Sunday, March 01, 2015

More on the Islamic "lone wolves"

The report below very much confirms what I said yesterday

This summer, Thomas Mücke managed a coup: he dissuaded a young German from joining the Islamic State.

The teenager, a Kurd whose family is originally from Turkey but now living in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt, had landed in prison after committing a petty crime. Angry, confined, and looking to lash out, he “had pretty much given up with life and was ready to pack his bag" for Syria, Mr. Mücke says.

But Mücke, a street worker and head of the Berlin-based Violence Prevention Network (VPN) in Berlin, challenged the aspiring jihadi. Did he know that Islamic State fought against Kurds? No, the boy didn’t. In fact, he had no idea about his religion. It was a prison inmate that gave him the idea to go to Syria.

Recommended: How much do you know about Germany? Take our quiz!
"In the end he said, 'If IS fights against the Kurds I can’t go with them,'" says Mücke. The youth is out of prison now, and while he will receive counseling for months to come, he is no longer seen as in imminent danger of radicalization.

The success that Mücke and his organization, a nonprofit group that helps incarcerated young people with extremist biographies find a way out, has experienced in dissuading would-be jihadis is significant. But the VPN did not originally target radical Islamists. Rather, it had a much more familiar German radical in mind: violent neo-Nazis and right-wing extremists.

But advocates like Mücke say that just like that fascist ideology, fighting Islamic extremism among the young has less to do with religion than with young people’s vulnerability to the ideology. When dealing with extremists, be they neo-Nazis or jihadis, it is crucial to work with each person individually. And with at least 550 Germans in Syria, part of a swelling group of several thousand Europeans, Germany's lessons in fighting the spread of neo-Nazi ideology could prove key to stopping Islamic radicalization.

“They are both fascist ideologies,” says Mücke, who has counseled hundreds of imprisoned young people, often from the violent right extremist scene. ”One is using a certain idea of the nation, the other is using religion as its instrument.”


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

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Women With Troubles - February 2015

Here is a compilation of women with troubles reported in news stories during February 2015. Each name is linked to an Interested-Participant blog entry displaying details.

For a more comprehensive listing, check the Women With Troubles category link.
(AL) Mandi Brianna Harrison, 25,
neighbor - Accused of rape and sodomy of child under 16,

(AL) DeeDee Williams, 46,
teacher - Arrested on a felony warrant out of Georgia,

(CA) Andrea Michelle Cardosa , 41,
teacher - Sentenced to 10 years in state prison for molesting schoolgirls,

(CA) Marilouise Hawks, 64,
teacher - Faces child molestation counts,

(CA) Laura Lasek, 26,
teacher - Accused of engaging in sex with student,

(CA) Danielle Meyer, 24,
music teacher - Accused of inappropriate relationship with student, 16,

(CO) Leslie Carlson, 28,
teacher - Arrested on suspicion of providing alcohol and marijuana to students,

(CT) Allison J. Marchese, 37,
teacher - Accused of sex with minor,

(FL) Megan Christine Connors, 30,
teacher - Accused of sex crimes against boy, 15,

(FL) Jennifer Espinoza,
neighbor - Accused of molestation of boy, 16,

(GA) Heather Boggus, 40,
neighbor - Arrested for theft of $400,000+ from her husband's company,

(GA) Ashley Lynn Heichelbech, 25,
neighbor - Arrested for shoplifting and running away while leaving her one-year-old baby behind,

(IL) Roxanne Coulson, 60,
daycare operator - Accused of aggravated battery of a child,

(IN) Michelle Ladd, 41,
teacher - Accused of sex with two 17-year-old boys,

(KY) Chelsea Rose, 25,
teacher - Accused of sexually abusing a girl, 14,

(KY) Michelle Turton, 36,
neighbor - Accused of sexual abuse of boy,

(LA) Angeline C. Lodice, 26,
stripper - Accused of sexually abusing a four-year-old boy,

(MI) Holly Taracee Laballister, 39,
neighbor - Sentenced to 30 days jail for posting another woman's contact information on website where she advertised the victim was in search of casual sex,

(MI) Kathryn Ronk, 29,
teacher - Pleaded guilty to criminal sexual conduct. Sentencing March 17,

