noembed noembed

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.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Costs of an Immigration crackdown

Andres Oppenheimer at the Miami Herald writes-

Third, massive deportations of hard-working people would not only be morally questionable, but socially and economically insane.

There are an estimated 3.1 million children born in the United States whose parents do not have legal immigration papers, according to the Pew Research Center. These children are U.S. citizens. Their parents -- who came here in hopes of a better future -- would not take them back to a life of poverty in their home countries. Are you proposing giant government-paid orphanages? Massive and expensive foster care?

And how would this country pay for deporting the undocumented? According to the Center for American Progress, deportation would conservatively cost $206 billion over the next five years. That's more than six times the $34.2 billion Department of Homeland Security budget for last year.

Fourth, undocumented workers nowadays fill about 1.4 million jobs in the construction industry, 1.2 million jobs in the leisure and hospitality industries, and hundreds of thousands of jobs in the agriculture industry. If they are deported, who will take their place?

If there were enough U.S. citizens willing to take up those jobs for higher wages -- the favorite argument of hyperventilating fearmongers on cable television -- American consumers would have to pay much more for housing, eating out at a restaurant, or buying food at a supermarket.
The illegal aliens parents of the US born children made bad mistakes in judgment. They getting punished for it I see as upholding the law. That said, to deport these parents is going to be very costly.(Mr. Oppenheimer is wrong in assuming all the children would have to be taken care of by the state. Many illegals have legal relatives here. The MSM has been good at pointing that out, WHEN they want to.

The financial cost to deport all illegals would be enormous Has anyone in the deport all the illegals crowd discussed the economic effect will have?(How about with low unemployment in the US, how will the jobs held by illegals be filled?) Both the cost to taxpayers and through the effect the deportation will have on certain businesses, meaning higher prices for goods and services. What if anything is the US gaining? I just see more money being taken out of US taxpayer pockets. If that's good for the country, we might as well raise taxes to eliminate the deficit while we're at it and finance the war on terrorism properly. At least few people would argue those aren't good reasons to take money from the US public.

This nation allowed 12 million illegals to enter. Why is it only now people feel a dire need to deal with the issue?

Hat tip- Alex at Stuck on the Palmetto
Linked to- Conservative Thoughts, Perri Nelson, Third World County,

Labels: , , ,

The Knuckleheads of the Day award

Today's winners are Cary Grove(Illinois) Police Chief Ron Delelio, McHenry County State's Attorney Louis Bianchi and High School District 155 Supt. Jill Hawk. They get the award for the following.

High school senior Allen Lee sat down with his creative writing class on Monday and penned an essay that so disturbed his teacher, school administrators and police that he was charged with disorderly conduct.

"I understand what happened recently at Virginia Tech," said the teen's father, Albert Lee, referring to last week's massacre of 32 students by gunman Seung-Hui Cho. "I understand the situation."

But he added: "I don't see how somebody can get charged by writing in their homework. The teacher asked them to express themselves, and he followed instructions."

Allen Lee, an 18-year-old straight-A student at Cary-Grove High School, was arrested Tuesday near his home and charged with disorderly conduct for an essay police described as violently disturbing but not directed toward any specific person or location.

The youth's father said his son was not suspended or expelled but was forced to attend classes elsewhere for now.

Today, Cary-Grove students rallied behind the arrested teen by organizing a petition drive to let him back in their school. They posted on walls quotes from the English teacher in which she had encouraged students to express their emotions through writing.

"I'm not going to lie. I signed the petition," said senior James Gitzinger. "But I can understand where the administration is coming from. I think I would react the same way if I was a teacher."

Cary Police Chief Ron Delelio said the charge was appropriate even though the essay was not published or posted for public viewing.

Disorderly conduct, which carries a penalty of 30 days in jail and a $1,500 fine, is filed for pranks such as pulling a fire alarm or dialing 911. But it can also apply when someone's writings can disturb an individual, Delelio said.

"The teacher was alarmed and disturbed by the content," he said.
I'm alarmed and disturbed there is such an utter moron as a Chief of Police in the United States. Can I therefore have Ron Delelio arested for disorderly conduct?

Read this for an answer to my question.

Disorderly conduct can be filed if someone's actions alarm or disturb another enough to "provoke a breach of the peace,'' McHenry County State's Attorney Louis Bianchi said. "So far, we're supportive'' of the charge, he said.
Another moron, and for our third and last example of complete stupidity, we have this.

"Our staff is very familiar with adolescent behavior. We're very well versed with types of creativity put into writing. We know the standards of adolescent behavior that are acceptable and that there is a range," Jill Hawk said.

"There can certainly be writing that conveys concern for us even though it does not name names location or date," he said.
The only adolescents in this whole mess are Hawk, Delilio and Bianchi. You would think these three adults would have the common sense to know this essay(and here it comes) is not a criminal matter.

Blood sex and Booze. Drugs Drugs Drugs are fun. Stab, Stab, Stab, S…t…a…b…, poke. "So I had this dream last night where I went into a building, pulled out two P90s and started shooting everyone…, then had sex with the dead bodies. Well, not really, but it would be funny if I did." Umm, yeah, what to wright about…… I'm leaving to join the Marines and I really don't give a F... about my academics, so why does the only class that's complete Bull Shit, happen to be the only required class…enough said. The model citizen would stay around to vote in new board member to change the 4 years of English policy, but no one really stays around to vote for that kind of local crap, so whoever gets there name on the Ballet with a pretty face gets to do what the F... ever they want with local ordinance. A person is smart, but people are dumb selfish animals. We can't make rules for ourselves so we vote others to do it for us, but we can't even do that right, I meen seriously, Bush for President? And our other option was John Kerry who claimed to parktake in Vietnam Special Forces missions that haven't been declassified…. F...... Bull Shit. So Power Flower Super Mario. Pudge, hook, rot, dismember "Fresh Meat." Mostly new/young teachers are laid back, and cooperative with students as feedback and input into the curriculum and atmosphere. My current English teacher is a control freak intent on setting a gap between herself and her students like a 63 year old white male fortune 500 company CEO, and a illegal immigrant. If CG was a private catholic school, I could understand, but wtf is her problem. And baking brownies and rice crispies does not make up for it, way to try and justify yourself as a good teacher while underhandedly looking for complements on your cooking. No quarrel on you qualifications as a writer, but as a teacher, don't be surprised on inspiring the first cg shooting.
As one of Joanne Jacobs commenters said, Lee's writing is a steaming pile of manure. Here are the guidelines for the writing assignment.

Write nonstop for a set period of time.
Do not make corrections as you write.
Keep writing, even if you have to write something like, “I don’t know what to write.”
Write whatever comes into your mind.
Do not judge or censor what you are writing.

Don’t cross anything out: Write the new idea down; leave the old one.
Drop all punctuation. That can make your free writing faster and more fluent.

Lee gets charged with a felony for obeying the rules. Have people gone insane?

Note- TFM has written web fiction where-

1. 228 people die a horrific death when their plane crashes. Actually I retold this crash.
2. An eight-year-old girl witnesses her mother's rape and murder.
3. A man gets turned into a pregnant circus elephant.

Is any of that writing sufficient to charge me with a felony or is it just enough to say I'm deranged? Don't answer that question!

Now because of Lee's arrest, the young man is not being allowed to enlist in the Marine Corps. What a complete screwup this whole episode is. I guess the military is violence squeamish too.

For complete stupidity and paranoia in education and law enforcement, Cary Grove(Illinois) Police Chief Ron Delelio, McHenry County State's Attorney Louis Bianchi and High School District 155 Supt. Jill Hawk are today's Knuckleheads of the Day.

Linked to- Big Dog, Cao, Conservative Thoughts, DragonLady, High Desert Wanderer, Jo, Leaning Straight Up, Mark My Words, Morewhat, Perri Nelson, Pirate's Cove, Right Wing Nation, Third World County, World According to Carl,


Sunday, April 29, 2007

Out for three months

The Ted Ginn draft pick is already smelling like a disaster to me.

