Sunday, May 31, 2009

Women With Troubles - May 2009

Reported in news stories during May 2009, here is a 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.

(AR) Monica Ann Cluck, 27,
teacher - Loses appeal in sex crime case,

(CA) Jacquelynn Faye Fielding, 23,
neighbor - Sentenced to 180 days in jail for molesting boy, 14,

(CA) Lisa Carlson Fertig, 39,
teacher - Arrested for narcotics possession,

(CA) Deborah Lee Towe, 30,
neighbor - Arrested for sex with several boys, ages 15 and 16,

(FL) Sylvette M. Barreto, 31,
neighbor - Convicted of sex with boy, 13. Sentencing in August,

(FL) Kerri Lyn Bennett, 35,
neighbor - Arrested for trying to smuggle pot into jail,

(FL) Brittany Gariepy, 20,
neighbor - Arrested for putting sausage in pants during theft,

(FL) Geneva Henry, 39.
teacher - Accused of lewd and lascivious acts toward boy, 14,

(FL) Maria Guzman Hernandez, 32,
teacher - Accused of sex with boy, 15,

(FL) Janet Lea Hughes, 34,
teacher - Guilty of sex with male student, 16. Sentencing in July,

(FL) Cynthia Thomas McWilliams, 53,
teacher - Arrested for possession of drugs,

(GA) Nancy Cheek, 49,
teacher's aide - Accused of cruelty to challenged students,

(GA) Tonya Craft, 38,
teacher - Indicted for sex crimes against girls, ages 7 and 8,

(GA) Laurie Peavy, 44,
teacher - Accused of cruelty to challenged students,

(IA) Shannon M. Boeckenstedt, 25
neighbor - Arrested for year-long sexual relations with boy, 15,

(IA) Erin Rohwer, 27,
teacher - Sentenced to probation for sex with student,

(IA) Colleen K. Solberg, 39.
teacher's aide - Accused of witness tampering in sex case,

(ID) Esmeralda Ahumada, 20,
neighbor - Pleaded guilty to sex with boy, 12. Sentencing in July,

(IL) Jennifer Espinosa, 38,
teacher - Accused of sex with male student, 16,

(IL) Loren Leoni, 25,
teacher - Gets probation for sex with male student, 15,

(IN) Tara Brandon, 38,
camp director - Arrested for multiple sex with boy under 18,

(IN) Tricia D. Mallernee, 32,
exchange student host - Accused of sex with exchange student, 17,

(KS) Micha A. Cook (aka Michah), 27,
PE teacher - Accused of unlawful sex with student,

(LA) Jamie Lynn Avant, 27,
teacher - Arrested for kidnapping female student, 15,

(MA) Melissa Halstrom, 34,
neighbor - Sentenced to six to eight years in prison for pimping teen girls,

(MI) Ranee S. Proper, 42,
teacher - Guilty of criminal sexual conduct with two students. Sentencing in June,

(MO) Alison M. Peck, 30,
teacher - Accused of engaging in sex with student, 16,

(MO) Melissa Songer, 25,
neighbor - Accused of sex with boy, 13,

(NC) Stephanie Rae Mathis Spann, 32,
neighbor - Sentenced to eight years in prison for rape of boy under 16,

(NC) Jessica Wishnask, 27,
teacher - Accused of taking indecent liberties with boy, 15,

(NJ) Keri Ann Brekne, 28,
teacher - Sentenced to seven years in prison in New Jersey, to be served concurrent with longer PA term,

(NJ) Emma Painter, 46,
HS coach - Sentenced to four years in prison for witness tampering,

(NM) Melinda Beth Bridges, 31,
teacher - Charged with criminal sex with boy, 16,

(NY) Brandy Decker, 21,
neighbor - Pleaded guilty to repeated molestation of boy, 10. Sentencing in July,

(NY) Karen McCarty,
school nurse - Accused of buying alcohol for teen party,

(NY) Melissa Taylor, 27,
neighbor mother-of-five - Arrested for sex with boy, 16,

(NY) Melissa Weber, 27,
teacher - Accused of raping boy, 14, seven times in classroom,

(OH) Tracy Conley, 39,
registered nurse - Gets 90 days in jail for sex with boys ages 13 and 14,

(OK) Stephanie Diane Harris, 28,
teacher - Trial scheduled for rape of student, 13,

(OK) Tina Anne Marie Unger (aka Shell), 20,
neighbor - Accused of sex with boy, 14,

(OR) Wendi Boutiette, 36,
coach - Accused of sex abuse of male teen,

(OR) Amanda Jo Stott-Smith, 31,
neighbor - Arrested for murder after throwing her children off bridge,

(PA) Katherine Dennery, 26,
neighbor - Accused of sex with two 13-year-old boys,

(PA) Christine Elizabeth Martin, 33,
teacher - Accused of inappropriate text messaging to two students,

(PA) Abbie Jane Swogger, 36,
teacher's aide - Sentenced to three to six years in prison for multiple child sex and corruption charges,

(PA) Heather Lynne Zeo, 37,
teacher - Accused of sex with male student,

(SC) Melinda Martin, 49
deputy sheriff - Fired for driving without license for months,

(TN) Rebecca Bargy, 26,
neighbor - Convicted of criminally negligent death of husband during S & M. Sentencing in June,

(TX) Angelica DeLeon, 27,
teacher's aide - Accused of sex with male student, 16,

(UT) McKell Shurtliff, 23,
HS softball coach - Arrested for multiple sex acts with female player, 15,

(WI) Dawn M. Thomas, 29,
neighbor - Gets nine months in jail for sex with boy, 14,

(WV) Kathryn Ann Hemetek, 46,
teacher - Sentenced to five years in federal prison for growing pot,

(WV) Stephanie Jo Walters, 27,
teacher - Accused of sex with male student, 14,

(WY) Jamie Nicole Hale, 32,
teacher - Accused of sex with minor, 17.
Thanks, as always, to the readers, tipsters and commenters.
Extreme Spitefulness

A man has just got to do what a man has to do.
(Cairo, Egypt) A 25-year-old Egyptian man cut off his own penis to spite his family after he was refused permission to marry a girl from a lower class family, police reported Sunday.
Doctors were unable to reattach.

Hey, but he really showed them.

Tip: CNestor
Family Court Rules Mom "Too Stupid" to Raise Daughter

(Nottingham, England) A mother known as Rachel is fighting to keep her daughter after a court ruled that she was not "clever enough" to look after the child.
The woman, who for legal reasons can be identified only by her first name, Rachel, has been told by a family court that her daughter will be placed with adoptive parents within the next three months, and she will then be barred from further contact.

The adoption is going ahead despite the declaration by a psychiatrist that Rachel, 24, has no learning difficulties and “good literacy and numeracy and [that] her general intellectual abilities appear to be within the normal range”.

Her daughter, K, was born prematurely and officials felt Rachel lacked the intelligence to cope with her complex medical needs Baby K was released from hospital into care and is currently with a foster family. Her health has now improved to the point where she needs little or no day-to-day medical care.
Rachel is appealing to the EU Court of Human Rights.

I suggest that the ruling sets an unreasonable and dangerous precedent -- minimum intelligence requirements for parenting subjectively established by the government.

Companion post at The Jawa Report.
New Border Rules Tomorrow

Effective June 1st, 2009, entry into the U.S. from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean requires at least one of the following:
- Passport,
- Passport card,
- Enhanced driver's license,
- Trusted traveler card, or
- Superhuman swimming skills.
Children need only a birth certificate.
Special protection for pedophiles?

When I wrote on May 24 "Will discrimination against pedophiles be outlawed next?", I was being satirical. I didn't know that reality has nearly beaten me to it. The report below is from May 13 and concerns a bill that is already through the Reps and is now with the Senate:
"The US Senate Judiciary committee is now considering the so-called Hate Crimes Prevention Act passed by the House April 29, under the sponsorship of Rep John Conyers (D-MI) and 120 other Representatives. Dubbed the ”Thought Crimes Prevention Act” by some House Republicans, HB1913 includes pedophilia as a protected sexual orientation.

Prior to approval by the whole House, a party-line 10-13 vote of Conyers’ House Judiciary Committee April 23 rejected a proposal by Republican Rep Steve King (R-IA) “to define the term `sexual orientation’ as used in the bill to explicitly exclude pedophilia.” Wisconsin Democrat Tammy Baldwin, an open lesbian, called the amendment, “unnecessary and inflammatory.”

