isnt this a joke!!!! the federal government in theory is supposed to keep lations from sneaking into this country. thats only in theory because they dont and millions of lations sneak in to the country.


now the joke comes when the federal court systems is trying to force the state of arizona to educate these illegal alians that the feds let sneak into the state of arizona.


but dont get me wrong on my positions. i think we should fire everyone in the INS and rip down all the fences on the mexican and canadian borders and let anyone that wants to come into this country do it. i also think we should get ride of the government schools and replace them with private schools.


Arizona highway funds imperiled

Activist to ask judge to punish state in English-learner suit


Robbie Sherwood and Chip Scutari

The Arizona Republic

Oct. 30, 2005 12:00 AM


On Monday, a federal judge will consider halting Arizona's freeway construction to force the state to do more to help educate immigrant children.


The state's most powerful public-interest attorney will ask that up to $500 million in federal highway funds be withheld until Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano and the Republican-controlled Legislature agree on a spending plan to improve children's English skills.


The English-learner program could cost the state an extra $200 million a year and boost the skills of as many as 160,000 Arizona children, most of whom are U.S. citizens but whose parents generally are immigrants.


Tim Hogan of the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest is targeting highway funds because he believes the sanctions would get lawmakers' attention without penalizing needy children. Opposing attorneys say withholding up to $500 million in federal money would have an "immediate and devastating" effect on Arizona's economy.


The funds, which account for at least half of the Arizona Department of Transportation's budget, flow into the state as needed to pay for ongoing construction projects. If the money were stopped, it could have an immediate effect on freeway projects that include the widening of Interstate 17 from Loop 101 to the Carefree Highway; the construction of carpool lanes on the Pima freeway; and, in the East Valley, the widening of U.S. 60 from Val Vista Drive to Power Road.


Attorneys for the construction industry said that shutting off federal funds would not only stop or delay freeway projects, but also make traffic congestion and air quality worse, and force "significant layoffs" among construction workers. Contractors, who front money for building and wait for the federal government to reimburse, would immediately face massive debts.


An order to withhold the highway money would be unprecedented. The request will be heard by U.S. District Court Judge Raner Collins, who already has found Arizona's spending on students learning English to be "woefully inadequate." Because of their lack of English skills, such children are considered high risks to drop out of school. Their numbers are growing rapidly as Arizona's Latino population continues to swell.


Hogan will also ask the court to exempt English learners from having to pass the high-stakes AIMS test to graduate from high school next year because of the state government's failure to comply with the court's order.


Hogan said the request to deny federal highway money is "the cleanest and most efficient way to do this."


"If the court is reluctant, we've alternatively asked the court to impose fines of $1 million a day. You want to give the court flexibility and helpful here, but by the same token, I'm convinced the threat of federal highway funding is substantial and will result in compliance," he said.


Collins is not expected to deliver his decision Monday. The outcome ultimately could compel Napolitano and Republican legislative leaders to end their stalemate by crafting a bipartisan plan to spend millions more on teacher training, individualized instruction and smaller classrooms.


Collins had given Arizona's leaders until the end of last spring's legislative session to comply with his order in the Flores vs. Arizona lawsuit, which was first filed in 1992 on behalf of a family in Nogales. But that deadline blew up in May in a hail of partisan name-calling and finger-pointing. Napolitano vetoed a Republican legislative plan that she said did not meet the court's demand for adequate funding for English instruction.


Cartwright Elementary School District Superintendent Mike Martinez, who worked with Hogan on Arizona's landmark case about school construction financing, said going after highway funds could persuade lawmakers to act. "With the climate at the Legislature so hostile and skeptical, Tim recognized he had to go to an extreme level," Martinez said. "The history in Arizona has been that sometimes you need to do that to get things done."


The state's attorneys will argue that Napolitano and lawmakers have made a "good faith" effort to pass a spending plan and, despite Napolitano's veto, should be given more time to work out their differences.


"The (vetoed) bill was a good-faith effort to meet the requirements of the court and that, in fact, did meet the requirements of the court," said state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne, a defendant in the case. "(Hogan) urged the governor to veto it and then he turns around and asks for sanctions because it never became law."


Horne plans to argue that, without Hogan's meddling, Napolitano would not have vetoed the Republican plan.


That plan would have spent about $42 million next year for English-language-learner programs and teacher training, although only $13.5 million would be new funding. Future spending increases would be uncertain because the approach would become a grant program subject to approval by the Department of Education and the Legislature. After Napolitano's veto, she unveiled her own plan that would increase spending for English learners by $185 million a year, but legislators have refused to discuss it.


Lawyers for the state will also argue that overall spending for English learners has increased from $150 per student to more than $350 a year, so there is no evidence of ignoring the court's order. Part of the delay will be pinned on a court-ordered cost study finished in February that said lawmakers should spend more than $1,000 per pupil, or $200 million a year, to help students overcome language barriers. Legislative leaders dismissed that study as flawed.


Hogan believes that, without sanctions, lawmakers will choose to dismiss any cost study that shows a need for substantial new spending.


The AIMS test

Horne also hopes the judge will dismiss Hogan's request to exempt English learners from passing the AIMS test to graduate from high school


"The worst thing that you could possibly do for Latino kids is take away their motivation to study," Horne said.


Parent activist Norma Alvarez of Glendale thinks Hogan is mistaken to try and exempt immigrant children from passing AIMS. Alvarez, a daughter of immigrants who spoke no English when she entered school over 50 years ago, is active with Hispanics for Better Education, an advocacy group pushing to consolidate school districts to improve funding for instruction.


"I didn't know a word of English when I entered school and I did fine," Alvarez said. "Our brain works the same as a White brain. To say, OK, you don't have to pass the AIMS test is like telling us we're dumb. (Hogan) is maybe trying to do us some good, but he's hurting us even more."


As for increased funding, administrators in school districts with large immigrant populations have said they need the extra money to shrink the size of classes, update materials and equipment, provide more individual instruction, and better train teachers. For example, instructors say Spanish-speaking children tend to speak in longer, run-on sentences and must be taught to streamline their writing. Those skills aren't addressed by normal textbooks.


In the Isaac School District, more than 60 percent of the students grow up in homes where English isn't spoken and Telemundo is favored over news in English. About 5,000 of the 9,000 students are classified as English-language learners. Isaac Superintendent Kent Parades Scribner said the task is more challenging today because America has evolved from a service-based economy to a technology-driven economy.


"My grandfather from Mexico City came to this country and did very well without an education because he could get into the economy by doing construction," Scribner said. "The tool of the day is the brain. We need to invest in that so Arizona can have a productive, taxpaying citizens."


Erminda Garcia, a first-grade teacher at Morris K. Udall Elementary, has been teaching children who struggle to learn English for nearly 30 years. Garcia, an upbeat, energetic teacher, sums up the challenges like this:


"They are learning language and content. Can you imagine trying to learn German and biology at the same time?" Garcia asked. "They are busy trying to make sense of a new language and doing math problems at the same time."




hmmmm..... yesterday i was looking at one of those marijuana magazines high times or maybe one of the otherones and on the ads run by this guy selling marijuana seeds by mail order they had pasted stamps saying something like "danger dont buy this guys seeds you may be arrested because the feds are shaking him down"


'Prince of Pot' faces charges

Could get up to life in prison in United States


Peter Lewis

Seattle Times

Oct. 30, 2005 12:00 AM


VANCOUVER, B.C. - Marc Emery differs in so many ways from most people accused of big-time drug dealing, it's hard to know where to start.


Even though he faces the possibility of decades in a U.S. prison for selling marijuana seeds to Americans, Emery regularly welcomes a steady stream of journalists. That's an approach most people accused of drug dealing avoid instinctively, or on advice of their attorneys.


Not Emery, founder of the B.C. Marijuana Party, who maintains that his legal troubles spring from the U.S. government's desire to muzzle him and the movement he claims to lead.


He relishes his reputation as the "Prince of Pot" and "Mayor of Vansterdam," the latter a reference to Vancouver and Amsterdam, the Dutch city where marijuana can be purchased from "coffee shops." He proudly proclaims his long-term vision to "overgrow the government" by spreading marijuana faster than drug agents could eradicate it.


No secret

Unlike others accused of drug dealing, Emery has for years made no effort to hide the fact he earns his living from marijuana, making millions selling marijuana seeds and paraphernalia through his Vancouver store and the Internet. It's that marijuana-centered business that has landed Emery in hot water in the United States, where a Seattle-based grand jury has indicted him and two of his employees on drug and money-laundering charges.


Emery, who is free on bail, freely expounds on the virtues of marijuana for both recreational and medicinal purposes. He claims to have poured nearly $4 million (Canadian) into political and legal causes to decriminalize marijuana and/or to make it available for medical use, including ballot initiatives in Nevada, Alaska and Arizona.


Emery contends a news release issued July 29, the day of his arrest, reveals the U.S. government's intention to mute his efforts to advance the spread of marijuana. In the release, Karen Tandy, head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, wrote: "Today's DEA arrest of Marc Scott Emery, publisher of Cannabis Culture Magazine, and the founder of a marijuana legalization group, is a significant blow not only to the marijuana trafficking trade in the U.S. and Canada, but also to the marijuana legalization movement. ... Hundreds of thousands of dollars of Emery's illicit profits are known to have been channeled to marijuana legalization groups active in the United States and Canada."


Tandy's office has declined to comment about the statement, but in Seattle, federal prosecutors have distanced themselves from her remarks.


Todd Greenberg, the lead assistant U.S. attorney on the case, said he could understand how her comments could be interpreted as having a political dimension but added, "No one locally has made such a statement. No prosecutor, no agent, no one in Seattle."


"As the chief (federal) law-enforcement official here, I'm not interested in his political speech in the slightest," Seattle U.S. Attorney John McKay said. "He's a legitimate target."


Huge supplier

Prosecutors contend that Emery was targeted because he was Canada's largest supplier of seeds and marijuana-growing equipment, and because the majority of his customers were U.S. citizens. Prosecutors allege that Emery also has provided customers with detailed instructions on how to grow marijuana and sold specialized lights, fans and fertilizer.


"He was a one-stop shopping facilitator for marijuana growers," Greenberg said.


Emery does not quarrel with the substance of the charges, though he has much to say about the U.S. government's "war on drugs," which he described as "immoral and lethal."


"If I'm going to be sentenced to life in prison in a U.S. jail, it'll be for what I've done, and I'm proud of what I've done," Emery said. "And there's no going back on that. I helped facilitate hopefully millions of Americans to grow marijuana."


Fighting extradition

At the request of the U.S. government, Canadian prosecutors are working to force Emery and co-defendants Michelle Rainey-Fenkarek and Gregory Williams to appear in Seattle federal court to answer drug-conspiracy and money-laundering charges stemming from Emery's seed and marijuana-growing business.


They are fighting extradition, a process that legal experts say could take up to two years. Theirs will be an uphill fight, acknowledges John Conroy, a Canadian lawyer assisting the defendants.


Conroy notes that the U.S.-Canadian treaty under which Emery and the others were arrested creates an exception for extradition in the case of offenses of a "political character." The problem, Conroy adds, is that the treaty goes on to deem certain crimes, including drug offenses, as ineligible for the political-character exception.


Another argument likely to be advanced is "cruel and unusual punishment," Conroy said, referring to the much harsher sentence the defendants would face in the United States - up to life in prison.




To many Latin Americans, "The war smacks of U.S. imperialism and bullying and is extraordinarily unpopular," said Riordan Roett, director of the Western Hemisphere program at Johns Hopkins University. "America is seen as an arrogant, run-amok republic that does things without thinking them through." - well they are right!


