My Photo
Location: Tallahassee, Florida, United States welcomes all opinions from any religion or viewpoint in the common appreciation of Chick tracts. This blog, however, will highlight religious events and controversies that would be of special interest to regular Chick readers. You don't have to agree with them or each other, but if you read Chick tracts or Battlecry, you might expect these type stories to be addressed. (Sorry, no personal attacks allowed.) All main postings are from writers and any responses are from the public

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Pitt Denies God

Actor Brad Pitt gave a revealing interview to Bild, a German magazine, in which he revealed that he didn't believe in God.

The reporter first asked if he believed in God. "No, no, no!" Pitt said.

Next he asked if the actor's soul was spiritual, and Pitt replied, "No, no, no! I'm probably 20 per cent atheist and 80 per cent agnostic. I don't think anyone really knows. You'll either find out or not when you get there, until then there's no point thinking about it." See Chick's THE LONG TRIP.

Saudi Arrested for Sinful Speech

A Saudi Arabian man was arrested after bragging about his sex life on television, local media reported. Mazen Abdul Jawad appeared last week on a show on Lebanese channel LBC, where he went into "graphic details about his sexual conquests," according to Arab News, an English daily. A segment of the show "Red Line" posted on YouTube shows the 32-year-old talking about sex and foreplay. He also discusses losing his virginity to a neighbor while he was 14.

In deeply conservative Saudi Arabia, pre-marital sex is illegal and unrelated men and women are not allowed to mingle.
A government official told the newspaper that discussing sex in public is a punishable offense that may affect anyone involved in the broadcast.

"It is wrong to host people on television to speak publicly about vice and issues against our religion," said Ahmad Qasim Al-Ghamdi, director of Mecca's branch of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, also known as the religious police. "The program presents anomalies and deviancy in society that are unacceptable and immoral, and should be punished according to Shariah."

About 100 people have filed a complaint against Abdul Jawad, alleging among other things, that he violated a principle of Shariah law by "publicizing his sinful behavior," the daily said. It is unclear what punishment, if any, Abdul Jawad faces. See Chick's SIN BUSTERS.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Rabbis and Elected Democrats Arrested In Sting

Officials are decrying political corruption in New Jersey after more than 40 people, among them rabbis and elected Democrats, were arrested in an investigation in which some were accused of laundering tens of millions of dollars and of black-market trafficking of kidneys and fake Gucci handbags. The 44 arrests Thursday were a remarkable number even for New Jersey, where more than 130 public officials have pleaded guilty or have been convicted of corruption since 2001.

The arrests were headline news in Israel on Friday morning, with the front pages of all three of the country's mass-circulation dailies featuring pictures of bearded ultra-Orthodox Jews being led away by law enforcement officials.

Micky Rosenfeld, a spokesman for Israel's national police force, said Friday that Israeli police were not involved in the investigation. He would not comment further.

Federal prosecutors in the U.S. said the investigation focused on a money laundering network that operated between Brooklyn, N.Y.; Deal, N.J.; and Israel. The network is alleged to have laundered tens of millions of dollars through Jewish charities controlled by rabbis in New York and New Jersey.

Prosecutors then used an informant in that investigation to help them go after corrupt politicians. The informant — a real estate developer charged with bank fraud three years ago — posed as a crooked businessman and paid a string of public officials tens of thousands of dollars in bribes to get approvals for buildings and other projects in New Jersey, authorities said.

Among the 44 people arrested were the mayors of Hoboken, Ridgefield and Secaucus, Jersey City's deputy mayor, and two state assemblymen. A member of the governor's cabinet resigned after agents searched his home, though he was not arrested. All but one of the officeholders are Democrats.

Also, five rabbis from New York and New Jersey — two of whom lead congregations in Deal — were accused of laundering millions of dollars, some of it from the sale of counterfeit goods and bankruptcy fraud, authorities said. Others arrested included building and fire inspectors, city planning officials and utilities officials, all of them accused of using their positions to further the corruption.

