Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Women With Troubles - April 2013

Here is a compilation of women with troubles reported in news stories during April 2013. 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) Stephanie Michelle McCray, 41,
neighbor - Accused of multiple sex crimes including rape of a boy, 15,

(AL) Jennifer Marie Morton, 34,
teacher - Accused of sexual misconduct with a student, 17,

(AL) Lynda Rigsby, 52, with Steven East, 29,
teacher's aide - Accused of making and possessing methamphetamine,

(AL) LaTengela Williams, 36,
teacher - Accused of inappropriate criminal behavior with more than one student,

(AR) Adrienne Wright, 40,
health facility employee - Accused of sexually abusing a male patient, 16,

(AZ) Melissa Ann Dalton, 34,
teacher - Sentenced to three years prison for sexual conduct with two students,

(AZ) Nina Koistinen, 36,
neighbor - Accused of suffocating her 6-day-old baby girl,

(AZ) Kimberly Anne Upshaw, 34,
neighbor - Arrested for child abuse of daughter, 13,

(CA) Courtney Addington, 24,
neighbor - Accused of killing her newborn baby and attempting to cover up the crime,

(CA) Catherine Kieu Becker, 40,
neighbor - Prosecuted for slicing off husband's pee-pee,

(CA) Rebekah Lee Cyr, 33,
teacher - Gets no jail for inappropriate conduct with male student, 17,

(CA) Amber Failla, 36,
teacher - Guilty of performing oral sex on boys, 14 to 17; sentencing in May,

(CA) Erin Henton, 45,
assistant principal - Accused of sexual battery, oral copulation, and abnormal sexual interest in children,

(CA) Marie Johnson, 42,
teacher - Pleaded no contest to nine counts of sex with a boy, 14; sentencing in May,

(CA) Heidi Kaeslin, 37,
teacher - Accused of setting up pornographic websites on her school-issued computer,

(CA) Catherine McCoy, 49,
neighbor - Gets 35 years in prison for rape by foreign object of woman, 21,

(CA) Melissa Judy Ann Pedersen, 30,
bookkeeper - Accused of embezzling almost $30,000 from two companies,

(CO) Alexandra Elizabeth McLean, 28,
teacher - Pleaded guilty to sexual assault of student and gets no jail,

(CO) Terah Rawlings, 33,
teacher - Sentenced to 90 days jail for sexual assault of male student, 15,

(CO) Kimberly Rivera, 30,
U.S. Army soldier - Prosecuted for desertion,

(FL) Alysia Nicole Algere, 26,
neighbor - Accused of procuring a minor for prostitution,

(FL) Ashlea Eucker, 23,
teacher - Accused of possessing cocaine at school,

(FL) Tatiana Fonseca, 29,
neighbor - Arrested for lewd and lascivious molestation of boy, 15,

(FL) Stacey Ann Fuchs, 31,
neighbor - Arrested for grand theft,

(FL) Jeanine Shimandle, 40,
housesitter - Accused of supplying vodka and having sex with two boys, 13 and 17,

(FL) Stacey Slamka, 49,
teacher - Accused of sending inappropriate text messages and having sex with student,

(FL) Lisa Junod Smith, 36,
neighbor - Accused of drug and child abuse offenses,

(GA) Jessica Head, 25,
neighbor - Accused of child molestation of two girls, 10 and 12,

(GA) Kelsey Alane Long, 23,
neighbor - Arrested for falsely accusing deputy of rape,

(IA) Ashley Nicole Anderson, 24,
teacher - Guilty of sex with several male students; sentencing in June,

(ID) Courtney Sue Reschke, 35,
neighbor - Guilty of performing sex acts with boy, 15; sentencing in June,

(IL) Ashley M. Blumenshine, 29,
teacher - Gets 30 days in jail for traveling to meet minor for sex,

(IN) Erin Baynard Stewart, now 33,
teacher - Guilty of felony sex with boy, 14; sentencing in June,

(KS) Brooke Dinkel, 31,
school counselor - Charged with multiple counts of rape and sodomy of boy, 14,

(KS) Johnna Green, 23,
neighbor - Accused of trying to drown two daughters, ages 1 and 4,

(KY) Jessica M. Boyers, 24,
teacher - Accused of sexual abuse of student,

(MO) Brittany Blair Buchanan, 22,
neighbor - Sentenced to seven years in prison for rape of boy, 15,

(MT) Jenna Van Delden, 25,
neighbor - Guilty of harboring a runaway, custodial interference, and sex with boy, 13,

(NH) Holly Spreen, 40,
teacher - Arrested for drunk driving after colliding with two parked cars,

(NJ) Erica DePalo, 33,
teacher - Gets no jail for sex with boy, 15,

(NJ) Kristin Leone, 27,
teacher - Guilty of criminal sexual contact with male student, 16; sentencing in June,

(NJ) NJ Sex Offender Study,
teachers - State study of men and women sex offenders,

(NV) Jennifer Dalton, 35,
teacher - Accused of engaging in sexual conduct with student,

(NY) Melanie Akerberg, 33,
teacher - Accused of inappropriate contact with two male students,

(NY) Crystal DeRosa, 33,
teacher - Gets no jail for stealing necklace from female student, 5,

(NY) Melissa Eagley, 32, with husband, Steven Eagley Jr., 36,
teacher - Accused of arson and fraud,

(NY) Donna Newton-McNally, 41,
teacher - Accused of inappropriate contact with two male students,

(NY) Brittany Ozarowski, 21,
neighbor - Accused of faking cancer to acquire public donations to support heroin addiction,

(NY) Evelyn Rogers, 33,
teacher - Accused of rape of male student, 15,

(OH) Monica Jo Bush, 27,
neighbor - Gets 12 months prison for unlawful sexual conduct with boy, 15,

(OH) Sara Thierry, 38,
teacher - Busted for psychedelic mushroom-growing operation,

(OK) Samantha Bryant, 23, with boyfriend Jon Adleta,
neighbors - Accused of sexually molesting daughter, 4,

(OK) Sandra "Diamond Sassy" Knapton, 41,
masseusse - Accused of offering sex to an undercover police officer,

(OK) Stacy Ann Thompson, 33,
neighbor - Arrested for first-degree murder of husband,

(OR) Tiffany Maydew, 40,
neighbor - Accused of rape, sodomy and sex abuse of boy, 15,

(PA) Ashley Delvalle, 24,
neighbor - Accused of posing as a nurse and then assaulting a child,

(PA) Katherine Leigh Preusser, 33,
teacher - Accused of furnishing alcohol to minors, drug possession, and related crimes,

(SC) Tiffany "Tip Tip" Lotoya Linder, 20,
neighbor - Accused of giving a hickey and having sex with girl, 14,

(SC) Terri Wooten, 49, with David Eugene Cauthan, 39,
teacher - Arrested for possession of and trafficking in drugs,

(TN) Teresa Lynn Forester, 43,
neighbor - Accused of raping two boys, 14,

(TN) Danielle Stephens, 23,
neighbor - Accused of child abuse while harboring two female runaways, 15,

(TX) Charmaine Lloydette Beaver, now 26,
neighbor - Gets prison for sex with girl, 16,

(TX) Suzanne Davis Burkett, 41,
teacher - Arrested for improper relationship between educator and student,

(TX) Jessica Crosby, 23,
neighbor - Accused of sexually assaulting teen,

(TX) Melissa Ann Hinojosa, 33,
neighbor - Probation for sex with boy revoked,

(TX) Valerie Celeste Moore, 29,
teacher - Accused of improper relationship with student,

