Monday, May 19, 2008

Lori Drew charged over MySpace suicide and one reason MySpace sucks.

MySpace’s existence is proof enough that it sucks.

A Los Angeles federal grand jury has indicted a woman for her alleged role in a MySpace online hoax played on a 13-year-old girl who later committed suicide.

Lori Drew of St Louis, Missouri was indicted on Thursday on one count of conspiracy and three counts of accessing protected computers without authorisation to obtain information to inflict emotional distress.

Each of the four counts carries a maximum possible penalty of five years in prison.

Drew allegedly helped create a fake MySpace account to contact neighbour Megan Meier who thought she was chatting with a 16-year-old boy named Josh Evans.

At the time of the incident, the Drews and the Meiers lived four doors apart in Waterford Crystal Drive, in the town of Dardenne Prairie. The Drew’s teenage daughter and Megan were friends.

The online relationship between “Josh” and Megan bloomed for several weeks before the tone suddenly changed.

On October 15, 2006, Josh sent Megan a message saying, ‘I don’t want to be friends with you anymore because you’re not nice to your friends’.

That post triggered a flood of hate posts from other users.

“All of Josh’s friends and all of Megan’s friends were calling Megan a whore, a fat ass. Calling her all kinds of god awful names,” Megan’s mother,Tina, told the ABC network in an interview last year.

Meier hanged herself on the evening of October 16, 2006 after receiving cruel messages, including the last message sent from Josh which read: “the world would be a better place without you, and have a s**t rest of your life.”

After that, Josh’s profile vanished from MySpace.

It wasn’t until several weeks after Megan’s death that the Meiers discovered Drew’s involvement in the fake MySpace profile.

Drew, who was 48 at the time of the incident, has denied creating the account and sending messages to Megan.

She claimed through her lawyers that she did not instigate the Josh Evans profile, nor did she use the fake profile to communicate with Megan. While she knew about the ruse, the lawyer said, she was apparently unaware that the Josh profile had been used to attack her neighbour’s daughter.

She claims the profile was the work of her teenage daughter and a teenage employee called Ashley Grills.

Last month, Grills, now 19, went on national TV saying that while she was responsible for setting up the fake Josh profile, Lori Drew and her daughter were also involved in the cruel hoax.

Grills also said she wrote the message to Megan about the world being a better place without her. The message was supposed to end the online relationship with “Josh” because Grills felt the joke had gone too far.

“I was trying to get her angry so she would leave him alone and I could get rid of the whole MySpace,” Grills said.

Authorities in Missouri investigated Megan’s death but failed to charge Drew after they were unable to find a law that she had broken.

The charges being laid by federal prosecutors allege that Drew defrauded MySpace by helping set up a bogus profile,

US Attorney Thomas P. O’Brien said this was the first time the federal statute on accessing protected computers has been used in a social-networking case. It has been used in the past to address hacking.

“This was a tragedy that did not have to happen,” O’Brien said.

Both the girl and MySpace are named as victims in the case, he said.

Drew will be arraigned in St. Louis and then moved to Los Angeles for trial.

The indictment says MySpace members agree to abide by terms of service that include, among other things, not promoting information they know to be false or misleading; soliciting personal information from anyone under age 18 and not using information gathered from the Web site to “harass, abuse or harm other people.”

Drew and others who were not named conspired to violate the service terms from about September 2006 to mid-October that year, according to the indictment. It alleges they registered as a MySpace member under a phony name and used the account to obtain information on the girl.

Drew and her coconspirators “used the information obtained over the MySpace computer system to torment, harass, humiliate, and embarrass the juvenile MySpace member,” the indictment charged.

After the girl killed herself, Drew and the others deleted the information for the account, the indictment said.

Posted by SPN on 05/19 at 10:39 AM
BloggingJustice / Injustice • (1) CommentsPermalink

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Reports are that the government is detaining, torturing and killing Darfuris in and around Khartoum

Violence in Sudan is escalating. The Justice and Equality Movement, a Darfuri rebel group, attacked Khartoum on Saturday in an attempt to topple the Sudanese regime. The government has reportedly stopped the attempt.

In retaliation to the attacks, there is already news of widespread atrocities against Darfuri civilians.

Reports indicate that the government is detaining, torturing and killing Darfuris in and around Khartoum, and that janjaweed militias have commenced attacks in North Darfur. The international community must demand an immediate end to atrocities, speed up deployment of peacekeepers, and make clear to all sides that there is no violent solution to this conflict.
Click here to tell President Bush to immediately use all diplomatic and economic tools necessary to help end attacks against innocent Darfuri civilians.

