Friday, December 31, 2010

Iowa Woman Gets Prison for Sex with Boy - Updated

(Davenport, Iowa) Yesterday, 19-year-old local woman, Lindsey M. Brix, appeared for sentencing in Scott County District Court via video feed from the Scott County Jail.

Judge Nancy Tabor determined Brix was "too distraught" to appear in person.
With her lawyer sitting beside her, an arm wrapped around her back, Brix pleaded for probation "till I can stand on my own feet."

Tabor refused and sentenced Brix to 10 years in prison. The judge combined two separate incidents from earlier this year, one involving the indecent contact in April and the other a theft on May 17.

While in custody at Scott County Jail since her arrest May 27, Brix has had numerous incidents of jail misconduct, has threatened other people and broken a window, Tabor said.

Even after pleading guilty earlier this month, Brix has continued to have problems at the jail, Tabor said.

"This community needs to be protected from your out-of-control behavior," Tabor told Brix.
After release from prison, Brix must register as a sex offender for 10 years.

* * * * *

Iowa Woman Accused of Sex Abuse of Boy
[Previous 6/1/10 post]
(Davenport, Iowa) An 18-year-old local woman, Lindsey M. Brix, has been accused of sexually abusing a 12-year-old boy.

Brix also faces allegations resulting from a disturbance she caused at the courthouse.
Brix was walking from the courthouse lobby to the front doors about 9:30 a.m. Thursday when she yelled obscenities and was warned by a security guard to clean up her language, the arrest affidavit states. Upon leaving the courthouse, she forcefully pushed open the exit doors and was arrested for disorderly conduct, records show.

Brix also was charged Thursday with third-degree sex abuse, a Class C felony in Iowa that is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

According to a Davenport Police Department complaint, Brix had sex with a 12-year-old boy while they were under a bridge in the 300 block of South Clark Street, Davenport. The alleged incident occurred about 3 p.m. April 1.

Brix was charged Tuesday with second-degree robbery in connection with an incident that occurred May 17, court records state. Second-degree robbery is a Class C felony under Iowa law.
Brix was booked into custody at the Scott County Jail.
Pageant of Goats

Beauty Contestant

(Mecca, Saudi Arabia) Over 170 entries assembled this week in the holy Muslim city to compete for the coveted title of "Most Beautiful Goat."

The winner is expected to be sold by auction for at least $18,000.
Maryland Teacher Nabbed for Heroin

(Silver Spring, Maryland) A 25-year-old special education teacher at Woodlin Elementary School, Rebecca Amick, was arrested Tuesday for possession of heroin found during a traffic stop.

Amick was a passenger in the car along with Faisal Abdullah, 25, who was also arrested. Police found multiple bags of heroin plus drug paraphernalia.
Police say the driver and two passengers, who appeared nervous, agreed to a search of the vehicle and to personal searches during the 7:45 p.m. traffic stop.
Both Amick and Abdullah faces drug charges. Amick was booked and released on her own recognizance. Abdullah, who was also wanted on two counts of prescription fraud, was booked into custody and released on $15,000 bond.
New year thought

This next year, both Groundhog Day and the State of the Union address occur on the same day. It is an ironic juxtaposition of events: one involves a meaningless ritual in which we look to a creature of little intelligence for prognostication while the other involves a groundhog.

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Airports Call for Racial Profiling

(Germany) Proposed on Tuesday.
The incoming head of Germany’s main airport lobby group is demanding the nation’s transit authorities use racial profiling to weed out terrorists at security checks.

Christoph Blume, the head of Düsseldorf Airport, told daily Rheinische Post on Tuesday that air passengers should be divided into different risk categories, meaning they would be subject varying degrees of scrutiny by airport security.

“That way, the security system could become more effective to everyone’s benefit,” said Blume, who will take the helm of the ADV airport association next month.

He said profiling passengers according to characteristics such as race, religion and country of origin would allow German airports to avert a further tightening of security.
If security is improved, implementation of the plan is arguably logical. However, it remains a controversial idea.
Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger has roundly slapped down a call by Germany’s airports for passengers to be profiled for security checks, warning such discrimination would contravene EU and German laws.

“Systematic differentiation according to homeland and origin carries the risk of stigmatisation,” Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, of the liberal Free Democratic Party, told daily Süddeutsche Zeitung on Wednesday.
So, there you go. Idea snuffed on Wednesday. For now.
Assange Threatens

I wonder how long Julian Assange will be able to get away with blackmail.
Julian Assange has set the ultimate dead man's switch: Arrest or kill him and thousands of files will be automatically released, including documents that out CIA-backed Arabs.
When is enough going to be enough?
Topless Woman Arrested on Gun Charge

(Naperville, Illinois) In November, a 44-year-old woman, Vicki K. Myers, was arrested for having a gun without a firearms owner's identification card.
Naperville police arrested Myers on Nov. 12, after a patrol officer found her topless in her van outside the Red Roof Inn on the city’s far northwest side.

Myers initially told police she was changing her clothes, but later admitted she had gone to the van to use sexual devices while her children slept in their motel room. All three children were old enough to be left alone without constant adult supervision, police said.

Police found several sex toys in the van, along with a loaded, semiautomatic pistol beneath the driver’s seat.
Myers pleaded guilty to the weapons charge and was sentenced by DuPage County Circuit Court Judge George J. Sotos to 11 weeks court supervision plus $285 in fines.
Putin Inspects Russian iPhone

Prime Minister Putin examines the Russian version of the iPhone.

Putin says Russian women can use the iPhone to keep track of their husbands. Heh.

Opposing a political office-holder is "hate" if he is black?

The President of the Republican National Committee is Michael Steele, a fairly useless black who appears to have been given the job simply as a black counterweight to Obama -- so Republicans can point to him as showing that they are not racist.

His uselessness has now become a pain to many Republicans, however, and there are various moves to dump him from the job. The legal counsel to the GOP was not happy about that and wrote as follows to the people behind the move to dump Steele (excerpt):
"Concern has been expressed among members of the Caucus that these two anti-Steele pledges/resolutions could be viewed as hateful toward Chairman Steele — regardless of what benign names they may be given,” Semanko wrote. “They are also considered arbitrary in that they, quite literally, purport to support anyone but Chairman Steele, without consideration of any particular candidate's qualifications.”

To this, Bopp responded with seeming fury.

“Norm, are you some liberal professor at some liberal arts college enforcing their ‘hate speech’ prohibition?” he demanded of the Idaho GOP chairman. “Is our brand-spanking-new general counsel now the self-appointed speech police? Or were you asked by Chairman Steele to assume this role?”

Continuing, Bopp inferred that by “hateful” Semanko was alluding to perceptions about how the party was treating its first black national chairman.

“I know that liberals view any criticism of someone's conduct to be ‘hateful,’ if the person happens to be black, etc,, but I was unaware that we at the RNC had adopted such a political speech code,” he wrote. “In my view, it is not 'hateful' to decide not to vote for Steele because one views his conduct in office to be detrimental to the interests of the Republican Party and the country, even though he happens to be black.


The lawyer sounds like a RINO. A holder of ANY political office can be opposed without it being "hate".

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Birth of the Blues (Pills)

At a professional conference in 1983, Dr. Giles Brindley of the Urodynamics Society gave a lecture on medically-induced erections.

The event was recorded by Dr. Laurence Klotz and subsequently published in the British Journal of Urology International.
It was relatively poorly attended, perhaps 80 people in all. Most attendees came with their partners, clearly on the way to the reception. I was sitting in the third row, and in front of me were about seven middle-aged male urologists, and their partners in 'full evening regalia'.

Professor Brindley, still in his blue track suit, was introduced as a psychiatrist with broad research interests. He began his lecture without aplomb. He had, he indicated, hypothesized that injection with vasoactive agents into the corporal bodies of the penis might induce an erection.

