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

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Harness racing driver Joe Hennessey dead at 82

I can not recall ever seeing Joe race, but his son Walter drove many races I attended at Pompano Park here in Florida. Wally is in the Hall of Fame, and I'm sure his father Joe is a great part of why he made it. RIP.

Linked to- Bright & Early, Bullwinkle,

Joe Hennessey, the father of Hall of Fame driver Wally Hennessey, died Monday in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island at the age of 82. Mr. Hennessey was the patriarch of one of the province’s most well-known harness racing families.

Mr. Hennessey drove his first winner in 1943 at Summerside Raceway, directing his father Wal’s horse Dale H to a 4-2-1 summary finish, with the 2:11 victory being the fastest on the race card that day. He went on to drive 923 winners over his career.

Included among Mr. Hennessey’s more well-known horses were Royal At Law, Cheeky Chief, Dominion Byrd, My Darling, John Willie Bob and Callie Hal. Along the way he also helped many young horsemen get their starts in the business, including Ralph (Bo) Shepherd, Jack Pound, Joe Arsenault, Bert McWade, Lorne Hennessey, Maurice Hennessey and Lloyd Duffy.

Mr. Hennnessey was also instrumental in the careers of his sons, which included Danny, Jody and Gordie, besides Wally.

Mr. Hennessey is survived by his wife, Shirley, and 10 children.

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Lights, Camera, Cardinal?

Some news from Poland-

WARSAW (AFP) - Poland's Cardinal Jozef Glemp is playing himself in a film dedicated to Father Jerzy Popieluszko, the Solidarity chaplain killed by the communist secret police in 1984, producers said Tuesday.

Glemp, who is the primate, or head, of the church in deeply Catholic Poland, reenacts real conversations he had with Popieluszko, Julita Swiercz-Wieczynska, the boss of the Focus Producers company, told AFP.

"We have already filmed the scenes with the primate. Cardinal Glemp is a natural when he's in front of the camera," said Swiercz-Wieczynska.

"He's also been a consultant, sharing his memories with us. We're making a historical film and we want to get as close as possible to reality," she said.

Make-up artists helped to take two decades off Glemp, who is now 87, so he looked more like his younger self.

The film, entitled simply "Popieluszko", is due for release late in 2008.

It stars 33-year-old Adam Woronowicz, who is mostly known for his television work, and who bears an uncanny resemblance to the eponymous priest.

The death of 37-year-old Popieluszko turned him into an enduring symbol of opposition to Poland's communist regime.

It also highlighted the crucial role played by the church, which was one of the few bulwarks against the communist authorities in this country of 38 million, where more than 90 percent of the population is Roman Catholic.

Popieluszko stood shoulder to shoulder with Solidarity, the communist bloc's first free trade union, which was founded in 1980.

After the regime's martial law crackdown on December 13, 1981, Popieluszko won renown for his sermons, which drew thousands of people to his parish chruch in Warsaw.

Popieluszko was kidnapped and tortured to death on October 19, 1984 by a three-man commando from the communist SB security police, who dumped his body in the River Vistula.
Sounds like an interesting subject for a movie. I wasn't aware of Popieluszko's story before today.

As for Actor Cardinal Jozef Glemp, any good reviews for his acting are unlikely to go to his head. After all, eighty-seven is a late age for a career change.

Linked to- Leaning Straight Up, Perri Nelson, Pursuing Holiness, Right Wing Nation,

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Where's the dramamine? Chapter Twenty Four

We have another episode of You Only Die Twice by South Florida newspapers. First the Sun-Sentinel reports-

BOYNTON BEACH - A 3-year-old died from his injuries Tuesday night from a crash about 7 a.m. Monday on southbound Interstate 95 south of Hypoluxo Road, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

The crash occurred when the boy's mother, Gabriela Lopez Gonzalez, 18, of Boynton Beach, made an improper change of lanes into a semitruck, "spun around and made a vicious collision in the barrier wall," Lt. Tim Frith said.

The child, David Lopez, was not securely fastened in the child seat and flew forward, crashing his head, Frith said.

He died at Delray Medical Center with his mother by his side, Frith said.
My condolences to Mrs Lopez Gonzalez. I know what it is to lose a child.

Now compare that article to what the Palm Beach Post reports-

A 3-year-old boy died in a car crash after his improperly installed child seat flew from the back seat of his mother's Suzuki sedan.

David Nunez Lopez was taken to St. Mary's Medical Center around 7:13 Monday morning, but he died of a head injury Tuesday night, according to Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Tim Frith.
So where did the boy die? St. Mary's or Delray Medical? Unless there was some transporter accident, like in this Star Trek episode, David Nunez can only have gone to one hospital.

A simple story but one newspaper can't get its facts straight. Can you believe anything printed today?

Linked to- Bullwinkle, Pursuing Holiness, Rosemary, Third World County,

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Wrong bag

From the Miami Herald-

A robber without a gun got away with a bag from an armored car in West Park. But the bag was filled with worthless checks.

About 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, an armed Brinks guard arrived at the Check Cashing Store at 5951 W. Hallandale Beach Blvd., according to the Broward Sheriff's Office. The truck was there to drop off cash and pick up a bag of canceled checks, BSO said.

The guard was walking out of the store with the bag of checks when a silver car pulled up beside him and a man jumped out, punching the guard on the face, BSO said.

The man snatched the bag and rushed back into the car, speeding away west on Hallandale Beach Boulevard, BSO said.

The armed guard, who never fired his weapon, was treated by paramedics for cuts to his forehead and nose, BSO said.

The getaway car is described as a late-model, four-door silver sedan.

Anyone with information is asked to call BSO at 954-765-4321 or Broward Crime Stoppers, anonymously, at 954-493-8477.
Yes, please help the sheriff find this robber. I got a Knucklehead award waiting for them.

Linked to- Adam, Blue Star, Bullwinkle, Right Wing Nation,

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The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is Zoe's Ark. They get the award for the following.

N'DJAMENA, Chad - Chad charged six French citizens with kidnapping after they tried to fly out 103 African children from the remote border region with Sudan, bandaging them up to look injured and claiming they were Darfur orphans in need of rescue.

The case threatens to impede aid efforts for hundreds of thousands of Darfur refugees by intensifying already deep local suspicions about the motives of humanitarian workers.

Seventeen Europeans have been detained since Thursday, when authorities blocked an attempt by a French group calling itself L'Arche de Zoe — Zoe's Ark — to fly the African children to Europe, where they were to be placed with host families.

The French Foreign Ministry and others have cast doubt on the claims by the little-known group that the children are Darfur orphans.

"According to initial information ... there seem to be many Chadian children and even many who are not orphans," French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Pascale Andreani told reporters in Paris on Tuesday.
What could make adults do this. Darfur is a horrendous tragedy but some of the children involved in this aren't from that region. Lets say it was a mistake, its a terrible one for children are being taken away from home, and possibly from their families.

Far more is at stake than the suspects' fates.

More than 300,000 Darfur refugees are living in camps along the Sudanese border after fleeing four years of conflict that has left more than 200,000 people dead and driven 2.5 million from their homes. The remote region along the edge of the Sahara Desert is among the least hospitable anywhere.

