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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, February 28, 2007


Some people have trouble with this perfectly natural act. South Florida blogger Tere goes on a tear.

This is the part about blogging and reading blogs that I hate: reading posts about situations in which people behave with such ignorance, such a lack of understanding or compassion, that it makes me physically ill.

When, people of America, will you learn that breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world, and that breastfeeding mothers need and deserve as much support as those who don't?

Is that asking too much? Then how about this: when, people of America, will you stop harassing breastfeeding mothers while you continue to turn a blind eye to gratuitous, degrading images of the female body?

Damn, people, I'm pissed, and I really hate feeling this way. Actually, I'm not pissed so much as I am filled with an awful sense of helplessness. It began with this, a post on IzzyMom about a mother on MySpace who has a picture of her baby nursing, and which MySpace has removed three times now for violating its policy about "sexually suggestive images".
Tere is dead on target, including her comments on how some lactation activists have done harm.(Many activists are radical in the ideas they advocate and I feel do more harm than good even if I basically support them) Go over and read Tere's post,if it will be worth your time.

Hat tip and thanks for the photo to Rick at SOTP
Linked to- Common Folk, Jo, Perri Nelson,


Florida Fire Panther sale

The Panthers were busy before yesterday's trading deadline.

WASHINGTON — The Panthers took a step to assure the Roberto Luongo trade will go down as one of the worst in franchise history Tuesday when they traded Todd Bertuzzi to Detroit hours before the NHL trade deadline.
The Luongo deal was easily the worst in Panther history. A 3rd rate goaltender and an injured player in place of an all-star goaltender. Fiasco is the word that sums up that trade.

Bertuzzi was the principle asset acquired in last June's deal that sent Luongo, the team's franchise goaltender, to Vancouver. Florida also got goaltender Alex Auld, out for the season with a knee injury, and top-four defenseman Bryan Allen. Defenseman Lukas Krajicek also joined the Canucks.

"We just have to move forward," said coach and General Manager Jacques Martin, who served in his GM capacity for the first time on deadline day. "One thing you'll learn about me is I make decisions to try to better the organization.
Martin wasn't responsible for the Luongo trade but former GM Mike Keenan.

"I don't live in the past. My commitment is to make this organization better, and to have a plan ... I do feel we can make the organization better with the moves we've made today."

Martin was busy in the 36 hours leading up to the deadline, but not as busy as many expected.

Gary Roberts agreed Tuesday morning to the deal that sent him to Pittsburgh for minor-league defenseman Noel Welch, and defenseman Joel Kwiatkowski went to the same Penguins for a fourth-round draft pick.


Martin said he had discussions with Bertuzzi's agent, Pat Morris, about a contract extension but ultimately decided to use the $5 million-plus it would have taken to re-sign him elsewhere.


Bertuzzi played only seven games before leaving the team in mid-October with a back injury. He has been practicing and is expected to play again soon.

Exactly what the Panthers get in return for Bertuzzi will depend on how far Detroit goes in the playoffs.

At minimum, they get a third-round pick, but it could rise to a first-rounder if the Red Wings reach a benchmark that is believed to be the conference finals.

Florida would get an additional pick if Bertuzzi re-signs with Detroit (not likely). Florida also got forward prospect Shawn Matthias, 19, a second-round pick of the Red Wings in last year's entry draft.
The Panthers aren't a playoff team now, Roberts and the now retired Joe Nieuwendyk weren't going to be part of the future of this team. So I don't mind Roberts being gone, but I'd like to know why does this team invest in over the hill players?

Ed Belfour, who is playing well in goal, isn't any spring chicken either.(Don't get me wrong, I like Eddie in goal. Its the age factor) With Auld injured, The Eagle is the only proven NHL goaltender the team has. In spite of their 13 goals in the last two games, the Panthers are a notoriously punchless offensive team who now has goaltending problems to boot. Not a good mix.

Matthias and the draft picks may work out but if Detroit thought so highly of this 19-year-old, why trade him for an injured player who will be a free agent at the end of the year? I'm hoping Detroit pulled a Jeff Bagwell for Larry Andersen but some how I doubt it.

As to the draft picks, the Panthers have had over 10 years to build an offense. Do I need to say more?

Linked to- Basil, Bullwinkle,

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Leading off

The PGA Tour begins its' Florida swing this week, but not in the usual place.

If the PGA Tour is switching coasts, Doral must be up.

Except it isn't. Not anymore.

After two decades of starting at Doral and working its way northward, the tour has shaken up the order. Honda gets leadoff duties now, with Doral shifting to the anchor spot as a World Golf Championships showcase.

The swank Players Championship used to bat cleanup but has a May date in the new schedule. That created an opening for Tampa, where the renamed PODS Championship moves from the fall into the old Honda dates.

Got that?

''The Florida Swing is totally different,'' Rocco Mediate said. ``But there's nothing wrong with any of this stuff.''

By and large, players believe the rejiggering will make for an even stronger Swing. But especially for the veterans, the new rotation will take some getting used to.

''It's kind of odd,'' said Kenny Perry. ``I've been out here 22 years, and Doral was always my first [Florida] stop. But we're not too far from Miami, kind of in the same neighborhood.''

NBC analyst Johnny Miller said: ``I think the tournaments are the best they've ever been. I like the crescendo to the World Golf Championships at Doral. It's going to be fun.''

In the 1980s and '90s, the adage was that golf season didn't truly begin until the tour reached Doral. Now that honor falls to the Honda, where the event aims to become revitalized.

The tournament also has a new home -- PGA National Resort -- a new management team and the Nicklaus family taking an active role. But the Honda needed to move out of the No. 2 slot, where it was sandwiched between the drawing power of Doral and Arnold Palmer at Bay Hill.

''No doubt it's a better date for us,'' executive director Ken Kennerly said. ``History showed the second week in March was not a good one.''
Kennerly is right, the old sandwich status of the Honda Classic didn't prove to be a good one. Will the new one be better? Now the tournament is a week after the Match Play and two weeks before another World Golf Championship event. I think if players have to choose a week off between Honda and Bay Hill, Honda will be the loser.

As for the tournament, I won't be attending. My leg is still recovering from my recent hospital stay. So there will be chance encounter with Johnny Miller and me telling him what a liar and fraud he is.

Linked to- Basil, Bullwinkle,

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Walter Reed

There was a recent Washington Post story about Walter Reed Army Hospital that caused a stir. I never blogged about it, mostly because I had little new to add to what other bloggers were saying.

Here is some more news about Walter Reed. From The Army Times-

Soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center’s Medical Hold Unit say they have been told they will wake up at 6 a.m. every morning and have their rooms ready for inspection at 7 a.m., and that they must not speak to the media.

“Some soldiers believe this is a form of punishment for the trouble soldiers caused by talking to the media,” one Medical Hold Unit soldier said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

It is unusual for soldiers to have daily inspections after Basic Training.

Soldiers say their sergeant major gathered troops at 6 p.m. Monday to tell them they must follow their chain of command when asking for help with their medical evaluation paperwork, or when they spot mold, mice or other problems in their quarters.

They were also told they would be moving out of Building 18 to Building 14 within the next couple of weeks. Building 14 is a barracks that houses the administrative offices for the Medical Hold Unit and was renovated in 2006. It’s also located on the Walter Reed Campus, where reporters must be escorted by public affairs personnel. Building 18 is located just off campus and is easy to access.

The soldiers said they were also told their first sergeant has been relieved of duty, and that all of their platoon sergeants have been moved to other positions at Walter Reed. And 120 permanent-duty soldiers are expected to arrive by mid-March to take control of the Medical Hold Unit, the soldiers said.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Army public affairs did not respond to a request sent Sunday evening to verify the personnel changes.

