NEW YORK - By all accounts, Bernard Madoff isn't talking. And his wife, his sons, his brother and other key employees have lawyered up. That means it could be a while before anyone else is arrested and the full extent of Madoff' vast swindle comes to light. Given the size of the paper trail - a $65 billion scam, 5,000 victims and monthly statements going back nearly two decades - experts say it could be six months to a year before charges are bought against any accomplices.
The day after Madoff was thrown behind bars, investigators returned Friday to the arduous task of piecing together one of the largest frauds in history - and trying to determine if anyone else was involved.
The FBI has refused to discuss the status of the investigation. But experts say it's certain Madoff's closest relatives and associates are high on authorities' list of people who may have known what was going on.
Madoff pleaded guilty Thursday to 11 charges, including fraud, perjury and money laundering. He faces a maximum sentence of 150 years in prison, and the judge immediately jailed him - a decision his lawyers asked an appeals court to reverse on Friday.
One has to wonder, if this guy were black, latino and/or poor... Would he have been able to spend all that time in a luxury apartment paid for by his victims money.... Would his wife still be able to live there? Justice for this guy would be to send him and his whole freakin' family to an Alabama chain gang, sell all their assets and return the poor victims money, and have him and his "frau," and his kids work the rest of their lives to pay back these people...
JACKSON, Mississippi (AP) -- James Ford Seale, a reputed Ku Klux Klansman, was sentenced Friday to three life terms in prison for his role in the 1964 abduction and murder of two black teenagers in southwest Mississippi.
Recently large demonstrations have taken place across the country protesting the fact that
Congress is finally addressing the issue of illegal immigration.
Certain people are angry that the US might protect its own borders, might make it harder to sneak
into this country and, once here, to stay indefinitely.
Let me see if I correctly understand the thinking behind these protests. Let's say I break into your
house. Let's say that when you discover me in your house, you insist that I leave.
But I say, "I've made all the beds and washed the dishes and did the laundry and swept the floors.
I've done all the things you don't like to do. I'm hard-working and honest
(except for when I broke into your house).
According to the protesters:
You are Required to let me stay in your house You are Required to add me to your family's
insurance plan You are Required to Educate my kids You are Required to Provide other benefits
to me & to my family (my husband will do all of your yard work because he is also hard-working
and honest, except for that breaking in part).
If you try to call the police or force me out, I will call my friends who will picket your house carrying
signs that proclaim my RIGHT to be there.
It's only fair, after all, because you have a nicer house than I do, and I'm just trying to better myself.
I'm a hard-working and honest, person, except for well, you know, I did break into your house
And what a deal it is for me!!!
I live in your house, contributing only a fraction of the cost of my keep, and there is nothing you can
do about it without being accused of cold,  uncaring, selfish, prejudiced, and bigoted behavior.
Oh yeah, I DEMAND that you to learn MY LANGUAGE!!! so you can communicate with me.
Why can't people see how ridiculous this is?! Only in America.
Pat Tillman's brother accused the military Tuesday of "intentional falsehoods" and "deliberate and careful misrepresentations" in portraying the football star's death in Afghanistan as the result of heroic engagement with the enemy instead of friendly fire.
"We believe this narrative was intended to deceive the family but more importantly the American public," Kevin Tillman told a hearing of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee. "Pat's death was clearly the result of fratricide," he said.
"Revealing that Pat's death was a fratricide would have been yet another political disaster in a month of political disasters ... so the truth needed to be suppressed," said Tillman, who was in a convoy behind his brother when the incident happened three years ago but didn't see it.
He said the Tillman family has sought for years to get at the truth about Pat Tillman's death.
"We have now concluded that our efforts are being actively thwarted by powers that are more interested in protecting a narrative than getting at the truth and seeing justice is served," he said.
Tillman was killed on April 22, 2004, after his Army Ranger comrades were ambushed in eastern Afghanistan. Rangers in a convoy trailing Tillman's group had just emerged from a canyon where they had been fired upon. They saw Tillman and mistakenly fired on him.
Committee chairman Rep. Henry Waxman (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif., contended that the federal government invented "sensational details and stories" about the death of Pat Tillman and the rescue of Jessica Lynch from Iraq.
"The government violated its most basic responsibility," said Waxman.
Jessica Lynch is up now... And the Hollywood storty is being ripped apart... You know, Jessica deserves a medal, for being brave enough to cut through the propaganda and bullshit and to acknowledge the real heroes.
In the meantime, our young people continue to die in Iraq, and there is no end in sight.
Funny how this is the biggest story of the day, and the Right's biggest blog is ignoring it.
BLACKSBURG, Virginia (CNN) -- Virginia Tech students reacted with disgust, anger, shock and fear Thursday to the paranoid multimedia manifesto that student gunman Cho Seung-Hui mailed the morning of his Monday killing spree.
NBC News announced Wednesday night that it had received a package from Cho containing photos, 27 videos and an 1,800-word diatribe.
It appears the package was mailed after two people were killed at a dormitory early Monday and before Cho entered the university's Norris Hall and exacted the worst mass shooting by a lone gunman in U.S. history. (Watch Cho's menacing last messages)
Karan Grewal, who once shared a dorm suite with Cho, said one of the videos appears to have been filmed in one of the dorm's common areas.
"It's just a scary feeling that maybe he was sitting out there the entire year trying to figure out our schedules so he could make these videos," Grewal said. "It's really scary that he was out there while we were in our rooms possibly."
Junior Kristy Venning told The Associated Press that she "just got chills" when she first saw his photo on television.
"It shows he put so much thought into this, and I think it's sick," she told the AP.
It was frightening enough that the 26,000-pupil school fell victim to a gunman who mercilessly unloaded the magazines of his semiautomatic pistols into students and faculty members, killing 30 at Norris before killing himself.
"It was absolutely terrible. For someone to purposely know what they were going to do to our school and the community, there's no words for it," said sophomore Britney Rockwell, holding back tears.
The reaction of others was anger, not only at Cho for meticulously premeditating his rampage, but also at the media for airing his last recorded words and images.
Meredith Vieira, co-host of NBC's "Today" show, said some victims' relatives had canceled interviews with the network "because they were very upset with NBC for airing the images," the AP reported.
Student Robert Bowman, managing editor of the school newspaper, told CNN that he was conflicted: As a journalist, he wants to disseminate information; but as a student, he'd prefer that the tapes weren't released.
And you know what? It is pretty scary that we live in a society where people like Cho can live in a silent simmer, plotting to murder scores of people, and no one seems to notice that there is something wrong. This is sad...
(CNN) -- A lone gunman is dead after police said he killed at least 2131 people Monday during shootings in a dorm and a classroom at Virginia Tech -- the deadliest school attack in U.S. history.
Government officials told The Associated Press that the death toll had grown to 31, including the gunman. CNN is working to confirm the report.
"Some victims were shot in a classroom," university police Chief Wendell Flinchum said during a news conference in Blacksburg.
This is still sorting itself out, so I certainly dont know any more than anyone else following this story. What a tragedy! This is my home state, and Blackburg is not far from my own hometown... It is very sad that our young people can not feel safe in school anymore...
The Bush administration is one of the most corrupt and morally bankrupt administrations in U.S. history. How some people continue to get up and defend these dirtbags day after day, is beyond revolting.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Top White House officials tried to blame vice presidential aide "Scooter" Libby for the 2003 leak of a CIA operative's identity to protect President Bush's political strategist, Karl Rove, Libby's defense attorney said Tuesday as his perjury trial began. (emphasis mine)
I. Lewis Libby is accused of lying to FBI agents, who began investigating after syndicated columnist Robert Novak revealed that a chief Bush administration critic, Joseph Wilson, was married to CIA operative Valerie Plame.
When the leak investigation was launched, White House officials cleared Rove of wrongdoing but stopped short of doing so for Libby. Libby, who had been asked to counter Wilson's criticisms, felt betrayed and sought out his boss, Vice President Dick Cheney, Wells said. (Watch why jurists were asked about Vice President Cheney Video)
"They're trying to set me up. They want me to be the sacrificial lamb," attorney Theodore Wells said, recalling Libby's end of the conversation. "I will not be sacrificed so Karl Rove can be protected."
Rove was one of two sources for Novak's story. The other was then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. Nobody, including Rove and Armitage, has been charged with the leak. Libby is accused of lying to investigators and obstructing the probe into the leak.
Cheney's notes from that meeting underscore Libby's concern, Wells said.
"Not going to protect one staffer and sacrifice the guy that was asked to stick his neck in the meat grinder," the note said, according to Wells.
The description of the White House infighting was a rare glimpse into the secretive workings of Bush's inner circle. It also underscores how hectic and stressful the White House had become when the probe was launched.
By pointing the finger at Rove, whom he referred to as "the lifeblood of the Republican party," Wells sought to cast Libby as a scapegoat.
"He is an innocent man and he has been wrongly and unjustly and unfairly accused," Wells said.
