March 31, 2011

You can't make this stuff up

Teen suspended for outing porn star school secretary
From, Published On Sat Mar 26 2011

A teenager has been suspended from classes after revealing on a Facebook page that an office assistant at his Quebec City-area high school was moonlighting as porn star in her off-hours.

According to news reports, the 14-year-old alleged administrators at Etchemins Secondary School in Levis, Que., also threatened him with criminal charges. 

School board spokesman Louise Boisvert confirmed the youth was suspended last Thursday and that administrators are to meet with him and family members Monday. But, she said, “the school never threatened expulsion or to press charges against him.”

Samantha Ardente is shown in a photo taken from a
Facebook page. Ardente, an office worker at a
Quebec City-area school, is awaiting word on her
fate after she was suspended for appearing in a
pornographic movie.

The clerical worker, who goes by the porn-actress name of Samantha Ardente, was suspended with pay last week after authorities learned a student had spotted her in the porn video Serial Abusers 2.

The boy had asked her for an autograph. Ardente wouldn’t give him one and asked him to keep quiet about the matter. The boy then created a Facebook page in her name, complete with a racy photo of her in her undies.

As word of the Facebook page spread around school, Ardente went to her bosses and told them of the situation.

Boisvert, the board spokeswoman, said a decision should be made on Ardente’s fate by next week.

While officials acknowledge Ardente hadn’t done anything illegal, the board said her cinematic activities don’t correspond with the values being taught at the school, across the St. Lawrence River from Quebec City.

Ardente has worked for the school board since 2002 and at Les Etchemins school for the past two years.

The boy was reportedly asked to take the Facebook page down but said he couldn’t because he had created it under the Ardente pseudonym and now cannot access the administration.

Star wire services


March 30, 2011

Biggest tax dodgers, 2010 edition

Isn't it interesting that the corporation spending the most on D.C. lobbying, pays the least in income taxes.

Whooda thunkit?

March 29, 2011

Why America is no longer exceptional

This is one of the more damning reports I believe I’ve ever read.

“81 percent of seniors from our top fifty-five colleges and universities failed a test of basic U.S. history questions drawn from a national exam designed for high school seniors.  Only 22 percent knew, for example, that the words “government of the people, by the people, for the people” came from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.  If most American youngsters don’t learn about their nation’s history in the K-12 years, they are unlikely ever to learn about it.”

From a History News Network article. Read the whole story HERE.

The sad part about this is we don’t seem to ever learn that putting dogmatists in charge of educational content contributes to the decline of understanding and knowledge. Judging from recent ballot victories, this might be just what the majority of Americans want.

The discussion in this report is about history, but social studies and science are also under dogmatist attack. Witness a recent opinion piece in Forbes, another in the Palm Beach Post, and some of the work coming from the Texas SBOE.

I'm sorry. The people who vote Republican want conservative, but that is not what they are getting. The Republican party long ago married itself to the "social" conservatives, and those now make up the vast majority of the biggoted dogmatists who have floated to the top of the right wingnut cesspool.

I'm all in favor of fiscal conservatism, but that goal will remain unachievable so long as these science deniers and historical revisionists remain in power. Their brand of "conservatism" more resembles the dream of the Taliban than that of the Founders of our nation. 



Willie Nelson Could Sing for His Freedom in Texas Pot Case

Published March 29, 2011
| NewsCore

HUDSPETH COUNTY, Texas -- The prosecutor in Willie Nelson's marijuana possession case said the country music legend could get off with just a fine if he agrees to sing one of his songs in court, TMZ reported Monday.

Nelson, 77, was busted at a border patrol checkpoint in Sierra Blanca, Texas, en route to Austin on November 25 last year. He was arrested but released when he posted $2,500 bond at Hudspeth County Jail.

The prosecutor in the case said he was willing to let Nelson off with a $100 fine if Nelson performed his song "Blue Eyes Smiling in the Rain" in the courtroom, TMZ said. The prosecutor reportedly said the song would count as Nelson's community service.

