"If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. The free mind is not a barking dog, to be tethered on a ten-foot chain."

Adlai E. Stevenson Jr.

A Library in Your Pocket

October 9, 2012

Sandusky To Die In Prison

Convicted child predator Jerry Sandusky was sentenced today to a minimum 30 year sentence. Under Pennsylvania's prisoner 'good time' calculation law,  the actual amount of time Sandusky must serve before he can even be considered for parole is just over 29 years.  

At 68 years old, one thing is certain: Jerry Sandusky will die in prison.  That's today's good news.  The bad news is that Sandusky will be appealing his conviction, thus causing his many victims to continue looking over their shoulders as the monster who destroyed their childhoods will now haunt their futures.

There is only one thing Jerry Sandusky can do at this point to salvage an iota moral redemption: admit and genuinely repent his crimes, beg for undeserved forgiveness from his victims and participate honestly with forensic researchers so that the other Jerry Sanduskys still out there brazenly raping and molesting America's children can better be identified, captured and locked away.

Since we know Jerry Sandusky is incapable of acting morally and being honest,  his many victims will have to settle for the modicum of justice that comes with knowing Sandusky will die in prison then rot in hell.

July 24, 2012

Why Mike McQueary should never be allowed to coach again

There is no disputing that the grand jury and criminal trial testimony of Penn State assistant football coach Mike McQueary was instrumental in finally ending Jerry Sandusky's  disgusting and long unfettered sexual abuse of children.  But be clear: Mike McQueary is no hero.

Nor is he by any stretch of the imagination a whistleblower.  

At best, McQueary is a  spineless coward who literally turned his back on the young child he personally saw being raped by Jerry Sandusky in 2001. At worst,  McQueary is an opportunist who capitalized on his eye witness status and traded his willingness to keep Penn State's dirtiest secret in exchange for continued employment on its  revered football coaching staff 

While McQueary's  obvious spinelessness may explain his initial failure to rescue or protect in any manner the child he witnessed being raped by Sandusky,  in the decade plus that followed with many more children being raped by Jerry Sandusky, how can Mike McQueary possibly justify to himself let alone anyone else why he continued to work at a university that openly perpetuated a relationship with Jerry Sandusky and condoned his continued involvement with children. 

Importantly, the Freeh report found that under existing law McQueary was required to report that he witnessed Jerry Sandusky raping a young child to the Penn State police department and that McQueary failed to do so. (Freeh Report at page 118.) 

According to McQueary's testimony at the Curley-Schultz preliminary hearing, when he phoned head coach Joe Paterno a day after he witnessed Sandusky raping a child in the  Penn State showers, this was their conversation:

        "I said, Coach,  I need to come to your house and talk to you about something.

        He said, I don't have a job for you. And if that's what it's about, don't bother coming over. 

        I said, Coach,  it's about something much more serious. I need to come over and see you.

        And he said, okay. Well, you better come over then."

Before McQueary told Coach Paterno about  witnessing Sandusky's sexual abuse of a child, Paterno made it clear to McQueary, who was then just a graduate student/assistant coach, that there was no job for him at Penn State.  But after McQueary met with Paterno and disclosed to Paterno the sexual abuse of a child by Sandusky that he had personally witnessed in the Penn State football showers, then miraculously there was a job for McQueary and there continued to be a coaching job for McQueary for all the years Paterno continued as Penn State's head football coach.

Why did a Penn State football coaching job suddenly materialize for McQueary?  


In my opinion, the answer is obvious. For Joe Paterno to engage in a successful cover-up of Sandusky's disgusting sexual abuse of children at Penn State, Paterno needed to keep McQueary in the fold. 

Certainly, Paterno could not count on McQueary keeping the lid of Sandusky's criminal conduct if McQueary left Penn State. 

So McQueary suddenly had the inside track to becoming Paterno's heir apparent and Paterno had a key piece to the cover-up he instigated. For these two men it was a seemingly win win situation. 

Of course, that equation only worked if you ignored the children Jerry Sandusky was victimizing, something both McQueary and Paterno demonstrated they were more than willing to do.