See Chick's BUSTED.

Alamo Convicted

TEXARKANA, Ark. — Tony Alamo, a one-time street preacher who built a multimillion-dollar ministry and became an outfitter of the stars, was convicted Friday of taking girls as young as 9 across state lines for sex.

Alamo stood silently as the verdict was read, a contrast to his occasional mutterings during testimony. His five victims sat looking forward in the gallery. One, a woman he "married" at age 8, wiped away a tear.

"I'm just another one of the prophets that went to jail for the Gospel," Alamo called to reporters afterward as he was escorted to a waiting U.S. marshal's vehicle.

Shouts of "Bye, bye, Bernie" came from a crowd gathered on the Arkansas side of the courthouse. Alamo was born to Bernie Lazar Hoffman to Jewish parents but he changed his last name and converted as an adult .

Jurors were convinced Alamo had had sex with the girls when they were underage, but deliberated for more than a day to ensure that they considered everything, jury foreman Frank Oller of Texarkana said.

Defense lawyer Don Ervin said the evidence against the 74-year-old preacher was insufficient and that the preacher would appeal. He also said Alamo's criminal history — he served four years in prison on tax charges in the 1990s — "will hurt him" at sentencing in six to eight weeks.

"We believe he will face the rest of his natural life in prison," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyra Jenner. The penalties on the 10 charges total 175 years in prison, she said, and violations of the century-old Mann Act also carry fines of up to $250,000 each.

The five women, now age 17 to 33, told jurors that Alamo "married" them in private ceremonies while they were minors, sometimes giving them wedding rings. Each detailed trips beyond Arkansas' borders for Alamo's sexual gratification.

Alamo never testified. Though he announced to reporters that he wanted to, his lawyers told him he should not directly challenge their testimony and the attorneys argued to jurors that the girls traveled for legitimate church business.

State and federal agents raided Alamo's compound last Sept. 20 after repeated reports of abuse. Defense lawyers said the government targeted Alamo because it doesn't like his apocalyptic brand of Christianity. Alamo has blamed the Vatican for his legal troubles, which include a four-year prison term for tax evasion in the 1990s.

With no physical evidence, prosecutors relied on the women's stories to paint an emotional portrait of a charismatic religious leader who controlled every aspect of his subjects' lives. No one obtained food, clothing or transportation without him knowing about it.

At times, men were ordered away from the compound and (according to testimony) their wives kept as another Alamo bride. Minor offenses from either gender drew beatings or starvation fasts.

In the end, prosecutors convinced jurors in Arkansas' conservative Christian climate that Alamo's ministry offered him the opportunity to prey on the young girls of loyal followers who believed him to be a prophet who spoke directly to God. They described a ministry that ran on the fear of drawing the anger of "Papa Tony."

Alamo remained defiant during the trial. He openly referred to the Branch Davidian raid at Waco, Texas, muttered expletives during testimony and fell asleep at times — while alleged victims spoke from the witness stand and again as prosecutors urged his conviction.

He had built his multistate ministry on the backs of followers who worked in various businesses to support the church. In the 1980s, he designed and sold elaborately decorated denim jackets, hobnobbed with celebrities and owned a compound in western Arkansas that featured a heart-shaped swimming pool.

Federal agents seized a large portion of his assets in the 1990s to settle tax claims after courts declared his operations a business, not a church. Among items offered for auction were the plans for the studded jacket Michael Jackson wore on his "Bad" album.

The woman considered to be Alamo's common-law wife, Sharon Alamo, and several other of his 100-200 followers missed the verdict, hustling up the courthouse stairs and entering an empty courtroom five minutes after court adjourned. See Chick's TRUST ME.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Study Suggest A Fetus Can Think

A new study suggests that short-term memory may be present in fetuses at 30 weeks of age.

