• The 2006 Weblog Awards



      Design by





























Teens Had Weblogs

I’m sure you’ve all heard the news about the 18-year-old, David Ludwig, who allegedly killed his girlfriend’s parents because of an argument about curfew.  Both he and his 14-year-old girlfriend, Kara Beth Borden, were captured after a police chase and authorities are attemting to determine the role she may have played, if any, in the slaying of her parents.

Kara’s 13-year-old sister, Katelyn, told investigators her father and mother were shot after they argued with Ludwig for about an hour, according to a police affidavit filed in court.

"As they got near the front door, Katelyn Borden saw David Ludwig with a handgun pointed toward her father and Katelyn saw David Ludwig pull the trigger, heard a gunshot, and then she ran into the bathroom," the affidavit said.

She heard a second shot — presumably the one that killed her mother — while hiding in the bathroom, it said. Ludwig then ran through the house calling for Kara, she told investigators.

Michael and Cathryn Borden, both 50, were found shot to death shortly after 8 a.m. Sunday, after the couple’s 9-year-old son ran to the home of neighbors, who called 911. An older daughter also escaped, police said.

I find it incredibly sad that the siblings were witness to this act and now they will be subject to all that comes with it since their parents are deceased.  Authorities are suspecting that this was premeditated, which carries a life sentence if Ludwig is convicted.  Ludwig is virtually a kid himself.  How could such anger be in someone who is barely an adult?

The interesting spin on this is that CBS reports that both of these teens apparently had blogs.  The blogs themselves aren’t interesting per se.  They appear to be the usual "teen" types of blogs - listed hobbies/interests, pictures, emoticons.  Truly nothing that seems out of the ordinary and nothing that would lead you to believe that the next action would be the murdering of the girl’s parents.  I just sense that because some criminals reportedly have maintained blogs that could be "a window to their minds," each and every time there is a heinous criminal act I picture reporters frantically searching Google or Yahoo! to find the blog the criminal wrote so they can report on their "state of mind."  It’s just compelling to me, and I see it as evidence that could be used in the investigation and/or the trial on both sides (defense and prosecution).

The children impacted by this act are in my thoughts in prayers.  My heart goes out to them.   


Halloween Could Bring Out Real Ghouls - Watch Your Kids!

I remember when I was a kid, we had to start looking at the candy we got after Trick-or-Treating, just to ensure there were no razor blades in apples or pins in candy bars after some idiots decided it would be entertaining to do such stupid things to kids. 

Now that I have my own children, worrying about pedophiles and child molesters is on the list of "safety tips" for Halloween.  I truly believe that as a parent, I am the number one protector of my children - no one can do it better.  Either my husband or I will go out with the kids as they trick-or-treat, ensuring they are safe from traffic, other kids out to cause trouble, or adults who would enjoy inviting kids in for an inappropriate visit.

There are many communities who are focused on how to protect kids from sexual predators who may be "tempted" by children parading up to their homes - and I applaud their efforts!  There are various approaches to this, ranging from increased in-home visitations to the homes of sex offenders on Halloween night to proposed laws banning sex offenders from participating in Halloween altogether.  Here’s a glimpse:

About 45 registered Level 2 and 3 sex offenders who live in Westchester County, just north of New York City, will receive special invitations to attend an educational program between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Oct. 31, under an initiative spearheaded by Westchester County Executive Andrew Spano. Those who don’t attend will receive a personal visit from probation officers and police. Level 1 sex offenders and those on probation who have committed crimes of a sexual nature will also receive a home visit, according to a statement released by Spano’s office.

"We’ve done home visits on Halloween nights in the past, but this is the first year that we’ve asked sex offenders on probation to come in to our offices," said Victoria Hochman, assistant communications director for the county executive.

Hochman said kids present the same temptation to sex offenders that alcohol presents to alcoholics. Rather than have sex offenders at home and in the position to be tempted by parades of children coming to their doors, Hochman said, the county will offer probationers something constructive and hopefully put parents at ease.

The Halloween initiative does not come in response to a spike in molestations or abductions on the holiday, however. "We have never had an incident on Halloween night," Hochman said. But highly publicized cases of brutal child abductions in recent years have heightened citizen activism and put pressure on local authorities to monitor sex offenders more closely. Westchester County was also the first in the state to use active Global Positioning System bracelets on sex offenders under the supervision of its probation department.

"Given the high recidivism rates with this type of crime, people are very concerned. This could provide some relief for people," Hochman said.

I like this idea, and in my mind it seems as though this would be the best approach.  Removing any high risk offender from the situation all together seems to make the most sense with follow-up for those who don’t attend the activity.

Here are what a few more communities are doing:

  • New Jersey’s state parole board is putting a curfew on some 2,200 sex offenders it supervises.  Sex offenders need to be indoors by 7pm on Halloween and can’t answer their doors.  They can’t attend parties where children are present as well and can’t take children - including their own - out to trick-or-treat.

  • In Parker County, TX (west of Forth Worth), 42 registered sex offenders on probation will have to spend the evening at county offices.  They state, again, that this is proactive, in order to prevent any issues as well as "protect" the sex offenders from any false accusations.  Eh, the latter isn’t as important to me, but it may temper the heat the ACLU may attempt to throw their way. 

