IT'S been an interesting couple of weeks, so here's a roundup of my thoughts on a whole bunch of those stories.
S. Philly High mess
Asian students are targeted at a Philadelphia public high school by African-American classmates.
Some people tried to minimize the violence by pointing out that, in some cases, the Asians allegedly started the fights. So that somehow justifies one group of kids roaming from classroom to classroom, as widely reported, looking for random kids of another ethnicity to hurt?
Fat vs. 'discrimination'
The program at Lincoln University requiring overweight students take a special fitness class in order to graduate becomes "optional." Students raised the flag of discrimination, stating that their excess avoirdupois had nothing to do with academic qualifications.
Despite administration insistence that this was a matter of health and science, the chairman of the phys-ed department, James DeBoy, conceded that "when you say discrimination, the emotional overlay rises up and blocks everything else." Apparently including common sense.
N.J. gay-marriage debate
The N.J. Legislature was set to approve same-sex marriage. The N.J. GLBT community is thrilled, as are their straight supporters.
And even though I oppose gay marriage, I'm happy that it was the Legislature doing the job instead of seven black-robed legal oracles unaccountable to anyone, least of all the people of New Jersey.
When courts usurp the role of legislatures, rights are either created out of thin air (as in Roe) or trampled into the ground (as in the case of eminent domain).
While I'm not looking forward to Adam and Steve on top of the wedding cake, at least I can blame the right party this time.
Eagles vs. Giants
Let's channel Chuck Bednarik and crush their hopes for a postseason the way the great one handled Frank Gifford.
The World Series was enough - too much, frankly. New Yorkers don't like being told they can't have everything. Let's show them that while they might have been able to buy themselves a baseball championship, they can't do the same on the gridiron (especially when you buy the bargain-basement Manning brother).
Tents situation in S.F.
San Francisco, City of Cable Cars and Golden Gates, is set to become the City of Sex Tents.
A municipal official has agreed to consider erecting tantric tepees for those who don't want to "make love, just score" in public.
Seems a bunch of celebrants at the annual sex orgy (oops, I mean community fair) were ticketed for lewd behavior and clamored for an alternative to keeping it in their pants.
This crowd, which likes to talk about the "right to privacy" in so many spheres of human behavior - including the promiscuous ones - seems to have now won the battle, literally.
Boy Scouts are back
Late last month, Federal Judge Ronald Buckwalter issued an injunction preventing the city from going ahead with its eviction proceedings against the Scouts.
The city wants the group out of their HQ, located on city property but built and maintained by private funds, because they exclude openly gay members.
Buckwalter ruled that the Scouts' First Amendment rights might have been violated since no other private organization with city ties is the target of city action. Those who thought the city had a slam dunk on this underestimated the Scouts.
Tiger case & victimology
And, finally, last week's column on Tiger Woods and domestic abuse elicited some interesting feedback. Some agreed that male victims of abuse aren't taken seriously, but most thought I was off my rocker, like the commenter on philly.com who wrote, "If Elin swung at him due to his infidelity, I do not consider that abuse . . . he deserved it."
No matter what you think about Tiger, people who are abused never "deserve it," regardless of sex. And this is what's wrong with hate-crime legislation. Once we start viewing people as potential victims based on color, gender, sexual orientation, etc., we inevitably start devaluing the crimes committed against people who are somehow not perceived as "victims."
Christine M. Flowers is a lawyer.