DAVIE — Dolphins first-round pick Ted Ginn Jr. acknowledged today he will spend at least the next month in a protective boot. The right foot sprain he suffered in January reportedly could keep him out a total of three months.

Dolphins General Manager Randy Mueller, through a spokesman, said the team doesn't yet know its plan for Ginn's recovery. However, it seems unlikely the Dolphins would spend the ninth overall pick on an injured player known for his speed and not have a rehab schedule laid out ahead of time. reported late Saturday night that Ginn would be in a boot for six weeks and then face another six weeks of rehab. That timetable wouldn't put Ginn at full strength until right before training camp in late July.

However, Ginn said he expects to be back much sooner.


Ginn was hurt in the celebration following the touchdown he scored on the opening kickoff of the BCS Championship Game for Ohio State on Jan. 8 against Florida.

A sprained foot suffered over three months ago and it still isn't healed. Ginn still needs another three months to be recovered.

After adding thatto Ginn's questionable skills as a wide receiver, I have to smell another draft disater in the making for the Dolphins. Last year's #1 has yet to start a game and we're talking about a Defensive back.

Oh and Cameron's statement from yesterday makes you seriously think the coach drafted Ginn just because he knew the player's family.

Cameron's relationship with Ginn dates back nearly a decade. Ginn's father, Ted Sr., is head coach at Glenville High School in Cleveland, and Cameron met a 13-year-old Ted Jr. while recruiting as head coach at Indiana.

"We drafted the Ginn family," Cameron said. "Ted Ginn and his family will give us everything they have."
What is this family crap? When is the last time a player's father scored a touchdown? Somebody tell me!

I'm already longing for the return of Nick Saban. Miami drafted two running backs in the draft. Yes the team could use a FB but they also need a TE, defensive help and alot more before drafting two running backs. Either Cameron is a complete idiot or Ricky Williams is not coming back in 2007. If Williams isn't coming back, then Cameron is only half an idiot. Miami drafted one more back than they needed.

At least Miami hasn't traded for Trent Green. Considering the moves of the last few days, I expect Miami to make that idiotic move also.

Do you see why I'm the Florida Masochist now? I follow Dolphin football. Talk about a study in being punished.

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

Labels: , ,

Peoplesoft, payroll blunders, and the Palm Beach Post

A study in sarcasm from the Palm Beach Post editorial board.

Here's a way for the Legislature to pay teachers more: Just require all school districts to use the same payroll software that Palm Beach County has been using.

As The Post reported last week, the district's PeopleSoft system overpaid 345 teachers and other workers by about $912,000. The district wants those employees to pay the money back. But why not think outside the box? Just call it a lottery-based perk and use it as a recruiting tool.

Of course, one reason the district needs the cash returned is that fixing the glitchy system, which cost taxpayers $18 million, is going to be so expensive. Last week, the school board approved $336,000 to hire a firm that says it can make the software perform correctly. That's on top of $500,000 the district expects to pay annually for experts it previously had to hire to make the system run properly.

The school district bought the PeopleSoft package with the understanding that the software could do it all. That's proved to be kind of true; in addition to overpaying some people and paying some people the right amount, it also managed to underpay hundreds of workers.
LMAO! Is the Post and Randy Schultz taking lessons in sarcasm from me? I do get occasional visitors from the paper.

Note- I've blogged about the payroll mess previously in this post.

The question remains- Can the School board dump this payroll program for something that actually works rather than pour more money down the drain. Plus, how about suing Peoplesoft for damages? The corporation then may supply the help to fix the mess for free, which they should.

Linked to- Bright & Early, Cao,

Labels: , ,

Don't forget Virginia Tech's wounded

Colin Goddard spoke Tuesday at the funeral of his French teacher, Jocelyne Couture-Nowak. ----------------------->

Those who were shot but survived the massacare on April 16th. I'm guessing, but some are sure to be having survivor guilt or will one day. God bless all of them besides those who died and their families.

Note- The AP article may have done the survivors a disservice. The opening describes injuries and scars that some will think as minor compared to those suffered by the families of those of who died. The mental scars the survivors have I think will be the worst of all.

Linked to- Big Dog, Bullwinkle, Right Wing Nation,

BLACKSBURG, Virginia (AP) -- Senior Kevin Sterne will see the scar on his thigh every time he pulls on his pants. Freshman Hilary Strollo will have to decide whether to bare her stomach in a swimsuit. And on the day someone slips a wedding band on her finger, junior Katelyn Carney will see the healed-up hole that a Virginia Tech gunman put in her left hand.

Most of the dead from the April 16 massacre on campus are buried, their families learning to live with loss.

Those who survived will have their own struggles, from physical scars to deep wounds of the psyche, trying to figure out how to stop the most dramatic event in their lives from overshadowing everything else that happens to them.

Anne Lynam Goddard, whose son Colin was shot three times during the attack on his French class, sees his trauma the way doctors see the shrapnel embedded in the tissue of his wounded leg: trying to remove it would cause more pain and might make matters worse, so it's best to leave it be.

"Your body forms a cocoon, so it will always be part of you, but it won't hurt. That's how I started thinking about this early on," she said. "My biggest hope is that this is how my son will remember this. I hope he can form a cocoon around it and not let it be his defining moment."

The terror of those moments is nightmarish. After sneaking into a dorm and killing two students with two shots from a 9 mm handgun, Seung-Hui Cho took his time, heading to a post office to mail a package of video and writings expressing his anger.

Then he chained the doors of Norris Hall, stormed several classrooms and unloaded more than 170 rounds over nine long minutes. Students -- some wounded, some not -- cowered, played dead and listened in horror as 30 of their classmates and teachers died.

Cho then put a bullet through his head and dropped to the floor amid his victims.

Most of the 25 people hurt in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history are healing in private, declining or ignoring interview requests. (Watch critics question whether Scientologists are comforting or recruiting )

Justin Klein, a junior from Catonsville, Maryland, who survived three gunshot wounds, issued a statement saying he is progressing physically and emotionally. He's back on campus, with friends forming a buffer around his wheelchair, shielding him from reporters.

"My place is here, with my friends," Klein wrote. "The Hokie community is strong and resilient, we will persevere, we will go on and we will heal."

It will not be easy. As the weeks and months unfold, the wounded could experience depression, survivor's guilt, thoughts of suicide, anger, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Physical injuries and painful follow-up surgeries could slow students' academic progress and keep them feeling somewhat isolated, said Melissa Brymer, a clinical psychologist with the UCLA-Duke National Center for Child Traumatic Stress.

"Their scars can be reminders to themselves and to others, so this may impact their peer relationships. Their peers might not be able to cope with those reminders. They might distance themselves," she said.

There is no single way for victims of a tragedy to recover and adapt to what has happened, said Mark Lerner, a clinical psychologist and traumatic stress consultant.

"For some people, getting back on the horse, getting back on the bicycle and exposing themselves to this difficult environment where this has occurred, being back on that campus will be a really good thing for them," Lerner said. "For others, it may be more than can be expected, too much for them to handle."

Hokies will 'get through this together'
Patrick Strollo, brother of injured freshman Hilary Strollo, said there is no doubt she will return to campus after recovering at home in Gibsonia, Pennsylvania, from three gunshot wounds.

"What are the other options? She's not the only one who had something happen to her. Every single person who goes to that school has had something happen to them," he said. "She has a ton of friends there and she needs to stick to the people she can relate with, and they're going to get through this together."

Strollo faces a struggle similar to that of Sterne and Carney. Sterne was wounded in the leg, the image of him being carried out of the building captured in a now-famous photograph. Carney was hit in the hand during her German class, but helped fend off the gunman by barricading the door to stop him from getting back into the room.

The bloodbath at Virginia Tech was singular in its horror. But in many ways, the path the wounded must follow is not so different from the one others have traveled.

In January 2000, Alvaro Llanos was a freshman at New Jersey's Seton Hall University when two students set fire to a dormitory. Three classmates died. The flames left the upper half of his body with painful and -- for some time -- obvious scars.