(TX) Sara Elizabeth Soto, 25,
neighbor - Accused of getting naked and entering a stranger's home,

(TX) Irene Stokes, 61,
teacher - Accused of fondling a female student,

(TX) Debra Sutphen,
teacher - Accused of making alcohol available to minors,

(UT) Courtney Louise Jarrell, 22,
teacher - Accused of rape of a female student, 17,

(UT) Jamie Jo Waite, 37,
swim coach - Gets 210 days jail for forcible sex with male, 17,

(VA) Cara Alexander, 27,
teacher - Accused of sending nude pictures to a male student, 17,

(VT) Abby Shocik , 25,
teacher - Sentenced to 12 months prison for sex with student, 14,

(VT) Shawna Steinhour, 35,
teacher - Accused of embezzlement from school's PTO,

(WA) Courtney Keller, 28,
teacher's aide - Accused of sex with a male student, 16.
Thanks to the tipsters.
Germans Mull Cat Tax



(Radolfzell, Germany)
German cat owners could be hit with a special bird-kill tax to compensate for the damage their felines inflict on bird populations - if a leading ornithologist has his way.

Peter Berthold, head of the bird keepers at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Radolfzell on Lake Constance, says cats kill around 50 million birds a year in Germany along.
In opposition, the President of the German Animal Protection Association said a cat tax would prompt people to throw out their kitties, resulting in an increase in the feral cat population. Sounds logical.

Personally, it's troubling that some people in society believe the go-to solution to problems is increased taxation.
NJ Teacher Gets No Jail for Sex with Student - Updated

(Newark, New Jersey) Yesterday, former Teacher of the Year Erica DePalo, 33, received a suspended sentence and lifetime parole for boffing a 15-year-old student. She was also ordered to forfeit her teaching credentials and register as a sex offender.

* * * * *

NJ Teacher Guilty of Sex with Student - Updated
[Previous 2/19/13 post]
(West Orange, New Jersey) Earlier today, a 33-year-old teacher formerly at West Orange High School, Erica DePalo, pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of a child after admitting she had sexual relations with a 15-year-old male student.
Erica DePalo will receive life parole supervision under the terms of the plea agreement when she is sentenced April 29.

She must undergo a psychological evaluation at the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Avenel, forfeit her teaching license and never seek government employment.

DePalo also must register as a sex offender under Megan's Law and cannot have contact with the victim.
So, DePalo will receive no jail when sentenced in April.

* * * * *

NJ Teacher Accused of Sex with Student
[Previous 9/1/12 post]
(Montclair, New Jersey) A 33-year-old English teacher at West Orange High School, Erica DePalo, has been accused of engaging in sex with a 15-year-old male student.

DePalo faces charges of first-degree aggravated sexual assault, second-degree sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
Police allege that DePalo began a sexual relationship with a male student sometime in mid-June and that it continued until this past Tuesday. Attempts to reach her attorney for comment Saturday were unsuccessful.

DePalo, who taught Honors English to ninth- and tenth-graders, was selected as Essex County’s 2011-2012 top teacher as part of the state Department of Education’s “New Jersey Teacher of the Year” program.[…]

DePalo, who is single, has been employed at West Orange High School since 2003 but was suspended upon her arrest Friday.
DePalo was booked into custody with bail set at $100,000.
1,000 words




This is an iron mine. Steel is made of iron, and wind turbines are predominantly made of steel. So when the anti-uranium brigade bemoans the incurable dangers of mining and then bows to wind turbines, they’re not being straight with you. Mining isn't pretty but thanks to modern technology and smart engineers, it's perfectly safe and absolutely necessary.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).
California Woman Accused of Killing Newborn

(Sacramento, California) A 24-year-old local woman, Courtney Addington, has been accused of killing her newborn baby and attempting to cover up the crime.

Addington faces a charge of murder.
Addington was admitted to Mercy General Hospital on January 25 for complications with excessive bleeding, according to Sacramento County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jason Ramos. Hospital staff determined during the examination that Addington had recently given birth, which she denied.

Deputies were notified and went to Addington’s residence in the 3800 block of Wildrose Way to check on the possible infant. There they discovered the infant dead, wrapped in a garbage bag under a bed.
Addington was booked into custody at the Sacramento County Main Jail without bail.

Monday, April 29, 2013

NY Teacher & Husband Accused in Arson & Fraud Case



(Clifton Springs, New York)
An elementary school teacher and former Clifton Springs police officer will appear in Ontario County Court May 17 to answer charges related to two separate fires at the same address, said Ontario County sheriff’s deputies.

According to deputies, Melissa Eagley, 32, and her husband, Steven Eagley Jr., 36, both of Maple Avenue in Palmyra, were formerly charged April 2 as a result of sealed grand jury indictments.

Melissa Eagley was charged with third-degree arson stemming from a fire at her former residence, 31 South St. in Clifton Springs, Oct. 5, 2011, police said. Additionally, she was charged with third-degree grand larceny and third-degree insurance fraud from alleged discrepancies found in documentation relating to a May 14, 2010 fire, also at 31 South St.

Steven Eagley Jr. was charged with third-degree grand larceny and third-degree insurance fraud as a result of the 2010 fire.
Melissa Eagley was relieved of her duties as a special education teacher with the Phelps-Clifton Springs Central School District.
Ohio Woman Gets Prison for Sex with Boy, 15 - Update

(Fayette County, Ohio) For engaging in sex with a 15-year-old boy, 27-year-old Monica Jo Bush pleaded guilty today to two felony third-degree counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.
According to authorities, Bush has known the minor for several years and had sex with him on Jan. 5 in a Fayette County home.

The 15-year-old victim was within 10 days of turning 16, at which point the intercourse would have been legal.
As a result, Bush was sentenced to 12 months incarceration at the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville. She was also ordered to register as a sex offender and check in with local law enforcement every six months for the next 25 years.

* * * * *

Ohio Woman Accused of Sex with Boy, 15
[Previous 2/23/13 post]
(Fayette County, Ohio) A 27-year-old local woman, Monica Jo Bush, has been indicted for allegedly engaging in sex with a 15-year-old boy.
Monica Jo Bush pleaded not guilty at her arraignment this week to two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, both felonies of the third degree. Her trial has been set for May 1 in Fayette County Common Pleas Court.

According to the Fayette County Sheriff's Office, Bush had sex with the 15-year-old, who she has been acquainted with for several years, on Jan. 5 at an Evans Road residence in Fayette County. The residence they had sex in belongs to one of Bush's family members, according to authorities.

The 15-year-old boy's mother reportedly found postings on Facebook between the boy and Bush that made his mother suspicious.
Bush was booked into the Fayette County Jail and released on bond.
U.S. Army Deserter Faces Court Martial - Update

(Fort Carson, Colorado)
A court-martial got underway Monday for the first female U.S. Army soldier to flee to Canada to avoid a second tour of duty in the Iraq war.

Army Pfc. Kimberly Rivera is charged with desertion and could face up to five years in prison and a dishonorable discharge if convicted, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported.

Rivera was assigned to Fort Carson's 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and served in Iraq in 2006. She has said that, while there, she became disillusioned with the U.S. mission in Iraq.

During a two-week leave in the U.S. in 2007, Rivera crossed the Canadian border after she was ordered to serve another tour in Iraq. She applied for refugee status but was denied.
Rivera attempted other avenues to remain in Canada but they were all denied. Canadian politicians are not supportive of Rivera because she voluntarily enlisted in the U.S. military.

