Monday, June 30, 2014

Women With Troubles - June 2014

Here is a compilation of women with troubles reported in news stories during June 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 Hawk Elebash, 43,
teacher - Gets 3 months jail for harassment,

(AL) Cassandra "Sandi" Sue Scott, 42,
teacher - Found guilty of felony drug charges. Sentencing in August,

(AR) Helen Banks, 57,
teacher - Accused of sexual assault of 16-year-old female student,

(CA) Tracy Ann Beverlin, 34,
neighbor - Accused of sex with boy, 13,

(CA) Rebecca Eileen Diebolt, 35,
teacher - Accused of engaging in a sexual affair with a 15-year-old girl,

(CA) Gaineng He, 36,
prostitute - Charged with pimping and pandering,

(CA) Qiao "Judy" He, 37,
prostitute - Charged with pimping and pandering,

(CA) Nicole Ethel McMillen, 43,
teacher's aide - Gets 3+ years prison for sex with minors,

(CO) Shannon Dodson, 42,
neighbor - Sentenced to 40 years in prison for intentional drowning of son, 5,

(FL) Jessica Aljure, 27,
teacher - Accused of giving alcohol to a 14-year-old female student,

(FL) Lesley R. Brown, 45,
teacher - Accused of sending nude photos of herself to a 17-year -old boy,

(FL) Kimberly Honaker, 48, with boyfriend Robert Pruitt, 58,
teacher - Accused of sexual abuse of girl, 13,

(FL) Chancy Layton, 19,
neighbor - Accused of burglary, theft and criminal mischief after breaking into home,

(FL) Brenna Elise Winter, 18,
neighbor - Accused of trying to suffocate her baby in hospital,

(GA) Suzanne Hussain, 34,
neighbor - Accused of vandalizing residence while naked,

(IL) Amber Kraus, 30,
teacher - Gets probation for sex with student, 16,

(KS) Brooke Dinkel, 33,
school counselor - Convicted of raping boy under age 14. Sentencing in August,

(KS) Heather Robinson,
truancy officer - Accused of sex with male student, 17,

(KY) Casey Neal, 18,
neighbor - Accused of passing counterfeit money,

(MA) Heather Salines, 38,
neighbor - Accused of sex with boy, 15,

(MI) Jessica Marie Newland, 27,
neighbor - Gets 4 to 15 years prison for sex with boy, 15,

(MI) Kathryn Ronk, 29,
teacher - Accused of sex with male student, 15,

(NC) Kayla Marie Russell, 20,
neighbor - Arrested for assault with deadly weapon,

(NE) Elizabeth L. Munsinger, 33,
babysitter - Gets 6 months in jail for sex act on boy, 2- to 3 years old,

(NE) Destiny Trenary, 29,
neighbor - Guilty of felony child abuse of 15-year-old boy,

(NY) Joy Morsi, 39,
phys ed teacher - Accused of long-term sexual relationship with male student,

(OH) Carla Hague, 71,
retired nurse - Gets two years prison for attempted antifreeze poisoning of husband,

(OH) Martina Stanley, 35,
school coach - Gets 15 days jail for gross sexual imposition on 17-year-old male student,

(OH) Nicole White, 34,
counselor - Accused of sex with federal inmate,

(OR) Nikki Nafiza Robinson, 46,
former PTO president - Gets probation for theft,

(PA) Stephanie M. Amato, 30,
special ed teacher - Accused of repeated sex with 14-year-old male student,

(TN) Danniele Dennise Geer, 27,
neighbor - Accused of trafficking heavily in drugs,

(TN) Samantha Harper,
neighbor - Sentenced to 16 years in prison for child neglect due to hot car deaths of her two children,

(TX) Pamela Jones, 35,
teacher - Accused of sex with two 16-year-old male students,

(TX) Chrystal Miller,
teacher - Accused of inappropriate relationship,

(TX) Raquel Reyes, 29,
neighbor - Accused of sex threesome with two boys, ages 14 and 16,

(TX) Cecilia Schlesinger,
teacher - Accused of improper relationship with student,

(TX) Michelle Strickland, 23,
teacher - Accused of sex with male student,

(WA) Courtney Keller, 29,
educator - Gets 9 months jail for sex with male student, 16,

(WV) Melissa Koch, with friend Jeremy Gray,
teacher - Arrested for drugs,

(Canada) Denise Harvey, 46,
former business owner - Convicted in Florida, Harvey fled and was granted asylum in Canada.
Thanks to the tipsters.

Oregon Woman Sentenced for PTO Theft - Update

(North Plains, Oregon) Nikki Nafiza Robinson has been sentenced to serve two years of probation, 100 hours of community service and undergo a mental health evaluation.

* * * * *

Oregon Woman Convicted of PTO Theft - Update
[Previous 6/11/14 post]
(North Plains, Oregon)
A North Plains woman was found guilty Tuesday of defrauding her local Girl Scouts troop and elementary school's Parent Teacher Organization.

Nikki Nafiza Robinson, 46, went to trial last week in Washington County Circuit Court on five counts of first-degree theft.

Authorities say Robinson was an active parent volunteer with the Girl Scouts troop in North Plains and the North Plains Elementary School PTO.

During closing arguments Tuesday, Deputy District Attorney Bik-Na Han said Robinson had access to the groups' accounts and debit cards, and she spent their money on personal expenses.

In the case of the Girl Scouts, Han said, an account that should have had at least $1,000 from cookie sales dwindled to $8. The prosecutor also said Robinson used thousands of dollars in PTO funds. After the North Plains police chief began investigating, she returned nearly $9,000.
Sentencing is scheduled for June 24.

* * * * *

Oregon Woman Accused of PTO Theft
[Previous 3/20/13 post]
(North Plains, Oregon) A 45-year-old former president of the North Plains Elementary Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), Nikki N. Robinson, has been indicted on six counts of first-degree theft.
Robinson is accused of taking money from the Parent Teacher Organization and from the Girl Scouts, North Plains Police Chief Bill Snyder said.

Police have not said how much Robinson is accused of taking or when the alleged thefts occurred. Court records show that some of Robinson's charges are from incidents between 2010 and 2012.

Snyder on Tuesday said North Plains police started the investigation about a year ago. Citing an ongoing investigation, Snyder would not release more details about the case.
Robinson was booked and released. Arraignment is scheduled for March 27.

Bourbon Street Shootings

(New Orleans, Louisiana)
Tourists were among the nine people wounded in a Bourbon Street shooting early Sunday, New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas said.

"Some of the victims are not from New Orleans," NOPD's chief said at an afternoon news conference staged in the middle of the 700 block of Bourbon Street near Orleans Street, where gunfire rang out at about 2:45 a.m.

No arrests had been made as of Sunday (June 29) afternoon.
Police have called for businesses and individuals with relevant video footage of the shootings to step forward.

Some jargon and a triumph of capitalism

Jargon can be obscurantist at times but can also be useful.  Most trades and occupations have their own jargon as a quick means of communication.  I have been involved with quite a few trades and occupations in my life so am pretty jargon-loaded.  I try to keep it within its own context, however.

An example of jargon occurred recently when I saw a carpenter about to throw out something that had some bolts and nuts in it.  I checked that he really was throwing the nut out and he said he was.  I then unscrewed the nut, took one second's look at it and said: "That's a three eight whitworth".  In reply he agreed that the nut was worth keeping.

