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1. INCOME TAXES: Inefficient, intrusive, encourages
fraud. A national sales tax would be a much better alternative (per
Texas Senator Phil Gramm). Abolishing the IRS would save much money, and be better for our
citizens. The sales tax could be structured to raise sufficient revenue, and be
fair to all, without the idiotic requirement of filing tax returns. Think of the
costs associated with the many hours to fill out forms, and the need for
accountants and attorneys. Nothing is produced, just a big waste of money.
Necessities (as food) could have little or no tax, to help the poor. Luxuries
could have a higher tax rate. States could use sales tax also, without income
The income tax laws are "so complex that even the Internal Revenue Service
thinks it has gotten out of hand. ... Complexity is the number one problem
facing taxpayers .... the fact remains that the Internal Revenue Code is riddled
with complexities that often defy explanation. And it is likely to get worse
before it gets better." (L. A. Times, 3/11/01, C1) ..... There have been
about three dozen significant tax bills in the past 50 years, resulting in mass
confusion. (USN&WR, 3/25/02, 28)
"Zacky Farms President Robert Zacky said his family agreed to sell its
chicken business, founded 72 years ago, to pay off inheritance taxes his family
would soon owe after death of his brother Al. 'It was a very tough decision,'
Zacky said. 'It has been a way of life for us. But we knew we'd have to pay
those taxes shortly.'" (LAT, 4/4/01, C1) [Death taxes can destroy a family
The IRS computerized matching system is catching fewer cheats than 10 years
ago, possibly due to a 30% staff reduction. The program red-flagged 14.1 million
returns in 1998, versus 11.6 million in 1995 (21.6% increase). However, the
number screened in 1998 (2.5 million) decreased 24% from 1995. In-person audits
fell 36% from 1999 to 2000; correspondence audits dropped 48%. Both audit rates
are more than 68% below their levels of the mid-1990s. Only 19 in 10,000 faced
an in-person audit last year (2000), the lowest level on record. (LAT, 4/5/01,
A1) IRS: 800-829-1040 irs.ustreas.gov
CA FTB: 800-852-5711 ftb.ca.gov
The alternate minimum tax (AMT) was designed to ensure the very rich pay some
taxes. If you exercise incentive stock options, you pay tax (about 26+%) on the
profit, even without selling the stock. Last year many saw their stock drop 90%
in value. By not selling their stock before the price plummeted, some
middle income people now have huge tax bills on profits they never
realized, and no way to pay the taxes. One congressional staffer said,
"This is not the most politically compelling story." (LAT, 4/13/01,
It now takes a taxpayer more than 27 hours to make out his income tax return,
up from 18 hours in 1988. About 77 million individual returns are filed. At
$15/hour, that is more than $31 BILLION in lost
productivity. That excludes the
cost of professional preparation, the IRS bureaucracy, and legal costs for
In 1999, the top 1% (highest income) paid 36.2% of all income taxes (25,2% in
1989). The top 5% paid 55.5% (43.9% in 1989). The bottom 50% paid 4.0% (5.8% in
1989). (OCR, 4/9/02, Business 4) ..... The IRS mistakenly paid out more than $30
million in 2000 and 2001 for nonexistent slavery
(OCR, 4/14/02, News 16)
2. GOVERNMENT: Government is needed to prevent anarchy and to
provide certain legitimate services, which are subject to debate. A government
that governs least governs best. That still applies, despite the effort of some
to have government control our lives from cradle to grave. We should have
maximum freedom from government intrusion into our lives. This puts more
responsibility upon us, but what price freedom? To keep government small, we
must strictly limit the available money. That is about the only way to keep
government from continually interfering in our lives. (2/26/01)
The White House comment
line (business hours eastern time) 202-456-1111 allows you to voice your
opinions and concerns. (2/11/07)
NEW LONDON, CT, (6/23/05, NY Times) - The U.S. Supreme Court, in their
5-to-4 decision, Kelo v. New London, allows the city redevelopment authority to
condemn the old waterfront neighborhood so a private developer can put office
and apartment buildings in their place. "The court has just told
homeowners that the government can take their house for someone who pays more in
taxes." The Institute for Justice says there are thousands of similar
disputes around the nation, although many involve a local government's
designation of an area as "blighted" - not an issue in New London -
under laws dating to the 1950's and 60's when slums were cleared wholesale. Nine
state supreme courts, including those in Illinois, Michigan and Washington, have
forbidden the use of eminent domain simply to bring in more revenue and jobs.
New York's highest court, the Court of Appeals, has allowed such condemnations.
The New Jersey courts have not ruled on the issue, although a trial court in
1999 barred the state Casino Reinvestment Development Authority's plan to take a
house, a small Italian restaurant and a pawnshop to allow the Trump Plaza casino
to expand. Michigan was among the first states to encourage the use of eminent
domain to promote economic development. In a 1981 decision, the Michigan Supreme
Court allowed the City of Detroit to condemn 1,400 houses and 140 business to
make way for a General Motors plant. In doing so, it encouraged the use of
eminent domain for economic development all over the country. Then, last August,
the court reversed the legal rationale behind that decision.
When Social Security was
enacted in 1935, FDR promised that your SSN would never become an ID
number. (OCR, 4/13/05, Local 8)
Anti-housing-bias agency shakes down landlords for large settlements.
The Orange County Register, Editorial, Sunday, May 3, 2009. There's something disturbingly totalitarian about the Fair Housing Council of
Orange County, a nonprofit organization that polices housing
"discrimination" in the county and shakes down local landlords for
large settlements. The Register's Brian Joseph reported on a particularly
disturbing case that should not only alarm Orange County residents, but should
lead to reform in the way anti-housing-discrimination laws are enforced.
In 2006, Newport Beach resident Dan Bader placed an innocuous ad in
Craigslist, seeking a tenant for a 480-square-foot room in his house. He
wrote, "Well suited for professional adults" and "Perfect for 1
or 2 professionals." Any normal person would see that for what it is: a
realistic description of a small room. But the housing council, which
proclaims its mission as "fostering diversity in housing," saw
ominous motives. Officials viewed the ad as a form of discrimination against
people with children and filed a complaint with the state Department of Fair
Employment and Housing. With such actions, we'll definitely see less diversity
in housing as fewer people are willing to subject themselves to these
Orwellian anti-discrimination enforcers.
Mr. Bader was forced to attend a hearing in Los Angeles and told that the
complaint would be dropped if he paid $4,000 in fines and agreed to take five
years' worth of re-education classes at $250 a pop even though the state
ruled that he does not discriminate. The four grand would go to the Fair
Housing Council, which funds its operations in part from fines assessed from
the people the agency targets. This is a blatant conflict of interest, an
unethical system that merges enforcement with profiteering.
Even though Mr. Bader was declared innocent of any "crime," he
still was asked to pay up and go to classes. What a scam. To his credit, Mr.
Bader did not want to be blackmailed, and he chose to fight, leading to a
two-year battle. Sure, the state ultimately dropped the suit after the housing
council retracted its complaint not out of any obvious decency, but
because the council was happy that Mr. Bader was being forced to pay its
attorney fees. The council gets its money, which is all this seems to be
about. Meanwhile, Mr. Bader owes a total of about $44,000 in fees to his own
attorney and to this council for a frivolous charge.
No one likes housing discrimination, but societal norms go a lot further in
halting such things than self-interested "nonprofits" that benefit
from the pain and suffering they cause to decent people. It's ironic that the
council justifies these actions as a way to protect people, but who is going
to protect the public from these predators? State legislation is needed to
keep housing councils from profiting from their enforcement actions. This
isn't much different from the rules that restrict, say, private red-light
camera operators from profiting when the number of red-light violations
increase. Is there anyone in the Orange County delegation with the gumption to
propose any limits?
Daniel Bader states that a family
with two children under the age of 12 were his tenants when he posted an
ad on Craigslist stating the adjoining unit behind his Newport Beach place would
be "well suited for professional adults."
3. TAXES: Taxes are required to finance government services.
Unfortunately, government uses our money (taxes) to control our
Government give our money to those that do certain things. These are called tax
incentives. However, it simply is a way to force us to do what government
or not get some of our own money back. This occurs on all levels of government,
and I will not bore you with specific examples. ..... "The patchwork of
income tax rules serves many goals other than its expressed purpose of supplying
money to help run the federal government, Over the years, politicians and
special interest groups have used the tax code as a tool for social justice and
to target economic benefits to families, investors, home buyers, and
others." (USN&WR, 3/25/02, 28) ..... "Democrats and Republicans
alike are too eager to use the tax breaks to advance various social, economic
and political agendas. The resulting tax code is so confusing, complex and
contradictory that it costs taxpayers (in accounting fees and the value of their
time) about $100 billion annually to complete their returns." (USN&WR,
WASHINGTON (4/14/05, AP) - Americans spend 6.6
billion hours to do their income taxes. The basic tax return - the Form
1040 filed by most people every year - accounts for 1.6 billion hours. The
Internal Revenue Service furnished those statistics to the White House budget
office, which keeps tabs on the government's bureaucratic demands. The budget
office notes that tax work "towers over the entire paperwork burden for the
rest of the federal government" and accounts for some 80 percent. "If
anything, those numbers are probably understated," said David Keating,
president of the National Taxpayers Union, which reports annually on the
increasing complexity and demands of tax returns. "A lot more of the cost
is just planning to do the tax-smart thing. That can actually take a lot more
time than reporting what you've done," he said.For individuals wondering
how long they will spend on tax forms, the taxpayers' group said it takes an
estimated 26 hours and 48 minutes to prepare the Form 1040 and its most common
supporting schedules. That includes keeping records, learning the law, preparing
forms, copying and mailing. That actually is less than last year, when taxpayers
could have expected to spend 28 hours and 30 minutes on the same forms. Tax
preparation software has made the task more manageable for many. Where the IRS
estimates it takes 13 hours to fill out the Form 1040 by hand, Julie Miller,
spokeswoman for Intuit, said its TurboTax software can do the same work in two
hours to four hours. Kathy Burlison, director of tax implementation at H&R
Block, said software makes individuals and paid preparers more confident they
have not missed something. It also makes mistakes much easier to fix.
Nevertheless, the forms are not just a drain
on people's free time, but on the productivity
of the country, Keating said. "That's a huge, dead weight burden, trying to
discern the tax code, what it rewards most," he said. "If we turn the
nation into a paper-shuffling, law-figuring-out country, no one actually gets
anything done." [Replace current
income tax with flat tax, national sales tax, or VAT. More efficient to
collect, less emotional strain on taxpayers.]
4. BOY SCOUTS/PEDOPHILIA: The scouting programs long have had a
positive influence on our youth. Unfortunately, some people want to force the
scout to change their rules, because these people may disagree with them. These
people have the right of free association and can join any organization meeting
their needs, or start their own groups. However, they want to force their desires
and agenda on others, who disagree with them. The scouts are a deistic
organization, believing there is a god. All religions are acceptable. Someone
decided that the scouts should accept and espouse atheism. If these boys had simply not
openly declared that they were atheists, they
probably would have been allowed to remain scouts. However, they tried to force
their beliefs on the scouts, and lost in the courts. There was an undeclared homosexual scout
leader for several years. For some reason, he felt compelled to openly declare his
sexual orientation. Apparently, the don't ask don't tell arrangement was not
satisfactory. Now he became a homosexual scout leader, not the ideal role model
for the youth. The Supreme Court ruled that the boy scouts could refuse to allow
declared homosexuals to be scout leaders. Another recent case got very little
notoriety. A scout leader was accused of giving boy scouts alcohol and molesting
about 17 scouts over a three-year period. He pleaded guilty to molesting 7
scouts, and was sent to jail.
United Ways in San
Francisco, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz, CA; New Haven, CT; Branford, CT; Santa
Fe, NM; Portland, ME; Somerset County New Jersey; Fall River, MA; and
Providence, RI adopted anti-discrimination policies that affected their funding
relationship with the Boy Scouts. Over the years, there have been several legal
challenges to Boy Scout policies concerning atheists, homosexuals and girls who
have been denied participation in various Boy Scout programs. The most recent
decision addressed the issue of whether the Boy Scouts, a private membership
organization, can exclude homosexuals from serving as troop leaders. The Court
ruled that the First Amendment freedom of expression and association allowed the
Boy Scouts to exclude homosexuals from serving as troop leaders. http://national.unitedway.org/aboutuw/boyscouts.cfm
[The United Way web site seems to have omitted the names of some chapters
refusing to fund the Boy Scouts, see below. If you want be
sure your contribution supports the Boy Scouts, contribute directly to them, not
to the United Way.]
United Way chapters that have withdrawn
their funding of the Boy Scouts: Greater
Fall River, MA, Northern Fairfield County, CT, Southeast New England, Providence
RI, Bay Area, San Francisco, CA, Santa Clara County, CA, Monterey Bay, CA (The
Monterey Bay Area Scout Council withdrew from the UW), Massachusetts Bay,
Boston, MA, King County, Seattle WA, New Haven, CT, Portland, ME, Somerset
County, NJ, Santa Fe, NM, Monadnock United Way of Keene, NH, Monroe County,
Bloomington, IN, Greater Duluth, Inc. Duluth, MN, Westchester and Putnam, Inc.
White Plains, NY, Tucson and Southern Arizona, Tucson, AZ, Santa Cruz County,
Capitola, CA, Silicon Valley, Santa Clara, CA, Broward County, Fort Lauderdale,
FL, Allegan County, Allegan, MI, Essex and West Hudson, Newark. NJ, Bronxville
Eastchester Tuckahoe, Bronxville, NY, Evanston, Chicago, IL (1 of 56 United Ways
of the UW of Suburban
Chicago), Whatcom County, Bellingham, WA, Northern Fairfield County, Danbury, CT,
Norwalk and Wilton, Inc., Norwalk, CT, Westport-Weston, Inc. Westport, CT, Dunn
County, Menomonie, WI, Palm Beach County, FL, Florida United Way, Orlanda, FL,
Fox Cities, Inc., Menasha, WI, Morris County, Morristown, NJ, King County,
Seattle, Washington, Pierce County, Tacoma, Washington http://grassfire.net/factbox.htm
Effective immediately the United
Way of Miami-Dade County has cut its funding to South Florida Council,
Boy Scouts of America in the amount of $500,000 annually. It was just three
years ago that the United Way of Broward County cut their funding to South
Florida Council. Between these two organizations, various government agencies,
private foundations and some corporations the Council has lost more than $1.2
million dollars in annual funding. Despite these recent challenges we pledge to
you that our values are not for sale. http://www.sfcbsa.org/Council/FriendsOfScouting.html
..... A North Carolina United Way group is
demanding that the Boy Scouts sign a non-discriminatory pledge that would
conflict with the national Boy Scouts of America national charter banning
homosexuals from serving as troop leaders or becoming scouts, a policy upheld by
the United States Supreme Court. According to the
News Observer, at issue in the North Carolina controversy is the demand by the
Triangle United Way - a tri-county council serving 21,000 boys in 12 counties,
including Durham, Orange and Wake, that the local boy scout organization offer
services and programs to people regardless of sexual orientation. http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2002/3/31/52900.shtml
Megan's Law - Information on Registered
Sex Offenders: this site (in 12 languages) will provide you with access
to information on more than 63,000 persons required to register in California
as sex offenders. Specific home addresses are displayed on more than 33,500
offenders in the California communities; as to these persons, the site
displays the last registered address reported by the offender. An additional
30,500 offenders are included on the site with listing by ZIP Code, city, and
county. Information on approximately 22,000 other offenders is not included on
this site, but is known to law enforcement personnel. http://www.meganslaw.ca.gov/
An Eagle Scout and boy scout leader was fired in Santa Barbara (CA)
after announcing "I am gay." (L. A. Times, 3/5/01, A3). [After being in
scouting for more than 15 years, why the confrontational announcement?] .....
Roland Pool and Michael Geller were barred from reinstatement as boy scout
leaders because of their homosexuality. The Washington, D.C., Appeals Court
based the decision on the 2000 Supreme
Court decision that the Boy Scouts could bar homosexuals from serving as troop
leaders. (OCR, 11/13/02, News 22) ..... A Philadelphia Boy Scout council
ousted Gregory Lattera (18), who publicly acknowledged that he was gay. Lattera
said, "I want people to know who I am." The scout staff knew Lattera
was gay and never made a big deal about it. Lattera decided to raise the issue,
defying the don't ask don't tell policy. (OCR, 6/13/03, news 24).
An Arkansas homosexual man (39) was the friend of the family of a 13-year old
boy. The boy spent weekends with him and worked with him. One day the man and
his homosexual lover (23) sedated, restrained, and gagged the boy, then
repeatedly raped him and did other heinous acts. The boy slowly suffocated and
died. (O. C. Register, 3/15/01, News 11) ..... John Ghobrial (31) was sentenced
to death for molesting a 12-year old La Habra (CA) boy, killing him, and cutting
him up and scattering the remains. (OCR, 4/11/02, Local 1) ..... Jose Ignaco
Avina, 14, was charged as an adult with raping
two boys, aged 12 and 14, Oct. 4, Oct. 27, and Nov. 15, 2004. He also is
accused of robbery of others. Avina is the youngest Orange County (CA) rape
suspect charged as an adult. (OCR, 11/23/04, Local 1) ..... Cameron Baca, 29,
was sentenced 45 years to life for molesting two pre-teen boys while coaching
youth sports. (OCR, 11/20/10, Local 1)
Edward Harvey Stokes is one of the most notorious sex
in the Western U.S., molesting more than 212 teenage boys over about 30 years.
He targeted runaways and teens in trouble with the law, gave them drugs and
alcohol until they could not fight his sexual advances. Some woke in handcuffs
and leg irons. Stokes, 45, was sentenced in Orange County (CA) to 19 years to
life for molesting a 16-year old boy, who later committed suicide. (LAT,
11/9/01, B1) ..... A Hayward (CA) police dog found the tied-up body of missing
Alexis Martinez in the bedroom of the apartment of Davis Genong, 28, downstairs
from where Martinez lived. The six-year old boy never returned home after
playing outside with friends. Genong has fled. (OCR, 6/10/02, News 10) .....
There were 11,000 children sexual abuse cases in Los Angeles in 2003. (KNX
CBS' "60 Minutes" (4/1/01) had a segment that bashed the boy
scouts. The presentation was designed to leave the viewers with a negative view
of the boy scouts. However, an unemotional analysis of the "facts"
would be supportive of scouting.
*** A young man rose high in the scouts, until he openly declared his
homosexuality. CBS tried to use this incident to condemn the scouts. However, it
shows homosexuals are allowed to be scouts. (Don't ask, don't tell.) They
are not excluded. Those advocating homosexuality are
excluded; there is a big difference. Would you want your sons to be encouraged
by homosexual role models to consider that as an alternate life style?
*** CBS condemns scouts for teaching a code of behavior. CBS does not cite
anything that they think is inappropriate. Their sarcastic tone would lead
viewers to conclude that the boys only should be taught skills, not a sense of
values. If everyone adhered to the scouting values, this world would be a better
*** CBS said there were three times as many heterosexual predators of young boys
as homosexual (questionable statistic). Since there are least 20 times more
heterosexuals than homosexuals, a homosexual male is seven times more likely to
molest a young boy.
Police allege that a male California fourth-grade teacher molested several
boys during school hours in his locked classroom. There had been numerous
complaints about his behavior from parents, teachers, and staff members. (OCR,
4/11/01, L1) ..... Frank Jones, 51, director of counseling for Boys Choir
of Harlem, was convicted of 24 counts of sexual abuse against a 13-year-old
choirboy. (OCR, 11/15/02, News 30) ..... Brian DeVries, 44, child molester, had
himself surgically castrated, is
the first to be released from CA treatment program. He promised to live a
kid-free life. It will cost about $180,000 per year treat and track him. (OCR,
8/7/03, News 14)
A former church youth leader (29-year old male) and YMCA swim coach used his
jobs to befriend young boys. He faces 130 counts involving 24 children, the
biggest child sex-abuse case in Massachusetts history. He responded guilty to 75
charges (including 8 charges of child rape). (LAT, 7/10/01, A8) ..... Reardon,
29, was sentenced to 40 to 50 years for molesting 24 boys ages 7-14,
YMCA, and Scout troop. (OCR, 8/18/01, News 30) ..... Nathaniel Bar-Jonah
was sentenced to 130 years for sexually assaulting two boys 8 and 14, and butchering
a 10-year-old boy and feeding his remains to unsuspecting neighbors in Great
Falls, MT. (OCR, 5/24/02, News 30)
A Corona (CA) high school girls softball male coach (26 years old) was
arrested on suspicion of having sex with at least three female players, 11
counts of unlawful sexual intercourse and one count of sexual battery. He had
worked as a football coach, and as a girls basketball and softball coach. (OCR,
7/19/01, News 12) ..... Chad Pridgen, 30, a Camarillo (CA) High School science
teacher is charged with 39 felonies and misdemeanors for using his
authority as a teacher to coerce 11 boys into performing sex acts for him. (OCR,
6/14/02, News 20)
The judge called Kenneth Teague "a parent's worst nightmare",
and sentenced him to 60 years to life plus 108 years, for molesting as many as
15 boys, some as young as 9. Teague found most of his victims in Orange County
(CA) Big Brothers and as a troop leader in the Boy
Scouts. (OCR, 7/28/01, News
1) ..... At least a dozen teenagers in the Boy Scouts' Law Enforcement Explorers
program have been sexually abused by officers in the past year, at least 25 in
the past 5 years. (OCR, 6/25/03, News 15).
A man (25) pleaded guilty to several acts of sexual molestation against
children while he was a volunteer for a Huntington Beach (CA) youth basketball
league. The man will be deported to his native country after serving his
sentence. (LAT, 8/9/01, B3) ..... A Stanton (CA) Little League coach (Ricky Lynn
Vaughn, 49) was arrested for molesting a boy on his team. Vaughn has been a Little
League volunteerfor 20 years. The league's background checks included fingerprinting. One
parent said that you cannot trust anyone any more. (OCR, 4/12/02, Local 1) .....
Vaughn pleaded guilty to two counts of child molestation for sexually assaulting
a boy on his Little League team.
(OCR, 3/25/03, Local 2) ..... Little League Baseball said that
there have been 10 to 15 sexual-abuse allegations since 1996 (some ended with
convictions), and about 4 in the past few months.
(OCR, 4/13/02, Local 2) .....
Baseball will require all its managers, coaches and volunteers to be checked
against their state's list of convicted sex offenders. USA Baseball suggested
such a policy in 1996 for all youth baseball organizations. (OCR, 10/9/02,
Sports 7) ..... Effective 4/1/03, the
criminal background checks
for new volunteers. Those with convictions for sex crimes, violent crimes, or
drug offenses, will be denied membership. (OCR, 11/28/02, News 30) ..... 33
to be fingerprinted, while 30 states mandate that schools perform state and
before hiring teachers. (Live & Learn (AARP), Fall 2002, 15)
A 15-year old boy admitted he sexually assaulted 7 boys, ages 9
to 11, while a Moorpark (CA) Boys and Girls Club summer camp volunteer. (LAT,
9/31/01, B8 R) ..... In Woodbridge, NJ, a 10-year-old
boy was charged with luring 3-year-old Amir Beeks out of a library,
beating him to death with a baseball bat, sexually assaulting him, and dumping
him in a ditch. (OCR, 3/28/03, News 24) ..... In Worcester, MA, Peter Gagnon, 49, pleaded guilty to
drugging 6 of his daughters friends,
ages 11 to 14, with alcohol and pills. He then sexually molested the
near-comatose girls and videotaped it. He was sentenced 25 to 30 years in
prison. (OCR, 11/20/02, News 18) ..... Alfredo Teran, 20, Long Beach (CA),
pleaded no contest to molesting an 11-year-old girl Stanton (CA) girl he had met
on an internet chat line. He had
sex with the girl several times at his friend's house and at a motel. He faces
30 years in prison. (OCR, 5/24/03, Local 2) (Where were her parents?) ..... In
Idaho Falls (ID), Kelley Jean Lodmell, 38, kidnapped her 19-month-old
granddaughter and jumped into the frigid Snake River, in an apparent
suicide/murder attempt. Lodmell is described as paranoid schizophrenic. Lodmell
survived; they are searching for the baby. (OCR, 5/28/03, News 14) ..... In
Dallas (TX), Christy Radacy stopped her car on busy Highway 199 and put her
22-month-old twin daughters in median in the middle of the highway. The children
were rescued and Radacy arrested for endangerment. (OCR, 5/28/03, News 14)
For many years, boy scouts from sister-city Sakai (Japan) have visited
Berkeley (CA) city hall. This year the mayor had been scheduled to meet with 38
boy scouts and girl scouts from Japan. The meeting was cancelled because of the
objections of a homosexual councilman, who has been called everything from a
hero to an idiot. (OCR, 8/9/01, News 6) ....... "I am truly sorry for the
undignified yanking of the welcome mat at City Hall from the Japanese
Scouts," said the homosexual councilman. The Mayor rescheduled the meeting
away from City Hall. (OCR, 8/10/01, News 16)
Notorious California child molester Kenneth Parnell, 72, was
sentenced 25 years to life for trying to
buy a 4-year-old boy for $500. He spent 5 years in prison in 1980s for
twice snatching boys as they walked home from school. He kept one boy 7 years,
made into the TV movie "I Know My First Name is Steven." (OCR,
4/16/04, News 15) ..... By July 2005, about 50,000 convicted CA violent sex
offenders will be listed on the internet: name, home address, criminal
history, photo, date of birth, aliases, physical description and race. Another
30,000 convicted of less serious sex crimes will be identified the same
way in 13 languages, except ZIP will replace address. (OCR, 9/25/04, Local 1)
NW Jesuits to pay largest sex abuse settlement in U.S. history
SEATTLE (KomoNews.com, 3/25/11) - A group of Northwest priests who
sexually abused hundreds of children in the 1940s through the '90s have
agreed to pay $166.1 million to the victims, say attorneys involved in the
The huge payment by the Northwest Jesuits marks the largest settlement
between a religious order and abuse victims in the history of the United
States. The abuse took primarily took place in Jesuit-operated mission
schools and boarding schools on Indian reservations in the Pacific Northwest
Many of the victims are now in their 50s or 60s, but still have not
forgotten the fear and torment they suffered at the hands of Jesuit priests
who abused them sexually and psychologically. Many of those children were
brought to the missions after they were abandoned by their parents.
Katherine (Hansen) Mendez, 53, who was abused as a child at St.
Marys Mission boarding school in Omak, said she felt "a feeling of
relief," when she learned of the settlement. Mendez, a Yakama tribal
member, was 11 when she was sent to St. Marys by a state foster worker,
and was abused until she was 12 years old.
Multiple law firms were involved in bringing the settlement on behalf
of nearly 500 victims, including Tamaki Law, which represents many of the
victims who were abused in Washington state, Idaho and Montana. The Manly
& Stewart firm handled 200 cases from Alaska.
"This settlement recognizes that the Jesuits betrayed the trust
of hundreds of young children in their care, and inflicted terrible
atrocities upon them," says attorney Blaine Tamaki. "These
religious figures should have been responsible for protecting children, but
instead raped and molested them." Thirty-eight of the claims handled by
Tamaki law firm involve sexual abuse by Father John Morse, a Jesuit priest
who now resides in a private retirement facility operated by Gonzaga
University and financed by the Jesuits.
Mendez says she was one of his victims. "Father Morse started
abusing me almost immediately when I arrived at St. Marys Mission,"
Mendez said. "I kept the sexual molestation hidden in the dark, in my
soul, for years and years. Finally, when I came forward and saw that others
did too, it was as if the blanket that had hidden our secret was pulled off
and we could move into the light again."
Forty-nine of the victims represented by Tamaki were sexually abused
when they were 8 years old or younger. The other victims were age 9 to 14
when the abuse occurred. Most of the abuse occurred in the 1950s through the
1970s at reservation mission schools, including St. Marys Mission in
Omak; Sacred Heart Mission in Desmet, Idaho; St. Ignatius Mission in St.
Ignatius, Mont.; St. Pauls Mission in Hayes, Mont.; and St. Labre Mission
in Ashland, Mont.
Theo Lawrence, who was abused as a child at Montana's St. Ignatius
Mission, was molested by Father Augustine Ferretti, aka "Father
Freddy," and by a nun who worked with the Jesuit missionaries. He was
in the third grade when the molestation began. "The nun or one of the
brothers would send me to the rectory to see Father Freddy," Lawrence
said in an earlier interview. "He would give me candy or call me
special and then he would molest me. They all did at various
times." Lawrence died last week - just days before the settlement was
reached. But in an earlier interview, Lawrence said that he was scared to
tell anyone about the abuse because all of the boys were told repeatedly
that "men of God dont talk. We were scared that if we uttered even
one word, we would go to hell."
Final court documents that determine future claims and other details
are expected to be completed within the next week or two, Tamaki said. The
settlement also asks the Jesuits to provide a written apology to the
victims, and share documents of importance to victims, such as their
personal medical records. Judge Elizabeth Perris, the chief federal
bankruptcy judge in Portland, Ore., presided over the case. Earlier, the
Northwest Jesuits - known legally as the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province -
filed for bankruptcy after settling previous claims totaling more than $60
million brought by dozens of other abuse victims.
One of those victims, Patti Webb, was just 6 years old in 1962 when
she was taken to St. Mary's. Alone and scared, the daughter of an alcoholic
- absent mother, Webb says the sexual molestation started right away. She
said Father Morse "did whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted."
"He'd say, 'You're coming into my office. You're getting a whipping.'
Well, yeah, you'd get a whippin' but you'd get a lot more than that."
If she refused to "participate," as Father Morse called it, she
was locked up in a pitch-black root cellar with a dirt floor that was
crawling with spiders. She says Father Morse has never acknowledged the
abuse he subjected dozens of children to over the decades.
The Los Angeles/Orange County Catholic Church paid $5.2M to settle a lawsuit
alleging that a prominent priest and former high school principal molested a
male teenager student. There were five similar complaints against the priest.
The Church tries to avoid jury trials after a 1993 Dallas jury awarded $119M to
11 men who were allegedly molested as altar boys, later settled for $25M. (LAT,
8/21/01, A1) ..... A former Boston priest, John Geoghan, has been accused by more
than 130 people of sexually molesting boys over a 30-year period, as he was
transferred from parish to parish. Cardinal Bernard Law and five bishops have
been accused of knowing about the pattern of abuse and continuing to place
Geoghan in positions that put him in contact with young boys. Geoghan is alleged
to have raped or fondled children in his rectory bedroom, in his car, and in a
youth club. (OCR, 1/15/02, News 11) .... 66-year old John Geoghan
was sentenced the maximum 9 to 10 years in prison. (OCR, 2/22/02, News 23) .....
A Boston Judge dismissed two charges against Geoghan that he had raped a
ten-year old boy in 1980 and 1984, because the indictment was filed in 1999
after the 15-year statute of limitations had expired. (OCR, 3/8/02, News 30)
..... Gregory Ford (24) says that he was raped by Father Paul Shanley (Boston)
between 1983 and 1989, when Ford was 6 to 12 years old. Shanley said (10/4/97)
that the kid not the adult is the seducer, and the kid is not traumatized. In
1990, Shanley was transferred from Boston to San Bernardino (CA), as a
priest in good standing with no problems to concern the new diocese. The number
of priests accused nationwide: Boston 80, Chicago 26, Dallas 8, New York 36,
Philadelphia 40, San Francisco 3, Santa Fe (NM) 12, Santa Rosa (CA) 12, St.
Louis 4. (USN&WR, 4/22/02, 48) ..... To report offenses, www.rcbo.org,
or 1-800-364-3064 (OCR, 1/17/02, News 23) ..... The Boston Archdiocese removed
two pastors (both 57) because both had been accused of sexually molesting
children in the past. (OCR, 2/3/02, News 26) ..... The Boston Archdiocese removed
six more priests and gave the police names of more than 80
priests accused of sexual misconduct with minors over the last 20 or more
years. (LAT, 2/9/02, A1) ..... The Pope ( a Motu Propria,
highest form of of papal directive) and the Vatican (Doctrine of Faith) last
year quietly issued two documents in Latin, saying pedophilia
accusations should be dealt with in secret church courts. (LAT, 1/9/02,
A4 R) ..... James K. Flanagan was an altar boy and attended Catholic schools in
Jersey City. He is incensed by the pedophilia coverup and is completing
"Bless Me Father", a novel on priests and pedophilia. (LAT, 1/1/02,
B13) ..... Ireland's Roman Catholic Church agreed to pay $110 million as partial
compensation (the State will add an estimated $320 million) for 3000 to 7000
potential claimants because they were beaten or sexually
assaulted in schools run by Catholic religious orders. (OCR, 2/1/02, News
32) ..... The Catholic Church has settled allegations (undisclosed sum)
that four priests had molested 10 boys over two decades in Tucson and in
California seminary. (LAT, 1/30/02, B5) ..... The NH Roman Catholic Church named
14 priests accused of sexual misconduct with children between 1963 and 1987.
Some of the 14 priests were returned to duty after doctors
deemed them fit. One was still actively working, but now is barred from
working in the community. Not on the list were 3 NH priests convicted in the
1990s of sexually abusing minors, nor one now facing charges of using a computer
to solicit a minor. NH law allows sexual abuse charges to be brought until the
alleged victim's 40th birthday. (OCR, 2/16/02, News 31) ..... The
Archdiocese of Philadelphia said 35 priests have faced credible sex-abuse
allegations during the past 50 years. Six priests have been dismissed during the
past 2 years for having contact with teen-age boys as young as 13 during a
30-year period. (OCR, 2/24/02, News 18) ..... SNAP, Survivors Network of those
Abused by Priests, was formed in 1991 to offer emotional support to victims and
to monitor Church responses to abuse scandals. Phil Saviano (Boston)
learned that the priest who abused him in the 1960s faced abuse charges in NM
and was sentenced to 275 years. "I realized nobody
ever stopped this guy." (OCR, 2/24/02, News 18) ..... A WI Catholic
priest Timothy Svea (39) was sentence to 18 months in jail and 20 years'
probation after pleading guilty to molesting and exposing himself to boys as
young as 15. (OCR, 2/27/02, News 12) ..... Orange County (CA) priest Michael
Pecharich resigned from the public ministry, admitting to having an ongoing
relationship with a teen age boy 19 years ago. The Church was alerted by the
victim in 1996, because he wanted "to be assured that no one else was
harmed." (OCR, 3/4/02, News 1) ..... Two more people alleged
Pecharich molested them in 1973 and in 1996. (OCR, 3/8/02, Local 1) ..... Rev.
Richard Coughlin allegedly molested a boy (Steve Archambo) in the All-American
Boys Chorus in Costa Mesa, CA.
Terms of the settlement were sealed. A 1990 Harvard study reported that 1% of
families had incidents of incest.
(OCR, 3/10/02, News 9) ..... A recent survey by the Catholic
Church found that nearly 2% of its 46,000 priests [about 920] nationwide have
been involved with sexual molestation during the past 50 years. [Other studies
indicate it could be as high as 6%. (OCR, 3/10/02, News 9)] A six-year
statue of limitation often hinders prosecution of these cases. (OCR, 3/7/02,
News 1) ..... Palm Beach (FL) Bishop J. Keith Symons became the first U.S.
bishop to resign due to sexual involvement with boys. He was replaced by Rev.
Anthony J. O'Connell in 1999. O'Connell (63) now has resigned after admitting to
sexual misconduct with a boy at a MO seminary 25 years ago. In 1993, Archbishop
Robert Sanchez of Santa Fe (NM) resigned over his involvement with several
women, some teen-agers. Archbishop Eugene Marino and bishop G. Patrick Ziemann
of Santa Rosa (CA) resigned after sex scandals involving adults. Cardinal Joseph
Bernadin was accused of abuse in 1993, but the accuser later recanted. Bishop
Joseph Ferrario of Honolulu was accused of molestation in 1989, denied the
charge, and the suit dismissed in 1991. (OCR, 3/9/02, News 27) ..... The
Catholic dioceses of Los Angeles and Orange Counties will pay $1.2 million
because The Rev. John Lenihan allegedly molested a girl 20 years ago, while she
was between 14 and 17. She became pregnant and he paid for her abortion. (OCR,
4/2/02, News 4) ..... Since 1985 in the Los Angeles Archdiocese, 32 parish
priests and one deacon have been accused of molesting minors. Five fled the
country, one disappeared, 3 have been convicted, and 17 are under investigation.
Police allege that church officials refused to cooperate in two criminal
investigations. (OCR, 8/18/02, News 24) ..... Sex between clergy and adult women is a more serious
offense than molesting minors under
Roman Catholic Canon Law, originally issued in the year 1395. (OCR, 4/19/02, News
23) [A problem for more than 600 years?] ..... After meeting with the Pope in
Rome, Bishop Wilton Gregory, head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops,
expressed his concern about the large number of gay
men in the priesthood. "One of the difficulties we do face in
seminary life or recruitment is made possible when there does exist a homosexual
atmosphere or dynamic that makes heterosexual men think twice about entering
because they fear harassment. It is an ongoing struggle to make sure the
Catholic priesthood is not dominated by homosexual men." (OCR, 4/24/02,
News 10) [Celibacy = asexuality?] ..... The Catholic church sex scandals are
worrying homosexual groups, especially about stories that connect homosexuality
and pedophilia. "After making homosexuality acceptable in the media, the
fight might be back to square one." (USN&WR, 4/29/02, 4) ..... The
Boston Archdiocese released papers showing church officials knew a priest
(Paul Shanley) had publicly advocated sex between men and boys. Gregory Ford
(now 24) is suing the archdiocese for alleged abuse by Shanley. (OCR,
4/26/02, News 31) ...... Rev. Enrique Diaz Jimenez sexually abused 3 altar
boys in NY, sent to Venezuela and abused young boys, sent to Columbia and abused
2 more boys. Rev. Carlos Peralta had problems in Chile, was sent to Guatemala
where he abused boys, was sent to Peru where he abused boys, was sent to Chicago
where he abused 4 boys, was sent to NJ and then to Mexico. Rev. Thomas Kane was
treating treating other priests for pedophilia, when Kane was accused of
sexually abusing a 9-year-old boy in MA, Kane then went to Mexico. (USN&WR,
5/6/02, 27) ..... Catholic priests William Giblin, 70, and Eugene Heyndricks,
60, were charged in Montreal for soliciting sex from young boys. (OCR, 7/28/02,
News 28) .... Four former Detroit priests (Henry Benjamin (60), Edward Olszewski
(67), Jason Sigler (64), Robert Burkholder (82)) were charged with sexual abuse
(pedophelia). Burkholder was believed to have molested as many as 23 boys,
telling them that their bodies were
gifts from God and to be shared with their priests. At least 15 other
priests were linked to sex crimes, but the statute of limitations had expired.
(OCR, 8/28/02, News 3) ..... Two mentally retarded men worked for 30 years as
dishwashers in the sacred Heart Jesus Center, a retirement home for some 60
priests in Los Gatos, CA. They received $7.5 million to settle a sex
lawsuit, because they had been repeatedly subjected over the 30 years to acts of
sodomy, molestation, and false imprisonment. (OCR, 9/6/02, News 22) .....
The Providence (RI) Diocese will pay $13.5 million to 36 people molested as
youngsters by 11 priests and a nun. (OCR, 9/10/02, News 14) ..... Jesuit
priest James Talbot, 64, has been indicted for rape and other sex crimes
against three boys at Boston College High School between 1977 and 1979. Talbot
has been a teacher and athletic coach
in New England school for more than 20 years. (OCR, 9/19/02, News 22) ..... Rev.