* * * * *

U.S. Army Deserter Arrested at Border
[Previous 9/23/12 post]
(Fort Drum, New York) A 30-year-old female deserter from the United States Army, Kimberly Rivera, was arrested at a border crossing Thursday after her deportation was ordered by the Canadian government.
She traveled to Canada during a home leave, citing her opposition to the war in Iraq.

Chief Tom Russert, Public Affairs Liaison for Customs and Border Protection field operations, confirmed Rivera’s arrest Thursday morning at the Alexandria Bay Border Crossing.

“She was wanted for being a military deserter, there was a warrant for her arrest,” said Russert. He said Rivera was arrested by U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel and turned over to Fort Drum, an Army base 30 miles away from the border crossing where she was arrested.
Rivera skipped to Canada in 2007 due to political opposition to war and applied for refugee status. But she was denied. Now she faces prosecution by the U.S. Army, possibly a court martial.
Oklahoma Woman Offers Sex to Undercover Officer

(Tulsa, Oklahoma) A 41-year-old Bixby OK woman, Sandra "Diamond Sassy" Knapton, has been accused of offering sex to an undercover police officer while she was giving him a massage.

Knapton was arrested last week at a Tulsa apartment.
According to the police report, Knapton was wearing a short dress and heels and invited the client into a "bedroom that had a heated massage table, oils, candles, and slow music."

Knapton asked for the fee and the officer put $60 onto a chest of drawers.

She asked the officer to undress, but never provided anything for him to cover himself, exposing his buttocks.

"The suspect gave me a massage and touched my exposed genitals several times," the report reads.

The suspect asked if it was okay to massage his genitals and the officer agreed.

According to the officer, "I asked the suspect 'how much to have you'. The suspect then looked at me, showed me three fingers and said $300."

Knapton agreed and the officer placed $240 on a chest of drawers. She then gave the officer a condom and he called in for police backup.
Knapton was booked into custody at the Tulsa County Jail and released on $3,000 bond.
Student-Teacher Sex Study



From a study in New Jersey, sentencing of convicted teacher sex offenders shows a bias favoring females.
A Star-Ledger analysis of 97 cases in New Jersey over the past decade reveals significant disparities: Men are on average sent to jail in more cases and receive longer sentences.

The data about 72 men and 25 women also shows:

• Male defendants went to prison in 54 percent of cases compared with 44 percent of cases for female defendants;

• Men averaged 2.4 years in prison compared with 1.6 years in prison for women, or 50 percent more time
Simply put, male teachers having sex with students are generally treated more harshly by the courts than female teachers in similar circumstances. New Jersey courts recognize that boys and girls are different even though it's not stipulated in law.
The Myth of Michelle Obama's "Food Desert"

This is an old idea long since discredited but both Mr and Mrs Obama specialize in such ideas

Science is a wonderful tool for understanding how our world really works. But if the science supporting a given understanding is flawed, or worse, if it is slanted in favor of a politically-favored outcome, it can become the justification for excessively wasteful activities. When science crosses that line, it is transformed from something that is worthy of respect into junk science.

This is the story of Michelle Obama and her fight against the food deserts of America. The story begins on 24 February 2010, when the First Lady of the United States of America used her White House platform to introduce the little-understood concept of the newly-discovered "food deserts" of America to Americans as part of a media blitz:
   "As part of Lets Move!, the campaign to end childhood obesity, First Lady Michelle Obama is taking on food deserts. These are nutritional wastelands that exist across America in both urban and rural communities where parents and children simply do not have access to a supermarket. Some 23.5 million Americans – including 6.5 million children – currently live in food deserts. Watch the video below and learn what the First Lady is doing to help families in these areas across the country."
 
Food deserts sound horrible. Isn't it good that the First Lady is doing something about this awful problem that would appear to be plaguing America's most poor, yet obese citizens, who suffer because they are deprived from having large supermarkets stocked with nutritious foods within walking distance of where they live?

Or is the First Lady relying upon junk science to justify the wasteful expenditure of taxpayer money to benefit her and the President's political cronies? After all, there was already plenty of evidence back in 2010 that indicated that food deserts were more a junk science-fueled political talking point than a real factor that significantly contributed to making poor Americans obese, as the original 2006 study proclaiming the crisis in President Obama's home base of Chicago was funded by LaSalle Bank of Chicago, then the largest business lender in the city, who would directly profit from investments to "remedy" the situation.

Fortunately, respectable science can help provide the answers to these questions. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control very recently published a peer-reviewed scientific study of the impact that a lack of nearby access to nutritious foods, such as might be found in one of the First Lady's food deserts, actually has upon the Body Mass Index (BMI) of the Americans who live within such regions. Here are the results and conclusion for their study of 97,678 adults in the state of California (home to 1 out of every 8 Americans):
"Results

Food outlets within walking distance (≤1.0 mile) were not strongly associated with dietary intake, BMI, or probabilities of a BMI of 25.0 or more or a BMI of 30.0 or more. We found significant associations between fast-food outlets and dietary intake and between supermarkets and BMI and probabilities of a BMI of 25.0 or more and a BMI of 30.0 or more for food environments beyond walking distance (>1.0 mile).

Conclusion

We found no strong evidence that food outlets near homes are associated with dietary intake or BMI. We replicated some associations reported previously but only for areas that are larger than what typically is considered a neighborhood. A likely reason for the null finding is that shopping patterns are weakly related, if at all, to neighborhoods in the United States because of access to motorized transportation."

Economist Jacob Geller reviewed the study's statistical results:
   "If you look at the statistical tables, they’re pretty striking. Even where there is statistical significance — which is the exception to the rule — the size of the effect is so tiny, it’s like practically nothing. For example, on the margin, adding one full-service supermarket within a one-mile radius of your house is associated with an average BMI decrease in your neighborhood of .115. That is a difference of just one pound. (see back-of-the-envelope calculations here)


    So there is really no relationship, according to this one recent study of nearly 100,000 Californians, between the distance between your body and a full-service supermarket (or any other kind of food store), and whether or not you are obese. Distance, which is a proxy for access (the idea of a food desert is that the nearest supermarket, which has fresh produce, is distant), is for all practical purposes a non-factor."

Did we mention large and/or politically well-connected retailers are involved? That's actually how we know that the whole food desert publicity campaign is really about crony capitalism more than it is about dealing with the health problems of obesity. Because in truth, if it were a real problem that could be fixed by opening new store locations, it would be a lot easier, cheaper and faster for small "Mom and Pop"-style grocery businesses to fit themselves into the already existing and available retail spaces within such deprived communities as the supposed food deserts of America.

But since the whole food desert concept would seem to be based on junk science rather than the more respectable kind, it is perhaps too much to ask for the solutions advanced by the politicians taking charge of the crisis to solve a legitimate problem.

SOURCE


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

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Fight on Mt. Everest



(Nepal-China Border)
Police near Mount Everest are investigating reports of a fight on the upper reaches of the world's highest mountain between two foreign climbers and their Nepalese guides, officials said Sunday.

"We were told our clients and the guides fought on their way to camp three. We don't have all the details yet, but our clients have come down off the peak," said Anish Gupta of Cho-Oyu Trekking, the Kathmandu-based company that organised the expedition.

He said that one of the clients, a Swiss national, had descended the mountain and was currently waiting for a flight back to Kathmandu.

The other client, an Italian, remained at Everest Base Camp and may still try to summit the 8,848-metre (29,029-foot) peak.
Strange place for people to throw punches, eh?
Arizona Woman Accused of Killing Baby Daughter

(Phoenix, Arizona) A 36-year-old local married mother-of-nine, Nina Koistinen, has been accused of suffocating her 6-day-old baby girl.

