Sunday, April 13, 2014

Taxpayers Will Pay For Most Of "Affluenza" Teen Ethan Couch's Rehab Stay

Last year, the saga of Ethan Couch came to light when angry people all over the world blasted a judge who said the 17-year-old suffered from “affluenza” and only sentenced him to probation in the drunk driving incident that left four people dead. Now, a judge has only required Couch’s parents to pay for a small fraction of his monthly rehabilitation bill, leaving the rest to taxpayers.
On June 15, 2013, 16-year-old Ethan Couch got drunk and crashed his car into a group of pedestrians, killing four and injuring two. During the trial, Couch’s attorneys argued that the boy suffered from “affluenza,” meaning that coming from wealthy parents made him feel entitled and therefore make bad decisions. The attorneys argued that Couch needed rehabilitation, not jail, and in the end, the judge agreed.
Dr. Dick Miller, the psychologist who first used the term “affluenza” while in court, defended his stance during the trial.
“He pled guilty. He said ‘I did it’” said Miller. “[He said] ‘I was there, I was in the truck, I was driving and we ran over four people.’ My responsibility is to say what is best for this child. What’s best for this 16-year-old boy? And that’s what I told the judge. I used my 30 years of experience to say among the choices, with the kinds of resources that we had, what’s the best treatment for this kid? I don’t believe going to the penitentiary was best for him.”
Now, a judge says that Couch’s parents will only have to pay $1,170 a month towards the boy’s rehabilitation, despite the fact that the services cost $715 a day. The rest of the money, shockingly, will come from the taxpayers’ pockets.
"The family respects the decision of the facility and the court, and will honor the payment system the court has put in place," said Lance Evans, attorney for Fred and Tonya Couch.
So far, most of the victims’ families have settled or are in the process of settling with Ethan Couch’s parents, but the family of Lucas McConnell, who was killed at just 13 years old, says they refuse to settle their lawsuit against the Couch family.
"It's just another step in a long journey,” said Kevin McConnell to WFAA. “We plan to be there for all the steps."
For now, Ethan Couch remains on probation and will spend, reportedly, at least six months in a rehab facility while the American taxpayers, including family members of the victims, will foot most of the bill.

Thoughts?


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Angry Students Fed Up With Michelle Obama's Public Lunch Program

Over the past few months, first lady Michelle Obama has helped roll out a new public lunch program aimed at providing healthy, nutritious lunches to all kids in school, regardless of their financial status. The program seemed to be a positive step in the right direction, as obesity rates in young people have increased drastically in recent years, but tweets from students directly affected by the program show that it may not be going as well as Obama had hoped.
The Blaze first reported on the recent increase in rants on Twitter from students who received food as part of the White House’s public lunch program. All of the students appear to be less than pleased with the food they’ve been given for lunch, and they all seem to blame it on the first lady.
“I’ll never forgive Michelle Obama for this school lunch,” tweeted user Anthony Gallimore.
Another student tweeted a picture of what appears to be a hot dog bun filled with tomato sauce and cheese alongside three cherry tomatoes and a carton of milk with the caption, “You call this f------ ‘lunch’? @BarackObama @MichelleObama.”
More students were just as quick to post pictures of their lackluster lunches and lay all of the blame on Michelle Obama. Just last week, reports claimed that more than 1 million students had turned down the public lunch program because they felt the food was subpar. Still, she said from the beginning that they were working on making sure the healthy food still tasted good.
"Because of this act ... 32 million children get more of the nutrition they need to learn and grow and be successful and I do hope it's delicious — we're working on that, yes, indeed," said Obama in a statement last year.
Clearly, many students are not happy with Michelle Obama’s new public lunch program, and it will be interesting to see how long it can last the way it’s going now. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Enter to win a Kindle HDX from @TLHigley in THE QUEEN’S HANDMAID giveaway!

Thank you Litfuse Publicity group for providing me a copy of this book to review.

The Queen's Handmaid



From the servant halls of Cleopatra's Egyptian palace to the courts of Herod the Great, follow Lydia as she serves two queens to see prophecy fulfilled in Tracy L. Higley's newest historical novel, The Queen's Handmaid, from Thomas Nelson.

Alexandria, Egypt 39 BC
Orphaned at birth, Lydia was raised as a servant in Cleopatra's palace, working hard to please while keeping everyone at arm's length. She's been rejected and left with a broken heart too many times in her short life.

