There are all sorts of interesting and disturbing issues and events out there in the news these days, some obscure and others more obvious and with greater implications. Below I simply want to list a few I have been reading about in recent days, and then later perhaps write some longer blogs on some of them.
- The National Collegiate Athletic Association, known to all fondly as the NCAA, has decided to withdraw seven of its collegiate championship events from North Carolina because that state mandated that men and women use bathrooms corresponding with their biological gender—of all things!! Well, pardon my bluntness, but the NCAA has become one of the most biased and hypocritical organizations around. And it has the audacity to weigh in on every political issue that comes from the radical Left while mandating that poor (and mostly minority) athletes can receive little in remuneration while universities reap in millions.
- The EU has mandated that Ireland demand and collect some $13 billion in taxes from Apple, not because it cheated on its taxes, or because Ireland wanted the money, but because the EU seems now to want to make sure there is no tax competition among its members. Apple paid its taxes due under the low Irish corporate rate but the EU commissioner said that that would enable any country to set its own tax base and rate. Imagine that! National sovereignty!
- The Third Circuit appeals court will be hearing a case that I first heard theorized some 35 years ago, but never until now litigated. The plaintiffs, environmental groups, are arguing that the ecosystem involved in their case has rights, human-type rights, and that they, the plaintiffs, have standing to sue in behalf of “nature.” The rights of nature are to be accorded the same stature as humans. Thank you, Joseph Sax, you live again.
- The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has now seen fit to go even further than its requirement of a “preponderance of the evidence” necessary to find sexual assault has occurred (even though criminal law uses the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard). Now it has said that the standard should NOT be a “reasonable person” but rather whatever the alleged victim believes. In a letter to Frostburg State University, an OCR bureaucrat wrote,
“The Sexual Harassment Policy inappropriately stated that “in assessing whether a particular act constitutes sexual harassment forbidden under this policy, the rules of common sense and reason shall prevail. The standard shall be the perspective of a reasonable person within the campus community.” This standard falls short of the preponderance of the evidence standard required to satisfy Title IX.” (OCR Letter of September 9, 2016).
5. I forgot to add this item. Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s leader (I say that loosely) has apparently banned (or attempted to ban) sarcastic speech that could be taken as critical of his regime. “Keep your mouths shut” the N. Koreans were told. I don’t know what to say.
Well, that ought to get you thinking.