Federally-funded abstinence programs fraught with problems: Report

Thursday, December 2, 2004

WASHINGTON, DC – According to a report issued by U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Henry A. Waxman (DCA), the majority of abstinence-only sexual education programs in schools contain incorrect or misleading information.

The report found that over 80% of the curricula used by the recipients of the grants contained incorrect information, including the claim that condoms did not prevent the spread of STDs and that abortions have a high chance of causing sterility.[1]

These programs are funded by the federal government under President George W. Bush’s faith-based initiative. According to the report, these abstinence programs—promoted by the administration of President Bush—are receiving increasing amounts of funding: nearly $170 million will be spent in 2005, which is more than double the spending on these programs in 2001.[2]

Under the faith-based initiative programs, the United States government allocates funds to religious and other community organizations that agree to carry out abstinence education programs which do not include coverage of any other methods of birth control or sexually transmitted disease prevention, as well as other criteria.

The timing of the report is significant in that it comes on the heels of research from Columbia University that found that nearly 9 of 10 teenagers who had pledged abstinence from pre-marital sex had broken their vows in the first six years since the pledges[3].

The Waxman Report and the Columbia University study describe some abstinence programs as factually wrong and/or ineffective. In a rebuttal, Dr. Alma L. Golden, a deputy assistant secretary in the Health and Human Services Department, said in a statement that Mr. Waxman’s report “misses the boat” and that it took information out of context “for purely political reasons.”[4]

PostHeaderIcon Ordering Slate Roofing Through Local Roofers In Long Island, Ny


Homeowners who wish to acquire premium roofing materials should consider slate. This option provides homeowners with a long-lasting material that isn’t subject to the same hindrances as asphalt. While asphalt is the most economical option, it could present homeowners with greater maintenance costs than slate. local roofers in Long Island NY offer slate roofing as an alternative to asphalt.

The Longevity of Slate Roofing

According to statistics, slate roofing could last throughout the homeowner’s lifetime. With that said, adequate maintenance and inspections are necessary to maintain the integrity of the material. Since it is a natural substance, it is considered a stronger material than most roofing materials. For this reason, the homeowner could expect a lifespan of up to a century.

Preventing Additional Property Damage

Slate roofing is the most fire resistant material available. The tiles will stop blazing fires from causing damage to the roof. It will maintain its structure regardless of the temperatures inside the property. The fire won’t damage the tiles at all.

Renewable Resources for Roofing

Slate tile is recyclable. It is a naturally-occurring material that won’t hinder the environment. If the homeowner chooses to replace the roofing, the Local Roofers in Long Island NY could reuse the materials without issues. The material won’t end up in a landfill or increase waste products in these areas.

What Homeowners Should Know

First, slate roofing isn’t the right choice for all properties. The home should have existing bracing that will support the tiles. Since they are excessively heavy, they could damage the property if they aren’t installed correctly. The tiles weigh in excessive of 1,500 lbs per 100 square feet. Homeowners who aren’t sure if they have the correct bracing or framing should order an inspection first before they purchase the roofing material.

Slate roofing is an aesthetically pleasing concept that could increase the property value. However, homeowners who want to install a slate roof should weigh the pros and cons to determine if it is right for them. They should also acquire a free estimate for the installation to determine if it fits within their current budget. To learn more about slate roofing, contact North Shore Roofing & Siding Corp now.

News briefs:June 4, 2010

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Inquiry ordered into video of US troops urinating on Taliban fighters

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The United States Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has ordered an investigation into a video allegedly showing US Marines urinating on dead Taliban fighters. Panetta has called the videos “utterly deplorable” and not appropriate conduct for United States armed forces personnel. Afghan president Hamid Karzai called for “the most severe punishment for anyone found guilty in this crime.”

The video shows four men apparently dressed in US Marine uniforms urinating on three dead bodies. In it the men are heard saying “Have a great day, buddy” and “hope you like your shower“. The exact date the video was taken is unknown. It appeared on internet sites, including YouTube. The photographing or video taking of human casualties is specifically forbidden by the US military’s code of conduct.

