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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

New Mexico Authorities Remove 3 Children From Church Compound

Three children have been removed from a Strong City Compound which is for The Lord Our Righteousness Church after allegations of sexual abuse of minors came from an April 21-22 investigation.
Two girls and one boy, all under the age of 18, have been removed from Strong City compound which is located in northeastern New Mexico after an investigation which started on April 22, 2008, when allegations of inappropriate contact between minors and the adult leader of The Lord Our Righteousness Church, Wayne Bent, 66, who is also identified on the church's Web site as Michael Travesser.

A fourth child agreed to be interviewed by Children, Youth and Families Department. The girl used to live on the compound but now lives elsewhere with her parents.

The Lord Our Righteousness Church is called a "doomsday cult" and an "apocalyptic church", in reports from Associated Press and United Press International.

According to Romaine Serna, who is a spokesperson for Children, Youth and Families Department, the state police did not meet with any resistance when taking the children and goes on to say that she wasn't aware of any other youths at the compound.

Wayne Bent, 66, who is known in the church as Michael Travesser, established the church at a rural site called Strong City, north of Clayton in extreme northeastern New Mexico. He said God anointed him Messiah in July 2000.

According to the Strong City website for The Lord Our Righteousness Church, Bent/Travesser states, "There was never any child molestation, or adult molestation by anyone, including myself. There has never been “sex with minors” or anything remotely approaching that, and, I was never the initiator in any of the events. The Father in heaven came down upon each one who came to me to ask of me what they had been given to ask. And I never did what was asked, until the Father in heaven instructed me to do what had been asked of me, as well.

Serna said two children removed from the ranch were placed in foster homes, and one accepted voluntary placement, which usually means with a friend or relative.

From United Press International:

Bent and members of The Lord Our Righteousness Church are featured in an episode of the show "Inside" to be broadcast May 7 on the National Geographic Channel. In a clip of the show, two young females tell of lying naked with Bent, who has denied having sex with minors.

State officials have declined to reveal what information or from what source they received on April 21, 2008, that led to the removal of the children.


CPS Official: History Of Injuries Found in FLDS Children

463 children were removed from the FLDS compound in Texas and custody was awarded to the state of Texas pending further investigation of alleged sexual abuses to the female children. New reports show the abuse, might not have been limited to females.
In a story that continues to twist and turn like a badly written novel, the more information that comes out about the life of the children on the Yearning for Zion Ranch, which is a Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) compound, the more bizarre the largest custody case in America gets.

Long story short so I can get to the point of this post, a phone call led Texas Child Protective Services to the FLDS compound, the phone was later thought to have been a hoax, but investigators after going to the Ranch to investigate the claims, witnessed what they described as evidence of abuse, via young girls, under legal age, being pregnant and/or already having children.

CPS officials along with law enforcement then obtained a warrant based on their observations, which led to the removal of what was believed to be 416 children, but later they discovered it was 463 children as some of the teen mothers had first claimed to be 18 or older and officials determined they were not.

After the removal, Judge Barbara Walther conducted a mass hearing and awarded 60 day temporary custody of all 463 children to the state of Texas, pending further investigation and DNA testing to determine family relationships.

It was later reported that 31 out of the 53 young girls in custody were either pregnant or had already bore children and yesterday, one of the young girls gave birth to a bouncing baby boy.

Which brings us to the news being reported today, which is that state officials told legislators today that they are investigating the possible sexual abuse of some young boys taken from a polygamist sect's ranch .

These are the first reports regarding abuse to the boys of the compound, other than the cases of the "Lost Boys", who are often put out on the street as young as 13 years old.

In written and oral testimony provided to lawmakers Wednesday, officials with the state Department of Family and Protective Services said interviews and journal entries suggested that boys may have been sexually abused.

Furthermore, testimony has also been given that at least 41 children from the compound has suffered broken bones at young ages, which could or could not be from simply being young and careless. Many people break bones when they are children, so that in and of itself is not conclusive of any abuse.

Although Cockerell did not elaborate on the broken bones, a report by his department's Child Protective Services division said medical exams and interviews indicated "that at least 41 children have had broken bones in the past."

"We do not have X-rays or complete medical information on many children so it is too early to draw any conclusions based on this information, but it is cause for concern and something we'll continue to examine," the CPS report said.

FLDS sect members deny that any abuses were regularly occurring on the ranch, and an FLDS spokesperson, Rod Parker, says that the testimony given today was, "a deliberate effort to mislead the public."

The first set of hearings to determine whether the children from the FLDS compound stay in state custody or if some, any or all are allowed to return to the YFZ ranch, are set for May 19, 2008.


FLDS Teenager In State Custody Has a Baby Boy
31 out of 53 teenage FLDS girls pregnant or already had babies
FLDS Children Moved, Samples Sent, Senate Leader Speaks and FLDS Men On The Run?
Accommodations and Education For The FLDS Children- Women and Children Being Moved
More FLDS Children In Texas State Care Than Thought, Some Canadian Children
As DNA Testing Begins For FLDS Members, Questions of Lineage, Disease, and Law Arise
Polygamist Group, FLDS Children To Be Placed In Foster Homes This Week
Judge Orders Polygamist, FLDS Children To Stay in Texas State Custody
Update On The FLDS Custody Hearing Regarding the Children of the YFZ Ranch- Day Two Begins--All Day Updates
Custody Hearing for the Children of the Polygamist FLDS Sect Starts
The Forgotten Children of the FLDS Polygamist Group, The Lost Boys
The Children From the Polygamist YFZ Ranch
Update on Polygamist Compound Raid-Documents Unsealed And Beds In The Temple
Documents Detail Abuse at YFZ Ranch
Now 400 Children In Custody from Polygamist Compound- Updated, Second Person Arrested
Standoff at Polygamist Compound-Updated
Children Removed from Warren Jeff's Polygamist Retreat in Texas
Polygamist Sect Leader Warren Jeffs Found Guilty In Utah


Firefighters Battle Blazes in Three States

It is that time of year again and firefighters are battling wildfires in Nevada, Arizona and California today.

In Reno, Nevada, 350 plus firefighters are battling a 1,200-acre blaze that officials say is 50 percent contained, has seen major wind gusts cause approximately a dozen firefighters to be treated by paramedics after dirt, ashes and cinders were blown into their faces, 5 of which were brought to the hospital.

In Arizona, on the edge of the Grand Canyon National Park, firefighters are seeing some progress in their battles against a 2,000-acre wildfire.

The X fire has burned an estimated 3.1 square miles, or 2,000 acres, of ponderosa pine about three miles south of the Grand Canyon National Park boundary.

As of Wednesday morning, there was zero percent containment, but Denk says that may change as crews assess the work.

The blaze was spotted just after noon Tuesday and rapidly grew, with very erratic fire activity.

No injuries reported there.

In California, firefighters are still battling a blaze that they have been fighting since Saturday, which saw over 1,000 evacuated from their homes, to which they have since returned to. The public schools in Sierra Madre have also reopened.


Marines in need of MAIL

We speak quite a bit of the sacrifice our fine military men and women make when they sign up, offer their lives to protect America and US citizens, get sent far from home and courageously serve this great country.

Family men and women are not the only ones that sacrifice and volunteer to go abroad and risk their lives, but others, with no family and no ties make the same sacrifice take the same risks to defend our country.

Robert, a friend from the Patriot Guard Riders just emailed and pointed me to Joe's Daily Thoughts, where we find that recently he asked that people send his cousin some mail and packages in Iraq to show the kid some support while he was away from home, and his cousin received an overwhelming response, to which he addresses in a thank you letter to Joe.

There are more like Joe's cousin, Marines that are getting no mail, no packages or communication with their fellow countrymen to which they are risking their lives for , so..... below I am going to list some names and an address where mail, care packages, cards, anything that readers feel like sending, can be mailed to.

From the email:

It has been brought to my attention that there are a group of US Marines based from Great Lakes Naval Base, now deployed in Iraq, who are not getting any mail. Not a note, not a love letter, not a care package has been received by them.

