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March 19, 2010

Oregon lawsuit may reveal Boy Scouts' "perversion files"

Ore. lawsuit claims Boy Scouts sex abuse coverup - Yahoo! News
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Boy Scouts of America has long kept an extensive archive of secret documents that chronicle the sexual abuse of young boys by Scout leaders over the years. The "perversion files," a nickname the Boy Scouts are said to have used for the documents, have rarely been seen by the public, but that could all change in the coming weeks in an Oregon courtroom. The lawyer for a man who was molested in the 1980s by a Scout leader has obtained about 1,000 Boy Scouts sex files and is expected to release some of them at a trial that began Wednesday. The lawyer says the files show how the Boy Scouts have covered up abuse for decades. The trial is significant because the files could offer a rare window into how the Boy Scouts have responded to sex abuse by Scout leaders. The only other time the documents are believed to have been presented at a trial was in the 1980s in Virginia.

Court Says Parents Can Block ‘Sexting’ Cases

Excellent news. Teaching children about technology and what to do when they cross the line of its appropriate use -- and education around when it's okay to be naked -- is absolutely the responsibility of parents. Law enforcement -- if it will maintain citizens' respect and cooperation -- must be based upon the intent of the action and state of mind of the accused. Children who send nude photos of themselves to peers are playing, not exploiting themselves. We have a judiciary, established in our Constitution. Diminishing the power of those wise men and women to provide justice is tearing chunks out of our republic. Court Says Parents Can Block ‘Sexting’ Cases - NYTimes.com
In the first federal appeals court opinion dealing with “sexting” — the transmission of sexually explicit photographs by cellphone — a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled Wednesday that parents could block the prosecution of their children on child pornography charges for appearing in photographs found on some classmates’ cellphones. “It does not resolve all of the constitutional issues implicated in sexting prosecutions, but it’s a terrific start for civil liberties,” said Witold Walczak, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, who represented the parents.

March 18, 2010

Racial Slur Development Not Keeping Pace With Mixed-Race Births, Nation's Bigots Report

Racial Slur Development Not Keeping Pace With Mixed-Race Births, Nation's Bigots Report | The Onion - America's Finest News Source
WASHINGTON—A coalition of the nation's most fervent bigots convened in Washington Monday to address growing concerns that the production of hateful new racial slurs has failed to keep pace with the rise in mixed-race births. According to representatives from the American Racists and Bigots Council (ARBC), the growing number of children born to parents of different ethnicities has posed a real challenge to the nation's hate-speech developers—a challenge they say threatens their way of life. "The world is changing, and we, the hateful and ignorant of America, need to change with it," ARBC chairman Tom Branson said at a rally Monday. "The time has come for our ugly, intolerant rhetoric to step into the 21st century. Our disgusting, dehumanizing slurs simply must reflect the terrifying new global society we now live in." Added Branson, "In order to continue going backward, we first have to move forward."

Patients devastated as many doctors begin to refuse Medicaid

As Medicaid Payments Shrink, Patients Are Abandoned - NYTimes.com
As she began a punishing regimen of chemotherapy and radiation, Mrs. Vliet found a measure of comfort in her monthly appointments with her primary care physician, Dr. Saed J. Sahouri, who had been monitoring her health for nearly two years. She was devastated, therefore, when Dr. Sahouri informed her a few months later that he could no longer see her because, like a growing number of doctors, he had stopped taking patients with Medicaid. Dr. Sahouri said that his reimbursements from Medicaid were so low — often no more than $25 per office visit — that he was losing money every time a patient walked in his exam room. The final insult, he said, came when Michigan cut those payments by 8 percent last year to help close a gaping budget shortfall.

Children by the millions wait for Alex Chilton

Rest in Peace, thanks for the music. USA Today | Pop Candy | R.I.P., Alex Chilton
Last night the festive atmostphere here at South by Southwest was interrupted when news broke that Alex Chilton had died. As part of the Box Tops and Big Star, the Memphis artist made a massive impact on pop music. He went on to influence a generation of bands, including two of my all-time favorites (and maybe yours), The Replacements and R.E.M. Chilton died yesterday at a hospital in New Orleans, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal. He was scheduled to play here in Austin on Saturday. Even at an early age, Chilton's talent was evident (as was his passion for British rock 'n' roll). At 16 he and the Box Tops scored a hit with The Letter. Dig that voice!