So what had I said?  What had my bit of jargon conveyed?  To answer that fully you need to know about Joe Whitworth.  Whitworth was an engineer in mid-19th century Britain.  One of the things he did was make bolts and nuts (he made a good sniper rifle too).  And his bolts and nuts were very good. People found them to be stronger and more accurate. So after a while people wanted to buy Whitworth bolts and nuts only.  So all makers of bolts and nuts had to convert to "Whitworth standard" if they wanted to stay in the business.  And they did.  No government devised the Whitworth standard and no government made people use it but the standard became fixed and a fixed standard was found very useful.  And until other nations caught on it gave British machine-makers an advantage. The French were amazed at how quickly Britain could build gunboats for the Crimean war, for instance.

And America caught on too.  The American "National Coarse" standard is only a slightly modified version of the Whitworth specifications.  You can usually use NC and Whitworth bolts and nuts interchangeably (Yes.  I know about the pesky half-inch size).

But then it gets even more interesting.  Because a Whitworth thread is coarse it is very strong but it is also a bit wobbly for some precision purposes.  So a fine thread was also needed.  Alas!  Mr Whitworth did not bother with that.  So it fell to others to devise fine threads.  And by that time the clammy hand of government was felt.  Governments took it upon themselves to set the standards.  And in true government form they messed it up.  The British fine standard (BSF) and the American fine standard (SAE) are quite different.  No interchangeability any more.  A big part of the advantage of standardizion was lost.

So, to get back to my original story, I was telling the tradesman that the thread in the nut was coarse (Whitworth standard) and that the diameter of the bolt taken by the nut was three eighths of an inch.  I could tell that measurement by eye, as most people in the engineering trades could.

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

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Newlyweds Decapitated

Young newlyweds in northeastern Pakistan were killed by the bride’s family, the latest victims of honor killings in the country, Pakistan police said Saturday.

Sajjad Ahmed, 26, and Muawia Bibi, 18, were married by a Pakistani court June 18 — but apparently against the wishes of the Bibi family, CNN reported, citing Punjab police official Mohammad Ahsanullah.

On Thursday, the bride’s father and uncles lured the couple back to the village of Satrah in Punjab province, where Ahsanullah said the pair were tied up and then decapitated.
According to the UN, about 5,000 women are murdered in honor killings every year.

Carolina Couple Accused of Child Neglect

Andrej and Natalia Sokil

(Spartanburg, South Carolina)
A Spartanburg couple have been charged with the neglect of a child or helpless person after a deputy discovered 10 children, some with bruises and sores, living in a home with no air conditioning and a swarm of bugs.

Andrej Sokil, 46, and Natalia Sokil, 38, of 270 Old Lowe Road, face three charges each after the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office received a call on Friday. According to a Sheriff's Office incident report, a 15-year-old girl called and told deputies that her father, Andrej Sokil, twisted her arm and slapped her while trying to take her cellphone.

When a deputy arrived at the home, he discovered the 10 children home alone, and he noticed a 14-year-old boy with a black eye, the report states. The boy told the deputy police had been called recently to the home about his black eye. The deputy also noticed a 9-year-old boy with red sores on the front and back of both legs, the report states.

According to the report, the deputy also found a 1-year-old girl asleep in a crib with red sores all over the lower half of her body and noted that there was a “swarm of bugs flying around the child.”
The Sokils were booked into custody at the Spartanburg County Jail.

More on sperm-donated children

I put up yesterday a report that chilren conceived from donor sperm had a high rate of dysfunction.  The article concerned was from a leftist source so gave the impression that just being such a child was upsetting.  The impression was that environmental causes were behind the poor adjustment.  I thought at the time that genetic issues in the matter had been slighted but was in too much of a rush to note that.  Some women turning to donors would be doing so because of husband infertility but many others would be women who were too poorly adjusted to form a relationship with a normal man.  And that probably indicated  serious inadequacies in the mother and such inadequacies could well be passed on to the children.

A senior medical reader with experience in the matter has confirmed my reservations -- and in fact tells me that it is even worse than I thought.  I quote:

"Yes, agreed that children’s search for real parents can be unnerving, but a well adjusted teenager would not become unglued by such or commit crimes or suicide; the maladjustment comes, more likely, from their parents (natural and adopted). I can tell you this from personal experience.

From 1982 – 1987 I worked at [name given]. One of the early pioneers in IVF worked there; we had a string of patients that, in my not so humble opinion, were among the world’s worst adjusted misfits; unlikely they would be fit parents.

Most were well educated, had some money (cash only), and many traveled great distances to come to [that hospital]. Many had tried multiple times elsewhere. Most were amazingly self absorbed (“it’s all about me”) - they radiated self loathing about not conceiving naturally.

I would favor the parents more than “search for origins” for creating abnormal children.

A personal relative was mentally ill; she harassed her adopted daughter by telling her “you are adopted” every day, reinforcing the girl’s feelings of inadequacy; needless to say, no one was surprised when this young lady became screwed up.

I would not at all be surprised if some of the same results (in  IVF offspring) occurred in children adopted or surrogated from gay couples; these professionally victimized gays are among the most self indulgent (“it’s all about me”)  people alive; this MUST be transferred to the children."

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

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Florida Woman Accused of Trying to Suffocate Her Baby

(Orlando, Florida) An 18-year-old local mother, Brenna Elise Winter, has been arrested on suspicion of trying to suffocate her baby in an Orlando hospital room.

Winter faces charges of attempted first-degree murder, battery by strangulation and aggravated child abuse.
According to court documents, Winter took her 3-month-old daughter to Nemours Hospital earlier this month because the baby was vomiting blood.

After undergoing some tests, the baby was OK'd to go home, but she was brought back later for the same symptoms, officials said.

According to authorities, an alarm was triggered in the hospital because of the child's condition, and a video monitoring system in the room showed Winter beside her baby with her hands inside the crib.

Nurses checked on the baby, but hours later the child had to be revived when the alarm again sounded, court documents stated.

Investigators said Winter admitted to trying to suffocate her daughter because Winter wanted attention. She also said she once placed her finger down her daughter's throat, scratching the girl's mouth.
Winter was booked into custody at the Orange County Jail without bond.

Sperm banks and IQ

Leftist ladies want their sperm donor to be a Bronx gangbanger -- NOT

There's a wonderful article in yesterday's NY Times about sperm banks. I learned that only 1 to 2% of men who offer to donate to sperm banks are accepted as donors, and of those that are accepted, some donors are much popular among the donees than others.

Women who use sperm banks are looking to make a perfect baby:   Handsome and brilliant. Talented and charming. Loving and kind. A match one might only dream of finding in the flesh.

“Many women see this as another way to give their child a head start in life,” says Lori Andrews, a professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law who has studied the sperm bank industry, of the high stakes of sperm selection.

And increasingly, say the banks, women want proof of perfection before buying a dream donor’s sperm.

They ask for SAT scores and personality test results.

I think this is highly ironic, because somehow one suspects that the women who use the services of sperm banks voted for John Kerry in the last election. Under normal circumstances, they'd agree with the following statement: "The Bell Curve is racist pseudo-science proven wrong by experts." But these same women become True Believers in The Bell Curve and eugenics when it comes to selecting genes for their own children.


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

Sperm Shortage in United Kindom

The UK is facing a major sperm shortage that may be tempting fertility clinics to accept poorer quality sperm, the British Fertility Society (BFS) warns.

Some clinics rely on imported sperm to keep up with demand.[…]

Figures from the fertility regulator, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), show nearly one in four donated sperm samples are from abroad.
Major foreign suppliers of sperm to the UK are the US and Denmark.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Mexican Helicopter Incursion Across US Border

(Tucson, Arizona)
On Thursday morning between midnight and 6 a.m. at least one Mexican military helicopter crossed eight miles into the United States and shot at Border Patrol agents with lethal force before returning to Mexican territory.

