UCLA researchers find "redlining," or racial profiling based on zip code, alive and well in the auto insurance industry. Drivers with similar records and similar cars could pay hundreds of dollars more annually if they live in urban areas; Detroit drivers pay such high premiums ($1,200 annually over suburban drivers) that half of them simply don't pay car insurance, which is behavior we'd want to discourage, right? Perhaps we ought to have a single-payer car insurance system, too.
D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals panel rules that the Affordable Care Act can't provide subsidies to states that haven't set up their own health care exchanges, based on, at best, a reading of the law so literal you may wonder if the judges in question have ever read any other judicial opinions. The panel's opinion likely won't survive the full force of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, and indeed the Fourth Circuit ruled in exactly the opposite manner within two hours, but I'll say it: would it have been that damn hard to write the law more clearly? After all, it's not like it's going to sit next to Yeats on your bookshelf.
California U.S. District Court judge rules that state's death penalty unconstitutional -- not because of philosophical concerns about the death penalty itself, but because California's administration of the penalty is so dysfunctional. Fully four in 10 inmates currently on death row have waited at least 19 years for sentence to be carried out, which the judge finds inhumane, apparently both for the prisoner and for the victims' families, who, as you might expect, rarely get closure. I won't throw up my hands and say scrap the death penalty, but I will say governments have a serious responsibility to do it right.
SodaStream fires five dozen Palestinian employees from its Ma’ale Adumim plant after they went on a wildcat strike to protest an inadequate pre-work meal. If that doesn't sound like a big deal, consider that said employees were observing Ramadan, meaning they'd just fasted from sunup to sundown, were forbidden by corporate policy from bringing so much as a bag lunch to the workplace, and were facing an eight-hour overnight of operating heavy machinery. Hard to believe I'm about to say this, but where's Rick Santorum when you need him?
Finally, infamous non-scientist Ken Ham says it's no use looking for alien life forms, because they're all going to hell since they're not Gods' chosen people. Well, I sure hope these heathen aliens don't have powerful weapons! Let's not get too bogged down in this -- let's just imagine Ken Ham, after spending a lifetime telling everyone exactly who's going to hell and who isn't, dying and crossing over only to find Odin about to open a can of whoop-ass on him. And then let's never speak of him again.