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The nonprofit alleges that coach Dabo Swinney crosses the line by using his position to promote Christianity.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter of complaint to Clemson University, citing concerns about how much religious influence coaches have on football players,according to The Greenville News.

According to the foundation, Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney has promoted a culture in the program that violates constitutional stipulations of the separation of church and state.

A spokesman for the athletic department declined to comment on the letter. Cathy Sams, the university’s chief public affairs officer, said her department has not completed its review of the letter but said Swinney hasn’t forced his religion onto his players.

The foundation does not plan to bring this to litigation, and according to the article, it does not want to infringe on Swinney’s rights of religious freedom. However, it wants to ensure that the Clemson players are protected for instance, it wants to make sure that some players aren’t given preferential treatment on the basis of religion. It also wants to make sure Swinney’s position as head coach doesn’t pressure athletes into becoming more religious.

“What we have observed in the records is that the football coaching staff is doing a number of things to promote Christianity to their student-athletes,” foundation staff attorney Patrick Elliott said.

“What we’d like to see is the end of this chaplaincy position and end to Bible distributions by coaches, an end to devotionals scheduled and put on by coaches and staff. The coaches need to step back and just coach (football) and not coach in religious matters.”

Under Swinney, Clemson has had an outwardly religious program,which was discussed in a Chronicle of Higher Education feature last year. According to the piece, there are Bible studies for coaches twice a week, three other devotionals each week and a voluntary chapel for players the night before each game. Star receiver DeAndre Hopkins was baptized in a livestock trough on the 50-yard line after a practice in 2012. Swinney says he is up front about his faith.

Before they ever joined the team, some of them prayed with coaches on the phone during recruiting calls. On recruiting visits, they heard from Mr. Swinney: “I’m a Christian. If you have a problem with that, you don’t have to be here.”

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Freedom From Religion Foundation complains about Clemson football program

Although the Malaysian constitution guarantees freedom of religion, many Malaysians continue to face serious and systemic religious intolerance, observe Aliran and Suaram.

Jais raided the Bible Society of Malaysia Photograph:

Malaysia has a population of 30m people, with 60 per cent of the population practising Islam, 19 per cent Buddhism, 9 per cent Christianity, 6 per cent Hinduism and 5 per cent other faiths and beliefs. Although Malaysia remains a secular state and its constitution guarantees freedom of religion, many Malaysians continue to face serious and systemic religious intolerance and persecution.

Although Muslims may proselytise to non-Muslims, under Article 11(4) of the Malaysian Constitution, proselytisation by those of non-Muslim faiths to Muslims is prohibited. Freedom of religion was one of the key issues discussed during Malaysias second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review, with several states including Austria, Canada, Italy and Poland making critical comments and recommendations. In January 2014, Amnesty International stated It is concerning to see the Malaysian authorities increasingly taking their cue from hard-line religious groups and others seeking to silence those who espouse views that differ from their own agenda.

A court ruling in October 2013 prohibits non-Muslims from using the word Allah to refer to God. The appeals court stated that the term Allah must be exclusive to Islam or it could cause public disorder. According to the Christian Federation of Malaysia, about 60 per cent of the 2.6m Christians in the country use the word Allah to refer to God. In a statement made at the second cycle of Malaysias Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in October, the Malaysian Government stated that the Court ruling was a preventive measure to ensure public safety and to protect public order in Malaysia.

In November 2013, the UN Special Rapporteur, Mr Heiner Bielefeldt, urged the Government of Malaysia to reverse its decision to ban a Catholic publication from using the word Allah to refer to God, warning that the case may have far-reaching implications for religious minorities in the country.

UN Independent Expert on minority issues Ms Rita Izsk stated that, Discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief constitutes a violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and in this instance is a breach of the rights of a religious minority to freely practise and express their faith as they have done for generations. Such actions may present an obstacle to friendly and peaceful relations between faith communities.

The UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, Mr Frank La Rue, has also echoed these statements: The Ministry of Home Affairs and the Government of Malaysia should take necessary steps to secure immediately the right to freedom of opinion and expression of Herald The Catholic Weekly and withdraw unconditionally from further litigation on this issue.