The incident occurred in an area notorious for violent drug cartel activity just west of the Tohono O'odham Indian Nation during a Border Patrol drug interdiction operation. The timing and location of the incident has prompted agents to believe the use of the helicopter by the Mexican military may have been on behalf of drug cartels operating in the area.

"Mexican military are oftentimes working hand in glove with the cartels. The Mexican military has routinely crossed the border in areas that Border Patrol agents are actively tracking or seizing drug loads. Inevitably the Mexican military claim they got lost, that the border was not clearly marked, or in extreme cases fire on agents to cover their retreat," National Border Patrol Council Spokesman Shawn Moran exclusively tells Townhall.
Reportedly, the Mexican government has apologized.

Marion Barry Speaks on Health Policy

(Washington, D.C.)
Reporters at a Friday night dinner in honor of Ward 8 Councilmember and new author Marion Barry's autobiography got an unexpected lesson in health policy, as Barry explained the evils of the nonexistent "yogurt tax."

After a reporter asked Barry what he thought of the so-called "yoga tax" on yoga classes and gym memberships, Barry apparently thought the reporter was talking about yogurt, and he declared taxing the breakfast food "crazy."

“Yogurt is really more healthy than some other things, as is cottage cheese," said the 78-year-old ex-mayor.
Familiarity regarding current events is a plus for politicians.

North Korea Promises War with US for Movie

Kim Jong-un

(Pyongyang, North Korea)
North Korea has promised "merciless" retaliation if a forthcoming Hollywood movie about killing Kim Jong-un is released, say agencies.

A North Korean foreign ministry spokesman said in state media that the movie's release would be an "act of war".

He did not mention the title, but a Hollywood movie called The Interview with a similar plot is due in October.

Hollywood actors James Franco and Seth Rogen star in the action-comedy film.

Rogen, who is also one of the directors of The Interview, has since responded on Twitter saying: "People don't usually wanna kill me for one of my movies until after they've paid 12 bucks for it."

Franco and Rogen play a talkshow host and his producer who are invited to interview Kim Jong-un, and are subsequently recruited by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to assassinate the leader.
What a sensitive guy, eh?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Texas Band Teacher and Male Student

Michelle Strickland

(Houston, Texas) A 23-year-old teacher at Stratford High School, Michelle Strickland, has been accused of engaging in sex with a male student.
Strickland was arrested and charged with improper relationship with a student.

Spring Branch ISD says Strickland, 23, served during the 2013-14 school year, and was removed from the classroom and away from contact with students following an investigation into an anonymous tip that she had an inappropriate relationship with an 18-year-old male band student.

Court documents state the teen said during the spring 2014 semester he engaged in sexual relations with Strickland in a storage room in the Stratford band hall.
Strickland has been fired from her teaching position.

South Korean Suicide

(Seoul, South Korea)
The daughter of a crew member of a South Korean ferry which sank killing hundreds of school children committed suicide on Thursday, police and prosecutors said, in a tragic twist to a disaster that prompted a nationwide outpouring of grief.

The crew member, facing a charge of negligence in the April 16 sinking, was granted temporary release from detention so that he could help arrange the funeral, a prosecution official said.
Sadly, the ferry named Sowel had 476 people onboard when it capsized in April and only 172 were rescued.

Don't laugh:  A prophecy from the 1980s.  It could have been written yesterday

We sure had a hard time in the year 2000

PICKING up where a high-school chemistry class might end, "Nova," the public-broadcasting science series, offers the nonmatriculating viewer an advanced course in worrying. The cause of the concern is all the carbon dioxide that's being pumped into the industrialized and motorized air. The hourlong broadcast is called "The Climate Crisis: The Greenhouse Effect," at 9 tonight on Channel 13.

The conclusion, conveyed with great authority by several big-league climatologists from government and private research organizations, is terrible: by the year 2000, the atmosphere and weather will grow warmer by several degrees and life - animal, plant, human - will be threatened. The experts say that melting ice caps, flooded cities, droughts in the corn belt and famine in the third world could result if the earth's mean temperature rises by a mere two or three degrees.

The documentary swings between pictures of green lands and smokestack skies. This, of course, is familiar to readers and documentary viewers, going back at least to Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring." The pleasant educational lesson on "Nova" illustrates planetary ecology. In an interesting analogy, we learn from the writer-producer Richard Broad, of Boston's public-television station WGBH, that a single trans-Atlantic flight consumes all the energy that an acre of forest produces in 100 years. The oceans and forests absorb carbon dioxide; that's the good news. The bad news is that these natural safeguards could be imperiled if tropical forests are cut down for agricultural use.

Millions of tons of coal are burned annually around the world. In small amounts, carbon dioxide is necessary, but with the ever-growing consumption of fossil fuels (mainly coal), the air becomes polluted at an intolerable level. The scientists explain that the carbon dioxide released into the air acts like the glass in a greenhouse, sealing the earth in its own warmth - creating the "greenhouse effect."

Looking at the clouds of industrial smoke, and then at the crowded highways, a scientist from the National Center for Climate Research says: "The industrialized West keeps the furnaces burning. This is the high price we pay for prosperity." It is a grim prognosis. The scientists on the program issue warnings but they cannot quite tell the world to stop the clock of industrialization. The advances made on antipollution devices on automobiles might be applied to cutting down industrial smoke, too.

"The Climate Crisis" was originally produced by WGBH in 1983.


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

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Texas Woman Accused of Sex with 2 Boys

(Waller, Texas) A 29-year-old local woman, Iliana Raquel Reyes, has been accused of engaging in a sex threesome with two teenage boys.

Reyes faces two counts of sexual assault of a child.
Investigators learned of the alleged encounter, which happened on June 11, after one of the boys told his mom.

A 14-year-old and 16-year-old boy were helping Reyes remodel a shed in the backyard when she suggested they all go swimming. Once inside the pool, Reyes allegedly encouraged them to remove their clothing.

She then had sex with each of them and gave them alcohol, according to court documents.
Reyes was booked into custody with bail set at $30,000.

California Woman, 34, Accused of Sex with Boy, 13

(Middletown, California) A 34-year-old local woman, Tracy Ann Beverlin, has been arrested for engaging in sex with a 13-year-old boy. Beverlin also is accused of providing alcohol to the boy and other teens.

Beverlin faces counts of unlawful sex with a minor, unlawful sex with a minor under 16 years of age, distribution of lewd material to a minor, oral copulation with a minor under 14 years of age, lewd act on a child and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

According to Lake County Sheriff's Lt. Steve Brooks:
Last Friday, June 20, deputies responded to a report of lewd and lascivious acts with a child in Middletown, Brooks said.

At approximately 9:15 p.m. they contacted the parents of two 13-year-old juveniles, who Brooks said reported that their children had recently spent the night at a residence belonging to Beverlin.

One of the parents overheard his son talking to friends about the overnight stay at Beverlin’s, which consisted of drinking alcoholic beverages and sexual intercourse. When confronted, Brooks said the boy admitted Beverlin was supplying him with alcohol and that he was having ongoing sexual relations with Beverlin at her home.

The second juvenile explained he also had spent the night at Beverlin’s and she had provided alcohol for them to drink. He also said that Beverlin consumed alcohol with him and two other juveniles, Brooks said.

Brooks said the deputies were able to seize evidence which corroborated the statements provided by both of the juveniles.
Beverlin was booked into custody at the Lake County Hill Road Correctional Facility with bail set at $20,000.