Retired Marine and dear friend Marty Smith has been in communication with Col. Curt Ames, USMC, and according to Col. Ames' contact in Iraq, these Marines never get any mail. I was asked to "drum up some business" for these outstanding Americans. I know that from past requests like this one, many of you have stepped up beyond anyone's imagination and delivered "big time" to our heroes overseas.

Let us show these Marines we are here for them and we support them and care and love them.

Cpl Adams, Michael D
Sgt Bleuer, Cassandra D
Cpl Calderon, Jose
Cpl Camp, Jesse S
Sgt Carson, William R
Cpl Finney, Bryan D
Cpl Greenblatt, Justin M
LCpl Larose, Katie L
Cpl Magallon, Felipe D
Cpl McFalls, Williams H
Sgt Morales, Francisco
Cpl Morris, Eric D
Cpl Salais, Zuzi E
LCpl Warda, William D
LCpl Zhevakina, Yelena S

They are all at the same address:

UIC 41126
FPO, AP, 96426-1126

It is in your hands now folks..... let us show them some love.


Is Wright's Recent Rhetoric Simply Revenge?

The flurry of media attention, blog postings and television commentary since those controversial videos of Barack Obama's pastor, Jeremiah Wright, came to light publicly, has been relentless.

The reason for this is because of the content in those videos, many people, including Obama, tried to rationalize those words, saying the "sound bites" were not representative of the pastor himself. People claimed that Wright's words were taken out of context and Obama himself claimed that the "God Damn America" comments and other racial and anti-American ideologies were not the "norm" for Jeremiah Wright's sermons and that the majority of them were not things that Barack Obama had heard when he sat in a pew at the Trinity United Church of Christ for almost 20 years.

For weeks Obama had tried to get beyond his association with Wright and his offensive comments, explaining in a speech given in Philadelphia, right after the videos became public, that he had heard controversial comments from Wright but nothing to the level of what those sound bites had shown.

Many people accepted Obama claims at face value, asserting that he went far enough in distancing himself from Wright's words without disowning the man himself, others still found themselves asking how a man could sit in church, listening to a pastor for almost 20 years and not know what the man was about? Still more would go on to ask publicly, was Obama speaking out against Wright's rhetoric only because he had to for the sake of politics and his political aspirations?

While Obama dealt with the fallout of this highly controversial topic, Jeremiah Wright laid low, wasn't being seen publicly very often, yet when he was, his words were recorded and reported on at length, until many believed that Obama would be able to rise above the controversy and move on.

Then Wright took to the stage again with a series of appearances and public interviews, which many reported as direct attacks, not only against America and politics and a number of other issues, but direct attacks against Obama, even going as far as to suggest that the only reason Obama distanced himself was because he was a politician and had to.

One of his direct quotes along those lines was, "
"Politicians say what they say and do what they do because of electability. He had to distance himself because he's a politician...Whether he gets elected or not, I'm still going to have to be answerable to God."

After a number of interviews with Wright, when it became obvious that this whole issue was going to blow up again, Obama finally disavowed Wright's publicly stated views, saying, "The person I saw yesterday was not the person that I met 20 years ago. His comments were not only divisive and destructive, but I believe that they end up giving comfort to those who prey on hate, and I believe that they do not portray accurately the perspective of the black church."

Obama also declared that if Wright thought his comments were simply "political posturing", then Wright did not know him very well.

The questions in many a mind stayed the same, was Obama's speech too little too late? Did he really disagree with Wright? If so, why would he and his family sit in Wright's church for almost 20 years and listen to him? Why did Obama refer to Wright as his spiritual mentor or guide? Why did Obama originally try to rationalize Wright's rhetoric when it first became public and say he was "like family?

Finally, why would Obama declare in one speech "I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother", and in the next speech addressing the issue, doing just that by saying, "I gave him the benefit of the doubt in my speech in Philadelphia, explaining that he has done enormous good in the church. But when he states and then amplifies such ridiculous propositions as the U.S. government somehow being involved in AIDS; when he suggests that Minister Farrakhan somehow represents one of the greatest voices of the 20th and 21st century; when he equates the U.S. wartime efforts with terrorism – then there are no excuses. They offend me. They rightly offend all Americans. And they should be denounced, and that’s what I’m doing very clearly and unequivocally here today"?

The are all legitimate question being seen asked from both sides of the political aisle, in newspapers, blogs and television news shows.

There is another question though that seems to resound loudly and that is, why is Jeremiah Wright doing this? Why is he continuing to make these controversial statements, in public, even knowing how badly he could damage Barack Obama's political aspirations?

Why is he directly attacking Obama and giving Obama's opponents more ammunition against him?

The New York Post has an article where they say a source close to Jeremiah Wright tells them, it is revenge because Wright felt that Obama betrayed him back in January of 2007, when Obama rescinded an invitation for Wright to stand up with him when Obama was announcing his candidacy for president.

According to the Post's source, "After 20 years of loving Barack like he was a member of his own family, for Jeremiah to see Barack saying over and over that he didn't know about Jeremiah's views during those years, that he wasn't familiar with what Jeremiah had said, that he may have missed church on this day or that and didn't hear what Jeremiah said, this is seen by Jeremiah as nonsense and betrayal."

"Jeremiah doesn't care if he derails Obama's candidacy or not . . . He knows what he's doing. Obviously, he's not a dumb man. He knows he's not helping."

The source goes on to say that Wright's stated reason is to defend black churches, but that his real motivation has been much more personal and that Wright, as well as other senior members of the church, "believe that Obama has betrayed over 20 years of their supposed friendship."

This source is not the only one that believes defending black churches is not what Wright's motivation has been, as evidenced by comments made from black ministers from some Los Angeles churches.

Rev. K.W. Tulloss of Weller Street Missionary Baptist Church in Boyle Heights, says, "This didn't have anything to do with the black church -- it was basically an attack on the individual message he proclaimed, which hurt some individuals. My own members were offended by Rev. Wright's words. His views have cast a wedge between people, and that's the exact opposite of the unity Jesus represented."

Rev. John J. Hunter of First AME, says, "I am hurt and disgusted that one of the most historic political campaigns in the nation's history could be derailed by this pastor who has been needlessly callous, careless and insensitive in his remarks."

Some simply think the delivery and inflammatory nature of the remarks was unnecessary, but the theme is the same, no one really understands the motive behind what Wright is doing.

Which leaves us with a final question... if Wright has been causing all this controversy with his recent interviews after Barack Obama refused to disown the man, while disowning his words.... what will Wright do now that Obama has finally tried to sever the ties completely as of yesterday's speech?

Is anyone else waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak?


A Global Race War?

Cross posted from Radarsite

Warning: This article has a PC rating of "X"

Are we in the beginning stages of a global race war?
Not yet, thank God. But consider this.

Islam, through the obvious successes of Al Qaeda and its affiliates in intimidating and embarrassing the West, has touched the heartstrings of many of the colored peoples of this world, and re enforced that seething undercurrent of post-colonial victimization that runs at varying depths throughout the Third World. Thus, thanks to the cynical machinations of the Islamists, our world is in danger of being divided once again -- as Japan and Germany both attempted to divide it in their own special ways, for their own special purposes -- between those supposedly exploited peoples of this world and their purported oppressors, who, they have once again convinced themselves, are the cause of all of their troubles -- past, present and future.

By ingeniously tapping into this latent but persistent strain of reverse racism, Islam has presented itself as a champion of the Third World in its never-ending battle to break free from the cruel shackles of white suppression. This is how this very real Clash of Civilizations is beginning to play itself out -- even here in America with the recently uncovered Wright/Obama anti-white crusade.

