• The 2006 Weblog Awards



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Justice…It’s Worth A Shot

Does anyone remember Lori Drew?

Drew allegedly helped create a false-identity MySpace account to contact Megan Meier, who thought she was chatting with a 16-year-old boy named “Josh Evans.”

Megan, 13, hanged herself at home in October 2006 after receiving cruel messages, including one stating the world would be better off without her.

Of course she denies creating the account and these cruel behaviors. There’s at least enough for an indictment:

A federal grand jury in Los Angeles indicted a Missouri woman Thursday for her alleged role in a MySpace hoax on a teen neighbor who committed suicide after being spurned by the “boy” in the fake profile.

Lori Drew, of Dardenne Prairie near St. Louis, was charged with one count of conspiracy and three counts of accessing protected computers without authorization to obtain information to inflict emotional distress on the girl.

I don’t know how solid this case is against her, but I’m happy that efforts are being made to punish this crime. Do I think the maximum sentence of up to 20 years would be enough if she’s found guilty? Not really. A grown woman doing something that was much more cruel than a teenager could even contemplate is simply revolting. The internet plays an ever-growing part in every day life and kids should feel just as safe there as they would in their own backyards - I’m not crazy and I do know it’s a long way off to reach that goal, but it’s unfortunate that anyone would behave this way, much less an adult that should be setting the example, not pushing a 13-year-old to hang herself.


I Hope They Don’t Have Metal Detectors At His Book Signings

Merri (anyone reading remember her?) and I are going to be at one of our friend’s book signings. Here he is discussing the new book on WGN’s noon news show.


Why no metal detectors? Cuz we ain’t getting within 20 feet of our friend without some heavy weaponry.

:mrgreen:


So……

….I read that the lighted ball they drop at midnight for New Year’s is going ‘green’ this year:

NEW YORK — The Times Square New Year’s Eve ball is celebrating its centennial by going green.

The star of the world-famous holiday extravaganza was revamped this year with more than 9,000 energy-efficient bulbs that use about the same amount of electricity as 10 toasters.

Philips Lighting created the light-emitting diodes specifically for the event. It says they are smaller but more than twice as bright as last year’s lights, which were a mix of more than 600 incandescent and halogen bulbs.

So, um, well….okay….but I only have one question…well, maybe a couple. They used more than 600 incandescent and halogen bulbs last year….for that ball lighting ceremony that lasts, oh, for a brief amount of time, right? Surely the bulbs all didn’t burn out. Is it truly ‘green’ to replace bulbs that could still be used the following year? What happened to the aforementioned 600+ bulbs? I’m just curious, really…someone has to know. Anyone?


Can We All “Coexist?”

My dear readers - I need your input. I saw a bumper sticker on the way home from work and I want your opinions….would you put one of these on your bumper? Why do you feel that way?

This is the one I actually saw:

The symbols on this one are the Muslim Crescent/Star, Peace Sign, Man & Woman, the Jewish Star of David, Baha’i Star, Taoist Yin Yang and a cross representing Christianity.

Then I found this one on the ‘nets at “Stamp and Shout” (I won’t link, but it’s pretty easy to get there if you want to look):

Slightly different symbols: Islam crescent/star ; pentagram for Wicca; relativity formula standing for science; star of David for Judaism; the Karma Wheel on the ‘i’ representing Buddhism; Tao symbol; and the cross for Chrisitianity.

Talk amongst yourselves….topic….”Coexist!”


Gin for Sixth Graders?

Let’s see…I’ve heard teachers bitch about “Leave No Child Behind” but didn’t know that meant taking them to the bar….

AKRON, Ohio — Officials in Ohio said they’ll investigate reports that students at a charter school were served gin at their sixth-grade graduation.

School authorities said that four students were given a teaspoon of gin mixed with water at a ceremony at the school in Akron this week.

In a day and age where there are so many groups evangelizing the need to keep kids away from alcohol (D.A.R.E., M.A.D.D. to name two), school officials think it’s okay to serve booze to kids graduating sixth grade? Oh…..never mind. Now I’m seeing the ticket to ride….

