Thursday, February 28, 2013

Smile; you're on Candid Camera!

Well this picture sure is pretty good.

He shouldn't be hard to find at this point.

Phone thief sought
By Ana Ley - Express-News

Police hope to nab a cellphone thief using surveillance footage that captured the man's face as he stole two phones each from two area AT&T stores in December.

The first theft occurred the afternoon of Dec. 6 when he stole two Samsung Galaxy cellphones from a store in the 6000 block of Northwest Loop 410, between Bandera and Ingram roads on the Northwest Side.

Five days later, he walked into an AT&T store at Texas 151 and Potranco Road on the far West Side and took an Apple iPhone 4S and a Samsung Galaxy Note.

The rest of the story:

Justice served in Comal County Courtroom


Jury sentences Albert medellin to 99 years in prison for murder and 50 years for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Thank you Jenny Smith and Laura Bates for your hard work.

I am very glad for his poor victim that Mr. Medillin was found guilty for the assault and murder of Antonia Espinoza.

Perhaps now she can rest in peace.

The punishment phase continues today.

Jury finds Medellin guilty of murder, aggravated assault

By Dalondo Moultrie The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung
A Comal County jury made up of seven women and five men barely had time to catch their breath Wednesday after convicting a New Braunfels man of assaulting and killing his fiancée before hearing testimony in the penalty phase of the case.

Jurors found Albert Rodriguez Medellin guilty of one count each of murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon causing serious bodily injury against a household member. Jurors heard testimony beginning Feb. 20 until they began deliberations Tuesday.

They returned Wednesday morning for more discussions and appeared deadlocked that morning when they sent District Judge Jack Robison a note asking what they should do if they agreed unanimously on one charge but could come to no consensus on the second.

The rest of the story:

Mea culpa

Dear Readers

I must apologize for the last several weeks and months. 

I haven't been posting as I normally do and I apologize for that.  I have had carpal tunnel surgery an both hands and have had difficulties in typing.

I have also been slammed with briefs due at work, which always take priorities.

Thank you for your patience.

Man o' Law

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Soda Jerk!

You'd think he'd have other things to concern himself about.

Bloomberg's ban prohibits 2-liter soda with your pizza and some nightclub mixers


Take a big gulp, New York: Hizzoner is about to give you a pop.

Nanny Bloomberg unleashes his ban on large sodas on March 12 — and there are some nasty surprises lurking for hardworking families.

Say goodbye to that 2-liter bottle of Coke with your pizza delivery, pitchers of soft drinks at your kid’s birthday party and some bottle-service mixers at your favorite nightclub.

The rest of the story:

Calls her bluff

Gee, how'd you like to be this kid's parent?

Mass. boy, trying to avoid bedtime calls 911
Associated Press -

BROCKTON, Mass. (AP) — Police in Massachusetts say a 10-year-old boy called 911 because he didn't want to go to bed.

Brockton police say the boy made the emergency call just after 8 p.m. Wednesday and told the dispatcher he was calling to report his mother because he did not want to go to bed.

There was no emergency.

The Enterprise reports that according to the police log, an officer went to the boy's home and explained to him when it's appropriate — and when it's not — to call 911.

No one was charged.

What's in a name anyway?

Back from the dead and/or paroled from Hell?

Adolf Hitler stumping for votes in Indian election
By Wasbir Hussein - Associated Press

GAUHATI, India (AP) — Adolf Hitler is running for election in India. So is Frankenstein.

The tiny northeast Indian state of Meghalaya has a special fascination for interesting and sometimes controversial names, and the ballot for state elections Saturday is proof.

Among the 345 contestants running for the state assembly are Frankenstein Momin, Billykid Sangma, Field Marshal Mawphniang and Romeo Rani. Some, like Kenedy Marak, Kennedy Cornelius Khyriem and Jhim Carter Sangma, are clearly hoping for the electoral success of their namesake American presidents.

The rest of the story:

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Tit for tat

This is a pretty interesting development.

Firearms companies restricting sales to government agencies in areas that restrict gun rights
By Gregory Gwyn-Williams, Jr. -

A growing number of firearm and firearm-related companies have stated they will no longer sell items to states, counties, cities and municipalities that restrict their citizens' rights to own them.

According to The Police Loophole, 34 companies have joined in publicly stating that governments who seek to restrict 2nd Amendment rights will themselves be restricted from purchasing the items they seek to limit or ban.

Extreme Firepower Inc., located in Inwood, WV has had a longstanding policy that states:

"The Federal Government and several states have enacted gun control laws that restrict the public from owning and possessing certain types of firearms...If a product that we manufacture is not legal for a private citizen to own in a jurisdiction, we will not sell that product to a law-enforcement agency in that jurisdiction."

The rest of the story:

Going off the cliff?

There are questions to answer.

Many of which however, need to be answered by the government.

Who does the oversight on payments to Medicare and Medicaid providers?  Why are there so many overpayments?

That's as good a place to start as any.

