Society's ChildS


Best of the Web: Apartheid America: Black Florida mom gets 20 years for firing warning shot at abusive husband, Zimmerman walks free after murdering innocent black teenager

© WETVMarissa Alexander of Jacksonville, Fla., received a 20-years prison sentence, Friday, May 11, 2012, for firing warning shots against her allegedly abusive husband. The judge rejected a defense under Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law.
Jacksonville, Florida - A Florida woman who fired warning shots against her allegedly abusive husband has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Marissa Alexander of Jacksonville had said the state's "Stand Your Ground" law should apply to her because she was defending herself against her allegedly abusive husband when she fired warning shots inside her home in August 2010. She told police it was to escape a brutal beating by her husband, against whom she had already taken out a protective order.

CBS Affiliate WETV reports that Circuit Court Judge James Daniel handed down the sentence Friday.

Under Florida's mandatory minimum sentencing requirements Alexander could receive a lesser sentence, even though she has never been in trouble with the law before. Judge Daniel said the law did not allow for extenuating or mitigating circumstances to reduce the sentence below the 20-year minimum.

"I really was crying in there," Marissa's 11-year-old daughter told WETV. "I didn't want to cry in court, but I just really feel hurt. I don't think this should have been happening."

Comment: Shoot an unarmed teenager, walk free. Fire a warning shot at someone who regularly beats you up and you have no other recourse to justice, get 20 years in jail. Only in America.


On the job hunt: how I discovered gender discrimination

employment glass ceiling
It was the late '90s and I was at an interesting phase of my career. For the first time in my life I possessed relevant qualifications, experience and could also show a successful track record in my chosen career path. I had the job seeker's trifecta. It was also summer and my current employer was pissing me off with their penny-pinching ways, so after three years of ball busting effort I decided a break and a job change was in order. Displaying characteristic overconfidence in myself I quit my job (without burning any bridges) and set about applying for others.

I was experienced in managing technical & trade supply businesses. I also had engineering experience and sales experience and had demonstrably excelled every sales and profit target I had ever been given. I started applying for roles that would stretch me and lift my career up a notch. There were plenty of opportunities around and I usually had a few applications on the go at any one time. I was an experienced guy in an experienced guy's world, this wouldn't be hard.

Then the rejection letters trickled in. I could take rejection, it goes hand in hand with business, but after the first few months I was frankly confused. I hadn't had a single interview. Instead of aiming high I lowered my sights and started applying for jobs where there was no career advancement. Now I had everything these employers could possibly want, it would be a shoe in. But still not one interview came my way, not even a phone inquiry.

Somewhere after the four month mark my confidence was starting to take a hit. The people rejecting me were business people too, how could my reasoning that I was perfect for these jobs be so different to theirs? Putting on my most serious business head I went back and scoured my CV. It was the only contact any of my potential employers or their recruitment companies had had with me. My CV was THE common denominator and if something was wrong it MUST be there.

I had fortunately seen a number of CVs in my time. I was happy with the choice of style and layout, and the balance of detail versus brevity. I was particularly pleased with the decision I made to brand it with my name with just enough bold positioning to make it instantly recognisable, and as I sat scouring every detail of that CV a horrible truth slowly dawned on me. My name.

Red Flag

'Florida' spelled incorrectly on highway exit ramp sign - twice

Maybe it's a sign of the times: People aren't so good at spelling.

That seems to be the case down in Florida, where transportation workers were recently getting ready to install a new exit sign on a freeway, and someone realized the word "Florida" was spelled wrong, according to a report on


James Holmes' lawyers enter insanity plea; here come the insane psychiatrists

"What do you do for a living?"

"I slap fictitious disease labels on people and poison their brains."

"Sounds good. We want you to examine a defendant and determine whether he was morally competent on a specific night a year ago."

"Piece of cake."

That's what we're dealing with now in the Batman murder case.

The psychiatrists have taken over.

James Holmes' lawyers have entered an insanity plea in the Aurora- theater massacre case, and the judge, Carlos Samour, has just accepted it.

From "When the insanity defense is raised, it's an admission that the defendant performed all of the acts alleged by the prosecution. For this reason, if the jury rejects the insanity defense, the defendant will almost certainly be convicted."

In other words, Holmes' lawyers have said Holmes committed the murders, but he was insane at the time. He didn't know right from wrong, he was driven to murder by an irresistible impulse caused by a mental disorder.

So now Holmes will be sent to a Colorado hospital for at least several months, where psychiatrists will make up their minds about whether he is/was insane on the night of July 20, 2012, at the Aurora theater.

Eventually, unless Holmes changes his plea to a simple "guilty," a trial will take place. In the trial, the jury will decide whether he was sane or insane when he committed murder. The psychiatrists who examined Holmes will, of course, factor into that decision.

At minimum, the jury's verdict will put Holmes in prison or a psych ward for the rest of his life. If the jury decides Holmes was sane last July, the likely sentence will be death.

Eye 2

Irish politician grabs female MP during abortion debate

Green Light

Zimmerman acquitted of Trayvon Martin murder

George Zimmerman
© AFP Photo / Joe Burbank-Pool
A jury in Florida has ruled that George Zimmerman is not guilty on all charges relating to the murder of unarmed African-American teenager Trayvon Martin. The high-profile case sparked a massive national debate on race and guns in the United States.

