Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ohio Teacher Gets Prison in Sex Case - Updated

(Sandusky, Ohio) In September 2010, 35-year-old teacher formerly at Perkins High School, April Seville, pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual battery stemming from a sexual relationship with a student.

In accordance with the plea agreement, six counts of sexual battery were dismissed.

Yesterday in Erie County Common Pleas Court, Judge Roger E. Binette sentenced Seville to two concurrent three-year stretches in prison.

* * * * *

Ohio Teacher Accused of Sex with Student
[Previous 6/9/10 post]
(Sandusky, Ohio) A 35-year-old English teacher at Perkins High School, April E. Seville, has been accused of engaging in a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old male sophomore student.

Seville has been charged with sexual battery.
Seville admitted to police in interviews this past weekend that she engaged in sexual contact with the student, Perkins police Lt. Det. Al Matthews said.

The alleged relationship began last year. Seville was the boy's teacher, Matthews said.

The relationship came to the attention of school officials and police on Friday, after classes were dismissed. Someone saw Seville and the student kissing in a classroom, police said.

Seville is estranged from her husband, Charlton Seville, Matthews said.

Tuesday afternoon, however, Charlton cried in Sandusky Municipal Court when his wife appeared on a courtroom television screen streamed live from Erie County jail.
Seville was booked into custody with bond set at $10,000.
King Abdullah Takes Entire Wing of Hospital - Updated

King Abdullah

(New York City) Saudi King Abdullah demands kingly treatment and he has the dollars to pay for it.
Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah is causing his own diplomatic drama at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, where the 86-year-old monarch has commandeered an entire wing as he recovers from back surgery on the VIP floor.

King Abdullah -- who repeatedly exhorted the US to "cut the head off the snake" by launching military strikes to destroy Iran's nuclear program, according to leaked diplomatic cables -- has forced other patients out by block-booking the hospital's top treatment and recovery rooms.

A family member of one patient told us, "The king has taken the entire luxury treatment wing and booked out all the rooms, even though they are empty and he doesn't need them, to protect his privacy.

"Patients are grumbling that they have been moved out to other areas of the hospital, and that despite there being a number of unused VIP treatment rooms, they can't be moved into them because they are all reserved for the king of Saudi Arabia."
The King reportedly needed surgery for a blood clot and a slipped disc. He now is recuperating in his room, presumably nursed by a buxom harem of pulchritudinous attendants while fighting boredom by watching FoxNews.

Notably, a massive entourage accompanied Abdullah to New York. Three flights were chartered for him and his army of security personnel. He also brought along a film crew and it took 20 vehicles just to transport his luggage from the airport to the hospital.

* * * * *

King Abdullah Coming to U.S.
[Previous 11/21/10 post]
(Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Bin Abdulrahman Bin Faisal Bin Turki Bin Abdullah Bin Muhammad Bin Saud, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, will be visiting the United States tomorrow for medical treatment.

Reportedly in his mid-80s, King Abdullah suffers from back problems. Notably, his health and the stability of the Saudi government are of global concern.

Companion post at TJR.
Google Investigated

The European Union is investigating Google for abusing its dominant market position in online searches. Three European companies have complained about Google's competitive practices.
The three companies that lodged complaints in February are U.K.-based price comparison site Foundem, French legal search engine ejustice.fr and shopping site Ciao, owned by Microsoft through its own search engine Bing - which has struggled to wrestle online market share away from Google.

The investigation does not imply any wrongdoing by Google, which controls about 90 percent of the online search market in Europe, but shows that the antitrust watchdog is taking the complaints seriously enough to launch a detailed examination of the company's practices.
The EU previously levied fines on Microsoft ($2 billion) and Intel ($1.4 billion) and Google is potentially liable for a fine of 10% percent of its revenue ($2.4 billion based on 2009 data).
Jihadis all over the place in Europe

Amid mounting terrorism fears in Europe, investigators on Tuesday arrested 10 suspects after busting an Islamic extremist network, which plotted to attack a Belgian port-city. The Belgian prosecutor's office said that an international terrorist group used an extremist Internet site, Ansar Al Mujahideen, for this to plot the attack. The Belgian investigators had been suspecting the network, which is based in Antwerp, home to both Muslim and Jewish communities, since last year.

Most of the suspects were arrested in Belgium, while the Dutch and German investigators also arrested some of the suspects in their countries. The prosecutor's office said that the attack’s target was not yet specifically determined, adding that they had "sufficient facts" to justify the raids.

The government's crisis center’s spokesman said that no additional security measures have been decided to date in Belgium.

Dutch prosecutors confirmed the arrest of three men in their late 20s in Amsterdam, adding that all three Dutch nationals have been arrested on Belgium’s request and would soon be extradited to Belgium. German police also arrested a man aged 31 in Aachen.

The Belgian prosecutor’s spokesman said that out of those 10 arrested were nationals from Belgium, the Netherlands, Morocco and Russia. The men are also believed to have recruited "jihadist candidates" and financed the Chechen terrorist group - the Caucasian Emirate.

The fresh arrests came after several people have already been detained in Spain, Morocco and Saudi Arabia under the same probe. The investigation was conducted in collaboration with the European Union's judicial cooperation unit Eurojust and a host of other nations.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).
OK Teacher Accused of Embezzlement

(Jay, Oklahoma) A 53-year-old English teacher and cheerleading adviser with the Grove School District, Michell Diane Martin, has been accused of embezzling more than $8,000 from the school's cheerleading fund.
Martin resigned from the school Oct. 26. She was employed with the school district in 2001 and again from 2005 to this year.

Martin also was charged Nov. 1 with driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol-aggravated and transporting an open container of beer, both misdemeanors.

She was arrested by Grove police Oct. 29 after she registered 0.23 on a blood-alcohol test, nearly three times over the legal limit to drive.
An arrest warrant has been issued for the embezzlement charge. A court date has been scheduled for January 21 to address the driving charge.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Russian Vodka "Improves Health"

(Samara Oblast, Russia) The Direct Line advertising company has been claiming on the Internet that vodka is a "health improving product" which "improves digestion, and helps get rid of colds and headache." The company also claims that vodka "alleviates fatigue and bad moods."

I don't know about the other stuff but my mood has been known to perk up after imbibing in Russian vodka.

Nevertheless, the Russian Antimonopoly Service for the Samara region is taking action against Direct Line advertising. It's not clear what action is to be taken.
Florida Woman Gets Jail in Sex Case - Updated

(Sanford, Florida) Kathryn Echols was sentenced today by Circuit Judge Marlene Alva to six months in jail followed by 12 months of house arrest. Afterward, she'll serve three years of probation.

* * * * *

No Contest Plea in Sex Case - Updated
[Previous 10/7/10 post]
(Sanford, Florida) Thirty-four-year-old Kathryn Echols pleaded no contest yesterday to a reduced charge of felony battery and agreed to a sentence of six months in jail. Three counts of sex with a minor were dismissed.
Echols was arrested in April and confessed to Seminole County deputies that she was sexually involved with the teenage boy.

The boy also admitted the affair, according to her arrest report, but Assistant State Attorney Gino Feliciani said Wednesday that the teenager has disappeared, making it more difficult to bring Echols to trial.
Sentencing will occur on November 29. After her release, Echols will serve one year on house arrest and three years of probation.

* * * * *

Florida Woman Re-Arrested in Boy-Sex Case
[Previous 8/12/10 post]
(Sanford, Florida) In April 2010, a 33-year-old local married woman, Kathryn Echols, was arrested for allegedly engaging in sex with a 17-year-old boy.

She was booked on three felony counts of unlawful sex and released on $10,200 bond.

Now it's reported that Echols has been re-arrested for violating the terms of her bail by leaving the state. According to her alleged victim's father, the boy ran away to California and the family feared that Echols followed him.

Echols was arrested yesterday prior to her first court appearance pursuant to her April apprehension. She was booked into custody at the Seminole County Jail.
NATO Armored Vehicles in Russia

Russia has agreed to allow NATO to move armored vehicles through Russia to Afghanistan.
At the NATO summit in Lisbon, Portugal, last week, Russia and the alliance agreed to "broadened transit arrangements through Russian territory" of "non-lethal" material. The cargo would be moved through Russia to and from Afghanistan.
Transportation of military cargo will continue to be forbidden.
Star of David on Iranian Building

(Tehran, Iran) Iranians have called for the instant removal of a Star of David from the top of the headquarters of the Airline of the Islamic Republic of Iran, also known as Iran Air.