To all my friends on the right who tried to say that Rove was vindicated... Shame on you, and shame on this administration for the web of lies that they have wove, since BEFORE taking office. But it's all coming home to roost. Even the Republicans are abandoning Bush on Iraq. And the Press, so long a tool for this administration, whipped into being so by YOU, are being forced to see the truth.
Let me make a prediction....
Bush will go down in History as the worst President in History, and YOU, all of you, will live with the shame of your shameless cheerleading for an administration that is responsible for heinous crimes... Your obsession with Bill Clinton's blow job seems pathetic in the face of this historical disaster...
LOS ANGELES, California (Reuters) -- A U.S. sheriff opened an investigation Wednesday into the death of a 28-year-old woman who died after taking part in a California radio contest in which contestants had to drink as much water as possible.
Sacramento station KDND-FM has fired 10 staff members over Friday's competition, called "Hold your wee for a Wii," in which about 20 people tried to out-drink each other without going to the toilet to win a Nintendo Wii games console.
Jennifer Strange, 28, a mother of three, died from suspected water intoxication after coming second. She was reported to have drunk about seven quarts of water in a bid to win the Wii for her children.
After the contest she called in sick at work and was found dead at her home about five hours later.
The people behind Jennifers death should be in jail. If nothing else besides they are too fucking stupid to be loose in the world.
We're sure something dumber than this whole "drink until you die of water intoxication to win a Wii" thing was perpetrated back in the Tickle Me Elmo hysterical days of yore, but we can't really imagine what. The owners of KDND FM didn't seem to have a hard time figuring out what to do about this situation: they've fired 10 employees of the station, including the three hosts of "Morning Rave," which were directly involved in the contest that ended in Jennifer Lea Strange's death.
This case needs to be dismissed, Nifong fired, and the so called "victim," prosecuted. I admit I believed that the young men from Duke raped the young woman. I believe at this time, that I was wrong, and I believe that continuing to prosecute these young men is a crime in and of itself!
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - DNA testing in the Duke lacrosse rape case found genetic material from several males in the accuser’s body and her underwear - but none from any team member, defense attorneys said in court papers Wednesday.
The papers were filed by attorneys for the three lacrosse players charged, Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans. They complained that the information about DNA from other men was not disclosed in a report prosecutors provided earlier this year to the defense.
The testing was conducted at a private laboratory for the prosecution.
This is strong evidence of innocence in a case in which the accuser denied engaging in any sexual activity in the days before the alleged assault, told police she last had consensual sexual intercourse a week before the assault, and claimed that her attackers did not use condoms and ejaculated,” the defense said.
I have always said that if these allegations turned out to be false, that I would admit I was wrong. It looks very much like I WAS wrong. At least all the evidence points to me being wrong. No I never pronounced anyone guilty. But I will freely admit that I thought they were. The DA may still have something up his sleeve, that proves guilt.
If he does, I believe it is time to put it on the table, or to admit that these boys have been wrongly accused. And if they were, the accused needs to face the full penalty allowed by law.
I must admit, Marc, I am extraordinarily disturbed by the growing chorus of apologia for brutal thug Augusto Pinochet. The argument seems to be twofold: 1) A left-wing dictator would have been worse, and 2) at least he helped spark the economy. Both, I feel, are being wielded far too casually to excuse one of the hemisphere's most notorious tyrants.
To the first, yes, Pinochet is likely better than Fidel Castro. Castro, for his part, is likely better than Adolph Hitler. The debate as to whether right-wing or left-wing dictators are "worse" is tiresome and, I feel, puts the desire to score partisan points ahead of what should be a bipartisan and universal norm of condemning all of history's murderous tyrants to the hell they belong. Moreover, I can't be too impressed by Pinochet voluntarily stepping down and "pav[ing] the way for liberal democrac[y]" after over a decade in office, given that he got there by overthrowing a democratically elected government in Salvador Allende. Allende may not have been ideal, but he was the elected leader (unlike Mr. Castro), and I think its an absurd attempt at counterfactual to assert that he, too, would have been a brutal thug. Democracy, at the very least, already existed in Chile. Pinochet replaced democracy with a particularly vicious tyranny.
To the second, I don't feel these sort of extrinsic issues can or should in any way be used to lament the loss of evil. I'm no fan of stagnated economic development, but I dislike thousands of "disappearances" and mass torture a whole lot more. Giving points to Pinochet for improving the economy is like giving props to Castro for increasing the literacy rate, or the British colonial government for making the trains run on time. When weighed against the type of incalculable evil waged by Pinochet against his populace, it is a flyspeck.
David is spot on...
Pinochet was a ruthless dictator who was responsible for the murder, rape and torture of thousands in his country. If you want to know what happened in Chile and elsewhere in Latin America during the battle against the spread of communism, read Empire's Workshop. Pinochet got an express ticket to Hell, where he will be tortured for all eternity by the screams of his victims. You know, the ones who were thrown out of airplanes flying over the Pacific Ocean, or of the women who watched their babies bludgeoned to death, before they were raped and had their throats slit. He might also hear the cries of the mothers of the dissapeared... I have no sympathy for the man. Nor do I celebrate the Shock Therapy that led to the so called economic miracle, that starved his population, and drove many into bankruptcy, before "curing them."
It's amazing to see Pinochet compared with Castro, as if it makes sense to compare two mass murders and to conclude that one was "less evil," than the other. Castro is an evil man, who is responsible for the death of thousands, and a brutally oppressive regime. When his time comes, he will share hell with Pinochet. It is the ultimate in hypocrisy to lessen the crimes of a murderer because he fits one's political ideology, or because he ultimately retired, or that the legally elected President he replaced MIGHT have been worse.... All ridiculous and immoral arguments, literally spitting on the graves of those who died at the hands of Mr. Pinochet, many guilty only of being "suspected," of being a communist, or being a family member of one, or... simply speaking out against the atrocities... Everyone eulogizing this monster should be forced to sit in a room with the survivors of his victims and listen to their stories of horror.
I live in Central America. I personally know people who suffered under repressive dictatorships during the late 20th Century. Pinochet was one of many ruthless dictatorships or puppet governments sponsored by the U.S., and installed with CIA dirty tricks, and the wounds have not healed. Even today, in a country like Costa Rica, which was spared most of the worst of U.S. intervention, there is resentment. This resentment is most often today expressed in the form of opposition to the CAFTA agreement, which is seen by many intellectuals as an extension of traditional American Imperialism.
Pinochet was a murderer and a thief who stole tens of millions of dollars from his country's treasury during his rule. To remember him as anything less is immoral...
Like many contemporary first dates, this one began in cyberspace. Joseph A. Silva traveled from his East Providence home to Portsmouth, N.H., to meet a woman he had wooed on the popular online dating site match.com.
But he was hardly a gentleman, according to authorities.
Silva, 31, pleaded not guilty yesterday to a charge of aggravated felonious sexual assault. Prosecutors said that he drugged the woman's drink and raped her.
Silva was held yesterday in Rockingham County Jail after failing to post $25,000 cash bail. He is scheduled to appear on Dec. 8 in Portsmouth District Court for a probable cause hearing. The charge carries a minimum sentence of seven years imprisonment upon conviction.
Portsmouth police say they believe Silva may have victimized other women he met online. They released a photo of him and asked for anyone with information on his activities to come forward.
"Perhaps he used other online dating services," said Portsmouth Police Captain Janet Champlin. "We want to make sure there aren't other victims."
The alleged rape occurred in August, and the woman, whose name is being withheld by police, reported it to authorities within days. Police then spent months obtaining evidence in the case, including using legal means to obtain member information and e-mails from the dating site match.com, which has privacy policies protecting its members. Those policies resulted in the four-month lag before Silva's arrest.
Grace gets sued: The family of Melinda Duckett, the mother of still-missing toddler Trenton Duckett who killed herself the day after taping an aggressively probing interview for Nancy Grace's "Headline News" show, is now suing both Grace and CNN for wrongful death. The suit claims the show misrepresented its intentions for the interview "in order to improve their ratings and for the prospective monetary gain of Defendant NANCY GRACE and Defendant CNN in malicious and contumacious disregard to inflicting severe emotional distress and damage" on both Duckett and her family. Grace's show aired the interview despite the news of Duckett's suicide -- you can watch the relevant exchange in a "Scarborough" clip on Video Dog. (The Smoking Gun, International Herald Tribune)
I have watched this woman play judge, jury and executioner for years.... Remember the Smart case, and Richard Ricci, who died with many people believing he had murdered Smart...
During the Smart case, when suspect Richard Ricci was arrested by police on the basis that he had a criminal record and had worked on the Smarts' home, Grace immediately and repeatedly proclaimed on CourtTV and CNN's Larry King that Ricci "was guilty", although there was little evidence to support this claim. She also suggested publically that Ricci's girlfriend was involved in the coverup of his alleged crime. Grace continued to malign Ricci, though he has since died.