Milton T. Walsh, 50, was accused of fondling a 13-year-old boy in Novato, CA. (OCR,
10/6/02, News 18) ..... A law suit alleges that 43 children were sexually
abused by Brooklyn Diocese priests from 1960 to 1984, and the diocese tried to
hide the attacks by transferring the priests from parish to parish. (OCR,
10/16/02, News 16) ..... Former Roman Catholic priest Vincent McCaffrey,
50, admitted in Court that he molested more boys than he could remember. He was
sentenced to 15 years in prison for possessing child pornography. (OCR, 1/31/03,
News 24) ..... Louisville (KY) retired priest Louis E. Miller, 72, pleaded
guilty 50 counts of indecent practices and sexual abuse against 21 victims
during decades of sexual abuse against children. He was sentenced to 20 years.
(OCR, 5/28/03, News 14) ..... Fugitive former priest Sigfied Widera, 62, facing
42 counts of child molestation in Orange County (CA) and Milwaukee, committed
suicide in Mexico. (OCR, 5/28/03, Local 1) .... The Oakland (CA) Roman Catholic
Church will pay $3,000,000 to Jennifer Chapin, 32, because she was repeatedly
raped in hotel room by Monsignor
George Francis over a four-year period, starting when Chapin was about six years
old. (OCR, 1/25/04, News 25) ..... CNN reports a Church survey found 11,000
accusations of sexual abuse by priests between 1950 and 2002; 6,700 were
investigated and substantiated. (OCR, 2/17/04, News 17) ..... Fourteen nuns,
a priest and a male athletic director at the now-defunct Boston School for the
Deaf, have been accused by former students of rape, beatings, and physical and
sexual abuse. (OCR, 5/12/04, News 18) ..... The Dallas Morning News said
that the Salesians of Don Bosco [Roman Catholic] order has refused to cooperate
with law enforcement agencies investigation sexual abuse. Hundreds of priests
accused of sexual abuse have been moved
from country to country, allowing them to start new lives in unsuspecting
communities and continue to work in church ministries. (OCR, 6/20/04, News 30)
..... A vast cache of child pornography and photos of young priests
having sex has been discovered in a Roman catholic seminary in Vienna,
Austria. (OCR, 7/13/04, News 13) ..... Costa Rican priest Enrique Vasquez
fleeing sexual molestation charges has entered Nicaragua. Vasquez fled Costa
Rica after a mother filed charges that he molested
her son. Vasquez then worked in CT, NY, SC, Honduras, and Mexico. (OCR,
7/14/04, News 18) ..... About 1000 men and women are seeking millions of dollars
from the Catholic dioceses in Northern California, claiming hey were molested by
priests as children. This occurs a week after the Archdiocese of Portland (OR)
declared bankruptcy after settling 130 abuse claims. (OCR, 7/16/04, News 15)
..... The Davenport, IA, Roman Catholic Diocese agreed to pay $9 million to
settle 37 claims of sexual abuse by priests, for the past 50 years. (OCR,
10/29/04, News 26) ..... The Diocese of Orange (CA) agreed to pay $100M
to 87 people alleging abuse by 31 priests, 2 nuns, and 10 lay people from 1960s
to 1990s, the largest clergy sexual
abuse settlement in history. (OCR, 12/4/04, News 1) ..... Sealed
documents for two former priests and a lay teacher in the Diocese of Orange (CA)
show the diocese covered up incidents of
sexual abuse. (OCR, 5/19/05, News 1) ..... Jurors found
the Archdiocese of San Francisco knew or should have known that the late Rev.
Joseph Pritchard was sexually abusing young boys in the 1970s. This is the first
of 750 civil law suits against California Roman Catholic Dioceses that has gone
to trial. (OCR, 3/19/05, News 16) ..... Rev. Jose Luis Urbina was convicted of
sexually molesting a minor boy in 1989. Sacramento police were investigating
allegations in 1991 that Rev. Gerardo Beltran molested two young
priests fled the U.S. to Mexico, where they have been serving as clergymen.
(OCR, 3/19/05, News 33) ..... Fernando Lopez, 40-year-old ex-Roman catholic Los
Angeles priest, was sentenced to
more than six years for molesting three
boys for three years, starting in 2001. (San Diego U-T, 4/23/05, A4)
..... The Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington, KY, will pay the largest
U.S. settlement $120M to victims of child-molesting priests and other
employees. (OCR, 6/4/05, News 22) ..... Abuse
Cost for Catholic Dioceses Tops $1
Billion.Sexual abuse by priests has cost the Catholic Church in
the United States more than $1 billion, a figure guaranteed to rise - possibly
by tens of millions of dollars - because of hundreds of still unsettled claims.
Tallies by American bishops and an Associated Press review of known settlements
put the actual pricetag at $1.06 billion. (6/10/05, AP) ..... Vatican to Check U.S. Seminaries on Gay Presence
(9/15/05, NY Times) Investigators appointed by the Vatican have been instructed to review each of the 229 Roman Catholic seminaries in the United States for "evidence of homosexuality" and for faculty members who dissent from church teaching. Edwin O'Brien, archbishop for the United States military, who is supervising the seminary review said last week that "anyone who has engaged in homosexual activity or has strong homosexual inclinations," should not be admitted to a seminary. The restriction should apply even to those who have not been sexually active for a decade or more. It is unknown how many Catholic priests are gay. Estimates range widely, from
10 percent to 60 percent. The Rev. Donald B. Cozzens, a former seminary rector who set off a controversy five years ago when he published a book asserting that "the priesthood is or is becoming a gay profession." .....
Homosexuals, even if celebrate,
will be barred from becoming Roman Catholic priests. (OCR, 9/22/05, News 30)
.....DUBLIN, Ireland (AP, 3/8/06) - The Roman Catholic archdiocese of Dublin
said Wednesday that 102 of its priests
are suspected of sexually or physically abusing at least 350 children since 1940
the biggest such admission to date in Ireland. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11726601/
..... The church sexual abuse crisis cost Catholic dioceses and religious institutes nearly $467 million last year in settlements to victims, legal expenses, therapy, and training, a staggering amount in the aftermath of the abuse scandal that surfaced in 2002, according to an independent audit released yesterday by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The data, collected by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, also showed that 783 new and credible allegations of
sexual abuse by clergy were reported last year, down from 1,092 allegations reported in 2004 and bringing the total number of accusations to more than
12,000 nationwide since 1950. While the number of allegations is decreasing, the financial cost to the church increased over the last year due to some large settlements paid in 2005, said Teresa M. Kettelkamp, director of the USCCB's Office of Child and Youth Protection. The church paid more than $399 million last year in settlements alone, and spent $67 million more on therapy for victims, legal fees, and counseling for offenders, according to the data. The audit's results bring the total cost of the church sexual abuse crisis to nearly $1.2 billion, not including undisclosed payments the church made during 2003 and this year. An analysis provided some insights into sexually abusive clergy, finding that on average, such abusers had begun to offend after 11 years on the job. The largest portion of first-time offenders -- 22 percent -- were between 30 and 34 years of age. Those who had the greatest numbers of allegations against them tended to abuse younger children and were more likely to victimize boys than girls, according to the college researchers. (Boston Globe, 3/31/06) http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2006/03/31/abuse_cost_churches_nearly_467m_in_05?mode=PF ..... The Los Angeles Archdiocese will pay $60M to settle 45 of the more
than 500 sexual abuse cases it faces. The abuse scandals have cost the U.S.
Catholic church more than $1.5B since
1950. (OCR, 12/2/06, News 1) ..... Church to Pay Record Amount to Victims of Clergy
(AP, 7/16/07) Negotiations have produced a landmark $660 million settlement between the
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles and more than 500 alleged victims of clergy abuse.
The deal marks the end of more than five years of negotiations and is by far the
largest payout by any diocese since the clergy abuse scandal emerged in Boston in 2002.
The settlement also calls for the release of priests' confidential personnel files after review by a judge.
The archdiocese will pay $250 million, insurance carriers will pay a combined $227 million and several religious orders will chip in $60 million. The remaining $123 million will come from litigation with religious orders that chose not to participate in the deal, with the archdiocese guaranteeing resolution of those 80 to 100 cases within five years.
Plaintiffs' attorneys can expect to receive up to 40 percent of the settlement money, or $264 million, for their work.
The settlements push the total amount paid out by the U.S. church since 1950 to more than $2 billion, with about a quarter of that coming from the Los Angeles archdiocese.
Previously, the Los Angeles archdiocese, its insurers and various Roman Catholic orders had paid more than $114 million to settle 86 claims. Several religious orders in California have also reached multimillion-dollar settlements in recent months, including the Carmelites, the Franciscans and the Jesuits.
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Diego
agreed to pay $198M to 144 victims of clergy sexual abuse, the second largest payout by any diocese since the clergy abuse scandal emerged in Boston in 2002. (OCR,
9/8/07, News 20) .....
Catholic Diocese of Santa Rosa
agreed to pay more than $5M to 10 victims of clergy sexual abuse. (OCR, 9/13/07, News
11) ..... The U.S. Roman Catholic Church has paid more than $2.6
billion since 1950 for sex molestation settlements and related expenses. (OCR,
3/14/09, News 3)
Timeline of Ireland's
Catholic abuse scandals
-Key steps in Ireland's struggle to confront child abuse committed by
June 1994: Irish Catholic priest Brendan Smyth pleads guilty in Northern
Ireland to 17 counts of assaulting five girls and two boys in Belfast. His
order, the Norbertines, spent decades shuttling him among Irish and American
parishes and harboring him from British arrest.
November 1994: Irish Prime Minister Albert Reynolds resigns and his
government collapses amid claims his attorney general colluded with church
authorities to delay the British extradition demand for Smyth.
July 1995: Former altar boy Andrew Madden becomes first in Ireland to
speak publicly about abuse by a priest, says Dublin archdiocese paid him
euro35,000 ($45,000) to keep quiet. Case spurs hundreds of alleged victims
to pursue civil lawsuits against church authorities.
January 1996: Irish Catholic leaders tells bishops to report
"without delay" all suspected sex abuse cases to police. Some
July 1997: After serving prison term, Smyth is extradited to Ireland and
pleads guilty to 74 counts of sexually abusing 20 boys and girls between
1958 and 1993. Dies of a heart attack in prison one month into 12-year
January 1998 Payne is convicted in Dublin on 14 counts of sexually
abusing eight boys aged 11 to 14. Serves four years in prison.
March 1999: Rev. Sean Fortune commits suicide in prison while awaiting
trial on 66 charges of molesting and raping boys in Ferns diocese. One
victim, Colm O'Gorman, launches support group One in Four.
April 1999: Groundbreaking documentary series "States of Fear"
exposes abuse of children in church-run workhouses, reformatories and
orphanages since the 1940s.
May 1999: Prime Minister Bertie Ahern issues "long overdue
apology" to all those abused in church-run institutions.
May 2000: Ireland authorizes Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse
under direction of High Court Justice Mary Laffoy.
April 2002: Ferns Bishop Brendan Comiskey becomes first and only
Irish church figure to resign because of a failure to stop pedophile
December 2002: Ireland establishes board to pay compensation to people
abused in church-run institutions. Claimants must renounce their right to
September 2003: Laffoy resigns, says Ireland's Education Department is
blocking the probe.
April 2004: Vatican diplomat Diarmuid Martin becomes Dublin archbishop.
Pledges full cooperation with police in exposing past cover-ups of abuse.
October 2005: Probe finds church, police and state authorities did too
little to stop sexual abuse of hundreds of children by 21 priests in Ferns.
December 2005: Redress Board says more than 14,000 people filed claims
for compensation for reported childhood abuse in church-run institutions.
December 2008: Board says it has paid nearly 12,000 abuse victims an
average of euro64,230 ($84,000) each, about 2,000 claims remain.
May 20, 2009: Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse unveils 2,575-page
report into thousands of child abuse cases in Catholic-run institutions
beginning in the 1930s until the last institutions closed in the 1990s.
Monterey Diocese settles sex abuse case for
MONTEREY, Calif. -- The Diocese of Monterey has agreed to pay a
$1.2 million and formally apologize to a man who was sexually abused by
priests in two states while he says church officials covered it
Bishop Richard Garcia will formally apologize to the man and his family,
and the diocese also agreed Friday to release church documents detailing
the abuse - two things the victim's attorney says he most wanted. The
attorney, John Manley, said the documents will show the diocese
"has blood on its hands" because church leaders failed to
notify police when they first learned the boy was assaulted, allowing
one of his abusers to subsequently molest the boy's brother and others.
The settlement avoids a trial that was scheduled to start Monday. Court
records show the Rev. Juan Guillen began molesting the now 29-year-old
victim in Yuma, Ariz., shortly after he immigrated to the United States
as an 8-year-old in 1988. Guillen continued to visit the family after
the family moved to Salinas and was so trusted he was allowed to sleep
in the boy's bed. A second priest, the Rev. John Velez, allegedly began
molesting the boy in 1991 while he worked at St. Mary of the Nativity
Catholic Church in Salinas. Guillen reported Velez to local church
officials after the boy told him about Velez's abuse. Monsignor Charles
Fatooh, then-leader of the Monterey diocese, acknowledged in a pretrial
deposition that neither he nor anyone else in the diocese alerted
police, tried to protect the boy or tried to determine if there were
other victims. Instead, Velez was removed from the parish and Fatooh
called the diocese's attorney. Court documents say the attorney and
another priest met with the victim's mother and told her the abuse was
the "sort of thing that happens to a lot of kids" and
"not a big deal." She said they refused her request for money
to pay for counseling for the boy. Velez eventually was turned over to a
Mexican order, while Fatooh was later forced to resign his post after it
was reported that another suspected pedophile priest was living in his
Maryland condominium. He remains a parish priest in Cayucos, Calif.
Guillen is serving a 10-year sentence in Arizona for subsequent
molestations and Velez is believed to be serving the church in Latin
America. The victim also settled with the bankrupt Diocese of Tucson for
$600,000. Paul Gaspari, who negotiated the settlement on behalf of the
Diocese of Monterey, told Judge Lydia Villarreal on Friday that
officials would make public most of the documents and depositions
related to the case, except for records that could identify the victim.
Another diocesan priest, the Rev. Antonio Cortes faces a preliminary
hearing next week on charges that he sexually assaulted a 16-year-old
boy and possessed child pornography. Cortes was suspended as pastor of
St. Mary of the Nativity after his April arrest. (AP, May. 30, 2009)
Philadelphia Priests Accused by Grand Jury of
Sexual Abuse and Cover-Up
NY Times, Published: February 10, 2011
PHILADELPHIA A grand jury on Thursday accused the Archdiocese of
Philadelphia of failing to stop
the sexual abuse of children more than five years after a grand
jury report documented abuse by
more than 50 priests. The new report said a senior church official
charged with investigating allegations of sexual abuse by priests had in
fact allowed some of those accused to remain in posts that gave them
continued access to children. It charged him with endangering the welfare
of minors and accused three priests and a teacher of raping two boys
between 1996 and 1999.
By no means do we believe that these were the only two
parishioners who were abused during this period, the report said. At
least 37 priests who are subject to substantial evidence of abuse
are still in roles that bring them into contact with children, the new
report said, and 10 of those have been in place since before 2005, when
the last grand jury made its allegations. The Rev. Edward Avery, 68, and
the Rev. Charles Engelhardt, 64, were charged with the rape and indecent
assault of a 10-year-old boy in St. Jerome Parish in Northeast
Philadelphia in 1998 and 1999. The teacher, Bernard Shero, 48, was accused
of assaulting the same boy in 2000. The Rev. James Brennan, 47, was
accused of assaulting a 14-year-old boy in 1996. All three priests were
under arrest on Thursday.
The report also charged Msgr. William Lynn, secretary of clergy in
the archdiocese under former Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua, with
endangering the welfare of children by allowing dangerous priests to
remain in place. Monsignor Lynn was responsible for investigating abuse
allegations from 1992 to 2004. The rapist priests we accuse were well
known to the Secretary of Clergy, but he cloaked their conduct and put
them in place to do it again, the grand jury said. Monsignor Lynn faces
a maximum of 14 years in prison if convicted on all charges.
In a statement issued late on Thursday, Cardinal Justin Rigali, the
archbishop of Philadelphia, rejected the reports assertion that there
were active priests who had been credibly accused of abuse. I assure
all the faithful that there are no archdiocesan priests in ministry today
who have an admitted or established allegation of sexual abuse of a minor
against them, he said. The report accused the archdiocese of lacking
urgency in its efforts to eradicate sexual abuse by its priests. It said a
panel looking into the allegations dismissed charges against a priest by
two independent victims, saying their evidence lacked credibility.
These are simply not the actions of an institution that is serious
about ending sexual abuse of children, the report said.
The 124-page report, which contains graphic descriptions of abuse of
the 9- and 10-year-old boys, said the grand jury decided reluctantly
not to press charges against Cardinal Bevilacqua, who stepped down in 2003
after 15 years as archbishop, even though he worked closely with Monsignor
Lynn, because it did not have enough evidence. In 2005, a grand jury
report accused the church of an immoral cover-up that had exposed
hundreds of children to sexual assault. That report recommended no
criminal charges. If convicted on all charges, the priests and the teacher
each face a maximum sentence of 67 years in prison, the Philadelphia
district attorneys office said.
The thousands of victims of Ireland's child-abuse
homes spent decades just trying to get the public to believe them
but even after a mammoth investigation proved the horrors of their
youth, many say they are no nearer to real justice.
A nine-year probe into child abuse by Ireland's Catholic religious
orders painted a damning portrait Wednesday of a system that protected
child-molesting church officials while consigning generations of
Ireland's poorest children to misery from the 1930s to the 1990s. The victims, now mostly in their 50s to 80s, said for all its
incredible detail, the 2,600-page report didn't make public what really
matters the names of their abusers. That's because a religious order at the heart of the abuse charges
the Christian Brothers successfully sued the investigators to
keep the identities of all their abusive members secret. "I do genuinely believe that it would have been a further step
towards our healing if our abusers had been named and shamed," said
Christine Buckley, 62, who spent her first 18 years in a Dublin
orphanage run by Sisters of Mercy nuns. Buckley, the daughter of an unwed mother, said the orphanage was
closed to the outside world and the children inside lived a life of
slave labor manufacturing rosaries. She said there was no way to escape
the ritual humiliation, beatings and rape regardless of whether the
children achieved their quota of producing 60 rosaries per day. She didn't track down her parents, an Irish mother and Nigerian
father, until her 40s, when she became one of the first to demand
justice for her stolen youth. "I didn't have a childhood," said Buckley, who recalled
being constantly cold, hungry and thirsty as the nuns denied children
water to keep them from wetting their beds. She was severely beaten by a
nun for trying to smuggle out a letter detailing the abuse, she said
which included being forced to have a "date" with a pedophile
on the staff. The Catholic religious orders that ran 52 workhouse-style reform
schools from the late 19th century until the mid-1990s apologized after
the report's release, speaking of their shame and regret. Abuses also
took place at 216 other church-run institutions for children, which
included orphanages, hostels, regular schools and schools for the
disabled. The report even in a country hardened by 15 years of revelations
about sex-predator priests has shocked and sickened the nation. But when questioned, the Christian Brothers indicated they would
continue to protect the identities of rank-and-file brothers accused of
abuse men who were never reported to police, and instead were
allowed to change jobs and keep harming children. The Christian Brothers' leader in Ireland, Brother Kevin Mullan, said
the organization had been right to keep names of even the most
well-documented abusers out of Wednesday's report because "perhaps
we had doubts about some of the allegations." "But on the other hand, I'd have to say that at this stage, we
have no interest in protecting people who were perpetrators of
abuse," Mullan said, vowing to cooperate fully with any further
investigation. Buckley said the religious orders for years branded victims as
money-seeking liars and were incapable of admitting their guilt
today. She criticized Mullan for suggesting that "today, having read
the report, he doesn't mind if the abusers are named and shamed. Isn't
that a little bit late for us?" Other victims emphasized that, for some of their former schoolmates,
the end came far too soon. Their graves are inside the grounds of the
workhouses, where some died of disease and malnutrition and,
survivors suspect, from the violence of their carekeepers. "There's a lot of people who didn't survive here, and a lot of
people who left very damaged," said Mannix Flynn, who spent two
years at a Christian Brothers school in remote western Ireland. Flynn this week revisited the closed school grounds, where dozens of
residents and staff are buried, their plots marked with small
heart-shaped headstones. "The whole place was a place of abuse. There wasn't any
sanctuary here. It was constant trauma and constant fear of
attack," said Flynn, 52, a playwright, author and artist in Dublin.
He said he and his friends faced chronic sexual assaults."It was regular, aggressive and violent, but it was mainly an
act of violence. That's what people need to know," he said. The Irish government, which in 1999 apologized for its role in
permitting decades of abuse and established the commission to nail down
the full truth of the matter, has tried to make some amends. A government-appointed panel has paid 12,000 abuse survivors an
average of euro65,000 ($90,000) each on condition they surrender
their right to sue either the church or the state. About 2,000 more
claims are pending.Irish Catholic leaders cut a controversial deal with the government
in 2001 that capped the church's contribution at euro128 million ($175
million) a small fraction of the final cost to taxpayers. Some victims and opposition politicians called Thursday for the
church to give much more. Cardinal Sean Brady, leader of Ireland's 4 million Catholics, said
the church's key responsibility now was to "do what is necessary to
make the church a safe place for children." He said this meant
strengthening programs begun in the mid-1990s that require bishops to
report abuse allegations to police and prevent unsupervised contact
between clergy and children. But Brady said increasing the church's financial contributions for
compensation was a decision that specific orders had to make, not the
Irish church as a whole. (Dublin, AP,
5/20/09) ..... A priest and former
principal of the largest Roman Catholic high school in Philadelphia,
Rev. Charles Newman, 58, was sent to prison Friday for three to six
years for stealing $900,000, allegedly to buy silence from students he
molested. He also used the money to ply current or former students with
drugs and alcohol, relatives and authorities charged. Former student
Arthur Baselice III told authorities that Newman started sexually
abusing him in 1995, when he was a junior and Newman was principal of
Archbishop Ryan High School. The pair would meet at Newman's office or
residence and often used drugs together while having sex. Baselice tried
unsuccessfully to sue the archdiocese before dying of a drug overdose in
2006 at age 28. Over the years, Newman gave him $54,000, in part to feed
his drug habit. Philadelphia's September 2005 grand jury report
documented alleged assaults on minors by more than 60 Philadelphia
Archdiocese priests since 1967, and accused church leaders of covering
them up. Baselice overdosed the day it came out. (Philadelphia, AP,
Orange County (CA) Superior Court Judge Ronald C. Kline (61) told police he
had an interest in minor-age boys and had viewed sexually explicit
pictures. His diary contained references to body parts of boys he had
observed at a shopping mall, an athletic club shower, and at Little League games
where he sometimes served as an umpire. (OCR, 11/10/01, News 1) ..... Kline used
his courthouse computer to download more than a dozen pictures of naked boys.
(OCR, 4/11/02, Local 4) ..... The Kline
arrest is a result of an e-mail sent to a one-woman web site (pedowatch.org, now
shut down). Pedowatch is credited by police for helping detectives nationwide
make 22 arrests. (LAT, 11/13/01, B1) ..... A Canadian man broke into
thousands of computers possessing large quantities of child pornography, and
helped Canadian authorities win a conviction against a man offering his 8-year
old daughter for sex. He also hacked into Kline's computer and stole Kline's
diary, leading to Kline's arrest. An independent law professor said "it
doesn't matter whether the hacker got the diary and photographs from Kline's
computer illegally, as long as police got them without violating any laws. (OCR,
2/22/02, Local 4) ..... Kline pleaded not guilty to five felonies for oral
copulation when the victim was 14. Penalties are much harsher when the
molestation victim is under 14. There is no statute of limitations for sex
offenses against minors, if there is sufficient corroboration and charges are
filed within a year of the allegations. (OCR, 3/20/02, Local 2) ..... A 1999 NJ
law allow sex offenders deemed likely to commit similar crimes after their
release from prison to be committed to a state psychiatric hospital, pending
annual review. The NJ Supreme Court is allowing the lower civil standard to be
used for further confinement, rather than requiring the more difficult criminal
standard. (OCR, 7/13/02, News 15)
There are more than 3000 sex offenders in Orange County (CA). The CA Dept. of
Justice formed Sexual Predator Apprehension Team to surreptitiously watch
rapists and child molesters most likely to repeat their crimes or violate
parole. (OCR, 2/25/02, Local 1) http://www.predator-hunter.com/links.htm
links to anti-pedophile organizations. ..... CA law requires "mandated
reporters" to report suspected child abuse or neglect. The mandated
reporters basically are those in law enforcement, education, health, social
work, counseling, clergy, film processing, firefighting, animal control. Penalty
for failure to report is up to 6 months and/or $1000. (OCR, 3/8/02, Local
5) ..... Since July 2004, have arrested 1700 pedophiles, with 459 from
southern CA, and 156 from Orange County. Most are not U.S.
citizens, and can be
deported. A La Habra man has been deported three times.
He was convicted in 1990
of impregnating his 14-year-old daughter and then forcing her to have an
abortion. (OCR, 1/30/04, Local 4)
Former Long Beach (CA)
police officer Michael Mc Donald (62) was sentenced to 8 years in prison
for molesting a 14-year old boy,
for 11 counts of child stealing, sodomy, oral copulation, possession of child
pornography, and distribution of pornography. McDonald never showed remorse. He
had been fired from the police in the early 1980s on charges he had molested
four girls. Those trials resulted in hung juries. (OCR, 2/9/02, Local 5) .....
Riverside (CA) police officer
Adam James Brown, 32, was charged with fondling and having sex with six boys
aged 8 to 11, in Beaver Dam, WI. Some acts were transmitted live over the
internet. (OCR, 2/11/04, News 19)
Children in UN refugee camps in West Africa are being widely
exploited by locally hired camp officials, who demand sex in exchange for food
and medicine. (OCR, 2/27/02, News 15)
An Orange County (CA) fourth grade teacher
(Jason Abhyankar, 27) is accused of molesting four boys ages 9 and 10. He
resigned from one school because of complaints about his behavior, spending time
alone with students. Despite this, the school gave him a strong
recommendation for a job at another school, where the alleged molestation
occurred. (OCR, 1/31/02, Local 6) ..... Abhyankar was convicted of molesting
three male students, and now faces up to 24 years in prison. (OCR, 2/28/02,
Local 1) ..... Abhyankar was sentenced to 24 years in prison. (OCR, 9/20/02,
Local 1) ..... About 75 parents attended an Ocean View School District (CA)
board meeting to accuse officials of dumping onto another district a problem
teacher (Abhyankar). A recomendation was written for Abhyankar after he
threatened to sue for defamation, when he was confronted about his inappropriate
behavior. A multi-million dollar law suit has been filed by parents against the
Ocean View School District officials. (OCR, 3/20/02, Local 2) .....
Ocean View School District has agreed to pay $6.8 million to six boys. molested
by teacher Jason Abhyankar, the largest amount ever paid by a CA school district
for molestation. (OCR, 7/31/03, News 1)
A Los Angeles rabbi teacher,
Mordecai Yomtov (36), pled guilty to sexual abuse and committing 10 lewd
acts against three boys (ages 10 to 12), and was sentenced to one year in jail and five
years probation, plus registering as a convicted sex offender and prohibited
from teaching. (KNX radio, 2/4/02, about 4:10pm; LAT, 2/5/02, B4) ..... Howard
Nevison, Cantor of NYC's largest Reform synagogue, was charged with sexually
molesting his young nephew (then 3 at the beginning) between 1993 and 1997.
(OCR, 2/21/02, News 16) ..... James Truxton, a former elder at First Evangelical
Free Church (Fullerton, CA), is accused of molesting a girl for 3 years starting
in 1978, when she was 7. (OCR, 4/19/02, Local 2) ..... Jehovah's Witnesses
allegedly have a database more than 23,000 people in the U.S., Canada, and
Europe that have been accused or found guilty of child abuse. (OCR, 8/11/02,
News 14) ..... In Salt Lake City, UT, David James Gomez, 57, has been
accused of 125 counts of sexual abuse for molesting boys while serving as a Mormon
bishop a decade ago.
(OCR, 4/22/04, News 15) ..... Ted Eugene Hendrix, 66. a former Yadkinville, NC,
was sentenced to 36 years in prison after pleading guilty for molesting his
three daughters daily for about 10 years, when they were younger. (OCR,
10/29/04, News 26)
6.25% of the workers in CA licensed child-care facilities are
convicted criminals; 7.14% in Orange County, CA. Almost 20% of the child-care centers
failed to make background checks until forced to comply, which could take years.
Convicted criminals are granted waivers, even when they lie about their pasts.
(OCR, 3/18/02, News 1) ..... At least seven Baldwin (PA) children, ages 8 to 12,
have been accused of invading the apartment of two young women, molesting them
and stealing their food. (OCR, 3/18/02, News 13) ..... CA spends $181 million
treating mental disorders for prisoners, but no money to treat the more than
7000 pedophilia prisoners. (OCR, 8/11/02, News 1)
priests, a clergyman, two police, and a foster parent are among 90 charged by
the FBI in operation Candyman, that found child porn that was very explicit
hardcore sexual exploitation. 40 have been arrested and 50 soon will be.
[Several have admitted molesting children.] A Yahoo e-mail group had 7000 who
traded in child porn. (OCR, 3/19/02, News 10) ..... Trenton Michael Veches, 31,
was arrested for lewd conduct with a minor. The Newport Beach (CA) youth-program
supervisor had hundreds of digital camera pictures of semi-naked boys, showing
him engaged in inappropriate contact with children, some in programs he
supervised. (OCR, 4/21/02, Local 1) ..... Veches was found guilty of 25 counts
of child molestation of 23 boys, involving sucking the boys' feet and toes. He
faces life in prison. (OCR, 5/21/03, Local 1) ..... An Anaheim (CA) father
was convicted for impregnating his 12-year-old daughter. Victor Ruben Martin,
29, faces up to 19 years in prison. (OCR,
4/25/02, Local 1) ..... Martin was sentenced to the maximum 19 years for paying
his 12-year-old daughter for sex. The girl did not know she was pregnant until
she went to the hospital with pain. A son was born and is in the care of Dept.
of Social Services. (OCR, 6/22/02, Local 7) ..... John Goff, 41, (Akron, OH) was
sentenced to 20 years in prison because he and his wife, Narda, 43, artificially
inseminated their daughter,
then 16, in 1998. Narda could not have children because of a hysterectomy and
was sentenced to 3 years in prison. The daughter gave birth to a boy, now in
foster care. (OCR, 10/9/02, News 30) ..... Narda Goff was released
after serving 8 months because she said she was sorry for the first time. (OCR,
2/5/03, News 18)
A new book
(Harmful to Minors by Judith Levine) says a boy's sexual relationship with a
priest can be positive. The real danger is not the pedophile, but parents who
project their fears and own lust for young flesh. The Rind study (Psychological
Bulletin, 1998) concludes that child sex abuse "does not cause intense harm
on a pervasive basis." Tom O'Carroll (20-year pedophile advocate) will
address a Paris sex convention on privacy rights of pedophiles and their child
partners, and his pedophilia book is on the course list at Cambridge University
(USN&WR, 4/22/02, 53)
Jerrold Schwartz, 42, was scoutmaster
of Troop 666 based at a church in New York City. He pleaded guilty to sodomy
with a 16-year-old boy from Sept. to Dec. 1996. The victim was 12 when the
molestation began. Other victims also have come forward. Schwartz now is free on
bail and running a tour business for Scouts and students. (Denver Post, 5/15/02,
B1) ..... There are 95,000 registered sex offenders in CA, 3,500 in Orange
County, and nearly all are considered high-risk, and thus listed in public
databases. Law enforcement have this information on computers that can be
viewed. There is an attempt to make the info available via internet. (OCR,
8/14/02, News 1) ..... Milpitas (CA) elementary school fourth-grade
teacher-of-the-year Craig Allen Harward, 54, was arrested and charged with
molesting 4 boys and one girl, between ages 7 and 13. (OCR, 8/18/02, News 24)
..... Former Waterbury, CT, Mayor
Philip Giordano is accused of having sex with two sisters, 9 and 11, daughters
of a prostitute with which Giordano also was having sex. (OCR, 9/19/02, News 22)
..... CHP officer James Hornung,
37, was arrested for molesting a girl, then 13 and 14, in 1999 and 2000. (OCR, 9/19/02,
Local 4) ..... Roger Alan Giese, 27, an assistant choir director for the
Orange County (CA) All-American Boys
Chorus, faces six counts for molesting a teen-age boy for the past four
years. (OCR, 9/25/02, Local 1) .... Giese was ordered to stand trial and faces
12 years 8 months if convicted. (OCR, 3/6/03, Local 2) ..... Former hockey
team Toronto Maple Leaf's owner, Harold Ballard, and two employees have
been accused of sexual abuse against young boys for years. (OCR, 10/18/02,
Sports 15) ..... A Fountain Valley (CA) church
youth counselor, Scott Mahfouz, was charged with molesting young boys.
(OCR, 12/21/02, Local 7) ..... James C. Truxton, a former Fullerton (CA) church
elder, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a seven-year-old girl for
three years starting in 1978. (OCR, 2/25/03, Local 4) ..... Anaheim (CA) school
teacher Frank Farsad, 54, pleaded not guilty to 11 felony counts of
molesting two student 16-year-old girls at Sycamore Jr. H.S. and his home. (OCR,
2/25/03, Local 4) ..... Eleven-year old Dana Pevia disappeared from Raedford,
NC, in 1999. She now claims she voluntarily left with 18-year-old Hector Majarro
Frausto, a neighbor, after he
impregnated her. They flew to Mexico to stay with his family. She stayed in
Mexico fours years, returning to her NC home at 15, with two of her own
children, 3 years old and 3 months old. (OCR, 3/28/03, News 23) ..... Jonathan
Hardy, 32, a volunteer youth counselor
at Coast Hills Community Church (Mission Viejo, CA) was charged with sexually
molesting two boys under 14. (OCR, 10/11/03, Local 2) ..... Malachi York,
58, "Master Teacher" of
the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors, was sentenced in Macon, GA, to 135 years
for molesting 14 boys and girls
from 1998 to 2002. (OCR, 4/23/04, News 26) ..... Marshall, TX, Lutheran
minister Gerald Patrick Thomas Jr. was sentenced last year to 397 years
in prison for molesting boys. (OCR, 4/23/04, News 25) ..... Tammy Imre, 29, a
recetionist in Stratford, CT, was charged with repeatedly having sex
with an eight-year-old boy. Imre's mother said Tammy was just too
friendly. (USN&WR, 1/17/05, 77) ..... Sarah Suzanne Bench-Salorio, 28, an
Orange (CA) middle-school teacher
faces 28 charges of engaging in sexual affairs during a 20-month span with two
former boy students, both under 14.
(OCR, 1/15/05, Local 8) ..... Congressman
Mark Foley, 52, resigned after sending inappropriate e-mails to a 16-year-old
male page. (OCR, 9/30/06, News 7) ..... Ted Roy Williams (58) was arrested in GA
for imprisoning and sexually abusing a MA 17-year-old boy, whom he met on MySpace.
(OCR, 9/30/06, News 14)
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP, 1/7/03) - California has lost track of more than 33,000
convicted sex offenders, despite a law requiring rapists and child molesters to register each year for inclusion in the Megan's Law database.
..... The IL Supreme Court ruled that sex
offenders as young as 12 can ordered to register as "sexual
predators" for the rest of their lives. (OCR, 2/23/03, News 23) ..... Santa
Clara County (CA) Superior court Judge Robert Baines ruled that Brian DeVries,
44, is eligible for release.
DeVries molested at least 9 boys, first arrested in 1978, finished his prison
term in 1997, and has been at Atascadero State Hospital since then. He had
himself surgically castrated in August. He will be the first sex predator to go
through the controversial treatment program and released from prison. (OCR,
2/25/03, News 9) ..... ALBANY, N.Y. (10/305, AP) - Republican Gov. George Pataki has ordered state officials to
keep some sexual predators locked up after their prison sentences are up. The order extends the state's involuntary commitment law, normally used for the mentally ill, to sexual predators. It requires offenders nearing the end of their sentences undergo an evaluation to determine if they are a public safety risk. As of the end of last week, 32 inmates had been evaluated and five sent to a psychiatric hospital under the governor's new program. At least 16 other states and the District of Columbia have civil confinement laws. The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld such laws.
Evans (38) was sentenced 19 months in prison after he and two other men branded
Phillip Gibson (38) on his genitals and buttocks for sodomizing two of Evans'
nephews, ages 7 and 10. Gibson was hospitalized for three weeks, and now is
serving an 8 to 40 year sentence for assaulting the two boys. (OCR, 8/29/02,
News 16) ..... Michael Aaron Wilson, 45, and William Joseph Fritsch, 22,
both of Bush Prairie, WA, met a 47-year-old homeless Seattle man in an internet
chat room. They sent him a bus ticket and picked him up in Portland, OR.
They placed a hood over his face, gagged him, handcuffed him and held him 8 days
as a sex slave in a torture chamber, until the man escaped. The two men are
charged with first-degree kidnapping, rape, and assault. (OCR, 9/8/02, News 30)
..... In Angers, France, 66 people are accused of involvement of the rape,
incest, sexual abuse, and prostitution of 45
children, some too young to walk. (OCR, 3/11/05, News 29)
Santa Ana, CA (3/28/05, AP) - An 87-year-old
man convicted of attempting to travel to the Philippines to molest young
girls was sentenced Monday to 20 years
in prison under a 2003 federal law aimed at fighting so-called sex
tourism. John W. Seljan was the first person to be convicted at trial of
violating the Protect Act, which made it easier for U.S. authorities to
prosecute people for overseas sex crimes, according to U.S. Immigration and
Customs Enforcement. At least two other men pleaded guilty before trial in
unrelated cases. Seljan sat in a wheelchair and used headphones to listen to the
proceedings when he was convicted by a judge during a non-jury trial in
November. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested him in October
2003 at Los Angeles International Airport as he was about to board a flight to
the Philippines. In his luggage, he had child pornography, sexual aids and
nearly 100 pounds of chocolates and other candy. Authorities said he intended
to have sex with two girls, ages 9 and 12. At the trial, a federal agent
testified Seljan, who had been exchanging letters with the two girls, told
investigators he had "sexually educated" young girls in the
Philippines with their parents' alleged consent since 1983.
FORT WORTH, TX (3/30/05, AP) - A former
high-ranking Boy Scouts of America official who ran a task force that
worked to protect children from sexual
abuse pleaded guilty Wednesday to a federal child pornography charge.
Douglas Sovereign Smith Jr., 61, was accused of receiving images over the
Internet of children engaging in sex acts. He pleaded guilty to a charge of
possession and distribution of child pornography. He faces five to 20 years in
prison without parole and up to a $250,000 fine. Smith, who worked for the Boy
Scouts 39 years, was a national program director and led the Youth Protection
Task Force that worked to shield youth from sexual abuse. But he did not work
directly with children, Boy Scouts officials said. There was no evidence Smith
had inappropriate contact with children. The Boy Scouts have had other
problems with their personnel, including volunteers. A California court
case in the early 1990s revealed about 2,000 cases of sexual abuse of scouts and
other boys that Boy Scouts officials in Irving had documented privately for two
decades without telling law enforcement officials. ..... ALBANY, N.Y. (5/22/05, AP) - Scores of convicted rapists and other high-risk sex
offenders in New York have been getting
Viagra paid by Medicaid for the last five years. Between January 2000 and
March 2005, 198 sex offenders in New York received Medicaid-reimbursed Viagra
after their convictions. Those included crimes against children as young as 2
SAN JOSE, CA (6/17/05, AP) - Man
May Have Molested Thousands. Police searching the home of a convicted
child molester, 63-year-old Dean Arthur Schwartzmiller, discovered handwritten
lists of more than 36,000
children's names - mostly boys -
and codes that appear to indicate how he abused them. The lists are written in
loopy cursive on 1,360 pages in seven multicolored, spiral-bound notebooks,
according to police. Headings for the logs include ''Blond Boys,'' ''Cute Boys''
and ''Boys who say no.'' Schwartzmiller's beige stucco ranch is a 10-minute walk
from at least two elementary schools. The front door was plastered with eviction
notices from the landlord Thursday. Half-closed blinds revealed a home office
whose floor was littered with power cords, computer manuals, printers, manila
envelopes and a bottle of tequila. Authorities also arrested Schwartzmiller's
roommate, another convicted child molester, who was wanted for violating parole
in Oregon. Fred Everts was charged with child molestation in San Jose.
