Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Women With Troubles - April 2014

Here is a compilation of women with troubles reported in news stories during April 2014. 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) Elizabeth Danielle Hurst, 26,
convicted rapist - Accused of living too close to a school,

(AL) Lashondra Moore, 31,
teacher - Convicted of theft from insurance company. Gets probation,

(AL) LaTangela Williams,
teacher - Gets 14 months jail for sex with two students,

(CA) Annette Banda aka Annette Vink, 50,
neighbor - Accused of repeated sex with boy, 14,

(CA) Sheila Heacock, 44,
teacher - Accused of inappropriate relationship with male student, 16,

(CA) Ashley Renee Newton, 23,
neighbor - Accused of murdering her son, 7 months old,

(CO) Corvet Griffin, 23,
neighbor - Accused of hosting underage drinking party,

(CO) Cara Leann Holman, 30,
teacher - Accused of sending inappropriate messages to boy,

(DE) Stephanie Seabury, 22,
teacher - Accused of sex with male student, 13,

(DE) Jennifer J. Suarez, 37,
teacher - Accused of sex with male student,

(FL) Laura Maria Acevedo, 25,
child care worker - Accused of child abuse,

(FL) Cecilia Alvarez, 29,
coach/guidance counselor - Accused of improper relations with female student, 17,

(FL) Andrea Alvira, 19,
prostitute - Accused of murdering a customer,

(FL) Alexis Colson, 38,
neighbor - Gets 22 months prison for sex with boy, 16,

(FL) Amy Jane Daniels, 43,
teacher - Accused of DUI and possession of cocaine,

(FL) Jennifer Christine Fichter, 29,
teacher - Accused of engaging in sex with male student, 17,

(FL) Keesha Graham,
teacher - Arrested for burglary and disorderly intoxication,

(FL) Sandra Suarez, 41,
neighbor - Accused of criminal mischief,

(GA) Skyy Raven Marie Mims, 21,
model - Accused of murder,

(HI) Jean Paleracio, 33,
neighbor - Gets 20 years prison for child rape,

(IL) Chelsey Wheeler,
teacher - Accused of criminal sexual assault,

(IL) Jeri Wright, 48,
pastor's daughter - Convicted of money laundering,

(IN) Megan Brotherton, 32,
teacher - Accused of drunk driving and drug possession,

(IN) Kayla Skaggs, 24,
teacher - Accused of child seduction,

(KY) Elizabeth Alexander, 26,
teacher - Accused of kissing male student, 15,

(LA) Raven Senegal, 20,
neighbor - Accused of murdering infant daughter,

(MD) Lynette Trotta, 33,
teacher - Accused of sex with student,

(MI) Janet Brown, 34,
teacher - Gets 3 to 15 years prison for criminal sex with male student,

(MO) Carrie Njoroge, 30,
teacher - Accused of engaging in sex with student,

(MO) Janice L. Rusk, 43,
teacher's aide - Accused of sex with boy,16,

(MS) Nolana Griffin, 40,
teacher - Gets 15 years prison for sexual battery,

(NC) Caron Elizabeth Blanton, 34,
teacher - Accused of sending sexual videos to student,

(ND) Carrie Berg, 39,
neighbor - Gets four years in prison for sex assault of two boys,

(NJ) Roxanne Hewitt, 33,
neighbor - Accused of sex abuse of boy, 5,

(NV) Tanikka Queen, 22,
teacher - Guilty of sex with boy, 15. Sentencing TBD,

(NY) Elizabeth Baker, 25,
neighbor - Accused of prostitution,

(NY) Tracey Forman, 47,
teacher - Accused of DUI,

(NY) Amanda L. Matott, 24,
neighbor - Guilty of sex with boy, 13. Sentencing in July,

(NY) Brandi Schnakenberg, 25,
neighbor - Accused of sex with boy, 15,

(NY) Donna Sleap, 49,
art teacher - Accused of endangering the welfare of a child,

(OH) Autumn L. Alban Beaver, 29,
neighbor - Accused of sex with minor,

(OH) Mindy Taylor, 35,
neighbor - Accused of posing as cancer patient in scam to collect donations,

(OK) Brandy Katheryn Hanson, 35,
neighbor - Suspected of murder,

(OK) Julie Joylynne Jones, 34,
neighbor - Accused of sex assault,

(OK) Angel Eva Munoz, 24,
neighbor - Suspected of murder,

(OK) Jessica Parsons,
neighbor - Accused of sex assault,

(OR) Denise Keesee, 38,
teacher - Sentenced to 30 days jail for sex abuse of student,

(PA) Lisa Barnes, 45,
teacher - Accused of sex assault of boy in class,

(PA) Joyce Hawkins, 59,
neighbor - Accused of embezzlement,

(SC) Carole Ann Hope, 38,
teacher - Gets two years prison for sex with male student, 14,

(SC) Linda Warriner,
teacher's aide - Gets 3 years prison for unlawful conduct toward special needs child,

(TN) Alisha Lynn Cook, 43,
substitute teacher - Accused of assault for stapling students,

(TX) Judith Broughton, 49,
neighbor - Accused of stealing her dead father's social security checks,

(TX) Yesenia Estrada, 18,
neighbor - Accused of burglarizing a dollar store,

(TX) Beth Merritt, 41,
teacher's aide - Gets deferred sentence for sex with student,

(TX) Heather Lynn Miller, 46,
teacher - Accused of improper relations with boy, 14,

(TX) Saralyn Portwood, 30,
teacher - Accused of relations with boy, 17

(TX) Cristal Paulette Richardson, 29,
neighbor - Accused of murder,

(TX) Katie Alice Ripstra, 31,
nurse - Accused of injury to a child,

(TX) Felicia Smith, 42,
teacher - Accused of giving a lap dance to a student,

(TX) Dayna Velasquez, 21,
neighbor - Accused of cocaine possession,

(TX) Ellen Wermeling, 32,
school counselor - Accused of sex with student,

(UT) Teresa Lee Cope, 34,
boys ranch director - Accused of sex abuse of boy, 15,

(UT) Megan Huntsman, 39,
neighbor - Accused of killing several of her babies,

(UT) Courtney Louise Jarrell, 23,
teacher - Gets no punishment for sexual battery of female student, 17,

(UT) Liza-Anne Roberts, 28,
teacher - Guilty of trading explicit photos with a student. Sentencing TBD,

(VA) Kimberlee A. Dietz, 31,
school employee - Accused of inappropriate communication with boy, 11,

(WA) Courtney Keller, 29,
educator - Guilty of sexual misconduct with minor,

(WV) Amy Stickle, 38,
neighbor - Accused of sex with boy, 14,

(WY) Anna-Marie Andersen, 54,
teacher - Accused of sexual abuse of a minor,

(UK) Kelly Burgess, 26,
teacher - Gets suspended sentence for sex with boy, 16.

Thanks to the tipsters.

