Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year!
Blame the Porous Border

Mad Dog Vinnie reports on a police officer in Fremont, California, being attack by a group of non-citizens from Mexico.
New Gun Law

California State Sen. Jack Scott lost his son, Adam, to an accidental blast from a shotgun in 1993. As a result, Sen. Scott initiated Senate Bill 489 which becomes law tomorrow. The law mandates two safety features to be incorporated in all new semi-automatic pistols.

Semiautomatic pistols rechamber a bullet with each pull of the trigger, so a user can detach the magazine, believe the gun is empty, pull the trigger and only then discover that a live round was in the chamber. Under SB 489, new models of rim-fire semiautomatic pistols introduced to the California market after Sunday must have a disconnect mechanism to prevent firing when the magazine is removed. These models generally fire .22-caliber ammunition.

New center-fire semiautomatics after New Year's Day must be equipped with either a magazine disconnect mechanism or a chamber load indicator that warns of an unspent round. These models typically use 9 mm and other such rounds.

In one year - by January 2007 - all new center-fire models must contain both safety devices.
Existing handguns, future person-to-person sales, and new models of shotguns, rifles and revolvers are exempted from the law.

Naturally, many gun owners oppose the law, considering it to be one more in a series of harassing attacks on Second Amendment rights. I agree. In fact, I expect more initiatives from Sen. Scott since he indicated he's on a "personal crusade to prevent accidental shootings." Maybe the next legislated design modification he'll propose will be similar to the computer activated "Warning, the door is ajar!" audio message in the latest cars. Imagine "Bing! Bing! The chamber is occupied!"

Besides limiting the Second Amendment rights, SB 489 may also present a false sense of security. According to Lawrence G. Keane of the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute, it's possible for "an incident in which the user detaches the magazine, finds the gun won't fire and concludes it carries no bullets. He or she then reattaches an empty magazine, continues to believe it is unloaded and pulls the trigger - accidentally firing a chambered round."

There will also be an increased cost per handgun, estimated as much as $50 each. The effectiveness of SB 489 in preventing accidental shootings remains to be seen.

Companion at Conservative Thinking.
Intruder Leaves Pornography

(Fremont, California) Some actions are beyond explanation.
[A] woman in California called police to report that an intruder broke into her home and added pornography to her computer.

The woman in Fremont said she woke up and was startled to see a stranger typing away on her computer. Police said the intruder fled, but left behind an altered screen saver that featured erotic images.

Nothing was reported stolen.
I guess this would be a case of trespassing and pornographic tampering. Uh ... just a thought. What would be the response if a guy made the claim that someone broke into his house and left porn on his computer?
Indonesian Market Bomb Kills Eight

Indonesia(Palu, Indonesia) The Indonesian government issued warnings that terrorist attacks against Christians were likely during the holiday season. And it has happened.

From the BBC:
At least eight people have been killed and 45 hurt by a bomb blast at a market in Indonesia's Central Sulawesi province, police say.

Witnesses in the town of Palu reported seeing bodies lying on the ground after hearing a deafening blast.

The bomb exploded in the busy morning hours at a stall selling pork in a largely Christian part of the town.
In another report, Central Sulawesi police chief Brigadier General Oegroseno said, "Up until now, the number of victims is 60. From that 60, 53 are injured, seven have died."

The bomb was packed with nails and ball bearings. Another bomb was reportedly found and defused. Bloodied wounded were carried to passing cars and taken to the hospital.

No specific responsibility for the attack has been declared, but the province's Christian population has been repeatedly attacked by Muslims. It's reported that twelve people have been apprehended in connection with the attack.

I'm certain the attack wasn't prompted only because Christians eat pork. Eating pork just triggers the hatred that fanatical Muslims have for non-believers in Islam. In that regard, fanatical Muslims are not that much different from fanatical vegans, although, to my knowledge, the vegans haven't resorted to murder. Food despots are, first and foremost, despots.

Friday, December 30, 2005

LATimes Publishes Phony Report

How often has the blogosphere been criticized by the mainstream media for not adequately researching stories, for being less than thorough, and for not checking facts? Way too often, I'd say. Well, check out this story.

A quote in a fake news release that was intended as an April Fool's joke ended up in a front-page story in the Los Angeles Times. The story in Tuesday's editions of the Times noted how successful the reintroduction of wolves had been 10 years ago, but said the predators remained controversial.

"In Wyoming, for example, Gov. Dave Freudenthal last April decreed that the Endangered Species Act is no longer in force and that the state 'now considers the wolf as a federal dog,' unworthy of protection," the story read.

The Times printed a correction Wednesday, acknowledging that the news release was a hoax.

"The reporter saw it on the Internet and had talked with the governor in the past, so she was familiar enough with the way he talks and writes that she thought it sounded authentic, and she didn't check, which she should have," Times Deputy Metro Editor David Lauter told the Casper Star Tribune.
Lauter also said, "We hate when this kind of thing happens." I don't know why. It's consistent with the new 21st Century MSM philosophy, "Fake but accurate."
Truck Driver Arrested for Being a Complete Pervert

(Texas City, Texas) A 36-year-old long-haul truck driver, Darrell Hinds, has been arrested and charged with promotion of child pornography, aggravated sexual assault of a child, sexual performance by a child, and indecency with a child by contact.

The case started about two weeks ago, when a woman living in a Texas City apartment found a videotape in her kitchen cupboard. After putting the tape in her VCR, the woman called police to report that someone apparently had left child pornography in her residence.

The tape showed a man engaged in various sex acts with a boy, 4, and a 9-month-old girl. Investigators said they captured a still image of the man’s face from the tape and showed it to the manager of the apartment complex. The manager identified the man in the picture as the previous occupant of the woman’s apartment.
Police tracked Hinds to South Carolina and he was brought back to Texas to face the charges against him. Thankfully, the sick bastard was stupid enough to leave evidence of his crimes. Hinds faces a posible 99 years in prison on the aggravated sexual assault charge alone. He could get 20 years each for the other three charges.

[Update 11/04/06]

Hinds found guilty.
Oxygen Tank Explodes

Here's a sad story out of Ontario.

A 57-year-old Mississauga man was killed yesterday morning after the oxygen tank he was hooked up to in his Bloor St. apartment ignited and exploded while he smoked a cigarette.

The victim, David Grightmire, was hooked up to the oxygen tank because he had emphysema.
Fortunately, he was able to pull the fire alarm, allowing evacuation of the building.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Woman Accused of Sex with 12-Year-Old Boy

(Tucson, Arizona) A 26-year-old Tucson mother of two children, Veronica Bullock, was arrested for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 12-year-old boy at the Brewster Center, a domestic violence shelter.

According to Tucson Police Detective Monica Prieto, Bullock faces charges of sexual misconduct with a minor, sexual abuse, and child molestation.

Bullock was released from the Pima County Jail.

[Update 09/07/06]

Bullock pleads guilty in accordance with deal offered by prosecution.
Porn Star Genevieve Elise Silva Arrested

(Roosevelt, Oklahoma) Last week, a felony arrest warrant for child rape was issued for 20-year-old porn movie star Genevieve Elise Silva for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old boy, providing him drugs, and prompting him to run away with her to Oklahoma.

Yesterday, Silva was arrested at her mother's home in Kiowa County in southwestern Oklahoma and was charged with statutory rape, rape by use of intoxicating or controlled substance, and concealing or hiding a child from the legal custodian. According to Undersheriff Terry Tyler, Silva is in jail awaiting extradition to California.

[Update 12/29/05, 2330 EST]

It's also reported that Silva, 20, remains in jail in Kiowa County, Okla., in lieu of $10,000 bail. Apparently, she is fighting extradition back to California.

Companion post at Conservative Thinking.

