Sunday, April 30, 2006

Mexican Lawmakers Pass Bill to Legalize Drugs

The federal legislature of Mexico has passed a bill to legalize "small amounts of cocaine, heroin, even ecstasy" for personal use. President Vicente Fox's signature is expected to be forthcoming since his office has voiced support for the measure.

Currently, Mexican law leaves open the possibility of dropping charges against people caught with drugs if they can prove they are drug addicts and if an expert certifies they were caught with "the quantity necessary for personal use."

The new bill drops the "addict" requirement, allows "consumers" to have drugs, and sets out specific allowable quantities, which do not appear in the current law.
Specifically, the new law would allow a person to carry the following:
- Marijuana (5 gms),
- Heroin (25 mgms),
- Cocaine (0.5 gm),
- Peyote (2.2 lbs), and
- An array of other drugs, including:
- Methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA),
- Methylenedioxymethamphetamine/Ecstasy (MDMA),
- Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD), and
- Amphetamines.
I am stunned! A person could be a legal walking pharmacy. More surprising is the fact that the measure is being pushed while drug addiction among Mexicans is increasing.

To be fair, though, the bill reportedly stiffens some penalties for trafficking and possession by government employees and near schools. In support of the bill, backers say it will free up police to go after major drug traffickers and avoid crowding jails with small-time offenders. Of course, using their logic, Mexico should legalize convenience store robberies to allow police to focus on bank heists.

Interestingly, the timing of the announcement of the intent to legalize drugs probably could not have come at a more troubling time. At present, tensions between the U.S. and Mexico are heightened due to a variety of factors. These include:
Monday's planned skip-work day by hard-working illegal aliens to prove that Mexicans are hard-workers. Ostensibly, the hardest workers will take the whole week or month off.

Hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens demonstrating in the streets, demanding citizenship, and carrying Mexican flags.

Calls by activists to open the borders to hard-working trespassers while tagging as racist anyone who wants a secure border.

Prisons and jails, hospital emergency rooms, school systems, and welfare rolls all being overburdened by illegals.

And, not a small issue, calls for the Star Spangled Banner to be sung in Spanish.
Not to be overly dramatic, but I feel that someone unwelcome moved into my house and there is nobody to call for help. My only options are to tolerate the trespassers or leave my home. It didn't used to be that way. I recall when the government protected and defended the citizens and territorial boundaries of the United States.

Nevertheless, with all the existing problems associated with having an imaginary border between the U.S. and Mexico, the last thing needed is the implied promise that every illegal alien crossing the border will soon be carrying "personal use" amounts of a variety of illicit drugs. To quote the Mayor of San Diego, Jerry Sanders, it's "appallingly stupid." I agree.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Saudi Women Given Right to Sell Underwear

Currently in Saudi Arabia, only men are permitted to conduct retail business and the practice proves to be awkward when the items being sold are primarily female products. Therefore, whether purchasing panties, brassieres, see-through nighties, or lipstick and other cosmetics, women are helped by bearded and moustached male sales assistants. But times have changed and Saudi society is about to make a dramatic leap forward.

It is hailed as a major step forward for women's emancipation in Saudi Arabia: in the coming weeks they will enjoy the right to buy lingerie from female shop assistants.

This may be a far cry from bra-burning feminism but in Saudi Arabia the notion of buying one's brassiere from a woman is nothing short of revolutionary.

A new decree requiring shop owners to hire female staff to sell undergarments illustrates the cautious liberalisation the kingdom is undergoing - and how far it has yet to travel.
The change will probably be quite welcome since most women are reluctant to discuss their unmentionables with men who are likely total strangers. On the other hand, the lingerie shop owners are ambivalent. Some intend to darken their premises to hide the fact that women are working while others complain that business will be stunted since most customers for women's underwear are men. (As an aside, I'm astounded by the fact that Saudi men are buying most of the women's underwear in the Kingdom. There has to be a psychological angle here somewhere.)

King Abdallah is the impetus behind the recent liberalization of Saudi society. He's even hinted at lifting the prohibition on women driving. Naturally, traditionalists believe that the changes go too far and are "not compatible with Islam."

Companion post at The Jawa Report.
The Boob Tube

(Tampa, Florida) In 2001, 16-year-old high-schooler Monica Pippin exposed her breasts during a spring break wet T-shirt contest. Some time later, neighbors called Monica's parents to say that their daughter's boobs are being shown on a Girls Gone Crazy video on the Playboy cable network. Not only that, but she won the contest.

However, as a consequence, an embarrassed Monica retained a lawyer and sued for a billion dollars (Yes, that's billion) which equates to about $50,000 for every video and pay-per-view sold. The case was filed in 2002 and is still being adjudicated, giving reason that the story is still in the news. Presumably, since Monica comes from a solid farm family, the enduring celebrity is probably not welcome.

I think it's safe to assume that this type of embarrassing eventuality occurs much more often than is reported. Infomercials for crazy girl videos appear throughout the cable channels despite the fact that most parents trust their little princesses to behave during spring break. Apparently, many don't.
Mexicans in Space

At first, I thought it was a hoax. The idea of a Mexican space program sounded like something from ScrappleFace or FARK. Apparently not.

Mexican lawmakers are preparing to launch a national space agency they hope could one day stand tall beside the United States' NASA.

Mexico's lower house passed a law on Wednesday, which if approved by the upper chamber, would create a space agency to coordinate research and work with universities and the private sector to launch communication and weather satellites.
The proposed budget to kick off the Mexican Space Agency is less than $2 million. Nonetheless, there's hope that they will someday challenge NASA.
"We'd love it to become the Mexican NASA, but obviously the levels of investment are incomparable. It's very distant, perhaps not in the vision but in resources," a spokesman for the Mexican Congress's Science and Technology Commission, which drew up the law, said on Thursday.
Undoubtedly, for a Mexican space program to become reality, a monumental commitment will be required on the part of the government and the hard-working and dedicated citizens of Mexico. It likely won't be forthcoming in the near future since, based upon the latest media reports, all the hard-working, dedicated Mexicans are in, or on their way to, the United States.

Companion post at Diggers Realm.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Air America Losing New York

According to MediaWeek, Air America will lose its flagship station in New York City. The lease with WLIB-AM runs out as of August 31. As a network, Air America will no longer determine programming for the station. Instead, station owners are expected to offer liberal local programs.

A spokesperson for Air America, however, promised that the liberal radio network would "not grow silent on the New York City airwaves." It's not clear what that means. Maybe Air America has found another station that has no interest in accumulating an audience. Given enough seed money to prop it up, Air America will surely find a taker. Then, it will only be a matter of time before the backers back out.

Companion posts at The Dread Pundit Bluto and The Jawa Report.
Cab Driver Beheaded by Taliban

(Angoor Ada, Pakistan) Here's a gruesome reminder that the Global War on Terror is far from over.

Suspected tribal militants beheaded a cab driver in South Waziristan for being a "US spy" and a frequent visitor to an American military base in Afghanistan, official sources told Daily Times on Wednesday.

The body of the man, identified as Khan Mati, was found on Tuesday near Angoor Ada, the last Pakistani town before the Afghan border in South Waziristan, sources said.

Mati, who had been missing since April 17, was believed to be a frequent traveller to the US military base in Macha Dadkot in Paktika province in Afghanistan. He is the second taxi driver to be abducted and killed in Angoor Ada over suspicion of being a US spy.

Sources said that Haji Omar, the Taliban chief in South Waziristan, said that "we do not waste bullet on such suspects and prefer beheading them."
In my mind, the Taliban terrorists are murdering scum with no chance of redemption. Those poor cabbies were likely only trying to go with the flow and put food on the table for their families. Instead, they're murdered by Taliban fanatics.

And, all the while, Sen. Dick Durbin claims the U.S. is the bad guy and Yale University recruits students from the Taliban. The leftists have turned America into bizarro world.