Google Earth photo of Iran Air headquarters

The Star of David was apparently put on the building during the reign of Shah Mohamed Reza Pahlavi when Iran had friendly relations with Israel.

Israeli engineers reportedly built the headquarters building sometime in the 1960s so the Jewish symbol has been prominently displayed on the building for more than forty years. Can we hear an Amen?

The Canadian Test

(Ottawa, Canada) Authorities introduced a new citizenship test early this year with tougher questions. Sadly, the failure rate has soared.
The new test, introduced March 15, was based on a bulked-up citizenship guide released a year ago to give immigrants a richer picture of Canada’s history, culture, law and politics.

The 63-page guide, Discover Canada, replaced a slimmer volume dating from 1995 that had fewer facts to memorize. The failure rate for the old citizenship test, with questions drawn from the smaller guide, ranged between four and eight per cent.

Failure rates for the new test, however, rocketed to about 30 per cent when it was first introduced — prompting officials to revise the rules to avoid clogging the system with thousands of would-be Canadians who, because they had flunked, often had to plead their cases before busy citizenship judges.

A reworked test introduced Oct. 14 is helping to cut the national failure rate to about 20 per cent, still far higher than historic levels and making the exam-hall experience much more nerve-wracking for newcomers.
Isn't that beautiful? Too many people fail the test so they "rework" the test and still too many fail. Authorities are stymied by the realization that so many people are too dumb to be Canadian.
Brit Teacher Gets Prison for Doing Boys

(Liverpool, England) In March 2010, a 37-year-old teacher at Birkdale High School in Southport, Hina Patel, was accused of engaging in sex with two 15-year-old boys.

Reported today, Patel has pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual activity with a child.
Martin Decker, prosecuting, told the court that the offences, which took place about three weeks before Easter this year, came to light when another pupil was overheard discussing a teacher having had sex with a pupil.

When the two victims were tracked down they admitted that Patel had begun texting them after they had separately been sent to the isolation room, which she was supervising, for bad behaviour.

The texts became “flirty” and they both individually made their way to her home one afternoon. At one stage one boy went to the toilet and she was waiting for him on the stairs when he came out and they went into her bedroom and had sexual intercourse.

The other boy stayed the night and they had sex, said Mr Decker.
As a result of the convictions, Patel was sentenced to 16 months in prison. In her defense, lawyer Patrick Williamson said Patel, a mother of two, had a tough childhood and suffered from stress.

In addition to prison, Judge John Roberts ordered Patel to register as a sex offender for 10 years and prohibited her from contacting any children under 16, except her own.
Beck derangement syndrome

Glenn Beck has taken over from GWB in driving "progressives" into insanity

One of the most celebrated American movies of all time is being hijacked by host Glenn Beck, according to a writer objecting to the talk-show host's decision to broadcast a show from a small town hit hard by the recession.

"Beck is now trying to steal the great 1946 Frank Capra classic 'It's a Wonderful Life' and turn it into a rallying cry for the conservative anti-government Christian right," said Lauri Lebo, a former newspaper reporter from Harrisburg, Pa., in a commentary posted online.

"Somehow, Beck manages to reinterpret the movie through an unregulated free-market ideological Ayn Rand prism and message of Christian conservatism."

"First of all, it's a Christmas movie with an angel in it and God, so I'm pretty sure that it's already got the religion thing in it," Beck said in response to Lebo.

Lebo had written "there are some terrific themes in that movie. Dare I even say it? Terrific progressive themes."

It was that remark about "terrific progressive themes" that sparked the most spirited reaction from Beck, as he explained: "Who saved the Building & Loan in Bedford Falls? The people did. George did, with his own private funds. The government didn't bail him out, and that's the deal. You remember the bank was bailing everyone out ... along with the government closing down the banks. The banks and the government were in collusion. ...

"The local banks were the ones that didn't have a problem. It's the gigantic banks run by people like [Mr.] Potter that were just trying to get rich and didn't care about people. The local banks are the George Baileys. That's not progressive. Progressive is about going past the Constitution and having people at a government level babysit people because they're all too stupid."


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

When I was in grade school, there was this kid that would pick his nose regularly and sneak his boogers on the backs of other kids, mostly when students were lined up for lunch, field trips or waiting for the bus.

I remember the kid's name was Carl and he got beat up a lot.

Carl placing boogers on kids' backs to be mischievous is arguably comparable to Wikileaks releasing classified documents to be subversive. Right now, the U.S. diplomatic and intelligence communities have boogers on their backs. It remains to be seen whether the Wikileaks version of Carl gets beat up.

In any event, expect 'revelations' from Wikileaks to suck air out of the news cycle for the near future.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Internet Domain Names Seized by Feds

The Combatting Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) allows the feds to shut down websites without notice nor warning.

Consequently, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has seized dozens of domain names recently.
The sites are replaced with a note from the government: "This domain named has been seized by ICE, Homeland Security Investigations."
It appears the feds have overly-wide latitude under the law. So much for due process, eh?
"Smart fraction" theory

There is now plenty of evidence of variability in national average IQs and equally strong evidence that the differences concerned matter a lot. To put it bluntly, low IQ nations tend to be hellholes and high IQ nations are prosperous and comfortable.

An odd exception to that was China, with a very high average IQ but also high levels of poverty. Recently, however, we have seen that with the yoke of communism partially removed from them, the Chinese have been going ahead economically in leaps and bounds -- and they will undoubledly soon arrive at the level of prosperity that their average IQ would indicate. China's recent advance is in fact an excellent validation of IQ theory. Just giving them the opportunity to realize their potential produced amazing successes. It is exactly what IQ theory would predict for a high IQ nation.

In all countries, however, economic advance is driven by a small minority. Most people are "wage slaves", not entrepreneurs. So among IQ researchers there has been a proposal that it might be more enlightening to look not at the average guy but rather at the top people in his nation's population. We should take (say) the top 5% (as measured by IQ score) of any population and look at THEIR average IQ rather than the average IQ in that nation as a whole. The average IQ of the "smart fraction" in a population might give us even better predictive power about that nation than the average IQ of that nation as a whole does.

Recently, some research has been done which tests that theory. They did not use IQ scores as such but estimated IQ from measures of educational attainment. Educational attainment and IQ are highly correlated. The journal abstract is below:
The impact of smart fractions, cognitive ability of politicians and average competence of peoples on social development

By Heiner Rindermann, Michael Sailer and James Thompson


Smart fraction theory supposes that gifted and talented persons are especially relevant for societal development. Using results for the 95th percentile from TIMSS 1995- 2007, PISA 2000-2006 and PIRLS 2001-2006 we calculated an ability sum value (N=90 countries) for the upper level group (equivalent to a within country IQ-threshold of 125 or a student assessment score of 667) and compared its influence with the mean ability and the 5th percentile ability on wealth (GDP), patent rates, Nobel Prizes, numbers of scientists, political variables (government effectiveness, democracy, rule of law, political liberty), HIV, AIDS and homicide.

Additionally, using information on school and professional education, we estimated the cognitive competence of political leaders in N=90 countries.

Results of correlations, regression and path analyses generally show a larger impact of the smart fractions’ ability on positively valued outcomes than of the mean result or the 5th percentile fraction. The influence of the 5th percentile fraction on HIV, AIDS and homicide, however, was stronger.

The intelligence of politicians was less important, a longitudinal crosslagged analysis could show a positive influence on the cognitive development of nations.


So the results supported the theory. How smart a nation's smarties were told us even more than average IQ did. Note the very large number of variables that were successfully predicted by the study. How smart your nation's smarties are is very important indeed.

Note also that how dumb the dummies were (the BOTTOM 5%) also strongly predicted a few things: The incidence of HIV, AIDS and homicide! To put it very bluntly, real dummies are murderous and will stick their dicks in anything.