Russian Lawmakers Approve Internet Restrictions

(Moscow, Russia)
Russia's upper house of parliament on Tuesday approved a set of bills that apply new restrictions on the Internet and blogging, a move widely criticized by both pro-democracy activists and Russia's technology sector alike.

Critics of the draft laws affecting the Internet, which are expected to be signed by President Vladimir Putin soon and enforced in August, have expressed fear that the legislation is an attempt by Putin to silence opponents on the Internet.

The bill causing the most concern leaves bloggers subject to greater regulation and legal liability, equating them to media outlets.

This bill, which would require bloggers with 3,000 or more page visits per day to reveal their identities and abide by many of the same requirements as the mass media, is one of three bills in the package that impose control over the dissemination of information on the Internet and online payments and inflicts harsher punishment for terrorism and extremism.
Restricting Internet freedom is becoming more common.

Men Who Work Full-Time Earn Less Than 40 Years Ago

An ever expanding bureaucracy eats up all efficiency gains

 The real median income of American men who work full-time, year-round peaked forty years ago in 1973, according to data published by the U.S. Census Bureau.

In 1973, median earnings for men who worked full-time, year-round were $51,670 in inflation-adjusted 2012 dollars. The median earnings of men who work full-time year-round have never been that high again.

In 2012, the latest year for which the Census Bureau has published an estimate, the real median earnings of men who worked full-time, year-round was $49,398. That was $2,272—or about 4.4 percent—below the peak median earnings of $51,670 in 1973.

In 1960, the earliest year for which the Census Bureau has published this data, the median earnings for men who worked full-time, year-round were $36,420 in 2012 dollars. Between 1960 and 1973 that increased $15,250—or about 41.9 percent.


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

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Utah Boys Ranch Sex Case

(Salt Lake City, Utah) A 34-year-old former director at the Birdseye Boys Ranch, Teresa Lee Cope, has been accused of felony sex abuse of a 15-year-old boy.
Deputies arrested Cope last week.

She is out on bail, and has not yet been charged. It's unclear if Cope has an attorney.

[Sheriff] Cannon says they don't believe Cope abused any other boys, but they are investigating to make sure.

Officials with Heritage Youth Services, which owns the residential ranch, were not immediately available for comment.
The investigation continues.

Kentucky Teacher Faces Sex Charges

(Scott County, Kentucky) A 26-year-old teacher at Scott County High School, Elizabeth Alexander, has been accused of kissing a male student.

Alexander faces counts of sexual abuse and use of a minor in a sexual performance.
[O]fficials say she kissed a 15-year-old boy in a classroom and asked him to text her photos of his body, specifically his penis. Police say the boy did send the pictures.

The allegations were reported Tuesday morning around 8:30 a.m. Alexander was arrested around noon.
Details on booking not reported.

Oklahoma Sex Assault and Robbery Case

Julie Jones - Kevin Helton - Jessica Parsons

(Tulsa, Oklahoma)
Officers arrested Julie Joylynne Jones, 34, on Monday. They are also in the process of arresting a second woman, Jessica Parsons, and a man named Kevin Helton in connection to the alleged crimes.

Police said the incident occurred in a home in the 4900 block of South Cincinnati on March 1, 2014.

According to a police report, the victim went to the house to collect money for yard work she'd done earlier in the day. She told police two women attacked her, beating her and tying her wrists and ankles with extension cords.

She said the women then sexually assaulted her.

When the attack was over, the victim told police, the women stole her phone, ID, cash, jewelry and her 2000 Oldsmobile Alero.

She told police she recognized one of the attackers during the assault as Jones, a former friend.
Jones was booked into the Tulsa County Jail with bond set at $102,000. Helton and Parsons await arrest.

Pennsylvania Woman Accused of Embezzling $1 Million

Joyce Hawkins

(West Chester, Pennsylvania) A 59-year-old former senior employee at ModSpace, Joyce Hawkins, has been accused of embezzling over $1,000,000 from her employer.

Hawkins faces counts of felony theft, forgery, and related charges.
ModSpace is global supplier of both permanent and temporary modular construction, with corporate headquarters in Berwyn and Chester County.

According to a police report, she set up accounts and order payments from ModSpace to other businesses including a nonprofit organization registered in her name “Caring Hearts, LLC”.[…]

An investigation revealed Hawkins used the money she was stealing to support her lifestyle. She bought a vacation home in the Chesapeake Bay area. She kept two boats at the vacation home, including a recently purchased $19,000 boat. In 2013, she received more than $200,000 in compensation from her employer. The money that she stole was in addition to her legitimate earnings.
Details on booking are unavailable.

Is the Pope a heretic?

Francis has recently tweeted:  "Inequality is the root of social evil".

But the Bible says love of silver (money -- "philarguria" in the original Greek) is the root of all evil (1 Tim. 6:10).

Wanting equality seems to me to be an obsession with wealth  -- exactly what Paul counselled Timothy against.


Did Francis get something else wrong?

Monday, April 28, 2014

California Mom Accused of Killing Infant Son

Ashley Renee Newton

(Alameda County, California) A 23-year-old local woman, Ashley Renee Newton, has been accused of murder after she allegedly stabbed her 7-month-old son to death.
Newton drove to Del Valle Regional Park and apparently ran her Honda Civic into various objects before abandoning the car near the dead-end of Arroyo Road in front of Camp Arroyo about 10:30 a.m. Saturday, according to Chief Timothy Anderson of the East Bay Regional Park District Police Department.

Officers, responding to reports of the crash, found the car with its engine running and damage to its front and back ends, but no one was found inside. An empty child seat was in the car, Anderson said.[…]

Shortly after noon, while preparing to tow the Honda, officers spotted Newton walking with a baby in her arms. Police realized that the baby wasn't moving, and officers, including off-duty Livermore Police Chief Michael Harris, immediately performed CPR, Anderson said. But paramedics pronounced the infant dead from stab wounds, authorities said.

"Officers arrested the woman after she made statements implicating herself as being responsible for stabbing the baby," Anderson said.
Details on booking not reported.

Indiana Teacher Accused of DUI, Drugs

Megan Brotherton

(Indianapolis, Indiana) A 32-year-old first-grade teacher at Pleasant Run Elementary School, Megan Brotherton, has been accused of drunk driving, public intoxication, possessing marijuana, dealing marijuana and leaving the scene of a crash involving injury.
Officers stopped Brotherton in the 3600 block of East 46th Street after she tried to leave the scene, and found an open container of an alcoholic beverage in her car along with a "large amount of suspected marijuana," according to an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department report.

She also had additional drug-related items characterized as "paraphernalia," police said.

Brotherton agreed to have her blood drawn, police said, for a check of her blood-alcohol level.
Brotherton was booked into the Marion County Jail and released on $2,500 bond.

Texas Teacher Accused of Improper Relationship with Student

(Katy, Texas) A 46-year-old teacher at Katy Junior High School, Heather Lynn Miller, has been arrested for having an improper relationship with a student.
The district said Miller and the 14-year-old boy were found in her portable classroom by a Katy ISD police officer patrolling the campus.