Companion post at The Jawa Report.
Yahoo Helps Send Chinese Writer to Prison

(Beijing) Following closely on the reported kidnapping of Chinese blogger Hao Wu by state security police is this story.

From Reuters:
Yahoo Inc. has been cited in a Chinese court decision to jail a dissident Internet writer for 10 years for subversion in 2003 -- the fourth such case to surface implicating the U.S. Internet giant.

Wang Xiaoning, born in 1951, was convicted of the charge of "incitement to subvert state power," the New York-based watchdog Human Rights in China (HRIC) said in a statement.

Evidence cited in the verdict included "information provided by Yahoo Holdings (Hong Kong) Ltd. stating that Wang's "aaabbbccc" Yahoo Group was set up using the mainland China-based email address," HRIC said.

Yahoo Holdings (Hong Kong) Ltd. also confirmed that the email address, through which Wang sent messages to his Yahoo Group, was a China-based account, it said.
Although it's clear that Yahoo provided specific information regarding Wang's identity, it's not clear whether it was Yahoo Holdings (Hong Kong) Ltd. or Yahoo China.

Wang's prosecution by the ChiComs was a result of his advocating democratic reform and a multi-party system. Consequently, he was deemed to be a subversive needing ten years in a Chinese prison. Without question, it's heavy punishment and "illustrates the risks Chinese people expose themselves to through no more than the peaceful expression of political views."

I think if I were Chinese, the ChiComs would have already sent me away for a long time.

Companion posts at The Dread Pundit Bluto and In The Bullpen.
Senior Al Qaeda Leader Killed

(Baghdad) I admit my addiction to this type of news. Keep 'em coming.

Iraqi and U.S. forces have killed a senior member of al Qaeda in Iraq, Interior Ministry sources and the U.S. military said on Friday.

Humadi al-Takhi, who they said was a district commander of the group, was killed in a raid on a house on Friday about 10 km (6 miles) northeast of the city of Samarra, 100 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad.
Samarra is a stronghold for Sunni Arab miscreants, the city where a Shi'ite shrine was attacked in February. Intelligence reports led to the raid in which Humadi al-Takhi and two other thug terrorists were killed. According to Reuters, the news hasn't been independently verified. It appears that someone wants to see the body.

This latest success follows yesterday's news of the Iraqi Forces' capture of Abdul Khadir Makhol, senior leader of al Qaeda in the Tikrit region.

Companion post at The Jawa Report.
Bad Info From Unknown Source

Washington Post reporter Jim VandeHei lodged an official complaint with White House spokesman Scott McClellan about not being able to watch CNN on the televisions on Air Force One. VandeHei said he heard that everybody was forced to watch Fox on Air Force One.

In response, McClellan said there is no such policy and asked VandeHei if he had tried to have the channel changed. VandeHei said that he spoke to the "magic people at the other end off (sic) the phone" and was told he can only watch Fox.

With a chuckle, McClellan went and had the channel changed.

I believe this episode perfectly encapsulates and illustrates a major flaw in the way mainstream media reporters perform their duties. Based on erroneous information from an unknown source, an official complaint was lodged.

Bad poop with no source. Yeah, that's the MSM's biggest shortcoming in a nutshell.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

ChiComs Kidnap Blogger

It's been two months since Chinese blogger Hao Wu was last heard from.

Reporters Without Borders has said it considered Chinese blogger Hao Wu to be the victim of state abduction as more than two months have gone by since his arrest by the National Security Bureau in Beijing without his family getting any news about him. His lawyer has not been allowed to see him, but has been told his client is under house arrest.

"This case shows the Chinese security services operate without any control by the courts," Reporters Without Borders said. "Hao is the victim of an arbitrary system that interprets the law as it sees fit. We call on European and American diplomats to raise his case at their meetings with the Chinese authorities. We are curious to know how they will justify the National Security Bureau's procedures."
I think it's somewhat naive to expect a communist police state to respect freedom of expression. The Chinese live under a dangerous and repressive political system and Hao was taking big risks by just having a blog. Nevertheless, action should be taken at every opportunity to exert political pressure on the ChiComs for Hao's release.

Hao's blog is Beijing or Bust where he writes under the name Beijing Loafer. He also contributes to Global Voices under the name Tian Yi.

Companion posts at The Dread Pundit Bluto and In The Bullpen.
Woman Sues Company for Spankings

(Fresno, California) A 53-year-old woman, Janet Orlando, is suing her former employer for office spankings. Orlando seeks more than $1 million in damages because she says she was embarrassed and permanently scarred by a 2003 incident.

Officials for Alarm One, the former employer, stated the "spankings were just part of an exercise to build better work relationships." Oh, I see.
"Come here, honey. Bend over and let me whack your fanny so we'll work better together."
It's a novel approach, for sure. Add to it the fact that the company also made employees wear diapers and eat baby food. All in all, the company probably doesn't have a prayer of winning in court.

[Update 04/29/06]

A jury found that Janet Orlando had suffered from sexual harassment and sexual battery during the fanny whacking, team-building exercise by her employer, Alarm One. She was awarded $1.7 million. Thus far, Alarm One officials, ostensibly having experienced an alarm no.2 event, have not commented.

In related news, yours truly has sent an email to Alarm One expressing chronic personal naughtiness and willingness to participate in its team-building program.

Companion post at The Dread Pundit Bluto.

[Update 09/09/06]

Having been spanked, Orlando now has been pinched.

[Update 01/17/08]

Verdict overturned on appeal.
Homemaker Has Sex with Boy

(Allen, Texas) A 38-year-old female homemaker, Regina Bowling, was arrested by Allen police for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old boy. Last Friday, an officer found her and a boy in a vehicle about 4:40 a.m., apparently steaming up the windows.

Bowling has been charged with indecency with a child by contact and furnishing alcohol to a minor which carry punishment of up to 20 years in prison. On Saturday, Bowling was released after posting $7,500 bond.

I'm wondering who allows a 14-year-old boy to be out and about at 4:40am. I'd suggest a lack of parental guidance and adult supervision.

[Update 10/12/06]

Bowling arrested again.

[Update 06/30/07]

Bowling indicted.
We Don't Need No Stinking Tests

Arizona state education officials announced that the SAT and ACT tests would no longer be used in determining students' acceptability for admission to public universities.

People familiar with the subject will see that this is part of a national effort by liberal activists to negate the No Child Left Behind law. The anti-testing crowd is opposed to any data benchmarks which expose serious flaws in the current educational system.
Woman Accused of Sex with Another Boy

(Telford, Pennsylvania) A Telford woman who is a self-described Christian singer, Krystal Joy Gehret, surrendered to police last month to face charges resulting from an alleged sexual relationship with a 14-year-old boy.

Gehret, a 20-year-old mother of a one-year-old boy, was specifically charged with felony counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, unlawful contact with a minor, statutory sexual assault, and aggravated indecent assault.

Gehret was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Charles Baum and bail was set at $50,000. In total, one would imagine that Gehret had acquired enough trouble but, apparently, the girl can't help herself.

A Telford woman has been charged with sexually assaulting a 14-year-old Hilltown Township boy, less than a month after police charged her with having sex with another township boy over a five-month period.

According to a news release from the Telford police, 20-year-old Krystle J. Gehret, of the 200 block of North Main Street, was arrested on charges of having sex with the second boy in May or June.

Police said Gehret went to a Telford park with her infant child, the 14-year-old and a 16-year-old boy and gave the teenagers marijuana. She then had sex with the 14-year-old, leaving the infant with the other boy.

While police were investigating, Gehret allegedly contacted the 14-year-old, who has since moved out of the township, and tried to persuade him to give false information to police, according to the news release.
So, Gehret not only mixed it up with another 14-year-old but she also attempted to tamper with a witness. As a result, she's doubled up on the previous charges she faces along with adding an intimidation of a witness charge. Gehret was arraigned and released on $50,000 unsecured bail.

[Update 08/11/06]

Gehret pleads guilty to sex crimes in Bucks County.

