Finally! Real spring. Ignore any snow and sleet you might see. It is an optical illusion. Last year I had daffodils in February. This year, not so much. Finally, this week they are blooming.
My winter pansies met with ill fate in some of the pots. About half survived. I have never lost quite as many as this past year.
It was a rough winter. I would take one like that every year just to get a summer like last summer.
Indiana Senate Bill 101, titled the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, is a law that mandates that religious liberty of individuals and corporations can only be limited by the “least restrictive means of furthering a compelling government interest.” The bill has been controversial. Opponents of the law claim that is targeted against LGBT people and other groups. The bill is similar to the controversial Arizona SB 1062 vetoed by Governor Jan Brewer in 2014, which expanded Arizona’s existing RFRA to include corporations.
The bill was approved by a vote of 40-10 and on March 26, 2015, Mike Pence signed SB 101 into law. The law’s signing was met with widespread criticism by such organizations as the NCAA, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, the gamer convention Gen Con, and the Disciples of Christ. Technology company Salesforce said it would halt its plans to expand in the state.
Pence is speaking now. He started off his speech by comparing himself to Clinton. What a nerve. He has probably spent a good portion of his life spitting on Bill Clinton.
Pence continues to make excuses. He says he and the general assembly will craft legislation that makes it clear that businesses don’t deny services to anyone. Then why have the law?
Meanwhile, Gov. McAuliffe has told Indiana corporations to come to Virginia. I like a guy that sees opportunity.
Colonel Davis’s op-ed piece appeared Friday in the New York Times.
Guantánamo’s Charade of Justice
LAST week, we learned that, only months into the job, the official in charge of the military courts system at Guantánamo Bay was stepping down, after judges ruled he had interfered in proceedings. The appointment of an interim replacement was the sixth change of leadership for the tribunals since 2003.
This is yet another setback for the military commissions, as they tackle two of their highest-profile cases: the joint trial of the chief planner of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, and four alleged co-conspirators, and the trial of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, accused in the bombing of the American destroyer Cole.
That’s not all. Besides the revolving door at the convening authority’s office, six military attorneys have served as chief prosecutor for these courts over the same period. (I was the third.)
Americans like to think that they are enlightened as far as mental illness goes. They no longer keep crazy old Aunt Sally locked in the attic. People are encouraged all the time to seek mental health treatment. “Go for professional help” is code for get a shrink. People confess to taking Zoloft and other anti depressants like they are popping an aspirin. Some folks even discuss what their psychiatrists tell them as a conversation piece at cocktail parties. Is all this feel-good talk about our national mental health simply window dressing?
Yes and no. Actually, our treatment of mental illness is, if you will pardon the pun, schizophrenic. On the one hand, mental illness is treated like its just one of the conditions that affects the human body, like heart disease, TB, diabetes or chicken pox. Our HIPAA laws protect mental health conditions like any other disease, in fact often times more than other diseases.
In an international press conference, a French prosecutor reported that the 28-year-old co-pilot of the crashed plane deliberately brought down the Germanwings flight.
The co-pilot, identified as Andreas Lubitz, had 630 hours of flight experience and had joined Germanwings in 2013, straight out of flight school.
The French prosecutor reported that the co-pilot “had a desire to destroy this plane.” Those listening to data from the black box said that they could clearly hear normal breathing from the co-pilot while the pilot desperately attempted to get back into the cockpit by pounding on the door and shouting, then communicating by intra-cabin communications. It is also reported that it was the co-pilot who deliberately pushed the button to bring the plane down.
DÜSSELDORF, Germany — A French prosecutor said Thursday that the co-pilot of the doomed Germanwing flight appeared to want to “destroy the plane,” in a stunning twist to the investigation that shifted attention to a possible suicide dive that killed all 150 people aboard.
The statement came after reports that the recovered cockpit voice recorder indicated the pilot was locked out of the cockpit before the A320 slammed into the French Alps on Tuesday.
The French prosecutor said flight recorder showed the co-pilot — identified in media reports as Andreas Lubitz — did not say a word once the captain left the cockpit, the Associated Press reported.
“It was absolute silence in the cockpit,” the prosecutor was quoted as saying.
The New York Times quoted an unidentified investigator Thursday as saying the audio depicts someone knocking with increasing urgency — and force — on the cockpit door. The Times quoted the source as saying: “And then he hits the door stronger and no answer. There is never an answer.”