If Nelson chooses not to accept the prosecutor's offer, he could face a maximum of 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine if convicted when he appears in court, at a date yet to be decided.


Did he really say that?

Newt was in Texas Sunday… addressing John Hagee’s Cornerstone Church. The man has no clue, and I wish he would just shut his trap and go home.

"I have two grandchildren — Maggie is 11, Robert is 9... I am convinced that if we do not decisively win the struggle over the nature of America, by the time they're my age they will be in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists and with no understanding of what it once meant to be an American."

How stupid can a human be? Hagee is a zealot... a religious extremist akin to the Taliban, and even McCain rejected his endorsement.


March 28, 2011

Blasphemy is a victimless crime

In a March 24, 2011 story in their online Religion, Faith and Ethics feature, Reuters reports on the ongoing efforts of the UN’s Islamic bloc to pass what they euphemistically called a Religious Anti-defamation Resolution. This effort, led by the Saudis, began in 1998. I mentioned it rather critically in my first post on this blog.

The Reuters headline gives great hope that the World Body may now be ready to move beyond the 12-year effort by Islamic member countries, which was actually just a thinly veiled attempt to criminalize blasphemy, specifically of Islam, on a world scale.

Western nations in alliance with Latin American allies have consistently opposed the defamation concept, and on Thursday, joined by Muslim and African states, the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva approved a plan to promote religious tolerance. The new approach would switch the focus from protecting beliefs to protecting people.

Leonard Leo, chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, is quoted in the article as saying, “What is needed now is for countries, such as Pakistan, that have blasphemy laws to eliminate them.”

Pakistan is far from the only offender. Canada, Brazil, Egypt, Greece, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Sudan and the UAE could be added to the list. Australia and New Zealand have laws on their books that are not enforced, and Britain had a Christian-specific blasphemy law until just three years ago.

A full version[PDF] of the resolution may be found HERE.

H/T Hemant


March 27, 2011

From the "Truth is Stranger" department...

You just can’t make this stuff up!

“[T]he entire scene was basically a stage, to help actor Steven Seagal’s TV show, Lawman.”

Watch the video HERE.


Sunday Funnies

March 26, 2011

Music break

A little picking for Saturday.

Stevie Winwood with Eric Clapton performing a Blind Faith tune, Can’t find my way home. Winwood wrote the song and sang lead when it was first released in 1969 on the only album the band ever recorded. The original album art caused a bunch of controversy in the U.S.

The album was later released with an alternate cover, since several large record stores refused to carry original.

The original album had only six tunes, and every one was a hit. My favorite was an 18-minute version of Ginger Baker’s, Do what you like. A later deluxe version of the album was release containing several previously unreleased jam sessions.

I’ll close with a briefer concert version of Do what you like.


March 23, 2011


March 22, 2011

Church set up to hide income, indictment alleges

A man posing as an attorney to give tax advice helped the owner of a drywall business evade income taxes on more than $4 million in receipts, according to a seven-count indictment issued by a federal grand jury in Fort Worth. The indictment alleges that, to hide the client's income, Phillip Ballard helped him create a fradulent trust and a purported church, known as Chapel of Light Ministries. Prosecutors accuse Ballard of continuing the scheme from 1997 to 2005. Ballard faces one count of corrupt interference with internal revenue laws and six counts of aiding in the preparation of fraudulent individual income tax returns, according to the indictment. U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks annouced the indictment on Monday. 

March 22, 2011

A test of the “Good Faith” exception to the Exclusionary Rule

…in which the Court explores a professor’s complex argument to protect the integrity of the Court’s Fourth Amendment precedents.

Justice Stephen G. Breyer observed…

“[O]nce we do that it’s so complicated, only 14 people are gong to understand it and they’re not going to understand it, either.”

Justice Samuel Alito dryly comments...

“The Court invented the exclusionary rule.  The Court invented the good faith exception to the exclusionary rule.  Is there anything to prevent the Court from inventing a new exception to the exception to the exclusionary rule?”

Read the rest HERE

March 20, 2011

Sunday Funnies