Lacking ready access to an appropriate animal model, and cognizant of the long medical tradition of using oneself as a research subject, he began a series of experiments on self-injection of his penis with various vasoactive agents, including papaverine, phentolamine, and several others. (While this is now commonplace, at the time it was unheard of). His slide-based talk consisted of a large series of photographs of his penis in various states of tumescence after injection with a variety of doses of phentolamine and papaverine.

After viewing about 30 of these slides, there was no doubt in my mind that, at least in Professor Brindley's case, the therapy was effective. Of course, one could not exclude the possibility that erotic stimulation had played a role in acquiring these erections, and Professor Brindley acknowledged this.

The Professor wanted to make his case in the most convincing style possible. He indicated that, in his view, no normal person would find the experience of giving a lecture to a large audience to be erotically stimulating or erection-inducing. He had, he said, therefore injected himself with papaverine in his hotel room before coming to give the lecture, and deliberately wore loose clothes (hence the track-suit) to make it possible to exhibit the results. He stepped around the podium, and pulled his loose pants tight up around his genitalia in an attempt to demonstrate his erection.

At this point, I, and I believe everyone else in the room, was agog.

I could scarcely believe what was occurring on stage. But Prof. Brindley was not satisfied. He looked down skeptically at his pants and shook his head with dismay. 'Unfortunately, this doesn't display the results clearly enough'. He then summarily dropped his trousers and shorts, revealing a long, thin, clearly erect penis. There was not a sound in the room. Everyone had stopped breathing.

But the mere public showing of his erection from the podium was not sufficient. He paused, and seemed to ponder his next move. The sense of drama in the room was palpable. He then said, with gravity, 'I'd like to give some of the audience the opportunity to confirm the degree of tumescence'.

With his pants at his knees, he waddled down the stairs, approaching (to their horror) the urologists and their partners in the front row. As he approached them, erection waggling before him, four or five of the women in the front rows threw their arms up in the air, seemingly in unison, and screamed loudly. The scientific merits of the presentation had been overwhelmed, for them, by the novel and unusual mode of demonstrating the results. The screams seemed to shock Professor Brindley, who rapidly pulled up his trousers, returned to the podium, and terminated the lecture.

The crowd dispersed in a state of flabbergasted disarray. I imagine that the urologists who attended with their partners had a lot of explaining to do. The rest is history. Prof Brindley's single-author paper reporting these results was published about six months later.
My experience with professional conferences is that presentations are typically quite dust-dry and snoozable. Prof. Brindley found a way to liven things up.
Carolina Woman Accused of Sex with Boy, 14

(Newport, North Carolina) A 27-year-old local woman, Kandy Leigh Brock, has been arrested by Carteret County Sheriff's deputies for engaging in sex with a 14-year-old boy.

Brock faces charges of four counts of indecent liberties by a substitute parent. The alleged sexual episodes reportedly occurred between June and October.

Notably, Brock has had previous troubles with the law. Since 2002, she has been convicted on counts of breaking and entering, larceny and driving without a license.

Brock was booked into custody at the Carteret County Jail with bond set at $75,000.
Kentucky Woman, 30, and Boy, 14

(Shepherdsville, Kentucky) A 30-year-old local woman, Jenny Lynn Counzler, has been accused of engaging in sex with a 14-year-old boy.

Counzler faces charges of rape and sodomy.
Investigators say Counzler told her friends that she wasn't getting enough attention from her boyfriend.

They say they've uncovered this statement on Counzler's facebook page.

"I hear 30's the new 20 and 14's the new 19."
One might conclude that Counzler suffers from a psychological quirk. She hears voices saying irrational statements.

Counzler was booked into custody at the Bullitt County Detention Center with bond set at $100,000.

Tip: Jeff T.
The makeup of the human brain may guide people's political views, according to a recent study

An amusing "spin" put on the findings below: The usual old Leftist attempt to smear conservatives. The brain and its component parts are very complex and associating one of those parts with "fear" is ludicrously simplistic: Rather reminiscent of the old-time phrenologists, in fact. Other research has been interpreted as showing the same area to be associated with greater "sociability", for instance. Take your pick!

Phrenology: "Head reading"

Nonetheless, the report is interesting in that tends to confirm what has long been known from twin studies -- that ideology is highly heritable genetically

Political views may be hard-wired into people, according to a study that suggests those with right-wing views have a larger area of the brain associated with fear.

Scientists have found that people with conservative views have brains with larger amygdalas, almond-shaped areas in the centre of the brain often associated with anxiety and emotions, London's Daily Telegraph reports.

They also have smaller anterior cingulate, an area at the front of the brain associated with courage and looking on the bright side of life, than those from the opposite end of the political spectrum.

The research was carried out by scientists at University College London, who scanned the brains of two members of parliament and 90 students.

The study found that the size of the two areas of the brain related directly to the political views of the volunteers.

However because the volunteers were all adults, it was hard to say whether they had been born that way, or whether their brains had developed through experience.

Geraint Rees, director of the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, said he was “very surprised” by the finding, which is being peer reviewed before publication next year.

The study was commissioned as a light-hearted experiment by actor Colin Firth while guest editing BBC Radio's Today program, the Press Association reported. But it has now developed into a serious effort to discover whether we are programmed with a particular political view.

Professor Rees said although it was not precise enough to be able to predict someone's stance simply from a scan, there was “a strong correlation that reaches all our scientific tests of significance”.

“The anterior cingulate is a part of the brain that is on the middle surface of the brain at the front and we found that the thickness of the grey matter, where the nerve cells of neurons are, was thicker the more people described themselves as liberal or left wing and thinner the more they described themselves as conservative or right wing,” he told the BBC program.

“The amygdala is a part of the brain which is very old and very ancient and thought to be very primitive and to do with the detection of emotions. The right amygdala was larger in those people who described themselves as conservative.

“It is very significant because it does suggest there is something about political attitudes that are either encoded in our brain structure through our experience or that our brain structure in some way determines or results in our political attitudes.”


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ohio Teacher Loses License in Alleged Fondling Case

(Canton, Ohio) In May 2010, a local teacher at Hope Academy, Kristen M. Marginean, was indicted for gross sexual imposition stemming from the alleged fondling of an 8 or 9-year-old female student.

Yesterday, Stark County prosecutors dismissed the case against 29-year-old Marginean with the understanding that she will permanently surrender her teaching license.
Assistant Stark County Prosecutor Lori Curd said the case was dismissed with the consent and cooperation of the alleged victim’s family, and after a review of the case and psychological assessments of both Marginean and the girl.[...]

Marginean “crossed the lines of where a teacher should be with a student,” but her conduct didn’t rise to the level of gross sexual imposition or any other crime, the prosecutor said.

Marginean brought the girl home with her, took her to the movies and bought her gifts, and there was inappropriate touching, but it wasn’t for the purpose of sexual gratification, which is a necessary element of gross sexual imposition, Curd said.
I don't understand. It appears that inappropriate touching is acceptable in circumstances where no gratification is derived. What does that mean?

Not only that but it's not clear how one would know that the inappropriate touching "wasn’t for the purpose of sexual gratification." No alternative purpose has been proposed.

Tip: Lame
Former al-Qaeda Spokesman Criticizes Violent Jihad

Abu Ghaith and Osama bin Laden

Former al-Qaeda spokesman, Abu Ghaith, has written a book which criticizes Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri, although he doesn't specifically name them.
In a book titled "Twenty Guidelines on the Path of Jihad", Abu Ghaith affirmed his rejection of jihadist work as "the project of one individual using the blood of others to act out what seems correct to him".

Jassem Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, also known as "Abu Youssef", is of Kuwaiti origin. The Kuwaiti government stripped him of citizenship in 2001, after he moved to Afghanistan and appeared alongside al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden as a spokesman for the organisation.

The book was published on the website of an Egyptian Islamist known as Mustafa Hamid, author of the "Mutarid" book series and a veteran "Arab mujahid" in Afghanistan. Hamid is a known critic of bin Laden.

