Monday, June 19, 2006
MELBOURNE, Florida — Motorcycle fatalities involving riders without helmets have soared in Florida in the nearly six years since Gov. Jeb Bush repealed the state's mandatory helmet law, a newspaper reported Sunday. A Florida Today analysis of federal motorcycle crash statistics found "unhelmeted" deaths in Florida rose from 22 in 1998 and 1999, the years before the helmet law repeal, to 250 in 2004, the most recent year of available data. Total motorcycle deaths in the state have increased 67 percent, from 259 in 2000 to 432 in 2004, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics.
Records, though, also show motorcycle registrations have increased 87 percent in Florida since Bush signed the helmet law repeal on July 1, 2000.
If anybody stops to do the math the headline should read; "Unhelmeted Riders Are 20% safer than years before. The percentage of deaths of riders in Florida is plummeting.)
Sunday, June 18, 2006
June 17, 2006 - Milwaukee police say a man apparently killed himself by accident as he tried to break into the home of his estranged wife early Saturday morning.Police say the 46-year-old man punched through the woman's bedroom window and severed an artery in his upper arm. They say he collapsed in the street and bled to death about a half-block away. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Saturday, June 17, 2006
...the group weathered the storm of outrage triggered by Maines's expression of shame that President Bush was from her home state of Texas...within days, their music vanished from the charts and the airwaves, apoplectic rednecks crushed piles of their CDs with tractors, and the FBI was feverishly monitoring death threats against the trio. "It was the bullying and the scare factor," shudders banjo and guitar player Robison. "It was like the McCarthy days, and it was almost like the country was unrecognisable." The Chicks can't hide their disgust at the lack of support they received from other country performers.
"A lot of pandering started going on, and you'd see soldiers and the American flag in every video. It became a sickening display of ultra-patriotism."
"The entire country may disagree with me, but I don't understand the necessity for patriotism," Maines resumes, through gritted teeth. "Why do you have to be a patriot? About what? This land is our land? Why? You can like where you live and like your life, but as for loving the whole country… I don't see why people care about patriotism."
These are the people elected by the same voters who bring you such treats as Marion Barry and Ray Nagen. God save us.
Friday, June 16, 2006
Painkiller patch abuse blamed for deaths
ST. LOUIS - Justin Knox bit down on the bitter-tasting patch, instantly releasing three days' worth of a drug more powerful than morphine. He was dead before he even got to the hospital. At least seven deaths in Indiana and four in South Carolina since 2005 have been blamed on abuse of the fentanyl patch, along with more than 100 deaths in Florida in 2004. About a week after Knox's death in Farmington, Mo., in March, a second man in the same county was prescribed the patch legally and died after injecting himself with the gel that he had scraped from it.
House Dems Vote to Remove Jefferson from Committee Assignment
Jefferson has not been indicted and maintains his innocence. In remarks to reporters, he conceded that "serious allegations" swirl around him. The FBI claims that it videotaped the Louisiana Democrat last summer taking $100,000 in bribe money and that agents later found $90,000 of the funds stashed in a freezer in his home. Two men have pleaded guilty in the probe, including a former aid to the congressman and a businessman who admitted paying bribes to the lawmaker. Watt said that constituents of some lawmakers will adopt the view that race was a factor in the decision. "I think there are people who will say that's the basis," he said. Blacks are among the Democrats' most loyal voters.
Cocaine killed prisoner, inquest told
A massive amount of cocaine killed a woman who was carrying concealed drugs while she was in police custody, a coroner's inquest heard Wednesday.
The inquest has heard Sanderson was carrying a bag of cocaine in her vagina the night she was arrested by Saskatoon city police and placed in cells.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
A severed female head flew out of the truck and fell onto the roadway when he crashed into the car.
Police say the head is not from someone involved in the crash.
Nampa police then went to Time's house and found the body of 47-year-old Theresa N. Time, Alofa's wife.
Two women were seen going into the house and were later escorted out screaming and crying.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
CEDAR KEY - The first tropical storm of the season raked northern Florida with rain and wind gusts Tuesday but didn't blow up into a hurricane as forecasters had feared. The storm's top sustained winds were 50 mph, well below the 74 mph threshold for a hurricane.
In nearby Steinhatchee, a small fishing town in the Big Bend, life already appeared to be returning to normal. "The locals consider this a mosquito breeze," said Bruce Tayco, 33, who works at a restaurant. "When it's a tropical storm, we don't even consider it."
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Sunday, June 11, 2006
Hardline Islamic courts shut cinema halls and barred residents from watching the World Cup, prompting scores of civilians to protest the ban in which two people were killed, court officials and residents have said. The gunmen loyal to the Joint Islamic Courts (JIC), cut electricity, cleared cinema halls and warned residents against watching the football tournament in areas they control, forcing a violent protest late on Saturday in which two people were killed, residents said Sunday.