Steve Sailer has a much more detailed discussion of the paper but misses the point that IQ in even the Jewish population of Israel (not counting the Arabs and the illegal immigrants) is bimodal. Most Israeli Jews are of Middle Eastern origin and hence not too bright. It is the minority of Israeli Jews who are of European origin (Ashkenazim) who account for Israel's advances. To really understand Israel, you need to treat the Ashkenazim as a separate population in its own right. They are in their own way a good example of how important the "smart fraction" is.

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

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Girl, 15, Burns Koran

(Birmingham, England) A 15-year-old girl at a Sandwell school was arrested for allegedly burning a Koran and posting footage of the incident on Facebook. She was charged with suspicion of inciting racial hatred.
It is understood the girl, who lives in the Sandwell Council area, was filmed setting the English language Koran alight while other pupils watched.

"I think this young lady did not realise exactly what she was doing. In fact I know she didn't," said the teacher, who cannot be named.

"Because if she stopped to consider the fallout of doing this kind of thing, and she considered the offence it would cause to people within her own community in the school, I honestly don't believe she would have done it.

"And I also know for a fact that she deeply regrets what she has done."
Authorities appear to be working overtime to squelch interest in the story.
Woman Lures Young Girl

(London, England) A 35-year-old woman from Northern Ireland who used a social networking site to lure a 13-year-old English girl from her home in Cornwall, England, was arrested last Tuesday for alleged sexual assault on a minor and grooming a minor for sexual purposes.
After school on Monday the child went to Newquay airport and caught a Gatwick-bound plane, posing as a 17-year-old.

Officers found the pair in Horley, Surrey, the following day, and also seized items from an address in Cookstown, Co Tyrone, which lies west of Belfast.

The girl's mother added: 'An officer told me CCTV pictures show the woman giving my daughter a hug and kissing her on both cheeks at Gatwick. We only found out where she had gone by hacking into her internet messages.

'They showed details of all the travel arrangements, which we passed on to police. An officer told me the woman bought clothes for my daughter and booked tickets for them to fly to Belfast, making out she was her mother.'
The woman was released on conditional bail until January.

Tip: Lame
Koreans Drumming War

With tension increasing on the Korean peninsula, plans are in progress to evacuate all Filipino workers in South Korea.

Meanwhile, it's reported that North Korea is recalling all 20,000 of its workers from the Far East of Russia.
It appears that the workers in Russia have been called back to aid potential military operations.

Vladnews agency, based in Vladivostok, reported that North Korean workers had left the town of Nakhodka en masse shortly after the escalation of tension on the Korean peninsula earlier this week.
Most North Koreans in Russia work in construction and they are closely monitored by Kim Jong-il's security services. The workers are subjected to long hours and poor conditions and no contact with the outside world.

And to make things even more interesting, a U.S. nuke aircraft carrier is headed to the Yellow Sea.
The nuclear-powered carrier, the USS George Washington, reportedly will stay in the open seas just south of South Jeolla Province for the period during the drill. Also, the South Korean militia and U.S. military personnel plan to limit the exercises to the areas south of Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province.

This means they will conduct the exercise in waters outside the range of North Korea’s Samlet, Silkworm, and Styx land-to-sea anti-ship missiles.

Military experts say this is most of the reason why North Korea will have a bad day launching their “retaliatory strikes,” as they called them, at anyone engaged in the exercise.
China has repeatedly protested against a U.S. carrier conducting exercises in the Yellow Sea, calling it provocative.
Sulloway is still banging the birth order drum

Though rather more cautiously these days. See below. His claims are all just selective use of data. Facts that don't suit him he ignores or misrepresents. Sulloway exposed himself as the charlatan he is by doing something almost unknown in academe: bringing a lawsuit in an attempt to prevent publication of an article disproving his claims. Not even the Warmists have done that.

The whole extraordinary story is here. I myself have previously put up a brief summary comment on the matter here. My comment should explain why I am not surprised that it is NPR that is preaching the Sulloway story below

There are lots of expectations and assumptions about how birth order may shape our adult lives, and many of them go back ages. Centuries ago, the oldest son had huge incentives to stay on track and live up to family expectations — that's because, by tradition, he was set to inherit almost everything.

"Historically the practice of primogeniture was very common in Europe," says Frank Sulloway, a visiting scholar at the Institute of Personality and Social Research at the University of California, Berkeley. "So firstborns had every reason to preserve the status quo and be on good terms with their parents."

Now you may think any "first born" effect would have completely disappeared in modern times. But not so, say experts who study birth order. Researchers first examined the status of firstborns among Washington power brokers in 1972.

"I expected that there would be a disproportionately high number of firstborns among members of Congress" says psychologist Richard Zweigenhaft of Guilford College. "And that's exactly what I found."

Out of 121 representatives and senators included in his sample, Zweigenhaft found that 51 were firstborns, 39 were middle children, and 31 were youngest children. It wasn't a huge overrepresentation of firstborns, but the difference, he says, is too significant to ignore.

Several surveys and studies conducted throughout the years have found that firstborns do edge out later-borns in lots of high-achieving professions, from corporate CEOs to college professors to U.S. presidents and Supreme Court justices. There's even evidence that firstborn children are about 3 IQ points smarter than their second-born siblings.

More here

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).
British council urges staff to ditch jargon

We read:
"It is the language that clutters council newsletters and documents like weeds strangling a flower bed, but one local authority wants to put a stop to jargon, and bring back plain, simple English.

Pompous words such as "facilitate" and "utilise" should be replaced by their shorter, more common versions "help" and "use", the council has said.

Meaningless phrases such as "close proximity" and "forward planning" should be shelved, while the phrase that has become ubiquitous over the last decade – "stakeholder engagement" – should be replaced with the far more straightforward "talking to people".

The guide, which Conwy Council in North Wales is considering adopting, said: "People need to understand what we are telling them. A whole language has been developed around council documents that the press refers to as council speak or ‘council-ese’. It doesn’t make our documents seem more important – just more confusing."

Dressing up policies and documents with long words and jargon frequently hides the fact that the local council officers do not understand what they are saying, it added.

The advice said: “Avoid old fashioned words and phrases. These can seem pompous and bureaucratic and set a cold, impersonal tone.” It urges active rather than passive sentences such as please tell us instead of you are requested.

Conwy is not the first council to attempt to cut a swathe through officialese, but many previous attempts have been thwarted by central Government legislation, which frequently introduces new terms, such as "sustainable communities". Studies have also suggested many council workers fear using simple English because they think they will be accused of "dumbing down".

The Local Government Association has published a list of more than 250 words that councils should never use in public documents, including "engagement", "embedded", "challenge", "low-hanging fruit", "top down", "step change" and "actioned" – words that many councils continue to use in their literature.

Despite the admirable suggestions about how its staff can use simpler English, the document itself is couched in the councilese Conwy urges its officers to avoid using. One sentence runs: "Many of the community involvement techniques set out in the matrix are research tools that can provide you with either reliable measurements and/or detailed qualitative information."


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

Friday, November 26, 2010

Oregon Woman Gets Prison for Sex with Boys

(Pendleton, Oregon) In May 2010, a 41-year-old woman, Sara "Sadie" Joen Thompson, was arrested for allegedly engaging in sexual intercourse with two males under the age of 16.

On November 17, Thompson pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual abuse in the second degree for having intercourse with both teens, and one count of luring a minor.

On November 24, Circuit Court Judge Garry Reynolds sentenced Thompson to five years and 10 months in prison.
In addition to the prison time, Reynolds gave Thompson three years of post-prison supervision and required her to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life.

Thompson also must complete sex offender therapy and counseling as a condition of her post-prison supervision.
Thompson is the mother of three boys, ages 12 to 15.
Stallone Porn Film

In 1970 when Sylvester Stallone was desperate for money, he starred in a softcore erotic movie called "Italian Stallion." He was paid $200 for two days of work.

Earlier this month, the original negatives and worldwide rights for the film were sold on eBay for $412,100.

Sarah hits back at biased media over gaffes

SARAH Palin, who has been hammered by critics for making the occasional verbal gaffe, used her Thanksgiving message today to point out a number of bungles made by US President Barack Obama.