Schwartzmiller was being held without bail on one count of aggravated sexual
assault on a child and six counts of lewd and lascivious conduct on a child,
with each count alleging multiple victims. He was arrested in Washington state
late last month and sent to San Jose on June 7. Schwartzmiller apparently gained
the trust of victims and parents by working as a home renovation contractor. San
Jose police got involved after he allegedly befriended at least two boys in the
city with gifts, invited them to his house for video games and movies, and
molested them. Schwartzmiller apparently did not register as a sex offender, so
his history did not appear in the ''Megan's Law'' databases in California or
other states. Although Schwartzmiller appears to have spent much of the past 30
years in California, he has been arrested on child molestation charges in New
York, Arkansas and Washington. He also served prison time in Idaho for child
molestation in the late 1970s, and is wanted in Oregon on sexual assault charges
involving a minor. In the 1980s, while living in Brazil, he was extradited back
to Idaho to serve more time. Police believe he may have victims in Brazil and
San Antonio, TX (OCR, 12/24/08, News 6) 12 girls were
sexually abused at a polygamy sect's ranch. The young girls were
"spiritually married" to adult men. 7 of the 12 girls, ages 12 to 15,
had one or more children.
5. GUNS: During the Watts Riots in Los Angeles, my
family and I lived about 20 miles away. The media were very unclear about what
was happening. There were rumors that roving gangs of rioters were attacking
homes in other areas. The national guard armory was one block away, and the
guard was being mobilized. I had no weapons, other than my tennis racket, and
felt very vulnerable about protecting my family. Someone selling an M1
Carbine at that time said he had dozens of phone calls. Everyone seemed to want a means
to protect his family. Unfortunately, some people want to prevent others from
having guns to defend themselves. Now, these people have a right not to have any guns.
But, why prevent other law biding citizens from protecting their own
families? There are more and more restrictive gun laws. There is a strong
push for registration, which historically leads to confiscation. Gun laws may
deter honest citizens, but will not keep the bad guys from getting their
weapons. The police cannot protect everyone, so the bad guys will be able to do
what they want with little fear. Prohibition failed. Drug laws are failing.
Immigration laws are failing. Why does anyone think restrictive gun laws will
stop the bad guys from having weapons? ..... "Wide gun ownership by
law-biding citizens is more likely to reduce
crime than is gun control." (OCR, 4/29/02, Local 6) ..... The CDC
reviewed 51 studies about the effectiveness of 8 types of gun-control laws, and
found no proof that they reduce firearm
violence. (OCR, 10/3/03, News 26)
Supreme Court Ruling Backs Individual Gun Rights
The U.S. Supreme Court declared
Monday that individual gun
rights under the Second Amendment apply and may be used to block
enforcement of certain restrictive state and local gun control
ordinances. By a 5-4 vote along the court's familiar ideological lines,
the justices jeopardized two Illinois ordinances and threw hundreds more
around the nation into doubt. At the same time, however, the court
reiterated its view that lawmakers could continue to impose certain
reasonable restrictions on gun ownership and possession.
Justice Samuel Alito wrote the majority opinion in McDonald v.
Chicago that, unsurprisingly, relied extensively upon the court's
in Heller v. District of Columbia. In the Heller case,
the court first and famously recognized an individual gun right under
the Second Amendment to block a very restrictive federal ban on
handguns. "In Heller," Justice Alito wrote Monday,
"we held that the Second Amendment protects the right to possess a
handgun in the home for the purpose of self-defense." To now treat
that recognized right "as a second-class right, subject to an
entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights
guarantees," Justice Alito wrote, would track against common sense
and the court's precedent.
In reaching it's widely anticipated ruling, the court also endorsed much
of the rationale provided by those who challenged the Illinois statute.
"If, as petitioners believe, their safety and the safety of other
law-abiding members of the community would be enhanced by the possession
of hand-guns in the home for self-defense," Justice Alito wrote,
"then the Second Amendment right protects the rights of minorities
and other residents of high-crime areas whose needs are not being met by
elected public officials."
Yet even as the court's majority took away power from state and local
legislators, it sought to reassure them -- and gun control advocates
around the nation. The Second Amendment, he wrote, like all other
constitutional rights, is not absolute. "We made it clear in Heller,
Justice Alito wrote, "that our holding did not cast doubt on such
longstanding regulatory measures as 'prohibitions on the possession of
firearms by felons and the mentally ill,' 'laws forbidding the carrying
of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government
buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the
commercial sale of arms.' We repeat those assurances here. Despite
municipal respondents' doomsday proclamations, incorporation does not
imperil every law regulating firearms."
In dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote to say that he would not
have voted to "incorporate" the substance of the Heller ruling
to apply to state and local regulations like the ones at issue in
Illinois. "Even accepting the Court's holding in Heller,
Justice Stevens wrote on his final day of a 35-year career on the Court,
"it remains entirely possible that the right to keep and bear arms
identified in that opinion is not judicially enforceable against the
States, or that only part of the right is so enforceable. It is likewise
possible for the Court to find in this case that some part of the Heller
right applies to the States, and then to find in later cases that other
parts of the right also apply, or apply on different terms."
The ruling all but assures a great deal of litigation over the scope of
the McDonald ruling. We will now see a wave of lawsuits by gun
rights advocates seeking to invalidate gun control measures across the
country. Many of these challenges will succeed -- especially where the
local or state gun laws are similar to the one struck down in Heller or
challenged in McDonald. At the same time, state lawmakers around the
country are likely to struggle to discern the true scope of the Heller-McDonald
analysis. Does a gun restriction fall under the scope of the Second
Amendment? Or is it one of those "longstanding regulatory
measures" that Justice Alito expressly endorsed for the majority?
[Politics Daily, 6/28/10, http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/06/28/supreme-court-ruling-backs-individual-gun-rights/
Editorial: Silver lining in gun ruling
9th Circuit concedes individual gun rights.
An Orange County Register editorial, Wednesday, April 29, 2009, Local 10
A recent decision in the liberal 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals actually
advances the constitutional concept of an individual right to gun ownership
even as the judges upheld an Alameda County decision to ban gun shows from
county property. The decision is a mixed bag, but the case shows the degree to
which the U.S. Supreme Court's Heller decision last year is influencing the
way other courts view the Second Amendment. That's a good thing.
Heller struck down portions of an onerous District of Columbia gun ban. It
was the first time the nation's high court directly addressed the question of
whether the Second Amendment protected individual gun ownership rights or
whether the amendment merely protected a collective right to own guns as part
of a militia. Although the Supreme Court defended the ability of governments
to pass restrictions on gun ownership, it found that the D.C. law
"amounts to a prohibition on an entire class of 'arms' that Americans
overwhelmingly choose for the lawful purpose of self-defense."
Now enter the Nordyke vs. King case, decided by the 9th Circuit this month.
At issue was a law that banned most firearms from most county property and was
used to keep the proprietors of a gun show (the Nordykes) from holding a show
at the county fairgrounds. The county supervisor who proposed the ordinance
made statements suggesting that for years she had been seeking a way to keep
gun shows out of the county. Yet the appeals court sided with the county on
First Amendment and equal-protection claims and affirmed "the district
court's refusal to grant the Nordykes leave to amend their complaint to add a
Second Amendment claim to this case." The appeals court ruled,
essentially, that the county has a right to prohibit firearms on its property
if it so chooses.
That's bad news for the Nordykes, but the 9th Circuit's reasoning contains
a significant victory for gun-right advocates. The court unequivocally stated
that individuals have the constitutional right to own firearms. Because the
right to keep and bear arms was a fundamental right that predates the
Constitution and is a necessary part of the nation's history and traditions,
the court also found that the 14th Amendment applies this right to the states.
The 9th Circuit panel pointed to Heller, which "characterized the right
to keep and bear arms as a corollary to the individual right of
self-defense." The court offered a history lesson of the development of
this individual right, and pointed to William Blackstone's views that
"the right to bear arms closely followed from the absolute rights to
personal security, personal liberty and personal property. It was a right
crucial to safeguarding all other rights."
The judges also made the compelling argument of the importance of gun
ownership in the case of civil rights by pointing to efforts by government
authorities following the Civil War to disarm newly freed slaves. Ending such
abuses, the court explained, was one reason the 14th Amendment was enacted.
"So, inside this dark cloud of an opinion which allows a local
government to deny a fundamental right simply because a person happens to be
in or even walk across property owned by the local government entity is a
sliver lining," said former Libertarian Party presidential candidate Bob
Barr. "Perhaps if we have more court decisions with such silver linings,
in the not-too-distant future, citizens all across American will be able to
enjoy the practical manifestation of the fundamental right recognized in the
Heller decision." Perhaps we will. As always, the task of protecting our liberties is a long
and torturous battle, but at least in this case even the 9th Circuit got the
fundamental point right.
Current research and data on firearms, violent crime, and
suicide are too weak to support strong conclusions about the effects of various
violence-prevention, deterrence and control measures, says a new report from the
National Academies' National Research Council. Based on 253 journal articles, 99
books, 43 government publications, survey of 80 gun-control measures, and its
own empirical work, the panel could not
identify a single gun-control regulation that reduced violent crime, suicide or
accidents. The panel ignored research that right-to-carry
laws reduced crime, and researched showed that gun
locks prevent people from using guns defensively. (OCR, 1/9/04,
The firearm murder rate has dropped about 40% in the past 15
years. Far more people are killed by motor vehicles or medical malpractice
every year than are killed by guns. About 30,000 people are kiled in America by
guns every year, about 60% are suicides. An estimated 80,000 Americans
used guns yearly to protect themselves or their property. An estimated 2,000,000
crimes a year are prevented by the presence of privately-owned firearms.
(OCR, 3/23/06, Local 2)
Whenever gun ownership rights are debated, anti-gun activists like to
point out that about 30,000 people are killed by guns in America every year. But
they seldom note that about 60 percent
of those deaths are suicides, or
that the national firearm murder rate
has dropped by 40 percent in the past 15 years, or that far more people
are killed by motor vehicles or medical malpractice every year than are killed
by guns. And they seldom if ever acknowledge that local gun bans simply dont
work. In Washington, D.C., for example, after handguns had been banned for 32
years, there were more gun-related murders last year 143 of them than
there were in 1976, when the handgun ban was enacted and the city counted up 135
gun-related killings. Meanwhile, how many times did law-abiding citizens in
America use firearms to prevent crimes against themselves or others? That's a
hard thing to quantify. One U.S. government survey in the 1990s estimated that
more than 80,000 Americans a year used
guns in an effort to protect themselves or their property against crime.
Other estimates put the number far higher, at more than 2
million crimes prevented each year by the presence of privately owned
firearms. But whatever number you accept, its clear that American citizens
use firearms defensively thousands upon thousands of times each year. By
upholding the constitutional right of Americans to own firearms subject, as
all constitutional rights are, to certain limitations the Supreme Court has
recognized that there are times when only we can defend ourselves. Because when
seconds count, the cops can be there in minutes. (OCR, 6/27/08, News 2)
"Switzerland has a
high rate of gun ownership but low crime. In a country of 6 million
people, there are an estimated 2 million privately held firearms, including
about 600,000 automatic rifles and 500,000 pistols. ..... All men undergo
military training ..... and are given an assault rifle and 24 round of
ammunition to keep at home. The government even sell surplus weaponry to the
public when new equipment is introduced. Because of the low crime rate, public
building have little security and politicians travel without protection."
(LAT, 9/28/01, A12)
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (10/24/05, AP) - Brazilians Reject Proposed Gun
Ban. Brazilians struck down a proposal to ban the sale of guns in a national referendum, rejecting a bid to stem one of the world's highest firearm murder rates in a debate that mirrored the gun control battle in the United States. Brazil has 100 million fewer citizens than the United States, but a staggering 25 percent more gun deaths at nearly 40,000 a year. While supporters argued gun control was the best way to stanch the violence, opponents played on Brazilians' fears that the police can't protect them in the campaign leading up to Sunday's vote. "I don't like people walking around armed on the street. But since all the bandits have guns, you need to have a gun at home," said taxi driver Mohammed Osei, who voted against the ban. With more than 92 percent of the votes counted, 64 percent of Brazilians opposed the ban, while 36 percent backed it, said election officials, giving the 'no' position an insurmountable lead. According to UNESCO, Brazil ranks second in deaths by guns, with 21.72 per 100,000 people a year. Only Venezuela has more - 34.3 gun deaths per 100,000.
Australia top U.S. in violent crime
Down Under increase despite strict gun-control measures"
shows increased gun control in industrial nations resulted in increased violent
A 1999 LAT poll found that "Self-defense
is the single most common reason they cite for owning a gun." (LAT
Magazine, 11/18/01, 12) ..... Despite a restraining order, Eric Kiefer, 35,
assaulted his ex-wife Dana Kiefer, 30, on Sunday. He was arrested and released
on bail. At 1a.m. on Thursday, he broke into his ex-in-law's house, armed with a
hatchet. He attacked and injured
several people in the house, before he was shot and killed by the ex-wife's
boyfriend, Mathew Dyer (30), who was struck by the hatchet, grabbed
a shotgun, and fatally shot Eric Kiefer in the chest. (OCR, 11/1/02,
Local 1) [Control hatchets, hammers, knives, etc.?] ..... Sheriff's officials
said the death of wife-beating drug addict Eric Keifer in Laguna Hills (CA) may
have saved the lives of five other people in the house. His death will be
counted as a violent gun death in the statistics quoted by anti-gun groups. The
CDC said 30,000 people are
"victims" of fire-arms deaths every year; 60% of those deaths are
suicides. The killing of criminals and thugs is lumped with the killing
of the innocent. Nobody collects exact statistics on how many crimes were
prevented by the presence of a gun. In Orange County (CA) with 3 million
population, there were 84 suicide deaths, 2 accidental gun deaths, and 46 gun
homicides (no differentiation between guilty and innocent) in 2001. (OCR,
11/3/02, Local 1)
Academic studies show people use guns
defensively 2 million times a year. If a new law disarms law-abiding citizens
rather than criminals, might that not increase crime? (LAT, 8/31/01, B15) ..... FBI statistics show that background checks for gun purchases
increased from 9% to 22% after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. A survey of gun
retailers showed a 25% increase in gun sales. People
want to protect themselves and their families.
(OCR, 12/16/01, News 20) ..... Ron Dixon, 27, found an intruder in his
son's room in Brooklyn, NY. He retrieved his 9mm from a closet and confronted
the intruder, who attacked Dixon. Dixon shot the intruder twice nonfatally. The
intruder was a career crook with a 14-page rap sheet. Dixon legally had bought
the gun in FL, but failed to register it after moving to NY. The DA now is
trying to prosecute Dixon for having an unregistered firearm. (OCR,
1/29/03, Local 7) ..... CA justice officials are violating federal law by using
the national firearms database to weed out illegal gun owners. They have seized
300 guns, including 96 assault weapons from 42 people who bought them legally,
but subsequently were prohibited. (OCR, 3/1/03, News 26) [registration ->
confiscation] ..... Scott J. Eizember, 42, was on the lam 5 weeks after killing
an elderly couple in OK. He drove to AR and kidnapped a doctor and his wife. The
doctor shot Eizember at least 3 times at a truck stop in East Texas, with a gun
the doctor had hidden in his van. (OCR, 11/25/03, News 16) ..... Kansas Gov.
Kathleen Sebelius vetoed a bill to allow Kansans to carry
concealed weapons if they are over 20, U.S. citizen, complete 8 hours
training, no mental illness or substance abuse, and pay $150. (OCR, 4/17/04,
50/.50 Caliber BMG Rifles --
Would ban for future sale, manufacture, and import of the .50 Caliber BMG Rifle
and require current owners to pay a $25 fee to register them. To my knowledge,
caliber target rifle
has never been used in a criminal incident in the history of the State of
California. So a question arises as to why legislation is needed to deprive law
of their right to
continue to own these target rifles. Furthermore, the .50 BMG rifle is quite
expensive -- anywhere between $2,500-$10,000. The rifle is also not
well-suited for use as a crime gun because of its high cost and slow rate of
fire. (It is a bolt action rifle). I opposed AB 50 on the Assembly Floor."
(8/25/04 e-mail from CA Assemblywoman Lynn Daucher: Assemblymember.Daucher@assembly.ca.gov
"Gary Kleck, a criminologist at Florida State University,
contends that guns are mentioned, brandished or fired in self-defense 2.5
million times a year. That means that armed self-defense is up to five times more
common than armed crime." Victims who put up armed resistance are less
likely to suffer injury or lose property. Kleck says armed self-protection works
best. The violent crime rate in Kennnesaw, GA dropped by 27% a year after they
passed a law requiring each house to have a gun. "It makes people think
twice about coming to commit a crime in our area." (LAT, 4/11/01, A5) .....
"Prison inmates tell Justice Department interviewers that while committing
a crime, running into a citizen armed to
defend himself is one of their greatest fears. (OCR, 1/29/03, Local 7)
Gun-related injuries fell almost 50% from 1993 to 64,484 in
1998. Gun-related deaths fell 26% from 1993 to 30,708 in 1998. More than
half of gun-related deaths in 1998 are suicides. (OCR, 4/13/01, News 23) .....
John Williams, 68, used a 38-caliber revolver to shoot his terminally-ill wife,
Eiko, 74, in a Chula vista, CA, hospital, and then shot himself. It was a mercy-type
killing and a suicide. (OCR, 12/13/03, News 17) [The anti-gun people
probably will include this as gun-related deaths.]
"So far, every state high court and federal appellate
court to consider a suit against gun manufacturers has ruled that makers of
legal non-defective guns cannot be sued for their criminal misuse." The CA
Supreme Court shortly will rule on a similar case. (OCR, 5/10/01, News 22) [Will
auto manufacturers be held liable for drunk drivers, or tool makers be held
liable for a berserk carpenter?] ..... In a 5-1 decision, the CA Supreme Court ruled that
cannot be held responsible when their products are used to commit crimes. (LAT,
8/7/01, A1) [Why not sue makers of certain cars or ski masks when they are used
in crimes?] ..... The Supreme Court refused to review a ruling that protects
weapon makers from local government lawsuits in Louisiana. Similar Georgia and
Michigan laws have been contested. Local government lawsuits are pending in CA,
DE, MA, OH, and NY. (OCR, 10/10/01, News 11) ..... CA Gov. Davis signed laws AB
496 and SB 682, that will permit trial lawyers to file lawsuits against gun and
ammunition manufacturers on the theory that they should have known that
criminals would use their non-defective products to hurt others. (OCR, 9/27/02,
Local 8).....Smith & Wesson was purchased in 1987 for more than $100
million, and now sold for $15 million. "The low purchase price reflects
Smith & Wesson's continuing exposure to litigation over gun violence in U.S.
cities, as well as sales losses from gun-rights groups." (LAT, 5/15/01,
C12) ..... A West Palm Beach (FL) jury ordered a weapons distributor to pay $1.2
million to the widow of a teacher gunned down by Nathaniel Brazill, 13, because
the gun was sold without a safety
feature, such as a lock. The gun manufacturer, Raven Arms, is no longer
in business. (OCR, 11/15/02, News 31) ..... Circuit Court Judge Jorge
Labarga tossed out the $1.2 million (Brazill) verdict because the gun
was not defective. (OCR, 1/28/03, News 10) ..... Despite a finding in NY
that gun manufacturers put the public at risk with careless marketing practices,
a federal judge threw out the NAACP's case because they failed to prove its
members were uniquely harmed. (OCR, 7/22/03, News 9) ..... A Senate bill
will immunize gun manufacturers
and distributors from lawsuits arising out of use of the guns in crime. Since
1998, at least 33 government entities have sued makers, but none successfully.
33 states now have laws exempting gun manufacturers and distributors from such
suits. (OCR, 10/11/03, News 18) ..... A Philadelphia gun dealer legally
sold 10 small hand guns, from 1994 to 1997, to a man who illegally
resold them. A child found one of the guns under a parked car and
accidentally killed another child. The gun dealer agreed to pay $850,000 to the
mother of the slain child. This could have broad implications for gun dealers
who sell to "straw" buyers or gun traffickers. (OCR, 8/25/04, News 14)
..... Lawsuits against gun and
ammunition manufacturers http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment-wheeler072403.asp
..... The IL Supreme Court unanimously rejected a law suit against gun
manufacturers, making them liable for misuse of their products. (OCR, 11/21/04,
WASHINGTON (10/20/05, AP) -- Congress OKs Gun Industry Lawsuit Shield.
Congress passed a bill that would protect the firearms industry from massive lawsuits brought by crime victims. The White House says President Bush will sign it into law.
The breakdown of law and order in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina may have helped the bill win passage, a backer of the bill said.
"Lawsuits seeking to hold the firearms industry responsible for the criminal and unlawful use of its products are brazen attempts to accomplish through litigation what has not been achieved by legislation and the democratic process," House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., told his colleagues.
Horrific images of people without the protection of public safety in New Orleans made a particular impression on viewers who had never before felt unsafe, according to the gun lobby.
"Americans saw a complete collapse of the government's ability to protect them," said Wayne LaPierre, the NRA's executive vice president.
"That burnt in, those pictures of people standing there defending their lives and defending their property and their family," he added, "where the one source of comfort was a firearm."
The bill still would allow civil suits against individual parties who have been found guilty of criminal wrongdoing by the courts.
A federal appeals court ruled 2-1 that the District of Columbia's extraordinarily
strict gun control law, which allows
only current and retired police officers to have handguns in their homes,
violates the Constitution's Second Amendment: "A well regulated militia,
being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep
and bear arms, shall not be infringed." This ruling probably will be
reviewed by the Supreme Court, which 68 years ago seemed to hold that the
amendment's first 13 words circumscribe the force of the rest. That is, there is
a constitutionally protected right to "keep and bear" guns only
insofar as the keeping and bearing are pertinent to service in state-run
militias. In 2000, advocates of stringent gun control thought they had won their
argument with historical evidence when an Emory University historian, Michael
Bellesiles, published "Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun
Culture." This book, which was awarded the Bancroft Prize, the most coveted
honor for American history scholarship, argued that when the Second Amendment
was written, guns were not widely owned or reliable enough to be important.
Therefore the amendment was written to protect only the rights of states, not of
individuals. Before long, however, other scholars argued that much of Bellesiles'
"research" consisted of meretricious uses of, fabrication of or
disregard of evidence. And in 1989, Sanford Levinson of the University of Texas
Law School had written in a Yale Law Journal article, "The Embarrassing
Second Amendment," that the amendment's language, properly read, is an
embarrassment to those who favor whittling away the amendment's protection of
the individuals' right to own guns. He noted that if James Madison, the foremost
shaper of the Constitution, and his colleagues in the First Congress intended
the Second Amendment to protect only the states' rights to maintain militias,
the amendment could have simply said: "Congress shall have no power to
prohibit state militias." Or as Virginia's George Mason, who opposed
ratification of the Constitution because it lacked a Bill of Rights, said,
"Who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people." When
Madison and others fashioned the Bill of Rights, they did not merely
constitutionalize -- make fundamental -- the right to bear arms. They made the
Second Amendment second only to the First, which protects the freedoms of
speech, press, assembly and worship. They did that because individual dignity
and self-respect, which are essential to self-government, are related to a
readiness for self-defense -- the public's involvement in public safety. Indeed,
150 years ago this month, in the Dred Scott decision, Chief Justice Roger Taney
said that one proof that blacks could not be citizens was the fact that the
Founders did not envision them having the same rights that whites have,
including the right to "keep and carry arms." Increasingly, however,
some constitutional scholars and judicial rulings argue that several restraints
the Bill of Rights puts on government can be disregarded if the worthiness -- as
academics or judges assess that -- of government's purposes justifies ignoring
those restraints. Erwin Chemerinsky, professor of law and political science at
Duke University, argued in the Washington Post last week that even if the Second
Amendment is correctly construed as creating an individual right to gun
ownership, the D.C. law should still be constitutional because the city had a
defensible intent (reducing violence) when it annihilated that right. Sound
familiar? Defenders of the McCain-Feingold law, which restricts the amount,
timing and content of political campaign speech, say: Yes, yes, the First
Amendment says there shall be "no law ... abridging the freedom of
speech." But that proscription can be disregarded because the legislators'
(professed) intent -- to prevent the "appearance" of corruption and to
elevate political discourse -- is admirable. If the Supreme Court reverses the
appeals court's ruling and upholds the D.C. gun law, states and localities will
be empowered to treat the Second Amendment as the D.C. law does -- as a nullity.
This will bring the gun control issue -- and millions of gun owners -- back to a
roiling boil. That is not in the interest of the Democratic Party, which is
supported by most ardent supporters of gun control. (Detroit News,
Gun control advocates admit that their goals on a federal level
are unrealistic. They are going to push on a state and local level. New York and
Louisiana courts recently struck down lawsuits holding the firearms industry
responsible for gun deaths. (USN&WR, 5/7/01, 28)
The CA Supreme Court ruled that legislation banning assault
weapons must clearly specify the make and model, not be ambiguous. In 1990, only
about 3% of the guns recovered from aggravated assaults, homicides, and drug
dealers were assault weapons. Banning assault weapons does nothing to deter
violent crime. (OCR, 7/5/01, Local 8) ..... Butcher
knife stabbings have resulted in thousands of deaths in recent years.
Isn't it time to outlaw such knives? (OCR, 3/23/04, Local 7)
The second amendment reads, "A well-regulated militia,
being necessary for the security of a free state, the right of the people to
keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." The Attorney General now is
asserting that it covers individual gun-ownership
rights, not only collective
gun rights by militias. This interpretation could have sweeping effects on gun
control legislation. (LAT, 7/12/01, A20) ..... The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of
Appeals "ruled for the first time that the
2nd Amendment gives individuals a constitutional right to 'privately possess and
bear their own firearms.'" (LAT, 10/17/01, A22) [United States vs.
Emerson] ...... "The Justice Department, reversing decades of official
government policy on the meaning of the Second Amendment, has told the Supreme
court for the first time that the Constitution 'broadly protects the
rights of individuals' to own firearms." (OCR, 5/8/02, News 17) .....
Colorado now has a law requiring sheriffs concealed-weapons
permits to any law-abiding citizen over 21 with no felony criminal
background, no restraining order, no serious drug or alcohol problem. 34 other
states have similar laws. (Rocky Mountain News & Denver Post, 5/17/03, 3A)
JUNEAU, AK (10/17/05, AP) - New Anti-Gun Control Law Set for Alaska.
Starting Wednesday, handgun owners won't need permits to carry concealed weapons in the seven Alaska cities where they're still required. There also will be
no more restrictions on keeping a firearm in a
vehicle. A new state anti-gun control law that goes into effect will essentially bar municipalities from passing gun laws that are more restrictive than state law.
The National Rifle Association, which helped Republican state Rep. Mike Chenault write the legislation, says except for the concealed weapon permit requirements, most Alaska city and state gun laws are the same.
What the NRA wants to do is prevent cities from passing more restrictive laws in the future. It calls it state pre-emption, and Alaska will be the 44th state to have such a law on its books.
"We are looking to make it uniform to all 50 states," said NRA spokeswoman Kelly Hobbs. "Without it, it creates an unfair, inconsistent and confusing patchwork of local firearm ordinances."
The law and history support the Justice Dept. Both have
recognized not only the individual's
right to keep and bear arms, but some states have required citizens to
own guns to protect their freedoms and deter criminals. In The Federalists
papers, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton support armed citizens. John Adams
said that the Constitution must never be construed to authorize Congress to
prevent peaceful U.S. citizens from keeping their own arms. By 1658, every
Virginian was to have a firearm at home. MA called on its citizens to arm
themselves. NH demanded that Congress never disarm any citizen unless he is in
actual rebellion. More info is at www.constitution.org/mil/rkba1982.htm01
(Denver Post, 5/17/02, 7B)
"New evidence from Great Britain, where ownership of
firearms by individual citizens virtually is outlawed, shatters the argument
that more anti-gun measures will lower the number of gun-related crimes."
The London Telegraph reports that since 1997 there has been a 40% increase in
the use of handguns during crimes. England is being flooded with illegal
high-powered weapons. Criminals have been tremendously
emboldened, and still can
get their weapons. Olympic shooters no longer can practice their sport within
England. (OCR, 7/17/01, Local 6)
A letter from a man with 40 years in law enforcement states,
"In 2000, a new gun law forced Australian citizens to surrender 640,381
personal firearms for destruction. The cost to their taxpayers $500,000,000.
After one year, throughout Australia, homicides were up 3.2 percent, assaults up
8.6 percent and armed robberies up 44 percent. In the state of Victoria, homicides with firearms
were up 300 percent" The politicians could not explain the decrease in public
safety after "successfully ridding Australian society of guns." (OCR,
7/19/01, Local 9)
the recent spate of mass killings has made clear, even California's much-touted
gun-control laws can do little to keep firearms and ammunition away from
criminals bent on murder." (LAT, 9/11/01, A1) ..... "Ballistic
fingerprinting" failed 38% of the time with same-gun-manufacturer
ammo, and 62% with ammo from a different manufacturer. MD and NY already have
this, and it has not helped convict a single criminal. The
"fingerprints" can change with use or be readily altered. The October
2001 CA report was hushed up by
CA AG Bill Lockyer. (OCR, 10/22/02, Local 8)
(CA) has 150 gangs and one of the state's highest crime rates. A new tough
multi-agency effort has seized 1200 firearms and gang-related killings have
dropped from about 20 to 4 per year. Crime in schools has fallen 40% The number
of people under 24 killed by firearms has been cut in half. (LAT, 9/24/01, B1)
[An effective approach to gun control, without infringing on the rights of
The 70,000-member CA Rifle and Pistol
Assn. is putting up 300 billboards that say, "Society
is safer when criminals don't know who is armed." The Sate Dept. of
Justice said CA gun sales jumped 50% the week of the terrorist attacks, and
remained 32% above the previous year. ..... Governor Davis signed a bill making
it more difficult to get handguns in 2003. (LAT, 10/15/01, B1) ..... "A.B.
35 and S.B. 52 require gun licensing, even though gun scholar John Lott has
shown that such laws disarm the
law-biding and give an edge to criminals." Californians have been
buying more guns since 9/11/01 and want to be able to protect themselves. (OCR,
10/16/01, Local 12) ..... In 1995, Utah allowed most law-abiding citizens
to carry concealed weapons. There were fewer than 1000 prior to then. Now, about
42,000 state residents, 3% of the adult population, can carry concealed weapons.
They are subject to background checks, law enforcement checks, training, and
fingerprinting. Permits are denied for DUI, domestic abuse, sexual abuse,
mentally incompetent, felonies and violent misdemeanors. (LAT, 2/10/02, A1)
SAN FRANCISCO (AP, 11-09-05)-- San Francisco Voters
Approve Handgun, Ammunition Ban.
Voters approved ballot measures to ban handguns in San Francisco and urge the
city's public high schools and college campuses to keep out military recruiters.
With 100% of San Francisco precincts reporting on Wednesday, 58% of voters
backed the proposed gun ban while 42% opposed it. Measure H prohibits the
manufacture and sale of all firearms and ammunition in the city, and make it
illegal for residents to keep handguns in their homes or businesses. Only two
other major U.S. cities - Washington and Chicago - have implemented such
sweeping handgun bans. Although law enforcement, security guards and others who
require weapons for work are exempt from the measure, current handgun owners
would have to surrender their firearms
by April. A coalition led by the National Rifle Association has said it plans to
challenge the initiative in court, arguing that cities do not have the authority
to regulate firearms under California law. ..... SAN FRANCISCO (AP, 6/12/06) - A California judge overturned
a voter-approved city law
that banned handgun possession and firearm sales, siding with gun owners who
said the city did not have the authority to prohibit the weapons.
Judge James Warren sided on Monday with the National Rifle Association,
which argued that a local government cannot ban weapons because the
California Legislature allows their sale and possession.
The ordinance targeted only city residents, meaning nonresidents in the city
or even tourists were not banned from possessing or selling guns here.
A federal appeals court is considering a challenge to a similar handgun ban
in the District of Columbia, where attorneys have argued that the law
violates the Second Amendment right to bear arms.
At the first U.N. conference to curb
illegal trafficking in in small arms, "Washington made clear from the
outset that it would oppose any plan that even hinted at interference with
civilian gun ownership." (LAT, 7/22/01, A13)
DALLAS (Reuters, 3/27/07) - Texas governor signs new self-defense by gun
law. Criminals in Texas beware: if you threaten someone in their car or
office, the citizens of this state where guns are ubiquitous have the right
to shoot you dead.
Governor Rick Perry's office said Tuesday that he had signed a new law that
expands Texans' existing right to use deadly force to defend themselves
"without retreat" in their homes, cars and workplaces.
"The right to defend oneself from an imminent act of harm should not
only be clearly defined in Texas law, but is intuitive to human
nature," Perry said on his Web site.
The new law, which takes affect on Sept. 1, extends an exception to a
statute that required a person to retreat in the face of a criminal attack.
The exception was in the case of an intruder unlawfully entering a person's
The law extends a person's right to stand their ground beyond the home to
vehicles and workplaces, allowing the reasonable use of deadly force, the
governor's office said.
The reasonable use of lethal force will be allowed if an intruder is:
- Committing certain violent crimes, such as murder or sexual assault, or is
attempting to commit such crimes
- Unlawfully trying to enter a protected place
- Unlawfully trying to remove a person from a protected place.
The law also provides civil immunity for a person who lawfully slays an
intruder or attacker in such situations. Texas joins several other states including Florida that have or are
considering similar laws.
Sympathy for violent offenders and criminals in general runs low in Texas,
underscored by its busy death row. The state leads the United States in
executions with 388 since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976 by the
U.S. Supreme Court.
A conservative political outlook and widespread fondness for hunting also
means Texans are a well-armed people capable of defending themselves with
It is easy to acquire guns over the counter in Texas and lawful to carry a
concealed handgun with a permit. http://news.aol.com/topnews/articles/_a/texas-gov-signs-new-self-defense-by-gun/n20070327153909990031
In Renton, Washington on February 3, 1990, thirty-three-year-old David
Zaback entered H&J Leather & Firearms Ltd. at approximately 4:40 in the
afternoon brandishing a .38-caliber semiautomatic handgun and announced his
intention to rob the gun store.
He threatened to shoot anyone who got in his way. Having apparently failed to
notice the police car parked in front of the gun shop when he walked in (true!),
Zaback found himself confronted by a uniformed officer and an armed clerk, who
ordered him to drop his gun. Zaback opened fire instead, drawing a fatal volley
of shots from the clerk and the policeman, both of whom survived the shootout
unharmed. According to the county medical examiner, Zaback was shot a total of
four times (not 23) and died a few hours later in the emergency room.
"Several" armed patrons also drew weapons, the Times confirms,
but none actually fired on Zaback, contrary to the version of events given in
the email. It was later determined that the clerk, whose weapon was a 10mm
semiautomatic pistol (not a .50 Desert Eagle), fired the fatal shot. (Seattle
Times, 2/4, 2/5, 5/10, 1990) [E-mails have circulated with a highly
embellished account of this real-life incident.] http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/bl_gun_shop_shootout.htm
From an e-mail (1/27/05):
A. An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a victim.
B. A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone.
C. Smith & Wesson: The original point and click
D. Gun control is not about guns; it's about control.
E. If guns are outlawed, can we use swords?
F. If guns cause crime, then pencils cause misspelled words.
G. Free men do not ask permission to bear arms.
H. If you don't know your rights, you don't have any.
I. Those who trade liberty for security, have neither.
J. The United States Constitution (c) 1791. All Rights
K. What part of "shall not be infringed" do you NOT
L. The Second Amendment is in place in case they ignore the
M. 64,999,987 firearms owners killed no one yesterday.
N. Guns only have two enemies: Rust and Politicians.
O. Know guns, know peace and safety. No guns, no peace nor
P. You don't shoot to kill; you shoot to stay alive.
Q. 911: government sponsored Dial-a-Prayer.
R. Assault is a behavior, not a device.
S. Criminals love gun control - it makes their jobs safer.
T. If Guns cause Crime, then Matches cause Arson.
U. A government that's afraid of its citizens, tries to
V. You only have the rights you are willing to fight for.
W. Enforce the "gun control laws" in place, don't
X. If you remove the people's right to bear arms, you create
Y. The American Revolution wouldn't have happened with Gun
Z. "...a government BY the people, FOR the
Several web sites contain the following, usually called "Gun History
Lesson." . The original source is unknown. The Australian statistics may be
In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about
20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and
In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million
Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13
million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and
China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million
political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and
Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan
Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000
Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million
educated people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and
Defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of
gun control: 56 million.
It has now been 12 months since gun owners in Australia were forced by new
law to surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by their own
government, a program costing Australia taxpayers more than $500 million
dollars. The first year results are now in:
Australia-wide, homicides are up 3.2 percent
Australia-wide, assaults are up 8.6 percent
Australia-wide, armed robberies are up 44 percent (yes, 44 percent)!
In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms are now up 300
Note that while the law-abiding citizens turned them in, the
criminals did not, and criminals still possess their guns!
It will never happen here? I bet the Aussies said that too!
While figures over the previous 25 years showed a steady decrease in armed
robbery with firearms, this has changed drastically upward in the past 12
months, since criminals now are guaranteed that their prey is unarmed.
There has also been a dramatic increase in break-ins and assaults of the
elderly. Australian politicians are at a loss to explain how public safety has
decreased, after such monumental effort and expense was expended in successfully
ridding Australian society of guns. The Australian experience and the other
historical facts above prove it.
You wont see this data on the US evening news, or hear politicians
disseminating this information.
Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes,
gun-control laws adversely affect only the law-abiding citizens.
Take note my fellow Americans, before its too late! The next time someone
talks in favor of gun control, please remind him of this history lesson.
With Guns We Are
Citizens. Without Them ..We Are
During W.W.II the Japanese decided not to invade America because they
knew most Americans were ARMED!
Note: Admiral Yamamoto who crafted the attack on Pearl Harbor had attended
Harvard U 1919-1921 & was Naval Attache to the U. S. 1925-28.
Most of our Navy was destroyed at Pearl Harbor & our Army had been
deprived of funding & was ill prepared to defend the country. It was
reported that when asked why Japan did not follow up the Pearl Harbor attack
with an invasion of the U. S. Mainland, his reply was that he had lived in the
U. S. & knew that almost all households had guns.
WASHINGTON (AP, 6/26/08) -- The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Americans
have a right to own guns for self-defense and hunting, the justices' first
major pronouncement on gun rights in U.S. history.
The court's 5-4 ruling struck down the District of Columbia's 32-year-old
ban on handguns as incompatible with gun rights under the Second Amendment.
The decision went further than even the Bush administration wanted, but
probably leaves most firearms laws intact.
The court had not conclusively interpreted the Second Amendment since its
ratification in 1791. The amendment reads: "A well regulated militia,
being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to
keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."
The basic issue for the justices was whether the amendment protects an
individual's right to own guns no matter what, or whether that right is
somehow tied to service in a state militia.
Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for four colleagues, said the Constitution
does not permit "the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for
self-defense in the home."
In dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote that the majority "would
have us believe that over 200 years ago, the Framers made a choice to limit
the tools available to elected officials wishing to regulate civilian uses
He said such evidence "is nowhere to be found."
Joining Scalia were Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito,
Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas. The other dissenters were Justices
Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and David Souter.
The capital's gun law was among the nation's strictest.
Dick Anthony Heller, 66, an armed security guard, sued the District after it
rejected his application to keep a handgun at his home for protection in the
same Capitol Hill neighborhood as the court.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled in Heller's
favor and struck down Washington's handgun ban, saying the Constitution
guarantees Americans the right to own guns and that a total prohibition on
handguns is not compatible with that right.