(These Islamists are my favorites! What a wild and crazy bunch of guys to go around with guns ready to kill people watching foosball in the name of religion and do it all with a straight face. Seriously, these folks make pederast priests look like pretty reasonable people to have as neighbors. Somehow they don't seem to tie it all together, their pseudo-religion, harsh poverty, murderous uprisings...it just all escapes them.)
Friday, June 09, 2006
Republican U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave's re-election campaign was already heated, and it just got smelly as well: Her staff accused a Democratic activist Thursday of leaving an envelope full of dog feces at Musgrave's Greeley office.
Musgrave spokesman Shaun Kenney said someone stuffed the envelope through the mail slot in the door on May 31 and then sped away in a car. Kenney said most of the preprinted return address was blacked out, but staffers used the nine-digit ZIP code to trace it to Kathleen Ensz, a Weld County Democratic volunteer.
Ensz told The Associated Press she left the envelope at Musgrave's office but said it "wasn't in the office doors, it was in the foyer." Asked what she meant by the act, she declined comment.
Thursday, June 08, 2006
(Aw, shucks. Those rascals are still at it. Just when we think we make a little progress, here we go again with another Fatwa. How did that word ever get introduced into our lexicon here in Georgia, USA? Fatwa. Jihad. We're suddenly speaking their language. These are the most backwards people on Spaceship Earth, barring maybe a few tribes along the Amazon or in Papua. Even the tribes along the Amazon, primitive though they may be, recognize God's special gift bestowed upon women, that of childbirth. There are no other people in our civilized world today that treat their women and children worse than Islamists. The lower castes of untouchable Indians have a better deal than these poor humans. But yet, the liberal mindset in America says "Cut & Run", and tells us we should abandon our mission of introducing our way of life, our democracy, to these downtrodden, abused people. I agree with Ann Coulter when she says, 'We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren't punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That's war. And this is war.' That's right, we should.)
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Canadian prime minister allegedly the target"The allegations are that my client is alleged to have been part of a plot to blow up parliament buildings in Canada, storm the CBC [Canadian Broadcasting Corp.], take over the CBC, as well as, among other things, behead the prime minister," said Gary Batasar, lawyer for defendant Steven Vikash Chand, 25.
Put in front of a camera, they will always babble on about some sort of "God Willing" nonsense and the majority of the time will profess peaceful intent for the good of all mankind. Turn off the camera for a moment and they will beat their women senseless, fly into religious rages and fervors that make a western Kentucky snake handler seem like a pretty reasonable fellow to have as a neighbor and then kill anything in their path in the name of Allah. None of them see any incongruity in any of this behavior and none of them seem to think that they will come out as anything but winners in the end.
Not many of them have ever travelled to another part of their own tiny region much less anywhere else in the world. They couldn't find the State of Georgia, USA on a globe if it was highlighted in day-glo orange and could really give a shit less.
They are a marvel to behold in their own ignorance as they go about their murderous rage, beheading each other for whatever the reason of the day happens to be.
Now, that's entertainment!)
Monday, June 05, 2006
A Morrow man was killed Monday night when his car crossed the centerline and hit an oncoming car head-on, police said. Clayton County police Assistant Chief Jeff Turner said Andre Varnard Henderson, 34, was traveling westbound on Panola Road about 8:40 p.m. Monday when he crossed a double yellow centerline. Witnesses told police Henderson, driving a 2000 Nissan Altima, was speeding.A man was killed Monday morning when he lost control of his car and struck a mailbox in Cobb County, police said. Edward Ferguson — whose age and hometown were not available — was headed north on Terrell Mill Road shortly before 8 a.m. when he lost control of his Honda Accord while turning a curve, police said. Ferguson overcorrected, causing his car to spin around and hit a stone block mailbox in the 400 block of Terrell Mill Road between Paper Mill and Lower Roswell roads, said Cpl. Dana Pierce.
Four men were killed early Sunday morning when they were ejected from a car after it crashed in southeast Atlanta, police said. Authorities believe the driver of the car was speeding while he headed south in the 2100 block of Moreland Avenue about 2:30 a.m. The driver lost control, ran off the road and into an embankment where the car overturned, said Officer Steve Coleman. Three of the men were identified by the Fulton County medical examiner’s office as Miguel Reyes-Frausto, 20; Jose Hernandez-Morales, 22; and Fermin Morales-Hernandez, 21. The name of the fourth man was withheld while authorities try to contact his next of kin.
