Monday, May 23, 2005

Perversion in the Panhandle

Thanks to a miracle, an 8 year old girl is alive today despite the heinous crime committed against her by a 17 year old juvenile who had been staying at the same house. This young monster, I mean young man, brutally raped a little girl, then stuffed her into a garage can, filled it with pieces of rock and concrete rubble and buried her alive in a former landfill near where they lived. When the guy came home in a disheveled condition and reported that 5 attackers in a station wagon had abducted the child an Amber Alert was issued. Later under questioning, his story fell apart.

The little girl had frequently stayed with her godmother on weekends when her mother worked. The details are sketchy as of yet, but apparently her attacker, Millagro Cunningham, aged 17, also stayed with the godmother. When the godmother was questioned about the alleged rapist/attempted murder she had this to say "He was a good person. He would clean and do chores, laugh and play jokes and stuff. We never thought he would do something like that," Holloman said. "The only reason I can think he went crazy like this is his father died and his mother didn't want him. Nobody wanted him."

The godmother is already gearing up for TV defense attorney! Good heavens..the reason he raped and buried an 8 year old alive is that NOBODY WANTED HIM? I assume his godmother at least wanted him, or he wouldn't have been living with her. He seemed well enough to live unfettered in her home, with her children, and to laugh and play jokes! I am getting sick and tired of this excuse for EVIL. Lets call it what it is, and hope that this "young man" gets the trial and punishment he deserves. This little girl will never be able to undo or forget the wrong that has been done against her.

Now I am assuming, that if the American public hasn't already grown tired of it's weekly series entitled "Perversion in the Panhandle", that a lot more information will be forthcoming, but I have to ask what in the name of the Almighty is going on in Florida? Is it the heat? Too much Viagra in the water? Let us hope that the Jessica Lundsford Act is used successfully in this case. One could wish for the death penalty, but 25 years and a permanent ankle bracelet is a start.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

High School Student Plans Hardcore Cancer Concert

Click on the Title above to check out this amazingly positive story about a Frederick, Maryland high school junior who used his assigned graduation project to raise money for breast cancer treatment in an interesting way!

Freakonomists Blog Discusses Abortion

I am encouraging everyone to move over to and read the discussion called Abortion and crime: who should you believe? Where bestselling "freakonomists" Steven Levitt, and Stephen Dubner discuss their theory that abortion reduces the crime rate. As a person who respects all people, I am opposed to abortion as a form of social engineering. I have written one comment on the blog to this effect and gotten the expected boilerplate liberal responses.

Still, it is an interesting discussion, and the premise itself points out how statistics can be made to show anything you want them to. Certainly the appearance of correlation does not mean that true correlation necessarily exists. Click on over there, read some of the discussion, especially the comments...then come back here and comment.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Wendy's Finger Ungloved

The Wendy's Chili finger belonged to a co-worker of Anna Ayala's husband who lost it in an industrial accident last December. Disgusting!!!!

Covering All The Bases?

