Thursday, March 05, 2015

Iranian Foreign Minister Aims to Annihilate Israel

Ann Curry and Javad Zarif

Iran's Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, was interviewed by Ann Curry of NBC News.
The full exchange between reporter Ann Curry–who deserves full marks for bringing up the issue, and refusing to let Zarif dodge the question–is posted in the transcript at NBC News’ website, though the story the network focused elsewhere.

Zarif denies that Iran wants to kill Jews–after all, he says, there are Jews in Iran–but Curry elicits an admission that Iran does want to annihilate Israel, the state of the Jewish people and the site of the world’s largest concentration of Jews.
Frankly, the fact that Iran wants to annihilate Israel should be common knowledge. However, the information hasn't seemed to have penetrated the White House.

Iowa Teacher Accused of Being Drunk in Class

Carissa Bryant

(Marshalltown, Iowa) A 33-year-old sixth-grade teacher at Leninhan Intermediate School, Carissa Bryant, has been accused of being drunk while teaching.

Bryant was arrested and charged with public intoxication.

Iris pigmentation

Iris pigmentation sounds like an obscure area of scientific investigation, does it not?  Among evolutionary biologists it is an obscure area of scientific investigation but there is more to it than that.  In everyday English it is the study of blue eyes.  Caution, caution! I think I am already in an area of political incorrectness.  But I discuss all areas of scientific interest without fear or favor so political correctness can go hang.

It's not long go that having blue eyes was commented on favorably.  There is a stellar example of that in Im weissen Roessl, the hit operetta known in English as "The White Horse Inn", though more accurately translated as "The little white horse".  There is a recent big-budget performance of it at Moerbisch (In the original German).  At the 36 minute mark of the  video you will see the ultra-feminine Anja-Katharina Wigger and big Marco Jentzch singing "die ganze Welt ist himmelblau" to one another (The whole world is sky blue).  The point of the song is how inspired they are by one-another's blue eyes.  It's a piece of romanticism that's well worth watching whatever color your eyes are but those of us who have blue eyes probably get a little more out of it.

So what is the significance of blue eyes?  Just that question must be ringing loud alarms to anyone impressed by political correctness but, as ever, I will plow on.  Yes. I have "checked my privilege" and am quite pleased with it.

Blue eyes seem to have arisen as a genetic mutation somewhere in the Black sea area but natural selection moved them steadily Northwards.  At some early stage, the whole Northern European population probably had blue eyes. Northern Europe and its descendant populations are of course the main loci of them to this day.

Why did that gene move North?  Because blue eyes function better than dark eyes in low light levels and function less well in high light levels.  Blue eyed people could see better in the low light levels that often prevail in chilly Northern Europe, particularly in the Baltic sea area and Russia.  We Anglo-Saxons trace our ancestry to German tribes that moved from the South Baltic to Britannia, later known as England.

But it's not only iris pigmentation that cold climates select for.  Cold climates are not very good at growing crops -- so the blue-eyed Volk largely fed themselves by hunting.  So they kept their hunter-gatherer mores (customs) much longer than did the Southern European and Mesopotamian populations.  And hunter-gatherer mores are democratic.  Issues are settled by discussion, not by imperial edict.

And the ancient parliaments of Northern Europe and Iceland reflect that.  The Anglo-Saxon invaders of Britannia brought their democratic customs with them and their "Witangemot" evolved in due course into the Westminster parliament on the Thames, sometimes called "the mother of parliaments".  So most long-established parliaments serve people with predominantly azure iris pigmentation: Democracy as we know it today arose in the cold climates of Northern Europe.

While they retained something of their hunter-gatherer traditions, Greece and Rome were also democratic -- but democracy there eventually succumbed to imperialism.  The big bureaucratic governments that characterize the modern world threaten a similar   fate for us.  Democracy can be lost.  And if the Left have their way, it will be. All the great tyrants of the 20th century -- Stalin, Hitler and Mao -- were socialists.

And there is yet another thing that cold climates select for:  IQ.  To survive a Northern winter you need to do a lot of thinking ahead and thinking ahead involves abstract and symbolic thought. You have to imagine yourself in the midst of a Northern winter with no wood to burn to keep you warm.  Only if you can imagine it will you provide against it. Blue eyed people were  people who tended to think ahead, and, mostly, they still do.