Two people were killed Sunday night in Cobb County after their car ran off the road, overturned and struck a tree, police said. Police said Jose Guadalupe Ramirez, 25, of Dallas was speeding west on Macland Road near the Paulding County line when he lost control of his Mercury Cougar while trying to pass several other vehicles in a no passing zone. The car spun out of control, rotating counterclockwise, before it left the road, turned on its roof and struck a tree, said Cobb police Cpl. Dana Pierce. Ramirez died at the scene, as did a passenger who was sitting in the back seat. He was identified as Raul De la Paz, 23, of Dallas. Two other passengers who were in the car at the time were also injured. They declined treatment at the scene, Pierce said.
Two teenage brothers and a middle-age woman preparing to enjoy the Memorial Day weekend drowned Friday in two Georgia lakes. “We were told they were trying to touch the bottom,” Cook said, who noted that the water at the dock was about 10 feet deep.58-year-old child porn suspect kills self...A 58-year-old Winder man shot and killed himself Monday afternoon as authorities arrived to arrest him on a failure to appear in court charge, the FBI said. Summerville was arrested a year ago at his former residence in Lawrenceville on four counts of possession of child pornography. His trial in a federal court was scheduled to begin last week, but he did not appear in court, said the FBI.
A 21-year-old Villa Rica woman was killed Sunday morning when the car she was in was rear-ended on I-20 as her friend stopped to check on a vehicle stalled in the middle of the highway, police said.
A 30-year-old man was fatally shot in the parking lot of a DeKalb County church Friday night in what police was a drug-related slaying, police said. Authorities said an unidentified man in a grey car drove by and shot Menes Kori Temple outside the Bethesda Cathedral on Austin Drive about 9:30 p.m.(Welcome to Atlanta.)
What most angers the police about the McKinney case is that it involves an assault — no matter how minor — of a police officer. Police reported that McKinney hit an officer in the chest after he failed to recognize her as a member of Congress and tried to stop her from going around a security checkpoint, something members of Congress and their aides are typically allowed to do.
"It's obviously frustrating for us," said Andy Maybo, head of the Capitol Hill police union. "This sends out the message that it's OK to hit a police officer — and it's not, regardless of who you are."
In legal terms, McKinney's case "is as simple as you can get," said George Washington University legal expert Jonathan Turley. Usually anyone who hits a police officer is immediately arrested on felony charges, police and legal experts said.
(I just realized how scary that picture is. Resized up suddenly with Lightbox, it's as if she came of the screen at me. That is a very frightening, angry, frustrated woman and I'd as soon she stay right there on that screen.)
LUTZ, Florida (AP) -- Two college students were found dead inside a large, deflated helium balloon after apparently pulling it down and crawling inside it, officials said.
"It was more a fun thing they thought they were doing," said Linda Rydman, whose daughter was found dead. "You know how you blow up the balloon and suck the helium."
A government official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation, said Web surfing and e-mail among the suspects led to the start of the probe in 2004. The 17 suspects represent a spectrum of Canadian society, from the unemployed to the college-educated. The 12 adults live in Toronto, Mississauga and Kingston, Ontario. Police said the suspects, all citizens or residents of Canada, had trained together.
Two suspects, Mohammed Dirie, 22, and Yasim Abdi Mohamed, 24, already are in an Ontario prison serving two-year terms for possession of illegal weapons.
Neighbors said the oldest suspect, Jamal, was often home and did not seem to work regularly, although his wife drove a schoolbus. The couple has three small children, neighbors said.
Another imam, Aly Hindy, said he knew nine of the suspects and complained that Canada's spy agency, CSIS, has unfairly targeted his mosque and congregants for years."They have been harassed by CSIS agents and this is what they come up with?" Hindy said. "I'm almost sure that most of these people will be freed."
Muslim leaders voiced worries about a backlash.
The oldest, Qayyum Abdul Jamal, led prayers at a storefront mosque attended by some 40 to 50 families down the street from his home in a middle-class neighborhood of Mississauga, west of Toronto.
Imam Qamrul Khanson said the language of Jamal's Friday night prayers had a more strident tone than other prayer leaders', but there was never any talk of terrorism or violence.
Khanson said at least three of the suspects regularly prayed at the Al-Rahman Islamic Center for Islamic Education.
"Here we always preach peace and moderation," Khanson said at the one-room mosque.
(I confess. I'm once again sick of hearing of the peace loving Islamists who enter what are traditionally anglo-saxon, Judeo-Christain countries and then proceed to tear them apart. It's happened here, Britain, Spain, France and many other places and it happens over and over again. "We preach peace and moderation.", they gush, knowing that their words are lies. The Muslims seem hell bent to blow up anything and everything. In fairness to them, they blow each other up with increasing frquency so it doesn't seem as if we're the only targets. I'm tired of Imams, mosques, fatwahs and all the other foolishness tied to this pseudo-religion. As a group, Islam and its followers are contributing nothing to the progress of the population of Spaceship Earth. Fanatics, plain and simple with no other goal than to murder innocents even at the cost of their own children. They must be stopped.)