The Pentagon also clamped down on media coverage of any and all Defense Department medical facilities, to include suspending planned projects by CNN and the Discovery Channel, saying in an e-mail to spokespeople: “It will be in most cases not appropriate to engage the media while this review takes place,” referring to an investigation of the problems at Walter Reed.
Is this the people working at Reed who will undergo inspection or those convalescing there. Treating our wounded soldiers as if they're in boot camp is not called for. As to the media, it looks like the army is doing damage control Tasmanian Devil style. Making things worse than they are now. What is wrong with The Discovery Channel? If the Army Times has the story, how long before congress and or the bigger outlets hear about this? Not long. I just wish I knew who to give the Knucklehead award to.

Maybe I should give the award to the Army Chief of Staff. Is Knucklehead Schoomaker still in charge?

Update- The Army Times is owned by Gannet newspapers. So much for the MSM not having the story.....

Linked to- Basil, Big Dog, Jo, Right Wing Nation, Third World County,


The Co-Knuckleheads of the Day award Part Two

Today's second winners are five members of the Largo Florida City Council. They are Gay Gentry, Mary Gray Black, Andy Guyette, Gigi Arntzen, and Harriet K. Crozier. They get the award for the following.

LARGO - City commissioners ended one of the most tumultuous weeks in Largo history Tuesday night by moving to fire City Manager Steve Stanton following his disclosure that he will have a sex-change operation.

A total of 480 people packed City Hall for a four-hour meeting during which one activist was arrested after police told her not to hand out fliers.

After listening to about 60 speakers, mostly from Largo, a majority of commissioners said they had lost confidence in Stanton's ability to lead.

"His brain is the same today as it was last week," Commissioner Gay Gentry said. "He may be even able to be a better city manager. But I sense that he's lost his standing as a leader among the employees of the city."

Commissioners voted 5-2, with Mayor Pat Gerard and Commissioner Rodney Woods in dissent, to place Stanton on paid leave while his departure is made final.

"I'm going to be embarrassed if we throw this man out on the trash heap after he's worked so hard for the city," Gerard said before the vote. "We have a choice to make: We can go back to intolerance, or we can be the city of progress."

Woods chastised fellow commissioners, saying he had a hard time accepting that they didn't consider Stanton's recent choice to become a woman when they decided he was unfit to lead.

After the vote, Stanton, 48, left the meeting without comment. Later, he told the St. Petersburg Times that the "commission did what they felt was best for the community."

But, he said, commissioners voted before getting a full understanding of what a transsexual must confront when this kind of secret is disclosed.

During the meeting, Stanton described the dismay of watching his professional reputation disintegrate in just seven days.

Until last week, he had served 14 years as the city manager, generally to good reviews. Last fall, commissioners raised his salary nearly 9 percent to $140,234 a year.

But on Feb. 21, the Times reported that Stanton was undergoing hormone therapy in preparation for gender-reassignment surgery - a plan known only to a small circle of people, including his wife, medical team and a few top officials at City Hall.

Stanton and his friends had written an eight-page plan to help make his decision known in June, when he said his 13-year-old son could be out of town and shielded from the publicity.

Instead, the news came out before he told his son. Outraged residents swarmed commissioners, demanding he be ousted.

"It's just real painful to know that seven days ago I was a good guy and now I have no integrity, I have no trust and most painful, I have no followers," Stanton said.

But he also indicated he does not plan to sue the city.

"In so many ways I am Largo," Stanton told commissioners. "It's like suing my mother."
I blogged about the Stanton story before. My opinion hasn't changed, I admire his bravery and wish Steve Stanton well.

As for those five commissioners, they are disgraces. The only reason for Stanton's firing is his transsexualism. What a bunch of cowardly bastards these people are. Screw public opinion, which knows little about gender issues to start with, what was done here is absolutely wrong. They aren't half the person Stanton is and for their cowardly stupidity, I make Gay Gentry, Mary Gray Black, Andy Guyette, Gigi Arntzen, and Harriet K. Crozier the second Knucklead winners of the Day.

Linked to- Amboy Times, Basil, Big Dog, Blue Star, Bright & Early, Cao, Common Folk, Dumb Ox, Jo, Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson, Pirate's Cove, Planck's Constant, Random Yak, Right Voices, Right Wing Nation, Third World County,

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Signs of life

According to Reuters, Fidel Castro did his first live radio broadcast yesterday since having surgery last year.

Sounding much healthier and more lucid than he has in taped video clips released during his convalescence, Castro laughed frequently in a half-hour chat with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez that was marked by boyish humor.

"I am gaining ground. I feel I have more energy, more strength, more time to study," he said on his top ally's nightly call-in radio show, which was later played on Cuban state television.

"I have become a student again," Castro added with a chuckle.

His guest appearance came as a surprise to listeners. Chavez said his energy minister was on the line but the 80-year-old Cuban's voice broke in: "Listen, my distinguished and dear friend, how are you?"

"Goodness, it's Fidel," Chavez replied.

Then the two icons of Latin America's left, who pride themselves on their anti-Americanism, exchanged pleasantries -- in English.

"Fidel, how are you?" Chavez said with a heavy accent.

"Very well," Castro replied as they both laughed.

Castro later commented on the fall of world stock markets on Tuesday, the worst in years, and said it was proof of his view that capitalism was in crisis.
I always felt if Castro died, a state funeral would occur. The Cuban immigrant community will just have to keep waiting for that day. Which if I were betting, is not that far off. 2008 is my guess.

Hat tip- Poliblog
Linked to-Bullwinkle, Right Wing Nation,

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Not again

Are the Miami Dolphins Quarterback shopping again?

INDIANAPOLIS -- As the Dolphins prepare to part ways with Joey Harrington, another veteran quarterback may be emerging on the team's radar.

The Dolphins would have interest in acquiring Kansas City's Trent Green if placed on the trading block by the Chiefs, a source said at the NFL Scouting Combine.

As of Tuesday, there were no indications Green is currently being dangled as trade bait by Kansas City. But should the Chiefs decide to head in a different direction at quarterback, the source said the Dolphins would entertain the possibility of trying to swing a deal.

The odds of such a scenario unfolding increased Tuesday with Kansas City re-signing quarterback Damon Huard to a three-year contract that FOX Sports reported is worth $7.5 million.

A Dolphins backup from 1997 to 2000, Huard posted a 5-3 record as a starter in 2006 while Green was sidelined with a serious concussion suffered in the season-opener against Cincinnati. When he returned to the starting lineup, Green struggled while playing in a new offense under first-year head coach Herman Edwards.

Although he became one of the AFC's top quarterbacks after his arrival in Kansas City in 2001, two other factors that may prompt the Chiefs to consider moving Green are his age - the 13-year veteran turns 37 in July -- and contract. The Kansas City Star reported Tuesday that the Chiefs are expected to ask Green to take a pay cut from his current 2007 base salary of $7.2 million.
Trade for a 37-year-old QB? Why don't Miami just see if Steve DeBerg or Jeff George can come out of retirement? Better idea, lets get Dan Marino to come back. He's lost all that weight because of that diet plan. (Sarcastic laughter time)

After their expereiences with Daunte Culpepper, Joey Harrington(Who is expected to be cut by the Dolphins this week) and AJ Feeley, you'd think Miami wouldn't be looking for another quick fix at QB. At Green's age, Miami will get 1-2 years at most. On the other hand a draft pick if used smartly, could get a player with long-term value. I rather take the gamble on the later, Miami needs too much help to be trading draft picks.

So will Coach Cameron make the same mistake as his predecessors? I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Linked to- Basil, Big Dog,

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The Co-Knucklehead of the Day award Part One

Today's winner is Las Vegas Sands Corp., operator of the Sands Macau Casino. They get the award for the following.

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Macau's gaming bureau has ruled that the Sands Macao casino -- operated by U.S. gaming giant Las Vegas Sands -- must pay an under-age player's HK$740,000 ($94,900) jackpot winnings to her mother, a local daily said on Saturday.

The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau -- Macau's gaming watchdog -- made the decision after meeting the 16-year-old girl and her mother, Hong Kong's South China Morning Post reported.