Raid not a first for Scooter Store
By Patrick Danner - Express-News

Last week's raid by 150 agents on The Scooter Store's corporate headquarters in New Braunfels — presumably as part of an investigation into Medicare and Medicaid fraud — capped a tumultuous couple of months for the provider of power-mobility devices.

But trouble has been part of the company's legacy.

Its most recent bout began in December when two U.S. senators sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) wanting to know why The Scooter Store had received as much as $87.7 million in Medicare overpayments from 2009 to 2011 but only had to pay back $19.5 million.

The rest of the story:

A note of caution

This was a tragic circumstance and there always will be tragic circumstances.

I do not understand how some, particularly those in law enforcement, can think or believe that gun bans or taking guns away from law-abiding citizens will solve the problem of criminals committing criminal acts with guns.  All one has to do is look to Chicago which has one of the tightest gun control laws on the books to see how well that's working for them.

All you would be doing is disarming citizens, while the criminals will still have guns.  How long does it take for the police or sheriff's deputies take to respond?  At least here where I live , its not going to be 3-5 minutes, no way, no how.

Sgt. Vann, with all due respect, I am truly sorry for your loss however, don't make us lose our 2d Amendment rights because of your grief.

Even cops are split on the issue of gun control
By Jason Buch and Guillermo Contreras - Express-News

As sheriff's Deputy Yvonne Vann and a canine unit searched an abandoned lot for a fugitive one night in 1999, she heard what sounded like steadily approaching whispers. She soon realized they were gunshots.

A nearby homeowner with a hunting rifle had taken aim at Vann and the other deputy as they searched the brush near the Buena Vista neighborhood in southern Bexar County, not realizing they were police officers. Vann said she managed to drag the other deputy to the ground before the shooter could hit them.

In the years since, she's wondered what would have happened if the gunman had a high-capacity magazine in his rifle.

The rest of the story:

Friday, February 22, 2013

FASTEN your Damn Seat Belts people!!

And just again this morning we had a report of two more young women who died when they went off the road and their car fell 40 feet to the highway below. 

The radio report also stated they weren't wearing their seat belts.

Consider this to be a Public Service Announcement of sorts.

3 teenagers' failure to buckle up was fatal
By Ana ley - Express-News

Andrea Reyna had just gotten her first car and was showing it off to her boyfriend when she realized she missed her 10:30 p.m. curfew.

She jumped in the car and called her mom to say she'd be a few minutes late, but never made it home Wednesday night.

Reyna was not wearing a seatbelt when she lost control of her speeding 2008 Hyundai Accent in the 11500 block of Crosswinds Way about 11 p.m., and she was ejected as the car struck a culvert and went flipping off the road.

The rest of the story:

Murder trial continues this morning

Thank you Doctor for coming and testifying.

The trial is scheduled to continue this morning at 9:00 a.m.

Bexar Co. medical examiner testifies in Medillin trial
By Dalondo Moultrie New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung
NEW BRAUNFELS — Comal County prosecutors had a medical examiner testify Thursday about her findings in the 2010 investigation into a disabled New Braunfels woman’s death.

On the stand in the murder trial against Albert Rodriguez Medellin, Dr. Jennifer Rulon said Antonia Espinoza, 31, suffered many complications while in a coma for several months. She said, however, that Espinoza died from lack of oxygen to her brain due to Medellin assaulting her.

“She had been assaulted several months prior to death,” Rulon testified. “But for that assault, she probably would not have had all these complications and so we ruled it a homicide.”

The rest of the story:

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Trial continues

The murder trial continues today.

Medellin murder trial begins
By Dalondo Moultrie New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung
NEW BRAUNFELS — Testimony began Wednesday morning in the Comal County prosecution of Albert Rodriguez Medellin, accused of beating in July 2010 his disabled fiancee into a coma from which she never recovered.

In an opening statement, Laura Bates, Comal County assistant district attorney and co-counsel for the prosecution, told jurors that testimony will show Medellin attacked his victim with his hands or fists and that his actions led to her death.

“There is going to be no doubt this man caused the death."

The rest of the story:

Pee test the whole lot of 'em

Just what the hell are the Cowboys Front Office folks smoking, snorting, or injecting themselves with?

Whatever it is must be addling their senses.

Cowboys want to extend Romo because he's a 'great quarterback'
By Tom Osborn - Express-News

INDIANAPOLIS – Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said Wednesday the club wants to give Tony Romo a contract extension to “reward” someone the club considers a “great quarterback.”

Extending Romo’s contract would also give Dallas some much-needed salary cap relief, but Jones indicated that’s only a small factor in why the team wants Romo to finish his career as a Cowboy.

“I think on this particular situation with Tony is we think we have a great quarterback and we want him to be our quarterback here for the next 4-5 years,” Jones told KRLD-FM, per the Dallas Morning News’ web site. “We’re fortunate that we have a really good quarterback, if not a great one. He deserves to be paid. He’s in the last year of his contract. Our goal is to not let our quarterback run out of contract. We have a good one here and we want to reward him.