When judges are required to interpret any Act resulting from passage of HB1913, they will refer to this vote and see that the intent of the lawmakers was to protect pedophiles. This could lead to federal felony prosecutions against anyone who acts to expel a pedophile from his neighborhood. Federal felony convictions require a minimum one year incarceration in a federal penitentiary.


Many reports on conservative sites have interpreted this bill as prohibiting speech. But that is a stretch. It refers to violent assaults or physical attacks. The current text of the bill is here. The definitions it refers to are from H.R.3355 (Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994) and can be found here. Earlier versions of the bill did explicitly include a statment that speech was not targeted but that has now gone. At the end of the bill there is simply a pointless assertion that the bill does not attack any constitutional protections (such as the 1st Amendment).

A point to note is that H.R.3355 ALREADY adds extra punishment for "hate" in crimes prosecuted in Federal jurisdictions. The new bill aims to extend that to all jurisdictions. Since H.R.3355 has not led to prosecutions of speech alone and since HB1913 uses the same definition of "hate crime" as H.R.3355, concerns about it affecting speech may be over-cautious.

It is clear, however, that under the new law, attacking a pedophile would attract a more severe sentence than attacking a normal heterosexual person. The law puts pedophiles into an especially protected class. How that is compatible with the 14th ("equal protection") amendment escapes me.

Posted by John Ray.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome?

Americans find the name of the above drink hilarious

It is however a favourite drink in Queensland ("Golden Circle" is a Queensland brand) and I drink it myself. The name is an abbreviation of "Sarsaparilla", related to the American "Root Beer". Coincidentally, Australians tend to find the name "Root Beer" rather amusing. "Root" is an Australian euphemism for sexual intercourse.

The SARS epidemic of 2003 was pretty nasty, killing a majority of old people who got it.

Posted by John Ray.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

California Woman Gets Jail for Sex with Boy - Updated

(Redding, California) Jacquelynn Faye Fielding was sentenced yesterday to 180 days in jail, significantly less than the reported possible four years in prison. Fielding was also ordered to register as a sex offender for life.
Fielding, of Marysville, told Shasta County Superior Court Judge Bradley Boeckman on Friday that she feels badly about her behavior, but she stopped short of admitting she had sex with the boy.

Boeckman said Fielding seemed unwilling to accept responsibility.
If Judge Boeckman had cause to mitigate Fielding's sentence, the reason was not reported. In fact, since Fielding is unwilling to accept responsibility for her behavior, it would seem that reason exists to not mitigate her sentence.

In any event, defense attorney Michael Horan said there would be an appeal.

* * * * *

California Woman Guilty of Sex with Boy
[Previous 4/13/09]
(Marysville, California) A 23-year-old local woman, Jacquelynn Faye Fielding, was prosecuted in Shasta County Court for allegedly engaging in sex with a 14-year-old boy.

Last Thursday, Fielding was convicted by a jury on counts of unlawful sex with a minor under the age of 16, annoying or molesting a child and furnishing alcohol to a minor.

According to Deputy District Attorney Michael Hemker, the offenses occurred in December 2007.
Fielding met the boy at go-kart racing events in Red Bluff and Chico, he said, adding that they developed a friendship on MySpace.

Many of the Internet communications between the two revolved around sex, Hemker said.

After months of communicating on MySpace, they came up with a plan to meet at a home that belonged to the family of one of the boy’s friends, he said.

While the family was away for Christmas, Fielding and the boy met there and Fielding provided him with alcohol.

They had sex twice there and had also previously had sex at one of the go-kart race tracks in Red Bluff, Hemker said.
Fielding is scheduled to be sentenced on May 29. She faces a possible four years in prison.
Tattooing Animals

Outrage is being expressed by animal lovers regarding the reported practice of tattooing animals. Ethical appropriateness is questioned stemming from news that a cat in Moscow was adorned while being anesthetized in a three-hour procedure.
The cat, a rare Canadian Hairless breed known as a Sphynx cat, received a Tutankhamen designed tattoo on its chest back in the month of February and the owner was said to be "delighted" by how everything turned out.
Reader polling thus far indicates that an overwhelming majority believes animal tattooing is animal cruelty. However, despite the thinking of the respondents, animal tattooing has been performed for eons. As an example, livestock is regularly tattooed for identification.

Regarding the application of a frivolous picture on a hairless cat, I'd be interested to know the opinions of folks who eat cat meat. Would a tattoo taint the meat?

Unfortunately, the question of what is or isn't animal cruelty is totally subjective and I would contend it has more to do with the intentions of the owner. Generally, if a cat owner intends to be cruel, it's cruelty. If not, it's probably not. In the case of the aforementioned hairless, I trust the owner wasn't trying to be cruel.
British Cuckoo Threatened

The cuckoo is now considered officially threatened in the United Kingdom, according to the Guardian.

From my perch, the assessment is inaccurate. Any country that empowers refrigerator police, garbage police and fat police has an arguably destructive population of cuckoos.
Extreme Child Neglect

Here's a sad story.
Russian police have rescued a five-year-old girl in Siberia who was raised by cats and dogs.

The girl was locked up in a room with cats and dogs and as a result does not talk, but barks and makes hissing sounds instead in an act of imitation of her inmates of other species.

Other animal like traits include her jumping at the door and barking when her caretakers left, and her having "clear attributes of an animal and jumping at people." She laps her food from her plate like animals and cannot hold a spoon or fork, the report says.

The child was found in a squalour in the east Siberian city of Chita. The police report also said that "the water, heating, gas, and sanitation had long ago been switched off". It is, however, not known as to how she had been kept locked in the room.
Follow the link for other reports seemingly drawn from Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book files.
Teacher Keri Ann Brekne Sentenced in New Jersey - Updated

(Warren County, New Jersey) For sexually assaulting a female New Jersey student, former middle school teacher Keri Ann Brekne was sentenced yesterday to seven years in prison.
The New Jersey judge ruled her sentence will be concurrent to her sentence of 15 to 30 years in Northampton County. That means Brekne will serve both sentences at the same time, rather than back-to-back. The victim's family says they are outraged Brekne will not serve extra time for the charges in New Jersey.
The victim's father called the sentencing a "waste everyone's time and taxpayer money" because if the court just gives Brekne a "free ride," it could have been done "months ago." I tend to agree with the sentiment. The New Jersey prosecution was inconsequential. So, why even bother?

* * * * *

Teacher Keri Ann Brekne Gets Prison in Sex Case
[Previous 10/10/08 post]
(Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) Whoa! Keri Ann Brekne gets slammed!
A former teacher, described in court as someone who spent months trying to "brainwash" a student to make her a sexual tool, was sentenced to 15 to 30 years in prison today by a Northampton County judge who said it was the worst case of abuse she has seen.

The sentence against Keri Ann Brekne, 28, of Bethlehem came after the 15-year-old victim and her parents described Brekne as a cold, manipulative woman who used her position at a Warren County, N.J., middle school to win the girl's trust, ensnare her, isolate her and finally abuse her.

"In 20 years on the bench, I have not seen a case as heinous as this one," Judge Kimberly McFadden said in a courtroom packed by 85 supporters of the girl and her family and about 15 of Brekne.
Brekne apologized to the victim and her family while also asserting that she is not a predator. The victim told the court that her life has been forever altered by the sexual abuse.

Brekne will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life. Additionally, she still faces sentencing, date TBD, in New Jersey for a conviction of sex assault of the same girl. She could see five to 10 years in prison.

* * * *

Female Teacher Guilty of Sex with Female Student
[Previous 7/9/08 post]
(Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) Former middle school teacher Keri Ann Brekne pleaded guilty to five counts of aggravated indecent assault today.

Northampton County Court Judge F. P. Kimberly McFadden immediately revoked Brekne's bail and sent her to jail to await sentencing.
McFadden set sentencing for Oct. 3 and ordered that Brekne have psychological and psychiatric evaluations.

Because of the nature of Brekne's offenses, she falls under the state's version of Megan's Law and must register as a sex offender for the rest of her life.
Reportedly, Brekne faces up to 50 years in prison when sentenced. The status of the charges against Brekne in New Jersey is unknown.

* * * * *

Female Teacher, Female Student, Sex Charges in 2 States
[Previous 01/25/08 post]
(Belvidere, New Jersey) A 28-year-old seventh-grade social studies teacher at Lopatcong Middle School, Keri Ann Marie Brekne, has been accused of engaging in a extended-term sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl.

