Friday, March 31, 2006

Woman Uses Local Park for Sex with Boy 

Sharon Lynn Sharpe(Athens, Georgia) Apparently, there's enough daytime dalliance in a local park that neighboring dwellers decided to complain.

Police officers started surveillance at Ben Burton Park off Mitchell Bridge Road a few weeks ago after apartment dwellers overlooking the park complained that they could see people having sex, according to police.

Officers saw a group of people pull up in a vehicle and enter the park at about 2:20 p.m. Wednesday, and two of the people later went off on their own, spread a blanket on the ground and had sexual intercourse, police said.

When the group drove away, officers made a traffic stop and identified 28-year-old Sharon Lynn Sharpe and a 15-year-old Athens boy as the ones who had sex in the park, according to police.

Sharpe was charged with felony statutory rape, child molestation and enticing a minor for indecent purposes, as well as contributing to the delinquency of a minor and public indecency, both misdemeanors.
Allegedly, Sharpe has been sexually involved with the boy for two years and was acquainted with his family. Sharpe was held at the Clarke County Jail in lieu of $23,500 bond. The 15-year-old was charged with public indecency and possession of tobacco and then released to his parents.

It's worthy to note that Ben Burton Park has a wide reputation as being a gathering place for individuals seeking sex. Athens is located approximately 60 miles east-northeast of Atlanta. Several major highways lead directly into the city and two airlines provide regular service. The Ben Burton Park is on the west side of the city off of Mitchell Bridge Road which is easily accessible from Athens Perimeter Highway.

[Update 04/21/06]

The grand jury on Wednesday charged Sharpe with the misdemeanor offenses of public indecency and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

The boy was charged with public indecency and possession of tobacco by a minor and released into the custody of a parent.
Apparently, evidence gathered by the police wasn't conclusive.
ACLU Backs Law to Restrict Freedom of Speech 

(New York) A congresswoman is upset that some anti-abortion groups are operating pregnancy crisis centers which mislead pregnant women into believing that they perform abortions. As a consequence, Rep. Carolyn Maloney has introduced legislation to require the Federal Trade Commission to adopt rules to prohibit advertising "with the intent to deceptively create the impression that such person is a provider of abortion services if such person does not provide abortion services." In other words, make it illegal to impersonate an abortionist.

To fortify her proposal, Rep. Maloney, who represents parts of Manhattan and Queens, has enlisted the backing of the ACLU.

Ms. Maloney said the bill was crafted to avoid infringing on free speech. "We're very careful and worked with the ACLU so that the ACLU has endorsed it," she said.

The director of the Washington legislative office of the ACLU, Caroline Fredrickson, joined Ms. Maloney at a press conference yesterday announcing the legislation.

Ms. Fredrickson said the Federal Trade Commission should have addressed the pregnancy centers' conduct under existing law, but has not. "It's already clear that deceptive advertising and false advertising is illegal," the ACLU attorney said.
By siding with the abortion providers on the issue, the ACLU has adopted a posture which is diametrically opposed to its historical position of advocating no restrictions on speech. Even prominent blogger and law professor Eugene Volokh is taken aback, "It's pretty striking to see the ACLU, which stands for very, very broad free speech protection, actually backing a new speech restriction," he said.

Clearly, ACLU participation in the proposed legislation is inexplicable. That is, unless the ACLU has an agenda which is contrary to what it declares it to be. In the Maloney circumstance, the ACLU is for suppressing speech that differs from the liberal pro-abortion mantra. As a result, the ACLU's actions in support of suppressing speech from pro-life advocates indicate a political agenda that leans strongly left. The assertion that the American Civil Liberties Union fights for civil liberties is misleading. On the contrary, the ACLU promotes a leftist political agenda.

This is a production of Stop The ACLU Blogburst. If you would like to join us, please email or You will be added to our mailing list and blogroll. Over 180 blogs already on-board.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Australia Convicts Terrorist Under New Law 

Joseph (Jack) Thomas(Melbourne, Australia) Former Melbourne taxi driver, Joseph (Jack) Terrence Thomas, converted to Islam and attended an al Qaeda military training camp in Afghanistan. Afterwards, al Qaeda gave him funds, a return plane ticket, and a false passport.

Subsequently, 33-year-old Thomas was arrested, tried and convicted of terrorism offenses under the new Australian counter-terrorism law. He was sentenced to five years in prison.
Woman and Teen Girl Charged with Child Porn for Web Pics 

(North Smithfield, Rhode Island) Sooner or later, I expected something like this to happen. A 19-year-old woman and a 16-year-old girl put their explicit pictures on the Internet.

Police say Elizabeth Muller, of North Smithfield, and an unnamed 16-year-old from Lincoln were arrested and have been charged with one count each of child pornography. The girl is being held at the Rhode Island Training School pending a court hearing Friday.

Muller was arraigned Monday in District Court in Providence. Police say the pair uploaded sexually explicit pictures of themselves on MySpace-dot-com, a popular social networking Internet site.
A local police officer, responsible for monitoring Internet content for Lincoln High School, recognized the teen girl in photos on the web.

The 16-year-old girl was arraigned before a Family Court judge on a charge of child pornography and violating a court-ordered curfew. The photos of the two teenagers together were posted on each of their respective Web site accounts.
Woman Dances with Shotgun and Shoots Husband Dead 

(Southampton, England) You just can't make this stuff up.

From the UK Telegraph:
A woman accused of murdering her husband of two months, said yesterday that she shot him accidentally as she danced provocatively for him with his shotgun to the music of Shania Twain.

Linda West, 49, was called upon to demonstrate in court how she had gyrated to the song Man! I Feel Like a Woman, using a broom handle to represent the gun.

She said she had decided to arouse her husband Gregory, 45, who was wearing only a dressing gown after getting out of the bath. It was a "sexual game" that had tragic consequences, she said.
Apparently, the husband at some point decided that the sexy game needed a loaded shotgun and retrieved a BSA500 from the bedroom and "asked her to dance with it."
Mr West was found dead in an armchair by police after his wife made a hysterical 999 call. He had a single shotgun wound to his chest.
Will a jury believe this outlandish story? Who knows? I surely don't.

The trial continues.
No Paper 

This is interesting.
In observance of the national holiday for the Hindu Day of Silence, The Jakarta Post will not be published Thursday. The Post will reappear Friday.
It must be a noisy paper. Nevertheless, for those that fully support multicultural sensitivity, STFU.
Hostage Jill Carroll Freed 

(Baghdad) Breaking good news!

Jill Carroll has been released after being held hostage for nearly three months and is reported to be in good condition. No other details provided at this time.

[Update 1200 EST]

Rusty Shackleford has an extensive followup post at The Jawa Report with a lengthy comment thread covering the Jill Carroll release. Go visit.
Fake Breasts Banned in Space 

Breast Implants(United Kingdom) Virgin Galactic is booking reservations for its inaugural flight into space -- scheduled for 2008. Consequently, measures have been established to assure safety including a ban on individuals with artificially augmented breasts.

Bosses fear the implants may expand and burst due to cabin pressure, according to The Sun.

More than 157 people have paid 115,000 British Pounds [about $200,000] each to travel into space on the Virgin Galactic space "shuttle."

Spokesman Will Whitehorn said: "We've discovered there may well be issues with breast augmentation.

"We're not sure whether they could stand the trip - they could well explode."

People with heart or circulation problems may also be ruled out.
It's not clear whether artificial penile augmentation will also be banned. However, one has to assume that any rejections of prospective passengers will be based entirely on the honor system. There must be a law that prevents spaceport screeners from searching for evidence of cosmetic surgery.
Teacher Investigated for Improper Relationship with Student 

(Albany, Georgia) A veteran math teacher at Monroe Comprehensive High School, Kitty Woodyard, has resigned her teaching position after being suspended amid allegations of an improper relationship with a student. An investigation was launched when a student's mother found suggestive emails from the teacher to the boy and notified school officials.