He went through physical therapy and took a year off from school. When he returned, he found support -- and scrutiny.

"I figured I'd feel more comfortable being back at school. Especially when people know what happened, it would be easier than going to a different school and having to answer questions," Llanos said.

But after walking into a Spanish class the first day back, he quickly realized it wasn't going to be that easy.

"I felt like everyone was staring at me," he recalled. "I didn't feel like one of the regular students anymore."

That was six years ago, and Llanos has not graduated. He has made a new life, different from the one he'd envisioned.

'You have to move on'
Instead of pursuing a computer science degree, his recovery process persuaded him to train as a physical therapist. He married, has a toddler daughter and expects a second child soon.

And he has found in himself an energy and positive outlook; he rarely tolerates self-pity.

Some of the Virginia Tech wounded may find it hard to summon patience, but eventually, they must push forward because so much awaits them, Llanos said.

"You have to move on. You can't be stuck because if you stay stuck you're never going to be happy," he said. "Be happy and fulfill your life."

Sitting in her son's hospital room the day after the shootings, Anne Goddard tried to preempt the most difficult question Colin could ask himself.

"There is no answer to the question of why some people got shot and died and why some people got shot and lived," she told him. "There is no answer to that question. Don't go looking for it."

"Yeah," he said. "You're right."

Colin Goddard is already looking ahead. In the emergency room the day he was shot, the child who was born in Bangladesh and raised in Somalia and Egypt wanted to know if he could still do his internship on a development project this summer in Madagascar.

"Some parents would be afraid to let their kid go. I'm not," said Anne Goddard, a veteran aid worker who directs the Richmond, Virginia-based Christian Children's Fund. "I want him to come back in August talking about something very different."


The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is Republican Congressman Rick Renzi from Arizona. He gets the award for the following.

Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.) failed to disclose a $200,000 payment he received from a business partner in 2005 in apparent violation of House ethics rules. Prosecutors could use the omission as evidence that Renzi intended to conceal a transaction he knew to be controversial or even improper.

The $200,000 was a payment from James Sandlin to settle a debt related to a previous business transaction involving land in northeast Arizona, one of the lawmaker’s attorneys, Grant Woods, told a newspaper last week.

This explanation might have been expected to dispel suspicion that Sandlin gave Renzi an illegal gift in exchange for action Renzi took to help Sandlin sell a $4 million parcel of land.

But Renzi’s claim that Sandlin’s $200,000 payment was a legitimate business transaction is weakened by the fact that he failed to disclose it in his personal financial disclosure report for 2005 filed with the House clerk.

Renzi’s spokesman did not respond to several requests for comment. Renzi’s attorney also failed to respond to requests for comment.

The lawmaker’s 2005 report lists only one transaction: the sale of Renzi’s wine company, Renzi Vino Inc., which the congressman reportedly sold to his father for between $500,000 and $1 million. According to a filing with the state of Arizona, Rep. Renzi was the only major shareholder in Renzi Vino before he sold it.

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that the FBI is investigating the Sandlin payment to determine whether Renzi profited from a land deal he may have advanced through his position on the House Natural Resources Committee.

Rumors are swirling that Renzi will resign, the congressman is denying them of course. Renzi's land dealings may also effect the future of Fort Huachuca, an army installation in Arizona.

Just another crooked politician out to use his office to benefit himself. Resign Congressman, you're a disgrace.

As Jim Addison at Wizbang Politics wrote-

My position on corrupt politicians is simple and consistent: irrespective of party membership, those convicted of corruption in office should be hung, drawn, and quartered, and their heads placed on stakes along the Potomac as a warning to others.
TFM agrees and adds one parting gift for Congressman Rick Renzi. He is today's Knucklehead of the Day.

Linked to- Adam's Blog, Amboy Times, Blue Star, Bright & Early, Cao, Jo, Morewhat, Perri Nelson, Pursuing Holiness, Right Wing Nation, Samantha Burns, Third World County, Woman Honor Thyself, Yankee Sailor,

Labels: , ,

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Ethically challenged in Palm Beach Gardens

Another Palm Beach County politician who doesn't know what a conflict of interest is. From the Palm Beach Post-

Palm Beach Gardens Mayor Joe Russo and former City Councilman Carl Sabatello may have violated state ethics laws when they voted on items involving the Mirasol development, the state ethics commission said Wednesday.

The commission found probable cause that Russo may have had conflicts of interest when he voted on two measures that involved Sabatello's development company and Mirasol, the residential community on PGA Boulevard west of Florida's Tunpike where Sabatello did business. Russo is Sabatello's accountant.

It also found that Sabatello may have had similar conflicts between September and November 2000 when he voted on matters affecting Mirasol while his company was negotiating to participate in the project. Conflicts also may exist on measures involving four parcels and one plat in which Sabatello had an interest.

The state will convene formal hearings in both cases before it determines whether a violation has occurred. Wednesday's announcement stems from a complaint filed more than three years ago by a North Palm Beach resident, who was a supporter of a candidate running against Sabatello at the time.


State ethics laws prohibit elected officials from voting on issues that provide a "special private gain" to themselves or business associates.
That's pretty a simple rule to me. Any honest person who can read, should know votes like the ones the Palm Beach Gardens Mayor took part in are clear ethics violations. So if Russo can read, we have to assume we have another dishonest crook in office. Hasn't the County had enough of those already?

Time to resign Mayor Russo.

Linked to- Bright & Early, The World According to Carl,

Labels: ,

Dolphins draft Johnny Lam Jones Ted Ginn

Pass me the smelling salts. Ted Ginn? Is Miami nuts? The team needs OL help, DL help, QB help, TE help, DB help, and they have Chris Chambers and Marty Booker at WR already. Booker isn't a favorite of mine and Wes Welker is gone but still Ginn? This guy could be the next Johnny Lam Jones. He's a stretch at #9. We won't know the outcome on this pick for a while, but I'm betting Miami does not get the production worth this high a pick.

Miami's #1 last year hasn't panned out yet and oh I just love the picture James has up of Ginn. A football player on crutches, anyone remember what happened to a Dolphin #1 pick named Randall Hill? Hill was also a WR that Miami drafted in 1991. Ginn on crutches reminds me of the Hill debacle.

Houston takes Akombi Okoye right after Miami, who I wrote just minutes before Miami's pick, that the Dolphins should take this player. Miami could have had him. Heck Miami could have had Patrick Willis too who went #11. Both were choices of mine. Sheesh, Miami really listened to me by not drafting Quinn but not in a good way.

I'm not the only person who thinks Miami's draft of Ginn is nuts. Here's what Scouts Inc. says

Can you say curveball? Let’s start with the good because it’s easier to get out of the way. Ginn Jr. is a playmaker with blazing speed. He can go the distance every time he touches the ball whether it’s on returns or catching the ball on offense. And the truth is the Dolphins need help at receiver and in the return game with Wes Welker now with New Englans. Now let’s get to the bad. First off, passing on Quinn was a huge mistake. Even if Miami is going to trade for Trent Green, he is a dinosaur by NFL standards and there are obviously concerns about his ability to stay healthy.

Bringing in Quinn as an insurance policy and an outstanding heir apparent would have been the right move. Secondly, there are no guarantees Ginn Jr. will develop into a quality No. 2 receiver. While he has excellent speed, he ran just three routes at Ohio State so he has a tremendous amount of work to do in that area.
The Ginn pick looks like another Dolphin draft bust. When will the Dolphins next make the playoffs, 2011?

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

Labels: , ,

Florida the rules are different here Chapter CIV

Florida Senators have passed a law requiring legislators to tell the truth. Do Floridians really want the truth. Didn't George Bernard Shaw once say if you want to make someone angry or laugh, tell the truth? TFM is skeptical about this law ever changing the way Florida politicians but who knows. Isn't this a great state or what?

Linked to- Bright & Early, Bullwinkle, StikNstein,

TALLAHASSEE -- Encouraging development from the Florida Legislature: Senators approved a bill Thursday that requires them to tell the truth.

