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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.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Nerves, lasix, or cheating?

From today's New York Times

On Thursday at the World Chess Championships, the player from Bulgaria charged that the player from Russia was taking too many bathroom breaks, more than 50 a game. He suggested that his opponent was running to the toilet — the only area used by the players not monitored by cameras — to get illegal assistance, presumably from a computer.

Yesterday, the World Chess Federation locked the private bathrooms that are used by players. That is when the Russian player would not even sit down to play — he went straight to the bathroom area, where he staged a sit-in, refusing to play the fifth game of the match until it was unlocked. It was not. The federation forfeited the game in favor of his opponent.

By late last night, the president of the federation, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who is also the president of Kalmykia, had left a meeting with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia to fly back to the republic to meet with the managers of the two players to see if he could broker a settlement, said Mr. Ilyumzhinov’s assistant, Berik Balgabaev.

As it stands, no one is sure if the match can or will continue, he added.

The problems began when Silvio Danailov, the manager of the Bulgarian player, Veselin Topalov, the world’s top-ranked player, filed a written protest with the federation about the number of times his opponent, Vladimir Kramnik of Russia, was retreating to his bathroom during the games. Mr. Kramnik is the No. 4-ranked player in the world. Before the protest, Mr. Kramnik led the match, 3-1, with 6.5 points needed for a victory.

Mr. Danailov said in the letter that the videotape of the area outside Mr. Kramnik’s bathroom captured him making more than 50 trips a game.

The federation reviewed the protest and determined that Mr. Kramnik was using his bathroom considerably fewer than 50 times a game. Still, the federation announced that it would lock the private bathrooms of the players. Instead, they would be required to use the same bathroom for the rest of the match.
20 times or 50 times seems like alot to me. I take 80 mg of lasix(two 40 mg pills) a day and don't visit the bathroom more than half of that in a day. So what is going on with Kramnik?

Shenanigans or cheating in the world of chess is hardly unknown. Soviet collusion at the 1962 Candidates tournament, Paul Keres being forced to throw the World Championship, computer usage by correspondence chess players. The list is long, and it would be naive to think Kramnik is not beneath doing some cheating also.

Hopefully this controversy will resolve itself and a true champion of chess determined.

Linked to- Bullwinkle Blog, TMH's Bacon Bits, Church and State,

The Florida 16th race

How will this congressional seat play out since Knucklehead ex-Congressman Foley's resignation? Tim Mahoney is still running for the seat and Foley's name is likely to remain on the ballot.

US Today reports the following

Foley's departure sent Republicans scrambling for a replacement candidate.

Foley, 52, had been a shoo-in for a new term until the e-mail correspondence surfaced in recent days. The page was 16 at the time of the correspondence.

Foley's resignation further complicates the political landscape for Republicans, who are fighting to retain control of Congress. Democrats need to win a net of 15 Republican seats to regain the power they lost in 1994.

Florida Republicans planned to meet as soon as Monday to name a replacement in Foley's district, which President Bush won with 55% in 2004 and is now in play for November. Though Florida ballots have already been printed with Foley's name and cannot be changed, any votes for Foley will count toward the party's choice.

TFM thinks the fact that Foley's name will remain on the ballot won't bode well for GOP chances of holding onto this seat. Who wants to vote for a name associated with a sex offender even if that's not the person still running?

The 16th is a Republican district and has only been seriously contested when has been no incumbent running. That's the good news.

Who will run? The Sun-Sentinel floats a few names.

Possible candidates include Republican state Reps. Carl Domino of Jupiter and Gayle Harrell and Joe Negron of Stuart. Both Harrell and Negron have eyed Foley's seat in the past.

Harrell could not be reached for comment on Friday. Domino said he wasn't planning to run for Foley's seat, but would think about it.

"If I were a betting man, I would think I wouldn't do it," he said. "But when all your friends are calling you and you're on the top of their list to be a congressman, that's pretty humbling."

Negron said he planned to run.

"I think this seat is too important to hand it over to Tim Mahoney," he said, adding that he's already lined up support from key Republicans, including state Sens. Jeff Atwater, R-North Palm Beach, and Ken Pruitt, R-Port St. Lucie.
Pruitt could have been a candidate except that he has some serious ethics problems. All these potential candidates face the challenge that Mahoney has had his name out in television advertisements for over a month. How well voters know any of the above is uncertain to TFM. I know who Domino and Negron are but don't know much about them and I follow PB County politics.

The Palm Beach Post made their prediction in a front page headline.

Democrat in position to win firm GOP seat
TFM isn't ready to write off this race but the GOP faces a serious challenge in holding this congressional seat. That makes support like this look increasingly foolish with every day.

Others blogging on Florida 16th news- Captain's Quarters, Stop the ACLU

Linked to- Bright & Early, Right Wing Nation, Blue Star, Cao's Blog, Third World County, Outside the Beltway,

From the Silly news desk

Some news from China. What some people will do to win an event.

Linked to- Is it Just me, Random Yak, Jo's Cafe,

BEIJING (Reuters) - Touted as a celebration of sport, culture and national unity, the Ethnic Minority Games held in southwestern China descended into a farce of cross-dressing cheating and mob violence, state media reported.

Athletes representing China's 55 ethnic minorities assembled in southwestern Yunnan province last week to compete in blow-pipe darts, horse-riding events and other traditional sports.

But blind pursuit of victory lead to some unorthodox tactics, Xinhua news agency reported.

Results of the women's dragon-boat racing event were reviewed after athletes complained of "big women with Adam's apples," Xinhua said. Referees subsequently found that several of the competitors were actually men wearing wigs.

A dispute between a team from the games' host city, Zhaotong, and another from Wenshan city in Yunnan province over the result of a wrestling final turned into a brawl, Xinhua said.

The Wenshan team was eventually chased away by a local gang

with blades and sticks called in by the Zhaotong team, Xinhua said.

"I've never seen violence and ugliness like that," a reporter at the games told Xinhua.

The nationality games have been held eight times in Yunnan province, where 25 of the country's 56 ethnic minorities live.

"The tenet of the games is to develop the minorities' characteristic sports, build up their health and increase national unity," Ren Muzhen, the chief organizer, told Xinhua.

Coaches blamed the unruly scenes on the pressures of having career advancement linked to results.

"Coaches and local officials still concentrate on medals and results in this games," a coach told Xinhua.

"They have to think about every means to get better results."

Hanging up his spikes for 2006

From AP-

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Masters champion Phil Mickelson is done playing for the year, the PGA of America announced Thursday in saying that Mike Weir would replace him in the Grand Slam of Golf.

Mickelson has shut it down after the PGA Championship the last two years, wanting to spend more time with his family. He did not enter the American Express Championship outside London this week, and a year ago skipped the season-ending Tour Championship.

Although speculation has been that Mickelson would not play again until next year's Bob Hope Classic in January, this was the first public statement that he was finished for the year. The PGA said Mickelson told them after the Ryder Cup "he would not be competing the remainder of the year."

A spokesman for Mickelson said the PGA of America release had been approved.

The Grand Slam of Golf, to be played Nov. 21-22 at Poipu Bay in Hawaii, is for the four major champions of the year. Jim Furyk was the first alternate because Tiger Woods won two majors. Ernie Els finished second on the alternate list and declined, so the spot went to Weir, who won the Masters in 2003.

The alternate list is only for past major champions and is based on their performance in the 2006 majors.

Filling out the field is U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy.
Hardly surprising news from Mickelson. I'll just say maybe Phil should start skipping the Ryder Cup also. His play in the the 2004 and 2006 Ryder Cups has been abominable. In the days before the 04 match, Mickelson changed golf Equipment. A clear sign to me of his lack of enthusiasm. Phil is not doing the US any favors by playing in these events if he don't care about them.

Linked to- Bright & Early, Basil's Blog,

Brazil Air disaster

From AP-

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - A Gol airlines jet that was missing with 155 people was discovered Saturday, crashed in the Amazon jungle region. The president of Brazil's airport authority, Jose Carlos Pereira, said air force search planes found the downed jetliner in the state of Mato Grosso.