Florida Teacher Accused of Sending Nude Pix to Boy

(Largo, Florida) A 45-year-old fourth-grade teacher at Fuguitt Elementary School, Lesley R. Brown, has been accused of sending nude photos of herself to a 17-year -old boy.

A police investigation commenced after Brown and the boy were observed spending time in a unisex restroom behind a locked door. Brown faces counts of transmission of material harmful to minors.
When questioned, both Brown and the boy were adamant in telling police that nothing happened in the restroom, but that they had locked the door because they heard voices and didn’t want it to appear as if something was going on, police said. Brown also told police she goes to the gym three times a week and the boy was her workout partner and spotter, police said.

Brown was issued a trespass warning at the gym and the boy’s mother was called to pick him up.

Later that evening, police obtained nude images of Brown found on the boy’s cell phone, along with lewd texts, police said.
They locked the door so as to appear that nothing was going on! Huh?

Brown was booked into custody at the Pinellas County Jail and later released on $10,000 bond.

Some very strange international rankings

I can see no sense in most of them at all.  See for yourself.  USA not mentioned?

Ireland is the ‘goodest’ country in the world, according to a new survey which measures what 125 nations contribute to the planet and humanity.

The UK made it to the seventh place in the overall index but was crowned as the best country in the world for its contribution in terms of technology and science.

The Good Country Index, conceived by policy adviser Simon Anholt, analyses 35 different types of data from the UN, the World Bank and other international organisations and NGOs.

This includes information such as freedom of the press, the number of refugees hosted, the amount of weapons exported and the number of Nobel Prize winners. This it the first time the Index is published.

Countries are then ranked according to their contribution to science and technology, culture, international peace and security, world order, the planet and climate, prosperity and equality, and the health and well-being of humanity.

Mr Anholt said the survey was not meant to name and shame nations or to give moral judgements, but to engage in a discourse about what is the role of countries in a global context.

He said: ‘The idea of the Good Country Index is pretty simple; to measure what each country on earth contributes to the common good of humanity, and what it takes away.’

The Nordic Region, as might be expected, makes a collective contribution to humanity and the planet which is well in advance of any other region, while the US ranked 21st due to a poor record in terms of International Peace and Security.

Mr Anholt said he hopes the Index will transform the way countries do business by encouraging them to think about the global impact of their actions. He hopes it will spark debate about what the purpose of a country is.


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

Texas Gun Store Targeted

(Katy, Texas) Local gun store Tactical Firearms seeks help from the public in addressing a politically-motivated problem.
Tactical Firearms has prided itself in being honest with our customers from our first day in business. That’s why we are alerting you today to a situation that we believe to be unjust and punitive against Tactical Firearms, and this is a situation that threatens to put us out of business on July 1, 2014.

Tactical Firearms has just been given notice that our loan with Icon bank has been called in. Not because of no payment, as we have never been late or missed a payment, but because the board of directors has chosen to not renew the loan. Deciding to call a loan which has a perfect payment record and is profitable to the bank is almost unheard of in the banking industry.

This is why we believe Tactical Firearms is being specifically targeted with punitive actions in an effort to put us out of business.

. . . At the same time, the bank’s excuse to us for calling in the loan is because the “government does not support loans to the gun, alcohol, or hotel industries” and the banks get heavily audited. This is an extension of the Obama administration’s backdoor efforts to bankrupt the firearms industry and all its supporting retailers and firing ranges.
Backdoor efforts? Pretty sneaky, eh?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Maryland Teacher Found Dead - Update

(Lanham, Maryland) Potomac High School teacher Linda Burke, 41, was found dead Sunday in her home from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

* * * * *

Maryland Teacher Accused of Assaulting Officer
[Previous 6/14/14 post]
(Lanham, Maryland) A 41-year-old English teacher at Potomac High School, Linda Burke, has been accused of engaging in inappropriate contact with a minor and assaulting a Virginia State Police special agent.
State Police began investigating the allegations of inappropriate contact between Burke and a minor at the request of the Prince William County Police Department.

Linda Burke, who lives in Manassas, teaches English as a second language at the school. She has been with the school system since 2003 and is currently on administrative leave.

She has been charged with one count of felony assault on a police officer and one misdemeanor count of obstruction of justice, police say.

Both incidents are under investigation. Burke is scheduled to appear in court on July 8.
Burke was released on her own recognizance.

Conflicting Reports on Ireland

Here are two conflicting reports from Ireland.
Ireland is the best country in the world because it has made the greatest contributions to humanity and the planet, according to a new survey.

The results were revealed as part of the first ever Good Country Index, which ranks countries by combining 35 separate indicators from the United Nations, the World Bank and other international institutions.[…]

Respected policy adviser Simon Anholt, who designed the survey, said he hopes it will change the way countries do business by encouraging them to think about the global impact of their actions, rather than cut throat self-interest.

He said: “The idea of the Good Country Index is pretty simple; to measure what each country on earth contributes to the common good of humanity, and what it takes away.
"Common good of humanity" sounds good. However, check out the following which was published about the same time.
A new US State Department report has named Ireland the top destination and transit country for sex trafficking.

The Trafficking in Persons Report 2014, which was published on Friday, highlighted serious gaps in Ireland’s anti-trafficking laws, the Irish Mirror reports.

“Foreign trafficking victims identified in Ireland are from Nigeria, Cameroon, the Philippines, Poland, Brazil, Pakistan, South Africa, Lithuania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zimbabwe, Kuwait, and other countries in Asia, and Eastern Europe,” said the report.

“There has been an increase in identified Irish children subjected to sex trafficking within the country.”
So, one report claims Ireland is the best humanitarian country in the world while the other says Ireland is the best place for sex trafficking. Heh.

Leftist America -- another view

Whether or not it was always so, America today is undoubtedly dominated by the Left.  As I tediously point out at times, the Pilgrim Fathers were such fanatical communists that only the imminent threat of their group being wiped out by starvation budged them from it.  And their "progressive" descendants are not much better.  They are certainly just as solidly convinced of their own righteousness and the correctness of their own ideas.  They have ditched God but their personalities endure

So anything the Left disapprove of today, from race-awareness to  dislike of homosexuality to Christianity gets heavily condemned and censored at least -- and may even get the "offender" kicked out of his or her job.  And conservative politicians certainly get an infinitely harder time in the media than liberal politicians do.  Any criticism of Obama is "racism" but you can call George Bush a Nazi all you like.

The Left are people with no real morality or ethics at all so you can expect no mercy from them. If you bother them in any way, they will knock you down in any way they can -- even if you are one of a "minority" whom they claim to help. They lack the power to do what Stalin did -- wipe out 20 million "class enemies" -- but they do whatever damage they can

But readers have been divided over my claim that America has always been Left-dominated.  That is partly because the Left changes its tune whenever convenience suits so the Leftism of the past is not as visible from today's perspective.  One has to be clear on what basic Leftism is for the Leftism of the past to become obvious.  In one short sentence, Leftism is an anger-driven hunger for sweeping change.

Another misunderstanding is that I was claiming that America was more Leftist than some other places.  I was not. I am quite happy to acknowledge that Leftism is far more dominant in various other countries.  That does not diminish its overriding influence in America, however.

I should also add that I have no quarrel with the splendid ideals enunciated at the time of independence and which are still held dear by many Americans today.  I just don't think they have ever had much influence on actual policy.  They have mainly received lip service only.

I put up yesterday one of the emails that opposed my claims so I think it is only fair to put up another email that was broadly in agreement with me.  Thomas Anger, who blogs here writes as follows:

"I don't agree that America has always been leftist because I don't buy into abstractions like "America." There are and have been individual Americans of many political persuasions, most of them confused and contradictory.