The school system will alert law enforcement authorities of the current investigation. Woodyard has taught at the school for 22 years and the alleged relationship was with a 17-year-old boy. (H/T Don Morgenstern)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Female Teacher Accused of Sex with 13-Year-Old Boy 

(Swanton, Vermont) A 24-year-old teaching assistant at Mississquoi Valley Union High School, Melanie Hackett, has been charged for having a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old student. On Monday, Hackett pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual abuse in Vermont District Court in St. Albans.

According to police, Hackett confessed to engaging in sex with the boy. She has been placed on administrative leave from her teaching duties. (H/T Don Morgenstern)

[Update 07/13/06]

Hackett expected to plea down.

[Update 11/09/06]

Plea deal rejected by judge. Hackett going to trial.

[Update 03/03/07]

Hackett sentenced.
Teacher Charged with Forcible Sex Abuse of Boy 

(Ferron, Utah) A former teacher at San Rafael Junior High School, Brandy Yates, 26, has been charged with sex abuse of a minor for allegedly having sex with a 15-year-old boy.

Being a person in a position of trust, Yates was charged with forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony. According to authorities, Yates is cooperating with the investigation.

[Update 04/20/06]

Brandy Yates pleaded no contest to one count of attempted forcible sexual abuse. She is scheduled to be sentenced on July 18 by 7th District Judge Bruce Halliday. Yates faces a possible five years in prison.

[Update 07/20/06]

Yates sentenced to stay home.
Rob Reiner Resigns Preschool Commission 

(Los Angeles) After repeatedly stating that he would not step down from the California First 5 Commission amid allegations of misuse of funds, Rob Reiner resigns.

Rob ReinerIn a surprise turnaround, Hollywood director Rob Reiner resigned Wednesday from a statewide preschool commission he helped create and blamed "personal political attacks" for endangering services for needy children.

His departure comes at a time when the organization, the California First 5 Commission, has been under scrutiny for its spending practices.

Only two weeks ago, Reiner dismissed suggestions that he should step down from the chairmanship of the commission, which has collected nearly $4 billion in tobacco taxes to fund early childhood programs.
The controversy over the misuse of funds involves $23 million of state money being used to inappropriately support a future ballot proposition. Contrary to Reiner's assertion that he is under personal political attacks, it seems that people are simply asking questions about how he spends taxpayer funds. I believe the questions are legitimate and Reiner is trying to deflect valid criticism.
Girls' Coach Arrested for Sex with Student 

Quanette Vales(Akron, Ohio) A former substitute teacher and assistant girls basketball coach at Firestone High School, Quanette Vales, was arrested yesterday on charges of having sex with a 15-year-old female student.

Vales, 22, has been charged with unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and sexual battery. She was released on $1,000 bond.

[Update 06/28/06]

Vales pleads guilty.
Air America Sputtering 

Brian Maloney of The Radio Equalizer discusses the latest Arbitron ratings for Air America as the network approaches its second broadcast anniversary. Results from New York City, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Diego indicate that there is little reason to celebrate with nearly all stations ranking below the top twenty. Consequently, advertising revenue is hard to come by.

Presumably, the deep pockets of radical leftists George Soros, Peter Lewis, and others will keep Al Franken and company flying. But for how long? Even ideologues, sooner or later, will abandon a sinking ship.
The Lulu Blooker Prize 

Apparently, if one has a blog and turns it into a book, a blook is created. Cute, eh? And news to me. Also news is that a literary prize has been created to recognize the best blooks. The prize is sponsored by Lulu, a self-publishing firm. A cash award goes to the winner, to be announced April 3.

So, for those that believe that their blogged blarney belongs in a book, contact Lulu. However, it's noteworthy to remember what Little, Brown Executive Editor Judy Clain says, "I don't think a blog is a great place to look for new writers, because there are so many, and so many aren't very good."
Quaero To Compete With Google 

The Europeans are joining the search engine sweepstakes.

France and Germany dislike the idea of Googling. But somehow we find Quaeroing just doesn't have the same snap. Last year, French President Jacques Chirac and German President Gerhard Schroeder revealed their plan to create and launch a search engine to rival Google, in part because they fear the Americanization of all culture. Thus was Quaero, Latin for "I search," born.
Quaero is expected to be usable by the end of this year.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Teacher Had Sex with Male Student 

(Hummelstown, Pennsylvania) A ninth-grade English and language arts teacher at Milton Hershey School, Brianna K. Said, 30, has been charged with felony interfering with the custody of children and misdemeanor corruption of minors for having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old male student. Said allegedly engaged in the relationship at the school and at Said's home between March and December 2005. Said was fired from her teaching position on January 23.

Judge William Rathfon released Said on $25,000 unsecured bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 19 before Hummelstown District Judge Dominic A. Pelino.
Student Commits Suicide as Teacher Appeals Sex Conviction 

(Salt Lake City, Utah) Former teacher and girls' athletics coach, Arielle M. Beck, 26, was convicted in 2003 of forcible sexual abuse, supplying alcohol to a minor, and stalking. Judge Lyle Anderson sentenced her to three consecutive one-to-15-year terms in prison. Beck has a parole release date of October 24.

Nonetheless, her conviction at the 2003 jury trial is being appealed. According to Beck's attorney, Edward Brass, a reversal of the conviction is warranted based upon bias by Judge Anderson during the trial. Not everyone agrees.

The Utah Attorney General's Office will ask the Court of Appeals to uphold the conviction of a Moab volunteer teacher and softball coach who engaged in a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old student. A jury found Arielle M. Beck guilty of 3 second-degree felony counts of forcible sexual abuse, 1 class-A misdemeanor count of supplying alcohol to a minor and 1 class-A misdemeanor count of stalking.

According to testimony presented at the trial, Beck started "grooming" the student for a sexual relationship in the summer of 2002 shortly after she became the girl's coach in a community softball league. Beck then pursued the relationship while volunteering as a teacher's assistant in the victim's English class. Students and teachers started noticing that the two were having an inappropriate relationship. In addition, the victim's mother discovered love letters and e-mails from Beck to the victim. The victim's mother then secured a restraining order against Beck-an order that was violated by the defendant.

The victim testified at the trial that the relationship was confusing to her and that she had twice attempted to commit suicide. After the trial was over, the victim took her own life.
My take is that Beck probably deserves more, not less, punishment. Also, with parole only months away, it's unclear why the defense would even pursue an appeal. Furthermore, since prima facie evidence indicates that Beck's actions were a contributing factor in the girl's death, it appears that she could be charged with reckless indifference to human life.

Of course, Beck denied the charges against her and claimed the girl made up a story. So, the Court of Appeals will look at it. The victim's mother, Sherilyn Sowell, is obviously not happy. Her daughter is dead and Beck will walk out of prison fairly soon, with or without a reversal.

[Update 05/05/06]

Citing the trial judge's "obvious error," the Utah Court of Appeals has granted a new trial for Arielle Beck, a volunteer Moab teacher and softball coach who was convicted of sexually abusing a 14-year-old student.

But prosecuting Beck again may be more difficult because the alleged victim has since committed suicide.

In a ruling handed down Thursday, the appeals court said jurors in Beck's trial in September 2003 may have been unduly influenced by the pointed questions put to Beck by 7th District Judge Lyle Anderson.

Anderson engaged in "prolonged and adversarial questioning" of Beck while she was on the witness stand, according to a unanimous decision written by appellate Judge James Davis.
Sad case, eh?

[Update 09/15/07]

Beck is released.
Interpol Warns of Al Qaeda Biological Attack 

(Singapore) According to Ronald Noble, Secretary-General of the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), al Qaeda terrorists are preparing to engage in biological warfare. Countries are being urged to pass laws to allow police to investigate scientific activity that leads to manufacture of biological weapons.

