April 25, 2017

Earth Day / World-Wide Marches for Science, the Deportation of a “DREAMer,” Protests Against Richard Spencer at Auburn University, Caitlyn Jenner, Prom Tribute to Trayvon Martin and Black Lives Matter, and a Feel-Good Story from George Mason University.

Earth Day (April 22, 2017) marked world-wide marches for science. Creativity abounded as marchers took to the streets in over 500 cities to advocate for scientific freedom. But those weren’t the only protests this week. Violence broke out at Auburn University where protests were held against a speech by White Supremacist Richard Spencer. A court had forced Auburn University to allow the speech to go forward.

And ICE is still at it, this time deporting a “DREAMer,” referring to those protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Juan Manuel Montes, who is 23-years-old, had been in this country since he was nine. 

Caitlyn Jenner’s new book – The Secrets of My Life -- is out and Caitlyn is making the media rounds, including a second high-profile interview with Diane Sawyer on 20/20.

If you’re heading for D.C. and plan on snapping selfies against the back drop of the White House, you might be disappointed. The White House announced that it planned on closing the sidewalk viewing area, which has long been a popular tourist attraction.

Making a statement can be fashionable. Check out the great photos of a prom dress reflecting support for Trayvon Martin and Black Lives Matter.  Images of the dress – worn by a student in West Palm Beach who is headed to Boston College on a basketball scholarship -- went viral.

And how can we end without another inspirational story? Undergrads in the bioengineering department at George Mason University built a prosthetic arm for a 10-year old violinist. Follow the link below for a touching video.

Until next!

By Category:

Earth Day / Marches for Science

March for Science protesters take to the streets to mark Earth Day:


ICE / Deportation

Federal agents have deported a 'DREAMer' for the first time, breaking a Trump promise:


Auburn Protest 

Protesters Arrested Following Brawl at Richard Spencer Event in Auburn: https://www.yahoo.com/news/protesters-arrested-following-brawl-richard-014301957.html

Against its wishes, Auburn hosts white nationalist Richard Spencer:


Caitlyn Jenner:

14 Things We Learned From Caitlyn Jenner’s ‘20/20’ Interview:   https://www.yahoo.com/celebrity/14-things-learned-caitlyn-jenners-2020-i...

White House

White House sidewalk to be closed permanently:


Trayvon Martin / Black Lives Matter

Teen's Powerful Prom Dress Is a Tribute to Black Lives Matter:


George Mason University:

Undergrads build a prosthetic arm for a 10-year-old violinist: https://www.yahoo.com/news/undergrads-build-prosthetic-arm-10-old-violin...

April 18, 2017

United Airlines, Gorsuch’s first day on the job, a federal lawsuit to stop the proposed border wall, Trump’s not so novel claim for presidential immunity, Internet privacy, Pence breaks tie to say bye-bye to birth control, a Survivor cast-member ousted for outing a transgendered contestant, quiet rooms at airports for autistic children, the first athletic scholarship for a female football player in a Division II school, and some touching photos of Barack Obama taking vacay pix of Michelle on his iPad. Another busy week and that doesn’t even include North Korea and the threat of nuclear war! Nor does it include the marijuana debate. Or non-debate. Could this be the one issue that Democrats and Republicans can pass the peace-pipe and unite? Not to worry, we’ll get to that next week.   

United Airlines. The shocking video of the forcible removal of Dr. David Dau caused quite an uproar and there’s no suggestion that it will let up. Was it racially motivated? Or was is just really, really bad customer service? What everyone can agree upon is that Dr. Dau suffered an indignity that no one should suffer. There were immediate calls for boycotts and despite United’s effort to stave off criticism, the public spoke. See below for how United stock “tanked” after the public outrage.

Neil Gorsuch apparently filled out his W-9 as he settled into his new gig at the U.S. Supreme Court. And he’s not shy about his new role. It took him all of eleven minutes to weigh in during the first argument he presided over on Monday.  What’s coming down the pike? While it’s a way off, a law suit was filed by a conservation group to challenge Trump’s proposed border wall. And the Supremes may ultimately have to weigh in on Trump’s argument that he is presidentially immune from claims he incited violence at campaign rallies. They didn’t work so well for President Clinton, as many of you know from the briefs you looked at in your first-year LRW class . . .

Best to stock up on birth control. Vice-President Pence cast the deciding vote to end funding to clinics such as Planned Parenthood. That led to robust town-hall debates, including a challenge from sixteen-year old Deja Fox in Tuscan that drew national attention as she squarely called out Arizona Senator Jeff Flake. See below for an article that includes a video link.

Another area of hot debate is Internet privacy. Congress recently repealed the Broadband Consumer Privacy Rules, thereby allowing internet providers fairly free rein to sell customer data. Of course, as one lawmaker argued, use of the Internet is entirely optional. Wow! Why didn’t we think of that? And if anyone objects to pollution, they can just choose not to breathe. See below to make up your own mind.

Caitlyn Jenner and the rest of America showed support for transgendered individuals after a crisis erupted on the set of the popular television show Survivor.  As cameras rolled, Jeff Varner spilled the beans by asking Zeke Smith why he hadn’t revealed he was transgendered, which angered both fellow contestants and viewers. But certain lawmakers in North Carolina might beg to differ. A new bill was introduced banning same-sex marriage. Did someone not get the memo? The Supreme Court’s holding in Obergefell v. Hodges requiring that states recognize same-sex marriage would appear dispositive. Similar to the reaction to HB2 (previously discussed in our April 4 Weekly Roundup) many North Carolinians have distanced themselves from this effort.

On a more positive note, airports have been adding “quiet rooms” to help accommodate autistic children. Becca Longo became the first female athlete to sign a letter-of-intent to play Division II football at Adams State University. And Barack Obama showed he’s just an everyday guy as he proudly snapped pictures of Michelle on his iPad while cruising the Caribbean. How much you wanna bet he’s watching the basketball playoffs? That’s got to be a little more relaxing than studying for finals.  Ahh. . .

By category:

United Airlines / Dr. David Dau:

United passenger's lawyer says he's gotten emails comparing client to Rosa Parks


United changes crew booking policy after passenger dragged off plane:


Here’s How Much United Airlines Stock Tanked This Week:


Justice Neil Gorsuch:

Neil Gorsuch Asks His First Questions as Newest Supreme Court Justice:


Gorsuch may be decisive vote in divisive Supreme Court cases:


Presidential Immunity

Trump lawyers have a new argument to fight a lawsuit filed by protesters injured at a campaign rally:


Trump claims immunity as president from protesters' lawsuit:


Reproductive Health / Planned Parenthood


'Why is it your right to take away my right to choose?': Teenager slams top Republican senator during testy town hall:


Internet Privacy:

Republican Lawmaker Calls Internet Optional As FCC Readies To Limit Broadband Options:


Proposed Border Wall:

Wildlife https://www.yahoo.com/news/wildlife-conservationists-sue-over-proposed-border-wall-181055106.html

Survivor / LGBTQ

Caitlyn Jenner Sends Message of Support to Trans ‘Survivor’ Contestant:





Gender Equality:

Groundbreaking female football player Becca Longo's advice to young girls: 'Don’t listen to all the negativity'


Average Joe (Barak):

Barak taking pix of Michelle on iPad:  https://www.yahoo.com/beauty/michelle-obama-officially-let-hair-173417382.html

See ya next!