Climate Change: Illegal farting law causes big stink

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Illegal farting law causes big stink

BREAKING wind is set to be made a crime in an African country.

The government of Malawi plan to punish persistent offenders 'who foul the air' in a bid to 'mould responsible and disciplined citizens.'

But locals fear that pinning responsibility on the crime will be difficult - and may lead to miscarriages of justice as 'criminals' attempt to blame others for their offence.

One Malawian told the website 'My goodness. What happens in a public place where a group is gathered. Do they lock up half a minibus?

'And how about at meetings where it is difficult to pinpoint 'culprits'?

'Children will openly deny having passed bad air and point at an elder. Culturally, this is very embarrassing,' she said.

Another said: 'We have serious issues affecting Malawians today. I do not know how fouling the air should take priority over regulating Chinese investments which do not employ locals, serious graft amongst legislators, especially those in the ruling party, and many more.'

The crime will be enforceable in a new 'Local Court' system which will also have powers to punish a range of other crimes in the bill set to be debated in the country's parliament.

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Retired Science Teacher Seeks to Bar Evolution from Classrooms

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Retired Science Teacher Seeks to Bar Evolution from Classrooms

By Elena Garcia|Christian Post Reporter

A retired science teacher believes the teaching of evolution is "bad science" and has asked a federal court to declare it illegal to teach the subject in public schools.

Tom Ritter, a former physics and chemistry teacher of over 10 years, filed a lawsuit earlier this month against evolution in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, the same court that ruled that teaching of intelligent design in public schools is unconstitutional.

Ritter told The Christian Post this week that he didn't pay too much attention to biology before, but now in retirement he saw problems that he couldn't overlook any longer.

"It kind of got to be like picking a scab," he said.

In his one-page brief and one-page suit, Ritter argues that the Blue Mountain School District in Orwigsburg, Penn., is an illegal body because it teaches evolution.

A local resident, Ritter wants the district to stop collecting taxes from him until such teaching is halted. This is one scheme in his plan to get rid of public schools altogether, which he considers to be a waste of taxpayer dollars.

The suit contends that the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover decision forbids any teaching of evolution that includes a creator. It also argues that evolution is unscientific.

According to Ritter, evolution is unscientific for three reasons: no one has demonstrated that life can be created from non-life; no one has demonstrated that a new "sexual species" can be created; and no one has demonstrated how the human brain evolved from lower forms.

Since evolution is unscientific and teaches the absence of a creator, it is actually teaching atheism, the suit contends. Therefore, teaching evolution should be illegal in public schools because it is a religion.

"Objectively, Atheism is a religion, albeit a silly and unscientific one," the Jan. 18 suit states. "This is like teaching Jesus is Lord."

While Ritter said his court filings are really made for "popular consumption," he does expect to have his day in court.

"I think it will be taken seriously aside from the fact that I know some science," he said.


Risk of new Chile quake seen after 2010 disaster

Risk of new Chile quake seen after 2010 disaster

The risk of a new earthquake may have increased in an area of Chile's Pacific coast that suffered a massive quake and tsunamis last year that killed more than 500 people, a team of scientists said on Sunday.

By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent

Risk of new Chile quake seen after 2010 disaster
Risk of new Chile quake seen after 2010 disaster A girl sits among the debris left by a major earthquake and ensuing tsunami in Llolleo, March 3, 2010. REUTERS/Eliseo Fernandez

OSLO (Reuters) - The risk of a new earthquake may have increased in an area of Chile's Pacific coast that suffered a massive quake and tsunamis last year that killed more than 500 people, a team of scientists said on Sunday.

They said the 8.8 magnitude February 27 quake had only partly broken stresses, deep in the Earth's crust in an area south of Santiago, that have been building up since an 1835 quake witnessed by British naturalist Charles Darwin.

"We conclude that increased stress on the unbroken patch may in turn have increased the probability of another major to great earthquake there in the near future," they wrote in the journal Nature Geoscience.

A "major" earthquake is between magnitude 7 and 8, causing serious damage over large areas, and a "great" earthquake above 8. Chile's quake was the most powerful since the 2004 quake that caused a devastating tsunami in the Indian Ocean.

"It's impossible to predict exactly when a new quake might happen," Stefano Lorito, of Italy's Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, told Reuters. He led a team of experts in the United States, Northern Ireland and Italy.

The scientists examined data from tsunamis, satellites and other sources to judge the risks in an area they called the "Darwin gap" on the coast around the city of Concepcion.

Darwin, on a five-year voyage that helped him unlock understanding of evolution, documented the 1835 earthquake that battered an area of the coast around Concepcion.