Katy ISD officials said Miller, a social studies teacher, has been removed from the classroom and placed on administrative leave, pending a full investigation.

"The district takes this allegation very seriously and is fully cooperating with prosecutors," Katy ISD wrote in a letter sent to parents and staff. "Providing a safe and secure learning environment is and will continue to be our top priority, and we will always act swiftly when that is compromised. Likewise, we will continue to do everything we can to ensure the safety of our students."
Miller was booked and released on $50,000 bond.

Genetically-Modified Mosquitos Fight Dengue Fever

Aedes aegypti

(Brazil) Spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, dengue fever is a leading killer in tropical countries.
Now, with dengue endemic in three of the host cities for this summer’s World Cup, Brazilian health officials are trying a radical new approach — biotechnology. They’ve begun a two-year trial release of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that have been genetically modified.[…]

The new breed of Aedes aegypti has been given a lethal gene. The deadly flaw is kept in check in the lab, but the mosquitos soon die in the wild.

The strain, developed by the British company Oxitec, was the first genetically modified insect to be released in the wild — during small tests in 2010.
It's hoped that the male GM mosquitos will mate with wild females and produce offspring that will die before they can reproduce.

Sometimes good manners pay off

Lots of businesses try to get free advertising by posting their advertisements in the Comments facility of blogs.  Most bloggers delete such pseudo comments as soon as they see them.  So it is not a good strategy for the businesses concerned.  It is basically an attempt to steal publicity.

So I was amazed to receive the following email.  It was the first time in my 12 years of blogging I had seen an attempt to get publicity through a polite request.  I am sufficiently impressed by such rare decency that I am doing as he asked

"I operate a small website that sells conservative/libertarian posters and t-shirts. I work a 9-5, but run the site on evenings and weekends. I am struggling with generating traffic and sales. Would you be willing to link to my shop anywhere on your blog?"

The shop is Right Posters and it does have a very comprehensive range of posters available.  Go there and reward the man for his principled approach.  "Ask and it shall be given you" (Matt. 7:7).

Pakistani Serial Killer Wanted to Teach Gays a Lesson

(Lahore, Pakistan)
Short in stature and softly spoken, Pakistani paramedic Muhammed Ejaz was probably destined for a life of relative anonymity -- until he began killing gay men he met online.

The 28-year-old father-of-two was arrested last week and confessed to three brutal murders, saying he wanted to send out a message about the "evils" of homosexuality, though police insist he had sex with his victims first.

The killings have sent shockwaves through the underground gay community of the eastern city of Lahore, which fears Ejaz could be lionised as a hero in a conservative Islamic society where homosexuality is stigmatised and sodomy is punishable by up to 10 years in jail.

In an interview with AFP from his prison cell Sunday night, Ejaz, who sported a neat trimmed beard and was kept shackled, expressed remorse over the killings but said he was acting to stop wrongdoing.
Ejaz told investigators that he was the victim of sexual abuse by an older boy when he was around 10 years old and had led a deeply unhappy childhood.

German Court Bans Face Veils in School

(Bavaria, Germany)
A court in Bavaria has banned a school pupil from wearing a face veil during lessons, rejecting her argument that she had a constitutional right to do so.

The 18-year-old Muslim pupil had been shut out of lessons at a state run vocational college near Regensburg for refusing to remove her niqab, a garment which covers the hair and face leaving only the eyes visible.

She took the matter to court, arguing that the ban was a contravention of her constitutional right to religious expression.[…]

Judges found that the right of the state to educate took priority over the pupil's right to religious expression.
The court ruled that effective teachers need to be able to read facial expressions.

Intelligence Files Stolen

SECRET documents revealing gaps in US intelligence on Bahrain's political situation were stolen by an Arabic translator at the navy base in Juffair, it has been revealed.

Former linguist James Hitselberger was arrested in 2012 after being charged with removing classified documents from a workspace at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain.

He printed the documents off a classified computer, stuffed them in his backpack and tried to walk out of a secure work area, according to prosecutors.

It was even alleged that the 57-year-old would take military situation reports back to his sleeping quarters for examination later.
Hitselberger pleaded guilty to removing classified information without permission. He faces a maximum penalty of just one year in jail or a fine of up to $100,000.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Michigan Teacher Gets Prison for Sex with Student - Update

(Reed City, Michigan) Janet Brown, 34, was sentenced to between 3 and 15 years in prison in Osceola County Circuit Court for her conviction on counts of criminal sexual conduct in the third degree and fourth degree.

* * * * *

Michigan Teacher Convicted of Sex with Student - Update
[Previous 3/27/14 post]
(Osceola County, Michigan)
A former Osceola County teacher found guilty of having a sexual relationship with her student will be sentenced next month.

A jury found former Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District teacher Janet Brown guilty of two counts of criminal sexual conduct late Friday. Sentencing is scheduled for April 25.

Brown, 34, of Evart, was convicted of one count of third-degree and one count of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. She was found not guilty of two other counts of third-degree CSC.

The jury found Brown guilty of having a sexual relationship with a male student who attended the Ashmun School on the Eagle Village campus in Hersey. The school is run through the MOISD.

Osceola County 49th Circuit Court Judge Scott Hill-Kennedy has allowed Brown to remain free on bond until sentencing.
Brown could receive substantial prison time.

* * * * *

Michigan Teacher Accused of Sex with Student
[Previous 11/29/12 post]
(Osceola County, Michigan) A 32-year-old teacher at Mescosta-Osceola Intermediate School, Janet Brown, was arrested this week for alleged sex with a 16-year-old male student.

Brown faces three counts of criminal sexual conduct.
Police say Brown was working as a teacher at the Ashmun School on the Eagle Village Youth Detention Center's campus during the time of her alleged sexual relationship with a 16-year-old male student this fall.

The Ashmun School is a collaboration between the Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District and Eagle Village, which serves at-risk youth with counseling and residential treatment programs. Mecosta-Osceola teachers work full-time at Eagle Village, which is located southeast of Reed City.
Brown was booked and released on $5,000 bond.

NJ Woman Charged with Sex Assault of Boy, 5

(Englewood, New Jersey) A 33-year-old local woman, Roxanne Hewitt, has been accused of sexually abusing a 5-year-old boy.

According to Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli, Hewitt faces two counts of aggravated sexual assault and one count of child endangerment.
The boy’s mother contacted city police early Wednesday morning to report that Hewitt had sexually assaulted her son, Molinelli added. Authorities went to Hewitt’s home where they found her while the child was taken to Hackensack University Medical Center.

