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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.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Swing Low


KILLENARD, Ireland -- Marc Warren was back playing in the Seve Trophy tournament on Friday, the morning after he injured himself by accidentally smashing a chandelier with a golf club in his hotel room.

The Scotsman said he tried a practice swing with a 5-iron in his room Thursday night and hit a glass chandelier which smashed into pieces over him.

Warren was taken to a hospital where he received stitches for a deep cut in his abdomen. He also had minor cuts on his arms and head.

"There was plenty of blood and a towel I held to my stomach was covered when I arrived at the hospital," Warren said. "But the only thing that hurt was the scratch on my head. I feel fine about playing today."
Mr. Warren may be hurting in the wallet also. Hotel owners, my late father was one, don't appreciate customers destroying hotel property.

Memo to Marc- Stick to practice putting on hotel rugs.

Linked to- DragonLady, Pirate's Cove, Samantha Burns,

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Actress Lois Maxwell dead at Age 80

She played Miss Moneypenny in 14 James Bond films up to 1985. I was and still am a big James Bond fan. Right now I am at a loss for my favorite Moneypenny quote. Instead maybe it was this exchange from Diamonds are Forever.

James Bond: What can I bring you back from Holland?
Miss Moneypenny: A diamond? In a ring?
James Bond: Would you settle for a tulip?
>Miss Moneypenny: Mm, yes.
Poor Miss Moneypenny never getting signs of affection like the other women in the films. Born in Canada, Ms. Maxwell died in an Australian hospital Saturday. RIP.

LONDON (AP) — Lois Maxwell, who starred as Miss Moneypenny in 14 James Bond movies, has died, the British Broadcasting Corp. reported Sunday. She was 80.

The Canadian-born actress starred alongside Sean Connery in the first James Bond movie, "Dr. No," in 1962 as the secretary to M, the head of the secret service.

She died Saturday night at Fremantle Hospital near her home in Perth, Australia, the BBC cited a hospital official as saying.

Bond star Roger Moore said she was suffering from cancer.

"It's rather a shock," Moore, who had known her since they were students at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1944, told BBC radio.

"She was always fun and she was wonderful to be with," he said.

Born Lois Hooker in Ontario, Canada, in 1927, she began her acting on radio before moving to Britain with the Entertainment Corps of the Canadian army at the age of 15, the BBC said.

In the late 1940s, she moved to Hollywood and won a Golden Globe for her part in the Shirley Temple comedy "That Hagen Girl."

After working in Italy, she returned to Britain in the mid-1950s.

In addition to her 14 appearances as Miss Moneypenny, she also acted in Stanley Kubrick's "Lolita" and worked on TV shows including "The Saint," "The Baron, Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)," and "The Persuaders!," the BBC said.

She was 58 when she appeared in her final Bond film, 1985's "A View To A Kill." She was replaced by 26-year-old Caroline Bliss for "The Living Daylights."

Linked to- Blue Star, Jo, Perri Nelson, Right Wing Nation, Rosemary,

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Weekly Dolphins prediction

Miami(0-3) plays host to Oakland (1-2) this afternoon. Miami scored 28 points last week against the Jets but still managed to lose 31-28. The offense, at least for one week, appears to be coming together. Except Miami was playing the 28th ranked defense in the NFL last week. Will Miami soon return to their bumbling ways on offense?

Note- Oakland is ranked 27th in defense.

Much of the talk this week revolves around former Dolphin Daunte Culpepper getting the start. The bigger issue for Miami is the dismal play of the team's defense so far this year. Supposed to be the team's strength, instead the unit is ranked 29th in the NFL. That makes for a bad combo when the Dolphins play the 3rd best rushing team this week. Will Raider RB Lamont Jordan have a field day today?

Like the Dolphins history with the New York Jets, Raider-Dolphin games are usually determined by who has home field advantage. I'm going against that factor, for I don't know how Miami can contain Jordan. My prediction- Oakland 27, Miami 24.

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

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The King of Chess

From the Times of India.

Vishwanathan Anand became the world chess champion on Saturday, after winning the global tournament in Mexico. In doing so, he replaced Vladimir Kramnik of Russia as champion, winning the tournament on points after tying a match with Hungarian Peter Leko on the 14th day of the contest, which he dominated from the start.

The tournament saw eight of the world's top chess brains battle it out in the competition, from which Anand came out unscathed.

The 37-year-old Indian had previously won the world championship in 2000, but the achievement was valued less since at the time the chess world was split between two rival world titles.
While I'm a prolific Correspondence chess player(Over 1,000 games lifetime with over 100 going at present), I don't follow the world chess scene much anymore. Much like my baseball viewing habits, I knew the status of the game(sport) much better twenty years ago. Like many US chessplayers my age, I can tell you all about Bobby Fischer. My familiarity with his successor, Anatoly Karpov, is almost as strong.(We both like to play a certain Caro-Kann variation. I've played it over 70 times, Only Karpov and four other have played it as often or more). Only by sheer fluke, do I know anything about what Annad likes to play. A 2003 Golden Knights game of mine following one of the World Champ's 1999 games for 25 moves. Opening databases are wonderful aren't they? Till your game leaves them, then you're on your own. I barely managed a draw in the 2003 game.

The way the World Championships are conducted has changed. For 25-30 years starting in 1964, the champion was determined via a series of Interzonal tournaments followed by elimination matches. This method put into place after some said the old Candidates tournaments were too prone to Soviet cheating. Now we've come back to a system much like the one used from 1948-1962.

Congratulations to Annad. Now are Indians prouder about Annad winning the World title again or Team India winning the recent Cricket Championship

Linked to- Big Dog, Commonsense America, Third World County, Yankee Sailor,

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The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is Maggie Nicole Williams. She gets the award for the following.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A 20-year-old baby sitter is charged with aggravated child abuse after Tampa police say she submerged a baby's feet in boiling water, causing second-degree burns.

Authorities say Maggie Nicole Williams was arrested Wednesday, one day after her mother called 911 to report that the boy they were baby-sitting had been severely burned while getting a bath.

The child is still in the hospital.

Police say Williams boiled a pot of water and poured it into a metal bucket, then intentionally immersed the child in the water. Her mother, Ruth Williams, calls it an accident.

Maggie Williams is in jail with bail set at $25,000.
How someone can be so cruel to a small child is beyond me. That's why I make Maggie Nicole Williams today's Knucklehead of the Day.

Linked to- Adam, Big Dog, Blue Star, Bright & Early, Cao, Church and State, Commonsense America, Jo, Leaning Straight Up, Morewhat, Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson, Pirate's Cove, Point Five, Right Voices, Right Wing Nation, Rosemary, Samantha Burns, Stop the ACLU, Stuck on Stupid, Third World County, Webloggin, The World According to Carl, Yankee Sailor,

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Saturday, September 29, 2007

No Newt

From AP

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will not run for president in 2008 after determining he could not legally explore a bid and remain as head of his tax-exempt political organization, a spokesman said Saturday.

"Newt is not running," spokesman Rick Tyler said. "It is legally impermissible for him to continue on as chairman of American Solutions (for Winning the Future) and to explore a campaign for president."

Gingrich decided "to continue on raising the challenges America faces and finding solutions to those challenges" as the group's chairman, Tyler said, "rather than pursuing the presidency."