A statement by Coalition Forces said the men in uniform probably aren’t in Afghanistan anymore; the US Marine Corps has since stated they aren’t. The coalition statement also reiterated the Department of Defense’s stance, saying “this behavior dishonors the sacrifices and core values of every service member representing the 50 nations of the coalition…. Any individuals with confirmed involvement will be held fully accountable.”

The incident will be investigated by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) which investigates criminal matters for the US Navy.

The Taliban responded by saying “First they killed the Afghans with mortars, and they then urinated on their bodies. We strongly condemn this inhumane action by the wild American soldiers.”

Florida man charged with stealing Wi-Fi

Update since publication

This article mentions that Wi-Fi stands for “Wireless Fidelity”, although this is disputed.

Thursday, July 7, 2005

A Florida man is being charged with 3rd degree felony for logging into a private Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity) Internet access point without permission. Benjamin Smith III, 41, is set for a pre-trial hearing this month in the first case of its kind in the United States.

This kind of activity occurs frequently, but often goes undetected by the owners of these wireless access points (WAPs). Unauthorized users range from casual Web browsers, to users sending e-mails, to users involved in pornography or even illegal endeavours.

According to Richard Dinon, owner of the WAP Smith allegedly broke into, Smith was using a laptop in an automobile while parked outside Dinon’s residence.

There are many steps an owner of one of these access points can take to secure them from outside users. Dinon reportedly knew how to take these steps, but had not bothered because his “neighbors are older.”

Microsoft extends warranty for all Xbox 360s

Saturday, December 23, 2006

On December 22, 2006 Microsoft has announced that it has extended its warranty for all Xbox 360 video game consoles to one year in the United States. While this one year warranty applies to all Xbox 360 software as well, Xbox 360 accessories will still carry their original 90 day warranty.

According to a statement by Microsoft:

“Customers that experience hardware issues with their Xbox 360 within one year of purchase will have their consoles repaired at no cost. Moreover, the new warranty policy is retroactive, so consumers that may have already paid for out-of-warranty Xbox 360 repair within one year of the console’s purchase will be eligible for reimbursement of their console repair charges.”

This extension should help ease customers’ minds who have been concerned with the Xbox 360’s reputation for hardware failures. A partial list of hardware issues can be found here:

People who have paid for Xbox 360 repair will be automatically distributed a reimbursement check in about 10 weeks from the present date.

Previously in September, 2006, Microsoft had waived the cost for repairs on all Xbox 360 consoles made before January 1, 2006, and refunded any fees already paid.

A full description of the updated warranty can be found here:

PostHeaderIcon Asus Laptops Laptop Computers That Are Worth The Purchase

Asus Laptops – Laptop Computers that Are Worth the Purchase


Ritchie Smythe

Asus is a popular brand known for its motherboards, cellular phones, and net books but their laptop computer models should be considered as well as they have decent line-up of the fabulous portable systems for the consumers. Laptop computers manufactured by Asus are also renowned for their unparalleled designs serving special needs of the users. They also provide a good count of ultra portables which are slightly bigger compared to their Eee personal computers and a good range of gaming laptop computers for a fun digital multimedia experience. Let’s find out what makes it worth the purchase.

Extra Security Features

The Asus N80Vn is an interesting laptop since they have numerous smart technologies merged into this system. N80Vn has the most recent Express Gate that carries a built-in OS (operating system) designed for a faster boot times. This operating system contains a web browser, Skype, Instant messenger, and other valuable applications. In addition to that, it is equipped with good security features including special login feature which supports automatic face recognition to authenticate users. The fingerprint reader located in between touchpad buttons could be used for security purposes. This feature is much more innovative compared to fingerprint readers in other brands. For a start the N80Vn has powerful specs which make this model greater than others.