AS a small coda to this ramble through evolutionary history, I will say a word about a recent claim about the color blue in general.  The claim is that people could not see the colour blue until recently.  The claim is based on the curious fact that words meaning blue are largely absent from ancient writings.  Homer's well-known reference to a "wine-dark sea" is held up as an example.  That Homer was simply not talking about its color is discounted.

Since the human eye does contain cones specifically devoted to being activated by blue wavelengths, it is clear, however, that any deficiency about blue-perception  is social rather than physical.  People could always see blue so the question is why did they say so little about it?  And the article does point us towards an answer to that: It was only the ancient Egyptians who had a way of dying things blue.  And the ancient Egyptians do use blue color words freely.   So it was because they could not produce it that ancient peoples tended not to refer to it.

The whole thing boils down to a version of the old Sapir/Whorf "codability" hypothesis in linguistics.  The strong version of that hypothesis says that your thinking is dictated by your language.  It is reminiscent of Marx's claim that your thinking is dictated by your social position.  The current "check your privilege" accusation reprises Marx.  But Marx is easily refuted by the simple fact that people of the same social class can have radically different opinions and by the fact that  people from different social classes can have similar opinions.

British sociologists have long been puzzled by the fact that about a quarter of the British working class vote Tory.  They are seen as voting for the "wrong" party, not "their" party (the Labour party).  Only a Marxist would be puzzled by that however.  People are NOT blinded by their class origins.  I wrote about that some time ago.  And the strong Sapir/Whorf hypothesis can be rejected on similar grounds.

Does anyone, for instance, think that Germans are in any way incommoded or limited by the fact that their language has no word for pink, heaven or happy?  They just give double duty to their words for rosy, sky and lucky.  They are many happy Germans who sometimes wear pink and none of them expect to float up into the sky when they die.

The weak form of the Sapir/Whorf hypothesis is however informative:  People "cut up" their perceptual world according to what is important to them. Eskimos have several different words for different types of snow while we do not.  For us, snow is snow but for Eskimos recognizing different types of snow can have survival implications.

So ancient people did not mention blue because it was not important to them.  They could not produce it so they largely ignored it.  It was not a useful category in their lives and hence also not important in their speech.

So let me end with a tease:  The first American to step on the moon (Neil Armstrong) and the first Russian in space (Yuri Gagarin) both had blue eyes.  What should we make of that?

Footnote:  My large academic background does at times cause me to lapse into academic jargon -- but I try to explain myself when I do that.  The  Latin word mores above, for instance, is used by social scientists to mean the full range of attitudes and behaviors that is characteristic of some human group.  Even people who know what it means sometimes pronounce it as if it were the plural of the English word "more".  There is no such plural, however.  mores is the plural of the Latin word mos and is pronounced as "morays" (just like the eel).

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

New York Educator/Coach Accused of Rape

Christina M. Jewell-Bellucio

(Greece, New York) A 32-year-old teacher's aide and cheer coach at Greece Olympia High School, Christina M. Jewell-Bellucio, has been accused of having sexual encounters with a 16-year-old student.

Jewell-Bellucio faces counts of third-degree rape and third-degree criminal sex act.
Laurel Heiden, spokeswoman for the Greece Central School District, said the district was informed of the alleged misconduct on Monday and launched an internal investigation. The district also notified Greece police, Heiden said.

Jewell-Bellucio was hired as cheerleader coach at Greece Olympia High School in August 2013, Heiden said. She became a teacher's aide and then a senior teacher's aide at the school in 2014, according to school documents.
A court date is scheduled for March 11.

Indiana Teacher Gets Probation for Child Seduction - Update

Paige Mostella

(Fort Wayne, Indiana)
A former special education teacher at Woodlan Jr/Sr High School who admitted to having a relationship with a then 17-year-old was sentenced to three years of probation on Tuesday.

Paige Mostella pleaded guilty to a child seduction charge in January.
Mostella will also have to undergo sex offender counseling.

* * * * *

Indiana Teacher, 29, and Student, 17
[Previous 8/20/14 post]
(Fort Wayne, Indiana) A 29-year-old teacher formerly at Woodlan High School, Paige E. Mostella (aka Paige Groves), has been accused of engaging in sex with a 17-year-old student.

Mostella faces two Class D-felony counts of child seduction.
The teen told police he and Mostella, also known as Paige Groves, would frequently play fight in her office. According to court documents, Mostella was employed as a special education teacher at Woodlan High School at the time of the incidents.