Only on Friday, Gingrich said he had given himself a deadline of Oct. 21 to raise $30 million for a possible White House and that the task was difficult, through not impossible.
My wife met the former Speaker of the house six months ago. Gingrich's wife( or girlfriend or lady friend) not saying whether he'd run or not. I never thought Newt would run. At this late stage, his chances would have been dim.

Linked to- Big Dog, Bright & Early, Leaning Straight Up, Stop the ACLU, Stuck on Stupid,

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Florida the rules are different here Chapter CLI

Unhappy with the price of a McDonald's soft drink, a South Florida teenager does a pepper spray drive by. What gives this story that 'only in Florida', is the fact that the man with the pepper spray was wearing women's clothes at the time. I wouldn't be buying the Gender dysphoria excuse if I was a juror at this teen's trial. Don't you just love the Sunshine state?

Hat tip- Rick at SOTP
Linked to- Bullwinkle, Jo, Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson, The World According to Carl,

A teenager has been arrested and charged as the trigger man -- although at the time he was dressed like a woman -- behind a drive-by pepper-spraying at an Oakland Park McDonald's, investigators announced on Thursday.

The arrest came hours after a blue Toyota Solara with five people inside, including two cross-dressing males, pulled into the drive-through at 3073 W. Oakland Park Blvd. just before 4:30 p.m. They wanted a 69-cent drink on Wednesday, according to the Broward Sheriff's Office.

Clerk Shade Jones, of Fort Lauderdale, told them there was no such thing on the menu.

The driver got out of the way, and a 17-year-old from Fort Lauderdale leaned forward from the rear middle seat and aimed pepper spray at the drive-through window, according to a BSO report.

The teenager was arrested at 2 a.m. on Thursday, according to arrest documents. He is charged with two counts of simple battery, BSO spokesman Mike Jachles said.

''These drive-through workers are trying to make a living working hard, and they don't deserve to get pepper-sprayed,'' Jachles said.

Four adults also were in the car, including three women and another man dressed as a woman, Jachles said. On Thursday, none of the others was charged, he said.

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Over one million

From Yonhap News-

SEOUL, Sept. 26 (Yonhap) -- More than one million North Korean people are believed to be imprisoned in the communist state's concentration camps, a Christian activist group said Wednesday.

Open Doors, a Netherlands-based human rights organization, said in an interview with Washington-based Radio Free Asia (RFA) that at least one million North Koreans are held in 30 labor camps and 8 prison camps, far exceeding the number previously estimated.
With North Korea's population estimated at 23 million, that means at least four percent of that country's people are imprisoned in concentration camps.

Someone should pass a copy of this news to South Korean Unification Minister Lee Jae-joung. Will Lee still deny there being no evidence of human rights abuses in the DPRK?

Hat tip- DPRK Studies
Linked to- Bullwinkle, Point Five, Third World County, Yankee Sailor,

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Melanoma Drug STA-4783

From Medical News Today-

An experimental drug that attacks cancer in an entirely new way has shown promise in treating advanced melanoma, delaying progression of the disease and prolonging the lives of patients.

New research presented at the European Cancer Conference (ECCO 14) in Barcelona found that giving the new drug in addition to chemotherapy more than doubled the amount of time patients survived without progression of their cancer.

The study, according to Dr. Anthony Williams, vice president of clinical research at Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp. in Lexington, Massachusetts, USA, included 81 patients with metastatic melanoma. Of those, 28 received treatment with the chemotherapy drug paclitaxel alone and 53 received paclitaxel plus the new drug, STA-4783.

"The median progression free survival was 1.8 months in the group who got chemotherapy alone, but 3.7 months in the group who got the combination," Williams said. "This doubling in progression free survival is impressive for this cancer, and the result was achieved without substantial additional toxicity."
The doubling of survival rates for Stage IV melanoma(Median survival is like 10 months), may not seem signifigant, unless you or a loved one have the disease. Advanced melanoma, particularly brain metastasis, is a death sentence. God bless the Melanoma warriors.

Linked to- Blue Star, Church and State, Jo, Right Wing Nation,

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The Knuckleheads of the Day award

Today's winners are the Tennessee Department of Revenue and its Commissioner Reagan Farr. They get the award for the following.

Starting [Thursday], state Department of Revenue agents will begin stopping Tennessee motorists spotted buying large quantities of cigarettes in border states, then charging them with a crime and, in some cases, seizing their cars.

Critics say the new “cigarette surveillance program” amounts to the use of “police state” tactics and wrongfully interferes with interstate commerce. But state Revenue Commissioner Reagan Farr says his department is simply doing its job, enforcing a valid state law while protecting Tennessee retailers who properly pay state taxes.

Agents have already been watching out-of-state stores that sell cigarettes near the Tennessee border to “get a feel where problem areas are,” Farr said. While declining to be specific, the commissioner said “problem areas” are generally along interstate highways with exits near the Tennessee border.

The idea is for the monitoring agent to spot a person buying cigarettes in volume at an out-of-state market, then departing in a vehicle with Tennessee license tags. Starting today, monitoring agents spotting such a suspect will call an arresting agent who will stop the car when it enters Tennessee, he said.


Tennessee’s cigarette tax went from 20 cents per pack to 62 cents per pack effective July 1. All eight states that border Tennessee have lower tax rates, meaning smokers can save up to 45 cents per pack — $4.50 for a 10-pack carton — by purchasing out of state. The border states with the lowest cigarette taxes are Missouri with 17 cents and Mississippi at 18 cents. The highest is Arkansas with 59 cents. Kentucky and Virginia both tax cigarettes at 30 cents a pack, North Carolina at 35 cents, Georgia at 37 cents and Alabama at 42.5 cents.

Under state law, bringing more than two cartons of cigarettes into the state without paying Tennessee taxes is a “Class B” misdemeanor, carrying punishment of up to six months in jail and/or a $500 fine. Bringing 25 or more cartons is a “Class E” felony, with minimum penalty of one year in prison and a maximum of six years plus a fine of up to $3,000. In addition, the specific state statute dealing with untaxed cigarettes provides that vehicles used to transport more than two cartons “are considered contraband and are subject to seizure,” says a Department of Revenue statement.

Farr said that agents have been instructed to seize any vehicle carrying more than 25 cartons of cigarettes without Tennessee tax stamps. In cases where three to 24 cartons are involved, he said vehicle seizure is “at the officer’s discretion.”
A person losing their car over purchasing cigarettes is an outrageous abuse of government. James Joyner at OTB writes-

How this can possibly be constitutional is beyond me. First, what gives Tennessee police officers the authority to operate across state lines? Second, surely seizing a vehicle potentially worth upwards of $40,000 for the “crime” of possessing more than two cartons of cigarettes amounts to excessive punishment under the 8th and 14th Amendments?
Donald Sensing also notes a little something called the Commerce Clause.

Ed at Captain's Quarters writes-

I can't wait for the first legal challenge to this enforcement. As far as I can see, it violates federal sovereignty in interstate commerce, the 4th amendment, and the spirit of the entire Constitution. Let's try to tackle this one issue at a time.

First, Tennessee has no jurisdiction over what stores in other states sell, even if the material was illegal, which tobacco is not. They can't conduct surveillance in Missouri, for instance. The fact that they are "watching out-of-state stores that sell cigarettes" should be enough to demand some resignations, starting with the commissioner himself.

