Saturday, April 29, 2006

Why it's called the penal system

Usually, when an innocent child is killed in the cross-fire of gang/drug/other criminal warfare, the murderers at least pretend to be sorry they killed someone other than the person they were trying to kill. In Philadephia, however, we have our own new brand of useless sacks of shit who not only don't even feign remorse, the curse the child they murdered, the child's family and one of the murderers even promised to "haunt" the boy's family until his final appeal. You see, Kareem Johnson and Kennell Spady feel their actions of shooting and killing 10-year old Faheem Thomas-Childs outside North Philadelphia's T.M. Peirce Elementary School on Feb. 11, 2004 was perfectly justifiable, as was the injury to another bystander - a crossing guard who was shot in the leg, since they were in the midst of a gun-fight with a rival drug gang in which over 90 bullets were fired. Society needs to understand that when decide to shoot it out, it's everyone else's responsibility to avoid their chosen battle location.

Johnson and Spady were found guilty of first degree murder, a charge for which they each received life sentences. They also received and additional 2 years for shooting the crossing guard. Their defense attorney's argued the extra two years were vengeful because
Johnson, one of seven children, never knew his mother until he ran into her on a street one day. Spady was a product of his environment, which consisted of drugs, guns and violence. [Inky]
This, of course, means they shouldn't be punished so harshly because they're victims of society whose lives matter. . .apparently as much, if not more, than those they hurt. The only thing more disturbing than the words of 22-year old Charles Johnson in response to the victim impact statement, is the lack of respect for life, law and common decency shown by his supporters
"You don't give a f- about my life, and I don't give a f- about his life... F- him," Johnson proclaimed.

The words provoked some supporters. "Love you, Nell! Love you, Reem!" two girls shouted before being ejected. [Inky]
Rehabilitation, when possible, is a great thing but even those who are rehabilitable have to pay an appropriate penalty for their crimes. Johnson & Spady have shown a most exceptional lack of respect for the lives of others, why they're so shocked others aren't particularly concerned that the rest of their lives will be spent in jail is beyond me.


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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Nearer My G-d to Thee

If you've ever been to DC you know the only thing worse than the traffic is the parking. Over the years, on practice has been overlooked by police but has been drawing the ire of many residents: double-parking in front of churches. With the increase in neighbor complaints, the DC planned to start enforcing the law this year - beginning with warnings starting this week-end and graduating to real tickets starting in July. The idea of finally enforcing laws against double-parking (at least near churches) is getting another look-see due to complaints by church-goers who held a rally to fight what they claim is an infringement on their religious rights. Apparently, car-pooling, using public transit or walking to church from a distance is an abomination to G-d, whereas as double-parking just tickles His fancy. . .


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Monday, April 24, 2006

G-d Bless David Englin

Just stopping by to pick up the Dynamic Duo (who are getting a long famously) to start training for the 3-day. While my training partners were finishing up their supper, I did my standard checking out of Pam's House Blend to find a wonderful piece & interview with Virginia Delegate David Englin. Englin spoke up prior to the vote on Virginia's idiotic Marriage Amendment to point out what every clear thinking, rational human being knows: the biggest threat to marriage comes from those within the marriage and that the sanctity of somebody's marriage is not affected by the relationships/marital state of those outside that marriage.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to this resolution. I'm not going to talk about same-sex marriage. I'm no fool -- although others might make a different judgement about a freshman delegate rising in this chamber on the third day of session. But I understand that on the issue of marriage, I'm in the minority, perhaps even in my own caucus. I also sleep very well at night knowing that at some point in the future of this great Commonwealth, those of us of my opinion will be judged to have been on the right side of history. But let's for a moment forget about the question of same-sex marriage, because this amendment addresses much more than that. We need to be clear and honest: This amendment also outlaws civil unions and domestic partnerships and other similar private legal arrangements.

We have heard from the other side that this constitutional amendment is necessary to protect conventional marriage. I am blessed with a beautiful and brilliant wife who is the love of my life. In June, Shayna and I will celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary, and I would fight with every ounce of my strength anything that would threaten my marriage. So I would like to know, how exactly civil unions and domestic partnerships and other similar arrangements threaten my marriage?

We have heard from the other side that this amendment will protect families. Shayna and I are blessed with a strong and bright six-year-old son, Caleb, and we have a strong family. My friend the gentleman from Rockingham County, Delegate Lohr, and I have discussed how we come from different backgrounds and different parts of this great Commonwealth, yet we share a deep and abiding commitment to our families. I want nothing more than to protect my family. I spent 12 years wearing the uniform of the United States Air Force to protect my family. I've been in harm's way to protect my family. So I would like to know, how exactly do civil unions and domestic partnerships and other similar arrangements threaten my family? Because if they do, I will be the first one to stand up and fight, because nobody better threaten my family.
Go read the interview at Pam's place.