Testy Latin America awaits Bush at Summit of Americas

Iraq war, trade, immigration loom as key issues


Alan Clendenning

Associated Press

Oct. 30, 2005 12:00 AM


SAO PAULO, Brazil - Long gone are the days of heavily armed revolutionaries wandering the jungles of Nicaragua or Bolivia and the cry of "Yankee Go Home!" on the streets of Latin America.


Since the end of the Cold War, military dictatorships have vanished and the region for the most part has embraced capitalism and American-style democracy. But that doesn't mean it's entirely at peace with "El Norte," its powerful northern neighbor.


When President Bush arrives this week at the Argentine seaside resort of Mar del Plata for the fourth Summit of the Americas, leftist activists, students, Indians and trade unionists will gather at a basketball stadium several miles away to protest everything from the war in Iraq to U.S. immigration policy to free-trade deals.


"We think his policies are totally contrary to what we want for Latin America and are promoting genocide, domination of workers and their communities and the plundering of natural resources," said Argentine labor leader Juan Gonzalez, who is heading a protest "People's Summit" coinciding with Bush's visit Thursday through Saturday.


It's nothing Bush hasn't run into on his travels in Europe. But in play here is a long and complex history, rife with nationalist impulses, in which the United States is viewed as an economic magnet, valued as a donor of aid totaling nearly $1 billion a year but detested as "imperialist." The latter sentiment has been exacerbated by the war in Iraq.


War support lags

Most Latin American governments opposed the war, and only Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic overrode their own protesting publics to send troops or police to Iraq. The 380 Salvadorans are the only ones still there.


Many Latin Americans who used to complain that Washington was propping up their dictators now contend it is trying to spread its brand of democracy by force.


But the war on terrorism hits particularly close to home south of the Rio Grande because of tighter border and visa controls. Poor Latin Americans have been waiting for years for a promised guest-worker program to get them into the United States, and better-off students increasingly are turning to schools and colleges in Canada, Britain and Australia.


To many Latin Americans, "The war smacks of U.S. imperialism and bullying and is extraordinarily unpopular," said Riordan Roett, director of the Western Hemisphere program at Johns Hopkins University. "America is seen as an arrogant, run-amok republic that does things without thinking them through."


When Bush took office, some Latin Americans welcomed the former Texas governor as a politician familiar with the state's huge immigrant population and problems south of its border. They cheered when he chose Mexico for his first trip abroad as president, and when he proposed an initiative to ease illegal migration with a guest-worker program.


But the idea dropped off the radar screen after the Sept. 11 attacks.


Bush has started a new push in Congress to get it passed. He has also tried, with little success, to revive President Clinton's goal of a Free Trade Area of the Americas that would include all 34 continental and Caribbean countries participating in this week's summit.


It would create the world's largest free-trade zone, stretching from Alaska to Argentina. But Latin Americans want deep cuts in U.S. farm subsidies before they agree to American demands for greater market access and stronger action against pirated Hollywood CDs and DVDs sold on Latin American streets.


Free trade in question

Another free-market deal, the Central American Free Trade Agreement, has fared better. Bush got it through Congress, but opposition was stiff enough to raise concerns for the overall fate of open markets.


"You can say CAFTA went through, but what it revealed is that free trade is on life support," said Michael Shifter, vice president for policy at the Inter-American Dialogue think tank in Washington, D.C. "It barely squeezed through Congress and doesn't bode well for future deals."


Reformers must also contend with a deep-seated Latin American suspicion of free-market revolutions. The economic pain they have inflicted on countries such as Argentina helps explain a string of left-wing election victories across the continent in recent years.


The reforms that proved so unpopular are widely ascribed to the influence of U.S. free-market ideologues. Opponents brand the moves as "neoliberalism," or perceived enslavement of Latin Americans via American control of globalization through free-market economics, liberal trade and the breakdown of national borders.


Aid pours in

The United States continues pouring aid money into Latin America and the Caribbean. It gave $894 million last year and will spend $983 million this year for programs to fund education, feed children, promote democracy and fight drug trafficking.


A quarter of that money goes toward the drug war, but with mixed results. Some countries say it's not enough, and many Latin Americans believe the problem wouldn't exist if America wasn't a market for drugs. Colombians complain that despite their efforts to combat cocaine production, they have all ended up stereotyped as drug dealers.


And experts wonder how Washington will deal with Bolivia if presidential front-runner Evo Morales wins the Dec. 4 election and follows through on pledges to decriminalize coca growing and industrialize production. Morales himself farms the coca leaves from which tea - and cocaine - is made.


Bush's most vocal critic at the summit will likely be Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a Fidel Castro supporter who accuses the Bush administration of seeking to overthrow him and his socialist program financed by Venezuelan oil exports.




hmmmm.... i think we have some simularities here with laros case - and kevins case too at the state level - hmmm.... how do you say jack booted government thugs in a politically correct way?


Crossing a border between humanity and inhumanity


Oct. 30, 2005 12:00 AM


Unless the charges against them are dropped, Daniel Strauss and Shanti Seliz, who are in their 20s, could spend up to 15 years in prison for the crime of showing compassion in the face of human suffering.


This is nothing new. There is a long list of individuals who have paid with their freedom and even their lives for the sometimes unforgivable offense of benevolence. All that changes over the generations are the legal technicalities.


In this instance, Strauss and Seliz were indicted in August in Tucson's federal courthouse on one count each of conspiracy to transport an undocumented immigrant and transporting an undocumented immigrant.


"What they were doing, in fact, was transporting sick people for medical care on the advice of both a doctor and a lawyer," says Margo Cowan, a lawyer who works with the young people in a volunteer organization called No More Deaths.


It happened in July, at a time when more border crossers are found dead in the Arizona desert than anywhere along the thin line separating the United States from Mexico. No More Deaths, a faith-based group, sets up camps in the dangerous and unforgiving wilderness, then offers food and water to the desperate people its volunteers come upon. Sometimes they transport people to Tucson for medical care.


That is what Strauss and Seliz say that they were doing when U.S. Border Patrol agents stopped them with three foreign nationals in their car.


The pair later were offered a plea deal that would have dropped the charges in exchange for an admission of guilt, participation in a diversion program and a year's probation. They turned it down.


In a statement in July, Strauss said, "Shanti and I are not accepting this plea because we have committed no crime."


A trial date has been set for Dec. 20. Recently, No More Deaths began a campaign to try to get prosecutors to drop the charges. They're holding press conferences, sending out mass mailings and speaking to community groups.


"I would hope that the United States would realize that these kids are humanitarians and not criminals," Cowan said. "It's an unfortunate waste of taxpayer resources to bring these charges. No matter what you think of immigration or what you think of border policy or any of that, it is really hard to find somebody who says that it's OK to let people die."


Maybe, but a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney said, "Our office is aware of the (No More Deaths) campaign. A federal grand jury indicted the pair based on their arrest, and a jury will make the determination whether they're guilty or innocent."


There are only two things about the immigration crisis that people on both sides agree upon. First, too many people are illegally crossing the border. Second, too many people who cross the border wind up dead.


"The essence of this case is that we must never get to the point where it is a crime to provide humanitarian aid," Cowan said. "That's why we hope that the prosecutor will drop the charges. That is why Daniel and Shanti didn't take a deal. This isn't just a case about these two young people."


Although it could be. In a culture obsessed with Katie and Tom's prenup, with TiVo, iPods and Netflix, with blogging rather than doing, here we have two young people who understand the difference between unwavering convictions (which dictate action) and simple opinions (which require only words, spoken or in print).


Instead of branding them as criminals maybe we should be praising them for what they really are: Role models.


Reach Montini at (602) 444-8978 or




feds aint very good at collecting student loans


Supreme Court will hear student loans case


Donna Gordon Blankinship

Associated Press

Oct. 30, 2005 12:00 AM


SEATTLE - James Lockhart was surviving on $874 a month in Social Security disability payments plus $10 in food stamps when his student loans from nearly 20 years earlier caught up with him.


He was told his Social Security checks would be cut by 15 percent, an offset to pay more than $80,000 in delinquent student loans. The next day, he started legal action that has led to a hearing Wednesday before the U.S. Supreme Court.


The case is compelling because many other people are potentially in the same position as Lockhart, at or near retirement age with 20-year-old student loans still unpaid, said Deepak Gupta, an attorney working on his appeal. The government brief on the case said there is nearly $7 billion in delinquent student loan debt, with about half of that amount over 10 years old.


The case hinges on a pair of laws that send mixed messages about whether Social Security payments are shielded from the government's collection efforts: the Debt Collection Act and the Higher Education Act, or HEA.


According to Public Citizen Litigation Group, which is representing Lockhart, one federal Appeals Court has ruled in another case that the government is barred by the Social Security Act and the Debt Collection Act from offsetting Social Security payments to repay student loans that are more than 10 years old.


The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, however, ruled in Lockhart's case that the HEA eliminated that bar, Public Citizen says.


Lockhart, now 67 and receiving old-age benefits instead of disability payments, wouldn't comment. Speaking by phone from his home in Seattle, he explained that his attorneys advised him not to talk about the case until it has been settled.


Gupta, an attorney with Public Citizen, the public-interest law firm founded by Ralph Nader, described Lockhart as an old, disabled man living in public housing and barely getting by on his Social Security payments. He has significant medical expenses after double-bypass heart surgery, including six prescriptions, and because of diabetes.


Gupta said Lockhart had more or less given up on his case before the call from Public Citizen.


"We told him, 'You have nothing to lose. They're not going to take away more money from you,' " he said.


The Supreme Court probably agreed to hear Lockhart's appeal because of the conflicting ruling by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a nearly identical case.


The appeal of the 8th Circuit case is on hold until the Supreme Court rules on Lockhart's case.




good government as always :)


Oct 30, 6:29 AM EST


U.S. Investigates Sale of MREs on eBay



Associated Press Writer


WASHINGTON (AP) -- Uncle Sam has tried to feed millions of hurricane victims this year with Meals-Ready-to-Eat, or MREs, only to fear that some of them have become Meals-Ready-for-eBay.


The government is looking into whether eBay sellers in Gulf Coast states are trying to profit from military foodstuffs handed out for free following hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma.


Representatives for eBay, the online auctioneer company, say it is impossible to prove that any of the meals were meant for hurricane victims. They note that MREs can be bought in camping stores and Army-Navy surplus outlets.


But at least some of the MREs advertised on the Web site are being sold from Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida and other Gulf states, and are individually packaged with a disclaimer that clearly notes: "U.S. Government property - Commercial resale is unlawful."


"If it's true, that's pretty reprehensible," said Cheryl Guidry Tyiska, deputy director of the National Organization of Victim Assistance. "There are a lot of pretty hungry people down there who could use the food for free."


One seller, identified as from "Louisiana Cajun Country," described being hit "with the eye of Rita." Bidding had reached $50.99 for the seller's unopened case of MREs by Saturday.


"It was very depressing to come back and see that Rita took half our roof with her and left a lot of trees on the fence," the seller wrote. "I am still in a state of shock and a daze. It has really been a mess. I thank God for my solid gold eBay customers. Thanks for your prayers."


Bidding on other MREs, from Biloxi, Miss., to Pensacola, Fla., ranged from 99 cents to over $100. One case, from Lake Arthur, La., was being advertised as "real military issue" for $36.02. Its 12 individually wrapped meals included beef ravioli, chicken with Thai sauce and a veggie burger with barbecue sauce.


E-mails sent by The Associated Press to eBay's MRE sellers in Gulf Coast states went unanswered.


The Homeland Security Department's inspector general has asked investigators to examine the suspicious MREs on eBay, spokeswoman Tamara Faulkner said. In the past, the Pentagon has complained about MRE sales on eBay, Defense Logistics Agency spokeswoman Marcia Klein said. The agency has not decided whether to pursue the current eBay sales, though officials are considering all avenues, she said.


