Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Women With Troubles - June 2015

Here is a compilation of women with troubles reported in news stories during June 2015. Each name is linked to an Interested-Participant blog entry displaying details.

For a more comprehensive listing, check the Women With Troubles category link.
(AK) Tricia L. Maleck, 42,
neighbor - Charged with forging signature to steal money from church,

(AR) Shawanda Shante Pam, 32,
neighbor - Arrested for multiple drug crimes,

(AZ) Lindsey Radomski, 33,
yoga instructor - Accused of performing sex act on boy, 15,

(CA) Sara Rizo, 39,
neighbor - Arrested for attack on tourist,

(DE) Molly Shattuck, 48,
former NFL cheerleader - Pleaded guilty to rape of boy, 15. Sentencing TBD,

(FL) Tarakiki Dozier, 39,
teacher - Guilty of conspiring to import marijuana,

(FL) Lily Karolyi, 20,
neighbor - Accused of luring runaway into life of prostitution,

(GA) Amanda Gwaltney, 33,
neighbor - Accused of performing oral sex on boy, 14,

(GA) Mary Katherine Pursley,
teacher - Accused of lowering autistic boy into a trash can,

(IA) Jennifer Lynn Rich, 40,
teacher - Accused of being intoxicated at school,

(ID) Marie Donaldson, 35,
teacher - Guilty of sex with boy, 16. Sentencing in August,

(KS) Kourtnie A. Sanchez, 25,
teacher - Charged with multiple counts of sex crimes with students,

(LA) Kerrian Javana Clofer, 26,
neighbor - Indicted for cruelty to a juvenile,

(LA) Ronda Giroir, 43,
neighbor - Accused of shooting her husband in the chest,

(MA) Heather Salines, 39,
neighbor - Accused of raping boy, 15, and his brother,

(ND) Michelle Wounded Face, 25,
neighbor - Accused of leaving kids to die,

(NJ) Lauren H. Mitchell, 33,
teacher - Accused of sex with girl, 15,

(OH) Melissa Harris, 37,
neighbor - Accused of sex with middle school student,

(OH) Jennifer Kuhlman, 30,
teacher - Sentenced to community control for attempted sexual battery,

(OH) Stacy L. McConoughey, 36,
teacher - Accused of sex with male student,

(OK) Kristen Betz,
teacher - Accused of raping student, 17,

(OK) Jennifer Caswell, formerly Jennifer Sexton, 29,
teacher - Pleaded guilty to rape and sodomy. Sentencing in August,

(PA) Megan Clough, 29,
teacher - Accused of improper contact with student,

(PA) Iris Gibney, 42,
neighbor - Sentenced to 5 years probation for sex with minor in back of car,

(PA) Crystal Shroyer, 32,
neighbor - Accused of sex with boy, 14,

(PA) Bridgett Szychulski, 32,
teacher - Gets prison for sex with student,

(SC) Nicole Prado Bates, 22,
neighbor - Accused of sex with boy, 14,

(TX) Amber Denise Witte, 29,
teacher - Accused of sex with male student,

(WI) Monica L. Sanchez, 27,
neighbor - Gets 3 years prison for homicide and delivery of heroin,

(WV) Penny Snodgrass, 54,
neighbor - Accused of stealing headstones and grave decorations from cemetery,

(WV) Lateesha Laneil Ward, 26,
neighbor - Accused of infecting minor with multiple sexually transmitted diseases.

Thanks to the tipsters.

That evil diabetes

The prime whipping boy for the "war on obesity" is diabetes.  Being fat is supposed to give you diabetes, never mind that most fat people are not diabetic! So it is interesting to see what pops up in the research about diabetes.  And the latest study is an unusually strong one.  The researchers had data on both income and education, which makes it quite a rarity and worth mentioning for that alone. So the results can be accepted without the most usual caveat about the influence of social class.

Another usual caveat is however not excluded. By basing their conclusions on interquartile range they threw away half their data.  At least they did not use extreme quintiles, I suppose. So they are a bit up on a lot of other studies in that regard.  The bottom line, however, is that the effects they observed were weak.

So what did they find, albeit weakly?  The most interesting finding was a negative.  Neighborhood social environment was not associated with diabetes.  Bear in mind, however that race/ethnicity was controlled for.  Without that control, inner city environments would have been found to be bad for you.  So having congenial neighbors is nice but it doesn't protect you from diabetes. Not terribly surprising, I suppose, but with their tendency to blame everything on external factors, Leftists might not like it

The positive effects were that a neighborhood with good opportunities for exercise helped stave off diabetes and a neighborhood with more fresh food available helped a little too.  So having nearby parks to jog around was good for you and a less fat-intensive diet gave your pancreas a bit of a rest.

An amusing thing is that JAMA really liked that study and put up a laudatory commentary on it ("Risk for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus:  Person, Place, and Precision Prevention").  And what the commentary said about it did not surprise me one bit. The commentary disregarded the weaknesses of the effects and even said that the authors found something which they did not.  Academics have a great tendency to draw conclusions they want to draw and damn the evidence.  So when dear little Nancy Adler and Aric Prather said in their commentary that: "physical and social contexts of neighborhood environments matter for disease onset", they were ignoring the fact that the study below found that social environment did NOT matter.  LOL.

We climate skeptics know well how little there is behind Warmist "science" but the same is true of science in other fields too, particularly health science.  And Leftism of course floats on a sea of lies.  The situation is so bad that, even at age 71,  I feel I still have to keep going and keep pointing out the facts. I would rather spend my time watching operetta -- but fortunately I do get some time for that too.  Much more fun than politics and crooked science.

Longitudinal Associations Between Neighborhood Physical and Social Environments and Incident Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)

By Paul J. Christine et al.


Objective:  To determine whether long-term exposures to neighborhood physical and social environments, including the availability of healthy food and physical activity resources and levels of social cohesion and safety, are associated with incident T2DM during a 10-year period.

Design, Setting, and Participants:  We used data from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, a population-based cohort study of adults aged 45 to 84 years at baseline (July 17, 2000, through August 29, 2002). A total of 5124 participants free of T2DM at baseline underwent 5 clinical follow-up examinations from July 17, 2000, through February 4, 2012. Time-varying measurements of neighborhood healthy food and physical activity resources and social environments were linked to individual participant addresses. Neighborhood environments were measured using geographic information system (GIS)– and survey-based methods and combined into a summary score. We estimated hazard ratios (HRs) of incident T2DM associated with cumulative exposure to neighborhood resources using Cox proportional hazards regression models adjusted for age, sex, income, educational level, race/ethnicity, alcohol use, and cigarette smoking. Data were analyzed from December 15, 2013, through September 22, 2014.

Main Outcomes and Measures:  Incident T2DM defined as a fasting glucose level of at least 126 mg/dL or use of insulin or oral antihyperglycemics.

Results:  During a median follow-up of 8.9 years (37 394 person-years), 616 of 5124 participants (12.0%) developed T2DM (crude incidence rate, 16.47 [95% CI, 15.22-17.83] per 1000 person-years). In adjusted models, a lower risk for developing T2DM was associated with greater cumulative exposure to indicators of neighborhood healthy food (12%; HR per interquartile range [IQR] increase in summary score, 0.88 [95% CI, 0.79-0.98]) and physical activity resources (21%; HR per IQR increase in summary score, 0.79 [95% CI, 0.71-0.88]), with associations driven primarily by the survey exposure measures. Neighborhood social environment was not associated with incident T2DM (HR per IQR increase in summary score, 0.96 [95% CI, 0.88-1.07]).

