Too Much Faith Will Make You Crazy: God told me to rape and kill edition.

Just doing what he was told.

Meet Isaiah Kalebu. He’s a True Beliver™ of the truest kind. When his God tells him to do something, by golly you can bet he’ll get it done. Even when what his God tells him to do is to brutally rape and kill a lesbian couple:

“I was there and I was told by my God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to attack my enemies, and I did so,” Isaiah Kalebu said under questioning by one of his lawyers.

[…] Kalebu is accused of slipping in an open window of the couple’s home in Seattle’s South Park neighborhood and repeatedly raping and stabbing them during a two-hour attack. One woman, Teresa Butz, died naked and blood-soaked in the street in front of her home as neighbors tried to help. Her partner survived and told the jury that Kalebu was the man who did it.

Of course you’ll say that the man’s obviously mentally ill. Perhaps he is, but he’s not using mental illness as a defense. He freely makes the claim that God told him to carry out this attack, which is odd when you consider his defense team is claiming he had nothing to do with the crime despite DNA evidence and eyewitness testimony. Still, it’s not like God has issued similar edicts in the past to the people he’s spoken directly to. What if he’s telling the truth?

In the end is doesn’t really matter as the jury found him guilty of the crimes he was charged with. Crazy or not, he’s going to prison.

It has come to this: Man robs bank of $1 to get medical care in jail.

What do you do when you’re jobless and homeless with a host of medical problems none of which justify a visit to an emergency room? Well, they provide free medical care in jail.

That’s the solution James Verone of North Carolina came up with so he walked into a local bank and handed the teller a note that simply said: “This is a bank robbery. please only give me one dollar.” Then he went over to a bench and sat down and waited for the police to arrive and arrest him:

“I wanted to make it known that this wasn’t for monetary reasons, but for medical reasons,” he says.

That’s right James Verone says he has no medical insurance. He has a growth of some sort on his chest, two ruptured disks and a problem with his left foot. He is 59-years old and with no job and a depleted bank account. He thought jail was the best place he could go for medical care and a roof over his head.

Verone is hoping for a three year sentence.

He’d then be able to collect social security when he got out, and says he’d head for the beach.

“I’ve already looked at a condominium. I’ve spoken to a realtor, on Myrtle Beach,” he says.

via Man claims he robbed bank of $1 in order to secure jail health care |

It’s arguable whether or not he had no other choice, I’m not familiar enough with what options for free medical care exist in the region of North Carolina he resides in, but it’s probably the approach with the least red tape. He doesn’t recommend everyone take this approach to getting needed medical care, but he doesn’t have any regrets even after the jailhouse doctor scolded him for manipulating the system.

There’s just one small flaw with his clever plan:

Because he only demanded one dollar and didn’t have a weapon police charged him not with bank robbery, but larceny, so he might not get as much time in the slammer as he was hoping for.

Ain’t that a bitch? You go through the trouble of robbing a bank and the cops only charge you with larceny. What’s an honest man got to do to get three years of jail time around here?

Of course if we had a single payer system here in America then even the homeless could get needed medical care without having to resort to crime to get it. But that would be too much like those cesspools of communism known as the U.K. and Canada.

Good God Fearing man scams his fellow church members with a Ponzi scheme.

Gullibility Demotivational

If you'll believe this, I've got a bridge I'd like to talk to you about...

Religion, we’re often told, will make you a more moral person and people who aren’t religious have no morality. Yet if you pay attention you can find example after example where the above simply isn’t true. Take, for instance, 84-year-old Stephen Klos who was considered an upstanding and moral person by the fellow members of his church. So much so that when he started offering to invest money on behalf of various members several of them handed over huge amounts with no questions:

Klos was charming and talked about his real estate that was worth millions. Invitations to friends and churchgoers to invest — sometimes with promises of returns of 24 percent a year — were met with open checkbooks.

But King County prosecutors Wednesday painted a different picture of Klos, who was charged with 28 counts of securities fraud in a scheme involving the alleged theft of $3.5 million from dozens of churchgoers and others, including more than $3 million from six elderly women in the church.

Prosecutors say Klos and another man, Robert Justice, 52, paid later investors in the scheme with money from new clients, pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars along the way. Justice is named in five felony counts.

Ponzi schemes always fall apart because they rely on the constant addition of new suckers investors to keep the illusion going and in any given church there’s only going to be so many people who have money to invest. Note I didn’t say that they could afford to invest, just that they had money to invest.

Naturally, the pastor and congregation are shocked, SHOCKED, that such a good man could be capable of such a crime:

Asimakoupoulos said relatives of many widows told him about their loved ones handing money over to Klos, who in turn assured the pastor that his financial plan “was aboveboard.”