Unfortunately, the great and undeniable flaw in this seductive paradigm is that, with a few notable exceptions, whenever and wherever the black man, or, if you prefer, the man of color, has achieved a certain amount of autonomy and broken away from the yoke of overbearing white governance the consequences of this new found freedom have almost invariably been bloody and chaotic. Whether we look to post-colonial Africa, or those sordid post-colonial kingdoms and ruthless dictatorships of the Middle East -- or even our own American cities where the black majority has taken hold of the reins of government, the results are invariably the same: society self-destructs and the crime rate soars. Outside investments quickly dry up and corruption runs rampant. Whether the example is Haiti, Philadelphia, Rhodesia, Algeria or New Orleans, the same bloody post-colonial, post-white governance downward-spiralling scenario plays itself out.

This is such an explosive subject. It has become almost impossible to talk about it without creating a huge furor, or nowadays, without actually breaking some new multiculturalist law. Yet, somehow, to deal with the truths of our world, to even attempt to solve some of its most critical problems, we must find the courage to discuss these issues openly, honestly, and without malice.

What, then, is my point? Am I merely trying to prove that whites are somehow superior to the colored peoples of this world?
But it is undeniable to all but the most committed ideologues that by almost any standard Western civilization has proven itself superior to a lot of other civilizations. What, then, is the proper message to those people in some of those other civilizations who feel disenfranchised and betrayed by history? Give up? Accept the inevitability of the white yoke forever? Learn to live with the fact that you were somehow born naturally inferior? Hell no! I repeat -- Hell no! This is the hopeless and deadly message of our enemies. This is the negative message of inverted racism. This is the darkness of Islam.

Our message is simply this: Cut out the crap. Start being truthful with yourselves and quit blaming others for all of your troubles -- the Crusaders, the white colonialists, the Jews, the WASPS -- The Victimization Card only gives you a losing hand. If you attach yourself to the victim's cause, the cause of hatred and resentment and revenge, you will lose your God-given chance to succeed. Look at history and try to be honest. Did the Victimization Card ever really work? It certainly doesn't look that way to me. The Victimization Card has given us endless strife, a lot of wars, and a few Indian casinos, but has seldom if ever helped a suffering people.

No, the way out of the darkness is to follow the light of truth. If your way hasn't proven successful, then dump it. Attach yourself to those other ways of thinking and acting that have proven to be successful. Go with the winners. The winners don't have colors, they have civilizations. Don't lay back and sulk with the losers. Are you listening, Palestinians? Don't plot revenge, plot success.

This whole volatile subject has nothing whatsoever to do with race or color, but everything to do with civilizations, and everything to do with truth.

Of course, this whole earth-shaking subject is to be considered taboo. We are forbidden to even broach this subject. We are all, we are being admonished every day, equal. All peoples are equal, all religions are equal, all races are equal. If one group of people gets ahead of another group of people in terms of civilizational development it must have been perpetrated through some kind of trickery or malfeasance. Not by hard work or merit. Not by finding a system that works.

Damn it. Islam is succeeding by suppressing the truth of its real tyrannical and totally intolerant nature and presenting itself as the rallying banner of global victimization. And we, in the Judeo-Christian West, have yet to find a viable method to counter the deceitful foundations of this growing movement. All of the unsuccessful or disgruntled people of this world are now to become united under Islam in their struggle against all of the successful people of this world. In fact, in this new-fangled version of religious Marxism, individual success itself is now to be considered the ultimate evil. The price for this apparent unity demanded by Islam of all of its subjects and converts is the same price that all tyrants have demanded throughout the course of human history -- submission, or in another word, "Islam".

Are we, then, in the beginning stages of a global race war?
Not yet. But, take heed -- if the Islamists continue to seduce converts into their bleak world vision, it could soon become one.

And then, God help us all, no matter what color.

Note: I almost forgot to give proper credit to Maggie's Notebook, for her great article about the utter uselessness of the UN. This is what actually got me going. You've got to read it.

A Savage Idea--And It's Worth a Look

Cross posted from Miss Beth's Victory Dance here.

On my nightly drive home, I listen to Savage. I don't always agree with him, but sometimes he has an idea worth repeating and getting out there. This is one of those ideas and it deals with the gas pump prices.

It's short, sweet, to the point--and could work. It would break OPEC's monopoly on foreign oil to us and get us off foreign sources of oil, thus leaving our dependence on US oil alone.

As I'm writing this several hours after hearing it this evening, these are MY words and not Savage's. I'm paraphrasing what he said.

1. For each illegal mexican immigrant in the United States right now, Mexico should send us the equivalent number of barrels of oil-per DAY-for free. This would cover the costs inherent to the taxpayer for costs incurred by the illegals on our soil in education, welfare, identity theft, crimes committed and healthcare. If mexico balks at this, send our military to seize the oil and add those costs to the barrels per day owed to us.

This would be anywhere from 11 to 20 million barrels PER DAY.

2. Drill ANWAR and forget about the caribou--the same caribou who were allegedly in danger from the pipeline before and who have, in actuality, thrived due to the warmth in the pipeline. The caribou are not in danger from drilling ANWAR.

3. Flat out take the oil from the Iranians and Iraquis--admittedly I may have heard this one incorrectly--and mark it as for services rendered. Do this until the costs we've incurred in protecting the middle east are paid and the ANWAR fields are producing profitably. We're already being accused of doing so, might as well make it true, right?

Simple--a three point plan, no more dependence on foreign oil, Mexico pays us for their illegal immigrants (Mexico might be spurred into finding ways to keep their citizens home instead of coming here--again my thought, not what Savage said), and the caribou thrive.

Too bad it makes too much sense. If it didn't it might have a chance of going somewhere.

Also posted at Digg! here; GOP Hub here; Real Clear Politics here (unless they've once again resumed censoring me); Wake Up America here; A Newt One here and Grizzly Groundswell here

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

FLDS Teenager In State Custody Has a Baby Boy

Recently news came out that 31 out of the 53 teenage girls that were removed from the Yearning for Zion Ranch, were pregnant or had already had children. One of those children had a healthy baby boy today.
Early April, Texas Child Protective Services (CPS) removed 463 children from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) compound on the Yearning for Zion Ranch, after CPS officials witnessed that underage children on the ranch were pregnant or already had babies.

After two days of chaotic child custody hearings, (day one shown here, day two shown here) Judge Barbara Walther, gave temporary custody of all 463 children to the state of Texas, pending further investigation and DNA testing.

Today one of those 53 young girls gave birth to a bouncing baby boy, with sect members, CPS workers and law enforcement officials stood watch outside the maternity ward.

Child Protective Services spokesman, Patrick Crimmins, says, "The boy is healthy and the mother is doing well."

This brings the total of children up from 463 to 464 that are not in state custody. It was originally assumed that there were only 416 children but later officials determined that some of the young girls claiming to be 18, were not and were actually underage.

Rod Parker, a spokesman for the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, contends that the girl is 18, but Crimmins says, "The mother is younger than 18."

Under Texas law, children under the age of 17 generally cannot consent to sex with an adult. A girl can get married with parental permission at 16, but none of these girls is believed to have a legal marriage under state law.

The first set of hearings to determine whether the children from the FLDS compound stay in state custody or if some, any or all are allowed to return to the YFZ ranch, are set for May 19, 2008.

Of the 463 children, 250 are girls and 213 are boys. Children 13 and younger are split, 197 girls and 196 boys, but there are only 17 boys aged 14 to 17 compared with the 53 girls in that age range.