The rest of the story:

When are people going to get it?

What a horrible tragedy for this young man and his family.

God Rest his soul and may his family find solace.

As for her, may she rot in prison.

Man smashed into wall by car dies; woman charged
By Ana ley - Express-News

As a paramedic, Oscar Carrisalez feared most a 911 call about his own aging parents.

He never imagined he'd get that call about his teenage son.

Carrisalez was on duty Tuesday night when a relative notified him that his child, Cedrych Carrisalez, had been in an accident.

The rest of the story:

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wichita is where its at this morning Baby!

Okay, Okay, then.

These guys win the stupid award of the day!

Brothers celebrate lottery win by blowing up house
By Denise Neil - The Wichita Eagle

Two brothers who were celebrating a $75,000 winning lottery ticket by purchasing marijuana and meth accidentally blew up their house on Friday, said Sgt. Bruce Watts of the Wichita Police Department.

The explosion sent one of the brothers – a 27-year-old – to the hospital, where he remains in serious but stable condition with second-degree burns on his hands, arms and chest.

The other brother was sent to jail, Watts said.

The brothers were in a house in the 100 block of North Nevada Court, near Douglas and West Street, about 7 p.m. Friday, Watts said. One of the brothers went to the kitchen to refuel the butane torches they planned to use to light their bongs. He emptied a couple of large cans of butane lighter fluid, leaking butane into the air.

The rest of the story:

Read more here:

A real Menage a Trois of stupid

Wow, they sure were stupid.

Call for prostitute ends with three in jail
By Beccy Tanner - The Witcjita Eagle

A 33-year-old man’s phone call for a prostitute sent three people to jail Sunday morning.

Shortly after 6 a.m. on Sunday, police responded to a neighbor’s phone call regarding a disturbance in the 3200 block of South Chase, near Meridian and 31st Street South, said Sgt. Bart Brunscheen, spokesman for the Wichita Police Department.

When police arrived, they discovered the 33-year-old man had initially called for a prostitute.

When a 24-year-old woman went to his residence, he was unable to pay the full amount for her services. The woman left and later returned with a business associate. The two forced their way in to the man’s residence and the woman stole the homeowner’s cell phone, which constituted a burglary, Brunscheen said.

The rest of the story:

Read more here:

I said NO French kissing!

Wow and Yikes!

Never kiss a mad woman!

Man Who Tried to Kiss and Make Up with Girlfriend After Valentine’s Day Argument Has Tongue Bitten Off

By Neetzan Zimmerman -

An ordinary Valentine's Day outing ended in bloodshed for one Illinois man after his girlfriend allegedly "bit off a large portion of his tongue" when he went in for a kiss.

According to prosecutors, 51-year-old Elaine Cook of Skokie and her 47-year-old boyfriend of 10 months got into a lover's spat after returning home from a date on Valentine's Day.

Cook eventually asked the unidentified man to leave, at which point Assistant State's Attorney Eve Reilly says he put on his shoes and headed for the door.

The rest of the story:

Monday, February 18, 2013

War is Hell!

General William Tecumseh Sherman said it best.

Particularly when its an internal war.

UN: Both sides committing war crimes in Syria
Independent team urges Security Council to act urgently "to ensure accountability for grave violations" during conflict. -

Syrians in "leadership positions" who may be responsible for war crimes have been identified, along with units accused of perpetrating them, UN investigators say.

Both government forces and armed rebels are committing war crimes, including killings and torture, spreading terror among civilians in a nearly two-year-old conflict, they said on Monday.

The investigators' latest report, covering the six months to mid-January, was based on 445 interviews conducted abroad with victims and witnesses, as they have not been allowed into Syria.

The independent team, led by Brazilian Paulo Pinheiro, called on the UN Security Council to "act urgently to ensure accountability" for grave violations, possibly by referring the violators to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for prosecution.

"The international community, and the UN Security Council, must take the decision to refer this to justice," Carla del Ponte, a former UN prosecutor and a member of the commission, said.

"We suggest the International Criminal Court."

The rest of the story:

Too close for comfort

Just why am I not surprised?

Isn't it obvious that Tehran is playing "Long Ball"?

Delay, delay, delay and the bomb will be theirs soon and then the Genie will surely be out of the bottle.

Nuclear inspectors fail to reach deal in Iran
The deadlock is a chilling signal for a wider effort by six major powers to get Iran tackle the decade-old nuclear row. 
Al Jazeerah -

UN inspectors have returned to Vienna from talks in Tehran with no deal on access to Iran's nuclear sites and no date for new talks.

"Despite its many commitments to do so, Iran has not negotiated in good faith," said a Western diplomat accredited to the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna who was not at the talks.

"It appears that we now have to ask ourselves if this is still the right tactic."

The deadlock is a chilling signal for a wider effort by six major powers to get Iran to curb a programme that they fear could give it the capacity to build a nuclear bomb.