(NC) Denise Sturdivant Amick, 53,
teacher - Pleaded guilty to trafficking in marijuana,

(NC) Christy Lynn Jaski, 42,
neighbor - Accused of sex with boy, 14,

(NC) Susana Larreta Peralta, 61,
neighbor - Accused of practicing dentistry without a license,

(NJ) Tracey Harding, 50,
teacher - Arrested and suspended from job after cops broke up a boozy birthday bash,

(NM) Roxie Blair, 39,
neighbor - Sentenced to 11 years in prison for sex with boy, 14,

(NM) Allison Draper , 29,
volleyball coach - Sentenced to 3 years prison for sex with female student,

(NY) Maria Contreras, 29,
teacher - Accused of engaging in sex with a 14-year-old boy,

(NY) Stephanie Fletcher, 29,
teacher - Sentenced to 6 months in the county jail for sex with students,

(NY) Laureen Hamilton, 53,
union president - Get 60 days jail for stealing from education union,

(NY) Jennifer Kennard, 48,
teacher's aide - Sentenced to three years in prison for second-degree rape,

(NY) Ashley Magin, 23,
neighbor - Charged with attempted rape and violation of parole,

(NY) Maria Rodriguez, 46,
bank manager - Pleaded guilty to theft of $1.4 million. Sentencing scheduled for May 20,

(OH) Shannon Pavlansky-Wojtowicz, 30,
teacher - Accused of inappropriate relationship with student,

(OK) Whitney Fetters, 28,
teacher - Accused of sexting with a student,

(OR) Stephanie Kroker, 37,
neighbor - Sentenced to 30 months in state prison,

(PA) Tracy Ardeno, 45,
teacher's aide - Accused of sex with a student,

(PA) Jessica Nichols, 22,
baby sitter - Accused of aggravated assault and child endangerment,

(PA) Sarah O'Neill, 35,
teacher - Guilty of corruption of minor,

(PA) Jesi Lorene Platz, 20,
neighbor - Arrested for possession of cocaine,

(SC) Lisa Marine Fry, 33,
teacher - Accused of criminal sex with boy, 15,

(TX) Victalina Mendoza Cruz, 24,
neighbor - Charged in death of 2-year-old boy,

(TX) Andrea Nichole Jennings, 23,
neighbor - Face is capital murder charge in death of boy, 3,

(TX) Iris Iliana Rodriguez, 25,
mental health counselor - Fugitive accused of sexually molesting girl, 13,

(TX) Katrina Skaggs , 32,
neighbor - Pleaded guilty to sex assault of a child. Sentencing in March,

(UT) Gaile Kristine Supp, 26,
teacher - Received probation and home confinement for sexual battery of a female student, 17,

(VT) Julianne Graham, 25,
teacher's aide - Accused of inappropriate relationship with male student, 16,

(VT) Patricia Prue, 30 something,
neighbor - Gets life in prison for killing teacher,

(WA) Stephanie McCrea, 35,
teacher - Accused of sex with 15-year-old male student,

(WA) Darcy M. Smith, 41,
teacher - Accused of having sex with a former student,

(WI) Lindsey J. Quednow, 26,
teacher's aide - Guilty of sexual relationship with boy, 14,

(WI) Marissa N. Thompson, 20,
swim coach - Accused of sexual assault of a child by school staff member,

(WV) Shae Davis Wells, 40,
teacher - Arrested on drug charges.

Thanks to the tipsters.

Muslim "lone wolves"

I don't entirely agree with the above graphic.  It is true that there has been something of an epidemic of terrorist attacks from Muslims acting alone or nearly alone recently -- in the USA (e.g. Boston), Denmark, France, England, Canada and Australia.  But they hardly add up to an army.  There are many Muslim armies but their great enthusiasm is for attacking one-another, which is rather neat.

What is clear is that all the attacks have been carried out by losers -- men on the margins of society.  The only organized Muslim terrorist body was Al Qaeda and they were on the wane even before Osama bin Laden was eliminated.  Osama was certainly not living the high life when he was tracked down.  It's possible that the Islamic State might take up where Al Qaeda left off but it hasn't happened yet. And a big one dropped on Raqqa would shut them up for a long time.