"At this moment there is no way of telling if there are any survivors," said Denise Abreu one of the directors of the Brazilian Aviation Agency.

She said the plane crashed near the Jarina ranch, 1,090 miles northwest of Sao Paulo.

Gol airlines Flight 1907 vanished Friday after leaving the jungle city of Manaus en route for Brazilia and Rio de Janeiro.

The flight between Manaus and Rio is popular with foreign tourists but there was no immediate word on the nationalities of those aboard.

The worst previous air accident in Brazil occurred in 1982 when a Vasp 747 crashed in the northeastern city of Fortaleza, killing 137 people.

The cause of the crash was unclear. Officials earlier backed away from Friday's report that the jetliner might have collided with a Legacy executive jet before disappearing.

"It is impossible to confirm that there is a relation between the incident which caused the (Legacy) crew to perform an emergency landing in Cachimbo and the disappearance of the Gol airplane."

Manaus is a major river city in the heart of the Amazon rain forest some 1,700 miles northwest of Rio de Janeiro.

Gol said in a statement late Friday that 149 passengers and six crew members were aboard the plane.

Statistically travelling by air is one of the safest forms of transport. Unfortunately if one is in an air accident, the odds of survival aren't so good. Lets pray there are survivors from this crash.

Even with all the technology planes and ATC have, major mid-air collisions still occur on at least a one or two time a decade basis. Since 1960 there have been the following-

1960 New York Air Disaster
Piedmont Airlines Flight 22 in 1967
Allegheny Airlines Flight 853 in 1969
All Nippon Airways Flight 58 in 1971
1976 Zagreb mid-air collision
PSA Flight 182 in 1978
Aeroméxico Flight 498 in 1986
Saudia Flight 763 in 1996
Bashkirian Airlines Flight 2937 in 2002

The survival statistics in these crashes isn't good. Only two survivor from all of them, The Japanese Self Defense Force pilot and his instructor involved in the the All Nippon disaster.

There was a near mid-air over New York in the 1960's. One plane had to take dramatic action and lost control which resulted in the aircraft crashing.

Then the worst collision between two planes ironically took place on the ground. The 1977 Tenerife disaster.

It may be some time before we know if this or another cause was the cause of the Gol airlines crash.

Linked to- Cao's Blog, Clash of Civilizations, Uncooperative Blogger,


From today's Sun-Sentinel

SOUTHWEST RANCHES · The first attempt to settle an eviction dispute between the town and the South Broward Drainage District, which owned the lease to the land where Town Hall is located, failed Friday.

The meeting between Town Administrator John Canada and district Director Leo Schwartzberg came three weeks after a Broward County judge denied a motion in a lawsuit by the district to evict the municipality from its own Town Hall. The judge ordered the two sides to begin conflict resolution.

"We were here to put our best offer on the table and we did," Canada said.

But Schwartzberg said the town needs to budge on the most contentious issue -- de-annexing the land on which Town Hall sits.

The suit centers on land Southwest Ranches leased from the district, its neighbor, for Town Hall. The five-year lease, which expired June 27, was not renewed after a dispute developed between the two government entities.

As the lease wound down, the district offered the town a three-year extension as long as it agreed to de-annex the Town Hall land. The district wanted the land to become part of Pembroke Pines or Davie, the city the property was part of before the lease began.
Politicians are notoriously short-sighted, rarely looking past the next election or the end of their term. Yet this is ridiculous. Only in Florida would a City Hall be forced to move. Isn't this a great state or what?

Linked to- Adam's Blog, Samantha Burns, Is it Just me,

The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is former Congressman Mark Foley. He gets the award for the following-

WASHINGTON — Mark Foley abruptly resigned from Congress on Friday, ending his political career amid a growing scandal involving his conduct with teenage boys.

After being confronted with a series of sexually explicit chat messages and e-mails he allegedly sent to congressional pages, Foley resigned within hours.

Rep. Mark Foley resigns over Internet contact with teens

Foley's district was shocked by the news. Republicans in Washington worried about losing Foley's seat and control of Congress. And GOP leaders in Florida scrambled to find a new candidate to run against Democrat Tim Mahoney, who instantly went from long shot to front-runner.

Meanwhile, Foley went into seclusion at his Washington townhouse facing the possibility that the scandal destroying his political career could result in further investigation of his conduct.

"I am deeply sorry and I apologize for letting down my family and the people of Florida I have had the privilege to represent," Foley said in a statement released by his office.

Foley, 52, faxed his resignation to Gov. Jeb Bush at 3:41 p.m. and sent a copy to House Speaker Dennis Hastert.
ABC News has logs of some of the instant messages. They're disgusting.

I blogged about this news yesterday in this post.

Full Disclosure- I must tell that my wife has met the Congressman's parents but not Mark Foley himself. The Foleys were at one time parrishoners at the same Roman Catholic Church dear wife and I attend and where DW works as church receptionist.

This news is quite a shock because we actually liked Foley. His name had been mentioned in specuation for state-wide including the 2006 US Senate race. My wife wished he would have run for office so we could vote for him. Now Foley's life and career are in a shambles and we don't feel sorry for Foley, but do feel sorry for his parents who were active members of our church for many years.

Former Congressman Mark Foley is today's knucklehead of the day.

Others blogging on Mark Foley- Captain's Quarters, Michelle Malkin, Betsy, Stuck on the Palmetto, State of Sunshine, James Joyner at OTB,

Linked to- Bright & Early, Right Wing Nation, Stuck on Stupid, Blue Star, Jo's Cafe, Cao's Blog, Third World County, Right Wing Nation, Adam's Blog, TMH's Bacon Bits, Clash of Civilizations, Samantha Burns, Uncooperative Blogger, Is it Just me, Random Yak, Stop the ACLU, Church and State, Basil's Blog,

Friday, September 29, 2006

Congressman Mark Foley

From today's Sun-Sentinel

U.S. Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fort Pierce, has come under fire for the appropriateness of e-mails exchanged with a 16-year-old congressional page.

In a series of e-mails between the six-term incumbent and the page last year, Foley asks about the teenager's schooling, an upcoming birthday and requests a picture.

" ... did you have fun at your conference ... what do you want for your birthday coming up ... what stuff do you like to do," Foley wrote in one e-mail obtained by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Another read: " ... are you safe ... send me a pic of you as well ... " reported Thursday that the 16-year-old page became uncomfortable with the dialog and forwarded the e-mails to an associate on Capitol Hill. In an excerpt reported on, the page wrote: "Maybe it is just me being paranoid, but seriously. This freaked me out."

As of late Thursday, the of the U.S. House of Representatives had received no formal complaint against Foley, a spokeswoman said.

"This is the first we've heard of it," said Salley Collins, spokeswoman for the clerk.

Foley is seeking re-election in November. His campaign staff acknowledged the congressman sent the e-mails but said they were misconstrued. Campaign spokesman Jason Kello blamed Foley's District 16 opponent, Palm Beach Gardens businessman Tim Mahoney, for leaking the e-mails.

"The e-mails were written in response to a thank-you letter given to Congressman Foley from a former page," Kello wrote in a statement. "This is nothing more than a political attack and an attempt at the worst kind of character assassination."

Mahoney's campaign staff denied leaking the e-mails. They released a statement of their own: "The seriousness of these allegations goes far beyond the tit for tat of a political campaign. This is a matter for the appropriate authorities to investigate. I believe Mr. Foley deserves the benefit of the doubt until these allegations are proven to be true or false."

Mahoney, a Democrat running his first political campaign, earlier this month filed a defamation lawsuit against the Foley campaign for what he described as misleading television ads. A week later, Mahoney hosted a news conference in West Palm Beach to accuse Foley of improperly receiving homestead exemptions in both Florida and Washington, D.C. Foley denied the claim.

Foley's camp said the e-mails were yet another political stunt.
A Palm Beach Post article has a possible explanation.