Discouraging development from the Florida Legislature: They did so only after more than 15 minutes of heated debate, and even then, three voted against the measure.

Yes, that's right. Three Democrats -- among them a felon -- voted against the "Truth in Government Act." The bill requires that lawmakers, their staff and lobbyists take an oath whenever they go before a House or Senate committee, and it subjects them to felony perjury charges if they lie.

"People come up here and lie every day of the week, and the statements they make affect 18-million people in the state of Florida," said bill sponsor Alex Villalobos, R-Miami. "This will restore some integrity in government."

So who would actually vote against integrity in government?

That would be Sens. Al Lawson, Mandy Dawson and Gary Siplin.

Lawson said he didn't have a problem with the provision affecting lobbyists. But applying it to lawmakers like himself went too far.

"This is the biggest conspiracy that I have ever seen," he said. "Why would you suggest a member is not telling the truth? Sen. Villalobos is trying to hold us up to the same standards as lobbyists."

Yes, other senators told him during an emotional debate. That's precisely the point.

"If we're going to hold lobbyists to this standard, we should hold ourselves to the very same standard," said Brandon Republican Ronda Storms.

Past troubles

Siplin and Dawson, some later noted, already had run-ins with the law and well-documented instances where their honesty was called into question.

Siplin, of Orlando, is currently appealing a grand theft conviction for having employees work on his re-election campaign on state time.

In 2003, Dawson underwent a rehabilitation program to avoid prosecution on a charge of prescription drug fraud. In 2002, she acknowledged that she lied in a biography claiming she had a degree from Florida A&M University.

"What if I don't know if what I'm saying is true, actually isn't true?" she said after the vote. "That opens the floodgates for ethics complaints and lawyers."

But the bill would apply only to lawmakers who knowingly make false statements, a reporter pointed out.

"Well, I've been around for a long time," she said. "And I just don't know about some of this feel-good stuff."

Several senators were flabbergasted that any elected official would vote against a bill promoting honesty. After the vote, some lobbyists were even shaking their head at the debate.

"This is the single most important bill the Legislature will do," said Democrat Jeremy Ring of South Florida. "It's beyond me that any of us could vote against this and say, 'We're against truth.' This bill will change the way government in the state of Florida is essentially done forever."

Sen. Nancy Argenziano, R-Dunnellon, was blunt as usual: "Politically, it's a dumb thing to vote against anything that's for good government. Their excuses were ridiculous."

The bill exempts members of the public who are not being paid to speak before a committee.

But lobbyists, legislative employees and lawmakers who go before Senate and House committees - critical stops for a bill making its way to the chamber floors - would have to sign a form that amounts to a sworn oath.

If later found to have knowingly lied about "any material matter," they could be prosecuted for perjury and sentenced to between five and 15 years in prison if convicted.

In Texas, anyone testifying before a legislative committee does so under oath, though it's not clear whether the requirement applies to lawmakers. A few years ago, the Idaho House of Representatives got flak for approving a measure that specifically exempted lawmakers.

House to amend bill

The House version of the bill has not been scheduled for a floor vote. It exempts legislators and staffers acting in their "official capacity." But House sponsor Marcelo Llorente, a South Florida Republican, said he will amend it to match the Senate version, and he hopes to bring it to the floor next week.

"I've been waiting 11 years for a bill like this," said Argenziano. "I've been lied to up here from the first day I came up here in the House of Representatives.

"If you intentionally lie, you should be prosecuted."

Labels: ,

NFL Draft Day

Today is the big day. Who will the Miami Dolphins pick?

MIAMI - The Miami Dolphins' track record drafting quarterbacks in the first round is so good they might want to think about doing it more often.

In the past 40 years, they've used a No. 1 choice on a quarterback only twice: Bob Griese in 1967 and Dan Marino in 1983. Both are members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

With four selections in the first three rounds, the Dolphins are almost certain to pick a passer Saturday, perhaps even in the opening round to acquire Notre Dame's Brady Quinn.

Possibilities in the second or third round include Trent Edwards of Stanford, John Beck of Brigham Young, Matt Moore of Oregon State, Drew Stanton of Michigan State and James Pinkney of East Carolina.

One of them likely will be the first quarterback drafted by Miami since Josh Heupel of Oklahoma in the sixth round in 2001.
My own take on Brady Quinn- He is overrated and overpriced. I don't think he'll drop to Miami and the 9th pick. If he did, Miami needs to (pardon the pun)pass on the former Notre Dame QB. Ideally, Miami would take OT Levi Brown at #9, and if Brown isn't available take the best linebacker or Defensive Tackle available. The Dolphins should trade down before taking Quinn. I think that QB will be an NFL along the lines of another Notre Dame sure thing. His name was Rick Mirer.

James Joyner at OTB Sports thinks Quinn would be a decent QB. Is decent worth a 9th pick? Dave George at the Palm Beach Post writes-

If Quinn does fall all the way to No. 9, though, getting past Cleveland and Minnesota and whoever else is desperate to lay the cornerstone for a new offensive attack, the Dolphins should pass on the passer and take Penn State offensive tackle Levi Brown instead.

There's just such little chance that Quinn would move Miami appreciably closer to a playoff spot in 2007, and, face it, that is the minimal standard of progress after five years on the outs.

This judgment is not solely based on Quinn's failure to lift his college team to winning efforts against more talented teams. The larger problem is that quarterbacks taken high in the first round are overwhelmingly set up to fail, certainly in the short run and probably in the long.

Fifteen times since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 the team with the No. 1 pick overall has used it on a quarterback. Not one of those teams made the playoffs in the star passer's rookie season and most produced horrible records, averaging out at 5-11, at a time when fans were primed for a one-man miracle.

John Elway doesn't count, either, since he actually was drafted by the Baltimore Colts in 1983 and traded to Denver, a more credible team.

Widen out the search and it doesn't get much better. For instance, 43 quarterbacks have been drafted at No. 10 or better since the merger. Only one of those teams qualified for the playoffs in the quarterback's rookie season. That was San Diego in 2004, when Philip Rivers, the No. 4 pick overall, sat the bench all season behind veteran Drew Brees.

There's a reason, in short, why a franchise finds itself with a high pick to spend. Teams in that position are generally lousy, or at least threadbare in all the wrong places. Put a kid quarterback, any kid quarterback, in that spot and he's bound to get pounded for some time to come.
Miami isn't going to be a good team this year. Dolphin management needs to look long-term not short. A quarterback is needed, but wait till the second round. My own favorite for Miami to draft would be Trent Edwards of Stanford or John Beck of Brigham Young. Beck should be available in the 2nd round and Miami should draft him.

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

Labels: , ,

Mad Bull

Some news from New York. Maybe he mistook the car for a funny looking cow.

Linked to- Basil, Jo, Samantha Burns,

HEBRON, N.Y. - A woman pulled into her driveway and spotted something big inside her garage. That something turned out to be a bull. And an angry bull at that.

Mabel Washburn says she drove to a nearby relative's home in rural Washington County to call police after coming face to face with the bull on Wednesday afternoon. When she returned to her home near the Vermont border a few minutes later, the bull was still there.

The 81-year-old woman says the animal then rammed its horns into her Ford Escort a couple of times. She blew her horn at it, but the bull chased the vehicle as she drove away.

She says the bull, which had gotten loose from a nearby pasture, eventually wandered into a swamp.

Sheriff's deputies ticketed the bull's owner for allowing it to get loose.


The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is Gig Harbor High School Dean of Students Keith Nelson. He gets the award for the following.

Video cameras at Gig Harbor High School were installed to catch trespassers, fights, harassment – the stuff that threatens safety at the campus of 1,700 students.
The surveillance system has also helped administrators find and discipline students who break rules, such as leaving trash on a lunch table.

But the high school says it will tighten its own rules on security cameras after two female students were filmed kissing and holding hands.

Keith Nelson, the high school’s dean of students for almost two years, shared the footage with the parents of one of the girls. They have since transferred her to a school outside the Peninsula School District, officials said.