That said, as an enlightened libertarian (i.e., Burkean conservative) I do agree with your characterization of the motives of the authors of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. For example, a latter-day romantic, Timothy Sandefur (author of The Conscience of the Constitution), asserted that "The American founders held that people are inherently free—that is, no person has a basic entitlement to dictate how other people may lead their lives." I responded:

"Did they, really? All of them, including the slave owners? Or did they simply want to relocate the seat of power from London to the various State capitals, where local preferences (including anti-libertarian ones) could prevail? Wasn't that what the Declaration of Independence and Articles of Confederation were all about? The Constitution simply moved some of the power toward the national capital, mainly for the conduct of foreign policy and trade. Despite that, the Constitution was a "States' rights" document, and remained that way until the ratification of Amendment XIV, from which much anti-libertarian mischief has emanated."

Later, I wrote:

"Why can't you [Sandefur] just admit that the Declaration of Independence was a p.r. piece, penned (in the main) by a slave-owner and subscribed to by various and sundry elites who (understandably) resented their treatment at the hands of a far-away sovereign and Parliament? You're trying to make more of the Declaration -- laudable as its sentiments are -- than should be made of it."

In sum, the War of Independence isn't all that it's cracked up to be. And there's no doubt that liberty suffered in the long run as a result of the North's victory in the Civil War. But, in my view, those historical missteps have little to do with "left" (or "right") and much to do with human venality and power-lust, which are found in persons of all political persuasions.

The genius of the Constitution was that it provided mechanisms for curbing the anti-libertarian effects of venality and power-lust. The tragedy of the Constitution is that those mechanisms have been destroyed. If you were to say that Americans have gradually lost their liberty through successive and cumulative violations of the Constitution, I would agree with you.

And if you were to say that Americans are the captives of a leftist state, and are likely to remain so, I would agree with you.

In any event, I have been and will remain a faithful reader of Dissecting Leftism, which provides a valuable service in exposing the left's anti-libertarian motives and actions."

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

Wood Chipper Story

(Davie, Florida) The whole body of a local man was processed through a wood chipper yesterday. He didn't survive.
Davie police spokesman Dale Engle said officers and fire rescue personnel were called to 5700 Pine Island Road on Monday afternoon, but it was obvious that the victim was already dead.

Engle said the victim and two other people were clearing brush with the industrial wood chipper when the apparent work accident occurred.
The identity of the victim has not been released.

Florida Woman Accused of Breaking into Home

Chancy Layton

(St. Augustine Beach, Florida) A 19-year-old local female, Chancy Layton, has been accused of breaking into a home, taking a shower, changing into the homeowner's pajamas, making herself some food and falling asleep on the couch.

Layton faces counts of burglary, theft and criminal mischief.
According to the St. Augustine Beach police, Chancy Layton entered the home on Third Street around 9:30 p.m. Friday.

She told investigating officers she was told by a male friend that the house was empty and she could enter through an unlocked door on the balcony and stay there.

Layton said when the homeowners came home about 2:30 a.m., she got scared and ran out of the home, leaving her purse and passport behind.
Layton was booked into custody at the St. Johns County Jail and released on $8,000 bond.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Colorado Woman Gets 40 Years in Son's Death

(Colorado Springs, Colorado) Last November, 42-year-old local mom Shannon Dodson drowned her 5-year-old son with the reported intention of also killing herself. Sadly, Jude Murray-Gomez is dead while his mom lives on.

Dodson pleaded guilty to murder Friday and was sentenced to 40 years in prison.
Firefighters called to Dodson's apartment found Jude's body and Dodson sitting in a closet naked and wet. The door to Dodson's apartment had been barricaded from the inside, and the bathtub was full of water.

Dodson said in court Friday she was distressed because she had to give her son back to the boy's father and grandmother because of the custody agreement. She said she thought killing herself and her son would be the best way to solve the problem.
Well, she's still alive.

Teacher Caught Under Student's Bed

(Greater Manchester, England) A 36-year-old local math teacher, Andrew Welsh, has admitted to, and has been sentenced for, doing the nasty with a 16-year-old female student.

Welsh was convicted on six counts of sexual activity with a child while in a position of trust.
Welsh’s sexual relationship with the 16-year-old was exposed when her mother returned home unexpectedly one morning last July.

The 36-year-old had bombarded the pupil with obscene texts, including: ‘Have you heard about my maths lesson? We’re going to find out if 35 goes into 16.’

But he was caught out when her mother noticed a pair of man’s boots at the side of the bed in her room.

The court heard she also spotted her ‘impressionable’ daughter had ruffled hair and smudged lipstick.

While confronting her daughter, she looked down and saw movement in the drawer compartment within the girl’s single bed.[…]

‘She asked the girl: “What are you doing? Who is here?”

‘The girl replied “Mr Welsh”.

‘Her mother ordered the defendant to get out from under the bed and recognised him from the school.’
Welsh received a suspended sentence and was ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.

Tip: slwlion
Has America always been Leftist?

As I anticipated, my claim that America has always been Leftist  provoked some of my patriotic readers.  Some even insulted me by telling me that I am a pacifist.  I was in fact in my youth (in the Vietnam era!) a Sergeant in the Australian Army, so I am no pacifist.  That dull  document above is my discharge certificate.

What I oppose is not war but wars fought primarily to empower elites and I think both of America's civil wars fall into that category.  They were not necessary wars in any sense.

But I did learn something very important from my critics.  It was vividly brought home to me how impressive fine words are to most people.  When even patriotic American conservatives can be taken in by them, it shows why Leftists have so much influence. Leftists are nothing but fine words.  To me fine words are only provisionally important.  They have to be backed up by deeds and it is the deeds that matter.

An excellent example of how fine words impress even conservatives  is the preamble to the Declaration of Independence.  It is full of fine words and noble sentiments.  Most political documents are.  Stalin's Soviet constitution also was a high-minded document proclaiming all sorts of rights for Soviet citizens  -- rights which were denied in fact.

So once you look past the grand generalizations of the Declaration's introduction and get to the nitty gritty of what the Yankee grandees really wanted fixed, you see that it is very mundane, if not ignoble.  What was really bothering them was restrictions on their powers to legislate.  They wanted more laws, not less!   Very Leftist.

And from THAT starting point you can see why the war was fought and for whose benefit.  The grandees concerned had a lot of influence and were good at fine talk so they could muster an army -- and they did.  And who benefited from the war?  Was it the poor farmers and tradesmen who died as foot-soldiers in it?  No way!  It was the grandees who started the war.  They emerged with exactly what they wanted:  More power.

I am sorry if that account sounds offensive to people who still believe the original propaganda, but if you ignore the fancy talk and just look at the facts, that is what happened.

I reproduce the most articulate of the objections I have received,  I will add some further comments at the foot of it.  As you see, it is a reasoned letter, not the mere foaming and abusive anger we get from Leftists:

I'm not here to express any kind of anger over your posting, but I will confess a great deal of surprise. You appear to be using the same intellectually dishonest method liberals commonly employ in that you present a great deal of material that is technically factual, but so bereft of context that it presents a completely distorted picture. For example:

"As most Americans learn around the time of Thanksgiving, America was founded by fanatical communists.  They forbad private ownership of land and insisted that all produce be shared communally.  If that's not communism, nothing is."

They forbad private ownership because the most modern economic theory of the time they knew theorized that this would improve output and standard of living. They tested the theory. The leader recorded the results, saw the problems, and instituted free market reforms. These are not the actions of "fanatical communists." As we have seen in other countries, "fanatical communists" don't care about how many are starving. They stick to the theory despite the facts or cost.