  • Lastly, a Michigan state lawmaker wants to ban sex offenders from Halloween. State representative Fran Amos of Waterford introduced a bill that would prohibit convicted sex offenders from handing out candy and could be passed in time for Halloween.  This most recent action has ruffled the feathers of the ever criminal protective ACLU, who states this is unconstitutional.  I say let’s invite said sex offenders over to the house of the ACLU’s Shelli Weisberg on Halloween - she can entertain them.  Oh, and let’s hope she doesn’t have young children.

Again, the best thing we can do is be good parents - get out with your kids to ensure their safety.  And if you’re like us, maybe you can "trick-or-beer" at the same time!

========

Punta del Cappello to Jay and Ace of Spades 


Portia Rediscovered linked with Freedom Fighters
Cotillion linked with Freedom Fighters
Evacuees With Recent Felonies Don’t Qualify for Public Housing

No one can convince me that the media is innocent in letting their bias seep through their reporting.  Here is how a recent article about Hurricane Katrina evacuees started out:

OMAHA, Neb.The CEO of Omaha’s Open Door Mission is frustrated that the mission is helping evacuees who have been turned away by the Omaha Housing Authority.

Reading that first paragraph made me wonder why evacuees were being turned away - it actually angered me (my first thought was - how dare red tape get in the way of getting these people homes!).  Here’s more concern, a la Open Door Mission’s CEO:

Many who have been turned away by OHA have headed to the Open Door Mission, which is already crowded.

"We’ve had about 50 over the last two to three weeks," said the Open Door Mission’s Candace Gregory. "It’s frustrating that we have all of this housing available, that’s public housing. I wish it was available to everyone."

Of course it is frustrating.  How DARE the OHA turn people away?!?!?  Oh, but then the truth comes out:

OHA Executive Director Brad Ashford said those failures relate primarily to criminal history.

"There are 23 people who have failed the background check, so we can’t place them in public housing," Ashford said. "Certainly, any type of drug offense or a violent felony, or any felony really, if it’s committed within three years."

Ashford said OHA cannot make exceptions for evacuees for the safety of the residents who are already there.

So, because of their criminal behaviors in the past, it has become a challenge to find housing for the evacuees.  It is NOT because the OHA is being negligent or unfair and it certainly isn’t because they are evacuees.  It is because they committed criminal offenses.  Even if New Orleans had never been damaged by Hurricane Katrina, these evacuees would have been limited in their abilities to obtain certain jobs, get qualified for certain public assistance.  All because they CHOSE to commit a felony - a number quite violent or dangerous in nature (drug charges, violent felonies - would you want these folks living in your apartment complex or your back yard?). 

And the kicker - all but one of these 50 people have been found housing through other means.  Which leads me to wonder why this woman is complaining to start with. 

Call me cold-hearted, call me ruthless.  Or don’t.  Bottom line, we should do everything we can to help the victims of this disaster - WITHIN THE GUIDELINES OF COMMON SENSE.  If the OHA had placed these felons into public housing, the media would have reported on the horrific choices of the OHA to put others in harm’s way and the law suits would have been flying regarding preferential treatment so this is by far a better solution. 

The media is so focused on finding "the story" that they seem to make a big deal out of events that aren’t such a big deal.  Why can’t the media report on the valiant volunteer efforts, the happy endings, the efforts to rebuild and reclaim life as it was? 


New Meth Law Could Fill Nebraska Prisons

Legislative Bill 117 was passed in Nebraska, and brings with it harsher penalties for those convicted of methamphetamine related crimes. 

The meth crackdown comes from the passage and signing of Legislative Bill 117, which included store display and age restrictions for the purchase and sale of products containing pseudoephedrine, a key component of meth. The law goes into effect in September.

The Corrections Department says the tougher meth law could put into prison most of the roughly 400 offenders who otherwise might have entered treatment programs.

The department also says LB 117 could help double prison ranks by 2025.

And even without LB 117, as soon as next year the prison population could reach 140 percent of capacity.

Have you ever seen a person who is an abuser of meth?  This is the progression, in this woman’s case, over 10 years:

Have you ever seen a meth lab?  Here’s a rather clean one:

I grew up in a small town in Nebraska, which now carries the reputation of "Meth Capital of Nebraska."  There have been meth labs built in homes, such as the one above, or in the trunks of cars.  There have been cases where meth labs are set up on an unsuspecting farm owner’s property, only to be discovered when the foul smell creeps up to the farmhouse, putting the family living there in danger.  There are even cases where houses once containing meth labs are sold to new owners, who have become sick once they move in due to the lingering toxic chemicals. 

I think the lawmakers are doing the right thing passing this law.  I’ve heard of too many people dying due to meth, seen parents put their children at risk due to meth use, seen people threatened, assaulted and almost murdered because of what this drug does to people.  There have been a couple of incidents that have touched me personally and I’ve seen what the drug can do to a person’s life.  I honestly don’t find anything wrong with putting most of the offenders in prison versus rehab.  This isn’t pot, people.  This drug is bad and it changes people in a bad way and they cause harm.

Our nice little local newspaper, the Omaha World Herald, notes that it is possible that the governor could parole inmates if the capacity percentage gets too high.  Please note the COULD portion of that sentence.  Methinks the OWH writer could be a bit biased and perhaps not happy with the passing of this law, perhaps even overreacting a bit.  Not that I *ever* thought that nice little paper could ever be biased outside their opinion page [intentional sarcasm here].