Aid groups operate in Chad with permission from the government of President Idriss Deby, who has expressed outrage at the group's activities and may crack down on humanitarian efforts as a result.

A statement posted on the government's Web site said Deby was "shocked by the acts of Zoe's Ark, which is trafficking children under cover of humanitarian assistance."

The allegations are a major embarrassment for France, which was Chad's colonial master until 1960 and has deep ties to the volatile region. President Nicolas Sarkozy said Tuesday he told Deby by telephone that his government "condemns these activities."

The Zoe's Arc workers "were wrong to do what they did," Sarkozy said during a visit to the French island of Corsica. "Why were these children picked up and to what end? That's what we must know now."
The last thing Deby should do is enact some kind of crackdown. This was hopefully no more than an anomaly. Refugees from Darfur need help, and shouldn't be losers because of other people's stupidity.

The French group Zoe's Ark is today's Knucklehead of the Day.

Also blogging on this news- A Blog for All
Linked to- Adam, Big Dog, Blue Star, Bright & Early, Leaning Straight Up, Morewhat, Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson, Pirate's Cove, Populist, Right Voices, Right Wing Nation, Rosemary, Third World County, Webloggin, The World According to Carl, Yankee Sailor,

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

West of I-95

From the Sun-Sentinel-

Thousands of Florida homeowners insured by Citizens Property Insurance Corp. will soon receive notices that private insurance companies want to take their home policies away from the state-backed company.

The state Office of Insurance Regulation on Monday gave four Florida-based companies approval to take 173,000 home insurance policies out of Citizens, the state's insurer of last resort and Florida's largest home insurer with nearly 1.4 million policies.

Homeowners will start receiving notices Nov. 7, and policies will start coming out of Citizens Dec. 17. The offers will be at prices comparable or lower than what Citizens charges, though homeowners have the option of staying with Citizens.

*****

The companies approved to take over Citizens policies starting in December are American Integrity Insurance Co. of Florida, Argus Fire & Casualty Co., First Home Insurance Co. and Landmark One Insurance Co.

All the Citizens policies tagged for takeover are west of Interstate 95, outside what is considered Citizens' high-risk coastal zone, said company spokesman Rocky Scott.
This could be good news for Florida homeowners, but stance is wait and see. My homeowners' insurance is through Citizens and I live west of I-95. Yesterday the bill for our renewal arrived, it was over $4300. It will be interesting to see what any of these companies offer me.

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

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Just in case

Some news from Germany. You would think the weight of the suitcase would have been a giveaway. Were prison guards all too busy eating doughnuts?

Linked to- Blue Star, Pirate's Cove, Populist, Right Voices,

BERLIN (Reuters) - A 19-year-old German woman has escaped from prison by hiding in a friend's suitcase.

The fugitive hid inside the large case when her 17-year-old fellow inmate was released from the youth prison in northwest Germany on Friday, Lower Saxony ministry spokesman Dennis Weilmann said on Monday.

The girl simply walked out of the building with her friend concealed in her luggage, Weilmann said.

"Our staff are going to make sure they inspect big suitcases more carefully in the future," Weilmann said.

Neither of the teenagers has since been caught. Both had been jailed for theft. The escaped prisoner had less than two weeks left to serve.

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A NHL Double Standard?

Defenseman Randy Jones becomes the third Philadelphia Flyer to be suspended this year.

Flyers defenseman Randy Jones was suspended two games by the NHL on Monday for his violent hit on Boston's Patrice Bergeron, making him the third Philadelphia player suspended for a dangerous play this season.

*****

The 22-year-old Bergeron was injured after he was hammered to the boards face-first by Jones in the first period of Philadelphia's 2-1 victory over the Bruins.

Bergeron lost consciousness, was transported from the ice on a stretcher and was taken to the hospital where team physician, Dr. Bertram Zarins, diagnosed him with a concussion and a broken nose. No other serious injuries to Bergeron's head or neck were revealed by tests and he was released Sunday.

The suspension was handed down by NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell.
Here's the video



The hit was brutal no doubt about it. However if Jones gets suspended, why didn't Ottawa Senator Anton Volchenkov get suspended for a similiar hit on Florida Panter David Booth on October 20th?

HUNTSVILLE, Ont. - Now Anton Volchenkov can rest easy with the rest of his Ottawa Senators teammates.

The National Hockey League is not reviewing his check on Florida Panthers left-winger David Booth during Saturday's game at Scotiabank Place, meaning Volchenkov will not be suspended for the hit.

That won't come as a surprise to Senators coach John Paddock, who couldn't understand why there was any suggestion of a suspension in the first place.

The NHL agreed with John Paddock's assessment that Anton Volchenkov, above, did nothing wrong.

That's about the dumbest thing I've heard in hockey this year, in terms of anybody even talking about him being suspended," Paddock said during a conference call. "So, that's my thought on that."

To recap, in the second period of Saturday's contest, Booth had the puck along the boards, in the Senators zone, when he turned towards Volchenkov with his head down. They collided and Booth went into the boards before falling to the ice. He was eventually taken off the ice on a stretcher.
Here's the video of the hit on Booth.



I don't see any difference between the hits of Volchenkov and Jones did. Therefore why weren't both players suspended? What do you think?

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

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Out of gas

From the BBC-

North Korea has been forced to ground a fleet of Soviet-era military planes because of the high oil price, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported.

Fuel is being diverted for other training flights, Yonhap quoted a military source as saying.

The Antonov An-2 biplanes - of which North Korea's air force is thought to have about 300 - are able to drop special forces behind enemy lines.

The planes, which can cruise below radar, carry some 12 soldiers.

North Korea's impoverished economy has suffered from energy shortages for years, and rising oil prices have made the situation worse.
No doubt North Korea is lacking many things. Food, medical care, oil, leaders with any brain matter. ROK Drop has a different take on what is going on north of the 38th parallel.

I have to wonder if an ageing fleet and availability of parts may be the real reason why these planes are being grounded. Call me cynical but just like anything else with North Korea I never accept what they say at face value.
Good point. Though my take on the matter is, it may be a combination of the two. Lack of parts and oil.

Another point- Does a modern army and air force have reason to fear a military that uses 300 of these aircraft?

Linked to- Big Dog, Right Wing Nation, Webloggin, Yankee Sailor,

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Leave those worms alone

From Reuters-

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Altering a gene in the brain of female worms changed their sexual orientation, U.S. researchers said on Thursday, making female worms attracted to other females.

The study reinforces the notion that sexual orientation is hard-wired in the brain, said Erik Jorgensen, scientific director of the Brain Institute at the University of Utah.

"They look like girls, but act and think like boys," Utah researcher Jamie White, who worked on the study published in the journal Current Biology, said in a statement.

Researchers in Jorgensen's lab switched on a gene in female worms that makes the body develop male structures, but they only activated the gene in the brain.

As a result, the female worms still had female bodies, but they behaved like males.

