Texas HS dance teacher accused of recording 200+ videos of himself having sex w/up to 70 kids

This week has exposed the underbelly of America. The sick senseless bullying that enables a young person to believe life isn’t worth living, and to top that, here’s the case of another kind of predator – someone who deserves to have the key thrown away.

Marco Alferez is charged with sexual exploitation of minors and possessing child pornography. Federal authorities say they found more than 200 videos of the 34-year-old Irwin High School teacher having sex with children.

Alferez was arrested Sept. 21 at his El Paso home after authorities linked his internet protocol address to the sharing of three videos allegedly containing child pornography, reports CBS affiliate KDBC.

It’s hard to imagine such morally bankrupt, sexually deviant crimes that steal the innocence away in such a manner. This pedophile was able to get away with this for some time.

The full affadavit is here. (more…)

‘It’s Almost Like It Was Supposed To Happen’

The greatest thing ever:

Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco has a skill for finding controversy, but on Thursday he stumbled into one in a most unusual fashion: by way of a misprinted phone number on boxes of cereal that bear his name. A phone number on OchocincO’s Cereal that was supposed to connect callers to a charity instead sent them to a sex line.

The greatest quote about the greatest thing ever:

“I take the blame and apologize to everyone affected,” Ochocinco told reporters before Bengals practice Thursday. “It’s almost like it was supposed to happen.”

US Frets Over Pakistan “Extrajudicial Killings” But Doesn’t Count US Drones

It must be Rule of Law Hypocrisy Week at the US State Department. A few days ago, the Obama State Department announced sanctions against eight Iranian officials for human rights violations — like kidnapping, beatings, torture — perpetrated against Iranian protesters, while ignoring equally criminal acts by the Bush and Obama regimes.

This week, the US is fretting over so-called "extrajudicial killings" allegedly carried out by the Pakistani Army against Pakistan’s own civilians in the provinces bordering Afghanistan, even though US policy has been to encourage Pakistan to get tough against those same people.

Meanwhile, unilateral US drone attacks on Pakistan villages are increasing, the US military is training Afghans and mercenaries to carry the war into Pakistan, NATO is conducting airstrikes near or across the border, and US units are showing increasing signs of presumably unauthorized, random murder and brutality against civilians. Yet US officials protesting Pakistan’s alleged actions can’t seem to draw any connection between these related stories.

From Thursday’s New York Times:

An Internet video showing men in Pakistani military uniforms executing six young men in civilian clothes has heightened concerns about unlawful killings by Pakistani soldiers supported by the United States, American officials said. . . .

The director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Leon E. Panetta, who was in Islamabad on Wednesday on a previously scheduled visit, was expected to raise the subject of the video with the chief of the Pakistani Army, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, and the head of the Pakistani spy agency, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, American officials said.

The video adds to reports under review at the State Department and the Pentagon that Pakistani Army units have summarily executed prisoners and civilians in areas where they have opened offensives against the Taliban, administration officials said.

The video appears to have been taken in the Swat Valley, where the Pakistani military opened a campaign last year to push back Taliban insurgents. The effort was widely praised by American officials and financed in large part by the United States. . . .

The question of extrajudicial killings is particularly sensitive for Pentagon officials, who have tried in visits to Pakistan and through increased financing to improve their often-tense relationship with the Pakistani Army.

But growing word of such incidents in recent months has led to an internal debate at the State Department and the Pentagon over whether the reports are credible enough to warrant cutting off funds to Pakistani Army units, American officials said.

So, the US is concerned that Pakistan’s military is engaged in "extrajudicial killings" of Pakistan citizens, meaning that it just identifies residents in a suspected area, rounds them up and kills them on the grounds they’re suspected "militants." There’s no apparent effort to detain the suspects and present them to any military or judicial process to verify whether they constitute threats to anyone. Just kill them.