A school official said the ritual — meant to teach honesty — is similar to an African rite of passage. He reports the kids spit out the gin.

So…the fact that it was proclaimed to be an African rite of passage - paired with the fact that they spit it out - makes it okay? Um, is that anything like Bubba Clinton’s proclamation that he didn’t inhale? Oh, yeah, the whole rite of passage is supposed to teach honesty. HONESTLY!!!! What’s next….pot so they can open up and free their artful expression? Really!


“It Takes a Village”

The lastest on trying to make parents accountable can be found here:

A Republican state lawmaker from Baytown has filed a bill that would charge parents of public school students with a misdemeanor and fine them for playing hooky from a scheduled parent-teacher conference.

Rep. Wayne Smith said Wednesday he wants to get parents involved in their child’s education.

“I think it helps the kids for the parents and teachers to communicate. That’s all the intent was,” Smith said.

Let me make it clear. I’m against the idea of fining parents for not making a scheduled parent-teacher conference. It wouldn’t do any good in the long run and, quite honestly, only supports my concerns about prescribing the “right path” for society. It’s wrong not to come to parent-teacher conferences, so let’s fine the parents. People can’t figure out that trans-fat is unhealthy, so let’s ban it. Those poor workers at the diner. They can’t handle the smoke so let’s ban smoking so everyone is healthier (um, weren’t people smoking when you applied there?). And so on, and so on.

I think these problems go back a number of years, when people decided that it takes “a village” to raise kids. Once that was happening, why would the parents feel like they need to be involved, really? Won’t someone else take care of that? Why a conference with a teacher…how inconvenient when Mommy [Daddy] has a deadline for tomorrow?

My hubby and I are virtually drooled on by the teachers when both of us come to parent teacher conferences with our children so we can all talk together about their progress, focus in the classroom and what we can do to help them learn even more. It truly is sad that some parents aren’t involved. As parental responsibility has been delegated out amongst “the village” those parents with no backbones seem to have accepted their fate and given up having any influence, involvement or control over their child’s education, healthcare, social life, circle of friends, television habits, game playing, etc. Shoot, who needs Mom or Dad when all of that is prescribed, has a rating or a label saying it is okay for Mom or Dad to let their kids listen or watch it. Do I think it’s bullshit? Absolutely. But it’s a way of thinking I’ve seen many around me adopt. And it’s sad for the kids. And for their kids. And sad for us when we need to rely on them to manage our country, our money and our care.


Doctor “Death” Kevorkian Scheduled for June Parole

So I’m scanning through my various news sites and come across an article discussing Jack Kevorkian’s scheduled June 1, 2007 parole date.

LANSING, Mich. — Assisted suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian will be paroled in June, state Corrections spokesman Leo Lalonde said Wednesday.

Kevorkian, who claimed to have assisted in at least 130 deaths in the 1990s, was imprisoned in 1999 for his role in the last of the deaths.

The ailing former pathologist has promised he would not assist in a suicide if he was released from prison. He is 78, and has been eligible all along for parole on June 1, 2007.

The state parole board has turned down four of Kevorkian’s requests for parole.

Lalonde did not reveal any other details and directed calls to Russ Marlan, another spokesman for the department. A message seeking comment was left with Marlan Wednesday afternoon.

If Kevorkian is released on June 1, he will have spent close to 3,000 days, or a little more than eight years, in prison since being sentenced in April 1999.

I can remember those cases and the strong media attention. I felt back then that his role in the death of the elderly who was suffering was inappropriate. I wasn’t quite sure, though. There was always this lingering doubt about whether his clients felt that he was helping them get out of the painful, miserable situation they were in. I’ve got to tell you, though, a lot has changed for me in the last eight years.

I’m the proud mother of two little ones. Life is a precious gift. Who should feel it is within their reason and power to take that away from another human being - no matter the reason, no matter the request?

Terri Schiavo. This was a woman full of life, who was being provided care. But could smile, knew who was around her, could interact. And her ex-husband had her starved to death….all to be “compassionate” to her. His decision to quit feeding her killed her and her death should weigh heavily on his shoulders, as well as the judge’s.