Abu Ghaith's book contains 20 pieces of "advice" about "jihad work", but it never addresses al-Qaeda by name, despite the fact that its author was the organisation's spokesman in 2001. Abu Ghaith also does not mention bin Laden by name nor any other leader of the organisation. But much of the "advice" seems directed toward the leaders of al-Qaeda specifically, in addition to leaders of other groups that describe their work as "jihadist".

In his book, Abu Ghaith writes, "Jihad, as I have said repeatedly, is a mission of the Umma (Islamic nation) and should not be hijacked or monopolised. Those who think that jihad means carrying arms and fighting the enemy are mistaken. This would mean that the culture of killing and destruction is what drives us, not a culture of life and building."

Abu Ghaith said that it was a mistake to believe that jihadists should not be concerned with building the state and its institutions, spreading science and knowledge, and "securing a better life for all who live with Islam and in the Islamic state".
More Muslim leaders need to denounce violence.
Last Cop Kidnapped in Mexican Town

(Guadalupe, Mexico) The lone remaining police officer in the Juarez Valley town of Guadalupe, 28-year-old Erika Gandara, was kidnapped last Thursday by ten unidentified gunmen. Her house and cars were also set on fire.

Gandara's fellow law enforcers had previously been killed or fled.
An officer was shot dead the week Gándara joined the Police Department as a dispatcher in June 2009. The other seven officers resigned out of fear within a year.

Some quit after gunmen killed the mayor of Guadalupe, Jesús Manuel Lara, in June of this year.

So Gándara alone was left to police the dangerous ranching towns of the border.
Gandara's abductors are believed to be part of either the Sinaloa or Juarez drug cartels who are fighting for control of smuggling routes in the Ciudad Juarez region.

Guadalupe has a population of 9,000 and it sits about 35 miles southeast of Ciudad Juarez.
Minnesota: Leftist school officials using Muslims as a cover for their own anti-Christmas bigotry

We read:
"Head Start officials erred in ending Santa Claus visits to St. Peter Head Start classrooms and have unfairly made Somalis into scapegoats on the issue, say two Mankato Somalians who have lived in the community a combined 23 years.

Fanah Adam, who has children in the Mankato Head Start program, said respect for differing cultures and customs is a two-way street — a concept that was sullied by prohibiting a Santa appearance because some families in the class reportedly objected to it.

“Santa and the families (were) not the decision-makers; Head Start administrators are who sent Santa away,” he said.

Ahmed and Adam fear that the virulent anti-Somali reactions on website comment pages and forums to published reports of the Santa ouster could be breeding grounds for hate crimes.

Earlier this year Dennis Jackson of St. Peter, who has played Santa for St. Peter Head Start classes the past four years, was told by program officials that his appearance this year would be against some people’s wishes. He said he was given no specifics.

Chris Marben, who coordinates regional Head Start programs through Mankato-based Minnesota Valley Action Council, said this: “We have Somali families in the program. We’re respecting the wishes of the families.” She did not say how many objected to Santa’s appearance, nor if Somali families specifically objected.


Leftists are always making up ways some group MAY be offended by Christian symbols etc. And then it turns out that no-one in the "offended" group is in fact offended.

So the Left stirs up hate towards the group that they are supposedly "helping".

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

Monday, December 27, 2010

Swine Flu in Britain

(London, England) Authorities are fearing that an epidemic of swine flu victims is coming soon.
They say rates are rising faster than during December 1999, which marked the start of an outbreak which claimed more than 22,000 lives and brought the NHS to its knees.

There are now 460 people in intensive care, taking up around one in seven beds, up from 182 last week.[…]

Experts say the outbreak could reach epidemic proportions within the next few days. The latest infection rates show an average of 87.1 cases per 100,000 people – an epidemic is classified as more than 200 per 100,000.

But current rates are increasing much quicker than in December 1999, when there were just 60 per 100,000 over Christmas but more than 200 per 100,000 by New Year.

Doctors say flu often spreads very quickly during the festive period as those carrying the virus visit relatives in different parts of the country.

So far this winter nine children and 18 adults are confirmed to have died from the virus, although in reality this number is expected to be much higher.
However, Britain's Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies is not worried. She said the flu numbers are in the "normal range" for winter flu.

So, we've got predictions from both ends of the spectrum. The government says "Don't worry" while the medical experts are canceling elective surgeries and predicting thousands of deaths. Take your pick.
"The country is grinding to a halt NOW, and they are still prattling about global warming in the period 2030 to 2100?"

Coldest Day Ever Recorded in Ireland

On Tuesday this week, the high temperature in Ballyhaise, County Cavan, clocked in at 16 degrees Fahrenheit. As Head forecaster Gerald Fleming told the Irish Times, "That's the lowest daily maximum ever recorded in Ireland, which makes it the coldest day ever recorded in Ireland."

This new low did not shock the Irish. They have been getting used to sub-freezing temperatures. This is the coldest December on record in Ireland and throughout much of Northern Europe. It is likely the snowiest as well. The weather has thoroughly disrupted European travel and is starting to damage the economy.

Not all winters are like this. I saw no snow the year I lived in Ireland in the early 1990s, and in the early 1980s,javascript:void(0) during the winter I spent in France-Nancy to be precise-the temperature never dropped below freezing, even at night.

For old time's sake, I have been tracking the weather reports out of Europe. Yet in all that I have read in the mainstream European press, I have seen no attempt to reconcile the present cold with the promised heat, not even to chalk the flagrant disparity up to "climate change." It is as if the reader is not supposed to notice.

But many do. The blogs and editorial letters boil over with outrage. Writes one not atypical letter writer in the UK, "Snowfall, ice, Arctic-level cold and all the rest have caused major disruption to the UK infrastructure in the last few weeks, not least because our gilded civil servants have been looking in the wrong direction. And they still are. . . . The country is grinding to a halt NOW, and they are still prattling about global warming in the period 2030 to 2100? These people are truly off their trolleys. They are seriously mentally ill."

The Europeans are learning what we have always known, as Michael Savage might put it, "Liberalism is a mental disorder."


The reference above is to a recent heading and subheading in The Guardian, which reads:

"UK's infrastructure will struggle to cope with climate change, report warns. Floods, rising temperatures and higher sea levels threaten the UK's road, rail, water and energy networks between 2030 and 2100"

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

Sunday, December 26, 2010

2010 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

The 50 winners are listed here. You'll notice a number of familiar websites, all worthy of recognition.

Congratulations to the winners.
Hefner Gets Engaged

Look what Hugh Hefner got for Christmas.

Crystal Harris

Yes, Playboy Enterprises founder Hugh Hefner, 84, got engaged to 24-year-old Crystal Harris on Christmas weekend. There should be no mystery as to why Hefner always has a smile on his face.
Hefner said in a Twitter message early Sunday that he'd given a ring to girlfriend and Playmate Crystal Harris, saying she burst into tears.

"This is the happiest Christmas weekend in memory," he wrote.

To clear up confusion over whether the ring was simply a Christmas gift, Hefner later tweeted: "Yes, the ring I gave Crystal is an engagement ring. I didn't mean to make a mystery out of it. A very merry Christmas to all."
Congratulations to the happy couple.
Feds Want Reports of Rifle Sales

To curb weapons smuggling to Mexican border areas, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will be requiring licensed gun sellers in border states to report all sales of military-style assault rifles.
ATF says the number of these weapons found at crime scenes in Mexico has increased by more than 100 percent since 2004. “According to ATF trace data, investigative experience and Mexican law enforcement officials, a large number of rifles are being used in violent crimes in Mexico and along the border,” acting ATF director Ken Melson said in statement.

The pilot program, which would be implemented in Texas, California, New Mexico and Arizona and evaluated for effectiveness after one year, is awaiting final approval from the federal Office of Management and Budget. The possible hang-up is whether it complies with the federal Paperwork Reduction Act. A similar law for handguns generates more than 179,000 reports a year, says ATF chief spokesman Scot Thomasson.

Thomasson says the policy would speed up the time it takes the agency to detect weapons smuggling, which he defines specifically as “movement of firearms from legal to illegal commerce.” In the current system, the gun has to be recovered at a crime scene for an investigation to start, which could be months, or even years, after the sale.