The sexual episodes allegedly occurred in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, therefore, Brekne faces charges in two states.

In PA, Brekne is charged with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault and corruption of minors. In NJ, Brekne faces one count each of second-degree sexual assault, second-degree child endangerment and third-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact.

Brekne was arraigned in Easton before District Judge Gay Elwell. She was booked into custody at Northampton County Prison with bail set at $75,000. Bail in New Jersey has been set at $150,000.


Brekne was initially hired in her current position in 2003 and makes $46,012 annually. A spokesman for the Lopatcong Township School District, Mark Toscano, said the Board of Education will act on Brekne's status when more is known.

Be sure to check out the interesting picture at Brekne's MySpace profile. She's wearing a Viking helmet.
LOL: Obama's revenge on the Clintons

Asked why he was naming some of his rivals to top administration jobs, President Lyndon B. Johnson said it best: "I'd rather have them inside the tent pissing out than outside pissing in." President Obama seems to echo Johnson's management style in his handling of Bill and Hillary Clinton. By bringing them into his inner circle, he has marginalized them both and sharply reduced their freedom of action.

It may appear odd to describe a secretary of State as marginalized, but Obama has surrounded Hillary with his people and carved up her jurisdiction geographically. Former Sen. George Mitchell (D-Maine) is in charge of Arab-Israeli relations. Dennis Ross has Iran. Former U.N. Ambassador Dick Holbrooke has Pakistan and Afghanistan. And Hillary has to share her foreign policy role on the National Security Council (NSC) with Vice President Biden, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, CIA chief Leon Panetta, and NSC staffer Samantha Powers (who once called Hillary a "monster"). With peers who are competitors and subordinates who can deal directly with the president, Hillary is reduced to announcing foreign aid packages for Pakistan while Holbrooke does the heavy lifting.

Part of Hillary's problem is the institutional shrinking of the State Department. During the Bush years, while war raged, the Defense Department became more relevant to the conduct of foreign policy. And, under Obama, the financial crisis has propelled the Treasury into the forefront. State, with its emphasis on traditional diplomacy, has been forced to take a back seat. Even though Obama appointed Hillary, he clearly has not been willing to make her a co-president and confines her to the diminished role of her department.

For his part, Bill Clinton has been asked to be a special envoy to Haiti. Yes, Haiti. Obama's predecessor asked the former president to orchestrate the response to the Asian tsunami and then to Hurricane Katrina. Obama gives him Haiti.

Meanwhile, both Clintons are effectively muzzled and cannot criticize Obama even as he reverses President Clinton's free market proclivities and budget balancing discipline. Hillary, the supposed friend of Israel, must sit by quietly and watch Iran get the bomb while trying all the while to stop Israel from preventing it.

Bill can't even make money. Denied the ability to accept speeches from foreign governments or their organs and fenced out of continuing his profitable relationship with the Emir of Dubai, he and his wife must accept the loss of the $13 million they spent on her campaign and sit by passively, unable to earn the money to replace it.


Posted by John Ray.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Quarter Million Falls From Truck

(Syracuse, New York) No, this is not a report of stimulus funds distribution by the Obama administration even though there is arguably some similarity. Rather, an armored truck merely lost part of its load.
"I saw it and thought who dumped that trash off? As I got closer I realized that these bags were full of money, lots of money! Plastic bags full of hundred dollar bills and twenty dollar bills and I thought oh my goodness," said Syracuse Antiques Exchange owner David Jenks.
Heh. Plastic bags full of hundreds and twenties have occasionally appeared in my dreams except the money didn't come from an armored truck. It came from a rented panel van with two Hispanics in the front seat.

Police are investigating to determine how the money fell out of the truck.
Legislative Staffer Solicits Boy for Animal-Costume Sex

(Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) According to Attorney General Tom Corbett, a 40-year-old staffer for a state lawmaker, Alan David Berlin, was arrested yesterday for allegedly making sexual propositions to a 15-year-old Harrisburg boy, including discussions of dressing in animal costumes and having sex.

Berlin was arraigned on charges of unlawful contact with a minor, criminal attempted sexual exploitation of children, and criminal solicitation to commit sexual abuse of children, all second-degree felonies.
Corbett said that Berlin, a legislative staff member with the Pennsylvania Senate, allegedly used the screen name "alan_panda_bear" to approach a 15-year old boy. During a series of chats in April and May, Berlin allegedly discussed various sex acts with the boy, including a proposal that Berlin travel to the boy's home in Harrisburg and have sex with him in the back yard, while the boy's parents slept.

According to the criminal complaint, Berlin also requested nude photos of the boy and suggested that he arrange a meeting between the boy and another adult, offering to get them a hotel room if Berlin could take pictures of them having sex.

Corbett said the boy's parents became concerned after discovering sexually graphic messages on their son's computer and contacted the Attorney General's Child Predator Unit, which began an investigation on May 26th.
No information has been reported regarding "another adult" participant mentioned by Mr. Berlin. However, it's evident that animal-costume sex has more than one follower. Offhand, I'd suggest that animal-costume sex pegs the kinkiness scale. And, no less than waffling homosexuality, it's beyond my ability to understand.

Berlin was booked into custody at the Dauphin County Jail with bail set at $250,000. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 5th.
Texas Teacher's Aide Accused of Sex with Boy

(Alvin, Texas) A 27-year-old teacher's aide at the alternative ASSET Academy, Angelica DeLeon, has been accused of engaging in sex with a 16-year-old male student. DeLeon has been charged with improper relationship with a student, a second-degree felony.
Charges surfaced against DeLeon on May 18 after a student told a teacher the 16-year-old boy had pictures of DeLeon wearing lingerie on his cell phone, the probable cause affidavit states.

The phone also had text messages from DeLeon to the student, including “I love you,” “please talk to me” and “don’t say we talk sexy,” the affidavit states.

The 16-year-old student also told witnesses he had sex with DeLeon three times, court documents state.
DeLeon was booked into custody and released on $20,000 bond. Alvin ISD fired her.
Dirty Dog Meets Modern Technology


A French inventor has created a dog washing machine which, reportedly, the dogs don't mind. I don't know. Does Fido below look like he doesn't mind?

So, where's PETA? Or is this all a hoax? If it isn't, it's logical to assume that parents could toss the rugrats into it.
29-Year-Old Man Has 21 Kids

(Knoxville, Tennessee) A 29-year-old local man, Desmond Hatchett, appeared in Knox County Juvenile Child Support Court last week to discuss some issues regarding child support for his 21 children. Specifically, the childrens' mothers, 11 and counting, want him to pay what he owes in child support.
Constitutionally, there is nothing the state can do to limit him from having more.

"I had four kids in the same year. Twice." Desmond Hatchett told Volunteer TV.

On Friday [5/22], his name appeared on the docket 11 times; Representing about 15 of his 21 children.
"Can you keep up with it all?" WVLT asked Hatchett.
"Yeah," he said.
"You know all their names, and ages and birthdays?"
Hatchett's name is pretty controversial at the old courthouse.

"The children can't be supported all by Desmond, so the state of Tennessee has had to step in," Hatchett's attorney Keith Pope said.
Hatchett said he doesn't plan on having any more children. In fact he indicated, "I didn't intend to have this many. It just happened." Even so, some Knoxville residents have called for castration. Castration is probably not possible but I suggest a vasectomy would be a good idea.

Hatchett arrived in court with $400 to divvy up among the little Hatchett's.

Heh. Interestingly, there was no reported discussion regarding the parenting aspects of fatherhood. There are 21 children destined to lead lives with a high risk of not being part of stable families.

Tip: slwlion
A new pretext for an attack on Christianity

A home used for a Bible study is being equated with a church
"Pastor David Jones and his wife Mary have been told that they cannot invite friends to their San Diego, Calif. home for a bible study — unless they are willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars to San Diego County.

"On Good Friday we had an employee from San Diego County come to our house, and inform us that the bible study that we were having was a religious assembly, and in violation of the code in the county." David Jones told FOX News. "We told them this is not really a religious assembly — this is just a bible study with friends. We have a meal, we pray, that was all," Jones said. A few days later, the couple received a written warning that cited "unlawful use of land," ordering them to either "stop religious assembly or apply for a major use permit," the couple's attorney Dean Broyles told San Diego news station 10News. But the major use permit could cost the Jones' thousands of dollars just to have a few friends over.

