The U.S. Class Action Fairness Act of 2004

The U.S. Class Action Fairness Act of 2005, 28 U.S.C. Sections 1332(d), 1453, and 1711–1715, expanded federal jurisdiction over many large class-action lawsuits and mass actions taken in the United States.
The bill was the first major piece of legislation of the second term of the Bush Administration. Business groups and tort reform supporters had lobbied for the legislation, arguing that it was needed to prevent class-action lawsuit abuse.[1] President George W. Bush had vowed to support this legislation.
The Act gives federal courts jurisdiction to certain class actions in which the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million, and in which any of the members of a class of plaintiffs is a citizen of a state different from any defendant, unless at least two-thirds or more of the members of all proposed plaintiff classes in the aggregate and the primary defendants are citizens of the state in which the action was originally filed. The Act also directs the Courts to give greater scrutiny to class action settlements, especially those involving coupons.

 

Dept. of Privacy Invasion: Schools’ Tracking Devices Cause Controversy

Big Brother would be proud. DW

Schools’ Tracking Devices Causes Controversy
November 25, 2012 7:28 PM

campus, hacker, San Antonio, Texas, Trending, website
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — A San Antonio school district’s website was hacked over the weekend to protest its policy requiring students to wear microchip-embedded cards tracking their every move on campus.

A teenager purportedly working with the hacker group Anonymous said in an online statement that he took the site down because the Northside school district “is stripping away the privacy of students in your school.”

The teen, who identified himself in an email as being 16 years old, said he hacked into the website Saturday, and it was not working Sunday. District spokesman Pascual Gonzalez said he has not yet been able to confirm that it was hacked.
Starting this fall, all students at John Jay High School and Anson Jones Middle School are required to carry identification cards embedded with a microchip. They are tracked by the dozens of electronic readers installed in the schools’ ceiling panels.

Northside has been testing a “radio frequency identification” tracking system for the two schools to increase attendance in order to secure more state funding, officials have said. The program, which kicked off at the beginning of this school year, eventually could be used at all of Northside’s 112 campuses, officials have said. The district is the fourth largest in Texas with more than 97,000 students.

The hacked website isn’t the first controversy over the program.

One John Jay student refused to wear the device, citing religious reasons, and then filed a lawsuit after Principal Robert Harris threatened to remove her from the school and stopped her from petitioning against the ID badge. Last week a judge said the principal’s actions violated the student’s speech and religious rights, and granted a restraining order barring Harris from removing her from the school, San Antonio television station KENS reported.

Anonymous is a collection of Internet enthusiasts, pranksters and activists whose targets have included financial institutions such as Visa and MasterCard, the Church of Scientology and law enforcement agencies.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Dwight David “Ike” Eisenhower

