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Crazy conspiracy lady ordered to pay $8.4M to man she claims raped her

Crazy conspiracy lady ordered to pay $8.4M to man she claims raped her

Rape is a serious subject. It’s spoken about in the same grave tones as something like cancer. For many victims of rape, they consider it a worse crime than murder. One of the things that makes it such a horrible crime is many victims never come forward to report a rape out of fear of retribution or shame. What doesn’t help with the problem is when someone falsely claims to have been raped.

52-year-old Susan Shannon of Everett, Washington, claims she was raped by retired Army Colonel David “Wil” Riggins when the two attended West Point in the mid to late 1980s. By most reports she never contacted any authority about it until Col. Riggins was up for promotion to Brigadier General in 2013. Shannon then made blog posts on her personal blog claiming Riggins had raped her. Riggins was then pulled out of contention for the promotion because of the accusations. He retired instead. No subsequent investigation was ever able to prove any rape had taken place. Shannon was sued by Riggins for defamation and a jury ruled in his favor and awarded the retired Colonel $8.4 million.

Now I know it’s not unusual for rape victims not to come forward for years. I know there is a problem of rape and sexual assaults among the military. However, when you take a closer look at Ms. Shannon, the underlying tin foil hat starts to show.

On her blog, Ms. Shannon has claimed the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a conspiracy perpetrated by the government in order to take our guns. She claims to be a Christian, yet calls the Mormon Church a cult and the Roman Catholic Church part of the New World Order. She’s also a bible-thumping homophobe who would probably fit right in with the Phelps family. What’s worse is she has a GoFundMe page to help with her legal expenses and she’s already raised $11,000 at the time of this posting. I guess it pays to be crazy.

In my opinion she is a disgrace to rape victims who had to fight with every inch of their being to try to bring their rapists to justice. While character is not always the best indicator when it comes to proving rape, I think in this case it goes a long way in showing the mental capacity of this woman, her obvious delusions, and her apparent constant need for attention.

UPDATE: As I was writing this post I noticed the post on Shannon’s blog entitled ‘In my defense’, in which she pleads her case and claims to be the victim of the media, it appears she had all opposing comments removed and the comments were then closed. Again, I think this goes a long way in showing how her mind operates.

School suspends 20+ students for liking Instagram post about school shooting

School suspends 20 students for liking Instagram post about school shooting

At a prep school in Charlotte, North Carolina, two idiot teens posted a picture to the photo sharing app Instagram that said “(School name) gon have a school shooter one day.” Other than that, there was really nothing threatening about the picture. It was just two kids standing there in what appears to be a parking lot. Neither kid looked all that threatening.

The problem came when 20-some other students of the school gave the picture a like on Instagram. Because of that, the school suspended the students that liked the picture.

Of course since personal responsibility died some time ago, some of the parents of the suspended students are up in arms.

“None of us are happy with the decision,” said the parent. “We feel like this is going to follow our kids.”

She claims the school said that the suspension for endorsing the threat will stay on her daughters’ record until she graduates.

“Twenty plus students could’ve learned a lesson today, not necessarily been sent out of school for three days”.

Boo-hoo.

There’s another lesson that could have been taught from this incident, the lesson that actions have consequences, even on trivial social media posts. Your kid probably wasn’t getting into Harvard anyway.

Trench on what Milo said and why it’s dangerous

Trench on what Milo said and why it's dangerous

Milo Yiannopoulos

Yeah, I know. I’m not exactly prompt with this story. For all I know everyone has moved on to something new to be outraged about. Well, since I still have this idea rolling around in my head I’m still going to post about it.

I only have a passing knowledge of Milo Yiannopoulos. From what I understand, he’s a right-wing shit stirrer who’s been banned from Twitter for what some have viewed as hate speech. I also knew that he worked for right-wing ‘news’ site Breitbart. However, right now I could not care less about Mr. Yiannopoulos’ politics, but more about what he said that has brought about his possible downfall.

On a podcast that Mr. Yiannopoulos appeared on during early 2016, he reportedly said some things about sex and consent that were very controversial. Here’s some of what he said courtesy of New York Magazine

In the homosexual world particularly, some of those relationships between younger boys and older men the sort of coming of age relationships, relationships in which those older men have helped those young boys to discover who they are and give them security and safety and provide them with love and a reliable — and sort of a rock where they can’t speak to their parents.