Go support Englin

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

AFA lends new meaning to the phrase "saving time"

Another day, another farcockteh email from Daddy Dobson's minions. Today's big issue is yet another example of the war on religion (the only religion that matters being fundamental Christianity) and this time the assault comes courtesy of the evil secularization of the dating method. Yes, the AFA fears that Jesus is taking a beating by the Kentucky Board of Education's voting to use the terms BCE (Before Common Era) and CE (Common Era) in lieu of making reference to a year relative to their Lord:
Dear ol cranky,

The Kentucky Board of Education has voted to take the first step in redefining how America dates time. The board voted to include a new secular system of dating the calendar, BCE (Before Common Era) and CE (Common Era), and added it to the BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini, Latin for "in the year of our Lord") method.

The new secular system of time dating will appear in the curriculum and other materials used by Kentucky educators. This new system is already being included in textbooks across the nation.

The new method will replace the birth of Christ as the dividing point in history. For example, the new system would change 2006 AD (Anno Domini) to 2006 CE (Common Era).

It also opens the door for the ACLU to find a liberal activist judge who will forcefully remove the use of BC and AD. The ACLU types will claim that the use of BC and AD are a violation of the First Amendment because it dates history based on the birth of Christ.

Please forward this poll to your friends and family!
Take Action

Results of the poll will be shared with members of Congress.

Should Congress pass a law making BC/AD the official method of dating time?

Cast your vote. Give us your opinion!


Donald E. Wildmon, Founder and Chairman
American Family Association

P.S. Please forward this e-mail message to your family and friends!

I've forwarded the e-mail message, but I'm guessing my friends and family won't have any better luck getting their survey results saved than I've had. I'm sure they'll gladly provide Congress with their enriched/skewed survey results.

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Sunday, April 16, 2006

forensic vagina inspectors

In its war against abortion, El Salvador deploys forensic vagina inspectors to the front line to determine if a woman has had an abortion. Sadly, that's not even the most frightening part of Jack Hitt's "Pro-Life Nation" in last week's NYT. Based on the planned continued Christification of the US by the Repubevangelicals, it's only a matter of time before we hear that job description being developed for a special unit of the FBI.

The only thing those who marry religious fundamentalism/orthodoxy to politics despise more than the fact there are people in this country who disagree with their religio-political views is the fact that those "non-believers" have the audacity not to at least pretend to agree with them by flaunting the fact we will not live in accordance with fundamentalist/orthodox religious dictate. It must be sad being very "religious" when your faith is so insecure that it can easily be shaken by the presence of those who don't share your beliefs.

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Saturday, April 15, 2006

Oops they did it again

My first experience with an SPCA was a great one, I was 11 and we came home from the Lahaska SPCA with the most wonderful dog, an Aussie Shepherd- Collie mix, in the world. I'd always been a sucker for animals, strays and rescues in particular, and the fact that SPCAs were there to help these animals was a gret comfort to me. My opinion of SPCAs started to shift when I picked up Dudley from the SPCA in Chester County, realized his problems were significantly worse than they'd told me and the folks there were not only unwilling to help me find out who the couple who'd returned him used as a trainer so I didn't have to start out from scratch with a new trainer, they refused to answer any of the vet's questions about him. My opinion of the organization kept going down when, a couple of years ago, I read about abusive treatment of animals at Chicago SPCAs and how the DelCo (PA) SPCA euthanized a cat whose owners had left multiple messages trying to locate their missing cat this past February. When SPCA workers realized they'd never cross checked the messages with the animals on site, the SPCA workers lied and said the animal was euthanized because she bit an employee and sent it's head to the state lab for testing. Two employees were fired and the DelCo SPCA vowed it would hold all strays 72 hours and cross check all messages to prevent a repeat incident.

A little over two months later, Margaret Reynard found out her beloved cat was euthanized after a 24 hour stay at the shelter:
On Wednesday, Reynard came to the shelter looking for Keecha, who had not been seen since Tuesday. She was told that all animals were held for 72 hours and to check back every day for the next three days.

The family came in three times on Thursday, only to be called that evening and told Keecha had been put down the day before.

SPCA records say the 8-year-old cat was killed because it was "feral."

The records do not have a manager's signature or the time and date of the euthanasia. The initials of at least four employees who checked messages and lost-and-found reports and looked for microchip identification appear in the records.

The last time stamp is 12:36 p.m., about two hours before Reynard visited the shelter.