The former Republican vice-presidential nominee, tipped as a potential 2012 presidential candidate, posted the message titled, "A Thanksgiving Message to All 57 States", on her Facebook account.

In May 2008, while campaigning to be president, Mr Obama wrongly told an audience in Oregon that he "had been in 57 states, [with] I think one left to go."

Ms Palin opened her message today by listing what she termed "misstatements and verbal gaffes made by Barack Obama", along with accompanying YouTube clips. They include Mr Obama calling Europe a country; the US continuing to fight "to halt the rise of privacy" - when he meant "piracy" - in Somalia; and Israel being a "strong friend of Israel's".

"I didn't have enough time to do one for Joe Biden," Ms Palin added, in a reference to the famously outspoken vice-president.

"YouTube links are provided just in case you doubt the accuracy of these all too human slips-of-the-tongue. "If you can't remember hearing about them, that's because for the most part the media didn't consider them newsworthy. I have no complaint about that. Everybody makes the occasional verbal gaffe."

Yesterday, Ms Palin was lambasted in sections of the media after she mistakenly called North Korea an ally of the US. "The one word slip occurred yesterday during one of my seven back-to-back interviews wherein I was privileged to speak to the American public about the important, world-changing issues before us," Ms Palin explained.

"If the media had bothered to actually listen to all of my remarks on Glenn Beck’s radio show, they would have noticed that I refer to South Korea as our ally throughout, that I corrected myself seconds after my slip-of-the-tongue, and that I made it abundantly clear that pressure should be put on China to restrict energy exports to the North Korean regime.

"The media could even have done due diligence and checked my previous statements on the subject, which have always been consistent, and in fact even ahead of the curve. But why let the facts get in the way of a good story?"

The Twittersphere lit up after the publication of Ms Palin's message, with critics jumping on her mention of 57 states - clearly not realising it was her joke aimed at Mr Obama.

Ms Palin also used the same Facebook message to deny reports this week she had been trying to convince the producers of Dancing With The Stars to cast Christine O'Donnell, the defeated Republican candidate in the Delaware Senate race, in the next series of the hit show. Ms Palin's daughter Bristol finished second runner-up on the show earlier this week.

"Why not just make up stories out of thin air - like the totally false hard news story which has run for three days now reporting that I lobbied the producers of Dancing With The Stars to cast a former Senate candidate on their show," Mr Palin said. "That lie is further clear proof that the media completely makes things up without doing even rudimentary fact-checking."

Ms Palin was lampooned during her failed vice-presidential campaign in 2008 for her emphasis on Russia's proximity to Alaska. "They're our next door neighbours and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska," she said.

Earlier this year she was ridiculed her for using the non-existent word "refudiate", that seemed to be a cross between "refute" and "repudiate". It was this month named 2010 Word of the Year by the New Oxford American Dictionary.


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

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Woman, 41, and Boy, 14

(Vienna, Austria) A 41-year-old, local married mother-of-two, identified only as Renata C., and a 13-year-old boy, identified as Erwin U., have allegedly been engaging in a romantic affair that has become a hot scandal throughout Europe.

Renata was a handball team coach and Erwin was a player.

Renata, a Croatian, has two daughters, ages 14 and 19, and a husband, all of whom have expressed support and understanding.

Under Austrian law, consensual sex at 14 is legal but Renata started doing Erwin when he was only 13. As a result, Renata was prosecuted for "severe sexual abuse of a minor" and sentenced to 22 months in prison, suspended.
"It was not right what I did. I admit my guilt. But Erwin is an exception – even at 13 he was not a child," said Renata.
Erwin remarked that he didn't want to be considered a victim since that's not how he feels. Erwin's mother has approved of the relationship and apparently the couple will move in with her to continue their affair.

It's unknown whether this case is a reflection of a general European attitude of permissiveness regarding sex or an example of leniency toward female child sex offenders. In any event, I'm forcing myself into believing that a 42-year-old man having sex with a 13-year-old girl would not be treated so lightly by the legal system nor would it be accepted and supported by the families involved.

Tip: Barry
Armored Vehicles Fight Violence in Rio

(Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) At least 23 people have been killed in the ongoing violence between drug gangs and Brazilian authorities in local slums. The level of violence has surged since last Sunday with attacks on police stations and burning of vehicles.

The government has sent in security forces backed by armored vehicles. Over 150 arrests have been made.

Reportedly, the recent uptick in violent attacks has been ordered by jailed gang members. Consequently, recently arrested gang members are being shipped to remote jails so they can't contact their buddies.
Spreadin' the glove: TSA infecting U.S.?

Latex coverings 'have been in crotches, armpits, touching people who may be ill'

Those latex gloves Transportation Security Administration agents wear while giving airline passengers those infamous full-body pat-downs apparently aren't there for the safety and security of passengers – only the TSA agents.

That's the word being discussed on dozens of online forums and postings after it was noted that the agents wear the same gloves to pat down dozens, perhaps hundreds, of passengers, not changing them even though the Centers for Disease Control in its online writings has emphasized the important of clean hands to prevent the exchange of loathsome afflictions.

"Herpes via latex glove ... ewwww," wrote one participant on the independence-minded AR15 website forum.

Responding to the question, "Does the TSA change latex gloves after each sexual assault?" another wrote on the same forum, "I seriously doubt it. Gloves are for their protection, not yours."

In fact, TSA officials in both national and regional offices declined to respond to WND inquiries about the policy for changing gloves to prevent an infection that may be on the clothes or body of one passenger during a pat-down by TSA agents from being transmitted to other passengers, including children, in line.

Martha Donahue in a commentary at Resistnet said she'd spent 30 years in the medical industry. "For those of you who fly and opt for the 'pat down,' you need to demand the TSA thugs change their gloves. I've been watching on the news how they operate. People are being searched [with] dirty gloves ... gloves that have been in crotches, armpits, touching people who may be ill, people who pick their noses. Do you want those gloves touching you?

"These thugs are protecting themselves from you. You need to be protected from them," she wrote. "In a hospital, nursing home, in-home care, or even labs, that would never even be considered an option."

ABC reported one of its news employees documented how a TSA worker reached inside her underwear. "The woman who checked me reached her hands inside my underwear and felt her way around," the ABC employee said in the network's report. "It was basically worse than going to the gynecologist. It was embarrassing. It was demeaning. It was inappropriate."

Asked today about the possibility of contamination being spread from one passenger to another on the gloves of TSA agents, a spokesman for the CDC bailed.

Much more HERE

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

"By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln"
Aussie Woman, 24, and Boy, 14

(Hillside, Victoria, Australia) A 24-year-old local woman, Kimberley Annette Gale, has pleaded guilty to engaging in sex with a 14-year-old boy.
The 24-year-old had met the boy - and his mother - at a football club, and having heard that he was having trouble getting to school, offered to provide lifts.

For three or four weeks in March and April, Miss Gale drove the boy to school every morning, and on at least one occasion put her hand on his leg and told him he was ‘hot’, prosecution lawyer Susan Borg said.

On one occasion Miss Gale, then 23, asked the boy if he wanted to spend more time with her, and he replied ‘yes’.

She drove him to her family’s home and the pair had sex then she drove him to school.

Two weeks later, they went to Miss Gale’s home again on the way to school and had sex.
In her defense, lawyer Amy Wood said Gale had returned to live with her mother and it made her feel "like she was 16 again." Gale was remanded to custody.

Tip: JR

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

UN General Assembly Approves Execution of Gays

Here's another reason not to trust the UN.
The UN General Assembly this week voted to allow LGBT people to be executed without cause.

According to the International Gay and Lesbians Human Rights Commission, the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee on Social, Cultural and Humanitarian issues removed “sexual orientation” from a resolution addressing extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions this past week in a vote that was overwhelming represented by a majority of African, Middle East and Carribean nations.
It's not clear why arbitrary executions would be allowed in any circumstances.
Nevada Woman Accused of Molesting Girl

(Las Vegas, Nevada) Earlier this month, a 49-year-old local woman, Cindy Sue Osborne, was arrested for allegedly molesting a teenage family member.
In an arrest report, the girl said the abuse began with Osborne's husband, John Browning, in early 2003. Browning, the girl claimed, invited Osborne to participate in the sex acts.

