Friday, October 26, 2007

Justice For Teen In
Consensual Oral Sex Case

Georgia’s Supreme Court today ruled that Genarlow Wilson, who was sentenced for 10 years in prison for receiving oral sex when he was 17 from a willing 15-year-old girl, should be released, saying that his punishment was “cruel and unusual”.

Hopefully, Wilson should be home some time today, his lawyer, B.J. Bernstein, told CNN.

Wilson has already spent more than two years in prison for having consensual oral sex with a teenage girl at a New Year’s Eve party in 2003.

As was mentioned before, Wilson should not have been placed in prison for doing something that normal teenagers do. And as said before, District Attorney David McDade and Attorney General Thurbert Baker could have prevented this travesty by not charging Wilson with felony aggravated child molestation, which is a 10-year mandatory sentence.

But it’s a shame that other district attorneys and attorney generals don’t have the same zing as McDade and Baker. While Wilson was sentenced for 10 years in jail for receiving “oral entertainment” from a willing 15-year-old girl, we have a 46-year-old New York man, Edward Miller, who may get one to four years for raping a teenage girl 68 times over a period of two years.

We have enough to fear with animals like Edward Miller running around but what we don’t need are district attorneys and attorney generals who don’t know that they can exercise their right to not press charges when it comes to consensual sexual relations between two teenagers.

Hopefully, Wilson’s ordeal will be over soon and will be home with his family by the end of today. But the overzealous actions of Baker and McDade have already shattered this young boy’s life, who had a promising football career ahead of him.

Whatever justified bitterness and resentment that Wilson has over this affair, hopefully he won’t let that poison him and he can start making plans for a bright future.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Funny Thing Happened At Bill Maher’s Forum

If Bill Maher isn’t going to take any bull from an elected official, he sure as hell isn’t going to take it from 9/11 conspiracy theorists.

This past Friday on his HBO show, “Real Time with Bill Maher,” 9/11 conspiracy theorists from the studio audience interrupted the program by shouting that Maher should talk about the “truth” of what really happened on 9/11. Using colorful metaphors, Maher went down to the audience and helped kick these nutty jokers out. And it’s gotten quite a bit of hits on YouTube.

Now, these people are more out of it then your normal, run of the mill conspiracy theorist. But on second thought, maybe not. These people believe that either President Bush, the U.S. government or the evil “establishment,” according to some the “establishment” and the government are two separate beings, planned the 9/11 attacks.

These “9/11 Truthers,” as they call themselves, also claim everything from that there were no hijackers aboard the planes to that a missile really hit the Pentagon. And trust me there is a whole smorgasbord of other things that these yahoos claim but who has the time to name and debunk them all? Well, thank goodness Popular Mechanics has already done that for us.

But there are little things that really fly in the face of these anti-government crusaders and they’re called facts. As my father likes to say, a little common sense goes a long way. For example, the theory that there were no hijackers on the planes. It’s really funny, because there are many things that contradict this claim. There are cockpit recordings of the hijackers and cell phone recordings of the passengers telling their loved ones or 911 operators that radical Muslim terrorists have taken over the planes.

Or the little theory that a missile really hit the Pentagon. It’s a really interesting theory and it would make a great suspense movie, except for that pesky little fact that hundreds of eyewitnesses saw American Airlines Flight 77 slam into the United States Department of Defense building.

But if you present the 9/11 Truthers with these facts, or even mention that they should talked to the family and friends of the nearly 3,000 victims who died that fateful day, expect to be called a government shill or a sheep that should stop watching FOX News or any other news organization, even if it’s a liberal one.

Sadly, these people have no credibility. They don’t even have one government official who can back up even one of their absurd claims. At least the Roswell UFO conspiracy theorists can whip out retired government officials who claim to either have seen the alien craft or its pilots, such as Air Force Major Jesse Marcel or Elias Benjamin, an MP with the 390th Air Service Squadron.

With 9/11 Truthers though, what they say is an insult to what really happened that day and to the victims’ family and friends who suffered a great loss.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Philly To Increase Rent Because
Of Boy Scout’s Anti-Gay Policy

Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, wants to increase the yearly rent of a building the Boy Scout’s have been using since 1928 from $1 to $200,000 because the private organization refuses to allow gays and atheists.

After a 2000 Supreme Court ruling declaring that the Boy Scouts of America are allowed not to induct gays and atheists because it’s a private organization, the City of Philadelphia decided that it could not legally lease land to a group that discriminates.

However, in 2005 the city’s prior solicitor helped the Boy Scouts’ Philadelphia branch, called the Cradle of Liberty Council, to adopt an “unlawful discrimination” policy.

Now the city’s openly-gay current solicitor Romulo L. Diaz Jr. has determined that the policy is “not clear enough,” according to Cradle of Liberty spokesman Jeff Jubelirer in an interview with FOX News. Jubelirer went on to say that since the 2005 policy, no one has reported any discrimination.