The teen said during one of those times, he became sexually aroused and rubbed himself on her yoga pants.

During their second encounter, the teen said he asked her if he could have sex with her and she allowed it, according to court documents.

The third time the two had a sexual encounter, it was during a Saturday track meet.
Details on booking not available.

Chocolate Cake Takedown of Mexican Drug Kingpin

Servando Gomez Martinez

(Tumbiscatio, Mexico)
When authorities finally caught up last week with Servando Gomez Martinez a.k.a. "La Tuta" the top surviving leader of the Knights Templar cartel and the country's most-wanted fugitive they got him with chocolate cake.

That was the dessert that his girlfriend Maria Antonieta Luna Avalos delivered to his hideout in the colonial town of Morelia on Feb. 6 which happened to be his 49th birthday. When authorities observed that errand coupled with some shoddy spycraft by his handpicked messenger a federal police team was able to capture him in the pre-dawn hours of Friday without a shot fired.

"Michoacan now is in a better position" Federal Police Commissioner Enrique Galindo Ceballos said. "The important parts of the [cartel] structure are neutralized."

For more than a year the Mexican government has fought the cartel while also struggling to keep in check the citizens' militia that rose against the Knights Templar. More than 1500 people have been arrested authorities said and nearly all the top leaders have now been killed or captured.
A careless messenger allowed tracking of Gomez leading to his capture.

Magna Carta lit the way

I add my comments on this article below it -- JR

For many, the Magna Carta is a beacon of liberty, protecting us from the arbitrary tyranny of our governments, even today.

Lord Denning, the celebrated English judge, once called the ancient peace treaty between King John and his barons - which is celebrating its 800th anniversary this year - "the greatest constitutional document of all time."

But how are those 800-year-old pieces of English calfskin still relevant to us?

After all, most of the charter was not filled with the sweeping rhetoric that we have come to expect of important political documents, but spoke of debtor's sureties, scutage, socage, burkage, paying money for castleward, and removing fish weirs from the Thames.

As a peace treaty, it lasted less than six weeks, ushering in a two-year civil war that devastated England, led to an attempted French invasion, and ended with King John dead, a 9-year-old boy on the throne, and the English significantly poorer, after paying off the French king to leave them alone.

Why then do we celebrate it?

Because the Magna Carta has come to stand for more than its provisions. Its impact has reverberated through the centuries.

No, it did not bring about democratic government in England. No, it did not end the venality of the English Crown. No, it did not guarantee trial by jury.

But it was cited by Henry VIII's Catholic opponents in the sixteenth century, by Sir Edward Coke, and other opponents of the grasping Stuart monarchy, in the seventeenth century, by the American Founding Fathers in the eighteenth century, and so on.

These reverberations are important.

Remembering the whole story of the Magna Carta might encourage us to play our own part in fostering liberty with greater humility. Rome was not built in a day, nor the rule of law established with one international human rights convention, or a UN General Assembly Resolution.


It's great to hear the bits of history that are not usually mentioned. And it is good to see that someone has actually read the document.

But the comments above go a bit too far in negativity.  For instance, the first provision of the document was very similar to America' treasured First Amendment -- though not as concisely expressed. The MC could be said to contain the very first First Amendment.  And it was first by a long way.

And the writer above complains that the MC is mainly concerned with minor matters like laws of inheritance.  It is.  It could be said in fact to be England's first systematic law of intestacy.  And that is important to many people. If someone close to you has died without leaving a will, you will know all about that.

And America's revered Declaration of Independence is also mainly concerned with minor details, as anyone who has actually read it will know. People remember the few grand bits and ignore the rest. Much the same can be asked of the MC.

There is also in it a lot about setting up courts of justice and specifying the rules they are to follow.  And the rules are surprisingly humane -- nothing like the atrocities Muslims perform in the name of justice to this day.

And how modern is this clause? "There shall be standard measures of wine, ale, and corn (the London quarter), throughout the kingdom. There shall also be a standard width of dyed cloth, russet, and haberject, namely two ells within the selvedges. Weights are to be standardised similarly"

I could go on but I think there is much to admire in the MC and I very much urge people to read it for themselves.  There is a modern English translation here

Delaware Teacher Gets Prison for Sex with Student - Update

(Dover, Delaware)
Former Smyrna High School math teacher and cross country coach Jennifer Suarez was sentenced Feb. 25 to six months in prison after pleading guilty last year to committing a sexual act with a male student in the high school.
Suarez also must register as a sex offender.

