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Archive for August 8th, 2010

Ohio laws don’t cover case of fake boy seducing girls

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Patricia Dye and her public defender at arraignment in Juvenile Court

Warren County prosecutors searching Ohio law for felonies to file against Patricia Dye found a charge for rapists who pretend to be someone’s husband to lure their victims.

But the search failed to find any felony fitting the unique facts in the case of the 31-year-old Franklin woman accused of pretending to be a boy named Matt to help build sexual relationships with teenage girls in Springboro and Middletown…

To the chagrin of some observers around the country, Dye faces no prison — and no more than nine months in the county jail if convicted — as a result of the misdemeanor indictments against her.

Tracey Steele, director of Wright State University’s Criminal Justice program, said cases involving women pretending to be boys to lure girls into sexual relationships are “virtually nonexistent.”

“There’s no doubt we’re as unhappy as anyone out there that there isn’t a more high-level crime,” Nolan said.

Matt Nolan said prosecutors also were stifled by the absence of Ohio law making it a crime to pretend to be a different gender to pursue sexual relationships.

Amazing!

RTFA for some of the stuff that won’t surprise you. Shock and cultural whoop-de-doo over the reality of transgender and homosexual relationships. Face it – some of America won’t get out of the 19th Century until somewhere around the 24th Century.

But, I have to chuckle over a state that has at least as many archaic attitudes as any bible belt border state and never even got round to thinking this one up – as a problem.

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Written by Ed Campbell

August 8, 2010 at 10:00 pm

Open warfare between Mexican police factions

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Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

Hundreds of Mexican federal police officers from two opposing groups clashed in Ciudad Juarez over the weekend over allegations of corruption within their ranks.

On Saturday, a three-day protest turned into a riot between two opposing groups of the federal police department. The confrontation was triggered by corruption allegations against federal police Cmdr. Salomon Alarcon Romero. Alarcon’s critics say the commander has participated in kidnappings, killings and extortion in Juarez, which borders U.S. city El Paso, Texas.

The protest started Thursday after the arrest of an officer who critics say was falsely accused for drug crimes, the state-run news agency Notimex reported.

Local media said about 200 heavily armed officers — some wearing ski masks — demonstrated in front of the La Playa hotel, which houses some federal police offices. The group denounced Alarcon and other commanders as corrupt, while calling for a full investigation by the Mexican military into Alarcon’s alleged ties with drug traffickers. More than 100 supporters of Alarcon pushed back against the accusers, defending their commanders and deflecting misconduct allegations.

Several police officers suffered injuries during the protest, according to Notimex. Alarcon fled in an armored car…

The mayor has said in the past that a major contributor to the problems in Juarez has to do with Mexico’s judicial system…Many suspects who are arrested are never charged, Juarez Mayor Jose Reyes Ferriz said.

“It’s just catch and release,” Ferriz said.

Ferriz is a very brave man. I think he sleeps in a bulletproof vest.

Folks I know in Ciudad Juarez hope he lives long enough to clean up the corruption in their city.

Written by Ed Campbell

August 8, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Cameron flip-flops on cutting-off milk for schoolkids so fast his ministers can’t catch up!

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Please, please, tell him to let go of my cojones, now!
Daylife/Getty Images used by permission

Coalition plans to remove free milk for the under-fives were summarily dropped by David Cameron today amid fears it would remind voters of the “Thatcher milk snatcher” episode of the 1970s.

Cameron moved so quickly that David Willetts, the higher education minister, was on live television defending the idea of removing free milk when the prime minister announced the U-turn, leaving broadcasters to tell Willetts of the change.

The idea of removing free milk had been the brainchild of the junior health minister, Anne Milton, who today received the full backing of both the prime minister and the health secretary. The government expected opposition to the measure from the media, parents, nurseries, childminders and the dairy sector…

However, she added: “This should not prevent us from ending an ineffective universal measure – and this would clearly be the best time to do it, given the state of public finances and the need to make savings…”

But even as the minister spoke, Downing Street was making clear to reporters that the idea would not be going ahead.

When this information was conveyed to Willetts on-screen, he replied: “We have to look at a whole range of options. Of course they have to be looked at on their merits.”

He added: “We have an endless process of assessing options. Of course, it is inevitable that if you go through those decisions some options go ahead and others don’t. That is how decisions are taken.”

Couldn’t find any video, yet, of Willett changing horses in mid-stream. Should be hilarious.

Written by Ed Campbell

August 8, 2010 at 3:00 pm

“I appeal to the world to help us!”

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PAKISTAN — Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Sunday said that the flood had caused losses worth billions of rupees and it was not possible to estimate the exact damages caused by the floodwaters at this time.

The premier, who was in Sukkar to review the flood situation, said that the government’s first priority was to save the lives of flood-hit victims. We have to combine our efforts in the relief and rehabilitation process, he added.

Millions of people have suffered and still there is more rain and further losses are feared. I appeal to the world to help us, we are doing what we can,” Gilani told reporters, as he urged those threatened by the “unprecedented” floods to move to safer spots…

While talking to the media in Sukkar, Gilani said that the damages caused by the floods exceeded the destruction caused by the earthquake that hit Pakistan in 2005.