They found that a continental plate beneath the Pacific Ocean was sliding under the South American mainland at a rate of about 6.8 cms (2.7 inches) a year, so that a total of almost 12 meters (39 ft 4.4 in) of streses had built up since 1835.

When pressures build up enough, they snap and cause a quake. Some areas, deep below ground to the north of Concepcion, slipped almost 20 metres in the 2010 earthquake but the area of the "Darwin gap" barely moved.

Darwin made detailed observations, from the destruction of Concepcion cathedral to rotting mussel beds found on rocks raised by the jolt to 10 feet above the high tide mark. Other quakes have hit the region in 1928, 1939, 1960 and 1985.


Prince warns S. Arabia of apocalypse

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Press TV

Jan 30, 2011

Saudi Prince Turki bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud has warned the country’s royal family to step down and flee before a military coup or a popular uprising overthrows the kingdom.

In a letter published by Wagze news agency on Tuesday, the Cairo-based prince warned Saudi Arabia’s ruling family of a fate similar to that of Iraq’s executed dictator Saddam Hussein and the ousted Iranian Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, calling on them to escape before people “cut off our heads in streets.”

He warned that the Saudi royal family is no longer able to “impose” itself on people, arguing that deviations in carrying out the religious concepts that make up the basis of the Saudi government “have gotten out of our hands,” so that the opposition views our acts as “interfering in people’s private life and restricting their liberties.”

“If we are wise, we must leave this country to its people, whose dislike for us is increasing,” said Prince Turki, advising Saudi officials to escape with their families.

“Do it today before tomorrow as long as the money we have is enough for us to live anywhere in the world; from Switzerland to Canada and Australia…we should not return as long as we are able to get out safely, we must take our families quickly and pull out,” he urged.

“Do not fool yourself by relying on the United States or Britain or Israel, because they will not survive the loss; the only door open is now the exit door of no return. Let us go before it closes.”

He finally warned against a military coup against the ruling family, saying “no one will attack us from outside but our armed forces will attack us.”

Prince Turki is a member of the liberal Free Princes movement founded in the 1950s amid tensions between King Faisal and his brother King Saud, requesting the Saudi authorities to implement political reforms and set out a constitution.

The late King Faisal expelled members of the civil rights group to Egypt but later on pardoned them.


Brzezinski’s Feared "Global Awakening" Has Arrived

Brzezinski's Feared "Global Awakening" Has Arrived

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Brzezinski’s Feared "Global Awakening" Has Arrived

Sine offensione estote Iudaeis et Graecis et ecclesiae Dei. (1 Corinthians 10:32)

Prison Planet reports Zbigniew Brzezinski’s much feared “global political awakening” is in full swing.

Prison Planet writes: "Indeed, the die was cast when the Obama administration expressed its support for 30 year dictator Hosni Mubarak in the form of a PBS interview yesterday when Vice-President Joe Biden implied that the protesters demands were illegitimate".

During a Council on Foreign Relations speech in Montreal last year, co-founder with David Rockefeller of the Trilateral Commission and regular Bilderberg attendee Zbigniew Brzezinski warned of a "global political awakening", mainly comprising of younger people in developing states, that threatened to topple the existing international order.

Personally, I believe a global political awakening should be regarded as something positive.

It is always great when people want to participate in a constructive way to build a better future and a prosperous society.

But one problem is that the vast majority of government overthrows in the world end up with just as bad or worse an administration as what preceded it.

The West criticized the Shah of Iran for his shortcomings for example, and abandoned him by welcoming the Iranian revolution in 1979.

But it is always better to fix democracy than to scrap it.

Brzezinski said in his speech: "To put it bluntly: in earlier times, it was easier to control one million people than to physically kill one million people; today, it is infinitely easier to kill one million people than to control one million people".

Unfortunately for the people, when confronted with different alternatives, politicians have a tendency to pick the easier solution.

When the people no longer can be controled, it will be annihilated.

But when a government starts shooting and killing its own people, it is just a matter of time before it will fall.

"Exsurget autem gens super gentem, et regnum super regnum, et erunt terraemotus per loca, et fames; initium dolorum haec", Mark 13:8.

Platts' term-limits proposal making little noise

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Platts' term-limits proposal making little noise

The congressman believes term limits could lead to fairer elections. He won't step down unless everyone has to.
Daily Record/Sunday News
York, PA -
Nearly every year, you can count on at least two things from U.S. Rep. Todd Platts:

A handshake photo-op with the president during the state of the union address, and a proposed amendment limiting the terms of members of Congress.

The York Republican's support for forcing legislators from their seats after they've served a set number of years goes back to his days in Pennsylvania's state house of representatives. The annual Platts term-limit bill was part of his agenda, then, too, and was just as unsuccessful as later versions.