“It’s not our normal practice,” said Principal Greg Schellenberg. “It’s not going to happen again.”

The other girl, who remains at Gig Harbor High, says their privacy was invaded.

“We weren’t doing anything inappropriate, nothing anyone else wouldn’t do,” she said.

The girl, a 17-year-old senior, described the kiss as a quick “peck.”

The News Tribune is not naming her because she is a minor and her family feared retaliation. Her father works for the newspaper.

Nelson said the parents who transferred their daughter approached him before the kissing incident. They asked him to notify them of any out-of-the-ordinary behavior, he said.

A few weeks later, he was inside the busy high school commons area, where by chance he witnessed the kiss, he said. He went back to the security room, watched the footage and invited the parents to view it.

There’s no expectation of privacy when students are in a crowded place, Nelson said. And he would have acted the same way if it had been a boy and a girl kissing, he said.
Bullshit! Bet my bottom dollar Nelson was engaging in voyeurism, alot of males have lesbian sex fantasies. Why not inform parents of boys and girls who kiss? The double standard is as obvious as Nelson's explanations are bogus. Students may not have a right to privacy, but they should have a right to be protected from Keith Nelson, today's Knucklehead of the Day.

Joanne Jacobs and Leaning Straight Up are also discussing this story.
Linked to- Adam's Blog, Amboy Times, Big Dog, Blue Star, Bright & Early, Cao, Jo, Morewhat, Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson, Pursuing Holiness, Right Wing Nation, Samantha Burns, Third World County, Woman Honor Thyself, The World According to Carl, Yankee Sailor,

Labels: ,

Friday, April 27, 2007

Save your toasters

That's what Polish PM Kaczynski pretty much is telling GLBT folks.

WARSAW, Poland -- Poland's conservative prime minister rejected European Union criticism Thursday of a proposal to fire teachers for ''homosexual propaganda,'' saying it was not in the interest of society to have more gay people.

Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski said homosexuals did not face discrimination in his country, responding to an EU parliament vote to send a mission to Poland to investigate recent anti-gay comments by senior officials.

''Nobody is limiting gay rights in Poland,'' Kaczynski told reporters hours after the vote.

''However, if we're talking about not having homosexual propaganda in Polish schools, I fully agree with those who feel this way,'' he said. ''Such propaganda should not be in schools; it definitely doesn't serve youth well.''

''It's not in the interest of any society to increase the number of homosexuals -- that's obvious.''
TFM is no arch conservative when it comes to GLBT issues. Read this post of mine for example. I don't think there is any education that can make one gay. Its one's sexual orientation, which unless I'm wrong, can't be taught. So what 'propaganda' is going to teach a man or woman to be gay?

If anyone wonders what the toaster line is about, I once read a lesbian gets a free toaster for recruiting a straight woman. I don't recall where I read that, and I do believe its a joke. Anyone have a peach colored one I can have?(Cue the sarcastic laughter)

Linked to- Adam, Blue Star, Jo,

Labels: , , ,

Military insanity

Some news from New York. What would make eleven men and women break into another soldier's home? A couple yes, but eleven?(Cue the Twilight Zone music)

Linked to- Bullwinkle, Morewhat, Outside the Beltway,

WATERTOWN, N.Y. - Eleven Fort Drum soldiers burst into a fellow soldier's home and attacked him and his wife, kicking him repeatedly and punching her in the face, authorities said Friday.

The attack late Wednesday was in retaliation for the earlier arrest of another soldier, state police said. The 11 were charged with burglary and one also was charged with second-degree assault for allegedly hitting the soldier's wife with a bottle.

Carl Laws, 22, and his wife, Emily Hernandez, 21, were released from Samaritan Medical Center after treatment for multiple cuts and bruises.

Additional charges are possible after the case is presented to a grand jury, state police investigator Randy Pound said.

The soldier who had been arrested earlier did not take part in the attack, Pound said. That arrest stemmed from a complaint made by the couple involving the alleged violation of an order of protection, authorities said. No further details were given.

Fort Drum spokesman Lt. Col. Paul Fitzpatrick confirmed that all 11 soldiers are members of the 10th Mountain Division stationed there.

Although the investigation and prosecution are being handled by civilian authorities, Army officials will review the case.

"We support the investigation," Fitzpatrick said. "The Army does not tolerate this kind of conduct. ... It is totally out of character with our training and values."

Charged with burglary were Tyson Tucker, 20; Martin Johnson, 22; Jason Cofield, 25; Erica Hodges, 19; Shavonn Wynne, 22; Vianka DelCid, 19; Tyrone Lihpai, 22; James Skinner, 27; Carlton Causey, 28; Randi Bush, 18; and Shalota Williams, 22. Wynne was also charged with second-degree assault for allegedly hitting the soldier's wife.

Williams was turned over to her military superiors; the other 10 were ordered held in the Jefferson County jail on $5,000 bail each.

Labels: ,

Ultrasounds and Abortion

From the Tampa Tribune-

TALLAHASSEE - Women seeking abortions in their first trimester of pregnancy would be required to have ultrasounds of their fetuses, though they could opt out of viewing them.

The proposal amended onto a House bill Thursday also requires that women wait 24 hours after meeting with a doctor before having an abortion.

The bill, filed by state Rep. Trey Traviesa, R-Tampa, is expected to return soon for a vote.

Both the House and Senate are considering bills that require judges to consider and document certain factors when deciding whether a minor must notify parents that she is having an abortion.

The ultrasound language is not included in the Senate bill, nor is the House's 24-hour waiting period provision.

Sen. Ronda Storms said she won't tack either requirement onto her version of the bill, which awaits debate on the Senate floor. For the bill to become law, both chambers must agree on a version by the end of the session on May 4.

"The House has good and principled people, and I'm sure we'll work it out," said Storms, R-Valrico.

The ultrasound language, proposed Thursday by Rep. Steve Precourt, R-Orlando, is part of a national trend. Several states are crafting similar legislation, including Texas and South Carolina.

Some House members, including Rep. Curtis Richardson, D-Tallahassee, argued that the ultrasound amendment was crafted to prevent women from getting abortions.

Rep. Susan Bucher, D-West Palm Beach, said she was disgusted that such a significant issue was tacked on without prior debate.

"It is designed to cause substantial psychological impact to a young woman," she said.

Planned Parenthood also opposes the ultrasound request.

Wendy Grassi, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Southwest & Central Florida, said in an interview Thursday that doctors should decide whether ultrasounds are medically necessary - not the Legislature.

"This is a political tool," she said. "It's another way to chip away at women's rights."
It isn't chipping away at anything. Planned Parenthood's reaction to this law is the standard kneejerk response to any legislation involving abortion.

The mother isn't losing any right through this legislation. She can abort the baby if wishes. As to the psychological impact Rep. Butcher so fears, why is their any if a unborn baby is not a life?

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

Labels: ,

End of the road for Basil Dalack?

From the Palm Beach Post-

If their fight against Basil Dalack were a book, Tequesta officials hope they wrote the last chapter this week.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit has ruled against Dalack, a councilman-elect who sued the village last year when he charged that its oath of office was unconstitutional.

Dalack's fight began after he won an uncontested race for a seat on the village council, and it's possible that Wednesday's decision may not mean the end of the battle.

"Mr. Dalack's attorney has indicated to me that he and his client are still considering their options," said Edward Guedes, the village's attorney for the Dalack case.

Neither Dalack nor his attorney, Richard Rosenthal, could be reached for comment Thursday.

Mayor Jim Humpage said he was pleased with the appeals court's decision.

"We're about to celebrate our 50th anniversary," he said. "That's a nice present."
A nicer present would be a Judge ordering Knucklehead Dalack to pay all of Tequesta's legal bills because of the frivolous publicity seeking lawsuit he filed. Some how I don't see this happening. City taxpayers get screwed by the person who is supposed to serve them. Welcome to Politics (Everywhere not just Florida)101.