Pentagon urges closing 33 major U.S. military bases
By Will Dunham

The Pentagon on Friday recommended the closure of 33 major domestic U.S. military bases and the realignment of 29 more, threatening a hard economic blow to many communities across the United States.
"Our current arrangements, designed for the Cold War, must give way to the new demands of the war against extremism and other evolving 21st century challenges," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in a statement.
Numerous other smaller facilities also were recommended for closing as Rumsfeld gave a nine-member Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission his recommendations to shut about one in 10 of the 318 major bases in the United States and its territories.
Prominent bases recommended for closure on the list included: Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine; Fort McPherson in Georgia; Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota; Naval Station Pascagoula in Mississippi; and Fort Monmouth in New Jersey. Others included Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico, and Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut.
The head of the commission earlier this month acknowledged the big impact, saying there "will be tsunamis in the communities they hit." Many communities mounted frantic lobbying efforts to try to save their local bases.
Mike Wynne, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, said the Pentagon recommended closing or realigning a 775 other smaller military locations.
Rumsfeld did not participate in the briefing.
The Pentagon said its recommendations would result in $5.5 billion in recurring annual savings and a net savings of $48.8 billion over 20 years.
Total defense savings, combined with those anticipated by realigning U.S. forces worldwide, would be $6.7 billion a year and $64.2 billion after costs over 20 years, the Pentagon said.
Wynne said the process of actually closing the bases would cost about $24 billion.
Coinciding with the domestic base-closing process, the Pentagon is working on plans to shift roughly 70,000 troops stationed abroad, primarily in Europe but also from South Korea, back to domestic U.S. bases.
At the same time, the United States has a major commitment of combat forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Of the 33 major bases to be closed, the Army would have the largest number at 14, followed by 10 for the Air Force and nine for the Navy. But facilities for the Army's foot soldiers would grow at 18 of its bases compared to growth at 14 each for the Air Force and Navy.
The commission will evaluate Rumsfeld's plan and make possible additions or subtractions. Their list, in turn, will be sent to Bush by Sept. 8. If he accepts that plan, he would forward the list to Congress, which can approve or reject it entirely but not make changes.
The previous four rounds of domestic base closings, in 1988, 1991, 1993 and 1995, resulted in the closure of 97 major facilities and many more closures and consolidations of smaller bases. None of the prior rounds involved closing more than 28 major bases. White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Bush's focus was on the affected communities. "We want to make sure that they have the assistance they need to transition once these decisions become final," McClellan said.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Common Sense Just Flew Out The Window

It seems in the land of the free and the home of the not so intelligent (oops, I mean brave), that common sense has flown out the window. Kevin Francois, a high school junior, broke an inviolable school rule at Spencer High School, in Columbus, Georgia and committed the grievous sin of taking a call during his lunch break from his mother, Sgt. 1st Class Monique Bates, who left in January for a one-year tour with the 203rd Forward Support Battalion. It seems that Kevin answered a phone call from his mother, who had to struggle to find a phone on which to call him.

A teacher, doing his duty, saw Kevin talking on his cell phone and confiscated it from him. Here is where common sense flew away. Said teacher, when presented with Kevin’s' understandable wail of protest did not THINK. A THINKING person might have been understandably taken aback at Kevin’s' behavior, but still let the following syllables penetrate his cranium and reach the gray matter.... "It's my mother, calling from Iraq."

At this point, said SENSIBLE teacher would, instead of taking the phone and hanging it up, have asked the person on the phone who she was, and verified that yes, she was who Kevin said she was. Said SENSIBLE teacher might then have either stood there allowing him to finish the conversation, or given Mom the number of the school office, where Kevin could then have finished his call out of view of his fellow students. BUT NOOOO, not our intrepid educator, and upholder of unbendable rules.

No phone calls whatsoever...that are what the person charged with helping our young people THINK said. What an example! It's hard to express the emotions that I feel while envisioning this scene. There are just some circumstances, oh brilliant and learned teacher, where you must THINK, and use JUDGEMENT, and perhaps BEND the rules a bit.

How about this one? I AM MAKING THIS UP AS AN EXAMPLE. Kevin is in the hallway and gets a call from his fictitious sister. Fictitious Sister, FS for short has been abducted and is now in the trunk of a car speeding to certain doom, but the kids have cell phones, and in the dark she punches the last number she has dialed, her brother's. FS is in the middle of her cry for help when....the guardian of SCHOOL RULES grabs the phone and says "sorry Kevin, no calls, no reason, no way". Kevin screams, but it's my sister, she's been kidnapped and is locked in a trunk and needs help, whereupon the teacher know the rules, Kevin, and lower your voice buddy or it's suspension till year end for you!

After all, it's not the particular set of circumstances that determine the judgment of blind rule followers, but blind adherence to the rules, NO MATTER WHAT!!!!! Oh well, FS is just out of luck on this one, as poor upset Kevin is hauled into the office.