There is enough evidence to show that Al Qaeda is preparing to engage in biological warfare, Noble said.

"It can't be that we as a world community have to wait for a September 11 type of attack in bio-terrorism before we prepare," Noble told government officials, police and health experts attending the Asian Terrorism Workshop.
Representatives of 26 Asian nations were encouraged to implement law enforcement measures to prevent biological attacks.
"Unlike other forms of terrorist acts where the impact can be felt almost instantaneously in the aftermath, we may not realize that a biological attack has occurred until perhaps days or even weeks later," said Ho Peng Kee, Singapore's senior minister of state for law and home affairs.

"By that time, the terrorist may already have fled the country or succumbed to the biological agent, and all the valuable investigative leads may have disappeared," Ho noted in a keynote address.
I'd interpret the overall message from the conference as, "Listen up, people. It's time to quit sitting on your thumbs."

Monday, March 27, 2006

Man Divorces Wife While Sleeping 

(West Bengal, India) Using all my imagination, I couldn't come up with this scenario.

A Muslim couple in India have been told by local Islamic leaders that they must separate after the husband "divorced" his wife in his sleep.

The Press Trust of India said in a report published on Monday that Sohela Ansari had told friends that her husband Aftab had uttered the word "talaq" or divorce, three times in his sleep.

When local Islamic leaders heard about the incident, they said Aftab's words constituted a divorce under an Islamic procedure known as "triple talaq."

The couple, married for 11 years with three children, were told that they had to split.

The religious leaders ruled that if the couple wanted to remarry they would have to wait at least 100 days. Sohela would also have to marry another man, spend at least a night with him and be divorced by him.
So, in a nutshell, Aftab accidentally divorces his wife because he talks in his sleep, OR she made it up to get rid of him. Either way, I'm bewildered by the screwiness of the religion of peace.
Mexican Police Find Six Men Handcuffed and Shot 

(General Bravo, Mexico) More violence along the southern border.

Police recovered the bodies of six men -- who had been blindfolded, handcuffed and shot to death -- packed inside a pickup truck on the side of a highway leading to the Texas border.

Authorities discovered the victims, who were not identified, on Sunday in General Bravo, a town about 55 miles from Reynosa, across the border from McAllen, said Camerino Ortiz, a spokesman for police in General Bravo.

Ortiz said one of those killed was in the cabin and the rest were stashed in the back of the truck. All had their eyes covered with bandages and were handcuffed with their feet tied.

Investigators recovered more than 50 bullet casings near the abandoned pickup. There were no arrests in the case. It wasn't immediately known why the men were killed.
No arrests and no motive in six murders committed of men on their way to Texas. Unfortunately, the discovery of unexplained murders has become commonplace. It's the way of life along the border. Not surprising, the level of corruption and lawlessness in northern Mexico has caused the violence to spill across the border into the U.S.

Meanwhile, pending legislation to crack down on illegal aliens and build a security wall on the border has energized activists to hold large protest marches throughout the nation. The choice seems simple to me. Either stop the flood of non-citizens or expect the United States to become a nation ruled by corruption and lawlessness. Selective enforcement of the law fosters disregard for the law.

In other trespassing news:
Ten Chinese and eleven Mexican citizens were found in a locked tractor-trailer rig trying to illegally enter the U.S. at a South Texas checkpoint.

Two illegals aliens were killed and an unknown number captured after a police chase ended in a crash. The driver will be held pending smuggling charges. The other illegals will be handed over to the Border Patrol.

Federal agents are investigating a report of the Mexican military being involved with a drug smuggling operation in Hudspeth County, Texas.
These are just a few recent examples. It would probably take a supercomputer and a network of data accumulators to track all the crimes and unpunished perpetrators along the imaginary southern border.

Companion post at Diggers Realm.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Flying Seal Guts 

(Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island) The hunting of cute and fuzzy harp seal pups in the Gulf of St. Lawrence commenced yesterday with a meddlesome crowd of animal rights activists and media providing interference.

Protesters had to dodge flying seal guts pitched at them by angry hunters Saturday as tempers flared on the first day of Canada's East Coast seal slaughter.

News reporters and animal rights activists tried to get as close as permitted to the hunt on the Gulf of St. Lawrence, but their presence infuriated sealers as they hunted for scarce animals on small, drifting ice pans.

At one point, a sealing vessel charged up to a small Zodiac inflatable boat carrying reporters and protesters, and a sealer flung seal intestines into the midst of the observers.
Eeeeww! Being slathered with seal guts has to be particularly unpleasant.

Despite the enduring protests, however, the Canadian government has authorized the seal hunters to take 91,000 animals in the Gulf of St. Lawrence this year. Next month, another 234,000 seals are authorized to be taken off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. These numbers seem large but not when viewed in relation to the estimated total of over 5 million seals which, by the way, have been blamed for the diminishing codfish stocks in the North Atlantic. Nonetheless, seal harvesting is a messy business which naturally energizes fervent environmentalists and animal rights activists.

In opposition, Rebecca Aldworth of the Humane Society of the United States and other protesters express several primary complaints, including:
- Too many seals are being taken,

- The government is not factoring global warming into calculations for the hunt, and

- The inhumane methods of killing the seals.
Most important to the hunt opponents is the reported skinning of seals while they are still alive and images of suffering animals waiting for the final whack. Since the animal activists appear to disapprove of every method used to kill the seals, one could assume that none is acceptable.

However, a resolution for the conflict between the seal hunters and their opponents may exist. There is one method for quickly killing animals that the liberal community of animal rights activists and environmentalists would likely approve since it has gained wide acceptance elsewhere. The method would require the seal hunters to be present at the time of the seal pup's birth. The hunter would wait for the baby seal's head to come out of the mother's body, then the skull would be crushed and the brains would be sucked out using a vacuum. The animal's quick demise is guaranteed and, ostensibly, humane.

Previous post: Commercial Harp Seal Hunting

Companion post at The Jawa Report.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Teacher Nicole Barnhart Gets Two Years for Sex Crimes 

Nicole Barnhart Sentenced(Castle Rock, Colorado) Married mother of two and former teacher at Ponderosa High School, Nicole Barnhart, 36, was sentenced yesterday to two years in prison after pleading guilty to felony charges of sexual assault on a child and criminal attempt to commit sexual assault on a child.

In court, Barnhart cried and apologized to the victim, his family, her husband and her kids for having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student. Dispelling the myth that the boy was likely not harmed, the victim's attorney, David Sabitz, said the teen is overwrought with guilt and battling suicidal thoughts.

In addition to two years in prison, Judge Paul King tacked on 10 years supervised sexual offender probation, a requirement to register as a sex offender for life, and $1,750 in fines.
Honor Killings 

Honor Killing(Ankara, Turkey) Last year, the Turkish government performed a major revision to its penal code to meet minimum standards required for the country to join the European Union. As an example, it's now mandated that murders committed to preserve a family's honor will result in an automatic life term in prison. Previously, honor killings were committed with lenient or no punishment imposed.

Sounds good but, unfortunately, there are 70 million Muslims in the country who have accepted honor killings as a traditional and historic fact of life. In my estimation, it will take a generation or two at least to see any substantive departure from the infamous practice.

However, one troubling fact about the new legislation is that it contains a provision for mitigating the life sentences for honor killings if the perpetrator is provoked. Turkish courts have used this provision in the new law to reduce sentences.

In one case, a brother who gruesomely murdered his sister for becoming pregnant out of wedlock had his life sentence reduced to 20 years "on the grounds of his good behavior in court and also the fact that his action had been heavily provoked." Other than to "cleanse" the family's honor, it's not clear what "heavily provoked" means. It appears to be entirely subjective and controversial, to say the least.