Linked to- Cao, StikNstein, The World According to Carl,

Labels: ,

Dead man on rails

Some news from Indonesia. I wonder why a lavatory attendant didn't notice anything earlier? Because one less bathroom to clean made his job easier. Then this is a state owned railroad, we all know how efficent government employees are. In any case, RIP Edy Haryanto.

Linked to- Jo, Pirate's Cove, StikNstein

JAKARTA, Indonesia - A dead passenger traveled unnoticed for at least half a day on an executive passenger train, an Indonesian newspaper reported Friday.

Anxious family members found the body of Edy Haryanto, 55, sitting in a locked lavatory on Thursday afternoon, more than a day after he had boarded with a group of friends in the central Javanese town of Tegal, the Warta Kota newspaper reported.

His family became worried when Haryanto didn't get out at the station in Jakarta at the end of the 6-hour journey and his cell phone went unanswered.

The body traveled back and forth between Tegal and Jakarta before a janitor told the family he had been unable to clean one lavatory because the door was locked, the report said.

The cause of the death was not immediately clear, but Haryanto had recently suffered a stroke, it said.

Dina Nurhandayani, the man's 29-year-old daughter, said she planned to file a complaint of negligence with the state-owned train company PT Kereta Api Indonesia.

Labels: , ,

Flash Bang

A dumb criminal story from today's Palm Beach Post-

Police received a tip that two men planned to rob the Checkers on U.S. 1. Officers knew the men would wear dark clothing and cover their faces, that they would approach from the back door and that they would come after closing.

Detectives and SWAT team members set up inside and outside the restaurant, waiting for a PT Cruiser to arrive, Detective Brint Black said. Twenty officers were hidden across the property.

As Troy Craddock, 21, and Omar Robinson, 20, made their way up to the fast-food restaurant at midnight, a SWAT member tossed the disorienting device.

"One suspect said once he heard the flash-bang, he was so scared he threw down his weapon," Black said.

Robinson carried a loaded .32-caliber handgun, and Craddock carried a large black gun, which turned out to be fake, according to an arrest report. The men had sunglasses, a ski mask and a black hat, and police found a 6-inch knife in their car. Officials said the men brought rope - perhaps to tie up Checkers employees.

Craddock and Robinson live in Port St. Lucie but are from Jamaica. Black said they are not related. He did not know whether they are in the country legally.

State records show Craddock has been twice arrested on armed-robbery charges: by Fort Pierce police last year and by the Martin County Sheriff's Office in 2005.

He has also been arrested on charges of drug possession, battery and aggravated assault.

Craddock confessed to planning the robbery, and Robinson admitted to agreeing to help Craddock for a $150 payout, according to the police report. Both men remained at the St. Lucie County jail Thursday.

Black said detectives are investigating whether the pair and their associates could be responsible for several armed robberies in Port St. Lucie over the past year and a half.

He would not say why Craddock and Robinson chose Checkers.
Some random observations

1- Craddock and Robinson obviously chose Checkers because of the money.(Sarcastic laughter time)

2- With Craddock's arrest record, what is he doing out on the streets?

3- How did police know of the robbery attempt before hand?

4- If Craddock was arrested before, and police he is Jamaican, why wasn't his immigration status checked already? He doesn't have to be an illegal to be deported, legal resident aliens can have the same happen to them if they commit a felony.

Note- TFM admits being Jamaican doesn't necessarily mean Craddock isn't a citizen. My next door neighbors are also US citizens and from that island nation.

Just some thoughts on today's news. Feel free to add your own as always.

Linked to- Basil, Bright & Early, Bullwinkle, Morewhat,

Labels: , ,

Help dealing with grief

According to this Washington Post story, grief counsellors have descended on Virginia Tech University to help those there deal with their feelings in the wake of last week's tragedy.

Joanne Jacobs calls these people grief vultures, I'm inclined to be kinder. These people, even if not invited, are well meaning. After my son's death, my wife and I went for counselling but we stopped. It was a long drive, and dear wife not I didn't want to do it any more. Other than the people with the dogs mentioned in the story below, I think some of those in Blacksburg could use this help.

That's just my two bits. Feel free to disagree with me.

Linked to- Big Dog, Conservative Thoughts, Right Wing Nation,

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 23 -- As thousands of students returned to class Monday at Virginia Tech, they were greeted by legions of people who came to help.

Volunteers came from the Blacksburg United Methodist Church to hand out bags of homemade chocolate cookies as students walked to their first classes. Others came from Colorado, Florida and elsewhere to offer art projects, pet therapy or a listening ear.

During the past week, a mini-army of grief counselors and other experts and aid providers has converged on Blacksburg. This southwestern Virginia town is the latest stop for a volunteer response force that moves from hurricanes to school shootings to terrorist attacks.

Craig Nason, 25, a survivor of the 1999 Columbine High School shootings, flew from Denver on Saturday night with four friends to visit classes, attend church services and show students what life could look like eight years on. Since Columbine, he has traveled to the scenes of several shootings, including Wedgewood Baptist Church in Fort Worth and the Red Lake Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota.

He said his goal is to be helpful without smothering students because he remembers the well-meaning hordes that came to his high school. "They ranged from the professional to the bizarre," he said.

Stationed outside the Virginia Tech student center were packs of "therapy dogs" that wore green vests and quietly sniffed the knees of passing students.

"They are trained to be calm in this type of situation," said Dawn Eischen, a handler who brought Ginger, a whippet mix, from Chester, Va. "They are put in situations where people have been emotionally disturbed or where there are sirens or a lot of noise."

Campus officials said they have been overwhelmed by the support. Many people were invited, said university counseling center Director Christopher Flynn, but "a lot of people just came." Flynn said he could not vouch for the training or background of all who came.

Over the weekend, a disaster response team from the Churches of Scientology set up a massage table offering "nerve assists" and handed out brochures noting that the team had helped victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and of a Moscow hostage crisis. Nearby, a Virginia artist got more than 1,000 people to dip their hands in colored paint to make a mural that he will offer to the college. Christian volunteers at another table handed out books titled "Where Is God When Things Go Wrong?"

On Monday, students hooked up with their favorite support system -- one another -- and walked through the maze, nibbling cookies and stopping to pet dogs as they made their way to class.


The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is Marilee Jones. She gets the award for the following.

Marilee Jones, a prominent crusader against the pressure on students to build their resumes for elite colleges, resigned yesterday as dean of admissions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology after acknowledging she had misrepresented her academic credentials.

Jones has been a popular speaker on the college-admissions circuit, urging parents not to press their kids too hard, and has told students there are more important things than getting into the most prestigious colleges. She rewrote MIT's application to get students to reveal more about their personalities and passions and to de-emphasize lists of their accomplishments.

But Jones, dean since 1997, issued a statement saying she had misrepresented her credentials when she came to work at MIT 28 years ago and "did not have the courage to correct my r?sum? when I applied for my current job or at any time since."

MIT Chancellor Phillip L. Clay said in a telephone interview that another MIT dean had received a phone call questioning Jones's credentials, prompting an inquiry that took several days. It found that Jones had claimed to have degrees from Union College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Albany Medical College, but she had no degrees from any of those schools.

Jones had become one of the most public voices urging parents, students and especially colleges themselves to "lower the flame" surrounding college admissions.
What is it called when you don't practice what you preach? Hypocrisy. Dean Jones gives us an excellent example of it and for that she is today's Knucklehead of the Day.

Linked to- Amboy Times, Blue Star, Bright & Early, Cao, Jo, Leaning Straight Up, Perri Nelson, Pirate's Cove, Pursuing Holiness, Right Voices, Samantha Burns, Third World County, Woman Honor Thyself,

Labels: ,

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Climb every mountain

From UPI-

BEIJING, April 26 (UPI) -- China announced the Olympic Torch route Thursday, angering Taiwan and activists seeking Tibetan independence.
The route the torch is to take to the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics includes the summit of Mount Everest, which lies on the border between Tibet and Nepal. The torch is also to travel from Vietnam to Taiwan and then on to Hong Kong, The Times of London reported.