"A really serious and unfortunate mistake was made at the shelter," SPCA board member Rick Beeman said yesterday. He said the new policy on euthanasia was not followed and that the shelter was conducting an investigation. "It shows we have a long way to go; it is not just a case of instituting new policy." [Inky]
Around the country, a multitude of people bust their hump trying to reconnect missing pets withe their owners and/or find a new home for animals in need. They give a search more than 24 hours and they do cross check messages so no animal is euthanized unnecessarily. The DelCo SPCA and any other organization that thinks euthanizing an animal before even trying to locate its owner or finding someone to foster or adopt it has lost their moral compass (to say the least).

In addition to highlighting the need to pay close attention to the actions and policies of shelters that euthanized animals, this incident highlights the need to microchip your pet. Both AVID and HOMEAGAIN manufacture implantable microchips that can be used to ID and return your missing pet to you. Dudley already had his AVID implanted when I adopted him, Dyna got her HOMEAGAIN when I took her to the vet on Thursday.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Dr. Suess tackles Passover (by proxy)

Somehow, I don't think this was the version of the Four Questions the recited at before the "Last Supper"

Dr. Seuss' Four Questions

Why is it only
on Passover night
we never know how
to do anything right?
We don't eat our meals
in the regular ways,
the ways that we do
on all other days.
'Cause on all other nights
we may eat
all kinds of wonderful
good bready treats,
like big purple pizza
that tastes like a pickle,
crumbly crackers
and pink pumpernickel,
sassafras sandwich
and tiger* on rye,
fifty felafels in pita,
with peanut-butter
and tangerine sauce
spread onto each side
up-and-down, then across,
and toasted whole-wheat bread
with liver and ducks,
and crumpets and dumplings,
and bagels and lox,
and doughnuts with one hole
and doughnuts with four,
and cake with six layers
and windows and doors.
on all other nights
we eat all kinds of bread,
but tonight of all nights
we munch matzo instead.
And on all other nights
we devour
vegetables, green things,
and bushes and flowers,
lettuce that's leafy
and candy-striped spinach,
fresh silly celery
(Have more when you're finished!)
cabbage that's flown
from the jungles of Glome
by a polka-dot bird
who can't find his way home,
daisies and roses
and inside-out grass
and artichoke hearts
that are simply first class!
Sixty asparagus tips
served in glasses
with anchovy sauce
and some sticky molasses--
But on Passover night
you would never consider
eating an herb
that wasn't all bitter.
And on all other nights
you would probably flip
if anyone asked you
how often you dip.
On some days I only dip
one Bup-Bup egg
in a teaspoon of vinegar
mixed with nutmeg,
but sometimes we take
more than ten thousand tails
of the Yakkity-birds
that are hunted in Wales,
and dip them in vats
full of Mumbegum juice.
Then we feed them to Harold,
our six-legged moose.
Or we don't dip at all!
We don't ask your advice.
So why on this night
do we have to dip twice?
And on all other nights
we can sit as we please,
on our heads, on our elbows,
our backs or our knees,
or hang by our toes
from the tail of a Glump,
or on top of a camel
with one or two humps,
with our foot on the table,
our nose on the floor,
with one ear in the window
and one out the door,
doing somersaults
over the greasy k'nishes
or dancing a jig
without breaking the dishes.
on all other nights
you sit nicely when dining--
So why on this night
must it all be reclining?
[Professor Eliezer Segal]

[*caveat: tigers are not Kosher and can't be eaten according to halacha]

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Yet another liberal conspiracy against religion

How many times do they have to tell us? You'd think we'd understand by now: if it's not in the bible it didn't happen and this is not in the bible!

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

AFA panties in a wad because Ford fears gay boycott more than boycott by Christotheocrats

If they can't make homosexuality illegal, the Christotheocrats will just find another way to make people pretend to be like them. The latest from Daddy Dobson's Bigotry Brigade:
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has denied a request by Ford Motor Company to keep a shareholder resolution forbidding Ford to promote homosexual marriage off the agenda at their upcoming shareholders meeting.
One of the reasons cited by Ford in their request to omit the resolution was that they feared they would be boycotted by the homosexuals. Over 20 pro-family groups have called for a boycott of Ford because of Ford's support for homosexual marriage.

Ford reported that during the month of March their sales dropped 5% when compared to the same period last year. Ford did not mention the boycott when announcing the sales drop.

The resolution requests "that Ford Motor Company amend its written equal employment opportunity policy to exclude any reference to privacy issues related to sexual interests, activities or orientation." The resolution, which Ford strongly opposes, would force Ford to stop promotion of homosexual marriage and other homosexual activities. American Family Association asked Ford in January to remain neutral in the cultural battle involving homosexual marriage. Ford refused and sided with groups promoting homosexual marriage.