As a consequence, the Turkish Supreme Court of Appeals was asked to weigh in on the subject.

From Turkish Daily News:
The Supreme Court of Appeals' First Criminal Bureau decided on Friday that individuals found guilty of an "honor" killing could not benefit from a reduction in sentence due to provocation, arguing that the committing of such a crime resulted not from provocation but from a desire to ensure the survival of a bad tradition.
"Bad tradition" is an understatement. I'd call it barbaric. Nevertheless, at least some top-down pressure from an authoritative body is being placed on the citizens of Turkey to change their thinking.

Friday, March 24, 2006

ACLU Declares Abstinence Curricula Harmful 

On Wednesday, the American Civil Liberties Union issued a press release titled ACLU Hails Rhode Island Department of Education Efforts to Stop the Use of Harmful "Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage" Curriculum in Public Schools. Only the ACLU and a liberal state like Rhode Island could find abstaining from sexual activity harmful.

The fact is that abstinence is the only form of birth control and sexually-transmitted disease (STD) prevention that works 100% of the time that it is employed. By practicing the ultimate in safe sex -- NO SEX -- no children are slaughtered in the name of choice, no drugs are used to prevent pregnancy for the sake of promiscuity, and no one will need to be treated for sexually transmitted diseases. So what is the ACLU's difficulty with teaching this effective form of birth control?

With an attitude that teenagers are going to have sex before marriage while surrendering in the war to prevent it from occurring, we are essentially giving approval for teenagers to have sex. This is akin to telling our children not to shoplift but, if they must, don't get caught. Teaching them methods of not getting caught as opposed to teaching them to abstain is irresponsible.

Abstinence is not harmful. It is the only guaranteed safe and healthy policy in existence. Condoms do not protect against Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) or Herpes. Hormonal birth control doesn't protect against STDs and is less than 100 percent effective. And, many women forget to judiciously take their birth control pills. Additionally, artificially changing the hormonal balance in a woman's system may lead to increased risk of cancer and heart disease.

Contrary to the ACLU's assertion, rational people would not support the contention that abstinence education is harmful. On the other hand, promiscuity is harmful and abstinence education is a counter to promiscuity. To prevent pregnancies and sexually-transmitted diseases, we need to teach young people not to be promiscuous. Abstinence education does that. And, it works every time it's tried.

This is a production of Stop The ACLU Blogburst. If you would like to join us, please email or You will be added to our mailing list and blogroll. Over 180 blogs already on-board.
Woman Indicted for Sex with Boy 

Latisha Nicole Johnson(Fairborn, Ohio) The mother of a 14-year-old boy alerted police after learning that her son was having sex with a 23-year-old woman, Latisha Nicole Johnson. Subsequently, Johnson was indicted on three counts of unlawful sexual conduct.

According to police, Johnson allegedly had sex with the boy between February 23 and March 8. Her arraignment before Greene County Common Pleas Judge J. Timothy Campbell is pending.

[Update 03/30/06]

The lawyer for Latisha Johnson entered a not guilty plea on her behalf in court yesterday. She is scheduled to go to trial in June. I suspect some type of plea bargain will be negotiated among the lawyers before then.
Chirac Outraged by Speech in English 

Chirac ShockedSacre bleu!

President Jacques Chirac of France stormed out of a European Union summit last night after a French employers' leader said that English was "the language of European business."

The walk-out, seen by Tony Blair, prompted a sheepish exit by the French foreign, finance and Europe ministers and threatened to derail the summit before it had begun.
The officials were meeting to resolve growing concerns regarding several EU countries erecting trade barriers to inhibit cross-border competition.

As I recall, not too long ago the French passed some sort of resolution which outlawed the term "email" in Internet communications because it was English. Chirac's display yesterday is consistent with the email resolution and indicative of French arrogant nationalism and rejection of homogeneity, diversity and integration.

Chirac subsequently defended his walkout.
"I have to say I was profoundly shocked to see a Frenchman express himself in English at the (EU) Council table. That's why the French delegation and myself walked out rather than listen to that," Chirac told reporters.
So, it comes down to profound shock that a Frenchman spoke English at an EU meeting. I'd guess Spanish and Arabic would also have been out of the question. Or, maybe not. It could be that he only has a boner for the English language.

Companion post at The Jawa Report
Teacher Allegedly Performed Sex Acts on Boy 

Teacher Michelle Sewell(Fort Worth, Texas) Popular 27-year-old third-grade teacher at Durham Elementary School, Michelle Dawn Sewell, was arrested in March 2005 and charged with repeatedly performing sex acts on a Carroll High School student at her Grapevine apartment. Sewell subsequently resigned her teaching position and was released on $10,000 bail.

This week, Michelle Dawn Sewell, now 28, went to trial before a jury of eight men and four women on charges of one count of sexual assault of a child and three counts of indecency with a child. Sewell's attorney, Bob Hinton, entered not guilty pleas on her behalf in Criminal District Court No. 372.

From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
In his opening statement to the jury of eight men and four women, prosecutor Steve Jumes said that Sewell had been friends of the boy's family for years before her arrest. The boy is not being named because he is a juvenile.

Sewell went to restaurants, movies and church with the family before the assaults happened, Jumes said. She even took ski trips with the family, he said.

"She told a friend that, 'I don't need a boyfriend; [the teenager] fills that void,'" Jumes told jurors.

The relationship was not that of a brother and sister, he said.

"She felt her biological clock ticking," Jumes said. "He was filling that void."
In Sewell's defense, attorney Hinton called the 16-year-old boy a liar and said he was a confused young man who hated his father and had an overbearing mother.

The police started investigating Sewell after her close friend, Jill Price, mentioned the relationship of Sewell and the boy to another Durham Elementary School teacher. Under subpoena, Price told the court on Wednesday,
"I kept telling her that you are not putting yourself in a good situation," Price said. "She said, 'I know, I know.'"
The trial continues.

[Update 03/25/06]

After less than three hours of deliberation, a Tarrant County jury acquitted Michelle Dawn Sewell of all charges.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Babysitter Arrested for Molesting 12-Year-Old Boy 

(Jersey City, New Jersey) Babysitter Nicole Schultz, 21, was arrested by the U.S. Marshals New York/New Jersey Fugitive Task Force and charged with sexually assaulting a 12-year-old boy in her care. A warrant for for Schultz's arrest on charges of aggravated sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child and child abuse was issued after the boy's mother alerted the police.

According to Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio, Schultz's case now goes to a grand jury for indictments.
Woman Arrested for Molesting Boy 

(Cedartown, Georgia) On Tuesday, 24-year-old mother of three infants, Wendy Lynn Corn, was arrested and charged with child molestation, enticing a child for indecent purposes and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Corn is accused of harboring and having sex with a 14-year-old runaway boy. She also admitted to police that she smoked marijuana with him on several occasions.

Corn is in custody in the Polk County Jail. Her infants were placed with her mother. The runaway boy was returned to his guardian.
Croc Kills Doc 

Dr. Richard K. Root(Gaborone, Botswana) University of Washington Medical School teacher, Dr. Richard K. Root, was killed by a crocodile last Sunday while on a humanitarian expedition in Botswana. Root was canoeing on the Limpopo River with his wife, Rita, when a crocodile, estimated to be 15 feet long, pulled him into the river.

On Wednesday, Botswana Police Deputy Commissioner Thebeyame Timako announced that Dr. Richard Root's remains had been found close to the location of the attack. Dr. Root was 68.