Molinelli said the boy detailed the sexual contact in an interview with police and prosecutor’s office detectives.
Hewitt was booked into custody at the Bergen County Jail with bail set at $200,000.
To hell with Archimedes! Melting iceberg to cause sea-level rise

The sheer scientific illiteracy of the story below is hard to beat.  Ever since Archimedes we have known that melting ice does NOT raise the water level.  And note that the breakoff is part of an Antarctic ice EXPANSION

NASA has reported an iceberg bigger than Chicago breaking into the ocean off Antarctica. Known as B31, it is one of the biggest on the planet at 255 square miles (660 sq km) and up to 500 metres thick.

NASA has been monitoring Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier by satellite since a crack was spotted in 2011.

It is feared it could adversely contribute to rising sea levels with the potential to increase water levels by 1.5 metres.

NASA glaciologist Kelly Brunt said: "It's one that's large enough that it warrants monitoring."

While the enormous iceberg is not located in a busy shipping area at the moment. Dr Bethan Davies, a research scientist at the University of Reading, said it could head into areas with more ships.

"It's floating off into the sea and will get caught up in the current and flow around the Antarctica continent where there are ships," she told Sky News.

In a statement released by NASA, Grant Bigg, from the University of Sheffield said: "The iceberg is now well out of Pine Island Bay and will soon join the more general flow in the Southern Ocean.

"We are doing some research on local ocean currents to try to explain the motion properly. It has been surprising how there have been periods of almost no motion, interspersed with rapid flow."


WHOOPS!  I read that a bit hastily.  The sea level rise was attributed to the glacier, not the iceberg.  Some headlines did however say:  "A TITANTIC iceberg that broke off a glacier last year is floating out of control in the Southern Ocean, threatening shipping lanes and raising sea levels."  That was the front page introduction to this report.  So there was indeed journalistic illiteracy at work in the matter

HMMM!  The Pine Island glacier appears to be partly land-based and partly afloat on Pine Island bay.  So when Warmists talk of it breaking off, it is presumably the floating part they are referring to.  And in that case my initial scorn is fully warranted.  The broken off Pine Island glacier would NOT cause a water rise  -- as it is already afloat.

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

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Pennsylvania Teacher Accused of Sex with Student

(Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania) A 45-year-old teacher at Blue Mountain Middle School, Lisa Barnes, has been accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy during class.
Lisa Barnes, 45, of Pottsville, is accused of inappropriately touching a 13-year-old boy at Blue Mountain Middle School in Orwigsburg.

The incident allegedly happened last month and is still under investigation.
Barnes has been placed on administrative leave from her teaching position.
The Exodus and Akhnaten

On several occasions I have suggested that the Israelites who fled Egypt might have been expelled or escaping devotees of Egypt's  monotheistic Akhnaten religion.  There is much that fits but the problem is that the Exodus story is quite unlike anything we know from Egyptian history.  Below is an account that shows the connection is possible  -- JR

The whole subject of the Exodus is embarrassing to archaeologists. The Exodus is so fundamental to us and our Jewish sources that it is embarrassing that there is no evidence outside of the Bible to support it. So we prefer not to talk about it, and hate to be asked about it.

However, there is another way of looking at it, another way of seeking support for this fundamental experience of our peoplehood.

We do not look for evidence from the biblical text, but we can look to it for the general context of a sojourn in, and an exodus from, Egypt, and there are three major elements.

The first is that the Israelites were slave workers in mudbrick. They had to manufacture the material and they were semi-skilled workers in laying the bricks. As there were thousands of Israelites, what projects were they working on? The pyramids and the temples were in stone, the mudbrick houses of the peasants were built by themselves, so what project needed hundreds of workers in mudbrick? Secondly, when the Israelites escaped, it was during a period of turmoil brought on by the magical plagues, a period when the Egyptians were off their guard and keen to see the slaves go as they wished into the desert.

When could that have been? And thirdly, the Israelites escaped into the desert and there built a most luxurious portable shrine to their God, to accompany them through their long desert trek and to house the Deity that would lead them and protect them on the way. It was to be made of fabulous materials, in hardwood and colored cloth with gold and copper trimmings, as described in detail in 16 chapters of the Torah.

How could all that have been manufactured and assembled in the arid Sinai wilderness? We should then ask, is there any period in Egyptian history when the conditions for these three elements could have come together and thus formed a basis for the context and account of the Exodus? And the answer here is “yes” – there was one such period.

It was around the death of the heretic Pharaoh Akhenaten, the one who decreed that all worship should be directed to the single god Aten, the disc of the sun, and all other gods should be downgraded to secondary rank. To impose his new religious order, Akhenaten closed the old cultic centers of Saqqara and Luxor, closed the temples there, disowned their priests and founded a new city, Akhetaten, called the Horizon of the Aten, on a prime site well away from the old centers.

TO IMPOSE the new rule, the city had to be built quickly, and it went up in the incredibly short time of two years, being built throughout in mudbrick, except for the temple and palace, which were in traditional stone.

How could it have been built so quickly? It was said to have employed thousands of slaves working under military taskmasters. It was the largest mudbrick project in Egyptian history and it required thousands of bricklayers and millions of bricks. It employed the army to supervise the slave workers and force them to work as fast as the Pharaoh demanded.

The new city was at El Amarna, on the east bank of the Nile, where there was plenty of soft mud for the bricks but little straw.

Thanks to slave labor, Akhenaten’s model city was built in record time, but it did not last long. After only 16 years, Akhenaten died, his reforms had been deeply unpopular and when he died, his new religion was abandoned, and so was his city. Akhenaten and his beautiful wife Nefertiti had had no son, only six daughters, and so it was one of the sons-inlaw who succeeded him: Tutankhamun, the famous boy king Tut.

He had the onerous task of restoring the old order, the old religion, the old gods and their priests, and he was under threat if he did not do so. The restitution stele says that the old gods would punish him if they were not given back their old rights and positions.

Hapi, the androgynous god of the Nile, would make its waters undrinkable; Kermit, the goddess of fertility, would release her frogspawn to swarm over the land; Osiris, the god of corn, would not prevent the locusts from consuming his cereals, and Ra, the sun god, would refuse to shine. Sound familiar? The laws of succession had already been altered, there was no firstborn son to succeed Akhenaten, only a daughter and son-in-law.

As the new city was abandoned, there was breakdown in law and order and the Israelite slaves saw their chance to escape. Like the other departing inhabitants they took with them any treasure they could lay their hands on. They “despoiled the Egyptians” (Exodus 12:36) and marched off with precious materials and above all the battle shrine of Tutankhamun.

Every Pharaoh had a portable battle shrine, to go with him into war, so he could consult the deity and look to it for guidance on the field. Tutankhamun did not go to war, as far as we know, but he had to be ready and he had a war chariot, as one was figured on his furniture, so he would have had a battle shrine as well, but none was found among the luxurious treasures of his tomb when it was uncovered by Howard Carter in 1922.

Where then was his battle shrine ? It had been taken away by the Israelites.

And what was its form? We can assume that it was similar to that of Ramesses the Great, whose battle shrine is depicted on the walls of his temple at Abu Simbel. It was a two-chamber movable building set in a large courtyard; the inner chamber was square and contained the ark of a deity protected by two winged birds, and the outer room was twice as large, for the worshipping priests.