On 2 January 2014, officers from the Selangor Islamic Department (Jais) raided the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) and seized 321 copies of the Bible in the Malay language and a further 10 bibles in the Iban language because they used the world Allah to refer to God. Jais unlawfully conducted the raid without a warrant and threatened to force their way into the office of BSM if they would not open the door for them. During the raid, the Jais officers also arrested the Bible Societys president, Lee Min Choon, and office manager, Sinclair Wong, for allegedly violating that decree. Both were later released on bail.

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Threats to freedom of religion or belief in Malaysia

“We are convinced that the British people, whom we deeply respect, understand the injustice that arises from the rupture of a country’s territorial integrity and that the rulers of the countries involved should resume dialogue.”

Mr Filmus, 58, a former academic who became minister for education during the presidency of Mrs Kirchner’s husband, Nestor, has embraced the new role wholeheartedly.

Like his feisty boss, he is an ardent user of Twitter to convey his message. She refuses to give interviews, and instead rallies her troops directly with battle cries issued to her 2.6 million followers. He, meanwhile, uses the tool to reiterate rhetoric on the Isles, commiserate the deaths of Argentine Falklands war veterans, and issue strident ripostes to British minister’s words.

When Hugo Swire, minister of state for the foreign office, said during a visit to the Falklands last month that he felt opposition politicians would have a “more realistic and mature vision than the current government”, Mr Filmus hit back that it was an Argentine policy that would never change.

He also gleefully tweeted another article in response, in which an Argentine senator, Anbal Fernndez, Mrs Kirchner’s former chief of cabinet, said that Mr Swire’s “tongue was larger than his head.”

The verbal crossfire peaked two years ago, with the 30th anniversary of the conflict, but has remained the defining feature of British-Argentine relations.

Is this relentless rhetoric not destroying what could otherwise be a good relationship?

“What is most affecting good relations between our countries is the UK’s unwillingness to engage in dialogue, its failure to observe UN resolutions and the unilateral actions and militarisation it is carrying out in the South Atlantic,” he retorted.

And he accused Britain of making “aggressive moves” in the South Atlantic.

“The UN asks both the United Kingdom and Argentina to refrain from carrying out any unilateral actions in the Malvinas case,” he said. “The actions performed by the United Kingdom in the area, without Argentina’s consent, especially military actions and actions that involve plundering natural resources in the disputed area, are aggressive moves.”

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Falkland Islands will be ours, says Argentina's new minister

Why You Should Consider Planning a Negative SEO Attack
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Removal of Internet Slander Removal of Online Defamation Mugshot Arrest Removal Derogatory Article Removal Online Reputation Management Fix Google, Yahoo …

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Mar 202014

Every year I hear a new chorus of folks claiming that SEO is dead or that SEO has changed so fundamentally that it’s completely different now than it once was. I usually find these statements short sighted.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

SEO (still) isn’t dead and won’t be until the day that search engines can no longer drive significant traffic to websites (which won’t be for a long, long time, if ever).

Furthermore, with just a few exceptions, the only thing that has changed about SEO in my opinion is that search engines are getting better at enforcing their own rules. Thus, folks who have been historically using short cuts or tactics that might be considered less than best practices have been forced to adapt. And sad to say, there are a lot of those folks.

Search engine optimization remains an important part of the digital marketing landscape, and the path to long term success is relatively the same as it has always been.

The basic fundamentals of SEO are still important and if done correctly, will still yield favorable results. Here are some SEO basics that have remained relatively unchanged (note this list isn’t intended to be comprehensive):

This list wouldn’t be complete without everyone’s favorite topic: link building (I know people would argue with me that link building has changed dramatically, but please read the rest of the article first).

None of these things has changed that significantly enough over the last few years that they would make me say SEO is a completely new exercise compared to what it used to be.

Sure, there is less data to look at (thanks, Google) and there are changes in how the engines deal with some of the technical issues like canonical tags, rel=alternate syntax, and schema mark up to name a few, but it’s really no different than how we used to have to check to see if folks were using hyphens instead of underscores, 301 redirects instead of 302 redirects (I still recommend this by the way), and worrying about JavaScript not being indexed (which it still isn’t in some cases).