Koistinen was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder.
Police said Nina Koistinen told them she smothered Maya because she thought she had too many children and that she was jealous of the attention her husband was giving the newborn.

Bradley Koistinen attended his wife's initial appearance Friday and made an emotional plea to the court.

"Nina suffers from bipolar, schizophrenia and depression," he said. "And we have tried for years and years to manage it. She has been the greatest mother. We've been married 15 years. To our kids, never once has she hurt any of our kids. I see her deteriorating the last two days - her mental state. I don't know if her medication is right."
Koistinen was booked into custody with bail set at $1,000,000.
Devastating British education research

Last year, the Department for Education asked a firm of accountants to trawl its vast pupil database and find the secret of great state schools. Deloitte had access to the records of almost half a million pupils, factoring in everything from postcodes to ethnicity. It could examine the bizarre variation in spending per pupil, ranging from £4,500 in Lyme Regis to £10,000 in Salford. And the study would be useful in light of the Coalition’s policy for a “pupil premium”, offering £900 to help the poorest pupils. Or so it was assumed.

When the results came back, the conclusion was extraordinary. As one would expect, schools marked “outstanding” tended to achieve the best results. Poverty mattered, but not as much as Deloitte had expected. The biggest surprise, though, was the money: no matter how you split the figures, the amount spent didn’t seem to make the blindest bit of difference. “There is no correlation at all,” it concluded, “between the level of per-pupil funding and educational outcomes.” This was seemingly not what a cash-hungry department wanted to hear. The report was parked in an obscure part of its website, with no public comment.

The study’s conclusions are, of course, rather devastating to the Liberal Democrats’ flagship idea of pupil premiums. Pupils trapped in a sink school are unlikely to be helped by a bit of extra cash poured into a dysfunctional system. But the policy will go ahead because David Laws, the schools minister, is under orders to bring back a “win” for his party. His boss, Nick Clegg, wants applause lines in speeches boasting about the help given to poorer pupils. The Deloitte report, of course, confirms what is obvious to most parents: ethos is what matters most – and you can’t buy a good ethos. Head teachers who turn around a school are utterly priceless, in every way.

So it emerges that the whole premise of Labour’s education policy – that cash matters most – was false. A succession of Labour ministers stood behind a podium and boasted about “investing” in schools – and they did. Spending per pupil doubled. But still, Britain hurtled down the international league tables. Of the last 34 official studies into English state schools, not one looked at funding per pupil. Gordon Brown did not want to know. He had drawn a dividing line with the Tories and he wanted it hammered home: if you care, you spend. If you’re cruel, you cut. And did this actually help schools? Mr Brown didn’t seem to care that much.

The cost of all this is now hideously clear. The Labour years were an astonishing experiment in expanding the size and scope of the state. Over the past decade, the British government grew faster than any major administration, anywhere, over any other decade – apart from those preparing for war. The NHS budget more than doubled, transport and education spending almost doubled and the welfare bill rose by 50 per cent. Forget about the bankers. This was the madness that led to the worst economic overheating in Britain’s modern history and, ergo, the worst recession in living memory. The debt, which will take a generation to tackle, will be Brown’s only legacy.

SOURCE


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

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Virginia Teacher's Nude Pix on Student's Phone

(Newport News, Virginia) A 27-year-old English teacher at Newport News' Woodside High School, Cara Alexander, has been accused of engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a male student after nude photos of her were found on his cell phone.

Alexander faces counts of using a communications system to facilitate offenses involving children, counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and taking indecent liberties with a minor.
According to Lou Thurston with the Newport News Police Department, police were notified by the student's parents Tuesday about the photos.

They told police the woman is a teacher and was having an inappropriate relationship with their son, now 17 years old.
Details on booking are unavailable.
Australian research suggests that tea is good for blood pressure



It is hard to reconcile the claims in the article below with Prof. Hodgson's actual research findings, as published in 2013.  The first article of the year here showed no difference in day/night variability in BP but the second article, later on in the year here found that blood pressure was slightly less changeable at night among tea drinkers.  It looks like Prof. Hodgson squeezed his data until he got what he wanted. The data underlying the two contradictory articles  appear to be the same!

Furthermore a 2012 article, also by Prof. Hodgson, here showed a long-term difference between tea drinkers and controls of between 2 and 3 mmHg.  Totally trivial, in other words, close to the error of measurement.

The claims below are BS, to put it plainly.  Prof. Hodgson could throw away his teapot with no adverse consequences for his health


You might have thought you were simply satisfying a thirst in that most British of ways.  But drinking three cups of tea a day may also stabilise your blood pressure, researchers say.  It not only reduces blood pressure, but also minimises the variability of readings taken at night.

Experts say the benefits of tea are largely due to the flavonoid content - antioxidant ingredients that counteract cardio-vascular disease.

Every day there are 350 preventable strokes or heart attacks in the UK due to high blood pressure.  It has long been known that high blood pressure can significantly increase the risk of heart disease.

Now wide variations in blood pressure are also recognised as an important risk factor compared with readings that show little difference over a 24-hour period.

Professor Jonathan Hodgson of the University of Western Australia said: `There is already mounting evidence that tea is good for your heart health, but this is an important discovery because it demonstrates a link between tea and a major risk factor for heart disease.

`We have shown, for the first time to our knowledge, that the consumption of black tea can lower rates of blood pressure variation at night time.'

A survey last week found tea is still the nation's favourite drink, with Britons consuming 166 million cups of tea every day.

A high blood pressure reading is one that exceeds 140/90 millimetres of mercury (mm Hg).

The first figure, the systolic pressure, corresponds to the `surge' that occurs with each heartbeat.

In the latest study 111 men and women consumed three cups of black tea daily or a flavonoid free, caffeine containing beverage for six months.They had systolic blood pressure between 115 and 150 mm Hg.

The rate of blood pressure variation was assessed at three time points, on day one and at three and six months.

At these three time points, black tea consumption resulted in 10 per cent lower rates of blood pressure variability at night time than the flavonoid free drink.

These effects were seen immediately on the first day of tea drinking and maintained over the six months.

The study team believe coffee boosts the effects of the drug.

As the caffeine content of the two beverages was the same, the improvement in blood pressure variability would appear to be the result of a black tea component other than caffeine, says a report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

This is likely to be the flavonoid content, say the researchers, whose previous work found drinking three cups of tea daily led to a cut in blood pressure of between two and three mm HG.

Although black tea was drunk in the study, other research suggests adding milk does not affect the benefits.

Dr Tim Bond, from the industry-backed Tea Advisory Panel, said `High blood pressure is a well-recognised risk factor for cardiovascular and total mortality. Traditionally the level of blood pressure has been equated with risk but the variability of blood pressure is now also thought to contribute to risk.

`Black tea and its constituent flavonoids are increasingly associated with improvement in blood pressure and cardiovascular health. The regular consumption of black tea has been shown to lower blood pressure.

`With its flavonoids, black tea packs a powerful punch with many health benefits particularly for the heart and recent studies show the flavonoids work their magic whether or not we choose to add milk. Drinking four or more cups of black tea each day is quite simply very good for us.'

SOURCE

Friday, April 26, 2013

Churchill Bank Note Announced




(London, England) A new British bank note honoring wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill was announced today. It will be issued in 2016.
Georgia Woman Accused of Molesting Two Girls

(Gwinnett County, Georgia) A 25-year-old local woman, Jessica Head, has been arrested for allegedly molesting two young girls. Uncooperative and belligerent, Head told police, "I am a gay man trapped in a woman’s body.”