Conclusions and Relevance:  Long-term exposure to residential environments with greater resources to support physical activity and, to a lesser extent, healthy diets was associated with a lower incidence of T2DM, although results varied by measurement method. Modifying neighborhood environments may represent a complementary, population-based approach to prevention of T2DM, although further intervention studies are needed.

JAMA Intern Med. Published online June 29, 2015. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.2691

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

Monday, June 29, 2015

Wisconsin Woman Gets Prison in Drug Case

Monica L. Sanchez

(Sheboygan, Wisconsin) A 27-year-old local woman, Monica L. Sanchez, has been convicted of first-degree reckless homicide and felony delivery of heroin.

As a result, Sanchez has been sentenced to three years in prison.

The New Testament canon

I think it is axiomatic that Christians accept the Bible as the word of God.  If you don't accept the Bible as the word of God but still claim to be a Christian, you are some sort of hyphenated Christian.  I would call Episcopalians and Anglicans generally, post-Christians. Their adoration of homosexuals flies in the face of explicit Bible teachings in both the Old and New Testaments so they clearly do not accept the Bible as the word of God.

But what is meant by "word of God"?  Did God use the Bible writers as some sort of stenographers -- dictating precisely every word they wrote?  People who believe that are said to be "verbal inspiration" believers.  The verbal inspiration doctrine has great difficulties, however.  Take the account of what happened at Christ's tomb when his followers found his body no longer there. The four gospels give rather different accounts of what happened.

In Matthew 28 for instance, we read that when the two Marys approached the tomb, a glorious  angel came down and rolled away the stone.

In Mark 16 however we find that the stone had already been rolled away before they got there.  So they went into the tomb and met a young man sitting in it who told them Christ was risen.

And in Luke 24 we find that the women went into the tomb and were puzzled to find it empty.  But then two men in shining garments suddenly appeared beside them. And it was only after they had bowed to the men did the men tell them that Christ is risen.

And John 20 is different again.  This time it was just Mary Magdalene who came to the tomb and found it empty. This time nobody appeared to her so she ran away to tell some of the disciples.  So the disciples came to the tomb and examined its contents.  Then the disciples just went home.  But Mary stayed on.  And then two angels in white appeared and told her that Christ was risen

So we have four different accounts.  Was there one angel or two, for instance?  The accounts are not necessarily wrong.  They are about as consistent as what you get in court when different eye-witnesses to a crime are being examined.  So is God as scatterbrained as four human witnesses?  Surely not.  If he had dictated every word he would just have given the actual events, not what looks like a set of wobbly recollections.

So few Christians now believe in verbal inspiration.  They believe that the Bible writers wrote their own thoughts in their own way  but God was behind those thoughts, gently guiding them in the right direction.  

But then another problem arises.  How do we know who had God behind their thoughts?  There were many documents around in the early days which contained accounts of Christ's history and teachings.  Why did they all not make it into the New Testament?

The Roman Catholic church has an answer to that.  They say that the church made the pick.  They say that the church knew which document was divine and knocked back the others:  It was the church that assembled the NT.

That is not much of an answer however.  For a start, the church at that time was almost entirely located in the Greek-speaking cities of the Eastern Mediterranean lands.  Rome was a distant offshoot.  So the discussion about which documents were divine occurred in the Greek churches, not in Rome.  And the Greek Orthodox church does to this day with some justice regard itself as the lineal descendant of the original Christian church and say that authority about the canon belongs to them

Even if we accept the Roman claim, however, it just pushes the question back one step.  How did the church know which books were divine?  The only reasonable answer to that is that God influenced the minds of the men of the church to make the right decisions.

But if God was working through the minds of men, why did it have to be just one group of men?  Surely it could have been men anywhere in the Christian world and not merely a few big shots in Rome! So, broadly, the answer to the question of what formed the canon is a simple one from a Christian viewpoint:  If God inspired the writing of the various books, he could surely also see to it that the right ones were selected as holy!

Anne, the lady in my life is, like me, an ex-Christian and our Christian past is still influential with us both.  She doesn't like the apostle Paul's view of the place of women, however -- as in Paul's first epistle to the Corinthians, chapter 11, for instance.  Being a born tease, however, I enjoy pointing out that according to the NT, women should be submissive to their men.  Anne is no feminist but she is a pretty independent lady so she doesn't like Paul at all and why is he in in the Bible anyhow?

I replied that if God inspired the Bible writings, surely he could also make sure that the right documents were included in it.  On hearing that she burst into peals of laughter.  I am not totally sure why but I think she saw the logic in it and realized that you could not arbitrarily exclude Paul from being a divine messenger.

So how do I think the books of the Bible were chosen?  I do actually lean to an explanation that would fit in with God's guidance.  The history of the matter is that there was a considerable debate in the early days about which books were new revelation -- and various collections were made which embodied particular people's view of what was divine.  But after a while a consensus did emerge.  And it was an inclusive consensus:  Enough books were included to keep most people happy.

So was God behind that consensus?  Since I am an atheist I think not but a Christian could reasonably think so.  What I think happened is that those books which made most sense and sounded good at the time gradually, amid debate, came to be generally accepted as holy.

With his background in Greek learning, Paul was quite a good theologian, he wrote very energetically, wrote very extensively and he explicitly claimed divine guidance -- so it would appear that the whole available corpus of his writing was included.

And in the nature of these things, a tradition developed which saw that early consensus as authoritative.

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

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Pennsylvania Teacher Gets Prison for Sex with Student - Update

Bridgett Szychulski

(Doylestown, Pennsylvania)
Bridgett Szychulski, 32, of Philadelphia was sentenced to 11½ to 23 months in Bucks County Prison, the Intelligencer reported.

According to the Bucks County District Attorney, Szychulski allegedly had a sexual relationship in 2012 with the student while she taught band at Lenape Middle School.

* * * * *

Pennsylvania Teacher Guilty of Sex with Student - Update
[Previous 1/28/15 post]
(Doylestown, Pennsylvania) Former music teacher at Central Bucks High School South, Bridgett Szychulski, has pleaded guilty to statutory sexual assault and aggravated indecent assault on someone under the age of 16.

Sentencing is scheduled "in about 90 days."

* * * * *

Pennsylvania Teacher Accused of Sex with Student
[Previous 9/16/14 post]
(Doylestown, Pennsylvania) A 31-year-old band teacher formerly at Lenape Middle School, Bridgett Szychulski, has been accused of engaging in sex with a 14-year-old student in 2012.

Szychulski faces counts of deviate sexual intercourse, statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault and indecent assault.
School officials tell Action News that the district received an anonymous tip last week and suspended Szychulski the following day.

The encounters happened in her office, a storage room at the school and in Szychulski's car, investigators say.
Szychulski was booked and released on $500,000 bail.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Will the Pope follow his own advice and turn off Vatican air-conditioning?

Or is he just another Green/Left hypocrite?

Unlike Pope Francis, I believe that air-conditioning and the capitalists responsible for the technology are blessings to the world.

Perhaps the head of the Catholic Church, who condemned "the increasing use and power of air-conditioning" last week in a market-bashing encyclical, is unaware of the pioneering private company that has donated its time, energy and innovative heating, ventilating and air-conditioning equipment to the Vatican's most famous edifice for more than a decade.

That's right. While the pontiff sanctimoniously attacks "those who are obsessed with maximizing profits," Carrier Corporation — a $13 billion for-profit company with 43,000 employees worldwide (now a unit of U.S.-based United Technologies Corp.) — ensures that the air in the Vatican's Sistine Chapel stays clean and cool.

