Saturday, May 31, 2014

Women With Troubles - May 2014

Here is a compilation of women with troubles reported in news stories during May 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) Jennifer Collins McNeill, 40,
teacher - Pleaded guilty to rape and sodomy of minor. Sentencing scheduled for July 24,

(AZ) Stefanie Rachelle Courson, 42,
teacher - Pleaded guilty to drug charges. Sentencing scheduled for July 11,

(CA) Teresa Badger, 48,
teacher - Sentenced to community service for marijuana-laced dinner party,

(CA) Sheri Laverne Haselhuhn, 40,
teacher - Accused of stealing a student's prescription medication,

(CA) Michelle Lynn Johnson, 46,
teacher - Gets 270 days jail for sex with male student,

(CT) Kirsten Dergosits, 45,
teacher - Accused of multiple drug offenses,

(CT) Danielle Shea, 22,
neighbor - Arrested for bomb threats at university,

(FL) Tamisha Barbour, 29,
neighbor - Gets 25 years prison for molesting boy, 10,

(FL) Ana Maria Moreta Folch, 62,
neighbor - Accused of bulldozing neighbor's home because she didn't like them,

(FL) Stephanie Hird, 29,
neighbor - Accused of barnyard animal cruelty porn,

(FL) Diane Holland, 52,
PTA treasurer - Accused of stealing $25,000 of PTA funds,

(FL) Samantha Murchie, 43,
teacher - Accused of drinking alcohol with teens,

(FL) Josita Norder, 48,
neighbor - Accused of sex with boy, 14,

(FL) Heide W. Sites, 47,
assisted-living dining manager - Accused of sex with boy,

(FL) Brandi Nicole Thomas, 21,
neighbor - Accused of sex with boy, 15,

(FL) Sara Zamora, 28,
neighbor - Accused of barnyard animal cruelty porn,

(GA) Ashley Nichole Ashe, 25,
teacher - Accused of sex with student,

(GA) Julie Johnson,
teacher - Accused of cruelty to her own children,

(GA) Debra Tanskley (aka Tanksley), 37,
teacher - Accused of fixing grades for a student and inappropriate contact with a student,

(HI) Nancy Ballo,
teacher - Allegedly has sex with male student, 17,

(ID) Danielle A. Pennington,
neighbor - Accused of smuggling contraband into prison,

(IL) Tinesha Brooks,
neighbor - Accused of murder,

(IL) Nicole Jacobsen, 42,
teacher - Accused of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of boy, 14,

(IN) Megan Ralston, 28,
neighbor - Sentenced to no jail for sex with boy, 14,

(KY) Raynika Robards, 34,
neighbor - Accused of shoplifting and giving a false name,

(LA) Dorothy Jean Vanasselberg, 32,
neighbor - Indicted on hundreds of child-sex charges,

(MO) Jessica Low, 32,
teacher - Accused of statutory sodomy and furnishing pornography to students,

(MS) Dawnielle Lorraine Bourgeois-Morris, 32,
neighbor - Accused of sex with girl, 12,

(MS) Whitney LaShae Dawson, 26,
neighbor - Accused of attacking teacher,

(NC) Jessica Deck, 28,
teacher - Accused of sex with student, 17,

(NC) Kimberly Waddell Macemore, 24,
teacher - Accused of sex with two male students,

(NC) Juana Sutton, 20,
neighbor - Accused of raping young boy,

(ND) Susan Duursma, 35,
teacher - Pleaded guilty to child abuse in accordance with plea agreement. Judge to decide,

(ND) Jessica Jensen, 35,
neighbor - Accused of starving her son to death,

(NJ) Melissa Bradley, 27,
teacher - Accused of engaging in sex with two students,

(NY) Dawn Nguyen,
neighbor - Convicted and sentenced to prison on firearms charges,

(NY) Annie Schmutz Seifullah, 35,
school principal - Accused of sex trysts while classes in session.

(OH) Cecilia D. Lower, 30, with Jacob L. Singleton, 33,
neighbor - Accused of raping child and pandering sexually-oriented material,

(OH) Frieda Kay Shade,
neighbor - Accused of stealing toy from child's gravesite,

(OK) Amanda Don Ballard, 27,
neighbor - Accused of raping 13-year-old boy 20 times,

(OK) Sara Garoutte, 32,
neighbor - Accused of sexually abusing a young boy,

(OK) Wendy L. Hickman, 41,
teacher - Gets no jail for sex with male student, 15,

(OK) Kalyn Darby Thompson, 25,
teacher - Accused of rape of student,

(PA) Mikki Yvonne Phillips, 35,
neighbor - Gets 9 to 23 months prison for sex assault of teen boy,

(PA) Jessica Saienni, 30,
teacher - Gets 6 to 23 months prison for sex with student, 14,

(PA) Christy Lee Smith, 35,
teacher - Gets 14 to 30 years prison for sex with two male students,

(PA) Jessica Streeper, 33,
teacher - Accused of sex with male student, 14,

(SC) Courtney Ruth Martin, 26,
teacher - Gets probation for improper relations with student,

(SC) Ellen Niemiec, 29,
teacher - Accused of sex with three students,

(TN) Wendy Katherine Packer, 42,
neighbor - Accused of sex with boy, 15,

(TX) Patricia Almond, 48,
teacher - Accused of driving to school while intoxicated,

(TX) Rebecca Jolene Blake, 25,
neighbor - Accused of sex with boy, 14,

(TX) Karen Lee Carstens, 43,
neighbor - Gets probation for repeated sex assault of boy,

(TX) Kearney Day, 20,
teacher - Accused of sex with female student, 16,

(TX) Alisha Carrasco Knighten,
teacher - Accused of inappropriate relations with student,

(TX) Kelly Thompson, 26,
teacher - Accused of sex with male student, 16,

(VA) Donna Evette Manson, 45,
neighbor - Accused of child abuse,

(VA) Diamond Mays, 23,
teacher - Convicted of misdemeanor drunk in public and misdemeanor curse and abuse,

(WA) Kimber Lee Pack, 36,
teacher - Accused of drug crimes.

Thanks to the tipsters.

Do democracies start wars?

It is often said that democracies do not wage war on one-another.  The idea is that populations as a whole are justly wary of war  -- because it is they who die in them --  so a democratic government can only get popular consent to a war if the country is attacked by an external enemy -- presumably a despot of some kind.

Students of ancient history will immediately recall the Athenian attack on Syracuse as a counter-example but Athens was not much like democracies as we know them today (only a minority of Athenians had a vote, for instance) so that does not take us very far.

I have recently come across what could be seen as a confirmation of the usual claim:  The Austro-Hungarian democracy at the onset of WWI.  The Austro-Hungarian empire (Germany's great Southern ally) WAS a democracy but it was a greatly decayed democracy.  The Austrian Reichsrat (parliament) had degenerated to complete unworkability.  Filibusters were common and disruptions by deliberate noise were routine.  Parties that were not getting their way would shout, blow whistles, blow toy trumpets, bang drums and generally deploy so much noise that speeches could not be heard and very little work could be done.

It was such a spectacle that ordinary Viennese  -- including Hitler -- would go to the vistor's gallery overlooking parliament just for the entertainment.  Hitler started out with a considerable respect for democracy, particularly British democracy,  but his observations of the Reichsrat considerably eroded that.

So Austria entered the war solely in the power of the bureaucracy, the military and the Emperor.  It is conceivable that a mature democracy might have produced a leader who told the emperor firmly that a dead Archduke was insufficient to justify hostilities with Serbia.  So WWI could  perhaps have been avoided if Austria had been a functioning democracy.

As it happens, even the German Kaiser thought that war with Serbia was unnecessary -- but Austria had declared war before the Kaiser had got to make his views known.  But once war had been declared, treaty obligations ruled subsequent events.

