Good. Bring on the death penalty.
PHILADELPHIA — Dr. Kermit Gosnell, a West Philadelphia doctor known for performing late-term abortions, was found guilty on Monday on three of four counts of first-degree murder.
Posted by Owen at 2028 hrs
About 500,000 Jews served in the Soviet Red Army during World War II. Most of those still alive today — about 7,000 — are said to live in Israel.
Every year on Victory Day, which falls on Thursday this year, they parade in uniform throughout Israel to celebrate Nazi Germany’s surrender to the Soviet Union.
Afterward, they return home to their modest apartments, where some tick off the days in solitude — and poverty.
A 76-year-old Sheboygan woman convicted of killing her infant daughter more than a half century ago was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison, with the judge in the case imposing a much harsher sentence than what prosecutors had sought.
Under the sentence issued by Sheboygan County Circuit Court Judge Angela Sutkiewicz, Ruby Klokow will be eligible for release from prison after 2-1/2 years.
The prison sentence was well over the 45 days in jail and 10 years probation that was requested by both the defense and prosecution as part of a plea deal reached earlier this year.
This woman brutally killed her daughter. I don’t care if it took over 50 years to catch her. She did it and deserves to be thrown in prison for it. The judge put it well:
“Anything but incarceration would diminish the seriousness of the offense,” Sutkiewicz said before reading her sentence to a nearly full courtroom.
Indeed.Posted by Owen at 1739 hrs
(CNN)—Twenty years ago, a team of researchers shared the Web with the world. Now they want to show a generation that grew up online what it was like in its earliest days.
The European Organization for Nuclear Research, known as CERN, is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the date it released, for free, the technology and software needed to run a Web server.
In honor of the anniversary, a team has been assembled to recreate a working version of the first website, a how-to guide hosted by the project’s creators.
The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History held a press conference on Wednesday to announce breaking, albeit gruesome, colonial news: Evidence of the dismemberment and cannibalization of a 14-year-old British girl in Jamestown, Va., in 1609.
Forensic anthropologists say marks found on the girl’s bones, uncovered during a recent archaeological excavation, suggest her brain, among other parts, was eaten by starving settlers.
“The chops to the forehead are very tentative, very incomplete,” Douglas Owsley, a forensic anthropologist at the institute, said on Wednesday. “Then, the body was turned over, and there were four strikes to the back of the head, one of which was the strongest and split the skull in half. A penetrating wound was then made to the left temple, probably by a single-sided knife, which was used to pry open the head and remove the brain.”
Posted by Owen at 1621 hrs
College Station - Texas A&M University today received approval from the A&M System Board of Regents to proceed with one of the largest college football stadium redevelopments in history, with a project cost of $450 million and a future stadium capacity of 102,500.
The renovation and expansion of Kyle Field will start immediately following the 2013 football season and is scheduled to be completed in time for the 2015 season. The Aggies will continue to play at the historic stadium, which dates back to the 1927 season and has a current capacity of 82,589, during the entire construction process.
Interesting. I’ve been seeing more and more of this too.
Here’s some feedback I received from the people doing the hiring here:
• Unemployed people make an application and then some don’t even call back when they are called for an interview. Go figure.
• When we convert a temporary worker doing a good job to permanent status, some of them stop showing up for work on a consistent basis. What’s that all about?
• The staffing companies are having a hard time finding temporary workers.
• It isn’t a lack of basic skills in reading, writing or math that’s the problem; it’s the work ethic.
Said one supervisor, “If they wanted to work, if they would come to work, they wouldn’t be unemployed.”
My column for the Daily News is online. It’s called, “Seasonal Escape.” Here you go:
Wow. What a week, eh? With all of the tragic, horrible, miserable, wretched news last week, let us turn our attention to some trivial happy things.
In theory, spring is on the way. That is what my calendar says, at least, even if the temperature is not cooperating. I love spring in Wisconsin. As a boy who grew up in warmer climes where the temperature generally ranged between hot and not-quite-as-hot, watching Wisconsin emerge from winter into the bright sunshine of spring is a sight to behold.