The law is probably about right, that’s probably roughly the right age, I think it’s probably about okay, but there are certainly people who are capable of giving consent at a younger age. I certainly consider myself to be one of them.

You’re misunderstanding what pedophilia means. Pedophilia is not a sexual attraction to somebody 13 years old, who is sexually mature. Pedophilia is attraction to children who have not reached puberty. Pedophilia is attraction to people who don’t have functioning sex organs yet who have not gone through puberty.

Now I am not saying that Mr. Yiannopoulos is a pedophile, but to play armchair psychologist, I don’t think it’s necessarily his fault that he believes what he said. While I’m not trying to make excuses for what he said, Mr. Yiannopoulos claims that he was a victim of sexual abuse. By saying what he did, he could be trying to rationalize what happened to him. It’s possible he could be harboring feelings of guilt that he was abused and this could be his way of dealing with it. However, Mr. Yiannopoulos was grossly irresponsible by saying this in public.

This line of thinking is very much on par with a lot of sexual predators. I have received numerous comments on this very website from people, mostly men, trying to excuse preying on underage children by using the ‘this technically isn’t pedophilia’ argument. Here is an e-mail I once received to a similar effect…

Hey Trench – I enjoy reading your blog but thought I’d point out an error in your terminology.

You commonly refer to men attracted to teenage girls as ‘pedophiles’ when this is not the case. Attraction to teenage girls is considered ‘hebophilia’ which actually is not considered a mental disorder, as it is biologically normal to be attracted to post-pubescent individuals.

We as a society have chosen to infantilize teenagers when it comes to sex but treat them as adults when they commit crimes. It seems a little out of whack to me. Thoughts?

The e-mail writer is incorrectly referring to hebephilia, which is defined as the sexual attraction to early pubescent children ages 11 to 14. The e-mail writer and Mr. Yiannopoulos are far from the first people to ever make these kind of claims. However in the modern lexicon you can’t say “It’s not pedophilia, but…” and not expect there to be push-back from the public.

Since Mr.Yiannopoulos’ comments were brought to light, he was cancelled as a speaker at a large conservative event, lost a book deal, and was fired or resigned from Breitbart, depending on who you talk to. Personally I believe Mr. Yiannopoulos deserved the public backlash that he has received. As I’ve said many times before, while you may be entitled to freedom of speech you’re not entitled to be protected from the repercussions of said speech.

The worst part in this is that Mr. Yiannopoulos’ followers are legion. They are dedicated almost to the point of fanaticism. By making these statements he seems to legitimize this behavior to his internet lackeys. My fear is that he has almost ordained a new generation of men, since his followers are mostly male, that follow the ‘old enough to bleed, old enough to breed’ axiom. Not only that but there’s a great chance that he’s attracted more followers that already follow the ‘it’s not technically pedophilia’ mantra. That’s obviously one of the last things this country needs.

(Special thanks to Lady Gray for her editorial assistance.)

In defense of Michael Vick

In defense of Michael Vick

Michael Vick and Ben ‘Therapist’ Roethlisberger

With the recent news of the killing of Harambe the gorilla and the harassment that ensued, it allows me the opportunity to address something that has been stuck in my craw for a number of years now.

Most of us are familiar with Michael Vick. He was the quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons when he was arrested in 2007 for operating a dog fighting ring on his property. After his arrest it was revealed to the public that not only was Vick running a dog fighting ring but he had also committed some unspeakable acts against dogs that had lost their fights. Vick was convicted and spent 18 months in the federal penitentiary at Leavenworth, Kansas.

Ben Roethlisberger has been the starting quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers since 2004. Since that time has won the storied franchise two Super Bowl championships, however, he is not without controversy of his own. In 2010 Roethlisberger was accused of allegedly raping a woman in the bathroom of a Georgia nightclub. His security detail was even accused of not only allegedly standing at the bathroom door while the alleged rape took place but also interfering with the police investigation. Roethlisberger was never charged due to a lack of evidence. Many people seem to think that he got away with it due to his stature within the sports world.

Since serving his sentence Michael Vick has not only stayed out of trouble but lobbied for a bill that would make it a misdemeanor to willingly watch a dog fight and a felony for bringing a child to a dog fight. Roethlisberger never even saw the inside of a holding cell which a number of people say was a miscarriage of justice.