Twenty-nine-year-old Zimmerman was acquitted on Saturday of all charges relating to the fatal shooting of Martin. The former neighborhood watch volunteer could have been sentenced to life in prison for second-degree murder or up to 30 years for manslaughter if he was found guilty.

Martin, 17, was shot over a year ago by Zimmerman, who claimed he acted in self-defense. The prosecution argued that Zimmerman was guilty of second-degree murder, stating that he racially profiled the unarmed teen and assumed he was a criminal when he saw him walking through a gated community in Sanford. They claimed that Zimmerman tracked the boy down and started the fight that led to the shooting.

The verdict was reached by a panel of six women jurors, 15 months after Martin's death and six miles away from where the incident took place.


Bus sliced in half after lorry drives across the road at speed killing 18 and leaving dozens injured near Moscow

Bus was believed to have been carrying 60 people at time of horrific crash

Emergency Services Ministry has confirmed 18 people died in incident

Youngest victim was a six-year-old girl, according to reports

Eighteen people have been killed and dozens injured after a truck crashed into a bus in a Moscow suburb.

Russia's Emergency Services Ministry has confirmed the youngest victim was a six-year-old girl.

According to reports the green and white bus was carrying 60 people when a lorry crashed into it, splitting the vehicle in half and forcing other drivers to swerve wildly out of its way.
Eighteen people have been killed after a truck crashed into a bus in a Moscow suburb
Police and emergency services at the scene of the crash near Oznobishino, outside Moscow

Bizarro Earth

Christians upset over Depp's 'Tonto' being too pagan in 'Lone Ranger'

© Shutterstock
There are plenty of reasons not to see the "Lone Ranger" reboot by Director Gore Verbinski, but Christian groups are protesting it for a whole other reason than regular reviewers. According to the Christian Post, conservatives are rankled that Tonto is not Christian enough and that the version of history being portrayed in the film is slanted against the right.

Dr. Ted Baehr of the Christian Film and Television Coalition told the Post, "The government is bad - the army is killing Indians - the bad guy is a businessman, the military-industrial complex is bad." However, he said, "the Christians are not always bad."

Baehr lamented that the villain of the film prays to Jesus before heading out to kill Native Americans and that "the pagan elements triumph because you're looking at it from Tanto's [sic.] point of view."

He called the movie "such a mess" and said that it is another example of liberal left-wing Hollywood values being inculcated into children at a young age.

"When the values are lost and everybody capitulates to evil, then you've got a problem," he concluded.

Heart - Black

Baby stabbed 90 times in the face by mom in China after he bit her during breastfeeding

HAP/Quirky China News/Rex / Rex /HAP/Quirky China News/Rex /
© HAP/Quirky China NewsRex Eight-month-old Xiao Bao needed more than 100 stitches after the incident in Xuzhou, eastern China's Jiangsu Province. The infant lives with his mother and two uncles, who make a living recycling trash. It was one of the uncles who discovered Xiao Bao lying in a pool of blood in the yard of their home and rushed him to hospital.
Eight-months-old Xiao Bao needed more than 100 stitches after his mother attacked him with scissors at their home in Xuzhou.

A baby boy was stabbed 90 times in the face by his own mom after he accidentally bit her during breastfeeding, police said.

Xiao Bao - who is just 8 months old - was left needing more than 100 stitches after the brutal scissors attack at his home in Xuzhou, eastern China.

The tiny infant was found lying in a pool of his own blood, in the yard, by an uncle who quickly rushed him to hospital.

Doctors operated and now say they believe he will survive the ordeal.

Arrow Down

Your future is in the palm of your (surgeon's) hand

© Shonan Beauty ClinicFrom left, before and after photos of a patient who underwent palm surgery to engrave an “emperor’s line,” heralding great success and good fortune.
In Japan, where palm reading remains one of the most popular means of fortune-telling, some people have figured out a way to change their fate. It's a simple idea: change your palm, change the reading, and change your future. All you need is a competent plastic surgeon with an electric scalpel who has a basic knowledge of palmistry. Or you can draw the lines on your hand with a marker and let him work the magic you want.

Missing a marriage line? That can be fixed. Wedding bells may ring.

Need some good fortune? Add a money-luck line and you might win the lottery or be promoted to vice president in your firm. For the smart shopper - one willing to undergo palm plastic surgery - the future isn't what it used to be.

"Doctor, I want you to change my fate. Please change my palm."

Even in Japan, where odd surgery requests are not unknown - like the man who had his penis removed and served it as a special dinner - Takaaki Matsuoka, a plastic surgeon at the Shonan Beauty Clinic's Shinjuku branch, was taken aback. It was January 2011, and a female patient wanted her palm reformatted to bring her better luck. Matsuoka wasn't sure he could do it.

He scoured medical journals until he found examples of such surgery being done in Korea, studied the methods, then confirmed with the patient what she wanted done, and performed the surgery for ¥100,00 ($1,000). It went well.

The surgery had to be performed with an electric scalpel - which burns the flesh, creating the scent of burnt hot dogs, and leaves a semipermanent scar.