One family lost $600,0000, money inherited from a loved one, the pastor said.

“He gained access to family funds and was promising returns that were too good to be true,” Asimakoupoulos said, adding he was stunned that “someone as well-versed in the Bible as he was could have this side to him.”

Because we all know that if you’re well-versed in the Bible you’re automagically a more moral person than someone who isn’t. (By which standard there are a lot of atheists who should be stunningly moral despite not believing in Gods.)

This is an all-too common scenario in part because religion tends to promote magical thinking and derides skepticism. When you accept that a man 2,000 years ago was born from a virgin, walked on water, turned water into wine, and died and rose from the grave in three days, well, believing you can get a 24% return on investment in a year isn’t that far-fetched. And if you can’t have faith in your fellow congregation members then who can you have faith in? Combine that with a natural human tendency for greed (e.g. did the six elderly women who invested $3 million really need more money?) and you have a money tree ripe for the picking.

Worse, once you’ve invested that kind of faith into something (or, in this case, someone) often it can be hard to accept the reality of the situation:

The charges say Klos is “romantically involved” with one 85-year-old suspected victim who has given him more than $350,000. She continues to turn over her Social Security, despite warnings from investigators and family, according to the charges.

You know what they say about fools and money.

The truly amazing thing is that this isn’t the first time Klos has been in trouble for running a Ponzi scheme:

Klos was barred from securities and financial dealings in 1992 for running another Ponzi scheme that raised more than $3.4 million, according to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) records. No criminal charges were filed in the case, which involved two other men, although SEC records indicate he had to pay back more than $380,000.

No criminal charges and he only had to pay back $380,000 out of the $3.4 million he stole? Is it any surprise he’d try it again? Hell, is it any surprise these people fell for it?

Asshats steal woman’s credit card info and then sends her “thank you” flowers.

Pic of troll face.

u mad?

Imagine this: Some asshat gets hold of your credit card information and racks up a bunch of fraudulent charges. Then, after the bank calls to tell you that you’ve been victimized, there’s a knock on the door with a gift from the asshat:

According to the woman, Bank of America had called her to notify her that her card had automatically been canceled because of suspicious account activity. The bank told her that about $2,400 had been charged.

However, the woman added that the thieves had arranged for flowers to be delivered to her home address. The woman said the flowers contained a card that said, “thnx for ur money.”

via Narragansett Police Log: March 14 and 15, 2011 – Narragansett, RI Patch.

Was that really necessary? Isn’t it enough that you’ve already caused her some grief and hassle and possibly damaged her credit rating? Couldn’t you have withheld the temptation to taunt the poor lady? I mean, you have to be a bit of a bastard to steal someone’s credit card info to begin with, but this takes it to a whole new level of dickishness.

SEB Pro Tip: When facing the death penalty try not to wish aloud for a gun to shoot the jury with.

I mean, I can understand it given the situation you’re in:

A man convicted of first-degree murder told Jefferson Parish jurors deliberating his fate, “If I had an AK-47, I’d kill every last one of y’all with no remorse.”

Isaiah Doyle made the comments today after taking the stand during the penalty phase of his murder trial.

The same jury that is weighing Doyle’s fate yesterday convicted him of first-degree murder in the 2005 shooting death of a Marrero convenience store clerk.

via Murderer Tells Jury He’d Like To Kill Them – WWL.

But you should probably wait until after they’ve decided whether you’re going to die or not before making such proclamations. I know that I wouldn’t blame the jury for deciding you’re not worth keeping around for much longer.

Especially after the following:

During the penalty phase of the trial, prosecutors also put the female victim of another Doyle robbery on the stand. The appearance by that victim, robbed by Doyle three weeks before the killing, prompted an angry outburst from Doyle.  Courtroom deputies had to restrain the convicted murderer.

Later, on the witness stand, Doyle told the jury what he had told the robbery victim following her testimony.  Doyle testified that he told the victim, “I should have blown your f****g brains out.”

Asked whether he had any remorse about murdering Hwa Lee, Doyle told jurors, “I have no conscience.  When I go to sleep at night, I don’t even think about it.”

Yeah, I wouldn’t place any bets on you ending up with just life in prison.

Richard Lewis Ludwig is a thieving asshat.

It’s always bad enough when you accidentally lose your credit card someplace and have to go through the process of canceling it and getting a new one. It’s worse when someone finds it and starts racking up charges before you can cancel it.

That’s what happened to Harrun Majeed when he accidentally dropped his card in the parking lot of a local Florida business. Upon arriving home and noticing it was missing he did what you’re supposed to and called to have the card canceled:

While on the phone with the credit-card company, a representative told Majeed someone had used the card to make a purchase at Mia Pizza Pasta Kitchen, in the same plaza as the Publix where Majeed lost his card. Majeed immediately called the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Pic of an asshat.

Douchebag dentist mugshot.

You’re probably thinking that when the police showed up they arrested some homeless guy who was just trying to get a bite to eat, right?

Well, not so much:

Polk County deputy sheriffs arrested Ludwig after finding him at the restaurant waiting for his order. They said Ludwig admitted to finding Majeed’s credit card in the parking lot, ordering two large pizzas with extra olives and using Majeed’s card to pay the $40.64 bill. Ludwig had $250 in cash in his wallet at the time of his arrest, deputies said.

When asked if he was having financial problems, the sheriff’s office said, Ludwig laughed and said “absolutely not.” He told deputies his net worth was between $3 million and $4 million.

Dude’s a fucking millionaire and had plenty of money on hand to pay for the pizza. Seriously, what the fuck?

Not that $40 is a huge loss compared to what other undesirables might have done with the card, but the fact that this is the last person on the planet who needed to use a lost credit card to grab a meal kinda compounds the douchebagginess of the whole thing. Apparently he’s a dentist from Okemos, Michigan and you have to wonder if he takes the same asshat attitude with his clients. It really speaks to his character that he would do something like this.

Update: Here’s a link to the Polk County Sheriff’s press release about this asshat.

Cold medicine policy aimed at reducing meth production ends up creating more criminals.

Crystal Meth is one of the few drugs that makes me doubt my belief that drug prohibition laws should be repealed — it’s affects are stunningly deleterious to addicts. The problem with trying to control production is the fact that it can be whipped up using common household chemicals and over-the-counter cold medications. There’s also a variety of methods, most of them dangerous, that can be used to produce meth.

Given all of that, it was decided the best plan of attack was to track and limit how much cold medicine you can legally buy. The idea being that if you tried to buy more than a reasonable amount of cold medicines that can be used in meth production the authorities could be notified. This did put a dent in meth production, for awhile at least.

Ultimately the meth producers did what any enterprising business would do and outsourced the acquisition of cold medicines to people looking to make a quick buck:

“It’s almost like a sub-criminal culture,” said Gary Boggs, an agent at the Drug Enforcement Administration. “You’ll see them with a GPS unit set up in a van with a list of every single pharmacy or retail outlet. They’ll spend the entire week going store to store and buy to the limit.”

Inside their vehicles, the so-called “pill brokers” punch out blister packs into a bucket and even clip coupons, Boggs said.

[…] In some cases, the pill buyers are not interested in meth. They may be homeless people recruited off the street or even college kids seeking weekend beer money, authorities say.

Because of booming demand created in large part by the tracking systems, they can buy a box of pills for $7 to $8 and sell it for $40 or $50.

The tracking systems “invite more people into the criminal activity because the black market price of the product becomes so much more profitable,” said Jason Grellner, a detective in hard-hit Franklin County, Mo., about 40 miles west of St. Louis.

“Where else can you make a 750 percent profit in 45 minutes?” asked Grellner, former president of the Missouri Narcotics Officers Association.

via AP IMPACT: Meth flourishes despite tracking laws – Yahoo! News.

Oops. It’s that damned law of unintended consequences again.

Most of these laws were enacted back in 2006 and in spite of them, or perhaps even because of them, meth production has been on the rise after that initial minor drop. By 2009 it had increased by 34% and it shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon:

The increase was higher in the three states that have electronically tracked sales of medication containing pseudoephedrine since at least 2008. Meth incidents rose a combined 67 percent in those states — 34 percent in Arkansas, 65 percent in Kentucky and 164 percent in Oklahoma.

Supporters of tracking say the numbers have spiked because the system makes it easier for police to find people who participate in meth production. But others question whether the tracking has helped make the problem worse by creating a new class of criminals that police must pursue.

Not only are more people making and using meth than ever before, but the laws have increased the number of people profiting from its production. Once again the Powers That Be are attempting to control the problem by cutting off the supply instead of dealing with the demand. So long as there are people out there providing a demand for meth the criminals will find a way to produce it and for every one we incarcerate there are a dozen more available to fill the void.

Former crook turned minister can’t give up her thieving habits.

Pic of Sandra McGriff

Perhaps she should read up on that commandment about coveting and neighbors.

Christians love to tell stories of people who had their lives were transformed by finding Christ. If I had a dime for every sob-story about how someone was a child killing-mother raping-money stealing-philandering-coke snorting-alcoholic-low life-scum bucket until the Lord Jesus Christ entered their hearts and turned them into Mr./Mrs. Wonderful I’d be a lot more wealthy than I am today. I’m always a little skeptical of such stories as I know from personal experience how hard it can be to change who you are and I don’t believe there is an invisible sky fairy with the power to do it for you. It’s not that people can’t change, just it’s rarely as totally or as quickly as many claim it to be.

So it comes as no surprise to me when I read a news story about a pastor who was once involved in fraud and prostitution being arrested for attempting to burgle a member of her own congregation:

According to investigators, 51-year-old McGriff broke into Serita Agnew’s home and tried to steal more than $10,000 worth of fur coats, designer purses and electronics.

They said a neighbor, who saw McGriff climb into Agnew’s house through a broken window, called police. When officers arrived, they allegedly found McGriff loading stolen items into her car.

Police said McGriff used an alias, attacked officers and even slipped out of a set of handcuffs before being charged with burglary and resisting arrest.

via Oak Cliff Pastor Arrested.

Ms. McGriff is, of course, protesting her innocence:

“I’m a giver, not a taker. I’m not a burlgarer (sic),” she said.

In fact, McGriff said she was checking on the home when she spotted two burglars. She said she climbed in the window after them.

“I should have never gone in the house. I should have called the police. I admit that,” she said.

The good pastor claims she wasn’t stealing, but rather attempting to protect the belongings by relocating them someplace safe. I suppose that’s possible, but you’ll excuse me if I remain skeptical. You’d think she’ d have the good sense the neighbor did to call the police and then just keep an eye on the house to see if the men emerge with anything. It seems a little foolish to go in after them alone.

But maybe she was just doing what God told her to do. It’s not like he hasn’t commanded his followers to break the Ten Commandments on his authority previously. Perhaps God felt all that material wealth was leading that follower astray and was using the pastor as a vessel of righteousness to nudge them back onto the right path. Or it could just be she’s falling back into bad habits she thought she left behind.

Bet you can guess which possibility I find most probable…

Asshole in Florida busted for scamming dementia sufferers.

It’s bad enough that there are people in this world whose primary goal is to see how they can screw over everyone else, but it’s especially galling when they prey upon those who are most vulnerable. Assholes like Terry Scott Hyder who’s been targeting the elderly suffering from dementia in Florida and North Carolina to steal their money:

The FBI and local authorities say Terry Scott Hyder may have cheated victims out of more than $500,000. He was arrested at an Orlando night club Tuesday and charged with organized fraud and grand theft.

A spokeswoman for the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said Hyder often brought snacks to the group to make friends with elderly women who had a sick spouse. Hyder allegedly tried to convince them they could protect their savings by buying his bogus tax certificates.

via Man targeted dementia support groups in Fla., NC – Florida AP –

I have to admit that it makes me wish there were still judicial sentences that included hard labor as a punishment as I can’t think of anyone more deserving of hours spent doing something pointless like smashing rocks with a sledgehammer than Mr. Hyder.

I’m probably being a bit unfair as he’s not actually be convicted of a crime yet, but this sort of asshattery makes my blood boil almost instantly and I’m only human.

Jesus goes nuts, attacks a man, is shot and killed by police.

Being the messiah can be tough. In fact it can drive you a little crazy:

Police said they were called to the 5800 block of Ridgeway Avenue in the Twinbrook area at about 6:20 p.m. That’s where they found a 38-year-old man with bite wounds and cuts to his arms, and puncture wounds to his chest and thigh.

[…] While the man was treated by medics, his three children were evacuated from the house and Jesus was locked up in a room of the home. The owner was then taken to Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, where he later underwent surgery.

The police then went back into the home and found Jesus had broken through the door of the room and was still acting aggressively.

Perhaps he had had a little too much communion wine. Perhaps he was just tired of the incessant and selfish prayers so many of his followers call upon him with. Perhaps he had just had enough of people doing wrong in his name.

Or perhaps it’s because he had somehow mistakenly come back to Earth as a 120-pound Rottweiler/Pit Bull:

Rockville Police and Neighborhood Services, meanwhile, made several attempts to capture Jesus using a capture pole. After hours of trying to capture him, police entered the home and used a taser gun to stun the dog, which did not phase the animal, according to police.

Police said they shot and killed the dog at approximately 1 a.m.

Sorry Christians, but your only hope of getting off this planet before the Anti-Christ takes over was just killed by the cops because they didn’t realize your savior had come back as a dog.