Sunday, June 04, 2006
(HEY, nice pseudo-religion you boys are playing with. Muslims...yeah right.)
Saturday, June 03, 2006
He was so new that Security Experts hadn't received his background check back yet and were unaware of the 20-plus arrests on his record. Chatham County jail records show Herman Riley has been arrested for charges ranging from aggravated assault and armed robbery to solicitation of sodomy and cocaine possession. Herman Riley Sr., the wounded guard's father, said he didn't have much information on his son, other than that he was born in Berlin, Germany.
(Welcome to Savannah, y'all.)
Friday, June 02, 2006
Couric, who was speaking during a Q&A session with "60 Minutes" correspondent Lesley Stahl, added that she "resents" being asked how difficult it will be to make the transition from the "lightness" of morning news to the more "sober" evening news.
"Anyone who watches 'Today' knows that I've done more hard-hitting interviews than any evening news anchor," she said.
"There's an awful lot of work to do," McManus said. Viewers will see some changes when Couric joins -- including a new set, graphics and music -- but any changes "may not be revolutionary" and the broadcast will "evolve over time.""Dramatic differences might impress a lot of critics, but they also will alienate the core group of viewers who still watch every night,"
According to a videotape of the speech, Hevesi said: "The man who, how do I phrase this diplomatically, who will put a bullet between the president's eyes if he could get away with it. The toughest senator, the best representative. A great, great member of the Congress of the United States."
"Comptroller Hevesi was trying to make a point," Heller said. "He went way too far, and it was inappropriate and wrong. He has apologized to both the senator and the president, and we believe that ends the matter."
Thursday, June 01, 2006
What is that insensitive bit at the base of the penis called? The man.
Why is psychoanalysis quicker for men than for women? When it's time to go back to childhood, he's already there.
What do you call a handcuffed man? Trustworthy.
What do a clitoris, an anniversary, and a toilet have in common? Men always miss them.
Why are men like commercials? You can't believe a word they say.
Why are men like popcorn? They satisfy you, but only for a little while.
Why are men like blenders? You need one, but you're not quite sure why.
Why do so many women fake orgasm? Because so many men fake foreplay.
Why do so many women fake orgasm? Because they think men care.
Why are women so bad at mathematics? Because men keep telling them that this (make gap with thumb and forefinger) is 9 inches.
What's the difference between a bar and a clitoris? Most men have no trouble finding a bar.
What's a man's definition of a romantic evening? Sex.
What is the only time a man thinks about a candlelight dinner? When the power goes off.
What do men and women have in common? They both distrust men.
How can you tell the difference between men's real gifts and their guilt gifts? Guilt gifts are nicer.
What do you instantly know about a well-dressed man? His wife is good at picking out clothes.
How is a man like the weather? Nothing can be done to change either one of them.
What is the difference between a man and childbirth? One can be terribly painful and sometimes almost unbearable while the other is just having a baby.
What is the difference between a single 40-year-old woman and a single 40-year-old man? The 40-year-old woman thinks often of having children and the 40-year-old man thinks often about dating them.
Women dream of world peace, a safe environment, and eliminating hunger. What do men dream of? Being stuck in an elevator with the Doublemint twins.
What do you call a man who expects to have sex on the second date? Slow.
What is the one thing that all men at singles bars have in common? They're married.
What do most men think Mutual Orgasm is? An insurance company.
Why don't men often show their true feelings? Because they don't have any.
Why do men have a hole in their penis? So oxygen can get to their brains.
What's easier to make: a snowman or a snowwoman? A snowwoman is easier to make, 'cause with a snowman you have to hollow out the head and use all that extra snow to make its testicles.
What do you call a man with 99% of his brain missing? Castrated.
What's the difference between government bonds and men? Bonds mature.
What's the difference between a man and E.T.? E.T. phoned home.
Why are all dumb blonde jokes one-liners? So men can remember them.
Reid Says He Won't Accept Free Tickets
But they specifically warn against taking normally permissible gifts if the giver may be trying to influence official action."It was therefore entirely permissible for Senator Reid - a senator from Nevada - to have attended a major Nevada sporting event as a guest of Nevada officials," Manley said.
