Monday, March 31, 2008

Under the gun


Too much news and too little time.


Just like you Man o' Law has a real job, one that pays the bills, feeds the kiddies and has Ms. Man o' Law holding out her hand as well.
Now, I'm not complaining but like I said last week I am under a time crunch to get a brief in to the Court of Appeals on Thursday then will be in Plano on Friday for a seminar on post-conviction writs of Habeas Corpus cases.


Postings may be severely curtailed for this week.


Please be patient and understanding!


Dear Readers.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Bloggers, Juveniles and the Department of Justice


Information just released.



The Government Blogs!


New Blog Will Promote Juvenile Justice Connections


The U.S. Department of Justice's National Institute of Corrections (NIC) has established a blog to facilitate the exchange of information among juvenile justice professionals.


Juvenile Justice Connection will feature news from NIC, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and other Federal, state, and local sources, including information about professional training opportunities and juvenile justice-related research.The blog also offers RSS and other syndication feeds.

Resources:
Visit Juvenile Justice Connection at http://community.nicic.org/blogs/juvenilejustice/default.aspx.

Have a FINE day


Parking tickets may be found anywhere.


I was in Austin the other day for oral argument in front of the Third Court of Appeals and a lawyer I knew came walking out from his oral argument only to find his truck ticketed because the court ran a few minutes long. At least, he said, his oral argument went well.


BTW doesn't the officer see these guys are parked on the wrong side of the road?



Tickets to rile ...

We reveal the ten most unreasonable parking fines of all time


Most drivers vent a little steam when they get a parking ticket - and the number who appeal successfully proves they're often right to be annoyed.
But a new list of the most ridiculous parking tickets ever issued shows that almost nothing will stop the determined parking warden from slapping a ticket on a vehicle.
Indeed, it suggests a host of ways that officious officials can take advantage of drivers when they are at their most vulnerable.

Driven to distraction:

Even mitigating circumstances such as falling prey to a heart attack or bank robbers cut no ice with some wardens

The pit-stop ambush
Lorry driver Michael Collins was on his way to collect a skip in London's Belsize Park when the road beneath him collapsed. A burst water main had created a deep hole where the front wheels of his 17-tonne lorry were now stuck.
While he was waiting for roadside assistance, a parking attendant appeared. To the astonishment of nearby residents - and despite Mr Collins' protests, she stood on tiptoe and plastered a parking ticket on his windscreen - while helpfully telling him: "You can appeal".

The trunk road swoop
If a tree fell on your car and you escaped death by inches, you might expect some sympathy from your local council. But there was no sign of compassion from Wychavon District Council for Nicky Clegg of Stoulton, Worcs, after when a tree crashed down on her car as she drove her 82-year-old mother and 11-year-old son.
Police dragged the wrecked car - with crushed bonnet, smashed windscreen and broken wing mirrors - to the roadside and told Mrs Clegg she could leave it there and pick it up the following day. When she came back, a parking ticket was stuck on the window.

The knock-down surprise
Think that being badly injured is an excuse to park illegally? Think again. When Nadhim Zahawi of South London was thrown from his scooter and left lying in the road with a broken leg, a heartless warden from Lambeth Council slapped a £100 ticket on his bike.

The cavalry attack
You leave your horse in the street and what do you expect to find when you get back? A small pile of manure perhaps, but not a parking ticket.
Yet this is exactly what happened to Robert McFarland, a retired blacksmith from Yorkshire, when he left his horse Charlie Boy for a few moments.
Under the vehicle description on the ticket, the over-zealous warden had written "brown horse".
You've been ticketed:

A warden prepares to issue a fine. But some attendants take rather less care over details, as our list shows

The daylight robbery
It was a terrifying ordeal for Fred Holt, 77, when he went to the bank and two masked men burst in brandishing an axe and a machete.
The robbers held the axe to a young cashier's throat while money was handed over, and the customers were forced to lie on the floor. Later, they had to give statements to police.
It seems traffic wardens had not listened when officers told them about the raid and asked them not to issue tickets. Mr Holt found a £30 parking ticket pinned to his windscreen for staying 20 minutes longer than allowed.

The donor kebab
"Do something amazing today" runs the slogan of the National Blood Service. In Sutton, a traffic warden did just that - by ticketing a blood donor lorry.
The mobile National Blood Service truck had parked at the same spot in Sutton, Surrey, for four years when the zealous parking attendant issued a ticket while donors gave blood inside.
Sutton council eventually waived the fine, saying the parking attendant had made a simple error of judgment. Or to put it more aptly, a rush of blood to the head.

The bus stop gambit
Manchester bus driver Chris O'Mahony pulled up at a bus stop in his No 77 to let passengers on. While he was handing them their tickets, a Manchester City Council parking attendant handed him one.
Passengers looked on in disbelief as the warden joined the queue to prepare the parking ticket, deposited the £40 notice and walked off.
The driver, apparently, had parked in a restricted area. The attendant said he'd been told to issue tickets to buses that park.
Council bosses cancelled the ticket and the warden was sent for retraining - hopefully as something other than a warden.

The heart attack attack
David Holmes felt chest pains as he was driving and headed for hospital, where he was forced to park on the roadside and was treated for a heart attack.
A nurse thoughtfully left a note on the windscreen explaining the emergency and saying Mr Holmes's daughter would pick the car up later.
It proved futile. A parking attendant slapped a parking ticket on the car and despite an appeal to the local council the £40 fine was not cancelled.

The random posting
Krister Nylander was dismayed to receive a parking ticket in the post for parking in Warwick.
But he knew the ticket had to be wrong - he lives in Sweden and had not visited England since he was 16.
The offending vehicle was his 20-ton snowmobile, which had barely ever left his barn, let alone Sweden.
How did it get the ticket? Absolutely no Ikea.

Driving home the lesson
A driving instructor was issued with a CCTV parking ticket when his pupil stalled while attempting a three-point turn and could not restart the car.
The offence? Parking more than 50 centimetres from the ke

OMG Look Out!


If she had been driving here she would have been driving on the right side of the road.




Can she use that as a defense?





Gran drives 15 miles wrong way up motorway


An 81-year-old grandmother was pulled up by police - after driving 15 miles the wrong way up a motorway.


Martha Harwood, of Darwen, Lancs, became confused by a new roundabout layout and drove up the exit slip road at junction six of the M65.


She then cruised past seven junctions before police stopped her, seized her vehicle and drove her home, reports the Daily Mirror.


Four people were taken to hospital and the road was shut for five hours after her 40mph bid to get home from a pal's house.


The retired florist said: "At first I didn't think anything was wrong. It was quiet. Then I saw cars coming towards me. It was quite scary and I didn't know what to do.


"The officers were really nice. They asked if I had been drinking but I feel very strongly about that and would never drink and drive. I haven't decided if I will stop driving. I feel a bit silly about what has happened."


Martha was not arrested after Monday night's drama but officers warned she could lose her licence.


Pc Neil Goodison, of the police unit which stopped her, said: "She was oblivious to what happened and did not know there had been an accident."


Four hurt passengers from a crashed Ford Fiesta had minor injuries and one had to be cut free. None of them was seriously injured.

Just another day in paradise


Hah! LMAO!


I can only imagine the looks on their faces when they realized the vehicle they flagged down was a police car.


Traffickers on the run after flagging down cops

SUVA (Reuters) - Two Fijian youths who mistakenly stopped a police car thinking it was their truck are now on the run after dumping their sacks of dried leaves, believed to be marijuana, at the feet of the police and fleeing into bushes.

The two boys, both on horseback, were carrying up to two kgs of leaves when they stopped the police patrol car on Monday near the town of Nausori, the Fiji Times newspaper said on Wednesday.