To Platts, term limits mean fairer elections. Entrenched incumbents can't use "obscene" amounts of political cache to squash challengers -- they're out before they can collect too much power. Opponents, however, say different reforms would accomplish what Platts wants without requiring the ouster of lawmakers with valuable experience.

Platts is serving his sixth term, which would be his last under the law he's advocating.

Will he seek a seventh?

Uh, probably.

"Without any unforeseen circumstances," Platts said, he plans to vie for Pennsylvania's 19th district again in 2012. Passage of his bill, which would amend the U.S. constitution to hold House members to six two-year terms and Senate members to two six-year terms, wouldn't preclude him from running again.

The bill wouldn't require members of Congress who have already served their limit to be cast from office. Instead, the terms starts the term after the amendment becomes law.

That accomplishes two things, Platts said. One, it makes the bill more attractive to members who otherwise would vote themselves out by voting for it.

Two, it levels the playing field for seniority purposes. The longer each member serves, the greater his or her standing in committees and subcommittees. By allowing the current regime to stay in place, Platts explains, the seniority structure will continue, allowing members to remain on their respective committees until their terms have expired.

Like every year, Platts' term limits bill is drawing little attention. The proposal always dies in committee. This year, it has no co-sponsors.

Sen. Robert Casey, D-Pa., believes term limits "should be up to the voters," said Larry Smar, his deputy chief of staff. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., could not be reached for comment.

Melvin Kulbicki, a York College professor of political science, said the idea of legislative term limits has become passe, and there is little interest in Washington. "The votes aren't there," he said.

Still, Platts isn't the lone voice on term limits. Other bills, including one forthcoming from South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint, call for giving each member of Congress an expiration date.

"The idea is to return a system of rotation in office that was envisioned by our founders," said Philip Blumel, president of U.S. Term Limits, a Fairfax, Va., advocacy group.

Fifty-six candidates for office in state and federal legislatures signed a pledge from Blumel's group in 2010 supporting amending the U.S. Constitution to create term limits in the Congress.

Legislators who support term limits say they want to eliminate incumbents' unfair advantage for reelection.

Incumbents often raise more money than their challengers, Platts said. Also, the job allows them to meet with constituents, giving them a built-in way of campaigning, giving them a head start over their challengers in many cases.

Kulbicki calls term limits a "gimmick." Problems like the ones Platts illustrates are better handled through campaign finance reform, changes to the election system and revamping how districts are mapped.

Term limits often have "unanticipated consequences," Kulbicki said. They limit the experience of lawmakers. When experienced lawmakers are replaced by newcomers, a power vacuum can result. As a result, sometimes non-elected bureaucrats and political appointees can become more powerful. That can mean the real power brokers in the government aren't the elected officials, but appointees who weren't elected to their positions.

Fifteen state legislatures limit the amount of time their legislators can serve. The last to ink such a law was Nebraska in 2000. Six states adopted term limits laws but later repealed them, most recently Wyoming in 2004. There, two lawmakers challenged the law as unconstitutional and the state supreme court agreed.

"I think there's a lot of regret" from states that enacted term limits laws, Kulbicki said.

Platts' bill

Section 1. No person who has been a Senator for two full consecutive terms shall again be a Senator until the date that is one year after the end of such second full consecutive term.

Section 2. No person who has been a Representative for six full consecutive terms shall again be a Representative until the date that is one year after the end of the sixth full consecutive term.

Section 3. For the purposes of this article, any term that began before the date of the ratification of this article shall not be included in determining the number of full consecutive terms that a person has been a Senator or Representative.


Official: What led to 2 Mich. slayings uncertain

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Official: What led to 2 Mich. slayings uncertain

The Associated Press

This undated photo provided by the Van Buren County Sheriff's Office shows Junior Lee Beebe, who has been charged in the slayings of Amy Henslee and Tonya Howarth in Bangor Township, Mich. Authorities said Friday, Jan. 28, 2011 that the two women, who were fatally shot, were found buried in woodland in southwest Michigan. ((AP Photo/Van Buren County Sheriff's Office))
PAW PAW, Mich.—Authorities on Saturday worked to piece together what happened between the morning when a southern Michigan mother apparently left home voluntarily with a family relative and a short time later when she and another woman were gunned down.

Investigators have said they believe 30-year-old Amy Henslee left her home in Hartford Township on Monday with Junior Lee Beebe, her husband's cousin. Van Buren County sheriff's Sgt. Scott Schmitt said they don't know why.

"We don't know what happened next," Schmitt said Saturday afternoon.

Investigators believe Tonya Howarth, whom Beebe dated on and off for the last few years, met up with them that morning in a wooded, rural area in nearby Bangor Township. Shortly afterward, Henslee and Howarth were dead of shotgun blasts, Schmitt said.