[Update 08/18/06]

Silva was extradited back to California in January to face prosecution and has been free on bail since. She's expected to be arrested shortly to face charges in Contra Costa County. [Note: This post revised to delete dead links.]
No Discipline for Drunken Supreme Court Justice

Alice Robie Resnick(Columbus, Ohio) Last January, Ohio Supreme Court Justice Alice Robie Resnick was pulled over by state troopers who had been alerted to her erratic driving by several motorists. She then took off, only to be pulled over again and taken into custody. Resnick reportedly reeked of alcohol and her movements were slow and deliberate. She refused to take a blood-alcohol content test. Subsequently, Resnick pleaded guilty to drunken driving and had her license suspended.

Typically, judges will also have their law licenses suspended upon convictions for drunken driving, but not in Resnick's case. A state panel of appellate judges decided to just give her a wag of the finger and a public "Tsk, tsk." It's not known how many bracers she slugged down in celebration.

By the way, Resnick is a Democrat, not that there is anything wrong with that. Most voters will probably forget about her conviction when she runs for re-election. Attacked by Sith Lord

Undoubtedly, most of the American public has viewed the television advertising campaign of, featuring the absolutely pleasant Sabine Ehrenfel (right). One would naturally assume that the media exposure would produce handsome sales for Overstock. Well, apparently, that's not the case.

From The Register: CEO Patrick Byrne continues to break new ground as the head of a publicly traded company. In a single TV interview last week, he shocked investors by revealing that holiday sales were far below expectations, perplexed the financial crowd by talking about drugs and dead bodies being found in his trunk and initiated a verbal war with billionaire blogger Mark Cuban.
Now, disappointing sales figures can usually be dealt with rationally by changing the method of operation. Customers have noticed flaws. These have included the failure to effectively track orders, an unresponsive customer service system, and periodic web site outages. But fixing the administrative weaknesses won't do anything to address the problem of having a screwy CEO in Patrick Byrne.
This latest round of gaffes adds to a tradition for Byrne that includes admitting that he lied about being gay and a coke-head to financial analysts and initiating a program to uncover a "Sith Lord" seeking to ruin Overstock.
Yes, a Sith Lord is leading a mysterious group of short-sellers in a conspiracy engineered to cripple Overstock. Byrne claims the Sith Lord will use the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Justice (DoJ) to get him.
"Some of the officials are monsters. You'll probably read a headline that I was stopped with drugs or a dead body."
First, it's probably not a good idea to talk trash about the FCC and the DoJ. It might aggravate them into looking at your operation, with or without the Sith Lord's input.

Secondly, Patrick Byrne is obviously paranoid which could be the result of his alleged cocaine use. Don't be surprised if we hear about black helicopters next.

As a result of not meeting expectations, coupled with having a wacko leader, investors are shying away. Within the past year, Overstock share value has plunged from over $70 to under $30 and there's no expectation that the trend will change. Patrick Byrne will likely continue to defend Overstock from the Sith Lord while the Chairman of Overstock, daddy John Byrne, watches.

Tipped by the Cracker Barrel Philosopher.

For more on the pulchritudinous Sabine Ehrenfel, Digger has a profile.
President's Attacker Sews Mouth Shut

Vladimir ArutunyanIn a protest claiming his rights have been violated after being arrested for throwing a grenade at President Bush, Vladimir Arutunyan (right) sewed his mouth shut.

Vladimir Arutunyan is accused of throwing a hand grenade at Bush and Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili while they were addressing a public audience on Freedom Square in central Tbilisi on May 10. The grenade did not explode.

Arutuynan was arrested in Tbilisi on July 20 after a shootout with Georgian police that resulted in the death of Col. Zurab Kvlividze, the head of the Georgian Interior Ministry's counterintelligence department.

The defendant came to the court hearing on Tuesday with his mouth sewed up. He claimed earlier his rights were violated.
So, with his mouth sewed shut, he can't talk. And, presumably, he can't eat. And, it's his choice. Uh ... I don't see a problem.

Naturally, I wonder where he got a needle and thread since I don't think those items would normally be issued to dangerous prisoners. Nevertheless, Arutunyan sewing his mouth shut doesn't phase me in the least. Hell, as long as he stays behind bars for a very long time, he could also sew up his navel and his anus for all I care.
Three Brits Kidnapped in Gaza

Since Israel relinquished control of the Gaza Strip in September, it seems that abductions of foreigners are occurring on a weekly basis. Earlier today, armed kidnappers abducted a British human rights activist and her parents in Gaza near the Egyptian border.

The 25-year-old worker at pro-Palestinian rights group Al Mezan, identified by British media reports as Kate Burton, was showing her visiting parents around the town of Rafah when they were bundled into a car and driven away, residents said.

There was no public claim of responsibility, but police sources said officials were in talks with the kidnappers in the hope of securing the hostages' release by early Thursday.
The British consulate confirmed that the kidnappings occurred, likely by a group known as the Black Panthers, an armed offshoot of the Fatah movement.

Isn't it just typical of these thug kidnappers to abduct a human rights activist who supports their cause? I think it's an indication that the kidnappers are not too smart. If they want to maximize media attention and public outrage, they've got to quit kidnapping members of the home team.

Similarly, last week armed men mistakenly kidnapped two teachers, a Dutchman and an Aussie, thinking they were Americans. The two were held briefly and released with an "Oops!"

If recent history is an indicator and assuming the kidnappers realize that Kate Burton and her parents actually support the Palestinian cause, they won't be held hostage for very long.

Companion post at Dread Pundit Bluto.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

New Food Labeling Law

The 2004 Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act requires food labels to list allergens and takes effect on Sunday. Products must be labeled if they contain peanuts, shellfish, eggs, milk, fish, crustaceans, wheat, tree nuts, or soybeans. The law will protect an estimated 2% of the adult population and an estimated 5% of children. That's assuming that the allergy prone individuals can read English.

The law was prompted by a 1999 study in Minnesota and Wisconsin which indicated that 25% of a sample of baked goods, ice cream and candy didn't list peanuts or eggs as ingredients.

Fine, but I have a comment. Effectively, the law mandates that more than 95% of the population will pay for a benefit for less than 5% of the population who are allergic. Labels are part of the production process and any change or addition will add to the cost of products. When the cost increases to the producer, it translates into a price increase for the consumer. Consequently, out of 20 people, on average 19 will see increased prices from the new labeling requirements with no discernible benefit.

Of course, there's always the bright side. The new labeling requirements will have to be enforced which would necessitate the creation of a new government labeling complaint processing and enforcement bureaucracy. This means more government jobs. And lawsuits, let's not forget about lawsuits. Surely, attorneys and legal clerks are waiting in the wings to take down an evil corporation that forgot to put "Contains shellfish" on a live lobster.

On Sunday, the United Nanny States of America will impose new restrictions on business in the journey toward achieving utopia on Earth. At the end of the road is everything for everybody all the time, at no cost, and the complete elimination of risk in the lives of human beings everywhere for all time.

Doesn't it just make you feel warm and cozy?
Weedkiller Treatment for Cancer?

A doctor is under federal indictment on 87 counts for allegedly defrauding insurance companies.

Standing silently at the center of a raging controversy over whether he is a quack or a miracle worker, Dr. Totada R. Shanthaveerappa faced his accusers in federal court Tuesday.

The diminutive 70-year-old Stockbridge doctor is charged with defrauding insurance companies by claiming he used orthodox medicines when he was actually using chemicals found in weedkiller to treat cancer patients and others. He quickly made bond and was released after making his first court appearance.

Outside the courthouse, defense attorney Don Samuel praised the Indian-born doctor's "pioneering efforts to save people's lives."

"He is making people's lives more bearable," Samuel said.
I don't know where Dr. Shanthaveerappa received his training but I'm sure he wasn't taught to administer herbicides to humans in any reputable medical school. However, since he comes from India, I speculate that it's possible he picked up some innovative home remedy tricks during his formative years on the subcontinent.

In a way, it makes sense. The loose logic of country doctorin' could lead to the conclusion that "If it kills the weeds, then surely it can kill the cancer." Of course, the same logic would conclude that Scotts Miracle-Gro would work for erectile dysfunction.
Liberal Academia

So, the professor says:
"That's why history is so fascinating, because we keep revising it."
I wish it was a joke. (via The Owner's Manual)
Shootout at Iraqi Prison

(Camp Justice, Iraq) A dozen or more dead or wounded are being reported after a prisoner grabbed a rifle from an Iraqi policeman and opened fire. Details are confused.

From ABC News Online:
Iraqi police have shot dead several prisoners in a shoot-out at a Baghdad military base after one prisoner grabbed a weapon from a guard and opened fire, Interior Ministry officials and police sources said.

Up to six guards were killed, one police source said, before security forces began firing into the unarmed prisoners.

There was confusion over casualty figures.

Another police source and an Interior Ministry official initially said more than 20 prisoners were killed but a second official insisted there were 15 casualties in all, some only wounded, and that these included one dead guard and one wounded officer.
The prisoners were on a morning recreation break at al Adala base - also called Camp Justice - in the northern Baghdad neighborhood of Kadhimiya. Three prisoners are believed to have escaped. The al Adala prison houses suspects accused of major crimes, including terrorism.

I'd suggest that recreation breaks for terrorists might not be a good idea.
Ohio State Coeds Underwear Stolen

(Columbus, Ohio) At least 50 apartments near to the Ohio State University campus were burglarized over Christmas by underwear thieves.

"My closet door was open. My underwear was taken," one student said. "My DVDs were taken, My DVD (player) was taken. My mattress was thrown."

"They took only women's things and they went through our underwear, they went through everyone's underwear," another student said.

Even in locked bedrooms, doors were broken down and underwear drawers were ransacked.
The thieves are at large. Anyone with information is asked to call the Columbus Police at (614) 645-4659.

Of course, I wonder if the burglaries will force some OSU coeds to return to school next week "going commando," if you get my drift.

Companion post at Conservative Thinking.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Moroccan Terror Cell Dismantled

(Rabat, Morocco) Since the May 2003 attacks in Casablanca, Moroccan authorities have been more aggressive in pursuing terrorists. Over 3,000 suspects have been arrested. Last month, 17 Moroccans linked to al Qaeda were arrested for planning attacks on tourist sites and public buildings. Today, it's reported that eleven more suspects were arrested.

Eleven Moroccans were detained in sweeps of the allegedly nascent terrorist group believed to have links to a radical Islamic movement, the official Maghreb Arabe Presse (MAP) news agency reported on Tuesday, citing unidentified police officials.
Details of the arrests were not released but it is known that the group was active along the Moroccan borders with Algeria and with Mali.
Its alleged leader, Mohamed Said Idghiri, was described as a militant in a radical Islamic group with international ties.

He was detained on returning from secret paramilitary training in the border area, with plans to carry out attacks, MAP said but did not elaborate.
The Moroccans appear to be dedicated to eliminating terrorist operatives within their country which, unfortunately, isn't true for all countries.

Companion post at In The Bullpen.
Students Leaving California to Get High School Diploma

(Sacramento, California) According to the SacBee (reg. req'd), students, parents and educators are in a quandary. For those students that are physically or mentally disabled, the requirement to pass the California High School Exit Exam for a diploma is a roadblock. Although the legislators and the courts have struggled with the issue, no resolution has been achieved as to what to do with special education students seeking high school diplomas. The special ed students can't pass the exit exam but parents and advocacy groups believe they should be awarded diplomas anyway.

As a result, parents are now planning on sending their special education children to other states for the last semester of high school so they can receive a diploma. Venues being considered are any states with education requirements less stringent than California.

I can understand the parents' concerns, however, it just doesn't seem appropriate to award diplomas to students who could not pass the exit exam. If graduation from high school is to be considered a set standard of required achievement, there should be no difference regarding the process of how a diploma is acquired. It seems that the resolution to the dilemma is to reduce the requirements for all students or face the reality that some students are physically or mentally incapable of meeting the minimum standards.

Companion post at Diggers Realm.
Saudi Most Wanted Terrorist Caught

(Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) It's being reported that a terrorist went on a shooting spree speeding across central Saudi Arabia, killing five policemen in Buraydah and Muznab. It's also reported that most wanted terrorist Mohammed Abdel-Rahman Mohammed al-Suwailmi was arrested in Buraydah, northwest of Riyadh. Currently, it appears that al-Suwailmi may have been the killer of the five police officers since he was captured after the high-speed chase. Details are sketchy.

Al-Suwailmi, 23, functioned as a recruiting and propaganda expert for Islamic terrorist groups in Saudi Arabia. With his capture, police have killed or captured eight of the 15 terrorists believed to be in the kingdom who were identified on the list of most wanted terrorists issued in June. Notably, Saudi police thought that they had eliminated al-Suwailmi back in September in a gunfight in Dammam but were stunned by a subsequent release of an audiotape of him on the Internet.

Apparently, Saudi officials have difficulty identifying corpses.

Tipped by Debbie at In The Bullpen.
Bloggers in Iraq

Yesterday's Washington Post profiled bloggers Michael Yon and Bill Roggio, both embedded with coalition troops in Iraq.
College Grads Can't Read

For at least a couple generations, prudent observers have opined that the American education system inappropriately allows students to advance without mastering subject material. Progressive educators responded by stating that achievement in rigorous curricula is less important than the students' self esteem and ability to work with others. The controversy will certainly continue even though a recent assessment indicates that "dumbing down" works. Less than one in three college graduates can read a book.

"It's appalling -- it's really astounding," said Michael Gorman, president of the American Library Association and a librarian at California State University at Fresno. "Only 31 percent of college graduates can read a complex book and extrapolate from it. That's not saying much for the remainder."

While more Americans are graduating from college, and more than ever are applying for admission, far fewer are leaving higher education with the skills needed to comprehend routine data, such as reading a table about the relationship between blood pressure and physical activity, according to the federal study conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics.

Experts could not definitively explain the drop.

"The declining impact of education on our adult population was the biggest surprise for us, and we just don't have a good explanation," said Mark S. Schneider, commissioner of education statistics.
According to Schneider, the assessment simply determined the ability to read, not understanding complex subject matter.

In my opinion, the blame for the dismal results can be attributed to several factors. These include the practice of social promotion, the elimination or disregard for effective grading systems, the elimination or reduction of testing requirements, the dilution of core academic standards, and affirmative action. Simplistically, graduates can't read because it wasn't a requirement to graduate.

Companion post at The Dread Pundit Bluto.
Napa Winemakers Killing Bears

(Napa County, California) The succulent prized grapes grown in the California wine region are attractive to the wild black bears and the vineyard owners aren't predisposed to sharing. Consequently and in accordance with state law, the bears are being killed. Naturally, the animal rights advocates and environmentalists are opposed to the killing of the bears, but they protest meekly. The liberals appear to love their wine a little more than they love the bears.

Evidently, animals have rights only to extent that they don't mess with the merlot.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Canadian Candidate Claims Victory for Islam

(Toronto, Canada) This report is troubling.
On December 2, the Liberal candidate for Mississauga-Erindale, Omar Alghabra, made his victory speech after winning the nomination. In that speech, he reportedly exhorted his audience, "This is a victory for Islam! Islam won! Islam Won! ... Islamic power is extending into Canadian politics."

Alghabra's victory speech was delivered to an audience of several hundred in the Coptic Christian Centre of the Church of the Virgin Mary and St. Athanasius in Mississauga.
Mississauga, part of the metropolitan Toronto area, apparently has some citizens that are not thrilled by Mr. Alghabra's statements.
Victor Fouad, a Coptic Christian, was disturbed to hear of such Islamist rhetoric from a Liberal who could easily become a Canadian parliamentarian. Mr. Fouad assumed that Paul Martin would likewise disapprove of such incitement by a Liberal candidate, and so wrote to the Prime Minister detailing what had happened. That message was ignored. The event took place over 2 weeks ago, and Paul Martin's silence since that time can only be interpreted as approval of Mr. Alghabra's rhetoric.

"I was surprised that Prime Minister Martin showed no interest in such a dangerous mixing of religion and politics," said Mr. Fouad. "Since he has said nothing about it and this candidate is still representing the Liberal Party of Canada, I have to assume that Alghabra has the endorsement of the Prime Minister."
Considerable controversy has erupted regarding Alghabra's acceptance speech. He apparently denies ever saying anything about Islam. People in attendance assert that Alghabra did herald his nomination as a victory for Islam.

As to what exactly was said by Alghabra, I don't know. I do know, however, that it has become a campaign issue and it will surely be on the minds of voters on January 23 when Alghabra goes against Conservative Party candidate Bob Dechert, the NDP's Dr. Rupinder Brar and the Green Party's Adam Hunter. It will be interesting to see how much support Alghabra attracts among the voters now that his candidacy has been besmirched. (via John Ray)

Companion post at In The Bullpen.
Richest Aussie Dies

(Sydney, Australia) Media and gambling tycoon Kerry Packer, known for amassing billions in wealth, died at his home today surrounded by family at his bedside. Packer had been in poor health for years. He was 68.
Cow Rapist Gets Off

Rural Temptress(Neillsville, Wisconsin) Last March, Harold G. Hart, 64, was arrested and charged with illegal sexual gratification with an animal (typical victim at right) along with disorderly conduct and two counts of obstruction.

Last Thursday, Hart pleaded no contest to the charges. Hart was sentenced to two years probation and ordered to undergo psychological counseling.

Since Hart was convicted of illegal sex with an animal, I must assume that there is some act that's considered to be legal sex with an animal. Frankly, I'm afraid to ask.
Tajikistan Swastika

Tajikistan Swastika(Dushanbe, Tajikistan) Tajik historians maintain that Tajiks are of Indo-European or Aryan origin and, as a consequence, the authorities in Dushanbe have adopted a stylized version of the swastika as the national symbol. Tajik officials contend that the swastika is a symbol of Aryan culture that has existed for many centuries and has many interpretations. According to Abduhakim Sharipov, administration official,
"We all know that fascism used this symbol for its purposes. This symbol therefore carries negative connotations for many...[but] we should not limit ourselves to only one interpretation."
The authorities want the swastika to gain newer, positive connotations and popularize Aryan contributions to the history of the world civilization. My hope is that international pressure comes to bear on Tajikistan to reconsider its decision on the swastika.

As an aside, Dushanbe is the capital of Tajikistan and the sister city to Boulder, Colorado. So, don't be surprised if a few more swastikas show up in Boulder, arguably already one of the most left-leaning American cities.
Saudi Court Imposes Eye Gouging Sentence

(Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) A Saudi Arabian court sentenced a 32-year-old Indian migrant worker, Puthen Veetil Abdul Latheef Noushad, to have his eye gouged out as punishment for blinding a Saudi man in a fight. Apparently, Noushad was working at a gas station when he got into a fight with a Saudi customer regarding the bill. The Saudi man lost his eyesight from injuries sustained in the fight.

Noushad claims he acted in self-defense but the Saudi court imposed the sentence anyway. An appeals court will review the case and, if the ruling is upheld, the Supreme Court will address the issue. Human Rights Watch has joined the fray, asking Saudi King Abdullah for clemency.

Under Saudi Arabia's interpretation of Islam, mutilation is an acceptable form of punishment. The loss of body parts is regularly specified by the courts. I think it's barbaric, however, I understand that it's proven to be quite effective in reducing recidivism. (via LGF)
Al Qaeda Executes Four Arabs

(Dubai) The details regarding the abductions and executions haven't been disclosed.

Al Qaeda in Iraq yesterday said it had abducted and killed three Arab women and an Arab man working for US authorities and the Iraqi government. A statement posted on the Internet carried pictures of four identity cards and said it had carried out "God's judgement."
It's not clear that the victims were Iraqis. The women's faces were blacked out in the web posting, which has not be authenticated.

Apparently, showing women's faces is unethical in the terrorists' strict interpretation of Islam. Therefore, according to the religion of peace, it's acceptable to kill thousands of innocents but, by golly, don't dare show the women's faces. More and more, I'm seeing Islam to be a cafeteria religion which allows followers to pick and choose their transgressions. Consequently, it's okay to kill innocents, but don't show women's faces.

I think the terrorists are thug criminals and they use religion as a shield to justify their crimes.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Dead Voters Help Democratic Candidate

(Memphis, Tennessee) At least two dead people are alleged to have voted in the September 15 special election won by Democrat Ophelia Ford, sister of John Ford, the veteran legislator who was ousted for alleged bribery. Along with three felons, the two dead voters call into serious question the veracity of the entire election since the winning margin was only 13 votes. Lawyers for Republican opponent, Terry Roland, contend that at least 14 people voted illegally.

Although the election has been certified, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) has commenced a review. The results of TBI's investigation will be forwarded to a Senate committee to determine whether to overturn the election.

Having irregularities in elections is not unusual, but I believe that the practice of relying upon the deceased as a constituency is exclusive to the Democrats.
French Pass Anti-Terrorism Law

Reacting to the real threat of terrorism by Islamic extremists and prompted by the London subway bombings, the French parliament passed legislation which allows the government to spy on its citizens.

From the BBC:
The new law will allow increased video surveillance in public areas including airports and places of worship.

Police will also be given more time to question terrorist suspects and to check internet and telephone records.
It's appropriate to emphasize the scope of the law. French authorities are going to be placing video surveillance equipment in mosques! French authorities are going to monitor Internet and telephone communications! They are also going to detain suspects for longer periods of time to allow for adequate intelligence gathering! Sacre Bleu!

According to Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, the new law is needed to give "greater powers to law enforcement to avoid a catastrophe." Hmmm ... imagine that. All along, the Democratic Party has been trying to steer the U.S. government into being more like the French. But, now, the Democrats must feel betrayed. In a dedicated effort, the Democratic Party, including the mainstream media wing, have worked to weaken America's anti-terror laws while, almost simultaneously, France has strengthened its own version of the Patriot Act.

I find it difficult to dispute the contention that the Democrats and the media are soundly invested in defeat, not only in Iraq but, also, in the war on terror. To be a staunch Democrat largely means one has to be on the wrong side of most issues. This is clearly illustrated by the pro-terrorist Muslim media continually quoting Democratic Party leaders in their one-sided, and inaccurate, reporting of the news. Even Saddam Hussein uses the Democratic Party's assertions against the Bush administration in defending himself against charges of crimes against humanity.

Nonetheless, the new French anti-terror legislation won't make the Democrats nor the MSM happy. And, it's likely that news of strengthened laws in France won't be prominently reported by the major media outlets, if at all.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Porn Starlet Sought in Rape of Boy

(Richmond, California) A felony arrest warrant for child rape has been issued for 20-year-old porn movie starlet Genevieve Elise Silva for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old boy, providing him drugs, and prompting him to run away with her to Oklahoma. The boy told police that Silva had given him methamphetamines, ecstasy, and marijuana. Silva allegedly began the sexual relationship with the boy, a former DeAnza High School student, in June. The boy's parents alerted police after his classmates mentioned that he was bragging about having sex with a porn star.

Silva's porn movie credits include "Legal at Last" and "Dirty Debutantes." Also, there are apparently pornographic websites with images of Silva which, according to Detective Sgt. Mitch Peixoto, do not appear to be involved in underage pornography.

Richmond police ask the public to be on the lookout for Silva. She's 5-foot-2, 110 pounds, brown hair, brown eyes, and most likely hot. Anyone with information is asked to call Richmond police at (510) 620-6668.

[Update 12/29/05]

Silva was arrested in Oklahoma. Story and photos here.

[Update 08/18/06]

Silva was extradited back to California in January to face prosecution and has been free on bail since. She's expected to be arrested shortly to face charges in Contra Costa County.
Woman Charged with Rape of Boy

(New Paltz, New York) A 27-year-old woman, Alissa Beattie, was arrested by New Paltz Police and charged with second-degree rape for allegedly having sex with a 13-year-old boy. Police began an investigation when they were alerted that Beattie and the boy were having inappropriate physical contact.

Beattie was arraigned in New Paltz Town Court. She's been released on her own recognizance pending a future court appearance.
What's the Officer, Problem?

File this story under "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished."

From the Barnoldswick News:
A BANNED and suspected drink-driver who didn't give police a breath test told them he had got behind the wheel because he was the least drunk of the people in the car.
No Hooker Pickup Zones

No Hooker PickupIn preparation for the 2006 World Cup Soccer Tournament Final in Berlin, city officials are posting signs to inform visitors of areas where prostitution is not allowed. Anyone caught picking up a hooker in the posted zones will be arrested.

The World Cup Championship in July 2006 is expected to draw tens of thousands of visitors to Berlin and a near equal number of prostitutes from throughout Europe.
Oberlin College Women's Rugby Semi-Nude Calendar

Oberlin Women's Rugby(Oberlin, Ohio) With pom-poms and other props, the women's rugby team at Oberlin has posed for a 2006 calendar to "challenge the way people think about women playing a traditionally male sport." Even bruised and sweaty, they're provocative.
"We aren't trying to sell ourselves, but we wanted to address important issues, like how women athletes are depicted sexually, and gender roles in sports," said team member Alia Kate. "It's about our empowerment as both women and athletes."
The hope is that people will be drawn to the photos and then think seriously about the statements.

You know, when I look at men's magazines, I'm initially drawn by the pictures of the centerfold. But I become much more engaged when I read about her favorite foods and how she plans to stop world hunger.

Ordering information and sample photos are here.

Added to the lunch menu at Basil's Blog.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Sentences Reduced for Drug Lords

(Mexico City) A federal tribunal in Mexico City reduced the sentences for two drug cartel leaders given to them by a Jalisco state judge. The two men, brothers Jose de Jesus and Adan Amezcua who are both wanted by U.S. authorities, appealed the state ruling to the tribunal. Jose had his sentence reduced from 53 years, 9 months, to 28 years. Adan's sentence was reduced from 22 years to 9 years, 6 months.

My guess is that, with a couple more rounds of appeals, the brothers will be back trafficking drugs before Easter. The practice of purchasing clemency is pervasive in Mexico and surely the Amezcua brothers have sufficient disposable cash.

Companion post at Diggers Realm.
Brits Arrest Bomb Plotter

(London) A fifth terror suspect will join four others awaiting trial for the failed July 21 attempt to murder passengers on London's transit system.

London's Metropolitan Police identified the man as Adel Yahya, 23. He was arrested Tuesday at Gatwick Airport as he got off a flight from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

He was charged with conspiring with four other men -- all of whom are awaiting trial over the plot to attack three subway trains and a double-decker bus -- "to cause by an explosive substance, explosions of a nature likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property."
Yahya is accused of conspiring with Muktar Said Ibrahim, 27, Yassin Omar, 24, Hussein Osman, 27, and Manfo Kwaku Asiedu, 32, for trying to bomb three subway trains and a bus. Fortunately, they were unsuccessful.

Notably, if convicted and sentenced to modest prison terms, all the terror suspects are young enough that likely they would represent a future threat. I hope the British justice system is of the same opinion.
NUTS! to the ACLU

Most informed people are aware of the anti-American agenda of the ACLU. For those who aren't, this latest stunt is illustrative. The ACLU has submitted a Freedom of Information Request to the National Security Agency seeking to make public all records regarding:
"the policies, procedures and/or practices of the National Security Agency for gathering information through warrantless electronic surveillance and/or warrantless physical searches in the United States …"…. Information received by the organization will be made public on its Web site.
In other words, open the doors and let us see all your files regarding how the NSA operates.

Uh .. how in the hell did we get here? The ACLU believes that America's national security secrets should be made public. They are out to eviscerate the ability of the United States government to protect the country. The request is ludicrous and should be treated as such. The NSA's response should be short and simple.

Oddly, on this date (December 22) 61 years ago, the German Wehrmacht, having surrounded American forces at Bastogne in the Battle of the Bulge, asked U.S. General Anthony McAuliffe to surrender. Gen. McAuliffe thought the request was ludicrous and responded in a short and simple manner. The NSA should respond to the ACLU's request by quoting General McAuliffe. Write "NUTS!" on a single piece of paper and mail it to the ACLU.

(via Stop The ACLU)
HIV-Positive Woman Arrested for Rape of Boy

(Avoca, Arkansas) A 42-year-old HIV-positive woman, Donna Sue Mars, was arrested on Sunday for engaging in oral sex with a 13-year-old boy. According to an affidavit of probable cause, her arrest by Benton County Sheriff’s deputies, responding to a domestic disturbance call, resulted from accusations by a man claiming, "She raped my 13-year-old son." Afterward, Mars stated, "I did not do anything that he did not want me to do."

Mars was charged with rape and with exposing another person to HIV, a felony. If convicted, she could face a life sentence. Mars was released Monday from the Benton County Jail on $25,000 bond.

She will be arraigned before Circuit Court Judge David Clinger on January 23. A Mars bar from the family of the victim was ordered.

[Update 1800EST]

Interestingly, in a another report of the incident, Donna Sue Mars is identified as Donna Sue Turner. Two reports, two different names -- you make the call.

[Update 01/12/06]

BENTONVILLE -- A formal rape charge was filed Wednesday against a 42-year-old Bentonville woman accused of performing oral sex on a 13-year-old boy.

Donna Sue Mars of 12132 Deer Drive was also charged with exposing another person to the human immunodeficiency virus, a Class A felony. She is to appear for arraignment Jan. 23 before Benton County Circuit Judge David Clinger.

[Update 12/13/06]

Mars trial underway.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Runaway Kids Going to Jail

(Spokane, Washington) The Washington State Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court decision to imprison runaway foster children until age 18 for contempt of court. Drastic action, for sure, but social service officials see no alternative. Nationally, 20 percent of all adolescent foster children run away from home.

My take? Just sadness.

Companion post at In The Bullpen.
College Bowl Games Contest

Master sports statistician Chad Evans is calling on all bloggers and readers to join in the 2005 College Bowl Games Contest. The winner receives bragging rights for an entire year. I personally pledge to reveal my secret system for selecting winners after the final game. Follow the link and join in. It's free.
DEA Raids Doper Club

(San Francisco, California) A medical marijuana club was raided by Drug Enforcement Administration agents who hauled away numerous marijuana plants and products. The director of the facility, Steve Smith, was shocked.
"I don't know how I am going to take care of my patients. Some are dying right now."
Maybe it's the killer weed.
Lesbian Coach Arrested for Sex with Student

Jessica Spain(Newark, Ohio) A 26-year-old former coach at Newark High School, Jessica Spain, was arrested last Friday and charged with having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl. The girl was a member of the softball team at Newark High School that Spain coached during the 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 seasons.

It's reported that Spain admitted to having unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, which is alleged to have taken place at some time between August 1 and October 5 of this year. Spain was bailed out of jail on Monday by a family member. A court date hasn't been disclosed.

[Update 04/23/06]

Spain sentenced to two years in the joint.
Bail Ruling Appealed in Lodi Terror Case

(Sacramento, California) Defense lawyers have been struggling to get bail set for Umer Hayat, charged with lying to federal investigators about his terrorist ties. Last October, certain property was deemed adequate as security for his release, however, federal prosecutors have appealed the ruling.

A week ago, U.S. Magistrate Judge Dale A. Drozd found four pieces of Lodi property and the owners, all relatives of Hayat, to be "suitable and sufficient" to secure Hayat's release to home confinement on $1.2 million bail.

Drozd stayed Hayat's release for seven days to give prosecutors an opportunity to appeal to U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. Prosecutors filed their appeal shortly before midnight Monday, the seventh day.
The appeal is contained in a 60-page document which will be countered by papers filed by Hayat's attorney, Johnny Griffin III. Prosecutors insist that Hayat is a flight risk and a danger to the community. It's believed that the security offered is insufficient to prevent him from fleeing to Pakistan. Judge Burrell will be asked to hear arguments Friday.

To reiterate my thinking, if Hayat is released on bail, I doubt that we'll ever see him again.
Joseph Owades, 1919 - 2005

Joseph Owades(Sonoma, California) Joseph Owades, considered by some as the Thomas Edison of beer, died last Friday of heart failure at his home in Sonoma. He was 86.

Owades is credited with inventing the process to remove starch from beer, creating light beer. He also helped create the formulas for microbreweries.

Cheers to your memory, Joe.
Iranian Booze Smuggling

With Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad increasingly clamping down on Iranian society, banning everything from Western music to free speech, centuries-old smuggling lifelines are flourishing. And the most sought-after commodities are beer, wine, and whiskey. On treacherous, rocky trails, smugglers' pack mules laden with hooch cross the Zagros Mountains bordering Iraq and Iran every night. Demand has never been better as bootleggers brave the driving rain, landmines and Iranian border guards to smuggle liquor to Iran.

Liquor Smuggling to Iran
Liquor smuggler outside the Iraqi border town of Penjuen
(Photo - Matthew Gutman)

Although liquor is frowned upon in Iraq, it's cheap, legal, and untaxed. In Iran, it's illegal and expensive. As a result, bootleggers are selling alcohol for at least five times the cost. Heineken, Amstel, and cheap whiskey are very popular.

From the
Alcohol is also the most profitable bootleg item, explained Muhammad and several other booze-brokers interviewed in this half-deserted border town of bootleggers and security agents.

A sniper's rifle, an AK-47 and magazine clips droop from the walls of the hut-like artwork. Muhammad, an ethnic Kurd and a Peshmerga, or a Kurdish militiaman, said the weapons are for fighting Ansar al-Islam, an antigovernment Kurdish Islamic terrorist group. A bribe of a few dollars - which he called "tips" - and a clever mule are the best defenses against Iranian border guards, he explained.
Hmmm ... a clever mule outwits Iranian Border guards? And, all the while, Iran is enriching uranium. I get the willies just thinking about it.

Alcohol is not the only commodity smuggled. Anything from tea to washing machines is carried into Iran, usually after paying a small bribe to border guards. Conversely, Iranians travel the same routes into Iraq on day trips, touring bootleggers' camps in a manner not dissimilar from Americans visiting Napa Valley wineries. Distilled and fermented intoxicants are very popular with many Iranians, even the clerics, and the entrenched black market is an indication of the general population's dissatisfaction with the government.
"Iran is a good country, but we have a very bad government. We have no freedom, no satellite TV, no justice," said Ali Reza Dodelband, 42. Shivering in a jeans-jacket, he stood just feet from the official border crossing, gathering a crew of stout porters to carry about three tons of tea across the border.

He would like to move from Iran to Iraq, "then I want [US President George W. Bush] to bomb Iran. Tell Bush he must bomb the -," Dodelband then pantomimes the wrapping of a turban over his combover, referring to Iran's clerics.
Foreign Teachers Kidnapped in Gaza

(Gaza Strip) Two teachers at the American International School in Gaza were abducted by four masked and armed kidnappers on Nasser Street in the Gaza City. Dutch citizen Hindrich Tatchken, principal of the American School in Gaza and his deputy Brian Improjio, an Australian national. Dutchman Hendrik Taatgen (aka Hindrich Tatchken) and Australian Brian Ambrosio (aka Improjio) were forced from their car as they approached the school in the northern Gaza Strip. They were bundled into another vehicle which then sped away.
Witnesses in northern Gaza say the teachers were on their way to a private school that follows the American curriculum for the last day of term before Christmas holidays.

"They were intercepted by between two to three other cars and then taken away," said a witness.
School officials confirmed that both had been kidnapped and the school had informed the Dutch and the Australian embassies. Police have initiated a search for the two men.

The identity of the kidnappers is not presently known but it is known that both teachers are solid supporters of Palestinian causes. Although the number of kidnappings in Gaza has risen in the recent past, most are released unharmed after some "negotiation," if you get my drift. (Source)


According to a Reuters report, the two teachers were released after eight hours following the involvement of a lawmaker from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The kidnappers were PFLP gunmen who kidnapped the teachers to secure the release of jailed leaders.
The PFLP has said the abduction was to pressure the Palestinian Authority to release leaders jailed in the West Bank town of Jericho for killing an Israeli cabinet minister in 2001.

The PFLP leaders are guarded under U.S. and British supervision.

"This is our first message, first to the Authority and secondly to the Zionist, American and British enemy. Our message is not directed to the peoples of the two hostages," said a PFLP statement in Gaza.
So, oops! They found out that their hostages weren't American nor British and released them. This shows that the terrorist groups typically don't have many deep thinkers.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Female Teacher Gets Two Years in Sex Case

Nicole Andrea Barnhart(Castle Rock, Colorado) Last March, Ponderosa High School social studies teacher Nicole Andrea Barnhart was charged with felony sexual assault of a troubled 16-year-old male student. Barnhart had been spending considerable time with the boy, ostensibly providing counseling for suicidal thoughts and for alcohol and cocaine abuse. Ultimately, she engaged in a sexual relationship with the sophomore.

Today, after nine months of legal wrangling, 36-year-old Barnhart accepted the terms of a plea agreement which sends her to prison for two years. In accordance with the agreement, the married mother of two will plead guilty to sexual assault on a child and criminal attempt to commit sexual assault on a child. Douglas County District Court Judge Paul King set sentencing for January 3 when she will receive at least ten years probation in addition to the prison term. Barnhart will also have to register as a sex offender.

In a related development, the victim's parents have notified the Douglas County School District of their intent to file a lawsuit seeking $2 million in damages.

[Update 03/25/06]

Barnhart sentenced in accordance with the plea deal.
Heartburn Drugs Linked to Diarrhea

HeartburnResults of a study conducted by researchers at McGill University in Montreal indicate a link between use of popular heartburn medicines (proton pump inhibitors and H2 blockers) and increased risk of severe diarrhea caused by the bacteria Clostridium difficile, or C-diff.

Proton pump inhibitors include Prilosec, Prevacid, and Nexium among others. H2 blockers include drugs such as Zantac, Pepcid, and Tagamet. These are the main medications offered to people suffering from stomach acid problems such as gastritis, GERD (acid reflux disease), or heartburn.
The research team was headed by Dr. Sandra Dial at McGill University. The study is reported in this week's issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.
Border Fence Called Shameful, Stupid, Underhanded

Since the U.S. House of Representatives approved a plan to build 700 miles of fence along the southern border, the Mexicans are spitting fire. Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Ernesto Derbez said the fence is underhanded, stupid, and silliness. However, while posturing akimbo, Derbez is not worried.
Derbez said he was confident the bill would not make it past the U.S. Senate, which he said was not as easily swayed by ever-changing political opinion as the House.

"The great battle will be in the Senate of the United States where people are more reasonable," he said.
Oh, really? There will be a battle but I'm not so sure it will be reasonable.

Even so, Derbez believes that Mexico's image needs to be improved so a public relations firm has been retained to promote a positive message about Mexico. Interestingly, at the same time he's calling the U.S. "stupid," he sees the need to hire a PR firm. One has to wonder if he's capable of seeing the contradiction.

Also joining in with sharp criticism, President Vincente Fox said the fence is shameful and hypocritical. Fox doesn't see the need for a fence to protect the U.S. border. Instead, he has "called for an immigration agreement with Washington granting some form of legal status to Mexicans who sneak into U.S. territory." Frankly, I think Fox needs to familiarize himself with U.S. law. Foreign nationals who sneak into the U.S. do have legal status. They're called criminal trespassers. (Source)

Companion post at Diggers Realm.
Terrorists Plan Kidnappings in Indonesia

(Jakarta) Recent intelligence data indicates that al-Qaeda linked Jamaah Islamiyah (JI) has formulated new plans for attacking Indonesia during the Christmas and New Years holiday season.

Islamic terrorists in Indonesia are plotting to kidnap high-ranking officials, including foreigners - apparently shifting away from suicide bombings, the intelligence chief said Tuesday.

"They have a change in plan, such as to kidnap certain figures, especially influential ones, it could be foreigners or our officials," Syamsir Siregar, the head of the State Intelligence Agency, told reporters after meeting the president. He did not elaborate.
Also, according to Siregar, a terrorist website gave instructions last month on how to shoot foreigners in the streets of Jakarta or throw grenades at motorists stuck in traffic in the car-clogged city.

As an interesting side note, if you click through to the links, you'll see that the Indonesian press consistently calls terrorists "terrorists" while the Australian press (ABC News Online) calls them "militants."

Monday, December 19, 2005

TIME Persons of the Year

Persons of the YearApparently, one has to be a subscriber to TIME to read the whole story about its selection of Bono and Mr. & Mrs. Gates as Persons of the Year. I'm not, so I haven't seen the article, but today's quotes the following excerpt from TIME which provides the reasons for the trio's selection.
"For being shrewd about doing good, for rewiring politics and re-engineering justice, for making mercy smarter and hope strategic and then daring the rest of us to follow."
Now, I'm up for shrewdly doing good and I think most people are also, in their own ways. But for the life of me, I'm lost about rewiring politics and re-engineering justice. And when it comes to understanding smarter mercy, or strategic hope, my reaction is, "What the hell does that mean?"

As I stated, I haven't read the article so there might actually be some objective and verifiable criteria by which the decision was made to select the Persons of the Year. It's not reflected in the excerpted quote. Rather, TIME seems to have circled Robin Hood's barn to find some serious sounding words to support a soft selection.
Alleged Inmate Torture in Secret Afghan Prison

According to allegations from lawyers listening to Guantanamo Bay prisoners, Human Rights Watch has accused the U.S. of operating a secret torture facility in Afghanistan called 'Dark Prison.'

Human Rights Watch, a group based in New York, said in a report on Monday that detainees were kept in total darkness and were tortured and mistreated by American and Afghan guards in civilian clothes.

The facility, called by the inmates the "Dark Prison", was run near Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, Human Rights Watch said in its report, which was based on the testimony of several detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who said they were held there.
Apparently, any time one of the Guantanamo Bay prisoners opens his mouth, it becomes an international scandal.
According to the report: "Some detainees said they were shackled in a manner that made it impossible to lie down or sleep, with restraints that caused their hands and wrists to swell up or bruise.

"They were chained to walls, deprived of food and drinking water, and kept in total darkness with loud rap, heavy metal music, or other sounds blared for weeks at a time."
As a result, Human Rights Watch has called for an investigation by a special prosecutor to determine the extent of criminal liability for U.S. government personnel and officials.

Meanwhile, Khaled al-Masri, a German citizen of Lebanese descent, is suing the CIA for wrongful imprisonment and torture. Furthermore, the European Parliament is pursuing the formation of an investigative committee to determine whether US agents held terror suspects in secret European prisons.

So, not a day goes by that the enemies of America and their willing accomplices in the media don't portray the U.S. as the bad guys in the war against terror while, at the same time, emboldening the terrorists. I suspect that Senator McCain is happy.

Companion post at In The Bullpen.
Raw Milk Sickens 17 with E. Coli

(Woodland, Washington) Public health officials announced an outbreak of E. coli cases in southern Washington traced to a dairy farm selling raw milk.

Interviews with consumers of raw milk from Dee Creek Farm have turned up five more people sickened with E. coli, public health officials said Saturday.

The new cases bring the total sickened to 17 people, including two children still in critical condition. None of the cases announced Saturday discovered in three children and two adults required hospitalization, officials said.

A Cowlitz County judge had ordered farmers Anita and Michael Puckett to turn over the names of 45 families who obtained raw, or unpasteurized, milk from the Woodland farm.
Disturbingly, the consumption of raw milk has also become a fad in Arizona even though people there have become sickened by salmonella contamination.

Raw milk smuggled in from California has become a black market product in Arizona since the only dairy producing it in-state was shut down.

The Arizona Republic reports buyers have organized groups and milk is being shipped into the state by Federal Express.

"It's like heroin right now," said Tony Spaltro, a manager at Gentle Strength Co-Op in Tempe.
The profile of the typical raw milk enthusiast hasn't been reported but I suspect it's probably the vegetarian, organic food only, environmentalist, 60s hippie-type individual, likely on welfare.
UN Criticizes American Spending on Pets

Almost exactly one year ago, Norwegian-born UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Jan Egeland, said the U.S. is stingy and should raise taxes to give more relief aid. He collected some criticism for his remarks.

Consequently, when he shot his mouth off in an interview last Friday, he didn't use the word "stingy" but the message was the same.

After the Dec. 26, 2004, tidal wave swept across the Indian Ocean devastating coastal communities in 12 countries, Egeland urged the world to help those who had lost everything, saying many of the richest countries were "far too stingy" in helping the poorest.

Egeland did not use the word "stingy" again, but he said he still was dissatisfied with the response to helping the world's less fortunate.
Okay, fine. As one of the UN's senior kleptocrats, Egeland is expected to beat the bushes for more cash. However, he didn't stop there. This time around, Egeland criticized American household spending.
"North American pets get more investment per month than we have money for all our humanitarian operations in the world."
Now, I don't think it's fair to link pet ownership with humanitarian aid, but one thing is certain. When North Americans spend money on their pets, there is considerable assurance that the pets will benefit. On the other hand, when money is given to the UN, there is little confidence that the intended recipients will ever see a nickle's-worth of benefit. The only certainty is that from now until the Sun turns into a red giant, the UN will have its hand out while complaining that wealthy nations are cheapskates.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Deer Contraceptives Fail

(Cleveland, Ohio) The regional park system disclosed that the five-year, $500,000 plan to limit deer populations through contraception has failed. As a result, Cleveland Metroparks will continue to rely on sharpshooters to trim the herds.
Monitor Your Child's Internet Use

(Marseilles, France) You want a disgusting story? Well, in my estimation, here's this year's winner for stomach-turning news.

Skirt-chasing playboy Daniel Anceneaux spent weeks talking with a sensual woman on the Internet before arranging a romantic rendezvous at a remote beach -- and discovering that his on-line sweetie of six months was his own mother!

"I walked out on that dark beach thinking I was going to hook up with the girl of my dreams," the rattled bachelor later admitted. "And there she was, wearing white shorts and a pink tank top, just like she'd said she would.

"But when I got close, she turned around -- and we both got the shock of our lives. I mean, I didn't know what to say. All I could think was, 'Oh my God! it's Mama!' "

But the worst was yet to come. Just as the mortified mother and son realized the error of their ways, a patrolman passed by and cited them for visiting a restricted beach after dark.

"Danny and I were so flustered, we blurted out the whole story to the cop," recalled matronly mom Nicole, 52. "The policeman wrote a report, a local TV station got hold of it -- and the next thing we knew, our picture and our story was all over the 6 o'clock news. "People started pointing and laughing at us on the street -- and they haven't stopped laughing since."
So, with a tip of the Stetson to Willie Nelson: "Mama, don't let your baby grow up to be a keyboard cowboy. Especially if you're putting your cowgirl carcass into the corral."

(via The Owner's Manual)
Employers of Illegal Aliens Rarely Prosecuted

According to a recent story in the Brownsville Herald, only 46 employers were prosecuted in 2004 for hiring illegal aliens. That's not many. It's not surprising, though, since it's generally known that the government doesn't aggressively pursue employers of illegals.

Millions of illegals cross the border to get jobs with, probably, tens of thousands of employers that are not prosecuted by the government. It's not difficult to see what the problem is.
Environmentalist Gets Eight Years for Arson

(Seattle, Washington) A 23-year-old environmentalist, Christopher McIntosh, was sentenced Friday to eight years in federal prison for arson. McIntosh signed a plea agreement in September admitting responsibility for setting a fire in the McDonald's restaurant across from the Space Needle in Seattle. He claimed his action was on behalf of the Earth Liberation Front/Animal Liberation Front.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Zilly also imposed three years' supervised release, but did not require that McIntosh pay restitution for the damage caused, estimated at $5,000. McIntosh expressed no remorse at the sentencing and, according to prosecuting attorney Andrew Friedman, he remains "proud of his crime, and, given the chance, he would do the same thing again."

I suspect that eight years in a federal penitentiary might curb McIntosh's enthusiasm.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

High School Sex Spree

German Lambert(Albany, New York) German Lambert (right), an 18-year-old hurricane evacuee going to high school in upstate New York, has been arrested for multiple sexual offenses involving two girls, a 14-year-old and a 16-year-old.

Police and prosecutors contend Lambert, then 17, targeted the young women in his new school almost from the moment he arrived a week after classes began in September.

He faces five misdemeanor counts of sexual misconduct and endangering the welfare of a child in Bethlehem Town Court. On Friday, he also was accused in a sealed indictment of one felony count of a first-degree criminal sexual act and endangering the welfare of a child.
Subsequently, race was introduced as an element in the situation.
Older brother Glen Lambert, 24, said he believes the allegations are racial backlash from white parents who knew their daughters were having sex with the young black man and didn't want it known in the upscale bedroom community.
The Lambert case will likely attract media attention. This is unfortunate since Albany County is only now recovering from the embarrassment of the Beth Geisel teacher-student sex scandal.

If convicted of the charges against him, Lambert faces a possible 25 years in prison.

Companion post at Conservative Thinking.
U.K. Denies Treatment to Fat People

(London) The British National Health System (NHS) has started denying care to fat people.

The first official move to refuse surgery happened last month when a local health authority in Ipswich, northeast of London, announced that obese people would not be given hip and knee replacements.
Obviously, as the first to be jettisoned, hip and knee surgery for fat people is the least important of all medical procedures.
Dr. Brian Keeble, head of public health for Ipswich, acknowledged that while the added risks of hip and knee surgery on obese patients were a factor in the move, so was the reality of limited resources.

"We cannot pretend that this work wasn't stimulated by pressing financial problems," Keeble said in a statement of the list of services being reduced to save money, with joint replacements being the most controversial.

Keeble added that given the increased failure rate of the procedures on overweight people, the limited amount of money available is better spent on slimmer patients.
This action by the NHS makes me wonder what category of medical conditions will be dropped next. I would guess mental health conditions or eating disorders or chronic back problems. Of course, I'm assuming that the socialized medical care system in Britain will continue to have significant budget shortfalls.
BBC Warns on Use of the Word 'Terrorism'

The staff at the BBC has been issued new management guidance regarding the use of the terms 'terrorist' and 'terrorism.' The BBC's governors believe that the Internet has eliminated differences between domestic and overseas audiences and, therefore, it's essential that the terms be used carefully.

The new guidance has been sent out internally and tells journalists: "The guidelines do not ban the use of the word. However, we do ask that careful thought is given to its use by a BBC voice. There are ways of conveying the full horror and human consequences of acts of terror without using the word 'terrorist' to describe the perpetrators."
So, apparently it's okay to describe the terrorism as long as the word 'terrorism' isn't used. Also, whoever is responsible for bad stuff that happens shouldn't be described as 'terrorists.' Therefore, instead of stating, "A terrorist bombed the crowded school bus," it's more appropriate to state, "A man created full horror and human consequence on a crowded school bus." And, the guidance continues.
"Careful use of the word 'terrorist' is essential if the BBC is to maintain its reputation for standards of accuracy and especially impartiality ... that does not mean we should emasculate our reporting or otherwise avoid conveying the reality and horror of what has occurred; but we should consider the impact our use of language may have on our reputation for objective journalism amongst our many audiences ... we must be careful not to give the impression that we have come to some kind of implicit - and unwarranted - value judgement."
Blah ... blah ... blah. That last paragraph reads like gibberish. However, that's not all there is.
The edict reminds BBC staff of the existing BBC editorial policy, which states: "The word 'terrorist' itself can be a barrier rather than aid to understanding. We should try to avoid the term without attribution. We should let other people characterise while we report the facts as we know them."

"We should not adopt other people's language as our own. It is also usually inappropriate to use words like 'liberate', 'court martial' or 'execute' in the absence of a clear judicial process. We should convey to our audience the full consequences of the act by describing what happened. We should use words which specifically describe the perpetrator such as 'bomber', 'attacking', 'gunman', 'kidnapper' 'insurgent' and 'militant'."

The new guidance suggested using words such as "bomb attack" instead, or "bomber" or "assassin". [sic all]
Boiled down, the substance of the new policy is to avoid using the term 'terrorist' and practice hedging the wording of all reports. My interpretation? "Forget accuracy, be political."

Of course, this announced new guidance begs the question of what exactly is different from the way the BBC currently reports the news?

Companion post at The Jawa Report.
Russian Security Report Death of Al Qaeda Leader

(Moscow) Russia's Federal Security Service, FSB, announced Friday that Sheikh Abu Omar Al Seyf, the top al Qaeda leader in the North Caucasus, was killed in the Russian Republic of Dagestan last month.

"Under the cover of the international non-governmental organization Al Haramein Islamic Foundation, he organized a terrorist cell in Dagestan, Chechnya and Ingushetia," the FSB reported. During the last few years Al Seyf was a chairman of the so-called shariah courts committee of the self-proclaimed Chechen republic of Ichkeria. He was reportedly informed of all the appointments made within the armed groups. He received and distributed all the money for terrorist activity inside Russia, the FSB report said.

The security officials claim Al Seyf took part in the planning and preparing of terrorist attacks, and extremist religious and political propaganda.
Notice that Al Seyf started his cell network under the auspices of an NGO, the Al Haramein Islamic Foundation. By extension, it's probably reasonable to assume that NGOs are also being used as al Qaeda fronts elsewhere, say, in the U.S.

Details of Al Seyf's death were not reported. However, since he was simply a thug terrorist who measured success in the number of murdered civilians, I hope his death was slow and excruciatingly painful.
Teacher Fired for Sex with Student in 1977

(Clatskanie, Washington) Clatskanie High School teacher, Chip Waisanen, 54, was fired last month after a former student came forward and alleged having a sexual relationship with him in 1977 when she was 16 years old. The woman, now 44, claims that Waisanen had "groomed her for a sexual encounter." Waisanen is appealing his dismissal.

The woman says she is sorry it took so many years to come forward.

Frankly, I think there is something screwy about this case. If I've got a rock in my boot, I guarantee that I wouldn't walk around for 28 years before removing it. Essentially, that is what this alleged victim did.

Friday, December 16, 2005

School Secretary Pleads Guilty to Rape of Student

(San Bernardino, California) Last June, San Bernardino High School secretary, Christel Puentes Ochoa, 23, was arrested and charged with four counts of statutory rape of one boy, a misdemeanor charge of annoying or molesting a second boy, and influencing a witness by force or threat. At the time, Ochoa pleaded not guilty to the charges which resulted from alleged illicit relationships with two 17-year-old boys. If convicted of the charges against her, Ochoa faced six years in prison.

Yesterday, Ochoa agreed to a plea bargain which guarantees that she will serve no more than 60 days in jail. She pleaded guilty to one count of statutory rape and prosecutors dropped the other charges.

Ochoa's sentencing is scheduled for February 1 in San Bernardino Superior Court.

[Update 02/23/06]

Ochoa sentenced to 60 days in jail on weekends.
Germans to Prosecute Uzbek Minister

(Berlin, Germany) At the urging of New York-based Human Rights Watch, a lawsuit is being prepared by German prosecutors against Uzbek Interior Minister Zokirjon Almatov for allegedly ordering troops to shoot at protesters in the town of Andijan, Uzbekistan, last May. Human rights groups say more than 700 demonstrators were killed. If Almatov is in Germany when the case is formalized, he could be arrested.

The lawsuit is possible since German courts claim global jurisdiction for prosecution of cases of torture and crimes against humanity.

Isn't this just ducky? With President Bush and Senator McCain agreeing that the definition of torture is subjective and met by virtually any prisoner complaint, it would appear that all American servicemen in Germany are at risk of being arrested. It would also seem prudent for all senior government and military officials to steer clear of Germany to avoid being arrested on a crimes against humanity charge.

Maybe I'm being somewhat cynical, but history has shown that it's best not to trust European leftists.

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