Sunday, September 28, 2008

Villa's Boycott Flubs, So Now He Wants a Fistfight

Every Sunday morning, like giddy children at Christmas, Bill Villa and Mrs. Dottie get up at the crack of dawn. But instead of rushing to look under the Christmas tree, they dash off to the computer. They can't wait to check the latest BNN ratings.

For shits and giggles, founder Dave Mastio has established a weekly rating of each blog based on a combination of a "variety of data sets" or some such bullshit. Personally, I think he throws darts.

Does this rating bear any semblance to reality? No way. Listen, the most widely read state poliblog is Micek's Capitol Ideas. After that, there are sites like Attytood or even that insane PhillyWillDo.

It's too easy to game the system. I've even written a blog containing instructions.

Still, I like BNN. Just like The Morning Call's Blogger Tuesday, BNN creates another outlet in which bloggers can be seen. It's another way to get a blog's content found and read. (Mastio only posts excerpts. You have to click and will be redirected to the originating blog if you wish to read an entire post.)

Villa and Mrs. Dottie, who religiously read Lehigh Valley Ramblings, have decided no one else should do so. In fact, those maroons also decided that nobody (except them) should read Northern Lehigh Valley Logic, Molovinsky on Allentown or AJ's Weblog. In true book-burning spirit, these supposed artists have actively encouraged a boycott of these blogs, especially mine.

Last Sunday, at the crack of dawn, the Villas were posting comments here and elsewhere, bragging about their own ratings and mocking others, urging boycotts and bullshit like that. But nothing makes someone want something more than another person who says he can't have it.

Today, the Villas must be crying. BNN's ratings are in, and show the following:

Lehigh Valley Ramblings is #2.

AJ's Web Blog is #9.

Northern Lehigh Valley Logic is #13.

Molovinsky on Allentown is #14.

Every blog they snarked is now in the top twenty.

Ruh roh.

In true troll-like spirit, Villa has now marginalized himself even more by demanding a fist fight with me, setting a wonderful example for his 7 year old son.


Monday, September 22, 2008

A Special Thank You to Stepford Wife Angie Villa

I'd be remiss if I failed to write this little thank you note. Stepford wife Angie Villa, aka Mrs. Dottie, today published a thoughtful post about the BNN ratings on my other blog, Lehigh Valley Ramblings. As her husband Bill will proudly tell you, they are "remarkable people."

True, Angie has called me an "evil monster" who spends most of my time "slamming women like Sam Bennett" A sexist, too. So why thank her?

I'm remarkable, too!

Is Angie really a Stepford wife? Her post today is pretty much identical to the comment that Villa himself posted here at 8:07 AM on Sunday. It's virtually the same as a comment posted by Villa at LVPoliblog. So I think he inserted a chip somewhere under that hat she likes to wear.

Don't think so?

How about this? Angie, in an email dated May 23, told me she finds the term "pussy" repulsive. But when her husband repeatedly called David Najarian a "pussy", it suddenly became permissible to use that degrading word.

Alrighty then. Remarkable, isn't she?

In Angie's (that's Mrs Dottie's real name) very first post, written before that implant was inserted, she makes this bold statement: "I'd like to set the stage for a blog where good manners are encouraged and opposing points of view are welcome. You don't have to be on "my team" to be part of the discussion."

Actually, you do.

In an email to bloggers Michael Donovan, Michael Molovinsky and AJ Cordi dated August 10, Villa ominously warns, "You're either with me or against me. Pick a side and be done with it."

Sounds like George Bush, the mother of all neocons.

Sadly for "Mrs. Dottie," a happy blog that once really did encourage diversity and good manners has devolved into a moderated blog that instead promotes a boycott of Ramblings.

So much for all that "healthy dissent" Angie and her husband falsely encourage. The only dissent they permit is when it comes from them. She's clearly enabling her husband's obvious mental illness.

First thing Sunday morning, they could not wait to get out of bed to check the weekly ratings. Seeing that I had dropped for #2 to #4, they were delighted. They must have been really pissed when I jumped from #4 to #2 a few weeks before that.