Grace is a disgrace to journalism and an embarrassment to CNN. She should be fired for this latest incident, and I hope that she spends the rest of her life pondering the lives she has destroyed in her overzealous quest for her own form of justice.
In this country there is something called due process... As a former prosecutor, you would think that Grace would understand this. Instead she sees it as her personal prerogative to decide who is guilty and who isn't. It's time to put a stop to it, and NOW!
America has become a nation of such exerable bad taste that it was gratifying that media baron Rupert Murdoch, the king of scandal, has however belatedly pulled the plug on a book and TV interview with O.J. Simpson in which the man widely regarded as the killer was going to tell how he might have murdered his former wife and her friend.
By the time Murdoch acted, booksellers had returned to HarperCollins over 70,000 copies of Simpson’s stillborn "I Did It."
Said a HarperCollins exec:
"The accounts were treating the book as if it was pornography."
News of the book and interview prompted calls for boycotts and numerous TV stations said they would refuse to carry the program. And Denise Brown, Nicole's older sister, said that the publisher tried to silence the Brown and Goldman families with millions in hush money.
The listening to the American people bit... I'm still a skeptic. The people at FAUX news still haven't got it that the American people are just as outraged about the corruption of the Republicans and our current administration. And it might take another drubbing at the polls for the Republicans to convince them...
On the O. J. thing, well this is good news. The man needs to fade away into painful obscurity... He may have escaped earthly justice, but a higher judge awaits, and that court does not have racist cops or inept prosecutors to contend with...
For years I have been in denial about O.J. Simpson. I watched the trial from beginning to end, and honestly, once the racism angle came into it, and I heard all the evidence, I did not buy that he murdered his wife and her friend. I grew up in Los Angeles, and over the years I had my own run ins with racist cops. I was once stopped at 4:30 in the morning, on my way to an early shift at Packard Bell Electronics. Despite having my PB Badge, all of my paperwork in order in my car, a valid drivers license and having committed no crime, other than "driving while black," at 4:30 in the morning, I was made to lay down in the street with a gun pointed at me, while wearing a suite... while the crackers ran a check on me. It was one of the most humiliating experiences of my life. Anyone who did not grow up dealing with that kind of racism in L.A., has a hard time wrapping their head around why many blacks felt as they did after the O.J. verdict.
But racism was not the only thing that led me to believe O.J. innocent... I just could not believe that in less than an hour, a person could practically decapitate two human beings, and then clean up what must have been a monstrous quantity of blood and then get on a flight to Chicago, without leaving more evidence. You slaughter two human beings and then leave behind "drops" of blood in your car... rather than blood everywhere. And the glove thing... Two damned convenient. A man commits a double murder, and is calm enough to fool everyone he came in contact with that night, and yet he tosses a glove behind his own house. No, it did not wash... And there are still lingering doubts in my mind.
Lastly, I knew O.J.... Casually, but I knew him. During the time I was at the University of Southern California, we recruited a number of athletes for my fraternity, among them was Marcus Allen. Marcus never joined the fraternity and was not a particularly close friend, but I had several opportunities to hang with him, and on a couple such occasions, I had the opportunity to meet O.J.. Now it is probably less than reasonable to assume that hanging with a guy for a couple hours, qualifies one to judge them. But I liked O.J.. He was a cool guy, and a Trojan, and he always took time to talk to us. He never seemed to be stuck on stardom, and I admired him.
It was for those reasons and others that I never bought the O.J. as a murderer thing. But the recent news about the new book... Well, it has convinced me to rethink my position. Joe Gandelman has done a good job covering the story of the book and the interview on Fox, so I wont rehash that. He points to a great post today, from one of the people who covered the trial. It is a compelling read, so please check it out.
The whole thing makes me sad. For many years O.J. Simpson has been a hero, then he became a martyred hero... Now, I don't know... He is just another fallen hero, in a world where we don't have nearly enough heroes.
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. - A soldier was sentenced Thursday to 90 years in prison with the possibility of parole for conspiring to rape a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and kill her and her family.
Spc. James P. Barker, one of four Fort Campbell soldiers accused in the March 12 rape and killings, pleaded guilty Wednesday and agreed to testify against the others to avoid the death penalty.
"This court sentences you to be confined for the length of your natural life, with the eligibility of parole," said Lt. Col. Richard Anderson, the military judge presiding over the court-martial.
Under the plea agreement, Barker got a life sentence but will not serve more than 90 years in prison, Anderson said. He will be eligible for parole in 20 years.
Put up against a wall and shot. And yeah I support the troops, yada yada, And yeah I realize that 99% of them are doing/did and honorable job in Iraq, yada, fucking yada. Maybe it is just my perception, or maybe it is modern news reporting, or what the fuck ever, but this war has produced more disgusting filth, on both sides, than any I can remember since arriving on this big green ball 46 years ago.
The Redstaters love to talk about Rape Rooms, torture, murder, etc., I guess they just don't consider it to be as heinous when WE DO IT! As a father, as an American, hell on a lot of levels, this just disgusts me... On second thought, save the bullet and give him a space next to Saddam, and a hemp necktie to match!
Scandal: Right after Mark Foley was revealed to have had inappropriate e-mail conversations with a 16-year-old page, he resigned and checked into rehab. Now, what did Democrats know, and when did they know it?
It is about what the GOP leadership knew. DUH! The Dems have had almost no power for 6 years. Even if they did know, what were they going to do about Foley, except blow the whistle earlier. And if they had blown it 2 years ago, or five, as the GOP Leadership allegedly did, wouldn't they have still been accussed of politicizing this sickness.
No, trying to deflect the blame to alchoholism, gays, the media or the Democratic Party, is not likely to wash the stench off the GOP leadership that knew about and ignored what would end up putting most of us in jail for. The stench is so intense, that even the faithful are outraged, and well they should be.
Joe Gandelman, one of the best bloggers in the Progressive Blogsphere, writes what I consider to be one of the BEST pieces I have seen on the subject. I wont quote it, because to do so would do it an injustice. You simply MUST read it.
You know we often ask on the left, "how low will they go," to protect their power. I think that question has been answered... I find Rick's way of doing it, particularly nauseating....
How much of a story will this black bag operation be? Since it was done partly in the cause of ridding the Congress of a pervert, one perhaps cannot condemn it completely. However, it does demonstrate a nauseating cynicism on the part of the left when it comes to electoral politics and makes the hypocritical charges of “cover-up” resonate all the more with those who are disgusted by such tactics.
Eh, what PART is it that you do condemn Rick? The fact that it was one of the family values hypocrits? And you are right, I can't read. It's not that I have a learning dissability, it's just that I have a hard time wading my way through the bullshit to find your point...
I do have to give props though to two ladies who I often dissagree with:
WASHINGTON, Oct. 1. — Democrats expressed outrage today that Republican leaders had waited nearly a year to tell them about e-mails between Representative Mark Foley and a former teenage page, allowing the Florida Republican during that time to remain head of the Congressional caucus on children’s issues.
“This should be investigated objectively. I think the Democratic leadership should have been told 10 months ago,” Representative Jane Harman of California, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the House Democratic leader, said in a letter to the House Ethics Committee that it was “abhorrent” that House Republican leaders had known of Mr. Foley’s contacts with the page for a number of months “and that apparently no action was taken to protect these underage children,” Reuters reported. Ms. Pelosi said it was vital that the committee immediately question House Republican leaders under oath.
The fact that Bill Clinton was impeached for getting a hummer in the White House, from a consenting adult, and yet this kind of crap, can be hidden for monthsmake that YEARS, by some of the same people who impeached him, is just sickening...
So let me see if I got this right... The fact that Foley was having Gay Hotchat with teenages Pages, is all the Media's fault... Yep, that makes a lot of sense in the alternate universe that these people occupy. Well it's good to see the GOP Blog Machine is still staying, "on message," even when it is one this f***king stupid.
WASHINGTON (AP) - GOP leaders admit their offices have known for months that a Florida Republican congressman was sending inappropriate e-mails to a boy who had worked as a page in the House of Representatives.
The office of House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who earlier said he'd learned about the e-mails only last week, acknowledged that aides referred the matter to the authorities last fall. They said they were only told the messages were "over-friendly."
Rep. Thomas Reynolds, who heads the House Republican election effort, said Saturday he told Hastert months ago about concerns that a fellow Republican lawmaker, Rep. Mark Foley, had sent inappropriate messages to a teenage boy.
Reynolds, a Republican from New York, is defending himself from Democrats who say he did too little to protect the boy.
Foley quit Congress on Friday after ABC News questioned him about the e-mails to a former congressional page and about sexually suggestive instant messages to other pages.
"The improper communications between Congressman Mark Foley and former House Congressional pages is unacceptable and abhorrent. It is an obscene breach of trust," Hastert, R-Ill., Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Majority Whip Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said Saturday in a written statement.
Lets see, two Israeli soldiers kidnapped and 53 Israelis dead... The response, wipe a country off the freakin' map, and kill hundreds of civilians while blowing up UN Watching Post, seems like a "reasonable response," to me... Yeah right.