The report gives graphic descriptions of alleged abuse that continued for five years and stopped when Browning died in January of 2008.
Osborne was booked into custody at the Clark County Jail.
Girls Coach Sentenced in Sex Case - Updated

(Indianapolis, Indiana) This week, former high school girls' basketball coach Sara Strahm pleaded guilty to felony child seduction stemming from engaging in a sexual relationship with one of her players.

Strahm previously told investigators that she loved the 17-year-old girl.
Strahm was sentenced to 365 days in prison, with 185 suspended and 180 executed on home detention. She was also ordered to complete 240 hours of community service work.

The Marion County Prosecutor's Office said Strahm will be on probation for 185 days and must undergo sex offender treatment.[…]

Her felonies will be reduced to misdemeanors if she successfully completes probation.
I suggest it's indisputable that Strahm is walking away with a wrist-slap.

Thanks to Lame for the tip who also asks, "What's the use in prosecuting her?"

For comparison purposes, a male teacher in Ohio, Christopher Thomas, was recently sentenced to 153 years in prison for sex with a female student.

* * * * *

Girls Basketball Coach Accused of Child Seduction
[Previous 12/20/09 post]
(Indianapolis, Indiana) A 28-year-old special education teacher and basketball coach, Sara Strahm, was arrested Friday for alleged child seduction of a 17-year-old girl.

School officials alerted the police after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced.
Police said Strahm had been in a relationship with the girl since this fall.

"The child seduction charge is based on the fact that the coach is in a position of trust because she was involved in a sexual relationship with a student under the age of 18," Thompson said.

Strahm, a special education teacher at the school, is the varsity girls' basketball coach.
Strahm was booked into custody at the Arrestee Processing Center and released Saturday on $5,000 bond.
Milwaukee voter fraud conviction makes ACORN's 2010 total at least 15

Yet another former ACORN employee was convicted of voter fraud last week. This brings the total number of convictions for former workers from the embattled group to at least 15 so far this year.

Kevin L. Clancy of Milwaukee pleaded guilty last week to participating “in a scheme to submit fraudulent voter registration applications,” according to Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen. Clancy admitted to filing multiple voter registration applications for the same individuals and registering himself and other voter registration canvassers to vote multiple times while working on an ACORN voter drive.

Clancy received a 10-month prison term for his crime. Clancy’s sentence will begin when he completes another sentence he is currently serving for armed robbery.

“The integrity of elections is dependent upon citizens and officials insisting they be conducted lawfully,” Van Hollen said. “Wisconsin’s citizens should not have to wonder whether their vote has been negated or diminished by illegally cast ballots.”

So far 2010 has been a banner year for ACORN voter fraud prosecutions....


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

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Low Support for Gun Control

A public opinion survey indicates continued low support for stricter gun control measures.

According to Gallup's annual Crime Poll conducted in October 2010, 42% of Americans are satisfied with the current level of gun control, up from 17% in 1990, while the percentage of Americans wanting stricter gun control has decreased dramatically in the same time period.

More data are at the link.
Teacher's Aide NOT GUILTY in Sex Case - Updated

(Ellsworth, Wisconsin) After a two-day trial, a Pierce County jury found Rebecca O’Malley-Tietz not guilty of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old boy. Comprised of three men and nine women, the jury deliberated for a mere three and one-half hours.

* * * * *

Teacher's Aide Allegedly Threatens Boy in Sex Case - Updated
[Previous 11/21/09 post]
(River Falls, Wisconsin) The allegations of sexual assault of a 12-year-old boy by teacher's aide Rebecca Ann O’Malley-Tietz include a disturbing threat.
The 12-year-old boy saw Rebecca O'Malley-Tietz standing in her bathroom with her hand behind her back.

According to a criminal complaint filed Thursday, his former teacher's aide asked him if he had told anyone about their sexual relationship. He told her he hadn't.

She took a gun from behind her back, put the muzzle under his chin and threatened to hurt him and his family if he did, the complaint states.
If true, it would explain why the boy was initially reluctant to cooperate with investigators. The story came out last Friday when the boy told a social worker. After her arrest on Wednesday, O’Malley-Tietz relayed an entirely different account.
She said she was "more like a mother" to the child. According to the complaint, she said any sexual contact the two had was nonconsensual; the child spanked and kissed her and then forced her to have intercourse, she said.
During her interview, O’Malley-Tietz was reportedly observed to be behaving strangely, leading to speculation that she may be suffering from mental illness.

Thursday, O’Malley-Tietz was released from jail on $25,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for December 12.

* * * * *

Teacher's Aide Accused of Sex with Boy, 12
[Previous 11/19/09 post]
(River Falls, Wisconsin) A 34-year-old teacher's aide formerly at River Falls Academy, Rebecca Ann O’Malley-Tietz, was arrested yesterday for allegedly engaging in sex with a 12-year-old boy. She faces a charge of first-degree sexual assault of a child.
River Falls police Sgt. Jon Aubart said the incident reportedly took place in 2007 off school grounds. The victim is a boy who was 12 at the time.

Police investigated the case but dropped it when the victim wouldn’t cooperate.

Later, when the victim was going through counseling, more information was disclosed and police got involved again.
O’Malley-Tietz was booked into custody at the Pierce County Jail.
Rhode Island Brothel Raided

(Providence, Rhode Island) City, state and federal authorities have raided and shut down a brothel operated, staffed and frequented by illegal aliens.
A tip about ongoing prostitution and complaints from neighbors about the traffic into the first-floor apartment at 33 Ida St. led to the six-month investigation that ended in a raid Saturday night where one of the ringleaders, two “security guards,” two prostitutes and nine would-be customers were arrested, state police Capt. James Demers said.

The main ringleader had been deported previously to the Dominican Republic for drug charges. He and one of the suspected security guards and eight customers were all in the United States illegally, according to the state police and immigration officials.

The state police are now drafting an arrest warrant for another suspected ringleader, a woman, who is accused of bringing different prostitutes to the apartment every weekend to work, Demers said.
The two prostitutes apparently serviced all traffic, an estimated 50 to 100 customers daily.

Just think, if the U.S. had effective border security, the entire operation would not have existed.
Study Finds Discrimination Against Muslims

Researchers sent out fictional job applications in a study of bias among employers in France. Results indicate that a potential French employer viewed applicants with Christian names much more favorably than applicants with Muslim names.
The researchers, led by David Laitin of Stanford University in California, created and mailed out 275 pairs of résumés to French employers advertising for jobs. Each of the paired résumés was identical in terms of job qualifications and experience except for the names of the applicants.

One of the applicants had a Christian given name, "Marie Diouf", while another had a Muslim given name, "Khadija Diouf".

To emphasise the religious difference in the applicants, Maire Diouf said she worked for Catholic Relief and was a member of Christian scouts, and Khadija Diouf said she had worked for Islamic Relief and was a member of Muslim scouts.

As a scientific control, the researchers compiled a third fictional résumé in the name of "Aurelie Menard", who could be identified as a rooted French person with no assumed religion – unlike "Diouf" which in France is easily identified as a Senagalese name. Every employer received a résumé of Aurelie Menard with a résumé of either Marie Diouf or Khadija Diouf – employers may have detected a test if they received applications from both Marie and Khadija Diouf, researchers said.

Marie-Anne Valfort from the Sorbonne in Paris said Khadija Diouf received a response rate of 8 per cent while Marie Diouf's response rate was 21 per cent – a highly significant difference. "It amounts to massive discrimination. The agenda is to try to find out what is driving it," Dr Valfort said.
In my estimation, nothing about the study nor the results is surprising. The study is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Louisiana Woman Arrested for Identity Theft

(Port Allen, Louisiana) A 21-year-old local woman, Janecia Fountain, has been arrested for allegedly stealing the identities of more than 20 people while employed at a career placement center.
According to detectives, when people went in looking for career assistance Fountain allegedly stole their personal information.

She's accused of using the names and social security numbers of more than 20 clients to acquire about 33 loans totaling $11,000 in cash.
Fountain was booked into custody.