The route emphasizes that China considers Taiwan part of its territory. Taiwanese officials argue that the torch should not go to China immediately after passing through the island.

Earlier this week, four people were arrested after a protest at Everest Base Camp against having the torch pass through Tibet. The demonstration was organized by Students for a Free Tibet, The Telegraph reported.

"The Chinese government hopes to use the 2008 Olympic Games to conceal the brutality of its occupation," said the group's director, Lhadon Tethong.

There are two main parts of the 2008 Olympic torch run. One part is more international and the other domestic to China. Areas that don't considered themselves part of China want to be included in the international run but China's announced route has them on the domestic leg.
Better take some lighter fluid or matches for the top of Everest. It does get windy up there.(Sarcastic laughter time)

Beijing and Taipei can't even play nice over the Olympic games. I guess some things are too much to ask for.

Linked to- Amboy Times, Basil, Bright & Early,

Labels: , ,

Florida the rules are different here Chapter CIII

Police horses going poop along a Broward beach. I'm sure that will meet with applause by tourists. Don't you just love Florida?

Hat tip- Rick at SOTP who says experienced riders know when their pony is going to take a dump.
Linked to- Bright & Early, Bullwinkle, Pirate's Cove, Right Wing Nation

FORT LAUDERDALE -- If you saw a city police horse drop a pile of manure on the shoreline of the beach, police officials said they're sorry and that it was an accident.

In an e-mail titled "Fecal Matter on Fort Lauderdale Beach,'' a Fort Lauderdale woman wrote to a Broward County Commissioner that on April 4 at 4:30 p.m. she had just finished a 45-minute ocean swim.

The e-mail went on to say: "Two Fort Lauderdale Police Officers on Horseback rode from A1A and Sebastian (Street) to the shoreline where they allowed their horses to defecate about 2 dozen balls of fecal matter, then turned and rode back to the street. No attempt was made to clean said fecal matter. I was appalled, disgusted, and fear for my and the health of all who enjoy our beautiful beach of Fort Lauderdale.''

Capt. Robert Carter, police executive officer, looked into it and reported back to city officials that the officers rode their horses to the shoreline "to acclimate the animals with various environmental/physical conditions. They were completely unaware that one or both of the horses defecated and they offered sincere apologies.''

Carter said he was sure it would prove to be an isolated incident and that the officers, or public works crews, routinely clean up after the horses.


Charlie Crist for Vice-President

From the Palm Beach Post-

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Charlie Crist could run for president or vice president without having to give up his governorship, under a proposed change to the state's "resign-to-run" law set for debate this afternoon.

The amendment to an elections bill was filed Wednesday at 7:58 p.m. by Sen. Lee Constantine, the chairman of the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee.

Constantine could not immediately be reached for comment, but according to legislative sources, Constantine submitted the amendment at the request of House Speaker Marco Rubio, who wants the addition in exchange for his support for paper ballots at voting machines, a top priority of Crist.


The amendment would create an exception for "a governor seeking the office of President or Vice President of the United States of America."

Without the change, Crist would have to resign his position as of Jan. 20, 2009, the inauguration date of the president and vice president following the 2008 election, and would have to leave office even if his ticket lost.

Rubio's proposed amendment, the sources said, takes away that disincentive and thereby gives Rubio an earlier chance at the top job himself.

If Crist were to run for reelection, the earliest Rubio could run for the post would be 2014.

Crist, who took office in January, could not be reached this morning.
Ammending the present law makes sense in my opinion. Why should the governor resign even if he lost?

As for Crist running for office, a Presidential bid in 2008 is as unlikely as it is for this person. Not going to happen. Crist would be an attractive(pardon the pun) choice for Vice-President on a national ticket. The one trouble I'd see in that is the rumors that Crist is gay.

Linked to- Bright & Early, Bullwinkle, Perri Nelson, Right Wing Nation

Labels: , ,

More on Tom Feeney

From the St. Petersburg Times-

WASHINGTON - Rep. Tom Feeney has insisted for years that he didn't know convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff paid for their luxury golfing trip to Scotland in 2003.

But an e-mail obtained by the St. Petersburg Times on Wednesday shows that Abramoff's office sent specific instructions on how to report the trip expenses to a handful of people, including Feeney's congressional assistant.

The e-mail from Holly Bowers, Abramoff's then-assistant, instructs recipients to say a conservative think tank, the National Center for Public Policy Research, paid for the trip at a cost of $5,643 per person.

In reality, the extravagant trip that began with a trans-Atlantic flight on a private jet and featured twice-daily golf at world-famous locales cost about $160,000, or $20,000 per person for each of the eight attendees.

Feeney, 48, an Orlando-area Republican who has been contacted by the FBI as part of the Abramoff investigation, reported precisely the details supplied by Abramoff's office in his congressional travel report on the Scotland trip.

The e-mail, written in September 2003, a month after the trip, was sent to Feeney's then-executive assistant Eliza Baker. Others on the e-mail list included Mark Zachares, a former House aide who last week pleaded guilty to conspiracy for his relationship with Abramoff.

In court documents released Tuesday in his case, Zachares said he knew the expense details for the Scotland trip were lies coordinated by Abramoff.

Feeney's office released a statement to the Times earlier this week acknowledging that he has been contacted by the FBI in the inquiry, but would not answer further questions.
I ammend what I wrote yesterday. No doubt, Feeney is just another crooked slimeball politician in Washington. You're a disgrace congressman, resign so we can have a politician work for the people rather than himself.

Linked to- Basil, Big Dog, Bright & Early, Bullwinkle,

Labels: , ,

Hunger strike in Thailand

From Yonhap News-

SEOUL, April 25 (Yonhap) -- Hundreds of North Korean defectors detained in a Thai immigration detention center have gone on a hunger strike to protest an alleged delay or decline by South Korea in the process of accepting them, activists said Wednesday.

"The South Korean government refused to issue air tickets for unknown reasons, so 100 male and 300 female North Korean defectors started a hunger strike Tuesday evening," said Lee Ho-taek, secretary general of a civic group helping defectors from the North.

Increasing numbers of North Koreans are fleeing from their impoverished country and crossing into Thailand via China, mostly on their way to South Korea.

Thai police arrested hundreds of North Korean refugees in Bangkok last year, and many of the defectors were believed to have received help from human rights organizations based mostly in South Korea.

Activists claim that 622 North Korean defectors were arrested since 2003 at the checkpoint of Mae Sai in northern Thailand. Of those, 367 entered the country illegally last year.

"About 300 female inmates are held in Thai immigration facilities that are sufficient for 100 females. The living conditions of the detention center are terrible," Lee said.
It is disgraceful that the government in Seoul can't find room for these defectors. For if they return to Pyongyang, its either death or a concentration camp. Kim Jong-Il will protest, but he's a psycho anyway. Would he go to war over 400 refugees? I think not. ROK Drop says the moral bankruptcy of the Korean government continues. I agree.

Linked to- Cao, Right Wing Nation, Third World County, Yankee Sailor,

Labels: , , , ,

Vacation in China

Just the place for the wife to take me the next time we travel. Remember I'm a masochist, I love being punished.

Linked to-Blue Star, Pursuing Holiness, Pirate's Cove, Samantha Burns,

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese tourism authorities are seeking investment to build a novel concept attraction -- the world's first "women's town", where men get punished for disobedience, an official said on Thursday.

The 2.3-square-km Longshuihu village in the Shuangqiao district of Chongqing municipality, also known as "women's town", was based on the local traditional concept of "women rule and men obey", a tourism official told Reuters.

"Traditional women dominate and men have to be obedient in the areas of Sichuan province and Chongqing, and now we are using it as an idea to attract tourists and boost tourism," the official, surname Li, said by telephone.

The tourism bureau planned to invest between 200 million yuan (13 million pounds) and 300 million yuan in infrastructure, roads and buildings, Li said.

"We welcome investors from overseas and nationwide to invest in our project," he added.