Head faces counts of child molestation of girls aged 10 and 12.
She was spending the night in the victims’ home following a night of drinking with the girls’ older brother.

The siblings were reportedly sleeping in the same bed when Head left the couch to slip into their bed and climb on top of the 10-year-old victim and move her pelvis back and forth. The girl escaped, so Head then did the same thing to her 12-year-old sister. The older brother woke up and he force Head to go back to the living room.

She was getting out of bed when the children’s mother walked in and called the police.
Head was booked into custody with bail set at $11,400.
Colorado Teacher Gets 90 Days Jail in Sex Case - Update

(Colorado Springs, Colorado) Former teacher Terah Rawlings, 33, was sentenced yesterday to 90 days in jail and 10 years to life on sex offender intensive supervised probation.

* * * * *

Colorado Teacher Guilty in Sex Case - Update
[Previous 2/1/13 post]
(Colorado Springs, Colorado)
A teacher accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old student has pleaded guilty to sexual assault.

Terah Rawlings entered the guilty plea during a pre-trial readiness conference Thursday. Her trial was scheduled for February 4.

Rawlings was arrested in November 2011 on allegations that she had sex with a student numerous times between fall of 2007 and summer of 2008. The student was a sophomore at Hilltop Baptist School, where Rawlings taught, when the sexual encounters first started.
Rawlings is scheduled to be sentenced on April 25.

* * * * *

Colorado Teacher Accused in Sex Case
[Previous 11/18/11 post]
(Colorado Springs, Colorado) Terah Allyn Rawlings, a 32-year-old teacher formerly at the now-closed Hilltop Baptist School, has been accused of engaging in repeated episodes of sex with a 15-year-old boy during 2007.

Rawlings faces multiple counts of sexual assault by a person in a position of trust and promotion of obscenity. Three other individuals have also been accused in the case for failing to report child abuse.
[Terah Allyn Rawlings] is the daughter of Raymond Allen Knight, the Associate Pastor of Hilltop Baptist Church and the former Athletic Director of Hilltop Baptist School.

In addition, she is the niece of Wayne Knight, the Senior Pastor of Hilltop Baptist Church and the former Superintendent of Hilltop Baptist School.

Jan Ocvirk is the former principal of Hilltop Baptist School.
Rawlings was booked into custody and released on $25,000 bond.
Outsourcing Jury Duty?

(Sacramento, California)
The California Assembly passed a bill on Thursday that would make the state the first in the nation to allow non-citizens who are in the country legally to serve on jury duty.

Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, said his bill, AB1401, would help California widen the pool of prospective jurors and help integrate immigrants into the community.
So, it's conceivable that a defendant could be convicted in a U.S. court by a jury comprised entirely of foreign nationals.

Offhand, this idea seems ludicrous. But it's California, arguably ground-zero for entertaining politics.
Florida Teacher Busted for Cocaine

(Clay County, Florida) A 23-year-old fifth-grade math teacher at Plantation Oaks Elementary School, Ashlea Eucker, has been accused of possessing cocaine at school during school hours.

Eucker was arrested on charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Eucker was very upset while at school Wednesday due to a personal issue and was meeting with Principal Lee Oliver, the assistant principal and Guidance Counselor Priscilla Dobson.

Oliver suggested Eucker take the rest of the day off and not go back to the classroom. When Dobson went back to her room to get Eucker's purse, police say a small baggie containing a white powder was plainly visible in the unzipped purse along with a straw.
Details on booking are unavailable.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

ANZAC Day



Today is a high holiday down under.
ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day is the anniversary of the landing of troops from Australia and New Zealand on the Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey, in World War I on April 25, 1915.

The bravery of all military personnel who participated in this campaign and the lives of those who died in all military actions are remembered.
Saluting those who have served.
California Teacher Gets No Jail for Inappropriate Conduct - Update

(Sacramento, California) In accordance with a plea agreement, English and drama teacher at Inderkum High School, Rebekah Lee Cyr, pleaded no contest to inappropriate conduct with a 17-year-old male student.
She was arrested in October 2012 and charged with annoying or molesting a child under 18 and making annoying phone calls, both misdemeanors.

On April 18, the molestation charge was dismissed when Cyr pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor charge of making annoying phone calls without disclosing her identity, according to Sacramento County District Attorney’s spokesperson Shelly Orio.

Cyr registered as a sex offender as a term of her 5-year grant of formal probation, Orio added.
Reportedly, Cyr will have resigned her teaching position by week's end.

* * * * *

California Teacher Accused of Inappropriate Conduct
[Previous 10/12/12 post]
(Sacramento, California) A 33-year-old English teacher at Inderkum High School, Rebekah Cyr, has been accused of inappropriate conduct with a 17-year-old male student.

Cyr faces misdemeanor charges of annoying or molesting a child and making annoying phone calls.
On Sept. 12 the Sacramento Police Dept. launched an investigation into allegations Cyr acted inappropriately toward a 17-year-old male student at Inderkum High School. Allegations were that Cyr made inappropriate advances and had unwanted communication with the victim.

Cyr was immediately placed on paid administrative leave while Natomas Unified School District officials and police investigated. Sex assault and child abuse investigators were assigned to the case.

On Oct. 10, investigator's findings were forwarded to the Sacramento County District Attorney's office and two misdemeanor warrants issued for Cyr's arrest.
Cyr was booked into custody at the Sacramento County Jail.
Preventing Accidental Incest

(Reykjavík, Iceland) With a relatively small population and a uniquely confusing method of passing on family names, Iceland is susceptible to accidental incest. Consequently, an "incest prevention" app has been created.
The app allows users to bump their phones together and instantly find out whether or not they are related.

“Bump in the app before you bump in bed,” is the totally awesome tag line for the new product, created by a group of Software Engineering students at the University of Iceland named Sad Engineer Studios.

Sleeping with a relative is more of an issue in Iceland than most other territories due to the country’s small size—Iceland has just 320,000 residents, compared with more than 300 million people in the U.S.—as well as the lack of immigration and the peculiar way that surnames are constructed in the country.

Your surname is not passed down through the generations as it is in most Western cultures. Instead, your surname is your mother or father’s first name, with the word “son” or “dottir” suffixed.
Heh.
The motivations of the Boston bombers were both  Leftist and Islamic

Ever wondered why the 9/11 bombers and many other Muslim terrorists were Western-educated?  It's because the combination of the anti-Americanism they get from Western educators (including Leftist American educators) and the violence preached by Islam  make an explosive mix.  Read the Koran (start with Surah 9) if you think Islam is a religion of peace.  the Koran is full of hatred towards non-Muslims and exhortations to kill or oppress them. So it was the same old same old with the Boston bombers.  Kent Clizbe sets out the evidence below

 The Boston Marathon massacre was carried out by two Caucasian Muslim brothers, one an American citizen, pot-smoking Obama voter, the other likely a green card holder. In the aftermath, the Politically Correct Progressive (PC-Prog) media and commentators are all flabbergasted. They wondered what could be the terrorists’ motivations. Over and over, the media reported, “Dzhokhor was a normal American kid.”  President Obama, our PC-Prog leader, said, "One thing we do know is that whatever hateful agenda drove these men to such heinous acts will not — cannot — prevail."