The Pentagon pays $86.98 for a case of MREs, or about $7.25 per meal, Klein said. The Web site for a chain of Army-Navy stories in the Washington area listed a case of 12 MREs for $96.


Told of the eBay sales, the acting director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, R. David Paulison, said he "will not tolerate any type of fraud, and we will pursue it to the fullest extent." FEMA distributed millions of MREs to hurricane victims over the past two months.


eBay spokesman Hani Durzy said the San Jose, Calif.-based company has not received any complaints from government or law enforcement officials about MRE sales in the wake of the recent storms.


Additionally, Durzy said, eBay has asked the Pentagon to cite the law that would prohibits the sale of its MREs, but has not gotten an answer.


"When we asked them to show us a law to show it is unlawful, and they were unable to do so, we said they're legal as far as we're concerned," Durzy said.


eBay does prohibit the selling of expired MREs that are not advertised as a collector's item, Durzy said. Items that would violate the law if sold through eBay are removed from the site, he said.




micromanaged by the probabion officers


Oct 30, 2:32 PM EST


County requires sex offenders on probation to attend therapy


LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. (AP) -- Mohave County probation officials are requiring specialized sex offenders on probation to attend a sex offender treatment program on Halloween night.


The move is meant to make parents and children feel safer during trick-or-treating.


Doris Goodale, assistant chief probation officer for Mohave County, said about 800 registered sex offenders reside in Mohave County, which will monitor 67 offenders on probation - 15 in Lake Havasu City, 40 in Kingman and 12 in Bullhead City.


Offenders will be transported home by probation officers after the counseling session.


"Probation officers have the authority by the Arizona Supreme Court to direct probationers to therapeutic meetings," Goodale said. "We have the authority and the responsibility."


The department prohibits offenders from displaying Halloween decorations and attracting trick-or-treaters to their homes, Goodale said.


This is the first year the county will enforce this program, but Goodale said they would institute it in following years.




Searching for imaginary threats is very expensive. You have to pay $4.50 extra on each plane ticket so  these thugs can search your bags.


Wow! In 15 minutes they seizes a lighter and a snub-nosed pair of scissors.


Spotting threats takes keen eyes

Nearly 1,000 screeners work at Sky Harbor


Ginger D. Richardson

The Arizona Republic

Oct. 31, 2005 12:00 AM


On the screen, the grainy, black and white image doesn't look like much - just a bunch of dense oval objects clumped together.


But it's enough to set off an alarm inside the massive baggage-screening machine, so Tracey Ingalls, an officer with the Transportation Security Administration, takes a closer look.


"Dates," she pronounces. "I bet it's some kind of food."


The luggage is pulled aside and hand-searched. Piles of clothes, CDs, makeup bags and other assorted items are stacked neatly in a pile as agents search for the offending item. Sure enough, at the bottom of the suitcase is a bag of nuts.


It's a scene that is repeated time and time again in the basements of all three terminals at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, where security screeners spend hours staring at murky images, trying to determine whether something dangerous is buried deep within a piece of checked luggage.


The job isn't always a glamorous one, but those who do it say they love it.


"My greatest thrill is catching something," said screening supervisor Walter Farris. "That's what I am here to do."


Starting pay for TSA screeners is about $28,000; the average employee makes about $32,000, said Paul Armes, the TSA's acting federal security director assigned to Sky Harbor. Training is paramount. Employees are required to have three hours of training each week and must be recertified every year.


On this day, it's not that busy at the Terminal 2 checked-baggage screening center, but the employees are still hustling.


The machine appears to alarm on every fourth or fifth bag, and screeners spend a lot of time checking those pieces of luggage for explosives or digging up lock cutters so they can open a bag and examine its contents.


Sometimes they find dates. Other times they find drugs.


Occasionally, the TSA's software program flashes an image of a phantom bag containing a potentially dangerous item. The image, called a TIP, is designed to test screeners' alertness and their adeptness at catching prohibited articles.


The agency uses the results to monitor how its employees are doing and to identify those who might need additional training.


There are nearly 1,000 TSA screeners assigned to Sky Harbor.


Some are trained solely to analyze checked baggage, where the focus is primarily on explosives. Others spend their time at the passenger checkpoints, where they look for prohibited items like knives, guns and lighters, in addition to bombs. A few agents are trained to do both jobs.


Ingalls is one of them. The 32-year-old north Phoenix resident used to style hair. But she decided to get a job with the TSA after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks because she said "she wanted to do something for the country."


Now she works nights at Sky Harbor. The job can be tough, she said, particularly at the passenger security checkpoints where the scene is always noisy and chaotic.


In fact, agents who work there rotate every 30 minutes so fresh eyes are always looking at the X-ray machines.


In a 15-minute period, one screener catches two TIP images, a lighter and what appears to be a snub-nosed pair of scissors. Two bags have to be rescreened; a third must be hand-checked.


"You really have to be on the ball here," Ingalls said. "There's passengers, and kids screaming, a constant flow of people.


"You really have to be able to focus."


Reach the reporter at or


(602) 444-2474.


Baggage system to ease air travel

Sky Harbor installing technology


Ginger D. Richardson

The Arizona Republic

Oct. 31, 2005 12:00 AM


Work has begun on a new baggage system at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport that is supposed to make traveling as easy as it was before extra security layers were added after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.


The $120 million conveyer-belt system is designed to speed travelers through the security screening process and eliminate the need for passengers or security agents to carry large pieces of luggage through different sections of the airport. It also will move the baggage screening process out of congested public areas.


Sky Harbor is one of only nine airports around the country that has received federal approval to install the new technology. Of those, only three - Denver, Dallas/Fort Worth and Boston Logan - actually have portions of the automated baggage systems up and running.


Phoenix Aviation Director David Krietor described the current screening process, which requires security to hand-feed heaps of piled luggage into large machines scattered throughout ticketing areas, as a "customer service nightmare."


"Once we get this in place, it will be much easier for passengers, much more seamless, just much better," he said.


The new system should be done by summer 2007, though some parts will be up and running long before then.


Sky Harbor officials are withholding some key details about the automated system for security reasons and won't say which sections will come on line first.


It's likely most passengers won't know it's there, and that is the whole point.


Travelers will simply arrive at the airport, hand their bags to a ticket agent or skycap working curbside and proceed to the gate. They no longer will be required to check in with the airline and then lug their bags to one of the van-sized security machines.


The new system will work like this: Bags will travel from the individual airline's check-in areas along a vast series of conveyor belts to the bowels of the terminal.


Those individual airline conveyer systems then feed to a central screening area, in many cases located in a new, high-security building next to the terminal.


Think of it like an octopus. The individual arms represent the conveyors systems operated by each of the airlines at the terminal. Luggage travels along them to the screening center.


Conveyor belts then feed the luggage through a high-resolution X-ray machine that gives screeners a better view of what is inside them.


Bags that appear suspicious are diverted to a special "mitigation" room where they are checked for explosives, said Paul Armes, Sky Harbor's acting federal security director.


Because the new system is completely automated, it will be much faster and more efficient than the existing process, which relies heavily on manual labor.


Computers and sensors control how fast the bags are moved along the belt and automatically scan luggage tags so the baggage can be sent from the screening area to the proper airline's conveyor system.


The time it takes from when you hand your bag to someone to it being loaded on the plane is expected to be less than 20 minutes.


"That is for the bag where everything goes wrong," said Shane Shovestull, a civil engineer at Sky Harbor and project manager for the new system. "Typically, we think it will be faster than that."


The airport screens as many as 45,000 bags a day.


Sky Harbor will pay for the new system with a combination of city and federal money.


Under an agreement with the Transportation Security Administration, Sky Harbor will front the money for the entire project but should be reimbursed for about $91.5 million of the conveyor system's cost over four years.


The federal funding must be approved by Congress each year in order to be included in the federal budget. The first $13 million in funding was approved in 2004; Congress also appropriated nearly $26.2 million this year.


Sky Harbor hopes to receive $26.2 million in both 2006 and 2007, airport spokeswoman Julie Rodriguez said.


Travelers will foot the bill for the city's share via a $4.50 fee tacked onto each airline ticket.


But the $120 million price tag only covers the conveyors.


The TSA is expected to spend an additional $30 million to $35 million on new screening machines that are integrated into the system, said Nico Melendez, an agency spokesman.


Airport officials like the technology because they believe it will free up space in the congested ticketing areas and also will improve wait times at passenger checkpoints.


That is because the system could allow the TSA to reallocate personnel from baggage screening to passenger screening.


Having more passenger screeners at Sky Harbor is crucial because security-checkpoint wait times tend to increase during peak morning and afternoon hours. Additional staffing could help with the backlogs.


Airport officials in both Dallas/Fort Worth and Denver say the automated technology has already proved popular with passengers.


"The old system was very labor intensive and not good for our customers," said Jim Crites, executive vice president for operations at Dallas/Fort Worth International, where the baggage system came on line in three of five terminals earlier this year.


The system there cost well more than $200 million, officials estimate.


In Denver, the technology has been operating smoothly since construction was completed in March 2004. Both the airlines and passengers seem to like it, said Chuck Cannon, an airport spokesman.


Frequent flyers here are looking forward to it.


"I do think it would make it easier," Rich Matsuoka said as he waited to have his luggage screened last week. "It would definitely be better than this."


Reach the reporter at or (602) 444-2474.


These are the items seizes at Sky Harbor Airport since June 1. Dont you feed 100,000 times safer when these idiots search you and your baggage?


92,000 lighters

23,000 sharp objects (including ice picks)

14,000 knifes with blades less then 3 inches

10,500 tools

   368 clubs, bats, bludgeons

   350 knifes with blades over 3 inches long

   190 fake guns (these are the really dangerous ones)

   185 box cutters

   169 annunition and gunpowder

    55 fireworks




you can get a new social security number


Process for getting new Social Security number a headache


Rick De Bruhl

Call 12 for Action

Oct. 31, 2005 12:00 AM


I sure hope you like your Social Security number. The odds are you're stuck with it for life.


Now that's OK if everything goes smoothly. But if you're a victim of identity theft, your Social Security number could become your worst enemy. The credit-reporting agencies tie your information to that number. If thieves get a hold of it, they're on their way to creating another you. They can open charge accounts or tap into your existing accounts.


Fortunately, it's simple to get a new charge account or new bank account. In an extreme situation, you could even change your name without too much headache. It's nearly impossible, however, to get a new Social Security number.


Dawonia Goodwin is considering a switch. She's discovered there is a man in California who has been using her number for years. Unlike some identity thieves, he's not pretending to be Goodwin. He uses her number with his name. When creditors look up Goodwin's number, they find his financial problems. She says it has stopped her from getting loans, credit cards and other accounts.


Goodwin says everyone seems to realize there is a problem, but no one is able to separate her financial life from his. She says the folks at Social Security told her there was nothing they could do.


That's not technically correct. It is possible to get a new number; you just have jump through a lot of hoops.


The first thing you have to do is prove that your number is hurting you. You might have to show that loans have been denied because of the confusion. You'll then have to prove that you haven't been able to separate your life from the thief's. You'll need plenty of documentation from law enforcement and credit-reporting companies. It will have to state specifically that despite everyone's best efforts, the problem couldn't be solved any other way.


It can happen. During the first 11 months that the Social Security Administration kept track, 1,000 people were granted new numbers because of ID theft.


And of course, there's a risk. The government says if it changes your number, it will tie all your old earnings data to the new one. You just have to hope nothing goes wrong.


Goodwin is considering the switch. She just has to decide which headache is worse.


Reach Call 12 for Action from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays at (602) 260-1212 or 1-866-260-1212.




Posted on Sat, Oct. 29, 2005


After 18 years, two win freedom


In a rare turnaround, the D.A.'s Office dropped all charges against the men, convicted of a 1987 murder.