But according to Diaz, Philadelphia City Mayor John Street, City Council and a commission that overseas historical properties has been asking the local Boy Scouts to create a clearer anti-discrimination policy.

And Stacey Sobel, executive director of Equality Advocates Pennsylvania, told Philadelphia’s City Paper, “We’re concerned with the message it sends if taxpayer dollars are supporting discrimination.”

The city says that $200,000 is a fair market price, but Jubelirer told the Philadelphia Inquirer that price “would have to come from programs. That's 30 new Cub Scout packs, or 800 needy kids going to our summer camp.”

While I believe that a private organization or company should be allowed to make any rules it wishes, I think it’s unfair that the Boy Scouts of America won’t allow gays and atheists. Any boy who wants to learn how to be a good American and to learn how to serve his community and country better should be allowed in, despite his sexual preference or non-religious beliefs.

However, it’s not right that the City of Philadelphia decided to campaign against 64,000 boys who have no control over the organization’s enrollment policies. If the city feels the need to make a political statement on acceptance, there are better ways of going about it then kicking thousands of kids out of a building that has been used for nearly 80 years.

For instance, the city could have held a tolerance fair and invited the Boy Scouts. Or maybe Philadelphia and the Boy Scouts could have created a merit badge of acceptance.

The City of Philadelphia is having a hard time right now with kids joining gangs or doing drugs. But charging the local Boy Scouts $200,000 a year because they don’t accept certain groups, even though they have adopted a non-discrimination policy, is asinine. That money can go towards helping kids get off the streets and teach them how to be more community-minded.

It’s time Philadelphia earns a merit badge in priorities.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Responsibility Needed For
Disturbed Teen With Guns

Guns and teenagers seem to be a hot topic this week. On Wednesday, 14-year-old Asa Coon shot two teachers and two fellow students at Cleveland’s SuccessTech Academy before turning his gun on himself.

On Wednesday evening, police in Pennsylvania arrested a 14-year-old boy who had a 9 mm assault rifle, as well as a .22-caliber handgun, and a .22-caliber rifle, and some loving assortments of home-made hand grenades and swords.

Apparently, the home-schooled student was planning a Columbine-style attack on his former school, Plymouth Whitemarsh High School, in Plymouth Meeting, Pa., where it was alleged he was bullied for being fat.

And the Pennsylvania boy’s mother, Michele Cossey, bought him the guns, which no ammunition was found. She has been charged with six counts of buying the firearms for her son. Police found diaries the boy made of detailed violent acts, explosive black powder for the hand grenades and materials about Nazi Germany. Police have charged the boy with solicitation to commit terror and other offenses.

So, does this mean that the combination of teenagers and guns are bad? Not necessarily. The Cossey Boy isn’t exactly Johnny Chest Champion. He has huge issues, especially when he is filling diaries with deadly acts and reading bed time stories by Adolph Hitler.

On top of that he made three working hand grenades and he was making more. What type of arts and crafts projects was this home-schooled kid into? The Cossey Boy didn’t need another firearm; he needed to get some professional help!

Now, believe it or not there are many responsible teenagers who either own or use guns with the supervision and careful instructions of responsible parents and other adults. Mrs. Cossey and her son certainly don’t fit into that category.

Should all teenagers have guns? No, they shouldn’t. Then again, some of them shouldn’t even be allowed to drive, but many still get behind the wheel and cause horrific accidents. The Cossey Boy is a good example of why some teenagers shouldn’t have any type of weapon, firearm or otherwise. But there is enough blame to go around.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Cossey had to be aware on some level what their son was doing in his bedroom, if police were able to find Nazi reading material, drugs and bomb-making instructions. Once they realized their son had issues, it was time to take away the guns, swords and other goodies.

However, we can be thankful that responsible 14-year-old Lewis Bennett, who was being recruited to join the Cossey Boy’s "Human Target Club," went to his father and both of them went to the police.

It’s high time that many parents need to take a more active hand in raising their children. Now most parents aren’t like the Cosseys, thankfully. That being said, if you notice that your child’s attitude has changed or grades are taking a nosedive, then it’s time to step in.

If you don’t know how to go about it, contact your child’s school counselor and he or she should have brochures that will point you to the right direction. Or you can go to, a Web site that provides excellent information on how to speak with your kids about sex, drugs and violence.

No one said raising children would be easy. If someone told you it would be, smack that person in the mouth. But taking the time and patience to let your child know that you care, even if they are not that receptive of it, can make all the difference in the world. Maybe the Cosseys should have thought of that before buying their disturbed teenager another gun.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Ohio School Missed Warning Signs

If what students from SuccessTech Academy said is true about Asa H. Coon, the alleged shooter at the Ohio high school yesterday, then school officials really dropped the ball.

According to police and eye witnesses, before Coon killed himself, he shot two students and two teachers.