Until a few decades ago, "people would say that the human fetus is a sort of black box," said Dr. Jan Nijhuis, a co-author of the study and an obstetrician at Maastricht University Medical Center in The Netherlands. Studies over the years have started to reveal more about the neurological development of humans before they are born, but researchers are still trying to figure out when memory begins and how long it can last.

Researchers also found that 34-week-old fetuses were able to "store information and retrieve it four weeks later."

The new study tested how fetuses in nearly 100 pregnant women responded to a specific stimulus, in this case, a "vibroacoustic stimulation," which is a very low sound that makes a vibration. The researchers observed the reaction using an ultrasound. When the fetus first receives the stimulation, it is startled. But after repeated trials of the same stimulation, 30 seconds apart, the fetus gets used to the sound and doesn't react.

"A normal fetus, of about 30 or 32 or 34 weeks, would stop responding after [about] 13 or 14 stimuli," said Nijhuis. This lessened response to a repeated stimulus is called habituation, a process that both humans and animals are known to experience. For example, you might become habituated to the sound of your heater at nighttime, hearing it at first, but growing used to the noise after a while and falling asleep, Nijhuis explained. "Habituation is a form of learning and a form of memory," Nijhuis said. He and his colleagues used the habituation tests to examine memory in fetuses 30 to 38 weeks old. They found that 30-week-old fetuses had a "memory" of 10 minutes — if the fetuses received a second round of sound stimulation 10 minutes after the initial test, it took them a lot less time to become habituated to the noise during their second session, and they stopped responding after only a few stimuli, he said.

The researchers also found that 34-week-old fetuses were able to "store information and retrieve it four weeks later," he said. The team came to this conclusion after performing the habituation tests at 34 weeks and then again at 38 weeks. The scientists compared the response of the 38-week-old fetuses who had been tested before with that of fetuses who had not been tested before.

"We saw this striking difference," Nijhuis said. "The fetuses who had been tested before were habituated within two or three or four stimuli, and the other fetuses of 38 weeks responded in the same way as [32 week-old fetuses who had not been tested before]," meaning it took many more stimuli to habituate the 38-week-old fetuses if they had not previously experienced the test at 34 weeks. "So that shows that there is a sort of remembrance of 4 weeks," he said.

Previous research has shown that fetuses can habituate to sounds and that the fetus has a short-term memory of 24-hours, but this study further examined how long these memories can last. Fetuses younger than 30 weeks do not seem to be able to habituate, Nijhuis said, although this may be because the scientists are not using the right type of stimulus, he said. Future research will work on refining their current protocol to test habituation at different times during fetal development. See Chick's BABY TALK.

Carter Leaves Baptists

After more than 60 years, Jimmy Carter has announced he's leaving the Southern Baptist Church because they refuse to be more politically correct in regards to ordaining women. The liberal ex-president called the decision "unavoidable" after church leaders prohibited women from being ordained and insisted women be "subservient to their husbands."

In recent years, Carter publicly criticized the Baptist church leadership while other churches moved further to Left. Now, he's leaving those who helped him get elected and will probably join one of the more "progressive" churches that ordains gays or promotes left wing political activism. Carter is one of the least popular modern presidents, but he's a favorite among gays and other minority groups. See Chick's REV. WONDERFUL.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Muslims Sue Evil Spirit

A family in Saudi Arabia has taken a genie to court, alleging theft and harassment, according to local media.

The lawsuit filed in Shariah court accuses the genie of leaving them threatening voicemails, stealing their cell phones and hurling rocks at them when they leave their house at night, said Al-Watan newspaper.

An investigation was under way, local court officials said. "We have to verify the truthfulness of this case despite the difficulty of doing so," Sheikh Amr Al Salmi, the head of the court, told Al-Watan. "What makes this case and complaint more interesting is that it wasn't filed by just one person. Every member of the family is part of this case."

The family, which has lived in the same house near the holy city of Medina for 15 years, said it became aware of the spirit in the past two years. "We began hearing strange noises," the head of the family, who requested anonymity, told Al-Watan. "In the beginning, we didn't take it seriously, but after that, stranger things started happening and the children got really scared when the genie began throwing stones."

