Kevins final letter


10 January 2006


Dear ***************,


Although I have not received another letter from you, I though I’d start to write, as I am have a lot to say. I am scheduled to be released on the 20th, so if you have not yet written me here, please send your next letter to my home address. In case you have forgotten my contact information, it’s as follows;


Kevin Walsh

5059 N 38th Place

Phoenix, Az 85018-1503


Please do not e-mail me just yet, as it will take me some time to reestablish my internet access and my e-mail addresses. Most likely all my accounts have been deleted, and I will have to start from scratch.

I have spoken to a Mexican-American inmate who works as a programs clerk to ask about how the Mexican and Chicano inmates are organized. He said he had never heard of the Mexican Mafia or the New Mexican Mafia, so apparently they do not have much of a presence here. He said there is no formal organization among the Mexican inmates. They just naturally stick together and help each other out.


My mother has asked me whether I intend to be politically active upon my release and whether that will be allowed. I told her that I did intend to remain politically active and that as long as I obey the law and the conditions of my probation, I have as much right to express my opinions as any other citizen. Of course that doesn’t mean there won’t be problems or that the government will not further attempt to suppress my freedom of speech.


I have lost my right to vote. After my probation has ended, I will be able to petition my trial judge Greggory Martin or his successor to restore that right. That is five years down the road, however as my probation is for five years.


The loss of my right bear arms is permanent. Although I could petition the judge to restore that right after probation ends, there is a permanent disability under federal law because I was declared mentally ill and dangerous to myself and others. Obviously, I will no longer be able to provide informal security at political demonstrations with my prior effectiveness.


During my probation, I will not have the right to be secure from unreasonable search and seizure. I must submit to search of my home, my car, and my person upon demand of my probation officer for any reason or for no reason. For this reason I should not carry or keep any item or document that could compromise the security of the anti-war movement or other progressive causes.


I will be required to report any contact I have with law enforcement to the Adult Probation Department. I am not required to talk to the police or any other government agents, and I intend to continue to assert that right.


I am forbidden during my probation to associate with criminals or people with criminal records. It would therefore be prudent of me to sharply curtail direct communication with Laro Nicol. I am sure I can still communicate ideas with him through third parties.


I am required during my probation to find and retain employment. I hope my unstable work history will not continue and result in my going back to prison.


I am required during my probation to submit to mandatory psychoactive treatment. This means I will likely have to take psychiatric medications. I also have to see a psychiatrist from time to time, probably through Value Options. If this psychiatrist thinks it warranted, he could have me civilly committed to a mental hospital again, so even though I am “free” I could still be locked up again. I fear that the power the psychiatrist will have over me will be used as a leverage to keep me out of politics. If so I will resist, even if it means going back to prison.


I was 37 years old when I was arrested (21 June 2004) and I will be 39 years old tomorrow. This ordeal has already taken a sizable chunk out of my life. I wish it had never happened, but I can also say I have learned about prison life, jail life and life in a mental hospital. I have also learned some things about the justice system.


Much of this information I have already shared with you and others. There are a few things I would like to address.


There is a common belief that sexual assaults and homosexual activity in general are common in prison. Since I have been here, I have never heard of a single case of either. If it is going on people must be keeping quiet about it. One person I asked about it told me that sexual activity among inmates is much more common on sex offender yards than here on general population yards where it is quite rare.


Another common conception of prison is that there is a lot of extortion. To that I say there isn’t. The extortion of one individual to another individual requiring an inmate to buy commissary for another or get his family to put money in another inmates books seems to be rare. I have never heard of this being done here. There is a form of extortion carried out collectively by the Aryan Brotherhood. They require each white inmate to give them one postage stamp per month. If an inmate is conducting some kind of money making or stamp making enterprise, such as conducting a lottery or selling goods or services, they require a share of the profit. In September the Aryan Brotherhood conducted a lottery that they pressured each white inmate to enter. When I stubbornly refused, there was some verbal unpleasantness, involving an inmate named Riot, but ultimately there was no violence directed against me.


There is a common conception that there is a lot of bullying and unpleasantness in prison. I have not found this to be the case. Generally if you mind your own business and are polite and respectful toward other people will not mess with you. Of all the inmates I have know here, only two have been at all unpleasant to me. One is Riot, of whom I have already written. The other is my cellmate Tom Murrey.


Tom often yelled at me and made a full if I had to use the bathroom before he wanted to get up in the morning. I put up with this for most of my sentence, but I could not have it on my conscience that he would do this to his next cellmate with out my trying to do something about it. I do not like going to the Aryan Brotherhood to solve my problems, but it seemed the only answer. I told them of his harassment of me, and they rebuked him.


Tom bitterly accused me of snitching because of this, but only two days earlier hehad occasion to report my conduct to the Aryan Brotherhood. We were on the recreation field, and we had run out of drinking water. A black inmate picked up the empty water jug and carried it to the gate. I told the guard to let us out so we could refill the jug. He said he didn’t have the gate key and that we would have to wait for a guard who did. Tom then said to me, “Don’t help the opposite race.” I replied, “All races need that water.” He said, “You can’t help a nigger carry the water jug.” I said “That’s bull shit!” He said “If you want to get your ass beat for this, don’t involve me.”


I said, “You’re not involved.” He said, “I’m your celly.” I said, “So what?”


He then walked away and spoke with an Aryan Brotherhood inmate. A few minutes later he came back and told me it was OK for me to help carry the water jug. Other people to whom I spoke confirmed that the Aryan Brotherhood was not so racist that its members would object to a white inmate helping to carry a water jug with a black inmate. It was evidently just my cellmates own racist fantasy.


Another thing I dislike about Tom is that he is willfully ignorant and does not know how to disagree without being disagreeable. When he says something I dispute, I remain calm but stick to my position, while he loses his temper, calls me names and even proposes solving the matter with physical violence. Here are some of the positions he has put forward that I have disputed, provoking his temper:



Puget Sound is a man-made body of water. It was evacuated in the early 1900s.


The State of Washington directly borders the Yukon Territory. There is no province of British Columbia between them.


Oleander leaves take oxygen from the air. Homeless people have suffocated from sleeping too close to oleanders.


Hepatitis-C is a form of AIDS.


Methamphetamine and heroin are different names for the same drug.


Rich people who keep their money in banks get interest at a rate of several percent PER DAY.


Postage is prorated even within one ounce, so you can send a one-page letter using a 23-cent stamp.


The time difference between Arizona and Iraq is12 hours. ( I maintain that it is 10 hours).


He would at times accuse me of calling him a liar or of calling his information a liar. Apparently he has difficulty with the concept that there is a difference between telling a deliberate lie and being honestly misinformed about something. If there is one person here I will not miss it is Tom!


I would like to thank the people who have stood behind me during this ordeal, including you who tireless ensured that I was kept informed during my confinement. I would like to thank the people in the anti-war movement who were thinking of me and carrying on the fight against this unjust war. I would particularly like to thank my mother, who visited me as often as she could and wrote to me daily. She has suffered terrible of this and I would like to try to make it up to her.










Our federal government has gone insane officially now.




Every farm animal to be RFIDed.  This is no joke.  See the USDA website: and then on the upper

right hand side of the page click on the links for Draft Strategic

Plan and then Draft Program Standards. I suggest that everyone on this

list print them out and read them.


For more info see for more info.


Here are some of the things about the proposed program that bother me,

among others:


- it will require anyone who owns any of the following types of animals

to register their farm (referred to as a Premises) and pay a fee each

year of between $10 to $20 (or more, depending on the State): horses,

beef or dairy cows, meat or dairy goats, meat or fiber sheep, swine,

elk, bison, ratites (ostrich and emus), and poultry (including

chickens, ducks, geese, guineas, turkeys, quail, and pigeons, although

they seem to have forgotten peafowl.)


- it will require *each and every animal* in the list above on the

farm to have a Animal Identification Number (or, in the case of large

production poultry or swine farms, a Group Identification Number)

which will most likely be a microchip, as they have to be readable by

a RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Device.) Think about this, a

microchip in or on each chicken you own. And YOU get to pay for it,

not the USDA, to the tune of between $3 to $10 a chip, depending on

which type they choose.


- it will require each AIN to be logged into a centralized database

(most likely State, although there is talk about it being privately

held), with updates made each time there is a death or a "movement"

which is defined as each time the animal leaves the premises,

re-enters the premises, enters another premises (like a show,

fairground, or other persons farm.) Births (they expect chicks to be

identified by gender at birth!) and these other incidents are to be

logged within 24-48 hours. A movement must be defined down to the hour

and minute.


- it will require a "sighting" to be logged each time a vet steps foot

onto your property, and each animal/bird he/she sees must be logged.

So if you have 150 birds and the vet comes to vaccinate your horse and

sees your birds, either they or you (the document is not clear) must

log these sightings *individually by AIN.*


This program is unwieldy and unworkable as it stands, not to mention

unconstitutional in several areas.  Please find out more, and then

contact your local legislators and demand that changes be made. This

program is to become mandatory in 2008.








January 18, 2006


Big Nanny Is Watching You


Stripping, booze, and smoking bans: Seattle's nannies are in full scold mode, and progressives are the biggest party poopers of all.


By Philip Dawdy


A couple of weeks ago, I interviewed Roger Valdez, director of tobacco

prevention for Public Health– Seattle & King County. He is in charge of

Seattle-area enforcement of the statewide smoking ban approved by

voters in November. I call him the tobacco czar.


We were talking bout how enforcement was working out, including the 25-foot -rule. In the midst of our chat, Valdez said something remarkable.


"Americans think they have a lot of rights they really don't have.  Smoking is one of those things where people think they have the right  to smoke, but you don't." He used "you" in the plural. "You have no  right to smoke. It's an addiction. It's something you should see a  doctor about."


 He went on to tell me that people have no right to smoke even in their  private residences.


"The condo association can ban it, and you have no legal recourse,"  Valdez said.  Today, your local bar; tomorrow, your home.

 Oh my. A City Fit for The Amish?


     While other Western U.S. cities like San Francisco, Portland, and

Las Vegas have few restrictions on strip clubs and exotic dancing,

Seattle was behaving a whole lot like Salt Lake City. In Seattle, you

cannot even drink liquor in a strip club.


Has it really come to this? Government officials—well paid by

taxpayers, excellent health care benefits and pensions included—talk

this way to taxpaying citizens, and we stand aside because bureaucrats

like Valdez "know" how we should behave, even behind closed doors?


You hear all kinds of hyperbole from the lips of nanny statists these

days. In Seattle, it ties in nicely with the city's long tradition of

hyperearnest citizens, people the critic H.L. Mencken called

"uplifters." Those are the folks who "know" what's good for everyone

else and have no tolerance for anything they consider against the rules

of clean living. They seek to ban whatever activity they don't like.

That's often the way of social conservatives, the people who helped

bring about Prohibition in the last century and today want to ban a

woman's right to choose or eliminate gay rights. They know what's good

for everyone because, often, their religious conviction tells them so.

 But of late, liberals and progressives around the countr  are acting  just as religious, except many wrap their arguments in the secular  prophecy of public-health officials and all-knowing advocacy groups.  Progressives are going after "rights" connected to behavior they  consider unhealthful. They want to ban smoking completely. They want to  so limit alcohol consumption that the speakeasy, once again, becomes  reality. They want to ban gun ownership. They want to control what  people eat. In Seattle, nannies like Mayor Greg Nickels want to drive  strip clubs out of business. And, if progressives cannot get their way  through education and mass-media campaigns, then they will resort to  the ballot box, coercion, and in the case of Washington state

government, a call for social discrimination.


There is a lot of talk about rights in the air right now. Last week,

Samuel Alito, President George W. Bush's nominee to the Supreme Court,

was grilled by a Senate committee about just what rights

Americans—especially women—enjoy in our society. Do Americans have an

absolute right to privacy, for example? That's not a minor question—it

is at the core of abortion rights.


But all rights are local, when push comes to shove. It's the local

authorities who will enforce the nanny laws. The cops will be busy in

Seattle now that the city's historic progressive puritanism is back in

full scold mode. Right now, Seattle has a suite of new restrictions

that make Rain City look like a no-fun zone to the rest of the world.


The most prominent of these is the smoking ban, the most restrictive in

the nation. No indoor smoking in any business and no outdoor smoking

within 25 feet of the entrance to any publicly accessible building. The

ban affects the entire state, but in densely packed parts of the city,

the 25-foot rule creates a dicey situation for smokers: They literally

have to stand in the street to smoke legally. But more on that in a



Last fall, Nickels and the Seattle City Council imposed new

restrictions on the city's four strip clubs. The next day, hundreds of

newspapers around the world picked up a wire story that made

"world-class" Seattle come off like Amish country.


But then, the city has been trying to prevent outward signs of civic

wildness for years. The City Council last month banned certain beers

and wines favored by the poor. The city has tried to ban posters on

power poles—shot down in court in 2002—and when Mark Sidran was city

attorney in 1993, he tried to impose no-sitting laws to sweep the

homeless from city sidewalks.


And let's not forget the city's ridiculous All-Ages Dance Ordinance,

which is meant to choke off the all-ages music scene, or the city's

club task force, which many people in the club scene read as an attempt

to hassle clubs for the 21-and-over crowd.

Disneyland Meets the Barbary Coast

Mayor Killjoy: Nickels' strip-club crackdown is due to a "sense of

public nuisance."

Laura Schmitt


Four years ago, Nickels came into office as Mayor Pothole. He begins

his second term as Mayor Killjoy. In September, the council, at

Nickel's urging, passed a new ordinance for strip clubs as part of

replacing the 17-year-old moratorium on new strip clubs being built in

the city. It's a move that sounds soothing and moral, but addresses

claims that really don't exist.


The city has four strip clubs and has long prevented new ones through

arcane legal maneuvering. In addition, a local ordinance prohibited

strippers from touching patrons—which is to say performing lap

dances—or from exposing their genitalia unless they were dancing

onstage. While other Western U.S. cities like San Francisco, Portland,

and Las Vegas have few restrictions on strip clubs and exotic dancing,

Seattle was behaving a whole lot like Salt Lake City. In Seattle, you

cannot even drink liquor in a strip club.


The new strip-club ordinance will prohibit dancers from coming within

four feet of a patron. Patrons who wish to tip a stripper for her work

won't be allowed to hand her cash directly or engage in the traditional

act of sliding greenbacks into a garter belt. In Nannytown, patrons

will have to place monetary rewards in a tip jar, just like at

Starbucks. The new law will also require that the city's strip joints

be lit as brightly as the inside of your local QFC.


The new law is not in effect because a coalition of strip-club owners

called Seattle Citizens for Free Speech collected enough signatures to

force a vote by citizens sometime this year. The City Council gets to

decide whether the measure will go before voters in a low-turnout

election early this year or if it will be on the ballot for the

September primary or November's general election. I was curious why a

city that claims it's sophisticated cannot brook the idea of strippers

grinding on men's and women's laps in dimly lit clubs. Why is a

protected free-speech activity something the city would even want to



Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis describes the city's approach as responding to

"allegations of unlawful acts in the clubs which contribute to a sense

of public nuisance."


Seattle police claim that the existing clubs are scenes of

prostitution, but in the last five years, the city has not rung up

prostitution convictions against anyone at a Seattle strip club (see

"It's a Hard Job," Oct. 12, 2005). A "sense" of nuisance, perhaps, but

not necessarily a real one.


Not everyone buys the city's claims. "Really, this is about the type of

city we would like Seattle to be," says Tim Killian, manager of the

pro-strip-club campaign. "The things the city is trying to shut down is

out of step with the urban, modern, progressive city Seattle says it



Last month, Nickels announced a new plan for managing the strip-club

menace: creating a zoning law so that new clubs—allowed under a recent

federal court ruling—would be forced to locate on 310 acres of

industrial land due south of Safeco Field. The concept sounds bizarre

if you didn't grow up around here. Any new clubs would be banished to

well south of downtown, and lap dancing would still be banned. It's

almost as if the mayor wants to create a Disneyfied version of the

Barbary Coast.


In December, Nickels also got something of a wake-up call from voters.

There were signature gatherers— nondancers—standing in the rain

downtown wearing "Keep Seattle Sexy" signs. They collected 35,000

petition signatures within one month to repeal the four-foot rule, more

than twice the number required.

Let them Drink Microbrews!


On another front, nanny statists are trying to solve a real problem—too

many street drunks, too many police calls—by restricting the rights of

low-income residents.


Last month, the City Council approved what it calls "alcohol impact

areas" in the Central District, Capitol Hill, Belltown, and the

University District. As soon as the move is approved by the state's

Liquor Control Board, these areas will join Pioneer Square in banning

the sale of such staples of the drinking poor—those would be the

homeless and low-income folks—as Olde English 800, Night Train, and

Schlitz Malt Liquor.


The ordinance's language is clearly discriminatory, aimed at regulating

a social class' ability to cop a cheap buzz. It specifies that any beer

having an alcohol content over 5.7 percent (Budweiser and the like

generally run 5 percent; malt liquors around 6 percent) and costing

less than 4 cents per ounce cannot be sold in any establishment.


How's that discriminatory? If you can afford to pay more than 4 cents

per fluid ounce for beer, then you can still walk into a grocery store,

corner market, or bar and buy beer as strong as you like. On Capitol

Hill, for example, QFC stocks winter ales such as Pyramid Brewing's

Snow Cap and Maritime Pacific Brewing's Jolly Roger. Each has an

alcohol content of about 8 percent, making them 33 percent stronger

than what the poor are now allowed to buy in the same part of town.

You'll pay $7 or more per six-pack for the privilege, which works out

to about 10 cents per fluid ounce minimum. What's more, almost every

bar on the Hill serves microbrewed imports along the same line. In the

bar, those beers start at $3.50 for a pint, or about 22 cents per fluid



The mayor's office claims that the ban only covers 8 percent of the

city. True, but it just happens to be where many of the city's

low-income people live. Isn't this the kind of elitism and classism

that earnest Seattle liberals always decry?


The lone council member to oppose the ban was Richard McIver, who

argued that the move would simply push street drinkers into other parts

of the city. Council members such as Nick Licata and Peter Steinbrueck

said they recognized the inherent discrimination but instead sided with

area homeowners.


Ceis says he understands the discrimination concern to a point.


"But I point out the other dynamic," he says. "We've got an industry

designing products to exploit street alcoholics."

Nannyism's Poster Child


The big dog in the nanny trend is the smoking ban. Approved by voters

in November, the ban tries to address secondhand smoke but has already

led to a sinister, stigmatizing strain of nannyism that smacks of

mission creep by public-health officials.


In this, the poster child is King County's Roger Valdez.

Tobacco czar: King County's Roger Valdez shows enthusiasm for enforcing

smoking's new 25-foot rule.

Pete Kuhns


When Valdez and I finished our recent conversation (and full disclosure

here, I am a smoker), I looked at notes from an interview I did with

him last October, during the campaign for I-901, the smoking-ban

initiative. At the time, the tobacco czar assured me that the 25-foot

rule would be no problem, despite the claims of some business owners

and citizens to the contrary.


"Only if smoke is going inside the establishment" would Valdez, a

former smoker, bring the hammer down.


"The whole thing is to create clean indoor air, not in stopping people

from smoking on the sidewalk. We aren't interested in going and writing

tickets for a guy standing outside the door. That's what some people

want the public to believe. They want you to believe we are extremists.

That's baloney."


But Valdez has changed his tune. Earlier this month, he enthused about

seeing clerks race out of their stores to shoo away smokers within 25

feet of their business' doors, as if they had suddenly been deputized

to police the sidewalk.


I asked Valdez if his crew of enforcers could take action against

businesses that refused to enforce the 25-foot rule. He said they would

if they received complaints from the public.


So what's the standard of proof that there is a violation?


"We don't have to prove anything," Valdez said. "If we get a complaint

of smoke coming in from outside, you have to show by clear and

convincing evidence that smoke isn't coming inside."


By Valdez's logic, the sketchiest complaint made to his department is

sufficient evidence of a violation to trigger enforcement from the

public-health department. Indeed, the department has already visited

several local establishments to enforce the 25-foot rule.


And what's the objective standard that smoke is drifting into a

business—you know, the kind of evidence that would stand up in court?

Is it a nosy neighbor, a self-appointed hall monitor claiming that they

smelled smoke in the vicinity of a coffeehouse?


"I don't know how they are going to show that," he said. Ever confident

that all Seattleites will obey the 25-foot rule, Valdez predicted that

such a case wouldn't hit the courts because everyone knows what the law

means and knows "how to comply."


Two weeks ago, Valdez filed papers to fill the vacancy created when

former City Council member Jim Compton stepped down last month. City

Council members left him off the list of finalists Jan. 17.

Turning Smokers into Pariahs


It's a measure of how far-reaching the public-health community has

gotten on secondhand smoke that the state now has a Web site and ad

campaign instructing viewers to shun and discriminate against smokers.


Not that smokers are so popular these days. Last November, I-901 was

approved by voters 63 percent to 37 percent, an electoral wipeout for

nicotine junkies. Gov. Christine Gregoire gained political points from

this kind of sentiment when, as the state's attorney general, she

negotiated the so-called master settlement with Big Tobacco in the late


The state's new antismoking Web site,, promotes the

idea that smokers are just plain gross.


Last fall, as smoking-ban advocates campaigned for I-901, the state

Department of Health rolled out an aggressive $2.1 million campaign

targeting smoking and smokers. The campaign includes television ads,

bus placards, billboards, and a Web site.


The ads feature a series of doll heads, each with something awful

looking such as a dead rat or a dead fish in their mouths. "Kissing a

smoker is just as gross," says the campaign's Web site, The campaign and Web site do not contain

science-based information about hazards linked to smoking, as you might

expect. Instead, they promote the idea that both smoking and smokers

are just plain gross.


On the Web site, visitors are encouraged to play a virtual game. In it,  one doll tosses items like rats at another doll, letting the rats  explode on the target's body. After the game is over, a caption appears  over the target's head. In one case, a caption read, "Hi. I'm as gross  as a smoker." In another case, a caption said something even more  aggressive.


"This tastes like $#@, but it's better than smoking," it reads. The  phrasing clearly implies "shit."


Tim Church, communications director for the Department of Health,  oversees the state's antismoking campaigns. "It's pretty in your face,"  he says of the campaign.


He defends the campaign, although he admits that the state has no  science-based information to establish that a rat tastes the same as  tobacco smoke. So why is the state encouraging nonsmokers to shun  smokers and to avoid kissing them?


"We certainly do not want to encourage the shunning of any population,"  he says. "We don't want anyone to discriminate against another member  of our society.


"It's not about the person, it's about the behavior. We're not saying

smokers are gross. We couldn't do that."


Church says the Ashtraymouth campaign, comprising roughly 25 percent of

$8 million a year in taxpayer monies spent by the department on

antismoking messages, is targeted at adolescents and young teens. He

admits that the campaign is seen by every age group, however.


Asked about the "shit" caption, Church said he was unaware of its

presence. Seattle Weekly provided the department with a screen shot of

the panel. Later that day, Church ordered the department's ad agency,

Seattle's Sedgwick Rd., to remove the fecal caption. It's hard to

understand how the campaign isn't encouraging shunning and

discrimination, since the rhetoric and symbols of the campaign are

plain for all to see. Going after the act of smoking while claiming you

aren't after smokers is about like saying murder is a crime but you

aren't implying that murderers are criminals.


"This is so bizarre," says Radley Balko, a policy analyst with the

Washington, D.C.–based Cato Institute, after looking at the state's

site. "It's beyond parody." Balko tracks nanny-state issues for the

libertarian nonprofit.


In his opinion, the ad campaign clearly paints "smokers as being the

dregs of society." Balko also says, "It just seems like an effort to

make pariahs of smokers."

Another state antismoking Web site,, instructs

citizens on how to change smoking laws.


So what pushed the Department of Health to resort to bald-faced



Church says it's because the department found that smoking rates

weren't dropping quickly enough, so the department and its ad agency

conducted focus groups with youngsters. The youngsters told the

department that its recent ads ("Tobacco Smokes You") weren't edgy

enough and that kids had tuned them out.


I asked Church what kinds of youth were in the focus group helping the

state decide where to take its ad campaigns.


"I don't want to stereotype kids," he said, but then he told me they

had chosen kids presumed to be at high risk for bad behavior. "Are they

getting bad grades? Do they have people smoking at home? Do they have

tattoos already? We're looking for things that might be considered

risky behavior, making them susceptible to other risky behavior."


I cannot wait to see the inevitable state ad campaign warning about the

dangers of tattoos.


Last week, the state Department of Health began an even more aggressive

ad campaign, dubbed "Take It Outside." In television commercials and

radio spots, among other places, adult smokers will be advised by a

state agency not to smoke inside their own residences. Church justifies

it by saying that it's intended to protect children.


That sounds like the justification floated by conservatives when they

want to censor free speech or ban gays from teaching: We must protect

the children!


On another state Web site,, the state instructs

citizens how to change laws related to smoking. As a general rule,

state agencies are not supposed to advocate for legal changes. That's

the province of elected officials.


Church defends the department's approach.


"It's not about getting laws passed," he says. "We've got strong laws.

It's about educating kids so they can make a difference if they want

to, for instance, if they think a park should be made smoke-free."


Somewhere in Seattle, I sense an ad agency is drawing up a proposal for

that media campaign already.

What About Secondhand Pot Smoke?


Nanny statism doesn't happen in a vacuum, of course. Voters approve

laws like the smoking ban and vote party killers like Nickels and City

Council member Jan Drago into office, as they did last fall.


You have to wonder what voters pay attention to, however.


Smoking-ban backers, for example, knew very well that businesses don't

control the sidewalks in front of their establishments when they

crafted I-901. They knew that there was a whole public right of

way—namely sidewalks—where they proposed to pit neighbor against

neighbor and business owner against customer in a weird urban test of



Back in October, Nick Federici of the American Lung Association, a

major backer of the ban, said he was mildly concerned over how voters

would respond to the 25-foot rule in the initiative, but that

smoking-ban advocates had voter data showing that they'd get the

measure through on the "ick factor" alone. The ick factor is at the

core of most nanny-state laws.


Strippers? Ick. Malt liquor? Double ick.


And ickiness was at the core of why hundreds of thousands of Washington

smokers got voted out of bars and pretty much off the sidewalks by a

bunch of soccer moms and their uptight husbands. How is it that a bunch

of people who are in bed by 10 p.m., who go out maybe once a week, get

to trump another's rights to drink whiskey and smoke cigarettes in a

bar at midnight?


But those weren't the only moral scolds voting for I-901. Many of the

votes for the measure came from people who also smoke marijuana and who

two years ago voted to make marijuana enforcement the least priority of

the Seattle police. I-75, as the measure was known, basically operated

on this logic: "Dude, we know weed is illegal. But we like it and

choose to smoke it. So we are going to tell law enforcement to not pay

attention to state statutes and federal laws on pot. Just leave us

alone in our private dwellings."


I only wish I were exaggerating about this electoral dynamic. In recent

weeks, I have encountered many voters who say they smoke pot but voted

for the smoking ban. Typical stoner logic.


But I wonder how these same people feel now that both the state and

King County have made it clear that they don't believe anyone has a

right to smoke in their own residences. Smoke is smoke, right?

Presumption is the Coin of the Realm


But, of course, the nannies are after presumed ickiness all over

America these days. And public-health departments are rapidly turning

away from their traditional mission of public education and bacteria

control to become power brokers in civic life. They seek to regulate

how restaurants prepare baked goods in New York City. Earlier this

month, New Jersey banned all indoor smoking (except in the gambling

mecca of Atlantic City), and Chicago's ban on smoking in bars and

taverns took effect Jan. 16.


It's like a Mormon fell in love with a Baptist and the two gave birth

to a public-health official.


In San Francisco, citizens and politicians are so caught up in an orgy

of uplift that last November they banned gun ownership and are trying

to ban tobacco smoking from all public parks.


What's stunning to me is how far the antitobacco forces have gotten on

banning smoking in bars and outdoors with little scientific evidence of

harm. Last fall, I asked I-901 backers and public-health officials if

they had scientific data establishing the level of harm arising from

secondhand smoke in bars or from smoking within 25 feet of an

establishment's door. Each of them admitted they had no such data.


Instead, they responded by calling the ban a workers' rights issue and

the 25-foot rule a presumed safe distance. That's a hell of a

presumption, but in Seattle presumption is the coin of the realm,



Let me be presumptuous in return. What gives people who think smoking

is icky the right—hell, the nerve—to have their social preferences rule

every establishment in the state, sidewalks included? Why did they want

to hang out where I smoked if they didn't like smoking in the first



Some Seattleites, no doubt, think such measures as the smoking ban and

the four-foot rule at strip clubs are necessary to prevent civic rot.

But, if you are thoughtful about these things, you'll recognize that

strip clubs, smoking in bars and in front of coffee shops, and kids

listening to hip-hop and punk and raging with their friends line up

nicely with Seattle's self-image as a progressive, inclusive

world-class city.


Because Seattle claims to be a world-class city (just ask Greg

Nickels), a hub of commerce and culture that will entice the "creative

class" from around the world and make the city famous for far more than

coffee, grunge rock, and buggy operating systems. But the way things

are going, Seattle will indeed be famous—known far and wide as Salt

Lake City on the Sound.


I lived in Salt Lake City for five years. You don't want to live there.

It's not a fun place.





ss video mistaken for carjacking 

By Mike Sakal, Tribune

January 19, 2006


A group of Desert Mountain High School students who simulated a carjacking using pellet guns — including one that looked like an M-16 assault rifle — found themselves staring into the muzzles of real guns when police showed up.



The Scottsdale students were brandishing the guns for a criminology class video project.


But a motorist driving past the scene in a parking garage Monday had no idea he wasn’t witnessing a crime, police said.


The man, who was not identified by police, was passing the Desert Mountain Schools Credit Union at 8700 Northsight Blvd. about 1:25 p.m. when he saw the incident and called 911, said Scottsdale Sgt. Mark Clark.


Eight Scottsdale officers responded to what they believed was a carjacking involving a Jaguar convertible, and ended the students’ production, Clark said.


“After we found out what was going on, we stopped the students at the scene and told them of the dangers of doing something like this,” Clark said. “People who see these things think it’s very serious because these things really happen.”


“Simulation of a felony” was an assignment given the students in a class taught by David Mietzner.


The assignment was unsupervised and Mietzner wasn’t present when the students were surrounded by police, said Desert Mountain principal Greg Milbrandt.


Police said at least two students were using Airsoft guns, a brand name for a type of hard pellet or paintball gun.


Desert Mountain seniors T.J. Verdone and Wes Neal were among the students acting for the video, Mietzner said.


Mietzner said police did the right thing, but thought the incident was being blown out of proportion and described the Airsoft guns as “toy guns.” School administrators weren’t reprimanding him or the students, Mietzner said.


Clark said no students were charged in the incident.


Mietzner said he has taught the class twice a year for the last four years and the students cover such topics as President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, the O.J. Simpson trial, Arizona criminal codes, or things teenagers commonly would get in trouble for.


Then, at the end of the semester, the students are required to do a video project that involves a crime, he said.


“Police did their job and they did the right thing,” Mietzner said. “When the kids do these projects, they are instructed not to do anything illegal and to stay out of sight.”


Milbrandt said he believed police did the right thing and that the situation wasn’t potentially dangerous.


“The biggest thing is that students are encouraged by the instructor to do these things in a private location where they won’t be caught,” Milbrandt said.


“We have to make sure we instruct our students to conduct these things where it won’t cause unnecessary alarm.”


Contact Mike Sakal by telephone at (480) 970-2324.





Two police cars stolen in Valley 


By Mike Branom, Tribune

January 18, 2006


Two Valley police cars were stolen Tuesday, and one still missing carries a cache of weapons and gear used by Phoenix SWAT teams.


Phoenix authorities said an unmarked police vehicle assigned to the Tactical Support Bureau, Special Assignments Unit was stolen at 9:30 a.m. from a restaurant parking lot in the 1600 block of Grand Avenue. The car was locked with the keys in the officer’s pocket.


The vehicle is a dark blue 2002 four-door Dodge Intrepid with dark tinted windows, and Arizona license plate 038-RPS.


Phoenix officials refused to provide details on the missing items.


But police spokesman Tony Morales said, "It will suffice to say that this is gear that gravely concerns us falling into the hands of street criminals."


The other police car stolen Tuesday was in Mesa by a man who was running from police, police said. A 44-yearold man, Jerry Robert Cox, was arrested, police said.


Police said the incident began at 1:07 p.m. in the 900 block of East University Drive when an officer tried to stop a speeding motorcycle ridden by Cox.


He refused to pull over, then ditched the 1992 Yamaha in the 800 block of East Fourth Place, and ran, police said. Officers guided by Mesa’s police helicopter joined the pursuit.


Cox found a police car unoccupied when the officer joined the chase, police said.


He got in the vehicle and backed into a police car, then drove away, police said.


The officer in the second car was taken to a hospital for precautionary measures.


Cox hopped a curb and drove through a convenience store parking lot before crashing into a tree, police said. He was taken to a hospital after his arrest.


Contact Mike Branom by email, or phone (480) 898-6536





george w bush the american emperor is above the law!!!


White House will not say who met with Abramoff


William Douglas

Knight Ridder Newspapers

Jan. 19, 2006 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - For the second straight day, the White House refused Wednesday to say who among its staffers met with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff or whom the recent convict was representing when he visited the executive mansion.


White House spokesman Scott McClellan, pressed to explain Abramoff's contacts with the Bush administration, said, "We're not going to engage in a fishing expedition" in the media.


"I know there's some that want to do that, but I don't see any reason to do so," McClellan said. "Well, I think that some people (are) insinuating things based on no evidence whatsoever."


Several government ethics groups found the White House stance perplexing, saying nothing prevents the administration from disclosing the identities of meeting participants.


"There's a feeding frenzy for transparency and disclosure on Capitol Hill, and that's not a good way to start," said Roberta Baskin, the executive director of the Center for Public Integrity, a nonpartisan, non-profit watchdog group. "You can't plead national security. The public has a right to know."


Abramoff was a highflying Washington lobbyist and a huge contributor to Republican political campaigns until he pleaded guilty before a federal judge on Jan. 3 to one charge each of conspiracy to corrupt public officials, mail fraud and tax evasion. He gave only to fellow Republicans, but his clients contributed large donations to Republicans and Democrats.


He is now cooperating with prosecutors investigating corruption on Capitol Hill and in the Bush administration, and Republicans worry that public outrage over the spreading scandal could cost them control of Congress in November's elections.


Following Abramoff's guilty plea, lawmakers from both parties rushed to distance themselves from him and unload contributions from him. The Bush-Cheney campaign donated $6,000 that it had received from Abramoff to the American Heart Association, though it's keeping more than $100,000 that he raised for the campaign from other donors.


The White House went public about returning the $6,000, but has said little else about contacts between Abramoff and its staffers. McClellan acknowledged Tuesday that Abramoff and White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove are casual friends largely because they both once headed the College Republicans.





this school nurse will get 10 to 24 years in prison for hugging a 13 year old boy! the criminal justice system is a evil monster!


School nurse guilty of child molestation


Michael Kiefer

The Arizona Republic

Jan. 19, 2006 12:00 AM


SCOTTSDALE - A high school nurse accused of fondling a 13-year-old boy was found guilty of two counts of child molestation in Maricopa County Superior Court on Wednesday.


Courtney Bisbee, 35, faces 10 to 24 years in prison on each count when she is sentenced Feb. 17 in Judge Warren Granville's courtroom.


She was found not guilty of two counts of public sexual indecency.


Bisbee waived her right to a jury trial, instead allowing the judge to pass his ver- dict.


Bisbee had a temporary position as a nurse at Horizon High School in Scottsdale. She was a single mother and also was looking after a teenage girl. Bisbee met the victim through the teenage girl's friendship with him.


Both the prosecutor and the defense attorney agree that Bisbee had three encounters with the boy. The first took place on Feb. 1, 2004, when, according to testimony from the victim and the other teens, the two kissed.


The next day, Bisbee came for the boy at his middle school and took him to her home, an action that cost her job. Days later, again according to the teens, Bisbee and the boy fondled each other while under a blanket in the presence of other teens, which led to the charges.


The father of one of the teens called police after he listened in on a phone call between Bisbee and the victim.


Deputy County Attorney Paul Kittredge said that Bisbee was the instigator of the touching. However, defense attorney Joel Thompson countered that the boy initiated the kissing and that an embarrassed Bisbee tried to make light of it.





Sheriff Joe has made it easy for you to find out if you have a warrent for your arrest in Maricopa County and perhaps Arizona. Of course that bastard wants get you to snitch on your neighbors.


to use it go to


and then click on:




a direct link is:


another way to find out if you have a warrent out for your arrest is to try to buy a gun. and have them run the brady bill check on you. you dont have to buy the guy. but if they deny you the right to buy the gun you probably have a warrent out for your arrest.


Arpaio mobilizing residents to assist in locating suspects


Lindsey Collom

The Arizona Republic

Jan. 19, 2006 12:00 AM


Ever wonder if your shady neighbor is on the lam? Maybe you're curious about how many people in your ZIP code have warrants for their arrest.


A Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Web site is giving citizens a chance to be Techno-Cops.


On Wednesday, the agency unveiled an online database containing information on 30,000 people with warrants in Maricopa County. New warrants will be added daily.


There are no pictures, but users can run a search by name, address, ZIP code, criminal offense, gender or race, among others. The hope is citizens will use the database to pinpoint criminals and give authorities information leading to an arrest, Sheriff Joe Arpaio said.


"Some people may say this is a new kind of community policing," Arpaio said. "Some might say, 'You want people to spy on their neighbors.' I don't like that word: spying. (I'm asking them to) keep their eyes and ears open . . . ."


"It's all geared to protecting the public."


The fugitives featured on Techno-Cops are wanted for various crimes, including homicide, sexual assault, DUI and drug offenses. The majority of all warrants, about 40 percent, were issued for failure to appear in court, Arpaio said.


There are 70,000 open warrants in Maricopa County. Arpaio said legal issues prohibit the Sheriff's Office from posting all of the warrants, many issued by grand juries, on the Web site. The agency is working with Maricopa County Superior Court officials to lift the restrictions.


In the meantime, Arpaio said he anticipates the public will use Techno-Cops, at least if the traffic on his Web site is an indication. He claimed receives about 800,000 "hits" a day.


All fugitive information submitted to the Sheriff's Office would be verified.


Arpaio said anyone who knowingly submits false information is "going to jail." But what about those who report anonymously?


"I'm not giving up a program just because some jerk wants to play a joke on the sheriff," he added.


Reach the reporter at (602) 444-8557.






U.S. has deliberate torture plan, group says


Barry Schweid

Associated Press

Jan. 19, 2006 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - The Bush administration has a deliberate strategy of abusing terror suspects during interrogations, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday in its annual report on the treatment of people in more than 70 countries.


The rights group based its conclusions mostly on statements by senior administration officials in the past year and said President Bush's reassurances that the United States does not torture suspects were deceptive and rang hollow.


"In 2005, it became disturbingly clear that the abuse of detainees had become a deliberate, central part of the Bush administration's strategy of interrogating terrorist suspects," the report said.


On a trip to Europe last month, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told foreign leaders that cruel and degrading interrogation methods were forbidden for all U.S. personnel at home and abroad.


She provided little detail, however, about which practices were banned and other specifics.


White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Wednesday that he had only seen news accounts of the report, but he rejected its conclusions.


"It appears to be based more on a political agenda than facts," he said.


"The United States does more than any country in the world to advance freedom and promote human rights. . . . The focus should be more on those who are violating human rights and denying people their human rights."


In a separate report, the organization strongly criticized three insurgent groups in Iraq - al-Qaida, Ansar al-Sunna and the Islamic Army - for targeting civilians with car bombs and suicide bombers in mosques, markets and bus stations.


However, the group said the abuses "took place in the context of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and the ensuing military occupation that resulted in tens of thousands of civilian deaths and sparked the emergence of insurgent groups."


Human Rights Watch has criticized the Bush administration's war against terrorism before, registering concern that abuses in the name of fighting terrorism were unjustified and counterproductive.


In other reports, the group has protested that the administration's promotion of democracy was applied narrowly and missed allies, such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, that were due criticism.


The latest report taking aim at the administration said that the president's repeated assurances that U.S. interrogators do not torture prisoners studiously avoid mentioning that international law prohibits cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of prisoners.


The report said that Alberto Gonzales, while still the nominee to become attorney general, claimed in Senate testimony in January 2005 the power to use cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment as long as the prisoner was a non-American held outside the United States.


"Other governments obviously subject detainees to such treatment or worse, but they do so clandestinely," the report said.


"The Bush administration is the only government in the world known to claim this power openly, as a matter of official policy, and to pretend that it is lawful."


Last fall, Gonzales submitted documents to the Senate Judiciary Committee saying "it is the policy of the administration to abide by" the relevant portion of the torture treaty overseas, "even if such compliance is not legally required."


In December, Bush bowed to congressional and international pressure and signed legislation sponsored by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., to forbid harsh treatment of detainees.


He did so after initially threatening to veto such legislation and after Vice President Dick Cheney unsuccessfully lobbied legislators to kill the measure or at least exempt the Central Intelligence Agency.






a great way to the the home phone numbers and addresses of cops :)


New outcry targets practice of selling phone call records


Peter Svensson

Associated Press

Jan. 19, 2006 12:00 AM


Phone companies and federal lawmakers are demanding it be halted. The Federal Communications Commission is launching an investigation. The business of buying and selling private phone calling records is suddenly under considerable scrutiny.


The Internet, it turns out, has taken something old, a tool for monitoring cheating spouses or conniving business associates, and made it new again.


Last week, at least 40 Web sites were offering cellphone numbers, unlisted numbers and calling records. For $110 or so, they'd sell you a month's worth of cellphone calling records for any number, no questions asked.


Such records have been bought and sold for decades, prized by private investigators, lawyers and people in less legitimate professions.


Case in point: In 1998, Los Angeles' Police Department had a security problem. Suspected mobsters obtained home phone numbers and addresses of detectives. In a likely attempt at intimidation, one mobster showed up at an officer's home while he was at work, gave his name to the officer's wife and walked away.


The LAPD eventually determined that the officers' personal data came from a Denver firm, Touch Tone Information Inc., that used a technique known as "pretexting." Touch Tone workers would call up phone companies and records holders pretending to be regulators, customers or employees and get them to divulge account information.


The case stirred outrage. The Federal Trade Commission forced Touch Tone out of business, and its owner, James Rapp, spent a few months in jail. Robert Pitofsky, chairman of the FTC at the time, said, "This case should send a strong message to information brokers that the FTC will pursue firms that use false pretenses to profit at the expense of consumers' privacy."


Six years later, "pretexting" is again in the spotlight. According to reports this month, Chicago's Police Department has warned its officers that their cellphone records are available online. Illinois' attorney general subsequently subpoenaed, a Web site that sells such records., which is run by a company called 1st Source Information Specialist, was not reachable by phone and did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment.


But according to industry insiders, companies like it obtain their information from a relatively small group of professional pretexters.


The pretexters buttress their believability by buying such personal data as Social Security numbers from online database companies. Often a name, address and the last four digits of a person's Social Security number are all that is needed to obtain records.


Another route is to buy the information from insiders, like phone company employees.


So why didn't the Touch Tone case put such businesses out of business?


For one, the FTC went after Touch Tone not for snooping on the private lives of officers but for pretexting financial information from banks.


The Web sites that sell phone records these days claim they aren't doing anything illegal in obtaining them. They claim no specific prohibition exists against posing as someone else to obtain private information as long as the data are not financial. (After the Touch Tone case, Congress passed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999, which specifically made financial pretexting illegal.)


In the absence of criminal prosecution, cellphone carriers have turned to civil litigation, with some success.





hmmmm.... even the pope knows that 'intelligent design' is a bunch of BS!!!!


Vatican paper decries 'intelligent design'


Nicole Winfield

Associated Press

Jan. 19, 2006 12:00 AM


VATICAN CITY - The Vatican newspaper has published an article saying that "intelligent design" is not science and that teaching it alongside evolutionary theory in classrooms only creates confusion.


The article in Tuesday's editions of L'Osservatore Romano was the latest in a series of interventions by Vatican officials, including the pope, on the issue that has dominated headlines in the United States.


The author, Fiorenzo Facchini, a professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Bologna, laid out the scientific rationale for Darwin's theory of evolution, saying that in the scientific world, biological evolution "represents the interpretative key of the history of life on Earth."


He lamented that certain American "creationists" had taken the debate back to the "dogmatic" 1800s and said that their arguments weren't science but ideology.


"This isn't how science is done," he wrote. "If the model proposed by Darwin is deemed insufficient, one should look for another, but it's not correct from a methodological point of view to take oneself away from the scientific field pretending to do science."


"(Intelligent design) doesn't belong to science, and the pretext that it be taught as a scientific theory alongside Darwin's explanation is unjustified," he wrote.


Supporters of intelligent design hold that some features of the universe and living things are so complex they must have been designed by a higher intelligence. Critics say intelligent design is merely creationism, a literal reading of the Bible's story of creation, camouflaged in scientific language, and say it does not belong in science curriculum.


Facchini said he recognizes that some Darwinian proponents erroneously assume that evolution explains everything.


"Better to recognize that the problem from the scientific point of view remains open," he said.


But he concluded, "In a vision that goes beyond the empirical horizon, we can say that we aren't men by chance or by necessity and that the human experience has a sense and a direction signaled by a superior design."





isnt it amazing the ways government goons can find to micromanage our lives and waste the tax dollars they steal from us.


Published January 18, 2006


Eastpointe squirrel lover agrees to feeding limits

Associated Press



EASTPOINTE - A woman who has sparred for years with local officials over her insistence on feeding squirrels has agreed to limits on her activity.


Luminita Marinas pleaded no contest Monday in Eastpointe's 38th District Court to charges of littering and failing to use a proper feeding receptacle. She avoided a fine but received six months' probation.


Marinas agreed to give squirrels no more than 8 ounces of nuts once a day at each of four locations. She also must clean up any shells within 24 hours of putting them out.


If Marinas complies with the agreement, the case against her will be dropped, The Detroit News said.


A no-contest plea is not an admission of guilt but is treated as a conviction for sentencing purposes. The charge carried a possible penalty of 90 days in jail or a $500 fine.


"I'm OK with it," Marinas told Judge Norene Redmond during Monday's hearing.


Defense lawyer Karen Lemke told the judge that Marinas "fully intends to live up to the agreement."


"It's an agreement similar to the one the city and (Marinas) had before with a couple of minor changes," the city's lawyer, Richard Albright, told the judge.


Marinas, who operates a gift shop, first clashed with Eastpointe officials about four years ago for feeding squirrels.


In 2002, she and the city worked out a deal that required her to pay a $250 fine and receive probation.


The deal, which expired in 2003, restricted her to putting out a small pile of peanuts in designated areas for squirrels once a day.


The Monday hearing stemmed from a complaint lodged against Marinas by a woman who said the peanut shells caused a health and safety hazard, court records say.


Redmond suggested that Marinas pick four trees at each of her designated locations to feed the squirrels.


"That way, animal control knows it's you and you don't get blamed for anyone else's mess," the judge said.


After the hearing, Albright said he was happy with the deal.


"I think it accomplishes what the city was looking for," he said. "No one is saying she can't feed the squirrels. Now we can ensure that she cleans up after."


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Print this Comment on this E-mail this

Squirrel lover to curb handouts


Court says Eastpointe woman can put out an 8-ounce cup of nuts once a day at four locations.


Charles E. Ramirez / The Detroit News

David Coates / The Detroit News


Attorney Karen Lemke, right, told the judge Monday that Luminita Marinas "fully intends to live up to the agreement."  See full image


The squirrel deal


Luminita Marinas pleaded no contest to litter control Monday and agreed to some restrictions for feeding the bushy-tailed animals.

Highlights of what she consented to in her plea agreement:


Six months of probation.


She can only feed squirrels in four locations, including two municipal parks: John F. Kennedy Park, at Stephens and Schroeder; Spindler Park, 19400 Stephens at Interstate 94; the median of Kelly Road in front of Marina's town house complex near 10 Mile; and behind her business, Lumination, which is on Nine Mile east of Kelly.


She can put out no more than 8 ounces of nuts for squirrels at each designated location.


She must clean up and remove any and all shells or other by-products from the nuts she set out for squirrels within 24 hours.

Sources: City of Eastpointe and 38th District Court in Eastpointe


EASTPOINTE --Squirrels in Eastpointe won't have to go hungry this winter, after all.


But the woman who has become locally famous for keeping her bushy-tailed friends in nuts will have to follow some strict rules from now on, although she won't have to shell out any fine money.


Luminita Marinas pleaded no contest in a pretrial hearing Monday in 38th District Court in Eastpointe to charges of littering and failing to use a proper feeding receptacle.


She agreed to a set of specific rules for feeding the critters. She is on probation for six months.


Under the deal, Marinas is allowed to give squirrels an 8-ounce cup of nuts once a day at four locations.


In addition, she's required to clean up any shells or other by-products from the nuts she feeds to the animals within 24 hours of putting them out.


If Marinas complies with the agreement, the charge against her will be dropped.


The agreement ends the most recent skirmish between the city of Eastpointe and Marinas over her habit of setting out peanuts for squirrels in her neighborhood.


"It's an agreement similar to the one the city and (Marinas) had before with a couple of minor changes," attorney Richard Albright told Judge Norene Redmond during Monday's hearing. Albright represented the city in the case.


The move allowed Marinas to avoid a trial. It also allowed her to avoid a potential maximum sentence of either a $500 fine or 90 days in jail.


"I'm OK with it," she told Redmond on Monday.


Her attorney, Karen Lemke, also told the judge that Marinas "fully intends to live up to the agreement."


Marinas, who sells crystals, incense and angelic bric-a-brac at her gift shop on Nine Mile in Eastpointe, first ran afoul of city officials about four years ago for feeding squirrels.


In 2002, she and the city worked out a deal that required her to pay a $250 fine and probation. Under the arrangement, which expired in 2003, she also was restricted to putting out a small pile of peanuts in designated areas for squirrels only once a day.


The Monday hearing stemmed from a complaint lodged against Marinas in September by a Clinton Township woman.


The woman -- whose mother lives near the complex -- alleged in her complaint to Eastpointe police that the shells from the peanuts Marinas was putting in the public right of way near a driveway of her townhouse complex on Kelly Road near 10 Mile caused a health and safety hazard, according to court records.


She also said she was concerned for the safety of children who attend a middle school nearby.


Police officers later found 300 to 400 peanut shells on the ground between the sidewalk and the street just south of the southern driveway for Cavalier Manor, the townhouse complex where Marinas lives, according to court documents.


Marinas, who has never gone to trial for indulging squirrels, maintained that she didn't break any law and continued to abide by her 2002 agreement with the city. She also accused city officials of bullying her.


Officials denied the allegation.


Redmond accepted the plea agreement and suggested that Marinas pick four trees at each of her designated locations to feed her furry friends. "That way animal control knows it's you and you don't get blamed for anyone else's mess," she said.


After the hearing, Albright said he was pleased with the agreement.


"I'm happy with it, and I think it accomplishes what the city was looking for," he said. "No one is saying she can't feed the squirrels. Now we can ensure that she cleans up after."


Marinas had no comment, but gave The News a handwritten copy of two Bible passages and said that's all she was going to say about the case.


One of the passages was from Ephesians 6:10-18, which refers to "The Armor of God" -- how God protects those who believe in him against the Devil's wiles and "against the authorities and the powers of this dark world.&#8194;…"


The other was from Galatians 5:13-15, which calls on people to "Love your neighbor as yourself" and proclaims that "If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other."


You can reach Charles E. Ramirez at (586) 468-2905 or


Woman agrees to limit squirrel feeding

EASTPOINTE, Mich., Jan. 17 (UPI) -- A Michigan woman has agreed to limit her food donations to the local squirrel population.


Luminita Marinas of Eastpointe pleaded no contest Monday to charges of littering and failing to use a proper feeder, the Detroit News reported. Her plea agreement includes the provision that she can put out no more than eight ounces of feed per day at each of four locations.


Marinas wound up in court after a woman whose mother lives near her said that her habit of putting out large quantities of peanuts led to hundreds of shells scattered on the street and sidewalk. She faced a similar complaint four years ago.


Judge Norene Redmond suggested that Marinas pick four trees as her feeding sites and let local police and animal control officers know which ones they are.


"That way animal control knows it's you, and you don't get blamed for anyone else's mess," she told Marinas.






dont these government buerocrats have any real work to do. maybe some bank robbers they could chase down intead of shaking down people that sell cereal to kids!!!!


Suit to aim at Kellogg, Nickelodeon


Libby Quaid

Associated Press

Jan. 19, 2006 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - Advocacy groups and parents are suing the Nickelodeon TV network and cerealmaker Kellogg Co. in an effort to stop junk-food marketing to kids.


The plaintiffs are citing a recent report documenting the influence of marketing on what children eat. Ads aimed at kids are mostly for high-calorie, low-nutrition food and drinks, according to the government-chartered Institute of Medicine.


The plaintiffs intend to sue Kellogg and Nickelodeon parent Viacom Inc. in state court in Massachusetts and served the required 30 days' notice on Wednesday.


Nickelodeon spokesman Dan Martinsen said the kids cable network has been a leader in helping kids and their families be more active and healthier and has pushed advertisers for more balance in their offerings.


Kellogg spokeswoman Jill Saletta said the company is proud of its contributions to healthful diets and will keep educating people about good nutrition and exercise.




Jan. 01, 2006

Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal


VIN SUPRYNOWICZ: I'm stickin' with the union



Let's start a union.


Oh, I have my differences with modern organized labor. They've long since abandoned George Meany's sensible advice to remain nonpartisan, instead aligning themselves with the freakiest, most far-left "progressive" social agenda, whether or not it benefits or is even supported by most of their members.


Modern organized labor (see "schoolteachers") actually opposes the righteous desire of good workers to be rewarded for their superior work, instead insisting on a "one-size-fits-all" wage formula that damages overall productivity by forcing the hardest and most creative and effective workers (hereinafter referred to as "suckers") to carry the load for slackers who get paid the same, anyway.


Worst of all is the current trend to concentrate on unionizing government workers.


In a competitive free market, union demands are naturally curbed by the threat of corporate bankruptcy. But government faces no such risk, having no natural predator.


If the police union sets its price too high, am I free to inform the local cops that I no longer need their services; that instead of paying taxes to support them I'm going to buy my police protection from a competing force which I believe will better serve my needs for less? Of course not.


Despite all this, though, the underlying premise of unionization still makes sense -- and is still guaranteed under the right to free association. A group, working together, can get a better deal for everyone, than if each individual is stuck negotiating for himself.


That said, I hereby invite organized labor to undertake an enterprise far more useful than any they've been up to lately: launch the International Brotherhood of Drug War Victims.


What's the sales pitch for joining and -- in the case of those who can afford it -- paying sizable dues into our new war chest?


Simple: Our freedom-hating, pain-loving War on Drugs depends on the tactic of "overcharging," and then offering attractive deals -- reduced charges, easier sentences -- in exchange for guilty pleas. Fewer than 5 percent of all drug cases ever go to trial.


Again, the drug war depends on this -- if every drug arrest led to a trial, the courts would be so swamped that some defendants couldn't be scheduled for trial dates for many years into the future. Their attorneys could then win complete dismissal of all charges based on the violation of the constitutional right to a speedy trial.


So all members of our new union need to do is this: Agree to demand a jury trial. No plea bargains -- no guilty pleas, ever. Otherwise, please don't join.


Today, no individual defense attorney can in good conscience advise any individual defendant not to take the deal. But all the drug war defendants have to do is sign up and agree that -- once an arbitrary number of drug defendants estimated to be 25 percent of all those currently charged have signed on -- a "D-Day" will be announced, and all brother members will immediately demand jury trials. Furthermore, they will advise their attorneys not to stipulate or agree to any delay in a trial date, even if the prosecutor choked to death on a chicken bone last night.


Union brothers will instruct their counsel to file for dismissal based on denial of a speedy trial on the 181st day, and keep filing, and publicize these filings with dramatic courthouse-step press conferences. Invite Amnesty International and the International Red Cross to participate. Mention what percentage of these defendants, being held without trial, are black or Hispanic. Mention it constantly.


What will the Fearless Drug Warriors do? Even with only 25 percent of drug defendants joining up and participating, trials that can now be started within a year will have to be scheduled at least three years into the future. The Drug Warriors will have no choice but to prosecute their "worst" cases first, turning at least two thirds of all drug defendants loose.


And once additional drug war defendants see this starting to happen, and proceed to sign up and demand their jury trials, those scheduled trials will start to stretch four, five, six years into the future. The freedom-hating thugs will be swamped!


Furthermore, our counsel will move to eliminate voir dire in all drug cases -- we want juries randomly selected, including potheads in tie-dye and former drug war victims who have already "paid their debt to society" -- random juries informed they have a right to judge the law as well as the facts of the case, just as the founders intended and specifically said.


Of course, the tyrant's hand-picked and desperate black-robed monkeys will angrily deny all such motions.


Which is where those sizeable union dues come into play. The families of these first victims of the predictable wave of "payback" prosecutions will be handsomely compensated out of the union "strike fund" for any hardships encountered while their loved ones are in jail ... though I doubt the extra-long sentences with which they're threatened will hold up for long.


Why? Because those sentences -- and the likely contempt citations issued against any defense attorney discovered to be working with our new IBDWV -- will constitute illegal retaliation for union organizing under the National Labor Relations Act!


Any judge trying to play "hardball" with our members or their counsel can be turned in to the NLRB, and such sentences appealed as "cruel and unusual" based on their own long habit of knocking down charges in exchange for plea bargains.


What do you say, guys? Just send this abstainer your Honorary Membership Card Number One.


Cause I'm ... stickin' with the union.



Vin Suprynowicz is the Review-Journal's assistant editorial page editor.





we are the government and we can do anything we want!!!!! F*ck the constitution!!!!


Justice Dept. defends spying

Says Constitution gives Bush power


Carol D. Leonnig

Washington Post

Jan. 20, 2006 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - The Bush administration argued Thursday that the president has inherent war powers under the Constitution to order warrantless eavesdropping on the international calls and e-mails of U.S. citizens and others in this country.


The Justice Department's analysis also claims that if a 1978 law that requires warrants for domestic eavesdropping is interpreted as blocking the president's powers to protect the country in a time of war, its constitutionality is doubtful and the president's authority supersedes it.


Intelligence and national security law experts have concluded that the president overstepped his authority, and that the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act specifically prohibits such domestic surveillance without a warrant.


The justifications were laid out in a 40-page white paper sent to Congress by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Thursday. The administration has offered many of the same arguments verbally in defending the program since its existence was disclosed last month.


For example, Gonzales asserted that the president's power to protect the country with surveillance was reaffirmed when Congress passed a 2001 resolution that authorized the president to use military force against al-Qaida and to deter terrorist attacks.


"The program was designed to be protective of civil liberties," said Steven Bradbury, acting assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel. "It's not a blank check that says the president can do whatever he wants."


Bradbury said the president has a special role and duty to take whatever military action is needed to counter attacks on the United States, and those actions necessarily include intercepting telecommunications and e-mail.


"When it comes to responding to external threats to the country ... the government would like to have a single executive who could act nimbly and agilely," Bradbury said.


The Justice Department document was issued as the administration continued to contend with criticism of the eavesdropping program, which is operated by the National Security Agency. Democratic members of Congress plan to hold hearings starting today on the classified program, which began shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., has also announced plans to hold hearings.


In the past two weeks, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service has released two reports suggesting legal flaws in the program. One analysis concluded that the warrantless surveillance effort directly conflicts with Congress's intentions in passing the 1978 law. It also found that the rest of the administration's legal justifications were "not as well-grounded" as the administration asserted.


A CRS report released Tuesday said the administration appears to have violated a national security law by failing to brief the full House and Senate intelligence committees on the program in 2001. The administration limited its briefings instead to the two most senior members on each committee.


Also Tuesday, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights filed separate lawsuits challenging the program. The groups assert that President Bush exceeded his power, violated the privacy rights of American citizens and broke the FISA law when he authorized the program to find out if al-Qaida cells were plotting inside the United States.





this isnt anything NEW. bin laden has said this for years!!!! he even said it before the 9/11 attacks. and it is a lession that amerika needs to learn. terrorism will not stop until US stops meddling in the affairs of the arab states, and until the US stops financing Israel with money which Israel uses to attack the arabs.


Bin Laden offers 'truce'

Experts: Message meant to convey power


Howard LaFranchi and Faye Bowers Christian Science Monitor

Christian Science Monitor

Jan. 20, 2006 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - A new audiotape of Osama bin Laden is designed to counter Western intelligence speculation that the al-Qaida leader has been cornered or killed, terrorism experts say. And to raise jitters that America's most wanted is still planning terrorist attacks.


"It proves two things," said Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA's bin Laden unit. "He's not dead. And despite all the things we say about him being isolated and alone, he can clearly dominate the international media when he wants to."


The voice of bin Laden was heard for the first time in more than a year Thursday, saying new attacks in the United States are being prepared but offering a "long-term" truce if U.S. forces withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan.


Addressing the American public on an audiotape delivered to the Al-Jazeera television network, the al-Qaida leader notes anti-war sentiment in the United States and says that a withdrawal would allow the opposing sides in the conflicts to "enjoy security and stability."


As in the past, he also is believed to be sending a message as much to the Muslim world as to the United States.


In a brief audiotape aired Thursday on Arab TV, the speaker scoffs at claims that U.S. anti-terrorism measures are the reason no more attacks have hit the United States since Sept. 11, 2001. Instead, he says, further attacks are in preparation and "you will see them in your houses as soon as they are complete, God willing."


In a new twist, the speaker refers to rising U.S. public opinion against the war in Iraq and says, "We have no objection to responding to this with a long-term truce." In an April 2004 tape, bin Laden offered Europe a truce, a move some analysts saw as an effort to exploit a divide among Western allies over Iraq and anti-terrorist measures.


In the same way, bin Laden may be trying to take advantage of what he sees as divisions in the United States, although some analysts caution against reading more into the latest tape than a basic desire to reaffirm that he is alive and well.


"He's saying that whatever measures we've taken, they have not affected him," said Judith Yaphe, a former CIA Middle East analyst. "He's got to reassure people that he's alive and well."


Experts in South Asia, where bin Laden is assumed to remain in hiding, agree.


"There has been this long discussion in the media: Is Osama bin Laden alive, is he dead, why hasn't he spoken, et cetera? So this is probably a reaction to that," said Ahmed Rashid, author of The Taliban and a longtime observer of jihadist groups.


Of course, if the voice on the tape does turn out to be confirmed as bin Laden's, it does not necessarily prove that bin Laden is unaffected by United States and other counterterrorism measures aimed at him and other al-Qaida operatives.


"It's extremely easy for him to get a message out like this," said Scheuer, the former U.S. intelligence analyst. "It can be delivered from anywhere in the world" but still appear as though he is doing just fine. On a tape, he added, "a pup tent can be made to look like a palace."


Still, the tape holds particular messages, both to the United States, in the form of an offered "truce," and to the Muslim world, Scheuer said.


The truce offer is not unlike the overture bin Laden made to Europeans in 2004, he said. "The Madrid bombings came first in March 2004. Then he offered the truce, and then there were the London bombings," Scheuer said. "So I think we have to take him at his word here."


But then there is his message to Muslims. One goal is probably to reconfirm bin Laden's standing as a leader.


"This says, 'I am the equal of George Bush,' " Yaphe said, in the sense of a global player able to make a decision with global impact.


Other experts agree, adding that whatever al-Qaida leaders may be trying to communicate to the United States, they first and foremost are speaking to the homefront.


"Their real message is meant for consumption by their followers and potential recruits," said Brian Jenkins, a terrorism expert at the Rand Corp. "It says, Number 1, Osama bin Laden is still in charge. By his communications, by him saying he has been busy preparing operations ... his offer of a truce. All of these are an assertion of leadership."


Beyond that, Jenkins added, "It says he is in operational control," something that has been debated among analysts. "What bin Laden is saying here is not only is he the leader, but that he also runs operations."


Scheuer said the truce offer "is perfectly consonant with Islamic history."


"Muslim leaders from the Prophet to Saladin were ready to make a temporary truce with the infidels if they thought it would benefit Muslims," he said. In the tape, the speaker refers to a truce to allow a rebuilding in Iraq and Afghanistan. "What they would love, of course, is if we would just back out of Afghanistan and Iraq," Scheuer said, in part to allow the re-establishment of the Islamic caliphate to begin there.


"For the caliphate to be built, they have to have a political state from which to start," he said. "That's why al-Qaida valued the Taliban so much. Now, they view Iraq in the way they viewed Afghanistan."


Washington Post contributed to this article.





while i know kyrstin is a vegan in her personal life i think the is a wolf in  her life as a legislature and LOVES to raise taxes. In Echo magazine which voted Kyrsten the woman of the year award they also said that Kyrsten also won the "Vladimir I Lenin" adward from Arizona Federation of Taxpayers. That award is given the the "most pro-big government legislator".


Surviving at the Legislature among carnivores


Jan. 20, 2006 12:00 AM


But what is the trans fat level? During a session on eminent domain hosted by the Goldwater Institute, a citizen rose to complain about government takings of private land. The problem with giving government this power, he said, is that all takings look good. Sort of like Marty, the lion in the movie Madgascar, whose friends all start looking like steaks once he gets a little hungry. So how, he asked, can we train government to not see everything as a steak and stick to a vegetarian diet?


Rep. Krysten Sinema, D-Phoenix, jumped to answer that question.


"You asked the right question," she said. "I am a vegetarian. A vegan, in fact."


The rest of her answer, Insider is sad to report, was lost as we pondered how this meat-deprived Democrat survives while surrounded by red-meat Republicans.


- Mary Jo Pitzl





Google tells jackbooted white house thugs to f*ck off!!! But Microsoft and Yahoo bend over all tell the feds to shove it in as hard and deep as they want to.


Google clashes with feds on searches


Michael Liedtke

Associated Press

Jan. 20, 2006 12:00 AM


SAN FRANCISCO - Google Inc. is rebuffing the Bush administration's demand for a peek at what millions of people have been looking up on the Internet's leading search engine, a request that underscores the potential for online databases to become tools for government surveillance.


Mountain View, Calif.-based Google has refused to comply with a White House subpoena first issued last summer, prompting U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales this week to ask a federal judge in San Jose for an order to hand over the requested records.


The government wants a list of all requests entered into Google's search engine during an unspecified single week, a breakdown that could conceivably span tens of millions of queries. In addition, it seeks 1 million randomly selected Web addresses from various Google databases.


In court papers that the San Jose Mercury News reported on after seeing them Wednesday, the Bush administration depicts the information as vital in its effort to restore online child protection laws that have been struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.


Yahoo Inc., which runs the Internet's second-most-used search engine behind Google, confirmed Thursday that it had complied with a similar government subpoena.


Although the government says it isn't seeking any data that ties personal information to search requests, the subpoena still raises serious privacy concerns, experts said. Those worries have been magnified by recent revelations that the White House authorized eavesdropping on civilian communications after the Sept. 11 attacks without obtaining court approval.


The content of search requests sometimes contain information about the person making the query.


For instance, it's not unusual for search requests to include names, medical profiles or Social Security information, said Pam Dixon, executive director for the World Privacy Forum.


"This is exactly the kind of thing we have been worrying about with search engines for some time," Dixon said. "Google should be commended for fighting this."


Every other search engine served similar subpoenas by the Bush administration has complied so far, according to court documents. The cooperating search engines weren't identified.


Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Yahoo stressed that it didn't reveal any personal information. Microsoft Corp. MSN, the No. 3 search engine, declined to say whether it even received a similar subpoena.


"MSN works closely with law enforcement officials worldwide to assist them when requested," the company said in a statement.


As the Internet's dominant search engine, Google has built up a storehouse of information that "makes it a very attractive target for law enforcement," said Chris Hoofnagle, senior counsel for the Electronic Privacy Information Center.


The Department of Justice argues that Google's cooperation is essential to simulate how people navigate the Web.


Obtaining the subpoenaed information from Google "would assist the government in its efforts to understand the behavior of current Web users, (and) to estimate how often Web users encounter harmful-to-minors material in the course of their searches," the Justice Department wrote in a brief filed Wednesday


Google, whose motto when it went public in 2004 was "do no evil," contends that submitting to the subpoena would represent a betrayal to its users.




Jan 20, 12:14 PM EST


Man gets $756,900 for wrongful conviction


SAN DIEGO (AP) -- A man who spent nearly 21 years in prison for a toddler's death, now believed to have been an accident, was awarded $756,900 by a state compensation board - $100 for every day he spent in prison.


The payment awarded Thursday to Kenneth Marsh was the largest the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board has offered for a wrongful conviction, a board spokeswoman said.