Nebraska prisons are sitting at 134 percent capacity, according to Steve King, Corrections Department spokesman. 

"The philosophy of incarceration being a significant solution to the problem is obviously contrary to community corrections being a solution," said John Icenogle, district court judge for Buffalo and Hall Counties. "But the Legislature has said this problem is so severe they don’t trust it to community corrections, and we have to accept that."

That’s right, John, accept it.  I think they are right.  I also believe that because prosecutors will still have discretion on charges, the alarm being sounded is somewhat premature.  The affect on the prison population was also a consideration when reviewing the bill says Aaron Sanderford, spokesman for Gov. Dave Heineman.

In the back of my head, I can’t help but wonder how often the "affect on the prison population" is considered and causes law makers and/or judges to not do the right thing by taking criminals off the street.  If laws don’t have any teeth, i.e. prison time, how can a person who is considering the manufacture or delivery of meth be positively influenced?  If we saw a 50% increase in murders, would we just give them parole because of prison overpopulation?  Or set a pedophile free from prison to make room?  Maybe those criminals who were sentenced to death should actually have that penalty delivered versus spending their life in jail - those criminals seem to be taking up a good deal of prison space.  If need be, build another prison.  People know the law, and there should be consequences.  If we actually took criminals off the street, we may actually have safer parks and neighborhoods, and cities, and small towns - including the one this small-town girl was born and raised in.


NIF linked with The Alliance of Baby Monkeys
I Have to be P.C., but I don’t Have to Like It

Over the course of my work life, I have been in positions that I am responsible for people.  Their successes, their failures.  Whether I hire them or not.  Whether I keep them at the company or not.  I’m in - oh no - MANAGEMENT.  I’ve been told I’m a pretty nice person - heck, I even got 100% on my performance ratings from the people who report to me this year.  But underneath my work disguise, I am NOT politically correct.

In my work experience, I have had to "separate" a person, or "end their employment arrangement."  Nope, I can’t fire them.  An employee can’t suck at what they do, they are "underperforming."  I see it in the school system, too.  Remember the days of grades A, B, C, D and F?  The only "F" I see anymore is on "The Fairly Odd Parents" (dear ole Mr. Crocker).  My son brings home O, S, N and the like, and soon to come more "normal" grades such as 1-5 (finally, as he hits 3rd grade).  Teachers in the UK don’t want to use the term "fail" and think they should use the term "deferred success" in order to reduce the risk of demoralizing the student.  Teachers here don’t want to grade with red ink, as it hurts the student’s self-worth or self-esteem - instead they want to grade in purple ink.  Next, they won’t grade at all!  Perhaps the student should decide what grade they get - then they’ll be "bought in."  You know the banter - I’m sure most of you have experienced it either in your own job, in your children’s education or even reading the mainstream news. 

Everywhere, words have evolved into some homogenized version of what they used to be.  These changes have a direct and distinct impact on our society and how we perceive what is going on around us.  Here’s just a few, across the spectrum, with some help from Wikipedia:

  • Time Magazine’s “Man of the Year” became “Person of the Year”

  • Chairman was replaced by chair (policeman or policewoman was replaced by police officer, so on and so forth)

  • "Merry Christmas" is often replaced with "Happy Holidays".

  • Blacks became Negroes, then became blacks again, then became Afro-Americans, then became African Americans

  • The elderly became senior citizens.

  • Foreign students became international students.

  • “English as a Foreign Language” became “English as a Second Language," then "English for Speakers of Other Languages."

  • The ghetto became the inner city.

  • "Alms" evolved into "poor relief" and became "welfare," which in turn morphed into "public assistance."

  • Genocide became ethnic cleansing.

  • Terrorist has been replaced – via the MSM - with insurgent or bomber or protester or poor guy who is just misunderstood (okay, this one I embellished on a bit).

  • Problem or conflict became issue

  • "Hospital" became "Health care center."

  • Doctor or nurse became health care provider.

  • Backward became mentally retarded, which in turn became slow, then mentally handicapped, then mentally challenged.

  • "Heart attack" became a "cardiovascular event."

  • "juvenile delinquents" became "children at risk"

  • The Department of Prisons became the Department of Corrections.

  • The "War Department," together with the "Navy Department" became the "Defense Department."

  • Illegal alien became Illegal immigrant (though many if not most illegals are not by definition "immigrants," or people who intend to relocate to the United States permanently), which has recently been replaced with the term undocumented worker.

It’s hard to keep up with some of these changes.  Not that I necessarily disagree with some changes to the words we use to describe situations or people.  As a manager of people, telling someone that our employment arrangement needs to end versus "you are fired" makes it a bit easier on me.  But is it really appropriate to call a terrorist something by any other name? 