31 out of 53 teenage FLDS girls pregnant or already had babies
FLDS Children Moved, Samples Sent, Senate Leader Speaks and FLDS Men On The Run?
Accommodations and Education For The FLDS Children- Women and Children Being Moved
More FLDS Children In Texas State Care Than Thought, Some Canadian Children
As DNA Testing Begins For FLDS Members, Questions of Lineage, Disease, and Law Arise
Polygamist Group, FLDS Children To Be Placed In Foster Homes This Week
Judge Orders Polygamist, FLDS Children To Stay in Texas State Custody
Update On The FLDS Custody Hearing Regarding the Children of the YFZ Ranch- Day Two Begins--All Day Updates
Custody Hearing for the Children of the Polygamist FLDS Sect Starts
The Forgotten Children of the FLDS Polygamist Group, The Lost Boys
The Children From the Polygamist YFZ Ranch
Update on Polygamist Compound Raid-Documents Unsealed And Beds In The Temple
Documents Detail Abuse at YFZ Ranch
Now 400 Children In Custody from Polygamist Compound- Updated, Second Person Arrested
Standoff at Polygamist Compound-Updated
Children Removed from Warren Jeff's Polygamist Retreat in Texas
Polygamist Sect Leader Warren Jeffs Found Guilty In Utah


2 Arrested, 1 Still On the Run in Triple Homicide in Peoria, AZ.

(Clockwise: Daniel Bueno, David Alvidrez, Bobby Hernandez)

Robert "Bobby" Hernandez, 31 years old, is still on the run, wanted on suspicion of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, burglary and kidnapping.

Omar Guzman, 28, Jeni Rivera, 26, and Pablo Guzman, 22, were all found dead in a home in a home in Peoria, Arizona, on April 15, 2008, after a fourth victim, Maria Diaz, 26, survived a gun shot to the head and dialed 911 to report a burglary.

Diaz was treated by paramedics and was taken to the hospital where she survived her injury.

The police investigation led them to Glendale, AZ., where they arrested Daniel Bueno, 17, and David Alvidrez, 18, for suspicion of first-degree murder and burglary. Bueno was also charged with attempted first-degree murder and kidnapping.

Hernandez is described as a Hispanic man, 5 feet 7 inches tall and 170 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. He is considered armed and very dangerous. A reward is being offered through Silent Witness -- 480-WITNESS -- for information leading to his arrest.

It is believed the killings were a result of a drug robbery gone bad.


Gathering Of Eagles Face Off Against Code Pink and Declare VICTORY!!

The Gathering of Eagles (GOE) has a good day in new Jersey as they faced down members of Code Pink.

In solidarity with our friends in Berkeley, on Sunday, April 27th, The Gathering of Eagles told Susie Benjamin and her friends from Code Pink that they were not welcome in New Jersey. What a great day for Eagles!

Susie slinked into sleepy little Northern New Jersey, certain she could defile our state without comment. Imagine the surprise when “Peacers” came down Route 23 and discovered it lined with American flags and patriots there standing up for our troops! The first sign that greeted them? “Code Pink…NOT WELCOME IN NEW JERSEY!”

Eagles began arriving at 10 am, in advance of the luncheon, from all over the state of New Jersey and from New York, Connecticut, Virginia and Bev Perlson, from the Band of Mothers, came all the way from Chicago! In all, we were more than 30 strong.

As each car entered the parking lot to the hotel hosting the luncheon, Eagles were there to stand up for our troops. While organizers of the lunch claimed 250 guests, unless the cars passing us were clown cars holding a few dozen each, their numbers were no where near this…in fact, it was a rather pathetic turnout for them.

Code Pink’s actual feelings about free speech for all except themselves, came within the first 15 minutes of their typically late arrival with a call to the police to remove the Eagles from the PUBLIC street in front of the hotel.

The Eagles had been on the street for almost two hours before the Pinkos actually arrived and were without incident or disturbance. Arriving cars were not delayed one single second and no entrance was impeded. They wanted us removed simply because they did not want us to exercise our free speech….despite the platitudes they claimed when a few of them scurried up the driveway to harass us.

Three police cars arrived and, after confirming that the Eagles were legally entitled to be there and were causing no disruption and merely exercising free speech, the police bid us a friendly good-bye, much to the dismay of the “Peace” advocates.

Read the rest at the GOE site... GO EAGLES!!!

More on demonstrators against Code Pink from The Star Legder:

"The original Medea murdered her children," read one protest sign outside The Regency House hotel on Route 23 in Pompton Plains, where the dinner was held. "Medea Benjamin is murdering ours."

Some 18 people from groups that oppose anti-war protests as "anti-American" hoisted signs condemning CODEPINK as supporting terrorism.

"I'm here to support our soldiers," said Beverly Perlson, founder of the group Band of Mothers. Perlson, whose son served four tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, flew in from Chicago to attend the rally in Morris County. She said CODEPINK protesters, who have agitated for the closure of a military recruitment center in Berkeley, Calif., are not just "anti-victory," they are "pro-defeat."

"They want to see us lose. I don't understand this," Perlson said, after a heated exchange with CODEPINK supporters. "I've been referred to as the mother of a terrorist. ... My son isn't a terrorist."

Read the rest...

The fact is that military supporters and groups such as GOE and parents of military members in Iraq as well as parents that have lost children in the war, afmilies and those that support our military, are not going to stand back and allow Code Pink to malign and disparage our troops.

This is not the 60's, this is not Vietnam and veterans from around the country will not allow that to happen again.

Code Pink and all groups like them will learn that where ever they decide to declare battle against our troops, Americans will stand up against them.

I will end this with a portion of the original GOE article, one that touched me:

And thank you, most of all, to that young soldier who stopped to thank us. You, sir, are why Eagles soar.

That sums it up nicely.

Barack Obama Denounces Jeremiah Wright- Too Little, Too Late?

[Update below]Video and full transcript of Obama's remarks with Q & A section found below.

When Jeremiah Wright's racist, anti-American sermons came to the light of day and were blasted from one end of the Internet to another, via video, showing his words coming from his mouth, Barack Obama had a chance to disown and denounce the words and the man, but he did not go far enough on either front to make a difference or to stop the associations from some that made the point that if Barack Obama sat in a pew listening to his pastor, Jeremiah Wright, for almost 20 years, on some level he must have agreed with those beliefs.

After the firestorm started, Barack Obama took to the airwaves and televisions sets, and tried to distance himself from the words of his pastor, while still saying Wright was "like family to me."

Obama took it a step farther in his speech, and said:

I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother – a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.

I asked at the time if Obama went far enough or if he simply rationalized Wright's rhetoric and that refusal to disavow, disown and completely sever those ties with Wright, has just came back to bite Obama...hard, as Wright makes the rounds in more highly public appearances and speeches.

Jeremiah seemed to lie low for a while, but recently he has made a slew of public appearances, seeming to suggest that the only reason Barack Obama was distancing himself at all was because it was politically expedient.

Wright made comments like, "Politicians say what they say and do what they do because of electability. He had to distance himself because he's a politician...Whether he gets elected or not, I'm still going to have to be answerable to God."

Other of Wright's recent comments were covered here yesterday, and instead of toning his rhetoric down, Wright seems to have stepped it up a notch or two, which had bloggers and pundits all over, declaring that Obama had to disown the man himself.

But what he said today extemporaneously, the way in which he said it, the unrepentant manner in which he reiterated some of his most absurd and offensive views, his attempt to equate everything he believes with the black church as a whole, and his open public embrace of Farrakhan and hostility to the existence of Israel, Zionism, make any further defense of him impossible. This was a calculated, ugly, repulsive, vile display of arrogance, egotism, and self-regard:

Barack Obama just made a speech I caught on television (I will provide the transcript when it is available), where he finally denounces the man, not just the words.

A couple of Obama's comments are, "The person I saw yesterday was not the person that I met 20 years ago. His comments were not only divisive and destructive, but I believe that they end up giving comfort to those who prey on hate, and I believe that they do not portray accurately the perspective of the black church.

They certainly don’t portray accurately my values and beliefs."

An other strong statement from Obama when he says, "If Reverend Wright thinks that’s political posturing, as he put it, then he doesn’t know me very well and based on his remarks yesterday, I may not know him as well as I thought either.”

One of the strongest and clearest denunciations yet from Obama was when he said, "I gave him the benefit of the doubt in my speech in Philadelphia, explaining that he has done enormous good in the church. But when he states and then amplifies such ridiculous propositions as the U.S. government somehow being involved in AIDS; when he suggests that Minister Farrakhan somehow represents one of the greatest voices of the 20th and 21st century; when he equates the U.S. wartime efforts with terrorism – then there are no excuses. They offend me. They rightly offend all Americans. And they should be denounced, and that’s what I’m doing very clearly and unequivocally here today."