"Nothing can make up for the time I spent in prison unless they gave me 21 years back," Marsh said after the hearing. Though he said an apology from San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos, a member of the board, "goes a long way."


Marsh, now 50, was convicted of second-degree murder in the 1983 death of his girlfriend's son, 3-year-old Philip Buell. Marsh had refused a plea deal, maintaining that the boy fell from a couch and hit his head on the fireplace hearth. Prosecutors argued that Marsh beat the boy.


In 2004, the San Diego district attorney asked for a new trial and later dropped the case when a doctor raised doubt about Marsh's guilt. Marsh was released from prison that year and married Philip's mother.


Doctors retained by Marsh's attorneys believe the drug mannitol, which was administered by physicians at Children's Hospital to treat the head injury, was a "substantial factor" in the boy's death.


Marsh has filed a $50 million federal lawsuit against doctors at the hospital and a coroner's investigator, alleging they conspired to "cover up" alleged medical malpractice that contributed to the boy's death.


The lawsuit alleges the drug exacerbated the bleeding and swelling in Philip's brain after he fell in his home. Philip, who had an undiagnosed blood disorder, had been stabilized at Alvarado Hospital before being transported to Children's Hospital and given mannitol, according to Marsh's attorney, Donnie Cox.


Lawyers for the defendants named in the lawsuit deny all allegations. One hospital attorney called the allegations "far-fetched" in a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.


The compensation board's award still must be approved by the state Legislature, board spokeswoman Fran Clader said Friday. Lawmakers are expected to vote to allocate the money, which Marsh would receive later this year, she said.





a  half a billion dollar high tech failure by homeland security that has a 99% failure rate!


Sensors along border wasting agents' time

Less than 1% of alerts lead to captures


Mike Madden

Republic Washington Bureau

Jan. 21, 2006 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - U.S. Border Patrol agents are forced to waste time responding to alerts from sensors tripped by animals and passing trains instead of the illegal border crossers and drug smugglers they are designed to catch, a government audit says.


Less than 1 percent of the alerts lead to arrests, but officials maintain the technology still has value.


"Despite claims that (the Integrated Surveillance Intelligence System) prevents (Office of Border Patrol) agents from having to respond to false alarms, the analysis indicates that OBP agents are spending many hours investigating legitimate activities, primarily because sensors cannot differentiate between illegal activity and legitimate events," according to the report by the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General. advertisement  


Millions spent on system


The government has spent more than $429 million since 1997 on technology systems designed to help secure the border, and Homeland Security officials are preparing to solicit bids from private contractors sometime this year for a new $2.5 billion system.


A spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the agency that oversees the Border Patrol, did not return a call for comment on the audit.


In a response attached to the audit, the agency's acting commissioner, Deborah Spero, said the Bush administration agreed with the report's recommendation to find ways to measure how the technology helps agents.


But officials objected to its "negative" tone.


Critics outside government and several internal reports have raised questions about how the money for technology has been spent and whether all the equipment works the way it is supposed to.


A study last year found incomplete installation, shoddy equipment, poor management and inflated costs for installing cameras along the Southwestern border.


Patrol investigation


In the audit, released in mid-December, investigators looked at every alert generated by remote sensors, cameras and observation by people during five 24-hour periods last April and May in three Border Patrol sectors in the Southwest: Tucson, and El Paso and Laredo, Texas, and three along the Canadian border.


The sensors, which are hidden or buried along major smuggling routes near the border, detect seismic vibrations triggered when something passes by.


They cost $3,500 each. Remote cameras, which can scan the area near sensors, aren't set up to automatically look at a sensor that sets off an alert, so Border Patrol technicians must point cameras at them manually.


Comparing sensors


On the Mexican border, sensors sounded 29,710 alerts, one every 44 seconds, on average. Agents couldn't even determine what caused the alerts 62 percent of the time, either because technicians didn't pass information on to a field agent fast enough, because no agent was available to investigate it, or because it took agents too long to reach the sensor.


With sensors deployed in remote locations in the desert, response times can vary depending on how far away the nearest Border Patrol station is.


Of the incidents agents investigated, 90 percent were caused by something other than illegal activity, like a passing car, a train or an animal. Only 252 incidents, less than 1 percent of all the sensor alerts, led agents to apprehend people crossing the border illegally.


Auditors said it was possible some of the alerts agents couldn't investigate were triggered by illegal activity. But, they said, that was unlikely because of the high rate of false alarms in cases with known causes.


The results on the Canadian border weren't much better, with false alarms generating 92 percent of the 2,077 alerts by sensors.


Border cameras at work


In the Southwest, cameras performed better, with 57 percent of the 155 incidents captured on video in the Southwest leading to apprehensions, and only 1 percent turning out to be a false alarm.


Likewise, of the 780 observations by people, whether vehicle stops, aerial observation, Border Patrol surveillance or citizen tips, 49 percent led to apprehensions, though 40 percent were false alarms.


Homeland Security officials say the technology helps secure the border by pointing agents to trouble spots, letting the Border Patrol cover more ground with fewer people.


But the report said more agents and technicians should be added to respond to computerized alerts.


Investigators also found that there wasn't any way to judge whether the sensors make the Border Patrol more effective and recommended that officials develop standards to evaluate the system.


"Sensors have always been just one arrow in the quiver, one tool that the Border Patrol has," said Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz., whose Tucson district runs along the border.


"It's still a tool that helps. If it actually hinders, we better look fairly seriously at it."


Border Patrol agents get used to chasing down false leads as part of the job, said T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, the union representing about 10,000 agents in the field.


Bonner said he once was sent to investigate alerts triggered by a sensor placed on a railroad track in the desert, which contracted at night when temperatures plunged, rattling the sensor as if something had moved nearby.


The technology can be useful but shouldn't be relied on too heavily, he said.


"You know that something's moving around there. It could be a cow, it could be a coyote, not the two-legged variety, or it could be people," Bonner said.


"We're not Luddites, by any stretch of the imagination, but by the same token we recognize that it takes a human being to catch a human being."


'No silver bullet'


Security technology experts said no piece of equipment, on its own, will stop illegal immigration.


"You can't just throw technology at a problem," said James Carafano, senior fellow for national security and homeland security at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C.


"There is no silver bullet, there is no one single thing that you're going to do on the border in terms of technology that is going to solve your problems."


Reach the reporter at or (202)906-8123.





the police state expands - you need ID to vote!


Voter ID laws get tougher


Casey Newton

The Arizona Republic

Jan. 21, 2006 12:00 AM


With the March primary rapidly approaching, election officials across the state are scrambling to educate voters about the new identification requirements mandated by Proposition 200.


County recorders, election directors and city clerks are meeting regularly to create media campaigns that will outline what voters need to bring to the polls when they vote. Their goal is simple: Prevent voters from being disenfranchised.


Maricopa County this week hired Phoenix public relations firm Topete/Stonefield to develop a campaign that will tell voters what kinds of identification they need to bring to the polls March 14. The county is spending $20,000 to hire the firm and will spend thousands more on print, television and radio advertisements.


The campaign is scheduled to kick off on Feb. 14, the anniversary of the day Arizona was admitted to the union.


"We're going to have to be very creative in a very short period of time, because March will be here before we know it," said Yvonne Reed, spokeswoman for the Maricopa County Recorder's Office. "You have to understand that the voter has been accustomed all these years to going to the polls and (just) saying, 'My name is.' We now have to get them to rethink how they will go to the polls."


The rethinking is necessary because of Proposition 200, a ballot measure approved in 2004 by 56 percent of voters. Among other provisions, the law requires voters to provide identification at the polls or be forced to cast a provisional ballot and, in most cases, show up in person at an election headquarters with proper ID within five business days.


For most of the state's 15 counties, March 14 will mark the first election since the law took effect.


The trick, election officials say, will be getting people to understand which forms of ID are valid.


Developing a strategy


In Maricopa County, where 870,000 registered voters reside, officials plan to send voters two items they can use as identification: a voter registration card and a bright yellow card identifying their polling place.


Those cards, which should arrive about a week before the election, can be used as substitute forms of identification if the address on a voter's driver's license doesn't match the address on the voter rolls.


County officials hope these and other measures will reduce the number of provisional ballots that have to be cast.


'A lot of work'


"The provisional (ballot) is a lot of work for us and it is very costly to handle," said Karen Osborne, Maricopa County elections director. "We're trying to make our work a little easier by getting everyone to bring their identification to the polls."


Coconino County is taking similar steps, creating informational pamphlets and mailing instructions to all registered voters. The county will hire an extra 80 workers during countywide elections just to help voters with their identifications.


"It's going to be hard," said Candy Owens, Coconino County recorder, who would be unable to vote using the ID in her purse. (Her driver's license has an old address.)


In addition to county efforts, individual jurisdictions are working on voter education throughout the state. In Maricopa County, Chandler, Gilbert, Tempe and Scottsdale have been meeting to discuss strategy.


Scottsdale City Clerk Carolyn Jagger said Proposition 200 prompted the city to change its policy on mailing out candidate brochures. This year, Scottsdale will send the brochures to all 131,961 Scottsdale voters, even when there are multiple voters living at the same address.


Jagger hopes voters will scrutinize the part of the brochure that details the ID requirements. The brochure itself can be used as one form of ID, she said.


"The most important thing in my mind is that we don't disenfranchise voters," Jagger said. "The voters voted for this, so it's now become our responsibility to do the best job we can to make it easy for people to comply and still exercise their right to vote."


Education pays off


Election officials agree that education is their best chance to prevent long lines and much confusion at the polls in March.


"It's going to be paramount," said Brad Nelson, president of the Election Officials of Arizona.


There's evidence that officials' efforts will pay off.


In November, Apache County held elections for the Concho School District and Greer Fire District. It was the county's first election subject to the Proposition 200 rules.



No problems arose


After a campaign that included community presentations, news stories and mailers to each registered voter, the election was held without problems, said Penny Pew, county recorder.


Although fewer than 500 ballots were cast, an optional questionnaire showed widespread satisfaction with the county's outreach effort. Asked whether they had been adequately informed of the new requirements, 96 percent of voters said yes, Pew said.


But elsewhere in the state, county officials remain worried that certain populations will find trouble at the polls.


"We're still very concerned about that, because there's a large group of elderly people out there and a large group of young adults out there who don't have the ID requirements," said Ana Wayman-Trujillo, Yavapai County recorder.


Last year, Yavapai County adopted an ordinance that will make all elections not mandated to have a polling place take place by mail.



Start of a trend?


That could be the start of a move toward all-mail voting in the state, said Nelson, who in addition to being president of the Election Officials of Arizona is Pima County elections director. Mail elections are not subject to the Proposition 200 requirements.


"I can say without many reservations that a lot of problems or potential problems could be solved by more and more elections going to all-mail," he said.


In the 2004 general election, 48 percent of Arizona ballots were cast outside of a polling place. By 2008, Nelson said, the majority of ballots will be cast outside of a polling place.





privatizing the police - its something that should be done!


Private security guards play key roles post-9/11


Dennis Wagner

The Arizona Republic

Jan. 22, 2006 12:00 AM


Forget the image of the pot-bellied security guard, asleep with a newspaper in his lap and doughnut crumbs on his chin.


Post-Sept. 11, the old rental cop in many cases has been replaced by security officers who are screened, licensed, trained and equipped better than their quaint predecessors.


Homeland defense experts, such as former FBI Deputy Director Weldon Kennedy, say the enhanced professionalism is critical because the private-security industry defends more than three-fourths of the nation's most likely terrorism targets.


"The great majority of critical infrastructure in the United States is not protected by sworn law officers," said Kennedy, now vice chairman of New York-based Guardsmark LLC, one of the world's largest security companies. "You name any industry, and you're going to find private security is protecting it. And I don't believe the public is really aware of that."


Private officers are defending power plants, oil refineries, financial centers, computer systems, dams, malls, railroad lines and other prospective terrorism targets. They are responsible for millions of lives and billions of dollars in assets. And they are most likely to be first on the scene in major disasters.


In Arizona, they protect dams on the Salt River, patrol the fence at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, defend Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Plant and stand guard at banks and Circle K's.


Bob Brown, vice president of an Arizona security company and former deputy director of aviation at Sky Harbor, said 9/11 transformed homeland defense and the security business with it.


"When that tragic event happened, a lot of people had to do some soul-searching," Brown said. "The government can't do it all. They need private security."


As a result, security firms today are consolidating, specializing and becoming more professional, and their employees are better screened and equipped to combat attacks, said Gregory A. Thomas, a senior manager at Columbia University's National Center for Disaster Preparedness.


"It's an evolving process," added Thomas, author of Freedom From Fear, a terrorism readiness guide. "It used to be a square-badge industry, and some guards didn't meet the mark . . . . It's not like that anymore. The importance of their role has resulted in a crackdown on those who think they can sit around and do nothing."


It's a big business


Worldwide, private-security company revenues have been estimated at $100 billion by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. The institute, which studies issues involving worldwide security, estimates the industry income will double by 2010.


The Fredonia Group, a business research company based in Ohio, projects the international growth rate at 7.7 percent annually through 2008.


The nation's security companies employ 1.5 million people and spend $52 billion per year, compared with public police agencies that have 600,000 workers and spend $30 billion,according to James Pastor, author of The Privatization of Police in America.


Because government officers are more expensive, Pastor sees private guards rapidly absorbing roles once held by public peace officers, protecting stores and neighborhoods.


Proponents say the free- enterprise system often works better and at a lower price for taxpayers. Critics argue that government officers are better equipped to serve the public and are more accountable.


"There are two bottom-line principles: money and fear," Pastor said. "Where is the dividing line between the appropriateness of government and of private security? It's becoming blurred."



Changes over the years


Despite the industry's crucial role in defending against terror, the 9/11 commission, a government group that reviewed America's readiness and response to al-Qaida attacks, took only a sidelong glance last year at the role of rental cops in its 567-page report.


"Because 85 percent of our nation's critical infrastructure is controlled not by the government but by the private sector, private-sector civilians are likely to be the first responders in any future catastrophe," the commission acknowledged. Yet there was no follow-up or evaluation of whether the industry is ready or properly regulated.


Congress paid a bit more attention, conducting hearings about questionable industry standards. Four years ago, Arizona and 31 other states had laws governing security companies. Today, only 10 states have no restrictions, allowing guards to be employed without background checks or training.


Kennedy and other experts said the industry, with a combined 2 million private guards and corporate security officers, has undergone a quiet, dramatic metamorphosis.


Federal crime computers are screening guard applicants. The Department of Homeland Security has begun certifying security-guard companies for certain duties. Private agencies are cutting manpower costs with an array of robots, aerial surveillance drones, computer systems and transponders that detect trespassers with biochemical sensors.


Even before 9/11, international conglomerates had begun swallowing some of the best-known security agencies in the United States. The Swedish firm Securitas bought out Pinkerton and Burns International. Group 4 Securicor, based in Denmark, absorbed Wackenhut.


At the same time, terrorism convinced security providers and consumers that quality can be more important than price when it comes to saving lives and property.


"You get what you pay for," notes Joe Ricci, executive director of the National Association of Security Companies, "If you want somebody to baby-sit your children, are you going to do a reverse auction and take the lowest bidder on that?"


Many companies promote themselves by boasting about employee background checks, pay and benefits. They've launched niche marketing strategies, creating specialist security divisions with guards who are trained to defend particular targets. And they're hiring government experts.



Working together


Brown, now with Phoenix-based AT Systems Security Inc., said his company recently formed an aviation branch with guards who get extra training in skyjacking tactics, the terrorist mentality, airport design, aviation law and incident response.


The company already defends the tarmac at Sky Harbor. It's also developing corporate branches with expertise in protecting harbors, transit systems, military bases and other industries.


"All of those need specialized, private security," Brown said. "It's not an either or. It's got to be a partnership, a joint venture between government and private industry."


Brown and others said cooperation between the public and private sector is a vital part of industry change. As rental guards have become more professional, terrorism investigators are turning to their counterparts in free enterprise much as local police officers rely on Neighborhood Watch.


One example: The Arizona Counter-Terrorism Intelligence Center recently created a training and information-sharing program for about 19,000 security officers who are employed by 201 private companies statewide. ACTIC is a central command for FBI anti-terrorism agents working with state and local law enforcement specialists.


"We started looking at our state and how we could protect it," said Detective Todd Parentau, who oversees the program. "We thought, 'Wow, what a resource! They are the eyes and ears. We'll train them on what to look for and how to report it.' "


Arizona Department of Public Safety Lt. Larry Burns said that system could not have worked five years ago because security agencies were allowed to hire employees for six months before background checks were completed. He said an audit revealed that 43 percent of the private guards in Arizona were not qualified for licensing, mostly because of criminal records.


But the state Legislature erased that loophole in 2002 and established minimum training requirements for licensing and for armed rental cops. Today, state officials are recruiting private guards as a second tier of terrorism watchdogs, complete with shared intelligence and an alert system for specific threats.


Ten private agencies signed up at an initial meeting, and Parentau said others are clamoring to join because they see the promotional benefit to promoting themselves as part of the state's counter-terrorism campaign.


But an industry marked by consolidation and automation also faces a major marketplace quandary: trying to do the security job correctly even as companies engage in bidding contests for contracts that force them to scrimp on manpower, training and overall quality.


When earnings plummet, some corporate executives see the security budget as an easy place to reduce costs. Kennedy, who spent 34 years with the FBI and once served as special agent in charge for Arizona, said some are deceived by the fact that al-Qaida has not launched a successful attack in the United States since 2001.


"Our concern in private security is we are seeing more and more complacency creep in," Kennedy said. "Some are beginning to question the commitment they've made, and are pulling back to cut costs."


Reach the reporter at dennis or (602) 444-8874.





hmmm..... is this a way to sneak people into a country with out a passport????


Then there's customs. A little-touted beauty of cruising is never having to go through customs. You surrender your passport to the cruise ship, and just glide in and out of countries with your ship-issued, bar-coded ID card.


Reluctant ship passenger undergoes a sea change


Anne Chalfant

Knight Ridder Newspapers

Jan. 22, 2006 12:00 AM


This once was my list of why I would never cruise:


1. I would hate sitting at a dinner table with strangers.


2. I would get claustrophobia stuck on the same boat for 10 days.


3. Hey! I'm an independent, self-sufficient traveler. Don't mollycoddle me.


Ahem. Three cruises later, how do I now love cruising? Let me count the ways.


Let's see, I love unpacking my bag once and not repacking it for a week or more.


I love being able to put all my energy into exploring a new city, and skipping the planes, trains, automobiles. Oh, and again the suitcase - no schlepping.


Then there's customs. A little-touted beauty of cruising is never having to go through customs. You surrender your passport to the cruise ship, and just glide in and out of countries with your ship-issued, bar-coded ID card.




As for claustrophobia, not a problem on the bigger cruise ships, designed with large, central open atriums with a library, bar, espresso stops and more hoopla, depending on the ship. Staterooms are hardly a squeeze these days, either.


As for dinner with strangers, sometimes I put on my happy face and meet and greet. But I also like other dining options: casual buffet around the pool, room service at no extra cost.


As for that independent-traveler bit, what a lot of rot. Being a great explorer is exhausting. If you really want time to poke around in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia, plus other Baltic ports, take a cruise. You can pack more geography into one week than the maze of planes, trains and automobiles could cover in two.


It's true that a cruise doesn't give you true immersion in a culture. It's more like a Whitman's Sampler of countries. See something you like, return someday for a bigger bite.


And some cruise lines have clout. I love the fact that the Hermitage opened two hours early for my Radisson Seven Seas ship. And the Guggenheim gave the same cruise line an equal nod, opening for the ship's passengers on a closed Monday.


Oh, am I getting to the mollycoddled part already?


Frankly, life is short. If I can have quiet time with some of the world's greatest art, and be greeted with a glass of Champagne when I reboard my ship, it turns out I really don't mind the feeling of royal blood running through my veins after all.




Belafonte slams 'Gestapo' tactics of administration


Verena Dobnik

Associated Press

Jan. 22, 2006 12:00 AM


NEW YORK - Entertainer Harry Belafonte, one of the Bush administration's harshest critics, compared the Homeland Security Department with the Nazi Gestapo on Saturday and attacked the president as a liar.


"We've come to this dark time in which the new Gestapo of Homeland Security lurks here, where citizens are having their rights suspended," Belafonte said in a speech at the Arts Presenters Members Conference.


"You can be arrested and not charged. You can be arrested and have no right to counsel".


Belafonte's remarks Saturday, part of a 45-minute speech on the role of the arts in a politically changing world, were greeted with a roaring standing ovation from an audience that included singer Peter Yarrow of the folk group Peter, Paul and Mary, and members of the arts community from several dozen countries.


Messages seeking comments from Homeland Security and White House officials were not immediately returned.


He had called President Bush "the greatest terrorist in the world" during a trip to Venezuela two weeks ago. Belafonte, 78, made that comment after a meeting with Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.


The Harlem-born Belafonte, who was raised in Jamaica, said his activism was inspired by an impoverished mother "who imbued in me that we should never capitulate to oppression."


He acknowledged that the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks demanded a reaction by the United States but said the policies of the Bush administration were not the right response.


"Fascism is fascism. Terrorism is terrorism. Oppression is oppression," said Belafonte, who served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.


Bush, he said, rose to power "somewhat dubiously and ... then lies to the people of this nation, misleads them, misinstructs, and then sends off hundreds of thousands of our own boys and girls to a foreign land that has not aggressed against us."




Group wants Souter to lose home in protest


Kathy McCormack

Associated Press

Jan. 22, 2006 12:00 AM


CONCORD, N.H. - Angered by a Supreme Court ruling that gave local governments more power to seize people's homes for economic development, a group of activists is trying to get one of the court's justices evicted from his own home.


The group, led by a California man, wants Justice David Souter's home seized to build an inn called the "Lost Liberty Hotel."


They submitted enough petition signatures, only 25 were needed, to bring the matter before voters in March. This weekend, they're descending on Souter's hometown, the central New Hampshire town of Weare, population 8,500, to rally for support.


"This is in the tradition of the Boston Tea Party and the Pine Tree Riot," organizer Logan Darrow Clements said, referring to the riot that took place during the winter of 1771-72, when colonists in Weare beat up officials appointed by King George III who fined them for logging white pines without approval.


"All we're trying to do is put an end to eminent-domain abuse," Clements said, by having those who advocate or facilitate it "live under it, so they understand why it needs to end."


Clements, of Los Angeles, said he's never tried to contact Souter, who voted for the decision.


"The justice doesn't have any comment about (the protesters' cause)," said Kathy Arberg, a Supreme Court spokeswoman.


The petition asks whether the town should take Souter's land for development as an inn; whether to set up a trust fund to accept donations for legal expenses; and whether to set up a second trust fund to accept donations to compensate Souter for taking his land.


The matter goes to voters March 14.


About 25 volunteers gathered at Weare Town Hall on Saturday before setting out in teams to go door to door. Clements gathered nine signatures in less than an hour, with only one resident declining to sign.


He also distributed copies of the Supreme Court's decision, Kelo vs. City of New London, to residents.


The court said New London, Conn., could seize homeowners' property to develop a hotel, convention center, office space and condominiums next to Pfizer Inc.'s new research headquarters.


The city argued that tax revenues and new jobs from the development would benefit the public. The Pfizer complex was built, but seven homeowners challenged the rest of the development in court. The Supreme Court's ruling against them prompted many states, including New Hampshire, to examine their eminent-domain laws.


Supporters of the hotel project planned a rally today at the town hall. Speakers were expected to include some of the New London residents who lost the Kelo suit.





these cops hunt down and arrest doctors who help sick people get rid of their pain!


Assisted-suicide ruling may affect painkiller cases

Doctors prescribed powerful drugs


Marc Kaufman

Washington Post

Jan. 22, 2006 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - Doctors who specialize in pain management and their advocates are hoping that last week's Supreme Court decision upholding Oregon's assisted-suicide law will boost their efforts to defend colleagues accused by the government of illegally prescribing narcotic painkillers to their patients.


With dozens of doctors, pharmacists and patients now in jail or awaiting imprisonment after being convicted of drug trafficking, the specialists and their attorneys say the Oregon ruling supports their contention that prosecutors have reached improperly into the state-regulated practice of medicine.


"The prosecutors have been making a policy argument in court against the treatment of chronic pain as it's being practiced, and this Supreme Court decision makes clear that is not their role," said Eli Stutsman, an Oregon attorney who represented a doctor and pharmacist in the case.


"Before I was just a lawyer with a legal analysis before the courts, but now I have a decision of the highest court of the land," he said.


Whether the Supreme Court decision will have any actual impact on how prosecutors or judges view the actions of doctors who regularly prescribe the powerful painkillers remains to be seen, and some doubt that much will change. Prosecutors have won convictions against many doctors accused of prescribing narcotic painkillers for no legitimate medical reason.


Radley Balko, a policy analyst with the Cato Institute, a conservative think tank, believes the government is being overly aggressive in prosecuting doctors. But he said he does not see the Supreme Court decision as threat to the government's initiative against what it considers illegal prescribing.


"The justices carved out this little sphere of individual rights with the Oregon ruling, and I would hope that would migrate into the pain-medication sphere," he said. "But I'm not all that optimistic because of other decisions they've made."


But John Flannery, attorney for a South Carolina doctor convicted in 2004 of illegally writing a handful of pain medication prescriptions after working at a pain center for only three months, said the decision has encouraged him about the prospects of a Supreme Court appeal of the case.


"The U.S. Supreme Court sent the Justice Department a powerful message, told them to back off, and to stop meddling in medical care in the states, as it was none of their business," he said. "We can only hope that the courts don't stop with (that) decision, as there's more that the department's doing wrong, terribly wrong."


Justice Department spokesman John Nowacki declined to address whether there is a linkage between the Oregon case and the prosecutions.


In the prosecutions of pain doctors and some pharmacists who dispensed large amounts of narcotic painkillers, Nowacki added, "the government has brought criminal charges ... and it has been claimed that there was no legitimate medical purpose for the distribution of controlled substances."


The Justice Department and the Drug Enforcement Agency stepped up investigations and prosecutions after doctors began prescribing larger dosages of narcotic painkillers and the powerful new painkiller OxyContin became a widely abused narcotic in the late 1990s.





clinton - i did not have sex with that woman


bush - i do not know that man


Abramoff, Bush together in at least 6 photos


Associated Press

Jan. 23, 2006 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - Although President Bush says he doesn't recall meeting convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, the two have reportedly turned up in photos together.


Both Washingtonian and Time magazines have reported the existence of about a half-dozen photos showing the two together.


Time reported Sunday on its Web site that its staff members have seen at least six photos with Bush and Abramoff, who has pleaded guilty to federal charges stemming from his lobbying practices and has pledged to cooperate with investigators. The photos appeared to have been taken at White House functions, the reports say.


The White House has acknowledged that Abramoff has been at the Executive Mansion, and spokeswoman Dana Perino said Sunday that it is not surprising that the two would have met. "The president has taken tens upon thousands of pictures at such events," she said.


Abramoff met a few times with White House staff members and attended Hanukkah receptions in 2001 and 2002, the White House has said, but officials there have refused to disclose how many times he has been in the complex or what business he had there.


The White House has not released any photos of Bush and Abramoff, who was a Bush "pioneer" for raising at least $100,000 for the Bush-Cheney 2004 re-election bid.


Contributions from Abramoff, his wife and one of the American Indian tribes he represented, a total of $6,000, were donated to the American Heart Association by the campaign days after Abramoff entered his guilty pleas.





this is government double speak which means "we are going to shake down latinos and mexicans in maryvale".


Police step up enforcement in Maryvale


Jacqueline Shoyeb

Special for The Republic

Jan. 23, 2006 12:00 AM


PHOENIX - Police are beefing up law enforcement in Maryvale.


For the next three months, police will target three high-crime areas in the Maryvale Precinct to reduce prostitution, vandalism and violent crimes.


"We are going to put more bad guys in jail this year," Cmdr. Joe Yahner told about 25 residents at a village- wide Block Watch meeting earlier this month.


In the first two weeks of the program, police made 98 arrests, recovered 18 stolen cars and issued 333 traffic citations ranging from expired registration to suspended licenses.


That's good news to a community that last year reported a city-high total of 2,244 violent crimes, according to the Phoenix Police Department. South Mountain Village trailed with 1,751. And citywide, the violent-crime rate has increased 9.9 percent over the last year, Yahner said.


But residents like Carol Hobbs aren't about to let their community be overrun. In 14 years living in Maryvale, Hobbs, the president of the Phoenix Block Watch Advisory Board, has lived next to a drug house, heard gunfire and dealt with rampant graffiti. Police's main strategy to cut crime is focusing on three hot spots in



• 39th Avenue to 47th Avenue, Thomas Road to McDowell Road.


• 47th Avenue to 55th Avenue, Campbell Avenue to Osborn Road.


• 63rd Avenue to 71st Avenue, Campbell Avenue to Osborn Road.


A version of this story may have appeared in your community section or your community Republic.





if the FDA didnt exist we could sell this stuff as a great form of sugar with out calaries. but in this case instead of helping us lead healthier lives the FDA is acting like a bunch of mafia thugs helping the folks that sell sugar shut down the competition


Herb sweetens family business

Company's products based on Stevia


Betty Beard

The Arizona Republic

Jan. 23, 2006 12:00 AM


Mesa resident Jim May's $10 million company got its start when he agreed to taste a suspicious-looking leaf from Paraguay in 1982.


May and his son, former legislator Steve May, say their Gilbert-based Wisdom Natural Brands Co. has 70 percent of the U.S. market for products based on a naturally sweet herb called Stevia.


Products, such as SweetLeaf Stevia Plus and the popular new flavored Stevia Clear liquids, have gone beyond health-food stores into mainstream groceries and are about to be tested in Wal-Mart stores.


Ironically, the products still can't be legally labeled or called what they are best known as: natural sweeteners.


From the first time he tasted a Stevia leaf, Jim May was impressed with its sweetness, which is said to be at least 30 times as sweet as sugar. He first thought he was being offered an illicit drug in 1982 when a man who had just returned from a stint with the Peace Corps in Paraguay showed him a cellophane bag with leaves in it.


He finally tasted a leaf and discovered that the longer it stayed in his mouth, the sweeter it became. May was so impressed with the Stevia herb that he invested his life savings to order more leaves and began selling Stevia-sweetened herb teas out of his garage in Phoenix. Steve May, then 10, became his stockboy.


The business kept growing and moved from the Mays' garage after five years into a Tempe building, a Mesa building and, finally last fall, into a building that the company built in a Gilbert industrial park.


Sales, too, have grown: $10 million a year.


The 21 employees at the Gilbert plant mostly handle sales and packing. Manufacturing is outsourced to other companies, including Herbally Yours Inc.


Wisdom's biggest obstacle is that the federal Food and Drug Administration allows Stevia products to be sold only as dietary or nutritional supplements and not food additives or sweeteners.


One of Wisdom's ads pokes fun at this by saying, "Don't sweeten . . . Supplement it!"


Because the Mays can't label or advertise their products as sweeteners, the company has captured just a fraction of the U.S. market for natural or artificial sweeteners that is dominated by Splenda, Equal and Sweet'N Low.


"You wouldn't even see us as a blip on the radar screen," Jim May said.


The Mays say it would take millions of dollars and several years to finance the tests that FDA requires to prove Stevia's safety as a sweetener. They say that many tests have been done and that Stevia products have been used for centuries in Paraguay and Brazil and are widely used in Japan.


"The FDA approval process is two parts, science and politics. We have the science, but we have not mastered the politics," said Steve May, Wisdom's president.


Kimerly Rawlings, a spokeswoman for the FDA in Rockville, Md., said, "Any company that would like to have Stevia considered a sweetener would have to petition the FDA. They would have to provide necessary documentation to go along with it."


Meanwhile, she said it can just be marketed as a dietary supplement. "Because it's derived from a shrub, it's a natural product," she said.


Nevertheless, Wisdom's sales have been growing about 30 percent a year, mostly through word of mouth.


An ever-growing demand exists, Steve May said, "for all-natural, no-calorie sweeteners. And that is why we're seeing the success of Splenda."


Wisdom produces Stevia products, under its brand name SweetLeaf, in liquid and powder forms.


After three years of research, Steve May created Stevia Clear, a flavored liquid product that comes in six flavors. Soon, the company will introduce six more, including milk chocolate, dark chocolate, root beer and strawberry.


The "dietary supplements" can be used to flavor and sweeten water, milk, unsweetened yogurt and other foods. Just four drops are needed to flavor eight ounces of water. The Mays say their products are ideal for diabetics and dieters.


At the Whole Foods store in Tempe, Wisdom's SweetLeaf-branded products aren't placed with food products because of the FDA restriction. Customers looking for natural sweeteners with no calories, aspartame (Equal) or saccharin (Sweet'N Low) still manage to find them in the "whole body" section, said Steve Taylor, manager.


Terry Hughes, who is in charge of herbs and food supplements at Gentle Strength Cooperative in Tempe, said that the SweetLeaf products are "our Number 1 bestseller" compared with other Stevia products.


He said, "I think it is because they are a local company and they have been in business a long time. They advertised under the name Wisdom of the Ancients."


Steve May said SweetLeaf products also can be found at AJ's Purveyor of Fine Foods, Bashas', Fry's Food Stores and Safeway stores. He said Wal-Mart plans to test the products and representatives soon will try to interest Trader Joe's.


Jim May, chief executive officer of Wisdom, is such a fan of Stevia that in 2003 he published the book The Miracle of Stevia, recounting his two decades of history with the herb and his recent research. He said it can be used for hypertension, low immunity, fatigue, burns, cuts and skin conditions.


The son and the father often are asked if Stevia is named for Steve May. The answer is no.


The name Stevia comes from Peter or Pedro James Esteve, a Spanish botany professor who helped introduce the herb to the world. It is known as Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni.


The name actually is pronounced "stay-veea." Because Americans are so used to pronouncing the name Steve, here, the herb's name usually is pronounced "steev-ea."





of course the bush administration doesnt allow the military to torture. but putting a sleeping bag over a mans head and sitting on his chest is not torture. but dont worry. this killer will be punished! probably with a tiny but gentle slap on the wrist!!!!


Army interrogator found guilty in death


John Sarche

Associated Press

Jan. 23, 2006 12:00 AM


FORT CARSON, Colo. - An Army interrogator committed negligent homicide when he put a sleeping bag over an Iraqi general's head and sat on his chest as the man suffocated, a military jury found.


Attorneys for Chief Warrant Officer Lewis Welshofer Jr. said he believed the general had information that would "break the back of the whole insurgency" at a time when soldiers were being killed in an increasingly lethal and bold resistance.


But prosecutor Maj. Tiernan Dolan said Welshofer tortured Iraqi Maj. Gen. Abed Hamed Mowhoush at a detention camp in 2003, treating him "worse than you would treat a dog."


After six hours of deliberations, the panel of six Army officers spared Welshofer on the more serious charge of murder, which carries a potential life sentence, instead convicting him late Saturday of negligent homicide and negligent dereliction of duty. He was acquitted of assault.


Welshofer showed no reaction to the verdict. He could be dishonorably discharged and sentenced to a maximum of three years and three months in prison at a hearing today.




Remove hidden data in Microsoft Word documents


Kim Komando - 1/16/2006


You probably e-mail business letters, resumes and personal documents as Word documents. But you may be telling people things that would make your hair curl. Unless you take extra steps, recipients of Word documents can easily see items deleted or modified.


For example, how about that letter you sent to Joe Jones? You first referred to him as a "sniveling creep." You changed that to "great guy." But Joe may know what you really think.


Hidden within that letter was your original wording. Microsoft Word dutifully saved it all. And Joe doesn't have to be a rocket scientist to find it.


Anybody who uses Word risks exposing sensitive information. Word inserts metadata (information about data) to help identify author names, document titles, keywords, print and save dates, and names of people who have reviewed and saved a document. Metadata can also spill the beans about your place of business: your company or organization's name, the name of the network server or hard drive on which the document is saved and any comments added.


Some of this data is easily seen in Word. And some can be viewed only by opening the document in a specialized program. Regardless, the data is there.


Metadata is useful when multiple people are working on one document. Let's say you create a document and send it to your boss for approval. You'll probably want to track changes made.


However, it's could be disastrous if the information is discovered by others. Imagine submitting a business proposal with varying figures (written as comments) on "non-negotiable pricing."


Don't be embarrassed if you've never considered this subject. Corporations with information technology departments run into this problem. The software company Bitform studied Word, Excel and PowerPoint files on the Web sites of several Fortune 100 companies. Bitform was able to identify thousands of user names from these documents.


There are a number of ways to ensure that your personal or company data stays with you:


Turn off Fast Save. This feature speeds up saving a document by saving only changes made to a document. However, text that you delete from a document may still remain. Microsoft recommends turning off this feature to eliminate any chance of deleted text remaining in the document. Click Tools>>Options. Click the Save tab. Clear the "Allow fast saves" check box and click OK.


You can remove personal information from a document when you save it. In Word 2002/2003, click Tools>>Options. Click the Security tab. Under Privacy options, select "Remove personal information from file properties on save" and click OK. In Word 2000, click Tools>>Options. Select the User Information tab. Clear the information in Name, Initials and Mailing Address and click OK.


Turn off the Track Changes tool. In Word 2002 and 2003, click Tools>>Track Changes. In Word 2000 and earlier versions, click Tools>>Track Changes>>Highlight Changes. Click to clear the check mark in the "Track Changes while editing" box.


You can tell if the Track Changes feature has been successfully turned off by looking at the status bar (located at the bottom of every document). When Track Changes is enabled, TRK appears in the status bar. When Track Changes is disabled, TRK is dimmed.


Track Changes must be disabled before writing the document. Otherwise, any changes made will not be removed.


Finally, a free Microsoft tool removes hidden data from Word, Excel and PowerPoint. The Remove Hidden Data add-in tool ( ) will delete hidden text and comments from individual files or a batch of files at once.






From: "John Buttrick - SUPCRTX"

Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2006 17:35:03 -0700

Subject: RE: [lpaz-discuss] nurse gets 10 to 24 years for hugging 13 year old boy


                                The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th

edition). It is the Bible of definitions of mental disorders for shrinks.


-----Original Message-----


[] On Behalf Of mike ross

Sent: Monday, January 23, 2006 10:38 AM


Subject: RE: [lpaz-discuss] nurse gets 10 to 24 years for hugging 13

year old boy





what is DSM-IV??




--- John Buttrick - SUPCRTX <>



>                              Why don't you guys use the DSM-IV when debating psychological


> and the Arizona Revised Statutes when talking about legal issues?


> might help clarify your positions.






The "sciences" that underlie modern psychology & psychiatry rely

largely on highly problematic theories of brain chemistry.  I would

refer anyone interested to the writings of Dr. Eliott Valenstein.  For

a taste of the controversy I enclose an article from CCHR:




Experts Debunk DSM


The scientific validity of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of

Mental Disorders (DSM) has come under increasing attack from medical

professionals and scientific experts such as Herb Kutchins of

California State University and Stuart A. Kirk of UCLA, who found that

"…there is ample reason to conclude that the latest versions of DSM as

a clinical tool are unreliable and therefore of questionable validity

as a classification system."


Often tagged "junk science," according to an international poll of

mental health experts conducted in England in 2001, the DSM-IV was

voted one of the 10 worst psychiatric papers of the millennium.

The truth is when we try to fit psychiatry into the definition of a

true science, it fails the test. The lack of science behind the DSM

gives a clear idea of why it has earned such critics as the following

small sample.


Loren Mosher, M.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry: "DSM-IV is the

fabrication upon which psychiatry seeks acceptance by medicine in

general. Insiders know it is more a political than scientific

document... DSM-IV has become a bible and a money making

bestseller—its major failings notwithstanding. It confines and defines

practice, some take it seriously, others more realistically." and, "It

is the way to get paid. Diagnostic reliability is easy to attain for

research projects. The issue is what do the categories tell us? Do

they in fact accurately represent the person with a problem? They

don't, and can't, because there are no external validating criteria

for psychiatric diagnoses. There is neither a blood test nor specific

anatomic lesions for any major psychiatric disorder."


Margaret Hagen, author of Whores Of The Court, summarily dismisses the

DSM: "Given their farcical `empirical' procedures for arriving at new

disorders with their associated symptoms lists, where does the

American Psychiatric Association get off claiming a scientific,

research-based foundation for its diagnostic manual? This is nothing

more than science by decree. They say it is science, so it is."


Dr. Thomas Dorman, internist and member of the Royal College of

Physicians of the United Kingdom: "In short, the whole business of

creating psychiatric categories of `disease', formalizing them with

consensus, and subsequently ascribing diagnostic codes to them, which

in turn leads to their use for insurance billing, is nothing but an

extended racket furnishing psychiatry a pseudo-scientific aura. The

perpetrators are, of course, feeding at the public trough."


Jeffrey A. Schaler, Ph.D.: The notion of scientific validity, though

not an act, is related to fraud. Validity refers to the extent to

which something represents or measures what it purports to represent

or measure. When diagnostic measures do not represent what they

purport to represent, we say that the measures lack validity. If a

business transaction or trade rested on such a lack of validity, we

might say that the lack of validity was instrumental in a commitment

of fraud. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV) published by

the American Psychiatric Association and used by licensed

psychotherapists throughout the country is notorious for low

scientific validity. Yet it is instrumental in securing insurance

reimbursement for psychotherapy services...."


Herb Kutchins of California State University, Sacramento, and Stuart

A. Kirk of the University of California, Los Angeles, authors of

Making Us Crazy: The Psychiatric Bible and the Creation of Mental

Disorders: "The developers of DSM assume that if a group of

psychiatrists agree on a list of atypical [new] behaviors, the

behaviors constitute a valid mental disorder. Using this approach,

creating mental disorders can become a parlor game in which clusters

of all kinds of behaviors (i.e. syndromes) can be added to the

manual." "…there is ample reason to conclude that the latest versions

of DSM as a clinical tool are unreliable and therefore of questionable

validity as a classification system." "There are indeed many illusions

about DSM and very strong needs among its developers to believe that

their dreams of scientific excellence and utility have come true…."

The "bitter medicine" is that DSM has "unsuccessfully attempted to

medicalize too many human troubles."

[DSM] "…cannot be used to distinguish mental disorders from other

human problems. In practical terms, this means that many people who do

not have any mental disorder (although they may have other

difficulties) will be inappropriately labeled as mentally ill and

those who have a mental disorder will not have it recognized…If the

unreliability of diagnosis were widely recognized and if there were no

scientific patina [surface appearance]" to it, "the use of everyday

behaviors as indicators of mental disorder would be more rigorously

questioned by the public. The illusion that psychiatrists are in

agreement when making diagnoses creates the appearance of a united

professional consensus."


Professor Edward Shorter, author of A History of Psychiatry: "Rather

than heading off into the brave new world of science, DSM-IV-style

psychiatry seemed in some ways to be heading out into the desert."


Thomas Szasz, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus: The

Internationally renowned psychiatrist, Dr. Thomas Szasz, writes, "The

ostensible validity of DSM is reinforced by psychiatry's claim that

mental illnesses are brain diseases—a claim supposedly based on recent

discoveries in brain imaging techniques and pharmacological agents for

treatment. This is not true." He also says, "There is no blood or

other biological test to ascertain the presence of a mental illness,

as there is for most bodily diseases. If such a test were developed,

then the condition would cease to be a mental illness and would be

classified, instead, as a symptom of a bodily disease."


Dr. Sydney Walker, III, psychiatrist, neurologist:

"[The DSM] has led to the unnecessary drugging of millions of American

children who could be diagnosed, treated, and cured without the use of

toxic and potentially lethal medications." "The nonscientific approach

used to create DSM leads to irrational and constantly changing

diagnostic criteria: a patient might be perfectly normal according to

one version of DSM and mentally ill by the standards of the next. (For

instance, `narcissistic personality disorder'—used to describe vain

people who are self-centered and frequently take advantage of

others—was a DSM `diagnosis' until 1968. It was eliminated from the

version used between 1968 and 1980, when it was reinstated. Thus, a

self-centered, vain person was `mentally ill' before 1968, normal for

the next twelve years, and then `mentally ill' again after 1980.)"


Dr. Harold Pincus, Vice Chairman of the DSM-IV task force admitted,

"There has never been any criterion that psychiatric diagnoses require

a demonstrated biological etiology (cause)."


Paul R. McHugh, Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University

School of Medicine and psychiatrist-in-chief at the Johns Hopkins

Hospital in Baltimore:

"... In the absence of validating conceptions like the six mechanisms

of disease in internal medicine, American psychiatry has turned to

"committees of experts" to define mental disorder. Membership on such

committees is a mater of one's reputation in the APA—which means that

those chosen can confidently be expected to manifest not only a

requisite degree of psychiatric competence but, perhaps more

crucially, some talent for diplomacy and self-promotion.

"The new DSM approach of using experts and descriptive criteria in

identifying psychiatric diseases has encouraged a productive industry.

If you can describe it, you can name it; and if you can name it, then

you can claim it exists as a distinct "entity" with, eventually, a

direct treatment tied to it. Proposals for new psychiatric disorders

have multiplied so feverishly that the DSM itself has grown from a

mere 119 pages in 1968 to 886 in the latest edition; a new and

enlarged edition, DSM-V, is already in the planning stages. Embedded

within these hundreds of pages are some categories...that are dubious,

in the sense that they are more like the normal responses of sensitive

people than psychiatric "entities"; and some that are purely the

inventions of their proponents."


Paul Genova, M.D., writing in Psychiatric Times, said: the "DSM

diagnostic system has outlived its usefulness by about two decades. It

should be abandoned, not revised."


Psychiatrist Matthew Dumont: "The humility and the arrogance in the

prose are almost indistinguishable, frolicking like puppies at play.

They say: `...while this manual provides a classification of mental definition adequately specifies precise boundaries for

the concept...' [APA, 1987]...They go on to say: `...there is no

assumption that each mental disorder is a discrete entity with sharp

boundaries between it and other mental disorders or between it and no

mental disorder' [APA, 1987]."


Psychologist Renee Garfinkel, a staff member of the American

Psychological Association, said of the DSM-III-R work group: "The low

level of intellectual effort was shocking. Diagnoses were developed by

majority vote on the level we would use to choose a restaurant. You

feel like Italian, I feel like Chinese, so let's go to a cafeteria.

Then it's typed into the computer."


David Healy, psychiatrist, director of the North Wales Department of

Psychological Medicine and author of The Anti-Depressant Era: "There

must inevitably be a struggle, or a dialectical process, to determine

the meaning of physical symptoms and where the boundaries of health

and disease lie."


J. Allan Hobson and Jonathan A. Leonard, authors of Out of Its Mind,

Psychiatry in Crisis, A Call For Reform: "...DSM-IV's authoritative

status and detailed nature tends to promote the idea that rote

diagnosis and pill-pushing are acceptable."


Psychiatrist Al Parides: DSM is "a masterpiece of political

maneuvering." He also observed that "what they have done is medicalize

many problems that don't have demonstrable, biological causes.


Elliot S. Valenstein, biopsychologist, author of Blaming the Brain:

"DSM-IV is not an exciting document. It is purely descriptive and

presents no new scientific insights or any theories about what causes

the many mental disorders it lists."


Lawrence Diller, M.D., author of Running on Ritalin: "…[The] search

for a biological marker is doomed from the outset because of the

contradictions and ambiguities of the diagnostic construct of ADHD as

defined by the DSM…I liken the efforts to discover a marker…to the

search for the Holy Grail."






From: "John Buttrick - SUPCRTX"

Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2006 18:10:36 -0700

Subject: RE: [lpaz-discuss] DSM-IV R, etc.


                                Whoa; I didn't mean to spark this debate. I was only

suggesting that the definitions of mental disorders set forth in the

DSM-IV are well known and easily referenced. When you are having a

discussion about mental disorders and the law I merely meant that one

could use those definitions to identify the terms we employ so loosely

in such discussions and could also be used to see if they match up with

the legal definitions.


-----Original Message-----



On Behalf Of eichraoren

Sent: Monday, January 23, 2006 5:58 PM


Subject: [lpaz-discuss] DSM-IV R, etc






From:  "eichraoren" <>  Add to Address Book  Add Mobile Alert

Yahoo! DomainKeys has confirmed that this message was sent by Learn more

Date: Tue, 24 Jan 2006 01:25:23 -0000

Subject: [lpaz-discuss] Re: DSM-IV R, etc.


Dear John,


That the DSM has preferable utility in psychology similar to legal

references in law is true enough.  Butler Shaffer has often weighed in

on such utility on the legal side.  In the end (in both venues) it

comes down to who is more willing to believe a paralytic myth.


I for one would love to hear stories of cases (that you can discuss)

that have come across your desk where the legal & psychological claims

affect each other, and the rights and interests of the people and

institutions involved.




--- In, "John Buttrick - SUPCRTX"

<buttrick@s...> wrote:

>                              Whoa; I didn't mean to spark this debate. I was only

> suggesting that the definitions of mental disorders set forth in the

> DSM-IV are well known and easily referenced. When you are having a

> discussion about mental disorders and the law I merely meant that one

> could use those definitions to identify the terms we employ so


> in such discussions and could also be used to see if they match up


> the legal definitions.









Activists to provide migrants Ariz. maps

Safe routes, stations for water included


Chris Hawley

Republic Mexico City Bureau

Jan. 24, 2006 12:00 AM


MEXICO CITY - Mexico's human rights agency says it will give out detailed maps of the Arizona desert, including rescue beacons and water stations, to guide migrants safely through the most popular and deadliest corridor into the United States.


The maps were designed by a Tucson-based group, Humane Borders, which plans to hold a joint press conference today with the National Human Rights Commission in Mexico City to announce its strategy.


The maps are the latest effort by activists to aid undocumented immigrants as they trek across the border, helping to fuel a raging debate over illegal immigration in Arizona and other parts of the United States.


Two rights commission officials confirmed the quasi-governmental agency had agreed to print and distribute the maps through its state offices to reach Mexican migrants before they ever leave their hometowns. It has not decided how many copies to print or how much it will spend on the project, the officials told The Republic.


They spoke on condition of anonymity pending the official announcement today. Officials in President Vicente Fox's office said Monday that they were unaware of the project and had no immediate comment. The Mexican Foreign Ministry said it would not be involved in distributing the maps.


The plan's proponents say they are trying to prevent deaths, and they deny the maps encourage people to cross.


"This is good information, and it will save lives," said Rev. Robin Hoover, president of Humane Borders.


But border-control advocates say they fear the maps could embolden people to make the trek.


"I'm afraid that maps and water jugs do nothing but give illegal crossers false hope," Arizona Rep. J.D. Hayworth, a Republican, said in a written statement. "Either we convince potential crossers not to make the journey or, failing that, we stop them from crossing the border."


Last year, the Mexican government outraged border-control activists in the United States by publishing a comic book containing safety tips for illegal immigrants. Soon afterward, the southeastern state of Yucatán published its own guide containing detailed information on routes through the desert.


Arizona has become the most traveled corridor for Mexicans trying to enter the United States illegally. Border Patrol agents in Arizona caught more than 577,000 undocumented migrants, most of them Mexicans, during the 2005 fiscal year. At least 279 immigrants attempting to cross the desert died during that time.


Humane Borders has produced maps for each of the four main corridors through Arizona: Douglas, Lukeville, Sasabe and Nogales.


The maps show mountains, roads, railroads and cities. Blue flags show where migrant-aid groups have left water tanks in the desert. Blue stars indicate Border Patrol rescue beacons where migrants can push a button to summon help.


Black lines show how far a migrant can expect to get walking one, two or three days.


The maps use red dots to show where migrants have died during the past four years. Humane Borders used data from the Border Patrol, medical examiners and other agencies to pinpoint each death.


At the top of each map, a bar graph shows the number of deaths during each month of the year. At the bottom are several tips including:


"Go with people you know and trust."


"Don't cross the desert between May and August, because the temperatures are very high."


"Bring enough water and food."


"Know your route well and the distance well before starting."


"Look for tanks of water in the desert that are marked with blue flags."


Large letters say "Don't go! There's not enough water! It's not worth it!"


Future versions of the maps will include circles showing cellular telephone coverage, Hoover said.


In May, Humane Borders distributed a few maps in Sasabe, Sonora, just over the border in Mexico. But the group decided it needed to get the information farther south, to discourage potential migrants before they even leave their hometowns, Hoover said.


The Human Rights Commission pledged its support in December. The agency is technically independent of the Mexican government, but it is funded by Mexican taxpayers and operates under a government charter.


The effort is supported by Pima County, partly as an attempt to help alleviate the expense of dealing with hundreds of corpses found in the desert, said Enrique Serna, a deputy county administrator who accompanied Hoover to Mexico.


Pima County encompasses Tucson and some 115 miles of the Arizona-Mexico border.


Arizona Rep. Jim Kolbe, a Republican, said he supports the maps as a way of saving lives. But the best way of keeping migrants from dying in the desert is by helping Mexico create jobs and reforming U.S. laws to better manage migration, he said.


"It's hard to disagree with giving information to your citizens to save their lives," Kolbe said. "Ideally, what I would prefer is that they hand out flyers saying {grave}You don't have to cross the desert because there are jobs in Mexico, and here is some job information.' But that isn't going to happen, because there aren't jobs in Mexico."


Critics of the maps said they don't do enough to emphasize the dangers, or the illegality, of crossing the border.


"If you want to tell people, {grave}Don't go,' then that's an entirely different handout. You don't give people a map," said Rick Oltman, western field director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform.





president bush - the amerikan emperor!


It's 'terrorist surveillance,' Bush says of spying in U.S.


Jennifer Loven

Associated Press

Jan. 24, 2006 12:00 AM


MANHATTAN, Kan. - President Bush pushed back Monday at critics of his once-secret domestic spying effort, saying it should be termed a "terrorist surveillance program" and contending it has the backing of legal experts, key lawmakers and the Supreme Court.


Several members of Congress from both parties have questioned whether the warrantless snooping is legal. That is because it bypasses a special federal court that, by law, must authorize eavesdropping on Americans and because Bush provided limited notification to only a few lawmakers.


"It's amazing that people say to me, 'Well, he's just breaking the law.' If I wanted to break the law, why was I briefing Congress?" Bush asked.


One of those who had been informed, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., was sitting behind Bush during his appearance at Kansas State University.


Bush's remarks were part of an aggressive administration campaign to defend the 4-year-old program as a crucial and legal terror-fighting tool. The White House is trying to sell its side of the story before the Senate Judiciary Committee opens hearings on it in two weeks.


Back in Washington, Gen. Michael Hayden, a former National Security Agency director who is now the government's No. 2 intelligence official, contended the surveillance is narrowly targeted. He acknowledged that the program established a lower legal standard to eavesdrop on terror-related communications than a surveillance law implemented in 1978.


Under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, government officials had to prove to a secretive intelligence court that there was "probable cause" to believe that a person was tied to terrorism. Bush's program allows senior NSA officials to approve surveillance when there is "reason to believe" the call may involve al-Qaida and its affiliates.


Hayden maintained that the work is within the law. "The constitutional standard is reasonable. ... I am convinced that we are lawful because what it is we are doing is reasonable," he said at the National Press Club.


Democrats countered that many important questions remain.


"We can be strong and operate under the rule of law," said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. "These are not mutually exclusive principles. They are the principles upon which our nation was founded."


In his remarks, Bush said that allowing the NSA to monitor the international phone calls and e-mails of Americans with suspected ties to terrorists can hardly be considered "domestic spying."


"It's what I would call a terrorist surveillance program," Bush said at Kansas State. "If they're making a phone call in the United States, it seems like to me we want to know why."


He said he "had all kinds of lawyers review the process" to ensure it didn't violate civil liberties or the law.


And he insisted that a recent Supreme Court decision backs his contention that he had the authority to order the program through a resolution Congress passed after the 2001 terrorist attacks that lets him use force in the anti-terror fight.


"I'm not a lawyer, but I can tell you what it means: It means Congress gave me the authority to use necessary force to protect the American people, but it didn't prescribe the tactics," Bush said.


Bush and Hayden sought to paint the program as vital. "Had this program been in effect prior to 9/11, it is my professional judgment that we would have detected some of the al-Qaida operatives in the United States," Hayden said.




Ex-priest charged in LA with 8 sex acts on child


Staff and wire reports

Jan. 24, 2006 12:00 AM


LOS ANGELES - A former Roman Catholic priest who was arrested on his return from Asia last week was charged Monday with eight sex acts on a child.


Michael Stephen Baker made a brief court appearance but his arraignment was put off until Feb. 14. Superior Court Commissioner James Bianco set bail at $800,000.


The charges filed by the District Attorney's Office alleged eight acts of oral copulation involving a boy during seven months in 1994 and 1995.


But prosecutors also have alleged that other acts were committed over 11 years beginning in 1984, when the boy was 7, in locations including Mexico, Palm Springs, Calif., and Arizona.


Baker was removed from the priesthood by the Los Angeles Archdiocese in 2000.


In 2003, the District Attorney's Office charged Baker with 34 counts of molestation on six victims, but those charges were dismissed because of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that year involving the statute of limitations on child-abuse cases.


The new charges filed Monday fall during a time period not prohibited by the statute of limitations.


The Phoenix Diocese also has had its share of allegations.


More than a dozen Catholic priests in Phoenix have been accused, either in civil lawsuits or criminal complaints, in the nationwide sex-abuse scandal that erupted in 2001.




Jan 24, 10:31 AM EST


Investigator: U.S. 'outsourced' torture



Associated Press Writer


STRASBOURG, France (AP) -- The head of a European investigation into alleged CIA secret prisons in Europe said Tuesday that evidence pointed to the existence of a system of "outsourcing" of torture by the United States, and that it was highly likely European governments were aware of it.


But Swiss Sen. Dick Marty said there was no tangible proof so far of the existence of clandestine centers in Romania or Poland as alleged by the New York-based Human Rights Watch, and complained of a lack of cooperation by EU governments.


His interim report, based partly on results of national investigations and recent press reports, did not break new ground and largely repeated his previous claims that U.S. policies in the war on terror contravene international law on human rights. Allegations that the CIA hid and interrogated key al-Qaida suspects at Soviet-era compounds in Eastern Europe were first reported Nov. 2 in The Washington Post.


"There is a great deal of coherent, convergent evidence pointing to the existence of a system of "relocation" or "outsourcing" of torture," Marty said in the report to the Council of Europe, the human rights watchdog on whose behalf he is investigating.


"Acts of torture or severe violation of detainees' dignity through the administration of inhuman or degrading treatment are carried outside national territory and beyond the authority of national intelligence services," Marty said. He added that more than 100 suspects may have been transferred to countries where they faced torture or ill treatment in recent years.


"The entire continent is involved," Marty told the Council of Europe's parliamentary assembly, a body comprising several hundred national lawmakers. "It is highly unlikely that European governments, or at least their intelligence services, were unaware."


In his report, Marty analyzed the cases of an Egyptian cleric allegedly kidnapped from Milan, Italy, in 2003 by CIA agents and a German captured in Macedonia and taken to Afghanistan in an apparent case of mistaken identity.


Citing an American lawyer, Marty also said six Bosnians were abducted by U.S. agents on Bosnian soil and taken to Guantanamo Bay, despite a Bosnian court ruling ordering their release.


Last week, Italy's justice minister formally asked the United States to allow Italian prosecutors to question 22 purported CIA operatives they accuse of kidnapping the Egyptian cleric, Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, in 2003 from a Milan street.


Nasr, believed to belong to an Islamic terror group, was seized Feb. 17, 2003. Prosecutors claim the cleric, who is also known as Abu Omar, was taken by the CIA to a joint U.S.-Italian air base, flown to Germany and then to Egypt, where he says he was tortured.


Marty also said he would follow up on evidence gathered in the case of Khaled al Masri, a German of Lebanese origin reportedly kidnapped from Germany to Afghanistan, in the next stage of his investigation.


Marty, who is expected to issue another interim report in the next few months, complained there was enormous pressure on him to produce evidence of secret CIA prisons but there was not much help from the Council of Europe or governments.


"Not a single day passes without me being asked, 'Do you have any hard evidence, is there any proof?'" he said. "I am not a judicial authority, I have no means of investigation, the logistical support available to me is very limited."


The European Union's top justice official, Franco Frattini, called on all EU governments Tuesday to "fully cooperate" with the investigators.


The Council of Europe launched its probe after allegations surfaced in November that U.S. agents interrogated key al-Qaida suspects at clandestine prisons in eastern Europe and transported some suspects through Europe to other countries.


Human Rights Watch identified Romania and Poland as possible sites of secret U.S.-run detention facilities. Both countries have denied involvement. Clandestine detention centers would violate European human rights treaties.


Marty said there was no irrefutable evidence of the existence of secret CIA prisons in Romania, Poland or any other country.


"On the other hand, it has been proved that individuals have been abducted, deprived of their liberty and all rights and transported to different destinations in Europe, to be handed over to countries in which they have suffered degrading treatment and torture," he said. If eventually uncovered, the detention centers would likely be small cells that could be easily hidden, he added.


Marty has obtained flight logs archived by the Brussels-based air safety organization Eurocontrol and satellite images of air bases in Romania and Poland.





To: "DONNA Hamm"

From:  "Kevin Walsh"

Date: Tue, 24 Jan 2006 14:29:58 -0800 (PST)

Subject: [azsecularhumanists] RE: release debriefing


Dear Mrs. Hamm,


Thank you for writing.  I was very sad and disappointed when I

learned that the Arizona Supreme Court would not allow your

husband to practice law.  I am sure he will find other ways to

contribute to society, though.  Please give him my best wishes.


You are correct that I do not have any serious medical condition.

I only needed to go to medical once during my stay, and it was

for a minor ailment.  Many inmates on the Rincon yard did have

serious medical conditions, and I was told that it was a medical

yard.  That must be the only explanation for why some of the

inmates were there.  It was a level four, close custody yard, so

one would expect that the inmates there would have histories of

violence or escape attempts or were for some other reason

considered a security threat, yet there were some inmates there

who were in wheelchairs and there were also feeble old men who

obviously could not escape or inflict significant violence on

anyone.  They could very easily have been housed on low security



I know the diabetics were all housed in my housing unit, HU 6.

Every morning at about 6:30, the intercom would awaken us, saying,

"Insulins, stand by!"  That would be the call for the diabetics

to prepare to be taken from their cells.  They would have a

separate breakfast from the rest of us.  Apparently they would

test their blood sugar, give them insulin if they needed it, and

then send them off to the dining hall to eat.


I am not personally aware of any inmate who was the victim of

medical neglect or malpractice, so I can't shed any light on that

problem.  There was one matter that did concern me about

potential medical problems.  I heard one guard say that the law

required that a guard walk the corridors every 15 minutes.  I

assume the purpose of that law was to insure that inmates are

safe.  On a level four yard, inmates are locked down most of the

time, so if they need medical help or anything else, they need to

knock on their cell doors or call out to a guard, when a guard is

close enough to hear them.  When a guard is not walking the

corridor, however, it is impossible for an inmate who is having a

medical problem to seek help.  The problem is, the guards rarely

walk the corridors every fifteen minutes.  On some days they are

so severely understaffed that several hours go by before a guard

enters the corridor.  An inmate could be having a heart attack, a

stroke, a hypoglycemic fit, or some other medical emergency and

not be able to obtain help for hours, and this is definitely a

potential problem and should be corrected.  I'm not sure what can

be done about it, however, if DOC doesn't get the budget it needs

to maintain adequate staff.


I am very pleased with the work that Middle Ground Prison Reform

is doing, and I would like to help.  I don't have a whole lot of

money to spare, but I would be willing to donate my time to

assist your work.  Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can

be of service.






--- DONNA Hamm <> wrote:


> Kevin,


> Thanks for copying me on your letter to D. Schriro.  It sounds like

> your

> prison experience, overall, was not as bad as some that have

> contacted us. 

> I think the fact that you didn't have (apparently) any serious

> medical

> conditions was a really fortunate thing, as that seems to be the

> place where

> the DOC is really falling off the mark lately.


> Your suggestions all make sense and are very rationally related to

> problem-solving.  That is probably also their weakest part, as it is

> my

> experience that the DOC doesn't very often operate on what is logical

> or

> reasonable.


> Best wishes on your release; I hope you never have to have the

> Arizona DOC

> as your landlord again!




> Donna Leone Hamm

> Private Criminal Justice Consultant

> Executive Director - Middle Ground Prison Reform

> See:



> >From: Kevin Walsh <>

> >To:,


> >Subject: release debriefing

> >Date: Sun, 22 Jan 2006 01:07:24 -0800 (PST)

> >

> >                                 22 January 2006

> >

> >                                 Kevin Walsh

> >                                 5059 N 38th Place

> >                                 Phoenix AZ 85018-1503

> >                                 (602)956-0997

> >

> >Dora Schriro, Director

> >Arizona Department of Corrections

> >1601 W Jefferson

> >Phoenix AZ 85007

> >

> >Dear Ms. Schriro:

> >

> >I have recently been released from the Rincon Unit of the Arizona

> >State Prison Complex Tucson, a level four or close custody yard,

> >after having served a fairly short sentence (18 months for

> >disorderly conduct, a class six dangerous felony).  Although my

> >stay was clearly a punishment, I was pleasantly surprised by the

> >conditions.  The food was good and nutritious.  The guards were,

> >with few exceptions, courteous and professional and respectful of

> >the rights of the inmates.  Although the prison was usually

> >understaffed, the guards and other DOC employees did their best to

> >see that our basic needs were met and that we were able to attend

> >recreation, work, education, programs and religious services when

> >we were scheduled to do so.  I would particularly like to

> >commend CO III A. Holler, director of the Programs Department of

> >the Rincon Unit, for his great devotion to his duties and his

> >genuine interest in the rehabilitation of the inmates.  I was also

> >pleased with the library.  It was quite well stocked for a prison

> >library.

> >

> >Having given praise where it is due, I would like to make a few

> >suggestions on how to improve prison conditions.  It would be

> >helpful if inmates had access to typewriters and word processors,

> >as some of them like to publish poetry or literature or to write

> >business letters or legal letters.  Naturally a user fee could be

> >charged to help cover the costs of this.

> >

> >Several inmates were aspiring artists and would draw and send

> >their drawings to people on the outside.  Their efforts were,

> >however, handicapped by a lack of art supplies.  It would be most

> >welcome to these inmates if colored pencils or colored pens were

> >made available on the commissary list.

> >

> >I had few problems with the telephone system, but there was one

> >problem that several of the inmates had.  Increasingly, people are

> >abandonning land-line telephone service in favor of cellular

> >phones, and several of the inmates were unable to telephone their

> >relatives, because they had only cell phones, and it is impossible

> >to call a cell phone collect.  The telephone system should be

> >redesigned to allow regular (non-collect) calls to be made,

> >deducting the cost of the call from the inmate's account.  That

> >way inmates could telephone their relatives who only have cell

> >phones, and those inmates who don't want to financially burden

> >their relatives with the cost of their calls could pay for their

> >own calls.  Naturally collect calls should continue to be an

> >option for indigent inmates who have relatives with land-line

> >telephone service.

> >

> >Finally, I would like to address a problem I had with the

> >arrangements for transportation for me upon release.  I was

> >never debriefed prior to release on the proceess I would undergo

> >and my options.  My mother, who was arranging to pick me up, was

> >given misinformation when she asked about her options.  The first

> >word I had confirming my release was when a guard came to my

> >cell at 9:30 the night before my release and asked for my

> >possessions.  I should have been given more advance notice than

> >that.  It is not unreasonable to expect that an inmate should be

> >debriefed by his CO III a few days beforehand.  My mother had

> >asked if she could send a pre-paid taxi to the prison to pick me

> >up and was told that she could.  When it came time for me to be

> >released, however, the guard told me that a taxi would not be

> >allowed to wait at the prison and that if I did not accept the

> >ride to the Greyhound bus depot in downtown Tucson and a family

> >member did not arrive at the prison very soon, I would be send to

> >CDU and held there over the weekend (my release was on a friday)

> >and then released the following monday.  I accepted the ride to

> >the Greyhound depot, despite it being distant from the planned

> >rendezvous point, as I did not want to go to CDU.  Although I

> >eventually was able to reunite with my family, this was a needless

> >inconvenience.  It would be helpful if in future inmates were

> >informed of their options for release transportation at least

> >several days in advance and if DOC policies on prisoner release

> >policies were sent in writing to people on the inmate's

> >visitation list at least one week prior to release.  Thank you for

> >taking the time to consider my concerns.

