The Conversation

Culture: Cultural happenings and discussions.

Gay Marriage Making Big Strides In Eastern U.S.

Jul 29, 2014 8:59 AM PT

It is apparent that under President Obama’s watch, existing states laws really don’t mean much, when you have activist judges imposing their ideological will on the American people.

A Federal Appeals Court has just “struck down” the ban on  that same-sex marriage in North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina, and West Virginia.

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CA Man Pleads Guilty To Neglecting Hundreds of Snakes

Jul 11, 2014 8:59 AM PT

The Snake man, who had upwards of 400 snakes in his home in Orange County, California, has pleaded guilty to "failing to provide proper care" for his beloved snakes.

William Buchman, 53, entered the misdemeanor plea in Orange County and was sentenced to 100 hours of community service. He also can't have a pet for five years and is paying $17,000 in restitution for animal care.

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Nanny From Hell and the squatter ethos

Jul 8, 2014 11:33 AM PT

The strange story of Diane Stretton, widely known as the "Nanny From Hell" (evidently sometimes known less poetically as the "Won't-Go Nanny" by some local media) has been bubbling along for about a month now.  In short, Stretton is an elderly woman hired off Craigslist to work for room and board as a live-in nanny for the three children of a California couple, Ralph and Marcella Bracamonte.  They grew dissatisfied with her work, claiming that she quickly lost interest in doing nanny stuff.  Stretton, for her part, says she was asked to work much harder than she originally bargained for, with round-the-clock duties that included no breaks or holidays.  As usual in such a dispute, each side claims the other is not telling the whole story.

What makes this all weird enough to grab headlines is that after being fired (or, according to her account, quitting) Stretton simply refused to leave the house.  She's squatting in the Bracamonte residence and refuses to leave.  The Bracamontes encountered a classic California bureaucracy nightmare when they contacted the authorities, as chronicled by CBS News in Los Angeles:

The couple say they fired Stretton on June 6 but she refused to leave.

They went to court to try to extricate her from their premises but filled out the three-day quit notice incorrectly and a judge sided with Stretton, who the Bracamontes say has yet to collect her belongings.

The family says they haven’t spoken to their former nanny for nearly two weeks and heard in various media reports she would be out by July 4.

The Bracamontes say the judge has not issued an eviction order so it remains unclear as to when Stretton may have to leave.

CBS2/KCAL9 News was at the residence June 25, when the Bracamontes served Stretton with legal documents in their own living room.

“When I called the police, they were telling me it’s now a civil matter and that I have to evict her. So, this lady is welcome inside my house anytime she wants, to eat my food anytime she wants and harass me basically. I’m now a victim in my own home, and it’s completely legal,” Marcella said.

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Argentina's Overrated and Underperforming World Cup 2014 Play

Jul 1, 2014 10:53 AM PT

After 90+ minutes of regular play, Argentina is once again showing that it is one of the most overrated futbol teams in the world. Now, this is futbol, and anything can happen, especially in 30 minutes of extra time. I am not saying that Argentina stinks, just that they are given way too much credit, and relying on one player (Messi) does  not  win you games.

Switzerland has mastered the Argentine play, but again, this is a game of endurance, and there is still 30 minutes to go, and possibly penalty kicks.

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