"We have decided that the money must be paid, not to the child, but to her mother," the daily quoted Manuel Joaquim das Neves, the territory's gaming bureau director, as saying.

Macau's gaming legislation states that persons under the age of 18 are barred from casinos, but it is unclear about how gaming venues should respond if minors gain entry and win.

In an effort to clarify the rules, the gaming bureau plans to add clauses to amendments that are currently being drafted, the report said.

The Hong Kong teenager was playing at Sands on Tuesday with her mother and grandmother, the paper said. She put HK$100 into a slot machine, and it stopped on the winning number.

Sands' staff refused to pay out when they discovered the girl was under age. The casino did not respond to the ruling, but has the option to appeal.
This corporation and their casino are dumb but predictable. They were very happy to take the money from the youth and her mother. That's till they won something, then the rules change. Why should people go to gambling establishments like Sands or Seminole, if they can't be relied upon to pay out any winnings? This incident could cause the casino to lose more business than the payout they would have to make.

If this corportation and casino are smart they'll make ammends and pay the winnings to avoid a PR nightmare. But first, I make Las Vegas Sands Corp., operator of the Sands Macau Casino today's Knucklehead of the Day.

Linked to- Amboy Times, Basil, Big Dog, Bright & Early, Cao, Common Folk, Dumb Ox, Jo, Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson, Pirate's Cove, Planck's Constant, Random Yak, Right Voices, Third World County,

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The PGA Tour will return to Washington DC

The hole in the pro golf schedule caused by the cancellation of The International seems to have been filled.

The PGA Tour is returning to the nation's capital during the Fourth of July, backed by the biggest name in golf. The Tiger Woods Foundation will be the host organization of the new PGA Tour event in the Washington, D.C., area. Woods' foundation will be the primary beneficiary of charitable proceeds.

It was not certain that Woods will play in the Washington tournament this year because his wife is expecting their first child in early July. But it is likely the world's No. 1 player will be a regular in Washington, the first that his foundation has organized.

Also to be announced is a title sponsor and where the tournament will be played from July 5-8. Woods and PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem are to provide more details March 7 at a press conference in Washington.
What course the tournament will be played on is a big detail and unknown. TPC at Avenel, the old host to the PGA Tour stop in DC, is being renovated and is currently unavailable.

I'm betting Tiger doesn't play because of Elin's pregnancy.

Linked to- Basil, Bright & Early,

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Highly explosive

This news is a certain sign that the apocalypse is soon coming.

February 25, 2007 -- The prestigious Council on Foreign Relations is about to get a jolt of sex appeal.

The exclusive, Manhattan-based foreign-policy group has decided to admit actress Angelina Jolie, a U.N. goodwill ambassador who has taken more than 30 trips worldwide to advocate for refugees, AIDS orphans and disaster victims.

On Friday night, the council's membership accepted Jolie's nomination - meaning she will soon be rubbing elbows with other club members such as Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell and Alan Greenspan.


Many current members call Jolie qualified and support her induction.

"Bring her on," said Dr. Gordon Adams, an international-affairs professor. "The idea of having Henry Kissinger and Angelina Jolie in the same organization is dazzling."
Angelina and Henry in the same room. What a scary thought, run for the hills!

Hat tip- Below the Beltway
Linked to- Basil, Blue Star, Bright & Early, Jo, Third World County,



The Stock markets are not having a good day today.

NEW YORK - The Dow Jones industrial average is down more than 500 points with about an hour of trading left today. The Nasdaq Composite is off more than 100.

A 9 percent slide in Chinese stocks, which came a day after investors sent Shanghai's benchmark index to a record high close, set the tone for U.S. trading.

Investors' confidence was knocked down further by data showing that the economy may be decelerating more than anticipated. A Commerce Department report that orders for durable goods in January dropped by the largest amount in three months exacerbated jitters about the direction of the U.S. economy, which were raised a day earlier when former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said the United States may be headed for a recession.

"It looks more and more like the economy is a slow growth economy," said Michael Strauss, chief economist at Commonfund. "Moderate economic growth is good — an abrupt stop in economic growth scares people."

The market had been expecting the government on Wednesday to revise its estimate of fourth-quarter GDP growth down to an annual rate of about 2.3 percent from an initial forecast of 3.5 percent, and grew increasingly nervous on Tuesday that the figure could come in even lower.

The housing market, which the Street had been hoping had bottomed out, also looked far from recovery after a Standard & Poor's index indicated that single-family home prices across the nation were flat in December. A later report from the National Association of Realtors said existing home sales climbed in January by the largest amount in two years, but the data didn't erase housing-related concerns, as median home prices fell for a sixth straight month.

A suicide bomber attack on the main U.S. military base in Afghanistan where Vice President Dick Cheney was visiting also rattled the market.
Speaking for myself, I don't worry about daily or even weekly swings in the market. The investments the wife and I have are for the long-term.

Yes there is bad news out, but I'm wondering if some old-fashioned profit taking is taking place. The markets are up some ten percent over the last year. I'm not going to lose sleep over today.

Linked to- Perri Nelson, Pirate's Cove, Planck's Constant,


Time to draw up invasion plans

Some news from Reuters-

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union citizens are overwhelmingly happy with life -- and that's official.

A pan-European opinion poll conducted for the European Commission and published on Monday showed that 87 percent of EU citizens considered themselves happy, with a record 97 percent in Denmark.

Only in Bulgaria, which joined the bloc in January, did a majority of people (55 percent) say they were unhappy.
So all that needs to be done is for Denmark to invade and take over Bulgaria. Can we send some conservative bloggers to Denmark too for cheering up?(Cue the sarcastic laughter)

Hat tip- Poliblog
Linked to-Blue Star, Jo, Right Wing Nation,


The first rule for potential fugitives

Never hide at a family member's or girlfriend/boyfriend's home. From the Bradenton Herald-

Authorities with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office arrested a fugitive reputed gang member Monday at his girlfriend's home.

"Pistol" Pete Garcia has been on the run since earlier this year from racketeering and drug-related charges. Garcia's girlfriend told authorities he returned to Manatee County on Sunday. He was arrested at her home in the 4500 block of 11th Street Circle West, according to authorities.

On Feb. 7, 2006, Garcia was arrested with Jose Lois Rodriguez. Both were charged with trafficking more than 400 grams of cocaine. Rodriguez pleaded guilty to the drug charge and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Garcia, 23, was set for sentencing March 6. On Jan. 18 of this year, his supervised release was revoked, according to court records.

Garcia is also one of nine reputed gang members who face racketeering charges. If convicted of conspiracy to commit racketeering, he faces 4 to 30 years in prison, prosecutors said.

'Pistol' must not be too loaded when it comes to brains. He can take some remedial fugitive living classes when and if he is a free man again.

Linked to- Common Folk using Common Sense, Right Voices, Stiknstein,

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Florida the rules are different here Chapter LXXXVI

Guess where the town of Loxahatchee Groves is having a candidate forum for upcoming city council races? A nudist colony. Isn't this a great state or what?

Linked to- Adam's Blog, Outside the Beltway, Stiknstein, Third World County,

Loxahatchee Groves · For one Town Council candidate, a forum at a nudist resort is more than she can bare.

Sunsport Gardens Family Naturist Resort, a 40-acre nudist resort in Loxahatchee Groves, is hosting a public candidate forum Thursday for the council hopefuls. Its owner, Morley Schloss, said nine of the new town's 10 candidates have confirmed they'll attend.

Schloss, who has owned the 42-year-old resort since 2001 and has been an active member of the Loxahatchee Groves Land Owners Association, said the 100 resort residents want a chance to share their concerns with the candidates.

And while people might be strolling the grounds in the buff, resort General Manager Rebecca Enrico said it's possible no one will be naked at the forum.

"Ninety percent of nudists will not go out of their way to be nude in an environment that might make others uncomfortable," she said. "They don't want to offend anyone."

Still, Seat 1 candidate Toni Vorsteg has opted out, citing both family and religious concerns.