> >

> >Sincerely,

> >

> >Kevin Walsh

> >ADC #197573





Date: Sun, 22 Jan 2006 01:07:24 -0800 (PST)

From:  "Kevin Walsh"

Subject: release debriefing



                                22 January 2006


                                Kevin Walsh

                                5059 N 38th Place

                                Phoenix AZ 85018-1503



Dora Schriro, Director

Arizona Department of Corrections

1601 W Jefferson

Phoenix AZ 85007


Dear Ms. Schriro:


I have recently been released from the Rincon Unit of the Arizona

State Prison Complex Tucson, a level four or close custody yard,

after having served a fairly short sentence (18 months for

disorderly conduct, a class six dangerous felony).  Although my

stay was clearly a punishment, I was pleasantly surprised by the

conditions.  The food was good and nutritious.  The guards were,

with few exceptions, courteous and professional and respectful of

the rights of the inmates.  Although the prison was usually

understaffed, the guards and other DOC employees did their best to

see that our basic needs were met and that we were able to attend

recreation, work, education, programs and religious services when

we were scheduled to do so.  I would particularly like to

commend CO III A. Holler, director of the Programs Department of

the Rincon Unit, for his great devotion to his duties and his

genuine interest in the rehabilitation of the inmates.  I was also

pleased with the library.  It was quite well stocked for a prison



Having given praise where it is due, I would like to make a few

suggestions on how to improve prison conditions.  It would be

helpful if inmates had access to typewriters and word processors,

as some of them like to publish poetry or literature or to write

business letters or legal letters.  Naturally a user fee could be

charged to help cover the costs of this.


Several inmates were aspiring artists and would draw and send

their drawings to people on the outside.  Their efforts were,

however, handicapped by a lack of art supplies.  It would be most

welcome to these inmates if colored pencils or colored pens were

made available on the commissary list.


I had few problems with the telephone system, but there was one

problem that several of the inmates had.  Increasingly, people are

abandonning land-line telephone service in favor of cellular

phones, and several of the inmates were unable to telephone their

relatives, because they had only cell phones, and it is impossible

to call a cell phone collect.  The telephone system should be

redesigned to allow regular (non-collect) calls to be made,

deducting the cost of the call from the inmate's account.  That

way inmates could telephone their relatives who only have cell

phones, and those inmates who don't want to financially burden

their relatives with the cost of their calls could pay for their

own calls.  Naturally collect calls should continue to be an

option for indigent inmates who have relatives with land-line

telephone service.


Finally, I would like to address a problem I had with the

arrangements for transportation for me upon release.  I was

never debriefed prior to release on the proceess I would undergo

and my options.  My mother, who was arranging to pick me up, was

given misinformation when she asked about her options.  The first

word I had confirming my release was when a guard came to my

cell at 9:30 the night before my release and asked for my

possessions.  I should have been given more advance notice than

that.  It is not unreasonable to expect that an inmate should be

debriefed by his CO III a few days beforehand.  My mother had

asked if she could send a pre-paid taxi to the prison to pick me

up and was told that she could.  When it came time for me to be

released, however, the guard told me that a taxi would not be

allowed to wait at the prison and that if I did not accept the

ride to the Greyhound bus depot in downtown Tucson and a family

member did not arrive at the prison very soon, I would be send to

CDU and held there over the weekend (my release was on a friday)

and then released the following monday.  I accepted the ride to

the Greyhound depot, despite it being distant from the planned

rendezvous point, as I did not want to go to CDU.  Although I

eventually was able to reunite with my family, this was a needless

inconvenience.  It would be helpful if in future inmates were

informed of their options for release transportation at least

several days in advance and if DOC policies on prisoner release

policies were sent in writing to people on the inmate's

visitation list at least one week prior to release.  Thank you for

taking the time to consider my concerns.




Kevin Walsh

ADC #197573





Date: Sun, 22 Jan 2006 07:44:23 -0800 (PST)

From:  "Kevin Walsh"

Subject: sympathy card for Laro's family


Dear Mike,


My mother looked up the details of the accident on the internet,

and it confirms that Laro L. Nicol's eldest son, Laro James Nicol,

age 22, was killed in a motorcycle accident in Mesa on 6 January.

As I mentioned in a letter from prison, I am forbidden by the

terms of my probation to make direct contact with Laro for the

next five years, but no regulation or law prevents my contacting

his family, and I intend to do this.


The problem is that I do not have their exact address.  For some

reason east Palmcroft Drive in Tempe sticks in my head, but I do

not have the exact street number or ZIP code.  If they are still

living there, please give me that address, or the new one if they

have moved.  Also, I am not sure of the first name of Laro's wife.

Is it Beth Nicol?  Or am I mistaken.  Please send me that

information as soon as you can so that I can send Mrs. Nicol and

her children a sympathy card.  Either e-mail me here (my other

old e-mails no longer work) or telephone me at (602)956-0997.











In maricopa county and the phoenix area the police and maricopa county prosecutor have set up a number of web sites asking you to snitch on your neighbors. yes the police state continues to grow


Web sites making the job easier for law enforcement

County's criminal database offers pictures, information on offenders


Lindsey Collom

The Arizona Republic

Jan. 25, 2006 12:00 AM



It's easier than ever to be a cybercop.


With the click of a mouse, local law enforcement agencies have made it possible to find fugitives, check out DUI convicts, or see if sex offenders live nearby.


But before Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio offered the criminal database and County Attorney Andrew Thomas posted mugs of convicted DUI offenders, there was


"We're one-stop shopping," said Sgt. Paul Penzone, who oversees Silent Witness, a program of the Phoenix Police Department for 27 years.


Site users can look at pictures of wanted offenders or search for a fugitive based on his or her physical traits. For example, a search for an Anglo woman with brown hair and brown eyes yielded three results, complete with photos, full description and type of crime. Fugitives wanted for violent crimes are profiled alongside people wanted for theft, probation violations or failure to appear in court.


"(We utilize every) opportunity to get any bad guy or girl off the street," Penzone said. "Regardless of the crime they committed, everyone needs to be accountable."


Last week, the Sheriff's Office unveiled an online database containing information on 30,000 people with warrants in Maricopa County. There are no pictures, but users can run a search by name, address, ZIP code, criminal offense, gender or race, among others. The hope is that citizens will use the database on to recognize criminals and give authorities information leading to an arrest. Five arrests had been made as of Monday.


Check out these other sites:






Slient Witness reaching out to Valley police agencies


Lindsey Collom

The Arizona Republic

Jan. 25, 2006 12:00 AM



For 26 years, police have turned to Silent Witness when they've run out of leads on violent crimes.


But for the first time in the organization's history, the number of tips and arrests decreased last year.


Now, the organization, which has paid out nearly $1.3 million in rewards and solved more than 9,000 crimes, is shifting its focus. Instead of waiting for Valley police agencies to contact it for help, the agency is soliciting them for cases.


The reasons for the decline are unclear, but officers think it may be due to the saturation of police shows with similar reward programs.


Just this week, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio started his own Web site, where the public can turn in criminals.


Silent Witness typically receives 50 to 70 new cases each month, the bulk from the Phoenix Police Department, which runs the program. It is staffed by a sergeant and six detectives from the Phoenix agency but takes tips on crimes committed in any city.


Now, with two additional staffers paid for by Phoenix, the program will be able to solicit other agencies for cases.


"We're not in competition with anyone," said Sgt. Paul Penzone, who runs Silent Witness. "We're here to serve everyone."


In the past two years, at least two of three cases submitted by Mesa police have reaped results from Silent Witness, Mesa police Sgt. Chuck Trapani said.


"It has such a great reputation and people have confidence in the system. It is a great tool because some people are leery of calling police," Trapani said. "With Silent Witness, people feel more comfortable."


Two months ago, a tip to Silent Witness helped police arrest Richard Troy Wilson on suspicion of first-degree murder in the Aug. 21 death of Marcus Pe?, 23, of Mesa.


Wilson is accused of knocking on Pe?'s apartment door, forcing his way in and shooting Pe? several times.


Tips from Silent Witness also helped Mesa police identify two investigative leads last January in a 2004 spree of "Gas Can" robberies. The suspects, often wearing Halloween masks, sprayed gasoline from a bug sprayer or can to threaten employees to turn over cash.


Marco Antonio Villarino and Manuel Jesus Zepeda are wanted in connection with the five robberies.


If the suspects are found and arrested, the tipsters could receive up to $1,000, the maximum reward from Silent Witness. Reward money comes from fund-raising and private and corporate donations. Some unsolved crimes have larger reward amounts paid for by friends, family or victim-reward funds. Trapani said that Mesa primarily uses Silent Witness for help in solving violent crimes but that the program has a wider scope.


Fugitives are also featured for such crimes as probation violations, skipping a court date, drug offenses and shoplifting. Most arrests from Silent Witness tips are for people wanted for felonies. Drug crimes are second and burglary third.


"I'm often asked, 'Why are you profiling a property crime or why animal cruelty?' " Penzone said. "If we just chose high-profile cases, we're missing an opportunity to catch somebody."


Nearly every Valley media agency, including The Arizona Republic, regularly publishes fugitives' pictures supplied by the program, but Penzone still worries about reaching that single person who can help solve a crime. He would like to post fliers with fugitive information at convenience stores and businesses but needs participants.


"With TV, if you don't catch the right person at the right time, you've lost them," he said. "With a flier, that person over 30 days might pass that spot, see the flier there and we have a better chance of them calling in."


But media exposure can be a double-edged sword. Arrests were slightly down last year, and Penzone speculated that overexposure bred apathy.


"All the exposure, all the police-related TV shows, people can stop paying attention because they see too much of it," he said. "It's the first year we've seen a decrease, and I think part of the reason is people take it for granted."


Penzone hopes there will be a time when people with information on a crime will automatically think to call Silent Witness. He has a simple answer for people who ask why they should call.


"The people who feel it most are those who are immediately impacted," he said. "Until they are, they don't realize how important it is to help a stranger when they can because that stranger could help you when you're victimized or when someone you love is a victim.


Staff reporter Senta Scarborough contributed to this article.





the city of phoenix has wasted $120 million and plans to spend $50 million more, a total of $170 million for a radio systems that the cops and firefighters use which doesnt work. thats $130 wasted for every man, woman, and child in the city per the 2000 census which says the population is 1.3 million people


$120 million radio system ailing

Phoenix firefighters are using old method


Josh Kelley

The Arizona Republic

Jan. 25, 2006 12:00 AM


Over the past two years, Phoenix police and several other city departments have begun using a powerful new radio system, costing more than $120 million, that was supposed to enhance communications, particularly in the aftermath of a major disaster or terrorist attack.


The goal for police and firefighters was to create a network that would allow them to talk to one another or to their colleagues from neighboring municipalities from anywhere in the Valley.


But Phoenix firefighters say the system has been plagued with transmission delays and lost signals in large buildings, critical issues that will take at least five years and an estimated $50 million to resolve.


Officials from the Fire Department and Motorola, which built the system, say that firefighters, engineers and the city's technology personnel failed to adequately discuss how the new radios would work before the system was installed.


As a result, the city will ask voters in March for $15 million to begin work on improving the system and to expand and maintain Phoenix's old radio system, which the city's 1,432 firefighters, and their colleagues from the 17 other departments dispatched by Phoenix, continue to use.


Replacing system


Phoenix officials began exploring a replacement for the city's old radio system more than 10 years ago. The city hired consultants in the 1990s to assess its communications needs, and they recommended that Phoenix purchase a new radio system, much like the one later installed by Motorola.


The decision to buy the new radios was further prompted by the Federal Communications Commission, which announced plans to require that frequencies used by VHF radio systems be divided into narrower bands. That requirement, which is scheduled to go into effect in 2013, meant Phoenix's old radio system would have to be replaced or dramatically changed.


To purchase the new radio system from Motorola, Phoenix budgeted $112.5 million, with $91 million coming from a bond election in 2001, said Kris Sigfridson, acting head of the city's Information Technology Department.


Other cities whose firefighters are dispatched by the Phoenix Fire Department, contributed $13.5 million, she said.


The Phoenix department's share of the system was $35 million.


Sigfridson said that $4.3 million set aside for new handheld radios will not be spent now because firefighters are still using the old radios.


How they work


The city's old VHF radio system sends signals from one radio to another, much like a walkie-talkie. It has limited range and only a few channels, but signals are reliable.


The new system, an 800-megahertz digital trunked radio system, sends a signal from one radio to a repeater and then out to other radios. Capacity is much greater, allowing firefighters and police on opposite ends of the city to talk to each other.


Instead of the few channels available with the old system, the new radios have dozens of "talk groups," in which signals are delivered on the first available frequency within a pool of frequencies to reduce overcrowding.


Engineers crafted the new system to provide seamless communication among local, state and federal agencies, an important capability when responding to a major disaster.


Communications problems among police and firefighters hampered rescue efforts during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, drawing calls for reform from congressional leaders and others, including U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.


Problems arise


Before the new system was brought online in early 2004, Phoenix firefighters tested the radios inside buildings, where firefighters are in the most danger during a fire. They found that the new system's radio signals were more easily disrupted inside large buildings and had worse audio quality than the old system.


Fire officials decided to stick with the old system, even though many of the city's other departments, including police, converted to the new system.


"We have right now the safest communications system in the country for our fire departments here in the Valley," said Division Chief Nate White, who oversees technical services for the Phoenix Fire Department.


"Should we move forward with this new technology when we don't have all the answers, or should we wait?"


White said Motorola did not adequately test or develop its technology before consultants recommended it.


"The testing that was done was not done in the actual settings," White said. "It was done with machines and through theory."


Phil Dobosz, systems integration vice president for Motorola's Western region, said his company did not fully understand how the Fire Department wanted its radio system to function. But it's not clear where the communications breakdown occurred, he said.


"I think we're all kind of wondering why it wasn't better understood upfront," Dobosz said.


White said the Fire Department and Motorola both failed to adequately discuss potential problems.


A Fire Department report cited similar radio problems in other cities, including New York, San Diego and Columbia, S.C.


In October during a symposium sponsored by the International Association of Fire Fighters, White warned colleagues to avoid making the same mistake of buying new radio systems that put firefighters at risk.


Alan Caldwell, senior adviser for government relations for the International Association of Fire Chiefs, said fire departments have found that new radio systems such as Phoenix's work well with proper engineering, installation and training of those who use them.


"Most jurisdictions find that it works just fine, but it's different," he said.


Mesa, which also dispatches Gilbert and Apache Junction firefighters, finished installing a new Motorola radio system last summer with the idea of creating a regional network with Phoenix.


Mesa Assistant Fire Chief Gary Bradbury said the adjustment to the new system has been minimal.


But unlike Phoenix, Mesa for years has used radios that send signals to a repeater before reaching another radio.


The Phoenix Fire Department is accustomed to direct radio-to-radio contact and must deal with mountains and tall buildings that cause interference, which is not a big factor in Mesa.


Complicating mutual aid


Because Mesa and Phoenix firefighters are using different radios, a patch was added to the radio systems to ensure firefighters dispatched by both cities could communicate when responding to the same incident.


A battalion chief is assigned to monitor the radios when firefighters dispatched by Mesa and Phoenix work together.


And Mesa firefighters use radios from their old system, not their new radios, to respond in cities such as Tempe and Chandler where Phoenix dispatches.


For day-to-day operations, those fixes work, Bradbury said. But if a major disaster was to occur with hundreds of firefighters responding from multiple cities, they would be limited to only a few radio channels provided by the old system, he said.


The channels would likely become overcrowded, Bradbury explained, while the new radio system would have many more talk groups to use.


"We're limited back to what we've been limited to the last 20 years," Bradbury said.


Not so, said Phoenix Deputy Fire Chief John Maldonado, co-director of the city's Homeland Defense Bureau.


He said the patch system used in dispatch centers allows the Valley's firefighters and police to easily communicate with each other and federal officials during a disaster response, regardless of the radio systems they use.


Maldonado added that the response to a disaster would be primarily coordinated off one radio channel. Only support personnel would use other channels or talk groups, not those responding directly to the incident, he said.


Capt. Mike Worrell, who works under White in the Fire Department's technical services division, said the Phoenix Fire Department is also adding radios to each firetruck that will allow command staff to use the city's new radio system to communicate with police and federal agencies.


"We're ready for a disaster, more ready than we've ever been," White said.



Police make adjustments


Phoenix's other departments, including the police, are pleased with the new system. Dispatchers can hear officers more clearly, the radios have a much greater range and they can be encrypted, said Jesse Cooper, communications manager for Phoenix police.


But the department did find a hitch.


Officers detected a delay of a second or less before a voice could be transmitted after pressing the talk button on the new radios, a potentially dangerous problem particularly for officers on tactical teams that depend on instant communication, said Lt. Stan Hoover, who oversees the Police Department's Special Assignments Unit.


Police worked with Motorola to provide officers with a channel to which they can switch for direct radio-to-radio communication without noticeable delays, but dispatchers can't listen to the conversation or speak to officers.


Sigfridson said the Fire Department does not want to use radio-to-radio communication unless its dispatchers can hear what's going on inside a burning building, where firefighters work in low visibility and easily become disoriented.


In Phoenix, repairs and new equipment are needed to maintain and expand the VHF radio system, so fire officials requested $15 million in bond money.


The City Council approved the request in November, and it will go to voters for approval during a bond election in March.


At least $5 million will be used to develop a strategy for correcting the new radio system, Sigfridson said.


In 2011, the Fire Department plans to request an estimated $46 million in bond money to pay for equipment, such as more repeaters, to adjust the new radio system, White said.


The goal is to have radios that use repeaters and direct radio-to-radio channels that can be monitored by dispatchers and automatically triggered when firefighters respond to a fire so they avoid switching channels inside burning buildings, White said.


Motorola is working with the department to adjust the system, Motorola's Dobosz said.


Sigfridson said she is hopeful a solution will be reached, "but, of course, firefighters are the ones that are the toughest to sell because they're the ones with their lives on the line."





yea sure we can win the drug war :)


Mexico says military wasn't moving pot

Uniformed men flee U.S. officials on Texas border


Alicia A. Caldwell

Associated Press

Jan. 25, 2006 12:00 AM


SIERRA BLANCA, Texas - Men in Mexican military-style uniforms crossed the Rio Grande into the United States on a marijuana-smuggling foray, leading to an armed confrontation with Texas law officers, authorities said Tuesday. No shots were fired.


The men retreated and escaped back across the border with much of the pot, though they abandoned more than a half-ton of marijuana as they fled and set fire to one of their vehicles, authorities said.


The Mexican government denied its military was involved.


Monday's confrontation involved three Texas sheriff's deputies, Texas state troopers and at least 10 heavily armed men from the Mexican side of the Rio Grande, said Rick Glancey of the Texas Border Sheriffs' Coalition.


Gov. Rick Perry ordered an investigation.


"It's certainly troubling and unacceptable, and a real reminder of how an unsecure border threatens all Texans and the rest of the nation," spokesman Kathy Walt said.


The Mexican Foreign Relations Department said in a statement that drug traffickers and other organized criminals have previously used uniforms and vehicles. "It is possible that these actions were designed to damage the image of our armed forces," it said.


Congress may look into incursions. Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., plans a hearing on incursions and border violence March 1 in a Senate Judiciary subcommittee, a spokesman said. The committee will ask Border Patrol officials to testify.


Kyl also wrote to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, asking her to open an official investigation. Rep. Rick Renzi, R-Ariz., wrote to the State Department last week, as well, and called for states like Arizona to form their own border guard units funded by the federal government.


Monday's incident follows a story in the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin in Ontario, Calif., on Jan. 15 that said the Mexican military had crossed into the United States more than 200 times since 1996. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has said reports of Mexican incursions into the United States were overblown.


The confrontation on Monday was near Neely's Crossing, about 50 miles east of El Paso, and started when state police tried to stop three sport utility vehicles on Interstate 10. The vehicles made a quick U-turn and headed toward the border, a few miles away, Glancey said.


When the SUVs reached the river, police saw the occupants of a Mexican army-style Humvee apparently waiting for the convoy, Glancey said.


Police stopped and watched as the vehicles began to cross the shallow river into Mexico. The Americans and the smugglers had their weapons drawn.


One SUV got stuck in the river, and another blew a tire on the Texas side. Its driver ran into Mexico.


Men in the Humvee tried to tow the stuck vehicle out of the river. When that failed, a group of men in civilian clothes began unloading from the SUV what appeared to be bundles of marijuana. They then torched the SUV, Glancey said.


Deputies found about 1,400 pounds of marijuana in the vehicle that had a flat tire. The vehicle had been reported stolen in El Paso.





george w hitler says its ok for him to break the law and spy on us. - after all the constitution does give the amerikan emperor total power!


Administration hikes efforts to defend its domestic spying

Students protest Gonzales event at Georgetown


Eric Lichtblau

New York Times

Jan. 25, 2006 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - Ramping up the administration's defense of its domestic eavesdropping program, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Tuesday invoked the lessons of George Washington and Franklin D. Roosevelt in justifying President Bush's broad power to wage war against terrorism.


Gonzales, a key architect of the surveillance program, said that the operation was "both necessary and lawful" and that he believed any president would have taken the steps Bush did.


"I think it would be irresponsible to do otherwise," he said in a speech at Georgetown University Law Center.


Gonzales' address, along with seven television appearances Monday night and Tuesday morning, was part of an orchestrated effort by the Bush administration to recast the debate on the National Security Agency program as one of national security rather than civil liberties.


Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the nation's second-ranking intelligence official, made an unusual public speech about the program on Monday, while Bush discussed it on a trip to Kansas.


The president is also scheduled to visit the security agency in Fort Meade, Md., today to reassure employees whose normally secret activities have come under scrutiny.


With polls showing the public evenly split about the eavesdropping program, Gonzales, like Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney before him, said in his speech that he welcomed a "worthy debate" over the limits of presidential power.


More than two dozen students in the audience responded by turning their backs on Gonzales and standing stone-faced before live television cameras for the duration of his half-hour speech.


Five protesters in the group donned black hoods and unfurled a banner paraphrasing a quotation from Benjamin Franklin as "Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither."


Former counsel


Gonzales, who had been White House counsel when the eavesdropping program was approved after the Sept. 11 attacks, appeared unbothered by the protest.


Aides said he planned more events before his testimony at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the program, scheduled Feb. 6.


Critics of the NSA program, who accused Bush of violating the Constitution and the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by authorizing wiretaps without warrants on international communications linked to al-Qaida, said they were unimpressed by the administration's public push.


'Clearly' illegal


David Cole, a Georgetown law professor who took part in a panel discussion by liberal critics and conservative supporters after Gonzales' speech, said the program was "clearly" illegal.


He attacked what he saw as a "blatantly political" effort by the White House to establish a legal footing for it.


Administration officials "can say over and over and over again that it's lawful - as if the American people will believe it if you say it often enough," Cole said.


Gonzales offered a more detailed explanation of why the administration felt the need to bypass the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.


The court was created in the aftermath of Watergate with the "exclusive" charge to administer wiretaps in foreign intelligence investigations.


Gonzales said that even under an emergency wiretap application, which allows the government to go to the court retroactively 72 hours after beginning a wiretap, the system might not work quickly enough in all cases.





is this government double speak for "we are losing the war in iraq just like we lost the war in vietnam"? - i think it is! - and remember in the vietnam war the US government could use slave labor to get warm bodies to kill people in vietnam - it was called the draft. in this war slavery is not allowed so the american empire doesnt manpower to total conquer iraq.


Army found overextended by repeated deployments


Robert Burns

Associated Press

Jan. 25, 2006 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - Stretched by frequent troop rotations to Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army has become a "thin green line" that could snap unless relief comes soon, according to a study for the Pentagon.


Andrew Krepinevich, a retired Army officer who wrote the report under a Pentagon contract, concluded that the Army cannot sustain the pace of troop deployments to Iraq long enough to break the back of the insurgency. He also suggested that the Pentagon's decision, announced in December, to begin reducing the force in Iraq this year was driven in part by a realization that the Army was overextended.


As evidence, Krepinevich points to the Army's 2005 recruiting slump, missing its recruiting goal for the first time since 1999, and its decision to offer much bigger enlistment bonuses and other incentives.


"You really begin to wonder just how much stress and strain there is on the Army, how much longer it can continue," he said in an interview. He added that the Army is still a highly effective fighting force and is implementing a plan that will expand the number of combat brigades available for rotations to Iraq and Afghanistan.


Krepinevich did not conclude that U.S. forces should quit Iraq now but said it may be possible to reduce troop levels below 100,000 by the end of the year. There now are about 136,000, Pentagon officials said Tuesday.


The 136-page report represents a more sobering picture of the Army's condition than military officials offer in public. Although not released publicly, a copy of the report was provided in response to an Associated Press inquiry.


Illustrating his level of concern about strain on the Army, Krepinevich titled one of his report's chapters, "The Thin Green Line."


He wrote that the Army is "in a race against time" to adjust to the demands of war "or risk 'breaking' the force in the form of a catastrophic decline" in recruitment and re-enlistment.


Col. Lewis Boone, spokesman for Army Forces Command, which is responsible for providing troops to war commanders, said it would be "a very extreme characterization" to call the Army broken. He said his organization has been able to fulfill every request for troops that it has received from commanders.


The Krepinevich assessment is the latest in the debate over whether the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have worn out the Army, how the strains can be eased and whether the U.S. military is too burdened to defeat other threats.


Rep. John Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat and Vietnam veteran, created a political storm last fall when he called for an early exit from Iraq, arguing that the Army was "broken, worn out" and fueling the insurgency by its mere presence. Administration officials have hotly contested that view.





15 years ago when the messy yard laws were pass they were selectively enforced on a few people. now it looks like the messy yard laws will be selectivelly enforced on a much large number of people


Neighborhood task force has plan for Tempe renters


Katie Nelson

The Arizona Republic

Jan. 25, 2006 12:00 AM


TEMPE - If you park your car helter-skelter, party late into the night or don't trim your lawn in Tempe, watch out.


A task force of Tempe residents charged with finding ways to address neighborhood blight caused by renters and their landlords may have found a way to stop you.


The city's rental housing task force, spearheaded by Mayor Hugh Hallman, met for the last time Tuesday.


For months, task force members have been hashing out how some single-family home renters annoy, frustrate and burden their neighbors.


Now, the group has developed a list of ways to address the problems caused by renters and negligent landlords. They will present it to the City Council in late March.


It was repeatedly noted that it's not just renters who strain neighborhood relations in Tempe.


But in a city where nearly half the dwelling units are rentals - during the 2000 census it was 49 percent - rental housing and the issues it brings have become a sore subject.


"Council needs to know there is not a more important issue in our community than neighborhood enforcement and enhancement to preserve our neighborhoods," Hallman told the group Tuesday.


The committee includes Hallman, Councilmen Mark Mitchell and Ben Arredondo, and 15 appointed community members, including landlords, community activists and two college students.


The group also got help and feedback from about a half-dozen city staff members who specialize in neighborhood, taxes or enforcement issues.


The task force ideas include:


•  Making it mandatory for all landlords to register all their units with the city so officials know whom to contact when there is a problem. They also want to tax each unit, no exceptions.


•  Pushing for increased city code enforcement by having more people covering more hours. They plan on asking the council to hire a cadre of new full- and part-timers to make it happen.


•  Educating students and out-of-city landlords who might not be aware of Tempe's rules. The task force is going to ask the council to distribute information through Arizona State University, the city's Web site and city publications.






Phoenix news briefs


Jan. 25, 2006 12:00 AM


Police say officer killed suspect in shooting


PHOENIX -A Phoenix police officer on Monday fatally shot a man who authorities say pointed a gun at the officer.


Phoenix Police Sgt. Andy Hill said officers responded to a shooting call about 7:45 p.m. at the Chevron gas station at 1901 W. Bell Road, where a man reportedly shot and wounded another man. The suspect fled into a nearby field.


Hill said officers set up a perimeter around the field. About 8:50 p.m., Officer Jerry Hester saw a person walking out of the field, Hill said. Hester approached the man, who reportedly pulled a .45-caliber handgun from his waistband and pointed it at Hester, who fired, striking the suspect, Hill said.


Hill said the suspect, Justin Richardson, was taken to John C. Lincoln Hospital-North Mountain, where he later died.


The officer involved in the shooting will be on paid administrative leave during an investigation, which is standard policy.





the cops routinely kill suspected criminals with out passing the legal test for using deadly force and the cops are never arrested or jailed. but if you use deadly force to defend your property or person the cops will put you in jail




Liquor store owner gets 7 years for man's death


WEST PHOENIX -A liquor store owner was sentenced Tuesday to a seven-year prison term for the May 2004 shooting death of a customer suspected of stealing beer.


Fayek Khaled Mohamad, 43, who was convicted of manslaughter, could have received 21 years, but a Maricopa County Superior Court judge found circumstances calling for leniency.


The victim, Phillip Tate, 40, was gunned down during an argument with Mohamad outside a market near 51st Avenue and Thomas Road, police said. 





it sounds like a innocent driving mistake. but the jackbooted mesa cops are treating it as a murder


Jan 25, 3:12 AM EST


Man accused of running over girl was backing out of parking space


MESA, Ariz. (AP) -- The hit-and-run suspect accused of fatally running over a 4-year-old Queen Creek girl was backing out of a parking space and not driving down the street as initially reported, authorities said Tuesday.


Jennifer Cervantes was sweeping the asphalt in the parking lot of a meat market on Sunday when she was struck.


Gilberto Olaquez, 72, is accused of the hit-and-run and is being held on a $45,000 bond in a Maricopa County jail.





The recent postage increase was a TAX! The postage rate hike was not because of rising cost by the post office but because congress decided it needed to raise $3.1 BILLION in revenue.


I saw this at the post office on Southern and College in Tempe.




This rate increase --- the first since 2002 --- is needed to fulfill the requirement of a federal law passed in 2003. That law requires the Postal Service to establish a $3.1 billion escrow account, with the use of the funds to be determined by Congress at a later date. Without this federal mandate, it would not have been necessary to raise rates in 2006.


It wasn’t driven by operating costs or revenue shortfalls --- but by Congressional legislation.


Here are some stories about it I got off the web.


Associated Press

Post Office Management Opposes Reform Bill

By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID , 01.25.2006, 12:50 PM


After more than a year of seeking legislation to update how the post office is run, postal management said Wednesday both the House and Senate bills should be scrapped and the whole process started over.


Failure to win approval of provisions opposed by the Bush administration could lead to as mush as a 20 percent increase in postage rates, postal officials said.


"We believe there are critical elements missing from this bill, as well as numerous burdensome provisions that would make it extremely difficult for the Postal Service to function in a modern, competitive environment," the governing board of the Postal Service said in a letter to Sen. Susan M. Collins, R-Maine, who chairs the committee on government affairs.


The House reform bill approved last year contains similar provisions.


"We've worked long and hard with House and Senate staff ... to try to get corrections to the legislation and we just have literally reached the end of that rope," postal senior vice president Tom Day said in a telephone interview.


The problem centers on provisions for an escrow account and retirement benefits.


Legislation in 2003 required the post office to assume responsibility for retirement benefits earned by its employees during military service before going to work for the post office. That shifted an eventual responsibility of some $27 billion from the Treasury to the post office, and is not required of other government agencies.


Another past measure requires the post office to place $3.1 billion this year in an escrow account. That requirement was the only reason for the 2-cent increase in postage that took place earlier this month, agency officials said, and the escrow requirement increases in coming years.


While bills to modernize the postal operations would have eliminated those requirements, that would have made the federal deficit appear larger, drawing the veto threat from the administration.


Facing such a threat, Day said that postal management is concerned that the provisions would simply be dropped during House-Senate conference negotiations, and there is nothing else in the bills that would help the agency cut costs.


Other problems cited by postal officials in the bills are:


_ A requirement that the Postal Service pre-fund retiree health benefits over the next 40 years. This would require an 8.9 percent postal rate increase in addition to any increase needed to meet operational costs.


_ Granting the Postal Regulatory Commission new authority to hear complaints about every facet of Postal Service operations and order the Postal Service to take corrective action.


by PH3 Jeff Blakley

The Waterline


The longer lines many have experienced at post offices around the country normally point to one thing. It's time to stock up on one cent stamps.


The fees for using the United States Postal Service (USPS) have increased across the board. Shortly after the new year began, most postal fees and rates increased by 5.4 percent. The change came when the USPS voted to accept an increase to help meet the requirements of a 2003 federal law requiring the postal service to build a $3.1 billion escrow account. These changes affect personal mailers, as well as government mail including the DoD and Navy official mailing system






Blame Congress, not workers, for increase in postal rates


January 26, 2006


As a clerk for the U.S. Postal Service, I am disappointed in the postal rate increase, too. However, the Statesman Journal and the general public are unaware of 2005 postal reform passed by Congress mandating the Postal Service to put $3.1 billion in escrow -- not million, billion.


Why? Good question. One word: Deficit. USPS is debt-free. Congress is making the Postal Service take care of the military retirement deficit. The American Postal Workers' Union fought against this legislation.


Yet again, Congress has not fixed anything. They love using Band-Aids. People need to direct their complaints (e-mails, letters, faxes) to their U.S. senator -- not postal workers.


So, go ahead and buy a $5 coffee drink, pay for your $100 jeans, fill up your gas-guzzling SUV on high-price gas and complain about two cents.


-- Sophea Uk, Salem


Postal rate increase met with favor


By Jennifer Reeger


Saturday, January 7, 2006


An extra 2 cents to mail a first-class letter doesn't bother Jack Greiner at all -- even though he can remember a time when stamps cost 3 cents.

"Of course, ice cream cones only cost 5 cents back then, too," Greiner, 72, of Unity Township, said Friday after doing business at the post office in Greensburg.


Beginning Sunday, the U.S. Postal Service will raise most of its rates and fees by about 5.4 percent, the first such increase since 2002.


First-class stamp prices are going up 2 cents -- to 39 cents. In addition, priority mail rates for a 1-pound package are going up to $4.05 from $3.85. And rates for a half-pound express mail package will increase to $14.40 from $13.65. Fees for services such as certified mail, delivery confirmation and money orders also will increase.


Diana Svoboda, a spokeswoman for the Postal Service's Pittsburgh district, said the rate increase was necessary because of a 2003 federal mandate that the postal service set aside $3.1 billion in an escrow account this year.


"This was mandated by Congress," she said. "This was not a postal decision."


Svoboda said the increase would not have been necessary without the congressional mandate. The escrow account will be used at the discretion of Congress, Svoboda said, adding that the postal service still considers its rates "a bargain."


"If you think about it, 39 cents to go anywhere in the country -- 144 million homes and businesses every day, door-to-door," she said.


Greiner agreed.


"Two cents is not bad," Greiner said. "All the other businesses have to increase their prices to keep things going, so it doesn't bother me."


But Michaelene Uhall, of Greensburg, said she's thinking of using the Internet more because of the rate increase.


"I'll try not to send out as much mail, get on the Internet and do bill pay," Uhall said.


Svoboda said despite the fact people can pay bills online, mail volume -- including first class -- increased last year. She said overall mail volume increased by 5.6 billion pieces to 212 billion items last year. First-class mail volume increased for the first time in about 2 1/2 years, Svoboda added.


"That tells me that people have faith in the postal service," she said.


She said the increases show that the ability to pay bills online has not hampered mail volume.


"There are so many fears with the computer, I think a lot of people are coming back to using the mail," Svoboda said.


Christy Bell, 33, of Hempfield Township, said she does pay a lot of bills online.


"I like the post office, but if I can save 39 cents, I will," Bell said.


Still, she doesn't think the increase is dramatic.


"I think the post office is an amazing system," she said. "They do a really good job. I've never mailed something that's never gotten there."


Jennifer Reeger can be reached at or (724) 836-6155.




rand jury to investigate police actions after Katrina


Cain Burdeau

Associated Press

Jan. 26, 2006 12:00 AM


NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana grand jury will investigate several controversies involving police in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, including the theft of cars from a Cadillac dealership and the shooting deaths of two men suspected of firing on contractors.


The grand jury will be the first impaneled here since Hurricane Katrina hit on Aug. 29. District Attorney Eddie Jordan, whose offices were flooded in the storm, announced the investigations Wednesday from his temporary headquarters in a former nightclub.


More than 200 vehicles, including 88 new Cadillacs and Chevrolets, were taken from a dealership amid the chaos after the hurricane hit. New Orleans police have acknowledged that some of the cars were taken by officers to replace flooded police cars.


In October, two civilians were arrested in the case and on Friday a federal grand jury indicted a former officer on charges of stealing a pickup truck from the dealership.


The police-shooting case has been surrounded by confusion. On Sept. 4, police said five people were shot to death by officers after opening fire on a group of contractors on a bridge in New Orleans. But the number was later revised down to two, and questions have been raised about whether those killed were involved in any wrongdoing.


The grand jury also will look at evidence in a case involving a police chief and police officer from the small town of Mermentau who were accused of looting after Katrina. And it will examine allegations of possible malfeasance involving a Port of New Orleans official who dismissed about 60 port officers who could have helped protect a mall and taken part in rescue efforts.


Jordan said the grand jury will probably also look into the deaths of patients at hospitals during Katrina and investigate whether the levees that broke were improperly built.





border patrol cops always have lots of good weed they can sell to you


Border agent accused of taking bale of pot


Dennis Wagner

The Arizona Republic

Jan. 26, 2006 12:00 AM


A U.S. Border Patrol agent who authorities say was caught on videotape stealing marijuana from a smuggler's truck faces two criminal counts in federal court.


According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Michael Carlos Gonzalez found the abandoned drug load while on patrol Dec. 28 and stole a bale of pot while a Department of Public Safety officer chased two smugglers. Gonzalez, 33, of Vail, was indicted for intent to distribute marijuana and possession of a firearm during a drug-trafficking crime.





It's easy to be a fake mexican cop!!!! And you can always use it as an excuse to rob someone!


Smugglers posed as Mexican soldiers


Mark Stevenson

Associated Press

Jan. 26, 2006 12:00 AM


MEXICO CITY - What looked like a Mexican military patrol aiding drug traffickers on the border shocked Texas police.


It was hardly a relief to the United States when Mexico announced Wednesday that the men were impostors: It meant that gangs feel free to drive around the border area with military-style vehicles and uniforms.


Mexico has become accustomed to traffickers disguised as cops or soldiers.


It's not just the uniforms; gangs in Mexico often use grenades and rocket launchers. The suspects in Monday's incident had a military-style Humvee.


Caps, vests and T-shirts with official-looking logos for Mexico's federal police are sold at street stands. Some cops even rent out their uniforms or patrol cars to shakedown artists.


"It's very easy to go out and buy military uniforms in a store," said Rodolfo Casillas, a professor who specializes in crime at the Latin American School for Social Sciences. "It's very easy to get (uniforms) for any police agency you want to imitate."


Rick Glancey of the Texas Border Sheriffs' Coalition said the confrontation began 50 miles east of El Paso when state police tried to stop three sport utility vehicles on Interstate 10. The vehicles made a quick U-turn and headed south toward the border, a few miles away.


Crossing the border, one SUV got stuck in the river, and the men with the Humvee tried in vain to tow it. Then a group of men in civilian clothes began unloading what appeared to be bundles of marijuana and set the SUV on fire before fleeing.


It was a tense confrontation at a time of rising anger over border security. The United States is considering extending a wall along the 2,000- mile border, something Mexicans bitterly resent.


Recent reports that Mexican soldiers and police have been crossing into the United States about 20 times a year have irked U.S. border states, even though Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff downplayed the problem, noting that in many places the border is not clearly marked.


Mexican presidential spokesman Ruben Aguilar told a news conference Wednesday that "it is known that these are drug traffickers using military uniforms, and they were not even regulation military uniforms."


Mexico also confirmed its long-standing policy that its soldiers must stay away from the border unless they have special authorization.


A U.S. law enforcement official in Washington, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the matter is politically sensitive in both countries, confirmed Aguilar's account, saying the FBI and other agencies had found no evidence that the men in uniform were Mexican soldiers. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said both governments are investigating.


Mexico's Foreign Relations Department said in a statement that Monday's incident, in which shots were not fired, could have been staged to "damage the image of our armed forces and bilateral cooperation."





you can always trust people in government :)


Scottsdale official faces prison time


Elias C. Arnold

The Arizona Republic

Jan. 26, 2006 12:00 AM


SCOTTSDALE - A Scottsdale Human Relations Commission member is scheduled for sentencing Friday in a Virginia federal court on three counts of fraud.


Aubrey Strickstein, 46, could face as much as 15 years in prison for accepting money for services he had no intention of providing, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.


Strickstein owns Scottsdale-based Pinebrook Consulting, a human resources firm, and has served on the Scottsdale commission since October 2003.



The board advises the City Council on diversity and promotes cultural awareness.


Court documents say Strickstein received $100,000 from America Online in early 2003 for services he failed to provide, intending to pass the money to a third party to benefit then-AOL human resources executive Gregory Horton, who pleaded guilty to wire fraud Jan. 13.


Strickstein was convicted in November of wire fraud, mail fraud and transferring fraudulently obtained money across state lines.


Strickstein has already repaid $100,000 he received from AOL, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.


He did not return calls for comment Wednesday.


Strickstein was acquitted on one count of conspiracy and two additional counts of wire fraud stemming from his relationship with Horton and another former AOL executive, Ruben Moreno Jr., according to a federal indictment, when they worked for AutoNation in 2000 and when Horton worked for Qwest Communications in 2001-02. Moreno pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy.




Abuse cases end quietly for diocese

5 lawsuits settled out of court


Michael Clancy

The Arizona Republic

Jan. 26, 2006 12:00 AM


The Phoenix Diocese quietly has reached out-of-court settlements in five sex-abuse lawsuits filed in Maricopa County, paying out $375,000 to the victims. Each of the cases was settled in the past six months.


"Bishop (Thomas J.) Olmsted would like to put these matters behind us, and we are working very hard to do that," said Mike Haran, attorney for the diocese.


Olmsted said, "Our primary goal concerning these settlements is to foster healing and reconciliation."


He added, "We believe the settlements were fair and appropriate."


The diocese also has resolved four cases filed in Tucson. Remaining are 17 lawsuits, 10 filed locally and seven in California.


Mark Kennedy, who received a settlement, said ending his case brought "healing and wellness."


"I was overcome by a sense of forgiveness for everyone who hurt me," he said.


But another recipient, John Starkey, said the entire matter "is one of the worst things that has ever happened in my life, much more damaging then the actual abuse."


"The diocese is never going to admit they were wrong or apologize for it," Starkey said.


Phoenix contributed $200,000 to the Tucson Diocese's bankruptcy pool to settle the four lawsuits that occurred when Phoenix was part of the Tucson Diocese.The total of $575,000 does not include all the costs associated with the cases. The diocese retains an outside law firm to handle the cases in court, and it pays counseling costs for victims and their assailants. It also pays stipends to suspended priests. Olmsted said the diocese is using insurance money and unrestricted operating funds to pay the settlements.


The diocese acknowledged, in a national survey released in September 2003, that it previously had paid out $2.7 million related to abuse costs, including the settlement of 14 lawsuits for $1.8 million. All of the settled cases, as well as those that are pending, were filed since 2003, and many of them recount familiar tales of Catholic priests grooming and then molesting the plaintiffs. None of the priests remain in active ministry, but only one has been laicized, or removed from the priesthood. Three of them have died, and two others officially left the priesthood.


Of the 26 total cases, victims have been made public in only nine. One of the five who reached a settlement has never been identified.


Those who settled are:


• Victor DiGiovine, who accused the Rev. Saul Madrid of abusing him in 1987 when both were at SS. Simon and Jude Cathedral in Phoenix. Madrid never faced criminal charges. DiGiovine received $75,000.


• Kennedy, who claimed abuse at the hands of the Rev. Patrick Colleary in 1979 while Colleary visited his home. Colleary is facing criminal charges in connection with other victims. He lives in his native Ireland, where extradition proceedings failed. Kennedy received $100,000.


• Ben Kulina, who was abused by the Rev. John Giandelone in 1979 and 1980. Giandelone was convicted in the case in March 2003 and spent 13 months in prison. Giandelone, who served two previous sentences, has left the priesthood. Kulina received $110,000.


•  Starkey cited abuse in 1985. The Rev. Joseph Lessard, his abuser, served three years' probation in a plea agreement after then-Bishop Thomas J. O'Brien requested leniency for the priest. Lessard remained an active priest, spending much of his career as a hospital chaplain in Illinois, until he was removed permanently from ministry in 2002. Starkey received $50,000.


• An unidentified victim of the Rev. Karl LeClaire in 1993 received $40,000 from the diocese. LeClaire, a member of the Salvatorian religious order, is serving a year in prison for a separate case.


Kulina declined to discuss his settlement. Kennedy was more forthcoming, saying the money was less important to him than the closure.


Starkey said he would have been better off never talking about his situation.


"My self-image was so shot by the end of this, I just wanted out," he said. "Wish I had a happy story, but my life now is hell."


Only one of the four people receiving settlements through Tucson has been identified. He is Thomas Groom, who was abused as a child at St. Gregory Parish in Phoenix. Those settlements are as high as $425,000.


David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, said there is no "average" award. Very few civil cases have gone to trial because juries have awarded settlements in the millions of dollars, he said, and that gives the church motivation to settle.


On the other hand, "Many times, an abuse survivor faces tremendous financial and family pressure to settle, coupled with an emotional need to move forward," Clohessy said.


Haran said the Phoenix cases have been settled "one at a time," rather than in a group as other dioceses have done, including Tucson, Orange County and Boston.


"It is the way we have done it," he said. "No one has proposed doing it any other way. Each case is different on its merits."


Paul Pfaffenberger, local director of SNAP, said he would have preferred to see the cases settled as a group because he believes each victim would have been better served.


He said he did not know of any lawsuits about to be filed, "but I have heard of plenty who have chosen not to file because they believed it would not serve their needs."


As a result, he said, the number of civil cases tends to lag far behind the actual number of abuse cases.




Jan 26, 7:20 AM EST


Lawyer: Saddam wants to sue Bush, Blair



Associated Press Writer          


BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Saddam Hussein's chief lawyer said Thursday that the deposed Iraqi president wants President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair tried on allegations of committing war crimes.


Khalil al-Dulaimi said Saddam wants to sue both leaders, along with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, for allegedly authorizing the use of weapons such as depleted uranium artillery shells, white phosphorous, napalm and cluster bombs against Iraqis.


"We will sue Bush, Blair and Rumsfeld in The Hague for using such weapons of mass destruction," al-Dulaimi, in Jordan, told The Associated Press in Baghdad during a telephone interview.


No complaint has been filed to the International Criminal Court in The Netherlands, but al-Dulaimi said Saddam's foreign defense team will present it "very soon."


"President Saddam intends to bring those criminals to justice for their mass killings of Iraqis in Baghdad, Ramadi, Fallujah and Qaim and abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib," the lawyer added.


Saddam also wants all Iraqis who have had relatives killed or had property damaged should receive at least $500,000 each.


There have been several allegations that the United States used outlawed weapons, such as napalm, in the November 2004 Fallujah offensive, but the Pentagon has denied using it.


In November, the Pentagon acknowledged that U.S. troops used white phosphorous shells against insurgent strongholds in the same Fallujah battle, adding that they are a standard weapon and not banned by any international weapons convention to which the United States is a signatory.


Use of white phosphorous is covered by Protocol III of the 1980 Convention on Conventional Weapons, which prohibits use of the substance as an incendiary weapon against civilian populations and in air attacks against military forces in civilian areas. The United States is not a signatory to the convention.


U.S. soldiers have also claimed they have fallen ill to exposure to depleted uranium artillery shells in Iraq, but the Pentagon has said metal does not cause ailments.


Depleted uranium is the hard, heavy metal created as a byproduct of enriching uranium for nuclear reactor fuel or weapons material.


Most studies have indicated that depleted uranium exposure will not harm soldiers. But a 2002 study by Britain's Royal Society said soldiers who ingest or inhale enough depleted uranium could suffer kidney damage. It cautioned that there were too many uncertainties in the study to draw reliable conclusions.


Saddam, his half brother Barzan Ibrahim and six other defendants are on trial in the 1982 killing of more than 140 Shiite Muslims after an attempt on Saddam's life in the northern town of Dujail. They could face death by hanging if convicted.


But the trial, which started Oct. 19, has been complicated by the killings of two defense lawyers, courtroom brawls and Tuesday's postponement amid the replacement of the tribunal's top two judges. The case is set to resume Sunday.





before the messy yard law was selectively enforced on a few people. now the messy yard laws will be selectivelly enforced on lost of people!


Tempe panel backs boosting code staff

By Garin Groff, Tribune

January 26, 2006


A rental housing task force has called on Tempe to bolster code enforcement staffing to target bad neighbors.


The extra code enforcement effort is one of the key weapons Tempe needs to deal with the growing problem of blighted rental homes, members of the ad hoc task force said as the group met Tuesday for the last time.


The task force included student renters, homeowners, landlords and three City Council members, who all seemed pleased with the plan they assembled over the last several months.


Some renters and task force members said they initially feared the city would impose overly strict regulations on renters or landlords. But they found the proposals reasonable.


“I see no reason why anybody should complain,” said Tom Reade, a renter who spoke to the task force.


The task force called for the following actions by Tempe:


• Add code compliance officers. Enforcement suffered because half the eightperson unit was not staffed part of last year. Councilman Ben Arredondo called for 10 part-time employees, saying retired city residents would be ideal candidates. The larger staff would do more proactive enforcement and expand hours to cover weekends. The extra staff wouldn’t target just rentals, but look at all residential property.


• Create a city database of rental properties with current ownership information. The city now relies on county records that either are outdated or incomplete.


• Assemble information packets to remind landlords and tenants of city codes. Arizona State University would help distribute them, as college students generate a major portion of complaints.


• Require landlords to provide parking for all homes on the property — and not on the street. Homes can use up to half the front of a property for parking.


The task force’s recommendations will go to the council for discussion on March 23.


Contact Garin Groff by email, or phone (480) 898-6554





Inside! Fresh Google search terms to confound Dubya and the FBI. Also:

Is Bush a fascist?


By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Does 'Narnia' Actually Suck? - Sure the movie is hollow, lukewar...




Attention, all who are reading this column right now, please put down

your drink and leap up off the couch and put your pants back on and log

in to Google and type the words "hot bunny terrorist fluffer banana"

into the comely and world-beloved Google search engine. Do it. Do it



Oh no wait, make it "Osama butt pancake lube explosives yay." Or better

yet, try "homemade nuke porn lollipop kiddie nipple bomb!!!" (Be sure

to include extra exclamation points because as we all know, Dubya isn't

the brightest of presidents and these will add zing and personality to

your entry and make your search terms -- the very ones the Bush

administration is right now subpoenaing the Google corporation to gain

access to -- really stand out to the FBI and the Department of Justice,

which are always in need of a little zing).


It shall be a mini-movement. It shall be called "Operation Screw With

the DOJ and Make Lynne Cheney Squirm." It shall be a big national

gigglefest as we watch George W. Bush's gummint work to force and

coerce the search engines of the nation to turn over their massive logs

of search terms, all in an effort to see what perverted and

criminal-minded people like you are really searching for, and sure you

can defend yourself and claim it's pictures of Brangelina or recipes

for blood orange/vodka body shots or just what the hell is wrong with

Samuel Alito to make him look so wan and malicious, when we all know

you're really looking for, of course, massive amounts of porn. And so

are your kids.


Is it not just the warmest and nicest sensation? Is it not just

pleasing to your core to know that your government is right now trying

to track your behavior in a whole new and unsettling way, using the

vague excuse that they're trying to "protect" children from online porn

(an effort, by the way, to reinstate nasty anti-porn laws that were

blocked by the Supreme Court two years ago)? Are we now utterly charmed

to death that this is the most invasive and appallingly mistrustful

administration since Nixon secretly beat himself with nails?


Now here you might say, oh please, the feds issuing subpoenas to Google

and Yahoo and the rest for access to their search logs is nothing to be

overly paranoid about. After all, BushCo is not, at this time, asking

for information on individual behaviors. They are not checking the IP

address of your home computer or secretly recording your every

keystroke as you type or looking through your windows with high-powered

telescopes as you look up the hideous "Goatse" phenomenon (Google it,

if you dare) or buy a Jesus-shaped dildo or search for a big list of

all known slang terms for "penis" for use in your, uh, novel. So far as

you know.


But it certainly doesn't feel very far off. BushCo's latest move

against the citizenry is indeed a new and disturbing salvo, sending a

shiver down the spine of civil rights proponents everywhere. Are you

concerned? No?


Then try this: Simply couple this latest move with BushCo's outright

love and defense of torture, along with Dubya's recent enthusiastic

declaration that his team of flying monkeys has been secretly

wiretapping whomever it wants in this nation for the past four years

without any sort of warrant and, well, you've got yourself one hell of

a big sticky taste of happy neofascism.


What, not enough? Fine. How about how Bush's insane rate of issuing

those now-infamous "signing statements," those little firebombs of

judicial misprision wherein your mumbling president gets to reserve for

himself the right to ignore any law he signs -- yes, any law he

desires: anti-torture, surveillance, you name it -- whenever he feels

like it, if he deems that law unconstitutional. Screw Congress. Screw

the system of law. And screw, well, you.


For the record: Ronald Reagan issued 71 signing statements during his

unholy term. Bill Clinton issued 105 over the span of eight years. Bush

41 signed off on 146, the previous record.


And Dubya? Well, little George has slapped his color-crayon signature

on over 500 signing statements so far, reserving his right to disregard

the law more times than all former American presidents combined. It is

a record. It is a disgusting abuse of power. It is another thing to

stack on the pile o' embarrassment for our nation. Shall we see how

high we can go before we topple and implode?


(Here is the beautiful kicker, the thing to make you shudder and sigh:

As this Knight Ridder report illuminates, in 2003 lawmakers attempted

to rein in Bush's abuse of signing statements by passing a bill that

required the Justice Department to inform Congress whenever BushCo

decided to ignore a legislative provision. Bush signed the bill into

law -- but then immediately issued a signing statement asserting his

right to ignore it. Ah, the nauseating poetry of it all.)


It is amusing how little I am hearing in defense of BushCo anymore. The

rafts of flaming hate mail I used to receive from the sanctimonious

right has subsided to a withered whimper, nothing really to defend

anymore, one of the most corrupt and secretive presidencies in American

history, more criminals and indictments per square White House foot

than a den of drug runners, a decimated economy and a failed war and

thousands of soldiers dead and tens of thousands disabled and not a

single explanation or apology.


No one is writing in anymore to say what a good and noble man Bush is.

No one pointing up stats to prove how Dubya and his cronies have

brought integrity and honor back to the White House. And never a single

voiced raised in meek cry to claim that we are somehow better off than

we were six years ago, that there's a new feeling of hope and renewal,

the slightest hint that we are improving our ability to take care of

our poor and rebuild our bankrupt cities and help heal our mauled

international relations.


Hell, even the most devout of Bush sycophants are becoming increasingly

disturbed by this administration's unchecked power grab, by the new

American neofascist mantra that claims that wiretapping is good, and

surveillance is good, and torture and secret prisons are very, very

good, and Big Brother scouring America's Internet habits is fine and

healthy for your family, and ignoring the law whenever you deem it

appropriate, a provision that lets you get away with murder, well, in

the parlance of Bush himself, that's the goodest of all.


So then, as we wait to vote huge numbers of these corrupt cretins out

of office this upcoming congressional election, why not make as much

noise as possible? Why not start a mini- search revolution, fluster the

FBI and give a rash to the DOJ and Lynne Cheney alike? There are worse

ways to spend your lunch hour.


Up, off the couch. Log in to Google. Type "Karl Rove eaten by giant

homosexual squid." Type "George W. Bush beaten to lifeless pulp by

swarm of angry kindergarten children." Enter "Samuel Alito loves his

'Weapons of Ass Destruction IV' DVD." It might not be much, but it sure

sends the right kind of message. Don't you agree?






Any new Arizona state employees who make over $47,758 can be fired for any reason, execpt for cops and prison workers. i guess pigs and prison guards are special


State workers' 6.3% raise OK'd

Senate passes measure on 25-2 vote; Napolitano indicates she will sign it


Robbie Sherwood

The Arizona Republic

Jan. 27, 2006 12:00 AM


State workers in March will get their largest pay increase in decades, an average 6.3 percent bump for thousands of rank-and-file agency and university employees, lawmakers decided Thursday.


The Senate overwhelmingly approved the $225 million pay package, touted as a badly needed balm to stem high turnover and low morale among the 50,000 people who provide state services. The House passed the same package Wednesday.


While a few Democrats criticized the plan as not generous enough, or because there were some strings attached, Gov. Janet Napolitano told Democratic lawmakers Thursday that she was eager to receive the pay raise bill and would likely sign it into law.



"I'd prefer to give our state employees a raise now, as opposed to letting it get wrapped up into budget negotiations," Napolitano said.


If Napolitano does sign the plan, workers will get their first increase on March 11. The Senate approved House Bill 2661 by a vote of 25-2. The House approved it 42-15.


Some state employees were cautiously optimistic about the raises, still not quite believing they were real after years of disappointment.


"If it actually passes and it's actually given to us, that would be a good thing," said Tess Hawthorne , a single mother of five who works as a fiscal service specialist for the State Land Department. "But at this point, we'll wait until we actually see it on a paycheck before we get too excited. We've had raises promised before."


Every state worker would get an automatic $1,650 yearly increase, and then a 2.5 percent "performance pay" raise on top of that. That means workers at lower salaries, between $20,000 to $32,000, would get raises as high as 10 percent. Workers at higher salaries would get raises closer to 4.2 percent.


To keep their performance pay raises, however, state agencies will have to create new standards to improve productivity and the quality of their services. If an agency's workers don't meet those new standards, they could lose the 2.5 percent performance increase.


Sen. John Huppenthal said a few state agencies, such as the Registrar of Contractors and the Arizona Department of Game and Fish, already have performance pay plans and they are working well.


"What we have here is a win-win for both our state employees and our taxpayers who get state services," said Huppenthal, R-Chandler. "Results from performance pay have been very good to spectacular. It results in better pay and a better working environment."


Also, new hires who make over $47,758 will no longer be subject to the state merit system, meaning they cannot gain any sort of tenure and can be fired for any reason, as in the private sector. Corrections officers and Department of Public Safety officers would be exempt from this rule, however.


Some senators, such as Democrat Victor Soltero of Tucson, voted for the bill despite deep misgivings about the performance pay measure.


"I'm not at all enthused about this bill; I think we could have done a better job," said Soltero, who favored a 9.5 percent increase. "But if our state employees can get a raise in March, I'm for them receiving an increase as soon as possible. I hope down the road pay for performance does not become an obstacle."


Senator Carolyn Allen of Scottsdale broke ranks from her Republican colleagues because she could not support the performance pay measure.


"I want our employees to have a pay raise," said Allen, R-Scottsdale. "I don't think we should give them a pay raise and then take it away from them."


State workers in Arizona make an average of $32,789 a year, 22 percent below the estimated market value for comparable workers. Employees in nearby states make substantially more: an average of $45,425 in Colorado and $43,550 in Nevada, for example.


Late in 2005, a state legislative advisory committee recommended employee pay raises of 7.5 percent next year and 6.3 percent during the four years beyond that to bring Arizona up to the market rate.


Lawmakers have approved raises in the past two years for Department of Public Safety and Corrections officers to help stem double-digit turnover rates and close a wide pay gap with other government police forces. Rank-and-file employees got what was termed a 1.7 percent raise last year, but really it was just enough to cover a mandatory increase to their retirement contributions. After that raise was taxed, most employees actually lost a few dollars out of each paycheck.


Rank-and-file workers in other agencies last got a real pay raise in 2004, an across-the-board $1,000 increase that amounted to an average raise of about 2.6 percent. And a $1,400 bump in 2002 was the only other raise they've gotten in the past eight years.




Bush again defends spy program

53% of Americans approve, poll says


Wire services

Jan. 27, 2006 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - President Bush suggested Thursday that he would resist any congressional move to change his controversial program of warrantless surveillance for terrorist threats and said, "There's no doubt in my mind it is legal."


Bush told a White House news conference that the domestic spying program "is designed to protect civil liberties" and declared that "it's necessary."


Democrats have accused the president of breaking the law in allowing eavesdropping on overseas communications to and from U.S. residents, and even some members of his own party have questioned the practice.


It was the Bush's first full-scale news conference of the new year and the 10th since he was re-elected in 2004. He previewed his upcoming State of the Union address and the administration's cooperation with Congress on its investigation of Hurricane Katrina.


Asked if he would support efforts in Congress to spell out his authority to continue the eavesdropping program, Bush cited what he said was the extreme delicacy of the operation. "But it's important for people to understand that this program is so sensitive and so important that if information gets out to how we run it or how we operate it, it'll help the enemy," he said. "Why tell the enemy what we're doing?


Bush defended his administration's level of cooperation with congressional investigations into the government's slow response to Hurricane Katrina, citing the thousands of documents the White House has provided.


Meanwhile, the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll suggests Americans are willing to tolerate eavesdropping without warrants to fight terrorism but are concerned that the aggressive anti-terrorism programs championed by the Bush administration are encroaching on civil liberties.


The poll said that 53 percent of Americans approved of Bush authorizing eavesdropping without prior court approval "in order to reduce the threat of terrorism;" 46 percent disapproved. When the question was asked stripped of any mention of terrorism, 46 percent of those respondents approved and 50 percent said they disapproved.


The Times/CBS News telephone poll was conducted with 1,229 adults, starting last Friday and ending on Wednesday. Its margin of sampling error was 3 percentage points.


Associated Press and the New York Times contributed to this article.





winning the drug war, and winning the war on terrorism - impossible!!!! hell we can't even keep third rate drug dealers from digging tunnels under the border - and i should add high quality tunnels.


Two tons of pot found inside Mexico-U.S. border tunnel


By Onell R. Soto and Leslie Berestein


January 26, 2006




Investigators discovered a sophisticated cross-border tunnel yesterday extending about a half-mile and found about 2 tons of marijuana on the Mexican end.


Investigators discovered a sophisticated cross-border tunnel yesterday extending about a half-mile and found about 2 tons of marijuana on the Mexican end.


The tunnel begins about 85 feet below a small warehouse about 175 yards south of the U.S. border. The other end is in an apparently vacant industrial building in Otay Mesa.


Late last night, authorities were still pulling marijuana out of the tunnel, which is outfitted with electricity and a ventilation system. The building is in an industrial neighborhood near Tijuana's airport.


A Mexican federal agent investigated a tunnel below a small warehouse near Tijuana's airport last night. The tunnel, which extends a half-mile across the border into the United States, is outfitted with electricity and a ventilation system.


The concrete-lined shaft is 6 feet by 12 feet with a metal ladder that leads to the packed-earth tunnel, which is tall enough for a person to stand in.


A gurney hanging from a pulley system attached to one of the building's beams allowed items to be moved into and out of the tunnel. Two trucks and a van were parked inside the warehouse.


Authorities said the elaborate tunnel bore the hallmarks of Mexican drug cartels, which have spent millions of dollars in the last 15 years to find a way to move contraband across the border.


When Mexican officials allowed the media into the small warehouse shortly before 9 p.m., reporters saw about 300 bundles of marijuana stacked more than 5 feet high.


In the United States, the warehouse where the tunnel ended – north of Siempre Viva Road – was surrounded by law enforcement agents last night.


Authorities did not estimate how long the tunnel might have been in use or provide information about who might own the properties where the tunnel's entrance and exit were found.


Going underground


The biggest tunnels that U.S. and Mexican authorities have discovered under the border between California and Baja California:


Yesterday – A 2,600-foot-long tunnel between an industrial building near Tijuana's airport and a warehouse near Siempre Viva Road in Otay Mesa.


Feb. 25, 2005 – A 600-foot tunnel between a house in Mexicali and a house in Calexico.


Feb. 27, 2002 – A 1,200-foot tunnel between a ranch house on the outskirts of Tecate, Mexico, and an unoccupied house in Tierra del Sol near Boulevard.


May 31, 1993 – An unfinished 1,450-foot tunnel that began in an industrial building near Tijuana's airport. The tunnelers were headed toward a warehouse on Siempre Viva Road in Otay Mesa, but were about 120 feet short when it was discovered.


In Tijuana, after spending most of yesterday waiting for a search warrant from Mexico City, dozens of Mexican police and federal agents swarmed around the metal building and surrounding truck yard late in the afternoon.


While Mexican agents awaited approval for a thorough search of the shaft, their U.S. counterparts resumed digging with heavy equipment in an area between two border fences.


That digging stopped about 4:15 p.m. when word came back that Mexican agents had found the tunnel at the bottom of the shaft.


"We have a tunnel and it's massive," said Lauren Mack, a spokeswoman with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which was investigating the tunnel with agents from the Border Patrol and the Drug Enforcement Administration.


The U.S. Attorney's Office in San Diego and Mexican federal, state and local officials are also part of the investigation.


Based on tips, U.S. officials began investigating the possibility of a tunnel in the area in 2004.


The investigation included searches using high-tech equipment capable of providing rough images of objects underground.


Monday evening, U.S. agents notified their Mexican counterparts of the possibility of a tunnel.


California National Guard troops who work with the Border Patrol began digging Tuesday morning with a bulldozer and a backhoe. 


In Tijuana, Mexican military trucks rolled in and out of the yard yesterday.


At a billboard-making business next door, worker José Javier Ramirez Velasquez, 24, said the large shed "appeared abandoned."


Since moving from Guadalajara two months ago, he has been staying on a trailer nearby and said he had heard no noise or any digging.


"It caught me by surprise learning there was a narcotunnel here," he said. Meanwhile, several miles away yesterday morning, a U.S. Border Patrol agent found another tunnel a short distance west of the San Ysidro border crossing.


This tunnel, far from sophisticated, is the kind that agents call a "gopher hole." It was dug in an area just south of the fence in Mexico and extended about 30 feet in the United States, officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Border Patrol said.


The tunnel, just 2 feet underground and about 2 feet square, was discovered after an agent investigating some people standing near the fence north of the border found an area where it had caved in, Border Patrol spokesman Richard Kite said.


"It was not a complete tunnel and was of no use to any criminal enterprise," he said. "There were several people who were coming north of the fence. One of them was able to make it back across to Mexico."


That tunnel was about 50 yards west of where a similar tunnel was found Jan. 9.


A fourth tunnel under construction, with electric lights but with its entrance covered by a board, was discovered near the Otay Mesa border crossing Friday.


This month's discoveries bring to 21 the number of tunnels found in Arizona and California since Sept. 11, 2001, when inspections at the border crossings were beefed up. Between 1990 and 2001, 15 tunnels were found.


The increased number of tunnels is a good sign, said John Fernandes, the special agent in charge of the DEA's San Diego office.


"It is an indication, as far as I'm concerned, about their frustration with our success," he said.


Drug seizures at California border crossings were up 24 percent last fiscal year over the year before, customs officials announced this week. In the year ending Sept. 30, more than 127 tons of drugs were seized, the vast majority of that marijuana.


Tunnels provide a way to avoid inspectors altogether, and that's why drug cartels will spend millions of dollars building them, said lawyer John Kirby, who specialized in drug prosecutions before leaving the U.S. Attorney's Office last year.


"You don't have to play Russian roulette with the border," he said.


The Arellano-Felix cartel was behind a 1,000-foot tunnel between a Mexican ranch house east of Tecate and a house in East County.


It has been battling rival cartels headed by accused drug traffickers Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada and Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzman.


Guzman has tried underground routes before, prosecutors said.


In 1993, people working for him tried to dig a tunnel 1,450 feet north from an industrial building in Tijuana to a factory building under construction in Otay Mesa. They came up in a field about 120 feet short of their target.


That tunnel was discovered after officials found a map in a Tijuana safe house while investigating the killings of Cardinal Juan José Posadas Ocampo and six others in Guadalajara.


Guzman was caught, but escaped from a Mexican jail in 2001. He was indicted in San Diego on drug-trafficking charges. U.S. authorities have offered a $5 million reward for information relating to his arrest.


"Chapo was known," Kirby said. "He could get drugs over quickly."


 Onell Soto: (619) 293-1280;


Jan 27, 12:20 PM EST


Customs shutters U.S.-Mexico drug tunnel



Associated Press Writer


SAN DIEGO (AP) -- With tougher drug enforcement above ground, authorities say traffickers along the U.S.-Mexican border were forced to dig deep below ground instead.


Inside a five-foot-wide tunnel, with just enough room for an adult to stand, authorities say they discovered two tons of marijuana this week, and what they believe was a passageway for drug trade.


The 2,400-foot long tunnel is lengthier than most of the 21 cross-border tunnels that have been discovered since authorities began keeping track after the Sept. 11 attacks, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said.


"It was like being in a cavern or a cave," said Michael Unzueta, customs special agent in charge in San Diego.


The tunnel had a pulley system on the Mexican side, which began near the Tijuana airport, and ended in a warehouse on the U.S. side, authorities said. Inside, it had a cement floor and lights mounted on one of the hard soil walls.


John Fernandes, special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration's San Diego office, said he suspected the tunnel was the work of Tijuana's Arellano-Felix drug smuggling syndicate or another well-known drug cartel. He said tougher enforcement aboveground had forced smugglers to dig below.


The tunnel's discovery prompted the U.S. Attorney's office in San Diego to open a criminal investigation, said Lauren Mack, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.