I truly believe this "dumbing down" of society as a whole will not serve us well in the future.  For example, isn’t competition part of success?  If every little Janey or every little Johnny gets the same grade, or they are all told they are doing well, where is the competition?  If everything is sugar-coated, how do people know the truth?  I’ve seen the impact in the working world - there’s a strong sense of entitlement from a higher percentage of people new to the workforce now than early in my career.  And I can’t speak about it with them in a way that is straightforward without risk of someone filing some kind of claim (either via a law suit or a myriad of other avenues).  These are people that come in, do the bare minimum or less, but get pissed when their performance review is just average or below average when compared with their peers.  Growing up, they were TAUGHT that they were good, even if they are not.  They are not expecting this kind of news - I’ve even been told in the most egregious example of "underperformance" by an employee "well, there’s *some* work in there."  What a rude awakening, this whole working world thing.   Oh, and I don’t write my performance reviews in purple ink, either. 

Update:  tee bee over at Guide to Midwestern Culture has a response, a Merri response.   


Cotillion linked with Come Dance 'Til Your Feet Sing!
Guide to Midwestern Culture linked with A Merri Response: PC Be Damned
Merri Must Rant

Okay, anyone reading my blog will know that I’m not a fan of the ACLU.  There just flat out is no need for an ACLU any more, particularly due to their extreme positions on the most basic things in life.  As a parent, and as a human being, I’ve just had it today.  My hubby pointed me to Little Green Footballs and three articles laden with ACLU bullshit.  You can read them here, here, and here.  I’m done, and the gloves are OFF.

I awoke today to yet another report of terrorist bombings in London.  I think everyone knows that it is very possible that similar acts of cowardice could take place here in the U.S. - it’s only a matter of when.  So in an effort, undoubtedly, to deter such acts it is reasonable that security measures get stepped up.  The NYPD announced that they would do random searches of bags for those commuters on buses, railways and subways.  The ACLU is saying that this goes against the very basic principles of the constitution.  I have to wonder, what do the card-carrying members of the ACLU have to hide?  Are they worried that the NYPD might find their drug stash? (They’ve got to be high the way they act…that’s the only thing that could explain it, right?)  I think that security measures will help lessen the threat of terrorist acts, even if it is only a little bit.  And just which side is the ACLU on anyway - the terrorists?

As the parent of a Cub Scout, I’m furious about the ACLU’s fervored war against the Boy Scouts.  If the ACLU had their way, the Boy Scouts would 1) allow girls to join 2) would be ran, all the way down to the den leader level, by pedophiles 3) would not be able to teach the scouts morals, and would instead show child porn videos.  Yes, part of what a scout learns is related to "love of God," but look deeper into the lessons taught to these boys.  The difference between right and wrong, treating people with respect, doing your part in society - when did these lessons become dangerous?  Even a family who doesn’t practice religion can find value here and these young boys grow into young men who can and do hold leadership roles in their communities.  Scouting has been well-established for years and years and no one has been harmed by allowing long standing relationships between the Scouts and military organizations (or other similar types of organizations).  The Jamboree has been held at Fort A.P. Hill for 25 years.  What the hell has happened in recent time that all of a sudden makes this relationship wrong, requiring the ACLU to sue to get it stopped?  Just because this event is sponsored there doesn’t mean that the main reason they sponsor the event is because the Scouts have "God" in their oath.   

The ACLU’s positions are extreme, they advocate the criminal far more than they advocate the victim.  They don’t think an opinion or idea is "right" unless it is one they belive in.  They have managed to manipulate so many in order to realize their goals and objectives (if you even could call them that).  And when they start screwing with my son’s organization, they’ve crossed the last proverbial line.  I realize we are in a country that affords us freedoms and these very freedoms allow this group to be in existance and have the agenda they do.  But when do *I* - normal, every day Amercian citizen Merri - get my voice heard?  I don’t WANT child porn legalized, I don’t WANT the ACLU to tell me what I can’t do, or what my son can’t do.  I don’t want the ACLU telling others what is right for me and "representing" me.  They don’t have a clue what is right for me - they haven’t even bothered to ask me - and I’m not sure who they are representing, but it sure as hell *isn’t* me.

I just had to get that off my chest.  And that is all.            


The Jawa Report linked with Late Night Loser Religion of Peeps Roundup
Cotillion linked with "Merri Must Rant"
The Devil Made Him Do It - and Other Such B.S.

Three reasons why Dennis Rader, the self-proclaimed BTK Killer will never take full responsiblity for his own actions, even though he "apologized":

He Says The Devil Made Him Do It

I just know it’s a dark side of me. It kind of controls me. I personally think it’s a — and I know it is not very Christian — but I actually think it’s a demon that’s within me. … At some point and time it entered me when I was very young," said Rader, who was once president of his Lutheran church.

*THEY* Should Have Figured Out I Was a Sick Bastard Long Ago

"Somewhere along the line, someone had to pick something up from me somewhere that there was a problem," he said. "They should have identified it."

Don’t Make My Family My Final Victims

"I am going to pay for it with a life sentence. The final victims are my … family," he said.

So this monster, a person who terrorized a community over the course of considerable years and taunted the media with vague clues about the cases (i.e. the last item a cereal box carefully staged to be found when *he* wanted it found), can’t find it in himself to just say "I’m guilty…I did it." 

Yet again, society has another criminal who has to find blame with someone or something else.  Additionally, he brings in his family to this - they will be his last victims.  Mr. Rader, they were victims all along - you strung them along as you completed your morbid, disgusting crimes right under their noses.  You played everyone around you - meticulously taunting officials and covering up your sick games, putting on the face of a Christian, the face of a responsible adult, the face of a Boy Scout leader.  This is NO ONE’s fault but your own and justice should be swift so the families of your victims can close this very painful chapter of their lives and move ahead.   


