Saturday, December 31, 2011

Women With Troubles - December 2011

Happy New Year! Here is a compilation of women with troubles reported in news stories during December 2011. Each name is linked to an Interested-Participant blog entry displaying details.

For a more comprehensive listing, check the Women With Troubles category link. Links to month-by-month compilations are displayed on the navigation bar at left.

(AZ) Colene Barker, 35,
neighbor - Accused of driving over her husband,

(AZ) Jennifer Whiting, 33,
teacher - Gets one year in jail for sex with girl, 16,

(CA) Julie Gay Correa, 43,
teacher - Gets eight years in prison for sex with girl, 12,

(CA) Kathia Maria Davis, 44,
neighbor - Accused of sex with son's youth hockey league teammates,

(CA) Patricia Dye, 32,
neighbor - Arrested for failing to register as a sex offender,

(CA) Stephanie Elliott, 39,
teacher - Accused of sexual assaulting a sleeping adult woman,

(CA) Japhia Smith Huhndorf, 34,
teacher - Gets probation for child abuse in explosives case,

(CA) Laurie Ann Martinez, 36,
prison psychologist - Accused of faking rape and robbery,

(CA) Dorothy Ramirez, 53,
teacher - Arrested again for possession of drugs,

(CA) Gay Shepard & Daniel Shepard, 59 & 62,
teacher - Accused of sex with male student,

(CA) Lianne Marie Trout, 27,
teacher - Accused of unlawful sex with former student,

(CA) Virginia Valdez, 69,
neighbor - Accused of trying to cut off husband's penis,

(CO) Karen D. Clark, 59,
neighbor - Accused of sex assault of minor,

(FL) Kenia Quiala Bosque, 30,
neighbor - Arrested for trying to sell baby son,

(FL) Kimberly Lashane Davis, 30,
neighbor - Accused of sex with boy, 12 to 16 years old,

(FL) Gina Marie Knox, 33,
neighbor - Accused of felony child neglect,

(FL) Cheryl Nemetz, 49,
neighbor - Accused of sleeping with and giving drugs to boy, 14,

(FL) Margaret Ann O'Neill, 26,
neighbor - Arrested for performing oral sex on girl, 7,

(FL) Simone Paolercio, 39,
teacher - Booked for battery at McDonald's,

(FL) Kristen Nicole Sullivan, 27,
teacher - Gets three years prison for sex with male student, 14,

(GA) Eileen Dawn June Gargulio, 19,
neighbor - Gets five years prison for rape of boy, 13,

(GA) Kimberly Quinlan Lindsey, 44,
CDC executive - Accused of molesting boy, 6, and bestiality,

(IL) Eliza Martinelli, 35,
teacher - Gets probation for criminal sexual abuse of four children,

(IL) Lynette McIntyre, 45,
teacher - Guilty of sex with male student, 17. Sentencing in February 2012,

(IL) Sarah A. Monroe, 27,
neighbor - Arrested for theft,

(IL) Paulina M. Suess, 34,
teacher - Accused of heroin possession,

(IN) Theresa Mast, 56,
school bus driver - Accused of driving school bus while drunk,

(IN) Ashley Stapert, 21,
neighbor - Accused of performing sex act on baby girl,

(KY) Brooke Briscoe, 27,
group home counselor - Accused of sex with male resident, 17,

(KY) Trira Guisse, 29,
teacher - Accused of assaulting female freshman student,

(LA) Katie Champagne, 30,
teacher - Accused of indecent behavior with girl, 14,

(MA) Irina Kristy, 74,
teacher - Accused of distribution of methamphetamine,

(MI) Laura Buckingham, 50,
neighbor - Gets year in prison for sex with underage boys,

(MI) Kellie Jean Miller (aka Kellie Jean Retter Miller), 48,
neighbor - Gets 3 to 5 years prison for probation violations,

(MN) Michelle Rose Chlan, 26,
teacher's aide - Guilty of sex with male student, 16. Sentencing in February 2012,

(MO) Christina Spaid, 34,
neighbor - Accused of sex with teen girl and a dog,

(NC) Tiffany Suzanne Davis, 23,
teacher - Accused of sex with male student,

(NC) Emily Gabrielle Sykes, 22,
neighbor - Accused of sex with a child,

(NC) Nicole Johnson Thomas, 26,
neighbor - Accused of sex with minor,

(NY) Ronette Ricketts, 40,
teacher - Accused of vicious attack on fellow teacher,

(OK) Kimberly Crain, 48,
teacher - Accused of taking photos of girls in bras and panties,

(OK) Micha Rose Dirksen, 30,
neighbor - Accused of engaging in sex with at least six boys ages 13 to 15,

(OK) Elizabeth Alisha Greta Halfmoon, 45,
neighbor - Arrested for mixing meth chemicals at Walmart,

(OK) Cynthia Shirleen Low, 46,
college employee - Accused of embezzling from university,

(PA) Angela Goss, 28,
neighbor - Accused of breaking daughter's leg for urinating on floor,

(PA) Symantha Hicks, 30,
guidance counselor - Accused of inappropriate behavior with students,

(PA) Gabrielle Suzanne Marvelli, 39,
teacher - Gets nine months to five years prison for sex with student, 17,

(SC) Candice Elise Smith, 27,
neighbor - Accused of sex with boy, 14,

(TN) Amy Lynn Howell, 37,
teacher - Accused of sex crimes with a student,

(TN) Felicia Rickett, 22,
neighbor - Gets diversion for sex with boy, 16,

(TX) Amanda Billiris, 23,
neighbor - Accused of sex with nephew, 15,

(TX) Heather Dominique Jackson, 37,
teacher - Indicted for sex with male student, 16,

(TX) Julie Ann Moore, 34,
teacher - Accused of engaging in sex with boy, 15,

(UT) Sunni Faith Anderson (aka Suni Andersen), 36,
personal trainer - Guilty of forcible sex abuse of boy, 14. Sentencing in January 2012,

(UT) Kyie Devey, 21,
teacher - Accused of providing alcohol to minors,

(UT) Josie Foster,
high school dance instructor - Gets hand slap for burglary,

(VA) Tina Marie Amato, 28,
teacher - Guilty of sex with male student, 15. Sentencing in April 2012,

(VA) Kimberly Crilley, 48,
neighbor - Gets three years prison for sex with boy, 14,

(VT) Abby Shocik, 23,
teacher - Accused of sexually assaulting student,

(WI) Mary Berglund, 53,
teacher - Gets probation for child abuse,

(WI) Tessa A. Gray, 35,
neighbor - Accused of repeated sex with boys under 16.
Thanks to the readers, tipsters, and commenters.
Eye Care for the Elderly

(Oslo, Norway) A national nightly news broadcast, Dagsrevyen, contained a segment on optical treatment for pensioners with an unusual eye chart.
Rather than featuring a random sequence of letters, a test chart displayed behind the newsreaders began by loudly proclaiming OMG, Oh My God, newspaper VG reports.

Newsroom editor Solveig Tvedt conceded that she and her team hadn't properly examined the chart before going to air.

She told VG: 'We retrieved the picture from one of our image agencies and took it without taking a closer look. If we'd seen what it said we wouldn't have used it.'
It's generally concluded that the national broadcaster PWN3D itself.

Tip: Wicked Thoughts
Teacher Tells Girl to Strip and Sing

(Tacoma, Washington) A 37-year-old music teacher formerly at Tacoma Community College, Kevin Gausepohl, has lost his job.

Gausepohl faces morality charges stemming from convincing a 17-year-old girl to disrobe and perform sex acts while singing. He said she would be able to reach lower octaves by singing naked and touching herself.
Gausepohl allegedly told a Gig Harbor High School student he was conducting a study on how sexual arousal affects vocal ranges. The girl, 17 at the time, was attending the college as part of the Running Start program.

She complied with some of his requests to strip naked or touch herself during private voice lessons at the college, court records show.