* * * * *

Delaware Teacher Guilty of Sex with Student - Update
[Previous 11/17/14 post]
(Dover, Delaware) Earlier today, 28-year-old math teacher and cross-country coach formerly at Smyrna High School, Jennifer J. Suarez, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree rape stemming from an incident where she performed oral sex on a 17-year-old boy inside her classroom.
She could face up to 15 years in prison, but there is no minimum mandatory jail term and the presumptive sentence is no more than 30 months behind bars.
Sentencing is scheduled for January 2015.

* * * * *

Delaware Teacher Accused of Sex with Student
[Previous 4/26/14 post]
(Smyrna, Delaware] A 37-year-old teacher at Smyrna High School, Jennifer J. Suarez, has been accused of engaging in sex with a 17-year-old male student.

Suarez faces a charge of first-degree sexual abuse of a child by a person of trust.
According to police, Suarez' arrest stemmed from an incident that occurred Feb. 11 when Suarez and the student allegedly had a sexual encounter that took place on school property inside Suarez' classroom. School staffers brought the allegations of misconduct to the attention of Smyrna police officers, which began what they described as a "lengthy investigation."

Smyrna High School's website shows Suarez is a math teacher and has been the head coach of the school's boys and girls cross country team since 2012.
Suarez was booked and released on $20,000 bond.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

NJ Teacher Indicted for Sex with Student - Update

Jenna Leahey

(Morristown, New Jersey) Jenna Leahey has been indicted on charges of having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old male student.

* * * * *

NJ Teacher Accused of Sex with Student
[Previous 6/12/13 post]

(Morristown, New Jersey) A 32-year-old educator formerly at Parsippany Hills High School, Jenna Leahey, has been accused of engaging in an extended-term sexual relationship with a 16-year-old male student. Leahey teaches English and coaches field hockey.

Leahey faces counts of criminal sexual contact and child endangerment. According to Morris County Assistant Prosecutor Meg Rodriguez:
The state has “a strong case” and Leahey faces “significant charges” with “the presumption of incarceration” if she is found guilty, Rodriguez said.

Investigators obtained statements from the alleged victim and Leahey admitting to what happened, Rodriguez said.

Leahey admitted to sexual activities with the boy, saying “she did in fact send text messages” to him and also sent “pictures of herself of a sexual nature,” Rodriguez said.

The pair later kissed and engaged in “mutual sexual contact” that occurred “on and off school grounds,” according to acting Prosecutor Frederic Knapp.
Leahey is in custody at the Morris County Jail with bail set at $50,000.

Google Plan

Google has confirmed for the first time that it plans to offer connectivity directly to mobile users in the U.S., but a senior executive downplayed the competition it would be to major U.S. cellular carriers.

Several reports have said the company is preparing a service that would be offered across an existing cellular network under a Google brand -- a so-called "mobile virtual network operator" or MVNO. But the reports hadn't been confirmed until Sundar Pichai, the company's senior vice president, spoke at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday.

"You'll see us announce it in the coming months," said Pichai.

Netanyahu Addresses Congress

Netanyahu Addresses Congress

(Washington, D.C.)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used a controversial address to a joint meeting of Congress to mount an unprecedented challenge Tuesday to the Obama administration’s attempts to strike a deal with Iran over its nuclear program, calling it a grave threat to peace in Israel and the world.

“This is a bad deal,” Netanyahu said. “We’re better off without it.”

Netanyahu said he regretted that his speech has been seen by some as political, saying he appreciates all that President Barack Obama has done for Israel. But he said he had an obligation as prime minister to speak out on an issue that poses a threat to the survival of Israel and its people.

“The greatest danger facing our world is the marriage of militant Islam and nuclear weapons,” he said.
Dozens of congressional Democrats skipped Netanyahu’s address.

Nutrition and IQ

One of the oldest claims about low IQ by Leftists is that it's all due to poverty.  Sound familiar?  More specifically, they say that low IQ just reflects poor nutrition.  Considering that African Americans are on the whole even more overweight than Caucasian Americans, that rather clearly flies in the face of the facts.  African Americans are on average 15 points behind white Americans but they aren't going hungry.

And in any case, if it were all due to nutrition, feeding up the children of poor people should make them all into Einsteins, should it not?  There is no known example of anything like that being achieved, however.