[Update 01/15/07]

Gehret pleads guilty/sentenced in Montgomery County.
'Babysitter From Hell' Gets 3 Years in Prison

(Bismarck, North Dakota) A 22-year-old Bismarck woman, Erin Seehafer, was sentenced to three years in prison for abusing a child over a two-year period when the child was ages five through seven.

South Central District Judge Sonna Anderson imposed the sentence Tuesday as part of a ten-year package in which seven years were suspended. With credit for time served, seven months, Seehafer will only be required to finish two years and five months.

This case is particularly horrifying to me and, from a child's perspective, quite psychologically injurious. The poor kid was probably scared to death.

[Seehafer] duct-taped her charge's mouth, pinned clothespins to the child's genitalia and ran spurs over the genitalia - during a two-year period when the child was age 5 to 7.
The prosecuting attorney, Lloyd Suhr, said that Seehafer also "sexually molested the child on a number of occasions" and recommended a sentence of 15 years with five years suspended.

On the other hand, Seehafer's attorney, Kent Morrow, believed she should have her entire sentence suspended because she had a troubled childhood and represents a low risk of re-offending.

Nevertheless, the court will require that Seehafer spend only the next two years and five months behind bars. Hand slap? I think so. However, if she violates her probation, Seehafer could be re-sentenced to life in prison.

Companion post at Conservative Thinking.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

China Shows Off New Hooters

(Shanghai, China) It comes as no surprise to me that a world-famous Hooters Restaurant franchise opens in China at the same time that it's being reported Chinese women are becoming more bosomy.

From Courier-Mail:
"It's so different from the past when most young women would wear A- or B-cup bras," Triumph brand saleswoman Zhang Jing told the Shanghai Daily from the Landmark Plaza of China's commercial hub.

"You . . . never expect those thin women to have such nice figures if they are not plastic."

The report, seen on the daily's website on today, said that the Hong Kong-based lingerie firm Embry Group no longer produces A-cups for larger chest circumferences and has increased production of C-, D- and E-cup bras to meet pressing demand.
In my estimation, this shouldn't be a big problem to resolve. Furthermore, the 'pressing demand' could likely be a sales opportunity for American manufacturers who have been known (probably NSFW) to market F-, G-, and H-cup sizes. Improved nutrition is considered responsible.

As a logical consequence, young Chinese women at the Shanghai Hooters are dressing in the same tight and scanty shirt and orange shorts as their American counterparts while displaying their enhanced busts.

Hooters in ChinaLocated in an upscale mall in the foreigner-friendly Hongqiao district, the outlet adds to the more than 375 stores now operated by the chain famed for its busty waitresses clad in clingy low-cut tank tops and high-cut shorts -- an image the company describes as "delightfully tacky, yet unrefined."

"The people of Shanghai deserve something fun with good service and we're happy to bring it to them," manager Cameron Jiang said as smiling waitresses whisked plates of chicken wings and glasses of cold lager to guests at a launch party.

Hooters' arrival marks another milestone in Shanghai's rise as China's commercial hub, but also underscores how growth is challenging traditional conservative views on sexuality.
So, in summary, through better nutrition Chinese women are growing larger breasts and at least one establishment has opened to show off the country's achievements.

Companion post at The Dread Pundit Bluto.
Counseling Staffer Accused of Sex with Boy

(Lincoln, Nebraska) A 24-year-old worker in a group home for young sex offenders, Leah T. Pleskac, was arrested Monday for having sex with a 15-year-old boy.

Pleskac was charged in Lancaster County Court with first-degree sexual assault of a child. According to police, Pleskac had sex with the 15-year-old eight to ten times while under her care as a sex offender.

This sure is an odd case, a sex offender allegedly abused by a sex offender. She was fired from her job at the group home operated by the Child Guidance Center.

Bond has been set at $50,000. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 4.

[Update 02/10/07]

Pleskac sentenced.
Undocumented Americans in Mexico

According to data from the Mexican National Migration Institute, the federal immigration agency, nearly 1,000 Americans are deported every year from Mexico after being caught working in restaurants, bars and clothing shops.

Obviously, a fair comparison with deportations from the U.S. is impossible. Instead of 1,000 a year, the U.S. boots upwards of 1,000 a day, mostly Mexicans. (Source)

Companion post at Diggers Realm.
Gorgeous Pamela Rogers Busted Again

(McMinnville, Tennessee) Gorgeous Pamela Rogers, the 28-year-old teacher who was convicted of a child sex offense last year and sentenced to nine months in prison, was arrested earlier this month for violating the terms of her probation.

Contrary to the court's order, Rogers had contacted the victim's family via the Internet. At a subsequent hearing two weeks ago, Rogers was allowed to remain free on $10,000 bond until a July 12 hearing.

Well, hush my puppies! It seems Gorgeous Pamela Rogers was arrested again on Monday for contacting and sending sexually explicit videos to the now 14-year-old victim.

"These were videos of the defendant involved in sexual activity and she was nude in the pictures," arrest warrant records show. "The defendant requested from the victim he send pictures and videos, and phone records indicate she received the same on her phone."
It's not clear what happens next but letting Rogers out of jail appears to be a mistake. Treating her leniently doesn't seem to work very well. In my opinion, Gorgeous Pamela needs a serious attitude adjustment.

Companion posts at The Dread Pundit Bluto and The Jawa Report.

[Update 05/01/06]

Pamela Rogers video released.

[Update 05/09/06]

Gorgeous Pamela Rogers ordered jailed until July hearing.

[Update 07/14/06]

Rogers goes before judge to face new charges.
Pakistani Minister Vows to Support Iran Upon U.S. Attack

(Islamabad, Pakistan) Pakistan's status as an ally of the U.S. seems to disappear when one travels into the hinterlands. Fundamental Islamic roots are deep and many in the population want Shariah Law imposed globally.

Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) Minister Sirajul Haq said the public would confront those who remained neutral if US attacked Iran. "As a Pakistani, I announce that if US attacks Tehran, it would be considered as an attack on Pakistan and Peshawar," he said.
In another development, the leader of Pakistan's largest Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Qazi Hussain Ahmed, announced on Sunday that he would have the religious parties' alliance, Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), "force the government to support Iran if America attacked it." Ahmed also praised terrorists who are fighting coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And from the Northwest Frontier Post (no link), it's reported that the goal is nation-wide Shariah Law and that Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) is achieving considerable success at recruiting.
The NWFP Senior Minister Sirajul-Haq has said MMA government would pave way for enforcement of Shariah based on social justice to remove centuries old English system of human exploitation from the country.

MMA was gradually heading towards success and we would soon emerge triumphant in this mission, he added.

[ ... ]

On this occasion, eminent religious scholar and Muhtamim Darul Uloom Taleemul Quran Maulana Saleh Faqir announced joining J.I. alongwith 70 other Ulema and hundreds of students and followers by appreciating active role of the party for enforcement of Shariah in the country. A local political and social figure Bashir Shakargah also announced joining JI with his 72 supporters.
Prudent observers should also note that Senior Minister Sirajul-Haq has recently spent time assuring Iranian President Ahmadinejad that the Pakistani people would support Iran in the event of U.S. aggression. "The people of Pakistan would not shy away from making any sacrifice for their Muslim brethren," he said.

Companion post at The Jawa Report.
Woman Claims Consensual Sex with Boy

Amber Roach(Las Cruces, New Mexico) A 22-year-old woman, Amber Roach, was arrested by Las Cruces Police for allegedly engaging in sex with a 15-year-old boy. Apparently, police found Roach and the boy in a parked car in an alley as they were coupling.

Although Roach claims the sex was consensual, she was arrested and charged with criminal sexual penetration of a minor. Roach was booked into the Dona Ana County Jail with bond set at $5,000.
Congratulations! Diggers Realm

Dom_PerignonYesterday, Diggers Realm surpassed two million page views and 1.5 million visitors.

Woo-hoo! Go visit and wish Digger continued success.

