Friday, January 25, 2008

American "Can Do"

The Man Who Thinks He Can
by Walter D. Wintle


If you think you are beaten, you are.
If you think you dare not, you don't.
If you'd like to win, but think you can't,
It's almost a cinch that you won't.


If you think you'll lose, you're lost,
For out in the world we find
Success begins with a fellow's will.
It's all in the state of mind.


If you think you're outclassed, you are,
You've got to think high to rise.
You've got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.


Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But soon or late, the man who wins,
Is the man who thinks he can.


- Walter D. Wintle


Rick Majerus and Sayed Parwiz Kambakhsh

Two stories from different parts of the globe seem to have, in a sense, some striking similarities. Rick Majerus, basketball coach at St. Louis University, a Catholic institution, stated at a Hillary Clinton rally that he, a Catholic himself, is pro-choice. The St. Louis archbishop, Raymond Burke, has demanded that he be disciplined by the University and denied Holy Communion. See http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/religion/story/
30545D6CFAE202E1862573D90017AE3B?OpenDocument.

Thousands and thousands of miles away in Afghanistan, a court sentenced Sayed Parwiz Kambakhsh, a 23-year-old journalism student, to death for blasphemy for distributing an article from the Internet that was considered to be an insult to the Prophet Mohammad. See http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/24/world/middleeast/24afghan.html?ref=todayspaper.

I leave it to you to judge whether there is or is not a striking similarity in terms of fundamentalism. 'Nough said before I lose the few readers that we have.


Hangmen's Nooses

It seems like hardly a day goes by without some idiot insulting African Americans with the display of a hangman's noose. Now, the EEOC announced a $465,000 settlement with a North Carolina furniture company, Henredon Furniture Industries, in a case arising, in part, out of the display of a hangmen's noose. See http://www.eeoc.gov/press/1-24-08.html.


In California, You Can Have Your Ganga, but Not Your Job

A divided California Supreme Court yesterday in Ross v. Ragingwire Telecommunications, Inc. 2008 Cal. LEXIS 784 (3d Dist. Ct. App., #C043392, 9/7/05) upheld the employer's termination of an employee who tested positive for ganga and who argued that to do so was disability discrimination because, pursuant to California's Compassionate Use Act of 1996, a doctor had recommended ganga for medical purposes.


Privacy and the Company Computer

Recently, in Scott v. Beth Israel Medical Center, 2007 WL 3053351, 2007 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 7561 (NY Sup. Oct. 17, 2007), the hospital and a doctor who had been formerly employed there, locked horns over emails on the hospital's computer system between the doctor and his attorney. The hospital argued that the privilege status of those communications had been waived by the doctor by virtue of the fact that he had used the hospital's email system to communicate with his lawyer. The court, utilizing the test articulated by the Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of New York in In re: Asia Global Crossing, Ltd. 322 B.R. 247, 2005 Bankr. LEXIS 415 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 2005), concluded that no privilege attached to the doctor's emails with his attorney as the court determined that the doctor had actual or constructive notice of the hospital's policy which stated that its communications systems were its property and were to be used "for business purposes only," and that employees "have no personal privacy right in any material created, received, saved or sent" using those systems. See also Long v. Marubeni America Corp., 2006 WL 2998671, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76594 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 19, 2006) (court held that employees had waived privilege even though employees, in communicating with their counsel, used personal, password-accessed email accounts).


Leave Home Without It

Recently, in In re: Boucher, 2007 WL 4246473, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87951 (D. Vt. Nov. 29, 2007), Magistrate Judge Niedermeier quashed a subpoena which would have required a Mr. Boucher to provide the password to encrypted files on his laptop, holding that to do so would violate his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. This case is on appeal to the First Circuit.

In United States v. Arnold, 454 F. Supp. 2d. 999 (C.D. California, 2006), Judge Pregerson also refused to authorize a search of a laptop. Judge Pregerson's decision was argued on appeal before the Ninth Circuit last October, and some are predicting a reversal based on the oral argument. United States v. Arnold, No. 06-50581 (9th Cir. 2007).

The Fourth Circuit in 2005 in United States v. Ickes, 393 F.3d 501, 504 (4th Cir. 2005) upheld a conviction in circumstances somewhat similar to the above cases.


Corporate Social Responsibility

For those advising clients regarding CSR policies, read the Maquila Solidarity Network report on Corporate Social Responsibility available at http://en.maquilasolidarity.org/en/node/749.