But then her dying mentor entrusts her with secret writings of the prophet Daniel and charges her to deliver this vital information to those watching for the promised King of Israel. Lydia must leave the nearest thing she's had to a family and flee to Jerusalem. Once in the Holy City, she attaches herself to the newly appointed king, Herod the Great, as handmaid to Queen Mariamme.

Trapped among the scheming women of Herod's political family---his sister, his wife, and their mothers---and forced to serve in the palace to protect her treasure, Lydia must deliver the scrolls before dark forces warring against the truth destroy all hope of the coming Messiah.


My Review
I absolutely LOVED this book, so much in fact I read it in two days, I just couldn't put it down.  I couldn't wait to get home to finish it, LOL!

This book has everything I love, politics, devotion to the One True God, mystery, secrets, murder and romance.

Lydia is born into the palace of Queen Cleopatra and we learn quite quickly how brutal and cruel the queen is to the people around her, she cares little for anyone but herself, her judgments are swift and calculated. No mercy.  I also liked how Tracy L. Higley allowed the reader to read the thoughts of Lydia as well as Cleopatra's.

Throughout the book, we get a glimpse into the minds of all the characters, and the reader is immersed into their world. There was one part in particular where I actually held my breath when Lydia was confronted by an evil and wicked person and was trapped as evil began to envelope her....

We see the power of God overcome the minuscule power of evil. Danger lurks in every corner for those that are in the clutches of the vicious and cruel monarchy.  How people are used as puppets to gain power, land, and form family alliances.

This book was exceptional in every aspect, A  must read for anyone that loves history, suspense, adventure, intrigue, etc.


 Meet the Author 
Tracy L. Higley started her first novel at age eight and has been hooked on writing ever since. She has authored many novels, including Garden of Madness and So Shines the Night. Tracy is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Ancient History and has traveled through Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Italy, researching her novels and falling into adventures.

Learn more about Tracy and take a glimpse at her travel journals at: tracyhigley.com

Tracy L. Higley is celebrating the release of The Queen's Handmaid with a fun giveaway.

Retailers + Resources gave it this glowing review: "Rich in historic detail, Higley’s vivid writing brings to life the plots and intrigues that swirled through the ancient world as alliances were built and broken on the calculated schemes of power-mad monarchs." 
queen'shandmaid-400-click-1
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • The Queen's Handmaid by Tracy L. Higley
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 19th. Winner will be announced April 21st on Tracy's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by Tracy's blog on April 21st to see if you won.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Children See, Children do





I had to share this.  It's serves a powerful message.  The last bit, with the fists coming at the mother, gave me chills.

Friday, April 4, 2014

FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY: What Noah's Ark may have looked like today
IT'S A tale many of us are familiar with.
Noah, a man who had found favour in God's eyes, saves himself, his family, and two of every living animal from a catastrophic flood by building an ark.
While it would have be easy to dismiss this as nothing more than an elaborate fictional feat, scientists have proven Noah's Ark would have floated with all listed animals on board.
A group of students at The University of Leicester tested the dimensions of the famous ark set out in the book of Genesis 6:13-22 and were able to calculate the theory.
According to The Bible, God instructed Noah to build a boat which was 300 cubits long 50 cubits wide and 30 cubits high – recommending gopher wood for the enormous lifeboat.
Translations in the bible meant students swapped this wood type for cypress wood to ensure the theory worked and although researchers are unsure if all the creatures could have squeezed into the huge boat, they are confident it would have handled the weight of 70,000 creatures without sinking.
Student Benjamin Jordan, 21, from Bury St Edmonds, said: “Using the dimensions of the Ark and the density of the water, we were able to calculate its buoyancy force, which, according to Archimedes’ principle, is equal to the weight of the volume of fluid the object displaces.
“This meant we were then able to estimate the total mass the Ark could support before the gravitational weight would overcome the buoyancy force, causing the Ark to sink.”
The students presented their findings in a paper of the Journal of Physic’s Special Topics, a student journal by the University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy.
Course tutor, Dr Mervyn Roy, a lecturer in the University of Leicester’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, said: "The students are encouraged to be imaginative with their topics, and find ways to apply basic physics to the weird, the wonderful and the everyday.”