By L. Stuart Ditzen


Inquirer Staff Writer


Two Philadelphia men who have served 18 years in prison for a 1987 homicide were granted unconditional freedom yesterday after the District Attorney's Office made a rare motion in court to nullify their convictions and drop charges against them.


The action was based on statements and polygraph examinations of a witness who exonerated the two men, and on related evidence.


Edward McCann, chief of the Homicide Unit in the District Attorney's Office, said substantial doubt had arisen about the guilt of Alfredo Domenech, 42, and Ivan Seranno, 36. While not agreeing that the men were innocent - a term prosecutors rarely embrace - he said his office decided to take necessary steps to free them "in the interests of justice."


"I cried when I heard the news," said Jerome M. Brown, who represents Domenech and Seranno and has, along with two other defense lawyers, argued for years that the men were innocent.


Brown wrote McCann a letter last year asking him to review the case after the homicide chief had taken a similar action in the case of Ah Thank "Allen" Lee, who for years had claimed innocence of a 1983 murder in Chinatown.


"Praise the Lord. This has made my entire year," said David M. McGlaughlin, who represented Domenech at his 1988 trial. "This case has haunted me for all these years. I always have believed he was innocent."


McGlaughlin, now a prosecutor in Gettysburg, praised McCann for agreeing to review the case after the courts repeatedly had rejected appeals from Domenech and Serrano.


"There is no greater proof of what a quality prosecutor he is than this action he has taken," McGlaughlin said.


Domenech, formerly of the city's Feltonville section, and Seranno, formerly of North Philadelphia, were convicted of first-degree murder in 1988 for the May 29, 1987, shooting of Juan "Junior" Martinez on a street corner in Kensington. They were sentenced to life in prison.


The convictions were based largely on the testimony of a prostitute named Renee Thompson, now dead, who witnessed the shooting from a distance.


Thompson testified at trial that she saw Martinez, 22, standing on the sidewalk arguing with someone in a car at Front and Diamond Streets about 3 a.m. She said a passenger in the car extended an arm and shot Martinez, and the car then sped past her, giving her a chance to see the face of the assailant.


Domenech and Serrano were arrested shortly after the shooting when they drove past the scene and Thompson pointed out their car to police as the one she had seen earlier. She identified Domenech as the shooter.


But Thompson's account was buffeted in cross-examination and in appellate proceedings that strung out long afterward.


Brown, who took up the appeal nine years ago, contended that Thompson was 250 feet from the shooting and could not have seen it clearly. He said her account of the shooting differed significantly from the findings of the Medical Examiner's Office concerning the angle of the shot and distance between shooter and victim.


Brown contends that Domenech and Serrano were driving around that night looking for prostitutes, which was why Thompson saw them twice drive past her. The arrest, he argues, was a fluke.


"They were not there for a legitimate purpose, but they were not there for a murder either," Brown said. "It made no sense, because who comes back to the scene of a murder five minutes after it occurs?"


A new witness, identified in the court record as John Doe, testified in an appellate proceeding in 2002 that he was present when Martinez was shot and that Domenech and Serrano were not there.


The witness testified that the shooting stemmed from a drug transaction in which he was a participant. He said he, Martinez and a third man were buying cocaine from two drug dealers when Martinez provoked an argument. One of the dealers, the witness said, pulled a gun and shot Martinez.


Brown said that the John Doe witness, whose identity was withheld for his safety, passed two polygraph tests. He said Domenech also passed a polygraph test in denying any part in the shooting.


McCann, the homicide chief, said he and Assistant District Attorney Ann Ponterio recently interviewed the John Doe witness after reviewing the record of the case.


He said they concluded that the witness was credible and that his testimony potentially could absolve Domenech and Serrano of the crime.


The legal choreography necessary to undo the convictions was played out in a brief court proceeding yesterday before Common Pleas Court Judge D. Webster Keogh.


McCann and Brown jointly asked Keogh to order a new trial for Domenech and Serrano. Keogh granted the request. McCann told the judge that his office would not retry the case and instead would drop charges.


Keogh then signed orders for the release of Domenech from the state prison at Graterford and Serrano from the state prison at Somerset.


They are expected to be released early next week after certified copies of Keogh's orders are transmitted to the prisons.


Contact staff writer L. Stuart Ditzen at 215-854-2431 or




the police play the media spin game all the time


Almost every prosecutorial and police agency has full-time staff dedicated to media relations


Media experts spinning their view of news

By Gary Grado, Tribune

October 31, 2005


It is the most publicized shoplifting case of the year. It is the only publicized shoplifting case of the year. When word got out Aug. 12 that KTVK (Channel 3) meteorologist Kim Dillon had been arrested on suspicion of stealing $400 worth of clothes from a northeast Phoenix Dillard’s store, television news stations breathlessly reported the development.


The case will likely continue in the spotlight and is one of the latest examples of how defense attorneys, prosecutors and police attempt to manage inevitable pretrial publicity in a way so they can get their messages out without damaging the defendant’s shot at a fair trial. Almost every prosecutorial and police agency has full-time staff dedicated to media relations and trained to stay within the confines of ethical rules that govern pretrial publicity. Defense attorneys know a few good words about their client can be helpful to their case.


Dillon, who has since been fired from her television job, hired Beverly Hills, Calif., defense attorney Debra Opri, who has seen both sides of the media as a legal analyst on cable news shows and was a lawyer for Michael Jackson’s family during the pop star’s criminal trial earlier this year.


Opri said she was hired primarily to defend Dillon in court but also to help manage "an overreaction, a certain publicity that wouldn’t come out with normal folk."


"She doesn’t want publicity," Opri said. "She wants a fair trial."


Prosecutors and police say they want that too — not just for Dillon, but all criminal defendants. They say they have an additional obligation, however, that makes for a delicate balancing act.


"The public has a right to know what this office does," said Barnett Lotstein, a prosecutor with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.


When an arrest is made or an indictment returned in a high-profile case, prosecutors often announce the development at a news conference.


All attorneys are bound by an ethical rule that restricts the amount of information they can discuss publicly during a pending case, Lotstein said.


"We’re extremely conscious of that," he said.


But the rule does allow for discussion of any information that is already public record, such as indictments and police reports, he said.


County Attorney Andrew Thomas, Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard and U.S. Attorney Paul Charlton often spend as much time refusing to answer questions as they do answering them at news conferences because of the rule. Charlton is fond of saying he is sticking to the "four corners of the indictment."


"People are frustrated when we have little or no comment," said Andrea Esquer, spokeswoman for the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.


But once a case gets publicity, the damage is done to the defendant, said defense attorney Richard Gierloff.


Gierloff advertises "media control" as part of his services, something he said is important in today’s mediadriven society.


The media "inherently feeds on sensationalism and damaging your client."


"Sometimes you can get some information to play out that works to your benefit," said Gierloff, who has handled numerous high-profile clients. "If you’ve got anything good, you want to get it out there."


Although Dillon has agreed to some interviews to address her firing from the station, she isn’t talking about the case itself, Opri said.


Dillon tried without success to keep television cameras out of Maricopa County Superior Court for her arraignment, her local attorneys arguing in written pleadings that allowing them would serve no interest "other than lurid or morbid curiosity."


The attorneys said the publicity would make it difficult to pick an impartial jury.


Lotstein, who led the prosecution attempt of former Gov. Evan Mecham and witnessed or has been involved in numerous high-profile cases in which the publicity was "legion," said he can’t recall a case in which the court decided that publicity would harm the defendant.


"In a major city, the chances of affecting the jury pool are very slim," he said.


Police aren’t subject to the same ethical rules as lawyers, so their approach to pretrial publicity is slightly different.


But they said they are also concerned about protecting the rights of the defendant.


All police departments assign at least one public information officer, or PIO, to deal with the media, usually a sworn police officer.


Detective Tim Gaffney, Mesa police spokesman, said the information that his department releases is usually in response to media inquiries and all information is provided unless it would hinder an investigation or reveal police tactics.


Gaffney said Mesa will issue news releases when there is a public safety interest or when looking for more victims of a specific suspect.


His job is to provide only the facts, no opinions or disparaging remarks about suspects, Gaffney said.


"We don’t try to spin stories," he said.


Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said his public information people are careful in providing information and he has never held a news conference or released information to intentionally harm a defendant.


But as an elected official, he has more leeway to speak his mind.


"I may go a little further and say, ‘This guy should be roasted,’ " Arpaio said.


Even when he and his people are careful to limit information in order to protect an investigation, he’ll see the information they tried to restrict the next day in the newspaper, gleaned from court documents such as search warrants and arrest forms.


"If the press wants the story, they get it," Arpaio said.


Contact Gary Grado by email, or phone (602) 258-1746




Got extra spirit? Call the ghost hunters

By Shanna Hogan, For the Tribune

October 30, 2005


Late at night, when 68-year-old Grace Reynolds sat alone in her Gilbert home watching television, she said she felt as if someone was gazing at her.


Related Links



Out of the corner of her eye, she saw shadows scamper across the room. And nearly every night as she drifted off to sleep, she said she felt someone or something sit on the foot of her bed. When she looked, nobody was there.


Instead of posting a "for sale" sign in her front lawn, Reynolds did the next logical thing — she called Arizona Desert Ghost Hunters.


Grace Guerra of Tempe, Debbie Bennett of Buckeye and Hank and Anne Martin of Gilbert arrived wearing their matching T-shirts and bearing digital cameras, voice recorders, night-vision camcorders and tarot cards.


By day they are housewives, computer operators and hospital workers. But by night and on the weekends, they hunt ghosts at haunted houses and hotels.


They’re not exactly ghost busters like Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray and company in the movie. They have no ectoplasm-seeking nutrona wands or proton packs, and they don’t try to catch ghosts. They just want to find them, prove they exist and, when necessary, help them "cross over."


"Most people are afraid of ghosts," Bennett said. "That’s why we get the call."


For a private residence, the first step is a phone interview to weed out any hoaxers and the mentally unstable. Then they will head to the house with their ghost gear and try to catch a spirit on film, Hank Martin said. "The Holy Grail is to catch the proof," he said.


When the homeowner wants the ghost gone, the group conducts a "house clearing." That’s when Bennett and Guerra come in.


They call themselves "intuitives," which is like a medium, Bennett explained. They can see, feel and communicate with the spirits.


"My intent is to help release the ghosts that are earthbound so the people in the house won’t be afraid," Bennett said.


Reynolds was an exception. She didn’t want the ghost removed — she just wanted to know with whom she was sharing her home.


Her sister had died there and Reynolds hoped she was trying to contact her. During the investigation, the ghost hunters photographed an apparition of a man sitting with her on the couch.


Reynolds was shown the picture but did not recognize him.


Bennett and Guerra initiated a tarot card reading in hope of identifying him. The cards indicated that the apparition, whose name they said began with the letter K, was somehow attached to the land and was perhaps a farmer or a rancher.


Sometimes the spirit is a loved one, said Anne Martin. Sometimes it is a ghost of someone who died a long time ago.


The Ghost Hunters met by chance in September 2003 while exploring the Hotel Vendome in Prescott. From that moment, the team has pursued its beliefs in an afterlife and the desire to make a connection.


It has investigated nearly 100 homes and hotels with haunted histories.


Halloween is a busy time. Calls increase every October from hoaxers, journalists, community groups and people with strange occurrences in their homes.


The group doesn’t charge for investigations but asks for donations to cover expenses.


Contact Shanna Hogan by telephone at (480) 898-6514




Why the police are corrupt?


Historically, American police were largely unaccountable for their actions, and oversight remains a problem today. Commanding officers exercise little supervision over day-to-day activities. Indeed, police work is one of the few jobs that provide more autonomy to rank-and-file employees than to their bosses. Not only do officers usually patrol alone, but they are also authorized to improvise solutions and sanctions on the spot, based on the need for swift action to handle specific circumstances.  This freedom allows them to get away with minor violations (such as sleeping on duty), major violations (stopping a car because the driver is black), and outright crimes (assault, planting evidence, theft of money or drugs).