The issue caused a split within the Bush administration. Vice President Dick
Cheney supported the appeals court ruling, but others in the administration
feared it could lead to the undoing of other gun regulations, including a
federal law restricting sales of machine guns. Other laws keep felons from
buying guns and provide for an instant background check.
Scalia said nothing in Thursday's ruling should "cast doubt on
long-standing prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons or the
mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive
places such as schools and government buildings."
The law adopted by Washington's city council in 1976 bars residents from
owning handguns unless they had one before the law took effect. Shotguns and
rifles may be kept in homes, if they are registered, kept unloaded and
either disassembled or equipped with trigger locks.
Opponents of the law have said it prevents residents from defending
themselves. The Washington government says no one would be prosecuted for a
gun law violation in cases of self-defense.
Texas district will let teachers carry guns
HARROLD, Texas (AP, August 15, 2008) --
A tiny Texas school district will allow teachers and staff members
to carry concealed firearms to protect against school shootings,
provided the gun-toting employees follow certain requirements.
The small community of Harrold in north Texas
is a 30-minute drive from the Wilbarger County Sheriff's Office,
leaving students and teachers without protection, said David
Thweatt, superintendent of the Harrold Independent School
District. The lone campus of the 110-student district sits near a
heavily traveled highway, which could make it a target, he argued.
"When the federal government started
making schools gun-free zones, that's when all of these shootings
started. Why would you put it out there that a group of people
can't defend themselves? That's like saying 'sic 'em' to a
dog," Thweatt said in a story published Friday on the Fort
Worth Star-Telegram's Web site.
Barbara Williams, a spokeswoman for the Texas
Association of School Boards, said her organization did not know
of another district with such a policy. Ken Trump, a Cleveland,
Ohio-based school security expert who advises districts
nationwide, said Harrold is the first district with such a policy.
Trustees approved the policy change last year,
and it takes effect when classes begin this month. For employees
to carry a pistol, they must have a Texas license to carry a
concealed handgun, must be authorized to carry by the district,
must receive training in crisis management and hostile situations
and must use ammunition designed to minimize the risk of
Officials researched the policy and considered
other options for about a year before approving the policy change,
Thweatt said. The district also has other measures in place to
prevent a school shooting, he said.
"The naysayers think [a shooting] won't
happen here. If something were to happen here, I'd much rather be
calling a parent to tell them that their child is OK because we
were able to protect them," Thweatt said.
Texas law outlaws firearms at schools unless
specific institutions allow them.
It isn't clear how many of
the 50 or so teachers and staff members will be armed this fall,
because Thweatt did not disclose that information, to keep it from
students or potential attackers.
6. MISLEADING HEADLINES: "Gun Control Law Helped Cut
Crime" is the headline. The article says "The findings .... do not
show that gun violence was eliminated or even dramatically reduced by the
handgun law." (L. A. Times, 2/28/01, A3)
"Chinese Psychiatrists Decide Homosexuality Isn't
Abnormal" is the prominent front-page headline. The article really said
that they " have decided to stop classifying homosexuality as a mental
disease" and "those who are fine with being gay have no need of
psychiatric help." (L. A. Times, 3/6/01, A1) The more conservative Register
newspaper omitted mentioning this "newsworthy" event.
"The Boy Scouts struggle with ban on gays" (USN&WR,
4/9/01, 30) Homosexuals have been and still are scouts. This is discussed in #4
The Washington Post headline "Census Shows Big Increase in
Gay Households" really should have been "Gay Couples Rise to to .0054
of U.S. Households." (USN&WR, 7/23/01, 17)
A hate-mongering web site sent out a news release. A German
newspaper published the news release. The web site then quoted the German
newspaper as substantiation for the original news release.
"Orange County Jews, Arabs condemn the attack on
Jerusalem's Hebrew University" (OCR, 8/1/02, News 15) The Jew quoted said
"The bombing is evil incarnate." The Muslim quoted said that
Palestinian children are killed so the bombing is to be expected. [Both are
President Bush ran an ad with very brief visuals of 9/11. The
NY Daily News broke a story with a huge headline: "STORM OVER BUSH 9/11
AD." Four people were quoted. The Washington Post picked up the story,
quoting three people. By dinnertime, it was all over TV about a flood of anti-ad
criticism. The flood were the same 10 to 12 people. The group included some
unhappy with 9/11 issue, some anti-Bush activists, and the national co-chair of
Kerry for President (Harold Schaitberger). (USN&WR, 3/29/04, 62)
7. SOCIAL SECURITY: There is much talk
about the future of social security. There are some major current problems that
must be addressed. Eligibility decisions are not uniform or consistent,
two-third of disability benefits denials are overturned, delays in benefits
payments, incorrect payments, backlog of claims and litigation, deteriorating
quality of service. (O. C. Register, 2/19/01, News 13) ..... It is a nightmare to try
and correct a problem with the Social Security Administration (SSA). They
terminated retirement benefits without warning, without explanation, and without
due process. They claim there is an appeals process, but no progress has
been made since July 2000. Members of Congress are not responsive. The SSA has
been contacted numerous times, with no response. There is no SSA department or
government agency that makes sure the SSA is doing their job properly. There is
no requirement for SSA to act in a timely manner.The SSA has sent
several threatening letters. Each has been incorrect, exhibiting their gross
incompetence. Yet, we cannot get them to correct their mistakes.
The details are unimportant here. The implications are
frightening. Many people rely on their monthly benefits to survive. Often, the
choice is between food or medicine or heat. Any interruption of benefits
to these poor seniors will adversely affect their health and safety, sometimes
resulting in serious illness and death. While these poor people are suffering,
the SSA incompetent bureaucracy does little or nothing to solve serious
problems. There is no clear procedure to get your problems solved, no ombudsman
nor internal inspector general. The SSA has the audacity to suggest you get a
lawyer. These confused elderly poor people are supposed to hire a lawyer to
protect their money and rights? Please contact us if you have any
suggestions that may help. We owe this to our less fortunate seniors. SSA:
Catch 22: The
SSA and Medicare statements were being sent to the former home of a senior. We
tried to correct the address, but for privacy reasons, we had to sign a form.
The form had to be sent to the address then being used, the former home.
However, we did not receive any mail sent to that address for more than five
years. Thus, the only way to change the old address was to use a form sent to
the old address, from which we did not get any mail.
8. WELFARE: The "poor
house" should replace money to help the indigent. The people with a history
of providing for themselves should get temporary (perhaps 6 to 12 months)
monetary help. All others should be able to get free room and board, but no
money (for drugs, alcohol, car, TV, tobacco, etc.). No one starves or freezes,
and, hopefully, no one wants to remain on welfare. A Japanese student
attending school here commented on welfare, "In Japan, you do not work, you do not
eat." Perhaps somewhat harsh, but it seems to work for them. ..... San
Francisco gives the homeless up to $395 monthly, with few questions. Many
homeless spend most of the money on drugs and alcohol. Emergency room visits
soar after the money is handed out. Proportionately, S.F. has 40 times the
homeless than N.Y.C., which provides services
rather than cash. (OCR, 11/13/02, Local 6) ..... 60% of San Francisco
voters approved a law to cash benefits from about $320 monthly to just $59. Instead
of cash, the city will offer the homeless food, shelter, and other
(OCR, 11/27/02, Local 9) ..... Wayne and Dina Tamura (near Hilo, HI) spent
their money, including the welfare check, on crystal meth. Their three children
were hungry and they lived in squalor. (OCR, 9/14/03, News 16) [An example of
welfare supporting drugs.]
"Swank Lives Mark 18 Welfare Arrests" is the
headline. A couple filed nearly $750,000 fraudulent welfare claims and collected
more than $76, 000 since 1988, while sending their two children to private
schools and living in Beverly Hills. A Rosemead couple accumulated assets worth
more than $1 million, while collecting more than $210,000 welfare for 13 years.
A couple collected $49,000 welfare while living in Beverly Hills and owning a
printing business. A man owned an electrical supply store in Burbank and sent
his daughter to private school, while collecting $58,000. Another fraudulently
collected nearly $70,000, and another more than $58,000. (LAT, 5/12/01, B4)
[These problems only occur because they get money, instead of room and board.]
.... A few years ago, the ACLU got a court order saying it was an invasion of
privacy to fingerprint welfare recipients.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court ordered a deadbeat father not to
have any more children while on five years probation, or go to jail for 8 years.
A fathers' rights group said that when parents have problems supporting children, we
give mothers welfare and we give fathers jail. (OCR, 7/13/01, News 23) [Perhaps
we should find alternatives to jailing deadbeat fathers, and alternatives to
giving mothers welfare money.] ..... A federal appeals court said Michigan can
test welfare recipients for drugs. FL, IL, IN, LA, MD, NV, NJ, NY, NC, OK, and
OR have drug testing for welfare recipients. (OCR, 10/19/02, News 27)
9. WORLD SAVIORS: So many foreign countries seem to hate
us. Nevertheless, they run to us to solve their problems. We are neither the
world policemen nor the world financiers. We have less than 300 million
people, with limited resources. We cannot, and should not support the rest of
the world. We should always act in our own self interest. When some country
wants help, we should ask how it benefits us to help. Then maybe we will get
some respect. We have so many problems here, let us make solving these
problems our number one priority.
"More than 70% of  people surveyed in four major
Western European countries [Britain, France, Germany, and Italy] believe that
President Bush is pursuing a unilateralist foreign policy that bases decisions
solely on U.S. interests." (LAT, 8/16/01, A4) [It's about time!]
"Germany Warns Democratic Countries to Take Jews or They Will Be
Exterminated." (Los Angeles Examiner, 11/23/38, front page headline, as
seen in Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., located in American Responses
4th floor, 2nd room left side, newspaper front page photos/posters) [FDR and other world leaders had
claimed they were unaware of Hitler's intentions, and thus took no action to
prevent or stop the holocaust.] ..... The 2001 HBO docudrama
"Conspiracy" depicts a 1942 meeting of German officials near Berlin.
Germany tried to send Jews to the western nations, but FDR, Churchill, and all
others refused to accept them. The meeting was held to devise the means to
exterminate all Jews under German control.
"Brazil was built on
the backs of 4 million African slaves,
roughly eight times the number brought to the United States. It was the last
country in the hemisphere to abolish slavery in 1888, but has turned a blind
eye to the practice for most of the past century." (OCR, 9/7/04, News 14)
10. PETITIONING YOUR GOVERNMENT: How do you get an
unresponsive government official to listen? Ron was sure the assessment on his
Colorado house was too high. He had the data to prove it, but the assessor
would not see him. Ron waited for hours to no avail. He even tried talking to
the assessor in the restroom. Exasperated, Ron decided to picket. He called
the police to see if there would be a problem. They said no and even seemed to
encourage him. Ron put on a suit and tie, made a sign, called the local media,
and picketed the assessor's building. He did not have to picket long. Within a
few minutes, the assessor found time to listen to Ron. Ron proved his case and
had his assessment (and property taxes) lowered.
California Proposition 13 limits property tax increases to 2%
per year. Because property values decreased a year, the assessor raised a home's
taxes 4%, to "recapture" lost taxes. The homeowner appealed and
won, saving $100.50. The Orange County (CA) Supervisors unanimously voted to
take him to court. Ronald Pool told the County, "Of all people you want to
sue, I don't think you want to sue me." Pool won in court and is trying to
make it a class action case, which could cost all counties hundreds of millions
of dollars. Pool is a property tax attorney. (OCR, 11/14/01, Business 1) .....
A San Diego ophthalmologist (Kartsonis) represented himself and lost a similar
case after trying to appeal to the CA Supreme Court. Pool (the attorney) said
that the ophthalmologist framed the argument differently, asked the wrong
question, and got the wrong answer. Pool said, "We got the right answer by
asking the right question." (OCR, 1/14/02, Local 4) ..... For more
The U.S. Supreme Court is considering a major property rights
case, that could reduce the government's ability to take away a property's value
without paying due compensation. The case involves Lake Tahoe lots that the
owners were prevented from building on. They still owned the properties, but
effectively were denied their use, and rendered it impossible to sell. (OCR,
1/14/02, Local 6) .... The Supreme Court ruled that a government-imposed
moratorium on property development, even one that lasts for years, does not
automatically amount to a taking of private property for which the Constitution
requires payment from the government. (OCR, 4/24/02, News 15) ..... The Lake
Tahoe (CA) Regional Planning Agency enacted new regulations controlling the
appearance of shore-front homes, even the size of windows or color of paint. In
Washington, D.C., landlords must get permission from tenants before selling
their property. San Francisco designated certain home as affordable, and these
cannot be sold for more than a government-set price. Portland does not allow
single family homes in some residential areas. Hundreds of cities designate
zones prohibiting property owners from erecting fences, changing rain gutters,
adding rooms, or removing trees. (OCR, 9/23/02, Local 6)
Most congressional offices do not have the staff to handle the
more than 80 million e-mails sent to them during 2000. House offices get about
8000 per month; Senate offices about 55,000 per month. (L. A. Times, 3/19/01,
"In the two-year political cycle that culminated on
Election Day 2000, some 350 initiative petitions were
submitted to election officials in the 24 states that permit laws to be passed
at the ballot box. Of those 350,
only 76 made it onto the ballot. And of those 76, only 36 were adopted.
Of all the initiatives proposed for
the 2000 election, in other words, 90% ended in failure. In the same 24 states,
meanwhile, more than
10,000 laws were enacted by state legislators." (Boston Globe, 6/7/01, A18
[from an e-mail])
11. WHO SHOULD VOTE: This question started with the
founding of our country, Hamilton (only landed gentry) versus Jefferson
(everyone). The problem becomes urgent when the have-nots become so numerous
and vote to take more and more from the haves. I remember hippies espousing
that we all should share everything we have. Of course, they had nothing to
share. It seem reasonable that those paying the piper should be allowed to
call the tune. If we allow the have-nots to control our votes and continually
increase their benefits, to the detriment of those contributing, eventually
the have-nots could decide to take the entire GNP, and this country will
12. VOTE TWICE: A man pleaded guilty to voting twice in
the same election. (L. A. Times, 3/9/01, B1) The man had two homes in
different counties and wanted to vote on issues affecting each home. If
someone has properties in different geographic locations, should some
provision be made for him to be able to vote on the local issues affecting
each and every property?
13. PRIVACY: A bank encloses an innocuous
slip of paper, most likely overlooked, that states you must send to them an
"opt-out" form to prevent information about you from being shared with
(sold to) other businesses. This results from a law Congress passed in 1999.
(Discussed in Consumer Reports, 5/01, 10) The
law should have required that no information
about you is disclosed without your written permission. This is required for
doctors and lawyers, why not all businesses? For more information about privacy
and identity theft, look at privacyrights.org,
or call FDIC at 800-276-6003. ..... SB 773 (CA, Sen. Jackie Speier) would
require banks to get permission before sharing personal data. Gov. Davis has
received received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the financial lobby and
is opposed to this bill. Another bill by Sen. Liz Figueroa would curtail
uninvited telemarketing calls. (LAT, 8/31/01, B14 R) ..... Farmers
Insurance says it will share your personal unless you opt-out
by calling a number to request a form, listing all your insurance policy numbers
on the form, and mailing it back to them. Then they say they can change their
privacy practices, requiring you to opt-out again. Apparently, they can keep
making changes until you tire of opting-out, so Farmers will be able to
share any and all data with whomever they wish. Farmers also says they can
gather or verify your data by contacting others and using outside investigative
sources. The data gathered can include "housekeeping habits, personal
habits and characteristics." (5/8/02) ..... Financial institutions have
found a way to share your personal data even if you "opt out". They
can share the data with outside companies under a so-called "joint
marketing agreement." (LAT, 6/22/01, C1`)
Federal regulations now
"require that doctors and other health-care providers get written consent
from patients whenever health information is shared even for routine purposes,
such as claims payments; allow patients to see and propose corrections to their
own files; and make an effort to tell patients how their health information
could be used. Violators are subject to fines of up to $250,000." (LAT,
Personal Information goes public Starting July
1st, 2003, the four major credit bureaus in the US (Equifax, etc.) will
be allowed to release
mailing addresses, phone numbers, etc., to ANYONE who requests it. If you
do not want to be included in this release of your personal information, you can
call 1-888-567-8688. Once the message starts you will want option #2 (even
though option #1 refers to this email, push #2) and then option #3. Be sure to
listen closely, the first option is only for a two-year period. Make sure
you wait until they prompt for the third option, which opts you out FOREVER.
You should receive their paperwork in the mail confirming the "opting
out" in less than one week after making the call. (Unconfirmed e-mail)
..... Credit bureaus now can release personal data only to legitimate businesses
with a permissible purpose, as a loan application. To cut down on preapproved
credit card offers, opt out by calling 1-888-567-8688. (USN&WR, 5/19/03, 39)
"Corporations have benefited from the fact
that most privacy law protects citizens invasions by the government, not by
business. And much of the law on the subject dates back 50 years, long before
the Internet and other technology gave companies new tools to collect and use
personal information about consumers." (LAT, 5/6/01, C1) ..... "In a victory for privacy advocates, a
Federal judge has upheld a proposed government regulation that would effectively
end the long-standing practice by credit bureaus of selling consumers' names,
addresses, and Social Security numbers to marketers, information brokers, and
others." (LAT, 5/8/01, C1) ..... Call: 1-888-567-8688 to
opt out. ZabaSearch.com
quickly accesses public information and displays what is available in the public
domain. ZabaSearch simply serves as a search engine in locating available
public records and does not create the records found. Information typically
makes it to the public domain via a wide variety of sources, including but not
limited to: phone listings, court records, real property records, subscriptions
etc. Sources vary state by state and region by region. Unlike
ZabaSearch, there are many companies who do gather, generate, compile, house
and sell public information, most of which are publicly traded. This
practice is, and always has been, legal in the United States and is the basis for
the 2 billion dollar U.S. information industry.
very effective means of controlling
information about yourself in the public domain:
1) Open a P.O.
for your personal correspondence and bills. Submit a change
of address form at your local post office, forwarding your mail to your
new post office box. This is the single most effective and inexpensive
thing you can do to quickly remove your current address from a majority of
public record databases. Search
Local P.O. Box locationsU.S.
Postal Service Change of Address Form
2) Having your telephone
does not mean your telephone number is not available to the public. This
is the single biggest misconception people have about having an unlisted number.
Un-listing your telephone number simply keeps it out of directory assistance and
white pages. As many experience, even taking this step with the phone
companies is not a guarantee that they will not subsequently disclose this
number. Phone companies have no further ability or obligation to prevent
the distribution of your phone number once you start to give out this unlisted
number to other individuals, to businesses, or when you use this unlisted number
in legal documents that are filed as public records. The best thing you
can do to control the distribution of your telephone number is to start with a
new unlisted number and block caller ID information from being displayed when
you place phone calls. Telephone numbers that at one time were listed, and
are later unlisted, are most likely already widely distributed in the public
record domain. Public databases are much less likely to have a telephone
record of yours if you start with a new unlisted number that has never been
listed before and take care as to how the number is used in your day to day
3) Never put your name, number or information on any form or application (in
writing or over the phone) without checking to see what the policy is of
the company or agency to which you are submitting the form. You will be
surprised to find out how many credit card companies, banks, financial
institutions and government agencies share
or sell your information
unless you specifically request that they do not distribute it.
4) Mail a written request to all major information suppliers requesting your
information be removed. Some will comply, others will not.
5) Start a corporation, trust or d.b.a. to conduct some of your personal
business which will require the filing of public records. This is a more
expensive option, but there are many online services that offer reasonably
priced opportunities to do this quickly and efficiently. These options tend
to offer the greatest control over your information over extended periods of
time, but typically require an ongoing effort to manage well. www.zabasearch.com
IDENTITY THEFT: A 32-year-old high school dropout New York
busboy was accused of using the internet to steal millions of dollars from
prominent celebrities. He used library computers to gather data to get detailed
credit reports on the victims. The data then were used to access credit card and
brokerage-house accounts. (O. C. Register, 3/21/01, Business 2) ..... It is
estimated 10 million Americans were ID theft victims in 2002, and the crimes
cost US business $300 billion. CA now has two new laws to help reduce ID
theft. (OCR, 9/24/03, Business 1)
..... The FTC said close to 10 million Americans were victims of identity theft
in 2003, a 40% increase from 2002. (USN&WR, 9/6/04, 74) [Two reports
A California law, effective 1/1/01, requires all state law
enforcement agencies to take reports of identity theft. This has resulted in a
large increase in reported crimes. The new law makes it easier for victims to
clean up their credit reports, but identity theft cases remain difficult to
solve. (LAT, 4/22/01, B1) ..... Child ID theft is 2% of all ID theft, but may be
underreported because it can take a long time to discover. CA is first in U.S.
in ID theft. (OCR, 3/12/03, Business 1) ..... About 7 million American adults
were ID theft victims last year, 79% more than the previous year. (OCR, 7/22/03,
News 1) ..... Stealing personal ID info using bogus e-mails and web sites
seemingly from legitimate companies is an increasing problem. A 17-year-old CA
boy sent authentic-looking e-mails saying there was a billing problem and AOL
customers would lose internet access if they did provide personal ID info at a
site that appeared to be an AOL official web page. This type of scam is called
"phishing" or "spoofing." (OCR, 7/22/03, Business 1)
CA SB168 allows consumers to control access to their credit
reports to prevent that information from being tapped by criminals to make
purchases and get loans. Businesses will be barred from including a consumer's
SSN on identity cards, bank statements, and other documents sent by mail, to
keep that information from identity thieves. (OCR, 10/12/01, News 40) ..... As
of 7/1/02, CA SB168 prohibits companies from using employee SSN for anything
except internal administrative functions or as required by law. No SSN are to be
publicly posted or on mailed materials; mailed paychecks are exempt by CA law.
Businesses are prohibited from using SSN in correspondence with customers.
Health-insurance companies have three years to phase in the restrictions. (OCR,
6/11/02, Business 1)
CA has been selling CDs for all births between 1990 and 1995
($900). The data were posted free on the internet, with personal info about 24
million people: full name, county, birth date, mother's maiden name. Also
available for $600), an index of CA deaths between 1940 and 1999. The easily
available had caused concerns for ID theft. rootsweb.com
has removed the data, but vitalsearch-ca.com
has not. (LAT, 12/9/01, B1)
"Typically, identity theft spawns from dumpster
diving." People look through garbage, at old bank statements and junk mail,
and get enough information to create false checks. "Identity theft is
the fastest-growing white-collar crime crime in America. It is growing
because it is surprisingly easy." Last year, there were more than 25,000
reported victims in the U.S.. Colorado banks lost about $9 million in identity
thefts. Shred all mail with important data before throwing it out. Do not put
out mail the night before. (Denver Post, 5/20/01, B1)
"An estimated 750,000 people are believed to be victims of
identity theft each year." Tips to prevent it are found on www.identitytheft.org.
(OCR, 7/7/01, Local 3) ..... Someone to discretely slide your credit or ATM card
through a legal $100-dollar pager-size magnetic card reader to record the
encoded information. You should carefully watch that your card is swiped only
once, and through the proper device. CA SB1259 would make it a misdemeanor to
own a skimming device with intent to defraud cardholders. (OCR,
4/4/02, Business 1) Information
to limit the damage if you lose your wallet. Cancel your credit cards
immediately, but the key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers
handy so you know whom to call. Keep those where you can find them easily. Make front and back copies of everything in your wallet. File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where it was stolen, this
proves to credit providers you were diligent, and is a first step toward an
investigation (if there ever is one). Call the three national credit reporting
organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and SS#. The
numbers are: Equifax: 1-800-685-6285, Experian (formerly TRW):
1-888-397-3742, Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289, Social Security
Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271 www.ssa.gov/oig/ifyou.htm
Report theft to FTC 1-877-438-4338 www.ftc.gov
In the U.S. there are 16,000 different versions of birth
certificates and 243 different drivers' licenses. The Social Security number is
the password of identity theft and has never been more public. The Secret
Service says potential losses rose from $851 million in 1998 to $1.4 billion in
2000. (USN&WR, 11/12/01, 40)
The Supreme Court ruled that credit reporting firms must be
sued within two years after the error, even if the consumer discovers it later.
(OCR, 11/14/01, Business 1)
In Detroit, Bobby William Byrd and Sylvester Murray stole the
identities of homeowners and fraudulently arranged sales or loans,
pocketing the proceeds. They were charged with bank fraud because of the 30-year
max. ID theft has a 3-year max sentence. (OCR, 5/28/02, News 11) ..... Phillip
Cummings, 33, worked at a NY company that can download consumer credit
histories. He and Linus Baptiste, 43, stole data on 30,000 people. they sold the
data to at least Nigerians in Brooklyn and the Bronx, for up to $60 for each
reports. Millions of dollars were stolen. (OCR, 11/26/02, Business 5) .....
Philip A. Cummings, 35, of Cartersville, GA, worked at the help desk of a NY
software company. He was sentenced to 14
years in prison for selling customer information for
identity theft, involving tens of thousands of victims and causing $50M
to $100M losses. (OCR, 1/12/05, Business 6)
ATTORNEY'S ADVICE-----NO CHARGE (from an e-mail, unverified,
A corporate attorney sent the following out to the employees in his company.
1. The next time you order checks have only your initials (instead of
first name) and last name put on them. If someone takes your checkbook,
they will not know if you sign your checks with just your initials or your first
name, but your bank will know how you sign your checks.
2. Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put
"PHOTO ID REQUIRED."
3. When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card accounts, DO NOT
put the complete account number on the "For" line. Instead, just
put the last four numbers. The credit card company knows the rest of the
number, and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes through all the
check-processing channels will not have access to it.
4. Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home phone.
If you have a PO Box, use that instead of your home address. If you do not
have a PO Box, use your work address. Never have your SS# printed on your
checks, (DUH!). You can add it if it is necessary. However, if you
have it printed, anyone can get it.
5. Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Do both
sides of each license, credit card, etc. You will know what you had in
your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel.
Keep the photocopy in a safe place. Also carry a photocopy of your
passport when traveling either here or abroad. We have all heard horror
stories about fraud that is committed on us in stealing a name, address, Social
Security number, credit cards.
6. When you check out of a hotel that uses cards for! keys (and they all
seem to do that now), do not turn the "keys" in. Take them with
you and destroy them. Those little cards have on them all of the
information you gave the hotel, including address and credit card numbers and
expiration dates. Someone with a card reader, or employee of the hotel,
can access all that information with no problem whatsoever.
Unfortunately, as an attorney, I have first hand knowledge because my wallet was
stolen last month. Within a week, the thieve(s) ordered an expensive
monthly cell phone package, applied for a VISA credit card, had a credit line
approved to buy a Gateway computer and received a PIN number from DMV to change
my driving record information online. Here is some critical information to
limit the damage in case this happens to you or someone you know:
1. We have been told we should cancel our credit cards immediately. The
key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers handy so you know whom
to call. Keep those where you can find them.
2. File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where your credit
cards, etc., were stolen. This proves to credit providers you were
diligent, and this is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever is
one). However, here is what is perhaps most important of all (I never even
thought to do this.)
3. Call the three national credit reporting organizations immediately to
place a fraud alert on your name and Social Security number. I had never
heard of doing that until advised by a bank that called to tell me an
application for credit was made over the Internet in my name. The alert
means any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen, and
they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit. By the time I
was advised to do this, almost two weeks after the theft, all the damage had
been done. There are records of all the credit checks initiated by the
thieves' purchases,! none of which I knew about before placing the alert. Since
then, no additional damage has been done, and the thieves threw my wallet away
this weekend (someone turned it in). It seems to have stopped them dead in
Now, here are the numbers you always need to contact about your wallet and
contents being stolen:
1.) Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
2.) Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742
3.) TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289
4.) Social Security Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271
The material for this topic grew so large that it was moved to a separate web
page: MIDDLE EAST - ISRAEL
16. PROTECTING THE
INNOCENT: Richard Alcala
has a history of violence against young girls. In 1968, Alcala picked up an
8-year-old girl on her way to school. He raped her and beat her almost to death
with a pipe. He was released from prison and attacked a 14-year-old girl. While
on parole for that crime, he assaulted and raped a 15-year-old girl. While out
on bail for that crime, Alcala murdered a 12-year-old girl in 1979. He was
convicted and sentenced to death in 1980 (trial lasted almost one year). The CA Supreme Court granted a new
trial in 1982, on a technicality. He was convicted again in 1986 (trial lasted
10 months), and the CA
Supreme Court upheld that second conviction. A U.S. District Court Judge ruled
3/30/01 that Alcala should get a new trial on a technicality. The prosecution
said that it won't be easy to have a trial after 22 years. (LAT, 4/3/01, B1)
[After all the pain he has caused to so many people, can you imagine Alcala
being free to live next to your family?] ..... There were 333,000
sexual assaults and rapes reported in 1998, resulting in about 25,000
pregnancies. About 22,000 pregnancies could have been prevented with emergency
contraception. (OCR, 1/1/05, News 26)
Eight years ago, two British 10-year old boys tortured and beat
to death a two-year old toddler. The boys, now 18, are to be released with new
identities, relocation, and protection, that could cost hundreds of thousands.
(OCR, 6/23/01, News 1) ..... Jason Bautista, 20, and his 15-year-old half
brother have been arrested for murdering their mother, Jane Bautista, 41. They beheaded
the mother and chopped off her hands, to make identification difficult.
The torso was dumped in a canyon. The head and hands were in a closet in their
apartment. (OCR, 1/28/03, News 1) ..... Todd Vernon killed his three
children, wife, and committed suicide. (OCR, 12/9/03, News 1)
Garland Lincecum is upset. He gave Roger Clinton about $235,000
for a pardon. He said, "But I was snookered. ... I realized I'd been took.
And I don't like it one bit." He is serving a seven-year sentence for
fraud. (LAT, 6/22/01, A1) [Takes one to know one.] ..... Nearly 128,000
prisoners are serving life sentences,
up 83% in the past decade. (OCR, 5/12/04, News 18) ..... A record 157,000
illegal immigrants were removed from the U.S. last year. About half
of those deported in the year ending Sept 30 had
criminal convictions, an increase of 6.6% over the previous year. (OCR,
11/17/04, News 30)
A nurse's aide Chante Mallard (25) hit a homeless man with her
car and drove home with his head stuck in her windshield. Despite his pleas for
help, she left the car in the garage and went into the house to have sex with
her boyfriend. For two days she left the man stuck with his head in the
windshield. After he died, she dumped the body in a park in Fort Worth, TX.
(OCR, 3/8/02, News 29) ..... Mallard has been charged with murder and remains in
jail on $250,000 bond. (OCR, 4/26, 02, News 28) ..... Mallard was found guilty
and got 50 years. (OCR, 6/28/03, News 31) ..... Former nurse
Charles Cullen, 43, may have killed up to 40 patients at hospitals and nursing
homes in PA and NJ. He gave seriously-ill patients drug overdoses to end their
suffering. He had been fired from at least two hospitals. (OCR, 12/17/03, News
In 1999, 485 children under 5 were murdered, 56.6% by their
parents. Mothers murder nearly as often as fathers. A mother kills one or more
of her children every 3 days in America. (USN&WR, 3/18/02, 23) ..... A
mother of eight, Elodia Chamorro Sanchez, 42, was sentenced to 30 years to
life for smothering her newborn daughter. Her ex-boyfriend, Pablo Lopez
Uriostequi, 31, was sentence to four years for involuntary manslaughter. (OCR,
1/25/03, Local 2) ..... In Macon, GA, Joseanna Johnson, 20, tried to kill her
7-month-old daughter by putting ammonia in the baby's bottle because she was
tired being a mother. (OCR, 5/1/03, News 18) ..... Deanna LaJeune Laney,
38, allegedly beat her two sons, 6 and 8, to death with rocks, and severely
injured her 14-month-old son, in Tyler, TX. She said that God had ordered her to
kill the children. (OCR, 5/13/03, News 10) ..... Marie Noe smothered 8 of her
infant children in Philadelphia between 1949 and 1968; she got probation
and 5 years house arrest. Andrea Yates drowned 5 children in the bathtub and got
life in TX in 2002. Christina Riggs smothered her 2 young sons and was executed
in Arkansas in 2000. Dianne Odell, 49, of Rome (PA), has been charged with
murdering 3 infant children in the 70s and 80s. Susan Smith, SC, drowned her 2
sons in a lake and was sentenced to life in 1995. Eleven women are awaiting
execution for killing their children. (OCR, 5/24/03, News 35) ..... Naomi
Gaines, 24, threw her 14-month-old twin sons off a bridge 75 feet down into the
Mississippi River (St. Paul, MN) and then jumped in. She and one son was
rescued, the other died. (OCR, 7/8/03, News 19) ..... ST. PAUL, Minn. (Aug. 5,
2003, AP) - Police have arrested a Villanova University history professor (Mine An Ener,
38) and accused her of fatally slitting her 6-month-old daughter's throat. .....
Amanda L. Hamm, 27, and boyfriend Maurice Lagrone Jr., 28, have been accused of
drowning Hamm's three young children (2, 3, and 6) in a car rolled down a boat
ramp into 4.5 feet of water in Clinton, IL. (OCR, 12/12/03, News 30) ..... Grandmother
Carol McCullough, 43, was sentenced to 9 years for 6 counts of abusing her
3-year-old grandson, in Anaheim, CA. (OCR, 12/14/03, Local 4) .....
Dianne Odell, 50, was convicted in NY for killing
three of her infant children during the 1980s. The mummified remains were
found in a storage shed in Stafford, AZ, this year. (OCR, 12/17/03, News 20)
..... Deanna Laney (Tyler, TX) , 39, described in court how she killed her sons,
6 and 8, by smashing their skulls
with rocks, after she got a sign from God. (OCR, 4/1/04, News 16) ..... A jury
acquitted Laney of all charges because she was legally
insane during the killing. She did not right from wrong. (OCR, 4/4/04,
News 30) ..... In Mount Joy, PA, Meghan V. Lippiatt, 28, smothered
her two sons, 2 and 4. (OCR, 4/20/04, News 11) .....In Zion Grove, PA,
Hollie M. Gable, 39, shot her boyfriend and three teen-age children to death,
then killed herself. (OCR, 5/2/04, News, 14) ..... HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL (4/30/05, AP) - A mother
(Tonya Vasilev, 34) was charged with fatally stabbing
her 9-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter more than 200 times each
inside their suburban Chicago home. The stabbings came five years after the
couple's 3-month-old daughter died in a fire at an Elk Grove Village town house
where the family then lived. The cause of the 2000 fire remains undetermined,
but foul play was never suspected. The fire department will investigate that
fire again. The mother was home at the time of the blaze. ..... a 7-year-old
Tampa, FL, boy killed his 7-month-old half sister, because she would not
stop crying. (OCR, 6/4/05, News 27) ..... A 32-year-old woman was arrested for killing
four of her newborns (each born in a bathtub), because she despaired over
paying bills and feared losing her male partner. (OCR, 6/4/05, News 30) .....
Paula Eleazar Mendez, 43, smothered her
three children, ages 6 to 8, in De Queen, AR. She later said she was
sorry. (OCR, 1/30/06, News 8)
"To Protect The Innocent" ---- Learning to keep sexual predators at bay
More than 500,000 registered sex offenders live in the United States. Most are male. Many have been convicted of molesting one or more children, completed their sentences, and re-entered society. In checking out neighborhoods in or near big cities, a state registry search often turns up a dozen in a single ZIP code. But suburbs and rural areas have their share, too. Overall, the nonprofit National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates that 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 10 boys will be sexually exploited before they reach adulthood. Unless the state is one in which neighbors are notified by E-mail, a flier, or a notice in the newspaper or in person by a police officer, online registries are one of the few ways to tell if the new neighbor has a history. The registries--which were launched in 1994, after 7-year-old Megan Kanka of Hamilton Township, N.J., was killed by a neighbor who had two previous convictions for sexual assaults on children--post names and, usually, pictures of paroled sex offenders. "There isn't a profile of a typical sex offender," says Scott Matson, research associate for the Center for Sex Offender Management. "They come in all shapes and sizes--they can be a wealthy neighbor; they can be a professional; they can be unemployed and homeless." Education is not a defining indicator--17 percent of prisoners who committed crimes against children never went further than eighth grade, while 18 percent went to college. Scrolling through registries, it appears that less-affluent neighborhoods have more offenders, but they also turned up on New York's Central Park West and in other high-end ZIP codes. Ninety-one percent are heterosexual. Anecdotal evidence aside, most abusers are not strangers. According to a 1998 study, 60 percent of boys and 80 percent of girls who are sexually victimized are abused by someone they know, whether a friendly neighbor or a doting uncle. Since every state and the District of Columbia run their registries by their own rules, many offenders slip through cracks in the bureaucracy. "The tremendous lack of uniformity means you will be able to protect your children better in one state than another," says Laura Ahearn, executive director of Parents for Megan's Law. Some states assign a risk rate to offenders and don't include in their registry the ones who are considered low risk, which means, says Ahearn, "you could live right next to a predator and have no way of finding out." Her organization gives failing grades to the registries in 22 states, including California, where 102,616 registered sexual offenders reside. Among the problems cited: not requiring neighbors to be notified when a sexual offender is moving in and not registering every offender. Perhaps the biggest loophole is that "we're counting on convicted sex offenders to do the right thing and to register," says Nancy McBride, national safety director for the missing and exploited children's center. Many don't. Indeed, an estimated 100,000 sex offenders are currently unaccounted for. The Department of Justice recently announced plans to link existing state registries to a national site, but child advocates say more is necessary, including better communication among law enforcement, courts, and probation
authorities. Protective measures. What's a parent to do? You can start by finding your state registry on the Internet. Try typing the state name and the words sex offender registry into a search engine. (South Dakota and Oregon are not yet fully online, however.) Then, "check out all the adults who have access to your children," says McBride. This includes the people parents and their children are most likely to trust and admire: the volunteer coach, the children's choir leader, scoutmasters, baby sitters, and parents of the child's friends. Knowing that some pedophiles target single moms with children, parents should screen prospective dates before bringing them home to meet the kids. Digital defenses There are now several online resources that offer help to parents:
A clearinghouse of information about child sexual abuse; it also links to--and rates--all state registries.
Offers statistics; tracks laws and media reports. www.stopitnow.com A nonprofit foundation that offers resources and information about child sex abuse.
www.csom.org The website of the Department of Justice Center for Sex Offender Management.
(USN&WR, 6/13/05, 72)
Go to this link and enter your street address...it will show a "house" in the middle of the map, that's your house... all the little colored boxes are
registered Sex Offenders... click on them and you get a, name, address &
picture of the person along with his crime... pretty amazing and scary...it shows you where they live in proximity to your home and the local schools.
[How about unregistered ones?] http://www.familywatchdog.us/
To get your free credit report,
consumers should go to www.AnnualCreditReport.com,
a Web site set up by the Federal Trade Commission. You can also call
1-877-322-8228 or write to
Annual Credit Report, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, Georgia, 30348-5281. You won't get your credit
score, the magic number lenders use to figure out how creditworthy you are. For
that, you'll have to pay about $10.
list of 800 phone numbers and how
to talk to a person. ..... Free Directory Information!
(this has not been tested) Phone companies are charging us $1.00 or more for 411 / information calls.