Last fall, Carrier unveiled a groundbreaking HVAC system for the Vatican to help preserve Michelangelo's masterpieces against pollution caused by the estimated six million visitors who descend on the Sistine Chapel every year to see its famous frescoes.

As the company described it, their new solution "uses two Carrier AquaForce(r) 30XWV water-cooled chillers with Greenspeed(r) intelligence, each with 580 kilowatts of capacity. It leverages specially designed software and components, as well as patented, energy-saving technologies to maintain optimal climate conditions for the protection of the paintings within the chapel." State-of-the-art intelligent controls "anticipate visitor levels and adjust its performance intuitively." It also "delivers twice the efficiency and three times the capacity of the former system, which was built and installed by Carrier in the early 1990s."

Here's the lesson about air-conditioning capitalists that Pope Francis fails to appreciate: Carrier's technological know-how and breakthroughs didn't just descend from the clouds. As I recount in my latest book, "Who Built That," every perfectly chilled home, office, movie theater, mall, factory, hospital, lab and museum owes its existence to the profit-seeking pioneers of manufactured weather: Willis Carrier and Irvine Lyle.

These early 20th-century inventive giants brought air-conditioning to the market and to the masses. Willis Carrier was the scientist-tinkerpreneur whose prolific stream of experiments and epiphanies, beginning in 1902, fueled historic technological advances in heating, refrigeration and air-conditioning. Irvine Lyle was the mechanical engineer-turned-salesman who imagined countless new commercial applications for Carrier's work — and successfully turned those ideas into a multibillion-dollar business through relentless promotion, pitches, networking, advertising and outreach.

The scientists and their core team begged, borrowed and made stock sales to friends and neighbors. Carrier even enlisted his dentist for cash to get Carrier Engineering Corporation up and running in 1915. Carrier, Lyle and five founding engineers together pitched in $32,600 in start-up funds.

The Carrier capitalists risked it all in defiance of an economic depression and amid the tumult of world war. They couldn't afford their own factory and scrounged for made-to-order parts wherever they could find them. They dug into their own pockets to cover salary shortfalls. The wealth wasn't handed to them. Carrier and Lyle, farm boys who both graduated from Cornell, drove their men hard and themselves harder.

The Carrier team sold its products to businesses, large and small, that spanned the spectrum of human needs and wants. The pope should know that in addition to sparing countless lives from death by heat wave, Carrier designed a special system for Jonas Salk that helped maintain constant temperatures in the vats where Salk's poliovirus strains grew. The Salk vaccine saved thousands of lives and spearheaded the vaccine revolution.

From Hollywood to the pharmaceutical industry to textiles to the retail industry to the military to homeowners, there isn't a sector of the American economy that Carrier and Lyle didn't help transform. Their zealous focus on helping businesses provide better products at cheaper costs resulted in the invaluable byproducts of increased health, comfort and happiness.

While the pope blames commercial enterprises and the "global market economy" for causing "environmental degradation," it is a worldwide commercial enterprise made in America that solved the  human-caused degradation of, and environmental damage to, the Vatican's most prized art and assets.

If the pontiff truly believes "excessive consumption" of modern conveniences is causing evil "climate change," will he be shutting down and returning the multimillion-dollar system Carrier generously gifted to the Vatican Museums?

If not, I suggest, with all due respect, that Pope Francis do humanity a favor and refrain from blowing any more hot air unless he's willing to stew in his own.


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

Friday, June 26, 2015

Louisiana Woman Accused of Starving Child

Kerrian Javana Clofer

(Lake Charles, Louisiana)
Kerrian Javana Clofer, 26, was indicted Thursday on a charge of second-degree cruelty to a juvenile.

Authorities said Clofer held the child's hands over an open flame for punishment, tied her to a bed and wouldn't allow her to eat for days.
Pretty nasty, eh?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Multi Penis Report

In honor of Reddit's 10th anniversary, the site pulled out its top content ever, . . . a guy with two penises.

Doctors: We were wrong

Below is an excerpt from the latest issue of the "Journal of the American Medical Association".  It is about as close as you can get to an official admission that the official diet advice given to Americans for many decades was totally wrong and probably harmful.

The message from that is a hard one:  Don't rely on official science about anything. You have to look at the evidence for yourself.  I have been reading health and diet advice from the early days of Lelord Kordell (he recommended lots of protein) and my response has always been to eat whatever I like whenever I like it.  So at age 71 I have had a lifetime of good dinners and only iatrogenic health problems.

On my reading of the evidence, I doubt very much that it makes much difference what you put into your mouth. The small differences that medical researchers find in their research results are almost certainly as trivial in their importance as they are trivial in their size. The lessons for global warming believers are obvious. Long live good dinners!  The planet won't notice one way or the other


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

Teacher Allegedly Abuses Autistic Boy

Mary Katherine Pursley

(Marietta, Georgia)
A Georgia special education teacher who was accused of holding an autistic boy upside-down and lowering him head-first into a trash can while comparing him to Oscar the Grouch says she was trying to calm the boy, not hurt him.

At a school system hearing Monday near Atlanta, Mary Katherine Pursley said the second-grader was screaming and upset April 30, and she was trying to "shake out the grouchy."

"I said I thought we were going to get rid of that trashy behavior," said Pursley.
Pursley also faces a charge of first-degree cruelty to children.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Consensus! Children raised by same-sex parents are no different from those in traditional families

The article below is very naive.  I could have told you before I read it what the consensus among researchers would be -- and the authors found just that -- and nothing more.  A consensus among a group of people simply tells you what those people at that time want to believe.  It tells you nothing about the facts.  Only evidence can tell you about the facts.  And there was no critical scrutiny of the evidence in this study. And that was certainly needed in this case.

What for instance are we to make of a large 2012 study that arrived at very different conclusions?  To quote:  "The results reveal numerous, consistent differences, especially between the children of women who have had a lesbian relationship and those with still-married (heterosexual) biological parents".  Which conclusion is right?  We have no means of knowing from the study below.

So what the study below tells you is something about the biases of current social science researchers.  It tells you nothing about its alleged subject.  It simply tells you what the current intellectual fashion is

I follow the article below with the journal abstract

Scientists agree that children raised by same-sex couples are no worse off than children raised by parents of the opposite sex, according to a new study co-authored by a University of Oregon professor.

The new research looked at 19,000 studies and articles related to same-sex parenting from 1977 to 2013.

It comes as the U.S. Supreme Court is set to rule by the end of this month on whether same-sex marriage is legal.

'Consensus is overwhelming in terms of there being no difference in children who are raised by same-sex or different- sex parents,' University of Oregon sociology professor Ryan Light said on Tuesday.

Light, who co-authored the study with Jimi Adams of the University of Colorado at Denver, said the study may be too late to affect the court's ruling this month but he hopes it will have an impact on future cases.

'I hope we'll see acceptance of gay marriage of the courts and by the public at large,' he said.

The studies, Light said, showed some disagreement among scientists on the outcome of same-sex parenting in the 1980s but it largely subsided in the 1990s, and a clear consensus had formed by 2000 that there is no difference between same-sex and different-sex parenting in the psychological, behavioral or educational outcomes of children.

'Across the board we find the iterative suggests there's no significant differences,' Light said.

'To our knowledge this is the most comprehensive analysis of this type on this issue.'