Other students told investigators Gausepohl approached them about being part of the study, court records show. They declined.
Gausepohl has denied any wrongdoing. When hired he indicated that he was interested in how sexual arousal affects vocal range.

In support of Mr. Gausepohl's get-naked-and-touch-yourself voice coaching, I recall reading somewhere that O Canada sounds sweeter when sung by a sexually aroused woman. You probably have to be there.

Note that Mr. Gausepohl is not the first educator to employ an intimate arousal methodology. In high school, my science teacher Mr. S. studied low-frequency sound from the voicebox by getting girls to disrobe and see how low they could hum. Mr. S. was escorted from school in handcuffs.

In any event, Mr. Gausepohl faces charges of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes and obstructing a law enforcement officer.
Must not support Ron Paul, apparently

Ron seems a bit wacky to me at times but he does have a lot of good points -- and if you cannot support an elected representative in Congress what the heck can you do in America?
Kelly Clarkson hit a sour note with her fans after throwing her support behind Ron Paul in the Republican presidential primary.

The American Idol winner tweeted to fans: "I love Ron Paul ... if he wins the nomination for the Republican party in 2012 he's got my vote. Too bad he probably won't."

But her praise has angered fans, who have called her homophobic and racist for supporting the congressman, who has come under fire for racially derogatory comments contained in newsletters he published around 20 years ago.

"Wow, so a pop star endorses a lunatic racist, homophobe and anarchist? Kelly Clarkson, you need to look at Ron Paul closely," one Twitter user wrote. Another added: "That's too bad that Kelly Clarkson had to open her mouth about endorsing Ron Paul."

Clarkson took to her blog clarifying: "I do not support racism. I support gay rights, straight rights, women's rights, men's rights, white/black/purple/orange rights. "I like Ron Paul because he believes in less government ... Out of all of the Republican nominees, he's my favourite."


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

Friday, December 30, 2011

Memorials for Road Kill

Road kill with highway marker

A truck full of cattle accidentally tipped over last May and now the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) want a memorial for the cows that died.
An animal-rights group now wants the Illinois Department of Transportation to erect an official roadside memorial sign.

It would serve as a tribute to the victims, according to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which also seeks installation of a second memorial to six cows killed in traffic after they were thrown from a truck that overturned on Oct. 14 near Cambridge, Ill.

"Cows are intelligent, sensitive animals that feel pain the same way we do," said Tracy Patton, a campaigner for PETA.

The markers would be the first official highway memorials in the U.S. dedicated to animals killed in traffic accidents.
According to Illinois state law, highway memorial markers must be requested only by a "qualified relative of a deceased victim," however, Patton has asked the requirement be waived. IDOT spokesman Guy Tridgell indicated that memorials are only for people. Meanwhile, PETA is waiting for an official response.
Collateral Deprivation

For years, sitting snugly in the corner of my kitchen counter has been a cookie jar. Nothing fancy, just a recycled one-gallon pickle container that customarily housed Oreos, macaroons, chocolate chip and other sweet treats. The kids loved it. As for me and the missus, we also ate cookies.

But times change and the kids are all grown and gone. The cookie jar, however, remained as a stalwart reminder of their former home during visits. It just wasn't being refilled as often.

That is, until recently. Now it's not being refilled at all. I asked the missus why she wasn't buying cookies anymore and she explained that they were banned by the weight maintenance program [name withheld] she joined.

Me: "So the food police have outlawed cookies!? And that means you can't have them in your home!? Seems a bit extreme, don't you think?"

Missus: "No, not at all. The program [name withheld] specifies that I shouldn't subject myself to the temptation of cookies. Think about it. If I see cookies, I might be tempted to eat one."

Me: "So, let me see if I understand. You go to meetings with a group of chubbaphobic women [name withheld] who tell you what to eat and what not to eat and it's inconsequential if your husband suffers collateral deprivation."

Missus: "Deprivation! What deprivation?"

Me: "Listen, the cookie jar is empty. It has been empty for some time. I'm being deprived of having any cookies! In my own home! And it's all because you went on a diet."

Missus: "Wait a minute, bucko! If you want cookies, go get them yourself. Don't look at me."

Me: "Uh --- but you used to get me cookies --- and, as I recall, our marriage certificate says you should cleave to your husband. Cleaving means you shouldn't stop getting cookies."

Missus: "What!? What? The marriage certificate says I have to get you cookies? You're nuts!"

Me: "Well, not specifically but that's what it means."

"In any event, I just don't think a husband has to go on a diet because the wife does. This program [name withheld] of yours seems to be overstepping its jurisdiction. You joined. I didn't."

"And, frankly, I'm somewhat apprehensive about what your chubbaphobic crowd [name withheld] is going to come up with next. Maybe you'll be convinced on vegetarianism? Or maybe you'll become a Democrat? Jeez, can't you see where this is going? If you get a tattoo, do I also have to get one?"

Missus: "You're still nuts but you made your point. I'll buy you some cookies and refill the cookie jar."

"Meanwhile, I'd appreciate you not continually re-interpreting the marriage certificate. Every time you want me to do something, you say it's in the marriage certificate under the 'cleave clause.' Give me a break."

Me: "But Dear, the marriage certificate is a legal document and I'm merely expounding upon the meaning of its terminology. To cleave to your husband means to do what he wants. Within reason, of course. And I think having cookies in the cookie jar is reasonable."
Paper Savings Bonds No More

Starting next week, paper U.S. Savings Bonds will no longer be available. They will be available for purchase online only.
To purchase and redeem bonds electronically, you’ll need to set up a TreasuryDirect account, using your Social Security number, and a savings or checking account where funds can be deposited.
So, a 76-year paper tradition dies.
Heroin Kills Alaskan Girl, 14

(Anchorage, Alaska) Sad to report.
A 14-year-old girl who was injected with heroin by a man at a party last week in Alaska died on Thursday, the victim of an overdose that damaged her brain and heart, Anchorage police said.

Jena Dolstad spent days on life support after she was found last Friday face down in her own vomit. She never regained consciousness, Anchorage Police Department spokeswoman Anita Shell said.

Sean Warner, 26, who according to local media reports served in the U.S. war in Afghanistan as a Navy medic, was accused of injecting the girl with heroin at his home and will likely be charged with murder or manslaughter, Shell said.
Meanwhile, many people advocate legalization of drugs.
More vile hate speech from Bill Maher

We read:
"Leftist comedian Bill Maher has always had a penchant for spouting offensive commentary. And, up until recently, the Denver Broncos were on a winning streak, with many wondering if God was playing a role in quarterback Tim Tebow’s successes. While these facts may seem completely unrelated, on Saturday, they converged when Maher sent an anti-Tim Tebow tweet that ignited a flurry of unhappy responses.

Allow me to explain the scenario.

On Christmas Eve, the Denver Broncos suffered a pretty hefty loss to the Buffalo Bills (the final score was 40-14). It seemed Tebow, who has captivated fans and media audiences over the past two months, was off of his game — to say the least.

Maher, who is highly critical of religion, found the loss entertaining enough to tweet about it. His message, which employed some pretty harsh themes, read, “Wow, Jesus just f**ked #TimTebow bad! And on Xmas Eve! Somewhere in hell Satan is tebowing, saying to Hitler “Hey, Buffalo’s killing them.”


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

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Michigan Woman Gets Jail in Sex Case

(Canton, Michigan) A 50-year-old local woman, Laura Buckingham, has pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal sexual conduct between 2003 and 2005 involving underage boys, some as young as 12 years old.

As a result, Buckingham was sentenced to one year in jail and five years of probation. According to Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Maria Miller, Buckingham receives credit for 87 days already served.
Miller provided documentation showing that Wayne County Circuit Judge Daniel Ryan has imposed a lengthy list of probation terms once Buckingham leaves jail. Those include performing 150 hours of community service, paying hundreds of dollars in court costs, reporting for monthly probation appointments and avoiding contact with victims she was accused of molesting.