The tunnel exited into a large, two-story white cinderblock warehouse in an industrial San Diego neighborhood near the border.


A green sign over the door said V&F Distributors LLC. County records listed the building's owner as Helen Park of Long Beach. The phone rang unanswered Thursday at her home.


Mexican authorities found the entrance about 100 yards south of the border on Tuesday, and officers on the U.S. side found the exit Wednesday. Mexican officials allowed reporters and photographers, including an Associated Press photographer, into the tunnel late Wednesday.


Four tunnels have been discovered this month in the Tijuana-San Diego area, including a more primitive tunnel that was also found Wednesday when a U.S. Border Patrol vehicle struck a sinkhole.





some useless information.


i weighed a 1 foot lenght of bare copper 12 guage wire at the post office and it weighed .30 ounces.


that means 100 feet of bare copper 12 gauge wire would weigh 30 ounces or 1.875 pounds or 852 grams.


12 guage wire is .0808 inches in diameter and 15 guage wire is .0571 inches in diameter, and when you caculate the area of the wire the 15 guage wire is half the area of the 12 guage wire so 100 feet of 15 gauge wire would weigh 15 ounces, 0.937 pounds or 426 grams.


that jives with some tables i found on the internet that say 12 guage copper wire weighs 1 pound for every 50.59 feet, and same for 15 guage wire which weighes 1 pound for every 101.4 feet.


now i checked out some data on weather balloon too. in the back of my mind i though the typical weight of a weather balloon payload was 100 grams or one tenth of a kilo, .22 pounds, or about 3.52 ounces.


the weather balloons i found on the internet listed gross lift weights of 60 to 3950 grams and free lift weights from 50 to 2000 grams. so a weather balloon should easily be able to lift a 400 to 1000 gram wire 100 feet into the air.





now clay thompson in his article said that it takes 2,700 cu ft of helium to lift 170 pounds. that means it takes about 16 cu feet of helium to lift one pound.


so 4/3 pi r3 is the volume of a sphere so


    16 = 4/3 pi r3


    (16/4)*3/pi =  r3


     3.83 = r3


     1.56 = r


which means you need a balloon with a radius of 1.56 or roughly 3 feet in diameter to carry up a pound of weight.





i really dont see what the problem is with north korea printing worthless $100 bills that are not backed by anything. the US government prints billions of the same bills which are also worthles and not backed by anything.


Fake bills, nuclear arms fuse in N. Korea

U.S. struggling to split issues


Martin Fackler

New York Times

Jan. 29, 2006 12:00 AM


SEOUL, South Korea - It has all the makings of a James Bond movie: an isolated authoritarian regime running a secret counterfeiting network with tentacles reaching into foreign banks.


This is the picture of North Korea that former U.S. officials and analysts say Washington has pieced together in recent years as it has investigated the appearance around the world of bogus $100 bills so perfect that they have been called "supernotes."


The North Korean government has vehemently denied any hand in counterfeiting and has vowed to resist pressure from the United States over the matter.


Using government printing presses to run off another country's currency would appear to be the sort of criminal act that demands tough international penalties. But Washington's effort to press its case has become mired in the tricky politics of an even larger and more serious problem: nuclear proliferation.


At least one important U.S. ally in the region, South Korea, apparently fears pushing the counterfeiting issue could derail efforts to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear ambitions.


"The counterfeiting issue has become just a card in the bigger game of getting North Korea to disarm," said Kim Sung-han, a researcher at the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security, a government policy research group.


That is why when a delegation from the Treasury Department arrived last week to ask for South Korea's cooperation to stop the counterfeiting, the Americans got a chilly and slightly puzzling response.


Partners divided


South Korea, a longtime partner of Washington against North Korea, went to lengths to distance itself from the U.S. accusations, even to the point of denying that the United States had sought its support.


On Thursday, President Bush vowed to press North Korea to stop counterfeiting.


"If someone is cheating on us, we need to stop them," Bush said. The United States says it has found $45 million in supernotes, which it says North Korea has used to prop up its decrepit economy and keep its leaders in luxury.


In part, the rift between the allies reflects a widening gap in their strategies for dealing with North Korea. While Washington favors a harder line, Seoul hopes a gentler approach may one day lead to a reunification of the two Koreas, specialists say.


South Korea also seems to share concerns that the counterfeiting issue is threatening six-nation talks aimed at peacefully ending North Korea's nuclear weapons program. In November, North Korea's envoy walked out of the negotiations after the United States imposed penalties on Banco Delta Asia, a bank in the former Portuguese colony of Macau that it says North Korean diplomats used to launder briefcases full of bogus bills.


Why now?


Many wonder why the United States has chosen to raise the counterfeiting issue now, after remaining virtually silent for more than a decade. U.S. officials first suspected North Korea in the late 1980s, when supernotes started appearing in East Asia and the Middle East. But Washington did not take action until the penalties against Banco Delta Asia in September.


David Asher, a former State Department official who oversaw the investigation into North Korean counterfeiting, offered another explanation. He said the Bush administration ordered the inquiry soon after taking power in 2001.


"The timing is just a coincidence," Asher said. "The administration wanted us to prove this. They didn't want this to end up like Iraqi WMDs," referring to the so-called weapons of mass destruction that the Bush administration never found in Iraq.





this little piggy had his identy stolen!


Ex-Chandler police chief victim of identity theft 

By Chris Markham, Tribune

January 29, 2006


Former Chandler Police Chief Bobby Joe Harris knew something was fishy when he started having problems with his Sam’s Club membership credit card.


Store clerks and managers told him he had closed the account and opened a new one that included a woman’s name he didn’t recognize. But there was good news, the store clerk said. There had been no purchases made on the new account.


Harris and his wife decided to do some checking on their own and found someone had bought four computers, two TVs and various other items totaling more than $11,000 at a handful of Valley Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart stores.


“So now I’m a little on the upset side,” Harris said while ruffling through his stack of credit and police reports relating to his case that he’s collected so far.


Somehow, someone had been able to add themselves to the account Harris had only used twice since he opened it seven years ago to take advantage of the store’s 10 percent discount offer.


The account is closed now and fraud alerts have been placed in the couple’s files at credit reporting agencies. He doesn’t expect to have to pay for the fraudulent purchases, but wonders how bad things could have become if they had not bothered to do some checking on their own.


“I’m one of the lucky ones,” Harris said. “I’m a retired police officer. I know the ins and outs. And my wife is a retired bank manager.”


That expertise, however, couldn’t prevent the couple from becoming victims of identity fraud.


Chandler police said Friday at least one unidentified woman added herself to the accounts of Harris and one other victim and spent more than $30,000 on laptop computers, MP3 players and TVs at various Sam’s Club stores.


Police don’t know how the woman was able to gain access to the account, said Chandler detective Livi Kacic. A Sam’s Club spokesman declined to comment on the case, referring questions to Chandler police.


In the meantime, Harris is taking steps to further protect himself from identify fraud and theft. He wasn’t careless to begin with. He shredded documents before discarding them and didn’t leave mail in the mailbox overnight — all precautions law enforcement officials recommend to guard against identity theft and identity fraud.


Now, Harris also has subscribed to a consumer-protection service based in Scottsdale that guarantees protection from identity theft.


LifeLock began operations last April and already has about 60,000 clients.


“The important thing we tell people is it’s very important for you to take control,” said LifeLock vice president Mike Prusinski.


The company places fraud alerts with every credit-reporting bureau and restricts any attempts to make changes or open new credit card accounts. And the company promises to reimburse all expenses incurred, up to $1 million, if a client’s identity is stolen.


Tips to help prevent identity theft


• Shred documents before throwing them away.


• Don’t leave mail in your mailbox overnight.


• Check your credit reports at least once per year.


• Don’t leave important documents in your car.

Contact Chris Markham by email, or phone (480) 898-6486





have a gun and the cops will kill you. the cops shot this guy and he was a cop! i wonder if the cop who was shot was black?


Jan 28, 8:15 PM EST


Off-duty NYPD officer mistakenly shot



Associated Press Writer


NEW YORK (AP) -- In a tragic case of mistaken identity, police shot and critically wounded an off-duty officer as he pointed a gun at a suspect outside a fast food restaurant early Saturday, authorities said.


Eric Hernandez, 24, was hit three times and was hospitalized in extremely critical condition, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.


The officer who pulled the trigger, identified only as a 20-year veteran of the force, was being treated for trauma at another hospital.


Hernandez had been in line at a White Castle restaurant in the Bronx shortly before 5 a.m. when he was assaulted by a half-dozen men, Bloomberg said. It wasn't immediately clear what sparked the fight, but it was captured on the restaurant's security camera.


A woman called 911 from White Castle, and Hernandez - with his gun drawn - ran into the parking lot after his assailants, Bloomberg said.


He apparently subdued one of the suspects, and when a patrol car arrived, was pointing his gun at a man on the ground.


One of the two officers in the car, apparently believing Hernandez was about to shoot, opened fire, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.


Hernandez, who joined the force in 2004, never fired his weapon, authorities said. He was shot in each leg and the abdomen and lost a lot of blood, Bloomberg said.


Kelly said police were questioning eight individuals about the shooting, including people who fought with Hernandez inside the White Castle.


It was believed to be the NYPD's first friendly fire shooting since Desmond Robinson, who wasn't in uniform, was shot in the back by an off-duty officer in 1994. Robinson had his gun drawn on a subway platform, and the officer mistook him for a criminal.





hmmm..... the federal government recognizes one-name people, but its computers dont. .... and in texas the courts will allow you to change your two or three word name to a one word name in 30 minutes or less.


License ordeal no fun for Mr. FUN


Dennis Wagner

The Arizona Republic

Jan. 30, 2006 12:00 AM



A Valley man who legally changed his name to a single word - "FUN" - ran into a bureaucratic buzz saw last week when he discovered that his driver's license had been revoked, ostensibly in the interest of homeland security.


The 28-year-old Arizona native, formerly known as Courtney Blair Schwebel, had his name legally changed in Texas six years ago and has been licensed to drive as FUN in that state and Louisiana ever since. He obtained an Arizona license when he returned to Scottsdale last year, but officials at the state Motor Vehicle Division immediately canceled it and sent the notification to a former address.


FUN said he learned about the revocation Tuesday when he applied for a job delivering pizzas.


"I'm having some serious issues," he said. "You only have one life to live, and you should be able to choose your own name."


Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, more scrutiny is being paid to driver's licenses, Social Security numbers and identity verification. FUN said he understands all that but had good reason to change his name.


Although his mom liked the sound of Courtney Blair, bullies picked on him all through childhood.


"They saw me as a victim, and they victimized me. Usually it was three or four guys just basically kicking me while I was balled up on the ground . . . People were always insulting me for most of my life."


So, around age 15, FUN began thinking about shedding his birth name. One day he drove past a costume shop and noticed the business sign: "Fun Services."




And because he was not keen on his last name, either, FUN decided to start over entirely. As a prospective screenwriter, he saw the singular appellation as the perfect way to establish an identity.


His new one-syllable name transformed his life, FUN said.


"It helps me cheer up and gives me something to look forward to. I get treated totally different now because your name does matter. People are very happy to see me."


FUN made the name-change official on March 9, 2000, while living in Austin. He went to the Travis County Courthouse, filled out an application, got it approved by a judge, then went down the street to obtain a new driver's license.


"It took like 30 minutes," he recalled.


FUN said he filed tax returns, registered for college, got jobs and rented apartments under his new name.


Things went smoothly until after the terrorist attacks.


While applying to rent an apartment in New Orleans, he learned that the Social Security Administration had changed his name. FUN contacted the agency and got a terse letter back explaining that, because the federal computer requires a first and last name, he had been given a new moniker on the database: "Unknown FUN."


From that point on, he began carrying around court documents and other paperwork verifying his legal name. He ran into occasional hassles and confusion, but always managed to clear things up.


In November, after moving back to Arizona, FUN got a driver's license. He assumed it was valid until he applied for a job last week at Papa John's Pizza and was told otherwise.


FUN went to the MVD and confirmed that his driving privileges were canceled one day after the license was issued; a notice had been mailed to his old residence in New Orleans.


At the Scottsdale MVD office, a supervisor explained that FUN's name did not match with Social Security records, so the license was revoked, he said, "because I was a possible homeland security risk."


Cydney DeModica, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation, said states are required to verify applicant names and birth dates under a federal regulation enacted to track deadbeat dads. She said it does not matter in Arizona what name a person uses, so long as it matches the Social Security database. After 9/11, she said, that verification became doubly important.


DeModica said FUN was able to get his Arizona license because the MVD link to Social Security databases wasn't working the day he applied. As soon as the connection was re-established, the computer advised: "Name did not verify. Date of birth is valid."


Lowell Kepke, a spokesman for the Social Security Administration, said the government recognizes one-name people, but its computer doesn't, which is why FUN received a letter of explanation.


"We would hope that would be sufficient for the motor vehicle bureau or whoever else needs verification," he added.


It was. DeModica said FUN's license to drive has been reinstated. She also noted that he's not alone: 118 other Arizona motorists have only one name.





we are told we need the police to protect us from criminals. thats a lie. the cops cant even protect there own stuff from being stolen by criminals.


Losses of police gear troubling to Ariz. experts 

By Kristina Davis, Tribune

January 30, 2006


In Chandler, an FBI agent’s unmarked car was stolen from his neighborhood — along with a special agent’s badge, an FBI building access card, a submachine gun and SWAT gear.


In Tempe, a police commander’s unmarked car was stolen with SWAT uniforms and a handgun inside.


And two weeks ago in Phoenix, a SWAT officer’s unmarked car was snatched, along with numerous tactical gear items and weapons.


Are these incidents and others like them merely the acts of opportunistic thieves? Or could it be the handiwork of a larger organization gathering the tools necessary to carry out a far more sinister plan?


Those are the questions that Arizona counterterrorism experts ask every time they are alerted to stolen or missing police equipment — which they have been documenting and analyzing in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.


“We look at this with a global perspective,” said Maj. Norm Beasley, intelligence bureau commander of the Arizona Counterterrorist Information Center in Phoenix. “When you look at terrorist attacks in other parts of the world, historically, this is exactly what happened. They’ve worn police uniforms, driven police vehicles that are either made to look like police or are in fact stolen.”


“When we start seeing these kinds of things happening, we always look at it,” he said.




Overall, Arizona agencies reported 46 incidents of stolen or missing police equipment in 2005 to the counterterrorism center. The actual number could be much higher since police agencies are not required to report incidents to the center.


While no “solid information” has been gleaned linking stolen police gear to terrorist activity, experts say they can’t ignore the possibility.


“We look at what happens internationally,” Beasley said. “Sooner or later, the potential for that happening here increases day to day.”


East Valley police officials say most equipment thefts they’ve investigated have probably been crimes of opportunity by thieves who may not have realized at first who their victims were. Other thefts may have been organized by larger criminal groups, they say, but probably not terrorists with political agendas.


Still, most police agencies realize the importance of reporting incidents to counterterrorism officials.


“Especially in a post-9/11 world, there are concerns that weren’t there before,” said Tempe police Sgt. Dan Masters. “It would be foolish for us and everyone else not to recognize that as a possibility.”


Common items reported missing included: Communications equipment, police helmets and pads, bullet-proof vests, uniforms, police insignia, badges, identification cards, credentials, cell phones, pagers, stun guns and firearms.


“Obviously, weapons are a huge concern to us,” Beasley said. “It presents an immediate threat. Some of those are high-powered or fully automatic.”


Thefts of firefighter and ambulance personnel uniforms and credentials are also a concern, since they could get potential terrorists into a high-security area without much notice.


“We look at context: What’s going on in Arizona at this particular time?” Beasley said. “If there is a particular event looming on the horizon or a visit from a particular kind of dignitary.”




And if terrorists weren’t the ones stealing the gear, then they can still easily buy items on the black market from the thieves who did. Or simply use the Internet.


“You can go on eBay any day and get patches, shirts — everything you need to put together a complete police uniform,” Masters said. “It’s certainly concerning when you hear cases of people being pulled over and sometimes physically assaulted.”


Police don’t know where a large group of armed men got their SWAT equipment, including a battering ram, before invading a Tempe home in July.


The eight or nine armed men, dressed in full tctical gear and wearing hoods, declared themselves to be federal agents. After three victims were tied up, the home was ransacked and two vehicles stolen.


In the more recent Chandler case, some of the stolen FBI equipment was set to be sold to raise bail money, according to a search warrant filed earlier this month.


Many of the reported thefts are from unmarked police cars, personal vehicles or officers’ homes, according to records and police.


“Everybody knows to lock and secure your items,” said Chandler detective Livi Kacic. “I have a take-home car when I’m on-call, but I don’t leave any gear in it.”


Contact Kristina Davis by email, or phone (480)-898-6446





mixing god and government - f*ck the 1st amendment!!!!


Jan 30, 10:23 AM EST


Religious groups get chunk of AIDS money



Associated Press Writer


New groups are springing up to win a piece of President Bush's $15 billion AIDS program, with traditional players and religious groups joining forces to improve their chances in a competition that already has targeted nearly a quarter of its grants for faith-based organizations.


The administration is putting out a call for new community and church groups to get involved in HIV prevention and care in 15 target countries, most in sub-Saharan Africa. It is reserving $200 million specifically for groups with little or no government grant experience.


Groups that have deep local ties in the countries and focus on abstinence and fidelity - instead of just condoms - are faring well.


"The notion that because people have always received aid money that they'll get money needs to end," Deputy Global AIDS coordinator Mark Dybul said in a recent interview with The Associated Press.


"The only way to have sustainable programs is to have programs that are wholly owned in terms of management personnel at the local level."


Those on the ground in Africa say Bush's 3-year-old effort is reshaping prevention efforts.


"You have community organizations, some that have operated for decades, asking for money and you have lots of new organizations popping up," said Sarah Lucas, a development assistance expert who recently toured four countries on the U.S. target list for HIV/AIDS grants.


Award recipients so far include a Christian relief organization famous for its televised appeals to feed hungry children, a well-known Roman Catholic charity and a group run by the son of evangelist Billy Graham, according to the State Department.


 Smith says teaching kids not to have sex is the best way to stop H-I-V.


The outreach to nontraditional AIDS players comes in the midst of a debate over how best to prevent the spread of HIV. The debate has activated groups on both ends of the political spectrum and created a vast competition for money.


Conservative Christian allies of the president are pressing the U.S. foreign aid agency to give fewer dollars to groups that distribute condoms or work with prostitutes.


Secular organizations in Africa are raising concerns that new money to groups without AIDS experience may dilute the impact of Bush's program.


"We clearly recognize that it is very important to work with faith-based organizations," said Dan Mullins, deputy regional director for southern and western Africa for CARE, one of the best-known humanitarian organizations.


"But at the same time we don't want to fall into the trap of assuming faith-based groups are good at everything," he added.


Religious organizations last year accounted for more than 23 percent of all groups that got HIV/AIDS grants, according to State Department estimates. Some 80 percent of all secular and religious grant recipients were based in the countries where the aid is targeted.


Among those winning grants were:


-Samaritan's Purse, which is run by Graham's son, Franklin. It says its mission is "meeting critical needs of victims of war, poverty, famine, disease and natural disaster while sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ."


-World Vision. The 56-year-old Christian organization is known for its TV appeals - some with celebrities such as game show host Alex Trebek - that asked people to support a Third World child.


-Catholic Relief Services. It was awarded $6.2 million to teach abstinence and fidelity in three countries; $335 million in a consortium providing antiretroviral treatment; and $9 million to help orphans and children affected by HIV/AIDs. The group offers "complete and correct information about condoms" but will not promote, purchase or distribute them, said Carl Stecker, senior program director for HIV/AIDS.


-HOPE. The global relief organization founded by the International Churches of Christ recently brought comedian Chris Rock to South Africa for an AIDS prevention event. AIDS grants support HOPE in several countries.


-World Relief, founded by the National Association of Evangelicals. It won $9.7 million for abstinence work in four countries.


Most of the money in Bush's initiative goes to treatment programs, earning the administration praise for delivering lifesaving drugs and care to millions of HIV-infected patients.


For prevention, Bush embraces the "ABC" strategy: abstinence before marriage, being faithful to one partner and condoms targeted for high-risk activity. The Republican-led Congress mandated that one-third of prevention money be reserved for abstinence and fidelity.


The U.S. government provided more than 560 million condoms abroad last year, compared with some 350 million in 2001.


Condom promotion to anyone must include abstinence and fidelity messages, U.S. guidelines say, but those preaching abstinence do not have to provide condom education.


The abstinence emphasis, say some longtime AIDS volunteers, has led to a confusing message and added to the stigma of condom use in parts of Africa. Village volunteers in Swaziland maintain a supply of free condoms but say they have few takers.


"This drive for abstinence is putting a lot of pressure on girls to get married earlier," said Dr. Abeja Apunyo, the Uganda representative for Pathfinder International, a reproductive health nonprofit group based in Massachusetts.


"For years now we have been trying to tell our daughters that they should finish their education and train in a profession before they get married. Otherwise they have few options if they find themselves separated from their husbands for some reason," Apunyo said.


An AIDS program pastor in Uganda explained his abstinence teaching to unmarried young people.


"Why give an alternative and have them take a risk?" asked the Rev. Sam Lawrence Ruteikara of the Anglican Church of Uganda, a U.S. grant recipient. "This person doesn't have a sexual partner, so why should I report too much, saying that in case you get a sexual partner, please use a condom. I am saying, please don't get a sexual partner - don't get involved because it is risky."


U.S.-backed programs have spread abstinence and faithfulness education to more than 13 million people in Uganda, according to the State Department. Officials promote the nation as an "ABC" model, with its HIV infection rate down by more than half in a decade.


Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., said that on a tour of Uganda in January he saw pro-abstinence rallies and skits praising Bush, and U.S.-supported groups conducting house-to-house testing, care and counseling.


"The good news about the faith-based groups is not only the passion they bring to the work, but it is the moral authority and the extended numbers of volunteers they can mobilize to get the word out," Smith said.


But Smith believes the administration is wrongly supporting some nonprofit groups. He and several other congressional conservatives wrote to Bush and the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, contending that several large grant recipients were pro-prostitution, pro-abortion and not committed enough to abstinence priorities.


The letters followed a briefing last year by Focus on the Family, run by Christian commentator James Dobson. The group's sexual health analyst, Linda Klepacki, said even some religious groups emphasize condoms over abstinence.


"We have to be careful that the president's original intent is being followed where A and B (abstinence and faithfulness) are the emphasized areas of the ABC methodology," she said.


Six congressional Democrats, in a letter last week to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, accused the conservatives of a distortion campaign that undermines a balanced approach to fighting AIDS.


"Their attack is based on a narrow, ideological viewpoint that condemns condoms and frames any attempt to reach out to high-risk populations as an endorsement of behaviors that these critics oppose," said Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif.


USAID has declined to renew funding for two major AIDS-fighting consortiums, CORE and IMPACT, headed by organizations the conservatives targeted.


CORE, whose lead partner is CARE, is losing its central source of money, meaning its work survives only if it can win grants from individual USAID missions in target countries.


Family Health International, the lead organization of IMPACT, brought hundreds of local and religious groups into its $441 million project, but was told the administration wants new partners, said Sheila Mitchell, senior vice president of FHI's Institute for HIV/AIDS.


Dybul said the changes are in keeping with the shift to local groups. Any suggestion of political motivation is "inaccurate and offensive to people doing this work," he said. Millions of grant dollars still go to the groups that were criticized.


One grant was delayed when Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., complained last year about renewing $14 million to Population Services International, a leading nonprofit condom distributor.


The group's bingo-style games that teach Guatemalan prostitutes about safe sex misused funds "to exploit victims of the sex trade," Coburn said. But Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, then wrote to praise PSI's work as "provably effective and efficient."


USAID divided the grant; condom distribution was separated into the smaller part so that religious groups could apply for the other part. PSI eventually won the larger grant. The second is outstanding.


Although administration critics frequently cite PSI as a group that fell from favor under the new initiative, "we have not been eviscerated," said Stewart Parkinson, a senior program analyst.


The group lost U.S. grants in Uganda and Tanzania but retained others. And Parkinson said he had no indication of political motivation.




Associated Press reporters Alexandra Zavis in South Africa, Thulani Mthethwa in Swaziland, Katy Pownall in Uganda and Lewis Mwanangombe in Zambia contributed to this report.




Jan 29, 1:16 PM EST


Felons, parolees getting hunting licenses



Associated Press Writer


HELENA, Mont. (AP) -- Hundreds of people barred from having guns because they are felons on parole or probation are still able to get hunting licenses in Montana with no questions asked, an Associated Press investigation found.


Montana may not be alone. While nearly all states ban felons from possessing guns, only a handful - including Rhode Island and Maine - keep them from receiving hunting permits, and just a few others - such as Illinois and Massachusetts - require hunters to show both a hunting license and a firearms license.


"Our license dealers have no way of checking," said Lt. Rich Mann, with the enforcement program for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. "If someone wants to play with the system and beat you at it, they will."


The AP examination of Montana hunting and corrections records shows at least 660 felons on parole or probation received tags in the past year. The findings are based on a comparison of unique first, middle and last names, along with other identifiable information, that appeared in databases of both hunters and felons.    


A state probation official said the findings likely would prompt the state to consider its own records search to see if parolees are violating terms of their release.


"Obviously that's a big concern, and it makes me want to look into each of these cases," said Ron Alsbury, Montana's probation and parole bureau chief.


The licenses don't specifically require the use of firearms to hunt, and state officials note that most felons could legally hunt using other weapons, such as bows. Several people contacted by the AP said they hunted legally with bows while on probation.


However, bows are hardly the weapon of choice for some of the game for which felons were issued tags, such as birds or bison.


Jason Beaudoin of Frenchtown, on probation for a 2002 conviction for assault with a deadly weapon, got a series of hunting tags last year, but said he used only a bow and arrow.


"I know I can't own a firearm or be in possession of one. They made that very clear ... and I agree with the policy," Beaudoin said.


"There are plenty of ways people can hunt even though they are barred from using conventional weapons," added Gary S. Marbut, president of the Montana Shooting Sports Association. "My guess is that there are a lot of them that are being perfectly decent citizens."


The problem is, no one knows for certain.


Some states, including Montana, check for hunting violations as a routine part of a hunting license application, but don't run spot checks to see if convicted felons are among those applying for licenses or if they plan to use firearms.


"The result in Idaho is that you could theoretically be a convicted cannibal and still have a hunting license," said Ed Mitchell, a spokesman for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game in Boise. "But if you are a convicted cannibal, you cannot legally own a bent BB gun in the state of Idaho."


With millions of hunters in the U.S. - nearly 270,000 in Montana alone - authorities in many states say it simply would be too difficult to check if felons are getting hunting tags.


North Dakota,officials make sure hunters aren't delinquent on their child support, and deny permits to those who are, but they don't check for felony convictions.


Colorado, like most states, relies on its law banning felons from possessing guns to discourage them from applying for hunting licenses. Still, every year game wardens find someone with a felony conviction hunting with a firearm and a legally obtained hunting license, said Bob Thompson, assistant chief of law enforcement for the Colorado Division of Wildlife.


Florida officials said one of their game officers was killed by a felon who was hunting with a gun.


The AP review found that roughly 8 percent of 8,732 people on parole or probation in Montana had obtained hunting licenses in the past year.


Many hunters with felony convictions had no listed phone numbers, while others did not return calls seeking comment.


In rare cases the state even gave hunting licenses to felons who didn't ask for them.


One convicted felon contacted by the AP, Larry Pettijohn, wasn't aware he held a bird hunting license. The state gave it to him for free because he qualified for it as a senior citizen who had purchased a state conservation license, the base permit for both hunters and anglers.


"All I ever do is fish," said Pettijohn, of Missoula, on parole for felony drunken driving and being a persistent felon. "I don't have a gun. Not allowed to."


One case made national news late last year when one of the hunters with a prized tag for Montana's limited and controversial bison hunt turned out to be on parole or probation for a felony. He gave up his hunting tags before the season started.


Alsbury said his agency did a spot check of its records about five years ago to see if violators had hunting tags. Officers confiscated some guns.


Alsbury said the AP investigation suggests it may be time to search again.


"With the technology we have now we should be routinely checking that," he said.




On the Net:


Montana felons:


Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks:




Jan 29, 3:58 PM EST


Tennessee's driver certificates lure immigrants from other states



Associated Press Writer


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee's driving certificate for illegal immigrants isn't valid as a form of ID, but people are paying hundreds of dollars on the black market and traveling hundreds of miles to get one.


Tennessee has issued more than 51,000 certificates since it became the first state to offer them in July 2004, but not every certificate has gone to someone living there.


Two major federal arrests in recent months exposed shuttles bringing South and Central American immigrants from as far away as New Jersey to state licensing centers in Knoxville, where the immigrants got certificates using fake residency papers.


Last week, a third sweep revealed an alleged conspiracy in which prosecutors say state license examiners in Murfreesboro, outside Nashville, accepted bribes to provide illegal immigrants with driver's licenses and certificates without testing.


"We have seen individuals coming to Tennessee to take advantage of the driver's certificate program because they are easy to obtain," said acting U.S. Attorney Russ Dedrick.


The disclosures come as Tennessee's certificate system is being studied as a possible model for handling "non-conforming drivers" under the Real ID program recently enacted by Congress that will set a national standard for driver's licenses by 2008.


Although the words "not valid for identification" appear in bold red letters on the face of the wallet-size certificates, Dedrick said banks accept them as legal ID and they "can easily be passed off for other types of identification documents."


Lawyer Mike Whalen, who represents a woman accused of bringing as many as 100 immigrants from New Jersey to Knoxville for certificates, said the government is making too much of the problem. His client represented workers, not terrorists, he said.


"Somebody went through the roof and said, 'Remember 9-11, every one had driver's licenses,'" he said. "Well, none of these Mexican immigrants are in flight school anywhere. There is a difference."


That argument carries little weight in law enforcement circles.


The certificate law "just kind of opened up a flood gate of everyone wanting to come here to get some sort of identification," said Knox County Sheriff Tim Hutchison, whose officers discovered that 58 illegal immigrants used the same Knoxville address to get certificates.


Applicants must provide two documents, such as utility bills or a lease, to show they live in Tennessee, and a Social Security number - or a sworn affidavit if there is none. They also must pass an eye exam, a driving rules test and a road test.


"What we tried to do in Tennessee was to recognize that there are people who may be legally here but they are not completely documented," Gov. Phil Bredesen said.


Tennessee had started licensing illegal immigrants, without a Social Security number requirement, in early 2001. More than 180,000 obtained licenses before 9-11 fears set in. The driving certificates were created in 2004 to satisfy homeland security concerns while allowing illegal immigrants to drive with certified proficiency.


Some say the problem isn't the law, it's the enforcement.


Joan Friedland, an immigration policy attorney with the National Immigration Law Center in Washington, said the key is "rigorous proof of state residence."


Hutchison's officers searched the Internet to determine that immigrants were using fake residences, and then spent months monitoring the suspects' movements before they were arrested.


"I would hope that the state would pick up on it sooner," the sheriff said. "But I am not sure that they are actually geared to do that."


The governor said the system has been tightened up since he saw an ad in a Spanish-language newspaper in Georgia promoting package deals for "a certain amount of money to get on a bus and go to Tennessee to get a driver's license."


Still, the allure of payoffs to underpaid license examiners may only increase as requirements tighten and certificates become more precious, said Melissa Savage, a policy analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures.




4 hurt in disturbance at federal prison


Associated Press

Jan. 31, 2006 08:30 AM



Four people were injured during a minor disturbance at a federal prison north of Phoenix Monday night.


It wasn't immediately clear if the injured were inmates or corrections officers.


Details are sketchy, and prison officials declined to release any information until later Monday. advertisement 





The Phoenix Fire Department said units from the Daisy Mountain Fire District were dispatched Monday night to the Federal Correctional Institution 25 miles north of Phoenix.


A Phoenix fire dispatcher said four people were transported from the scene with mostly nonlife-threatening injuries.


The prison is a medium-security facility for male offenders. An adjacent satellite prison camp houses minimum security female offenders.







good news for drug smugglers, drug users, and people who want to work in the united states - tunnels are hard to find


Technology not effective at finding border tunnels


Associated Press

Jan. 31, 2006 12:00 AM


SAN DIEGO - A U.S. government effort to find drug-smuggling tunnels underneath the Mexican border with ground-penetrating radar and other high-tech gear has had little success.


Human intelligence has proved the most effective method of finding the passageways. A case in point: The longest tunnel ever found along the border was discovered last week after a tip.


The Homeland Security Department said Monday that a Mexican man, Carlos Cardenas Calvillo, was arrested in connection with the 2,400-foot tunnel, which went as deep as 90 feet and was about 5 feet high and 5 feet wide. He appeared in federal court Monday on charges of conspiracy to import more than a ton of marijuana. A bail hearing was set for Wednesday.


"The problem is the technology picks up some kind of anomaly or variation of soil," said Lauren Mack, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "We go in with big backhoes and bulldozers, we spend all day doing it, and all we hit is rock or water tables."


That was what happened earlier this month when high-tech gear alerted authorities to a possible tunnel near Boulevard, a hamlet about 60 miles east of San Diego along the Mexican border.


A full day of digging turned up nothing.


The technology is "not there yet," Mack said. "What we've seen so far just hasn't proven itself to be effective."







at least these dumb pigs were smart enough to stop beating the guy when they knew a news copter was videotaping the beating


St. Louis-area police punch, kick suspect who rammed police car


Associated Press


St. Louis — The Missouri State Highway Patrol will determine whether four police officers stepped over the line in punching and kicking a suspect this morning.


A police chase began in the St. Louis suburb Maplewood and ended in the city of St. Louis. Live television showed much of the chase, and the beating of the suspect. What could not be clearly seen on the video was how much resistance the man was providing.


KTVI-TV video showed the suspect, Edmond Burns, 33, bloodied. He was hospitalized, but his condition was not known. Three Maplewood officers were also treated for injuries. None of the injuries was life-threatening.


Three of the officers involved in subduing the suspect were from the Maplewood department and one was from St. Louis. Names of the officers were not released.


?This incident is disturbing from both sides and the city is investigating,? Mayor Mark Langston said in a brief release.


Some activists with the St. Louis County NAACP likened the beating to the Rodney King case out of Los Angeles. All four officers are white; the suspect is black.


Maplewood Police Chief James White, during a sometimes-contentious news conference Monday, cautioned against jumping to conclusions based upon the video.


?The question is, is the force appropriate for the situation?? White asked. ?Is it appropriate for the resistance? I don?t know any of that.?


The NAACP also is asking that the officers involved be suspended until the investigation is complete. White said the officers are on injury leave for the next few days and have not been suspended.


The incident began around 7 a.m. when Maplewood police believed a man in a GMC conversion van was acting suspiciously. The suspect allegedly tried to ram a police cruiser as he fled.


A chase began, and TV video showed the van weaving through traffic at a high speed, with police in pursuit.


?Why was this chase taking place at the height of the morning?s rush hour?? the Rev. B.T. Rice of the St. Louis County NAACP asked. ?As the pursuit continued, they passed several school buses and little school-aged children standing on street corners.?


Finally cornered in St. Louis city, the suspect?s van tried to ram a squad car before two other police cars rammed the side of the van.


Video showed the man getting out and running. An officer tackled him, with the man?s head apparently striking the pavement behind a building. Other officers closed in, and video showed them punching and kicking the man for several seconds.


Rice said it appeared that the officers stopped only when they noticed TV helicopters above them. ?Had not the media been on the scene, one wonders what might have happened,? he said.


St. Louis Police Chief Joe Mokwa said video of the arrest ?appears provocative, and it?s going to incite conversation.?


Mokwa said St. Louis officers were told not to join in the pursuit because of a city policy, aimed at making sure that bystanders are not injured in a police pursuit.


Maplewood has its own policy that reads in part, that the decision to initiate a pursuit ?must be based on the pursuing officer?s conclusion that the immediate danger to the officer and the public created by the pursuit is less than the immediate or potential danger to the public should the suspect remain at large.?

Whether officers followed that policy was unclear because the report had not been written, White said. He hopes to have the report by Tuesday but said because of the officers? injury, it may not be finished before Friday.


Attorney Chet Pleban, who is representing the officers, noted that the incident occurred on the second anniversary of the death of St. Louis Police Officer Nicholas Sloan.


?The fact of the matter is, it?s a violent job,? Pleban said.


St. Louis Police Investigare Beating of Suspect


 St.Louis, MO - The NAACP is up in arms over the beating of a suspect involved in a police chase. Edmond Burns, 33, was arrested after leading officers from St. Louis and Maplewood on a chase that included the suspect ramming a police cruiser.  


 The pursuit began in Maplewood around 7:00 am on Monday. Police tried to stop the suspect's GMC conversion van when he was seen acting suspiciously. Upon fleeing from police, the suspect reportedly rammed a police patrol vehicle.   


 The pursuit ended in St.Louis when the suspect fled from his vehicle and was tackled by officers. Video shows the suspect, who is apparently black, being punched and kicked for a number of seconds. Three Maplewood officers received minor injuries.  




St. Louis Beating Prompts Calls for Action



The Associated Press

Tuesday, January 31, 2006; 11:53 AM


ST. LOUIS -- Black activists on Tuesday called for the firing of police officers who were shown on live television swinging night sticks and punching and kicking a suspect after a car chase.


The Missouri State Highway Patrol was investigating to see if the four officers involved had acted illegally.


The suspect, Edmon Burns, 33, of St. Louis County, was treated at a hospital and released, and was jailed. No charges had been filed. His attorney did not return calls Tuesday.


Burns and one of the four officers, from St. Louis, are black, The three other officers, from suburban Maplewood, are white.


The chase began Monday in Maplewood, where officers said they noticed a man in a van acting suspiciously. It ended in St. Louis.


Much of the chase was shown on live television shot from a WTVI-TV helicopter, along with the officers apparently beating the man for several seconds. What could not be clearly seen on the video was how much the suspect was resisting.


Names of the officers were not released.


Zaki Baruti of the St. Louis-based Coalition Against Police Crimes said the officers clearly stepped over the line in subduing Burns.


"They tried to become the judge, jury and executioner on the spot," Baruti said. "Those officers need to be disciplined, need to be fired, and charged with assault."


Baruti and the Rev. B.T. Rice of the NAACP questioned the need for a chase. Video showed the chase passing school buses and other vehicles.


Maplewood Police Chief James White cautioned against jumping to conclusions.


"The question is, is the force appropriate for the situation?" White said at a news conference. "Is it appropriate for the resistance? I don't know any of that."


Burns has a long criminal record, White said. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported he tried to run from police in 2003 after being stopped for speeding in north St. Louis County. After that stop, he was arrested for felony criminal nonsupport of his daughter.


The newspaper also cited court records showing Burns has been the subject of adult abuse orders for, among other things, allegedly threatening to kill a girlfriend.





some libertarian propaganda for laro


Where are the libertarians in politics and the media? Since the Clinton

impeachment and the Florida recount, there's been a polarization:

Congressmen and TV pundits define themselves as red/blue,

pro-/anti-Bush, partisan Democrat/Republican, and take rigid

liberal/conservative positions on Iraq, tax cuts, Social Security

reform, gay marriage, abortion. But polls tell us that Americans aren't

quite so partisan, says David Boaz, executive vice president of the

Cato Institute.


According to the Gallup Poll's annual survey on government:


     * Some 27 percent of Americans are conservative; 24 percent are

liberal -- which is up sharply because the poll was taken after Katrina

boosted support for the proposition that "government should do more to

solve our country's problems."

     * Gallup also found -- this year as in others -- that 20 percent

are neither liberal nor conservative but libertarian, opposing the use

of government either to "promote traditional values" or to "do too many

things that should be left to individuals and businesses."

     * Another 20 percent are "populist" (supporting government action

in both areas), with 10 percent undefined.

     * Libertarian support, spread across demographic groups, is

strongest among well-educated voters.


Of course, it could be that most Americans are, in fact, liberals and

conservatives. Maybe Gallup is wrong, every year. But the exit polls on

election day 2004 offer some confirmation, says Boaz:


     * According to those polls, 17 million voted for John Kerry but


not think the government should do more to solve the country's


     * And 28 million Bush voters support either gay marriage or civil



That's 45 million who don't fit the polarized model. They seem to have

broadly libertarian attitudes. In fact, it's no secret that these

libertarian orphans make up a chunk of America. But you'd never know it

from watching TV -- or listening to our elected politicians, says Boaz.


Source: David Boaz, "Libertarian Orphans," Wall Street Journal, January

31, 2006.






damn in the old days you didnt have to go to college to become a lawyer.


Yale McFate, an attorney in private practice, a prosecutor, even a judge on the Arizona Court of Appeals, he never went to law school. Instead he "read the law" as a clerk for a Prescott attorney and then passed the State Bar exam.


'Miranda' judge McFate, 96, dies

He never went to law school


Michael Kiefer

The Arizona Republic

Feb. 1, 2006 12:00 AM


Yale McFate, the Maricopa County Superior Court judge who presided over the 1963 rape case that led to the U.S. Supreme Court's Miranda decision and the police incantation that starts "You have the right to remain silent," died Jan. 28 of cancer. He was 96.


McFate was a lawyer from another century. He was born in Arizona before it was a state, and he served in its Legislature and on the Corporation Commission.


And although he had been an attorney in private practice, a prosecutor, even a judge on the Arizona Court of Appeals, he never went to law school. Instead he "read the law" as a clerk for a Prescott attorney and then passed the State Bar exam.


"He knew the law," said Judge Robert Gottsfield. "I had no idea he never went to law school."


Jay Dushoff, who has practiced law in Phoenix since the 1950s, said, "He was a good solid judge, soft-spoken yet always in control of the court. He had marvelous judicial temperament."


McFate was born in 1909 in Thatcher, in the Arizona Territory. He studied at the Northern Arizona State Teachers College in Flagstaff. But he decided to be a lawyer instead of a schoolteacher, studying law by himself at night until he passed the Bar in 1934. In 1943, McFate was elected to the state Legislature from Prescott. But shortly after his election, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was stationed at Pearl Harbor during World War II.


In 1957, Gov. Ernest McFarland appointed McFate to the Superior Court, where he remained until he retired in 1979 at age 70. He went on to hear cases at the Arizona Court of Appeals.


While on the Superior Court bench, McFate presided over three cases of international importance.


In 1960, he dismissed a drug possession charge against a Navajo woman who had been arrested for using peyote during Native American religious ceremonies. McFate ruled that banning the use of the drug was a violation of the woman's constitutional right to freedom of religion. The case was affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court.


And in 1962, following Arizona law at the time, he refused to allow Sherry Finkbine, star of a local children's educational TV show, to get a legal abortion. During her pregnancy, Finkbine had taken the drug Thalidomide, which had been found to cause birth defects. She later went to Sweden to have the abortion.


But the most infamous case to pass through his courtroom involved a man accused of rape and robbery. In 1963, Phoenix police arrested Ernesto Miranda on suspicion of raping one woman and robbing another in two separate incidents. After police led Miranda to believe that he had been identified in a lineup, he wrote his confession.


But Miranda's defense attorney argued that he had a right under the Constitution to have a lawyer present while being questioned in the police station. McFate allowed the confession into evidence. Miranda was found guilty in back-to-back trials.


Although the state Supreme Court upheld McFate's ruling, the case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and changed the way police handle arrested suspects.


"Judge McFate was never a fan of the Miranda decision," said Gary L. Stuart, who wrote a book about the case. "He believed the Constitution did not require police officers to remind defendants of anything."


McFate is survived by his wife of 58 years, Sandra, and by two daughters, Joyce McFate of Phoenix and Sheri Kerr of Maui.





congress approves a bigger better police state!


Congress to extend Patriot Act


Laurie Kellman

Associated Press

Feb. 1, 2006 12:00 AM



WASHINGTON - Congress is poised to extend the USA Patriot Act into March to give the White House and conservative Senate Republicans time to strike a deal that would strengthen civil liberties without weakening the war on terrorism.


The House is set to vote today on extending the law until March 10 rather than let it expire on Friday. The Senate was expected to follow before the deadline.


It would be the second time Congress has extended the law. Originally passed five weeks after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Patriot Act was due to expire Dec. 31.


Just before leaving for Christmas, Congress extended the law until Feb. 3 because Senate Democrats and four libertarian-leaning Republicans blocked a measure negotiated by the White House that would have made most expiring provisions permanent.


The 2001 law makes it easier for federal agents to gather and share information in terrorism investigations, install wiretaps and conduct secret searches of households and businesses. At issue are 16 provisions that Congress wanted reviewed and renewed by the end of last year.


Objections to the compromise last fall centered on the degree to which people and institutions that receive National Security Letters, secret requests for phone, business and Internet records, can appeal them in court.


Sens. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, and John Sununu, R-N.H., say the law makes it nearly impossible to challenge the letters and their secret demands for information.


Six weeks might be enough to strike a deal on the matter with the White House, Craig and Sununu said.




Alito takes oath to join Supreme Court

Confirmation showed divisions among Dems


David Espo

Associated Press

Feb. 1, 2006 12:00 AM



WASHINGTON - Samuel Alito took his place on the Supreme Court on Tuesday after winning Senate confirmation, a personal triumph and a political milestone in President Bush's campaign to give the judiciary a more conservative cast.


The 58-42 Senate vote was largely along party lines as Democrats registered overwhelming opposition to Bush's choice to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, whose rulings have helped uphold abortion rights, affirmative action and other legal precedents of the past 50 years.


Bush hailed Alito as "a brilliant and fair-minded judge who strictly interprets the Constitution and laws and does not legislate from the bench."


"It is a seat that is reserved for few but that impacts millions," Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said moments before the Senate sealed Alito's place in history as the nation's 110th justice.


Alito, 55, and a veteran of 15 years on the appeals court, watched on television alongside Bush at the White House as the Senate voted.


He was sworn in about an hour later in a low-key ceremony at the Supreme Court building across the street from the Capitol. Chief Justice John Roberts, Bush's first nominee for the high court, administered the oath of office.


Alito's confirmation has been a certainty for days, and all Republicans except Sen. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island voted for him. Only four of 44 Democrats voted in favor of confirmation, the lowest total in modern history for an opposition party.


"There is no consensus that he will allow the court to perform its vital role in continuing the march of progress toward justice and equal opportunity," said Sen. Edward Kennedy, leader in a final attempt to derail the nomination that exposed Democratic divisions, instead.


Roberts was confirmed by a far wider figure, 78-22, late last year, replacing the late William Rehnquist.


Republicans were unanimous in voting for Roberts, and Democrats had split evenly, 22 in favor and 22 opposed.


Roberts was viewed by Democrats as one conservative replacing another. By contrast, Alito is seen by Democrats and outside groups aligned with them as a Reagan-era conservative replacement for a moderate justice whose opinions kept the court centered.


The conservative Family Research Council said it welcomed Alito's confirmation in behalf of those whose "weariness over the court's embrace of judicial activism rallied voters across the country in pursuit of a new course."


Bush has long said he hoped to appoint members of the Supreme Court in the mold of Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.


The two men are among the court's minority that has voted to overturn the landmark 1973 court ruling that establish a woman's right to an abortion, the issue representative of a political and cultural divide that has persisted for over 30 years.


Judging from the court docket, the first case Alito will hear from his seat at the far right end of the bench will involve a pair of challenges to Clean Water Act regulations, appeals from cases filed by landowners and a paper mill.





california cop video was taped shooting an unarmed man who appeared to be obeying the cops orders. the man was laying on the ground and the cop told the man to get up before the cop shot the man.


Deputy wounds unarmed vet

Video captures shooting after car chase, crash


Jeremiah Marquez

Associated Press

Feb. 1, 2006 12:00 AM


CHINO, Calif. - A videotape released Tuesday shows a sheriff's deputy shooting an unarmed Air Force policeman as he appeared to obey an order to get up off the ground.


KTLA-TV broadcast a 40-second clip it said came from a Chino resident who videotaped Sunday night's shooting, which followed a 100 mph car chase.


Senior Airman Elio Carrion, 21, who recently returned from Iraq, was listed in good condition at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton. He was shot three times in the chest, ribs and leg, his father-in-law, Ernesto Paz, told KTLA-TV.


Carrion was a passenger in a Corvette that crashed into a wall after the brief chase, authorities said.


The dark, grainy videotape shows Carrion lying on the ground next to the car, talking to a silhouetted officer who is pointing a gun at him. Carrion supports himself on one arm and his face is brightly lighted by the officer's flashlight.


Carrion is heard telling the officer he is unarmed and is in the military.


At one point, a voice is heard saying several times, "Get up."


Carrion says, "I'm gonna get up." As he rose, at least four shots were fired, and Carrion collapsed.


Investigators from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department took the original tape, refusing to release it to the public or describe what it shows.


The deputy, whose name was not released, was placed on paid administrative leave, a routine procedure in officer-involved shootings.


Sheriff Gary Penrod said he could not comment until the investigation was completed.


The driver of the Corvette, identified by authorities as Luis Fernando Escobedo, 21, was arrested for investigation of felony evading.


Carrion and Escobedo had left a party to drive to a store, said the airman's wife, Mariela.


A woman who answered the phone at the home of Carrion's parents said nobody at the residence wanted to talk.





the american empire has installed a kinder, gentler puppet dictator ship to replace the dictatorship of saddam - well kind of!


Bodies of 11 men found tortured

3 Iraqi officials killed by gunmen in other attacks


Robert F. Worth

New York Times

Feb. 1, 2006 12:00 AM



BAGHDAD - The bodies of 11 young men, some of them shot repeatedly and bearing marks of torture, were found in a minibus Tuesday in west Baghdad, Interior Ministry officials said.


The men were found near Ghazaliya, an insurgent stronghold where Iraqi security forces have been accused of detaining, torturing and killing groups of Sunni Arab men in the past. But the 11 bodies were not immediately identified, and no group stepped forward to either take responsibility for or denounce the killings.


The bodies were discovered as scattered attacks took place across central and southern Iraq. In south Baghdad's Dawra district, gunmen opened fire on a car carrying two members of the Dawra district council, killing them both, police and witnesses said. Abdul Khadum al-Bahadili and Faiz al-Musawi had just left a council meeting.


Dawra has long been one of the capital's most violent areas, and Tuesday's killings brought to 16 the number of its district council members who have been assassinated since the council's establishment in 2003, said Waleed Hassan, a council member.


The violence came as the kidnappers of two German engineers said the hostages would be killed within 72 hours unless Germany stopped cooperating with Iraq and closed its embassy in Baghdad, Reuters reported. The men were abducted last week by gunmen dressed in Iraqi military uniforms.


Al-Jazeera television, which reported the demands, broadcast a new tape of the hostages dated Jan. 29. A German Foreign Ministry spokesman said experts were "examining the pictures carefully."


In west Baghdad, gunmen shot and killed Malik Razoki Abd, leader of another district council, as he opened the door to his home, Interior Ministry officials said.


Police officials in Mahmudiya, south of the capital, said a U.S. aircraft fired a missile that damaged three houses and injured three civilians. But U.S. military officials said they had no report of an airstrike.


The Iraqi Interior Ministry reported two incidents in Mahmudiya: a roadside bombing and a mortar attack on a house. The attacks left four civilians wounded, the officials said.


South of Basra, a bomb exploded near a passing British patrol, killing a soldier, British military officials said. The death brought to 100 the number of British soldiers killed since the 2003 invasion and came a day after another British soldier died after being struck by small-arms fire.


Southern Iraq has generally been much more peaceful than other areas, but in recent months, tensions have grown between the British and Shiite militia members.


A rising number of soldiers have been killed and wounded in roadside bombings, and Basra's provincial governor, Mohammed al-Waeli, has twice threatened to cease cooperating with British forces after they detained groups of Iraqis.





a trick from a postal employee on how to get into a business with out a badge. and more proof that cops, homeland security goons, and other government police can't stop any terrorist or criminal who wants to do something!


She drove past the perimeter fence by following another car and got into the front door of the building by taking an employee's electronic identification badge at gunpoint.


Woman kills 5, self at Calif. postal plant


Tim Malloy

Associated Press

Feb. 1, 2006 12:00 AM


GOLETA, Calif. - "Going postal" had almost become an anachronism.


So many years had passed since the siege of violence that gave rise to the phrase that it had all but vanished from common usage.


But Monday night a former postal worker who had been removed from a mail-processing plant because of strange behavior returned with a gun.


When sheriff's deputies arrived, five postal workers had been slain, another was critically wounded and the shooter was dead in an apparent suicide. It may have been the worst workplace shooting ever carried out by a woman.


Investigators would not discuss a motive for the attack.


"Chances are she might have known her victims," U.S. Postal Inspector Randy DeGasperin said the morning after the woman made her way inside the gated facility and left a trail of bodies that ended with her own.


The 44-year-old woman, identified as Jennifer Sanmarco of Grants, N.M., had worked at the Santa Barbara Processing and Distribution Center more than two years ago but was given a disability retirement in 2003 for an unspecified psychological reason, postal officials said.


Sometime in that year, she was removed from the building by sheriff's deputies after co-workers said she began acting strangely, DeGasperin said.


She made no threats, but co-workers were afraid she might hurt herself, he said. He provided no other details.


She returned Monday evening to the sprawling center, armed with a 9mm handgun. Witnesses told police she reloaded at least once during the rampage, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Jim Anderson said.


She drove past the perimeter fence by following another car and got into the front door of the building by taking an employee's electronic identification badge at gunpoint. The employee was not hurt, authorities said.


Sheriff's deputies responding to calls about gunshots found two bodies in the parking lot, another just outside the front door and a badly wounded woman just inside.


Three bodies were later found elsewhere in the building. One was the assailant, who apparently shot herself, Anderson said.


It was unclear whether the woman targeted her victims or fired randomly, Anderson said.


As the shooting began, some of the workers streamed out of the building. The woman was well-known to authorities in western New Mexico, where she moved after leaving her job at the postal center.


In July 2004, she applied for a business license to start a publication called the Racist Press, said Terri Gallegos, deputy clerk for the city of Milan, N.M.


When applying for the license, she constantly talked to herself, "not just mumbling to herself, but real audible, like she was arguing with someone but there was no one there," Gallegos recalled.


The clerk's office filed a complaint with police last spring alleging she harassed a worker during another visit.


Police in nearby Grants, N.M., gave her a warning last June after receiving complaints that she was naked at a gas station. She was dressed when officers arrived.


Killed in Tuesday's attack were Ze Fairchild, 37, and Maleka Higgins, 28, both of Santa Barbara; Nicola Grant, 42, and Guadalupe Swartz, 52, both of Lompoc; and Dexter Shannon, 57, of Oxnard.


The wounded woman, Charlotte Colton, 44, of Santa Barbara, remained hospitalized Tuesday.


It was the first lethal shooting at a postal installation in nearly eight years and one of the deadliest since a string of high-profile cases in the 1980s and 1990s, including one in which a part-time letter carrier killed 14 people in Edmond, Okla., before taking his own life.





sadly the people in iran are RIGHT and the american empire is wrong.


Iranian leader lashes out at Bush, 'bully countries'


Associated Press

Feb. 1, 2006 06:00 AM


TEHRAN, Iran - Iran's president lashed out Wednesday at the United States and vowed to resist the pressure of "bully countries" as European nations circulated a draft resolution urging that Tehran be brought before the U.N. Security Council for its nuclear activities.


In a speech to thousands of supporters hours after President Bush's State of the Union address, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad derided the United States as a "hollow superpower" that is "tainted with the blood of nations" and said Tehran would continue its nuclear program.


"Nuclear energy is our right, and we will resist until this right is fully realized," Ahmadinejad told the crowd in the southern Iran city of Bushehr, the site of Iran's only nuclear power plant.


"Our nation can't give in to the coercion of some bully countries who imagine they are the whole world and see themselves equal to the entire globe," he added.


The crowd responded with chants of "Nuclear energy is our right!"


Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, said at a news conference that it would halt intrusive U.N. inspections of its nuclear facilities and resume large-scale enrichment of uranium if it is taken before the U.N. Security Council.


Larijani also said Iran remains committed to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, despite calls from hard-line newspapers to withdraw from the agreement if the International Atomic Energy Agency refers Iran to the Security Council on Thursday, as expected.


Referring to the IAEA meeting, he added: "In case the issue is reported or referred to the Security Council, we will have to stop implementation of the Additional Protocol" - a procedure that allows IAEA inspectors to carry out intrusive searches of a country's nuclear facilities without warning.


"The result would be Iran's cooperating with the IAEA at a low level, which is against our wishes. All our suspensions on nuclear activities would be lifted," he said, meaning that Iran would feel free to enrich uranium without hindrance.


In Vienna, Austria, a draft IAEA resolution "requests the director general to report to the Security Council" on steps Iran needs to take to dispel fears that it might want to make nuclear arms. It was being circulated among the 35-member IAEA board for their comments before being submitted for approval at Thursday's board meeting, and a copy was made available to The Associated Press.


As those necessary steps, the draft calls on Iran to:


• Re-establish a freeze on uranium enrichment and related activities.


• Consider whether to stop construction of a heavy water reactor that could be the source of plutonium for weapons.


• Formally ratify an agreement it has so far honored as if it were in force allowing the IAEA greater inspecting authority.


• Give the IAEA additional power in its probe of Iran's nuclear program, including "access to individuals" for interviews, as well as to documentation on its black market nuclear purchases, equipment that could be used for nuclear and non-nuclear purposes and "certain military-owned workshops" where nuclear activities might be going on.


The draft also asks IAEA director general Mohamed ElBaradei to "convey to the Security Council" his report to the next board session in March along with any resolution that meeting might approve.


Ahmadinejad referred to Bush directly and the U.S.-led war in neighboring Iraq.


"Those whose hands are tainted with blood of nations and are involved in wars and oppression in any part of the world ... we, hopefully, in the near future will put you on trial in courts that will be set up by nations."


Defense Minister Gen. Mostafa Mohammad Najjar also warned all countries against considering an attack on Iran's nuclear installations. "Any attack against Iran's peaceful nuclear facilities will meet a swift and crushing response from the armed forces," Najjar said, according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency.


The comments came after Bush increased the pressure on Iran over its nuclear program, saying in his address Tuesday night that "the nations of the world must not permit the Iranian regime to gain nuclear weapons." He said the United States "will continue to rally the world to confront these threats."


Bush also said Iran was "held hostage by a small clerical elite that is isolating and repressing its people" and must stop sponsoring terrorists in the Palestinian territories and Lebanon.


British Prime Minister Tony Blair told the House of Commons on Wednesday it was crucial for the international community to "send a signal of strength" to Iran in the dispute.


"It is important that they understand ... that we are united in determining that they should not be able to carry on flouting their international obligations," he said.


The five permanent members of the Security Council agreed Tuesday that Iran should be hauled before the powerful body.


The top U.N body has the power to impose economic and political sanctions, but none of those measures is immediately likely. Under the deal agreed to by Moscow and Beijing - previous opponents of referral - the Security Council will likely await a new IAEA report at the next board meeting in March before deciding on substantive action, leaving more time for talks with Iran.


Iran insists its nuclear program is civilian only and has no other purpose than to generate power. Enrichment can produce either fuel for a nuclear reactor or the material needed to build a warhead.


On Tuesday, the IAEA said in a report that Iran obtained documents and drawings on the black market that serve no other purpose than to make an atomic warhead. The report also confirmed information recently provided by diplomats familiar with the Iran probe that Tehran has not started small-scale uranium enrichment since announcing it would earlier this month.


The findings about the design obtained by Iran on the black market were contained in a confidential report for presentation to the IAEA board and provided in full to the AP.


A three-year IAEA probe has not found firm evidence to back assertions by the United States and others that Iran's nuclear activities are a cover for an arms program but has not been able to dismiss such suspicions either.


First mention of the documents linked to constructing a nuclear warhead was made late last year in a longer IAEA report. At that time, the agency said only that they showed how to cast "enriched, natural and depleted uranium metal into hemispherical forms."


In the brief report obtained Tuesday, however, the agency said bluntly that the 15 pages of text and drawings showing how to cast fissile uranium into metal were "related to the fabrication of nuclear weapon components."


The report said the documents were under agency seal, meaning that IAEA experts should be able to re-examine them, but "Iran has declined a request to provide the agency with a copy."


The documents in question were given to Iran by members of the nuclear black market network, the IAEA said. Iran has claimed it did not ask for the documents but received them anyway as part of other black market purchases.





the junk food police at work! another set of government nannies to micro-manage our lives


Listing junk food hard job

Educators faced array of pressure


Anne Ryman

The Arizona Republic

Feb. 1, 2006 12:00 AM



Once the state passed a law banning junk food last year, the rest seemed simple.


But coming up with the final list of what is banned turned out to be more complicated because of the high emotions that surround food and the thousands of dollars generated by school snacks.


Before issuing its rules Tuesday, the state Department of Education even turned to Attorney General Terry Goddard for an opinion on one item: diet soft drinks. There was disagreement among staff and an advisory panel over whether to allow it in middle schools. Goddard determined that because the junk-food law required the state to meet or exceed federal nutrition standards, no carbonated beverages were permitted.


Now, by July, elementary and middle schools must convert their snack bars and vending machines to serve healthful snacks and drinks. In general, that means fried potato chips, high-fat pastries and soft drinks are out.


A fierce battle went on behind the scenes in recent months to keep certain foods in schools. State Schools Chief Tom Horne received hundreds of letters and e-mails from parents, students and food and beverage companies.


The Education Department spent months finalizing the nutrition guidelines and relied heavily on an eight-member committee that includes a parent, a school nutrition director and representatives from the food and beverage industry.


Not all the interests got their way.


Arizona Beverage Association President John Kalil said he was surprised and disappointed to see that diet soft drinks weren't included for middle schools. Diet soft drinks are a way to get kids to drink more without consuming more calories.


"We do live in a desert," he said. "We do drink more than water."


Beverage companies fared slightly better where sports drinks are concerned. State officials first recommended that sports drinks such as Gatorade be banned but agreed to allow them in middle schools.


Dairy farmers worried that they would be limited to selling only 1 percent milk in schools, which they feared would cause kids to drink less milk and cut into sales. State officials agreed to allow 2 percent milk but encouraged 1 percent and no-fat.


Officials wanted to ban all pastries but relented after company officials pointed out there were lower-fat versions of the popular snacks.


Baked goods such as muffins and doughnuts can still be sold but are limited to 3 ounces and must meet the new calorie, fat and sugar guidelines. Snack sizes are limited to 300 calories and cannot have more than 35 percent of their calories from fat.


For instance, Oreo Sandwich Cookies would be prohibited because they contain too much sugar. But a 2-ounce package of Famous Amos Oatmeal Raisin Cookies would fall within the limits.


The nutrition guidelines drew mixed reactions from parents.


Maria Elena Ruiz, who lives in Carefree and has two children in middle school, said the limits don't go far enough.


"It's ridiculous," she said about pastries and doughnuts in schools. "Those are loaded with sugar and fat."


Ruiz said it's important for schools to sell healthful foods because students spend the majority of their day there.


Trina Weiner of Scottsdale said she is happy to see the changes, especially the limits on fried food and soft drinks.


"They can get through the six hours they are in school without pop," she said.


Weiner, who has twin daughters who are freshmen at Desert Mountain High School, is glad the state relented and will allow sports drinks in the middle schools because many students stay after school for sports. She hopes the state goes further and passes legislation to cover high schools.


Horne, the state schools chief, said the goal behind the changes is to support parents.


"Some parents don't mind their children eating junk, and if the child brings a candy bar from home, nobody is going to take it away from them," Horne said. "But most parents want their children to eat healthy and resent it when the schools undermine that with candy and soda at the vending machine."


The state likely hasn't heard the last of the junk-food controversy. A separate bill introduced earlier this year, House Bill 2557, would extend the ban to high schools. Horne is supporting that legislation, as well.


Reach the reporter at (602) 444-8072.


School nutrition standards



The Arizona Department of Education released its list of nutrition standards effective in July for elementary and middle schools. Snacks must meet limits for sugar, fat, calories and sodium. Sugar is no more than 35 percent by weight. Fat is limited to 35 percent of calories (10 percent for trans- and saturated fats). Snacks can't have more than 300 calories or more than 600 milligrams of sodium.


Potato chips and crackers: Cannot be deep-fried and are limited to 1.5 ounces.


French fries: Cannot be fried as the final method of preparing.


Muffins, sweet rolls, doughnuts and pastries: Must meet nutrition guidelines above and portions limited to 3 ounces.


Cookies, brownies: Must meet nutrition guidelines and limited to 2 ounces.


Nuts and seeds: Exempt from fat requirements; limited to 2 ounces.


Milk: 2 percent or less. Flavored milk cannot have more than 4 grams of sugar per ounce. Whole milk is prohibited.


Juice: Must be 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice for elementary students and at least 50 percent for middle schools.


Carbonated beverages: Prohibited.


Sports drinks: Prohibited for elementary students; allowed for middle school students and limited to 12 ounces.


Cheese: Limited to 2 ounces.


Beef jerky: Most beef jerky has a lot of sodium, but it would be allowed if it met sodium requirements listed above.





free speach along with the bill of rights has been null and void for a long time in amerika!


Feb 1, 11:41 AM EST


Police remove Sheehan from Bush speech



Associated Press Writer


WASHINGTON (AP) -- Cindy Sheehan, mother of a fallen soldier in Iraq, wasn't the only one ejected from the House gallery during the State of the Union address for wearing a T-shirt with a war-related slogan that violated the rules. The wife of a powerful Republican congressman was also asked to leave.


Beverly Young, wife of Rep. C.W. Bill Young of Florida - chairman of the House Defense Appropriations subcommittee - was removed from the gallery because she was wearing a T-shirt that read, "Support the Troops - Defending Our Freedom."


"Because she had on a shirt that someone didn't like that said support our troops, she was kicked out of this gallery," Young said on the House floor Wednesday morning, holding up the gray shirt.


"Shame, shame," he scolded.


Mrs. Young was sitting about six rows from first lady Laura Bush and asked to leave. She argued with police in the hallway outside the House chamber.


"They said I was protesting," she told the St. Petersburg Times. "I said, "Read my shirt, it is not a protest.' They said, 'We consider that a protest.' I said, 'Then you are an idiot.'"


They told her she was being treated the same as Sheehan, a protester ejected before the speech Tuesday night for wearing a T-shirt with an antiwar slogan. Sheehan wrote in her blog Wednesday that she intends to file a First Amendment lawsuit.


"I don't want to live in a country that prohibits any person, whether he/she has paid the ultimate price for that country, from wearing, saying, writing, or telephoning any negative statements about the government," Sheehan wrote.


Capitol Police took Sheehan, invited as a guest of Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., away in handcuffs and charged her with unlawful conduct, a misdemeanor. She later was released on her own recognizance.


Capitol Police Sgt. Kimberly Schneider said police warned her that such displays were not allowed in the House chamber, but Sheehan did not respond.


Woolsey gave Sheehan her only ticket earlier in the day - Gallery 5, seat 7, row A - while Sheehan was attending an "alternative state of the union" news conference by CODEPINK, a group pushing for an end to the Iraq war.


In her blog, Sheehan wrote that her T-shirt said, "2245 Dead. How many more?" - a reference to the number of soldiers killed in Iraq.


She said she felt uncomfortable about attending the speech.


"I knew George Bush would say things that would hurt me and anger me and I knew that I couldn't disrupt the address because Lynn had given me the ticket," Sheehan wrote. "I didn't want to be disruptive out of respect for her."


She said she had one arm out of her coat when an officer yelled, "Protestor."


"He then ran over to me, hauled me out of my seat and roughly (with my hands behind my back) shoved me up the stairs," she wrote. She was then cuffed and driven to police headquarters a few blocks away.


"I was never told that I couldn't wear that shirt into the Congress," Sheehan wrote. "I was never asked to take it off or zip my jacket back up. If I had been asked to do any of those things...I would have, and written about the suppression of my freedom of speech later."


Sheehan was arrested in September with about 300 other anti-war activists in front of the White House after a weekend of protests against the war in Iraq. In August, she spent 26 days camped near Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, where he was spending a working vacation.





cop who shot a man in tucson and then claimed she thought his call phone was a gun has been sued.


Feb 1, 3:09 AM EST


Man shot by Tucson police officer files lawsuit


TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- A man shot by a Tucson policewoman last year has sued the officer, the city and its Police Department.


The lawsuit filed Friday in Pima County Superior Court contends Officer Maria Cabrera "acted negligently and below the standards of a reasonable police officer" when she shot Eric Becerra on Jan. 30, 2005.


It alleges the Police Department was negligent in hiring, training, supervising and disciplining Cabrera.


According to police, Cabrera shot Becerra when he pointed a gun at her after she walked up to a car she believed was connected to an aggravated-assault case.


Becerra, through his attorneys Jeff Rogers and David Lipartito, claims that he was holding a pack of cigarettes in one hand and a cellular phone in the other when Cabrera ordered him to raise his hands.