Offhand, I would speculate that this type of identity theft occurs much more frequently than is reported.
A warning about government medicine from Australia

Tumour victim threatens to drill into his head if health system can't get him surgery

A GOLD Coast man says he will take a drill to his head in a desperate attempt to get brain surgery through the public health system. Mark Black, of Merrimac, was diagnosed two acoustic neuroma tumours situated on either side of his head six months ago. But the 52-year-old had already waited two years to get the MRI scan that finally confirmed what was wrong with him.

Mr Black is now slowly losing his hearing and developing facial paralysis because the tumours are touching his nerves.

Still with no answer on a surgery date and the grim possibility he might go deaf waiting, Mr Black plans to stand outside the Gold Coast Hospital on December 7 and drill into his head to receive emergency care if he does not get the response he is after the day before.

Mr Black has a follow-up appointment with an ear, nose and throat surgeon on December 6 but believes he is being shifted through a system that will put him back to where he started. The father of three and grandfather of one said he had been back and forth seeking help over the years but without any answers.

"I'm not blaming the doctors in this, I'm blaming the bureaucrats who don't fund the hospital enough to do the surgery that's needed," he said. "My main concern now is to have this first lot of surgery because the end result is I'll end up totally deaf and have facial paralysis. The longer I let it go the worse the outcome."

Mr Black said he woke every day feeling off balance, had ringing in the ears, facial spasms and dizziness. The former inventor and coffee shop owner said he could not work any more because of his condition. "There's no light at the end of the tunnel," he said. "They're (the hospital) using delaying tactics so they don't have to do it and in the meantime I'm sitting here suffering. "I don't want to push in front of someone else. I just want to be put on the list and dealt with fairly."


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).
BBC accused of 'racial stereotyping' by Scots - for including drunk porridge-eater in broadcasts

We read:
"Radio 4 listeners have blasted the character Jazzer, played by Ryan Kelly, who is portrayed as a heavy-drinking, car-stealing Glaswegian

The BBC’s long-running Radio 4 soap The Archers has been accused of ‘racial stereotyping’ over the portrayal of its only Scottish character.

Listeners of the programme have objected to the behaviour of Jack ‘Jazzer’ McCreary, who is shown as a mean, heavy-drinking, car-stealing, drug-taking, womanising Glaswegian who likes to eat porridge.

But many listeners have seen the character with his strong Glasgow accent as a form of negative stereotyping about Scottish people.

They have accused the show of lazy writing and said the BBC has ‘stereotyped an entire race’. The character has been in the soap since 2000.

Mr Kelly, the actor who plays Jazzer, told Radio 4’s Feedback he enjoyed playing the part. When asked if he had met any Scottish people like the character, Mr Kelly said: ‘Some cousins I have are like that.’

He added: ‘Even Scottish people laugh at deep frying things, they tend to laugh at themselves and I think you have got to be able to laugh at yourselves.’ He said of the accent: ‘It is as authentic as I can make it.’

Scriptwriter Keri Davies said: ‘It’s important to realise that Jazzer, the one character, cannot possibly be expected to represent a whole nation. Jazzer rather represents a type of person - a lad who is fairly rough and ready, who likes a drink, likes the women, has a few redeeming features but still has a lot of rough edges to be knocked off. That’s what he represents, rather [than] Scotland as a whole.’


There's no doubt that Scots like a drink -- and porridge too. I like both myself -- and I'm an Australian!

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).
N. Korea Shells S. Korea

(Seoul, South Korea) At least 50 artillery rounds were fired by North Korea at the West Sea island of Yeonpyeong-do in South Korean territory. In return, South Korea blasted back at least 30 rounds.

Approximately 70 homes on the island were damaged as the population took shelter. Reported casualties thus far have been light but are expected to climb.

North Korea claims that the South Koreans fired first.

More here.
Boy Gang-Raped

(Mendi, Papua New Guinea) This report has all the makings of a movie. Teen rape, knife-wielding gang of sex-obsessed women, infectious disease, and it all occurs in a tropical setting.
A 17-year-old village boy has been gang raped by 10 knife-wielding women in Papua New Guinea, police say.

Southern Highlands Province police commander Teddy Tei said the gang of women attacked the schoolboy just outside the provincial centre of Mendi on Friday.

"This is a serious matter and police are trying to identify who these animals are," he said.

"More than 10 women with kitchen knives attacked him and four women had sexual intercourse with him".

The boy went to hospital for treatment, he said.
Police fear that the women infected the boy with HIV/AIDS.

Tip: JR

Monday, November 22, 2010

Skinny-Dipping Liberals?

I have no knowledge which supports or disputes this contention.
“Polls regularly show that about one in five North Americans have skinny-dipped in mixed company …."
Ironically, about the same number of people (20% of the population) is identified as politically liberal. Without a considerable amount of research, I think it would be irresponsible to claim liberals skinny-dip and conservatives keep their clothes on.

That said, it is curious that liberal groups are customarily recognized for using nudity in their protests. Examples are the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) who regularly parade naked women for the sake of animal rights and the Breasts Not Bombs crowd who protest for peace. And there are others, so maybe a direct correlation can be made between nudity and liberalism.

In any event, here's a training video on skinny-dipping. It's probably NSFW.

Yemen Loses, Blames the Girls

(Guangzhou, China) The 2010 Asian Games, being held November 12-27 in Guangzhou, includes athletic teams from 45 nations and some controversy has surfaced regarding the beach volleyball competition.

The team from Yemen, which was defeated by the Indonesian team, claimed the distraction presented by hot babe cheerleaders caused its defeat.

According to Yemeni player Adeeb Mahfoudh,
"They had an effect on how we played," he said. "I think they had something to do with our losing the match."
What? It couldn't have been that the opposition was simply a crack team?

I would suggest it's poor sportsmanship to blame the cheerleaders for a loss. More pics at the link.

And another thing, I studied the pictures of the supposed distractions and...uh...I don't necessarily see the agree of a...uh...team cheerleaders bikinis skin factors of flowing hair eyes sparkled. Complain rejected.
Just in case you haven't seen it yet!

A Palestinian businessman:

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

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Salad Bars in 5,000 Public Schools

(Washington) Tomorrow, First Lady Michelle Obama will reportedly announce an initiative to place 5,000 salad bars in public school cafeterias nationwide.
Officials in the White House, led by chef Sam Kass, and at the U.S. Centers for Disease and Prevention, have been working to build a coalition representing the produce industry and Ann Cooper, director of nutrition services in Boulder, Colo. schools, who recently teamed with Whole Foods to raise $1.4 million from customers to establish a grant program that would place salad bars in qualifying schools.

Under the initiative expected to be announced on Monday in Florida, where First Lady Michelle Obama has taken her "Let's Move" campaign to fight childhood obesity, Cooper would manage applications for salad bars from the schools along with distribution of funds to purchase necessary equipment.
Problems are anticipated and some school systems have already indicated that they won't participate due to health concerns about children spreading disease because they are too short for standard "sneeze guards."

The salad bar scheme will be in accordance with U.S. Department of Agriculture rules.
School menu planners must tell students the minimum amounts they must take from salad bars, cashiers "must be trained to judge accurately the quantities of self-service items," and point-of-sale registers "must be stationed after the salad bar."

Cooper has previously said USDA rules too often "don't work on the ground" and that forcing students to double back and pass a checkpoint after they've been to the salad bar "slows everything down."

Also, the CDC was trying to determine how local health inspectors might pass judgment on salad bars scattered across the country and what federal health requirements they might apply.
I am skeptical. I once saw a kid exercise his preferences at a salad bar and he chose a slice of watermelon and a plate full of bacon bits. If the schools are going to implement the scheme, they will likely need an adult over each kid's shoulder.

Companion post at TJR.
Muslim Maids Wading

Muslim women wading

On the flip side are (Caution: NSFW) Western women wading.

My, oh, my! What a difference!
Koala Walks into a Bar

(Queensland, Australia) A koala walked into the Marlin Bar on Magnetic Island and approached the bartender, Kevin Martin.
"I asked him for ID and he didn't have any so that's when he got a bit disgruntled and climbed up a pole," Mr Martin joked.