The media probably do not even realize how close they are to the truth—Dzhokhor is a normal American kid. Raised on anti-American messages from the media, from their high school, at their university, and from Hollywood, normal American kids are bombarded with a national self-loathing designed to destroy America’s exceptional culture and values.

Although my books, Willing Accomplices and Obliterating Exceptionalism detail the origins of this suicidal hatred of America, the Boston bombers are the clearest example yet of the power of this message to destroy the lives of Americans.

It seems likely that the older brother, Tamerlan, was the driving force behind the two Tsarnaev brothers’ terrorism. It appears that he was a follower of a Lebanese-Australian extremist cleric. This Muslim preacher’s messages of hatred for Western culture were prominent on Tamerlan’s Youtube playlists.

It appears that Tamerlan recently spent six months overseas. In Russia? Or did he travel elsewhere? Did he go to Chechnya? Did he spend time in what appears to be his homeland, Dagestan, where his father lives now? Who did he meet there? What did he do there?

Dagestan and Chechnya are hotbeds of Islamic terrorism. Chechen terrorists are active around the Middle East, Afghanistan, and North Africa. Wherever there is a jihadi war, it is likely you’ll find Chechens fighting there.

We do know that Tamerlan returned “from Russia,” in the summer of 2012. His brother would have been out of high school (more about that later) for about a year. His return was about nine months before the Marathon bombing.

If Tamerlan trained on bombing and attack techniques (a couple months of intensive training is the minimum for a mujahidin terrorist), he could have returned to Boston with the attack plan fully laid out. He would have the skills required to make the bombs. He would have likely already have identified the target. And he would have the techniques required to carry out the attacks. All that would be missing was the materials to make the bombs, and an accomplice.

So, in this scenario, we have a committed, trained Islamic terrorist ready to carry out his attack. What pool will he draw from to recruit his accomplice?

Why, his “average American” brother, Dzhokhor. With his American-accented English, the younger brother graduated from the celebrated (Matt Damon went here!) Boston high school, Cambridge Rindges and Latin School (CRLS), about the same time Tamerlan was probably contemplating terrorist training.

Now we get to the interesting part. A graduate of CRLS has had years of anti-American claptrap crammed down his throat. Instead of, “Why would a normal American kid do this?” a better question is, “Why don’t all CRLS graduates become anti-American terrorists?”

PC-Prog media widely quoted a retired CRLS history teacher, Larry Aaronson’s shocked reminiscences about Dzhokhor. Aaronson told The Boston Globe, “This is a progressive town, the People's Republic, and how could this be in our midst?" Larry Aaronson, a longtime Rindge and Latin teacher who knew Dzhokhor and who lives three doors down from the brothers on Norfolk Street. "I'm at a loss. I'm at a total and complete loss."

Well, Larry, let’s start with your own handiwork. Aaronson is an acolyte of the raving PC-Prog, traditional-America-hating deceased “revisionist historian,” Howard Zinn. Zinn was a PC-Prog darling. Zinn claimed that his eyes were opened to racist, imperialist horror that is America by the KGB covert influence agent, I.F. Stone.

Aaronson (third from left in the photo at left), who retired in 2007, used to brag to anyone who would listenthat he had taught Zinn’s textbook to CLRS students since the beginning of his career in 1981. In 2008, Aaronson started Social Justice Works! The Larry Aaronson Fund, in an evident attempt to cash in on his Zinn-Damon connections.

Aaronson proudly related how his students at CLRS had included Matt Damon and Damon’s brother. He proudly told how the Damon boys were taken with the anti-American history of Zinn. Larry, in an homage to Zinn on his death in 2008, started with this quote, “You wanna read a really good American History book? Read Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States. It will knock your socks off!” -Will Hunting (Matt Damon), Good Will Hunting

If you don’t know Zinn’s handiwork, here’s a sample of his writing in The Progressive. In detailing the idiocy of America’s belief that we are exceptional, Zinn’s contempt for America and its citizens fairly drips from each word, “The deeply ingrained belief--no, not from birth but from the educational system and from our culture in general that the United States is an especially virtuous nation makes us especially vulnerable to government deception. It starts early, in the first grade, when we are compelled to "pledge allegiance" (before we even know what that means), forced to proclaim that we are a nation with "liberty and justice for all.

“And then come the countless ceremonies, whether at the ballpark or elsewhere, where we are expected to stand and bow our heads during the singing of the "Star-Spangled Banner," announcing that we are "the land of the free and the home of the brave." There is also the unofficial national anthem "God Bless America," and you are looked on with suspicion if you ask why we would expect God to single out this one nation--just 5 percent of the world's population--for his or her blessing.”

Aaronson boasted that parents called him to say that their kids were talking about, “that “bastard Christopher Columbus… and his genocide, and how we have to question our history books and re-examine the evidence.” The CRLS teacher continued, “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

With that back-story illuminated, let’s return to the PC-Prog media’s puzzling over “What could the Tsarnaev boys’ motive possibly be?”

After the Marathon massacre, the media quoted the Zinn-acolyte Aaronson in its stories about the terrorist mass murderer. Aaronson was “utterly shocked by the news.” The media reported that, “Aaronson taught social studies at Cambridge Rindge and Latin, where Dzhokhor was a student.” The media reports continued, “Dzhokhor also lives just about three houses down from Aaronson’s condo, so they would talk from time to time after Dzhokhor's graduation in 2011.

“I will say to you and to anyone who asks me,” Aaronson told WBUR’s David Boeri outside his home in Cambridge on Friday morning, “he had a heart of gold, he was a sweetheart, he was gracious, he was caring, he was compassionate.”  [That shows how good is the judgment of Mr. Leftist Aaronson]

 ABC, CBS, USA Today, NY Times, CNN all carried versions of Aaronson’s comments about “how normal” Dzhokhor, his neighbor and student was. None of the PC-Prog media provided any other background on Aaronson and his brainwashing of students at CRLS with Zinn’s history.

The Aaronson-Dzhokhor “reporting” by the PC-Prog media brings together the three PC-Prog transmission belts of American culture—education/academia, Hollywood, and the media. All three are dedicated to destroying traditional-American culture. The media reports studiously ignore the connection between Dzhokhor's anti-American lessons taught by a “social justice” weenie (Aaronson) from a book by a follower (Zinn) of a KGB covert influence agent (I.F. Stone) slyly celebrated in a Hollywood product (Matt Damon’s Good Will Hunting).

Islamic terrorism was the force that planted the bombs in Boston. PC-Progressive hatred of American exceptionalism was the motivation behind that force.

We need to let the media and Obama know: We know what hateful agenda drove Dzhokhor. It has infected our media, schools, and Hollywood for nearly 80 years. When it destroyed normal-American culture, the way was cleared for opportunistic infections to take advantage of our weakened national immune system. Islamic extremism is the most violent. But look at others gathering momentum in their destructive power—Militant environmentalists, militant homosexuals, militant anti-capitalists, militant Islamic Extremists, militant anti-war activists, militant race-baiters. All hate normal-America. All call for extreme changes to America.

This is the challenge. We conservatives must realize that PC-Progs are not “for” militant Islamic Extremists—they are simply for anything that is anti-normal-America. When the logical outcome of the PC-Prog’s constant anti-American messages throughout the culture occurs—violent acting out against normal-America, in this case marathon runners—the PC-Progs claim shock and surprise.

It’s time for the chickens to come home to roost. PC-Progs must accept the results of their decades of anti-American messages. We know Dzhokhor's motivations. I agree fully with Obama. This “hateful agenda…will not — cannot — prevail.” Now let’s rebuild our country.