Foley used his personal e-mail account, Kello said, because that is what he normally uses when corresponding with people in a nonofficial capacity. He said Foley regularly asks young people interested in public service for their photograph and has files on former interns and others who have contacted the congressman.
Full Disclosure- Before commenting I must tell that my wife has met the Congressman's parents but not Mark Foley himself. The Foleys were at one time parrishoners at the same Roman Catholic Church dear wife and I attend and where DW works as church receptionist.

Mark Foley is one of four congressman who serve some part of Palm Beach County. TFM does not live in Foley's district.

First Tim Mahoney. His campaign's denial sounds hollow to me. Mahoney may not have leaked the emails but I bet he knew about them.

As to Mahoney's lawsuit, I've blogged before about how politics has ended up in the courts and what I think of it when it does. It may be time for me to give Mahoney a knucklehead award just as I did with Irv Slosberg and Ted Deutsch.

The email snippets show at worst bad judgment by Foley but remember we haven't seen the full emails. Like with the recently leaked NIE, a document or email can have parts of it used to paint a picture or draw almost any conclusion someone wants. In other words, without the full email, I wouldn't be passing any judgment.

I must to be fair, point out there have been rumors of Mark Foley being gay. He has never been married. The congressman has denied it and nothing has ever been proven.

If this was a Democratic effort to paint the Congressman as gay, the party has once again shown itself as a party of hate. Minorities who diverge from the Democratic party position often find themselves the target of riddicule.

Foley's congressional district the Florida 16th was considered iffy for November.(One political prognosticator had the 16th 49th of his 50 congressional races to follow) Foley was expected to win, but Mahoney was making a spirited challenge. How this news will effect the race is unknown. It don't need saying, but TFM will follow this race closely.

Update- My friend Rick makes a valid point about my use of the word hate. I don't like using that word, and I will admit I shouldn't have used it before. That said, There are Democrats who have little tolerance for minorities who don't tow the liberal line. Some will try to smear them in any way available. Click here for the latest example. Michelle's opinions on some subjects come off as shrill to me and she isn't one to shy from controversy, but this latest episode is beyond me. The photos look questionable to me(I'm married to a Filipina. While they do age gracefully, I'd think Michelle would look different enough from a photo in 1992) but I've never dabbled in Photoshop nor am I a expert on photos.

Update and bump- Congressman Foley resigned from office. What a shock this is at the moment.

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., resigned from Congress on Friday, effective immediately, in the wake of questions about e-mails he wrote a former male page.

``I am deeply sorry and I apologize for letting down my family and the people of Florida I have had the privilege to represent,'' he said in a statement issued by his office.

The two-sentence statement did not refer to the e-mails and gave no reason for Foley's decision to abruptly abandon a flourishing career in Congress.

Foley, 52, had been a shoo-in for a new term until the e-mail correspondence surfaced in recent days. His resignation comes less than six weeks before the elections. It was not clear how Republicans would fill his spot on the November ballot.
People will speculate what made Foley resign. Is it really that important?

Now the question is, can the Republicans replace Foley on the ballot and who with? I jokingly asked my wife if she wanted to run but we don't live in the Florida 16th. Stay tuned, I'll probably have more to say on this tomorrow.

Another update- If a criminal investigation is needed, of course it should be done. Maybe that will clear Foley or maybe not. I'm trying to keep an open mind on this but why would the Congressman resign unless something was wrong?

Also blogging on this- Ace of Spades, A Blog for All, Gay Patriot, Wizbang Politics, Florida Cracker, Outside the Beltway, LaShawn Barber, Sister Toldjah, Stop the ACLU, Poliblog, Iowa Voice,

Linked to- Bright & Early, Cao's Blog, Outside theBeltway,

He got the point

From the Sun-Sentinel. What will the charge be, attempted murder by pitchfork?

Linked to- Right Wing Nation, Stuck on Stupid,

"A pitchfork?" asked Officer Robert Vega, police spokesman. "Now I've seen it all."

That was Vega's reaction to a Wednesday report of a garage sale turned violent, an argument between buyer and seller that allegedly ended with the buyer using a pitchfork to stab the seller in the hand.

Clebert Leger, 40, of the 2200 block of Southeast Mariola Avenue, was arrested on an aggravated battery charge.

Freddy Rich, 47, sustained an injury consistent with his account of "being stuck with a pitchfork," an arrest affidavit states.

The 6 p.m. incident in the 2200 block of Southeast Manor Avenue happened as Rich conducted a garage sale.

According to police, Leger wanted to buy $160 worth of merchandise, but didn't have enough money. He went to an ATM and returned with $100, saying he wanted to take the items then and come back Thursday with $60.

"F. Rich told C. Leger either give him the cash now or write a check for the full amount," the report states. "F. Rich stated that C. Leger started a verbal argument and told C. Leger several times to get off his property."

With that, Leger allegedly grabbed a couple of knives that were on sale and "was going to attack" Rich, who told Leger he'd use pepper spray on Leger if he didn't leave.

Leger then "went into more of a rage" and dropped the knives before grabbing a pitchfork from the garage and stabbing Rich in the hand.


From AP-

BURBANK, California - Liza Minelli, fresh off her cameo appearance in the film "The OH in Ohio" and her recurring role in "Arrested Development," will guest-star in an upcoming episode of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent."

Minelli, 59, will play a former beauty queen whose daughter, an aspiring beauty queen, was found murdered on Halloween night, said Pam Golum, a spokeswoman for Wolf Films, which produces the NBC show.

The episode, called "Masquerade," is filming now and will air in November, Golum said Thursday.
I guess Liza needs a paycheck. Until just recently, she hadn't worked in television or movies for almost ten years. But Law & Order? When an Oscar winner starts making guest appearances on crime dramas, their career has slipped a little.

As for Law & Order CI, are they nuts? Liza was no beauty queen 30 years ago. Couldn't they have found at least a halfway decent looking actress. Faye Dunaway isn't my type, she was way too skinny when younger, but she'd at least be credible.

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but something tells me a casting director needs a eye exam real bad.

Linked- Jo's Cafe, Stuck on Stupid,

Speed kills

From the Sun-Sentinel

Computer data from a Fort Lauderdale police cruiser showed an officer was driving about 90 mph in a 40 mph zone when he hit and killed a Lauderdale Lakes woman on South Federal Highway, according to a search warrant.

Traffic homicide detectives are investigating the death of Althea Tobias McKay, 39, on June 19 as a vehicular homicide, the police search warrant says. The officer, Alexander Griss, 23, has not been charged with any crime.

The warrant was used to obtain data from computer systems in Griss' 2001 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor. The data showed he had accelerated on Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale to 91 mph before the car slammed into McKay about 5:21 a.m., throwing her body 102 feet, the warrant said.

Police have said Griss was about to go off duty and was not responding to an emergency call when the crash occurred.

Griss' attorney, Michael Dutko, said Thursday that if charges are filed, he will challenge the data investigators used to determine the officer's speed.

Griss remains on paid administrative leave for the duration of the investigation and cannot carry a firearm, perform any police duties or work off-duty details. Police declined to comment on the case because it is still being investigated.


Police have said McKay stepped off the curb at Southeast 21st Street onto Federal Highway about 5:21 a.m. when she was struck by Griss' cruiser. His cruiser then hopped a concrete median, crossed into oncoming traffic and skidded to a stop in a vacant field with two flat tires and extensive front-end damage, the warrant said.


Traffic homicide investigators also used skid marks and complex formulas to determine Griss was driving "at minimum" 79 mph at impact, the warrant says.

I've seen local enforcement disregard the traffic laws on many occasions. The most common practice being a police cruiser putting on its siren when approaching an intersection. All traffic stops, the cruiser goes through with his siren on but it turns off as soon as they pass. You don't tell me the policeman or police woman isn't abusing their power.

In Griss case, I hope the Broward Attorney's Office gets this right. There was a high profile case some time back involving a law enforcement officer's crash on I-95. Two brothers died in the crash and the FBI agent did just three months in jail but not before investigators incorrectly blamed the wrong people for the crash. I've chronicled many times how there are two justice systems in this state, one for those in the legal system, one for everyone else. Lets hope that doesn't prove true here. Not just the family of Althea Tobias McKay, but the people of Broward County deserve justice in this woman's death.