"That was particularly clear to me because I am a citizen of a country which achieved all the objectives of America's civil wars without a shot being fired.  Warring armies have never tramped through the Australian countryside."

I assume that you mean independence and abolition of slavery. Quite true. It is far less obvious how well Australia may have fared on independence had they been of equal value to the empire financially and had America not set the precedent that the British could be thrown out.

As for slavery, I am delighted that Australia came to the same conclusions about slavery as other Western type countries without the need for violence on a national level, though I still hold that slavery was only part of the issue.

Anyway, I hope you are justifiably thankful to Christianity, since it was the only religion/movement that united peoples in the nations to abolish slavery. The atheists, Muslims, and other groups were quite content with the status quo as far as slavery was concerned, at least to the extent that none of them were going to put up serious opposition to it.

"So what should we expect of a nation dominated by the descendants of fanatical communists?"

A more accurate question might be "So what should we expect of a nation dominated by the descendants of Europeans?" I think the answer is a society that eventually comes to reflect the type of society that these Europeans set up, which is where we are heading. I note in some of your blog entries that Australia, though better in some instances, has hardly been immune. My theory, unprovable of course, is that most of the types that really tended towards socialism stayed in Europe for a long time. It was the hearty and adventurous that risked life and limb to have opportunity in a new land. Later, as it became safer and more affluent, the parasitic class began to immigrate in mass. So it goes.

"Portraying the declaration as pro-liberty is a joke.  It was pro-liberty for the elite only."

From the Declaration: "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

In religious circles, I would say that you were "straining out a gnat" to "swallow a camel." Don't misunderstand me: I am making no excuse or justification for how imperfectly the priniciples played out or were implemented. But the goal, the ideal, was there, and it was liberty.

Your takes on the causes behind the US entry into the world wars is interesting. It is also dripping with pacifist venom. I'll not bother to address such simplistic assertions here. If you would like to discuss the matter separately sometime, feel free to contact me. I will only say that history is full of examples of what becomes of nations that avoid war at all cost. The French were a great example in the run-up to WWII.

"So what is the secret of America's outstanding success in many fields?  Leftists are usually not much good at producing prosperity so what gives? It's simple.  America is a huge beneficiary of the fact that it has Federal elections every two years."

A gross over-simplification as an attempt explanation. I would ignore it entirely, but for one phrase:  "America is a huge beneficiary of the fact"

The "fact" is couched in language to make it seem that America won some kind of international lottery, or randomly drew a good card from some deck in a politics game. America had what the men who met and debated and formed the Constitution chose. While not perfect, it was far from random.

"And the USA is 12th on the Heritage index of economic freedom.  Australia is third.  Our pioneers were villains, not know-all holy Joes."

That is the present. The past tells a much different story. Contrary to your assertion that "Americans are not in fact unusually prosperous" what began its existence as a group of colonies, damaged by internal war and strife, rose in a remarkably short period of time to become the economic world leader. In short order, much older European countries were sending their economists to see how we were "doing it" so that they could share in the prosperity.

Is America in decline? Undoubtedly. Quite sad for me, because I am a patriot, and I see no end to that decline in sight. It's not just a matter of policies and politics, you see, but a matter of faith. While we embraced a Christian identity in our nation, we rose. It was a flawed, imperfect rise, probably because it was a flaw, imperfect Christianity, made of nothing but flawed, imperfect people. Yet while we held to our faith on a national scale, we improved. It may or may not have occurred to you that most of the countries with the best record on civil rights have strong Christian heritages. Those values are in decline now. As a result, so is liberty and prosperity. I accept that, with sadness.

But to try to make the case that the United States was founded or organized in a lingering way on what we consider modern leftist principles doesn't pass the smell check. In a time when monarchy and class systems held iron grip, it led the way real equality, or at least the best that was available.

I've studied my history enough to know that the best of the founding fathers and patriots were flawed. I don't have a problem with that. As a Christian, I understand that all people are flawed. I do my best to honor the good, and accept the bad, the same as I do with people today.

I find it interesting and ironic that at the end of your essay, you speak of honoring the people of America but not national myths. It's ironic because you spend most of your time trying to dispel the myths by pointing out just how horrible the people are. That's a course that seems pretty self defeating to me. To my way of thinking, the only part of American history truly deserving full honor is the documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. They state their purpose with wisdom and clarity. Their is no dishonesty in them. The documents, in themselves, never fail. It is only we, as men, who fail to live up to them. And that is why we need them: So that we will constantly have something better than we can ever be to live up to.

You'll not lose me as reader, JR, at least not over this. But I don't think it's your best work. I don't really think it's that good at all. And we'll both survive that opinion.

I hope your weekend is going well. Take care.

If only all disagreements could be stated so civilly!  But you can see that he has been taken in by the fine words.  He believes in them.  I doubt that many of America's leaders ever have, however.  Maybe Ronnie Reagan out of them all.

I will add comments in something of reverse order:

He asks why America did so well economically in the 19th century.  He seems unaware that Europe  -- even Russia to some extent -- also had massive economic gains in the second half of the 19th century.  America ended up with a much bigger economy than anyone but that simply reflects the fact that the 19th century was when America began to seriously exploit its huge natural resources.  America not only had huge quantities of gold, iron, coal and other minerals but it also had the biggest resource of all  -- seemingly  unlimited tracts of fertile land that could be used for farming or raising edible animals.  And that vast food production was the key to the big population increase at that time.  America could simply feed more people.  The starving of Eastern Europe and Ireland flocked to it.

And that explanation in terms of natural resources is backed up by the two nations who entered the 20th century with living standards as high as or higher than America.  They were Australia and Argentina.  Both of those also benefited from huge, freshly exploited natural resources.  And I can't help myself from remarking about why one of those fell off the perch and one didn't.  Australia is still a great place to live;  Not so much Argentina.  Why?

I know why but to say why breaches America's biggest and fiercest taboo.  But I will breach it carefully anyway.  Argentina is 50/50 Spanish and Italian whereas Australians and Americans are predominantly of British and Northern European ancestry.  And that difference matters.  OK:  I have said enough of that.

My critic also thought that I was too glib about WWI.  I was certainly brief.  But I was dismissive of America's role in that war not because I am a pacifist or a Leftist but because I think American meddling in that war did incredible harm.  Wilson dressed up his intervention in the usual high flown talk but let us look at the results.

Before Wilson sent his troops over, the combatants had virtually fought one-another to a standstill.  General Ludendorff had been advancing almost up until that point but the men he lost in doing so had exhausted Germany.  There is no doubt that some sort of draw would have been declared at some stage and both sides would have gone home devastated but intact and with honour bright.  That was how the previous Franco/German conflict ended up in 1872.

But thanks to Wilson that did not happen.  Germany was defeated, torn apart, degraded, impoverished, and humiliated.  And who benefited from that?  Who fed on that until it gave him enormous influence in Germany?  It was Adolf Hitler.  There would have been no Hitler in power had the old German empire endured.  I could go into more detail on that but I see Wilson's do-gooder meddling as the prize example of allegedly noble intentions having disastrous consequences.  There would have been no WWII except for Democrat President Woodrow Wilson.

I have probably said enough for today -- JR

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

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Angry Japanese Farmers

(Tokyo, Japan)
Angry farmers from Fukushima brought a large cow to the centre of Tokyo Friday to demand Japan's government investigate a disease they say cattle have developed since the nuclear disaster three years ago.