The situation in Darfur is dire. Violence is affecting every aspect of life in Darfur, including food supplies. The U.N. has been forced to cut its food aid shipments in half because its trucks are often hijacked before they get to the people in need.

President Bush must immediately use the full force of American diplomacy to urge all sides to exercise restraint, protect civilians, and to begin a just and inclusive peace process. President Bush must also use the U.S. presidency of the U.N. Security Council in June to ensure full deployment of the UNAMID peacekeeping force for Darfur, and to punish those who attack civilians.

The international community is falling tragically short of our mandate and our moral obligation in Darfur. There is hope, but only if the most powerful actors on the world stage are serious about ending the genocide.

Thank you for your dedication to the people of Darfur.

Posted by SPN on 05/15 at 08:22 AM
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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Why Black People are getting disgusted with the Clintons

“I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on,” she said in an interview with USA TODAY. As evidence,
Clinton cited an Associated Press article “that found how Sen. Obama’s support among working, hard-working Americans,
white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me.”

“There’s a pattern emerging here,” she said.

Apparently, there are a number of her ardent followers who hold views that are even more extreme. 

http://www.hillaryis44.org/?p=609#comments

Posted by Nuttshell on 05/08 at 12:57 PM
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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Some people online just aren’t very bright…

Posted by Onyxelle on 04/30 at 02:07 PM
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It’s time for some good ole religion.

Posted by SPN on 04/30 at 12:26 PM
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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Bill O’Reilly’s Throwing a Lynching Party

From the Huffington Post.

Posted February 23, 2008

I’m sick to death of people like FOX News host, Bill O’Reilly, and his ilk thinking that he can use a racial slur against a black woman who could be the next First Lady of the United States, give a half-assed apology and not be taken to task and called on his crap.

This week O’Reilly gave the following response to a caller on his radio show who was making unsubstantiated negative charges against presidential candidate Barack Obama’s wife, Michelle Obama:

“And I don’t want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there’s evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels. If that’s how she really feels—that America is a bad country or a flawed nation, whatever—then that’s legit. We’ll track it down.”

What the hell? If it’s “legit,” you’re going to “track it down?” And then what do you plan to do?

How dare this white man with a microphone and the trust of the public think that in 2008, he can still put the words “lynch and party” together in the same sentence with reference to a black woman; in this case, Michelle Obama? I don’t care how you “spin it” in the “no spin zone,” that statement in and of itself is racist, unacceptable and inappropriate on every level. 

O’Reilly claims his comments were taken out of context. Please don’t insult my intelligence while you’re insulting me. I’ve read the comments and heard them delivered in O’Reilly’s own voice; and there is no right context that exists. So, his insincere apology and “out-of-context” excuse is not going to cut it with me.

And just so we’re clear, this has nothing to do with the 2008 presidential election, me being a Democrat, him claiming to be Independent while talking Republican, the liberal media or a conservative point of view. To the contrary, this is about crossing a line in the sand that needs to be drawn based on history, dignity, taste and truth.

Bill, I’m not sure of where you come from, but let me tell you what the phrase “lynching party” conjures up to me, a black woman born in North Carolina. Those words depict the image of a group of white men who are angry with the state of the own lives getting together, drinking more than they need to drink, lamenting how some black person has moved forward (usually ahead of them in stature or dignity), and had the audacity to think that they are equal. These same men for years, instead of looking at what changes, should and could make in their own lives that might remove that bitterness born of perceived privilege, these white men take all of that resentment and anger and decide to get together and drag the closest black person near them to their death by hanging them from a tree—usually after violent beating, torturing and violating their human dignity. Check your history books, because you don’t need a masters or a law degree from Harvard to know that is what constitutes a “lynching party.”

Imagine, Michelle and Barack Obama having the audacity to think that they have the right to the American dream, hopes, and ideals. O’Reilly must think to himself: how dare they have the arrogance to think they can stand in a front of this nation, challenge the status quo and express the frustration of millions? When this happens, the first thing that comes to mind for O’Reilly and people like him is: “it’s time for a party.”

Not so fast...don’t order the rope just yet.

Would O’Reilly ever in a million years use this phrase with reference to Elizabeth Edwards, Cindy McCain or Judi Nathan? I mean, in all of the statements and criticisms that were made about Judi Nathan, the one-time mistress turned missus, of former presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, I never heard any talk of forming a lynch party because of something she said or did.

