The Supreme Court has decided to hear an appeal of a Circuit Court decision in February of last year to strike down a California statute that bans the sale or rental of violent video games to minors. The California law specifically bans the sale or rental of video games deemed “excessively violent.” California State Senator Leland Yee of San Francisco warned that allowing minors access to very violent video games could affect the brain development of the child.
A father in Chicago may find himself in jail, if he exposes his young daughter to his Catholic faith. Joseph Reyes is estranged from his ex-wife and is in a bitter divorce battle with her. The couple had agreed to raise their daughter in the mother’s Jewish faith, but the family law court, at the request of the mother, ordered Reyes not to bring his three-year-old daughter to Easter services at his church. She told Fox News that she was not anti-Christian, but simply wanted the court’s orders to be obeyed.
The census is far from complete, but projections already show the historic pattern of people moving out of the Northeast and into the South and the Rocky Mountain states. This flow has historically been attributed to climate, cheap land, the movement of jobs, and related factors. Maybe. But in this census, for the first time ever, California will not gain at least one seat in the House of Representatives. The climate is still wonderful, the oceans and mountains are still near, and soil is still some of the richest on Earth.
The Nebraska Legislature is considering legislation that would ban abortions performed at least 20 weeks into the pregnancy of a mother. The proposal, Legislative Bill 1103, sponsored by Mike Flood, Speaker of Nebraska’s nonpartisan unicameral legislature, would prohibit such late-term abortions on the grounds of fetal pain.
It is hard to imagine how a National Prayer Breakfast could be controversial, but it has become that. This tradition stretching back through five decades of American political life and including every American president during that period, has become controversial under President Obama. A gathering which has included people as diverse as Tony Blair and Mother Teresa has somehow come to be seen as exclusionary. How?
At the insistence of Irv Sutley, a lifelong atheist and a 65-year-old disabled Marine, Sonoma County, California, has removed the angel from on top of a Christmas tree in the County Recorder's office. Sutley noticed the angel, as well as stars and other images with religious connotations, on Friday, December 18. The angel was removed, but not the Christmas tree itself depsite the fact it also has religous orgins.
The standard ideological spectrum of a “Right” and “Left” sometimes fails to explain politics. An article in the New York Times on November 24 helps highlight how the traditional spectrum can be more confusing than helpful. The Supreme Court, in the next few months, will be deciding some cases which deal with the vagueness and the breadth of federal criminal laws.
Bishop Joseph McFadden of the Diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania — noting that the public school system in his state has undertaken to make sure that all students are instructed in the same set of beliefs — made this observation:
In the totalitarian government, they would love our system. This is what Hitler and Mussolini and all them tried to establish — a monolith; so all the children would be educated in one set of beliefs and one way of doing things.
Arizona's Administrative Law Judge Lewis Kowal determined on December 27 that the Tucson Public School District’s Mexican-American Studies Program violated state law. In his opinion, the judge stated that a fair presentation of historical and cultural materials was permissible, but that what this program represented was different: “Teaching oppression objectively is quite different than actively presenting material in a biased, political and emotionally charged manner,” he pointed out.
Wisconsin public employees unions were not able to stop Governor Walker’s plan to remove benefits from the items subject to collective bargaining. The unions first persuaded Wisconsin state senators to flee to Illinois, so that a quorum could not be formed to conduct business on that issue in the Wisconsin legislature. Then these unions thronged Madison, trying to intimidate Republican state legislators; these legislators, however, refused to be intimidated. State Supreme Court elections, which once were pro forma referenda on the ethics and competence of justices, was transformed into an ideological policy issue in which Judge Prosser was targeted for elimination because it was felt that he would uphold the constitutionality of Walker’s reforms; that failed too. Finally, public employees unions tried to recall enough Republican state senators to tip control of the state senate back to Democrats; that failed too.