Beebe, 34, remained jailed without bond Saturday after being charged with two counts of murder and possession of a firearm during a felony on Friday, the day after tracking dogs helped find the bodies of the women, both mothers of two.

Beebe, of Bangor, who was arraigned by video, didn't enter a plea. But when Judge Robert Hentchel asked him about whether he understood the charges in Henslee's death, Beebe responded: "Did or didn't? No I didn't."

A message was left Saturday with David Hunt, Beebe's court-appointed lawyer.

The bodies were found buried about 5 feet deep near the front door of a blood-splattered trailer in a wooded, rural area in Bangor Township, about 60 miles southwest of Grand Rapids, on property that authorities said Beebe was trying to buy from his uncle.

It was unclear Saturday whether Henslee and Howarth, 36, knew each other, Schmitt said. But investigators were told by Henslee's husband that his wife knew Beebe because the family regularly spent time with the cousin.

Beebe and Howarth would live together for stretches of time, said Kimberly Wojciehowski, 27, who lives next door in Bangor. She said Howarth had two teenage daughters, and was looking for a job after studying to be a pharmacy technician.

"I was shocked," Wojciehowski said of the death of Howarth, a friend since Wojciehowski moved to the street about a year ago. "Beebe in all reality was a very nice guy. They had their issues as a couple. They argued. . But I enjoyed both of them."

Authorities didn't initially suspect Henslee was in danger, because it appeared she had voluntarily left her home with Beebe at some point Monday morning. She had locked the door behind her and left her purse inside, though investigators couldn't say more about how or why she went with him.

Henslee's family brought in a private canine tracking unit that alerted the sheriff's office to the trailer. The crime scene was about a quarter mile into the property, which authorities said was accessible only on foot or with all-terrain vehicles.

At some point after women were killed, authorities believe Beebe left the property. He wasn't there when tracking dogs led investigators to the property, Schmitt said, but he returned Thursday afternoon and was later arrested.

Family friend Wendy Boyd said Saturday during a news conference held at Hartford City Hall that Henslee's family and friends wish the search for the missing mother would have started sooner and they plan to push for a statewide measure that would require authorities to launch a search within 24 hours when a person is reported missing. She said a 48-hour waiting period is "ridiculous."

"When a person is missing, everyone knows that the first 48 hours are the key crucial time that that person needs to be found," Boyd said, adding that police organized a task force between 24 and 48 hours of Henslee being reported missing.

Van Buren County Sheriff's Department officials did not immediately return calls made by the Kalamazoo Gazette seeking more information about their policies regarding missing person searches.

Autopsy results weren't expected until Monday, when the sheriff's department also planned to update information on the case.

Henslee's husband, James, last saw his wife alive Monday when he left for work from their home in Hartford Township, just south of where the women's bodies were found. The couple had two sons, ages 10 and 8, friends said.


Body of Calif. teacher who left cryptic message found

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Body of Calif. teacher who left cryptic message found

The Associated Press
ROSS, Calif.—Searchers on Saturday found the body of a 53-year-old high school teacher who left a cryptic message on her classroom blackboard before going missing, police said.

Ross police and a Marin County search and rescue team found Debra Schmitt's body near a creek, police Sgt. Gianfranco Campa said. Schmitt lived in Ross, a small town just north of San Francisco.

Students in her high school English class told police they found the message "Thank you everyone" on the chalkboard when they showed up for class Jan. 20. She was last seen a day earlier.

"An initial examination of the scene where Schmitt was located did not reveal any signs or indications of foul play," Campa said.

The Marin County coroner planned to investigate the cause of her death, which could take several weeks.

Schmitt's cousin, Linda Czarnik, said the teacher was going through a divorce and had recently lost three close relatives. Public records showed that Schmitt's husband, Stephen Smith, filed for divorce in Marin County Superior Court on Jan. 11.

"We are completely devastated and distraught by the news," Smith said in a statement. "We loved her dearly and she will be greatly missed."

Authorities searched the Phoenix Lake area near Ross and Golden Gate Park in San Francisco during the days Schmitt was missing.

Schmitt was a teacher at Terra Linda High School for 10 years. Before that, she taught at Stuyvesant High School in New York City and at Penn State University, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.

Schmitt's son is in the eighth grade.


Vietnam reporter dies after being set on fire

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Vietnam reporter dies after being set on fire

The Associated Press
HANOI, Vietnam—A reporter at a Vietnamese newspaper has died after an intruder broke into his home, doused him with chemicals and set him on fire while he was sleeping.

The Laborer newspaper says 50-year-old Le Hoang Hung died Saturday at a hospital in Ho Chi Minh City after 10 days of treatment for burns covering 20 percent of his body.