The IAEA and Iran "could not finalise the document" setting out terms for an IAEA inquiry into possible military dimensions of Iran's nuclear programme, chief UN inspector Herman Nackaerts said at Vienna airport after returning from Iran.

The rest of the story:

Here comes the Boom!

A big thing to miss, surely.

But as the article points out you have to be looking for this kind of stuff in the first place in order to detect it.

Did Russian early-warning system see the meteorite?


If you are coming from the Drudge Report, please note that the headline there is a bit misleading. Russian radars didn't really "fail" to see the meteorite - I don't think you could fail in something that you had no intention of doing.
Traffic is a bit heavier than usual today, so this page is a light version of the original entry.

Image of radar fans and the meteorite trajectory

The meteorite that exploded over Chelyabinsk on February 15, 2013, was a pretty big thing - NASA estimated that it was about 15-17 meters in size and weighed 7-10 thousand tonnes. Surely it should have been detected by someone. Quite a few commentators in Russia indeed asked why the country needs all these early-warning radars if they could not detect something that large and threatening - it's worth keeping in mind that the explosion that accompanied disintegration of the meteorite was equivalent to about 500 kt.

As far as I can tell, the early-warning radars never had a chance, but it wasn't their fault - the problem was that they were never supposed to detect objects that are coming from outer space. The picture above shows the estimated trajectory of the meteorite and fans of the Daryal radar in Pechora and Dnepr in Mishelevka. The fan of the Don-2N radar of the Moscow missile defense system can be seen as well (for other radars, see this post). It's better to see this in Goolge Earth - here is the kmz file.

I assumed for simplicity that the meteorite flew along a straight line - that's not quite correct, but should work for the purposes of this analysis. The AGI simulation of the trajectory based on the Meteosat-9 data shows that the meteorite came from the azimuth of about 60 degrees (they got the meteorite path wrong, in fact - it passed to the south of Chelyabinsk, not to the north). A different estimate suggests that the azimuth could be about 100 degrees, but that doesn't matter much in the end. The re-entry angle is taken to be about 15 degrees - this is what various photos show.

The rest of the story:

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Out of business

Oh well, maybe he needs better clientelle?

Popular D.C. Burger Joint Forced to Shut Down


ARLINGTON, Va. (CBSDC) — One of the D.C. area’s iconic burger joints is no more.

Ray’s Hell-Burger, where the likes of President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and the Russian president have gone for a juicy burger, has been shut down after failing to pay its rent.

Arlington County General District Court on Feb. 8 served an eviction notice to the restaurant, located in the Colonial Village Shopping Center along Wilson Boulevard in Arlington, for unpaid rent and ordered owner Michael Landrum to pay more than $39,000 in overdue rent and damages.

The rest of the story:

Oh boohoo, go cry me a river


I'm trying to dredge up a tear or two.

'Frustrated' Madoff now second-guessing his guilty plea
By Scott Cohn - CNBC

Bernie Madoff says he is frustrated.

Writing to me from the federal prison where he is serving a life sentence for his epic fraud, Madoff said he is not getting credit for what he calls his "instrumental" role in returning money to his victims. Madoff wrote that he is so frustrated, he is having second thoughts about having pleaded guilty four years ago.

The email tirade — six e-mails in all — follows comments this week by court-appointed trustee Irving Picard, who revealed to CNBC Tuesday that he will seek court approval for another distribution of funds to Madoff victims. That would bring the total payout to more than $5 billion, out of more than $9 billion recovered so far. But Picard said his success is no thanks to Madoff.

The rest of the story:

More Puro San Antonio drunk driving

Another wrong-way drunk driver.

This is getting pretty tedious.

Wrong-way driver causes fiery crash, faces DWI charge
By Michelle Casady - Express-News

A 23-year-old man is in the hospital facing a driving while intoxicated charge after police said he drove the wrong way on Interstate 35 early Saturday and struck an 18-wheeler.

Officer Matthew Porter, spokesman for San Antonio police, said an off-duty officer called dispatch about 3:15 a.m. and reported a car driving south in the northbound lanes of the interstate near Walzem Road.

Porter said the driver of the car struck an 18-wheeler driven by Abditfatah Jodah, also 23, and injured his passenger, Bashi Awale, 29.

The rest of the story:

Friday, February 15, 2013

Quit horsing around

Either accept the horse-meat or get rid of it.

End of story.

Britain finds horsemeat in school meals, hospitals

LONDON (AP) -- Tests have found horsemeat in school meals, hospital food and restaurant dishes in Britain, officials said Friday, as the scandal over adulterated meat spread beyond frozen supermarket products.

Results were coming in after U.K. food safety officials ordered supermarkets and suppliers to test all processed meals labeled as beef for traces of horsemeat.

Whitbread PLC, Britain's largest hotel and restaurant company, said horse DNA had been found in lasagna and burgers on its menus. The company, whose outlets include Premier Inn hotels and the Brewers Fayre and Beefeater Grill restaurant chains, said it was "shocked and disappointed at this failure of the processed meat supply chain."