Realizing their mistake the boys dropped the sacks of leaves, abandoned the horses and fled into bushes.

"As for the identity of the two youths that fled, the police are aware of who they are," assistant police superintendent Salacieli Naivilawasa told the newspaper.

"It's a matter of going to their village and picking them up. One of the two suspects that fled is a known drug trafficker."

Okay, which of you is going to bell this cat?


Good job!


Unfortunately its like fighting a Hydra, cut off one head and three more sprout.



10 arrested, indicted as cocaine ring broken
Robert Crowe: Expess-News


Authorities on Thursday announced the dismantling of what they called one of the city's largest-ever cocaine trafficking rings, culminating in the arrests and indictments of 10 suspected members.

Federal, state and local law enforcement officers spent three years investigating the case, dubbed "Operation Junkyard Dog," in reference to an auto salvage shop where one of the members allegedly ran the ring. The suspects were each charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to deliver more than 5 kilograms of cocaine, and aiding and abetting the possession with intent to deliver that amount.
If convicted, they face 10 years to life in federal prison.

"This trafficking organization is one that has been ingrained in San Antonio for some time and has been a constant threat to our community," said San Antonio Police Chief William McManus.
Authorities said 10 kilograms of cocaine with a street value of $1 million and about $250,000 in cash were recently seized from various properties associated with the ring. In December, authorities said they seized 11 kilograms from a related operation in Eagle Pass.

Arrested and indicted were: David Valdez, of the 3900 block of Parkway; Manuel Borrego, 300 block of Kayton; Alfredo Estrada, 100 block of Querida; Kathren Borrego, 1000 block of Schley; Lisa Ann Calderon, 1300 block of Chalmers; Bernardo Martinez, 1600 block of El Monte; Danny Salinas, 700 block of Brunswick; Adrian Noriega, 500 block of San Patricio; Eddie Diaz, 800 block of Kayton; and Hector "Nalga" Mena, of the 1800 block of Ruiz.

The operation was a joint effort of the San Antonio Police Department, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Internal Revenue Service.

Thomas E. Hinojosa, the DEA's assistant special agent in charge in San Antonio, said the breakup of the ring, one of the "most significant" in the city, could affect the availability of cocaine in the city.
"We've cut off that pipeline of supply," he said, "so they'll have to seek other buyers."

The ring's scope was large for San Antonio, a city typically bypassed by larger drug rings that use Houston and Dallas as distribution hubs, authorities said. In this case, they said, drugs were smuggled from Mexico before they were cut into smaller amounts and distributed from homes and small businesses.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

You Noob


Yeah, I could fly a P-47 Thunderbolt or a F4U Corsair in combat.


I got at least 5-6000 hours flying these and other virtual aircraft for years now online.


Any one need me?


Let me at the controls of one of those new unmanned aircraft like the Boeing predator!!


Computer games to get cigarette-style health warnings
Alexandra Frean, Education Editor, Times Online


Video games will be forced to carry cigarette-style health warnings under proposals to protect children from unsuitable digital material.


The report, commissioned by the Prime Minister in response to a growing moral panic about video games, will conclude that they can harm the development of children’s beliefs and value systems and desensitise them to violence. It will also recommend that retailers who sell video games to anyone under the age rating on the box should face a hefty fine or up to five years in prison, The Times has learnt.


The report, written by Tanya Byron, the clinical psychologist and television parenting guru, is also expected to address the dangers of children’s use of the internet.“Parents are afraid to let their children out,” she said. “So they keep them at home, but allow them to take risks online.”


She will call for a massive campaign to educate parents, teachers and childcarers about how to ensure that children get maximum benefit from the digital world without being exposed to its dangers.


This will include a drive for greater awareness of inappropriate content such as pornography. Parents will be encouraged to monitor children’s online use and keep computers in living rooms rather than bedrooms. Dr Byron, a Times columnist who has two children aged 9 and 12, said that video and online games could have enormous benefits “in terms of learning and development”, but that there was too little awareness among parents about the associated risks they posed and how to manage those risks.


“You would not send your child to the pool without teaching them to swim, so why would you let them online without teaching them to manage the risks?” she said.


Dr Byron said that the current classification system for video games was confusing and not tough enough. At present only games showing sex or gross violence require an age rating from the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) and fewer than 2 per cent of titles carry an 18-certificate.


The alternative Pan-European Game Information system is considered to be ineffective because it uses symbols that are confusing and distributors effectively chose their own ratings by filling in a form about their product.


Dr Byron wants a single statutory classification system. Ratings would have to be displayed prominently on all packaging materials, like health warnings on cigarettes, as well as on shop display cases.


“We have to make child digital safety a priority. If you are under 18, you should not be able to buy an ‘18’ game and if you are under 12, you should not be able to buy a ‘12’ game,” she said. She also wants all games consoles to contain blocking mechanisms that would enable parents to prevent children playing unsuitable games on them.

Could it also be from drinking a lot of beer?


Just great!


I might as well just pack it in now.


I'm doomed! DOOMED!!


I'm just sayin'


Big Belly Boosts Risk of Later Dementia

NEW YORK (AP) - Having a big belly in your 40s can boost your risk of getting Alzheimer's disease or other dementia decades later, a new study suggests.

It's not just about your weight. While previous research has found evidence that obesity in middle age raises the chances of developing dementia later, the new work found a separate risk from storing a lot of fat in the abdomen. Even people who weren't overweight were susceptible.

That abdominal fat, sometimes described as making people apple-shaped rather than pear-shaped, has already been linked to higher risk of developing diabetes, stroke and heart disease.
"Now we can add dementia to that," said study author Rachel Whitmer of the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, Calif.

She and others report the findings in Wednesday's online issue of the journal Neurology.
The study involved 6,583 men and women who were ages 40 to 45 when they had checkups between 1964 and 1973. As part of the exam, their belly size was measured by using a caliper to find the distance between their backs and the surface of their upper abdomens. For the study, a distance of about 10 inches or more was considered high.

The researchers checked medical records to see who had developed Alzheimer's or another form of dementia by an average of 36 years later. At that point the participants were ages 73 to 87. There were 1,049 cases.

Analysis found that compared to people in the study with normal body weight and a low belly measurement:
- Participants with normal body weight and high belly measurements were 89 percent more likely to have dementia.
- Overweight people were 82 percent more likely if they had a low belly measurement, but more than twice as likely if they had a high belly measurement.
- Obese people were 81 percent more likely if they had a low belly measurement, but more than three times as likely if they had a high measurement.

Whitmer said there's no precise way to translate belly measurements into waist circumference. But most people have a sense of whether they have a big belly, she said. And if they do, the new study suggests they should get rid of it, she said.

It's not clear why abdominal fat would promote dementia, but it may pump out substances that harm the brain, she said.

Dr. Jose Luchsinger of the Columbia University Medical Center in New York, who studies the connection between obesity and Alzheimer's disease but didn't participate in the new work, cautioned that such a study cannot prove abdominal fat promotes dementia.

But the study results are "highly plausible" and "I'm not surprised at all," he said. High insulin levels might help explain them, he said.

Dr. Samuel Gandy, who chairs the medical and scientific advisory council of the Alzheimer's Association, said the results fit in with previous work that indicates a person's characteristics in middle age can affect the risk of dementia in later life.

And it's another example of how traits associated with the risk of developing heart disease are also linked to later dementia, he said.

The sky is falling


They're becoming more like us everyday.


Russian farmer sues space agency for falling rocket
By Natalya Sokhareva

BARNAUL, Russia (Reuters) - A shepherd is suing Russia's space agency for compensation after he said a 10-foot-long chunk of metal from a space rocket fell into his yard, just missing his outdoor toilet.