His colleague Nguyen Thi Ngoc Mai says Hung covered the southern Mekong Delta for the newspaper for nearly 10 years. She says the attack could be revenge for his reporting.

Police are investigating the case.


W O R L D W I D E : r E V O L U T I O N

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W O R L D W I D E : r E V O L U T I O N

THIS IS A FIXED re-post. I fixed the music and the sound bite of the man at 2:55 who says “Whether you are a Christian, whether you are a Muslim, whether you are an Atheist…” also, REVOLUTION is r E V O L U T I O N .

The world wakes, the slave masters tremble.

Credit to tshaaban88. Another human being who’s had enough.

FAIR USE NOTICE: The material on this channel is provided solely for educational and informational purposes. It may contain copyrighted material, the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Infringement of copyright is not intended. The material is made available to help educate people about health related issues. It is believed that this constitutes a ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17, section 107 of the US Copyright Law. The material is distributed without profit to those who would like to use such material for research and educational purposes.

Egyptian Army joins Protesters against Riot Police Not All Are Drones defending HighCrimes:

“Into the Fire” by Thirteen Senses

Muisc credit to Kevin MacLeod:


Dragon and Toast


Cairo Citizen Guards Protect Homes

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Cairo Citizen Guards Protect Homes

Police appear to have withdrawn from many parts of the Egyptian capital and it is the people who now own the streets.

Locals armed with sticks and knives are setting up their own neighbourhood security groups to protect their homes and property.

Al Jazeera’s Jacky Rowland reports from Nasr City in Cairo.


Red Lion Area elementary school principal to machete attacker: 'I have forgiven you'

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Red Lion Area elementary school principal to machete attacker: 'I have forgiven you'

Ten years ago, Norina Bentzel and others fought to protect children from William Stankewicz. Recently, she felt compelled to write him a letter.

· Related coverage on Belief and Beyond blog: Principal sees God's hand in her survival, recovery

York, PA -
She was meant to be looking out the window that morning, at that moment. Norina Bentzel believes that.

On Feb. 2, 2001, the principal of North Hopewell-Winterstown Elementary School was preparing to leave her office to calm a crowd of rowdy students in the cafeteria.

She had a strange feeling at the door. She turned around, went to her desk and called her youngest son at the babysitter's -- something she

Bentzel has kept the plastic ID card that hung from her neck the day of the attack in 2001. At one point, Stankewicz swiped at her abdomen, but the machete cracked the card instead of slicing her open, she said. It s a lifeline to me, she said. (Daily Record/Sunday News -- Jason Plotkin)
rarely did, especially at 11:23 a.m. when he'd be getting ready for kindergarten.

From the window over her desk, with the phone at her ear, Bentzel saw the man for the first time.

Balding and stout, he was tugging on the locked front door. Any parent familiar with the school would have known that was the wrong side, she thought.

Bentzel told her son she loved him, hung up and went to help the stranger -- a lost grandfather, she figured. A mother approached the school trailing two preschoolers. When the office buzzed her in, he followed them inside.

"Excuse me, sir," Bentzel said when she found him peering into a kindergarten classroom. "Can I help you find someone?"

The man wheeled around, pulled a 2-foot-long machete from

Police take William Stankewicz into custody after his attack at North Hopewell-Winterstown Elementary School 10 years ago. (Daily Record/Sunday News -- File)
his pant leg and raised it to strike.


Ten years later, Bentzel says that phone call to her son Joshua was divinely inspired. If she'd gone to the cafeteria, the ruckus around her would have drowned out any shouts for help when the attack began.

"The call I was compelled to make that day put me in the place to get involved in this event," she said.

And to stop it.

Bentzel, then 41, endured blows from the machete until she could escape to her office and pound the schoolwide lockdown alarm.

Minutes later in the health suite next door, the 5-foot-2 principal leaped upon the attacker from behind, wrapping him in a bear hug. Bentzel pinned him over a desk until he relaxed. Police soon arrived.

William Michael Stankewicz

It has been 10 years since William Michael Stankewicz stole into a Red Lion-area school and terrorized students and staff. Principal Norina Bentzel, one of his victims, displays the letter she sent to Stankewicz in 2009. (Daily Record/Sunday News -- Jason Plotkin)
injured 14 that day, including 11 kindergarteners ages 5 and 6, Bentzel and two teachers. The rampage lasted mere minutes. He later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 132 to 264 years in prison.

Bentzel's physical injuries took more than two years to rehabilitate. Surgeons reattached two severed fingers and a partially amputated thumb. They placed a titanium plate in her shattered wrist and attempted to restore severed tendons and nerves in her hands.

Therapists worked to help her regain dexterity. She returned to school the next fall, settled into old routines and sought to restore a sense of normalcy. She re-learned to play the saxophone and type, despite limited use of several fingers.

The hard work had yet to start.



a time, Bentzel, a Christian, considered whether God was punishing her for some offense.

She abandoned that theory and considered others, struggling all the time with questions. Why me? Why our school?

After much prayer, Bentzel determined she could forgive Stankewicz for what he'd done -- to her.

"I wasn't so sure about forgiving him for what he did to the children," she said.

That is, until the day in 2006 when a man barricaded himself in an Amish schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Lancaster County. Charles Roberts IV shot 10 girls, murdering five, then killed himself.

Bentzel felt horrified watching the news, then amazed, when the following day the Amish went to the killer's family to express their forgiveness.

"I made the decision after that," she said. "If they could do it, it should be easy for me."

She tried to contact Stankewicz through a state mediation program for victims of crime. Bentzel wanted him to know of her forgiveness.

The process took three years, but in March 2009 a letter from Bentzel was delivered to Stankewicz at the state prison in Fayette County, south of Pittsburgh.

In her letter, Bentzel told Stankewicz she still doesn't understand his actions and explained the hardship he caused in her life.

"After your brutal attack on me two times, I wrapped my arms around you to comfort you," she wrote. "So you see, even though we didn't know each other at all and you tried to kill me, I could still comfort you!"

She also posed several questions, including a plea for details about the store where Stankewicz tried, unsuccessfully, to buy a gun on the drive from his home in Johnson City, Tenn., to York in 2001.

If she knew the name of that store, Bentzel said in an interview, she would go there to thank the clerk or manager who ran the background check on Stankewicz that day and declined his purchase.

"Because of that clerk's actions that day, there are still 350-some children walking this earth. And because of the clerk's actions that day, there are 56 adults who are still teaching children or are moms or dads or grandparents now," she said.

"And because he didn't give that man an opportunity to buy a gun, I'm talking to you today."

Stankewicz refused to read the letter from Bentzel. Bentzel subsequently asked the letter be read to him, but she was told it wasn't a good idea.

Stankewicz, in a letter to the York Daily Record in December, reiterated his reasoning for the 2001 attack: It was an outlet for his long-sought revenge against an ex-wife, Larisa Prokuda, whose daughters once attended the school.

Of Bentzel's letter, he said, "I will never read it. I was told it was 'nice.'

"I don't care about her life, her thoughts, her emotions. I don't know her. She is meaningless to me as a human being."


Bentzel speaks publicly about the ongoing emotional and psychological effects of traumatic events. Over the years, she has addressed trauma nurses, conferences of school counselors, even prison inmates.

Her message stresses healing and forgiveness, yet acknowledges how an unexpected image, object or scrap of news can trigger emotions that catapult her back to that day in February 2001.

Unexplained outbursts of violence, such as the recent shootings in Tucson, Ariz., prompt stomach-churning anguish. In public spaces, strangers who seem out of place can make her nervous.

In steak restaurants, she flinches upon seeing knives at her place setting. "I don't particularly like knives anymore."

A few years ago, Bentzel was leaving a wholesale-club store pushing a cart when she noticed a man near the exit. He was looking in Bentzel's direction from about 10 feet away, holding a set of pruning shears at chest level.

Panic sprang to the surface. Sweat beaded on Bentzel's skin. Her heart pounded.

"The poor guy was just standing there. My head knew that, but my body was saying, Alert!" she said.

"I told myself, as I always do, he's probably not going to kill you. He's probably not going to kill you -- probably. Because, I'm not so sure anymore."

She talked herself, step by step, into pushing her cart past him. At the sliding doors, she watched their reflection of the man, who turned and followed in her direction.

Bentzel froze in terror. She waited for him to sweep past her, presumably heading for his car.

Reflecting on the episode later, she told herself, "I have to start to learn to trust again."


Of the 23 kindergartners in the class Stankewicz terrorized, about 16 are still in the Red Lion Area School District, now in the ninth or tenth grades.

Bentzel made it a mission to keep in touch with them, writing letters to each once a year. She tells them how she is following their progress in sports, music and academic honors. She offers to meet for lunch if they ever want to talk. Some respond, some don't.

Allen Miller, a psychologist and director of behavioral health at Wellspan, said, even though they were 5 or 6 at the time of the attack, the teenagers likely retain clear memories of it, in part because of the trauma and violence of the event and its immense exposure in the media.

"How they make sense of it now (involves) all their experiences since then, all the things they've heard, read and been said to them about it -- all might affect their memories," Miller said.