SOURCE


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

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Border Fee Proposed



Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano seeks to tax Canadians entering the US.
The U.S. government is proposing to charge a new fee for every vehicle or pedestrian crossing the U.S.-Canada border — an idea that has prompted fierce objections from New York lawmakers who claim the levy would stifle transboundary commerce and undermine recent efforts to ease the flow of people and goods between the two countries.
Arguably, the Obama administration only has ideas which are impediments to business and economic growth. Just tax and spend.
Naked Texas Babe Enters Stranger's Home

(Weatherford, Texas) A 25-year-old local woman, Sara Elizabeth Soto, has been accused of getting naked and entering a stranger's home through a doggy door. She was found sitting naked in the bathtub.

Soto faces counts of misdemeanor criminal trespass and criminal mischief.
A woman living at the home told police that her husband heard a noise, got up and found the doggy door damaged.

Because they don’t have a dog, the couple assumed an animal had gotten in the house, according to the probable cause affidavit. However, they then observed an unknown woman in the bathroom.
Soto was booked into custody at the Parker County Jail with bond set at $4,000.

Offhand, I suspect I would be more accommodating in similar circumstances and not involve the police. Instead, I would probably offer her a refreshing beverage and a bit of engaging conversation. It's just my nature to be charitable and giving.
Nicene Creed for Environmentalism

Every religion needs a creed. A set of beliefs that its followers can adhere to. A flag they can rally around in good times and bad.

An early example is the Nicene Creed, drafted in the fourth century to explain exactly what Christians believed.

With the coming of Earth Day, Americans are reminded once again that modern environmentalism has morphed into a religion. For example, we can expect to be reminded that today’s cold weather and floods are caused by “climate change,” the exact same phenomenon that supposedly caused last year’s hot weather and droughts.

So to help environmentalist believers focus, it’s time for them to have their own Nicene Creed. Feel free to read it at Earth Day celebrations, or any appropriate worship services:

"We believe in one Planet, Mother of us all: the Earth, fragile and endangered by pollution,  both seen and unseen.

We believe in one agency, the EPA,  the only thing standing between us and oblivion,  created by Washington to protect us, its god-like rulings must never be questioned, we understand its decisions are begotten, not made.

EPA is of one with the Father, the federal government. Through it all things were made, for us and for our salvation.

EPA hands down judgments as if from heaven: It was given power by Richard Nixon, has grown inexorably, and now has the ability to make men bend to its will.

EPA was crucified under George W. Bush; it suffered greatly but soldiered on.  And now has arisen again to write new regulations which must be treated as Scripture;

Under Barack Obama, EPA has ascended to new heights and is seated at the right hand of the Father, the federal government.

It will never cease attempting to judge people and companies, whether living or dead, and its kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Planet, the Earth, the giver of life, which may soon be completely destroyed by man-caused global warming.

Through the Father, the federal government, and the Son, the EPA, Earth is worshiped and glorified.

It has spoken through the Prophet, Rachel Carson.

We believe in climate change, regardless of what the evidence may show.

We acknowledge that humans are the source of all environmental sins.

We look for redemption thorough recycling,

And look forward to a completely regulated life to come.

Amen."

SOURCE


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

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Florida 'Rolls Back' Education Standards

(Tallahassee, Florida) Gov. Rick Scott has signed legislation which "rolls back" graduation standards for Florida students.
Under the new law, middle and high school students are no longer required to pass end-of-course (EOC) exams in any subject except Algebra I.

For the other subject area EOCs, the score they receive will simply count as 30 percent of their grade and will no longer impact whether or not they can progress from one grade to the next or graduate.

Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, said that while the law does change educational paths for students, it doesn’t eliminate the state’s emphasis on increasing the rigor.
In any event, attaining the reduced standards will be more rigorously pursued. ???
France Legalizes Homosexual Marriage



French Gay Marriage Protesters

(Paris, France)
France made history on Tuesday when it became the 14th country to vote gay marriage into law. As supporters of the bill celebrated opponents vowed to continue their protests. French riot police were out in force on Tuesday night.

France's lower house National Assembly on Tuesday adopted a bill legalising same-sex marriages and adoptions for gay couples, defying months of opposition protests.

In its second and final reading, a majority of lawmakers approved the bill by a vote of 331 to 225.

"After 136 hours and 46 minutes of debate, Parliament has adopted the law opening marriage to same-sex couples," the Socialist speaker of the Assembly, Claude Bartolone, said after the vote.
The public outburst against same-sex marriage caught many, including French President Hollande, completely by surprise.
"They're opening a Pandora's box," says Alain Escada, the head of the fundamentalist Christian group Civitas. "The next thing they will want three-way or four-way marriages," blasted the archbishop of Lyon, Philippe Barbarin. "And then the ban on incest will be dropped."

"Who would then, in the name of the sacrosanctness of love, still be able to convey that sex with animals or polyandry are wrongful," asked the umbrella organization of Muslims in France. Finally, Frigide Barjot, the acid-tongued self-appointed icon of the anti-gay marriage movement, declared, "If Hollande wants blood, then he will get it." The activist later retracted her statement.
Metaphorically, the opening of Pandora's box is fitting. The issue is arguably nowhere close to being resolved. Expect violence.
Florida Woman, 29, and Boy, 15

(Holiday, Florida) A 29-year-old local woman, Tatiana Fonseca, has been arrested for allegedly engaging in sex with a 15-year-old boy.

Fonseca faces a charge of lewd and lascivious molestation.

The boy's stepmother alerted authorities after finding four sexually explicit videos on the youngster's cell phone.
The videos were time stamped dating back to late September, when the boy was 15. The most recent video was from March 11, the sheriff's report said.
Fonseca was booked into custody at the Land O'Lakes Jail and released on $10,000 bail.
Glorious Lenin's birthday Earth Day, comrades

From Oleg the Armenian



A day of action to save the earth from farmers, ranchers, mining, timber, oil, chemical companies, and anyone else who seeks to utilize the planet's resources to enhance, enrich, and extend the lives of people worldwide.

Characterized by the media's massive awareness drive to (a) remind the world that U.S. capitalists are raping the earth, stealing its riches, and causing environmental problems; (b) advocate a greater government control of land, resources, and industries; and (c) increase the ever growing white male guilt levels. A great way to hijack spring cleaning and politicize the rebirth of nature.



SOURCE


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).
Alabama Educator Busted for Meth Lab

(Loxley, Alabama) A 52-year-old special education teacher's aide at Magnolia School, Lynda Rigsby, has been accused of making and possessing methamphetamine. An alleged co-conspirator, Steven East, 29, has also been implicated.

Rigsby and East face multiple drug manufacturing and possession charges.
Narcotics officers serving a warrant discovered an active methamphetamine lab and finished product.

A child who was present inside the home during the arrests is being cared for by family members.

Baldwin County School's Communication's Director, Terry Wilhite, confirmed that Rigsby is a special aide who assists teachers who work with special education children.
Rigsby and East were booked into custody at the Baldwin County Corrections Center.
Vermont Teacher Accused of Embezzlement

(Richford, Vermont) A 35-year-old first-grade teacher at Richford Elementary School, Shawna Steinhour, has been accused of felony embezzlement of $3,500 from the Richford Parent Teacher Organization.

The embezzlement allegedly occurred from October 2011 to March 2012.
Franklin Northeast School Superintendent Jay Nichols told The Burlington Free Press that Steinhour will be on an indefinite paid leave from the school while the matter is being investigated.
An appearance in Vermont Superior Court has been scheduled for May 20.
Terrorist Plot Targets Canadian Passenger Train




(Toronto, Canada)
Police say they have arrested two men accused of conspiring to carry out an "al-Qaeda supported" attack targeting a Via passenger train in the Greater Toronto Area, following a cross-border investigation that involved Canadian and American law enforcement.