Dr. Root was in Botswana to train doctors and nurses on providing health care for HIV-infected and AIDS patients. The African country has been devastated by HIV. An estimated 40 percent of the population has been infected. (H/T Mike Meckler)
"Monster" Ex-Teacher Sentenced for Sex Crimes 

Toni Lynn Woods(Sutton, West Virginia) In March 2005, former sixth-grade teacher at Braxton County Middle School, Toni Lynn Woods, 37, was charged with having sex with four children under the age of 16. Woods initially faced eight counts of third-degree sexual assault for having sexual intercourse with three different juveniles a total of four times and oral sex with two juveniles a total of four times.

Yesterday, Woods was sentenced to consecutive sentences of one-to-five years on four counts of third-degree sexual assault. Along with a possible 20 years of hard time, Woods received a concurrent one-year sentence for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Around the time of her arrest, Woods resigned her position and surrendered her teaching credentials. Good. I believe this woman is a menace to children. She even described herself as a monster.

Companion post at Conservative Thinking.
Tourist Bus Crash Kills 12 Americans in Chile

Bus Crash in Chile(Santiago, Chile) A bus slipped off a narrow mountain road in northern Chile and tumbled down 300 feet, killing 12 American tourists. The Americans, all in their 60s and 70s, were on a day trip from the cruise ship Millenium, docked at Arica, Chile, about 25 miles from the accident site.

The identities of the victims were not immediately confirmed. The U.S. Consulate in Santiago and Chilean authorities are assisting Celebrity Cruises, owned by Miami-based Royal Caribbean Cruises, in recovering from the tragedy.

Condolences to the families of the victims.
Restaurant Recycles Chips & Salsa 

(McAllen, Texas) This story will likely disturb even the stodgiest non-epicurean.

Jesse's #2 on 501 North 10th Street in McAllen scores the low performer rating. Inspectors find roaches - both dead and alive - and catch an employee actually recycling chips and salsa.
One has to wonder whether the roaches die before or after eating the food. In any event, having #2 in the name of the restaurant is probably appropriate.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Muslim Child Abuse

From a report out of the United Kingdom, it's claimed that Muslims are abusing children in madrassas at a level which could rival the Catholic child abuse scandal.

Frankly, I'm not surprised. After all, with their tolerance (some would say advocacy) of honor killing and suicide bombing, Muslims abusing children would seem logical.
Germans Push Citizenship Tests

(Berlin) What a splendid idea! Make sure, through testing, that applicants for citizenship can speak the language and that they are familiar with the laws, customs, and history of the nation they desire to join.

The German state of Hesse plans to introduce a 'citizenship' test for foreigners wanting to become German.

The test, which has been proposed by the Hesse interior minister Volker Bouffier, consists of a six-point program. Applicants for citizenship should demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the German language, assert their loyalty to the country and answer a comprehensive questionnaire.

The questionnaire features 100 questions on German politics and culture, which range from relatively simple ones such as "What is the population of Germany?" and "What are the colours of the German flag?" to more challenging ones like "The German painter Caspar David Friedrich painted on one of his most famous paintings a landscape on the Baltic island Rugen - what is the picture's motif?" and "The film 'The Wonder of Bern' had its cinema release in 2004 - which sporting event was it about?"
Another German state, Baden-Wurttemberg, started testing Muslim applicants in January which prompted harsh criticism. Opponents didn't like questions about homosexuality and Islamist terrorism. Regarding the Hesse test, opponents believe the test is too long and too hard. It's believed that many Germans couldn't pass it.

In any event, I think a citizenship test is is a good idea. Maybe the U.S. would benefit by having newcomers know the language and history. Oh, wait a minute. I forgot. The U.S. doesn't have a language and the history hasn't yet been sufficiently revised.

Companion at In The Bullpen.
Lafave Walks

Prosecution drops charges. Details here.
Woman Gets 50 Months for Sex Abuse of Boy

(Hillsboro, Oregon) A 29-year-old woman, Candace Gilman, pleaded guilty to attempted sex abuse of a boy under 14 years of age and was sentenced to 50 months in prison. In accordance with the plea agreement, two counts of child rape and one count of sex abuse were dismissed.

Gilman's defense was that she was abused as a child and had been using methamphetamines.

Sniff ....

In addition to 50 months in prison, Washington County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Kohl gave Gilman three years probation and required her to register as a sex offender. Gilman is eligible for alternative sentencing which means time is reduced for good behavior and time served. Given that the justice system has been demonstrating outlandish leniency toward female child sex offenders, my guess would be that she won't do more than 18 months.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Women's Rights Under Islam

Muslim Woman(Damascas) A Reuters report out of Syria details some of the stringent rules imposed on women under Sharia Law. They are oppressive. For example:
Under Syrian law a husband can divorce his wife simply by telling her, "you are divorced," three times, while women seeking separation must navigate a multitude of legal hurdles that usually take two years to complete.
If that isn't bad enough, custody rights over children are grossly unequal for divorced women who are even denied the ability to pass on their nationality. However, the legal and justice system is the most egregious in denying women their rights as citizens.
Though such cases are greatly underreported, Da'ad Mousa, a prominent Damascus lawyer and women's rights advocate, said that more than 100 cases of so-called "honour killings" were reported in Syrian newspapers between 2000 and 2003. The majority of the men involved, who killed a female relative suspected of an illicit sexual affair in the belief that the liaison tarnished the family's "honour," went unpunished.
In one case last September, a man killed his sister because she married a man from another religion.

In 2003, Syria ratified the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, while taking exception to any provisions found contrary to Sharia Law. A lot of good that did.

I have to ask. Where are all the American and European women's rights advocates on this issue? It's an area where feminists could and should focus the public's attention and resources to spearhead reform.

Also see: The Jawa Report
French Stealing Military Secrets From S. Korea?

(Seoul) Based on best available information, this appears to be a simple case of industrial espionage for money. But there is no assurance that there's not more to it. When individuals spy for money, they will customarily sell information to the highest bidder.

Prosecutors have indicted a former senior official with the Agency for Defense Development on charges of leaking military secrets and taking bribes for helping a French defense contractor win key Korean defense tenders. The ex-official, identified as Park, is charged with leaking military secrets to French defense contractor Thales. Daejeon District Public Prosecutors' Office also arrested the French firm's Korean office chief, a 56-year-old Frenchman identified as P.

The prosecution said Park, who now runs a consultancy firm, in early January acquired classified military information, including the required operational capabilities for the radar of a next-generation convoy vessel, from an ADD researcher identified as Lee, who has also been arrested, and passed the information to the French firm.

Pegasus KSAMPark, who was hired by Thales in 2002, provided military information on the phone or by e-mail some two or three times a week and was paid some W480 million (US$480,000) last year alone, prosecutors said. Park was also deeply involved with a project to develop a Korean surface-to-air missile, the Pegasus K-SAM, and billed Thales an additional W1.4 billion when the firm won the tender in March 2004, they added.
For the French to come up with almost a half million dollars, the information stolen must be quite valuable. Notably, the South Koreans have other espionage investigations underway also.
Warning To Those Who Insult Islam

(Kuala Lumpur) A Malaysian Government Minister, Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz, warned that the authorities would not hesitate to use the Sedition Act against those who insult Islam. Recent articles written by non-Muslim journalists have concerned the followers of the religion of peace. As a result, a coalition of dozens of Muslim NGOs issued a memorandum to Parliament supporting enforcement of Islamic Family Law.

The memorandum prompted Minister Nazri Abdul Aziz to state:
"I want to remind non-Muslims to refrain from making statements on something they do not understand."
Interpretation: "something they do not understand" means "anything we don't like." Nazri also stated that current laws are sufficient to punish those who insult Islam.
"We do not want to take away your rights but religion is an important matter, especially to the Muslims," he said.
And, as Nazri tells everyone to expect punishment when an insult is directed toward Islam, he brazenly discusses tolerance.
He said there was also no need to have a law to curb open discussions as the people could practise mutual respect, tolerance and understanding while taking into consideration religious sensitivities.