For David and Mary Jones, it's about more than a question of money. "The government may not prohibit the free exercise of religion," Broyles told FOX News. "I believe that our Founding Fathers would roll over in their grave if they saw that here in the year 2009, a pastor and his wife are being told that they cannot hold a simple bible study in their own home." "The implications are great because it’s not only us that’s involved," Mary Jones said. "There are thousands and thousands of bible studies that are held all across the country. What we’re interested in is setting a precedent here — before it goes any further — and that we have it settled for the future."

The couple is planning to dispute the county's order this week. If San Diego County refuses to allow the pastor and his wife to continue gathering without acquiring a permit, they will consider a lawsuit in federal court.


A clear 1st Amendment violation

Posted by John Ray.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Kansas Teacher Accused of Indecent Liberties with Student

(Junction City, Kansas) A 27-year-old physical education teacher at Junction City High School, Micha A. Cook (aka Michah), was arrested today for engaging in an unlawful sexual relationship with a student. Cook faces charges of indecent liberties with a child.

According to Junction City Police Chief Bob Story, police received notification yesterday and executed search warrants to obtain evidence. Items of "evidentiary value" regarding the case were found.

Cook was booked into custody at the Geary County Detention Center with bond set at $25,000.
Iranian Mosque Bombed, 15 Dead

(Zahedan, Iran) Just about prayer time a few hours ago in eastern Iran, the Amir al-Momenin Shiite mosque in Zahedan was blasted with a bomb, killing at least 15 and wounding 80 more.
"The bomb exploded at the time of evening prayer and killed a number of worshippers," Ali Mohammad Azad, the governor general of the province bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan told reporters. [...]

Azad said soon after the explosion "members of a terrorist group who wanted to get out of Zahedan were arrested."

"The members of the terrorist group intended to explode bombs in some other areas of Zahedan, but they have been arrested due to the efforts of the provincial intelligence office."

Azad said "bandits and terrorists intended to disturb the order in the province before the election considering the insecurity in the eastern neighbouring countries."
FARS news agency said the mosque is a gathering place for Shiite revolutionaries so, in a general sense, members of one Muslim terrorist group are at war with members of a different Muslim terrorist group.

However, as the tipster points out, the attackers in this incident have no problems blowing up a mosque. Unfortunately, that fact doesn't exclude many groups since Muslim terrorists don't have a lot of respect for other Muslims, terrorists or otherwise.

Tip: Garduneh Mehr
Surgery Makes Lesbian into a Gay Male

Okay, I'm beyond understanding this story. In a nutshell, a homosexual woman had a sex change to become a homosexual man. Let that sink in. I can barely understand the biological slicing and dicing, called a phalloplasty, to go from woman to man but how that would change a person's sexual orientation is a mystery.

The story starts with Katherine Dalton, a gorgeous blonde model who from an early age was attracted to girls. She believed she was a man trapped in a woman's hot babe-alicious body. As a result, she decided to consult a psychotherapist who referred her to a gender expert. The expert said she was a transsexual who should go through the arduous path to becoming a man. She changed her name to Adrian and started taking testosterone.

Katherine Dalton => Adrian Dalton

In 2005, Adrian had her/his 32C breasts removed. In 2007, Adrian had a hysterectomy. Six weeks ago, Adrian went to Belgium for an eight-hour phalloplasty where arm and thigh skin is removed and configured to form a facsimile of male genitalia. The configured skin is attached so that nerves from the clitoris grow into the manufactured penis to create sensation.

Adrian expresses joy about the operation.
“It’s brilliant. I hated that part of my body before and was embarrassed by it but now I feel complete.

“In a year I return to Belgium for an erectile implant, then my transformation will be complete.”
The erectile implant will include a chamber in the penis with an exterior pump and valve inserted into the groin which are used to fill the chamber for an erection.

It could be contended that everything occurring to Dalton thus far makes sense with the glaring exception that he/she became a gay male. There's no explanation provided about how the transformation of sexual orientation occurs. Therefore, I'd suggest that Dalton is just as confused now as she/he was before meeting with the gender expert.

Tip: MassCops

Companion post at The Jawa Report.
Animal Activists Claim Reno Arson

(Reno, Nevada) The Animal Liberation Front (ALF) has claimed responsibility for the May 18 fire at the offices of Scientific Resources International Inc.
The North American Animal Liberation Front Press Office, which posts messages from groups taking credit for animal rights violence, said on its Web site Tuesday that it received an "anonymous communique" last week indicating ALF was claiming responsibility for the fire.

"In the early morning hours of May 18th, four incendiary devices were planted at Scientific Resources International, a supplier of non-humyn (sic) primates for use in vivisection labs all over northern Nevada," the message read. "The concept of animals existing as 'resources' is utterly despicable, and we vow to do all in our power to run businesses like these into the ground."
No one was injured in the fire. An estimated $300,000 damage has been reported.
Old Glory in office not OK?

Publicity brings big backdown:
"Is it okay to show your patriotism at the office? For one Arlington woman, the answer was "no" after she hung an American flag in her office just before the Memorial Day weekend. Debbie McLucas is one of four hospital supervisors at Kindred Hospital in Mansfield. Last week, she hung a three-by-five foot American flag in the office she shares with the other supervisors.

When McLucas came to work Friday, her boss told her another supervisor had found her flag offensive. "I was just totally speechless. I was like, 'You're kidding me,'" McLucas said. McLucas' husband and sons are former military men. Her daughter is currently serving in Iraq as a combat medic.

McLucas said the supervisor who complained has been in the United States for 14 years and is formerly from Africa. McLucas said that supervisor took down the flag herself.

"The flag and the pole had been placed on the floor," McLucas said. But McLucas also said hospital higher-ups had told her some patients' families and visitors had also complained. "I was told it wouldn't matter if it was only one person," she said. "It would have to come down." ...

Several dozen people protested outside the Mansfield hospital Wednesday. And a receptionist at Kindred's headquarters told us they received many phone calls. Then, late Wednesday morning, Kindred posted on its website a statement about the incident. It reads, in part: "The disagreement was over the size of the flag and not what it symbolized. We have invited the employee to put the flag back up."

We talked to McLucas Wednesday afternoon. She says the hospital's local CEO called and apologized. And McLucas says the woman did tell her she could put the flag back up, which she has done. But she says when she was first told the flag had to go, nobody mentioned anything about its size being the root of the problem.


Looks like the company felt initially that it had to support the black !@#$%^& who took the flag down. Hard to understand all this happening in Texas otherwise.

Posted by John Ray.
Louisiana Teacher Accused of Kidnapping Girl

(Monroe, Louisiana) A 27-year-old physical education teacher at West Ridge Middle School, Jamie Lynn Avant, has been accused of kidnapping a 15-year-old female student, taking her to a secluded rural spot, and threatening her life with a gun to her head while stating, "If I can't have you, no one can."
The victim said she begged for her life, and Avant relented and drove her back to a subdivision in West Monroe after she promised not to tell anyone about the incident.

According to the arrest affidavit, the victim told deputies that Avant was making sexual advances that were rejected.

The victim's parents told deputies they did not give their daughter permission to go with Avant.
Avant has been charged with false imprisonment with a deadly weapon. She has been suspended from her teaching position. It should be noted, however, that the Ouachita School Board had previously decided to terminate Avant, which was pending, for poor job performance.

Avant was booked into custody at the Ouachita Correctional Center with bond set at $25,000. Arraignment has been scheduled for July 20.

Although serious allegations have been aired, readers should keep in mind that high school kids sometimes make stuff up.
SoCal Teacher Arrested for Drugs

(Orange County, California) A 39-year-old English teacher at Costa Mesa High School, Lisa Carlson Fertig, was arrested this week for alleged narcotics possession.
Tuesday's run-in with law enforcement began about 1:45 a.m. when a patrol officer spotted Marc Fertig in the Hyatt's parking lot "twitching uncontrollably," according to Newport Beach police Sgt. Evan Sailor.

Shortly after, the man agreed to be searched, and the officer found a plastic straw with white powder that later testing confirmed to be cocaine, Sailor said.

Officers went to Room 420 of the Hyatt to inform Lisa Fertig of the arrest, and after a discussion with her, they found a prescription drug bottle that contained a "usable quantity" of cocaine residue, Sailor said.
Reportedly, Fertig had a previous arrest in April for a similar offense.