“Can the Police be Reformed”

By Ronalt Weitzer

Contexts – Summer 2005




Impound law takes effect

By Mike Branom, Tribune

November 1, 2005


Arizonans driving without licenses are about to get some motivation to obey the law.


Effective today, police will automatically impound vehicles belonging to unlicensed motorists.


The 30-day impoundment was up to the discretion of authorities when the law went into effect in mid-August.


Now, it’s mandatory.


Also at risk of losing their vehicles are those still driving despite some types of suspended licenses, people driving while extremely intoxicated and people who have been drinking and are under the legal age limit.


The law already called for impounding vehicles belonging to unlicensed, uninsured motorists who got into crashes resulting in an injury or property damage.


Sen. Jim Waring, R-Phoenix, one of the law’s co-sponsors, said the idea was to protect insured motorists by taking unsafe, unlicensed and uninsured drivers "out of circulation."


"There’s no more just driving away," said Waring, who represents Carefree, Cave Creek and parts of Scottsdale. "That was very frustrating for people, and I don’t blame them."


Rep. Robert Meza, D-Phoenix, another cosponsor, said he’s heard anecdotal evidence from insurance agents that drivers are complying with the law in response to the threat of losing their vehicles.


"Get people insured, that was the overall goal," said Meza.


But the Arizona Insurance Information Association said it’s too early to prove such an uptick exists.


In Arizona, 16 percent of injury claims are caused by uninsured motorists, said James Fredrickson, the association’s executive director.


Towing law

As of today, police can tow a vehicle when:


• The driver has never been issued a license or permit, or does not produce evidence of a license from another jurisdiction. (Mexican licenses qualify.)


• The person’s driving privilege is revoked for any reason.


• The person’s driving privilege is suspended because of a DUI conviction, for having been convicted of driving on a suspended license, or for too many moving violations.


• The driver is being arrested on suspicion of extreme DUI or aggravated DUI.


• The driver is under the legal drinking age and has any alcohol in his or her body.


• The person’s driving privilege is canceled, suspended, or revoked, the person has never been issued a driver license or permit or does not produce evidence of a driver license from another jurisdiction (Mexican licenses qualify) AND the person cannot provide proof of insurance AND the person is involved in a crash that results in property damage or injury to or death of another person.


But a vehicle cannot be towed when:


• The vehicle is currently registered, proof of insurance is provided AND the driver’s spouse is present at time of arrest AND there is reason to believe the spouse has a valid license, is not impaired in any manner or has not consumed alcohol if under the legal drinking age AND the spouse notifies authorities and complies with driving the vehicle to the driver’s home or other safe place.


• The vehicle is owned by the driver’s parent or guardian AND the driver is arrested on suspicion of being under the legal drinking age with alcohol in the body; but not for extreme DUI or aggravated DUI.


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




how do you spell $revenue$ in scottsdale


Freeway photo ABCs

By Garin Groff, Tribune

November 1, 2005


A new speed enforcement program is likely to start ticketing speeders on Loop 101 in about nine weeks. Scottsdale’s photo enforcement program would the first of its kind in Arizona, though it’s just being called a test for now.


The Tribune asked Bruce Kalin, who oversees the program for the Scottsdale Police Department, some common and perhaps uncommon questions about how it will work.


Q: When will the photo program begin?

A: Scottsdale plans to turn the cameras on Jan. 8. Violators will get warnings for the first 30 days as part of an extensive public education campaign. On Feb. 9, the city would start issuing citations.


Q: Why is Scottsdale going after speeders on a state highway?

A: The Arizona Department of Public Safety has been understaffed for years, leaving highway patrol efforts thin. Scottsdale officials have grown frustrated with speeding, collisions and deaths. The city will operate the program under the watch of the Arizona Department of Transportation, which still needs to give final approval. The agreement gives Scottsdale up to nine months to test the program. The city and state will collect speed and collision data to evaluate the program.


Q: If I’m driving the speed limit but the car next to me is speeding, could I get a ticket?

A: No. Unlike a police officer who aims a radar gun from the side of the road, this system measures speed with a sensor in the pavement of each lane. Each lane has a camera focused on it, and only the appropriate camera will take a picture when a speeder drives over the sensor.


Q: At what speed could I get a citation?

A: 76 mph, which is 11 mph above the speed limit.


Q: How much are the citations?

A: $157.


Q: Where will the devices go? A: On the Scottsdale portion of Loop 101 from Scottsdale Road to the 90th Street/Pima Road exit. Six locations are planned, three in each direction.


Q: Critics say the system could hurt safety when cameras flash. Could the flashes distract or blind drivers, or trigger rear-end collisions if drivers hit their brakes to avoid getting a ticket?

A: Police don’t believe the system will compromise safety because the flashes are only as bright as a disposable flash camera. Scottsdale has used the same flashes on red light and speed cameras since 1997. "We have not had a single documented report where a flash has led to an accident, and we’re talking about millions of flashes," Kalin said.


Q: Isn’t this just a cash cow for Scottsdale?

A: The city’s existing speed enforcement system was set up to roughly break even, and officials expect this to do the same. In the last four years, Scottsdale’s photo enforcement program lost money twice and made a profit twice. The bottom line: It made roughly $237,000. However, economies of scale could lead to more revenue if large numbers of drivers continue to speed as the program goes on.


Q: How many drivers does the city expect to ticket?

A: The city anticipates the devices will detect 350,000 violations. But the city predicts 198,000 will get — and pay — citations. The difference is because some drivers won’t match the description of the vehicle’s registered owner or because process servers won’t be able to reach the driver. Of the unpaid citations, about 10 percent will be because drivers refuse to pay.


Q: Is there any proven system similar to this?

A: The contractor that operates the system, Redflex Traffic Systems, has speed enforcement on freeways in other countries. The most similar system in Scottsdale is a midblock speed system on Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard at 77th Street. That system started in August 2004 and issued 36 citations an hour at first. A year later, violations are down to 1.7 an hour. Scottsdale expects a similar drop on Loop 101.


Contact Garin Groff by email, or phone (480) 898-6554




Nov 1, 2005

Arizona Republic

(sorry no URL)


Unmarked car stolen from detective's home


Peoria Arizona - Police are looking for an unmarked car that was stolen early Monday from a detective's home near 59th and Orangewood avenues in Glendale, officers said.


The vehicle, a silver 2001 Dodge Intrepid, has an Arizonalicense plate of 027-GXD. It also contained the detective's duty belt, portable radio, Taser and other equipment.




Tempe's Police and Fire departments use radio dishes sitting on Tempe Butte near downtown. The three dishes transmit information to and from dishes on Bell Butte, on the west side of I-10 near Tempe Diablo Stadium.


New condos may hamper police radio


Katie Nelson

The Arizona Republic

Nov. 2, 2005 12:00 AM


Centerpoint developers want their downtown condos to stand tall at 30 stories, but the proposed height increase could compromise Tempe's safety.


The city has determined the proposed towers' height could block police and fire radio waves. The building cluster could also shield officer or firefighter transmissions to or from north Tempe when they start using a new system next year.


Both problems are fixable, said David Heck, who has analyzed the communications network by simulating where the microwave dishes shoot their transmissions and how that meshes with building heights.


But it's something that needs to be addressed because Tempe's Police and Fire departments use radio dishes sitting on Tempe Butte near downtown. The three dishes transmit information to and from dishes on Bell Butte, on the west side of I-10 near Tempe Diablo Stadium. If Centerpoint were allowed to build condos at 30 stories, one of the buildings would block the line-of-site transmissions, Heck said, hampering emergency radio communication within the city and with other departments throughout the Valley.


Moving the dishes and their fiber optic cables to the top of one of Centerpoint's tallest towers could prevent the radio communication breaks, Heck said. The city estimates the move would cost $58,000.


When Centerpoint developers first proposed their mix of condos, retail and parking in 1985, it was supposed to stand 225 feet tall. Even then it would have loomed 39 feet over Tempe's highest building - Sun Devil Stadium.


Since then the downtown development at Sixth Street and Mill Avenue crept up to 186 stories, then to 258.


City planners are taking Centerpoint's 30-story (343 feet) proposal to City Council on Thursday but the radio transmission issue - among others - could stand in its way.


Other potential problems include:


• Sewage. The existing pipelines may not be able to handle the new use demands during late stages of the project, since the development would create 788 new condos. City planners are recommending the Water Utilities Department do a study to determine if that's true and what would need to be done to the sewage system to fix the problem.


• Parking. A city traffic analysis has determined the roads could handle the extra population the additional floors would bring, but where they would park their cars could be an issue even though the new height includes more below-ground parking.




Is it OK for the cops to trick you out of your Miranda Rights???


High court to decide on questioning of suspects


Associated Press

Nov. 2, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court considered Tuesday whether police tricked a Maryland teenager into answering questions about a murder in a case that will give authorities guidelines for dealing with suspects who demand to see an attorney but then talk anyway.


The teen in the high court case, Leeander Jerome Blake, was left in a cold cell, shoeless and in his underwear, after asking to see a lawyer.


He was then shown paperwork that wrongly said he faced the death penalty. An officer told him, "I bet you want to talk now, huh?" Because Blake was 17 at the time, he was ineligible for a death sentence.


Maryland Assistant Attorney General Kathryn Grill Graeff acknowledged that the officer made a mistake in trying to initiate a conversation with Blake, but she said it was not serious enough to warrant throwing out incriminating statements that Blake made later.


The Supreme Court will use the case to clarify how much discretion police have to question suspects once they've exercised their right to remain silent.




Civilian contractors are dying at fast rate


Seth Borenstein

Knight Ridder Newspapers

Nov. 2, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - As the nation focused last week on the 2,000th U.S. soldier who died in Iraq, Gloria Dagit of Jefferson, Iowa, got a box filled with the belongings of her son, Keven, who was killed when his convoy of trucks was ambushed in northern Iraq.


Keven Dagit's death Sept. 20, along with two other truckers, didn't register on the tally of Iraq deaths broadcast daily. That's because they were civilians working for U.S. defense contractors.


As the violence of the protracted war continues and about 75,000 civilian employees struggle to rebuild the war-torn nation and support the military, contractor casualties mount. Their deaths have more than tripled in the past 13 months.


As of Monday, 428 civilian contractors had been killed in Iraq and an additional 3,963 were injured, according to Department of Labor insurance-claims statistics obtained by Knight Ridder.


Those statistics, which experts said were the most comprehensive listing available on the toll of the war, are far from complete: Two of the biggest contractors in Iraq said their casualties were higher than the figures the Labor Department had for them.


The dead and injured come from many walks of life, drawn by money and patriotism. Some are American citizens. Most are not. They are truckers, police officers and translators. They're counted only if they were paid by companies hired by the Pentagon. Their deaths and injuries were compensated by insurance policies required by federal law.


The Labor Department's accounting reports that Halliburton, the largest contractor in Iraq, has had 30 employees killed in Iraq and 2,471 injured. A Halliburton spokeswoman said Tuesday that the company had lost a total of 77 workers in Iraq, Afghanistan and its base in Kuwait.




NEW YORK - The     CIA has been hiding and interrogating some of its most important al-Qaida captives at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe, according to U.S. and foreign officials familiar with the arrangement, the Washington Post reported.


The secret facility is part of a covert prison system set up by the CIA nearly four years ago that at various times has included sites in eight countries, including Thailand,     Afghanistan and several democracies in Eastern Europe, as well as a small center at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, according to current and former intelligence officials and diplomats from three continents, the paper said Tuesday on its Web site.