Dwight David “Ike” Eisenhower (pronounced /ˈaɪzənhaʊər/, eye-zən-how-ər; October 14, 1890 – March 28, 1969) was the 34th President of the United States from 1953 until 1961. He had previously been a five-star general in the United States Army during World War II, and served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe; he had responsibility for planning and supervising the invasion of North Africa in Operation Torch in 1942–43 and the successful invasion of France and Germany in 1944–45, from the Western Front. In 1951, he became the first supreme commander of NATO.[2]
Eisenhower was of Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry, and was reared in a large family in Kansas, by parents with a robust work ethic and religious background. As one of six sons, he was conditioned by a competitive atmosphere which instilled self-reliance. He attended and graduated from West Point, and later was married with two sons. After World War II Eisenhower served as Chief of Staff under President Harry S. Truman, then assumed the post of President at Columbia University.[3]
Eisenhower entered the 1952 presidential race as a Republican, to counter the non-interventionism of Senator Robert A. Taft, and to crusade against “Communism, Korea and corruption”. He won by a landslide, defeating Democrat Adlai Stevenson and ending two decades of the New Deal Coalition. In the first year of his presidency Eisenhower deposed the leader of Iran in the 1953 Iranian coup d’etat, and used nuclear threats to conclude the Korean War with China. His New Look policy of nuclear deterrence gave priority to inexpensive nuclear weapons while reducing the funding for conventional military forces; the goal was to keep pressure on the Soviet Union and reduce federal deficits. In 1954 Eisenhower first articulated the domino theory in his description of the threat presented by the spread of communism. The Congress agreed to his request in 1955 for the Formosa Resolution, which enabled him to prevent Chinese communist aggression against Chinese nationalists and established U.S. policy of defending Taiwan. When the Soviets launched Sputnik in 1957 he had to play catchup in the space race. Eisenhower forced Israel, the UK and France to end their invasion of Egypt during the Suez Crisis of 1956. In 1958 he sent 15,000 US troops to Lebanon to prevent the pro-Western government from falling to a Nasser-inspired revolution. Near the end of his term, his efforts to set up a summit meeting with the Soviets collapsed because of the U-2 incident when an American spy plane was shot down over Russia and its pilot captured.[4]
On the domestic front, he covertly opposed Joseph McCarthy but contributed to the end of McCarthyism by openly invoking the modern expanded version of executive privilege. He otherwise left most political activity to his Vice President, Richard Nixon. He was a moderate conservative who continued New Deal agencies, expanded Social Security and launched the Interstate Highway System. He sent federal troops to Little Rock, Arkansas, for the first time since Reconstruction to enforce federal court orders to desegregate public schools, and signed civil rights legislation in 1957 and 1960 to protect the right to vote. He implemented desegregation of the armed forces in two years, and made five appointments to the Supreme Court. He was the first term-limited president in accordance with the 22nd Amendment.
Eisenhower’s two terms were peaceful ones for the most part and saw considerable economic prosperity except for a sharp recession in 1958–59. Eisenhower is now often ranked as one of the top ten U.S. Presidents.

Nevada Code of Judicial Conduct, Rule 2.3

RULE 2.3 Bias, Prejudice, and Harassment

(A) A judge shall perform the duties of judicial office, including administrative duties, without bias or prejudice.

(B) A judge shall not, in the performance of judicial duties, by words or conduct manifest bias or prejudice, or engage in harassment, including but not limited to bias, prejudice, or harassment based upon race, sex, gender, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status, socioeconomic status, or political affiliation, and shall not permit court staff, court officials, or others subject to the judge’s direction and control to do so.

(C) A judge shall require lawyers in proceedings before the court to refrain from manifesting bias or prejudice, or engaging in harassment, based upon attributes including, but not limited to, race, sex, gender, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status, socioeconomic status, or political affiliation, against parties, witnesses, lawyers, or others.

(D) The restrictions or paragraphs (B) and (C) do not preclude judges or lawyers from making legitimate reference to the listed factors, or similar factors, when they are relevant to an issue in a proceeding.

COMMENT

[1] A judge who manifests bias or prejudice in a proceeding impairs the fairness of the proceeding and brings the judiciary into disrepute.

[2] Examples of manifestations of bias or prejudice include but are not limited to epithets; slurs; demeaning nicknames; negative stereotyping; attempted humor based upon stereotypes; threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts; suggestions of connections between race, ethnicity, or nationality and crime; and irrelevant references to personal characteristics. Even facial expressions and body language can convey to parties and lawyers in the proceeding, jurors, the media, and others an appearance of bias or prejudice. A judge must avoid conduct that may reasonably be perceived as prejudiced or biased.

[3] Harassment, as referred to in paragraphs (B) and (C), is verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward a person on bases such as race, sex, gender, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status, socioeconomic status, or political affiliation.

[4] Sexual harassment includes but is not limited to sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is unwelcome.

George, Who played with a Dangerous Toy by Hilaire Belloc

George, Who played with a Dangerous Toy
by Hilaire Belloc

And suffered a Catastrophe of considerable Dimensions.

When George’s Grandmamma was told
That George had been as good as Gold,
She Promised in the Afternoon
To buy him an Immense BALLOON.
And
so she did; but when it cam,
It got into the candle flame,
And being of a dangerous sort
Exploded
with a loud report!