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So… You Think SEO Has Changed?

Libertarianism 101

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Mar 202014

This article appeared in Naples Daily News on March 19, 2014. Libertarianism is a political philosophy grounded on these propositions: Adult individuals have the right and responsibility to decide important matters about their own lives, but they may not infringe on the equal rights of others.

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Libertarianism 101

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Greek Islands : Gavdos Paradise on Earth
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Greek Islands : Gavdos Paradise on Earth – Video

The organization seeking damages in the involuntarily commitment of a Marine veteran from Chesterfield County two years ago says it will decide later today whether to appeal a federal court ruling that the detention of Brandon Raub was warranted.

Rutherford Institute founder John W. Whitehead, meanwhile, issued a sevenpage statement this morning decrying the decision from U.S. District Judge Henry W. Hudson and linking it to other maneuvers by the government that have managed to disembowel freedom of speech, rendering it with little more meaning than the right to file a lawsuit against government officials.

An online service is needed to view this article in its entirety. You need an online service to view this article in its entirety.

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Chesterfield Marines threats trump his First Amendment rights, a federal judge rules

FREEDOM WON 28 years ago. Freedoms lost last week.

Media organizations and netizens mark the 28th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolt with a Black Tuesday campaign to protest the Cyber Libel provision of Republic Act 10175, or the Cybercrime Prevention Act.

The Supreme Court last week declared the Cyber Libel provision of R.A. 10175 as constitutional, effectively expanding the coverage of the countrys 80-year old libel law into the digital domain.

Media and online groups have protested the ruling, saying the decision reverses what already appeared to be a libertarian trend in the courts in the interpretation of libel laws.

Libel is defined in Article 323 of the Revised Penal Code as a criminal offense, punishable with both a prison term and damages. Media and lawyers groups have been pushing for the decriminalization of libel, saying the law has been used to harass and cow the Philippine press.

In addition, the Philippines is unique in that an allegedly libelous statement is presumed to be malicious until proven otherwise by the accused. This implies that the accused is already presumed to be guilty until he proves himself innocent before the courts.

Exactly a week ago today, Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of R.A. 10175s cyber libel provision, which recognizes that libel can be committed online, but only by the original authors and producers of the material. Not included in the crime of cyber libel are those who receive or respond to the material.

At the same time the Tribunal struck down several provisions of the law as unconstitutional, particularly the take-down clause which would have allowed the government to deny or restrict access to digital hardware and material even without a warrant, and the real-time collection of traffic data.

The decision came exactly a week before the nation commemorates the 28th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolt, when press freedom was restored in the country.

Media organizations have pointed out that the Cybercrime Act and the SC ruling on the law effectively reverses many of the freedoms gained in EDSA by unduly restricting freedom of expression and freedom of the press even in the internet.

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Freedom won, freedoms lost; Black Tuesday on EDSA anniv

This article appeared on The Blaze on February 21, 2014. Until the Supreme Court ruled in the 2008 case of District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment protects the right to armed self-defense, many lower courts gave this important provision short shrift.

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The Second Amendment Case the Supreme Court Must Take

Published February 13, 2014

Last year, the Ohio National Guard conducted a training drill in which a fictitious school custodian, angry about gun control, unleashed chemical weapons. (Ohio National Guard)

The Ohio National Guard has seen the enemy and it is a school janitor who supports the Second Amendment?

The Guards 52nd Civil Support Team held a training drill last year in southern Ohio which pitted members against a sinister janitor and a chemistry teacher sidekick who concocted chemical weapons in two makeshift labs, unleashing them on middle school students before killing himself. Inside the lair of the creepy custodian, identified as Mr. Wart, agents found several statements about protecting Gun Rights and Second Amendment rights on a chalkboard as well as on tables, according to the training packet.

Fortunately, none of it actually happened. Critics say it is telling that a government groups chosen bogeyman would be Second Amendment supporters.

They were characterizing gun owners and Second Amendment supporters as white extremists,” Chad Baus, of the Buckeye Firearms Association, told “It was a month after Sandy Hook. There was a large debate where gun owners were being blamed. I think the timing of it was extremely important here.