Ailing family members. My mom died of cancer coming up on two years ago. My hubby’s mom has Alzheimer’s. His dad has cancer. I can speak mostly of my mom. She made the choice to accept hospice. Hospice care truly delivers on a commitment to help a dying patient be comfortable the rest of their life. And they are there for the family. I couldn’t have ever imagined my mom, even if the most painful part of her illness calling some so-called “mercy” doctor up and saying “please kill me.” Did she want to be comfortable? Absolutely. But she wanted to spend as much time with us as she could, too. Because my mother-in-law has alzheimers and might not remember things from moment to moment and requires around the clock care does it make her life any less valuable? NO!

Kevorkian’s approach to life was to snuff it out - at a time when a patient is so vulnerable they cannot always make a clear, well thought out decision. So that being said, I now, after these 8 years, have no doubts. The guy honestly should rot in prison. But we should feel sorry for him, right?

Kevorkian is being held at the Lakeland Correctional Facility in Coldwater, about 100 miles west-southwest of Detroit. Morganroth said in June that Kevorkian’s weight had dropped to 113 pounds and that he was suffering from hepatitis C and diabetes.

Kevorkian appeared before the parole board Dec. 7 at the Lakeland facility. The vote to parole him June 1 was unanimous, Morganroth said Wednesday.

As he did in previous hearings, Kevorkian told the parole board he would not assist in any suicides if released, Morganroth said. The Southfield attorney also repeated arguments that Kevorkian’s multiple and worsening health problems have left him with less than a year to live.

“I think they believed him — that he would never do it again. I think they understand he is not well, that he should be treated at a proper facility outside prison,” Morganroth said.

How ironic that we should feel bad for a guy who is in jail for his crime of killing vulnerable people. Now that he is vulnerable and in ill health they think he should be treated at a “proper facility.” We should be compassionate, no? Thank God I’ve never been as compassionate as Kevorkian is.


Condom Fight….but is that the Bigger Story Here?

Another story of condom arguments gone wrong:

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) - A Cambodian man has been stabbed by a sex worker in a brawl, after he refused her request to wear a condom, police said Friday. Suon Da, 25, was knifed twice in the abdominal area by Sa Rida, a 24-year-old sex worker, during the fight at a brothel in Battambang province Wednesday, said Koam Roeuy, a deputy police chief from the area.

Not meaning to diminish the seriousness of a fight that caused bloodshed, I can’t help but wonder if this is the bigger story:

Koam Roeuy said Suon Da had paid Sa Rida $1.20 to have sex with her.

$1.20 for sex? Holy cow!!! I’m not certain that would cover the cost of a condom here in the U.S.!


What Has Been Started Here?

So…what is it about this statement that is a bit ominous?

The New York City Board of Health has voted unanimously to prohibit restaurateurs from cooking with artificial trans fats - setting a precedent for US public health agencies eager to take on unhealthy eating.

I’ll be the first one to say there are a lot of overweight people in this country - me being one of them. Should I eat better? Sure. Should I exercise? I really do need to. Should the Board of Health or other related agency prohibit business owners from using an ingredient to cook food I might purchase in their establishment? That’s what’s ominous. There’s a particularly compelling trend setting up here - one I don’t particularly like.

I’ll go back to smoking bans. The city I live in recently put a smoking ban into place. Now, I’m not a smoker, but if an establishment wishes to allow people to smoke in an effort to attract various customers, I think they should have the right to do so - it is *their* business. But in Omaha, there could now be fines if you choose to light up in a restaurant. While I much prefer to sit in a smoke-free area while I’m eating, I can’t help but get irritated that such a law would be put into place…isn’t this a free country?

Now that everyone is quitting smoking, they are throwing caution to the wind and gaining extra weight because they are going to these restaurants that serve them food with artificial trans fat…er, uh…you get what I mean.

