Saturday, May 31, 2008

Women With Troubles - May 2008

Reported in the news during May 2008, here is the compilation of women with troubles. Each name is linked to an Interested-Participant blog entry displaying details.

For a more comprehensive listing, check the Women With Troubles category link.
(AK) Miklene A. Gilligan,
neighbor - Pleaded no contest to sex abuse of boy, 13. Sentencing in September,

(AR) Deanna Bobo, 40,
teacher - Conviction affirmed by appeals court. Sentenced to 12 years for sex with students,

(AZ) Veronica Bullock, 29,
neighbor - Violates probation after completing 30 days jail for sex with boy, 12,

(AZ) Trina Rae Carroll, 34,
neighbor - Arrested after her two-year-old found with meth in system,

(AZ) Jennifer Mally, 27,
teacher - Sentenced to 6 months in jail for sex with male student, 16,

(AZ) Savannah Sutherland, 23,
neighbor - Sentenced to 3.5 years prison for vehicular homicide,

(CA) Lisa Racquel Arellanes, 32,
school employee - Accused of being drunk as school chaperone,

(CA) Holly Ashcraft, 23,
college student - Sentenced to probation for throwing her newborn into dumpster to die,

(CA) Crissy Torcella Hisey, 28,
teacher - Arrested for sex with female student, 17,

(CA) Larissa Shuster, 47,
neighbor - Sentenced to life in prison for murdering husband,

(FL) Kimberly S. Cameron, 43,
neighbor - Arrested for sex with boy , 15,

(FL) Caroline Corbett, 23,
scouting assistant - Arrested for sex with scout,

(FL) Tiffany Shepherd, 30,
teacher - Fired from teaching job for "missing work,"

(GA) Noelle Pannell, 31,
teacher - Arrested for sex with male student,

(IL) Deborah Kissell, 32,
cafeteria lady - Accused of sex with male student, 16,

(IL) Deborah Logan, 46,
teacher - Arrested for smoking dope at school,

(IL) Anastasia Pappas, 41,
teacher - Sentenced to 5 years prison for sex with boy, 15,

(IL) Kristina Rhoades, 27,
neighbor - Sentenced to probation for sex abuse of boy under 17,

(IN) Julie Phillips, 50,
neighbor - Accused of harassing daughter's classmate leading to girl's attempted suicide,

(IN) Julie A. Singleton, 34,
jail guard - Sentenced to 6 months in prison for sex with male inmate, 16,

(IN) Sheila Vasquez, 37,
teacher - Arrested for sex with male student, 15,

(KY) Michelle Marie Andrews, 22,
neighbor - Arrested for rape of boy, 13,

(KY) Tanya Baynum, 28,
neighbor - Accused of raping runaway boy, 15,

(KY) Gail Coontz, 37,
neighbor - Arrested for murdering her children,

(LA) Monica Michelle Martin, 27,
teacher - Arrested for sex with male student, 18,

(LA) Maurna Thornton, 39,
teacher - Pleads guilty to felony carnal knowledge of boy, 14,

(MA) Jessica L. Coughlin, 22,
neighbor - Sentenced to probation for raping boy, 15,

(MD) Lindsey H. Froehlich, 26,
teacher - Accused of sexual contact with male student, 16,

(MI) Anna Marie Glass, 29,
neighbor - Accused of sex with boy between 13 and 15,

(MO) Lori Drew,
neighbor - Indicted for MySpace suicide death of girl, 13,

(MO) Michelle Hollis,
neighbor - Gets seven years in prison for "involuntary" fatal poisoning of husband,

(NC) Stephanie Rae Mathis Spann, 31,
neighbor - Sentenced to 9 months jail for rape of child under 16,

(NH) Kelly Horrigan, 26,
teacher - Arrested for marijuana possession,

(NJ) Pamela Balogh, 40,
teacher - Sentenced to 7 years prison for sex assault of girl, 15,

(NY) Rebecca L. Becker, 29,
teacher - Sentenced to 90 days in jail for sex with male student,

(NY) Kathryn Brauch, 22,
neighbor - Sentenced to 3 years prison for sex with boy,

(NY) Jeanine M. Buske, 33,
neighbor - Accused of sex with boy, 16,

(NY) Lisa Curcie, 22,
neighbor - Arrested for rape of boy, 14,

(NY) Christel C. Gravlin, 33,
teacher - Sentenced to 120 days in jail for sex with student, 15,

(NY) Janmattie Singh, 22,
teacher - Arrested for sex with 3 male teens,

(NY) Maria E. Zurita, 29,
teacher's aide - Sentenced to one year in jail for sex with male student,

(PA) Sherry Ambolino, 41,
babysitter - Arrested for arriving at school drunk with car full of kids,

(PA) Gloria Guthrie, 29,
neighbor - Arrested for sex with two teen boys, 15 and 16,

(PA) Tiona Jones, 29,
neighbor - Arrested during traffic stop with $170,000 in heroin,

(PA) Tammy Lickert, 29,
neighbor - Sentenced to 6-to-23 months prison for sex with boy, 12,

(PA) Susan Siegel, 53,
teacher - Arrested after scoring dope,

(PA) Mary C. Steck, 51,
teacher - Arrested for heroin possession,

(PA) Michele E. Zulkowsky, 28,
teacher - Arrested for fondling boy during school hours,

(SC) Janet Fackovec, 25,
teacher - Sentenced to 90 days in jail for reduced charge of contributing to delinquency,

(SC) Sara Melissa Schneider, 28,
neighbor - Accused of soliciting sex from boy over Internet,

(SD) Marchelle Dawan West-Boston, 28,
neighbor - Indicted for rape of boy,

(TN) Christie G. McCoy, 31,
neighbor - Indicted for rape of boy, 15,

(TX) Joy Blackstock, 23,
teacher - Arrested for sex with male student, 18,

(TX) Tanya Boyd, 46,
teacher - Arrested for possessing marijuana and loaded weapon on school grounds,

(TX) Rebecca Ann Bramlett, 33,
teacher - Arrested for sex with male student, 16,

(TX) Kerry Smith Foulk, 47,
teacher - Sentenced to probation for sex with girl, 14,

(TX) Erica Morquecho Gonzales, 33,
teacher - Accused of sex with male student, 17,

(TX) Shauntel Mayo, 29,
neighbor - Sentenced to life in prison for children's sex club,

(UT) Cris Lynn Morris, 30,
teacher - Sentenced to 30 days jail for unlawful sex with male student,

(VA) Jennifer Lawson, 39,
neighbor - Arrested for soliciting boy, 15, via MySpace,

(VA) Rachel Smith, 32,
teacher - Arrested for possession of meth,

(VA) Paula Tomlin, 36,
school bus driver - Arrested for sex with male student, 16,

(WA) Diane Amanda Hillman, 40,
school counselor - Sentenced to 5 years prison for raping girl, 15,

(WA) Ryann C. Springer, 25,
teacher - Arrested for sex with girl, 17,

(WI) Teresa M. Cantrall, 41,
neighbor - Accused of sex with boy, 13, she met through MySpace,

(WI) Jacqueline Plant, 34,
teacher - Accused of prescription drug fraud,

(WV) Christi Lee Williams, 30,
teacher - Arrested for sex with student, 16.
Thanks to the tipsters.
Burmese Told to Eat Frogs

For those voices who constantly complain about the conditions in the United States, check out this report from the Bangkok Post.
Rangoon - The military junta began evicting destitute families from cyclone relief centres on Friday and rejected foreign food aid - because people can survive perfectly well by hunting "large, edible frogs."
An accurate final tally may never be known, but so far it's estimated that 134,000 are dead or missing.

Bus Driver in Love with Boy, 16

(Staunton, Virginia) A 36-year-old school bus driver and teacher's aide at Robert E. Lee High School, Paula Tomlin, was arrested this week for allegedly engaging in sexual relations with a 16-year-old male student.