But the big hole in the conventional case is Imperial Germany.  The German empire was thoroughly democratic and the formal powers of the Kaiser were little different from the powers of the British monarch.  The Kaiser was certainly influential for a time and often expressed views that were widely held in Germany but nothing much could be done without parliamentary consent.

Wikipedia has a reasonable short summary of the German parliament of the time:  "The Reichstag had no formal right to appoint or dismiss governments, but by contemporary standards it was considered a highly modern and progressive parliament. All German men over 25 years of age were eligible to vote, and members of the Reichstag were elected by general, universal and secret suffrage. Members were elected in single-member constituencies by majority vote."

And Germany's predecessor State, Prussia, is an interesting example of the role of the German parliament:  The King could not get the Prussian parliament to vote him the funds he wanted for his army so he commissioned Chancellor Bismarck to bypass parliament and rule solely in the King's name.  Bismarck carried it off with the aid of an obedient Prussian bureaucracy and parliament was ignored for four years.  But parliament did not flinch and, after four years, Bismarck had to apologize to the parliament and reinstate it authority.  So even in Prussia, parliament was the ultimate authority.

And in  Germany of the Edwardian era, it was parliament's power of the purse that regulated and limited what the Kaiser and his ministers could do.  So it is no good blaming the Kaiser for WWI.  He was largely a figurehead for the will of the German people as expressed in their Reichstag.  It was essentially the whole of the German democracy that went into WWI.

And the U.S. democracy has its own history of initiating war. Robert Kagan of the Brookings institution has an extensive historical survey which shows both that the America people are isolationist and that American leaders repeatedly talk them out of that.  On some occasions, where America has been attacked, as with the 9/11 atrocity, retaliation is completely reasonable but on others the pretext used to initiate war was very thin.  For starters, the alleged attack in 1898 on the battleship "Maine" in Havana harbour was a very thin reason for the invasion of Cuba by TR and his cohorts.  To this day there is no clarity on what sank the "Maine".

But even the "Maine" episode shows that American declarations of war have to be dressed up as defensive or retaliatory.  But finding such garb has not been difficult for at least the Democrat side of American politics.  Isolationism was from the earliest days the stance of American conservatives but with their insatiable lust for meddling in other people's affairs, liberals have been very keen to involve America in wars abroad.  It may be noted that TR was the founder of the "Progressive" party (popularly known as the "Bull Moose" party) when the Republicans became too wishy washy for him.

So when WWI broke out it was a great frustration for Democrat President Wilson that he was not part of the councils of war.  So peace-minded were the American people that it actually took him years to find a pretext for declaring war  -- the main pretext being the "Lusitania" sinking.  The loss of the liner and her people was an undoubted tragedy but Germany had posted warning advertisements in NY newspapers prior to the sailing which warned people not to sail on the "Lusitania".  It was thought to be carrying munitions to Britain -- which it was  -- making it a prime target.  So accusations of German perfidy or barbarity were simply wrong.

And FDR in WWII was just as bad.  His sanctions against Japan had pushed Japan into economic crisis and desperate Japanese attempts to open negotiations were repeatedly rebuffed.  So, against much of their own expert advice, the Pearl Harbor attack was planned by the Japanese leadership to break through American opposition.  That was essentially what FDR wanted and he made no attempt to stop it.  Both Britain and the U.S. had cracked the Japanese naval code so Japanese ship movements were known.  But not a whisper of any of the intelligence concerned was transmitted to Pearl Harbor.  FDR did however make sure that his carriers were not in port when the Japanese attacked.

And so FDR got his "date that will live in infamy".  "A date that will live in hypocrisy" would be more apt.  Robert Kagan  is also of the view that FDR was itching for war.

And as for Bill Clinton's attack on the Christian Serbs on behalf of Muslims....

So democracies do start wars  -- but they usually have to be a bit sneaky about it

UPDATE  -- A point of clarification about WWI:

It could be argued that I have undermined my own argument by pointing to Austria as undemocratic.  It could be argued that the war was started by Austria's attack on Serbia and since Austria was a failed democracy, the events there show that democracies do not start wars.

My main point was however the role of Germany.  If Germany had not mobilized there would have been no WWI.  The Austrians were not much concerned by the prospect of a Russian invasion and they were probably right about that.  Given the backward and chaotic Russian military and the large modern forces available to Austria, only a minor punch-up would probably have resulted from the Tsar's actions.  Austria might even have gained some territory.

So it was Germany's move that started the big war.  And Germany was democratic.  So why did Germany get involved?  Because they wanted to.  And there were several reasons why.  See here

UPDATE 2  -- about the Lusitania

A reader has pointed out that my graphic above is a collage. The Lusitania sailing details and the embassy warning did not originally occur side-by-side.  So why did I say that passengers on the Lusitania specifically were warned?  Because the Lusitania was the ONLY liner left on that route.  Other liners had been grabbed by the British government for war use.

I can't resist mentioning WHY the government did not use the Lusitania:  Because as a large fast ship it would use heaps of coal -- and the admiralty wanted to conserve its stocks!

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

Hells Angels Symbol Banned

(Berlin, Germany)
Berlin authorities have banned Hells Angels gang members from displaying the club's winged death head symbol in public.

Members of the rocker biker gang will no longer be allowed to wear its winged death head symbol in public, wrote the Bild newspaper on Friday.

Clothing or signs with the gang's script declaring "Hell's Angels," or "MC," will also be banned.

Offenders could face fines, confiscation and even imprisonment, police spokesman Thomas Neuendorf told the paper.

"The members of the Hells Angels were given a deadline of four weeks to implement the ban," said Neuendorf.
The ban may extend to other German states.

Florida PTA Treasurer Accused of Theft

(Daytona Beach, Florida) The 52-year-old PTA treasurer for the David C. Hinson Sr. Middle School, Diane Holland, has been accused of stealing $25,000 of PTA funds.
PTA President Jennifer Dietz said the money was supposed to go toward technology, field trips and class parties.

Daytona Beach police said Holland turned herself in to authorities after a warrant was obtained for her arrest.

Holland told police she needed the money for a surgery for her daughter and apologized profusely before turning herself in.

Dietz told Local 6 that she thought Holland's daughter had surgery a few weeks ago, but in recent months, Holland moved into a Port Orange home, not far from the water, with a new car parked in the driveway.
Holland was booked into custody at the Volusia County Jail and subsequently released on bond.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Protesting Instagram While Topless

Scout Willis

Scout LaRue Willis who is the daughter of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis was spotted topless as she shopped in New York City recently, wearing nothing but a floral skirt and brown shoes.

Pictures of the actress strolling unabashedly and buying flowers during her shopping trip have been doing the rounds on the Internet.

Scout’s topless jaunt is in protest against Istagram for banning women from posting topless pictures. Scout was recently banned from the site and when she posted a picture of a sweatshirt she designed featuring two topless women.

She initially demanded that the social site reinstate her suspended account. “@instagram there is no way 2 contact you directly, I would really appreciate response b/c you took a lot of memories from me b/c u h8 nips,” she tweeted.
If my daughter pulled a stunt like this, I'd be flummoxed.

Heroic Teen Saves Girl

Kameron Howell-Meeker

(Milwaukie, Oregon) Local teen Kameron Howell-Meeker pushed his friend Ellie Fielder out of the path of a suspected drunken driver, got hit in her place and nearly lost his life in the process.
Kameron Howell-Meeker and his friend Ellie Fielder say they were walking on the shoulder of the road, on their way to a friend's birthday party, when they saw a truck speeding straight for them.[…]

With nowhere for them to run, Howell-Meeker said he did what felt natural in that instant. He pushed his friend out of harm's way, getting hit in her place.