The rest of the story:

Photo history

Its a fascinating history.

<====== A second lieutenant fresh out of West Point, Dwight Eisenhower was stationed in 1915 at Fort Sam Houston, where he met Mamie Dowd and courted her with Mexican dinners on San Antonio's West side and dancing on the roof of the St. Anthony Hotel.
Photo: Courtesy Arcadia Publishing

S.A. history captured in photos
By Steve Bennett - Express-News

Did you know that in 1912 a group called the Alamo Heroes Monument Association had plans drawn up for a soaring 802-foot monument the size of the Eiffel Tower that would have dwarfed every building around it, including the one it was meant to memorialize? (Funding fell through.) Or that Sunken Garden is sunken because it was once the site of a cement company's quarry? Or that San Pedro Park is second only to Boston Common as the oldest park in the country? Quick, what was the first restaurant on our River Walk? That would be Casa Río, founded in 1946.

These and other tidbits of San Antonio history come visually alive in “Downtown San Antonio” (Arcadia Publishing, $21.99), a slim new volume of historic photographs by San Antonians Joan Marston Korte and David L. Peché.

The authors have a book-signing from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Twig Book Shop at Pearl Brewery.

The rest of the story:

Sergeant predator

2 1/2 years hard labor.

Perhaps he will understand mow.

Lackland trainer gets prison for sexual misconduct
By Sig Christenson - Express-News

An Air Force basic training instructor facing 22 years in prison was given 21/2 years Thursday after he was found guilty on all but one of nine charges that included a 2011 tryst with a recruit.

Staff Sgt. Craig LeBlanc, 27, was the eighth trainer to be tried for sexual misconduct at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in an ongoing scandal, which has become the largest ever in the Air Force.

So far, 32 instructors have been charged with having illicit contact with 62 recruits and technical training students.

The rest of the story:

Oh boo-hoo; cry me a river

Me?  I personally would have given him the full 20 years.

For lying and his whole seeming to me contrariness at the scene and after wards.

He was shedding crocodile tears and nothing more.

Lying driver handed 10 years in fatal DWI
By Craig Kapitan - Express-News

Jurors ordered a 10-year prison sentence Thursday for Robert “Sam” Stinziano — a wrong-way drunken driver who tore another motorist's car in half, killing her, then sat on his gurgling, unconscious passenger's head before trying to push her into the driver's seat.

It took the group 21/2 hours to reach the intoxication manslaughter sentence and to determine Stinziano's sedan was used as a deadly weapon, a legal finding that means he'll have to serve at least half the term before he can apply for parole.
The defendant, who started his trial this week by pleading guilty and asking for probation, could have faced up to 20 years in prison.

The rest of the story:

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I thought Popes were supposed be 'Humble'?

I don't remember anyone "actively" being interviewed or semi-campaigning to be elected Pope.

Well good luck, I guess.

Pope resigns: Peter Turkson reveals vision for the Church and 'alternative lifestyles'

The cardinal who could become the first black pope said Tuesday that the Roman Catholic Church faces grave challenges in remaining relevant in the modern world even as he laid out a conservative vision of how to deal with society's "alternative lifestyles".

By Malcolm Moore - The Telegraph

Cardinal Peter Turkson, a 64-year-old Ghanaian prelate, is the bookmaker's early favourite to succeed Pope Benedict XVI.
He told The Daily Telegraph Tuesday that his biggest challenge, should he be elected, would be to maintain an orthodox Catholic doctrine while "at the same time knowing how to apply it so that you do not become irrelevant in a world that has continuous changes".

Cardinal Turkson, who holds one of the most important jobs in the Roman Curia and has been repeatedly promoted by Pope Benedict, was quick to take a conservative line on gay marriage and other "alternative lifestyles".

"We need to find ways of dealing with the challenges coming up from society and culture," he said, adding that the Church needed to "evangelise", or convert, those who had embraced "alternative lifestyles, trends or gender issues". He added: "We cannot fail in our task of providing guidance."

The rest of the story:

Adoption Blues

Very sad situation, if true and not the result of jealousy or griping.

SA lawyers cry foul over adoption cases
By Gilbert Garcia - Express-News

Arabia Vargas has served for most of the past decade as chairwoman of Bexar County's Child Welfare Board, a group created to promote adoptions of children in foster care. She's also a lawyer who earns a good living by handling the same adoption cases her board is working to promote.

That's where the problem comes in for many local attorneys. They contend that Vargas has used her position with the Child Welfare Board to muscle other attorneys out of Child Protective Services adoption cases, for which attorneys receive $1,200 per child (the fee was reduced last August from $1,500).

Jeanie Cupit, a San Antonio attorney who handles some CPS casework, said the situation started to attract the attention of local lawyers several years ago during monthly mass-adoption-day proceedings at the Bexar County Justice Center.

The rest of the story:

Pretty Reprehensible fellow, no?

I doubt the jury will give him probation, at least if what the paper reports as evidence at the Punishment Phase of his trial is correct.