The relationship allegedly involved criminal offenses in the city of Staunton and in Augusta County. She faces four charges in Augusta County of indecent liberties with a child while in a custodial position and three charges in Staunton.
According to information gathered during the investigation, over the last three weeks the 16-year-old male student, who attends the Genesis Alternative Education School in Fishersville, would regularly ride Tomlin’s bus in the afternoons until her route was finished, then the two would leave the bus storage area together in her car, [Staunton City Schools Superintendent] Nichols said.

Tomlin would drop the student off within walking distance of his house, usually around 6 p.m., Nichols said. The student’s parents were unaware anything unusual was taking place.

An adult acquaintance of Tomlin’s informed school authorities of the situation at noon Wednesday, Nichols said. By 3 p.m., they were sufficiently confident of wrongdoing to inform police. Tomlin was arrested Thursday following the completion of her bus route.

School officials provided police with evidence, including a series of explicit text messages between Tomlin and the student, Staunton Police Department Investigator J.I. Hylton said. After initial denials, Tomlin and the student confirmed under questioning the sexual nature of their relationship, Hylton said. Both stated they were in love.
Tomlin was booked into custody at the Middle River Regional Jail and released on $2,500 bond.
Illegal Arrested for Molesting Girl, 3

(Bradenton, Florida) A 25-year-old Mexican illegal alien, Israel Lugo-Rios, was arrested this week by Manatee County Sheriff's deputies for allegedly molesting a 3-year-old girl.
The victim was taken to Manatee Memorial Hospital on Saturday complaining of pain, according to sheriff's reports. A medical examination determined the girl had been molested, authorities said.
Lugo-Rios was booked into custody with federal officials placing an immigration hold.

The Sheriff's Office indicated that Lugo-Rios knew the girl which would suggest that she was possibly a relative or a next door neighbor.
Illegal Arrested for Sex Assault of Disabled Woman

(Jacksonville, Florida) A 25-year-old illegal alien, Juventino M. Pizano, was arrested this past week for sexually assaulting a 48-year-old woman who had just been released from the Intensive Care Unit following surgery to insert a catheter in her heart.
“According to the victim, she woke up at about 3 a.m. Saturday morning with a man on top of her. She tried to push him off but wasn’t able to. When she started screaming and hollering, the rest of the family started banging on the door,” said Detective Tonya Sonntag of the Jacksonville Police Department.

“The victim said her attacker then put his pants on and unlocked the door. The boys in the house grabbed him and basically chunked him out the door. Officers responding to the scene found him a few blocks down and detained him.”

Once JPD arrived at the scene and began investigating the circumstances, Pizano was arrested and charged with aggravated sexual assault and public intoxication.
Pizano was booked into custody at the Cherokee County Jail with an immigration hold.

I wonder whether Pizano has been previously deported. It wouldn't surprise me if he had.
Iran: Enrichment Is Non-Negotiable

(Tehran) Iran today set preconditions for any negotiations regarding nuclear enrichment with anybody at any time.
Iran will not give up its right to enrich uranium, a senior Iranian official said on Saturday, days before major powers submit an upgraded package of incentives to try to coax Tehran into halting the work.

"Suspending enrichment is not negotiable ... Depriving Iran of its right cannot be on offer," Gholamhossein Elham, the government spokesman, told a weekly news conference.
So, weapons-grade uranium enrichment is off the table as presumably is the previously stated goal of wiping Israel off the map. Of course, this means that if Sen. Obama is elected President, he won't be able to sit down and chat with Iranian President Ahmadinejad without preconditions. Iran has already established them.

And, all the world's hope and all the world's change won't dissuade Ahmadinejad, a fanatic whose actions are dictated by a desire for global tumult and a worldwide caliphate accompanied by a prophet coming out of a well.

Also: The Jawa Report
Texas Teacher Gets No Jail for Molesting Girl, 14

(Beaumont, Texas) A 47-year-old substitute teacher at Nederland High School, Kerry Smith Foulk, pleaded guilty this week to indecency with a child resulting from sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl.

In accordance with a plea agreement, Foulk will complete 10 years of deferred adjudication on probation. She also has to pay for counseling of her victim and the parent.
Indecency with a child is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. The plea agreement is subject to approval by state 252nd District Court Judge Layne Walker, who is scheduled to sentence Foulk next month.
According to Jefferson County Prosecutor Pat Knauth, the indecency occurring in Foulk's home was not an isolated incident.
The substitute teacher had a history of befriending girls in classes she taught, the prosecutor said, allowing girls to stay nights at her house.

"She would provide alcohol to them, talk about sex with them, try to get them drunk," Knauth said.
Foulk will have to register as a sex offender and has been barred from teaching at public schools.

Okay, let's turn it around. A 47-year-old man liquors up and molests a 14-year-old. Does he get no jail?

Tip: Shane
Woman, Car, Heroin

(Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) A 29-year-old local woman, Tiona Jones, blew a stop sign in a car with a busted taillight and was arrested for possessing an estimated $170,000 of heroin.

Therefore, successful drug dealers will put the car before the horse. Tiona Jones didn't.

Tip: SuidaeEmpathy
Subway caves in -- but tells lies in the process

Their announcement below:

"We at SUBWAY restaurants place a high value on education, regardless of the setting, and have initiated a number of programs and promotions aimed at educating our youth in the areas of health and fitness.

We sincerely apologize to anyone who feels excluded by our current essay contest. Our intention was to award the grand prize of $5000 in athletic equipment to a traditional school with the unfortunate knowledge that many schools are removing physical education from their curriculum. Knowing this, we would be able to impact as many children as possible with this prize.

To address the inadvertent limitation of our current contest and provide an opportunity for even more kids to have the benefit from prizing that encourages physical activity, we are creating an additional contest in which home schooled students will be encouraged to participate. When the kids win, everyone wins!


"Inadvertent"???? A whole sentence crept into their promo without them being aware of it?? They sure know how to insult the intelligence of their customers!

My previous comment on this matter was on May 27

Posted by John Ray.
Alaska Woman Guilty of Child Sex Abuse

(Fairbanks, Alaska) In October 2006, a local woman, Miklene A. Gilligan, was arrested after being caught performing oral sex on a 13-year-old boy. Gilligan was charged with second-degree sexual abuse of a minor.

This week, Gilligan pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of third-degree sexual abuse in accordance with a plea agreement. The charge carries a possible penalty of 12 years in jail.

Sentencing has been scheduled for September 22nd.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Doctor Shortage Looming

It's starting to be recognized that, in the near future, fewer and fewer doctors will be available to treat America's population. Why?

Presently, women outnumber men in medical schools so there will be a majority of females in the medical profession before long -- AND -- studies have shown that female doctors work significantly fewer hours seeing fewer patients than male doctors.

Therefore, male doctors working long hours seeing many patients will be replaced with female doctors working abbreviated schedules seeing not too many patients.

Debbie Schlussel explains.
Must not mention Christianity in Iraq

We read:

"The US military is investigating a marine accused of promoting Christianity in Iraq by giving coins to civilians with a Bible verse written on them in Arabic. "They have initiated an investigation into that and there is some evidence of an individual that was doing that," said Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman. The marine has been accused of distributing the coins to Iraqis as they passed through a checkpoint in Falluja, US officials said. "Where will you spend eternity?" was written on one side of the coins, according to a report from McClatchy News Service.

On the other was a Bible verse written in Arabic referring to Jesus: "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16."

If true, the marine would have violated US military rules that prohibit the promotion of any religion, faith or practice. "This has our full attention," Colonel James Welsh, the US commander in western Iraq, said. "We deeply value our relationship with the local citizens and share their concerns over this serious incident."


He has now been transferred.

Posted by John Ray.
A Dog Named Allah

(London, England) A 28-year-old prison guard, Chris Langridge, and his sniffer dog, Allah (or Ali), have been transferred away from Britain's high-security Belmarsh Jail after a Muslim inmate complained. Langridge insists the dog is named Ali, not Allah.
One Belmarsh officer said: "This is political correctness gone mad."

Belmarsh houses some of Britain's most notorious extremist Muslims, including hook-handed Abu Hamza. It also has the highest proportion of Muslim prisoners of any jail in Britain.