Second, people do have the right to cross state lines to purchase legal commodities. If Tennessee wants to hike its cigarette taxes far beyond its neighbors, then it's the state's fault that its shop owners can't compete. It's not the fault of the consumer who makes a smart choice to cross the border and buy in bulk. Unless the product itself is illegal, the state of Tennessee has no right to interfere in that transaction.

What trips the wires of Tennessee's enforcement? As few as three cartons, according to the commissioner and Tennessee state law, which makes that a misdemeanor. Twenty-five cartons will result in auto forfeiture, between one and six years in prison for a felony conviction, and a $3,000 fine. None of this has to be predicated on an explicit act to bootleg the cigarettes, either, but merely possession of a legal product.
I think James, Ed and Donald said it better than I could have. Reagan Farr and the Tennessee Department of Revenue are today's Knuckleheads of the Day.

Linked to- Adam, Big Dog, Blue Star, Bright & Early, Cao, Church and State, Commonsense America, Jo, Leaning Straight Up, Morewhat, Perri Nelson, Pirate's Cove, Right Voices, Right Wing Nation, Rosemary, Samantha Burns, Stop the ACLU, Stuck on Stupid, Third World County, Webloggin, The World According to Carl, Yankee Sailor,

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Friday, September 28, 2007


The unrest continues in that Southeast Asian nation.

YANGON, Myanmar - Soldiers clubbed and dragged away activists while firing tear gas and warning shots to break up demonstrations Friday before they could gain momentum. Troops also occupied Buddhist monasteries and cut Internet access, raising fears that a deadly crackdown was set to intensify in Myanmar.

The government said 10 people have been killed since the violence began earlier this week, but diplomats say the toll is likely much higher. Dissident groups have put the number as high as 200, although that number could not be verified.

Witnesses said security forces aggressively broke up a rally of about 2,000 people near the Sule Pagoda in the largest city, Yangon. About 20 trucks packed with soldiers arrived and announced over loudspeakers, "We give you 10 minutes to move out from the road. Otherwise we will fire."

A group of about 10 people broke away from the main crowd and rushed toward a line of soldiers. They were beaten up, and five were seen being hauled away in a truck.

Soldiers dispersed the other protesters, beating them with clubs and firing shots in the air.

"People in this country are gentle and calm. (But) people are very angry now and they dare to do anything," said a shopkeeper, who witnessed the clash and did not want to be named for fear of reprisal.

Elsewhere, riot police played cat-and-mouse with smaller groups of die-hard activists, sometimes shooting into the air.

The clash in an area near the Sule Pagoda was the most serious of the several sporadic — though smaller — protests that were reported. Earlier Friday, soldiers and riot police moved quickly to disperse a crowd of 300 that started marching in Yangon, sealing the surrounding neighborhood and ordering them to disperse. Elsewhere, they fired warning shots to scatter a group of 200.

By sealing monasteries, the government seemed intent on clearing the streets of monks, who have spearheaded the demonstrations and are revered by most of their countrymen. This could embolden troops to crack down harder on remaining civilian protesters.

Efforts to squelch the demonstrations appeared to be working. Daily protests drawing tens of thousands of people had grown into the stiffest challenge to the ruling military junta in two decades, a crisis that began Aug. 19 with rallies against a fuel price increase, then escalated dramatically when monks joined in.

Security forces first moved against the anti-government protesters on Wednesday, when the first of the 10 deaths was reported. Images of bloodied protesters and fleeing crowds have riveted world attention on the escalating crisis, prompting many governments to urge the junta in Myanmar, also known as Burma, to end the violence.

But by Myanmar standards, the crackdown has so far been muted, in part because the regime knows that killing monks could trigger a maelstrom of fury.
The ruling junta in Myanmar has as much use for democracy as it does for international or public opinion. The country is isolated already, and any sanctions not already in place, aren't likely to change the internal situation.

That means all we can hope for is 1- An overthrow of the current junta by other Myanmar officials. Where are these men to come from? Dictatorships are always paranoid towards any possible threats. A legitimate alternative to present regime is going to be hard to find, because such an individual is likely to be either jailed, exiled or dead by now. Take Aung San Suu Kyi for instance.

2- A possible people revolution. It has happened in Asia before. The odds are long however. In the case of the Philippines, you had a deeply religious country where members of the military felt revulsion at the prospect of killing unarmed civilians. For the sake of the Burmese people, I hope history repeats itself.

Also discussing Myanmar- Michelle Malkin, Sister Toldjah, Dr. Estes at TMV,
Linked to- Adam, Cao, Bullwinkle, Third World County,


Lets have a debate

From the Sun-Sentinel-

Two nationally televised presidential debates will be held at Florida Atlantic University's Boca Raton campus before the state's presidential primary.

Republicans and Democrats will debate Jan. 23 and Jan. 25, leading into the state's new Jan. 29 primary, according to Wendy Abberger, executive director of Leadership Florida, the nonprofit group organizing the debates.FAU officials received confirmation of the debates Thursday.

It's not yet decided which night will feature Republicans and which Democrats, Abberger said.

The debate announcement comes at a time of national controversy surrounding Florida's early primary date.

The national Democratic Party vows to strip the state of all its delegates for violating a rule that state primaries shouldn't be scheduled before Feb. 5. And leading Democratic contenders, including Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, have promised not to campaign in the state.
The promise not to campaign here is a load of bull. For one, the Presidential candidates are still coming to Florida to rake in campaign dollars. Secondly, what legitimate Presidential hopeful wants to write off Florida in the next election? They will keep on coming here, and I will give even money odds that the Democratic delegates do get seated at the next convention. The National party will find some face saving method to do it. It just won't be announced before January 2008, or just before the primary is held.

Note- Florida Atlantic University is twenty miles from my home.

Linked to- High Desert Wanderer, Leaning Straight Up, Mad Pigeon, The World According to Carl,

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The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is MLB Umpire Mike Winters. He gets the award for the following.

Veteran umpire Mike Winters, suspended for the remainder of the regular season Wednesday for his confrontation with San Diego outfielder Milton Bradley, also will lose the opportunity to land a lucrative postseason assignment because of his actions.

Winters, in his 18th season, is being suspended without pay and will not be a member of the postseason crew, according to two baseball officials familiar with the situation. Winters has worked in nine of the past 10 postseasons, including the World Series in 2002 and 2006.

Major League Baseball, in its brief public statement, made no mention of details of the suspension, but two MLB officials involved in the decision said it was because Winters, 48, was unprofessional and used profanity in the incident with Bradley.
A Padres coach claimed Winters baited Bradley. Apparently Major League Baseball agrees, otherwise why suspend the umpire?

Bradley, who has a reputation of losing his temper, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee when he was thrown to the ground by Padres manager Bud Black, who was attempting to keep the outfielder from physically going after Winters during Sunday's game against Colorado in San Diego.


Padres first-base coach Bobby Meacham, who overheard the argument between Winters and Bradley, said he wasn't particularly glad about the suspension: "Just or unjust, it's irrelevant in my mind. He made a mistake. Should he pay forever for it? No.

"I just think the truth should come out, and everybody should learn from this. It was not baiting. Those were just the easiest words to select. You're in the heat of the battle, all of a sudden you'll say things you wish you could take back. Everybody should learn from this. If we don't, shame on us."