On whether non-Muslim journalists should not write about issues concerning Islam, Nazri said they should know what they could or could not write.

"However, there are some things which should not be touched on," he said.
What a load! The followers of the religion of peace ignore the concepts of mutual respect, tolerance, and understanding completely. They also embrace truth, facts, and simple logic as closely as they would a pig.

Considering the fact that the U.S. does considerable business with Malaysia, I think that it would be prudent for American traders to be cognizant of the growing fundamentalist Muslim movement in the country.
Founders of Cryonics Cremated

icecube(Loire Valley, France) Raymond Martinot and his wife, Monique Leroy, are credited with being founders of the cryonics movement and both were on ice themselves.

After their deaths, they were frozen to -65 degrees Centigrade with hopes of being brought back to life in the year 2050 after modern science figured out how to do it.

Unfortunately, their freezer went on the fritz and, apparently, their packaging said, "If thawed, do not refreeze." Consequently, they were cremated.

Driving in Saudi Arabia

At a women's seminar in Italy, a high-level delegation of Saudi Arabian women addressed the issue of females being prohibited from driving in the Kingdom.

Madawi Al Hassoun, one of the four women on the board of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that one day women would be allowed to drive cars in the kingdom.

But to achieve that meant "preparing society gradually and not forcing change, as that brings instability." Al Hassoun added that acquiring the right to drive, improving education and empowering women in business were linked.

"If we work on further improving our education system so that it is more diversified and breaks the glass wall that prevents women from securing more top posts then this will lead eventually and naturally to women being allowed to drive freely," she said.
So, there's a plan. Improve the education system, become more diversified, break the glass wall to top posts and, then, go stand in line at the DMV.

I guess it's progress -- in a molasses sort of way. Of course, based on history, it may be 'progress when pigs fly' sort of way.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Asymmetrical Breasts Increase Cancer Risk

Research at the UK charity, Breast Cancer Cure, have found that women with uneven or asymmetrical breasts are at increased risk for breast cancer. Led by Dr. Diane Scutt, the research team studied the "difference in the breast size of 504 women and charted those who remained healthy and those who developed breast cancer." For each 100 ml difference in volume between breasts, the risk of contracting cancer increased by 50 percent. Note that the average female breast measures 500 ml.

Now, as a guy, this is all news to me. First of all, I was well into adulthood before I learned that one woman could have two different sized breasts. Beforehand, I had believed that all breasts were essentially twins. But no -- not only are they not twins, but very few women actually have symmetrical breasts. Dr. Scutt even emphasized that less than one percent of the women studied had "perfect breasts."

I believe a distinction should be made regarding scientifically perfect breasts and subjectively perfect breasts. For example, an infant looking to nurse would find virtually any lactating breast to be perfect.

Additionally, since 99+ percent of women have asymmetrical breasts, the value of the research is somewhat diminished. The only women, therefore, that are not at increased risk of breast cancer are a miniscule segment of the population.
Strippers' Rights

Pole Dancers(Sydney, Australia) Spokeswoman Mystical Melody of Striptease Artists Australia (SAA) can barely keeps her pants on now that the Industrial Relations Commission has established workplace rules for strippers.

The new rules grant vacation, set hours, overtime pay, rest periods, meal breaks and maternity leave. No longer will strippers be slaving under sweatshop conditions for greedy corporate masters.

"I think (these benefits) are a great breakthrough for us because we've never experienced it before," Ms Melody said.

"The majority of workers in the industry are women, so it's probably a really great thing for them to be able to feel confident of having a job after they've had their babies."
Wages are not specified in the ruling. Apparently, a different government agency, the Australian Fair Pay Commission, will rule on proper wages for a stripper.

I wonder if it is a good idea to have the 'profession' of stripping codified into law. In some circles, just the idea of lap-dancing, a key revenue-generator for strippers, breaks all government edicts regarding sexual harassment. (H/T Mike Meckler)
Naked Public Tribute is Missed Opportunity

(Caracas, Venezuela) Gathered naked on hot pavement, nostrils to nates, 1,500 Venezuelans endured two hours in sweaty tropical conditions to pay tribute to the hero of independence, Simon Bolivar.

Tunick Photo
Naked Venezuelans Pose

American photographer Spencer Tunick organized and photographed the nude volunteers in front of the statue of Simon Bolivar. I'm not certain that his memory is well served by being associated with a display of irreverence.

However, I believe that Spencer Tunick missed an opportunity to achieve much greater renown by not convincing the 1,500 Venezuelans to point their naked hurdies toward President Hugo Chavez's palace. Now, that would have been a tribute worth heralding.
Conviction in Making-People-Taller Scam

(Jerusalem) P.T. Barnum was right. There is a sucker born every minute and a number of them bought into a scam by an Israeli man, Simon Sofer, who sold medical treatments to make people taller. As an added service, Sofer also advertised penile-lengthening treatments, however, he claims none were performed. He offered enhancements of 3.9 inches to their height or 2.4 inches to their genitals.

Sofer started his business in 1999, charging upwards of $5,000, to make customers taller. They were "suspended from the air by their arms and legs, or had their bodies stretched with weights. Others were poked with needles or given food supplements and exercises to perform at home." It's assumed some sort of pulling apparatus was also destined for use in penile enlargement. Eeeuwww!

Unfortunately for Sofer, none of the scam worked and he was prosecuted for operating a fake medical clinic. The Israeli court sentenced him to two years in prison. Sofer was treated leniently because he had no prior criminal record and he lives with his mommy.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Win Lottery, Get Health Care

Some readers may recall newsreel footage of everyday life in the now-defunct Soviet Union and seeing images of the average citizen's existence. One memory is the picture of long lines of people waiting to get into stores and shops to buy their daily necessities. Another is the frustration of shoppers inside the stores and shops as they look at empty shelves. Life under Soviet socialism was life with everything in short supply. A bureaucrat determined what was available in the marketplace.

Leaping forward a couple of decades to Canada, we can see the law of socialist scarcity applied to health care. A bureaucrat decides who will have a doctor.

The Ocean View Family Practice is scheduled to open in March with three family doctors and one mentoring physician. It won't be a walk-in clinic; patients will have to win a random draw.
That's right, a lottery. Win and you get a doctor who will see you.
The lottery is only open to people in the health district who don't currently have a family doctor. They have until March 15 to submit an application -- one per family.
Well, the results are in. Note that far fewer people applied than the 8,000 people surveyed to be in need of a family doctor.

The South West Nova district health authority received 923 applications representing 1,542 people in southwest Nova Scotia who didn't have a family doctor. The clinic was going to accept 1,500 patients, but since the number of applicants was so close to that number, everyone was accepted.
Therefore, it appears that Canadian bureaucrats have figured out the way to make socialized health care work. Institute a lottery and plan on having only a small percentage of the total population enter.
Dumbing Down Cookbooks

Here's some evidence that suggests American education systems, parents included, just are not doing the job.

"Thirty years ago, a recipe would say, 'Add two eggs,' " said Bonnie Slotnick, a longtime cookbook editor and owner of a rare-cookbook shop in New York's Greenwich Village.

"In the '80s, that was changed to 'beat two eggs until lightly mixed.' By the '90s, you had to write, 'In a small bowl, using a fork, beat two eggs,' " she said. "We joke that the next step will be, 'Using your right hand, pick up a fork and ...."

Even the writers and editors of the "Joy of Cooking," working on a 75th anniversary edition to be published by Charles Scribner's Sons in November, have argued "endlessly" over whether to include terms such as "blanch," "fold" and "saute," said Beth Wareham, Scribner's director of lifestyle publications.

"I tell them, 'Why should we dumb it down?' When you learn to drive, you learn terms like 'brake' and 'parallel park.' Why is it OK to be stupid when you cook?"
Pretty sad, eh?
Customs Agent Kills Self

(Brownsville, Texas) U.S. Customs agent Dalila Munoz Migliore committed suicide after she was denied a transfer.