With the new policy, he says, “a report is filled out that afternoon [of the sale], sent to us, and a lead is sent down to the field. Now we are going out and running down that lead with that individual to determine, did he buy the gun for his use, which is fine; there is nothing wrong with it … or did he buy it with the intent purpose of selling it to someone else?”
Gun rights advocates criticize the planned effort as targeting legitimate businesses for additional regulation in only a few states. I'd suggest the policy is also a back-door method of blaming border violence on U.S. gun sellers.
Bus Crash Kills 8 Americans

Bus crash in Egypt

(Cairo, Egypt) A tour bus crashed near the southern city of Aswan earlier today, killing eight Americans. An additional 19 other Americans were injured plus two Egyptians, the driver and the tour guide.
A total of 116 American tourists were traveling in three tour buses. The interior ministry said the middle bus -- carrying 37 of the tourists -- crashed into a parked dump truck loaded with sand.
According to the Egyptian news agency MENA, the bus was traveling from Aswan to the ancient Egyptian temple Abu Simbel.
Carolina Teacher Accused of Murder

(Detroit, Michigan) A 56-year-old instructor at Central Piedmont Community College, Julie Ann Hopwood, has been accused of fatally shooting her transgendered sibling's partner, 35-year-old Amy Chesbro.

It's alleged that Hopwood waited outside Chesbro's workplace, shot her several times when she appeared and then drove away.
A family member said relations between Julie Hopwood and her younger sibling had been tense since Patricia Jean Hopwood decided to become a man named PJ Redbird TwoRavens.

TwoRavens is Hopwood's younger sibling. He was born a female in 1965, but it's unclear how long he had been living as a man. By 2002 the name PJ Redbird TwoRavens begins showing up in voting records.

It was also unclear how long TwoRavens and Chesbro had been together. Family members described the pair as engaged, and they described themselves as "in a relationship" on the social networking website Facebook.

The pair sent out Christmas cards for years, said Frederick Leetch, TwoRavens' uncle.

Leetch said there was tension between TwoRavens and Hopwood since TwoRavens began living as a man.

"As best I understood it, she didn't like when her younger sister changed sex," Leetch said. "I think this is something that's been bothering her because she didn't have a sister anymore."

Lt. Tom Goralski, a Livonia police spokesman, said that theory was "not true," though he wouldn't elaborate.
Hopwood has a court appearance on December 28.

Tip: Lame
New York Teacher Busted for Drugs

(Buffalo, New York) A 30-year-old teacher at the Grabiarz School of Excellence, Victoria Minella, has been accused of possessing the drug Ecstasy allegedly smuggled across the Canadian border.

Minella was arrested Thursday reportedly as part of a drug trafficking investigation started earlier this month.
Minella taught seventh and eighth graders. She has worked for the school district since 2003. A district spokeswoman said she has been suspended indefinitely.

A prosecutor says there was no evidence she was selling drugs to students.
Minella was booked into custody with bail set at $25,000.
A very selective precautionary principle

Good to take precautions against warming but wrong to take precautions against cooling?

The so-called "precautionary principle" is the last refuge of the Warmist when confronted with evidence that the global warming scare rests on very shallow foundations. "But it might happen so we should take precautions against it", they say.

But it such thinking is incoherent. How do we decide what we should take precautions against? There are many hazards in life and we can afford to take precautions against only the most likely ones of them.

The incoherence was in evidence in the article I excerpted yesterday under the heading: "Britain's one time chief alarmist rejects the Warmist Met office advice". (Originally here)

The argument was that Britain should not prepare for any more severe winters as continued cooling is unlikely. In other words, the precautionary principle is abandoned and opposed in that case.

A reader comments: "I guess they just invoke the precautionary principle when it's their unproven fantasies (not to mention the greening of their pockets) that are at stake. They want us to throw trillions at non-existent AGW (oops, sorry, I mean "climate change"), but investing in something that'll save lives and prevent real massive economic loss? ...well, you've gotta draw the line somewhere, after all. Hey, what are the lives of a few peasants, anyway, if you can't make a buck off 'em; and what's economic catastrophe, if you can't profit from it?"

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

[Update] Adding an appropriate Christmas song from a seven-year-old.

OSU Players Docked by NCAA

(Columbus, Ohio) Players on the Ohio State University football team have been sanctioned by the NCAA for receiving favors in exchange for autographs and sports memorabilia.

Student-athletes Mike Adams, Dan Herron, DeVier Posey, Terrelle Pryor and Solomon Thomas will be ineligible to play in the first five games of the Buckeye's 2011 schedule.

The players were cited for the following:
• Adams must repay $1,000 for selling his 2008 Big Ten championship ring.

• Herron must repay $1,150 for selling his football jersey, pants and shoes for $1,000 and receiving discounted services worth $150.

• Posey must repay $1,250 for selling his 2008 Big Ten championship ring for $1,200 and receiving discounted services worth $50.

• Pryor must repay $2,500 for selling his 2008 Big Ten championship ring, a 2009 Fiesta Bowl sportsmanship award and his 2008 Gold Pants, a gift from the university.

• Solomon must repay $1,505 for selling his 2008 Big Ten championship ring for $1,000, his 2008 Gold Pants for $350 and receiving discounted services worth $155.

• Jordan Whiting must sit out the first game next year and pay $150 to a charity for the value of services that were discounted because of his status as a student-athlete.
Notably, Pryor's selling of the miniature gold pants, symbolizing a win over archival Michigan, has been viewed as somewhat disrespectful by Buckeye traditionalists.

In any event, the players will be able to play in this year's Sugar Bowl. The NCAA concluded that they didn't adequately understand the rules this year.
Widespread Leftist outrage at attack on inauthentic movie

The original criticism:
"Norse mythology gets a multi-cultural remake in the upcoming movie titled “Thor,” by Marvel studios. It’s not enough that Marvel attacks conservative values and promotes the left-wing, now mythological Gods must be re-invented with black skin.

It seems that Marvel Studios believes that white people should have nothing that is unique to themselves. An upcoming movie, based on the comic book Thor, will give Norse mythology an insulting multi-cultural make-over. One of the Gods will be played by Hip Hop DJ Idris Elba.


A African Nordic God is certainly a strange idea but nobody is allowed to say so apparently. You get called a "white supremacist" if you do. A brief summary of some of the outrage here

There seems to be particular rage over the fact that the conservative group called for a boycott of the film. Leftists are always trying to mount boycotts of people and firms that they do not like but conservatives are not allowed to do likewise, apparently.

As far as I am concerned, I would be glad of the information that the film is badly cast and would not go to see it on those grounds -- if I was into that sort of thing

By all their wailing and shrieking the Left have certainly seen to it that the boycott call is widely publicized -- which is amusing.

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

Friday, December 24, 2010

Muslim Accidentally Shoots Self While Asleep

(Dearborn, Michigan) The title explains the official story.

The guy's name is Mahmoud Ajaj and the shooting occurred while he was in his car with his wife and two kids, one aged three and a baby of seven months.

Frankly, I'm more than skeptical. It's suggested that it was more likely a honor killing attempt meeting resistance.

Story here.
Call for Berlin to Name Street After Ronald Reagan

(Berlin, Germany) German Defense Minister Guttenberg has called for the city of Berlin to name a street or square after late President Ronald Reagan.

Discussion of honoring Reagan has emerged ahead of February 6th, the 100th anniversary of his birth.
"Ronald Reagan brought down the Iron Curtain with his persistency in deed and clarity in speech," he said, criticizing the Berlin Senate for not planning any official memorial service for Reagan's birthday.

"Germany and especially Berlin have a lot to thank Ronald Reagan for," added Berlin FDP parliamentarian Martin Lindner. The nation's capital should "permanently remember this great friend of Germany in a visible area."
Left-leaning politicians are not enthused about honoring a conservative.
Mumbai on High Alert

(Mumbai, India) Police believe that four terrorists from the radical Lashkar e Toiba (LeT) group have entered the city with the purpose of creating widespread destruction during the Christmas and New Year season.