You must understand here, I am not saying that people should always bend the rules, and for reasons that are not important, but that is where judgment comes in. Judgment and discernment are desirable qualities that intelligent and educated humans are supposed to have. Perhaps this doesn't always apply to educators, such as the principal who reduced Kevin's suspension to 10 days because he didn't want to cause undue hardship. Give me a break here. In all fairness, Kevin should have been returned to class, and the teacher and principal suspended without pay till the end of the year. But then that result would require thought and judgment.

Quote of the Day

"Cultural trends minimize parents, especially fathers, as ignorant rubes while elevating children as intellectually superior, and surely far cooler. Underpinning these trends is the governing assumption that parents are not competent to raise their own children. Granted there are plenty of bad parents out there -- many of them sitting in corporate board rooms and legislative bodies -- but most parents have their children's best interests at heart. They also know that abortion, more than a surgical procedure, is an emotional, often life-altering process that doesn't end when you cross a state line. Mothers and fathers may be disagreeable at times, but a pregnant girl needs her parents more than she needs a special-interest group or a politician or a lousy boyfriend -- none of whom love her as much."
--Kathleen Parker

Monday, May 02, 2005

The Runaway Bride

Jennifer Wilbanks, 32 decided to do the unthinkable (well maybe some of us have thought of it) and hop on a bus to escape the coming wedding fest, which was one of gargantuan proportions. Everyone has focused on Jennifer, her deer caught in the headlights appearance in photographs, the fact that she was not a "mere slip of a girl" and should have known better, and the colossal waste of time and resources she caused by necessitating a manhunt for an abducted young woman.

And then there was the groom-to-be, how could she humiliate him like that? Why didn't she talk to someone, anything to avoid a stunt even Lucille Ball would never have pulled on I Love Lucy? (I used to get embarrassed just watching that show). Why I even heard an unknown Dr. Ruth like radio shrink pontificating on a radio news broadcast the yesterday regarding the fact that weddings can be so very stressful but that poor Mr. Mason can hardly be expected ever to reconcile with Ms. Wilbanks because she is likely to break under any stressful situation in the future, and that is hardly a recipe for a successful marriage.

I have a different take on all this. What kind of life had Jennifer or any woman led, to persuade her that this was the way out of this situation? How had she been raised? Had she never been able to confide in anyone? Was secretiveness part of her family culture? Was doing her duty to carry on with a society wedding and not shame the family so important that she would go to the extreme lengths to fake her own kidnapping to get out of it? Think about it...two prominent families, pressure for the union, look at how people turned on her as soon as it was confirmed that she was unharmed?

How do we know that Jennifer had not discovered that Mr. Mason was not the Prince Charming that he appeared to be? The answer is we don’t. Perhaps his family is so well connected that she could not have broken off the wedding at a late date without (in her thinking) shame to her and her family. Perhaps something had come to light that was so terrible in her mind, at least, that she had to go to desperate means to put a stop to the wedding. Perhaps she couldn't confide in anyone. This story has all the makings of a Dickensian tragedy, and I bet we have not heard the last of it.

Surely a 32 year old woman must have had some foresight to know that her escape plan would not have worked indefinitely. Perhaps there is a family situation which needs attention. Perhaps the husband to be is not the wonderful guy he has been made out to be. We don't know anything for certain nor is it really any of our business, but there is certainly more to this situation than meets the eye, and the knee jerk analysis of those who think they know the family dynamics from the outside looking in are fooling themselves.

Anyone who would draw national attention to herself in this way with a half hearted attempt at escape doomed to failure must of course have "issues". The fortunate piece of all this is that, no matter how inconvenient for everyone, no matter that 600 guests missed the "big party", a young woman is not starting out in a marriage that for whatever reason, was doomed to fail from the beginning. That would have been the worse tragedy for the couple, and perhaps for the children they may have brought into the world.