The last umpires to be suspended were Bruce Froemming and Hirschbeck, both for 10 days in 2003. Froemming made an anti-Semitic slur about an umpiring administrator, and Hirschbeck was charged with threatening a senior official in the commissioner's office.
This is the second scandal involving professsional sports umpires or referees in the last few months. The integrity of a sport can come into question because of these officails, Winters actions on the field leave serious questions about how impartial he can be. MLB I think was right to suspend the umpire for the rest of the year, but does that go far enough?

Major League Baseball Umpire Mike Winters is today's Knucklehead of the Day.

Linked to- Cao, High Desert Wanderer, Leaning Straight Up, Mad Pigeon, Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson, Pirate's Cove, Right Voices, Right Wing Nation, Rosemary, Samantha Burns, Webloggin, Woman Honor Thyself, The World According to Carl, Yankee Sailor,

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

More medical news

I went to the dermatologist today. He removed one mole on my hip for biopsy. It will take a week for me to get the results.

Note- I'll say it again, if you have any history of skin cancer and live in South Florida, the best dermatologist to see is Dr. Harold Rabinowitz. He has an office in Plantation, which I drive 45 miles one way to see him, and another office in Miami-Dade County. His expertise in Skin cancer and care are excellent, and worth making an extra drive to go see.

Today I learned my biopsy results from last week's surgery. Two more nodes tested positive for cancer. That makes three in all. I go to the oncologist next week to discuss treatment options.

If there's good news on the medical front, its that a Chest X-ray, Cat scan of my brain and full bloodwork that I had done, were all clear. I should focus on this good news.


The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is Alex Zakharia. He gets the award for the following.

A local heart surgeon who has been the subject of various investigations into his work has agreed to retire as part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors.

As part of the agreement, Alex Zakharia, 69, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor contempt of court charge in a Michigan case that questioned his testimony as an expert witness.

Zakharia must not only retire within months but agreed to write a letter that acknowledges his offenses and takes responsibility for his actions, to be published in a medical journal subject to government approval.

He faces up to a year in prison and fines up to $100,000, and must also pay restitution to the legal parties involved in his testimony.

The doctor, who has practiced in Miami-Dade County for more than 25 years, has had his staff privileges end at least four local hospitals, including South Miami. Many will not say why -- one former employer said they were ''not happy'' with his results -- and Zakharia has maintained he voluntarily left those places.


Last fall, the U.S. Attorney's office in Detroit charged Zakharia with fraud and false declaration for allegedly exaggerating his experience in coronary artery bypass surgery in a deposition. Zakharia was testifying in a malpractice case for a patient who was suing a VA hospital.

The agreement entered Wednesday stated Zakharia ``falsely created an impression that he was himself the lead surgeon on more than a hundred coronary artery bypass grafts . . . when in fact he was not the lead surgeon on any such procedures during that time period.''


Zakharia has been ordered to pay restitution of more than $16,000 for expenses involving his testimony. Prosecutors have recommended sentencing of a maximum of six months' custody.

Zakharia must retire on or before his sentencing or Dec. 31, whichever comes first.
Passes yourself off as something you're not. People do it every day, but its different if you do it in a court of law. The doctor is getting off easy in my opinion so far as the justice system is concerned, but TFM will try making up for it. Alex Zakharia you are today's Knucklehead of the Day.

Hat tip- Overlawyered
Linked to- Big Dog, Blue Star, Bright & Early, Leaning Straight Up, Outside the Beltway, Pirate's Cove, Right Wing Nation, Samantha Burns, Woman Honor Thyself, The World According to Carl, Yankee Sailor,

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Health update

I went back to the surgeon today and had my stitches removed. The good news- I'm healing well. Bad news- My biopsy results aren't in yet. They should be available by the time of my appointment with my local Oncologist next Thursday.

The next step is for me and my doctors to discuss treatment options for my Stage III cancer. I could receive treatment locally, or travel to California. The John Wayne Cancer Institute in Santa Monica CA, arguably the best place for melanoma patients in the world, treated me from 1997-2001. Going to California on a twice monthly basis for three months, then monthly for a year is expensive and then there is the hassle of flying post 9/11, but the care is excellent. I got to consider all of this over the next few weeks. Just in case I did make an appointment for California for the 15th of October.

Right now I'm not in much of a mood to blog. I may be back next week after the wife returns to work. Right now much of my life is summed up by the words- One Day at a Time.


Monday, September 24, 2007

Heavier load, less credit

Why is Lindsay Davenport's win at the Bali Open so special? The former #1 player in women's tennis gave birth to her first child barely three months ago.

NUSA DUA, Indonesia - Lindsay Davenport won her first singles title after almost a year's absence from the tour, defeating Daniela Hantuchova 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 Sunday to capture the Bali Open.

Davenport was playing her first singles tournament since having a baby in June. And the 31-year-old Californian eliminated some strong opponents en route to this title: second-seeded Hantuchova, top-seeded Jelena Jankovic and fifth-seeded Eleni Daniilidou.

"I'm a little bit in shock," said Davenport, who won this event in 2005. "It's just overwhelming and exciting. I swear this is probably the first tournament I've played in four years where I didn't have anything wrong with my lower extremities."

Davenport, ranked No. 1 in 1998, has won three Grand Slams in addition to a gold medal at the 1996 Olympics. Her previous title came in Zurich, Switzerland, nearly two years ago.

She had not competed on the WTA Tour since reaching the Beijing quarterfinals in September 2006, when she lost to Amelie Mauresmo. She gave birth to her first child — a son, Jagger — with husband and former tennis player Jon Leach.
Tiger Woods, who became a father this year, got twenty times the attention Ms. Davenport got. It isn't really fair either. Any father out there knows, the mother carries the greater load when it comes to parenting before and after birth. Female pro athletes who can succeed at both motherhood and their sport have my admiration.(Trivia time- Name the last two LPGA Hall of Fame inductees that are also mothers?)

Congrats to Lindsay on proving she can still win at pro tennis.

Linked to- Blue Star, DragonLady, High Desert Wanderer, Yankee Sailor,


The Knuckleheads of the Day award

Today's winners are former North Miami City Attorney Barry Kutun, Broward County Judge Stanton Kaplan, Miami-Dade Judge John Schlesinger, plus the Miami Herald and its reporter Nicholas Spangler. They get the award for the following.

Former North Miami City Attorney Barry Kutun pleaded guilty to two counts of child abuse in a deal that will bring probation and house arrest but no prison time.

Kutun, 66, was arrested last year on charges that he had sex with a 16-year-old prostitute at his Miami Beach condo, but he always maintained he thought the girl was an adult.

A Broward County judge withheld adjudication, meaning that Kutun -- who had faced jail time and sex-offender status -- is not a felon.

He was sentenced to nine months of house arrest and four years of probation but will be allowed to leave his home to work, shop and do the community service that is part of his plea agreement.

''This was a mistake, an aberration in an otherwise stellar career,'' said Kutun's attorney, Richard Sharpstein. ``He's not some street thug or a criminal.''

In May, Kutun, a former state representative and candidate for Miami Beach mayor and state governor, pleaded guilty in Miami-Dade to one count of child abuse stemming from the same incident.

Under terms of that deal, he will serve probation, undergo therapy and avoid contact with minors, except for his own grandchildren.