Boris Urmatov, who is asking for 1 million roubles ($42,000) from the Roskosmos agency, lives in a small village that lies underneath the flight path of rockets taking off from the Baikonur launchpad Russia leases in nearby Kazakhstan.

"Something woke him up in the night, like something exploded. Since he's visually handicapped he didn't notice the fallen rocket parts," Urmatov's sister Marina told Reuters from the village of Kyrlyk, in Russia's Altai region.

"But in the morning in front of the shepherd hut he saw this enormous metal casing, as smooth as an egg," she said by telephone from the village, which is 2,175 miles east of Moscow. "It nearly crushed the outhouse."

She said her brother was seeking damages to compensate him for the stress he suffered.
Residents in the neighboring village of Ust-Kan said rocket pieces regularly rain down on their area. Parts of the surrounding countryside are designated special zones where people may not go during the launches.

"Sometimes it's smooth metal casings, sometimes it's bolts. I remember something like an engine fell once," said Anatoly Kazakov, an Ust-Kan resident.

Roskosmos said it regularly warns residents when a launch is scheduled, and in a history stretching back over 50 years and 400 rockets, only a few space-bound rocket parts have fallen outside designated areas.

"Technologically speaking, these parts are supposed to fall off during a launch. They fly, they fall, they fly, they fall. It's how they work," said Roskosmos spokesman Alexander Vorobyov.

He said Roskosmos regularly sends out an investigation team to check on reports of damage from rocket parts, but it could only pay compensation if a court rules for damages.

"If a court determines that, yes, those are rocket parts, they fell on his land, then for sure he will be compensated. No question about it. We live in a civilized, law-abiding country," Vorobyov said.
Izvestia newspaper said Roskosmos had only once paid out compensation over rocket debris to a private individual -- 10,000 roubles in 2001 -- when a piece fell on his yard as he was outside chopping wood.

"What is abnormal is when somebody gets greedy, and it turns out the parts did not fall on his land, but that they were dragged there. Those moments are not good," Vorobyov said.

"But those are individual instances. We in no way refuse to pay out compensation. It just has to go through the court system."

Fat free?


Holy Smokes, I'm going back on my diet.


What a novel way to get to stay out of jail, I guess.


How about trying not to kill anyone?


What are they going to do for the trial? Where will they keep her if she's found guilty? What if she's given the death penalty? So many questions.



1,000-pound woman is charged in tot's death
Lynn Brezosky: Rio Grande Valley Bureau


EDINBURG — A morbidly obese and bedridden La Joya woman was arrested and charged Tuesday with striking deadly blows to the head and upper body of her 2-year-old nephew.
Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino said officials were forced to book Mayra Lizbeth Rosales, 27, on a capital murder charge at her home and set a personal recognizance bond because they could not move or jail her. He said she reportedly weighs 1,000 pounds.

The child's mother, 31-year-old Jamie Lee Rosales, was arraigned on a felony charge of injury to a child and jailed, with bond set at $50,000. Trevino said she had violated a state order not to leave her children in Mayra Rosales' care.

Initial reports that Mayra Rosales fell and accidentally crushed Eliseo Gonzalez Jr. were incorrect, Trevino said.

"Eliseo's fatal injuries were the result of at least two blows," Trevino said. "It could not have been a crushing or compression injury."

It was unclear Wednesday whether either sister had an attorney. Jamie Lee Rosales was arraigned alone and in jail clothing. She said in Spanish that she had no response to the charge and was walked quickly past reporters.

The arrests followed a week of investigation into the toddler's death. Investigators were called to the hospital March 18 after Eliseo arrived in a coma. He was taken off life support two days later.
Mayra Rosales told investigators that while trying to pick Eliseo up, she had slipped and landed with her hand on his head. She said he was further injured when he fell off a chair.
Autopsy results showed a different story, Trevino said, as did objects seized in a search of the home.

The child had multiple skull fractures and large contusions on his forehead, upper back, and lower back of the head. In addition, there was a head fracture determined to be a month old.
"The injuries are consistent with being struck rather than crushed," he said.

Trevino said Mayra Rosales was bedridden by her obesity and had therefore been deemed unable to care for a child.

Last April, Jamie Lee Rosales signed a Child Protective Services safety plan directing her not to leave her children alone with Mayra. She told investigators she had taken her other two children to the dentist that morning.

Trevino said the appointment was a non-emergency. Mayra Rosales' husband also lives at the home but she and Eliseo were alone when the incident occurred, Trevino said.

Trevino had no motive for the alleged blows, but said Eliseo had been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder and was known to be "extremely active."

Asked how a bedridden woman could inflict such blows, Trevino said her disability did not mean she was immobile and that she moved about by sliding herself on the bedsheets.

As for the home arraignment and the judge's decision to grant a personal recognizance bond, Trevino said there was no choice.

"We would have to remove the walls," he said. "And then what? We have no way to move her, no cell to fit her."

We are Stardust


We truly live in amazing times.


Moons of Saturn spewing water vapor and organic compounds.


Somewher, the late Sir Arthur C. Clarke is smiling.



Through the plume
Cindy Tumiel: Express-News

A greatly enhanced and colorized image of the Saturn moon Enceladus shows the continuously erupting plume that Cassini flew through. The basic building blocks of living organisms abound on the mysterious and distant moon, scientists said.

If Old Faithful didn't impress you enough, picture this — pressurized water vapor spewing hundreds of miles into the air from deep cracks in the ground that are as long as the distance between San Antonio and Austin.

That is what a geyser is like on Enceladus, one of the 52 named moons circling Saturn. The space probe Cassini flew through the plume this month, two years after a geyser-like region was detected along the south pole of the exotic moon that is roughly the size of Arizona.

Cassini's scientists, including several from San Antonio's Southwest Research Institute, observed pristine water vapor and organic compounds erupting continuously from the interior of the moon and traveling into space at a speed of 1,000 mph. The findings excited and intrigued scientists, who said Enceladus' content more closely resembles a comet than a barren and rocky satellite.
"What something like a comet is doing orbiting Saturn is a very interesting question," said Hunter Waite, a space scientist from Southwest Research Institute who is part of the Cassini science team. "This is going to make us think a second time about the formation of the Saturn system."

Waite, who led the effort to analyze the chemistry of the plume, found it was composed of more than 90 percent water vapor and ice crystals, with small amounts of organic compounds like methane and propane. On Earth, these compounds result from decayed living material, something that isn't happening on frozen and distant Enceladus, he said.

But with water ice, organic compounds and energy from the geothermal eruptions, the basic building blocks of living organisms abound on the mysterious and distant moon, scientists said.

"Organics are clearly there in an abundance beyond what we expected," Waite said Wednesday at a news conference on the findings at NASA headquarters.

Cassini also detected heat in the geysers, which erupt from four parallel cracks, each about 80 miles long, covering the satellite's southern pole. Surface temperatures around the geyser spouts are about minus 135 degrees. That is plenty cold, but it still is 200 degrees warmer than other regions of the moon, said John Spencer, another Southwest Research Institute scientist. This suggests some powerful source of heat in the interior of the moon, he said.
"It means we have a great deal of energy being delivered to the surface in this region," Spencer said. "It is entirely possible that we have liquid water not too far below the surface of these fractures."
Cassini flew within 100 miles of the surface of Enceladus during the trip. Another fly-by is planned for later this year, when the probe will come within 30 miles of the surface and use its imaging instruments to map finer details about surface features on the moon.

Go back to driver's ed


LMAO!
It always seems that these guys get caught because they don't use a turn signal or a brake light doesn't work or what have you. Good for us, bad for them.