Ryan also ordered Buckingham to avoid alcohol, be subject to drug testing, not to violate any more laws and not to leave Michigan without permission. After she leaves jail, her probation could be revoked unless she complies with Ryan's orders.
Per the plea agreement, charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct were dismissed.
California Educator Accused in Unconscious Sex Case

(Lafayette, California) A 39-year-old special education teacher's aide at Springhill Elementary School, Stephanie Elliott, has been accused of sexual assaulting a sleeping adult woman in July 2010.

According to Nancy Georgiou, head of the Contra Costa District Attorney's sex crime unit, the charges are not related to Elliott's job as an educator.

Elliott faces charges of oral copulation and attempted sexual penetration on an unconscious person. Earlier today, Elliott pleaded not guilty at arraignment.
The allegations were referred to the district attorney's office last year, but there was insufficient evidence at that time to prosecute, Georgiou said. Superintendent Fred Brill said Elliott was arrested in the school parking lot, and he did not believe many students witnessed the incident.

Elliott has been placed on administrative leave, and parents were notified of the arrest via email, Brill said. Since the arrest did not involve students, no parent meeting was planned, he added.
Elliot was booked into custody and released on $100,000 bail.
Florida Mom Tries to Sell Son for $7,000

(Miami-Dade County, Florida) Early this month, a 30-year-old local woman, Kenia Quiala Bosque, was arrested for allegedly trying to sell her nine-month-old son to an acquaintance for $7,000.
The acquaintance tipped off authorities, who recorded several of Bosque’s phone conversations.

According to police, Bosque asked the man who was going to buy her son to meet her Dec. 3 in Hialeah to complete the deal.

Although Bosque never showed up, authorities had enough evidence to make the arrest.
Bosque was booked into custody at the Miami-Dade County Jail and released last week on $25,000 bond.

This is a sad case. The little boy is destined to grow up knowing his mother tried to sell him for $7,000. Psychologically and emotionally, it is an ugly burden for a kid to carry.
Arizona Wife Drives Over Husband

(Mesa, Arizona) A 35-year-old local woman, Colene Barker, has been accused of driving over her husband during a violent domestic dispute.

Barker faces charges of domestic violence and aggravated assault. According to Mesa Police Sgt. Ed Wessing:
Barker was reportedly in an argument with her husband when she hit her husband’s vehicle twice with her car.

Police said Barker then knocked him over and drove over his legs. Witnesses said Barker allegedly got out of the car and made fun of him while he was on the ground.

Wessing said court documents state Barker ran over her husband because she wanted to teach him a lesson for cheating on her.
The husband was hospitalized. Booking details for Barker are unavailable.
Last Dictator Standing

(Harare, Zimbabwe) A South African restaurant chain, Nando's, produced a television commercial showing Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe as the Last Dictator Standing.

The arguably hilarious ad prompted outrage among Mugabe's supporters in Zimbabwe.
The commercial for its six-piece chicken combo depicts Mr. Mugabe reminiscing about his times with departed dictators to the song Those Were the Days.

He is shown having a water-gun fight with Muammar Gaddafi, making sand angels with Saddam Hussein and riding in a tank with Idi Amin, before awakening from his dream to find himself at a dinner table, alone at Christmas….
Fearing violence against its staff at restaurants in Zimbabwe, Nando's pulled the ad.
Does a simple Firefox add-on make SOPA useless?

SOPA is an internet censorship law presently under active consideration by Congress. The acronym is for "Stop Online Piracy Act" but it gives the government power to blacklist and block any internet site that it dislikes.

"As the world of SOPA continues to turn, the emergence of a simple Firefox browser add-on may render the potential punitive actions of these protection acts null and void; or, at least ineffective, if not outright useless.

Firefox, which already boasts an outspoken stance against SOPA, and has already shown they are willing to stand by add-on developers who create circumvention extensions designed to go around measures currently employed by Homeland Security, has welcomed a new add-on, one that is designed to circumvent whatever SOPA website blacklists that are created, provided the bills become law.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).
Florida Woman and Boy

(St. Augustine, Florida) A 30-year-old local woman, Kimberly Lashane Davis, has been accused of engaging in sex with a boy between 12 and 16 years of age.

Davis allegedly had a sexual relationship with the boy between July and September 2011.
Davis told deputies that the relationship began after someone gave her the victim’s cell phone number and they started texting, the report said.

Then the victim began to spend time at her home and stay overnight. The relationship became sexual some time in July.

Davis said she found out later, after the victim was arrested, that he was a runaway.
Davis was booked into custody at the St. Johns County Jail with bond set at $150,000.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pamela Balogh Paroled - Updated

Former girls’ basketball and lacrosse coach, Pamela Balogh, 44, has been paroled after serving three and one-half years of her original seven-year sentence.

* * * * *

Lesbian Teacher Gets Prison for Sex Crimes
[Previous 5/10/08 post]
(Somerville, New Jersey) Shackled and dressed in a blue suit, former girls' PE teacher Pamela Balogh appeared in Somerset County Court yesterday for sentencing.

Balogh choked up as she apologized to her victim and expressed regret for embarrassing her family and the school.

Superior Court Judge Edward Coleman imposed concurrent prison terms of seven years for the 2nd-degree sexual assault, four years for each count of 3rd-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact and 12 months for the 4th-degree criminal sexual contact. Balogh was also ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution for medical expenses related to counseling of her victim and other treatment.

The victim and her parents emotionally addressed the court. The mother remarked, "Personally, I feel like I've been sucker-punched."
The teenager's father talked about watching his daughter trying to regain what she has lost, taking medication, undergoing therapy and coming home exhausted.

"I struggle to understand why this has happened to my daughter," he said.

The young woman said, "My life has been split into categories of before and after."

She has suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome and doesn't play any of the sports she once did. And she doesn't know how to reconcile the guilt she feels for telling the truth.

To Balogh she said: "Pam, I don't care what sentence you get ... I refuse to feel bad for your going to jail."

She paused through tears, then added: "Bottom line: I was a child. I was innocent. I was whole ... Bottom line: You were wrong and you should have known better."
Notably, Balogh rejected a plea deal for 10 years in prison. Obviously, she benefitted by going to trial. It's unknown whether she will be required to register as a sex offender.

* * * * *

[Previous 12/08/07 entry - bumped]
(Somerset County, New Jersey) In December 2006, a physical education teacher and girls basketball coach at Immaculata High School, Pamela Balogh, was arrested for allegedly engaging in sex with a 15-year-old female student. The sexual assaults occurred primarily in Balogh's school office beginning in December 2004 and continuing through September 2005.

Balogh was charged with first-degree aggravated sexual assault, second-degree sexual assault, third-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact, fourth-degree criminal sexual contact and third-degree endangering the welfare of a child.

In March 2007, Balogh was offered a plea bargain of 10 years in prison for admitting guilt. She rejected the plea deal and took her chances at trial.

This week, 40-year-old Pamela Balogh was convicted by a jury of three women and nine men on four of five counts she faced. On the most serious charge, first-degree aggravated sexual assault, Balogh was found not guilty.

After the verdict was read, Superior Court Judge Edward Coleman revoked Balogh's bail and, showing no emotion, she was taken away in handcuffs to the Somerset County Jail.

Balogh faces a possible 10 years in prison when sentenced. No sentencing date has been announced.

Also: The Jawa Report
Sloth Sanctuary

(Costa Rica)
The Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica is not only home to Buttercup, the world’s most photographed sloth, it is also home to legendary sloth whisperer, Judy Arroyo, who nurses injured and orphaned sloths back to health.

When Buttercup turned up on Arroyo’s doorstep more than 20 years ago, she had no idea how to care for a baby sloth, but through trial and error she saved Buttercup from certain death; soon people were bringing her the adorable animals on a regular basis, and the world’s only sloth orphanage was born.
Donations are sought for the sanctuary.

Interestingly, when I first read 'sloth sanctuary,' I immediately thought of Congress.
How to Kill the Golden Goose

In the state of Maine, the number of people who receive some form of state aid (453,194) exceeds the number of people who pay income taxes (445,074).

