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Standing During the National Anthem

I am just going to start with one of those before-and-after pictures:



I just wanted to insert that first picture, because I keep seeing “human” pictures like that on Facebook; and a dog picture really makes me smile.

Which leads me on to a more serious topic for the blog. What do you think about players not standing for the National Anthem? With the NFL season starting tonight, I am sure that we will see someone this weekend who decides not to stand. Honestly, it gets me kind of riled up. But I know there are those who disagree.

On that topic, here is what the Kansas City Chiefs owner has advised his organization:


Now what do you think of that?

You won’t see this as an issue in the NBA. When the most recent collective bargaining agreement was entered into between the owners and the NBA players, it became a contract issue that all the players would stand for the National Anthem. So, not an issue in the NBA.

I suspect that during the next NFL negotiation, that this will become part of the negotiation. No longer a first amendment issue. Instead, a contract issue. However, it is worth noting some case law on the question of whether someone has the right not to stand.

Let’s turn to something similar. A failure to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance. In West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette (1943), the Supreme Court ruled that requiring students to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

In public schools, the Supreme Court said that you could not make students stand. In the NFL, there is no rule requiring players to stand for the National Anthem. On the flip side, no one has said that employment law requires an owner to employ a player who will not stand. So, while the NFL has not come out with an official position, something like a statement from an owner like the Chiefs owner will have the following consequence… I bet no one sits during the Chiefs game.  What do you think?

And for pic o’ day, life is about being there for your friends. Right?


The Electric Chair Option

Some might say that this is a story that is similar to one of Yogi Berra’s famous quotes, “We made too many wrong mistakes”. I write this blog with the realization that there are strong opinions on both sides of this issue… the death penalty.,  in an article titled Who Supports the Death Penalty?, tells us that the percentage of Americans in favor of the death penalty has fluctuated significantly over the years. Those in favor have ranged rom a low of 42% in 1966, to as high as  80% in 1994.

Gallup polls now indicate a range of a little over 60% of those surveyed, support the death penalty. That breaks down by party in the following way:  Eighty percent of Republicans support the death penalty, while 65% of independents and 58% of Democrats support it. So, it appears that there is still a majority that support the death penalty in certain circumstances.

That brings me to recent legislation in Virginia that has been placed on the Governor’s desk for signing into law. It is still a question whether he will sign it. It’s not whether the death penalty should exist… it’s whether method matters.

Currently Virginia carries out the death penalty through lethal injection.  The drugs for lethal injection are becoming scarce.

New legislation would bring back the electric chair. This, despite the fact that the electric chaired has been determined to be cruel and unusual punishment in two states. Georgia and Nebraska are the states, with the Georgia court criticizing the execution method for its “specter of excruciating pain and its certainty of cooked brains and blistered bodies.”

As a basis for the passage of the legislation,  Senate Democratic Leader Dick Saslaw reasoned that when someone murders multiple people, they no longer deserve to be treated humanely.

“When you commit acts like that, you give up your right to, as far as I’m concerned, to say well I want to die humanely,” Saslaw said.

In 2014, Tennessee passed a similar law to this Virginia legislation. Oklahoma became the first state last year to approve nitrogen gas for executions if the lethal injection drugs are not available. Last year, Utah approved firing squads for executions if the drugs aren’t available.

It is a serious subject. No fiction, all reality! It reminds me of another Yogi Berra saying “In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is”.

A lot at stake for the Governor’s signature.

I usually close the blog with  pic o’ day. Fortunately, it is not a serious category. After that blog… I needed something that made me smile.  Credit goes to Amy M, who sent it:


How About Some Drone Law?

When Amazon announced that they were going to be making home deliveries by using drones (Fox News), I just kind of dismissed it. Sure, I thought, why not have Amazon pigeons deliver Fig Newtons.  Then I started receiving shopping catalogues with personal drones for sale. Now, I realize that the pigeons are out of business.

Which leads me to “whatever happened to the Kentucky man” William Merideth, who was arrested in July ( for shooting down a drone? He claimed that it was flying over his property?

By review, the “drone owner” claimed that he was taking pictures of a friend’s house for him. Meredith claimed that pictures were being taken of his 16-year-old daughter who was lying out by the pool.

Meredith got his shotgun… and boom, end of drone. Merideth was arrested for destruction of property.

At the end of October, a district court judge dismissed the charges (NBC News), on the basis that drone slayer Merideth had the right of expectation of privacy and that the evidence showed that the drone was hovering over his property. The drone owner says that this matter is “far from over”. I say, “where are the Fig Newtons?”

And for pic o’ day, it’s selfie time:


Discrimination Lawsuit Collection

ABC”s sport show “Wide World of Sports” started out with a catchy tune and the announcer, Jim McKay, telling us that the show was “spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport… the thrill of victory… and the agony of defeat”. The last part of the narration included video of skier Vinco Bagataj , whose dreadful mis-jump and and twisting crash landing of March 21, 1970, became synonymous with “and the agony of defeat”. Fortunately and amazingly, he suffered no broken bones, but was then infamously known as the show’s hard-luck hero.

I use that introduction to this Monday blog, because we are spanning some Courthouses across the United States. I am attaching three cases that were filed. The common denominator is that they are all discrimination lawsuits. If you want more information on them, you can see where I attached the full article. Which will end up with the agony of defeat.

The New York “Daily News” reports on a lawsuit filed by Sherry Harrington, the first female operations chief at the New York Metro-North Railroad. Her lawsuit alleges that she was singled out and reprimanded for recommending her live-in-companion, for a railroad job. In her lawsuit, she also claims that she was being paid less than a man in an equivalent position; and that she was subjected to inappropriate and offensive comments in the office.

Her discrimination claim “is based on sexual orientation bias and nothing more”. She further states that her employer has ” damaged her reputation, career, physical and emotional well being.”

Our next discrimination suit comes from Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. ( Jonathan Keith Blazek sued the city of Lakewood after he was fired for consuming alcohol, during one of his work shifts in March 2012. The lawsuit alleges that the city did not take Blazek’s alcoholism into account when he was terminated.

Initially, he filed a claim with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission. Then, his claim was brought before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The finding of both Commissions was “that the allegation that he was terminated, based on disability, is baseless”. The lawsuit now is filed as a claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The lawsuit seeks back pay, reinstatement of his employment, and compensatory damages.

Our third lawsuit takes us to Georgia and the “Atlanta Journal-Constitution“. This lawsuit had been filed on behalf of seasonal American workers. The lawsuit alleged that black workers were given fewer hours, asked to do lower paying jobs, and were subjected to racial comments from their manager before being terminated. These seasonal employees claimed that the Mexican workers were treated better.

The first two lawsuits are currently pending. The farming suit has now settled. The settlement included back wages and rehire offers were extended. In addition, the managers who were targeted in the lawsuits are to now have limited contact with these workers.

For our pic o’ day, I can never get enough of captioned dog pictures!

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