system (defined contribution), but rather include benefits based on status or job classification (defined benefit). [Yes, pensions are far more complicated than that, but nuance does not matter for this discussion.] It seems that Mayor Madden would make an extra $30k per year by retiring as Fire Chief rather than Mayor. So, Mayor Madden did some nifty maneuvering with the help of his pals: He takes leave from the position of Mayor at the end of his second term, appointing his buddy, the Town Solicitor (i.e. the top lawyer) as interim Mayor. The incumbent Fire Chief takes a voluntary demotion and the Solicitor (now Mayor) appoints Mayor Madden as Fire Chief. Two days later, without showing up to work, Fire Chief Madden retires and puts in for the higher pension. And the Town approves it (the State is fighting it, but has lost in Court so far).
Now, not every Mayor can get away with this–Mr. Madden actually was the Fire Chief before becoming Mayor. He technically took a leave of absence, meaning he had this in the works for eight years. And his buddies go along with it. Sure, it looks bad, but this is the system that was set up and no laws appear to have been broken. I actually feel bad for Mayor Madden; he has to pay legal fees to defend what the law allowed him to do (although I am a lawyer, it is a personal pet peeve that “loser pays” is not the American Rule.) If my fellow Massachusetts residents don’t like what he did, they shouldn’t take it out against Mayor Madden, they should change the rules. Hard to do when the legislators also game the system, but not impossible.
Here’s a thought for my first post as a Satyriconista: eliminate pensions. I’m not saying we renege on current promises, but I’ve wondered why we even have this complicated mess. (I know, they are the result of WWII wage freezes.) As we are no longer at war with the Axis powers, I don’t know anyone who really thinks “Hey, boss, I know I’m doing all this hard work for you now, but I don’t want you to pay me for all of it now. I think it would be great if you held on to a portion so you could give it to me in thirty years. I trust you to handle it more than I trust myself. And I know you’ll pay every penny.”
The Carroll County Times asks:
Carter raised the debt to a paltry $1 trillion in 1980. Reagan raised it to $3 trillion. George H. Bush raised it to $4 trillion. Clinton raised it to $5.5. trillion. George W. Bush doubled it to $10 trillion, and Obama has raised it to $14 trillion.
Where was the outrage when Bush doubled the national debt during his administration, and whose policies have driven the country toward bankruptcy? (source)
UPDATE: A commenter noted this:
The number of Republican Senators who voted to raise the debt ceiling each time it came up for a vote since 1997:
Barack H. Obama was elected.
By J. DeVoy
Ann Althouse has the story. In short, the moving tale Obama regularly recounts about his mother’s tragic battle with insurance companies – which was relied on heavily by the White House in pushing health care reform – is false.
The story begins in May, but is just breaking now because the New York Times has had such a hard time getting the executive branch to comment on it. But can you blame them?
Michelle Bachmann, someone unqualified to clean my toilets, has jumped out ahead of the pack as the new conservative darling.
Anyone who thinks of themselves as a conservative should either change name tags or have their heads examined.
Bachmann is in the news today for signing a pledge that she will fight homosexuality and pornography. (source) You see, the damn liberals want to tell us how to run our lives. And, government that governs best governs least. Right?
So lets make sure that the government stays out of our lives and respects the Constitution by, ummm, errr… well, trying to influence who people fuck. Lawrence v. Texas be damned… and we, umm… well we love presidential candidates who sign pledges to fight against free expression.
You know, because the founders didn’t jerk off to internet porn, so it must be outside the protection of the First Amendment, right?
Honestly, if you read this blog and you don’t hate Michelle Bachmann, stop reading and don’t come back. Seriously. Fuck you.