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Israeli warplanes and artillery pounded south Lebanon early on Thursday, hours after it suffered its heaviest losses in a 16-day-old assault on Hizbollah guerrillas that shows no signs of abating.
Israeli jets knocked down communications masts in the Amsheet area north of Beirut after attacking three trucks carrying medical and food supplies to the east, killing two drivers, security sources said. Israel accuses Lebanon's eastern neighbor Syria of supplying Hizbollah with weapons.
Other aircraft blasted targets in and around several villages and towns in the mainly Shi'ite Muslim south as artillery batteries opened up at Lebanon's side of the border.
Shi'ite Hizbollah guerrillas killed nine Israeli soldiers in house-to-house fighting in a frontier town and a nearby village on Wednesday, the same day diplomats in Rome failed to agree on calling for an immediate ceasefire.
An Israeli general said the onslaught, which has killed 433 Lebanese, mostly civilians, would continue "for several more weeks". The fighting began on July 12 when Hizbollah captured two Israeli soldiers and killed eight in a cross-border raid.
I am all for Israel's right to defend itself, but this is not defense, this is punishment... Punishment of a whole country becuase that country does not have the resources to rid itself of terrorist. This is an outrage.
I have to totally disagree with you for making such strong claims on blogs about being pro-child molesting.
I think it's harmful to children, especially to children as young as those you lust after. I do think you're brave for posting your picture on all those blogs. It really shows that you believe in your child molesting.
But Wow, heated arguments for you child molesting on 8 different blogs!!! You got guts to be that bold of an advocate for child molesting.
Was asked politely not to keep posting the same nonesensical comments on my blog on a post about the Duke Rape case. She/He continued. I altered one of their comments to shut them up. Now it seems that they are stalking me, and posting comments on other blogs attributed to me, about child molesting. As a father and a Christian, I am appalled by this childish behaviour. But whatever... I will be reporting them to their ISP.
I was wrong, and Jay Tea was right. I am not going to whine about this, or make grand proclamations about justice not being served. I was wrong about Rove being charged and to maintain credibility, I need to acknowledge it. Touche.
If the alleged victim in the Duke Rape Case was a promiscuous white Coed, and the accused were black players from the Football or Basketball team... Would conservatives be so eager to dismiss the charges as false? What happened to "lets have a trial?" If these boys are innocent, then we need to rely on the justice system to demonstrate it.
Instead, this case has been all about, "Ho's, and innocent boys having their lives ruined." If this girl lied, then she ought to be prosecuted. It's as simple as that. But the DA has decided to go ahead with prosecution, and a Grand Jury has found reason to proceed with one. All of these news stories about inconsistencies will mean nothing when the case goes to trial.
I for one am sick of this girl being dragged through the mud because of her profession or her past. What about the Gay bashing Lacrosse player. I never hear about that incident on Conservative blogs. If anything, that at least implies a propensity towards violence and discrimination on the part of the player. What does not seem to be in much dispute, is that racial slurs and insults were used during the party, a dehumanizing tactic often used by those inflicting violence on those who they see as, "lesser," than them.
I don't know what happened that night. I do know that there will likely be a trial, and we will ALL have a better idea at that time of how strong the evidence is. There is a possibility that the case may be full of holes, and eventually dismissed. If it is, great! But it seems to me that BOTH parties deserve their day in court.
The apparent cold-blooded killing last November of 24 Iraqi civilians by United States marines at Haditha will be hard to dispose of with another Washington damage control operation. The Iraqi government has made clear that it will not sit still for one, and neither should the American people. This affair cannot simply be dismissed as the spontaneous cruelty of a few bad men.
This is the nightmare that everyone worried about when the Iraq invasion took place. Critics of the war predicted that American troops would become an occupying force, unable to distinguish between innocent civilians and murderous insurgents, propelled down the same path that led the British to disaster in Northern Ireland and American troops to grief in Vietnam. The Bush administration understood the dangers too, but dismissed them out of its deep, unwarranted confidence that friendly Iraqis would quickly be able to take control of their own government and impose order on their own people.
Now that we have reached the one place we most wanted to avoid, it will not do to focus blame narrowly on the Marine unit suspected of carrying out these killings and ignore the administration officials, from President Bush on down, who made the chances of this sort of disaster so much greater by deliberately blurring the rules governing the conduct of American soldiers in the field. The inquiry also needs to critically examine the behavior of top commanders responsible for ensuring lawful and professional conduct and of midlevel officers who apparently covered up the Haditha incident for months until journalists' inquiries forced a more honest review.
So far, nothing in President Bush's repeated statements on the issue offers any real assurance that the White House and the Pentagon will not once again try to protect the most senior military and political ranks from proper accountability. This is the pattern that this administration has repeatedly followed in the past — in the torture scandal at Abu Ghraib, in the beating deaths of prisoners at Bagram air base in Afghanistan and in the serial abuses of justice and constitutional principle at Guantánamo Bay.
These damage control operations have done a great job of shielding the reputations of top military commanders and high-ranking Pentagon officials. But it has been at the expense of things that are far more precious: America's international reputation and the honor of the United States military. The overwhelming majority of American troops in Iraq are dedicated military professionals, doing their best to behave correctly under extraordinarily difficult circumstances. Their good name requires a serious inquiry, not another deflection of blame to the lowest-ranking troops on the scene.
They can't have it be an isolated incident, they can't allow for the possibility that it's limited to a few bad apples and some midlevel commanders because then the blame falls squarely on the guilty parties themselves. Which leaves the Times and its constituents double-bound: not only does it force them to acknowledge that American soldiers (volunteers, no less) do in fact have moral agency and therefore are partly responsible for the war the left hates so much, but it offers them no way to exploit the incident for political purposes. How can they call for a pullout if the plague of renegade soldiers going berserk from exhaustion isn't a plague? How can they blame Bush or Rumsfeld for creating a "climate of impunity" (in the Nation's words) if there's no climate of impunity? The actions of the other 99.9% of U.S. forces in Iraq should count as evidence on that point, no?
My ignorance of military culture prevents me from answering the following myself so I'll throw it open to milbloggers and our readers in the armed forces. Have you "gotten the message" that you should feel free to shoot Iraqi infants in the head if it pleases you to do so? Has the torture at Abu Ghraib created a "climate of impunity" in your mind that leads you to believe gunning down Arab civilians in cold blood is appropriate, and will result in no adverse consequences to yourself? Let me know in the comments or by e-mail and I'll print the responses, because I have a crazy hunch this "green light" argument is so much bullshit manufactured by Bush-haters as cover for their agenda.
Now I just have a couple of things to say about all this. Let's wait until the investigation is over, before we decide who is to blame.... But signs are pointing towards a cover-up. Bush loves to wear the Commander in Chief hat. For someone who avoided the dangers of Vietnam, playing GI Joe must be fun. I can wear military jackets, drop gloriously onto the deck of American Aircraft Carriers and make speeches to those who walk the walk.. But I can't take responsibility when things go bad.... What happened to "The Buck Stops Here?" Right Wingers like to make hay about the guilty being punished in the Abu Ghraib case, but no officers were charged in that case. None to my knowledge have been charged in any of the other cases. It has been enlisted men and women, who granted, carried out the attrocities, but for a President who suppossedly demands accountablity, it seems strange that no one in the upper chain of command has been charged. Sure there have been some shuffling of command structures, but no one has seriously been held accountable above the pay grade of Sargeant.
So my question to Allahpundit and others is, "WHY NOT." What kind of hypocrisy drives Right Wing thinking, that it's fine to bask in glory.... what little there has been, for the senior administrators of this war. But when it comes to accountability for these events, the leaders should get a pass.... This is something those on the Right need to seriously think about.
I have never read anything more brutal in my life... My God, if the investigation proves these accussations true, these men deserve death, and just as important, our Military leaders need to understand what caused our young men to break like this...
Then one of the Marines took charge and began shouting, said Fahmi, who was watching from his roof. Fahmi said he saw the Marine direct other Marines into the house closest to the blast, about 50 yards away.
It was the home of 76-year-old Abdul Hamid Hassan Ali. Although he had used a wheelchair since diabetes forced a leg amputation years ago, Ali was always one of the first on his block to go out every morning, scattering scraps for his chickens and hosing the dust of the arid western town from his driveway, neighbors said.
In the house with Ali and his 66-year-old wife, Khamisa Tuma Ali, were three of the middle-aged male members of their family, at least one daughter-in-law and four children -- 4-year-old Abdullah, 8-year-old Iman, 5-year-old Abdul Rahman and 2-month-old Asia.
Marines entered shooting, witnesses recalled. Most of the shots -- in Ali's house and two others -- were fired at such close range that they went through the bodies of the family members and plowed into walls or the floor, physicians at Haditha's hospital said.
A daughter-in-law, identified as Hibbah, escaped with Asia, survivors and neighbors said. Iman and Abdul Rahman were shot but survived. Four-year-old Abdullah, Ali and the rest died.