Where are the Children?

According the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC):

  • 85% to 90% of the 876,213 persons reported missing to America’s law enforcement agencies in 2000 were juveniles (persons under 18 years of age). That means that 2,100 times per day parents or primary care givers felt the disappearance was serious enough to call law enforcement.
  • 152,265 of the persons reported missing in 2000 were categorized as either endangered or involuntary.
  • The number of missing persons reported to law enforcement has increased from 154,341 in 1982 to 876,213 in 2000. That is an increase of 468%.

These numbers are staggering.  In the event of disease affecting this many people in the population, the CDC would label it an epidemic and appropriate action would be taken to find a cure.  As a nation, we would also do our best to protect others from coming into contact with the disease.  But, hey, it’s only our children affected, right?  These numbers are the norm, status quo.  We’ll just have to live with them. 

That’s hardly the sentiment for many parents, particularly those whose children are missing or have been harmed in any way.  Not only are the number of missing children on the rise, criminal activity harming our children is also increasing.  I cannot open any news source, locally or otherwise, without hearing about some non-parent abusing their child or some evil, vile person who decided that a child for a victim - whether it be pedophilia, child abuse, child neglect or child endangerment - would be right up their alley.

I think there are a number of challenges that make it difficult to protect our children from these criminals.  In most cases, children are kidnapped by their own family members.  Pedophiles tend to be the normal-looking bus driver, teacher or little league coach.  These types of criminals tend to blend in to society, only appearing once they are caught.  How many times have you read about the neighbor who "couldn’t believe" that such-and-such could do such a thing. 

I also believe that another challenge we face is the "softening" of our society, primarily how issues, such as child abuse or pedophilia are discussed or written about.  There is a great article over at Schadenfreude that focuses on this very topic.  It’s a matter of twisting a few words around to make it sound less harsh; however, in doing this, it makes it seem that the child could be to blame (emphasis mine).

The abusers of children, and let’s call it what it is, have managed to defer the public impact of their hideous crimes by adopting a ‘Madison Avenue’ approach to soften their image. Vachss takes issue with the term "Child Prostitute", making it clear that these children do not benefit from the transactions either financially, or personally. He is right to state that the correct term is "Prostituted Child". The word itself implies a judgment of character, and a willing exchange. "The difference in calling them a "Child Prostitute" and a "Prostituted Child" is not purely semantic. It is more than the difference between a hard truth and a pernicious lie. It not only injures the victims; it actively gives aid and comfort to the enemy. By allowing the term "Child Prostitution" to gain a foothold in our language, we lose ground that can never be recovered."

This type of romanticism (for lack of a better word) absolutely pisses me off:

The courts allow testimony that colors the crimes in romanticized language. Children don’t "lose their virginity", they are victims of rape. Children aren’t "fondled" by pedophiles, they are molested. A judge, granting work release to a convicted sex-offender, declares that the 5-year-old victim was "Unusually Promiscuous"?

Unusually Promiscuous?  A 5-year-old?!?!?  C’mon, the child was MOLESTED!

I yet again gaze through the various news sources at my fingertips only to find:

Shasta and Dylan Groene are still missing.  The FBI is offering $100,000, Dad is offering his $25,000 Harley Davidson and there are local rewards of ~$7,500.  These children have been missing for close to 4 weeks and in the same period of time, there have been no leads.

***

Tennessee - Haley Spicer is four years old and already a survivor. The Campbell County sheriff says the girl might make an appearance at the trial of the three people deputies say beat and burned her.  And just who are those three people?  Her "dad" (for lack of a better word), Tommy Owens, and his girlfriend, Charlotte Claiborne, are charged with the abuse and the sitter, Teresa Draughn, is accused of not reporting it.  Why do we have 4-year-old survivors?  Why would a 4-year-old need to be subjected to abuse like this?

Jury selection for these scum begins Monday and the town has had to add extra officers and security because these "poor little criminals" have had some death threats.  Of course they have - they don’t deserve to live.

***

Kansas City, MO - A man who is set to stand trial in November after allegedly kidnapping his children told a newspaper that the children are with a "well-off family."

Daniel Porter has refused to tell police and his ex-wife the whereabouts of the two children since they disappeared in June 2004 when he picked them up for a weekend visit.

"The children are fine," Daniel Porter told The Kansas City Star in a telephone call from his jail cell.

Porter refused to say where the children are staying.

Porter was sentenced in May to 10 years in prison on an unrelated gun charge, a sentence that prosecutors hoped would persuade him to reveal the whereabouts of his children, Sam and Lindsey.

Since the children, then 7 and 8, disappeared, investigators have searched the Kansas City suburbs of Independence and Sugar Creek and searched the area around Porter’s hometown of Trenton in northern Missouri.

The man’s motivations for kidnapping his children and "hiding them" stem from his belief that their mom, his ex-wife, is a bad parent.  He claims they are alive and well and the couple who have them know that they could eventually be in more hot water than he is, legally.  Excuse me, but being in jail for a 10 year sentence makes you a "better" parent, Mr. Porter?

