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Intelligence: The Gathering - Graphic and Gratuitous

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Meet Entitlement Eric - Robot Pimp

Wherein I Solve World Peace - Lampshade, Esq.

A Necessary Delusion - Shadow Hand

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Iowan Anti-Gay Marriage Rally to Feature Ex-AL Chief Judge Roy Moore

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A rally is scheduled in Des Moines on Tuesday in support of amending the state Constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman.

Headlining the event will be ousted Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, famous for the Ten Commandments monument he placed in the Alabama Supreme Court lobby.  He was ousted by unanimous vote of the court of the judiciary when he refused to follow a federal court order that the monument be removed.  Moore has since run for governor of Alabama, but failed to secure the Republican party's nomination.

Sorry that you have to put up with our rejects, Iowa.

The resolution that would put the issue of defining marriage before the voters has passed the Republican-controlled Iowa House, but is stalled in the Democrat-controlled Senate, where Senate Majority Leader Gronstal has prevented it from reaching the floor.

The rally is scheduled for 11:30 am, Tuesday the 15th at the capitol in Des Moines.

[Des Moines Register]

Groupoff: Class Action Suit Filed Over Groupon Expiration Dates

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Groupon, the smash-hit crowd sourced bulk discount provider, has been slapped with a class action law suit over the company's short expiration dates.

If you're unfamiliar, here's how Groupon works: A company says they are willing to offer a big discount on a product or service, but only if a certain number of people commit to buying it.  Sally's Hair Salon will offer 50% off on hair cuts, but only if they can sell 20 hair cuts tomorrow.  Unlike Sam's Club, Costco, and other bulk discount providers that can sell bulk items to individuals, no one is going to pay for 20 hair cuts in one day, even with the discount.

So, Groupon gathers 20 different people together, and once they have all committed, they get the coupon.  It would be like wanting the bulk discount on buying 400 rolls of toilet paper at Costco, but you don't really need that much, so you get 9 other guys from the same floor of your dorm to chip in, and you each take home 40 rolls, the amount you wanted.

The issue at the heart of the law suit is that with Groupon, you and your friends don't all show up at once.  Instead, you pay for a coupon that you can then redeem at the store.  The coupons generally have a short expiration date, typically 24 hours.  This runs afoul of federal laws, and the laws of Illinois, where the suit was filed.

Coupons are legally required to expire in no less than five years.

A longer expiration period means that more coupons will be redeemed, hurting the business model.  Businesses know that for a lot of people, something will come up at the last minute, or they'll change their mind, and end up not using the coupon.  They've already paid for it, and then it expires.  Groupon doesn't make any extra money, all that happens is the businesses save the expense of fulfilling the coupon, though Groupon does benefit from more vendors wanting to participate.

We propose a simple solution, not at all backed up by any sort of research into the relevant laws.

Instead of offering "50% off all hair cuts at Sally's Hair Salon, tomorrow only!" offer this:

"50% off all hair cuts at Sally's Hair Salon tomorrow, 5% off after that! (Expires in 5 years.)"

[Westlaw Insider]

Quinnipiac Dean of Academic Affairs Guilty of Fraud

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Mary Ellen Durso, Dean of Academic Affairs and Registrar at Quinnipiac University School of Law has been found guilty of defrauding mortgage lenders and filing false tax returns.  From 2004-2008 she inflated her itemized deductions enough to hold on to an extra $126,000.  She has been sentenced to 3 months house arrest.

A senior law school administrator committing fraud? It's surprising these kinds of stories aren't more common, what with how many law schools fluff their employment data, lie about their students' LSAT scores, and falsely claim to "teach."

"What sets Quinnipiac apart is the way we help you develop the skills, acquire the knowledge and discover the personal strengths that will determine the kind of lawyer you will be. Skilled. Ethical. Successful."

[Hartford Courant]

Saudi Sidewalks Face Danger, Streets Still Safe

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A prominent Saudi prince has questioned the law prohibiting women from driving.  Amid turmoil in neighboring countries in every direction, countries that aren't yet under siege from the inside have been looking at making concession to keep the populace content.

Allowing women to drive may seem like a relatively small issue, but it is one Saudi women are adamant about.  They are also calling on King Abdullah to allow women to participate in municipal elections.  Granting women the right to drive may simply be the first in a series of equality dominoes.  Give people a small taste of freedom, and they want the whole pie.

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal made an argument for allowing women to drive that feels right at home here in America.  If women can drive their own cars, the country can get rid of some 750,000 foreign drivers.

[Reuters Africa]

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