Fertig was booked into custody and later released on bail.
Muslim Maldives: Prison for Nudity, Handslap Child Rape

(Maldive Islands) A couple weeks ago, sensational British model Katie Price visited a resort in Muslim Maldives following a breakup with her husband.

As a glamour model, 30-year-old Price is no stranger to taking her clothes off so it was natural for her to strip nude for a sun bath. Unfortunately, nudism and topless sunbathing are criminal offenses in the Muslim nation and the public expressed outrage at Price's behavior.

As a result, Maldives police are investigating and Price faces a possible prison sentence.
* * *

Meanwhile, six suspected Maldives pedophiles were arrested last month for sexually abusing a 10-year-old girl. The girl had repeatedly been "sexually abused by her father, uncle and four family friends since the age of five, which doctors said had seriously impaired her mental health."

Last week, four of the six alleged perpetrators were released.
Neither Criminal Court nor police were able to give a reason as to why the suspects were released. Instead, both claimed the other would be able to provide an answer.
Despite the finger-pointing between the court and the police, it appears that child molesters and rapists are only held for a short while after arrest and then allowed to resume their lives. For example:
In July 2007, five girls aged 11 to 19 from Baa atoll Goidhoo were reportedly sexually abused by their Qu'ran teacher, Ali Rasheed. After months at court, he was freed and continues to live on the same island as his victims.

In another case in August 2008, a 14-year-old girl from Noonu atoll Holhudhoo was ambushed by a group of six men, four of whom raped her. Although the perpetrators confessed to the crime, they were freed and are living in the same island of the victim once again.
In summary, societal values in the Maldives are inexplicable. Child molestation appears to be tolerated as a misdemeanor while nudity and topless sunbathing are felonies.

Companion post at The Jawa Report.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

WV Teacher Gets Prison for Growing Marijuana

(Point Pleasant, West Virginia) In January 2009, a 46-year-old teacher formerly at New Haven Elementary School, Kathryn Ann Hemetek, was convicted of manufacturing marijuana.

As a result, she was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Chuck Chambers to five years in federal prison.
Hemetek was a teacher at New Haven Elementary School when she was arrested by State Police troopers in July 2005.

The State Police says troopers found more than 200 marijuana plants on Hemetek's farm during an annual eradication sweep.
Hemetek will serve her time at Alderson Federal Prison Camp.
Toy Gun Control Ordinance

(Cedar Rapids, Iowa) The Cedar Rapids City Council has instituted toy gun control to counter a troubling level of crime, from criminal mischief to assault, in which toy guns have been used.

The ordinance specifies that it is illegal for an adult to carry a loaded BB gun, air gun or pellet gun within city limits. Juveniles are forbidden from having the guns at all, loaded or unloaded, without adult supervision.

The penalties for violating the ordinance are a possible $625 fine and 30 days in jail.

The primary motivation behind the ordinance appears to be a flood of damaged car windows. The shooting of hundreds of car windows has largely been attributed to juvenile mischief and Cedar Rapids citizens want it to stop. Hence, the ordinance.

Frankly, I would recommend that someone also take a look at the car window repair businesses since they rake in about $200 for every window replaced. It's never a bad approach to follow the money.

Companion post at GunWatch.
Obama's SCOTUS nominee

Sonia Sotomayor, President Barack Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court, "has an inflated opinion of herself" and is "kind of a bully on the bench."

That view doesn't come from a conservative -- it's the view expressed by a former clerk for a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, where Sotomayor now serves, to Jeffrey Rosen, legal affairs editor for The New Republic. The New Republic is a decidedly liberal publication -- but the magazine published a harsh portrait of the new Obama nominee three weeks ago, when she was being mentioned as a contender for the Court post.

Rosen's article, headlined "The Case Against Sotomayor," also noted that he had spoken to a range of people who have worked with Sotomayor. Rosen wrote: "Most are Democrats and all of them want President Obama to appoint a judicial star of the highest intellectual caliber who has the potential to change the direction of the court.

"Nearly all of them acknowledged that Sotomayor is a presumptive front-runner, but nearly none of them raved about her. They expressed questions about her temperament, her judicial craftsmanship, and most of all, her ability to provide an intellectual counterweight to the conservative justices, as well as a clear liberal alternative.

"The most consistent concern was that Sotomayor, although an able lawyer, was 'not that smart and kind of a bully on the bench,' as one former Second Circuit clerk for another judge put it. 'She has an inflated opinion of herself, and is domineering during oral arguments, but her questions aren't penetrating and don't get to the heart of the issue.'"

Rosen added: "Her opinions, although competent, are viewed by former prosecutors as not especially clean or tight, and sometimes miss the forest for the trees."

Even's Glenn Greenwald, who defends Sotomayor, cites some of her less-than-praiseworthy behavior in court. Greenwald writes that he remembers, "... she was very assertive and aggressive - at times unpleasantly so - in how she presided over her courtroom. "In the first case I had with her ... I committed some sort of substantial procedural mistake ... and she very harshly excoriated me in a courtroom packed with lawyers from other cases. I certainly did not enjoy that, and at the time harbored negative sentiments towards her (who wouldn't?), but that behavior - for judges - is the opposite of uncommon."

The most controversial case in which Sotomayor participated as an appellate judge is Ricci v. DeStefano. She sided with the city of New Haven, Conn., in a discrimination case that white firefighters brought after the city threw out results of a promotion exam because too few minorities scored high enough.


Posted by John Ray.
Iran Jails "Blood-Sucking Satanists"

(Shiraz, Iran) Reportedly, Iranian authorities link heavy-metal music with Satanism.
IRAN has arrested more than 100 "Satan-worshippers" in a raid on a concert in the southern city of Shiraz where people were drinking alcohol and "sucking blood", a newspaper reports.

"One hundred and four members of a Satan-worshipping group were arrested at a party and immoral concert in Shiraz," local Revolutionary Guards chief Abbas Hamidi was quoted as saying by Jam-e Jam newspaper.
The arrests were made by the Islamist basij militia.
Jam-e Jam carried pictures of drum sets and amplifiers seized in the raid and a group of young men photographed after the arrest sitting on the floor of an officiAl (sic) looking building with their backs to the camera.

It said some of the detainees sported tattoos and body art resembling the wings of birds and car emblems.
Drum sets, amplifiers and tattoos of birds and car emblems are apparently sufficient evidence of devil-worship to get one arrested in Iran. Heh.

The fact that Iranian authorities jail heavy-metal followers as satan-worshippers is hardly surprising but, I'm stunned that a heavy-metal concert was even allowed to occur in Islamic Iran. And, assuming they weren't home-grown, how did tattooed heavy-metal devil-worshippers even get into Iran?

Companion post at The Jawa Report.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Florida Teacher Accused of Intimacy with Boy

(Hialeah, Florida) A 32-year-old sixth-grade teacher at Our Lady of Charity, Maria Guzman Hernandez, has been accused of engaging in a sexual affair with a 15-year-old boy.

Reportedly, Henandez and the boy met at school and they commenced an intimate relationship with the approval of the boy's mother. Hernandez has been charged with sexual battery on a child over whom she had custodial authority.
Detective Carl Zogby, a Hialeah police spokesman, said many of the couple's romantic encounters occurred at the apartment the boy shared with his mother.

''She apparently didn't find anything wrong with it, thought that the teacher was a nice enough person and a good influence on her son,'' Zogby said.

The teacher, who had been in good standing at the school, was asked to resign.
A mother-of-two and estranged from her husband, Hernandez reportedly admitted to having sex with the boy. No decision has been made regarding whether to file charges against the mother.

Hernandez was booked into custody and later released on $10,000 bail.
Ohio Woman Sentenced for Sex with Boys - Updated

(Hamilton, Ohio) In April 2009, 39-year-old registered nurse Tracy Conley pleaded guilty in accordance with a plea agreement to reduced charges of attempted unlawful conduct with a minor, a fifth-degree felony, stemming from sex acts with boys, ages 13 and 14.

As a result, Butler County Common Pleas Judge Charles Pater today sentenced Conley to 90 days in the Butler County Jail. Conley was also sentenced to three years of community control and ordered to register as a sex offender.

Furthermore, during the proceedings Judge Pater voiced some of his concerns about the case.
The judge said some in society may believe young boys are not harmed by this type of sexual abuse, but that is not the case.