When you need to use 411, simply dial 1 800 FREE- 411 or 1 800 373 3411 without incurring a charge at all except for the minutes
required to make the call if you are using a cell phone
The Golden Age Passport
($10) is a lifetime admission and discount pass for citizens or permanent
residents of the United States who are age 62 or older. The pass is valid at National
Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Corps of Engineers, Fish and
Wildlife Service, Forest Service, and Tennessee Valley Authority sites with
admission fees. The Golden Age Passport admits the pass owner and any
accompanying passengers in a private vehicle if a park has a per vehicle
entrance fee. Where a per person entrance fee is charged, the Golden Age
Passport admits the pass owner, spouse, and children. http://gethuman.com/us/
..... Group Travel Planninghttp://grouptravelplanet.com/http://www.groople.com/
State Department, Air
Security International, and iJet
Travel Risk Management are web sites offering warnings about
specific travel dangers. ..... Consumers can protect themselves from
potential airline service disruptions is by always
purchasing tickets with a credit card. Credit-card companies will in most
cases refund tickets should an airline file for bankruptcy and reduce service --
as long as the ticket was bought directly from the carrier. In addition, the
federal government recently renewed a consumer-protection provision that allows
ticket holders for canceled flights
to fly with another carrier for a $25 charge. (Business Week, 1/7/05)
To report internet
crimes: hacking - National Infrastructure Protection Center www.nipc.gov
202-323-3205 or FBI or Secret Service; copyright piracy - FBI or Customs
(if from abroad) 800-232-5378; Child pornography - FBI; auction fraud -
Internet Fraud Complaint Center www.ifccfbi.gov
or Federal Trade Commission www.ftc.gov
or local police; investment fraud - Internet Fraud Complaint Center www.ifccfbi.gov
or Securities and Exchange Commission www.sec.gov
; harassment - FBI or local police; unwanted commercial e-mail spam
- forward to FTC at email@example.com
(OCR, 5/26/02, News 24)
To stop junk mailhttp://www.the-dma.org To stop unwanted
sales calls, https://www.donotcall.gov/default.aspx
or call 1-888-382-1222. Also search http://google.com
for telemarketing remove name and click on
appropriate link. To try and stop spam
(good luck), search http://google.com
for stop spam On AOL, forward
spam to firstname.lastname@example.org AOL Ver. #8
simplifies blocking spam e-mail
addresses, but this is not very effective because it is so easy for spammers to
alter their addresses ..... Marketing opt-out and ID theft www.privacyrights.org
(LAT, 2/4/02, C6) ..... The CA Attorney General is suing Paul
Willis and Claudia Griffin (PW Marketing) in the first consumer-protection
lawsuit against junk e-mail (spam).
The suit seeks $2500 for each violation, or at least $2 million. (OCR, 9/27/02,
Business 3) ..... Spam now
is 38% of e-mail traffic, up from 8% last year. More than 24 states have laws
against spam. CA, CO, plus 5 other states, require "ADV:' in the header
line. However, the laws are unenforceable against nonresidents, so we need a
federal law. (Business Week, 10/7/02, 100) ..... CA law now prohibits all spam,
imposing fines of up to $1 million and targeting the sending companies, as well
as the companies whose products are advertised. It is estimated that spam costs
US companies $9 billion in 2002. (OCR, 9/24/03, Business 1) .....LEESBURG, VA (4/8/04, AP) - A judge sentenced Jeremy Jaynes of
Raleigh, N.C., convicted in the nation's first felony prosecution for illegal
spamming, to nine years in
prison, but delayed the start of the prison term while the case is
appealed. Loudoun County Circuit Judge Thomas Horne said that because the law
targeting junk e-mail is new and raises constitutional questions, it was
appropriate to defer prison time until appeals courts rule. ..... internet crime
JUNK FAXES:Federal law bans unsolicited faxes outright. CA passed
the law, rescinding a previous law, so Federal law now bans unsolicited faxes in
CA. (OCR, 9/20/02, Business 1) ..... Junk Fax Prevention Act of
2005 (S.714), passed the House and Senate as of June 28, 2005. Congress
for the first time in history has legalized the taking of your property from you
without your consent by another person or private entity. As long as they had a
conversation with you sometime in your lifetime, they can send you junk faxes
about ANYTHING until you tell them to stop (after which they must stop in an
unspecified timeframe). http://www.junkfax.org/
..... taking actionhttp://www.junkfaxes.org/taking_action.htm
..... The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 prohibits using a telephone
facsimile machine, computer, or other device to send an unsolicited
advertisement (a "junk fax") to a telephone facsimile machine. http://www.keytlaw.com/faxes/junkfaxlaw.htm
..... What you can do about junk
sent to your fax machine http://www.junkbusters.com/fax.html
CA, CO, DC, HI, IN, TX, and WI passed no-call
laws, requiring telemarketers to
purchase a list of consumers not to call, or face penalties. (AARP Bulletin,
1/02, 8) ..... Californians now can pre-register their phone numbers for a
national do-not-call list, which
starts 7/1/03. Companies must purchase the lists by 9/1/03. Banks, credit-card
companies, non-profits, and your telephone companies are excluded. http://nocall.doj.state.ca.us
or in Spanish http://nocall.doj.state.ca.us/home_sp.html
(OCR, 3/31/03, News 20)
The CA Supreme Court ruled that homeowners cannot sue builders
for building-code violations unless actual damage has occurred. SB355 has been
introduced to reverse this decision. (OCR, 12/9/01, News 24) ..... Assets that
are jointly owned by a husband and wife are protected
from lawsuits in Florida. (USN&WR, 3/11/02, 40)
home expenses may be fully deductible from income taxes if the primary
reason for being there is for medical care. http://www.irs.gov/plain/tax_edu/faq/faq3-5.html
For definition of medical care see IRS Publication 502 or http://www.irs.gov/plain/forms_pubs/pubs/p50201.htm
..... About 2 million Americans each year contract (bacterial) infections
while in the hospital. About 90,000 of them die because of the infections, the
6th leading cause of death. (AARP Bulletin, 6/05, 3 and USN&WR, 1/9/06, 54) ..... Some parents may be
able to write-off their child's
private-school tution a medical expenses. This could be for dyslexic
children that require special education that could be deemed
medical care. (Newsweek, 7/11/05, 69) ..... http://www.elderabusecenter.org/
elder abuse help, elder care info 800-677-1116
Jeff Sachs gave his daughter Jennifer a $100 gift certificate toward a
round-trip ticket on United Airlines. He tried to use the gift certificate
towards an internet special ticket, but United refused to accept it. Sachs
decided to sue, accusing United of using deceptive trade practices in violation
of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act. United failed to show up in Denver
County Court, so Sachs was awarded a $500 default judgment. United did not pay,
so the Sheriff sent an officer to United's DIA ticket counter and seized $1258
for the original judgment, attorney's fees, sheriff's fees, and others. (Rocky
Mt. News, 5/18/02, 4C) ..... Overseas car rentals may have an upper
age limit for drivers, as low as 65. (AARP Bulletin, 7-8/05, 26)
idiots in Sacramento have 400
bills in the last four days to tax, spend, and regulate our lives. They want to
increase the minimum wage, which will reduce the number of lower-paying jobs.
Lawyers will love more law suits for gender equality, labor, environment,
consumers. Requiring teaching students in their native language, violating Prop.
227. Mandating teaching of tolerance. Driver's licenses for illegals.
Transporting puppies across state lines, limiting number of pages in school
texts, stamping on bullets. (OCR, 9/11/05, Commentary 5) ..... SB840 envisions a
state health single-payer system for all
California. Even Medicare
patients will be pulled from the federal program. (OCR, 9/11/05, Commentary 6)
18. RUMORS AND
BUSINESS: A small unsigned leaflet began showing up in schools in the middle east. The leaflet said that
the Pikachu Pokemon character meant I am Jewish in Japanese. A Sheik said,
"It has been proven that this toy is part of a Jewish plan to corrupt the
mind of our younger generation." Several Arab countries now ban or make it
difficult to get the toy. The Moral Majority claimed the Teletubby character
Tinky Winky was gay because it was purple, carried a bag, and has an antenna
shaped like a triangle. It was rumored that the Proctor and Gamble 132-year-old
trademark showing the Man in the Moon and thirteen stars is the symbol of
Satanism and devil worship. In 1999, Nintendo discontinued a card bearing an
image similar to a swastika, after the Anti-Defamation League complained. (LAT,
4/24/01, A1) ..... Amway Corp. lost a Supreme Court Appeal because Amway spread
false rumors linking rival Proctor & Gamble with Satanism. The rumors are
not entitle to free-speech protection. (LAT, 10/2/01, C14) ..... Saudi Arabia
confiscated 10 million bags of potato chips from Thailand because toys inside
each bag had crossed triangles that resembled the Star of David. (USN&WR,
19. PILOTLESS: A Northrop Global Hawk
unmanned reconnaissance airplane flew across the Pacific from California to
Australia all by itself, using onboard preprogrammed computers. The plane can
fly at 65,000 feet and take thousands of images that can distinguish between a
baseball and an orange. (LAT, 6/20/01, C2) ..... The 36-hour flight time
offers virtual 24-hour surveillance of multiple hot spots, cost is
$25M/drone. Preprogrammed flight, that can be updated. The Predator is
flown by ground pilot. (LAT, 2/3/02, A10)
The solar-powered remote-controlled Helios soared to an
altitude of 76,200 feet, and will attempt a new record of 100,000 feet. The $15
million Helios has a 247-foot wingspan; 14 electric motors (like those in a hair
dryer) turn the propellers. (LAT, 7/30/01, C1) ..... The Helios reached an
altitude of 96,500 feet, a new record. It is made of Kevlar, Styrofoam, and
plastic film, weighing only 1577 pounds. The wing has 62,000 solar
panels. (LAT, 8/14/01, A1)
A Hellfire missile was fired from an unmanned
CIA-controlled Predator drone aircraft, hitting a car in a lawless stretch of
northern Yemen, killing six al-Qaida terrorists. (OCR, 11/5/02, News 1).....
During the 2003 Iraq war, Predators were operated from an American base 7000 miles
away. They were so successful that Predators are in great demand by U.S. forces
worldwide. Many missions are being suggested for a bigger one, smaller one,
faster one, and carry heavier bombs. (USN&WR, 5/19/03, 21) ..... The U.S.
wants an unmanned robotic weapons system that could strike
anywhere on earth in two hours, cutting need for foreign bases. The
robotic bomber would fly eight time the speed of sound and have a range of
20,000 miles. (OCR, 11/29/03, News 14)
A 246-foot long German Zeppelin with 19 passengers, filled with
helium not hydrogen, will start 30 one hour commercial cruise flights a week.
They already have 4000 bookings, starting at $275. (LAT, 8/16/01, A11)
iRobot Wins $18 Million U.S. Navy Contract to Deliver Explosive Ordnance Disposal Robots.
iRobot PackBot EOD robots are combat-proven and are being used daily in Iraq and Afghanistan to disarm roadside bombs and other improvised explosive devices
(IEDs). To fulfill the contract, iRobot will deliver over 150 robots to the U.S. Navy by the end of 2005.
iRobot PackBot EOD is a rugged, lightweight robot designed to assist in explosive ordnance disposal, HAZMAT, search-and-surveillance, hostage rescue and other vital tasks for military units. It can handle a full range of conventional ordnance disposal and improvised explosive devices. iRobot PackBot EOD's lightweight, ruggedized OmniReach Manipulator System can reach as far as two meters in any direction to assess and safely disrupt difficult-to-access
IEDs, military ordnance, land mines and other incendiary devices. (iRobot Corp., 3/17/05)
[iRobot now is working on "spiders" to search
buildings for people. Roomba anyone?]
20. LOST U.S. JOBS:
The problems are outsourcing and productivity. China is the world's workshop.
India is the world's back office. Educated dedicated worked are happy to get 10%
to 20% what Americans get. Professions include engineering, accounting, design,
legal work, actuarial and insurance work, medical services, and financial
analysis. 22 million factory jobs have disappeared worldwide between 1995
and 2002. 80% of 2.5 million U.S. manufacturing jobs lost are gone for good, due
to spectacular increases in productivity. U.S. steel production has increased
from 75 to 102 million tons per year since 1982. Yet the number of steelworker
has decreased almost 75%. (USN&WR, 2/9/04, 68)
21. JUNK FAXES/SPAM: The "junk fax"
provision of the 1991 Telephone Consumer Protection Act prohibits sending
advertising by fax without permission. A class-action for sending junk faxes has
resulted in a $12M award against Hooters of Augusta, forcing them to file for
bankruptcy. There may be a dozen other similar suits. Congress is considering a
similar law to extend legal protections to limit "spam" e-mail
advertising. (OCR, 7/22/01, News 27) [One for the little guys!] ..... U.S.
District Judge Stephen Limbaugh [Rush's uncle] rule that the federal law barring
unsolicited fax advertising
violates First Amendment protection of free speech. (OCR, 4/29/02, Business 4)
..... Fax.com, a major junk faxer,
can send 3 million faxes a day. At 1 to 2 cents each, that can cost consumers
and businesses $30,000 to $60,000 per day, for something they do not want. (OCR,
6/9/02, News 16) ..... The FCC fined Fax.com $5.4 million for violating a law
that bans "junk faxes." (OCR, 8/8/02, News 1) ..... Supposedly, a
screening database will reduce unwanted
AOL subscribers can forward all junk mail (with an AOL domain
name) to screen name TOSEmai1. If the spam
comes from a non-AOL account, forward the message to TOSSpam. If you get a
message with a suspicious-looking file attachment or an inappropriate graphic,
forward the entire e-mail TOSFiles. More info: http://aolsvc.pcworld.aol.com/computercenter/aol/article/0,aid,34782,pg,2,00.asp
, spam info http://www.spamhaus.org/
, www.dmaconsumers.org stop some
spam ..... AOL #8 simplifies stopping
spam. Highlight (do not open) spam e-mail,
click on Report Spam, then click on Send and Block. AOL is notified about the
spam sender, and you will not receive any more e-mail from the sender's address.
A 1998 CA law requires that spammers must provide ways for
recipients to get off their lists and clearly state in the subject line that the
message is an advertisement. A CA Appeals Court upheld the law. A dozen states
have similar laws, but there is no federal law. (LAT, 1/5/02, C2) ..... CA laws
require a valid e-mail address for replies, "ADV" for advertisement in
the e-mail title, and a toll-free telephone number to be removed from the list.
(OCR, 4/29/02, Business 14) ..... Spammer
goes to slammer. A Leesburg, VA, jury recommended 9 years in jail for
Jeremy Jaynes, one of the world's most prolific spammers. (OCR, 12/28/04,
Coloradans can stop
phone calls by signing up for the Colorado No-Calls list on
the web site www.coloradonocall.com
or by calling 1-888-249-9097. (Denver Post,
5/15/02, B1) ..... A new federal law allows the FTC to create a database to help
stop unwanted telemarketing calls;
it should be in operation by summer 2003. Consumers can enroll free via internet
or a toll-free number. Telemarketers must check the list every three months.
They could be fined up to $11,000 for each violation. Charities, surveys, and
politicians are exempt. the FCC is considering joining the FTC to help regulate
certain industries, including, airlines, banks, and telephone companies. (OCR,
3/12/03, Business 4)
22. THANKS A LOT: A 17 year old German
Shepherd barked and nipped his sleeping (FL) owners to save them from a
The owners had to relocate to places not allowing dogs. The German Shepherd and
his brother now are at a dog pound and scheduled for euthanasia. (LAT,
8/9/01, A7) ..... NAIROBI, Kenya (5/9/05, AP) - Stray Dog Saves Abandoned Newborn.
A newborn baby abandoned in a Kenyan forest was saved by a stray dog who apparently carried her across a busy road and through a barbed wire fence to a shed where the infant was discovered nestled with
the dog's litter of puppies. ..... In 1996, at the zoo in Brookfield, IL, female
gorilla Binti Jua picked up a
3-year-old boy, who fell into the gorilla exhibit, and carried him to a doorway,
where the zoo staff could reach him. (OCR, 5/7/05, News 27) ..... ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia
(6/21/05, AP) - Lions Protect Abducted Ethiopian Girl From Attackers. 'They Stood Guard Until We Found Her,' Police Say. A 12-year-old girl who was abducted and beaten by men trying to force her into a marriage was found being guarded by three lions who apparently had chased off her captors. The girl, missing for a week, had been taken by seven men who wanted to force her to marry one of them. She was beaten repeatedly before she was found June 9 by police. She had been guarded by the lions for about half a day. ''They stood guard until we found her and then they just left her like a gift and went back into the
A grizzly bear attacked a group of animal-rights activists
hiking near West Yellowstone (MT), mauling a 38-year-old man. (OCR, 8/28/02,
News 26) ..... Paul Richter (Bochum, Germany) caught an eel 33 years ago. His
children refused to eat it, so they kept the eel
in the bathtub as a pet since 1969. Animal-rights activists
that the eel should be released into the wild. A veterinarian found the 36-inch
eel well nourished and apparently happy, so the eel could stay in the bathtub.
(OCR, 2/4/03, News 16) ..... Antoine Yates, 31, kept a 425-pound tiger and an
alligator in his fifth-floor Harlem (NY) apartment. When he gets out of the
hospital, after being bitten by the tiger, he faces reckless-endangerment
charges. (OCR, 10/6/03, News 12) ..... Timothy Treadwell, 46, and Amie Hugenard,
37, were fatally mauled by brown bears
in Alaska. Treadwell is co-author of "Among Grizzlies: Living With Wild
Bears in Alaska." (OCR, 10/8/03, News 12) ..... Walnut
Creek (CA) has a sharp rise of complaints that wild turkeys scratch up
gardens, cover yards in poop, eat grapes and other crops, cross roads causing
traffic accidents, and wake up slumbering neighborhoods with gobbling.
(Stockton Record, 12/05/03, A2) ..... In Martinsburg, WV, Firefighter William A.
Feimster burned down his mother's mobile home (mother was not home) because he
was upset over her sloppy house-keeping.
(OCR, 1/15/04, News 13) ..... "A typical commuter in greater Los Angeles is
stuck in traffic 90 hours a year,
the worst in the nation by far." (AAA Westways, 1-2/04, 61) ..... L.A. and
O.C. drivers lose 93 hours yearly in rush-hour traffic, costing drivers delay
time and $879 per year in extra gas. (OCR, 9/8/04, News 23)
COLLBRAN, CO (4/15/05, AP) - First there was Mike the Headless
Chicken, a rooster that survived for 18 months after having its head lopped off with an ax.
Now, western Colorado has a new chicken survival story, this one involving a man who claims he saved his fowl by giving it mouth-to-beak resuscitation.
Uegene Safken says one of the chickens in his young flock had gotten into a tub of water in the yard last week and appeared to have died.
Safken said he first swung the chicken by the feet to revive it. When that failed, he continued swinging and blowing into its beak.
Mike the Headless Chicken survived a beheading in 1945 in Fruita, Colo. Afterward, Mike could go through the motions of pecking for food, and when he tried to crow, a gurgle came out. His owner put feed and water directly into Mike's gullet with an eyedropper.
Scientists examined the chicken and theorized Mike had enough of a brain stem left to live headless. He was a popular attraction until he choked to death on a corn kernel.
Calif. (5/9/05, AP) - Police
Ticket Chicken for Crossing the Road. Linc
and Helena Moore may have finally learned the answer to that age-old question:
Why did the chicken cross the road? Because the chicken doesn't know jaywalking
is illegal. Kern County Sheriff's Deputy J. Nicholson does know, however. The
deputy issued a ticket on March 26 to one of the couple's chickens for impeding
traffic on a road in Johannesburg, a rural mining community southeast of
Ridgecrest. The Moores arrived in Superior Court on Friday to plead not guilty
to their chicken's alleged transgression. A trial was scheduled for May 16.
..... The Moore's attorney argued that the chicken was domesticated and could
not be charged as live stock. The $54 citation for impeding traffic was dismissed.
(OCR, 5/30/05, News 10)
In 1958, a U.S. bomber ditched a nuclear
bomb, 100 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb, into water a mile
from the beach and within three miles of downtown Savannah, GA. The Air Force
has been unable to recover the bomb, it is too expensive to continue searching,
and probably is harmless if left undisturbed. (OCR, 3/18/02, News 9)
[Inexpensive nearby beach-front property?] ..... Tamarisk is the West's worst
weed scourge, covers 2 million acres and guzzles enough water to supply
20 million people. The saltcedar leaf beetle only eats tamarisk, no other
plants. The pencil-sized yellow beetle is native to China and Kazakhstan. The
beetle will be released in 13 Western states. (OCR, 10/24/03, News 16) ..... In
1999, the Institute of Medicine that 98,000 Americans die every year from medical
errors. HealthGrades estimates that there were 195,000 preventable
patient deaths a year in hospitals in 2000, 2001, and 2002. (Newsweek, 8/2/04,
The IRS defines obesity
as excessive weight mass for a person's height. For example, 180 pounds for
5'5" and 221 pounds for 6'. (OCR, 4/4/02, Business 4) ..... Tom Amberry,
79, made 307 consecutive basketball free throws in 59 minutes, breaking a world
record. In 1993, Amberry made a world-record 2750 consecutive free throws in 12
hours. (OCR, 7/27/02, Local 1) ..... In Rapid City, SD, Sharon Dunn gave birth
to her twin grand-daughters. Dunn was surrogate mother for two of her daughter's
eggs, fertilized by her daughter's husband. Her daughter was born without a
uterus and could not have children. (OCR, 10/16/02, News 16) ..... In
Abilene, TX, Kris Leija was passing an apartment complex on his bicycle. He
noticed it was on fire and braved the flames three times to rescue
four children. The sheriff saw Leija on television, and arrested him for
probation violation. (OCR, 4/30/03, News 18) ..... Michael Bussey and Gary
Cooper started the Exodus International, a therapy group to "cure
homosexuals" in 1976 at an Anaheim (CA) church. They fell in love and left
the group. (OCR, 9/16/04, Life 1)
NEW DELHI (4/25/05, AP) - Indian Sues Lover After Sex
Change Hitch. An Indian who became a man to marry a female relative was
dumped after the surgery. Twenty-nine-year-old rubber tapper Kuttiyamma, born
with both male and female genitals,
had been in love with the relative, Laura, 25, for 15 years before having
surgery to become a man and change her name to Binu. But Laura became engaged to
another man and Binu is suing her for breach of trust after spending 50,000
rupees ($1,150) on the sex change in southern Kerala state. "She had agreed
to marry me after the surgery," the paper quoted Binu saying in the
petition. "I took loans to pay the hospital bills." Laura's fiance has
since backed out of the wedding after hearing of Binu. The paper did not say how
Laura and Kuttiyamma/Binu are related.
RAPID CITY, S.D. (3/19/05, AP) - A man accused
of multiple violations for drunken
driving over the years was back in court to answer for what authorities
believe are his 16th and 17th drunken
driving arrests. Jerry R. Zeller, 64, pleaded innocent to two drunken
driving charges stemming from arrests in October and again in February.
Pennington County deputy State's Attorney Kara Wood said last month she found 17
arrests for Zeller, including the two charges he now faces, and nine convictions
dating back to the 1970s. Zeller is due back in court in April for a status
hearing. He has been in custody since Feb. 23, when his bond was set at
HARTFORD, CT. (12/01/05, AP) - Police Fine High School Students for Cursing.
Bad words are costing Hartford Public and Bulkeley high schoolers $103 each. Police officers assigned to the schools have fined about two dozen students for cursing in a new program to curtail unruly behavior. The joint effort by school and police officials targets students who swear while defying teachers and administrators.
"We're sending a message to the parents and to the teachers," said Sandy Cruz-Serrano, senior adviser to Superintendent of Schools Robert Henry. "We are trying to bring back order to the schools."
Parents are required to pay the fines if the students cannot. "Our heads are spinning with that," said Sam Saylor, president of the district Parent Teacher Organization. "The kids are really indecent with their swearing and they're swearing at teachers. This is their way of curtailing it - making the parents pay."
Keila Ayala, 17, a Hartford Public sophomore, said she was ticketed for shouting an expletive in an officer's face while handcuffed for taking a swing at him.
"It'll stop me from swearing," she said. "Well, it won't stop me from swearing, but I won't cuss at the teachers."
George Sugai, who teaches school discipline at UConn's Neag School of Education, is skeptical of the effort. "Research says that punishing kids doesn't teach them the right way to act," he said.
But Hartford Police Officer Roger Pearl said the program is working. "Before, the kids were swearing all the time. It went from many incidents to almost nothing," he said. "It's quiet in the halls."
California's "spite fence" law bars residents from
building fences taller than 10 feet specifically to annoy their neighbors. A CA
appellate court has ruled that excessively tall trees planted for that purpose
also can be banned. (OCR, 5/1/02, News 8) ..... A row of trees, but not a single
tree may fall under the spite-fence law, CA Civil Code 841.4. Factors to be
considered are if growing more than 10 feet high is necessary and if the trees
were planted to annoy the neighbors. (OCR, 7/28/02, Homefinder 1)
Imported produce contains harmful bacteria more than three that
of domestic. The FDA inspects less than 2% of imported produce. We import nearly
25% of produce consumed. An estimated 50,000 non-native invasive species cost us
more than $137 billion a year. More than 7000 people have leprosy, mostly
immigrants from Mexico and Brazil. Foreign-born people accounted for more than
half with TB, mostly from Mexico, Philippines, Vietnam, India, and China. (USN&WR,
12/8/03, 68) ..... In Ahmadabad, India, a 43-year-old woman gave
birth to her own grandchildren after she acted as the surrogate mother
for her daughter's twin children. (OCR, 1/31/04, News 22)
Dr. Harold Shipman, a British physician, has killed
more than 215 during 23 years, mainly by lethal injection. (OCR, 7/20/02,
News 31) ..... Dr. Harold Shipman, serving 15 consecutive life terms without
parole, the once respected family doctor who became Britain's worst serial
killer, was found hanged in his cell. He never explained the murders, always
maintaining his innocence. (OCR, 1/14/04, News 13) ..... Ten New Orleans aquarium visitors fell into a shark tank and
thrashed around for 15 minutes with the sharks swimming beneath their kicking
feet. (OCR, 8/9/02, News 6) [The radio reported that the sharks had been fed, luckily.]
..... In 1867 on the Fijian island of Viti Levu, cannibals
killed and ate missionary Rev. Thomas Baker and 8 Fijian followers. The
cannibals unsucessfully tried to cook and eat Baker's boots. Villagers believe
that their bad luck since 1867 is caused by Baker's spirit or disapproving gods.
Now, for the third time, the villages have apologized, hoping to improve their
luck. (OCR, 11/14/03, News 25) ..... German Accused of Cannibalism
on Trial, Victim Allegedly Agreed to Arrangement, By David Crossland, Reuters,
KASSEL, Germany (12/3/03) - A German confessed on Wednesday to killing and
eating a willing victim in a case that shocked Germany. Armin Meiwes, 42, said
at the start of his trial in the central German city of Kassel that eating a man
felt like a religious act. He ate about 44 pounds of the flesh, defrosting it
bit by bit. He cut off the victim's penis at the latter's request. Meiwes then
killed him with a knife. He then hung up the corpse and cut it up, filming the
process. .....Kassel, Germany, AP, 1/30/04 - Armin Meiwes, a 42-year-old
computer expert, who confessed to killing, dismembering and eating another man
who allegedly agreed to the arrangement over the Internet, was convicted Friday
of manslaughter and sentenced to 8 1/2 years in prison. ..... England is
enforcing "antisocial behavior"
laws because of the erosion of civilized norms in this once polite country.
(OCR, 4/4/04, News 29) ..... MANILA, Philippines (Aug. 10) - Four members of a
family have been arrested and charged with murder for allegedly killing and eating
a relative during a wedding reception - and serving his flesh to
unwitting party guests. (AOL News, 8/17/04)
mutilation is the term used to refer to the removal of part, or
all, of the female genitalia. The most severe form is infibulation, also known
as pharaonic circumcision. An estimated 15% of all mutilations in Africa are
infibulations. The procedure consists of clitoridectomy (where all, or part of,
the clitoris is removed), excision (removal of all, or part of, the labia minora),
and cutting of the labia majora to create raw surfaces, which are then stitched
or held together in order to form a cover over the vagina when they heal. A
small hole is left to allow urine and menstrual blood to escape. In some less
conventional forms of infibulation, less tissue is removed and a larger opening
is left. (OCR, 11/26/04, News 42) http://www.amnesty.org/ailib/intcam/femgen/fgm1.htm
Veteran Seattle attorney Theresa Olson was removed from a
murder case after she was seen having sex in the jail visiting room with her
client Sebastian Burns, facing trial for the slayings of a couple and their
daughter, because of "inappropriate physical contact" with a prisoner.
(OCR, 8/15/02, News 14) [Servicing your client?]
HONG KONG (4/21/05, AP) - Chinese men have no reason to feel inferior about the
size of their penises, according to a Hong Kong study which showed local men measured up to others elsewhere in the world below the belt.
"Our conclusion is that Hong Kong people are no smaller than western men, where their penises are concerned," said Chan
Lung-wai, director of the Urology Center at the Union Hospital, who headed the study.
"There has always been the myth that westerners have bigger penises and their [sexual] ability is better."
A group of scientists in Hong Kong spent five months from October last year measuring 148 ethnic Chinese volunteers aged between 23 and 93.
The average length of their flaccid penises was 3.4 inches, which compared favorably with similar studies on other men overseas.
Germans have average lengths of about 3.4 inches, Israelis 3.27 inches, Turks 3.07 inches and Filipinos 2.89 inches.
Italians were the longest at 3.54 inches, and Americans averaged 3.46 inches.
The study did not measure the penises when they were erect. It found that a man's height bore no relation to the length of his member, but those with higher body mass indexes, or fat content, appeared to have shorter penises.
"It seems that as someone gets older and fatter, his blood vessels change, so the penile size is not static. It may be a reflection of the condition of the person's blood vessels," Chan said, adding that this could spur yet another study.
pertaining to women: Unmarried women can parachute on Sundays (FL). Women
can adjust their stockings in public (TX). It now is legal to swear in front of
women and children (MI). An attempt is being made to remove a WA law prohibiting
publicly questioning a woman's virtue. (OCR, 1/28/05, News 29) ..... SAN DIEGO (3/31/5, AP) - The hunt is on for a turd
burglar. Police in San Diego are searching for a gunman who swiped a bag
of poop from a woman out walking her dog. The woman told police that she was out
walking her dog, Misty, on Monday night when a man in his 20s ran up behind her
and grabbed the bag she was holding. ..... According to the new
calculation, obesity ranks No. 7 instead of No. 2 among the nation's leading
preventable causes of death. The new analysis found that obesity - being
extremely overweight - is indisputably lethal. But like several recent smaller
studies, it found that people who are
modestly overweight have a lower risk of death than those of normal weight.
Biostatistician Mary Grace Kovar, a consultant for the University of Chicago's
National Opinion Research Center in Washington, said "normal" may be
set too low for today's population. Also, Americans classified as overweight are
eating better, exercising more and managing their blood pressure better than
they used to, she said. The study - an analysis of mortality rates and body-mass
index, or BMI - was published in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical
Association. (Chicago, 4/20/05, AP)
In CA, there are 28,000 drivers 90+, and 31 drivers 100+. Older
drivers have fewer fatal accidents than the 16 to 34 group, but have more
per miles driven than any other group except teenagers. Drivers 70+ must take a
written test and vision test for routine 4-year license renewal. If an older
driver is reported to have difficulties, he/she may be required to take a
45-minute road test, in contrast to the 20-minute test initially required.
Licenses may be restricted to daytime and/or surface streets (no
freeways). (OCR, 9/4/02, Local 1)
Wesleyan University (Middletown, Conn.) has, or had, the naked dorm, the transgender dorm, the queer prom, the pornography-for-credit course, the obscene sidewalk chalking, the campus club named crudely for a woman's private part, or the appearance on campus of a traveling anti-Semitic
roadshow, loosely described as a pro-Palestinian conference. The porn course, which had some students filming S&M scenarios, ended when the teacher died. The students tend to have opinions from every known corner of
MoveOn.org. For the 2000 election, 80 percent of the students had voted for Al Gore, the
remaining 20 percent was for Nader. Many students shun the complexity of arguments and simply spout the Democratic party line. The university is pressuring its frats to accept women as members or pay a stiff financial price. However, they don't bother to apply the same objection to Womanist House (a residence for females) or Malcolm X House, which caters to blacks.
(USN&WR, 1/10/05, 58)
American Enterprise magazine survey shows college
professors are lopsidedly drawn from political left: Cornell 166
(left-leaning)/6 (right-leaning), U. of CO - Boulder 116/5, Stanford 151/17,
Brown 54/3, U. CA San Diego 99/6, U. CA Berkeley 59/7, Williams 200/4. (USN&WR,
9/23/02, 14) ..... Duke University has 142 Democrat professors and 8
Republicans. David Horowitz says there are 10 Democrats for every Republican,
getting worse in many elite universities. www.noindoctrination.org
has detailed student reports of professorial drivel. (USN&WR, 2/23/04, 20)
..... A Pew study shows 34% of
journalists say they are liberal (a 50% increase since 1995) and 7% say
they are conservative; whereas, 33% of Americans say they are conservative and
20% say they are liberal. (OCR, 7/20/04, Local 9)
NEW YORK (1/20/06, AP) - Dead Man May Have Sat on Subway for Hours.
A man was found dead on a New York City subway car during morning rush hour, and his lifeless body may have ridden on the train for about six hours.
The body of Eugene Reilly, 64, was discovered shortly after 7 a.m. Thursday in the last car of the Q subway train in the 14th Street-Union Square station, said James
Anyansi, a NYC Transit spokesman.
Reilly, a Postal Service employee, typically worked a 4 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. shift as a mail handler in midtown Manhattan. If Reilly left work at the usual time and died during the 35-minute trip home to Brooklyn, then his body could have been on the train for more than six hours before being noticed.
In June 1999, the body of a man was found on a No. 1 train. He apparently had been dead for five hours before anyone noticed.
UTAH MAN "OLDEST
WORKER IN AMERICA" LDS Church member Russell Clark will turn 103 on
November 19. This fall, Clark, now living in Orem, Utah, was named the oldest
worker in the United States. For Clark, who received his medical degree from
Northwestern University in Illinois many years ago, but now works as a
businessman, there is a message in his longevity. Older people "add a lot
more to the community and to their own lives by getting something to
..... Mitoyo Kawate, world's oldest
person, dies at 114 in Japan. She was a farmer until 100. Previously,
Kamato Hongo died at 116 in Japan. Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment died in 1997
at 122. (OCR, 11/14/03, News 33) ..... John Riudavets Moll died a natural death at
his Madrid home. He was world's oldest
man at 114. He spoke and reasoned perfectly well and still was taking
walks. (OCR, 3/7/04, News 36) ..... Fred Hale Sr. died in Dewitt, NY, 12 days
shy of his 114th birthday; he was world's oldest man. Hermann Dornemann of
Germany, 111, now is the oldest man. (OCR, 11/21/04, News 33) .....
Sweden's oldest twins, Gunhild
Gaellstedt and Siri Ingvarsson, turned 100 years old. The have lived in the same
apartment building for more than 50 years, one on the third floor and the
other on the second. The building has no elevator, and the sister have no
trouble getting up and down the stairs every day. (OCR, 1/30/05, News 31) .....
Biologist Steven Austad said that some children alive today will live
to the age of 150. (AARP Bulletin, 12/04, 4) ..... World's
longest married couple, John Rocchio, 101, and Emilia Roccio, 100,
celebrated 82 years of marriage in North Providence, RI. (OCR, 6/24/05, News 17)
..... Sephardic Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri taught Kabbalah in Jerusalem. He died at an
estimated age between 104 to 108. (OCR, 1/29/06, News 32) ..... Oldest
Woman Ever: The oldest fully authenticated
age to which any human has ever lived is 122 years and 164 days, by
Jeanne-Louise Calment. She was born in France on February 21, 1875, and died at
a nursing home in Arles, southern France on August 4, 1997. President Jacques
Chirac once said Jean Calment was a little bit like a grandmother to everyone in
France. She was 14 when the Eiffel Tower was completed in 1889. She led an
extremely active life, taking up fencing at 85 years old, and was still riding a
bicycle at 100. She portrayed herself at the age of 114 in the film Vincent
And Me, to become the oldest actress in film. http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/content_pages/record.asp?recordid=48373
"March 7, 2010, will go down in history as the first
time two top-10 supercentenarians died on the same day," said Robert
Young, of the Gerontology
Research Group. "This is a very elite group, the very top of the
population pyramid." Mary Josephine Ray, certified by the research group as
the oldest person living in the U.S. and the second oldest in the world, died
early Sunday at a nursing home in Westmoreland, N.H. She was 114 years and 294
days old. Hours later, Daisey Bailey, the oldest living black person in the
world and the fifth oldest person in the world, died at 10:03 p.m. in Detroit,
Young said. Born March 30, 1896, in Tennessee, she was 113 years and 342 days
old, Young said. The gerontology group certified her age using two Censuses, but
her family believes she was born on the same day one year earlier, he added.
(AOL News, 3/8/10)
Oldest Man Turns 113, Aims for 10 More
TOKYO (Reuters, Sept. 18, 2008) - The world's oldest man celebrated his
113th birthday on Thursday, telling reporters at his home in southern Japan
about his joyful life and healthy appetite.
"I'm happy," said Tomoji Tanabe as the local mayor presented him
with flowers and a giant tea cup glazed with his name and date of birth.
"I'm well. I eat a lot," he added.
Tanabe, recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest
living male last year, eats mostly vegetables and believes the key to
longevity is not drinking alcohol. The former civil servant lives with his
son, drinks milk every day and has no major illnesses, although he now
writes in his diary only once or twice a month. He used to write on a daily
basis. "His favorite food is fried shrimp, but we've heard that he's
cut back on oily food," said an official at his hometown of Miyakonojo,
about 900 km (560 miles) southwest of Tokyo. "He's said he wants to
live for another 10 years, that he doesn't want to die." The Japanese
are among the world's longest-lived people, with the number of those aged
100 or older at a record 36,276, a government report last week showed.
Japanese women have topped the world's longevity ranks for 23 years, while
men rank third after Iceland and Hong Kong.
Oldest Man Dies at 113
TOKYO (AP, June 19, 2009) Tomoji Tanabe, the world's oldest man, died in his
sleep at his home in southern Japan on Friday, a city official said. He was 113.
"He died peacefully. His family members were with him," said Junko
Nakao, a city official in Miyakonojo on Japan's southern island of Kyushu.
Tanabe died of heart failure, she said. Tanabe, who was born Sept. 18, 1895, had
eight children five sons and three daughters. The former city land surveyor
also had 25 grandchildren, 53 great-grandchildren, and six
great-great-grandchildren, according to a statement from the Miyakonojo city. He
was certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's oldest man
when he was 111 years old. Tanabe lived with his fifth son and daughter-in-law.
His favorite meals were fried shrimp and Japanese miso soup with clams, the
statement said. Tanabe drank milk every morning and read the newspaper. He also
avoided alcohol and did not smoke, the statement said. The city's mayor, Makoto
Nagamine, said Tanabe was "the symbol of the Miyakonojo known as a city of
long life." "I feel very saddened by his death," Nagamine said in
a statement. "He cheered many citizens." Japanese
people have among the world's longest life expectancies nearly 86
years for women and 79 years for men which is often attributed to the
country's healthy diet rich in fish and rice. The number of Japanese living past
100 has more than doubled in the last six years, reaching a record high of
36,000 people in 2008. The country's centenarian ranks are dominated by women,
who make up 86 percent of the total. Japan's centenarian population is expected
to reach nearly 1 million the world's largest by 2050, according to U.N.
Elizabeth Bolden, 116; was world's oldest person
Elizabeth "Lizzie" Bolden, a sharecropper's daughter who was recognized as the world's oldest person, died Monday in a Memphis nursing home, the home's administrator said. She was 116. Bolden was born Aug. 15, 1890, according to the Gerontology Research Group, a Los Angeles organization that tracks the ages of the world's oldest people. Guinness World Records recognized Bolden as the oldest person in the world in August after the death of Maria Esther de Capovilla of Ecuador, who also was 116. Born on a cotton farm in Fayette County, Tenn., she was the daughter of freed slaves. She married Lewis Bolden in 1908 and bore the first of seven children in 1909. She outlived her husband by more than 50 years and all but two of her children. She reportedly leaves more than 500 direct descendants, including 40 grandchildren, 75 great-grandchildren, 150 great-great-grandchildren, 220 great-great-great-grandchildren and 75 great-great-great-great-grandchildren. Bolden's death leaves 78 known super-centenarians around the world, the oldest of whom is Emiliano Mercado del Toro, 115, of Puerto Rico. Del Toro is the first man in 20 years to reach the top of the list of oldest known individuals. Bolden observed her 116th birthday with two of her favorite things: candy and ice cream.