Of course, Interested-Participant will be sending over a magnum of Dom Perignon as soon as I collect enough cans.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Senior Terrorist Captured in Philippines

The Philippines(Manila) Good news! Filipino authorities made a major arrest yesterday. Abu Sayyaf member Sharie Amiruddin, aka Abu Omar, is linked to al-Qaeda and the southeast Asian terrorist network, Jemaah Islamiah.

The military arrested a suspected Abu Sayyaf member linked to kidnappings and bombings that has killed Americans and Filipinos since 2000, an Army spokesman said Tuesday.

Maj. Bartolome Bacarro said soldiers seized Sharie Amiruddin, a suspected member of the Abu Sayyaf group, on Monday in Zamboanga City.

"He was the planner of the Dos Palmas kidnapping," Bacarro told reporters, adding Amiruddin was also blamed for bomb attacks in three Mindanao cities in 2002.
As a reminder, the Dos Palmas kidnappings occurred on Palawan Island in 2001 and involved 20 people, including three Americans of which one, Guillermo Sobero, was beheaded. During a rescue mission in 2002, another American, Martin Burnham, was killed and his wife, Gracia, was wounded. They were Christian missionaries. The other hostages were Filipino tourists.

It's worth noting that the Philippine government appears to be quite determined and aggressive in its pursuit of terrorist cells and criminals in the country.

Companion post at The Jawa Report.
Zarqawi Video Released

A video of terrorist butcher Abu Musab al Zarqawi has been released. It shows the scum murderer holding an AK-47 and he appears to be wearing a suicide bomb vest (or it may be a standard ammo vest).

In the video, Zarqawi quotes religious verse and reminds all to love their fellow Muslims and to hate and kill all infidels, even their relatives. So, what else is new?

Stills and video are at The Jawa Report. Go visit.
Porn Mama Wants Osama

Osama and CicciolinaHave you seen this? Blonde porn star Cicciolina, aka Anna Ilona Staller, wants to give Osama bin Laden a freebie. The high-mileage, 55-year-old believes she is just the woman for the world's most wanted terrorist.

To momentarily digress, I really think her odometer has been notched backward at least a few clicks.

Speaking at an erotic fair in Bucharest, Romania, Cicciolina said: "It is time someone did something about Bin Laden, and I am ready to do it.

"I am ready to make a deal, he can have me in exchange for an end to his tyranny. My breasts have only ever helped people while Bin Laden has killed thousands of innocent victims."
Cicciolina previously offered herself to Saddam Hussein. He passed on the offer.

Hat Tip: Samantha Burns
Muslims on Toilets Prohibited From Facing Mecca

Here's another oddity about the practice of Islam.

From The Sun Online:
Jail bosses are rebuilding toilets so Muslim inmates don't have to use them while facing Mecca.

Thousands of pounds of taxpayers money are being spent to ensure lags are not offended.

The Islamic religion prohibits Muslims from facing or turning their backs on the Kiblah -- the direction of prayer -- when they visit the lav.

Muslim lags claimed they have had to sit sideways on prison WCs.

But after pressure from faith leaders the Home Office has agreed to turn the existing toilets 90 degrees at HMP Brixton in London.
Jeez, with stuff like this going on, one would expect there to be a thriving community of Muslim comedians. And, what in the heck does a Muslim do in an airplane lavatory? I don't think it's possible to sit sidesaddle on an airplane toilet.

Hat Tip: PCWatch

Companion post at The Jawa Report.
Cab Drivers Protest Tickets

(Cleveland, Ohio) About 30 immigrant cab drivers from Somali have complained about receiving unfair treatment from the police. Previously, the drivers used two airport cab lines to pick up passengers but, in the interest of improving traffic flow, airport management eliminated one cab line and any cab not in line is ticketed.

According to a WJW - Fox8 News broadcast, the drivers claim they are unfairly targeted because they are minority immigrants who periodically leave their cabs for prayers at which time they are given tickets for illegal parking.

The drivers decided to take their complaints to City Hall and protest the treatment they have received. Those drivers who parked in front of City Hall to protest their tickets were ticketed again for parking illegally.
Black Activists Joining Minutemen

Illegal aliens are taking jobs away from blacks and activists are becoming aware.
Remember ANZAC Day

Anzac DayANZAC was the name given to the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps soldiers who landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey early on the morning of 25 April 1915 during the First World War (1914-1918).

As a result, one day in the year has involved the whole of Australia in solemn ceremonies of remembrance, gratitude and national pride for all our men and women who have fought and died in all wars. That day is ANZAC Day - 25 April. (Source)

Australians, New Zealanders and Turkish people crowded Anzac Cove in Turkey to commemorate today's 91st anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign.

Hats off to our Australian and New Zealand friends and those who have served the cause of freedom.
Chinese Demand Bigger Bras

(Shanghai, China) According to a report issued by the Beijing Institute of Clothing Technology, Chinese bra manufacturers are being forced to offer larger cup sizes because women's average chest measurements have been busting records.

From Courier-Mail:
"It's so different from the past when most young women would wear A- or B-cup bras," Triumph brand saleswoman Zhang Jing told the Shanghai Daily from the Landmark Plaza of China's commercial hub.

"You . . . never expect those thin women to have such nice figures if they are not plastic."

The report, seen on the daily's website on today, said that the Hong Kong-based lingerie firm Embry Group no longer produces A-cups for larger chest circumferences and has increased production of C-, D- and E-cup bras to meet pressing demand.
In my estimation, this shouldn't be a big problem to resolve. Furthermore, the 'pressing demand' could likely be a sales opportunity for American manufacturers who have been known (probably NSFW) to market F-, G-, and H-cup sizes.

The new phenomenon of 'nice figures' on Chinese women has been attributed to better nutrition resulting from an increased standard of living. This has been brought about by a growing economy sustained by massive foreign trade with the U.S., largely via Wal-Mart. As a result, an assumption can be made that every sale at a Wal-Mart store, which promotes trade with the Chinese and improves their standard of living, also indirectly produces larger breasts in China.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Muslim Small Talk Banned in Bathrooms

According to Islamic rules, talking in the bathroom is prohibited. In response to an inquiry from a reader concerning the acceptability of simple greetings in the john, an expert provided the following.

The Islamic greeting, Salam alaikum, uses one of God's names, Salam, which means "peace," and offers it to whomever we are greeting. We should always show profound respect to God and His attributes. A bathroom is not a place where people should indulge in conversation or discuss any matter. It is a place where people answer the call of nature and leave, or they take off their clothes to have a shower. Islamic manners make it clear that the less said in a bathroom the better.

Hence, we must not mention God's name or the name of the Prophet Muhammad or any prophet there. We are better advised to do whatever we need to do and leave.
Reflecting on personal experience from working at a large firm with many Muslim engineers, the no-talking-in-bathroom characteristic was noticed but attributed to a general standoffishness. Who knew?

Nevertheless, the specific punishment for talking in the bathroom isn't discussed in the article. I would guess that it includes the washing of the offender's mouth with soap and a few Islamic demerits. Naturally, all infidels should be forewarned not to expect a response when they say, "Hey, Abu. What have you been eating, man?"
Juvenile Home Worker Accused of Sex with Teens

(Bellefontaine, Ohio) A 26-year-old house parent at the Logan County Group home for juveniles, Mary Brautigam, was arrested for having sexual relations with two 16-year-old boys. Brautigam was charged with four counts of sexual battery and three counts of contributing to the delinquency or unruliness of a minor. She was also suspended from her contract job with the Logan County Juvenile Court.

Brautigam posted bond over the weekend and was released.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Osama Claims Islam is Victim of West and Zionists

Bin LadenA presumably new bin Laden audiotape was aired by Aljazeera today. It's not clear when the recording was made and it hasn't been authenticated but the voice sounds similar to previous tapes from the Osama studiocave.