$145,000 worth of pot seized; minivan driver arrested
Michelle Mondo: Express-News


San Antonio police confiscated 385 pounds of marijuana during a traffic stop Wednesday, and they said it was being transported through the city with Austin as a possible destination.
Officers said the marijuana has a street value of about $145,000.

Tactical Response Unit Lt. Joe Salvaggio said unit officers arrested an Austin resident in his late 30s who was driving the minivan transporting the drugs. The stop was made at Interstate 35 and Fisher Road, Salvaggio said.

Officials said the man was arrested without incident but that he was not forthcoming with details. Because of the amount of drugs, police said, he likely is part of a larger organization.
Salvaggio touted training on highway drug interdiction that officers received about two months ago from the Department of Public Safety. He said 60 officers, two from TRU, were trained in identifying certain "red flags" involved in transporting drugs.

He said he could not go into detail about the specifics that led the officers to become suspicious of the man but added that "this person to a layman would not have stuck out."

Officers stopped him for minor traffic offenses, including not using his turn signal.

This is the first drug bust TRU has made as a direct result of the DPS training, Salvaggio said.
The arrested man faces felony drug charges, Salvaggio said, but his name could not be released until he was officially charged.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Oy Vey


This can only end badly I am afraid for all involved.


Tensions between the two groups will only rise and as the Summer approaches, heat up.


I surely hope I am wrong.


Who knew Bill Clinton was not only the first Black President he was also the first Jewish President?
That explains Monica Lewinsky.



Rabbi Alleges Attack: Men Chanted 'Allahu Akhbar'
Victim: Stolen Yarmulke Prompts Altercation That Leads To Brutal Beating Inside NYC Subway Station


BROOKLYN (CBS) ― A Brooklyn rabbi is speaking out after a scary encounter with a man accused of snatching his yarmulke off his head. Rabbi Uria Ohana's crash course on street justice -- and the justice -- system continues. "I got a call from the district attorney," Ohana said. "I'm going to testify in front of the grand jury."


The case is against 18-year old Ali Hussein, accused of snatching Ohana's yarmulke last week inside a Park Slope subway station. It was an offense Ohana says he couldn't let pass."I decided to chase him to get my yarmulke back," Ohana said.


Prosecutors haven't classified the incident as a bias crime yet, but a Brooklyn resident who spoke to CBS 2 HD says he's not encouraged by what happened. "It's unfortunate that these two cultures that don't get along a world away … even here in Brooklyn … are not getting along,"


Brooklyn resident Miguel Yazinsky said.Rabbi Ohana says as he ran back down the station's stairs two of Hussein's friends got up from this bench and chased him out of the station. "They were screaming 'Allahu Akhbar (God is great) and punching my face," Ohana said. But Ohana says things came to a head when Hussein was hit by a car as he ran out onto Fourth Avenue. EMS officials confirm responding to a call at that time and location for a pedestrian struck by a vehicle.


At the subway station, CBS 2 HD found little sympathy for Hussein. "So you're trying to say the guy who grabbed it got hit by a car? That's justice, isn't it?" Brooklyn resident Kevin Ryan said. Not for Rabbi Ohana, who says despite the fact Hussein was injured, he still wants him prosecuted to fullest extent of the law. Hussein is charged with grand larceny, petty larceny and criminal possession of stolen property.


Prosecutors expect more charges will be filed.

Look at the spiral.....You are getting sleepy


Look deep....................Look deep into my eyes......................


You......will..........give me all your money...................


In small denominations, please and thank you.


You may wake up after I am gone.


Bandit Hypnotizing Bank Tellers, Cashiers

ROME, Italy -- A mysterious bearded man in Rome is wanted by police for using hypnotism to mesmerize cashiers and bank tellers while he steals thousands of dollars.


Surveillance video from inside a store that aired on CCTV showed the man walking up to a supermarket cashier and apparently mesmerizing her before stealing cash.

The same man is believed to be responsible for robbing banks.

A bank teller said the man approached her, leaned over and told her to "look into my eyes," the report said. The next thing she noticed was her till was empty.

Another cashier handed over more than $1,200 after she said she became mesmerized by the man.

Local 6 reported that the victim's don't remember any of the theft, only that their actions seemed natural at the time.

Tell me lies, Tell me sweet little lies


"How well I remebered my own graduation" Remember those words spoken years ago at a graduation ceremony by, I believe, Lena Guerrero, who was running for Texas Railroad Commissioner at the time?


How nice, except she never graduated from college even though she touted a ficticious degree in her resume and political flyers. She didn't win election.


So why did Hillary Clinton lie about something which could so easily be fact-checked? We ran for cover under sniper fire? Yeah, right and you took your then 15 year old daughter Chelsea with you into the danger zone.


This wouldn't be such a big deal except that Hillary made it so in at least one of her speeches about her foreign experience. This one as recent as last week.




All this reminds us of the capacity for the Clintons, yes, both, to lie. You lie about the little things, what about the big things?


Misspoke? is that even a word? How about I lied?
BUSTED!!


Clinton Says She ‘Misspoke’ About Dodging Sniper Fire

By PATRICK HEALY and KATHARINE Q. SEELYE

BLUE BELL, Pa. — As part of her argument that she has the best experience and instincts to deal with a sudden crisis as president, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton recently offered a vivid description of having to run across a tarmac to avoid sniper fire after landing in Bosnia as first lady in 1996.

Yet on Monday, Mrs. Clinton admitted that she “misspoke” about the episode — a concession that came after CBS News showed footage of her walking calmly across the tarmac with her daughter, Chelsea, and being greeted by dignitaries and a child.

The backpedaling was a rare instance of Mrs. Clinton’s acknowledging an error, and she did so on a sensitive issue: She has cited her “strength and experience” since the start of the presidential race, framing her 80 trips abroad as first lady as preparation for dealing with foreign affairs as president. That argument was behind her campaign’s “red phone” commercial, which cast her as best able to handle a crisis.

Mrs. Clinton corrected herself at a meeting with the Philadelphia Daily News editorial board; she did not explain why she had misspoken, but only admitted it and then offered a less dramatic description.

Mrs. Clinton said she had been told “that we had to land a certain way and move quickly because of the threat of sniper fire,” not that actual shots were being fired.
“So I misspoke,” she said.

Earlier Monday, Clinton advisers corrected the Bosnia anecdote, saying they did not want it to harm her credibility. One Clinton foreign policy adviser, speaking on condition of anonymity in exchange for being candid about her mistake, said that Mrs. Clinton had been “too loose” with her words and that she risked looking as if “she was trying to pump up a somewhat risky situation into a very dangerous one.”

In her most recent account, offered last week, Mrs. Clinton described an action-packed arrival in the Balkans.
“I certainly do remember that trip to Bosnia,” she said, in remarks that aides described Monday as not being part of her prepared speech. “I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.”

In interviews Monday, aides to Mrs. Clinton at the time of the trip, as well as an Associated Press photographer who was on the trip, said that she and others were briefed before landing about the possibility of sniper fire around the airport in Tuzla, Bosnia. None of the aides remembered actual sniper fire. Nor did the photographer, Doug Mills, who now works for The New York Times.

“I remember being told we were going into a war zone, but I don’t remember any commotion at the airport,” Mr. Mills said. “I don’t recall her running to cars. If that had happened, we would have made a picture of it.”

Maj. Gen. William Nash, who has since retired but was then the commander of United States troops in Bosnia and was at the Tuzla airport that day, said in an interview that there was no threat of sniper fire at the airport during Mrs. Clinton’s visit. He said she was gracious during her visit and took pictures with the soldiers, who were there to enforce the terms of the Dayton peace accord, signed five months earlier.

