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Archive for the ‘crime’ Category

When I was six, I had what I thought was a very smart idea: a stop sign just for bad buys. That way everyone who was not a bad guy could ignore it, but while the bad guys are stopped it would be easier for the police to catch them.

My excuse for that idea is that I was six.

My father, having a PhD in psychology and therefore knowing nothing about how people think, got very annoyed with my idea for being so silly, and said that by drawing that stop sign on a sheet of paper I was wasting paper.

Eventually I grew up and realized why my idea would not work. The problem is, I am still waiting for progressives and conservatives to grow up and realize why my idea would not work.

Oh, they would never dream of putting up a stop sign for bad guys, true. But progressives do really believe in gun laws, and conservatives do really believe in morality laws.

It always amazes me, every time I read any online gun debate. The progressive point of view is that some guy will be pondering a crime, and as he is preparing will discover that his gun is forbidden. Then he will say “gee, I was going to rob a bank, but I cannot use my gun to do that. I guess I will stay home instead.”

I am also amazed with the drug debate. The conservative point of view is that some guy will be pondering purchasing some drugs, will see an advertisement on television saying “just say no,” and say “Gee, I didn’t know that this stuff was bad. I guess I won’t do this anymore.”

They both believe that at some level that criminals obey the law. The law is sacred. People stop at a stop sign, not because it may be good for traffic control or because they don’t want a ticket, but because it is a stop sign and that is what you are supposed to do at stop signs.

Perhaps they can be satisfied in their quest for ever more laws by passing a law that says it is illegal to break the law, an idea a six year old can really appreciate.

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Press release posted on the LP Radicals yahoo group. Starchild has had various offices in the San Francisco and California LP, and is one of the spokespeople for this initiative.

The San Francisco Department of Elections announced today that the measure prohibiting city officials from spending money arresting and prosecuting people for prostitution, and mandating equal legal protection for sex workers, has qualified for the November ballot. Of 500 signatures randomly sampled and checked by department personnel, 80 percent were found to be valid. “This is a happy day for San Franciscans who want government to focus on fighting real crimes like homicides and robberies, and are tired of seeing resources wasted in a futile effort to police consensual sex between adults,” said Starchild, a sex worker activist and spokesperson for the campaign. “We’ve cleared the first hurdle.” By the Elections Department’s tally, supporters had turned in 12,745 signatures of registered San Francisco voters on July 7.

The campaign to decriminalize prostitution will hold a kickoff rally and press conference to formally announce the results on Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. in front of the Polk Street entrance of City Hall, with
speakers to likely include Supervisor Jake McGoldrick, who was a signer of the petition to put the measure on the ballot along with two of his board colleagues. “It is way past time that the
recommendations of the Board of Supervisors 1996 Prostitution Task Force were implemented,” said the measure’s proponent, Maxine Doogan. “Criminalizing sex workers has been putting workers at risk of violence and discrimination for far too long.”

The prostitution reform measure joins two other voter-submitted measures on the local Nov. 4 ballot, along with eight measures put on the ballot by the mayor or members of the Board of Supervisors, with many others expected to be added in the next several weeks.

Starchild – (415) 621-7932 / (415) 368-8657 / RealReform@…
Maxine Doogan – (415) 265-3302 / MistressMax@…

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Disturbing medical marijuana case involving an AIDS patient

Tom FaltynowiczTom Faltynowicz, a 43-year-old gay rancher in Meade County, South Dakota, was diagnosed with Aquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in 1990, and is currently facing criminal charges for possessing and growing marijuana for medicinal usage.For those of you unaware of the specifics of that disease, a patient infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) may or may not develop AIDS. Once infected with HIV, the disease damages the CD4 cells (T-Cells), and in fact uses those cells to replicate within the body; CD4 cells can be replaced through normal process in the early stages of the disease, but eventually the counts start to fall as the cells are overcome by the virus. A CD4 count between 700 and 1000 is considered normal in a non-HIV infected person; while a CD4 count of about 500 is considered normal when the virus is present. A CD4 count below 200 is indicative of AIDS, since it is at that point that the body loses its ability to fight off opportunistic infection.

Opportunistic infection is any infection which, under normal circumstances, the body could easily fight off. However, due to the lack of CD4 immune cells, AIDS patients are at very high risk of contracting diseases which they would never contract were it not for the virus destroying their immune system. Some diseases are so common in AIDS patients, and so uncommon in non-AIDS patients, that they are considered to be AIDS-defining diseases. Examples of AIDS-defining diseases include Pneumocystis Pneumonia (a fungal infection of the lungs) and Kaposi’s Sarcoma (once believed to be a rare form of cancer, now believed to be caused by Herpes Virus HHV8); these diseases are normally not seen in patients with a normal immune system. While there is viable treatment for many opportunistic diseases, they must be treated swiftly in an AIDS patient due to the patient’s body being unable to fight infection on its own.

Another important way of measuring HIV is by measuring the viral load. The viral load is the amount of HIV in the body. So while a CD4 count measures the amount of damage HIV has done, a viral load count will measure how much of the virus is actually in the body. In this way, doctors are able to measure whether drugs are working to halt the spread of the virus.

AIDS is a pandemic first identified in 1981 by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), due to Pneumocystis Pneumonia being identified in five homosexual men in Los Angeles. The disease did not take over worldwide as quickly as it is generally believed, though. AIDS has been identified in tissue samples of patients who died of unknown causes as early as 1959; one postmortem case identified the virus in a tissue sample from a 15-year-old boy who died in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1969, though it is still unknown how the boy may have contracted the virus. Some scientists suggest the virus could have first infected humans sometime during the end of the 19th Century, while other scientists suggest it first infected humans during the early 20th century, between 1915 and 1930. Regardless of whether it started during the late 19th Century or early 20th Century, it took many decades for it to even become prevalent enough to be noticed. Since the virus is slow to overtake its host, the window for inadvertent infection of others is years, rather than days or weeks as with most viruses.

It is unclear exactly how the virus started, but it seems clear that it crossed species from primates (which can carry a disease known as the Simian Immunodeficiency Virus) into humans, likely when humans came into contact with the bodily fluids of monkeys, possibly during consumption, hunting or butchering the animals (monkey meat is a delicacy in some areas of the world, and is regularly eaten in some areas of Africa). The virus spread due to a number of factors, including vaccines given with unclean needles in developing countries. While AIDS is now generally viewed as a disease of gay men and intravenous drug users, the truth is far more chilling, since the virus is not contained only within a particular population. Many women and children are infected with the virus, and in some areas of the world, particularly Africa where infected patients do not have access to proper health care, the number of deaths has become catastrophic.

At this time, there is no cure for HIV, or for AIDS, nor is there a vaccine to prevent transmission. However, scientists have designed a number of drugs inhibit the virus’s replication. To understand how these drugs work, a short primer on the virus is necessary.

HIV takes over CD4 cells, changing their molecular structure by inserting its own ribonucleic acid (RNA). The virus itself, which is too small to be seen except with an electron microscope, consists of an outer envelope containing the virus and the proteins and enzymes necessary for replication; the envelope has about 72 spikes on its surface. When the virus bumps into a cell coated by the CD4 protein, the spikes stick into the cell and fuse, at which time the inner contents of the HIV envelope is released into the CD4 cell.

Once inside the cell, the HIV enzyme called reverse transciptase converts the viral RNA into DNA, which is compatible with human genetic material. This DNA is transported to the cell’s nucleus, where it is spliced into the human DNA by the HIV enzyme called integrase. Once it is spliced into the human DNA, the HIV DNA is known as provirus. The provirus may lie dormant within a cell for quite some time. However, when the cell becomes activated, it treats HIV genes in almost the same way as human genes. First it uses human enzymes to convert HIV genes into messenger RNA. The messenger RNA is transported outside the cell nucleus, and is used as a blueprint for producing new HIV proteins and enzymes, much in the same way as the human body normally produce replacement cells.

Complete copies of HIV genetic material is contained among the strands of messenger RNA produced by the cell. These copies combine with newly made HIV proteins and enzymes to form new viral particles, which are then released from the cell. The enzyme protease plays a vital role of the HIV life cycle, as it chops up long strands of protein into smaller pieces, which are then used to construct mature viral cores. At that point the newly matured HIV particles are ready to infect another cell, and begin the replication process all over again. In this way the virus quickly spreads through the human body, and causes its host to become infectious. HIV is passed to others through bodily fluids; some fluids contain more of the virus than others.

Contrary to popular belief, people do not die of HIV, or of AIDS. They die of the opportunistic infections which accompany the complete loss of their immune system. Patients therefore must take a strong cocktail of medications to stop the virus from replicating and destroying their immune system. Some common drugs prescribed for AIDS patients, to stop the virus from replicating, include reverse transcriptase inhibitors, which prevent the viral RNA from being converted into human DNA; protease inhibitors, which prevent the virus from creating new mature viral cores; and integrase inhibitors, which prevent the viral DNA from being spliced into the human DNA within the cells.