Gary Gates, Research Director at the Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law, said although several review articles have made arguments that there is a consensus that the gender of the parents does not matter, he was not aware of any other in-depth study of this nature.

'That to me actually sounds like a fairly novel approach and I'm not sure that others have done it,' he said.

He said he believes the argument that same-sex parents are less adequate than heterosexual parents has largely been taken out of the legal debates. But he said it's always possible that it could come up.

'We'll see what happens in the Supreme Court argumentation,' he said.

'We find that the literature on outcomes for children of same-sex parents is marked by scientific consensus that they experience “no differences” compared to children from other parental configurations,' the pair wrote.


Scientific consensus, the law, and same sex parenting outcomes

By jimi adams & Ryan Light


While the US Supreme Court was considering two related cases involving the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, one major question informing that decision was whether scientific research had achieved consensus regarding how children of same-sex couples fare. Determining the extent of consensus has become a key aspect of how social science evidence and testimony is accepted by the courts. Here, we show how a method of analyzing temporal patterns in citation networks can be used to assess the state of social scientific literature as a means to inform just such a question. Patterns of clustering within these citation networks reveal whether and when consensus arises within a scientific field. We find that the literature on outcomes for children of same-sex parents is marked by scientific consensus that they experience “no differences” compared to children from other parental configurations.

Social Science Research, Volume 53, September 2015, Pages 300–310.

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

Alaska Woman Charged with Theft from Church

Tricia L. Maleck

(Juneau, Alaska)
A former member of First Evangelical Lutheran Church made her initial appearance in court on Monday after being charged with forging a signature to steal money from the church.

Tricia L. Maleck, 42, Fox Lake, is charged with a felony count of forgery and theft of property between $2,500 and $5,000.
If convicted, Maleck faces a substantial prison term and a $20,000 fine.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Louisiana Woman Arrested for Shooting Husband

Ronda Giroir

(Houma, Louisiana) A 43-year-old local woman, Ronda Giroir, has been arrested for allegedly shooting her husband in the chest.
Investigators said Terrebonne Parish deputies were notified of the shooting at about 1 a.m. at an apartment on Southland Circle by Giroir, who had called 911.

The TPSO said Giroir's unidentified husband was found in the living room of the apartment with a single gunshot wound to the chest.
The husband was hospitalized with a bullet in his lung.

Imperial Countess Pamela Anderson

Pamela Anderson

(Santa Margherita, Italy)
Pamela Anderson has been honoured in Italy for her work protecting marine life by being made a “Countess” – although the title may not be quite so legitimate as it first seems.

The former Baywatch star has been named “Countessa de’ Gigli” by self-declared royal Prince Stefan of Montenegro.

Pamela shared a photo of the ceremony in Santa Margherita, Italy, with her Instagram followers. She added the comment: “Your Royal Highness, I am grateful and most pleased to accept these honours on behalf of my sons and I.”
Countess Gigli? Heh.

Iowa Teacher Guilty of Child Endangerment

Jennifer Lynn Rich

(Ankeny, Iowa) A 40-year-old kindergarten teacher formerly at East Elementary School, Jennifer Lynn Rich, has been accused of being intoxicated at a school Valentine's Day party.

Rich has pleaded guilty to child endangerment and public intoxication.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 29.

 The Warmists have no shame

They utter the most transparent lies.  Every hospital administrator knows that it is colder weather -- winter -- that brings on illness and death -- not warmer weather.  But Warmists still claim the opposite.

In the best Leftist tradition, theory trumps evidence every time.  So I suppose it's no good quoting evidence to show that warm years are on balance better for you.

And the claim of rising extreme weather is simply false.  Climatologist Dr. John Christy who has looked back to the 1850s told the MRC in 2013 “there is no trend in hurricanes.” He said, “[I]f you look at the last seven years, there has not been single major hurricane hit the United States. This is the longest period of such a dearth of hurricanes in that entire record.”

In early 2014, when the networks hyped a drought in California as the “worst drought on record,” Dr. Martin Hoerling, a federal climate researcher, disagreed and told the MRC it was consistent with previous California droughts. California would have NO water shortage right now except for its Greenie policies -- sending dam water straight out to sea, for instance.  See also here and here

 And poor nutrition in a warmer climate?  Give us a break!  A warmer world would open up Northern Canada and Siberia to farming and food production.  Warming would most probably produce a GLUT of food!

These guys are utter crooks.  But British medical journals have long been laden with Green/Left propaganda.  "Lancet" even opposed George Bush's Iraq intervention.

The threat to human health from climate change is so great that it could undermine the last 50 years of gains in development and global health, experts warned on Tuesday.

Extreme weather events such as floods and heat waves bring rising risks of infectious diseases, poor nutrition and stress, the specialists said, while polluted cities where people work long hours and have no time or space to walk, cycle or relax are bad for the heart as well as respiratory and mental health.

Almost 200 countries have set a 2 degrees C global average temperature rise above pre-industrial times as a ceiling to limit climate change, but scientists say the current trajectory could lead to around a 4 degrees C rise in average temperatures, risking droughts, floods, storms and rising sea levels.

"That has very serious and potentially catastrophic effects for human health and human survival," said Anthony Costello, director of University College London's (UCL) Institute for Global Health, who co-led the report.

"We see climate change as a major health issue, and that's often neglected in policy debates," he told reporters at a briefing in London.

The report, commissioned and published by The Lancet medical journal, was compiled by a panel of specialists including European and Chinese climate scientists and geographers, social, environmental and energy scientists, biodiversity experts and health professionals. {And uncle Tom Cobley and all]


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

Monday, June 22, 2015

Georgia Woman Accused of Molesting Boy

Amanda Gwaltney

(Savannah, Georgia) A 33-year-old local woman, Amanda Gwaltney, has been accused of performing oral sex on a 14-year-old boy.

Gwaltney faces counts of sodomy, child molestation, and cruelty to children.

Gwaltney was booked into custody at the Bulloch County Jail without bond.

Kansas Teacher/Coach Charged with Sex Crimes - Update

Kourtnie A. Sanchez

(Eureka, Kansas) Kourtnie A. Sanchez has been charged with six counts of sex crimes with high school students.

* * * * *

Kansas Teacher/Coach Accused of Sex Crimes
[Previous 4/1/15 post]
(Eureka, Kansas) A 25-year-old former student teacher and coach at Marshall Elementary School, Kourtnie A. Sanchez, has been arrested for child sex crimes. No details have been reported.

Sanchez faces counts of electronic solicitation, promoting obscenity to a minor, unlawful sexual relations and solicitation of unlawful sexual relations.

Sanchez was booked and released on $50,000 bond.

NJ Teacher Accused of Sex with Girl, 15

Lauren H. Mitchell

(Jersey City, New Jersey) A 33-year-old married teacher at Dr. Lena Edwards Academic Charter School, Lauren H. Mitchell, has been accused of having sex with a 15-year-old girl.

Mitchell faces counts of aggravated sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

Schellnhuber's Papers that were presented at the Vatican

Schellnhuber is a prominent German Warmist. The papers are here.

Don Easterbrook  comments:

Cleverly written nonsense. Virtually everything he says is contrary to real data, but a non-scientist reading this might think the graphs and rhetoric are real. Most of his claims are completely ludicrous. For example:

“As the latest IPCC Assessment Report demonstrates, the global mean surface temperature could rise above pre-industrial values by more than 4°C by 2100.”

Even the IPCC has had to admit that computer modeling predictions have been a total failure, not even close to reality, so this negates all his conclusions that follow.