“She never had her head down,” General Nash said. “There was no sniper threat that I know of.”
Before Mrs. Clinton’s admission that she had misspoken, a spokesman for the campaign, Howard Wolfson, was asked Monday on a conference call with reporters to square her recent accounts with other evidence. In response, Mr. Wolfson referred to news accounts at the time that described the region as hostile.

He then added, “There is no question if you look at contemporaneous accounts that she was going to a potential combat zone, that she was on the front lines.”

Minutes later, when pressed to clarify his comment, Mr. Wolfson said news accounts made clear that the area in which she was landing was “a potential combat zone and was hazardous.”
He said that in her memoir, “Living History,” Mrs. Clinton wrote about sniper fire in the hills and “clearly meant to say that” when she brought it up last week. He said she had described the event many times the same way and that “in one instance, she said it slightly differently.”
In her comments Monday, Mrs. Clinton made a similar point, saying, “I didn’t say that in my book or other times.”

Mrs. Clinton had described the sniper fire in similar terms at least twice in recent weeks. She mentioned it on Feb. 29 in Waco, Tex., when she was rolling out her “red phone” commercial, recalling the trip to Bosnia and saying that the welcoming ceremony “had to be moved inside because of sniper fire.”

According to Mrs. Clinton’s public schedule for March 25, 1996, she arrived in Tuzla at 8:55 a.m. and was greeted by the acting president of Bosnia, Ejup Ganic; the United States ambassador, John Menzies; two senior United States military officials; an 8-year-old girl, whose name was redacted from the schedule for privacy reasons; and a seventh-grade class that had been “adopted by Germany.”

The first lady’s public schedule, which was among more than 11,000 pages released by the National Archives last week, lists the greeting ceremony at the Tuzla airport this way: “Ambassador Menzies intros HRC to greeters; 8-year-old Bosnian Girl Reads Poem to HRC; HRC greets 7th grade class.”

Later that day, Mrs. Clinton spoke at a show for about 500 troops. She was joined by the comedian Sinbad and the singer Sheryl Crow, both of whom performed for the troops, according to the schedule. Later that day, Mrs. Clinton and her entourage left for Aviano Air Base in Italy.

Sinbad challenged her account of sniper fire soon after he heard it more than a week ago, saying the scariest part of the trip for him was wondering where the next meal would come from. Sinbad is supporting Senator Barack Obama for president.

Stuffing!


Another election year and another South Texas voter fraud allegation.


Its a shame that we have come to a point where this seems almost to be expected.


*Yawn*





Fraud alleged in Jim Wells primary
John MacCormack: Express-News


As surely as winter rains bring Texas wildflowers in the spring, elections in Jim Wells County sprout complaints of election hanky-panky.

Sixty years after a future president earned the sarcastic nickname "Landslide Lyndon" by edging Coke Stevenson for a U.S. Senate seat with ballots stuffed into the infamous Box 13, the smell of dirty tricks again is in the air.

"Some people in Jim Wells will get indicted," predicted District Attorney Joe Frank Garza, who lost his bid for a fifth term in the 79th District by about 350 votes to Alice lawyer Armando Barrera.

"I'm not going to contest the election. The people spoke. But I have received a lot of complaints about fraud, more than usual," said Garza, who said he sent a letter to Attorney General Greg Abbott voicing his concerns.

"They were very interested, and they requested we put this stuff together and prepare reports," said Garza, adding that he expects to see state investigators in Alice this week.
And he was not alone in his concerns, as county election administrator Pearlie Valadez also called Abbott's office after the March 4 primary.

"My concern was the mail-in ballots," she said.

"There is an investigation. They are looking into things, but there is nothing more I can say," said Valadez, who said she was asked by the attorney general's office not to discuss the probe.

A spokesman for Abbott confirmed Monday that a formal complaint had been received from Garza but declined to comment on reports that state investigators will be arriving in Alice soon.
Garza, who assigned one of his investigators to look into the election complaints, said most of the problems were linked to mail-in ballots.

"There were like 2,300 (mail-in) ballots sent out, but only 1,500 were returned. A lot of people came in to vote and were told they had already voted by mail. So someone else was voting for them," he said. (Boy, I would be pissed!)


Monday, March 24, 2008

People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw Stones


Why you'd rather not make enemies on the way up.


Beach man told FBI of alleged Spitzer sexscapades

New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer announces his resignation Wednesday, March 12, 2008, in his offices in New York. An analysis by The Associated Press of a year's worth of expense reports for Spitzer's office and his 2010 campaign shows little sign that those funds were used to pay for illicit activities.

Almost four months before Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned in a sex scandal, a lawyer for Republican political operative Roger Stone sent a letter to the FBI alleging that Spitzer ''used the services of high-priced call girls'' while in Florida.

The letter, dated Nov. 19, said Miami Beach resident Stone learned the information from ''a social contact in an adult-themed club.'' It offered one potentially identifying detail: the man in question hadn't taken off his calf-length black socks ``during the sex act.''

Stone, known for shutting down the 2000 presidential election recount effort in Miami-Dade County, is a longtime Spitzer nemesis whose political experience ranges from the Nixon White House to Al Sharpton's presidential campaign. His lawyer wrote the letter containing the call-girl allegations after FBI agents had asked to speak to Stone, though he says the FBI did not specify why he was contacted.

''Mr. Stone respectfully declines to meet with you at this time,'' the letter states, before going on to offer ''certain information'' about Spitzer.

''The governor has paid literally tens of thousands of dollars for these services. It is Mr. Stone's understanding that the governor paid not with credit cards or cash but through some pre-arranged transfer,'' the letter said.

''It is also my client's understanding from the same source that Governor Spitzer did not remove his mid-calf length black socks during the sex act. Perhaps you can use this detail to corroborate Mr. Stone's information,'' the letter said, signed by attorney Paul Rolf Jensen of Costa Mesa, Calif.

The letter also notes that while Stone believes the information is true, he ''cannot swear to its accuracy'' because it is second-hand.

James Margolin, a spokesman for the FBI's New York office, would not say whether the bureau had received the letter. A spokeswoman for Spitzer also had no comment.

The letter was written several months after allegations were leveled at Stone that he had left a threatening phone message at the office of Bernard Spitzer, the ex-governor's father, regarding ''phony'' campaign loans involving his son's unsuccessful 1994 bid for attorney general. Stone denied making the call but resigned as a consultant for state Senate Republicans in Albany.

Spitzer, the crusading attorney general who became governor, resigned March 12 amid allegations he was a client of a high-paid prostitution ring, the Emperors' Club. Four people have been charged with operating the ring. Spitzer has not been charged. A federal affidavit described a rendezvous between Spitzer and a prostitute known as Kristen, since identified as Ashley Alexandra Dupre, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington on Feb. 13.

One of Stone's lawyers, Fort Lauderdale attorney Robert Buschel, said the letter's release is an attempt to set the record straight about Stone's possible part in the Spitzer drama. Stone confirmed the letter and referred The Miami Herald to his lawyer for comments.

''The conspiracy enthusiasts on the Internet are going wild over Roger Stone's role in the fall of Eliot Spitzer. We felt it was important to lay out for the public exactly what Mr. Stone did tell the government,'' said Buschel, a partner in Rothstein, Rosenfeldt, Adler of Fort Lauderdale.

Stone works as a partner in a separate public affairs and consulting company with the same name -- Rothstein, Rosenfeldt, Adler -- in the same office as the law firm.

''We trust this information was helpful to federal authorities in making their case against Mr. Spitzer,'' Buschel said.

Fly the friendly skies


Hmmph? Gun accidently discharges on plane?