Unfortunately, with those life-saving treatments for the virus come life-threatening side effects, from lethal liver damage to an overwhelming nausea which results in starvation and dehydration; when this occurs, it only worsens those same symptoms which can be caused by the virus itself. Over the years many drugs have been discovered to combat the side effects (those same side effects are found in many other medical conditions as well), and to increase the quality of life for those who are infected with the virus; some of those drugs and treatments are pharmaceutical in nature, and some are natural.

One of the non-pharmaceutical drugs, which has proven very helpful in battling the anxiety, overwhelming nausea and physical wasting which comes with the virus and its treatment, is marijuana. So effective is marijuana that scientists have even made a pharmaceutical version of the drug, used in chemotherapy patients as well as AIDS patients, which contains synthetic THC (the active ingredient in marijuana). However, many patients believe that the natural THC in marijuana works better than the synthetic version in Marinol, and science supports this belief. In studies of marijuana usage for medicinal usage, it was found that other chemicals found in marijuana have additional medicinal effects which complement the effects of THC. Furthermore Marinol is extremely expensive (Tom’s Marinol costs about $2200 per month, so severe is his nausea and gastrointestinal symptoms), and thus the drug is far beyond the financial reach of most patients; and for that reason they cultivate and smoke marijuana for medicinal purposes. While the black market cost of marijuana can be high, the plant can be cultivated at home from seeds, at very little cost to the patient.

In some states, it is legal for patients with a valid medical prescription to possess certain amounts of dried and cultivated marijuana for personal medicinal use. However, even in those states, the US Government – which has declared that marijuana is an illicit and therefore illegal drug – refuses to permit patients to use the cultivated form of THC. Patients are regularly arrested for merely possessing the substance which allows them to live a more normal life, and which in cases of extreme wasting seen in AIDS, is actually life-saving. This occurs nationwide, including in the states where marijuana is legal for medicinal use.

I do not advocate the casual use of marijuana (or any other drug, prescription or otherwise) to get “high”. I do strongly advocate the right of physicians and patients to determine the best course of treatment, and I believe the government has no right to interfere in the doctor/patient relationship when the patient is not being placed in untoward danger.

Enter Tom Faltynowicz. When Tom was diagnosed with AIDS in 1990, he was given “maybe a few years” to live. Eighteen years later, he is in a fight for his life, but it’s a fight of a very different kind.

In September 2007, law enforcement officials in his native Meade County received an anonymous call, stating that Tom had between 75 and 100 marijuana plants growing behind a metal building on his property. It is believed that the anonymous call came from Tom’s daughter, who was angry with him because he had recently stated his disapproval of her relationship with a particular man.

When Meade County Investigator Michael Walker and South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation Agent John Griswold arrived at Tom’s home the next day, there were not 75 to 100 plants on the property, or even anywhere near that many; in fact, there were no plants out in the open at all. However, when asked by those officers about the accusation, Tom immediately admitted to growing marijuana to treat his medical condition. He even invited the officers into his home, so they can see where he was growing it, and he was completely cooperative at all times, even according to the police report regarding the incident. All told, the officers found five plants, and about four ounces of dried marijuana. There was never an allegation that the marijuana was being used for anything but his medical condition, and never an allegation that he was selling the marijuana. It remains undisputed that Tom was using the marijuana to treat AIDS, and the side effects of the many potent medications he takes to fight the virus.

Tom takes a total of four antiretroviral drugs to combat the HIV infection: Combivir (a combination of Retrovir and Epivir), Sustiva, and Viread. Each of these drugs, by themselves, come with potentially fatal side effects. All of these drugs can cause severe nausea, and can result in extreme anxiety as an additional side effect. In addition, Tom has been prescribed Marinol, the synthetic THC drug to combat nausea and vomiting, so there is no question that he suffers the side effects which are treated by marijuana, and there is no question that his side effects are severe based upon his dosage. However, Tom says that the marijuana is far more effective than the Marinol, since Marinol makes him so tired that he cannot function; and his physician is aware of and supports his use of marijuana to treat his symptoms.

Tom, though he has no prior criminal record with the exception of two prior misdemeanor convictions for possession of small amounts of marijuana – both of which occurred after he was diagnosed with AIDS – pled guilty to felony possession of marijuana. He faces a maximum of two years in prison, and a maximum fine of $4000; he could also be given probation. His sentencing date has been set for April 21st, before the Honorable Jerome Eckrich, Circuit Judge. Tom’s Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Traub, will speak at the sentencing hearing. The State Attorney has already said that he will not object to anything Dr. Traub might say. It appears that no one is interested in punishing Tom Faltynowicz; at the same time, under the law, his possession of marijuana – regardless of the reason why he possessed it – is a felony in the state of South Dakota.

Tom, however, is an exception to the reason that law was written. It was written to stop people from abusing the drug to get high, and to stop them from selling or otherwise providing it to others for the same illicit purpose. It is extremely doubtful the legislature was aware of the medicinal effects of marijuana when that law was passed, and it’s extremely doubtful the legislature ever intended to punish patients with a deadly disease. It’s even possible that the medicinal effects of marijuana were unknown to them when that law was passed, since it is hardly a new law. Nevertheless, since the law exists, it will be enforced, even against people like Tom who are using marijuana strictly for medicinal purposes.

This raises a number of questions. Even if Tom is merely placed on probation, and even if he stopped smoking marijuana altogether, using Marinol to control his symptoms would result in violation of probation, since he would test positive for THC during required drug tests. If he fails a drug test while on probation, he will be incarcerated.

If he is incarcerated, he will not only not have access to the drug which he needs to survive without excessive suffering due to overwhelming nausea, vomiting, physical wasting, and extreme fatigue; but the South Dakota Department of Corrections will be forced to pay for the extremely expensive antiretroviral drugs which fight the virus as well as the Marinol, at a cost of thousands of dollars per month to the taxpayers, in addition to the increased cost of incarceration for a man with an infectious deadly disease. As you should understand after my explanation of how those drugs work, and how the virus works, missing even one dose of his antiretroviral drugs could be catastrophic for his health, since it would allow the virus to replicate until the drug was again built up to a therapeutic dosage. Yet in a prison environment there is no guarantee that he will receive his life-sustaining medications at all, much less receive them on the schedule those drugs demand.

Tom has said that he will not stop using marijuana, because it allows him to live a relatively normal life. Without it, his body is wracked with pain, nausea, and vomiting; he is unable to eat or drink, and thus his body becomes even more weakened, even more unable to fight the virus, and even more prone to the many opportunistic illnesses, any one of which could easily end his life. This is especially true if he is confined in a jail or prison facility, given that there are large numbers of inmates living in close approximation.

To incarcerate Tom Faltynowicz would therefore place his life at severe risk, and as such would clearly constitute cruel and unusual punishment, as prohibited by the Eighth Amendment of the US Constitution. Furthermore, it would serve no purpose to incarcerate him, since his crime is merely possession of a drug which allows him to live with his disease and to continue take the cruel medications which literally keep him alive. He poses no threat to anyone and he is not selling or otherwise distributing the marijuana, nor has it even been suggested that he is selling or distributing the marijuana. Rehabilitation is also not a valid cause for his incarceration, since he merely uses the drug for medicinal purposes, and thus he is not in need of rehabilitation.

Society would not be served by incarcerating Tom Faltynowicz. The interests of justice would not be served by incarcerating Tom Faltynowicz.

As such, justice demands that the court show mercy by giving Tom Faltynowicz a suspended sentence, no probation, and whatever fine the court sees fit, as long as it is within Tom’s ability to pay said fine.

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Clinton and ObamaAccording to The Smoking Gun, Jose Antonio Ortiz stabbed his brother-in-law, Sean Shurelds (who was flown to a hospital, where he was admitted in critical condition) due to a disagreement about Hillary Clinton vs Barack Obama.

Yes, you read that right.

Apparently Shurelds supports Obama, and Ortiz supports Clinton. While the two were in the kitchen of someone’s home (it is unclear whose home) Shurelds told Ortiz that Obama was “trashing” Clinton, and Ortiz responded that “Obama was not a realist.”

While for most people that would be pretty much the end of the conversation, not so with these two, for whom those were not just fighting words, they were stabbing words. Ortiz and Shurelds argued, began to choke and punch each other, and eventually Ortiz grabbed a knife and stabbed Shurelds in the abdomen.

Ortiz then went back to doing the dishes, including, of course, the knife he had used to stab his brother-in-law.