"It suggests sexual behavior is encoded in our genes" and not caused by extra nerve cells specific to males or females, Jorgensen said in a telephone interview.
The statement by White is interesting. Do lesbians believe they act and think like men? They love women, but that doesn't make them male. Gender identity and sexual orientation are two different issues. Take for instance men who have gender reassignment surgery but live as lesbians post-op.

All of Jorgensen's work is good for headlines. Other than creating some lesbian worms, I don't think we've learned anything practical. Feel free to agree or disagree.

Linked to-Bullwinkle, DragonLady, High Desert Wanderer, Pirate's Cove,

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The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is the The Texas State Library and Archives Commission. They get the award for the following.

AUSTIN, Texas - State agencies issue too many reports, a new 668-page report says.

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission spent 18 months and canvassed more than 170 agencies and public colleges and universities, checking on all the reports they are assigned to do.

The commission found more than 1,600, and state records administrator Michael Heskett is pretty sure his team hasn't found them all.

Heskett's initial findings indicate more than 400 report requirements are obsolete, duplicative or not needed as frequently as currently required.

"At first, we were overwhelmed by the sheer number of reporting requirements," Heskett said. "We haven't begun our evaluation yet. But I think we can reach our goal of eliminating the deadwood without compromising the need for accountability in our state agencies."

Agencies stand to save thousands of staff hours and tons of paper, although the commission hasn't estimated yet exactly how much of either, Heskett said.

The Library and Archives Commission has only just begun assessing the report requirements one by one, which Heskett expects will take at least another year.

As for the commission's massive report on reports, Heskett predicts it won't go away.

A massive report on why there are too many reports. Do you ever wonder why people laugh at their government if anyone claims its efficient. For wasting taxpayer time and money, The Texas State Library and Archives Commission is today's Knucklehead of the Day. Maybe they will want to make a report on that!

Linked to- Big Dog, Blue Star, Bright & Early, DragonLady, High Desert Wanderer, Leaning Straight Up, Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson, Pirate's Cove, Populist, Right Voices, Right Wing Nation, Rosemary, Third World County, Webloggin, The World According to Carl, Yankee Sailor,

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Monday, October 29, 2007

Proper learning enviorment

Miami Dolphin Quarterback of the future John Beck is getting his wife's assistance as he tries to learn the team's playbook.

How diligent is John Beck? The Dolphins rookie QB has been having his wife quiz him on the playbook in bed and when they go furniture shopping.
I guess Mrs. Beck plays wide receiver.

Linked to- Big Dog, Blue Star, Bright & Early, Bullwinkle, DragonLady, High Desert Wanderer, Leaning Straight Up, Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson, Pirate's Cove, Populist, Right Voices, Right Wing Nation, Rosemary, Third World County, Webloggin, The World According to Carl, Yankee Sailor,

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The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is Republican Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart. He gets the award for the following.

A cigar-store Indian and a pungent aroma greet customers at Miami's Sosa Cigars, next to the famed Versailles restaurant.

Boxes of cigars labeled Partagás, Cohiba and Padrón rise from floor to ceiling. A table for dominoes invites smokers with time to spare. Buy a humidor, bottle of wine or guayabera to complete the look of old Havana.

''Take a picture,'' quipped U.S. Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart, one of three Miami Republicans who oppose legislation expanding a popular children's health-insurance program, partly because it relies on higher cigar taxes. ``They're not going to be around much longer.''

Under a plan to pump $35 billion into the so-called SCHIP program, federal taxes on cigars would soar from 5 cents to an average of $3 per cigar, an increase of about 6,000 percent. Cigarette taxes would rise 61 cents, to $1 per pack.

''Why are they picking on us?'' demanded Sergio Pereira, who owns the Don Sergio Ramar Cigars factory in Miami. ``Cuba is rum, sugar and cigars.''

In a flame-fanning tirade on Spanish-language radio last week, Díaz-Balart called the tax hike an ''attack on the Cuban-American community.'' He added: ``It would hurt an industry specifically in Miami-Dade, in South Florida, an industry that is almost entirely Hispanic: those who make cigars by hand, which is a cultural tradition. That industry will not survive.''
The column goes on to call this a chicken little warning. Robert at 26th parallel writes-

I like Mario Diaz-Balart, but his sound byte calling the tax an attack on the Cuban-American community is nothing short of ridiculous. I realize politicians like to indulge in hyperbole, but that one takes the pastelito de guayaba, Mario.
Calling the tax an attack on the Cuban-American community is just plain idiotic. In reality, I think the Republicans are going to take serious payback over the S-chip vote at the 2008 elections. The Democrats are going to get a compromise bill, no one argues about that. A compromise will allow the Democrats to get what they want, and hammer the Republicans as not wanting to support children or families when election time comes.

The 2008 election is going to be ugly for the Republicans and congressman like Diaz-Balart are why. You won the battle, but congressman you'll lose the war(Hillary in the White House, plus larger democratic majorities in both the House and Senate). Here is one other thing you win Mario Diaz-Balart, you are today's Knucklehead of the Day.

Linked to- DragonLady, High Desert Wanderer, Leaning Straight Up, Morewhat, Perri Nelson, Rosemary, Third World County, The World According to Carl,

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Annika, Julieta, and the ADT

Will four-time champion Annika Sorenstam be at next month's year ending LPGA tournament? Craig Dolch at the Palm Beach Post writes-

Staging the ADT Championship at Trump International without Annika Sorenstam wouldn't seem right.

The former world No. 1 has won the event four times and also finished second once. She also met her fiancé, Mike McGee, at the event. But because her schedule this year has been limited due to back and neck injuries, Sorenstam still hasn't clinched a spot in the 32-player field.

She's 12th in the second-half standings, with the top 13 in points getting in, based on top-10 finishes.

*****

That's why Sorenstam went to Thailand this week (she's tied for seventh entering today's final round) and she also decided to add the Nov. 8-11 Mitchell Company Tournament of Champions in Mobile, Ala., an event she has played in only once since 1999.
This week's high finishes by Laura Davies and Rachel Hetherington are definitely going to muddy the waters as to if Annika will play at the ADT. Both finished 2nd and 4th respectively to Annika's 6th at the tournament in Thailand. Laura was 15th in ADT points and Rachel 16th. The points list hasn't been updated yet, but when it does I wouldn't be surprised if Annika becomes the golfer on the bubble(13th).

My take- I think Annika will make the ADT. Next weekend is the Mizuno Classic, a tournament Annika won five years in a row before the streak was ended last year. If the Swede doesn't win again in Japan, I'm betting Sorenstam finishes high enough to get a boost in the points standings.

As for 2006 ADT Champion Julieta Granada.

Alas, it's looking more doubtful Julieta Granada will get a chance to defend her title. She's 22nd in the second-half standings.
She will need a miracle to qualify and sadly I don't think it will happen. Maybe the ADT's qualifying rules should be changed in the future. A spot being reserved for the defending champion. I would support such a change.

Linked to- Adam, Bullwinkle, Rosemary,

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Stay alert

From the Sun-Sentinel-

MIAMI - A tropical depression moved northwest across the Caribbean on Sunday, prompting storm warnings in Haiti and watches in Cuba and Jamaica, where it could bring more than 10 inches of rain, forecasters said.