Becerra has had several surgeries since the incident and still has a bullet fragment in his spine, according to the lawsuit.


Cabrera's attorney, Michael Storie, said her actions were deemed justified by the Police Department's Office of Internal Affairs.




February 1, 2006


Airman's Shooting Sparks FBI Inquiry

By Lance Pugmire and Matt Lait, Times Staff Writers



Responding to a dramatic videotape of a police shooting, federal officials opened an investigation Tuesday into the conduct of a San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy who opened fire on a man who appeared to be following the deputy's order to get off the ground.


A grainy videotape of the shooting in Chino was broadcast repeatedly on television Tuesday. The quality of the tape is poor, and it is difficult to clearly hear all the exchanges between the deputy and 21-year-old Elio Carrion during the seconds before the shooting.


At one point, a voice on the tape appears to say "Stay on the ground." A moment later, however, the deputy appears to tell Carrion: "Get up, get up."


"I'm going to get up," Carrion replied as he began to rise from a crouch. As he did so, the deputy, who was standing a few feet away, fired multiple rounds.


Carrion, a U.S. Air Force security officer who had recently returned from duty in Iraq, was hit in the chest, shoulder and leg. He was listed in good condition Tuesday at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton.


San Bernardino County sheriff's officials have refused to release the deputy's name.


The incident, which took place Sunday night, began with the deputy's chasing a blue Corvette on a short pursuit that authorities said reached speeds of 100 mph. Officials said the deputy pursued the Corvette because the driver was speeding. Carrion was a passenger in the car.


The chase ended when the car crashed into a fence on a residential street in Chino about 10:30 p.m. The driver, Luis Fernando Escobedo, 21, was arrested on suspicion of felony evading. The district attorney's office has not filed charges against him, however, and he was scheduled to be released from jail Tuesday night, officials said.


Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Cindy Beavers said Tuesday evening that neither the driver nor Carrion was armed and that there was no indication Carrion would be arrested or charged with a crime.


Sheriff Gary Penrod has reviewed the videotape, as have several members of the department, Beavers said.


"The dialogue is difficult to understand," Beavers said. "We cannot make judgments on this shooting yet. It is not crystal clear, and if there's any question left open, we can't say whether Carrion or the deputy is wrong." The deputy's conversation with Carrion in the seconds before the shooting is "critical," she said.


Beavers said sheriff's officials hoped the federal investigation would include a forensic review of the video to help "clear up audio issues, to be exact in the dialogue between the deputy and the passenger."


On Tuesday, U.S. Atty. Debra Wong Yang asked the FBI to look at the incident to determine whether the deputy violated Carrion's civil rights, her spokesman, Thom Mrozek, said.


In addition to the federal investigation, the Sheriff's Department will investigate and report its findings to the San Bernardino County district attorney. Assistant Dist. Atty. Michael Risley said Tuesday that, according to available records, the district attorney's office had never filed criminal charges against a law enforcement officer involved in an on-duty shooting.


Current and former elected officials in the county said they were troubled by the shooting.


"I found the images very disturbing," said Supervisor Gary Ovitt, whose district includes Chino. "It did not appear that the passenger had done anything to provoke the shooting, so I can understand why people are demanding answers."


Eunice Ulloa, a 21-year Chino councilwoman and former mayor, called the shooting "frightening" and said she had received numerous calls from concerned residents in the blue-collar farming town of 80,000.


"It doesn't appear there was any justification for the shooting," said Ulloa, who lives near the shooting scene. "The video was horrifying, and it was horrifying to hear that night — all this yelling and screaming. I just hope the Sheriff's Department interviews all the witnesses involved to learn what triggered this officer to shoot. It appears this guy [Carrion] was shot unprovoked."


The videotape was shot by a bystander who provided the original to law enforcement officials and sold a copy to KTLA-TV Channel 5. The tape picks up after the pursuit ended and shows Carrion crouching with the deputy hovering over him, his gun drawn.


The deputy can be heard shouting repeated profanities at Carrion, calling him a "punk" and telling him to "shut up."


At one point, the deputy kicks at Carrion, but it is unclear whether he makes contact.


On the tape, Carrion can be heard telling the deputy, "I'm here on your side. All right? I'm here to tell you…. We're here on your side." In the background, yelling can be heard, and Carrion appears to yell at the driver to be quiet.


"We mean you no harm … all right?" said Carrion, who also interspersed his statements with profanity. "I served more time than you in the … police, in the … military, OK?"


After the shooting, Carrion can be heard moaning in pain as the deputy shouts — apparently into a radio — "Shots fired! Shots fired!" He then shouts: "Shut the … up!" several times.


Someone in the background says, "You told him to get up!" The deputy tells the unidentified person, "Shut … up!"


Carrion's wife Tuesday denounced the shooting, calling it a criminal act by the deputy. Mariela Carrion said the Sheriff's Department should fire the deputy who shot her husband and prosecutors should file criminal charges against him.


"He shouldn't ever be carrying a badge again," Mariela Carrion said. "It's unfair and sad for a man like my husband to be treated like that. For what he [the deputy] did, he should have to pay for it in court."


Bill Abernathie, president of the sheriff's deputies union, the San Bernardino County Safety Employees Benefit Assn., complained about the video's repeated airing on television.


"To paint every cop in California as bad people because one incident happened, and we don't know the facts, is just wrong," he said.


Jim Erwin, chief of administration for the union, said the deputy involved had retained an attorney, and rank-and-file members were "waiting for the investigation to conclude…. I don't know all the details or what provoked it," Erwin said.


The attorney did not respond to requests for comment.


Vanessa Escobedo, 19, the sister of the Corvette driver, said she spoke to Carrion by telephone Tuesday. She said he expected the deputy to be charged with a crime for shooting him.


Carrion "said he doesn't want to talk to anyone in the newspaper or television; he said he'd just rather go to court and talk," said Vanessa Escobedo. "He told me they had no weapons at all in that car. He's upset. He doesn't know why they shot him."


Carrion grew up in Montclair and attended Montclair High School. He graduated in 2002 and joined the Air Force the next year.


Kimberly King, a nurse assistant at the high school, said she met Carrion when he worked as an aide. When King heard about the shooting on television Tuesday morning, she said, "I just wanted to come through the screen" and knock the gun from the deputy's hand.


"It broke my heart this morning when they announced his name. I just cried for him and his sweet family," said King, 42. "It just broke my heart this way to see his name announced on TV, like he's a common criminal."


She said Carrion once befriended a schoolmate who was struggling in class and encouraged him to stay out of trouble, and that he was respectful of his family and girlfriend, whom he married.


"I remember him so vividly as truly one of the most polite, conscientious, extraordinarily devoted kids," said King, who has received several e-mails from Carrion since his graduation and saw him when he visited his former high school in his Air Force uniform.


Carrion played basketball for three school years and notched perfect attendance in 2002, according to his yearbook, where he is pictured in a gray suit and silver tie. In the nurse's office, he would run errands, make deliveries and greet other students.


"He was a quiet and very honorable young man," King said.


No one answered the door at Carrion's parents' house, a modest stucco building across from an elementary school. Three flags rustle on poles — the Mexican flag, the U.S. flag and the Air Force flag — and hand-held Mexican and U.S. flags dot the rose bed in the frontyard.


Times staff writers Michelle Keller, Mitchell Landsberg, Ashley Powers, Susannah Rosenblatt and John Spano contributed to this report.




LAPD Chief Overruled on Teen's Death

By Richard Winton and Rong-Gong Lin II, Times Staff Writers



The Los Angeles Police Commission on Tuesday rejected the recommendation of Police Chief William J. Bratton and ruled that the officer who fatally shot a 13-year-old after a brief chase violated department rules and should face discipline.


The decision marks the first major test of a panel that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa appointed last summer to provide tougher oversight of the Los Angeles Police Department. Many of the previous civilian commissions have been criticized as a rubber stamp for the chief.


The commission, headed by longtime civil rights activist and LAPD critic John Mack, voted 4 to 1 to set aside Bratton's finding and rule that Officer Steve Garcia violated department policy when he fired into Devin Brown's car as the boy backed toward him. Bratton had concluded that Garcia's actions were justified because his life was threatened.


Commissioner Alan J. Skobin, an attorney and the lone holdover from James K. Hahn's administration, was the only commissioner to back Bratton.


An LAPD board of review will now decide whether Garcia's actions amounted to misconduct and determine punishment, which could range from a reprimand to dismissal.


Villaraigosa called a news conference after the ruling, saying he backed the decision but downplaying the possibility it will create divisions.


"While some may disagree with the outcome, they should do so with the understanding that a full and complete investigation and consideration of the facts has taken place," the mayor said, adding that the commission's work was a "job well done."


But the vote probably will complicate Villaraigosa's and Bratton's relationship with the Police Protective League as it prepares to begin contract negotiations with the city. Both officials — particularly Bratton — have courted the union as they push efforts to reduce crime.


League President Bob Baker said the commission's action betrayed an officer who risks his life to protect the public.


"We are angered and dismayed that the Police Commission bowed to community pressure and used hindsight to punish Officer Garcia," Baker said. "The lesson that should be learned from that night is that at 4 a.m. kids like Devin Brown need to be safely home in bed."


At the news conference, Bratton and commission President Mack denied that the ruling opened a rift between the chief and the oversight panel.


"This is not a 'gotcha' kind of thing," Mack said. "This is not the commission making a power play with the police chief. We realize that reasonable people can disagree, even when we are all looking at the same information."


Bratton noted that although he concluded Garcia acted appropriately, the commission's decision "is the final one as it relates to the issue of policy."


Devin Brown's slaying has loomed large at the LAPD and City Hall for nearly a year. It occurred Feb. 6 as Villaraigosa and Hahn were locked in a heated battle for mayor.


Brown was killed after leading officers on a brief car chase in South Los Angeles that ended when the youth ran the car onto a sidewalk and stopped. Garcia said he fired at Brown's car as it accelerated in reverse toward him because he feared for his life.


An elaborate LAPD probe of the case — including a reconstruction carried out with the help of Hollywood set experts — backed Garcia's account, and prosecutors decided in December not to file charges against him.


But the shooting generated widespread protests among community activists, who saw it as the latest incident in a history of LAPD misconduct toward African Americans such as the 1965 Watts riots, the 1991 beating of Rodney King and the 1999 shooting of homeless woman Margaret Mitchell.


The commission did not disclose why it determined Garcia violated department policy, a decision that was made behind closed doors after nine hours of presentations and deliberations.


But sources who asked to remain anonymous said some commissioners felt that although Garcia was directly behind the youth's car when the boy began backing up, the officer was well to the side when he opened fire. In that position, they concluded, Garcia was not directly in harm's way.


LAPD policy says officers can fire on moving cars only if there is imminent danger to them or bystanders.





so what else is new?? cops lie. cops commit perjury, cops take bribes, cops steal. the only interesting, new novel thing here is the cops admit it!


Tombstone marshal finds law in disorder

He says office is out of control


Susan Carroll

Republic Tucson Bureau

Feb. 2, 2006 12:00 AM


TOMBSTONE - Deputies in this Old West city are accused of drinking on duty, lying in court and trading police protection and drugs for sexual favors from women, according to an internal memo by the local marshal.


The memo by the newly appointed marshal, Lance Crosthwait, describes an out-of-control department, with evidence lying out in the open and sex toys stashed in drawers. The marshal charged that at least one deputy knowingly used a broken breath-analysis unit for months, leading to the conviction of several people for driving while intoxicated, and that other deputies lied in official reports.


Crosthwait also wrote that one deputy promptly resigned, citing "personality conflicts" with the new marshal after being told that everyone in the department would have to pass a polygraph and drug test.


"Nobody's doing their jobs," said Mayor Andree De Journett, who appointed Crosthwait about two weeks ago. "I mean, a filing cabinet with sex toys? What's going on there at night?"


The memo is the latest in a series of controversies plaguing the Marshal's Office, which has had at least six marshals, most of them on an interim basis, over the past three years. The most recent interim marshal, Larry Talvy, was removed from the post last month, officially because he didn't live in the city.


Rumors of Talvy's impending demotion prompted The Republic to file a public-records request on Jan. 4 asking to see his personnel file.


City Attorney Ed Matchett said the city couldn't find the records.


Crosthwait, a former Cochise County undersheriff, asked in his memo for an outside investigation into the Marshal's Office accusations, which have the potential to jeopardize criminal cases. Crosthwait was unavailable for comment Wednesday as gossip about the memo ran up and down shops along the city's picturesque main street.


According to the memo:


• Based on Crosthwait's own observations and "verbal reports" of locals, deputies have been drinking alcohol on duty.


• Members of the Marshal's Office are "well known to have provided false statements and incorrect information in official matters." He based the allegation on the "opinion of various members of the legal community," according to court records and police files.


• There are complaints from women that "sexual favors were rendered" to members of the Marshal's Office in exchange for drugs or police protection or "freedom from arrest."


• Based on Crosthwait's observation and written reports from locals, some members of the Marshal's Office targeted locals for harassment because of their political or personal agendas.


Crosthwait included a list of equipment problems plaguing the Marshal's Office, which has 11 members, including the marshal, a dogcatcher and a dispatcher.


Some locals said Crosthwait's letter was politically motivated and yet another stain for this small tourist city in southeastern Arizona where Wyatt Earp and his brothers once enforced the rule of law.


In the three-page memo, Crosthwait accused a member of the City Council of supporting harassment of locals by deputies. Crosthwait wrote that he is waiting to investigate the charges further "without the tacit and public support" of local elected officials and guidance from the city attorney.


Anna Salcido, a city councilwoman who voted against Crosthwait, declined to comment. Other members of the council could not be reached for comment Wednesday night.


Some locals who opposed the mayor and called him "an outsider" were angry that the memo, dated Jan. 20, ended up in the hands of the media before it was fully investigated. Shortly after De Journett received the memo, he walked it over to the historic adobe offices of the Tombstone Tumbleweed newspaper and gave a copy to its editor.


"The mayor is out of line, and so is the marshal," said Dusty Escapule, a former mayor and arch political rival of De Journett. "Someone with no political affiliation needs to come in and investigate.


"It's embarrassing for this little town. To say this whole town is corrupt, it's out of line."


De Journett said he tried to call an emergency executive session to discuss the Marshal's Office, but there were not enough council members available for a quorum.


De Journett, who recently survived a nasty recall election, also blamed politics for the problems at the Marshal's Office, saying infighting by City Council members made it difficult to get a qualified candidate in the marshal's job appointed.


The marshal is appointed by and reports to the mayor but must be approved by the City Council.


"Don't blame me," De Journett said. "If I had one qualified person instead of a corrupt person, we would have only had one (marshal)."


He said the City Council "just wanted someone they can control."


"I don't want control," he said. "I want professionalism."


Reach the reporter at or 1-(520)-207-6007.







If this wasnt a police shooting it would have taken the newspaper 3 seconds to figure out that the gunman was a criminal, not 24 hours.


Deputy perhaps broke law in vet shooting


Matt Lait and Lance Pugmire

Los Angeles Times

Feb. 2, 2006 12:00 AM


SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - A San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy who shot a 21-year-old Air Force security officer in an incident captured on videotape appears to have violated accepted police tactics and may have committed a criminal offense, experts in the use of force by police said Wednesday.


The experts cautioned that the low quality of the videotape may obscure some important evidence. But what is visible - the image of the deputy firing multiple rounds at 21-year-old Elio Carrion as he appeared to follow the deputy's order to get off the ground - was shocking, they said.


"It's a criminal act," said Roger Clark, a former Los Angeles County sheriff's lieutenant who routinely testifies in court as an expert in police tactics.


Clark has worked both for police officers and for citizens who have sued the police. "He shot an unarmed man who was complying with his orders."




Capitol police apologize to activist Sheehan

Wed Feb 1, 2006 9:12 PM ET


By JoAnne Allen


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Capitol Police dropped charges against activist Cindy Sheehan on Wednesday and apologized for arresting her in the House of Representatives chamber shortly before President Bush's State of the Union address.


Sheehan, who became a central figure in the U.S. anti-war movement after her son Casey was killed in the Iraq war, was taken from the Capitol in handcuffs and charged with unlawful conduct after refusing to cover an anti-war slogan on her T-shirt.


The Capitol Police said in a statement that it had reviewed the incident and determined the arrest was unwarranted.


"While officers acted in a manner consistent with the rules of decorum enforced by the department in the House Gallery for years, neither Mrs. Sheehan's manner of dress or initial conduct warranted law enforcement intervention," the statement said.


Capitol Police Chief Terrance Gainer also apologized to the wife of a House Republican who was told to leave the chamber during Bush's speech for wearing a shirt bearing words of support for U.S. troops.


Rep. Bill Young of Florida had condemned the treatment of his wife, Beverly. Young, who chairs the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, said on the House floor his wife was called "a demonstrator and a protester" for doing what Bush had asked of Americans: supporting U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq.


The Capitol Police statement said neither guest should have been confronted about her expressive T-shirt.


"The officers made a good faith, but mistaken, effort to enforce an old unwritten interpretation of the prohibitions about demonstrating in the Capitol. The policy and procedures were too vague," Gainer said. "The failure to adequately prepare the officers is mine."


Sheehan, who won wide attention with an anti-war vigil outside Bush's Texas ranch, was attending the speech as the guest of Rep. Lynn Woolsey, a California Democrat.


In a speech on the House floor, Woolsey said Sheehan wore a shirt that highlighted the number of dead U.S. soldiers in Iraq. "Since when is free speech conditional on whether you agree with the president of the United States?" Woolsey asked.


"How can we claim to be fighting on behalf of freedom around the world, making the world safe for freedom when we are smothering freedom here at home?" she said.


The Capitol Police department said it would ask the U.S. attorney's office not to pursue the unlawful conduct charge against Sheehan. The charge carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison.


Sheehan and other activists were arrested in September for protesting outside the White House without a permit, a misdemeanor that carriers a $50 fine.,1,3433085.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed




Police sorry for ejecting Sheehan, lawmaker's wife


Associated Press

Published February 2, 2006


WASHINGTON -- Capitol Police dropped a charge of unlawful conduct against anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan on Wednesday and offered apologies to her and a congressman's wife after they were ejected from President Bush's State of the Union address for wearing T-shirts with war messages.


Police removed Sheehan and Beverly Young, wife of Rep. C.W. "Bill" Young (R-Fla.), from the visitors gallery Tuesday night. Sheehan was charged with a misdemeanor; Young was not arrested.


The unlawful conduct charge against Sheehan was being dropped, said Deputy House Sergeant of Arms Kerri Hanley. And in a private meeting Wednesday, Capitol Police Chief Terrance Gainer apologized, Rep. Young told reporters.


"They were operating under the misguided impression that the T-shirt was not allowed," Hanley said.


Sheehan's T-shirt made reference to the number of soldiers killed in Iraq: "2,245 Dead. How many more?" Young's shirt had the message: "Support the Troops--Defending Our Freedom."


Copyright © 2006, Chicago Tribune


Police drop charge, apologise to Sheehan

Washington, Feb 2 (AP): Capitol Police dropped a charge of unlawful conduct against anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan and offered apologies to her and a congressman's wife for ejecting them from President George W Bush's State of the Union address.


The women had been singled out for wearing T-shirts with messages condemning the Iraq war.


"The officers made a good faith, but mistaken, effort to enforce an old unwritten interpretation of the prohibitions about demonstrating in the Capitol," Capitol Police Chief Terrance Gainer said in a statement late yesterday.


"The policy and procedures were too vague," he said. "The failure to adequately prepare the officers is mine."


The extraordinary statement came a day after police removed Sheehan and Beverly Young, wife of Rep C.W. "Bill" Young, from the visitors gallery Tuesday night. Sheehan was taken away in handcuffs minutes before Bush arrived at the Capitol to deliver his annual speech laying out his programme for the coming year. Sheehan was charged with a misdemeanor, while Young left the gallery and therefore was not arrested, Gainer said.


"Neither guest should have been confronted about the expressive T-shirts," Gainer's statement said.


Gainer said he was asking the US attorney's office to drop the charge against Sheehan. The statement also said he apologized to the Youngs and "share(d) the department's plans for avoiding this in the future."


"A similar message has been left with Mrs Sheehan," Gainer said.





Sheehan's treatment is a disgrace


Feb. 2, 2006 12:00 AM


In no less than the hallowed halls of Congress is free speech and liberty not honored.


The arrest of dissenter Cindy Sheehan for wearing a T-shirt inscribed with "2,245 dead, how many more?" would have come as no surprise in North Korea, the old Soviet Union or communist China, but in the United States?


We have lost are way. Is there hope that we can regain our rightful place as the home of the brave and the free?


Jean Miyake

Scottsdale, Arizona




Don't forget impact of taxes on savings


Feb. 2, 2006 12:00 AM


Your Tuesday front-page story "Why Americans are saving less," listed a number of reasons why Americans are saving so much less than they did before the New Deal. But for some inexplicable reason, it made no mention of the growth in taxes, government and entitlements.


Including the cost of regulations, the per-person cost of government is now more than $18,000 per year. Federal spending alone is 26 percent of national income, or eight times as much as it was before the New Deal. Back then, Americans worked 1.2 months to pay their taxes, vs. 5.2 months today. In 1929, federal debt per person was nearly zero, vs. more than $26,000 today.


Then, there is the psychological effect of Social Security, Medicare and hundreds of welfare programs.


Americans have been misled to believe that the government will come to their rescue if they retire without a nest egg.


By contrast, the savings rate in China is 30 percent because the Chinese know they can't depend on the government to provide for them in old age.


Craig J. Cantoni

Scottsdale, Arizona





heil hitler! - the police state continues!


Patriot Act is given 1-month extension


Laurie Kellman

Associated Press

Feb. 2, 2006 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - The House on Wednesday agreed to extend the USA Patriot Act for a month while conservative Republicans and the White House work out changes intended to protect people from government intrusion.


The GOP-controlled House used a voice vote to keep the law in effect until March 10 so negotiators have more time to come up with a deal. The Senate was expected to follow before the law expires on Friday.


Just before leaving for Christmas, Congress extended the law until Feb. 3. Senate Democrats and four libertarian-leaning Republicans had blocked a final vote on a measure negotiated by the White House that would have made permanent most expiring provisions. The Republicans were concerned about excessive police powers.


"It is imperative that we not play political games with the tools that our law enforcement needs to prevent another terrorist attack," said the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis.


House Democrats said they did not want the Patriot Act to expire but are pressing for civil rights protections before renewing it permanently. The extension "will give members a chance to work together," said Rep. Robert Scott, D-Va.


Rep. Jane Harmon, top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, added, "We must extend it, mend it, but not end it. "


It would be the second time Congress has extended the law. Originally passed five weeks after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Patriot Act was due to expire Dec. 31.


The law makes it easier for federal agents to gather and share information in terrorism investigations, install wiretaps and conduct secret searches of households and businesses. At issue are 16 provisions that Congress wanted reviewed and renewed by the end of last year.


Objections to the compromise last fall centered on the degree to which people and institutions that receive national security letters - secret requests for phone, business and Internet records - can appeal them in court.


Sens. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, and John Sununu, R-N.H., say the law makes it nearly impossible to challenge such letters and their secretive demands for information. Craig said this week that the White House had agreed to some changes that would address his concerns but declined to describe the talks further.





i wonder if the iraqis like living under the amerikan empire dictator george w bush better then the arab dictator saddam? both dictators killed and tortured 1,000's of iraqi citizens. but at least under saddam they had some running water and electricity.


Insurgents stall reconstruction

More than half of sanitation and water projects cut


Associated Press

Feb. 2, 2006 12:00 AM


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Guerrilla attacks in Iraq have forced the cancellation of more than 60 percent of water and sanitation projects, in part because American intelligence failed to predict the brutal insurgency, a U.S. government audit said.


American goals to fix Iraq's infrastructure will never be reached, mainly because insurgents have chased away contractors and forced the diversion of repair funds into security, according to an audit of the Iraqi Relief and Reconstruction Program released last week.


It is the latest in a series of auditing reports being issued by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.


The rise of Iraq's insurgency was never envisioned by U.S. officials, who originally budgeted about 9 percent of reconstruction aid for project security, the audit said.


As kidnappings, killings and sabotage drove local laborers and foreign technicians from the reconstruction program, U.S. administrators were forced to step up protection for workers.


New measures like armored vehicles, private security teams and blast walls absorbed as much as 22 percent of project costs, according to the audit.


"The whole purpose of those attacks was to drive those contractors out," said Wayne White, who headed the State Department's Iraq intelligence team until last year. "Lots of them had to leave," he said. "They were terrified."


U.S. officials coped with the gathering insurgency by diverting $5.6 billion of the $18.4 billion U.S. aid package into Iraq's security and public safety sectors.


Meanwhile, officials slashed projects that were aimed at restoring the country's water and electricity infrastructure, according to the report.


Funds earmarked for Iraq's military and law enforcement jumped 55 percent and paid for training and weapons for Iraqi police and troops, prison construction and additional border guards.





racists cops!!! if he  had been an american cop they wouldnt have even arrested him!


Feb 2, 3:14 AM EST


Mexican federal police officer indicted for drug trafficking


TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- A Mexican federal police officer has been indicted on drug-trafficking charges here.


Ruben Rochin-Gutierrez, 39, of Navojoa, Sonora, made his initial appearance Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Marshall after being arrested Tuesday.


Before the arrest, a federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment Nov. 16 on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute about 9,500 pounds of marijuana and other charges.


The indictment alleges that on April 17, 2003, Rochin-Gutierrez possessed with an intent to distribute about 2,969 pounds of marijuana.


It also states that on Dec. 16, 2004, he possessed with the intent to distribute 3,520 pounds of marijuana.


Rochin-Gutierrez has a detention hearing and arraignment set for Friday.





duh!!! with the stupid drug war making drugs illegal of course people are going to break into drug stores and steal drugs. the only logical solution is to legalize drugs!


Feb 2, 3:14 AM EST


Police investigating string of drug thefts from pharmacists


TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- Police in Tucson and Marana are investigating at least six incidents in which armed robbers demanded the drug OxyContin from pharmacists since October.


Meanwhile, police in Phoenix are looking into at least 30 similar incidents since June.


Authorities haven't determined if the Tucson and Phoenix cases are connected but say the Marana cases appear unrelated.


OxyContin is a brand-name prescription drug that contains the narcotic oxycodone - the morphine-like ingredient found in nearly 40 controlled prescription analgesics, including Percoset and Percodan.


But what makes OxyContin different - and extremely attractive to drug abusers and dealers - is the huge dosages available in a single pill.


While a Percoset tablet typically contains 5 milligrams of oxycodone, OxyContin tablets contain 10, 20 or 40 milligrams or the 80- and 160-milligram doses.


Authorities say tablets can be broken and swallowed or crushed and snorted. It is sold for about $1 per milligram on the street.




January 30, 2006 -- (WEB HOST INDUSTRY REVIEW) -- Web hosting provider Go Daddy ( has still not had its Super Bowl commercial approved by ABC after having its submission rejected for the 13th time, president and CEO Bob Parsons ( reported in his blog late last week. The final deadline is January 31.


Parsons says the company immediately submitted a 14th version of its commercial, which is expected to feature the "Go Daddy Girl" Candice Michelle.


"With each submission we've become a little less "GoDaddy-Esque," Parsons wrote. "In spite of this, I believe our creative people have still retained the edgy image we want to convey."


Go Daddy has been working with ABC's Standards and Practices Group for weeks to have a commercial for the Super Bowl approved. Last year's Go Daddy ads, depicting a scantily clad Michelle in suggestive scenes, were the subject of complaints that resulted in a second airing of the ad being cancelled. reports that a significant amount of traffic is being generated by interest in the Go Daddy Super Bowl commercial.


A 30-second commercial spot to be aired during this year's Super Bowl will cost $2.6 million. Locked in Super Bowl(R) Showdown

Wednesday February 1, 2:15 pm ET 

14th & Final Commercial Attempt Sits in Limbo



SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Feb. 1 /PRNewswire/ --, the No. 1 registrar of domain names worldwide -- and the advertiser censored in last year's Super Bowl commercial controversy -- is in a standoff, stuck waiting for approval to advertise during America's big game. After 14 revisions and weeks of intense negotiations, the ABC Television network is withholding approval for the Internet powerhouse to broadcast a "GoDaddy-Esque" commercial in Super Bowl XL®.


"It's a good thing I can handle rejection," said Bob Parsons, founder and president of "From the beginning, all I ever wanted was to get our ad approved and on the air. GoDaddy's commercial may not appeal to everyone, but I guarantee it will be FUN, edgy and just a touch inappropriate -- that is the definition of 'GoDaddy-Esque.' It's not nearly as racy as the Victoria's Secret commercial, which ABC has aired many times, or the Jessica Simpson ad which ABC has already approved for the Super Bowl." spent months of time and more than $1 million developing 14 different spots in an effort to produce a commercial that would be acceptable to both Go Daddy and ABC TV. Go Daddy agreed to buy a 30-second ad in the February 5 Super Bowl, but is struggling to win creative approval from the ABC Television network's "Standards and Practices" division.


Last year,'s edgy commercial, a parody on censorship, was pulled before it aired a scheduled second time during the Super Bowl. The ensuing controversy resulted in more than $11 million of publicity, according to multivision inc. The spot also earned Go Daddy® a 51% "Share of Voice," a percentage some say is the largest "S.O.V." attributed to ANY Super Bowl advertiser EVER. The spot ranked #4 in the Top Ten Commercials of 2005, according to USA Today. It was ranked as 2005's "Smartest Ad Campaign" by Business 2.0 magazine and CNN/Money and spawned the term "GoDaddy-Esque" because of its cutting edge messaging.


"I ask you, what is more American than parody? Last year really struck a nerve. is definitely on someone's radar," Parsons said.


Parsons believes the attention generated by last year's censorship coverage is making advertising again this year more difficult, but defends the creative content that ABC rejected as being no more risque than what airs on primetime television.


"I've received dozens of requests from media outlets wanting to see the rejected commercials. has nothing to hide. In fact, I think when you see our commercials many of you will wonder what all the fuss was about," said Parsons. "You decide. Take a look and let us know if our ideas, the commercials we produced and the concepts that were rejected are really too much for America's Super Bowl audience."


Since last year's Super Bowl success, has become the world's undisputed leader of domain name registrars, both in terms of new registrations and domain under management. The Go Daddy Group now has more than 11.6 million domains in its portfolio and is also the leading shared hosting provider in North America.


A news conference on today's developments is scheduled for 3 p.m. MST at, located at 14455 N. Hayden Rd., Suite #226, in Scottsdale, Arizona. DVDs of denied creative content will be provided at the news conference. You can also read more about's quest to advertise in Super Bowl XL by visiting


About The Go Daddy Group, Inc.® is the world's No. 1 domain name registrar both in terms of new registrations and domains under management. enables individuals and businesses to acquire, create and safeguard their unique identities and brands on the Internet by offering a complete line of web development tools, including domain name registration, hosting, email systems, SSL certificates, domain auctions and appraisals, and complementary products and services. The Go Daddy Group includes three ICANN-accredited domain name registrars: flagship registrar, the world's No. 1 registrar both in terms of new daily registrations and domains under management (, membership-based registrar Blue Razor® Domains, Inc. (, and reseller registrar Wild West Domains®, Inc. ( The Go Daddy Group also offers private domain name registration services through Domains By Proxy®, Inc. (, as well as SSL Certificates through its SSL Certificate Authority, Starfield Technologies®, Inc. ( The Go Daddy Group registers or renews a domain name every 3 seconds and has more than 11.6 million domain names in its portfolio.



                            - The Go Daddy Group -

                 © 2006  All Rights Reserved.


Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click

appropriate link.

Bob Parsons







the daily cost of the wars in iraq and Afghanistan for every man, woman, and child in the united states is 59 cents for both wars, 50 cents for the iraq war and 9 cents a day for the Afghanistan war. and those are low ball estimates!


Posted 2/2/2006 4:41 PM     Updated 2/3/2006 7:33 AM


Bush to request $120B more for wars in Iraq, Afghanistan


By Richard Wolf, USA TODAY


WASHINGTON — The Bush administration will ask Congress soon for another $120 billion to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, bringing total spending since the Sept. 11 attacks to about $440 billion.

Administration officials said the request is intended to fund operations into next year. However, deputy budget director Joel Kaplan and Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman acknowledged that won't be enough, even as the U.S. military tries to turn more responsibility over to Iraqi forces. (Related: Bush to request $439.3B defense budget)


Training and equipping Iraqi forces will allow U.S. troops to "take more of a supporting role, a training role, and eventually be able to reduce our numbers as they take over more control," Whitman said.


The war in Iraq is costing about $150 million a day, while continued fighting in Afghanistan is costing about $27 million a day.


The cost of the Iraq war has substantially exceeded early estimates. In 2002, White House economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey suggested the cost could reach $200 billion. Mitch Daniels, then the White House budget director, said Lindsey's number was too high, and said the cost would be $60 billion or less. Lindsey resigned a few months later.


Taken together, the two wars' projected $440 billion cost is almost as much as the Korean War, which cost $445 billion in 2006 dollars, according to the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. Only World War II and the Vietnam War were more expensive.


The new request is not likely to include any money for reconstruction in Iraq, officials said. Congress appropriated $18 billion for that in 2003, but much of it has been diverted to train and equip Iraqi forces.


All funding requests for the troops have been strongly approved by Congress, and this one is unlikely to generate much opposition.


"This Congress, in a very strong bipartisan way, has done anything they've been asked to do to be supportive of the troops," said Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Fla., chairman of the House defense appropriations panel.


Democrats say that with the federal budget deficit expected to reach about $360 billion this year, more should be done to offset the wars' costs.


"The way we're doing this is very irresponsible," said Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash. "We're not demanding a sacrifice from the American people."


The administration also will ask Congress for:


• About $18 billion for hurricane-related expenses in the Gulf Coast. That would bring the total to about $103 billion. Rep. Richard Baker, R-La., expressed concern that "Congress is in no mood to continue spending such resources."


• About $2.3 billion to prepare for a potential bird flu pandemic. Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt told USA TODAY that while a vaccine is available, "We don't have the capacity to manufacture it in great enough quantities in small enough times."





as long as the social security card is used as the national id this stuff will continue to happen


Feb 3, 11:24 AM EST


Personal information from 19,000 Honeywell workers compromised


PHOENIX (AP) -- A former computer systems analyst at Honeywell International in Phoenix is accused of obtaining personal information from 19,000 company workers and posting it on the internet.


Honeywell filed a civil complaint in federal court this week naming former employee Howard Nugent and accusing him of hacking into company computers and obtaining social security numbers, bank account and direct deposit information about 19,000 Phoenix-area Honeywell employees.


A federal judge issued a restraining order against Nugent on Thursday, but the document was sealed. Nugent could not be reached for comment.


Honeywell contacted workers shortly after the breach was discovered and offered to provide identity-theft insurance. But employees didn't learn until later whether their information was online.


"For the first few days, we didn't know who was affected," said Dale Mukavetz, an engineer who works at the company's Phoenix aerospace plant.


He said many employees hurried to close bank accounts and open new ones to accept payroll direct deposits.


Mukavetz said he was relieved that employees' 401(k) information wasn't posted.


"That would have been a disaster," he said.


Honeywell attorney William Maledon said Nugent left the company in 2003, but would not say under what terms. Honeywell discovered the security breach Jan. 20.


Honeywell, based in Morristown, N.J., employs 120,000 people worldwide. The company's aerospace division is based in Phoenix.


Honeywell IDs source of workers' data leak


Max Jarman

The Arizona Republic

Feb. 3, 2006 12:00 AM



Honeywell International has identified a former computer systems analyst in the company's Phoenix office as the source of a massive leak of personal information about 19,000 current and former employees.


A civil complaint, filed this week in U.S. District Court in Phoenix, alleges that Howard Nugent hacked into the company's computers and obtained confidential information about Honeywell's Phoenix-area employees. The stolen data, including Social Security numbers and bank account and direct-deposit information, were then posted on the Internet. The security breach was discovered Jan. 20.


"He wanted to get back at the company, but the people who got hurt were the employees," said an engineer at Honeywell's plant at 34th and Washington streets in Phoenix who asked that his name not be used. "Everyone I know at my plant was a victim."


The federal court issued a restraining order against Nugent on Thursday, but the document was sealed and not made public. Nugent could not be reached for comment, and Honeywell spokeswoman Victoria Streitfeld said the company had no further comment.


The posting of the information online put employees' identities at risk of being stolen by criminals and used to fraudulently make purchases, obtain credit and steal cash and other assets.


The Valley's transient population and rampant methamphetamine use has made it a hot spot for identity theft. In 2004, metropolitan Phoenix had the highest per capita rate of identity theft in the nation.


Andres Esquer, a spokeswoman for Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, said that the case could lead to criminal charges against Nugent but that the theft would have to first be reported to a law enforcement agency. "It's up to Honeywell," she said.


Honeywell attorney William Maledon said Nugent left the company in 2003, but Maledon would not say under what terms.


Honeywell notified employees shortly after the breach was discovered and offered to provide identity-theft insurance. But employees didn't learn until later whether their information was online.


"For the first few days, we didn't know who was affected," said Dale Mukavetz, an engineer who also works at the Washington Street plant.


When they found out, employees rushed to existing bank accounts and opened new ones to accept payroll direct deposits.


Mukavetz said he was relieved that employees' 401(k) information wasn't posted.


"That would have been a disaster," he said.


Honeywell spokesman Robert Ferris said the company quickly had the Web page removed and has been monitoring to ensure that it does not reappear.


In a Jan. 24 letter to employees, the company offered to provide fraud protection of up to $25,000 for a year and to monitor credit reports for a similar period.


"That made us feel better about it," Mukavetz said.


Honeywell's complaint charges Nugent with, among other things, breach of contract and computer fraud and asks he be barred from further misuse of the information and pay unspecified damages.


Based in Morristown, N.J., industrial and aerospace giant Honeywell employs about 120,000 people worldwide, including 13,400 in Arizona, where the company's aerospace division is based.


Reach the reporter (602) 444-7351.





hell the cops even violate the civil rights of their fellow cops!!!


Surveillance Prompts a Suit: Police v. Police



Published: February 3, 2006


The demonstrators arrived angry, departed furious. The police had herded them into pens. Stopped them from handing out fliers. Threatened them with arrest for standing on public sidewalks. Made notes on which politicians they cheered and which ones they razzed.


Meanwhile, officers from a special unit videotaped their faces, evoking for one demonstrator the unblinking eye of George Orwell's "1984."


"That's Big Brother watching you," the demonstrator, Walter Liddy, said in a deposition.


Mr. Liddy's complaint about police tactics, while hardly novel from a big-city protester, stands out because of his job: He is a New York City police officer. The rallies he attended were organized in the summer of 2004 by his union, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, to protest the pace of contract talks with the city.


Now the officers, through their union, are suing the city, charging that the police procedures at their demonstrations — many of them routinely used at war protests, antipoverty marches and mass bike rides — were so heavy-handed and intimidating that their First Amendment rights were violated.


A lawyer for the city said the police union members were treated no differently than hundreds of thousands of people at other gatherings, with public safety and free speech both protected. The department observes all constitutional requirements, the city maintains.


The lawsuit by the police union brings a distinctive voice to the charged debate over how the city has monitored political protest since Sept. 11. The off-duty officers faced a "constant threat of arrest," Officer Liddy testified, all but echoing the complaint by activists for other causes that the city has effectively "criminalized dissent."


The lawsuit is one of three recent legal actions in which the city has been accused of abuses of power that the plaintiffs say crimped free expression, a charge that officials say is belied by the reality of noisy sidewalks and streets, crammed year-round with parades and rallies.


At the core of all three cases are questions about the expanded powers the police were granted after the 2001 attacks, and how much the department needs to know about the politics of people who are expressing their views.


In 2003, a federal judge eased longstanding and strict limits on surveillance of political activity at the request of lawyers from the city's corporation counsel office, who argued that the Police Department needed broader authority to use such tactics to fight terrorism.


Since then, police officers in disguise have taken part in demonstrations, an approach the Police Department says it used before receiving the expanded powers; other officers have made hundreds of hours of videotapes of people involved in protests and rallies, very few of whom were charged with breaking any law. Neither form of surveillance, the city argues, violates the Constitution.


The three pending cases — two of them brought by civil liberties lawyers and the third by the police union — are the first to demand judicial scrutiny of those tactics.


Among those three, the police union was the earliest to challenge the city, and its case has the most striking dynamic: the very people asked to fight terrorism are claiming that the city's new antiterrorism tools have been bluntly and illegally applied to the exercise of their own civil rights.


"It puts the whole issue into stark relief," said Elizabeth McNamara, a lawyer who represents the P.B.A. and other unions in the suit.


In July and August 2004, a few dozen off-duty officers — joined at times by firefighters — popped up at places where Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg was scheduled to appear, chanting and handing out leaflets about labor negotiations.


The unions maintain that their demonstrations, in the weeks before the 2004 Republican National Convention opened in New York, embarrassed the mayor just as the national press corps was turning its attention to the city, and that the Police Department responded by cracking down. They are seeking a court declaration that their rights have been violated, as well as damages.


Lawyers for the city say that police union members pestered truck drivers making deliveries, obstructed sidewalks near the mayor's home, and taunted the mayor's press secretary by saying they knew where he lived. The Police Department, the city lawyers say, is neutral about political messages and used barricades and other crowd control methods only to protect the rights of the public and to keep order.


However, the police union said it had uncovered evidence that the department took a keen interest in what the demonstrators were saying, not just how they said it.


During a deposition of the chief of department, Joseph Esposito, who is the department's top uniformed official, Ms. McNamara read parts of a report prepared by the department's Internal Affairs Bureau, which noted that the protesters included members of the Police and Fire Department unions.


"In Paragraph 4, it says that members of both departments called out to the mayor for pay raises," Ms. McNamara said, according to the court transcript, "In Paragraph 5, it notes that the protesters clapped and cheered when former Mayor Koch appeared."


She asked, "What would be the basis for them recording the content of the protesters' demonstrations?"


Chief Esposito responded, "Just to record what they observed."


At a hearing in Federal District Court in Manhattan, Ms. McNamara said the videotaping was punitive. "There was no basis whatsoever for employing the Internal Affairs Division to videotape the police officers except as a means of political harassment," she said. "There wasn't suspicion of criminal activity."


Mark Muschenheim, a lawyer for the city, said that Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly ordered the videotaping for legitimate reasons. "There were threats made to the mayor's press secretary during these demonstrations," Mr. Muschenheim said. "That was a decision made by the police commissioner because the demonstrations were getting out of hand."


At Chief Esposito's deposition, Ms. McNamara asked, "Would there be any reason, to your knowledge, for them to be taping the protest to zoom in and individually photograph each officer at the protest?"


"I don't know," he replied.


"Do you know any legitimate reason for such documentation of individuals at the protest?" Ms. McNamara asked.


The chief replied, "Document presence for further identification in the event there was misconduct."


No criminal activity or misconduct was observed at the union demonstrations, Charles Campisi, the chief of the Internal Affairs Bureau, testified, but the videotapes will remain on file. "The purpose of keeping records is to document the observations, what you've done," he said.


In 2003, a federal judge found that the Police Department had scrutinized the beliefs of antiwar protesters without legitimate reason. After antiwar rallies in February and March 2003, 12 people who were arrested said they were questioned on their political thinking by detectives.


Police officials said basic information was needed for a database that would identify centers of protest organization to help deploy officers at future demonstrations. When the practice was made public, Commissioner Kelly said that while he did not know about it, there was nothing unconstitutional about the questioning. Nevertheless, he said the information was not needed.


The dozen people who submitted affidavits said the interrogations went far beyond basics. Among the questions, they said, was whether the country would be better off if Al Gore had been elected, whether they hated President Bush, whether they belonged to other antiwar groups, what schools they attended, and whether they were politically active. The police denied asking those questions.


The judge, Charles S. Haight of Federal District Court in Manhattan, noting that all the protesters gave roughly the same version of events, said he believed that they were telling the truth, even if Commissioner Kelly and his deputy for intelligence, David Cohen, were not aware of the practice.


In the P.B.A.'s lawsuit, now in pretrial proceedings, Ms. McNamara tried to show that it was unusual for the Internal Affairs Bureau to keep an eye on off-duty police officers. If a group of police officers were going to have "a baseball game, would I.A.B. be called in to monitor to see whether they might engage in illegal activity?" Ms. McNamara asked Chief Esposito.


"Generally speaking, no," he replied.


Asked if Internal Affairs officers with video cameras might intimidate an officer, Chief Esposito said, "I don't think so."


However, Joseph Alejandro, a police officer and union official, testified about the videotaping, "It sends a chill down a police officer's back to think that Internal Affairs would be taping something."


Although city lawyers have not yet addressed the claims in the union's lawsuit at any length, they argued in a related case that the police should be allowed to make and keep videotapes of political gatherings. A group of civil rights lawyers charged that such videotaping violated a standing court order that settled a class action lawsuit, known as Handschu, that put limits on police surveillance. Many of those limits were eased in 2003. The city says that nothing in the United States Constitution forbids police videotaping of people in a public place.


"Even if the N.Y.P.D. were to identify the person whose images were captured on videotape, or disseminated the photographs to other police agencies, a constitutional violation has not occurred," wrote Gail Donoghue, a senior city lawyer.





david is a libertarian who is also a pima county public defender. david is also handling the ASU lawsuit where the libertarian party is suing ASU for using public money to put on the presidential debate at ASU and refusing to include the libertarian party canidates.



From: "David Euchner"

Date: Thu, 02 Feb 2006 20:27:31 -0700

Subject: [lpaz-discuss] Fwd: RE: vote NO on HB2580/HB2589


Some random banter with Russell Pearce. Apparently I was supposed to be

convinced of the merit of this legislation by being told that the bills

have the support of Andrew Thomas.


David Euchner




>Date: Thu, 02 Feb 2006 20:20:36 -0700

>To: "Russell K. Pearce" <>

>From: David Euchner <>

>Subject: RE: vote NO on HB2580/HB2589

>Rep. Pearce,

>Just today I got a new case where the accused is charged with


>of 0.17g of methamphetamine. The accused has no prior record and is


>accused of committing any crime against a person (such as theft).


>ARS 13-3407, this offense is a class 4 felony.

>I also have had too many cases to count where the accused is charged


>presenting a forged check for less than $1000. If the accused had


>stolen $999, the charge would be a class 6 felony. But not only is


>a class 4, but the Pima County Attorney always slaps them with


>schemes and artifices, which is a class 2 felony. I also see the class


>fraud schemes charge when someone steals a $50 vacuum cleaner and then

>tries to return it without a receipt for money back. Certainly these

>offenses need to be punished, but should they be punished at the same

>level as manslaughter, sexual assault, or armed robbery?!

>If the general public understood how various offenses are classified


>Arizona, they would agree with me. The reason I know this is because a


>of people begin a discussion by disagreeing with me and change their


>within moments of hearing what the law actually says.

>No offense to Mr. Thomas, but his support for a criminal justice bill


>not going to win me over. Maybe if the bills had the support of the


>whose courtrooms are overflowing with small-time drug possession



>David Euchner

>At 08:19 AM 2/2/2006, you wrote:

>>I cannot believe you oppose NO Bond for serious felonies on


>>that are here illegally and are a great flight risk. This is common


>>legislation.  Supported by Maricopa County Attorney for a number of



>>Name the class 4 felonies that are NO Big deal to the public.




>>From: []

>>Sent: Thursday, February 02, 2006 7:26 AM

>>To: Eddie Farnsworth; Russell K. Pearce; Ray Barnes; Jonathan Paton;


>>Quelland; Steven B. Yarbrough; Ted Downing; Steve Gallardo; Ben R.


>>Subject: vote NO on HB2580/HB2589


>>To the members of the House Judiciary Committee:


>>I apologize for sending one message to all members, but I understand


>>are holding hearings on two bills today, HB2580 and HB2589 and I want


>>explain my opposition to both these bills. As an attorney with the


>>County Public Defender's office, I am on the front lines of the


>>justice system, and I can give you an accurate prediction of the

>>unintended consequences of these two pieces of legislation. (And as


>>most recent Libertarian Party candidate for Pima County Attorney in


>>I demonstrated that I am not "soft on crime" but rather more


>>in identifying the source of crime and making our county a safer

place to



>>HB2580 extends the list of people who shall be denied bail to those


>>have committed "serious felonies" which includes all the way down to

>>class 4 felonies. In reality, many class 4 felonies are not serious


>>all, such as possession of a usable amount of any narcotic or


>>drug. Simple possession of 0.1 gram of meth or crack regularly

results in

>>class 4 felony charges in Pima County. Also, fraudulent schemes and

>>artifices (ARS 13-2310) is charged as a class 2 felony, even if the

>>pecuniary gain from the fraud perpetrated was only $50. As for

>>undocumented individuals, they already get immigration holds placed


>>them by the federal government so they are not being released anyway.

>>This bill will accomplish nothing practically except to reclassify


>>than 50% of existing crimes as "serious". Doing this minimizes the


>>of truly serious crimes such as murder and sexual assault.


>>HB2589 is a bill that has absolutely no chance of accomplishing its

>>stated goal (curbing the tide of illegal immigration coming through

>>Arizona) and instead continues the trend of turning the United States

>>into a Big Brother-led database nation. The purpose of a DNA database


>>to help solve violent crimes by checking DNA on the scene against


>>collected from convicted felons, in the hope that a lead may be

>>generated. But this database is widely considered a failure because


>>practice it accomplishes nothing more than collecting data on drug


>>and those who commit other such low-level offenses. Finding another


>>of people from whom to extract DNA will do nothing to stem the rise

of crime.


>>The reason why the crime rate is spiraling out of control in Pima


>>is because our law enforcement is spending most of its resources


>>down drug users instead of doing the more difficult work of


>>burglaries and other property crimes. These bills will do nothing to

>>solve our problems. I urge the House Judiciary Committee to work


>>identifying the real problems in Arizona, rather than window dressing

>>such as stopping illegal immigration (which is never going to happen


>>the state level).




>>David J. Euchner

>>Assistant Pima County Public Defender




Feb 4, 3:12 AM EST


Ex-deputy has peace officer certification revoked over drug test


TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- A former Pima County sheriff's deputy recently had his peace-officer certification revoked after testing positive for cocaine during a random drug screening while still a member of the force.


The Jan. 18 revocation stems from a November 2004 incident in which Isiah Permelia Jr. was selected for random testing, according to a document from the Arizona Peace Officers Standards and Training Board.


Permelia, 49, said Friday that he has never used any illegal drugs and does not understand why he tested positive for cocaine in several instances.


Permelia, an 18-year-veteran, had previously undergone drug testing numerous times while serving as a deputy, each time coming up clean, according to the document.


Permelia, a member of the Fugitive Investigative Strike Team, reported to Tucson Occupational Medicine that day in 2004, and urine and hair samples were taken.


The document said his urine tested negative but Permelia's hair sample showed that he had used cocaine.


The drug was later found in his duty car during a search and Permelia was suspended without pay in December 2004 and retired from the sheriff's department that same month.


Information from: Arizona Daily Star,




Feb 3, 7:36 PM EST


Officials butt heads over border checkpoints



Associated Press Writer


PHOENIX (AP) -- Two U.S. congressmen who requested an investigation of the U.S. Border Patrol's Tucson Sector received a response they never expected.


They had hoped the investigation - conducted by the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General - would prove Tucson Sector officials were flouting a federal law prohibiting them from using permanent border checkpoints.


What the report concluded, however, is that the Tucson Sector has been hampered by the absence of such checkpoints.


Reps. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz., and Harold Rogers, R-Kentucky, requested the investigation in a June letter addressed to Inspector General Richard L. Skinner.


The report, released Thursday, did find the Tucson Sector was sidestepping the federal law. Rather than relocating checkpoints every 14 days as the law stated, agents in the Tucson sector simply closed down a location for about eight hours every 14 days and then reopened it in the same place, the report said.


"This investigation proves the inability of the Customs and Border Protection to respect the will of Congress," Kolbe said in a statement Friday. "The intent of Congress was very clear: Checkpoints should not be permanent installations."


But the real issue, the report said, is the agency's ability to apprehend illegal immigrants and seize drugs being smuggled across the border.


The best way to do that would be to establish permanent checkpoints, said Michael Nicely, chief of the Tucson Sector, the only Border Patrol sector prohibited from having permanent checkpoints.


"A checkpoint is ineffective unless you can man it 24/7," Nicely said. "I don't believe for a moment we can have the success we want to have here in Arizona without the permanent checkpoints."


The Tucson Sector changed its procedures in October after the appropriations committee in the U.S. House of Representatives reworded the law, requiring the Tucson Sector to move its checkpoints every seven days, rather than 14.


Now, the sector opens one of its eight checkpoints for seven days at a time, and then closes it for the next seven. At any given time, an average of four checkpoints are up and running, Nicely said.


The policy is compromising border security, he added.


"The law says we can't set it up in the same place within seven days," Nicely said. "What do I do if I get specific intelligence that terrorists are entering into that corridor? If I follow the language of the law, I can't act on that.


"I don't know how that's good for border security. It's very dangerous."


Kolbe has long been fighting the issue of permanent checkpoints.


The Tucson Sector tried to establish a permanent checkpoint near Tubac, Ariz. about seven years ago.


But when area residents complained about the prospect, Kolbe helped in getting a House committee to cancel the plan.


Gary Brasher, a Tubac resident and president of the Santa Cruz Valley Citizens Council, spearheaded residents' efforts to stop the checkpoint and continues to work today to keep checkpoints mobile.


"A permanent checkpoint would be an $8 million facility sitting there for the world to see," Brasher said. "People involved in illegal activities are going to know it's there and go around it. That just doesn't make a lot of sense."


Nicely said the predictability works for, not against, agents.


"They have to try to go around the checkpoints," he said. "We can push them to a place where we have a tactical advantage."


The inspector general's report recommended that the federal law prohibiting the Tucson Sector from using permanent checkpoints be reconsidered.


"No one has identified a reason that could explain why permanent checkpoints, which Congress has funded elsewhere, cannot operate effectively in the Tucson Sector," the report said.


On the Net:


Department of Homeland Security:


U.S. Customs and Border Protection:





the police can trace your internet activity fairly easy!


Increasingly, Internet's Data Trail Leads to Court 





Published: February 4, 2006


Who is sending threatening e-mail to a teenager? Who is saying disparaging things about a company on an Internet message board? Who is communicating online with a suspected drug dealer?


These questions, and many more like them, are asked every day of the companies that provide Internet service and run Web sites. And even though these companies promise to protect the privacy of their users, they routinely hand over the most intimate information in response to legal demands from criminal investigators and lawyers fighting civil cases.


Such data led directly to a suspect in a school bombing threat; it has also been used by the authorities to track child pornographers and computer intruders, and has become a tool in civil cases on matters from trade secrets to music piracy. In St. Louis, records of a suspect's online searches for maps proved his undoing in a serial-killing case that had gone unsolved for a decade.


In short, just as technology is prompting Internet companies to collect more information and keep it longer than before, prosecutors and civil lawyers are more readily using that information.


When it comes to e-mail and Internet service records, "the average citizen would be shocked to find out how adept your average law enforcement officer is at finding information," said Paul Ohm, who recently left the Justice Department's computer crime and intellectual property section.


The issue has come to the fore because of a Justice Department request to four major Internet companies for data about their users' search queries. While America Online, Yahoo and Microsoft complied with the request, Google is resisting it. That case does not involve information that can be linked to individuals, but it has cast new light on what privacy, if any, Internet users can expect for the data trail they leave online.


The answer, in many cases, is clouded by ambiguities in the law that governs electronic communication like telephone calls and e-mail. In many cases, the law requires law enforcement officials to meet a higher standard to read a person's e-mail than to get copies of his financial or medical records.


Requests for information have become so common that most big Internet companies, as well as telephone companies, have a formal process for what is often called subpoena management. Most of the information sought about users is basic, but very personal: their names, where they live, when they were last online — and, if a court issues a search warrant, what they are writing and reading in their e-mail. (Not surprisingly, the interpretation of voluminous computer records can be error-prone, and instances of mistaken identity have also come to light.)


AOL, for example, has more than a dozen people, including several former prosecutors, handling the nearly 1,000 requests it receives each month for information in criminal and civil cases. The most common requests in criminal cases relate to children — threats, abductions and pornography. Next come cases of identity theft, then computer hacking. But with more than 20 million customers, AOL has been called on to help in nearly every sort of legal action.


In recent years, "we found ourselves involved in every imaginable classification of traditional crimes, from murder to the whole scope of criminal behavior, because AOL was used to communicate or there is some trace evidence," said Christopher Bubb, assistant general counsel at AOL.


Investigators have found new ways to identify people who visit Web sites anonymously or use a false identity. Many Web sites keep a log of all user activity, and they record the Internet Protocol address of each user. I.P. addresses are assigned in blocks to Internet service providers, who use them to route information to the computers of their users. If an investigator determines the I.P. address used by a suspect, he can subpoena the Internet provider for the identity of the user associated with that address at a particular date and time.


For example, in investigating a bomb threat at a Canadian high school in 2002, Mr. Ohm approached the operator of a message board in California on which the threats were placed. He asked to review the log monitoring each user's activities, which showed the Internet Protocol address of the person who left the threatening message. Mr. Ohm used that address in turn to determine the suspect's Internet service provider, who identified a teenager who had posted the message. (As a minor, he was not prosecuted.)


While Internet evidence has been used to solve some crimes, there have also been examples of mistakes in the process. Last year, Manchester Technologies, a company in Hauppauge, N.Y., sued Ronald Kuhlman Jr. and Kim Loviglio, claiming they had posted messages on a Web site that defamed its chief executive.


Manchester had identified Mr. Kuhlman and Ms. Loviglio based on information provided by Cablevision, their Internet provider, which incorrectly associated their account with the Internet Protocol address used to make the postings. Manchester dropped its suit against Mr. Kuhlman and Ms. Loviglio, who in turn sued Cablevision. That case was settled for undisclosed terms, their lawyer, Mark Murray, said.


The 1996 law that governs privacy for telephones, Internet use and faxes — the Electronic Communications Privacy Act — provides varying degrees of protection for online information. It generally requires a court order for investigators to read e-mail, although the law is inconsistent on this, treating unopened items differently from those previously read. The standard to compel an Internet service provider to provide identifying information about an Internet user is lower — in general, an investigator needs a subpoena, which can be signed by a prosecutor, not a judge. (And the USA Patriot Act allows some of these procedures to be waived when lives are at risk.) By comparison, domestic first-class mail requires a search warrant to be opened.


In cases in which investigators want to intercept Internet communication as it occurs, they must get the same authorization needed for a telephone wiretap, which requires continuing court monitoring. In 2004, there were 49 cases of computer or fax transmissions being monitored under these procedures, according to federal statistics (which exclude national security cases).


Mr. Ohm, now an associate professor at the University of Colorado Law School, said those statistics undercounted the instances of such monitoring, especially cases in which an Internet company was tracing attacks on its own system.


"The Wiretap Act has enough loopholes built into it that you can often do a wiretap without having to get a court order," he said.


The law for civil cases, like divorces or employment disputes, is also a bit unclear. Litigants can generally subpoena the identifying information of a user behind an e-mail account or an I.P. address.


AOL says that only 30 of the 1,000 monthly requests it receives are for civil cases, and that it initially rejects about 90 percent of those, arguing that they are overly broad or that the litigants lack proper jurisdiction. About half of those rejected are resubmitted, on narrower grounds. Generally, AOL gives its members notice when their information is sought in civil cases. If the member objects, the issue is referred back to the court. (In criminal cases, there is often no notice, or notice is given after the information has been given to investigators.)


"Subpoenas come in all the time that ask for everything," said Kelly Skoloda, an AOL lawyer. "We engage in an active dialogue to determine what they want and what we can give in compliance with our privacy policies."


AOL and most other Internet providers take the view that the content of e-mail messages cannot be turned over to lawyers in civil suits. The most significant exception is that e-mail can be turned over with the consent of the account owner, and litigants often persuade judges to order their opponents to authorize the disclosure of e-mail.


A gray area that has recently gained prominence involves the pages that users read online and the terms of their searches.


Yahoo, Google and the new free site, for example, maintain records of user surfing behavior. Google also keeps a log file that associates every search made on its site with the I.P. address of the searcher. And Yahoo uses similar information to sell advertising; car companies, for example, place display advertising shown only to people who have entered auto-related terms in Yahoo's search engine.


It is unclear what standard is required to force Internet companies to turn over this search information to criminal investigators and perhaps civil litigants.


"The big story is the privacy law that protects your e-mail does not protect your Google search terms," said Orin S. Kerr, a professor at the George Washington University Law School and a former lawyer in the computer crime section of the Justice Department.


Other lawyers argue that the law that provides protection for e-mail content, or even the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches, could be applied to data about Web searching, but the issue has not been tested in court.


The break in the St. Louis murders came in 2002, when a reporter received an anonymous letter with a map generated by Microsoft's MSN service — marked with the location where a body could be found.


The F.B.I. subpoenaed Microsoft for records of anyone who had searched for maps of that area in the days before the letter was sent. Microsoft discovered that only one user had searched for precisely that area and provided the user's Internet Protocol address. That address, in turn was provided by a unit of WorldCom, which identified the user as Maury Troy Travis, a 36-year-old waiter. (Mr. Travis was arrested and hanged himself in jail without ever admitting guilt.)


While requests for search data have been few, computer experts expect them to increase.


"It is rare that those links will be a slam-dunk that will make a case," said John Curran, a former cybercrime investigator for the F.B.I. "But when you are putting together a larger case, you are trying to connect the dots, and it is the little things that actually help."





Feb 5, 11:27 AM EST


Interpol: USS Cole attack planner escapes


LYON, France (AP) -- A man considered a mastermind of the USS Cole bombing that killed 17 sailors in a Yemeni port in 2000 was among 23 people who escaped from a Yemen prison last week, Interpol said Sunday.


The international police agency issued an "urgent global security alert" for those who escaped Friday from the prison via a tunnel. It called the escapees "dangerous individuals."


A Yemen security official announced the escape of convicted al-Qaida members Friday but did not provide details.


Interpol said in a statement that at least 13 of the 23 escapees were convicted al-Qaida fighters, who escaped via a 140-yard-long tunnel "dug by the prisoners and co-conspirators outside."


Yemeni officials confirmed to Interpol that a man considered a mastermind of the Cole attack, identified as Jamal al-Badawi, was among those who escaped.


Al-Badawi was among those sentenced to death in September 2004 for plotting the USS Cole attack. Two suicide bombers blew up an explosives-laden boat next to the destroyer as it refueled in the Yemeni port of Aden on Oct. 12, 2000.


Another of the 23 escapees was identified as Fawaz Yahya al-Rabeiee, considered by Interpol to be one of those responsible for a 2002 attack on the French tanker Limburg off Yemen's coast. That attack killed a Bulgarian crew member and spilled 90,000 barrels of oil into the Gulf of Aden.


Interpol's urgent global security alert, known as an "orange notice," was issued by agency Secretary General Ronald Noble "because the escape and unknown whereabouts of al-Qaida terrorists constituted a clear and present danger to all countries," the statement said.


Noble urged Yemen - the ancestral home of Osama bin Laden - to provide names, photographs, fingerprints and other information about the suspects.


A Yemen security official said on condition of anonymity Friday that the 23 escapees had fled a prison in the capital, San'a, that he described as a military intelligence detention center. The official said only that the escapees had all had been sentenced last year on terrorism-related charges.


The escape came a day before the expected start of a trial of 15 people charged with involvement in terror operations in Yemen, including Mohammed Hamdi al-Ahdal, who is suspected of masterminding the Cole bombing and the 2002 bombing of the Limburg.


The trial was postponed indefinitely.


Yemen was long a haven for Islamic militants. After the Sept. 11 attacks, the government sided with the U.S.-led war on terrorism.


Feb 5, 11:27 AM EST


Interpol: USS Cole attack planner escapes


LYON, France (AP) -- A man considered a mastermind of the USS Cole bombing that killed 17 sailors in a Yemeni port in 2000 was among 23 people who escaped from a Yemen prison last week, Interpol said Sunday.


The international police agency issued an "urgent global security alert" for those who escaped Friday from the prison via a tunnel. It called the escapees "dangerous individuals."


A Yemen security official announced the escape of convicted al-Qaida members Friday but did not provide details.


Interpol said in a statement that at least 13 of the 23 escapees were convicted al-Qaida fighters, who escaped via a 140-yard-long tunnel "dug by the prisoners and co-conspirators outside."


Yemeni officials confirmed to Interpol that a man considered a mastermind of the Cole attack, identified as Jamal al-Badawi, was among those who escaped.


Al-Badawi was among those sentenced to death in September 2004 for plotting the USS Cole attack. Two suicide bombers blew up an explosives-laden boat next to the destroyer as it refueled in the Yemeni port of Aden on Oct. 12, 2000.


Another of the 23 escapees was identified as Fawaz Yahya al-Rabeiee, considered by Interpol to be one of those responsible for a 2002 attack on the French tanker Limburg off Yemen's coast. That attack killed a Bulgarian crew member and spilled 90,000 barrels of oil into the Gulf of Aden.


Interpol's urgent global security alert, known as an "orange notice," was issued by agency Secretary General Ronald Noble "because the escape and unknown whereabouts of al-Qaida terrorists constituted a clear and present danger to all countries," the statement said.


Noble urged Yemen - the ancestral home of Osama bin Laden - to provide names, photographs, fingerprints and other information about the suspects.


A Yemen security official said on condition of anonymity Friday that the 23 escapees had fled a prison in the capital, San'a, that he described as a military intelligence detention center. The official said only that the escapees had all had been sentenced last year on terrorism-related charges.


The escape came a day before the expected start of a trial of 15 people charged with involvement in terror operations in Yemen, including Mohammed Hamdi al-Ahdal, who is suspected of masterminding the Cole bombing and the 2002 bombing of the Limburg.


The trial was postponed indefinitely.


Yemen was long a haven for Islamic militants. After the Sept. 11 attacks, the government sided with the U.S.-led war on terrorism.




Feb 5, 12:16 PM EST


Nearly 2,000 inmates riot in Calif. jail



Associated Press Writer


CASTAIC, Calif. (AP) -- Nearly 2,000 inmates rioted at a Southern California jail, throwing mattresses and banging heads against bunk beds, in an uproar that officials said stemmed from racial tensions. One inmate was killed.


More than 100 inmates were wounded and 20 were hospitalized with serious injuries from the nearly hour-long melee on Saturday, authorities said. Smaller fights broke out for at least four hours after the main brawling ended.


"The motivation appears to be racial tensions and a carry-over of a feud between black and Hispanic gangs," said Deputy Steve Suzuki, a sheriff's spokesman. Two days earlier, a Hispanic gang member was stabbed by a black gang member, he said.


Black and Hispanic inmates were being segregated and a lockdown was ordered systemwide, Sheriff Lee Baca said.


Authorities had information that a disturbance was imminent, but they didn't know the time or location, said Sam Jones, chief custody officer of the county jail system.


A 45-year-old black inmate who was a registered sex offender was killed, Suzuki said. Twenty-six wounded inmates were treated at the jail; the 20 hospitalized inmates did not have life threatening injuries. No jail employees were injured.


The North County Correctional Facility, about 40 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, is a maximum-security complex composed of five jails that together house about 4,000 inmates.


It is illegal to segregate inmates based on race or ethnicity, but legal advisers said it can be done in emergency situations, Jones said.


The jail has a history of race related riots. In 2000, a three-day riot at the Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic injured more than 80 inmates, leaving one in a coma. Attorneys representing 273 black inmates filed a civil rights lawsuit alleging the sheriff's department failed to disarm Hispanic inmates.


Several racially motivated brawls at Castaic jails in 1998 injured dozens of inmates. In 1996, 5,300 prisoners battled, leaving six guards and 123 inmates injured after the Mexican Mafia prison gang ordered an attack on blacks.


Feb 5, 12:16 PM EST


Nearly 2,000 inmates riot in Calif. jail



Associated Press Writer


CASTAIC, Calif. (AP) -- Nearly 2,000 inmates rioted at a Southern California jail, throwing mattresses and banging heads against bunk beds, in an uproar that officials said stemmed from racial tensions. One inmate was killed.


More than 100 inmates were wounded and 20 were hospitalized with serious injuries from the nearly hour-long melee on Saturday, authorities said. Smaller fights broke out for at least four hours after the main brawling ended.


"The motivation appears to be racial tensions and a carry-over of a feud between black and Hispanic gangs," said Deputy Steve Suzuki, a sheriff's spokesman. Two days earlier, a Hispanic gang member was stabbed by a black gang member, he said.


Black and Hispanic inmates were being segregated and a lockdown was ordered systemwide, Sheriff Lee Baca said.


Authorities had information that a disturbance was imminent, but they didn't know the time or location, said Sam Jones, chief custody officer of the county jail system.