Desperate to join her husband in Laredo, where he was stationed with the Border Patrol, Migliore sought a transfer from Customs and Border Protection, where she worked as an agent.

Repeatedly denied a transfer to the Laredo office, Migliore took her life.

She shot herself in the chest with her government-issued pistol.

Migliore turned 28 just the month before.
Excuse me for being cynical, but I think there's more to this story. The motive seems to be too tightly packaged and the report conveys a bit of editorializing on the part of a union official representing customs agents. It's also odd that the report of the suicide is published on March 19th when it actually occurred on January 16th.

Condolences to the family.
Woman Accused of Sexually Abusing Boy, 13

(Warren, Michigan) A 23-year-old Warren woman, Melissa Jean Grifford, has been charged with sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy who was her babysitter. The assault allegedly took place last December at Grifford's home. The boy's father alerted the Warren Police Department. After arrest, Grifford was freed on a $100,000 personal recognizance bond.

If convicted of third-degree criminal sexual conduct involving penetration, Grifford faces a possible 15 years in prison. A probable-cause hearing is scheduled for March 21st in 37th District Court.

[Update 11/03/06]

Grifford sentenced (w/pic).

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Google Sued for Downgrading Website's Search Ranking

(San Jose, California) In the 21st Century equivalent to the smoky back room, Google evaluates websites and assigns a page rank which determines the order of Internet search results. I believe this lawsuit seeks to open the doors to the back room and clear the smoke.

Google has mysteriously downgraded the search ranking of a Web site geared to help parents care for young children, causing a "cataclysmic fall" in advertising revenue and the number of monthly page views, according to a class-action lawsuit filed Friday.

The civil suit by of Norwalk seeks financial damages and more information about Google's secret method for ranking sites. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in San Jose, seeks class-action status for other sites that have seen their rankings drop without warning or explanation from the Mountain View search giant.

A Google spokesman told the Associated Press that the company hadn't seen the suit and had no immediate comment.

Since it launched in May 2000, had built up its traffic to more than 10 million page views a month, the suit says, with much of the traffic coming from Google search users. But in March 2005, page views plunged 70 percent and advertising revenue fell 80 percent and hasn't recovered. suspects that Google erected invisible barriers that divert consumers elsewhere when they type in a search but says Google will not explain what happened.

The drop-off was so sudden that the Web site suspects Google has a flawed method or blocks sites subjectively despite Google's pledge to provide objective search results.
It will be interesting to see how this case develops. I'd suspect that Google will act to prevent class-action status.

Companion posts at Diggers Realm, The Jawa Report, In The Bullpen.
Eco-Terrorists Sentenced

(Sacramento, California) Three eco-terrorists were sentenced yesterday in U.S. District Court for their direct involvement in the attempted firebombings of buildings under construction.

Ryan Daniel Lewis, the 22-year-old admitted adherent of the Earth Liberation Front - a radical group that targets suburban development - was sentenced to six years in federal prison for orchestrating arsons in Placer and Amador counties in late 2004 and early 2005.

Two of his acquaintances, sisters Lili Marie Holland, 21, and Eva Rose Holland, 26, were sentenced to two years each in prison. In an earlier plea agreement, the women faced three years and three months behind bars.
Another individual, 21-year-old Jeremiah Colcleasure, pleaded guilty in the case. He is scheduled to be sentenced in May. U.S. District Judge Edward J. Garcia said Lewis was the recruiter who brought the others into the scheme to commit violence.
In October, however, Lewis and the Holland sisters pleaded guilty as part of an agreement reached with the prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney R. Steven Lapham.

They were sentenced Friday on charges reached in their plea agreements: two counts of attempted arson and one count of arson against Lewis; one count each of attempted arson for the Holland sisters.
The case is the first successful prosecution of Earth Liberation Front (ELF) criminals in northern California. Hopefully, the government will continue to be successful in prosecuting the ELF.
Tiger-Suited Climber in Jail

Lighthouse Climber(Jacksonville, Florida) Last month, Frank Feldman donned a tiger suit and broke into the St. Augustine Lighthouse. Feldman climbed to the top of the lighthouse and later told authorities that he was concerned about the safety of children.

Feldman planted a flag and said he was specifically protesting pornography on the Internet, especially on a cartoon website.

Today, Feldman is in jail after being charged with animal cruelty. Allegedly with a clean cut, Feldman beheaded his dog.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

St. PatrickSaint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, lived from about 385 A.D. to about 493 A.D. Historical sources are imprecise. He was born somewhere along the west coast of Britain or France, captured by raiders as a young man, made a slave and then taken to Ireland.

While a slave, he learned the native Celtic language and the customs of the Druids. At 22, he escaped and, as per legend, an angel directed him to a monastery in France where he spent 12 years and adopted the name Patrick. In his thirties, voices beckoned him to go back to Ireland as a Christian missionary.

Patrick encouraged the Irish to become monks and nuns. He traveled throughout Ireland preaching, establishing churches, teaching, opening schools and monasteries, and abolishing paganism, idolatry, and Sun-worship.

ShamrockOne legend relates that Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland. However, since the country never actually had any snakes, the legend is believed to mean that Patrick rid Ireland of the symbolic serpents of the Druids and pagans by establishing a lasting foundation of Christianity.

Also legendary is the story of Patrick introducing the shamrock, three-leaf clover, to the Irish people as a symbol of the Holy Trinity.

GOP Senators Push Eavesdropping Rules

(Washington) The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is hopping mad about legislation proposed by GOP Senators to set rules for eavesdropping on terrorists. The bill has been proposed by Senators Mike DeWine of Ohio, Olympia Snowe of Maine, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and it requires the President to get court approval as soon as possible for wiretapping and other forms of surveillance. Response by the ACLU was immediate.

The ACLU said in a statement that the bill would allow "Americans' phone calls and e-mails to be monitored for 45 days without any court oversight and makes court review after that period optional" -- in violation of the Fourth Amendment's guarantees against unreasonable searches.

"Congress cannot approve an illegal program when so many questions remain unanswered," said Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU's Washington legislative office. "When the rule of law has been broken by anyone, especially a president, the proper response is a full and independent investigation."
The proposed rules would be similar to what the President has already authorized by executive order with the exception that surveillance is limited to 45 days unless a warrant is obtained or the House and Senate intelligence subcommittees concur.

Even though the program specifically monitors communications between terrorism suspects when one is in the U.S. and the other is overseas, the ACLU is against it. Unfortunately, the general public has not been well informed about the program since the media has repeatedly mischaracterized it as a domestic surveillance program.

It is NOT a domestic surveillance program. Nonetheless, the ACLU opposes it.

This is a production of Stop The ACLU Blogburst. If you would like to join, please email or You will be added to the mailing list and blogroll. Over 150 blogs already on-board.
Teacher Arrested for Criminal Sex with Boy

(Sioux Falls, South Dakota) A 38-year-old teacher at Boyden-Hull Community School, Kelli Cuperus, was arrested on sex abuse charges for incidents with a 15-year-old male high school student.

According to court documents, the "incidents happened twice last summer and fifteen to twenty times this school year." With that much special attention, I wonder if the kid's grades improved.

[Update 03/18/06]

From another report, we learn that Kelli Jean Cuperus is a married mother of three from Hull, Iowa. She's been formally charged with two counts of felony sex abuse, sexual exploitation by a school employee and lascivious conduct with a minor. The alleged sex offenses took place in her vehicle and her home.

Cuperus is on paid leave of absence from her teaching position. If convicted of the charges against her, she faces a possible 25 years in prison.

[Update 03/06/07]

Cuperus pleads guilty.

[Update 05/11/07]

Cuperus (now DeBoer) sentenced to probation.