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Saudi Arabia declares atheists terrorists, sets 20 years prison for criticism of Islam

This is the final outcome of initiatives in the West spearheaded by groups such as the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations, which moves quickly to demonize anyone who dares raise his or her voice against Islamic jihad terror, and Reza Aslan’s Aslan Media, which has waged a campaign of defamation against atheist writers such as Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris. Their efforts are essentially and inherently fascist: they seek to extinguish the free conscience and freedom of thought, and force conformity to Islamic laws forbidding all criticism of Islam or any aspect of Islam.
“Saudi Arabia declares atheists terrorists under new laws targeting citizens who ‘call for secular thought in any form,’” by Simon Tomlinson for the Daily Mail, April 1 (thanks to Kenneth):
Saudi Arabia has officially identified atheists as terrorists in sweeping new laws that threaten up to 20 years in prison for almost any criticism of the government or Islam.
The regulations place secular citizens who commit thought crimes in the same category as violent terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda’s Yemen branch and Saudi Hezbollah.
Under the new decree by King Abdullah, Saudi Arabia will jail for up to 20 years anyone who fights in conflicts abroad – an apparent move to deter Saudis from joining rebels in Syria.
But the law also applies to any Saudi citizen or a foreigner residing in the kingdom that ‘calls for atheist thought in any form or calls into question the fundamentals of the Islamic religion on which this country is based.’
The laws have been denounced by human rights groups for making no distinction between religious expression and violent extremism.
‘Saudi authorities have never tolerated criticism of their policies, but these recent laws and regulations turn almost any critical expression or independent association into crimes of terrorism,’ said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch.
The counter-terrorism measure have also been mocked by Al Qaeda’s Yemen branch which said they would not deter the Islamist group’s fighters and that they proved the kingdom was in the pay of the United States.
In an online statement, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) also said Riyadh’s designation of the Muslim Brotherhood – a group whose political wings have contested elections in several countries – as a terrorist organisation proved that secular authorities would never tolerate Islamist groups.
AQAP, seen as one of the most dangerous Al Qaeda branches after it plotted attacks on international airliners, is thought to have several hundred Saudi militants fighting alongside Yemeni counterparts against the government in Sanaa.
On Feb 3, Saudi Arabia announced tougher punishments for Saudis seeking to join Islamist militant groups abroad and on March 7 the interior ministry designated a number of groups, including the Brotherhood, as terrorist organisations.
In the group’s first public response to the measures, senior AQAP official Ibrahim al-Rubaysh said of the Saudi authorities in an audio tape posted online: ‘Their employers are the White House.’ He added that Riyadh appeared to consider the U.S. authorities as ‘gods.’
Addressing pro-government Muslim preachers in Saudi Arabia, Rubaysh said: ‘You are more American than the Americans themselves.’
Under the new measures, Saudi Arabia will jail for up to 20 years any citizen who fights in conflicts abroad – an apparent move to deter Saudis from joining rebels in Syria and then posing a security risk once they return home.
Saudi Arabia’s Islamic religious authorities have spoken out against Saudi fighters going to Syria, but the Interior Ministry estimates that around 1,200 Saudis have gone nonetheless.
Riyadh fears returning fighters will target the ruling Al Saud royal family – as happened after the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
An appeal contained in the counter-terrorism measures for fighters to turn themselves in had not been answered, Rubaysh said, adding that this showed ‘there is no weight on the hearts of the mujahideen (holy warriors)’.
Saudi authorities also fear the Muslim Brotherhood, whose Sunni Islamist doctrines challenge the Saudi principle of dynastic rule, has tried to build support inside the kingdom since the Arab Spring revolutions.
In Egypt, the Brotherhood, which won every election after the toppling of veteran leader Hosni Mubarak in 2011, has been driven underground since the army deposed President Mohamed Mursi, a member of the group which also suffered repression in the Mubarak era.
Rubaysh said the listing of the Brotherhood as a terrorist group sent ‘a message for all groups who are softening their processes and abandoning some of their principles’ that they would never be accepted by the ‘heads of disbelief’.
‘Heads of disbelief’ is a phrase used by al Qaeda to indicate secular or pro-Western authorities.
‘It is required to stand firm unto death if we desire the satisfaction of Allah,’ Rubaysh said.

Wow! This is getting serious, not only Christians are being persecuted, killed or jailed, but atheists are being incarcerated? What is wrong with these people?

Saturday, March 29, 2014

11 Common Misconceptions That We All Believe

Twinkies don't actually have an infinite shelf life.

Turns out that they only last for 45 days. Guess it's time for you to find an alternative zombie apocalypse food.