"I saw Kam get hit by the truck, and he flew what looked like three cartwheels in the air. He just landed flat on his stomach, on the side of the road," said friend Ellie Fielder. "I was scared he wasn't alive."

Witnesses called 911 and made sure the driver, Corey Brownlee, stayed on the scene. Howell-Meeker says he doesn't remember all of that. He remembers asking paramedics only one thing:

"Is Ellie OK? I got hit by the car, but did she? Did I push her far enough?" recalled Howell-Meeker.

Thankfully, Ellie was just fine, thanks to Howell-Meeker, but the brave teen was in bad shape himself.

"The doctors say I have three torn ligaments, a broken pelvis and compressed fractures in my spine," said Howell-Meeker.
The 'suspected' driver, Corey Brownlee, faces assault and DUI charges. It's unknown whether Howell-Meeker's heroism is to be rewarded.

Pennsylvania Woman Sentenced for Sex with Boy - Update

(York, Pennsylvania) Yesterday, 35-year-old Mikki Yvonne Phillips cried as she was sentenced to nine to 23 months in the York County Prison for sexually assaulting a teenage boy.

Phillips pleaded guilty in February to first-degree statutory sexual assault. She has been in custody since her arrest in October 2013. Also:
She received a consecutive two years of probation for the statutory assault charge. Additional charges of indecent assault, corruption and unlawful contact with a minor were dismissed in the negotiated plea.

A sexual offender assessment determined that Phillips is not a sexually violent predator. Still, in accordance with Megan's Law, she must register with the Pennsylvania State Police as a sex offender.

Phillips will get credit for the 7 1/2 months she already has served in prison while awaiting prosecution, according to Judge Michael E. Bortner's sentencing ruling.
So, it appears that Phillips has only 45 days left to serve. How fortuitous, eh?

* * * * *

Pennsylvania Woman Accused of Sex with Boy
[Previous 10/18/13 post]
(York, Pennsylvania) A 34-year-old local woman, Mikki Yvonne Phillips, has been accused of engaging in sex with a teen boy.

Phillips faces counts of statutory sexual assault, unlawful contact with a minor, corruption of a minor and indecent assault of a person less than 16.
Charging documents allege Phillips had sex twice with a boy in 2012 at her former homes at the Walnut Ridge apartment complex in Dallastown and at a home in the first block of North Main Street in Yoe.

The boy was 13 or 14 at the time of the alleged assaults, and Phillips was considered a friend of his family, according to Phillips' arrest affidavit, filed by York Area Regional Police Detective Donald Hopple Jr.
Phillips was booked into custody at the York County Prison with bail set at $50,000.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Kentucky Woman Faces Theft Charge

Raynika Robards

(Louisville, Kentucky) A 34-year-old local woman, Raynika Robards, has been accused of shoplifting $33.02 in merchandise from a Kroger grocery store.

Robards faces charges of theft and giving a false name.
Robards, who told police she had undergone a recent sex change, tried to give officers the Kentucky driver's license of man, claiming it was hers.

The license had a different date of birth.
Robards was booked into custody. It's not clear if anyone believes the sex-change story.

The social influences on mass murderer Elliot Rodger

Jessica Valenti of the Guardian wants to head the idea of individual responsibility off at the pass, writing “According to his family, Rodger was seeking psychiatric treatment. But to dismiss this as a case of a lone "madman" would be a mistake.”

Why? Well, she continues, “It not only stigmatizes the mentally ill – who are much more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators of it – but glosses over the role that misogyny and gun culture play (and just how foreseeable violence like this is) in a sexist society. After all, while it is unclear what role Rodger's reportedly poor mental health played in the alleged crime, the role of misogyny is obvious.”

Obvious, is it?

Yes, the mentally ill are a high percentage of the victims of violence. But when it comes perpetrators of mass killings, they’re pretty much it. Not too many well-adjusted, friendly, functioning people committing them. It’s the equivalent of the kindergarten-level progressive claim that it’s Islamophibic to point out the fact that while very few Muslims are terrorists, most suicide bombers are believers in Islam. (Say that too loudly and Arianna Huffington’s head implodes.) It’s an inconvenient fact to progressives, who would rather spend their time drawing moral equivalence between history’s greatest monsters and the Tea Party, but their dislike of a fact doesn’t make it any less of one.

She continues, “Rodger, like most young American men, was taught that he was entitled to sex and female attention… He believed this so fully that he described women's apathy toward him as an "injustice" and a "crime".

The fact that 4 of his 6 victims were male, and the general insanity of his 107,000 word “manifesto” touched on any number of subjects aside, notice the words she put in quotation marks? Couple them with Rodger’s own words from one his YouTube videos, “College is the time when everyone experiences those things such as sex and fun and pleasure, but in those years I've had to rot in loneliness, it's not fair … I don't know why you girls aren't attracted to me but I will punish you all for it.” (Emphasis added.)

Elliot Rodger saw himself as a victim of “injustice,” of a “crime.” His life, which was one of privilege, was “not fair.” These are his words, his thoughts. Where have we heard them before?

The concept of life being unfair and the need to seek “justice” to fix it is the very heart of progressivism. Nothing is your fault, it’s society’s. You’re just a victim.

We are raising a generation of participation trophy winning, everyone is special believing, all thoughts are valid, there are no wrong answers, high self-esteem having, if it feels good do it, you can’t judge monsters. These monsters have never been told there are lines you do not cross, you don’t always get your way, someone will be better than you even at the things you are great at, and you’re going to have to bust your ass to get what you want, and then only maybe will you.

Many of the generation coming of age now are simply not equipped to deal with failure, be it in not getting a job or a date, or anything in between. They don’t know how to deal with even small failures because they’ve been insulated from reality by the progressive Lake Wobegon-esque “everyone is special” philosophy that has people looking for an explanation of their shortcomings externally.

It creates a large pool of voters for them – people seeking external relief from government for their problems and the problems of others – but it also spawns monsters ill-suited to the realities of adulthood. That some on the edge snap when faced with what used to be routine growing pains, rites of passage, should not come as a surprise.

Progressives aren’t interested in the consequences of their actions, they don’t reflect on results, all that matters is intentions. The “War on Poverty” has made poverty worse, and nearly inescapable, but they meant well. The VA provides “free health care” to veterans, just as long as they don’t have serious health issues, then they die waiting. They are spending more than every before on education because they care, but fewer and fewer children are learning the basics.

Everyone is special, above average, a perfect little snowflake just as capable of anything as everyone else is. Only we’re not. People are individuals with different skills and abilities and, most importantly, motivation. You could be the smartest person in the world, but if your plan for life involves waiting tables until someone comes along, recognizes that fact and offers to pay you a lot of money to simply be brilliant, you’re going to be an old waiter.

Life is as much what you do as it is what happens to you. To think otherwise, to be taught otherwise, is a disservice to humanity. It’s also very progressive.

That’s what I would point out to those looking to advance a political agenda on the graves of the 6 victims of Elliot Rodger.


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

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Vietnam vs. China

Chinese ship water cannons Vietnamese vessel

Looks like relations between China and Vietnam are becoming more testy.
The ships of Vietnam’s law enforcement force on Wednesday approached Haiyang Shiyou 981 oil rig at its new location in the East Vietnam Sea. According to observations of Vietnam Coast Guard (VCG), after being moved 23 nautical miles east on Tuesday to a new location, the Haiyang Shiyou 981 oil rig was still located there, and there was no signs of the next move.

The new location of the rig is at 15°33’38’’ North latitude and 111°34’62’’ East longitude, about 25 nautical miles east-southeast of Tri Ton Island, part of Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago in the East Vietnam Sea.