Ethiopia: Swedish Journos Get 11 Years Prison

Johan Persson - Martin Schibbye

(Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) Two Swedish journalists, photographer Johan Persson and reporter Martin Schibbye, have each been sentenced to 11 years in prison for supporting terrorism and entering Ethiopia illegally.

Human rights groups say Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is using Ethiopia's anti-terrorism law to stifle dissent. On the other hand,
Ethiopian officials have denied using the trial as politically motivated reprisal.

“How can there be a political motive when prosecutors provided evidence throughout the trial and the defendants themselves admitted to entering the country illegally with rebels?” Justice Ministry Spokesman Desalegn Deressa told Reuters.

Ethiopian government spokesman Bereket Simon told AFP that international human rights groups were “interested only in regime change.” He added, “We feel these people do not understand the concept of rule of law.”
Understandably, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has criticized the sentence, claiming the principles of due process have been violated in the case. Meanwhile in Washington, a State Department spokesperson expressed concern.
Israel and Christianity

Being an atheist, my church attendance these days is EXTREMELY spotty. Easter and Christmas is about it -- though Anne would be happy if we went more often. Anne is not particularly pious but, like me, she is a CULTURAL Protestant Christian. And culture accounts for a lot. A shared cultural background gives us an instinctive understanding of one-another and a similar response to many things. We are all happiest among our "ain folk", as the Scots put it. That is probably all gobbledegook to most Leftists but the loss is theirs.

I am at the moment in the grip of the joyous Christmas season -- and the hymns and carols that we sing at this time are so Israel-focused that I fail to see how any Christian can NOT be a great supporter of Israel. Pastor Hagee is sometimes berated for his extreme Israel-focus but if I lived in his town I think I might be inclined to attend any special services that he put on.

The Bible is an Israeli book. Even Luke the good physician -- who was not a Jew -- was apparently an Israeli.

So how can we not rejoice at this time over the return of descendants of its Biblical inhabitants to the "Promised Land"? We sing and read so much about that land and the personalities that emerged from it. I see Christians who are not strong supporters of Israel as fake Christians.

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

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Robber Clobbered

(Hendersonville, North Carolina) Store clerk Derek Mothershead plows a left hook into the face of would-be robber Mostafa Kamel Hendi and then makes him clean up his own blood. Heh.

Tip: Charley Nestor
Christmas Day Massacre

Aziz Yazdanpanah

(Grapevine, Texas) Six people and a gunman are dead, victims in a Christmas Day massacre.
The shooter arrived at an apartment where a family was celebrating the holidays armed with two handguns, which were both used, catching his victims by surprise, police said Tuesday morning.

Family friends told News 8 the alleged gunman is Aziz Yazdanpanah, 56.

Police said he showed up at the apartment dressed as Santa Claus and as a welcome guest for the family's Christmas celebration sometime before 11:15 a.m.

He then allegedly shot and killed his estranged wife, Fatemeh Rahmadi, and their 19-year old-daughter Nona and 15-year-old son Ali.

Also fatally shot were his sister-in-law, Zohreh Rahmaty, and her husband Hossein Zorei and their 22-year-old daughter Sareh Zarei.

Tip: Kenny Solomon
Hey! Fatty! Blame Your Momma!

A study of emotional bonding between 1,000 toddlers and their mothers concludes that obese kids can blame their mothers for making them fat.
Children who have a poor emotional relationship with their mother are more than twice as likely to become obese, research claims.

A study found toddlers who struggle with their mothers are at higher risk of being grossly overweight by the time they are 15.

Those who had the worst emotional relationship were almost two-and-half times more likely to be obese at 15 than those with a strong bond.
Researchers suggest that kids eat 'comfort food' throughout life to make up for a lack of hugs.
Teacher Accused: Dates Mother, Does Daughter

(Queens, New York) A 44-year-old physical education teacher at MS137, Gerard Cassidy, has been fired from his $83,600-a-year position for an alleged "inappropriate relationship" with a former student, a 16-year-old girl.

Cassidy was reportedly dating the girl's mother when he allegedly made overtures toward the daughter, showering her with gifts and promising to marry her. The daughter claimed Cassidy was also inserting himself into her privacy several times a week at his house.

The daughter later recanted and, along with mom, told Department of Education investigators that Cassidy was merely helping the girl with her homework. Nevertheless, the DOE had heard enough and fired Cassidy.
A great speech by a real entrepreneur

And all in a delightful Irish accent

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

Monday, December 26, 2011

Art Prize Nixed Due to Palestinian Entry

(Lausanne, Switzerland) The luxury clothing brand company, Lacoste, has pulled its sponsorship of an art competition because a Palestinian artist, Larissa Sansour, submitted a photo series deemed "too pro-Palestinian."
The Elysee Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, had offered €25,000 to the winner of the Lacoste Elysee Prize for a work with the theme of "joie de vivre".

A jury was set to award the cash to one of eight candidates in January but the museum said this year's award had been suspended.

"The private partner's wish to exclude Larissa Sansour, one of the competition candidates, is behind the Elysee Museum's decision," the museum said in a statement.[…]

The artist said she was told by the museum last week that her nomination had been revoked by Lacoste who thought her project, although not directly anti-Israel, was "too pro-Palestinian" for the company to support.
Although Sansour wasn't awarded the prize due to controversy, she has received significant public exposure for herself and her art work which is arguably just as valuable.
Cocaine Kills Brother

(North Charleston, South Carolina) A 23-year-old local man, Deangelo Mitchell, has been accused of involuntary manslaughter in the death of his brother, Wayne Mitchell, 20.

On November 30, Deangelo Mitchell is accused of convincing his younger brother to consume a lethal amount of cocaine hidden in his buttocks after a traffic stop for a busted tail light.
The pair was handcuffed and put into the back of a squad car, police said. The video then shows Deangelo panic over his arrest, and beg his brother to help.

"Eat that sh*t, so I can get out," he says in the video. "One of us gotta do it, you the only one that don't have any strikes... You my little brother... I'm gonna get life."

The 20-year-old eventually gives in. Deangelo can be seen removing something from his backside, then Wayne leans down and eats the drugs, police said.

"I love you, bro," Wayne says in the video after consuming the narcotic.

A short time later, he was dead.
Beyond the almost comical stupidity, this case is really sad. The younger brother likely revered his older sibling throughout life, knowing that he would help and protect him. Instead, Deangelo used his brother like a sacrificial pawn.

Tip: slwlion
The legacy of the "Dear Leader"

Kim was a man on his own mission - to enrich himself, maintain power at any price, and to crush anyone who stood in his way. He was, in short, his father's son. It is hard to overstate the level of oppression he exerted on the population of the Hermit Kingdom. The abuses in North Korea under his rule were among the most severe in the world in the last 20 years.

As pro bono counsel to Havel, Elie Wiesel and former Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik, I worked with the Committee on Human Rights in North Korea and produced two reports on the human rights and humanitarian situation in the country.

We concluded that North Korea was committing crimes against humanity against its own people. During its late 1990s famine, some one million people and perhaps many more died, and the population remains at constant risk of starvation with some 37 per cent of children chronically malnourished.

North Korea also operates a vast gulag system, with some 200,000 people imprisoned for real or imagined offences. These camps impose a brutal regimen on their populations, including forced labour, starvation-level rations, and widespread torture.

It is estimated more than 400,000 people have died in these camps in the past two decades.


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

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas to All

UK Christmas Number 1

The top-selling song per the UK Singles Chart during the week in which Christmas Day falls is referred to as the Christmas Number 1 and it is a big deal. The entire UK music industry considers Christmas No. 1 to be especially prestigious with many instances where Christmas No. 1 was also the best-seller for the year.

Bookmakers even lay odds and take bets on which song will be Christmas No. 1.

For 2011, it appears that Wherever You Are by the Military Wives is a lock. In five days, the song has sold 450,000 copies, five times the sales of the closest competitor.
A magnificent Christmas occasion in my home town

Brisbane, Australia:

Four of us got to the sung Eucharist at St. John's cathedral in good time this morning. We arrived early so got good seats. It was a great celebration.