The hidden global internment network is a central element in the CIA's unconventional war on terrorism, the Post said. It depends on the cooperation of foreign intelligence services, and on keeping even basic information about the system secret from the public, foreign officials and nearly all members of Congress charged with overseeing the CIA's covert actions.


The existence and locations of the facilities — referred to as "black sites" in classified White House, CIA, Justice Department and congressional documents — are known to only a handful of officials in the United States and, usually, only to the president and a few top intelligence officers in each host country, it said.


The CIA and the White House, citing national security concerns and the value of the program, have dissuaded Congress from demanding that the agency answer questions in open testimony about the conditions under which captives are held. Virtually nothing is known about who is kept in the facilities, what interrogation methods are employed with them, or how decisions are made about whether they should be detained or for how long.


While the Defense Department has produced volumes of public reports and testimony about its detention practices and rules after the abuse scandals at     Iraq's     Abu Ghraib prison and at Guantanamo Bay, the CIA has not even acknowledged the existence of its black sites. To do so, officials familiar with the program told the Post, could open the U.S. government to legal challenges, particularly in foreign courts, and increase the risk of political condemnation at home and abroad.


But the revelations of widespread prisoner abuse in Afghanistan and Iraq by the U.S. military — which operates under published rules and transparent oversight of Congress — have increased concern among lawmakers, foreign governments and human rights groups about the opaque CIA system. Those concerns escalated last month, when Vice President Cheney and CIA Director Porter J. Goss asked Congress to exempt CIA employees from legislation already endorsed by 90 senators that would bar cruel and degrading treatment of any prisoner in U.S. custody.


Although the CIA will not acknowledge details of its system, intelligence officials defend the agency's approach, arguing that the successful defense of the country requires that the agency be empowered to hold and interrogate suspected terrorists for as long as necessary and without restrictions imposed by the U.S. legal system or even by the military tribunals established for prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay.


The Washington Post said it is not publishing the names of the Eastern European countries involved in the covert program, at the request of senior U.S. officials. They argued that the disclosure might disrupt counterterrorism efforts in those countries and elsewhere and could make them targets of possible terrorist retaliation.


The secret detention system was conceived in the chaotic and anxious first months after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, when the working assumption was that a second strike was imminent.


Since then, the arrangement has been increasingly debated within the CIA, where considerable concern lingers about the legality, morality and practicality of holding even unrepentant terrorists in such isolation and secrecy, perhaps for the duration of their lives. Mid-level and senior CIA officers began arguing two years ago that the system was unsustainable and diverted the agency from its unique espionage mission, the Post said.




government idiots let people get 20 years behind on their water or sewer bill???


Widow facing hefty bill might lose city water

$12, 201.83 utility bill - SFNM


By Tom Sharpe | The New Mexican

October 30, 2005


The city of Santa Fe is threatening to cut off a widow's water service because her late husband failed to pay their sewer and garbage-collection bills for some 20 years.


Kathleen Martinez's combined water, sewer and garbage bill stands at $12,201.83 -- with more than $9,000 in finance charges.


``I'm scared to death that (cutting off water service) is what's going to happen,'' she said. ``There's people who are willing to try to help me raise that (principal), but how can I raise $12,000? I'm not a rich person.''


Martinez said she didn't realize her bills were not being paid until her husband, Belarmino ``Mino'' Martinez, died in 1998. He used to pay most of the household bills, but apparently got behind after he lost his state job, she said.


On the advice of the Water Division, she was paying an extra $50 each month on her water, sewer and refuse bill in hopes of paying off her debt. But the amount kept getting larger and about two months ago, she said, the city sent her a cut-off notice.


Martinez said she realized only two weeks ago that the bill was for sewage and garbage -- not water.


Dave Schmiedicke, city utility-billing director, said the unpaid refuse and sewer charges began accumulating in about 1980 before the city bought its water system from Public Service Company of New Mexico.


Back then, Schmiedicke said, the city had no mechanism to handle overdue sewer and garbage bills, ``other than place a lien on somebody's property. But you know politics. There's no way we would foreclose on anybody.''


The city would wait until the home sold to collect its money. Now it can simply shut off water service.


Cutting off sewer service or garbage pickups would create a health problem, Schmiedicke said. But cutting off water service would not necessarily do the same thing, he said, because people could get water from other sources.


The billing director said he sympathizes with Martinez, especially because the city's finance charges of 18 percent a year add an extra $180 to her bill every month. Schmiedicke said the department recently hired some new people for its collection staff, so they are concentrating on people with overdue bills. Martinez's $12,000 bill, he said, is probably the largest.


Martinez, who works as a parking attendant for a valet-parking firm, said she has tried to get the city to waive the interest charges on her bill ``and let me pay what I owe and start all over again,'' but she has been refused. She said she is considering paying $50 to appeal the matter to a hearing officer, but is afraid that going public might jeopardize her chances.


``I'm really terrified,'' she said. ``I don't have the money. ...


Golly, you would think they would understand. But they're not budging.''


Contact Tom Sharpe at 995-3813 or




how do you say F*CK BUSH


Bush’s Arizona approval rating takes nose dive

By Dennis Welch, Tribune

November 2, 2005


For the first time since he took office, more Arizonans now disapprove of President Bush’s job performance than approve.


But local Republicans said they’re confident the president’s dwindling popularity will not drag the party down during next year’s mid-term elections.


A poll released Tuesday shows 41 percent of those questioned think Bush is doing a bad job, while 35 percent are happy with the nation’s commander in chief. The rest didn’t specify.


"It’s pretty rare for a sitting president to have more negatives than positives in a state like Arizona," said poll- ster Earl de Berge of the Behavior Research

Center in Phoenix. "This is Republican country."


The numbers reflect a growing dissatisfaction among Arizona residents about issues ranging from the economy to the war in Iraq, de Berge said.


Because the poll ended last week, the numbers do not reflect the recent indictment of a key White House aide or Monday’s nomination of U.S. District Court Judge Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court.


De Berge, who has worked as a pollster since 1964, said he can’t recall when a sitting president has polled so poorly in so many areas.


With such slumping numbers, de Berg said some Republicans may look to distance themselves from Bush.


Not so, said Colin McCracken, a spokesman for the Arizona Republican Party.


Republicans will not walk away from the president, he said. The president plans to host a fundraiser for Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., at the end of the month.


"That doesn’t sound like he’s trying to distance himself from the president," McCracken said.


In addition, local Republicans say the president’s declining numbers will not hurt their candidates in their races for the state’s House and Senate.


"I think it will take more than poor approval ratings to swing the local races," said Sen. Jay Tibshraeny, R-Chandler. "I’d be more concerned about the statewide races where people don’t know you personally."


Phil Lopes, D-Tucson, and Democratic floor leader in the House, agrees that the growing disapproval alone will not affect next year’s local races.


But add several recent scandals involving high-profile Republicans — such as former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas — and it could spell defeat.


"I think when you put all of this together, it doesn’t bode well for Republicans," he said.


Lopes also said Gov. Janet Napolitano’s high approval ratings will help spur the party to victory.


Currently, Republicans hold comfortable majorities in both the Senate and House. In the Senate, Republicans fill 18 seats against the Democrats’ 12. In the House, Republicans hold 39 seats to the Democrats’ 21.


The falling numbers for the president come as he struggled through a week that began with White House counsel Harriet Miers withdrawing her name from Supreme Court consideration.


Then on Friday, Vice President Dick Cheney’s top aide, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, was indicted by a federal grand jury in the CIA leak investigation.


Also last week, the U.S. military death toll in Iraq topped the 2,000 mark.


Contact Dennis Welch by email, or phone (480) 898-6573




hmmmm.... let me get this straight the american empire over threw saddam because of his evil dictatorship - and now we are returning the same thugs to power???????????


Iraq invites former Saddam officers to return to military


Edward Wong

New York Times

Nov. 3, 2005 12:00 AM


BAGHDAD - The Iraqi government called Wednesday for the return of junior officers from the disbanded army of Saddam Hussein, openly reversing a controversial U.S. directive issued in 2003.


The move is aimed at draining the insurgency of recruits and bolstering the Iraqi security forces, Iraqi officials said.


The Defense Ministry, with the support of the U.S. military, has quietly recruited a few thousand former officers over the past 18 months. But this is the first time it has offered an open invitation to broad classes of former officers to rejoin the armed forces.


The move could represent a political overture by the Shiite-led government to disaffected Sunni Arabs, possibly to drum up support in advance of the December elections.


With the announcement Wednesday, any former officers up to the rank of major are eligible for reinstatement by applying in November at recruitment centers in six cities across Iraq.


The move by the Defense Ministry represents the most public departure yet from a U.S. policy instituted by L. Paul Bremer, the former head of the U.S. occupation, of cleansing the Iraqi government and security forces of former members of Saddam's Baath Party and disbanding the Iraqi army.


Many U.S. commanders and military analysts have said the dissolution of the 400,000-member Iraqi army in May 2003 drove many thousands of Sunni Arab soldiers and officers into the insurgency while depriving the nation of a force that could help restore order. U.S. and Iraqi officials now say a core part of the Sunni-led insurgency is made up of former members of Saddam's military.


Iraqi officials said any recruits signing up in November would go through a rigorous screening process intended to weed out possible insurgents.


Both the Americans and the Iraqis have been retreating in stages from Bremer's original "de-Baathification" order since early 2004. But U.S. and Iraqi officials said Wednesday's announcement was significant for several reasons.


It not only extends an invitation to thousands more officers, but in symbolic terms, it also represents an official recognition of a practice already under way for some time.


Some senior U.S. military officials said that the announcement seemed aimed at Sunni Arab officers, relatively few of whom have rejoined the military. They added that the Iraqi army was desperately short of mid-level officers.


In Washington, a State Department official said that in negotiations on the constitution earlier this year, overseen by the U.S. ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad, the Shiite majority agreed to lift some restrictions on Baath Party participation in the government.


"It was loosened a bit, but it was not a dramatic loosening that have might led more Sunnis to support the constitution in the referendum," said the official, who requested anonymity.




denver rulers say F*CK the people - we will get arround that law that decriminalizes pot


Denver Residents Vote To Make Limited Amounts Of Marijuana Legal


Denver officials say they'll sidestep a voter-approved city law that decriminalizes adult possession of an ounce or less of marijuana by prosecuting under state law.


 DENVER (AP) -- City prosecutor Vince di Croce says the old city law prohibiting possession of small quantities of pot wasn't used much anyway.

He acknowledges officers have a choice in how to charge people in such cases, which is punishable by a 100-dollar fine. He says the fact voters erased the city prohibition in yesterday's municipal election will make little difference.


The ballot measure's chief organizer, Mason Tvert, says city officials are ignoring the same voters who put them in office. He says the city may have discretion whether to use state law, but should not turn its back on what voters made clear they want.


Denver voters approved to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana by a narrow margin in the Tuesday (Nov. 1) election.


Denver voters approved a measure, Initiative 100, that makes it legal for anyone older than 21 to possess less than an ounce of marijuana in the City and County of Denver. The now even more aptly named Mile High City becomes the second major city, following Oakland’s similar measure last year, to make pot legal.


Before you stoners pick up and move to Denver, the measure isn’t without its loopholes, primarily marijuana is still a controlled substance under Colorado state statues. Denver Attorney General John Suthers told The Denver Post that his office will still prosecute pot heads under state law, and Denver cops won’t ignore the superceding legislation.


 Nov 3, 2005 6:12 am US/Mountain


Pot Users Say Initiative 100 Is Just The Start


Raj Chohan



Save It  Email It  Print It

(CBS4) DENVER Pot users were celebrating the passage of Denver's Initiative 100 Wednesday by lighting up a joint.


The initiative allows adults to possess small amounts of marijuana in the city. It passed Tuesday 54% to 46%.


Local authorities said the passage really means nothing. Marijuana is still illegal in Denver and all of Colorado under state law.