“If it was a 39-year-old man and a 13-year-old girl, we’re in a different ball game, Pater said.

“I’m not going to sent you to prison now, but I am not going to let you walk away now. I am going to let you have a little taste.”
A little taste of justice, eh? I suppose that's less than a full measure. In any event, it appears that Judge Pater joins the ranks of jurists who believe that women committing child sex crimes are not as criminal as men committing child sex crimes.

* * * * *

Ohio Woman Indicted for Sex with Teen Boys
[Previous 1/25/09 post]
(Hamilton, Ohio) A 39-year-old local woman, Tracy Conley, has been indicted for allegedly engaging in sex with two teenage boys between December 2007 and May 2008.

Conley faces two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, a third-degree felony.

Reportedly, Conley knew the boys through her own teenage children. Police report that the alleged sex occurred at Conley's residence in Trenton and at B-Safe Driving Education on North Main Street in Trenton, a business owned by Conley's parents.

Conley was arrested on December 17 and released on her own recognizance. A court appearance is scheduled for January 27 before Butler County Common Pleas Judge Charles Pater.
Partying Teacher's Aide Gets Prison - Updated

(New Kensington, Pennsylvania) After striking a deal with the prosecution, 36-year-old former exotic dancer and teacher's aide Abbie Jane Swogger pleaded guilty today to multiple charges, including involuntary sexual deviate intercourse, indecent assault, endangering the welfare of children, corruption of minors, furnishing liquor to minors, unlawful contact with minors and possession with intent to deliver.

As a result, Judge Kevin Sasinoski sentenced Swogger to three to six years in prison and 36 years of probation. She was also ordered to register as a sex offender upon release from prison.

Addressing the court, Swogger made a statement indicating she was very sorry for hurting her family and the family of the victim.

According to Swogger's attorney, Michael Waltman, her criminal conduct stemmed from drug addiction which, presumably, will be corrected by prison and 36 years of probation with periodic drug testing.

* * * * *

Pennsylvania Teacher's Aide with Teens at Hotel Party - Updated & Bumped
[Previous 3/31/08 post]
(New Kensington, Pennsylvania) A 34-year-old former exotic dancer and teacher's aide at Highlands Senior High School, Abbiejane Swogger, was questioned by police last Friday for allegedly contributing to the corruption of at least four minors including her own 15-year-old son.
New Kensington police said they found suspected crack cocaine, empty beer cans and used condoms in a room that Abbiejane Swogger, 34, of Harrison, shared with minors Thursday night at New Kensington's Clarion Hotel.

The room contained drug paraphernalia and a marijuana odor when officers arrived just before noon on Friday to follow up on reports of missing teens, said Detective Dennis Marsili.

Investigators questioned Ms. Swogger at the New Kensington police station Friday afternoon, but did not arrest her.
Police are to consult with the Westmoreland County DA's office on possible drug and corruption charges. Officers continue to investigate.
Ms. Swogger says she rented a hotel room to socialize and drink beer with adult acquaintances, but teenage friends of her son showed up and refused to leave. She maintained yesterday that she knew nothing about drugs in the room and did not give the teens any beer.

"I think if they drank, I would have known about it," she said, adding that she unsuccessfully urged the two girls to leave.

Ms. Swogger also said she did not have sex with any of the young people present. They may have had sex with one another, she said, but did so "discreetly."
Swogger has resigned from her school position. [End 02/26/08 entry]

[Update 02/28/08]

After being arrested on corruption charges, Swogger was released on bail and, now, she has been arrested again for violating her terms of release.
As part of Swogger's bail stipulation, she was not supposed to leave her house and was not supposed to have contact with minors involved in this case. Police claimed Swogger violated those two terms.

According to testimony in Magistrate Frank Pallone's courtroom, Swogger allegedly met and drove two 15-year-old girls just a block away from a 15-year-old boy's house that was involved in the hotel incident. Swogger allegedly wanted to exchange a cell phone with him so she and the boy could keep in contact.
Additionally, there is a new twist in the Swogger case.
New Kensington police said a nude photograph of Swogger surrounded by six males ranging in age from 16 to 20 years old has circulated around the school, region and into their hands.

"We received some e-mails and pictures of her and these young boys. At this time we are trying to determine where they took place and the identities of the boys and if there are any more pictures," said Thomas Klawinski of the New Kensington Police Department.
The plot thickens. Swogger has an appearance in court scheduled for March 6. In the meantime, she's locked up.

[Update 03/31/08]

This past week multiple charges, including some new, were filed against Abbiejane Swogger and she was remanded to the Westmoreland County Jail to await her preliminary hearing sometime in April.

The stripper-turned-teacher's aide faces counts of solicitation of minors for sex, unlawful contact with minors, cocaine possession, drug paraphernalia possession, and corruption of minors.
In the new charges, police allege Swogger "asked or encouraged" two 15-year-old runaway girls to have sex with her.

Swogger also is accused of asking the girls, one from Tarentum, the other from Brackenridge, to have sex with Swogger, a 17-year-old boy and another youth. The incident occurred at an overnight drug, beer and sex party held late last month in the Clarion Hotel, authorities said. [ ... ]

One of the 15-year-old girls told police Swogger tried to touch her breasts, told the girl she was bisexual, and suggested a "threesome" with the other 15-year-old girl. But the first girl told police she said no, even as Swogger undressed and told the girls how much she enjoyed having sex with the 17-year-old boy.
Prosecutors are contemplating charges of interfering with the custody of minors since Swogger allegedly helped the 15-year-old girls run away. However, with so many alleged offenses, Westmoreland County Assistant District Attorney Leo J. Ciaramitarois is still considering his options in proceeding with the prosecution.

On the other hand, Swogger's attorney is ready to have a cow.
Swogger's attorney, Duke George, described the new charges as "unbelievable" because police and prosecutors are "now alleging an orgy and using drugs with kids."
If convicted of the charges against her, Swogger will likely see a lengthy prison term.

Tip: SuidaeEmpathy and Barry
California Supremes Bless Proposition 8

The California State Supreme Court upheld the ban on same-sex marriages approved by voters in Proposition 8 last November. The justices voted 6-1 that Proposition 8 is "a permissible constitutional amendment."

The justices also ruled that same-sex marriages performed prior to the adoption of Proposition 8 remain valid.

Full text of ruling (pdf)
"Bush=Hitler" OK but must not joke about Obama

We read:
"Canada's public broadcaster was wrong to show a skit that joked about the possible assassination of US President Barack Obama and suggested he could be a thief, an industry panel ruled today. The New Year's Eve Bye Bye comedy program - shown by the French-language Radio Canada network - generated more than 200 complaints.

In one segment, two hosts discussed Mr Obama's election in November 2008.

"We're not racists. It will be good to have a Negro in the White House," one of the show's hosts remarked. "It will be practical. Black on white, it will be easier to shoot him."

The Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council said it found "nothing redeeming in the allegedly comedic notion that an American president should be shot, still less that this would be easier to achieve because of the colour of the president's skin". "It was a disturbing, wounding, abusive racial comment."


Posted by John Ray.
"No Holy Qu'ran Torn" Claims Muslim Immigrant

(Athens, Greece) The entire controversy regarding a reported torn Qu'ran (Koran) in Greece may have been manufactured. According to
[A]ccording to an immigrant Muslim living in Greece, this controversial incident is in doubt.

The source says that there was no Holy Qur’an torn, and that the immigrants’ attitude was very much exaggerated.
Okay, readers, let's see a show of hands. Who's surprised?

Companion post at The Jawa Report.
Scientology on Trial in France

(Paris, France) Four French former Scientologists filed complaints against the Scientology movement claiming organized fraud. Despite lobbying by actor Tom Cruise and opposition from the French state prosecution service, an independent magistrate decided the prosecution should continue.
Two female plaintiffs allege that, between 1997 and 1999, the French movement persuaded them to pay the equivalent of €20,000 each on drugs, vitamins, counselling, saunas and equipment to improve their mental and physical health. This included an "electrometer" to measure the state of their "spiritual condition".

The movement is accused of pretending to "identify and resolve alleged psychological difficulties" and "promoting the personal flowering" of its adepts with the "sole aim of seizing their resources" and "establishing psychological control over them".
The official charges against Scientology are organized financial fraud and illegal distribution of drugs.