Aha!  But it's not the quantity alone that matters. It's quality too.  People need to eat "healthily" rather than eat more. And the prime candidate for a "healthy" diet is the Mediterranean diet.  We all know that, don't we? If we all ate like the Greeks with plenty of vegetables, plenty of garlic and plenty of olive oil we would be so much healthier -- and slimmer to boot.  The main reason the Mediterranean diet is lauded is that accords with Ancel Keys' famous demonstration that red meat it bad for you (high red meat consumption is correlated with shorter lifespan).

Pesky fact: Keys only looked at death from cardiovascular events (heart attacks and strokes).  He did not look at overall mortality.  When you include all causes of death in the correlation, the correlation with red meat consumption vanishes.

Pesky fact: The traditional Australian diet (beef, beef and more beef in various forms) is about as opposite to the Mediterranean diet as you can imagine yet Australians live longer than any people of any Mediterranean nation -- so scrub the Mediterranean diet idea once and for all.

Another pesky fact:  Eskimos eating a traditional diet eat little else than meat and blubber.  It's hard to grow vegetables near the North Pole.  Yet at any age point, Eskimos have LESS cardiovascular disease than  we do.

So: There may be such a thing as a healthy diet but nobody so far has been able to track it down convincingly.  Maybe some day somebody will find a magic vegetable that will make blacks as smart as whites but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Funnily enough, however, there is a SMALL element of truth in what Leftists say. In very nutritionally deprived people -- such as Africans whose dietary staple is "Mealie-pap" (corn-porridge) -- adding micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) to the diet of their children does bring about an IQ gain -- but only of about 5 points.  On better nourished people, there is no such gain, however.

Some reinforcement of that story can be found here.  The amount of red meat eaten by different nations is tabulated.  And amount of red meat is a pretty good proxy for a high quality food supply generally.

And we find, of course, that the nations of Africa all have a low per capita meat consumption.  They are too poor for anything else.  And they are also nations that show very low IQs, as tabulated by Lynn and VanHanen.  Compared to Africans, African Americans (who are about 20% white genetically) are an intellectual elite.  So a largely vegetarian diet has not  helped Africans much.

But there are some black countries that do have a high meat consumption.  Saint Lucia in the Caribbean lives well off the back of American tourism so has one of the highest meat consumptions per capita (though not nearly as high as the New Zealanders with their seven tasty sheep per person). Yet the average IQ in St Lucia is an abysmal 62, very similar to what we see in Africa.

So vegetables are not the magic cure for low IQ in blacks nor is a rich  diet.  What else is there? Can we concede that diet is essentially irrelevant to IQ?

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

Michigan PTO Theft

Jordann Lockhart

(Muskegon, Michigan) A 33-year-old former treasurer for a Parent Teacher Organization, Jordann Nicole Lockhart, has pleaded guilty to embezzling nearly $50,000.
Lockhart, 33, of Muskegon pleaded guilty as charged Monday morning, March 2, to embezzlement by agent or trustee of between $20,000 and $50,000.

Muskegon County 14th Circuit Chief Judge William C. Marietti committed to cap Lockhart's incarceration at 90 days in the Muskegon County Jail, with the maximum reduced to 60 days if she pays $5,000 in restitution by the time of her sentencing.
Sentencing is scheduled for April 7.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Kentucky Teacher Guilty of Sex with Student - Update

(Louisville, Kentucky) Former teacher Jessica Boyers pleaded guilty to multiple criminal charges stemming from her relationship with a 13-year-old student in 2013.
Boyers, 26, accepted a plea agreement Friday morning in Jefferson Circuit court to serve 10 years on charges of second degree rape, second degree sodomy and first degree sex abuse.

Thursday, Boyers entered a guilty plea in Oldham Circuit Court on charges stemming from the same student relationship and agreed to serve 12 years, according to court documents.
Sentencing is scheduled for May 7.

* * * * *

Kentucky Teacher Accused of Sex with Student
[Previous 4/12/13 post]
(Louisville, Kentucky) A 24-year-old teacher at Highland Middle School, Jessica M. Boyers, has been accused of engaging in sexual relations with one of her students.

Boyers faces a charge of sexual abuse of a juvenile.
According to an arrest report, Louisville Metro Police found Jessica M. Boyers, 24, around 9:45 p.m. on April 11 in the company of a juvenile in Buechel Park in the 200 block of Alpha Avenue.