Meanwhile. ISIS seems to have its uses.  Lots of Jihad-inclined young males from Muslim families in the West go there to join up and fight other Muslims, which is a big improvement on them attacking us. It seems to be a sort of fly-paper for attracting and trapping young Muslim misfits.

So it seems that all the recent attacks have been motivated by Jihad preaching but that Jihad preaching is overall a huge failure. Jihad motivation was only strong enough to move people to attack us who already had little to lose.  But one man with a firearm can do a lot of harm for a short while.  So it seems to me that we have strong reasons to stop such attacks even if they not systemically threatening.  Life will go on much as it otherwise would for 99% of the population despite the misdirected anger of a few misfits.

And although it is desperately "incorrect" to mention it, the killings by Muslims pale into insignificance compared with the plague of killings by blacks. If we want to stop killings, it is blacks who should have our priority attention.  But it's not going to happen, of course.  Jim Crow is dead and not likely to be resurrected in the near future.

So there is some point in the Leftist contention that Muslim attacks should be dealt with solely as a police matter.  Police deal with shootings all the time and the race or religion of the shooter doesn't matter much.

But I think we can do better than that. I think we should criminalize Jihad preaching.  Not all speech is free speech and there is already a precedent saying that incitement to violence is not covered by free speech protections.  So I think all we need to do is to formally classify Jihad preaching as incitement to violence -- which it largely is anyhow -- and put a few mullahs in prison.  Without the incitement, the attacks should at least diminish in frequency. Without the incitement, the losers would  probably just continue to bomb themselves out with drugs, which is mostly what they do already

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

Friday, February 27, 2015

Texas Woman Accused of Killing Boy, 3

Andrea Nichole Jennings

(Mansfield, Texas)
A 23-year-old Mansfield woman faces a capital murder charge in the death of a 3-year-old boy Wednesday night, police said Thursday.

Andrea Nichole Jennings was in the Mansfield jail Thursday night. Bail had not been set.
The apparently intentional death of a 3-year-old is more than ugly.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Michigan Teacher Guilty of Sex with Student - Update

Kathryn Ronk

(Madison Heights, Michigan) Kathryn Ronk pleaded guilty yesterday to third-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Sentencing is scheduled for March 17.

* * * * *

Michigan Teacher Accused of Sex with Student
[Previous 6/25/14 post]
(Madison Heights, Michigan) A 29-year-old Spanish and journalism teacher at Bishop Foley High School, Kathryn Ronk, has been accused of engaging in sex with a 15-year-old student.

Ronk has been charged with five counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, a felony.
Police said Ronk, a Spanish teacher, allegedly engaged in multiple sex acts with a student. She no longer teaches at Bishop Foley.

Ronk turned herself into police on Wednesday. She posted bail and was released, but required to wear a GPS tether.

Her preliminary exam is set for July 9.
Bishop Foley is a Catholic school.

Pennsylvania Babysitter Accused of Assault on Baby

Jessica Nichols

(Greensburg, Pennsylvania)
A western Pennsylvania baby sitter has been jailed on charges she shook and punched a 10-month-old she was watching last spring, leaving the girl unconscious.

Twenty-two-year-old Jessica Nichols, of Greensburg, was arraigned Monday on charges including aggravated assault and child endangerment stemming from the incident May 5.

That's when Nichols allegedly shook and punched little Scylla Connor after her mother, April Dittmar, asked Nichols to watch the child.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for tomorrow.

New article hailed as "proof" of climate change

It does support the notion that CO2 has some effect but how much?  The answer to that lies in the term "incredibly precise" below.  They had to use research instrumentation and methods that could detect incredibly small changes.  And that the effects of CO2 are incredibly small is just what skeptics have been saying!  The work vindicates skeptics, if anything.

Beware of the sentence below "This increase is about ten percent of the trend from all sources of infrared energy".  It does NOT say "This increase is about ten percent of all sources of infrared energy".  Ten percent of a TREND was a tiny amount.

So I am giving this study a big tick.  If I were in a critical mood I might mention that it critically involves the assumption that correlation is causation but I am inclined to be big-souled about that on this occasion

I add the journal abstract below

Scientists have witnessed carbon dioxide trapping heat in the atmosphere above the United States, showing human-made climate change 'in the wild' for the first time.