Vorsteg, a catechism teacher at Our Lady Queen of the Apostles Catholic Church in Royal Palm Beach, has brought her 18-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son to all the candidate forums. She said concerns about bringing her children to the resort combined with concerns about violating a moral oath she signed with her church when she started teaching catechism will keep her away from Thursday's forum. It's the third of four candidate forums in Loxahatchee Groves.

"I just didn't feel comfortable bringing my children there," she said. "It would be opening a dialogue that I wouldn't know how to present to them. I don't take them to nude beaches so why, for the sake of a campaign, would I go somewhere I've never been before?"

Schloss said he doesn't think Vorsteg has to worry about bringing her children. The resort focuses on family activities, forbids overtly sexual behavior, doesn't serve alcohol and is hosting a children's camp in June. A Baptist minister comes out on Sundays to lead services.

"Everything that goes on here is appropriate for children," Schloss said Monday while sitting naked, except for a string of blue beads, at a picnic table. About 15 feet away a small group of children and teens played nude in the pool under a sign reading "Nude bathing only." "Here is the least sexual environment I can imagine."

Other candidates said they had no qualms about speaking to a partially nude audience.

"They've got concerns and I think they should be listened to. We've got an eclectic community with a lot of different characters," Vorsteg's opponent Dave Autrey said. "It's a personal thing and I think people should be careful about passing judgment."

Seat 3 candidate Harold Murphy also said he wasn't squeamish about speaking at the nudist resort.

"It's unusual but they've called for it," he said. "It doesn't bother me either way. I'm not going to go out there and take my clothes off. But I don't see anything wrong with it. Everybody's got their own thing."

Dennis Lipp, a candidate for Seat 5, said his only concern about the forum is how to calm his nerves.

"I've been in public speaking a while. This is new for me," he said. "Normally if I'm nervous I just picture my audience nude. I don't know what I'll do now."

Sandi Reamer has lived at the resort for more than a year with her husband and four kids. She said her children, ages 20, 16, 10 and 4, took to the environment at once.

"I don't understand why people are so concerned about the naked bodies," she said, while some of her kids played in the pool. "It's not what they think. Most people think it's more on the sex issue. But it's not."

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Color him dead

The latest news in the John Couey trial. He is being prosecuted for the 2005 murder of Jessica Lunsford.

MIAMI -- The convicted sex offender charged with kidnapping, raping and killing 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford can keep coloring in children's books in court, a judge ruled Monday, despite objections from prosecutors who say the drawing could influence the jury pool.

John Evander Couey, 48, has spent much of his time working in coloring books during jury selection for his first-degree murder trial. Prosecutors argued that could influence potential jurors because Couey's lawyers say he suffers from mental illness and retardation.

Prosecutor Rick Ridgway asked Citrus County Circuit Judge Richard Howard to prohibit Couey from ``having other than a pad and a pencil like the rest of us.

``He's done 40 to 50 drawings and this indicates abnormal behavior and what he does could influence the jury because the defense has raised the issue of mental retardation,'' Ridgway said.

But the judge declined to stop Couey.

``He's not acted up. The guards have seen him doing this all the time. The man is on trial for his life. If this calms him down, the coloring is not troublesome,'' he said in ruling.
I think Judge Howard made the right ruling. Unless I'm mistaken, coloring isn't covered anywhere in the state or US constitution.

Some how I wouldn't be surprised if Couey is trying to act crazy in order to get off. It more than likely won't work.

Linked to- Bullwinkle, Dumb Ox, Pirate's Cove,

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Six months

Have passed since Trenton Duckett disappeared. Family members still hold out hope that the two-year-old boy will be found.

LEESBURG -- Carla Massero's new Main Street flower shop will be a place customers visit when they're celebrating. Silk-rose bouquets and Styrofoam hearts line the store's walls.

But Massero's grand reopening later this week will come about six months after tragedy and loss devastated her family. She was forced to shut down her old Sumter County shop when her 2-year-old grandson, Trenton Duckett, disappeared Aug. 27.

During the half-year since the boy's disappearance became a national story and a source of ongoing speculation, law-enforcement officials in Marion and Leesburg have continued a dogged -- and recently, international -- search to find Trenton. They've come no closer to solving the case, however.

Trenton's family members, meanwhile, have attempted to resume routine lives while holding out hope that the boy someday will be found alive and healthy.

"I don't think it will ever be normal -- we're just keeping our faith," Massero says. "We're sure Trenton is out there. We just have to find him."
I pray Massero, The Ducketts and Eubanks have their prayers are answered. If you want to read the rest of the article(and the ugly details of the squabbles behind the scenes of this tragedy), click the link at the top of this post.

God bless Trenton Duckett where ever he may be.

Linked to- Amboy Times, Bright & Early, Right Wing Nation,

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Two picks for the Baseball Hall of Fame

The Veteran's Committee will announce the latest entrants today.

NEW YORK - Gil Hodges and Ron Santo top the players' ballot and Doug Harvey and Marvin Miller head the officials' hopefuls in the Hall of Fame Veterans Committee vote to be announced Tuesday.

Since the Veterans Committee was revamped for the 2003 election, no one has been chosen by the voters — mostly living Hall of Famers.

Players appear on the ballot every two years, and officials go on a composite ballot every four years. Twenty-seven players are on this years ballot, along with among 15 managers, executives and umpires.

Two years ago, Hodges and Santo each fell eight votes shy of the necessary 75 percent. They both were picked on 52 of 80 ballots (65 percent), followed by Tony Oliva (45 votes), Jim Kaat (43), Joe Torre (36), Maury Wills (26), Vada Pinson (23), Luis Tiant (20) and Roger Maris (19).

Harvey, a former NL umpire, topped the 2003 composite ballot with 48 votes, 12 short of the needed 75 percent. Former Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley had 38 votes, and Miller, the former head of the players' association, had 35.

Lefty O'Doul, Al Oliver, Cecil Travis and Mickey Vernon were added to this year's players' ballot, and Elston Howard and Smoky Joe Wood were dropped.

Holdovers also include Dick Allen, Bobby Bonds, Ken Boyer, Rocky Colavito, Wes Ferrell, Curt Flood, Joe Gordon, Mickey Lolich, Sparky Lyle, Marty Marion, Carl Mays, Minnie Minoso, Thurman Munson and Don Newcombe.

The composite ballot also includes Buzzie Bavasi, August Busch Jr., Harry Dalton, Charles O. Finley, Whitey Herzog, Bowie Kuhn, Billy Martin, Gabe Paul, Paul Richards, Bill White, Dick Williams and Phil Wrigley.

The 84 eligible voters on the Veterans Committee include 61 living Hall of Famers, 14 Frick winners selected for major contributions to baseball broadcasting, eight members Spink winners picked for meritorious contributions to baseball writing and one holdover from the previous Veterans Committee.

The choices to me are pretty simple. The composite ballot has some good choices in Kuhn, Herzog, White, Williams and Wrigley. It also has Bravasi and gag...gag...Gabe Paul. Should I start re-telling 1970's and 80's Cleveland Indian jokes?

Like the little girl who is at a custody hearing. The judge asks her

Judge- "Do you want to live with your Mommy?"

Girl- "No Mommy beats me."

Judge- "Do you want to live with your Daddy?"

Girl- "No, Daddy beats me worse than Mommy."

Judge- "Who do you want to live with?"

Girl- "The Cleveland Indians."

Judge- "Why the Cleveland Indians?"

Girl- "They don't beat anyone."

There's more jokes but I'll spare you the experience.

As to the players, it is an easy choice for me. I'm a Met fan and always have been. The Mets of 1969 were the luckiest team in baseball history and Hodges was the manager. He was a good not great ballplayer. I'm not letting sentimentality rule, but Gil Hodges is not a HOFer. If Gil had played in Philadelphia rather than Brooklyn, he may not have gotten this far.