Not at all surprisingly, Ortiz has a case of selective memory (not unlike the typical politician), and conveniently denies any memory of the stabbing incident. He has been charged with felony aggravated assault, as well as two misdemeanor counts. Bail has been set at $20,000.

I’m sure Clinton and Obama are proud to have supporters who are willing to go that far for their chosen candidate. Or not.

__________________________

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AR-15 assault rifleI don’t remember hearing about this before. Do you? Yet, it should have been big news when it happened.

A would-be bar owner angry at being denied a liquor license threatened to shoot people at the Super Bowl and drove to within sight of the stadium with a rifle and 200 rounds of ammunition before changing his mind, federal authorities said. Kurt William Havelock, who ultimately turned himself in, had vowed to “shed the blood of the innocent” in a manifesto mailed Sunday to media outlets, according to court documents. “No one destroys my dream,” he wrote.

The documents say he was armed with an AR-15 assault-style rifle Sunday when he reached a parking lot near University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, where pre-game activities were happening.

“He waited about a minute and decided he couldn’t do this,” FBI agent Philip Thorlin testified at a detention hearing for Havelock on Tuesday.

Read the rest of this article at Sports Illustrated.

Originally posted on Adventures In Frickintardistan 

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Mind reading machine

Crime investigators always have their ears open for information only a perpetrator could know—where a gun used in a murder was stashed, perhaps, or what wounds a stabbing inflicted. So imagine a detective asking a suspect about a killing, describing the crime scene to get the suspect to visualize the attack. The detective is careful not to mention the murder weapon. Once the suspect has conjured up the scene, the detective asks him to envision the weapon. Pay dirt: his pattern of brain activity screams “hammer” as loud and clear as if he had blurted it out.

Read the rest on Newsweek.

Originally posted by ElfNinosMom on Adventures in Frickintardistan

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Maria LauterbachI have been watching the news reports about the young, extremely pregnant female Marine, Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, who disappeared almost a month ago.

What has been most prominent in this case is the systematic marginalization of a young woman who dared to accuse a man, a superior officer, of sexual assault. I expected that out of the Marine Corps. I did not expect that from her family and civilian authorities.When she disappeared in December, the military did not report her missing, although certainly they were aware of it. Her stepmother was the person who filed the missing persons report. It now seems that her stepmother had advised her in a telephone conversation, shortly before her disappearance, to put her baby up for adoption because she couldn’t care for it. However, I’ve yet to see a Marine who can’t handle diaper duty. I suspect her stepmother really suggested adoption because of the identity of the father.

Apparently she had filed a rape charge against a superior officer, and a hearing was upcoming. The minute she filed a rape charge against a fellow Marine, she placed herself in danger, and the Marine Corps wasn’t about to do a thing to protect her.

As every female in the military is well aware (I used to be in the Air Force, many years ago) “don’t ask, don’t tell” applies to far more than sexual orientation. It also applies to females speaking out against the good ol’ boy system which is our military. They don’t want women there, and they especially don’t want mothers there. The latter is understandable to an extent, for many reasons; the former is not.

If a female is sexually assaulted by a fellow solder, and she reports that assault, she is assumed to be lying. Most females in the military will not report a crime committed by a male counterpart, and especially a superior officer, because they know how it will be viewed. The female, by filing such a charge, has bought their ticket out of the military, and with that goes all the benefits of being in the military, as well as the income. They will be forced out as a disgraced soldier.

Sure enough, it has been announced that she was facing involuntary discharge.

It has been said that she is suicidal and a chronic liar by her own family, by military authorities, and by the Onslow County Sheriff’s Department. Just yesterday, the Onslow County Sheriff made a plea for the missing woman to come back and face her problems.

Today, the Onslow County Sheriff announced that she is dead. Not only is she dead, she’s buried. It’s kind of hard to bury yourself when you’re dead. Obviously, she did not commit suicide. She was murdered. Obviously, the number one suspect is the superior officer.

Yet the Sheriff just said he is not terming this murder, because there are “a lot of twists and turns”. However, when you’re dealing with the military and they are covering something up, there are always going to be twists and turns. Sheriff Brown needs to get smart, and realize that he was being sent in other directions intentionally, to divert attention away from the Marine Corps.

Now, authorities are saying that the superior officer she accused is also missing. Apparently he’s been missing for a week, and was supposed to appear for duty at Fort Carson, Nevada.

Given the rape allegation, one would think he would have been noticed missing long before now. Undoubtedly the Marine Corps was aware that he had disappeared, and one would think they’d have made that information available. Had they done that, it would have been clear very early in the investigation that she had most likely been a victim of foul play, and the case would have been investigated as a possible murder rather than as a missing person. There is a huge difference between those two types of investigation, after all, since every adult has the right to disappear if they so desire.

But no. All this time, everyone – the Marine Corps, the Onslow County Sheriff’s Department, and even her own family – have worked on the assumption that she was lying about being raped by a superior officer. All this time, they have been protecting a murderer, a man who killed not only a fellow soldier, but an expectant mother and, quite obviously, her unborn child which could have survived outside the womb since she was eight months pregnant when she disappeared. As far as I’m concerned, that’s murder number two.

Today officials are saying that she was murdered because her unborn child would have been proof of her accusation of rape, which is undoubtedly a very big motive for murder on the part of the superior officer. So why wasn’t the Marine Corps ensuring this young woman’s safety from her attacker? Why didn’t they share that information with civilian authorities who were investigating her disappearance?

There are a lot of questions in this case which will probably never be answered. After all, the military is a law unto itself, and they don’t have to cooperate with local authorities.

However, this wouldn’t be the first time a Marine committed cold-blooded murder. The most famous case is undoubtedly that of Captain Jeffrey McDonald, who in the 70s murdered his pregnant wife and his two very young daughters, then tried to claim that drug-crazed hippies had committed the crime. It took decades to convict him of that heinous crime, due to the incompetence of the Marine Corps.

It looks like the Marines haven’t learn a thing since then. It’s all about protecting the reputation of the Corps. Semper Fi and all that, you know.

Originally posted by ElfNinosMom on Adventures in Frickintardistan

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10/09/07

CONTACT:
Thomas L. Knapp
kubby.communications@gmail.com
314-705-3042

TRAGEDY ON KUBBY VIDEO SET: CAMPAIGN RELEASES “DEATH OF DENNY” FOOTAGE

FORT BRAGG, CA — In a stunning turn of events, Libertarian presidential candidate Steve Kubby’s campaign organization has announced that it will release previously unseen shocking footage of an on-set death — the murder of the South Park, Colorado medical marijuana patient known to friends and loved ones as “Denny” by none other than Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani.

The footage is included in a “Director’s Cut” of The Kubby Chronicles, Episode One, which was released today on YouTube.com. The circumstances of Denny’s death are still under investigation by California authorities, but the footage clearly implicates Giuliani. The former mayor of New York — known for his rabid opposition to medical marijuana and for his city’s record-setting marijuana arrest rates, while he was mayor — apparently made an unauthorized entry, accompanied by fellow drug warrior and presidential candidate John McCain, to the cannabis dispensary where the video was being shot. There, he assaulted Denny during a break in filming, while the young patient was receiving his medical marijuana via IV. Denny was pronounced dead at the scene.

“Capitalizing on this senseless tragedy wasn’t in the playbook” says director Doug Scribner. “We just wanted the actors from our 1998 South Park commercial back together again for a screen reunion. But Denny’s grieving parents convinced us that publicizing it may help America stop Giuliani from killing again.” Friends say the young actor, who had been battling cancer for the past two years, had just gone into remission.

Kubby was unavailable for comment and rumored to be accompanying Denny’s body back to Colorado for burial but, says Scribner, “he approved the message before he left.”

Giuliani’s whereabouts are unknown. Local authorities have warned citizens not to approach Giuliani, as he is considered prone to bizarre, and it now seems violent, behavior.

-30-
about 290 words

The Kubby Chronicles, Episode One — The Director’s Cut:
http://www.kubby2008.com/cartoon

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Duct Tape BanditOkay, nobody else touched this one, so I guess I will.

Kasey Kazee of Ashland, Kentucky tried to hold up a liquor store, with duct tape wrapped around his face as a disguise. (Wouldn’t masking tape work better for that purpose? Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

The store manager had some duct tape of his own, though, wrapped around a club he kept in the store for just this sort of occasion. He chased Kazee outside, and an employee held the would-be bandit in a neckhold until police arrived. EMTs removed the tape, though there doesn’t seem to be any footage of that process, unfortunately; apparently Kazee got lucky because he had been sweating so much that the tape didn’t stick well. Not surprisingly, he was quickly nicknamed “The Duct Tape Bandit”.