Kutun was fired from his $170,000-a-year city post in May 2006 after a months-long police investigation ended with charges of unlawful sex with a minor.
Kutun's defense all along was he didn't know the girl was 16 years old. According to Florida law, it doesn't matter.

794.021 Ignorance or belief as to victim's age no defense.--When, in this chapter, the criminality of conduct depends upon the victim's being below a certain specified age, ignorance of the age is no defense. Neither shall misrepresentation of age by such person nor a bona fide belief that such person is over the specified age be a defense.
So why is a scumbag like Kutun getting special treatment? Because he is a local bigshot? If I committed the crimes Kutun did, I wouldn't be on house arrest but in jail plus be labeled a sex offender.(Also note Kutun still has his law license too!)

Two judges, the one in Broward County above, and one in Miami-Dade, didn't throw Kutun's ass in jail where it belonged. From last May.

Under the bargain, Kutun would serve five years probation and avoid jail time. His attorney, Richard Sharpstein, said in the courthouse to CBS4s Gary Nelson that "this is in his best interest so he can get this over with" and avoid further media spectacles. It’s Sharpstein's opinion that this case should never have gone this far, since "the victim in this case even had no desire to prosecute".

Under the plea agreement, Kutun would not be registered as a sex offender. In addition, Kutun cannot have contact with minors except for his grandchildren. He must also attend a sex offenders treatment program and make a $1,000 donation to Kristi House, a facility for children who have suffered sexual abuse.
So Judges in Broward and Miami-Dade signed off on these ludicrous sentences. That is why I give Judge Stanton Kaplan and Judge John Schlesinger today's Knucklehead award in addition to Kutun. They are disgraces to the bench, and should both be removed from it. Obviously Kaplan and Schlesinger are either

1- Letting Kutun off because of his standing in the community
2- Letting Kutun off because of some 'unknown deal'. Is justice in South Florida buyable
3- Both these judges are simply idiots. Maybe a combination of the above.

How do I know who these judges are? The Miami Herald and Channel 4 didn't report who handed down these sentences. I had to go here for Broward County and here for Miami-Dade to determine it was Judges Kaplan and Schlesinger.

A big thank you to Amanda at Operation Awareness for her help. Click here to see Operation Awarenss' page on Barry Kutun.

Last but not least I give the Miami Herald and Nicholas Spangler a Knucklehead award for not reporting the name of the Broward County Judge in this miscarriage of justice. Why did this major publication not name the officials responsible. Is the paper afraid to anger people in power? I guess Mcclatchly Newspapers has little interest in helping the community their newspapers are supposed to keep informed. Protecting Judges and child molesters is more important than protecting the community. How sick can people be in South Florida?

Former North Miami City Attorney Barry Kutun, Broward County Judge Stanton Kaplan, Miami-Dade Judge John Schlesinger, plus the Miami Herald and its reporter Nicholas Spangler are today's Knuckleheads of the Day.

Linked to- Blue Star, Bright & Early, Cao, DragonLady, Leaning Straight Up, Morewhat, Samantha Burns, The World According to Carl,

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Weekly Dolphins prediction

The Miami Dolphins(0-2) are playing at the New York Jets(0-2) this afternoon. A meeting between the team I followed when growing up and one I follow today. These twice annual matchups sometimes leave me hoping for a tie.(Something that did happen in a 1981 game between the teams)

Miami hasn't looked impressive at all this season. The same however can be said for the Jets. One troubling trend I see for Miami, has been their quick abandonment of the running game. Last week the team didn't rush once in the last 22 minutes of the game. Head Coach Cameron defended it, saying Miami at the time was 7 points down. Seven points down with a quarter and a half of football left and its time to be one dimensional. This and another recent remark of the coach's leave you wondering if Miami's coach is just being stubborn. My gut impression is that Miami is going to ride Trent Green down the toilet this year. Not that Miami is going to be any good, but going 4-12 on the arm of an over the hill QB is some how supposed to be a way to build for the future? I don't think so.

The Jets-Dolphins series often rides on who is playing at home. This year won't be any different. My prediction- New York 24 Miami 17.

Linked to- Bright & Early, Bullwinkle, Cao, Rosemary, The World According to Carl,

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The Knuckleheads of the Day award

Today's winners are James Ayers and Frederick Guilliee. They get the award for the following.

ANTIOCH, Calif. - Two men who police said broke into a building to steal copper wiring got more than they bargained for: a room full of police officers. Police said 26-year-old James Ayers and Frederick Guilliee, 38, broke into the 40,000-square-foot building at about 6 p.m. Tuesday.

What they hadn't planned for is the Antioch police K-9 unit who was holding a training session there.

At the time of the break-in, an officer was hiding inside the building in a training exercise. Shortly thereafter, a K-9 officer announced that a dog was about to be released and that anyone inside should give themselves up or risk being bitten.

Ayers surrendered immediately, police said, and the K-9 officers found Guilliee hiding inside.
Slightly reminiscent of a past Knucklehead award I gave out. All Ayers and Guilliee wanted to do was help train the K-9 unit, right? Maybe their attorneys will use that as a defense. First I name James Ayers and Frederick Guilliee today's Knuckleheads of the Day.

Linked to- Adam, Big Dog, Blue Star, Bright & Early, Cao, Church and State, Commonsense America, Is it just me?, Jo, Leaning Straight Up, Morewhat, Perri Nelson, Pirate's Cove, Point Five, Right Voices, Right Wing Nation, Rosemary, Samantha Burns, Stop the ACLU, Stuck on Stupid, Third World County, Webloggin, Woman Honor Thyself, The World According to Carl, Yankee Sailor,

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Rampant abuse

From the Palm Beach Post-

WASHINGTON — Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties accounted for half of the drug costs billed nationwide for Medicare beneficiaries with HIV/AIDS in the last half of 2006, according to a government report released this week.

That's even though only 10 percent of the roughly 100,000 Medicare beneficiaries with HIV/AIDS nationwide live in the three South Florida counties.

The area also accounted for 79 percent of the drugs themselves and 37 percent of the HIV/AIDS services provided from July through December 2006, according to the report by Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General Daniel R. Levinson.

The numbers were released as federal officials already are keeping a close eye on potentially fraudulent medical billings in South Florida.

The report said the "aberrant claims patterns differentiated South Florida providers and beneficiaries from those in the rest of the country."

"We recommend that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services treat South Florida as a high-risk area and mandate site visits for certain types of providers before issuing provider numbers," Levinson said in a statement.

"Medicare continues to be highly vulnerable to fraud and abuse, and immediate steps must be taken to protect the program and its beneficiaries," he said.
I'm certain there is fraud going on in regards to billing for HIV and AIDS patients. Just look what Tenet Healthcare had to do last year. The second biggest hospital chain in this country had to pay an almost billion dollar fine for overbilling Medicare. If you think that is an anomaly, check out the story of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey the biggest medical school in the country, that could have been closed down because of similar acts of fraud.

Then we have my own personal experience with a diagnostic imaging center here in Palm Beach County. They overcharged me $95 for my wife's ultrasound and were refusing to refund my credit card till I threatened to cause a stink. Then four years later, a sister office run by the same company tried to fleece me again.

Bottom line- I believe a good many if not majority of major players in the healthcare field, commit medicare and medicaid fraud on a daily basis. Do a Yahoo news search with the words medicare fraud, you'll find articles every week about someone pleading guilty or being arrested for that. The ones who get caught are just the tip of the iceberg.