Several ethics experts disagreed, criticizing Reid's rationale that he felt obligated to take the tickets to ensure boxing was being conducted properly in his home state."He is no more obligated to go to boxing matches than he is to a Celine Dion concert in Vegas," said Melanie Sloan, a former Justice Department prosecutor and head of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
Jefferson claims innocence in bribe probe
A Democratic congressman facing a bribery probe after FBI agents found $90,000 in his freezer denied wrongdoing on Monday and said he would not step down from his congressional seat.
FBI investigators raided Jefferson's office over the weekend and disclosed they had videotaped the New Orleans lawmaker accepting $100,000 cash intended as a bribe for a Nigerian official.
The FBI also said in a court affidavit that it found $90,000 of that money hidden in a freezer in his house.Former associates have said Jefferson accepted more than $400,000 in bribes to help them sell telecommunications technology to Nigeria and other West African countries.
Two of those associates, former congressional aide Brett Pfeffer and Kentucky businessman Vernon Jackson, have pleaded guilty to bribery charges and are cooperating in the investigation.
May 31, 2006
Police: Man accidentally shot and killed himself after crash
SALEM, Ore. - Police say a Salem man accidentally shot and killed himself Tuesday morning while he and his family were trying to climb out of a ravine after a car accident.
According to police, 38-year-old Vladimir Gorkavchenko was driving near Detroit early in the morning when he lost control of his minivan.
The car rolled multiple times, before coming to a rest at the bottom of a rocky embankment.
Gorkavchenko, his wife, and their daughter were uninjured in the crash.
Police say Gorkavchenko then removed a rifle from his van to take it with him as the three started climbing out of the ravine.
According to police, Gorkavchenko was using the rifle as a brace as he climbed and apparently slipped, causing the gun to fire a round that hit him in his thumb and his head.
It appears he died as a result of his injuries.
Detectives are continuing to investigate.
(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
All The News Thats Fit To Print!
Woman's Toes Licked By Man Hiding Under Car...Police in Tulsa, Okla., are searching for a man who hid under a woman's car at a Wal-Mart parking lot and then licked her toes as she loaded groceries into the vehicle, according to a report. The woman said she was at the Tulsa Wal-Mart located near 81st Street and Lewis when she felt her toes being licked.She assumed it was a dog but when she looked down, she saw it was a man lying under her vehicle."I felt something lick my foot," the woman said. "I looked at him and I said, 'What in the hell are you doing?' And that's exactly what I said, 'What are you doing?'"
Police: Couple Offered Hit Man $100 To Kill Grandkids...Two grandparents in Lake County, Fla., were arrested for allegedly offering a hit man $100 to kill their three grandchildren, daughter-in-law and the family's pet dog, according to Local 6 News. After an investigation, authorities said the couple's son, Jason Jackson, 31, concocted the alleged murder-for-hire plan from jail and asked his parents to seal the deal, Bolden said.The 31-year-old is awaiting trial in a sexual molestation case, and his wife and children were scheduled to testify against him. The daughter-in-law, Karen Jackson, was shocked to hear about the plan to kill her, her children and pet dog, according to Local 6 News."I never saw this coming," Jackson said. "I loved (him) with all my heart. (He) was good to me and good to the kids. (He) was a nice guy, everybody's friend.
Police: Man Killed Over Spilled Beer...Detectives said Jamie Addair accidentally spilled beer on the alleged shooter inside the pub, which was at catalyst for the shooting, Local 6 reporter Jessica Sanchez said.
Deputy Fired For Using Squad Car Camera To Tape Bikini-Clad Girls Wants Job Back...An investigation revealed that Munsey used his dashboard-mounted video camera to zoom in on and record bikini-clad girls, including one showering at a public beach.
BOSTON - A veteran who lost both arms in the war in Iraq is suing filmmaker Michael Moore for $85 million, alleging that Moore used snippets of a television interview without his permission to falsely portray him as anti-war in "Fahrenheit 9/11."
Sgt. Peter Damon, a National Guardsman from Middleborough, is asking for damages because of "loss of reputation, emotional distress, embarrassment, and personal humiliation," according to the lawsuit filed in Suffolk Superior Court last week.
Damon, 33, claims that Moore never asked for his consent to use a clip from an interview Damon did with NBC's "Nightly News."
He lost his arms when a tire on a Black Hawk helicopter exploded while he and another reservist were servicing the aircraft on the ground. Another reservist was killed in the explosion.
In his interview with NBC, Damon was asked about a new painkiller the military was using on wounded veterans. He claims in his lawsuit that the way Moore used the film clip in "Fahrenheit 9/11" - Moore's scathing 2004 documentary criticizing the Bush administration and the war in Iraq - makes him appear to "voice a complaint about the war effort" when he was actually complaining about "the excruciating type of pain" that comes with the injury he suffered.
In the movie, Damon is shown lying on a gurney, with his wounds bandaged. He says he feels likes he's "being crushed in a vise."