So why is it that when you’re referring to someone who’s African-American you must dig to a historical place of pain, agony and death to symbolize your feelings? Lynching is not a joke to off-handedly throw around and it is not a metaphor that has a place in political commentary; provocative or otherwise. I admit that I come from a place of personal outrage here having buried my 90 year-old grandfather last year. This proud, amazing African-American man raised his family and lived through the time when he had to use separate water fountains, ride in the back of a bus, take his wife on a date to the “colored section” of a movie theater, and avert his eyes when a white woman walked down the street for fear of what a white man and his cronies might do if they felt the urge to “party”; don’t tell me that the phrase you chose, Mr. O’Reilly, was taken out of context.

To add insult to injury, O’Reilly tried to “clarify” his statements, by using the excuse that his comments were reminiscent of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ use of the term “high-tech lynching” during his confirmation hearing. I reject that analogy. You see Justice Thomas did mean to bring up the image of lynching in its racist context. He was saying that politics and the media were using a new technology to do to him what had been done to black men for many years—hang him. Regardless of if you agreed with Justice Thomas’ premise or not, if in fact—Bill O’Reilly was referencing it—the context becomes even clearer.

What annoys me more than anything is that I get the feeling that one of the reasons Bill O’Reilly made this statement, thinking he could get away with it in the first place, and then followed it up with a lame apology in a half-hearted attempt to smooth any ruffled feathers, is because he doesn’t think that black women will come out and go after him when he goes after us. Well, he’s dead wrong. Be clear Bill O’Reilly: there will be no lynch party for that black woman. And this black woman assures you that if you come for her, you come for all of us.

Posted by Nuttshell on 04/26 at 02:41 PM
Blogging • (3) CommentsPermalink

United Nations World Food Program will cut in half its food supplies to the people of Darfur.

Last week, the United Nations World Food Program announced that it will cut half its food supplies to the people of Darfur because of a lack of funds and relentless attacks on its convoys.

Millions of Darfuris depend on this food supply. Without it, they will be pushed even closer to the knife-sharp edge of starvation.

Inaction is not an option when so many lives are at stake.

Congress is preparing to vote on a bill that will significantly increase funding for humanitarian aid and peacekeeping in Darfur. Your representative needs to hear from you NOW because the men, women, and children of Darfur cannot afford any more delays.

Tell Representative Saxton to support funding for security and humanitarian aid in Darfur.

Additional funding for Darfur can bring hope to the thousands who have weathered half a decade of genocide. It can provide peacekeepers with training and equipment to protect Darfuri civilians. It can deliver disaster and famine assistance to families desperately in need. And it can help the people of Sudan move towards democracy and determine their own path to peace.

We must meet our obligation to the people of Darfur. Congress has the purse strings. You have the voice. Make sure your voice – and the collective voice of hundreds of thousands of Darfuris – is heard.

Urge your representative to stand up for Darfur and fully fund peacekeeping and humanitarian aid.

With the United Nations World Food Program cutting its food aid to Darfur, the clock is ticking faster and louder than ever - we must act quickly to try to fill this crucial gap.

After you have sent a message to your representative, please click here to ask your friends and family to do the same.

Thank you for your tireless dedication to the people of Darfur.

Best regards,

Colleen Connors
Save Darfur Coalition

Posted by SPN on 04/26 at 08:45 AM
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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Mom’s diet may play role in whether baby is boy or girl

http://www.ajc.com

By LINDSEY TANNER
AP Medical Writer

CHICAGO — Snips and snails and puppydog tails ... and cereal and bananas? That could be what little boys are made of, according to surprising new research suggesting that what a woman eats before pregnancy influences the gender of her baby.

Having a hearty appetite, eating potassium-rich foods including bananas, and not skipping breakfast all seemed to raise the odds of having a boy.

The British research is billed as the first in humans to show a link between a woman’s diet and whether she has a boy or girl.

It is not proof, but it fits with evidence from test tube fertilization that male embryos thrive best with longer exposure to nutrient-rich lab cultures, said Dr. Tarun Jain. He is a fertility specialist at University of Illinois at Chicago who wasn’t involved in the study.

It just might be that it takes more nutrients to build boys than girls, he said.

University of Exeter researcher Fiona Mathews, the study’s lead author, said the findings also fit with fertility research showing that male embryos aren’t likely to survive in lab cultures with low sugar levels. Skipping meals can result in low blood sugar levels.