Denver police said they will still ticket pot users and dealers under that state law.


Bob Malamede is a Colorado professional who admits he likes to smoke pot. He's a biology professor at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs.


"I started smoking marijuana when I was 16-years-old, which is when I went to college," Malamede said.


Malamede was a big fan of Initiative 100.


"You know marijuana tends to open up your mind and allow you to see things in a different light," Malamede said.


Malamede is also registered to use marijuana for medical reasons.


Initiative 100 made carrying less than one ounce or marijuana in Denver is legal.


State law considers carrying less than an ounce a petty offense. Prosecutors in Denver plan to file charges under the state law.


"They'll still be subject to citation under state law, maximum possible penalty of $100 as we've traditionally done," David Broadwell, Denver's assistant city attorney said.


The supporters of Initiative 100 said even if drug enforcement doesn't change, Denver is an important first step in a bigger campaign.


"Well it's becoming quite obvious what our next goal is, to change state laws so these officials can't hide behind it anymore when they don't have to," Mason Tvert, a leading Initiative 100 supporter said Wednesday.


Initiative 100 made carrying less than an ounce of marijuana legal under Denver city law. It is still a crime to smoke pot in public, sell it or for people under 21 to carry any amount under city code.


"The most important thing to come out of it is that people voiced their opinion, and a majority of people in a major city in this country say these laws are stupid and I want something different," Tvert added.


(Copyright © MMV CBS Television Stations, Inc.)




denver rulers say F*CK the people - we will get arround that law that decriminalizes pot


Denver Residents Vote To Make Limited Amounts Of Marijuana Legal


Denver officials say they'll sidestep a voter-approved city law that decriminalizes adult possession of an ounce or less of marijuana by prosecuting under state law.


DENVER (AP) -- City prosecutor Vince di Croce says the old city law prohibiting possession of small quantities of pot wasn't used much anyway.

He acknowledges officers have a choice in how to charge people in such cases, which is punishable by a 100-dollar fine. He says the fact voters erased the city prohibition in yesterday's municipal election will make little difference.


The ballot measure's chief organizer, Mason Tvert, says city officials are ignoring the same voters who put them in office. He says the city may have discretion whether to use state law, but should not turn its back on what voters made clear they want.


Denver voters approved to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana by a narrow margin in the Tuesday (Nov. 1) election.


Denver voters approved a measure, Initiative 100, that makes it legal for anyone older than 21 to possess less than an ounce of marijuana in the City and County of Denver. The now even more aptly named Mile High City becomes the second major city, following Oakland’s similar measure last year, to make pot legal.


Before you stoners pick up and move to Denver, the measure isn’t without its loopholes, primarily marijuana is still a controlled substance under Colorado state statues. Denver Attorney General John Suthers told The Denver Post that his office will still prosecute pot heads under state law, and Denver cops won’t ignore the superceding legislation.


Nov 3, 2005 6:12 am US/Mountain


Pot Users Say Initiative 100 Is Just The Start


Raj Chohan



Save It Email It Print It

(CBS4) DENVER Pot users were celebrating the passage of Denver's Initiative 100 Wednesday by lighting up a joint.


The initiative allows adults to possess small amounts of marijuana in the city. It passed Tuesday 54% to 46%.


Local authorities said the passage really means nothing. Marijuana is still illegal in Denver and all of Colorado under state law.


Denver police said they will still ticket pot users and dealers under that state law.


Bob Malamede is a Colorado professional who admits he likes to smoke pot. He's a biology professor at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs.


"I started smoking marijuana when I was 16-years-old, which is when I went to college," Malamede said.


Malamede was a big fan of Initiative 100.


"You know marijuana tends to open up your mind and allow you to see things in a different light," Malamede said.


Malamede is also registered to use marijuana for medical reasons.


Initiative 100 made carrying less than one ounce or marijuana in Denver is legal.


State law considers carrying less than an ounce a petty offense. Prosecutors in Denver plan to file charges under the state law.


"They'll still be subject to citation under state law, maximum possible penalty of $100 as we've traditionally done," David Broadwell, Denver's assistant city attorney said.


The supporters of Initiative 100 said even if drug enforcement doesn't change, Denver is an important first step in a bigger campaign.


"Well it's becoming quite obvious what our next goal is, to change state laws so these officials can't hide behind it anymore when they don't have to," Mason Tvert, a leading Initiative 100 supporter said Wednesday.


Initiative 100 made carrying less than an ounce of marijuana legal under Denver city law. It is still a crime to smoke pot in public, sell it or for people under 21 to carry any amount under city code.


"The most important thing to come out of it is that people voiced their opinion, and a majority of people in a major city in this country say these laws are stupid and I want something different," Tvert added.


(Copyright © MMV CBS Television Stations, Inc.)




Thursday, November 3, 2005 · Last updated 4:53 a.m. PT


4 officers join Air Force evangelism suit





DENVER -- Four Air Force officers have joined a lawsuit claiming senior officers and cadets at the Air Force Academy illegally imposed Christianity on others at the school.


Four second lieutenants, all graduates with the class of 2004, joined the suit filed by a Jewish graduate of the academy and former Air Force officer, Mikey Weinstein, said Sam Bregman, Weinstein's lawyer. He identified them as Casey Weinstein, one of Mikey Weinsten's sons, Jason Spindler, Patrick Kucera and Ariel Kayne.


"Any argument that Mr. Weinstein didn't have standing - that argument is over," Bregman said.


Weinstein's federal suit said he had failed to win an assurance from the Air Force that Christian chaplains would stop proselytizing. The suit prompted a proposed new set of guidelines on religious conduct in the Air Force.


Meanwhile, Congressional opponents have sent a letter to President Bush asking him to issue an executive order protecting the right of Christian military chaplains to mention Jesus in prayers.


A letter signed by more than 70 members of the House says "Christian military chaplains are under direct attack and that their right to pray according to their faith is in jeopardy."


The letter, written by U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., said, "We believe that the Air Force's suppression of religious freedom is a pervasive problem throughout our nation's armed forces" and "it is becoming increasingly difficult for Christian chaplains to use the name of Jesus when praying."


Weinstein said that if Bush issues an executive order that permits chaplains to proselytize he will add the president to the list of defendants.


Besides the letter to Bush, evangelical groups were pushing their side in meetings with top Air Force officials. Jim Backlin, vice president for legislative affairs of the Christian Coalition, said he had met with acting Air Force Secretary Pete Geren.


"I told the secretary we are concerned that the guidelines as written would have a chilling effect and are already having a chilling effect," Backlin said.


Backlin said the guidelines are unnecessary.


An investigation of the academy found no overt religious discrimination but observed a lack of sensitivity among some and confusion over what is permissible in sharing one's faith.


Officers Join Air Force Evangelism Suit

Staff and agencies

02 November, 2005




DENVER - Four Air Force officers have joined a lawsuit claiming senior officers and cadets at the Air Force Academy illegally imposed Christianity on others at the school.


"Any argument that Mr. Weinstein didn‘t have standing — that argument is over," Bregman said.


Meanwhile, Congressional opponents have sent a letter to President Bush asking him to issue an executive order protecting the right of Christian military chaplains to mention Jesus in prayers.


The letter, written by U.S. Rep. W, , ), R-N.C., said, "We believe that the Air Force‘s suppression of religious freedom is a pervasive problem throughout our nation‘s armed forces" and "it is becoming increasingly difficult for Christian chaplains to use the name of Jesus when praying."


Besides the letter to Bush, evangelical groups were pushing their side in meetings with top Air Force officials. Jim Backlin, vice president for legislative affairs of the Christian Coalition, said he had met with acting Air Force Secretary Pete Geren.


Backlin said the guidelines are unnecessary.




bush sucks


En picada popularidad de Bush



Noviembre 2, 2005


Mientras expertos anticipan que el presidente George W. Bush enfrentará mayores dificultades para impulsar la agenda de su segundo gobierno, la mayoría de los estadunidenses consideran que su presidencia ha sido un fracaso.


Un nuevo sondeo del periódico USA Today, indicó que la mala calificación se debe a una combinación de factores, entre ellos el sombrío curso de la guerra en Irak y el creciente número de bajas, así como el revés en la nominación de la jurista Harriet Miers.


Las malas noticias para Bush tuvieron una suerte de colofón el fin de semana, cuando el jefe de asesores del vicepresidente Dick Cheney y asesor del mandatario, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, fue acusado de filtrar la identidad de una agente encubierta de la CIA.


En su más reciente sondeo conjunto con la empresa Gallup, USA Today mostró que el mandatario ha perdido terreno, aún entre sus propios correligionarios, los republicanos, donde el apoyo al mandatario se ha reducido casi 10 puntos.


En términos generales, 55 por ciento de los encuestados consideraron que la presidencia de Bush en este segundo término ha sido un fracaso, contra 42 por ciento que consideran que su gestión ha sido un éxito.


El diario recordó que, en contraste, poco después de que fue sometido a un proceso de desafuero en 1996, el nivel de aprobación de la gestión del presidente William Clinton era mayor, con apenas 25 por ciento de la opinión pública calificándola de fracaso.


and the translation provide by google. In perforated popularity of Bush Notimex November 2, 2005


While expert they anticipate that president George W. Bush will face greater difficulties to impel the agenda of his second government, most of the estadunidenses considers that its presidency has been a failure.  A new sounding of newspaper the USA Today, indicated that the bad qualification must to a combination of factors, among them the shady course of the war in Iraq and the increasing number of casualties, as well as the misfortune in the nomination of jurist Harriet Miers.  The bad news for Bush had a luck of colofón the weekend, when the head of advisers of vice-president Dick Cheney and adviser of the agent chief executive, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, was accused to filter the identity of a concealed agent of the company.  In his more recent joint sounding with the Gallup company, the USA Today still showed that the agent chief executive is lost land, between its own coreligionists, the republicans, where the support to the agent chief executive has been reduced almost 10 points.  In general terms, 55 percents of the encuestados ones considered that the presidency of Bush in this second term has been a failure, against 42 percents that consider that its management has been a success.  The newspaper remembered that, in resistance, shortly after which it was put under a process of violation in 1996, the level of approval of the management of president William Clinton was greater, with hardly 25 percents of the public opinion describing it as failure.





What's next? Will White House mess with Alfred E. Neuman?


Friday, October 28, 2005


Some people have all the luck.


Take The Onion, the humor newspaper and Web site that breaks important news stories such as "Trick-or-Treaters to be Subject to Random Bag Searches."


As it turns out, a miraculous gift has just landed square in The Onion's lap. The Onion has been attacked by the White House.


It just doesn't get any better than that for a professional smart aleck.


If you're doing comedy, you just can't get any finer publicity than being messed with by the president of the United States. That's even hotter than having Oprah Winfrey tell you to go suck an egg.


Here's the deal: The White House has warned The Onion to stop using the presidential seal in its parodies of President Bush's weekly radio addresses.


"It has come to my attention that The Onion is using the presidential seal on its Web site," Grant M. Dixton, one of the president's attorneys, wrote to the folks at The Onion.


Those lucky stiffs.


I don't see what the White House is so worked up over.


It's not like The Onion changed the presidential seal to include an illustration of Karl Rove in prison garb, busting rocks with a mallet.


"Em, it hasn't been bad for us, I'll tell you that much," said Scott Dikkers, The Onion's editor in chief, who knows how fortunate he is. "I'm just comforted as an American citizen to know that our government has our priorities straight."


Silly, huh? Some of the White House poobahs could end up in the joint for messing with an undercover CIA agent, and the White House is worried about the presidential seal? No wonder the president's approval rating is down to five guys out at the country club.


But so what? This is the finest thing to happen to The Onion since the invention of the one-liner. There's nothing better for a humor writer than to be jacked around by the elite. For these guys at The Onion, this is as good as getting a, uh, for our purposes here today, surprise hickey from Jessica Biel.