“Using both computer simulations and sediment data, one can expect sea level rises by at least 2 meters per degree of warming.”  2 meters = 6.7 feet x 4 = 27 feet by 2100!  That’s 3 feet per decade! (Sea level has been rising at about 7 inches per century).

The real question is where is all that water going to come from? Even under the rate of warming (20F in 40-100 years) and drastic melting of the gigantic ice sheets covering huge areas at the end of the Pleistocene, the rate of sea level rise was only about 3 feet per century.

Those melting ice sheets as a source of water to sea level rise are now gone and Antarctic ice is growing, not melting, yet he is predicting 10 times the rate of late Pleistocene sea level rise with no source of meltwater!

“The East Antarctic ice sheet – so far believed to be utterly stable – might “tip”, once a critical ice plug near the coast melts away and thereby “uncorks” the basin upstream which would lead to additional 3-4 meters of global sea-level rise.”

This pathetically uninformed view, pushed by some engineers who know very little about glaciers (e.g. Rignot et al., Joughin) consider glaciers to be held up by ‘dams’ at their mouths and their removal will cause the entire glacier to slide into the sea, totally ignoring the physical dynamics of glacial systems whose termini are controlled by equilibrium of snow accumulation and melting.


Via email

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

Arizona Woman Accused of Sex with Boy - Update

Lindsey Radomski

(Scottsdale, Arizona) A local yoga instructor, Lindsey Radomski, has been accused of performing a sex act on a 15-year-old boy.
Police arrested the 33-year-old Scottsdale yoga instructor in March after she exposed her newly enhanced breast to adults and kids at a bar mitzvah.

Investigators said she later invited seven boys to her room and allowed them to fondle her breasts before performing a sex act on one of them.
Details on incarceration not reported.

* * * * *

Arizona Woman Accused of Nasty with Boy
[Previous 3/26/15 post]
(Scottsdale, Arizona) A 32-year-old local woman, Lindsey Ann Radomski, has been accused of multiple sex crimes stemming from allegations that she performed oral sex on a 15-year-old boy during a bar mitzvah.
Radomski told authorities she was intoxicated and does not remember the alleged encounter with the boy, said Sgt. Ben Hoster, a department spokesman.[…]

After the other adults had left the party or had gone to sleep, police said, Radomski invited seven boys into a room and let them fondle her breasts.

The other boys then left the room, and investigators said Radomski performed oral sex on a 15-year-old boy.
Radomski was booked into custody with bond set at $10,000.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Pennsylvania Teacher Accused of Sex with Student

Megan Clough

(Kingsley, Pennsylvania) A 29-year-old teacher at Mountain View High School, Megan Clough, has been accused of improper contact with a male student.

Clough faces one count of institutional sexual assault.
Clough is also accused of sending nude pictures to that male student through the popular app “Snapchat.”

Those pictures would end up in the hands of at least one other student, and in front of the eyes of many more throughout the school.
Clough was released on bail.

Confiscate all cars.  More car control!  Toughen up car licensing! More car-free zones!

Mad Muslim uses a car to kill 3 and injure 34 in Austria.  Yesterday, President Obama gave a brief speech responding to the attack. “We don’t have all the facts, but we do know that once again innocent people were killed in part because somebody who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a car.”

A four-year-old boy is reported to be one of three people killed after an SUV ploughed into a crowd of people in Graz, Austria.

Another 34 people were injured in the attack, with six - including two children - said to be in a serious condition.

Eyewitnesses say the driver rammed into crowds at up to 90mph before he got out and began randomly stabbing bystanders, which included the elderly and policemen.

The three victims killed in the attack have been described as a 28-year-old Austrian man, a 25-year-old woman and a four-year-old boy.

The woman and boy were both killed as the driver ploughed through crowds on the main Herrengasse shopping street before reaching the city's main square.

The National Police Director, Josef Klamminger, said the man, who is believed to be a 26-year-old Austrian truck driver, was suffering from 'psychosis' related to 'family problems'.

Police director Klamminger added that the man was under a restraining order keeping him away from the home of his wife and two children, after a domestic violence report was filed against him last month.

The driver did not resist when he was arrested by the police - who say he acted alone - and they have no reason to believe it was an act of terrorism.

The busy square was hosting an event relating to the Austrian Formula One Grand Prix which is being held 80km away, in the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, in Steiermark.

The city council released a statement which read: 'At 12pm there was an appalling incident in the centre of Graz, which has caused major alarm and left the city deeply shaken.'

Provincial Governor Hermann Schuetzenhoefer said at least one of his injured victims is in a critical condition.

He added: 'We are shocked and dismayed... there is no explanation and no excuse for this attack.

'We have much to do to ensure cohesion in our community, which has clearly become difficult for many people.'

German-language website Krone reported that the man arrested by police is of Bosnian origin.


Apologies for the sarcasm in my heading and sub-heading above but the point is an important one.  I am of course deeply grieved at the senseless loss of life involved. As a great fan of Austro/Hungarian operetta, Austria is close to my heart

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

WV Woman Accused of Multiple Sex Offenses

Lateesha Laneil Ward

(Fayette County, West Virginia)
An Oak Hill woman faces at least 15 felony charges being accused of infecting a minor with multiple sexually transmitted diseases and forging his father’s signature to keep him out of school in fall of 2013.

Lateesha Laneil Ward, 26, lived with the 15-year-old victim for about a year after he left his parents’ house, according to a criminal complaint filed with Fayette Magistrate Court.
Reportedly, the victim contracted syphilis, gonorrhea and genital herpes. Ward faces counts of sexual abuse, soliciting a minor via computer, gross child neglect creating risk of injury, forgery, and distribution of a controlled substance.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Yes. I have read the latest encyclical

I put on a string of Bach cantatas to keep me in a serene mood while I read a very long document (over 100 pages) and below is what I found in it.  Below are selected phrases and sentences as written by Pope Frank himself.  You don't need to rely on journalists to interpret the document for you.  You can do it yourself from his own  politically relevant words that I have picked out.  I believe they summarize the whole, as far as secular issues are concerned.  I will have something to say about them following them:

"faced as we are with global environmental deterioration...

for human beings to degrade the integrity of the earth by causing changes in its climate...

 bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development...

the throwaway culture and the proposal of a new lifestyle....

There is also pollution that affects everyone, caused by transport, industrial fumes, substances which contribute to the acidification of soil and water, fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides and agrotoxins in general.

 We have not yet managed to adopt a circular model of production capable of preserving resources for present and future generations, while limiting as much as possible the use of non-renewable resources, moderating their consumption, maximizing their efficient use, reusing and recycling them

A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system. In recent decades this warming has been accompanied by a constant rise in the sea level and, it would appear, by an increase of extreme weather events, even if a scientifically determinable cause cannot be assigned to each particular phenomenon

 scientific studies indicate that most global warming in recent decades is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxides and others) released mainly as a result of human activity. Concentrated in the atmosphere, these gases do not allow the warmth of the sun’s rays reflected by the earth to be dispersed in space.

Carbon dioxide pollution increases the acidification of the oceans and compromises the marine food chain. If present trends continue, this century may well witness extraordinary climate change and an unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, with serious consequences for all of us

Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.

There is an urgent need to develop policies so that, in the next few years, the emission of carbon dioxide and other highly polluting gases can be drastically reduced, for example, substituting for fossil fuels and developing sources of renewable energy

Inequity affects not only individuals but entire countries; it compels us to consider an ethics of international relations. A true “ecological debt” exists, particularly between the global north and south, connected to commercial imbalances with effects on the environment, and the disproportionate use of natural resources by certain countries over long periods of time.