Linked to- Adam, Jo, Rosemary, Stuck on Stupid, Woman Honor Thyself,

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Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas will not be playing on Sunday.

DAVIE — Linebacker Zach Thomas' history of concussions doesn't seem to have caught up with him yet.

Thomas, 34, will sit out the Dolphins' road game Sunday against the New York Jets because of a concussion he suffered in the Dolphins' loss to Dallas six days ago.

But medical tests didn't raise red flags for a player who has suffered multiple concussions and once considered retirement because of the problem.

"It's good news," coach Cam Cameron said Friday. "They brought back the MRI, and they didn't see anything on that."
Since when did Dizzy Dean become Miami Dolphins head coach? I sure hope doctors found something in Zach's head.

All joking aside, Cameron said Thomas would be day to day after Sunday's game. Rest up Zach and get well.

As much as Thomas injury isn't good news for the struggling Dolphin defense(Thomas is the team's leading tackler through two games), the concussion also calls into question whether the linebacker should continue playing. Zach had a history of similar injuries earlier in his career.(1999) At age 34 with very rare exceptions, active pro football players have their best years behind him. Zach has become a wealthy man, it may be time for him to enjoy the rest of his life off the football field.

Just one more problem for a Dolphin team that has drafted one Pro Bowl player in Rounds 1 or 2 since 1995. That tells you why the team is so poor at this moment.

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

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The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is Star Simpson. She gets the award for the following.

Officials lashed out yesterday at a 19-year-old MIT sophomore who walked into Logan International Airport in Boston wearing a piece of “art” that was mistaken for a bomb and triggered an all-out security scramble.

“It makes me angry that police, instead of responding to legitimate emergencies, have to be diverted to deal with morons,” City Councilor John Tobin said. “In this day and age, you can’t play around.”

Added East Boston City Councilor Sal LaMattina, “It’s a slap in the face to all of the victims of the 9/11 terror attacks.”

Star Anna Simpson of Hawaii approached an information booth at Terminal C about 8 a.m. wearing a black, hooded sweatshirt with a lit circuit board connected to a 9-volt battery, inquiring about an inbound Continental Airlines flight. In her hand, she was also carrying a 5- to 6-ounce glob of what turned out to be Play-Doh.

The booth attendant repeatedly asked what she was wearing, and Simpson called it art and left to look for her boyfriend, who was flying in from Oakland, Calif.

When Simpson didn’t find him, she left the building, disconnecting the battery on her sweatshirt as she went, and began to walk toward a T stop. Suddenly, she found herself surrounded by police armed with MP5 automatic machine guns ordering her to hold her hands up and not move.

“Thankfully, because she followed our directions, she is in a jail cell right now instead of the morgue,” State Police Maj. Scott Pare said.
This is a dumb,idiotic, asinine stunt and considering the competence of TSA, one that could have resulted in Ms. Simpson ending up on a slab. Instead Star Simpson got arrested, plus she is today's Knucklehead of the Day. Tell that to future job recruiters, won't you Ms. Simpson?

Also discussing this news- Right Wing Nation, Dr. Taylor at Poliblog, Jay at Wizbang, Alex at SOTP,
Linked to- Adam, Amboy Times, Big Dog, Blue Star, Bright & Early, Cao, Church and State, Jo, Leaning Straight Up, Morewhat, Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson, Pirate's Cove, Right Voices, Rosemary, Samantha Burns, Stop the ACLU, Stuck on Stupid, Third World County, Woman Honor Thyself, The World According to Carl, Yankee Sailor,

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Depends on what your definition of Gay is

New York Senator, former First Lady, and 2008 Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has come out of the closet.

Hillary Clinton officially declared she's not a lesbian - not that there's anything wrong with that.

During an interview with The Advocate to be published next week, Sean Kennedy, the gay magazine's news and features editor, asked the presidential candidate, "How do you respond to the occasional rumor that you're a lesbian?"

"People say a lot of things about me, so I really don't pay any attention to it," Sen. Clinton (D-N.Y.) replied.

"It's not true, but it is something that I have no control over. People will say what they want to say."
What politicians do in bed does not interest me as long as they 1- Do it with an adult and 2- Do it with someone with two legs or less! Amputees are all acceptable, horses aren't.

Hat tip- James Joyner at OTB who is counting down till Gay activist groups condemn Hilary for not saying she'd be proud to be gay.

Update- To clarify myself Bed means 'in private' to me. Rather than in a public place, like the case of this politician.

Linked to- Perri Nelson, Right Wing Nation, Stop the ACLU, Stuck on Stupid,

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I'm here

Those two words kind of sum up how I feel. Half the world has been waiting patiently for an update from me. Just like this woman.(Yeah right!)

Tuesday's operation went smoothly and I came home on Wednesday evening. Other than some swelling around my surgical site and discomfort that is making it hard for me to sleep, I'm not doing bad.

In all the surgeon took another twenty-three lymph nodes out for biopsy. I hope to get the results on Wednesday of next week when I return for follow up.

At present I'm not in the frame of mind to blog. My wife is off this week and next and I'm going to blog lightly if at all till October 1st. I did post a Knucklehead award today. It was one of those too good to pass up on.

What do I think about Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wanting to visit Ground Zero? Two bloggers, James Joyner at OTB and Dr Steven Taylor at Poliblog say pretty much what I feel also, which can also be summed up in these words of my wife on the subject.

What is the big deal?

Let Mahmoud Ahmadinejad defend some of his crazy views in a Q & A forum. I don't really understand the uproar, except that I think some of it again can be attributed to the Anti-Islam hysteria that so permeates parts of the conservative blogosphere.

Just my two bits on the subject. Now I better go lay back down. Right?

Linked to- Adam, Big Dog, Blue Star, Bullwinkle, Bright & Early, High Desert Wanderer, Leaning Straight Up, Mad Pigeon, Morewhat, Outside the Beltway, Pirate's Cove, Right Wing Nation, Rosemary, Yankee Sailor,


The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is South Korean Unification Minister Lee Jae-joung. He gets the award for the following.

According to the testimony of North Korean defectors, one side of the May Day Stadium where the performance takes place often smells of urine. That’s because students are not allowed to leave their positions while practicing the flash card performance. So they simply urinate while sitting down in their seats. Many children are said to end up getting bladder infections. One wrong move and children are clubbed and punished in groups. Kim Hyun-sik, former professor at Kim Hyung Jik College of Education, said the Arirang performance was “soaked with the blood and tears of the North Korean people.”

Regarding questions as to whether the South Korean president should attend such a performance marred by allegations of child abuse, South Korean Unification Minister Lee Jae-joung retorted whether the lengthy training of South Korean children for a play or sports event could be viewed as abuse was uncertain. Regarding North Korea’s human rights violations, Lee pretended not to know, saying human rights issues should be interpreted according to the unique circumstances of a particular society. He added that there was no concrete evidence of human rights violations in the North.
As GI at ROK Drop says 'Absolutely and utterly unbelievable. This is on par with denying the Jewish Holocaust of World War II.' No evidence? That means this woman's tales are all a lie then. Lets not forget the recent famines that has killed thousands or millions of North Koreans while Kim Jong-Il builds his military.