June 29, 2012

Even if Trayvon Martin threw the first punch, Zimmerman is guilty

George Zimmerman has admitted that he saw Trayvon Martin engage in no criminal activity; that, he nonetheless began following Trayvon Martin.

Zimmerman's taped call to the police made while he was observing Trayvon, proves that Trayvon ran away from Zimmerman, not towards him in any threatening manner. When the police dispatcher could obviously hear from the sounds of Zimmerman's truck door opening and closing as well as Zimmerman's heavy breathing that Zimmerman had gone from simply observing Trayvon from his vehicle to exiting the vehicle and chasing after him -- after telling the dispatcher that Trayvon was taking off -- the police dispatcher told Zimmerman not to follow Trayvon, but Zimmerman's heavy breathing shows he continued his pursuit.

Imagine you are young Trayvon Martin. A young man simply talking to a girlfriend on the phone when he suddenly realizes that a stranger  -- a stranger we now know to be George Zimmerman -- is watching him. We know from Trayvon's girlfriend who was on the phone with him that Trayvon was alarmed by Zimmerman and we know she told him to run. And run he did.  Importantly, Trayvon  did not run toward Zimmerman to confront him. He ran away  from Zimmerman to escape this frightening stranger. And what did George Zimmerman do -- this wannabe cop with documented anger management issues -- he got out of his vehicle and began chasing Trayvon.

Zimmerman's taped call to the police proves that while he chased Trayvon he never made any attempt to identify himself as a Neighborhood Watch. Instead, Zimmerman chased after Trayvon without giving Trayvon any clue that Zimmerman meant him anything but harm.

Clearly, Trayvon was running scared from a stranger who was chasing after him.

So what if Trayvon decided that his only recourse was to stop and defend himself. Trayvon's girlfriend heard Trayvon ask Zimmerman. "Why are you following me?" Zimmerman himself has admitted that his response to Trayvon was to reach in his pocket. Zimmerman claims he was reaching for his phone.

What would you think Zimmerman was reaching for if you were 17 year old Trayvon Martin? A phone or a gun?

There is only one person who had the legal and moral right to stand his ground that night in Sanford, Florida and it was not George Zimmerman.

Zimmerman claims that as he was fishing around in his pocket, Trayvon started punching him in the face.  Zimmerman alone created the circumstances that caused Trayvon Martin to reasonably conclude that he needed to fight for his life. 

When did Zimmerman show his gun? Since he killed Trayvon, we will never know. Zimmerman claims as he struggled with Trayvon , he screamed for help.  Cries for help were, indeed, heard by nearby residents and recorded on calls to 911.  But the expert evidence shows that is was not George Zimmerman who was yelling for help in this life and death struggle.
The world is a dangerous place and Florida's 'stand your ground' law, perhaps, represents an understandable response.  It is vital to remember, however, that this law was intended to shield Trayvon Martin from prosecution had he prevailed in defending himself against George Zimmerman, the man who got out of his vehicle and chased after Trayvon for no reason known to Trayvon other than to cause him harm.  

Ironically, when George Zimmerman applied in 2008 to the Seminole County Citizen Law Enforcement Academy, he justified his assault on a law enforcement officer in 2005 on the grounds  the  undercover officer "never told me he was an officer and [he] assaulted me first."

Under the law, an "assault" is an intentional act by one person that creates an apprehension in another of an imminent harmful or offensive contact with another.

On February 26, 2012, Zimmerman  assaulted Trayvon when he intentionally chased after Trayvon. As a result of Zimmermn's assaultive conduct, Trayvon Martin  had every reason to be apprehensive that Zimmerman represented an imminent harm to him.

Thus, even if Trayvon ultimately stood his ground to defend himself against the assailant George Zimmerman who was chasing him and even if Trayvon threw the first punch, the evidence shows George Zimmerman is guilty of murder.