A 45-year-old black inmate who was a registered sex offender was killed, Suzuki said. Twenty-six wounded inmates were treated at the jail; the 20 hospitalized inmates did not have life threatening injuries. No jail employees were injured.


The North County Correctional Facility, about 40 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, is a maximum-security complex composed of five jails that together house about 4,000 inmates.


It is illegal to segregate inmates based on race or ethnicity, but legal advisers said it can be done in emergency situations, Jones said.


The jail has a history of race related riots. In 2000, a three-day riot at the Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic injured more than 80 inmates, leaving one in a coma. Attorneys representing 273 black inmates filed a civil rights lawsuit alleging the sheriff's department failed to disarm Hispanic inmates.


Several racially motivated brawls at Castaic jails in 1998 injured dozens of inmates. In 1996, 5,300 prisoners battled, leaving six guards and 123 inmates injured after the Mexican Mafia prison gang ordered an attack on blacks.





Gilbert has not officially declared war on homeless people like Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa and Scottsdale have.


Tree houses homeless in Gilbert 

By Beth Lucas, Tribune

February 5, 2006


A makeshift Gilbert home — nestled inside a 100-yearold tree — has caught the eye of a concerned community.


A tent and rags line the inside of the giant tree on an empty lot at the southeast corner of Baseline and Greenfield roads.


Branches sweep toward the ground as if to create walls that residents of Greenfield Park homeowners association say have attracted at least one homeless man.


Grocery carts are parked near the tree, with sleeping bags bundled around. It’s filled with clothes and a kerosene lamp.


One homeless man, nearby residents said, is seen in the neighborhood asking for handouts and has lived in the tree for nearly a year.


Some say it’s heart-wrenching to see such poverty. Others express concern that Pioneer Elementary School is just down the block, in a neighborhood filled with children.


“It hurts your heart a little bit to see,” Greenfield Park resident Barbara Cafaro said. “They’re probably harmless. But you just don’t know — what if a kid went back there exploring? I have grandchildren here.”


Martha Kelley, whose backyard faces the lot, called police last October after her kids told her they were worried about a homeless man. She said she is less concerned this year because the elementary school put up a fence blocking kids from using the lot when walking to or from school.


“There was no barrier to anyone coming across,” she said. “Now that they’ve done that, kids who do go to school probably feel safer.”


She added that the residents of the tree probably won’t cause a problem and that impending development should drive them out.


The situation caught the eye of Mayor Steve Berman, who recently surveyed the land with its developer, who plans to build a bank on the lot. “There was nobody there to kick out,” he said.


A U.S. Census Bureau search in September found evidence that someone lives in the tree, but was unable to locate anyone. Police report there are six known homeless people who stay overnight in Gilbert in a variety of locations, including in large plants along railroad tracks.


Police Lt. Joe Ruet said because the tree is on private property, there’s nothing the police can do unless the lot’s owner calls to complain. No trespassing signs are posted.


Like neighboring Chandler, Gilbert has no laws against homeless camping, which are now in effect in Tempe, Mesa and Scottsdale.


Gilbert Town Manager George Pettit said a few years ago a similar home was built in a tree at Guadalupe and Gilbert roads.


“The property owner recognized the issue and tore up the tree,” Pettit said.


Contact Beth Lucas by email, or phone (480) 898-6373

Gilbert has not officially declared war on homeless people like Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa and Scottsdale have.


Tree houses homeless in Gilbert 

By Beth Lucas, Tribune

February 5, 2006


A makeshift Gilbert home — nestled inside a 100-yearold tree — has caught the eye of a concerned community.


A tent and rags line the inside of the giant tree on an empty lot at the southeast corner of Baseline and Greenfield roads.


Branches sweep toward the ground as if to create walls that residents of Greenfield Park homeowners association say have attracted at least one homeless man.


Grocery carts are parked near the tree, with sleeping bags bundled around. It’s filled with clothes and a kerosene lamp.


One homeless man, nearby residents said, is seen in the neighborhood asking for handouts and has lived in the tree for nearly a year.


Some say it’s heart-wrenching to see such poverty. Others express concern that Pioneer Elementary School is just down the block, in a neighborhood filled with children.


“It hurts your heart a little bit to see,” Greenfield Park resident Barbara Cafaro said. “They’re probably harmless. But you just don’t know — what if a kid went back there exploring? I have grandchildren here.”


Martha Kelley, whose backyard faces the lot, called police last October after her kids told her they were worried about a homeless man. She said she is less concerned this year because the elementary school put up a fence blocking kids from using the lot when walking to or from school.


“There was no barrier to anyone coming across,” she said. “Now that they’ve done that, kids who do go to school probably feel safer.”


She added that the residents of the tree probably won’t cause a problem and that impending development should drive them out.


The situation caught the eye of Mayor Steve Berman, who recently surveyed the land with its developer, who plans to build a bank on the lot. “There was nobody there to kick out,” he said.


A U.S. Census Bureau search in September found evidence that someone lives in the tree, but was unable to locate anyone. Police report there are six known homeless people who stay overnight in Gilbert in a variety of locations, including in large plants along railroad tracks.


Police Lt. Joe Ruet said because the tree is on private property, there’s nothing the police can do unless the lot’s owner calls to complain. No trespassing signs are posted.


Like neighboring Chandler, Gilbert has no laws against homeless camping, which are now in effect in Tempe, Mesa and Scottsdale.


Gilbert Town Manager George Pettit said a few years ago a similar home was built in a tree at Guadalupe and Gilbert roads.


“The property owner recognized the issue and tore up the tree,” Pettit said.


Contact Beth Lucas by email, or phone (480) 898-6373






Phoenix City Manager Frank Fairbanks said "How do you ask someone to pay back tens of thousands of (dollars) when their department head approved it and the deputy city manager approved and said it was OK?"


It would be easy for me to ask that. I would just say "hey your boss has been letting you spend money like a drunk sailor flying around the world drinking and dining something which you probably should have know was illegal and in violation of Phoenix polices and now I am asking you to pay it back". I would also fire the employees - they should have know what they were doing was wrong.


Disputed traveling expenses top $280K

Phoenix workers likely won't repay


Ginger D. Richardson

The Arizona Republic

Feb. 5, 2006 12:00 AM



Phoenix's eight-week inquiry into suspected travel abuses by some employees has uncovered more than $280,000 in questionable charges, and chances are most of that money will never be repaid.


That's because more than 80 percent of the disputed expenses were international airline fares incurred by three aviation department employees who flew business class to Europe, Mexico, Asia and Canada, with the full-knowledge of their supervisors.


The trio has collectively charged more than $237,000 in airfare over the past five years under a well-known, but unwritten, policy that is designed to help support major airlines in hopes of landing new, international flights out of Sky Harbor International Airport.


The policy contradicts another written set of rules that governs all city employees and specifies that workers should fly the cheaper economy class.


Nonetheless, all three had their trips, including the more expensive flight costs, approved by the city before they left.


Now, even City Manager Frank Fairbanks admits that it would be a bit of a stretch to expect those employees to reimburse the city.


"How do you ask someone to pay back tens of thousands of (dollars) when their department head approved it and the deputy city manager approved and said it was OK?" he said.


The findings raise new questions about exactly who is culpable in Phoenix's ongoing travel mess.


More than 100 city workers and seven City Council members have been questioned about their business trips since a Republic investigation uncovered numerous examples of employees questionably spending money while traveling on the city's dime. Disputed council expenses accounted for just over $800 of the $280,000 total.


Phoenix says its inquiry could be wrapped up this week, but while some employees may face discipline, it's clear that the biggest culprits in the travel shake-up were inconsistent policies and poor oversight.


"There are obviously places where you say, 'The system just broke down,' " said Lera Riley, Phoenix's personnel director and member of the specially appointed travel review committee that has been conducting the inquiry. "I think there is a general sense that we should have done some things differently."


The names of the employees being questioned are being withheld by the city pending the outcome of the inquiry. However, three of the employees, who were consistently among the city's biggest spenders, due in no small part to their business-class travel, were identified by the Republic through independent research.


Department employees


The three employees, Deputy Aviation Director Ann Warner, former Assistant Aviation Director David Cavazos, and former marketing and advertising manager Renee Baggot, are being asked to justify tens of thousands of travel related costs.


All were heavily involved in marketing Sky Harbor. In fact, the three have spent more than $400,000 in the past five years on sojourns designed to promote the airport and boost the number of international carriers and non-stop flights out of Phoenix.


Now, the city is questioning more than $250,000 of the $400,000 in charges, saying that they either didn't comply with city regulations or weren't appropriately justified on their reports.


Warner, for example, is being asked to explain roughly $1,700 worth of expenses associated with a trip she took to northern Thailand in May 2001. Records show she spent three nights at the Regent Chiang Mai, a Four Seasons resort that cost $480 a night. The Thai city was never listed as a destination on a "travel authorization request" that was filed with the City Manager's Office before her departure.


The city has also requested that she justify hundreds of dollars in tips, laundry costs and miscellaneous charges.


Warner declined to comment in detail on her travel and the city's investigation.


"I have been approved and re-approved for traveling internationally and have always followed policy," she said in an e-mail response to questions submitted last week.


In total, Warner is being asked to explain about $4,700 in non-airfare-related charges that either did not comply with Phoenix's policies or were not appropriately justified on her expense reports. Altogether, she is being questioned about $105,000 in expenses.


Cavazos' situation is similar.


He has been asked to explain or provide additional documentation for $7,900 worth of non-airfare related expenses. Most are related to meals, hotel or transportation costs.


Cavazos, who is now acting deputy city manager, itemized $200 to $400 lunches and dinners, was reimbursed for participating in a golf tournament at cost of $75 and charged the city more than $800 for transportation costs during a June 2003 trip to Mexico.


Including his business-class airfare, Cavazos is being asked to explain more than $41,000 worth of expenses.


Cavazos said he couldn't comment because of the ongoing investigation, but he asked Phoenix's public information officer, Toni Maccarone, to issue a statement on his behalf.


"The review is confidential and still in progress, but David would be happy to talk . . . once the review is complete," Maccarone said.


Baggot, who left the city last year, was mailed a letter asking her to justify or reimburse the city for about $1,300 worth of charges. The city also asked her about another $103,000 worth of expenses, but all of those were airfare-related. Baggot said Friday that she was not concerned about the letter and didn't anticipate paying the city back.


"There is not anything in there that I am concerned about," she said, adding that she didn't understand why the city was also asking her about laundry and dry cleaning charges.


Phoenix considers both to be personal expenses, and therefore not reimbursable. But Baggot said no one ever told her that.


"No one once ever questioned it," she said. "It's one thing to have the (rules), but it's another to enforce them."


Air-travel policy


The three employees may need to explain the roughly $14,000 that they spent on meals, hotels, transportation and tips. But it's not clear why the city is also questioning them about the airfare.


The policy that allowed them to purchase the more expensive tickets has apparently been in effect since the 1980s, although it is not in writing.


City officials say that they were aware of it and supportive of it, even though it explicitly contradicts Phoenix's administrative regulations. The A.R., as it is called, is a comprehensive set of rules that governs travel and reimbursements for employees.


"The reality is, we all remember this special decision for aviation, but our (regulations) say you are supposed to go economy class," Fairbanks said.


Baggot says she plans to argue the point with the city.


"I am going to write back and say that my trips were approved, both pre- and post, and that I flew business class because I could," Baggot said.


Phoenix says that an exception was made for the airport because its travel budget comes from the fees that it charges to the public that uses the airport. Other city departments send employees on trips using money from Phoenix's General Fund, which the city uses to cover basic services.


The air-travel policy, which increased the cost of every international ticket purchased for Warner, Cavazos and Baggot by thousands of dollars, was apparently put in place because the city was trying to show its support for international airlines like British Airways and Lufthansa. Such carriers make much of their money off business class tickets that can be 10 times more than economy seats.


Whether the efforts were worth the cost is still a matter of some debate.


The city was successful in landing British Airways non-stop service to London, and they also got Lufthansa to operate, for a time, daily flights from Frankfurt, Germany, to Phoenix.


But passenger volume on that route began dropping after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and in early 2003, the carrier axed the trip.


The city also targeted Mexico and Central America. What was then America West Airlines added flights to Cancun and Costa Rica in 2003, and late last year Aeromexico announced that it would begin flying non-stop service to Mexico City.


From the beginning, Phoenix has defended its aggressive marketing strategy and its policies, although there is no concrete evidence that traveling business class was a factor in the carriers' decision to fly routes out of Sky Harbor.


"Not that you do it all the time, but when you have a route that is that important . . . we woo them and let them know how important they are," Cavazos said in November, when first asked about the overseas travel and the business class airfare policy.


Whenever Warner, Cavazos or Baggot traveled overseas, their trips, including the expected airfare costs, were pre-approved by Aviation Director David Krietor, the City Manager's Office, or both.


Upon their return, their reports were forwarded on to a division of the city's Finance Department and a check was cut, without anyone questioning the discrepancy between the two policies, or the rising tab.


The policy continued until last summer, when Krietor put a stop to it.


He says the airport has since changed its tactics in trying to develop new international routes.


Meanwhile, Fairbanks and others say the three are being questioned about the business class airfare because city auditors were simply told, as part of the internal inquiry, to flag anything that didn't match the administrative regulations.


Wrapping up inquiry


Phoenix plans to wrap up the current phase of its inquiry within the next few days. In total, officials analyzed about 2,500 expense reports, most of which were filed between July 2004 and November 2005.


Some employees have already reimbursed the city for small charges; others have submitted documentation to justify their expenses.


It's likely that most of those cases will be considered closed, the city said.


However, some employees may face varying levels of discipline, ranging from verbal counseling, to letters of reprimand, or even suspension.


"We've done the easy things; now we have to look at the harder ones," Riley said.


Riley and Assistant City Manager Alton Washington, who heads up the travel review team, say they expect to issue a comprehensive report about their findings to Fairbanks this week. The report will likely make recommendations about fixing problematic policies and practices regarding travel and training procedures citywide.. It could also identify patterns of problems unique to departments.


"If nothing else, this whole process has clearly pointed out some weaknesses in the old system," Washington said.


And while the upper echelons of Phoenix's management stopped short of self-recrimination this week, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon says they understand that they bear some responsibility. for what's happened.


"I think people have an obligation to follow the rules," Gordon said. "But I think Frank (Fairbanks) has said himself that the ultimate responsibility rests with management, and that's why he was so disappointed that this occurred."


Fairbanks admits that some things should have been done differently. The city, for example, should have done more frequent audits of employees travel records.


The last one, he said, was conducted in 2000.He also believes it would have helped if someone had thought to put the aviation business class airfare policy down on paper.


But as the inquiry winds down, he and others are once again defending the city's managers and their employees.


They believe that their investigation proves that the vast majority of workers were acting with integrity.


"Clearly, we had problems with compliance," Fairbanks said. "But it wasn't a total breakdown of the system."


"In terms of the wheels falling off, I don't think there is evidence of that."


Staff reporter Matt Dempsey contributed to this article.





well its not any worse then the things that some christians do for their mythical god. and like the chrisitan crackpot criminals who are a minority i suspect these muslim crackpot criminals are also a minority


Syrians burn embassies over cartoons

Europeans defend free press, but try to calm the storm


Albert Aji

Associated Press

Feb. 5, 2006 12:00 AM



DAMASCUS, Syria - Thousands of Syrians enraged by caricatures of Islam's revered prophet torched the Danish and Norwegian embassies in Damascus on Saturday - the most violent in days of furious protests by Muslims in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.


In Gaza, Palestinians marched through the streets, storming European buildings and burning German and Danish flags. Protesters smashed the windows of the German cultural center and threw stones at the European Commission building, police said.


Iraqis rallying by the hundreds demanded an apology from the European Union, and the leader of the Palestinian group Hamas called the cartoons "an unforgivable insult" that merited punishment by death.


Pakistan summoned the envoys of nine Western countries in protest, and even Europeans took to the streets in Denmark and Britain to voice their anger.


At the heart of the protest: 12 caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed first published in Denmark's Jyllands-Posten in September and reprinted in European media in the past week. One depicted the prophet wearing a turban shaped as a bomb with a burning fuse. The paper said it had asked cartoonists to draw the pictures because the media was practicing self-censorship when it came to Muslim issues.


The drawings have touched a raw nerve in part because Islamic law is interpreted to forbid any depictions of the Prophet Mohammed.


Aggravating the affront, Denmark's Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said repeatedly he cannot apologize for his country's free press. But other European leaders tried Saturday to calm the storm.


Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel said she understood Muslims were hurt, although that did not justify violence.


"Freedom of the press is one of the great assets as a component of democracy, but we also have the value and asset of freedom of religion," she told an international-security conference in Munich, Germany.


The Vatican deplored the violence but said certain provocative forms of criticism were unacceptable.


"The right to freedom of thought and expression ... cannot entail the right to offend the religious sentiment of believers," the Vatican said in its first statement on the controversy.


British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, who has criticized European media for reprinting the caricatures, said there was no justification for the violence in Damascus.


"We stand in solidarity with the Danish government in its call for calm and its demand that all its diplomats and diplomatic premises are properly protected. It's incumbent on the Syrian authorities to act in this regard."


But Denmark and Norway did not wait for more violence.


With their Damascus embassies up in flames, the foreign ministries advised their citizens to leave Syria without delay.


"It's horrible and totally unacceptable," Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller said on Danish public television Saturday.


No diplomats were injured in the Syrian violence, officials said. But Swedish Foreign Minister Laila Freivalds, whose country, along with Chile, has an embassy in the same building, said she would lodge a formal protest over the lack of security.


In Santiago, the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the Chilean Embassy in Damascus was also torched but nobody was injured.


The demonstrations in Damascus began peacefully with protesters gathering outside the Danish Embassy. But they began throwing stones and eventually broke through police barricades





some cartoons i would like to see!




Cartoons show political view of Bush in Britain


Don Melvin

Cox News Service

Feb. 5, 2006 12:00 AM



LONDON - It would be hard to misunderestimate the low regard in which President Bush is held in Europe. Should further evidence be needed, the Political Cartoon Gallery offers plenty in an exhibit this month.


The London gallery is featuring an exhibition called "Misunderestimating the President Through Cartoons."


The display, with a title using a non-word that the president has used more than once, features the work of some of Britain's most prominent political cartoonists. It includes drawings so scathing (and scatological) it is doubtful they could run in an American newspaper.


Two themes run through the cartoons.


One is that Bush is a callous imperialist. In at least three of the 60-plus cartoons on display, the president is shown giving the finger, whether to the world in general or to the Kyoto environmental treaty.


The other is that Bush, quite simply, is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Steve Bell, political cartoonist for the Guardian newspaper, routinely draws the president as an ape.


In one cartoon that combined those themes, Bell drew Bush (as an ape) on the toilet, with feces smeared everywhere. "Of course there will be a role for the U.N.," the caption reads, and the U.N. is depicted as a roll of toilet paper destined to clean up Bush's mess.


Tim Benson, owner of the gallery, said he organized the exhibit because "it needed to be done."


"Obviously, Bush is not particularly popular over here, and he does lend himself to caricature," Benson said, both because of his "cowboy image" and because he is "incredibly inarticulate."


The drawings on display are originals, and they are on sale for prices ranging as high as the equivalent of $1,500. The show opened Jan. 26 with 66 cartoons. Benson said six or seven of the drawings have been sold.


Another theme running through some of the cartoons is, naturally, the special relationship between Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, which the cartoonists invariably depict as reflecting utter subservience on Blair's part.


Several times, the prime minister is drawn as a poodle, trained and eager to do Bush's bidding.


A more acid take on the special relationship, drawn by Peter Schrank for the Independent on Sunday, shows Bush, in cowboy hat, magisterially astride a horse while Blair happily runs behind, sweeping up the droppings.


"People who are easiest to caricature are people who present a large target," Schrank said.


"He is perceived by many people to be a certain type of personality. If you can produce something like that, your job is much easier, because you can sort of confirm and elaborate the prejudices."


On The Web: The Political Cartoon Society: www.political





dont get to close to emporer bush or you could be killed!,2933,183816,00.html


Plane Forced Down Near Bush Ranch

Saturday, February 04, 2006


WACO, Texas — Two fighter jets forced a small plane to land after the pilot flew too close to President Bush's ranch in central Texas while he was spending the weekend there.


The Secret Service on Saturday confirmed that the pilot violated restricted air space over the ranch on Friday night, several hours after the president arrived, and was forced to land at nearby Waco Regional Airport.


The pilot was interviewed and sent on his way, said Tom Mazur, a spokesman for the Secret Service in Washington. The matter, which appeared to be an inadvertent violation, was referred to the Federal Aviation Administration.


Fighter jets force down small plane flying near Bush ranch


02:52 PM CST on Saturday, February 4, 2006

Associated Press


WACO, Texas — Two fighter jets forced a small plane to land after the pilot flew too close to President Bush's Crawford ranch.


The Secret Service Saturday confirmed the pilot violated restricted air space over the ranch on Friday night and was forced to land at nearby Waco Regional Airport.


Bush is spending the weekend in Crawford after a brief stop in Dallas Friday.


Tom Mazur is a spokesman for the Secret Service in Washington He said the pilot was interviewed and sent on his way.


The matter appeared to be an inadvertent violation and had been referred to the Federal Aviation Administration.


(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


APNP-02-04-06 0918CST


Fighter jets force down plane flying too close to Bush ranch


Monina Wagner  

Created: 2/4/2006 11:49:02 AM

Updated:2/5/2006 3:06:29 AM


WACO, Texas (AP) -- There's word that two fighter jets forced down a small plane that flew too close to President Bush's ranch in central Texas.

The Secret Service confirmed the pilot violated restricted air space over the ranch last night, and was forced to land at nearby Waco Regional Airport.


The incident came several hours after the president arrived for the weekend.


A Secret Service spokesman said the pilot was interviewed and released after what appears to be an unintentional violation.


The matter was referred to the Federal Aviation Administration.


© 2006


The Associated Press








7 years in jail for handing out dirty pictures of yourself????


Mesa man gets 7 years in sex-materials case


MESA - A man who admitted to Mesa police that he put photos of his genitals on about 100 cars in Southeast Valley parking lots from 1999 to 2005 has been sentenced to seven years in prison.


Jeffery Howard Pritchert, 41, pleaded guilty in December to more than 30 counts of public display of explicit sexual materials.


"These offenses occurred over a very long period of time with many victims," Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Sherry Stephens told him Friday. "You had very many opportunities to change your conduct and you did not."


Pritchert has a prior conviction on a misdemeanor count of exposing himself in Scottsdale and three drug convictions.


Police found methamphetamine and a glass pipe when they arrested Pritchert in April.


Defense attorney Kirk Nurmi said Pritchert deserves credit for seeking help.


"In many ways, it's a shame Mr. Pritchert has to go to prison. In many ways, Mr. Pritchert is a changed man," Nurmi said.





fasism???? AT&T, MCI and Sprint are sleeping with our police state rulers helping them spy on us.


Telecom companies let NSA spy on phone calls

AT&T, Sprint, MCI, cooperate with U.S. agency


Leslie Cauley and John Diamond

USA Today

Feb. 6, 2006 12:00 AM


The National Security Agency has secured the cooperation of large telecommunications companies, including AT&T, MCI and Sprint, in its efforts to eavesdrop without warrants on international calls by suspected terrorists, according to seven telecommunications executives.


The executives asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the program. AT&T, MCI and Sprint had no official comment.


The Senate Judiciary Committee begins hearings today on the government's program of monitoring international calls and e-mails of a domestic target without first obtaining court orders. At issue: whether the surveillance is legal, as President Bush insists, or an illegal intrusion into the lives of Americans, as lawsuits by civil libertarians contend.


In domestic investigations, phone companies routinely require court orders before cooperating.


A majority of international calls are handled by long-distance carriers AT&T, MCI and Sprint. All three own "gateway" switches capable of routing calls to points around the globe.


AT&T was recently acquired by SBC Communications, which has adopted the AT&T name as its corporate moniker. MCI, formerly known as WorldCom, was recently acquired by Verizon. Sprint recently merged with Nextel.


The New York Times, which disclosed the clandestine operation in December, previously reported that telecommunications companies have been cooperating with the government, but it did not name the companies involved.


Decisions about monitoring calls are made in four steps, according to two U.S. intelligence officials familiar with the program who insisted on anonymity because it remains classified:


Information from U.S. or allied intelligence or law enforcement points to a terrorism-related target either based in the United States or communicating with someone in the United States.


Using a 48-point checklist to identify possible links to al-Qaida, one of three NSA officials authorized to approve a warrantless intercept decides whether the surveillance is justified.


Technicians work with phone company officials to intercept communications pegged to a particular person or phone number. Telecommunications executives say MCI, AT&T and Sprint grant the access to their systems without warrants or court orders. Instead, they are cooperating on the basis of oral requests from senior government officials.


If the surveillance yields information about a terror plot, the NSA notifies the FBI or other appropriate agencies but does not always disclose the source of its information.


The two intelligence officials said that number has been whittled down to about 600 people in the United States who have been targeted for repeated surveillance since the Sept. 11 attacks.





its not really a bribe is it??? its just kind of sort of a bribe that isnt really a bribe??? its ok?? right???


Congress fights ban on junkets paid by lobbyists


Associated Press

Feb. 6, 2006 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - The 17 members of Congress who went to Dublin, Ireland, on an Aspen Institute-paid trip last summer got a walking tour of the city. They also spent six or seven hours each of the four days in discussions with scholars and policymakers about U.S. relations with Europe and Russia.


It was not quite the same as the itinerary for trips arranged by disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, when golf at St. Andrews' famed course in Scotland was the highlight.


House Speaker Dennis Hastert, seeking cover for Republicans in an influence-peddling scandal, has proposed banning all such trips, whether they were to improve lawmakers' knowledge of an issue or their putting skills. His idea is running into resistance, even from his new second in command.


New House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, defends privately funded travel as essential and suggests allowing the trips if they meet rules.


Boehner, who also discounts several other proposals for overhauling lobbying rules, has taken more than three dozen privately funded trips at home and abroad since 2000.


"We can't lock members up in a cubbyhole here in Washington and never let them see what's going on around the country and around the world," Boehner said on Fox News Sunday. "Members need to be educated, they need to be kept up to speed on what's happening, and these trips, to a large extent, help educate members," he said.


Hastert's proposals, including restrictions on gifts and meals, were to have been released last week. They were delayed when several GOP members balked at some of the measures.


Congressional rules permit lawmakers to accept payment from qualified private sponsors for necessary food, transit and lodging involved in trips for speaking engagements or fact-finding trips.





maybe we should call it the Royal BTAF. They sure spend money like royality! and the part about stopping violent criminals - change that in to shaking down political activists and jailing people who make fire crackers for their children


ATF Director Is Linked to Cost Overruns For New Building


By Dan Eggen

Washington Post Staff Writer

Monday, February 6, 2006; Page A01


The new headquarters of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in the District is at least $19 million over budget at a time when the agency is considering sharp cuts in the number of new cars, bulletproof vests and other basics it provides agents.


The Justice Department inspector general's office recently received a complaint alleging that ATF Director Carl J. Truscott put through or proposed unnecessary plan changes and upgrades to the 438,000-square-foot building in the past two years, according to four sources familiar with the project.


Truscott met with Acting Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty last week to address some of the complaints, and quickly canceled some of the upgrades he had planned for the new headquarters, according to two sources familiar with these events. A Senate subcommittee is also looking into the cost increases.


Truscott planned to purchase, among other things, nearly $300,000 in extras for the new director's suite, including a $65,000 conference table and more than $100,000 for hardwood floors, custom trim and other items, according to the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal. ATF officials said that none of those upgrades has been approved and that the conference table was initially proposed by the architect and replaced in plans with one that costs half as much.


The Justice Department and the inspector general's office declined to comment. Truscott also declined to comment through the ATF press office.


Sources portray Truscott as preoccupied with the project. He has held numerous meetings, some focused on its tiniest details, such as paint colors and soap dishes, they said. He also has organized regular field trips to the building site with senior executives and photographers and has decorated ATF's current offices with oversize photos of the construction, they said.


The sources also said that some ATF officials object to the approximately $1 million annual cost of an extensive security detail for Truscott, who spent 22 years at the Secret Service before coming to ATF. The expenditures pay for five full-time agents and two armored Chevrolet Suburbans, which have not been made available to previous ATF directors or to the heads of comparable agencies, such as the U.S. Marshals Service, according to sources and government records.


ATF spokeswoman Sheree L. Mixell said a $12 million funding cut last year by Congress -- not spending on the building -- was a primary cause of current budget difficulties at the agency. She also said cost overruns for the new headquarters have not been excessive or unexpected.


"The building project is a long-term project that is important to the safety of ATF employees and to the agency's future," Mixell said. "ATF has a responsibility to complete this project."


But the sources said that cost overruns on the building consumed a $13.5 million budget surplus and millions of dollars more from ATF's current operating budget.


ATF officials declined to discuss details of Truscott's security arrangements, but said the agency was planning to increase security before his arrival in April 2004.


In December 2004, Truscott received upgraded protection comparable to that for the heads of the CIA, FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and NASA. The new arrangement was made retroactive to January of that year, legislative records show.


The new ATF headquarters, designed by award-winning architect Moshe Safdie, sit across from the New York Avenue Metro station, and Mayor Anthony A. Williams and other city officials have hailed the building as a central component of that area's revitalization efforts. One of the first major federal projects to adhere to stringent security measures enacted after the Oklahoma City bombings, it includes a striking decorative wall that doubles as a blast shield.


The ATF headquarters' contracted price was $119.7 million in May 2004. Now the building, planned for a decade, is expected to cost at least $138.5 million when it is completed later this year, according to the General Services Administration.


ATF has also spent an additional $75 million for site acquisition, design, furniture and other costs, and is reviewing whether further expenditures will be needed before the agency can move into the space on time later this year, officials said.


ATF has paid nearly $15 million of the construction cost increases since 2004, according to agency and GSA officials. Mixell said more than $9 million of the increases is because of extensive design changes that were made necessary by ATF's move from the Treasury Department to Justice and a reorganization of the agency. The rest are primarily because of security modifications related to the project, she said.


But other officials critical of the way the project has been handled said that many of the cost increases should have been foreseen or reduced and that Truscott has pursued expansions and modifications to the project at the expense of ATF's basic operational needs. The director overruled some subordinates by adding about 500 employees in the past year, many of whom do not have desks or office space because of the agency's budget problems, several sources said.


ATF executives have been told to expect cutbacks of 20 to 30 percent in their operating costs this fiscal year. The heads of the agency's eight directorates were required to submit memos two weeks ago outlining cuts under that scenario.


Likely effects include no new cars for the agency, which commonly buys more than 300 vehicles a year, and no bulletproof vests to replace about 500 that are expected to expire this year, sources said.


Meanwhile, they said, Truscott has devoted much of his time to the new headquarters. At one meeting, they said, he and his aides discussed the relative merits of shower curtains vs. shower doors, and soap dispensers vs. soap dishes for the building's gymnasium area, which was redesigned to include more workout space. The consensus was shower curtains and soap dispensers, but towel service was ruled out as too costly, the sources said.


Other meetings focused on the colors of wallcoverings, types of flooring for different areas and details of $2 million worth of educational and historical exhibits, sources said. Managers spent weeks deciding on seating charts for their departments, sources said, even though the building was far from finished.


One source said Truscott added costs by changing a floor tile order in one area because the original design "made him dizzy."


The ATF plays a central role in policing violent crimes, tracking illegal guns and working to prevent explosives from getting into the hands of terrorists. Some ATF officials are frustrated that the agency is facing money shortages despite several years of increased budgets. The agency said its appropriation for salary and expenses has grown from $827 million in 2004 to $911 million in 2006.


"As more and more things were put into the building, other things had to suffer," said one of the sources familiar with the dispute. "This is having an impact on operational accounts."


A GSA spokesman said that none of the expenditures at the ATF site were outside guidelines for such projects. He declined to provide financial documents related to the project, saying that a request would have to be filed under the Freedom of Information Act.


Mixell said that "ATF is committed to ensuring the safety of our agents," and has submitted a request for funding to the Justice Department to purchase replacement bulletproof vests. She said the agency is also reviewing other options to deal with budget cutbacks, including ways to find money for vehicles.


The commerce, justice and science subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee has also begun to examine the cost overruns. Katie Boyd, a spokeswoman for subcommittee Chairman Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), said that "issues have come to his attention and he has begun to ask the tough questions" about the ATF project.


The subcommittee had allowed ATF to "reprogram" $13.5 million in surplus money in fiscal 2005 to cover building costs, but staff members warned agency officials recently that they would not consider a similar request for an additional $7.9 million in 2006, sources said. Boyd said no formal request for extra funding has been made.


Researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.




HPD Officer Reinstated Following Nude Photo Scandal


Arbitrator Agrees With Officer's Attorney That Punishment Too Harsh


POSTED: 4:58 pm CST January 16, 2006

UPDATED: 5:10 pm CST January 16, 2006


HOUSTON -- A Houston police officer has been reinstated even though authorities said he embarrassed the department by passing along nude pictures of a woman he arrested, KPRC Local 2 reported on Monday.


A civil service arbitrator ordered Officer George Miller reinstated Friday after serving an eight-month suspension without pay.


Miller was fired in May after he and Officer Christopher Green were accused of downloading nude pictures of Yanhong Gang, a drunken driving suspect the officers arrested on Nov. 25, 2004.


After the arrest, authorities said Miller found nude photos on Gang's cell phone. Investigators said Miller then gave the phone and photos to Green, who transferred the pictures to his personal digital assistant.


Miller and Green were suspended indefinitely after Gang complained about the officer's actions.


However, attorney Marc Hill said the punishment for Miller's crime was too severe.


"It was a high-profile case and that is how the city attorney argued it -- 'It's a big embarrassment to us. It's a high-profile case.' But just because somebody looks at it one way doesn't necessarily mean it’s a fireable offense. An arbitrator held it under the law that it's not," Hill told KPRC Local 2.


Gang declined to talk with KPRC Local 2 on camera, but her attorney, Ned Gill, said she was disappointed with Friday's decision.


"She's disappointed in the ruling and feels if he's still going to be a police officer, he needs to get sensitivity training," Gill said.


Through a spokesman, Houston Police Department Chief Harold Hurtt said he stands by his decision to fire Miller but said he accepts the arbitrator's ruling.


Green remains suspended, pending the outcome of his appeal.


Miller and Green were assigned to the department's drunken-driving task force.


Gang, 26, was found guilty of the misdemeanor charge on Sept. 8, 2005. She was sentenced to one-year probation, a $400 fine, 40 hours community service and time with victims of drunken drivers.


Testimony in Gang's trial included two breath tests showing an alcohol content of 0.116 percent and 0.119 percent. The legal limit is 0.08 percent. A video showed her struggling with field-sobriety tests.






MTA Officer Sentenced For Selling Coke


SHIRLEY, NY--A former Metropolitan Transportation Authority Transit Officer arrested by Suffolk district attorney detectives in a drug sweep last summer was sentenced Monday to eight years in prison for selling cocaine.


Donald Howell of 26 Adobe Drive in Shirley went to work as an MTA cop in January of 2004 after passing the drug screen and lie detector tests. District Attorney Thomas Spota said the investigation turned up evidence that Howell was putting drug deals together on his cell phone while he was on the job in New York City, often on patrol at Grand Central Station. When he was fired from the force after his arrest last June, DA Spota said, Howell was still a probationary officer.


Spota said the defendant sold approximately a kilo of cocaine over the course of a seven-month investigation.


Howell, 32, pleaded guilty Monday before County Court Judge Ralph Gazzillo in Riverhead to one count of criminal sale of a controlled substance second degree, an A-2 felony, punishable by three to ten years in prison.



© 2005 North Country Gazette




Posted on Wed, Feb. 01, 2006

Shawnee County DA rejects reports from narcotics officersAssociated Press


TOPEKA, Kan. - Shawnee County's district attorney will no longer consider reports from three of eight officers in the police department's troubled narcotics unit.

The refusal is the result of a dispute about how long officers should serve in the unit before they are reassigned.


After uncovering corruption in the unit during a joint investigation with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, District Attorney Robert Hecht said officers should serve in the unit for no more than three years.


Hecht said rotation is needed to restore the drug unit's credibility. A report he released in October said narcotics officers regularly tampered with drug evidence and falsified records.

One month earlier, former Topeka police officer Thomas Pfortmiller was sentenced to 16 months in prison for stealing thousands of dollars intended for undercover drug buys and using the money to support a gambling habit.


A police union agreed last year to a five-year rotation beginning in August 2007.


But Hecht is insisting on the three-year plan, which he said he developed after studying recommendations from the National Institute of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Los Angeles Police Department.


Starting last year, Hecht stopped accepting reports from one of the drug unit's officers. He confirmed Tuesday that he would start rejecting reports from a second and third officer beginning Wednesday. Hecht said all three officers had served five to 12 years on the drug unit.

Hecht, who has not declined to prosecute a case based on the rotation issue, continues meeting with interim Police Chief Steve Harsha.


"We're still hoping to find ways we can accommodate them and they can accommodate our concerns related to their contract," Hecht said.

Harsha said the drug unit's officers remain busy despite the dispute.


"Right now, it's just business as usual," he said. "For those individuals that have cases that may not be considered for prosecution, there's enough going on back there in supporting roles that we can keep them busy."


So far, the union is not budging on the five-year rotation.


"That's what our membership voted on and what the (city) council voted on, and we can't go back and change that contract," said Sgt. Bill White, president of the local Fraternal Order of Police.





Fmr. Local Police Chief Pleads Guilty to Felonies

Jan 13, 2006, 02:22 PM MST 


He was supposed be protecting the public, but now he's guilty of breaking the law. Former Columbia Township Police Chief Mark Hunter pleaded guilty to two felonies. Hunter accepted responsibility for selling police guns for his own profit. He also admitted to using a township camera to illegally videotape sexual activities.


Prosecutors say this is a plea that will bring justice to the residents of Columbia Township. In the agreement, Hunter admitted to selling two high-powered AR-15 rifles. One was bought by another officer. The other was sold to an Adrian pawn shop.


Hunter did not mention the sexual encounter in his office, but did acknowledge that he used a camera in that office during an inappropriate relationship. Hunter still faces other charges in Lenawee County for child pornography and possession of heroin, but this brings an end to the legal battle in Jackson County, and prosecutors say they feel good about the outcome.


Henry Zavislak, Jackson County Prosecutor: "We feel good about securing a conviction on the record, and that township interests have been protected. He will never be able to be a police officer in this state."


The maximum penalty is five years, but prosecutors say the statute gives the judge discretion and they plan to ask for a harsh punishment. It started with one allegation. Then Mark Hunter resigned and the new chief found even more trouble.


David Elwell, Columbia Township Police Chief: "First couple of days I noticed things didn't seem right. I had a lot of questions about weapons."


A month after the new chief took office, the old chief was charged with three felonies, sparking outrage in Columbia Township.


Ray Kuzminski, Columbia Township Supervisor: "There are a lot of victims, a lot of people humiliated and hurt by this."


For 15 years, Hunter headed the Columbia police force. He was in a position of power and trust, and yet officials say he violated those responsibilities. Leaders say hunter's wrongdoing deserves a harsh punishment, but they call the plea a step in the right direction, and now the public's frustration of the last eight months can finally start to give way to relief.


One part of the plea deal calls for Hunter to work with the township on tracking down the guns and lost money. Officials says that too will help with restoring faith in the township. We should also point out we did talk with Hunter's attorney. He declined to comment for the story.




Guilty pleas end Hunter's police career

Saturday, January 14, 2006

By Steven Hepker -- 768-4923


Mark Hunter officially ended his police career Friday by admitting he stole a rifle and videotaped himself performing sex acts with a Columbia Township employee without her knowledge.


"By virtue of his guilty pleas, he will never be able to be a police officer in this state or get his record expunged," Prosecutor Hank Zavislak said.


Circuit Judge Chad Schmucker could sentence Hunter to up to five years in prison on March 1.


"The people will ask for a substantial jail term," Mark Blumer, Zavislak's chief assistant, said in announcing the plea agreement.


The former township police chief, appearing in a tan, suede sports coat, pleaded guilty to one count of misconduct in office and one count of eavesdropping. Prosecutors will drop an embezzlement charge, a 10-year felony.


State police allege Hunter, 44, stole surveillance equipment and guns, and videotaped up to 25 hours of sex with a secretary in his office.


"I put a small covert camera in my office and used it to videotape activities in my office," Hunter told Schmucker.


The secret taping is illegal, but not the consensual sex, prosecutors said.


The employee, who was in court Friday, declined to comment but said she will give a victim's impact statement at sentencing.


Hunter also admitted to registering a township-owned AR-15 rifle in his name and selling it to a sporting goods store in Adrian.


Township Supervisor Ray Kuzminski, who attended the hearing, said Hunter's plea will help employees and citizens move on to better days.


"Not only have the employees and residents endured much embarrassment and humiliation, but there are also victims and family members who have also been affected by Mr. Hunter's actions," Kuzminski said in a prepared statement.


Schmucker said he will order Hunter to return any stolen items and to pay restitution.


The Jackson County case stems from activities in April, when a female officer accused him of sexual harassment.


Hunter resigned April 29. A state police search in May also found alleged child pornography and heroin in Hunter's home.


Because his house is just south of the Jackson County line, that part of the investigation was handled by officials in Lenawee County. There, he faces 17 counts of possessing child pornography, 17 counts of using a computer to commit a crime and a single count of heroin possession.


His preliminary hearing in Adrian is Feb. 15. He remains free on bond.




Judge permits case against detective to continue



Westside bureau

Published: Feb 2, 2006


PLAQUEMINE — Judge William Dupont of the 18th Judicial District Court rejected on Wednesday a defense request to dismiss District Attorney Ricky Ward and his staff from prosecuting former Detective Gerald Jenkins, a drug case investigator.


Dupont also held defense attorney Karl Koch in contempt of court, set the case for trial Feb. 14 and lamented a “cloud of suspicion and innuendo” which he said the case has created for law enforcement officers and prosecutors in Iberville Parish.


Dupont said he would instruct the clerk of court to summon 200 prospective jurors.


Koch tried to get court permission to testify himself, which Dupont denied since Koch is Jenkins’ defense attorney.


The judge called Koch’s actions at the hearing “unconscionable,” and said he was finding the attorney in contempt for filing a frivolous motion — to seek recusal of the district attorney and his staff. Dupont said he would take the matter of imposing sanctions against Koch under study.


Koch said he will seek to appeal to a higher court Dupont’s decision to cite him, Koch, for contempt.


Jenkins held the rank of lieutenant in the Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office and directed the Law Enforcement Against Drugs task force until July 12, when he and a cousin, Joseph Jenkins, were arrested after the task force headquarters near Plaquemine was burglarized.


Drugs, cash and a gun were taken from the building’s evidence room, investigators said at the time.


Parish and state investigators since have discovered a large amount of evidence in drug cases is either missing or has been tampered with.


The state Justice Department has issued a report estimating that more than $744,000 in drugs is missing, along with just over $157,000 in missing cash. It also said several hundred files remain unaccounted for.


Before getting to Koch’s motion requesting dismissal of the district attorney and his staff from prosecuting the case, Dupont rejected a motion for summary dismissal of Koch’s motion filed by prosecuting attorney Tony Clayton.


Koch’s motion said that the fallout from Jenkins’ “alleged offenses” had influenced decisions made by the district attorney and his staff.


He later said that statements Jenkins made to federal and state investigators put law enforcement and prosecutors in a bad light and affected the judgment of the district attorney and his staff in the Jenkins case.


Prosecutor Clayton asserted that Jenkins made “self-serving statements” because prosecutors refused to give him a light sentence in plea bargain discussions. Clayton said the case is a simple one and that 12 jurors would decide guilt or innocence for Jenkins regardless of the prosecutor’s opinions.


The judge agreed that Jenkins’ alleged actions had created a cloud of doubt over law enforcement in the area, and said the matter needs to be proven or dismissed.


“It’s time for the cloud to be over one way or another,” Dupont said.


In his closing, Koch said that “if the District Attorney’s Office is impacted by external forces, justice cannot be served.”


In a brief response, Clayton reminded Judge Dupont that defense attorney Koch had presented “no evidence whatsoever.”






From: "Richard Scott"

Date: Mon, 6 Feb 2006 10:39:00 -0800

Subject: [aapjorganizing] join Ray Krone Monday, February 20 in Phoenix about capital punishment


Monday, February 20 in Phoenix


One Monday February 20, several Greens will join Ray Krone in confronting

the Arizona legislature about capital punishment.  Ray was an ordinary

guy-- thirty something, former Vet, US Postal Letter Carrier, no criminal

record, liked to play sports in his spare time, including dart

tournaments at the local beer joint.  A woman at the bar was murdered,

and someone in the Phoenix Police Dept took a notion it was Ray.

Overnight, he found himself in a different world, where bias and error

were helped by incompetence and a willingness to play with the evidence.

Ray ended up on Arizona's Death Row.


Some of those endless appeals you hear about got him a new trial, and a

better attorney, and, incomprehensibly, the same result, except this time

the judge spoke of a "lingering residual doubt" about Ray's guilt, and

gave hi Life in prison instead. 


It was only after ten years of appeals and trials and hope and despair,

that a judge agreed to check DNA evidence-- if Ray's Pennsylvania farm

family mortgaged everything they had left to pay for the testing.   The

tests not only showed that Ray was guilty, but showed who did the crime,

a man whose DNA was on file because he was in prison for a similar crime

committees a few weeks after the one Ray was convicted for.  A man who

lived two blocks away, who was on parole at the time for similar crimes,

and who the police had interviewed, but rejected as a suspect because

they had decided it was Ray.


Ray says that he is sure that 5 or 6 other guys whom he met on Death Row

are also innocent, but no DNA evidence is involved in their

circumstances.  But the criminal justice system in Arizona does not like

to admit that there are corrupt or incompetent officials in it, and that

anyone on Death Row is ever innocent.  If somebody gets off, it is a

"technicality"  and the "beat the system and got away with murder."  Sen

John Kyl wants to shorten appeals.  The AZ legislature wants to look the

other way


Annually a publication called "The Red Book" is distributed to lawmakers

by the state's prosecutors.  It has mug shots and gruesome stories of

killings in it.   It is updated to show the new guys, and to reclassify

those executed or who got a new trial and were given a lighter sentence.

But the word Exonerated does not appear in it.  Four years later, Ray

Krone is still listed as serving a life sentence.  There are errors also

about two other guys who were once on Death row and are now walking free,

but Ray's story is the one they cannot deny.  DNA. 


Ray is going to deliver a Correction Page Insert to the lawmakers, to

keep with their Red Book.  It will have the Words Exonerated and Innocent

on it.  And it will ask the lawmakers how they intend to prevent other

innocents from being executed.  He will explain how "lengthy appeals"

saved his life, while they were trying to kill him  He will say that it

is time to end the death penalty in Arizona.


Contact Claudia at 622-3339 if you would like to join us there.  Ray

needs some folks to stand with him.  It's the least we can do.





ASU Police Officer Patrick Murphy said the Manzanita residence hall students refusal to allow him to search the students room with out a search warrent surprised him. Students are usually quick to cooperate with police requests, he added.


Its too bad most people either don't know their rights or are quickly willing to flush them down a toilet when the police ask them to.


Tales from a Friday with ASU DPS

One reporter sees police beat-worthy incidents first hand


by Shea Drefs


published on Tuesday, February 7, 2006


During a 12-hour shift, ASU police officers typically answer 10 to 20 calls, but Officer Jason Latella said the past two weeks have been busier than usual.


"It's early enough in the semester that no one has any big papers or anything, so they're partying now," Latella said.


Friday night and early Saturday morning, officers from the ASU Department of Public Safety handled 10 cases as a State Press reporter rode along.


One of the night's first arrests was an ASU student who admitted to partying with a fraternity he hoped to join.


Officer Patrick Murphy found the 19-year-old male stumbling across the lawn outside of Palo Verde West. His speech was slurred, he had difficulty standing and his breath smelled of alcohol, Murphy said.


After a test revealed the suspect's blood alcohol level to be 0.179, more than two times the legal driving limit, Murphy called the Tempe Fire Department.


"How tall are you?" Murphy asked the student while waiting for firefighters.


"About 162, 165," the suspect said.


"No, how tall are you?" Murphy repeated.


"I'd say 165," the student said.


The questioning continued when the firefighters arrived.


"What day of the week is it?" one firefighter asked.


After a long pause, the student simply cursed.


"That's not a day of the week," the firefighter said.


After a thorough inspection, the suspect was given a citation for underage consumption of alcohol and allowed to return to his dorm room, where he was placed in the care of his resident assistant.


"No more parties tonight. You're done," Murphy told the student, who then hugged the officer before heading upstairs.


Less than 30 minutes later, Murphy responded to a call from a Manzanita residence hall resident assistant who reported smelling marijuana coming from a dorm room.


Murphy and two other DPS officers waited several minutes for the occupant of the room to arrive. When the student showed up, he let the officers inside, but refused to let them search the room.


Murphy said the refusal surprised him. Students are usually quick to cooperate with police requests, he added.


The student was escorted out of his room to wait while Murphy obtained a search warrant from a judge.


"It could take 15 minutes; it could take several hours," Murphy said as he drove back to DPS headquarters to begin the request process.


A police aide guarded the door and warned the suspect he would be arrested if he entered the room. The suspect's request to retrieve his cell phone charger was denied.


Meanwhile, DPS received a call about an individual who was reportedly screaming and threatening residents at the Commons, a University-run apartment complex. It was the second time the individual had been called on that night, Latella said.


Four officers turned on their sirens and sped to the scene, where they found the suspect lying on the ground crying, his arms and hands bleeding from punching a window.


"Am I really going to get a ticket for sleeping in my own bed?" the suspect asked repeatedly between sobs.


"No, you're getting arrested for disorderly conduct," said officer Mark Aston.


When the night ended, DPS had made more than 10 contacts, including two arrests.


"Usually whenever we have a ride-along nothing happens," Latella said.


Reach the reporter at





george w hitler wants lots of money to make a bigger better police state!


Border plan swells budget

Bush wants billions more to secure crossing


Mike Madden

Republic Washington Bureau

Feb. 7, 2006 12:00 AM



WASHINGTON - The Bush administration wants billions of dollars for 1,500 more Border Patrol agents, 6,700 new beds in immigration detention facilities, increased prosecution of employers of undocumented workers and other border security measures.


The proposal was part of a $2.77 trillion budget for the fiscal year starting in October that the White House released Monday. It would increase spending on defense and homeland security while slowing Medicare growth and cutting other services and programs.


For Arizona, where Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano and Republican lawmakers are sparring over how to slow illegal immigration through changes to state law, President Bush's plan could mean more federal help is on the way after years of frustration over the resources devoted to policing the state's 389-mile border with Mexico.


In Bush's budget proposal, federal spending would increase by at least $61 billion, or 2.25 percent, over this year. The administration also plans to seek $120 billion to pay for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, pushing the federal deficit to $423 billion if the budget wins congressional approval.


Still, Bush asked for significantly more money for border security and immigration enforcement agencies, part of the Department of Homeland Security. The president said he wants to gain control of the U.S.-Mexican border and cut down on illegal immigration and the hiring of undocumented workers.


The proposal would add muscle, in the form of money, to recent policy statements by Bush and other officials.


But lawmakers and others said money alone won't stop illegal immigration. Even Bush's allies said the funds in the proposed budget wasn't a solution.


"He's having to balance interests here," said Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz. "Given the desire to cut the deficit in half before the end of his term, he's applying a lot of money toward this border problem. But is it enough? No."


In the formal budget Bush sent to Congress, he repeated his call for some kind of temporary-worker program to allow short-term visas for some foreign workers, saying the enforcement measures the budget would fund must be part of a comprehensive reform of immigration laws.


"The administration's plan is to catch all migrants attempting to enter the country illegally, decrease crime rates along the border, allow employers to hire legal foreign workers when no American is willing to take the job, and restore public confidence in the federal government's ability to enforce immigration laws," the document says.


Spending on the two main border and immigration agencies, Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, would go up by $1.3 billion, an increase of nearly 14 percent.


That includes $317 million to hire, train and equip 1,500 new Border Patrol agents, as well as $41 million for about 200 new ICE agents to investigate employers who break laws against hiring undocumented workers.


The budget would devote almost $300 million to construction of 6,700 new detention beds, allowing officials to process 100,000 more immigrants caught entering the country illegally, and $94 million to return them to their home countries quickly.


An additional $135 million would expand the databases used by local law enforcement, social service agencies and employers to check whether immigrants are authorized to be in the United States. That could help enforce state laws like Proposition 200 intended to prevent undocumented immigrants from getting state benefits or voting.


Bush wants to spend $100 million on new sensors, cameras and surveillance equipment deployed on the border. In western Arizona, an additional $51 million would go to build 39 miles of vehicle barriers designed to stop people from driving over the border illegally. Two ports of entry, in Nogales and San Luis, would get a total of $51 million for upgrades and new construction.


Arizona is the most popular gateway for illegal immigration along the Southwestern border. More than half of the 1.1 million arrests reported last year took place in the state.


"On the surface, it (Bush's proposal) sounds good, but that's the problem," said Jeanine L'Ecuyer, a spokeswoman for Napolitano, adding that figuring out the budget's impact on the state would take more examination. "It's just too soon to be able to say definitively whether this is maybe all good for Arizona."


Napolitano has proposed her own $100 million plan to fight illegal immigration, which would use a radar-based technology and have National Guard troops playing a backup role to border agents. She also wants the Department of Defense to pay for any additional Guard troops at the border before they are stationed there.


Napolitano envisions the Guard doing things at the border like communications, operating radar-based technology to track border-crossers and assisting in commerce checkpoints.


Proposals in the state Legislature would put even more state resources into border security, as well as enlisting local police to help track down undocumented immigrants living in Arizona.


State Rep. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, is a longtime opponent of illegal immigration who has called for troops at the border and sponsored bills to use local police to track and detain undocumented immigrants.


Reacting to Bush's proposal Monday, he said it does not go far enough.


"I'm just tired of the malfeasance on the part of the federal government," Pearce said, referring to his belief that the government has not done enough to protect the border.


Activists and analysts said Bush's proposal could slow, but would not stop, illegal immigration.


"Since 1993, we've tripled the number of agents and we've multiplied the amount of technology, and we've not reduced the number of people who are coming by one person," said the Rev. Robin Hoover, president of Humane Borders, a Tucson group that provides water stations in the desert.


Hoover said the extra money to change the situation is "like betting on a tape-delayed football game thinking the score's going to be different."


Border security and immigration enforcement agencies may need to improve their performance, as well.


"The increases in funding are more than welcomed," said Michael Greenberger, director of the Center for Health and Homeland Security at the University of Maryland.


"But it all depends on the ability of the department to effectively implement the programs."


None of the increases will become law unless Congress approves them.


Reach the reporter at





messy  yard cops want to be unaccountable for their actions.


Bill offers inspectors protection of privacy


Monica Alonzo-Dunsmoor

The Arizona Republic

Feb. 7, 2006 12:00 AM


Cities across Arizona, including Phoenix, Glendale and Goodyear, are backing a state bill that would block public access to code-enforcement officers' home addresses and telephone numbers to protect them from disgruntled residents.


The bill, which could be heard by the House of Representatives as early as next week, would give the nearly 500 code officers in Arizona the same protection state law gives peace officers, judges, justices, commissioners, public defenders and prosecutors.


Code inspectors are on the front lines of neighborhood preservation, making sure homeowners comply with city codes aimed at keeping properties free of blight, such as overgrown weeds and grass, junk cars or litter.


"I think it's a good start," said Victor Harris, one of Phoenix's 65 code-enforcement officers.


"I think it would be another good layer to protect me and my family from people that potentially would want to do us harm."


City officials say some residents are using public records to track down information on the code officers, showing up to their homes and confronting them and their families. There have been at least 12 such incidents in recent years.


One case involved an inspector narrowly escaping injury when a resident tried to run him down with a semi.


In another case, an inspector and resident got into a fight after the resident showed up at the inspector's home and threatened his family.


Some lawmakers questioned why a state law should be created in reaction to dozen incidents of harassment in Phoenix, especially since the city resolved more than 40,000 code cases in a 12-month period.


"I wasn't convinced there was this need for that cloak of privacy," said Ted Downing, D-Tucson. He voted against the bill at the subcommittee level. "It didn't seem to rise to the same level as a Superior Court judge."


He said there were laws in place to deal with the types of threats inspectors might encounter.


Rep. John Nelson, R-Glendale, sponsored the bill and could not be reached for comment.


Phoenix City Councilman Greg Stanton testified in support of the bill last week before the House Government Reform and Government Finance Accountability Committee. "The question isn't 'Does this happen all the time?' " Stanton said.


"The question is 'Do you think that code-enforcement officers warrant protection?' "


Goodyear code compliance manager Gail Bosgieter said protection is vital because code officers are often the ones who first make contact with residents who might be involved in violations. illegal activity.


Bosgieter is the first vice president of both the American Association of Code Enforcement and the Code Enforcement League of Arizona.


Between 1994 and 1997, more than 10,000 code inspectors across the nation were assaulted and more than 70 were killed while on the job, according to the code-enforcement association.





this is an interesting post i found on one listserver. i will leave off the posters name to protect the guilty.


A few grams of lead propelled by a few grams of gunpowder can convert


the idiot leader of the world's most powerful superpower into Bush the

lump of 

fertilizer--a minor transition, I'll grant you, but a major event.


The world's most powerful nuclear weapons are no match for the output

of  one

gun at the right place, at the right time, in the right hands.






scottsdale needs piggies!!!!


Police hiring trails tax hike objectives 

By Mike Sakal, Tribune

February 7, 2006


Nearly two years after Scottsdale residents voted to bolster public safety services with a sales tax increase, police said Monday that 27 of 48 officers mandated by the tax are officially “on the streets.”



Officials gave a variety of reasons for the shortfall, including a national shortage of police recruits, long lead time for training new officers and normal attrition of the current staff.


“People like to be safe, and they want the best services possible,” Police Chief Alan Rodbell told the 29th class of recruits at the Citizens Police Academy last week.


“When the people passed the tax, it was a good sign. Now, we’re down to a small number of openings needed to fill, to meet, the city’s needs. Since the tax was passed in the spring of 2004, we’re just putting the first group of new officers on the streets,” Rodbell said.


In the spring of 2004, voters approved a tax increase of 10 cents on every $100 spent on goods purchased in the city. But it takes 18 months to move recruits through the police academy and field training, Rodbell said.


Currently, there are 19 Scottsdale officers in field training who should be on the streets sometime this year, and 14 more recruits are in the academy, said Cindy Sawyer, police personnel supervisor.


However, Sawyer said she did not know how many of those officers were part of the tax mandate.


The total number of employees in the department is 720, a figure that includes officers and civilian personnel, officials said.


The Scottsdale Police Department continues to advertise on in an effort to attract officers both from cold-weather states and within Arizona, said Greg Carlin, Scottsdale police recruitment officer.


However, the good economy means many in the law enforcement fields are seeking positions outside of the public sector, said Sgt. Mark Clark, police spokesman.


“Everybody is looking for people,” Clark said. “We’re competing on all levels of law enforcement — federal, state, county and local — and private security is big.”


Another spokesman, detective Sam Bailey, said that in an effort to attract more applicants, recruitment teams have visited colleges in coldweather states along the East Coast, and have been successful in bringing recruits here.


“An in-state transition to another department is much easier, but if someone with more experience from another state applies for the job, it could put them ahead in being considered,” Bailey said.


Last fall, the police department also lowered its standards, or “reassessed” its hiring requirements to attract applicants, he said.


No longer is an applicant required to have 60 hours of college-level law enforcement classes.


Applicants must still be at least 21 years of age, be of good moral character, pass a polygraph test and meet requirements of the academy, Bailey said.


“We need to come in line with what other law enforcement agencies are doing to attract applicants,” Bailey said. “You apply, get on a list, and if you pass the academy, you pass.”


Contact Mike Sakal by telephone at (480) 970-2324.





Feb. 05, 2006

Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal


VIN SUPRYNOWICZ: Rewriting history with George W. Bush


All politicians say things that are supposed to sound like they mean something else. So calling George W. Bush -- who is, after all a professional politician -- "a liar" breaks little new ground.


Rather, it may be time to ask whether Mr. Bush is actually capable of constructing alternative realities that intersect the more commonly perceived world at oblique angles (at best) -- and then inhabiting them comfortably while shilling them to a populace that either judges on style points alone or just can't be bothered to read the fine print.


In his State of the Union speech, President Bush said, "On September the 11th, 2001, we found that problems originating in a failed and oppressive state 7,000 miles away could bring murder and destruction to our country. Dictatorships shelter terrorists, and feed resentment and radicalism, and seek weapons of mass destruction."


In context, it appeared the "failed and oppressive state" to which the president referred must be the one our troops so eventfully now occupy -- the one where we went hunting for those chimerical "weapons of mass destruction" -- Iraq.


But in fact, Iraq and its dictatorship had nothing to do with spawning the Sept. 11 terrorists. Hunting as hard as it could for pre-Sept. 11 links between al-Qaida, Iraq and Saddam Hussein, this administration has found none of any consequence.


Saddam Hussein's Iraq, for all its repression, was a secular state where radical Islam, that "perversion by a few of a noble faith into an ideology of terror and death" (the president's words) was allowed little foothold.


Nearly all the Sept. 11 terrorists were actually Arabian. Saudi Arabia is indeed a fairly repressive regime, about 7,000 miles from here, whose residents may conceivably blame the United States for helping to prop up its gold-gilt monarchy. So why didn't we invade the land of those great patrons of the Bush family, and set them on the path to "democracy"?


The countries overseas that "shelter terrorists" might have been ranked in 2001 as Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and the settlements of Yasser Arafat.


We did indeed invade Afghanistan for sheltering al-Qaida, and rightly so. But the president here attempts to rewrite history, asserting Iraq was the sponsor or training ground of the Sept. 11 attacks, which is not true.


Read the statement again. It appears carefully lawyered for "deniability." It doesn't say Iraq. It just implies it. But what other nation could Mr. Bush be referring to?


Lots of countries seek "weapons of mass destruction." When do we plan to disarm Israel and Russia? Of course dictatorships are repressive. When do we plan to liberate the people of Zimbabwe, Burma, Red China and Uzbekistan?


Iraq may have been targeted for geo-strategic reasons -- regardless of its blamelessness in Sept. 11 -- as a central "breadbasket" of the Middle East. But that's not the case Mr. Bush has tried to build.


"Terrorists like bin Laden ... seek to impose a heartless system of totalitarian control throughout the Middle East, and arm themselves with weapons of mass murder," the president said Tuesday night. "Their aim is to seize power in Iraq and use it as a safe haven to launch attacks against America and the world. ... A sudden withdrawal of our forces from Iraq ... would put men like bin Laden and Zarqawi in charge of a strategic country."


Osama bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who command no conventional armed forces and have never been elected dog-catcher, are not Iraqi. Earlier in his speech, the president described them as on the run, their leadership mostly killed or captured. That they could ever rule Iraq would seem to qualify either as delusion, or as making up scary campfire stories for the kids. Are there now a lot of radical Wahhabi terrorists finding a haven in chaotic Iraq? Sure. What drew them there? Only the opportunity they saw in the chaos following the American invasion. Saddam Hussein had been at no demonstrable risk of turning his country over to al-Qaida three years ago.


Why did chaos descend after our invasion? Because the Washington neoconservative desk jockeys who dreamed the thing up had no military experience, blissfully ignored the British experience of 1918-1921, wishfully assumed the various Iraqi ethnic groups whose feuds had long been suppressed by the Baathists would welcome us with flowers and then promptly start holding orderly town meetings, and that we therefore wouldn't need much of an occupation force.


Why didn't our military men set them straight?


They tried.


Mr. Bush on Tuesday night repeated his oft-heard assurance that the level of our Iraq troop deployment and the speed of the drawdown "will be made by our military commanders, not by politicians in Washington, D.C."


The line even drew applause -- as it usually does.


But what happened to the Army's top general, Eric Shinseki, after he broke ranks with the neocon article of faith that occupying Iraq would be a cakewalk? The Army chief of staff correctly warned the Senate Armed Services Committee in public testimony prior to the Iraq invasion in 2003 that a successful occupation force would require "several hundred thousand soldiers."


"Pentagon officials ridiculed the estimate, but they later appeared to prove the general correct when they boosted coalition troops in Iraq beyond 150,000," reports the Army Times.


Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz called Gen. Sinseki's estimate "way out of line." The general was quickly advised to retire, sending a loud message to all others in the military to get with the program.


So what does it mean to say troop level decisions "will be made by our military commanders" and not by the politicians -- after the politicians have shown they'll remove any military commander who insists that to restore order in Iraq could take a force greater than 200,000?


The troublesome situation the president now faces in Iraq is thus of his own making twice over, not only because he decided to invade a nation uninvolved in Sept. 11, but then because he followed that decision with the even dumber move of sending too few occupation forces, against the best advice of his best (now removed) generals.


Next time: Where never is heard a discouraging word.





prisons - a jobs program for government thugs???


Prison shuffle puts Eloy workers at risk


Josh Kelley

The Arizona Republic

Feb. 8, 2006 12:00 AM



Hundreds of federal inmates are being shuffled out of the Eloy Detention Center in Pinal County, a move that could leave about 425 prison workers out of a job, at least temporarily, in a city and county where the corrections industry is a major economic player.


The Federal Bureau of Prisons is moving nearly 500 of its inmates from Corrections Corp. of America's 1,500-bed Eloy Detention Center to save money, said Mike Truman, a spokesman for the bureau.


Now Corrections Corporation officials and Eloy Mayor Byron Jackson, a former Corrections Corp. correctional officer, are trying to convince another federal agency to keep its detainees in Eloy so that some of the jobs can be saved.


U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, has an agreement through the Bureau of Prisons to house undocumented immigrants in Eloy as they await deportation. There were 843 ICE detainees there as of early Tuesday.


But when the prison bureau's contract with Corrections Corp. ends Feb. 28, ICE will also withdraw its detainees from Eloy unless immigration officials work out a new agreement with the prisons company.


Eventually Corrections Corp. will likely replace the lost inmates, spokesman Steve Owen said. But there would be a temporary loss of federal money paying the salaries of Eloy's largest employer, which draws workers from throughout Pinal County.


"All of that trickles down into your local economy," said Jackson, who pointed out that Corrections Corp. is building a second detention center in Eloy similar in size to the one already there.


For Jackson, more prison cells mean more jobs flowing into Eloy, whose population is about 11,000.


He brushes aside any fear of becoming known as a prison town, a reputation long held by Florence, Eloy's neighbor to the north.


"I think people are comfortable with the environment," Jackson said. "We had a few concerns about bringing a prison into our community. Heck, it's been 10 years now with very little problems whatsoever."


Meanwhile, Pinal County officials are also hoping to cash in by housing ICE detainees, a plan initiated by former County Manager Stanley Griffis.


The county's budget director, James Throop, is trying to negotiate an agreement with ICE to house up to 625 detainees in Florence in the Sheriff's Office detention center, which is undergoing a 1,034-bed expansion. The Sheriff's Office plans to hire about 270 people, including 211detention officers, to staff its expanded jail.


If all goes according to plan, the county could bring in around $15 million a year from ICE and use the money to pay the debt service and much of the operating costs for the jail.


Jackson and Throop are confident there are plenty of ICE detainees to go around.


More than a month ago, Corrections Corp. informed employees in Eloy that they needed to find a new job by Feb. 28, Owen said. Some could transfer elsewhere within the company, he said.


Corrections Corp. has two detention centers in Florence along with facilities in 19 other states and the District of Columbia.


The jobs at the Eloy Detention Center are mostly correctional-officer positions but also include service, clerical and administrative positions.


Corrections Corp.'s second detention center in Eloy is scheduled to open later this year and will bring with it hundreds of jobs. Owen said Corrections Corp. already has arrangements in place to house inmates from state agencies, not the federal government, at the new facility.





adult bookstore side steps censors on tolleson city council.


Adult boutique catches Tolleson officials off guard

'It just got by us,' Tolleson's mayor says


Marianne Refuerzo

The Arizona Republic

Feb. 8, 2006 12:00 AM



Tolleson's first adult store will open Thursday, but city dignitaries won't be anywhere near this ribbon cutting.


In fact, the City Council didn't even know the "clothing store" it approved in April was actually a Fascinations Superstore, a huge emporium specializing in racy lingerie and sexually oriented novelties.


Mayor Adolfo F. Gámez doesn't like it, but he insists the southwest Valley city's hands are tied.


"At the time, we didn't know it was going to be that kind of adult business," Gámez said. "It just got by us."


The company application mentioned only that it was a retail business. When city officials pressed, the company replied that it was a clothing retailer and never divulged what kind of clothing.