A new study in the journal Nature demonstrates in real-time field measurements what scientists already knew from basic physics, lab tests, numerous simulations, temperature records and dozens of other climatic indicators.

They say it confirms the science of climate change and the amount of heat-trapping previously blamed on carbon dioxide.  'We see, for the first time in the field, the amplification of the greenhouse effect because there's more CO2 in the atmosphere to absorb what the Earth emits in response to incoming solar radiation,' said Daniel Feldman, a scientist in Berkeley Lab's Earth Sciences Division and lead author of the Nature paper.

'Numerous studies show rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations, but our study provides the critical link between those concentrations and the addition of energy to the system, or the greenhouse effect,' Feldman adds.  He said no one before had quite looked in the atmosphere for this type of specific proof of climate change.

The scientists used incredibly precise spectroscopic instruments operated by the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility, a DOE Office of Science User Facility.

These instruments, located at ARM research sites in Oklahoma and Alaska, measure thermal infrared energy that travels down through the atmosphere to the surface.  They can detect the unique spectral signature of infrared energy from CO2.

Other instruments at the two locations detect the unique signatures of phenomena that can also emit infrared energy, such as clouds and water vapor.

The result is two time-series from two very different locations. Each series spans from 2000 to the end of 2010, and includes 3300 measurements from Alaska and 8300 measurements from Oklahoma obtained on a near-daily basis.

Both series showed the same trend: atmospheric CO2 emitted an increasing amount of infrared energy, to the tune of 0.2 Watts per square meter per decade. This increase is about ten percent of the trend from all sources of infrared energy such as clouds and water vapor.

Based on an analysis of data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s CarbonTracker system, the scientists linked this upswing in CO2-attributed radiative forcing to fossil fuel emissions and fires.

The measurements also enabled the scientists to detect, for the first time, the influence of photosynthesis on the balance of energy at the surface.

They found that CO2-attributed radiative forcing dipped in the spring as flourishing photosynthetic activity pulled more of the greenhouse gas from the air....

The study is good technical work, said climate scientist Andrew Dessler of Texas A&M University, but it is expected — sort of like confirming gravity with a falling rock.


Observational determination of surface radiative forcing by CO2 from 2000 to 2010

By D. R. Feldman et al.
The climatic impact of CO2 and other greenhouse gases is usually quantified in terms of radiative forcing1, calculated as the difference between estimates of the Earth’s radiation field from pre-industrial and present-day concentrations of these gases. Radiative transfer models calculate that the increase in CO2 since 1750 corresponds to a global annual-mean radiative forcing at the tropopause of 1.82 ± 0.19 W m−2 (ref. 2). However, despite widespread scientific discussion and modelling of the climate impacts of well-mixed greenhouse gases, there is little direct observational evidence of the radiative impact of increasing atmospheric CO2. Here we present observationally based evidence of clear-sky CO2 surface radiative forcing that is directly attributable to the increase, between 2000 and 2010, of 22 parts per million atmospheric CO2. The time series of this forcing at the two locations—the Southern Great Plains and the North Slope of Alaska—are derived from Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer spectra3 together with ancillary measurements and thoroughly corroborated radiative transfer calculations4. The time series both show statistically significant trends of 0.2 W m−2 per decade (with respective uncertainties of ±0.06 W m−2 per decade and ±0.07 W m−2 per decade) and have seasonal ranges of 0.1–0.2 W m−2. This is approximately ten per cent of the trend in downwelling longwave radiation5, 6, 7. These results confirm theoretical predictions of the atmospheric greenhouse effect due to anthropogenic emissions, and provide empirical evidence of how rising CO2 levels, mediated by temporal variations due to photosynthesis and respiration, are affecting the surface energy balance.


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

Gmail in Burma

(San Francisco, California)
Google said Wednesday that Gmail is now available in Burmese, marking the 74th language for the popular email service.

"As a country of 53 million, Myanmar's recent opening-up has triggered an explosion of people coming online," Google product manager Brian Kemler said in a blog post.

"As recently as 2011, a mere 500,000 Myanmar citizens were able to access the Internet, which was less than one percent of the population," he added.