According to a quick report of the Bureau of Fisheries Inspection under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development ( MARD) on late Wednesday afternoon, China still maintained around 120 vessels of all kinds, including 36 of the Chinese marine police, 14 freighters and 17 warships, and four fighter jets in the area.

They were assigned to prevent, circle and intentionally collide with Vietnamese law enforcement and fishing vessels.
It seems China and Vietnam are on the path to full-blown war with China being the aggressor.

Florida Woman Gets 25 Years Prison for Child Sex

(Sarasota County, Florida) A 29-year-old local woman, Tamisha Barbour, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison of sexually molesting a 10-year-old boy.

Barbour was convicted of lewd or lascivious molestation of a child less than 12 years of age.
Barbour, who was friends with the victim's mother, was staying in their home when the sexual abuse occurred last spring.

The boy testified at trial that Barbour grabbed his genitals and he told her to stop. Three other alleged victims also took the stand, Assistant State Attorney Andrea McHugh, who prosecuted the case, said.

Barbour entered a plea to four other second-degree felonies relating to abuse of the other victims. For those charges, she was sentenced to 15 years each, which will be served simultaneously to the 25-year term, McHugh said.
Barbour faces lifetime probation after release from prison.

Idaho Woman Accused of Smuggling Contraband into Prison

(Ada County, Idaho) A 31-year-old local woman, Danielle A. Pennington, has been accused of smuggling contraband into an Idaho prison.

According to the Ada County Sheriff's Office, Pennington mailed iPods and cell phones into the Idaho Correctional Center.
Investigators suspect Pennington shipped a box containing DVDs, video games and a game console — intended donation to the general population — to inmate Devon B. Elmore, 25, of Boise, Sheriff’s Office Community Information Officer Patrick Orr said.

Underneath a false bottom in the box, Orr said, Idaho Correctional Center guards found iPods and a cellphone, contraband in a prison environment.

Elmore faces charges similar to Pennington’s.

An Idaho Department of Correction document provided by IDOC Public Information Officer Jeff Ray states that prison authorities take unauthorized communication devices inside prison walls seriously.
Pennington was booked into custody at the Ada County Sheriff's Office.

Does WWI explain the Ukraine situation?

George Friedman thinks it does.  He looks at WWI, WWII and the cold war and manages to find similarities in them which he also believes apply to the Ukraine situation today.

Such vast simplifications are always popular.  They offer a shortcut to understanding.  But I think this one falls at the first hurdle.

Friedman's basic point is that nations feel threatened if they are bordered by other hostile nations.   That seems commonsense on the face of it but what defines "hostile"? We can see that Canada and Mexico do not feel threatened by the vastness of the USA on their borders because the USA is not hostile.  The USA is in fact probably the most benevolent nation the world has ever seen.  But in Europe it is not so clear. The Northern European countries, including Germany,  tended in history to be friendly with Britain. The Anglo-German defeat of Napoleon may be remembered.  But for Gneisenau, Napoleon would have won at Waterloo.

Yet in two world wars Britain and Germany fought one another.  So were Germany and Britain hostile or friendly to one-another?  From a 19th century perspective one would say friendly but from an early 20th century perspective, one would tend to say hostile.

But even there we have problems.  The German Kaiser was in fact part of the British Royal family and he spent a lot of time in their company.  He spoke perfect English and Queen Victoria died in his arms.  And after the death of the Queen, the British King, Edward VII was widely esteemed to be the only person who could calm the Kaiser down when he got angry. In a great loss for British diplomacy, however, Edward died in 1910.   And given the prominent role of the Kaiser in Germany, how can we say that Germany and Britain were hostile? They were not. They were family.   But they still fought a war.

So I think Friedman's thesis about national policy being dependant on borders is badly flawed.  One thing Britain and Germany did NOT have was a border!

What Friedman says is that after the defeat of the French at Sedan in 1870, the freshly united Germany was such a militarily powerful entity that the rest of Europe was in fear of it and German diplomacy had to deal  with the possibility that nervous neighbors would "gang up" on Germany and attack it from all sides in order to pre-empt a threat from Germany.  Friedman is not alone in that view.  None other than the German Chancellor of the day, Otto von Bismarck saw it similarly.  And Bismarck put into place two measures to deal with it.

The first was his own diplomacy.  By a bewildering series of diplomatic maneuvers, he kept everyone off balance and confused.  So nobody really knew where Germany stood and hence could not muster the clarity needed to initiate armed conflict.  So as long as Bismarck was in charge, Germany was safe.  But Bismarck resigned in 1890 and the diplomatic picture became much more stable after that.

But Bismarck's second measure remained in place and Friedman seems to have entirely overlooked its role.  Bismarck was from early on  protective of the integrity of Austria/Hungary, seeing it from early days as an important potential ally, first to Prussia and later to Germany as a whole.  And indeed it was.  It was a very large political entity on Germany's Southern border that had impressive armies at its disposal. Not all the troops concerned were of first quality but they were not alone in that and most did eventually perform quite well under Austrian leadership.

So, contrary to Friedman, Germany had no need to fear anyone.  The alliance of Germany with Austria was essentially uncrackable and no-one in their right mind would attack such powerful allies.  So Germany had no reason to anticipate war and no reason to prepare for it.  So a stable peace should have prevailed in Europe.  For over 40 years Germany had remained unthreatening and Germany had no need to feel threatened.

Unfortunately, there was someone who was NOT in his right mind.  The Russian Tsar knew fully well the close alliance between Austria and Germany but mobilized his vast armies against Austria nonetheless.  The Austrian leadership felt able to cope with that but Germany could not afford an Austrian failure so Germany mobilized too and the die was cast.

So I think it is fairly clear that a foolish Russian despot was the cause of WWI.  But to infer from that that a popular Russian leader is about to ignite a new conflagration would be reasoning of the shallowest kind.

But WHY did the Tsar mobilize?  Contrary to Friedman, it was not over any concern with his borders.  It was because of sentimental racism.  As many Russians did and still do, he saw the Serbs as racial and linguistic brethren to Russians --  and indeed they were and are. And since Austria and Serbia were in conflict, the Tsar intervened to protect little Serbia against big bully Austria.  It was a very ill-judged intervention -- leading the Tsar to lose both his throne and his life.

And once the armies were mobilized, a variety of factors ensured that there would be no turning back for any of the nations involved  -- but I have written at length on those factors elsewhere.  Borders don't come into it.

So what of Ukraine?  Mr Putin has no need to fear anyone, on his borders or not.  So what is motivating him?

It is very clear.  Russia is staring down the barrel of a demographic disaster.  The birthrate is so low that the Russian population is steadily shrinking.  So Mr Putin wants to regather all Russians into Russia to postpone the disaster.  And because he values Russian lives he has proceeded with great caution.

There was no invasion of Crimea and there has been no invasion of Western Ukraine.  Mr Putin cleverly relied on Russian sentimentality for him to be INVITED by the Crimean parliament to take them into his fold.  And he is clearly waiting for the same thing to happen in Western Ukraine.  Russia will expand but by largely peaceful means only.

The same thing happened in the Russian bits of Georgia.  They had declared their independence of Georgia and were well on their way to an engagement with Russia when the Georgians invaded and endeavoured to reassert their control.  Faced with a blocking of a peaceful constitutional evolution, Putin kicked the Georgians out by military force.  But it was not Putin who initiated the military action and the action ceased once its very limited aims had been achieved.

So let the Eastern Europeans reorganize themselves as best they can.  They will only be a threat if the West tries to meddle in the process.