Linked to- Blue Star, Basil's Blog,

Aiming to please

Some news for Norway. Kleppe is right, this is the work of the devil.(Cue the sarcastic laughter)

Hat tip- Florida Cracker
Linked to- Jo's Cafe, Basil's Blog

The head of The Democrats Party, a splinter group of former Progress Party hardliners, Vidar Kleppe, is outraged that boys at Dvergsnes School in Kristiansand have to sit and pee.

Kleppe accuses the school of fiddling with God's work, and wants the matter discussed at the executive committee level of the local council, newspaper Dagbladet reports.

"When boys are not allowed to pee in the natural way, the way boys have done for generations, it is meddling with God's work," Kleppe told the newspaper.

"It is a human right not to have to sit down like a girl," Kleppe said.

Principal Anne Lise Gjul at Dvergsnes School would not comment on Kleppe's plans to make political waves and regretted if anyone was offended by the ban on standing and passing water.

Gjul told NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting) that the young boys are simply not good enough at aiming, and the point was to have a pleasant toilet that could be used by both boys and girls.

Florida the rules are different here Chapter LII

From the Bradenton Herald-

Sarasota, known for its art and culture, also has a very different kind of attraction: its landfill.

Free public tours of Sarasota County's landfill and its hazardous waste and recycling plants proved so popular earlier this year that 22 more tours have been planned in October, November and December, a county press release reports.

To accommodate demand, tours will be offered on Monday and Tuesday from 8:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. on the following dates:

• Oct. 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30, 31

• Nov. 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28

• Dec. 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19

The tours depart from the Chemical Collection Center at 8750 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota, and are limited to 18 people, ages 14 and older. Visitors must register in advance and will receive a confirmation letter with a tour itinerary. Each tour will visit the following three locations for 45 minutes each:

Visitors remain aboard an air-conditioned bus for the landfill tour, but may walk through the recycling plant and the hazardous chemical collection center.
As far as Sarasota goes, I thought it was known for its clowns. Sight-seeing tours of garbage dumps, just another reason to love Florida.

Linked to- TMH's Bacon Bits, Bright & Early, Bullwinkle Blog,

The Knuckleheads of the Day award

Today's winners are John Skehan and Francis Guinan. They get the award for the following.

DELRAY BEACH — Two former priests at St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in Delray Beach have been accused of misappropriating $8.6 million from the church during the past 40 years.

Delray Beach police alleged that they skimmed cash from the offertory and used the money for personal profit.

Former pastors John Skehan and Francis Guinan were both charged with grand theft over $100,000.

"These guys lived the life they told everyone else not to live ñ and they lived it on everyone else's dime," police spokesman officer Jeff Messer said. "And one of the seven deadly sins is greed."

Skehan, 79, was arrested Wednesday night at Palm Beach International Airport on a flight from Ireland, where he reportedly owned property.

He was remorseful as he confessed to taking the money, Detective Thomas Whatley said.

Guinan, who became head priest in 2003, is alleged to have taken $400,000 for his personal use, including paying for his gambling habit and trips to the Bahamas and Las Vegas.

A warrant has been issued for Guinan, detectives said.

"They are professional money launderers," Whatley said. "They knew how to do it."

The investigation started more than a year ago when a concerned parishioner - concerned that the Diocese of Palm Beach would keep the theft a secret - sent an anonymous letter to Palm Beach County State Attorney Barry Krischer's office.

An accounting firm, hired by the diocese, conducted a forensic audit of Skehan and Guinan's numerous bank accounts.

Skehan reportedly deposited nearly $1.6 million in four banks accounts in cash, donation checks written by congregants, donated stock sales from the building fund and bequeathed money, according to his arrest report.

He used $134,075 to pay for his alleged lover's expenses, gave $11,688 to family members and used another $268,630 for personal expenses, including car payments, dental work, property taxes, credit card payments and condo association fees, according to the report.

But he also used some of the money to help pay church expenses, Whatley said.

"What you had is one priest who did a lot of good for the church over 40 years ... and another priest that came in after retirement who went ballistic with the fund," Whatley said.

That priest is reportedly Guinan, who is accused of taking an estimated $400,000 in the past three years. And that's just the money detectives say they know about.

Guinan is alleged to have spent at least $90,000 of it on airline, hotels and restaurants in Las Vegas and the Bahamas, according to Mike Driscoll, special agent supervisor for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which assisted in the investigation.

The investigation also found that he spent money on dental and medical expenses, decorating his home and paying the Cardinal Newman High School tuition for his alleged lover's son, according to the report.
Truly unbelivable. Both these men taking money for their personal use when I'm sure they both asked for parishoners to donate to their church. I'm more sad than angry over this story. Just another black eye for the Catholic Church in the US when they have more than their share already.

There will be hell(in the afterlife) to pay for these two priests but first I make John Skehan and Francis Guinan today's knuckleheads of the day.

Full disclosure- My wife is an employee of the Diocese of Palm Beach. She works at the church nearest our home.

Linked to- Bright & Early, Jo's Cafe, Cao's Blog, Outside the Beltway, Basil's Blog, Third World County, Right Wing Nation, Adam's Blog,


Thursday, September 28, 2006

Another warning for smokers

Some news from Port St. Lucie Florida. Those parliament cigarettes should have have a label saying. "These may be very dangerous for your personal freedom."

Linked to- Jo's Cafe, TMH's Bacon Bits,

PORT ST. LUCIE — A disgruntled Port St. Lucie gas station employee stole a roll of scratch-off lottery tickets and cashed in on her $200 winnings, police believe.

A manager at the Shell station at St. Lucie West Boulevard and Northwest Peacock Boulevard noticed a book of tickets missing Friday and led police to 39-year-old Rose Webster.

Then a pack of Parliament 100 cigarettes gave her away.

The person with the missing tickets accepted $200 in winnings at a Cumberland Farms convenience store less than a mile from Webster's home on Southeast Browning Avenue. Cumberland Farms employees picked Webster out of a photo lineup as the ticket holder, Port St. Lucie police Detective Tom Nichols said. They also said she bought a money order and some Parliament 100s with the money.

Nichols said that when he and his partner arrived at Webster's home, "she's smoking, and the first thing I look at is the cigarettes."

They found a match.

Nichols said Webster eventually confessed to the theft and "may have been a disgruntled employee." Shell management recently cut her work hours significantly.

Each of the stolen lottery tickets cost $20, making a roll of 30 worth $600. Police charged Webster with grand theft.

State records show Monday's arrest was Webster's first. She remained at the St. Lucie County jail Tuesday on $2,500 bail.

Dirty money

From today's Orlando Sentinel-

Alfred Magill doesn't expect that he will ever see his $35,000 again. The best he can do is hope he wins it back.

On Tuesday, Magill took his daughter to Colonial High School to register her. When he realized he didn't have the right paperwork, he dashed out, leaving his fanny pack behind. Inside was more than $42,000 in cash, 33 credit cards and five debit cards.

He rushed back to the school, but the pack was gone. That was the money he planned to take on his next bi-monthly gambling trip to Las Vegas this week.

He remembered that two girls had been sitting nearby.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office tracked down Catherine Tirado, 16, and Elizabeth De La Rosa, 17. At first De La Rosa said she didn't touch the bag, but later she told a deputy that she and Tirado took it into a cafeteria bathroom, pocketed a wad of cash and dumped the other contents into a trash can.

Deputies then turned their attention to Tirado, who was in a foreign-language class. As she was being led out for questioning, she told the deputy she didn't have a book bag. But her teacher chased them down and turned over the student's small bag.

When deputies opened it, they found $6,235.

Then De La Rosa admitted she too had cash -- in her underwear. A female school administrator watched as the deputy retrieved $1,000.

It was unclear what happened to the rest of the money.

Both girls were taken to the state Juvenile Assessment Center in Orlando on a charge of felony grand theft.