George Zimmerman is a flight risk who should stay in jail

George Zimmerman, the killer of 17 year old Trayvon Martin, is a proven liar and likely flight risk. When he first sought and was granted bail, Zimmerman and his wife Shelley lied to the court, claiming they were destitute, when in truth, they had collected hundreds of thousands of dollars through George Zimmerman's website, that begged for donations.  

Since their deceit was revealed, Shelley Zimmerman has been charged with perjury. Not only did George Zimmerman fail to disclose how greatly he has financially profitted from killing Trayvon Martin , Zimmerman also concealed and failed to turn over a second passport that he had obtained in 2004.

The court should be highly suspicious as to why Zimmerman concealed the very substantial amount of money at his disposal and the fact he had a second passport.   

The court might also consider that since George Zimmerman's mother, Gladys Zimmerman, is Peruvian, George Zimmerman may well hold or be able to obtain dual citizenship with Peru. Moreover,  if Zimmerman fled to Peru, it is entirely possible that Peru might refuse an extradition request from the United States for his return since the Peru Extradition Treaty with the United States allows Peru to refuse an extradition request if it believes the request is politically motivated.

Considering that nationwide protests demanding justice for Trayvon Martin were required to trigger the ultimate arrest of George Zimmerman, a Peruvian court could possibly decide that the prosecution of Mr. Zimmerman for Trayvon's killing is politically motivated and deny any extradition request.

In sum, there is no reason for the court to believe at this point in time that George Zimmerman is not a flight risk.  Indeed, all the evidence shows Zimmerman to be deceitful and someone not to be trusted.


June 15, 2012

John Edwards should be disbarred

                                                                                      Disgraced ex-U.S. Senator and two time losing presidential candidate John Edwards main defense at his criminal trial was that his actions were immoral, but not criminal. While slime is still coalescing around the verdict acquitting Edwards on one count and hanging on all remaining chargers, two things are very clear:
John Edwards is a contemptible, sleazy lying louse who used and betrayed people over and over  to protect and further himself;
and John Edwards should be disbarred because of his admitted immorality.

Every state bar has a requirement that each attorney must pass a moral background investigation before being licensed and must maintain a modicum of morality to remain licensed.  If nothing more, Edwards' criminal trial proved he lacks the moral capacity to retain the privilege of a law license.  

Was Sandusky's Basement Soundproofed?

UPDATE:  On June 19th Doris Sandusky testified in her husband Jerry Sandusky's sexual abuse trial that the basement in their home is not soundproofed and that she could have heard any screams from the basement.  Of course, she denied she heard any screams.

In the trial of pedophile Jerry Sandusky, one of his many victims testified that Sandusky raped him repeatedly in Sandusky's home basement while Jerry's wife Doris was upstairs. The young man recounted screaming for help and concluded that his screams went unanswered because the basement must have been soundproofed.

If the prosecutor has not yet determined whether the Sandusky basement was, in fact, soundproofed, I would hope he would do so and should it turn out that screams from the basement can be heard upstairs in the Sandusky's living quarters, then Doris Sandusky should be charged as an accessory to her husband's heinous acts. 

Based on Mrs. Sandusky's testimony that the Sandusky basement is not soundproofed, after Jerry Sandusky  convicted, she should be charged as an accessory.

May 9, 2012

Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri: Asshole Extraordinaire

According to a recent report on NPR's  All Things Considered, U.S. authorities believe college dropout Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri is behind the latest al-Qaida underwear bomb plot.
Asiri first came to the attention of U.S. investigators when his fingerprint was discovered on the underwear bomb on Northwest Airlines Flight 253.  
What inspired Asiri's apparent fixation with underwear bombs? 

One can only speculate, but given his demographic  Asiri most likely studied more than his fair share of YouTube inspirational videos including such classics as  Firecracker in the ass goes so wrong,   butt rocket and a perennial favorite:  Crackling Ball In The Butt - Firework Pain

Asiri's younger brother, Abdullah Hassan Tali Asiri, apparently shared Ibrahim's passion for ass play, allowing Ibrahim to shove one pound of PETN plastic explosives up his, where it remained  for over 24 hours until Abdullah blew his pathetic butt up in a failed assassination attempt on a Saudi prince.
The end. 