Vikings never wore helmets with horns on them.
They actually wore the most typical, plain headgear possible (as seen below). This idea came about in the late 19th century. At least the highly fashionable horned-helmets will always live on in our memories.


Nobody is really sure how the Great Chicago Fire started.

Remember that fire in 1871 that kind of burned down a huge part of Chicago? Turns out it wasn’t caused by little old Mrs. O’Leary’s possibly evil cow. It was just an interesting headline that a journalist used to sell copies of his paper.



Einstein never failed his math classes in grade school.
You know that inspirational story of how Albert Einstein started out to be really bad at math, but then became one of the greatest minds ever? Totally not true. He actually mastered the kinds of calculus that make our brains cryby age 15.


You can't see the Great Wall of China from the moon.
This one's not even a little bit true. You can barely identify it from even low-Earth orbit. Can you find it in the picture below, taken from 180 miles up? 


Bulls don't really mind the color red.
It stands out no more to them then any other color. Rather, they become enraged by the fact that the matador is waving a flag right in their faces. We’d probably charge them too.


Goldfish don't have seconds-long memories.
The notion that goldfish have an incredibly short memorative capacities was debunked by a 15 year old a few years ago. Their memories may actually span multiple months. 



Redheads aren't going extinct.
That is, unless literally everyone who carries the recessive gene for red hair (and there are lots of them out there) simultaneously dies or fails to reproduce, red hair will always be around. And in the case that that actually does happen, there’s always hair dye.


Chewing gum doesn’t take 7 years to digest.

Actually, it’s entirely indigestible. And it takes just as much time to pass through your digestive system as every other food. 



Frankenstein isn't who you think he is.  


Frankenstein was the name of the medical student (bonus misconception breaker: he’s not a doctor in the original novel) who created the monster that we all know, love, and probably fear. The monster is never actually given a name. 


Pennies in free fall aren't actually deadly.
Dropping a penny from the Empire State Building won’t kill anyone unfortunate enough to be beneath it. It probably won’t even break their skin. So go ahead, throw that penny as far as you can next time you’re up there.
(Seriously though don't do that. It probably still hurts a little.)

Friday, March 28, 2014

New Book to read! The Devil Walks in Mattingly

Thank you Litfuse Publicity for providing me a copy of this book to review.

The Devil Walks in Mattingly

For the three people tortured by their secret complicity in a young man's untimely death, redemption is what they most long for . . . and the last thing they expect to receive. Find out the secrets surrounding this untimely death in Billy Coffey's newest novel, The Devil Walks in Mattingly, from Thomas Nelson.

It has been twenty years since Philip McBride's body was found along the riverbank in the dark woods known as Happy Hollow. His death was ruled a suicide. But three people have carried the truth ever since---Philip didn't kill himself that day. He was murdered.
 
Each of the three have wilted in the shadow of their sins. Jake Barnett is Mattingly's sheriff, where he spends his days polishing the fragile shell of the man he pretends to be. His wife, Kate, has convinced herself the good she does for the poor will someday wash the blood from her hands. And high in the mountains, Taylor Hathcock lives in seclusion and fear, fueled by madness and hatred.
 
Yet what cannot be laid to rest is bound to rise again. Philip McBride has haunted Jake's dreams for weeks, warning that he is coming back for them all. When Taylor finds mysterious footprints leading from the Hollow, he believes his redemption has come. His actions will plunge the quiet town of Mattingly into darkness. These three will be drawn together for a final confrontation between life and death . . . between truth and lies.

 Meet the Author 
Billy Coffey's critically-acclaimed books combine rural Southern charm with a vision far beyond the ordinary. He is a regular contributor to several publications, where he writes about faith and life. Billy lives with his wife and two children in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. 

Learn more about Billy at: billycoffey.com

MY REVIEW_________________________________________

Where to start? This is a supernatural thriller, where good and evil are locked in combat to win souls. The air is filled with something ominous and tangible, and it will not release it's grip, it's a fight to the bitter end. Who will win out?

We meet Jake, Kate and Taylor who are literally battling horrid visions, dreams and suffering from a crippling guilt that has imprisoned them. All the while trying to sort out how to gain a semblance of peace from the secret they have carried for so many years. They seek redemption, but will they find it?

They are drawn together to try and solve the conundrum of the strange and odd circumstances that keeps them wondering what is truth and what is a lie, because things are not what they seem.

This book keeps you at the edge of your seat, and it is so well-written that you simply cannot put it down, you have to know what happens next.

A great thriller to keep you up at night.