The report states the juvenile told police there had been sexual contact between the two and that Boyers was a teacher of the juvenile.
Boyers was booked into custody at the Louisville Metro Corrections and subsequently released on her own recognizance. A court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday.

The resveratrol craze is dying

Dubbed the 'elixir of youth', it's the red wine ingredient which has prompted debate for years.  Now it seems resveratrol really does make you live longer, but only in small doses - and too much could actually speed up the ageing process rather than slowing it down.

Scientists looked at how the chemical interacted with 'satellite cells', which play a role in repairing damaged muscle as part of the body's natural regeneration.

The team discovered the chemical, which is found in red wine, chocolate and health supplements, had a different effect depending on the concentration they used.

Laboratory tests showed that small doses supported cells in the repair process but higher doses had the opposite effect.

The findings, led by Dr Hans Degens of Manchester Metropolitan University, could strike a blow to those who tout resveratrol as fighting heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer's. Dr Degens said: 'Stronger muscles and the ability of the muscle to repair damage are important for a healthy lifestyle, especially in older age where muscle decline can have a series of implications for a reduction in our quality of life.

'So we analysed if resveratrol was able to promote the repair of muscle and reduce oxidative stress where free radicals (destructive molecules) speed up the ageing process.  'Local muscle stem cells undergo a cycle when they repair and ultimately fuse with the damaged muscle fibre.

'At low doses, resveratrol did help the regeneration. However, if the dose is higher, it doesn't mitigate ageing from oxidative stress and even hampers the repair cycle.

'The results showed that the effects are dependent on the dose and it is unclear from the equivocal results if drinking wine or eating chocolate would have anti-ageing properties and repair muscle or the opposite.'

The researchers, whose findings appear in the journal Scientific Reports, conducted experiments in the laboratory using muscle cells.  They tested the cycle of muscle regeneration which starts with the activation of muscle precursors called 'satellite' cells.

A low 10 micromolar dose of resveratrol stimulated satellite cell activation and migration while higher concentrations of 40 to 60 micromolars stopped it, and even damaged the cells.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

Boris Nemtsov Murder

Boris Nemtsov

Tens of thousands of people have marched through central Moscow to honour opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, who was shot dead on Friday.

They carried portraits of Mr Nemtsov and banners saying "I am not afraid".

He had been due to lead an opposition march on Sunday but his killing turned the event into a mourning rally.

Mr Nemtsov's allies have accused the Kremlin of involvement, but President Vladimir Putin condemned the murder as "vile" and vowed to find the killers.
Many people are blaming Putin despite his condemnation of the murder. In the last decade, at least six of Putin's political opponents have experienced violent deaths.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

More on the Islamic "lone wolves"

The report below very much confirms what I said yesterday

This summer, Thomas Mücke managed a coup: he dissuaded a young German from joining the Islamic State.

The teenager, a Kurd whose family is originally from Turkey but now living in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt, had landed in prison after committing a petty crime. Angry, confined, and looking to lash out, he “had pretty much given up with life and was ready to pack his bag" for Syria, Mr. Mücke says.

But Mücke, a street worker and head of the Berlin-based Violence Prevention Network (VPN) in Berlin, challenged the aspiring jihadi. Did he know that Islamic State fought against Kurds? No, the boy didn’t. In fact, he had no idea about his religion. It was a prison inmate that gave him the idea to go to Syria.

Recommended: How much do you know about Germany? Take our quiz!
"In the end he said, 'If IS fights against the Kurds I can’t go with them,'" says Mücke. The youth is out of prison now, and while he will receive counseling for months to come, he is no longer seen as in imminent danger of radicalization.

The success that Mücke and his organization, a nonprofit group that helps incarcerated young people with extremist biographies find a way out, has experienced in dissuading would-be jihadis is significant. But the VPN did not originally target radical Islamists. Rather, it had a much more familiar German radical in mind: violent neo-Nazis and right-wing extremists.

But advocates like Mücke say that just like that fascist ideology, fighting Islamic extremism among the young has less to do with religion than with young people’s vulnerability to the ideology. When dealing with extremists, be they neo-Nazis or jihadis, it is crucial to work with each person individually. And with at least 550 Germans in Syria, part of a swelling group of several thousand Europeans, Germany's lessons in fighting the spread of neo-Nazi ideology could prove key to stopping Islamic radicalization.

