Religious group tries to heal gays to become straight

Here you’ve got buffoons who think that by religion they can change sexuality, hoping that they can change someone to become something “they” want them to be. Only if works that we change assholes into nice people (there are people who are born assholes), murderers, pedophiles etc. Better yet, gays need to form groups to do the same, to change a straight person to gay, just because we believe it’s better that way.  Mind you, there are some straight men gays want to change.

How about leaving people the fuck alone and let them live their lives without forcing religion down their throats. Religion is a cult, it only exists because it’s there to have people falsely believe, by brainwashing them, that it in doing so it will change their lives, when in reality it doesn’t and only causes destruction.

Most religious people are kinda screwed up themselves. We can only pray.

 

 

It’s been close to 15 years since Darin Squire participated in Toronto’s Living Waters program, and he’s still putting his life back together.

Voices from the program still linger in his mind some days, hissing at him that he’s “a horrible person” for being gay, he said.

The 45-year-old knows that’s not true. But sometimes he struggles to truly believe it.

“They need to understand the depth of the damage this organization causes and the lives it destroys,” said Squire, who joined the program in the late 1990s.

Dave Lawson, a leader of Living Waters Toronto, defended the group by saying it does more good than harm: “I don’t know anyone in our program who has said they’ve been hurt,” he said. “I think it’s just important for people who want help for the issue that that help is there.”

A Star reporter went undercover inside Toronto’s Living Waters program for five months and received counselling for his gay desires, which were described to him as a “sexual addiction.”

Related:

Leaders guided participants through prayers to unearth the root of their “sexual brokenness,” a term that included homosexuality, infidelity and pornography addictions.

Therapies that attempt to “heal” homosexuality have been debunked by psychologists and progressive Christian churches for years, but the controversial Living Waters program still operates as a registered Canadian charity with the Canadian Revenue Agency.

For Squire, one of the most traumatizing experiences was the search for the supposed roots of his same-sex desires — a practice still common in the program today.

Squire said a leader directed him through childhood memories of sexual and emotional abuse growing up in London, Ont. The leader then linked Squire’s homosexual desires to the abuse.

“When they say you choose to be gay and you can fix that, they’re essentially saying, ‘You chose to be abused,’ ” said Squire.

“When you’re told that part of you is wrong and needs to be corrected, you start to question the rest of you,” he said. “It’s psychologically damaging and it becomes a part of you.”

For Squire, the inability to be “healed” made him feel as though his Christian beliefs weren’t strong enough. He had failed God.

After a year and a half in the Living Waters program — the end of a 10-year journey of denying his sexuality — Squire left the program feeling ashamed.

He said Living Waters indoctrinated him to believe that as a gay man he could be only three things: a prostitute, a pedophile or a recklessly promiscuous swinger.

“I was told there was no such thing as a healthy happy homosexual. They do not exist,” he said.

He accepted this supposed fate and descended into a self-destructive “depraved lifestyle,” he said.

“No one walks out of there and says, ‘It just doesn’t work for me.’ We walk out of there broken. People go in there unhealthy and come out unhealthier.”

But Living Waters wouldn’t let him go, he said. The program’s leaders followed Squire, showing up at his workplace and calling him incessantly to tell him that he had “fallen away from Jesus,” Squire said.

He eventually found solace in Toronto’s queer-affirming Metropolitan Community Church, which helped him reconcile his religious beliefs with his sexuality. However, he ultimately drifted away from the church and Christianity altogether.

“I’m deeply spiritual, no longer Christian,” he said.

A former leader’sregrets

Once a leader at Living Waters Toronto, Daniel Cranley says he wouldn’t recommend the program to anyone.

Cranley joined it around 2000. Then 23, he was referred to Living Waters by its founder and in-house psychotherapist Barry Lee, who gave him one-on-one therapy.

After less than a year, he started to be groomed for a leadership role. He began dating a woman and was put in charge of music.

With the help of Dave Lawson, who was himself just becoming a leader, Cranley led a group of four or five gay men who wanted to become straight. The program sent him to retreats and conferences in Alberta and Quebec, where he met dozens of other individuals like him stationed across the country.