Operators of non-profit "Kibo no Bokujo", or "Farm of Hope", delivered a full-size black cow to the front of the agriculture ministry to demand an investigation into why it and many other animals have developed white dots on their skin since reactors went into meltdown after the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011.
The 'white dot' disease is a mystery.
KIA Soul Advertising Campaign

KIA Soul car commercials generally feature a green car color and hamsters which drive the cars. In searching for the reasoning behind those two elements of the Korean car company's advertising campaign [dead link - sorry], the following trivia were found:

The first "hamster" commercial for KIA's "Soul" automobile back in 2009 was called "A New Way to Roll." The campaign was designed to target Gen Y, or "Millenials" (the youngest demographic of drivers at the time).
(It) featured a rare concept for an advertisement -- constantly changing music tracks... this was the first time an advertisement had used a rotation of song tracks for the same spot, with a different song each night the ad appeared.

As for the hamsters, they were chosen as a "metaphor for sameness," Angelo [of the advertising agency] explains. "They go around and around in a treadmill without any direction or reason for why they are doing it." The ad's Kia-driving hamsters portray an alternative to the tedium as they drive past envious fellow critters stuck in unmoving wheels.
In June [of 2010], Kia Motors America's retail sales surged 45% over the same period last year. While Ford (F, Fortune 500), General Motors, and Toyota (TM) also posted smaller year-over-year increases in June, their sales fell from May by 11%, 13% and 14%, respectively. Kia's rose 1.5% month-to-month.
An August 23, 2013 article from Ad Week describes KIA's hamster campaign as:
A campaign that by all objective measures you should hate, but which you can't help but love.
The article goes on to discuss the premise for the award-winning "Totally Transformed" hamster commercial, providing pictures taken during its making plus the entertaining 90-second web version of the commercial.

The KIA Soul car commercials featuring hamsters are reportedly very effective. KIA Souls do come in other colors, but the reason for featuring the arguably unattractive green-colored car is still a question.

Posted by Note Taker

Pole Dancing in Grade School

(Swanley, England) Parents were perturbed about a pole dancing event held at Crockenhill Primary School which involved girls as young as four. Many parents stormed off.
But the owner of Revolutions Pole Academy, who led the display, and the primary school's headteacher have denied the show was 'sleazy' and said any anger is an 'over-reaction'.

An unnamed father-of-two with children at the school said the display on Sunday, which also featured the girls hanging upside down with their legs split in the air, was 'so wrong'.
Apparently pole dancing is viewed as a safer exercise activity than dodge ball.

America has always been Leftist

Up until fairly recently, I had always accepted fairly  uncritically the orthodox view of American history.  But as an amateur historian I do have the pesky habit of going back to the original documents behind history.  So a couple of months ago, I actually read through the Declaration of Independence.  What I read there shocked me.  It was an entirely different document from the orthodox account of it.

It has taken me a while to integrate that finding into a broader view but I think I can now present a view of American history that makes much more sense of both America's past and her present.

I was greatly helped in forming a new view by the abhorence I have always felt towards America's two civil wars (Independence and North/South).  As a former member of Australia's armed forces, I am no pacifist but I do feel that wars should be a last resort -- and that applied to neither of America's civil wars.  That was particularly clear to me because I am a citizen of a country which achieved all the objectives of America's civil wars without a shot being fired.  Warring armies have never tramped through the Australian countryside.

But to begin at the beginning:  As most Americans learn around the time of Thanksgiving, America was founded by fanatical communists.  They forbad private ownership of land and insisted that all produce be shared communally.  If that's not communism, nothing is.  They were such fanatics that a third of them had to starve to death before they decided that communism wasn't such a good idea and went back to the way things had always been done in stodgy old England.

So what should we expect of a nation dominated by the descendants of fanatical communists?  What we should expect is exactly what we actually got, I submit.

But before I get to that, let me  ensure complete clarity about what the core of Leftism is.  The content of Leftism changes from time to time.  Before WWII, Leftists world wide were energetic champions of eugenics, for instance.  Leftists now abhor it.  So what is constant in Leftism?  Anger.  Leftists in all eras are so dissatisfied with the society in which they live that they want sweeping changes to it. And they thirst for power to achieve that.  That is Leftism.

So we come back to the Declaration of Independence.  There are a variety of things in it but the centerpiece of it is the complaint that, in good communist style, the New Englanders wanted to pass lots of laws to control their fellow man but the king kept obstructing or disallowing such laws.  Whether by intent or neglect, the king was the libertarian obstructing the control freaks.  And it was over that that the Yankees went to war.  Portraying the declaration as pro-liberty is a joke.  It was pro-liberty for the elite only.  Joe Stalin call your office.

And, in case anyone is not aware of it, the resultant war was at heart a war of the Yankees versus the rest.  New York was firmly on the side of the king, for instance. It was a civil war which Yankee determination won, at the cost of 25,000 Yankee deaths.  But deaths in war never worry Leftists. Change is the thing. So the Yankee hatred of the British-dominated status quo burnt all other considerations.

And Andrew Jackson, founder of the modern Democratic party, certainly wrought big changes in the territory under his control  in the 1830s -- clearing out  American Indians and driving them to the then-far-West:  Ethnic cleansing.

And then we come to the real horror:  The North/South war.  "Only" half a million men died there.  And for what?  EVERY other country on earth abolished slavery without the need for a war.  Does that not tell us something?  It should.  In his famous letter to Horace Greeley, Lincoln himself admitted that slavery was not the main issue.  The issue was the dominance of central government.  V.I. Lenin call your office.  Lincoln didn't call it "dominance of central government", of course.  He called it "the union" but the result is the same.

And just about everythinng Lincoln did was without a shred of constitional justification and in fact breached the constitution.  Hitler at least had the grace to get an "enabling act" passed by the German parliament.  Lincoln just marched on regardless. He destroyed the liberty of the press (there goes your first amendment) and locked up thousands of war opponents (there goes your 4th amendment).  But most centrally, Lincoln's whole enterprise was a defiance of the basic American constitutional dispensation that the states are sovereign, not the federal government.  Lincoln turned that on its head.  The feds now became the main source of power and authority.  There is no doubt that Lincoln talked a good talk.  He even used to persuade me once.  But his deeds reek of Fascism.

A good example of the large gap between his deeds and words is that masterpiece of propaganda, the Gettysburg address.  Goebbels admired it for good reason.  In case anybody hasn't noticed, Lincoln claimed that his war was to ensure "government of the people, by the people, for the people" -- which was exactly what he had just denied to the South!  Only Yankees are people, apparently.  Hitler thought certain groups weren't people too.

And then we have two world wars.  WWI had nothing to do with America but power-mad Democrat President Wilson got America into it any way.  He had such fun influencing the eventual re-arrangement of Europe.

And FDR was worse if anything.  He subjected Japan to crippling sanctions until an attack on America seemed the only way forward to them. Anything else would have been an intolerable loss of "face".  So FDR got his war.  For political purposes he once declared "I hate war" but some at least of his biographers believe that he pined for the publicity and power that a war would give him.

But what about the era of US/Soviet rivalry?  Was America Leftist then?  It was.  Top-rate taxes were enormous, for instance.  But the USSR was even more Leftist.  The Russian peasants who fought for its creation were even angrier -- for good reason -- than the Yankee grandees of George III's time, so the changes in Russia were very sweeping indeed.   And Leftists are very hostile people  -- even to followers of other brands of Leftism.  Note the icepick in the head that Leon Trotsky got from Joe Stalin.