Reactions to Obama's speech today are varied as Talk Left head lines with "Obama Live Press Conference on Wright: Throws Wright Under the Bus", and Andrew Sullivan titles his with, "Obama Divorces Wright," and that is just two of the first reactions.

The comments from Jeremiah Wright are not new, not unheard and simply reinforced what was said in the original videos of his sermons, yet it has taken months for Obama to realize that Wrights words and statements do not match Obama's own belief systems?

The questions that voters will have to answer for themselves are whether this denunciation of Wright is too little, too late and is it real or was it done for political expediency?

[Update] A portion of Obama's beginning remarks, via YouTube.

[Update] Transcript of Barack Obama's remarks regarding Jeremiah Wright.

CDC: 1 in 4 US Children Not Protected Against Preventable Disease


More than 20 percent of the nation’s two-year-olds are not fully immunized against infectious diseases to which they are especially vulnerable.
New research has been released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that shows that 20 percent of America's children are not getting the Immunizations needed to be protected and stop the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases.

According to Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, there are now vaccines to protect children against 15 diseases before age two. Despite that, more than 20 percent of the nation’s two-year-olds are not fully immunized against infectious diseases to which they are especially vulnerable.

She goes on to say, "A substantial number of children in the United States still aren't adequately protected from vaccine-preventable diseases. The suffering or death of even one child from a vaccine-preventable disease is an unnecessary human tragedy."

The lead investigator of the study, Elizabeth Luman of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, says that immunizations are, "important for both the health of the child and the health of the public."

She goes on to point out that the recent measles outbreaks in California and Arizona has been mostly caused by people who have not been vaccinated at all and that have not complied with the appropriate timing and age recommendations of vaccine doses.

"Vaccination at the wrong age or the wrong interval is not a major danger from the perspective of eventual immunity induced by the vaccine," said Dr. Michael Pichichero, professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

"The public health issue is the lack of full protection from a disease until the vaccination series is completed. … The recent various outbreaks of measles, mumps and other vaccine-preventable diseases brings attention to the risks parents need to know they are accepting."

The study and those involved in the study assert that much of the reason for so many children not being properly immunized could be the complicated schedule that has to maintained to get these vaccines at the right time because they become ineffective to stopping infection or spread if the shots are gotten too early, too late or too close together.

Dr. Robert Frenck, who is a professor of pediatrics at Cincinnati Children's Hospital and a committee member of the American Academy of Pediatrics' committee on infectious diseases, points out another reason why parents might not be as vigilant in making sure their children are protected from preventable diseases.

One reason for lack of strict adherence to the vaccine schedule may be a fading consciousness among today's parents of what these immunizations are protecting children against. Frenck said he remembers seeing a childhood friend in an iron lung, the result of polio.

"It scared me to death," he said. "Kids these days, and probably most adults, don't even known what an iron lung is -- and that's because of immunization."

So far, smallpox has been completely eradicated from the planet thanks to immunizations, while great gains have been made with measles and polio.


In this day and age diseases like smallpox are rarely even spoken about, yet before the vaccine was created for smallpox, half those infected died from the disease and those that survived were seriously maimed, through severe scarring of the skin with deep pock marks, blindness and infertility.

(Man with smallpox. Public Health Images Library- Photo CDC)

In was the development of the smallpox vaccine that eradicated the disease. There is no specific treatment for smallpox disease, and the only prevention is vaccination.


Polio is a viral disease that can damage the nervous system and cause paralysis. Since polio immunization has become widespread in the United States, cases of polio are rare. However, polio remains a problem in many parts of the world.

In 1952, there were 21,000 paralytic cases of polio reported in the United States.

At one time poliovirus infection occurred throughout the world. Transmission of wild poliovirus was interrupted in the United States in 1979, or possibly earlier. A polio eradication program conducted by the Pan American Health Organization led to elimination of polio in the Western Hemisphere in 1991. The Global Polio Eradication Program has dramatically reduced poliovirus transmission throughout the world. In 2005, only 1,948 confirmed cases of polio were reported globally and polio was endemic in six countries.

Although I have addressed just two vaccine preventable diseases CDC has a full list diseases to which there are vaccines to protect against.

We live in an age where some of the diseases listed are a distant memory we read about in history books or hear about from our older relatives, but because vaccines were created to help eradicate some of those diseases, many of us have never actually seen what these diseases can do, nor do we have direct memories of the massive outbreaks which throughout history have killed millions.

You can find out more about vaccines and immunizations at the CDC, including schedules, answers to some basic questions as well as worries and concerns about vaccines and everything you need to know about vaccine preventable diseases.


Former Teacher Arrested For Third Time For Sexual Relations With Underage Student

A former middle school teacher who was arrested twice for having sex with underage boys, has been arrested again on Monday after being caught in the home of one of those children.
Stephanie Ragusa, 29, is a former teacher for the Davidson Middle School, in Tampa and was first arrested on March 13, 2008, for having a sexual relationship with a 14 year old boy.

According to the sheriff's investigation, Ragusa had three sexual encounters with the teen between Oct. 1, 2006, and May 4, 2007 — twice in her car and once in her apartment, sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said.

Ragusa was arrested again on April 15, 2008, for having sex with another minor who was 15 years old and she was charged with lewd and lascivious battery and two counts of sex with a minor.

Investigators at that time said Ragusa and the underage child had over 20 encounters over the time frame of a several months between February 2007 and March 2008. They also allege that she provided condoms and alcohol to the minor.

Investigators say text messages found on Ragusa's cell phone led them to discover the relationship. They also say the victim identified Ragusa based on two tattoos that can only be seen when she is not wearing pants.

Despite the arrest, Ragusa was all smiles when she left the Orient Road Jail late Tuesday. She was released on $22,500 bond.

Yesterday, April 28, 2008, Ragusa was arrested again, this time she was caught at the home of one of the boys she had previously been charged with having sex with.

According to detectives, the underage boy contacted them and informed the authorities that he has been exchanging text messages with Ragusa and that the last time they had sexual relations was on April 5, 2008.

The two continued to stay in contact from April 5 until April 28, when detectives spotted Ragusa leaving the boys home.

After investigating, deputies say they learned the two had sex, and that the witness they had interviewed saw Ragusa and the boy kissing at the house. Detectives say the witness videotaped them kissing using his cell phone, and then turned the video over to deputies.

The witness also told detectives that when he went into the boy's home, he heard noises coming from the boy's bedroom. Investigators say the witness told them it sounded like Ragusa and the boy were having sex, and they say the victim later confirmed that they had.

Detectives were told that Ragusa supposedly went to the boys home to discuss the previous charges and according to what the teenager told the police, the "two ended up in a familiar place, his bedroom."

Ragusa is now being held without bond at the Hillsborough County Jail, awaiting a hearing for a bail revocation hearing because a judge had previously ordered that if she was arrested again, he would revoke her bail.

According to Lt. Asteasuainzarra, Ragusa is not speaking to investigators and he says, "I can assure you that we are doing everything we can right now to make sure that she is not out at liberty to do this again."


Monday, April 28, 2008

One Dead and at least 200 injured as storms sweep through Virginia

(This Suffolk, Virginia, house was destroyed by an apparent tornado Monday.--Photo CNN)

As massive storms swept through central and southeastern Virginia, one person has been reported dead and at least 200 reported injured.

Suffolk city spokeswoman Dana Woodson said one person died when two apparent tornadoes passed through the city Monday afternoon. Bob Spieldenner from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management said at least 200 others were injured there.

At least 18 others were injured when the storm hit Colonial Heights, Spieldenner said. Three of those were taken to hospitals.

Sentara Obici Hospital in Suffolk was damaged, but remained operational and was accepting patients, Spieldenner said. The injured also were being taken to another hospital in the city, Woodson said.