Internally, he continued to struggle. His gay feelings remained unchanged — uncorrected in the eyes of the program. He was told he needed more faith.

“There were times where I said, ‘But I see happy gay couples all the time.’ And they would say, ‘It’s not real happiness. They’re covering up the pain and their sin,’ ” he said.

After three years, he started to realize he wasn’t going to change.

During a meeting with the program’s leaders, Cranley confided that he was still gay.

“I’ve got all sorts of healing from this group but my orientation hasn’t changed,” he remembers telling them.

The group members began laying their hands on Cranley’s body, praying for him. As he stood encircled by those who had supported him for four years, he expected them to “have rallied behind me, the way they always had.”

That didn’t happen.

A short time later, the co-ordinator told him he was “no longer conducive to the ministry,” Cranley said. He was asked to leave.

“It made me realize this whole changing process was entirely on me,” he said. “That’s where the damage lies: They are there to support you as long as you’re trying to change. The minute I made that shift to ‘my orientation was not changing,’ I was on my own.”

Cranley had come to believe he was internally flawed because he didn’t have enough faith to change.

But his falling out with Living Waters did not quash his faith.

Cranley had worked part-time at an Anglican church in Oshawa while attending Living Waters. After being told to leave, he found refuge within the church, and its priest became a mentor.

“I still cannot articulate why I maintained my faith throughout the process other than there was a certain God-given resilience. There was something about the process that made me say, ‘This will not destroy me.’ ”

With the priest’s encouragement, Cranley began pursuing Anglican ordination. He hopes to be placed at a church soon and leading a congregation of his own.

Looking back, there were aspects of the Living Waters program — the sense of a supportive community, healing prayers — that were beneficial, said Cranley, who is now 35. It allowed him to connect to God and to recover from the abuse he suffered as a teenager.

Still, he would never recommend Living Waters to anyone.

“If you don’t get the results then it’s your fault — it’s a problem with your faith. That’s the biggest problem with programs like that,” he said.

“That’s what leaves people angry as hell.”

Why it’s ‘Toronto the Good,’ not ‘Toronto the Friendly’

I like my city but I often complain about. Careless drivers, inconsiderate people and a lot of immigrants who think I need to accommodate to their norms;  my small quiet well behaved dogs scare the hell out of these people.  But above all this, unfriendly people. I must admit, I look unfriendly but I am not. Chat me up and I can converse with the right person forever. If anything, I’ve got a complex personality, a balance between introvert and extrovert-ism  within.. A lot of times the introvert in me is prominent. But Toronto is unfriendly..yes. I think that comes with the Territory though, living in a big city.

 

In Toronto the Good, I’ve been a frequent burger-and-pint patron at my local bar for 15 years.

Each time I go in, it may as well be my first.

There’s a reason the expression is “Toronto the Good,” not “Toronto the Friendly.”

I once met a guy with Caribbean parents who’d grown up in London, England, and then thought he’d won the lottery of life by meeting a Canadian girl. He moved here, had kids and was happy. When he heard my U.K. accent though, he confided that he liked Toronto well enough, “but the people are pretty miserable.” We looked at each other and our eyes said: “Can’t have it all, huh?”

Friedrich Engels, in The Condition of the Working Class in England, noticed that 19th-century London had an eye-contact problem. “Each keep(s) to his own side of the pavement . . . while it occurs to no man to honour another with so much as a glance,” he wrote.

Nowadays, it’s far more marked here than anywhere else I’ve been, including London. The absence, for those who move here or return from other places, is an odd beast: impossible to discuss coherently with anybody who doesn’t already know it.

Some moments from other cities will illustrate what I mean by “friendly”:

Years ago, I’m 26 and in New York. Of course I’ve spent my airport cab money on clothes and am improvising it by subway. Smartphones and apps don’t exist. Lateish for my plane and loaded with baggage, my jitters are noticed by two locals, who approach me unbidden to ask where I need help going. They’re strangers to each other as well as to me, but that doesn’t stop them debating my best route with pleasure so animated it echoes off the subway tiles. My useful little flash-mob comes to a consensus and we three part with big smiles; me back to Toronto Where That Would Never Happen.