Ford told the SEC that removing its pro-homosexual policy would hurt recruitment efforts to hire more homosexuals. It was homosexual activists in high positions who forced Ford to renege on an agreement with AFA to stop promoting the homosexual lifestyle. Ford said that failing to specifically seek out more homosexuals would "have a material adverse impact on the marketing and sale of company products." (In other words, Ford fears a boycott by homosexuals.)

Ford's logic in asking the SEC to omit the resolution is interesting. Ford fears a boycott by angry homosexuals more than they fear a boycott by pro-family groups. Even though Ford fears the homosexual groups, they want to continue to support them.
Ford rightly fears a boycott from angry people with significant purchase power and, like any business looking at their bottom line, will capitulate to those who can do the most damage to that bottom line. Who do you think buys more new vehicles over a lifetime?

I have to say I'm dismayed that the SEC would support the requirement that a company be forced to have a shareholder vote on a resolution that could potentially require a company to violate the privacy and allow individuals to take punitive action against only a certain group of employees based on information unrelated to their jobs/job performance. I highly doubt the SEC would force any public company to have a vote on a resolution that would require excluding any reference to privacy issues related to voting records, religion, etc.

Write to the SEC:
Christopher Cox, Chairman
Securities and Exchange Commission
100 F Street, N.E.
Washington, DC 20549-021
Primary Phone: 202-551-3830
E-Mail: Christopher Cox, Securities and Exchange Commission

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Monday, April 10, 2006

Bush keeps one promise

King George actually kept a promise. He said he'd get to the bottom of the Plamegate leak debacle and he finally did. Of course, he was at the bottom of the WH plumbing problem - admitting he declassified information for political gain

"I thought it was important for people to get a better sense of what I was saying in my speeches," Bush said, answering a question from an audience member at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies in Washington. "And I felt I could do so without jeopardizing ongoing intelligence matters."

Bush said he had authorized the release of the documents because some Americans questioned his reasons for going to war.

"So I wanted people to see the truth," he said. "And I thought it made sense for people to see the truth." [CNN]

Well, we see the truth all right. He continued to push discredited information about the Niger Uranium sale, went out of his way to try to discredit and get revenge against a critic by outing his wife's status in the CIA and continued to lie about it for the past few years. Of course, none of that compares to lying about a blowjob - does it.

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Sunday, April 09, 2006

PA Governor's Dog Law Advisory Board: power to the puppies puppy millers

Who better to site on the PA Dog Law Advisory Board and make decisions regarding what is and is not acceptable in all matters of breeding and kenneling dogs than Nathan Myer. After all, if you look at the picture to your left you will see one of Myer's one beautiful dogs bred in his Lancaster puppy mill. I received an email the other day from the friend of a friend who does more than her share of rescue work in addition to a full time job that pays the bills (not just her own bills, either). She sent the picture of the lonely carcass along with the following text:
The dog, probably a Dachshund, was examined by a forensics specialist in California for a court case against Myer. The body was found scattered in Myer's cornfield. There were bones everywhere. Myer operates a breeding facility in Lancaster County. He also sits on the Governor's Dog Law Advisory Board, advising the Governor and Secretary of Agriculture Dennis Wolff, on how dogs should be treated in kennels and breeding facilities in PA. Mr. Myer does not deserve to be on this Board if this is the way he treats his own dogs. This poor dog was just one of hundreds of thousands of dogs, used and then discarded, by Lancaster County's mass breeding operations. A breeding female, she never knew love, or kindness, or any degree of comfort. Just an unmourned death, then tossed in a field. Please send this on to your rescue friends and to as many people as you can. Stress that Myer sits on the state's Dog Law Advisory Board. Stress that Myer should be removed from the DLAB. Please contact Dennis Wolff at and tell him that dogs in Pennsylvania should not be treated like this.
I'm sure the email she sent to protest Myer's being in the position to enable continued "self" regulation was quite potent, but I'm equally sure it will take more than a few nastygrams to make sure something gets done about it. Please contact Dennis Wolff and/or Ed Rendell to make Pennsylvania safe from the advice of animal husbandry "experts" like Nathan Myer.

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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

GWU to student: get well and get out

Jordan Knott found himself facing a common dilemma his Sophomore year at George Washington University: depression. Understandable considering that his closest friend, who was originally supposed to be Knott's room-mate that year, killed himself by jumping from the fifth floor of a dorm near the end of the previous school year.