"Muslims don't like dogs and it would have been an insult to their religion if the dog had been called Allah, which is sacred to them. It is disgraceful the way the management kow-towed to them despite Chris's denial."

Also: The Jawa Report
School Chaperone Accused of Being Drunk on Field Trip

(Banning, California) A 32-year-old Banning High School employee, Lisa Racquel Arellanes, was arrested last Friday after allegedly being drunk with a busload of alleged drunk students she was supposed to be chaperoning on a field trip.
About 8:52 p.m. Friday, Banning officers went to Banning High School to investigate a call that a school employee and students may be intoxicated, the release states. After buses returned, officers determined that Arellanes was intoxicated and arrested her.

Fourteen students admitted to drinking alcohol while on the field trip, the release states. Police do not know if Arellanes gave alcohol to the students, according to the release.
Arellanes was booked into custody at the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility. Arellanes was suspended from her job in the school's attendance office pending the completion of an investigation.
Massachusetts Rapist Sentenced to Probation

(Plymouth, Massachusetts) A 22-year-old local woman, Jessica L. Coughlin, pleaded guilty yesterday to raping a 15-year-old boy.

Judge Gregory Baler then sentenced Coughlin to two years' probation.
Police say Coughlin invited the victim, his brother and another friend into her house on Nov. 16, 2006. She gave the boy and his friend alcohol before inviting the victim upstairs to a bedroom.

The friend and the boy’s brother left the house while Coughlin had sex with the boy. The boy’s mother learned of the incident and called police.
The charge of providing alcohol to minors was allowed to slide for two years without a ruling.

As a convicted rapist, it's assumed, but not confirmed, that Coughlin will be ordered to register as a sex offender. It's also assumed that if Coughlin were a man who had raped a girl, he wouldn't be sentenced to probation.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Pan Am 103 - The Pain Continues

In December 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 departed London's Heathrow Airport, bound for JFK in New York. Only minutes after takeoff, approximately one pound of plastic explosive detonated onboard. Debris and human remains landed in and around the Scottish community of Lockerbie. Over 250 people died, including 11 on the ground in Scotland.

After years of investigation and thousands of witness statements, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, a Libyan intelligence officer, was convicted in 2001 of the murders in the Pan Am 103 bombing. Megrahi was sentenced to 27 years in prison. Justice was not served, in my opinion.

Jumping forward to the present, it is depressing to learn and report that Megrahi may be getting a new trial because of new, previously secret, evidence. Freakin' great!

It's not bad enough that only one person was convicted for the bombing but now it looks like he's going to have another bite at the legal apple. And, in the process, all the people who lost family members, friends and acquaintances on Pan Am 103 will be forced to relive the horror in a new trial.
NYC Teacher and Boys in Brooklyn

(Queens, New York) A 22-year-old teacher at Richmond Hill High School, Janmattie Singh, has been arrested for allegedly engaging in sex with three male teens, one of which is a former student.

Singh has been charged with third-degree rape and endangering the welfare of a child.
Back in January Singh allegedly contacted one of her former students to have sex. He was 18 years old, and told her he couldn't get away because he was with his two cousins, one of them 15. Investigators say she met with the three boys at their home in Brooklyn and had sex with them.
Singh's lawyer said she had suffered from a nervous breakdown and was on medication at the time of the alleged offenses. It's contended that the boys took advantage of her.

Singh was booked into custody with bail set at $7,500.
Foot Doctor Gives Breast Exams

(Fresno, California) If a woman visits a podiatrist for a foot problem, it should be expected that the doctor will want to see and feel the woman's breasts. This is according to a court ruling this week in Fresno.

Foot doctor Matthew Sciaroni was acquitted by a jury of charges that he performed breast exams for no good reason when a woman complained about her feet. Sciaroni said it was a necessary exam. The jury agreed.

Therefore, ladies, before going to have your feet checked, realize that you're entering a no shoes, no shirt service zone.

[Update 05/30/08]

Here's more information from the Fresno Bee:
Asked what he's going to do next, Sciaroni turned to his defense attorney, Steven Smith and yelled: "We're going fishing in Cabo!"

The two men gave high-fives and embraced each other.

Florence Carroll, one of Sciaroni's former patients who testified that she was molested, said she was stunned that her former doctor was acquitted.

"I think that's wrong," said Carroll, a 47-year-old Clovis woman on Medicare. "I don't like that, because he'll keep on doing what he's doing and it's not going to stop."

The jurors took less than two days to deliberate before arriving at their verdict. None was willing to comment Wednesday.

Sciaroni was charged with nine crimes, including child molestation and sexual battery, and faced up to seven years in prison if convicted. Eight women testified in the trial that they were inappropriately touched by Sciaroni when they visited him at his office.

One of the women said she visited the podiatrist between the ages of 13 and 19 whenever she had a toenail infection. She said that on five or six occasions Sciaroni asked her to unzip her pants and would touch her groin area.

Twice, she said, he touched her breasts, telling her that the infection could spread to her chest.

Carroll, in an interview, said that when she visited Sciaroni in 2005, he came into his office, stuck his hand in her shirt to squeeze her breast and then tried to kiss her.

"You wouldn't think a doctor would do something like that," she said.

Carroll said that she tried going to other podiatrists afterward, but returned to Sciaroni a year later because she said he was the only foot doctor her Medicare plan would pay for.

Sciaroni testified that he never touched the breasts of his young patients, but did try to help some of his adult patients learn how to conduct self breast exams.
Obviously, not everyone was happy with the outcome of the trial.

[Update II]

Wow! Here's a breaking story out of Cook County, Illinois. A 63-year-old foot doctor, Anthony Overton, has been sentenced to six years in prison for sexually assaulting a woman during a foot examination.
Convicted last month on two separate counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, Overton has maintained that he was only giving the elderly patient a physical examination that included a vaginal and rectal exam, a contention both supported and rejected by expert testimony during the trial.

But the judge rejected that notion last month when he found Overton guilty and said that the podiatrist violated the usual standards for professionalism by giving the victim, then 75, a gynecological exam in 2006.
Interesting. Podiatrists examining female parts other than the feet is allowed in California but not so in Illinois. What we have here is a lack of consensus.
Scott McClellan Is A Worm

Somebody has already said that the real message from Scott McClellan's memoirs is "I'm a loser." I'll agree with an additional remark.

Having some experience in vetting stacks of resumes for potential new hires, I'd seize the opportunity to annotate McClellan's resume with a simple "WORM" written at the top. It would assure that future readers would know everything they need to know about McClellan's character.
Carbon Belch Day

A group skeptical of all the global warming alarmism has announced June 12th as "Carbon Belch Day."
Conservative grassroots group wants people to waste as much energy as possible on June 12 by "hosting a barbecue, going for a drive, watching television, leaving a few lights on, or even smoking a few cigars."

The point: the group wants to "help Americans break free from the 'carbon footprint guilt' being imposed by Climate Alarmists."
Reportedly, Carbon Belch Day will counter the "goofy save the Earth mandates" of "Earth Hour" held on March 21st.

On a related note, I'm curious to see crime statistics associated with the turn-the-lights-off Earth Hour time period. I'd speculate that there was a noticeable uptick.

Tip: Charley Nestor

Also: The Jawa Report
Drug User Teaching Grade School?

(North Conway, New Hampshire) A 26-year-old sixth-grade teacher at John Fuller Elementary School, Kelly Horrigan, was arrested early this month for possession of marijuana.

Police stopped a car for erratic driving and found Horrigan and Lauren Kulberg, 23, smelling of marijuana and in possession of two small bags of the drug.

Notably, Horrigan assists local police officers in teaching anti-drug DARE classes to her sixth-grade students. Nevertheless, her teaching position is not in jeopardy. The Conway School Board has ruled that drug charges or convictions for actions away from school grounds cannot be used as a basis for dismissal.