I may not be a rocket scientist, but I know when I’m eating something unhealthy. When it is fried, has breading of any kind, is oozing butter or other various fats, I know it’s not good for me. I have a brain and can 1) choose to eat such foods, knowing that they aren’t good for my body in excess and 2) choose to eat the food that is better for me, such as salads, grilled foods, veggies, etc. Most restaurants carry both, and if they don’t….you normally know this just by looking at their menu (many of which are posted on a website or outside the door of the establishment, etc.). Why does a Board of Health think that New Yorkers are stupid? ..and why are other health agencies so keen to help the rest of us stupid Americans not eat stuff that’s bad for us. What’s next…Twinkies? Doritos? Little Debbie Nutty Bars? Dean’s French Onion Dip? Before you know it, they’ll be charging us extra tax on “bad foods” or they’ll make the manufacturer of said food change the ingredients. Next thing you know pop will be off the market, replaced by Red Bull and water bottles (with spring water that likely just came out of a tap somewhere).

Don’t get me wrong, I do believe there are a lot of issues with the increased weight we are seeing on average in America. Health costs go up, but so many of us - and our employers - pay for that. Let US make decisions on what we want to eat and let’s be wise on the next steps here. If someone wants to eat a donut, or a package of M-n-M’s…that’s their choice as a consumer. Don’t play overlord and dictator by telling us what we can cook with or purchase.

/PSA. Heh.


Johnny Gosch - Why Would Someone Do This?

Back in 1982, Johnny Gosch’s picture was one of the first to appear on milk cartons as a missing child. West Des Moines was where he was abducted, while carrying papers. It hit home as I, too, was carrying newspapers around that time. It was a big story here in the Midwest as another paper carrier, Danny Joe Eberle was abducted in 1983 out of Bellevue, Nebraska…just a few miles from my hometown. The difference between the two cases? They found 13-year-old Danny’s body, arrested, tried and convicted serial murderer John Joubert. They’ve never found Johnny and they have never arrested anyone in connection to his disappearance. Undoubtedly, both families have suffered a terrible loss, but I cannot imagine how difficult it would be to not know where your son is, and to know he had been abducted.

Twenty-four years later, photos that appeared to look like Johnny were put on the doorstep of his family.

The photos were left Sunday at the front door of Noreen Gosch, the mother of Johnny Gosch, who disappeared on Sept. 5, 1982, while delivering newspapers in West Des Moines.

Lt. Jeff Miller, a spokesman for the West Des Moines Police Department, said the photos were given to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation’s computer crime task force.

Miller said police have not positively identified the boy in the photographs as Johnny Gosch. He also said it was not immediately known when the photos were taken.

“That’s one of the reasons we’re going to the DCI and let the experts take a look at them,” Miller said.

Noreen Gosch found the photos Sunday and said she gave them to police on Tuesday. It wasn’t clear why Gosch didn’t immediately give the photos to police.

While police said they have not positively identified the boy in the photo as Johnny Gosch, Noreen Gosch said it is her son.

She said one photo shows her son with his mouth gagged, his hands and feet bound, and he is wearing the same sweat pants he wore when he disappeared. She said the other photo shows him with two other unidentified boys, also bound and gagged.

Today, an investigator from Florida - Nelson Zalva - said that he’s pretty certain the photos are too old to be that of Johnny and that he thought the photo was one he reviewed in a different case prior to 1982. You can see the photos at the Johnny Gosch Foundation’s website here.

However, Noreen Gosch told the Register that Zalva has yet to provide evidence the photos are not of her son, who vanished before dawn while readying for his paper route a couple blocks from the Gosch home in West Des Moines.

“One of the photos is definitely Johnny,” she said. “I’m glad police are investigating, so we can find out who the other two kids are.”

Florida authorities sifted through scores of records Wednesday, hunting for the police report and photos connected to the case that Zalva said he investigated. In the meantime, Iowa authorities said they were also tracing other connections to the photos.

So at this point, it’s unclear whether these photos are those of Johnny - I’m sure there will be more to come in this unusual case. Interestingly, Noreen Gosch also had previously reported that Johnny had contacted her briefly in 1997, but said he wouldn’t give any details about where he was as he felt he needed to hide his identity. The most compelling question for me surrounds why someone would leave a mother photos of her missing son from 24 years ago. If they truly are pictures of her son, what was the purpose of someone leaving the pictures? If it was the abductor, I find it particularly cruel, especially if Johnny is no longer living. If these photos are not pictures of Johnny, but someone with a similar appearance, why would someone leave them? Is it some kind of cruel joke?

