Sunday, February 27, 2011

Senator Immune From Arrest for Domestic Violence

Immunity prevents Arizona lawmaker's arrest after freeway fight

From Leslie Tripp, CNNFebruary 27, 2011 5:44 a.m. EST

Police say state Sen. Scott Bundgaard was involved in a domestic violence incident
Arizona's constitution gives him immunity from arrest

Bundgaard says the dispute started after a "Dancing with the Stars" fundraiser
His girlfriend, charged with misdemeanor assault, says it was the "worst night of my life"

(CNN) -- Police say they did not detain an Arizona state senator who was involved in a domestic violence incident over the weekend because state law gives him immunity from arrest while the legislature is in session.

Officers responding to the scene of a reported altercation on a Phoenix-area highway Friday night found state Sen. Scott Bundgaard and his girlfriend, Aubry Ballard.

Both had marks on them indicating they had been involved in a physical dispute -- constituting an act of domestic violence on the part of both individuals, Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Tommy Thompson said.

Ballard was arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault. Bundgaard was not, but could later face charges from the city attorney's office, Thompson said.

Bundgaard, a Republican and the state senate majority leader, said the dispute began on the way home from a charity "Dancing with the Stars" fundraiser, after Ballard accused him of "inappropriately touching" his dance partner.

"She proceeded to throw my clothes and other things out of my car on a freeway as I took her home," Bundgaard said in a statement.

The senator said he tried to stop his girlfriend from punching him, which resulted in marks on her knees.

"I have never inappropriately touched a woman and never would. There was no domestic violence," Bundgaard said.

Ballard described the incident as "the absolute worst night of my life" in a statement released Saturday, saying she was trying to decide her next steps.

"To go from putting on a beautiful dress for a great date to a fundraiser to ending up on the side of a freeway? I don't have another tear left to cry," she said. "I'm still trying to get my mind around a few things: Scott's actions, the 17 hours I spent in jail awaiting processing, my bruises, scrapes and soreness and his statements to the media."

Bundgaard said he pulled Ballard out of the car, but denied ever hitting or pushing her.

Arizona's constitution says legislators are immune from arrest "in all cases except treason, felony, and breach of the peace" and allows them immunity from civil process while the legislator is in session.

Phoenix police said they will submit the case to the city attorney's office for review, Thompson said.

In his statement, Bundgaard said he will not hide behind his privilege.

"I waive any and all 'immunity.' If I did something wrong, charge me," he said.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Thailand a Haven for Dirty Old White Men Seeking Sex

by Hanna Ingber

During last month's visa-run, I met an old white man who said he moved from England to Pattaya for the sole purpose of getting laid. He said he's been in Pattaya for eight years, has slept with at least one different woman each day, and has calculated that if you add in his years as a taxi driver in England, he's slept with more than 4,000 women in his life.

He told me this during lunch in Cambodia. We were sitting at the Holiday Palace Casino and Resort with a motley collection of foreigners waiting to get their passports back.

"Aren't you embarrassed?" I asked, surprised he felt comfortable discussing his sordid - and expensive - sex life with strangers. Well, we weren't total strangers. Standing outside Thai immigration for three hours in the rain can be quite the bonding experience, but still.
"Why should I be embarrassed?" he responded.

"That you had to pay for it," I said. "I've never had to pay for sex."
"In Pattaya," he went on, sounding thrilled to educate the young American, "everyone does it. That's why we go there. You should come and see."
No, thanks. I'll stick to Chiang Mai. But there are quite a lot of old white men here, too. Why? What are they doing here? Also getting laid?

Some are.

John (all names have been changed), 69 and originally from Michigan, moved to Thailand more than three years ago. He used to own a bar behind the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar. "If you live in Chiang Mai and you're single," he said, "all you do is go to the bars and chase girls."

His friends, other retired white men, agreed that most single men in Thailand spend their free time having sex. (And if you are retired, you have a lot of free time.) One old white man - a very large American - reminisced about his days being single: "I was what you call a 'player'. We had an expression: 'Hog, dog, or frog.' I'd go after whatever - all girls."
Hmm. Pleasant.
And by "all girls", he probably means all Thai girls. His friend, Frank, said there is no need to bring foreign women to Thailand. It would be, as he put it, "like taking a sandwich to a banquet."

Sleeping with prostitutes - or what these men call renting bar girls - is so common for single men, there is an assumption they're all doing it. Phil, 58 and from Canada, said: "My friends around the world expect that it's happening for me as a single male."
And, indeed, they're right. Phil - on occasion - does pay women to sleep with him. Though, his friend Harry maintains, there's nothing wrong with that. Harry, originally from England and married to a Thai woman, made sure I wrote down all the reasons why prostitution should not be scorned, like it is in the west. For starters, he said: "Prostitution is the oldest profession in the world and it's been going on since the beginning of time."

Slavery has been around for a long time too. Does that make it a time-honoured tradition? Many would say no. What determines if a behaviour should be preserved or eradicated? Who makes the decision and on what basis? Furthermore, if such arguments reflect morals and values - sacred principles - why do they change when someone moves?
Harry also argued that these women left school at age 12 and therefore have no qualifications. "If she's good-looking," he asked me, "what can she do? She performs for other people and then sends 80 percent of that money home. You can't say it's wrong - they're doing a bloody job."

Another retired American - fondly referred to as Young Joe because he's only 41 - ventured to explain the economics of dating in Thailand. He said that in the United States, a man might sleep with a prostitute once or twice and then never see her again. In Thailand, foreign men sleep with prostitutes and then "they all try to get the girls out of the bar, into the home, and make 'em a wife." He contended that this is problematic because the so-called bar girl was making 40,000 - 50,000 baht a month. To marry her, you need to give her that income so she can support her family or herself. Another problem, he said, is the so-called bar girl will have multiple foreign boyfriends, each of them sending her about 30,000 baht a month. She'll rotate their visits to Thailand so they never know about one another.

After a while, Young Joe and the others grew tired of the chasing.

"I've been here long enough," Young Joe said, "to know I can't make a bar girl work [as a girlfriend] - too many headaches, and I can't afford it."

The solution? These old white men settled down. John has sold his bar and - like most retired foreigners - married a Thai woman. He now socialises by going out to lunch at Chiang Mai's hotels or by dining with friends. When the young American looked bored by the old American's social life, he said: "Now, you really want to get boring?" He then pointed at his wife across the table and said: "She's a farmer!" His wife grows rice, soybeans, and vegetables.

Now don't get me wrong - not all old white men moved to Thailand to have sex. Some came here as businessmen and stayed. Others chose to retire in Chiang Mai because of its beautiful scenery, cosmopolitan feel, great restaurants, live music, tropical climate, relative safety, and/or high standard of living. Some said they travelled around the world before choosing Chiang Mai as the best place to live.

Other old white men settle down with a Thai woman, but continue to socialise by visiting the bar scene. Daniel, originally from California, drinks every night with his Thai girlfriend. They frequent the bars his friends own on Loi Kroh Street, known for its string of bars, drunk foreigners, and prostitutes. Daniel and his American friend, George, said foreign men quickly tire of sleeping with a different woman every night.

"It's not real fulfilling," George said. "Because we're old men and we have hearts, believe it or not."

Not all old men tire as easily. After lunch in Cambodia, our group of foreigners stood in line - in the rain - to get back into Thailand. The man from Pattaya started making passes at me, presumably trying to make me woman 4,001. "Don't go back to Chiang Mai just yet," he said. "Stay the night in Bangkok."

He was three times my age and not exactly picky. I snapped back: "I'm American, I don't sleep with old men."

Of course, in the United States, young American women sleep with old men too. But if the old guy had to pay for it, he'd keep it to himself.


Thailand is also infamous for its child-sex tourism;

Monday, January 10, 2011

SOS for Workers & Animals @ Ruby Ridge Dairy Farm

jJust wondering, if this place treats its workers so bad,....what must the animals be suffering? Hopefully, some Animal Angels will look into this place.


The workers at Ruby Ridge Dairy need our help. We're talking 12 hour days, no lunch breaks, and a boss with a rifle who threatens pro-union employees.

The workers are demanding that Ruby Ridge's lender, Northwest Farm Credit Services, cut the dairy's funding until work conditions improve. They're going to the headquarters TOMORROW to deliver thousands of petition signatures.

10,669 activists have already added their names to the petition – help us reach 15,000 before tomorrow's event!

Sign the petition TODAY: Tell Northwest FCS to quit funding exploitation!
Thanks for all you do for workers' rights.


12 hour workdays. No lunch breaks. Armed threats and racial slurs from the boss.
Ruby Ridge Dairy employees want to form a union so they will be treated fairly, but they fear for their jobs and personal safety.

Now workers are asking the bank to step in and end the campaign of fear.
DEADLINE TUESDAY: Tell Northwest Farm Credit Services to cut off funding from this illegal operation!

He carries a rifle in his truck and threatens pro-union employees with it. He shouts abusive language and racial slurs at his workers. He refuses to grant lunch breaks. His employees drink from the same water barrels as his cows.1

His name is Dick Bengen, and at Ruby Ridge Dairy in Washington, workers say he imposes some of the most unspeakable working conditions we've ever encountered.

So we're helping bring attention to the injustice at Ruby Ridge. On Tuesday, workers will protest at the headquarters of Northwest Farm Credit Services, the lender that bankrolls Ruby Ridge, and will deliver a petition demanding that it stop funding the dairy. Can you add your name before it's delivered?

SIGN NOW: Northwest Farm Credit Services, stop funding Ruby Ridge until the illegal, inhumane conditions end!

Northwest Farm Credit Services claims to maintain "high standards of integrity" and practice "ethical decision making." But they're funding Ruby Ridge Farm to the tune of $13 million in loans.
Northwest FCS is a regional outfit. The company needs to know that it's not just a handful of disgruntled workers rallying at its headquarters tomorrow – it's up against thousands of outraged people like you across the country. Northwest FCS can't afford a national PR disaster. That's why we need your help. Together, we can urge them to avoid this controversy and use its leverage to make sure Ruby Ridge cleans up its act!
Sign our petition NOW!

Workers at Ruby Ridge have tried to fight for their rights and their dignity quietly, with a majority of them signing cards asking for union representation. But the workers allege that the owners illegally fired 10 men for trying to form a union and then, as an act of retribution, forced the remaining pro-union employees to work longer, more grueling shifts without extra pay.
And Dick Bengen uses outrageous threats of violence to thwart any potential efforts to form a union. "This rifle is for those people with the union," he told his employees.

Appeals to common sense and basic decency don't work with people like Dick Bengen, who shamelessly told the press that he is a "model" employer and that "this is the way employers should treat their employees."3 If we want results, we need to strike directly at Ruby Ridge's bottom line.

The protest at Northwest FCS headquarters is on January 11. We've got to stop this unacceptable abuse of workers, and we can't do it without your help.

Sign the petition insisting Northwest FCS quit bankrolling Ruby Ridge's campaign of fear and intimidation – we'll deliver your signature TUESDAY.

I've seen plenty of companies that treat their workers poorly, but Ruby Ridge has sunk to a new low. Please, speak out for these workers – they need your help, and they need it now.
Thanks so much for your support.

Liz, Beth, Zoe and the entire American Rights at Work team