What is so neat about spring in Wisconsin is that it is not just the flowers that push their way to the sun and the grass that waves back to life, but the people do too. On those first few days of spring, one can take a stroll through a neighborhood and see dozens of their neighbors out and about. They are working on their yards, walking their pets, running, biking, playing, smiling and generally looking for any excuse whatsoever to get out into those precious rays of soothing sunshine. The appreciation with which Wisconsinites embrace each season is as refreshing as that cold beer with a hot brat.
Of course, the coming of spring also brings on the beginning of a couple of other seasons. Baseball is back for yet another season. It is worth noting that on this day in 1954, an unknown Hank Aaron hit his first career home run for the Milwaukee Braves. It was the beginning of a legendary career that would eventually take him into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The best part of baseball season is not the highly paid athletes we see on television, but the scrappy kids giving it their all on the diamond. West Bend is blessed to have a fantastic Little League program that provides the opportunity to play ball for hundreds of boys and girls. The teams are assembled and they are practicing hard for another season even though every field in West Bend is still something of a swamp. Soon the water will recede and we can all watch our kids pretend they are under the lights at Miller Park.
The other season that comes with the spring equinox is that of home improvement. Walls need painting. Fixtures need fixin’. Decks need staining. Bathrooms need updating. Landscaping needs … ’scaping. ‘Tis the season to venture down the aisles of your favorite home improvement store looking for that next project to tackle.
While baseball season is gearing up, the season I prefer is looming in the distance. Football season is a short four months away. The NFL released the schedules last week and, for the first time in generations, the Packers do not have any back-toback away games this season. Meanwhile, my alma mater, Texas A&M, is nervously watching to see if the Heisman Trophy winner, Johnny “Football” Manziel, will follow up his phenomenal freshman season with an even better sophomore performance.
While these are silly matters, they are the talismans of a society that has the luxury to enjoy silly things even in the wake of the horrific events of last week. We can do so because such events as those in Boston and West, Texas are not our normal, but they remind us who we are. We do not run from tragedy. We run toward it. Why? To help, because that is what we do. Simple as that.
As Fred Rogers famously said, “Look for the helpers.” We are a nation of helpers as evidenced by every catastrophe that afflicts us. For that we should be proud.
It was Judgment Day in Aggieland
And tenseness filled the air;
All knew there was a trip at hand,
But not a soul knew where.
Assembled on the drill field
Was the world-renowned Twelfth Man,
The entire fighting Aggie team
And the famous Aggie Band.
And out in front with Royal Guard
The reviewing party stood;
St. Peter and his angel staff
Were choosing bad from good.
First he surveyed the Aggie team
And in terms of an angel swore,
“By Jove, I do believe I’ve seen
This gallant group before.
I’ve seen them play since way back when,
And they’ve always had the grit;
I’ve seen ‘em lose and I’ve seen ‘em win
But I’ve never seen ‘em quit.
No need for us to tarry here
Deciding upon their fates;
Tis plain as the halo on my head
That they’ve opened Heaven’s gates.”
And when the Twelfth Man heard this,
They let out a mighty yell
That echoed clear to Heaven
And shook the gates of Hell.
“And what group is this upon the side,”
St. Peter asked his aide,
“That swelled as if to burst with pride
When we our judgment made?”
“Why, sir, that’s the Cadet Corps
That’s known both far and wide
For backing up their fighting team
Whether they won lost or tied.”
“Well, then,” said St. Peter,
“It’s very plain to me
That within the realms of Heaven
They should spend eternity.
And have the Texas Aggie Band
At once commence to play
For their fates too we must decide
Upon this crucial day.”
And the drum major so hearing
Slowly raised his hand
And said, “Boys, let’s play The Spirit
For the last time in Aggieland.”
And the band poured forth the anthem,
In notes both bright and clear
And ten thousand Aggie voices
Sang the song they hold so dear.
And when the band had finished,
St. Peter wiped his eyes
And said, “It’s not so hard to see
They’re meant for Paradise.”
And the colonel of the Cadet Corps said
As he stiffly took his stand,
“It’s just another Corps Trip, boys,
We’ll march in behind the band.”
In many lands and climes this April day
Proud sons of Texas A&M unite.
Our loyalty to country, school, we pray,
and seal our pact with bond of common might.
We live again those happy days of yore
on campus, field, in classroom, dorm, at drill
Fond memory brings a sigh—but nothing more;
Now we are men and life’s a greater thrill,
On Corregidor 71 years ago today
A band of gallant Aggies, led by Moore,
Held simple rites which led to us doth all to say:
The spirit shall prevail through cannon roar.