He said the number of people in Myanmar who can get online has grown to 2.6 million, as the availability of mobile phones has increased.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Mystery Drones on France

Eiffel Tower

(Paris, France) Here's a report dated yesterday.
Drones have been spotted flying over Paris landmarks overnight, sparking a police investigation.

At least five drones were seen above the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Museum, as well as over the American Embassy and other sensitive locations.
I'd be concerned.

California Teacher Accused of Molesting Teenagers

Marilouise Hawks

(Merced County, California) Marilouise Hawks is a teacher formerly at Merced County Juvenile Hall.
Hawks, 64, has been charged with two misdemeanor counts of child molestation after accusations of inappropriate contact with two inmates, ages 16 and 17, at the Iris Garrett Juvenile Justice Correctional Complex, according to Steve Slocum, the supervising deputy district attorney who filed the case.

Slocum said the charges were the strongest available to prosecutors, based on the facts of the case and the California criminal code. If convicted, Hawks faces up to two years behind bars and will be required to register as a sex offender, Slocum confirmed.
According to prosecutors, the molestation occurred between September and October of last year.

New York Bank Manager Steals $1.4 Million

Maria Rodriguez

(Ossining, New York) A 46-year-old bank manager, Maria Rodriguez, has pleaded guilty to theft of more than $1.4 million from depositors.
Over the course of five years, Maria Rodriguez, the branch manager at the M&T Bank in Ossining, stole more than $1 million from one victim she had known since the mid-1990's and another $250,000-plus from a 92-year-old retired police officer.

Rodriguez pleaded guilty to one count of grand larceny in the first degree, one count of grand larceny in the second degree and one count of criminal tax fraud in the third degree.
Sentencing is scheduled for May 20.

More huffing and puffing about donations to skeptics by business

But no huffing and puffing about donations to Greenies by business?

Rep. Grijalva -- who has a long history with the Communist Party, USA.

Note that the NYT accusations which started this mini-witchhunt had zero in them that was new.  The same accusations were made almost word for word in 2011

A key Democratic lawmaker is seeking an expanded inquiry into whether fossil-fuel companies have been secretly underwriting the research of some of the country’s most prominent scientific skeptics of climate change.

Rep. Raul Grijalva (D- Ariz.), the ranking member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, sent requests to seven universities asking for detailed records on the funding sources for affiliated researchers who have opposed the scientific consensus on man-made global warming. Grijalva cited concerns over possible conflicts of interest involving scientists who have sought to influence the public debate on climate.

“Companies with a direct financial interest in climate and air-quality standards are funding environmental research that influences state and federal regulation and shapes public understanding of climate scientists,” Grijalva wrote in letters addressed to the presidents of the seven universities. He asked for copies of the scientists’ financial disclosure forms as well as information about the sources of research grants.

The move follows the release of documents that shed new light on extensive financial links between fossil-fuel interests and prominent skeptic Wei-Hock “Willie” Soon, a Cambridge, Mass., aerospace engineer. Soon’s loud dissents on mainstream climate science have made him the champion of global-warming skeptics in Congress and around the country.

Soon, who is affiliated with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, has for years promoted a controversial view that attributes recent warming not to carbon emissions but to fluctuations in solar intensity. But documents from his institute show that his research was underwritten almost entirely by fossil-fuel interests, including the Koch Foundation and the Southern Co. Soon did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Grijalva said Soon failed to properly disclose Big Oil’s support for his work when he testified to Congress and at the state legislature of Kansas — testimony that downplayed the seriousness of man-made climate change. “My colleagues and I cannot perform our duties if research or testimony provided to us is influenced by undisclosed financial relationships,” Grijalva wrote.

The letters were addressed to the presidents of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Georgia Tech, Pepperdine, Arizona State and the universities of Alabama, Colorado and Delaware. Each cited a single affiliated researcher at each institution who has appeared before Congress to question whether man-made carbon pollution is contributing to a dangerous warming of the Earth’s atmosphere. In the Senate, Massachusetts Democrat Ed Markey also called for an investigation, saying energy companies should disclose their support for climate research.

Smithsonian officials on Monday’s expressed concern over allegations that Soon failed to disclose sources of funding for his reseach. An internal investigation is underway, said a spokesman, adding that the institution “does not support” Soon’s climate conclusions.