So who are my choices? Ron Santo and Ken Boyer. Both of whom are are among the top 10 players at third base in baseball history. Up till World War II, 3B was a position for defensive players just like shortstop. Dominated by players like Willie Kamm, Pie Traynor, Ossie Bluege and others. The new era at 3rd base didn't start till after the war, though Harland Clift, a member of the St. Louis Browns in the 1930's and early 40's, was a harbinger of what was to come.

Santo and Boyer were excellent glove men and good hitters. Both had long productive careers. They were also arguably the best third basemen at the time they played either in the National League or all of the majors.(Boyer faces the tougher argument there, he went up against Eddie Mathews for much of his career) Comparing these two players to the others on the ballot shows how clearly almost all the others are lacking.

After Boyer and Santo, the next best choics are Marty Marion(the premier glove man at SS in the 40's), Joe Gordon(excellent 2B from the same era as Marion), Hodges, Jim Kaat who won 280+ games and Sparky Lyle. Relief pitchers are probably the most subjective position to rate in baseball, the standards are almost non-existent. Lyle was very good for 5-6 years and won a CY Young award. On the other hand, is the New York factor at play again?

Don't make me laugh by mentioning Lefty O'Doul. He had a couple of good years in the inflated hitters years of the late 20's and early 30's. My father, who knew O'Doul slightly after his playing days were over, wouldn't even be advocating him for the HOF. If we put O'Doul in who is next, Wally Berger? Babe Herman? There are already too many players in the HOF from that overrated era. If you count them up, there are like six or seven players at one postion(RF I think) in the HOF who were starters in 1929.

One last note- I have no objection to umpire Doug Harvey being voted in. He was probably the most respected umpire there was for much of his time in baseball.

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

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The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is Venezuela President Hugo Chavez. He gets the award for the following.

CARACAS, Venezuela - President Hugo Chavez ordered by decree on Monday the takeover of oil projects run by foreign oil companies in Venezuela's Orinoco River region.

Chavez had previously announced the government's intention to take a majority stake by May 1 in four heavy oil-upgrading projects run by British Petroleum PLC, Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp., ConocoPhillips Co., Total SA and Statoil ASA.

He said Monday that has decreed a law to proceed with the nationalizations that will see state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA, taking at least a 60 percent stake in the projects.

"The privatization of oil in Venezuela has come to an end," he said on his weekday radio show, "Hello, President." "This marks the true nationalization of oil in Venezuela."

By May 1, "we will occupy these fields" and have the national flag flying on them, he said.

The law is expected to be published shortly in the government's official gazette, and the companies will have four months from then to negotiate terms and conditions with PDVSA to decide whether they will take part in new joint ventures as minority partners, Chavez said.

Chavez did not detail how the government will pay for its increased share in the projects in which the companies are estimated to have invested some $17 billion.

The government has compensated companies reasonably in recent weeks for nationalizations it has carried out in other sectors, but those agreements were for assets valued far less than the oil projects.
I've never given Chavez the Knucklehead before. Some of you could say I am overdue.

These oil projects are not Venezuela's property. Seizing them is nothing more than thievery written large. Is Venezuela going to compensate companies in full? If they do, where will the money come from?

This quote I think sums up what is really going on here

But he added that Venezuela doesn't "want the companies to go ... We just want them to be (minority) partners."
Chavez wants the companies to still run the projects but for him to get all the money. Venezuela President Hugo Chavez is today's Knucklehead of the Day.

Hat tip- Captain's Quarters
Linked to- Amboy Times, Basil, Blue Star, Bright & Early, Dragonlady's World, Jo, Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson, Pursuing Holiness, Right Voices, Third World County,

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Monday, February 26, 2007

The Locksmith bandit

A story from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Personally I wouldn't give someone assistance like this without some proof. What do you think?

Linked to- DragonLady, Bullwinkle, Pursuing Holiness,

SARASOTA COUNTY -- The number of people complaining that they were ripped off in a door-to-door scam continues to increase since the arrest of a woman police say may be the culprit.

Lisa Velez said when she saw a picture of Linda Michelle Anania, she knew it was the woman who showed up at her door about a month ago at 2:30 a.m. The woman said she locked her keys in the car and needed $19 to pay a locksmith.

"We just thought it was odd," Velez said. "She knew people's names in the complex and everything. I figured it was a scam."

Velez said she didn't give the woman any money, but others have. Dozens of residents in the county and city have come forward to say they were ripped off. They all have similar stories of a woman in distress asking for an odd amount of money.

Sarasota County deputies believe Anania, 46, may be the woman behind the scam.

She was arrested on Feb. 18 in the 6100 block of Lockwood Ridge Road, the area hit by the scammer most recently. She was arrested on unrelated loitering and prowling charges.

Sheriff's Office spokesman Lt. Chuck Lesaltato said the department has received numerous calls since releasing Anania's picture.

"We don't know how many victims are out there," Lesaltato said. "This thing is snowballing and more people are coming forward now."

Lesaltato said some people were embarrassed to admit they were scammed, but now that others are coming forward they are less reluctant.

"People are finding out they are not the only ones," Lesaltato said. "They are finding out that their neighbors were scammed."

Velez said the woman went to at least four of her neighbors, some of whom gave her money and a ride to look for her dog. Kenneth Morris, 83, lives in the Indian Beach area and said a woman came to his door about two months ago asking for $19. The woman said she had been locked out of her car and needed money for the locksmith.

Morris said he gave her $20, but thought better of it after she left. He didn't call the police and doesn't have plans to call now.

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Diversity in golf

Craig Dolch at the Palm Beach Post wrote-

In 2000, there were 19 foreign-born players on the PGA Tour. This season, there are 24 Australians alone.

Want more proof of how international the Tour has become? This year's Masters, for the first time, will have more foreign players than Americans.

International invasion
Foreign players have steadily increased in number on the PGA Tour this decade:

Year Number
2000 19
2001 48
2002 56
2003 60
2004 71
2005 78
2006 75
2007 76
Source: PGA Tour
More golf
Honda Classic coverage

"That's an unbelievable stat, for sure," said one of the foreign players, England's Justin Rose. "Golf is a growing sport in Europe, and our presence over here is only going to get stronger and stronger."

The Honda Classic reflects this global shift, with its past two winners non-Americans: England's Luke Donald and Padraig Harrington of Ireland. That's quite a change from watching the first 21 Hondas won by U.S. players. Zimbabwe's Nick Price, now a Jupiter Island resident, ended that streak when he won the 1994 Honda at Weston Hills. Since, six of the past 13 Honda winners have been international players.

So why did the PGA Tour go from being comprised mostly by Americans to a melting pot? Most players say it comes down to two words: world rankings.

In the late 1990s, the PGA Tour started using the world rankings to set the fields for the three lucrative World Golf Championships. This gave foreign players an easier way in to those events, and the prize money that comes with them.

Then, the four major championships soon added world rankings to their entry criteria - anyone in the top 50 gets in. By playing in only those seven tournaments, international players could earn enough money to gain their Tour card and full access to the rest of the events on the PGA Tour.
The money and ease of jet travel have been here for years, so I think the World Golf Championships are part if not most of the cause for more foreign players in the US. Also there are more players like Luke Donald or Carl Pettersson who played college golf in the states. I think that has to have changed the equation also.

In the past players like Greg Norman, David Graham, Bruce Crampton and Bruce Devlin turned pro in Australia and eventually came to the US to play. Australians have been playing the US or European golf circuits for fifty years. Look at five time British Open Champ Peter Thomson. With the exception of Thomson,(Note Thomson only won one US non-senior title in limited play.) career on the seniors tour was suce these Australians were all very sucessful in the US and lived here also at least on a part-time basis.

While the PGA tour is diverse in Europeans and Australians, there is black hole when it comes to players of color. Other than Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, KJ Choi and Shigeki Maruyama, there are few proven Asian golfers on tour and no blacks on tour.(None that I know of, unless any made it through the last Q school) The LPGA on the other hand features over 40 South Korean players alone but has no blacks either. Are the pro golf tours really diverse?

I think we can still safely say golf is still a game for white men.