In a press conference that followed a report by CBC's Greg Weston, police named the two accused as Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, of Montreal, and Raed Jaser, 35, from Toronto.

They have been charged with conspiracy to carry out a terrorist attack and "conspiring to murder persons unknown for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a terrorist group."

RCMP officials said the two accused were plotting to derail a passenger train.
The scheme was thwarted by efforts of Canadian law enforcement agencies, the FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Richie Havens b.1941 - d.2013



Richie Havens at Woodstock 1969


(Jersey City, New Jersey) Singer and guitarist Richard P. "Richie" Havens died today from a heart attack at his home in Jersey City. He was 72.
Bummer: According to Al Gore, we now have only three years "to avert a major [CO2-induced] catastrophe that could send our entire planet’s climate system into a tail-spin of epic destruction"

No sign of it yet but that's prophecy for you

    [2006] "Humanity is sitting on a time bomb. If the vast majority of the world’s scientists are right, we have just 10 years to avert a major catastrophe that could send our entire planet’s climate system into a tail-spin of epic destruction . . ."

    This quote, spoken by Al Gore in his movie, “An Inconvenient Truth,” embodies the fear that is driving the modern environmental movement.

SOURCE


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).
Rehab for Al-Qaeda Terrorists



(Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)
Authorities in Saudi Arabia have opened a luxury resort for jailed Al-Qaeda militants as part of the Gulf kingdom’s plan to turn its citizens away from jihadist activities.

The rehabilitation centre, which features spa treatments, pool tables and a swimming pool, has been opened just outside the capital Riyadh and can accommodate 228 prisoners, AFP reported.

The complex, and others like it, is the work of the Prince Mohammed bin Nayef centre for Counselling and Care, a body setup seven years ago during Saudi’s crackdown on Al-Qaeda militants.

"Just under 3,000 [Islamist prisoners] will have to go through one of these centers before they can be released," interior ministry spokesman General Mansur al-Turki told AFP during a tour of the facility.

The centre’s rehabilitation programme includes seminars on religious affairs designed to steer detainees away from extremism, and will reward inmates’ good behaviour with visits from their wives.

"In order to fight terrorism, we must give them an intellectual and psychological balance... through dialogue and persuasion," added director of the rehabilitation centre Said al-Bishi.
Frankly, I could not be more skeptical. Mind-numbed religious fanatics are not candidates for rehabilitation.
China Confirms More Avian Flu Deaths



Distribution of H7N9 Cases

(Beijing, China)
During the 24-hour period ending at 4 p.m. on Sunday, China confirmed six new cases of human H7N9 avian influenza, including five in Zhejiang and one in Jiangsu.

The National Health and Family Planning Commission said in its daily update on H7N9 cases that a total of 102 H7N9 cases have been reported in China, including 20 that have ended in death.

Of the total, 12 H7N9 patients have been discharged from hospitals after receiving treatment, and the other 70 patients are being treated in designated hospitals, according to the commission.

A total of 33 cases, including 11 that have ended in death, have been reported in Shanghai. Twenty-four cases, including three deaths, have been reported in Jiangsu Province, and 38 cases, including five deaths, in Zhejiang Province. Anhui Province has reported three cases, with one ending in death. Beijing has reported one case and three have been reported in Henan Province.
According to Chinese authorities, H7N9 cases are isolated to a lot of places and a lot of people.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Analysis finds planetary harmonics control solar activity and subsequent climate change

A new post at ClimateMonitor.it by Carlo Tosti demonstrates that  the global temperature record since 1880 is highly correlated to solar activity, and that solar activity is in turn highly correlated to the harmonics of planetary motion.

These correlations and accumulating evidence of an amplified solar effect on Earth's climate would tend to suggest a "unified theory" of climate change, whereby gravitational effects from planetary motions cause small changes in solar activity, which are then amplified via cosmic rays/clouds [Svensmark's theory of cosmoclimatology], ozone, and ocean oscillations to cause large changes in Earth's climate.


Blue = global temperature; red = solar activity

SOURCE
Internet Stupidity




(Washington, D.C.)
The Czech ambassador to the United States has expressed concern over angry remarks in US social networks mistakenly aimed at his country in connection with a recent terrorist attack on the American soil.

Dozens of messages accusing the Czechs of terrorism and even calling for US retaliation against the Czech Republic appeared in the US segments of Twitter and Facebook on Friday after reports that the two suspects in Boston Marathon bombing had Chechen origins.

“As more information on the origin of the alleged perpetrators is coming to light, I am concerned to note in the social media a most unfortunate misunderstanding in this respect,” Ambassador Petr Gandalovič said in a statement on the Czech embassy’s website on Friday.[…]

“The Czech Republic and Chechnya are two very different entities - the Czech Republic is a Central European country; Chechnya is a part of the Russian Federation,” Gandalovič pointed out.

The two countries are about 2,730 kilometers (1,700 miles) apart.
Geography is hard.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Richard Wagner's Jewish Friends

Something people do not normally expect is that people's attitudes often are quite out of line with their actual behavior.  Psychologists have known of the "Attitude/behavior discrepancy" since the 1930s and it is particularly seen in anything to do with race relations.

Going further back -- into the 19th century -- we also see there some curious combinations.  The communist Karl Marx was furiously antisemitic, even though he was himself Jewish!  His essay, "Zur Judentum", is well known in that connection but his hate of Jews  emerges powerfully in his correspondence with Engels too.

And the man who coined the term "antisemitism" (he thought it was a good thing) -- The German Leftist Wilhem Marr -- three times married Jewish ladies, despite his furious antisemitism.

And the article below details a similar disjunction between the attitudes and behavior of composer Richard Wagner.

So what do we conclude from that?  In a word: caution about generalizing.  And no-one generalizes like Leftists.  Their scattergun accusations of all sorts of things being racist are simply empty-headed.

What I conclude is that it is only behaviour that matters. Words are just not useful as predictors of evil deeds.  So it is only a person who does actual harm to another person solely because of that person's race who is a real racist.  It is deeds, not words, that count.  Judging by his deeds, Wagner was actually philosemitic, rather than antisemitic


Richard Wagner, the 19th Century German composer of opera, has long been noted for his strident expressions of anti-Semitism. The most opprobrious of these has been his infamous Judaism in Music, an essay published in 1850 at the age of 37. Apart from the racist tone, it states in essence that Jews were capable of neither creating nor appreciating great art. It is with justification that he is today deemed a racist, thorough and through, with the bulk of his contempt directed at the Jews as a sub-population in his native German land.

Little noted by modern writers however is the fact that his racism seems exactly the opposite of the modern variety. Post Hitler almost no one admits to harboring such tendencies, even the many exhibiting obvious racial or religious prejudice in their daily lives. It was the opposite with Wagner. He expressed in speech and writing his overt animosity toward many groups, most explicitly toward the Jews, whom he seemed to target as a group, like some amorphous entity. Strange to say, but a fact nonetheless, in his dealings with individuals, he judged by only one attribute, namely whether the individual supported him in his life’s work, or opposed him. What ultimately mattered to him was not race or religion, but the realization of his artistic goals, his concept of art. Good and bad, right and wrong, were judged by that one criterion. With many of his close associates, including many Jews, he developed warm, close, and empathetic relationships.

Much more here


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