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Multimedia Powerhouse

Looking for a laptop that offers a wider range of multimedia system features is difficult since laptop manufacturers try to excel in particular areas like gaming. Asus X71SL line is unlike other brands since it has the capabilities of being a home treat, gaming console and desktop compute. The price is affordable as well but the design is not exceptional, but it features a large 17.1-inch widescreen. It is also coupled with NVIDIA GeForce 9300M which is capable to play the latest games as well as high definition support. Additionally, it has an HDMI interface required for HDTV standards and a support for eight-channel digital audio.

Gaming Powerhouse

Most of the cutting-edge gaming laptop computers are bigger and bulkier since the components of these types are more complicated. But not with the N81Vp as this gaming powerhouse features a small 14-inch display while having a golden aspect ratio of 16:9 and a more sophisticated ATI Radeon HD 4650 graphics card with 1 gigabyte of VRAM. To top it all, it is equipped with Altec Lansing speaker units with Dolby Home Theater tech for an exciting gaming experience in spite of its small screen.

In addition, you can use an optional Hybrid television tuner as it also comes with remote control. The powerful specs and the small size screen make this model an excellent choice especially for the mobile gamers. Also, there are tremendous selections of Asus laptop computer to which you can choose from particularly if you are looking for special features that you may not be able to find in other laptop computer models.

The Asus company truly continues to pave its way for more innovative creation and new laptop designs that surmount expectations as it delivers unique technology and unequalled features.

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Jury considers Curt Dagenais court case

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

In Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, the jury is deliberating in the case of Curt Dagenais, charged in the July 2006 shooting deaths of two Saskatchewan RCMP officers. Justice Gerald Allbright, in his instructions to the sequestered jury, has advised the jurors that they may consider the charges of second-degree murder, manslaughter or discharging a firearm with intent to wound or endanger life, but not the charge of first-degree murder the Crown has sought.

Dagenais has entered a plea of not guilty by reason of self defense. He is charged with two counts first degree murder and one count of attempted murder in the Spiritwood Incident.

Constable Michelle Knopp survived the shoot-out which erupted after a high speed chase ended about 30 kilometers (19 miles) from Spiritwood, Saskatchewan near Mildred. Constables Marc Bourdages and Robin Cameron died about one week following the shoot out which occurred July 7, 2006.

Defense lawyer Bill Roe argued self defense for Dagenais, saying he shot “in a blind panic” when RCMP officers fired upon him.

Crown prosecutor Al Johnston asserted that Dagenais shot first. Johnston asserted that Dagenais cannot be believed, that his story is presented so he can get away with murder.

The incident began with a dispute within the Dagenais family. The defendant supported his father Arthur Dagenais, and his sister supported the mother Elise Dagenais, during a divorce; his mother was to receive half the family farm from the divorce which she had previously allocated to Dagenais. Dagenais tried to speak to his mother, but the sister intervened.

Dagenais reported going to the local RCMP detachment and spoke with Constable Cameron. Constable Knopp informed Dagenais that the RCMP could not be involved in a family affair.

After Dagenais’ sister and mother went to the police, the three constables went to charge Dagenais with assault.

This is where the stories from the RCMP and Dagenais diverge. Dagenais claims that Cameron made the intial approach to arrest him and smashed his truck window, at which point Dagenais became scared and sped away from the situation. The RCMP state that Dagenais started to drive away from the situation which meant that Cameron was hit by the truck’s rear view mirror. Cameron retaliated by breaking the window. Officers Cameron and Bourdages followed the departing Dagenais in a police truck; Knopp followed in a SUV.

During the chase police sideswiped Dagenais’ truck. The RCMP say that Dagenais was unpredictable and that he had rammed their vehicle. The RCMP tried prevent Dagenais from reaching his father’s farm house fearing that there were firearms there.

The first shot was at the moving police vehicle before the crash from a stationary Dagenais vehicle…Curt Dagenais had the motive to shoot at the police vehicle and he had the opportunity to do it

There is a difference in accounts of the chase and gun battle. Dagenais claims the RCMP fired upon him first, and he fired back in self defence fearing for his life.