And aside from the obvious brutality, the reason we’re worried is because there’s this pesky US law that says we shouldn’t be providing military assistance to regimes that engage in such atrocities against their own citizens. Good for US laws!

But then one must ask whether there is some moral or legal distinction between what the Pakistan forces are alleged to be doing, which if true would be an egregious crime and warrant protests from all civilized nations, and what our own military teams are doing when they observe a Pakistani village or group of individuals via drone cameras and then, from targeting rooms that may be located in the US, direct the drones to bomb and kill those individuals, complete with video to assess the damage? Because I’m having a hard time seeing a meaningful difference.

Extrajudicial killing by governments is recognized as an egregious crime by all civilized nations, and we are right to protest it elsewhere. But our protests are unlikely to sway anyone unless we ourselves observe the same rule of law. We can’t seem to grasp the principle when applied to our own government’s actions.

It’s bad enough that the Pakistan Army may be doing this, and worse they may be doing this under pressure from the US to get tough with the "militants" in their own country. But it’s just as bad or worse when we do it ourselves, unilaterally, and then pretend not to recognized it’s the same thing. It’s hard to believe our government is concerned when others engage in bloody murder when it’s being undertaken on our behalf.

And yeah, Rachel Maddow is right (see her entire segment on the war on Pakistan here): the US military is waging war in Pakistan and increasingly against Pakistan’s citizens. I don’t remember the American people or Congress saying the Executive could do that, but they don’t seem to care what we think. Someone should tell the Tea Party.

John Chandley

Twitter @JohnChandley

Late Night: U.S. Nuclear Missile Sites Experience Close Encounters of the Second Kind

We could use a break tonight. Tensions are running high; they’re going to run even higher the closer we get to Election Day.

Let’s talk about something outside of the usual he-said-she-said political stuff, something completely off the beaten path.

And maybe something so far off road it’s not of this planet.

This past week former military personnel came forward at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. to discuss what they believe were close encounters with UFOs in 1967. Media reports about these disclosures mentioned the specific case of a nuclear weapon site at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana, at which the missiles were disabled or deactivated at the same time unidentified objects were reported flying over the facility.

What this week’s scattered media reports didn’t say was that another nuclear weapon site shared the same experience within a week of the first event: multiple missiles each at two sites, shut down by some unexplained force while unidentified objects were reported flying around the silos.

If you poke around the internet, you’re going to find all kinds of crazy stuff written by folks who appear to have parted ways with reality. But you’ll also find the same folks who spoke to the National Press Club have been trying to reach the public’s attention for years with little success. In some ways these very credible people — just listen to the former USAF officer in the video here — have been treated like liberals and progressives. They’ve been blown off as nutjobs in spite of their lucid arguments and the facts they’ve produced.

In the case of the Malmstrom incident, the government didn’t send out a military team to investigate why multiple nuclear missiles shut down. They allowed a well-known government contractor to handle the investigation. It bought the government the opportunity to discount any findings by the contractor while offering plausible deniability.

It sounds so very familiar, doesn’t it? Corporate contractors, doing the work of the government, to keep the government’s fingerprints off the subject matter at hand.  . . . (more…)

When There’s Nothing On The Horizon, You’ve Got Nothing Left To Prove

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 894-10
September 30, 2010
DOD Identifies Air Force Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of an airman who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Senior Airman Mark Forester, 29, of Tuscaloosa, Ala., died Sept. 29 in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan, while conducting combat operations in the area. He was assigned to the 21st Special Tactics Squadron, Pope Air Force Base, N.C.

For more information related to this release, please contact the Air Force Special Operations Command public affairs office, Hurlburt Field, Fla., at 850-884-5515.

California’s Prop 19 Gaining Steam – Now Up 52-41

JSN Prop 19, Just Say Now - Legalize MarijuanaCalifornia’s ballot initiative to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana, Proposition 19, is now leading with 52 percent in support and only 41 percent opposed, according to the latest PPIC poll (PDF) of likely voters. This poll is especially good news for Prop 19. The 11-point lead is not only one of the largest ever for Prop 19, most importantly, Prop 19 is now polling over 50 percent, so even if all remaining undecideds end up voting “no,” it would still pass. This poll also shows increasing support for marijuana legalization since the Prop 19 debate started.