If convicted, the Scientology movement could be ordered to shut down its French operations. Notably, two of the original complainants have backed off.
French Base in Persian Gulf

(Abu Dhabi, UAE) The French have acquired the equivalent of Baltic Avenue on the Middle East Monopoly Game board.
President Nicolas Sarkozy formally opened a French military base in the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday, its first in the oil-rich Gulf, as Paris seeks to land lucrative military contracts and strengthen its foothold in a region just across from Iran.

Sarkozy attended the inauguration ceremony alongside UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Shaikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahayan as the French and UAE flags were raised at the so-called ‘Peace Camp’ in Abu Dhabi, the first to be opened abroad since the end of the colonial era.

The base will host up to 500 troops stationed in three sites on the banks of the strategic Strait of Hormuz, just across from Iran: a navy and logistical base, a desert air base with three fighter planes and a training camp.
It appears that the French base will serve as both a strategic defense position and a de facto satellite marketing office for the nation's aircraft and nuclear industries.

Companion post at The Jawa Report.
Mike Tyson's Daughter Strangles Self in Mishap

(Phoenix, Arizona) Former champion boxer Mike Tyson's daughter got tangled in a rope or cord on an exercise treadmill and accidentally strangled herself.

The four-year-old girl is in critical condition, on life support at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix. The accident happened at the Tyson home.

Mike Tyson was out of town at the time of the accident.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Brit NHS Loses Thousands of Medical Records

(London, England) The British National Health Service (NHS) has lost tens of thousands of medical records due to a series of 140 data security breaches between January and April 2009.
14 NHS institutes have been observed to have broken the data regulations. According to Mick Gorrill, assistant information commissioner, NHS has offended laws by losing such confidential information.

In one instance, the database of 10,000 people was downloaded onto an insecure laptop and the laptop was said to have been stolen from the home of the NHS employee.

In another such case of negligence, a memory stick, which was carrying medical histories of ex-inmates of Preston prison and other 6,360 prison patients, was lost earlier. The password for obtaining the data was written on the device itself.
To correct the problems, the information commissioner, Richard Thomas, has dispatched "a crack team of investigators" to analyze how data is stored at various hospitals. Additionally, Thomas wrote a letter to a "senior civil servant in the Department of Health" to take steps necessary to improve the situation.

Sadly, the writing of letters is arguably about the harshest punishment meted out by the government to state bureaucracy employees. It's sort of an official hand slap. One seldom hears of bureaucrats being canned.

Fortunately, this type of error may not be a problem when the United States imposes government-run health care. As I understand, Obama's plan will just put all medical records on the Internet so the loss of a memory stick would likely be a minor problem. Medical records on the Internet will naturally be as secure as bank records or Los Alamos weapons secrets and we know those things are suck-pucker tight. Heh.

Companion post at SocGlory.
NC Woman Gets Jail for Rape - Updated

(Waynesville, North Carolina) It appears that the reporting on the Spann case has one inconsistency. Contrary to a report from which stated that Spann was sentenced to nine months in jail, the Asheville Daily Planet indicates otherwise.
After pleading guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old boy, Stephanie Rae Mathis Spann of Sylva was sentenced on April 28 to a maximum of eight years in state prison.
There is a considerable difference between nine months and eight years. Apologies to the readers for the inaccuracy.

In any event, since the reporting has been sketchy, it's still not exactly clear what sentence was imposed on Stephanie Rae Mathis Spann. (h/t KYP in Comments)

* * * * *

NC Woman Gets Jail for Rape
[Previous 5/1/08 post]
(Haywood County, North Carolina) A 31-year-old woman, Stephanie Rae Mathis Spann, was sentenced Monday in Haywood County Superior Court after pleading guilty to felony rape of a boy under 16.

For the rape, Spann was given nine months in jail. Reportedly, she'll have to serve at least six.
In January 2007, Spann, who was a family friend of the victim, was drinking and taking methamphetamine and had sex with an adult relative of the victim. She then raped the boy, who was under 16 at the time.

The boy's mother confronted Spann when she learned of the rape, and Spann admitted what she had done.
Methamphetamine, eh?

Nine months in jail makes rape out to be a relatively minor offense. Maybe it's just that the planets were aligned properly for Stephanie Spann.

Tip: SuidaeEmpathy
Blood, sweat and development

The latest high-profile BBC show, ‘Blood, Sweat and Takeaways’, is a series of documentaries looking at how consumerism in the west is leading to poverty and exploitation within the Asian food industries, the first episode focussed on the Indonesian tuna industry. As can be expected with the BBC this show only presents half the debate.

It puts across a very tainted view of the situation; it implies that we are demanding cheaper and cheaper food in greater quantities than before. In order for this food to be produced, workers in foreign countries need to be exploited. It hints at a neo-colonialist world where Asian producers are at the beck and call of our demands at whatever human cost.

The evidence in the show is worrying, but the arguments are not conclusive. Clearly, hundreds of workers working and sleeping in cramp and hot factory conditions with few breaks is a distressing scene that none of us would envy – and yes, we probably have disassociated the food we eat with its production, but this is not the full story.

We need to consider the flip-side to these realities. Supermarkets already only make around 3p profit per tin of tuna they sell. If they were forced to pass any more of this profit onto the producers, the incentive for selling tuna would be severely limited (especially when the opportunity cost of stocking these goods is the sale of much higher-profit foods). This would result in a decline in the tuna industry and the consequential unemployment of the factory workers.

I’m sure after watching the show many would call for a growth in Fair Trade products. As the ASI report ‘Unfair Trade’ has shown this would not be beneficial to the individual producers. Even if in the short run the benefits filtered down to individual workers, the higher prices would encourage more firms to enter the market, artificially forcing prices down further in the long-run.

It is easy to blame consumers for these problems, and although our casual spending may have fuelled the rapid development and industrialisation of many foreign industries these jobs would not exist at all were it not for our consumption.


Posted by John Ray.
North Korea Tests Nuke

Initially sensed as a seismic event by the USGS on Sunday night at 8:53:43 PM (EDT), a successful underground nuclear test by North Korea has now been confirmed. Meanwhile, a South Korean source indicates that the North concurrently tested a short-range missile.
The North "successfully conducted one more underground nuclear test on May 25 as part of the measures to bolster up its nuclear deterrent for self-defence in every way," the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

"The current nuclear test was safely conducted on a new higher level in terms of its explosive power and technology,'' it said.

The force of the blast was between 10 and 20 kilotons, according to Russia's defence ministry quoted by news agencies, vastly more than the estimated one kiloton blast three years ago.
Foreign powers have expressed concern and the UN Security Council scheduled a meeting for later today. The test is considered a breach of UN Security Council Resolution 1718.

Reportedly, the North informed the U.S. and China before the test. President Obama said that North Korea's activities warrant "action by the international community." South Korea and Japan issued strong statements of condemnation. South Korea's Unification Ministry put a ban on civilians traveling to the North.

The North has quit the six-party talks, has restarted its plutonium program and is believed to have stockpiled six to 12 small nuclear devices. Monday's test was the second for North Korea which regularly asserts the need for nukes to defend its sovereignty and socialism.

Interestingly, it's believed that the North is rattling sabers because of in-house strife and disappointment in the Obama administration.
"The second test was earlier than expected and reflects the North's growing anger at Washington," said Kim Yong-Hyun of Seoul's Dongguk University.
Frankly, I tend to agree that Kim Jong-il is stressed. The dear leader's recent reported stroke plus his age make the future dicey. Being mad at Obama, I'm not so sure.

However, considering Kim Jong-il's "look-at-me-I'm-special" psyche, I suggest that he has finally accepted his mortality and decided to bow out with some extra-vigorous banging of the old tin pot. Also, putting North Korea in the spotlight ignites jingoistic sentiment and helps keep some of the young followers from making internal moves.

In any event, for the near-term those who should be most worried are the people who live on the Korean peninsula.

Tips: Marmot's Hole and STACLU

Companion post at The Jawa Report.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Nanny State Britain Restricts Drinkers

(United Kingdom) Pretty soon, the Brits will probably require ration cards.
Drinkers in pubs are to be told to stand in a queue and banned from ordering more than two drinks at a time at the bar. Rope barriers similar to those used in shops and post offices will be installed to keep customers in line.

The plan has been proposed following concern over disorder and violence in a town centre's bars.

The two-drink limit is intended to curb binge-drinking and stop customers ordering large amounts of alcohol. In addition, customers would not be allowed to drink while queuing.