"But they (the painkillers) do a lot to help it," he says. "And they take a lot of the edge off of it."
Damon is shown shortly after U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., is speaking about the Bush administration and says, "You know, they say they're not leaving any veterans behind, but they're leaving all kinds of veterans behind."
Damon contends that Moore's positioning of the clip just after the congressman's comments makes him appear as if he feels like he was "left behind" by the Bush administration and the military.
In his lawsuit, Damon says he "agrees with and supports the President and the United States' war effort, and he was not left behind."
He said that, while at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center recovering from his wounds, he had surgery and physical therapy, learned to use prosthetics and live independently. He also said that Homes For Our Troops, a not-for-profit group, built him a house with handicapped accessibility.
"The work creates a substantially fictionalized and falsified implication as a wounded serviceman who was left behind when Plaintiff was not left behind but supported, financially and emotionally, by the active assistance of the President, the United States and his family, friends, acquaintances and community," Damon says in his lawsuit.
Moore did not immediately return calls seeking comment Wednesday. A message was left for Moore at a personal number in New York and with HarperCollins, publisher of Moore's 2002 book, "Stupid White Men...And Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation!"
A spokesman for Miramax Film Corp., also named as a defendant, did not immediately return a call.
Damon did not immediately respond to a request for an interview.
"It's upsetting to him because he's lived his life supportive of his government, he's been a patriot, he's been a soldier, and he's now being portrayed in a movie that is the antithesis of all of that," Damon's lawyer, Dennis Lynch, said.
Damon is seeking $75 million in damages for emotional distress and loss of reputation. His wife is suing for an additional $10 million in damages because of the mental distress caused to her husband, Lynch said.
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
1 bar of soap
1 tube of toothpaste
1 loaf of bread
1 pint of milk
1 single serving of cereal
1 single serving frozen dinner
1 can of Soup For One
1 16 oz can of Miller Lite
The guy at the checkout looks at her and says, "Single, are you?" The woman smiles sweetly and replies, "How did you guess?" He replies, "Because you're really ugly."
We Got Headline News, Southren Style
Woman Hit By Lightning While Praying...DAPHNE, Ala. -- Worried about the safety of her family during a stormy Memorial Day trip to the beach, Clara Jean Brown stood in her kitchen and prayed for their safe return as a strong thunderstorm rumbled through Baldwin County, Alabama. She said 'Amen' and the room was engulfed in a huge ball of fire.
Wife Of Teenaged Groom Pleads Guilty...DOUGLAS COUNTY -- Lisa Clark’s two older sons were in court today to hear their mother sentenced to more time in jail. Thirty-seven-year-old Lisa Clark pleaded guilty on charges she helped her teenage husband -- the father of her child -- escape from state custody. Clark’s attorney, Alison Frutoz, insists Clark is not guilty of any of the things of which she was accused saying, “She is a simple, normal person.” Clark admitted to a sexual relationship with, a then, 14-year-old boy, whom she married after becoming pregnant with the teen’s son.
Man Arrested On 3,600 Child Porn Charges...HALL COUNTY -- A Hall County man is in jail on 3,600 child pornography charges.
This is NSFW nor for the faint of heart. Don't clickie the linkie if you aren't grown up.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Down After Theft
WASHINGTON -- A Veterans Affairs deputy assistant secretary who didn't immediately notify top officials about a theft of 26.5 million veterans' personal information is stepping down, citing missteps that led to the security breach.
Michael H. McLendon, deputy assistant secretary for policy who supervised the VA data analyst who lost the data, said he would relinquish his high-level post on Friday.
The data analyst also will be dismissed while the acting head of the division in which he worked, Dennis Duffy, has been placed on administrative leave, VA Secretary Jim Nicholson said Tuesday.
McLendon is the first official to depart after Nicholson pledged to hold officials accountable following the May 3 burglary, in which a laptop computer and disks were stolen from an agency analyst's home in Maryland.
"Words are inadequate to describe how I feel about these recent events and the impact on the band of brothers and sisters of service members and veterans that we are supposed to serve," McLendon wrote in a letter obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press.
"Given that this very serious and tragic event occurred on my watch and in my organization, I feel it necessary that I tender my resignation," stated the letter, which was submitted to the VA late Friday. "I would be modeling the wrong behavior to my staff and others in VA if I took no action to be responsible."
The resignation comes as the VA is under attack for a three-week delay in publicizing the burglary in what has become one of the nation's largest security breaches. During hearings last week, Nicholson said he was "mad as hell" that employees did not notify him of the May 3 burglary until May 16; the public was told on May 22.
On Tuesday, Nicholson announced that he had named Paul Hutter, the current assistant general counsel for management and operations, as interim head of VA's Office of Policy and Planning, filling Duffy's spot.