Linked to- DragonLady, Faultline, Mark My Words, Right Wing Nation,


Florida the rules are different here Chapter LXXXV

Whose lawn is it anyway? This Sarasota Herald-Tribune article details how the town of Lakewood Ranch had unwiittingly been giving two churches free water for several years. Local officials blame a developer for the mixup, but you tell me who you think is responsible for the mixup? You got one guess who I blame.

You just got to love Florida.

Linked to- Basil, Bullwinkle, Jo's Cafe,

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Lakewood Ranch taxpayers have been unknowingly footing the irrigation bill for two nearby churches for several years, community officials say.

Community Development District 1 Supervisor Gary Berns was investigating water use when he came across a map that shows district pipes leading to Living Lord Lutheran Church and St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church. But the fees for the water sent to those churches were never charged.

"When the churches were built, pipes were installed coming off our pipes," Berns said. "Someone was charitable."

Living Lord opened in 1994. St. Mary's opened six years later on an adjacent lot.

Pastor Jeff Gross at Living Lord said he was not aware that the church even irrigated its property.

"If anything, we have a problem with standing water," Gross said. "We don't even need it."

Gross said the CDD had not notified the church of the irrigation issue.

The district budgets $167,500 a year to irrigate lawns and common areas with reclaimed and recycled water.

It is not known how many irrigated acres make up CDD 1, but the churches sit on about 15 acres, according to the Manatee County Property Appraiser.

The diverted water would not account for a recent spike in water use, but it was disturbing to CDD 1 supervisors, who said there is no way of knowing how much water has been diverted to the churches since the pipes were laid, or how much in fees the churches avoided.

"We assumed they were on a separate meter, and BRU (Braden River Utilities) was charging them for what they were using.

"It was by accident that we found out," CDD 1 Supervisor Jean Stewart said.

The Rev. Jim Hedman, who has been at St. Mary's for about four months, said he had been told of the problem but knew little about it.

"We want to be good neighbors, and we want to work this all out," he said.

David White, a member of St. Mary's governing board, said the church was investigating the matter.

Water for CDDs comes from Braden River Utilities, a private company owned by Lakewood Ranch developer Schroeder-Manatee Ranch.

Schroeder-Manatee workers could not find the irrigation lines to the churches on any of their maps, but they are investigating the matter, said Bob Weber, senior vice president of operations for LWR Communities LLC, an SMR subsidiary.

Supervisors said it is illegal to use taxpayer money to irrigate church property.

"It's a church-state issue," Berns said.

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Hide in plain sight Florida style

Remember the lobbying reform that was enacted in Florida? The St. Petersburg Times reported on just how part of those reforms are working today.

TALLAHASSEE - A year ago state legislators boasted that they were making it possible for Floridians to "follow the money" that gets spent in the state Capitol whenever laws are made.

For the first time, lobbyists would be forced to disclose their fees. Anyone with a computer and access to the Internet would be able to follow the trail of how much businesses paid their lobbyists.

The first year's reports are in, and the state could not have made it more difficult for people to look up the information.

Lobbyists register by name - but fee reports are filed by law firm and alphabetized by the first name or initial of the law firm. Take lobbyist Ken Plante. You'll find his disclosure form under G. He works for Governmental Solutions LLC.

You would have to know that's where he works because there is no online index to look up what firm a lobbyist works for.

The disclosure reports for those who lobby the Legislature are available online - but the reports filed by lobbyists who attempt to influence the governor or other state agencies are not.

The reports are posted as scanned images, which unlike text cannot easily be searched.

We asked Ben Wilcox, executive director of Common Cause, and Barbara Petersen, president of the First Amendment Foundation, to try to determine the total fees Plante reported for 2006. Experienced observers of the legislative process, they are accustomed to looking things up online.

Wilcox struck out. "It makes no sense at all," he said. "Were you trying to drive me crazy?"

An exasperated Peterson spent an hour getting nowhere. She called the reports "practical obscurity at its very worst."

"There is no way to do it without printing it all out," she said. "I've never seen such a mess. How hard would it be to enter the name and principal so you could search and get an answer?"

Apparently not too hard, as that's how Georgia and the U.S. Congress handle their searches. Type in a lobbyist name or a business and the information comes up.

In Florida, the problem stems, in part, from the passage of the bill in December 2005, just weeks before lobbyists had to begin keeping records to file. The system was established in a hurry with no additional budget and no additional employees to handle the paperwork.

Lawmakers promise to improve the system. But for now, the reports mostly defy scrutiny.
Promises, promises, I'll believe it when it happens. To me it looks like one more case of business as usual or Florida citizens being taken for patsies by our elected officials.

Details on lobbyists and their contributions should be no easier than someone finding out my social security through a Florida records search. Oops.... there is another problem our legislators only play lip service to.

Just more proof you need to be a masochist to live in this state.

Hat tip- Pushing Rope
Linked to- Blue Star, Bright & Early, Right Wing Nation,

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How convenient

From today's Miami Herald-

A Broward Sheriff's Office polygraph examiner involved in an investigation into how a jail inmate got severe head injuries has a history of manipulating and misinterpreting polygraph tests.

Inmate-informant Benjamin Whitfield told detectives that Dana Jones was beaten and that the Dec. 16, 2005, attack was arranged by guards.

BSO has concluded it could not determine how Jones was hurt, ruling out the informant's account after he failed a polygraph test administered by examiner Richard Hoffman.

Meanwhile, Jones remains in a North Broward nursing home unable to walk or talk, according to a family attorney. The 45-year-old Coral Springs man, who was awaiting trial for punching his mother in the mouth, was in a coma-like state for months after he was hurt.

And now Whitfield's polygraph chart is missing.

''It's not where it was supposed to be filed,'' BSO spokesman Elliot Cohen said after The Miami Herald requested a copy of it. ``It's a crucial piece of the puzzle . . . that needs to be filled in.''

At the center of this is Hoffman, who has admitted to ethical violations on polygraph tests in past cases.

In August 2002, Hoffman testified in federal court in Miami that he violated professional ethical standards.

Hoffman said that under orders from superiors he gave a ''biased'' polygraph test to murder suspect Andrew Hughray Johnson, and then wrote a misleading report about it.

In September 2000, Hoffman admitted that he'd wrongly interpreted the results of his 1999 polygraph test of defendant James Parise.

Broward state attorney's office records show Hoffman initially determined that Parise was deceptive when questioned about the facts surrounding his attempted murder case.

But Hoffman changed his opinion after being challenged by polygraph experts for the state and the defense. They told Hoffman that Parise's test was actually inconclusive, according to a September 22, 2000, internal memo by state attorney investigator Terry Gardner.

Hoffman, asked to review his file, agreed. In a letter to Gardner, he explained that Parise's uncooperative attitude created conflict that ``may have influenced his evaluation of the polygraph charts.''

Hoffman did not respond to an interview request made through Cohen.

Parise's attorney, Gary Kollin, said Hoffman's flip-flop meant his client was improperly denied the opportunity to seek a sentence reduction.

''That Hoffman is still permitted to evaluate the truthfulness of others when he in fact has not been forthright in his evaluations in the past shakes the foundation of the duty of law enforcement to seek the truth,'' Kollin said.

Hoffman, a former Fort Lauderdale police sergeant hired in 1993, is a highly regarded supervisor of BSO's polygraph and case filing units. His personnel file makes no mention of the controversies.

''He has the ability to anticipate what needs to be done and does it,'' a supervisor wrote in Hoffman's most recent evaluation last winter.

Hoffman administered 392 of BSO's 1,072 polygraph tests last year, Cohen said. Most were for pre-employment purposes. Thirteen, including Whitfield's, were for criminal investigations.

Florida doesn't license or regulate polygraph examiners. The results are generally not admissible in court, but the machine that's known as a ''lie detector'' is widely used by police and business as an investigative tool.
So let me get this right. A prisoner is beaten while in a Sheriff's Office custody, whose chief is under investigation by the FBI, who uses a polygraph examiner who has a history of bad ethics, who then loses the records of the polygraph exams he administered. We're all supposed to buy that the records loss and Mr. Whitfield's injuries are not the cause or fault of local law enforcement and people who work for them.