Reached at her home late Wednesday, Tirado would not comment. De La Rosa could not be reached for comment.
What the girls did was morally wrong. But if De La Rosa left the money laying around, is it really grand theft? If the credit cards weren't used, its like finders keepers. What do you think?

De La Rosa is also plain nuts to be carrying around that kind of cash. With a lively drug trade in this state, I'd be wondering where that money came from.

Linked to- Basil's Blog, Stuck on Stupid,


From the Miami Herald

The undocumented widow of a Cuban man who died during an interview with a Miami immigration officer was granted U.S. residency today, ending weeks of uncertainty.

Maritza Hernández, 53, said she was thrilled by today's approval even as she grieves over the death of her 50-year-old husband, Juan Hernandez.

''I'm happy in one way, because I have my residency, but at the same time I'm sad for the death of my husband. That's always there,'' Maritza Hernández told The Miami Herald.

Juan Hernandez had a heart attack during an Aug. 10 immigration interview in which officials were trying to determine whether the marriage between Maritza, from the Dominican Republic, and Juan, a Cuban immigrant with a green card, was legitimate. He suffered the heart attack when the immigration officer asked him when he proposed to Maritza. Juan couldn't remember.

Because Juan had obtained his residency under the Cuban Adjustment Act, Maritza was likely to get a green card.

Maritza arrived in the United States from her native Dominican Republic in 2001 on a tourist visa, but overstayed and joined the ranks of millions of other undocumented immigrants in the country.
If Maritza met immigration law requirements at the time of Juan's death, and their marriage was a real one, the matter of issuing her a green card should have been a slam dunk. I'm guessing, but perhaps ICE had complications in confirming the marriage part due to Juan Hernandez's death.

I'm all for legal immigration, but TFM is also for common sense. Welcome to America Maritza Hernandez.

Linked to- Bullwinkle Blog, Jo's Cafe,

Florida demands a recount

Not over the 2000 election but this news.

TAMPA - Blame politics and blame the hurricanes.

The 2008 Republican National Convention will be held in Minneapolis-St. Paul, not Tampa. The decision shocked some, disappointed others and prompted theories about how politics factored into the decision.

"Maybe they figured they need to bolster up Minnesota," said Al Austin, the GOP fundraiser who led the effort to bring the convention to Tampa. "Florida didn't need help."

Tampa first expressed interest in holding the event a year ago. Since then, local Republican leaders joined forces with the cities of Tampa and St. Petersburg to showcase the Bay area as the ideal spot for the convention. They prepared a detailed bid, promised trips to Busch Gardens, and wined and dined a site selection committee that came to scout the town last month.

For the second time this decade, however, Tampa came up short. It lost its 2004 bid to New York, because it was the sentimental favorite to host the first convention after the Sept. 11 attacks, and Republicans wanted to invade traditional Democratic territory.

This time, Tampa was convinced the party was coming to town. Instead, Austin received a phone call Wednesday from Republican Party Chairman Ken Mehlman, telling him the party was going elsewhere.

The site selection committee voted to recommend Minneapolis-St. Paul. The vote was not unanimous, but sources would not elaborate.
Minneapolis over Tampa? If a state's political leanings were used as a determining factor, we know what city would have been chosen.

For the GOP going to Minneapolis for a convention is like the Democrats going to Salt Lake City.

Anyone remember what was the only state to give Walter Mondale a majority in the 1984 presidential election?

Anyone remember what was the state to send Paul Wellstone to the US Senate twice? If not for Wellstone's death, he would have most likely been returned to office a third time.

I know at least one blogger is happy with this choice. Ed makes no mention of the points I raise above.

Was a reason given for Tampa not getting the convention?

Jo Ann Davidson of Ohio, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee's nine-member site selection committee, wouldn't give a specific reason why Tampa, Cleveland or New York wasn't chosen.

"We discussed all the attributes of the various cities," she said. "Some had more strengths in one particular area. All four cities did a wonderful job in hosting the committee [and] put in excellent bids."

Davidson said the only motion the committee considered was one to approve the Minneapolis bid, so it never discussed the other three cities.

The convention is scheduled for Sept. 1-4, one of the most active parts of hurricane season.
Yes Florida has hurricanes. We also have pythons, alligators, sinkholes and bad drivers.

Minnesota has loads of Democrats who just may have the time of their lives protesting outside the convention. Remember the MSM prefers to controversy in comparison to staged events.

Was Minneapolis a good choice for the 2008 GOP convention after all?

Linked to- Bright & Early, TMH's Bacon Bits, Right Wing Nation, Basil's Blog, Cao's Blog, Outside the Beltway, Third World County, Stuck on Stupid,

A break on breaks or going broke

Florida taxpayers are about to get another tax free holiday.

Face it: Your old refrigerator has seen better days.

It's time to bid the venerable icebox farewell, but before you go out and just pick one up, the state wants to offer you a deal:

If you'll wait a week or so, and spend a little bit more to buy one that's much more efficient when it comes to electricity use, the state won't charge you sales tax.

Florida's first energy-efficiency sales tax holiday lasts Oct. 5-11. It offers consumers the option to buy appliances including refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, air conditioners, ceiling fans, lightbulbs and a few other items, as long as the price is $1,500 or less.

That's a saving of 6.5 percent in St. Lucie and Palm Beach counties, and 6 percent in most other counties.

"The retailers are excited about having this," said Randy Miller, executive vice president of the Florida Retail Federation in Tallahassee. "This is encouraging people to use more energy-efficient products. The idea is looking forward to being more environmentally friendly in the future.

"With the cost of electricity these days, anything you can do to encourage people to use more energy-efficient products is a good public state policy," he said.

The tax break is part of the Florida Energy Act passed by the legislature in May. The items must bear the federal Energy Star label, which indicates the product meets or exceeds the requirements of that program, which was launched by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1992.

The tax break applies only to items bought for personal use, and doesn't apply to purchases for trade, business or resale.
TFM generally sees any tax break as a good one. If your appliances are broke or breaking down, this will be a good time to replace them.

That's of course if you can afford these new appliances. They don't come cheap. When TFM moved into his present home, every major appliance with the exception of the refrigerator was changed. I was Boynton Beach Sears Roebuck's favorite customer for a while. I'm sure these stores are excited for this sales period and will lower prices. However the break only lasts one week. If your dishwasher breaks down at Halloween you're out of luck.

How long will it be before a politician claims credit for some senior citizen getting a new washing machine? If Irv Slosberg hadn't lost his re-election bid last month, I'm sure it would not take long at all.

Linked to- Jo's Cafe, Third World County,

Advise or rubber stamp?

The latest in the LPGA tour/Carolyn Bivens saga.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Commissioner Carolyn F. Bivens announced the reformation of the Commissioner's Advisory Council.

The new Commissioner's Advisory Council is comprised of 22 individuals from the corporate, academic, political, philanthropic and cultural arenas and is co-chaired by Bivens and Charles S. Mechem, Jr., commissioner emeritus of the LPGA. The Commissioner's Advisory Council convened for the first time in early September and will continue to meet periodically each year.

The role of the Commissioner's Advisory Council is to provide both expertise and guidance in all aspects of the LPGA's business, while also serving as a sounding board as the LPGA continues to grow and evolve. Members will offer expert counsel and insight in their respective areas and will assist Commissioner Bivens and her staff in optimizing opportunities for the LPGA's future growth and long-term success.

"The LPGA is enjoying one of its most successful times in its history, and I am pleased to welcome the members of the Commissioner's Advisory Council to the LPGA team,"said Bivens. "These individuals represent some of the most creative and accomplished leaders in business. I look forward to working with them as we capitalize on the great performances and personalities of our members and the excitement and interest in women's golf around the world."

Mechem, who led the LPGA from 1990-95, also convened a Commissioner's Advisory Council during his tenure.
Go to the link to see just who is on this Council.

Frequent readers of TFM know of my opinion on Ms. Bivens. She has made a long series of controversial and bad moves. Her statements have also shown an appalling lack of knowledge about the tour's past and present.