The opening hymn was that great hymn of faith: "O come all ye faithful". With a mighty organ located high up near the stone-vaulted ceiling and a big congregation lustily singing, the performance was as impressive a beginning to the service as one could wish. And the ecclesiatical procession with its various crosses, banners, vestments etc was so long that it lasted almost until the end of the hymn. Practically everyone associated with the cathedral must have been present and robed up.

Just about everything that could be done in an Anglican service was done, including a good bit of Anglican chant, which I rather like. It has a sort of eerie and timeless feel to it for me. I imagine that they did something similar in the temples of Isis and Osiris in ancient Egypt.

The censer was deployed energetically on several occasions, so much so that the transept was almost filled with smoke at one stage. Quite strangely however, I heard no bells during the service. "Bells and smells" normally go together

But we got to sing a lot of the great traditional hymns so that was the best part. Being an atheist, I don't participate in the prayers but I can't resist the hymns. They are a wonderful testimony to the faith that built Western civilization.

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

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Teacher Gets Hand Slap in Sex Case - Updated

(Naperville, Illinois) On Thursday, 35-year-old former Dayspring Christian Academy teacher, Eliza Martinelli, pleaded guilty to sexually abusing three girls and a boy in the late 1990s.

Martinelli pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of the four children who all were her students at the Baptist school.

As a result of the convictions, Martinelli was sentenced to 30 months of probation. She was also ordered to register as a sex offender for life.

So the aggravated sexual abuse of four children nets the equivalent of a hand slap. Seems quite lenient, don't you think?

* * * * *

Illinois Teacher Accused of Sex with Students
[Previous 6/8/11 post]
(Naperville, Illinois) A 34-year-old teacher at a church-affiliated school, Eliza Martinelli, has been accused of sexually assaulting four students, three girls and a boy, when she taught at the Dayspring Christian Academy in the 1990s.

Martinelli faces four counts of criminal sexual assault. According to Andy Conklin, spokesman for the Cook County state’s attorney,
She plied them with alcohol and performed sex acts on them in her home, in their homes or sometimes in her car, Conklin said. She had sexual intercourse with the one male victim for about a year while he was 15 and 16, Conklin said.

She also babysat him and his sister while their parents went out of town, Conklin said.

Police said the crimes began in the late 1990s but were not reported until April of this year.
Martinelli was booked into custody with bail set at $1.5 million. A court appearance has been scheduled for June 27.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Carolina Teacher Accused of Sex with Student

(Dobson, North Carolina) A 23-year-old teacher at Surry Central High School, Tiffany Suzanne Davis, has been accused of engaging in sex with a 19-year-old male student.

Davis faces a charge of sexual activity between school personnel and student.
The alleged relationship with a male student occurred between mid-November and mid-December of this year, Atkinson said.

The sheriff said if the activity would have been with a 19-year-old student from another school, she would not have been charged with committing a crime. He said throughout this process Davis has been “extremely cooperative.”
Davis was booked into custody and released on $10,000 bond.
Dumb Criminal

(Joliet, Illinois) A 27-year-old woman, Sarah A. Monroe, has been accused of stealing credit cards and possessing drug tools.

Monroe faces charges of robbery, identity theft and possession of drug paraphernalia.
At 11:50 p.m. Dec. 14, the 25-year-old victim was smoking a cigarette in front of Larsen’s Corner in Joliet when a car pulled up and a woman inside asked her for a light.

When the victim reached in the car to offer a light, the driver grabbed the victim’s purse off her arm and drove off, dragging the victim down the street, Joliet police said.
Using the credit cards, Monroe allegedly went to purchase sex toys and gas and was ultimately arrested at the gas station with crack pipe in her possession.

Tip: Kenny Solomon
Baby Dies, Formula Recalled

After the death of a newborn due to suspected bacteria-laden formula, the product has been removed from shelves by Walmart.
Health officials are awaiting results from the batch of formula recalled by Walmart after a newborn died.

We're also learning another baby was infected with the same rare bacteria that prompted the voluntary recall. The infant got sick late last month after consuming several different types of powdered baby formula.

The baby recovered, but health officials are investigating if the two cases are connected.

It could be a couple weeks before test results are in from the batch of Enfamil Newborn powder that Walmart voluntarily recalled.
Twelve-ounce cans of Enfamil Newborn powder with lot number ZP1K7G should be returned to the store for refund or exchange.
Michigan Woman Violates Probation, Gets Prison

(Adrian, Michigan) In 2007, local woman Kellie Jean Miller (aka Kellie Jean Retter Miller) was convicted of engaging in sex with a boy under 16 years of age.

As a result, Miller was sentenced to nine months in jail to be followed by five years of probation.

This week in Lenawee County Circuit Court, 48-year-old Miller was sentenced to three to five years in prison for multiple probation violations.
“The court believes Ms. Retter continues to be a danger to the public,” said Judge Timothy P. Pickard.

In addition to the probation violations, he said, counselors reported she has made minimal efforts in sex offender programs and was not making progress.
Trading probation for prison indicates seriously flawed thinking.
Obama tactic failing

The more Obama pushes class warfare, the more people reject class warfare. That’s certainly not what I expected. It’s the counter-indicator effect. If he’s for it, the opposite will happen. Perhaps he should announce an Unemployment Plan instead of a Jobs Plan. It’s another one of those Obama paradoxes, like the Catch-2012. From Gallup:
Americans are now less likely to see U.S. society as divided into the “haves” and “have nots” than they were in 2008, returning to their views prior to that point. A clear majority, 58%, say they do not think of America in this way, after Americans were divided 49% to 49% in the summer of 2008….

If they had to choose, 58% of Americans would say they are in the “haves,” rather than the “have nots” group. This breakdown has held remarkably steady over the past two decades of economic boom and bust, with a record-high 67% of Americans putting themselves in the “haves” category during the strong economic times of the late 1990s.


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

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cocaine Missing

(Canton, Ohio) The Canton Police Department reports that 4 to 5 kilos of cocaine have disappeared from the police evidence room.

Police Chief Dean McKimm said the cocaine was "removed criminally or mistakenly."

The FBI has been called in to help investigate.
Mouse Leads to Felony Child Sex

(Taylorsville, Utah) An odd sequence of events has resulted in the arrest of a 34-year-old local man, Paul Daniel Kunzler, for the alleged repeated sexual abuse of a 13-year-old girl.

It all started when one of Kunzler's housemates (one of three) pulled out a 9mm handgun to shoot a mouse.
The string of events began to unfold about 2 a.m. Tuesday when police were called to a house, 2584 W. Brucemont Dr. (5450 South), on a report of an accidental shooting.

Officers arrived to discover that a man who was in the bathroom had accidentally been shot in the chest by his 27-year-old housemate who was shooting at a mouse in the kitchen with a handgun, said Taylorsville Police Sgt. Tracy Wyant.

The bullet went through a wall and struck the 28-year-old man while he was in the bathroom.
Initially classified in serious condition, the wounded housemate has been upgraded and is now recuperating at the hospital in stable condition.

Meanwhile, the shooting prompted an investigation.
During an ensuing search of the house, officers found a 13-year-old girl hiding in a basement closet, Wyant said.

The girl told police she had sneaked out of her house without her father's knowledge to see Kunzler, according to a jail report.

After further questioning, investigators learned Kunzler and the 13-year-old had been having a relationship for four months.
Kunzler faces charges of rape of a child, sodomy of a child and sexual abuse of a child. It's speculated that the mouse got away.

Tip: slwlion
CA Teacher Faces More Drug Charges - Updated

(Fresno, California) Yesterday, 53-year-old kindergarten teacher Dorothy Ramirez was arrested again for possession of drugs.
Investigators say a deputy stopped to check on a Chevy Impala just after midnight Wednesday near Millerton Road and Sky Harbor Road, located near Table Mountain Casino. Ramirez and Leeroy Gamez, 29, were inside the car, investigators said. Gamez is an acquaintance who was on parole, they added.