Before we part and go upon our way,
We pause to honor those we knew so well;
The old familiar faces we miss so much today
Left cherished recollections that time cannot dispel.
Softly call the Muster,
Let comrade answer, “Here!”
Their spirits hover ‘round us
As if to bring us cheer!
Mark them ‘present’ in our hearts.
We’ll meet some other day
There is no death, but life etern
For our old friends such as they!
Owen at 0611 hrs
by Dr. John Ashton ‘06
You can just feel the shame and anger in this man for what his nephews did.Posted by Owen at 1118 hrs
My column for the Daily News is online. It’s called, “Marking past tragedies.” I wrote it on Sunday. Here you go.
Waco. Oklahoma City. Columbine. These are words that reverberate in our cultural memory as markers of national tragedies and we remember their anniversaries this week. It is right to remember the victims and we also remember how these related events shaped our national debate.
On April 19, 1993, after a 50-day siege, members of the ATF and FBI stormed the home and church of the Branch Davidians as the buildings were engulfed in flames. The end result was 82 members of the armed religious sect and four officers being killed — including many children who were murdered by Branch Davidians.
The media coverage was intense as the siege escalated and some Americans for the first time witnessed the extent to which federal domestic law enforcement agencies had militarized. The sight of helicopters and tanks used to go after a cult filled with women and children appeared to be overly drastic measures to those watching on television. In the aftermath of Waco, many Americans began to fear the extent of federal power.
On April 19, 1995, a couple of domestic terrorists decided to remember Waco by killing 168 people in the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City with a fertilizer bomb.
Once again as the rubble was cleared and the names of those lost recorded, Americans were outraged and looked inward. What hatred lies in the hearts of men who would destroy so many lives in an act of protest against the government? While many Americans distrusted the federal government after events like Waco, to take that as a justification to murder people because they work for that government was an unconscionable and intolerable response. While Waco made many Americans more distrustful of the federal government, Oklahoma City forced us to be serious about the potential for that distrust to be used to justify terrorism.
On April 20, 1999, two teenage murderers sought to create havoc to rival that from Oklahoma City when they opened fire on their classmates at Columbine High School. They killed 13 people and injured 21 others before killing themselves. The massacre at Columbine once again launched a national debate about everything from gun control, to school safety, to video games, to teen medication as we struggled to figure out how to make sense of it all and prevent it from ever happening again.
All three of these tragedies we will remember this week prompted legislation in order to prevent the next one from happening. Some of the laws that were changed were measured and sensible. Some of it was a regrettable overreach.
While it is a shame that it takes horrific tragedies to make us, as a nation, evaluate our laws and ourselves, it is a part of human nature to only react when confronted with the worst of ourselves. Unfortunately, it is also in that grief when emotional decision-making can lead to some really bad ideas becoming law.
Part of the problem is that the next tragedy will likely be as different as the last one. It is impossible to pass public policies that will thwart every possible evil deed being planned by evil people. As we continue to remember the victims of tragedies and engage in a healthy national debate, let us never forget that we have never found a law that will cure evil.
And on Monday, the calamity at the Boston Marathon was added to the list. Our thoughts are with the latest victims and their families.
Ah, the compassionate and tolerant Left...
LONDON (AP) — The BBC is in a bind after opponents of Margaret Thatcher pushed the song “Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead” to the top of the British charts in a posthumous protest over her divisive policies.
The online campaign to drive the “Wizard of Oz” song to the No. 1 spot on the U.K. singles chart was launched by Thatcher critics shortly after the former prime minister died Monday of a stroke at age 87.
Posted by Owen at 0623 hrs
RABAT, Morocco (AP) — Bewilderment, scorn, resentment. Women’s rights activists across the Middle East are reacting with everything but joy to topless demonstrations in Europe by a Ukrainian feminist group held in solidarity with a Tunisian woman who posted topless photos of herself protesting religious oppression.
They fear the bare breasts may hurt their cause more than help it, after FEMEN activists protested in front of mosques and Tunisian diplomatic missions last week to support 19-year-old Amina Tyler, who caused a scandal in her country with her Facebook postings.