Ali took nine rounds in the chest and abdomen, leaving his intestines spilling out of the exit wounds in his back, according to his death certificate.
The Marines moved to the house next door, Fahmi said.
Inside were 43-year-old Khafif, 41-year-old Aeda Yasin Ahmed, an 8-year-old son, five young daughters and a 1-year-old girl staying with the family, according to death certificates and neighbors.
The Marines shot them at close range and hurled grenades into the kitchen and bathroom, survivors and neighbors said later. Khafif's pleas could be heard across the neighborhood. Four of the girls died screaming.
Only 13-year-old Safa Younis lived -- saved, she said, by her mother's blood spilling onto her, making her look dead when she fell, limp, in a faint.
Townspeople led a Washington Post reporter this week to the girl they identified as Safa. Wearing a ponytail and tracksuit, the girl said her mother died trying to gather the girls. The girl burst into tears after a few words. The older couple caring for her apologized and asked the reporter to leave.
I have read the numerous reports of the psychological strain on troops repeadedly deployed to Iraq. I have often wondered how I would react to that stress, and how our troops are able to deal with it every day. This case is going to have some serious impact, including political impact. Reports like the one quoted above will likely outrage and disgust the American people. There is no doubt that it will also inflame our enemies and help them to justify internally, "bringing it back to our civilian population." It's a mess, and one that is not going to go away for a while. And well it shouldn't. If innocents, especially women and children were killed in this fashion, the ramifications will be 100 times worse than Abu Gharib.
This was one of the most beautiful, talented women on God's Earth. She had the voice of an angel and the looks of a Super model.
Today I got an email from some friends of mine here in Costa Rica with some before and after pictures of Whitney. To say they were shocking is an understatement. The woman has truly descended into a self imposed hell.
I got to thinking about all the gifts God gave Whitney...
Her Beauty, grace, talent...
All, which she gave away in the name of LOVE. It is sad... Whitney Houston, Pop Diva is now a Bag Lady!
"Despite the fact there is no DNA evidence and the accuser's story has more holes in it than Patrick Kennedy's excuses for wrecking his Mustang, CBS radio news is reporting that the Durham DA is handing down a third indictment in the Duke rape case.
I can't WAIT for the civil suit these kids are going to bring."
Man I was going to wait until the trial, but now that Paul has weighed in, there is no need. We'll just wait for the civil suit, where these, "kids," can have a chance to win an autographed strippers thong!
Logic seems to imply that Mr. Kennedy has a drinking problem. I am as big a fan of JFK as anyone, but Camelot is over, and the Kennedy's deserver no more respect than anyone else. I agree with Jay's comments here to that effect. And I think he should be in JAIL. But then I also think Limbaugh ought to be in jail. No one should be above the law, Not Bush, Not Kennedy, not illegal immigrants and not Rush. The only way we are ever going to get to a place where, "Justice for All," means Justice for All, is when we stop applying double standards based on celebrity, or family or position.
Alan Ralsky, the well known "spam king" who proudly bragged about his spamming escapades to a newspaper reporter... and then got all upset when people who read the article started signing his home address up for junk mail, is apparently in trouble with the law again. Last fall, the FBI raided his house, and now Silicon Valley gossip blog, Valleywag, has an unconfirmed report from someone saying that Ralsky's now in jail. The report also notes that the spamming underworld is freaking out on the rumor that he's going to cough up some sort of plea bargain that involves ratting just about everyone out.
Oh, I SOOOOO hope this is true. These scumbags need to be sent up for a LONG time. I use Spamcop to report every spam I get, and yet every day I get the same 30-50 spams from the same Viagra, Pennystock and Real Estate Loan idiots.
Let's call a spade a spade. When an insurance company pressures doctors to remove life support from a patient and those doctors take a meeting and decide that life support will be removed ... against the patient's wishes ... it is murder. When they pull that plug, they will be committing murder ... plain and simple.
This is not a family affair. This is not one side of a family wanting to keep their loved one on life support while the other contests that is not their wish. This is a woman who has made it clear that she does not want to die and wishes to remain on life support and Blue Cross Blue Shield doesn't want to foot the bill. Well, I am sorry, that is what Andrea Clark paid all those premiums for every month ... for them to foot the bill.
May 1, 2006 issue - Racial tension, class conflict and allegations of sexual violence are perfect ingredients for a media circus. On eBay last week, you could buy T shirts decorated with a cartoonish "South Park" character, posing as a Duke lacrosse player, crudely taunting the prosecutor: MIKE NIFONG S---- A--. On talk radio, Rush Limbaugh was speculating whether the Rev. Al Sharpton would arrive on the scene to play the Tawana Brawley card after, as Limbaugh put it, "the lacrosse team supposedly, you know, raped some, uh, hos." (Limbaugh later apologized for a "terrible slip of the tongue.") On cable TV, Jon Stewart was making fun of Geraldo Rivera for gravely and fatuously intoning, "It is not always the nuns that get raped. Sometimes it's the strippers that get raped."
So begins an MSNBC post about the Duke Rape Case, and it's a must read, if for nothing else, but to understand the complexity... racial, political, social and otherwise.
I have said from the begining that I think the woman was raped at that party. I dont KNOW what happened, and I believe it is important that the case is tried and justice is done. If the charges are PROVEN false, I believe the young woman in question should do time. If proven true, I believe everyone who was at that party and had knowledge of what transpired should be tried as conspirators.
I have not played the "race card," in this issue, and will not. I KNOW race was part of the dynamic, but I think this is much more about power and priveledge, if it turns out the young woman was raped. If it does, I think the heart of the issue is that these guys felt that they were somehow better than the victim. She was after all, just a stripper, probably equal to a streetwalker in the eyes of the accussed. The fact that these two young women were dancing naked in front of a bunch of strangers, meant they were not entitled to any respect, in the eyes of the accussed.
I recently had the disgusting experience of seeing a video called, "Ghetto Gaggers," something a friend sent me and for some STUPID reason thought I would be amused by. I was not. The video consisted of about 40 minutes of an attractive, young, but obviously lower class black woman being subjected to degradation and humiliation, by two white dudes. The title will give you a good idea of what type. I sat through about five minutes of it, before asking my friend what kind of sick F**K he was and tossing his a$$ out.
I did a web search and found their site. (NO LINK), and was disgusted and even saddened that young women would go through what I saw portrayed there... even for money. The site must be a racist wet dream, as it is just a string of young black women being abused. On the other hand, there are other sites that do the same with white women and black dudes. I wonder if these guys had seen this kind of porn at some point? More than likely, the answer is yes.
Now before you jump to the conclussion that I blame porn for rapist, or am anti porn... I am not. What I am against is porn that advocates rape or encourages the fantasy of humiliation and degredation of of women (especially non consensual). You would be surprised at how many of these themes are popular in modern porno.
Positive Outlook Friday means "let's give people the benefit of a doubt"
Including the 27 year-old stripper who accused three members of the Duke lacrosse team of raping her:
New information about the victim has been divulged, concerning charges arising from an incident that occurred several years ago. According to a 2002 police report, the woman, currently a 27-year-old student at North Carolina Central University, gave a taxi driver a lap dance at a Durham strip club. Subsequently, according to the report, she stole the man's car and led deputies on a high-speed chase that ended in Wake County.
Apparently, the deputy thought the chase was over when the woman turned down a dead-end road near Brier Creek, but instead she tried to run over him, according to the police report.
Additional information notes that her blood-alcohol level registered at more than twice the legal limit.
In spite of that incident, her attorney at the time, Woody Vann, asserts that what happened then should not cause people to question her character now. He said she is a decent and credible human being.
I wonder where she fits on the credibility scale in relation to Cynthia McKinney Now, go and make the world a better place, Truthites.
Now tell me the truth, can't you just see the sneer on this guys face? "Crazy assed Black Woman, how the hell you going to trust someone who got drunk four years ago and acted crazy?" It's obvious that those boys are just being smeared... And on the drunk and dissorderly devaluing her credibility. I wonder how many Duke Students have had twice legal limit BAL's and engadged in similar activities... Including RAPE. How about their credibility? Do the shit faced jocks of the gang bang just days ago, have more credibility than someone who FOUR years ago got drunk and showed their ass. And apparently (Since none of you dirtbags have been able to dig up any thing else), has not had any trouble with the law since?
Dont you just love it when these folks blame the victim. Oh and Ghee, the fact that McKinney also happens to be black has nothing to do with his arguments. Please... I don't know if the young lady in question was raped or not, but I believe she was based on the evidence I have read. However, I am compelled to ask the question again, how the hell can any self respecting black person claim fellowship with racist assholes who write this kind of drivel?
Okay, I am going to break ranks with my more famous bretheren and NOT blame Bush for this. But what the hell is going on with Child Predators these days. Here you have in many cases, very successful people throwing it all away for lack of control of some sick desires. Bush is not responsible for this. But there is something wrong, really wrong, when the people with the responsibility to protect our children, are molesting them instead...