The motto of the new town would be "women never make mistakes, and men can never refuse women's requests", Chinese media have reported.

When tour groups enter the town, female tourists would play the dominant role when shopping or choosing a place to stay, and a disobedient man would be punished by "kneeling on an uneven board" or washing dishes in restaurant, media reports said.

The project, begun in the end of 2005, was expected to take three to five years to finish.

Labels: , , ,

From the Silly News Desk

Some news from Maryland. File this under desperate. With three billion men on this planet, you'd think Ms. Weaver could find at least one single male who wasn't in prison.

Linked to- Basil, Jo, Right Wing Nation, Samantha Burns,

BALTIMORE - A woman pleaded guilty to using a false ID badge to enter a corrections facility while posing as an attorney so she could have sex with an inmate, state prosecutors said.

Tiffany Weaver, 29, entered the plea Wednesday. She was charged with identity theft and use of false government identification after entering the Maryland Reception Diagnostic and Classification Center in November to meet with inmate Jason Moody. Moody is serving a 30-year sentence for manslaughter.

Weaver arrived at the center with a Maryland State Bar Association Security Identification Pass with a photo and a business card with attorney Amanda Sprehn's name.

She asked for admittance to meet with Moody and showed the fraudulent badge. Corrections officials responsible for monitoring inmate meetings with attorneys witnessed the two having sex once they were alone. The corrections officers ended the meeting.

The real Amanda Sprehn, an Annapolis attorney, told The Baltimore Examiner she was on leave when her firm received a letter banning her from the jail.

"I was out on maternity leave," she said. "They informed me they received a letter saying I had been caught having sex with an inmate — which was a real laugh."

Labels: ,

Let the dead rest

From AP-

TALLINN, Estonia - Protesters gathered at a Soviet war grave in downtown Tallinn on Thursday, as authorities prepared to remove the bodies despite Russia's angry objections.

Dozens of police faced the 100 protesters at the Bronze Soldier monument as workers erected a tent over the memorial to shield the excavations from public view. Some protesters shouted "Estonia is a disgrace," and one was detained after trying to jump the police barrier.

Three other protesters were detained earlier Thursday after locking themselves in a car and refusing to obey police orders, police spokeswoman Julia Garanza said. Officers smashed the windows of the car.

Estonia's government intends to relocate the Soviet grave, believed to contain the remains of 14 soldiers, and the Bronze Soldier statue next to it.

The Baltic state's ethnic Russians — roughly one-third of the population — see the memorial as a tribute to Red Army soldiers who died fighting Nazi Germany and have vowed to protect it. Many ethnic Estonians, however, say the memorial is a bitter reminder of five decades of Soviet occupation.


The government has said it wants to identify the remains in the war grave and then relocate the entire monument to a yet-undecided location. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip said the excavations would last up to two weeks.
Just based on what is reported above, I think the Estonian government is being dumb. Identifying the remains isn't worth descercrating their graves. There are thousands in unmarked graves across Eastern Europe because of World War II. Remember all of them by letting them rest in peace

Linked to- Amboy Times, Big Dog, High Desert Wanderer, Morewhat,

Labels: ,

Dragged to death

From the Palm Beach Post-

An 18-year-old died on Forest Hill Boulevard shortly after midnight this morning when he lost control of his car during a street race, according to Florida Highway Patrol investigators.

Stephen Vivarttas, of Boynton Beach was driving a 2005 Dodge eastbound toward West Palm Beach when he lost control near Anderson Lane. Investigators said he was racing a silver Ford Mustang, according to troopers.

His car spun out of control, hit the curb, lifted up, knocked down a stop sign, hit a fence, flipped and landed in a vacant lot. Vivarttas was thrown from the car. He was not wearing his seat belt, troopers said.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sad and tragic but dumb too. Stephen Vivarttas had to know the danger he was taking, unless alcohol was involved, and for what? A short thrill is never worth one's life.

I feel sorry for this young man's family. God bless them.

The irony here, is I'm writing a web fiction story(TFM has 25 of them already on the internet. All of the Sci Fi/Fantasy variety) where a drag race between twenty-year-olds goes tragically wrong. Two teenagers travelling in another car, come upon the race by fluke and their car crashes. A boy is killed and his girlfriend seriously injured.

Much of my story revolves around the families, of the two teens who crashed, and of the twenty-year-old who caused the crash. The parents of the boy who died, plus the girlfriend decide to forgive the driver.

There was a movie on a similar subject just this week. It was based on what happened to Bruce Murakami and his family. Weird thing is, the Murakami story was not the inspiration for my web fiction. Rather it was the Stephen Bromstrup/Sarah Stone story. I've also worked a little of Mary Karen Read and the Virginia Tech tragedy into my story.

What I was trying to point out, is to forgive we need to forget. I admire the Stones and Reads for their ability to do this. My story when finished, I hope will honor their children's memory.

Linked to- Bullwinkle, Maggie, Morewhat, Perri Nelson, Third World County,

Labels: ,

The Knuckleheads of the Day award

Today's winners are, Kevin Companion, Stephen Harrison, Jeffry Courtney and Thomas Simcox. They get the award for the following.

Two Hollywood police officers admitted Wednesday they trafficked more than a kilogram of heroin, finalizing a plea bargain that had been anticipated for more than a month.

Detective Kevin Companion and Officer Stephen Harrison entered guilty pleas during a 25-minute hearing before U.S. District Judge James I. Cohn and were allowed to remain free on bond.

Cohn set their sentencing hearing for July 20. Each man faces about 10 years in prison under federal guidelines.

Two other Hollywood officers, Sgt. Jeffry Courtney and Detective Thomas Simcox, also are expected to plead guilty before other federal judges, although no hearing dates have been set. They also face about 10 years behind bars.


A two-year undercover FBI investigation was cut short in January after Courtney and Companion learned they were under investigation.

According to prosecutors, the four officers ran a protection racket for agents posing as mobsters and used their patrol cars and motorcycles to escort heroin shipments.

The men also transported stolen diamonds from New Jersey, trafficked in stolen bearer bonds and protected an illegal card game on a yacht, according to court documents.

The officers were recorded on tape bragging they could easily find other officers in the department who would join the criminal enterprise. Soon after the arrests, lawyers for the four officers said they wanted to plead guilty before a formal indictment was issued.
Another fine exhibit of how some members of law enforcment are the biggest criminals around. Kevin Companion, Stephen Harrison, Jeffry Courtney and Thomas Simcox are today's Knuckleheads of the Day.

Linked to- Amboy Times, Basil, Big Dog, Blue Star, Bright & Early, Cao, High Desert Wanderer, Jo, Leaning Straight Up, Maggie, Morewhat, Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson, Pursuing Holiness, Pirate's Cove, Right Wing Nation, Samantha Burns, Third World County, Yankee Sailor,

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Clearing the air

Some news from China.

BEIJING - Chance of showers during the 2008 Beijing Olympics: 50 percent. But Chinese meteorologists have a plan to bring sunshine.

The meteorologists say they can force rain in the days before the Olympics, through a process known as cloud-seeding, to clean the air and ensure clear skies. China has been tinkering with artificial rainmaking for decades, but whether it works is a matter of debate among scientists.

Weather patterns for the past 30 years indicate there is a 50 percent chance of rain for both the opening ceremony on Aug. 8, 2008 and the closing ceremony two weeks later, said Wang Yubin, an engineer with the Beijing Meteorological Bureau.

The forced rain could also help clean Beijing's polluted air, said Wang Jianjie, another meteorologist with the bureau.

"When conditions permit, we will artificially increase rainfall," she said. "Rainfall is a way to naturally clean the air."
Considering the state of air pollution in China, if this technology could really clean the air, why not use it more often? Better yet, why hasn't it changed the air in Beijing already? Why don't they come to Florida and help us evil capitalists get out of the drought we're in?

Does this sound like Chinese wishful thinking to any of you too?

Linked to- Bullwinkle, Conservative Thoughts, Pursuing Holiness, Third World County,

Labels: , , ,

Listed on BlogShares