Or, more accurately, ka ka ...

May 1, 2012

At the Intersection of Bible and Bullshit, Close Your Eyes

Trolling for a hot topic to blog about, I was surprised to find Dan Savage, host of NPR Savage Love and founder of the "It Gets Better" anti-bullying campaign, is #12 on the Google Trends 'Hot Topics' today. 

Savage became a hot topic not because of the always frank and often funny sex advice he regularly dishes on his weekly radio/podcast and not because of the countless lives of young gays and lesbians throughout the world he has helped save through the simple, true promise 'it gets better.'  While these accomplishments and contributions certainly warrant Savage being declared a hot topic, what ultimately propelled him into the stratosphere of google hotness was the keynote speech he gave earlier this month at the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in Seattle.

The published topic for Savage's keynote speech was "alternative media, social media and creating a movement against bullying" and the convention itself was marketed as "Journalism on the Edge."  Given all this, you would reasonably expect that the audience would have anticipated the nature and slant of Dan Savage's remarks, especially an audience of wannabe journalists, but  such was apparently not the case.

During his keynote speech, Savage acknowledged that many anti-gay bullies often defend their conduct based on various passages in the Bible that indicate homosexuality is wrong.  This  is hardly a breaking news bulletin, but more in the arena of established fact. Savage next proposed  a simple solution for dealing with the passages in the Bible that are anti-gay: ignore them. As Savage explained:

"We can learn to ignore the bullshit in the Bible about gay people the same way we have learned to ignore the bullshit in the Bible about shellfish, about slavery, about dinner, about farming, about menstruation, about virginity, about masturbation, [etc.etc.etc.]"

As Savage delivered his remarks a few of the attendees walked out, to which Savage made an admittedly and unnecessarily harsh comment: 

"Its funny as someone who is on the receiving end of beatings that are justified by the Bible how pansy-assed some people react when pushed back. I apologize if I have hurt any one's feelings, but I have a right to defend myself and to point out the hypocrisy of people who justify anti-gay bigotry by pointing to the Bible and insisting that we must live by the code of Leviticus on this one issue and no other."

On April 28th, Jimmy LaSalvia, a co-founder and the executive director of GOProud, a U.S. political action group which purports to represent gay conservatives, issued a press release, claiming Dan Savage’s outrageous anti-Christian tirade hurts – not helps – the fight for gay rights in this country.

In truth, it is Mr. LaSalvia who is hurting the fight for gay rights in this country every time he opens his mouth.

Dan Savage's speech was clearly intended to spark interest and debate and, most importantly, to take a stand. In all respects, his keynote speech was a complete success. 

Savage's comments were not in any way anti-Christian, but they were most definitely anti-hypocrite. To be a Christian, plain and simple, is to believe and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. 

Jesus Christ had two simple messages: love and forgiveness. Jesus never instructed or encouraged anyone to kill abortionists, bomb federal buildings or bash and bully gays and lesbians.  These acts are perversions of Jesus' message of love and forgiveness. 

Dan Savage is right when he says we can learn to ignore the bullshit in the Bible and his remarks are in no way tantamount to characterizing the entirety of the Bible as bullshit. 

April 28, 2012

George Zimmerman Lied To His Father About Following Trayvon Martin

Trayvon Martin
On March 15, 2012, the Orlando Sentinel reported that Robert Zimmerman, the father of George Zimmerman,  who now stands accused of the murder of 17 year old Trayvon Martin,  hand delivered a letter to the Sentinel in an understandable effort to help his son.  Mr. Zimmerman's letter reads in pertinent part: "At no time did George follow or confront Mr. Martin."

Obviously, Mr. Zimmerman is simply repeating what his son George Zimmerman told him about the circumstances of his shooting and killing an unarmed teenager.

George Zimmerman must have forgot when he lied to his father that he had already admitted to the police dispatcher before he confronted, shot and killed Trayvon that he was, in fact, following the teenager.