At grisly DWI death scene, driver tried to blame ex
By Craig Kapitan - Express-News

Moments after drunken wrong-way driver Robert Samuel Stinziano sliced motorist Karla Merrie Viesca's Honda Civic in half, leaving her dead in the middle of Blanco Road, witnesses rushed to his sedan to find him passed out over the steering wheel.

“I'm not driving. I'm not driving. Who put me in this seat?” he repeatedly said after regaining consciousness, multiple witnesses told a jury Tuesday as Stinziano's punishment-only intoxication manslaughter trial began.

Moments later, the same witnesses noticed that Stinziano had moved to his passenger seat. Gurgling noises could be heard underneath him.

The rest of the story:

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Obamaphone! Don't leave home without one

Of course they never proved they were elligible.

Its they felt entitled to get one.

Millions improperly claimed U.S. Phone subsidies
The U.S. government spent about $2.2 billion last year to provide phones to low-income Americans, but a Wall Street Journal review of the program shows that a large number of those who received the phones haven't proved they are eligible to receive them.

The Lifeline program—begun in 1984 to ensure that poor people aren't cut off from jobs, families and emergency services—is funded by charges that appear on the monthly bills of every landline and wireless-phone customer. Payouts under the program have shot up from $819 million in 2008, as more wireless carriers have persuaded regulators to let them offer the service.

Suspecting that many of the new subscribers were ineligible, the Federal Communications Commission tightened the rules last year and required carriers to verify that existing subscribers were eligible. The agency estimated 15% of users would be weeded out, but far more were dropped.

The rest of the story:

Just the tip I bet

I'm cynical enough to believe this is just the tip of an iceberg of healthcare fraud around the country.

Fourt suspect jailed in Medina County healthcare fraud case
By Zeke MacCormack - Express-News

A fourth suspect has been arrested in the federal investigation that last September led to charges of healthcare fraud against two former ambulance service administrators and the owner of a billing firm in Medina County.

Robert W. Trouten, a former paramedic at Medina Valley EMS and Community EMS, was charged Friday with theft/embezzlement in connection with health care, court records show.

He is the husband of Sherry Trouten and brother-in-law of Mike Farris, accused of abusing their administrative positions at Medina Valley EMS in Castroville and Community EMS in Hondo to secretly divert service calls to Tejas Ambulance, which Farris established in 2011, and improperly collecting Medicaid and Medicare payments.

The rest of the story:

They're waiting for you

He'll probably need "protection" in whichever prison he gets sent to.

Yeah, I know that sounds like an oxymoron.

But you go kill a member of the Mexican mafia and get sent to a prison and see how long you'll last.

Fatal party stabbing results in prison term
By Craig Kapitan - Express-News

A man who fatally stabbed a Mexican Mafia gang member during a confrontation at a Halloween party three years ago was sentenced Monday to 18 years in prison for murder.

Juan Lucio, 37, acknowledged to police in October 2009 that he swung a knife at Edward “Toons” Buentello, 29, as he was leaving the Northwest Side party at about 2:15 a.m. But he swung in self defense after he was hit in the back of the head with a bottle, he insisted to police and again in court Monday.

Lucio reached a plea agreement in November for a maximum possible sentence of 25 years in prison. His attorneys asked state District Judge Ron Rangel on Monday for a five-year term, suggesting that gang members have paid unwanted visits to some of the witnesses in the case.

The rest of the story:

Conduct really unbecoming

What the hell is wrong with these guys?

Navy recruiter charged with sexual assault

Police say he talked women into drinking.
A Navy recruiter was arrested Monday afternoon on a charge of sexual assault of a 19-year-old woman who visited the Alamo Heights recruiting office in December.

Juan Jose Pena, 28, was taken into custody at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, according to an Alamo Heights Police Department news release.

The alleged victim went with another woman to the recruiting office in the 5200 block of Broadway on Dec. 21 because she wanted to talk about her enlistment plans, police said. Pena asked the two women to stay at the office and drink with him.

The rest of the story:

Monday, February 11, 2013

Judicial review is a must!

I am in total agreement with this proposal for judicial review.

Otherwise its a dictatorship.

Judicial Review needed for drone hits of citizens
Eugene Robinson, Washington Post Writers Group

If George W. Bush had told us that the “war on terror” gave him the right to execute an American citizen overseas with a missile fired from a drone aircraft, without due process or judicial review, I'd have gone ballistic. It makes no difference that the president making this chilling claim is Barack Obama. What's wrong is wrong.

The moral and ethical questions posed by the advent of drone warfare are painfully complex. We had better start working out some answers because, as an administration spokesman told me recently, drone attacks are “the new normal” in the ongoing struggle against terrorist groups such as al-Qaida.

But one of the few bright lines we can and should recognize is that in the exceedingly rare instances when a U.S. citizen may be targeted, our government bears a special burden.

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Let me tell you about a fateful trip ......

Well, that would just suck, wouldn't it?