Sounds more to me like sombody was probably 'effing around with it and it discharged.




Pilot's gun discharges on US Airways flight

By DIANA RUGG / WCNC

CHARLOTTE, N.C.-- A US Airways pilot’s gun accidentally discharged during a flight from Denver to Charlotte Saturday, according to a statement released by the airline.
The statement said the discharge happened on Flight 1536, which left Denver at approximately 6:45 a.m. and arrived in Charlotte at approximately 11:51 a.m.

The Airbus A319 plane landed safely and none of the flight’s 124 passengers or five crew members was injured, according to the statement. It was a full flight. An airline spokeswoman said the plane has been taken out of service to make sure it is safe to return to flight.

A Transportation Safety Administration spokeswoman reached by WCNC Sunday said the pilot is part of TSA’s Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) program, which trains pilots to carry guns on flights. Andrea McCauley said the gun discharged in the cockpit, but she could not release how the gun was being transported at the time. She did not release the pilot’s name, but said he was authorized to carry the weapon and was last requalified in the FFDO program last November.

A statement from TSA said the airplane was never in danger, and the TSA and the Federal Air Marshals Service are investigating the incident.

Best wishes for a full and speedy recovery


Our thoughts and prayers are with you Emilio.


Wishing you Godspeed in getting better and back in health.



Emilio's bus crashes in Houston
Ramiro Burr: Express-News


Tejano superstar Emilio Navaira remained in critical condition in a Houston hospital after his tour bus crashed early Sunday.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Navaira was one of eight people injured in the crash. He was flown by a medical helicopter to Memorial Hermann Hospital, where hospital administrator Lisa Lagrone listed him in critical condition.
Others in the bus were taken to Memorial Hermann and Ben Taub hospitals.

Navaira, 45, and his band Rio had played at the Houston nightclub Hallabaloo's on Saturday night. According to the Chronicle, the tour bus was traveling north on Loop 610 by Southwest Freeway when it struck a set of freeway barrels at about 5 a.m.

The Chronicle quoted Bellaire police Sgt. Daniel Kerr as saying, "For some reason, the driver lost control and hit the barrels. We don't know why yet. He (the driver) was ejected through the front window."

Kerr would not confirm later Sunday if Navaira was driving, but other officials at the scene said Navaira was behind the wheel at the time.

Kerr said a blood test would be administered to the driver but that there was no evidence at the scene indicating alcohol was a factor in the accident.

Navaira and most of his family call San Antonio home. Family friends said much of the family was in Houston at the hospital and trying to avoid the media. They could not be reached for comment.

"I think they got the family in hiding. They do not want to talk to anybody," said Joey Rodriguez, manager for David Lee Garza y Los Musicales, a close friend of Navaira for many years who was in touch with the family.

Late Sunday, hospital officials were not releasing any additional details on Navaira's condition.
However, another family friend who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak for the family, said Navaira suffered serious head injuries in the accident. He said doctors had to open his skull to relieve some of the pressure.

"They told me they had to induce a coma to help relieve that pressure," Rodriguez said. "They told me that had given him a 20 percent chance (of surviving), so the next 24 hours is critical."
Rodriguez and the family friend confirmed that family members said Navaira was driving the bus at the time of the accident.

Hospital officials scheduled a 10 a.m. news conference today at Hermann Conference Center for an update.

Other friends of the family said they saw Emilio's younger brother and bandmate, Raul, walking with the family at the hospital Sunday afternoon.
Raul was among the people on the bus who were treated and released earlier.
Eden Barrera Jr., a Navaira fan in Houston, said he drove by the accident site a few hours after it happened.

"I happened to have my camera, so I took a lot of photos," Barrera said. "When I saw the bus I was shocked. It was still up on the median and leaning to one side, so it almost rolled over.

"From what I could see there was nothing left of the front cab. The cab is completely smashed in. It is unbelievable that anyone could have survived the crash."

Dave Arevalo, a San Antonio community organizer and National Night Out organizer, who grew up with Emilio on the South Side, said a prayer vigil has been scheduled for 7 tonight at the Alamodome Parking Lot A.

The rally is scheduled next to a short street renamed Emilio Navaira Jr. Boulevard., after Emilio's father, in 2005.

"It's a little street, next to the bridge at Durango and Hoefgen," Arevalo said. "I felt we need to do something, like prayer. He has a lot of fans, and we want to use the power of prayer.
"Emilio's father used to have a barbershop called La Victoria Barbershop on that corner, which is right next to the Victoria Courts."

For information on the vigil, Arevalo can be contacted at (210) 391-6497.

Navaira, known by his fans by one name — Emilio — began his 20-year-plus career as lead singer for David Lee Garza y Los Musicales.

At the time, he was studying for a music degree at Texas State University-San Marcos, then Southwest Texas State.

In 1989, he went solo and quickly rose as an influential force in the rising movement that became Tejano's massive renaissance in the early '90s. His early hits, many of them written by his brother Raul, included "Sensaciones," "Ya Ahora Es Tarde," "Como Le Hare" and "Que Diablos Me Pasa."

By the mid-'90s Emilio and Selena were considered the undisputed king and queen of Tejano, each having played in front of 70,000 fans at the Houston Astrodome for the Houston Rodeo's Go Tejano Day several times.

They also dominated the annual Tejano Music Awards. Selena was shot and killed in 1995.
In 1995, Navaira released "Life is Good," his first all-country CD, produced by noted Nashville wiz Barry Beckett. The next year Emilio followed that with "On the House," again produced by Beckett. Both CDs produced hits such as "It's Not the End of the World" and "Somebody Stop Me."

In 2003, Navaira won a Grammy for his CD "Acuerdate." His latest CD is "De Nuevo," released in September.

Like several celebrities, Emilio has seen his share of troubles.

He was arrested for driving while intoxicated in September 2000. That followed his arrest in January of that year on charges of assaulting a girlfriend and resisting arrest, charges that were later dropped.

Fool me once, shame on you, fool me, twice shame on me


WTF! Once isn't enough?



Attorney Is Disbarred for the Second Time
Anthony Lin: New York Law Journal

A one-time law firm associate, disbarred in 1988 for insider trading, then re-admitted in 2003, has been disbarred again for misrepresenting his past in applications both for reinstatement and for non-legal licenses to work as an insurance agent and a stock broker.

Israel G. Grossman committed his insider trading offenses while working as an associate at the firm now known as Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel. The confidential information he passed to friends and family about transactions the firm was working on netted them $1.5 million in trading profits.

Arrested and convicted in 1987, the then-34-year-old Grossman was sentenced to two years in prison. He was also later found jointly and severally liable to the Securities and Exchange Commission for $2.5 million. The case attracted considerable attention at the time, coming soon after prosecutors ensnared the much larger insider trading ring led by investment banker Dennis Levine.

But the Appellate Division, 1st Department, ruled last week that the now 55-year-old Grossman had consistently denied having a prior conviction on professional licensing applications to the state insurance department and the National Association of Securities Dealers. He failed to disclose these applications in his successful quest for reinstatement to the bar in 2003, even though he was facing criminal prosecution at the time for allegedly lying to the NASD about his past.

"Under these circumstances, disbarment is the appropriate sanction, as respondent has engaged in a pervasive pattern of affirmative misrepresentations and failed to fully accept responsibility for his serious misconduct," the court said in Matter of Israel G. Grossman.

Grossman sought work as an insurance agent in 1994. In both his applications for employment at various insurers and for a license from the state Insurance Department, he stated that he had not been convicted of any crime other than traffic violations or a juvenile offense. He also stated that he had not been censured, fined or suspended by any regulatory agency.

