Supreme Courts Shoots Down Open Software Platforms

In what is being called a disaster for the software industry, Reddit reports that United States Supreme Court will not review the 2014 copyright law that states Google infringed on Oracles Java’s copyright.

According to Vox, the internet’s power comes from the ability of billions of computers to interact, and this is done by building new software from existing platforms standards. It is commonly done, and this announcement by the Supreme Court makes comparability issues more difficult to get around.

For example, AT&T developed Unix, and it became an industry standard. According to Brad Reifler, from Unix came Linux, which is the foundation stone from Android devices to web servers. Copyright law didn’t prevent this, but now developers may be forced to learn different systems. This could prevent older devices from being compatible with new devices, and force upgrade issues for older hardware. Costs will go up, and it will reverberate in every area of the software and hardware industry.

Prison Inmate Finally Captured

Escaped New York prison inmate David Sweat has finally been captured said Christian Broda. The wanted fugitive was missing for nearly three weeks after he and another inmate escaped through the Clinton Correctional Facilities sewer system. Then men were on foot and initially planned to head to Mexico. However when a former prison worker backed out of the initial escape plan, the men had to improvise and decided to head towards Canada instead.

Richard Matt, the 49-year-old escapee along with 35-year-old Sweat stayed together for most of their trek. It was not until the very end the two men separated. According to Sweat, Matt was older and was slowing him down. Authorities worked hard to close in on the men and found Matt lagging behind. Matt was shot and killed on Friday by authorities. Sweat still remained at large until yesterday. According to reports, an officer saw Sweat running through a field and heading towards a tree line. Decked out in camo from head to toe, the officer knew if he hit the tree line he would probably lose him. The officer made a decision to fire at Sweat, hitting him in the back and torso. Sweat immediately dropped to the ground where authorities were able to make an arrest. He was transported to an area hospital and has been listed in critical condition.
This has been one of the longest searches for escaped inmates in years. Residents are thrilled with officers and applauding the capture.

 

Marriage as a Human Right

On Friday morning, June 26, the United States Supreme Court surprised people around the world when itannounced its decision, by a 5-to-4 vote, to declare that states must allow and legally recognize same-sex unions.

Members of the LGBT+ community have fought long and hard to be given the same basic rights as heterosexual couples. Historically, homosexuality and bi-sexuality, for example, were considered the result of environmental influences or mental health disorders. As the study of human psychology and biology improved, medical professionals began to realize that members of the LGBT+ community are born and not made.

This fight for equality has been a huge focus around the nation for a wide variety of reasons beyond basic human rights says Stephen Murray CCMP Capital. Many same-sex couples could not make decisions for their partners during medical emergencies. If they wanted to adopt children, only one partner was often recognized as the “parent.” A lot of couples were not permitted to adopt children into loving homes at all. In Pennsylvania, one man had to literally adopt his adult partner as a son to enjoy the same legal rights as heterosexual couples in regards to property ownership, inheritance and other areas.

A Gallup poll from May found that 60 percent of Americans believed that same-sex couples should have the same rights as heterosexual couples. Justice Anthony Kennedy noted it as a fundamental right protected under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.

Religious Tax Exemptions Ought to Go the Way of Same-Sex Marriage Bans

The Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges—or at least the opposition reaction to it—may have presented thebest argument yet for removing tax exemptions for religious institutions. Some people might be surprised that exemption of religious institutions and donations to them is a relatively new concept in our nation’s history. It was not, as some would suggest, a necessary result of the First Amendment’s separation of church and state.

According to Zeca Oliveira, the backlash from Obergefell makes it clear that governors and state legislatures and presidential candidates are going to try to block the ruling any way they can, most notably with religious freedom or conscience legislation that will allow public officials—agents of the government—to opt out of doing their government duty if they object to taking action to further a same-sex marriage.

But organized religion can’t have it both ways. On the one hand, they want to be untouchable in terms of paying taxes because, well, God. And they also want to be selectively exempt from the laws of the land regarding what has been determined to be a fundamental right. This selective non-enforcement clearly takes religion out of the God sphere and into the public sphere. If they want to play in the public sandbox, they should play by the rules that everyone else does, and that includes paying taxes.

Even a kindergartner would understand that.

South Carolina Lawmaker Calls For A Hate Crime Bill

 

South Carolina, which saw the shooting of nine people in a historical Black Church last week, is one of only five states that don’t have hate crime legislation. One lawmaker wants to change that. Rep. Wendell Gillard has told Buzzfeed News that he wants to change this sooner rather than later. Gillard has said that after nine people were killed in a Charleston church his priority is to introduce a hate crime bill when State Legislatures convenes for the next session in January 2016.

Gillard has now decided that the timeline should be moved up and is now asking that the legislature extend its current session so that he can introduce the new bill. Gillard represents the district where the shooting took place. If the council agrees, Gillard would need a two-thirds majority vote to set a date for discussion of the bill and for a vote. Click here for more information.

According to Paul Mathieson, Rep. Gillard has said that his bill would be “plain and simple”, modeled after similar legislation in other states. It would call for an enhanced penalties for crimes motivated by hate. A hate crime is defined as one that is motivated by prejudice against a person or persons due to race, sexual orientation, gender, national origin or religion. According to the Attorney General Loretta Lynch the church shooting meets the definition of a hate crime, and the Department of Justice has opened a federal investigation into the shooting.