I've never been on a cruise ship and I probably will never be on one.  But the thought of being on one with nearly 4000 folks and not going anywhere sounds positively claustrophobic to me.

Families worried about those stranded on Galveston cruise
Galveston-bound line stuck off Mexico's coast as families wait
Just as Melinda Ramos was watching a news report about a fire on her parent's cruise ship, her dad called.

"He was laughing," said the relieved 19-year-old from Lake City. "He might be completely joking, but he said they're sleeping in tents outside."

More than 3,000 passengers and 1,000 crew members were stranded Sunday on the Carnival Triumph about 150 miles off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula after a fire in the aft engine room. In a news release, the company said the ship's automatic fire extinguishing systems activated and the blaze was quickly contained. No guests or crew members have reported injuries and everyone was asked to remain in public areas or on the ship's deck.

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Praying they all will be okay

My initial thoughts?

A family law matter.

3 shot at courthouse in New Castle
Associated Press -

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — A Wilmington police spokesman says three people were shot at the New Castle County Courthouse in Wilmington and a suspect is in custody.

Wilmington police Cpl. Jamaine Crawford says two women and a man were shot early Monday and that the man was a security person. Crawford says he does not know the condition of the three people who were shot.

The person in custody is a man.

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Sunday, February 10, 2013

The most unkindest shot of all

I guess he was trying to make a point to the deceased.

Police detain suspected ‘crotch shot’ killer

by Aleksandras Budrys - The Moscow News
The Moscow police have detained a man suspected of killing a client near a bordello by shooting him in the crotch, the capital’s police department said on Friday.

It said in a report the body of the victim was discovered on January 17 next to an apartment block in central Moscow, which housed a bordello in its basement. A 32-year-old guard quarreled with the victim, allegedly shot him with a rifle and fled the scene.

The man was later detained in the Moscow region. If found guilty, he faces up to 15 years in prison.

Ban the Slaw!

Obviously this calls for a total ban on cole slaw and any cabbage related products.

Outspoken Zhirinovsky hit with 'cabbage salad bomb'
by RIA Novosti - Moscow News
The outspoken Liberal Democratic Party of Russia's leader, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, was plastered with cabbage salad during a press conference on Monday in Kiev, Ukraine.

A woman in the press hall stood up and tossed marinated cabbage salad at the leader and called him a "Ukrainophobe," RIA Novosti reported.

Zhirinovsky, obviously caught off guard by flying cabbage, demanded to know where his security was and that the "schizophrenic woman be removed."

The rest of the story:

You've come a long way!

Congratulations Lt. Smith!

A TRUE PIONEER: Lt. Margaret Smith becomes first command staffer at CCSO

By Dalondo Moultrie The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung
After nearly 170 years, the higher-ups at the Comal County Sheriff’s Office finally realized that the best man for a job isn’t a man at all.

As of Jan. 8, Lt. Margaret Smith is the first female member of the CCSO command staff, ever. Command staff includes staff members ranked lieutenant, captain, major or chief deputy.

“I was really kind of stunned and honored and surprised all at once,” Smith said. “But I was very happy for a lot of reasons. I enjoy what I do and I like working with our operations people and our corrections officers.”

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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Call in an exorcist or a Zombiologist?

Bizarre, is it the start of the Zombie apocalypse?

Health: Mysterious Disease Discovered Locally, Strikes Mainly Young Women

By Stephanie Stahl - CBS Philly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It’s a mysterious, newly discovered disease that strikes mainly young women, and it’s often misdiagnosed. Doctors who discovered it, here in Philadelphia, say it’s like your brain is on fire. 3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl says it starts with personality changes.

Young women dazed, restrained in hospital beds, acting possessed and then becoming catatonic. They’d been so normal, when suddenly their lives went haywire.

“One minute I’d be sobbing, crying hysterically, and the next minute I’d be laughing, said Susannah Cahalan, of New Jersey.

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Voter fraud Master?

Will anything happen to her?

Does anybody really care?

BTW it appears that she may have actually voted 8 times!

The voter fraud that 'never happens' keeps coming back
By John Fund - National Review

Critics of voter ID and other laws cracking down on voter fraud claim they’re unnecessary because fraud is nonexistent. For instance, Brennan Center attorneys Michael Waldman and Justin Levitt claimed last year: “A person casting two votes risks jail time and a fine for minimal gain. Proven voter fraud, statistically, happens about as often as death by lightning strike.”

Well, lightning is suddenly all over Cincinnati, Ohio. The Hamilton County Board of Elections is investigating 19 possible cases of alleged voter fraud that occurred when Ohio was a focal point of the 2012 presidential election. A total of 19 voters and nine witnesses are part of the probe.

Democrat Melowese Richardson has been an official poll worker for the last quarter century and registered thousands of people to vote last year. She candidly admitted to Cincinnati’s Channel 9 this week that she voted twice in the last election.

The rest of the story:

A story that will touch your hearts

That other family were jerks.

Plain and simple.