Just a footnote on Crimea:  The received Western view seems to be that the independence vote in Crimea was a put-up job, a fraud, a fake.  It was not.  There were many international observers present who warranted it as fair.  See here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Greenpeace Activists Block Oil Platform

Greenpeace's Rainbow Warrior

(Rotterdam, Netherlands)
Dutch police on Tuesday arrested six Greenpeace activists after they chained a Russian oil drilling platform destined for the Arctic to a dock to prevent it from leaving a Netherlands port.

"Police have arrested six of our activists. They are still in custody but we don't know what the charges are," protest coordinator Faiza Oulahsen told AFP.

Police spokesman Koos Venema confirmed the arrests, saying the activists were arrested after refusing a police order to abandon the GSP Saturn platform, anchored in the Dutch port of IJmuiden, northwest of Amsterdam.

Greenpeace divers and activists with climbing gear late Monday night surrounded the massive platform, which has been contracted by Russian state oil giant Gazprom to drill for oil in the northern Pechora Sea.

"The divers chained the rig to the quay to prevent it from leaving the harbour," Greenpeace said in a statement.
It's not clear what punishment the activists will face.

Illinois Woman Accused of Murder

(Chicago, Illinois) A 26-year-old local woman, Tinesha Brooks, has been accused of killing the father of one of her children, Maurice Paschal, 26.

Brooks faces one-count of first-degree murder.
About 11:40 p.m. Thursday, Paschal was stabbed multiple times near the intersection of East 39th Street and South Indiana Avenue, police said.

Paschal, of the 4000 block of South Michigan Avenue, was pronounced dead at Northwestern Memorial Hospital less than an hour later, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.
Brooks was booked into custody with bail set at $2 million.

Oklahoma Woman Accused of Child Sex

Sara Garoutte

(Bartlesville, Oklahoma) A 32-year-old local woman, Sara Garoutte, has been accused of sexually abusing a young boy and sending explicit pictures of the abuse to another person.

Garoutte faces counts of distribution of child pornography, manufacturing of child pornography and sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12.
According the the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, the photographs showed numerous sex acts involving a 3- or 4-year-old boy.

Agents believe the abuse occurred on at least three occasions in Cleveland County at the request of Garoutte's male companion. OSBI was notified about the pictures by the Moore Police Department, which is investigating the subject who received the images.
Details on arrest and booking are unavailable.

Australia:  Green anti-coal seam gas activists at work

Anti-gas activist’s camp relies on gas cylinders, six drums of diesel and electric generator. Go figure.

Less than a week after a council vowed to shut down a large anti-coal seam gas protest camp in the state's north and promised police would be called in to send it packing, the activists have been told they can stay.

The Bentley camp, near Lismore, is a temporary home to between hundreds and thousands of people, depending on the day.

It was established in February on private land adjacent to the site where Metgasco plans to begin exploratory drilling for gas.

Richmond Valley Council announced last Wednesday the camp's approval would expire at the end of that week and not be renewed due to its burgeoning numbers, the length of time it had been there, and the "ongoing breach of many of the approval conditions".

The mayor, Ernie Bennett, said police would be required "for sure" to move the campers on.

But on Thursday morning, Mr Bennett said the protesters would not be moved, despite their occupation of the land being "illegal".

"I don't think it would be appropriate to remove them at this point," he said.

"Council is working with them to put an appropriate DA [development application] before council."

The Greens have said the police should not be used to break the protest.

“The NSW Police Force should not be used as private security to allow a coal seam gas company to force its way into a community that has overwhelmingly rejected the presence of gas fields in the Northern Rivers,” Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham said this week.


Monday, May 26, 2014

China Plans Anti-Pollution Effort

Beijing Smog

(Beijing, China)
China plans to take more than five million ageing vehicles off the roads this year in a bid to improve air quality, with 330,000 cars set to be decommissioned in Beijing alone, the government said in a policy document published on Monday.

Pollution has emerged as an urgent priority for China's leaders as they try to reverse the damage done by decades of breakneck growth and head off public anger about the sorry state of the nation's air, water and soil.

In a wide-ranging action plan to cut emissions over the next two years, China's cabinet, the State Council, said the country had already fallen behind in its pollution targets over the 2011-2013 period and was now having to step up its efforts.

As many as 5.33 million "yellow label" vehicles that fail to meet Chinese fuel standards will be "eliminated" this year, the document said. As well as the 330,000 cars in Beijing, 660,000 will be withdrawn from the surrounding province of Hebei, home to seven of China's smoggiest cities in 2013.
The Chinese launched a 2011-2015 five-year plan to reduce carbon emissions by 17 percent. Heh, good luck with that.

The Dutch remember

They have much to remember

About six miles from Maastricht, in the Netherlands, lie buried 8,301 American soldiers who died in “Operation Market Garden” in the battles to liberate Holland in the fall-winter of 1944-45. Every one of the men buried in the cemetery, as well as those in the Canadian and British military cemeteries, has been adopted by a Dutch family who mind the grave, decorate it, and keep alive the memory of the soldier they have adopted. It is even the custom to keep a portrait of “their” American soldier in a place of honor in their home. Annually, on “Liberation Day,” memorial services are held for “the men who died to liberate Holland.” The day concludes with a concert. The final piece is always “Il Silenzio,” a memorial piece commissioned by the Dutch and first played in 1965 on the 20th anniversary of Holland’s liberation. It has been the concluding piece of the memorial concert ever since.

In 2008 the soloist was a 13-year-old Dutch girl, Melissa Venema, backed by André Rieu and his orchestra (the Royal Orchestra of the Netherlands). This beautiful concert piece is based upon the original version of taps and was written by Italian composer Nino Rossi.

Memorial Day 2014

Military service changes a person in deep and lasting ways that are often bittersweet. Those who serve honorably carry with them the satisfaction of having done their duty even amid the pain of a lasting injury or the loss of comrades in arms. Perhaps only those who have served or lost a loved one can fully appreciate the significance of Memorial Day. And if we are to honor those who gave their last, full measure, we must also honor and value the ideals that are inseparable from their sacrifice. Otherwise, our tribute is hypocrisy.

A couple of years ago a classmate of mine was taken aback by what I said about two friends who had died in their early fifties in the ’90s. I commented that I considered the two men fortunate in at least one sense: they had not lived to witness the current advanced stage of America’s social and politically-correct disintegration. Should the same be said of our honored war dead? How is it that as a country we still hold true to their ideals when President Obama issues proclamations designating June “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month”? Is this the post-modern replacement for “God, Country and Family”?

I doubt that those we honor this Memorial Day would be very pleased with what our country has and is becoming. Mourn both them and the America we’ve lost.

Dennis Sevakis
Former Captain USAF


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

Sunday, May 25, 2014

California Killer

Elliot Rodger

(Isla Vista, California)
Hours after posting a terrifying YouTube warning, a murderous, misogynistic, 22-year-old virgin killed six people and wounded 13 more near a California college.

Elliot Rodger, the hate-filled son of a Hollywood director, vowed in his video to exact his bloody vengeance against the sorority women who rejected him and the men who succeeded where he so often failed.

Then he set out Friday night to make good on his evil intentions — stabbing three men to death in his apartment before arming himself to the teeth and hopping into his black BMW to steal life from three others.

“You denied me a happy life, and in turn I will deny all of you life,” the baby-faced Rodger declares in the video titled “Elliot Rodger’s Retribution.”[…]

“I hate all of you,” he says. “If I had it in my power, I would stop at nothing to reduce every single one of you to mountains of skulls and rivers of blood.”

Rodger was found dead Friday night inside his luxury car after blasting away with a semiautomatic handgun at people on the street and local sheriff’s deputies.
Rodger reportedly shot himself in the head.

Now BBC bans the G-word: Sports reporter joked that he’d been beaten in judo bout by a 19-year-old GIRL... so ‘sexist’ word cut from broadcast

Will the idiocy ever stop?