In 2000, Grossman's then-employer, New York Life Insurance Co., asked him to apply for a broker's license from the NASD. The application asked: "Has any domestic or foreign court ever found you were involved in a violation of any investment-related statute(s) or regulation(s)?" Grossman answered negatively.

This response led to criminal charges in December 2001, after New York Life learned of Grossman's prior conviction and reported him to the NASD. Grossman was applying for reinstatement to the bar at around the same time.

He had been rejected on a prior attempt in 1996, but the court granted his second application in May 2003. In last week's decision, the court noted that Grossman disclosed neither the criminal charges then against him or the fact that he had been found personally liable for $2.5 million in insider trading profits.

Grossman, appearing pro se, argued unsuccessfully that he had not disclosed his insider-trading convictions in the other licensing applications because he had been advised incorrectly by one insurer and an employment lawyer at the time of his hiring that the question only applied to convictions within the last five years.

He was acquitted on the charge stemming from his NASD application after a bench trial, but only after Southern District Judge Shira Scheindlin rejected Grossman's guilty plea as equivocal and insisted on a trial.

Busy as a bee


Dear Readers;


I am really, really busy right now. I have an appellate oral argument on Wednesday in what started out to be an attempted capital murder case, the defendant eventually pled to an aggravated assault of a peace officer with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to 75 years to do at the Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice. The link below will take you to a website regarding the shooting with pictures of the vehicle and a video of the shooting from the in car video.




Then next week I have a brief due and then have a seminar in Plano on Friday, April 4. So if there isn't much new posting in the next couple of weeks this is why.


I will try to make up for it ASAP.


Thank you Dear Readers.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Stand Down! No, you Stand down!




A tough week for Judges and lawyers apparently.



Judge Found in Violation of Conduct Code After Ordering Attorney to Be Shackled

W.J. Hennigan Legal Times

The D.C. Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure determined last week that D.C. Superior Court Judge John Bayly Jr. violated the code of judicial conduct when he ordered a Public Defender Service attorney to be shackled and detained after an argument.

Transcripts from a criminal hearing on Aug. 29, 2007 reveal that the incident began when PDS attorney Liyah Brown attempted to tell Bayly that her client was "a homeless man." Bayly, however, said he wasn't so sure: "I don't know that he is."

The two began arguing until Bayly told Brown to "be quiet" and have a seat. He said he would "call the case later," and warned if she continued, she was "going to be in contempt in a minute."
When Brown failed to stop, Bayly called on a U.S. marshal to "[s]tep her back, please. Step her back." Brown was then handcuffed, subjected to a pat-down search and held in a cell with misdemeanor defendants for about 45 minutes.

The following week, PDS attorneys started a silent protest by wearing red armbands around the courthouse. They said their intention was to show solidarity with Brown.

The commission's determination and undertaking was issued last week and signed by Bayly on March 11. The determination said his actions were "grossly disproportionate" to Brown's conduct. It also said Bayly violated the code of conduct that says a "judge shall be patient, dignified and courteous to litigants, jurors, witnesses, lawyers and others with whom the judge deals in an official capacity."

According to the commission, Bayly has accepted the commission's conclusion and recognized his violation. He also wrote a note to Brown apologizing for his actions.

The commission said in view of Bayly's more than 18-year record on the bench, no further sanctions were necessary.

A double expresso venti latte up the wazoo





Boy, that is gonna leave a mark.


It's not nice to take other people's tip money.


Starbucks Ordered to Pay $100 Million for Tip-Pooling
San Diego judge says coffee chain owes its California baristas about $100 million for tips it shared with shift supervisors

Starbucks baristas, you've got mail.

In a two-page letter to counsel, San Diego Superior Court Judge Patricia Cowett said the Seattle-based coffee company must pay baristas $86 million, plus interest, for using some of its employees' tips to pay shift supervisors.

A plaintiffs attorney in the case said the total judgment will exceed $100 million.
Cowett's Thursday ruling follows on her finding last month that the company was liable for sharing tips with managers such as shift supervisors. California's tip-pooling law says that gratuities meant for hourly workers can't be taken by an employer or its "agents" -- and Cowett found that Starbucks supervisors were "agents."

Plaintiffs attorney David Lowe asked the judge to award restitution and interest to a statewide class of about 120,000 baristas, or coffee servers, employed by the chain's California branches since 2000. Based on expert testimony, Cowett pegged the average tip rate at $1.71 an hour and multiplied it by the 50,694,694 hours worked by shift supervisors.

Lowe, a partner at San Francisco's Rudy Exelrod & Zieff, said the judge's calculation was a "very defensible, very practical way to go about it."

Cowett's letter also said the baristas are entitled to an injunction based on "uncontroverted testimony that Starbucks continues to utilize the distribution of tips from the tip pool to compensate shift supervisors as well as baristas."

Starbucks was represented by Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld partners Daniel Nash and Joel Cohn, in Washington, D.C. The firm referred questions to Starbucks.

In an e-mail, Valerie O'Neil, Starbucks' director of global communication, said Cowett's ruling is "not only contrary to law, it is fundamentally unfair and beyond all common sense and reason."
"Starbucks believes that our shift supervisors deserve their fair share of the tips that they receive from the tip jars in our California stores," O'Neil said.

She said Starbucks plans to "vigorously" appeal the decision.
Lowe, of course, disagreed.

"Starbucks has lots of other ways it can compensate shift supervisors ... but the money has to come from Starbucks, not from the [tip] pool," he said. "Nobody's looking to take money from the shift supervisors." Cowett asked each side to propose a method for distributing the money to class members by April 29.


The case is Chou v. Starbucks, GIC 836925.

What's good for the goose is good for the gander


Someone once said, "A picture is worth a thousand words."


HAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
.................drying eyes......................HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH
......snort.....cough...cough....
This is some campaign season ain't it?


Photograph of Bill Clinton and Rev. Wright Surfaces
By Kate Phillips

The Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. and President Bill Clinton at a prayer breakfast at the White House in September 1998.

During one of the most difficult periods in the presidency of Bill Clinton, he addressed a group of clerics at an annual prayer breakfast in September 1998 just as the Starr report outlining his dalliance with Monica Lewinsky was about to be published.

Among those in attendance, was the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., who is seen shaking hands with Mr. Clinton in a photograph provided today by the Obama campaign. Mr. Wright’s relationship with Senator Barack Obama, as his longtime pastor, has been the subject of considerable controversy in recent days because of incendiary excerpts of sermons Mr. Wright gave at their church, Trinity United Church of Christ, in Chicago.

In providing the photograph to The New York Times, the Obama campaign appeared to be trying to divert some attention to the Clintons after a week in which Mr. Obama’s relationship with Mr. Wright has left him facing one of the biggest challenges of his campaign. There is nothing in the picture or the note that addresses whether Mr. Clinton had met Mr. Wright prior to the White House meeting or whether he or Mrs. Clinton knew anything about Mr. Wright’s views.

Asked for a response tonight through email, Howard Wolfson, a top aide to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, wrote, “Urgent indeed — a picture — oooooooo!”

Senator Clinton’s spokesman, Phil Singer, sent along this reply to a request for comment:
In the course of his two terms in office, Bill Clinton met with, corresponded with and took pictures with literally tens of thousands of people.

Mr. Wright was invited to the 1998 prayer breakfast, and in addition, he received a thank-you note from former President Clinton for his expressions of support about six weeks later.
According to an account by James Bennet, former White House correspondent who has since left The Times:

With tears in his eyes, President Clinton told a roomful of clerics this morning that he had sinned, speaking just hours before the world was presented a painstaking account by prosecutors of when, where and how.