"Multiple buildings have been destroyed, homes have been destroyed," Woodson said. She said the areas around the hospital and in the community of Driver were hardest hit.

Virginia's Governor, Tim Kaine, declared a Virginia-wide state of emergency as hazardous weather continued through the central part of the state.

Jeff Judkins, the city's emergency management coordinator, said there also were reports of people trapped inside cars. It's the worst damage he's seen in the area, he said.

An emergency shelter will be established by Monday night, Suffolk spokeswoman Dana Woodson said.

There does seem to be a question as to whether the death was a result of the storms or unrelated.


31 out of 53 teenage FLDS girls pregnant or already had babies

The pervasive pattern of underage marriages and teen pregnancies that originally gave Texas Child Protective Services (CPS) the grounds to remove 463 children from the Yearning For Zion Ranch in Texas, has just been highlighted with the news that out of 53 female teenagers among those children removed, 31 of them are pregnant or have already had children.

Despite all the rhetoric from the mothers about the children not being abused at the FLDS compound, this disturbing pattern shows massive abuse of underage girls that were "spiritually" married to older men and then sexually abused, on a consistent basis and with the mothers doing nothing to stop this abuse.

All 463 children have been placed in temporary foster care, most at large facilities to keep as many of them together as possible.

Given these latest numbers about the child abuse that ran rampant at the ranch, the likelihood of those children being returned to that home, is dwindling as more news and tests come out.

From the raid to the initial 2 day hearing that came afterward, in which Judge Barbara Walthers gave the state 60 days temporary custody and ordered DNA testing off all the children and some adults (some adults did not provide samples for testing), we have reported on this.

All previous posts are listed below for those that are just catching up with this news.

FLDS Children Moved, Samples Sent, Senate Leader Speaks and FLDS Men On The Run?

Accommodations and Education For The FLDS Children- Women and Children Being Moved

More FLDS Children In Texas State Care Than Thought, Some Canadian Children

As DNA Testing Begins For FLDS Members, Questions of Lineage, Disease, and Law Arise

Polygamist Group, FLDS Children To Be Placed In Foster Homes This Week

Judge Orders Polygamist, FLDS Children To Stay in Texas State Custody

Update On The FLDS Custody Hearing Regarding the Children of the YFZ Ranch- Day Two Begins--All Day Updates

Custody Hearing for the Children of the Polygamist FLDS Sect Starts

The Forgotten Children of the FLDS Polygamist Group, The Lost Boys

The Children From the Polygamist YFZ Ranch

Update on Polygamist Compound Raid-Documents Unsealed And Beds In The Temple

Documents Detail Abuse at YFZ Ranch

Now 400 Children In Custody from Polygamist Compound- Updated, Second Person Arrested

Standoff at Polygamist Compound-Updated

Children Removed from Warren Jeff's Polygamist Retreat in Texas

Polygamist Sect Leader Warren Jeffs Found Guilty In Utah


Terre Haute, Indiana, Plant Accident Kills Two

Two contractors from Sterling Boiler were killed in an explosion in a Terre Haute, SG Solutions coal gasification plant.

The accident occurred just before 11 a.m. today when a flanged opening on a high pressure vessel containing synthetic gas failed. Federal, state and local officials have been notified, and the investigation is ongoing. There is no danger to those nearby the plant.

The victims names are being withheld until their families can be notified.

SG Solutions is a national leader in the development of synthetic gas for use in the generation of electricity for homes and businesses. As one of only two Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) facilities in the United States, SG Solutions has received national recognition as a flagship project of the Department of Energy Clean Coal Program.

It has not been determined what caused the leak that led to the explosion and Sterling Boiler acknowledged the accident and offered condolences to the workers' families.

Sterling Boiler Controller Ken Wahl issued a written statement this afternoon stating:

"Sterling is assisting local authorities in every way possible in determining the cause of the explosion,” the statement said. "Our hearts and prayers are with the families of these individuals.

Production at the plant stopped immediately following the incident and will resume once an investigation is concluded and all safety procedures are evaluated. Prior to today's incident the facility had experienced no fatalities since opening in 1995.

Sympathies go out to the families.


Wall Street journal Sees Modest Rise, New York Times Continues Steep Fall

The Editor and Publisher shows that once again the New York Times is showing a decline in circulation while the Wall Street journal sees a modest rise.

The New York Times has often blamed the rise of Internet media for its decline in advertising and circulation, ignoring the fat that they no longer report just the facts but more often report according to political agenda.

The Wall Street Journal on the other hand has shown a massive increase of political reporting on the front page and yet they still have seen a slight rise in their circulation.

The difference in the Wall Street Journal since Rupert Murdoch took over can be seen from the style of reporting and the front page content, especially in political cover, which shows that from Dec. 13, 2007 through March 13, 2008, political coverage more than tripled, jumping to 18 percent compared with 5 percent in the four months before the ownership change.

The biggest jump in numbers, in fact, has been in political coverage on the front page.

(Click image to enlarge for better reading)

Murdoch's intentions to be competitive with the New York Ties seems to working to his advantage even though the WSJ has only seen a jump of 0.3 percent, which is very modest, when compared with the 3.5 percent daily and 4.5 for Sunday drop for the New York Times, the numbers take on a whole new meaning.

The WSJ has the same competition from the Internet as the New York Times does, so perhaps the New York Times should start addressing the topic of their agenda reporting vs reporting of actual news.

If not, their numbers will continue to see the type of decline that has plagued them for months on end now.


Supreme Court Upholds Indiana's Photo ID Law

In a 6 to 3 vote the Supreme Court rejected a constitutional challenge over Indiana's Photo ID Law, which would require voters to show a government issued identification to be allowed to cast a ballot at elections.
In the case Crawford v. Marion County Election Board (07-21), the Supreme Court voted to reject a constitutional challenge to Indiana's Photo ID law, which requires people to have some form of government ID to be allowed to vote in an election.

According to the Indiana Secretary of State website, a government ID must meet 4 criteria to be acceptable to use for voting purposes.

1. Display your photo

2. Display your name, and the name must conform to your voter registration record. Conform does not mean identical. Below are examples of names that would conform to "Robert John Crew"

* Robert John Crew
* Robert J. Crew
* Robert Crew
* R. John Crew
* R. J. Crew

* Bob John Crew
* Bob J. Crew
* Bob Crew
* John Crew
* J. Crew

3. Display an expiration date and either be current or have expired sometime after the date of the last General Election (November 7, 2006)

* Including Military IDs with expiration does of "INDEF"

4. Be issued by the State of Indiana or the U.S. government

In most cases, an Indiana driver license, Indiana photo ID card, Military ID or U.S. Passport is sufficient.

The 65 page PDF file, Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, the main opinion said " Valid neutral justifications for a nondiscriminatory law, such as SEA 483, should not be disregarded simply because partisan interests may have provided one motivation for the votes of individual legislators."

JUSTICE SCALIA, joined by JUSTICE THOMAS and JUSTICE ALITO, was of the view that petitioners’ premise that the voter-identification law might have imposed a special burden on some voters is irrelevant. The law should be upheld because its overall burden is minimal and justified.

The 6 Justices that voted to reject the challenge were, Justice John Paul Stevens, Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Anthony Kennedy, Justice Samuel Alito, Justice Antonin Scalia and Justice Clarence Thomas.

The three justices that dissented were, Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and David Souter.

More than 20 states require some form of identification at the polls. Courts have upheld voter ID laws in Arizona, Georgia and Michigan, but struck down Missouri's. Monday's decision comes a week before Indiana's presidential primary.

The decision also could spur efforts to pass similar laws in other states.

Indiana does provide free ID's to the poor and also allows those without ID to cast a provisional ballot and then allows them 10 days to show up at the county courthouse to provide identification or otherwise show the ability to prove who they are.

The ACLU issued an immediate press release stating their disappointment in todays decision which stemmed from an appeal of two lower court decisions that upheld the state's law requiring voters to present government-issued photo IDs in order to vote.