Either Lee is a complete idiot, or has a case of raging political blindness. One thing is sure, South Korean Unification Minister Lee Jae-joung is today's Knucklehead of the Day.

A big thank you to GI at ROK Drop. His milblog which concentrates on news out of Asia, is one of the better kept secrets in the blogosphere.

Linked to- Adam, Big Dog, Blue Star, Bright & Early, Leaning Straight Up, Mad Pigeon, Outside the Beltway, Pirate's Cove, Rosemary, Yankee Sailor,

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Time off

I'm being operated on tomorrow at 7:30 a.m in order to have more lymph nodes removed for biopsy. This will be done in-patient, I will not come home till sometime Wednesday.

My regular readers will note the lack of Knucklehead awards the last two days. There won't be another till at least Thursday. Honestly, I wasn't in the mood to blog the last two days. I'm depressed about my present medical issues.

I will post an update on how the operation went on either Wednesday or Thursday.


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Weekly Dolphins prediction

Miami(0-1) plays host to Dallas(1-0) this afternoon at 4 p.m. This game doesn't look hopeful for Dolphin fans. The team's defense wore out easily last week in a loss to Washington. In addition Safety Yeremiah Bell is out for the season. Miami did sign two new safeties, but with Terrel Owens coming to town, this is no time to either be hurting or testing new personnel.

Dallas scored 45 points last week against the Giants. The Cowboys won't do as well this week but will still come out on top. My prediction- Dallas 34, Miami 21.

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Knuckleheads of the Day award

Today's winners are Secretary of the Army, Pete Geren and Army Chief of Staff George W. Casey, Jr. They get the award for the following.

September 12, 2007 · Two years ago, Army Specialist Ronald Hinkle left a good trucking job, a working ranch, a wife and two daughters in Byers, Colo., to serve in Iraq.

Now Hinkle is one of more than 13,000 American service men and women who have suffered serious wounds in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hinkle survived an IED blast but festering wounds nearly killed him.

He and his family are struggling to rebuild lives completely transformed by that explosion in Iraq.

Hinkle was diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI, as a result of the IED explosion. He suffers from sudden seizures. He tires quickly. He doesn't think clearly, and he cannot be left alone.

Hinkle was honored for his service in November when Vice President Dick Cheney pinned a Purple Heart to his desert fatigues, but his family feels otherwise deserted by the Army.

The U.S. Army failed to provide all the benefits and support for which the family is entitled. Now the Hinkles are tens of thousands of dollars in debt, and they may lose their ranch. Ron's wife, Reece, gave up her lucrative income as a corporate accountant to take care of him.
You have to read the whole article at NPR to fully understand how badly the Hinkle family is being screwed. This is disgraceful.

Some of the things that went wrong are beyond the Army's control, but some are not. Confusing advice put the Hinkles in the wrong military insurance plan, leaving them with $18,000 in family medical bills. Misinformation left them with $5,000 in unpaid travel expenses for Ron's medical care. Bureaucratic errors cost Ron half his military pay last month. And the Army failed to properly document Ron's war injury, costing the family $70,000 in special payments reserved for wounded soldiers.

The Hinkles may never see most of this money. And that has them at the brink of financial ruin.


The Secretary of the Army and the senior command at Fort Carson declined to speak with NPR for this story. But they seem to be trying now to fix the mistakes. USACares and other groups have been raising money and providing other assistance.

But it all may be too late to keep the Hinkles from losing the life Ron fought to protect.

UPDATE: Since NPR spoke with Hinkle last month, his financial situation has become more precarious. He is now owed two paychecks from the Army. It's not clear when the checks will resume or whether he'll receive back pay. The family is missing close to $2,500 in back salary. In addition, last week Hinkle was notified by the finance department at Fort Carson that a $3,000 enlistment bonus will not be honored because "he failed to fulfill his contract" due to his injury in Iraq.
This treatment of a wounded soldier and his family should anger anyone. No one wants to take responsibility, the Secretary of the Army wouldn't comment. I'll hold people accountable for this tragedy in progress. We'll go to the top, Secretary of the Army Pete Geren and Army Chief of Staff George W. Casey, Jr. I make you today's Knuckleheads of the Day. Now pin that proudly to your uniform General Casey!

Linked to- Adam, Big Dog, Blue Star, Cao, Church and State, Leaning Straight Up, Morewhat, Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson, Pirate's Cove, Pursuing Holiness, Right Wing Nation, Rosemary, Samantha Burns, Stop the ACLU, Third World County, Yankee Sailor, The World According to Carl,

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Ducks or.......

First the headline-

Linking President to Penis May put Pole in Prison
Which Pole are we talking about? For a surgeon may be needed.(Sarcastic laughter time)

Now as Paul Harvey might say, here's the rest of the story.

WARSAW (Reuters) - A Polish computer programmer could face up to three years in jail for linking a Polish word for penis to the presidential Web site.

Marek W., 23, created a programme that caused the official home page of Polish President Lech Kaczynski to rank first in the list of results on the Google search engine when "kutas", a vulgar term in Polish, was typed in by an Internet user.

The computer programme did something similar to a practice known as "Google bombing" that links the Web sites of politicians and companies to insulting words or phrases.

He has been charged with insulting the president and prosecutors said on Friday he could face up to three years in jail if convicted.

"This is not a matter of freedom of speech," said Andrzej Holdys, a regional prosecutor in the southern town of Cieszyn, where the programmer lives.

"If somebody uses a derogatory word to libel the head of state than it's a clear insult which violates the law."

Police said the suspect confessed to writing a programme to test his skills at creating a Google bomb. Police and prosecutors did not give the programmer's full name, as is usual when someone faces charges in Poland. He has not been detained.

President Kaczynski and his twin brother, the prime minister, have been popular targets for jokes and caricatures both in Poland and abroad. They are referred to as the "ducks" because their name is related to the Polish word for the bird.
This should be a matter of free speech, and a criminal offense. I always feel there's danger when the government or any official can decide what is allowed and what isn't.

James Joyner notes-

More seriously, this isn’t exactly a strong indication that Poland has fully embraced liberal democracy. The former Warsaw Pact nation was one of the first to stand up against Soviet domination and has been admitted to full membership in the EU and NATO. It’s about time for them to get on board the free speech bandwagon.
Yes one Russia is enough. I guess old habits are hard to break in that part of Europe. Polish politics were much simpler when this man was President. I got to look through our old photo albums. My wife had her picture taken with Aleksander Kwaśniewski in 2000 when we visited Poland.

Update- The photos we have of Kwasniewski don't include my wife but I have put them below. The Polish President signed a postcard for Leonita, but the signature is hard to decipher. Leonita did talk to the President for like two sentences. Something about her being from Florida.

The photos were taken in Hel Poland, August 2000. See how close we got to a President. I'll never be that close to whomever is elected in 2008. Go to the
wikipedia link above if you don't believe that is President Kwasniewski. Besides don't all those men in sunglasses remind you of the US Secret Service?

If you want to see my Filipina wife ride a Polish pony, click here. LOL.

Linked to- Adam, Morewhat, Right Wing Nation, Third World County,

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Bad blood

Some news from Phnom Penh. I'd suggest offering to buy a cup of coffee the next time.(Cue the sarcastic laughter)

Linked to- High Desert Wanderer, Leaning Stright Up, Pirate's Cove, Yankee Sailor,

CAMBODIA: A Cambodian man was arrested after injecting a woman with his own blood in a bizarre scheme to win her affections, police said Wednesday (12 Sept).