I hope they keep it up. People are never more interested in something than when someone tells them they can't have it. I'm sure it will encourage artsy-fartsy types to read my blog. Maybe I'll write about a museum or something.

I'll thank Angie more properly on my other blog, too.

Remarkable people.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Morning Call Presents Fair Account of LaBarre Prosecution

Not that long ago, I published a blog about The Morning Call's refusal to sit down and meet with Bill Villa. He has long maintained that both the newspaper and DA Jim Martin have huddled to hush up the facts concerning Robert LaBarre, whose drunk driving resulted in Sheena Villa's tragic death. Sheena was Bill's daughter. Robert happens to be the son of a prominent local attorney, and his firm occasionally represents the newspaper.

Here's how Villa puts it.

"Unless he is stopped, DA Jim Martin will continue to fix DUI homicide cases for pals.

"He must be stopped.

"Ditto any institution that is enabling him."

Since The Morning Call is one of those institutions, at least in Villa's eyes, it must be stopped, too. "The Morning Call has been protecting DA Jim Martin for many years." Blogger Chris Casey quickly agreed. "There is a reluctance on the part of management at the Morning Call to investigate anything that might shine poorly on the office of District attorney Jim Martin. . . . [T]hey don't wish to endanger their working relationship."

As for me, I never bought into the conspiracy theory. I was certainly willing to listen, but nothing I heard was all that persuasive.

Today, I went into The Morning Call archives to see exactly how that newspaper brushed this story under the rug. Instead of finding evidence of a conspiracy, I found eight detailed news accounts*, thoroughly covering all of Villa's contentions. Four of these stories were "buried" on the front page as the lead story.

Morning Call Presents Sensitive and Sympathetic Portrayal of Young Dancer

I mentioned and quoted from one of these accounts yesterday. It was a sensitive portrayal of a vibrant young lady whose life was needlessly cut short. But it did not stop there. On June 26, 2006, in a page A-1 story, Sheena Villa was described in glowing terms again.

"Her father described her as 'a charismatic little starlet' and an idol to many of her young students at Miss Tanya's Expression of Dance school in Lower Nazareth Township, where she taught ballet and choreographed routines for dance competitions for six years.

"Steps in Time, a ballet school in Allentown that Villa attended as a child, and Miss Tanya's plan to award scholarships in her honor."

When Villa decided to put on a musical tribute to his daughter, The Morning Call obliged with a story (7/27/06, p. E-18).

"The two-hour show, which Villa estimates could raise between $10,000 and $15,000, also will be a tribute to Villa's daughter, Sheena Marie, a popular dance instructor who died in a car crash last March while out celebrating her 25th birthday. Daddy Licks' 'I Got Wheels' EP mentions her name on the record sleeve -- she was 6 months old at the time it was released.

"'She always loved the fact that Daddy Licks' EP was dedicated to her, and that she was named after a Ramones song,' says Villa. 'That made her a very cool chick.'"

The Morning Call ran yet another story (3/18/07, p. B-3) to promote "Dancers With a Cause," a ten-hour dance-athon for the Sheena Villa Scholarship Fund.

Finally, in its front page story about LaBarre's guilty plea (2/3/07), The Morning Call makes it very clear that Sheena Villa had pleaded with LaBarre to slow down.

The Morning Call Scrutinizes All Prosecutorial Decisions

In addition to showing more sympathy for Sheena, the paper covered every prosecutorial decision that DA Jim Martin made.

1. Why did it take ten weeks to file charges? "At a news conference, Lehigh County District Attorney James Martin said it's not unusual to work on a homicide-by-vehicle case for more than two months. Witnesses were interviewed, the accident was reconstructed, and the autopsy report was just completed two weeks ago while Martin was on vacation, he said."
6/2/06, page A-1.

2. Why did the DA fail to charge third degree murder? According to a front page story on 2/3/07, Judge Steinberg himself told Villa those charges are rare. "Steinberg said the charge is rare in traffic fatalities and cited two state cases, the most recent more than 12 years old.

"To show third-degree murder, prosecutors must prove the driver acted maliciously. Under the definition of homicide by vehicle while driving drunk, the driver does not intentionally set out to kill a person.

"While some counties have charged third-degree murder in traffic cases, it hasn't happened in Lehigh County in at least 30 years, District Attorney James Martin said. He said the appropriate charges were filed in the LaBarre case."

3. Did the DA try to hide evidence that Sheena was pregnant? In a front page story on 4/28/07, it is clear that it was thoroughly discussed and disclosed. "District Attorney James Martin said charges against LaBarre were initially delayed because prosecutors had to review the state's Crimes Against the Unborn Child Act. Citing case law, he said an additional count of homicide by vehicle while driving drunk could not have been charged for the fetus, which he said pathologists determined was at most 3 weeks old.

"[Ass't DA] Director said he prepared a legal memo and asked the judge to consider the fact Sheena was pregnant in sentencing."

All in all, it is very apparent that The Morning Call was unusually sympathetic to what happened to Sheena Villa. It also covered the tough questions that need to be asked in prosecutions of this sort.

Bill Villa's Downward Spiral

The news accounts tell another story, too. They reveal that Bill Villa, distraught father, became increasingly obsessed with the case as time went on. On June 2, 2006, the paper reports that "Villa slowly became consumed with the investigation. 'I was compelled to do it and a bit obsessed. The first two weeks after Sheena died, I was in a fog. After that two-week period, I started getting obsessed with seeing Sheena get justice.'

"He questioned prosecutors, Allentown police officers and detectives, and almost anyone who would listen or offer information about the accident."

That obsession intensified. When LaBarre's preliminary hearing was waived, Villa had convinced himself that LaBarre should spend 17 years behind bars. "We'd like to see none of that time plea-bargained away. We want to see him do every second of it."

By the time LaBarre entered his guilty plea, Villa's life was in ruins. "He said he's lost clients from the advertising business he runs out of his home, he feels as though he's aged 10 years and sees a therapist to cope with his grief. 'I feel new aches and pains every day, he said. My joints hurt, my head hurts.'"

After LaBarre entered his plea and was escorted away by deputies, Villa mockingly wished him a Happy Birthday. LaBarre had just turned 28.

At LaBarre's sentencing, Villa had finally crossed the line, deluding himself into thinking that "LaBarre received preferential treatment because his father is an attorney." He continued to question the way the case was handled. Eventually, Judge Steinberg had to stop him.

Unfortunately for Villa's mental health, his obsession has continued. His enemies' list has grown.

I'm on it now.

His troll-like behavior is a product of that obsession. What is even more disturbing is that an exasperated Villa is now engaging in threatening behavior, hurting himself.

I have all the sympathy I can have for his loss. That's why I spoke out for him and even helped him meet with a district attorney. But I won't drink his kool-aid, and I have no sympathy for the way he has threatened other people or for bloggers like Chris Casey, who use him.

Bill Villa would prefer that you not read this.

But it's the truth.

He needs help.

Blogger's Note: * Stories were published on 3/26/06, p. B-3; 3/27/06, p. A-1; 6/2/06, p. A-1; 7/21/06, p. B-3; 7/27/06, p. E-18; 2/3/07, p. A-1; 3/18/07, p. B-3; and 4/18/07, p. A-1. Because they are archived, I am unable to link to them.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Insensitive Morning Call?

One of Villa's many claims is that the Morning Call has conspired with Lehigh County DA Jim Martin to suppress the truth about his daughter's death. Robert LaBarre, the drunk driver responsible for her death, is the son of a prominent local attorney whose firm occasionally represents the paper.

Sounds plausible, on the face of it, as most conspiracy theories do.

But here's a link to the sensitive account rendered by the paper in the aftermath of Sheena's death.
Those who knew Villa say she was a magnet for friends, and a mentor to younger cousins and students at Miss Tanya's Expression of Dance school in Lower Nazareth Township, where she taught for six years.

"Everybody around her loved her," said Villa's mother, Barbara Maquera. "They just loved being with Sheena."

Villa had dedicated her life to dancing. At Miss Tanya's, she taught ballet and choreographed routines for dance competitions.

"When she got on stage, she took command," said Logan Novak of Allentown, who described Villa, her friend of more than 10 years, as "magical."

Villa's colleagues are collecting messages from students that will be posted on the school's Web site. The school held a prayer vigil Friday, while Villa lay in intensive care for most of the day. Later, instructors gathered around her bedside to say goodbye. The school will be closed until Wednesday to mark her passing.

"It's one thing to be a teacher and to teach dance, but to touch the lives of the students like she has" said Tanya Yost, the owner of the school, trailing off. "It's been so hard. I am not understanding what happened here."

Amanda Morgan, who created the shrine with Novak, recalled an evening in the fall when the three women visited the Hamilton Family Diner for a late-night snack. Morgan said Villa met a man who had also studied ballet. Within seconds, the two were providing an impromptu recital for diners.

"Every single time I saw her, she was always smiling," said Morgan, of Alburtis.
As recently as February, the Morning Call blogged a Sheena Villa fundraiser.

Does this seem like a newspaper trying to sweep things under the rug?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Robert LaBarre's Remorse

"I wish it was me who died, not her."

"It eats me up that you think I'm this malicious person."

"By you hating me you're only hurting yourself, you're not hurting me."

Contrary to what Bill Villa has often claimed, the person who killed his daughter is sorry. Above you can see three of the comments that LaBarre made at the time of his sentencing. He was sentenced to between 5 1/2 to 12 years in state prison, nearly double the standard sentence for that type of offense. In addition, LaBarre was ordered to pay $50,947 for funeral and medical costs, plus $25,200 in fines.

But that's not enough for Villa. He wants LaBarre to suffer even more. And if you're not with him, you're against him.

Villa's recollection, colored by the death of his daughter, is seriously flawed. And young Mr. LaBarre is right. By hating him, Villa has only hurt himself.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

More Evidence of Case-Fixing

Lehigh County DA Jim Martin told Channel 69 that Robert LaBarre's blood alcohol was three times the legal limit on the night that Sheena Villa tragically died as a passenger in one of his drunk driving sprees.

"[I]t's certainly significantly high. I don't want to compare it to other cases because we have a lot of other cases that approach and exceed that but that's certainly too high."

Does this sound like the kind of statement a prosecutor makes when trying to hush up a case for one of his pals?

Bill Villa, father of Sheena, thinks so. According to him, Martin is "best friend to select/connected drunk drivers who kill people." And as Villa likes to tell us, "You're either with me or against me."

Alrighty then.

This is the second public statement I've found that directly contradicts Villa's assertion that the prosecution of his daughter's killer was fixed. Perhaps, just perhaps, Bill Villa has had it wrong all along.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Did DA Jim Martin Really Want to Fix the Villa Case?

"I think there will be evidence that . . . Ms. Villa cautioned LaBarre to slow down."

That's what Lehigh County DA Jim Martin told the press when Robert LaBarre, the son of a local lawyer, was arrested in the drunk driving death of Sheena Villa.

Wait a tic.

If DA Jim Martin wanted to fix this case, as Bill Villa is trying to delude everyone into thinking, why on earth would he make a statement like that? And to the press! Could it be that Villa's judgment is clouded?

Not according to Villa. DA Jim Martin is really, really one of the bad guys. "I'd like to see Jim Martin choke on a steak sandwich at Seward's and explode. I hope I haven't been too wishy-washy here ..."

There you have it.

Welcome to the Troll Parade

Hello there, haters! The Troll Parade is your new spot for one-stop trolling! Bill Villa, come one down! Maddy, aka George Bernard Shaw, aka Dr. Blogger, aka Kirk Warren, aka Warren Kirk, get yourself in here! Rogue Blogger of Bally, I know you're out there.

Your new home is at The Troll Parade.

Don't fret. Every one of your golden words has been preserved at your new home. So go spew your venom and lies. Spin those webs of deceit.

Necessary or Unhealthy

Internet Trolls!

Introducing Bill Villa, Uncensored!