A local charity has moved the family to a temporary residence while a court investigates, the newspaper said.

In Islamic cultures, a belief in genies, or jinns, is common.
Genies not only appear in pre-Islamic fiction such as "Arabian Nights," but are also mentioned in the Quran. Many Saudis believe invisible genies live among them and are capable of demonic possession and revenge. See Chick's THE THING.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Atheists Sue To Remove God Reference

The nation's largest group of atheists and agnostics filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking to block an architect from engraving "In God We Trust" and the Pledge of Allegiance at the Capitol Visitor Center in Washington.

The Madison-based Freedom From Religion Foundation's lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in western Wisconsin, claims the taxpayer-funded engravings would be an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.

The House and Senate passed identical resolutions this month directing the Architect of the Capitol to engrave "In God We Trust" and the pledge in prominent places at the entrance for 3 million tourists who visit the Capitol each year.

The resolution came in response to critics who complained Congress spent $621 million on the new three-story underground center without paying respect to the nation's religious heritage. The center opened in December after years of construction.

The foundation is seeking a court order to stop the engravings, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates will cost less than $100,000.

"In God We Trust" has been the national motto since 1956 and has appeared on U.S. currency since 1957.

The lawsuit says both the motto and the words "under God" in the pledge were adopted during the Cold War as anti-communism measures. Engraving them at the entrance to the U.S. Capitol would discriminate against those who do not practice religion and unfairly promote a Judeo-Christian perspective, it says.

Members of Congress who supported the measure swiftly denounced the lawsuit.

"This lawsuit is another attempt by liberal activists to rewrite history and deny that America's Judeo-Christian heritage is an essential foundation stone of our great nation," said Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa.

Rep. Daniel Lungren, R-Calif., said he was expecting a lawsuit but called the claims "patently absurd."

The foundation also is challenging the constitutionality of the National Day of Prayer in federal court.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Gay Activists Pull Episcopalians Further Left

Episcopalians are moving toward affirming an open role for homosexual clergy in their church despite pressure from fellow Anglicans not to do so.

Episcopal bishops voted at a national meeting yesterday for a statement that says "God has called and may call" homosexual men and women to ministry. Delegates to the meeting already approved a nearly identical statement. This latest version is likely to be approved by Friday.

Episcopalians caused an uproar in 2003 by consecrating the first openly homosexual bishop, Vicki Gene Robinson of New Hampshire. That decision has nearly split the world Anglican Communion, which includes Episcopalians.

To calm tensions, Episcopal leaders three years ago had urged restraint by dioceses considering homosexual candidates for bishop. No openly homosexual bishops have been consecrated since then. See Chick's SIN CITY.

Deadmen Do Tell Tales...

A South Carolina judge Tuesday revoked the license of a funeral home where a worker cut the legs off a 6-foot-7 body so it would fit in a casket.

Administrative Law Judge Deborah Durden gave her decision immediately after hearing the appeal of Cave Funeral Home and owner Michael Cave.

The ruling may be the end the family business founded in Allendale 49 years ago. Cave's lawyer said his client would wait for the written ruling before deciding whether to appeal and the family is also considering selling the funeral home.

The state Funeral Board ordered the home shut down last month after Cave admitted his father, Charles Cave, used an electric saw to sever James Hines' legs at the calf because he wouldn't fit in the casket. The elder Cave does not have the license needed to embalm a body, but helped with tasks around the home like dressing and cleaning bodies, his son told the board.

Michael Cave said he should be allowed to keep his license because he wasn't in the room when the legs were cut and had no idea what his father was about do. He also said there were no other blemishes on his 26-year record in the funeral business.
"It was a terrible act," said Cave's attorney, Rep. Jim Harrison, R-Columbia. "But these aren't terrible people."

But Cave never told Hines' family what had happened. He said he didn't want to compound their grief, later admitting that was a mistake. The body was placed in the casket with only the head and torso on view for the funeral service. Family members said they were so distraught they didn't notice anything was wrong.