One suspect is pictured on the right.
At the Gateway of India, a major tourist attraction and hotspot for New Year celebrations, there is massive security. All people going towards the jetty are being checked and their bags and other details are being checked.[…]

Some roads leading to the Gateway and Colaba causeway have been cordoned off for vehicular traffic. Intense checking at all jetties of the city is on.

Bomb squads are to keep an eye on parking lots. Police forces have been deployed at churches and other places of worship. Surveillance has been increased at railway and bus station. Frequent checks are being conducted at hotels.
Authorities have requested the assistance of the National Security Guard (NSG).

A video report can be viewed here.
Don't Embarrass the TSA

If you embarrass the Transportion Security Administration (TSA) by revealing systemic failures in airport security, agents will likely search your house and take your gun. Apparently, telling the truth while armed is unacceptable.
TSA Thermos Alert

(Washington, D.C.) A new potential terror threat has been identified.
The alert stressed that there is no intelligence about an active terror plot, but travelers may notice airport screeners taking a closer look at empty insulated containers.

The Transportation Security Administration "is carefully monitoring information related to terrorist tactics" in coordination with other nations, TSA spokeswoman Sterling Payne said in a statement Thursday.

"The possible tactics terrorists might use include the concealment of explosives inside insulated beverage containers, so in the coming days, passengers flying within and to the U.S. may notice additional security measures related to insulated beverage containers."
It's probably best to simply leave the thermos at home.
MA: Permission slips for Pledge of Allegiance

We read:
"The principal of a public school in Brookline, Mass., is asking parents to fill out permission slips before their children can participate in a weekly recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Gerardo Martinez, the principal of The Devotion School, informed parents that the school would begin reciting the pledge in January over the public address system.

Attached to the letter was a form that asked parents to check either: 'Yes, my child will participate in the weekly Pledge of Allegiance' or 'No, my child will not participate in the weekly Pledge of Allegiance.'"

"It's actually not a permission slip," said Superintendent Bill Lupini, in an interview with Fox News Radio. "There's no intent this was a permission form." Lupini said students will not be forced to recite the pledge, regardless of a parent's wishes...

An attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union in Boston also had some concerns about the situation. Sarah Wunsch told the newspaper the permission slips were "really strange." "It suggests that this is a decision for parents alone," she said, noting that children don't lose their right of expression once they walk into a school building.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

Thursday, December 23, 2010

WV Teacher Sex Case Dismissed - Updated

(Elkins, West Virginia) The case against 7th-grade teacher Autumn Faulkner has been dismissed. Reportedly, grand jury evidence was tainted.

* * * * *

WV Teacher Arrested for Sex with Boy
[Previous 3/26/09 post]
(Elkins, West Virginia) A 26-year-old seventh-grade teacher at Elkins Middle School, Autumn Faulkner, was arrested yesterday for allegedly engaging in sex with a 15-year-old male student.

Her arrest came after an anonymous tip to the Department of Health and Human Resources.
State Police Sgt. G.L. Stalnaker says the boy's parents apparently did not know about the relationship, which had been going on since at least last year.
Faulkner was booked into custody at the Tygart Valley Regional Jail with bond set at $50,000.
Georgia Teacher Busted for Drugs

(Eton, Georgia) A 25-year-old teacher at Mountain Creek Academy, Erica Griffin, was arrested last Friday for possession of cocaine and marijuana.

The school is an alternative facility for at-risk students in grades six through 12.
On Friday, Whitfield County deputies responded to a complaint of a marijuana smell coming from a car in the driveway of a home on Dot Crescent Drive in Dalton, a police report states.[…]

When deputies arrived, Griffin was inside her blue Toyota Celica and the males were seen running into the woods, the report shows.

Police said Griffin was arrested after a deputy spotted a bag of marijuana on the passenger seat of the Toyota.

When questioned, Griffin said she "did not know any of the male subjects and that she was going to give them a ride," according to police. She also told police she wasn't sure why she was at the house on Dot Crescent, the report states.
Griffin was booked into custody at the Whitfield County Jail and released Saturday on $3,000 bond. She resigned her teaching position on Monday.
Growth in Vietnam

Son La Station

The largest hydroelectric power station in southeast Asia began operating last Friday in Vietnam.
The first of six turbines at the Son La station was connected to the national power grid on Friday, said Hoang Trong Nam, director of the plant's management board.

He said the two-billion-dollar plant with a capacity of 2,400 megawatts is expected to be fully operational in 2012, three years ahead of a target set by the National Assembly.
Vietnam is surging economically. Demand for electricity is growing at 14 percent annually.

From construction start to power on the grid took only five years for the Son La station. I suspect a similar achievement in the U.S. is improbable. Arguably, a large electricity generating project in the United States would need to surmount many more hurdles in licensing and construction than those imposed in Vietnam.
Toes Chewed Off During Sleep

(Berino, New Mexico) An 85-year-old woman, Mari Najera, awoke Monday morning to find her toes had been chewed off while she slept. Video at the link.

According to Lori Del Hierro, the daughter-in-law, Najera suffered from diabetes and had no feeling in her feet as they were being eaten, bone and all, during the night. Rats or cats are the likely culprits.

Meanwhile, interested animal lovers should note that about 1,000 rats are available for adoption from North Star Rescue. However, despite the fanciful imagery, adoption for purposes of eating the in-laws is likely criminal and not recommended.
Conservative change in Britain

The old Leftist lie that conservatives were simply against all change still has legs even though Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher made it clear by their actions that it was only the simplistic and destructive changes proposed by the Left that conservatives oppose. So it is interesting to see below that Britain's present-day Conservatives also have lots of changes on their agenda

The Tory-led Coalition sees itself in revolutionary terms. Steve Hilton, who is David Cameron’s political guru, is supposed to have declared: ‘Everything must be changed by 2015. Everything.’ An odd thing, perhaps, for an alleged Conservative to have said.

Then there is Nick Boles, the staunchly Cameroon Tory MP for Grantham, who at a conference last week said that David Cameron and Nick Clegg want their ‘people power’ revolution to unleash ‘chaotic’ effects across the community. That sounds like Mao Zedong on a wild night.

During the election campaign Nick Clegg often said that he plans to ‘change Britain for good’, a call to arms he repeated at the Lib Dem party conference in September. I don’t know about you, but there is quite a lot about Britain which I like, and I am by no means sure that Mr Clegg’s transformed version would be preferable.

There is a good deal of this Maoist-type talk. And if you look at the Coalition’s proposals in various areas, there is a lot of frenetic activity of which Mao, as the creator of ‘permanent revolution’, would have warmly approved.

Andrew Lansley is turning the NHS inside out, though in ­opposition the Tories said another bureaucratic shake-up was the last thing it needed. Michael Gove is trying to create as many ‘free schools’ as ­possible. Ken Clarke is overhauling the judicial and prison systems. Iain Duncan Smith is embarking on the most sweeping welfare reforms for a generation. Eric Pickles wants to transfer powers from councils which think they know best to local communities.

The sheer speed and multiplicity of these reforms, combined with all the revolutionary rhetoric, has led some ­commentators to suggest that the Coalition is more radical even than Margaret Thatcher who, for all her zeal, actually proceeded quite cautiously, particularly during her first term of office.

Some people suggest that the theme uniting these bold plans is a smaller State. I doubt whether this is true. When all the cuts announced by the Chancellor have taken effect in 2015 — and this assumes, possibly wrongly, that they will be rigorously applied — government spending as a proportion of gross national product will have merely returned to the ­levels of 2007. That does not sound like a dramatically smaller State to me.

Others say that localism is another common theme. When Mr Boles enthused about the advantages of chaos he was ­trying to point out the vices of central planning. We can most of us agree with that. But I remain sceptical as to whether the reforms already announced will substantially shift power to local communities. Will electing police chiefs really have such an effect?