“They are both fascist ideologies,” says Mücke, who has counseled hundreds of imprisoned young people, often from the violent right extremist scene. ”One is using a certain idea of the nation, the other is using religion as its instrument.”


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Women With Troubles - February 2015

Here is a compilation of women with troubles reported in news stories during February 2015. Each name is linked to an Interested-Participant blog entry displaying details.

For a more comprehensive listing, check the Women With Troubles category link.
(AL) Mandi Brianna Harrison, 25,
neighbor - Accused of rape and sodomy of child under 16,

(AL) DeeDee Williams, 46,
teacher - Arrested on a felony warrant out of Georgia,

(CA) Andrea Michelle Cardosa , 41,
teacher - Sentenced to 10 years in state prison for molesting schoolgirls,

(CA) Marilouise Hawks, 64,
teacher - Faces child molestation counts,

(CA) Laura Lasek, 26,
teacher - Accused of engaging in sex with student,

(CA) Danielle Meyer, 24,
music teacher - Accused of inappropriate relationship with student, 16,

(CO) Leslie Carlson, 28,
teacher - Arrested on suspicion of providing alcohol and marijuana to students,

(CT) Allison J. Marchese, 37,
teacher - Accused of sex with minor,

(FL) Megan Christine Connors, 30,
teacher - Accused of sex crimes against boy, 15,

(FL) Jennifer Espinoza,
neighbor - Accused of molestation of boy, 16,

(GA) Heather Boggus, 40,
neighbor - Arrested for theft of $400,000+ from her husband's company,

(GA) Ashley Lynn Heichelbech, 25,
neighbor - Arrested for shoplifting and running away while leaving her one-year-old baby behind,

(IL) Roxanne Coulson, 60,
daycare operator - Accused of aggravated battery of a child,

(IN) Michelle Ladd, 41,
teacher - Accused of sex with two 17-year-old boys,

(KY) Chelsea Rose, 25,
teacher - Accused of sexually abusing a girl, 14,

(KY) Michelle Turton, 36,
neighbor - Accused of sexual abuse of boy,

(LA) Angeline C. Lodice, 26,
stripper - Accused of sexually abusing a four-year-old boy,

(MI) Holly Taracee Laballister, 39,
neighbor - Sentenced to 30 days jail for posting another woman's contact information on website where she advertised the victim was in search of casual sex,

(MI) Kathryn Ronk, 29,
teacher - Pleaded guilty to criminal sexual conduct. Sentencing March 17,

(NC) Denise Sturdivant Amick, 53,
teacher - Pleaded guilty to trafficking in marijuana,

(NC) Christy Lynn Jaski, 42,
neighbor - Accused of sex with boy, 14,

(NC) Susana Larreta Peralta, 61,
neighbor - Accused of practicing dentistry without a license,

(NJ) Tracey Harding, 50,
teacher - Arrested and suspended from job after cops broke up a boozy birthday bash,

(NM) Roxie Blair, 39,
neighbor - Sentenced to 11 years in prison for sex with boy, 14,

(NM) Allison Draper , 29,
volleyball coach - Sentenced to 3 years prison for sex with female student,

(NY) Maria Contreras, 29,
teacher - Accused of engaging in sex with a 14-year-old boy,

(NY) Stephanie Fletcher, 29,
teacher - Sentenced to 6 months in the county jail for sex with students,

(NY) Laureen Hamilton, 53,
union president - Get 60 days jail for stealing from education union,

(NY) Jennifer Kennard, 48,
teacher's aide - Sentenced to three years in prison for second-degree rape,

(NY) Ashley Magin, 23,
neighbor - Charged with attempted rape and violation of parole,

(NY) Maria Rodriguez, 46,
bank manager - Pleaded guilty to theft of $1.4 million. Sentencing scheduled for May 20,

(OH) Shannon Pavlansky-Wojtowicz, 30,
teacher - Accused of inappropriate relationship with student,

(OK) Whitney Fetters, 28,
teacher - Accused of sexting with a student,

(OR) Stephanie Kroker, 37,
neighbor - Sentenced to 30 months in state prison,

(PA) Tracy Ardeno, 45,
teacher's aide - Accused of sex with a student,

(PA) Jessica Nichols, 22,
baby sitter - Accused of aggravated assault and child endangerment,