So why is Michael Vick still reviled while Roethlisberger is heralded as a hero in Pittsburgh? The answer is simple. As a society, at least here in America, we value the welfare of animals more than our fellow human beings. I’m not saying that Michael Vick is a saint by any means, however, he paid his debt to society and has kept his nose clean since his release from prison yet he’s still reviled to this day. Meanwhile an alleged rapist is celebrated around the NFL like he’s the second coming of Christ. If the accusations are to be believed he violated a woman sexually against her will. Even if Roethlisberger had done time people would have been more willing to forgive a rapist than an animal abuser.

Here’s the cold hard truth people, animals, including all of your pets and mine, are lesser life forms. It doesn’t matter if they’re dogs, cats, horses, gorillas or what have you, when it comes right down to it we are the dominant species of our world. We should have more sympathy for a thinking and feeling human victim of rape than an abused animal yet we anthropomorphize animals into being an equal species on the level of man. I’m not advocating animal abuse but at the end of the day people are more important than animals. Yes, our pets may be cute and fluffy but when all is said and done they’re just animals yet we’ll value the life of a dog we never even knew over the welfare of a rape victim. Just one more instance that shows as a society our priorities are are nowhere near in order.

A night in Topkea with Bill Kurits

A night in Topkea with Bill Kurits

My poorly shot picture of Bill Kurtis in White Concert Hall at Washburn University

I’ve been a fan of journalist Bill Kurtis for some years now. Not only has he hosted many investigative crime shows but as a journalist he covered some of the most infamous crime trials of all time, like those of Charles Manson and Richard Speck. A few months ago I moved to Topeka, Kansas. What I didn’t know before I moved here is that Topeka is where he got his start.

Last night I attended the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the 1966 Tornado that leveled Washburn University and most of Topeka. It was held by the Topeka Capital-Journal and called Twist of Fate. Bill Kurtis was a law student at Washburn who filled in as an anchorman at local news station WIBW the day that the tornado touched down. He delivered a line on that broadcast that has come to define his career, “For God’s sake, take cover.”

I was able to attend last night’s event thanks to one of my closest friends, whose father had worked with Mr. Kurtis in broadcasting. Mr. Kurtis recounted his experience from June 8, 1966 in one of the most eloquent speeches I have ever had the pleasure of hearing. After his speech Mr. Kurtis then answered some questions from Capital-Journal reporter Tim Carpenter, who is an excellent reporter in his own right. After that the audience was allowed to ask Mr. Kurtis a few questions. I got in line but unfortunately they ended the Q&A before I could ask my question. I was going to ask him that since he had covered so many crime stories in his extensive and celebrated career, were there any that were so horrific that made him rethink his choice in careers? Not in so many words, but that was the gist.

While I was just a little disappointed that I didn’t get to ask Mr. Kurtis my question, it was an extreme honor just being able to attend the event that had so much of an impact on the history of my new adopted hometown.

Trench on Ahmed and the clock

The clock in question

The clock in question

By now most of you have outraged one way or another about the arrest of 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed for bringing a homemade clock to school that school and law enforcement authorities mistook as a bomb. While the situation probably could have been handled better please allow me to offer a viewpoint I haven’t heard discussed by many people.

Now I can’t say with 100% certainty this wasn’t a case of Islamaphobia because I wasn’t there, but let me ask you a question. What is a school’s biggest fear? Any kind of school shooting or attack. Let’s take this situation out of Texas for a moment. Let’s say that this happened at any other school and a student the same age as Ahmed took a bomb to school and said it was just a clock and no teacher or resource officer acted on it, then it blew up taking a fair number of students with it. Everyone would be outraged that nothing was done about it.

Here’s another point that a lot of people overlooked as well. At least in my research a white student is more likely to bring a bomb to school than a Muslim student. Historically on this site the majority of bomb makers have been white kids.

So to me there was a lack of common sense all around. Personally I believe he shouldn’t have brought something to school in a case like that with wires and circuit-boards sticking out of it because there are a lot of technologically illiterate people out there including those in education and law enforcement positions. However the fact that the alarm went off repeatedly and nothing happened combined with the fact that there were no obvious explosives attached to it this should have been a non-story. I mean don’t we have more pressing issues to spend our collective time on than this freak occurrence? By the looks of Facebook I guess some of you don’t.