The problem with this is that the man previously told police he had strangled the children - his own children.  He said he made up that story because he didn’t like being questioned by police.  The mother is concerned that he’s now changed his story - stating the kids are safe - in order to raise her hopes that the kids are okay, only to dash them later.

"He is the only key to this," Green said. "He knows it, and I think he likes it. He’s getting a power trip. It’s his way of continuing to have power over Tina and probably the police."

Porter, 42, is charged by the state with two counts each of terroristic kidnapping and parental kidnapping, for which he faces up to 38 years in prison. He is scheduled for trial in November.

I hope and pray that Porter isn’t just blowing smoke - I truly hope the kids are safe somewhere.  If he truly did kill his own children, I hope and pray justice’s aim will be true.

***

Toronto - A convicted pedophile violates the conditions by which he was released.  Thank God it only took him a day and he’s now back behind bars.

Toronto cops issued a warning, when 63-year-old Lawrence Samuel Sears was released from prison yesterday. He was deemed a high risk to re-offend, after serving 15 years in jail on charges such as sexual assault, and having sex with a girl under 14. Constable Christine Bacharach says many conditions were imposed on his release, including staying away from anyone under the age of 18.  Sears allegedly violated that condition yesterday, when he was found around people under 18 at a movie theatre in Toronto. He’s being held pending a hearing.

***

I could go on and on.  Stories of people abusing children, children dying at the hands of their own parents, pedophiles, sex rings, NAMbLA, missing and exploited children…scenes from the nightmare of any real parent out there.  However, as horrifying as all of those situations are, I find it equally horrifying that more isn’t being done to keep our children safe.  Why is it such a controversy for a town to want to keep sex offenders, particularly pedophiles, away from their parks, schools, churches and neighborhoods?  Why does an organization such as the ACLU go after people who just want their children to be safe, all because they believe the criminal needs to be treated "fairly?"  Why does the mainstream media dumb down their reporting in such a way readers don’t get the real understanding of what happened?  Why do we require the CRIMINAL to report their whereabouts for a sex offender database - um, they are CRIMINALS, people.

We need to see this terrible trend reversed.  It’s time for a change, and change begins with me and it begins with you - without raising our voices, the criminal will always get better treatment than the victim.  The pedophile will move in next to a school, perhaps our son or daughter’s school.  Non-parents will continue to harm or kill their own children and we will continue to hear about all of these types of tragedies each and every day.


Steal the Bandwagon linked with No protection for our children
Mamamontezz's Mental Rumpus Room linked with Volitile Babe of the VRWC
MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy linked with Fighting for children
Vince Aut Morire linked with Next Stop, The Land Of Cheese and Whine
The Troops of the 82nd Need You!

SondraK alerted us that our troops of the 82nd want to hear from us and need our support!  Please stop over at her site to find out how you can help!


…an Interesting Take

If you want a good read about God and evil, head over to Atlas Shrugs who shares one I really enjoyed reading.  I always love seeing the trap door open and you can almost hear it creaking this time! 


Animal Rights Whackos = Terrorists?

I think we’re onto something here (emphasis mine):

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - New Jersey is using an anti-terrorism law for the first time to try six animal rights activists charged with harassing and vandalizing a company that made use of animals to test its drugs.

Prosecutors say the activists, who will stand trial next week, used threats, intimidation and cyber attacks against employees of Huntingdon Life Sciences, a British company with operations in East Millstone, New Jersey, with the intention of driving it out of business.

The six, members of a group called Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC), are charged under the Animal Enterprise Protection Act, amended in 2002 to include "animal enterprise terrorism," which outlaws disrupting firms like Huntingdon.

If convicted, the group and its accused members face a maximum $250,000 fine and three years in prison.

SHAC argued that the charges are a violation of free-speech rights and it is the victim of a government crackdown on dissent. "This is a frightening step in the Bush administration’s path to war on domestic dissidence," the group said on its Web site.

The defendants are also charged with interstate stalking, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and $250,000 fine, and with conspiracy to engage in interstate stalking, carrying the same penalty.

Whoa, stop.  So this group is saying that the charges are a violation of free speech, huh?  Since when does committing a crime, such as stealing, trespassing, destruction of property and assult constitute "freedom of speech?"  Protesting peacefully is one thing, but these whackos are out causing harm to people and property.  They SHOULD be charged:

Their tactics included invading offices, damaging property and stealing documents. They also charged with physical assault — including spraying cleaning fluid into the eyes of employees — smashing the windows of their homes and threatening to kill or injure members of their families, prosecutors said.

The list of potential defense witnesses includes actress Kim Basinger (she joined a protest outside a Huntingdon laboratory in Franklin, New Jersey to try to stop such companies using animals to test their pharmaceutical products).

Hey - wasn’t she supposed to leave the country when Bush was elected or something like that?  Oh yeah, I forgot.  She’s an "actress."  She must have been "in character" at the time.

If you take the animals out of the picture, and just focus on the crimes by themselves, we have a bunch of hoodlums here.  If any of these whackos had their items stolen, had someone trespass on their property, or had been assulted, you can bet they’d be crying foul.  Who do they think they are to presume they are above all that?