"They were parked there on the side of the road. I don't know for what reason, but the deputy felt it necessary that they needed to be checked," said Fresno County Sheriff's Deputy Chris Curtice.

Curtice says investigators found cocaine on both Ramirez and Gamez and took them into custody on drug charges.
Since Ramirez was free on bail at the time of her arrest, she faces an additional felony charge. Meanwhile, Ramirez continues on unpaid administrative leave from her teaching position.

* * * * *

California Teacher Accused of Possessing Meth
[Previous 9/8/11 post]
(Fresno, California) A 53-year-old kindergarten teacher at Easterby Elementary School, Dorothy Ramirez, was arrested yesterday for allegedly possessing two grams of methamphetamine while in class.

Ramirez was apprehended during a traffic stop in a vehicle believed to have been used in a robbery last month. With Ramirez was 28-year-old Joseph Frago who was also arrested.

Ramirez faces charges of possession of meth and child endangerment. Frago was booked on several charges including possession of meth and armed robbery.
Wisconsin Teacher Gets No Jail for Abuse - Updated

(Chilton, Wisconsin) Former teacher Mary Berglund pleaded guilty yesterday in Calumet County Court to five misdemeanor battery counts and one count of felony child abuse.

As a result, Berglund was sentenced to three years of probation.
Judge Gary Sharpe deferred judgment on the felony charge, but found her guilty of the misdemeanors.

She faces one year in jail if she violates her probation.

She also has to undergo anger management and any other recommended counseling and participate in 100 hours of community service. She can’t have unsupervised contact with any children under age 12 who are not in her family while on probation.
Since Berglund had no criminal record, Judge Sharpe decided that her offenses didn't warrant prison.

* * * * *

Wisconsin Teacher Accused of Child Abuse
[Previous 3/17/11 post]
(Appleton, Wisconsin) A 53-year-old special education teacher formerly at Janet Berry Elementary School, Mary Berglund, has been accused of multiple counts of child abuse.
Berglund is charged with 9 counts of physical abuse of child, with dates ranging from September to December 2009.

She is also charged with one count of strangulation and suffocation from January 2011.

According to the criminal complaint, the concerns were brought to the school by a teacher's assistant and lists five child victims, all of whom are described as either non-verbal or low-functioning.
Berglund has a court appearance scheduled for April 18.
Debunking Myths about Gender and Mathematics Performance?

There is an amusing paper in the forthcoming JANUARY 2012 NOTICES OF THE AMS (American Mathematical Society) which purports to show that it is only oppression of women by society which causes females not to do well in mathematics.

The paper was of course zealous to rule out genetic differences but that does rather leave them without an explanation for Chinese excellence in mathematics. Regardless of the country in which they reside, Chinese tend to be prominent among leading mathematicians -- and China itself is a major centre of mathematical excellence. Yet China is still in many ways a very traditional society in which the very notion of gender equality would normally be scoffed at. The way they abort girl babies is surely enough evidence of that.

Anyway, the paper more or less assumes what it has to prove. In a rather self-contradictory way, the authors seem to assume that educational performance fully indexes innate ability. The paper draws its "evidence" not from IQ tests but from various international measures of educational attainment. And educational attainment is the product of many things other than IQ. Hard work anyone? Social pressures anyone? So I partially agree with the first line of their "Conclusions":
In summary, we conclude that gender equity and other sociocultural factors, not national income, school type, or religion per se, are the primary determinants of mathematics performance at all levels for both boys and girls

You note that they skate entirely over IQ.

They go on to argue that eliminating gender "inequities" is needed to lift female mathematical achievements. After decades of feminism and affirmative action it is hard to imagine how more might be done on that front in the USA other than by procrustean quota systems so the recommendation is as vacuous as it is irrelevant.

Women will always be up against their lower level of mathematical ability that IQ tests reveal so clearly. In recent years women have been pushed into mathematics to satisfy feminist dogma but few will rise to the heights.

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).
Conviction Nixed in Sex for Tickets Case - Updated

(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) In March 2010, Susan Finkelstein was convicted of misdemeanor prostitution and sentenced to one year of probation and 100 hours of community service.

This week, the conviction was overturned on appeal.
The “it’s not illegal to be a slut” defense worked, according to Susan Finkelstein’s lawyer.

The Pennsylvania Superior Court on Tuesday overturned the attempted prostitution conviction against Finkelstein, the Philadelphia woman accused of trying to trade sex for Phillies tickets in Bensalem during the 2009 World Series.

“I had said it’s not illegal to be a slut,” Finkelstein’s attorney, William Brennan, told the newspaper Tuesday. “And that’s kind of what the court is saying.”

The appeals court’s 11-page opinion stated that Finkelstein’s “conduct did not exceed the ambit of ‘private illicit sexual relations.’ ”
According to Assistant District Attorney Steve Jones, an appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is being considered.

* * * * *

Sex Allegedly Offered for World Series Tickets
[Previous 10/28/09 post]
(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) A 43-year-old Bensalem woman, Susan Finkelstein, was arrested for allegedly offering sex for World Series tickets via an ad on Craigslist.
Investigators say Finkelstein posted an ad on the classifieds Web site Craigslist that stated she was a die-hard Phillies fan and "buxom blonde" who was willing to get "creative" when it came down to payment.

An undercover officer responded to the ad and claims he met with the 43-year-old woman at a bar and she offered to perform various sex acts in exchange for tickets.
When the officer said he only had one ticket but his brother also had one, Finkelstein reportedly said she would "take care of them both." Consequently, she was cuffed and charged with prostitution.

Curiously, Finkelstein's immediate suggestion to "take care" of another man might lead one to believe that she's also scratching an itch and not just seeking tickets. In any event, her lawyer blames her behavior on Phillies fever.

Video report is here.

Tip: slwlion

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Child-Sex Sting Leads to Suicide

(Chicago, Illinois) A 40-year-old health department counselor and high school basketball referee, John K. Martynus, has reportedly committed suicide.
John K. Martynus repeatedly told police his life was over when they caught him arranging a sexual tryst last year with someone he thought was a 13-year-old girl.

The former Will County Health Department counselor and high school basketball referee admitted sending sexually explicit messages to what turned out to be an undercover Crete police officer. Prosecutors thought he’d plead guilty and learn his sentence in court Wednesday.

Instead, authorities said the 40-year-old Martynus killed himself hours before Wednesday’s hearing. The Kendall County Coroner’s office confirmed he was found at his home in Joliet, where police said he was discovered fully clothed in a bathtub.
Cancer Kills Former Miss Venezuela

Eva Ekvall

(Houston, Texas) Miss Eva Ekvall, crowned Miss Venezuela 2000, died at a Houston hospital last Saturday from breast cancer.

Ekvall was 28.
Falkland Islands Tensions Stoked

The Mercusor nations, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay, are actively intimidating the people of the Falkland Islands (along with the British) by announcing that ships flying the "illegal" flag of the Falklands will not be allowed in South American ports.

In response to the economic blockade, the former head of the Royal Navy, Lord West, called for increased military presence.
The peer called for a nuclear submarine to be sent to the region to show Britain's determination to protect the Falklands and said that military exercises would leave Buenos Aires in no doubt about Britain’s attitude to the announcement.

“Far from trying to settle in a grown-up way and having better and better relationships with the Falkland islanders, they are upping the ante and becoming very confrontational,” he told the London Evening Standard.
Heh, we really don't need another senseless war in the South Atlantic.
Fake Boob News

Authorities say women with fake French breasts should not panic.
European authorities sought to head off panic Wednesday over hundreds of thousands of French-made breast implants at the centre of a health scare, saying there was no proof of a link to cancer.

French authorities are to issue an expert report on Friday saying whether the implants, produced by the now-bankrupt Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) company, should be removed after several suspicious cancer cases.