Jade Helm goes out not with a bang but a whimper

jade-helm

When the military exercise codenamed Jade Helm 15 was first announced some citizens of Texas went nuts with conspiracy theories of martial law and the confiscation of guns. They caused such a clamor that the Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, actually promised these whackjobs that the Texas Guard will watch over the exercise.

Well, guess what kids. Jade Helm has ended and Texas remains free and full of guns. However I’m sure the conspiracy theorists will take credit for keeping Texas free by allegedly exposing the evil government’s plans of rounding up gun owning Texans and holding them against their will in empty Wal-Marts. I’m just thankful that none of these nuts injured or killed a member of our own military.

I guess the tin foil hat crowd will now have to go back to ‘9/11 was an inside job’ until the next ‘false flag’ comes around.

Jade Helm should stay out of Texas but not for conspiracy reasons

jade-helm

I originally posted about military exercise code-named Jade Helm 15 here. The short version is that a crazy vocal minority in Texas think that the exercise is actually some kind of secret government operation to either declare martial law in Texas or to take their guns or both depending on which crackpot you’re talking to. What makes the situation worse is that when Jade Helm was first announced and the tin foil crowd first complained, Texas Governor Greg Abbot actually acquiesced to this vocal minority of morons and promised that the Texas Guard will monitor the exercises.

As the start of Jade Helm grows nearer I’m beginning to think that maybe the Texas part of the exercise should be cancelled. Not because I believe in any conspiracy theory bullshit but I’m afraid it might put the safety of some of our military members at risk.

I’m afraid that some gun nut will see a member of the military somewhere near his land and decide to take matters into his own hands. Even worst I’m afraid that small ‘militia’ groups may already be forming to go out looking for trouble.

Since the Governor of Texas doesn’t have the balls or the brains to tell some of his constituents that they’re crazier than shit house rats then the US military may want to consider keeping their personnel away from the more armed and brain addled area of the exercise.

Texans lose their minds over military exercise Jade Helm 15

Surprised this wasn't done in  Comic Sans

Surprised this wasn’t done in Comic Sans

Almost around this time last year I posted about how not only were the conspiracy nuts taking over but they were now dictating public policy. In that year it’s gotten significantly worse.

The U.S. military is about to undertake something that it’s done since the beginning of when this country had a military, military exercises. Many sections of the military will; take place in a massive exercise that will span from July to September and from California to Texas that is codenamed Jade Helm 15. A lot of people in Texas are collectively losing their shit over Jade Helm 15 saying that either their guns are going to be confiscated, it’s the start of martial law or that they’ll be sent to the ever so popular FEMA prison camps.

This would actually be hilarious if it wasn’t for one thing. The GOVERNOR of Texas, Greg Abbott, has actually bent over for these crackpots by promising that the Texas Guard will monitor the exercises to make sure they’re on the up and up. God forbid a politician should tell these people that they’re crazier than a shithouse rat. At least a former politician did. Todd Euless, a veteran of the Texas Legislature, wrote a letter to the governor that said he is “horrified that I have to choose between the possibility that my Governor actually believes this stuff and the possibility that my Governor doesn’t have the backbone to stand up to those who do.” He also referred to the lunatic fringe as a cancer on the state. Can’t say I disagree with him.

My question is are these partisan conspiracy nuts? Are they only frothing at the mouth because a black Democrat who’s a ‘secret Muslim from Kenya’ in the White House or did they also go bananas about military exercises when Bush of Skull and Bones was in office?

Let’s look at this logically for a minute. I know that’s a lot to ask from some folks but bear with me. Where is the majority of fighting taking place in the world today? In areas with lots of deserts. What’s mostly between California and Texas? A shit ton of desert.

As an aside when I become president I’m going to initiate Aluminum Hat 1 that will round up all the conspiracy theorists and finally put them in FEMA camps. Then they’ll finally get to be happy by telling everyone they were right all along. It’ll be easy to identify them. Just ask them if 9/11 was an inside job.

As I’ve said before when you look for a conspiracy in everything then everything is a conspiracy. Me? I’d rather go about living my life without fearing an imaginary bogeyman.

UPDATE 5/4/2015: For fuck’s sake, Chuck Norris is one of them.