NIF linked with Tsar of Uncouth Youth
His Book is Just Too Patriotic

I was listening to the radio this morning and they had an interview with Winston Groom, probably best known for the book "Forrest Gump."  Groom has a new book out entitled "1942: The Year That Tried Men’s Souls" and received a particularly scathing review from New York Slime’s critic Patricia Cohen.  I didn’t think much of it until it was mentioned in the interview that Ms. Cohen pretty much deemed that the book was "too patriotic."  Huh? 

Now, I haven’t read the book, so I can’t profess to understand what the critic means when she refers to "terrible" writing in the review, but I find it rather amazing that anyone could conclude that a book, in particular a book that centered on the year 1942, World War II and the attack on our soil at Pearl Harbor, was too patriotic.

As I read Cohen’s review, the first clue I had about how she felt about the book was how she approached the subject matter.  I believe her words about WWII and Pearl Harbor were along the lines of "well-worn history."  The review progressively irritated me.

Groom writes in his forward "I write to the average American reader, in hopes that he or she will take renewed pride in what our forefathers dealt with, and determined to accomplish, when faced with danger of the utmost severity.'’  Good.  As an American, I should understand what is chronicled in history and what our forefathers did to pave the road to freedom.  This makes sense to me.  Not to Ms. Cohen (emphasis mine):

It is not surprising then that ‘’1942: The Year That Tried Men’s Souls'’ tends to read like a portable pep rally designed to fire up the home team for the next epic showdown. The ‘’Great Democracy'’ versus the evil Axis — or, more recently, the axis of evil.

Well, that pretty much seems to sum up how Ms. Cohen feels about President Bush and our involvement in Iraq while carrying with it a certain undertone of Anti-Americanism. 

She has a bit of an interlude in the middle, actually giving him some small accolades about his background and the history he tells.  I actually thought she might give the guy a break.  I was wrong.

Unfortunately the narrative is frequently interrupted by clunky writing, incongruous asides and relentless cheerleading.  The story is told in two dimensions with little of the ambiguity, nuance and complexity of real life. In Groom’s account, the Japanese are ‘’wild-eyed,'’ treacherous and unrepentant and their planning for Pearl Harbor ‘’diabolical.'’ Their refusal to surrender is lunatic zealotry while the Americans’ intention to fight to the end is heroic. Their imperial designs are part of a ‘’rapacious'’ and cruel plot to ‘’control most of the world'’ and squeeze America to death, while the colonial records of the Allies who already control it are glossed over. Following ‘’the tragedy of World War I,'’ Groom writes, the ‘’Western powers had actually begun agreeing to return many (but of course not all) of their overseas possessions to the native inhabitants.'’

Reading about WWII, even in school, the first thing I thought of was that America’s will to fight to preserve freedom and liberty *was* heroic.  I’m glad Ms. Cohen wasn’t in charge back then - we’d have laid down our arms, perhaps, and had a big ole group hug.  THAT would have taken care of those nice, pleasant Japanese men flying those nice little planes over Hawaii.

It goes on and on from there and she ends with the following:

And when an American officer on Corregidor says he hoped his troops could rest and receive medical attention after surrendering, Groom writes, ‘’This last observation raised perhaps the grossest example of false hopes in the history of the world.'’

Well, maybe. Unless you were hoping for a sophisticated account of the war in the Pacific.

I read a number of critic reviews on Groom’s book and none were even remotely as harsh and critical as Ms. Cohen’s and many were quite favorable.  I truly believe there was some kind of political agenda here on her part, which biased her review of the book.  Thanks to Patricia Cohen’s review, I’m buying the book to check it out for myself (perhaps Groom should give her a cut for all the books she’s going to help him sell…nah!).  Oh, and I failed to mention that Patricia Cohen is the NYT’s THEATER Critic.  Perhaps Groom’s book wasn’t nearly as entertaining to her as all the song and dance numbers "Cats" had [insert your own conclusion here]. 


Justice Was Served?

In a day when dangerous sexual predators, attempted murderers, pedophiles and other criminals are given a slap on the wrist, this story seems so incredible to me:

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (AP) - After 35 years in prison for stealing a black-and-white television set, Junior Allen is a free man.

Allen, 65, walked out of prison Friday, ending a case that attracted widespread attention because he remained in jail while other inmates convicted of murder, rape or child molestation were released.

"I’m glad to be out," Allen told supporters outside Orange Correctional Center. "I’ve done too much time for what I did. I won’t be truly happy until I see a sign that says I’m outside of North Carolina."

Allen was a 30-year-old migrant farm worker from Georgia with a criminal history that included burglaries and a violent assault when he sneaked into an unlocked house and stole a 19-inch black-and-white television worth $140.

Some state records say Allen roughed up the 87-year-old woman who lived there, but he was not convicted of assault.

Instead, he was sentenced in 1970 to life in prison for second-degree burglary. The penalty for the offense has since been changed to a maximum of three years in prison.

He got life in prison for second-degree burglary which is now a maximum of three years?  What an illustration for how the system has changed!   

The state Parole Commission decided last year to release Allen if he behaved and completed a transitional work-release program. He worked at a restaurant washing dishes and floors and had no prison infractions during the past three years.

He did so well he was released several months early - on his 26th try at parole.

I wonder how much 26 parole hearings cost?  I imagine more than the TV did!

His parole could last up to five years, meaning he could gain complete freedom by age 70.

