Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Dean Arthur Schwartzmiller

I'm pretty good about being on top of crime news, so I don't know how I missed this story from about ten days ago.

Despite being arrested at least nine times for molesting boys, Dean Arthur Schwartzmiller managed to avoid lengthy prison terms, coach youth football, move in with another convicted sex offender - and be suspected by authorities as being one of the most prolific child molesters in history.

Schwartzmiller's criminal record began 35 years ago, but he never registered as a sex offender and spent just 12 years in prison. In his time on the outside, police suspect he molested children as many as 36,000 times in several states, Mexico and Brazil.


A search of Schwartzmiller's San Jose home last week turned up spiral-bound notebooks with notes on more than 36,000 encounters with children, in categories such as "Blond Boys," "Cute Boys" and "Boys who say no" - together with codes appearing to indicate how he abused them, San Jose Police Lt. Scott Cornfield said.


Schwartzmiller called on Kevan [one of his lawyers in the 70's] for help when he was facing trial in Idaho in the 1970s on charges he molested two 13-year-old boys.

"I said, 'You've got to tell me what's going on.' He told me everything," Kevan said - outlining a history of molesting boys from Alaska down the West Coast.

Even then, Schwartzmiller had been keeping notebooks of his victims, with "a couple hundred" boys' names, followed by numbers that described each boy's anatomy, Kevan said.

"The investigators didn't know what they meant. They didn't even take them," Kevan said. "I told him to get rid of them."

I don't have any comment here, except that if it's true, even to a minor degree as the detective said, it's grossly disturbing and frightening that someone could have perpetrated such evil to such a large degree. I can't wrap my mind around how he possibly could have molested 36,000 kids in addition to spending 12 years in jail, and I'm skeptical of such an enormous number. However, even 360 kids would make him one of the worst child molesters in history and numbers in the thousands would be mind-boggling. There needs to be some serious investigation into why someone whose name was known to police was able to molest youngsters so prolifically with no detection.

This is exactly the sort of person prison justice is meant for. Sadly, that's not nearly enough in this case.

Monday, June 27, 2005


Few things give me more amusement right now then watching Stephen Harper put his foot in his mouth and drive the Conservative party downwards to hopefully staggering lows in popularity. Today, Harper attacked Bill C-38 because of its support from the Bloc Quebecois.

"I think because this bill is only being passed with the support of the BQ, I think it will lack legitimacy with most Canadians. The truth is most federalist MPs will oppose this legislation," he said. "It's only a deal with the Bloc that's allowing it to pass."

Conservative justice critic Vic Toews said, "The federalist MPs in Canada, the majority of them, would oppose (gay marriage) on a free vote. So what we are seeing now is simply an agreement by this government with the separatist Bloc - who have no long-term interest in staying in Canada."

This is great. I imagine most Quebecois are deeply hurt by Harper’s claims that they deserve no say on federal matters. Harper is basically saying that Quebec deserves no voice in federal parliament as long as they keep voting for the Bloc. It’s a complete denial of the principle of democracy and the legitimacy of their vote.

I have no idea what he could have hoped to achieve by making this statement, as it seems obvious that it will (hopefully) rebound and subject him to all sorts of criticism. Even staunch supporters of the Conservatives can’t be happy with the notion that Quebec is meaningless and its representatives deserve no voice.

The best part is remembering whose support Harper relied on to try and overthrow the Liberal government during the budget vote. So, according to Harper, if he had defeated the Liberals on the May 19th vote it would have been illegitimate because he had support from separatists who would obviously vote against the federal government. That’s exactly the conclusion that you have to draw from his statement because “most federalist MPs” voted with the government and the government would have been defeated “only with the support of the Bloc.” This whole situation is absolutely fantastic. Gay marriage could get legalised while Harper continues to drag the Conservatives down. It’s absolutely delicious.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Harper's Pride

Today is gay pride weekend in Toronto. I don’t have anything particularly insightful to write about the gay pride weekend. I have some thoughts on it, but I’m not articulating them very well tonight, so instead I’ll just pass along this tidbit.

The Conservative leader will remain in the Toronto area Sunday but said he will be spending time with his son rather than attend Toronto's world-renowned gay pride parade - where the prospect of a national law legalizing same-sex marriage is sure to figure in the celebrations.

Harper took the time out of his busy weekend to help launch the Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival. As important as this race may be to some it pales in comparison to Gay Pride weekend and the issues surrounding homosexuality. However, Harper deliberately chose to attend that festival and stay in the city for another day without attending the festivities in any capacity.

Harper would likely get a pretty negative reaction at the Gay Pride Parade and I wouldn’t blame those who booed him at all. Nevertheless, Harper could stomach the reaction and attend the pride to try to show support for homosexuals, even if he believes that they should not be allowed to married. To be fair, if Harper attended I’d likely consider it a PR move made purely to try to show that he is okay with gays, even if he disapproves of their lifestyle.

He’s kind of damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t, but the fact he is basically deliberately thumbing his nose at the parade and can’t even make an effort to attend doesn’t sit well in my book. But he and his party never have. So nothing’s new.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

The Obligatory Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes Post

Well, today Tom Cruise proposed to Katie Holmes and she accepted. Finally, I can go on living the rest of my life. No longer will I have to spend every free waking hour poring over the latest gossip, rumour or sighting of this celebrity couple. No longer will I have to ask if Katie will fear Tom is too old for her and turn him down. No longer will I have to wonder if scientology will drive them apart. No longer will I have to wonder if one of the hotter men on the planet would "settle" for the girl-next-door.

I can't stand this celebrity culture that pervades modern times. I have no idea what drives people to want to know every little intimate detail about celebrity relationships; when they are happy, what they fought about, what clothes they are buying and where they took their vacations. Well, actually I do know, at least partially. Part of it is a desire to live vicariously through these people who have fame, fortune, beauty and happiness. Another part of is probably is pleasure in seeing that many celebrities, despite how they appear to have anything, have to deal with heartbreak, tragedy and personal difficulties. I’m sure there’s more, but I’m tired and have things to do and don’t feel like playing amateur psychologist.

I guess I shouldn't judge too harshly, as I have an unusual affinity for baseball and the people involved with the sport. However, that only extends to interesting and relevant personal details. I don't care about Reggie Sanders’ wife nor do I read the latest gossip on which ballplayer visits which prostitute in

Still, this is a rare case where I think the celebrity almost brings it upon himself with his actions. Since revealing his relationship, Tom Cruise has been acting like a man possessed. He’s gone out of his way to draw attention to himself, it seems and has does nothing to actually discourage the press from turning this into a Bennifer situation. I've read about some of his behaviour; the most famous being his leaping onto a couch on the Oprah show. I'd say he was acting like a teenager, but I've never even seen a teenager act like this. Richard Roeper described the relationship as "We're More In Love Than Mere Mortals Could Possibly Fathom." I think that's an incredibly apt description of the way the two are acting. There's a difference between being the True Love Knight in Shining Armour Who Treats His Girl Like a Queen and being the Idiot on Oprah's Couch Who Waves His Arms Around and Who Deserves an Incredibly Painful Kick in the Balls, and Cruise apparently doesn't appreciate this difference.

On a side note, tell me this doesn't make a hilarious Family Guy moment: Peter goes, "I haven't behaved like this much of a fool since I fell in love with Katie Holmes." It then cuts to him on the Oprah show running around, standing on couches and doing other Tom Cruise-esque things, yelling "I'm in love with Katie Holmes! I'm in love with Katie Holmes!"

I actually laughed out loud at work when I thought of it. And if you don't
think it's funny, go fuck yourself.

I guess I should be happy that they've apparently found each other, but when the guy acts like this much of a buffoon it's hard to be. If I was a girl who had a crush on Tom Cruise, I'd very quickly lose it and I'd be hard-pressed not to vomit in my cereal when I realised that he’d proceed to act like such a dolt if he started dating me. If Katie Holmes had grown up with this Tom Cruise around, I very much doubt she would have grown up wanting to marry him.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Canadian Political Notes

Meet the new boss

Same as the old boss.

Won’t Get Fooled Again, The Who

Let’s say you have a group of people who get routinely discriminated against in almost every facet of life, are the victims of a disproportionate number of crimes compared to an average citizen and who suffer from a medical condition so severe that, while not life-threatening in the physical sense, leads to a disproportionate number of suicides and generally prevents most people afflicted with the condition from enjoying their life in any meaningful capacity. One would think the least that the government could do is protect this group under the Canadian Human Rights Act.

While somewhat belatedly, at least someone is finally trying to reach out to transsexual and transgendered individuals. Bill Siksay, the NDP MP who won the election in Svend Robinson’s old riding had introduced an amendment to include this group of people under the CHRA. This would bring potentially increased penalties to those convicted of hate crimes against transgendered individuals; it would give these individuals legal standing to fight the discrimination they face in society and it would hopefully expand the number of such individuals who are entitled to sex-change operations under the Canadian health care system.

However, unfortunately this bill will only be voted on if it is selected through the Parliament’s lottery system. That doesn’t sound promising and I don’t have any more details on that. Even if this amendment will likely never go anywhere, it demonstrates another reason why I like a lot of what the NDP does.

Secondly, the Supreme Court ruled against the Canadian Health Act today in the case of Chaoulli v. Quebec. While I hope this argument forces the government to put more money towards medical services, I truly worry about what this decision may mean for the future of Canadian healthcare. The public system is not perfect by any means, but I prefer it to a two-tier or completely privatised system, both philosophically and objectively. I can see little problem with the recommendations of Senator Michael Kirby, who suggested that provinces pay for private treatment if the patient isn't treated within a certain timeframe. However, a completely two-tier system is something I do not support and where I fear this ruling might lead within a few years.

I know very few people who have spent as much time in hospital as I have. The notion that my family and I would be forced to spend a chunk of our savings on my healthcare just because I happened to have medical problems doesn’t seem right. Even more troubling is the notion that I could gain access to faster and better care than someone just as sick as myself because my family happens to be upper-middle class. Canadians have constantly supported medicare, despite the costs, and polls indicate that people would be willing to pay even more in taxes if it meant better healthcare services. While universal healthcare is an important Canadian symbol, people support it for many valid reasons and many articles and studies have demonstrated that concerns about two-tiered systems are valid. I’ll might have more on this in a couple of days, when I have more time and I’ve read a bit more analysis about the opinion.