"And he just sort of lay over the piece of wood, one of the little rafters, and flopped his arms down and just fell asleep, enjoying the atmosphere."
People had noticed the koala loitering outside the pub beforehand. Heh.
Cheerleading Mom Gets Prison - Updated

(Oroville, California) Here's an update on the case of former cheerleading coach Toni Rae Allexy, 41.
Butte County Superior Court judge imposed prison and sex offender registration on a former Paradise cheerleading coach who violated probation twice.

Toni Rae Allexy, 41, was accused in 2007 of furnishing alcohol for two 14-year-old boys at her home, driving drunk, and fondling one of the boys on the ride home. She admitted to two violations of probation, one involving embezzlement and another from contacting minors.

Butte County Superior Court Judge Sandra McLean Friday sentenced Allexy to four years in prison. Allexy will likely serve one year and two months in prison as she has already spent more than a year in the Butte County Jail and will receive credits for time served. She will also have to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life.
Reportedly, Allexy has not shown any remorse.

* * * * *

Cheer Mom Arrested for Molesting Boy
[Previous 11/10/07 post]
(Oroville, California) A 39-year-old head cheer mother of the Paradise Junior Bobcats Cheerleading team, Toni Allexy, was arrested Thursday for allegedly molesting a 14-year-old boy.

Allexy was charged with suspicion of committing a lewd act, two counts of suspicion of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and six counts of suspicion of child endangerment.

According to Paradise Police Officer Chris Dineen, Allexy entertained a number of cheerleaders and football players at her home on October 20th. She served the youths alcohol to the point of intoxication and molested one of the boys.
The boy's mother filed a restraining order against Allexy Nov. 7 stating that Allexy had given her son vodka, fondled him, and driven drunk with him and other minors in the car.

"Very intoxicated, the mother gave my very drunk son and another boy and girl a ride home," the boy's mother's letter states. "On the ride home the mother (Allexy) put her hand down my son's pants and began to fondle him, the other kids were in the back seat, which (Allexy) would not allow to come up front with my son."

Another parent confirmed the report. She said her daughter had spent the night at the Allexy residence and witnessed inappropriate behavior on Allexy's part. According to her, Allexy served alcohol in sippy cups, spent most of the evening laying on the couch with the boy, and wouldn't allow any of the other minors to sit in the front of the vehicle with the boy while she drove.
Allexy was booked into custody at the Butte County Jail. After arraignment yesterday, she was released on her own recognizance. A court appearance is scheduled for November 20th.

Tip: Don Morgenstern
Sharing, not equality, is the human norm

I have excerpted today on POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH an academic paper that takes a fair bit of concentration to follow but which is, I think, of fundamental importance. Its thesis is that charity (e.g. welfare payments to the poor) springs from a basic human instinct but that instinct is neither altruism nor a belief in equality. It is an instinctive expectation of reciprocity. In other words, we give to others in the instinctive expectation that we will get something back. We put resources into the common pot in the expectation that everyone else will do likewise. In modern societies that expectation is often violated, with welfare recipients giving nothing back. That offends our basic expectation of reciprocity and feels wrong. Hence there are periodic attempts made to get the poor to work for their welfare payments or to get them off welfare altogether

So the Leftist opposition to welfare reform is founded -- once again -- on a denial of basic human instincts. Despite their cloak of good intentions, Leftists are profoundly anti-human. They hate the world about them and that mostly means the people in it

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).
Is Obama protecting himself from the red-head?

He certainly looks defensive. The red-head is Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia -- talking at the start of the NATO meeting in Lisbon, Portugal.

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

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Possible Death Notice for Comments

Heads up, readers! Word has it that proprietors of this blog's comment system, Echo (HaloScan), are raising the usage cost from $9.95 per year to $120 per year.

That's more than a 1,000% increase.

I fail to see the reasonableness of jacking up the price by a factor of 12 and, therefore, I won't be using Echo (HaloScan) after December 31. Also, $120 is a budget-breaker. Unlike the U.S. government, I cannot spend money that I don't have.

Note that contrary to any possible wild speculation, Interested-Participant makes no money. Don't be beguiled by the Donate button. There's no evidence that it works since first tested with a sawbuck from a family member.

In any event, I'm looking for ways to transport 20,000+ existing comments from Echo to another system. Since methods I've seen so far require advanced programming knowledge, something I lack, I anticipate losing those comments. If someone has any idea on moving comments which is compatible with "Push this key 101" computer knowledge, by all means, pass it along.

Otherwise, expect loss of all archived comments and adoption of another system for the future.
Michigan Teacher Gets Prison in Sex Case - Updated

(Detroit, Michigan) Virginia Ann Homberg was sentenced yesterday to 10 to 25 years in prison for first-degree criminal sexual conduct and concurrent three to 15 years in prison for third-degree criminal sexual conduct.

* * * * *

Michigan Teacher Guilty in Student Sex Case - Updated
[Previous 10/20/10 post]
(Detroit, Michigan) Yesterday, former Garden City High School teacher Virginia Ann Homberg, 46, was found guilty by an all-female jury on rape charges for engaging in sex with a 14-year-old eighth-grade boy.
The student, when interviewed by Garden City police in February, told investigators he thought the teacher was "crazy" and "real hyper like ADD," according to police reports.

He also told police Homberg had sent nude pictures of herself and sexually explicit text messages to his cell phone.

He told police he had sex with Homberg for the first time when he was 14 at his home in his basement bedroom.

"The victim stated he didn't want to have sex with Homberg and she kept saying 'Oh come on, come on' and he followed her lead but gave no further details," police reports read.

The second time they had sex was in the fall of his sophomore year in the office next to her classroom. Two other sexual encounters allegedly occurred in her school office after he turned 16.
Reportedly, Homberg specifically chose her victim, a special education student who "lacked the wherewithal of others." In defense, attorney Shannon Smith asserted that Homberg was a victim also because she was essentially railroaded by aggressive prosecutors.

Sentencing has been scheduled for November 19.

* * * * *

Michigan Teacher Accused of Sex with Boy
[Previous 3/30/10 post]
(Garden City, Michigan) A 45-year-old teacher formerly at Garden City High School, Virginia Ann Homberg, has been accused of engaging in sex with a male student and sending him sexually explicit pictures.

Homberg faces one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct and a charge of distributing sexual explicit materials to a minor.

According to Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, Homberg and her victim engaged in sex from December 2007, when the student was 14 years old, through February 2010.

Homberg was booked into custody with bond set at $50,000.
Nebraska Woman Pleads in Child Abuse Case

(Lincoln, Nebraska) In May 2010, a 38-year-old local woman, Kami N. Gordon, was arrested for the alleged inappropriate touching of a 4-year-old child and for allegedly smoking marijuana in front of the child.

Gordon has been charged with felony child abuse.

This week, Gordon pleaded no contest to child abuse.
In court Thursday, she seemed to be reluctant in offering her plea and said she felt the prosecutor had scared her into it by saying he would increase the charges if she didn't.

"I feel I have been put in a corner," Gordon said.

But in the end, she said she still wished to plead no contest.
Gordon faces a possible five-year prison term when sentenced on January 19.
Major Jewish Group Defends Beck Amid Soros Furor‏

Nice to see a Jewish group stand up for a conservative for once

The national Jewish group Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has come out strongly against Jewish leaders critical of Glenn Beck’s recent George Soros expose, which detailed his actions during the Holocaust, calling such criticism of Beck “painful, troubling and disquieting.”

“ZOA has expressed its concern over the strong criticism that a number of American Jewish leaders and other prominent Jews in recent days have directed at Fox broadcaster, Glenn Beck, for his criticism of Israel/U.S.-basher, financier George Soros, regarding his behavior in Nazi-occupied Budapest in 1944,” the group says in a statement released Tuesday.

In a three-part series on Beck’s Fox program last week, Beck portrayed Soros as the “puppet master” behind, among other things, world financial collapses. While describing Soros, Beck told how, during the Holocaust, the 14-year-old Hungarian Jew “used to go around with this anti-Semite and deliver papers to the Jews and confiscate their property and then ship them off.” The “anti-Semite” was Soros’s fake grandfather, who was paid off by his real father in an effort to conceal the young Soros’s Jewish identity. He has not shown remorse or regret for those actions.

