Sunday, July 31, 2005
Palm Beach Post Ombudsman CB Hanif
Earlier this month I chronicled the bias and lack of journalistic integrity at the Palm Beach Post. You can re-read the whole affair of a Cervical cancer editorial here, here and here.
The post of July 15th is still valid. While the Post published a correction in their print edition, no one has gone and corrected the website. The erroneous statistics can still be found, one time in the Post' paid archives but also here in their free blog archives.
So why hasn't the Post fixed their website? It's not like they don't know about it. Mr. Schultz the editor of the Editorial page has known so since July 13th. Not getting any action from Mr. Schultz, I informed the paper's ombudsman C B Hanif. We spoke on the phone and I emailed him afterwards. That was on July 22nd. He hasn't seen it fit to fix the mistakes on the Post website.
How does one rank a newspaper's integrity when the Editor and ombudsman don't correct the paper's mistakes? I think you would rank it very low and its sorry proof of how low the Palm Beach Post has sunk.
So much for freedom of speech
With liberals freedom of speech applies only to the 'right' types of speech. Here is a Washington Times article showing just that.
University rebukes employee for e-mail decrying lesbianism
By Joyce Howard Price
A state university in New Jersey has reprimanded a student-employee for describing homosexuality as a "perversion" in a private e-mail that he sent a female professor, after she sent him an unsolicited announcement about a university event that promoted lesbian relationships.
But Jihad Daniel, 63, who works for William Paterson University repairing computer hardware and takes graduate-level courses part time, said he was only expressing his Muslim religious beliefs when he responded to professor Arlene Holpp Scala, head of the university's women's studies department.
Mr. Daniel wants a letter of reprimand from the university's president removed from his permanent employee file. The letter says he violated state discrimination and harassment regulations for using the term "perversion."
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a nonprofit group based in Philadelphia that is assisting Mr. Daniel in his fight with the university, calls the action taken against him "absurd" and an infringement of his free-speech rights.
"William Paterson University is knowingly disregarding the U.S. Constitution. No one here was 'harassed' or 'threatened,' as defined by the law. The university simply strongly disliked a student's point of view," said Greg Lukianoff, FIRE's director of legal and public advocacy.
Mr. Daniel received an e-mail from Miss Scala on March 7 advertising an upcoming viewing and discussion of the film "Ruthie and Connie: Every Room in the House." The e-mail referred to the film as a "lesbian relationship story."
Mr. Daniel replied to the professor the next day asking that he not be sent "any mail about 'Connie and Sally'... and 'Adam and Steve.'?"
"These are perversions," Mr. Daniel wrote. "The absence of God in higher education brings on confusion. That is why in these classes the creator of the heavens and the universe is never mentioned."
On March 8, Miss Scala forwarded Mr. Daniel's e-mail to the university's Office of Employment Equity and Diversity.
"Mr. Daniel's message to me sounds threatening and in violation of our university nondiscrimination policy. I don't want to feel threatened at my place of work when I send out announcements about events that address lesbian issues," she said in an e-mail message.
University President Arnold Speert sent Mr. Daniel a letter on June 15, informing him that the investigation into Miss Scala's complaint was complete. It was a letter of reprimand in which Mr. Speert said "perversion -- is clearly a derogatory or demeaning term." As a result, he said, Mr. Daniel was guilty of violating state discrimination and harassment regulations.
So lets get this straight Ms. Scala sends an unsolicited email to a university employee. The Mr. Daniel tells the professor his true feelings and the University feels this was a violation. Gimme a break. Why is Ms. Scala sending out these emails? How did she get Mr. Daniel's email? If someone sends an unsolicited email, anyone has the right to tell that that person what to do with it. How is this a violation of state harassment and discrimination guidelines. If anyone is guilty of harassment its Ms. Scala.
What it is simply is another instance of the hyper sensitive left that doesn't tolerate any beliefs other than their own. Freedom of speech to them, is only permissable as long as it is the correct type. They charge us with being intolerant? Mr. Daniel has as much a right to his view as the left does to theirs. What the left hates is, most people will agree with Mr. Daniel.
I myself don't feel homosexuality is right, but could care less what goes on between two consenting adults. Gays shouldn't be discriminated against, but they don't deserve any more(while at the same time deserving the same) protection than anyone else in society. They have a right to their views and sexuality. What they don't have a right to is forcing these views on others. We have a right to ours just as they do to theirs.
From the Silly News desk
I didn't get around to doing this yesterday. Here is today's newsflash.
LARAMIE, Wyo. - A yearling moose wandering through town has decided to stay a while to enjoy the shade and water of a miniature golf course.
"He was headed somewhere when he came in here. We're hoping that he takes a rest and one of these evenings returns to his journey," state Game Warden Roger Bredehoft said Friday.
Laramie sits in a wildlife corridor between the Laramie and Medicine Bow ranges, and big game frequently are seen in the city, he said. While antelope and deer are common, moose are less often seen.
"These young moose like this one are looking for new areas, or looking for new moose or territory or females or something, and there seem to be a lot of animals coming through for those reasons," Bredehoft said.
The moose has spent several days at Oasis Mini Golf on the city's south side. If it doesn't move on, the Game and Fish Department may have to sedate and take the animal to the Snowy Range west of town.
"We'll probably try to move it before long, see if we can get it out of there," Bredehoft said.
"Right now theres no problems with it whatsoever. It hasnt caused any problems."
The Knucklehead of the Day award
Goes to ABC Television's sports and programming department. Today instead of broadcasting the British Women's Golf Open Championship live, it will be on tape delay at 1:30 in the afternoon. Instead we have on Good Morning America, Paid programming, Chris Matthews, This week with George Stephanopolus, What's for Dinner and more paid programming. This is a major sporting event for chrisskaes!
The thing is, if Annika Sorrenstam had been going this week with a chance at The Women's Grand Slam, ABC was planning to put this on live. It's not like they couldn't do it today! Instead we get these bs events like Battle at the Bighorn. Wake up LPGA, ABC is not doing you any favors.
On a brighter note, Jeong Jang continues to lead by five shots going into today's final round. Go JJ!
Saturday, July 30, 2005
Thirty years ago today
Former Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa disappeared. The mystery still remains, what happened to Mr. Hoffa. There is no question, the man had lots of enemies. I hold to the theory he was killed and his body disposed of in an auto wrecking plant. There are plenty of those in Michigan that's for certain.
Today is also Arnold Schwarzenager's 58th birthday. Happy birthday wishes to The Terminator now Governor of California.
Democrats- The party of whining and filibusters
Just further proof of it in Senator Inouye's response to today's radio address from President Bush. The Senator spent his time whining about the Senate spending time on gun legislation. Can the Democrats ever show the slightest sign of support on anything? Better question, why are these addresses still going on? Ronald Reagan began them in the 80's. I've never listened to one, and suspect very few people tune into them every week.
WASHINGTON - Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, an Army veteran who lost his right arm in World War II, criticized Republicans on Saturday for not doing enough to help troops fighting in or returning from Iraq.
In the Democrats' weekly radio address, Inouye said Senate Republicans were focusing on legislation sought by the gun lobby while ignoring the needs of troops.
On Tuesday, the Senate put off completion of a $491 billion defense bill to act on the National Rifle Association's top priority: shielding gun manufacturers and dealers from liability suits stemming from gun crimes.
"For years, we've heard the president and congressional Republicans speak eloquently about honoring our troops," Inouye said. "But this week — when push came to shove — their priorities were different."
The senator added: "Our men and women who have served should not worry about funding for health care year after year, and our soldiers on the front lines should get the resources they need. Our Congress could consider our men and our women in uniform as our nation's top priority."
Base closures in Germany
The BBC is reporting the US is pulling out of eleven bases mostly in Southern Germany. The closures will effect 6,100 soldiers plus their families.
It's been over 15 years since The Cold War ended, so this had to be inevitable. My concern with these closure was how it would effect mobilization but the Pentagon has already considered that. I don't think we'll ever fully pull out of Europe for we need to have a forward staging area in case of trouble in the Middle East.
US troops will pull out of 11 bases in southern Germany in 2007 as part of a shake-up of US forces around the world.
The bases, mainly in Bavaria, are home to the 1st Infantry Division which will return to the US in 2006, the defence department said in a statement.
It will be replaced by smaller forces able to react rapidly to new threats.
Up to 70,000 US troops currently in Europe and Asia are to be redeployed in accordance with plans announced by President George W Bush last year.
The US has almost 100,000 soldiers stationed in Western Europe and about 80,000 in the Far East.
Germany is host to the biggest US overseas contingent outside Iraq.
Five sites in Kitzingen in Bavaria will be handed back to German authorities, while three bases in Wuerzburg near Frankfurt in central Germany will be shut, said a statement by the US European command.
The other bases are in Giebelstadt, a small town near Wuerzburg.
A main part of this plan is to position US forces around the globe to be best able to respond to the threats of the new security environment
Two other bases are to be returned to German authorities in following years, the statement said.
The base closures will affect around 6,100 soldiers, 11,000 family members and around 2,000 civilian staff during the fiscal year 2006.
These changes are part of the Pentagon's overall plan - the Integrated Global Presence and Basing Strategy - to transform the military to increase strategic responsiveness and flexibility in the face of current and anticipated future threats, the statement said.
The Knucklehead of the Day award
Today's winner is Clifton Park New York Doctor Akiva Abraham. Among the reasons for Dr. Abraham to lose his license, was that he had sex in a hospital waiting room!
ALBANY, N.Y. - The license of a Clifton Park obstetrician/gynecologist who had sex in a hospital waiting room and who induced another woman's labor early so he wouldn't have to change his vacation plans has been revoked by state health officials.
The Board for Professional Medical Conduct this week found Dr. Akiva Abraham morally unfit to practice medicine. Among the evidence considered was testimony by a psychiatrist who called Abraham "the most amoral person she had evaluated who was not behind bars."
Abraham, 40, had a five-month sexual relationship in 2002 with a troubled 25-year-old woman he was treating, including encounters with her in his office and in a waiting room at St. Peter's Hospital in Albany for doctors on call, according to health officials.
He was also accused of forcing the woman to have sex with him against her wishes.
The state also ruled that Abraham, who worked at several Albany area hospitals, had practiced medicine negligently, filed false reports and failed to maintain accurate records.
Abraham's attorney, James Hacker, disputed the state's findings, saying many "of the allegations in the decision and in the charges are salacious and unfounded."
Hacker denied that his client forced the 25-year-old woman to have sex against her will. He also disputed a charge that Abraham inappropriately induced the delivery of a baby by a 30-year-old woman at St. Peter's in October 2002.
Abraham is appealing the board's decision, the attorney said.
St. Peter's officials said that Abraham is no longer an active member of its medical staff.
Judge Eileen O'Connor news
She's back in the news again. If you recall she is the Broward County judge who jailed a potential juror for lying in her courtroom. Not long afterwards it was learned Judge O'Connor had lied on her judicial application.
The Knucklehead has now decided to c0-operate with the Florida Judicaial Qualifications Commission by allowing all her employment records when she was a prosecutor to be turned over. I will say it again, if she lied the woman should be removed from the bench.
Hat tip- Indefensible
Broward Circuit Judge Eileen O'Connor says she will turn over her entire personnel file from her years as a federal prosecutor to a state ethics panel that is investigating her application for a judgeship in 2003.
O'Connor's attorney says that he requested all of her employment records -- including any workplace complaints -- from the U.S. Department of Justice and that the judge was willing to share them with the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission.
The Herald reported in May that O'Connor failed to disclose on her judicial application that two of her employees had filed discrimination complaints against her when she worked for the U.S. Attorney's Office. O'Connor, who managed the U.S. attorney's Fort Lauderdale division, has denied that any ''formal complaints'' were lodged against her by fellow employees.
''Judge O'Connor wants the truth to come out,'' said her attorney, Michael Tein, a former federal prosecutor in Miami. ``If the JQC wants her file, she will give them everything she gets from the government.''
Last month, O'Connor rejected demands by the Fort Lauderdale branch of the NAACP and others to remove herself from the Broward court's criminal division and to turn over at least two discrimination complaints filed against her that were uncovered by The Herald.
Two prosecutors under O'Connor's supervision lodged racial and religious discrimination complaints against her in 2000 and 2001, according to six sources familiar with them. The
Department of Justice settled the religious case for about $10,000 in September 2002.
The state judicial application asked O'Connor whether she had ever been the subject of a ''formal complaint or application of misconduct'' in her workplace, and she answered ''no.'' Later that year, Gov. Jeb Bush appointed her to the opening on the Broward Circuit Court.
Her failure to disclose those complaints was a possible violation of the code of conduct that bars judicial candidates from misrepresenting themselves, whether they are seeking appointment by the governor or running for a seat on the bench.
The Department of Justice's Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, which has O'Connor's employment records, said the state judicial panel could request and likely obtain her personnel file. But obtaining any workplace complaints could prove more difficult -- even with the state panel's subpoena powers -- because of exemptions under the federal Freedom of Information and Privacy acts.
''It's a case-by-case call,'' said Garry Stewart, a staff attorney, adding that he could not confirm or deny that any complaints exist against O'Connor. ``The easiest way for that board to get any records at all would be to get authorization from the individual.''
OTHERS MUST APPROVE
But even if O'Connor releases her employment file and gives permission to the Justice Department to disclose any complaints, any federal prosecutors who accused her of discrimination would have to give their approval, too, according to Stewart.
The state judicial panel would not comment on O'Connor's case. But speaking generally, staff general counsel Tom MacDonald said: ``We cannot get these records without their permission.''
A prominent former Florida judge said the question about past workplace conduct on the state's judicial application was intended to measure a candidate's character -- impartiality, demeanor and temperament -- to be a judge.
''If I were filling out an application to be a judge, and those were the facts, I would disclose them,'' said Gerald Kogan, a former chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court. ``You would want to know about the past problems the individual has had to see if they were qualified to be a judge.''
Friday, July 29, 2005
I went to go for a walk tonight and twisted my ankle and possibly my knee after a slip and fall. It's not painful but my mobility is limited. With me of late it seems if it rains it pours.
Tomorrow I may go to the ER. In the meantime just rest and keeping my leg up and iced. Blogging may be intermittent. Two weeks of having my leg in a una boot didn't slow me down, so I may remain my odd blogging self.
Update- I went to the ER in the middle of the night. There are no broken bones in my right leg or ankle. So it may only be a bad sprain. the hospital put a brace on my leg. I'll go to an orthopedic doctor next week and have ligament damage ruled out. Good news, I have little or no swelling.
You've heard me gripe before about how screwed up the LPGA is. This weekend is one more example.
The women are playing their fourth and last major this weekend, The British Open. How much of it will be television? A total of three hours! None of it live! This is just unbelievable for a major sporting event but just another sign of the LPGA's problems. If a sport's biggest events get this kind of treatment, there are big problems. I just wonder how much longer the LPGA can last like this. The new commissioner doesn't seem to think the organization has problems.
With two rounds to go, Jeong Jang has a four-shot lead. Jeong has never won on the LPGA tour but is a very steady player with four lifetime second place finishes. Go JJ!
It didn't take long
Former Florida Gator Head Coach Steve Spurrier hasn't coached a game yet at the University of South Carolina but he's already making people angry at him.
Spurrier is labeled ‘unethical’ by coaches
Group wants title games moved from Williams-Brice to protest USC coach’s decision to pull players’ scholarships
By STEVE WISEMANStaff Writer
Calling South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier unethical for his decision to revoke several players’ scholarships this summer, the state’s high school football coaches on Wednesday pushed to move the South Carolina High School League championship games out of Williams-Brice Stadium.
About 90 minutes before a meeting of the S.C. Football Coaches Association’s board of directors in Greenville, the group faxed a letter to Spurrier and USC athletics director Eric Hyman condemning the decision to strip the scholarships of Irmo’s Grayson Mullins and Pageland’s Trent Usher, among others.
“We, the S.C. Football Coaches Association board of directors, are all about commitment,” the letter stated, “and USC’s lack of commitment to its recruited players has prompted our action.”
The coaches said in the letter that Spurrier’s move was “unethical” because the players involved had not broken team rules and therefore didn’t deserve to lose their scholarships.
Another story in The State clearly points out
NCAA rules state that schools must inform athletes whether their scholarships will be renewed, reduced or revoked by July 1.
The school claims to have notified the athletes.
Spurrier was within his right and was being ethical but the coach in my opinion could have handled this better. Why did he wait till now to tell these players he no longer wanted them? If he had been upfront they would at least have had time to look for other opportunities.
A few things can be said about Spurrier
1- He is a winning College Football coach
2- He does things his way no matter what feathers he ruffles.
3- He has a tendency to whine when things don't go his way.
Twelve years of Spurrier coached Gator football made all of this abundantly clear to me. The State of South Carolina now has to live with him, just like Florida used to. Good luck.
Milblogger Chuck update
Chuck is up and blogging. Because of his wounds, its slow going for Chuck. He has put out a request for help in getting some voice to text software. Will it work for some of Chuck's more 'spicy' language? Stay tuned.
On a serious note, please continue to pray for Chuck and his family. God bless them all.
The Knucklehead of the Day award
Today's award winner is Helen Thomas, the matron of the White House Press Corps. The Drudge Report website reports that Ms. Thomas vows to kill herself if Dick Cheney announces his candidacy for President.
"The day Dick Cheney is going to run for president, I'll kill myself," she told the HILL. "All we need is one more liar."
Get a grip Ms. Thomas. What politician isn't a liar? Please name me one. For being separated from reality, Helen Thomas is today's Knucklehead award winner.
Hat tip- Poliblog who proposed the scary idea of Ms. Thomas going naked.
Arrests made in Flag vandalism case in Ohio
I blogged earlier this week about the disgusting incident in Ohio where Flags were burned at the home of recently deceased Marine. An arrest was made yesterday.
Two teenage boys have been charged with arson and criminal mischief for setting fire to 20 small American flags under a car in Fairfield on Saturday.
Police say the teens apparently did not know that the flags were placed to honor Army Private First Class Tim Hines, whose funeral was Friday. Hines died in a Washington hospital of injuries suffered last month in an explosion in Baghdad.
The fire destroyed a car belonging to Hine's sister-in-law. Police say it was a random act of vandalism by the 15- and 13-year-old, and that they were involved in similar acts that samemorning.
My only comment or question- Where were these children's parents?
The outpouring of support for Katy Hines and her two children has been incredible. An annonymous donor gave a check for over $100,000 for the children's education plus a non-profit organization is going to build the family a house. If you want to read more, click here.
From the Silly news desk
Darn! I didn't win the award.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A Microsoft analyst has won an annual contest celebrating bad writing by comparing fixing carburetors to fondling a woman's breasts.
"As he stared at her ample bosom, he daydreamed of the dual Stromberg carburetors in his vintage Triumph Spitfire, highly functional yet pleasingly formed, perched prominently on top of the intake manifold, aching for experienced hands, the small knurled caps of the oil dampeners begging to be inspected and adjusted as described in chapter seven of the shop manual," went Dan McKay's winning entry in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.
McKay, 43, of North Dakota was said by organizers on Thursday to be visiting China "perhaps to escape notoriety for his dubious literary achievement." He wins $250 (142 pounds).
The California San Jose State University contest challenges entrants to submit bad opening sentences to imaginary novels and has attracted entries from around the world for 23 years.
It was inspired by 19th century novelist Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton, who opened his 1830 novel "Paul Clifford" with the now immortal words, "It was a dark and stormy night."
San Jose State English Professor Scott Rice said that judging the contest "is a hoot."
"By and large the entries are submitted by serious readers who have a notion about what is good and bad writing. That is what is heartening," Rice said.
Thursday, July 28, 2005
Jessica Simpson is mad at ABC TV
You must think I'm off my meds. No I'm not.
JESSICA SIMPSON wants to know where missing footage of her and husband NICK LACHEY's harrowing trip to Iraq got to - because she thinks Americans would like to see just how bad conditions are there.
The pop singers-turned-reality TV couple travelled to the war-torn nation to visit US troops as part of a recent ABC TV variety special, and they were both left shellshocked by what they saw.
But all the controversial moments and harrowing footage of the trip didn't appear in the fun-filled TV show.
Simpson says, "It was unbelievable. They didn't show a lot of what really went on with the enemy attacks and the shelling. There was so much stuff that went on and somehow the tapes got mysteriously misplaced.
Ms. Simpson just learned that some in the MSM only want one story told of what's going on in Iraq.
Why I'm really writing is to thank Jessica Simpson and other celebrities and entertainers who've taken their time to USO tours around the world and particularly to Iraq and Afghanistan. Our men serving in danger need to be able to enjoy themselves and my hats off to Ms. Simpson, Robin Williams, Wayne Newton, Mariah Carey and others.
Hat tip- Don Surber
Two stories out of the Miami Herald
Oddly enough both are connected.
First is the story about former Miami commissioner Arthur Teele. Out of office and under indictment for corruption, Mr. Teele commited suicide in the lobby of the Herald building.
Former Miami Commissioner Arthur E. Teele Jr. -- politically humiliated and facing two indictments with more to come -- walked into the lobby of The Herald building Wednesday evening and shot himself in the head. He died less than two hours later at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Wearing a dark blue suit, a light-blue shirt and a crimson tie, Teele walked one block from the Plaza Venetia to The Herald at 5:56 p.m. carrying a green canvas bag. He shook the security guard's hand and asked him to relay a message to Herald columnist Jim DeFede.
Felix Nazco, 35, the security guard, said Teele told him: ``Tell my wife that I love her.''
Teele then pulled a Sig Sauer pistol from the bag, put the gun to his head and watched the street through the lobby's glass doors. As police arrived, he pulled the trigger, security guard Eduardo Pavon said. Teele fell on his back. The pistol clattered across the terrazzo floor.
Miami fire-rescue workers arrived seven minutes after a security guard called 911. A Miami fire-rescue spokesman said Teele had two bullet holes in the back of his head, and Miami police told The Herald he was declared dead at 7:50 p.m. at the hospital's Ryder Trauma Center. He was 59 years old.
During a 15-year political career, Teele became one of Miami-Dade's most influential politicians, serving on both the Miami City Commission and the County Commission. But his life ended in a cascade of arrests and humiliating disclosures that reached a crescendo in recent weeks.
Two weeks ago, Teele was indicted on 26 federal charges of fraud and money laundering -- his third arrest in a year. On Tuesday, a probation officer filed papers seeking to revoke his probation from an earlier conviction and send Teele to jail.
Wednesday brought the latest embarrassment: The New Times weekly published an excruciatingly detailed, 14-page spread describing Teele's alleged sordid relationships with crooked contractors, drug dealers and -- what bothered Teele the most -- a transvestite prostitute. The front-page headline: Tales of Teele: Sleaze Stories.
I'm no fan of corrupt politicians(who is?) but its horrible Mr. Teele felt the need to take his own life. My condolences to his family.
The second story, and it's connected to the first, is the firing of Miami Herald Columnist Jim Defede. The reason? He tape recorded a phone conversation he had with Mr. Teele, without the man's permission.
BY JAY WEAVER
The Herald fired columnist Jim DeFede Wednesday because he tape-recorded a phone conversation with Arthur E. Teele Jr. without his knowledge.
Teele had killed himself in The Herald's lobby earlier in the day without ever knowing that the columnist recorded their conversation.
Both Publisher Jesús Díaz Jr. and Executive Editor Tom Fiedler said they fired the popular Metro writer because it is illegal for anyone to tape a conversation with another person without that individual's consent in Florida.
DeFede told them that during his interview with Teele, he turned on a tape machine to record his conversation as the politician confided in him about his public corruption charges, financial problems and other sensitive issues, according to Díaz.
At one point, Teele told the columnist that he was not speaking on the record -- but DeFede continued to record him anyway without his knowledge, Díaz said.
Díaz said that The Herald had no choice but to dismiss DeFede because his conduct was potentially a felony crime and unethical.
''With all of our sources, we have to treat them with respect and dignity,'' Díaz said. ``I don't think we did that in this situation.''
''The public's trust is at stake as a result of Jim's actions,'' Díaz said. ``We have to make sure that the public understands that trust is the most important value that the community bestows upon us.''
As the article states, recording of phone conversations without a parties' approval is against the law. I feel the Herald's firing was justified and proper. Mr. Defede broke the law and the Herald could be liable. It's a shame Mr. Defede's career at the Herald came to his end, I've enjoyed some of his columns.
Isn't that far off? I say get a life
I truly believe most politicians need a life. That goes for political writers too. Here is AP news article on Yahoo.
By KATHY McCORMACK,
Associated Press Writer Wed Jul 27, 3:27 PM ET
CONCORD, N.H. - It's muggy, the lakes and ice cream lines are crowded and the leaves don't have even a hint of red or yellow. Yep, good time for a potential 2008 presidential candidate to visit New Hampshire.
There are plenty of suitors, but don't expect any firm commitments just yet from residents in the first presidential primary state when the calendar says 2005.
"It's too early in the game," said veteran state Sen. Lou D'Allesandro, a Democrat from Manchester.
That's the understatement of the day Sen. D'Allesandro. Why the hell anyone is campaigning up there and why anyone in the press is covering it is beyond me. When I start hearing the talking heads on TV talk 2008, I change channels.
Among those going up there are John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Milt Romney, Chuck Hagel, John Edwards and Bill Frist. I'll excuse those like Edwards who's out of office. The rest all have jobs to do. I suggest they serve their constituents rather than participate in this farce. In other words- GET A LIFE!
There I got that off my chest. That's my last comment on 2008 till 2006. I'll allow myself one comment. Hat tip- Poliblog
From the Silly News desk
I'll post this without comment.
LONDON (Reuters) - A British couple who headed out to sea in a dinghy for an amorous liaison sparked a major rescue operation when their cries of passion were mistaken for someone in trouble, British police said Tuesday.
A passer-by raised the alarm after hearing strange noises coming from the waters near a beach in Torbay on the southwest coast of England Saturday morning, prompting the coastguard to send lifeboats and police to the scene.
"It was found that there was a partially-clothed couple in a small rubber dingy that were brought ashore and asked to put their clothes back on," a spokesman for Devon and Cornwall police told Reuters.
"Our log actually mentions that 'they were having fun in their boat!', but doesn't say anything other than that."
The Knucklehead of the Day award
Today's winner is US District Court judge John Coughenour in Washington State. Yesterday he handed down sentence in the case of Ahmed Ressam. Mr. Ressam was the man caught and convicted for plotting a millenium eve bombing at LAX airport. So why is Judge Coughenour a knucklehead? The judge gave Mr. Ressam 22 years. Try to blow up thousands of people and you only get 22 years?
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Ressam sentenced to 22 years in prison
By Hal Bernton and Sara Jean Green
Seattle Times staff reporters
Public defender, Thomas Hillier, center, answers questions outside the Federal Courthouse after his client, Ahmed Ressam, was sentenced to 22 years in prison.
Ahmed Ressam, the Algerian who sought to explode a Millennium Eve bomb at Los Angeles International Airport was sentenced to 22 years in prison today in U.S. District Court.
Ressam, 38, showed no emotion during the hearing, but smiled briefly as it concluded.
Jo Ann Oliver, one of his defense attorneys , said she thought Ressam was relieved to have this over.
In the months before 9/11, Ressam emerged as an important U.S. government informant on the al Qaida network, but later ended his cooperation. In a last ditch effort at an April hearing, Judge John Coughenour failed to persuade Ressam to resume helping the U.S. Justice Department in two significant terrorism cases that prosecutors say may now have to be dismissed. Ressam rejected the judge's request.
Coughenour said this trial shows that the justice system in this country works.
"All of this occurred in the sunlight of a public trial," Coughenour said. "There were no secret proceedings, no indefinite detention, no denial of counsel."
And no justice. Judge Coughenour for handing down a travesty of a sentence is today's knucklehead winner.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Time to kill the space shuttle
Some unsurprising news at least to me was just announced. NASA has grounded the space shuttle fleet because of continuing maintenence problems. The Discovery launch while sucessful had objects falling off the external film tank.
There will be no more shuttle launches until NASA engineers determine the effect of debris that fell from the shuttle Discovery during blastoff Tuesday, said Bill Parsons, space shuttle program manager. "We are treating it very seriously," he told reporters.
"Are we losing sleep over it? Not yet." He added, "We will continue to do the evaluation."
Discovery is due to return to Kennedy Space Center in Florida on August 7. The date of the next planned mission had not been set.
A week ago I called for the shuttle program to be scraped. This news only strengthens the case.
James Joyner at OTB says the question begging to be asked is why we continue to spend billions of dollars to keep this program alive. The answer is simple- POLITICS. A few states, Florida for one have a financial stake in this program being kept alive. Will a politician with a spine come forward and call for an end to this waste?
The feckless Barry Krischer
Mr. Barry Krischer has been Palm Beach County state attorney for over 10 years. Last month I gave him a Knucklehead award when it was revealed he planned to give a job to a disgraced former judge who had been accused of sexual harassment. Judge Berman after accusing his accusers resigned rather than appear before a conduct board. 3.5 years later Krischer offers him a job.
Now Krischer is back in the news. Last February there was a shooting in Delray Beach. 16 year old Jerrod Miller was shot by Delray police officer Darren Cogoni. At the time Miller was driving a car and in conflicting testimony said to be threatening bystanders with his driving. Cogoni shot at Miller's car from behind killing the young man.
Miller is black, Cogoni is white and this has caused some racial tension in Delray Beach. Some black leaders calling for charges against the officer. I'm not judging the case but the shooting from behind does bug me.
Krischer is the state attorney who should be investigating if charges should be followed. Instead
Krischer said in a statement that he passed on the decision in part because the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation "did not result in a finding of criminal behavior."
He also said County Judge Debra Moses Stephens' nonbinding decision in the April inquest "was based in part on hearsay and other inadmissible testimony and evidence elicited from the witnesses in response to community questions posited by those present in the courtroom."
Judge Stephens said charges should be filed. But Krischer doesn't like the way she ruled. Why did he have a coroner's inquest in the first place? I know the answer, he doesn't want to make the decision.
Going to the grand jury, it's like what did we have the inquest for?" Jerrod's father, Kenneth Miller, said. "It seems like they're just stalling. It's causing the family a lot of pain."
I'm sorry for Mr. Miller's loss. Also I have to agree with him. Our state attorney doesn't want to do his job and wants to pass the buck to others. Enough is enough Mr. Krischer, do your job or resign it. You're to serve this county and right now you are serving no one.
PS- Read the entire Palm Beach Post article. It's very informative.
The Knucklehead of the Day Award
I don't give out too many awards based on personal experience but here is one such instance.
Goes to a nameless female City of Lantana Community Service patrolmen. The town of Lantana Florida, population 9,000 plus is where my wife's job is and where she works. This has been so for 12 years.
In Lantana there is a 4-way stop sign on Ocean Ave. Ocean is one of the main roads in town. It runs from I-95 to the intercoastal waterway. Today I was driving east on Ocean and stopped at the intersection with the 4-way stop sign. I was there. No one else. I stop, get ready to go and a car runs the stop sign in the northbound direction. A Lantana City Community Service car driven by a woman. The woman wasn't in any hurry or emergency.
I just feel the police and these community service people should obey the laws of the road too. This intersection is notorious for people not waiting their turns, but you have to expect more from the police. Does this woman feel she is above the law or is she poorly trained or just lackadasical?
From personal experience, I have a low opinion of community service patrols. At least those in Palm Beach County. They are usually old people driving in circles with no way of even contacting the police if someone needed assistance. Why are tax dollars being spent on this? If someone can tell me, I'd love to hear it.
My wife through her job knows alot of the Lantana police. I left a message with a Sgt Louganis to call me. I'll post an update if I have something to report.
From the Silly News desk
Just more proof how dumb people can be at times.
Women Pushing Car Charged With DUI
PORTAGE, Ind. - Two women who took turns steering a broken-down vehicle face drunk driving charges after their slow-moving car crashed into a parked car.
Kaylyn Kezy, 34, of Gary, was pushing the disabled car, while Melissa Fredenburg, 32, of Chesterton, steered from the passenger seat, police said. The two were moving the car into a parking lot at a nearby motel early Friday in the city about 10 miles east of Gary.
Police said both women had a blood-alcohol levels of 0.17 percent, more than twice the state's legal limit to drive.
Authorities said the women were operating the vehicle while intoxicated — even though the car's engine wasn't working.
A prosecutor acknowledged the charges could be difficult to prosecute in court.
"The statute and case law supports (a DUI charge) ... but it will be interesting to see," said Deputy Prosecutor Adam Burroughs, who authorized the charges.
Letter Grades to stay- For now
I've blogged before about a proposed change to the grading system for elementary schools in Palm Beach County. The school board led by member Ann Robinson was going to scrap the traditional A-F grades for a 1-3 system.
I thought this was a dumb idea all along. The vast majority of schools in the US use the A-F system, the reasons being given for the change made little sense, plus the new grading system had little mean. All strong reasons not to make any changes. Now as reported in today's Palm Beach Post, the Palm Beach County School board has delayed implementing the changes.
But at their monthly meeting Tuesday, elementary principals decided they needed more time to sell the idea of report cards without letter grades to parents, teachers and the community.
For weeks, parents critical of the change have collected petitions and spoken at school board meetings, complaining that children working above grade level were lumped in with average students. Last week, four school board members said they wanted letter grades for elementary students.
The response from the community prompted Superintendent Art Johnson to give the county's 100-plus elementary school principals two options: Either show up at today's workshop to show their support or delay the plan.
"We clearly haven't done what we need to have done to educate parents about the report card," Johnson said. "It's going to take some time and understanding to get through that.
"It's a timing issue. The principals and I just felt we need to be responsive to the board and responsive to the parents."
The district will continue to study the elementary report card, Johnson said. There are no plans to remove marks for each skill within a subject area.
In general I think Art Johnson has done a good job as school superintendant here. The citizens of this county were poorly served for too long by a sucession of school superintendants who rather serve themselves or special interests rather than the needs of the children in the county.
However this time I strongly feel Mr. Johnson and his colleagues are badly misguided. The 1-3 system is vague and useless. A 3 for instance could be anything from satisfactory to excellent work. In what way was this better than An A, B or C? I don't see it and apparently neither do the majority of parents in the county.
So the matter has been shelved for now. I think the board and Mr. Johnson are in denial over their idea. Time isn't going to change parents and school principals minds on this subject, because the new system is no good. I sincerely hope parents keep the pressure up and this dumb idea gets totally scraped at some time in the future.
An article from USA today says many hotels and motels are no longer changing sheets on a daily basis for its customers.
A USA TODAY survey of the policies of 25 hotel brands reveals that most do not require a daily change of sheets during a guest's stay. All said they would change them daily for no charge if a customer makes a request. Eleven said they provide a daily change, nine said they change sheets a few times per week or weekly and five said polices vary at their lodgings.
More than one-third of the hotels of Crowne Plaza, InterContinental, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express - four brands with various policies - say they participate in an environmental program called "Conserving for Tomorrow" and change sheets every three days.
Whether business travelers like it or not, the days of fresh sheets automatically being put on a bed may be coming to an end. "It's clearly been shown that changing sheets on a daily basis is not an important issue to customers," says Hyatt Vice President Gary Dollens. "It's a trend that's here to stay."
Dollens says less than 10% of Hyatt's guests are requesting a daily linen change. Nearly all Hyatt's hotels switched to every four days last year - unless a guest requests otherwise.
Marriott's full-service hotels switched to every three days this year, and other company brands - Courtyard, Fairfield Inn, Fairfield Inn & Suites and SpringHill Suites - will begin testing a similar policy in the next two months.
John Bott, a frequent business traveler in Louisville, says he prefers a daily sheet change. "It always feels better," says the consultant for an auto parts company.
Many business travelers, though, are either quietly accepting less frequent bedsheet changes or agreeing with hotels that there's no need to do it daily.
Marc Caron, a sales manager for a machinery company in Greensboro, N.C., says he usually doesn't ask for clean bedsheets each day. "It's no different than my bed at home," he says.
"Those sheets don't get cleaned every day."
Caron says he shares hotels' concern for the environment and doesn't ask for fresh sheets daily. But he's certain it's being done to cut laundry and labor costs. "Ultimately, as with any publicly traded company, they have to protect the interests of shareholders, continue to increase profits and watch over their financial health," he adds.
This change I saw coming for a long time. From 97 to 01 I travelled between 70-125 thousand miles a year. Bed sheet changes were done every day at the hotels I stayed at. At home my sheets get changed once a week. Daily changing I never felt was necessary.
The real reason for this change is economic not enviormental. Changing sheets in a large hotel is costly and is labor intesnive. I've seen it personally how it works, my late father owned two Motels on Long Island in New York State. Much of a maid's time was spent stripping and changing beds and then bringing the sheets to the laundry room. When I was 13 and 14 I helped out at the hotel during the summer time and got to see this first hand. The maids would spend twenty minutes in a room approximately every day. I'd think not changing sheets would shave five minutes off that and plus save the time spent collecting, washing, folding and re-storing the sheets on a daily basis.
At my father's hotels the laundry room was in the basement. To get the sheets down there, there was a hole in the floor of a storage room up above. The maids or me and my siblings when helping out would drop the dirty sheets down the hole. My father was the one in the basement most of the time and sometimes us kids would drop the sheets deliberately on our father! Who would then loudly curse upward at the culprits.
The hotels should just be truthful why they are doing this. Any way thanks for the memory. Hat tip- Outside the Beltway
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
From the Silly News Desk
Cow gives birth to four calves
The Associated Press Posted July 26 2005
DEWEESE, Neb. -- It wasn't that one of his cows had delivered twins that gave Paul Soucie pause when he checked his pasture. Eleven sets of twins had already been delivered this year on the farmstead near Deweese that Soucie runs with his wife, Janet. But what raised his curiosity on the morning of July 12 was that this particular cow still appeared pregnant.
"I said, 'She sure looks full for having already had twins. I wouldn't be surprised if she has another calf,'" Soucie said.He was right.The cow did indeed deliver another calf. Then another one.
When the Soucies checked their pasture on July 13, they discovered that the cow had given birth to four offspring without human assistance.The mother and the four calves -- three heifers and one bull -- are all healthy, Soucie said.
Sherrill Echternkamp, a physiologist at the Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center near Clay Center, said quadruplet calf live births are extremely rare."It's so rare that I'm not sure you could even calculate a probability," Echternkamp said.
The Soucies had no idea their cow was going to deliver so many offspring, which Janet said may have been a good thing."If we would've known she was going to have four, I'm sure we would've been worried," she said.
The Soucies breed Angus cattle with the Tarentaise breed, which Echternkamp said have a reputation for producing multiple offspring
Two must reads
Go and read two of today's columns over at the NY Times.
Ms. Dowd's column is a moving story of the mother who raised her. You'll feel richer for the few minutes spent reading it. I emailed Ms. Dowd my condolences after I was done reading.
Mr. Kristoff's column is a scathing assault on MSM's coverage of the genocide in Darfur. That story has gotten far too little coverage as have others like the Kelo decision for one in the media over coverage of things like M. Jackson, M. Stewart, and those two unmentionables I refuse to say on my blog but codenamed by two southern states they originate from, Alabama and Georgia. Three minutes by CBS all of 2004? That network apparently isn't in the news business any more.
Kudos to Mr. Kristoff for bravely saying it. Maybe Frank Rich can take a lesson from his colleague but I won't get my hopes up.
Yes I took my meds today. Michelle Malkin is also feeling well and I hat tip her.
Just how many do you suppose have this as their goal?
An article in Last week's Washington Post makes for interesting reading. It is an interview of Syrian born cleric Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed who now resides in England. The most interesting part of the article is one quote from Mr. Mohammed.
"I would like to see the Islamic flag fly, not only over number 10 Downing Street, but over the whole world," he said.
Fellow blogger and friend Kobayashi Maru asks if we can agree now that the enemy has raised his hand and has declared his ambitions. Some would say this is just one questionable personality but then look at the ongoing violence in the Middle East. What is the real goal of the terrorists and those that support them? Does it matter what their expectations or motives are?
I think we have to assume the worst. For not to do so is far too dangerous with the weapons available today. Our country is free, too free to ever fight a defensive war.(Besides look how much liberals are up in arms over the Patriot Act. What if we undertook draconian security measures like Israel.) We have to eliminate the threats instead. I truly feel our enemies will use any motive or reasoning to attack us. What was the US doing to deserve 9-11? Besides backing Israel? Nothing, so we have to conclude these people will attack no matter what. It would be foolish to do otherwise.
The Knucklehead of the Day award
Today's winner is Stephen Knight age 17. He called the police to report a break-in at his apartment. What had been taken? Marijuana.
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) - A Texas man was arrested on Monday after calling police to complain about the theft of his marijuana, authorities said.
Stephen Knight, 17, said three men had broken into his apartment, hogtied him with Christmas lights and stole some marijuana, along with a plasma screen television, police said.
Police are looking for the suspects. In the meantime, they arrested Knight after finding several marijuana plants growing under heat lamps in the apartment, four grams of harvested marijuana and a tablet of ecstasy, Officer Chad Ripley said.
Knight said the men barged into his home early on Monday morning demanding, "Where's the weed?," according to San Antonio police.
On a personal note
I became an Uncle again yesterday. DW brother Leonido aka eding aka Interperter and his wife Saylin had a baby girl named Leanya. That makes ten nephews and 6 nieces if you're keeping score at home.
Leanya's birth made DW and Mother-in-law happy. To me it was another reminder of my son Daniel, born thirty months ago yesterday and went to heaven thirty months ago today.
I'm recovered from the medical issue from two weeks ago. Sorry to say some issues still remain. Yes I am still crazy but that's ok. It runs in my family like feet do.
Time to get some sleep.
Update- My blog had its most hits ever yesterday. Plus the last two nights I have had a porn spammer message put up a message. See what happens when you get popular. LOL
Why am I doing this?
Another blogger named Hooah Wife wants a trackback. She asked five days ago for people to trackback to her. Or was that plead or beg? She wants to be a slithering reptile instead of a crawly amphibian. We bloggers are an odd lot, we all want to be higher beings.
Oh Greta wanted something of substance. Early Happy anniversary to you and Hooah husband from the sleep deprived in Florida.
PS- Greta you can stay Hooah wife if DH retires. God bless you and your family.
PPS- The answer to the question is because I'm a nice guy really who wanted to do another blogger a favor.
PPPS- Does any one belive the above? ;)
Monday, July 25, 2005
Welcome to South Florida the rules are different here
So went a song about 10 years ago. This area is very fickle in many ways.
One is the weather. The threat of hurricanes is not dismissed any more after 2004.
What is going on that is causing me to write? Sand. Sand blown across the Atlantic ocean from the Sahara desert. It's really happening, the sky looked so odd to me this morning. Supposedly the sunrise and sunsets witll be different.
So far it isn't playing havoc with the wife's asthma. Could alot of sand affect the car? I don't think it's that heavy. Any way here is a link to a Palm Beach Post article explaining what is going on here.
By Sandra Hong
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Monday, July 25, 2005
As early as today, a dust cloud from the Sahara Desert is expected to settle over much of Florida, a not-uncommon summertime phenomenon that forecasters said could cast a deeper hue to the rising or setting sun or leave a fine film of dust on your car.
The massive cloud — nearly the size of the continental United States — will likely arrive before Wednesday and dissipate before crossing Florida. Meteorologists said it is not expected to pose any serious health risks.
"It's more of a curiosity thing," said Bart Hagemeyer, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Melbourne. "Shows how weather is interrelated across the globe."
Tropical waves generate a strong wind over the Atlantic, lifting up dust along the African coastline to heights of 10,000 feet or more, Hagemeyer said. The dust particles drift westward on a dry tropical wave.
Tropical waves off Africa also can generate hurricanes.
Early Sunday afternoon, the dust cloud was around Puerto Rico and the eastern Caribbean,
Hagemeyer said. Low pressure drifting southward could keep the dust concentrated in South Florida, he said.
Satellite imagery shows the dust cloud as a milky-colored mass, which could make skies look hazy, forecasters said.
"It's possible on a clear evening, you'll have a different shading to the sunset," said Bob Ebaugh, a weather service specialist in Miami. The thin layer of dust that could settle on cars is not unlike what happens after a dry spell, Ebaugh said. "But it's something that's not typically a hazardous condition in South Florida."
While dust storms have not been shown to cause widespread health problems here, the U.S. Geological Survey has linked Saharan sand to the bacteria and fungus that have been damaging coral reefs in the Caribbean.
I wonder if this tour will come to Florida
Jane Fonda has announced she'll do a bus tour next March to protest the Vietnam.... err I mean Iraq war.
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - Actress and activist Jane Fonda says she intends to take a cross-country bus tour to call for an end to U.S. military operations in Iraq.
"I can't go into any detail except to say that it's going to be pretty exciting," she said.
Fonda said her anti-war tour in March will use a bus that runs on "vegetable oil." She will be joined by families of Iraq war veterans and her daughter.
They plan to return to the Santa Fe area, where she was promoting her book, "My Life So Far" on Saturday.
Prompted by a question from the audience, Fonda said war veterans that she has met on a nationwide book tour have encouraged her to break her silence on the Iraq war.
"I've decided I'm coming out," she said.
Now will you crawl back in the hole you came from treasonous whining @#%^! She can't announce details of course. That leads me to conclude Ms. Fonda is
1- Afraid of people showing up to tell her what to do with herself.
2- Or this is all one dream of hers and will never happen.
The announced date for this trip comes close to her Kravis center appearance in West Palm Beach next April. I blogged about that here. Go away you Jane 'Self-centered jerk' Fonda and never come back.
Hat tip- Michelle Malkin
The Knucklehead of the Day award
For the second day in a row the award goes to a Pennsylvania politician. Today it goes to the Governor Ed Rendell who will send a written apology to the Goodrich family as in reported in today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Governor Rendell says written apologies will be sent to the family of a dead Marine who was upset about the lieutenant governor's appearance at his funeral last week.
On Saturday, the Post-Gazette reported that family members said Caherine Baker Knoll went to Tuesday's funeral uninvited, passed out her business cards and made a remark about the government being against the war.
The clueless and classless Lt. Governor definitely owes the Goodrich family an apology. BUT IN PERSON NOT BY SOME LETTER. Better yet Governor Rendell, you drive this knucklehead personally to the Goodrich home yourself and apologize both in person for your sorry ass conduct. Why didn't the Lt. Governor come out with a statement instead of you???
But the real reason the governor gets a knucklehead award is because of this statement.
"It's not the business of state government to support the war, but our state supports the men and women who are fighting this war," Rendell said during an appearance in Mt. Washington.
Governor Rendell doesn't give a hoot about our fighting men and women. He is just another sick democratic politician who rather abuse those who keep jerks like him and his brainless Lt. Governor in office. For proof read this Philadelpia Inquirer article. See Rendell cares so much about our troops. NOT!
The state of Pennsylvania now has two knuckleheads in state office. I'm hoping for some remedial action in November 2006.
Hat tip- Mudville Gazette
From the Silly News desk
John Roberts was a Federalist Society member
As reported in today's Washington Post.
By Charles Lane
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, July 25, 2005
Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. has repeatedly said that he has no memory of belonging to the Federalist Society, but his name appears in the influential, conservative legal organization's 1997-1998 leadership directory.
Having served only two years on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit after a long career as a government and private-sector lawyer, Roberts has not amassed much of a public paper record that would show his judicial philosophy. Working with the Federalist Society would provide some clue of his sympathies. The organization keeps its membership rolls secret, but many key policymakers in the Bush administration are acknowledged current or former members.
Roberts has burnished his legal image carefully. When news organizations have reported his membership in the society, he or others speaking on his behalf have sought corrections. Last week, the White House told news organizations that had reported his membership in the group that he had no memory of belonging. The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today and the Associated Press printed corrections.
In a reasonable world, this gaffe will die off in two days. However very little is reasonable about Washington politics any more. Expect alot of braying from both those in the media and some Democratic Senators claiming Pres. Bush was trying to pull a fast one. One thing is certain, the White House has some fancy footwork to do now.
Hat tip- Poliblog
The absurdity of Hate crime laws
Here is some news out of Buffalo New York further proving that hate crime laws are only for certain people, not all people.
Five black teenagers are accused of roaming through a Lovejoy neighborhood late Friday night, shouting racially charged threats and stabbing three young white men, including a recently discharged Marine.
A week ago, five white men in the Seneca-Babcock area were charged with attacking a black man with a baseball bat and shouting racial slurs at him.
Guess which group got charged with a hate crime?
Captain Ed succinct as alway says that hate-crime legislation is "self-defeating, hypocritical, and opposed to the best instincts of American jurisprudence." Also that "It leaves far too much possibility for capricious enforcement and application by politically-correct district attorneys, making a mockery of equal treatment under the law."
It's time to end this farce but too many politicians give in to political correctness. So this double standard is will be with us for the forseeable future.
Sunday, July 24, 2005
This is disgusting
The following story can only make you angry. God Bless Katy Hines and her children.
Hat tip- The Anchoress
Flags Memorializing Fallen Soldier BurnedLocal Church Donates New Flags
POSTED: 9:17 am EDT July 24, 2005
UPDATED: 1:34 pm EDT July 24, 2005
FAIRFIELD, Ohio -- Less than 24 hours after an Ohio soldier was buried, someone pulled up 20 American flags from his father-in-law's front yard and set fire to them under a car in the driveway, according to WLWT-TV in Cincinnati.
The family of Pfc. Timothy Hines and neighbors can't understand why someone would do that.
"If it wasn't random vandalism, what statement were they trying to make?" said Jim Wessels, Hines' father-in-law.The car, belonging to Wessel's daughter, was burned beyond repair.
Members of a local church stepped in and helped clean up, and 200 flags donated by family, friends and neighbors were put up around the lawn."I was in the military also," Don Hodges told WLWT-TV.
"I understand some of what he had to go through before he was killed. And I appreciate all that the veterans done for the country."Police are keeping a close eye on the neighborhood and vowed to find the vandals."
What has happened to this family is a tragedy; what occurred this morning is despicable," said Fairfield police Chief Mike Dickey. "We will take every step to identify the persons responsible and hold them accountable."
Hines, 21, of Fairfield, died last week of injuries from a bomb explosion in Baghdad in June.
More than 400 family members and friends gathered for his funeral Friday. They watched a slideshow of his life from childhood to high school to his wedding.
Hines met his wife, Katy, at Cincinnati Christian School. They had a 2-year-old daughter, Lily, and Katy expects to give birth to their second child in about two weeks.
An anonymous donor gave Cincinnati Christian $130,000 to cover tuition for Hines' children.
"Tim was a fighter. He fought hard for his country, family and ultimately, his life. He was a loyal husband and father and an incredible American," a tearful Katy Hines said at the funeral. "There is a price for freedom and Tim paid the ultimate price. Now he is in the loving arms of God."
Hines was the gunner on a Humvee in a convoy when a bomb detonated on a highway onFather's Day. He suffered kidney and tissue damage and internal bleeding, and his right leg was amputated in a Baghdad hospital. He was having emergency surgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., when he died.
Army Brig. Gen. Patrick O'Reilly presented Hines' mother a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star and the Good Conduct Medal. Family members also received a visit from President Bush at the medical center earlier this month.
Hines was buried at Spring Grove Cemetery with full military honors.
Pardon the mess
I am re-arranging my links section today. If any political, media or Florida bloggers want to be added to my blogroll in exchange for you adding me, Email me at WilliamJE at aol dot com. I'm willing to put on both liberal and conservative blogs as long as you don't engage in conspiracies or hatred. Compare some of the blogs I have on my roll, Captain's Quarters, Professor Bainbridge, American Thinker on the Right, Andrew Sullivan, Huffington Post and Florida Politics on the left.
A leak story that isn't getting much press
This story has been around for a while before yesterday's comments. Why hasn't it gotten more coverage? Could it be because the three Senators involved are all Democrats? I'm not being paranoid, the media cherry picks what stories they think are important or un-important. We bloggers pick up the scraps and sometimes these scraps can't be ignored.
Hat tip- Blogs for Bush
Saturday, July 23, 2005 1:11 p.m. EDT
Report: Justice Department Probing Durbin, Rockefeller CIA Leak
The Justice Department has launched a criminal investigation into whether Democratic Senators Dick Durbin, Jay Rockefeller and Ron Wyden leaked details about a secret "black ops" CIA satellite program last December in a move that may have seriously compromised national security, former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Jed Babbin said on Saturday.
"The CIA made a request to the Justice Department to investigate and possibly bring criminal charges against these three [senators]," Babbin told WABC Radio host Monica Crowley. "My information is that investigation is ongoing."
Rockefeller is the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and Durbin is the No. 2-ranking Democrat in the Senate.
Media reports on the satellite leak last December indicated that the Bush administration was concerned about public comments by Durbin, Rockefeller and Wyden and that the CIA had requested a Justice Department probe.
"The formal request for a leaks investigation would target people who described sensitive details about a new generation of spy satellites to The Washington Post, which published a page-one story about the espionage program Saturday [Dec. 11, 2004]," a Justice Department official told The Associated Press at the time.
But the same official told the AP that Justice "has not decided whether to investigate."
Former Deputy Undersecretary Babbin's comments on Saturday were the first indication that such a probe was actually launched and is ongoing.
"The fact of the matter is that [Durbin, Rockefeller and Wyden] divulged something that was above and beyond top secret and frankly, they probably blew the strategy and the hundreds of millions of dollars that were being spent to pursue it," Babbin told Crowley.
"The acknowledgement of [the "black ops" program's] existence is not even proper and the acknowledgement of them and the details of them can very well damage national security," Babbin added.
From the Silly News desk
My only comment on the following- Dream on.
Hat tip- Jo's Cafe
Love-struck Kenyan awaiting Clinton's nod to marry only daughter, Chelsea
Fri Jul 22, 5:50 PM ET
NAIROBI (AFP) - Former US president Bill Clinton, who was visiting Kenya, will probably never hear about it but he's being offered 20 head of cattle and 40 goats for the hand of his daughter in marriage.
The 36-year-old bachelor, Godwin Kipkemoi Chepkurgor, has waited five years after writing to the president and vows to remain unmarried until he gets an answer.
"I am ready to wait for as long as I can," said Cheprkurgor, who is a municipal councillor in Kenya's Rift Valler town of Nakuru.
Chepkurgor's initial efforts to reach Clinton during his visit to Uganda in 2000 were thwarted by the Kenyan foreign ministry and the state security which failed to deliver his introduction letter.
The electrical engineering graduate promised in the letter to pay his would-be father-in-law 20 head of cattle and 40 goats in dowry in accordance with African traditions.
"I learnt a lot about the Clintons through the media and was impressed about their staunch Christian values and their down-to-earth attitude," he told AFP.
"If I was given the opportunity at some stage to tell him about my love for his daughter. She was my first real love and she still is today."
Chepkurgor is quick to brush off suggestions that he is a joker.
"My parents were ready to support me because they realised how serious I was about this marriage," he said.
If, however, he does not meet Clinton who winds up his Kenya trip on Saturday, Chepkurgor would accept the possibility that life must go on without Chelsea.
The Knucklehead of the Day award
Goes to Pennsylvania Lt. Governor Catherine Baker Knoll who felt the funeral of a fallen Marine was the place to make a unannounced campaign stop. To top it off the Lt. Governor felt it necessary to tell a family member of the 'govt is opposed to the war.' For both being crass and displaying absolutely no class. Baker Knoll is the knucklehead of the day. I hope the voters of PA have to good sense to kick this idiot out of office in 2006.
Trackback- Mudville Gazette
Saturday, July 23, 2005
By Tom Barnes, Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau
The family of a Marine who was killed in Iraq is furious with Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll for showing up uninvited at his funeral this week, handing out her business card and then saying "our government" is against the war.
Catherine Baker KnollRhonda Goodrich of Indiana, Pa., said yesterday that a funeral was held Tuesday at a church in Carnegie for her brother-in-law, Staff Sgt. Joseph Goodrich, 32.
She said he "died bravely and courageously in Iraq on July 10, serving his country."
In a phone interview, Goodrich said the funeral service was packed with people "who wanted to tell his family how Joe had impacted their lives."
Then, suddenly, "one uninvited guest made an appearance, Catherine Baker Knoll."
She sat down next to a Goodrich family member and, during the distribution of communion, said, "Who are you?" Then she handed the family member one of her business cards, which Goodrich said she still has.
"Knoll felt this was an appropriate time to campaign and impose her will on us," Goodrich said.
"I am amazed and disgusted Knoll finds a Marine funeral a prime place to campaign."
Goodrich said she is positive that Knoll was not invited to the funeral, which was jammed with Marines in dress uniform and police officers, because the fallen Marine had been a policeman in McKeesport and Indiana County.
"Our family deserves an apology," Rhonda Goodrich said. "Here you have a soldier who was killed -- dying for his country -- in a church full of grieving family members and she shows up uninvited. It made a mockery of Joey's death."
What really upset the family, Goodrich said, is that Knoll said, 'I want you to know our government is against this war,' " Goodrich said.
She said she is going to seek an answer from Gov. Ed Rendell's administration if it opposes the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Knoll was traveling yesterday, away from the Capitol, and couldn't be reached. But an aide said she "extends condolences to all families who have lost loved ones" serving in the military.
Saturday, July 23, 2005
Second place again.
For the third time this year Michelle Wie has finished in 2nd in an LPGA event. She is more than ready to compete with the women pros. Only a fool would say otherwise. I still wouldn't bet against Michelle turning pro before year end.
Wie finishes second at Evian Masters
Michelle Wie just ran out of rounds.
The 15-year-old Punahou School junior recorded five birdies today en route to a 4-under-par 68 in the Evian Masters and earn yet another second-place finish in an LPGA Tournament.
The past days saw Wie vault up the leaderboard.
She was in 45th place after the first round, 23rd after two rounds, and ninth after the third round.
Wie's four-round total of 7-under-par 281 (75-70-68-68) elevated her into a tie with Lorena Ochoa.
Rookie Paula Creamer, 18, won going away, finishing with a 1-under 71 today for a 273 total, eight shots ahead of Wie and Ochoa. Annika Sorenstam shot 3-over-par 75 (285) and finished in 12th.
Creamer, who won her second LPGA Tournament, started the day seven shots ahead of the field, including 11 shots ahead of Wie.
Wie birdied the par-4 No. 1 and par-5 No. 9. She bogeyed the par-4 No. 6 to make the turn at 1-under 35. She played bogey-free on the back nine with birdies on the par-4 No. 12, par-4 No. 13 and par-5 No. 18 for 3-under 33.
It was Wie's third second-place finish in an LPGA Tournament in what has been a successful run this season.
She was runner-up in the SBS Open in February and in the McDonald's LPGA Championship in June.
She also shared the lead going into the final round in the U.S. Women's Open, came within two shots of becoming the first female in 60 years to make a PGA Tour cut, and advanced to the quarterfinals in the U.S. (men's) Amateur Public Links Championship, losing to the eventual champion.
Next week, Wie will play in the Weebatix Women's British Open, another LPGA Tournament.
Happy 12th wedding anniversary Michelle and Jesse Malkin
Michelle who is arguably my favorite blogger, mentioned her wedding anniversary was this weekend. It was my discovery of Michellemalkin.com late in 2004 that inspired me to start blogging. May Jesse and Michelle have many more happy anniversaries.
PS- Check out Michelle's blog if you haven't already. I don't always agree with Michelle, but the blog is always worth reading.
The Knuckleheads of the Day award
Goes to Joyce Amaral, Carol Pray, and an appeals court in Massachusetts. Seems Ms. Amaral isn't happy that golf balls being hit by golfers playing the Middlebrook Country Club kept landing on her property and sued in court claiming they were a nuisance. The judges agreed with Ms. Amaral and Ms. Pray and sent the case back to a lower court for remedy.
These people are absolute nitwits all around.
1- The golf course is over 50 years old
2- The development in question is 10 years old
3- If you live next to a golf course you better expect golf balls being hit onto your property. My parents lived along the 2nd hole of the Camino Real CC in Boca Raton for 9 years. The house got hit with golf balls all the time and they only lived 50 yards off the tee.
4- There is no remedy to this with the exception of closing the golf course. Bad golf shots are going to keep coming unless you put a dome over these people's houses.
5- So eliminate the golf course and what will happen? The property values of Ms. Amaral and Ms. Pray's homes will sink like a stone in a pond.
For being absolutely absurd, all parties involved in bringing this lawsuit and handing down the verdict are today's knuckleads of the day.
Appeals Court keeps case against golf course in play
Abutters win reversal on dangers from balls
By Ralph Ranalli, Globe Staff July 23, 2005
Over the last seven summers, Joyce Amaral's house in Rehoboth has been deluged by a monsoon of Titleists and Top-Flites from the adjacent Middlebrook Country Club.
Balls sliced and hooked by duffers have damaged her windows and screens, dented her mother's car, and made her deck too dangerous for daytime use, she said in a civil lawsuit against the golf course. One ball hit her house with such force that it set off her burglar alarm, according to the suit.
Yesterday, the state Appeals Court ruled that Amaral was entitled to some relief.
Holding that each golf ball was, in effect, an individual trespasser on her property, the appellate court overturned a Superior Court judge's ruling that Amaral and a neighbor, Carol Pray, should have anticipated the potential nuisance that the course represented when they bought new houses near the ninth hole in the late 1990s.
In a 15-page ruling made public yesterday, the Appeals Court ruled that flying golf balls could not be considered a mere nuisance like the odor from a dump or the roar of an airport runway.
''Though no person has yet been struck by a golf ball on Amaral's property, the fear of being struck has a significant effect on Amaral's use and enjoyment of her yard," the court said, pointing out that Amaral has to restrict her son's use of the yard and that she contracts with a landscaping company whose workers wear hard hats in her yard.
The three-judge panel ordered that the case be returned to the Superior Court for an injunction barring further intrusion by the golf balls on Amaral and Pray's properties. Middlebrook's owners, Peter and Lucretia Cuppels, must now decide whether to appeal the case to the Supreme Judicial Court or come up with a solution.
''They haven't decided what they're going to do yet," said their lawyer, Michael F. Drywa Jr.
From the Silly news desk
I wonder how long the boy is going to be grounded by his parents. Till he gets married?
WARSAW (Reuters) - A 10-year-old boy caused havoc at a bank in southern Poland when he dropped a fake bomb threat in a deposit box, apparently as a protest after his mother received slow service, police said Thursday.
Officers evacuated the bank in the city of Chorzow on Wednesday after an employee found a note threatening to "kill everyone with a bomb" if the bank did not hand over 50,000 zlotys ($14,600) within 24 hours.
"It turned out to be a 10-year-old boy who had been in the bank the day before with his mother ... apparently he was motivated by impatience at the length of time it took for her to complete formalities," said police spokesman Piotr Bieniak.
Police said the matter had been referred to a court.
Friday, July 22, 2005
The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel today has an editorial on eminent domain. What drove the paper to write on the subject was the recent business still ongoing in Hollywood Florida.
South Florida Sun-Sentinel Editorial Board
Posted July 22 2005
ISSUE: Hollywood has used eminent domain to claim two private properties for purposes of economic development.
The full impact of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on eminent domain is beginning to be felt at the local level. Just ask the Mach family of Hollywood.
They've owned a small retail building in the city for 34 years, but that means nothing to the Hollywood City Commission, which last month voted to take their property and give it to a developer who wants to build condominiums.
Don't be coy Sun-Sentinel. His name is Chip Abele
Believe it or not.That didn't sit well with a lot of folks around town, but the city ignored the outrage, armed with last month's decision by the high court in Washington, which ruled that economic development can be a legitimate "public use" justifying the invocation of eminent domain.
So smug are city officials that they did the same thing again this month, voting to force a private business to sell some of its property so another developer can build more condos. While the city licks its chops over the prospect of increased tax revenue, the city attorney smugly cites the Supreme Court.
What the city doesn't seem to have noticed is that the court said eminent domain could be used in this way, but it didn't say it had to be. Local governments are still free to do the right thing if they're so inclined, which apparently Hollywood is not. State legislatures also are free to enact laws limiting the use of eminent domain.
This kind of taking could get out of hand, and fast. The state Legislature must act at the soonest possible time to tighten state laws regarding the taking of private property, and to make clear that economic development is not a legitimate public use in Florida except in cases of extreme blight or crime infestation.
I agree with the Sun-Sentinel that the state legislature should tighten the rules. But to the point that eminent domain can only be used in instances where the government uses the land for public purposes. Other wise sweetheart and or crooked deals like the ones going on in Hollywood will continue.
Either an end to these public holdups or a revolution will happen in this country. Our crooked politicians and courts better watch out. Because the People will only take so much bullshit.
From the Silly News desk
Too bad the letters weren't d-u-m-b
Skateboarder branded by manhole cover suesBy Associated Press Posted July 22 2005
NEW YORK -- A woman who was branded with letters from the Consolidated Edison logo when she fell off a skateboard onto a searing hot manhole cover in Manhattan last year filed a lawsuit Thursday seeking unspecified damages from the utility.
Elizabeth C. Wallenberg, 27, was burned just above her buttocks and on her left arm when she fell off her skateboard onto a cover over a steam pipe at Second Avenue and 13th Street in the East Village shortly after midnight on Aug. 11, 2004, said her lawyer Ronald Berman.
"It literally looked like a brand that had been applied by someone," Berman said about the burn marks left on Wallenberg's body.He said she was treated for the injury in the Beth Israel Hospital emergency room and was released.
Wallenberg, then a Brooklyn resident who worked for Paper magazine, reportedly said she heard her skin sizzle and saw an "o" and an "n" from the hot cover impressed upon her body. Wallenberg has been told the scarring is permanent, Berman said.
The lawsuit, filed in Manhattan's state Supreme Court, accused Con Ed of "negligence, carelessness, recklessness and culpable conduct" related to Wallenberg's injuries.
Court papers said Wallenberg, now a factory worker who lives in Portland, Ore., is entitled to compensatory and punitive damages because of Con Ed's "reprehensible and egregious failure and refusal ... to protect the public from this manifestly clear and present danger."
Con Ed spokesman Chris Olert said he had no comment on the lawsuit.
A wary eye on Franklin
There's another tropical system out in the Atlantic and this one's name is Franklin. The storm isn't strong yet and neither is it's path.
At the moment the National Hurricane Center is predicting Frankin to go out to sea. The trough over the east coast will cause this. But there are some computer models that show the storm slowing and then turning back to the west. Towards the east coast of Florida much like Hurricane Jeanne did last year.
So we will be watching Franklin closely. Please pray not just for me but all East coast residents of the US that this storm stays out at sea.
Gene Stone at The Huffington Post
There's a column over at The Huffington Post written by Gene Stone. It makes interesting reading about how intolerant the left is.
Let’s see. There’s the story of a gay teen who was forcibly sent to a Tennessee camp to change his sexual orientation. His father has now come forth to admit that, sure, he sent his kid to that camp. Why not? Who wants a gay son? Why not give the child the worst summer of his life instead of some love? Never mind that no health care professional believes this can happen; even conservative psychologist Martin Seligman, in his excellent book What You Can Change and What You Can’t, states that sexual orientation is fixed. But who cares about reality?
Out of Michigan comes the story of a pizzeria in Ann Arbor with a gay pride rainbow sicker on its front door. A customer, and member of a catholic student parish, is now leading a boycott against the pizza parlor because he finds the rainbow flag offensive. After all, isn’t it Christian to try to destroy one man’s small business because you don’t like the fact that he’s tolerant of others?
Then there’s the story from D.C., where a prominent black leader has been demonizing gays and lesbians in his sermons -- Rev. Willie Wilson, pastor of Union Temple Baptist Church, warns that... “Sisters [are] making more money than brothers and it’s creating problems in families...that’s one of the reasons many of our women are becoming lesbians.” Wilson added, "Last year my son tried to go to the prom. He said, 'Dad, I ain't got nobody to take to the prom because all the girls in my class are gay. Ain't but two of 'em straight, and both of them ugly.’”
The first two paragraphs chronicle people who are obviously intolerant of gays and lesbians. The Rev Wilson could just be stating fact or being-non pc. Maybe his son's school is like that and the Reverend is stressing his son's frustration. Does Mr. Stone have more proof to substantiate whether Mr Rev Wilson doesn't like gays and lesbians.
Lets read on.
Meanwhile, Rick Santorum, perhaps the most intolerant member of the Senate, turns out to have a gay chief of staff/communications director. When asked how a gay man could speak for someone with Santorum's record of homophobia, Robert Traynham said "Senator Santorum is a man of principle, he is a man who sticks up for what he believes in." Hmm. There has to be word for a gay Uncle Tom. Uncle Bruce? Mr. Traynham wins the weekly Uncle Bruce award.
1- Mr. Stone, where is the proof of Sen. Santorum's inotlerance? Your blog certainly was strong on putting up other instances of it. Is it just because he is a Republican and a conservative? You could be right, however you need to substantiate your claims.
2- Mr. Traynham has a right to his views as much as anyone else. Senator Santorum employs him and has to know his orientation, especially since Mr. Traynham was outed just recently and Senator Santorum stands beside him. So how intolerant is the Senator?
There is proof of Mr. Stone's intolerance. He doesn't like that Mr. Traynham works for this Senator and calls him an Uncle Bruce for doing so.
Just another sign of how low the left will go and that they can't see their own hate. What's the saying about eating one's young? If you don't toe the liberal line, you're a target for these people.
The Knucklehead of the Day award
Today's winner is Washington Post Style writer Robin Givhan who has nothing better to do than criticize the clothing worn by the Roberts children at the White House this week when their father's nomination to the Supreme Courth was announced. The left in America has sunk to a new low, children's clothes aren't beyond criticism.
What the Democrats and the left could turn up learning is the American public, and much of their own base will find this type of attack outrageous. Most people despise anyone who attacks children, particularly those of the age of Jack and Josephine Roberts.
Some of Ms. Givhan's lows or contradictions
In a time when most children are dressed in Gap Kids and retailers of similar price-point and modernity, the parents put young master Jack in an ensemble that calls to mind John F. "John-John" Kennedy Jr.
But read on
The clothes also reflect a bit of the aesthetic havoc that often occurs when people visit the White House. (What should I wear? How do I look? Take my picture!) The usual advice is to dress appropriately. In this case, an addendum would have been helpful: Please select all attire from the commonly accepted styles of this century. (And someone should have given notice to the flip-flop-wearing women of Northwestern University's lacrosse team, who visited the White House on July 12 for a meet-and-greet with the president: proper footwear required. Flip-flops, modeled after shoes meant to be worn into a public shower or on the beach, have no business anywhere in the vicinity of the president and his place of residence.)
Dressing appropriately is a somewhat selfless act. It's not about catering to personal comfort.
But the Roberts family went too far. In announcing John Roberts as his Supreme Court nominee, the president inextricably linked the individual -- and his family -- to the sweep of tradition. In their attire, there was nothing too informal; there was nothing immodest. There was only the feeling that, in the desire to be appropriate and respectful of history, the children had been costumed in it.
Miss Givhan can't even make up her mind. Too dressed up or too dressed down. I have three words for this knucklehead- GET A LIFE!
Hat tip- Michelle Malkin