The gaffe comes as cities across the Valley are struggling with regulating adult businesses. In Scottsdale, voters will likely be asked this spring to approve tougher restrictions on strip clubs enacted after adult film star Jenna Jameson bought an establishment on Scottsdale Road. Last year, Phoenix banned sexually oriented businesses from downtown after an adult bookstore was proposed near the Phoenix Suns arena. The town of Guadalupe, meanwhile, lost a bid to keep a strip club from opening near Baseline Road and Interstate 10.


After Tolleson officials learned about the store's true nature from another developer, the city passed an ordinance in September designed to keep adult businesses away from commercial and residential neighborhoods. Previously, such businesses had no obligation to disclose what type of retail they were involved in.


"Once we realized the mistakes had been made, we remedied them with the ordinance," Gámez said. "I believe we were misled, and once we found that out, we did what we had to do."


But for some, it was too little, too late.


"The people of Tolleson have been let down by our city government," longtime resident Edward de Santiago said. "They've been given the responsibility of protecting the citizens, and this is a gross misrepresentation of that authority."


The store, which carries lingerie, massage oils, adult novelties and other "romance toys," is at 83rd Avenue and McDowell Road, four blocks from Desert Oasis Elementary and a couple of miles from P.H. Gonzales Elementary, where de Santiago's daughters go to school.


"It's unimaginable that our city leaders would allow something like that to happen and worse that they're not able to do anything about it," he said.


Although residents and city officials might be unhappy about the new business, Fascinations spokesman Michael Ham said the company is just tapping a market.


"On the west side of town, there was an underserved customer base that we wanted to reach," Ham said. "We were able to comply with Tolleson zoning, so we put our store in there."


The 11,000-square-foot building will have no window displays, and customers will have to show photo identification to enter the store. If customers open merchandise, employees will ask them to throw away packaging inside the store to reduce public exposure to adult material.


"Whenever we go into a neighborhood, we are conscious about working with our neighbors and our business neighbors in order to meet community standards," Ham said.


This will be the sixth Fascinations store in Arizona. The company also has sites in Tempe, Phoenix and Tucson.





another dangerous criminal busted and removed from the street!!!! yea sure! why do the cops waste time and money arresting these harmless people! don't they have any real criminals to chase?


Deputies arrest man in attempt to solicit sex


CASA GRANDE - Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies arrested a 47-year-old who apparently thought he was meeting a 13-year-old girl for sex after arranging a date on the Internet.


Jay Johnstone of Casa Grande was booked into a Maricopa County jail Monday on suspicion of soliciting a minor for sexual exploitation. Authorities said Johnstone drove to Phoenix to meet with a deputy posing as a 13-year-old girl after the pair had a sexually explicit conversation online. He was arrested at the meeting spot.





government regulation doesnt work!


Expert: Anti-spam rules likely ineffective 

By Mike Sakal, Tribune

February 7, 2006


Recent efforts by federal law enforcement to curb bulk e-mails — called spam — probably won’t make much difference to the average computer user, local Internet providers and computer experts said.


An estimated 80 percent to 85 percent of all e-mail is spam, said Lee Burton, chief engineer at Scottsdale-based Extreme Internet.


“Hackers are moving away from just doing it for fun,” Burton said.


“They now are doing it as a business and making a big profit from it. Spamming is an international problem, and I don’t think laws in the United States are going to stop it.”


But that hasn’t stopped the government from trying.


In 2003, Congress passed the CAN-SPAM Act, which allows law enforcement agencies to prosecute, fine and imprison those who send out unsolicited and fraudulent emails. The acronym stands for Controlling the Assault on Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing.


Last week, federal officials announced their second successful conviction under the law.


Kirk Rogers, 43, of Manhattan Beach, Calif. pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court of Arizona to aiding and abetting a group that spammed more than 1 million users with pornographic emails and netted more than $1 million, court documents show.


Rogers joins Scottsdale resident Andrew Ellifson, who pleaded guilty last year in the same case, making him the first convicted in the nation under the new law.


Both are scheduled to be sentenced on June 5 and face up to five years in prison.


U.S. Attorney Paul Charlton of the District of Arizona said that his office plans to focus on larger spam rings and groups that peddle pornography, mostly through complaints from the public.


“Spam e-mails are kind of a home invasion,” Charlton said.


“They range from being anything from a mere nuisance to a true threat. We hope to have an effect on cutting down on the amount of spam that’s sent out.”


The task is daunting. The Internet Crime Complaint Center receives more than 17,000 spam complaints every month from consumers alone, the FBI reports.


“Our goal is to make the Internet a safe environment for children and consumers and stop these sophisticated spam rings from making large profits. We plan to decrease the large amount of major spam e-mail operations by effectively prosecuting those involved in them. We think the law will be an effective tool.”


Partha Dasgupta, a computer security and operating systems professor at Arizona State University, said it will be difficult to reduce the spam problem simply by targeting Americans.


“To send spam, these people are using off-shore sites on hijacked computers, so it can’t be found out who’s doing it,” Dasgupta said.


Technology upgrades may also help. America Online Inc. reported that spam e-mail sent to its users decreased by 75 percent between 2004 and last year because of new antispam software.


Contact Mike Sakal by telephone at (480) 970-2324.





How do you spell $REVENUE$ - DUI TICKETS - 6,000 DUI tickets will result in over a million bucks revenue for the gilbert cops.


Town police pull over a record number of drivers suspected of DUI


GILBERT, Ariz. (AP) -- Gilbert police have pulled over a record number of drivers suspected of drunken driving since New Year's Day.


That has the prosecutor's office preparing for the possibility of an influx of cases.


Between Jan. 1 and Tuesday, Gilbert has had 520 DUIs, a rate that if continued would mean more than 6,000 cases for the year, said town prosecutor Lynn Arouh.


"I don't know that we'll actually see over 6,000 cases," she said. "We can't predict what's going to happen."


In 2004, Gilbert had 4,006 DUI cases. That number dropped for a time, with 3,787 total cases in 2005.


But during the last six months of 2005, cases began to rise, reaching 2,414 in that time, and January's numbers continued the trend.


"We don't want more drinking and driving in our town," Arouh said. "We want to deter it."


On Tuesday, the Town Council approved expanding the town prosecutor's office assistant from part-time to full-time status to ease the workload, at a cost of $15,000 from the General Fund.


The town also has hired two additional public defenders in the past year for a total of five defenders, said Municipal Court Presiding Judge David Phares.




Feb 8, 10:39 AM EST


Corruption probe snags mayor, police chief



Associated Press Writer


LONOKE, Ark. (AP) -- The mayor was arrested in a corruption probe, the police chief is accused in a drug-making scheme, and the prosecutor says the chief's wife took prisoners from jail to have sex with them - and more arrests could be coming.


It's a lot for a town of fewer than 4,300 residents to stomach in one day.


"We've just got a tough time ahead of us right now," said Assistant Police Chief Sean O'Nale, who is serving as interim chief while Chief Jay Campbell is suspended with pay.


The chief and his wife, the mayor and two bail bondsmen were arrested Monday and freed on bail. Mayor Thomas Privett continued his normal duties Tuesday and called a special city council meeting for Wednesday evening to deal with personnel issues.


Campbell said he was wrongly accused, and lawyers for the others said their clients were innocent.


Prosecutor Lona McCastlain dismissed criticism that the investigation was politically motivated and said her work isn't done.


"This investigation is ongoing and the state has not ruled out that there may be additional charges filed and that there may be additional suspects," McCastlain said.


In Lonoke, about 25 miles east of Little Rock, just about everyone knows the defendants.


"The chief and his wife have been real good to my mother, they're neighbors over there. And they haven't been anything but nice," said real estate broker Charlie Knox.


The allegations paint a different picture.


Campbell and his wife, Kelly Harrison Campbell, allegedly stole antique jewelry from a home and pawned it. The chief also is accused with the bail bondsmen of taking part in a conspiracy to make methamphetamine and use it to frame someone.


Kelly Campbell faces escape-related charges for allegedly taking two inmates out of the jail to have sex with her at ballparks, the chief's office and a hotel. She also is charged with residential burglary, theft and taking prohibited items into a jail.


The mayor was charged with misdemeanor theft of services. A State Police affidavit says he used state prisoners to do work at his home, including fixing an air conditioner and hanging Christmas lights. Campbell also is alleged to have had prisoners work at his home.


Ralph Cloar of Little Rock, an attorney for the mayor, said he has known Privett for decades and called him a law-abiding citizen.


"I think when all the facts come out everyone will see that it's just a minor situation that some jury will have to determine even if it was misdemeanor criminal conduct," he said.


Privett's arraignment was scheduled for April 3. The others are to be arraigned March 13.





when did the government require cars to have licenese plates and people to have drivers liceneses?


i emailed a letter to the arizona department of transportation asking them when arizona started requiring cars to have licenses and when arizona required people who drove to have drivers licenses and told them it was a request per the arizona public records law A.R.S 39-121. they never bothered to answer my question. they didnt even answer my email.


but today i was reading a book and it said that by 1921 all the states had laws licensing cars.


it didnt give a good date on when all the states required people to get drivers licenses but it did say that by the 1930's drivers examines had become common in most states.


the book was pretty good from a libertarian stand point of less government regulation because it showed how little the federal government regulated people lives int he 1920 and 1930. the book was:


"daily life in the united states, 1920 - 1940"




david e kyvig





mixing government and religion. why is arson a FEDERAL CRIME when it is done to a church. in this church arson the BATF was called in to investigate it because arson on a church is a federal crime.


i will certainly agree that torching a chruch is wrong but i suspect that making it a federal crime is unconstitional.


Blaze guts Phoenix church

Seventh-day Adventist congregation vows to rebuild


Judi Villa and William Hermann

The Arizona Republic

Feb. 9, 2006 12:00 AM


Pastor Claudio M. Martin stood before his fire-gutted North Valley Spanish Church and surveyed the damage: The steeple had collapsed. The roof had fallen in. Only the red-brick walls remained.


"I don't want to even suspect that someone would do such a thing," Martin said.


But the Tuesday night blaze that destroyed the Seventh-day Adventist church at 15th and Peoria avenues was intentionally set, said division Chief Mike Sandulak of the Phoenix Fire Department.


The fire started in some exterior wooden shutters on the south side of the church, then spread to the attic, Sandulak said.


"It looks like there was an accelerant used," he said.


The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also is investigating the blaze because burning a church is a federal crime. ATF spokesman Tom Mangan said Wednesday that there were "a lot of pour patterns found."


Satanic graffiti was found on some walls, but Sandulak said it appeared to have been painted over and was not believed to be related.


Outside the church Wednesday, Armando Metelin, 34, talked animatedly with Martin, 54, of rebuilding.


"We want our church returned to what it was," said Metelin, who is among the church's 150 members.


"But we will make it bigger and better. All of us feel that way."


As the two spoke, Pastor Alex Pino, who heads the nearby Covenant of Grace Church, approached with hands outstretched.


"How can we help?" Pino said, embracing Martin. Pino was among three pastors who came to Martin on Wednesday morning offering the displaced congregation a temporary place to worship.


Kent Sharpe, treasurer of the Seventh-day Adventist Arizona Conference, said the church was insured and would rebuild.


"But we are also soliciting prayers for the congregation as they face the challenges of building a new church," Sharpe said.


Damage to the Seventh-day Adventist church was estimated at $200,000.


Neighbors said the fire seemed to consume the church almost from the moment the fire was spotted.


"I was outside and saw some smoke, then flames, then it was in the top very fast," said neighbor Gustavo Sanchez, 19. "I called the fire department and they were here really quick, but the whole place was going by then."


On Wednesday, investigators were talking to church members and trying to determine what type of accelerant was used.


Police also were stepping up patrols in the area. No suspect immediately emerged.


"Any attack on a house of worship is not only a monetary loss to the congregation but it's also a loss to the community," Mangan said. "It's a personal attack to the congregation and the community as a whole."


The Seventh-day Adventist church was the 18th Phoenix church of many denominations and various demographics that has burned since 2000 because of arsonists.


Six of those fires have occurred since June.


Churches often are considered easy targets because they are unoccupied at night and for long periods of time during the day, they are accessible and many are either constructed of wood or furnished with wooden pews.


Nationwide, an average of 1,300 church fires are reported each year, causing $38 million in property loss, according to a report published by the U.S. Fire Administration in March 2002.


The leading cause of church fires is arson, with motivations as diverse as vandalism, revenge and racial hatred. Church fires also can be set to conceal other crimes, such as burglary.


Officials Wednesday hadn't determined a motive for the fire at the northwest Phoenix church.




Phoenix officer shot, carjacking suspect dead 

From Staff Reports

February 9, 2006


A carjacking suspect shot a Phoenix police officer in the leg early today during a pursuit that ended in Tempe with one suspect dead and another in custody.


Phoenix police notified Tempe police shortly before 1 a.m. that they were pursuing two carjacking suspects headed east on University Drive toward Tempe in a green Dodge Durango. Tempe police Sgt. Dan Masters said the two may have traveled through Phoenix International Sky Harbor Airport, but that report was not confirmed.


The men were followed by multiple patrol cars and one police helicopter.


At 2200 W. 14th St., the driver of the Durango stopped the vehicle and fled on foot. Officers caught up with the man and arrested him.


Meanwhile, the Durango passenger moved into the driver's seat and drove away.


Police resumed the chase and attempted to place road spikes in the path of the vehicle at Priest Drive and Baseline Road. The Durango driver hit the spikes and fired at least one gunshot, hitting a Phoenix officer in the leg.


The driver turned west on Baseline back toward Phoenix, and the tires of the vehicle gave out west of Pointe Parkway.


Masters said police surrounded the vehicle and fired at the driver when he got out and raised a weapon. Masters said the man was shot multiple times and died at the scene.


Police did not release the names of either man or the injured officer. The officer was taken to Maricopa Medical Center, where he had surgery and is expected to recover.


Masters said the surviving suspect is being held at the Tempe police station and is not talking to investigators.





this shows we live in a real police state! despite the fact that this idiot FAILED to produce any ricin poison the cops still charged him with the crime. and now he is going to spend up to 5 years in jail for an imaginary crime!


Mesa man faces up to 5 years for trying to make toxin 


By Gary Grado, Tribune

February 9, 2006


A Mesa man who caused a bioterrorism scare last year has pleaded guilty in federal court to trying to make ricin.


Casey Cutler, 25, agreed on Jan. 25 to a deal with a sentencing range of 2 1 /2 to 5 years in prison, admitting that he tried to make the deadly substance to use on future assailants after he was attacked in April, according to his written plea agreement.


His arrest exposed problems with the National Laboratory Response Network, a national network of labs that responds to bioterrorism and chemical terrorism threats.


David Engelthaler, state epidemiologist, said state health officials have taken steps so the problem doesn’t occur again.


“It was a real good test of the system,” Engelthaler said Wednesday.


Mesa police became aware of Cutler on June 5 when a man went to a hospital seeking treatment for exposure to ricin. According to the plea agreement, filed in U.S. District Court in Phoenix, Cutler got a recipe for the toxin from the Internet but he was missing the key ingredient, caster beans or a caster plant, so he tried to use castor oil.


Cutler ended up with a white powder substance, which he put in a vial he wore around his neck so he could use it as a defensive weapon.


Initial tests on the substance showed it was ricin, but state health officials realized they used outdated tests that give false positives.


Subsequent tests showed no sign of ricin.


Court records show Cutler was preparing an insanity defense in the case. He is to be sentenced April 10.





sheriff joes tent city - a vile, filthy place unfit for humans to live in????


jailers said inmates are using pigeon carcasses for smuggling contraband.


live pigeons can carry lice and diseases such as histoplasmosis and encephalitis.


Arpaio wants to reduce jail birds — the feathered kind 

By Mike Branom, Tribune

February 9, 2006


Tent City is a jailhouse, not a birdhouse, says Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Citing security and health concerns, Arpaio is taking steps to reduce the pigeon population at the detention center.


“This is one time when I encourage inhabitants of Tent City to fly the coop,” Arpaio said in a statement. “I’m saying to the birds the same thing I always tell the inmates — once released, don’t ever come back!”


Recently, jailers acknowledged that some of the facility’s 1,000 inmates are using pigeon carcasses as receptacles for smuggling contraband.


Also, live pigeons can carry lice and diseases such as histoplasmosis and encephalitis.


Eschewing a violent — although legal — end, Arpaio is employing humane means of bird removal.


Inmates are trapping the birds for release in a distant part of the county.


And now in effect: A ban on bird feeding, which had been an issue among Tent City’s female inmates.


“Women are the caretakers of the world,” Arpaio said. “But in this case, being nice to these birds by feeding them is causing a big problem.”


Eventually, Arpaio hopes to install fake owls, hoping pigeons will be fooled by the imitation predators, and a system to bombard the birds with unpleasant noises.


Contact Mike Branom by email, or phone (480) 898-6536





cops create huge 16 hour traffic jam by closing baseline road to investigate shooting


Carjack suspect dies; officer hurt

Pursuit that began in Phoenix leads to 16-hour shutdown of Tempe road


Sarah Muench

The Arizona Republic

Feb. 10, 2006 12:00 AM


A Phoenix police officer is recovering after being shot during a serpentine chase that began in central Phoenix and ended in the shooting death of a carjacking suspect in Tempe.


The shooting left a main Tempe artery shut down all day Thursday, hampering both the morning rush hour and the evening commute. Baseline Road remained closed between Priest Drive and 48th Street for more than 16 hours as investigators worked a crime scene that stretched nearly a mile.


At least 11 Phoenix police officers opened fire on 24-year-old Antonio Lozada, who shot 29-year-old Phoenix Officer Mike Edgemon in the leg, Tempe police Sgt. Dan Masters said.


Investigators spent the day interviewing several dozen witnesses, mainly police officers, and sorting through two shooting scenes, gunshot rounds and a stolen vehicle.


As police conducted their investigation near Interstate 10 and a major resort, area businesses and customers grunted at the inconvenience, and drivers were forced to use alternate routes throughout the day.


Scottsdale resident Jason Hjerpe walked a cart full of purchases from Fry's Electronics down the sidewalk to his car that was parked nearly a quarter of a mile away.


Cheryl and Justin Decker of Chandler said they should have been notified of the street closure.


"We've been going around and around trying to get in," Cheryl said. "We almost gave up."


A strip center of mom-and-pop businesses near 48th Street and Baseline Road also felt the crunch. Emily Bratko, owner of Mr. Ship and Check, a shipping store, said business was slower than normal Thursday.


"It's hard on all our businesses on the strip," she said.


Police said the incident began when Lozada forced people out of a Lincoln Navigator shortly after midnight Thursday morning in the 2900 block of North 16th Street, leaving them with minor injuries.


Lozada fired a shot and then fled; Juan Pablo Suniga, 25, his accomplice, followed in a green Dodge Durango, police said. That launched a police pursuit that led to 35th Avenue and Bethany Home Road, where Lozada dumped the Navigator and jumped into the Durango, police said.


From there, the two drove through Sky Harbor International Airport and into Tempe and stopped again in the 2200 block of West 14th Street, near Broadway Road and 52nd Street.


Police said Suniga bailed out and was arrested without incident.


Lozada continued into Tempe to Priest Drive and Baseline Road, where he shot Edgemon, a seven-year police veteran who was putting down a Stop Stick to try and slow the stolen car, police said.


Lozada's car came to a halt at Pointe Parkway and Baseline Road, west of Interstate 10. Police say he refused to drop his gun, pointed it at officers and was fatally shot by the 11 police officers at about 1 a.m.


Edgemon was taken to Maricopa Medical Center, where he underwent surgery and was recovering, police said.





im sure if president bush, the FBI, and the homeland security goons discovered a plan to crash jets into buildings in downtown los angeles it would have made the front page news of every newspaper in the country. after all that would be a great way to convice the public that the government needs more money for homeland security, and a good case to lobby for the police state patriot act.


and thats why i suspect these two stories about a planned terrorist attack on los angeles are bogus. sure maybe they busted the guy for jay walking but now they are trying to make him out as a terrorist who planned to fly a plane into downtown los angelse


Bush tells of terror plot on LA tower

President stresses need for vigilance


Peter Baker and Dan Eggen

Washington Post

Feb. 10, 2006 12:00 AM



WASHINGTON - President Bush, under pressure from Congress, defended his campaign against terrorism Thursday, offering for the first time a vivid account of a foiled al-Qaida plot to strike the United States after Sept. 11, 2001, by crashing a hijacked commercial airliner into a Los Angeles skyscraper.


Bush said four Southeast Asians who met with Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan in October 2001 were taught how to use shoe bombs to blow open a cockpit door and steer a plane into the Library Tower, since renamed the U.S. Bank Tower, which at 72 stories is the tallest building on the West Coast. Asian authorities captured the four before they could execute the plan, he said.


Declaring that "America remains at risk," Bush cited the episode as an example of international cooperation against terrorism and argued against complacency. "We cannot let the fact that America hasn't been attacked in 4 1/2 years since September 11, 2001, lull us into the illusion that the threats to our nation have disappeared. They have not," he said.


The reported West Coast plot has been disclosed before but never in as much detail. The president's speech came on the same day as a Senate hearing into the Bush-ordered warrantless surveillance of telephone calls and e-mail by Americans and their contacts overseas, but aides said his comments were not related to the dispute over the program.


White House officials, who were unwilling to publicly describe details of the plot as recently as last fall, said they decided in the past three weeks to declassify it so Bush could have an example to provide publicly.


But several U.S. intelligence officials downplayed the relative importance of the plot and attributed the timing of Bush's speech to politics. The officials, who declined to be identified because they did not want to criticize the White House publicly, said there is deep disagreement within the intelligence community over the seriousness of the Library Tower scheme and whether it was ever much more than talk.


One intelligence official said nothing had changed to precipitate the release of more information on the case. The official attributed the move to the administration's desire to justify its efforts in the face of criticism of the surveillance program, which had no connection to the incident.


Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, ranking Democrat on the intelligence committee, mocked the idea of raising the Library Tower plot. "Maybe they're tired of talking about (the) Brooklyn Bridge and they're trying to find a different edifice of some sort," he said, referring to another terrorist plot that some have said was inflated by the government.


But Frances Fragos Townsend, the president's chief counterterrorism adviser, told reporters in a conference call that "there is no question in my mind that this is a disruption."


"It's not about credit," Townsend said, "it's about protecting the American people. And the American people are absolutely safer as a result of these arrests."


Bush first alluded to the incident in a speech last October when he said the United States and its allies had thwarted 10 serious al-Qaida attacks since Sept. 11. A White House list released at the time referred to a plot to fly a hijacked plane into an unspecified West Coast city in 2002. Citing unidentified sources, news organizations reported that the target was the Library Tower and that the plot's author was Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the architect of the Sept. 11 attacks who was captured in 2003.


Mohammed's original plan for Sept. 11, as presented to bin Laden in 1998 or 1999, called for hijacking 10 jetliners on both coasts, according to interrogations of Mohammed cited by the commission that investigated the attacks. U.S. officials concluded that bin Laden instructed Mohammed to initially focus on the East Coast because it was too difficult to recruit enough operatives to seize 10 planes. After the Twin Towers were knocked down, Mohammed set about putting his West Coast plan into motion.


In the White House's latest account, Mohammed deputized Hambali, head of the affiliated Southeast Asian group, Jemaah Islamiya, to set up a West Coast attack, and they put together a four-man cell. Asians were chosen, Bush said, on the theory that they would draw less suspicion.


The four Asians traveled to Afghanistan to meet with bin Laden in October 2001 just as U.S. forces were hunting al-Qaida, officials said. After swearing loyalty to the al-Qaida leader, the four returned to Asia to train in the use of shoe bombs like those later found on Richard Reid, who was convicted of trying to take down an airliner over the Atlantic in December 2001.


But the cell leader was captured by authorities in a Southeast Asian country in February 2002, and the three others were later detained, as well.


"As the West Coast plot shows," Bush said, "in the war on terror we face a relentless and determined enemy that operates in many nations, so protecting our citizens requires unprecedented cooperation from many nations."


Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said he was blindsided by Bush's announcement of new details about the plot to crash a plane into the skyscraper.


But the White House and state officials said the Mayor's Office had been contacted beforehand.


"I'm amazed that the president would make this (announcement) on national TV and not inform us of these details through the appropriate channels," the Democratic mayor said. "I don't expect a call from the president, but somebody."


White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Los Angeles officials were told Wednesday about the Bush's planned remarks.


Michelle Petrovich, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said the agency notified Los Angeles police, along with state officials, that the plot would be mentioned during the president's remarks.


A spokesman for the state Office of Homeland Security said the agency's chief contacted a deputy mayor Wednesday about the speech.


Villaraigosa later confirmed that City Hall was called Wednesday by state officials. But that information was general, city officials said.


Associated Press contributed to this article.


Malaysian pulled out of L.A. terror plot, officials say


Associated Press

Feb. 10, 2006 07:10 AM



KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - A Malaysian recruited by al-Qaida to pilot a plane in a second wave of Sept. 11-style attacks on the United States pulled out after observing the carnage of the first assaults, Southeast Asian officials said Friday.


President Bush on Thursday disclosed an alleged plot to hijack an airliner and fly it into a skyscraper in Los Angeles. He said cooperation between Washington and several Asian countries helped expose it.


The plan never appeared close to the stage where it could be put into execution. Scores of arrests in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks severely curtailed al-Qaida and its Southeast Asian affiliate, Jemaah Islamiyah.


Adding details to Bush's outline, security officials and terrorism experts in Southeast Asia on Friday said Malaysian engineer Zaini Zakaria was among three men al-Qaida was preparing to take part in an attack on the U.S. West coast.


Zaini, 38, traveled to al-Qaida camps in Afghanistan in 1999, where he met senior figures in the terrorist group, including Indonesian Riduan Isamuddin, or Hambali, a Malaysian security official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.


When he returned to Malaysia the same year, Zaini enrolled in a flight school and obtained a license to fly a small plane. He then began making inquiries in Australia about getting a license to fly a jet, the official said.


But Zaini was never told what his mission for al-Qaida would be. When he saw media coverage of the Sept. 11 attacks, he severed his ties with the militants.


Zaini, who has been detained without trial in Malaysia since he surrendered in December 2002, told Malaysian interrogators that he "didn't want that kind of Jihad," an official familiar with the interrogation told the AP.


A senior police officer involved in the interrogation, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Zaini told his Malaysian interrogators "he was not prepared to die as a martyr, so he backed out."


The possible "second wave" attack was mentioned briefly in the June 2004 U.S. National Commission report on the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.


It quoted Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the reputed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks who was captured in 2003, as saying "three potential pilots were recruited for the alleged second wave." It identified them as Zacarias Moussaoui, Abderraouf Jdey, and Zaini.


However, Mohammed told his U.S. interrogators that "he was too busy with the 9/11 plot to plan the second wave of attacks," the report said.


Zaini, a native of the northeastern state of Kelantan, was doing some odd jobs before he surrendered to Malaysian authorities in Kelantan in December 2002, apparently because he was worried about an ill relative, said his former lawyer Saiful Izham Ramli.


Saiful said Zaini never told his lawyers about taking flight classes, and his arrest records do not describe him as a pilot or being a suspect in a "second wave" attacks.


He said Zaini was principally wanted by authorities for his links with Jemaah Islamiyah, a common charge for which scores of suspects are being held in a high-security prison in Kamunting under a law that allows indefinite detention without trial.


In 2003 the United States ordered frozen Zaini's financial assets, and that of several other suspects. His family is now so poor that they cannot even afford to travel to Kamunting in central Malaysia to visit him, Saiful said.


Zaini's wife hails from the southern Johor state's Ulu Tiram district, the site of a school where Hambali and other Indonesian terror leaders allegedly were based for some years.


Bush's disclosure has strained relations between the White House and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who said he got word of the new details like everyone else - by watching Bush's speech on TV Thursday.


The mayor accused the Bush administration of taking too long to tell him of the new information.


Bush said terrorists intended to use shoe bombs to hijack an airliner and crash it into downtown's 73-story US Bank Tower.


Villaraigosa said his office should have been warned beforehand about Bush's announcement, which set off a new round of anxiety over terrorism in the nation's second-largest city.


"I'm amazed that the president would make this (announcement) on national TV and not inform us of these details through the appropriate channels," the mayor said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I don't expect a call from the president - but somebody."


Villaraigosa also criticized the White House for rebuffing requests in July and August to meet with the president to discuss security issues.


As it turns out, the White House did notify City Hall, if indirectly. A spokesman for Matt Bettenhausen, California's homeland security chief, said he personally contacted a deputy mayor Wednesday afternoon with advance notice of the president's comments.






hmmmm..... the FDA says Ritalin can be really dangerous stuff. isn't this the drug the government hands out like candy to school kids to make them shut up.


FDA Advisory Committee Recommends ‘Black Box’ Warning for Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta, and Other ADHD Drugs for Potential Risk of Heart Attacks, Strokes, and Sudden Death


In what many experts are viewing as an unusual turn of events, an FDA advisory panel has voted to recommend that the agency order the inclusion of the most serious “black box” warning on all stimulant ADHD medications due to evidence of a potential risk of heart attacks, strokes, and sudden death. The drugs include amphetamines, such as Adderall, and methylphenidates, sold as Ritalin, Concerta, Methylin, and Metadate.


What makes this action (by an 8-7-1) vote surprising to critics of what they see as an influence-riddled agency beholden to the pharmaceutical industry and a system that “rubber stamps” the fully-expected recommendations of supposedly independent panels is that the FDA is now faced with a vote that is clearly against the best interests of the drug companies.Thus, rather than having a “safe” vote that the agency can simply endorse as its position on a drug, the FDA is already expressing its view of the vote in terms that strongly suggest it may not adopt the panel’s carefully considered recommendation. This has done little more than throw fuel on an already blazing fire.


The panel also voted 15-0-1 to recommend that the FDA require that the drugs include a medication guide for patients and parents.


All of this controversy was prompted by data that showed that widely prescribed ADHD drugs like Ritalin may be lined to as many as 25 deaths that occurred between 1999 and 2003. Of these deaths, 19 involved children. In addition, the FDA was advised of 54 cases involving serious cardiovascular problems like heart attacks, strokes, hypertension, heart palpitations and arrhythmias in both adults and children taking these medications.


There is also the open issue of another 26 deaths between 1969 and 2003 in medicated ADHD patients involving suicide, intentional overdose, drowning, heat stroke, and underlying diseases.


The panel’s vote also caught the FDA off guard because the committee was convened to advise the agency on how to design studies to assess possible risks associated with stimulant ADHD medications.


During the meeting, however, talk soon turned to the over-prescribing of these drugs and the public as well as many doctors were unaware of these serious potential risks. The panel then agreed to consider the enhanced-warning issue that was outside of its planned agenda.


In attempting to lay the foundation for ignoring the panel’s vote, officials said they would be reluctant to require a black box warning based on a “theoretical risk.”


Such warnings could unreasonably deter patients and doctors from using a drug that could benefit them, said Robert Temple, MD, director of medical policy at the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. He stated: “The absence of bona fide problems in your hand pushes against the box. We will also, frankly, worry about the possibility that overstatement can do active harm.”


Thus, Temple indicated the full FDA would wait for the recommendation a pediatric advisory committee scheduled for March before reaching any decision with respect to new warnings. That panel, which is made up of pediatricians and psychiatrists, is considered more likely to look favorably on the benefits of ADHD drug treatment as outweighing the potential risks.


This entry was posted on Friday, February 10th, 2006 at 8:36 am and is filed under Legal News, Drug Side Effects, Health Concerns.


FDA advisers: Beef up Ritalin warning label


February 10, 2006


WASHINGTON -- Ritalin and other stimulant drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder should carry the strongest warning that they may be linked to an increased risk of death and injury, federal health advisers said Thursday.


The Food and Drug Administration advisory panel voted for the warning on cardiovascular risks after hearing about the deaths of 25 people, including 19 children, who had taken the drugs. The vote was 8-7, with one abstention. The FDA isn't required to follow panel recommendations but usually does.


Doctors prescribe the drugs to about 2 million children and 1 million adults a month.




.D.A. Panel Urges Warnings on Ritalin and Other Stimulants



Published: February 9, 2006


GAITHERSBURG, Md., Feb. 9 — Stimulants like Ritalin could have dangerous effects on the heart, and federal drug regulators should require manufacturers to provide written guides to patients and place prominent warnings on drug labels describing these risks, a federal drug advisory panel voted today.


The votes could have profound effects on the nearly four million patients taking the drugs, and they promise to intensify a long-running debate about whether the drugs are being overused. Members of the Food and Drug Administration advisory committee said that they wanted to stop the explosive growth in the use of the drugs, particularly in adults.


"I must say that I have grave concerns about the use of these drugs and grave concerns about the harm they may cause," said Dr. Steven Nissen, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic who is a panel member.


F.D.A. officials said that they would do nothing immediately to change the drugs' labels and suggested that they are unlikely to follow the committee's advice any time soon.


"We don't think anything different needs to be done right now," Dr. Thomas Laughren, director of the F.D.A.'s division of psychiatric drugs, said at a hastily arranged news conference after the meeting. "We think the labeling right now is adequate."


The advisory committee voted unanimously to recommend patient guides, and it voted 8-to-7 to suggest that stimulant labels carry the most serious of the Food and Drug Administration's drug-risk warnings something called a "black box."


Arthur Levin, director of the Center for Medical Consumers in New York City and a member of the panel, said patients assume that stimulants are safe. That confidence is misplaced, he said.


"For us to sit around and talk about it and for us to not make a very strong warning about the uncertainty of these drugs and their possible risks would be unethical," Mr. Levin said.


Dr. Thomas Fleming, a professor of biostatics at the University of Washington and another panel member, said stimulants may be far more dangerous to the heart than Vioxx or Bextra, two drugs that were withdrawn because of their ill effects on the heart.


Another advisory committee, this one packed with pediatricians and psychiatrists, will be asked next month to weigh the same issues, and that committee is likely to come to a very different conclusion.


Today's committee was made up largely of drug-safety specialists, who tend to focus on drug risks. Clinicians, like those who make up next month's panel, tend to focus on drug benefits and oppose increased warnings that might limit access to medicines.


The vote by the drug-risk panel also grew out of changing ideas about what to do in the face of uncertainty. For decades, the F.D.A. generally refused to warn doctors about what is unknown about medicines, even when there were hints of dangers. Today's committee said that such silence when millions take the drugs is a mistake.


"Put yourself in our shoes," said Dr. Peter A. Gross, the panel's chairman and chairman of the department of internal medicine at Hackensack University Medical Center. "Most of us see our role as protecting the public health. As often happens, the data we would like to see is not clear. In that setting, what we would like to see is a clearer warning."


Top F.D.A. officials said that warning patients about a theoretical risk might scare many away from needed treatment.


"We still believe that what you tell people should reflect the available data," said Dr. Robert Temple, director of the agency's office of medical policy. "We didn't find the sudden death data very persuasive."


The Food and Drug Administration had brought the committee to a hotel just outside of Washington solely to discuss ways to research the possible heart risks of the drugs. But after reviewing a preliminary analysis of millions of health records that found that stimulants may significantly increase the risks of strokes and serious arrhythmias in children and adults, committee members said the F.D.A. needed to warn patients and clinicians immediately about the potential risks of the drugs.


"I want to cause people's hands to tremble a little bit before they write that prescriptions," Dr. Nissen said.


The study is not definitive, said Dr. David Graham, a medical officer in the Food and Drug Administration's office of drug safety. But combined with reports of at least 25 deaths among children and adults taking the drugs from 1999 to 2003, agency officials told a panel of independent experts today that they were increasingly concerned about the safety of stimulants.


"The number of arrhythmia hospitalizations really struck us as surprising," Dr. Graham said. "Arrhythmia is believed to be the pathway for sudden unexplained death."


In an interview after his presentation, Dr. Graham said, "There's smoke. Does that represent a fire? We want to answer that question."


Stimulants are now the most widely prescribed medicine for childhood behavioral problems. Dr. Andrew Mosholder, an F.D.A. medical officer in the agency's office of drug safety, told the committee that somewhere from twp million to four million children in the United States are taking stimulants in any given month.


Of perhaps even greater concern is the drugs' growing use in adults, F.D.A. officials said. Adults already have high rates of heart disease, so even a small increase in heart risks from stimulant use could lead to huge numbers of additional deaths, Dr. Graham said.




Lawmakers: Video shows guards beating boy at boot camp




Associated Press Writer


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A videotape shows guards brutally beating a boy at a military-style boot camp for juvenile delinquents in Panama City not long before the teenager died, two lawmakers said Thursday.


The state refuses to release the tape to the public, but the Bay County sheriff on Thursday characterized the lawmakers' description of it as overblown and blasted the two lawmakers as "loose cannon politicians" interfering with his investigation.


Martin Lee Anderson, 14, of Panama City, died Jan. 6 at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola. The youngster collapsed after he complained of breathing problems while doing exercises that were part of intake procedures at the camp. The Bay County sheriff's office has said officers restrained him after he became uncooperative.


State Rep. Gus Barreiro, R-Miami Beach, called the videotape "horrific," saying he had "never seen any kid being brutalized ... the way I saw this young man being brutalized.


"Even towards the end of the videotape, where you could just see there was pretty much nothing left of Martin, they came out with a couple cups of water and splashed him in the face," he said. "When you see stuff like that, you want to go through the TV and say, 'Enough is enough. Please stop hitting this kid.'"


An attorney for the family, Ben Crump, said the guards would force ammonia tablets up Anderson's nose in efforts to keep the youth conscious.


"We can never ever let anything like this happen again and if we don't get this videotape out, people will never know the truth," said Crump, who demanded the tape's release on behalf of the family at a Panama City news conference Thursday. "Police brutality is unacceptable at any time."


"I don't think there's any question there was excessive force," said Rep. Dan Gelber, a Democrat from Miami Beach and former federal prosecutor familiar with custody cases, who also viewed the videotape.


"I think (the public is) going to be shocked at the treatment of this kid and the lack of attention that was paid to his core health needs," Gelber said. "This is a relatively small kid with a half a dozen of pretty strong men and he seemed to be phasing in and out of consciousness."


Sheriff Frank McKeithen issued a prepared statement accusing Barreiro and Gelber of overreacting with "irresponsible, premature and incorrect statements" that "add fuel to an already volatile situation."


Bay County authorities and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement have refused to make the tape of the incident public, but Barreiro and Gelber said it would be released soon. FDLE spokeswoman Karen Mason said the tape would not be released Thursday because it remains a part of the investigation and doesn't fall under the state's open records requirements. Bay County sheriff's officials referred questions to FDLE.


"It's absurd," said Barbara Petersen, president of the Tallahassee-based First Amendment Foundation. "Technically they may be able to claim the exemption ... (but) this is an issue of critical public concern. Kids are dying.


"We can't see the tape?" Petersen asked. "What sense does that make?"


Once a record that is exempt is released to someone who is not specifically authorized by the law to have it, the record loses its protected status, Petersen said. The question is whether that includes videotape that hasn't been "released," but has been viewed.


"That's a question for a judge," she said.


Gov. Jeb Bush, who was in Orlando, said he had not seen the tape but was aware of the contents. Several of his aides had seen the tape.


"When you have someone in the custody of the state, irrespective (of) their reasons of being there, who dies, it's a concern," Bush said. "Absolutely we're concerned."


Barreiro said the beating could be considered worse than the Rodney King case in the 1990s in Los Angeles.


"Rodney King lived. This kid didn't," he said.


Anderson's family said it plans to sue Bay County and the state Department of Juvenile Justice, which oversees boot camp programs.


The department gave the Bay County camp a good review in a June 2004 quality assurance report, listing it in full compliance with state standards.


Associated Press reporters David Heller in Tallahassee and Melissa Nelson in Panama City contributed to this report.


Last modified: February 09. 2006 10:02PM


Video shows guards beating boy at boot camp




The Associated Press.


A videotape shows guards brutally beating a boy at a military-style boot camp for juvenile delinquents not long before the teenager died, two lawmakers said Thursday.


The state refuses to release the tape to the public.


Martin Lee Anderson, 14, of Panama City, died Jan. 6 after he complained of breathing problems and collapsed while doing exercises that were part of intake procedures at the camp in the Florida Panhandle's Bay County. Sheriff's investigators have said officers restrained the boy after he became uncooperative.


State Rep. Gus Barreiro called the videotape "horrific," saying he had "never seen any kid being brutalized ... the way I saw this young man being brutalized."


"Even towards the end of the videotape, where you could just see there was pretty much nothing left of Martin, they came out with a couple cups of water and splashed him in the face," he said. "When you see stuff like that, you want to go through the TV and say, 'Enough is enough. Please stop hitting this kid.'"


Anderson's family has said it plans to sue Bay County and the state Department of Juvenile Justice, which oversees boot camp programs.


The family's attorney, Ben Crump, said the guards forced ammonia tablets up Anderson's nose in efforts to keep the boy conscious.


"We can never ever let anything like this happen again and if we don't get this videotape out, people will never know the truth," Crump said.


"I don't think there's any question there was excessive force," said Rep. Dan Gelber, a Miami Beach Democrat and former federal prosecutor familiar with custody cases, who also viewed the videotape. "This is a relatively small kid with a half a dozen of pretty strong men and he seemed to be phasing in and out of consciousness."


Bay County Sheriff Frank McKeithen issued a statement accusing Barreiro and Gelber of overreacting with "irresponsible, premature and incorrect statements" that "add fuel to an already volatile situation."


Bay County authorities and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement have refused to make the tape of the incident public. FDLE spokeswoman Karen Mason said it remains a part of the investigation and doesn't fall under the state's open records requirements.


"It's absurd," responded Barbara Petersen, president of the Tallahassee-based First Amendment Foundation. "Technically they may be able to claim the exemption ... (but) this is an issue of critical public concern. Kids are dying. ... We can't see the tape? "What sense does that make?"


Gov. Jeb Bush, who was in Orlando, said he had not seen the tape but was aware of the contents. Several of his aides had seen the tape.


"When you have someone in the custody of the state, irrespective of their reasons of being there, who dies, it's a concern," Bush said. "Absolutely we're concerned."


Barreiro, a Republican from Miami Beach, said the beating could be considered worse than the Rodney King case in the 1990s in Los Angeles.


"Rodney King lived. This kid didn't," he said.







During a two-year stint as a school resource officer, principals complained he was rarely seen on campus and didn’t turn in reports.


Sounds like a great cop to me. at least  he aint arresting people for victimless crimes like most cops do.


Chandler detective fired for mishandling cases 

By Kristina Davis, Tribune

February 10, 2006


Arnold Orozco


Chandler police have fired a detective after an internal investigation found he mishandled evidence in 46 criminal cases and allowed suspected sexual predators to slip through the cracks over the past five years.


Records show that police supervisors repeatedly warned Arnold Orozco about how he handled his cases, but police officials took little corrective action until recently — when officers re-arrested a Peeping Tom who was never charged in one of the detective’s 2001 investigations.


Orozco, who worked as a sex crimes detective and later as a resource officer at Chandler’s Basha High School, was fired last month after officials learned he failed to submit charges to prosecutors in 11 criminal cases, including child pornography, molestation and drugs.


He also withheld 73 pieces of property or evidence from 46 different criminal cases dating to 2000. Instead of turning the material over to the department’s property room, the evidence sat in Orozco’s personal locker at the department or in cardboard boxes at his apartment, according to his Jan. 23 dismissal letter.


During the past four years, Orozco bounced from assignment to assignment, accruing complaints from citizens and poor performance evaluations regarding his caseload management from each of his new sergeants. During a two-year stint as a school resource officer, principals complained he was rarely seen on campus and didn’t turn in reports.


Despite the complaints, the only disciplinary action Orozco received during his 12-year career came in 1998, when he received a verbal reprimand for failing to complete a report.


It wasn’t until 2005, when patrol officers arrested a man who was caught peering into a girl’s bedroom window, that the agency began to seriously question Orozco’s investigative career.




The Peeping Tom suspect had a habit of prowling a Chandler apartment complex, secretly videotaping people having sex and women undressing. But after a highspeed chase in 2001, officers finally caught up with Robert Divers, a 45-year-old engineer.


Orozco, a new sex crimes detective, took over the investigation.


When he and other detectives raided Divers’ Phoenix apartment, they discovered a stash of sex tapes and 24 items of child pornography. Divers was also listed as a suspect in two 1993 child molestation cases.


In interviews with Orozco, police reports show Divers acknowledged his voyeuristic addictions, calling it a “compulsion kind of thing.” Orozco completed the report, ending with the statement that he had forwarded child pornography charges to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.


But Orozco never submitted the paperwork, and Divers was released from jail.


Four years later in May, patrol officers found Divers in another Chandler neighborhood peering through the bedroom window of a 13-year-old girl.


The new case detective was puzzled by Divers’ record. Why hadn’t Orozco submitted charges in the 2001 incident?


Still, police officials did not launch an investigation in Orozco’s handling of the Divers case until five months later, when they discovered he had stashed tapes of his 2001 interviews with the suspect in his personal locker instead of turning them over to the department’s property room.


“You failed to charge this suspect in that case, allowing the suspect the freedom and ability to re-offend,” his dismissal letter states.


Orozco attributed the oversight to “absent mindedness,” according to reports.


“I completed the report, I thought I filed but obviously records show I didn’t,” Orozco said. “Nobody caught it.”


An internal audit of Orozco’s cases turned up many other discrepancies, including numerous pieces of evidence that he either buried in his locker or stored in a box at home over the past few years. Some of the evidence included crack pipes, sexually explicit videos and $40 in cash.


Besides the 11 cases that were never forwarded for prosecution, two other cases involving child molestations were sent back to Orozco by the county attorney’s office because prosecutors wanted further information.


But Orozco never completed the paperwork, the report states.


One case involved a 6-yearold boy who told his mother that he was molested by his 18-year-old male babysitter.


The second case was a stepfather accused of molesting two teenage sisters.


The Tribune was unable to locate Orozco for comment, and Chandler police also tried unsuccessfully to reach Orozco on behalf of the Tribune.




Orozco joined the sex crimes division in 2000 after receiving several commendations as a bicycle officer.


But by early 2002, his supervisor began to note that due to personal problems, Orozco had fallen behind on his casework.


Over the next year, Orozco received several warnings.


In one case, a suspect was released from jail because Orozco didn’t get the charges forwarded to the county attorney within the 48-hour time limit. His supervisor suggested Orozco come in on the weekends to catch up on his backlog.


“Every time we talked about his case track issues, he seemed to feel that it was just a matter of time that he would be able to get those cases caught up,” sex crimes Sgt. Jesse Boggs told an internal investigator.


By September 2003, Orozco had received several complaints from citizens for not returning their calls, not following up on information provided by citizens and not keeping victims updated on the progress of their cases. One citizen complained that Orozco didn’t seem to take a case seriously.




Saying he wanted to work with children in a more positive way, Orozco chose to leave the sex crimes unit in 2003 and become a school resource officer at San Tan Junior High and Basha High schools.


When he transferred, he took with him 15 to 20 sex crimes cases he needed to finish, but by October they were still not completed.


It was then that Boggs placed Orozco on a 90-day probation, which is less serious than a disciplinary action.


In March, Orozco’s new supervisor put him on a second probation because he still hadn’t completed cases from 2001. It wasn’t until July 2004 when he cleared his caseload, and he was taken off probation.


But at the same time principals at the two schools where Orozco worked were less than happy with his performance.


Basha principal Kristine Marchiando told supervisors that Orozco rarely showed up on campus and didn’t submit paperwork for campus crimes.


She requested that a second officer, who had filled in for a few days at the school, replace Orozco permanently. “He met more kids in the couple days he was down there than officer Orozco had done in two years,” she says in the report.


San Tan principal Frank Narducci said he had not seen Orozco at his school for several months.


“SROs are an invaluable resource for us,” Narducci told the Tribune. “It’s important to get the right person for the job who really wants to do it. We wanted someone in the position to be consistent to get to know our kids.”




By June 2005, Orozco was again having problems with his caseload, and he told his supervisor he wanted to go back into patrol because he was bored with his school assignment.


As an officer back on the road, Orozco still could never get caught up. His new supervisor wrote in August that his pending case list contained numerous investigations that either required a follow-up, submittals to the county attorney or were missing completely.


A month later, the internal affairs investigation was launched.


Chandler Police Chief Sherry Kiyler and assistant city manager Rich Dlugas declined to comment on why it took so long to look closely at Orozco because he has appealed his dismissal.


In the reports, officials concluded that supervisors were not to blame for Orozco’s mishandling of cases. Orozco also did not fault supervisors.


“I think, bottom line, it’s my responsibility,” he stated in a report. “It’s incumbent upon me to complete those tasks, whether or not a supervisor, you know, being more involved would have countered that, I don’t know. They’ve got logs to follow, they’ve got checklists to check off, and I’m sure all that was done.”




But the policies and checklists that detectives used to track cases made it virtually impossible for sergeants to follow whether cases were actually filed to prosecutors.


When a report was completed, it was inspected by records clerks and a sergeant, but then it was up to the detective to forward the case to the prosecutors.


All a detective had to do was log the case as complete in the computer tracking system, and the case would be listed as closed.


The agency has since changed how cases are handled to allow for more oversight, although a spokeswoman said it was not a direct result of the Orozco investigation.


Now cases remain in the department’s computer system as “pending” until the court makes a decision whether to prosecute the case. Also, it is up to a sergeant — not the detective — to make sure a case gets forwarded to prosecutors.


“It’s another system of checks and balances,” said Chandler detective Livi Kacic. “It adds one more layer.”


Contact Kristina Davis by email, or phone (480)-898-6446






Fire line at odds with Scottsdale officials 

By Paul Giblin, Tribune

February 10, 2006


North Scottsdale resident Henry Becker raised the ire of neighbors when he raised colorful signs on his pristine desert property.


Now he has a new landscaping idea.


He plans to bulldoze 150-foot-wide swaths along Pima and Happy Valley roads.


It has nothing to do with his long feud with the city, said the former City Council candidate. It’s about wildfire prevention.


Still, his anger with the current City Council is apparent.


On Saturday, Becker installed two sets of white and yellow signs that read, “Politicians & diapers need to be changed . . . often for the same reason.”


He hung heart-print men’s and women’s underwear and heart-shaped pillows from large candy-cane-shaped artwork.


And he erected 41 yellow “No dumping” signs on red and pink posts.


The retired Wall Street investor has feuded with city officials for years about development rights, sign ordinances and litter on his property. Becker said he is researching city regulations concerning bulldozing his private property. But he plans to blade it no matter what city regulations cover the subject.


“It will be done,” he said.


Scottsdale principal planner Don Hadder said Thursday he was unaware of Becker’s plans.


“I’d think we’d have to have a little talk about that — and I suspect we will be talking about that,” he said.


Scottsdale Fire Department assistant fire marshal Mike Lister said blading a 150-foot-wide swath exceeds standard fire prevention measures.


“We’ve given him some reconditions and asked for a plan, and we’re just waiting to see what he wants to do,” Lister said.


A wildfire could devalue the land by 40 percent, Becker said. His 95.8-acre tract stretches 3,900 feet along Pima and 1,200 feet along Happy Valley.


After he’s finished bulldozing, the only plants left standing in the swaths will be saguaro cactuses. He plans to transplant small cactuses, such as hedgehog and barrel cactuses, and sell trees, such as ironwood, Palo Verde and mesquite.


Becker’s vision differs sharply with the idea of preserving desert landscape to create scenic corridors, said Tim Montgomery, a leader of the organization Volunteers@Scenic Pima Road. “Fire prevention does not mean the complete eradication of 100-year-old trees,” he said.


Becker already has hired crews to trim the lower branches of about 100 trees on his property. The work has taken five weekends so far and is about half finished.


“The neighbors should be delighted that I’m willing to take this time and expense to act in a fire-preventative way,” Becker said.


Bob Vairo, president of the north Scottsdale group Coalition of Pinnacle Peak, said he doubts the city will allow Becker to blade the land. He noted that just north of Becker’s property, a developer is replanting native vegetation in an area that had been excavated to install a pipeline.


“If on the one hand, someone that disturbs the land adjacent to the road is required to put in and revegetate that whole property, why would the city even think about allowing anything like that?” Vairo asked.


Contact Paul Giblin by email, or phone (480) 970-2331






what a crock of bs - the cops want us to think they can prevent crime. 99.9% of the time all the cops do is after a crime occurs they take a report and thats the end of it. and every once in a while a crime accidently gets solved and the cops take credit for it.


Agency tracking gear stolen from police


Lindsey Collom

The Arizona Republic

Feb. 11, 2006 12:00 AM



As Inga Dangmuk blinked the haze of sleep from his eyes, the barrel came into focus.


A man in a ski mask stood before him with a handgun, his black shirt emblazoned with the letters DEA, an acronym for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.


The stranger and a similarly dressed man demanded money and drugs as they pulled the 61-year-old from his bed last week, forced him to lie facedown on the floor and bound his hands and ankles with duct tape.


The home invasion illustrates the worst-case scenario for real-life cops when crimes are committed in the name of law enforcement. And the fear of it happening is even more real when the very tools used to protect the public - badges, service weapons, uniforms and patrol vehicles - fall into the wrong hands.


The Arizona Counter Terrorism Center has been tracking thefts from law enforcement officers statewide since October, when a rash of thefts hit. The center is a central clearinghouse for homeland security issues in Arizona.


Authorities hope the data will give them a sense of prevalence, if there is a "link to potential terrorists or is it imaginations run amok," said Lt. Lori Norris of the state Department of Public Safety.


"When you have each agency doing their own thing, there's going to be disconnect," Norris said. "What's the overall picture? Do we have a lot of problems with stolen equipment? Or is it normal?"


So far, the statistics are less than alarming.


Phoenix police had the highest number of equipment thefts in 2005 with 18 incidents, according to Counter Terrorism Center data. The Department of Corrections came in second with four.


But Norris said the numbers aren't perfect. The center collects its data from the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System, which provides local and national transmission of criminal justice and related information. Most often, but not always, an agency will broadcast a system alert when a police vehicle or service weapon has been stolen.


Phoenix police issued a bulletin Jan. 17 when an unmarked vehicle stocked with weapons and gear from the Special Assignment Unit, or SWAT, was stolen outside of a diner. Police found the abandoned vehicle a week later in an apartment complex near 40th Avenue and Indian School Road, its contents gone.


Consider these other high-profile thefts in recent months:


• A 13-year-old boy fleeing a juvenile detention facility jumped into a Mesa police car and went on a joy ride through two cities before calling 911 and turning himself in Nov. 28. The keys had been left inside the car.


• A duffel bag containing a Maricopa County detention officer's gun, badge, body armor, office ID and uniform were taken from a personal vehicle in October.


• A Tempe police commander's city-issued vehicle was stolen as it idled unattended in a driveway on Aug. 6. The car contained a Glock .45-caliber handgun, six Tempe police uniforms, the commander's police ID, boots, camouflage pants and several SWAT training shirts. The car was recovered; the other items weren't.


"We're not immune from crime like anybody else," Phoenix police Detective Tony Morales said. "It's a huge department, and despite our best efforts, things are going to get stolen. This is gear . . . that only the police should have and in the hands of criminals, that concerns us."


Center data show more than 20 weapons, including a Taser, were stolen from law enforcement statewide in 2005. The No. 1 item was badges or access cards at 35.


Could someone use those materials to impersonate an officer? Yes, Norris said. Will they? Morales said it happens occasionally.


Although it's not clear where the intruders got their DEA shirts in the Phoenix home invasion, Dangmuk was skeptical.


"They said they were police," he said. "I didn't think so because they were wearing masks and mistreating me. I didn't have the energy to fight back, so I just (did) what they (said)."


His wife and 20-year-old son, also bound, were brought into the bedroom and shoved to the floor. Dangmuk whispered to them to stay calm as three or four masked men rifled through each room and overturned mattresses, cushions and tables, he said.


It wasn't the first time armed men had broken into a home identifying themselves as law enforcement to commit a crime, Phoenix police Lt. John Stallings said.


Detectives investigating at the Dangmuk home said there have been other robberies where men wearing police apparel identified themselves as police, Stallings said. It was not known if the crimes were related, and a police spokesman would not elaborate.


Reach the reporter at lindsey or (602) 444-8557.





another one of those cops crimes that the police want to pretend didnt happen. the video tape clearly shows the cop shooting an unarmed man on the ground who was obeying the cops orders.  but the san bernandino sheriffs department wants to pretend the man committed some horrible crime that forced the crooked cop to shoot him!


Prosecutors to study airman-shooting clip


Greg Risling

Associated Press

Feb. 11, 2006 12:00 AM



SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - The Sheriff's Department sent results of an investigation into the videotaped shooting of an unarmed Air Force security officer to prosecutors Friday, without a recommendation on whether to file charges against the deputy involved.


Sheriff Gary Penrod said the videotape "arouses a lot of suspicion" about what occurred, but he also said the tape is fuzzy and has gaps, so the complete chain of events is unclear.


Prosecutors will review the report and decide whether to charge Deputy Ivory J. Webb, district attorney's spokeswoman Susan Mickey said.


Webb, 45, shot Senior Airman Elio Carrion, 21, three times on Jan. 29 while Carrion was rising from a prone position.


Carrion had been a passenger in a Corvette that was involved in a high-speed, nighttime chase before crashing into a wall in Chino, about 35 miles east of Los Angeles. A resident, Jose Luis Valdes, videotaped the shadowy scene that followed.


On the tape, Carrion can be seen on the ground just outside the car's passenger door. Webb is standing nearby, pointing at gun at the airman, and a voice sounds as if it commands Carrion to get up. When the airman begins to rise, the deputy shoots him three times.


Carrion, who had recently returned from duty in Iraq, was wounded but has been released from a hospital.


"I've seen the video and I can only imagine the shock the family felt when they saw . . . this video over and over," the sheriff said at a news conference. "He (Carrion) has our sympathy, and we wish him a speedy recovery."


Since 2000, the San Bernardino District Attorney's Office has investigated about 120 officer- or deputy-involved shootings but hasn't charged an officer or deputy in a duty-related shooting, Mickey said.


"The only thing the family wants is justice and so far that hasn't happened in San Bernardino County," said Carrion's attorney Luis Carrillo.


The FBI has opened a civil rights investigation of the shooting.


Also Friday, Valdes, 38, surrendered to Florida authorities on an outstanding warrant charging him with assault almost a decade ago.





bush - liar, liar, pants on fire


Ex-official with CIA criticizes path to war


Cam Simpson

Chicago Tribune

Feb. 11, 2006 12:00 AM



WASHINGTON - The former CIA official charged with managing the U.S. government's secret intelligence assessments on Iraq says the Bush administration chose war first and then misleadingly used raw data to assemble a public case for its decision to invade.


Paul Pillar, who was the CIA's national intelligence officer for the Middle East and South Asia from 2000 to 2005, said the administration also played on the nation's fears in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks.


He said the administration falsely linked al-Qaida to Saddam Hussein's regime even though intelligence agencies had not produced a single analysis supporting "the notion of an alliance" between the two.


Instead, Pillar writes in the upcoming issue of the journal Foreign Affairs, connections were drawn between the terrorists and Iraq because "the administration wanted to hitch the Iraq expedition to the 'war on terror' and the threat the American public feared most, thereby capitalizing on the country's militant post-9/11 mood."


The White House did not respond specifically to Pillar's charges Friday, but Frederick Jones, a spokesman for the National Security Council, did point to previous administration statements defending its use of intelligence.


The specific critiques in Pillar's 4,500-word essay, titled, Intelligence, Policy and the War in Iraq, are not new.


But it apparently is the first time such attacks are being publicly leveled by such a high-ranking intelligence official directly involved behind the scenes.


Pillar also wrote in his essay that the administration went to war without first considering any strategic-level intelligence assessments "on any aspect of Iraq" and that the intelligence community foreshadowed many post-Saddam woes, though the findings were largely ignored before the March 2003 invasion.


Excerpts from Pillar's article were first reported by the Washington Post on Friday.





new orleans public defenders not giving poor people fair trials!


Judges investigating representation of New Orleans' poor by defenders


Mary Foster

Associated Press

Feb. 11, 2006 12:00 AM


NEW ORLEANS - A New Orleans judge on Friday halted all cases in his court involving public defenders and summoned state lawmakers to talk about funding the city's overburdened indigent defender office.


The office had been struggling with a heavy caseload and inadequate funding even before Hurricane Katrina hit.


The Aug. 29 hurricane knocked out a huge part of its budget; about 75 percent of its funding normally comes from court fees and traffic fines that have gone uncollected since the storm. Public defenders have been laid off, leaving many who depend on their services caught in the system.


Office Director Tilden Greenbaum testified Friday that he has just six lawyers, down from 42, and that those still on the job often don't know where their clients are being held.


A former public defender appointed by the New Orleans judge to look into the situation estimated that the staff shortage has left 4,500 people sitting in jail for up to six months without seeing a lawyer.


"I think the system was broke before Katrina," said the former public defender, Rick Tessier. "Now, it's destroyed."


It was unclear how many cases would be affected by Judge Arthur Hunter's order. It covers only his section in the 12-section New Orleans criminal court system, but the court's chief judge has also launched an investigation into the ability of the office to represent the poor.


Hunter ordered state Senate President Don Hines, House Speaker Joe Salter and Mayor Ray Nagin, all Democrats, to appear in his court on Feb. 23 to discuss a solution.


New Orleans' public defender system has been one of the worst in the nation for years, said Rafael Goyeneche, executive director of the Metropolitan Crime Commission of Greater New Orleans and a former assistant district attorney.


"They have always been underfunded, always been the stepchild," Goyeneche said. "And in Orleans Parish upward of 90 percent of the 12,000 criminal cases each year are represented by a public defender."





ex-governor of Connecticut is released from prison!


Rowland Is Released From Prison




Published: February 11, 2006


LORETTO, Pa., Feb. 10 — His teenage son has joined the Marines. His oldest daughter is about to graduate from his alma mater. His wife sells antiques on consignment.


His former No. 2 at work, M. Jodi Rell, is now a formidable No. 1, a governor whose job approval ratings are roughly as high as his were low by the time it all came tumbling down. And not everyone is happy he is coming home.


Those are just a few of the realities facing the former governor of Connecticut, John G. Rowland, with his discharge from federal prison here early Friday, two days before his scheduled release date. He served more than 10 months on a corruption conviction for accepting $107,000 in gifts and vacations from people doing business with the state.


Self-assured and rarely contrite even in the dark final days before he resigned in July 2004, Mr. Rowland said in a statement on Friday that he had been both humbled and renewed while in prison and had come to understand "true grace."


He said he had "no particular plans at this time" and hoped to rebuild his family and friendships even as his financial situation and employment prospects are uncertain. "Actions always speak louder than words," he said, "and I am going to try to be a better person, and show my family, friends and the people of Connecticut how truly sorry I am for letting them down."


Under the terms of his sentence, Mr. Rowland, 48, must report to probation officers in Connecticut within 72 hours of his release to begin three years of supervised release, with the first four months under home confinement.


Mr. Rowland suggested that he would not rush home, where reporters and television trucks lined the street in front of the rented three-bedroom ranch house in West Hartford that his wife and some of their five children have lived in since he resigned.


"Over the next few days I will be spending some quiet time with my incredibly supportive wife, Patty," he said in the statement he wrote with the help of a longtime friend, B. Jay Cooper, a public relations executive in Washington. "We will be home in a few days and ask that the media give us space and time to reconnect fully as a family as we plan the next phase of our lives."


Because Mr. Rowland's official release date, Feb. 12, fell on a weekend, the prison warden had the discretion to release him on Friday. He left the minimum-security camp at the Loretto Federal Correctional Institution in southwestern Pennsylvania about 5:20 a.m.


Mr. Rowland, a Republican elected to three terms, towered over state politics with uncommon flair only to become the state's first governor to resign in scandal, quitting in July 2004 and pleading guilty to a conspiracy charge that December. Some people in the Democratic-leaning town to which he is returning said on Friday that he has not been punished enough.


Daryl Googel, a teacher from Newington who had just finished shopping at the Crown Supermarket, said, "He probably should have stayed in there longer. He was dishonest, and if it were anybody else, they would still be in there." But Stu Mitchell, 34, a producer at ESPN, expressed only apathy. "Him being released makes no difference to anyone," he said, "except maybe for his neighbors."


Joseph A. Mengacci, a friend of the former governor for two decades, said, "There will be people who will distance themselves and people who will embrace him, and it's hard to know who will do what."


Mr. Mengacci, who said he visited Mr. Rowland in prison in December and corresponded with him, rejected the presumption that Mr. Rowland would land comfortably and find work easily through friends. He noted that Mr. Rowland has no law or business degree and that he has spent nearly all his professional life in politics.


"It's not like he's Martha Stewart, who came back to a business," Mr. Mengacci said. "I don't know what the market is for John Rowland."


Mr. Cooper, the public relations executive, said the former governor was well aware that whatever ambitions he might have would likely meet resistance. "I'd say all options are open in his mind and then there's the reality those have to filter through," said Mr. Cooper, who grew up with Mr. Rowland in Waterbury.


Rowland Is Released From Prison

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Published: February 11, 2006

LORETTO, Pa., Feb. 10 — His teenage son has joined the Marines. His oldest daughter is about to graduate from his alma mater. His wife sells antiques on consignment.


His former No. 2 at work, M. Jodi Rell, is now a formidable No. 1, a governor whose job approval ratings are roughly as high as his were low by the time it all came tumbling down. And not everyone is happy he is coming home.


Those are just a few of the realities facing the former governor of Connecticut, John G. Rowland, with his discharge from federal prison here early Friday, two days before his scheduled release date. He served more than 10 months on a corruption conviction for accepting $107,000 in gifts and vacations from people doing business with the state.


Self-assured and rarely contrite even in the dark final days before he resigned in July 2004, Mr. Rowland said in a statement on Friday that he had been both humbled and renewed while in prison and had come to understand "true grace."


He said he had "no particular plans at this time" and hoped to rebuild his family and friendships even as his financial situation and employment prospects are uncertain. "Actions always speak louder than words," he said, "and I am going to try to be a better person, and show my family, friends and the people of Connecticut how truly sorry I am for letting them down."


Under the terms of his sentence, Mr. Rowland, 48, must report to probation officers in Connecticut within 72 hours of his release to begin three years of supervised release, with the first four months under home confinement.


Mr. Rowland suggested that he would not rush home, where reporters and television trucks lined the street in front of the rented three-bedroom ranch house in West Hartford that his wife and some of their five children have lived in since he resigned.


"Over the next few days I will be spending some quiet time with my incredibly supportive wife, Patty," he said in the statement he wrote with the help of a longtime friend, B. Jay Cooper, a public relations executive in Washington. "We will be home in a few days and ask that the media give us space and time to reconnect fully as a family as we plan the next phase of our lives."


Because Mr. Rowland's official release date, Feb. 12, fell on a weekend, the prison warden had the discretion to release him on Friday. He left the minimum-security camp at the Loretto Federal Correctional Institution in southwestern Pennsylvania about 5:20 a.m.


Mr. Rowland, a Republican elected to three terms, towered over state politics with uncommon flair only to become the state's first governor to resign in scandal, quitting in July 2004 and pleading guilty to a conspiracy charge that December. Some people in the Democratic-leaning town to which he is returning said on Friday that he has not been punished enough.


Daryl Googel, a teacher from Newington who had just finished shopping at the Crown Supermarket, said, "He probably should have stayed in there longer. He was dishonest, and if it were anybody else, they would still be in there." But Stu Mitchell, 34, a producer at ESPN, expressed only apathy. "Him being released makes no difference to anyone," he said, "except maybe for his neighbors."


Joseph A. Mengacci, a friend of the former governor for two decades, said, "There will be people who will distance themselves and people who will embrace him, and it's hard to know who will do what."


Mr. Mengacci, who said he visited Mr. Rowland in prison in December and corresponded with him, rejected the presumption that Mr. Rowland would land comfortably and find work easily through friends. He noted that Mr. Rowland has no law or business degree and that he has spent nearly all his professional life in politics.


"It's not like he's Martha Stewart, who came back to a business," Mr. Mengacci said. "I don't know what the market is for John Rowland."


Mr. Cooper, the public relations executive, said the former governor was well aware that whatever ambitions he might have would likely meet resistance. "I'd say all options are open in his mind and then there's the reality those have to filter through," said Mr. Cooper, who grew up with Mr. Rowland in Waterbury.,,-5609096,00.html


Rowland, Out of Prison, Vows to Improve


Friday February 10, 2006 9:31 PM



AP Photo NY110




Associated Press Writer


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Former Gov. John G. Rowland walked out of federal prison Friday after serving 10 months for corruption, promising to ``try to be a better person.''


Rowland, 48, was released from a prison in Pennsylvania before dawn. He will be fitted with an electronic ankle bracelet and spend four months under house arrest. He must also perform 300 hours of community service.


He offered no hint about his long-term plans.