The 22-year-old man is being held by police for allegedly causing injury to a 21-year-old woman, said Tan Sophal, a police officer in Battambang province where the attack occurred. It is about 250 kilometers (155 miles) northwest of the capital, Phnom Penh.

The man allegedly injected a syringe of his blood into the woman's rib cage and waist as she walked home from school, Tan Sophal said.

The assailant fell in love with the woman when the two were classmates in 2004, Tan Sophal said. After the woman refused his advances, he came up with the scheme to inject her with his blood, he said.

"He thought that if he could not marry her, at least his blood can stay inside her body," Tan Sophal said. "That's why he injected her with his blood."

After the woman reported the assault to police, she was sent to a hospital for an examination to determine among other things whether the blood was tainted, Tan Sophal said.

The man is being held at a police detention center and is expected to be formally charged in the coming days.

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The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is Forest Kelly Bissonnette. He gets the award for the following.

A note demanding money from a bank teller was written on a check that authorities said belonged to the suspect. Forest Kelly Bissonnette, 27, apparently scratched his name off one of his own checks, then used that check to write a note used in a bank robbery Sept. 5, according to authorities.

"We could still make it out even though he blacked it out," said Rene VonderHaar, FBI special agent.
LOL. Forest Kelly Bissonette is today's Knucklehead of the Day.

Linked to- Amboy Times, Big Dog, Blue Star, Bright & Early, Cao, Conservative Thoughts, High Desert Wanderer, Is it just me?, Leaning Straight Up, Mad Pigeon, Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson, Pirate's Cove, Random Yak, Rosemary, Samantha Burns, Webloggin, The World According to Carl, Yankee Sailor,

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

US Solheim Cup team- White women only need apply?

The biennial matches begin tomorrow in Sweden.

Welcome to the women's version of the Ryder Cup that pits 12 of the best Yanks against 12 of the best from Europe. The biennial trans-Atlantic match-play pressure cooker beginning Friday in Sweden is three days and 28 matches of tension — eight foursomes, eight four-balls and 12 singles.

At stake is an 18-inch Waterford crystal Solheim Cup that carries an enormous amount of weight.

"If you put something in the oven that normally cooks at 325 degrees, the Solheim Cup is like taking it and turning up the heat to 500 degrees," says Dottie Pepper, a former U.S. Solheim Cup star who won 17 times on the LPGA tour and is now a golf analyst for NBC and Golf Channel. "I always made an extra bathroom stop on my way to the first tee because I was feeling a little nauseous. The intensity and pressure affects your body.

"It's a weird feeling knowing that you've worked so hard to make the team so you can go out and throw up on the first tee."

Expect more reflux-inducing moments this weekend at the Halmstad Golf Club on Sweden's west coast, where more than 100,000 flag-waving, mostly pro-European fans are expected to provide large doses of patriotic zeal that can shake even the most grizzled veteran.

The Americans lead the series 6-3, including a 15½-12½ victory in 2005 at Crooked Stick Golf Club near Indianapolis. But foreign soil has been unkind to the Americans, who are 1-3 overseas despite, on paper at least, being favored each time. In their last visit to Europe, in 2003 in Malmo, Sweden, Europe stomped the USA 17½ to 10½.

"It's more like going to a basketball game or a soccer game than a golf tournament, and the fans cut loose," U.S. captain Betsy King says. "They start chants and start singing songs. It does take some getting used to."

King, at first-time captain, knows retaining the Cup is a tall order — especially because four of her players are Cup rookies. In addition to Lincicome, Morgan Pressel, 19, Stacy Prammanasudh, 27, and Nicole Castrale, 28, also make their debuts.


Though the Solheim Cup offers a unique type of pressure, King says her first-timers have successfully dealt with stress and anxiety on the golf course. Lincicome has won two events, including the 2006 HSBC World Match Play Championship; Pressel became the youngest major championship winner at the Kraft Nabisco Championship this year; Prammanasudh has two wins; and Castrale beat world No. 1 Lorena Ochoa in a playoff this year for her first win on tour.

"It will be interesting to see how they'll react," King says. "But they all know what it takes to win and they all love to compete and take on any challenge."

King also has established Solheim Cup veterans Juli Inkster, Pat Hurst, Cristie Kerr, Laura Diaz, Angela Stanford and Steinhauer. Her two remaining players — Paula Creamer and Natalie Gulbis — made smashing debuts in 2005, going 6-2-1 between them.
The Solheim Cup, since its inception in 1990, with only one exception, has been won by the team hosting the event. So the home team has a big advantage. I'm picking the US to win this weekend. Annika is off form, and I don't see any of the Europeans picking up the slack. Final outcome- US 15, Europe 13.

What I find most interesting is the omission of Christina Kim from the 2007 Captain's selections made by Betsy King. Though I should have hardly been surprised.

In 2002, 2003 and 2005, Dorothy Delasin was either 11th or 12th in Solheim Cup pts.(She was 12th in 2002 or first alternate and 11th in 2005 and either 11th or 12th in 2003) before the Captain's selections were made. In each instance Dorothy was passed over. Various reasonings were made, either a player was selected over her because they had team spirit(Kelli Keuhne's Captain's selection in 2003, even though Kelli was stinking up the tour(16th in the Solheim Cup pts and no higher than a 9th place finish) in 2003 and was 0-4 when playing for the 2002 US team) or that Dorothy had no Solheim experience.

Funny but that didn't stop Patty Sheehan from picking Heather Bowie a rookie for the 2003 squad or Betsy King from picking Nicole Castrale this year.

The Castrale pick over Christina Kim, who many considered the spark plug of the 2005 winning US squad is what makes me scratch my head. Just look at the 2005 Golf World cover and who the magazine chose to feature.

So why wasn't Christina, who was 14th in this year's standings, not picked over Castrale when Christina had prior Solheim experience and obviously gets fired up for these events.

Could it be because Christina, like Dorothy Delasin isn't white? Both players are Asian-American, Korean and Filipino to be precise.

I'm seeing a trend and a very ugly one. Past captains have used one justification or another to bypass Dorothy for three straight Solheim Teams. When Christina fits the qualifications, she gets passed up too. Tell me what other reason makes sense?

I'll grant two points in favor of some of the last Solheim Captains. The 2002 Captain did pick Pat Hurst, who is half Japanese, for the squad.(Pat and Stacy Prammanasudh who is Thai-American, both made the 2007 squad based on the points standings) On the other hand, Pat is very popular with her fellow pros. That probably helped when it came time to make the 2002 selections.

The 2005 Solheim Captain was Nancy Lopez. Nancy is hardly white.

On the other hand, Heather Bowie had never won a LPGA tournament before being selected for the 2003 team. A real head scratcher, when you throw in Heather's dismal 2003 Cup results of 0-3. Dorothy had three LPGA wins before that year's Cup, four overall now.

I don't know whether Christina or Dorothy is popular among their fellow pros. A few Golf Channel announcers were also perplexed by Christina not being picked by Betsy King, so I'm not alone alone.

So if a Asian golfer can't make the Solheim Cup team based on the standings, she might as well forget being picked by the Captain. Anyone want to disagree with me?

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

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