Aljazeera has aired an audiotape attributed to Osama bin Laden in which he attacks the West for boycotting Hamas and accuses Western governments of waging a "Crusader war" against Islam.

In the recording, aired on Sunday, the al-Qaeda leader said the isolation and cutting off of aid to the Hamas-led Palestinian government reaffirmed that the West was at war with the Islamic nation.

"The blockade which the West is imposing on the government of Hamas proves that there is a Zionist crusaders war on Islam," he said.
Evidently, bin Laden wants everyone to believe that Islam is being victimized by the West and the Zionists. He goes on to say that since the populations of the West support their governments, they too become legitimate targets for al-Qaeda. This apparently justifies indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians.

Bin Laden also urges his thugs to fight American attempts to divide Sudan and to take action against any country who has sided with Denmark in the cartoon controversy. Bin Laden's previous message in January extended an offer of a truce with the American people. Today's message had nothing similar, only belligerence and victimhood.

Hey, Osama, how about a peace offering? I could have a pizza delivered. What is your location? Sausage okay?

The Jawa Report,
Stop The ACLU,
The Dread Pundit Bluto,
Lesbian Coach Gets Two Years Prison

Jessica Spain(Newark, Ohio) Last December, 26-year-old former coach at Newark High School, Jessica Spain, was arrested for having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl.

On Friday, Spain was convicted of three counts each of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and sexual battery. As a result, Licking County Common Pleas Judge Jon Spahr sentenced Spain to two years on each count, to run concurrently. Spahr also ordered Spain to register as a sexually-oriented offender.
Band Teacher and 13-Year-Old Girl

Shanando Ashley Jackson(Okeechobee County, Florida) A 30-year-old former band teacher at Yearling Middle School, Shanando Ashley Jackson, was arrested this week on accusations that she had sex with a 13-year-old girl in her class.

Okeechobee County Deputies launched an investigation in February after a former student, now grown, said that Jackson touched her inappropriately and it continued for several years.

Jackson was arrested in adjacent Highlands County and booked on "one count each of sexual battery on a child, lewd and lascivious battery, and lewd and lascivious or indecent act." As of Friday, Jackson remained in custody in Highlands County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bond.
Teacher Accused of Sexually Abusing and Piercing Students

Laura Sieradzki post updated and bumped. See here.
Being True to Your School

(Chicago) Read the following report. In my estimation, it's likely an accurate snapshot of the problems plaguing many American schools. And, if you are able, dispel for me the notion that the patients are running the asylum.

Typing rambling screeds in an anonymous blog he called "Fast Times at Regnef High," a Fenger High School teacher unleashed his frustration over the chaos he saw around him.

He labeled his students "criminals," saying they stole from teachers, dealt drugs in the hallways, had sex in the stairwells, flaunted their pregnant bellies and tossed books out windows. He dismissed their parents as unemployed "project" dwellers who subsist on food stamps, refuse to support their "baby mommas" and bad-mouth teachers because their no-show teens are flunking.

He took swipes at his colleagues, too--"union-minimum" teachers, literacy specialists who "decorate their office door with pro-black propaganda," and security officers whose "loyalty is to the hood, not the school."

In his blog, the teacher did not identify himself or his students, the exact name of his school or the city where he taught. But like most bloggers, he wanted an audience, so he wrote in his blog that he had leaked news of his site to a few co-workers. Soon enough, the 30-year-old teacher's name was the talk of the school.

This week, after returning from spring break, the students read how they were depicted and flamed the blog with profane threats and righteous indignation toward the teacher.
There's more. Most notable is that the teacher/blogger is no longer showing up to teach class because he fears for his safety.
Arkansas Teacher Accused of Sex with Boy

(Malvern, Arkansas) A 35-year-old substitute teacher at Malvern High School, Marsha Henderson, turned herself in to police to face charges that she had sexual relations with a 16-year-old male student. Also, allegations of drug usage and harassment have surfaced with regard to the relationship. The boy's father, Gary Bell, stated that his son is extremely disturbed by the situation and has left home.

A spokesperson for the Malvern Police Department said Henderson and the boy met at the school and subsequently had sexual intercourse. At first, Henderson denied the accusations but changed her tune when police let her listen to some recorded telephone messages she left for the boy. Her response was a simple, "Damn!"

Notably, the age of consent in Arkansas is 16, however, sexual relationships between an authority figure and a student are illegal. It's not clear when Henderson will see a judge.

Malvern is approximately 35 miles southwest of Little Rock in Hot Spring County.

[Update 01/26/07]

Henderson was in court this week and vehemently denied the accusations. It's also reported that her first name is Marcia, not Marsha. Her next court appearance is scheduled for April. Apparently, the delay in the case is caused by new evidence being presented which requires evaluation by the crime lab.

[Update 05/09/07]

Charges dropped. Prosecutor stated that there wasn't enough evidence to go to trial.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Li'l Baby Cruise

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes decided on the name 'Suri' for their baby which apparently has Hebrew roots. Not everyone agrees as to the exact meaning of Suri. Variously, it means "princess" or "noblewoman" or "red rose." Scholars of trivia may debate the subject for a while.

Nonetheless, Baby Suri's name is regarded as traceable to an ancient Hebrew or, possibly, Persian word with a general inference that Tom and Katie searched dusty manuscripts prior to anointing their offspring. My take is somewhat different.

To saddle a soon-to-be young lady with the label of Miss Suri Cruise or Ms. Suri Cruise, I believe a Freudian element is working and probably derived from Tom and Katie watching too many hours of Gilligan's Island.
Nurse Indicted for Rape

(East Greenbush, New York) Last month, 47-year-old home-care nurse, Susan McDade, was arrested for sexually abusing a developmentally-disabled 17-year-old boy in her care. The teen has the developmental skills of a 5-year-old and is incapable of giving consent. The charges resulted after a family member caught McDade and the boy in bed naked together.

McDade has now been indicted on charges of rape, sexual abuse, sexual misconduct and endangering the welfare of an incompetent person. If convicted, she faces a possible 25 years in prison.

[Update 04/29/06]

Susan McDade pleads not guilty to charges of rape, sexual abuse, sexual misconduct and endangering the welfare of an incompetent person.

According to the latest report, she faces up to 15 years in prison, if convicted. McDade continues to be free on bail. (Tip: Don Morgenstern)

[Update 02/13/08]

McDade convicted by a jury and sentenced to prison.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Woman Accused of Raping Boy

(Dutchess County, New York) A 21-year-old woman from Wingdale, Tracy Williams, has been arrested and charged with rape and criminal sex for alleged sexual relations with a 16-year-old boy.

The boy's father found a photograph showing inappropriate acts between the woman and the boy and he alerted the police. It's alleged that the two had sex on multiple occasions at Williams' and the boy's homes.

Williams is in custody in the Dutchess County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail.
Proposed Gun Law Requires Tagged Shell Casings

(Sacramento, California) State Assemblyman Paul Koretz, D-West Hollywood, has introduced a bill to require all semi-automatic handguns to make microscopic indentations on all shell casings for identification.

Supporters of the bill contend that the gun feature will allow the police to catch more criminals. Opponents believe the markings could easily be adulterated by sanding or filing the firing pins, thereby making the law academic.

My take is that it's just another attempt by gun-control advocates to hector gun makers and owners and to make ownership of a weapon more expensive. If the bill is passed, I predict it will have no statistically significant impact on the crime clearance rate.
No Proof of CIA Renditions in Europe

I'm convinced this report will not get much exposure by the mainstream media.

(Brussels, Belgium) Investigations into reports that U.S. agents shipped prisoners through European airports to secret detention centers have produced no evidence of illegal CIA activities, the European Union's anti-terror coordinator said Thursday.

The investigations also have not turned up any proof of secret renditions of terror suspects on EU territory, Gijs de Vries told a European Parliament committee investigating the allegations.