Hilarity ensued when, in an interview from the jail with a local television station, a very animated Kazee proclaimed “I’m not no Duct Tape Bandit”. This, you have to see to believe.

Not at all surprisingly, folks on YouTube have been having a ball. Some of them do reenactments. Another made a photoshop overlay proving that Kazee is indeed the Duct Tape Bandit (as if there was ever really a question about it) to the tune of “Photograph” by Nickelback (“look at this photograph, everytime I do it makes me laugh, how did our eyes get so red, and what the hell is on Joey’s head?”). Someone else made a fake news story about a copycat robber who wrapped his head in invisible scotch tape. One even made a very funny rap song using actual media interviews about the case, which can be heard and downloaded on zShare.

Most interestingly for our purposes, though, is that some people who actually live in Kentucky have said it won’t be long before the state enacts a law requiring a five-day waiting period and a background check for the purchase of duct tape. Also interesting is that, in a state where many are avid hunters, the store manager didn’t have a shotgun behind the counter instead of a club. Kasey Kazee really needs to be thankful he’s still alive.

So, what will happen to the Duct Tape Bandit? He faces 20 to life for robbery, and the judge and jury is likely to be unmoved though amused by his claim that they have the wrong man, given that he was caught on the scene with the duct tape still on his face. I smell an insanity defense.

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From The Smoking Gun:

A Cleveland City Councilman wrote the following to a constituent who was arrested on felony drug trafficking charges. (I had to shrink it to fit this forum, so if you can’t read it, hit Ctrl + to enlarge the document.)

Not at all surprisingly, the young man’s mother considers the letter to be a threat, and is conferring with her attorney. Of even more concern, however, is that the letter was copied to the Chief of Police, the Department of Public Safety, and the Commander of the local police district headquarters.I get the impression he doesn’t like the kid, because the kid dared to mouth off to him, so he’s trying to improperly influence the police with regard to the charges and criminal case. Disgusting.

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Robert Milnes

First I’d like to say that by far the most important development in the libertarian race thus far is “The Libertarian Vote” study published by The Cato Institute. See: http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=6735 Briefly, 20% of voters are libertarian leaning at the beginning of the election cycle (Gallup Governance Survey). 13% are reliably libertarian. 1% wind up actually voting Libertarian. My own conclusion is that 7% of the 20% are leftists. Further, I estimate the leftist vote as 27% which leaves 20% left, 20% right i.e. 40% possible progressive vote. If you understand this study, you understand a lot about the Progressive Alliance Strategy and what is happening with Ron Paul. Paul has tapped into this initial cycle 20%. It represents a kind of “glass ceiling” which no Libertarian can penetrate. This is why I believe it cannot last and Ron Paul cannot get the GOP nomination. Now, I believe, and I have read others about this, that Ron Paul’ s positions actually fit best in the Constitution Party. Kubby correctly describes Paul as a “right-wing libertarian” & I enjoyed his description of the Libertarian Party as like a plane with only a right wing. Kubby wants to reach out to leftists but he wants their vote and support but offers them little compared to an actual agreement (alliance).The Progressive Alliance Strategy calls for a left-libertarian presidential candidate OR a Green. Briefly, this strategy calls for cooperation between the inclusive Green and Libertarian Parties in order to garner the 40% progressive vote. One Green OR Libertarian on EVERY ballot, so as not to split the vote; first come, first served. The executive ticket is more complicated but the most simple strategy would be for the Green Party to endorse the Libertarian ticket as it will probably garner more ballot access. Clearly in all this Paul’s candidacy is an anomaly and an unfortunate complication. He is drawing libertarian support from the libertarians to the GOP. If we further assume a working hypothesis that there are about 50% right and left libertarians, Paul is getting most right and many left libertarian support (70%). I am convinced the LibertarianLists poll is fairly accurate. See: http://www.libertarianlists.com/surveyresult1 In all of this in my opinion Kubby’s endorsement of Ron Paul’s candidacy is a huge strategic blunder. He should call for, as I do, for libertarians to cease their support for Ron Paul. He is diverting libertarian support to the GOP. He is not a good progressive alliance candidate.In fact, if he gets the LP and/or the Constitution Party nomination, he could ruin (spoiler) a Progressive Alliance attempt at victory.”All Together Now” should mean all the LP candidates call for libertarians to cease support for Ron Paul. Kubby wants his cake & eat it too. He endorses Ron Paul yet says”I’m still running for president”. Also that if Paul wins the GOP nomination, he “…will withdraw, ask the party to nominate “None of the Above”… and work as a volunteer on Paul’s…campaign.” If not, he will”…continue preparing to give the LP the best presidential campaign I can…”. I, on the other hand, will not endorse Ron Paul and continue to offer all progressives the reasonable chance of election victory. For further information about my candidacy, See; http://www.robertmilnes.net
WE ARE IN TO WIN.

That’s all well and good, and his point is just as valid as anyone else’s on this topic, but this is as good a time as any to say that voters have a right to know about Robert Milnes’ very serious criminal record (which he doesn’t try to hide, to his credit, but it’s the nature of the crime about which voters have a right – and may even have a need – to be informed since he is running for President). Milnes spent about four years in federal prison. Here’s his description of what happened, from his biography page on http://www.robertmilnes4president:

But then I got tripped up by the FBI. They arrested me on charges related to several fan letters I had written to a local Philadelphia TV anchorwoman, Deborah Knapp. She had married present day Congressman Henry Bonilla, R-Texas. Of course I suspected this was a colateral attack on me by the FBI for political reasons, but I could not articulate that or convince my court appointed federal defender. He convinced me to plead guilty to one count. This was a big mistake. I was sent to FCI Butner, N.C. in 1985. I actually read “The Age of Surveillance” in prison! Eventually I got “maxed out” on mandatory parole in 1989

The 1 count I pleaded guilty to was 18 USC Section 876. Later I filed a pro se motion to withdraw guilty plea pursuant to 28 USC Section 2255 and Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 32 (d). The federal defender was not authorized to assist me after probation violation & was ineffective anyway. This was denied through the US Supreme Court. My petitions for parole were all denied.

The crime with which he was charged, 18 USC 876, deals with threatening communications through the United States Mail. Here is the law, so you can read it for yourself:

Mailing threatening communications

(a) Whoever knowingly deposits in any post office or authorized
depository for mail matter, to be sent or delivered by the Postal
Service or knowingly causes to be delivered by the Postal Service
according to the direction thereon, any communication, with or
without a name or designating mark subscribed thereto, addressed to
any other person, and containing any demand or request for ransom
or reward for the release of any kidnapped person, shall be fined
under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.

(b) Whoever, with intent to extort from any person any money or
other thing of value, so deposits, or causes to be delivered, as
aforesaid, any communication containing any threat to kidnap any
person or any threat to injure the person of the addressee or of
another, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more
than twenty years, or both.

(c) Whoever knowingly so deposits or causes to be delivered as
aforesaid, any communication with or without a name or designating
mark subscribed thereto, addressed to any other person and
containing any threat to kidnap any person or any threat to injure
the person of the addressee or of another, shall be fined under
this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. If such
a communication is addressed to a United States judge, a Federal
law enforcement officer, or an official who is covered by section
1114, the individual shall be fined under this title, imprisoned
not more than 10 years, or both.

(d) Whoever, with intent to extort from any person any money or
other thing of value, knowingly so deposits or causes to be
delivered, as aforesaid, any communication, with or without a name
or designating mark subscribed thereto, addressed to any other
person and containing any threat to injure the property or
reputation of the addressee or of another, or the reputation of a
deceased person, or any threat to accuse the addressee or any other
person of a crime, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned
not more than two years, or both. If such a communication is
addressed to a United States judge, a Federal law enforcement
officer, or an official who is covered by section 1114, the
individual shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more
than 10 years, or both.

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From the Houston Chronicle:

Ron Daniels, inventor of new lockDaniels says what makes his $249 lock special is its strength, its built-in panic-button feature and its looks.The lock, which fits across the entire door frame, can withstand 4,000 pounds of pressure, he said.

And according to a video he uses to promote the lock, a SWAT team using a 30-pound battering ram could not break through a door fitted with the Ultimate Lock.

Once pressed, the lock’s panic button alerts the police that there is a problem at the residence. Daniels said the button is designed to be wired with existing or new home alert systems and homeowners will need to work with their security companies to set up the optional feature.

Read the entire story by Ashley Harris here.

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Armed robber Las VegasRobbery victim Las Vegas

Evan Skinner explained, “When he pulled the gun out he just had it right to my forehead and said, ‘Hey give us all over your cash.’ And I was like we don’t have very much. And he just went like that quick and clocked me. And I was like okay, that’s fine.”