(LA Times, 12/12/06) http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/california/la-me-bolden12dec12,0,4958060.story?coll=la-headlines-pe-california
Gertrude Weaver of Arkansas celebrated her 116th birthday
on July 4 and is the new oldest-living American. She is now the
second-oldest living person, after Misao Okawa of Osaka, Japan, who was
born March 5, 1898. Until July 4, the record of oldest living person in
the United States was held by Jeralean Talley of Inkster, Michigan, who
recently celebrated her 115th birthday on May 23. [Time
Oldest Man in US Dies at at 112
SAN FRANCISCO (AP, 12/29/08) - George Francis, the nation's oldest man, who
lived through both world wars, man's first walk on the moon and the election
of the first black president, has died. He was 112.
Francis died Saturday of congestive heart failure at a nursing home in
He lived four years in the 19th century, 100 years in the 20th
century, and 8 years in the 21st century. We call him the man of three
centuries," said the younger Francis, 81. UCLA gerontologist Dr.
Stephen Coles, who maintains a list of the world's oldest people, said
Francis lived 112 years and 204 days. With Francis' death, Walter Breuning
of Montana, who is 112 years, 98 days old, becomes the country's oldest
living man. At 114, Gertrude Baines of Los Angeles is the nation's oldest
living person. The world's oldest person is Maria de Jesus of Portugal, who
is 115 years, 109 days old, and the oldest man is Tomoji Tanabe of Japan,
who is 113 years, 101 days, Coles said. Francis, who at his prime barely
weighed more than 100 pounds, was born June 6, 1896, in New Orleans. As an
African-American in the South, he felt the sting of the Jim Crow-era
segregation laws in his early life. His son said Francis tried to enlist in
the U.S. Army during World War I but was turned down because of his stature.
Besides his four children, Francis is survived by 18 grandchildren, 33
great-grandchildren and 16 great-great grandchildren.
TOKYO (AP, 8/13/07) - Yone Minagawa, who became the world's oldest person
earlier this year, has died at a nursing home in southwestern Japan, an
official said Tuesday. She was 114.
Yone Minagawa, named the world's oldest person in January, died
of old age Monday in a nursing home 520 miles southwest of Tokyo.
She reportedly had seven grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and
two great-great-grandchildren. Minagawa, who raised four sons and a daughter on her own by peddling flowers
and vegetables, died of old age Monday, said Toshiro Tachibana, an official
at the nursing home in Fukuchi, 520 miles southwest of Tokyo.
"Her appetite had been declining recently and her energy fading,"
Tachibana said. "The death was not sudden."
Born on Jan. 4, 1893, Minagawa was named the world's oldest person by the
Guinness Book of World Records in January following the death of Emma Faust
Tillman, also 114, in the United States.
Minagawa outlived all of her children except one daughter, and had seven
grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren,
according to the nursing home.
Japan has one of the world's longest average life spans - a factor often
attributed to a healthy diet rich in fish and rice.
In 2006, Japanese women set a new record for life expectancy at 85.81 years,
while men live an average of about 79 years.
The number of Japanese living beyond 100 has almost quadrupled in the past
10 years and is soon expected to surpass 28,000, the government announced
LOS ANGELES (9/1/13)-- The oldest person born in Mexico, who also was
California's oldest resident, has died in a hospice in Chula Vista, just 17 days
after celebrating her 114th birthday. Soledad Mexia (mah-HEE'-ah') died 8/30/13.
Mexia was born in Mexico but moved to the United States when she was very young
and become an American citizen.
The Gerontology Research Group (www.grg.org) is an organization of physicians,
scientists and engineers who validate supercentenarians, people 110 or older.
The world's oldest person, Misao Okawa of Japan, is 115. The next three oldest
people are from Michigan, New York and Massachusetts. They are all 114. Mexia
was the fifth-oldest person on the planet when she died. The distinction of
oldest California resident now goes to Opal Thompson, who is 112
Henry Allingham, LONDON (AP, 7/18/09) Henry Allingham, one of the last
surviving veterans of World War I and the world's
oldest man, died 7/18/09. He was 113.
[His mind was clear to the end.] Allingham was one of only two surviving
serviceman from World War I in Britain. The other is Harry Patch, who served in
the trenches during the conflict. There are no surviving French veterans. The
last remaining American veteran is Frank Woodruff Buckles of Charles Town, West
Olympic Torchbearer And
World's Oldest Triathlete, Arthur Gilbert, Completes 41st
TOKYO (6/20/05, AP) - Japanese Man, 95, Breaks Running Record. A 95-year-old Japanese man who took up track only three decades ago has run the 100 meters in 22.04 seconds, a record for his age bracket. The world record of 24.01 seconds for the 95 to 99 age group set by Hawaii-resident Erwin Jaskulski in May 1999. Haraguchi also holds the World Masters Athletics' world record for the fastest man aged 90 to 95 - a time of 18.08 seconds he set in September 2000. He started track events at age 65 and stays healthy by taking
hour-long walks daily.
DES MOINES, Iowa (Dec. 2, 2004) - America's
oldest person, a 114-year-old
woman who voted in every election since women earned the right in
1920 and had the thinnest file in her doctor's office, has died.
Verona Johnston died Wednesday at home in
Worthington, Ohio, said her daughter, Julie Johnson.
"She just wore out," Johnson said.
"She was still very sharp up until a few months ago."
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (8/30/05, AP) - A woman listed as the world's oldest person died Tuesday at age
115. Hendrikje van Andel-Schipper died peacefully in her sleep. She was very clear mentally right up to the end, but the physical ailments were
increasing, She advised others who wanted a long life to "keep breathing" and eat pickled herring, a favorite Dutch snack.
The oldest authenticated person now is Elizabeth Bolden, 115, of Memphis,
TN., born Aug. 15, 1890. The oldest man is Emiliano Mercado del Toro, 114, of Puerto Rico.
Brazilian Said to Be 125, May Be Oldest
SAO PAULO, Brazil (3/3/05, AP) -
Maria Olivia da Silva, who recently celebrated her 125th birthday,
"is definitely the oldest living woman in Brazil and possibly in the
entire world." She was born Feb. 28, 1880 in the city of Itapetininga,
Sao Paulo state. According to the Guinness World Records Web
site, the world's oldest woman is 113-year-old Hendrikje Van
Andel-Schipper, who was born June 29, 1890. Da Silva is "mentally
sound and rational," was married twice and has outlived all but three
of her 14 children - four of them adopted. "Her memory is impressive
and she loves to talk." Da Silva lives with her 58-year-old
adopted son, Aparecido H. Silva.
World's Oldest Woman Dies at Age
LISBON, Portugal (AP, 1/2/09) - A Portuguese woman who lived to see five of her
great-great grandchildren born and was believed to have been the world's oldest
person died on Friday at the age of 115, officials said. Maria de Jesus died in
an ambulance near the central Portuguese town of Tomar, town council officials
said. destpeople')">World's Oldest People Maria de Jesus of Portugal,
who was believed to be the world's oldest living person, died Friday. Born
September 10, 1893, she lived to be 115 years and 114 days old. Above, de Jesus
waits for relatives to arrive for her 113th birthday party in Corujo, Portugal,
in 2006. Click through the gallery to read about others who set records for
longevity. She had been listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the
world's oldest person. That title now falls to an American, 114-year-old
Gertrude Baines, who lives in a Los Angeles nursing home. Born Sept. 10, 1893,
de Jesus was widowed at 57, outlived three of her six children, had 11
grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. On Friday, she ate breakfast normally,
but then was taken to hospital because of a swelling, her daughter Maria
Madalena told state news agency Lusa, without elaborating. De Jesus was 115
years and 114 days old. "I regret the death of this lady, she really was
the sweetest person," town councilor Ivo Santos said in Tomar, central
Portugal, 135 kilometers (84 miles) north of Lisbon. There are now
only 82 women and nine men verified as being 110 or older, according to
gerontologist Dr. Stephen Coles of the Gerontology Research Group at the
University of California, Los Angeles. But he said there could be hundreds more
in places such as China, India or Africa where they would not have caught the
attention of the Gerontology Research Group, a small volunteer organization that
tracks supercentenarians and verifies their birth dates through birth
certificates and other documents. Coles said the supercentenarians appear to
share one trait that might account for their longevity they come from
families whose members are long-lived
World's oldest person dies in Los Angeles at 115
LOS ANGELES, AP, 9/11/09 Although she liked her bacon crispy and her
chicken fried, she never drank, smoked or fooled around, Gertrude
Baines once said, describing a life that lasted an astonishing 115
years and earned her the title of oldest person on the planet. It was
a title Baines quietly relinquished Friday when she died in her sleep at Western
Convalescent Hospital, her home since she gave up living alone at age
107 after breaking a hip. She likely suffered a heart attack, said her
longtime physician, Dr. Charles Witt, although an autopsy was scheduled to
determine the exact cause of death. "I saw her two days ago, and she
was just doing fine," Witt told The Associated Press on Friday.
"She was in excellent shape. She was mentally alert. She smiled
frequently." Baines was born in Shellman, Ga., on April 6, 1894, when Grover
Cleveland was in the White House, radio communication was just being
developed and television was still more than a half-century from becoming a
ubiquitous household presence. She was 4 years old when the Spanish-American
War broke out and 9 when the first World Series was played. She had already
reached middle age by the time the U.S. entered World War II in 1941.
Throughout it all, Baines said last year, it was a life she thoroughly
"I'm glad I'm here. I don't care if I live a hundred more," she
said with a hearty laugh after casting her vote for Barack Obama for
president. "I enjoy nothing but eating and sleeping." Her vote for
Obama, she added, had helped fulfill a lifelong dream of seeing a black man
elected president. "We all the same, only our skin is dark and theirs
is white," said Baines, who was black. The centenarian, who worked as a
maid at Ohio State University dormitories until her retirement, had outlived
all of her family members. Her only daughter died of typhoid at age 18. In
her final years, she passed her days watching her favorite TV program,
"The Jerry Springer Show," and consuming her favorite foods:
bacon, fried chicken and ice cream. She complained often, however, that the
bacon served to her was too soft. "Two days ago, when I saw her, she
was talking about the fact that the bacon wasn't crisp enough, that it was
soggy," Witt said.
She became the world's oldest person in January when Maria de Jesus died
in Portugal at 115. The title brought with it a spotlight of attention, and
Baines was asked frequently about the secret to a long life. She shrugged
off such questions, telling people to ask God instead. "She told me
that she owes her longevity to the Lord, that she never did drink, she never
did smoke and she never did fool around," Witt said at a party marking
her 115th birthday. At the party, Baines sat quietly, paying little
attention as nursing home staffers and residents sang "Happy
Birthday" and presented congratulatory notices from Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and others. But she laughed when told
the Los Angeles Dodgers had given her a cooler filled with hot dogs. With
Baines' death, 114-year-old
Kama Chinen of Japan becomes the
world's oldest person, said Dr. L. Stephen Coles of the Gerontology
Research Group, which tracks claims of extreme old age. Chinen was born May
10, 1895. The oldest person who ever
lived, Coles said, was Jeanne-Louise Calment, who was
122 when she died Aug. 4, 1997, in Arles, France.
Player Makes College Cut: (ALPINE,
Texas, AP, 8/22/07) Mike Flynt's biggest regret of his life was getting
kicked off the college team before his senior year. Finding out he was eligible,
Flynt returned to Sul Ross State University this month, 37 years after he left
and six years before he goes on Medicare. His comeback peaked Wednesday with the
coach saying he's made the Division III team's roster. He could be in action as
soon as Sept. 1. Flynt is giving new meaning to being a college senior. After
all, he's a grandfather and a card-carrying member of AARP. He's eight years
older than his coach and has two kids older than any of his teammates. "I
think it was Carl Yastrzemski who used to say, `How old would you be if you
didn't know how old you were?' I'd be in my late 20s or early 30s, because
that's how I feel," said Flynt, who has made a living out of physical
fitness. "That's been my approach to this whole thing. I feel that good.
I'm just going to find out if I can perform and make a contribution to the
team." A longtime strength and conditioning coach at Nebraska, Oregon and
Texas A&M, he's spent the last several years selling the Powerbase training
system he invented. Clients include school systems and the military. His
colorful life story includes being the son of a Battle of the Bulge survivor and
having dabbled in gold mines and oil wells - successfully. Flynt's position is
still being determined, but he used to play linebacker. Wherever he lines up,
he'll likely become the oldest player in college football history. Neither the
NCAA or NAIA keeps such a statistic, but research hasn't turned up anyone older
than their mid-40s. And even those are rare, for obvious reasons. "I told
him he's an idiot," said Jerry Larned, who coached Flynt at Sul Ross in
1969 and counseled him at the start of his comeback. "I said, `Gosh, dang,
Mike, you're not 20 years old any more. You're liable to cripple yourself.' He
understands all of that. But he has a burning desire to play. ... He is in great
physical condition. He still runs a 5-flat 40 and bench presses
I-don't-know-what. He's a specimen for 59 years old."
J. L. Hunter Rountree celebrates his 91st birthday on 12/16/02
AP, DALLAS (11/ 22/04) - J.L. Hunter
"Red" Rountree, the nation's
oldest known bank robber, who turned to crime in his 80s and said
the robberies made him feel good for days afterward, died in a prison
hospital Oct. 12, two months shy of his 93rd birthday.
A spokesman for the U.S. Medical Center for
Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Mo., said Rountree was transferred
there shortly after his sentencing in January for a bank holdup in
Abilene when he was 91.
The Abilene job was the last of three bank
robberies Rountree began in 1998, when he was 86. In an interview with
The Associated Press earlier this year, he said he walked slowly to a
teller's window, handed over an envelope indicating his intent and was
greeted with a surprised, "Are you kidding?" The teller
complied anyway, but Rountree was later caught and sentenced to 12 1/2
years in prison - a death sentence for a man of his age.
CAIRO, Egypt (2/20/05, AP) - Egyptian doctors performed a
13-hour operation and removed an undeveloped head that was linked to the
skull of a 10-month-old girl, Manar. The baby had craniopagus
parasiticus, a rare birth defect where a child's skull is linked to the
head of an undeveloped twin. The rudimentary head is usually thought to
be parasitic. Skull reconstruction surgery was also performed. A
separate twin sister, Noora, is healthy after initial complications.
Such rare defects occur when an embryo begins to split into identical
twins but fails to complete the process, leaving an undeveloped
conjoined twin in the womb. The twin sisters were born on March 30, 2004.
Xi Shun, the world's tallest living man at 7 feet, 8.5 inches,
stands with Kiran Shah, the world's shortest professional stuntman at 4
feet, 1.7 inches, at a Guinness World Records event in London Sept. 22.
the top prescribed drugs for lawmakers from the Bethesda National Naval Medical
Center is Viagra, the little sex pill." (USN&WR, 7/23/01, 13) .....
Viagra is a lifesaver for the world's wildlife by dramatically reducing demand
for wild animal parts traditionally used for cures for impotence. (NY Post,
10/28/02, 12) ..... Medicare covers a failure of a body part. In the past five years, it paid nearly
$20 million for 31,953 services for impotency. Three types of implants are
covered: inflatable, full-time semi-rigid, and multi-component with pump
cylinders, and/or reservoir. (USN&WR, 8/19/02, 2)
Former governors Jim Tucker (AR), Fife Symington (AZ), and
Edwin Edwards (LA) all have been convicted of crimes. For more information on
this topic see politicalgraveyard.com.
(Parade Magazine, 1/27/02, 2) ..... Ex-CT Gov. John Rowland was sentenced to a
year in prison and four months house arrest for selling his office in a
corruption scandal. (OCR, 3/19/05, News 28) ..... The Navy abandoned a WWII Corsair fighter
that crashed into a NC swamp in 1944. In 1990, Lex Cralley (Minneapolis, MN) dug
the plane out of the swamp, salvaged the pieces, registered it with the
FAA, and started restoration. The Justice Dept., on behalf of the Navy, now is
suing Cralley seeking the plane, the cost of returning it, and compensation for
any damages since Cralley recovered it. (OCR, 3/28//04, News 32) [What, no thank
you letter?] ..... Carlsbad, CA, police saw a $300 electric bill and
assumed marijuana was being grown. They got a warrant and searched the house of
They found a mother doing many washes, a dishwashing machine going, three
electricity-guzzling computers on, and her three teen-agers, who did
not turn off any lights. (OCR, 3/31/04, Local 8) ..... A rental car
company in Langhorne (PA) found 88 bags of heroin in a returned car. The police
arrested Robert Laguerre, who left his wallet in the car. Laguerre was recently
released from a NJ prison, after serving time for heroin distribution. (OCR,
7/18/04, News 30) ..... A 1946 Vatican document instructed French church
authorities that Jewish children
baptized as Roman Catholics, to protect them from the Nazis, should
not be returned to their own families once occupation ended, to ensure the
children's Christian education. (OCR, 1/1/05, News 39) ..... In 1941, Joseph
Kennedy arranged for a lobotomy
of his daughter Rosemary (age 23, sister of JFK). Rosemary was a mildly retarded
woman and Joseph worried that Rosemary could
embarrass the family with pregnancy or disease. Rosemary was reduced
to an infant-like state; she died 1/7/05, 63 years later. (OCR, 1/8/05,
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (3/4/05, AP) - Chimps Shot Dead
After Mauling Animal Sanctuary Visitor. A couple's plans for a birthday
party for their former pet chimpanzee turned tragic when two other chimps
at an animal sanctuary escaped from their cage and attacked. The man was
critically injured with massive wounds to his face, body and limbs, and the
attacking animals were shot dead. St. James and LaDonna Davis were at the Animal
Haven Ranch in Caliente to celebrate the birthday of Moe, a 39-year-old
chimpanzee who was taken from their suburban Los Angeles home in 1999 after
biting off part of a woman's finger. Moe was not involved in Thursday's attack.
The couple had brought Moe a cake and were standing outside his cage when Buddy
and Ollie, two of four chimpanzees in the adjoining cage, attacked St. James
Davis. LaDonna Davis, 64, suffered a bite wound to the hand while trying to help
her 62-year-old husband. St. James Davis had severe facial injuries and would
require extensive surgery in an attempt to reattach his nose. His testicles and
a foot also were severed. Buddy, a 16-year-old male chimp, initiated the attack
and after he was shot, Ollie, a 13-year-old male, grabbed the gravely injured
man and dragged him down the road, authorities said. The Davises had waged an
unsuccessful legal fight to bring Moe back to their West Covina home and visited
him regularly at the sanctuary where he had been living since October. They
brought the chimp from Africa decades ago after a poacher killed his mother.
MIAMI (3/3/05, Reuters) - A former topless dancer who
was famously cleared of battering a Florida nightclub patron with her
"crazy big" breasts has shed her oversized silicone implants
and put one of them up for auction
on eBay. She had her size 69-HH implants removed and underwent
breast reduction surgery in 1999 after retiring from the business to
start a new life. Peaks described herself as a happily married homemaker
and mother of three now living in the Detroit area. In 1998 when a man
sued her and her employer, the Diamond Dolls nightclub in Clearwater,
Florida, saying he suffered a whiplash injury when she swung her breasts
into his face at a bachelor party. He said they were "like two
cement blocks." The parties accepted binding arbitration on
"The People's Court" television show and the judge, former New
York City Mayor Ed Koch, ordered a female bailiff to examine Peaks in
private. The bailiff found the breasts
to be "soft" and to weigh about 2 pounds each. Koch ruled they
were not dangerous and
refused to award damages. The implant auction ends on Saturday. So far
Peaks has received 10 bids, topping out at $71, according to the eBay
Web site. [Reportedly $17,000 (3/7/05)]
Stripper Tawny Peaks shown on a beach in Australia in June 1996 ---->
HONG KONG (4/8/05, AP) - Doctors have removed a leech from the nose of a 55-year-old Hong Kong woman after she swam and washed her face in a stream, a medical journal reported.
The woman said that one month before her symptoms developed, she swam and washed her face in a stream while hiking. Doctors checked other members of her hiking group and found another leech in the nose of a man who washed his face in the
stream. The article said the leech could have caused suffocation if it moved into the patients' larynx, or voice box.
The woman went to her doctor complaining of nose bleeds and an occasional sensation that something was blocking her left nostril, the Hong Kong Medical Journal said in its April issue. Her family doctor noticed a "brownish mass" in her nostril but couldn't remove it because of heavy bleeding, the journal said.
The patient was taken to the emergency room, where doctors identified the problem as a bloodsucking leech. They had trouble pulling it out because the 2 inch invertebrate retracted into the nostril and disappeared, the journal said.
Part of the slimy leech was in a passage of her nasal cavity and a larger segment was in her sinus cavity, the article said.
Doctors used a nasal spray to anesthetize the dark brown leech that had a sucker on the front part of its body. "After two minutes, the leech moved slowly out of the antrum (sinus) and was retrieved with forceps," the journal said.
A copy of the Hong Kong Medical Journal nose leech article: www.hkmj.org.hk/hkmj/
after you see it, it is still hard to believe !
Water Bridge in Germany .... What a feat!
Six years, 500 million euros, 918 meters long.......now this is
This is a channel-bridge over the River Elbe and joins the former East
and West Germany, as part of the unification project. It is located in
the city of Magdeburg, near Berlin. The photo was taken on the day of
Mark David Little, 44, 26 times fraudulently billed Medicare more than $8000
for procedures never performed. He got 51
months in jail, plus must pay $675,820 in restitution to Medicare. (OCR,
4/20/05, Business 2) [I certainly do not condone fraud, but this is a severe
case of overkill. Doctors get very little from treating Medicare patients. I am
told that doctors are subject to a $10,000 fine for every Medicare billing
error, even if unintentional. It is becoming more difficult to find a good
doctor willing to accept a Medicare patient. And who can blame them?]
(4/20/05, AP) - A brother and sister were arrested on felony incest charges after the man's wife called sheriff's deputies, who allegedly caught the siblings having sex.
Ronald Stewart Howze, 44, of Trafford, and Lori Ann Rotton, 41, of Smyrna, Ga., were arrested around midnight on April
7. They remain jailed Wednesday with bond set at $50,000 each. If convicted, Howze and Rotton could each be sentenced to
10 years in prison. Howze's wife believed her husband and his sister were having sex so she called deputies.
The deputy saw the siblings having sex in a bedroom. The officer had to twice tell the couple to stop, and the officer's report quoted the man as saying "I guess I'm going to jail" after they finally
complied. Both brother and sister had been drinking. The man told the officer he wanted to "go out crazy" after being diagnosed with
Illinois was named after the Illini confederation of about a half-dozen tribes that were
virtually annihilated in the 1760s
by rival tribes. The
only remnant of the Illini confederation, the Peoria tribe, is now in Oklahoma.
The tribe is too busy running a casino and golf course to care about Chief
Illiniwek and the University if Illinois. TheNCAA will not allow the university to host any postseason tournaments or
events, if references to Indians are made. In 2002, Sports Illustrated published a poll of 352 Native Americans, 217 living on reservations, 134 living off. Eighty-one percent said high school and college teams should not stop using Indian nicknames.
One of America's booming businesses is the indignation industry, that manufactures the synthetic outrage needed to fuel identity politics.
(OCR, 1/5/06, Local 9)
Legislation helped deep-six the inner cities, and this was done
by people who thought they were doing good by teaching poor black Americans to
sign up for welfare, which had
never been done before. This happened starting in 1966, and it's an untold
chapter of black history. Suddenly you had communities where being on welfare
was normal. Where fatherlessness
was normal. In 1966, 4.6 million people were on welfare nationwide. Just four
years later, 9.6 million were. In 1964, a quarter of all black children were
born to single mothers. The proportion rose to 50 percent by 1976 and over 75
percent by 1995. Even the seediest black slums had not been like this before the
late '60s. [John McWhorter] (USN&WR, 2/20/06, 25)
23. SUICIDE ROOM: Too many people
attempting suicide endanger innocent people. Anyone contemplating suicide should
be able to reserve a "suicide room." If after three days of counseling,
the individual still wants to commit suicide, and is judged sane enough to
understand his actions, then he can use the "suicide room" with his
choice of method.
One million Americans ages 12-17 tried to kill themselves in
2000. Almost 3 million considered suicide. Girls are twice as likely as boys to
consider or try suicide. (OCR, 7/16/02, News, 7) ..... Violence kills about 1.6
million people worldwide each year. About half the deaths are suicides. (OCR,
10/4/02, News 27) ..... 30,000 people commit suicide each year, with 4000
to 5000 10 to 24 years old. Boys kill themselves six times more often than
girls. Abnormally low levels of serotonin
result in depression and suicide. Teens are controlled by an emotional and
impulsive lower brain, the amygdala. As teens mature, their frontal lobes, the
domain of reason and judgment, increasingly rein in the amygdala, and the
notorious emotional swings of teen life level out. (USN&WR, 11/10/03,
A Spanish man packed his car with
explosives, rammed into a Lourdes (France) sanctuary where 40,000 people were
attending mass, and set his car on fire. Fortunately, no one was injured. The
man, in his 70s, said he was trying to commit suicide, and had no religious or
political motive. (OCR, 8/16/01, News 26)
A man killed his
wife. A short time later he shot himself at the edge of the Century
Freeway. He fell 80 feet onto a car on the Harbor Freeway, killing the driver of
the car and injuring a passenger. (LAT, 12/22/01, B24R) ..... A sobbing CA man
threatened to jump on to the freeway, shutting down the San Diego and the Costa
Mesa Freeways, and backing them up for miles. An hour later, the man tried to
jump, was grabbed by the leg by police, swiped a knife at them, and fell 50 feet
to the freeway. He was listed as critical condition in the hospital. (OCR,
3/2/03, Local 1) ..... GLENDALE, Calif. (AP, Jan. 27, 2005) - Juan Manuel
Alvarez, 25, whom authorities say caused the chain-reaction train derailment
that killed 11 people, could face murder charges for leaving his sport utility
vehicle on a railroad track after apparently changing
his mind about committing suicide. Nearly 200 were injured. The crash was
the worst U.S. rail tragedy since March 15, 1999. Alvarez stood by and watched
the gruesome collision, which scattered wreckage and bodies over a quarter-mile
of track. ..... A woman, 24, jumped onto
a freeway, and died after being hit by two cars. (OCR, 3/3/05, Local 2)
..... CONWAY, S.C. (2/14/06, AP) - A paraplegic teenager who crashed into another car at 99 mph in a
suicide attempt last year, killing a 3-year-old
girl, has been sentenced to 21 years in prison. Christopher Jones, 18, pleaded guilty Monday to voluntary manslaughter, and assault and battery with intent to kill. Jones, who drove a sport utility vehicle that let him accelerate and brake by hand, lost the use of his legs in an accident in 2004. Authorities said he made a suicide pact with his girlfriend before he aimed his SUV at oncoming traffic in March. Jones never applied the brakes before crossing at least three lanes of traffic.
39-year old woman snarled traffic for miles as she attempted
to jump from a freeway overpass in Dana Pont, CA. The freeway
was shut down as several cops risked their lives to prevent her suicide.
The woman struggled the entire time, as she was pulled to safety. (OCR,
10/29/08, Local 8) ..... A 70-year-old woman was shot to death by police in La
Habra, CA, after allegedly threatening suicide and pointing a gun at the police.
This is called "suicide by police."
(OCR, 12/24/08, Local 1)
suicide is legal only in Oregon. Doctors can prescribe, but not
administer, drugs to certain dying patients. It has been used less than 100
times since it began in 1994. A federal judge has blocked a directive by
U.S. Attorney General that would inhibit such help. (AARP Bulletin, 1/02, 9)
..... A federal judge made a temporary injunction permanent by ruling that the
Justice Dept. cannot interfere with Oregon's law allowing doctors to help
terminally ill people kill themselves. (OCR, 4/18/02, News 1) ..... For the first time,
a British court has allowed a mentally competent
person the right to die. The 43-year old paralyzed woman,, not a doctor,
can decide whether a life-support machine can be turned off. In the U.S.,
patients generally have the right to order removal of life-support equipment.
(OCR, 3/23/02, News 35) ..... Netherlands is the first country to permit mercy
killing (euthanasia) for the hopelessly ill. The law decriminalizes a practice
that long has been a reality. Belgium, France, Australia, and Britain have
similar initiative under way. (OCR, 4/2/02, News 11)
AB 374, California
Compassionate Choices Act Launched
Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez addressed a packed press room to announce he has
joined Assembly members Patty Berg and Lloyd Levine and will champion
Compassionate Choices for Californians this legislative session. Joining the
three co-authors at the podium were Majority leader Karen Bass of Los Angeles,
Majority Whip Fiona Ma of San Francisco and Appropriations Committee Chair Mark
Leno of San Francisco. Together they presented to reporters a wealth of
well-reasoned support and political strength. The measure carries
the same provisions as AB 651 that was defeated by just a single vote in the
Senate Judiciary Committee in June of 2006. The powerful backing of Speaker
Nunez, more than two dozen co-authors and a majority of Californians including
seniors groups, doctors, clergy and civil liberties organizations raises
expectations for timely passage through Assembly committees.
WASHINGTON (AP, 1/18/06) -
Supreme Court Upholds Oregon Suicide Law. After more than a decade of legal battles over assisted suicide, a Supreme Court ruling affirming that states have the authority to regulate medical treatment of the terminally ill may help turn an Oregon law into a national model. Oregon's assisted suicide law covers only those with incurable diseases and six months or less left to live. The 6-3 ruling said federal government improperly threatened to use a federal drug law against Oregon doctors who prescribe lethal doses of medicine to dying patients who request it. "The favorable ruling by the Supreme Court now permits other states to move forward in replicating Oregon's landmark law," said Peg
Sandeen, executive director of the Death with Dignity National Center. At least six other states have proposed, or are considering, some form of an assisted suicide law, with bills currently in the legislatures of California and Vermont. The Oregon law was passed by initiative in 1994 and affirmed by an even larger majority of voters in 1997, within weeks of another Supreme Court ruling in a Washington state case that also backed states as the final authority for regulating medical practice. A total of 208 people - mostly cancer patients - have taken the lethal prescription from 1998 through 2004, according to figures collected by Oregon health officials tracking how often the law is used. The head of the Roman Catholic Church in Oregon was among the longtime opponents who harshly criticized the ruling. "The failure of our governmental structures to prevent doctors from violating medicine's historic ethical prohibition, 'Do no harm,' is a tragic error of immense proportion and significance," said Archbishop John
Vlazny, head of the Archdiocese of Portland. California state Assemblyman Lloyd Levine, a Democrat who co-authored his state's proposed assisted suicide law, said various polls have shown broad support in California across demographic groups, both political and religious. Polls in Vermont also showed broad support for an assisted suicide law based on the Oregon model, said Michael
Sirotkin, spokesman for Death with Dignity Vermont and End of Life Choices Vermont.
suicidal father (30) used carbon
monoxide to try and kill himself and his 6 children. Four children died; 2
children are in serious condition, with one expected to die. The father is in
stable condition. (OCR, 2/21/02, News 10)..... Vincent Humbert,
22, paraplegic, blind, and mute, wrote a book (with a journalist) advocating
legal euthanasia. He used sedatives to commit suicide in Paris, three years
after a car accident. Assisted suicide
is illegal in France, sometimes legal in the Netherlands and Belgium, and fully
legal in Switzerland. (OCR, 9/27,03, News 34) ..... Three years ago the Dutch
parliament made it legal for doctors to euthanize adult patients suffering great
pain with no hope of relief. A Dutch hospital recently proposed guidelines for mercy
killings of terminally ill newborns, and has begun carrying out such
procedures. (OCR, 12/1/04, News 27)
Now They Want to Euthanize
Children. In the Netherlands, 31 percent of
pediatricians have killed infants. A fifth of these killings were done without
the "consent" of parents.
FIRST, Dutch euthanasia advocates said that patient killing will be limited to
the competent, terminally ill who ask for it. Then, when doctors began
euthanizing patients who clearly were not terminally ill, sweat not, they
soothed: medicalized killing will be limited to competent people with incurable
illnesses or disabilities. Then, when doctors began killing patients who were
depressed but not physically ill, not to worry, they told us: only competent
depressed people whose desire to commit suicide is "rational" will
have their deaths facilitated. Then, when doctors began killing incompetent
people, such as those with Alzheimer's, it's all under control, they crooned:
non-voluntary killing will be limited to patients who would have asked for it if
they were competent. In the Netherlands, Groningen University Hospital has
decided its doctors will euthanize children under the age of 12, if doctors
believe their suffering is intolerable or if they have an incurable illness. But
what does that mean? In many cases, as occurs now with adults, it will become an
excuse not to provide proper pain control for children who are dying of
potentially agonizing maladies such as cancer, and doing away with them instead.
As for those deemed "incurable"--this term is merely a euphemism for
killing babies and children who are seriously disabled. (9/13/04) http://www.weeklystandard.com/Utilities/printer_preview.asp?idArticle=4616&R=A0F11B604
Suicide Epidemic Grips Japan
(USA Today, 7/21/08)
TOKYO (July 21) - A suicide fad is sweeping Japan: Hundreds of Japanese have
killed themselves this year by mixing ordinary household chemicals into a
lethal cloud of poison gas that often injures others and forces the
The 517 self-inflicted deaths by hydrogen sulfide poisoning this year are
part of a bigger, grimmer story: Nearly 34,000 Japanese killed themselves
last year, according to the Japanese national police. That's the
second-highest toll ever in a country where the suicide rate is ninth
highest in the world and more than double that of the USA, the World Health
Organization says. A disturbing suicide fad has developed in Japan over the past year. 517
individuals have ended their lives using household chemicals to create a
lethal gas. Disturbing on its own, this trend is a small part of a much
larger problem: nearly 34,000 Japanese killed themselves last year alone,
the second highest suicide toll in the nation's history.
Japan has long been known as a "nation of suicide," notes
sociologist Kayoko Ueno at University of Tokushima. Samurai warriors famously
chose seppuku disemboweling themselves over surrender. Japanese
kamikaze pilots crashed their planes into targets during World War II.
"Suicide is not considered a sin," says sociologist Masahiro Yamada
of Chuo University in Tokyo. "We've made it a bit of a virtue."
Authorities are alarmed now that suicide has reached epidemic levels. Reasons:
A decade of weak economic growth and the unraveling of Japan's system of
lifetime employment have left many middle-age and elderly men unemployed and
in financial ruin. Among Japanese suicides, nearly 71% are men, more than 73%
are 40 or older, and more than 57% are jobless.
For an unemployed, former "salaryman," suicide can be "a
rational decision," Yamada says. When a man commits suicide in Japan, his
beneficiaries can still collect his life insurance. And insurers pay off
Japanese home mortgages when a family's breadwinner dies even if the death
is a suicide. "If he dies, the rest of the family gets money,"
Yamada says. "If he continues to live without a job, they will lose the
The Internet has allowed young, depressed Japanese to get suicide tips and
find others with whom they can enter into death pacts.
A few years ago, suicidal Japanese were meeting each other online, driving out
into the countryside, shutting themselves up in the back of vans and killing
themselves in clouds of carbon monoxide by burning charcoal briquettes.
"People really want to be connected. People got together to die,"
says anti-suicide activist Koji Tsukino, 43.
Tsukino, a recovering alcoholic and drug user who tried to kill himself 10
times before he turned 30, says the latest suicide craze is even scarier than
those in the past.
Hydrogen sulfide is dangerous even to those who don't want to kill themselves.
The toxic gas can carry into neighboring buildings and apartments. In April,
80 people were injured and another 120 had to be evacuated after a 14-year-old
girl killed herself with hydrogen sulfide in southern Japan's Kochi
prefecture. She'd left a note on the door of her family's apartment that said,
"Gas being emitted. Don't open," according to the Kyodo news
Police have asked Internet service providers to ban websites that promote
suicide but with only mixed success.
"If just one person decided not to do it, that would be great,"
Tsukino says. "They might go on to get married and have children."
Hand-in-hand British musician, wife commit suicide
(LONDON, AP, 7/15/09) He spent his life conducting world-renowned
orchestras, but was almost blind and growing deaf the music he loved
increasingly out of reach. His wife of 54 years had been diagnosed with
terminal cancer. So Edward and Joan Downes decided to die together. Downes
Sir Edward since he was knighted by Queen
Elizabeth II in 1991 and his wife ended their lives last week
at a Zurich clinic run by the assisted
suicide group Dignitas. They drank a small amount of clear liquid
and died hand-in-hand, their two adult children by their side. He was 85
and she was 74.
The couple's children said Tuesday that they died "peacefully and
under circumstances of their own choosing" on Friday. "After 54
happy years together, they decided to end their own lives rather than
continue to struggle with serious health problems," said a statement
from the couple's son and daughter, Caractacus and Boudicca. "They
wanted to be next to each other when they died," Caractacus Downes
told London's Evening Standard newspaper. "They held hands across the
beds. "It is a very civilized
way to be able to end your life," he added.
In recent years he had become almost blind and nearly deaf,
increasingly relying on his wife for support. Joan, a former ballet
dancer, choreographer and television producer, had devoted years to
working as his assistant, but she was recently diagnosed with cancer of
the liver and pancreas, and given only weeks to live.
The double suicide
is the latest in a series of high-profile cases that have spurred calls
for a legal change in Britain,
suicide and euthanasia are banned. Under British law, assisting a
suicide is punishable by up to 14 years in prison. But courts have become
reluctant in recent years to convict people. No relative or friend of any
of the Britons who have died in Dignitas clinics has been prosecuted.
Despite evidence of changing attitudes, parliamentary efforts to change
the rules have all been defeated most recently last week, when
Parliament's upper chamber, the House
of Lords, voted down an amendment that would have relaxed the
prohibition on assisted dying. Sarah Wootton, chief executive of campaign
in Dying, said the couple's deaths showed the need to regulate
assisted suicide. "This problem is clearly not going to go
away," she said. "People should be able to make such decisions
for themselves, but safeguards are the key," she said. Peter
Saunders, of the anti-euthanasia group Care
Not Killing, argued that loosening the law could "put
vulnerable people, many of whom already think they are a financial or
emotional burden to relatives, carers and the state, under pressure to end
their lives through a change in the law." More than 100 Britons have
died in Swiss clinics run by Dignitas since the organization was
established in 1998. The organization takes advantage of the country's
liberal laws on assisted suicide, which suggest that a person can be
prosecuted only if they are acting out of self interest. Roughly 100
foreigners most of them terminally ill come to Switzerland
each year to end their lives. Some are healthy except for a disability or
severe mental disorder.
Typically they go to a room run by Dignitas, which provides them with a
lethal drink of barbiturates. In five minutes they fall asleep and
never wake up. Other countries, including the Netherlands
and the states of Oregon
and Washington in the United States, allow the incurably sick to
obtain help from a doctor to hasten their death. Only Switzerland,
in a law dating back to 1942, permits foreigners to come and kill
themselves. Other organizations provide such services for Swiss residents,
but Dignitas is the main organization for foreigners.
Critics accuse Dignitas of promoting "suicide tourism."
Dignitas charges 10,000 Swiss
francs ($9,200) for its services, which include taking care of legal
formalities and arranging consultations with a doctor willing to
prescribe the barbiturates.
GLADIATORS: Gang warfare is killing and injuring many innocent people, and
terrorizing entire neighborhoods. There is a simple solution, the coliseum. All
disputes between gangs are settled in a stadium, not the streets. The weapons
can be hands, sticks, stones, knives, swords, guns, etc. It could be one on one,
or several on several. Medical personnel would be in attendance. Instead of
cowardly drive-by shootings, there would be brave gladiator bouts. People can
pay to see it. The TV rights can be auctioned. Products can be endorsed. All net
proceeds would fund worthy causes, as education for the participants, better
parks, etc. This could be a combination of WWF, extreme fighting, and reality
TV. If there is going to be gang violence, let us make it as safe
and as profitable as possible.