The BBC was embroiled in an extraordinary censorship row last night after cutting the word ‘girl’ from a documentary about the Commonwealth Games, fearing it might cause 'offence'.

Broadcaster Mark Beaumont, 31, joked after being hurled to the floor by a judo champion: ‘I am not sure I can live that down – being beaten by a 19-year-old girl.’

His remark was broadcast in full when the 30-minute episode of The Queen’s Baton Relay was first shown on the BBC News Channel in April.

But evidently sensitive to charges of sexism, BBC executives decided to edit out the word ‘girl’ when the programme was repeated last week, leaving an awkward pause in place of the offending word.

Asked by a viewer what had happened, Mr Beaumont tweeted: ‘Maybe the editor thought it was sexist – it wasn’t. I’m not worried about it.’

Even the judo champion involved, Cynthia Rahming, was left bemused. ‘I wasn’t offended – I didn’t find it sexist,’ she told The Mail on Sunday.

Elsewhere, it divided opinion, with some TV presenters, including Mariella Frostrup, 51, backing the BBC’s stance.


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

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Detecting Pregnancy and Cancer?

A guy found his ex-girlfriend's pregnancy test kit and decided to urinate on it. To his surprise, the results indicated he was pregnant.

Later he received input that he should have a doctor check for testicular cancer. He did and the results were positive. Fortunately, the condition was detected in the early stages.

Notably, the pregnancy test looked for a substance produced by women during pregnancy. The substance, however, is also produced by men with testicular cancer.


New British Nuke Sub

HMS Artful

(Barrow-in-Furness, United Kingdom) The nuclear-powered attack submarine HMS Artful has been lowered into the water for pre-operational testing. Sea trials are scheduled for next year.

Cis-Ridiculous.  How many labels do we need?

It’s time to come out of the closet: I am a cisgender woman.

I can see that you have a quizzical look on your faces. I suppose you don’t know what cisgender means. It is one of the 27,956 genders one can choose for oneself on a Facebook profile. A cisgender person identifies as the gender he or she was assigned at birth. “If a doctor said, ‘It’s a boy!’ when you were born, and you identify as a man, then you could be described as cisgender,” says the website

Wait, you are saying to yourselves, then aren’t you just a straight person? What is the difference between straight and cisgender?

According to a Tumblr blog called What-Does-Cis-Mean:

    "terms like cis allow us to identify when we mean cis men/women instead of always using men/women to mean cis men/women while always distinguishing trans men/women as the other. It places cis and trans people on equal ground."

I agree, that explanation was needlessly complicated. I will dumb it down for you. A cisgender is basically a non-transgender. But wait, you can’t say non-transgender. It is offensive for some reason. According to BasicRights, “referring to cisgender people as ‘non trans’ implies that cisgender people are the default and that being trans is abnormal.”

This is the main reasoning behind the existence of the word “cisgender.”


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

Friday, May 23, 2014

Ohio Child Sex Case

Cecilia Lower & Jacob Singleton

(Barberton, Ohio)
Police have charged two people they say cooperated to drug and rape a juvenile and then photograph the sexual assault.

Cecilia D. Lower, 30, of Barberton, is charged with raping a victim under 13, rape after administering a drug of abuse and pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor.

Jacob L. Singleton, 33, of New Franklin, is charged with complicity to rape a victim under 13 and pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor.

Barberton police say Singleton stole the drug Trazadone, which is a prescription sleeping aid and antidepressent, from a family member.

They say he then gave the drug to Lower and directed her to administer it to the juvenile, engage the child in sexual contact, photograph the events and forward the photos to him.
The children involved reportedly were a 4-year-old girl and 7-year-old boy.

Florida Woman Faces Sex with Teen Charge

Josita Norder

(Daytona Beach, Florida) A 48-year-old local woman, Josita Norder, has been accused of engaging in sex with a teen boy.
Norder was arrested Thursday and charged with a sex act by a person 24 or older with a 16- or 17-year-old victim, traveling to seduce/solicit/lure or entice a child and using a two-way communication device to commit a felony, records show.[…]

Norder texted the boy on March 27 after he ended a relationship with a person whose identity and connection to Norder is unknown, and during the several days of texts that followed, the pair exchanged sexual messages and photos, according a Daytona Beach police charging affidavit.

Norder and the boy met up in Daytona Beach where they had sex, according to the affidavit.
Norder was booked into custody at the Volusia County Jail and released on $100,000 bail.

Louisiana Woman Guilty of Sex Crimes

Dorothy Vanasselberg

(Rapides Parish, Louisiana)
An Elmer woman indicted on nearly 250 child-sex charges agreed Tuesday to a plea deal, though the terms of the arrangement have not been disclosed.

Ninth District Judge John Davidson set a court date of May 28 for Dorothy Jean Vanasselberg, 32, who has been in the Rapides Parish Jail since her arrest in July 2013.

Documents from the 9th Judicial District Court state that all of the offenses occurred between July 1, 2012, and Sept. 4, 2013.

A grand jury had indicted Vanasselberg on 53 counts of aggravated rape, 42 counts of sexual battery, 79 counts of aggravated incest, 48 counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile and 25 counts of pornography with juveniles.

Both aggravated incest and aggravated rape are punishable by life in prison.

Chikungunya Fever Outbreak

(Palm Beach County, Florida)
A 66-year-old man became the first person in Palm Beach County — and the fourth in Florida — to come down with chikungunya fever after contracting the mosquito-borne virus in the Caribbean, the county Health Department announced Wednesday.

The unidentified man began feeling ill on May 15, shortly after returning home from a trip through the island of Hispaniola, Health Department spokesman Timothy O'Connor said. He was treated at a county hospital the following day and is recovering at home, where he is protecting himself from mosquitoes so as not to spread the virus.[…]

Symptoms — which typically begin three to seven days after being bitten by an infected Aedes mosquito — include fever, headache, swelling, rash or severe joint pain, often in the hands and feet. It is not typically fatal.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Pennsylvania Teacher Gets Prison in Sex Case - Update

(Berks County, Pennsylvania) Former Berks County middle school science teacher Jessica Saienni pleaded guilty to engaging in sex with a 14-year-old student and has been sentenced.

Saienni was sentenced to six to 23 months in prison.
Authorities said Saienni had sex with the boy between June and August 2012, with most of the encounters occurring at her now-former home on Third Street in Bethlehem Township.

Court records state Saienni and her husband, Bethlehem police officer Michael DiLuzio, filed for a divorce.

Saienni resigned from her Reading School District teaching position in January, school officials said.
As part of Saienni's sentence, she is banned from being on the property of any school.

* * * * *

Pennsylvania Teacher, 30, and Boy, 14
[Previous 2/21/14 post]
(Berks County, Pennsylvania) A 30-year-old Berks County middle school science teacher, Jessica Saienni, has been accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy over a period of several months.

Saeinni faces counts of statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, institutional sexual assault, corruption of minors, unlawful contact with a minor, open lewdness, and intimidation of a witness or victims, specifically the assault victim.
Saienni would allegedly pick up the victim in her car after contacting him via text message, then drive the victim to locations where the sexual encounters would occur, according to court documents.

The initial sexual encounter allegedly occurred near the Body Zone Sports and Wellness Complex on Papermill Road in Wyomissing, with subsequent encounters allegedly occurring in a home owned by Saienni in Bethlehem, Northampton County, court documents state.

Saienni also allegedly sent nude photographs of herself to the victim’s cell phone, court documents state.
Saienni awaits arraignment.
Disgust, homosexuality and conservatism

Haidt has produced some well-known research which shows that conservatives have much more complex moral attitudes than Leftists do.  There are a wider range of factors that enter into a conservative's judgment of what is good or bad.  Leftists, by contrast, have much more simply determined   moral attitudes.