The depression, the 16th of the Atlantic hurricane system, was on the verge of strengthening into a tropical storm, and would be named Noel, according to the National Hurricane Center.

*****

At 11 a.m. EDT, the storm was located about 220 miles southwest of Santo Domingo and about 145 miles south of Port au Prince, according to the hurricane center. It was moving west-northwest near 6 mph. Maximum sustained winds were near 35 mph.

The depression was expected to continue moving to the northwest over the next 24 hours.
As you can see, the National Hurricane Center has the tropical depression veering to the east, but South Florida is very much in the cone of possibility. This storm will require watching over the next few days.

Also blogging about TD16- Rick at SOTP
Linked to- Bright & Early, Bullwinkle, The World According to Carl,

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Florida the rules are different here Chapter CLVIII

A 75-year-old man who is legally blind shoots an intruder in his home. Maybe Mr. Williams can give these Florida police a refresher firearms course. Isn't this a great state or what?

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

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- A 75-year-old man who shot an intruder later told officials he did so despite being legally blind. The intruder, an acquaintance, is being charged with burglary and battery.

Police say 28-year-old Cevaughn Curtis Jr. knocked on the door of Arthur Williams' home around 3 a.m. Friday and asked to be let inside. When Williams refused, police say Curtis pushed the door in anyway. Williams went into his bedroom, called 911 and then shot Curtis in the neck, said Sgt. Barry Kays of the Gainesville Police Department.

Curtis told authorities he went to Williams' residence to buy beer, but it was not clear how well the two knew each other. Curtis was taken to the hospital and later charged with burglary and aggravated battery on a person over the age of 65.

Williams is not currently being charged, Kays said.

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Little Green Men

The Governor of New Mexico and 2008 Democratic candidate for President wants to make known what happened in Roswell 60 years ago.

ROUND ROCK, Texas — If he wins his bid for the White House, Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson may be just the man to get to the bottom of the 60-year-old Roswell UFO mystery.

Answering questions at a townhall meeting Friday, a Dell employee asked Richardson about the 1947 incident in which many people still believe a flying saucer landed near the eastern New Mexico town.

"I've been in government a long time, I've been in the cabinet, I've been in the Congress and I've always felt that the government doesn't tell the truth as much as it should on a lot of issues," said Richardson, who is governor of New Mexico.

"When I was in Congress I said (to the) Department of Defense ... 'What is the data? What is the data you have?' "

He was told that the records were classified.

"That ticked me off," he said, as the crowd laughed.

"What do you want me to do? You want me to open up all those files?" he asked the alien enthusiast, who answered that he did.

"I'll work with you on that."
The explanation put forward in this Star Trek episode seems as plausible as anything I've heard. BTW Richardson was my the most likely Democratic Presidential candidate to get my vote next January. Probably still is. Does that say about the quality of Democratic candidates or TFM? Let me know.

James Joyner at OTB writes-

one has to wonder if working with some guy on answering his flying saucer questions is really the best use of a president’s time. Well, okay, we probably don’t need to wonder.
President's waste so much time on trivia we rarely hear of,(Meeting Miss Apple Orchard 2007) that spending time on Roswell could be considered productive.

Linked to- Big Dog, Blue Star, Stuck on Stupid, Yankee Sailor,

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Weekly Dolphins prediction

Miami plays the New York Giants this afternoon in London England. The Dolphins are coming off a humiliating loss to New England and injuries to Ronnie Brown, Renaldo Hill and Zach Thomas. The Giants and Dolphins have rarely met in the past, this only their sixth encounter ever.

Miami, London, Timbuktu. It don't matter where the Dolphins play this year. The results won't be affected. My prediction- New York 34, Miami 17

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

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The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is Mark Waller. He gets the award for the following.

Mark Waller, head of NFL international development, introduced Huizenga and Giants co-owners Jonathan and Steve Tisch as the owners of ``two of our greatest teams.''

The Dolphins and Giants, Waller went on, are ''storied, well-run and great brands.'' He said the Dolphins and Giants represent the best of the NFL's grand history and values.
Want to make a bet Mr. Waller works in marketing? The Dolphins were a great team, a generation ago. For the last decade they have been poorly coached and run. That's why the team is at the point they are now.

Mark Waller's remark about the Miami Dolphins being one of the NFL's greatest teams is simply idiotic, and why I make him today's Knucklehead of the Day.

Linked to- Adam, Big Dog, Blue Star, Cao, Bright & Early, Church and State, Conservative Thoughts, Jo, Leaning Straight Up, Morewhat, Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson, Pirate's Cove, Populist, Right Voices, Right Wing Nation, 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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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Vernon Downs

Officials there want to end its racing season early.

VERNON, N.Y. (AP) - After struggling to open this year, a harness track in central New York wants to pull the plug on its racing season to save money.

Officials at Vernon Downs near Utica say they want to cancel the last four racing days of the year. The track's owners want to close for the season after Saturday's races. Vernon Downs had been scheduled to race on weekends until November 10th.

The track's owners were hoping that legislation would be passed in the state Assembly earlier this week that would increase vendor license fees for video lottery at New York's race tracks.

That would have given track operators a higher percentage of revenue from their video lottery terminals.

The state Senate approved a bill in June, but the Assembly postponed voting on Tuesday because of revenue concerns raised by horsemen's groups across the state.

The decision to close early must be approved by the state's Racing and Wagering Board.
My father took me to Vernon Downs once, it was in 1972. The track was 3/4 of a mile then, which is an unusual length for a standardbred venue. Most racing are done on 1/2 mile, 5/8 mile or mile tracks. Pompano Park here in Florida is 5/8ths of a mile around.

Sadly Vernon, like many horse tracks, can't survive on horse racing alone. In this track's case, other forms of gambling haven't created adequate enough revenue to finance racing.(Note Vernon Downs financial difficulties go back many years) Having grown up around the sport of horse, I feel sad at what is happening. In honest truth, I don't even follow the sport much any more. Take for instance, The Little Brown Jug which some call The Kentucky Derby for Standardbred Pacers, was raced last month. It went totally unnoticed by me.

Side note- The Little Brown Jug website contradicts itself. Saying that Strike Out in 1972 went 156.3 then both a Jug and I believe World Record for a 3-year-old on a half mile track at the time, but on another page saying a record set in 1965 stood till 1977.

I know about Strike Out's record outing, for I was there. My father owned Fast Clip, the horse who came in second to Strike Out. Clip went 156.4 for the race.

Back to Vernon Downs. Rather than hoping for help from the state legislature, the owners of the track may want to re-evaluate whether horse racing should continue at the track. Another band aid is only putting off the inevitable.

Linked to- Bullwinkle, Rosemary, Stuck on Stupid, Yankee Sailor,

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Homecoming

From the Palm Beach Post-

SUNRISE — When Nashville started the season with back-to-back wins while Tomas Vokoun struggled in Florida, there was talk the Panthers might have gotten the wrong goaltender from the Predators.