That of Tutankhamun was taken by the fleeing Israelites and converted by artisans Bezalel and Oholiab, as instructed by Moses, to become the portable Mishkan or Tabernacle, that accompanied them through the wilderness and landed up at Shiloh, in Canaan. Thus it was made of the finest material, as was everything else that Tutankhamun left behind, including furniture with carrying poles and a golden chest surrounded by cherubim. Sound familiar?

THUS, AT the death of Akhenaten we have a situation in Egypt where the three major conditions of the Israelite account of the Exodus came together; the building of a vast mudbrick project; a period of unrest and turmoil when slaves could escape; and the foundation of the Mishkan in the shape of a luxury battle shrine. The date of the death of Akhenaten is placed at about 1330 BCE, and Tutankhamun came to the throne the same year.


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

Friday, April 25, 2014

Postal Workers Protest Outsourcing

(Concord, New Hampshire)
Postal workers in cities big and small protested in front of Staples stores on Thursday, objecting to the U.S. Postal Service's pilot program to open counters in stores, staffed with retail employees.

Rallies were planned at 50 locations in 27 states. In Concord, more than 100 boisterous workers donned bright blue shirts and lined a busy commercial road near a Staples store.

"Union busting, we say no," they chanted, "the Staples deal has got to go."

In New York, about 100 workers marched from the main office on Eighth Avenue to a Staples store about five blocks away, carrying signs and chanting, while in Washington, D.C., more than 200 people gathered at a Staples, drumming on buckets and holding signs that read: "Stop Staples. The US Mail is Not for Sale."
Reportedly, postal workers contend that outsourcing endangers the sanctity and security of the mail.

Tip: slwlion

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Colorado Teacher Accused of Sex Assault on Boy

(Conejos, Colorado) A 30-year-old substitute teacher at Centauri High School, Cara Leann Holman, has been accused of sending inappropriate messages to a 17-year-old boy.

Holman faces a charge of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust.
The Conejos County Sheriff's Office says it began investigating Holman after receiving a report from Centauri Principal Curt Wilson that Holman had been sending inappropriate text messages to a 17-year-old boy.

Deputy Matt Hinkley was assigned to the case and said that during his investigation, he learned that Holman had been seen going to the 17-year-old's work place in Antonito and leaving with him during his lunch hour.

The deputy alleges that Holman had sex with the teen just outside of the Antonito town limits.

The sheriff's office says that Holman also sent numerous inappropriate text messages to the student.
Holman was booked into custody with bond set at $20,000.

Measles Cases Increasing

Health alert:
Health officials are worried about recent U.S. measles outbreaks that so far have caused more illnesses than at the same point of any year since 1996.

Authorities say 129 cases in 13 states were reported by mid-April, the bulk of them in California and New York City.

Most were triggered by travelers who caught the virus abroad and spread it in the United States among unvaccinated people. Many of the travelers had been to the Philippines, where a recent measles epidemic has caused at least 20,000 illnesses.

The U.S. numbers remain relatively tiny, but officials are worried to see case counts growing.
Maybe it's time to think about restarting vaccination programs.

New Russian Law: Bloggers Must Register

The law introduces a new term: "Internet user called blogger."

Bloggers will be obliged to declare their family name and initials and e-mail address.

Those authors whose personal website or page in social networks has 3,000 visitors or more a day must have themselves registered on a special list and abide by restrictions applicable to the mass media.
Fines will be imposed for noncompliance.

"We do not recycle. We teach our daughter not to recycle"

This letter was sent by Steven Landsburg, professor of economics at the University of Rochester and the author of several popular books on the subject, to his daughter's teacher. It concerns the school's attempts to indoctrinate the girl in environmentalism. The letter forms part of an article by Landsburg in which he discusses the need for pluralism and respect for those with different views, noting how these environmentalists seem to fail on both counts.

Dear Rebecca:

When we lived in Colorado, Cayley was the only Jewish child in her class. There were also a few Moslems. Occasionally, and especially around Christmas time, the teachers forgot about this diversity and made remarks that were appropriate only for the Christian children. These remarks came rarely, and were easily counteracted at home with explanations that different people believe different things, so we chose not to say anything at first. We changed our minds when we overheard a teacher telling a group of children that if Santa didn't come to your house, it meant you were a very bad child; this was within earshot of an Islamic child who certainly was not going to get a visit from Santa. At that point, we decided to share our concerns with the teachers. They were genuinely apologetic and there were no more incidents. I have no doubt that the teachers were good and honest people who had no intent to indoctrinate, only a certain naïveté derived from a provincial upbringing.

Perhaps that same sort of honest naïveté is what underlies the problems we've had at the JCC this year. Just as Cayley's teachers in Colorado were honestly oblivious to the fact that there is diversity in religion, it may be that her teachers at the JCC have been honestly oblivious that there is diversity in politics.

Let me then make that diversity clear. We are not environmentalists. We ardently oppose environmentalists. We consider environmentalism a form of mass hysteria akin to Islamic fundamentalism or the War on Drugs. We do not recycle. We teach our daughter not to recycle. We teach her that people who try to convince her to recycle, or who try to force her to recycle, are intruding on her rights.

The preceding paragraph is intended to serve the same purpose as announcing to Cayley's Colorado teachers that we are not Christians. Some of them had never been aware of knowing anybody who was not a Christian, but they adjusted pretty quickly.

Once the Colorado teachers understood that we and a few other families did not subscribe to the beliefs that they were propagating, they instantly apologized and stopped. Nobody asked me what exactly it was about Christianity that I disagreed with; they simply recognized that they were unlikely to change our views on the subject, and certainly had no business inculcating our child with opposite views.

I contrast this with your reaction when I confronted you at the preschool graduation. You wanted to know my specific disagreements with what you had taught my child to say. I reject your right to ask that question. The entire program of environmentalism is as foreign to us as the doctrine of Christianity. I was not about to engage in detailed theological debate with Cayley's Colorado teachers and they would not have had the audacity to ask me to. I simply asked them to lay off the subject completely, they recognized the legitimacy of the request, and the subject was closed.

I view the current situation as far more serious than what we encountered in Colorado for several reasons. First, in Colorado we were dealing with a few isolated remarks here and there, whereas at the JCC we have been dealing with a systematic attempt to inculcate a doctrine and to quite literally put words in children's mouths. Second, I do not sense on your part any acknowledgment that there may be people in the world who do not share your views. Third, I am frankly a lot more worried about my daughter's becoming an environmentalist than about her becoming a Christian. Fourth, we face no current threat of having Christianity imposed on us by petty tyrants; the same can not be said of environmentalism. My county government never tried to send me a New Testament, but it did send me a recycling bin.