A school in Rome
teaches the art of the gladiator, minus the blood. The fighters wear armor, and
swing blunt heavy metal gladiator swords. (OCR, 8/17/01, News 34)
9/11/01, THERE WERE WARNINGS: In
1994, four Algerian terrorists hijacked a Paris-bound airliner and planned to
take on more fuel and crash it into the Eiffel Tower or blow it up over
Paris. In 1995, a terrorist trained pilot in the Philippines threatened to fly
an airplane loaded with chemical weapons into CIA headquarters in Langley, VA.
The group also planned to blow up 11 U.S. airliners in 48 hours and kill the
Pope. In 2001, Egypt warned the U.S. that Osama Bin Laden planned to kill world
leaders at the G-8 summit meeting in Genoa (Italy) using an airplane stuffed
with explosives. The FBI knew terrorists were taking flying lessons. One said he
only was interested in steering the airplane, not landing or taking off. He was
arrested and in custody since 8/17/01. In 1993, a secret Pentagon panel
considered the possibility of using a plane to destroy the White House or the
Pentagon. (LAT, 10/7/01, M1)
In the last decade,
suspected terrorists have repeatedly slipped in and out of the U.S. Key evidence
about the operatives and their plans was ignored until well after the
attacks. French intelligence sent terrorist information to the FBI,
but it had not been translated to English a month later. The FBI knew for three
years that the terrorists were training to be pilots in the U.S. One citizen of
Egyptian descent purchased a used military aircraft in AZ in 1993 for Bin Laden,
and flew it to Sudan. In 1993, the FBI held and released a terrorist, who now is
on the 22 most wanted list. A terrorist used prison phones 20 times to contact
fellow plotters. U.S. authorities had
the plotters in their grasp, or in their sight, in almost every case.
(LAT, 10/14/01, A1) ..... A 1999 Library of Congress report, based on open
source information, warned that terrorists might hijack an airliner and dive
bomb it into the Pentagon or other government building. (Rocky Mt. News,
5/18/02, 4A) ..... The U.S. intelligence community was told in 1998 that Arab
terrorists were planning to fly a
bomb-laden aircraft into the World Trade Center. Between 1998 and mid
2001, the CIA and FBI repeatedly received reports about al-Qaida attacking New
York and Washington with airplanes or other weapons. (OCR, 9/19/02, News 6)
..... Rudy Giuliani said, "In the 1930s,
Hitler told us what he was going to do, and we ignored it for years ... In the
1990s, the terrorists told us what they were going to do, and we
ignored it." (OCR, 1/27/02, News 12) ..... Defense of the homeland could cost $1.5
trillion over the next five years. (LAT, 10/15/01, A1)
Echelon Gave Authorities Warning Of Attacks By Ned Stafford, Newsbytes,
13 Sep 2001, 1:16 PM CST
U.S. and Israeli
intelligence agencies received warning signals at least three months ago that
Middle Eastern terrorists were planning to hijack commercial aircraft to use as
weapons to attack important symbols of American and Israeli culture, according
to a story in Germany's daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ).
The FAZ, quoting unnamed German intelligence sources, said that the Echelon spy
network was being used to collect information about the terrorist threats, and
that U.K. intelligence services apparently also had advance warning. The FAZ,
one of Germany's most respected dailies, said that even as far back as six
months ago western and near-east press services were receiving information that
such attacks were being planned.
A Minnesota flight
instructor called the FBI 8/17/01 and warned that Zacarias Moussaoui was from
the Middle East and seemed suspicious. "Do you realize how serious this is?
This man wants training on a 747. A 747 loaded with fuel could be used a
weapon." Moussaoui was detained two days later and in custody 9/11/01. He
is charged with being part of the 9/11 plot. (LAT, 12/23/01, A11) ..... In July
2001, AZ FBI agents alerted DC FBI that several Arabs were suspiciously training
at an aviation school and urged
that other flight schools nationwide be checked for middle Eastern students. The
information was being analyzed, but no other agencies were alerted. (OCR,
5/4/02, News 27) ..... A year before
9/11/01, a classified military team Able Danger identified Mohammed Atta
and three other future hijackers as likely members of an al-Qaida cell in the
U.S. They had valid visas, so the information was not shared with others. (OCR,
8/9/05, News 10)
In the months before the Sept. 11 attacks,
federal aviation officials reviewed dozens of intelligence reports that warned
about Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda, some of which specifically discussed airline
hijackings and suicide operations, according to a previously undisclosed report
from the 9/11 commission. But aviation officials were "lulled into a false
sense of security," and "intelligence that indicated a real and
growing threat leading up to 9/11 did not stimulate significant increases in
security procedures," the commission report concluded. The report discloses
that the Federal Aviation Administration, despite being focused on risks of
hijackings overseas, warned airports in the spring of 2001 that if "the
intent of the hijacker is not to exchange hostages for prisoners, but to commit
suicide in a spectacular explosion, a domestic hijacking would probably be
preferable." The report takes the F.A.A. to task for failing to pursue
domestic security measures that could conceivably have altered the events of
Sept. 11, 2001, like toughening airport screening procedures for weapons or
expanding the use of on-flight air marshals. The report, completed last August,
said officials appeared more concerned with reducing airline congestion,
lessening delays, and easing airlines' financial woes than deterring a terrorist
attack. The declassified version provides the firmest evidence to date about the
warnings that aviation officials received concerning the threat of an attack on
airliners and the failure to take steps to deter it. Among other things, the
report says that leaders of the F.A.A. received 52 intelligence reports from
their security branch that mentioned Mr. bin Laden or Al Qaeda from April to
Sept. 10, 2001. That represented half of all the intelligence summaries in that
time. Five of the intelligence reports specifically mentioned Al Qaeda's
training or capability to conduct hijackings, the report said. Two mentioned
suicide operations, although not connected to aviation, the report said. (NY
The CIA and FBI had prior information about
two terrorists on the 9/11/01 plane that hit the Pentagon, but failed to notify
the INS or State Dept., who could have prevented the terrorist's entry into the
U.S. Egypt claims it warned the U.S. about a non-specific terrorist threat a
week before 9/11/01. (OCR, 6/4/02, News 9) ..... "America
is hated and feared by the [Muslim] clerical and political classes. This
hatred [of America] is so widespread and powerful that it unites ancient rivals.
Sunnis and Shiites, Persians and Arabs, Baathists and royalists, tribal leaders
and urban intellectuals, theologians and supposedly secular military officers -
all gather under the banner of jihad." (OCR, 10/31/03, Local 7)
Starting in the late 1980s, Saudi Arabia's quasi-official charities became
the primary source of funds for the fast-growing jihad movement. In some 20
countries, the money was used to run paramilitary training camps, purchase
weapons, and recruit new members. The charities were part of an extraordinary
$70 billion Saudi campaign to spread their fundamentalist Wahhabi sect
worldwide. The money helped lay the foundation for hundreds of radical mosques,
schools, and Islamic centers that have acted as support networks for the jihad
movement, officials say. U.S.
intelligence officials knew about Saudi Arabia's role in funding terrorism by
1996, yet for years Washington did almost nothing to stop it. Examining
the Saudi role in terrorism, a senior intelligence analyst says, was
"virtually taboo." Even after the embassy bombings in Africa, moves by
counter terrorism officials to act against the Saudis were repeatedly rebuffed
by senior staff at the State Department and elsewhere who felt that other
foreign policy interests outweighed fighting terrorism. Saudi largess encouraged
U.S. officials to look the other way, some veteran intelligence officers say.
Billions of dollars in contracts, grants, and salaries have gone to a broad
range of former U.S. officials who had dealt with the Saudis: ambassadors, CIA
station chiefs, even cabinet secretaries. Washington's unwillingness to confront
the Saudis over terrorism was part of a broader strategic failure to sound the
alarm on the rise of the global jihad movement. During the 1990s, the U.S.
intelligence community issued a series of National Intelligence Estimates--which
report on America's global challenges--on ballistic missile threats, migration,
infectious diseases; yet the government never issued a single NIE on the jihad
movement or al Qaeda.http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/031215/usnews/15terror.htm
(USN&WR, 12/15/03, 18) [In-depth article]
Alamoudi proclaims his support for Hezbollah and Hamas, and has urged Muslims
outside the U.S. to pray for the destruction
of America. Despite his organizations being linked with terrorist
activities, they were used by our military as the source for Muslim
chaplains. The Pentagon says that these groups no longer have the exclusiverights to control the hiring of Muslim chaplains. To be politically correct,
instead of examining the dozen Muslim chaplains, it is investigating thousands
of military chaplains. (USN&WR, 10/27/03, 74)
DON'T GET YOUR SPOUSE ANGRY: Green
Bay Packers cornerback Tyrone Williams returned home with a male friend before
9pm. He found the tires slashed and windows broken on his 1978 car. Inside, he
found his clothes cut up or doused with bleach, writing on the walls with
lipstick, and items broken. His wife, Shantel, then pepper-sprayed him and cut
him on the forearm, requiring several stitches. (OCR, 1/17/02, Sports 7) [What
did I do?] ..... Philadelphia 76ers guard Allen Iverson allegedly threw his wife
Tawanna, 26, out of the house naked.
(OCR, 7/11/02, Sports 2) ..... Terry Lynn Barton, 39, grew angry over a letter from her
estranged husband and burned it, starting
the biggest wildfire in CO history. The 19-year Forest Service employee
faces up to 15 years in prison. (OCR, 6/17/02, News 1) ..... Barton pleaded
guilty to deliberately lighting the fire, contrary to previous statements.
(OCR, 11/28/02, News 30) ..... Barton was sentenced to 12 years in prison. (OCR,
3/6/03, News 16)
A Brazilian husband
can murder his adulterous wife without fear of punishment, but a wife has no
such immunity. (OCR, 8/4/02, Accent 2) ..... In Modesto, CA, Kelli Pratt, 45,
wanted her husband Arthur, 65, to have sex with her. When he refused, she held
him down and bit him repeatedly.
He died with more than 20 deep bite marks covering his body. (OCR, 10/17/02,
News 12) [Perform or else!] ..... Houston ,TX, orthodontist David Harris, 44,
found his receptionist and lover, Gail Bridges, petite, and the perfect fit to
hold all night. When Gail Harris, 45, found her husband and Bridges in a motel,
she allegedly ran her husband down with
her car, killing him. She claimed she wanted to save her marriage and
quit her job as a dentist so she could have sex
with her husband three times a night. (OCR, 2/8/03, News, 27) [Maybe 4 or
5 times a night would have worked?] .... A videotape helped convict Harris
[20-year sentence]. The videotape was made by a private investigator Gail Harris
had hired to follow her husband. (OCR, 2/1403, News 23) [hoist by your own
petard] ..... A Texas woman shot her husband and stabbed him 119 times. She
claimed self-defense. She was convicted. (TV news, 3/7/04) ..... In Richmond,
VA, Piper Rountree, 45, was convicted of murdering
her ex-husband Jablin Rountree, 52, to get custody of their three
children and cash his $200,000 insurance policy. (OCR, 2/27/05, News 31) .....
Ann Miller Kontz, 35, admitted that she and her lover fatally poisoned her
husband, Eric, 5 years ago in Raleigh, NC. Her sentence was 25 to 31 1/2 years.
(OCR, 11/8/05, News 12) ..... James Keown, 35, poisoned his wife in Cambridge,
MA, by putting antifreeze in her Gatorade. Julie, Keown, 31, had a $250,000 life
insurance policy. (OCR, 11/8/05, News 12)
KAMPALA (Reuters) - A Ugandan woman bit off her husband's penis and
testicles during an argument. The attack came only days after a man died in
central Uganda after his wife, angered by his inability to provide for her and
his two children, cut off his testicles. (3/20/02)..... A Thai woman has been
accused of cutting off her husband's penis after he had an affair. ..... A
bed-hopping Brazilian man has had his penis cut-off by his long-suffering wife.
(Reuters, 1/5/02) ..... In Prince William County, Virginia, Lorena Bobbitt takes
a butcher knife and cuts off her husband's penis as he sleeps. Police recover
the organ from the roadside and it is surgically reattached to John Bobbitt, her
husband. The wife is later charged with malicious wounding. In response to her
accusations, John Bobbitt is indicted for sexual abuse. (CNN, 6/23/93) .....
HEILBRONN, Germany - Hotheaded Helga Frosch was jailed recently for slicing her
husband's penis off while he was sleeping. She fled their apartment to a hotel,
gift wrapped the appendage and mailed it to her husband Hans' mistress. When
apprehended by German police, Helga reportedly said, "He'll never cheat on
me again now that his feature attraction is stuffed in a jar of
formaldehyde." ..... http://www.voiceone.com/html/revenge.html
some interesting (humorous) examples ..... The Sacramento (CA) police
investigated a reported home burglary. They arrested Michelle Dufur, 50, on
suspicion of murder. They found her husband, Eric Justen Diehl, 32, in a bed
covered by blankets and a tarp. He had been dead about a
month. They also found
a meth lab, probably belonging to Diehl. (OCR, 11/2/03, News 16) ..... Atlanta 78-year-old
great-grandmother Lena Driskell was angry that her year-long romance with
Herman Winslow, 85, ended when he found another companion. She shot him to death
as he read a newspaper in a senior citizens home. "I did it and I'd do it
again." (OCR, 6/25/05, News 30)
Lillie Morgan, 22, a US soldier in Germany, was
sentenced to life in prison for drowning her 2 children (3 years and 2 months),
an act of revenge against her husband.
(OCR, 4/13/02, News 31) ..... Kimberly King, 29, of Aliceville,
AL, was enraged at her boyfriend, Rodney Outlaw, 25, after an argument at
a bar. She attacked him with a utility knife and cut
off nearly all of his buttocks, leaving him near death. (OCR, 6/14/02,
News 30) ..... Paul Craig Stauffer, 45, was convicted of murdering
his wife's lover when he found them in bed, in La Habra, CA.. The father
of four had known for a month that his wife was having an affair (which had been
going on for six months), but snapped when his wife failed to pick up his
daughter at a fair. (OCR, 6/14/02, Local 5) ..... During July 2002 at Fort Bragg
(NC), four soldiers killed their wives and one wife killed her husband. In 2000,
of the 12, 943 murders in the U.S., only 762 were spousal murders. (USN&WR,
8/12/02, 44) .....A Bangladesh man was sentenced to death for hurling acid at
his 9-year-old wife, because she refused to leave her parent's house for his. In
2002, at least 315 women and girls in Bangladesh were victims of acid attacks,
usually committed by jilted lovers or angry husbands seeking revenge. (OCR,
7/30/03, News 18)
H. Beatty Chadwick, 65, a Philadelphia attorney,
has been in jail for 7 years for civil
contempt of court, for a standoff in an alimony fight. The Judge is
demanding Chadwick produce $2.5 million in potential alimony assets, which he
says he does not have. This is a record for civil jail time in PA; the national
record is 10 years. (OCR, 3/24/02, News 28) ..... Wando Stevens, 41, married Glenna Birmingham, 79,
in Las Vegas on New Year's Eve. He is accused of spending $300,000 of her
fortune in Las Vegas and only was after her money. Stevens has a felony theft
record and claims they were in love. She has Alzheimer's
disease. A Denver judge annulled the marriage. (OCR, 9/21/02,
News 24) ..... Sandra Baker, 30, pleaded guilty of trying to poison her
Texarkana (AR) husband with antifreeze to collect $2.5 million life insurance.
(OCR, 1/17/03, News 24) ..... New Jersey Rabbi Fred Neulander was convicted of
having two hit men kill his 52-year-old wife in 1994, so he could continue an
affair. (OCR, 1/17/03, News 24) ..... Neulander, 61, was sentenced to life
in prison. The two hit men were sentenced to 23 years in prison. (OCR, 1/31/03,
News 24) ..... Huntington Beach (CA)
anesthesiologist Kenneth Stahl, 57, had his girlfriend, Adriana Vasco, 35, hire
her ex-boyfriend Dennis Earl Godley, 32, to kill Stahl's wife Caroline Oppy-Stahl,
44. In 1999, Godley killed the wife, but also
killed the husband to leave no witnesses. Vasco has been sentenced to life
in prison. Godley faces trial with the possible death penalty. (OCR, 1/25/03,
Local 1) [The best laid schemes ...] ..... Barbara Garcia, 51, a retired
nurse in Hobart, IN, allegedly put
insulin in her husband's soup and repeatedly injected him with insulin
until he died. She put the body in the garage, had her hair done, and gave out
Halloween candy. She later dumped the body in forest, where it was discovered.
She had a gambling problem, misappropriated some of her husband's assets, and
did not want him to find out. (OCR, 11/12/03, News 16) ..... In Jackson, TN,
David Jordon, 40, shot and killed his
wife Donna, 31, at her place of work. Two others were killed also, and
two wounded. (OCR, 1/12/05, News 18) ..... Chile has changed its 1884 marriage
code to allow divorce, the last
country in the Americas. Malta and the Philippines now are the only nations to
outlaw divorce. (OCR, 1/30/05, News 29)..... SELLERSVILLE, Pa. (6/19/05,
AP) - Teen Kills Father Who Had Just Murdered His Mother. Andrew Detwiler Killed
by His 15-Year-Old Son After He Shot the Boy's Mother. A man who had recently
left a mental health facility killed his
wife after an argument and was shot to death by one of the couple's two
Karen Morgan (38) punched and kicked a 51-year
old woman outside a Lowell (MA) supermarket because she had brought 13 items to
a 12-or-fewer checkout lane. (OCR, 2/15/02, News 30)
29-year-old Taiwanese man, who says he has castrated
about 50 people, was caught with human testicles in his Detroit home
refrigerator. His latest "patient" was a 48-year-old consenting adult,
so no crime was committed. (OCR, 6/13/02, News 28) ..... Yamg Zhiya has
been arrested for the stabbing murders of 65 people in northern China. The
murders began after his girlfriend broke up with him. (OCR, 11/16/03, News
MIDDLETOWN, CT (06/15/05, AP) - A former state trooper
killed his estranged wife,
wounded her divorce lawyer and then fatally shot himself outside the
courthouse where they were to appear for a hearing. Donna Bochicchio, 43, was
pronounced dead on the top deck of a parking garage behind Middletown Superior
Court. Retired trooper Michael Bochicchio Jr., 47, died at Hartford
Hospital. Attorney Julie Porzio, 42, who represented Donna Bochicchio, was
listed in serious but stable condition after suffering wounds to her face and
arm. According to court records, Michael Bochicchio filed for divorce in 2003;
the couple had been married since 1988. They had been fighting
over money and the custody of their two children.
Matrimonial lore says
husbands never remember marital spats and wives never forget. A new study
suggests that women's brains are wired to feel and recall emotions more keenly
than men. (OCR, 7/23/02, News 9) ..... Unhappy couples that did not
divorce were just as happy five years later as those who had split up. (OCR,
7/12/02, News 16) ..... It has been believed that marriage makes men happier and
women more miserable. New research shows that emotional problems are
equally common among husbands and wives. they just have different disorders. (OCR,
10/5/02, News 18) ..... CA law require men
to pay child support, even when DNA evidence proves the men are not he
biological fathers. Gov. Davis vetoed legislation correcting this, saying
somebody has to pay for the children. (OCR, 10/13/02, News 1) ..... A Manheim,
Germany, wife of 32 years said that her husband is stubborn and she has to yell
to get his attention. The 72-year-old husband said his wife
never lets him get a word in edgewise. So he cranks up an old air-raid
siren and lets it rip for a few minutes until she is quiet. Works every time.
Police confiscated the siren because of neighbors' complaints. (OCR, 4/20/03,
GET RICH: Enron (now in bankruptcy) executives allegedly sold more
than $1 billion in stock while assuring their employees and shareholders all was
well. Waste Management insiders made millions of dollars while the company was
falsifying profit reports. Cisco Systems insiders sold nearly $600 million of
stock before disclosing serious financial problems. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison
dumped nearly $900 million in stock (his first sale in five years), before the
company disclosed bad news that caused the stock to drop 50%. Sunbeam CEO
falsified records and sold all his stock (more than $60 million) before the
company declared bankruptcy. (LAT, 1/20/02, M2)
A TRANSPLANT, GO TO JAIL: A CA prisoner received a heart transplant this
month, that could cost taxpayers $1 million. In 1995, a Federal Court ordered CA
to give a kidney transplant to a prisoner, based on a 1976 U.S. Supreme Court
decision that denial of decent medical care to prisoners violates the
constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. (LAT, 1/26/02,
B1) ..... CA prison health care
expenses have doubled in the past 5 years to $1 billion, making it the fastest
growing part of the $6 billion annual prison budget. (OCR, 1/24/05, News
A MN killer got a $900,000 bone marrow transplant and a
CA robber a $1 million heart transplant. Healthcare devours 17% of many prison
budgets. And it gets worse as people get sicker and older. Inmates now are the
only Americans guaranteed medical care. Commit a crime and get needed medical
care. Inmates have 20 times the rate of contagious TB. Nearly 20% have hepatitis
C, costing $25,000 per year and $250,000 for a liver transplant. About 12
million inmates will be released this year, with high rates of mental illness,
substance abuse, violent behavior, HIV and AIDS, and STD. (USN&WR, 8/5/02,
A MA man (Robert Kosilek, 52), sentenced to life without
parole for killing his wife, is suing the state for a sex
change operation. He claims his civil rights are being violated by being
refused treatment for his gender identity disorder. (LAT, 2/4/02, A12) ..... A
federal judge ruled that Kosilek should receive treatment for gender identity
disorder, but the state does not have to
pay for a sex-change operation. (OCR, 8/29/02, News 16)
9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 6-5 that CA prison inmate William Gerber
does not have a constitutional right to procreate
by shipping his sperm to impregnate his wife in Southern California. (OCR,
5/24/02, News 16)
67% of inmates released from state prisons
in 1994 committed at least one serious new crime within three years. That is 5%
higher than those released in 1983. Statistics since 1960s found re-arrest rates
about 2/3 in first three years. Of those arrested, about 2/3 were in the first
year after release. (OCR, 6/3/02, News 14)
90,000 deaths in 2000 were caused by hospital
infections and between 44,000 and 98,000 deaths by hospital medical errors.
(Business Week, 8/26/02, 150) [Stay out of hospitals!]
DANGEROUS DOGS: Marjorie Knoller
(46) and Robert Noel (60), both San Francisco attorneys, had two 120-pound Presa
Canarios dogs in their apartment. The dogs attacked and killed Diane Whipple
(33) as she was returning to her apartment with groceries. Knoller was convicted
to second-degree murder, with the possibility of 15 years to life. Noel
was not present at the time of the murder and was convicted to possession owning
a mischievous dog that killed someone, with the possibility of four years. (OCR,
3/22/02, News 1) ..... Noel, 62, was paroled 9/03, and Knoller, 48, 1/04. They
served about two years of their four-year sentences. (OCR, 1/1/04, News 17)
..... In Mauston, WI, six Rottweilers killed a ten-year old
girl, while she was playing with an eleven-year girl that lived there. The
parents were gone, and are charged with three crimes, including homicide. The
mother faces up to 38 years, and the father, a convicted felon, up to 72 years.
(OCR, 3/21/02, News 16) ..... A wolf-dog hybrid, used in classrooms to teach
children not to fear wolves, dragged a boy 20 to 40 feet, leaving puncture
wounds, scrapes and bruises. The dog owner said the dog merely was being playful
and wanted some of the boy's ice cream. (OCR, 3/28/02, News 11) ..... A Monterey
(CA) 5-year old girl died after one of her family's two large Rottweilers
bit her head and body. The previous day, a 5-year old Salinas (CA) girl was
attacked by the family Doberman
pinscher. The girl is in critical condition. (OCR, 4/21/02, News 21) ..... An
11-year-old Placerville (CA) boy was attacked by a neighbor's pit
bull. The boy was in serious condition. (OCR, 4/22/02, News
8) ..... A 2-year-old La Habra (CA) boy was attacked by a neighbor's pit
bull. The boy underwent three hours of surgery to repair damage
done to his face and head. He is expected to recover, with significant
scarring. (OCR, 8/19/02, Local 1) ..... A 78-year-old Dana Point
(CA) woman suffered serious injuries to her arms and left leg when she was
attacked by four 80-pound Rottweilers
while visiting her daughter's nearby home. (OCR, 10/22/02, Local 7) ..... Three
adult pit bulls in King City (CA)
were shot and killed by police after the dogs attacked a truck and a police car,
puncturing tires on both vehicles and damaging the body of the truck. (OCR,
11/9/02, News 24) ..... A 7-year-old pit
bull-labrador mix ran onto a school playground and ripped off an
8-year-old boy's left ear, causing severe face and head injuries. The dog was
euthanized. (OCR, 3/6/03, News 16) ..... A 5-year-old Joshua Tree (CA) girl died
after she let herself into a fenced area and was mauled by two Rottweiler
dogs. (OCR, 3/8/03, News 24) ..... A Baldwin Park (CA) 6-year-old girl needed
225 stitches after a Rottweiler
mauled her. (OCR, 5/25/03, News 23) ..... In Mauston (WI), Wayne Hardy, 25,
received 2 years in prison because his six
Rottweilers killed a 10-year-old girl visiting his house. (OCR, 6/28/03,
News 32) ..... A woman illegally let her pit
bulloff the leash in San Francisco Golden Gate Park. The dog attacked a police
horse. The horse tossed the mounted police officer, who suffered back and neck
injuries. The dog owner suffered head injuries when the horse kicked her in the
head. (OCR, 11/25/03, News 14)..... California has a list of
dangerous dogs, with restrictions on the dogs. Orange County (CA) currently has
89 dogs on the list: pit bull (15), rottweiler (10), German shepherd (8), lab
mix (7), pit bull mix (6), etc. (OCR, 11/29/03, News 1) .... Jennifer Brooke,
40, was killed by 3 pit bulls
when she went to her barn near Denver. Jacqueline McCuen, the dogs' owner, could
face charges from a misdemeanor to negligent homicide. (OCR, 12/3/03, News 26)
..... Robert freeman, 67, was charged with manslaughter after his six mix breed pit
bulls escaped from Freeman's mobile home and killed Alice Broom, 81, in
Citra, FL. (OCR, 12/31/03, News 14) ..... Princess Anne's terrier attacks queen's servant.
Florence, a bull terrier belonging to Britain's Princess Anne, has attacked a royal servant only days after savaging one of Queen Elizabeth's
corgi dogs which had to be put down, Buckingham Palace said on Wednesday. English bull terriers are a stocky breed of dog with powerful jaws.
( LONDON, 12/31/03, Reuters) ..... Britain's Princess Anne will send
her dog to a psychologist, who said that the dog is only feeling a bit out
of sorts about something. (OCR, 1/5/04, Life 2) ..... A Santa Ana (CA)
18-month-old girl was attacked by the family's 7-year-old 90-pound pit
bull, and may lose an eye. (OCR, 1/26/04, Local 2) ..... Ruby Sharum, 91,
had two pit bulls and a Rottweiler in her Orange (CA) home. One pit bull killed
the other two months ago. More recently the pit bull attacked Sharum, who
refused to get rid of the dog. Friday, the pit
bull attacked Sharum and she was taken to the hospital in critical
condition after both arms were amputated at the elbows. (OCR, 2/16/04, Local 1)
..... A pit bull-mix jumped a
5-foot fence and through an open car passenger window, attacking a woman holding
a Chihuahua, in Buena Park, CA. The woman suffered moderate injuries. (OCR,
9/25/04, Local 2) ..... In study published in a 2000 issue of the Journal of the
American Veterinary Medical Association, pit
bulls and Rottweilers accounted for more than half of the 27 deaths
caused by dog bites between 1997 and 1998. Both breeds are often bred and
trained for aggression. (OLYMPIA, Wash., 3/21/05, AP) ..... Three pit
bulls escaped from their yard and attacked a man walking his Rottweiler.
The pit bulls ignored the Rottweiler and bit the man seven times on his arms and
legs. The police shot and killed the most aggressive pit bulls. (OCR, 4/1/05,
Local 1) ..... PARTLOW, Va. (4/15/05, AP) - Dorothy Sullivan and Buttons, a Shih Tzu, were
buried together in the same casket after they were mauled by three roaming pit
bulls while Sullivan was out for a walk in her front yard. Since the
March 8 attack, a woman has been charged in Sullivan's death. Community
members say they have been terrorized for years by wandering pit bulls
want to know why more wasn't done to prevent the tragedy. Deanna Large, 36, who
lives down the road from Sullivan, was charged with involuntary manslaughter and
three misdemeanor counts of allowing a dangerous dog to run loose. If convicted
on all charges, she faces up to 13 years in prison. It's just the second time
prosecutors in Virginia have sought involuntary manslaughter charges in a fatal
dog mauling, but the case may reflect an emerging trend of prosecutors
increasingly charging dog owners in attacks. "It's almost routine
now," said Karen Delise, a veterinarian who studied hundreds of such cases
for her book, "Fatal Dog Attacks: The Stories Behind the Statistics,"
which found that the number of fatal dog
attacks nationwide has held steady at an average
of 20 a year. ..... A 12-year-old San Francisco boy was fatally mauled by
one of his family's two pit bulls.
The other pit bull was shot dead as it tried to prevent police from entering the
house. (OCR, 6/4/05, News 16) ..... SAN FRANCISCO (June 6/23/05, AP) Maureen Faibish Charged in Fatal Dog Mauling
Case. The mother of a 12-year-old boy fatally mauled by the family's pit bulls
was charged with child endangerment. Nicholas Faibish was killed June 3 by one
or both of the family dogs when his mother went out to run errands. Maureen
Faibish, 39, found her son in a bedroom, covered in blood from several wounds,
including a major head injury. ..... In Santa Rosa, CA, Nancy Rojas, 37, and her
8-year-old daughter, Annette, were attacked by a pit
bull that entered their property through an open gate. (OCR, 6/23/05,
News 12) ..... A 150-pound family Rottweiler
ripped a 16-month old girl from her mother's arms and mauled her to death, in
Glendale, CA (OCR, 8/4/05, News 14) ..... Police shot to death a 45-pound chow-mix
dog, after it attacked a 12-year-old boy and threatened police. This is the 11th
time since 2000 that Santa Ana, CA, police have shot an aggressive dog. (OCR,
8/4/05, Local 1) ..... In Coral Springs, FL, a 120-pound Presa
Canario fatally mauled the owner,
30, as she tried to give it a bath. (OCR, 8/21/06, News 8) ..... In a study of
300 fatal dog attacks in the U.S. over a 20-year period, pit
bulls, Rottweilers, and mixes
were responsible for about half of them. (OCR, 9/5/07, Local 2)
(09-22) 13:28 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- Marjorie Knoller
did practically nothing while her dogs were fatally mauling a neighbor in
a San Francisco apartment hallway, and later blamed the victim for her own
death, a judge said Monday in sentencing the former attorney to 15 years
to life in prison for second-degree murder. In rejecting a defense lawyer's request for probation, Judge Charlotte
Woolard of San Francisco Superior Court said the horrific circumstances of
the attack Jan. 26, 2001, far outweighed Knoller's previous crime-free
Woolard said Knoller had not bothered to put a muzzle on her aggressive
140-pound Presa Canario dog before taking it out of the apartment. Knoller
did not call for help, retrieve a weapon or dial 911 while the animal was
mauling Diane Whipple for at least 10 minutes, the judge said. A second
Presa Canario that Knoller and her husband and law partner, Robert Noel,
kept in their apartment may have joined the attack. Whipple, 33, the women's lacrosse coach at St. Mary's College in
Moraga, bled to death from at least 77 wounds. Knoller, 53, was paroled
from prison in 2004 after serving about three years for involuntary
manslaughter, but was returned to custody Aug. 22 after Woolard reinstated
the jury's murder verdict. Knoller's husband, who was not home when the
attack happened, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and paroled in
Knoller testified at her trial that she did everything she could to
save her neighbor. Woolard, however, concluded that she made only
"minimal efforts" at intervention and "left Ms. Whipple in
the hallway to die alone." She also said Knoller lied repeatedly in grand jury and trial
testimony, has never expressed remorse and "blamed the victim"
in an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America" 13 days after
In that interview, which prosecutors played for the trial jury, Knoller
said Whipple had ample opportunity to get back into her apartment and save
herself. Monday's 25-minute hearing included a statement from Whipple's partner,
Sharon Smith, who looked at Knoller and declared that more than seven
years after "the worst day of my life and the last day of Diane's
life, finally there is some justice."
Knoller "valued her dogs over the lives of her fellow human
beings," Deputy District Attorney Allison Macbeth told the judge. She
compared the dogs to "loaded assault weapons" and said Knoller
had allowed them to roam through her Pacific Heights apartment building
with little restraint. Knoller, wearing orange jail clothing, looked straight ahead throughout
the hearing and did not speak before being led away by guards. Her lawyer, Dennis Riordan, said afterward that she had numerous
grounds for appeal. He cited the court's substitution of Woolard for the
now-retired trial judge, Woolard's discounting of the judge's finding that
Knoller hadn't known her dog could kill anyone, and a continuing dispute
over the application of the murder law to such a case. The crime "is not and has never been murder," Riordan told
reporters. He said Knoller's chance of success on appeal "depends on
whether we get a judgment that's controlled by law or a judgment that's
controlled by San Francisco politics." Prosecutors said it was the first murder conviction for a dog mauling
in California history.
Dogs owned by inmates
Knoller and Noel had custody of the two Presa Canario dogs, which were
owned by inmates at Pelican Bay State Prison. On the day of the attack, Knoller took the larger dog, Bane, for a walk
on the roof of the apartment building and returned to the sixth-floor
corridor when the dog bolted away from her and attacked Whipple as she was
about to enter her apartment. Bane's 100-pound mate, Hera, charged out of
Knoller's apartment and may have joined the attack.
A jury in Los Angeles, where the trial was moved because of extensive
publicity in the Bay Area, convicted Knoller of second-degree murder in
2002 and found Noel guilty of involuntary manslaughter for leaving the
dogs with his wife while knowing she couldn't control them. Judge James Warren of San Francisco Superior Court, who presided over
the trial, reduced Knoller's conviction to involuntary manslaughter,
saying he believed her when she said she had no idea Bane might kill
someone. But the state Supreme Court ruled last year that Warren had used the
wrong legal standard in overturning the murder verdict. The court said
prosecutors seeking a murder conviction for dog mauling don't have to
prove the owner knew the dog was likely to kill, only that the owner had
been aware the animal was potentially lethal and had exposed others to the
danger. The court returned the case to Superior Court to decide whether to
reinstate the murder conviction. Warren, who has retired, was willing to
handle the case, but the court's presiding judge, Davd Ballatti, instead
assigned it to Woolard. He said Woolard could focus on the case, while
Warren had other responsibilities in his current job as a private
After poring through the trial transcript, Woolard reinstated the
murder conviction Aug. 22, saying Knoller had ignored warnings that the
dogs were dangerous and had seen them attack and threaten other dogs and
people. If the conviction and sentence are upheld, Knoller will be credited
with the nearly three years she was imprisoned for manslaughter, making
her eligible for parole in about 10 years. Woolard fined her $10,000 and ordered her to pay $6,800 out of her
prison earnings in restitution to Smith.
AURORA, CO (AP, 11/03/05) - Boy Hospitalized After
Colo. Dog Mauling. Three pit bulls
mauled a 10-year-old boy in his back yard two days after the city banned new
fighting dogs and added limits on those already owned. The boy was in "very
critical" condition. The boy was attacked Wednesday after he returned home
from school, found the front door locked and then went into the back yard in
this east Denver suburb, police spokesman Anthony Guzman said in a statement.
Neighbors heard the boy scream and ran to the yard, where they found him
motionless with one of the dogs biting him. They used a bat to drive the dogs
away, Guzman said. The boy had bites on his head, face, throat and legs, he
said. "It was horrific. I've never seen anything like that in my
life," neighbor Mike Brushell told KMGH-TV in Denver. A police officer shot
and wounded one of the dogs, and it was later euthanized. The other dogs were
impounded at an animal shelter. The City Council on Monday banned new pit bulls
and other fighting dogs. It also required the owners of such dogs already living
in the city to buy an annual $200 license, show the dogs are spayed or neutered,
post warning signs and keep the dogs muzzled in public.
According to the results of research published in Applied Animal Behaviour Science, the most aggressive dogs,
the breed most prone to aggression is the dachshund. New research that
involved questioning 6,000 dog owners, found that one in five dachshunds have
bitten (or tried to bite) strangers, a similar number have attacked other dogs,
and that one in 12 have even snapped at their owners. Prior research on dog
aggression focused solely on dog bite statistics. Using that data, breeds like
Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, and Dobermans were thought to pose the most danger.
Researchers now feel prior studies were not painting a full picture, as most dog bites (especially
those of smaller dogs) go unreported and were not included in the past.
Chihuahuas ranked second on the list of aggressive dogs, while Jack Russell
Terriers came in third. http://www.parentdish.com/2008/07/07/dogs-breeds-to-be-wary-of/?icid=200100397x1205369386x1200236011
Research indicates that "infants living in a home with two
or more dogs or cats during the first year of life are less likely to have the
kind of allergic reactions that
lead to asthma and other problems later on." (OCR, 8/28/02, News 25) ..... DANGEROUS
OWNER: James Andrew Abernathy (La Habra, CA) was sentence 25 years to
life, under CA "three-strikes" law, for beating his German shepherd
with a golf club, driving a wooden stake through the animal's heart, and cutting
its head off. (OCR, 10/9/04, Local 4) ..... San Francisco passed a law requiring
dog owners to provide good water, good food, and a good dog house, among other
things. Los Angeles has a similar law. (OCR, 1/12/05, News 16) ..... Since 1985,
L.A. Police shot 465 dogs, killing about 200. There are packs of dogs running
loose, and vicious dogs in most high-crime areas. N.Y.C. Police shot 803 dogs
since 1990. (OCR, 3/13/05, News 23)
"Along with dogs,
alarms were more effective in
keeping out intruders." (Consumer Reports, 5/02, 12)
[Article on home protection and alarms.]
'Sleeping in the noonday sun.'
You probably have heard many bad things about AOL. Unfortunately, they probably
are true. We have had problems sending e-mail, access to our web site, our web
site being down, web site files lost, the counters wrong and AOL cannot fix
their own counters, customer support that courteously do not address the
problem, no way to get help from those with authority, unreasonable terms of
service that interfere with our use of the internet, too many interruptions of
internet connections, etc., etc. We started some web sites on AOL many years
ago, so it is difficult to change URL now, because we are well placed in the
search engines. Changing e-mail addresses also can be a problem. We suggest you
carefully select your ISP and make sure the price and service meet your needs,
before you get locked in with them. Also, if you have a web site, you may want
your own domain name. It is a little more expensive, but you have the
flexibility of changing hosts without changing URL.
The following was posted on AOL by American1627@aol.com ArabMuslims' BUTCHERY-CRIMES LONG BEFORE "occupation" EXCUSE
Ahmad Basha El-Jazzar [The butcher] in the 1800's, executed
Jews. Arab terrorism in the Holy Land originated centuries before the recent "tool" of the Palestinian cause was invented.
In towns where Jews lived for hundreds of years, they were periodically robbed, raped, and
massacred. The survivors were obliged to abandon their possessions and run. At the beginning of this century Jews were recorded in nearly every town that is today considered to have been "purely Arab".
It was the Jewish refugees who were forced to flee from their homes within Palestine to other areas in Palestine.
David Landes in "Palestine Before the Zionists", writes: "Jews had to pass Muslims on their left side, because that was the side of Satan.
They had to yield the right of way, step off the pavement to let the Arab go by, above all make sure not to touch him in passing, because this could provoke a violent response.
In the same way, anything that reminded the Muslims of the presence of alternative religions, any demonstration of alternative forms of worship, had to be avoided, so synagogues were places in humble, hidden places, and the sounds of Jewish prayers carefully muted".