But time has proven the wisdom of acquiring the longtime No.'1 netminder, who will return tonight to the Sommet Center and the city in which he spent the previous eight seasons.

"When you spend so much time in one place, and then go back to play, there's mixed feelings," said Vokoun, who led Nashville to three straight playoff berths. "I don't have any hard feelings, only good ones."

Vokoun, who did voluminous charity work in Nashville, said he remains in touch with many of the hospital patients he befriended there.

Coach and General Manager Jacques Martin said he wouldn't make a decision on whether Vokoun would play until after Friday's game. If he does, it would be his first back-to-back appearances this season.
My take on the matter is that Martin should put Craig Anderson in goal tonight. Vokoun played last night in Florida. Tonight's game is at Nashville. If the games were back to back at home, sure play Vokoun but it isn't.

Martin can't be sentimental here. Nashville fans will want to see Vokoun tonight, but the Panthers need a well rested goaltender. That is more important.

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

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Former Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Joseph Boyd dead at 90

Boyd retired in 1986 and served most of his time on the bench when I was either 1- Not a resident of Florida or 2- too young to vote. So all I know of the late Chief Justice comes from the article below. From what I read he had an interesting career, which included his having a mental exam to avoid impeachment. I could say the seven current members of the State Supreme Court have proven more than once their need of a mental exam. LOL. Former Justice Boyd died yesterday in Tallahassee. RIP.

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

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Retired Florida Chief Justice Joseph A. Boyd Jr., who wanted to be remembered for his dissents that later became the law of the land but avoided impeachment by passing a mental exam, died Friday. He was 90.

The state Supreme Court confirmed Boyd died at his Tallahassee home. Gov. Charlie Crist ordered that state and local government agency flags be flown at half staff in his memory through sunset Monday.

Boyd served 18 years on the Supreme Court through 1987. He was chief justice from mid-1984 through mid-1986. Before he was elected to the high court, he served as a Miami-Dade County commissioner and as the county's vice mayor.

Arthur England, another retired chief justice who served with Boyd, recalled him as being an affable colleague who liked to tell stories, sometimes quoted the Bible in opinions and was concerned about how the high court's rulings would affect "real people."

"Joe was not an easy person to forget," England said from his Miami law office. "He always cared about people and thought about them."

Boyd was reprimanded by his fellow justices in the mid-1970s for accepting a secret draft opinion from utility company lawyers. Boyd asserted that he tore up the draft and flushed it down a toilet.

The Florida House also investigated but declined to impeach Boyd in 1975 after he agreed to take a psychiatric exam.

"He turned that into humor," England recalled. "He used to say he was the only one certified sane on the Supreme Court."

While Boyd remained on the bench, two other justices, Hal Dekle and David McCain, resigned the same year after also being accused of ethical violations. Dekle, too, had been accused of receiving the secret draft and allegedly used it in the opinion he wrote.

Boyd, though, was passed over for chief justice at least once because of the scandal. The office is rotated every other year to the most senior justice who has not yet held the position.

When Boyd retired, he said he would like most to be remembered for his dissents to opinions that later were overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.

In one case he disagreed with the majority justices who had ordered The Miami Herald to give equal access on its editorial pages to a political candidate. The federal justices, though, agreed with Boyd and ruled that would violate the First Amendment's free press guarantees.

Boyd, a former Bible salesman, once used biblical logic in dissenting from a ruling that upheld Florida's vagrancy law. He later said he figured that if Jerusalem had such a law, all the prophets, New and Old Testament, would have been jailed. The U.S. Supreme Court again agreed with him and struck down the vagrancy law.

Reared on a farm in Hoschton, Ga., Boyd served in the Marine Corps during World War II and worked his way through the University of Miami law school as a Fuller brush salesman.

Boyd is survived by his wife, Ann, and four adult children. Funeral services are set for Monday at the First Baptist Church in Tallahassee.

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Stock Car

Some news from South Africa. I love the line at the end of this article. What do you mean no seat belts?

Linked to- Blue Star, Jo, Pirate's Cove, Rosemary, Samantha Burns,

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) — In a bizarre case of overloading, police in rural South Africa on Thursday found two cows and two goats being transported in a car barely large enough for four people.

The car, a blue Fiat Uno, was impounded after police in a town in northern KwaZulu-Natal were tipped off by residents to its unusual passengers, the South African Press Association reported.

Police spokesman Captain Jabulani Mdletshe said that, by the time the two officers had arrived at the given address, the driver had loaded the animals into his vehicle and attempted to speed away.

He eventually stopped the car, which was unable to outrun the police, and fled into nearby bushes, SAPA said.

The animals were handed over to a stock theft unit and police were investigating.

The report did not say if they were wearing seat belts.

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Overshot

Some news from the Philippines

A Philippine Airlines aircraft overshot a runway and plowed into a tropical forest while landing in a southern city early Friday, injuring 19 passengers and crew, police and the airline said.

The Airbus A320 flight from Manila to Butuan city sustained extensive damage after it came to a halt in a banana and coconut grove, airline spokesman Rolando Estabillo said.

The plane's doors and exits were swung open and emergency slides were deployed.

Nineteen people suffered minor injuries, said police Superintendent Elmer Doyo. Estabillo said the pilot and co-pilot were slightly hurt in the neck and nose and several others were brought to a hospital.

"Some have only anxiety reaction and had themselves checked," Doyo said, adding other injuries included scrapes and bruises.

The plane had 148 passengers and crew.

Estabillo said the airport in Butuan, about 790 kilometers (490 miles) southeast of Manila, was closed until Saturday while the plane and the runway were being inspected.

Butuan airport manager Emmanuel Costelo said the plane's two engines were damaged.
I make a bet there is alot more than just some engine damage. PAL may be able to salvage the plane. Fortunately no one was seriously hurt.

This crash, which according to Philippine television(TFM has directv and pays for extra for Philippine channels. Ever since we started getting this a year ago, my wife hardly goes a day without watching Wowowee or some Philippine soap opera.) had the A-320 clipping trees as it crashed, reminds me of this crash from the year I got married. Another Philippine airline flight overshot the runway that year also.

Philippine Airlines safety record is fair. On the other hand, their record for being on-time has left a lot to be desired. PAL just doesn't stand for Philippine Alrline but also for 'Plane always late'.

One last note- Butuan is Northeastern Mindanao, not far from my wife's home island of Leyte.

Linked to- Adam, Big Dog, Outside the Beltway, Third World County, Woman Honor Thyself,

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The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is the Federal Emergency Management Agency aka FEMA. They get the award for the following.


WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House scolded the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Friday for staging a phony news conference about assistance to victims of wildfires in southern California.

The agency — much maligned for its sluggish response to Hurricane Katrina over two years ago — arranged to have FEMA employees play the part of independent reporters Tuesday and ask questions of Vice Adm. Harvey E. Johnson, the agency's deputy director.

The questions were predictably soft and gratuitous.

"I'm very happy with FEMA's response," Johnson said in reply to one query from an agency employee.

