Tag Archives: litigation

“An Atheist In Our Country Is An Enemy”

Jeremy Hall, a soldier with no religious beliefs is suing the Department of Defense for discrimination based on his irreligion. He said “there is a pattern of discrimination against non-Christians in the military.”

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Suing OPEC

House passes bill to sue OPEC over oil prices

“The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved legislation on Tuesday allowing the Justice Department to sue OPEC members for limiting oil supplies and working together to set crude prices, but the White House threatened to veto the measure.”


“‘This bill guarantees that oil prices will reflect supply and demand economic rules, instead of wildly speculative and perhaps illegal activities,’ said Democratic Rep. Steve Kagen of Wisconsin, who sponsored the legislation.”

My guess is that OPEC is charging fair market values. The price of oil is skyrocketing because the US dollar is dying. Compared to the price of gold, oil has stayed level. There hasn’t been any real increase in demand. Until there is, I wouldn’t expand OPEC to increase production. After all, what would they get in return? Certainly not increased profit. In fact, they might lose money in the deal.

Cigarettes Are Evil

Some good (but not great) news:

“A federal judge ruled yesterday that tobacco companies have violated civil racketeering laws, concluding that cigarette makers conspired for decades to deceive the public about the dangers of their product and ordering the companies to make landmark changes in the way cigarettes are marketed.”

“But U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler said that under a 2005 appellate court ruling, she could not impose billions of dollars in penalties that had been sought by the Justice Department in its civil racketeering suit against the eight defendant tobacco companies.”

“All she could do, she said, was try to deter future illegal acts by the companies, and to that end, she ordered them to stop using terms such as ‘low tar,’ ‘light’ and ‘mild’ and to undertake a massive media campaign in an effort to correct years of misrepresentations.”

“It is a penalty that will cost the industry millions of dollars — a fraction of the cost of sanctions the companies faced at the outset of the case, when the Justice Department sought $280 billion from the industry.”

Meanwhile, Big Tobacco is still trying to make cigarettes more addictive than heroin.

“The amount of nicotine in most cigarettes rose an average of almost 10 percent from 1998 to 2004, with brands most popular with young people and minorities registering the biggest increases and highest nicotine content, according to a new study.”

“Nicotine is highly addictive, and while no one has studied the effect of the increases on smokers, the higher levels theoretically could make new smokers more easily addicted and make it harder for established smokers to quit.”

Holding Politicians Accountable

Operation Clean SweepRemember that raise PA legislators gave themselves? Well, Operation Clean Sweep Pennsylvania isn't the only group torqued by it. Common Cause Pennsylvania wants in on the butt-kicking.

"A citizens lobby called Common Cause/Pennsylvania is considering a wide range of options, including a lawsuit and two pieces of legislation, to fight the pay raise that state legislators approved for themselves in the early-morning hours of July 7."

"'We are exploring all our options, including the litigation option,'' said Executive Director Barry Kauffman."

"Despite unsuccessful lawsuits against previous raises, one in 1986 by a group called the Consumer Party and another in 1995 by Harrisburg activist Gene Stilp, Duquesne University law school Professor Bruce Ledewitz believes the Legislature's action this time clearly violated the state constitution, which prohibits a legislator from getting a raise during his or her term."

"To avoid the constitutional prohibition, legislators are calling their raises, which began taking effect on Monday, "unvouchered expenses'' rather than actual raises."

When I last checked, CC/P hadn't posted anything on their site about potential legislation or litigation. I'll be sure to keep an eye on them and let you know if they need support.

On another front in the war for accountability in politics, I received the following in an email from the Libertarian Party.

"Does the Bush Administration Take Its Job Seriously?"

"(Washington, D.C.) On Wednesday, 14 Marines deployed to Iraq from Ohio were killed when their armored vehicle hit a roadside bomb. The attack is one of the deadliest attacks to take place in Iraq. Days earlier, six Marines from the same unit were killed in a fire-fight near Haditha."

"Meanwhile, Republican President George W. Bush set out yesterday to begin his five-week vacation in Crawford, Texas. The planned vacation will be the longest presidential getaway in 36 years (Richard Nixon spent over a month at his San Clemente estate in 1969)."

"While Bush's aides and enablers defend the president's aggressive vacationing, it is simply poor leadership on the part of the Commander in Chief. While American soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen are disallowed from simply returning to the United States as scheduled and risks their lives in Iraq each day, the President of the United States enjoys the comfort and pleasures of his Crawford ranch."

"'As a self-professed 'Wartime President', George W. Bush needs to start taking his job seriously by showing the leadership that our troops deserve,' said Shane Cory, director of communications for the Libertarian Party."

"Cory continued, 'Throughout his presidency, Bush has wrapped himself in patriotic rhetoric by using the troops as the focus of American pride. It's time for Bush to take a step toward working as hard as they do by simply staying on the job and finding a way to bring our troops home.'"

Amazing…I actually agree with the Libertarian Party on something other than the need to break the two-party's stranglehold on this country. Adding shock to amazement, here's another idea I agree with.

"Libertarians upset about a Supreme Court ruling on land taking have proposed seizing a justice's vacation home and turning it into a park, echoing efforts aimed at another justice who lives in the state."


"The plot mirrors the party's ongoing effort to get the town of Weare, about 45 miles to the southeast, to seize Justice David Souter's home. Souter's property is also the focus of a proposal by a California man who suggested the town turn the farmhouse into a 'Lost Liberty Hotel.'"