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

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Naughty Teacher Compensation

(Seattle, Washington)
In Washington, public employees who commit a crime don't lose their taxpayer guaranteed retirements, and teachers can earn the right to a lifetime retirement after working for as little as five years.

KING 5 asked the state for a list of all the teachers who have had their Washington teaching license revoked and compared that list to a list of all the public employees receiving a pension.

The state has multiple retirement plans for teachers. Two of them would be considered a traditional pension plan, the third includes a private component. KING 5 only focused on the first two.

That led to a list of 22 teachers, most who had been convicted of crimes against children, who together have received about $5.1 million above their own retirement contributions, interest included as of the end of 2014.
Don't seem right, in my opinion.

France Sends Aircraft Carrier to Fight ISIS

French Aircraft Carrier Charles de Gaulle

(Paris, France)
France upped its military involvement in the fight against Isis on Monday by dispatching its aircraft carrier the Charles de Gaulle to the Gulf.

France deployed an aircraft carrier in the Gulf on Monday as part of the US-led military campaign against the Islamic State jihadist group in Iraq, a defence ministry official said.

"The integration of the Charles de Gaulle in the operation... (in Iraq) begins this morning," a member of Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian's staff told AFP as his entourage made its way to the carrier.
Named Operation Chammal, the French effort is in support of the US-led coalition against ISIS.

Notably, the Charles de Gaulle strike group includes an attack submarine, a French anti-aircraft frigate and an anti-submarine frigate.

US Marine Hassoun Sentenced for Desertion

Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun

Cpl. Wassef Hassoun has been sentenced to more than two years in the brig.
Hassoun, 35, was sentenced to 735 days of confinement in the brig, a dishonorable discharge from the Marine Corps, forfeiture of all pay and reduction to the rank of E-1 or private by Maj. Nicholas Martz.

Hassoun was found guilty of desertion with the intent to avoid hazardous duty from June 19 to July 8, 2004, while on duty at Camp Fallujah, Iraq, and desertion with the intent to remain away permanently when he fled to Lebanon in January 2005.
Hassoun served as an Arabic translator in the Marine Corps.

The final nail in the coffin of the NYT witchhunt against Dr. Willie Soon?

I was one of the earliest writers to respond to the NYT article by hack NYT journalist Justin Gillis in which astrophysicist Willie Soon was accused of writing for hire.  A quite amusing accusation when you realize that Gillis himself was doing exactly that.  As always, you just have to look at what Leftists say about conservatives to see what is true of Leftists  themselves.

An article just up on Anthony Watts' site does I think blow the whole nasty campaign out of the water.  It points out, as I have done, that the money allegedly coming from business to Soon was in fact paid to the Smithsonian so was in no way clandestine and was part of normal academic procedures.  Far from the money being "undeclared" income that the Smithsonian should look into it was in fact money given to the Smithsonian itself.  If they were to investigate anything they would be investigating themselves!

Unlike what I wrote, however, the latest post has dug up the actual contractual documents and posted photocopies on the web for all to see.

Perhaps  most amusing, however is the revelation about what "deliverables" meant.  Gillis found that word very sinister and implied that Soon had contracted to come to a certain conclusion in his writings.  The photocopies show what was really meant and it was in fact perfectly routine and innocuous. See below.

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

Texas Woman Fugitive at Large

(Webb County, Texas) A 25-year-old former mental health counselor at the Border Regional Behavioral Health Center, Iris Iliana Rodriguez, has been accused of sexually molesting a 13-year-old girl.

Rodriguez is on the run and has been added to the Texas 10 Most Wanted Fugitives List. She is wanted on charges of indecency with a child, harassment and unlawful restraint.

Texas Crime Stoppers offers a cash reward that leads to the arrest of one of the Texas 10 Most Wanted.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Michigan Woman Jailed for Naughty Stunt

Holly Taracee Laballister

(Livingston County, Michigan) A 39-year-old Oceola Township woman, Holly Taracee Laballister, has pleaded guilty to posting another woman's contact details on a Web site where she advertised the victim was in search of casual sex.

Laballister pleaded guilty to three counts each of making illegal posts on Craigslist, leading to lewd and offensive telephone calls. Laballister was sentenced to 30 days in jail.
The accused told the judge that she had no excuse for her behavior, conceding she was wrong in attacking the character and integrity of the victim and herself.