White House press secretary Dana Perino said it was not appropriate that the questions were posed by agency staffers instead of reporters. FEMA was responsible for the "error in judgment," she said, adding that the White House did not know about it beforehand and did not condone it.

"FEMA has issued an apology, saying that they had an error in judgment when they were attempting to get out a lot of information to reporters, who were asking for answers to a variety of questions in regard to the wildfires in California," Perino said. "It's not something I would have condoned. And they — I'm sure — will not do it again."

She said the agency was just trying to provide information to the public, through the press, because there were so many questions.
Incredibly dumb. Dr. Steven Taylor sums things up very well.

Ok, who in their right mind thought a) that this was a good idea, and b) that they wouldn’t get caught?

*****

Gee whiz, have they never heard of a press release? How about an opening statement at the press conference? And, of course, there is always the real reporters who have been known to ask questions at times like this.

And, here’s a lovely parting thought: if there ever is a massive terrorist attack on the US, these clowns are supposed to be on the front lines dealing with its effects.
If Dr. Taylor, one of the most articulate bloggers out there, calls FEMA clowns, TFM has no other choice. The Federal Emergency Management Agency aka FEMA is today's Knucklehead of the Day.

Also blogging on this news- Michelle Malkin, James Joyner at Outside the Beltway,
Linked to- Adam, Big Dog, Blue Star, Bright & Early, Church and State, Conservative Thoughts, Jo, Perri Nelson, Pirate's Cove, Populist, Right Voices, Right Wing Nation, Rosemary, Samantha Burns, Stop the ACLU, Third World County, Woman Honor Thyself, The World According to Carl,

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Record keeping

Some news from South Korea. May I suggest Ms. Kim try using a digital camera in the future?

Hat tip- Marmot's Hole who said 'Don’t ask for a link to pics — I can’t find ‘em, and God knows I tried. Not that I’m expecting much — she’s a ballerina, after all.' Besides all Kimchi recipes look alike after a while.
Linked to-Leaning Straight Up, Right Wing Nation, Samantha Burns, Third World County,

The Korea National Ballet's prima ballerina Kim Ju-won will have her salary docked for one month as punishment for appearing nude in a fashion magazine.

The company's disciplinary committee decided on the measure at a meeting on Thursday morning with Kim present.

"As a member of the Korea National Ballet, Kim is obligated to get prior approval for any actions she may take outside, and thus her independent act deserves disciplinary action," the ballet company said.

"However, we have decided on just a one month salary reduction since this was the first time she has caused any kind of controversy. She had been a model member of the company until now, making great contributions to the company and to the development of Korea's ballet, even receiving the prestigious Benois de la Danse award last year," the KNB added.

Kim appeared topless in the October issue of Vogue Korea magazine with her boyfriend Lee Jeong-yun, who is also a top dancer in the KNB.

"A dancer conveys beauty through her body, but it's not always easy to know exactly how one's body looks. That's why I decided to do a nude shoot," Kim said in an interview with Vogue. "I wanted to leave a record and be able to remember how my body looks."

The magazine said Kim's nude photos were the most popular item in the October issue. "It is hard to understand why people make an issue out of an expression that has become common in modern art," the magazine said.

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Tranquil

Some news from Japan

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Justice Minister Kunio Hatoyama said Wednesday he wanted to consider more 'tranquil' methods of execution.

Japan generally executes several convicts a year, always by hanging.

"I am fully aware that 'death by hanging' is written in the criminal code," Hatoyama said after a parliamentary committee meeting, Kyodo news agency said.

"A square part of the floor opens up and they fall with a thud," he said. "I honestly wonder if there isn't a more tranquil way of doing this," Kyodo quoted him as adding.

It was not clear what other methods he was considering.

Lethal injection has hit problems in the United States, where the Supreme Court is set to rule on whether administering the commonly used three-chemical cocktail violates the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

All but one of the 38 U.S. states with the death penalty and the federal government use lethal injection, which has come under scrutiny after botched executions in California and Florida in which the condemned took over 30 minutes to die.
Maybe Minister Hatoyama wants the condemned to be allowed to choose the music played at their execution. As long as no heavy metal or elevator music is played, its fine with me.

Seriously, I don't think there is a man made method to make someone die without pain. If the Supreme Court were to ban lethal injection, the Death penalty is as good as kaput in the United States. I'm kind of ambivalent on the subject. I used to strongly support capitol punishment. Now I think maybe it should be used for extreme cases only. If I was on a jury, I'd have a hard time voting for the death penalty myself.

I think legislatures, not the court system should decide whether Capitol punishment is a proper sentence. The Supreme Court's opinion has changed more than once, for no other reason than the makeup of the court at the time.

Linked to- High Desert Wanderer, Mad Pigeon, Outside the Beltway, Rosemary, Third World County,

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Olli is #1

The Florida Panthers have a new all-time leader in both goals and points.

SUNRISE, United States (AFP) - Olli Jokinen became the Florida Panthers' all-time leader in both goals and points on Wednesday when he scored twice in the first period in the National Hockey League club's 4-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers.

Jokinen has 356 career points with the Panthers. He passed Scott Mellanby's 354 for for first place when he beat Flyers goaltender Martin Biron with a wrist shot at 2:35 for his first goal of the game.

The score was the third of the season for the 10-year veteran, who added a power-play goal later in the opening period.

That was his 158th goal for Florida, moving the Finn ahead of Mellanby for first place on that list as well.
Jokinen came to the Panthers in one of the all-time most lopsided deals in NHL history. The Panthers getting star goaltender Roberto Luongo too in the same trade.

For three of the last seasons, Jokinen has scored 36 or more goals in relative unanimity. Maybe that will change if the Panthers make the playoffs this year.

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

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The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. She gets the award for the following.

MANILA: President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of the Philippines has pardoned former president Joseph Estrada, who was convicted last month of corruption charges, her spokesman said on Thursday.

The spokesman, Ignacio Bunye, said at a news conference that the executive clemency is in line with the government's policy to release inmates who are aged 70 years and older.

Bunye said Arroyo had signed the presidential pardon taking into consideration that Estrada, who is 70 and was sentenced by an anti-graft court to a maximum of 40 years in prison for plunder, had already spent the past six and a half years under house arrest and that he had publicly pledged that he would "no longer seek any elective position or office."

The pardon also restores Estrada's civil and political rights, although the court's orders that he forfeit a mansion and more than $15.5 million he allegedly stole while in office "remain in force and in full," Bunye said.
Estrada deserves to spend the rest of his life rotting in jail. His being pardoned is a joke but pretty much politics as usual in the Philippines. Philippines leaders plunder the country's treasury while most of the population lives in poverty. Then the same leaders have the temerity to criticize tax evaders. We need more money is the message being sent.

Arroyo, a former Knucklehead winner, is probably hoping she'll get a similar pardon if ever tried and convicted after leaving office. She is as crooked as Estrada, but more brazen. Read about this recent scandal.

Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is today's Knucklehead of the Day.