What a crock. The more a person reads the newspaper, the more you have to conclude that some of law enforcement are as big a lawbreakers as criminals themselves. If you want a further examples of South Florida police corruption, read this.

Linked to- Bright & Early, Faultline, Right Wing Nation,

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Clueless in Tallahassee

The payroll follies continue at Florida A&M University. Eleven tutors at the school's writing center have gone on strike.

Eleven of 15 tutors at Florida A&M University's Writing Resource Center are on strike because of missed paychecks.

Some have not received any wages this semester. Others have been paid. But the 11 decided to form a united front and stop coming to work as of Wednesday.

The usually bustling writing center, which had more than 3,500 student visits last semester, was almost empty at midday Thursday. A single student was being tutored. Computers sat unused.


"I'm working on it," FAMU Interim President Castell Bryant said Thursday of pay delays that the university last week acknowledged have touched more than 400 people. About two-thirds of the 400 were paid last Friday, and Bryant said on-demand paychecks are available within 48 hours for other employees whose paperwork has passed through all channels, including budget approval.

"We had folks who weren't always going through the steps," said Grace Ali, vice president for fiscal affairs. “We suspected the problem last September."
The Tallahassee Democrat is also reporting that six workers at the college newspaper have finally gotten paid. That leaves me wondering if Bryant did that so to muffle or appease that college media source.

Bryant, a former knucklehead winner, shows her total incompetence with statements like 'I'm working on it.' while employees go unpaid, or "There is not any particular problem with our payroll process,”. If there is no problem with the payroll process, where is the payroll money going? Is someone stealing it or does Ms. Ali not know to do the simple matter of a paycheck.

What is certain is that Grace Ali should be given 10 days to fix the payroll or be dismissed. In addition the proper authorities, the state legislature, any university oversight boards, and maybe even law enforcement should investigate this payroll debacle and President Bryant and Ms. Ali's actions. This is a state university, not some corrupt third world country we're talking about.

Hat tip- Carl
Linked to- Bullwinkle, Mark My Words, Pirate's Cove,

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The Knuckleheads of the Day award

Today's winners are Doctors Spasoje Radulovic and Dragan Vukanic. They get the award for the following.

BELGRADE (Reuters) - A routine appendix operation in Belgrade went badly wrong when two surgeons started fighting and stormed from the operating theater to settle their dispute outside, the daily Politika reported Wednesday.

Surgeon Spasoje Radulovic was operating when his colleague Dragan Vukanic entered and made a remark that started a quarrel, said the anesthesiologist on duty.

"At one moment Vukanic pulled the ear of the operating doctor, slapped him in the face and walked out," she said.

Radulovic followed and an all-out fight ensued, resulting in bruises, a split lip, loose teeth and a fractured finger.

The operation was completed successfully by the attending assistant doctor.
Totally unprofessional behavior that could have endangered a person's life from two men who should known better. That's all it takes to make Doctors Spasoje Radulovic and Dragan Vukanic today's Knuckleheads of the Day.

Linked to- Basil, Blue Star, Bright & Early, Cao, Dumb Ox, Jo's Cafe, Perri Nelson, Right Voices, Third World County,

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Arrest warrant

Florida police are searching for this man, Vicente Ignacio Beltran-Moreno.

MANATEE COUNTY - Sheriff's investigators named a suspect this morning in the abduction of a 13-year-old boy from a Parrish school bus stop and said that suspect intended to hold the child for ransom.

Authorities are looking for Vicente Ignacio Beltran-Moreno, 22, an aluminum screen enclosure contractor who has several aliases. They said the former Mexican farmworker may be out of the country.

At about 5:15 a.m., investigators searched Moreno's home at 3719 17th St. Court E. in Samoset and confiscated a red Ford Ranger pickup in the garage that matched the description of the abductor's truck.

They also found a handwritten ransom note.

"I was shocked," Sheriff Charlie Wells said. "I've been in police work 41 years. I've never read a ransom note."
If you are unfamiliar with the details surrounding Clay Moore, click here.

Kidnapping for ransom has become less and less(It is still seen in Europe. Usually by groups like this) common since the Lindbergh case. Mr. Moren's crime is as surprising as it was dumb and poorly executed.

If you see Mr. Moreno, call police at once. Lets get this scumbag in jail as quick as possible.

Linked to- Basil, Blue Star, Bullwinkle, Bright & Early, Cao, Dumb Ox, Jo's Cafe, Perri Nelson, Pirate's Cove, Right Voices, Third World County,

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38 years

The Oscars are tonight and have already started. My wife is watching and I'm alternating betweening watching and reading a biography of former Secretary of State Dean Acheson. This has to be the first Oscar awards in over 30 years that I failed to see at least one of the major film nominees. So I'm clueless as to who will win.

One nominee tonight intrigues me. It is Alan Arkin. Nominated in the Best Supporting Actor Category for Little Miss Sunshine, I wonder if there ever was another actor or actress who has gone 38 years between Oscar nomination? In 1966 he was nominated for The Russians Are Coming the Russians Are Coming in the Best Actor category. Then in 1968 Arkin was nominated again in the same category for The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. Then after that, nothing. Not that Arkin didn't do other memorable movies. Wait Until Dark between his two Oscar roles in 1967, Catch-22, Freebie and the Bean(A dumb movie or guilty pleasure), The Defection of Simas Kudirka and The In-Laws . The last was made in 1979. Then nothing, I mean I couldn't remember a movie with Arkin in it. Either I failed to see the films, or his roles were unmemorable. Had Arkin been forgotten? Most of the films I listed are rarely seen today.

I liked all the above Arkin movies. So if I got a sentimental choice, it is Alan. We'll soon find out who the winners are.

Linked to- Basil, Jo, Third World County, Woman Honor Thyself,


A request for clemency

Esther Faith Holman, convicted and sentenced to over fourteen years in prison for the DUI caused accident resulting in the death of a newlywed bride on her wedding day, is petitioning The Florida Board of Executive Clemency for a commutation of her sentence. From the Pensacola News-Journal-

Lori Dwelle's parents and husband look at the wedding pictures over and over.

The young bride and her husband, Scott, standing outside Pine Forest United Methodist Church, where they were married, fixated on each other. Gazing into each others' eyes at sunset on Pensacola Bay. Smiling brightly with family members.

They are the last pictures before the 22-year-old bride's death.

They are beautiful pictures that bring only anguish, heartache and tears for what might have been.

For Lori's family, the only solace has been that the drunken driver who killed her six hours after her wedding on Sept. 23, 2000, is serving a prison sentence.

But now, Esther Faith Holman, 51, of Mary Esther is petitioning the Florida Board of Executive Clemency for commutation of her sentence of 14 years and seven months. The board will consider the case Thursday in Tallahassee.


The newlywed Dwelles were on U.S. 98 in Okaloosa County, headed to Destin for their honeymoon, when Holman's red Jaguar convertible rear-ended their Ford Explorer.

Holman was speeding as fast as 90 mph. Her blood alcohol content was more three times the legal limit at .225.

The Explorer skidded and flipped three times. The seat belts in the Explorer also failed, and Lori was partially ejected from the vehicle and Scott was thrown out.

Lori hit her head on the pavement and died immediately. Scott spent several days in the hospital from his injuries.

In August 2001, Holman pleaded no contest to DUI manslaughter and DUI with serious bodily injury. She is serving her sentence at the Gadsden Correctional Institution in Quincy.

Why is Holman asking for clemency? Basically that her mother is elderly and in failing health.

Holman is hoping that the Clemency Board will move up her release date, currently set for Aug. 29, 2014.

"I guess she's hoping for the best and expecting the worst," said her sister, Patricia Franchi of Fort Walton Beach.