Apparently, school system policies do not address situations where teachers are caught with drugs outside of school grounds. According to School Board Chair Sheryl Kovalik,
As it stands, under the drug and alcohol policy, Kovalik said the school board does not police teachers or punish them for their actions after they leave the premises.

"We have limited control over what happens off school grounds. We do background checks on all employees, but this (crime Horrigan is accused of) qualifies as a misdemeanor, and those don't come up on background checks," she said.

"The next question is, should we have random drug testing for all teachers?" she said. "We do it for busdrivers. We're going to have a conversation."
Frankly, this whole situation is a mess. Elementary school principal Mark Zangari's statement that "he hopes Horrigan realizes that as a teacher she is held to a higher standard than others" is ludicrous. What higher standard?

Furthermore, it's utterly illogical to have an alleged drug-user teaching sixth-graders anything, much less anti-drug DARE classes.

Maybe the readers can weigh in. Is it prudent to have known drug-users teaching America's future generations? I don't think so.

Also: The Jawa Report and EdWatch
Naughty Rush!

I am afraid I had to laugh at the report below:

We read:
"Latinos have a lengthy history at the receiving end of insults and mischaracterizations that media personalities dish out and get away with. That's what happened May 5 - Cinco de Mayo, of all days - when conservative radio antagonist Rush Limbaugh, describing on air an encounter with Bill Clinton, said he wasn't sure whether Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who was present, was a "shoe shine guy" or a "secret service agent."


Of course the Left can call GWB a Nazi and Christians Taleban and that is OK. But a joke like the above is hate speech. Another case for Matthew 7:3-5, I think.

Posted by John Ray.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

School Cafeteria Worker Gets Weeks for Servicing Boy

(Urbana, Illinois) A 32-year-old former cafeteria lady at Ludlow Grade School, Deborah Kissell, has been sentenced to two weeks in jail for felony indecent solicitation of a 16-year-old boy.

Champaign County Judge Tom Difanis also ordered 30 months of probation, registration as a sex offender for life, no contact with her victim and performance of 150 hours of public service.
Assistant State's Attorney Dan Jackson said Kissell met the boy a few years ago when he was a student at Ludlow Grade School, where she was employed as a cafeteria worker. Jackson said the two engaged in sex acts.
Kissell, a married mother of two, was arrested in April.
Deborah Kissell was a cafeteria cook three years ago when she first came into contact with the then.. 13 year old student... But their relationship was just uncovered, when the student's parents found sexually explicit text messages on the victim's phone and naked pictures from Kissell.
In exchange for her guilty plea, a charge of aggravated criminal sexual abuse was dismissed.

My school always had tuna on Fridays.
Woman's Hand Slapped for Fatally Poisoning Husband

(Harrisonville, Missouri) A local woman, Michelle Hollis, was sentenced earlier today after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter of her 31-year-old husband in 1993.
Michelle Hollis pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of her husband, John Hollis.

In July 1993, Belton police were called to a home in the 900 block of Kent Drive. John Hollis was taken to a hospital, where he died a few days later.

An autopsy found a fatal amount of antifreeze in the victim's system.
Hollis was sentenced to seven years in prison. With good behavior, she will probably be paroled in five.

Given the lenient punishment meted out by the court for her offense of "involuntary" poisoning, it appears that Hollis could easily poison several other husbands before she starts collecting Social Security.

Someone should go into the Cass County District Attorney's office with a broom. A good sweeping appears to be warranted.

Tip: SuidaeEmpathy
Louisiana Teacher and Student

(Vivian, Louisiana) A 27-year-old substitute teacher at North Caddo High School, Monica Michelle Martin, was arrested yesterday for allegedly engaging in a sexual relationship with an 18-year-old male student.

Martin has been charged with sexual conduct between an educator and a student and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
During the relationship, the two would meet at Martin's apartment, a Bossier City motel and at other locations. Martin also purchased the teenager a phone so they could communicate and paid a parking ticket issued to him, investigators said.
Martin was booked into custody at the Caddo Correctional Center.
SF School Board Approves New Strategy

(San Francisco, California) Yesterday, the San Francisco School Board approved a strategic plan which institutes a new grading system for all schools in the district.
Each school will be judged by how well it "serves each and every student based on that school's ability to disrupt the historically predictive power of racial, ethnic, linguistic and socio-economic student attributes," according to the plan.

Successful programs would be identified and worked into other schools.
Therefore, if a school can successfully disrupt predictive powers of student attributes, something good happens -- I guess. Of course, I haven't the foggiest idea what the new stated strategy means, but it must be good. San Francisco has lots of smart people.

Pat Buchanan knows his history, whatever else you might think of him, and he has just written a good summary of the revisionist arguments about the two world wars. I myself alluded briefly to such arguments on 23rd.

I am one of the many history buffs who agree that WWI was the big mistake so I agree with Buchanan there and I certainly agree with him that the peace-obsessed politics of the interwar period were the breeding ground for WWII.

Buchanan is however being wise in hindsight, something easy to do. What he seems largely unaware of is the psychology behind those two disastrous wars. WWI was NOT fought over the assassination of an Austrian archduke in Serbia. Politicians can be pretty foolish but we do our ancestors discredit to think that they were as foolish as that.

Strangely, WWI was the fruit of the long peace engineered by the "Iron Chancellor" of Prussia, Prince Otto von Bismarck. Bismarck gained great authority from the way he used both war and politics to extend the Prussian domain to the point that almost the whole of the German-speaking lands came under the sway of the Prussian crown in the form of a united Germany -- with the Prussian defeat of Napoleon III at Sedan being the clincher.

So how did Bismarck use that great authority and the pre-eminent German military machine that he controlled? If he had been a Leftist like Napoleon, he would have attempted to conquer the world. But he was a conservative so he did no such thing. Once he had attained his aim of a united Heimatland (homeland) -- i.e. a united Germany --- he used his great talents and resources to ensure that there were no more wars in Europe.

And the long peace from 1872 onwards allowed Europeans to concentrate on constructive pursuits for change -- leading to vast economic growth in most of Europe (including Russia). But the huge leap forward in science, technology and prosperity in the late 19th century led to hubris among the populations concened. They were so impressed by their own achievements that they thought they could conquer the world -- literally. And they actually did to some extent -- bringing large slices of what we would now call the Third World under their rule.

Sadly, however, communications then fell a long way short of the global village that we inhabit today and most people in the national populations concerned concluded that their great achievements were the fruit of a national genius peculiar to them. That other nations were doing about equally as well was lost sight of. It was, in short, a time of overweening national pride and they all thought that they could conquer anyone. So they were all spoiling for a fight. They thought that if they could have a war, they could conquer the other nations around them in six weeks. So after Bismarck was no longer there to restrain them, a pretext for a fight was found and the nations of Europe all marched into WWI in full confidence of a rapid national triumph. It was however reality that triumphed.

And after the colossal horror of WWI, who can blame the politicians of the interwar years for doing everything they could to run away from another war? That running away does more harm than good is however the lesson we must learn from that.

Buchanan's article stops before the events of WWII so I will stop there too. Much to be said there but some other time. I do think Churchill was right in his unswerving enmity to Nazism, however.

Posted by John Ray.
Garbage Police Compiling Dossiers

(Plymouth, England) Residents are being instructed to complete a garbage police (called bin police) questionnaire, providing the city with detailed personal information. Healthy fines are threatened for those who fail to comply.

Residents are instructed to name the one individual in the household who will be responsible for facing criminal charges and paying fines when the garbage is handled incorrectly. Putting trash in the wrong bins or at the wrong time or place will prompt enforcement action.

Individual household garbage volume will be compared to other disposers and justification must be provided for higher than average amounts. Relevant medical conditions of members of the household must also be revealed and documented.

Seems like the Brits are trending toward requiring a license to throw away a candy wrapper. Undoubtedly, a home is not a castle in Britain.
Brit Sub Hits Red Sea Rocks

(Red Sea, 80 miles south of Suez) On Monday, the British nuclear-powered submarine HMS Superb smashed into underwater rocks in the Red Sea.

Sonar equipment was damaged, however, watertight integrity was maintained. There were no casualties.