– Chad Baus, Buckeye Firearms Association

According to the drill, Mr. Wart and the unnamed chemistry teacher were producing ricin and sulfur mustard. Another clue to their motivation was a printed CNN article found among instructions for making the deadly toxins. In the article, a real story from March 2011, National Rifle Association leader Wayne LaPierre accused the Obama administration of trying to weaken the Constitutions Second Amendment.

Other evidence found near Mr. Wart included the name and contact information of William Pierce, an infamous (and now dead) neo-Nazi.

Read more here:
AN EASY TARGET? National Guard drill pegs gun owner as the villain

Malibu, CA (PRWEB) February 14, 2014

In a case being held in the Supreme Court of Texas, Harrison Barnes PLC, and its founder, Harrison Barnes, are currently in a court battle involving the First Amendment. The most influential scholar in the United States on the subject, Erwin Chemerinsky, has submitted an amicus brief in support of Harrison Barnes.

In Kinney vs. Barnes, on February 6, 2014, Erwin Chemerinsky and Professor Lyrissa Barnett Lidsky, among others, submitted an amicus brief to the Texas Supreme Court. According to court documents, the amicus brief urged the court to rule in favor of Harrison Barnes in the lawsuit. Professor Erwin Chemerinsky has argued in front of courts including the United States Supreme Court regarding issues of free speech and injunctions in defamation cases. He also wrote a widely cited law review article on the subject, Injunctions in Defamation Cases, 57 Syracuse L. Rev. 157 (2007).

Kinney previously worked for Barnes in a legal recruiting firm, but was terminated after it was discovered Kinney was involved in an unethical kickback scheme, according to page 3 of these court documents. Several years after Kinneys termination, critical posts were made online attacking Harrison Barnes and his companies using the screen name Albert. Through litigation and investigation, Barnes discovered that Kinney was Albert, as mentioned on page 2 and 3 of these court documents. Kinney hired an attorney to remain anonymous, but, he eventually released the information, according to page 3 of these court documents.

After finding these comments and the true identity of the poster, Harrison Barnes felt that they were defamatory in nature and filed suit against Kinney in California state court for anonymously maligning Barnes and his companies online, according to these court documents. In August of 2009, a news item that was not defamatory in nature was posted on JD Journal, a Company owned by Harrison Barnes. The allegations made in the suit were mentioned in the publication, including the relationship and history between Harrison Barnes and Kinney, Kinneys termination, Kinneys creating a business designed to compete with Barnes firm, and Kinneys decision to post things that were malignant in nature about Harrison Barnes and his companies online, according to the article and court documents.

Kinney responded to this article on JD Journal by claiming that it constituted actionable defamation. Then a lawsuit was filed by Barnes against Kinney seeking injunctive relief for defamation, according to page 4 of these court documents.

Kinney vs. Barnes is expected to be ruled on soon by the Texas Supreme Court.

Attorneys at Harrison Barnes PLC have a large amount of experience in defamation, internet, and First Amendment law, as well as general litigation, employment law, release estate transactions and litigation, bankruptcy, divorce and family law and criminal law. Defending the rights of their clients is what Harrison Barnes PLC is focused on.

Harrison Barnes PLC is proud of the work they do and the clients that they have helped. Their first commitment is to their clients, which has made them a preferred firm for litigation in Malibu. Facing a great opportunity or a major crisis, you need to trust the experience, creativity, and dedication we provide. We are proud to be lawyers, says founder Harrison Barnes.

About Harrison Barnes PLC:

Read more:
Experts in First Amendment and Internet Law Urge the Supreme Court of Texas to Rule in Favor of Harrison Barnes

February 13, 2014 2:00 AM

Feb. 10 To the Editor:

We are writing with regard to Article 23, which will be on the ballot at the Town of Rye election on March 11. The article proposes beach activity permits for commercial activities on Rye’s beaches.