(PA) Sarah O'Neill, 35,
teacher - Guilty of corruption of minor,

(PA) Jesi Lorene Platz, 20,
neighbor - Arrested for possession of cocaine,

(SC) Lisa Marine Fry, 33,
teacher - Accused of criminal sex with boy, 15,

(TX) Victalina Mendoza Cruz, 24,
neighbor - Charged in death of 2-year-old boy,

(TX) Andrea Nichole Jennings, 23,
neighbor - Face is capital murder charge in death of boy, 3,

(TX) Iris Iliana Rodriguez, 25,
mental health counselor - Fugitive accused of sexually molesting girl, 13,

(TX) Katrina Skaggs , 32,
neighbor - Pleaded guilty to sex assault of a child. Sentencing in March,

(UT) Gaile Kristine Supp, 26,
teacher - Received probation and home confinement for sexual battery of a female student, 17,

(VT) Julianne Graham, 25,
teacher's aide - Accused of inappropriate relationship with male student, 16,

(VT) Patricia Prue, 30 something,
neighbor - Gets life in prison for killing teacher,

(WA) Stephanie McCrea, 35,
teacher - Accused of sex with 15-year-old male student,

(WA) Darcy M. Smith, 41,
teacher - Accused of having sex with a former student,

(WI) Lindsey J. Quednow, 26,
teacher's aide - Guilty of sexual relationship with boy, 14,

(WI) Marissa N. Thompson, 20,
swim coach - Accused of sexual assault of a child by school staff member,

(WV) Shae Davis Wells, 40,
teacher - Arrested on drug charges.

Thanks to the tipsters.

Muslim "lone wolves"

I don't entirely agree with the above graphic.  It is true that there has been something of an epidemic of terrorist attacks from Muslims acting alone or nearly alone recently -- in the USA (e.g. Boston), Denmark, France, England, Canada and Australia.  But they hardly add up to an army.  There are many Muslim armies but their great enthusiasm is for attacking one-another, which is rather neat.

What is clear is that all the attacks have been carried out by losers -- men on the margins of society.  The only organized Muslim terrorist body was Al Qaeda and they were on the wane even before Osama bin Laden was eliminated.  Osama was certainly not living the high life when he was tracked down.  It's possible that the Islamic State might take up where Al Qaeda left off but it hasn't happened yet. And a big one dropped on Raqqa would shut them up for a long time.

Meanwhile. ISIS seems to have its uses.  Lots of Jihad-inclined young males from Muslim families in the West go there to join up and fight other Muslims, which is a big improvement on them attacking us. It seems to be a sort of fly-paper for attracting and trapping young Muslim misfits.

So it seems that all the recent attacks have been motivated by Jihad preaching but that Jihad preaching is overall a huge failure. Jihad motivation was only strong enough to move people to attack us who already had little to lose.  But one man with a firearm can do a lot of harm for a short while.  So it seems to me that we have strong reasons to stop such attacks even if they not systemically threatening.  Life will go on much as it otherwise would for 99% of the population despite the misdirected anger of a few misfits.

And although it is desperately "incorrect" to mention it, the killings by Muslims pale into insignificance compared with the plague of killings by blacks. If we want to stop killings, it is blacks who should have our priority attention.  But it's not going to happen, of course.  Jim Crow is dead and not likely to be resurrected in the near future.

So there is some point in the Leftist contention that Muslim attacks should be dealt with solely as a police matter.  Police deal with shootings all the time and the race or religion of the shooter doesn't matter much.

But I think we can do better than that. I think we should criminalize Jihad preaching.  Not all speech is free speech and there is already a precedent saying that incitement to violence is not covered by free speech protections.  So I think all we need to do is to formally classify Jihad preaching as incitement to violence -- which it largely is anyhow -- and put a few mullahs in prison.  Without the incitement, the attacks should at least diminish in frequency. Without the incitement, the losers would  probably just continue to bomb themselves out with drugs, which is mostly what they do already

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

Friday, February 27, 2015

Texas Woman Accused of Killing Boy, 3

Andrea Nichole Jennings

(Mansfield, Texas)
A 23-year-old Mansfield woman faces a capital murder charge in the death of a 3-year-old boy Wednesday night, police said Thursday.

Andrea Nichole Jennings was in the Mansfield jail Thursday night. Bail had not been set.
The apparently intentional death of a 3-year-old is more than ugly.

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