Either way, we may still never know who abducted Johnny Gosch or if he is still alive. It brings back those memories of fear when I was out in the early morning darkness delivering papers. My hope is if these are, indeed, photos related to Johnny’s disappearance they will lead to solving this case. One minute is too long for a family to be missing their son. Twenty-four years is a lifetime.


Dixie Bitches

I don’t know why I am even allowing these women to have any impact on me whatsoever, but their “almost” anti-America banter has me quite worked up. They first start by dismissing and offending the majority of the people who listen to their genre by stating they didn’t want fans who put their CD in the changer with the likes of Reba and Toby Keith (those types of fans “limit” what they can do, supposedly…WTF?). Well, they have even more to say [oh, insert sound of chirping crickets here, please]:

“The entire country may disagree with me, but I don’t understand the necessity for patriotism,” Maines resumes, through gritted teeth. “Why do you have to be a patriot? About what? This land is our land? Why? You can like where you live and like your life, but as for loving the whole country, I don’t see why people care about patriotism.”

I think Natalie Maines and her little army of two should board a plane to France and never come back. Better yet, perhaps they should spend some time in Somalia or Iran, or some other country so they can fully understand what patriotism is and why the majority of Americans have it. I don’t think I could have said it any better than CalTechGirl did.

All the snark aside, I’d like to remind Ms. Maines and her colleagues that the SINGLE, ONLY, UNIQUE, UNITARY, etc. reason that she has this soapbox, that she’s made all the money in her bank account, that she can fly to France or the UK whenever she wants and spout off about this country is that she is a CITIZEN OF THE US.

Don’t love your country, Natalie, it’s ok. Really, The rest of us could give a shit. But don’t tell us we’re stupid for caring. Don’t tell us that you like your life and then spit in the face of those people who have died or sacrificed much so that you can live the way you do.

Why should people care about patriotism, Natalie? Well, because patriotism created this country, it sacrificed to preserve out way of life, and continues to do so over and over again every day. Patriotism is why you can stand on your soapbox and denounce the President. Patriotism is why you speak English, not German or Japanese. Patriotism provides you with the security to go about your business and raise your children as you see fit.

The truth is, see, that in the long run, it is the patriot whose contributions will matter. The small effort of each individual to preserve and prolong the grand experiment in democracy started more than 200 years ago by another group of patriots whose motives were questioned by ignorant fools like you. Your contributions, your songs, your rabble rousing, your chicken feet tatoos; they’ll all be gone with the proverbial wind. But this country, and the patriots who protect her, will still be here.

Me personally, I’ve never owned a Dixie Chicks CD, nor will I ever. When I see Natalie Maines on TV or hear her banter on the radio ::: click::: she’s gone.


…of Pedophiles and Abuse from One Pissed Off Mom

I think back to when I was twelve. The last thing I would have *ever* wanted was to have sex - especially with an adult. As a matter of fact, at the age of 8 or 9, my sister’s neighbor offered me a dime to stand on his chest (I was wearing a dress and obivously he wanted to look up it). I ran to the nearest adult to tell. There are some people that are just sick and perverted. Some of these less-than-human beings want society to endorse their behavior and try to twist it around so it sounds “okay.” They aren’t fooling anyone.

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch pedophiles are launching a political party to push for a cut in the legal age for sexual relations to 12 from 16 and the legalization of child pornography and sex with animals, sparking widespread outrage.

I would certainly *hope* this would spark widespread outrage. Society carries a general sense of what is right and wrong, for the most part, apart from the smattering of sadistic freaks like these people.

The Charity, Freedom and Diversity (NVD) party said on its Web site it would be officially registered Wednesday, proclaiming: “We are going to shake The Hague awake!”

The party said it wanted to cut the legal age for sexual relations to 12 and eventually scrap the limit altogether.

…and here they go trying to rationalize their unnatural tendencies:

“A ban just makes children curious,” Ad van den Berg, one of the party’s founders, told the Algemeen Dagblad (AD) newspaper.