So will this advisory panel change anything? I'm skeptical based on Ms. Bivens not taking in the past. Blogger George Frost has no doubts whatsoever. He believes this is just Bivens latest move to take total control of the tour.

George may be right but I'll cut Bivens some slack for the moment. I don't think it will be long before we know just how well she takes advise from this group.

Linked to- Basil's Blog, Cao's Blog, Third World County,

Don't fool with a princess

The latest news in the Riviera Beach eminent domain battle.

WEST PALM BEACH — Princess Wells is eager to remove the vestiges of Hurricane Wilma from her Riviera Beach home. But she worries that any money she spends will truly be gone with the wind.

Nora and Mike Mahoney say they just want to find tenants so they can turn their office building on Broadway into a going concern.

Wells and the Mahoneys say they face the same obstacle: the city of Riviera Beach.

On Tuesday, they stood alongside lawyers for the Virginia-based Institute for Justice and explained why they lent their names to a lawsuit filed that day challenging the city's plan to seize their properties for a planned $2.4 billion waterfront development.

Wells and the Mahoneys said the city's plan to condemn their property through eminent domain has made it impossible for them to carry on their lives.

The Mahoneys said few are interested in renting offices in their Main Street Plaza, a former rundown motel that they spent at least $200,000 renovating. Once would-be tenants hear that the building may be seized by the city, they look elsewhere, the Mahoneys said.

Wells said her beauty salon on Singer Island and house on West 27th Street are in the path of the planned redevelopment project. Joining the lawsuit, she said, is a way to seize her rights.

"I'm a United States of America citizen and I have a right to stay in my home," she said.

Robert Gall, one of the lawyers for the justice institute, called the city's action "outrageous." He pointed out that officials inked the deal with developer Viking Inlet Harbor Properties a day before Gov. Jeb Bush in May signed a law making it illegal for governments to use the power of eminent domain to seize private property and give it to developers to spur economic rebirth.

"The city of Riviera Beach is trying to flout the law," he said.

Reached later, Mayor Michael Brown had equally strong words for the institute.

Calling it the "Institute for Injustice," he said the suit is just another attempt to keep his poverty-racked city from prospering. Riviera Beach played by the rules and the rules can't be changed in mid-game, he said.

A graduate of Howard University law school, he said he is talking to some of his former constitutional law professors about defending the city in the suit.

The institute was involved in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that this year spurred Florida and other states to restrict eminent domain powers.
Mayor Brown continues to state Riviera Beach will win in court. TFM is betting the Mayor will be the latest example of someone having a Harvard education doesn't necessarily make that person smart.

As can be shown by Mayor Brown's tactics in this post.

Also note the Palm Beach Post headline=

National group files Riviera eminent domain suit

While the headline is accurate, the Post again shows its liberal and pro-eminent domain bias. The clowns up in West Palm Beach know why taxpayers need the help of groups like the Institute for Justice. When it comes to fighting city hall, few taxpayers have the financial wherewithal to do it. Why the liberal Post takes the side of developers over poor people in Riviera Beach is beyond me. It does show the paper to be a hypocrite.

Riviera Beach is one of the worst parts of Palm Beach County. You can dress up a pig with fancy jewelry, but its still a pig. The same applies to Riviera Beach if they win their eminent domain battle. Few people want to drive to a crime ridden place for the simple reason we value our safety before pleasure. If the Post and Mayor Brown don't believe me, just look at the Miami Arena. It was supposed to re-vitalize that part of Miami 20 years ago. Instead today the arena is closed and the subject of lawsuits. I can list other failed South Florida redevelopment projects.

Good luck Princess and thank you Institute for Justice.

Linked to- Pursuing Holiness, Right Wing Nation, Stuck on Stupid,

Florida the rules are different here Chapter LI

Some news from Vero Beach. How does a prisoner with shackles on commandeer a van and drive off? What were the deputy(or deputies) doing or not doing that allowed Mr. Castro-Mesto to get away with some of his fellow prisoners? It all began at a gas station, was the deputy inside buying some twinkies?

I'll give this criminal some credit for his audacity. If not for his criminal record, Mr. Castro-Mesto certainly could be a future bus driver. Palm Beach County is going to need them soon.

Don't you just love Florida?

Linked to- Bullwinkle Blog, Bright & Early, Jo's Cafe,

VERO BEACH -- An inmate being extradited from Miami to Seminole County took a joyride this morning in Vero Beach after he hijacked the van he was being transported in and drove away with three other prisoners inside, officials allege.

But Alexis J. Castro-Mesto didn't get far before a swarm of Indian River County sheriff's deputies caught up with the van and eventually recaptured him.

Castro-Mesto, 28, of Orlando, was arrested shortly after the 8:45 a.m. incident and charged locally with escape and grand theft auto. He was arrested Sunday in Miami on a warrant from Seminole County and was being transported to Altamonte Springs to face a burglary charge he failed to appear on in court, according to state records.

The other inmates in the van, whose names were not released but were also being extradited, did not receive additional charges because officials said they didn't participate in the event.

Officials have not released how Castro-Mesto, who was shackled along with the other inmates, was able to get from the back of the van to the driver's seat, but initial reports indicate the incident happened at a gas station on State Road 60 near Interstate 95.

Castro-Mesto drove east on S.R. 60 and turned south on 82nd Avenue before letting the other inmates out of the van, according to Deputy Jeff Luther. The prisoners turned themselves in at a business, and deputies caught up to the van near the 2700 block of Oslo Road.

They eventually stopped him near the 400 block of 58th Avenue and were able to make the arrest without further incident, Luther said.

The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is Florida State House Representative Adam Hasner. The Republican gets the award for the following.

(CBS4/AP) TALLAHASSEE You might be surprised to find out that the gas stations that are contracted to sell gas at Turnpike Service Plazas are a part of Hugo Chavez's oil empire. After the harsh words he had for the US last week, some state politicians want to change this.

A South Florida lawmaker wants the state to remove Citgo gas stations from Florida's Turnpike.

State Representative Adam Hasner wants to is raising the issue following last week's comments by Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez at the United Nations, who said President Bush was "the devil" Citgo is owned by the national oil company of Venezuela.

In a letter to the state Department of Transportation, Hasner asks whether the state can terminate the contracts of Citgo gas stations at toll plazas along the Turnpike.

In his letter, the Delray Beach Republican says a clear message needs to be sent to Chávez that the State of Florida -- quote -- "will not support institutions that seek the destabilization of America."

A spokesman for the Department of Transportation would only say that the agency is reviewing the reques.
So far as boycotts and political moves go, this proposal is just dumb and costly. How is removing Citgo from the Florida turnpike going to change Chavez's behavior? The man is a perpetual knucklehead and a nuisance, but that's all he is.

As to Hasner's proposal, it will accomplish but cost Floridians money. Both at the pump(where Citgo is some of the cheapest gas around) and through taxes because ending the leases on the turnpike will certainly cost money. Hasner's move smells of political grandstanding, make lots of noise and accomplish very little.

Florida State House Representative Adam Hasner is today's knucklehead of the day.

Rick at SOTP shares a similar opinion to my own. A personal boycott is one thing, but so far as political statements, Hasner's overreaction is just dumb.
The Daily Pulp weighs in also.
Linked to- Pursuing Holiness, Bright & Early, Jo's Cafe, TMH's Bacon Bits, Right Wing Nation, Basil's Blog, Cao's Blog, Outside the Beltway, Third World County, Stuck on Stupid,

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Lean on me

From AP-

SAN DIEGO - Chargers strong safety Terrence Kiel admitted to shipping at least two parcels of prescription cough syrup to Texas, DEA officials said Wednesday, a day after the player was arrested at team headquarters.

While Kiel did not tell the DEA his motive, the agency in Texas has found widespread abuse of codeine-based cough syrup mixed with soft drinks or drugs and referred to as "lean," said John S. Fernandes, the special agent in charge of the San Diego office. A pint bottle of "lean" can cost between $200 and $325 on the street, he said.