See Chick's WHO'S MISSING?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Alleged Nazi Faces Double Jeopardy in Germany

The legal saga of John Demjanjuk neared its final chapter as prosecutors set the stage for one of Germany's highest-profile war crime trials in years — formally charging the retired U.S. auto worker Monday with involvement in the murder of 27,900 people at a Nazi death camp.

The Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk was once sentenced in Israel to death, then acquitted by the country's Supreme Court in 1993 of being the notorious "Ivan the Terrible" at the Treblinka death camp. Now the 89-year-old stands accused of being part of the death machine at another camp in Poland — Sobibor — and a Germany more than 60 years removed from World War II will revisit the demons of its past once again.

Nearly 64 years after the end of World War II, an accused Nazi concentration camp guard is facing formal charges at his war crimes hearing in Munich. On Monday, German prosecutors charged retired U.S. auto worker John Demjanjuk, here in 2006, as an accessory in the murders of 27,900 people at a Nazi death camp.

Filing charges typically takes several months in Germany. Monday's move underlined authorities' determination to move forward with efforts to exact justice for Nazi-era atrocities.

Demjanjuk's son, John Demjanjuk Jr., described the charges as "a farce" and raised anew concerns over whether the 89-year-old's frail health would allow him a fair trial. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, but at his age, he is not expected to survive even the shortest sentence.

"As long as my father remains alive, we will defend his innocence as he has never hurt anyone anywhere," he told The Associated Press in an e-mail. "They have hurried to justify the deportation and the violation of his legal and human rights with sensational charges but it is all a farce and could never withstand the test of litigation."

Demjanjuk Jr. is suffering from an incurable leukemic bone marrow disease. But Doctors earlier this month determined that the ill Demjanjuk would still stand trial so long as court hearings do not exceed two 90-minute sessions per day. He has been in custody in Munich since his arrival May 12.

Elderly, frail Nazi suspects with health problems have stood trial in the past: in 2001, Anton Malloth, an 89-year-old former guard at the Theresienstadt fortress in then-occupied Czechoslovakia, sat through his trial in Munich in a wheelchair, connected to an IV drip. He was sentenced to life in prison for beating a Jewish inmate to death, and died a year later.

Legal wrangling over Demjanjuk and his alleged role in the Nazi death machine goes back to the 1970s. Demjanjuk, who became a U.S. citizen after the war, had his citizenship revoked in 1981 after the U.S. Justice Department alleged that he hid his past as "Ivan the Terrible," a guard at Treblinka. He was extradited to Israel, where he was found guilty in 1988 of war crimes and crimes against humanity. "Experts" testified that his Nazi photo ID was real and eye witnesses swore he was Ivan the Terrible, a brutal killer of Jews. However, the conviction was overturned by the Israeli Supreme Court after evidence emerged from Soviet archives that proved "Ivan" was a different Ukrainian named Ivan Marchenko.

Demjanjuk's U.S. citizenship was restored but again revoked in 2002, based on new Justice Department evidence claiming he concealed his service at Sobibor and other Nazi-run death and forced-labor camps from immigration officials. A U.S. immigration judge ruled in 2005 he could be deported to Germany, Poland or Ukraine. (The same thing happened in 1981.)

Demjanjuk maintains that he was a Red Army soldier who spent the time as a prisoner of war and never hurt anyone.
But Nazi-era documents obtained by U.S. justice authorities and shared with German prosecutors include a photo ID identifying Demjanjuk as a guard at Sobibor and saying he was trained at an SS facility for Nazi guards at Trawniki, also in Nazi-occupied Poland. U.S. and German experts have again declared the ID genuine, although this time no eye witnesses have stepped forward to swear they could "never forget his face" like they did in the first trail.