The Lights went out! The Windows broke!
The Room was filled with reeking smoke.
And in the darkness shrieks and yells
Were mingled with Electric Bells,
And falling masonry and groans,
And crunching, as of broken bones,
And dreadful shrieks, when, worse Of all,
The House itself began to fall!
It tottered, shuddering to and fro,
Then crashed into the street below-
Which happened to be Savile Row.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
When Help arrived, among the Dead
Were
Cousin Mary,
Little Fred,
The Footmen
(both of them),
The Groom,
The man that cleaned the Billiard-Room,
The Chaplain, and
The Still-Room Maid.
And I am dreadfully afraid
That Monsieur Champignon, the Chef,
Will now be
permanently deaf-
And both his
Aides
are much the same;
While George, who was in part to blame,
Received, you will regret to hear,
A nasty lump
behind the ear.

MORAL

The moral is that little Boys
Should not be given dangerous Toys.

 

Legalize Pot?

While I respect and admire Guy Farmer, I disagree on this one, where he opposes legalization. Our country wastes too much money chasing potheads. Alcohol is much more damaging and dangerous than pot.

I question the statistics and conclusions about pot in the column. We are in a Prohibition-type era. Let people smoke pot so long as they don’t drive and don’t hurt anyone.

And why is it a federal issue? Let each state decide whether to legalize pot or not.

–DW

 

Opinion
Send us your news
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Guy W. Farmer: After marijuana legalization, what’s next?
By Guy W Farmer
Email Print
Voters in Colorado and Washington on Nov. 6 approved ballot initiatives that would permit the “recreational” use of marijuana, but pot is still categorized as an illegal drug by the federal government. So what happens next?

As a longtime opponent of drug legalization, I looked into this question and didn’t find a definitive answer. “In a situation like this, where our law is at loggerheads with federal law, my primary job is to listen,” said Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who opposed that state’s ballot measure. “If (marijuana) is still illegal under federal law, I can’t imagine that 7/11 is ever going to sell it. . . . Don’t break out the Cheetos or the Goldfish too quickly,” he added. Good thinking, governor.

Elizabeth MacDonald of the Fox Business Network believes that the Colorado and Washington ballot measures create a “regulatory nightmare” for the states because they “cannot lend or handle payroll for any company in the (marijuana) business because that would be a violation of federal money-laundering laws.”

However, marijuana advocates are pressuring the federal government to legalize pot, a movement that began when California legalized so-called “medical marijuana” in 1996. Nevada and 16 other states followed suit in subsequent years. Although medical marijuana isn’t a serious political issue in Nevada, it has created multiple problems in California, where the Justice Department has closed 600 medical pot shops since the fall of 2011 for violating the 1970 Controlled Substances Act, which says that marijuana is addictive and has zero medical value.

Since medical marijuana was legalized in California, Los Angeles has experienced a tripling of robberies around pot shops along with a 57 percent increase in aggravated assaults and a 131 percent jump in car robberies.

The federal crackdown on medical marijuana is ironic because President Obama and his “Choom Gang” buddies were enthusiastic pot smokers when he was a high school student in Hawaii. Nevertheless, the president and his very liberal attorney general, Eric Holder, don’t seem to think that marijuana smoke is “medicine,” and neither do I. Nor do I believe that potheads are “patients.” Please!

I’m pleased to note that Nevada voters have twice defeated ballot initiatives to legalize recreational marijuana, both times by decisive 60-40 margins. At the same time I’d like to thank the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project for spending millions of dollars on their failed project in the Silver State.

Although marijuana advocates in Colorado and Washington argue that legalization and “weed tourism” will raise millions of dollars for their state treasuries, many law enforcement officials are convinced that additional tax revenue from legal marijuana would be outweighed by an increase in criminal activity.

According to Fox Business, law enforcement-related studies have shown that pot dealing is connected to crimes ranging “from petty thefts to burglary to assault and murder, as well as money-laundering and smuggling.” And a Rand Corp. study found that a high percentage of criminals are regular pot smokers.

In summary, drugs aren’t dangerous because they’re illegal; they’re illegal because they’re dangerous. Think about it.

• Guy W. Farmer, of Carson City, was a foot soldier in the War on Drugs in seven countries.