"Today's decision minimizes the very real burden that Indiana's voter ID law places on tens of thousands of eligible voters who lack a government-issued identification while accepting at face value Indiana's unsubstantiated claim of voter fraud," said Ken Falk, Legal Director of the ACLU of Indiana and lead counsel on the case.

Justice Stevens did address that very issue in the ruling by stating that Indiana providing free identification as well as they 10 days to bring verification to the courthouse would also "help reduce the burden on people who lack driver licenses."

Justice Stevens wrote the main opinion which ends on page 24, and starting on page 25, Justice Scalia writes a concurring opinion, then on page 31, Justice Souter writes his dissenting opinion. Bryers dissenting opinion starts on page 61.

This ruling comes at a crucial time with Indiana's primaries nearing but even more crucial is that the Supreme Court ruling now upholds the Voter ID Law before the 2008 presidential elections.


Three Children Left Home Alone Saved From Fire

(Christina Page, age 28)

Three Children, a 3-year-old and 2-month old twins, were left alone by their 28-year-old mother, Christina Page, while she ran to the store, leaving food on her stove which caught fire and threatened the children's lives.
A woman upstairs from the apartment the children had been left alone in, noticed the smoke and called 911, which resulted in police and firefighters rushing to the apartment in Webster, Massachusetts, and rescuing the three children and the family dog.

According to police, the owner of the building, Anne W. Kuria, lives on the second floor and noticed smoke just after 4 p.m. She called 911, went into the first-floor apartment to investigate and found heavy smoke from food burning on the stove. The wall behind the stove was also on fire.

Ms. Kuria used a wet towel to try to extinguish the fire, but the towel caught fire and she fled. When police arrived, she told them she believed there were children inside the apartment. Police described her as frantic.

According to Assistant Fire Chief, Robert Gryncewicz, he feared the worst when he discovered two unresponsive infants lying on a bed in the apartment and says, "It was a scary thought seeing them both lying there, you start thinking the worst right away."

The children were taken to the Hubbard Regional Hospital and transferred to UMass Memorial Medical Center, where they were treated for smoke inhalation and then will be turned over to the custody of the Department of Social Services.

According to police, Christina Page left the children alone for approximately one hour.

Police waited for the mother to return home and arrested and charged her with three counts each of wantonly permitting substantial bodily injury to a child and wanton reckless behavior causing risk to a child.

If convicted of permitting substantial bodily injury to a child, she could face 5 years in prison.

According to the Webster Massachusetts Police Department press release, the officials that risked their lives to save those three children were, Officers Tobby Wheeler, Patrick Perry, Donald Southall, Assistant Fire Chief Robert Gryncewicz, and Sgt. Michaela Kelley.


WildFires Near LA. Forces Residents Out and Schools to Close

Approximately 1,000 people were told to leave their homes on Sunday as wildfires burned and officials admit they only had the fire about 30 percent under control.

All Sierra Madre schools were closed on Monday. Sierra Madre is in Los Angeles County, about 13 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles.

Shelters have been opened for those forced out of their homes.

(An airplane drops flame retardant on a slope Sunday in Sierra Madre, California.)

At one point early Monday, fire crews had cause for concern with the 400+ acre wildfire burning in Southern California, when winds unexpectedly shirted and sent embers towards nearby homes.

A Sierra Madre spokeswoman, Elisa Weaver, says there is about 500 firefighters bravely battling the blaze with the help of helicopters and water-dropping air tankers, in the daytime.

"This is pretty serious," Weaver said. "Some of these areas have not burned in over 40 years."

Sierra Madre spokesman James Carlson said Sunday evening that crews had the fire 30 percent contained. Light winds and rising humidity had aided firefighters, who hoped to have the blaze fully contained within four to seven days, Carlson said.

The evacuations would be in place until at least 6 a.m. Monday.

So far, two firefighters have sustained minor injuries, one with heat exhaustion and another with a strained knee.

The fire heads toward the Angeles National Forest and according to Battalion Chief Tim Davis of the Forest Service, "It's very steep, inaccessible terrain, and it's very heavy brush. Very difficult and arduous labor for these crews. You can't get bulldozers into the majority of where these fingers of fire run."

Although the exact cause of the blaze has not been determined, officials have stated that it was man-made and was not caused by lightening or other natural causes.

Marc Peebles, of the Southern California Incident Management team says it will be four days to a week before the fire might be fully contained, depending on weather conditions.

There is yet another fire, in San Diego, burning on 50-acres in what fire officials described as open space. Officials said the fire was not threatening homes and there were no calls for evacuations.

[Update] Firefighters lose ground and containment is only at 23 percent, down from the 30 percent quoted earlier.


Jeremiah Wright Still Unashamedly Racist

Cross-posted from Faultline USA

Contrary to media reports, Jeremiah Wright hasn’t been in self-imposed exile since Obama distanced himself from Wright’s anti-American and racist remarks. On the contrary, Wright has continued his whirlwind speaking tour across America. Friday he was interviewed by Bill Moyers of PBS, Sunday he delivered two sermons at Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas, where he finally received a belated award from Brite Divinity School (see previous articles below), then he flew to Detroit to address the NAACP, and this morning his gave another self-gratification speech to the National Press Club.

So what’s up with Wright?

To summarize Juan Williams’s assessment on Fox TV following Wright’s speech this morning, Wright is saying “If you are attacking me, you are attacking the Black Church.”

Yesterday, Wright said that he was being “crucified.” Today the Black Church is being crucified.

Williams went on to observe that Wright never explained his inflammatory statements. “It was all about ego and self-gratification for Wright. . . Wright isn’t looking out for Obama. . .It’s all about Wright and Black Theology.” Williams said that Wright “Is playing racially divisive politics. You don’t hear that from the Black Pulpit. It’s not typical.”

I watched the entire speech and the Q&A session following the speech. His speech lasted less than fifteen minutes but it was packed full of inflammatory quotes that should come back to haunt Wright as well as continue to plague Obama. Another 20-30 minutes were devoted to answering pre-screened questions.

Here’s the gist of the speech:

Wright said that he will be opening a two day symposium of Black Theologians, scholars, and social workers etc., and said that Obama has called for a dialog on the Black Church. He opened his speech by referring to the media’s playing of the “out of context” sound bites saying, “It’s not an attack on Jeremiah Wright. It is an attack on the Black Church.”

Then Wright went into a brief history of the Black Church in America and attempted to distinguish his “Prophetic Theology of the Black Church” from James Cones’ “Black Liberation Theology.” What are the differences? Basically none except that Wright’s theology goes beyond “white supremacy” to the prophets of the Old Testament. He hinges his theology on the 61st chapter of Isaiah and on Luke 4.

According to Wright, his theology is a theology of liberation, transformation, and “ultimately, reconciliation.” Why did he insert the word “ultimately”? According to Wright, the white church in Europe and North America is a “theology of white supremacy.”

Here’s a summary of Wright’s speech concerning what whites have to do in order to become reconciled to the Black church in America.

God’s desire is for a radical change in a social order that has gone astray. God’s desire is for a radical transformation. This is the heart of Liberation Theology. What must we do in order to become reconciled? “Children of God repenting for past sins against one another.”

Apparently, Wright thinks whites have a long, long way to go before they deserve to be reconciled to the Black Church.

I wonder what kind of additional repentance Wright has in store for Whites? Hint, go listen to Obama’s new pastor’s sermons and, can you spell Reparations and residtribution???

With regard to the “white supremacy” church in America, Wright quoted Dr. William Augustus Jones to explain how one’s theology determines one’s sociology. Really? Can we get permission from Wright to apply that same standard to Obama???

I wonder if Wright considered that if that’s truly the case, then why shouldn’t all Americans have a right to ask Obama to explain his own theology in terms of comparison and contrast to Trinity United Church of Christ and Jeremiah Wright?

The Q&A session offered some hard questions that Wright attempted to turn to his favor.