The developed countries ought to help pay this debt by significantly limiting their consumption of non-renewable energy and by assisting poorer countries to support policies and programmes of sustainable development.

 Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last two hundred years.

It is foreseeable that, once certain resources have been depleted, the scene will be set for new wars

aside from all doomsday predictions, the present world system is certainly unsustainable from a number of points of view

The principle of the subordination of private property to the universal destination of goods, and thus the right of everyone to their use, is a golden rule of social conduct

 It is based on the lie that there is an infinite supply of the earth’s goods, and this leads to the planet being squeezed dry beyond every limit.

The specialization which belongs to technology makes it difficult to see the larger picture. The fragmentation of knowledge proves helpful for concrete applications, and yet it often leads to a loss of appreciation for the whole, for the relationships between things, and for the broader horizon

There needs to be a distinctive way of looking at things, a way of thinking, policies, an educational programme, a lifestyle and a spirituality which together generate resistance to the assault of the technocratic paradigm.

All of this shows the urgent need for us to move forward in a bold cultural revolution

 there is a great variety of small-scale food production systems which feed the greater part of the world’s peoples, using a modest amount of land and producing less waste, be it in small agricultural parcels, in orchards and gardens, hunting and wild harvesting or local fishing. Economies of scale, especially in the agricultural sector, end up forcing smallholders to sell their land or to abandon their traditional crops.

 Although no conclusive proof exists that GM cereals may be harmful to human beings, and in some regions their use has brought about economic growth which has helped to resolve problems, there remain a number of significant difficulties which should not be underestimated.

Economic growth, for its part, tends to produce predictable reactions and a certain standardization with the aim of simplifying procedures and reducing costs. This suggests the need for an “economic ecology” capable of appealing to a broader vision of reality.

Many intensive forms of environmental exploitation and degradation not only exhaust the resources which provide local communities with their livelihood, but also undo the social structures which, for a long time, shaped cultural identity and their sense of the meaning of life and community.

Doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain. We may well be leaving to coming generations debris, desolation and filth. The pace of consumption, waste and environmental change has so stretched the planet’s capacity that our contemporary lifestyle, unsustainable as it is, can only precipitate catastrophes

The 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro is worth mentioning. It proclaimed that “human beings are at the centre of concerns for sustainable development”.

The principle of the maximization of profits, frequently isolated from other considerations, reflects a misunderstanding of the very concept of the economy

 Education in environmental responsibility can encourage ways of acting which directly and significantly affect the world around us, such as avoiding the use of plastic and paper,


Before beginning a discussion of the above, it is obviously of interest to ask whether dangerous global warming now has the imprimatur of Papal infallibility. Is the encyclical an infallible pronouncement on the matter?  It is not.  The Vatican Council taught that the Bishop of Rome makes an infallible ex cathedra definition when he defines “exercising his function as pastor and teacher of all Christians as pro suprema sua Apostolica auctoritate.” The encyclical must not be considered, then, as a document containing ex cathedra definitions except where the Holy Father speaks and teaches in them using “his supreme apostolic authority.”  Simply put, he's got to say, "This teaching is infallible".

Note however that Catholics are bound not only by doctrines defined as infallible but by all the teachings of the church.  They are therefore now bound to sincerely accept the reality of dangerous global warming if they are to be true Catholics.  See here

So much for the theology. On to a consideratiion of the teachings for those who are not Catholics:

It's clear that Frank hasn't got a blind clue about how the modern world works.  I had expected a better brain from a Jesuit.  As it is, the above is a pretty good enchiridion of modern Green/Leftism.

Frank hates the world about him as passionately as any Leftist.  He sees disasters and wrongs everywhere he looks.  He fortunately does not call for any specific political policies other than "discussion" but he has lumbered the church with a belief in the false doctrine of imminent and catastrophic global warming.

With typical Leftist overgeneralization, he treats the world as a whole, with little recognition that different parts of the globe are very different. Any American living in the border states knows that you just have to cross a political border to enter a very different world.  And if it is crass to treat the USA and Mexico as just one undifferentiated whole, how much sense does it make to treat (for instance) the Central African Republic as no different from Norway?

Frank just has no time for detail.  And yet detail is all-important in the greatly differentiated world we inhabit.  It is true, for instance, that Indonesia is cutting down its native forests at an alarming rate but it is also true that the USA has more tree cover today than it did 100 years ago. So when Frank rails against the global loss of forests he is making a generalization that is both wrong and stupid.

And the irony escapes him that it is places like Indonesia where people  mostly live the simple village life that he extols. If he really did like trees he would be praising the  USA and condemning Indonesia.  No hope of that, of course.  Frank just hates the modern world so much that he has no inclination to learn of its real diversity and complexity.  You will see no recognition in his words that it is in precisely the capitalist world which he condemns where the environment is best cared for.  He knows nothing.  All he has are prejudices and hatreds -- JR.

A comment received from a reader of the above that I like:

Now we see revealed to the world why the nethermost Americas are so poorly governed when a leading intellectual can reel out the warmist pap as an article of faith.

As you say, we all expect better of a Jesuit. There wasn't the slightest hint of critical thought, or scientific investigation. There was no attempt at balance or dispassionate analysis. The language is the intemperate bile of the zealot. No hint of a document revised time and again by the finest minds in the Vatican to ensure intellectual respectability or philosophical thoroughness. It's a schoolboy's first draft, an outpouring of passionately held, but not critically examined ideas.

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

Friday, June 19, 2015

Texas Teacher Accused of Sex with Student

Amber Witte

(Wichita Falls, Texas) A former calculus teacher at Wichita Falls High School, Amber Denise Witte, 29, has been accused of engaging in sex with a male student.

Witte faces a charge of improper relationship with a student.
When the victim was interviewed by an investigator, he said he and Witte began texting each other in the fall about school-related activities. The messages “turned to a sexual nature” in March or April, and soon after he visited her home, where they went to the bedroom and started kissing and touching each other.

He said Witte then gave him a condom and they had sex.
Witte was booked and released on bail yesterday.

Florida Teacher Guilty of Drug Smuggling - Update

Tarakiki Dozier

(Palm Beach, Florida) Broward County teacher Tarakiki Dozier has pleaded guilty to conspiring to import marijuana during a hearing in federal court.

A sentencing date has not been reported.

* * * * *

Florida Teacher Accused of Drug Smuggling
[Previous 5/18/15 post]
(Pembroke Park, Florida) A local teacher, Tarakiki Dozier, has been arrested for drug smuggling.
Dozier, 39, of Margate, is charged with conspiracy to import marijuana, importation of marijuana, conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana and possession with the intent to distribute marijuana.

She pleaded not guilty to all counts Friday in federal court in West Palm Beach.
Reportedly, Dozier smuggled marijuana into Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

California Woman Accused of Attacking Tourist

Sara Rizo

(Santa Monica, California)
Police have arrested a suspect in the attack on a tourist at a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in Santa Monica.

Sara Rizo, 39, was taken into custody Monday around 10:30 p.m. in the area of 2nd Street and Santa Monica Boulevard. She was booked for battery with serious bodily injury.

The incident happened on June 9 in the 200 block of Santa Monica Boulevard.
It has been suggested that Rizo has mental health issues.