That finding is of course exactly the opposite of what Leftist psychologists preached from 1950 onwards.  Leftists wanted to brand conservatives as the simplistic ones -- which is another example of my rule of thumb which says that you can find out what is true of Leftists by looking at what they say about  conservatives.  They are great projectors in the Freudian sense.

One of the things Haidt found was that conservative judgments were strongly influenced by feelings of disgust. Conservatives are disgusted by such things as mass-murder.  How quaint!  Haidt says that disgust  began as a guardian of the mouth (against pathogens), but then expanded during biological and cultural evolution to become a guardian of the body more generally, and of the social and moral order.

A recent study by Adams et al. mounted an experimental test of Haidt's theory.  They exposed people (mostly Christians) to a disgusting smell and looked at how that affected attitudes.  Some people got the smell and some did not.  They asked did being exposed to a bad smell instantly make you more conservative!

And they extended Haidt's thinking to test whether disgust is a determinant of attitude to homosexuality.  In the days before political correctness, disgust at homosexuality was frequently and widely expressed in the community so I felt I knew the outcome of that query in advance.

And so it was.  The authors looked at a wide range of conservative attitudes but it was only attitudes to sexual matters in general and homosexuality in particular that were much influenced by disgust.  And the issue that produced the biggest differentiation was:  "If a close friend of family member were gay, I would support their right to having a same-sex marriage.”  The non-disgusted group (those who had not been exposed to the bad small) almost universally supported such marriage.  And, reflecting the pressure of what is presently socially acceptable, about half of the disgusted group did too.  "Strongly agree" was however much less common among the disgusted (odor-exposed) group.  So some (but not all) people became less acceptant of homosexuality amid a bad smell.

To me the notable fact about the research was how little effect the smell had. A few correlations were statistically significant but all were trivial in magnitude.  The strongest correlation was with gay marriage attitudes but, as we have seen, the correlation there was a long way from perfect.  A large number of people were unaffected by the bad smell and thought gay marriage was just dandy!

The authors drew generally reasonable conclusions:
These data are consistent with theory delineated by Tybur and colleagues [13], which argues that disgust functions to decrease the occurrence (both in the self and society) of sexual behaviors that are perceived as increasing risk of pathogen transmission. Relatedly, and as noted by Haidt and Graham [11], conservative attitudes are driven not only by harm avoidance, but also by concerns about purity. According to these theories, shifts toward politically conservative views on sex may be basic, adaptive, and self-protective responses against perceived spread of pathogens or moral threats. When disgust is evoked, the behavioral immune system engages avoidance to prevent infection (e.g., less interpersonal contact [28]) and appears to moralize sexual conduct in ways that underlie conservative values of purity and sanctity [11], [26]. As seen in the results of our study, it is possible that exposure to a disgusting odorant caused increased feelings of disgust, which in turn activated the harm avoidance system and motivated a desire for purity (cleanliness). Once these two systems were activated, it is possible that participants began to adopt attitudes that they perceived as decreasing social harm and/or increasing moral purity.

There is a growing literature indicating that disgust has important consequences for political views and policy preferences. In the research presented here, exposure to a disgusting odor caused greater endorsement of conservative views, including: rejecting gay marriage, restricting sex to marriage, disapproving of the use of pornography, and increased beliefs in Biblical truth. Odor induced conservative shifts concerning gay marriage were particularly robust. It is possible that some forms of political conservatism, particularly those related to sex and sexuality, are basic and inherent in some populations and can readily emerge under threatening or taxing conditions [4], [29], [30].
This study will undoubtedly be bruited about by Leftists touting it as "proof" that conservatives are irrational.  So it should be noted that the researchers did not say that.  They in fact saw the role of disgust as healthy and adaptive.

The one issue I would have with the researchers is that they have overgeneralized their findings.  They did not find ANYTHING about conservatism in general, despite testing that.  And the few correlations they celebrate in their conclusions above were in fact of trivial magnitude. Only the "Gay marriage" correlation was of some substance.  It was however nice to have a confirmation that homosexuality is still associated with disgust even amid a tyranny designed to erase such disgust.

There's a journalistic version of the study here.  The original journal article is Disgust and the Politics of Sex: Exposure to a Disgusting Odorant Increases Politically Conservative Views on Sex and Decreases Support for Gay Marriage

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

Texas Teacher Accused of Sex with Student

(Houston, Texas) A 26-year-old teacher at Cypress Lakes High School, Kelly Thompson, has been accused of engaging in a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student.
When Cy-Fair ISD officials confronted Thompson, she gave them the name of her friend – the tipster – as a witness who could defend her.

Once district authorities had her friend’s name and number, Thompson allegedly started sending her text messages, urging her to lie when they called and deny that Thompson had a relationship with the teen.

During an interview, the victim reportedly told an assistant district attorney that he sex with Thompson inside her car.
Details on booking are unavailable.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Georgia Teacher Accused of Child Cruelty

(Newton County, Georgia) A healthcare science and biotech teacher at Social Circle High School, Julie Johnson, has been arrested on charges of cruelty to children.

Julie Johnson along with Michael Johnson have been charged with second-degree cruelty to children.
According to a sheriff's spokesperson, two children - ages 7 and 8 -- were removed from the home.

Johnson was a teacher at Social Circle High School. Tuesday afternoon, Social Circle City Schools superintendent Dr. Todd McGhee told 11Alive's Blayne Alexander that Johnson resigned her position as the high school's healthcare science and biotech teacher. He said the resignation was effective May 9, the day after her arrest.

The superintendent said Johnson was named teacher of the year at the high school last year.
Details on booking are unavailable.

Hawaii Teacher Accused of Sex with Student

Nancy Ballo

(Waiakea, Hawaii)
A female Waiakea High School teacher has been put on administrative leave after allegedly having sex with a 17-year-old male student.

Because the student is above the state’s age of consent, 16, it is unlikely that criminal charges will be pursued by law enforcement, but the teacher, Nancy Ballo, is no longer teaching at the school while a state Department of Education investigation continues.

“We haven’t fired anybody,” said Principal Kelcy Koga, adding that administrators are very limited in what they can discuss while the investigation is ongoing.
So, as long as the teenage student target is over age 16, Hawaiian law allows teachers to privately play with students' personal papayas and coconuts.

Of course, the situation allows teachers with nasty on their minds to begin grooming students at younger ages while marking their calendars with action dates based on when the target tenderoni reaches age 17.

Cynical lies designed to pressure big food companies

Warming would make great new areas of Northern Canada and Siberia suitable for grain farming.  So the problem would be TOO MUCH food, not too little.  And if some of the soils there are poor, adding supplements of various sorts is already routine

The price of cereals such as Corn Flakes could surge by as much as 44 percent in the next 15 years because of climate change, Oxfam has warned.

The charity has claimed the 'Big 10' food and drink companies combined emit more greenhouse gases than Scandinavia, and has warned these firms could face financial ruin if they do not do more to tackle climate change.

Oxfam says were companies Associated British Foods, Coca-Cola, Danone, General Mills, Kellogg, Mars, Mondelez International, Nestl‚, PepsiCo and Unilever a country, they would rank as the 25th most polluting.

In its new report Standing on the Sidelines, the international agency says these firms emit 264 million tons of greenhouse gases, according to the latest available figures, more than the combined 250 million ton total for Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Iceland.

Oxfam says food supplies are being affected by storms, floods, droughts and shifting weather patterns caused by climate change, which is leading to more hunger and poverty.