"Their recollection might be different today than what is was right after the event, although the emotion of the memory might be the same."

Bentzel recalled a quote from the last living survivor of the Alamo. Enrique Esparza was 8 when he witnessed the 1836 battle where hundreds died.

Asked whether he remembered the Alamo, Esparza, in his 70s, said:

"It is burned into my brain and indelibly seared there. Neither age nor infirmity could make me forget, for the scene was one of such horror."


The machete attack has become legend of sorts among the families of the North Hopewell-Winterstown school.

When a new family moves to town, a neighbor inevitably fills them in on the events. Sometimes kids or parents recognize Bentzel in a re-broadcast 2008 episode of the Biography channel show "I Survived," in which she retold the story of Feb. 2, 2001.

Sometimes they call her a hero. "That's always nice to hear," she said.

She plans an open house at her home in West Manchester Township around the anniversary of the attack every year. The gathering has become a tradition.

"It's not only for the people who were there that day. It's also for my staff now, because that event is part of who we are as a school," she said.

Bentzel feels a strong bond with the school and community and hopes to someday retire from North Hopewell-Winterstown, a place she had once feared she could never tread again.

While hospitalized after the attack, she cried and cried -- not about her injuries or Stankewicz's brutality but over losing her school.

How could ever go back to the scene where she'd been so horrifically violated?

Her husband urged her to take time to heal. She now believes he was right.

"At home, later, I said, You fool, Bentzel: He took your hands as you knew them, he can't have your job," she said.

"Why would you let him have your life?"

The attack

On Feb. 2, 2001, William Michael Stankewicz, then 55, entered North Hopewell-Winterstown Elementary School with a 2-foot-long machete.

He injured 14, including 11 kindergarteners, the principal and two teachers who wrestled the weapon away and subdued him until police arrived.

Stankewicz was later sentenced to 132 to 264 years in prison. He is at the state prison in LaBelle, Fayette County, a maximum-security facility south of Pittsburgh.

In her struggle with Stankewicz, principal Norina Bentzel was severely cut on both hands and arms, incurring a shattered wrist and multiple bruises. Kindergarten teacher Linda Collier received a severe cut on her hand as she defended the children. Other injuries were less serious.


The following is a minute-by-minute account of the machete attack at North Hopewell-Winterstown Elementary School on Feb. 2, 2001:

11:30 a.m.: A parent notices a man walking toward the front of the school.

The doorbell rings in the office, and school nurse Denise Zellers buzzes in a mother with two children, who are followed by William Michael Stankewicz.

Stankewicz pulls a machete from his left pantleg and attacks the principal near the lobby and a teacher in a kindergarten classroom.

Kindergarteners suffer minor injuries, including a broken arm, cuts, bruising and a chopped-off ponytail. There is blood in the hallway.

11:32 a.m.: York County 911 receives a call from someone at the school about a man inside chasing the school principal with a weapon.

11:34 a.m.: York County 911 receives a second call about the attack.

Principal Norina Bentzel wrestles Stankewicz and subdues him in the health suite, assisted by Zellers, who hid the machete in the hallway after Stankewicz dropped it.

Stankewicz is taken into custody by police and is non-aggressive when arrested.

11:48 a.m.: Authorities take Stankewicz to an undisclosed location.

Five children are taken to York Hospital for minor injuries, another is treated by a private physician. Three staff members are taken to Memorial Hospital.

CNN reports news of the attack, and other news media swarm the grounds, talking with parents and children.

12:30 p.m.: Children are dismissed from school, and parents of the injured students are notified. Parents arrive to pick up students.

5 p.m.: North Hopewell Township Police Chief Larry Bailets reports Stankewicz is being held on $2 million bail, noting Stankewicz has an FBI record that dates to 1996. Stankewicz is taken to York County Prison.

11 p.m.: Bentzel, flown by LifeLion to Baltimore's Union Memorial Hospital earlier in the day, remained in surgery as doctors reattached her severed fingers.

Other trauma in Red Lion

Red Lion Area School District students have dealt with traumatic events at least two other times in the past 10 years:

--- April 24, 2003: Eighth-grader James Sheets, 14, shot Principal Gene Segro and then shot himself in the head in crowded Red Lion Area Junior High School cafeteria. Sheets died at the scene. Segro was pronounced dead at the hospital.

--- Feb. 7, 2005: A 10th-grade student was charged with aggravated assault, among other charges. Police alleged he assaulted another student with a hunting knife during a class.

On the blogs

· York County, Pa., educator recounts machete attack on 'I Survived...'


The UFOs and dead fishes

The UFOs and dead fishes

COLOMBIA – In Llanitos neighborhood, north of the city of Barrancabermeja, the collective death of two thousand fish is being attributed by the locals, to aliens. Witnesses said that saw an unidentified object that was hovering above the waters of a mangrove. The UFO emited a bright light and then, in few seconds disappeared. After that, the fish began to appear floating dead in the water. These fish showed signs of burns on the scales and gills.
A woman that is community leader from El Llanitos reported that the apparition of UFO phenomenon's lasted about 20 seconds. In the district of Puente Sogamoso, Puerto Wilches city, others people reported that they also saw the object, which was round and flew over the area with lateral movements.
The Municipal Department of Environment says the deaths are related to lack of oxygen in the waters of the swamp but the Fishermen's Association has rejected this hypothesis claiming that there was never a fish kills like was registered, now, in Barrancabermeja.
Furthermore, there is no known reason for this supposed lack of oxygen in the water. A committee headed by Environment Secretary, Isaac Lopez will inspect the marsh in order to ascertain the real causes of the phenomenon.
Mortandad de Peces en Barrancabermeja es atribuida a fenómeno sobrenatural.
IN RCN Rádio – published in 25/01/2011
Muerte de peces en Colombia es atribuida a "fenómeno sobrenatural".
IN El Universal – published in 25/01/2011.


The UFOs and dead fishes

The UFOs and dead fishes

COLOMBIA – In Llanitos neighborhood, north of the city of Barrancabermeja, the collective death of two thousand fish is being attributed by the locals, to aliens. Witnesses said that saw an unidentified object that was hovering above the waters of a mangrove. The UFO emited a bright light and then, in few seconds disappeared. After that, the fish began to appear floating dead in the water. These fish showed signs of burns on the scales and gills.
A woman that is community leader from El Llanitos reported that the apparition of UFO phenomenon's lasted about 20 seconds. In the district of Puente Sogamoso, Puerto Wilches city, others people reported that they also saw the object, which was round and flew over the area with lateral movements.
The Municipal Department of Environment says the deaths are related to lack of oxygen in the waters of the swamp but the Fishermen's Association has rejected this hypothesis claiming that there was never a fish kills like was registered, now, in Barrancabermeja.
Furthermore, there is no known reason for this supposed lack of oxygen in the water. A committee headed by Environment Secretary, Isaac Lopez will inspect the marsh in order to ascertain the real causes of the phenomenon.
Mortandad de Peces en Barrancabermeja es atribuida a fenómeno sobrenatural.
IN RCN Rádio – published in 25/01/2011
Muerte de peces en Colombia es atribuida a "fenómeno sobrenatural".
IN El Universal – published in 25/01/2011.


Internet ‘Kill Switch’ Legislation Back in Play

Amplify’d from

Internet ‘Kill Switch’ Legislation Back in Play

Legislation granting the president internet-killing powers is to be re-introduced soon to a Senate committee, the proposal’s chief sponsor told on Friday.

The resurgence of the so-called “kill switch” legislation came the same day Egyptians faced an internet blackout designed to counter massive demonstrations in that country.

The bill, which has bipartisan support, is being floated by Sen. Susan Collins, the Republican ranking member on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. The proposed legislation, which Collins said would not give the president the same power Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak is exercising to quell dissent, sailed through the Homeland Security Committee in December but expired with the new Congress weeks later.

The bill is designed to protect against “significant” cyber threats before they cause damage, Collins said.

“My legislation would provide a mechanism for the government to work with the private sector in the event of a true cyber emergency,” Collins said in an e-mail Friday. “It would give our nation the best tools available to swiftly respond to a significant threat.”

The timing of when the legislation would be re-introduced was not immediately clear, as kinks to it are being worked out.

An aide to the Homeland Security committee described the bill as one that does not mandate the shuttering of the entire internet. Instead, it would authorize the president to demand turning off access to so-called “critical infrastructure” where necessary.

An example, the aide said, would require infrastructure connected to “the system that controls the floodgates to the Hoover dam” to cut its connection to the net if the government detected an imminent cyber attack.

What’s unclear, however, is how the government would have any idea when a cyber attack was imminent or why the operator wouldn’t shutter itself if it detected a looming attack.

About two dozen groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Library Association, Electronic Frontier Foundation and Center for Democracy & Technology, were skeptical enough to file an open letter opposing the idea. They are concerned that the measure, if it became law, might be used to censor the internet.

“It is imperative that cyber-security legislation not erode our rights,” (.pdf) the groups wrote last year to Congress.

A congressional white paper (.pdf) on the measure said the proposal prohibits the government from targeting websites for censorship “based solely on activities protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.”

Oddly, that’s exactly the same language in the Patriot Act used to test whether the government can wiretap or investigate a person based on their political beliefs or statements.

Photo: LeSimonPix/Flickr

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