wants to put up video surveillance cameras on private buildings in Old Town and Chinatown that would help officers monitor drug deals on certain sidewalks, intersections or other public spaces.
Not that there aren’t already surveillance cameras in Portland. But until now, the police have merely been encouraging private property owners to put up cameras. Reese is going before the City Council tonight to request a fundamental change in policy: Now the police department will be installing–and monitoring–cameras.
Senate Bill 1813, introduced by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) last November, has a title as soporific as they come: “AN ACT To reauthorize Federal-aid highway and highway construction programs, and for other purposes.”
And for other purposes.
Ay, there’s the rub.
Section 40304 gives the IRS the power to deny you a passport, or to revoke your passport, if you have:
a seriously delinquent tax debt in an amount in excess of $50,000. . . .
But what harm is there, you ask, in keeping a few rich tax scofflaws from leaving the country?
Should I (or my guardian) be able to sue someone for an action which saved my life?
That’s the rather metaphysical question at the center of Ariel and Deborah Levy’s wrongful birth suit against Legacy Health System. Last Friday, a jury awarded the Portland, Oregon-area couple $2.9 million (out of a requested $7 million) for the birth of their daughter, Kalanit, now 4.
The Levys had two sons when, in 2006, Deborah unexpectedly became pregnant. Because she was 34, the Levys were concerned that the baby might have a genetic disorder.
Thirteen weeks into Deborah’s pregnancy, according to The Oregonian’s article, she had a chorionic villus sampling (CVS). It came back negative for Down Syndrome. The Levys say the tissue sample was negligently taken from Deborah, rather than from the baby. Legacy contends the CVS was properly done and the results were negative because Kalanit has mosaic Down Syndrome, meaning that a significant number of her cells don’t have an extra copy of chromosome 21.
Two later ultrasounds indicated that the baby had traits characteristic of people with Down Syndrome. But, the Levys say, doctors assured them the baby didn’t have Down Syndrome, based on the CVS.
A week after Kalanit was born, Deborah took her to the pediatrician for a well-baby check. There she learned that Kalanit had Down Syndrome.
Over the weekend, the media covered the heartwarming story of Melinda Star Guido. Melinda was born August 30th at 24 weeks gestation. She weighed just 9 1/2 ounces–”less than a can of soda,” both ABC and HuffPo point out–and was the size of an adult hand. Awake, alert, and weighing over 4 1/2 pounds, she went home with her parents Friday, and slept for the first time in her own bed Friday night.
Here’s a video from ABC showing footage of her from both last summer and last Friday.
In other news this weekend, the President released a statement Sunday, on the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade:
As we mark the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we must remember that this Supreme Court decision not only protects a woman’s health and reproductive freedom, but also affirms a broader principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters. I remain committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose and this fundamental constitutional right. . . .
Last Friday, I mentioned in passing Sweden’s new Church of Kopimism. The Missionary Church of Kopimism was founded by two baby-faced college students, philosophy major Isak Gerson, 20, and economics major Gustav Nipe (who, except for being tall, doesn’t look a day over 12). Their sacred symbols are the kopimi (pronounced “copy me”–wink, wink–get it?!) logo:
and, in fact, any symbol that represents and encourages copying, e.g.:
A reader comment on last week’s post suggested that perhaps the whole thing was (gasp!) just a scam. I’m guessing my Dear Reader was operating under the suspicion that perhaps Messrs. Gerson and Nipe were just trying to get the protection of religious freedom for online piracy.
The Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses of the First
Amendment bar suits brought on behalf of ministers against their churches, claiming termination in violation of employment discrimination laws.
In plain English, the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious freedom means that churches can pick–and fire–their ministers as they choose, without government interference, even if the case might ordinarily fall under the purview of employment discrimination laws.
Here is a fairly quick summary of and commentary on the decision from The Anchoress (Elizabeth Scalia, no relation to Hizzoner). Here is a long and meaty one from Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog.