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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Pass the soy sauce

A new reality show idea- Taiwan's lawmakers in action

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Pandemonium broke out in Taiwan's parliament on Tuesday when deputies attacked a woman colleague for snatching and trying to eat a proposal on opening direct transport links with China in a bid to stop a vote on the issue.

Lawmakers of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) charged towards the podium and protested noisily to prevent the review of an opposition proposal seeking an end to decades-old curbs on direct air and shipping links with China.

Amid the chaos, DPP deputy Wang Shu-hui snatched the written proposal from an opposition legislator and shoved it into her mouth, television news footage showed.

Wang later spat out the document and tore it up after opposition lawmakers failed to get her to cough it up by pulling her hair.

During the melee, another DPP woman legislator, Chuang Ho-tzu, spat at an opposition colleague.
Some people certainly have interesting dietary habits. LOL.

Hat tip- Dr. Taylor ponders what ratings CSPAN would get if they broadcast these legislators.
Open Post- Jo's Cafe, Basil's Blog,

First impressions

If they matter most, then why did Palm Beach Post staff writer Brian Crowley begin a story on the two major Democratic candidates for governor like this-

Jim Davis and Rod Smith each has a little fib he tells on the campaign trail.

Nodding his head, his mouth in a tight, knowing smile, Davis tells crowds that he defeated his last opponent for Congress by getting 87 percent of the vote.

Smith punches out his words when he tells audiences that in his first race for the the state Senate, he took a seat away from the Republican Party.

They both stretch the truth, or at least don't tell the whole story.

Davis did win by 87 percent but his opponent was little known Robert Johnson, who ran on the Libertarian Party ticket.

And Smith did win a seat once held by a Republican. But that Republican, George Kirkpatrick, had been elected to Senate five times as a Democrat and joined the GOP only after winning his final election before leaving the Senate.
If Rod Smith and Jim Davis fib over trivia like this, are voters supposed to trust them when they speak on bigger issues? I truly think Mr. Crowley isn't helping these candidates with this type of writing.

Someone may say all politicians lie. Yes they all probably do. Then why do they need to tell these half truths? To impress voters? Either the candidates are deceiving voters by saying what they aren't or are so arrogant they don't think the public will notice or care.

Keep it up Palm Beach Post, Charlie Crist may send you a thank you note in November.

Open Post- Bright & Early, TMH's Bacon Bits, Third World County,

Setting a fine example NOT!

Our public education system fails miserably more often than not when educating our young. Besides that, you read stories like this.

Takovia Allen is 6 years old. She’s a special education student at her elementary school. And for about four hours several weeks ago, she was a juvenile jail inmate.

Her mother wants to know why.

Tamara Williams, 30, said Tuesday she wants to understand how the problem went that far, so far that Takovia is now charged with a felony.

Her daughter suffers from behavioral problems and attends a special class at Lely Elementary. On May 2, before the teacher began trying to line up the students to go to music class, Takovia refused to go. According to the arrest report, the girl demonstrated that refusal by kicking Debra Dolan, the teacher’s aide, in the right ankle and trying to trip her.

“Dolan had to use a chair to maintain her balance,” according to the report, written by the arresting deputy, John R. Barraco. “Dolan had an abrasion and redness on the top of her ankle.”

After discussion among the school dean and principal, the deputy and a detective, both of whom were called to the school to respond to the battery call, and a Collier County Sheriff’s Office supervisor contacted by phone, 3-foot, 9-inch, 50-pound Takovia was to be arrested and charged with battery on a public education employee. That’s a felony.

Williams was called and came down to the school, where she and the deputy led Takovia to the patrol car to be taken to juvenile jail. The girl was held there for about four hours, after which she was released to her mother’s custody.

The State Attorney’s Office won’t comment on pending juvenile cases. So it’s unclear how prosecutors will handle the case. It’s possible Takovia will enter a diversion program, which would include counseling and ends with a dropped charge if she completes the terms of the program.

Collier County Public School officials declined to comment on behalf of the district, the school or Dolan, citing confidentiality regulations preventing officials from releasing information about individual students.

Williams is a School District employee herself, working with students at Naples High School who have behavioral problems in a program called ESE, for exceptional student education. It’s the same kind of program Takovia attends at Lely. Hers is a class of six students ranging from kindergarten to second grade.

“Being in that classroom, the teachers are aware of the students and their behaviors. The aides know too,” Williams said.

Takovia has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, in which children have difficulty paying attention and focusing on tasks. And she has trouble with authority figures if problems aren’t handled a very specific way.

What started the conflict that led to the arrest involved another student and the teacher’s aide’s failure to follow Takovia’s “behavior plan,” Williams said.
Arresting a six-year-old for kicking an adult and then pressing felony charges? Did any adult involved with this case think? This is a horrible over reaction, special needs student or not. I was teased by other students and often got the crap beat out of me alot worse than a kick in the ankle. Did anyone get charged with a felony?

You read stories like that of Takovia Allen and ones like this and you question the judgment and education of the people running our schools today. Someone in Collier County needs to answer for this disgrace, but will anyone have the brains to admit this was embarassing overreaction.

Stay tuned. I smell a bunch of people about to get a knucklehead award.

Hat tip- Rhymes with Right
Open Post- Bright & Early, Basil's Blog, Cao's Blog, TMH's Bacon Bits, Third World County,

You'll just crack up

I promise you a good laugh out of this Palm Beach Post article-

INDIANTOWN — If there were a Bank Robbery for Dummies instruction book, one of the first "don'ts" would probably be not to use your own bank account paperwork to write the holdup note.

Another probable entry would be to leave the building before the doors are locked and the alarm is sounded.

Two men charged with robbing the First Bank of Indiantown Monday could have used some study before their caper.

Mychael Jamal Blunston, 18, whose address was not listed on his arrest paperwork, was charged with armed robbery after allegedly claiming to have a bomb in his backpack in the robbery. He was held at the Martin County jail in lieu of $40,000 bail.

James Anthony Monroe, 18, of 6162 Eaton St., West Palm Beach, was also charged with armed robbery and held in lieu of $40,000 bail. He told investigators he went to the bank with Blunston with the intention of robbing it. Monroe told detectives he was pretending he wanted to open an account and didn't realize Blunston had left the bank until the doors were locked following the holdup.

Monroe claimed he didn't think he would get in any trouble because he didn't actually help, according to arrest records.

Blunston was stopped near his car a few blocks from the bank and was arrested after witnesses identified him.
Two fine examples of Florida's education system. See why I rarely have trouble finding knucklehead winners.

Open Post- Outside the Beltway, Rhymes with Right, Jo's Cafe,


A letter from the US ambassador to South Korea fifty years ago puts a whole new light on whether attrocities were inflicted by US troops during the Korean conflict.

More than a half-century after hostilities ended in Korea, a document from the war's chaotic early days has come to light — a letter from the U.S. ambassador to Seoul, informing the State Department that American soldiers would shoot refugees approaching their lines.

The letter — dated the day of the Army's mass killing of South Korean refugees at No Gun Ri in 1950 — is the strongest indication yet that such a policy existed for all U.S. forces in Korea, and the first evidence that that policy was known to upper ranks of the U.S. government.

"If refugees do appear from north of US lines they will receive warning shots, and if they then persist in advancing they will be shot," wrote Ambassador John J. Muccio, in his message to Assistant Secretary of State Dean Rusk.

The letter reported on decisions made at a high-level meeting in South Korea on July 25, 1950, the night before the 7th U.S. Cavalry Regiment shot the refugees at No Gun Ri.

Estimates vary on the number of dead at No Gun Ri. American soldiers' estimates ranged from under 100 to "hundreds" dead; Korean survivors say about 400, mostly women and children, were killed at the village 100 miles southeast of Seoul, the South Korean capital. Hundreds more refugees were killed in later, similar episodes, survivors say.

The No Gun Ri killings were documented in a Pulitzer Prize-winning story by The Associated Press in 1999, which prompted a 16-month Pentagon inquiry.

The Pentagon concluded that the No Gun Ri shootings, which lasted three days, were "an unfortunate tragedy" — "not a deliberate killing." It suggested panicky soldiers, acting without orders, opened fire because they feared that an approaching line of families, baggage and farm animals concealed enemy troops.

But Muccio's letter indicates the actions of the 7th Cavalry were consistent with policy, adopted because of concern that North Koreans would infiltrate via refugee columns. And in subsequent months, U.S. commanders repeatedly ordered refugees shot, documents show.

The Muccio letter, declassified in 1982, is discussed in a new book by American historian Sahr Conway-Lanz, who discovered the document at the U.S. National Archives, where the AP also has obtained a copy.
It would appear then that the policy was already in place when the letter was written. I'm going to read Conway-Lenz book before passing my own judgment. I'm not saying the letter is untrue, but context has to be factored in too.

The South Korean govt. is already asking for explanations. I don't blame them in the least, I'd want them. Except now fifty years later, with the principals dead or on in years, its going to be next to impossible to know what happened for sure at No Gun Ri.

Open Post- Cao's Blog, Adam's Blog,

No taxpayer money for trips to Cuba

Yesterday Governor Bush signed a new law that will take effect beginning July 1st.

Colleges and universities in Florida now are banned from using state money to travel to such countries as Cuba under a law Gov. Jeb Bush signed Tuesday.

The Travel to Terrorist States Act also prohibits a state-paid school from spending any money -- state or private -- on any aspect of organizing a trip to any of the five nations listed by the U.S. State Department as a state sponsor of terror.

Miami Republican Rep. David Rivera, who has sponsored a number of Cuba-crackdown bills, said the law was designed to stop his constituents' tax money from underwriting Fidel Castro's regime.


Though the bill sailed unanimously out of the Legislature, some academics opposed it, saying it ultimately will lead to closed minds, as well as closed borders. Florida International University Professor Lisandro Perez said the law reflects ''all-around demagoguery'' and would be challenged in court.

''The public opinion battle is over,'' he said. 'The `I'll see you in court' round has just begun.''

Sorry I don't see what the fuss is. Why should taxpayer money go to funding trips to these places? It shouldn't, and that's what is at issue here. If a professor wants to travel to Cuba, he can. Just don't expect the people of Florida to foot the bill.

The ACLU isn't happy with this stance.

TALLAHASSEE - (AP) -- A civil rights group criticized a new law, signed Tuesday by Gov. Jeb Bush, that restricts colleges and universities from using state funds for travel to countries classified as terrorist states by the U.S. government.

''This will be another embarrassing mark on Florida's reputation,'' said Howard Simon, executive director of the Florida American Civil Liberties Union.

The law will stifle research in countries that Americans need to know about in order to improve security, Simon said. He said it also could get in the way of academic and humanitarian projects.
Guess who's side the Palm Beach Post took?

Consider the source, and it's obvious that the legislation that would prohibit state education-affiliated travel to "terrorist countries" is all about Cuba.

Rep. David Rivera, R-Miami, the bill's sponsor, called the communist country a haven of "killers, terrorists and drug traffickers." He also noted that it is the country with the most travel activity organized by Florida's universities and colleges.

Such pandering by the Cuban-American lawmaker is counterproductive. Outside of U.S. intelligence agencies, no institutions should be more expert on Cuba than Florida colleges and universities. Opposing the legislation are the state Board of Governors, the university system chancellor and the American Association of University Professors.

It's bad enough that the federal government continues to restrict travel to Cuba by people who want to visit their relatives. It would add to the problem if scholars and researchers couldn't visit. How prepared would Florida be if there is a change in government and an opening to the state and nation? "We are on the doorstep of Cuba, and if anyone should be trying to figure it out, it should be Florida schools," Florida Atlantic University Professor Robert Watson told The Post. "The hallmark of academia is scholarly freedom and free thought."

The Cuban government doesn't regard those as virtues, so why would Florida want to emulate Fidel Castro? It all goes back to the Legislature, which is trying to run rather than finance the universities while injecting ideology in the name of countering ideology.

It's one thing for Rep. Rivera and other lawmakers to play to their base. It's another for the Legislature to underwrite it at the expense of scholarship. Gov. Bush should veto this bill that, economically and educationally, would hurt Florida.
Only the Post or other liberals sees saving taxpayer money as hurting the state of Florida. I agree Rivera is probably pandering to constituents. It's I am sick of taxpayer money going to waste and subsidizing trips to Cuba a country hostile to US interests is a waste of money. I'm sure the Post has other favorite causes this money could be better spent on. You'll just never hear them admit it.

Stop the ACLU is also blogging on this.
Open Post- TMH's Bacon Bits, Third World County,

A Marine family in need

There is a marine whose family can use your help right now.

From Fix 4 RSO

[Marine in Need] is an active duty Marine Staff Sergeant assigned to the 3rd LAR Battalion, Delta Company. He was deployed to Iraq on March 6, 2006 and was out in the Fallujah area. On or about the 1st week of May he was notified by a message from the Red Cross that his son was diagnosed with Lymphoma cancer. As hard as it was for him to accept this information, he had to make the toughest decision any Marine must make: to leave his fellow Marines to carry on without him. He returned to the United States to be at his son’s side, and supporting his wife, for the ongoing process of undergoing chemotherapy treatments.

Our [Marine in Need’s] son was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on May 3, 2006 while he was in Iraq. His son had a mass on the right side of his neck that was noticed in November of 2005, and after a biopsy it was found that he had cancer. On May 4, 2006 they had an appointment with a Pediatric Oncologist and that is when their entire situation changed.

Our [Marine in Need’s] son is currently undergoing chemotherapy in the San Diego area at a military hospital. The hospital is about three hours (if traffic is good) from Twenty-Nine Palms where they are currently stationed. The doctor will not allow our [Marine in Need’s] son to travel to Twenty-Nine Palms throughout the length of chemotherapy, which is about six months. The doctor told them that the hospital at Twenty-Nine palms does not have adequate facilities if their son was to get sick. Chemotherapy wipes out one’s immune system; therefore any infection can be fatal.
The names of the Marine and his family are being withheld to protect their privacy. Soldier's Angels can give further information on request.

Please help this brave Marine. I've lost a son myself, and I'd hate to see this family suffer the pain my wife and I have gone through.

You can donate via Soldier's Angels-

Soldiers Angels
1150 N. Loop 1604 W., Suite 108-493
San Antonio, TX 78248

Their email is

The family can use non-monetary assistance also. Feel free to ask Soldier's Angels for more details.

God bless this family.

Open Post- Jo's Cafe, Bright & Early, Basil's Blog, Cao's Blog, Outside the Beltway, Planck's Constant, Adam's Blog,
Cross Posted to Bullwinkle Blog

From the Silly news desk

Some news from Malaysia. If this man didn't have attachment issues before, he certainly has them now!

James Joyner says there has to be a better way.
Open Post- Jo's Cafe, Planck's Constant,

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - A man who apparently severed his penis in an attempt to convince his wife that he was faithful to her was recovering after surgery to reattach the organ at a northern Malaysian hospital, a news report said Tuesday.

The 41-year-old man, who was not identified, got into an argument last Friday with his wife, who found a text message on his mobile phone from another woman. The man was heard by his son shouting that he wanted to prove he was not having an affair, the New Straits Times reported.

The assertion was followed by loud screams and the man emerged from his room bleeding profusely, his 14-year-old son quoted as saying.

The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winners is The Charity, Freedom and Diversity (NVD) party of the Netherlands. It's a new political party and the NVD's agenda consists mostly of loosening Dutch laws in regards to child porn and sexual relation.

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch pedophiles are launching a political party to push for a cut in the legal age for sexual relations to 12 from 16 and the legalization of child pornography and sex with animals, sparking widespread outrage.

The Charity, Freedom and Diversity (NVD) party said on its Web site it would be officially registered Wednesday, proclaiming: "We are going to shake The Hague awake!"

The party said it wanted to cut the legal age for sexual relations to 12 and eventually scrap the limit altogether.

"A ban just makes children curious," Ad van den Berg, one of the party's founders, told the Algemeen Dagblad (AD) newspaper.


"We want to get into parliament so we have a voice. Other politicians only talk about us in a negative sense, as if we were criminals," Van den Berg told Reuters.

The Netherlands, which already has liberal policies on soft drugs, prostitution and gay marriage, was shocked by the plan.

An opinion poll published Tuesday showed that 82 percent wanted the government to do something to stop the new party, while 67 percent said promoting pedophilia should be illegal.


The party wants private possession of child pornography to be allowed although it supports the ban on the trade of such materials. It also supports allowing pornography to be broadcast on daytime television, with only violent pornography limited to the late evening.

Toddlers should be given sex education and youths aged 16 and up should be allowed to appear in pornographic films and prostitute themselves. Sex with animals should be allowed although abuse of animals should remain illegal, the NVD said.

The party also said everybody should be allowed to go naked in public and promotes legalizing all soft and hard drugs and free train travel for all.
I once read Amsterdam was the child porn and drug capitol of Europe. What would the city be then if the NVD's agenda became fact?

These people have a right to organize a party. I believe in free speech. Those who support the NVD are just sick and deluded in TFM's opinion. For having next to no morals, The Charity, Freedom and Diversity (NVD) party of the Netherlands is today's Knucklehead of the day.

James Joyner, Don Singleton and Betsy are also commenting on the NVD.
Open Post- Jo's Cafe, Bright & Early, Mudville Gazette, Basil's Blog, Cao's Blog,
Cross posted to Bullwinkle Blog

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Blogger problems

I'm getting the following message after publishing a new post-

006 Please contact Blogger

It comes after I click on details because of a message- There were errors.

In simpler language, nothing I post at present is saving to my archives. Anyone know why this is happening?

No I haven't done any recent template changes. I began getting this notice this morning after my 17 years post. Thanks in advance for the help.

Open Post- Right Wing Nation, Third World County, Jo's Cafe, Basil's Blog,

Bank Dress codes

We're not talking ties and jackets or skirts and heels. Instead it's becoming no sunglasses or hats.

Now, some banks in South Florida are posting signs at their entrances announcing a new dress code, asking people to take off their hats and sunglasses before entering the building.

The request has been endorsed by law enforcement officials, who think the measure will allow surveillance cameras to get a better look at bank robbery suspects.

It recently paid off in Fort Lauderdale, when a man suspected of robbing a Bank of America branch at 401 E. Las Olas Blvd. Thursday was captured in less than 24 hours. Police distributed a surveillance camera picture to the news media. Someone saw the published picture and recognized the suspected robber, and police made an arrest.


Signs asking people to remove headgear and eyewear have popped up in Davie, Pembroke Pines and Sunny Isles, and could be coming to a bank near you.
My own bank here in Lantana has you press a buzzer to be allowed inside. There is no sign yet about sunglasses or hats. Then I live in Palm Beach County, this story is about Broward.

The branch I do banking at is a 1/4 mile from the interstate. A quick getaway may have been this woman's motivation in robbing the branch my wife and I do our banking at. We know the teller who had the gun put to her head during the hold-up.

But enforcing the seemingly effective measure might prove difficult for banks.

At a Bank of America branch at 15891 Sheridan St. in Southwest Ranches, customers sporting shades and hats strolled right past a very visible black-and-gold sign that read ''Please remove hat and sunglasses before entering.'' The Broward Sheriff's Office logo was enlarged next to the words, giving it an official look.

Despite being posted next to the banking center's office hours, the sign was ignored and once inside, customers received no resistance from bank tellers or other employees.
What is the bank going to say- "No you can't do business here." ?

Customers are usually asked to take off dark sunglasses when they are withdrawing money because it allows tellers to match the person's face with the required photo identification, said Elena Ocasio, an employee at the bank.
Perfect common sense. My wife and I are familiar faces at our branch. I'm never asked for ID nor is the wife.

Starting late last year, BSO detectives began hosting crime watch seminars for businesses at banks, like the one in Davie. They gave out tips on how to avoid being robbed and what actions employees and business owners could take to discourage thieves, said Hugh Graf, a BSO spokesman.

He said detectives hold similar seminars for homeowners' associations and neighborhood watch groups.
If an adult wearing sunglases and hat knocked on my door, with the exception of law enforcement, I wouldn't answer them.

I guess it pays to be a little paranoid today. Remember Paranoids even have enemies.

Open Post- Right Wing Nation, Third World County,

Concealed weapons charge?

Some news out of Florida-

KEY WEST, Fla. - A man wearing a purple women's bathing suit and carrying a flare gun was arrested after he told a bartender he was going to "get rid of all the dirt bags in Key West," authorities said.

Jeffrey C. Anderson, 55, was charged with carrying a concealed firearm Monday after he brandished the flare gun, which was under a skirt he was wearing, Key West police spokeswoman Christie Phillips said.

The bartender, who was not identified, was working in the downstairs bar of The Bull and Whistle, a popular Key West watering hole located on Duval Street.

"She reported she had seen a man, later identified as Anderson, dancing in the street showing tourists his private parts, and asking people for money when they took his picture," the news release said.

The bartender said Anderson then approached her, telling her he was going to get rid of the city's "dirt bags" before displaying the gun, police said.

Police quickly located Anderson and found an orange 12-gauge flare gun in his possession, Phillips said.
This is another instance of news repeating itself in Florida. Namely crazy people with flare guns.

Key West contributes its fair share of nuts. I just don't understand how you conceal a weapon(flare gun) in a woman's bathing suit.

Maybe one of my readers can enlighten me.

Open Post- Jo's Cafe, Basil's Blog,

A South Florida Replay

For the second time in 24 hours, a fire began at a pot house-

DELRAY BEACH — Firefighters found more than $200,000 in marijuana plants while fighting a fire in a townhouse on Florida Boulevard this morning.

More than 200 pot plants, some full-grown, were found in the townhouse's second-floor bedrooms, officials said.

The man who rented the townhouse faces drug-related charges, said Jeff Messer, police spokesman.

When firefighters got to the townhouse at 2300 Florida Blvd. at about 5:45 a.m., they found heavy smoke and flames coming through the roof.

The cause of the blaze has been ruled an accident, possibly due to an overloaded electrical circuit, said Battalion Chief Russ Accardi.

The damage is estimated at more than $50,000.

A 5-month-old in an adjacent townhouse was taken to Bethesda Memorial Hospital and treated for smoke inhalation.

The man who lived in the townhouse was treated for smoke inhalation at Delray Medical Center.

Police have not yet identified the man. The investigation continues.

Here is the other story I'm referring to. I hear pot house busts on the television news at least two times a week. What causes these fires? Heat lamps? Too many plugs so they are put into outlet strips that then overload?

The Martin County Courthouse saw different people try three times in less than three months to bring drugs inside. Do people in this area ever learn? No wonder I seldom have problems finding knucklehead winners.

Open Post- Adam's Blog, Bright & Early,

The Co-Knucklehead of the Day Part two

Our second winner is The Australian Adult Entertainment Industry Association. They want brothels exempt from Australia's workplace smoking laws. People need to light up after sex.

The Australian Adult Entertainment Industry has written to Victoria's health minister arguing that new laws banning smoking in bars and brothels could push prostitution back into the streets, according to a report in the Sunday Herald Sun newspaper.

"People smoke when they drink, and people smoke when they fornicate," association representative William Albon said. "These smoking laws are going to drive women back onto the streets courtesy of the health minister."

The association — which represents more than half of the 87 legal brothels operating in Victoria's capital city Melbourne — wants an exemption to the ban, which comes into effect in July 2007.

Don't Australians just crack you sometimes? Here is another recent example.

Sorry Mr. Albon, lawbreakers must abide by the laws just like anyone else. Tell your customers to go outside.

The Australian Adult Entertainment Industry Association is our second and final knucklehead of the day.

Open Post- Jo's Cafe, Bright & Early, Cao's Blog, Right Wing Nation,
Cross posted to Bullwinkle Blog

Delivering painful news

Here's an article from this weekend's Miami Herald. How emotionally draining it must be for a Casualty Officer or chaplain. I've seen it written elsewhere, that they are looked at like they are angels of death. Bringing news to families that no one wants to ever hear. I could never do it myself but admire those who do. Someone has to do the job, may God give them and the families they meet strength.

Open Post- Bright & Early

TALLAHASSEE - The knock on Tammy Wise's green wooden door came about 3:30 p.m. Nov. 12, 2003.

Two officers stood outside her second-floor apartment, both in ''Class A'' green Army uniforms. One was a chaplain.

Wise had been celebrating her 44th birthday that day, and she had just returned home from a camping trip. She went to her bedroom for a fresh shirt. She took her time, moving hanger by hanger by hanger.

''If I don't go back out there,'' she thought, ``maybe they'll leave.''

They didn't leave.

She doesn't remember the exact words that Florida National Guard Lt. Blake Heidelberg used. But there is a script for these sorts of messages, a simple, to-the-point sentence. For Tammy Wise, it went something like this: ``The secretary of the Army has asked me to express his deepest regrets that your son, Robert, was killed in action.''

Since the start of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, that message has been delivered in more or less the same way about 140 times in Florida, and more than 2,700 times nationwide.

It falls to soldiers to carry that news to anxious families -- and Heidelberg, an Iraq war veteran, calls Nov. 12, 2003, the toughest day of his military career.

Spc. Robert Wise, a Tallahassee Community College student who also worked for an electrical company and was known for his community service, was killed when a roadside bomb went off near his Humvee in Baghdad. He was 21. He would later be buried in Arlington National Cemetery, the first Florida National Guard soldier killed in combat to be buried there.

Heidelberg, who had met Wise during their service in the Guard, is part of a cadre of about 40 Florida Guard soldiers who have been trained to deliver death notifications.


Military officials say that such officers are assigned to help a grieving family in all of its dealings with the military.

''This is a priority mission for everybody,'' said Jake Umholtz, director of human resources for the Army's Fort Stewart, Ga.

''This is not something we take lightly,'' he said. ``The first objective is to put a very qualified individual on the job to go out with the family.''

Training includes discussions with chaplains and with officers who have gone on visits to notify families. There are also written instructions and videos on how to deliver the horrible news. And there are role-playing exercises.

The training is constant -- in part because of rapid turnover in the military. Miami will be the scene of a three-day Army training session in July, Umholtz said.

The soldiers who carry out the mission feel a special sense of duty -- and an extra measure of difficulty, said Guard Maj. Rich Hall, ``because it brings it home that this is real.''

''It drives the nail home that this is serious business,'' he said.

At the same time, though, ''you're doing your last act of service for the person who is gone,'' Hall said. ``Kind of payback for all the years of service they have put in.''

Hall delivered the news to the family of Roy Wood, a University of Miami-trained emergency-room physician from the Fort Myers area. Wood had given up his officer's commission to be deployed with his unit as a medic in Afghanistan. He was killed in a truck wreck in January 2004.

Retired Florida National Guard Sgt. Maj. John Page, a Vietnam veteran and career military man, has parachuted out of airplanes and led dangerous missions. None was more daunting than the morning he helped Hall tell Wood's family of his death.

''This was the roughest assignment I ever did,'' Page said.


David Wise, Robert Wise's father and Tammy Wise's ex-husband, said that families -- despite the pain of the message -- appreciate the messengers.

''Utmost respect,'' he said of his feelings for the two soldiers who knocked at the door of his house on Summerland Key. They tried their best to ''ease you through that time,'' he said. ``I could never say enough about the way we were treated. It was unbelievable.''


Tammy Wise walked back into her living room that day, wearing a red and blue tie-dyed shirt, one of a matching set that she and her son had bought at Universal's Islands of Adventure theme park.

She recalls that Heidelberg gently asked her if she was Tammy Wise.

And she remembers that as he told her the awful news, she felt sympathy for the soldier who stood in front of her.

''God Bless Lt. Heidelberg,'' she recalled. ``I know I kept looking at him, going: `Are you sure? . . . How do you know it was him? . . . Are you sure? . . . How do you know it was him?'

``He just kept saying, `Yes, ma'am, we're sure. Yes, ma'am, it's him.'

''He was very patient; he was very kind,'' said Wise, 46, a legal assistant for the public defender's office in Jefferson County.

Heidelberg remembers his thoughts as he approached her apartment: ``How can I present this? How can I be helpful to Mrs. Wise? What can we do for her in this horrible, horrible time?''

Hours later, when it was over and he was driving home in his truck, he remembers weeping.

Seventeen years ago/Open trackback

Dear Wife and I were married in a civil ceremony in the City of Tacloban, The Province of Leyte in The Philippines. Hard to imagine there is a woman who can put up with me that long? Actually DW and I got married twice, we had a church ceremony on June 17th also in 1989.

We're going to mass this morning. Tonight DW and I haven't made up our minds if we'll eat out or just get some fillet mingeons for dinner. Dear wife is saying the later at the moment. Can't argue with the boss, at least for today.

I'm going to do something I haven't done in a while- An Open trackback thread. Write your best posts, link to me, and then send me a trackback. I'll update this post with everyone's trackbacks as the day goes on. Any topic is allowed, except no spam or porn. Sound simple?

Trackback URL-

Linked to Linkfest Haven
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The Co-Knucklehead of the Day Part One

I had two good candidates for today's award. So I asked the wife which should win and she said both.

Our first Knucklehead winner is Roy Diaz. With his house on fire, Mr. Diaz called the police.

A man who reported a fire at his Miami-Dade home was arrested Monday when emergency officials discovered a marijuana hydroponics lab, authorities said.

Roy Diaz, 31, reported the fire about 6:45 a.m. in the house he shared with his wife and child in the 26000 block of Southwest 192nd Avenue, said Detective Nelda Fonticiella, spokesman for the Miami-Dade Police Department.

Firefighters quickly put out the flames and discovered 53 mature marijuana plants worth about $400,000.

Diaz was treated for smoke inhalation and then arrested on charges of trafficking in marijuana, grand theft of electrical power and child endangerment.
Such an excellent role model of a parent. NOT! From the story it appears Mr. Diaz was stealing from FPL besides being in the marijuana business. Roy Diaz is our first knucklehead of the day.

Open Post- Jo's Cafe, Bright & Early, Cao's Blog, Right Wing Nation,
Cross posted to Bullwinkle Blog

Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day

Today is the day we honor those men and women who died in service of our great country. They died to protect and preserve our freedoms and may we never forget their sacrifices.

Nor should we forget their families and loved ones left behind. Say a prayer for them. God bless them all.

Thank you to LaShawn Barber from who I borrowed this photo of Arlington National Cemetary.

Other bloggers with Memorial Day posts- Florida Cracker, Lorie at Wizbang, Michelle Malkin, Right in Florida, Professor Bainbridge, Right Wing Nation, Jo's Cafe, The Moderate Voice, Indepundit, Captain's Quarters, Outside the Beltway, California Conservative, Don Surber, Peer Review FL, Iowa Voice, Freedom Watch,

Anyone with their own tributes link in to me and send a trackback. I'll then update this post with a link back.

Note- This post will remain at the top of my blog all day.

No free lunch for Shelley

My State House Representative has primary opposition in September.

Construction company owner Jeff Murphy, the new Democratic primary challenger to GOP-targeted state Rep. Shelley Vana, D-Lantana, is the brother of former county Republican Executive Committeewoman Elizabeth Murphy. Both Murphys
say Jeff Murphy's candidacy is legit and not a GOP ploy to weaken Vana before her expected November swing-district showdown against Republican House hopeful Rob Siedlecki.

Jeff Murphy said he's running because his experience with hurricane repairs has convinced him of the need for insurance reform. Elizabeth Murphy, an attorney from Palm Beach who's considering a run for elections supervisor in 2008, calls her brother "a great man, even though he's a Democrat."

Shelley who doubles as either a Teacher's Union President and or science program coordinator has never had primary oppoisition in the past. I always thought multiple legitimate candidates in a primary were good for democracy. It's the incumbents and party higher ups who see otherwise.

Open Post- Bright & Early

A living dinosaur in Florida

Not quite but the next closest thing. A doctor who makes house calls.

Dr. Andrew Oakes-Lottridge is a throwback to the past.

With a small black bag and a mobile office, he travels Southwest Florida, dispatching care to patients within their homes or offices.

He didn't always work this way. "I got board certified in family medicine," said Oakes-Lottridge. "I worked for a large, multispecialty group in Cape Coral for a little over a year, but I wasn't happy doing that. It was a good practice, but there just wasn't enough time with patients. It was too hard for patients to get in to see the doctor. It was too hard for them to get a doctor on the telephone. It was all too impersonal."

During a house call, Dr. Andrew Oakes-Lottridge writes up notes and observations of a well-baby checkup on 1-week-old Aliya Molina at her home in Cape Coral.
So, like his father before him, Oakes-Lottridge, 36, decided to open his own practice and make house calls.

As a teenager, Oakes-Lottridge would go on calls with his father on weekends.
I can never recall a doctor making a house call in my lifetime. My year of birth is 1961. Doctors doing such in The Philippines where my wife was born are still around but getting less common.

While her mother, Graciela Briones, 19, watches, Dr. Andrew Oakes-Lottridge wraps up 1-week-old Aliya Molina at the end of a checkup at their home in Cape Coral.

"He would pay me $1 per house call," Oakes-Lottridge said. "We'd see about 20 patients. I'd carry his bag and take notes for him. Back then, $20 was a lot of money for a day."

On a recent morning, he drove to a north Cape Coral home for a one-week checkup on newborn Aliya Molina.

"How is the breast-feeding going?" Oakes-Lottridge asked Aliya's mother, Graciela Briones, 19. "Is she feeding on both sides? How often is she feeding? As she starts demanding more, you'll start producing more."

Sitting in Brione's living room, Oakes-Lottridge asked how Aliya was sleeping, talked about cleaning the belly button area and answered an array of questions. A small portable scale sat on Brione's coffee table, which Oakes-Lottridge used to see if Aliya was gaining or losing weight.

"I clean her around here," Briones said, pointing to the belly button area. "I didn't want to hurt her, though."

Oakes-Lottridge assured the new mother, who had two previous miscarriages and was a bit anxious about caring for the newborn, that cleaning the area would not hurt Aliya.


Sometimes Oakes-Lottridge finds himself delivering news that other doctors have been reluctant to tell patients.

"I had a lady who had lung cancer," he said. "She was admitted to the hospital. She was angry because she couldn't get a straight answer from anyone. No one wanted to tell her she had a 15 percent chance of living. Once I took over her care, I think I spoke with her or someone in her family every day if not twice a day until she passed."

During an average week, Oakes-Lottridge sees 15 to 30 patients.

Because most insurance companies do not cover house calls, Oakes-Lottridge is typically considered out-of-network. His services are not covered by Medicare, either.

"I know I am not the most economic service out there," he said.
I'm sure it isn't but I commend the doctor. There are some services considered out of date or old fashioned. Are we really a better world or country without them?

Open Post- Bright & Early, Uncooperative Blogger,

Pope Benedict and his visit to Auschwitz

Yahoo news caption- Pope Benedict XVI enters the cell, where Polish priest Maximilian Kolbe died after volunteering to replace a family man due to be killed, at the former Auschwitz death camp May 28, 2006. Pope Benedict visited the Auschwitz death

Dear Wife and I visited that very same cell during a trip to Poland during August 2000. I checked earlier, DW and I took very few photos of our visit to Auschwitz. The place has an air about it. It makes you not want to keep your meomories in photos. At least for me and the wife, but we do vividly remember our visit there.

Pope Benedict said something interesting during his visit-

"In a place like this, words fail; in the end, there can be only a dread silence, a silence which itself is a heartfelt cry to God: Why, Lord, did you remain silent? How could you tolerate all this?"

I think it is natural for any or woman to feel the need to ask this question. Almost all of us have experienced some tragedy that leaving us wondering the why. For me it's the death of my son Daniel. My Dear Wife is incredibly wonderful and giving person. I can't go in depth into part of what happened during dear wife's pregnancy, but our church and the local diocese here threatened to turn their backs on us. So called people who sermonize on the dignity of life, instead abandoning a mother and child who were in desperate straits. Many would like to know why God allowed the holocaust. I'd like to know why now Cardinal Thomas O'Malley(Former Bishop of Palm Beach) allowed what he did to happen to my wife and son? There is evil in the church today, don't ever think otherwise. The Catholic Church if it has to choose between money and a life, will take the almighty dollar.

Professor Bainbridge has some good comments on what Benedict XVI said

Open Post- Cao's Blog, Right Wing Nation,

Unthinkable in Miami Beach

As like Memorial Day weekends, this one was slow for news. This story which got a lot of attention was upsetting for me-

Dr. Qinuo Van Dyk still does not know why her husband threw their two sons from a hotel balcony and took his own life.

Dr. Edward Van Dyk left no suicide note and hadn't told his wife anything that made her believe he might kill Spencer, 4, and Carl, 8, the bright, bubbly youngsters at the center of her life, on a vacation that was supposed to celebrate the couple's 10th anniversary, police said. The grieving mother was asking them Sunday, "How could he do something like this? What was he thinking?" when he picked up his sleeping sons and threw them off the 15th floor of a luxury South Beach hotel Saturday morning before leaping to his death.

"Today there is no sympathy for him," said Miami Beach police spokesman Officer Bobby Hernandez, describing Van Dyk's state of mind. "She's feeling anger. She's very upset with him."

Investigators searched their home in Alton, Ill., Saturday and did not find a suicide note but took away computers and began seeking clues Sunday. Police think Edward Van Dyk acted normal that morning, telling his wife he would take a shower after she used the restroom; but when she came out, she saw her husband jump and then ran to the balcony to see her sons, still in their pajamas, lying on the roof of a third-floor mezzanine of Loews Hotel, Hernandez said.

"We hoped that maybe a suicide note would have been found," he said. "We're even more confused today than we were yesterday."
Qinuo Van Dyk, who is originally from China, has no family in the United States, so Miami Beach police requested an expedited visa for her father to travel here from China.
As many of you may know, my wife is a Filipina. We're also the parents to two children who are angels in heaven. You can read Daniel's story here. Right now I think of Spencer Van Dyk, and wonder if he and my son Daniel would have looked alike. Maybe they know one another now. I can't read this story without tears forming in my eyes. Not just for the two boys who died, but for the mother Qinuo who will carry this horror with her to the day she dies.

How can any father do this? What a selfish act! I don't care what kind of woman the mother may or not be. To take the lives of your two own sons is an act that is so incomprehensible. I'd do anything for the children my wife and I lost. I'd give my life for Daniel to be alive. His death in 2003 still hurts me today and I'll never get over it and Qinuo will never do the same in regards to her sons.

I could have given Edward Van Dyk the knucklehead today. Over at Bullwinkle I did, but that doesn't do him justice. His sons were innocent lifes ended too soon and for no other reason except incredible selfishness. I hope this man rots in hell but please pray for Qinuo. Even as a parent who himself has lost a child, I can't fathom what she is going through right now. God bless her.

Open Post- Mark My Words, Right Wing Nation,

Florida the rules are different here Chapter XXVI

Here's a story out of the Orlando Sentinel-

A Winter Park home owned by Orange County Sheriff Kevin Beary is such a neighborhood eyesore that city officials cleaned up the lawn Thursday on the taxpayers' dime, officials said.

The Orwin Manor home has been choked with 5-foot-tall weeds, neighbors said. A tarp from Hurricane Charley in August 2004 has long since fallen to pieces, scattering blue, shredded plastic through the neighborhood. Rusted paint cans that once held the tarp in place sit on the roof.

And then there are the rats, said next-door neighbor Sharon Lilley, an Orwin Manor Homeowners Association board member.They're big, ugly and live in the weeds.


Beary said that reporters are covering the property problems because they are trying to work against him. He added that the house is his wife Rebekah's project and referred a reporter to her for most questions..

Yes it's the evil Florida MSM's fault that those weeds are growing.(Time for sarcastic laughter)

Winter Park will bill Beary a $100 administrative fee for the lawn service plus the cost of labor, said Sylvia Wooten, the city's chief code-enforcement officer. If he doesn't pay, a lien will be placed on his property, which is department policy.

"Basically, we try to treat people the same way," Wooten said.

Which is the way it should be. It shouldn't need to be said either. A sheriff shouldn't be above the law.

County officials said they sent Beary repeated notices. He denies receiving them. I would lean to believing the county, but in Florida you just never know. Then Beary should know is property needs to be maintained.

If Beary can't tend to his own property properly, you have to question his ability to run a sheriff's department. Is he as careless in regards to his responsibilities also?

Life in Florida, you got to love it.

Open Post- Cao's Blog, Bright & Early,

It was just a flare

Memorial Day weekend seems to have brought all the nuts out. Take Marjorie Thompson of Orlando for example-

ORLANDO, Fla. - Annoyed with a sheriff’s helicopter flying over her house late
Thursday night, Marjorie Thompson ran outside with a bottle rocket launcher and
started shooting rockets at the aircraft, authorities said.

Authorities said they caught Thompson, 44, in the act of launching the second bottle rocket.

Thompson is facing a felony charge of shooting or throwing a deadly missile into an aircraft.

The helicopter was in the area searching for a suspect in a car theft, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

The helicopter’s pilot said the craft’s flight pattern was never in jeopardy.
See what I mean. So many knuckleheads, so little time!

Open Post- Uncooperative Blogger, Bright & Early,

The Knucklehead of the Day award

Our winner today is the Tribune Company. Tribune owns the newspaper, Newsday. Last Friday 6 employees, most of whom worked either for Tribune directly or for Newday, pleaded guilty to charges that said they inflated circulation numbers for the Long Island based paper.

I blogged on Tribune Company's chicanery earlier. This circulation scandal is still ongoing. Other newspapers are being investigated. It seems the print MSM doesn't limit itself to misleading the public only, but advertisers also.

For defrauding those who advertised in their newspapers, Tribune Company is our second knucklehead of the day.

Open Post- Adam's Blog, Cao's Blog, Point Five, Stop The ACLU, Right Wing Nation, Bright & Early, Wizbang,

NEW YORK - Six people accused of taking part in a scheme to boost the circulation figures at Newsday and the Spanish-language publication Hoy pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges.

The pleas, entered on Friday and Monday, bring to nine the number of people who have pleaded guilty so far in the scandal.

Newsday has acknowledged that, from 2000 to 2004, it inflated its circulation by nearly 100,000 copies on weekdays and Sundays. Hoy doubled its reported circulation, prosecutors said.

Chicago-based Tribune Co., which owns both Newsday and Hoy, has set aside $90 million to reimburse advertisers who were overcharged on the basis of the inflated circulation figures.

The six who pleaded guilty included four managers who worked in sales, circulation, distribution and home delivery. Two men with companies that distribute papers also pleaded guilty. They face four to 20 years in prison.

Three executives who previously pleaded guilty include Louis Sito, vice president for Hispanic media at Tribune Co.; Robert Brennan, former Newsday vice president for circulation; and Ed Smith, an independent consultant for Newsday circulation.

"We have cooperated with the authorities in every way possible from the outset of their investigation and will continue to do so," Newsday spokeswoman Deidra Parrish Williams said in a statement.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Stop the presses!

Man has pondered for millenium what came first- The Chicken or The Egg? Now we may know the answer-

A TEAM of scientists claims to have found the answer to the question: What came first, the chicken or the egg?

The team comprising a geneticist, a philosopher and a chicken farmer says the egg came first.

The first chicken developed differently to its avian predecessors.

Such mutations could only have occurred at the start of the chicken's life when it was in the egg. Therefore, the egg existed before the first chicken had hatched.

Professor John Brookfield of the University of Nottingham, who is an expert in evolutionary genetics, said the first chicken would have hatched from another species of bird.
Aren't you relieved that a riddle has been solved. What is up next? Why there are interstate highways in Hawaii?

Hat tip- Betsy
Open Post- Jo's Cafe, Bright & Early,
Cross posted to Bullwinkle Blog

Ricky Williams is Toronto bound

The Miami Dolphin running back has gained permission to play with the Toronto Argonauts. Leaving one question- Does the CFL have a non-existent or meaningless drug policy?

Open Post- Uncooperative Blogger, Bullwinkle Blog,

Running back Ricky Williams received permission from the Dolphins on Sunday to play for the Toronto Argonauts during the 2006 season, the Dolphins announced.

Shortly before, the Argonauts scheduled a 4 p.m. news conference in Toronto to announce that they indeed signed Williams, who is expected to attend.

Details of the deal are not yet known, but Williams likely will earn upward of $350,000 for the one-year deal.

Following the CFL season, Williams will wait until the end of the NFL season to seek reinstatement after fulfilling a one-year suspension.

If he is reinstated, he will be bound to return to the Dolphins based on details of legal documents faxed to the Dolphins from the Argonauts on Saturday evening.

The Knuckleheads of the Day award

Today's winners are the ruling generals of Myanmar. Yesterday they extended the house arrest of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Its apparent that both these so called men fear democracy and one woman. One woman has them shaking in their pants. Calls fot Suu Kyi's release came from far and wide, but the generals chose to ignore them. They will continue to be pariahs in the international community as long as Suu Kyi remains arrested.

For flouting the laws of their country and the international community, Myanmar's ruling generals are today's knuckleheads of the day.

Open Post- Adam's Blog, Cao's Blog, Point Five, Stop The ACLU, Right Wing Nation, Jo's Cafe, Bright & Early, Wizbang, Mudville Gazette,

YANGON, Myanmar - Flouting world opinion and a direct appeal from the head of the United Nations, Myanmar's ruling junta on Saturday extended the house arrest of pro-democracy leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

The junta issued an order extending Suu Kyi's detention by another year, said a Myanmar government official who insisted on anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. No public announcement was made.

The government's rationale for detaining Suu Kyi has been that she could be a threat to public order. Now 60, she has been detained for about 10 of the last 17 years.

A statement from Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party confirmed the extension, but did not specify its duration.

Suu Kyi has spent the last three years under tight restriction, with virtually no access to outsiders. Her nonviolent work to promote democracy won her the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, visiting neighboring Thailand, appealed Friday to Myanmar junta chief Senior Gen. Than Shwe "to do the right thing" and free Suu Kyi to "allow the government and the people, not only to build the nation together, but to focus on the essential issue of economic and social development."

Annan was traveling and not available to comment Saturday.

Suu Kyi was most recently taken into custody on May 30, 2003, after her motorcade was attacked by a pro-junta mob during a political tour of northern Myanmar. She has been held at her Yangon residence and not allowed visitors or telephone contact with the outside.

Her last confinement order, issued in November last year, was to expire Saturday, and recent diplomatic moves had raised hopes she might be released.

A visit here last week by U.N. Undersecretary-General Ibrahim Gambari — who became the first foreigner in more than two years to see Suu Kyi — had fueled optimism. Gambari also was granted a rare audience with Than Shwe.

The failure to release Suu Kyi disappointed both diplomats working to ease Myanmar's political deadlock, and sympathizers of Myanmar's pro-democracy movement.

In Malaysia, which has been trying to nudge the junta into accelerating the transition to democracy, Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar said he was "very surprised."

"I was hoping ... that they would not extend the house arrest. But that is their right. Of course, we are disappointed," Syed Hamid told reporters.

European Parliament member Glenys Kinnock renewed calls for a U.N. Security Council resolution against the junta, telling BBC Radio 4 that without one the junta "will continue to grandstand to the international community and use her as a trump card."

The junta took power in 1988 after crushing vast pro-democracy demonstrations in the country formerly known as Burma. In 1990, it refused to hand over power when Suu Kyi's party won a landslide victory in general elections.

Since then, the United States and many Western nations have shunned the junta because of its poor human rights record and failure to hand over power.

In Yangon, about 200 Suu Kyi supporters gathered Saturday afternoon at a roadblock about 150 yards from her cordoned-off residence in hope of seeing her released.

They shouted in her honor but dispersed peacefully after police told them she had not been freed.

Her party late Saturday issued a statement characterizing the junta's action as unlawful.

Noting that she is being held under an anti-subversion law, it said: "Since there is no proof of security threat, the extension of her detention is not in accordance with national law and the extension will not benefit the national reconciliation process."

Suu Kyi's eloquence, iron will and popularity have made her a dangerous rival in the eyes of the military.

Even before the 1990 election proved her party's popularity, she and several close colleagues were detained on trumped-up national security charges in an effort to fend off their challenge.

Cross posted to Bullwinkle Blog

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Saturday, May 27, 2006

Get a clue Richard Ring

Some news from the Orlando Sentinel-

ORLANDO -- The credit card of a woman who was gunned down in a robbery Tuesday night was used soon after to buy junk food and gasoline, an Orlando police investigator said Friday.

Deborah Culin, 46, had taken a Lynx bus home and was walking across the parking lot of her apartment complex about 10:15 p.m. Tuesday when a man pulled a gun on her and fired, witnesses said. She was pronounced dead soon afterward at Orlando Regional Medical Center.

That night, two men were recorded by a gas station's security camera buying junk food and gasoline, homicide Sgt. Richard Ring said. They appeared nonchalant, Ring said.

"It's kind of upsetting in my mind that someone involved in a homicide would use the proceeds to buy junk food," Ring said. "Human life is worth much more than that."

I hate to break it to Mr. Ring, but someone who kills for financial gain whether its a penny or a billion dollars is absolute scum. This murderer or murderer is almost certainly a low-life, but I won't put any more value in a person who kills for gain just based on what they stole.

Open Post- Bright & Early, Bullwinkle Blog,

If the VA can do it....

So can the City of Deerfield Beach. The town where my alma mata is saw its City Manager warn city Friday that their Social Security and other personal data may have been stolen.

And some people say Florida is behind the times.

Open Post- Bright & Early, TMH's Bacon Bits,

The memo, sent to all 564 full-time and 243 part-time employees by e-mail, fax or other means, says the possible illegal copying of city documents was reported to the Broward Sheriff's Office and is being investigated.

Deetjen said he contacted the city's elected officials to let them know their information may have been also compromised.

Deetjen's memo urged employees to place a fraud alert on their credit files as a precautionary measure and listed the toll-free numbers of all three major credit bureaus.

Fire-Rescue Lt. Doug Watler, president of the fire union, said he was worried that sensitive data was accessible by the wrong people.

"This should have been something guarded by finance or the city manager's office, with all the problems with identify theft that are common now," Watler said.

Watler also wanted to know why employees weren't alerted by Deetjen until late Friday.

"If someone is leaving for the weekend, they won't know about it until someone contacts them directly," he said.

Deetjen said he contacted Federal Trade Commission officials after being told someone may have made copies of the employees' personal data. The FTC advised him to alert the police. Deetjen said he called the Sheriff's Office on Wednesday.

"We still haven't been able to conclude that any information left City Hall," Deetjen said. "I do not know that for a fact. We're doing this because I don't want to take that chance."

One year of blogging

TFM turns one year old today. It all began with this post. Most appropriately it was a Knucklehead of the Day award.

This will be an award I will give out as often as there are suitable candidates. It's for any idiot either in the news or just encounter where I live. Today's winner I find particularly outrageous.

Goes to any of the 12 members on the board of Goldstar Mothers who voted to deny Ligaya Lagman membership. This organization which is for mothers who lost children during the war, denied Mrs. Lagaman membership after her son Army Sgt. Anthony Lagaman died in Afghanistan. What was the reason? The rules for Gold Star Mothers says a mother must be a US citizen. Ligaya Lagman is a Permanent Resident Alien and her son was a US Citizen.

"I can't believe that 12 intelligent women would ever not have it in their hearts to think about another Gold Star mother," Oxendine said. "You pay a high price to join the American Gold Star Mothers. I figure her dues were paid."

Yes Mrs. Oxendine, Ligaya Lagman has paid her dues but I wouldn't call any of these 12 women intelligent. THEY ARE MORONS!

The Gold Star Membership should oust the whole board or quit. That simple.

As you can see I was as feisty then as I am now if I find someone or something's conduct outrageous. Less than a month later Gold Star Moms reversed course. This story had a good resolution.

Don't forget this Memorial Day weekend the Lagman family and all other families who lost a loved one in service of our country. God bless them all.

A year of blogging has passed. I hope you enjoy my blog, and yesterday's Knucklehead Carnival. The carnival idea was a last minute brainstorm on Thursday night. I didn't realize how exhausting it would be to do. I'll do it again in a year when my 2nd anniversary comes up. I'll be better prepared then, I'll start planning it a week in advance.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I hope you enjoy it.

Open Post- Point Five, Stop The ACLU, Wizbang,

The Knucklehead of the Day award

After yesterday's carnival were you afraid I couldn't come up with one for today? Put your fears aside.

Today's winner is British Member of Parliament, George Galloway. He gets today's award for saying an assasain would be morally justified for trying to kill British PM Tony Blair.

LONDON - Maverick British politician George Galloway has claimed it would be "morally justified" for an assassin to target Prime Minister Tony Blair, but he said he was not advocating an attempt, according to a magazine interview published Friday.

Galloway was quoted as saying an attack on Blair that caused no other casualties would be a justifiable response to Britain's support for the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

"It would be entirely logical and explicable — and morally equivalent to ordering the deaths of thousands of innocent people in Iraq as Blair did," the monthly GQ magazine quoted Galloway as saying.

However, if he knew anyone was planning such an attack, Galloway added, he would tell police.

Galloway, currently in Cuba, verified the accuracy of his comments in a statement posted on the Web site of his political party, Respect.
This man is a few bricks short of a load, isn't he. Other conservative bloggers have been riding Galloway for a long time. TFM had never felt the man was a knucklehead winner, but had come close a few times. Now I make up for it.

Blair is a democratically elected leader. To see his assaination as being justified is could only be the thoughts of a deranged mind, or in this case a Knucklehead of the day. George Galloway is today's Knucklehead.

Also blogging on Galloway- The Moderate Voice, Captain Ed,
Open Post- Adam's Blog, Cao's Blog, Point Five, Stop The ACLU, Outside the Beltway, Right Wing Nation, Jo's Cafe, Bright & Early, Wizbang, Mudville Gazette,
Cross Posted- Bullwinkle Blog

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Knucklehead of the Day Carnival Part Twelve

Our Twelfth winner today is Joan Baez. She gets the award for the following protest-

Veteran US protest singer Joan Baez moved into a tree in Los Angeles along with famed tree-sitter Julie “Butterfly” Hill to prevent a local garden from being sold and destroyed. Baez, 65, doyenne of the 1960s folk music and protest movement, joined other protesters in hopes of saving the 14 acre (5.7 hectare) piece of land which has been tended as a community garden by about 350 urban farmers since the early 1990s. She is being accompanied in the garden tree-sit by Hill, 32, who spent over two years from 1997 to 1999 in the branches of a 600 year old northern California redwood to prevent it from being cut down.

The garden, in the South Los Angeles neighborhood, is on land that the city leased until 2003 to the Los Angeles City Food Bank, which supports several such community projects. The city sold the land to a developer in 2003, however, and efforts by a public land trust to raise millions of dollars to buy it and keep it in public hands failed to meet a Monday deadline.
I wonder when this nut will fall out of the tree. James Joyner thinks Baez's friend is certifiable for spending too years in a tree. Why don't they get their Hollywood/Entertainment friends to buy the tree? For giving a new kooky meaning to 'going out on a limb,' Joan Baez is today's 12th knucklehead of the day.

Open Post- Jo's Cafe,

Note- This is the end of the Carnival. Hope you enjoyed. I could have done a few more, but don't mind me if I feel a little knuckleheaded out.

The Knucklehead of the Day Carnival Part Eleven

We stay close to home for our next winner. Our eleventh winner is 18-year-old Connor Ranieri. Ranieri gets the award for his acts of vandalism committed down in Boca Raton last weekend. The young man painted swastikas on a Judaica store. Connor turned himself in to police yesterday.

Whether this was hate or a prank it don't matter. If convicted, Ranieri needs to pay in some way for his crime. Community Service done at a synagogue would sound good to me.

For acts of vandalism, Connor Ranieri is today's eleventh Knucklehead of the day.

Open Post- Right Wing Nation, Bright & Early,

An 18-year-old suspected of painting swastikas and hate messages on the storefront of a suburban Boca Raton Judaica store last weekend turned himself in at the Palm Beach County Jail Thursday afternoon to face a hate crime charge.

Connor Ranieri of Deerfield Beach was charged with misdemeanor criminal mischief, enhanced by the state's hate crime law. If convicted, Ranieri could be sentenced to up to a year in jail. His arrest caps off a campaign by YiddishKeit store owner Yosef Brooks, the local chapter of the Anti-Defamation League and local religious leaders condemning the anti-Semitic symbols and words Brooks found on his storefront in the Mission Bay Plaza at U.S. 441 and Glades Road on Sunday.

"Such a thing will not go unnoticed," Brooks said Thursday.

He left the graffiti — backward swastikas and "bun the Jews" scrawled in white paint, on his storefront for more than two days because he didn't want people to forget about the incident.

A flower shop van parked near his store also was vandalized.

On Monday, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office received an anonymous tip from someone who said they saw Ranieri vandalize the storefront and van, according to an arrest report filed by the sheriff's office.

Investigators called Ranieri's mother in North Carolina and told her about the crime her son was suspected of committing. She later told investigators that her son said he did it. She told investigators "I cannot believe it," the report states.

An anonymous tipster gave investigators more detail, describing how Ranieri walked up to the storefront, scribbled something on the windows and the van and walked back to his black Saab and told his friends about the vandalism, according to the report.

Brooks, who was relieved that the sheriff's office was able to identify a suspect, said Ranieri's arrest should be a warning to young people who consider such vandalism a joke.

Cross posted to Bullwinkle Blog

The Knucklehead of the Day Carnival Part Ten

Our tenth winner for today is Paul Schafer. A former Cult leader in Chile, Schafer was sentenced this week to twenty years in prison for molesting children.

Enough said. For doing heinous acts against the young, Paul Schafer is one of our Knuckleheads of the day. May he rot in hell.

Note- I'm posting a few Knucklehead awards early. The wife has given me a honey do list to work on.

Cross Posted- Jo's Cafe, Cao's Blog,

SANTIAGO, Chile, May 25 (UPI) -- Chile has sentenced a former religious cult leader convicted of sexually abusing children to 20 years in prison, El Mercurio reported Thursday.

Paul Schafer was first arrested in March 2005 and charged with child molestation. Authorities also discovered on the premise of his compound, Colonia Dignidad, a secret cache of weapons.

Last year, Schafer was shipped to Chile from Argentina, where he was living, to face charges he molested more than two dozen children.

The cult leader reportedly joined the isolated Chilean community in 1961 and became its leader. According to some former residents, sexual abuse and torture of political prisoners during Chile's military dictatorship (1973-91) were regular practices at Colonia Dignidad.

Cross Posted to Bullwinkle Blog

The Knucklehead of the Day Carnival Part Nine

These winners are so obvious you were probably wondering when if I was going to get around them.

Our ninth winners for today are Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling. Yesterday Lay and Skilling were found guilty in federal court for their part in the Enron debacle.

Other Bloggers like Professor Bainbridge have written extensively on the verdicts. All I say is hoorah. These two men seem clueless as to what they brought about. For screwing Enron employees and Shareholders, Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling are two more of our knuckleheds of the day.

Open Post- Bright & Early

In a dramatic resolution to a landmark criminal case that defined an era of corporate fraud in the USA, a jury here found former Enron CEOs Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling guilty on all counts of conspiring to hide the company's financial condition in 2000 and 2001.

The verdict was a resounding victory for federal prosecutors who had spent four years building a criminal case against two men once celebrated as business visionaries.

It was also a total repudiation of Lay and Skilling, who both testified that Enron was a fundamentally sound company brought low in a market panic spurred by short sellers and negative media reports. The government had argued Enron was a speculative trading company that boosted its earnings through deceptive accounting and bogus claims about the growth potential of new business units.

The jury found Lay, 64, guilty of six counts of conspiracy and fraud. Skilling, 52, was convicted on 18 counts of conspiracy and securities fraud but acquitted on nine out of 10 counts of illegal inside trading.

Lay was not charged with inside trading, but in a news conference after the verdict was announced, jurors said Lay's incessant selling of stock in the months leading up to Enron's collapse was evidence of intent to deceive the public about Enron's financial health.

The two men, who stood stoically in the courtroom while the verdicts were announced, even as their families and lawyers were overwhelmed with emotion, are scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 11. Because of the magnitude of the financial losses caused by Enron's collapse into bankruptcy in December 2001, which erased more than $60 billion of market value, both men could spend the rest of their lives in prison.

Cross Posted to Bullwinkle Blog

The Knucklehead of the Day Carnival Part Eight

We'll stay close to home for winner number eight today. Better yet this winner is a perennial one with TFM.

Our eight winners are the Palm Beach Post newspaper and its Washington Bureau reporter Larry Lipman. They get the award for this article about Senate hopeful Katherine Harris.

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris has donated an undisclosed amount of money to an undisclosed Florida charity to offset the cost of a dinner she had with a subsequently convicted defense contractor two years ago.

The March 2004 dinner with Mitchell Wade, the former chief executive officer of MZM Inc., occurred at Citronelle, one of Washington's most expensive restaurants, and was not reported on Harris' financial disclosure records. Wade pleaded guilty earlier this year to bribing former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, R-Calif. He stipulated that he gave Harris' 2004 congressional campaign $32,000 in illegal contributions.

Harris, R-Longboat Key, had a subsequent dinner with Wade at the same restaurant last year, which had previously been reported by the media. Harris said the $2,800 tab for that dinner was because Wade took several unopened bottles of expensive wine with him.

After reports of the second meal surfaced, Harris contributed $100 to Global Dominion Impact Ministries in Jacksonville to offset what she said was her share of the dinner's cost.

Why does this earn the Post and Lipman an award. It's simple, the same thing was reported four days earlier by the St. Pete Times. Me a middle aged blogger, scooped the Post by two days on this story. The Post and its reporters have done this before. The paper's ideology is bad enough, but they are frequently far behind in their news coverage or fail to report local stories at all. Why should people pay for this rag of a newspaper?

Good question isn't it? For failing its readers yet again, The Palm Beach Post and its reporter Larry Lipman are two of today's Knuckleheads of the day.

Open Post- Right Wing Nation, Bright & Early,

Cross Posted to- Bullwinkle Blog

The Knucklehead of the Day Carnival Part Seven

Our Seventh winner is Spain's National Court Judge Juan Del Olmo. He gets the award for an oversight that led to a terrorist indicted for the Madrid bombings being released.

The Spanish people are not too happy with this development and rightly so. A mass murderer has been set free. Judge Del Olmo is in hot water. A clerk tried to come forward and take part of the blame but the Judge excused this saying the clerk was overworked. So the Judge is taking the responsibility for this judicial blunder. He can also take our seventh Knucklehead of the Day award while he's at it.

Open Post- Jo's Cafe, Cao's Blog,

MADRID, Spain (AP) - A court clerk said he was partly to blame for an oversight that led to the release of an indicted suspect in the Madrid train bombings, court officials said Wednesday.

Moroccan Saed el Harrak was allowed to go free last week after authorities failed to apply for permission to extend his stay in jail due to an oversight. The error triggered calls for the judge handling the investigation to be punished.

In a letter to the General Council of the Judiciary, a body that oversees the Spanish court, clerk Luis Martin Velasco said he failed to catch a typographical error made by National Court Judge Juan Del Olmo in a court document that led to the release.

Velasco defended Del Olmo as a tireless worker subjected to tremendous pressure from the media and others.

"It would be unfair to attribute (to) Judge Del Olmo, beyond a typographical error, a lack of vigilance or a lack of zeal in his work, all the more since his work has been characterized by an outstanding, meticulous and sacrificed dedication,'' Velasco wrote in the four-page letter.

Velasco cited sleepless nights, long shifts and family sacrifice as reasons for the oversight.

The Spanish judicial watchdog said Tuesday that Olmo should be held accountable for "very serious negligence'' that could lead to a punishment ranging from a one-month suspension to outright dismissal. A disciplinary hearing is scheduled for June 7.

El Harrak was among 29 people indicted in April in the March 11, 2004, train bombings that killed 191 people and wounded more than 1,700. He is charged with collaborating with the Islamic militant cell that carried out the attack and faces a sentence of 10 years in prison if convicted.

El Harrak was arrested on May 6, 2004. Under Spanish law, a judge must request an extension to keep a suspect in custody beyond two years. But del Olmo neglected to do so, and on May 10 el Harrak was released.

Cross posted to Bullwinkle Blog

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