Coon was suspended for fighting Monday and he was not supposed to be at the Cleveland high school yesterday, according to the Associated Press. During the shooting, Coon was wearing black jeans, a black Marilyn Manson concert shirt, and black-painted finger nails, according to officials. But he has been known to don a dog collar, chains and a black trench coat.

Now, here is a quote from a student of SuccessTech Academy, where one has to apply before being accepted to the high school.

“He's crazy. He threatened to blow up our school. He threatened to stab everybody,” said student Doneisha LeVert. “We didn’t think nothing of it.”

But this is where it gets interesting. According to LeVert, Coon made that threat last Friday in front of teachers and no one took him seriously.

How could no one take him seriously? In a world where two Columbine High School students who went on a shooting rampage were known for wearing trench coats and only six months ago did quiet Cho Seung-Hui, who was known for writing violent plays, murdered 32 people at Virginia Tech, how could someone not know this couldn’t be a possibility?

Yes, hindsight is 20/20, but the 14-year-old Coon was arrested last year for “a domestic violence incident and police had been to his home before for incidents that involved weapons,” CNN reported.

And last year, Coon threatened to commit suicide while in the care of a mental health facility, reported the Cleveland Plain Dealer. According to the story, Coon also refused to take his medication but it did not reveal what the medication was or why he was taking it.

Add that up along with his wardrobe selection and the threat, this should have sent up a lot of red flags. At this time, it has not been reported that school officials wanted Coon to be evaluated but it does not seem like it. And it is not known at this time if Coon was still receiving treatment prior to the attacks In any case, it’s clear that Coon was not getting the proper help he needed.

It is hard to believe that no school official thought, “Hey, these kids are nuts during the best of times but this kid has a history of emotional and criminal problems, maybe I should take some extra precaution.” Did SuccessTech Academy school officials had nap time when Seung-Hui was shooting up Virginia Tech’s campus?

And the Associated Press reported that students and parents have made allegations that the metal detectors at the front door of this school are not always turned on, while CNN reported that Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath stated the school does not have them.

And SuccessTech Academy will be catching holy hell when people are going to start asking how a troubled 14-year old boy who is suspended got into a school with two revolvers, a duffel bag of ammunition and three knives.

The only saving grace for SuccessTech Academy is that Principal Johnnie Durant issued a “Code Blue” over the public address system to alert students and staff that there was danger. That probably saved many lives.

And this certainly aims a critical spotlight on SuccessTech Academy’s enrollment program. The school has some strict guidelines on how to apply. Hopeful students must write an essay, get two teacher recommendations and have interviews with school officials. Yet somehow Coon was still accepted to attend, despite his problems.

Sadly, we live in a time where students who make remarks about blowing up their school or threatening harm to others needs to be taken more seriously.

Coon clearly had emotional problems that SuccessTech Academy, it would seem, could not properly handle. Even though the public school should have done more to prevent this tragedy from happening, there is enough finger pointing to go around.

We must stay vigilant in these times and hope that after a proper investigation into this matter, something like this can be prevented.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A Lesson In Stupidity

Teachers at the Alma J. Brown Elementary School decided that the only way for kindergarten and first grade students’ to truly understand racism is to have a noose around their little necks.

On Sept. 20, 2007, the same day of the national protest march for the Jena Six, teachers decided to hold their own march to support the six black males accused of beating a white male by having the young students circle their playground.

Alma J. Brown Elementary School is located on the campus of Grambling State University, in Grambling, La. Pictures of the event were taken by the university’s newspaper, The Gramblinite.

“(One picture shows) a young girl in a school uniform being held up by a woman while someone else, mostly hidden by a tree, holds a noose around her neck and up to a branch,” reported FOX News.

Thankfully, these teachers had enough sense to not tie the noose to the tree itself. The president of the university is having a full investigation into the matter. But the point is, why would anyone in his or hers right mind think it would be a great way to teach young children about racism by placing a noose around their necks?

Heaven forbid if one of these kids gets the idea of doing the same thing when there are no adults around. After all, these are little kids who really don’t understand the concept of mortality. These teachers should be fired over this.

We should all be grateful the teachers didn’t tie two baseball bats together to form a cross and set them on fire.

Another concern that is just as dangerous, but certainly nowhere as deadly, is the lesson these educators were trying to teach the children about the Jena Six case. It hasn’t been reported on what exactly was taught to them but there has been a lot of unreported information about the Jena Six that many adults are not even aware of. For example:

These facts, and others, certainly paint a very different picture than what has been reported. Of course, that doesn’t excuse the nooses placed on the tree and hateful people like Richard Barrett, the founder for the white supremacist group the Nationalist Movement, doesn’t help matters by having a counter demonstration during the Jena Six march.

If the children really need to be taught racism at such a young age, even though they may not fully understand it, let’s hope they learn the most important lesson of all: There are both good and bad people out there in all colors and sexes.