Linked to- Bright & Early, High Desert Wanderer, Leaning Straight Up, Mad Pigeon, Outside the Beltway, Pirate's Cove, Populist, Pursuing Holiness, Right Voices, Right Wing Nation, Rosemary, Samantha Burns, Woman Honor Thyself, The World According to Carl, Yankee Sailor,

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Ariya Jutanukarn

An eleven-year-old teed it up today at t he LPGA Tour's Honda event in Thailand.

PATTAYA, Thailand (Reuters) - While other golfers land lucrative contacts for playing in big tournaments, 11-year-old Ariya Jutanukarn's reward for reaching her first LPGA Tour event was an ice cream covered in chocolate sauce.

When the diminutive Thai teed off at the Honda LPGA Thailand on Thursday, she became the youngest golfer to compete in a major international tour event -- men's or women's -- beating American cover-girl Michelle Wie's record by five months.

The perky schoolgirl, who took up golf when she was five, is unfazed by the big event and is thrilled to be going toe-to-toe with the likes of Annika Sorenstam and Paula Creamer after advancing through a qualifying round earlier in the week.

"A lot of people are watching, there's a lot of pressure on me but it's a chance for me to get experience, play with the top players and show people what I can do," Ariya told Reuters.

"I feel very excited, just having the chance to play is amazing -- it's great to make history," added Ariya, who wears an oversized cap and a pink top emblazoned with the logo of her first sponsor, a local dried fish snacks company.

As if the appearance of an 11-year-old on the greens of the Siam Country Club in Pattaya was not odd enough, the presence of big sister Moriya in matching clothes has also raised a few smiles.

The 13-year-old narrowly missed out on qualifying, so Ariya is employing her big sister as a caddy.
They keep on coming, don't they? Remember Michelle Wie was 13 when she teed it up at the 2003 Kraft Nabisco. Morgan Pressel, winner of the 2007 Kraft Nabisco, was 12 years old at the time of her qualification for the 2001 US Open(but 13 by the time she actually teed it up.) Pressel was only 18 when she won earlier this year.

I don't know if having your kids play pro golf amounts to a normal or good childhood. Guess it all depends. Ariya shot a first round 75, or three over par. Note that was the same score Morgan Pressel shot today also.

Good luck Ariya.

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The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is Jeffrey Mumani. He gets the award for the following.

SILVER SPRINGS SHORES, Fla. - A man trying to rob a pharmacy wound up crying for help after becoming stuck in an air shaft for 10 hours, police said.

It took firefighters an hour and a half to free Jeffery Mumani, 25, from the metal air shaft at a CVS store on Tuesday.

Mumani told the Ocala Star-Banner that he went in the shaft after he heard a cat inside.

"I was trying to chase the cat," Mumani said. He denied attempting to steal prescription drugs. "No, sir, it's a feline cat — a little animal."

On Monday night, Mumani removed an air conditioning cover and tried to enter the store via the shaft but became trapped, Marion County Sheriff's Capt. James Pogue said.

The man began calling for help about 8 a.m. Tuesday.

"He was begging the manager to help him out," Pogue said.

Mumani suffered only minor cuts and was in stable condition, Fire Rescue spokeswoman Heather Danenhower told the Orlando Sentinel.

Mumani has been charged with commercial burglary among other charges, Pogue said.

Online records with the state corrections department indicate Mumani has previous convictions in South Florida for burglary and drug-related crimes.

Mumani was convicted in Palm Beach County for possession of the prescription painkiller Oxycontin, according to a Marion County Sheriff's Office report.
Sure Mr. Mumani was just chasing after a cat. One called Oxycontin. Jeffrey Mumani got the shaft instead and he also gets to be today's Knucklehead of the Day.

Linked to- Bright & Early, Leaning Straight Up, Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson, Populist, Pursuing Holiness, Right Voices, Right Wing Nation, Stuck on Stupid, Third World County, Webloggin, The World According to Carl, Yankee Sailor,

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I got approved

TFM has been approved for media credentials to the ADT Championship next month. I will be in attendance at least three days. Four if my health allows.

At first I was declined, but golf writer/blogger Craig Dolch at the Palm Beach Post put a word in for me. Thanks Craig. Now I have to be a good boy. Telling the Commissioner she is a Knucklehead won't do.

Update- I also have to thank James Joyner at Outside the Beltway. Without OTB Media backing, I wouldn't have gotten credentials either. Thanks James.

Linked to- Adam, Bright & Early, Third World County,

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The Knuckleheads of the Day award

Today's winners are Principal Jimmy Huskey, and Asst. Principals Mark Wilkerson, Phillip Crawford, Cynthia McBride, Maurice Drayton and Kerry Daughtery. They get the award for the following.

A South Carolina high school freshman has been expelled from school for possession of a butter knife.

Amber Dauge was by all accounts a good student at Goose Creek High School. She had joined the Junior ROTC program and was a member of the school's chorus. But she says officials have overreacted to an honest mistake.

"I know I made a really stupid decision, but I don't think I should be expelled for it," Amber told WCIV-TV, the ABC affiliate in Charleston, which first broke the story.

"She was at home making toast and she looked up, saw the clock, and said, "Oh I'm going to be late," her stepfather, Steven Heinz, explained to ABC News' Law & Justice Unit.

"She ran out the door and locked herself out with the butter knife still in her hand."

"Now, she could have rang the doorbell and got us up and left the butter knife at home," Heinz said.

"And she could have dropped the knife on the porch, I guess. And I guess she could have, when she got to school, walked in and turned it in [school officials] … but she left it in her locker and forgot about it."

Heinz said Amber opened her locker a week later, and the butter knife fell out. A fellow student made a wisecrack about the knife that was overheard by a teacher, who reported it to school officials, according to Heinz.

Amber was immediately suspended for five days, pending an expulsion hearing that officials say was mandatory under by the school's "zero tolerance" policy toward weapons or potential weapons.
Amber was expelled. Read the rest of the ABC News article in its entirety.

Amber made a stupid decision, but expulsion is even more idiotic. Do any of these school officials have brains between their ears? This kind of asinine stupidity is such a wonderful example for students. Look our Principals are dumber than a box of rocks.

Oh and listen to this-

"It's not what we would consider to be a traditional butter knife," Bailey told ABC News. "Even though it's blunt on the end, it does have a serrated edge."
Trying to kill someone or do bodily harm with a butter knife is more trouble than its worth. Why not ban pencils(They're sharp), pens(same thing), how about eyeglasses. Glass can really do damage, anyone remember one of the concluding scenes from this movie?

No school official besides a spokesperson for Berkeley County schools would step forward and talk about the expulsion. The internet brings these cowards out from underneath the rocks they're hiding under. Feel free to email and call these jerks. Shame does wonders, so does national publicity and having your name google searched as biggest idiot of the day. Principal Jimmy Huskey, and Asst. Principals Mark Wilkerson, Phillip Crawford, Cynthia McBride, Maurice Drayton and Kerry Daughtery you are today's Knuckleheads of the Day.

Update- The County School board voted unanimously to allow Amber to return to school. I still stand by my award. The idiots listed above should be fired and not allowed to work in education again. They have proven themselves unable to use common sense and in addition to having little brain matter between their ears.