Meanwhile in Germany, medical experts are attempting to dissuade people from purchasing seasonally discounted gift boob jobs.
People planning to give their loved one a nip and tuck at Christmas could be risking more than upsetting their partners – cheap seasonal offers with time limits are not to be recommended, a top surgeon has warned.

Professor Peter Vogt, president of the German Society of Plastic Surgeons, said such offers, frequently available online, did not give potential patients time to consider what they really wanted done or the opportunity to get to know their possible surgeon.

“Strongly discounted offers for aesthetic procedures such as breast enlargement and liposuction lead patients to decide for an aesthetic procedure that they might never have considered without that offer, and with that, not think about the risks,” said the Berlin-based surgeon in a statement.
Bargain basement surgery should always be avoided.
Arctic cooling coming

No area of the earth gives Warmists erections like the Arctic. They are always talking about it. For reasons that I have never tried to follow, they say that the effects of global warming will be greatest and most significant there. And since the ice-cover there has always waxed and waned, they can always cherry-pick a particular period of years that suits their theories.

Every now and again, however, somebody nastily looks at the whole temperature record, not just a selected slice of it. And the latest example of that is woeful news for the Warmists. Some Norwegian scientists have gone to the town of Longyearbyen in Norway's far North (bordering the Arctic circle) and checked out the temperature record there -- dating from 1912.

They found two things: That the temperature changes there are cyclic and the cycles are mainly explained by the activity of the sun. That enables them to predict Arctic COOLING from now to the year 2020. Abstract below

The long temperature series at Svalbard (Longyearbyen) show large variations, and a positive trend since its start in 1912. During this period solar activity has increased, as indicated by shorter solar cycles. The temperature at Svalbard is negatively correlated with the length of the solar cycle. The strongest negative correlation is found with lags 10F12 years.

The relations between the length of a solar cycle and the mean temperature in the following cycle, is used to model Svalbard annual mean temperature, and seasonal temperature variations. Residuals from the annual and winter models show no autocorrelations on the 5 per cent level, which indicates that no additional parameters are needed to explain the temperature variations with 95 per cent significance.

These models show that 60 per cent of the annual and winter temperature variations are explained by solar activity. For the spring, summer and fall temperatures autocorrelations in the residuals exists, and additional variables may contribute to the variations. These models can be applied as forecasting models. We predict an annual mean temperature decrease for Svalbard of 3.5±2 degrees Celsius from solar cycle 23 to solar cycle 24 (2009-20) and a decrease in the winter temperature of around 6 degrees Celsius.


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

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Phone Call to Aussie School

Tip: Rita and Eugene
Dumper Bank Robbery

(New Milford, Connecticut) A 55-year-old local man, Russell Mace, has been accused of defecating in the parking lot of a bank before robbing it.

Astonishingly, Mace allegedly brought his wife and two kids along to the bank.

Mace faces charges of conspiracy to commit fifth-degree larceny, fifth-degree larceny, second-degree breach of peace and two counts of risk of injury to a child.
A woman came into the Union Savings Bank at 41 East St. on Friday afternoon and told a teller that she had seen a man in the parking lot pull down his pants and defecate.

Moments later, Mace came into the bank and demanded money, said New Milford Police Lt. Larry Ash.

The teller handed Mace several thousand dollars, Ash said.

Police recognized Mace on the bank's surveillance footage.
Mace was booked into custody with bond set at $150,000.

Tip: slwlion
FDA Warns Sperm Donor to Stop

(Fremont, California) A 36-year-old local man, Trent Arsenault, runs a sperm distribution operation where donors contact him via the Internet on his website

The FDA claims Arsenault is breaking the law.
Couples looking to conceive with donated sperm visit his web site and go through his medical records, which include information about his personality and background, childhood immunization records and the negative results of a battery of sexually transmitted disease (STD) tests.

If they want to go through with a donation, they'll send Arsenault a window of time when the woman will be ovulating. When she reaches the optimal time for conception, she contacts Arsenault, who stores a fresh sperm donation in a sterile cup for the woman to pick up.
So far, Arsenault has fathered 14 children.

Meanwhile, the FDA has sent Arsenault a letter demanding he cease donating sperm and shut down his website.
Pennsylvania Teacher Gets Prison in Sex Case - Updated

(Allentown, Pennsylvania) Earlier today, teacher Gabrielle Suzanne Marvelli received a shock as she was sent to prison for engaging in sex with a 17-year-old student on prom weekend.
Marvelli, 39, of Quakertown looked stunned as Judge Maria L. Dantos sentenced her to nine months to five years in state prison.

About 15 friends and family members cried and shook their heads as Marvelli, who had been free on bail, was led off to prison. Marvelli wept loudly.

"You violated everything that a teacher is supposed to be," Dantos told Marvelli moments before issuing the sentence.
Married and mother of a 10-year-old, Marvelli had sought probation.

* * * * *

Pennsylvania Teacher Guilty in Sex Case - Updated
[Previous 11/22/11 post]
(Allentown, Pennsylvania) Earlier today, teary-eyed 39-year-old teacher formerly at Allen High School, Gabrielle Suzanne Marvelli, admitted to engaging in sex with a 17-year-old male student on prom weekend.

Marvelli's guilty plea to corruption of minors carries a possible sentence of five years in prison down to a minimum of nine months in jail.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Matthew Falk said he's not opposed to a county jail sentence instead of a state prison term or to placing Marvelli in the jail's work-release program.

Barely audible, Marvelli, who is married, told Judge Maria L. Dantos she's not teaching anymore but is working two jobs. She didn't say where.

Following an internal investigation, the Allentown School District confirmed she no longer teaches for the district, but the school district hasn't said if she was fired or resigned.
Sentencing is scheduled for next month.

* * * * *

Pennsylvania Teacher Accused in Sex Case
[Previous 6/17/11 post]
(Allentown, Pennsylvania) A 38-year-old teacher at William Allen High School, Gabrielle Suzanne Marvelli, has been accused of engaging in sex with a 17-year-old male student.

She faces a charge of misdemeanor corruption of minors.
"The victim in this case was, at the time of the alleged incident, only one week away from reaching majority under the law," said Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin in a statement. "Had he reached his 18th birthday, this case could not have been brought."

"I have chosen to approve this charge because teachers must be held to a high standard and, stating the obvious, should not enlist their students to engage in sexual relations," Martin's statement continued.
Marvelli was booked into custody and released on $10,000 bond.
Boobs and Nips in Congress

(Washington) A Democrat member of the House of Representatives created a little buzz by wearing form-fitting clothing which didn't hide substantial boobs nor nipples the size of hard-rubber erasers.

The display was shown on C-SPAN and, since nobody watches the channel, nobody complained.

Source w/pic
Representatives of Canadian Jews oppose free speech

It sounds like Canadian Jews are just as Leftist as U.S. ones. Will Jews ever learn not to support authoritarianism in government? Was Hitler not a big enough lesson?
The B.C. Civil Liberties Association will be among a number of groups arguing this week that the Internet should be open to all kinds of speech, no matter how repugnant. Opposing that position is B'nai B'rith of Canada, which is adamant that hate speech must be kept off the Web.

The two sides will argue their positions as interveners this week at a judicial review of a ruling that challenged the constitutionality of hate speech provisions of the Canadian Human Rights Act.

The case arose after a human rights tribunal ruled that Marc Lemire, of Hamilton, Ont., had contravened the act by publishing an article on the Internet that was likely to expose homosexuals and blacks to hatred and contempt.

But the tribunal didn't impose the hate speech provisions of the Canadian Human Rights Act, ruling they were unconstitutional.

Richard Warman, an Ottawa lawyer, then complained, alleging Lemire had engaged in activities prohibited by the act, by communicating hate messages on several websites, and sought remedies. Those found to have engaged in the discriminatory practice "wilfully and recklessly" can be fined up to $20,000.

Marvin Kurz, representing B'nai B'rith of Canada, said while his group would support some changes, such as removing the penalties, he believes the law is constitutional and the tribunal member misread it when determining Lemire's case.

