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Belicove’s Four For Friday

Due to the Beli-Blog being in the midst of updates that will make it more powerful than Superman (literally, being that Superman is not real… sorry to break it to you), Mikal has asked that I, Stu, host today’s Four For Friday, an honor for which I am more than happy to oblige to.

And now, the venerable FFF!

Q1 – Big Oil, Big Spill: The U.S. Supreme Court agreed earlier this week to decide whether Exxon Mobil Corp. should pay $2.5 billion in punitive damages to fishermen and other victims in connection with the huge Exxon Valdez oil spill that ruined more than 1,200 miles of Alaskan coastline in 1989. Exxon’s position on the matter is that a ship’s owner should not be “vicariously” liable for the reckless behavior of a captain, and that punitive damages greater than $25 million are not justified because the spill resulted from an accident. Attorneys for the fishermen and other victims contend that Exxon bore responsibility for the accident because the company knowingly put a drunk in charge of an oil tanker. What do you think? Based on what you just read or know from the longstanding case, should Exxon Mobil be made to pay the $2.5 billion in punitive damages?

Q2 – Racism: Do you think you could be friends with a racist?

Q3 – Criminal Background Checks: Most cities and towns have their fair share of controversy, but Eagle Mountain, Utah, seems to be a magnet for suspicious characters. Back in the late 1990′s, voters learned that a candidate for Mayor had previously been convicted of tax fraud and served time in a minimum-security prison.
In 2003, the town’s Mayor told his police and his wife that he had been forced to drive to California at gunpoint. After learning he lied about the incident, police charged the then Mayor with filing a false report to police. Last year, Eagle Mountain’s Mayor was charged with seven felony counts of misuse of public funds. Now, someone whose Real Estate license was recently pulled by the State of Utah over allegations of Real Estate Fraud is running for Mayor, and a sitting councilwoman was recently charged with a second-degree felony for apparently accepting a $10,000 gift without reporting it to the city. Do you think candidates for public office should be compelled to submit to criminal background checks, with the results of such checks made publicly available; or is a candidate’s previous criminal prosecutions and adjudications no one else’s business?

Q4 – Food: Can you eat something with a texture that is visually unappealing. What about food that smells bad but taste good?