``Actions speak louder than words, and I am going to try to be a better person and show my family and friends and the people of Connecticut how truly sorry I am for letting them down,'' he said in a statement issued through a friend.


The three-term Republican resigned in 2004 amid an impeachment inquiry and pleaded guilty to conspiracy, admitting he accepted more than $100,000 in vacations and chartered trips to Las Vegas from a state contractor and a jet company that received a tax break.


As inmate No. 15623-014, Rowland wore a khaki uniform and was responsible for sweeping a prison stairwell. Fellow inmates nicknamed him ``Guv'' and gave him a special chair at mail call, friends said.


Rowland said he found ``true grace'' in the minimum-security prison.


Brad Davis, a Hartford radio talk show host and a close Rowland friend, said Rowland started a job training program in prison to teach the inmates interview skills, and another program to help inmates with drug and alcohol problems.


As for Rowland's future, Davis said the former governor mentioned the possibility of motivational speaking.







tempe police plans to have 12 cops shake down moms who dont use seat belts on their small children. each ticket will generate up to $160 in revenue for the government.


i you ask me these 12 cops should be fired if their only use is to shake down mommies who forget to buckle their kids in the car with seat belts.


East Valley news briefs


Feb. 12, 2006 12:00 AM




Police look for seat-belt violations


TEMPE - Beginning Monday, police are cracking down on drivers who don't properly restrain children in cars. Police will look violations in conjunction with National Child Passenger Safety Week.


On a $5,000 grant from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety, the 12-officer task force will pull over drivers with unsecured children.


Drivers could face fines from $60 to $130.





another feel good law that won't do anything other then waste our time and money.


Police agencies acknowledge they lack the resources to sift through thousands of pages of logbook entries each month. Criminology experts say these efforts will do little the problem.


Feb 12, 12:09 PM EST


Scottsdale establishes rules to confront meth production


MESA, Ariz. (AP) -- Scottsdale is joining other cities in eastern metropolitan Phoenix in establishing rules aimed at reducing methamphetamine production.


Beginning Monday, Scottsdale will begin requiring people buying over-the-counter products with pseudoephedrine - the ingredient used to cook meth in makeshift labs - to provide photo identification and enter their names, birth dates and addresses into logbooks that will be accessible to police.


Stores also will record the amount of the drug sold, which cannot exceed 9 grams per customer.


Similar ordinances will soon take effect in Chandler and Apache Junction. Phoenix launched its program Dec. 6, and Mesa and Tempe have studied the issue.


Police agencies in eastern metro Phoenix support the ordinances, but acknowledge they lack the resources to sift through thousands of pages of logbook entries each month.


They said no agency will have the ability to track pharmacy purchases from one jurisdiction to another. In some cases, police won't even be able to track purchases from one store to the next within the same city.


Criminology experts say these efforts will do little to stop a larger problem in Arizona: High demand for meth fed by massive imports from Mexico.


Drug companies point out that cities are targeting the sale of liquid medicines that are rarely used to make meth. Consumers with no inkling of how to brew the street drug raise concerns about being treated with suspicion when they buy an over-the-counter medicine for a cold or allergy.


"It is a far worse experience than getting any prescription medicine," said Mike Miller of east Phoenix. "You feel like you are some sort of criminal getting ready to cook up some meth."


But others support the approach in trying to fight meth. "As a law-abiding citizen, I just grin and bear it and make jokes with the clerk," said Amy Paterson of Mesa. "Kind of like being searched at the airport: I'm not doing anything wrong, but I understand the need."


Phoenix police said they are investigating three possible meth cooks after sifting through about 2,000 logbooks over the course of two months.


No arrests have been made yet, but Phoenix officials said the ordinance is proving successful.


"There is a really big deterrent effect, so that alone is a benefit," said Phoenix deputy city prosecutor Paul Badalucco.


Phoenix has assigned four detectives to spend a portion of their time collecting logbooks from retailers monthly and sifting through them daily to identify suspicious purchase patterns. But in Scottsdale and cities in eastern metro Phoenix, police plan to conduct only spot checks of the logbooks.


Scottsdale Lt. Steve Gesell said police don't have enough personnel to go through every handwritten entry.


Information from: East Valley Tribune/Scottsdale Tribune,





Vice President Dick Cheney shoots his hunting partner!


The White House did not report the accident for nearly 24 hours until after it was reported by the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.


Associated Press

February 12, 2006


CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - A 78-year-old hunting companion of Vice President Dick Cheney was recovering in stable condition Monday after Cheney accidentally shot him during a weekend quail hunting trip, a hospital official said.


Harry Whittington spent "a great night. He slept throughout the night," said Yvonne Wheeler, spokeswoman at Christus Spohn Hospital Memorial. She listed his condition as "very stable," but said she did not know if Whittington would be discharged Monday.


Whittington, an Austin attorney, was flown to the hospital after Cheney accidentally shot him late Saturday afternoon at the Armstrong Ranch.


The vice president visited Whittington and his wife before returning to Washington on Sunday. Cheney "was pleased to see that he's doing fine and in good spirits," said Cheney spokeswoman Lea Anne McBride.


Whittington sent word through a hospital official that he would have no comment on the incident out of respect for Cheney.


Katharine Armstrong, the ranch's owner, told The Associated Press that the accident occurred after Cheney, Whittington and another hunter got out of a car to shoot at a covey of quail.


She said Whittington went to retrieve a bird he shot. Cheney and the third hunter, whom she would not identify, walked to another spot and discovered a second covey of quail.


Whittington "came up from behind the vice president and the other hunter and didn't signal them or indicate to them or announce himself," said Armstrong, who was in the car.


"The vice president didn't see him," she said. "The covey flushed and the vice president picked out a bird and was following it and shot. And by god, Harry was in the line of fire and got peppered pretty good."


Armstrong said the shotgun pellets broke the skin.


"It knocked him silly. But he was fine. He was talking. His eyes were open. It didn't get in his eyes or anything like that," she said.


Each of the hunters was wearing a bright orange vest at the time, Armstrong said.


The accident was not reported publicly by the vice president's office for nearly 24 hours, and then only after it was reported by the Corpus Christi Caller-Times on its Web site Sunday.


McBride said the vice president's office did not tell reporters about the accident Saturday because they were deferring to Armstrong to handle the announcement of what happened on her property.


Armstrong said everyone at the ranch was so "focused" on Whittington's health Saturday that it wasn't until Sunday she called the Caller-Times to report the accident. Her ranch is about 60 miles southwest of Corpus Christi.


Sally Whittington told The Dallas Morning News her father was being observed because of swelling from some of the welts on his neck. His face "looks like chicken pox, kind of," she said.


Emergency personnel traveling with Cheney tended to Whittington before he was taken first to a hospital in Kingsville and then transferred to Corpus Christi.


Whittington has been a private practice attorney in Austin since 1950 and has long been active in Texas Republican politics. He's been appointed to several state boards, including when then-Gov. George W. Bush named him to the Texas Funeral Service Commission.


Armstrong said Cheney is a longtime friend who comes to the ranch to hunt about once a year and is "a very safe sportsman." She said Whittington is a regular, too, but she thought it was the first time the two men hunted together.


The 50,000-acre Armstrong ranch has been in the influential South Texas family since the turn of the last century. Katharine is the daughter of Tobin Armstrong, a politically connected rancher who has been a guest at the White House and spent 48 years as director of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. He died in October. Cheney was among the dignitaries who attended his funeral.


Cheney was legally hunting with a license he purchased in November, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department spokesman Steve Lightfoot said.


Hunter recovering after Cheney accidentally shoots him


Associated Press

Feb. 13, 2006 08:25 AM


CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - A 78-year-old hunting companion of Vice President Dick Cheney was recovering in stable condition Monday after Cheney accidentally shot him during a weekend quail hunting trip, a hospital official said.


Harry Whittington "rested well last night," said Peter Banko, hospital administrator at Christus Spohn Hospital Memorial. The hospital listed Whittington's condition as "very stable," he said.


Whittington, an Austin attorney, was flown to the hospital after Cheney accidentally shot him late Saturday afternoon at the Armstrong Ranch, hitting him with birdshot.


"It's not critical. It's not serious. It's just stable at this time," Banko said at a morning briefing. He said admitting Whittington to the trauma-intensive care unit was "a fairly common procedure" for a patient hit by a spray of the small pellets.


"I don't know how much spray he has got," Banko said. "My understanding from the physicians is that after you get peppered, sometimes they need to do exploratory surgeries if it gets lodged in a little deeper. Sometimes it's tweezers. I can't really comment on how extensively he was sprayed."


Banko said he did not know when Whittington would be released.


The vice president visited Whittington and his wife before returning to Washington on Sunday. Cheney "was pleased to see that he's doing fine and in good spirits," said Cheney spokeswoman Lea Anne McBride.


Whittington sent word through a hospital official that he would not comment out of respect for Cheney.


Ranch owner Katharine Armstrong told The Associated Press the vice president was using a 28-gauge shotgun, and Whittington was about 30 yards away.


Armstrong said Whittington had gone to retrieve a bird he shot while Cheney and a third hunter, whom she would not identify, walked to another spot and discovered a second covey of quail.


Whittington "came up from behind the vice president and the other hunter and didn't signal them or indicate to them or announce himself," said Armstrong, who was in the car.


"The vice president didn't see him," she said. "The covey flushed and the vice president picked out a bird and was following it and shot. And by god, Harry was in the line of fire and got peppered pretty good."


"He was talking. His eyes were open. It didn't get in his eyes or anything like that," she said.


Each of the hunters was wearing a bright orange vest, Armstrong said.


The accident was not reported publicly by the vice president's office for nearly 24 hours, and then only after the Corpus Christi Caller-Times reported it Sunday.


McBride said the vice president's office did not tell reporters about the accident Saturday because they were deferring to Armstrong to handle the announcement of what happened on her property.


Armstrong said Cheney is a longtime friend who comes to the 50,000-acre ranch, about 60 miles southwest of Corpus Christi, to hunt about once a year and is "a very safe sportsman." She said Whittington is a regular, too, but she believed it was the first time the two men hunted together.


Cheney purchased a hunt license in November, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department spokesman Steve Lightfoot said.




Study raises concerns over Tasers' safety


Robert Anglen

The Arizona Republic

Feb. 13, 2006 12:00 AM


A study measuring electric shocks from a Taser stun gun found that it was 39 times more powerful than the manufacturer claimed, raising new questions about the weapon's safety.


The study, published last month in the peer-reviewed Journal of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers, concluded that the shocks are powerful enough to cause fatal heart rhythms. It is one of the few scientific studies of Taser's electric jolt in which the company did not participate.


"The findings show the energy delivered by the weapon to be considerably understated by the manufacturer," the Journal study said. "These findings place the weapon well into the lethal category."


Officials with Scottsdale-based Taser International Inc. condemned the findings, saying they are exaggerated, erroneous and "beyond the laws of physics."


They pointed to a test conducted last week in response to the Journal article. A lab hired by Taser found that the weapon produced power that was significantly less than what the Journal study found and met all specifications.


Taser contends that the author of the Journal study, electrical engineer James Ruggieri, does not have the technical expertise to make conclusions about stun guns. Taser is suing Ruggieri for defamation over his claims in a presentation and testimony in a wrongful-death case last year that Tasers can cause fatal heart rhythms.


In a separate finding, the Army also concluded last year that Tasers could cause ventricular fibrillation, the irregular heart rhythm characteristic of a heart attack.


A memorandum from the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland, where the Army develops, tests and evaluates weapons, said, "Seizures and ventricular fibrillation can be induced by the electric current."


At issue was whether soldiers should be shocked with the stun guns during training exercises, as Taser recommends.


The Army's occupational health sciences director determined that Taser is an effective weapon but added in the February 2005 memo that "the practice of using these weapons on U.S. Army military and civilian forces in training is not recommended, given the potential risks."


Taser for years has maintained that its stun guns have never caused a death or serious injury. Company officials say the guns save lives, reduce injury and save millions of dollars in legal costs because they prevent deadly confrontations.


But since 1999, more than 167 people have died after police Taser strikes in the United States and Canada. Of those, medical examiners have cited Tasers in 27 deaths, saying that they were a cause of death in five cases, a contributing factor in 17 cases and could not be ruled out in five cases.


Several law enforcement agencies have filed lawsuits accusing Taser of misleading them about the stun gun's safety and claim that the company failed to conduct adequate tests before selling the weapon. Some police departments have delayed or halted Taser purchases because of safety concerns.


Taser denies these claims and says its record of safety is bolstered by dozens of medical and university studies and by the company's experts.


Law enforcement officials and testing experts agree that there is no widely accepted standard for measuring Tasers. Studies have shown various results.


In May, for example, an international testing laboratory hired by Canadian authorities initially reported that two stun guns were significantly more powerful than the manufacturer specified. The guns also fired at different levels of power.


The stun guns were used on a man who died after being shocked by Vancouver, British Columbia, police in 2004.


Taser challenged the test last week, and the laboratory backed off its results. Officials with the lab, Intertek ETL Semko, said testing protocols provided by the police differed from those of the stun-gun manufacturer. As a result, Intertek said the tests could not be relied upon.


Bruce Brown, deputy commissioner of a British Columbia agency investigating the police role in the Vancouver death, said his agency wants to enlist Canada's National Police Research Center to conduct a rigorous study of the stun gun's power.


"We've sent people to the moon, so there has got to be a way to come up with a peer-reviewed (standard)," he said.


The 50,000-volt Taser works by shooting two darts up to 25 feet. The darts are connected to wires that deliver a burst of electricity that is designed to instantly immobilize a suspect. The gun also can be used as a handheld device, without the darts, by touching two metal probes directly against a person's body in what police call a "drive stun."


The shock from a Taser is measured in electric pulses. Tasers typically used by police deliver 15 to 19 pulses a second in a five-second interval, although the gun will continue firing without interruption as long as the trigger is held down.


Tasers operate at 50,000 volts, but Taser says the stun guns do not pose an electrical safety risk because the pulse's current is too low and its duration too short to affect internal organs, including the heart.


Ruggieri's study found that the Taser's pulse was more powerful and longer than the gun's specifications indicate. Ruggieri studied a Taser M-18, which is nearly identical to the Taser M-26 used by police except it has less power.


Taser specifies that the M-18 produces 10 pulses a second at 1.76 watts per pulse. Ruggieri said his tests showed the Taser produced 14 pulses a second at 50 watts per pulse.


Ruggieri said it took him months of research to conduct and complete the tests.


He said he relied on Taser's research and previous stun-gun studies to create a verifiable methodology for testing the Taser.


His findings are based on how electric current penetrates the body.When established electrical standards were applied to the stun gun's electrical discharge, Ruggieri said the current could be fatal. He said measurements of the electric current showed that, according to electric safety standards, the gun had a 50 percent risk of causing ventricular fibrillation.


Taser Vice President Steve Tuttle called the claim "ludicrous" and said it is "clearly refuted by the fact that well over 100,000 human volunteers have been exposed to the Taser discharge without fatality."


Taser maintains that skin tissue blocks electric current and is equivalent to 1,000 ohms of resistance.


But Ruggieri said skin tissue breaks down as electricity is applied, decreasing resistance and increasing the impact of the shocks on the human body.


"This creates a runaway effect of increasing current with decreasing resistance," Ruggieri said.


An independent electrical engineer who reviewed the Journal study at the request of The Arizona Republic said Ruggieri's conclusions were credible and based on scientific principles.


Robert Nabours, who has degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford and the University of Arizona, said scientific and medical evidence support Ruggieri's claims that skin tissue breaks down when subjected to electric pulses. Among the evidence are findings from Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology doctors.


Ruggieri focused on the Taser in its "drive stun" mode. He said measurements of the current found that the power was about 39 times greater than the manufacturer's specifications. Taking into account the lowered resistance of skin tissue, Ruggieri said the stun gun generated 704 watts of power as opposed to 18 watts.


Ruggieri contends that one of Taser's main claims of safety, that the duration of the electric pulse is too short to cause injury, could not be proven. He said his tests of the current showed that duration of the pulse also increases as resistance drops.


The lab hired by Taser, Exponent of Phoenix, could not replicate Ruggieri's results. Exponent, which has offices throughout the country, is a consulting firm that employs scientific and engineering experts who, like members of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers, often serve as expert witnesses in court cases.


Exponent electrical engineer Ashish Arora said Ruggieri reported 17 times more power than the Taser he tested. Arora said that in his tests, the power of the stun gun measured at or below specifications.


Arora said the pulses Ruggieri measured could also not be verified, even when resistance was dropped. He said that caused concern.


He said he would have expected some similarity in the results. But he said the tests results "were completely different."


There were differences between Exponent's and Ruggieri's tests, both involving how the gun was charged and how the current was measured.


Ruggieri said he used a battery specified by the manufacturer to mirror a real-world setting. He changed the battery after each jolt to ensure that the power did not degenerate. Exponent used a power supply to charge the battery.


Ruggieri said a power source could limit the amount of power going into the gun in a way that a battery would not.


Ruggieri also measured the output using two high-voltage meters attached to each of the Taser probes, which he said gave more-accurate readings.


Exponent used a single meter. Arora said the single probe and battery wouldn't change the results.


Taser has repeatedly attacked Ruggieri's credibility since he made a presentation critical of the stun guns to the American Academy of Forensic Sciences in February 2005. Taser claimed his presentation was based on "junk science" and "propaganda" and that his conclusions have been disputed by numerous government, university and medical studies.


Some of Ruggieri's claims were independently verified, including his assertion that Taser had misapplied Underwriters Laboratories standards in suggesting the stun gun could not cause ventricular fibrillation.


Taser sued Ruggieri in November, several months after he announced the Journal findings at an engineering conference in Chicago.


In a news release last year, Taser described Ruggieri as a high school dropout with no medical training.


Ruggieri said he left high school to attend college in New York. He later obtained a master's degree in computer science from the University of Phoenix.


Ruggieri's resume shows that he is a professional engineer with licenses in five states. He said he has investigated electrical accidents for federal agencies and helped write electrical safety standards for top electrical laboratories and commissions.


Taser officials challenged the academy journal, calling it an "obscure bulletin," saying none of the peer reviewers was qualified to assess the findings.


"That unfortunately allowed Mr. Ruggieri to utilize inappropriate science and flawed mathematics in attempts to support his unsupportable conclusions," Taser's Tuttle said.


Journal Editor Marvin Specter said the academy is affiliated with the National Society of Professional Engineers and is made up of experts in several engineering disciplines.


The Journal lists a technical review committee for Ruggieri's study that includes 20 engineers, including one well-known Taser consultant. The reviewers' identities are confidential and have not been released, Specter said.


Specter said Ruggieri's paper went through a rigorous peer-review process before being published in the biannual journal.


In an interview last week, Ruggieri said Taser has launched personal attacks to distract from the real issue.


"This isn't about me. It's about the findings, the study," he said.


Reach the reporter at or (602) 444-8694.





arizona government protects bars and liquor stores from competition and keeps the price of booze artificially high by limiting the number of liquor licenses.


The Arizona Licensed Beverage Association worked with the state to ensure the number of new licenses would not flood the market and devalue existing licenses. (yes the regulators sleeping with the regulated)


Thinking of selling packaged liquor? A Series 9 license recently sold for $240,000.


they (state officials) don't want to get lynched" for diluting the market value of existing licenses. (again the regulators sleeping with the regulated give a monopoly to the regulated)


Liquor licenses go on sale

Limited few will be issued to businesses that apply


Yvette Armendariz

The Arizona Republic

Feb. 13, 2006 12:00 AM


For the first time since 1988, Arizona retailers and aspiring bar owners will be able to apply to buy a limited number of new liquor licenses from the state.


Applications can be filled out starting today.


For the past 18 years, the only way to get a bar or liquor license had been to buy it from another business. The renewable and transferable certificates have become prized assets for nightclubs, pubs, grocery stores and pizza parlors. Prices on the secondary market have skyrocketed, making them an investment, much like housing, for their buyers.


Prices for the licenses have reached four and five times their value when last issued.


Today an aspiring bar owner would need to pony up $85,000 to $90,000 to buy an existing Series 6 license needed to operate a bar. They were selling for as low as $65,000 three years ago.


Thinking of selling packaged liquor? One of those Series 9 licenses recently fetched $240,000. Three years ago, prices tended to range between $110,000 to $135,000.


The additional 126 licenses to be issued statewide this year are unlikely to bring down prices for the "quota" licenses held by current owners. The state is seeking to sell the new licenses at the going market price.


The state agency, as of Friday, had yet to post the market price for these quota licenses. The Arizona Licensed Beverage Association, which represents liquor retailer and wholesalers, worked with the state to ensure the number of new licenses would not flood the market and devalue existing licenses.


"I don't see any downside for the state or the industry in this (plan). It's a plus," said Bill Weigele, president of the state association.


A Series 6 license is needed to operate a bar, Series 7 is needed to serve beer and wine, and Series 9 is needed to sell liquor at retail. Maricopa County will be allotted 10 of each of the three quota licenses. Pima County gets five each, while Pinal, Yavapai and Yuma counties get three each.


Economist Tracy Clark said the numbers issued may be below market demand, given the population growth and rising prices of these licenses. But societal concerns play a role, as communities don't want to feel like there are too many bars.


Also, "they (state officials) don't want to get lynched" for diluting the market value of existing licenses, said Clark, who is associate director of the Bank One Economic Outlook Center at Arizona State University.


Interest has been healthy, according to the state Department of Liquor Licenses and Control.


Calls have been coming in daily since the beginning of the year seeking information on the process, and the state is preparing for the possibility that there will be more applicants than licenses available in some counties.


Agency Director Leesa Berens Morrison said she has heard no complaints about the small number, although it could frustrate some entrepreneurs' efforts to break into the industry because of the high cost.


"I think people are happy that there are going to be 10 more of each type" in Maricopa County, she said.


The state has had the ability to release more licenses based on population growth, but refrained from issuing any to appease strong anti-alcohol sentiment in communities.


Applicants will have to choose a location for the license, and only one of each type of license can be sought at each address.


"We're trying to avoid speculative, or what we call 'pocket' licenses," Morrison said.


Prices will be based on three independent appraisals that were averaged out by an independent accountant. If more interest than licenses are available, the state will randomly assign numbers to applications and a drawing will be held April 12.


Weigele is doubtful the new licenses will create a surge of new bars.


"Zoning laws are still in place," he said.


The Department of Liquor sought to release licenses last year as a way to pay for a $2.5 million computer system.


The state will release a limited number of licenses each year through fiscal 2010, based on a new population formula, which is expected to raise as much as $6.3 million annually for the state. Of that, the agency will receive $1.25 million the next two years to fund its computer upgrade.


"This whole thing came about because of a negotiation last legislative session," Morrison said. She doesn't expect a sellout of the quota licenses in all counties; market prices may discourage applicants.




U.N. report alleges torture of Guantanamo detainees


Maggie Farley

Los Angeles Times

Feb. 13, 2006 12:00 AM


NEW YORK - A draft U.N. report on the detainees at Guantanamo Bay concludes that the U.S. treatment of them violates their right to physical and mental health, and, in some cases, constitutes torture.


It also urges the United States to close the military prison in Cuba and bring the captives to trial on U.S. territory, charging that Washington's justification for the continued detention is a distortion of international law.


The report, compiled by five special envoys to the United Nations who interviewed U.S. officials, former prisoners, and detainees' lawyers and families, is the product of a year-and-a-half-long investigation ordered by the U.N. Commission on Human Rights. The team did not have access to prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.


Its findings - notably, a conclusion that the violent force-feeding of hunger strikers, incidents of excessive violence used in transporting prisoners and combinations of interrogation techniques "must be assessed as amounting to torture" - are likely to stoke criticism of the detention facility.


More than 500 people captured abroad since 2002 as "enemy combatants" are detained at Guantanamo.


"We very, very carefully considered all of the arguments posed by the U.S. government," said Manfred Nowak, the U.N. special rapporteur on torture, one of the envoys. "There are no conclusions that are easily drawn. But we concluded that the situation in several areas violates international law and conventions on human rights and torture."


The draft report, reviewed by the Los Angeles Times, has not been officially released, as comments and clarifications from the U.S. government are being incorporated.


In November, the Bush administration offered the U.N. team the same tour of the detention facility given to journalists and members of Congress, but it refused to allow the envoys access to prisoners. Because of that, the U.N. group declined the visit.


The International Red Cross is the only party allowed by the U.S. government to have access to prisoners and monitor their health, but the organization is forbidden from publishing its findings.


Nowak said he did not expect major changes to the report's conclusions and recommendations as a result of the U.S. government's response.


Navy Lt. Cmdr. J.D. Gordon, a Pentagon spokesman, said the Defense Department would not comment on U.N. matters.


The report is not legally binding, but human rights and legal advocates said they hoped it would add weight to similar findings by rights-monitoring groups.


"I think the effect of this will be to revive concern about the government's mistreatment of detainees, and to get people to take another look at the legal basis," said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. "There are lots of lingering questions about how do you justify holding these people."


The report focuses on the U.S. government's legal basis for detention of prisoners as described in a formal response to the U.N. inquiry: "The law of war allows the United States - and any other country engaged in combat - to hold enemy combatants without charges or access to counsel for the duration of hostilities. Detention is not an act of punishment, but of security and military necessity. It serves the purpose of preventing combatants from continuing to take up arms against the United States," it said.


But the U.N. team concluded there had been insufficient due process to determine whether the more than 750 people detained at Guantanamo Bay since January 2002 were "enemy combatants," and determined that the main purpose of their confinement was interrogation, not to prevent them from taking up arms. The United States has released or transferred more than 260 Guantanamo Bay.




U.S. fire kills two near Afghanistan border


Suspected U.S. military fire struck the tent of a nomad family on the Pakistan side of the rugged border with Afghanistan, killing two women and injuring at least four children, two Pakistani officials said.


Pakistani officials said four rockets or shells were apparently fired by the U.S. military in fighting with suspected militants in Afghanistan's eastern Khowst province Saturday, and one hit the nomads' tent at Bangi Dar, in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal area.


In Kabul, Lt. Mike Cody, a spokesman for the U.S. military, said a security post along the border in Khowst was attacked from the Pakistani side Saturday, and the U.S. military, coordinating with the Pakistani military, returned fire.


Sunday, February 12, 2006 · Last updated 7:48 p.m. PT


Alleged U.S. fire kills two in Pakistan





MIRAN SHAH, Pakistan -- Suspected U.S. military fire struck the tent of a nomad family on the Pakistan side of the rugged border with Afghanistan, killing two women and injuring at least four children, two Pakistani officials said.


The Pakistani officials said four rockets or shells were apparently fired by the U.S. military in fighting with suspected militants in Afghanistan's eastern Khost province late Saturday, and one hit the nomads' tent at Bangi Dar, in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal area.


The officials - one an intelligence official, the other a local government administrator - spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to media. There was no immediate confirmation from the Pakistan government or military.


In Kabul, Lt. Mike Cody, a spokesman for the U.S. military in Afghanistan, said a security post along the border in Khost was attacked from the Pakistani side Saturday afternoon, and the U.S. military, coordinating with the Pakistani military, returned fire.


Cody said there were no reports of casualties on either side. The intelligence official confirmed that a coalition post had been fired at.


About 20,000 U.S. troops are in Afghanistan hunting for Taliban militia and al-Qaida fugitives.


Fire from coalition forces has sometimes landed in Pakistani territory.


Pakistan is a key ally in the U.S.-led war on terrorism but does not allow U.S. troops to operate on its side of the rugged and ill-defined border where foreign militants are believed to be hiding.


Last month, Pakistan protested to the U.S. military in Afghanistan over two air strikes - one on a village in North Waziristan that killed eight people, and the second, a missile strike that hit a village in Bajur tribal region where top al-Qaida figures were suspected to be meeting. Thirteen civilians died, and according to Pakistan, five foreign militants, including an al-Qaida operative.





Vice President Dick Cheney did not have a hunting license when he shot Harry Whittington in Texas.


The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department gave Cheney and Harry Whittington, warning citations for breaking Texas hunting law by failing to buy a $7 stamp allowing them to shoot upland game birds.


Feb 14, 10:56 AM EST


White House finds humor in hunting mishap



Associated Press Writer


WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House has decided that the best way to deal with Vice President Dick Cheney's shooting accident is to joke about it.


President Bush's spokesman quipped Tuesday that the burnt orange school colors of the University of Texas championship football team that was visiting the White House shouldn't be confused for hunter's safety wear.


"The orange that they're wearing is not because they're concerned that the vice president may be there," joked White House press secretary Scott McClellan, following the lead of late-night television comedians. "That's why I'm wearing it."


The president's brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, took a similar jab after slapping an orange sticker on his chest from the Florida Farm Bureau that read, "No Farmers, No Food."


"I'm a little concerned that Dick Cheney is going to walk in," the governor cracked during an appearance in Tampa Monday.


Cheney, an experienced hunter, has not been joking or saying anything publicly at all about the accident Saturday, when he accidentally sprayed a hunting partner with shotgun pellets when aiming for a quail.


The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department issued a report Monday that found the main factor contributing to the accident was a "hunter's judgment factor." No other secondary factors were found to have played a role.


The department gave Cheney and the victim, prominent Republican attorney Harry Whittington, warning citations for breaking Texas hunting law by failing to buy a $7 stamp allowing them to shoot upland game birds. A department spokesman said warnings are being issued in most cases because the stamp requirement only went into effect five months ago and many hunters weren't aware of it.


 Lydia Saldana (sal-DAHN'-yah), spokeswoman, Texas Parks and Wildlife, in A-P interview: Saldana was asked if it's possible Vice President Cheney and the man he accidentally wounded didn't know they had to obtain an Upland Game Bird stamp, since it's a new Cheney's office said Monday night in a statement that Cheney had a $125 nonresident hunting license and has sent a $7 check to cover the cost of the stamp. "The staff asked for all permits needed, but was not informed of the $7 upland game bird stamp requirement," the statement said.


The state's report said Whittington was retrieving a downed bird and stepped out of the hunting line he was sharing with Cheney. "Another covey was flushed and Cheney swung on a bird and fired, striking Whittington in the face, neck and chest at approximately 30 yards," the report said.


Whittington remained in stable condition Tuesday at Christus Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-Memorial. He was moved from intensive care to a "step-down unit" Monday after doctors decided to leave several birdshot pellets lodged in his skin rather than try to remove them. The hospital planned a news conference for 1 p.m. EST Tuesday.


Katharine Armstrong, owner of the ranch where the shooting occurred, said it happened toward the end of the hunt, when it was still sunny but as darkness was encroaching and they were preparing to go inside. She said Whittington made a mistake by not announcing that he had walked up to rejoin the hunting line, and Cheney didn't see him as he tried to down a bird.


Armstrong said she saw Cheney's security detail running toward the scene. "The first thing that crossed my mind was he had a heart problem," she told The Associated Press.


She said Cheney stayed "close but cool" while the agents and medical personnel treated Whittington, then took him by ambulance to the hospital. Later, the hunting group sat down for dinner while Whittington was being treated, receiving updates from a family member at the hospital. Armstrong described Cheney's demeanor during dinner as "very worried" about Whittington.


Pamela Willeford, the U.S. ambassador to Switzerland, another member of the hunting party, told The Dallas Morning News for a story in Tuesday's editions that she and Cheney didn't realize Whittington had picked up a bird and caught up with them.


Willeford said she has hunted with Cheney before and would again.


"He's a great shot. He's very safety conscious. This is something that unfortunately was a bad accident and when you're with a group like that, he's safe or safer than all the rest of us," she said.


But the accident raised questions about Cheney's adherence to hunting safety practices and the White House's failure to disclose the accident in a timely way.


Several hunting safety experts interviewed agreed it would have been a good idea for Whittington to announce himself. But every expert stressed that the shooter is responsible for avoiding other people.


Bush was told about Cheney's involvement in the accident shortly before 8 p.m. Saturday - about an hour after it occurred - but the White House did not disclose the accident until Sunday afternoon, and then only in response to press questions.


Facing a press corps upset that news had been withheld, press secretary Scott McClellan said, "I think you can always look back at these issues and look at how to do a better job."


On the Net:


White House:




Feb 14, 3:09 AM EST


Tohono O'odham police department ranger killed in auto accident


TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- A Tohono O'odham Police Department ranger has been killed in a car accident on his way to work in Sells, authorities said.


Jerome L. Lewis, 34, died Monday after his pickup truck collided with a bus from the Altar Valley School District, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety.


Investigators said Lewis' truck hit the bus head-on as it came into his lane.


No citations were issued, authorities said.


Altar Valley Superintendent Douglas Roe said the driver has been placed on paid leave while the accident is investigated.


Lewis had been with the Tohono O'odham Police Department for more than two years and before that worked for the Tohono O'odham Corrections Department.


Rangers are not commissioned officers, but protect and patrol the Tohono O'odham Nation.





gay bashing is expensive! the military spent $364 million on witch hunts to kick gays out of the military!


'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' costs $364 million

New study says government

report underestimates costs


By LOU CHIBBARO JR. | Feb 14, 10:37 AM


It cost the federal government just under $364 million to discharge and replace about 9,500 gay service members during the first decade of the Pentagon’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.


 Former Clinton administration Defense Secretary William Perry is part of a 12-member Blue Ribbon Commission studying the cost of the federal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy for gays serving in the military. 

The figure is 91 percent more than previously estimated, according to a study conducted by a panel of military experts assembled by the University of California.


The 12-member Blue Ribbon Commission that conducted the study was scheduled to release a report Feb. 14 saying it was unable to obtain certain information from the Pentagon that likely would have indicated still higher costs.


“[O]ur strong sense is that our final estimate is too low and that the net result is that we have under-reported the total cost of implementing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’” the report says.


Among commission members who wrote the report was Clinton administration Defense Secretary William Perry and Reagan administration assistant Defense Secretary Lawrence Korb. Others serving on the commission included a retired Army colonel, a retired admiral and two professors at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.


The Government Accountability Office, an arm of Congress, released its own report on the cost of discharging gays under the policy in February 2005. That report concluded that the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy cost a minimum of $190.5 million for the 10-year period from fiscal year 1994 through fiscal year 2003.


No info the GAO


Similar to the University of California report, the GAO report said its authors were unable to obtain information from the Defense Department needed to provide a full accounting of the cost for discharging gay service members and training new people to replace them.



“Oversights in GAO’s methodology led to both under and overestimations of the financial costs of implementing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’” the UC report says. “By correcting these oversights, and after careful analysis of available data, this commission finds that the total cost of implementing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ between fiscal year 1994 and fiscal year 2003 was at least $363.8 million, which is $73.3 million, or 91 percent, more than originally reported by GAO.



“Given that we were not able to include several cost categories in our estimate and that we used conservative assumptions to guide our research,” the report says, “our estimate of the cost of implementing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ should be seen as a lower bound estimate.”



President Clinton proposed the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in 1993 after it became clear that Congress was poised to overturn his earlier plan to allow gays to serve openly in the military.



Congress modified the Clinton proposal and enacted it into law as part of a military authorization bill. It went into effect in 2004.


The policy allows gays to serve in the military as long as they do not disclose their sexual orientation, do not engage in “homosexual conduct,” and do not enter into a same-sex marriage. Clinton argued that the policy was an improvement over the previous policy that banned gays from serving under all circumstances.


But gay activists and a growing number of gay-supportive members of Congress say the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy remains highly discriminatory. More than 100 members of the House have co-sponsored legislation introduced by Rep. Marty Meehan (D-Mass.) to repeal the policy and allow gays to serve openly.


A flaw in the system?


According to the UC report, the GAO study was flawed because it focused mostly on the estimated cost for replacing ousted gay service members. The UC report says it based its cost estimates on several criteria, including the cost to the military of the “lost value” of the expected full term of each service member discharged prematurely.


If a gay service member was discharged shortly before he or she completed their term, the cost to the military would be minimal, the report says. But if the service member were discharged shortly after he or she completed basic and advanced training, the cost would be far higher.


The report estimates that “skills training” for most enlisted members who are not officers ranges between $15,000 and $30,000 depending on whether they receive “mid-career” training. The average estimated cost to recruit and train officers, the report says, comes to about $174,000. In the case of a single, highly trained officer, such as a jet fighter pilot, the training cost could be as high as $1.4 million.


Other costs come into play, the report says, such as costs for processing the discharges and costs for investigating service members suspected of violating the policy.


Pentagon officials have said that many — possibly the majority —service members discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” voluntarily disclose their sexual orientation to enable them to leave the military before the end of their terms.


The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, which assists gay service members, has said gay service members often seek early discharges to avoid anti-gay harassment or because of stress caused by having to conceal their true identity.


The UC report says a large number of gay service members choose not to re-enlist even when they manage to complete their terms without being discovered.


“While it is impossible to know with certainty how many gays and lesbians fail to re-enlist because of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ [surveys of gay veterans] suggest that the military may be losing some of its investment in recruiting and training individuals who would remain in uniform if the ban were repealed,” the report says.


Lou Chibbaro Jr. can be reached at


Posted on Tue, Feb. 14, 2006

Military’s gay policy cost double estimate, report says


By Liz Sidoti


Associated Press


WASHINGTON – Discharging troops under the Pentagon’s policy on gays cost $363.8&#8194;million over 10 years, almost double what the government concluded a year ago, a private report says.

The report, to bereleased today by a University of California Blue Ribbon Commission, questioned the methodology the Government Accountability Office used when it estimated that the cost of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy was at least $190.5 million.


“It builds on the previous findings and paints a more complete picture of the costs,” said Rep. Marty Meehan, D-Mass., who has proposed legislation that would repeal the policy.

Congress approved the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in 1993 during the Clinton administration.

It allows gays and lesbians to serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps as long as they abstain from homosexual activity and do not disclose their sexual orientation.


The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, which has represented service members who left the military under the policy, estimates the Pentagon has discharged more than 10,000 service members for homosexuality since “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” went into effect in 1994.

The number of discharges has gone down in recent years.


In February 2005, the GAO said the cost could not be completely calculated because the government does not collect financial information specific to each individual’s case.

Cautioning that the figures may be too low, the GAO said the federal government spent at least $95.4 million to recruit and $95.1 million to train replacements from 1994 through 2003 for the 9,488 troops discharged during that period because of the policy.


The university study said the GAO erred by emphasizing the expense of replacing those who were discharged because of the policy without taking into account the value the military lost from the departures.


So, the commission focused on the estimated value the military lost from each person discharged.


The report detailed costs of $79.3 million for recruiting enlisted service members, $252.4 million for training them, $17.8 million for training officers and $14.3&#8194;million for “separation travel” after a service member is discharged.


Commission members include former Defense Secretary William Perry, a member of the Clinton administration, and Lawrence Korb, a former assistant defense secretary during the Reagan administration, as well as professors from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.


'Don't Ask' Costs More Than Expected

Military's Gay Ban Seen in Budget Terms


By Josh White

Washington Post Staff Writer

Tuesday, February 14, 2006; Page A04


The financial costs to the U.S. military for discharging and replacing gay service members under the nation's "don't ask, don't tell" policy are nearly twice what the government estimated last year, with taxpayers covering at least $364 million in associated funds over the policy's first decade, according to a University of California report scheduled for release today.


Members of a UC-Santa Barbara group examining the cost of the policy found that a Government Accountability Office study last year underestimated the costs of firing approximately 9,500 service members between 1994 and 2003 for homosexuality. The GAO, which acknowledged difficulties in coming up with its number, estimated a cost of at least $190.5 million for the same time period. The new estimate is 91 percent higher.


Although it did not take a stance on the effectiveness of the policy, the California "blue ribbon commission" -- which included former defense secretary William J. Perry and 11 professors and defense experts -- found that the military has put millions of dollars into recruiting and training new soldiers and officers to replace those who were removed from their jobs in the services because they were openly gay. The report also cites the costs of losing service members to premature discharge, because of the loss of training "investment."


"The real issue here is that you have a policy that is costing us money, hurting readiness and is really not fulfilling any national security objective," said Lawrence Korb, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, and a member of the commission. "It just doesn't make sense now, particularly when you're having such a hard time getting people to join the military and retaining them in the right skills."


The "don't ask, don't tell" policy was included in the 1994 Defense Authorization Act, part of President Bill Clinton's efforts to take a step toward lifting the ban on gay people in the military. The law essentially allowed gay men and lesbians to serve in the military as long as they did not expose their sexual preference or exhibit homosexual behavior.


Those who do, however, are swiftly discharged.


"The policy is more expensive than we thought it was, in many ways," said retired Rear Adm. John D. Hutson, a former Navy judge advocate general who was on the panel. "The real cost is the cost in human dignity, in self-respect, and in the image of the military held by the American public, the world community and itself. . . . The dignity of the armed forces is at stake."


Defense Department policies comply with the statute, according to a Pentagon spokeswoman, and have resulted in individual discharges from service. But defense officials also noted that those service members discharged for homosexuality represent just 0.3 percent of all discharges.


According to Pentagon figures provided to the GAO last year, there were 9,501 people separated from the military for homosexuality from 1994 to 2003, compared with 26,446 separated for pregnancy, and 36,513 separated for failing to meet weight standards.


Charles Moskos, a sociology professor at Northwestern University and an architect of "don't ask, don't tell," said in an interview yesterday that he believes allowing openly gay people into the military -- especially combat arms positions -- could cause the services to lose many more recruits who would be uncomfortable living in close quarters with them. He said the loss in financial costs does not outweigh the costs of forcing people to live in intimate circumstances with openly gay people. He also said he believes many of the discharges are the result of people claiming to be gay to get an honorable discharge from service early.


Rep. Martin T. Meehan (D-Mass.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, plans to announce the report findings today on Capitol Hill. Meehan, who is sponsoring legislation that would repeal the ban on openly gay service members, said the new cost estimate is more evidence that the policy is inappropriate.


"The Army is facing a recruiting crisis, yet we're turning away volunteer soldiers who are willing and able to fight and willing to make the ultimate sacrifice simply because of their sexual orientation," Meehan said yesterday.


Seaman Apprentice John Graff, 19, of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., enlisted in the Navy a year ago, changing abruptly from being openly gay to hiding it. After eight months on active duty in training at Naval Submarine Base New London in Connecticut, he decided he could not hide his identity any longer and recently came out to his commanders.


"It's emotionally distressing, because you constantly have this weight on you, that someone is going to find out somehow, that you could lose your job," Graff said. "I really do love the Navy, and I love serving the country. They're losing qualified people who want to do the job."






DC Circuit US Court of Appeals finally slams BATF's power grab into

model rocketry.  Judge says that BATF's insistence in classifying

ammonium perchlorate propellant as an explosive is incoherent and

totally indefensible:


"The problem in this case is that ATFE's explanation for its

determination that APCP deflagrates lacks any coherence. We therefore

owe no deference to ATFE's purported expertise because we cannot

discern it. ATFE has neither laid out a concrete standard for

classifying materials along the burn-deflagrate-detonate continuum, nor

offered data specific to the burn speed of APCP when used for its

'common or primary purpose.' On this record, the agency's decision

cannot withstand judicial review."


Lots of cause for jubilation from the rocket flyers... only it required

a sustained fight of seven years and the pouring of tens of thousands

of dollars down the legal system rathole.  :-(


Message From the President



Joint Statement on BATF Litigation, February 10, 2006


Mark Bundick


         This message will outline the current status and progress of our efforts in the U. S. Court of Appeals in Washington, DC. 


Joint Statement on Appeals Court Decision, February 10, 2006

After nearly seven years of work, we have prevailed in our efforts to remove unnecessary and illegal regulations from the sport rocketry hobby.


On February 10, 2006, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rendered its opinion as to whether the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) had properly classified APCP propellant as an explosive. The court found in favor of the National Association of Rocketry and Tripoli Rocketry Association and remanded the matter back to the agency.


The full opinion is available for download. It reads in part:


"The problem in this case is that ATFE's explanation for its determination that APCP deflagrates lacks any coherence. We therefore owe no deference to ATFE's purported expertise because we cannot discern it. ATFE has neither laid out a concrete standard for classifying materials along the burn-deflagrate-detonate continuum, nor offered data specific to the burn speed of APCP when used for its 'common or primary purpose.' On this record, the agency's decision cannot withstand judicial review."


This significant legal win came about due to the combination of the skill and dedication of our legal team, Joe Egan, Marty Malsch, John Lawrence and John Kyte, and your steadfast financial support since 1999. Without that skill and particularly without your financial and moral support, we would not have succeeded in the effort to remove what is now recognized as the illegal regulation of our hobby. We congratulate Joe and his team, and we thank you for your incredible efforts over this nearly seven year odyssey.


Members should also be aware that this decision comes immediately after Joe Egan underwent surgery in New York City. The surgery was successful and Joe is expected to make a full and speedy recovery. Members wishing to offer congratulations for both legal and medical reasons may send such expressions to:



Joseph Egan

Egan, Fitzpatrick, Malsch & Cynkar, PLLC

8300 Boone Boulevard

Suite 340

Vienna, VA 22182



We are currently discussing next steps and practical, regulatory implications of the Court's opinion with counsel, and will offer further feedback after we've completed that discussion. We expect to offer that feedback to members sometime in the next week to ten days




Ken Good, President

Tripoli Rocketry Association


Mark Bundick, President

National Association of Rocketry



As always, you can send me your comments via email, or mail them to me at


Mark Bundick

423 Sunset Drive

Lakewood, IL 60014-5332


the opionion can be seen in PDF format at this URL


United States Court of Appeals


Argued January 10, 2006 Decided February 10, 2006

No. 04-5453








Appeal from the United States District Court

for the District of Columbia

(No. 00cv00273)

Joseph R. Egan argued the cause for appellants. With him

on the briefs were Martin G. Malsch, Robert J. Cynkar, and

Charles J. Fitzpatrick.

Jane M. Lyons, Assistant U.S. Attorney, argued the cause

for appellee. With her on the brief were Kenneth L. Wainstein,

U.S. Attorney, and Michael J. Ryan, Assistant U.S. Attorney. R.

Craig Lawrence, Assistant U.S. Attorney, entered an



Before: TATEL and GARLAND, Circuit Judges, and

EDWARDS, Senior Circuit Judge.

Opinion for the Court filed by Senior Circuit Judge


EDWARDS, Senior Circuit Judge: Appellants Tripoli

Rocketry Association and National Association of Rocketry are

non-profit organizations whose members are hobby rocket

enthusiasts. They challenge the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,

Firearms & Explosives’ (“ATFE”) refusal to alter its

classification of ammonium perchlorate composite propellant

(“APCP”) as an “explosive” for purposes of 18 U.S.C. § 841(d)

(2000). (ATFE is currently charged with administering the

statute at issue. Until recently, those duties rested with the

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms (“ATF”), and, before

that, with the Internal Revenue Service. For the sake of

simplicity, we will refer only to “ATFE,” except when quoting

material that refers to one of its predecessors.)

APCP is commonly used as fuel in hobby rockets, and

classification as an explosive imposes regulatory controls on the

handling of APCP by appellants’ members. The statutory

definition of “explosive” encompasses materials whose “primary

or common purpose” is to “function by explosion.” ATFE

determines whether a material fits this definition by

characterizing the speed at which the material burns: materials

with the fastest burn rates detonate, the slowest ones burn, and

substances in between deflagrate. In other words, under

ATFE’s characterization, a substance that deflagrates burns

more rapidly than something that simply burns (like paper or a

candle wick), but less rapidly than something that detonates (like

dynamite). And ATFE treats a material as explosive if it

functions by detonation or deflagration.

Appellants challenge ATFE’s determination that APCP

deflagrates. Appellants contend that ATFE’s determination was


arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act

(“APA”), 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(A) (2000), because there is no

evidence in the record supporting the conclusion that APCP

functions by deflagration and there is some evidence in the

record suggesting a contrary conclusion. In response, ATFE

points to evidence relating to the properties of “rocket

propellants.” ATFE also argues that, in a case of this nature –

involving the agency’s expertise in deciding a highly technical

question – the court should defer to ATFE’s judgment.

This court routinely defers to administrative agencies on

matters relating to their areas of technical expertise. We do not,

however, simply accept whatever conclusion an agency proffers

merely because the conclusion reflects the agency’s judgment.

In order to survive judicial review in a case arising under

§ 7006(2)(A), an agency action must be supported by “reasoned

decisionmaking.” Allentown Mack Sales & Serv., Inc. v. NLRB,

522 U.S. 359, 374 (1998) (quoting Motor Vehicle Mfrs. Ass’n of

the United States, Inc. v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 463

U.S. 29, 52 (1983)). “Not only must an agency’s decreed result

be within the scope of its lawful authority, but the process by

which it reaches that result must be logical and rational. Courts

enforce this principle with regularity when they set aside agency

regulations which, though well within the agencies’ scope of

authority, are not supported by the reasons that the agencies

adduce.” Id. The problem in this case is that ATFE’s

explanation for its determination that APCP deflagrates lacks

any coherence. We therefore owe no deference to ATFE’s

purported expertise because we cannot discern it. ATFE has

neither laid out a concrete standard for classifying materials

along the burn-deflagrate-detonate continuum, nor offered data

specific to the burn speed of APCP when used for its “common

or primary purpose.” On this record, the agency’s decision

cannot withstand judicial review. We therefore remand the case

for further consideration.



Title XI of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970

(“OCCA”) regulates the manufacture, distribution, and storage

of explosive materials. See Pub. L. No. 91-452, § 1102, 84 Stat.

952 (1970) (codified at 18 U.S.C. §§ 841-848 (2000)). Under

the statute, “explosive materials” include “explosives, blasting

agents, and detonators,” 18 U.S.C. § 841(c); and, for purposes

of the provisions at issue here, “explosives” include:

any chemical compound mixture, or device, the primary or

common purpose of which is to function by explosion; the

term includes, but is not limited to, dynamite and other high

explosives, black powder, pellet powder, initiating

explosives, detonators, safety fuses, squibs, detonating cord,

igniter cord, and igniters.

18 U.S.C. § 841(d).

Until recently, the statute required the Secretary of the

Treasury or his delegate to compile an explosives list, 18 U.S.C.

§ 841(d), (k) (2000), but this responsibility was reassigned by

the Homeland Security Act, Pub. L. No. 107-296 § 1112(e), 116

Stat. 2135, 2276 (2002). The current version of OCCA requires

the Attorney General to “publish and revise at least annually in

the Federal Register” the explosives list, including “any

additional explosives which he determines to be within the

coverage of this chapter.” 18 U.S.C. § 841(d) (Supp. 2002).

Potential users must obtain a license or permit from ATFE to

import, manufacture, or deal in explosive materials. 18 U.S.C.

§ 842(a); see also 18 U.S.C. § 843 (2000) (outlining

requirements for obtaining licenses). Users are also subject to

certain requirements governing the manufacture, storage,

transportation, transfer, and sale of explosive materials. 18

U.S.C. § 842(b)-(k). Violators of these statutory provisions face

the possibility of criminal sanctions. 18 U.S.C. § 844(a)(1), (b)



It has always been the case that the agency regulations

implementing these OCCA requirements have exempted, inter

alia, “propellant actuated devices . . . manufactured, imported,

or distributed for their intended purposes.” See 27 C.F.R.

§ 555.141(a)(8) (2005) (current exemption); 26 C.F.R.

§ 181.141(i) (1972) (initial exemption). “Propellant actuated

device” is defined to mean: “Any tool or special mechanized

device or gas generator system which is actuated by a propellant

or which releases and directs work through a propellant charge.”

27 C.F.R. § 555.11 (2005).

Appellants claim that there is no known purpose for using

APCP other than as a rocket propellant. According to

appellants, hobby rocket enthusiasts use APCP in one of two

fashions. The material is sometimes shipped already in a rocket

motor and then used once in a model rocket. Alternatively, the

material is shipped as part of a reloadable motor kit in the form

of propellant modules, from which the rocket enthusiast

assembles the motor. Upon ignition, APCP in rocket motors is

designed to release its energy in a controlled, predictable, and

focused fashion to power the flight of the hobby rocket.

APCP was placed on the first “Explosives List” issued in

1971, see Commerce in Explosives, 36 Fed. Reg. 658, 675 (Jan.

15, 1971), and has remained on the list ever since, see

Commerce in Explosives; List of Explosive Materials, 70 Fed.

Reg. 73,483, 73,484 (Dec. 12, 2005). In April 1994, ATFE sent

a letter to Aerotech, Inc., a company that produces hobby

rockets, replying to the company’s inquiries regarding the

regulatory constraints affecting its business. ATFE explained

that “[d]uring the early 1970's when [ATFE] was assigned the

responsibility of enforcing the Federal explosives laws, it was

clear that [the agency] did not intend to regulate toy model

rockets which did not constitute a public safety hazard,” but that

“[i]t is also clear that ammonium perchlorate composite

propellants are explosives since they have been on the


explosives list since the first list was published in 1971.” Letter

from ATFE to Gary C. Rosenfield, President, Aerotech, Inc.

(Apr. 20, 1994) at 1, Joint Appendix (“J.A.”) 106. The agency

declared that the exemption for propellant actuated devices

applies only to rocket motors that, inter alia, contain no more

than 62.5 grams of propellant, thus excluding APCP from

exemption. Id. ATFE also announced that, while fully

assembled rocket motors could qualify for the exemption, rocket

propellent prior to assembly cannot.

Appellants challenged this decision in a September 7, 1999

letter to ATFE, asserting that APCP does not function by

explosion and, therefore, ATFE lacked statutory authority to

regulate the material as an explosive. Appellants also argued

that any type of rocket motor, regardless of the amount of fuel,

is a propellant actuated device and therefore exempt from

regulation. Finally, appellants criticized what they considered

procedural defects in the promulgation of the explosives list,

arguing that ATFE had never enunciated any “criteria (specific

or general) for determining why the listed materials were

‘explosives,’ ‘detonators,’ or ‘blasting agents’” and that the

“absence of any criteria by which to make a determination that

APCP should be on the list . . . renders the explosives list both

over-inclusive and under-inclusive.” Letter From Appellants’

Counsel to ATFE (Sept. 7, 1999) at 12-13, J.A. 99-100.

In response, ATFE sent appellants a letter denying their

request that APCP be removed from the explosives list. In this

letter, ATFE declared that, because it functions by deflagration,

APCP is an explosive:

An item can “function by explosion” not only by

detonating, but also by deflagrating. While APCP does not

generally function by detonation, it most definitely

functions by deflagration; therefore, APCP is properly

deemed by ATF to “function by explosion” and is properly

classified as an “explosive.”


Letter from ATFE to Appellants’ Counsel (Dec. 22, 2000) at 2

(“December 2000 Letter”), J.A. 73. The agency first noted that

some of the substances specifically itemized as explosives in

§ 841(d) burn too slowly to be characterized as detonating, thus

providing “a clear manifestation of Congress’s intention that

both detonating and deflagrating ‘compounds, mixtures, and

devices’ are to be considered” explosives. Id. at 4, J.A. 75. The

agency further stated that treating deflagrating materials as

explosives places the statutory definition in line with the

scientific definition, which ATFE recapitulated as follows:

While deflagration produces a reaction that is slower than

the reaction achieved through detonation, the deflagration

reaction is much faster than the reaction achieved by what

is more commonly associated with burning (such as with

the burning of a candle or with the burning that occurs in a

typical building- or forest-fire).

Id. (emphasis added). The agency never defined the threshold

for “much faster,” but it did cite a pyrotechnics text to further

articulate the relative measurements that distinguish various

forms of combustion:

Dr. Conkling indicates that the approximate reaction

velocity associated with detonation (he cites as examples

dynamite and TNT) is greater than one kilometer per

second; he indicates that the approximate reaction velocity

associated with deflagration (he cites as examples rocket

propellants, and confined black powder) is in the range of

“meters per second” [typically, the speed of deflagration

will be less than 326 meters per second – the velocity of

sound]; and he indicates that the approximate reaction

velocity associated with the more-common [sic] type of

burning is in the order of “millimeters per second.”

Id. at 5 n.5, J.A. 76 (first alteration in original) (quoting JOHN A.



ATFE’s letter concludes that “[u]pon ignition . . . APCP

deflagrates,” because it “burns with oxidation taking place at a

rate slower than the oxidation rate in a detonation (though at a

rate much faster than is associated with typical burning).” Id. at

5, J.A. 76. To bolster this determination, the agency quoted the

National Fire Protection Association’s definition of “propellant”

as “an explosive material which normally functions by

deflagration,” and claimed that other expert organizations adhere

to similar definitions. Id. at 6-7, J.A. 76-77 (quoting NATIONAL


5-69 (16th ed. 1986)). After finding that APCP deflagrates,

ATFE rejected appellants’ argument that rocket motors are

propellant actuated devices and thus exempt from regulation.

Appellants brought suit against ATFE in the United States

District Court for the District of Columbia, challenging the

agency decisions rendered in the December 2000 Letter.

Appellants contended that § 841(d)’s definition does not extend

to deflagrating materials and that, in any event, APCP does not

function by deflagration. Appellants also objected to the

agency’s decision to deny sport rocket motors an exemption as

propellant actuated devices. And they contested ATFE’s

decision to establish thresholds for the regulation of certain

APCP rocket motors based upon their weight, design, and

intended use without first affording the public an opportunity to

comment on those thresholds.

On March 19, 2004, the District Court issued an opinion

addressing the parties’ cross motions for summary judgment.

Tripoli Rocketry Ass’n, Inc. v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,

Firearms & Explosives, 337 F. Supp. 2d 1 (D.D.C. 2004). The

District Court noted that “a court should review scientific

judgments of an agency ‘not as the chemist, biologist or

statistician that we are qualified neither by training nor

experience to be, but as a reviewing court exercising our

narrowly defined duty of holding agencies to certain minimal


standards of rationality.’” Id. at 8 (quoting Ethyl Corp. v. EPA,

541 F.2d 1, 36 (D.C. Cir. 1976) (en banc)). After reviewing the

statute and the record, the District Court “conclude[d] that the

ATF’s decision that APCP is a deflagrating explosive is

permissible.” Id. at 9. The District Court then granted summary

judgment to the agency on the issue of whether APCP is a

deflagrating explosive. However, the trial court invalidated

ATFE’s decision that sport rocket motors are not propellant

actuated devices, because it was rendered without

notice-and-comment rulemaking as required by the APA and

OCCA. Id. at 13. The court also noted that the agency had

commenced rulemaking on the disputed non-exempt status of

sport rocket motors that use more than 62.5 grams of APCP. Id.

at 14-15. The District Court delayed issuing any final judgment

on these two matters pending the agency’s completion of the

notice-and-comment rulemakings.

On October 21, 2004, appellants filed a motion requesting

the District Court to enter a final judgment, pursuant to Federal

Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b), on the issue of whether APCP is

properly classified as an explosive. The District Court

concluded that there was no just reason for delaying a final

judgment and granted appellants’ motion. See Tripoli Rocketry

Ass’n, Inc. v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms &

Explosives, CA No. 00-273 (D.D.C. Dec. 21, 2004). Appellants

then filed a timely appeal.


This court reviews the District Court’s grant of summary

judgment de novo. Egan v. U.S. Agency for Int’l Dev., 381 F.3d

1, 3 (D.C. Cir. 2004). Appellants raise one issue in this appeal:

whether the administrative record supports ATFE’s decision to

characterize APCP as a deflagrating material, and thus an

explosive under § 841(d). Appellants do not challenge the

District Court’s decision that deflagrating materials are properly

defined as explosives under the statute. See Appellants’ Br. at


17 (“[F]or purposes of this appeal it is assumed that a substance

whose primary or common purpose is to function by

deflagration is an ‘explosive.’”). The simple question before

this court is whether ATFE’s determination that APCP functions

by deflagration is “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion,

or otherwise not in accordance with law,” 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(A).

ATFE’s decision cannot be sustained on the basis of the

current administrative record. The agency has never provided

a clear and coherent explanation for its classification of APCP.

We do not mean to suggest that the record mandates a

conclusion contrary to the agency’s. Rather, we simply find that

ATFE has never articulated the standards that guided its

analysis. “To survive review under the ‘arbitrary and

capricious’ standard, an agency must ‘examine the relevant data

and articulate a satisfactory explanation for its action including

a rational connection between the facts found and the choice

made.’” PPL Wallingford Energy LLC v. FERC, 419 F.3d 1194,

1198 (D.C. Cir. 2005) (quoting State Farm, 463 U.S. at 43

(internal quotation marks omitted)). ATFE has not met this


The fatal shortcoming of ATFE’s position is that it never

reveals how it determines that a material deflagrates. Scientific

sources reproduced in the record suggest that the defining

characteristic is burn velocity, but the agency never defines a

range of velocities within which materials will be considered to

deflagrate. We understand that it may be necessary for AFTE

to define a range flexibly, accounting for gray areas where

expert discretion is necessary to characterize a particular

substance. But, as a reviewing court, we require some metric for

classifying materials not specifically enumerated in the statute,

especially when, as here, the agency has not claimed that it is

impossible to be more precise in revealing the basis upon which

it has made a scientific determination. Yet, in this case, ATFE


has provided virtually nothing to allow the court to determine

whether its judgment reflects reasoned decisionmaking.

AFTE’s unbounded relational definition – i.e., “the

deflagration reaction is much faster than the reaction achieved

by what is more commonly associated with burning” – does not

suffice, because it says nothing about what kind of differential

makes one burn velocity “much faster” than another. Ten

millimeters per second? A hundred? A thousand? The record

certainly suggests that expansive differentials are possible, even

among compounds containing APCP. One source in the

administrative record describes compounds containing APCP

with burn rates ranging from 3.81 to 101.6 millimeters per


EXPLOSIVES AND RELATED ITEMS 416, 433 (1978), and there is

no reason to assume that the range illustrated in the record is

even exhaustive.

Appellants focus on the range of burn speeds illustrated in

the Encyclopedia of Explosives, arguing that “the administrative

record relied on by BATFE establishes without contradiction

that the highest burn rate for APCP rocket motors (101.6

millimeters per second) is a factor of ten below BATFE’s own

burn rate threshold for deflagration (1000 millimeters (or one

meter) per second).” Appellants’ Br. at 18-19. The agency’s

brief says virtually nothing in response to this. See ATFE’s Br.

at 13 (“Crucially, ATF did not draw the same conclusion as

appellants from the information there.”). Moreover, the burn

rates that ATFE attributes to detonation support appellants’

contention that detonation occurs at a speed representing a

different order of magnitude than the speeds reflected in the

Encyclopedia of Explosives.

In its December 2000 Letter, ATFE suggests that the upper

bound of burn velocity for a deflagrating material is 326 meters

per second – the speed of sound. See J.A. 76-77. In the same

letter, the agency also indicates “the approximate reaction


velocity associated with detonation . . . is greater than one

kilometer per second.” Id. at 5 n.5, J.A. 76. What is one to

make of this? Obviously, there is such a wide potential for

disparity among the substances potentially classified as

explosives that the vague description “much faster” conveys no

information at all.

ATFE’s relational definition suffers from a further

methodological flaw: it designates no points of comparison. In

order to say that one item burns “much faster” than another, one

would need to know the speed at which each item burns. But

ATFE has never pointed to evidence establishing the data points

necessary to make a comparison. For one thing, ATFE has not

stated the burn velocity of APCP in the form relevant to this

regulation. The sections of the Encyclopedia of Explosives

reproduced in the record include tables displaying the burn

speeds of several compounds containing APCP in varying


ITEMS, supra, 412-16, 433-36, J.A. 199-203, 220-23. Whether

the compositions listed in those tables approximate the features

of APCP when used for its “primary or common purpose” is

entirely unclear. Similarly, whether the conditions under which

these compositions were observed match those under which

APCP commonly functions is not ascertainable. Even if the

agency had provided representative measurements for APCP, it

would still need to identify the speed at which normal burning

occurs, which it has not done.

In defense of its unbounded comparative analysis, ATFE

insists that it had no burden to make more particularized

findings. The agency concedes that it “certainly could have

conducted experiments or otherwise researched burn rates

specific to APCP used in model rocket motors to bolster its

conclusion that APCP is capable of deflagration,” but claims

that “nothing in the OCCA or the APA required it to do so.”

ATFE’s Br. at 15. Unsurprisingly, then, rather than resting on


concrete evidence to support its judgment, ATFE simply points

to evidence relating to the properties of “rocket propellants” and

claims deference on the basis of its presumed technical expertise

and experience. The purported evidence cited by the agency

does not support its determination in this case, and the cry for

deference is hollow.

ATFE makes three arguments, none of which are

persuasive. First, ATFE points to fire safety texts describing

“propellants” as deflagrating. See December 2000 Letter at 6-7,

J.A. 77-78. ATFE appears to assume, as a matter of simple

syllogism, that if some propellants deflagrate, and APCP is a

propellant, then APCP deflagrates. It is quite obvious that this

argument lacks a critical premise: nothing in the record shows

that all propellants burn at comparable rates. It may be that

“rocket propellant” is such a precise technical term that, once a

feature is attributed to it generally, the feature inheres in every

specific instance where the term applies. But nothing in this

record supports that conclusion. Generic statements about

“rocket propellants,” then, are not informative.

Second, the agency seeks to invoke its institutional

expertise as a licence for making unarticulated findings. It

accuses appellants of “quarrel[ling] only over a matter of

degree,” and asserts that determining the burn speeds definitive

of deflagration “requires a level of scientific expertise and

judgment that Congress has appropriately delegated to ATF and

which is particularly poorly suited for the judiciary to secondguess.”

ATFE’s Br. at 12. As noted above, ATFE has

overstated the degree of deference owed to it by the courts in a

case arising under the APA challenging an agency action as

arbitrary and capricious. Faced with a reasoned judgment about

what conclusions to draw from technical evidence or how to

adjudicate between rival scientific theories, we will not override

an agency’s discretion. “Particularly when we consider a purely

factual question within the area of competence of an


administrative agency created by Congress, and when resolution

of that question depends on ‘engineering and scientific’

considerations, we recognize the relevant agency’s technical

expertise and experience, and defer to its analysis unless it is

without substantial basis in fact.” Fed. Power Comm’n v. Fla.

Power & Light Co., 404 U.S. 453, 463 (1972). But where an

agency has articulated no reasoned basis for its decision – where

its action is founded on unsupported assertions or unstated

inferences – we will not “abdicate the judicial duty carefully to

‘review the record to ascertain that the agency has made a

reasoned decision based on reasonable extrapolations from some

reliable evidence.’” Am. Mining Cong. v. EPA, 907 F.2d 1179,

1187 (D.C. Cir. 1990) (quoting Natural Res. Def. Council v.

EPA, 902 F.2d 962, 968 (D.C. Cir. 1990) (internal quotation

marks omitted)). Because ATFE has articulated no

“‘satisfactory explanation for its action including a rational

connection between the facts found and the choice made,’” id.

(quoting State Farm, 463 U.S. at 43 (internal quotation marks

omitted)), it is owed no deference for the action taken in this

case on this record.

Finally, ATFE directs our attention to the affidavit of John

A. Conkling, the author of the pyrotechnics text quoted in the

December 2000 Letter. In his affidavit, Conkling states that he

“consider[s] APCP to be a deflagrating material because it is

capable of rapid burning and can accelerate to deflagration

under pressure or confinement.” Conkling Aff. ¶ 11, J.A. 57.

For obvious reasons, this affidavit in no way aids the agency’s

cause in this case. For one thing, the affidavit was not taken

until after litigation in this case commenced. It is therefore not

a part of the agency record under review. It is well understood

in administrative law that the “focal point for judicial review

should be the administrative record already in existence, not

some new record completed initially in the reviewing court.”

Envtl. Defense Fund, Inc. v. Costle, 657 F.2d 275, 284 (D.C. Cir.

1981). The chief exception to this rule – situations “where


‘there was such a failure to explain administrative action as to

frustrate effective judicial review’” – does not apply here,

because any “new materials should be merely explanatory of the

original record and should contain no new rationalizations.” Id.

at 285 (quoting Camp v. Pitts, 411 U.S. 138, 142-43 (1973)).

Moreover, even if we were inclined to credit the affidavit, it

proves nothing of consequence in this case. Conkling merely

offers a conclusory assertion that APCP deflagrates. But this

view in no way remedies ATFE’s problem in this case, namely,

the agency’s complete absence of standards for determining

when a particular material deflagrates.


ATFE’s authority to designate deflagrating materials as

explosives under § 841(d) is undisputed by appellants. But for

the agency to so designate a particular material, APCP, it must

establish that it is indeed a deflagrating substance. In this case,

the agency has articulated no standard whatsoever for

determining when a material deflagrates. We therefore remand

the case so that ATFE may reconsider the matter and offer a

coherent explanation for whatever conclusion it ultimately

reaches. Because ATFE’s designation of APCP as an explosive

was in place long before the present challenge, we will not

vacate the designation without first affording the agency an

opportunity to reconsider this matter. The case is hereby

remanded to the District Court with instructions to remand the

case to the agency for further consideration consistent with this





Undercover cops getting sexual services


Tom Jackman

Washington Post

Feb. 13, 2006 10:33 A