The European Parliament's inquiry and a similar one by the continent's leading human-rights watchdog are looking into whether U.S. intelligence agents interrogated al-Qaida suspects at secret prisons in Eastern Europe and transported some on secret flights through Europe.
The left will likely experience chafing. Of course, the seriousness of the charges always trumps their veracity.

Companion post at The Jawa Report.
Student Indicted in Terror Plot

Syed Ahmed(Atlanta, Georgia) A 21-year-old mechanical engineering student at Georgia Tech, Syed Ahmed, was arrested last month by FBI agents on charges related to terrorism.

"Mr. Ahmed knowingly and unlawfully attempted to provide, conspired to provide materials, support, and resources, knowing the materials, support and resources were going to be used in the preparation for and the carrying out of two other federal terrorism laws," said U.S. Attorney David Nahmias.

Ahmed's family suspects a videotape of their son made of a building is what made authorities suspicious but FBI agents will not confirm that. The family reportedly allowed federal agents to take computer information from their son's room.

"Yesterday, Mr. Ahmed appeared in court for his initial appearance and arraignment in front of Judge Feldman," said Nahmias. "He entered a plea of not guilty and is presumed not guilty until the government proves his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt."
Ahmed's family came from Pakistan in 1997 and became U.S. citizens. Syed is reported to have become increasingly involved with Islam and allegedly attended a terrorist training camp in Pakistan last year.

Ahmed was taken into custody and ordered held until trial. No date has been set.

Companion post at The Jawa Report.
Indonesian Playboy Magazine Suspends Operations

(Jakarta, Indonesia) Although it's considered tamer than existing glossy magazines on sale, Playboy has caused some rioting in Indonesia.

The Indonesian edition of US adult magazine Playboy has suspended operations for security reasons in the wake of violent protests by Muslim hardliners, its editor said on Thursday.

"For the time being, we are prioritizing security. We have vacated our office and we have halted our operational activities," chief editor Erwin Arnada told reporters.

The announcement follows violent demonstrations by the hardline Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) over the publication of the magazine, a toned-down version, which does not carry nudes.

About 300 members attacked the local publisher's office last week, smashing windows, injuring two policemen and tearing up copies of the magazine which had quickly sold out after debuting this month.
Frankly, I believe that the protests against Playboy have less to do with its content and more to do with the fact that the magazine is a prominent icon of Western civilization. Hardline Muslim followers probably see its publication as breaking down a significant cultural barrier.

Companion post at Diggers Realm.
Senior Al-Qaeda Suspect Killed

(Khar, Pakistan) There's strong indication that a close associate of Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed yesterday in a gunfight in northwestern Pakistan. As a reminder, Zawahiri is second in command of al-Qaeda after Osama bin Laden.

The suspect, thought to be Saudi-born Abu Marwan al-Suri, was killed on Thursday close to the Afghan border.

Major-General Shaukat Sultan, the Pakistan army spokesman, said al-Suri was in a vehicle on the outskirts of Khar, a town near the Bajur tribal region.

Al-Suri opened fire when he was asked to stop his vehicle at a roadblock. He killed a Pakistani security official and wounded two others before he himself was killed.

His body has been transported to a hospital in the city of Peshawar for identification.
Seized from al-Suri's vehicle were a video camera, a laptop computer, hand grenades and some documents. However, according to a Pakistani intelligence officer, al-Suri is probably not the man's real name. Nonetheless, since al-Suri was so closely associated with al-Qaeda leadership, I tend toward the thought that his elimination means the perimeter around bin Laden is tightening.

See also In The Bullpen and The Jawa Report.
Al-Qaeda Dupe Judged Hostage Ken Bigley at Mock Trial

Kenneth BigleyBritish engineer Kenneth Bigley was taken hostage in September 2004 and beheaded in October. A senior al-Qaeda member, 33-year-old Louia Sakka, confessed to Turkish authorities that he was present at Bigley's phony trial.

Louia Sakka, a Syrian associate of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the organisation's leader in Iraq, maintains that he presided over a mock trial of Mr Bigley shortly before the 62-year-old was beheaded.

Sakka made the confession while being questioned about his alleged role in suicide bomb attacks against four targets in Istanbul, including the British consulate general and the local headquarters of the HSBC bank, in which 61 people died and more than 600 were injured.

He was arrested after a later explosion ripped through the bomb factory he had constructed inside an apartment overlooking the Mediterranean at the resort of Antalya, where he was planning to attack an Israeli cruise liner.

Sakka's defence lawyer says the terrorist has repeated his claims about his involvement in Mr Bigley's murder to him, and is convinced they are true. "My client has been a warrior for Islam for the last 10 years," said the lawyer, Osman Karahan.

So far, however, Sakka has refused to say who carried out the murder, or reveal the whereabouts of Mr Bigley's body.
Sakka is a chameleon who has been in and out of Turkey at least 55 times using 18 different identities and appearance changes by plastic surgery. Also, Sakka claims to have met bin Laden and later provided passports for several of the 9/11 hijackers. All in all, there's reason to be skeptical about anything Sakka asserts. However, from what I've heard and read, the Turks are particularly successful in getting prisoners to be truthful. They have their ways.

The British Foreign Office has committed to following up on the Bigley case. It's very important to many people for Ken Bigley's remains to be recovered. It's also important to go after the specific thug terrorists responsible for Ken Bigley's murder.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Cologne Killing Young Saudi Men

(Jeddah, Saudi Arabia) Social science experts are calling for a national awareness campaign after a rash of deaths of young Saudi men who drank cologne containing methyl alcohol. Although alcohol is prohibited in the Kingdom, 17 young Saudis have died in the recent past believing anything that lists alcohol as an ingredient is safe to drink.

Al-Nadwa daily recently launched an investigation into the practice in an effort to warn young people and hopefully save lives.

"This problem started four years ago when a number of university and high school students fell victim to it," said Dr. Saleh Awad Al-Garni, an expert in Islamic studies. "At that time, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry withdrew all the cologne from the market where ethyl alcohol exceeded 90 percent and methyl alcohol exceeded 50 percent."
Unfortunately, a typical result of banning a product is the creation of a black market.
"It's very sad that these people are buying the cologne to drink it," said Dr. Muayad Al-Hashmi, a general practitioner. "The Ministry of Commerce warned us about these colognes and limited sales to spray bottles. Smugglers, on the other hand, import the dangerous colognes into the Kingdom caring only about making fast money -- not about people's health.
Experts blame a variety of causes for the behavior of the young men. These include personality disorders, social and family troubles, and satellite television. I don't know, but if I lived in a hot, desert environment, I'd want a cold beer. You could blame it on my . . . uh . . . personality disorder . . . or anything you'd like. And despite flowery-pleasant breath, I'll pass on the foo-foo.

Companion post at The Jawa Report.
Missile Smuggler Pleads Guilty

(Los Angeles) Born in China, naturalized American citizen Chao Tung Wu, 54, pleaded guilty in federal court yesterday to conspiring to smuggle 200 Chinese QW-2 shoulder-fired missiles into the U.S.

When Wu was indicted in November along with another man, Yi Qing Chen, they became the first people charged under a 2004 U.S. law forbidding the import of aircraft-destroying missile systems into the United States, officials said.

Wu, who also admitted to trafficking methamphetamine, counterfeit bills, cigarettes and Ecstasy tablets into the United States, made a plea bargain with U.S. prosecutors in hopes of reducing a possible 25-year prison term.
Another report indicates that the prosecution will recommend for Wu to receive "well below 25 years" in accordance with the plea bargain. Chen previously pleaded not guilty.

Interestingly, as this post is being written, Chinese President Hu Jintao and President Bush are sitting down for lunch in the White House. Here's my thought. Maybe the subject of smuggling Chinese weapons could be discussed?

Companion post at Diggers Realm.
Free Breast Exams

Philip Winikoff(Lauderdale Lakes, Florida) A 76-year-old door-to-door illegal breast examiner, Philip Winikoff, was arrested for playing doctor and sexually assaulting women.

The man found at least two Lauderdale Lakes women who took him up on his offer.

