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Same as it ever was.


In your "reasonable explanations" story for the day, the head of an Iowa-based Christian charity has admitted he embezzled a bit under half a million bucks from the charity to pay for what he vaguely explained as a "sex addiction." Apparently some people have simply never heard of free porn.

Jon S. Petersen pleaded guilty Monday to a single count of filing a false tax return for not reporting the ill-gotten gains he skimmed from the charity he ran:

Petersen, 55, is the longtime president of World Ambassadors, Ltd., a nonprofit he founded with his wife in 1993 to provide a Christian outreach to international students on college campuses.

In his plea deal, Petersen admitted that he moved $475,000 in donations from the charity to his personal checking account between 2010 and 2014, draining virtually all of its funding, prosecutors said. The group had about three dozen contributors annually.

The charge applied to Petersen's 2013 taxes, where he failed to report that year's $114,000 worth of income diverted from the charity. So yes, they totally Caponed him. Peterson could face up to three years in prison and be required to pay restitution, and no, he can't whine that the money's all gone because he was a good Christian man ruined by his sex addiction (we're extrapolating a bit there).

In the single most irritating line from the AP report in the News and Observer, we get this wholly unsatisfying partial story:

Petersen said he struggled with a sex addiction over the last decade and used the donations to pay for it — along with credit card debt and home equity lines of credit, prosecutors said. They didn't go into detail about what he bought with the money.

Clearly, our justice system is seriously out of whack when it allows someone to enter a guilty plea on some deeply stupid crime without also requiring release of the details so the perpetrator may be subjected to the mocking they so richly deserve. Really, it's for his own good, because now we're all going to have to speculate wildly on how the hell a sex addiction could result in someone burning through nearly half a million dollars. Was he buying gold-plated dildos for hookers and joining the Mile High Club in a first-class cabin on Emirates Airlines while going "around the world"? Buying bespoke gimp suits by Prada? (Nah, it'd have to be Nancy Reagan fave Oscar de la Renta.) We'd support legislation to correct this sort of thing -- the people have a right to know.

"World Ambassadors" had its tax-exempt status (and nothing else) pulled by the IRS in 2010 after it repeatedly failed to file financial disclosure forms, although the Iowa Secretary of State's office still shows it as a registered nonprofit. And now Petersen is a registered non-prophet.

Still, for all the criming and frauding and tax evasion, there is at least some happy news to come out of this sorry mess: there's a whole bunch of international students who ended up not being bothered by evangelists from "World Ambassadors," so this worked out pretty well for them. Lucky duckies!

[News & Observer via RawStory]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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Yesterday afternoon, 45-year-old Gary Martin of Aurora, Illinois was let go from his job at the Henry Pratt Company, a factory that manufactures water valves. In response, he took out a pistol with a laser scope and began shooting at random. He killed five people and injured six others who were just trying to make it through the day at the water valve factory, and then the police killed him.

His mother said he was "stressed out." He "seemed fine" according to the clerk at the Circle K where he bought his cigars that morning. His neighbor thought he was a nice guy. Some people were surprised, others were not.

This kind of thing used to be shocking, but it's a story we're used to now. It gets repeated at least once a month. It's just what happens now, and we can't do anything about it because we can't do anything about gun control. This is, the Right has decided, just the price we all have to pay so they can stockpile guns for funsies, and take sexy pictures of guns shoved in their pants. This is the blood that waters their special tree of liberty.

It's fucking exhausting. And stupid. We shouldn't have to live this way. No one should have to live this way. But we do. Why? Because some day some yahoos might want to overthrow the government, which is (of course) a completely legal thing to do, and their "right" to do that must be protected. So it's literally just never, ever going to stop.

Gary Martin, like most other mass shooters, also had a history of violence against women. In 1994, in Mississippi, he was convicted for stabbing one. He should not have been able to get a gun after that. I would like to know how and why he was able to get that pistol with the laser scope that he killed five people with yesterday afternoon. Maybe someone gave it to him. Maybe he bought it somehow. Maybe someone forgot to do a background check. Maybe he bought it from someone who didn't have to do a background check.

I am so goddamned tired of writing this article. I am out of things to say.

[Sun-Times]

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That's right, Wonkers, while we're all up here in America dealing with the terribleness, your Editrix and her fambly are in MEXICO AT THE BEACH, where they will probably stay for a little while longer or maybe they're never coming back SHRUGGIE EMOTICON. But that's OK, they deserve some time to be AT THE BEACH in MEXICO, oh no, don't get NATIONAL EMERGY CARAVANNED!

Yeah, so it's time to count down your top ten stories of the week, like we do on Saturday mornings. Shall we? WE SHALL.

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