Waiter who stood up for boy is called a hero
By Minh Dam - Houston Chronicle

Near a classroom window, 5-year-old Milo Castillo fumbled with a golden, bejeweled crown. Michael Garcia, kneeling in front of him, patiently waited with his head bowed.

The crown shifted from between the boy's fingers, but he quickly grasped both sides and gently placed it on top of Garcia's head.

They both grinned.

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Friday, February 8, 2013

Why the long face? I just had some lasagne!

Beef Lasagne?

I guess it was really French lasagne?

British schools and hospitals could be at risk in new horse meat fears

DOWNING Street today said that they cannot rule out that horse meat has been served to millions of school pupils and hospital patients. 


It emerged last night that beef lasagne meals sold by fast food giants Findus were up to 99 per cent horse.

The food giant has now been ordered to test the dishes for a cancer-causing painkiller used by vets.

And today a spokesman for Findus said they received notification on SATURDAY that their products may contain horsemeat - but waited to tell consumers.

Ministers were rapped over the scandal and customers warned to take meals back to shops.

The rest of the story:

The President didn't even get to vote present


But I thought they said everyone was on top of it all?

Nope, no one was apparently home.

And four Americans died.

Panetta:  Obama absent night of Benghazi
The Weekly Standard -

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testified this morning on Capitol Hill that President Barack Obama was absent the night four Americans were murdered in Benghazi on September 11, 2012:

Panetta said, though he did meet with Obama at a 5 o'clock prescheduled gathering, the president left operational details, including knowledge of what resources were available to help the Americans under siege, "up to us."

In fact, Panetta says that the night of 9/11, he did not communicate with a single person at the White House. The attack resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Obama did not call or communicate in anyway with the defense secretary that night. There were no calls about what was going on in Benghazi. He never called to check-in.

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OMG control yourselves!

Trigger fingers a wee bit too itchy?

I understand tensions are high but this?  Really?

For God's sake!  They were out delivering fricking newspapers in a similar car to the one that the rogue former cop owns, and by the looks of it one that is pretty common.

God help you if you're driving a blue Dodge pick-up truck, apparently.

Women delivering newspapers in Torrance shot in manhunt for ex-cop
L.A. Times -

Two women who were shot by Los Angeles police in Torrance early Thursday during a massive manhunt for an ex-LAPD officer were delivering newspapers, sources said.

The women, shot in the 19500 block of Redbeam Avenue, were taken to area hospitals, Torrance police Lt. Devin Chase said. They were not identified. One was shot in the hand and the other in the back, according to Jesse Escochea, who captured video of the victims being treated.
It was not immediately known what newspapers the women were delivering. After the shooting, the blue pickup was riddled with bullet holes and what appeared to be newspapers lay in the street alongside.

The rest of the story:

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Oh Behave!

Ummm ..... Good Luck with that.

This behavior seems to be a universally repugnant trait of many politicians everywhere the world over.

Officials' integrity vital: Xi
By Zhao Lei and Chen Xin - China Daily

Officials who are out for pleasure and love formality must be told their behavior is unacceptable and reprimanded, he said.

Party chief Xi urged officials to spend more time with the public to address their problems and concerns, and work harder to develop poverty-stricken regions.

His remarks reflected the new leadership's determination to boost the image and working style of the Party and the government.

A good work ethic and personal integrity should be the key criteria in selecting, evaluating and promoting officials, Xi said during his four-day visit to the province, which started on Saturday.

The comments came against a backdrop of a number of recent scandals that have involved officials suspected of abusing their power or embezzling taxpayers' money.

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The very first Siberian Train Fun Run 7K race!!

Wow, that would pretty much suck.

Chasing a train, in a t-shirt, sweatpants and slippers in -40 Celsius temperatures?

That is one pretty tough Ruskki, man!

Man falls out of train in Siberia, chases it for 7 km

by Evgeniya Chaykovskaya - Moscow News
A man fell out of a moving train in Siberia and had to run after it for seven kilometers in -40 Celsius.

A resident of Bratsk, 42, went to the bathroom for a cigarette, but instead of returning to the carriage, he opened the wrong door and fell outside.

The passenger did not despair and set off running after the train in extremely freezing temperatures. He kept chasing the train wearing a t-shirt, sweats and slippers for seven kilometers, the regional transport police department announced.

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News from elsewhere

The crippling civil war in Syria continues, apparently unabated.

BTW what does NGO stand for?  None got out?

Suicide attack against Syria intel building in Palmyra: NGO
Agence France Presse -

BEIRUT: A suicide bomber on Wednesday attacked a military intelligence headquarters in the south-central Syria city of Palmyra, killing and wounding an unknown number of people, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

“A powerful explosion rocked Palmyra this morning and according to initial reports it was a suicide attack targeting the building housing the military intelligence and state security” offices, said the Observatory, which gathers reports from activists, medics and lawyers across Syria.

The watchdog could not immediately give a more detailed breakdown of the toll of dead and wounded.

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