But critics say the 'nanny state' restrictions will end the convivial British tradition of drinkers buying rounds for their friends.
So, as a great British tradition dies, the nanny-staters rejoice.

Tip: slwlion
Mom Throws Kids Off Bridge, One Dead

(Portland, Oregon) A 31-year-old local woman, Amanda Jo Stott-Smith, was arrested yesterday for throwing two of her children into the Willamette River. Her seven-year-old daughter survived while her four-year-old son died.

Stott-Smith faces charges of murder and attempted murder.
Police said someone called 9-11 at around 1:20 a.m. Saturday after hearing children and a woman screaming from the river.

The children were found by a nearby resident who searched the waters in his boat when he heard the children screaming. The man pulled the children out of the water.

Rescuers, who were also searching the river, arrived shortly after and tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate the boy. He was identified as Eldon Jay Smith.
Pretty sick, eh?
Florida 4th-Grade Teacher Pinched for Drugs

(Ocala, Florida) A 53-year-old fourth-grade teacher at Fessenden Elementary School, Cynthia Thomas McWilliams, was arrested Friday during a traffic stop for alleged possession of drugs. McWilliams was charged with possession of crack cocaine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia and tampering with evidence.
At approximately 7:15 p.m. Friday, Deputy Damon Baxley stopped a gray Buick Lesabre on West Anthony Road, just north of State Road 326, because the car did not have its lights on in the rain, the deputy said.

Thinking she may have shoved something under the seat, Baxley said he called for a K-9 handler to assist with the stop.

K-9 deputy Jared Shealy arrived on scene and while walking around the vehicle, the dog detected the presence of drugs at or near the driver's side door, deputies said.

McWilliams was asked to exit the car, and the K-9 deputy asked if she had anything illegal on her, deputies said. While turning her pockets inside out, deputies say a metal crack pipe fell from her right front pocket.

Authorities say McWilliams changed her standing position so she could stand over the crack pipe in an effort to conceal it. Inside the crack pipe was a burnt steel-wool pad, deputies said.

Also found in her right front pants pocket was a clear plastic sandwich bag that contained nine grams of marijuana, deputies said.

Searching the car, officers say they found two pieces of crack cocaine - weighing less than a gram - between the driver's door and the seat.
McWilliams was booked into custody at the Marion County Jail with bond set at $5,000.
Sadness From an Obama Supporter

In a Memorial Day opinion piece by the Oneonta (NY) Daily Star:
Memorial Days are never joyous times, for obvious reasons.

And this year, the occasion is especially dour for those of us who supported Barack Obama, not only for all the other reasons, but because we thought he was a peace candidate who would put an end to our misguided wars.
We're seeing more and more sadness from Obama supporters as the reality of Obama actually governing the United States sinks in. Obama's pie-in-the-sky, can't-we-all-just-get-along pre-election rhetoric has turned out to be nothing more than utopian salve, good for leftist votes but hardly applicable in real life.

One might contend that the peaceniks won't be satisfied until the United States completely abandons all national security efforts. I'm particularly flummoxed by the apparently widespread leftist belief that the U.S. is responsible for all of Earth's woes. Jeez, simple laws of probability would seem to dictate that America sometimes would not be at fault.

In any event, although the leftists consider America to be the bad guy, they continue to live here. I suggest that if you always root for the other team, it's quite normal to move your stuff into the opponent's clubhouse.
Memorial Day soon

Posted by John Ray.
Bust Out at Topless Doughnut Shop

(Vassalboro, Maine) The local topless doughnut shop is an apparent nascent nest of crime. State Troopers have responded.
A state trooper was sent Saturday morning to a topless doughnut shop on Route 3 after a caller to the Augusta communications center reported that one of the waitresses was outside the shop without a top on.

"I went there and spoke to the owner and the female that was probably involved and I advised them it was going to be turned over to the district attorney for possible review," Trooper Shawn Porter of Troop D Barracks in Gray said later in the day. "Nobody was charged; it's going to be reviewed by the DA's office."
The DA's office will be conducting a line-up of the topless waitresses' boobage for witness identification. The announcement of the line-up has caused a flood of new complainants eager to provide witness testimony.

Not really, I made that last part up.
Woman Accused of "Granny Dumping"

(Bradenton, Florida) A North Carolina woman, Beverly Edwards, has been accused of dumping her 96-year-old aunt, Ruth Smith, at a Salvation Army shelter in Bradenton as she and her family traveled to Disney World. Edwards claims that her aunt was forgetful and argumentative.
Ashley Butler of Aging Safely Inc. is now Ruth Smith's temporary legal guardian. Butler says it's one of the worst cases of "granny dumping" she's ever seen.

"I said, do you have any intentions of coming back for her? Oh no. After we finish at Disney World we're going home. We can't take care of her anymore, I'm done," Butler says.
No charges have been filed as Bradenton authorities continue to investigate.

I suggest that the Edwards children be on their best behavior or they might be dumped somewhere.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Former South Korean President Commits Suicide

(Seoul, South Korea) Former President Roh Moo-hyun committed suicide this morning by throwing himself off a cliff. Roh fell about 100 feet and was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital.

Later he was taken to Pusan National University Hospital where extraordinary measures failed to save him.

Around 0930 local time, he was pronounced dead from his injuries. He was 62.
"Former President Roh left his house at 5:45 a.m. and appears to have jumped off a rock at around 6:40 a.m., while hiking on the Mt. Bongha,'' Moon Jae-in, Roh's lawyer and former secretary, said in a nationally televised statement.

A police officer quoted the security guard as saying that his fall was "too abrupt'' for him to block it.

Right before jumping, Roh asked the accompanying guard to borrow a cigarette, police said, citing the guard as saying.
Reportedly, Roh and his family were under investigation for corruption and the stress was overwhelming. He wanted to end the suffering he has caused.

Roh detailed his thoughts in a suicide note (translated into English). His final request was to be cremated with just a small tombstone placed near his home.

Roh is survived by his wife and two children.

Cliff behind Roh's house

Companion post at The Jawa Report.
Indiana Camp Director Accused of Sex with Boy

(Columbia City, Indiana) The 38-year-old director at Camp Whitley, Tara Brandon, was arrested Thursday for allegedly engaging in sex multiple times with a boy under the age of 18.

Brandon faces charges of sexual misconduct and child seduction.
The boy told police he and Brandon engaged in sexual contact 10-15 times over the summer of 2007, and 8-10 times over the summer of 2008 - though “rarely” at the camp and “never when campers were at the camp,” wrote Charles Vogely, a detective with the Whitley County Sheriff's Department, in the affidavit.

Police then interviewed another Camp Whitley counselor, who told police he witnessed what he thought to be a sexual relationship between Brandon and the boy earlier this year, according to the affidavit.
Brandon was booked into custody at the Whitley County Jail and released this morning on $50,000 bond.
Woman Gets Prison for Prostituting Teen Girls

(North Andover, Massachusetts) In September 2007, a local woman, Melissa Halstrom, was arrested for allegedly operating a prostitution ring of teenage girls.

Halstrom was accused of recruiting four girls to service customers out of her apartment and in local hotels.

Halstrom was charged with inducing minors to prostitution, maintaining a house of prostitution, deriving support from prostitution, exhibiting a child in a sexual act, distribution of obscene material, and distribution of a Class E substance.

In April 2009, a full 20 months after her arrest, 34-year-old Melissa Halstrom was put on trial along with an alleged accomplice.
Police say Halstrom and Anthony Gorgoglione Jr., of Milbury, recruited four teenagers to be "call girls," supplied them with drugs to help loosen them up and set them up on $200 an hour sex sessions with older men, many of them in their 60s.

The pair is also accused of taking lurid photographs of the girls for their Web site, the now defunct, advertising the sex-for-money business.

Three of the call girls were Merrimack Valley natives; one was from Andover.
Last week, Halstrom and Gorgoglione were convicted after a jury deliberated for two hours.
The jury in Lawrence Superior Court found Halstrom guilty on three counts of inducing a minor into prostitution and three counts of deriving support from a child prostitute. She faces a sentence of five years to life in prison.

Gorgoglione was also found guilty on two charges of inducing a minor into prostitution.
Yesterday, Halstrom was sentenced by Judge Kathe Tuttman to six to eight years in prison. Gorgoglione received three to five years in prison.

eXTReMe Tracker