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

UN Investigating Alleged Torture of PFC Bradley Manning

(Geneva, Switzerland) Based upon a complaint, the United Nations special rapporteur on torture, Manfred Nowak, is investigating the treatment of PFC Bradley Manning while in jail in Quantico, Virginia.

It's alleged that Manning is being tortured because he is forced to stay in a cell 23 hours each day.
Sex with Girl Nets Community Control - Updated

(Toledo, Ohio) Last month, 22-year-old former student teacher at Waite High School, Erika Bentley, pleaded no contest to one count of unlawful sexual conduct with a 15-year-old female student.

Yesterday, Bentley appeared in Lucas County Common Pleas Court and was sentenced by Judge James Bates to three years of community control. She was also ordered to pay a $1,500 fine.

Bentley will be classified as a Tier II sex offender which requires that she register with the local sheriff every six months for 25 years.

Note that the restrictions imposed by a sentence of community control haven't been specified. It's assumed that Bentley will be required to wear an ankle device and have limitations imposed on where and when she can leave her home.

* * * * *

Former Student Teacher Accused of Sex with Girl
[Previous 10/7/10 post]
(Toledo, Ohio) A 22-year-old student teacher formerly at Waite High School, Erika Bentley, has been accused of engaging in sexual contact with a 15-year-old female student.

She has pleaded not guilty to one count of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.
Police say the education student, who did her student teaching at the East Toledo high school last academic year, had a relationship with a 15-year-old student at the school.

She was allegedly caught with the girl, by the girl's parents, in late May.

Bentley faces up to 18 months in prison if convicted.
Bentley is free on her own recognizance. A trial date has been scheduled for November 9.
Rapper Booked on Multiple Charges

(San Antonio, Texas) A local rapper known as Dae Teezy, real name Davone O. Truitt, was arrested last weekend while shooting a video on location in the hood.

Truitt, 23, was wanted on multiple charges stemming from an incident last March which included running from the police and assaulting his girlfriend.

Adding to Truitt's troubles was the fact that he was packing an illegal pistol and in possession of drugs when he was arrested on Saturday in a drug-free school zone.

Frankly, I'm conflicted as to whether Mr. Truitt is astonishingly ignorant of the consequences of his law-breaking or whether he has a deep-rooted desire to spend time in prison.

Truitt was booked into custody at the Bexar County Jail without bail.
Church removes racial references in Book of Mormon headings

We read:
"The LDS Church has made subtle — but significant — changes to chapter headings in its online version of the faith’s signature scripture, The Book of Mormon, toning down some earlier racial allusions.

The words “skin of blackness” were removed from the introductory italicized summary in 2 Nephi, Chapter 5, in describing the “curse” God put on disbelieving Lamanites.

Deeper into the volume, in Mormon, Chapter 5, the heading changes from calling Lamanites “a dark, filthy, and loathsome people” to “because of their unbelief, the Lamanites will be scattered, and the Spirit will cease to strive with them.”

In both cases, the text itself remains unchanged.

Chapter summaries were added in the 1920s, then rewritten by the late LDS apostle Bruce R. McConkie in 1981. That same year, a verse that used “white and delightsome” to describe what will happen to dark-skinned peoples when they repent was changed to “pure and delightsome.”


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).
Hearing Test

Tipster Charley Nestor indicated to me that after viewing this video, I wouldn't remember a thing she said. He was right.
Assange's Accusing Angels

(Stockholm, Sweden) Wikileaker Julian Assange's two female accusers have been identified as 31-year-old Anna Ardin, aka Bernardin, and 27-year-old Sofia Wilen.

Anna Ardin --- Sofia Wilen

After discovering that they both had sexual experiences with Julian Assange, Ardin and Wilen (called Miss A and Miss W in a British court) went to the police.

Ardin recounted that she acted as a media liaison for Assange during a visit to Stockholm in August for a speaking engagement.
Miss A and Assange had sex several times at her one-room Stockholm flat, according to Swedish tabloids, giving details that were blocked out of the police transcript.

Representatives of Swedish prosecutors told the British hearing that "unlawful coercion" occurred on August 14 because Assange held down Miss A in a sexual manner.

Another encounter on August 18 was characterized as "sexual molestation", because Assange had sex with Miss A without a condom despite her "express wish" one should be used, they said.

Assange also "deliberately molested" Miss A on the same night "in a way designated to violate her sexual integrity", the British court heard.
Arguably, the characterization has Assange coming off as an aggressive, domineering lover. He seems to like it rough.

Assange's relationship with Sofia Wilen was different. She showed up at the speaking engagement with somewhat of a groupie-like admiration for Assange which led to a visit to her home north of Stockholm.

Unfortunately, by the time they got there, Wilen no longer had any interest in Assange. Undeterred by her lack of interest, Assange waited until Wilen went to bed and reportedly popped her as she slept.

Wilen told the British court that Assange didn't wear a condom when he mounted her as she slept. One has to assume that Wilen was awakened sometime during the sex act.

In any event, the two women relate that Assange was quite forceful with them. There was no recounting of heartfelt warmth or soft caresses. The women probably felt as though they were simply anonymous females in the eyes of Mr. Assange.

Here's a report on video.

Tip: Marmot's Hole

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

So Long To 2010

African Ghost Workers

(Abuja, Nigeria) Here's a shock! An African nation reports outrageous corruption.
The recent shocking discovery that the Nigeria Police Force currently has, in its payroll, about 107,000 ghost workers shows the depth of corruption in the force which must be tackled frontally so that the Police can move forward.

A financial audit recently carried out by the Ministry of Police Affairs reportedly uncovered the scam and the fraudulent bank accounts through which some officers in the Mechanised Salary Section (MMS), Police Pay Offices (PPOs) and some corrupt accountants in all the states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), siphoned billions of Naira into their private pockets, monthly.

The report, for example, said that within two months, the Federal Government, through the audit, recovered about N6 billion which would have been stolen by the said corrupt pay officers and their collaborators in some commercial banks.

This discovery, which was disclosed recently by the Inspector-General of Police, Hafiz Ringim, is another proof that it is the parasitic tendency of a few corrupt elements in privileged positions that has been stultifying the growth and development of the Nigeria Police and indeed other critical sectors of the Nigerian economy.
No surprise to me.

Note: 100 Nigerian Nairas = US$0.65
Ontario Man Arrested After Bombs Found

(Timmins, Ontario) A 26-year-old local man, Donald Chalmers, has been arrested for having an arsenal of bombs and weapons in his home.
A raid of the home in Timmins, Ont., was conducted Friday by local police and the Ontario Provincial Police's organized crime enforcement bureau.

Police said officers found three homemade bombs and about 60 firearms, ranging from handguns to automatic rifles.
The town of Timmins (pop. 43,000) lies about half way between Lake Huron and Hudson Bay in northern Ontario. It's the home town of popular singer Shania Twain.

The case continues to be investigated. Thus far, no reason has been voiced for possession of bombs and weapons.
Brit Mom Gets Prison for Sex with Boy, 14

(Leicester, England) A 26-year-old local mother-of-two, Susanne Divers, pleaded guilty to engaging in sex with a 14-year-old boy who bragged on Facebook about his affair.

Divers received three years behind bars while also losing custody of her two sons, ages six and eight.
Divers was warned off by police but continued to see him. She was discovered in bed with him by her fiance, who had returned home from work early.

She pleaded guilty to eight counts of sexual activity with a child between December 28, 2009, and February 2 this year. Sentencing her to three years in jail, Judge John Milmo QC told her she cheated on her fiance in a ‘flagrant manner’.

He said: ‘If ever there was a time to stop it was when the police warned you to stay away.

‘Your partner came home and found you both naked. You betrayed your partner in a quite flagrant manner. He’s written to the court and appears to have forgiven you.’

Divers was ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for life and banned from working with children.
Divers reportedly attempted to break off the relationship at one point but the 14-year-old responded by trying to hang himself. Divers continued the relations after the suicide attempt even though police warned her.