But it wasn’t fine for one of Evan’s friends who didn’t want the suspect to get away with it. The suspect started to leave with a mere $30, that’s when Evan’s friend tackled the 21-year-old suspect.

Skinner continued, “Frank had his right arm under control. James is laying on top of him. He had his forearms on the guy’s throat and I’m laying on his left arm and just punching him.” The suspect continued to fire his gun.

James Wolff said, “Above all I think we got really lucky. Police told us the gun jammed after the second shot.”

In this case, it was suspect Anthony Westby’s luck that ran out.

“He was bleeding out of his nose, his eyes, his mouth. They had to put him on a stretcher in a neck brace,” Skinner described.

Westby was taken to University Medical Center and is now at the Clark County Detention Center.

“It’s one of the things you do in Vegas — go to Strip, check out shows, go to Fremont, pummel an armed robber,” Wolff added.

Read the entire article at Las Vegas Now

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We’ve probably all heard the story of Edith Isabel Rodriguez, who died in a Los Angeles emergency room after being refused treatment. Concerned people on the scene called 911, and were told there was nothing cops or paramedics can do, since she was already in a hospital. Hospital personnel stepped over her while she was on the floor, writhing in pain. A janitor mopped around her, to clean up the blood which came from her body. Concerned individuals who tried to bring the woman’s condition to the attention of hospital personnel were told that it was not blood coming from her mouth, but chocolate.

The woman, unfortunately, died.

The part of this story being left out of most news accounts, however, is that the hospital called the cops to have her removed from the premises.

When cops arrived, they picked her up off the floor, blood coming from her mouth, and arrested her for a probation violation.

What the hell?

Cops were transporting her to jail when her heart stopped. They returned her to the hospital, but by then it was too late, and she died. She had suffered a perforated bowel sometime within 24 hours after arriving at the hospital. Had she been seen when she had first arrived at the hospital hours before, she probably would have survived.

The problem here lies not just with the hospital, but with the cops. The cops should have demanded that she be seen before they transported her. After all, it’s not rocket science that somone is probably dying when they’re in that kind of condition.

A number of hospital employees have been fired and reported to licensing authorities, and the state has taken steps to close down the hospital since she’s not the only person who appeared there deathly ill and was refused treatment. A murder investigation has also been opened.

As far as I can tell, though, no action has been taken against the cops on the scene, despite their undeniable responsibility to intervene on the woman’s behalf.

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OJ Simpson mug shotAs you may be aware, OJ Simpson’s book, titled If I Did It, describes how – if in fact he were guilty – he would have murdered his ex-wife (Nicole Brown Simpson) and her friend (Ronald Goldman). Admittedly, it’s an extremely strange idea for a book, but was also sure to be a bestseller.
However, publication of the book was cancelled due to public outrage (although I’d be willing to bet that many of those people would have secretly purchased it), and all copies of the book were destroyed by the publisher. Later, rights to the manuscript were awarded by a bankruptcy court to the Goldman family, as the result of a longstanding $33 million wrongful death civil judgment they won against OJ Simpson.

The original publisher, Judith Regan, called the book “a confession”. His attorneys denied that it was a confession.

Not surprisingly, a news organization received a leaked copy of the manuscript. Newsweek published an article in January about what was in the manuscript, and the writer stated that, in his opinion, it was a confession. However, they did not print any excerpts, so the reader was left wondering how accurate their characterization of a confession really was.

Today the manuscript was leaked again, to celebrity gossip site TMZ, and they published excerpts. I have posted those excerpts here so LFV readers can decide for themselves whether this is, in fact, a confession to the most notorious murder case of our time.

It begins with the following passage:

I’m going to tell you a story you’ve never heard before, because no one knows this story the way I know it. It takes place on the night June 12, 1994, and it concerns the murder of my ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her young friend, Ronald Goldman. I want you to forget everything you think you know about that night because I know the facts better than anyone. I know the players. I’ve seen the evidence. I’ve heard the theories. And, of course, I’ve read all the stories: That I did it. That I did it but I don’t know I did it. That I can no longer tell fact from fiction. That I wake up in the middle of the night, consumed by guilt, screaming.

OJ describes the murder scene:

I looked over at Goldman, and I was fuming. I guess he thought I was going to hit him, because he got into his little karate stance. “What the fuck is that?” I said. “You think you can take me with your karate shit?” He started circling me, bobbing and weaving, and if I hadn’t been so fucking angry I would have laughed in his face. “O.J., come on!” It was Charlie again, pleading. Nicole moaned, regaining consciousness. She stirred on the ground and opened her eyes and looked at me, but it didn’t seem like anything was registering. Charlie walked over and planted himself in front of me blocking my view. “We are fucking done here, man-let’s go!”

I noticed the knife in Charlie’s hand, and in one deft move I removed my right glove and snatched it up. “We’re not going anywhere,” I said, turning to face Goldman. Goldman was still circling me, bobbing and weaving, but I didn’t feel like laughing anymore. “You think you’re tough, motherfucker?” I said. I could hear Charlie just behind me, saying something, urging me to get the fuck out of there, and at one point he even reached for me and tried to drag me away, but I shook him off, hard, and moved toward Goldman. “Okay, motherfucker!” I said. “Show me how tough you are!”

Then something went horribly wrong, and I know what happened, but I can’t tell you exactly how. I was still standing in Nicole’s courtyard, of course, but for a few moments I couldn’t remember how I’d gotten there, when I’d arrived, or even why I was there. Then it came back to me, very slowly: The recital-with little Sydney up on stage, dancing her little heart out; me, chipping balls into my neighbor’s yard; Paula, angry, not answering her phone; Charlie, stopping by the house to tell me some more ugly shit about Nicole’s behavior. Then what? The short, quick drive from Rockingham to the Bundy condo. And now?

Now I was standing in Nicole’s courtyard, in the dark, listening to the loud, rhythmic, accelerated beating of my own heart. I put my left hand to my heart and my shirt felt strangely wet. I looked down at myself. For several moments, I couldn’t get my mind around what I was seeing. The whole front of me was covered in blood, but it didn’t compute. Is this really blood? I wondered. And whose blood is it? Is it mine? Am I hurt? (more…)

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Cops and Condoms

Believe it or not, this is real. I’ve been to Lakeland, and they have a helluva lot bigger problems than teenage boys stealing condoms. I bet the boys are really wanted for something else. Either that, or everyone in Lakeland is an idiot. I could go either way.

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GavelJury nullification is a process by which a criminal jury determines that a law is unconscienable, either morally or as it applies to a specific case, and therefore is to be ignored despite the guilt of the defendant. The US Supreme Court has determined that juries do have the power to nullify, but they also determined that juries need not be informed of this power. As a result, very few jurors have any idea that they can ignore the law, if they feel the case before them warrants that action.

Historical examples of jury nullification are abundant. Early in our nation’s history, jurors were regularly informed of this power. Positive examples of jury nullification include cases involving the Fugitive Slave laws, and of course, Prohibition. Negative examples include the refusal of some juries in the south to find white supremacists guilty of murdering African-Americans or civil rights workers, despite substantial evidence of guilt.

Judges worry that informing juries of this power will result in juror anarchy, with jurors deciding cases based on their sympathies rather than on the facts of the case; some argue that this is what happened in the OJ Simpson trial of the early 90s. Another judicial concern is that jury nullification will result in an increase in the number of hung juries, or that jurors will be overwhelmed if they are expected to interpret not only the facts, but the fairness of the law as well. An ongoing concern is that, once found not guilty by a jury, a defendant is protected from ever being tried again on that charge under the Double Jeopardy Clause; so if jurors nullify, guilty defendants will go free. The current conventional wisdom is therefore to not only not inform jurors of their nullification powers, but to specifically instruct jurors that they are to determine the facts, not the law, and that they must follow the law exactly as it is presented to them by the court. (more…)

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Ed and Elaine BrownEd and Elaine Brown have been holed up in their Plainfield, NH house for months, daring federal law enforcement to bother them. While normally that’s not a problem, since I don’t want federal law enforcement to bother me at home either, Ed and Elaine Brown have been not only convicted of federal crimes, but also sentenced to prison for those crimes. They have also repeatedly referred to the outcome of any attempt to take them into custody as another “Waco”, and have openly stated that they will kill anyone who tries to take them into lawful custody. Now, that’s a problem.

Elaine is a very successful dentist (or at least she was, until all this happened). Ed is usually described as a “retired exterminator”. Basically, he lives off his wealthy wife, which I guess is nice work if you can get it. However, if Ed and Elaine Brown were young financially disadvantaged African-Americans, they’d have been toast long ago. See, my problem with this situation has nothing to do with the Browns’ convictions per se – and in fact, the nature of their conviction is irrelevant to me – but rather my concern is that everyone is supposed to be equal under the law. Obviously, though, that is not the case.