DeHass also writes: "Murad III decreed that all Jews throughout his empire be
executed", this decree was prevented by Solomon Ashkenazi, Murad's confidential agent.
In 1576 Sultan Murad III enacted legislation to uproot and deport a 1000 of the 15,000 of Safed's Jews to Cyprus.
In the 16th century in Jerusalem the Jews were so taxed to the point of extortion and most of Jerusalem's Jews ran to Hebron, Gaza, and Tiberius to become refugees.
Bedouin raiders, general anarchy, tax corruption, with additional tax burden was aimed only at the Jews, yet they held steadfast in Judah-cum-Palestine.
The Jerusalem Jews were bitterly and mercilessly persecuted during the 17th century reign of an Arab ruler Ibn Barouk who bought the rule from Murad IV.
In 1660 the entire Jewish community was massacred by Arabs with only one survivor.
Ahmad Basha El-Jazzar [The butcher] held this name because his sadistic wanton exploits became legend during the
1800s. He was known to travel accompanied by an executioner.
When The Butcher encountered a subject who was adjudged to be misbehaving, "The criminal bowed his neck, the executioner struck, and the head fell"
(DeHass). Hayim Farhi, the only Jew who had risen to power in the area was imprisoned by The Butcher,
cutting off his nose, ear, and gouging out his
The Jews were at the bottom of the heap of peoples in status who had to
pay to pray on the Wailing Wall, protection money was always collected against destruction and vandalism of the Jewish burial grounds, and to prevent molestation of Jewish
travelers. In the 1830s, havoc was created during the Egyptian reign of Palestine, and the
Jews were persecuted brutally throughout the country.
In 1834 the inhabitants of Eastern Palestine crossed the Jordan River to join natives of
Nablus, Hebron, and
Bethlehem. 40,000 of them rushed on Jerusalem and looted the city for 5 days
where the Jews had their homes sacked and their women raped. (DeHass, History, vol V, p.393).
The Jewish story in Palestine was like the story of a rape victim, blamed for being there at the
In the following few decades (1848 - 1878) scores of incidents involving anti-Jewish violence, persecution, and extortions filled page after page of documented reports from the British Consulate in Jerusalem,
too overwhelming to show in these pages.
Throughout the 19th century, Jews were victims of mass hunger and of Arab attacks.
The 1929, Arab riots resulted in the rape and massacre of most of Hebron's Jewish
Later, Muftism by Haj Al-Ameen El-Husseni started fatwas (religious decrees) against all the Jews as a response to the Zionist movement.
His collaboration with Hitler on the Eve of The Final Solution left an everlasting mark on the history of Muftism in The Holy Land.
Letters of collaboration with Heinrich Himmler and the Hungarian Prime Minister resulted in the death of 400,000 Jews
when he succeeded to stop them from immigrating to the Holy Land.
Till now, no apology, hearing, or condemnation was made by any Arab government or religious official.
Hajj Amin al-Husseini, Mufti of Jerusalem, inspecting troops in Bosnia (1943).The Mufti of Jerusalem salutes the Bosnian SS division
. From the Encyclopedia of Holocaust, Edition 1990, Vol. 2, page 704. The caption under the photograph reads: Hajj Amin
al-Husseini, Mufti of Jerusalem, inspecting troops in Bosnia (1943).
Grand Mufti of Jerusalem organises recruitment to Bosnia's SS division.
During the Second World War in Yugoslavia, as with the Catholic Church in
Croatia, many Muslim clerics in Bosnia and Kosovo were willing accomplices in the genocide of the
nation's Serbian, Jewish and Roma population.
From 1941 until 1945, the Nazi-installed regime of Ante Pavelic in Croatia carried out some of the most horrific crimes of the Holocaust (known as the Porajmos by the Roma),
killing over 800,000 Yugoslav citizens -
750,000 Serbs, 60,000 Jews and 26,000
In these crimes, they were helped by Muslim fundamentalists in Bosnia and Kosovo who were openly supported by the Palestinian Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin
al-Husseini. A notorious anti-Semite, he openly encouraged Muslims to join Nazi units that would be later implicated in genocide and crimes against humanity -
The infamous Hanjar (or Handschar) 13th Waffen SS division. One of these crimes was the The Massacre at Koritska Jama Gorge, in Bosnia during 1941.
The Nazi's also established a puppet state in Serbia under General Milan Nedic, who along with the Cetniks also
participated in the Holocaust in wartime Croatia (which included Bosnia) and Serbia.
What united al-Husseini and the Third Reich was a common hatred of the Jewish people.
The Nazis had taken al-Husseini under their protection following the wartime invasion of Iraq.
He was to spend most of the war living in a luxurious suite at the Hotel Adlon in Berlin.
Hitler had enjoyed quite a following among the nationalist youth of Egypt during the war, after Nassiri Nasser, the brother of the future president of Egypt, had published an Arab edition of Mein Kampf in 1939, describing its author as the "strongest man of Europe".
Not surprisingly, Egypt became like Argentina after the war - a safe haven for SS war criminals who fled there after the
Many were keen to help President Nasser in his attempts to destroy the State of Israel.
There is evidence that the shadowy ODESSA network helped many of them to Egypt. Apart from Syria - who still host the wanted SS war criminal Alois Brunner, it was in Egypt that the
Post-war Arab links to the ODESSA network were strongest.
Many of the victims of the Holocaust/Porajmos were murdered in the Second World War's third largest death camp -
Jasenovac, where over 200,000 people - mainly Orthodox Serbs met their deaths.
Some 240,000 were "rebaptized" into the Catholic faith by fundamentalist Clerics in "the Catholic Kingdom of Croatia" as part of the policy to "kill a third, deport a third, convert a third" of Yugoslavia's Serbs, Jews and Roma in wartime Bosnia and Croatia (The Yugoslav Auschwitz and the Vatican, Vladimar
Dedijer, Anriman-Verlag, Freiburg, Germany, 1988).
The most senior Muslim cleric to be involved in the Holocaust/Porajmos was Hajj Amin
al-Husseini, who according to the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust (Edition 1990, Volume 2, Pages 706 and 707), made a substantial contribution to the Axis war effort by organizing "in record time" recruitment to Muslim SS units in Croatia that would be involved in some of the worse atrocities of the Second World War.
Altogether, it is estimated that some 20,000 Muslims fought in the Hanjar (Sword) SS Division, which fought against Yugoslav partisans led by General Tito, and carried out police and security details in fascist Hungary.
The Nazi's recruited two SS divisions from Yugoslavia's Muslim population: the infamous Bosnian 13th Waffen Hanjar (or
Handschar) SS division, and the Albanian Skanderbeg 21st Waffen SS division.
SS conscription in Yugoslavia during the war produced 42,000 Waffen SS and police
troops. The Encyclopedia of the Holocaust states:
They participated in the massacre of civilians in Bosnia and volunteered to join in the hunt for Jews in Croatia . . . The Germans made a point of publicizing the fact
that Husseini had flown from Berlin to Sarajevo for the sole purpose of giving his blessing to the Muslim army and inspecting its arms and training exercises.
President of Bosnia "recruited" for the SS Handschar Division Alija Izetbegovic.
Have you ever wondered why Bosnia never officially accused Croatia of aggression for attacking it as it has done with Yugoslavia? What do Bosnian Moslem's people say about this:
"Izetbegovic was Pavelic's soldier in last war !!!" Comment of a Muslim reader from Bosnia (November 2000)
According to one article on the web, Ethnic Conflicts in Civil War in
Bosnia, Alija Izetbegovic, the current President of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is the person who connects the present and the World War
the World War II, he was also linked to the SS Handschar Division. He joined the organization "Young Muslims" in Sarajevo on March 5, 1943, and is alleged to have engaged as a member of the organization in recruiting young Muslims for Handschar Division in collaboration with German intelligence services
(ABWER and GESTAPO).
Thus, in the spring of 1943, as leader of the Muslim youth in Sarajevo, he welcomed the Nazi collaborator
Amin-el Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, to Sarajevo.
In 1946, however, he was sentenced by the Yugoslav Supreme Military Court to three years of imprisonment and two years of deprivation of civil rights, because of his fascist activities. What was alleged to be his "criminal record" was published by Russian gazette
"Izvestija" on 17th November 1992.
LINKS TO PERTINENT INFO: Working for the Nazis: The Mufti of Jerusalem <<<<<<< sources:
The Role of Muslim SS divisions in Yugoslavia's Holocaust <<<<<<<<<Jewish History of Yugoslavia <<<<<<<<<<<
Jewish Historical Museum, Belgrade, Yugoslavia
<<<<<<< Haj Amin
<<<<<<<<< (1893-1974) MEMRI: PA Appointed Grand Mufti of
Jerusalem: "[Pope] Wojtyla free us from the Jews" <<<<<<<<<<
Jerusalem Archives - 1941 Grand Mufti Visits Adolf Hitler in ... <<<<<
... 1916-1947. 1941 Grand Mufti Visits Adolf Hitler in Germany Photo Government
Press Office Photo Archives The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini www.jerusalem-archives.org/period3/3-25.htmlEx-Mufti, Criminal Ally <<<<<<<
... 19, 1942, the ex-Mufti of Jerusalem spoke to the Arab world by Rome radio and said:
If, God forbid, America and her allies are victorious in this war . . . ... www.varchive.org/obs/480223.htmHaj Amin al-Husseini (1893-1974) <<<<<
Appointed Mufti of Jerusalem by the British in 1921, Haj Amin al-Husseini was the most prominent Arab figure in Palestine during the Mandatory period. ... www.wzo.org.il/home/portrait/mufti.htm
Bridges For Peace <<<<<<<<... 23:2-3). More... Current News Egypt's Grand Mufti Justifies Palestinian
Suicide Attacks Archaeology The Jerusalem Archaeological Park. ... www.bridgesforpeace.com/ - 25k - 29 Aug. 2002 Who is making 'martyrs' of Palestinian children ... <<<<<... Ask why the Mufti of
Jerusalem, the most influential Islamic cleric appointed by the Palestinian Authority, says: The younger the martyr, the more I respect ...
Just like on 9/11 Palestinians dancing/cheering
Attempts to LIE: Urban Legends Pal-Arabs celebrate Deadly AttackIsraeli hero of 9/119/11 Israel's memorial100.000 ChristiansCNN.com Special
The $6 million 2000-2001 National Jewish
Population Survey found 5.2 million Jews live in the U.S., down from 5.5
million 10 years ago. The median age rose from 37 to 41. Half of Jewish women
age 30-34 have no children, compared to 27% of all American women. (OCR,
10/9/02, News 30) ..... The annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia has
had numerous crowd-related deaths: 14 in 2003, 35 in 2001, 119 in 1998, 1426 in
1990. Nearly 2 million pilgrims attended the 2003 5-day hajj. (OCR, 2/12/03,
flowered in the Christian West, but not in the Muslim East. The Muslims
Allah is an extremely active God, who intrudes on the world as he deems it
appropriate. Human efforts to understand natural law are considered blasphemous,
they denied Allah's freedom to act. Muslims do not believe that the world ran on
fundamental principles laid down by God at Creation, but the world is sustained
by his will on a continuing basis. In contrast, Christians
that the world ran on fundamental principles laid down by God at Creation. God
is a rational, dependable, omnipotent being, and the universe is rational,
lawful, stable structure awaiting human comprehension. From "For the
Glory of God," by comparative religion professor Rodney Stark. (OCR,
1/7/09, Local 7)
The Shiite Muslims of the Middle East belong to a sect that constitutes roughly 10 to 15 percent of the world's Muslims, Shiites trace their origins to a succession fight for the caliphate in the early decades after the death of Mohammed. They insisted that only kinsmen of the Prophet could be rightful caliphs; those who prevailed and became the vast majority of the world's Muslims, the Sunni, believed that caliphs need only come from the community of believers. While the majority of Shiites live in Iran, Central Asia, and South Asia, those living in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and other parts of the Arab core of the Middle East (where Shiism originated) have often found themselves treated as second-class citizens--or worse--by their Sunni overlords, even in Bahrain and Iraq (60%), where Shiites predominate. The political marginalization of Shiites began when the British mandate officials installed a Sunni Hashemite king
in Iraq in 1921, and Sunnis have dominated assorted Iraqi regimes ever since.
(USN&WR, 1/31/05, 24) ..... During the past 15 years, American soldiers
risked their lives to save Muslims in Bosnia, Kuwait, Somalia, Afghanistan, and
Iraq. Add to that the Oslo peace process for the Palestinians. All this to save
Muslims from tyrannies, mostly their theocratic or autocratic regimes.
Muslims still dislike America because of the conditions under which they live.
when the Muslims have the freedom to improve their lives, they will focus less
on America. (OCR, 1/30/05, Commentary 6)
32. RETIREE MEDICAL
BENEFITS: Rockwell, McDonnell-Douglas, Disney, and General Motors
promised lifetime medical benefits to their employees. After retiring, employees
were told that the companies changed their minds because the medical benefits
were too expensive. At least two law suits were initiated, but the retirees thus
far have failed to force the companies to keep their promises. Unfortunately,
ERISA protects pensions, but not benefits. Perhaps this is a political, as well
as a legal problem. We had tried to get pension-rights attorneys throughout the
nation to initiate a class action suit on contingency, but were unsuccessful. We
did get an e-mail from someone who was involved in setting up Rockwell
retirement benefits and tried to prevent the firm from reducing retiree medical
benefits, also unsuccessfully. Please
send an e-mail if you are interested in this problem, or have other
information. ..... After promising free lifetime medical benefits, Rockwell (now
Boeing) started in 2002 to charge a monthly fee. The fee discriminates against
Medicare seniors, who cost the plan the least, but are charged the most. .....
The problem of employers reneging on promised health benefits after retirement
finally is being addressed by Congress. HR 1322 (Rep. John Tierney, D-MA) and S
2904 (the late Paul Wellstone, D-MN) would prevent a company from making changes
to its retiree health plan (resulting in lessor benefits) after an employee
retires, and would restore all health benefits that previously were decreased or
canceled. ..... The courts have upheld the right of companies to unilaterally
modify promised health benefits, if the plan reserves the company's right
to do so. (AARP Bulletin, 7-8/05, 30)
"More than 1.5 million retirees from companies such as
Verizon, GE, and General Motors have formed the National Retiree Legislative
Network. First order of business: push for a bill prohibiting reduction or
curtailment of health benefits after worker retires." (USN&WR, 5/14/01/
59) [Hopefully, it will be retroactive.] ..... The EEOC voted to allow employers
to reduce or eliminate health benefits
for retirees when they become eligible for Medicare at age 65. No law
requires employers to give health benefits. They can provide health benefits to
active workers and not to retirees. However, employers cannot discriminate among
retirees on the basis of age. The EEOC said you can make reasonable
exceptions to the law in the public interest. (OCR, 4/23/04, News 25)
"Rep. John F. Tierney, D-Mass., thinks he has an answer
to retiree's worst nightmare. He plans to introduce a bill this month to keep
companies from slashing medical benefits for former workers after they've
retired." (AARP-NRTA Bulletin, 2/01, 2) ..... When LTV filed for
bankruptcy, more than 60,000 former employees, mostly retirees, lost their
medical benefits. (Business Week, 4/1/02, 70) [ERISA protects pensions, but not
medical benefits.] ..... NRLN is mobilizing support
1322, The Emergency Questions and Answers Retiree Health Benefits Protection Act
It was introduced by Representative John F. Tierney (D. MA), along with 53
(now 90) original co-sponsors on May 29, 2001. The bill was drafted at the
initiative of NRLN Members and will plug a major loophole in the federal law
governing private health plans. It would prohibit a company from reducing
or taking away health benefits promised and owed to their retirees. It
would also require a company to restore health benefits that were previously
reduced or taken away after retirement, unless a company could demonstrate
substantial business hardship.
DEMOCRACY: At about the time our original 13 states adopted
their new constitution, in the year 1787, Alexander Tyler (a Scottish history
professor at The University of Edinborough) had this to say about "The Fall
of The Athenian Republic" some 2,000 years prior. "A democracy
is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form
of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters
discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.
From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise
the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy
will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by
"The average age of the worlds greatest civilizations from the beginning
of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations
always progressed through the following sequence: From Bondage to spiritual
faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From
liberty to abundance; From abundance to complacency; From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage."
Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University School of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota,
points out some interesting facts concerning the most recent
Population of counties won by: Gore=127 million Bush=143 million
Square miles of land won by:
Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by:
Professor Olson adds: "In aggregate, the map of the territory Bush
won was mostly the land owned by the tax-paying
citizens of this great country. Gore's territory encompassed those
citizens living in government-owned tenements and living
off government welfare..." Olson believes the U.S. is now
somewhere between the "apathy" and "complacency" phase of
Professor Tyler's definition of democracy; with some 40 percent of the nation's
population already having reached the "governmental dependency" phase.
(from an e-mail)
America had more economic, political, military, and cultural power than any
other nation since ancient Rome, 2000 years ago. However, there are signs
of America slippage. (USN&WR, 4/4/05, 60)
DEPENDENCE: With crude oil prices near $56 a barrel and the average price of regular unleaded gasoline selling for more than $2 a gallon, our dependence on foreign oil is clearly an economic vulnerability and risk that we must soon remove.
Oil prices will rise even higher if insurgents continue to disrupt supply in the Middle East. The Saudi Arabian oil minister, Ali al-Naimi, has responded as any friendly government official would: Get used to it--high prices are here to stay.
The United States consumes more than 25 percent of the world's oil each year, despite the fact that we control only 3 percent of the world's oil and gas reserves. As such, we now import about 58 percent of the more than 20 million barrels of oil we use every day, with more than one fifth of those net petroleum imports coming from Persian Gulf states, according to the Energy Information Administration. In the years ahead, imported oil is on track to grow to 68 percent of our total supply by 2025, with U.S. crude production at the lowest level in 50 years.
The sharp jump in the cost of oil and the ever rising volume of imports contributed to more than a third of the increase in our trade deficit last year. We spent more than $179 billion last year on imported oil, and that accounted for more than a quarter of the overall trade deficit. Foreign oil, in point of fact, last year created a larger deficit by itself than any of our overall total trade deficits before 1998.
Many of the dollars we spend on imported oil are going to nations that support the radical Islamist terrorists against whom we're engaged in a global
war. The Institute for the Analysis of Global Security estimates that 22 percent of the world's oil is controlled by states that sponsor terrorism and are under U.S./United Nations sanctions. "We are, in fact,
fighting a war on terrorism and paying for both sides of the
war," says Gal Luft, executive director of the institute. "On the one hand, we are sending our troops and dollars to fight for freedom and democracy all over the world, and on the other hand, we are
sending money to the people who don't like
us." To reduce our dependence on foreign oil, we must increase the use of existing technologies like hybrid cars, flexible fuel vehicles, and cheap alcohol-based fuels that require no additional research and development. The number of hybrid cars has actually grown 10-fold since the turn of the century, but the 100,000 hybrids sold last year still represent only about one half of 1 percent of the 17 million new cars sold in 2004.
We must work immediately to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. We can't afford to waste another quarter century in coming to terms with our dependence on imported oil.
(USN&WR, 3/21/05, 52) [Nuclear energy also must be considered,]
Economist Philip Martin of the University of California likes to tell a
story about the state's tomato industry. In the early 1960s, growers relied on
seasonal Mexican laborers, brought in under the government's "bracero"
program. The Mexicans picked the tomatoes that were then processed into
ketchup and other products. In 1964 Congress killed the program despite
growers' warnings that its abolition would doom their industry. What happened?
Well, plant scientists developed oblong tomatoes that could be harvested by
machine. Since then, California's tomato output has risen
It's a story worth remembering, because we're being warned again that we
need huge numbers of "guest workers" -- meaning unskilled laborers
from Mexico and Central America -- to relieve U.S. "labor
shortages." Indeed, the shortages will supposedly worsen as baby boomers
retire. President Bush wants an open-ended program. Sens. Edward M. Kennedy
(D-Mass.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) advocate initially admitting 400,000 guest
workers annually. The Senate is considering these and other plans.
Guest workers would mainly legalize today's vast inflows of illegal
immigrants, with the same consequence: We'd be importing poverty. This isn't
because these immigrants aren't hardworking; many are. Nor is it because they
don't assimilate; many do. But they generally don't go home, assimilation is
slow and the ranks of the poor are constantly replenished. Since 1980 the
number of Hispanics with incomes below the government's poverty line (about
$19,300 in 2004 for a family of four) has risen 162 percent. Over the same
period, the number of non-Hispanic whites in poverty rose 3 percent and the
number of blacks, 9.5 percent. What we have now -- and would with guest
workers -- is a conscious policy of creating poverty in the United States
while relieving it in Mexico. By and large, this is a bad bargain for the
United States. It stresses local schools, hospitals and housing; it feeds
social tensions (witness the Minutemen). To be sure, some Americans get cheap
housecleaning or landscaping services. But if more mowed their own lawns or
did their own laundry, it wouldn't be a tragedy.
The most lunatic notion is that admitting more poor Latino workers would
ease the labor market strains of retiring baby boomers. The two aren't close
substitutes for each other. Among immigrant Mexican and Central American
workers in 2004, only 7 percent had a college degree and nearly 60 percent
lacked a high school diploma, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Among native-born U.S. workers, 32 percent had a college degree and only 6
percent did not have a high school diploma. Far from softening the social
problems of an aging society, more poor immigrants might aggravate them by
pitting older retirees against younger Hispanics for limited government
It's a myth that the U.S. economy "needs" more poor
The illegal immigrants already here represent only about 4.9 percent of the
labor force, the Pew Hispanic Center reports. In no major occupation are they
a majority. They're 36 percent of insulation workers, 28 percent of drywall
installers and 20 percent of cooks. They're drawn here by wage differences,
not labor "shortages." In 2004, the median hourly wage in Mexico was
$1.86, compared with $9 for Mexicans working in the United States, said Rakesh
Kochhar of Pew. With high labor turnover in the jobs they take, most new
illegal immigrants can get work by accepting wages slightly below prevailing
Hardly anyone thinks that most illegal immigrants will leave. But what
would happen if new illegal immigration stopped and wasn't replaced by guest
workers? Well, some employers would raise wages to attract U.S. workers.
Facing greater labor costs, some industries would -- like the tomato growers
in the 1960s -- find ways to minimize those costs. As to the rest, what's
wrong with higher wages for the poorest workers? From 1994 to 2004, the wages
of high school dropouts rose only 2.3 percent (after inflation) compared with
11.9 percent for college graduates.
President Bush says his guest worker program would "match willing
foreign workers with willing American employers, when no Americans can be
found to fill the jobs." But at some higher wage, there would be willing
Americans. The number of native high school dropouts with jobs declined by 1.3
million from 2000 to 2005, estimates Steven Camarota of the Center for
Immigration Studies, which favors less immigration. Some lost jobs to
immigrants. Unemployment remains high for some groups (9.3 percent for African
Americans, 12.7 percent for white teenagers).
Business organizations understandably support guest worker programs. They
like cheap labor and ignore the social consequences. What's more perplexing is
why liberals, staunch opponents of poverty and inequality, support a program
that worsens poverty and inequality. Poor immigrant workers hurt the wages of
unskilled Americans. The only question is how much. Studies suggest a range
"from negligible to an earnings reduction of almost 10 percent,"
according to the CBO.
It's said that having guest workers is better than having poor illegal
immigrants. With legal status, they'd have rights and protections. They'd have
more peace of mind and face less exploitation by employers. This would be
convincing if its premise were incontestable: that we can't control our
southern border. But that's unproved. We've never tried a policy of real
barriers and strict enforcement against companies that hire illegal
immigrants. Until that's shown to be ineffective, we shouldn't adopt guest
worker programs that don't solve serious social problems -- but add to them.
Costa Rica Seeks to Shut Its Doors to Illegal Migrants From Nicaragua
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica
The Central American nation is worried that the unchecked influx is straining
its services. Crime and joblessness have long been part of the
tough Leon XIII neighborhood of Costa Rica's capital, where residents such as
Alexandra Martinez do their best to steer clear of broken pavement and
street-corner drug dealers.
But the 37-year-old homemaker says that things have gotten worse in the last
few years. Her explanation: " There are a lot of Nicas here," she
says, using a slang term for Nicaraguans. Martinez says these immigrants, many of them undocumented, are hard-drinking,
aggressive people who compete with Costa Ricans for jobs and drain the
nation's public services. She approves of a recent federal law aimed at
stemming the influx.
"It's the biggest problem we face in the country," she says.
Many Costa Ricans are more temperate than Martinez when discussing
immigration. But the continued southward flow of impoverished Nicaraguans into
Central America's most prosperous nation has inflamed tensions between these
The 192-mile border is virtually unguarded, allowing Nicaraguans to slip
easily into Costa Rica, where the per capita gross national income of $4,700
is six times higher than in Nicaragua.
Some analysts say Costa Rica, known as the Switzerland of Central America, has
benefited from the steady supply of cheap labor to harvest the nation's
bananas and coffee, mop its floors and tend to its children.
Costa Rica boasts the region's highest standard of living and provides
universal healthcare. The nation has invested heavily in education and boasts
a thriving technology industry.
But nagging poverty, sluggish economic growth and fraying of the social safety
net have many Costa Ricans fearful that uncontrolled immigration is
undermining their hard-won gains.
An estimated 180,000 undocumented Nicaraguans account for about 4.5% of the
nation's population, a slightly higher percentage than the overall proportion
in the United States, where illegal immigrants make up 4% of the population.
Including legal residents, experts calculate that as much as 15% of Costa
Rica's population is foreign-born. Most of them are Nicaraguans, who have been
arriving in large numbers for 25 years because of war, natural disasters and
social instability in their country.
"Even the United States would have problems" absorbing so many
newcomers, says economist Eduardo Lizano, president of the San Jose think tank
Academy of Central America.
Approved late last year and slated to be implemented in August, Costa Rica's
new immigration law is aimed largely at those who profit from undocumented
workers. It makes human trafficking a crime punishable by as much as six years
in prison. And it significantly increases fines on Costa Ricans caught
employing illegal immigrants to $3,600 per violation, up from as little as
$10, says Johnny Marin, Costa Rica's immigration director.
Marin says the nation of slightly more than 4 million people lacks the
resources to guard its border or to engage in mass deportations. Costa Rica
deported just 775 people last year.
"Control of the migratory phenomenon lies in the employer sector,"
Marin says. "Because if they don't hire illegals, the people won't come,
they won't migrate."
Marin says immigration has largely been a good thing, providing Costa Rica
with labor and cultural diversity. But he says rising acrimony has
Costa Ricans blame Nicaraguans and other foreigners for all manner of ills,
Marin says. News reports frequently note the nationalities of foreigners
accused of crimes, particularly Nicaraguans and Colombians.
He cites an urban myth here that 1 million Nicaraguans are living in Costa
"The theme of migration awakens passions here," Marin says.
"Migratory chaos is always dangerous . We have to maintain an
Some Nicaraguans living in Costa Rica say their lives have become more
difficult because of increasing resentment. Juana Lopez recounts how a
security guard humiliated her and her children at a public park.
"The guard asked me for my identification card and documents for my
children, and he wouldn't let me in. He said we don't have the right to enter
any playground," says Lopez, who lives in a San Jose slum known as
Triangulo Solidario, a tangle of tin and wood shacks.
The immigration issue has added to long-running tensions between Costa Rica
and its northern neighbor. The countries are embroiled in a dispute over
navigation rights to the San Juan River, which runs between them. Nicaragua
recalled its ambassador to Costa Rica last fall and previously sent troops to
the border region, a move viewed as particularly provocative by Costa Rica,
which has no standing army.
Nicaraguans are incensed by the November death of Natividad Canda Mairena, a
Nicaraguan living in Costa Rica. A suspected burglar, Canda was mauled by a
Rottweiler guard dog for 1 1/2 hours while bystanders watched. The attack
prompted a barrage of jokes in Costa Rica, including a cartoon showing a pack
of Rottweilers defending Costa Rica's northern border.
Although there is a widespread impression among Costa Ricans that their safety
net is being strained by Nicaraguans, some studies show that the latter are
using services at rates well below their share of the population. Many Costa
Ricans blame Nicaraguans for a surge in street crime, but prison statistics
don't appear to bear that out either. From 1998 to 2003, Nicaraguans made up
5.8% of the jail population, according to the United Nations Development
Immigrant advocates say Costa Rica's reforms aren't likely to stem the tide of
Employers have come to rely on this cheap source of labor. And desperation
knows no borders, says Gustavo Gatica, who works with Pastoral Social, an
immigrants rights group affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church in San Jose.
"Even if they build a wall along the border with Nicaragua, like they
have between the United States and Mexico, this won't stop immigration,"
Gatica says. "As long as there is hunger, as long as there is poverty,
immigration won't be stopped."
CORDOBA, Mexico (Knight Ridder Newspapers, 3/21/06)
- U.S. immigration officers now apprehend
more Central Americans than Mexicans. So far this fiscal year, which
started Oct. 1, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have apprehended
791,973 Central Americans in the United States. Only 595,084 Mexicans were
caught in the same period.
But there's little inclination among average Mexicans to do much to stop the
flow. Many see themselves in the lives of the desperate Central Americans.
Cordoba's role as a way station is due largely to its place alongside railroad
tracks that stretch from Central America north. Hundreds, if not thousands, of
men and women from Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador pass through
Cordoba daily atop cargo trains that begin their northward trip at Tenosique, in
the state of Tabasco, on the border with Guatemala. The Central Americans
squeeze together on tank cars and freight cars, sometimes 60 or more per car.
Occasional efforts to stop the flow sometimes make headlines. Last week, Mexican
police and immigration agents tried to dislodge 300 or so Central Americans from
a train at Tenosique. In the ensuing melee, shots were fired, but by whom is
unclear. There were no reports of injuries.
The trip is often arduous and full of
danger. Luis recounted how police at the Honduran border with Guatemala
stripped him of his money. Mario, his 19-year-old traveling companion, said
they'd seen rapes and robberies. Others tell of brutality at the hands of local
police and gangs, who sometimes rape migrant girls.
The border patrol caught 1.2 million would-be illegal
immigrants in 2005; that's an average of one arrest every 30 seconds. There are
no official stats for how many made it across, but the Pew Hispanic Center
estimates there are, today, between 11.5 and 12 million illegal immigrants
living in the US, of whom 56 percent are Mexicans. http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0329/p01s03-woam.htm
..... The U.S. government is spending about $56 million to fly illegal
immigrants home or to new locations within the U.S. Last year, the government
flew 60,000 people -- mostly Central and South Americans -- to their home
countries for about $600 per person. An additional 35,000 were moved inside the
U.S., mostly to be closer to the Mexican border in preparation for deportation.
Hundreds of captured immigrants are released each week and asked to return for a
court hearing, a request many ignore. The government hopes to end that practice
on the Southwest border by Oct. 1 and across the rest of the country by next
year. Almost all Mexicans caught without papers in the U.S. are driven to the
border by immigration officials and dropped off. Last year, that was almost 1
million people. http://articles.news.aol.com/news/article.adp?id=20060405092909990006
..... Of the estimated 12 millilon illegal immigrants in the U.S., about 4 to 6
million are "visa overstayers."
(OCR, 4/5/06, News 2) ..... Mexico sentences migrant
smuggler to 60 years. MEXICO CITY (AP, 12/28/08) - Mexican
prosecutors say they won a 60-year prison term for a human smuggler who helped
about 200 people sneak into theU.S., including Hezbollah
supporters. Salim Boughader Mucharrafille was arrested in 2002 and convicted on
organized-crime and immigrant-smuggling charges. Boughader, a Mexican of
Lebanese descent, ran a cafe in the city of Tijuana, across the border from San
Diego. Among those he smuggled were
sympathizers of Hezbollah, a Lebanon--based group that U.S. authorities
have labeled a terror organization. The Mexican federal Atorney General on
Sunday said Boughader also was fined $6,000. Mexican prison terms are sometimes
reduced for good behavior.
Were importing Latin Americas poor. Forget
the long-running bipartisan concern about creating an educated, highly skilled
workforce. What the U.S. economy desperately needs is more high-school dropouts
so desperately that we should import them hand over fist.
Such is the logic of the contention by advocates of lax immigration that the
flow of illegal labor from south of the border is a boon to our economy. But it
doesn't make intuitive sense that importing the poor of Latin America would
benefit us. If low-skill workers were key to economic growth, Mexico would be an
economic powerhouse, and impoverished Americans would be slipping south over the
Rio Grande. The National Research Council reports that an immigrant
to the U.S. without a high-school diploma whether legal or illegal
consumes $89,000 more in
governmental services than he pays in taxes during his lifetime. An
immigrant with only a high-school diploma is a net cost of $31,000. Eighty
percent of illegal immigrants have no more than a high-school degree, and 60
percent have less than a high-school degree.Steve Camarota of the Washington,
D.C.-based Center for Immigration Studies estimates that illegal
immigrants cost the federal government $10 billion a year. State and
local governments lose even more. Illegals pay some taxes, but not enough to
cover governmental expenses like Medicaid and treatment for the uninsured.
According to Camarota, if illegal
immigrants were legalized, their net annual cost to the federal government would
only increase, tripling to $30 billion a year. Immigrant workers don't
earn enough to pay much in taxes, while they qualify for all sorts of
governmental assistance. As they become legal, they will get even more
assistance the benefits that they get from the Earned Income Tax Credit, for
instance, would increase by a factor of 10. Whatever benefit illegals provide to
the economy in general must be minuscule. All workers without a high-school
education illegal and otherwise account for only 3 percent of economic
output. Even if illegal immigrants were dominant in low-skill industries, their
broader impact would be small. But they aren't dominant, and that includes job
categories associated with immigrants. Nearly 60 percent of cabdrivers are
native-born. In only four of 473 job classifications are immigrants a majority
of the workers. The U.S. has an ample supply of native-born workers with a
high-school education or less, but Camarota suggests they are being pushed out
of the labor force by the influx of illegals. From 2000 to 2005, the percentage
of high-school dropouts holding a job dropped from 53 to 48, and this trend was
particularly pronounced in states with the highest levels of immigration.
Illegals compete with the very workers least equipped to thrive in our economy.
Pro-immigration conservatives sometimes argue that, through immigration, we are
importing social renewal. But the illegitimacy
rate among Hispanic immigrants in the U.S. is 40 percent. They aren't
coming from countries that are paradisiacal models of social conservatism. The
illegitimacy rate in Mexico is roughly one third, and in El Salvador it is 73
percent. With the U.S. population aging, don't we need highly fertile immigrants
to replenish our working-age population? Actually, there aren't enough
immigrants to change our age structure significantly. According to Camarota,
66.2 percent of the U.S. population was of working age in 2000. If all
post-1980s immigrants and their U.S.-born children are excluded, the number
falls to only 65.9 percent. With immigrants, the U.S. fertility rate is 2.1;
without them, it would be 2.0. Immigration from Latin America, in short, does
not chiefly benefit our economy, government or society, but rather the
immigrants themselves. Their motives, if not their means, are admirable they
want to improve their lives. Advocates of a lax immigration policy should admit
that their policy has a humanitarian, not an economic, rationale, and its
beneficiaries aren't Americans but mainly people from rural Mexico. If we really
need more poorly educated workers here, we can always rely, unfortunately, on
the public schools to produce them indigenously. (National Review, 4/4/06)
The Mexican solution (Washington, D.C., 4/3/06): The Congress has received
lots of free advice lately from Mexican government officials and illegal aliens
waving Mexico's flag in mass demonstrations coast-to-coast. Most of it takes the
form of bitter complaints about our actual or prospective treatment of
immigrants from that country who have gotten into this one illegally - or who
aspire to do so.
If you think these critics are mad about U.S. immigration policy now,
imagine how upset they would be if we adopted an approach far more radical than
the bill they rail against which was adopted last year by the House of
Representatives - namely, the way Mexico treats illegal aliens.
In fact, as a just-published
paper by the Center for Security Policy's J. Michael Waller points out,
under a constitution first adopted in 1917 and subsequently amended, Mexico
deals harshly not only with illegal immigrants. It treats even legal
immigrants, naturalized citizens and foreign investors in ways that would, by
the standards of those who carp about U.S. immigration policy, have to be called
"racist" and "xenophobic."
Mexico's Glass House For example, according to an official translation published by the
Organization of American States, the Mexican constitution includes the following
Pursuant to Article 33, "Foreigners may not in any way participate
in the political affairs of the country." This ban applies, among
other things, to participation in demonstrations and the expression of
opinions in public about domestic politics like those much in evidence in
Los Angeles, New York and elsewhere in recent days.
Equal employment rights are denied to immigrants, even legal ones.
Article 32: "Mexicans shall have priority over foreigners under
equality of circumstances for all classes of concessions and for all
employment, positions, or commissions of the Government in which the status
of citizenship is not indispensable."
Jobs for which Mexican citizenship is considered "indispensable"
include, pursuant to Article 32, bans on foreigners, immigrants, and even
naturalized citizens of Mexico serving as military officers, Mexican-flagged
ship and airline crew, and chiefs of seaports and airports.
Article 55 denies immigrants the right to become federal lawmakers.
A Mexican congressman or senator must be "a Mexican citizen by
birth." Article 91 further stipulates that immigrants may never aspire
to become cabinet officers as they are required to be Mexican by
birth. Article 95 says the same about Supreme Court justices. In
accordance with Article 130, immigrants - even legal ones - may not become members
of the clergy, either.
Foreigners, to say nothing of illegal immigrants, are denied
fundamental property rights. For example, Article 27 states, "Only
Mexicans by birth or naturalization and Mexican companies have the right to
acquire ownership of lands, waters, and their appurtenances, or to obtain
concessions for the exploitation of mines or of waters."
Article 11 guarantees federal protection against "undesirable
aliens resident in the country." What is more, private individuals
are authorized to make citizen's arrests. Article 16 states, "In
cases of flagrante delicto, any person may arrest the offender and
his accomplices, turning them over without delay to the nearest
authorities." In other words, Mexico grants its citizens the right to
arrest illegal aliens and hand them over to police for prosecution. Imagine
the Minutemen exercising such a right!
The Mexican constitution states that foreigners - not just illegal
immigrants - may be expelled for any reason and without due process.
According to Article 33, "the Federal Executive shall have the
exclusive power to compel any foreigner whose remaining he may deem
inexpedient to abandon the national territory immediately and without the
necessity of previous legal action."
The Bottom Line
As the immigration debate in the Senate moves into a decisive phase this
week, legislators who believe America's southern border must be secured, the
Nation's existing immigration laws enforced and illegal aliens not rewarded with
permanent residency and a direct path to citizenship are being sharply
criticized and, in some cases, defamed as bigots and xenophobes. Yet, even their
maximalist positions generally pale in comparison with the treatment
authorized by the Mexican constitution.
So the next time such legislators - and the majority of Americans for whom
they speak - are assaulted by Mexican officials, undocumented aliens waving
Mexican flags in mass demonstrations here in the United States, clergy and
self-described humanitarians, businessmen and other advocates of illegal
immigration ask them this: Would they favor having the U.S. impose the same
restrictions on immigrants - legal and illegal - that Mexico imposes on their
Nothing of the kind is in the cards, of course. Nor should it be. Legal
immigration and the opportunity for foreign investors and other nationals
legitimately to contribute to this country are not only one of its hallmarks;
they are among the reasons for its greatness.
Still, we should not allow the hypocrisy of others' treatment of
undocumented aliens in their countries to induce us to refrain from taking
effective steps to prevent further illegal immigration: by building a fence
along our southern border; by enforcing immigration laws in the workplace and
elsewhere; and by discouraging more such violations - with potentially grave
national security implications - by dealing effectively with those who have
already broken those laws by coming here without permission. http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/index.jsp?section=papers&code=06-D_18
[Mexico annually deports more illegal aliens than the United States. Illegal immigration is a felony in Mexico, and subject to two years in jail.]
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