Kiel grew up in Lufkin and played at Texas A&M.

Kiel was arrested on two counts of transporting a controlled substance and three counts of possession for sale of a controlled substance. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday.

The DEA is investigating where Kiel got the cough syrup, who else may be involved and the intent.

Two federal law enforcement officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation, said quart bottles full of what appears to be prescription cough syrup were found at Kiel's house. Both officials said Kiel admitted to financial difficulties when interviewed by agents.

Kiel is making $500,000 this year, his fourth with the Chargers.

Kiel's status for Sunday's game at Baltimore was not immediately known. He was jailed Tuesday and released on bail.
I suppose Kiel can have a sick relative back in Texas. Cough...cough but wouldn't going to the neighborhood pharmacy be cheaper and faster?

Linked to- Pursuing Holiness, Bright & Early,


Don Surber has a good post up about why political television advertisements are running over a month before the November election. It is because early voting has begun in some states and will soon begin in others. Florida included.

The political garbage in my mailbox has for the most part let up. With one notable exception, the Rob Siedlecki State House 85 campaign keeps barraging my mailbox on a 2-time a week basis. In addition to the two mailings directly from Siedlecki this week, there was a third advertisement from a group supporting Siedlecki's bid to unseat Shelly Vana.

I'm sick of this garbage mail. So much so I went to Rob Siedlecki website and called the campaign manager, one Kent Strang at 561-847-5036 or e-mail TFM talked to Kent and appraised hm of the barrage of mailings I'm getting and that I thought they were counterproductive. When I told Strang I was a blogger, he said he either knew of TFM or had visited here. A technorati search shows only two other bloggers than myself in the last 50 days blogging about the State House 85 race. Here is an interview of the candidate.

A week has passed, my mailbox keeps getting filled and well. While I didn't give Strang my address, I did tell him what I what of getting dumped on 2-3 times a week. TFM is losing patience fast. I'm tired of the political garbage(and that's what it is) going into MY mailbox every week. So if you're reading this Kent Strang, be put on notice. The next time I blog about your candidate may be to give Siedlecki and yourself the Knucklehead of the day award. That's if you don't stop flooding my mailbox. Don't think my vote or the two other members of my household vote is sewn up either. We can take a pass in November before voting for just another politico who listens to no one but himself. If you think I'm wrong about your mass mailing campaign I have one name for you. Irv Slosberg.

TFM doesn't pretend to be much read but I can post the award freely via trackbacks and other sites that will let me leave a link. Or just the news of Siedlecki being declared a knucklehead. That's your choice Rob and Kent, now get the hell out of my mailbox.

Note to my readers- I'm emailing Kent Strang a link to this post.

Linked to-
Bright & Early, Basil's Blog, Right Wing Nation,

Travel agent

Some news from the Vatican.

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI said Wednesday that tourism should help different cultures bridge gaps and promote dialogue between the world's different people.

Wednesday was World Tourism Day, and the pontiff made the remarks before about 30,000 pilgrims and tourists gathered in a sunny St. Peter's Square to attend his weekly general audience.

"I hope that tourism will increasingly promote dialogue and respect between cultures, thereby becoming an open door to peace and harmonious cohabitation," Benedict said.

Not just visiting, but living in another country or culture will give a person a different view of life than if they have never travelled outside of the area they lived. In 1989 I lived with my Philippine inlaws for nearly six weeks and learned much about life there. A military member living on base at the time didn't get the education I got.

Among the things I experienced or saw being done

*- Sleeping on the floor
*- Eating rice with one's hands
*- One television station town with only two commercials
*- Brown outs
*- Cats making love on a neighboring roof and then when its over with, fighting and then falling off the roof into water below. Splash! Splash!
*- Getting stared at by every female under the age of 40(Its those blue eyes I have)

I could go on. Travelling is definitely educational.

Linked to- Pursuing Holiness, Third World County, TMH's Bacon Bits,

Ponce de Leon lives

Some news from Seoul

South Korea, battling the effects of an ageing population, plans to spend more than 20 million dollars over the next 10 years to discover the secrets of eternal youth.

The investment is aimed at keeping older people economically active for a longer period to compensate for the country's rock-bottom birth rate.

By 2016, the Ministry of Science and Technology plans to inject 19.8 billion won (20.6 million dollars) to fund local scientists developing age-defying technologies.

"The money -- 2.2 billion won every year -- is not enough to stop a declining population but useful to make our society healthy," said Cho Seong-Chan, a director of the ministry's technology department.

"This will also help South Korea become a superpower in the biotech industry, which is regarded as our future source to earn foreign currency," he said.

The project reflects prevailing worries about a declining population after South Korea officially became an aging society in 2000, when the ratio of the population aged 65 or older exceeded seven percent.

Falling birth rates are a global trend but the phenomenon is especially marked in South Korea -- sparking fears that economic productivity will be seriously threatened by a rapidly ageing population.

"Our society is ageing at the fastest speed in the world," said Moon Hyung-Pyo, a researcher at the state-run Korea Development Institute. People aged 65 or above will account for 37 percent of the population in 2050, causing a huge fiscal deficit as well as a social headache, he said.

Higher spending on welfare and health care is not a perfect remedy, Moon said, suggesting South Korea should boost its birth rate and allow old people to remain healthier and work longer.

Otherwise the economic growth rate could drop from a current estimate of 4.7 percent to 2.91 percent in 2020 and 1.6 percent in 2030, he said.
South Korea isn't the only country facing the problem of a aging population. Japan, France, and in particular Russia are facing similar or worse crises. Lower birth rates and industrialization go hand in hand. That's why a total clamp down on legal immigration to the US would be foolhardy. This country will need a constant influx of people so to continue our economic prosperity.

The 20 million planing to be spent by the ROK seems both miniscule and misdirected. I doubt 2 million a year will even dent this looming problem, besides trying to stop aging is like getting the world to stop spinning. It just won't happen. The government would be better off to offer inducements for married couples to have more children. Though with a nation the size of Indiana, and 40 million people living in it, producing more South Koreans also has its drawbacks. I'm afraid there is no easy answer.

Hat tip- GI in Korea
Linked to- Cao's Blog, Basil's Blog, Right Wing Nation,

The Orlando Sentinel needs a lesson in the internet

From today's paper.

Student sent to prison in cybersex case

Orlando -- A South Florida college student who traveled to Merritt Island in January to have sex with an 11-year-old girl and videotape the acts was sentenced Tuesday to 11 years in federal prison.

Lawrence Patrick Tobar, 21, of Palm Beach Gardens also was ordered by U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell in Orlando to pay a $10,000 fine, serve five years of supervised release and register as a sex offender after prison.

Tobar had arranged through an Internet chat room to meet a father and his daughter for a sexual encounter there, but the "father" turned out to be an undercover officer with the Brevard-Volusia Child Exploitation Task Force, a coalition of officers from the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and sheriff's offices in both counties.
I'm sorry to inform the Sentinel, but that's not cybersex. Cybersex is the act of pretending one is having sex or masturbating in an online chat or IM. Before anyone asks how I know this, I'll give an easy answer. As a former AOL subscriber I used to get asked if I wanted to cyber on many occasions. One of the drawbacks of entering that online service's public chatrooms.

Is there anyone out there who wants to teach the paper the true definition of cybersex? Time for sarcastic laughter.

Linked to- Planck's Constant, Random Yak,

The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is Target Corporation. The retail store chain gets the award for the following.

PENSACOLA, Fla. — Target Corp. has been fined $75,000 after pleading guilty to a federal charge of illegally flushing 275 gallons of roofing chemicals into waterways in 2003, a violation of the Clean Water Act.

At $25,000 a day, the fine represents the maximum penalty possible for the three days Target knew about the spill, U.S. Magistrate Judge Miles Davis said

While working on the roof of a Target store on Oct. 15, 2003, a roofing foreman punctured a 275-gallon container with a forklift. He rinsed its entire contents into a grated storm drain in the parking lot, court records stated.