This whole mess started years ago, when Ed and Elaine decided there was no law which requires them to pay federal income taxes. So, they didn’t, and quite predictably the IRS came a-knockin’. They had failed to file or pay taxes on over $1.3 million in income, and refused to pay or even discuss payment when the government demanded its money, so they were criminally prosecuted. They then tried to buy their way out of trouble by offering to pay the back taxes, but it was too late. (more…)

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In a twist on the old “the devil made me do it” claim, members of Westboro Baptist Church claim that the Virginia Tech massacre was an act of God. Why would God do that? Well, apparently because people like me have been making fun of the Westboro Baptist Church ‘tards (best known as godhatesfags.com) for a little too long.

Um, yeah.

Westboro Baptist Pickets Virginia Tech funeral

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By GILLIAN FLACCUS, Associated Press Writer

SANTA ANA, Calif. – Staffing was so inadequate at a California senior center that a rat crawled into an Alzheimer’s patient’s mouth and died there before staff noticed, a lawsuit claims.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday on behalf of 90-year-old Sigmund Bock, alleges that administrators at the Paragon Gardens Assisted Living and Memory Care Community in Mission Viejo overbooked their facility to receive corporate bonuses, but cut back on staff to increase profits.

“The facility so literally ignored the needs of their residents … as to allow vermin in the form of a rat to become lodged in the mouth of Sigmund Bock and die therein,” the lawsuit alleges.

Melody Chatelle, a spokeswoman for Sunwest Management Inc., the Oregon-based company that operates Paragon, denied the allegations.

“We take care of our residents, and find this negative publicity to be a disheartening affront to our professional caregivers and most especially to our residents and their loved ones,” she said.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Of course, the nursing home claims they did nothing wrong, but apparently a staff member observed that patient sharing candy with a rat earlier that day, but thought nothing of it and did nothing to stop it.

This is not the first time that particular nursing home has gotten into trouble, either. Apparently they almost got their ticket pulled when a 71-year-old dementia patient wandered off last year. Tragically, that patient has never been found.

This kind of stuff just majorly pisses me off. Nursing homes like that one must choose their staff by leaving them alone in a room with a small puppy, to make sure they’ll torture it.

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Orlando police have unbelievably arrested 21-year-old Eric Montanez, an activist with the charity “Food Not Bombs”, for feeding 30 homeless people in downtown Orlando.

A city ordinance, supported by businesses which claim the homeless frighten away customers, prevents feeding more than 25 homeless persons within two miles of Orlando City Hall. The law does allow charities to feed more than 25 people at a time with a special permit, but only allows two such special permits per year. Perhaps they feel charitable only on Christmas and Thanksgiving?

I’ve been in downtown Orlando. It’s no different from any other large city, insofar as the homeless population is concerned. It’s also nothing special, and chances are this ordinance has little to do with the homeless frightening customers, and everything to do with the people who work downtown not wanting to deal with them.

Police videotaped Montanez as he fed the needy some stew from a large kettle. They later arrested him and charged him with a misdemeanor for violating the ordinance, and took a sample of the stew as evidence. A police spokesperson said that Montanez is the first person to be arrested under the controversial law.

Frankly, I hope he prevails in court, and that the law is found to be unconstitutional. After all, it is a restriction on the First Amendment right to peaceably assemble. Besides, charities historically have done a much better job of caring for the needy, but that wouldn’t let the government have quite so much control, would it? The charities go where the needy are, and in most cases, they’re downtown. The government needs to butt out, and let the charities do what they do best.

I also have to wonder if there is any connection between this action and the name of the charity, “Food Not Bombs”. There may be more to this than meets the eye.

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An Illinois woman mourns her two young daughters, swept to their deaths in Hurricane Katrina’s floodwaters. It’s a tragic and terrifying story. It’s also a lie.

An Alabama woman applies for disaster aid for hurricane damage. She files 28 claims for addresses in four states. It’s all a sham.

Two California men help stage Internet auctions designed to help Katrina relief organizations. Those, too, are bogus.

More than 18 months after Hurricane Katrina decimated the Gulf Coast, authorities are chipping away at a mountain of fraud cases that, by some estimates, involve thousands of people who bilked the federal government and charities out of hundreds of millions of dollars intended to aid storm victims.

The full scope of Katrina fraud may never be known, but this much is clear: It stretches far beyond the Gulf Coast, like the hurricane evacuees themselves. So far, more than 600 people have been charged in federal cases in 22 states — from Florida to Oregon — and the District of Columbia.

The frauds range in value from a few thousand dollars to more than $700,000. Complaints are still pouring in and several thousand possible cases are in the pipeline — enough work to keep authorities busy for five to eight years, maybe more.

Read the rest of this article here.

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From
Classically Liberal

…sit down with the kids. Warn them. Tell that there will be people who pretend to be their friends. They hang out outsides the schools, at the malls, anywhere where kids hang out. They lurk around the internet. They will even call at home if they know the parents aren’t around. Not only will they pretend to be a friend but they will promise rewards, opportunity, even cash if the kids just do what they want. And they really, really don’t want the parents to know about this. Remember if you don’t tell you kids about these people they will get your children.

And if you think the comparison between recruiters and molesters is strained then watch the following CNN report. Over 80 recruiters, in 2005, were caught for sexual misconduct with the young people they are trying to recruit. Over 100 victims have come forward. These people are given, without the knowledge of parents, full access to kids anytime they want at any school in the US under Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” legislation. They are given private information on all children including unlisted phone numbers and you are not able to block their calls, they can bypass blocks on any phone. Since 1996 almost 800 military recruiters have faced these charges.

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The video pretty much speaks for itself. It goes without saying that this jerk should never have been given authority over other people. What’s really sad is that, if not for the surveillance camera in the bar, chances are the cops would never have believed it happened.

(Sorry, I tried to embed it, but the wordpress program keeps changing the code for some strange reason – anybody know how to fix this?)

http://youtube.com/watch?v=jvi4L21-kHo

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While the world watches and waits, and demands to know what killed Anna Nicole Smith (and where her son Daniel got the Methadone which killed him just five months prior – duh), a far more disturbing prescription drug-related death has occurred.

Four-year-old Rebecca Riley died of an overdose of Clonidine, a drug prescribed for bipolar disorder. This would normally be a tragic morality tale about the importance of keeping prescription drugs away from children, except for one undisputed fact.

A doctor had prescribed that drug, along with others, for the little girl starting when she was only two years old; and the little girl was intentionally given the overdose over a period of months in order to control her, prosecutors say.

Apparently what used to be known as the “terrible twos” is now being diagnosed as ADHD and bipolar disorder.

After Rebecca’s death, police found only seven Clonidine tablets in the family’s medicine tray; the pharmacist said there should have been 75.

All together, prosecutors say, Carolyn Riley got 200 more pills in one year than she should have.

The Rileys’ lawyers call them unsophisticated people who did not question their children’s doctors.

Both were unemployed; they collected welfare and disabilty benefits and lived in subsidized housing. Michael Riley, who is also awaiting trial on charges of molesting a stepdaughter in 2005, claimed to suffer from bipolar disorder and a rage disorder; his wife told police she suffered from depression and anxiety.

“They are not the sort of people who go on the Internet and look on WebMD. These are the sort of people who, when they go to a doctor, the doctor is God and they do what the doctor says,” said John Darrell, Michael’s lawyer.

Carolyn’s lawyer, Michael Bourbeau, said that because the Rileys’ three children were all taking Clonidine, Rebecca’s prescription may have come up short at times when her siblings were given some of her pills. And some of the pills may have been lost when they were split in half, he said. (more…)

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Renowned magician Harry Houdini is rising from the grave, 81 years after his untimely death at age 52.

He’s not doing so voluntarily, though, despite his promise to contact his loved ones from The Great Beyoooooond.

It seems that members of his family now believe he died, not as the result of peritonitis resulting from a ruptured appendix as previously believed, but rather as the result of murder most foul carried out by Spiritualists who were angry that he had exposed their fraud.

A book about Houdini’s life published last year, which included a somewhat threatening letter written by Spiritualist proponent and Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, suggests that the magician was possibly poisoned with arsenic. No autopsy was ever performed but, if true, it is possible that arsenic may be detectable even now.

Read more here.

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420factor.jpg

We’re sending out an “open call” to drug law reform folks to support the LP and the Kubby campaign. We would like to make future appeals like this to the peace community, environmentalists, immigrants rights activists, and many others, but we have to start with a base. For anyone who is involved in drug policy reform groups and discussions, please help us distribute this widely, and whether you are or not, please send us some money (see the “read more” link) and some ideas so we can reach more folks with this message! Steve Kubby writes…

To my friends and comrades in the drug policy reform movement:

The last 10 years have been a decade of incredible progress toward ending the war on drugs. Twelve states have adopted medical marijuana legislation. Numerous communities have reduced marijuana to “lowest law enforcement priority.” More and more studies reveal both the medical efficacy of marijuana and the inefficacy and brutality of the war on drugs.