"There are some forms of speech that are so bad that it's dangerous and harmful. It has to be the worst of the worst ... that we have to be protected from," Kurz said. "There's a real value in the way the law is now."


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).
Carolina Woman Accused of Rape

(Graham, North Carolina) A 26-year-old local woman, Nicole Johnson Thomas, has been accused of engaging in sex with a minor.

Thomas faces counts of indecent liberties with a minor and statutory rape of a person under 16 years old.
Randy Jones, with the sheriff's office, confirmed that the victim is a boy. He said a relative of the boy called deputies and reported the crimes.

Because the victim is underage, Jones said they can't release any other information about the case.
Thomas was booked into custody at the Alamance County Detention Center with bond set at $350,000.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Kentucky Counselor Accused of Sex with Teen

(Shepherdsville, Kentucky) A 27-year-old counselor at a group home for troubled teens, Brooke Briscoe, has been accused of engaging in sex with a 17-year-old in her care.

Briscoe faces charges of rape in the 3rd degree and sodomy in the 3rd degree.
"Sixteen is the legal consensual age in the State of Kentucky. However, even though he's of consent the problem is it's rape in the 3rd degree because someone is in a caretaker role with him. She was a counselor for him," said Det. Scott McGaha, Bullitt County Sheriff's Office.

"Unfortunately, it does occur. We see it quite often and she has been charged with that. It's just unfortunate that it happens," McGaha said.
Briscoe was arrested and booked into custody at the Bullitt County Detention Center.
Florida Teacher Gets Prison in Sex Case - Updated

(Fort Lauderdale, Florida) Earlier today, former Lauderhill Middle School teacher Kristen Nicole Sullivan, 27, accepted a plea agreement offered by the prosecution.

She had a choice between going to prison and avoiding registration as a sex offender or going on probation with lifetime registration as a sex offender.

Sullivan chose prison and pleaded no contest to aggravated child abuse and aggravated battery charges.

As a result, Broward Circuit Judge Lisa Porter sentenced Sullivan to three years in prison and ordered her to surrender to begin her prison term on January 3. If she fails to appear, the three-year prison term will be increased to 90 years.
Sullivan was formally sentenced to 30 years in prison on each of two aggravated child abuse counts and 15 years on each of two aggravated battery counts, a total of 90 years behind bars. Porter said that sentence will be applied if Sullivan fails to surrender on Jan. 3.
It seems a short stretch in prison is preferable to a lifetime as a sex offender.

* * * * *

Florida Teacher Accused of Sex with Boy, 14
[Previous 4/22/10 post]
(Broward County, Florida) A 25-year-old teacher at Lauderhill Middle School, Kristen Sullivan (aka Kirsten), was arrested this week for allegedly engaging in sex with a 14-year-old male student.

Sullivan has been charged with two counts of sexual battery on a minor and one count of sex offense against a minor.
Sullivan allegedly met the boy at a boxing program and then transfered the teen into her computer class so she could make her move. The sexual encounters started after Sullivan changed the boy's grade from a "C" to a "B," according to a police report.

They first had sex in a computer storage room at the school, the boy told police and would sometimes have sex at least three times in a day.

Sullivan also gave the boy gifts like a mobile phone, jewelry and cash, police said. The police report also claims the woman bought the teen marijuana and that Sullivan may have been impregnated by the teen.
Sullivan was booked into custody at the Broward County Jail and subsequently released on bond.
'Alarming' Achievement Gap in Seattle Schools

(Seattle, Washington) School officials have analyzed student performance by correlating language spoken at home and student test scores.
African-American students whose primary language is English perform significantly worse in math and reading than black students who speak another language at home — typically immigrants or refugees — according to new numbers released by Seattle Public Schools.

District officials, who presented the finding at a recent community meeting at Rainier Beach High School, noted the results come with caveats, but called the potential trend troubling and pledged to study what might be causing it.

Michael Tolley, an executive director overseeing Southeast Seattle schools, said at the meeting that the data exposed a new achievement gap that is "extremely, extremely alarming."

The administration has for years analyzed test scores by race. It has never before broken down student-achievement data by specific home language or country of origin — it is rare for school districts to examine test scores at that level — but it is unlikely that the phenomenon the data suggest is actually new.

In fact, some national experts said the trend represented by the Seattle data is not surprising.
Besides being "extremely alarming," the results are contentious and will be the basis of many heated discussions.

Companion post at EdWatch.
Florida Teacher Booked for Battery

(Lakeland, Florida) A 39-year-old geography teacher at Lakeland Highlands Middle School, Simone Paolercio, has been arrested for battery after an altercation at McDonald's.

A dispute erupt after Paolercio received $20 worth of food.
It’s not clear what the dispute was about but deputies say Paolercio demanded a refund.

Deputies say after the manager refused, Paolercio "chucked" the food through the drive-thru window, with hashbrowns striking the window attendant in the face and chest.

The incident was reportedly captured on store video surveillance.

Deputies say Paolercio fled the area in her vehicle and was later arrested at her home.
Paolercio was booked into custody at the Polk County Jail.
U.S. to leave Iraqi airspace clear for strategic Israeli route to Iran

The U.S. military’s fast-approaching Dec. 31 exit from Iraq, which has no way to defend its airspace, puts Israel in a better place strategically to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Iraq has yet to assemble a force of jet fighters, and since the shortest route for Israeli strike fighters to Iran is through Iraqi airspace, observers conclude that the U.S. exit makes the Jewish state’s mission planning a lot easier.

Army Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, the top U.S. military spokesman in Iraq, said the Iraqi military will maintain radars to monitor the country’s airspace, but it has not taken possession of American F-16s to guard that space.

“The country has a capable and improving capability to see the airspace, a viable system to provide command and control, but no system to defeat incoming air threats until it gets either the F-16s or ground-based systems or, optimally, some of both,” Gen. Buchanan told The Washington Times.

Iraq made the first payment in September for 18 F-16s that will not arrive until next fall at the earliest. This means Israel would have a theoretical window of about 12 months if it wants to fly over Iraq unimpeded by the Iraqi air force.

Retired Air ForceGen. Thomas McInerney, who advocates a U.S. strategic bombing raid to destroy Iran’s nuclear sites, agreed that Iraq’s open airspace would make it easier for an Israeli mission.

“Yes, it will be,” he said. “However, it will be much easier for Iranian forces to get to Israel through Iraq via land and air.”

Gen. McInerney said he thinks there is a good chance that Iran, stretched economically by Western sanctions and fearing threats from Israel, will launch a war against the Jewish state through Iraq.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).
Kim Jong-il Reported Dead

(Pyongyang, North Korea) Dear Leader Kim Jong-il is dead. He apparently expired Saturday from a myocardial infarction. Kim was 69.

Kim Jong-il's son, Kim Jong-un, is reportedly slated to take the reins of power. Here's the weepy death announcement from the North Korean Central News Agency.

A funeral service is scheduled for December 28.
Football Injury

It's not what normally comes to mind when one hears "football injury." (h/t slwlion)
Arizona Border Data

(Tucson, Arizona) Data indicate the Arizona-Mexico border continues to be porous.
Tucson Sector Border Patrol apprehensions were down more than 40 percent in 2011, which U.S. Customs and Border Protection attributes to technology, improved infrastructure and more employees, CBP announced Friday.

Border Patrol agents working along the 262-miles of international border in Arizona, apprehended 123,285 illegal immigrants during the fiscal year, a reduction of 42 percent from 2010, the Border Patrol said.

Agents also seized 1,039,443 pounds of marijuana, or nearly 520 tons, in 2011 — a slight increase over 2010, the Border Patrol said.
Note that the data only represent captured illegals and seized drugs. Heaven knows how many illegals and contraband slipped through the border undetected.

In any event, expect open-border advocates and the mainstream media to cite the 40 percent decrease in illegal apprehensions as evidence that border controls are working and additional measures are not warranted.

Companion post at ImmigrationWatch.

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