No one has addressed the statistical likely hood that a man accused of mass murder, convicted, sentenced to death, then freed when it was proven that the evidence and eye witness testimony against him was false, could possibility be ANOTHER mass murder at ANOTHER death camp. It is possible, however, the odds would be astronomical. It is much more probable and likely that Justice Department officials were embarrassed that they shipped a US citizen overseas to face certain death in Israel on shaky evidence, then when it was proven he wasn't a sensational mass murderer after all, they scrambled to find a similar accusation to cover up their earlier incompetence. And why isn't anyone pointing out that trying Demjanjuk twice for essentially the same crime (under different aliases), constitutes double jeopardy?

Given Germany's recent past of holding trials for dying former soldiers in wheelchairs with IV drips, these type cases seem more about delivering revenge, rather than justice. Whether the accused was ever really a Nazi or a killer seems less important than showing how angry modern Germany is about their past. Demjanjuk WILL be found guilty, just as he was found guilty in Israel, because the outrage would be too great if any other verdict is delivered. But this time, he will be too old to live long enough to be proven innocent again. Sadly, such show trails don't really prove how enlightened modern Germany has become since the days of the Nazis, but rather, how little the public's thirst for blood has changed.

See Chick's THE FRAME UP.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Obama & Family Meets Pope

President Barack Obama sat down with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican on Friday for a meeting in which frank but constructive talks were expected between two men who agree on helping the poor but disagree on abortion and stem cell research.

The Obamas meet with Pope Benedict XVI Friday. The Vatican changed a long-standing tradition of meeting leaders at midday in order to accommodate the president before he left Italy for his first official trip to Africa.

The pope and Obama met for half an hour, then were joined by first lady Michelle Obama, who wore black.

With some Catholic activists and American bishops outspoken in their criticism of Obama, even as polls have shown he received a slim majority of Catholic votes, the audience was much awaited. Former St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke, who now heads a Vatican tribunal, accused Obama of pursuing anti-life and antifamily agendas. He called it a "scandal" that Notre Dame had invited him to speak earlier in the year. Obama also incensed many in the religious community with his requirement that all religious references to Jesus (crosses and inscriptions like "IHS" (in his name)) be covered during his speech at Georgetown, another Catholic university.

This week, Cardinal Justin Rigali, who heads the U.S. bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, complained that the final guidelines of the National Institutes of Health for human embryonic stem cell research are broader than the draft guidelines.

As Obama has pledged to step-up efforts for Middle East peace through a two-state solution, Benedict made a similar appeal during a trip in May to Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories. He issued the Vatican's strongest call yet for a Palestinian state.

Obama met first with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican's secretary of state, before meeting Benedict in the pope's study.
Obama's wife, Michelle, joined him at the end of the meeting, and gifts were exchanged. Daughters Malia and Sasha, who accompanied their parents on the weeklong overseas trip (at taxpayers expense), also met Benedict. They were ushered out of the room before the media were allowed back in. Several senior White House staff members also met the pope, with some either shaking his hand or kissing his ring. See Chick's THE POOR POPE.

Revolutionary Bishop Blasts Sinner's Prayer

Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori says it's "heresy" to believe that an individual can be saved through a sinner's prayer of repentance.

The controversial leader made her opening address to the church's General Conference in California. She is an outspoken liberal who promotes other non-Biblical beliefs, like same sex marriage. Jefferts Schori called that "the great Western heresy: that we can be saved as individuals, that any of us alone can be in right relationship with God."

According to Schori, it is heresy to believe that an individual's prayer can achieve a saving relationship with God. "That individualist focus is a form of idolatry, for it puts me and my words in the place that only God can occupy."

Meanwhile, six Episcopal bishops are pushing for greater recognition of same-sex marriages at a national gathering of church officials in California. Bishop Thomas Ely of Vermont says he and other bishops from states recognizing same-sex marriage will offer a resolution urging the church to adapt marriage rituals to include homosexual couples.

Ely says the resolution will be introduced at the church's General Convention, which started Wednesday in Anaheim. The convention is held every three years.