HMS Superb is a 272-foot Swiftsure-class attack boat based in Faslane, Scotland, with a crew of 112. The boat had traversed the Suez Canal and was operating in the northern Red Sea.

Wow! Just two days ago, the news broke that another British nuke boat, HMS Trafalgar, crashed into the seabed off the Isle of Skye back in 2002. That incident was caused by tracing paper being used on navigation charts which obscured hazards. And now, the HMS Superb crashes. The Royal Navy is having a run of bad publicity this week.

Maybe there should be a recruiting tagline -- Join the Navy, Stuff Happens.
Woman Arrested for Raping Man

(Stockholm, Sweden) A 41-year-old local woman is in custody after allegedly inviting a 30-year-old man into her apartment and raping him.
“She invited him up for a little midnight snack,” Towe Hägg of the Stockholm police told The Local.

Once getting the man up to her place, the woman began to make sexual advances toward the man, which he resisted.

“We don’t know if it was a ‘no’ or if it was more than a ‘no’,” said Hägg.

After the man refused to have sex with the woman, she then performed oral sex on him against his will, according to the Aftonbladet newspaper.

The man called police the next morning to report that he was raped.
Prosecutors are reviewing the case.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Woman Gets Probation for Newborn's Death

Free Image hosting by ImageSnap(Los Angeles, California) A 23-year-old college student, Holly Ashcraft, pleaded no contest last week to child endangerment in the death of her newborn son in 2005 in accordance with a plea deal.
The deal ends a legal odyssey in which judges twice threw out murder charges against Ashcraft. Authorities alleged that she hid her pregnancy and after secretly giving birth in 2005 dumped her newborn son near a popular campus hangout.

They also argued it was not the first time she had disposed of a newborn.

Ashcraft was investigated by police, but not arrested or charged, in April 2004 after she arrived at a Los Angeles hospital having just given birth but without a baby, who was never found.
Under the plea deal, Ashcraft pleaded no contest to child endangerment. In return, she gets two years' time served and five years probation when sentenced on June 27.

I'm outraged. Ashcraft threw a newborn son into a dumpster and he died. That's intentional homicide -- MURDER -- not endangerment. One judge, David Wesley, questioned whether she acted with malice. Well, Judge Wesley, in my mind the act itself was malicious, cut and dried.

Jay at STACLU sums it up nicely.
Michael Vick sits in jail for allowing dogs to be tortured to death and is the object of sustained national rage and ridicule (rightly, of course). This woman tortures a baby to death (don’t anyone dare claim that leaving a newborn in a trashcan is not torture) and gets off with probation and sympathy. In today’s America, dogs are more valuable than babies.
When crimes against pets are more serious than crimes against children, it's hard to dispute the contention that institutions in American society and, by extension, all of civilization are gravely ill.

So, readers, toss your children in a dumpster, if you must, but don't forget to have Fido licensed and have him seen by a vet. And remember, never confuse your pet with your child because it could land you in the slammer.
U.S. Memorial Day

The world of blogs picks up lots of stuff that you would never read in the old media. An excellent example is a post by John Rubery who has marked Memorial Day by a tribute to the Australians who have fought alongside Americans in America's wars since 1900 -- even in Vietnam and currently now in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Australians celebrate their equivalent of Memorial Day on April 25th. And our ANZAC day is undoubtedly our most solemn national day. So it is easy for Australians to understand how Americans feel on their similar occasion. You can read what I wrote last April 25th here.

Posted by John Ray.
Record Sky Dive Attempt

(North Battleford, Saskatchewan) Meet 64-year-old Michel Fournier, a daredevil parachutist and retired French Army officer.

Fournier plans to jump out of a balloon today at an altitude of 130,000 feet to set new world records for fastest free fall, longest free fall, highest jump and highest altitude reached by man in a balloon.

At some point on the way down, Fournier will break the sound barrier and approach 1,000 miles per hour. Bon voyage, mon ami!

If everything goes as planned, Fournier will jump shortly after 7 AM EDT. The trip down should take about 15 minutes. He plans on deploying his parachute when he reaches 1,500 meters from the ground.

Fournier has had to postpone his jump several times because of high winds.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Arab Cross-Dressers Arrested

(Dubai, United Arab Emirates) According to Dubai Police Chief, Lt. Gen. Dahi Khalfan Tamim, a number of male cross-dressers have been arrested and the Ministry of Social Affairs (MSA) should conduct research to pinpoint the causes and establish a solution to the "dangerous" trend.

Lt. Gen. Tamim suggested that cross-dressing has become more prevalent because of coed schools and lack of parental guidance.
Cross-dressers, or “the third sex” as they are often called, cause confusion for teachers, parents and pupils. The practice of dressing as a member of the opposite sex is particularly evident in all-male schools, but in girls’ high schools “boyat” -- an Arabic slang term -- is becoming increasingly commonplace.

Dressed to appear masculine, with short, boyish haircuts and an attitude to match, the female boyat befriends and flirts with other girls. However, innocent flirtation can lead to physical relations and even sexual assault.
The police campaign against cross-dressing includes tougher enforcement while raising awareness in society.

It's unknown what charges are filed against cross-dressers. However, it's assumed that the last place a girly boy wants to reside is an Arab prison.
Subway for illiterates

This story has been going around the blogs a bit in the last day or so, so I thought I might mention it here:

The Subway sandwich chain is running a writing contest for kids from which homeschooled kids are specifically excluded. Excluding a potential one million customers seems pretty dumb to start with but the stupidity does not end there. In their promo they write (down the very bottom) of the "Untied" States and homeschoolers are described as "home schools". Note that there was another misspelling too: "bastket".

And to top it off it is pre-schoolers that they are asking to compose sentences. A bit ambitious! See here and here for more.

So why did they do it? I think Bob McCarty has the best explanation.


As I had had a small eye operation only a few hours before I wrote the above, I could not see very well and missed a couple of things (funnily enough). Now corrected.

Jerry Lerman has grabbed a copy of the original promo in case they wake up long enough to correct the original. See here. You may have to use the resize gadget to enlarge the pic. Jerry has highlighted the bloopers in red.

Posted by John Ray.
German Nuclear Policy Makes No Sense

(Osnabruck, Germany) In a departure from what previous leaders have said, German Chancellor Angela Merkel displays some logic regarding nuclear generating plants in Germany.
Speaking on Thursday at a national Catholic conference in the city of Osnabrück, Merkel said Germany's plan to abandon nuclear power "didn't make sense," especially as a country "with the safest nuclear power plants."

She said the country would be making a "laughing stock" of itself if it abandoned the production of nuclear power for the sake of a good conscience only to turn around and import nuclear energy from other countries.
I would add that purchasing nuclear-generated electricity would also be hypocritical. If Germany's energy policy is to be dictated by pie-in-the-sky, environmental ideologues, then the nation should learn to turn the lights out before buying any nuke electricity. After all, utopian dreams are more important than electrical appliances.

Meanwhile, Italy says it wants to start building nuclear power plants even though it's forbidden by a 1987 referendum calling for a ban and deactivation of the country's reactors.
"Only nuclear plants safely produce energy on a vast scale with competitive costs, respecting the environment," Italian Economic Development Minister Claudio Scajola said. "An action plan to go back to nuclear power cannot be delayed anymore."
Of course, the ban imposed by the referendum will first have to be overturned so expect a political battle. However, the head of Greenpeace Italy, Giuseppe Onufio, went a step further by calling the plan a "declaration of war."

All in all, the debate on nuclear power in Europe is becoming spicy.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Is Obama on Drugs?

Seriously, is Obama on drugs? . Dr Jack Wheeler just called for Obama to be drug tested. I think he's right and no, I am not referring to the Sinclair's sex and drug allegations.The mental mistakes Obama has been serially making are so serious a neuroscientist thinks they are consistent with the kind caused by chronic use of either amphetamines or cocaine. Wheeler makes no accusations - just says the suspicion must be allayed. We drug test employees in the work place. Shouldn't presidential candidates be held to the same basic vetting process. I mean really.

