Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute has a enlightening critical essay on Barack Obama's "…
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Obama's Real Education Legacy

Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute has a enlightening critical essay on Barack Obama's "real education legacy" in the latest issue of National Affairs. The essay couldn't be more timely, coming on the heels of Education Secretary Arne Duncan's announcement last week that he plans to leave his post at the end of the year.

Hess writes:

Despite the soaring rhetoric and heady promises . . .  education reform during Obama's tenure has disappointed in practice. Oddly enough, some of the president's critics on the right have missed this and have maintained that, on education, his policy has been uniquely sound. New York Times columnist David Brooks declared that "Obama has been the most determined education reformer in the modern presidency," and suggested that…[more]

October 06, 2015 • 04:42 pm

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Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
Jester’s Courtroom
Ain't No Monkey Business
Wednesday, September 30 2015

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (“PETA”) is suing a wildlife photographer on behalf of a monkey.
According to news reports, photographer David Slater was taking pictures of macaques in Indonesia when he stepped away from his camera, and the curious monkeys took control of it and snapped some photos. One hilarious photo, dubbed "Monkey Selfie," was taken by a crested black macaque named Naruto and has become an Internet sensation, in addition to being included in Slater’s “Wildlife Personalities” book.
Now PETA is claiming that ownership of the “Monkey Selfie” belongs to Naruto and not Slater. In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, PETA contends that "[w]hile the claim of authorship by species other than homo sapiens may be novel, 'authorship' under the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 101 et seq., is sufficiently broad so as to permit the protections of the law to extend to any original work, including those created by Naruto."
Slater calls the lawsuit ridiculous. “I am obviously bemused at PETA’s stunt but also angry as well,” Slater said. “This makes animal welfare charities look bad which saddens me, deflecting away from the animals and onto stunts like this.”
Source:  cnn.com

Volkswagen Emissions Lawsuit Has Dealer Fuming
Wednesday, September 23 2015

A Florida woman is suing Volkswagen and car dealer AutoNation for $5 million over charges that Volkswagen rigged some vehicles to hide the level of emissions they produce.
Palm Beach County resident Lisa Lowrance has filed a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida claiming she spent nearly $27,000 on a 2013 VW Beetle that the AutoNation Volkswagen Delray dealership advertised as “clean diesel.” According to news reports, Lowrance said she would not have purchased the car had she known about VW’s “hoax” to install devices in its cars that limited emissions during government testing but not during normal driving.
Scott Schlesinger, Lowrance’s attorney, said in a statement. “Ms. Lowrance thought she was buying an eco-friendly car, when in fact she was unwittingly contributing to unlawful carbon emissions at up to 40 times the pollution allowed.”
“This suit [against AutoNation] has no merit,” Marc Cannon, chief marketing officer for Fort Lauderdale-based AutoNation, said. “We had no idea that any of this was transpiring at Volkswagen. We learned about this just like everybody else did through the media.”
Source: miamiherald.com

Long Bus Rides and After-School Programs Prompt Lawsuit
Thursday, September 17 2015

A Pennsylvania school district is being sued by a parent and two members of its board of education after the closing of an elementary school and redistricting led to one of the plaintiff's children riding the school bus for "an unreasonable extended period of time" and her two children attending YMCA after school programs at two different schools. According to the complaint, the parent-plaintiff, Mary Beth Ruck, will be burdened "with having to make a longer trip and an additional trip to pick up her children.

“It’s shameful that taxpayer monies and district resources are being diverted in order to defend this frivolous lawsuit,” said Michael Olszewski, school board president for the Moon Area School District.

The complaint also alleges that potential leases between the district and an educational resource center will preclude the district from reestablishing the site as an elementary school for potentially a long time. In addition, the complaint alleges that Moon Academy, a remediation program for middle and high school students, is an “alternative education program for disruptive youth.”
In June 2014, the Moon Area Board of Education voted to close Hyde Elementary at the conclusion of the 2014-15 school year due to excess capacity that was created when grade 5 was added to Moon Area Middle School.

Source:  moonarea.net

Eatery's Vegan Makeover Crosses Investors
Wednesday, September 09 2015

A New York City restaurant that recently changed its trendy menu from Paleo-heavy to vegan is being sued by its investors after regular CrossFit customers complained about the menu change.

Citing "personal beliefs", manager Kiki Adami, chef Paul Chang and fellow co-owner Alberto Gonzalez of GustOrganics in Greenwich Village switched the menu after watching several documentaries about what they believe is devastation caused by the global meat industry to the environment. According to news reports, the films led them to remove animal products from the menu, a move that infuriated its CrossFit customers who used the restaurant for their Paleo diets. Adami reported receiving 50 hate mails from CrossFit fanatics. "We were their go-to spot," said Adami.

A lawsuit filed in New York Supreme Court alleges that the menu change has "damaged the reputation and sales of the business." Investors further claim that the company should have told them in advance of the restaurant's planned menu change.

Adami defended the move, saying the eatery made a profit this past June for the first time in three years.

“It’s bogus,” she said of the plaintiffs. “We were trying to save a sinking ship.”

Source:  nypost.com

Sick of the Internet?
Wednesday, September 02 2015

A Massachusetts boarding school was sued by the parents of one of its students, claiming the school’s enhanced Wi-Fi signal is making their son sick.
The unnamed parents sued the central Massachusetts Fay School for $250,000 in damages after their son allegedly suffered headaches, nose bleeds and other symptoms of “electromagnetic hypersensitivity syndrome” beginning in 2013, shortly after the school activated a stronger wireless signal. In addition to damages, the family wants the school to turn down the signal or go to an Ethernet system.
The school countered that tests showed the frequency of their system was a fraction of federal safety limits. According to news reports, the case may be close to a settlement.
Source:  boston.cbslocal.com

Question of the Week   
Which one of the following events brought the U.S. and the Soviets (Russians) closest to the point of direct conflict following the Cuban Missile crisis?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
"[Obama is] not about to try building consensus on gun policy among people of good faith. He'll take the same approach he's taken throughout his presidency: He'll delegitimize opponents of his sweeping agenda as irrational, self-interested enemies of decency and progress. As the Washington Examiner's Byron York recently noted, Obama has a long history of trying to shut down disagreement by accusing…[more]
—Jonah Goldberg, National Review Senior Editor
— Jonah Goldberg, National Review Senior Editor
Liberty Poll   

Which one of the following is the greatest threat to the U.S. and its interests?