The chase ended after RCMP rammed into the side of Dagenais’ stopped truck. Because Dagenais was already stopped, according to collision reconstruction expert, there was time for Dagenais to shoot at the RCMP truck. A firearm expert studying trajectories of the bullets found that one of the rounds fired from Daganais’ .30-30 Winchester entered the police vehicle at a different angle than other shots fired at the truck after the collision.

Dagenais has also reported holes in his truck door.

Dagenais claims when he heard the second vehicle drive up, there was more gun fire so he returned shots himself.

Knopp testifed that she arrived at the scene in the second vehicle her ear was struck by a fragment from bullet fire. She said when she arrived Daganais fired first and that Bourdages and Cameron were already badly wounded.

Firearms experts established that Dagenais fired eight times, and the RCMP six times during the gunfight.

During the trial evidence was presented that Dagenais had previously been assaulted by police. The RCMP had identified Daganais as a police hater. There had been previous altercations between the RCMP, Daganais and his father. Dagenais had filed prior lawsuits against the RCMP.

Following the incident, Dagenias fled the scene hiding in the woods of the countryside. 200 RCMP engaged in a massive manhunt. Dagenais turned himself in July 18, 2006.

The audio from the RCMP radio was submitted as evidence, and the dispatcher had opened all the channels associated with the Shellbrook area. There is no reporting of gunfire recorded on the audio.

There was no videotape in the onboard video camera installed in Knopp’s SUV when evidence was gathered two days following the shooting. A photograph of three VHS tapes in Knopp’s vehicle has been presented. Constable Kenneth Palen after viewing a tape, testified he was instructed not to keep the videotape found on the passenger seat of the SUV and it was destroyed in the garbage.

ACLU President Strossen on religion, drugs, guns and impeaching George Bush

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

There are few organizations in the United States that elicit a stronger emotional response than the American Civil Liberties Union, whose stated goal is “to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States”. Those people include gays, Nazis, women seeking abortion, gun owners, SPAM mailers and drug users. People who are often not popular with various segments of the public. The ACLU’s philosophy is not that it agrees or disagrees with any of these people and the choices that they make, but that they have personal liberties that must not be trampled upon.

In Wikinews reporter David Shankbone’s interview with the President of the ACLU, Nadine Strossen, he wanted to cover some basic ground on the ACLU’s beliefs. Perhaps the area where they are most misunderstood or have their beliefs most misrepresented is their feelings about religion in the public sphere. The ACLU categorically does not want to see religion disappear from schools or in the public forum; but they do not want to see government advocacy of any particular religion. Thus, former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore’s placement of a ten ton monument to the Ten Commandments outside the courthouse is strenuously opposed; but “Lone Ranger of the Manger” Rita Warren’s placement of nativity scenes in public parks is vigorously defended. In the interview, Strossen talks about how certain politicians and televangelists purposefully misstate the law and the ACLU’s work in order to raise funds for their campaigns.

David Shankbone’s discussion with Strossen touches upon many of the ACLU’s hot button issues: religion, Second Amendment rights, drug liberalization, “partial-birth abortion” and whether or not George W. Bush should be impeached. It may surprise the reader that many ideas people have about the most visible of America’s civil libertarian organizations are not factually correct and that the ACLU often works closely with many of the organizations people think despise its existence.


  • 1 Strossen’s background
  • 2 Religion in schools
  • 3 Religious symbols
  • 4 How the ACLU is misrepresented by politicians and televangelists
  • 5 The abortion debate
  • 6 Judicial activism
  • 7 Capital punishment and criminal justice
  • 8 Decriminalization of drugs and suicide
  • 9 War and threats to humanity
  • 10 Should George Bush be impeached?
  • 11 Gun rights
  • 12 Strossen’s philosophy
  • 13 Sources