14 million people are dislocated. The official death toll has reached 1700 and hundreds more are missing and possibly dead. Whatever charity you may support that provides aid to South Asia – this is the time to give.

Written by Ed Campbell

August 8, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Posted in Earth, Health

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Republican Party opts for anti-Mexican bigotry

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Pimps for populism
Daylife/Getty Images used by permission

At a breakfast on Thursday in Washington, Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, tried to tamp down a controversy that started when Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, questioned the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which grants the right to citizenship to anyone born in the United States.

“I am not aware of anybody who has come out in favor of altering the 14th Amendment,” Mr. McConnell said.

But Mr. Graham, speaking on Fox News last week, said it was “a mistake” to allow American-born children of illegal immigrants to become citizens automatically, a practice known as birthright citizenship. He said that along with a plan to grant legal status to millions of illegal immigrants, he would also amend the 14th Amendment as a way of discouraging future unauthorized immigration…

The proposal caught Republican and Democratic lawmakers by surprise, not least because it came from Mr. Graham, who earlier this year was the leading — and almost the only — Republican negotiating with Democrats to create an immigration overhaul bill. Mr. Graham gave new prominence to an issue that has long been a favorite of conservatives advocating reduced immigration, but has been peripheral to the immigration debate in Congress…

The amendment was adopted in 1868 to ensure the citizenship of the American-born children of freed slaves…

But giving citizenship to everyone born in the United States has been the practice since the 1860s, and was upheld by the Supreme Court on the few occasions when it was tested there, immigration lawyers said. A change to the law to disallow the children of illegal immigrants would vastly increase the undocumented population, lawyers said, rather than reducing it. Babies born to Mexican mothers here illegally, for example, would become illegal Mexican immigrants from the moment of birth…

As usual – the party of death panels has it wrong. Immigration law requires so-called anchor babies to be 21 before they can even apply for legal residency for their parents. A longer wait than even the stalled-out bureaucratic miasma masquerading as current procedure.

But some Republicans worried that the issue could backfire. “This type of position may help you win a few elections,” said Alfonso Aguilar, executive director of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, a group that tries to draw Latinos to the Republican Party. “But you are damaging relations with the Latino community.”

Of course. The Republican tradition of opportunism in the face of challenging questions remains intact. A bit of sophistry shared often and equally with their Democrat counterparts – but, not as often on questions so blatantly couched in right-wing bigotry.

There is no chance of this revisionist demagoguery coming to pass. Whether or not that sinks into the brains of an American electorate frustrated by an economic collapse unmatched since the Great Depression – and a national tradition of populist hypocrisy – remains to be seen.

Written by Ed Campbell

August 8, 2010 at 9:00 am

Fareed Zakaria’s letter to the Anti-Defamation League

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Five years ago, the ADL honored me with its Hubert Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize. I was delighted and moved to have been chosen for it in good measure because of the high esteem in which I hold the ADL. I have always been impressed by the fact that your mission is broad – “to put an end forever to unjust and unfair discrimination against and ridicule of any sect or body of citizens” – and you have interpreted it broadly over the decades. You have fought discrimination against all religions, races, and creeds and have built a well-deserved reputation.

That is why I was stunned at your decision to publicly side with those urging the relocation of the planned Islamic center in lower Manhattan. You are choosing to use your immense prestige to take a side that is utterly opposed to the animating purpose of your organization. Your own statements subsequently, asserting that we must honor the feelings of victims even if irrational or bigoted, made matters worse.

This is not the place to debate the press release or your statements. Many have done this and I have written about it in Newsweek and on my television show – both of which will be out over the weekend. The purpose of this letter is more straightforward. I cannot in good conscience hold onto the award or the honorarium that came with it and am returning both. I hope that it might add to the many voices that have urged you to reconsider and reverse your position on this issue. This decision will haunt the ADL for years if not decades to come. Whether or not the center is built, what is at stake here is the integrity of the ADL and its fidelity to its mission. Admitting an error is a small price to pay to regain your reputation.

The ADL decided years ago that the central task of their mission was to advance the foreign and domestic policies of the state of Israel – completely aside from their original charter. They adopted the stance that any opposition to the policies of Israel was automatically “anti-Semitism”.

One man standing up for the principles once bravely embraced by an organization that has become just another club for political flunkies.

Bravo, Fareed.

Written by Ed Campbell

August 8, 2010 at 6:00 am

Darwin Award – Finnish style

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Ladyzhensky and Kaukonen

The annual World Sauna Championships in Finland have ended in tragedy with the death of one of the finalists.

Russian finalist Vladimir Ladyzhensky and Finnish rival Timo Kaukonen were both taken to hospital after collapsing and Mr Ladyzhensky later died

Its chief organiser, Ossi Arvela, said all the rules of the event had been followed… Well, it’s OK, then.

He said: “All the rules were followed and there was enough first aid personnel. All the competitors needed to sign in to the competition with a doctor’s certificate.”

Mr Kaukonen, who was last year’s champion, is being treated in hospital at the city of Lahti.

The event, which has been running since 1999, requires participants to withstand 110ºC for as long as possible.

Dry-roasted contestant.

Written by Ed Campbell

August 8, 2010 at 2:00 am

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