Although I have vowed not to get into a discussion on the issues, let me respond to the one question you seemed to think was very important in our discussion: Do I agree that with privilege comes responsibility? The answer is no. I believe that responsibilities arise when one undertakes them voluntarily. I also believe that in the absence of explicit contracts, people who lecture other people on their "responsibilities" are almost always up to no good. I tell my daughter to be wary of such people — even when they are preschool teachers who have otherwise earned a lot of love.


Steven Landsburg


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

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Missouri Teacher and Student

(Webb City, Missouri) A 30-year-old former choir teacher at Webb City High School, Carrie Njoroge, has been accused of engaging in sexual contact with a student.
According to a probable cause statement and Webb City police, Carrie Njoroge, 30, Oronogo, had consensual sexual intercourse with an 18-year old male student in her office at Webb City High School during the evening hours of April 15.

The student allegedly told law enforcement that he and Njoroge had participated in an ongoing relationship for approximately three months. The relationship involved oral sex on multiple occasions and sexual intercourse on April 15, according to the affidavit.
Njoroge resigned her teaching position on April 18.

Ohio Woman Accused of Faking Cancer for Donations

(Chillicothe, Ohio) A 35-year-old local married mother, Mindy Taylor, has been accused of felony theft for posing as a cancer patient and collecting thousands of dollars in donations.
The disturbing revelations of Taylor's tear-jerker were revealed earlier this month after an anonymous tipster led to her surprisingly cancer-free medical records being subpoenaed, the Columbus Dispatch reported.

By then, Taylor — who had claimed to be undergoing vigorous chemotherapy while fighting not only cancer of the small intestine but heart disease and lupus — had reportedly amassed at least $21,000 in donations.

In an online blog on the website, Taylor regularly documented her suffering and steadfast pledge to get better.
Details on prosecution are not available.

Texas Woman Charged in Mummified Remains Case

(Lexington, Kentucky) A 49-year-old woman, Judith Broughton, has been accused of stealing her dead father's Social Security checks after his mummified remains were found inside a Lexington storage unit.
Police discovered the remains of Luther Broughton on Jan. 8, though identifying the body took some time, according to the station.

On April 10, U.S. marshals arrested 49-year-old Judith Maria Broughton in Terlingua, Texas, in Brewster County.[…]

Judith Broughton was indicted by a Texas grand jury on a federal felony charge of theft of public money, property or receipts. The indictment accuses her of stealing $155,667 of her father's Social Security Retirement Insurance Benefits from November 1997 until August 2011. She has pleaded not guilty.

Federal authorities are also searching for the indicted woman's mother, who was last seen in March. The court documents state that Judith Broughton's mother "has not been seen since early March of 2014, and a search has been instigated."

Lexington police found Luther Broughton's body in the storage unit after the Social Security Administration asked for help to serve a search warrant there. According to federal court documents, Social Security agent Bianca Mendez testified that Judith Broughton rented the storage unit in 1990 under her name and her father's name, and she has been making payments on it ever since.
It is not known how long Luther Broughton has been dead.

Authoritarian Canada again

Americans for Truth About Homosexuality founder Peter LaBarbera has returned to the U.S. from Canada, where he experienced the ramifications of that country's hate speech law – firsthand.

LaBarbera traveled to Saskatchewan last week for a speech before a pro-life group, but was detained at Regina International Airport and told he would be deported from Canada on the basis of violating the country's hate speech law, although he had yet to speak.

LaBarbera, Peter"Which is incredible," he tells OneNewsNow. "We appealed the decision and some political pressure was brought to bear by conservative members of Parliament; and when I went back for my appeal, they let me in [the country] – but I was very close to being banned from Canada under the guise that my group ... promotes hate against homosexuals."

He was released, then made his speech, but later was arrested at the University of Regina while distributing pro-life pamphlets and information on homosexuality. LaBarbera wasn't accused of violating the hate speech law in that matter, but was charged with trespassing – a charge that later was reduced to mischief.

"So what I witnessed was a firsthand lesson in hate-speech politics," he summarizes. "If you say that certain ideas – for example, opposition to homosexuality – are 'hateful,' then the next step is to ban those points of view. And that's what's going on in Canada."


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

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Oregon Teacher Gets 30 Days in Sex Case - Update

(Hillsboro, Oregon)
A former Sherwood High School teacher was sentenced to a month in jail Monday for the sexual abuse of one of her former students.

Denise Keesee, 38, a special education math teacher, was convicted of two of six counts of second-degree sex abuse in a Washington County courtroom Monday.
Seems kind of lenient, I suggest.

* * * * *

Oregon Teacher Arrested in Sex Case - Update
[Previous 6/18/13 post]
(Sherwood, Oregon)
A Sherwood High School teacher has been arrested and faces sexual abuse charges, stemming from accusations of sexual contact with at least three students.

A grand jury indicted Denise Keesee, 38, Monday on six counts of second-degree sexual abuse, according to the Washington County Sheriff's office. Keesee turned herself in this evening, said Sgt. David Thompson, a sheriff's office spokesman.

The case started with a tip from the Department of Human Services, and the Washington County Sheriff's office began investigating in October.

Sherwood School District placed Keesee on administrative leave in November after learning she was under investigation. Keesee resigned last month, said the district human resources director and interim Sherwood High School principal Michelle DeBoard
Details on booking are unavailable.

* * * * *

Oregon Teacher Accused in Sex Case
[Previous 12/3/12 post]

(Sherwood, Oregon) A 38-year-old math teacher at Sherwood High School, Denise Keesee, has been accused of sexual misconduct with a male student.
The Washington County Sheriff's office said they received a tip of the alleged misconduct from the Department of Human Services.
The investigation continues.

Utah Teacher Pleads Guilty in Sexting Case

(Ogden, Utah)
After a lengthy case, a former middle-school teacher pleaded guilty to charges involving the trading of explicit photos with a student.

Liza-Anne Roberts appeared in the 2nd District Court of Ogden to plead guilty to reduced charges of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor and dealing harmful materials to a minor. Both are 3rd degree felonies that carry the potential for zero to five years in prison.

The 28-year-old woman was a teacher for Mound Fort Junior High School and in 2012 was accused with having a relationship with a 14-year-old boy who was in her class.
Details on sentencing were not reported.

* * * * *

Utah Teacher, 26, and Boy, 14
[Previous 11/8/12 post]
(Ogden, Utah) A 26-year-old teacher formerly at Mound Fort Junior High School, Liza-Anne Roberts, has been accused of sexually exploiting a 14-year-old male student.

Roberts faces charges of sexual exploitation of a minor and dealing in harmful material to a minor.
Officers executed a search warrant and confirmed that partially nude photos were transmitted back and forth between two phones, which were both owned by Roberts.

Ogden School District spokeswoman Donna Corby said the Mound Fort principal received “a concern regarding a teacher” on Oct. 21.
Roberts was booked into custody at the Weber County Jail.