The man who headed the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Tampa has pleaded no contest to charges he exposed himself to a girl in a mall food court and ran away from security guards.
Frank Figueroa, 49, originally said he was not guilty. His trial was expected to begin tomorrow.
Figueroa, once one of Florida's highest-ranking federal law enforcement officers and the former head of a national program formed to target child sex predators, was arrested Oct. 25 at The Mall at Millenia in Orlando.
He was charged with exposure of sexual organs and disorderly conduct, which carry a potential punishment of more than a year behind bars.
A sentencing hearing is tentatively scheduled for May 9.
Rachel Wright, the 16-year-old who reported the incident, said Figueroa pulled up a leg of his shorts, exposed himself and masturbated for about 10 minutes.
I guess Rush needs to do more homework before spouting off. Evidence seems pretty clear to me, as well as the fact that these boys are a bit sick.
APRIL 5--Shortly after an exotic dancer claimed she was raped at a Duke University lacrosse team party, a member of the squad sent an e-mail announcing that the following night he planned "to have some strippers over" and would be "killing the bitches" as soon as they walked into his dorm room. Disclosure of the e-mail came today with the unsealing of a March 27 search warrant for the residence of Ryan McFadyen, a sophomore lacrosse player. McFadyen is pictured at right in his team headshot. According to the warrant, a copy of which you'll find below, the e-mail was provided to Durham cops by a confidential source who received the correspondence from McFadyen's Duke e-mail account at 1:58 AM on March 14. According to the dancer, she was attacked earlier that morning at a team party (the woman and another dancer had been hired for $400 to perform at a home rented by three of the squad's captains). The e-mail from McFadyen's account notes that, after the strippers were killed, they would be skinned while the author was "cumming in my duke issue spandex."
I think the perfect solution would be to send them all to jail and have them bunk with the biggest, baddest black dudes in the joint...
Not that you give a rats ass about my opinion Ezra... But I have to agree with Oliver on this one. Try moving to Costa Rica. I am married to a Costa Rican, have three half Costa Rican children, am considered one of the "fathers," of the Costa Rican high technology industry, run a successful and popular company that contributes to the community...and it is costing me a fortune, not to mention countless hours of time to make sure my status is 100% legal.
I understand your points about the logistics of dealing with an out of control immigration system. But because a law is difficult to enforce, do we ignore that law. Having lived in several countries, I am very familiar with how other nations handle immigration issues.
I have been illegal in Costa Rica for a time. Though in my case it was more a matter of paperwork and Costa Rica's slow moving system... than any illegal intention on my part. Violating our laws can not be justified under any circumstances. But in my opinion, it is not so much about punishing the immigrants, as it is sanctioning the governments, especially the Mexican government, that turns a blind eye, and even encourages it. President Fox has thumbed his nose at the American people and our laws on more than one occassion. Time for some tough talk there...
So I actually got on NPR's call-in today with Volokh and a privacy wonk. What I didn't get to ask was my killer question about expectations of privacy, and suddenly I realized that I was blogless, naked and only capable of filling 20 seconds of airtime.
In the end, I was disabused for trusting Google's ever expanding services. I should have, quoth the experts, no expectation of privacy when I share my information with private companies. What I really wanted to ask was 'What if I use Google Mail to speak to my attorney?'. What trumps what here?
My bank is a private company. My doctor's office is a private company. All of them use Oracle databases. So once the Feds have their nose into a company's databases who is to say what is a private medical record or what is a privileged conversation? We would not expect the Feds to start searching doctors offices and lawyers offices for evidence that porno could be gotten there. Of course it could be gotten there. So somehow in the universe of that which is searchable in the virtual world as well as the physical world, we are going to have to set up some doctors offices and lawyers offices where people do have a reasonable sense of privacy. Why? Because sometimes you have to get undressed in places other than your home, which is to say utterly frank about yourself. This should extend beyond those computers inside your home, just as it extends to buildings that are not your home.
This judge had better be wise when he hands down his judgement because I do have an expectation of privacy outside of my home. Just because the Feds are looking to stop porno doesn't mean they can walk around everywhere and start snooping. Google is everywhere, and that's the problem. They are something of a universal witness and yes witnesses are subject to subpoena, but what is reasonable search here?
What is the difference between a search engine and a broadcast network? If both are capable of delivering porno, does that give the Feds the right to see what percentage of those capable of recieving it are actually recieving it? Querying Google's back-end in this regard is like asking which households with children are also recieving porno through the tube. You've got to know that much to make a reasonable query... so what's going to be the sample size?
Tom Evslin: AT&T is Ripping Off American Soldiers. It's bad enough that they overcharge domestic customers but we have alternatives. The soldiers don't because, according to The Prepaid Press, AT&T has an EXCLUSIVE contract to put payphones in PXes in Iraq and Afghanistan. But, you ask, can't the soldiers get cheap calling cards to call the US? No! Because AT&T is using (abusing!) its position as monopoly supplier of payphones to block the 800 numbers necessary to use nonAT&T calling cards.
He points out that this greedy -- but, it seems, entirely legal -- stance was instituted prior to SBC's buyout of the company. I suspect that the plan was to continue it, but also suspect the revelation of this abuse will force the company to modify its policy. (Tom wonders if the new management even knows about the situation, but if it didn't surface during pre-purchase due diligence someone senior should be fired.)
Man, I just don't get it.... I mean... one questions the war, and you are a traitor. One questions the policies of the Administration, and you are a traitor. Only the Right supports the troops... Where the hell is the outrage over this?
I have never been an AT&T fan, in fact I was an MCI customer while I lived in the U.S. All I know is that people should be outraged about this..
I don't know, but Pensito Review makes a good case, and points out some... ummm irregularities.
On Countdown last night, Keith Olbermann interviewed Texas defense attorney Charles Parnham who said - finally - what everyone watching this blather has been thinking.
Vice President Cheney acted like he was covering up crime after he shot Harry Whittington in the heart last week - not calling local authorities in investigate, not notifying the press, etc. - because he was.
As Parnham pointed out, people who cause accidents because they were behaving imprudently are charged with criminal negligence every day. Even in Texas.
Aside from criminal charges, Harry Whittington could still sue Cheney for negligent behavior as a civil matter. However, it appears Harry is going to be a good Republican soldier, but prepare yourself for the shock when he's made the ambassador to Luxemburg later this year.
If you look at the sequence of events after the shooting, every action taken or avoided by the vice president, his hostess Katherine Armstrong and the hunting party was part of a deliberate effort to avoid prosecution.
I'll apologize beforehand to anyone with delicate sensibilities for the heartless rant I am about to write. I'll start by saying, yeah, she's crazy. ANYBODY who does what she did HAS to be crazy as a shithouse rat, nutty as a fruitcake, completely FUBAR.
But I don't care how looney-tunes she is. I don't want her walking around free in MY world. I want her taken OUT, so that she never has the chance to nut-up and kill again.
When I lived on the mini-farm, I once discovered a rabid racoon in my back yard. I think the sumbitch was rooting around in search of garbage to eat, but I didn't care about what motivated the critter. I saw the red eyes, the slobbering mouth and the complete lack of fear it showed when it saw ME, and I didn't run back inside to call an animal psychologist to handle the situation.
I ran back inside and fetched a shotgun.
I gave that poor animal a dose of intensive therapy that solved all of its problems once and for all. Thanks to my counceling, it wasn't crazy anymore. It wasn't a menace to me, my family, other animals or anybody else in my neighborhood.
It was DEAD.
Some people simply need to be put out of their misery, and this woman is one of them... And unlike Acidman, when it comes to child murderers, I don't care about offending anyone when I say she ought to be taken out back and shot in the head.
DEDHAM, Mass. (AP) - A dominatrix was acquitted of manslaughter Monday in the death of a man who prosecutors say suffered a heart attack while strapped to a replica of a medieval rack.
Barbara Asher, a 56-year-old woman who called herself Mistress Lauren M, was also cleared of dismemberment.
Prosecutors said that 53-year-old Michael Lord suffered a heart attack in 2000 during a bondage session in a "dungeon" in Asher's condominium and that Asher did nothing to help him for five minutes for fear authorities would find out about her business.
Asher had her boyfriend chop up the body of the 275-pound retired telephone company worker, and they dumped it behind a restaurant in Maine, prosecutors said. His remains have never been found.
Prosecutors said Asher confessed to police, but the alleged confession was not taped, and investigators testified they did not save their notes.
And I am not at all surprised on this one... The cops are probably clients of hers... Hehe...
DEDHAM, Mass. -- Opening statements were made Tuesday in the trial of a dominatrix whose client died during a bondage session.
Barbara Asher is charged with manslaughter.
Prosecutors said Michael Lord, of North Hampton, N.H., died in July 2000 after suffering a fatal heart attack while strapped to a rack in a makeshift dungeon in Quincy.