Years later, I’m in London, negotiating double-decker buses and deep subways with a baby and stroller. Every time I can’t move without help, extra arms appear — and kind faces make frank, practiced eye contact, usually with my child as well: asking her name and sparing a few seconds to lean right in as she whispers it with a toddler’s sibilance.

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This summer, it’s Berlin. In the stairwell of our rental-apartment building neighbours look at us, nod a solemn acknowledgment and then pause to hold the door open. This without exception. They call my daughter “kleine Maus” (little mouse) with chuckling affection and with an over-the-shoulder “schoenen tag!” (have a great day), they’re gone.

None of these towns are legendary for warmth but they’re warmer than here. Strangers in Toronto have been known to address my kid with a term of endearment . . . maybe five times in her four years. Strangers in Toronto will share a giggle or a rueful “I know!” about something when we have dealings in a store or doctor’s office. Occasionally. Strangers in Toronto help me haul the stroller down the streetcar steps into terrifying traffic that has come to a fragile pause, but usually Sheba doesn’t get a grin or a hello, and I am rarely honoured with eye contact from my Samaritan.

My immigrant friend who complained of “miserable” Toronto misread things a bit though; it’s not misery, I’m sure, but unwillingness to be the first. In a community that doesn’t practice eye contact and “good morning,” social forms taken for granted elsewhere read, quite logically, as alarming. Greeting a stranger in an elevator, waiting room or — as happened recently to me, on a porch crowded with parents of my daughter’s camp friends — elicits a startled, high-pitched “Hi!,” as though caught with lowered pants.

The German philosopher Walter Benjamin wrote that “One of the inherent qualities of the gaze is that it expects to be returned by the person to whom it is given.” The Toronto problem is that expecting no return, most are unwilling to gaze.

For all of us, whether tuned in to it or not, the steady beat of transient human connection, unfreighted by any personal need or intimacy, is a buoy for the spirits; a few grains of humble, but transformative sweetness. Our hearts soften a tiny bit when strangers make eye contact and the effects are powerfully health giving.

Can a society be good without being friendly? It’s a fascinating socio-ethical question. My kid still doesn’t know friendly places from unfriendly ones, because she hasn’t learned to be sensitive to social nuance. I treasure this brief period of her life; melt inside when she tells a stranger “I like your earrings!” and the stranger beams with grateful surprise.

Oh Toronto, Good or otherwise: can’t you give us a healthier dose of that?

I’ve learned….

“I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it

seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that

you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things:

a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I’ve learned that

regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re

gone from your life. I’ve learned that making a living is not the same thing as

making a life. I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both

hands; you need to be able to throw some things back. I’ve learned that whenever

I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve

learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that

every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or

just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you

did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Worst Parents of the Week

The child should be taken away from these parents and a full investigation should happen. These parents are unfit because of retardation to take care of their child. Any parent that thinks they’re teaching their child a lesson by endangering them or even scaring them by putting them in washing machine SHOULD BE CRIMINALLY CHARGED. So many messed up child then adults because of stupid parents like these.

There’s no way to know what the parents were thinking. Maybe they were trying to scare their kid into good behavior. Maybe they were just goofing around. Maybe they thought it would be funny — there’s a large sign hanging above the machines, saying “Junior Wash: $2.95.” Whatever it was, it could have easily ended in tragedy.

Related: Hidden risks for kids at home

In the silent footage from the laundromat‘s security camera, the dad scoops up the diaper-clad toddler, shoves him head first into the front-loading washer, and shuts the door. He and the mom seem amused at first, but panic quickly sets in when they realize that they can’t get the washer door open. It’s locked automatically, and the tot is trapped inside as the washer starts to run. (Warning: The video is disturbing).

 

The toddler tumbles helplessly, trapped in the machine, water pouring in, while the parents struggle with the locked door and then search for help. Finally, an attendant runs over and disables the machine. It takes a few more seconds to get the door open and the child out.

There have been several recent reports about kids dying after getting trapped in a washing machine — in March, 18-month-old Ollie Hebb drowned in a washing machine accident, and a 3-year-old was killed in France after his father put him in one and turned it on to punish him. The child in this video suffered a few bumps and bruises and is fine, according to the person who posted the clip — at least, as fine as one can be living with parents who think it’s funny to stick kids in washing machines. No word on whether the parents will be investigated for, well, anything.

Left side of the face is the best side, researchers say

Barbra Streisand pictured from the left and right during her Toronto show at the ACC in October 2006.Barbra Streisand pictured from the left and right during her Toronto show at the ACC in October 2006.

Charla Jones/Toronto Star file photo

Chantaie Allick Staff Reporter
When I take pictures I for some reason sub consciously take my face pic from the left side. I didn’t even know this research, it just happened that I found out on my own I look better from the left.
Putting your best face forward has taken on new meaning. Researchers in the United States have found the best side of your face may be your left side.

A new study by professors Kelsey Blackburn and James Schirillo from Wake Forest University in North Carolina shows that images of the left side of the face are perceived and rated as more pleasant than pictures of the right side. It is apparently because the left side presents more intense emotions than the right and is more active during emotional expression.

“So if you’re smiling you’re going to get a bigger smile on the left side of your face than on the right side,” explained Schirillo.

PHOTOS: Celebrities right side vs. left side. Which is best?

The study, published online in Experimental Brain Research, had participants rate the pleasantness of both sides of male and female in real life photographs set in grey-scale.

“Our results suggest that posers’ left cheeks tend to exhibit a greater intensity of emotion, which observers find more aesthetically pleasing,” explained the authors.

People preferred the left side whether the photo was taken that way or a mirror image of the right side was presented. Participants’ pupils also dilated more when viewing the left side photos, a reliable unconscious measure of interest.

The research continues a conversation begun by Charles Darwin in 1872 when he became the first of many to note the asymmetry of human faces and began a long line of research into the differences between the two sides of the face.

Some celebrities were hip to this long before the recent research proved them right. Barbra Streisand is famously known to only be photographed on her left. When she visited The Rosie O’Donnell Show in 1997, the entire set was switched around so that the singer was sitting with the left side facing the audience. At the time, O’Donnell didn’t say why the set was flipped, but it later emerged that it was for Streisand.

Research has shown that the right cerebral hemisphere of the brain is better at perceiving emotional stimuli, which makes it better at expressing that emotion. The right side of the brain controls the emotional output of the left side of one’s face, which accounts for the results.

The study had 37 participants and researchers concluded based on their answers that there is a more than a 95 per cent chance that these results are due to the fact that there’s a real difference.

Researchers also found this effect when people looked at portraits painted by famous artists such as Rembrandt.

Why you don’t want to win the lottery…

Do you find yourself dreaming of the day your lucky lottery numbers are called? Or fantasizing about what numbers lurk under the silver bar of that scratch-off ticket you impulse-bought while gassing up?

The lure of “Mega Millions,” “Powerball” and other lottery jackpots has millions in search of, well, millions. And while it’s fun to daydream about what having more money than you can count would be like, winning the lottery might not be all it’s cracked up to be.

[Related: World record $540 million lottery drawing]

A windfall of widely publicized winnings that finally allows you the luxury of affording a trip around the world, a fancy car or flat-screen TVs for every room in your house just might ruin your life.

Here’s a look at the ugliness landing all that loot can bring to your life. And a reminder that being mega rich isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.

1. Your friends will take advantage

Once word gets out that you had the winning ticket, you can expect everyone to try to cozy up to you, from the college roommate you haven’t heard from in 20 years and the kid who tortured you on the kindergarten playground, to fellow carpool parents and “friends” you barely recognize. It’s common for lottery winners to see a flood of online and in-person friend requests that range from wanting to share a meal to suggesting a weekend getaway to relax or catch up. Of course, these “buddies” all hope that you’ll ultimately pick up the tab for their good time.

After she was one of a pool of 12 people who won the Missouri Powerball in 2006 and split $224 million, Sandra Hayes had to rethink her social network. “It became necessary to be careful about who I make friends with because some people can be cruel and have alternative motives for befriending you. Some feel that just because you have money, you owe them money,” she says.

“When I would hang out with friends and we would stop to get something to eat, they would order their food and then announce they did not have the money to pay, which happened a few times,” says Hayes. She quickly figured out her friends’ plan and stopped going to eat with them. “I eventually stopped hanging out with them altogether.”

Lottery winners get pleas from pals and hopeful BFFs in need of a personal bailout, too.

Hayes says one of her friends even expected her to rescue their family from their serious financial woes. “I did not rescue them thanks to the advice of my financial adviser, who told me if I bailed them out they would continue to sponge off me. If I did not draw the line, I would go broke,” she says.

[Related: 7 Things You Could Do If You Winthe Mega Millions Jackpot]

2. Your relationship could fail

Money woes can put a strain on a relationship . But those who come into big windfalls find coming into a lot of money all at once can also overtax a relationship.

Alexey Bulankov, a certified financial planner who’s worked with a family who won a lottery jackpot saw this devastation firsthand. “Following a string of unfortunate financial decisions, the family fell apart,” he says. Bulankov says the husband, who was emotionally unprepared for the enormous responsibility and pressure of winning the lottery, took to gambling and womanizing to deal with the troubles adjusting to his new lifestyle. When his wife found out, she retaliated with vindictive shopping.

Eventually, they talked and sorted it out, says Bulankov. “Needless to say, the level of trust was not the same and the fighting and blame-placing for the squandering of their fortune became routine occurrence in this once tightly knit family,” says Bulankov.

3. You’ll have an increased risk of bankruptcy

Given the fact that you’d have enough dough to clear up your debt, bankruptcy seems a long shot after winning the lottery. But experts say lottery winners actually are at greater risk of bankruptcy.

“Winners suddenly have significantly more credit available to them than they ever had. That makes them more likely to make purchases on credit, rather than use cash,” says Scott Dillon, a senior bankruptcy attorney at Tully Rinckey in Albany, N.Y. “Winners are much more likely to make significant impulse purchases far beyond their previous means. So the purchase amounts will be much higher, making the interest accrued on those credit cards much higher. And because they don’t stop to think the money could run out, winners don’t generally think they need to create or live by a monthly budget.

“While it may be counterintuitive, a large influx of wealth without proper planning can easily cause people to forget the need to save for the future,” adds Dan White, founder and president of Daniel A. White & Associates, a financial planning firm in Glens Mills, Pa., that specializes in asset protection and transitional and retirement planning.

4. You’ll have to fight off a host of long-lost family members

Jeff Motske, a financial planner and president of Trilogy Financial Services, headquartered in Huntington Beach, Calif., says lottery winners often become targets for long-lost relatives who knock on the door with one hand and hold the other palm up. Somehow they think when one family member wins the lotto, the whole family wins the lotto. “A family member who wins the lottery will appear as a better option than a bank for fast cash that comes with the price tag of little to no interest paid and no application process,” says Motske.

So many winners find themselves fielding pleas for help with a pile of credit card or medical debt, foreclosure or car repairs.

“The majority of my family members treated me the same as they did before I won the lottery, however, there were those family members who suffered the entitlement syndrome,” says Hayes. “A few of my family members with whom I did not have a previous relationship with before winning the lottery came out of the woodwork and started calling me to butter me up just for money.”

[Related: Charitable Donations: What You Need to Know]

Hayes says she faced her share of bad experiences, including family members borrowing money that they felt they didn’t have to pay back. “Some family members I gave a monetary gift for a special occasion thought I should have given more,” says Hayes.

5. You’ll be a target for a litany of lawsuits and scams

Hoping to carve out a chunk of your fortune, Motske says lottery winners are often targets for bogus lawsuits because everyone starts to come after them. “If the winnings are public knowledge, winners can bet their phone will never stop ringing. Winners hear from investors, reputable firms and scammers, and every planner/schemer under the sun,” he says.

They also need to be wary of people who purposely “slip and fall” on their property, including claims of winners rear-ending them and so on. That includes contractors, babysitters, friends and family who visit you, borrow your car, etc.

Hayes says she endured some less-than-honest business deals. “Some people I dealt with were honest, but others were not. I experienced contractors changing their work bids to a higher price after they found out I won the lottery,” she says. “Now I will only work with people who have been referred from trusted associates, friends or family.” 

World’s Most tiniest condos

And you thought the current condo’s aren’t small enough? Now there’s the tiniest..

How small can condos go? How about the size of a safety deposit box.

They won’t have balconies or bathrooms, but these new ownership units — believed to be a first in the world — should go a long way toward easing the overwhelming demand for a safe place of your own to store valuable documents, precious jewellery and even your final will and testament.

“We’re selling cubic inches, not square feet,” says Nigel Lawson, vice president for condo developer Parallax Investment Corp. which plans to start preselling the first privately-owned SafeBox Condominium Vaults this weekend.

The carefully-guarded boxes have to be registered as condos — even though they are a mere fraction of the size of Toronto’s incredibly shrinking residential apartments — because each one will be individually owned.

And, yes, the boxes will be subject to dreaded maintenance fees and property taxes.

They’ll even have parking, within a secure zone where you can load and unload your valuables out of sight of prying eyes.

Parallax hopes to have at least 4,500 of the tiny condos in its first facility, an industrial building on Steelcase Rd. W. in Markham that it hopes to open in July.

The building will be fitted with a 2,000-square-foot vault, 24/7 Chubb Edwards security and staff during business hours who will man a reception area that looks like a hotel lobby.

Small “gold” boxes (25 cm wide by 61 cm long by 8 cm deep) will sell for $3,600. Annual maintenance fees will be $109 plus about $64 in property taxes.

Bigger “platinum” boxes (25 cm wide by 61 cm long by 20 cm deep) are $5,500 plus $273 annually in maintenance fees and $97 in property taxes.

“Safety deposit boxes are a valuable commodity and in such high demand, some banks have a seven-year waiting list,” says Stephen Wong, a real estate agent who is marketing the boxes on behalf of Parallax.

“Expansion of the Toronto area’s population has coincided with the shrinking of banks opening new branches so young people basically cannot find safety deposit boxes, and their parents aren’t giving theirs up yet because they still need them.”

TD Bank has told customers they will be paying 40 per cent more to rent safety deposit boxes after April 1, acknowledging that “we see huge demand, across many demographics, that actually outstrips supply.”

The new fees — from $60 for a small box to $125 for a large — haven’t been raised in five years and “reflects the high value customers place on these highly secure storage spaces,” a bank official told The Star recently.

Wong has delivered 100,000 flyers in the North York and Markham area the last 10 days and has already had a lot of interest, including one buyer looking for 15 of the gold boxes.

“It’s a new concept so people just want to understand how they can get title to the box. Once they know it’s like any condominium they’ve ever bought, except this one is a bit smaller, they are 100 per cent comfortable,” said Wong.

The concept has proven to be especially popular among ethnic communities in suburban Toronto neighbourhoods who prefer the notion of owning, rather than renting, whether it be a home, office or store, says Wong.

Lawson hopes to build similar facilities in Mississauga or Brampton, Calgary, Montreal and Vancouver.

“Those who are buying seem to have confidence to invest because it’s real-estate related. I guess that’s because everybody has made money on condos the last few years,” says Wong.

But he stresses the concept is so new, it’s impossible to know what the future holds in terms of flipping the unit.

“I’ve told people, don’t expect this thing to make money in days or weeks or years. But give it some time and, just like any real estate, it’s bound to appreciate.”

The 10 Most Ridiculous Lawsuits of 2011

  We’ve all heard about crazy lawsuits and 2011 was no exception when it came to the filing of frivolous – even ridiculous – lawsuits.

A lawsuit by a kidnapper against his victims for not helping him evade police tops the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform’s (ILR) survey of the Top Ten Most Ridiculous Lawsuits of 2011, released today.

“While these lawsuits vary from the outrageous to the humorous, abusive litigation is hardly a laughing matter,” said ILR President Lisa Rickard. “ILR’s annual poll of ridiculous lawsuits helps to remind us that abusive lawsuits affect real people and real businesses, and can have harmful results to lives, jobs, and even our economic growth.”

ILR announced the top ten vote-getters from among those chosen throughout the year by visitors to the FacesOfLawsuitAbuse.org website. The lawsuits were selected from those featured in the website’s monthly polls for 2011. The Faces of Lawsuit Abuse campaign is ILR’s public awareness effort created to highlight the impact of abusive lawsuits on small businesses, communities, and individuals.

The top ten Most Ridiculous Lawsuits of 2011 are:

•Convict sues couple he kidnapped for not helping him evade police

•Man illegally brings gun into bar, gets injured in a fight, then sues bar for not searching him for a weapon

•Young adults sue mother for sending cards without gifts and playing favorites

•Woman disagrees with store over 80-cent refund, sues for $5 million

•Mom files suit against exclusive preschool over child’s college prospects

•Man suing for age discrimination says judge in his case is too old

•Obese man sues burger joint over tight squeeze in booths

•Woman sues over movie trailer; says not enough driving in “Drive”

•Passenger’s lawsuit says cruise ship went too fast and swayed from side to side

•Mother sues Chuck E. Cheese – says games encourage gambling in children

Links to the full news stories from which these were drawn and the complete results of the poll can be found on the Faces of Lawsuit Abuse web site.

2013 Ford Fusion, Explorer to Get Lane Mitigation System

In next few days until the reveal we’ll get more information on the new Ford Fusion which is a good marketing technique to get people interested. It’s all fine and dandy to have all these safety features. But if you need a computer to tell you when to change lanes and that you’re too sleepy to drive. YOU SHOULD’NT BE DRIVING. Take the bus. All this just shows that more and more people should’nt be driving. GET OFF THE ROAD! The Blind Lane Change Feature was available on my 2011 but I said no thanx. I have to admit the one feature that does help a lot is the back up sensors, a lot of times you think you’re not close to whatever is behind you, the sensors let you know. Or if that idiot suddenly appears behind your car when they know you’re backing up, it helps too.

By Cars.com

For the 2013 model year, the completely redesigned Ford Fusion will get an available lane departure warning system. The safety feature, usually reserved for luxury vehicles from Mercedes-Benz or Volvo, will help keep drivers aware of lane markings and alert drivers if they’re drowsy.

The feature, which Ford calls the Lane Keeping System, uses a camera mounted on the windshield in front of the rearview mirror; it helps record and detect lane markings. Once the car is traveling faster than 40 mph, the steering wheel will vibrate — simulating the feel of going over rumble strips — if you try to change lanes without using a turn signal. If the driver doesn’t respond and continues to drift into another lane, the electric power-assisted steering will kick in and slowly steer the car back into its lane, Ford says. (Mercedes’ system works in a similar way.) If the driver is actively trying to switch lanes without indicating, the slight tug of the Lane Keeping System can be easily overridden, Ford says.


(Cars.com)
If the system detects a driving pattern consistent with fatigue, an audible warning and visual alert will advise the driver to pull over and rest. If the driver doesn’t heed the warning and continues to drive tired, the system will warn again, but this time more dramatically.

The Lane Keeping System will debut on the 2013 Ford Fusion, which will be unveiled at the 2012 Detroit auto show in two weeks. The Ford Explorer will also get the safety system in 2012. Compared with its midsize sedan competition, this piece of safety technology is pretty sophisticated for the category. Ford will continue to roll out the system across the automaker’s lineup during the next couple of years.

We’ll have more information on the 2013 Ford Fusion and 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid on Jan 9.