Obambi has been gaffe-ridden for some time. Another beauty occurred on May 8, 2007: In a campaign speech, he said 10,000 people had died in a tornado that hit Greensburg, Kansas a few days earlier. The death toll was 12.

In the past few weeks, however, the O-gaffes have been proliferating. On April 28 in Wilmington, North Carolina, he thought the month was "March" and that it was "nine months to November."

More here

Posted by John Ray.
Beer News

1) The big story in the beverage world this week has been the rumored unfriendly Anheuser-Busch takeover aspirations of Belgian-based InBev.

Reportedly, a $50 billion offer was made for Anheuser-Busch but CEO August Busch IV has already said that it wasn't going to happen on his watch.

To further stave off an unsolicited bid from InBev, Anheuser-Busch is now contemplating a buyout of Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo, the maker of Corona Beer. Analysts say Anheuser would thus be too expensive for InBev.

2) Meanwhile, popular Beer Magazine has announced that Philippines-made San Miguel is the best-tasting beer in Asia after it beat major brands from China, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore. San Miguel Pale Pilsen topped the other Asian brands in appearance, aroma, taste and finish.

3) Starting this coming Wednesday is the Montreal Beer Festival where Canadians and visitors can sample a variety of more than 450 beer brands. The festival, locally called Liverdance, runs through next Sunday.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Visit Scenic Arizona

If you're planning some fun and sun out west this summer, be sure to stop and drink in the famous beauty of the Sonoran Desert in Arizona.

Enjoy the pristine beauty but remember that desert plants and animals are protected by federal and state Environmental Protection Agency regulations and many are listed as threatened or endangered. Harming the environment in any manner may result in criminal penalties.

Tip: Rita & Eugene

Also: The Jawa Report
The campaign so far

McCain could win big in November: "It sounds crazy at first. Amid dire reports about the toxic political environment for Republican candidates and the challenges facing John McCain, many top GOP strategists believe he can defeat Barack Obama - and by a margin exceeding President Bush's Electoral College victory in 2004. At first blush, McCain's recent rough patch and the considerable financial disadvantage confronting him make such predictions seem absurd. Indeed, as Republicans experience their worst days since Watergate, those same GOP strategists are reticent to publicly tout the prospect of a sizable McCain victory for fear of looking foolish. But the contours of the electoral map, combined with McCain's unique strengths and the nature of Obama's possible vulnerabilities, have led to a cautious and muted optimism that McCain could actually surpass Bush's 35-electoral-vote victory in 2004. Though they expect he would finish far closer to Obama in the popular vote, the thinking is that he could win by as many 50 electoral votes."

McCain has nationwide edge over Obama, poll shows: "Rasmussen Reports' Daily Tracking Poll has John McCain leading Barack Obama 46% to 42% nationally, the first time in weeks that either candidate has had a lead of four points or more. McCain leads Hillary Clinton 47%-44% in the poll; Rasmussen's daily tracking results are reported on a four-day rolling average based on interviews with 1,600 likely voters. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points. Pollsters say McCain's lead "can be traced directly to the fact that just 66% of Democrats say they will vote for Obama at this time" and 23% of Democrats say if the election were held now, they'd vote for McCain. Another 11% say they'd go for some other candidate or remain undecided... "The numbers for Florida and Ohio are good news for Sen. John McCain and should be worrisome for Sen. Barack Obama. That is especially true about Ohio, which decided the 2004 election. Ohio's economy is worse than the rest of the country and the Republican brand there is in disrepute. McCain's Buckeye lead may be a sign that nationally this may not be the easy Democratic walk to the White House that many expected," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute."

Posted by John Ray.
Indiana Mom Accused of Harassing Daughter's Classmate

Free Image hosting by ImageSnap(Bloomington, Indiana) A 50-year-old local mom, Julie Phillips, has been accused of harassing her 15-year-old daughter's school classmate and trespassing on the classmate's lawn and scattering diapers scrawled with vulgarities. Phillips faces misdemeanor charges for two offenses.

Additionally, it's reported that the classmate was so traumatized by the acts that she attempted suicide by drug overdose. As a consequence, a civil lawsuit has been filed.
The Capps are suing for an unspecified amount for general damages, including medical bills and any future costs for continued treatment they say their daughter will likely receive -- both for psychological problems and any physical ones that arise from her drug intake.
According to Geffrey Grodner, Julie Phillips regrets taking part in the prank.

It's not clear why the girls were at odds with each other.

Frankly, I assess this case as an example of a mother trying to be a friend to her daughter instead of a parent.
Wisconsin Teacher Accused of Prescription Drug Fraud

Free Image hosting by ImageSnap(Waukesha, Wisconsin) A 34-year-old kindergarten teacher at Pewaukee Lake Elementary School, Jacqueline Plant, has been accused of fraudulently obtaining prescription drugs.

Plant faces two felony counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, four misdemeanor counts of possessing/illegally obtaining a prescription and one misdemeanor count of obstructing an officer.
She told police that she believed she was addicted to drugs, was "doctor shopping" to obtain them and needed to get help for her addiction, according to the complaint.

Plant came to the attention of authorities on April 15 when a physician called Waukesha police and told them he had a woman in his examining room who he believed was using a false identity to obtain prescription drugs, the complaint states. [ ... ]

Eventually, Plant, who the complaint says appeared under the influence of some type of drug because she was unsteady and her speech slurred, gave police her real name and they found prescription pill bottles in her purse and vehicle.
The Pewaukee School District has placed Plant on administrative leave while an investigation is conducted. Plant has a court appearance scheduled for June 11.
U.S. Oil Firm to Explore Offshore

Before anyone gets excited, the exploration won't be offshore from the U.S.
U.S.-based Occidental Petroleum Corp. will carry out new oil exploration in Bahraini territorial waters.

Dr. Abdul Hussain Mirza, minister of oil and gas authority, said the cost of the new discovery would range from $10- 20 million depending whether it is offshore or onshore.

"Oil exploration requires technical work which takes one to one and half years before it starts. The first oil well will be dug in 2010," Mirza was quoted as saying by the Bahrain News Agency.
It's nice to know that U.S. oil companies can find work exploring for oil in other people's back yards.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Teacher, 26, and Emotionally-Disturbed Student, 16

(Rockville, Maryland) A 26-year-old teacher at the Regional Institute for Children and Adolescents (RICA), Lindsey H. Froehlich, has been accused of inappropriate sexual contact with a 16-year-old male student.
Investigators allege that Froehlich established a personal relationship with the student that escalated into "inappropriate touching initiated by the teacher," at the John L. Gildner Regional Institute for Children and Adolescents. The school for children with emotional disablities has about 150 students.
Froehlich was charged with fourth-degree sexual offense and sexual abuse of a minor. She was booked into custody at the Montgomery County Detention Center with bond set at $250,000.
Huckabee defended

He forgot that you must never joke about any black. They are far too sensitive for that.

We read:
"John Hopwood's May 18, 2008, Associated Content article, "Mike Huckabee Blows His Chances at Vice Presidency with Shameless Remark at N.R.A. Convention" which accused Mike Huckabee of both making a racist remark and being racist, raised the ire of many of the article's readers in the form of stern rebuffs in the article's reader comments. If any conclusions can be drawn from scoring the large number of reader comments the article has received, most readers disagreed with Hopwood that the likeable Huckabee's comments were racist.

Most of the reader comments defended Huckabee and were critical of Hopwood's conclusion that Huckabee had made a racist comment concerning Democratic presidential hopeful, Barack Obama. While addressing the National Rifle Association, according to Hopwood, "hearing a sound from backstage while giving his speech to the N.R.A. faithful, Huckabee, who has been noted for his wit by a generally fawning press, quipped, 'That was Barack Obama. He just tripped off a chair. He's getting ready to speak.' The audience began laughing at Huckabee's remark, and continued when he made the extraordinarily insensitive remark, 'Somebody aimed a gun at him and he dove for the floor.' " The incident was reported in a brief story in the L.A. Times on May 17.