Addressing an annual prayer breakfast at the White House, Mr. Clinton drew on the New Testament, the Yom Kippur liturgy and Ernest Hemingway as he made his most abject confession yet of personal failure, while declaring that he would defend and redeem his Presidency.

‘’I don’t think there is a fancy way to say that I have sinned,'’ he admitted softly, saying that after resisting expressions of contrition he had reached ‘’the rock-bottom truth of where I am.'’


For the first time, Mr. Clinton also asked for forgiveness from Monica S. Lewinsky, on the day that the details of their intimate relationship — details that he had denied and struggled to suppress — poured out through the Internet, whose wonders as a tool of communication he has so often extolled.

Mr. Wright is not mentioned in the article. Also visible in the photograph is Vice President Al Gore.

And according to the newly released schedules of Mrs. Clinton by the National Archives of her years as first lady, she was in attendance, too.

Her schedule reads:

“Religion Leaders Breakfast (w/POTUS)” in the East Room from 9-10:30 a.m.

Format:- The President and First Lady are announced into the East Room and proceed to their tables.- The Vice President makes remarks and introduces The President.-


The President makes remarks and introduces Dr. Reverend Gerald Mann.- Dr. Reverend Gerald Mann gives blessing.-


Breakfast is served.- Following breakfast, The President opens discussion.- Upon conclusion of the discussion, The President introduces Dr. Reverend James Forbes.-


Dr. Reverend James Forbes gives benediction.- The President, First Lady, and Vice President depart.


PARTICIPANTS: Approx. 130 guests to attend.

The wording of Mr. Clinton’s thank-you note to Mr. Wright, dated Oct. 28, 1998:

Dear Pastor Wright:

Thank you so much for your kind message.I am touched by your prayers and by the many expressions of encouragement and support I have received from friends across our country.

You have my best wishes.

Sincerely,

Bill Clinton

Hero











Now, this is a hero.




Subway Miracle: Hero Beats Long Odds To Make Save
Columbia U. Worker Leaps Across 3 Tracks During Rush Hour To Save Much Bigger Man



ReportingCindy Hsu NEW YORK (CBS) ― You're about to meet a subway hero, who jumped onto the tracks to save a man. But as CBS 2 HD has learned, his leap of faith was just the beginning. Veeramuthu Kalimuthu -- or Kali – is a mechanic at Columbia University. His recent actions make him a hero in the truest sense of the word.


And if not for someone else coming forward to tell his story, the public would never know what he did on March 14.


At around 5 p.m. that day he headed to the downtown No. 1 train at 116th Street in Morningside Heights to go home to Jamaica. "I heard everybody was screaming, you know, and everybody was running in different direction," Kalimuthu said. A man had fallen onto the tracks from the opposite platform, all the way on the other side of the station. "People were getting their cell phones out trying to call the police, somebody's got to help him and then I looked over and I saw the gentlemen Kali jump down, hop over the rails," said witness Ed Dijoseph, who brought Kali's story to CBS 2 HD.


Kali made it across three sets of tracks, and knew about the three third rails, which are electrified with 600 volts -- enough to push a 400-ton train. "I was jumping from one over one rail, to over the next rail, over the next rail until I get to him," Kali said. Just getting to the man was hard enough, but once he got to him he had to deal with the fact that the victim was a good 30-40 pounds heavier than he was. Kali is just 5-foot-5 and 150 pounds. Add to that the fact that at 5 p.m. rush hour trains come through that section of track every three minutes. "He was trying to lift the guy up, but he was struggling because the guy who fell was bigger than him," Dijoseph said.


With the help of someone on the platform, Kali hoisted the guy up. "I think within a minute after he got the man up the train heading Uptown came by," Dijoseph said. "If Kali hadn't moved him I truly … I really believe that the train would've killed him." The hero then jumped across the tracks again, back to his platform and his train home to his wife and two children.


"People should help people," Kali said. "If all of us get along well in this world then we'll get a better world to live." Kali says he hopes to meet the man he saved one day, but so far he's not come forward. A NYC Transit spokesperson said the victim was reportedly intoxicated and taken to a local hospital.

Up in smoke


But there wern't any weapons.


So? What's the big deal?


What? I'm just sayin'


Airport screeners miss 45 pounds of pot

Associated Press MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A suitcase packed with 45 pounds of marijuana passed through security at Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee County.

Sheriff David Clarke suspects it was "an inside job" because of the security breach. Clarke says it's unnerving that such a bag can bypass all the TSA security devices.

Investigators aren't saying exactly where the untagged suitcase was found, but they believe it was destined for a plane to New York.

This week's discovery at the airport follows another large marijuana bust over the weekend in Milwaukee County. A deputy pulled over a driver on Interstate 43 and found a suitcase and duffel bag with 63 pounds of marijuana valued at more than $200,000.

Hand Jive


A big No No to do in Court.



Lawyer jailed over lewd gesture at judge
Man detained briefly while representing DWI client.
By Steven KreytakAMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF


An Austin defense lawyer was jailed last week after being accused of making a lewd gesture at a judge while in court representing a client on charges of driving while intoxicated.

Adam Reposa, 33, was held in contempt of court by County-Court-at-Law Judge Jan Breland for his "intentional and contumacious conduct during the court's review of the plea bargain offer to his client before jury trial."

Reposa, who could not be reached for comment, "made a simulated masturbatory gesture with his hand while making eye contact with the court in response to an objection by the state to his interference with the court plea bargain inquiry," Breland wrote in a judgment of criminal contempt of court filed March 11.

Breland, who also could not be reached, noted that she and prosecutor Richard Gentry witnessed the gesture and "acknowledged so on the record."

Breland ordered Reposa taken into custody and returned to court the next morning for a sentencing hearing. Handwritten on the bottom of the order above the initials "JB" was: "No bond without my approval."

However, Reposa was released later that day on a personal bond signed by state District Judge Charlie Baird, who said the law requires that judges set bond in lawyer-contempt cases.
It does not appear from court records that further action on the case has occurred since his release.

Don't worry be happy!


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Money buys happiness -- if you spend on someone else

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Money can buy happiness, but only if you spend it on someone else, researchers reported on Thursday.

Spending as little as $5 a day on someone else could significantly boost happiness, the team at the University of British Columbia and Harvard Business School found.

Their experiments on more than 630 Americans showed they were measurably happier when they spent money on others -- even if they thought spending the money on themselves would make them happier.

"We wanted to test our theory that how people spend their money is at least as important as how much money they earn," said Elizabeth Dunn, a psychologist at the University of British Columbia.

They asked their 600 volunteers first to rate their general happiness, report their annual income and detail their monthly spending including bills, gifts for themselves, gifts for others and donations to charity.

"Regardless of how much income each person made, those who spent money on others reported greater happiness, while those who spent more on themselves did not," Dunn said in a statement.

Dunn's team also surveyed 16 employees at a company in Boston before and after they received an annual profit-sharing bonus of between $3,000 and $8,000.

"Employees who devoted more of their bonus to pro-social spending experienced greater happiness after receiving the bonus, and the manner in which they spent that bonus was a more important predictor of their happiness than the size of the bonus itself," they wrote in their report, published in the journal Science.

"Finally, participants who were randomly assigned to spend money on others experienced greater happiness than those assigned to spend money on themselves," they said.
They gave their volunteers $5 or $20 and half got clear instructions on how to spend it. Those who spent the money on someone or something else reported feeling happier about it.

"These findings suggest that very minor alterations in spending allocations -- as little as $5 -- may be enough to produce real gains in happiness on a given day," Dunn said.
This could also explain why people are no happier even though U.S. society is richer.

"Indeed, although real incomes have surged dramatically in recent decades, happiness levels have remained largely flat within developed countries across time," they wrote.