Chinese Topless Protest

Female students from the Guangdong University of Technology in Guangzhou called for equal job opportunities and for people to "pay attention to the value of women" while protesting on the school's campus, shirtless and covered in body paint.
I see a mixed message. The women protest for the sake of equality by flashing reasons they are not equal. Maybe I'm missing something.

NY Teacher Faces Nasty Driving Infractions

(Suffolk County, New York)
A 47-year-old teacher at Center Moriches High School, Tracey Forman, has been arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs after she allegedly hit a parked car, fled the scene and then was found in her school parking lot.

Forman faces counts of leaving the scene of an accident and driving while impaired.
Details on booking are unavailable.
The New Zealand difference

3 yr-old Hannah on her way to the river, she knows the way.. Enough to make you weep if you live in some other parts of the world

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

Florida Teacher Accused of Improper Relationship

(St. Lucie County, Florida) A 29-year-old coach/guidance counselor at Port St. Lucie High School, Cecilia Alvarez, has been accused of engaging in a month-long improper relationship with a 17-year-old female student.

Alvarez was arrested for interfering with the custody of a minor.
Sheriff Ken Mascara said their investigation revealed that the teacher was not sexually involved but had an improper relationship with the 17-year-old female victim for about a month, and the School Resource Deputy at Port St. Lucie High School became aware of the relationship, as did the victim's mother.

Detectives interviewed Alvarez at the school this morning, and the interview continued at Sheriff's office where she was arrested.[…]

Detectives also interviewed the victim who told them at the station she was unsure how the relationship began stating, "it just happened and now we are both in love."
Alvarez was booked into custody with bond set at $3,750.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Texas Teacher, 30, and Male Student, 17

(Princeton, Texas) A 30-year-old teacher at Princeton High School, Saralyn Portwood, has been accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a student.
Princeton ISD confirmed it is cooperating with the investigation into 30-year-old Saralyn Portwood. She was suspended from her position as a special education teacher and assistant softball coach.

Portwood was accused of being involved with a 17-year-old male student. He was not in her special education classes, the district said.

The district sent a letter a letter home to parents alerting them of the case.
Portwood was booked and released on $10,000 bond.

Mississippi Teacher Sentenced to Prison

(Walthall, Mississippi) A 40-year-old teacher at Walthall County Junior High, Nolana Griffin, has pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual battery of a person under the age of 18 by an authority figure.
Griffin could have been sentenced to the maximum which is 120 years, but judge Michael Taylor opted for 25 years with 15 to serve and 10 years post supervision.

He also ordered Griffin to undergo a mental evaluation.

Griffin taught English, Reading, Science and Health at Salem Attendance Center.
Details on incarceration are unavailable.

Reverend Wright's Daughter Convicted of Money Laundering

Jeri Wright

(Chicago, Illinois)
The daughter of President Barack Obama's former pastor was convicted on Friday of laundering thousands of dollars from a state grant for a Chicago-area job-training program, federal prosecutors said.

A federal jury took less than two hours to find Jeri Wright, 48, the daughter of Jeremiah Wright, guilty on all counts for her part in a fraud scheme led by a former suburban police chief and the chief's husband, according to the U.S. Attorney's office for the Central District of Illinois in Springfield .

The $1.25 million state grant was for a not-for-profit work and education program called We Are Our Brother's Keeper, owned by Regina Evans, former police chief of Country Club Hills, and her husband, Ronald Evans Jr.

Wright, a close friend of the couple, took as much as $11,000 from checks worth more than $30,000 that were supposed to be for work related to the grant, prosecutors said. About $20,000 was deposited back into accounts controlled by Regina and Ronald Evans.[…]

Jeri Wright also was convicted of making false statements to law enforcement officers and giving false testimony to a grand jury. The maximum penalty for money laundering is up to 20 years in prison, and five years in prison on the other counts.
Sentencing is scheduled for July 7.

Tip: Rita and Eugene

Homofascism widespread

On the Friday, April 18, All In show, during a discussion of the firing of former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich for simply donating to a political campaign opposing same-sex marriage, guest Richard Kim of the far left The Nation magazine intoned that he found it "disturbing" that gay activist friends of his have expressed interest in "targeting" more people who have made similar donations, and who have declared they should "find out where they live." Kim:

Here's a disturbing thing. I did ask some of my gay activist friends, I was like, "Look, here's a list; 6,500 people gave the same amount that he did or more in California. Should we go down the list and sort of start targeting all these people?" And I asked this facetiously, and people were like, "Let's do it. Let's find out where those people live. It's all-" To me, that's a disturbing level of targeting people.

Hayes, who had earlier expressed reservations about Eich's firing, exclaimed, "Yes," to Kim's view that such talk was "disturbing."


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

SARS Virus Lost

A routine inventory at the prestigious French research body Institut Pasteur in Paris revealed it has lost some 2,300 tubes containing samples of the potentially deadly SARS virus.

France’s distinguished Institut Pasteur, which was among the first to isolate HIV in the 1980s, admitted on Monday that it has lost some 2,349 vials in 29 boxes, containing samples of the deadly SARS virus.
Officials at Institut Pasteur said there is no reason for alarm.

Frankly, I'd disagree.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Powdered Alcohol

American drinkers could find themselves sprinkling their favourite beverage rather than pouring it, as powdered alcohol brand 'Palcohol' is now fully approved by the US government.

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau this week signed off on seven versions of Palcohol, including Margarita and Cosmopolitan flavours, which will be made available in autumn of this year.

The company's website, which has been changed since approval from the TTB, pitched the product as a solution to the ever-escalating cost of liquid alcohol.

"What's worse than going to a concert, sporting event, etc. and having to pay $10, $15, $20 for a mixed drink with tax and tip. Are you kidding me?! Take Palcohol into the venue and enjoy a mixed drink for a fraction of the cost," the product's promotional material read.
Reportedly, Palcohol sales will be restricted to establishments licensed to sell liquor.

Climate "science" as medieval theology

Re: "Why climate deniers are winning: The twisted psychology that overwhelms scientific consensus" -- by Paul Rosenberg

The Rosenberg heading above leads into a long article. The article is too long to reproduce here but I thought I might make a few comments.  I initially found it fascinating that the author is  an Al-Jazeera journalist with an Ashkenazi surname.  

The article is mainly a discussion of work by our old friend Lewandowski.  And it is notable that NOT ONE climate fact is mentioned in the article.  That Warmists are desperately short of congenial facts probably explains that but it certainly does not inspire confidence in the article.  Skeptics, by contrast usually hit you with a graph or two or some statistics at least:  An instructive difference.

Like so many Warmists, Rosenberg refers to "the science" but never says what it is.  It it "science" that we have had no statistically significant temperature rise  in the last 17 years?  From Rosenberg you would never know.

The rationale for this strange behaviour by Warmists is usually an appeal to authority in the best Fascist style.  Scientists trust the facts.  Fascists trust authority.