Sunday, Huckabee appeared on NBC's Meet the Press telling the moderator, Tim Russett, that, "it was a dumb, off-the-cuff remark." Huckabee also issued a statement on his website, saying, "I made an off-hand remark that was in no way intended to offend or disparage Sen. Obama. I apologize that my comments were offensive; that was never my intention."


If he had said that about John McCain, the media would have said what a great guy Huck is. It's the media who are racist.

Posted by John Ray.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Recent Convert to Islam Arrested for Bombing

(Exeter, England) A 22-year-old recent convert to Islam, Nicky Reilly, was arrested after detonating at least one bomb in a busy shopping center during which he wounded himself.

Reilly has been described as being "preyed upon and radicalized" by jihadis and having the mental capacity of a 10-year-old.
Nicky Reilly, 22, received serious facial injuries after the device went off at lunchtime in a family restaurant at the new £230 million Princesshay shopping centre. Another device was defused by bomb disposal teams.

Tony Melville, Devon and Cornwall’s Deputy Chief Constable, said last night that Mr Reilly had been “preyed upon, radicalised and taken advantage of”. Mr Reilly’s neighbours said that he had been brainwashed. [ ... ]

Mr Reilly’s neighbours described him as “naive and easily lead”.

Daniel Turner, 20, said: ”He is mentally ill and he probably has the mental age of a ten-year-old.

“He changed his name to Mohammed Rasheed about a year ago at a registry office. He was brainwashed into becoming a Muslim by local men. He can’t think for himself.

“Nicky is schizophrenic. We call him the BFG, but he obviously met up with the wrong people.”
I'm guessing BFG stands for big-something-something. Police said there is concern that jihadis are taking advantage of mentally and physically disabled people. Reilly is under guard at a hospital.
Gambia to Behead Gays

(Banjul, Gambia) The Gambian government announced an anti-homosexual campaign last week.

President Yahya Jammeh threatened beheadings.
"The Gambia is a country of believers ... sinful and immoral practices (such) as homosexuality will not be tolerated in this country," the president told a crowd at a political rally on May 15, local journalists told AFP on Thursday.

He went on to say he would "cut off the head" of any gay person caught in The Gambia.
It's believed that the anti-gay campaign will damage the tourist industry, a major contributor to the Gambian economy.

Interestingly, Gambia is a tiny, odd-shaped country that follows the Gambia river. The Atlantic coast is known for its sunny resorts while the rest of the country resembles a wrinkled sausage penetrating the rain forest. With the exception of the coast, Gambia is surrounded by Senegal.
Woman Steals with Phony Brain Cancer Story

Free Image hosting by ImageSnap(Arlington, Washington) A 40-year-old social worker, Sandra Dee Martinez, has been charged with first-degree theft for scamming her employer out of $21,000 with a faked malignant brain tumor story.

Working for the Department of Social and Health Services, Martinez faked letters from phony doctors to receive paid sick leave, days off and light duty assignments.
"She was fabricating a tragedy so she wouldn't have to go to work," Arlington Police Chief John Gray said. "She preyed on the generosity of her employer and co-workers."

The former Mountlake Terrace woman worked out of the Smokey Point DSHS office. The Arlington police investigation turned up a scheme that went way beyond faking the sniffles to take a three-day weekend, Gray said.

Martinez was hired by the state as a social worker in October 2006, according to court records. Five months later she allegedly told her employer she had a brain tumor and began using medical leave and continued to get paid.

The first letter explained that Martinez was diagnosed with tumors and would need two to three weeks off immediately so she could strengthen her immune system and focus on her treatment, court records said. The letter went on to explain that Martinez likely wouldn't be able to work full time and would need one to two years to battle her cancer.
The scam was exposed when a neighbor saw an obviously-forged letter and alerted the authorities.

Matinez is not very smart. For example, in June 2007 she sent one phony doctor's letter indicating that a blood vessel burst in her brain making her comatose and followed it four days later with another letter saying she needed to leave early on Fridays.

Tip: SuidaeEmpathy
Christian Woman Prosecuted for Converting From Islam

(Algiers) A 37-year-old Algerian woman, Habiba Qawider, faces a possible three years in prison for abandoning the Islamic faith without government permission. Her court case is being held in Tiaret, 400 kilometers west of Algiers.

Qawider was arrested during a police spot check of bus riders in April and found to be carrying 10 copies of the Bible. She didn't have a special permit to follow Christianity as required by law nor did she have the authorization to change her religion.

Six other Christians face the same charges in a separate court case. Their trial starts on May 27.
He Was Naked, She Was Drunk

Obviously, I believe in descriptive titles.
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- An airline pilot was found hiding behind a shed wearing only flip-flops and a wristwatch as a nighttime romp in the woods with a flight attendant ended with both under arrest.

Jeffrey Paul Bradford, 24, and Adrianna Grace Connor, 24, both employees of Pinnacle Airlines Inc., were at a diner on the outskirts of Harrisburg on Sunday night before they apparently decided to walk into the woods, police said.

"They told the officer they wanted to go do it in the woods, essentially," said Lower Swatara Township Police Sgt. Richard Brandt. "That's the best answer they had."

The two somehow became separated, and people who live in the neighborhood summoned police around 9:30 p.m., saying they had seen a naked man and an intoxicated woman.
Don't you just hate when things like this happen?

Tip: C. Nestor
Pamela Anderson's Breasts Lure Boy

(Launceston, Tasmania) A woman, Courtney Issabella Bailey, was sentenced to nothing for engaging in sex with a 15-year-old boy. In January 2007, she pleaded guilty to five counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with the boy.
A 32-YEAR-OLD woman sent a picture of Pamela Anderson's breasts to a 15-year-old boy shortly before beginning a sexual relationship with him, the Supreme Court in Launceston has heard.

Courtney Issabella Bailey, now 34, told police that the boy had texted her asking her for a picture of her breasts -- but she sent a picture of the Baywatch star's breasts instead.
Well, that's all the boy needed.
The affair was discovered after the boy's father checked his mobile phone and found the text messages between Bailey and the boy.

Defence counsel Simon Brown said Bailey had a genuine emotional involvement with the boy.

She had lost her job and was now unemployed.
In his ruling, Chief Justice Ewan Crawford ordered Bailey to be on good behavior for two years.

Tip: JR

Also: The Jawa Report with pic
French court confirms Palestinian hoax

"The French Court of Appeals on Wednesday found in favor of Jewish activist Philippe Karsenty, overturning a lower court decision that he had libeled France 2 and its Jerusalem correspondent Charles Enderlin when he accused them of knowingly misleading the watching world about the death of the Palestinian child Muhammad al-Dura in the Gaza Strip in 2000.

"The verdict means we have the right to say France 2 broadcast a fake news report, that [al-Dura's shooting] was a staged hoax and that they duped everybody - without being sued," Karsenty told The Jerusalem Post shortly after the verdict was issued at 1:30 p.m. Paris time.

Al-Dura was filmed cowering with his father, Jalal, behind a barrel at the Gaza Strip's Netzarim junction on September 30, 2000, during an apparent gun battle between Palestinians and IDF troops. The video, taken by Palestinian cameraman and France 2 stringer Talal Abu Rahma, shows al-Dura hiding, and then cuts to footage of him lying, apparently dead, at the junction. It does not show the child killed.

The footage, and Enderlin's broadcast assertion of Israeli responsibility for the killing of al-Dura, turned the 12-year-old's death into a cause celebre in the Muslim world. Karsenty, the head of the media watchdog Media Ratings, was sued for libel after calling for Enderlin's and France 2 news director Arlette Chabot's dismissal, saying the footage was "a hoax."

More here

There's a big article on media-enabled Palestinian photo-fraud here

Posted by John Ray.
Activists Want Chimp Legally Declared "A Person"

(Vienna, Austria) The Vienna-based Association Against Animal Factories, led by 36-year-old Paula Stibbe, have filed an appeal with the European Court of Human Rights to have a 26-year-old male chimpanzee named Hiasl (Matthew) declared a "person."