It has been predicted that by 2050 there will be 50 million more people made hungry because of climate change, and Oxfam has suggested that the price of key products like Kellogg's Corn Flakes could rise by 44 percent by 2029.

In its critical report, the charity has called on the firms, which is says generate œ650 million a day in revenues - equivalent to the total gross domestic product of all the world's lower income countries - to cut their combined emissions by 80 million tons by 2020.

'By failing to cut emissions adequately the 'Big 10' are putting short term profits ahead of the long term interests of both themselves and the rest of us,' said Oxfam's director of UK campaigns and policy Sally Copley.

'Their influence and wealth are the perfect ingredients to stop putting their businesses at risk and making climate change worse.

'They need to look at the whole picture from how their ingredients are grown to how their goods are produced to cut emissions.

'They also need to pressure businesses and governments to do what is needed to tackle climate change and help build a future where everyone has enough to eat.'

Oxfam says that the food industry drives around 25 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and that these emissions are growing as demand for food rises.

'Experts say that if the world is to avoid warming of more than 2C, rising emissions from deforestation and agriculture need to be reversed by 2050 and agriculture and forests need to together become a carbon sink - effectively removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere,' said an Oxfam spokesman.

'Their influence and wealth are the perfect ingredients to stop putting their businesses at risk and making climate change worse'

Oxfam says some of the companies, Unilever, Coca-Cola, and Nestle, had taken steps to tackle climate change, and that Pepsico UK had committed to reduce emissions from its agricultural supply chain by 50 percent in five years.

But it singled out Kellogg, which produces cereals including Corn Flakes and Rice Crispies, and General Mills, which encompasses brands including Haagen-Dazs and Jus-Rol, as two of the 'worst' on climate.

In its report the charity called on these companies to lead the other firms towards more responsible policies and practices. Oxfam also urged the firms to disclose their agricultural emissions and biggest polluting suppliers, and set targets to cut emissions from their supply chains.

A spokesman from Kellog told MailOnline: 'Kellogg is committed to doing what's right for the environment and society. As part of this commitment, we are working to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions - along with energy use and water use - by 15-20 percent at our manufacturing facilities by 2015.

'We're pleased to see that Oxfam has recognized our commitment to working with global palm oil suppliers to source fully traceable palm oil, produced in a manner that's environmentally responsible, socially beneficial, and economically viable. We've also made continuous improvements in the areas of Land, Women, Climate and Water.

'We value continued engagement and discussion with Oxfam, and other external stakeholders on the important issues of environmental and social sustainability.'

A General Mills spokesperson added: 'Climate Change is a serious issue, and as a food company we are very aware of the impact that climate change could have on agriculture and the world's food supply.

'General Mills has been actively engaged in positively influencing climate policy and has been taking steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in its operations for many years.'


Comment by William Happer received by email:  Meyers is an "instructor in medicine" and research scientist at the "Harvard Center for the Environment." This is not a very prestigious position. But if Meyers continues to produce horror stories like this for the establishment, it will soon bring him fame and fortune, just as environmental fanaticism has done for so many already, including Obama's Presidential Science Advisor and Al Gore. As for content, Meyers's paper sounds like rubbish to me. As best I know, grain is not the main source of nutritional zinc and iron anyway. And somebody should get the environmental enforcers after the growers of hothouse tomatoes, cucumbers, etc., who persist in doubling, tripling and quadrupling the CO2 levels in their greenhouses.

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

California Teacher Convicted of Sex Assault of Student - Update

(Brea, California) Yesterday, former Brea Olinda High School math teacher Michelle Lynn Johnson, 46, was convicted of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old male student.

Johnson pleaded guilty to three felony counts of oral copulation of a minor and two felony counts of unlawful sexual intercourse.
Johnson has been on leave from the high school.

She was sentenced to 270 days in jail, five years of formal probation and must register as a sex offender while on probation.
Presumably, the case is closed.

* * * * *

California Teacher Popped for Sex with Student
[Previous 6/14/13 post]
(Brea, California) A 45-year-old math teacher at Brea Olinda High School, Michele Lynn Johnson, has been accused of engaging in sex with a male student.

Notably, Johnson is a former Teacher of the Year (2009) at the school.

Johnson faces a charge of unlawful sex with a minor.
Math instructor Michelle Lynn Johnson, 45, was taken into custody at her Anaheim home, Brea police Sgt. Jim Griffin said.

The student's father called police Wednesday, and Johnson was arrested after being questioned, according to Griffin, who declined to provide City News Service with the alleged victim's age or details on how the dad discovered the allegations.
Johnson was booked into custody and released on $20,000 bail.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Pennsylvania Teacher in Retrial Gets Hammered - Updated

(Lancaster, Pennsylvania) For some reason, the 2012 court decision regarding Christy Lee Smith was overturned and she has been retried and convicted, again.
On Tuesday, Smith pleaded guilty to sex abuse against a Solanco High School student, who was 17 at the time of the crimes.

In turn, Lancaster County Judge Dennis Reinaker ordered Smith to 14 to 30 years in state prison on all charges.
Presumably, the case has been put to bed.

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Pennsylvania Teacher Gets Hammered in Sex Case - Updated
[Previous 10/18/12 post]
(Lancaster, Pennsylvania) Yesterday in Lancaster County Court, Judge Dennis Reinaker sentenced former teacher Christy Lee Smith, 34, to serve 20 to 40 years in state prison.

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Pennsylvania Teacher Convicted in Sex Case - Updated
[Previous 7/21/12 post]
(Lancaster, Pennsylvania)
Philadelphia McCaskey High School teacher Christy Lee Smith was convicted on 18 counts of having sex with two male students.

The jury needed only two hours to convict Christy Lee Smith on all but four counts of the sexual abuse related charges, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Smith engaged in a sexual relationship with the students from 2008 to 2010.
Sentencing date TBD.

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Pennsylvania Teacher Now Faces Porn Charges - Updated
[Previous 1/23/12 post]
(Lancaster, Pennsylvania) Former McCaskey High School teacher Christy L. Smith now faces child pornography charges.
City police Detective Aaron Harnish opened the porn investigation after an interview with the 17-year-old boy, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

The boy told Harnish that Smith took photos when the two engaged in sexual intercourse, the affidavit says.

During a search at Smith's apartment on College Avenue in October 2010, eight photos were discovered on her computer and cell phone, the affidavit says.
Smith remains in custody with bond set at $300,000.

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Pennsylvania Teacher Faces New Sex Charge - Updated
[Previous 10/31/10 post]
(Lancaster, Pennsylvania) English teacher Christy L. Smith has been accused of engaging in sex with a second boy, a 17-year-old.
Smith had sexual intercourse with the boy at least 10 times, police said in a criminal complaint. She also performed oral sex on him twice, and she had him perform oral sex on her on at least five occasions.

Police received information about the alleged incidents involving Smith and the 17-year-old on Oct. 7, police said.
Smith remains jailed in lieu of $250,000 bail.

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Pennsylvania Teacher Accused of Multiple Sex Crimes
[Previous 10/9/10 post]
(Lancaster, Pennsylvania) A 32-year-old English teacher at McClaskey High School, Christy L. Smith, was arrested Thursday for allegedly engaging in multiple sexual encounters with a 15-year-old male student at her home.

Smith faces three counts of statutory sexual assault, six counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, three counts of unlawful contact with minor and three counts of corruption of minors.
Officers said they were tipped off by one of the student's relatives in January. They said they made the arrest after interviewing the student.

"Being 15-years-old, you're really not old enough to make this kind of adult decision. And it has to be extremely difficult for someone that age to have to be in a process like this," said Lancaster Police Chief Keith Sadler.
Police suspect that there may be more victims.

Smith was booked into custody at Lancaster County Prison with bail set at $250,000.

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