When Knott noticed his depression left him considering suicide, he took action and sought the help he knew he needed before he became a danger to himself or others. Unfortunately for Knott, he made the mistake of voluntarily checking himself in to the nearest hospital in order to receive care from GWU's very on pyshciatrists - the move got him suspended and barred from campus
Within a day and a half of arriving there, he got a letter from a GWU administrator saying his "endangering behavior" violated the code of student conduct. He faced possible suspension and expulsion from school, the letter said, unless he withdrew and deferred the charges while he got treatment. [WaPo]
Apparently, according to GWU's policy, a student doesn't have to actually do something (or even threaten to do something) that could endanger another or themselves, merely admitting experiencing feelings consistent with suicidal ideation and taking appropriate action to ensure you get treatment to prevent you from acting on those feelings automatically makes you an imminent threat. I wonder what the Psych department thinks of the school's actions.

Knott has, understandably, sued the school. On behalf of those students who will now avoid seeking help and, possibly, decompensate to the point of attempting suicide, I hope he wins.

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Monday, April 03, 2006

You've got a friend puppy mill in Pennsylvania

It's no secret that Pennsylvania is the land of the puppy mill and the epicenter of the breeding industry is in the heart of Amish country - Lancaster, PA - not too far from where I live. With the exception of a couple of fish and a hamster, all of my pets have been rescue. My first dog, an Aussie Shepherd-Collie mix that I had to quit cursing for a year to get, came from the Lahaska SPCA; Barfo the Wonder-kitty came from a cat rescue near Blacksburg, VA; Dudley (aka Tenacious D) was turned into the Chester County SPCA twice before he ended up with me and Dyna (who just met her grandparents yesterday) was a rescue from Hurricane Katrina who spent the better part of her 14 months of life in foster care. If I were interested in obtaining a pure-bred, I know there are more than enough available through rescue organizations that the very thought of going to a breeder is absolutely alien to me. I can't say the same for all of my friends, one friend has driven to Lancaster to get her two bischons another friend has a maltese that came from a breeder. I'm surprised that anyone not planning to show a dog, would go out of their way to get a dog from a puppy mill - especially people who aren't going out of their way to obtain all sorts of additional documentation about the genetic lineage (family medical history) and information about all the behavioral patterns of their dog's ancestors.

Here, in Pennsylvania, we have inadequate laws that are infrequently enforced
Few kennels have been closed permanently, and some — such as the former Puppy Love Kennels in Peach Bottom, which now goes by the name of CC Pets LLC — have been cited repeatedly. Puppy Love owners Joyce and Raymond Stoltzfus last year settled a case with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office after they were sued for selling sick or diseased dogs to 171 customers in seven states. The Stoltzfuses paid $75,000 in fines and are required to provide buyers with proof that dogs are examined by an independent vet at least 15 days before the sale or have the dog examined within two days of the sale. Lancaster Online
In a nutshell, what Pennsylvania needs is breeding/animal sale laws with teeth (logical laws, some of the suggested language in new laws will inadvertently, but negatively impact the ability of kennels offering daycare and boarding services to continue normal, animal conscious, operations) that are actually enforced.

Gov. Ed Rendell has proposed disbanding the 14-member Dog Law advisory boardbecause it has not been proactive enough, and has formed a panel that has recommended giving dog wardens the authority to follow up in cases where kennel licenses have been revoked, having the state inspector general investigate the most egregious violations of the dog law and hiring a special prosecutor to oversee major animal abuse and neglect cases.
Rendell said such a provision would have likely stopped Michael Wolf, a Chester County kennel owner whose license was revoked in 2004 but who continued to operate until last month, when the county SPCA seized his 337 dogs, of which many were sick.

"People say we lay down on kennels, but here they did the right thing, and the guy goes back in business, and we never know about it," Rendell said. "Once we close a kennel, we should go back and do spot checks."
New draft Regulations are available here. For more information about how you can help, please check out the Coalition Against Misery.

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Missing Monday

29-year old Billie Jean Trammell-Selferidge has been missing from her Stockton, CA home since March 6th when she went out for a "couple hours" with a woman she had recently met and never returned home. Trammell-Selferidge is 5'3" with blue eyes and long (below the waist), straight, blonde hair. At the time of her disappearance, she was wearing blue jeans, a green shirt and a black Raiders jacket.

If you have any information about her disappearance or whereabouts, please contact the Stockton PD at 209-937-8377.

Police are asking for the help of anyone who has information about the 27-year old Amoako Francis who was last seen in his Brooklyn home March 25th. Francis is approximately 5'8", weighs about 180 pounds and has brown hair & eyes. He was last seen wearing a white sweat suit.

If you have any information about his disappearance or whereabouts, please contact the
Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.

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