Dixton, the White House attorney, said that the White House had to act because the seal "is not to be used in connection with commercial ventures or products in any way that suggests presidential support or endorsement."


So The Onion should come out with a line of Onion Presidential Seal T-shirts, ball caps, shot glasses, pajamas and whoopie cushions.


I'm jealous.


The Onion gets whacked by the president. Meanwhile, I'm stuck with a bunch of nasty e-mails from disgruntled rednecks in wife-beater shirts who are ticked off at me for making fun of the Astros.


"Presidential seal has ball on nose — details at 11," The Onion may counter. I'm sure Homeland Security will be all over that one.


Who would have thought that the Bush administration would have been stupid enough to . . . wait, never mind. Cancel that thought.


John Kelso's column appears on Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays. Contact him at 445-3606 or


ON THE WEB: Check out The Onion at


The Onion angers George W


 p2p news / p2pnet: White House bares teeth at The Onion and Onion bites back at White House are but two of the headlines inspired by the Cheney/Bush administration’s anger over an item in The Onion which, in turn, has been know to carry its own headlines, such as CIA Asks Bush To Discontinue Blog, Bush Begins Hunger Strike To Protest Human-Rights Abuses In Nepal and Bush To Appoint Someone To Be In Charge Of Country.


The latter story leads to, “In response to increasing criticism of his handling of the war in Iraq and the disaster in the Gulf Coast, as well as other issues, such as Social Security reform, the national deficit, and rising gas prices, President Bush is expected to appoint someone to run the U.S. as soon as Friday.


" ‘During these tumultuous times, America is in need of a bold, resolute person who can get the job done,’ said Bush during a press conference Monday. ‘My fellow Americans, I assure you that I will appoint just such a person with all due haste’."


“The Cabinet-level position, to be known as Secretary of the Nation, was established by an executive order Sept. 2, but has remained unfilled in the intervening weeks.”


But what really upset Dick and George was The Onion’s use of the presidential seal which promoted a White House missive, says Doug Moe in The Capital Times, going on to quote it:


To Whom It May Concern:


It has come to my attention that The Onion is using the Presidential Seal on its Web site,” it continues.


I write to inform you that use of the Presidential Seal is governed by Section 713 of Title 18, United States Code and Executive Order 11649. In accordance with these authorities, the Presidential Seal is not to be used in connection with commercial ventures or products in any way that suggests presidential support or endorsement. While certain exceptions are applicable to these policies, an organization must seek approval from the Office of Counsel to the President. We have no record of your company seeking such approval.


Therefore, please remove the Presidential Seal from your Web site immediately. Thank you for your attention to this matter.


Moe says The Onion, “took the White House letter seriously enough to have its Madison lawyer, Rochelle H. Klaskin of La Follette, Godfrey & Kahn, write a letter back, though she addressed it ‘Dear Mr. Dixon’ (the White House guy's name was Dixton), perhaps a shot back at ‘To Whom It May Concern.’ Klaskin wrote: ‘Readers of The Onion know that its incidental use of the Presidential Seal and its complementary parody of the president's weekly radio address are not meant to convey sponsorship but, on the contrary, to serve as political commentary.’


“Klaskin wrote that no one could think the president sponsors or approves The Onion, pointing to the lead headline in the Oct. 13-19 Onion as proof: ‘Bush to Appoint Someone to Be in Charge of Country.’


“Dikkers, the editor, wrote the White House lawyer too, also getting his name wrong.


Dear Mr. Dixon,


I greatly appreciate your comments regarding my Weekly Radio Address parody. But I'm surprised the president deems it wise to spend taxpayer money for his lawyer to write letters to The Onion.


If you have a lot of extra money lying around that you don't know what to do with, here are some better ideas for spending it:


1. How about a tax break for satirists?


2. With indictments in 'Plamegate' forthcoming, perhaps a nice going-away present for Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, Vice President Cheney, or whoever the president may be firing. I recommend a subscription to The Onion.


3. It has recently become obvious that there is need for some sort of federal organization to administer the management of emergencies - a hypothetical 'Federal Emergency Management Administration,' if you will. You could spend the money on that.


4. Harriet Miers could really use a scholarship to some kind of rudimentary judge school.


"In the event there's any extra money left over after all these projects, then perhaps the president could justify paying lawyers to protect him from comedians," adds The Capital.


“It's not a lifelong feud yet, but it's a start.”


George W. Bush vs. The Onion

sarahana (Brooklyn, NY) wrote: Mon Oct 31, 2005 11:13 am  View sarahana's profile | Quote |

White House Goes After The Onion


The White House is not amused by "The Onion," the popular satirical newspaper that often spoofs the Bush administration. The White House counsel's office has asked the paper to stop using the presidential seal on a page where it regularly parodies President Bush's weekly radio address, the New York Times reports.


"I would advise them to look for that other guy Osama (bin Laden) ... rather than comedians. I don't think we pose much of a threat," said "Onion" Editor Scott Dikkers.


"The Onion" is the latest target in the Bush administration's war on satire. As a presidential candidate, Bush tried to shut down the parody site, saying "There ought to be limits to freedom." And in 2002, Vice President Dick Cheney's office went after the parody site White over a parody of Lynne Cheney.




racist rulers of anaheim california appear to be attacking arabs


Anaheim cracks down on rowdy hookah cafes


By Tori Richards


ANAHEIM, California (Reuters) - Hookah bars are in but belly dancing and alcohol are out in the growing number of Middle Eastern smoking lounges in Anaheim's Little Gaza district.


Officials in the Southern California city that is home to Disneyland voted on Tuesday night to impose strict new rules on the operation of hookah cafes which they say cater to a rowdy clientele.


The ordinance barring alcohol, disc jockeys and live entertainment such as belly dancing, and calling for equipment to filter smoke is expected to win final approval on November 8 and would apply to Anaheim's 11 smoking lounges.


Owners of the cafes complain that they are being singled out, possibly based on race, and said the regulations could kill their businesses by squelching cultural elements that make them unique.


"I'm starting to feel like this is a racial thing," said Raffi Sarkis, manager of the Fusion Cafe. "Because they have Disneyland here, they want it to be an all-white area. They are harassing us."


Sarkis said he was once fined $3,000 when a patron stood up to dance. Anaheim City Council spokesman John Nicoletti denied that the law was racially motivated, saying: "Anaheim is known for the diversity of its business owners."


"This is not a hookah bar ordinance; this is a smoking lounge ordinance," he said. "It has nothing to do with anyone's ethnicity."


Nicoletti said the city has tried to accommodate the growing number of smoking lounges but that some have created a club-like atmosphere that attract rowdy crowds.


Police say noise from the cafes is keeping neighbors awake and in the past several years they have responded to about 500 incidents ranging from fights and loud music to arson.


The lounges currently feature Arab entertainment, cuisine and music, but the main attraction are the three-foot-(one-meter-)long smoking pipes attached to a bowl containing tobacco mixed with flavors such as mint, peach, and vanilla cola.


Posted on Wed, Oct. 26, 2005


Orange County city cites noise, drugs in regulating hookah bars




Associated Press


ANAHEIM, Calif. - Mohammed Elkhatib surveyed his cafe and shook his head - no belly dancers, no live music, no dance floor. Just a handful of clean-cut men sitting around puffing tobacco from hookahs and watching Game 3 of the World Series.


Business isn't likely to pick up anytime soon. After fielding hundreds of complaints from angry residents, the City Council on Tuesday night tentatively approved an ordinance targeting the 11 hookah bars that have popped up along the city's Little Gaza strip in the past five years.


If it wins final approval next month, the new law will ban drinking, live music and dancing - including belly dancing - at the bars unless owners secure a special permit.


City officials see the new law as an administrative solution that will let them better regulate the thriving lounges much as they do other businesses. Owners of the hookah bars, however, see something bigger: a culture clash in a city that until recent years was known as the predominantly white home of Disneyland.


"You just limited our business to Starbucks," said Elkhatib, a 26-year-old Kuwaiti-American. "We're not Starbucks - we're a Middle Eastern hookah bar. We dance, we sing, we come together to celebrate. I don't think it's fair what they're doing."


Elkhatib's Fusion Cafe is one of many hookah bars around the country where young Arab-Americans and others gather to smoke flavored tobacco from the elaborate water pipes. But few have stirred as much controversy as those in Anaheim.


City officials deny they are attacking the Middle Eastern tradition and insist that some hookah lounges have blatantly exploited a loophole in the city code to act as unregulated clubs and bars in residential areas.


In the past two years, police have responded 499 times to disturbances around the clubs involving drunkenness, gang fights, theft, arson and drug use.


Angry lounge owners fear the new rules will put them out of business and deal a blow to the thriving young Arab-American community that uses the cafes as social cornerstones.


"The average American will go to a bar after work, have a drink and call it a day. Well, that's exactly what this is," Elkhatib said. "We're not doing anything against our culture."


The hookah cafes in Anaheim began to open five years ago, when young Arab-American entrepreneurs saw an opportunity to take a long-standing Middle Eastern tradition and give it a modern American twist.


The lounges styled themselves as hip new clubs, with muted lighting, live music and belly dancers to entertain customers while they sucked in tobacco tasting of grape, watermelon and strawberry.


That trend has crossed the nation, with hookah bars attracting Arab and non-Arab college students and twentysomethings from California to North Carolina and Wisconsin.


In Anaheim, nearly all the lounges are located within a highly competitive two-mile radius.


Elkhatib and others say less scrupulous owners have admitted minors, served alcohol without a license and looked the other way at drug use to attract non-Arab customers. The tactics have hurt the reputation of an important part of Middle Eastern culture, Elkhatib said.


On a recent night at the Fusion Cafe, tucked between Al Huda Meat and Arja Pastry, a dozen baby-faced men puffed on hookahs and played a card game called tarneeb. Most said they came daily to hang out with friends they've known since childhood.


"It's like a second home to us. It's our comfort zone," Amer El Hatem, 19, said as he puffed grape-flavored tobacco from a blue water pipe painted with intricate flowers. "I don't know why they're putting restrictions on us."


The city says the establishments have outgrown city codes that treated them like coffee houses. Lounges that want to offer live music or dancing can apply for a more expensive permit that's required of clubs, bars, dance halls and many restaurants, said Sheri Vander Dussen, city planning director.


Some residents who have battled the hookah bars wanted the new regulations to be more restrictive. They dismissed suggestions by lounge owners that their complaints were motivated by racism or cultural insensitivity.


Vanessa Shanley fought for 14 months to get a hookah lounge behind her house closed after it became the scene of gang fights, shootings and drunkenness. The bar was shut down a year ago after Shanley videotaped the problems from her backyard, she said.


"Now it's in someone else's yard," said Shanley, who brought her teenage daughter to the City Council meeting. "Putting a hookah bar in our residential neighborhood puts our children in danger."




City of Anaheim:


Calif. City Cracks Down on Hookah Bars



The city of Anaheim, Calif., has banned alcohol, disc jockeys, and live entertainment -- including belly dancing -- from popular hookah bars in the Little Gaza neighborhood, Reuters reported Oct. 26.


The local ordinance passed this week also calls for the hookah bars to install special filters for tobacco smoke emanating from their water pipes. City officials said the rules applied to all smoking lounges and were intended to prevent rowdy behavior. But some hookah bar owners called the move cultural persecution.


"I'm starting to feel like this is a racial thing," said Raffi Sarkis, manager of the Fusion Cafe. "Because they have Disneyland here, they want it to be an all-white area. They are harassing us."




We Have Been Warned


by Ron Paul


Before the US House of Representatives, October 26, 2005


 We have been warned. Prepare for a broader war in the Middle East, as plans are being laid for the next U.S.-led regime change – in Syria. A UN report on the death of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafig