Friday, September 30, 2005

Rodney King Arrested

(Rialto, California) Rodney King was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of making criminal threats. I guess he just can't get along.

Predictable? I'd say so.
Massive Oil Discovery Announced

(Colombo, Sri Lanka) President Chandrika Kumaratunga of Sri Lanka has announced the discovery of massive oil deposits along the country's southern and western coasts. Apparently, the oil field discovery was kept secret for some time, but now is being revealed ahead of plans to start drilling next month. Efforts are ongoing to determine if more deposits exist along the northern coast of the island. Estimates of potential reserves were not specified.

Obviously, this is dramatic news for Sri Lanka and South Asia with both India and China expected to be keenly interested. About the size of West Virginia, the country of slightly more than 20 million is currently an importer of oil. With a massive oil deposit harnessed, it's easy to predict a flood of petrodollars into the economy which currently has a GDP of approximately $80 billion.


According to a report in the Khaleej Times, the news of a major oil discovery in Sri Lanka has been met with skepticism since there was an occasion in the past where a major discovery didn't produce results. This time, however, credence has been added to the claim since "Finance Minister Sarath Amunugama told the Joint Annual Discussions of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund last month in Washington DC that the findings of a seismic survey conducted recently in the Gulf of Mannar had revealed the presence of a world class petroleum system offshore."

We shall see.

Nevertheless, some Sri Lankans fear that oil will attract unwanted foreign attention from predatory nations. Oddly, Norway, Japan and the U.S. are believed somewhat excluded from the group of "predator big powers" because of their involvement in the Sri Lankan peace process.
Worker Fed to Lions by Boss

(South Africa) A 37-year-old white South African building contractor, Mark Scott-Crossley, was sentenced to life in prison for feeding black farm worker, Nelson Chisale, to lions at Mokwalo White Lion Project near Kruger National Park. An accomplice, Simon Mathebula, 43, was sentenced to 12 years.

America's No.1 Hooker Jailed

(New York) Wearing a flirty black chiffon skirt and a shoulder-baring black sweater while teetering prominently on 4-inch stiletto heels of black patent-leather pumps, 25-year-old Canadian, Natalia McLennan, was handcuffed and jailed on prostitution and money laundering charges. It's reported that she used to be the Canadian Tap-Dancing champion so she'll be able to pass the time at Rikers Island entertaining the other inmates by dancing in her spiked heels.

Poor thing. How was she to know that shooting her mouth off to a magazine reporter that she charged $2,000 per hour for a minimum two-hour session of sex would get her noticed by the police. McLennan's boasts were the basis of a cover story in New York Magazine.

For boasting that she practically ran a multi-million dollar escort operation, including hiring and firing hookers, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Michael Ambrecht jailed McLennan on $50,000 bail.
Polygamy Legalized in the Netherlands

It was destined to happen.

Trio Marry in Netherlands
Trio Marry in Netherlands

Last Friday the first civil union of three partners was registered. Victor de Bruijn (46) from Roosendaal "married" both Bianca (31) and Mirjam (35) in a ceremony before a notary who duly registered their civil union.

"I love both Bianca and Mirjam, so I am marrying them both," Victor said. He had previously been married to Bianca. Two and a half years ago they met Mirjam Geven through an internet chatbox. Eight weeks later Mirjam deserted her husband and came to live with Victor and Bianca. After Mirjam's divorce the threesome decided to marry.
When the "sanctity" of marriage devolves to become a mere function of arithmetic, all kinds of marriages are possible. And, since committed leftists also believe that animals possess constitutional rights, what prevents the next equation from including a dog or a sheep? (Hat tip: Michelle Malkin)
Blogging? Haven't the Foggiest

(London) Conducted by advertising firm DDB, a survey of British taxi drivers, pub landlords, and hairdressers -- long considered the best indicators of popular trends -- found that 72% had never heard of blogging.


Thursday, September 29, 2005

Canadian Guilty of Smuggling Illegal Aliens into U.S.

(Bangor, Maine) A 39-year-old Canadian mother of three, Savita Singh-Murray, pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court to charges of attempting to smuggle three South American illegal aliens into the United States. The three illegals were citizens of Guyana who had entered Canada on forged passports.

This case is intriguing since the reporting has been sparse and sketchy and it appears that Singh-Murray is full of different stories. First she said she was the aunt of the three people, named Awad Hansraj, 21, Lalita Depaul, 18, and a 16-year-old juvenile identified as Sheliza A., and she was taking them into the U.S. for a visit. Then she said that her former boyfriend threatened to kill her husband and children if she didn't do the smuggling. Then her husband, Bryon Murray, said $4,000 was involved in the smuggling.

Further complicating the story are court documents that state Singh-Murray and her husband previously were implicated in the smuggling of Guyanese nationals in Buffalo, N.Y.

Given such scraps of information about the case, it's entirely logical to suspect that Singh-Murray is involved with some sort of ongoing smuggling enterprise. She is originally from Guyana and on two separate occasions has been involved with smuggling Guyanese at two different border checkpoints. The Guyanese seem to have developed a comfortable pathway to illegally enter Canada using forged documents. Upon arrival, it appears that Singh-Murray is tasked with the job of getting them into the U.S.

I customarily eschew conspiracy theories. They take too many people to get things right and they seldom occur without hitches. That said, it sure seems that Singh-Murray is working an ongoing people-smuggling enterprise. As an aside, I wonder why this story hasn't been reported by the mainstream media.

Singh-Murray is being held without bail at the Piscataquis County Jail. She faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on each count. It's not clear what happens next in the case.
Meth Lab Seizures Decrease

(Topeka, Kansas) It seems that the new law which requires taking cold and allergy medicines off store shelves and selling them only at pharmacies is having the desired effect.

From June, when the law took effect, through August, the number of seized meth labs was down 64 percent compared with the same period in 2004 - a drop from 135 to 49 labs, according to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

"If this pattern continues, this is the best thing for law enforcement since glazed doughnuts," said KBI Deputy Director Kyle Smith. "We are seeing a distinct drop as the law goes into effect."
According to the new law, buyers of cold and allergy tablets containing the decongestant pseudoephedrine or ephedrine must now show identification and sign a log book. Also, stores are not allowed to sell more than three packages within a week to a customer.

Many states have enacted or are contemplating similar laws which restrict the availability of medicines containing pseudoephedrine or ephedrine. Consistently, the result has been evidence of fewer methamphetamine labs.

In a related effort, there is indication that manufacturers of decongestant medication are now trending toward replacing the pseudoephedrine in their products with phenylephrine which is a less effective medicine, but it is not suitable for manufacturing meth.
Woman Accused of Sex with Boy Under 13

(Chilton, Wisconsin) Twenty-year-old Sheena M. Pope has been charged with first-degree sexual assault of a child aged 13 or younger for an alleged incident last February. A court appearance has been scheduled for October 17. The first-degree sexual assault charge carries a maximum penalty of 60 years in prison.
Sarah Bench-Salorio Pleads Guilty to Sex Crimes

(Los Angeles) Following up on a previous report, former English teacher at Santiago Charter Middle School, Sarah Bench-Salorio, 29, was arrested and charged with multiple counts of lewd contact for having sex with three young boys. Bench-Salorio taught the boys, aged 11 to 13, during the years 2003 and 2004. She seduced the boys over dinners, through e-mails and telephone calls for months before she molested them.

Teacher Sarah Bench-Salorio Bench-Salorio
Teacher Sarah Bench-Salorio Pleads Guilty

Yesterday, Bench-Salorio pleaded guilty to 29 counts of lewd acts with the three boys before Judge Richard Toohey in Orange County Superior Court under an agreement that she be sentenced to three to six years in prison. As an aside, this equates to a range of about one to two months prison for each felony child sex crime. In other words, Bench-Salorio had no books thrown at her.

According to Mark Macaulay of the Orange County District Attorney's Office, Bench-Salorio will also be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life. Deputy District Attorney John Christl pegged her as a "sexual predator."

Bench-Salorio's attorney, Allan Stokke, stated:
"My client concluded it was in her best interest to plead guilty and get a sentence of between three and six years as opposed to 64 years," which she could have faced as a maximum term if the case had gone to trial, Stokke said.
Bench-Salorio, jailed in lieu of $500,000 bond, is scheduled to be sentenced on November 18.

For several reasons, my take is disgust. First is what she did to the boys. As an example, one boy "estimated the number of times he and his teacher had sex by the condoms in a box that he went through -- 22 of them, he said -- and added that sometimes no condom was used." Bench-Salorio experienced no momentary lapse of judgment. She was engaged in long-term, serial sexual criminal behavior with children.

Now, couple that with the fact that she is married with three foster children and listen to her apologists claim that she suffers from depression and a bipolar condition. Well, boo-freakin'-hoo! She can be bipolar and a convict. She can be depressed and a convict. Just make her a convict for a long time.

Unfortunately, she'll be in prison for no more then six years and I seriously doubt that she'll get the full six. Think of the damage she's done. Think of the victimized boys, their families, her own family, the school. Think of what would be the punishment for a man committing similar crimes. Given all the circumstances, is six years reasonable punishment? I don't think so. Not even close. Bench-Salorio should be looking at double or triple that amount or more.

Companion post at The Jawa Report.

[Update 01/07/06]

Bench-Salorio sentenced.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Sharm el-Sheikh Terror Suspect Killed

(Cairo) Apparently, a prominent suspect refused to respond appropriately to the Egyptian police, so a deadly consequence of hot lead was delivered to his carcass.

From Reuters AlertNet:
Egyptian police in the Sinai peninsula shot dead on Wednesday one of the men suspected in the bombings which killed 67 people in the resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in July, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

The suspect, Moussa Mohamed Salem Badran, born in 1978 and a resident of the North Sinai town of El Arish, had refused to surrender and opened fire on a group of policemen who tried to arrest him in the Mount Halal area, it said.
I'm going to have a cookie.

Companion post at In The Bullpen.
Satellites to Monitor Wild Sex

Presumably, monitoring sex by satellite will advance modern science.
Rhein-Main Closes as U.S. Base

(Germany) Since the end of World War II, Rhein-Main Air Base has been the "Gateway to Europe" for the U.S. military. Sadly for me and other nostalgics, times have changed. The last scheduled military flight has taken off from the historic airfield.

From the Stars and Stripes:
"It's really a bittersweet kind of thing," said Lt. Col. Michael Polhemus, commander of the 726th Air Mobility Squadron, which is finalizing its move from Rhein-Main to Spangdahlem Air Base, about 120 miles west of Frankfurt.

Aircraft capacity at Spangdahlem Air Base and Ramstein Air Base has been expanded in recent years in preparation for Rhein-Main's closure in accordance with a 1999 agreement between the U.S. and Germany.

Officials are planning a formal farewell ceremony on Oct. 10 at the celebrated air base where American jets departed around the clock during the Berlin Airlift in 1948 and where 52 American hostages returned in 1981 after 444 days in Iranian captivity.
The primary transit point between the U.S. and the Middle East will now be Ramstein Air Base. Rhein-Main will be absorbed into the adjacent Frankfurt International Airport officially on October 1.
Sea Serpent Photographed

Giant Squid
Giant Squid

From Reuters:
The first photographs of a live giant squid -- one of the most mysterious creatures in the deep ocean -- suggest it is a more active creature than previously thought, a Japanese scientist said on Wednesday.

Until now the only information about the behaviour of the creatures which measure up to 18 metres (59 feet) in length has been based on dead or dying squid washed up on shore or captured in commercial fishing nets.

But Tsunemi Kubodera, of the National Science Museum, and Kyoichi Mori of the Ogasawara Whale Watching Association, both in Tokyo have captured the first images of Architeuthis attacking bait 900 metres (yards) below the surface in the cold, dark waters of the North Pacific.
Finally we have a picture of a live sea serpent. Of course, this means that we have the technology to produce an actual photo of an extraterrestrial being.
Woman Ticketed for Not Having Kids

(New York) This story goes in the "Stuck on Stupid" file.

The Rivington Playground on Manhattan's East Side has a small sign at the entrance that says adults are prohibited unless they are accompanied by a child. Sandra Catena, 47, said she didn't see the sign when she sat down to wait for an arts festival to start.

Two New York City police officers asked her if she was with a child. When she said no, they gave her a ticket that could bring a $1,000 fine and 90 days in jail.
A parks department spokesman said the purpose of the law is to keep pedophiles away for the parks. So, the logic must be that if a person is not accompanied by a child, that person is a pedophile. Of course, by this logic, normal childless citizens do not have park privileges. Stuck on stupid? You bet. My solution to the problem of ubiquitous pedophiles in society is quit releasing them from prison.
Cheerleading Coach Faces Sex Charges

(Barberton, Ohio) Cheerleading and dance coach Mishelle Robinson, a married mother of two, was arrested last week and charged with two felony counts of sexual battery on a juvenile for alleged sexual contact with a 16-year-old male student on August 15.

Mishelle Robinson
Mishelle Robinson

Robinson, 31, has been suspended from her position at American Pro Cheer in Green Township. She is free on $25,000 bond. Her case will be presented to a Summit County grand jury later today (9/28).

[Update 02/05/06]

Robinson pleads guilty in accordance with a plea agreement.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

No Jail in Teacher-Student Sex-Porn Case

(Worcester, Massachusetts) Last December, Amber S. Jennings, former English teacher at Shepherd Hill Regional High School in Dudley, was charged with engaging a minor in sexual intercourse and distribution of pornography to a minor. Jennings, 32, apparently had been caught in a long-term effort to keep a 16-year-old male student's participle from dangling.

Amber S. Jennings
Amber S. Jennings

Since last December, the prosecution and defense have battled in annoying back and forth negotiations which have finally concluded in a plea agreement. Jennings pleaded guilty yesterday to sending obscene photos, videos and electronic messages to a 16-year-old male student with whom she was having a sexual relationship. The obscene photos included images of Jennings exposing her breasts and genitals.

For her plea, Jennings got no jail, a mere two years probation, and it wouldn't come as a surprise if she also got a trip to Disneyland for all the trouble the court put her through. The victim's mother and other family members opposed the plea, believing the punishment was not comparable to what a man in her position would have received. Well, duh!

Superior Court Judge Kenneth J. Fishman will rule within two weeks on whether Jennings will be required to register as a sex offender. Based upon what's happened thus far in the case, the judge will probably let her slide and apologize to boot.

There have been no reports of what Jennings' husband and two children think of the situation. My take is, "Hell, it's Massachusetts, the state that gave convicted murderer Willie Horton a weekend pass from prison so he could go kill again."

[Update 9/29/05]

Jennings will not have to register as a sex offender and she must give up her license to teach in Massachusetts. Of course, this means that other states are fertile grounds for her to teach.

Amber S. Jennings, 32, who admitted this week that she e-mailed photos of herself naked to her former student, also criticized the boy's mother who reportedly said she wants to cash in on the incident with a civil suit.

"It is just unfortunate that she would go so far as to ruin her son's life in order to profit," Jennings told the Worcester Telegram and Gazette this week.

[ ... ]

Jennings told the paper she's writing a book about the case.
So, let me see if I understand. Jennings, a 32-year-old married mother of two daughters, is blaming the boy's mother for ruining his life.

Not surprising. This is what happens when people are allowed to commit crimes and the only penalty is a hand slap. Jennings arrogantly broke the law prior to being caught and, just as arrogantly, blames someone else for the mess she created. And, as expected, Superior Court Judge Kenneth J. Fishman has ruled in a manner which indicates that he doesn't take teacher-student sexual behavior very seriously. Consequently, Jennings is allowed to walk away from court comfortably feeling that she got screwed by the system and nothing is her fault. Thanks, Judge.

Finally, some word filters out about what Amber's husband thinks. Russell Jennings is quoted as saying that his marriage is "somewhat strained as of late."
Former Rep. Dellums Considering Mayor's Job

(Oakland, California) Former U.S. Representative Ron Dellums, a 28-year veteran Democrat in Congress, is sniffing at becoming the next Mayor of Oakland. The idea became a possibility in June when an outburst of support was seen during the 50th anniversary celebration of the Oakland Citizens Committee for Urban Renewal (OCCUR). Interviewed this past week, Dellums indicated that:
[T]he risks involved in staking his reputation on a city with seemingly intractable problems such as high rates of violent crime, sagging public finances and underachieving schools only make a mayoral run seem more attractive.
Despite whether Dellums runs for mayor, it should be pointed out that the Oakland Citizens Committee for Urban Renewal doesn't seem to have done jack-shinola in 50 years. For crying out loud, what the hell were they celebrating back in June? The high rates of violent crime? The sagging public finances? Or was it the underachieving schools? Sheesh! It makes one wonder what will be accomplished in the next 50 years.

Getting back to Dellums, for those who aren't familiar with the former Democratic congressman, his political history reasonably indicates that the only distinction between him and an avowed communist is that Dellums was never heard to say in public, "I'm an avowed communist." And arguably, there is no better objective indicator of his core political philosophy than the Internet. Just do a Google search of "Dellums" and "communist" and you'll get more hits than if you Google "Dellums" and "Democrat."

As to whether Dellums and his communist/socialist belief system take over Oakland or not, it really makes no difference. The East Bay is already infested with more Marxist ideologues than any other place in North America. What's one more?
Faster Bird Flu Test

(Singapore) Good news! A new, faster test for bird flu has been invented.

Scientists in Singapore say they have developed a test kit which can detect bird flu infections in poultry within four hours - a tool which could help health officials control the spread of the deadly virus.

In the absence of a vaccine, early identification of the virus is especially important, and current tests used by laboratories take two to three days and sometimes up to a week.

"The faster you are able to detect the H5N1 (virus), the earlier you can impose some kind of isolation procedure and the faster poultry can be culled to prevent the spread of the virus," Ren Ee Chee, a professor at the Genome Institute of Singapore who led the research team, said.

The virus - which has a death rate of about 50 per cent - has killed 65 people in four Asian nations since late 2003 and has forced the culling of millions of birds, destroying the livelihood of many impoverished farmers.
World Health Organization experts have warned that avian flu could become a human flu pandemic.
Sex For Boots

(Akron, Ohio) Various motivations cause people to assault others, but I've never heard this one before.
A Holliston Road man, 51, assaulted a Harrison Avenue woman, 22, on Sept. 15 in the area of Diagonal Road and Superior Avenue. The woman said a quarrel began when the man wanted to trade sex for a pair of boots.
Apparently, the two are acquaintances, if that matters. I'm having a difficult time trying to grasp the idea that boots and sex can be equivalent in value. Sex for money, sex for drugs, yes, but sex for boots does not compute.
Trailer Park Woman Accused of Raping Boy

(Chattanooga, Tennessee) A 28-year-old woman, Christyal D. Lawrence, was arrested and charged with statutory rape of a 14-year-old boy.

Christyal D. Lawrence
Christyal D. Lawrence

Lawrence allegedly contacted the boy by telephone and invited him to her trailer. Once there, Lawrence lured him into the bedroom, "kissed him multiple times, performed a sex act on him, and engaged in sex with him." Subsequently, the boy's grandmother found love letters from Lawrence in the boy's drawer.

Lawrence was placed on $25,000 bond. She is scheduled to appear in court on October 11.
"Cool Mom" in Serious Car Crash with Four Youths

(Golden, Colorado) "Cool Mom" Sylvia Ann Johnson, 41, who was charged with and pleaded guilty to a list of eleven crimes related to hosting drug and alcohol parties and having sex with teen boys, was due to be sentenced Monday (9/26). Unfortunately, on Sunday she was involved in a serious traffic accident with four adolescents and is hospitalized. According to Pam Russell, speaking for the Jefferson County District Attorney's office, her sentencing has been postponed.

'Cool Mom' Sylvia Johnson
"Cool Mom" Sylvia Ann Johnson

Although the Colorado State Patrol is still investigating the accident, it's known that Sylvia "Cool Mom" Johnson was not driving and may face additional charges since all the youths were too young to be licensed. Details of the accident are as follows:
A 2005 Jeep Liberty was being driven by a 14-year-old girl when it slid across the eastern lanes during a lane change. The vehicle swerved across the frontage road and then rolled end over end, the CSP said. An 11-year-old boy who was ejected from the vehicle was airlifted to Swedish Hospital, and Johnson was also transported there. Both were in serious condition.

Two 14-year-old girls, including the driver, and a 12-year-old boy were transported to Skyridge Hospital. One of the 14-year-old girls and the 12-year-old boy were in serious condition. The 14-year-old driver has minor injuries.
Only the driver is reported to have been wearing a seat belt.

Johnson still faces a possible 58 years for her child sex abuse crimes. It's unknown what the judge was thinking before the accident, but it can't bode well for "Cool Mom" to have put kids in the hospital with serious injuries. Once again, she's caught being irresponsible with kids -- to their detriment. The long-term significance of the kids' injuries is still unknown, however, based upon Johnson's repeated negligent and irresponsible stunts, I personally believe that "Cool Mom" Johnson needs a long stretch in the cooler just to avoid more danger to children.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Pfc. Lynndie England Convicted for Abu Ghraib Abuse

File this story under crimes that are blown way out of proportion by a left-leaning mainstream media.

WASHINGTON -- Lynndie R. England, the Army private who became a grinning icon of Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse as she held a dog leash attached to a naked Iraqi detainee, was convicted today on six of seven charges at a military court martial.

She faces up to 10 years in a military prison. A sentencing hearing was scheduled for Tuesday at Ft. Hood, Texas, where her court martial trial was held.

[ ... ]

England, 22, was found guilty on one of two conspiracy charges, four counts of maltreating detainees, and one count of committing an indecent act. Conviction on all counts would have exposed her to at least 11 years imprisonment.

Military prosecutors considered her the so-called poster girl of the Abu Ghraib abuse, seen smiling and flashing her thumbs upward in numerous photos in which she posed in front of naked and bound male detainees.
England's defense attorneys contend that she was easily manipulated. Well, duh! It's fairly obvious that she is also not too bright. Unfortunately though, by being stupid she became the pivot point for an international scandal. Consequently, she'll probably get hammered for something that's criminal but hardly the level of major crimes. Hell, there are female child abusers, arguably more serious criminals, that get off with probation. England will surely get significant cell time.

Companion post at The Jawa Report.
Zarqawi Deputy Abu Azzam Eats Hot Lead

(Washington) Pentagon officials confirm that Abu Azzam, the No. 2 Al-Qaeda leader in Iraq, was killed during a raid by coalition troops Sunday night. Coalition forces raided a house in response to an informant's tip and Azzam opened fire. Return fire tore apart Azzam's stinking thug carcass, resulting in death.

Azzam was reported to be Zarqawi's man in control of financing and arranging travel of foreign thugs into western Iraq from Syria and other countries. Obviously, Zarqawi now needs to deputize a new thug.

Also covering: Outside The Beltway, The Jawa Report
Homeless Multiplication Factor

(Contra Costa County, California) In the past, I've questioned the methods used to estimate homeless populations, thinking that they mostly were gross exaggerations (see The Five Laws of Homelessness). Consequently, it was enlightening to see the following:
An independent count pegged the number of "desperate homeless" in Contra Costa at 7,500 to 8,500. Factoring in those who bunk on friend's couches or sleep in cars, the number swells to around 15,000....
So, it appears the process consists of "independent counters" estimating a range of total homeless which is then multiplied by a "couches and cars" factor.

This doesn't change my thinking that homeless populations are grossly exaggerated and the explanation provided seems to be a reckless use of arithmetic. Interestingly, Contra Costa County has historically had difficulty counting the homeless. Back in the 1990s, homeless advocates couldn't decide whether there were 13,000 or 20,000 vagrants in the county.

The simple fact that homeless estimates are all over the place is my primary basis for being skeptical of any numbers. Also, there's the census conducted by the city of Chicago where the actual number of homeless found was more than 70,000 less than estimated.
"Scuz" Nickname Called Prejudicial

(West Chester, Pennsylvania) In a court of law, it would seem appropriate that a defendant's known aliases be accepted as valid information for a jury to hear. Nevertheless,

A defense attorney has asked a judge to bar any references to his client's nickname -- "Scuz" -- in his upcoming murder trial, saying the moniker could negatively influence jurors.

Demetrius "Scuz" Fiorentino, 31, of Coatesville, is charged with the April 2004 robbery and shooting death of Joel "Wellz" Taylor, 19, of Queens, N.Y., during a botched drug deal in a Coatesville crack house in Coatesville.

Defense attorney Laurence Harmelin cited the dictionary definition of scuzzball as "an unpleasant, dirty or dangerous person; creep" and scuzzy as "dirty, shabby or foul in condition or nature."

Harmelin told Common Pleas Judge Phyllis Streitel on Friday that connotations of Fiorentino's nickname would prejudice jurors against the defendant.
Presently, it's unknown how Judge Streitel will rule. However, if "Scuz" is deemed unacceptable, "Turd Sandwich" and "Slick Willie" are definitely out of the question.
Geisel Gets 6 Months

(Albany, New York) As anticipated, Christian Brothers Academy teacher, Beth Geisel, accepted a plea deal this morning regarding rape charges which gets her six months in jail and ten years probation. She will also get credit for time served since her arrest for DWI.

[Update 9/26/05, 1400EDT]

According to another report, Sandra "Beth" Geisel pleaded guilty to one count of rape and, in addition to six months in jail and ten years probation, she will have register as a sex offender.

Defense Attorney Donald Kinsella said, "A trial would have been a spectacle for her family. As you can see, you all are invited by the DA's office saying this isn't something you should miss. A trial would have been a total spectacle."

District Attorney David Soares said, "This is a person who is going to be subjected to probation for the next 10 years, will have to register as a sex offender, whose life is totally changed now as a result as her behavior. We held her accountable. This is the best disposition in this case."
It's not clear what happens if she violates her probation.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

DC Anti-War Protest 9/24/05

Anti-War Rally in DC
Cindy Sheehan & Jesse Jackson

Obviously, the picture above is begging for a caption. Feel free to comment. If you're interested in looking at more pix of this weekend's lunacy in Washington. Check out:
Gateway Pundit,
The Jawa Report,
Sweetness & Light,
Michelle Malkin.
Pictured on these sites is a good overview of the weekend's events. Go visit.

It's obvious to me and somewhat contradictory that a massive amount of blind, deep-seated hatred easily resides in the hearts, minds, and words of many people who, just as easily, beguile themselves into thinking they are peace-loving and peaceful. Typically, seething hatred doesn't mingle with peacefulness. Except, of course, in those cases where a person is schizophrenic.
Something Stinks in Cleveland

(Cleveland, Ohio) You won't find this story in the tourism brochures.

People around Downtown Cleveland have been asking, "What stinks?"

The city thinks it knows, but it's asking for help from state officials.

The Cleveland Division of Air Quality has received dozens of complaints this year about a strong odor coming from the industrial part of the Flats.
The stench has been blamed on General Environmental Management, a waste treatment company. The complaints might well hint that it's politically incorrect in 21st Century America for garbage to stink. I don't know how it can be completely eliminated but given the usual nanny-state response to such problems, taxpayers will probably be asked to fund a special Ohio Department of Anti-Stink Security. I'm not advocating anything, however, the acronym, OD-ASS, does have a certain appeal.
Police Protest Dumping Homeless

(Los Angeles) The Los Angeles Police Department claims that officers from neighboring communities are dumping their homeless people on the streets of downtown Los Angeles. LAPD officers believe that they have seen police cars from El Monte, El Segundo, Burbank, and Pasadena drop off intoxicated, drug-addicted, and homeless individuals from all over the county. Officials from other communities generally plead ignorance about the alleged practice. They admit that bum dumping was common years ago but the departments now strictly ban the act.

However, LAPD commander Capt. Andrew Smith said he and other officers have witnessed out-of-area police cars dumping people, often under the cover of darkness. Consequently, the LAPD has ordered its personnel to begin stopping out-of-area police cars seen dumping people.

Evidently, Los Angeles has only a finite amount of compassion available and the introduction of alien vagrants from other cites is intolerable. I wonder why the LAPD isn't happier with the arrival of alien homeless. After all, they represent more opportunities to experience the joy of giving.

Companion post at Diggers Realm.
Washington Republicans Dumping 11th Commandment

(Yakima, Washington) The Republican Party Executive Committee in the State of Washington has recommended that the 11th Commandment be repealed. It specifies that no Republican will attack or defame another Republican. Members believe it primarily benefits incumbent politicians.

They ought to replace it with "Thou shall not covet the citizens' wallets."

Saturday, September 24, 2005

30,000 Tax Payments Dumped in SF Bay

(San Francisco, California) File this story under "Stuff Happens."

From the San Francisco Chronicle:
On Sept. 11, a courier taking mail from the post office to a check processing center in Hayward got into an accident on the San Mateo Bridge. Thousands of the checks went flying into the water and were not recovered.
For those that mailed a tax payment to the IRS office in San Francisco between September 1 and September 13, tell them you sent cash.
Beth Geisel to Get "Sweet Deal"

(Albany, New York) It's being reported that Beth Geisel, the Christian Brothers Academy students' favorite moll, will be offered a sweet plea deal by the prosecution on Monday. According to the New York Post, the deal may be a misdemeanor conviction with less than a year in prison. Albany County District Attorney David Soares only says, "Stay tuned."

Geisel continues to languish on a paper-thin mattress in cold confinement at the Albany County Jail on charges of rape and drunken driving. I bet she could use a shot and a beer right now.

[Update] Geisel Gets 6 Months
Lightning Strikes Two Planes on Takeoff

(Honolulu, Hawaii) Even in paradise, there are occasional stormy messages from Mother Nature. Within one hour, lightning struck both Hawaiian Airlines and Aloha Airlines planes shortly after takeoff.

From the
Hawaiian Flight 20 to Sacramento, Calif., took off about 1:30 p.m. and was about five to 10 minutes into the flight when the front of the plane was struck by a lightening bolt ....

[ ... ]

Around 2:25 p.m., Aloha Flight 270, carrying 119 passengers and crew, lifted off for Kona International Airport on the Big Island, and again within five to 10 minutes had been hit by lightening ....
Both planes immediately returned safely to the airport. Afterward, demonstrators are rumored to have planned a protest blaming both incidents on President Bush for creating global warming.
Rescued Hostage Roy Hallums on 60 Minutes Tomorrow

Try to make sure you get a chance to watch tomorrow's 60 Minutes segment on Roy Hallums. Roy has first-hand knowledge of what's in the hearts and minds of the terrorists in Iraq after being held hostage from last November until just last week.

To me, the program will likely confirm that which is fairly obvious. Specifically, the thinking of the terrorists is not radically different from the viewpoint of the mainstream media. Nonetheless, I'm certain that Roy Hallums' nuts and bolts recollections of the murderous criminal terrorists will be riveting, even though the program is provided by "All-the-news-that's-fit-to create" CBS.

Integral in keeping Roy Hallums' story alive has been The Jawa Report. Go check out Rusty's coverage. Digger also weighs in.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Elisa Kawasaki Sentenced in Student Sex Case

(Hanford, California) As some may recall, last April former 25-year-old Hanford West High School biology teacher, Elisa Kawasaki, was arrested for having sex with a 16-year-old student. Last month, Kawasaki pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful sex with a minor in accordance with a plea agreement.

Today, Judge Thomas DeSantos sentenced her to 180 days in the county jail and five years probation. Contrary to the desires of the mother of the victim, Kawasaki will not have to register as a sex offender.

My take is that Kawasaki was treated rather leniently by the court and, probably, considerably more leniently than a man would have been in similar circumstances. The details of the relationship indicate that a student's britches were under the control of a person in a position of authority for several months. It wasn't a one-time lapse in judgment. It was extended and frequent in nature and Kawasaki was the aggressor. She should have been required to at least register as a sex offender.
Gunmen Seize U.S.-Run Oil Platform

(Nigeria) Frankly, I think we are going to see more attacks against oil facilities, in general.

From the
MORE than 100 armed militants stormed a United States-operated oil production platform in Nigeria and forced it to shut down yesterday in response to the arrest of an ethnic militia leader on treason charges.

Armed with assault rifles, the gang invaded the Idama platform operated by Chevron in the southern Niger Delta, escalating a simmering political crisis in the world's eighth-largest oil exporter.

"Eight boats, each carrying 15 armed people, occupied the Idama flow station. Six government security forces had their weapons taken from them," a source close to Chevron said. "Apparently the militants are now heading for more stations. The situation can only get worse."
The conflict is centered around the Nigerian government headed by President Olusegun Obasanjo and the rebel leader of the Niger Delta People's Volunteer Force (NDPVF), Mujahid Dokubo-Asari. The two are warring over the distribution of oil revenue and it's not an insignificant conflict. Last year, the NDPVF sent oil prices on the world market to record levels after declaring war on foreign oil companies. That spat was resolved with promises of more money to the poor. Subsequent lack of follow-through has led to the latest actions by Mr. Asari.

The impact on the price of gasoline at the pump will be a function of how many production facilities Asari's group decides to attack.
Mother Guilty in Rape of Daughter

(White Plains, New York) Updating a previous report, a woman [name withheld to protect minors] pleaded guilty to second-degree rape in arranging for her 13-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old friend to get liquored up and have sex with two guys she recruited, an 18 and a 19-year-old, in a hotel room she paid for. She admitted in Westchester County Court that she was in the room when the sex occurred.

The woman is scheduled to be sentenced on October 26. Judge Rory Bellantoni stated she would receive six months in jail and ten years probation. I reiterate. She gets a meager six months in jail and probation!

Holy freakin' moly!

Chris Short has more at Conservative Thinking.
Hamas Truck Explodes at Palestinian Rally

(Jebaliya, Gaza Strip) When fanaticism and ignorance are combined with large amounts of explosives, bad things happen.

A pickup truck carrying masked terrorists blew up at a Hamas rally at the Jebaliya refugee camp in the Gaza Strip on Friday. At least 19 Palestinians were killed and 85 injured, hospital doctors said.
A lorry carrying weapons and masked Hamas militants exploded at a rally in Gaza today, killing ten Palestinians, including two children, and wounding more than 85 people.
Obviously, the reporting is fresh so a firm number of casualties is not yet known. What is known, however, is that seven terrorists in a pickup truck inadvertently detonated explosives which killed themselves and a number of their most dedicated supporters. One witness saw five dead children. There is also a report that a prominent Hamas figure, Ahmed Randoul, was killed or seriously wounded in the blast.

Afterward and as would be expected, Hamas blamed the blast on the Israelis because an aircraft had been seen in the vicinity. Witnesses saw differently and blamed the terrorists for mishandling the explosives.

I wonder if anyone is collecting data on the numbers of people killed due to the frequent recklessness and carelessness of terrorists. Regular as rain, they mistakenly kill themselves and others.
John Lennon's FBI File

According to this report, the FBI's surveillance and investigation of John Lennon concluded that he was "constantly under the influence of narcotics" and, therefore, too stoned to be a real revolutionary.

Imagine that.
Explosion in Belarus Wounds Dozens

(Vitebsk, Belarus) Last night, a bomb exploded outside a cafe in this city in northeastern Belarus, injuring more than 50. Four are said to be in grave condition.

The device seems somewhat amateurish, consisting of an explosive packed into a beer can with metal fragments. It was buried in a flower bed outside a cafe in the city center. A similar device was detonated a week ago near a bus stop and injured two people. It's unknown how the devices were triggered.

The Belarus Secret Police, the KGB, ruled out terrorism. Instead, the bombing is being blamed on "malicious hooliganism." Another source suspects a business dispute. And another suggests that criminal gangs are responsible.

Maybe I'm viewing the situation too simplistically, but if people are terrorized by bomb blasts which injure dozens, it's terrorism. Despite the reason and the perpetrator, exploding bombs is a terrorist tactic. The blast in Belarus meets my definition.
Indictment in Lodi Islamic Terror Probe

(Sacramento, California) In the ongoing three-year probe of the alleged Lodi, California, Islamic terrorist cell, five people have been implicated and, of those, three have been deported for immigration violations and two are being held in federal custody without bail.

Last month, 47-year-old Islamic cleric Muhammad Adil Khan and his son were deported for overstaying their visas. On Wednesday of this week, 39-year-old Islamic cleric Shabbir Ahmed was deported for the same reason. The three were deported without being charged with any crimes, however, the government alleged that they intended to set up a terror training camp in Lodi. It's noteworthy that both Ahmed and Khan are allegedly linked to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda.

The two being held in custody, charged with lying to federal agents, are 23-year-old Hamid Hayat and his father, 47-year-old Umer Hayat. In a development yesterday resulting from a federal grand jury hearing, prosecutors charged Hamid Hayat with providing material support to terrorists.

The federal indictment alleged that Hamid Hayat, 23, provided material support and resources for carrying out international acts of terror between March 2003 and June 4, 2005, when he was arrested days after returning to the United States from Pakistan. Hayat faces multiple charges for which the combined maximum sentence is 31 years in prison.

"Today's charge centers around the fact that Hamid Hayat attended a terrorist training camp in Pakistan in 2004, returned to this country with the intent of committing jihad against America, and by doing so provided material support to terrorists," U.S. attorney McGregor Scott said.
The charge is the most serious that could be filed against a person without the individual actually committing a terrorist act. Hamid Hayat's father, Umer, has not been implicated in the more serious crimes. Yet.

According to prosecutors, Hamid Hayat admitted his terrorist intentions in a videotaped interrogation session where he stated that he "intended to commit jihad in the U.S. He did not have any orders to fight at present; however, he was awaiting such orders."

Interestingly, the indictment was handed up the day before a hearing is scheduled to discuss releasing Hamid and Umer Hayat on bail. To alleviate the court's concern that they represent serious flight risks, the Hayats and their relatives have ponied up equity in four Lodi properties totaling more than $1.2 million. So, later today, we'll know if a judge sets a bail amount. I think the father might get bail but not the son. The likelihood of flight by Hamid Hayat has increased substantially with his indictment.

In conclusion, the effect of the focused federal investigation of the Islamic community in Lodi, California, is believed to have disrupted for now any plans of a hidden terror cell with training capabilities. In the words of U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott, "What I am sure of is that whatever was intended isn't going to happen now."
What Happens in Vegas

(Las Vegas, Nevada) Last Saturday, 35-year-old Leavander Johnson entered the ring at the MGM Grand Hotel Casino to defend his IBF Lightweight title against Jesus Chavez. Fight statistics indicate that Johnson received 299 power punches to the head before referee Tony Weeks stopped the fight in the 11th round.

Yesterday, at 4:23pm local time, Leavander Johnson died at the University Medical Center from brain injuries he received from the fight. His death follows the July 2 death in Las Vegas of Mexican fighter Martin Sanchez from injuries received in a fight with Russian boxer Rustam Nugaev.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Iraqi Journalist Gunned Down

(Mosul, Iraq) Another Iraqi journalist has been killed, bringing the total number of murdered journalists to over 40 since counting began in March 2003.

A journalist from Radio Nineveh was gunned down on Wednesday night in Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad. Hospital and police sources said Ahlam Younnis was driving in a car with her husband, who was also killed, and her son, who was wounded in the attack.
In the past week, two other journalists were also killed in Mosul. Firas Maadidi, Mosul bureau chief for As-Saffir newspaper and chief editor of the daily Al-Masar was gunned down, and Hind Ismail, As-Saffir reporter, was found with a single gun shot to her head.

These were brave people murdered by criminals. Yet the mainstream media (MSM) continue to characterize these heinous crimes as valueless deaths by sanitized 'insurgents.' Where's the outrage? These people were journalists! Civilians doing their jobs! And, all along, the MSM ignore the horrible crimes and avoid attaching responsibility to any group other than the nebulous ill-defined 'insurgency.'

For the love of all that's sacred, give us all a break and start calling murderers murderers. A duck will always be a duck, despite what the MSM call it. The problem is that, if the MSM doesn't call the terrorists murderers, the terrorists think they are doing okay. They're fortified to commit more murders.

Celebrate your legacy for the first decade of the 21st Century, MSM. It comes dripping with the blood of unreported murders committed by thug criminals. Thug criminal gangs can be called insurgents, or ducks for that matter, but they're still thug criminal gangs. To my knowledge, the MSM has not yet reported any crimes being committed by these gangs.

Murdering innocents can never be classified as anything but a crime.

Companion post at The Jawa Report.
American Lawyers Tell Arab Nations to Pressure U.S.

(Guantanamo Bay, Cuba) A close ally of the indelibly leftist American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), has been sending lawyers to defend the terrorist detainees at Guantanamo Bay, most recently in response to a hunger strike by a segment of the prisoner population. On the surface, the CCR attorneys are defending the "rights" of al-Qaeda and Taliban associates, but their primary goal appears to be finding evidence that the United States is a brutal, imperialist nation that tortures innocent prisoners. Persistent targets of the CCR's efforts are living conditions and indefinite detention terms at Guantanamo Bay which, presumably, caused the recent detainee hunger strike.

According to one CCR lawyer, Kristine Huskey, "90% of the camp is on strike in varying degrees." Apparently, there are varying degrees of not eating which means, if one skips lunch, one is hunger striking by definition. Disagreeing, the military said in one report that 91 detainees, out of 505, are hunger striking and 21 are being fed by tube. In a subsequent report, the military stated that the numbers decreased with 36 prisoners not eating and 16 hospitalized, of which, some are being tube fed. Consequently, it appears that most of the 90% asserted by Huskey are figuratively just skipping lunch. That is, if one believes the military and I do, especially in cases where the opposing viewpoint is expressed by an organization with a pronounced leftist political agenda.

In summary, I believe that Huskey is grossly exaggerating the circumstances at Gitmo. And there's no way to get around the fact that American lawyers are puffing up a weak case against the American military for the sole benefit of America's enemies.

Furthermore, check out this tidbit from the Arab News:
US lawyers representing the Arab detainees had called repeatedly in recent months on the Arab governments to exert more pressure on the Washington to get their nationals returned home.
This demonstrates perfectly the anti-Americanism of the Center for Constitutional Rights. The group is working with foreign governments against Washington while trying to phony up cases against the United States military. For an American organization ostensibly protecting constitutional rights to act against the interests of the United States, an argument could be made that its actions represent a serious breach of allegiance. By my dictionary, a serious breach of allegiance is defined as treason.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Rita Now a Category 5 Monster

(Galveston, Texas) Clocked at 175 MPH, Hurricane Rita is sending 1.3 million people in Texas to higher ground away from the coast. Galveston and low-lying parts of Corpus Christi and Houston are under mandatory evacuation. The storm is projected to hit the state on Saturday.

It's time to leave, folks.
Can You Hear Me Now?

(via Chad Evans) According to a German news agency report from September 12, al-Qaeda's terror network in the Balkans is quite intact and there are "vague indications that another terror cell controlled from Bosnia is preparing a new attack on London."

The "Balkans, particularly Bosnia and Kosovo" are said to be "a dangerous breeding-ground, presently under scarcely any observation, for Islamist terrorists." Muslims from Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, and Great Britain are reportedly travelling there to be "fanaticized."
And, of course, the terrorists are linked directly to an Islamic religious institution, the King Fahd Mosque in the Sarajevo suburb of Dobrinja. It's been described as a hotbed of violent extremists who worship the religion of peace. As an aside, that's one ridiculous, albeit true, statement. On the lighter side,
Western security circles report that two young Muslims accidentally blew themselves up in Kosovo recently, when they were trying to test a mobile phone converted into a remote-controlled bomb.
"Yes, Abu, I hear you. Now press the green button."
The Countess of Immigration and Customs

President Bush must be getting light-headed from helicopter ups and downs. That's the only rational explanation for the obviously pneumatic thinking behind the sucking-chest-wound decision to nominate Julie Myers as head of the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Granted, there's little question about her qualifications for the position, but that's primarily because there's not much to speak of. Myers has been a lawyer in various bureaucracies with experience in assisting, serving, managing, and coordinating, but there's no mention of any marquee accomplishments.

And, what about the aroma? No foo-foo could possibly hide the stink of good ole' boy favoritism in Myers' nomination. Her husband is a staffer for Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff, her boss. Uncle Dick is Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Richard Myers. Couple this loud cronyism with Myers' unarmed resume and the future portends more scalding criticism for ICE or worse.

Of course, there's another way of looking at this. With Julie Myers reporting to the tag team of Chertoff and her husband, she'll likely be a compliant and loyal worker bee.

Nevertheless, I'd personally be much more comfortable with a John Wayne type heading up ICE. I've seen John Wayne and, without argument, Julie Myers is no John Wayne. Notably, a posse of bloggers have saddled up to herd their consternation with the nomination of Myers. Digger has a good roundup. Go see what's being said.
Alleged Sex and Alcohol at Middle School

(Columbus, Ohio) Voila! The reason Johnny can't read has been discovered. Principal Loy Koeller and the faculty at Wedgewood Middle School were apparently hammered during the school day.

"It was more like a party house going on," said parent Misty Blevins. "Some of the teachers were drinking while they were in class and they would go to the office. I guess there were a couple of incidents where we were told there were affairs going on within the school."

"The teachers were going out, having other teachers buy beer and all that, and liquor, and come back and drinking in class," said student Scott Blevins.

[ ... ]

Witnesses testified they observed Abby Terry, a teacher, "in the principal's office taking off her shirt ... leaving herself in a bra only and doing a seductive dance for the principal."

Some teachers brought "cocktails, mixed drinks and beer into the school at noon," according to a witness statement.
It's alleged that the debauchery had been taking place for two years with reports that a gun, cocaine, and marijuana were involved. Also, the principal has been accused of asking other staff members for their prescription medications.
"What we found during the course of the investigation was that these allegations were substantiated," said Columbus Public Schools spokesman Greg Viebranz.

The school board terminated Koeller's contract and accepted Terry's resignation.

Most of the alleged improprieties were said to have taken place in the school office. While some teachers were involved in the allegations, most teachers were not. Other teachers at the school tipped off investigators about what allegedly took place, Bowersock [NBC4 investigator] reported.
The new principal of Wedgewood Middle School, Stephen Hoffman, has asserted that the problems have been resolved and the school is now operating properly.

My take is that I can't be the only person who wonders why it took two years to uncover the incompetence. And, if President Bush can command the paths of hurricanes, he surely must be responsible for placing hedonists in positions of authority at Wedgewood Middle School.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Clinton and Lewinsky Condoms

A Chinese company has started marketing two new brands of condoms named after Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. The names have been officially registered as contraceptives by the Guangzhou Haokian Bio-science Company. A dozen Clinton willy-slickers is priced at two British pounds while the 12-pack of Lewinsky stain-catchers is cheaper.

Annotate your shopping list accordingly.

Hat tip: Mac Powell
Sierra Club Allegedly Bribed

(Richmond, Virginia) If the allegation has merit, it's proof that large amounts of money will shut up even the loudest of activist groups.

A Sierra Club member staged a small protest Monday calling for the resignation of the environmental group's executive director, accusing him of accepting money from a donor in exchange for halting the group's discussion of immigration policy.

James McDonald, a 60-year-old Springfield attorney, said Carl Pope accepted more than $100 million from California donor David Gelbaum in 2001 only after promising Gelbaum the club would stay out of the immigration debate. Pope and leaders of the venerable conservation group called McDonald's allegations ridiculous.
This is the first I've heard of dissension in the ranks of the Sierra Club. If true, it will become more pronounced as the illegal alien issue unavoidably climbs in importance. Obviously, it is a divisive issue and the leftists may see a break in their unity.
Judge Blocks Lafave Photos

(Tampa, Florida) Following up on a previous report, earlier today Hillsborough Circuit Judge Wayne S. Timmerman ruled that photos of Debra Lafave's tan lines, tattoos, and pubic hair will remain sealed from public access in accordance with a motion presented by her attorney, John Fitzgibbons. Two Tampa television stations were among those that requested access, but it's not known if any public records requests were honored before the ruling.

[Update 11/22/05]

Debra Lafave pleads guilty and gets no jail.
Child-Rapist Freed Early

(Marysville, Washington) Three years ago, 2nd-grade teacher Susan G. Lemery, 41, was convicted of five felony sex crimes, three counts of child rape and two counts of child molestation, and sentenced to five years in prison. Lemery, a married mother of three, was found guilty of sexually abusing her 14-year-old son's friends.

Susan Lemery
Susan G. Lemery

Next month, Lemery will be released from prison after serving three of her five-year sentence. Credit for good behavior and time spent in jail knocked two years off her stretch. She is classified as a Level 2 sex offender, meaning there is a "moderate risk" that she may commit another sex crime.

Although the judicial and penal aspects of the Lemery case are pretty much a done deal, reasons exist for it to be revisited. First of all, even though Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Ellen Fair gave Lemery the maximum sentence allowed by law, she qualified it by stating, "The sentence today can never match the harm done." So, in the opinion of the judge, Lemery got off lightly with a five-year stretch which, by the way, she's not doing.

Secondly, when a comparison was made between Lemery and schoolteacher Mary K. Letourneau, who did seven and one-half years for rape of an adolescent boy, a case detective scoffed.
"Mary K. Letourneau fell in love with one boy and had a relationship. Susan Lemery took advantage of whoever was there," Detective Lee Malkow said. "Let's just say there was no romance involved."
Thirdly, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Lisa Paul expressed concern regarding Lemery's continued denial of responsibility for her actions and what that bodes for the future.
"It is important to keep this defendant on a very short leash when she is released," Paul said.
And lastly, while remaining resolute in denying any wrongdoing and unapologetic for the harm she inflicted, Lemery was insultingly flippant about her crimes and conviction.
"It was a lot of fun being out with the kids and doing fun things," she said, "and I just wasn't thinking."
Excuse me, but responsible law-abiding adults don't commit sex crimes on children and maintain that they are merely "doing fun things." Susan Lemery will be out of prison next month. Hopefully, she's changed her attitude about doing fun things and is ready to act responsibly. There's a "moderate risk" that she hasn't.

Now I know that there are those of the opinion that her crimes are minor. I've heard the argument that older women molesting boys is merely a rite of passage into manhood and, therefore, harmless. Some people think that there are no victims. Those people should think again. Harm occurs to kids that are victimized. Boy or girl, it's a fact. It's a myth to think otherwise. Most important, nobody knows the ultimate result of the psychological trauma on her victims. The victims' lives have been irrevocably changed by Lemery doing fun things.

Add on the simple reality that Lemery's children will never look at her the same as before nor will her husband. The whole family has been stigmatized by having a convicted child rapist as a member. 'Home sweet home' has soured. Consider also the many friendships and acquaintanceships that have been forever altered.

Adult women sexually molesting boys is not harmless and, at some level, there are usually many victims. No less than a man molesting little girls, women committing sex crimes should be treated just as harshly. Anything else ignores reality.
Thief Sentenced to Watch Beavers

(Xenia, Ohio) Convicted beaver-napper, Michael Ledford, has been sentenced to 66 hours of watching Beavercreek's anniversary beavers. Greene County Common Pleas Judge Stephen Wolaver also stipulated five years probation for Ledford and he must help pay for global positioning devices installed in other beavers.
North Korea's Latest Shakedown

Any prudent follower of history would know that North Korea regularly commits to agreements and then reneges. In fact, it's a trait of communist police states. Ronald Reagan even formalized a diplomatic skepticism in his "trust but verify" policy in negotiations with the communist Soviet Union. Consequently, it should come as no surprise that, less than a day after signing an agreement to dismantle its nuclear weapons program, North Korea has decided not to comply unless the U.S. ponies up some light-water civilian nuclear power plants.

From ABC Online:
A senior US official says North Korea's claim is not in line with the deal signed in Beijing.

"This was obviously not the agreement they signed and we will see what the coming weeks bring," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

US officials have declined to comment more broadly on Pyongyang's declarations, which appeared to undermine a much-feted set of principles agreed upon earlier in Beijing.
Given North Korea's predictable lack of resolve in complying with negotiated commitments, it's hard to understand why the media has an orgasm every time an agreement is signed. By now, one would think the MSM would just shrug and frown like the rest of us.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Katrina Cleanup Snapshot

Rusty just returned from the Gulf Coast and has blogged his experience and impressions. One thing is sure. Katrina's aftermath is bigger and more ugly than all possible preparations and responses conceivable by man. As such, fingerpointing is more than fruitless, it's counterproductive. Go visit and you'll draw the same conclusion.
Moscow Al Jazeera Boss Booted

(Moscow, Russia) Here's an odd report from Interfax:
Akram Khuzam, head of the Moscow bureau of the Al Jazeera television channel, has been dismissed from his post.

The channel's management did not give any reasons for his dismissal, Khuzam, who had been in charge of Al Jazeera's Moscow bureau since its inception in 1996, told Interfax on Monday evening.

Geidar Dzhemal, head of Russia's Islamic Committee, in a statement posted on the Internet, claimed that Khuzam had been sacked in connection with numerous complaints from Russian Muslims over allegedly insulting remarks made about Islam.
As is typical with information coming out of Russia, the news of Khuzam's dismissal is probably not the whole story. Not only that, but how often do we hear of Muslims criticizing Al Jazeera about anything?
Traci Tapp - High Scorer

(Mays Landing, New Jersey) Updating a previous report regarding high school teacher Traci Tapp, 28, being arrested for sex crimes involving three students, the family of one student has decided to file suit against the Hammonton School Board, the town of Hammonton, and the Hammonton Police Department.

Traci Tapp
Traci Tapp

The notice of intent to sue claims that the student and his mother incurred physical and emotional injuries as a result of inaction by school and community authorities when it was generally known that Tapp was engaging in sexual activities with students. The notice did not outline specific damages sought. Under New Jersey statutes, the family has six months to file a formal lawsuit.

Besides the disturbing allegations of a teacher engaging in sex with students, an aspect of the case which hasn't been highlighted is how the dirty deeds came about. Prior to becoming a teacher, Tapp was a standout athlete as a star soccer player in high school and college, known for her ball-handling expertise. She left college after a stellar athletic career and started teaching at Hammonton High School in January 2001 where, within the first month of employment, it's alleged she continued demonstrating her ball-handling expertise by fondling a 17-year-old student.

Consequently, if the sketchy details of this sordid scenario are true, Traci Tapp retired her college soccer uniform, walked into the high school, cut a colt from the herd, and immediately started scoring. Furthermore, she continued scoring for more than two years.


[Update 01/31/06]

Tapp fined $100.
Tall Women Avoid Children

(Scotland) From a survey, researchers at the University of Stirling and the University of St Andrews have concluded that tall women have fewer children because of higher levels of circulating androgens, making them more masculine.
Naked Butlers with Nibbles

Bon vivants simply must visit Holmes Place Health Club in Edinburgh this evening. Featured will be a squad of naked butlers providing "drinks and nibbles."

Not being one of the hoity-toity crowd, I'll pass. I am somewhat curious, though, about whether "nibbles" is a noun or a verb.
Girls Gone Wild for Katrina Relief

(San Francisco, California) The makers of the "Girls Gone Wild" video series, Mantra Films, have announced that they are donating proceeds from sale of their popular breast-flashing titles to the Red Cross for hurricane relief. The money donated will come from sale of videos tied to Mardi Gras, representing about a third of the 19 titles distributed by the company.

I guess this would make porn tax-deductible.
School Coach Arrested for Sex Abuse of Student

(Tigard, Oregon) After being arrested on August 29 for giving marijuana to a 15-year-old girl, Tigard High School coach Kathleen O'Brien Erickson, 22, created her own personal crime wave with subsequent arrests for sex abuse and violating a court order.

Kathleen O'Brien Erickson

The victim's parents alerted police to a possible problem with Erickson and their daughter which prompted the investigation and subsequent arrests. Three arrests in three weeks would seem to indicate that Erickson needs some professional intervention.

[Update 9/23/05]

Erickson was arraigned Tuesday after a Washington County grand jury indicted her on three counts of delivering a controlled substance to a minor, two counts of second-degree sexual abuse, and two counts of third-degree sexual abuse.

[Update 07/14/06]

Erickson arrested for sodomy in Multnomah County.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Breaking Barriers - First Saudi Woman Runs for Office

(Jeddah, Saudi Arabia) Slowly and without much fanfare, Saudi women are making breakthroughs in the male-dominated kingdom. About two months ago, it was announced that the first Saudi woman, Hanadi Zakariya Hindi, had received a commercial airline pilot's license. This milestone was not achieved without some controversy as some Saudi men protested that Hindi would be mixing with men without a male guardian.

In another breakthrough, a Saudi businesswoman, Madawi Al-Hassoun, has achieved the distinction of being the first woman to register her candidacy for elected office in the kingdom. Al-Hassoun seeks to be elected to a seat on the board of directors of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce.

Madawi Al-Hassoun
Madawi Al-Hassoun

Al-Hassoun has been a leader for women in the Jeddah business community. She has worked as assistant chairwoman for the Business Ladies' Committee which recently was accepted to play a much larger role in the Jeddah Economic Forum (JEF). The Forum is a strategic think tank focusing on local, regional, and international economic and social issues. If elected, Al-Hassoun's experience with the ladies' committee and the forum makes her well qualified to step into a position with the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Despite the fact that the current JCCI chairman, Ghassan Al-Sulaiman, expects problems and objections to arise from her candidacy, Al-Hassoun is ecstatic. She can be assured that others feel the same thrill.
Teacher Accused of Raping Boy

(Westford, Massachusetts) A 46-year-old eighth-grade science teacher at Blanchard Middle School, Susan Clickner, was arrested August 31 and charged with statutory rape of one of her students, a 14-year-old boy. Forty-six-year-old Clickner allegedly lured the 14-year-old boy into the back seat of her car and molested him last April. Unfortunately for Clickner, the boy told his parents who alerted police.

At her arraignment on September 1, Clickner pleaded not guilty to charges of statutory rape of a child. Subsequently, she was released on $5,000 cash bail. Blanchard Middle School Superintendent Stephen Foster suspended Clickner, 46, and he plans to recommend that she be fired.

Okay, she's 46 and he's 14. Tell me there's something about this case that I need to understand. Let me guess. Alcohol was abused, she didn't know what she was doing. Or maybe she's going through a divorce. Or maybe she recently lost a loved one. Sorry, I'm not buying it. If true, this is a simple sex crime committed against a child by an adult. Did I mention that she is 46 years old?

Based upon similar cases of women committing sex crimes, I'd wager that she'll plead to a lesser charge and get sentenced to no jail time, probably a suspended term with a couple years probation. Now, if it were a 46-year-old male teacher and his 14-year-old female student, then we would see some punishment. The guy would be collecting Social Security when he got released from prison.

[Update 9/21/05]

Interestingly, a reader, who was in Clickner's class last year, commented that it's inconceivable that Mrs. Clickner would commit the acts that are alleged. The reader 'Anonymous' believes the story was made up by a disgusting and perverted 14-year-old.

In another development, it seems that the Westford Police and the Blanchard School officials were tardy in notifying parents and the community of the arrest of Clickner. Complaints abound and there's some question about whether the police violated state rules regarding documenting arrests in the police log. Police are accused of keeping it a secret. Oddly, there doesn't seem to be much discussion concerning the merits of the accusations against Clickner.

[Update 9/28/06]

Clickner pleads guilty and is sentenced.
FEMA Volunteer Orientation Class

(via John Ray) Those people who want to volunteer to help FEMA in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina will be required to attend an orientation class. Encompassing more than a week, the class presents material on a variety of subjects including diversity, harassment, profiling, liability, and GLBTQA awareness. Here's the description from the "Diversity in Nature" session:
When conducting disaster-relief operations, we must bear in mind that the environment exists not only for humans, but for our friends in the animal and vegetable kingdoms. Wetland species are especially vulnerable.
Frankly, I'm not sure that I have any "friends" in the animal and vegetable kingdoms. Hell, I don't have that many human friends.

Nevertheless, the responsiveness of FEMA can't be anything but sloth-like if, through design, more than a week's worth of political correctness indoctrination delays the mobilization of volunteer help.
Ohio Health Dept. Caves to AIDS Activists

The Ohio Department of Health (DOH) has jettisoned columnist Maggie Gallagher as the keynote speaker at the Conference on Abstinence Education scheduled for next month. According to DOH spokesman Jay Carey, the speaker's fee of $5,000 was too high.

However, after an internal DOH committee selected Gallagher to speak, the AIDS Task Force of Greater Cleveland loudly protested because of her anti-homosexual beliefs. Consequently, Gallager's rejection is seen as the DOH bowing to political pressure from homosexual advocates. Operation Keepsake, an abstinence advocacy group serving Northeast Ohio schools, said that the Department of Health was practicing "values profiling." The claim that the decision was based on cost is being dismissed as "ludicrous." In fact, the contract review committee had approved Gallagher's proposal prior to DOH Director Dr. Nick Baird rejecting it.

I'm no expert, but $5,000 seems to be on the low end of the scale of customary celebrity speaker's fees. Furthermore, since when does a few thou here or there bother a bureaucrat? Conversely, it doesn't take an expert to peg the homosexual advocacy groups as loud, troublesome, and influential.

So, with regard to the real reason Maggie Gallagher won't be speaking at the abstinence conference, I'll agree with Operation Keepsake. In my opinion, Dr. Baird caved to political pressure and used cost as an excuse.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Tijuana Brothels To Change Sheets

(Tijuana, Mexico) The government can't stop prostitution so an effort is underway to spruce up the profession. Hookers will be issued cards to show that they have completed monthly health checkups. Brothel owners will be required to change the sheets and put plastic or rubber covers on furniture.

The Mexicans obviously haven't entered the modern era if they're putting rubbers on furniture. Even a California kindergarten class knows that's not where they go.
Americans Need Guns

The Second Amendment guarantees the right of Americans to bear arms, however, some people believe that the right only applies to organized militia and not individual citizens. I would argue that the framers of the Constitution knew that the ultimate last protection for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is an armed citizenry.

As demonstrated by the complete breakdown of law and order in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, the general population was completely powerless against a wave of crime. The extent of the crimes committed will probably never completely be known, however, it is known that there was no police protection, or even presence, in much of southeast Louisiana for about a week. A law-abiding citizen was, literally and figuratively, a sitting duck.

Dedicated advocate for the right to bear arms, John Michael Snyder, offers this:
"Right now, our professional military is prosecuting war on foreign soil. National Guard and police forces have been working to bring order out of chaos in New Orleans and our Gulf Coast states generally. So who in this crisis guards Americans' homes and, in fact, Americans' lives, but Americans ourselves? And how can that be done against violent criminals without the presence of guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens who know how to use them?"
Precisely! When other protections disappear, Americans with guns will persevere.

I believe that the framers of the Constitution had the prescience to envision a circumstance such as the aftermath of Katrina. And it is with the Second Amendment that the framers gave all Americans the protection of last resort. In some circumstances, the individual armed citizen becomes the only defense against barbarism.
Woman Plays Boy to Fool Girl Into Sex

(Macomb County, Michigan) Here's a new twist. A 25-year-old woman presented herself in appearance and behavior as a young teen boy to befriend a 14-year-old girl and lure her into sex. The victim was completely taken in by the perverted scheme and has become suicidal. She requires therapy to cope with the mental anguish.

In accordance with an agreement which would avoid having the victim testify in court, Nicole Anne Mosher pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal sexual conduct. For the reduced charge, Macomb County Circuit Judge Donald Miller sentenced Mosher to 330 days in jail, with credit for 135 days spent in the county jail. Mosher will also be on probation for three years and have to register as a sex offender.

A serious argument could be made that the punishment of less than a year in jail is a mere hand slap. Mosher concocted an elaborate premeditated scheme with the sole purpose of committing sex crimes on a child. This wasn't a case of a lapse in judgment. Mosher is a focused sexual predator.

eXTReMe Tracker