PPIC (PDF) (9/16-26)
Proposition 19 is called the “Legalizes Marijuana Under California but Not Federal Law. Permits Local Governments to Regulate and Tax Commercial Production, Distribution, and Sale of Marijuana. Initiative Statute.” It allows people 21 years old or older to possess, cultivate, or transport marijuana for personal use. Depending on federal, state, and local government actions, fiscal impact is potential increased tax and fee revenues in the hundreds of millions of dollars annually and potential correctional savings of several tens of millions of dollars annually. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 19?

yes 52
no 41
don’t know 7

Support for marijuana legalization has significantly improved since the last time PPIC polled about it May. Their May poll found only 49 percent of likely voters thought marijuana should be made legal while 48 percent thought it should remain illegal.

Interestingly, while Prop 19 is winning 52-41, when likely voters were asked “In general, do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal, or not?” 51 percent said yes, legal, while 45 percent said no, illegal. Prop 19 is actually slightly outperforming the general concept of marijuana legalization. This maybe a result of Prop 19’s language specifying the taxing and regulating of marijuana. Regardless, this is an important point to keep in mind when looking at polling about marijuana legalization. Support for specific policy changes or ballot measures to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana may outpoll the general concept of legalization.

A ballot measure below 50 percent is considered to be in the danger zone. Having Prop 19 just above 50 percent is critical because it means the measure could pass if the campaign can just prevent their committed supporters from changing their minds and make sure their people show up to vote. Remaining undecided voters opinions on legalizing marijuana track closely with those that register a position on Prop 19. Since nearly half of those undecided about Prop 19 think marijuana use should remain illegal, coupled with the general proclivity to default to “no,” it seems a clear sign that “Yes on 19” forces cannot count on a significant number of late-breaking undecideds to support the proposition.

Looking at the crosstabs, the general patterns of support for Prop 19 remain the same. Men are more supportive than women. Independents and Democrats support it by large margins while Republicans tend to be opposed. Voters under 35 overwhelming support Prop 19 by a margin of 70 percent to 22 percent. Interestingly, this poll actually shows Latinos more supportive (“yes” 63 percent, “no” 33 percent) than whites (“yes” 50, “no” 43), something other polls have not found.

While 49 percent of voters say the outcome of Prop 19 is very important, those who plan to vote against it are more likely than those who support it to say the outcome is very important (65 percent to 42 percent).

At 52 percent yes, Prop 19’s chances of passage seem to have improved slightly, but the outcome is still likely to be extremely close .

Ellen Speaks Out on Youth Suicides and Bullying

Thank you, Ellen for this heartfelt, sincere and important message. Rutger student Tyler Clementi jumped ot his death form the Washington Bridge after two classmates videotaped him having sex and broadcast it on the Internet. His was the fourth suicide in three weeks. The Washing Post reports in addition to Tyler:

Seth Walsh, 13, committed suicide last week after years of being bullied. The police interviewed several of the students who teased Walsh but determined their actions did not constitute a crime, news reports say.

Asher Brown, also 13, shot himself after being harassed at his middle school in Houston. According to news reports, his parents said they had complained to the school authorities, but the bullying continued. The school reports that no complaints were made.

Billy Lucas, a 15-year-old in Indiana, hung himself Thursday after being bullied. He never told anyone he was gay, but his classmates acknowledged that he was teased because students assumed he was.

Yesterday on Fox News, Shepard Smith said:

What happens in your bedroom is supposed to be private…

and went on to discuss Tyler’s suicide in sympathetic terms.  Yeah, on Fox News. And it was refreshing to see them take a positive stance on this, given their conservative base.