The drain leads to Carpenter Creek, and eventually, Bayou Texar and Pensacola Bay. Two days later, a resident saw a white substance in Bayou Texar and reported the spill to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

The chemicals, zinc oxide and ethylene glycol, were linked to the Target roofing job.

The foreman, David Hayes Marshall, pleaded guilty in January to lying to investigators and saying it was a five-gallon spill and that rain flushed it down the storm water drain.

Target's attorney, Byron Todd Jones, said the company cares about its community.

"Target has learned from this," Jones said. "Don't be misconceived that it doesn't care about its communities. There was miscommunication. There wasn't a corporate cover-up."
Target goofed. Just like they goofed with a store in West Boynton Beach. Not six months since the store opened, the roof is leaking. Seems the company doesn't know how to hire a repubable roofing company.

For not being a good neighbor, Target Corporation is today's knucklehead of the day.

Linked to- Jo's Cafe, Bright & Early, Cao's Blog, Basil's Blog, Adam's Blog, Right Wing Nation, Third World County, TMH's Bacon Bits, Random Yak, Outside the Beltway,

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Golfing legend Byron Nelson dead at 94

From AP

IRVING, Texas - Byron Nelson, golf's courtly "Lord Byron" whose 11 straight tournament victories in 1945 stand as one of sports' most enduring records, died Tuesday. He was 94.


Known for his graceful swing and gentle manner, Nelson had the greatest year in the history of professional golf in 1945 when he won 18 tournaments. He captured 31 of 54 tournaments in 1944-45. Then, at age 34, he retired after the 1946 season to spend more time on his Texas ranch.

"When I was playing regularly, I had a goal," Nelson recalled years later. "I could see the prize money going into the ranch, buying a tractor, or a cow. It gave me incentive."

That incentive pushed Nelson to become one of the best players of his era. He won the Masters in 1937 and '42, the U.S. Open in 1939 and the PGA Championship in 1940 and '45.

He also finished second once in the U.S. Open, twice in the Masters and three times in the PGA. Nelson played in British Open only twice, finishing fifth in 1937.

Nelson's long, fluid swing is considered the model of the modern way to strike a golf ball and his kind, caring style with fans and competitors made him one of the most well-liked people in sports. "I don't know very much," Nelson said in a 1997 interview with The Associated Press. "I know a little bit about golf. I know how to make a stew. And I know how to be a decent man."


Nelson's second British Open was in 1955, when he was no longer a serious competitor, although he did win the French Open on that trip for his last professional victory. His prize money, however, was not enough to pay the hotel bill.


Nelson was born Feb. 4, 1912, on the family farm and started in golf in 1922 as a caddie at Glen Garden Country Club in Fort Worth. One year, he won the caddies' championship, defeating Hogan in a playoff.

It was the beginning of a rivalry that never really materialized. Though they were born six months apart, Nelson won all five of his major championships before he was 34 and Hogan won all nine of his after he was 34. Sam Snead, the all-time leader in PGA victories, also was born in 1912.

After graduating from high school, Nelson got a job as a file clerk in the accounting office of the Forth Worth and Denver Railroad and played golf in his spare time.

He lost his job during the Great Depression but found work in 1931 with a bankers' magazine. The same year, he entered his first tournament, the National Amateur in Chicago, where he missed qualifying by one stroke. With jobs hard to find, he turned professional in 1932.

Nelson started out competing against Gene Sarazen and lived to see Tiger Woods, an era that went from hickory shafts to titanium heads.

He made an appearance each year at the Masters, joining Snead and Gene Sarazen in hitting the ceremonial first balls, and hosted the Byron Nelson Classic each May.


As a hemophiliac, Nelson was excused from military service during World War II. But despite the weak fields, his accomplishments in the war years were astounding.

In 1944, he won 13 of the 23 tournaments he played. The following year he won a record 18 times in 31 starts, including 11 in a row — also a record. Nelson finished second seven times in 1945, was never out of the top 10 and at one point played 19 consecutive rounds under 70. His stroke average of 68.33 for the season is still the record.

"Any time you make a record that stands for 55 years, you've done pretty good," Nelson told the AP in 2000 when Woods was on a PGA Tour winning streak that reached six.

Asked in 1997 how the winning streak affected him financially, Nelson said: "Well, I got some Wheaties, but not until after I had won seven or eight in a row did I get them. And I got 200 bucks."

The attention on Nelson as the streak lengthened grew quicker than the money.

"There wasn't any pressure at first, but it pyramided as the string grew," Nelson remembered. "It got to be like an auction. The headlines would say, `Nelson wins No. 5, can he make it 6?' or `Who can stop Nelson?'"

He was voted AP Male Athlete of the Year in 1944 and 1945. Nelson's 52 PGA Tour victories — a mark tied by Woods this year — was fifth on the career list behind Snead, Jack Nicklaus, Hogan and Palmer. He was elected to the PGA Hall of Fame in 1953 and to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.

In the 1960s he became one of golf's early TV announcers.

Although Nelson continued to play in an occasional tournament after 1946, he retreated to his 673-acre ranch in Roanoke, Texas, and never returned to competitive golf full time.


Nelson, who tutored eight-time major championship winner Tom Watson, had a swing players envied.
I had forgotten Nelson was a hemophiliac but did remember his friendship with Tom Watson. Byron was an amazing golfer. RIP.

Linked to- Adam's Blog, Basil's Blog,

Going nowhere

Breaking news on the Diana Irey challenge of John Murtha.

The challenger in a high-profile election said Monday she has issues with her opponent's fundraising practices.

Diana Irey, a Republican from Washington County, held a news conference calling Congressman Jack Murtha's fundraising efforts unethical.

Irey's comments come after a public report last week which identified some members of Congress as corrupt.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, also known as CREW, released their second annual list about members of Congress who CREW said are making personal business trades.

That list included Murtha as one to watch, and Irey said the information provides proof Murtha's campaign contributions violated federal law. In response, Irey challenged everyone in the public to take note.
Here is the report mentioned above. I blogged about it in a previous post about Congresswoman Katherine Harris.

I'm almost certain Murtha is corrupt. First corruption is prevalent at almost all levels of politics. Second Murtha has been in Congress for 32 years. No one can be in office that long with out being dirty. Thirdly, Murtha has a safe Democratic seat which has produce an arrogant belief in own invulnerability when it comes to being returned to office. A politician with nothing to fear at election time is the most likely type to be corrupt.

TFM doesn't like Murtha, but as I blogged before, he will be returning to Congress in 2007 barring death. Despite the misguided attempts of Rightroots to raise money for her, the Diana Irey campaign is going no where.

Is there more Diana Irey news out there? Go to Yahoo news and do a news search for Diana Irey. Other than the story above you only get this Diana Irey focused story-

Irey visits County Fair

Before you say that Yahoo news is missing something, Here are the results for September from two media outlets in or near Murtha's district. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette and The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat.

Murtha’s fans, foes to stage rallies

That September 24th article represents the only article on the Murth-Irey race for the month of September. What does that tell you?

That Diana Irey is going to lose in November and that Rightroots and its supporters truly deserved the Knucklehead award I gave them. If you look at their fundraising to date, Diana Irey has garnered the most contributions.

Money that won't mean a damn against John Murtha's considerable war chest. So Rightroots money is being effectively flushed down a toilet.

If you still don't believe me on the futility of backing Diana Irey, I suggest you contact The National Republican Congressional Committee. Their telephone # is (202) 479-7000. I spoke to someone named Michael after asking for the News Media inquiries dept. No polling has been done on the Irey-Murtha race by the NRCC or any other pollsters as far as he knew. Michael also said my take on the race was pretty much on point.

So if you don't believe me, call NRCC for yourselves. No one at Rightroots apparently did. Some of these bloggers may be smarter, more eloquent than TFM and certainly have bigger amounts of readers than I do. That doesn't excuse their stupidity in raising money for a candidate who has no chance in November when so many races are critical in the Republican effort to hold onto Congress.

Linked to- Third World County, Adam's Blog, Right Wing Nation,

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