[Update 09/21/07]

Cuperus/DeBoer sentenced to four months at a residential treatment facility for probation violation.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Sgt. York's Battle Site Found

Sgt. Alvin YorkIn October 1918, Corporal Alvin York along with 16 other soldiers of G Company of the 328th Infantry, 82nd Division, engaged a German unit near Chatel-Chehery, France. The Germans surrendered, believing the Americans were leading a larger force.

Once the Germans realized that reinforcements were not coming, the German major shouted commands to machine gunners on the hill above to reposition the guns and murderous fire ensued. Six Americans died and two more fell wounded. Thus, it became York's responsibility, as a sharpshooter, to silence the gun. After taking it out of action with his accurate fire, he was charged by six Germans and killed them using his .45 caliber pistol, which resulted in the remaining Germans laying down their arms.

Later, York and the seven survivors escorted 132 German prisoners to allied lines. This amazing event forever thrust Alvin York onto the world stage and he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions.
Hollywood followed with an award-winning film about York and his "astonishing feat of marksmanship."

Until now, the exact location of the battle 87 years ago has been in dispute. Thanks to global positioning technology and the work of researchers at Middle Tennessee State University, the battle site has been found.
No Honor for Hanoi Jane

Hanoi Jane(Atlanta, Georgia) The Georgia State Senate took up the issue of honoring Jane Fonda.

A resolution honoring Fonda's volunteer work cruised through yesterday. But many senators failed to realize it was part of a stack of non-controversial efforts all approved with a single vote.

The chairman of the chamber's veterans affairs committee objected, setting up a reconsideration of the honor for the Atlanta resident this morning.

Senator Steen Miles of Decatur says the resolution was one of several Women's History Month measures she has introduced to honor Georgia women. The resolution cites Fonda's work as founder of the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention, donations to Atlanta-area universities and charities and role as goodwill ambassador with the United Nations.
Unfortunately for Fonda, veterans, in general, and Vietnam veterans, in particular, are not amused. Hanoi Jane's anti-American activities, including a trip to North Vietnam, have enraged vets to the point where they don't want her to get any accolades. One Senator said Fonda is the least deserving of any person the Senate has ever attempted to honor. I agree.

According to a 0930 newscast by FoxNews, Senator Steen Miles has withdrawn her resolution to honor Jane Fonda.

[Update 1010 EST]

The sponsor of an effort to honor Jane Fonda in the state Senate has withdrawn the effort after hitting resistance from her colleagues.

Sen. Steen Miles, a Democrat from Decatur, said this morning she was contacted by the office of the actor, fitness icon and political activist and asked to avoid the controversy the honor had stirred.
Well, it appears that the fitness icon just doesn't have the stomach for a controversy.
Sirhan Sirhan Denied Parole for 13th Time

(San Francisco, California) Palestinian immigrant, Sirhan Sirhan, was sentenced to death for fatally shooting Senator Robert Kennedy in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. The sentence was later commuted to life in prison with the possibility of parole. Yesterday, Sirhan Sirhan saw parole denied for the 13th time.

Sirhan, who turns 62 on Sunday, has been seeking to win his freedom since 1972.

Had the Board of Parole recommended parole, the matter would have gone to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for final review. Kennedy was the uncle of Schwarzenegger's wife, Maria Shriver.

"The panel found that he continues to pose an unacceptable risk to public safety and felt that he was not suitable for parole," Tip Kindel, a spokesman for the Board of Prison Terms, said of Sirhan.
So, Sirhan will continue to enjoy cellblock life alongside Charles Manson at Corcoran State Prison. Maybe the two are really, really close, if you catch my drift. Nevertheless, it would have been a waste of effort to send Sirhan's papers to Schwarzenegger.
Woman Surfed Web, Found Boy for Sex

(Forsythe County, Georgia) A 42-year-old mother, Aimee Melissa Josey, was indicted by a Forsyth County grand jury Monday on charges of having sex with a 14-year-old boy she met on the Internet.

The boy met Josey in an Internet chat room early in 2005 and thought she was a young girl. Weeks and months transpired and the relationship grew to include sex at various locations and times.

Also, Josey faces charges in Fulton County for aggravated child molestation and child exploitation involving another teenage boy. She is currently free on bond in both jurisdictions, $50,000 in Forsythe County and $40,000 in Fulton County.

Companion post at Conservative Thinking.

[Update 09/04/06]

Josey rejects plea deal.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Ex-Teacher Charged with Sex Crimes

(Newnan, Georgia) A 28-year-old former middle school teacher, Jennifer Nall, faces child sex crime charges in two different counties for an alleged relationship with a, now 15-year-old, boy.

In Coweta County, Nall pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges of enticing a child for indecent purposes and two counts of child molestation. In Heard County, where the boy lives, Nall faces one count of enticing a child.

The charges stem from actions by Nall in mid-2005 when she allegedly had sex on multiple occasions with the boy. She was arrested months ago and released on bond. However, she was re-arrested when she violated the terms of her release and contacted the boy.

Nall's attorney, Bill Stemberger, said he expects to negotiate plea deals in both counties. According to Heard Assistant District Attorney Sarah Japour, Nall should not expect getting away without prison time nor without registering as a sex offender.
Lisa Lynnette Clark

(Gainesville, Georgia) Today, 37-year-old Lisa Lynnette Clark pleaded guilty to statutory rape and was sentenced to nine months in jail. After her release, Clark will be on probation until 2010.

From the AP:
Clark will also not be allowed to have contact with any children other than her own, and will be required to register as a sex offender, prosecutor Lee Darragh said.

If she violates any of the conditions, a judge could sentence her to 20 years in jail.
There's some disagreement regarding whether the 15-year-old will remain married to Clark. His grandmother, Judy Hayles, said her grandson will seek a divorce. Clark's lawyer, Daniel Sammons, said that Clark and the boy will continue their lives in wedded bliss.

Much more here.

[Update 06/01/06]

Clark sentenced for hindering apprehension. She gets two years prison.

[Update 02/25/08]

Lisa Clark released from prison.
Drugs in Ohio

(Ohio Turnpike) A traffic stop by the Ohio Highway Patrol for following too closely resulted in the discovery of 170 pounds of khat, the recreational drug used by indigenous populations of the Horn of Africa and the southern Arabian Peninsula. The value was estimated at $385,900.

Khat is the common name for the leaves of the shrub catha edulis, which in the plant's native area are sold in small bunches at markets and consumed by chewing. The most active ingredient in the leaves, cathinone, is unstable and breaks down within a few days if the leaves are not kept refrigerated.

The patrol said khat is considered a hallucinogen. According to other reference sources, including a paper by Richard A. Glennon, a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University who studies addictive drugs, khat is a stimulant similar in nature to ephedrine and amphetamine.
Although there is some disagreement as to whether the drug is an amphetamine or hallucinogen, there's no doubt that khat is illegal. Charges of possession of a drug of abuse were filed in Maumee Municipal Court against Hussein Ahmed Mohamed, 31, of Minneapolis and Maxamed Abshar, 35, of Phoenix.

According to Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Craig Cvetan, the large seizure of khat could indicate that it's becoming more prevalent in Ohio. Of course, Mohamed and Abshar may have just been passing through the state.

(Delphos, Ohio) In other traffic stop news, a marked lanes violation on U.S. 30 in Sugar Creek Township resulted in the discovery of 33 pounds of marijuana and a plastic container with $115,330 cash. Troopers said they could smell the marijuana from a distance and, therefore, searched the car. The driver's name was not released. He was reportedly en route from Akron to Fort Wayne.

I'm personally tickled by how often drug traffickers, who typically employ expensive lawyers and sophisticated techniques to smuggle contraband, end up in prison because they don't know how to follow simple traffic laws. If they had any sense, they would set up their own driving school.

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