Tip: JR
Feds Force Bank To Remove Christmas Decorations

We read:
"A small-town bank in Oklahoma said the Federal Reserve won’t let it keep religious signs and symbols on display.

Federal Reserve examiners come every four years to make sure banks are complying with a long list of regulations. The examiners came to Perkins last week. And the team from Kansas City deemed a Bible verse of the day, crosses on the teller’s counter and buttons that say “Merry Christmas, God With Us.” were inappropriate. The Bible verse of the day on the bank’s Internet site also had to be taken down.

Specifically, the feds believed, the symbols violated the discouragement clause of Regulation B of the bank regulations. According to the clause, “…the use of words, symbols, models and other forms of communication … express, imply or suggest a discriminatory preference or policy of exclusion.”

The feds interpret that to mean, for example, a Jew or Muslin or atheist may be offended and believe they may be discriminated against at this bank. It is an appearance of discrimination.

The bank is quietly fighting for a clearer interpretation of the clause. Officials have contacted their two U.S. legislators, Rep. Frank Lucas and Sen. Jim Inhofe, and the Oklahoma Bankers Association to help.


There is nothing about Christmas that "excludes" anybody. Anyone can celebrate it. It is in fact quite popular in Communist China and Shinto/Buddhist Japan. And below is a comment about Christmas in India:
"A sizeable population of the Christian Community reside in Mumbai of the Indian state of Maharashtra and are mainly Roman Catholics. It is a delight to watch their homes during Christmas. Every Christian home creates a nativity scene, often display a manger in the front window. Giant star-shaped paper lanterns are hung between the houses so that the stars float above you as you walk down the road. There is a provision of sweets, mainly home-made, in every household to welcome visitors during the occassion.

In Southern states, Christians often light small clay oil lamps and place these on the flat roofs of their homes to show that Jesus is the light of the world.

In the North-western states of India, the tribal Christians of the Bhil folk take out caroling processions during the whole Christmas week and often visit neighbouring villages to tell the Christmas story to people through songs".

That darn Christmas is just SO offensive!

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

Monday, December 20, 2010

NH Woman Accused of Burning Girl, 4

(Nashua, New Hampshire) A 23-year-old local woman, Amanda Jones, was arrested last Thursday for allegedly assaulting a four-year-old girl by burning her buttocks with a cigarette.

Jones faces a charge of second-degree felony assault, punishable by a possible seven years in prison.
Police said the Youth Services Division received a report on December 15 that a 4-year-old child had what appeared to be a burn mark on her buttocks. The Youth Services Division learned that a cigarette may have caused the burn.

The Division conducted an investigation, which determined that Amanda Jones was responsible for the crime that caused this injury.
Jones was booked into custody.
Female Teacher Accused of Raping Girl

(Duncan, Oklahoma) A 28-year-old female band instructor formerly at Empire High School, Christyn Raincrow, has been accused of engaging in a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old female student.

Raincrow has been charged with second-degree rape by instrumentation and forcible sodomy of the female student.
"We were notified by school officials at Empire Schools that they had concerns that a teacher had been involved inappropriately with some of the students," said Sheriff Wayne McKinney, Stephens County Sheriff's Department.

Raincrow, 28, denies having a relationship with a student.

Court records allege while working at the school Raincrow "...asked the victim to come to the band room after a basketball game, locked the door and began kissing the victim" and that "...sexual contact occurred numerous times at the school until the victim graduated..." in 2009.

Records also claim Raincrow "...threatened to kill herself if the victim didn't tell her family she was in love with her."
Raincrow was arrested in October 2010 and booked into custody. There appears to be no fresh news on the status of Raincrow's case.

Tip: Lame
Mexican Pipeline Blast

Pemex oil pipeline blast, 12/19/10

(San Martin Texmelucan, Puebla, Mexico) Yesterday, a 30-inch Pemex oil pipeline sprung a leak about 50 miles east of Mexico City, ostensibly the work of a criminal gang.

An explosion followed along with the deaths of at least 27 people. Over 50 people were injured and at least 115 homes were damaged.
The explosion, which occurred yesterday at 5:50 a.m. local time, caused crude to flow into a nearby river and a giant cloud of smoke to erupt into the sky, the Milenio television network reported.

Valentin Meneses, Puebla state’s interior secretary, said in an interview on the Milenio TV network that 32 of the houses were completely destroyed.

“All of this is the consequence of a criminal gang,” Meneses said. “They lost control because of the great force of the fuel that came out. Many streets started to flood with fuel. There was a spark and there were rivers of fire.”
An investigation is in progress.
Must not mention ham in front of Muslims

"According to the account of the facts the teacher was explaining the different climates in a geography class and cited the village of Trevelez due to its cold and dry climate. According to the newspaper account, ”as a story, the teacher told his students that such a climate was conducive to making hams (this refers to the procedure that it’s necessary between the pig is killed and the ham is actually ready to be eaten). Then the student asked the teacher not to speak of hams since it offended him, because he was a Muslim

The teacher told the students that in his classes, he did not consider the religion of their students, but apparently the family did not stay at home when they learned the facts, to the extent that they went to the National Police to file a complaint without speaking in advance with the teacher

According to El Diario de Cádiz, the teacher “ is accused of being the author of an alleged crime of abuse of workers, also alleging racist and xenophobic motives


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Russia Building New Nuke Subs

Alexander Nevsky
Borei Class Nuclear-Powered Submarine
China Plans Aircraft Carrier

This report is arguably ominous.
China has launched an ambitious plan to build an aircraft carrier, the country has revealed for the first time, in a move that will heighten international scrutiny of the rapid expansion of its naval power.

The decision, which has far-reaching implications for China’s defence strategy and diplomatic relations, was disclosed in a single sentence buried at the end of a lengthy book published by a government agency earlier this year.[…]

The effort to add carrier power to the increasingly potent People’s Liberation Army Navy, and the fact that official word slipped out in an obscure publication, will fuel concerns about China’s military intentions.
More at the link.
Cuban President Berates His People

(Havana, Cuba) The island nation of Cuba is having economic problems. President Raul Castro said errors must be corrected or the communist revolution will be lost.
During his address lasting more than two hours, Castro made a review of the errors committed in the country, was critical of socialism being misinterpreted, and announced the very strict demands he was making of the country’s leaders with regard to reforms on the island.

He called for an end to the excessive secrecy and lies among the country’s leaders and said that those who lie “must be removed once and for all and not temporarily from the posts they occupy,” and must even be expelled from the Communist Party.

The Cuban president said that the government’s decisions must be carried out and not become a dead letter as has so often occurred, and insisted that repeating errors puts “the life of the revolution” at risk.[…]

About the application of his plan of economic reforms, including a plan announced in August to lay off 500,000 state employees and expand opportunities for small business, he said that the “adversaries of the revolution” are carrying out campaigns warning that this process will be a failure and is being received with skepticism on the island.

In response, he said that he was not elected president of the island to “restore capitalism in Cuba nor to surrender the revolution,” but to continue perfecting socialism.[…]

In addition to the layoff plan, Raul Castro, who formally succeeded ailing older brother Fidel almost three years ago, has reduced the size of Cubans’ food rations, cut back on energy use and suspended payment of Havana’s foreign debts in a bid to relieve the government’s liquidity squeeze.
Let's see. The government is cutting back on food rations and energy use in its quest of a perfect socialist society. Therefore, Cuba is trending consistent with empirical evidence from North Korea, Zimbabwe, the USSR, and others, that the ultimate human condition achieved via socialism is widespread, evenly-distributed poverty.
Drugs for the Kids

(Henderson County, North Carolina) A 31-year-old local woman, Tracy Leigh Delozier, has been arrested for allegedly providing cocaine, marijuana and other narcotics to young children, ages 2 and 9.
Delozier is charged with felony child abuse and two counts of misdemeanor child abuse.