This progress is the result of your years of hard work: Your rallies. Your marches. Your petition drives. The letters to the editor. Your willingness to stand up and be counted. Your refusal to accept anything less than victory.

But it’s time to take the next step: We need to support a political party that recognizes these facts and acts on them instead of ignoring them and trying to wish them away. We need to support a party that stands up for our rights instead of using us as pawns on the chessboard of politics. We need to support the Libertarian Party.

Read more…

hempfest.jpg

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Posted by Steve Kubby at Kubby2008.com

I’ve recently been asked a number of times — by friends, fellow Libertarians, supporters of other candidates and even my own campaign volunteers — if my personal legal situation has any bearing on my presidential candidacy.

More pointedly, I’ve been asked if the fact that I’m on probation in the state of California might not disqualify me as a candidate, if for no other reason than that it might limit my ability to travel.

I’d like to turn these questions into an opportunity: An opportunity to explain my situation, and to explain why it’s not only not a problem, but a positive factor in my campaign.

(more…)

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I've had my share of stories and I've heard too many to even begin
from other people.

It is getting a lot worse with over 100,000 SWAT Team raids a year
now, most for simple stuff like routine warrant service, and they get
very out of control.

http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=6476

http://freedominourtime.blogspot.com/2007/01/get-cuffs-ponch.html

Check out

http://www.theagitator.com/archives/cat_paramilitary_police_raids.php

http://lastfreevoice.wordpress.com/2007/01/09/police-state-of-overkill

http://freedominourtime.blogspot.com/2007/01/submit-or-well-kill-you.html

If the MSM does not want to cover it we can raise up a stink in the
blogsophere. Just recently Toby Iselin in Keene, NH wrote a polite
letter to his state representative in favor of a bill in the
legislature to decriminalize marijuana and Rep. Burridge wrote back
and CC'ed the Keene PD, called Toby a dumb pothead and said it is
"thrilling to snitch on your friends" and "you would make a great
snitch." (more…)

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The following reaction to the King George’s latest State of the Union speech at
http://kubby2008.com/ got so many hits that it overwhelmed our server yesterday and caused the website to go down for most of the afternoon. We’ve got the site back up now, and Tom Knapp says we will be getting a server upgrade soon.

My fellow Americans,

Earlier this evening, America listened as President George W. Bush addressed a joint session of Congress, fulfilling his Constitutional duty to report annually to Congress on “the state of the union.” Shortly thereafter, Virginia Senator Jim Webb delivered the Democratic Party’s response to his report.

I am not privileged to address you tonight over broadcast televison or radio; my party’s opinions are considered unworthy of coverage by the “mainstream media.” A response, however, is required, and I accept the responsibility for making it as an American, a presidential candidate, and hopefully a worthy, although not official, representative of my party.

The union, President Bush tells us, is strong. And he may be right. What he does not admit is that the union is weaker now than when he took office.

As evidence for his claim of national strength, he cites an economy which thrives in spite of, not because of, the ministrations of his government … and proposes additional “help” of the type that weakens rather than strengthens it.

As proof of the bright future before us and the care which we take to leave our children a better world, he points to his “No Child Left Behind Act” — an act which props up a disintegrating public education system with more of the federal interference that, until only a few short years ago, his party had pledged to eliminate at the first opportunity.

Addressing himself to the question of national defense, he defends to the very last his failed experiments in foreign military adventurism which have stretched America’s armed forces to the breaking point, alienated our friends, empowered our enemies, and left us less, not more, secure against attack or invasion.

Turning to issues of energy independence and environmental sanity, he recommends more subsidies and more regulation, rather than smaller government and more innovation.

Like President Bush, I believe that the union is strong. Unlike President Bush, I and my fellow Libertarians understand what makes America strong.

We understand that every dollar in taxes taken out of your paycheck makes America weaker, and that every dollar left in your pocket makes America stronger.

We understand that Washington’s one-size-fits-all programs for public education make America weaker, and that parental control and individual choice in education make America stronger.

We understand that “bring’em on” and “mission accomplished” and “surge” make America weaker, and that a foreign policy based on “friendship and commerce with all nations, entangling alliances with none” makes America stronger.

We understand that government subsidies to Big Oil and Big Agriculture make America weaker, that unsubsidized competition makes America stronger — and that only the innovation fostered by a truly free market will allow us to meet the challenges of pollution, climate change and future fossil fuel scarcity.

The union is strong — not because of the efforts George W. Bush and his fellow politicians, but in spite of them. And in their clutches, America can only continue to become weaker … because the strength of our union, my fellow Americans, is freedom.

The notion that government exists only for the purpose of securing our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, bequeathed us by our nation’s founders, is the foundation upon which every worthwhile American accomplishment rests. The Bush adminstration, the Congress, and their predecessors in the White House and on Capitol Hill, have gone at that foundation with a sledgehammer.

The cracks they’ve produced in that foundation are visible all around us. The Patriot Act. The Military Commissions Act. Warrantless searches and wiretaps. No-knock raids. Detention without charge, counsel or trial. As a nation, we now imprison more of our own than any other. One in thirty of us are trapped in a “justice” system that has long since ceased to represent justice. The rest of us are subject to reams of arbitrary and capricious edicts concerning what we may say, how we may worship, which political candidates we may support (and how much we do so financially), what arms we may carry in our own defense, what medicines we may use, even whether or not we can play cards on the Internet.

America as we know it — everything in it worthy of our devotion and allegiance — stands at the edge of cliff, below which the darkness of totalitarianism awaits. Whether or not our union is strong enough to step backward from the precipice is a question only time will answer.

Over the next two years, I’ll watch with you as the new Democratic Congress wrestles with the problem of restoring freedoms that a corrupt and lawless administration has robbed us of. If history is any guide, the Democrats will choose instead to go to work with their own sledgehammers.

In the meantime, I urge you to join with me in support of America’s last, best hope for a better tomorrow: The Libertarian Party. Even as we speak, hundreds of Libertarians toil in elected and appointed office or as volunteer party activists, working to protect your reedom. With your help, we can elect thousands of new local officials, hundreds of state legislators, dozens of US
Representatives and Senators and, yes, a President, who understand what makes America strong and are prepared to act on that understanding.

Let freedom grow!
Steve Kubby
Libertarian for President

George Phillies and Bill Redpath have also written responses to the
Shrub speech. My favorite review of Dubai-ya’s oratory, however, was written by Jason Gatties.

UPDATE 1/26: Libertarian Presidential Candidate Kent McManigal has also written a response to the State of the Union blatherings.

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A few days ago, we reported about how state representative Burridge in NH responded to a constituent's polite email in favor of decriminalizing marijuana by calling him a dumb pothead who should become a snitch and CC'ed the local cops.

Now,
Homeland Stupidity
reports that all the calls and emails that Burridge has received as a result of the coverage of this issue on blogs such as this one has caused him to change not just his tone, but possibly his mind as well.

The Keene Sentinel reports

“This is a learning process for me,” said Burridge, who has received dozens of calls from as far as Florida, Missouri and California. “I’m certainly learning the power of blogs. … It’s fascinating.”

When the Internet storm dies down, Burridge would like to meet with Iselin to discuss the issue further, he said. “He’s certainly a very energized and passionate young man.”

Iselin said he would be open to a meeting, as well. He is even hoping that Burridge might appear on his television show.

“I was just trying to get in touch with him in the first place,” Iselin said. “That’s what this whole thing was about.”

This blog was one of many,
like this one
which experienced the most traffic we ever had due to reporting this story,
and (just like us) suggesting ways people both in and out of NH can take action. This blog, like ours, has many good ideas and templates for letters you can use in the comment section.

Going beyond what is reported in the Sentinel, the MassCann blog reports:

State of NH had a decrim meeting today. LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) spoke. Delmar (Burridge) was at the meeting. He has listened and talked to many of his constituents over the last few days and he is now publicly pledging to support marijuana decrim and will vote for it.

Sweet!

Let's keep in touch with Burridge, make sure that this is true and if so, that he keeps his word.

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OK, Free Staters…time to show what y’all are made of and make some serious stink about this out of control politician. This deserves to be in all your letters to the editor, public pickets, call every radio and TV station in the state, hell, make it national news. This psychotic individual is clearly legislating while impaired. Book ‘im Danno!