Ruth Brunn, 88, Holman's mother and another Fort Walton Beach resident, said her daughter wants to come home to take care of her.

Brunn said she can hardly see, and she has arthritis and osteoporosis, among other ailments.

"My health is deteriorating very rapidly," she said.

Franchi said her sister is genuinely sorry.

"She feels horrible about it," Franchi said. "She's going to have to live with it the rest of her life. I know she wants to change things ... to make up for all this badness that's come out of this."
The first question that should be raised by The Clemency board is what is the view of Scott Dwelle and Lori's parents in regards to Ms. Holman's petition?

But Lori Dwelle's family is adamantly opposed to Holman's release.

Weekley said he thought he had heard the last of Holman after her appeal was denied last year.

"We were assured that was it," he said. "She would go away."

Weekley and his wife, Delilah, and their son, Robbie, and his wife plan to attend the clemency hearing, along with Scott Dwelle and his parents.

"She needs to continue to be held accountable for what she's done," Dwelle said. "The law says she should serve 85 percent of her sentence, and that's what she needs to serve."

The Weekleys said they aren't opposing Holman's release to be vindictive.

"We don't want anyone else to have to go through what we have gone through," said Delilah Weekley, 53. "I am not so sure she has been rehabilitated.

"She has written letters. In a roundabout way, she has apologized. She doesn't seem legitimate. She doesn't seem remorseful."
They are opposed to clemency. The family/victims that suffered the most don't want to see Holman out of jail. That should be all the Clemency board has to hear in giving a thumbs down to the petition.

If the Weekly's opposition doesn't persuade you, then there is the lack of remorse from Holman.

Bartenders at the Dock o' the Bay on Okaloosa Island told investigators Holman arrived there about 2 p.m. and stayed until just before the 11:45 p.m. accident.

But Holman disputed that in a deposition filed as part of a civil suit against Ford Motor Co. because of the seat belt failure. That suit was settled with confidential terms, said Virginia Buchanan, the plaintiff's attorney.

Holman said she left work at about 3:30 p.m. to meet her sister and her sister's then-boyfriend, Eric Larsen, at Harbor Docks.

They left there because the restaurant wasn't serving sushi and went to Lucky Snapper, then on to Dock o' the Bay.

Holman said she arrived at Dock o' the Bay 30 to 45 minutes before sunset. She said her sister and Larsen ordered her first drink -- a vodka and soda.

"Well, the second round that my sister and Eric ordered was spilled," she said. "So, I know another round was ordered after that. So, I can safely say that I probably had four or five mixed drinks that evening."

Holman said she didn't think she had been drinking heavily.

"Well, if I had been there four hours that evening, and I had four drinks, that works out to be about one an hour," she said. "And considering that I spent the majority of the evening outside engaged in heavy conversation, to me that doesn't seem excessive."
No acceptance just excuses for her actions. To hell with you Esther Faith Holman and your petition. You need to pay for the life you have destroyed and those you forever changed.

Linked to- Basil, Big Dog, Jo, The World According to Carl,

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For your consideration

If you're considering a vote for Senator John McCain, you ouught to read what Carren(wife of milblogger Chuck) writes of a meeting they had at Walter Reed with the Presidential hopfeful.

Senator is not a word I would use for McCain. JERK (or asshat, as Chuck usually says) is more like it. When Chuck was in the hospital, Jerk came to "visit" us. A quick story before I tell you what happened:

A few weeks before Chuck was wounded I watched a TV movie that protrayed Jerk's time as a POW during Vietnam. I was intrigued by the story and developed a lot of respect for what he endured, and the fact that his wife waited all those years for him to return home. I knew bits and pieces of the story before watching the movie, and I knew his arms were badly damaged due to the torture he received. I had a lot of respect for the man... then I met him.

When he first walked in I was honored to meet him. He shook my hand and Alice's hand, then walked over to Chuck's bedside. After a lousy 5 minutes or so, the Jerk said (and I quote):

"Well, we all know what we're here for... let's do the photo op."

EXCUSE ME!!!??? The PHOTO OP???!!!!
Go over and read the rest of the post and wish Chuck well as he still recovers from his wounds suffered in Iraq back in 2005. If Carren feels that way about McCain, we can just imagine what Chuck's opinion of the Senator is. LOL.

The 2008 Presidential elections looks more like 'hold your nose time while you vote' with each passing day.

Hat tip- Greta at Hooah Wife and Friends. Now there is someone I can vote for. Wanna run Greta?
Correction- The post at HWAF was by Sis B
Linked to- Cao, Dumb Ox, Third World County,

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From the Silly News Desk

Some news from Kentucky. Maybe Ms. Greenfield can teach lessons in proper text messaging now.

Linked to- Jo, Maggie, Random Yak, Third World County,

A middle school teacher trying to buy pot was arrested after she sent text messages to a state trooper instead of a dealer, police said.

Trooper Trevor Pervine was at dinner with his wife and parents celebrating a birthday when his phone started buzzing with messages about a marijuana purchase.

At first, Pervine thought the messages were from friends playing a joke, Kentucky State Police spokesman Barry Meadows said. But a couple of phone calls put that idea to rest, and Pervine responded to set up a meeting, Meadows said.

Authorities say Ann Greenfield, 34, arrived at the meeting point and found Pervine and other law enforcement officers waiting for her.

"She learned her lesson: Program your dealers into your phone," Meadows said.

Greenfield, a teacher at Murray Middle School, was charged with conspiracy to traffic in controlled substances within 1,000 feet of a school, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, Meadows said.

She was suspended with pay pending results of an investigation, the Murray Independent School District said in a statement posted Friday on the district's Web site.

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Keep it short and be nice

Some news from Australia. Dear wife thinks this is a good idea. So is someone going to have a stopwatch at funeral masses now?

Linked to- Jo, Right Wing Nation, Woman Honor Thyself,

CANBERRA (Reuters) - Keep it short, and don't mention sex or drunkenness -- those are the new rules for eulogies at funeral masses in Australia's Catholic church.

An increase in the number of inappropriate comments at funeral masses has prompted Australia's most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, to impose a five-minute deadline on eulogies and deem some areas of a person's life off limits.

The move is designed to cut back on the number of long-winded eulogies by friends or family members at funeral masses, and to ensure the funeral mass keeps its main focus as an act of worship to God and a place for prayers for the deceased.

"On not a few occasions, inappropriate remarks glossing over the deceased's proclivities (drinking prowess, romantic conquests etc) or about the Church (attacking its moral teachings) have been made at funeral masses," Pell's new guidelines say.

He said the comments often embarrassed the priest, the family and the congregation and become the focus of the service.

The Catholic church in Ireland and most of the United States ban lay people from giving eulogies at funeral masses, but the church in Australia allows for a few short words of remembrance from a family member or friend near the end of a funeral mass.

However, Pell's guidelines, obtained by Reuters on Friday, make it clear the eulogy must never replace the officiating priest's homily, or sermon, which should focus on God's compassion and the mystery of the resurrection of Jesus.

The "words of remembrance" should last no more than three to five minutes, or one typed page, and should focus on a person's human qualities and faith," the guidelines say.

"The reflection should be prepared beforehand, and ideally be reviewed with the priest or presiding minister beforehand, to avoid undue length or embarrassing situations," the guidelines say.

The new guidelines say anecdotes, poems or songs, might be better kept for services at the cemetery or crematorium, or for a vigil prayer service the night before a funeral.

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Hooray for Stacy P

Stacy Prammanasudh won her 2nd lifetime LPGA event yesterday. She edged out South Korea's Jee Young Lee by one shot.

I like Stacy Prammanasudh. She is part Thai(or fully but I forget which. Born in the USA.), and from humble origins. Her father is the only golf coach Stacy has ever had.

Enjoy Stacy while you can. A recent article said Stacy will leave the tour one day to begin raising a family.(She has been married since 2004) In the meantime I hope to see Stacy win a few more times and make the 2007 Solheim Cup team. Go Stacy!

Linked to- Basil,

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