Hutter will lead the department "in light of recent, unacceptable events within VA's Office of Policy and Planning" while the Senate considers the recent nomination of Patrick W. Dunne to the post, Nicholson said.
According to congressional testimony, the VA data analyst immediately informed his supervisors _ including McLendon _ after the theft of a laptop and disks that contained veterans' birthdates, Social Security numbers and disability ratings at the data analyst's home in Aspen Hill, Md.
At the time, the data analyst took responsibility and acknowledged he had violated agency procedures by taking the information home, according to a VA briefing paper given to Congress.
McLendon informed other officials, who then told Deputy Secretary Gordon Mansfield, the agency's No. 2 official, on May 10. But no formal action was taken until the VA inspector general's office heard about the theft through office gossip on May 10 and began a separate investigation.
On Tuesday, some veterans' groups said it was appropriate that McLendon stepped down. But they expressed concern that he and the midlevel data analyst _ who has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation _ would be made scapegoats, citing a complete communications breakdown in the agency.
"We can't be blaming this whole thing on some data analyst and his boss," said Bob Wallace, executive director of Veterans of Foreign Wars. "There are many more individuals in this chain of command that I hope would be held accountable."
The breach is second only to a hacking incident last June at CardSystems Solutions in which the accounts of 40 million credit card holders were compromised.
Government does veterans a great disservice
Tuesday, May 30, 2006 11:22 AM EDT
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Along comes the Department of Veterans Affairs to make us wonder what other departments operate so cavalierly, then stick us with the bill for good measure.
Veterans Affairs officials waited two weeks to notify the FBI of the theft of personal data, including names, Social Security numbers, birth dates and disability ratings of veterans discharged since 1975.
In one of the nation's largest security breaches, this lack of notification delayed warning 26.5 million veterans.
A government laptop computer and an external hard drive with the veterans' information were stolen from a Montgomery, Md., home on May 3.
The analyst placed on leave was not only not authorized to take the data home, it turns out this has been occurring since 2003!
Veterans Affairs now promises to restrict sensitive data to those who need it and to conduct background checks on those who do.
In other words, better close the barn door now that the horses have galloped away.
Perhaps a common clueless criminal won't have any idea how to realize the value of the purloined data and drain veterans back accounts, but once such information is compromised, fraud could occur next month or beyond.
To add insult to injury, it will cost at least $10 million merely to inform veterans that their personal information may be in the hands of criminals.
Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson warned Congress on Thursday that the ultimate price tag of the government's response might be tens of millions more.
He tossed out the figure of $100 million taxpayers will be expected to absorb.
Nicholson assured lawmakers he's “mad as hell” at the employee, so the scolding he got for systemic problems perhaps surprised him.
The agency's inspector general, George Opfer, has been reporting identified weaknesses in the VA information technology system and lax security for years, but like so many sectors of the federal bureaucracy sinking under the weight of its own information, warnings once again fell on deaf ears.
“You seem to be saying it's just one employee,” noted Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, to Nicholson. “But it's not just one employee. You have a high-risk, vulnerable system.”
“In the last five years, a host of agencies have reported that the VA has had many problems with information security. How did the VA react? With indifference,” Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif., said at a House hearing.
It might be news to him, since nobody bothered mentioning the theft to Nicholson until May 16.
The agency's inspector general relied on office gossip to get in the loop.
Nicholson alerted the FBI May 17. A public announcement finally came on May 22.
“I can't explain the lapses of judgment on the behalf of my people,” Nicholson said, sounding about as convincing as an Enron executive.
May 25 Veterans Affairs and the FBI announced a $50,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of the stolen data.
(This is generating fewer and fewer reports by the hour. Last Thursday, there were headlines, Friday many took the day off anticipating a holiday weekend. After the BBQs and sunburns and time/space disorientation of a 3 day weekend, there is no new news. Hashed over stories in small town papers are all that's left. The rrant employee is sitting around his apratment, waiting for the grievance board to meet to decide his fate. This will be a process of weeks or months and in the end, he'll have a minor blot in his Permanant Record and back to work as usual. Nothing at VA will change, Nicholson will be gone in a year or two, onto the lucrative consultancy that awaits federal chieftains, Veterans will wonder where their benefits are and the beat goes on.)
Sunday, May 28, 2006
The blizzard of press across the nation has been full of a lot of misinformation but his quote, "It's the same chances of winning the lottery...There's some bright people in Washington, D.C., that will take care of the issue.", will likely win some sort of prize.
I'm reading this in Georgia where we've had our own unique blend of wackos and nut-cases hooting and hollering but it appears you in Colorado have us soundly beat. Congratulations!