Constituent Representation in Keene
by way of Homeland Stupidity

Earlier today I decided to write my representative, Delmar Burridge, an e-mail to voice my support for HB92, decriminalizing marijuana. Unfortunately I was very disheartened by the response I got to my letter. I expect much more from my representatives. Below is both my original letter and his response:

Dear Representative Delmar Burridge

I hope you are in good health. I understand that you are on the Criminal Justice and Public Safety committee which is going to hear testimony this Wednesday on HB92, decriminalizing marijuana. I know you are opposed to this bill, but I trust you can understand how important of an issue this is to many people both in Keene and the rest of New Hampshire. I hope you will consider passing it through committee so that all sides will have their chance to speak on it. NH has some of the most draconian legislation on marijuana, and hundreds of our friends and family members are being arrested for choosing to smoke instead of drink. Please think about passing this through committee so everyone can listen to the opposition and have their chance to speak.Thank you very much,

Toby Iselin
Keene NH

And his response:

Dear Toby:

My youngest brother Albert who I was very close to died from head injuries sustained when he wrecked his car in West Virginia. His wife walked away. He was a triple major in college; biology, philosophy, and psychology and was smoking a joint before the crash. It is all very vivid including the anguish my parents went through. This occurred in the 1970s and I still miss him. I began work as a juvenile probation officer in the poorest section in Philadelphia in 1969 and the above described experience pales to my on the job, eyeball to eyeball observation of family devastation I saw daily…..and these males were reefer users just like you….saying the same dumb stuff just like you and they were not smart college smart. I saw lots of blood and death. Trust me, these campers were not soon going to be setting the world on fire. Some did suffer severe burns.

Last night one of your buddies called me twice even asking me to be on his TV show. He was yelling and screaming and I hung up on him. You have to chill this guy out. I will say to you what I said to three different callers; I will vote no on this Bill and have lots of very chilling stories to relate to the other committee members so it goes my way.

Suggest you change all your friends, be the designated driver when you are old enough to drink since you don’t drink. I will sign the Bill that keeps tobacco out of the bars when it come up in the house so you don’t get second hand smoke.

I am copying two members of the Keene Police Department in case you want to change your ways and act legal and save your friends.

You are very passionate in your beliefs and would make a great snitch. It is thrilling to dime on your so called friends.

Be healthy and be well.

Delmar D. Burridge
DBurridge@ne.rr.com

(603) 352-5363 or
(603) 542-7744

I would just like to add that I never said that I don’t drink, and nowhere in the e-mail did I mention that I smoke marijuana. It seems that Representative Delmar Burridge is making assumptions without looking at any of the arguments or evidence.

This post also appears at

http://pauliecannoli.wordpress.com/2007/01/17/vote-this-ass-clown-out/

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This is an MLK day Message from Steve Kubby, Libertarian for President with markup links by me, paulie cannoli.

FREE AT LAST?

I wonder what Martin Luther King, Jr., would think of the America we live in — how he’d feel had he and his assassin not met on that fateful April morning and if instead he had awakened this morning to his 78th birthday.

I wonder what he’d have to say about a country that treats one in thirty of its own citizens as criminals.

I wonder how he’d characterize a country that imprisons more of its own people than any other nation on earth.

I wander what he’d call a country that incarcerates one in four of
its young black males
.

I wonder if he could tolerate a country that differentiates between
“white people’s cocaine” and “black people’s cocaine” in its sentencing laws.

I wonder if Dr. King would have the moral strength to stick to his philosophy of non-violence in this era of militarized police, “no-
knock” raids, death sentences for self-defense, and the cold-blooded murder of elderly black women by their alleged protectors.

I wonder if Dr. King would even recognize the America we live in today.

I don’t think he would. I think he’d still be leading marches and working for justice — demanding that America make good on what he called the “architects of our republic['s] … promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. … a promise that all men
would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Dr. King is not often described as a “libertarian” when his work for racial equality is remembered — and maybe there are other, better words to describe his ideas. Certainly the movemement he led for so many years has sometimes struck out in directions he’d likely not
have supported. But, just as clearly, he understood the importance of freedom. On this, his birthday, I like to take a few minutes to remember the closing words of his famous 1963 speech in Washington:

“When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to
join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!'”

I hope that you’ll spend a few moments pondering those words with me — and the coming years working with me to renew them and to make them real.

Let freedom grow!
Steve Kubby
Libertarian for President

This post also appears at

http://pauliecannoli.wordpress.com/2007/01/15/steve-kubbys-mlk-day-message/

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From http://www.clairewolfe.com/blog.html

YOU MAY HAVE SEEN YESTERDAY’S ABC 20/20 REPORT or read the related news story about Matt Bandy, the 16-year-old Arizona boy so hideously railroaded on child-porn charges.

He faced up to ninety years in prison for viewing (and possibly uploading) some porn pix — despite the fact that the images found on the family computer were almost certainly the result of one of the 200+ “infections” plaguing the machine. The family’s computer had been turned into a “zombie” by crackers. (Even if he had viewed or transmitted the images, of course, life in prison would be an appallingly absurd outcome.)

My friend Oliver Del Signore is the webmaster of the Justice4Matt website, which has more information about the family and the horrors inflicted on them. The site isn’t actually seeking justice for Matt; he made a plea bargain to save himself and in the end was even mercifully spared the ghastly necessity of registering as a sex offender everywhere he went for the rest of his life. But it does seek to alert others to the danger of being ensnared between malicious hackers and prosecutors interested only in PR and conviction stats. (And need I mention, Windows software.)

What’s so frightening is that something like this could happen to anybody. Matt Bandy was (and seemingly still is) an exemplary kid from a loving family. His father is a physician. The family is respectable and middle class. Nobody in the family had done anything to make themselves a target for a vengeful government. This witch-hunting madness simply swept down on them from the dark of one December morning with guns drawn. And as so often happens now, nobody from the government was interested in hearing anything that might disprove their fanatical beliefs or dispell their craving for power.

Matt and his family show a lot of courage in being willing to share their story as a warning to others. Consider the Justice4Matt site a worthy weekend read. I only regret that, while the Bandy family has been driven to make its agony public, the writer of the main article on the site disguises the names of the villains from the state who perpetrated this modern Inquisition. Such villains should be exposed and held 100 percent accountable for their actions.

Posted by Claire

This post also appears at

http://pauliecannoli.wordpress.com/2007/01/15/this-could-happen-to-any-of-us/

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blog_fernandezarrest.jpg

Posted by Claire Wolfe at

http://clairewolfe.com/blog.html

THIS WEEK’S BUST of that dangerous threat to civic order, a scholarly historian.

Can you count the number of cops in the picture, boys and girls? Seven? Well, maybe. But it looks as if the champion donut-gobbler in the center may also be one of those kindly and helpful protectors of our peace and liberty. No uniform, but that does appear to be a badge on his jacket. And look — yellow police tape, too!

But of course, the crime totally justifies this show of governmental force. We must have an all-out war to end forever the deadly menace of jaywalkers!

Okay, sarcasm mode off.

The world heads for a collision course. On the one hand, the standard “hooray for the brutal cops” TV shows are to be joined this week by Armed and Famous, which puts tacky celebrities into uniform and sends them out to bust us lesser folk. (Although this may be the first time anyone’s made a TV series out of it, it’s not a new game. Shaquille O’Neal was recently caught lending entirely new meaning to the term “Shaq Attack”.) But on the other, at least a few commentators in the mainstream media are finally starting to notice and object to all the overblown brutality.

Unfortunately, you and I know that the paramilitary power ascendency is terrifyingly well entrenched and perfectly serves the purposes of its real masters. (Who, I’m sure you good blog readers hardly need the hint, aren’t you and me.) Anybody who thinks this military-style overkill began with 9-11 (as the above SF Chronicle commentator wishes to believe) hasn’t been watching. It’s had a long, long time to send down its roots. Anybody who thinks mere public indignation will end the overkill and the peacock-like displays of savagery doesn’t know the real purpose of paramilitary policing.

Besides, the people like it. And why not? It makes waaay more interesting TV than the two polite cops of Dragnet ever did. And always remember, it’s only being done to those other people. You know, the ones that are a different color or class or national origin from us and who therefore don’t count.

(more…)

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rove_arrest.jpg


Nifty!

“Dishonest Dubya” Lying Action Figure


bush-breaking-news-flash.jpg

By way of Lisa Morgan

Also posted at:

http://pauliecannoli.wordpress.com/2007/01/08/unintentional-irony-and-wishful-thinking/

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http://pauliecannoli.files.wordpress.com/2006/12/elizabethhurley.jpg?w=500

For my last birthday I was offered jewellery or shotguns. I chose the guns.

- Elizabeth Hurley

from: http://www.samizdata.net/blog/

Also posted at:

http://pauliecannoli.wordpress.com/2006/12/29/functional-gift-giving/

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