“We want to make pedophilia the subject of discussion,” he said, adding the subject had been a taboo since the 1996 Marc Dutroux child abuse scandal in neighboring Belgium.

“We want to get into parliament so we have a voice. Other politicians only talk about us in a negative sense, as if we were criminals,” Van den Berg told Reuters.

Get a clue, dumbass…if you act on any of these tendencies or view porn involving children you ARE a criminal. Of course you should be treated as such. I want to make pedophila the subject of discussion, too. How to limit it. How to make you pay for any harm you might inflict on an innocent child should you act on your sick, disgusting, perverted thoughts. How to make convicted pedophiles get the death penalty for their crimes against children. Oh and your argument that children are curious? Nice. Try to make it seem like you are doing it for the children when you just want a way to get away with fulfilling your sick fantasies.

Even the Dutch are shocked by this news. And we all know it takes a lot to shock the Dutch.

“They make out as if they want more rights for children. But their position that children should be allowed sexual contact from age 12 is of course just in their own interest,” anti-pedophile campaigner Ireen van Engelen told the AD daily.

Hey…didn’t I just say that?

I have to admit, the party certainly doesn’t appear credible when they have such outlandish demands…

The party wants private possession of child pornography to be allowed although it supports the ban on the trade of such materials. It also supports allowing pornography to be broadcast on daytime television, with only violent pornography limited to the late evening.

Toddlers should be given sex education and youths aged 16 and up should be allowed to appear in pornographic films and prostitute themselves. Sex with animals should be allowed although abuse of animals should remain illegal, the NVD said.

The party also said everybody should be allowed to go naked in public and promotes legalizing all soft and hard drugs and free train travel for all.

Private posession of child pornography but ban trading it? So in other words, home movies of their sick acts on children so they can relive it over and over? Toddlers given sex education? WTF? Sex with animals, huh? Where’s the animal rights activists. I find it funny that humans having sex with animals is okay, but abuse isn’t? Um, isn’t having sex with an animal both unnatural and abusive?

I have an idea. Let the party be formed. Let people register for it so they can “have their voice.” Buy the mailing list and weed out the population one sick, twisted pedophile at a time. How a population of people can justify their sadistic and harmful fantasies and acts is unfathomable to me. I don’t think even the Dutch will allow this to get traction.

==============================================

UPDATE: Raven has more over at her place. As hubby and I were chatting on this, he did raise a good point. Let’s not underestimate the Dutch’s ability to roll over and let somethng like this pass. While I’m not certain even *they* would go down that road, Raven reminds us that their laws regarding right to life (or in their case right to murder) as well as other social laws are quite liberal.


CatHouse Chat linked with Sick. Sick! SICK!
Heartless Jerks

The leadership at this company in Copenhagen is certainly embarrased by the actions of their employees:

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - A Danish security firm said Tuesday it had fired three of its guards for stealing toys and DVDs from critically ill children at Copenhagen’s main hospital.

The guards were caught on video tape after managers became suspicious when toys intended for the children — many of whom have cancer or need heart transplants — started to disappear.

What heartless jerks.


Smells French to Me…

Breaking news from Orlando, FL…

A Disney employee claims she was raped by four co-workers.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said it’s investigating.

The alleged victim told authorities that she was walking home late Saturday when four men grabbed her and carried her into an apartment.

The alleged rape took place in an apartment where Disney houses employees from their international programs.

Hmmm….and does one have to wonder who may have been at the heart of this diabolical scheme (emphasis mine, of course)?

Charges haven’t been filed against the four French suspects who are employees of Disney’s International Program. Authorities said the four are cooperating with investigators and aren’t considered a flight risk.

Oui.


Don’t Lynch Me, It’s a Free Country, Right?

All over the news we’re hearing about the anniversary of John Lennon’s murder.  Forgive me, but it drives me crazy.  Do I think it is sad that someone was murdered?  Sure I do.  Is it worth a story every single year in the news? No. 

He was a singer, and while some people think there was no one better, I’m not really a fan…sorry.  The anniversay of his death gets more air time than the anniversary of Mother Theresa’s death and she did a hell of a lot more for this world than John Lennon ever did. 

There I said it.  And I feel better.  And that is all.


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