One 36-year-old woman said she let Winikoff into her apartment. She (sic) after he touched her breasts, he moved his hand to her genitals. She said one (sic) she realized that Winikoff was not a real doctor and she called the Broward Sheriff's Office.

Investigators said by that time, Winikoff had already found another victim; a 33-year-old woman who lives in the same complex. That woman told deputies that Winikoff also sexually assaulted her.
Obviously, Winikoff didn't read the rule book which specifies that a person must quit playing doctor after promotion from grade school. Winikoff instead might want to consider playing a congressman. By his picture, there's a remarkable resemblance to Rep. Jack Murtha of Pennsylvania who has recently shown that he would help the country more by being a breast examiner. Okay, that was a cheap shot. I apologize.

Winikoff has been booked into the Broward County Jail on sexual assault charges.
Woman Accused of Sex Act on Babysitter

Lisa Chapman(Orange County, Florida) A 27-year-old Orange County woman, Lisa Chapman, was arrested for inappropriately fondling her 12-year-old female babysitter. Chapman allegedly "performed a sex act" on the girl.

Chapman was booked on charges of lewd or lascivious battery and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

School Official Calls Gays "Protected Species"

And, boy, is he in trouble.

(West Palm Beach, Florida) Palm Beach County's school board chairman has apologized for referring to gays and lesbians as a "protected species."

During an April 5 meeting, Lynch used the phrase while discussing the school board's anti-harassment policies. The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council demanded an apology and later called for Lynch's resignation.
In all likelihood, Tom Lynch merely misspoke and, as a result, he apologized. However, homosexual activists have apparently taken the issue up as a cause celebre and have called for Lynch to step down.
Greenie Project Violates Air-Quality Laws

(Creston, Washington) A biodiesel production facility, trumpeted by environmentalists and paid for by large injections of taxpayer funds, has committed an "egregious violation of state air-quality laws by emitting toxic methanol vapors without a permit." Also, the Washington State Department of Ecology has "serious concerns" about contamination found on the site from vegetable oil or biodiesel.

In summary, the putative clean and profitable biodiesel production facility is 1) emitting toxic vapors without a permit and 2) contaminating the site with industrial waste.

Interestingly, the Northwest Lincoln County Regional Public Development Authority, the agency that paid for the building that houses the biodiesel facility, said it never officially approved the project to be there. The site was originally constructed for an animal feed factory.

At least in this case, the greenies have been quite cavalier about environmental rules and regulations as they attempted to make their utopian alternative energy plans into a reality. So, environmentalists violate environmental laws. I'll admit a bit of schadenfreude.

[Update 04/21/06]

For clarification, I should mention that I am a big supporter of alternative energy methodologies but only under circumstances where they are proven to be economically competitive without massive public funding. To my knowledge, as of this date none of the alternative sources has been able to consistently provide massive amounts of energy at a cost comparable to fossil, hydro and nuclear.

My schadenfreude cited to in the earlier paragraph refers to the apparent conflict between two groups that ostensibly have the same goal, which is more alternative energy being produced. And since environmentalists populate both groups, I don't expect the ACLU to become involved. If, however, an environmental group were mixing it up with a private business concern, then I'd expect the ACLU to join in with the environmentalists.

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Wal-Mart Media Conference

(Bentonville, Arkansas) The 2nd Annual Wal-Mart Media Conference began yesterday with about seventy credentialed media representatives in attendance for a tour and various presentations by the company. They came from all across both the print and broadcast spectrum and included, among many, the New York Times, Washington Post, US News & World Report, The Guardian, Women's Wear Daily, ABC News, CNN and CBS News. Notably, two bloggers were also invited and were able to break away from their normal lives and travel to Arkansas. At their own expense, I might add.

Tom Forbes of Palousitics traveled from western Washington State to Bentonville and spent the first day of the conference attending presentations by Wal-Mart executives and taking notes. At intervals, Tom was able to post some of the more salient aspects of the information presented by the speakers.

One of the presentations pertained to Wal-Mart employee health care programs and how they are evolving. Tom provides a good overview and remarks that Wal-Mart's health care programs continue to improve and are quite competitive when compared to others in private industry.

In another session, Tom listened to Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee eloquently support Wal-Mart as an example of free market competition which benefits low-income customers through low prices and benefits communities by providing jobs and taxes.

The other blogger in attendance, Rob Port of Say Anything, spent his day among a group of elite media representatives and found himself more engaged with their attitudes and antics than the presentations of the convention. Rob indicates that most of the 'jounalists' exhibited strongly negative attitudes toward Wal-Mart and he wondered whether they were capable of reporting objectively.

Anecdotally, Rob's reporting is a good snapshot of the people producing news about Wal-Mart. However, his most interesting remarks describe how the union ambushed and hijacked the media afterward.
After the tour we arrived back at our hotel. Upon walking through the front door I encountered a woman talking on a cell phone pointing those of us getting off the bus to a dining area off the lobby. Since a bunch of the reporters were headed in that direction, I followed.

What I was greeted with upon entering the dining area clearly wasn't on Wal-Mart's agenda. What we were being directed to was a press conference put together by the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union (a part of the AFL-CIO) through their front group ""
The press conference speaker was Rev. Markel Hutchins, a civil rights advocate, who voiced inaccurate and nonsensical attacks against Wal-Mart. In one, Hutchins said poor people don't go to Wal-Mart for low prices, they go because they're poor and oppressed. In another, which I consider to be race-baiting and obscene, Hutchins said that Wal-Mart's health care programs are "like lynching somebody from a seven foot tree instead of an eight foot tree."

Rob doesn't believe the mainstream media will report on the comments at the UFCW press conference. I think he's right. I also think that Wal-Mart's public strategies to burnish its image always seem to backfire because the leftist media use the opportunity to give the microphone and the headlines to Wal-Mart's opponents. As an example, take a look at this morning's Los Angeles Times and you'll find that virtually all of a two-page report of the conference is devoted to demonization of Wal-Mart by its enemies.

Trusting the mainstream media to be objective about Wal-Mart is a mistake.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Texas Teacher Accused of Sex with Student

Micki Jo Taylor(Liberty County, Texas) A 32-year-old substitute teacher at Hull-Daisetta High School, Micki Jo Taylor, was arrested yesterday and charged with "sexual contact with at least one high school male student of the Hull Daisetta school system."

An investigation by the Liberty County Sheriff's Office is underway to determine whether there are additional victims. In the meantime, Taylor is free after posting $25,000 bond.
Terrorists Recruiting Non-Arab Fanatics

The desire of terrorists to recruit non-Arabs to conduct attacks has been known for some time, however, now an official report of the practice has been prepared.

Terrorists have been working to recruit non-Arab sympathizers -- so-called "white Muslims" with Western features who theoretically could more easily blend into European cities and execute attacks -- according to classified intelligence documents obtained by The Associated Press.

A 252-page confidential report jointly compiled by Croatian and U.S. intelligence on potentially dangerous Islamic groups in Bosnia suggests the recruitment drive may have begun as long as four years ago, when Arab militants ran up against tough post-9/11 security obstacles.
This is nice to know but hardly surprising. However, it would be nicer to know how the Ass. Press, with apparent ease, obtains classified intelligence documents.

Nevertheless, since there will always be a segment of the population that succumbs to the lure of fanaticism, it's logical that terrorists would attempt to recruit those they can. And despite the augmented security obstacles, suicide bombers are single-use only and must be replaced.
Taliban Commander Killed

(Qalat, Afghanistan) Breaking news.

A Taliban senior commander has been killed and two other militants have been captured during a raid by police in the southeastern Afghan province of Zabul.

The police, having received a tip that the militants were planning an attack on Qalat, the provincial capital, surrounded the band Monday night, shooting Mohamad Haleem and arresting two of his accomplices.
Haleem and his group are responsible for numerous attacks on schools and government offices in the Zabul Province bordering Pakistan.
Arizona Governor Refuses to Criminalize Illegals

Sometimes, law enforcers fail to respond because their jurisdiction has been constrained by politicians. Here's an example.