Dispatcher:  Are you following him?

Zimmerman: Yeah.

Dispatcher:  Ok. We don't need you to do that.

It must be terribly hard to wake up and realize your son has been lying to you about the circumstances of his killing an unarmed teenager, but nowhere near as hard and heartbreaking to wake up everyday to the devastating reality that your teenage son has been murdered.

April 27, 2012

Zimmerman and His Wife Should Be Sanctioned For Misleading The Court At Bail Hearing By Failing To Disclose Over $200,000 Collected By Zimmerman's Website


On Jun 1, 2012, the court revoked George Zimmerman's bail and ordered him back to jail for misleading the court at his bail hearing. On June 12, 2012, Shelley Zimmerman was arrested and charged with felony perjury in connection with the false testimony she gave at her husband's bail hearing.
Prosecutor Bernardo de la Rionda today asked the Court to raise the $150,000 bail set for accused murderer George Zimmerman in light of new evidence that Mr. Zimmerman and his family failed to disclose at the bail hearing that Zimmerman's website had taken in over $200,000 in donations as of the date of the bail hearing.

Zimmerman set up his website in the wake of his killing 17 year Trayvon Martin for the specific and expressed purpose of raising money to support himself and for his legal expenses.

George Zimmerman's lawyer Mark O'Mara told Florida Circuit Judge Kenneth Judge Kenneth Lester that he had not been informed by Zimmerman's family at the time of the bail hearing that Zimmerman's website had taken in over $200,000.

Judge Lester indicated he was unsure whether he had authority over the monies and directed Defense Attorney O'Mara to submit documentation regarding who controlled the website and its funds.

Not surprisingly, Attorney O'Mara did not disclose what he had been told about the $200,000 plus monies prior to the bail hearing by his own client George Zimmerman since that communication - if it occurred - would be protected by the attorney-client privilege.

On CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 program,  Attorney O'Mara admitted he did not learn about the $200,000 plus monies collected by Zimmerman's website until days after the bail hearing so it would seem Zimmerman withheld this material information from even his own lawyer.

Judge Kenneth Lester said he would revisit the bail issue if it became clear that the Zimmerman family had control of the money at the time of Mr. Zimmerman’s bail hearing last week, when Zimmerman and his family testified they would be unable to afford the $1 million bond requested by the prosecution.       

It seems quite evident from all these disclosures and admissions that George Zimmerman and his family misrepresented at last week's bail hearing the monies available to Mr. Zimmerman to make bail and even withheld this critically relevant information from Mr. Zimmerman's own defense attorney Mark O'Mara until days after last week's bail hearing given Mr. O'Mara's indication to Anderson Cooper when he appeared on CNN that he did not learn of the monies raised by Zimmerman's website defense fund until Wednesday of this week.

Ever the zealous advocate, Mr. O'Mara has actually suggested that it was simply an oversight that the Zimmerman's failed to disclose at last week's bail hearing the $200,000 raised by George Zimmerman's website. 

Right. Sure. It is perfectly understandable how the recent acquisition of more than $200,000 could completely slip your mind when you are being specifically questioned about what monies and assets you have available to make bail.  Even if we accept the unlikely theory that George Zimmerman forgot he had recently been given more than $200,000 through his website plea for donations, would not his 'recollection' of this substantial sum of money at his disposal have been triggered when Prosecutor de la Rionda specifically asked George Zimmerman's mother, Gladys Zimmerman, about the website and the monies George had received from it?

DE LA RIONDA: And you don't have any knowledge of the web site, do you in terms of the money?
ZIMMERMAN: No. I know I have seen the letter, but I don't have any answers to it.

George Zimmerman's wife, Shelley Nicole Zimmerman testified at the bail hearing that she is an unemployed nursing student and that she and George have no assets that her family could liquidate to make bail.

The following is an excerpt from the bail  hearing transcript reported by CNN, when defense lawyer O'Mara questioned Mrs. Shellie Zimmerman:

O'MARA: Other major assets that you have which you can liquidate reasonably to assist in coming up with money for a bond?