Rich Rosen, a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill law professor who took up Allen’s case three years ago, said it was a shame that Allen had not been released decades ago. "At least he’s got some years left," Rosen said.

Allen did not meet with the parole commission until January 2004. Prior to that time, his record was reviewed regularly by the commission and denied.

Rosen said the parole commission "hasn’t been able to articulate a reason that Allen wasn’t released."

"He wasn’t the best prisoner, (but) he wasn’t the worst," Rosen said.

Once outside the prison, Allen got into a car with two friends who were driving him to Athens, Ga., where he planned to meet relatives and return home to Georgetown, Ga.

Enoch Hasberry, the programs director at Carteret Correctional Center in Newport where Allen went through work-release, said he worries Allen might not adjust well to life on the outside.

"For a black-and-white TV, how much do you have to pay?" Hasberry said. "We’ve got an in-house joke here: How much time would he have gotten if he had stolen a color TV?"

Now think about this case and think about the case of John Couey, the sick, pig of a human being that murdered Jessica Lunsford.  An exerpt from Fox News on his criminal record:

Couey has an extensive criminal record that includes arrests for burglary, carrying a concealed weapon and indecent exposure. In 1991, he was arrested in Kissimmee on a charge of fondling a child under age 16. Records don’t show how the case was resolved.

During a house burglary in 1978, Couey was accused of grabbing a girl in her bedroom, placing his hand over her mouth and kissing her, Dawsy said. Couey was sentenced to 10 years in prison but was paroled in 1980.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I understand that times have changed, but there’s something seriously wrong when you look at these two situations side-by-side.  TV stealing conviction gets 35 years and 26 parole hearings.  Man convicted for fondling underaged girls, one in the act of burglary, gets a 10 year sentence, but paroled 2 years later.  These crimes were committed a mere 8 years apart. 

If Couey had remained in prison for the crimes he committed (what I have above is but a snippet), we may have a beautiful young girl still with us.  I can’t firmly say what would have happened in the great black-and-white TV stealer’s life, after all there is suspicion that he may have assulted the woman in the home he took the TV from (but was not charged for it).  I don’t believe, though, it would have been too bad if he had gotten out and stolen another black-and-white television, do you?

I also can’t help but ask one big, lingering question.  Where is the ACLU?


Nooseweek: Un-American. AGAIN!

Riding Sun has an enlightening post on yet further disgraceful "works" of Newsweek.  I encourage you to go read his article, but here is just a taste:

Newsweek’s false, retracted story about American guards flushing the Koran down a toilet at Guantanamo doesn’t necessarily mean the magazine’s staff hates America or Bush, or wants us to lose in Iraq. To be charitable, let’s just chalk that one up to sloppy journalism.

But I’m at a loss to explain this, from the February 2 issue of Newsweek’s Japanese edition:

As you can see, the cover story shows an American flag, dirtied and tossed in a trash can, its staff snapped in two. The large white text reads, "Amerika ga shinda hi", which translates to "The day America died."

I encourage you to read the whole article - this isn’t the only disgraceful Anti-American rhetoric Newsweek has to offer.  But I’m sure you’re not surprised.


Honey, We’re Going to Six Flags!

If we hadn’t already made vacation plans, I’d beg my dear hubby to take me and the kids to Six Flags.  Their position is that they have the right to bar sex offenders from their parks.

CHICAGO — Bob Levan bought season passes to Six Flags Great America for his daughters and their best friend, but he is worried he won’t be able to ride the roller coasters with them because he is a convicted sex offender.

Awww, poor Sex Offender Bob.  Can’t ride the roller coasters with the little girls and boys?  How sad for you.

Six Flags added wording on the back of season passes to all 30 of its U.S. amusement parks this year stating that it reserves the right to refuse entry to anyone convicted of a sex crime.

The amusement park said it does not actually plan to run background checks on everyone entering the park, but visitors seen acting inappropriately could be subjected to a check and thrown out.

Still, the warning was enough to concern Levan.

Hmmm…I thought he was "rehabilitated?"  Why would he worry?  Does he have "sex offender" tattooed on his forehead?  Is he worried that his actions will get him tossed out of the park?!?!?

"My 13-year-old girl read this on the back of the pass and said, `Now Daddy, does this mean you can never take me to Great America?’" he said. "I am 350 percent for protecting children, and that just bugs me."

Okay, let me get this straight.  Daddy is a convicted sex offender, and he and his 13 year old daughter talk about it as if it were a disability?  Discrimination?  Hmmmmm….I hear the ACLU marching in from somewhere here…

Levan was convicted of molesting an 8-year-old relative when he was 16. He served a brief jail sentence and underwent treatment in a mental health facility. Now 35, the divorced information technology worker is raising a family in suburban Chicago.

Andrea D. Lyon, president of the Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, complained that the language sends the message that sex offenders are social outcasts despite whatever steps they may have taken to rehabilitate themselves.

Damn right, Ms. Lyon.  They are social outcasts.  I applaud the actions of Six Flags.  They do have every right to set rules that they feel will make the experience the safest for their patrons.  Just taking the stand alone is brave, given this ACLU-lawsuit riddled society.


« Previous PageNext Page »
    April 2018
    M T W T F S S
    « Oct    
     1
    2345678
    9101112131415
    16171819202122
    23242526272829
    30