Hat tip- Overlawyered
Linked to- Adam, Blue Star, Bright & Early, Conservative Thoughts, Leaning Straight Up, Morewhat, Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson, Pirate's Cove, Populist, Pursuing Holiness, Right Wing Nation, Webloggin, Yankee Sailor,

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

From the Silly news desk

Some news from Germany. Did she get ticketed for no turn signals?

Linked to- Morewhat, Pirate's Cove, Right Wing Nation, Third World County,

BERLIN (Reuters) - An 81-year-old German woman driving to a cemetery in her electric wheelchair decided to take a shortcut and drove the wrong way down a motorway.

The wheelchair had been travelling at 6 kph (3.7 mph). Vehicles on German motorways must clock at least 60 kph and there is no upper speed limit on some sections.

Motorists spotted the woman and notified authorities, who escorted her to safety.

"She told us she got lost and wanted to avoid taking a big detour," a police spokesman in the southern city of Nuremberg said.

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Windfall

From the Palm Beach Post-

WEST PALM BEACH — Palm Beach County's tax collector might have to dig into five years' worth of records on the sales of handicapped parking permits and offer refunds to those who purchased them.

The 3rd District Court of Appeal, based in Miami-Dade County, ruled this year that the permit fees violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and were unconstitutional.

Within the past week, Palm Beach County Tax Collector Anne Gannon and her counterparts in the state's other 66 counties received a letter from Tallahassee-based attorney Karen Gievers asking them to promptly refund the $1.50 fee charged to buyers of the parking signs from July 1, 2002 to June 30, 2007.

Pulling records as far back as five years ago, verifying the information is current and issuing checks will cost far more than the $1.50 refund, Gannon said.
I'm sure it will be an expensive. Maybe then if Florida Tax Collectors had weighed the cost of the $1.50 versus litigation not to mention the expense of refunding the money if the court battle was lost. Governments rarely does cost benefit analysis, till it is too late. Remember the story of the Hoosier lottery.

Oh I love this little tidbit from Anne Gannon.

Gannon said the $1.50 fee helped cover administrative costs to process the handicapped parking signs.

"We're not in the business to provide free services to the public," she said.
That's why I pay taxes. Property, sales, gas etc etc. Plus indirect taxes. So stop the whining Anne and do your job.

Full disclosure- My seventy-two-year-old mother-in-law will be one of the people getting a refund. Any suggestions on how to spend it?

Linked to- Bright & Early, Bullwinkle, Right Wing Nation, Stuck on Stupid,

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What's the holdup?

More on the Philippine bribery scandal.

MANILA: A senior official of the Philippines’ interior department was present when congressmen and local officials allegedly received bribes to ensure their loyalty for scandal-tainted President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, a governor said yesterday.

Arroyo has already ordered a probe into the controversial incident, which allegedly took place after she met with congressmen and governors on October 11 at the Malacanang presidential palace.

The Arroyo administration has denied any involvement in the cash-giving that government critics said was aimed at buying off the support of congressmen and local officials amid a feud between Arroyo and long-time ally House of Representatives Speaker Jose De Venecia.

The alleged bribery happened as the House of Representatives was to tackle an impeachment complaint against Arroyo, the third in three years. The first two complaints were junked by Arroyo’s allies in the House, led by De Venecia.

Bulacan province Governor Joselito Mendoza, who admitted receiving P500,000 ($11,300) after the meeting with Arroyo, said Interior Undersecretary Austere Panadero was present when a female staff member gave him the money.

“Undersecretary Panadero was there,” Mendoza, a member of Arroyo’s political party, said. “I think he knew where the money came from.”

Panadero is a subordinate of Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno, chairman of Arroyo’s Kampi political party.

There was no immediate reaction from Panadero or Puno.

Mendoza added that aside from Panadero, another governor from a southern province was also present when the money was handed to him.

Two other governors, including a former priest, and at least two congressmen have admitted receiving cash gifts after the Malacanang meeting. The officials could not identify the persons who gave them the money, contained in a brown paper bag.

The current impeachment complaint against Arroyo stems from accusations by De Venecia’s son that Arroyo’s husband and close ally, resigned elections chief Benjamin Abalos, brokered a deal with Chinese firm ZTE Corp that was disadvantageous to the government.
While I have no trouble believing these bribes took place, Governor Mendoza saying he has a witness doesn't prove anything yet. Not unless Panadero steps forward. Which he's liable not to do, because of the implications to his career.

Philippine politics never changes. As my wife so often says, same dog different collar.

Note- The above photo of Philippine President Arroyo was taken while she was viewing security at Manila International Airport. Did her presence cause flight delays? It did last November when my wife was returning from a trip to Tacloban. Dear wife missing her connection in Los Angeles.

As Khrushchev might have said. Politicians are the same every where. They only think of themselves.

Linked to- High Desert Wanderer, Leaning Straight Up, Morewhat, Outside the Beltway,

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The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is Lisa Montgomery. She gets the award for the following.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Rejecting an insanity defense, a jury convicted a woman of killing an expectant mother, cutting the baby from her womb and taking the infant home.

Jurors deliberated for about four hours Monday before finding Lisa Montgomery, 39, guilty of kidnapping resulting in death in the 2004 attack on 23-year-old Bobbie Jo Stinnett. Montgomery's attorneys must now try to persuade the same jurors to spare their client's life.

The jury was to take a break Tuesday and begin hearing evidence Wednesday in the penalty phase of the trial. Prosecutors said they plan to seek the death penalty. Jurors can also recommend life in federal prison without the possibility of parole.

In reaching their verdict, the jury was asked to determine why — not whether — Montgomery attacked Stinnett on Dec. 16, 2004, at Stinnett's home in Skidmore. Jurors could have acquitted her outright or found her not guilty by reason of insanity.

*****

Prosecutors said Montgomery is not criminally insane and was faking mental illness to help her defense. They said she had a history of pretending to be pregnant to get attention and avoid work.

By the fall of 2004, prosecutors said, Montgomery was facing mounting pressure to have a baby.

Her relatives were telling Kevin Montgomery and his parents that Montgomery was incapable of having children after undergoing a tubal ligation in 1990. And Montgomery's ex-husband, Carl Boman, told her he suspected she was faking the pregnancy and that he planned to use that against her to obtain custody of two of the couple's four children. A custody hearing had been set for January 2005.

As Montgomery's purported Dec. 13, 2004, due date approached, she began conducting Internet searches on Stinnett and researching different aspects of childbirth. The defense portrayed those efforts as evidence that she believed she was pregnant; the prosecution called them proof of premeditation.

Prosecutors said Montgomery used a rope to choke Stinnett, who was eight months pregnant. But Stinnett was conscious and trying to defend herself as Montgomery used a kitchen knife to cut the baby girl from the womb, prosecutors said.

Montgomery was arrested the next day after spending the morning showing off the infant as her own in her hometown of Melvern, Kan.
Montgomery has to be nuts to do what she did, but that doesn't absolve her of murder IMHO. I wasn't around to blog in 2004, so I could give no award then, but I will today. You Lisa Montgomery are today's Knucklehead of the Day.

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