As a result of the continuing investigation, Delozier was also charged with possession with intent to sell and or deliver marijuana, maintaining a vehicle/dwelling to keep or sell controlled substances and felony possession of marijuana.
Delozier was booked into custody at the Henderson County Detention Facility with bond set at $59,000.
Australia squares the circle

I have just put up on Dissecting Leftism a large excerpt from an article which sets out data tending to show that Australia scores very highly both as one of the freest countries in the world and also as one of the most "equal" countries in the world.

This has a huge bearing on Left/Right political controversies. The Left generally argue for more economic equality while conservatives generally argue for more economic liberty.

So what the Australian example shows is that such competing claims are not entirely a zero-sum game. You can at the same time have more of what both Right and Left want. I think that is a finding of very far-reaching implications for other countries, such as the USA. There are already major similarities between Australia and the USA so a convergence on the Australian system by the USA should, at least in theory, be much easier than most other sorts of change.

I think the claim that the USA is an "exceptional" country is so obviously true that it cannot rationally be denied (even if Mr Obama doesn't think so) but it would appear that Australia is another English-speaking country that is exceptional in important ways too.

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Guidance Counselor Found Dead - Updated

(Pine Grove, Pennsylvania) Sad news! Former guidance counselor Heather N. Cook, 33, facing multiple child corruption charges, was found dead at her home from an apparent suicide.

Death was pronounced at 4:21 pm Thursday. Cook reportedly left a note. According to Schuylkill County Coroner Joseph Lipsett, the note didn't explain why she took her own life.

* * * * *

Fall-Out from Lesbian Teacher-Student Case - Updated
[Previous 4/18/10 post]
(Pine Grove, Pennsylvania) Another teacher has been caught up in the Heather Cook scandal. Art teacher and girls' basketball coach Pam Ryan was suspended by the Pine Grove Area school board for allegedly having knowledge of Heather Cook's reported relationship with a student and Ryan failed to report it.

Ryan strongly denies the allegation and accused the school board of labeling her "guilty by association."
"Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?" Ryan asked the board. "I've dedicated half of my life to this program. I have not been given a solid reason" for the suspension."
The school board tabled the motion to find a new girls' basketball coach pending further investigation. Ryan indicated that her suspension may be unlawful.

(h/t Lame)

* * * * *

Lesbian Teacher-Student Case
[Previous 3/13/10 post]
(Pine Grove, Pennsylvania) A 33-year-old guidance counselor at Pine Grove High School, Heather N. Cook, was arrested this week for allegedly engaging in a two-year sexual relationship with a female student, starting when the girl was 16.

Cook has been charged with multiple counts of misdemeanor corruption of minors. Disturbingly, no clarification has been provided to explain why such an outrageous betrayal of trust coupled with an extended series of child sex crimes are classified as misdemeanor offenses.

According to Pine Grove Detective Thomas Trotter, the now 19-year-old victim prepared a 53-page statement describing the relationship with Cook.
The teen told police she began meeting with Cook for counseling for problems she was having at home and in her personal life, and that a rapport developed between the two.

The following school year, when the girl was a senior, she would continue to meet Cook in the counselor's office, where Cook would close the door, hold herself against the girl, kiss her and tell her how beautiful she was, Trotter said in his affidavit of probable cause.

The meetings continued at locations off school grounds and Cook began taking the girl out of the state and purchasing items for her, including cigarettes, jewelry, clothing, flowers, a camera and a book of lesbian love poems, the detective said.

Cook also wrote two letters or love poems to the teen and the original student-counselor relationship eventually turned sexual.

Trotter said the girl began spending nights at Cook's home, where the two would sleep in the same bed and Cook manipulated her into engaging in sexual acts between three and five times a week.
Reportedly, investigators suspect there may be other victims.

Cook was booked into custody and released on $25,000 unsecured bond. She has been suspended without pay from her teaching position.

Companion post at The Jawa Report.
Bon Jovi Now Obama Advisor

Word has it that Jon Bon Jovi was named to the Obama Advisory Council because Michelle Obama was not invited to Prince William's wedding.

Reportedly, Bon Jovi is a bosom buddy of Prince Charles with enough sway to finagle a wedding invitation for a desperate Michelle Obama. It's apparent that keeping the hoity-toity bona fides is a paramount consideration in the narrow universe of heads of state.

I've no way of verifying the truth or falsity of the assertion. In any event, it's interesting.

Regarding the relationship between the House of Windsor and the current administration, I do recall that the Obamas were previously quite dismissive of the royal family which would explain why Michelle wasn't sent a wedding invitation.
Bradley Manning Fragile

After seven months in prison, PFC Bradley Manning has been characterized in a sympathetic report as "in increasingly fragile condition."

Since Manning's current troubles and fragile condition are direct consequences of his alleged actions, sympathy is unwarranted. Bradley Manning is intelligent enough to have foreseen the consequences and he was not deterred.

Assuming that he is guilty, I suggest that Manning deserves every physical, psychological and emotional pain he has inflicted upon himself.
Doper Tourists Not Wanted in Holland

(Maastricht, Netherlands) The European Union Court of Justice has ruled that the prohibition on non-Dutch residents entering cannabis shops is acceptable.

The new ruling apparently applies only to tourists in the city of Maastricht, for now.
The court said the ban was justified as it could help combat drugs tourism and tackle the accompanying public order nuisance.

It said the laws had been intended to put an end to the public nuisance caused by the large number of tourists wanting to purchase or consume cannabis in the coffee-shops in the municipality of Maastricht.
Opponents of the measure claim that EU citizens are not being treated equally.
Even elected politicians must not tell the truth about Islam in Denmark

We read:
"Here is what Jesper Langballe wrote that merited prosecution under the Danish penal code:
"Of course Lars Hedegaard should not have said that there are Muslim fathers who rape their daughters when the truth appears to be that they make do with killing their daughters (the so-called honour killings) and leave it to their uncles to rape them."

On December 3, 2010 the municipal court in Randers, Denmark found the Danish Member of Parliament Jesper Langballe (Danish People's Party) guilty of hate speech under Article 266b of the Danish penal code.

In accordance with Danish legal precedent he was denied the opportunity to prove his allegation that honour killings and sexual abuse take place in Muslim families. Under Danish jurisprudence it is immaterial whether a statement is true or untrue. All that is needed for a conviction is that somebody feels offended.

"With this article in the penal code," commented Mr. Langballe, "I must be assumed convicted in advance. I have no intention of participating in this circus. Therefore I confess."

Mr. Langballe was sentenced to a fine of DKK 5,000 (approximately $1000) or ten days in jail.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).
Threat to Kill and Eat Obama

(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) A 32-year-old reputed career burglar and current prison inmate, Gregory Dale Brockman, pleaded not guilty this week to charges of threatening President Obama and the first lady.
Investigators said Brockman was in prison for burglary in January when he handed a letter to a psychologist in which he said he planned to kill the president and eat his flesh.

Prosecutors say Brockman told Secret Service agents that his anger stems from the U.S. involvement in Iraq.

The agents said he also professed admiration for cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer and other serial killers and vowed to act on his threats if released from prison.
Some weird people out there, eh?
Teacher Gets Fined for Online Harassment - Updated

(Wellman-Union, Texas) Former teacher at Wellman-Union High School, Jennifer Beadles, 36, has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of online harassment.

As a result, Beadles was sentenced to two years deferred adjudication, 80 hours of community service and payment of a $1,000 fine plus court costs.

Beadles was also ordered to surrender her Texas teaching certificate.

* * * * *

Texas Teacher Indicted for Relationship with Student
[Previous 3/8/10 post]
(Terry County, Texas) A 36-year-old teacher formerly at Wellman-Union High School, Jennifer Michelle Beadles, has been indicted on a charge of inappropriate relationship between educator and student.

Beadles allegedly kissed and touched a WUHS student in a sexual manner last October and November.
Wellman-Union ISD Superintendent Leslie Vann said Beadles taught reading and language arts at the school for almost two years before she resigned on Jan. 18.

She was placed on paid administrative leave last November and then unpaid administrative leave in December, he said.
Beadles was booked and released on $5,000 bond.

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