When asked about the “chickens coming home to roost” post 9/11 sermon he responded:

“Have you heard the whole sermon? (He waits for a response) Well that nullifies that question.” Then Wright went on to say that (1) “I was quoting the ambassador of Iraq,” (2) What Wright said “comes from the Bible”, and (3) “You cannot do terrorism against other people and not expect it to come back on you.”

Asked if he was patriotic and loved Aemrica, Wright said:

“I served six years in the military. Does that make me patriotic?” Then he waved a flimsy salute.

Hummm. Looks like he doesn’t want to give a direct answer on that one.

Wright was asked about his relationship with Louis Farrakhan, the acting head of the Nation of Islam. Wright implied that he had been hurt by his relationship with Farrakhan because Farrakhan has once called Zionism a “gutter religion.” But Wright went on to say, “Farrakhan and I don’t agree on everything. Farrakhan is one of the most important voices in the 20th and 21st centuries. I won’t put down Farrakhan any more than (Nelson) Mandela would put down Castro.”

Asked about Sen. Obama’s disavowal of him, Wright reminded the audience that Obama had not disavowed him just “distanced himself from me because he is a politician.” Wright said that he was downstairs praying with Obama before Obama went upstairs to talk. What does this imply?

When asked about his own motivation, Wright said, “If Obama had not said what he said he would never get elected.” Then Wright added, “I’m not running for office . . .(then with a kidding grin) I’m hoping to be V.P.” As a matter of fact, he said that again at the end of his speech. Interesting, and I bet he’s serious.

Asked about what evil our government is capable of, he said, that based on the Tuskegee experiment, “I believe our government is capable of anything.”

Asked if he likened Israeli policies to apartheid, he denied saying that and said that Israel has a right to exist but needs to sit down and work out a solution – reconciliation.

Wright refused to comment about Bill Clinton and said that “I came to talk about the church not politics.” Funny, he could have fooled me.

Wright was asked how the Black and White church could reconcile. He said that many have already “taken great steps to do so. To reconcile, whites must understand the injustice that was done.”

He would start educating at the earliest levels by using “Infusion curriculum” – telling the true story.

When asked if Islam is the way to salvation, Wright said, “Jesus said, ‘Other sheep have I not of this fold.’”

So what’s Obama to do?

Wright, like a dirty old piece of gum, is permanently stuck to Obama’s shoe. Obama can’t shake him. Granted, Obama hasn’t tried very hard to convince most voters that he’s all that upset with Wright, but why should he? If Obama were to come out even stronger against Wright or his own Black Liberation church, he’d lose the votes of his primary supporters on the left.

Some speculating yesterday on the news had the Obama camp actually redirecting Wright in an attempt to rehabilitate his image. The idea is that if Obama can stop attacks on Wright, he can win the blue collar white votes he badly needs. The only way to do that is to turn this thing on his head. Apparently, the far left is taking the ball and running with it.

Here’s the new spin. To question Wright or Obama is tantamount to white racism!

Digg it!!!

For more background on this continuing story read:
(1)Brite Divinity School to Honor Rev. Jeremiah Wright, (2) Brite Divinity School Jeremiah Wright Update, (3) Brite, Jeremiah Wright, and the Out of Context Card, (4) The Brite-Jeremiah Wright Debate Continues, (5) Brite Divinity School Accused of Violating Its Own Covenant, and (6) Jeremiah Wright’s 9/11 Sermon “In Context”, and (7) An Outraged Active Democrat Tells Brite Divinity School Off, (8) The Clever Rev. Jeremiah Wright

Obama Opens The Door and McCain Walks Through

Recently John McCain was criticized by members of the far right for publicly expressing distaste for an ad that the NCGOP was to run which associated Barack Obama and Jeremiah Wright. McCain went as far as to ask the NCGOP to not run the ad.

Jeremiah Wright, for those unaware, has been Obama's pastor for almost 20 years and his sermons which are available to the public, created a firestorm in the media and blogosphere, with speeches where he said "God Damn America" and declared 9/11 was the chickens coming home to roost, along with a number of other controversial statements that have been labeled as racist by many. (You can see some of those statements at the article I wrote at the time where I provided video)

McCain has tried to stick to legitimate political issues in his campaign and although he annoyed members of the conservative base with his request about that ad, centrists, moderates and Independents applauded his stance.

Then Barack Obama literally opened the door for John McCain to address the Wright issue, by telling Fox News, in an interview with Chris Wallace, that the topic of Jeremiah Wright was a "legitimate political issue".

WALLACE: Question: Do you think that Reverend Wright is just the victim here?

OBAMA: No. I think that people were legitimately offended by some of the comments that he had made in the past. The fact he's my former pastor I think makes it a legitimate political issue. So I understand that.

When a politician opens the door, widely, for another politician to walk through, they should not be surprised when it happens.

Although McCain still does not appreciate the NCGOP's advertisement associating Obama with Wright, realizing that Obama has just admitted his associations are legitimate political issues, McCain finally starts to address them as such.

In Florida, John McCain had some things to say about the issue saying that Wright's comparison with the Romans at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion to the Marines, was "beyond belief."

But Mr. McCain took a different approach at a news conference here when he criticized Mr. Wright for, as the senator paraphrased him, “comparing the United States Marine Corps with Roman legionnaires who were responsible for the death of our Savior, I mean being involved in that” and for “saying that Al Qaeda and the American flag were the same flags.”

“So I can understand, I can understand why people are upset about this,” said Mr. McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee for president. “I can understand why Americans, when viewing these kinds of comments, are angry and upset.”

An Obama spokesperson, Hari Sevugan, criticizes McCain for addressing a topic that Obama himself had just admitted was a "legitimate political issue", by saying, "By sinking to a level that he specifically said he’d avoid. John McCain has broken his word to the American people and rendered hollow his promise of a respectful campaign.”

Once Obama let that genie out of the bottle, there is no putting it back in and the topic of Jeremiah Wright is not the only topic John McCain is addressing in regards to Barack Obama's associations.

But in recent days, Mr. McCain has stepped up his attacks on Mr. Obama on other fronts. He questioned Mr. Obama’s association with William Ayers, a former member of the radical group Weather Underground. And he also said of a supportive statement that a member of Hamas had made about Mr. Obama: “It’s clear who Hamas wants to be the next president of the United States.”

That comment about Hama's refers to an interview on WABC radio a couple of weeks ago, with a top Hamas political adviser, Ahmed Yousef, where he stated that Hamas hopes Obama wins the presidential election.

“We don’t mind–actually we like Mr. Obama. We hope he will (win) the election and I do believe he is like John Kennedy, great man with great principle, and he has a vision to change America to make it in a position to lead the world community but not with domination and arrogance,” Yousef said in response to a question about the group’s willingness to meet with either of the Democratic presidential candidates.

Hamas is listed as a terrorist organization by Canada, Israel, Japan, and the United States, and is banned in Jordan.

On a conference call with bloggers on Friday, John McCain addressed the Hamas issue by saying, "I think it is very clear who Hamas wants to be the next president of the United States. I think that the people should understand that I will be Hamas’ worst nightmare."

“I never expect for the leader of Hamas . . . to say that he wants me as president of the United States,” McCain said. “I think it is very clear . . . why they would not want me to be president of the United States. So if Sen. Obama is favored by Hamas, I think people can make judgments accordingly.”

Obama's questionable associations, terror groups publicly stating they wish him to become president, his pastor's insistence on continuing to stay in the spotlight with public speeches that further highlight racial divisions at a time when Obama is trying to "convince party leaders he can appeal to white, blue-collar voters critical to capturing the White House", are all legitimate political issues as well as shining a spotlight on the theology and guidance that Barack Obama has sought and practiced for almost 20 years.

These issues may or may not impact Obama in the Democratic contest for the nomination for presidency with Hillary Clinton, but as Clinton is undoubtedly arguing to the superdelegates which will determine who is nominated for the Democratic party, these definitely will be major issues in the general election where one of the two Democratic contenders will be up against John McCain.