I could go on but does the dominance of political correctness in America today now seem surprising?  It is not.  It is just another of the many forms of Leftism that America has produced and will continue to produce.  And, unfortunately, the rest of the world has followed America, as it often does.  As goes California so goes the whole world eventually.

So what is the secret of America's outstanding success in many fields?  Leftists are usually not much good at producing prosperity so what gives?

It's simple.  America is a huge beneficiary of the fact that it has Federal elections every two years.  So if you get a bungling legislature in power  you soon get the opportunity to boot them out.  Britain, by contrast, has to wait five years to get rid of an incompetent or destructive government.

And Americans are not in fact unusually prosperous.  So many Americans have their knees under government desks that the productive element of the population is much reduced  -- with the result that quite a few countries have per head incomes higher than America.  According to the CIA, there are 13 countries with higher PPP incomes per head than America.  Be that as it may, however, America is by any measure only one of a peleton of high income countries, not the leader.

And the USA is 12th on the Heritage index of economic freedom.  Australia is third.  Our pioneers were villains, not know-all holy Joes.

It is true that America is not exceptionally Leftist by world standards  -- though Mr Obama is working on that  -- but that just shows that there have always been angry people, and some groups   -- e.g. Russian peasants and British miners -- have been even more angry than New Englanders.

I guess that this post will lose me quite a few readers among American patriots but is being patriotic to a historical hoax   really wise?   America has many fine people.  Be loyal to them, not national myths --  JR

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

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Kentucky Woman Accused of Using Counterfeit Money

(Harlan County, Kentucky) A local female, Casey Neal, has been accused of passing counterfeit money.
Neal, 18, was arrested by Kentucky State Police Trooper James Earl Hensley on Thursday on a complaint obtained by Harlan County Sheriff’s Deputy Charles Bailey.

According to the complaint, Bailey claims on June 2 Neal knowingly possessed counterfeit money and used it to purchase medication and other items at CVS Pharmacy.

The complaint states Neal made two different purchases with counterfeit money.

Neal was charged with first-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument.
Neal was booked into custody at the Harlan County Detention Center with bond set at $20,000.

Texas Stars & Stripes Controversy

(Webster, Texas) A local man has been told to remove the American flag on his balcony because it is a "threat to the Muslim community."
Stepping onto Duy Tran's balcony in Webster, one thing is clear: "It means a lot to me," he said.

He's talking about his American flag that he proudly put up when he moved in just a few days ago. But then an apartment manager at the Lodge on El Dorado told him he had to take it down.

"What really stunned me is that she said it’s a threat towards the Muslim community,” said Tran. “I’m not a threat toward anybody."
I agree. What threat?


A conservative vision for social justice

Below is the blurb for a series of talks given by the AEI.  I think it is thoroughly misconceived.  If social justice were justice it would not need the word "social" before it.  And conceptions of justice differ greatly anyway.  Sharia law anyone?

I think all talk of justice in connection with social reform is  pernicious.  Such talk fosters feelings of entitlement in those whom the "Social justice" is supposed to benefit.  The poor (for instance) are told that they are getting a handout not out of generosity but because it is their right, because it is somehow "just" that they should.  But from what system of justice does such a right arise?  There is none.  Help for the needy is simply  asserted as being just, without any context for it in any judicial philosophy.  It is mere propaganda designed to foster grievance, which is meat and drink to destructive Leftists.

Let conservatives talk about HELPING the needy or the oppressed by all means. There is no need for the slimy Leftist doctrine of "social justice".

And from a libertarian perspective, the whole idea of social justice is laughable. Forcibly taking away one person's justly earned fruit of his labor and giving it to someone who has done nothing to earn it is INjustice. It is theft, regardless of any adjective you put in front of it

This is the first event in AEI's exclusive Vision Talks series. Over the course of the coming year, AEI will convene a group of America's leading scholars, thinkers, and practitioners to offer fresh visions in key areas of policy and public debate. These talks will be filmed and disseminated as standalone videos similar to Arthur Brooks's “Secret to Happiness” talk.

What questions must today’s social justice agenda address? What are the tenets of such an agenda?

Conservatives played a central role in the emancipation and civil rights movements in America, and free enterprise has lifted millions out of poverty worldwide. But conservatives have failed to provide a vital vision for how their principles can foster a more just society today. Current government efforts to expand opportunity and reduce poverty show mixed results at best. Is there a fresh vision that engages the social justice questions of today and the future more effectively?

Please join us for three concise talks on why America needs a new social justice agenda, what that agenda must address, and how that agenda plays out in the most important policy debates of our time.


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

Friday, June 20, 2014

Tennessee Mom Gets Prison for Children's Deaths

(Murfreesboro, Tennessee) Two children were found dead, face down on the floorboard of mom's car. All the while, mom was sleeping after staying up late night playing video games.
The woman whose children died in a hot car in August 2012 in Smyrna entered a guilty plea to lesser charges Wednesday in a Rutherford County court.

Samantha Harper pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted aggravated child neglect in the accidental deaths of 2-year-old Savannah Marise and 3-year-old Daniel Marise.

She was charged initially with two counts of aggravated child neglect and two counts of felony child murder. The children were found dead inside a car after Harper awoke from a three-hour nap on Aug. 2, 2012, at her home in Smyrna.
Harper was sentenced to 16 years in prison.

Ohio Judge's Wife Gets Prison in Poisoning Case

(Jefferson, Ohio) This week, retired nurse and the 45-year wife of local Common Pleas Judge Charles Hague, Carla Hague, 71, admitted to the attempted poisoning of her husband with antifreeze.

In accordance with a plea agreement, an attempted murder charge was reduced to felonious assault.
Speaking softly and wiping tears, Carla Hague answered the judge’s questions during the hearing.

“In September, I made the terrible decision to put a chemical in my husband’s drink,” Carla Hague said as she began to cry. “I deeply regret it and I beg for the forgiveness of my husband, children, and grandchildren. This I ask from the bottom of my heart.”

Carla Hague said she thought if she put the chemical in his drink, which court officials say was wine, he would stop drinking it.
Carla Hague was sentenced to two years in prison.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Illinois Teacher Gets Probation in Sex Case - Update

(Grayslake, Illinois) Former Grant High School teacher Amber Kraus, 30, pleaded guilty today to sexual abuse of a 16-year-old student.

As a result, Kraus was sentenced to 30 months probation.
The agreement requires that Kraus register as a sexual predator for the rest of her life, that she have no contact with the victim or Grant High School, and have no contact with those under the age of 17.

She also must make a $500 donation to the Lake County Child Advocacy Center, perform 150 hours of community service and complete any sex offender treatment or other probation services deemed necessary by the court’s Sex Offender Unit.

According to Assistant State’s Attorney Jason Grindel, Krause engaged in sexual contact with the 16-year-old in the early fall of 2013 at her former Grayslake home.
Kraus resigned her teaching position last October.

* * * * *

Illinois Teacher Arrested for Sex Assault
[Previous 11/20/13 post]
(Grayslake, Illinois) A 30-year-old teacher formerly at Grant High School, Amber Kraus, has been arrested for sex with a student.

Kraus faces counts of sexual assault of a student between the ages of 13 and 17 and aggravated criminal sexual abuse for violating a position of trust and authority.
Kraus lived in Grayslake at the time of the alleged assault and recently moved to Mundelein. She resigned her position at the high school in October.

Supt. Christine Sefcik said in a press release that the police immediately were contacted and the incident appears to be just an isolated incident. The case was transferred to Grayslake police once it appeared the contact with the student occurred in that village and police jurisdiction.
Kraus was booked into custody with bond set at $100,000.

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