Brent seems to be totally disconnected from the fact that it was those "bright people" in Washington that violated the law (for 3 years running), took home a laptop full of data, managed to get it stolen, didn't report it for weeks, mismanaged the reporting process when they did finally report it and have fumbled the process since then. The IG & FBI is fuming mad, local police are furious, the VA Director has been angrily hauled in front of congress, President Bush is involved, millions of Veterans have no idea what their risk may be and Brent says, "Don't worry, be happy!"
I'll take my chances with the lottery Brent, whatever that means.
And then, resident expert Peggy Foster tells us that identity theft is "very common" and ""It happened to me before". Peggy is an esteemed VA Services assistant and she says, ""I don't fault the employees...they are all understaffed and overwhelmed. It's unfortunate."
That's great Peggy, really great. Yes indeed, it is unfortunate, isn't it? When a federal employee is in clear violation of the law and causes millions of Veterans throughout the United States at the least high anxiety and most unforeseen problems for years to come, to say nothing of the cost to taxpayers of the millions of dollars of revenue already wasted in ongoing criminal investigations, we should never ever hold those employees accountable for their unlawful actions.
Peggy typifies everything wrong with VA today. "Don't blame me" she says. "We're overworked. If I knowingly break the law, it's because you made me do it. Nothing is my fault. I cut corners, provide poor service, have a terrible attitude, and I'm rude to you on the telephone because of you. I am never ever responsible for my failures."
Yes, I'm a Veteran too. I'm a VAVS volunteer, I give hundreds and hundreds of hours every year to make VA Hospitals better places for Vets who need them and overall, VA health is the best in the nation. The VA benefits centers, those places where Brent and Peggy work along with the laptop guy...they all need to be fired, the slate should be wiped clean and it should be rebuilt from the ground up, Brent and Peggy and the guy with the laptop have to go right now or we will see this happen again and again and again. They just don't get it.
It's unfortunate, it really is.
(I wrote the reporter , the author of the article below that response you see above. I posted it to her in care of her editor, she didn't seem to have an email address. As today has worn on, I've come back and reread the comments that Brent and Peggy each made to the press and I hope that each time I read it I'll find I was wrong about my feelings earlier. I'm not. Those two are so typical, so far removed from reality, it's stunning. This is your VA services today.
Two years ago, I was to have a "Personal Hearing" at my VARO near Atlanta, Georgia. I shared the date with my wife so she could plan to drive me there. She quickly pointed out that the date that VA had scheduled was a Federal Holiday, Martin Luther King's birthday. Now, if this were Des Moines or Fargo, maybe we could forgive the error. This is scheduled in Decatur, Atlanta...the epicenter, ground zero for everything that is MLK. I called VA and got nothing. Typical. I called DAV, my chosen representative and was assured it was on the calendar, scheduled and I needed to be there. I argued that was wrong...I was warned I would surely lose by default if i didn't show. So, we were there at the appointed time. Alone. At a locked and shuttered building on a federal holiday. There has never been an explanation, no apology. A 4 hour drive each way, a days pay for my wife lost. No mileage paid as it was a hearing at my request.
Two years later, the hearing hasn't been rescheduled. Every now and then I get a form letter that VA is sorry for the delay, they're working on my file and will do their best to move things along, they really do want to assist me as quickly as they can.)
Veterans assess info theft risk
By AMBER WALZ
Saturday, May 27, 2006 11:35 PM MDT
A security breach of veterans' records has caused needed debate about prevention as well as detection of identity theft and has spurred full-scale investigations by both the FBI and the Veterans Affairs Inspector General's office.
The records were stolen during a burglary of the home of a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) data analyst on May 3. The data analyst violated departmental policy by bringing home a laptop containing a database of sensitive information. It is likely the largest ever reported security breach of social security numbers, affecting 26.5 million veterans discharged since 1975 and their spouses.
Boulder County officials say there are more than 20 thousand veterans in the area, but less than half of them were discharged since 1975.
“It's the same chances of winning the lottery,” said Boulder Vet Center office manager and veteran Brent Offermann. “There's some bright people in Washington, D.C., that will take care of the issue.”
This is not an isolated incident.
“It's very common,” said University of Colorado-Boulder VA Services assistant and veteran Peggy Foster of identity theft. “It happened to me before and everything was stolen. Now I'm very cautious about giving my information out.”
The information stolen from the VA data analyst included social security numbers, names, birthdates and disability rating information that tells each person's level of disability, but didn't include financial and health record information. Veteran department officials waited two weeks to notify those affected and the FBI, but there is no evidence that the information has been misused yet.
“I don't fault the employees,” Foster said. “They are all understaffed and overwhelmed. It's unfortunate.”