And trusting authority is so ludicrous!  I am also a health  blogger and the number of occasions -- even in recent years -- when the conventional wisdom has gone into reverse is phenomenal.  The cause of stomach ulcers, the proper treatment of snakebite, the cure for peanut allergy, the role of dietary fat are just some of the 180 degree turns that come into mind in medical science.

I am suffering from a mild bout of diverticulitis at the momnent and I note that many of the diet recommendations for us sufferers have also recently been shown to be the reverse of the truth.  See here for a list of recent dietary backflips.

What sane person would "trust the experts" under those circumstances?  Lewandowski's central claim is that mistrust of scientific conclusions is paranoid but I think that the cases I have just mentioned show that a skeptical approach to accepted science is simply well-informed.  That's why skeptics use all those graphs and statistics. They are well-informed, not paranoid.

So Rosenberg and others have built their castles on sand.  The consensus could switch overnight (as it does at times) and they would be left washed away and with nothing to stand on.  I may even live long enough to see that happen and have a laugh at it.

So the Rosenberg/Lewandowski theoretical edifice is superficially a substantial and impressive one but its lack of foundations make it no more important than medieval theology.

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

Cuban Condom Shortage

(Havana, Cuba) Here's a glimpse of life in the socialist paradise of Cuba.
First, potatoes disappeared from Cuban markets. They are back, but police are struggling to keep throngs of frantic buyers in check. And now there are shortages of beer and condoms, with some shops charging up to $1.30 for each prophylactic.

Havana blogger Miriam Celaya wrote that a woman friend had joked that if in the 1990s she had to buy condoms instead of hard-to-find balloons for her son’s birthday party, today she might have to buy him balloons so he can practice safe sex.[…]

Havana author Polina Martínez Shvietsova wrote that the shortage of condoms in state-run pharmacies started about 15 days ago, although shops that cater mostly to foreigners still sell the prophylactics at $1.30 each — a day’s wage for the average Cuban.
Socialist societies are famous for their inability to consistently provide basic goods and services to the populace.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Ohio Woman Indicted for Sex with Teen

(Gallia County, Ohio) A 29-year-old local woman, Autumn L. Alban Beaver, has been indicted for engaging in sex with a teen.

Beaver faces five counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.
Investigators say that Beaver allegedly had sexual contact with a teenager, who was between the ages of 13-16, between June 2013 and August 2013.

She is also charged with one count of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance, which the Ohio Attorney General's Office says is for soliciting nude photos of the minor, which he allegedly sent to her phone.

Beaver is also charged with one count of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, for sending nude photos of herself to the teen, according to the AG's Office.
A trial date has been set for August 26.

Hawaii Woman Gets 20 Years Prison for Child Rape

(Kauai, Hawaii) A 33-year-old local woman, Jean Paleracio, has been convicted and sentenced for child rape.

Reportedly, Paleracio had sex with a boy younger than 14 years old, and produced or participated in child pornography during the act.
In a plea deal, she was found guilty of first-degree sex assault and promoting child abuse in the first degree.

Paleracio was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Paleracio must also register as a sex offender.

Clarence Thomas is right about disclosure laws

The post below was written before the recent Firefox/Eich imbroglio, so is rather prophetic

In the famous Citizens United Supreme Court case dealing with campaign finance restrictions, Clarence Thomas was the only justice to argue that disclosure laws violate the First Amendment. Thomas's position was that political organizations have the right to keep their donors secret. I was initially skeptical. After all, if donors are so confident in their views, they should be willing to publicly defend them. Don't we have a "marketplace of ideas" for a reason?

But I've come to agree with Thomas. Some views are so unpopular that people risk their livelihoods and even their personal safety when expressing them. What's troubling is that these views need not be considered universally heinous--they need only be unpopular among influential media figures or politically-connected lobbying groups. Consider the ongoing case of sociologist Mark Regnerus, whose scholarly research has questioned the "no differences" orthodoxy regarding the children of gay parents. I wrote about Regnerus for National Review recently:

Jennifer Marshall and I detail here the furious reaction that Regnerus sparked, but suffice to say that it involved hysterical condemnations in the press, a frivolous “scientific misconduct” investigation conducted at the behest of a blogger (!), emotion-laden joint statements, evidence-free accusations of corruption on the part of the journal, and more. Now the journal’s editor will have his e-mails scrutinized for the slightest inappropriate thought.

I went on to note that other researchers will be understandably leery of broaching this issue, given the harassment that Regnerus and his editor have endured. The same goes for grant writers and other donors interested in publicly supporting the research. Their case illustrates that the First Amendment must be about more than just a formalistic legal right to speak. The purpose of free speech in a democratic society is to ensure that all ideas have the chance to be heard and debated. By forcibly "outing" supporters through disclosure laws, the government effectively discourages speech that influential people don't want to hear.


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

Friday, April 18, 2014

Indiana Teacher Accused of Child Seduction

Kayla Skaggs

A 24-year-old special needs teacher at Logansport High School, Kayla Skaggs, was arrested yesterday on a charge of child seduction.

Skaggs faces a Class D felony charge of child seduction. According to Logansport Community Schools Superintendent Michele Starkey,
Logansport Police Department in conjunction with the administration of the Logansport High School, conducted an investigation regarding allegations of inappropriate behavior between a female teacher and a 17-year-old male student.

Through the investigation, probable cause was established and Skaggs was arrested ….
Skaggs was booked into custody at the Cass County Jail with bond set at $1,000.

Alabama Teacher Guilty of False Insurance Claims

(Montgomery, Alabama) A 31-year-old teacher at Kingston Elementary School, Lashondra Moore, has been convicted of first-degree theft of more than $13,000 from an insurance company through false claims for cancer and neurological treatments.
Moore was sentenced to 32 months, which was suspended for five years probation. She also was ordered to pay full restitution to National Security Insurance Group.

The plea agreement called for Moore to pay $10,000 within a month, and she will be able to apply for the probation to be changed to three years, during which she will continue to make payments.
Moore has been told she would be fired from her teaching position.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Carolina Teacher Sentenced for Unlawful Conduct with Child

(Conway, South Carolina) A special needs teacher's aide at Forestbrook Elementary School, Linda Warriner, pleaded guilty yesterday to unlawful conduct toward a child and was sentenced to three years in prison by Judge Larry B. Hyman.
Last April, police charged Linda Warriner after authorities said a then 5-year-old special needs student brought a recorder to school and secretly recorded the teacher.[…]

The family said their loved one endured physical and emotional abuse.

"That was one of the most terrible times to listen to him screaming in there," said Caroline Knight.

The victim's mother asked the judge to - in her words - "please send a message today. There were about 12 other children in that classroom, all of them exposed to the same treatment."

Judge Larry B. Hyman did. Instead of accepting the prosecution's plea bargain of a probated sentence, he ordered Warriner to spend three years in jail.

The Judge said, "an eye for an eye," the same number of years that the child spent in Warriner's supervision at Forestbrook Elementary.
Judge Hyman directed Warriner's name be placed on the child abuse and neglect registry.

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