We are in favor of public access to these beaches, but to ensure access, safety and enjoyment of the beaches for everyone, there has to be some town control over commercial beach activities. No controls on commercial beach usage will only increase the negative impact on everyone’s safe enjoyment of the beaches. At Jenness State Beach and at Wallis Sands State Beach, the state of New Hampshire requires a special use permit for anyone seeking to use those beaches for commercial activity. If this is something that the state requires, and it has worked, why can’t the town of Rye have a similar requirement?

The town of Rye, like all other towns, has an extensive list of controls for what can and cannot be done in town. There are zoning regulations, speed limits, parking restrictions, limits on the numbers of people that are permitted in public spaces, permit requirements for road and bicycle races, and even for fires on the beach. Zoning regulations, for instance, are not in place to prohibit persons from building in town; but when they do want to build, the restrictions are in place to set parameters as to what can be built in order to preserve the beauty of the town, enhance safety and not encroach on the rights of others. These other restrictions or permit requirements are not in place to prohibit the public from doing any of the above but to ensure that when they do choose to do one of these things, they must do so safely and not interfere with others.

Similar to the above examples, Article 23 would require a permit for commercial activities on Rye town beaches. Its purpose is not to prohibit all commercial activities on the beach; rather, its purpose is to ensure that when commercial activities are conducted, they will be done in a manner that does not interfere with the safe, enjoyable use of the beaches for everyone. The article only deals with commercial activity; it contains no restrictions whatsoever on the right to surf on Rye’s beaches.

Proponents of Article 23, including us, are not attempting to put any commercial activities out of business. Instead, what we do advocate is for the town of Rye to have a minimum amount of control as to what commercial businesses can and cannot do on Rye’s beaches. A permitting process will greatly help to ensure that the public’s right to access and enjoy the beaches will not be hampered. We encourage Rye voters to vote for Article 23 on March 11.

Brenda and Frank McDermott


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We support permits for commercial activity at Rye beaches

Happy Tuesday, View fans. Heres a look at what Ive been reading this morning.

Why its completely accurate to call Ireland a tax haven.

Because thats what it is. This article comes from todays Irish Times: U.S. multinationals reported paying tax rates of 2.2 per cent in Ireland during 2011, according to a new study. A research paper by Prof. James Stewart, associate professor in finance at Trinity College Dublin, also challenges government claims that effective corporation tax rates in Ireland are just below the headline rate of 12.5 per cent. Instead, the study suggests Irelands effective tax rate for American firms is similar to jurisdictions regarded as tax havens such as Bermuda, based on latest U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis statistics.

What to make of Stanley Fischers time at Citigroup.

Fischer, the nominee for Federal Reserve vice chairman, worked for Citigroup Inc. from 2002 to 2005. Felix Salmon of Reuters makes the case for why we should be happy that he did: Fischer left Citi before it imploded, but he was there while it was manufacturing many of the toxic subprime products which ended up proving all but fatal. Mortgage products werent Fischers area, but he did work very closely with Robert Rubin, who was blithely unconcerned about the risks being built up. Thats an incredibly important and valuable lesson to learn: you cant trust wise men like Rubin to see whats going on in front of their face. And when bank CEOs tell the Fed board that they have everything under control, Fischer will know better than most just how little those statements can be trusted.

What to expect when Fed Chairman Janet Yellen testifies today before Congress.

Aki Ito and Jeff Kearns of Bloomberg News have a good roundup. Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., predicts Yellen will indicate she plans to press on with a strategy to trim monthly bond buying by $10 billion. Jared Bernstein, former chief economist to Vice President Joe Biden, suggests asking her this question: What data would prompt the Fed to slow or suspend its unwinding of monetary support?

Spotting a stock-market bubble isnt only about the data.

Jason Voss of the CFA Institute has a good list of favorite anecdotal indicators. Having worked as a professional money manager through two market bubbles — dot-com and real estate — I can attest that qualitative signs are often more persuasive than the quantitative signs, he writes. Among them: Art sales are front page news. Relatives ask you crazy investment questions like whether swaptions are good for their retirement accounts. And stock splits lead to pops in share prices.

Pawn stars for the rich and famous (and not so famous).

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Weil on Finance: Yes, Ireland Is a Tax Haven – Bloomberg

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