Jain said he was skeptical when he first heard about the research. But he said the study was well-done and merits follow-up study to see if the theory proves true.

It’s not necessarily as far-fetched as it sounds. While men’s sperm determine a baby’s gender, it could be that certain nutrients or eating patterns make women’s bodies more hospitable to sperm carrying the male chromosome, Jain said.

“It’s an interesting question. I’m not aware of anyone else looking at it in this manner,” he said.

The study was published Wednesday in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, a British medical journal.

The research involved about 700 first-time pregnant women in the United Kingdom who didn’t know the sex of their fetuses. They were asked about their eating habits in the year before getting pregnant.

Among women with the highest calorie intake before pregnancy (but still within a normal, healthy range), 56 percent had boys, versus 45 percent of the women with the lowest calorie intake.

Women who ate at least one bowl of breakfast cereal daily were 87 percent more likely to have boys than those who ate no more than one bowlful per week. Cereal is a typical breakfast in Britain and in the study, eating very little cereal was considered a possible sign of skipping breakfast, Mathews said.

Compared with the women who had girls, those who had boys ate an additional 300 milligrams of potassium daily on average, “which links quite nicely with the old wives’ tale that if you eat bananas you’ll have a boy,” Mathews said.

Women who had boys also ate about 400 calories more daily than those who had girls, on average, she said.

Still, no one’s recommending pigging out if you really want a boy or starving yourself if you’d prefer a girl.

Neither style of eating is healthy, and besides all the health risks linked with excess weight, other research suggests obese women have a harder time getting pregnant.

The study results reflect women at opposite ends of a normal eating pattern, not those with extreme habits, Mathews said.

Professor Stuart West of the University of Edinburgh said the results echo research in some animals.

And Dr. Michael Lu, an associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology and public health at the University of California at Los Angeles, said the results “are certainly plausible from an evolutionary biology perspective.” In other words, since boys tend to be bigger, it would make sense that it would take more calories to create them, Lu said.

Still, Lu said a woman’s diet before pregnancy may be a marker for other factors in their lives that could influence their baby’s gender, including timing of intercourse.

“The bottom line is, we still don’t know how to advise patients in how to make boys,” he said.

Posted by loni on 04/24 at 08:02 AM
Blogging • (2) CommentsPermalink

What is wrong with this picture?

Now I ran across this in the AJC on yesterday. I was shocked that a parent and a child would go and jump on a teacher. This is the second incident I have heard of in the past month and I am sure there are more.  What are these parents teaching their kids? This is extremely sad. With the shortage of good teachers why would a person do something like this? 

http://www.ajc.com/

UPDATED: 6:56 p.m. April 22, 2008
Mother, daughter charged with attacking Atlanta teacher

By LAURA DIAMOND
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 04/22/08

Police arrested a high school student and her mother on battery and other charges after the girl’s teacher was brutally attacked.

Atlanta police charged Georgia Thornton and her daughter Sequita with attacking Felecia Williams, a teacher at Southside High School, on Feb. 28.
The mother, 44, was charged with battery on a school teacher, disrupting public schools, criminal trespass and theft by taking in connection with the attack, according to the police report.

Sequita, 17, was charged with battery on a teacher and disrupting public schools, according to the report. Atlanta school officials also permanently expelled the girl and ordered her to pay $500 toward the teacher’s medical expenses, said Joe Manguno, spokesman for Atlanta Public Schools.

Williams said Tuesday she had met with Thornton previously to discuss Sequita’s grades and sporadic attendance. Williams asked a school police officer to observe a meeting a couple of weeks before the incident because she was afraid for her safety, she said.

On the day of the attack, Williams said the pair walked into her classroom during first period and began arguing about a book. Williams asked them to leave, but the mother pushed past her and grabbed a book off her desk, the teacher said.

When Williams, 40, tried to get the book back, the mother pulled the teacher’s hair and threw her to the ground, the police report said. Then the mother and daughter stomped on the teacher, according to the report.

“She was swinging me by my hair, and my shoes flew off my feet,” Williams said. “Then I was on the ground, and they were both pounding on me. I was terrified. So were my students.”

Georgia Thornton disputed the facts in the police report Tuesday and said Williams hit her daughter on the day of the incident. Thornton said she had been meeting with Williams because the teacher wouldn’t give her daughter the correct grade.

“That teacher, she had it in for my daughter,” Thornton said. “I raised my daughter not to disrespect adults, so I took care of this situation. Yes, I hit her. I do what I have to do to protect my child at all costs.”