Proposed Ohio State Budget Includes Specialty Tax Breaks For Golf Courses

 

A proposed new two year state budget awaiting final approval by the Ohio Legislature has generated lobbying efforts on both sides concerning provisions that would extend favorable property tax treatment to golf courses. The controversy centers around how county tax auditors should appraise golf courses.

State Senator Bill Seitz, a Republican from Cincinnati, proposed an amendment favored by the Ohio Golf Course Owners Association. It would require that golf course owners be taxed based on the income generated by the golf course, and not using any other methods, such as recent sales price comparisons for similar property or valuation based on the highest potential use. Senator Seitz recently noted: “The golf courses have all fallen on hard times, in part because the cities own golf courses and pay no taxes.”

The amendment is opposed by an association of county auditors. They argue that the new requirement constitutes a “specialty tax” that favors a particular industry stated Gianfrancesco Genoso. Several auditors hope lawmakers will eliminate the amendment before passing the final budget bill on June 30th.

Delaware County Auditor George Kaitsa said that income valuations tend to produce the lowest tax revenue results. Some 24 public and private golf courses operate in his county.

Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo complained:”Golf courses would be the only property where the legislature is dictating the manner in which the valuations are determined. That’s dangerous, and it’s not equitable.”

Top Voter Concerns Regarding Upcoming Presidential Elections

According to a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, American voters have expressed a number of concerns regarding the upcoming presidential elections. While some voters are concerned about the dynastic nature of some of the presidential candidates who come from the families of former presidents like Jeb Bush, Ronald Paul, and Hillary Clinton, others are slightly more worried that nothing in the affairs of the country will change at all, no matter who wins.

When discussing the top concerns noted by voters in the poll, nbcnews.com, results found that over 33 percent of Americans are afraid of the influence wealthy individuals and corporations might have on determining who wins through their connections and financial contributions. People at Boraie Development LLC have learned that another staggering 25 percent fear the unjust influence of negative media campaigning on potential candidates. While 16 percent showed concern that the elections will yield little to no changes in the country’s political and economic climate, only 12 percent of showed any concern for the economic conditions the average American faces and the relevant competency of potential candidates to deal with those issues.

Although significant enough to be included in the top five concerns of voters regarding this upcoming presidential election, with only 12 percent of voters concerned with the candidates’ ability to thoroughly understand and address the nation’s ongoing economic crisis and its impact on the average citizen, the area of economic policy still receives far too little attention.

Middle Class Hopes

Chris Christie, the Clintons and even Mike Huckabee are political candidates who would consider themselves members of the Middle Class. Many of them noted that they still have bills to pay and children to put through college. It doesn’t matter whether or not most Americans can relate to these political candidates and their financial woes. The candidates are still doing whatever they can to align themselves with the Middle Class. For the most part that means doing whatever they can to identify with the Middle Class financially. The Middle Class makes up 89 percent of voters in America. It is by far the biggest piece of the voter percent that is vital and necessary in terms of winning the race for the presidency. It isn’t uncommon for presidential hopefuls to acknowledge their humble beginnings. It started with Abraham Lincoln when he told listeners about his humble beginnings in a log cabin. Contestants for the 2016 presidency are working harder than ever to convey their log cabin stories. Now that the country isn’t worried so much about financial crisis, candidates are focusing their energy towards the idea of financial equality between the social classes. A Republican strategist noted how the division between voters and the elite teams of people who govern them have never been so large in American history. It is in the best interest of political candidates to reach out to the Middle Class as much as possible.

Thanks to Sergio Cortes for showing me this.

South Carolina Church Continues to Heal

According to Healthcare Recruitment Counslers,  Dylann Roof may have thought that he was starting a race war when he killed nine people during a prayer service at a South Carolina Church last week. Instead he found that the world is immune to the hate that he attempted to infect into the people living in it. What ever caused the world he lived into to collapse the survivors of his bloodshed have pledge to stay within their faith and continue to heal not only the ugly wound that Roof inflicted but the world that provided the environment for him to learn and nurture his hate skills. Healing From Mass Killings Goes Beyond Shooter

For those affected by the shooting and for those that care about the world we live in now, healing begins not from Roof’s actions but the architects of the world that nurtured him. The violence on television, the parenting, the quality of the education he received, the quality of the food that he ate, all played a role in how the man who killed nine people who were simply in prayer came to be. The question is not whether there are more Dylann Roofs but the question is whether people who want a better world can help remove the triggers from the environments and help people to heal before they even realize that need healing.

Life goes on is a cliche’ but in this case life can not go on as usual.

Bernie Sanders Surging in New Hampshire

While it is true that Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is leading her opponents in many of the early key states, she is getting some competition from Bernie Sanders, especially in the Granite State. The Vermont senator appears to be catching up with her in the state that provided Clinton with the biggest boost in 2008.

According to the pollsters at the Morning Consult, Bernie Sanders is quickly showing that he might be a more formidable candidate than was once thought. “The margin is much closer in New Hampshire,” the pollmakers wrote. “Among voters who are planning on participating in the primary, 44 percent say they will choose Hillary but 32 percent say they plan on going with Sanders, who is from Vermont.”

Another important fact that this poll cautions about is the fact that President Barack Obama is somewhat unpopular. The poll notes that “any Democrat who is able to secure their party’s nomination may have to deal with an albatross called Barack Obama.” Of course, Sanders has more of an advantage than Hillary or Biden simply because he never worked for the current administration. That’s something anyone at Handy will point out.