Austrian courts have already rejected the request.

Stibbe's reported goal is to be appointed Hiasl's legal guardian, a status only achievable for people. Therefore, Stibbe wants Hiasl declared a person. She says she doesn't seek to have him ruled to be human, just a person.

Stibbe argues that personhood is necessary to preclude having Hiasl sold to someone outside Austria, away from the country's strict animal cruelty laws.
In dismissing the activists' request to get a guardian for Matthew, a lower court ruled that the chimp was neither mentally impaired nor in danger - the legal grounds required for a guardian to be appointed.

It did not directly address the issue of whether a chimpanzee can be considered a person.

Eberhart Theuer, the animal rights group's chief legal adviser, said there is a legal precedent to appoint a guardian for an individual incapable of expressing himself.

'As long as Matthew is not recognised as a person, he could be sold abroad or killed for economic reasons,' Theuer said.

'His life depends on this decision. This case is about the fundamental question: Who is the bearer of human rights? Who is a person according to the European Human Rights Charter?'
Of course, if Hiasl is declared a person, then the question of citizenship emerges. Since he was captured in Sierra Leone in 1982 and smuggled into Austria, he would have to be classified as an illegal alien and subject to deportation. However, it's possible that he would qualify for asylum because if he goes back to his birth country, the indigenous population may barbecue him.

Frankly, I think this whole episode is ludicrous. The court should tell Stibbe and her colleagues to go home and find a new hobby. Giving animals human rights protections is a ruling that a prudent and common-sense judiciary won't make. But then, the European Court of Human Rights has likely never been accused of being prudent and common-sensical.
Deserter Corey Glass Rejected in Canada - Updated

Free Image hosting by ImageSnap(Toronto) The Immigration and Refugee Board has denied National Guard Sgt. Corey Glass' application for refugee status.

Consequently, the Canadian Border Services Agency has issued a June 12 deportation order.
"All refugee claimants have a right to due process," said Danielle Norris, a spokeswoman for Customs and Immigrations Canada. "When they have exhausted all legal avenues, we expect them to respect our laws and leave the country."

Glass, of Fairmont, Indiana, says he joined the National Guard believing that he would be deployed only if the United States faced occupation. After he returned from his first tour of duty, he said he tried to leave the Army, but was told that desertion was punishable by death.
War resister advocates are hoping for a political appeal through the House of Commons.

Norris also said that 40 refugee claims from U.S. deserters have been filed since 2003 and only five have made it to the Canadian Federal Court of Appeals. All five have been rejected.

* * * * *

Deserter Corey Glass in Canada
[Previous 4/01/07 entry]
(Toronto, Canada) United States Army deserter, Sgt. Corey Glass, 23, is seeking refugee status in Canada with his case currently before the Immigration and Refugee Board. A decision is expected at some "later date."

Glass contends that he deserted because the Iraq war is illegal and he's mad because when he joined the National Guard, he thought it was a humanitarian organization. What?

Furthermore, if refugee status is declined in Canada, Glass says he'll look to become a refugee in another country because he's not planning on returning to the U.S.

Glass has been hiding for the last seven months after going AWOL while on leave. He said he misses his parents and three siblings.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Rape Threat

(Battle Creek, Michigan) Here's a troubling story from middle America.
Battle Creek police are looking for three boys after a woman visiting the grave of her son told officers one of them exposed himself and threatened her with rape.

The woman, 41, told police she had gone to Oak Hill Cemetery and was mourning the loss of her son when she noticed three boys riding their bikes near her. The oldest of the boys, estimated at 12 to 15 years old, stood near another grave and then approached her talking about the death of his father. After about 10 minutes he suggested they have sex.

The woman said she began crying and told the boy to leave her alone. The boy then unzipped his pants and exposed himself and the woman began yelling at him. Then the second boy, about 10 years old, approached and waved a set of handcuffs. The older boy told her "we are going to handcuff you and rape you on your son's grave."

The woman told police she became enraged and began yelling at the boys and running toward the boys, who got on their bikes and rode away. The woman told police the youngest boy, about 5 to 7 years old, didn't have anything to do with the incident.
Granted, it's anecdotal but I would argue that it's reflective of not only a deteriorating American culture but also a lessening of the standards of civilization as a whole.
Teacher Rebecca Becker Gets Jail

(New Windsor, New York) In June 2007, a 28-year-old teacher, Rebecca L. Becker, and a teacher's aide, Maria E. Zurita, same age, at McQuade Children's Services in New Windsor were charged with sex crimes after an alleged Memorial Day weekend of sexual encounters with two 16-year-old male students.

In September 2007, Rebecca Becker, now 29, pleaded guilty to third-degree rape in Orange County Court. According to Becker's lawyer, John Ingrassia, there was overwhelming evidence, including Becker's own statement to New Windsor police and grand jury testimony from the boy.

Today, Rebecca Becker was sentenced to three months in jail.
Rebecca Becker, 29, provided crucial testimony against former teacher's aide Maria Zurita during Zurita's trial this winter. Becker owned up to her crime from the time New Windsor police arrested her nearly a year ago.

She'll have to register as a sex offender and submit to the supervision of a probation officer for 10 years, because she pleaded guilty to statutory rape. She'll never be able to teach again because she pleaded guilty to a felony.

"You immediately admitted your role, immediately cooperated, immediately showed remorse for what happened. You knew what happened was wrong," said Orange County Court Judge Nicholas DeRosa. "That means something to me."

A probation report concluded that Becker was unlikely to commit another sex crime.
Interestingly, the same judge sentenced Maria Zurita earlier this month to one year in jail for misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child.

So, in the end one rolls on her accomplice and gets 90 days in jail for a felony while the other gets one year for a misdemeanor. Double heh.
Brits Building Two Aircraft Carriers

(London, England) In a statement issued May 20th, the British government has announced that two new 65,000-ton aircraft carriers will be built for the Royal Navy.

The British government has officially given the go-ahead to a 3.9 billion pound ($7.6 billion) program to build two aircraft carriers for the Royal Navy. The first of the warships is planned to be in service in 2014.

The two carriers, the largest warships ever built in the United Kingdom, will be constructed in modules and assembled at the Babcock International warship support yard at Rosyth in Scotland.

The first warship will be named HMS Queen Elizabeth, and the second, planned to be in service in 2016, will be called HMS Prince of Wales. [ ... ]

The decision is expected to secure 10,000 jobs in the British maritime industry.
It's anticipated that pre-production formalities will be completed in four to five weeks.

Also: The Jawa Report
Fathers no longer important in socialist Britain

"Fathers were last night effectively declared an irrelevance in modern Britain. The requirement for fertility doctors to consider a child's need for a male role model before giving women IVF treatment was scrapped by MPs.

In a free vote, they swept away the rule despite impassioned pleas that the Government plan would "drive another nail into the coffin of the traditional family". Labour rebels said it would send entirely the wrong signal to society as Britain faces a crisis in responsible parenting.

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, had warned it would remove the father from the heart of the family. He accused the Government of putting the interests of "consumers" who want to become parents before the welfare of children. But in the Commons, ministers won support for the legislation.

Voting was 292 to 217, a majority of 75. In a second vote, a Tory attempt to underline the need for a father or "male role model" was rejected by 290 votes to 222, a majority of 68."

More here

Posted by John Ray.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Drug Cartels Target Juarez Police

(Ciudad Juarez, Mexico) Earlier this year, drug cartels posted a handwritten hit list, naming 22 Juarez police commanders, on a monument to fallen officers.

Since posting of the list, seven commanders have been murdered, three have been wounded in assassination attempts and 11 have resigned. One commander remains but he doesn't "want to be interviewed."

According to spokesman Sergio Belmonte, the Juarez Police Chief submitted his resignation yesterday.

Obviously, conventional law enforcement can't match the strength of the drug lords. It would be nice to think that all the violence and corruption will stay on the Mexican side of the border. It would also be naive.

Companion post at Diggers Realm.

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