Assistant District Attorney Robert Nelson told the jury that Asher waited five minutes before calling her boyfriend to come help, and it was another 10 minutes before he arrived. By then, Nelson said, it was too late to save Lord.
A day later, Asher and her boyfriend, Miguel Ferrer, allegedly dismembered and disposed of the remains, which were never found.
Most of the men who are into this scene as submissives tend to be older, and quite a few of them overweight. Not to mention that there are not really many "schools," for professional Dominatrix. Damn it must be pretty embarrassing for Lord's family to read about how he died. Messed up...
D.C. Council member and former mayor Marion Barry yesterday urged two young men who robbed him at gunpoint Monday night to turn themselves in to police, promising that he would urge authorities not to prosecute them.
"I have no animosities," Barry declared. "I don't even want you prosecuted, really. I love you. Give yourself up. Call the police. . . . I will do all I can to advocate non-prosecution."
Barry, 69, was held up in his kitchen about 9:30 p.m. Monday by two assailants who minutes earlier had helped him carry groceries from his car to his third-floor apartment in Southeast Washington. They pointed a gun at Barry's face and stole his wallet, which contained more than $200, his driver's license and two credit cards, police said.
The thieves apparently knew that Barry (D-Ward 8) was a longtime community leader, a fact that he said made the crime "kind of hurt" because he is well respected by so many people in the city. Barry was not injured in the holdup.
"There is a sort of an unwritten code in Washington, among the underworld and the hustlers and these other guys, that I am their friend," Barry said at an afternoon news conference in which he described the robbery in detail. "I don't advocate what they do. I advocate conditions to change what they do. I was a little hurt that this betrayal did happen."
D.C. police, who are battling a recent spike in holdups, said they were shocked that someone would knowingly rob a former mayor in his apartment. They have no suspects. A bystander found Barry's wallet -- without the cash -- on a nearby street. The billfold, driver's license and credit cards were returned yesterday to the council member, authorities said.
They were probably buddies of his.... This guy is a scumbag, and how he got elected multiple times as Mayor of Washington D.C. is a mystery to me.
From the same Slate article, there is a link that exposes what Abramoff thought of his "clients." I don't think Abramoff will be retiring to a Native American Reservation any time soon...
In emails now made public by the FBI, which is investigating him, Abramoff repeatedly refers to Native Americans as "monkeys", "troglodytes" and "idiots."
Abramoff via email once asked his conspirator Michael Scanlon to meet a client. The reason Mr. Abramoff couldn't do it because as put it "I have to meet with the monkeys from the Choctaw tribal council. You need to close the deal... with the client..."
About one tribal client (date unknown) Abramoff wrote to Scanlon, "These mofos are the stupidest idiots in the land for sure." In another e-mail message he wrote, "we need to get some money from those monkeys!!"
But none of this should really come as a surprise. It has been common knowledge for a while that ole Jack did not think too highly of his Native American clients.
As a side note, I suspect that Kevin's comments yesterday about Democrats needing to sweat a bit too, may turn out to be a great overstatement. Nevertheless, I expect that the big Conservative Blogs will ignore this story altogether, or try to spin it as, "EVERYONE is guilty of this." I saw a Clinton comment yesterday on another blog, and I expect that they will start to crop up as the massive damage to Republican credibility starts to become apparent.
(Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) A Saudi Arabian court sentenced a 32-year-old Indian migrant worker, Puthen Veetil Abdul Latheef Noushad, to have his eye gouged out as punishment for blinding a Saudi man in a fight. Apparently, Noushad was working at a gas station when he got into a fight with a Saudi customer regarding the bill. The Saudi man lost his eyesight from injuries sustained in the fight.
Noushad claims he acted in self-defense but the Saudi court imposed the sentence anyway. An appeals court will review the case and, if the ruling is upheld, the Supreme Court will address the issue. Human Rights Watch has joined the fray, asking Saudi King Abdullah for clemency.
Remind me again why the Saudi's are not classified as Axis of Evil?
Digger says in linking to my post about the Costa Rican National killed by Air Marshalls:
"David at In Search of Utopia tells us that Costa Ricans are pretty pissed about the Coasta Rican national that was shot by air marshals the other day. He's reserving judgement, I am not. Some wacko guy jumps up running around and reaching in a bag declaring he has a bomb, down you go."
Actually, that is the first thing I said as well, but there are witness accounts disputing this claim and others saying his wife was telling the Air Marshalls that he was sick. What I said in my piece was we need to wait and see what the investigation says. That is the Law and that is justice...
"I'm happy, but..and he's happy, but they don't want us to be happy that would be asking too much," Clark said in the interview, "They're making a big deal out of a 15-year-old, and I can assure you he was no victim."
Clark said the boy actively pursued her, telling her he was 17, until he wore down her defenses, "From the beginning, he told me and my children he was 17, and I didn't even want to date him then, and I told him, "no" repeatedly. I finally agreed, but I wasn't even comfortable in public with him at first because of his age, but we got along so well. He was just so nice."
The question I have to ask after so many of these cases in the last year is... Has this been going on a long time and the media is just now getting wind of it... Or is our society deteriorating to the point where traditional care givers (mothers) and teachers just don't see barriers to this type of behavior any more?
All jokes aside about the relative "hotness," of some of the alleged rapist, this is sick...
Somehow, we black people here in SCLA managed to control our "animal nature" and not riot, in spite of the cynical attempt by certain elements of the "Tookie" support to egg us on and in spite of those on the right (yes) who opined that LA residents needed to batten down the hatches.
I honestly think there were some people who wanted a riot to happen. Some people on the Right would have scratched their heads and said, "See, they are animals." Some on the Left would have justified riots as acts of a public frustrated by racism and injustice. As far as I can see, there was neither in this case. Tookie was a thug, perhaps a redeemed one... will leave that to the ultimate judge, but a thug who was directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths of hundreds if not thousands over the years (gang warfare, drugs, etc.). He got his ticket punched. Like J says, dead topic...
Few in South Central Los Angeles could get outraged about the passing of such a man. Too many of us who lived, or live there, have too many bad memories of, "that which Tookie wrought." As for his bretheren in the gangs... I suspect they knew that the LAPD was prepared for anything that might have happened yesterday. After the Rodney King Riots, I dont suspect LAPD will ever find themselves "unprepared," again. So like the cowards that they are, the gangsters were not going to risk challenging a prepared police department.
So the riots did not happen. And seriously, I doubt if there will be any cannonization of Saint Tookie, either. Those who want to compare him to Malcom X are idiots. I grew up in the era of Malcom X, and Tookie Williams was no Malcom X, any more than Cindy Sheehan is the modern Rosa Parks. This will be a story that will fade from the pages soon. If some of the folks who wanted to "save Tookie," are really serious, they should put their money where their mouths are and found an anti gang foundation in the mans name. Put some money where it is needed to help divert youth from gangs... But they won't. They will just move on to the next cause celebre, after all, "that is what hollywood is about."
As for the people on the Right and Left who were waiting for a riot, sorry you did not get a show...
UPDATE: If you want to read more about life in the Ghetto during the 70's, there is an extended post from my upublished book here.
The death of Tookie Williams today got me to reminiscing about my days living under the shadow of the Crip Empire. My first memory of the rise of modern street gangs in Los Angeles was in the early 60's. One of my older sisters was a member of the Slausonettes, a predecessor to the Crips later rival, the "Bloods" who were originally called the "Brims." My earliest impressions of gangs were romantic.
My sister and her compatriots wore long leather jackets, had huge Afros and talked Black Power. They were the closest thing to Black Panthers we had at that time, and everybody knew the Black Panthers were cool! All these 'cats' used to hang out at my house and call me "'lil brother." They were hard assed, take no shit "mutha's," who were not afraid of the police, dissed white folk, and were generally cool. It was a radical time in the U.S. (The Early 60's), and our heroes wore leather coats, sported big afros, and expressed Black Power through forceful action and rage.
My first bad experience with "gangstas," came when I was in the third or fourth grade. A kid named Michael Coleman, who's big brothers were all hard core Brims, used to extort lunch money from all the other kids, including myself.
I used to hide from him when I could, and when I couldn't, I simply went hungry after turning over my $.25 lunch money. One day I mouthed off to some guys in my class that I was tired of giving Michael my lunch money and would not do it any more. It somehow got back to him and when he confronted me I told him to, "fuck himself." That resulted in a threat to, "kick my ass," after school. I don't know how I made it through the day that day, but sure enough he and half the student body were waiting for me after school.
Through sheer fear I think, I managed by all accounts to win the fight. I was warned that his Big Brother, "Fat Rat," would settle the score with me later. I told my sister about it, and for whatever reason... probably due to her intervention, I never met "Fat Rat."
By the time I got to Junior High School, the gang culture had fully evolved and I was living on 73rd and Hoover in Los Angeles.