The attack against Williams is among several violent acts against metro area teachers this year.

In January, Gwinnett school police charged a seventh-grade girl with simple battery after school officials say the girl beat a teacher so violently she broke the woman’s glasses.

A note circulating in the Tri-Cities area in south Fulton describes attacks against six teachers at Paul West Middle in East Point over the past two years. No one signed the letter and school leaders say they don’t know who wrote it.

Susan Hale, spokeswoman for Fulton schools, said a couple of the incidents described were initiated by teachers who grabbed students’ arms to pull them in or out of classrooms. Another attack occurred when a teacher walked into a special education classroom to help a co-worker and was smacked with a chair thrown by a student with emotional and behavioral disorders, Hale said.

There’s increased hostility against teachers as some students become more brazen, said Mark Perez, the Fulton County representative for the Georgia Association of Educators.

“We expect there to be a system in place to protect them from this violence,” Perez said. “We are seeing people leave the profession because of this.”

Teachers who have been attacked say it is difficult to return to work.

Williams has not returned to work since the attack and doesn’t expect to go back this school year. She said she has severe neck and back pain. She suffers from panic attacks and is consulting a doctor.

She’s been teaching for 15 years. This is her first year at Southside High where she’s teaching a new class, video broadcasting.

“I love teaching and see myself going back to work,” Williams said. “But it won’t be at Southside.”

Williams said school officials didn’t do enough to prevent or break up the attack.

The school district declined to provide additional information about the incident because of the possibility of a lawsuit, Manguno said.

Posted by loni on 04/24 at 07:56 AM
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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Quote of the (past) day.

“Dude, if Americans tolerated as much shit in their socks as they do in their president, they’d have mushrooms growing out of their badword ankles.”

Taken from http://www.mnftiu.cc/mnftiu.cc/war48.html

Posted by SPN on 04/16 at 01:40 PM
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Monday, April 14, 2008

congrats!

congrats on the show spn!

Posted by bbeard on 04/14 at 08:40 PM
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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Interesting Anniversary Today

The ASPCA is 140 years old today. I just had to compare...the NAACP is just about 100 years old.  Makes ME wonder.

Posted by SerQet on 04/10 at 07:38 AM
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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Chandra Leigh Brown is a guest on hyhradio.com

Hear a portion of her story and why she was recognized as the “International Chairperson for the Disabled 2006” for her hard work since her brain injury in 2002.

Posted by SPN on 03/26 at 09:21 AM
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Monday, March 24, 2008

I’m on display at the Ocean County Library.

For more information about these and other photos, please view and visit the following slideshow.

Posted by SPN on 03/24 at 09:26 AM
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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Rabbinical Board Gets Its First Black Member

From
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=88650380&sc=emaf

Rabbi Capers Funnye says his mother came to understand his embrace of Judaism. Courtesy of Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation

The Bryant Park Project, March 20, 2008 · Capers Funnye is an African-American man who went from being a Christian in the segregated South to the first African-American rabbi to sit on an all-white rabbinical board. A leader of Chicago’s Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation, he’s also the first black rabbi elected to the city’s Board of Rabbis and one of 27 black rabbis in the entire country.

Funnye says his move to Judaism began at the age of 17, when his pastor urged him to become a preacher. That pressure, he says, inspired a youthful exploration of other religions. As he began to embrace Judaism, he says his mother was distraught. “She thought that I was abandoning God,” he says. “Finally, she came to the conclusion that I really wasn’t abandoning God. ... Jesus was a Jew. Jesus was a rabbi. And so, in fact, as she learned more, she embraced the idea more.”

All his life, Funnye had seen depictions of biblical times, but no one in the images looked like him or his family. But as he learned more about the Jewish community in Ethiopia and its long and extensive history, he realized that “some of these people had to look something like me.”

How hard is it to be both black and Jewish? “You might look at it as being cursed,” he says. “I look at is as being twice blessed.”

Funnye is a groundbreaking African-American, a first likely to inspire others. What first does he want to see? He says in the current political situation he’s very eager to see “the first woman or the first African-American elected president,” adding, “it would just simply be an earmark of what America is and what America, in fact, can become.”

But he says there are still many firsts that need work before they can be achieved. “I’m still looking for the first woman to be ordained in the Orthodox Jewish community. ... I have a congregant and I’m helping her become one of the first black women to be ordained as a rabbi.”

“I would rather be on the side of pushing for total equality of all than standing on the sidelines.”

Posted by SPN on 03/23 at 02:50 PM
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