Besides Vermont, politicians and courts have legalized same-sex marriage in the states of Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Iowa, and Connecticut. The public has never voted to legalize it in any state, or country for that matter. (Even California citizens voted it down when given the opportunity.) Realizing this, homosexuals continue to push their agenda in through the back door. See Chick's WHY NO REVIVAL?

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Graves Moved To Sell Land

Workers at a historic black Illinois cemetery may have dug up more than 100 bodies and dumped them in mass graves at the back of the 150-acre property in a scheme to resell plots to unsuspecting customers, authorities said Wednesday.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said his office was questioning five employees from Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip, about 20 miles southwest of Chicago. But no charges were announced and investigators were working to determine how many plots may have been resold.

The sheriff's investigation began six weeks ago when the cemetery's owner reported that an employee who began feeling guilty revealed what allegedly had been going on, possibly for as long as four years, Dart said.

"All of us who were working on this for the last week were pretty distraught," Dart said. "You start with the premise of your own loved ones and how they are cared for after they are buried, but there is also a true significance to this particular cemetery." See Chick's WHO'S MISSING?

Workers Told To Work Naked

Like a scene from the 'The Office,' the employees of British marketing company onebestway came in to work one Friday and proceeded to get NAKED. The idea came from David Taylor, a cheeky business consultant and psychologist hired by the company to boost team spirit.

"Inviting an organization to go naked is the most extreme technique I've used," he told The Sun. "It may seem weird, but it works. It's the ultimate expression of trust in yourself and each other." The move to bring in Taylor came after onebestway was forced through six rounds of layoffs.

The staff underwent a week of counseling and nerve building activities leading up to the big day. Tasks included photocopying body parts, sketching nude models and discussing at length. Finally, they were asked to strip down to their birthday suits -- but only if comfortable.

Amazingly most turned up in the nude. One man chose to fashion a pouch, and two female workers wore black underwear. The only female to go fully naked was front-of-house manager Sam Jackson, 23. "It was brilliant. Now that we've seen each other naked, there are no barriers," she said. "We weren't put under pressure. If we wanted to come in clothed or in our underwear, we could. But I love my body and wasn't ashamed."

But did the stunt work? According to Managing Director Mike Owen, "We have been so much closer since, professionally and personally. It's given us that boost I wanted." He added, "I recommend anyone to do what we did. It's not a sexual thing. If you do anything scary as a company, it encourages bonding."

Whatever. See Chick's THE MONSTER.

Actor's Wife Sleeps With Son

Just when you thought Hollywood couldn't get any worse... Star magazine is reporting that Lorenzo Lamas left his fourth wife, Playboy model Shauna Sand, after it came to light she was sleeping with his then 18-year-old son, AJ. A friend of the actor called it the "ultimate betrayal" from the model.

"Lorenzo had no idea; he was in the dark about the whole thing," the friend said. "He thought Shauna was acting like a mom to A.J., he had no clue that she was his son's lover!"

Lamas married the former Playmate of the Month in 1996 and they had three daughters together. He filed for divorce in 2002. The one-time 'Falcon Crest' star has not re-married. According to reports, Lamas is currently filming a reality show revolved around his family for E!, where he will supposedly address the scandal. Oh joy. See Chick's WOUNDED CHILDREN.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Missing 7-Year-Old case solved

The mystery of Amber Swartz-Garcia, a 7-year-old Northern California girl who disappeared after going to jump rope outside her home 21 years ago, has been solved, police said Monday. Curtis Dean Anderson confessed in 2007 — a month before dying in prison — that he kidnapped and killed Amber, Pinole Police Chief Paul Clancy said.

Amber Swartz-Garcia was 7 years old when she went outside to jump rope on June 3, 1988. She never returned. On Monday, 21 years after she disappeared, police in the Northern California town of Pinole said they know what happened to her.