“A number of American Jewish leaders condemned Mr. Beck for these remarks,” ZOA’s statement says, “yet a 1998 interview with Soros conducted by Steve Kroft on ‘60 Minutes’ shows that Beck did not misstate the facts.”

The group goes on to detail a litany of “anti-Israel, anti-American” remarks made by Soros over the years.*

Among those who have spoken out against Beck are Elan Steinberg, the vice president of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants; Simon Greer, the director of Jewish Funds for Justice; Jewish writer Michelle Goldberg; and Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League.

“I have seen no proof,” Steinberg has said regarding Beck’s Soros claims, while Greer said Beck “deliberately and grotesquely” mischaracterized Soros’s actions and accused him of “Holocaust revisionism.” Goldberg wrote that Beck’s series went “beyond demonizing” Soros and described the programs as a “symphony of anti-Semitic dog whistles.” And Foxman issued a statement calling Beck’s claims “unacceptable,“ ”offensive,“ and ”horrific.”

Statements like those prompted ZOA to respond.

“It is painful, troubling and disquieting to see Jewish leaders defending any actions by George Soros, someone who has shown himself to be an active antagonist of Israel and the U.S., whom he blames for the world’s troubles,” ZOA National President Morton A. Klein says in the statement.

“In light of Soros’ hatred of Israel and the United States; his continuous efforts to harm them; the absence of any subsequent remorse and feeling as an adult over the events he witnesses in Nazi-occupied Hungary as a 14-year old; as well as the fact that Glenn Beck’s comments were essentially accurate, George Soros merits no defense or sympathy from Jewish leaders,” he adds.

“We are truly puzzled that some Jewish leaders have chosen to defend this and other Israel-bashers from their critics.”


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).
Connecticut Woman Gets Prison in Girl Sex Case

(Vernon, Connecticut) A 22-year-old woman, Shawna Owens, has been sentenced to a total of 84 months in prison for sexually abusing young girls, including a 5-year-old.

Owens received 54 months in prison in New Britain Superior Court and 30 months in prison in Rockville Superior Court.
At one point she told the detectives she needed counseling so "I don't sexually assault anyone else," according to the warrant for her arrest.[…]

Owens attributed her sexual abuse of girls to curiosity.

She claimed her mother and sister were lesbian and always talked about having sex with females and she said she wanted to know what they were talking about.
Also, Owens must serve 20 years of probation upon her release from prison and register as a sex offender for the rest of her life.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sewn Lips Seek Asylum

(Christmas Island, Indian Ocean) About 1,000 miles from the Australian mainland, Christmas Island Territory is tiny, covering a mere 135 square miles.

Christmas Island, Indian Ocean

Nonetheless, there's plenty of room for a troublesome alien detention center.
The Federal Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen says there are rising tensions at the Christmas Island detention centre because of the increase in rejection rates for asylum seekers.

Ten Iraqi, Iranian and Kurdish men are refusing medical treatment after sewing their lips together.
My guess is that the detainees are just adding attention-getting flair to a run-of-the-mill hunger strike. They need more people to learn of their plight.

Well, it worked. I'm in Ohio and writing about it.

By the way, Christmas Island is noted for being inhabited by an estimated 40,000,000 red crabs which all head for the sea during mating and spawning season. The migration is a regularly featured on the nature channels.
Joan Baez Injured in Fall

(San Jose, California) Folksinger Joan Baez, 69, is recovering after a fall from her treehouse. Her injuries are considered minor.

The treehouse is 20 feet high in an oak tree and Baez spends all summer inside. Baez says she likes sleeping with the birds. Heh.
Bristol Palin's Hollywood and the MSM

By Dick McDonald [dickmcdonald73@att.net]

Bristol Palin has made it to the finals of Dancing with the Stars. From a dancing standpoint she should have been eliminated weeks ago. It baffles many why she has lasted so long. The left has advanced the ludicrous theory that it is because she is the daughter of their hated Sarah. Others say it is because she is an underdog. Other say it is because she was treated so poorly during and after her teenage pregnancy.

I believe in another theory. I think American families are using her as a protest against Hollywood, the leftist, the media, liberals and their immense displeasure with all things Obama and Pelosi and Reid. I think it is a subtle rebuke of Letterman, Bill Maher, Tina Fey, John Stewart and their ilk. The “people” have very few avenues to voice their hate for the daily barrage of leftist propaganda. I think Bristol is the lucky recipient of their rage.

Comment received by email

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

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sheriff's Captain Charged with Rape

(Monroe County, New York) In September 2010, Sheriff's Captain Catherine McLaughlin was suspended from her position while allegations of sex with an inmate were investigated.

This morning, Monroe County Court unsealed a grand jury indictment accusing McLaughlin of rape, official misconduct and unauthorized use of a computer.
An indictment unsealed today alleges McLaughlin had sexual intercourse on three ocassions, stemming between Feb. 1 and 28, March 2 and between March 3 and 23. The indictment reads that McLaughlin had sexual intercourse with a person not capable of consent, and is over the age of 17.

A person is incapable of consent when they are in custody of the state department of correctional services, according to penal law.

McLaughlin also faces 13 counts of official misconduct, stemming from incidents between February and March. On Sept. 15, the indictment alleges McLaughlin accessed or used a computer with authorization, as well.

McLaughlin has been employed with the Sheriff's Office for 23 years in the jail bureau, Sheriff's Office spokesman John Helfer said.
McLaughlin was arraigned and released on her own recognizance.

Tip: Chuck Simmins
Why is the TSA so stupid?

When they could do it the Israeli way

While North America's airports groan under the weight of another sea-change in security protocols, one word keeps popping out of the mouths of experts: Israelification. That is, how can we make our airports more like Israel's, which deal with far greater terror threat with far less inconvenience.

Almost one year after it was published, Cathal Kelly's Star article is more relevant than ever:

"…in a nutshell … "Israelification" [is] a system that protects life and limb without annoying you to death.

…All drivers [coming to Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport] are stopped and asked two questions: How are you? Where are you coming from?

"Two benign questions. The questions aren't important. The way people act when they answer them is," [Rafi Sela, the president of AR Challenges, a global transportation security consultancy] said.

Officers are looking for nervousness or other signs of "distress" — behavioural profiling. Sela rejects the argument that profiling is discriminatory.

"The word 'profiling' is a political invention by people who don't want to do security," he said. "To us, it doesn't matter if he's black, white, young or old. It's just his behaviour. So what kind of privacy am I really stepping on when I'm doing this?"

Once you've parked your car or gotten off your bus, you pass through the second and third security perimeters.

Armed guards outside the terminal are trained to observe passengers as they move toward the doors, again looking for odd behaviour.

…Five security layers down: you now finally arrive at the only one which Ben-Gurion Airport shares with Pearson — the body and hand-luggage check.
"But here it is done completely, absolutely 180 degrees differently than it is done in North America," Sela said.

"First, it's fast — there's almost no line. That's because they're not looking for liquids, they're not looking at your shoes. They're not looking for everything they look for in North America. They just look at you," said Sela. "Even today with the heightened security in North America, they will check your items to death. But they will never look at you, at how you behave. They will never look into your eyes ... and that's how you figure out the bad guys from the good guys."

…[All this] doesn't begin to cover the off-site security net that failed so spectacularly in targeting would-be Flight 253 bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab — intelligence. In Israel, Sela said, a coordinated intelligence gathering operation produces a constantly evolving series of threat analyses and vulnerability studies.

"There is absolutely no intelligence and threat analysis done in Canada or the United States," Sela said. "Absolutely none."

…So. Eight years after 9/11, why are we still so reactive, so un-Israelified?

Working hard to dampen his outrage, Sela first blames our leaders, and then ourselves.

"We have a saying in Hebrew that it's much easier to look for a lost key under the light, than to look for the key where you actually lost it, because it's dark over there. That's exactly how (North American airport security officials) act," Sela said. "You can easily do what we do. You don't have to replace anything. You have to add just a little bit — technology, training. But you have to completely change the way you go about doing airport security. And that is something that the bureaucrats have a problem with. They are very well enclosed in their own concept."

And rather than fear, he suggests that outrage would be a far more powerful spur to provoking that change.


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

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