Warmists still longing for Zion

Their Zion is an actual increase in global temperature. "2015 May Bring Long-Awaited Step-Jump In Global Temperatures", says paid propagandist Joe Romm.  But the figures he is getting his kicks from are the much-massaged surface records. Strange that he  doesn't mention the much more accurate satellite data which shows that this year and last are nowhere near record temperatures.

Historically, the global temperature trend-line is more like a staircase than a ramp. We now appear to be headed for a step-jump in global temperatures — one that scientists have been expecting.
NASA reported this week that this was the hottest five-month start (January to May) of any year on record.

The recent study, “Near-term acceleration in the rate of temperature change,” explains why a speed up in the rate of global warming is imminent — with Arctic warming rising up to 1°F per decade by the 2020s.

More than 90 percent of global heating goes into the oceans — and ocean warming down to 2000 meters (1.24 miles) has accelerated this century.

Climatologist Kevin Trenberth has explained that “a global temperature increase occurs in the latter stages of an El Niño event, as heat comes out of the ocean and warms the atmosphere.”

This week, NOAA released its monthly El Niño Southern Oscillation [ENSO] report, which concludes, “There is a greater than 90% chance that El Niño will continue through Northern Hemisphere fall 2015, and around an 85% chance it will last through the 2015-16 winter.”

So — barring a massive volcanic eruption in the next few months — 2015 is all but certain to become the hottest year on record by far. And if the growing El Niño does extend into next year, than 2016 will be another blistering year.


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

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Greek situation

Greece has huge debts that it cannot repay and is essentially "broke".  And its creditors are barking at it. They want their money. Its only way forward would seem to be to retire from the Eurozone (a common-currency area) and reintroduce its own currency, the Drachma.  It can then print as much money as it likes and pay Greeks everything that they think they deserve.  The result of that will be hyperinflation, yet more economic collapse and sky-high prices for anything that Greece imports from overseas.  Greek living standards could end up at less than half of what they once were.  And it would leave the Greek government unable to borrow from overseas for a long time.

To understand the Greek situation, people need to know something that is just about unmentionable these days -- because it could be seen as "racist":  Greeks are undoubtedly the most work-shy people in Europe.  Where a lot of Northern Europeans like to keep themselves busy by building and making things or otherwise doing something constructive, the ideal life for the average Greek male is to sit around with his friends drinking coffee and arguing about politics.  Finding a way of getting money without working for it is his Holy Grail.  Which is in part why one in two Greek households rely on social security payments to make ends meet.

And the Greek government too wants a free ride.  It has had such a ride courtesy of Europe's banks but now that it cannot pay the interest due on its borrowings, it still wants to cruise along propped up by the rest of Europe.  Faced with colossal bad debts, the rest of Europe is inclined to continue that propping up -- but not at any price.  They want the Greek government to curb its wasteful ways and get on top of its debt.

But the present government is a far-Left one so will not.  They say that Greece has already cut all its fat.  But it has not.  A major demand of Germany and other creditors is that Greece reform its pension (social security) system.  But government payments to the elderly are already low so that cannot be done, says the Greek government.  They are actually right in saying that the payments are low but that is not what the rest of Europe has its beady eyes on.  What they are looking at is ELIGIBILTY for pensions in Greece.  An article from five years ago tells us rather vividly what it is all about:

In Greece, trombone players and pastry chefs get to retire as early as 50 on grounds their work causes them late career breathing problems. Hairdressers enjoy the same perk thanks to the dyes and other chemicals they rub into people's scalps.

Then there are masseurs at steam baths: they get an early out because prolonged exposure to all that heat and steam is deemed unhealthy.

Until the Greek debt crisis, northern Europeans looked at Greek early retirement with an amused roll of the eyes. But more and more such loopholes are angering them: they bristle at being asked to pay for their laggard southern neighbours' early retirement.

When Germany's top-selling newspaper Bild asked readers in that fiscally prudent nation how they felt about coughing up hard-earned money for this kind of luxury, the daily's website lit up with comment.

In a bloc with a shared currency but no power to enforce budgetary restraint and keep members from spending themselves into messes like Greece's, the retirement quirk illustrates another fault line that crept to the surface with the debt crisis that began in Athens and is threatening to spread across the euro zone.

Germany, making available as much as 22.4 billion euros for the joint EU and IMF bailout of Greece, and which not long ago raised its retirement age from 65 to 67 to offset a shrinking, aging population, is being made "the laughing stock of Europe," one reader wrote to Bild.

Like many EU countries, the general retirement age in Greece is 65, although the actual average is about 61. However, the deeply fragmented system also provides for early retirement - as early as 55 for men and 50 for women - in many professions classified as "arduous and unhealthy."

The vast majority seem reasonable, like coal mining, but others, like the bakers and wind-instrument musicians, might strike some as a tad silly.

Greek pensions are low but the system is widely abused, and as part of a drive to reduce Greece's huge debt the government is trying to simplify the labyrinth of rules governing pensions and abolish early retirement rights for some categories of workers. In the end, Greeks will have to work more years, pay a bit more into the system and receive smaller pensions.

In Stockholm, 22-year-old security guard Jenny Lindstrom, called the Greek system unfair to other Europeans and said the bloc should have a single set of rules. "I also would like to retire earlier. I don't want to work for a long time to pay for others' to retire early in other countries."

Greece has to reform its system.  It is just not sustainable to allow women to retire at, say, 58, and pay them a pension well into their 80s. Along with early retirement, Greece has one of Europe's highest longevity rates - with an average life expectancy of 77.1 years for men and 81.9 for women.

As far away as Finland, where the government has tried to push up the retirement age to make up for a lack of skilled workers, there is resentment over paying for early retirement in the EU's sun-baked south.  "No way. It would be really unfair on a Finnish taxpayer who is still at work at the same age as someone in the same profession in another country retires," said 60-year-old Pirkko Toivonen.


Some changes to the above situation have apparently been made since then but not many and not by very much.  See here

So at a time when many countries are phasing in 70 as the normal retirement age, Greece could cut its pensions bill by a huge amount simply by falling in line with that retirement age.  But a far-Leftist government just will not do it of course.  They will   send the whole country into a downward spiral rather than earn the ire of one of their major support groups.

And the rest of Europe also has its beady eyes on the Greek tax system.  Greeks are so crooked that the tax system collects only about half of what it should.  Tax evasion is a way of life in Greece.  Again, a little has been done to tighten that up but not much.  Much more could be done.  And it's not the Leftist government that's principally at fault in that matter.  The situation is the fault of Greeks generally.  They almost all think that someone else owes them a living and that they have already paid plenty.  That attitude has already significantly impoverished them and they are now on the brink of even greater impoverishment

There is one potential solution to Greece's problems that would rid Greece of its debts in an entirely honourable way -- but nobody much is talking about it so far -- so I will mention it only in passing:  Greece has a LOT of islands, many of which are in very attractive locations and thinly populated.  Greece could  sell off entire islands to foreign governments, which would use them to build for their citizens retirement homes in the sun.  That could prove quite attractive to some Northern European countries.

There's a current report of the negotiations between Greece and the rest of Europe here

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

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Arkansas Woman Accused in Marijuana Sting

Shawanda Shante Pam

(Fayetteville, Arkansas) A local woman, Shawanda Shante Pam, was arrested last week during a marijuana sting.
Pam, 32, of 994 Daisy Lane in Fayetteville was arrested Thursday in connection with possession of schedule four edibles with intent to deliver, possession of marijuana wax with intent to deliver, possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia and simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms, all felonies.
Pam was booked and released on $2,500 bond.