Now anyone who knows Crip Mythology knows that the Hoover Crips, one of the most virulent of the Crip strains were headquartered in the same neighborhood. I went to school with some of the founders of the Hoovers, and some of them were even my friends. But the Hoovers were only one of the gangs that colonized Bethune Jr. High School in 1972. There were the Bounty Hunters, Acey Duce's, Pirus, Rolling 60's and a bunch of other gangs of Crip or Blood affiliation by that time. And they were constantly at war.
Once the school was shut down due to a threat of attack by one of the rival gangs. On the 6 o'clock news that day there was a report of an arms cache being discovered near the school. The cache included grenades and various automatic weapons. The school was always tense, and one had to be constantly on guard as to not to get on the bad side of one of the local gangsters.
One day I had the misfortune of doing so. His name was, "Pee Wee". He was one of the leaders of one of the school's Crip factions, and not one I knew anyone in. Pee Wee like most of his "boys," wore a style of shoes called, "biscuits." The shoes were always shined to a super high gloss. One day standing in the lunch line, I stepped on his foot. Realizing my error I turned to him to apologize. He started screaming at me, calling me names and insulting me. I knew when I opened my mouth in response, there would be hell to pay. At that point I did not care as my own pride was on the line. "Fuck your shoes," I screamed back at him. Now Pee Wee was a lot smaller than I, and I knew I could beat him in a one on one fight, but I also knew who he was and knew that there would be no, "mano a mano."
After school I was on my way home with a friend when I saw him standing on a corner with about twenty other guys. I knew I could not out run them, and that my only chance was that one of the frequent police patrols around the school would pass and break up the group. I turned to my friend and said, "Dude you aint in this... go while you still can." He did not need a second warning, he took off running in the other direction, while I continued on towards my destiny and my ass kicking. I shouted back at my friend. "Go to my house, get my big brothers." I am not sure he heard me, but there would be no Calvary that day. My friend never went to my house, and when and my brother found out what happened when he was called by the school to pick me up.
I turned into an alley a few hundred feet from where they were waiting and took off running. All I remember after that was the sound of running feet and a fist to the back of my head... then, "biscuits," a lot of them. I rolled into a fetal position and tried to protect my face and groin from the feet. When I came too a bit later, I was in a police car being taken back to the school. I told the cops who did it... Not sure why, maybe I was just too dazed to realize how potentially stupid that was. The next day I was a hero at school. A lot of people had seen me get the crap beat out of me, but apparently I had got a couple of good licks in before I went down. I honestly don't remember hitting anyone. But I think most of all those who were not gangsters were proud of me for standing up to one of them. I will never forget this really cute girl saying to me, "It took 20 of them to take you down David, you aint got nuthin' to be ashamed of." I wasn't ashamed. I was just scared and I was for a long time after that.
My second experience with the Crips came a year later, when one of Tookie's boys decided he did not like fat kids and decided to make me the object of daily abuse. He lived in some projects at the end of my block and every day I had to pass him on the way home. He would sit on the front porch of the apartment he lived in and shout insults at me every day. One day I just got tired of it. As I passed he started with the, "Hey fat boy," shit and I screamed back. "Fuck you rag head." He wore a blue Crip rag on his head. He looked surprised for a second and then picked up a bat and came off the porch. I took off running like a mad man for my house, but I was no match for him. I never saw him coming but I felt the bat as it impacted my head just above my ear. When I woke up I was staring up at my Older Brother and a bunch of folks from the block. My head was wet from the blood that came out of a small gash the bat had opened. My brother looked down at me... "Who did this..." I did not know the guys name, so I just pointed at the apartments. By that time, my attacker was gone.
I learned a very important lesson after that day... actually a couple. One, keep my mouth shut... The other... that most of the "gangstas," were cowards who away from their "homeboys," or without a weapon, were nothing. A few days after the incident, my brother, a decorated Vietnam War Veteran, took me in his car to look for my assailant. We came upon him in front of the local liquor store. I pointed him out. My brother ran the car up on the curb in front of him. Before he had a chance to run, my brother was on him. He slammed him up against the side of the building. "You see the little homie in the car?" He screamed his face just inches from my attackers. "That be my little brother. If you so much as come within 50 feet of him again Motherfucker, I will kill you and your whole family." As if to emphasize his point, my brother pulled out a hunting knife and put it to his throat. "And if you think you and your Cuz's are bad asses, you don't know me." He stuck the point of the knife in the guys earring and literally ripped if out of his ear. Then he threw him to the ground like a rag doll and straddling him he pulled a gun from his waistband. He leaned over and placed the gun on the guys forehead, chambering a round in the process. "I just got back from "Nam," motherfucker and I am not afraid to die! Are you?" The guy probably pissed his pants, but I just remember him laying there on the ground shaking violently. My Brother kicked him in the side, returned to the car and we took off. I don't know if he lived in those apartments or not. But I never saw him again. Nor did I have any gang problems again.
Those were some scary times in Los Angeles. While Tookie Williams claims that the Crips were founded originally to protect the neighborhood are debatable, the truth is that the Crips, Bloods and all their various affiliates were nothing less than a form of Mafia. They created a sense of fear in our communities that have and continue to have profound historical effects. It was street gangs that led the burning of Los Angeles after the Rodney King verdict. It was street gangs, led by Crips who introduced rock cocaine into our neighborhoods. Tookie paid today for a series of murders, but in retrospect, no man could in ten lifetimes pay for all the pain he and his compatriots caused. So NO I don't feel sorry for him at all. Every time I venture back to those times in my head. I realize that I suffered from my own imprisonment, and lethal injection... A lethal injection that killed much of the joy of childhood for me.
Like Baldilocks, Cobb and DC, I grew up in SouthCentral Los Angeles. I had my ass kicked when I was 13 years old by a group of about 20 Crips for having the audacity to step on one of their leaders' shoes, ruining his "biscuit shine." I also went to High School at the Capital of the Crip Empire, "Washington High," where playing football, was the only thing that kept me from getting my ass kicked on a regular basis. You see, Crips were football fans, and we won a lot... They liked that. God knows what would have happened had we lost.
I saw first hand what gangs did to my city and to my people, and I would agree with Baldilocks that the Crips were and are a terrorist organization.
Did Tookie deserve to die? I have said it before and I will say it again, I don't know. I did not sit on the jury and have not researched the subject any further than watching the movie version of his life.
Honestly, it is a time and those are memories, I would rather not look back on.
I will say this, "Tookie was convicted of vicious crimes, and I believe in the Death Penalty." I don't know whether he committed those crimes or not. But I am SURE he committed others that were equally brutal. It is what Crips do, and what they did...
I have a small spot on the back of my head where hair will not grow. That spot is from a gash I got when I was hit by a baseball bat wielded by one of Tookie's "homeboys," over 30 years ago.
I will never forget my years living in fear of people like Tookie Williams. These were people who could beat you down just for looking at them wrong. I will never forget not being able to wear certain colors, because they were the "wrong," color for my neighborhood.
I will never forget the days I went hungry as an elementary school student, because the gangsters would take our lunch money. So do I feel sorry for Tookie... No I don't. I think he did some good stuff in the final years of his life. Perhaps God will take that into consideration. I can not. So I wont say if he deserved to die, I will only say I will not be one of the one's lamenting his death...
We do need to focus more on victims of violent crimes. While I know people who know Tookie, and I do believe he has somewhat redeemed himself through his children's books and lectures. I don't feel qualified to say whether he should die for his crimes or not, but I do know that the enormous amount of focus we put on saving "redeemed," criminals somehow takes away from focusing on the true victims of violent crime.
In the summer of 2003, New Hampshire's Manuel Gehring was involved with a bitter custody battle with his ex-wife for their two children. Gehring ended up kidnapping the two children and driving across the country, at some point murdering them and burying them along the highway somewhere in the Midwest. Gehring was caught and returned to New Hampshire, where he gave a full confession, including a description of where he buried Sarah and Philip.
Unfortunately, searchers couldn't find the bodies, and Gehring killed himself in jail in February of 2004. Since then, the children's mother, Teri Knight, (who has remarried since) has made several trips to the Midwest along Gehring's path, trying to find her children so she can give them a proper burial and, I hope, move on with her life.
Last week, a Hudson, Ohio woman searching for the children was out with her dog when they found two small bodies in a shallow grave. The description of the scene and the circumstances of the burial matched Gehring's confession nearly perfectly.
I linked to Jay's original story about the search for the murdered children. I hope that now the children and their mother can rest and find some peace.
(CNN) -- A Florida jury voted 10-2 Thursday to recommend that Joseph P. Smith should be put to death for the rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl.
Prosecutor Debra Riva argued that Smith, 39, should receive the death penalty for the killing of Carlie Brucia, whom he kidnapped from a car wash parking lot February 1, 2004, as the youngster was walking home from a friend's house.
The case drew national attention after a security camera showed Brucia being led away by a man in a blue shirt. Her body was found five days later, just miles from where she was last seen.
As a father, every time I hear one of these stories it tears me up. Children are the ultimate victims, and predators like Mr. Smith are the worst kind of human beings... A quick and painless death seems too good for someone like him.