She sought clemency, saying she is in the middle of an attempt to change her life for the better.

Her pleas fell on deaf ears with Judge Miriam Cavanaugh, acknowledging that the accused "was in a different place now," but she zeroed in on the defendant's criminal history, which includes three misdemeanor convictions and a felony conviction.
Laballister will also serve two years of probation.

Carolina Woman Accused of Sex with Boy, 15

Lisa Marine Fry

(Lancaster County, South Carolina) A 33-year-old volunteer with Lancaster County Parks and Recreation, Lisa Marine Fry, has been accused of criminal sexual conduct with a 15-year-old boy.
In January, the boy's parents began to suspect Fry was having a relationship with their son. They also discovered he was communicating with Fry via text messaging.

Fry's husband also suspected his wife was "involved in an inappropriate relationship," the report states.

Police documents allege Fry had sex with the minor as many as three times, dating back to Dec. 9. The boy said Fry called him over to eat breakfast. He was late to school and had to sign in.
Fry is currently in jail at the Lancaster County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing.

Massachusetts Democrat Senator goes "ad hominem"

Senator Edward J. Markey has jumped on the bandwagon set in motion by the recent NYT article about Dr Willie Soon.  He's got nothing intelligent to say about climate change so is attacking those who do.  But a debate about persons tells us nothing about the truth or falsehood of what those persons say.  The test of truth its agreement with reality and 18 years of global temperature stasis is a reality that heavily favors the skeptics, not the Warmists.

The fact is that a small minority of skeptics do receive some funding from business.   But pro-Warming organizatons receive much larger sums from business.  For instance early in this century Exxon gave Stanford $100 million and BP gave Princeton $20 million.  So why is funding from business wrong when it goes to skeptics but right when it goes to the Green/Left?  There is no intelligent answer to that question.  It is just tribalism at work

Senator Edward J. Markey is calling on coal and oil companies to reveal whether they are funding scientific climate change studies after his staff reviewed newly obtained documents illuminating the relationship between a researcher for a Cambridge-based institution and energy interests.

The Massachusetts Democrat will send letters to fossil fuel companies, trade organizations, and others with a stake in carbon fuels, aiming to reveal other climate-change-skeptical scientists whose work has been subsidized by those parties, a Markey spokesman said via e-mail.

“For years, fossil fuel interests and front groups have attacked climate scientists and legislation to cut carbon pollution using junk science and debunked arguments,” Markey said in a statement. “The American public deserve an honest debate that isn’t polluted by the best junk science fossil fuel interests can buy. That’s why I will be launching this investigation to see how widespread this denial-for-hire scheme stretches within the anti-climate action cabal.”

The documents reviewed by Markey’s staff were obtained by Greenpeace, the environmental group, through the Freedom of Information Act. They show a relationship between Dr. Willie Soon, a solar researcher at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and several fossil fuel companies who’ve funded his research on climate change. The Cambridge-based center is a joint project of Harvard University and the Smithsonian Institution, though Soon is employed by the Smithsonian side. The center has previously said that Soon’s views are his alone and not reflective of the institution.

In 2013, the Boston Globe profiled Soon, who has spent much of the past decade studying the sun’s effect on climate change and downplaying the role of carbon emissions. Some climate scientists and environmental groups have questioned the scientific basis of his work.

Willie Soon, a Harvard-Smithsonian Center astrophysicist, has established himself as a front-line combatant in the partisan crossfire over the climate.

Since 2001, Soon has received more than $1 million in grants from the ExxonMobil Foundation, Southern Company, the Texaco Foundation, the American Petroleum Institute, and other organizations either affiliated with fossil fuel companies or active in undermining carbon’s role in climate change, according to documents that have been previously reported. Soon also is affiliated with the Heartland Institute, a conservative think tank known for its conferences on climate change skepticism.


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

Dubai Torch Tower Catches Fire

Dubai Marina Torch Tower

(United Arab Emirates)
A massive blaze has engulfed the ‘Marina Torch’ skyscraper in Dubai, forcing hundreds of people to flee the 336-meter-high tower – one of the tallest residential buildings in the world.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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