Anderson, 46, died of natural causes in December 2007 while serving a sentence of more than 300 years for kidnapping and sexually assaulting two other young girls. He was sentenced to 251 years for the 2000 abduction and sexual assault of an 8-year-old Vallejo girl and was sentenced to another 50 years to life after pleading guilty to the 1999 kidnapping, molestation and murder of a 7-year-old girl, also from Vallejo.

At a Monday news conference announcing the case was closed, police distributed copies of Anderson's brief handwritten statement that read, "If there is no pursuit of the death penalty, I will freely admit my role in being responsible for the death of Amber Swartz-Garcia." (So much for the claim that criminals are not influenced by the death penalty.) See Chick's KIDNAPPED.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Ukrain Outlaws Porn

Tuesday, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko signed a bill into law, making the possession of pornography a criminal offense in the country. They don't define exactly what porn is, but don't expect that to exempt anyone. See Chick's WOUNDED CHILDREN.

Riots irrupt in Occupied Chinese Territories

Riots and street battles killed at least 140 people in China's western Xinjiang province and injured 828 others in the deadliest ethnic unrest to hit the region in decades. Officials said Monday the death toll was expected to rise.

The unrest is another troubling sign for Beijing at how rapid economic development has failed to stem — and even has exacerbated — resentment among ethnic minorities, who say they are being marginalized in their homelands as Chinese migrants pour in. The Uighur natives don't want their country rule by China, but Communists officials labels such separatist groups as terrorists.

"First they fired tear gas at the students. Then they started beating them and shooting them with bullets. Big trucks arrived, and students were rounded up and arrested," a witness said.

The clashes in Urumqi echoed last year's unrest in Tibet, when a peaceful demonstration by monks in the capital of Lhasa erupted into riots that spread to surrounding areas, leaving at least 22 dead. The Chinese government accused Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, of orchestrating the violence — a charge he denied.

Since the communist take over of China, it has routinely snatched neighboring territories for itself, then ruling them with tighter and tighter restrictions. Their most recent target is Taiwan, though the island nation has stood up to threat for decades.


Thursday, July 02, 2009

Teacher Provides REAL Sex-Ed (by Mistake)

A class of fifth graders in California got a shocking crash course on the birds and the bees courtesy of their teacher and an X-rated home video she accidentally included in a DVD of classroom memories. The DVD included six seconds of the teacher engaging in sexual activity. (Oops.) The error was not caught until after the DVDs were distributed to the students and their families. Parents tell CBS 13 Sacramento that the woman is a good teacher who made an honest but embarrassing mistake.

According to the station, the offending DVD starts with a menu screen that displays various school trips and functions. Click on one of them and "you see kids in a classroom sharing stories. They then start clapping and the video suddenly cuts to sex. The teacher, according to CBS 13, called one family's home the day after the DVD was sent, and apologized profusely, "asking the man and his wife to call every parent they knew to stop their kids from seeing the DVD too."

CBS 13 reports that the local school district is investigating the case, but that it is unlikely that teacher, who is well-liked and respected, will lose her job. (If the tape had included a message promoting Jesus, then the cries for dismissal would be fast and furious, haw-haw!)

See Chick's IT'S COMING.

Non-Chick Comics Promote Same Sex Love

Those "funny books" aren't so funny any more. The most recent issue of "X-Factor" ended with two male team members, Shatterstar and Rictor, making out. While readers will have to wait till next month to find out whether they're gay, bisexual, or it's some sort of mind-control plot point, consider writer Peter David's track record of supporting gay characters in comics -- and the lesser-known fact that writers planned for the pair to hook up back in the mid-90s.There's a good shot this is the start of a homosexual whirlwind romance.

Yet Mainstream comics haven't always been so liberal. The Comics Code Authority was created in the 50s partly out of concern about a subtext of sexual perversion, and it forbade homosexuality until 1989. Now it's all the rage. A typical example is the recent promotion of the crime-fighting lesbian Batwoman to the helm of "Detective Comics". But count your blessings, at least they didn't make Batman and Robin gay lovers (not yet, anyway). See Chick's SIN CITY.