Gov. Janet Napolitano vetoed a bill Monday that would have criminalized the presence of illegal immigrants in Arizona, citing opposition from police agencies that want immigration arrests to remain the responsibility of the federal government.

The proposal would have expanded the state's trespassing law to let local authorities arrest illegal immigrants anywhere in Arizona, the nation's busiest illegal entry point. Congress also had considered criminalizing the presence of illegal immigrants in the country.

Supporters said the bill would have given Arizona a chance to get a handle on its vast border problems by providing a second layer of enforcement to catch the tens of thousands of immigrants who slip past federal agents each year.
I see this as a simple abdication of responsibility by the state government. As a result, there should be no complaining by the citizens of Arizona about the cost of educating and providing welfare for foreign trespassers in the state. Of course, Arizonans could decide to elect politicians with a bit more backbone and become proactive in solving the problem. Pick your future, Arizona.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Today's Al-Qaeda Joke

Scottish Police Chief Constable John Vine stunned the guests at a bar association dinner with a joke.
During the toast, towards the end of the evening, Mr Vine told a joke about al-Qaeda fathers comparing notes about the careers of their suicide-bomber sons.

Many in the audience at the event on March 24 were stunned when he delivered the punchline: "Kids blow up so quickly these days."
Apparently, the crowd reaction prompted Mr. Vine to apologize. Sure, it wasn't a great joke but I thought it was okay.

Of course, it wasn't the quality of the joke that was objectionable. It is simply not politically prudent in the United Kingdom to speak ill of terrorists. What a bunch of wankers.
Moussaoui Had Tough Childhood

(Alexandria, Virginia) In the death-penalty phase of the Zacarias Moussaoui trial, the defense presented a witness who testified about the circumstances that made Zack go from being a humor-filled child to murdering scum.

Jan Vogelsang, a clinical social worker, said at Moussaoui's death-penalty trial that the 37-year-old Frenchman was in and out of orphanages the first six years of his life. As a teenager, she said, he was rejected as a "dirty Arab" by the family of his longtime girlfriend, with whom he lived together briefly and won dance contests.

Moussaoui was dismissive of the social worker's analysis. He shouted "It's a lot of American B.S.," as he left the courtroom for the lunch recess.
I never thought I would agree with Moussaoui about anything, but his assessment of boo-hoos in his trial is dead-nuggets on. Everybody on trial seems to have some sort of sob story to blame for their troubles.
Hanoi Jane Passes the Torch

Update your programs. There's an official change in the leadership of the anti-war movement.

Jane Fonda says she would like to tour the country and speak out against U.S. involvement in Iraq, but her controversial history of Vietnam War protests leaves her with "too much baggage."

"I wanted to do a tour like I did during the Vietnam War, a tour of the country," the Oscar-winning actress said Monday on ABC's "Good Morning America." "But then Cindy Sheehan filled in the gap, and she is better at this than I am. I carry too much baggage."
Maybe it's just me, but I can't think of a more damning indictment than to be happy about having Cindy Sheehan as your replacement.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Homeless Sleeping on Sidewalk Protected by Constitution

(San Francisco) Get a load of this. Obviously, a person has to be really, really smart to be a U.S. Appeals Court judge because, no matter how many times average people read the Constitution, they're not going to see what the judges find. This is from the 9th Circuit.

Homeless_SleeperThe Eighth Amendment, which prohibits "cruel and unusual punishments," bars punishment of "involuntary sitting, lying or sleeping on public sidewalks that is an unavoidable consequence of being human and homeless without shelter in the City of Los Angeles," said a divided panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
I confess. They lost me at "involuntary sitting." And, truthfully, I have never thought about the "unavoidable consequence of being human."

The court specifically ruled that the city of Los Angeles could not roust derelicts off the streets unless the taxpayers had previously provided a cozy shelter for every conceivable vagrant that drifts in. In other words, the taxpayers must provide shelter or the homeless have the right, per the Constitution, to involuntarily sit, lie and sleep anywhere they damn well please on city sidewalks.

In conclusion, law school apparently not only teaches the law but also gives students X-ray vision. I still haven't found any reference to "homeless" in the Constitution, much less "involuntary sitting." I don't want to go to law school but I'd sure like to git some of that there X-ray vision.
'Condoleezza Holds a Watermelon'

Some people believe that political statements probably don't belong in a mathematics course. I agree.

(Bellevue, Washington) Bellevue Community College Board of Trustees issued a statement Saturday condemning the behavior of an instructor who wrote a racially insulting math question recently brought to the college's attention by students.
The math question is considered contrary to the college's core values of respect for diversity and elimination of stereotypes.
The question began, "Condoleezza holds a watermelon just over the edge of the roof of the 300-foot Federal Building, and tosses it up with a velocity of 20 feet per second." It went on to ask when the watermelon would hit the ground, based on a formula provided.
BCC President Jean Floten wouldn't name the instructor who wrote the question, however, she said there was no intention to connote the negative caricatures of blacks eating watermelon. Instead, according to Floten, the instructor was fascinated with the name "Condoleezza." Yeah, right. Notably, before being rewritten the question logically referenced the entertainer Gallagher who at least uses watermelons in his comedy act.

As corrective action, the math department issued an apology and the college announced the creation of a new vice-president for diversity and blah, blah, blah. No mention was made regarding the oozing liberalism of an infected institution of high learning.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Dope Dealer, 12, Arrested at School

(Dayton, Ohio) A 12-year-old boy was arrested at Dayton View Academy trying to sell marijuana so he could help out his mother financially. He was found to possess 7.2 grams of the drug. His mother said she didn't know where the boy got the dope.

Teacher Guilty of Sodomizing Student

Adrienne_Lee_Raymond(McMinnville, Oregon) Last October, 38-year-old art and science teacher at Sheridan High School, Adrienne Lee Raymond, was arrested and charged with six counts of third-degree sex abuse for having multiple sexual relations with a 15-year-old male student.

On Thursday, Raymond pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree sex abuse and one count of third-degree sodomy before Circuit Judge John Collins. Sentencing is scheduled for May 26.

Although the judge has the ability to sentence Raymond to a much as five years in prison, the prosecution and defense have recommended no incarceration. Consequently, it's expected that Judge Collins will not give the divorced mother of two any jail time.

[Update 05/28/06]

Raymond sentenced to four months in jail and five years probation. Apparently, punishment was lenient since she was sexually abused as a child and suffered from alcoholism. I'd guess that a 39-year-old male teacher found guilty of grooming a 15-year-old girl for sex would have received harsher punishment. With or without a sob story.
Iran Calls America A Pussy

(Tehran) One senior Iranian cleric, Ayatollah Ahmad, labeled the U.S. as too weak to stop Iran's ambitions. Ahmad said America is a "decaying power" with no stamina. Meanwhile, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the U.S. efforts to prompt the UN to impose sanctions is of "no importance."

Iran boasted yesterday it could defeat any American military action over its nuclear drive, in one of the Islamic regime's boldest challenges yet to the United States.

"You can start a war but it won't be you who finishes it," said Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi, the head of the Revolutionary Guards and among the regime's most powerful figures.

"The Americans know better than anyone that their troops in the region and in Iraq are vulnerable. I would advise them not to commit such a strategic error," he told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Tehran.

"I would advise them to first get out of their quagmire in Iraq before getting into an even bigger one," Gen. Safavi said with a grin.

"We have American forces in the region under total surveillance. For the past two years, we have been ready for any scenario, whether sanctions or an attack."
Ahmadinejad scoffs at the United States while incessantly blasting words of intimidation. He has pledged to wipe Israel off the map and said the Holocaust did not occur. Apparently, Iranian belligerence has no limit because now we hear them say that America doesn't have the cajones to confront Iran. From my experience, those are fighting words.

Companion post at In The Bullpen.

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