Idaho Teacher Guilty of Sex with Student - Update

Marie Ellen Donaldson

(Caribou County, Idaho) Former teacher Marie Donaldson, 35, has pleaded guilty to engaging in sex with a 16-year-old boy. Sentencing is scheduled for August 17.

* * * * *

Idaho Teacher Accused of Naughty with Student
[Previous 1/26/15 post]
(Caribou County, Idaho)
A former San Simon School teacher has been arrested and charged following an eight month investigation into an alleged sexual relationship with a student.

The Cochise County Sheriff's Office launched its investigation into Marie Donaldson and the alleged relationship involving a San Simon High School student on May 15th, 2014.

Last week, a grand jury indicted Donaldson on 10 counts of "sexual misconduct with a minor." All ten counts are "class 2" felonies.

All ten charges on Donaldson's indictment state: "On or between December, 2013 and May 2014 Marie Ellen Donaldson intentionally or knowingly engaged in oral sexual contact with a person under eighteen years of age." All ten counts add that "Marie Ellen Donaldson was or had been a school teacher of (student).
Donaldson was arrested and released on $25,000 bond.

Our scorched Earth in 2100: Nasa maps reveal how climate change will cause temperatures to soar

That the Warmists keep issuing these extreme prophecies is compellingly reminiscent of chiliastic religions.  Warmism is merely the latest of the many doom religions that have sprouted  over the centuries.  It is pure religious faith.   You HAVE to be religious to think you can predict the future.  Scientists can't.

New data released by Nasa scientists is revealing how temperature and rainfall patterns around the world may change by the year 2100.

Using climate change predictions based on increasing levels of carbon dioxide, the data reveals what may happen to the climate in individual towns and cities.

Much of the data is still in raw form for now to allow scientists to run models on a daily timescale.

However, a map of the world released by Nasa, which shows the predicted temperature for July 2100, provides some clues for what the world may look like.

By that time, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere will have reached 935 parts per million, meaning the gas comprises nearly 0.1 per cent of the atmosphere.  Earlier this year carbon dioxide levels reached 400 parts per million.

If by the end of the century carbon dioxide in the atmosphere more than doubles, much of Africa, South America and India will endure average daily maximum temperatures of more than 45°C.

Jerusalem, New York, Los Angeles and Mumbai could see summer temperatures reaching these levels too.

London will experience temperatures in the mid 20s and Paris could see its July temperatures reaching the low 30s.

Ellen Stofan, chief scientist at Nasa, said: 'Nasa is in the business of taking what we've learned about our planet from space and creating new products that help us all safeguard our future.

'With this new global dataset, people around the world have a valuable new tool to use in planning how to cope with a warming planet.'

The new dataset is the latest product from Nasa's Earth Exchange (NEX), a big-data research platform within the NASA Advanced Supercomputing Centre its Ames Research Center in California.

The data shows projected changes worldwide in response to rising carbon dioxide levels and can be viewed on a daily timescale for individual towns and cities.

Unlike other climate prediction maps, which tend to show how global temperatures will differ from a pre-industrial average or current levels, the data gives predicted values.

Nasa says the data will help scientists and planners better understand the risks facing the world due to climate change.


Ecoalarmists Were Wrong. Again.

In 2009, Al Gore said the Arctic would be ice-free by summer 2014. He was wrong. A year before that, ABC News warned that climate change would flood the City of New York by 2015. That was wrong too. Newsbusters' Scott Whitlock explains: “New York City underwater? Gas over $9 a gallon? A carton of milk costs almost $13? Welcome to June 12, 2015.

Or at least that was the wildly inaccurate version of 2015 predicted by ABC News exactly seven years ago. Appearing on Good Morning America in 2008, Bob Woodruff hyped Earth 2100, a special that pushed apocalyptic predictions of the then-futuristic 2015.”

The show was taped in 2008, though the network held off airing the program until a year later — and probably now wishing it had delayed it permanently.

“The program showcased the terrible impact of global warming from 2015 through 2100,” adds Whitlock. “In the special, a ‘storm of the century’ wiped out Miami. Other highlights included a destroyed New York City and an abandoned Las Vegas. By 2084, Earth’s population will apparently be just 2.7 billion.” Trust them. They’re experts.


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

Carolina Woman Accused of Sex with Boy, 14

Nicole Prado Bates

(Rock Hill, South Carolina) A 22-year-old local woman, Nicole Prado Bates, has been accused of engaging in sex with a 14-year-old boy.

Bates faces counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor and criminal solicitation of a minor.

Ohio Teacher Indicted for Sex with Student - Update

Stacy L. McConoughey

(Marysville, Ohio) A 36-year-old local teacher, Stacy L. McConoughey, has been accused of four counts of sexual battery of an 18-year-old student.
The counts stem from four separate sexual events, two of which allegedly occurring on school grounds.

The 36-year-old was charged for having sex with the male student from October 2014 to May 2015.

The student was in McConoughey’s English class and worked as her teacher’s aide. He graduated in 2015.
McConoughey faces a possible 20 years in prison.

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Ohio Teacher Accused of Relationship with Student
[Previous 5/17/15 post]
(Marysville, Ohio)
An English teacher at Marysville High School has been accused of having an “inappropriate relationship” with an 18-year-old student.

Police escorted Stacy McConoughey, 36, from the school on Thursday and she has been relieved of duty, Superintendent Diane Mankins said.

The male student told a guidance counselor about the relationship on Thursday, Mankins said. McConoughey has taught in the Marysville district since 2001.
So far, no formal charges have been filed.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Scotland the brave

I have written a lot that is very critical of Scotland recently (e.g. here). The frantic hate of their supposed "oppressors" -- the English -- that is coming from some of the Scots nationalists is grotesque -- if only because Scots get more spent on them per capita by the British government than the English do.  But gratitude is a rare flower I guess.

I have in fact always been a Scots nationalist in my sympathies.  It is obvious to me that the Scots and the English are two very different people and having them yoked to the same cart is bound to produce tensions.  So let each go their own way. After having spent some time in both countries -- and marrying a Scottish wife -- some differences at least seem very clear to me.  The English on the whole are an emotionally restrained people, for instance, while the Scots are great sentimentalists.  An amusing proof of that is that on a traditionally emotional occasion -- parting -- the English have to sing a Scottish song, in an almost incomprehensible language to them: "Auld lang syne".

And the political differences between the Scots and the English are legendary.  The Scots in Scotland are frantic socialists.  When Margaret Thatcher first gained the Prime Ministership with a huge swing towards her in England, Scotland actually swung away from the Tories. So that alone is surely an argument for independence.  Why should either nation have the political preferences of the other imposed upon it?

So the best I can do to understand the hatreds flowing from some of the Scots Nats is that it is a welling up of many lifetimes of frustration at being locked into an unsuitable marriage.  It remains deplorable, however.  Hate is intrinsically destructive.

But there is no doubt that the Scots have been traditionally warlike.  I gather that about a third of the British army to this day is Scottish.  And a tradition of war should select for manly men -- strong, confident and robust men.  And Scotland does seem to produce a goodly number of such men.  Watch the video below to see what I mean.  Bill McCue is the sort of men that Scots think of as Scottish and there is some truth in that.  I hope the Scots speech is not too hard to understand.

How can a country be bad that produces big, confident and yet sentimental men like that?  What woman would not like to have a man in her life like that (pace the feminists)?  Scotland is a wonderful country with massive traditions of its own and it should be free to pursue its own destiny in its own way

I have written quite a bit about Scotland in the academic journals.  See here

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


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