S. ZIMMERMAN: None that I know of.

O'MARA: I discussed with you the pending motion to have your husband, George, declared indigent for cost, have I not?

S. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, you have.

O'MARA: Are you of any financial means where you could assist in those costs?

S. ZIMMERMAN: Not that I'm aware of.

O'MARA: I understand that you do have other family members present with you and I'll ask them questions of them but have you had discussions with them of at least trying to pool together some funds to accomplish a bond?

S. ZIMMERMAN: We have discussed that, trying to pull together the numbers of the family to scrape up anything that we possibly can.

While some may reasonably question whether Mrs. Zimmerman had knowledge or access to her husband's website generated funds when she mislead the court at the bail hearing about her family's finances, the benefit of that doubt was completely eliminated by Zimmerman's defense lawyer Mark O'Mara who states on Zimmerman's new website that at lease some of the $200,000 was deposited in Mrs. Zimmerman's own account, some was deposited in George Zimmerman's personal account and some was still in the Zimmerman PayPal account.

Since the bail hearing, Defense Attorney O'Mara has indicated that he has taken control over all the monies raised by the Zimmerman website defense fund, shut down the website and is in the process of starting a new online Zimmerman defense fund controlled exclusively by his legal office.

Whether this means that none of the $200,000 plus will be made available for bail by Mr. O'Mara should Judge Lester increase Mr. Zimmerman's bail given his and Mrs. Zimmerman's concealment of all this money from the Court at the bail hearing remains to be seen.

What other relevant evidence the Zimmerman's have withheld and/or misrepresented also remains to be seen.

Judge Lester should be as outraged as most people by the outright deception that was perpetrated by George and Shelley Zimmerman at his bail hearing and should impose appropriate sanctions for the flagrant fraud they perpetrated in court.

April 26, 2012

Proof Positive That George Zimmerman Lied On The Witness Stand At His Bail Hearing

Trayvon Martin 

On April 20, 2012, the accused murderer of 17 year old Trayvon Martin George Zimmerman took the stand, testified in support of his request for bail and proceeded to lie. 
This is not opinion. This is fact. And here is the proof.

Mr. Zimmerman testified at his bail hearing: "I did not know how old [Trayvon] was. I thought he was just a little bit younger than I am... ." 

Mr. Zimmerman was 28 years old when he confronted Trayvon Martin on February 26, 2012 and  contrary to his self-serving and false testimony in court, Mr. Zimmerman, in truth, believed Trayvon to be just a teenager when he shot and killed him.

How can we possibly know without any reasonable doubt that Mr. Zimmerman lied on the stand? 

Because when Mr. Zimmerman called 911 on February 26th to report he was suspicious of Trayvon, the police dispatcher specifically asked Mr. Zimmerman, "how old would you say he looks," and Mr. Zimmerman responded:  "He's got button on his shirt. Late teens."   The police dispatcher heard Mr. Zimmerman's response and confirmed, "Late teens ok." 

In fact, Trayvon had just celebrated his 17th birthday three weeks before George Zimmerman killed him.

Clearly, Mr. Zimmerman had no rational motive whatsoever to mislead the police dispatcher (or anyone else for that matter) as to Trayvon's age before he killed him.  In fact, the record of Mr. Zimmerman's  911 call demonstrates that he was attempting to give the police dispatcher as accurate a description of Trayvon as possible, describing Trayvon's clothes from hoodie to sneakers.

It is only now, two months after killing this unarmed teenager, that Mr. Zimmerman has a motive to lie as to his belief as to Trayvon's age when he killed him.  Mr. Zimmerman is shamelessly attempting to convince the public -- including his future jury pool -- that he believed he was confronting and killing an adult peer, rather than a teenage boy.

Since Mr. Zimmerman's claim of self defense must largely rely on his testimony as to the circumstances of his killing Trayvon Martin,  the irrefutable proof that Mr. Zimmerman has already lied in court about his belief as to Trayvon's age should make his further testimony highly suspect.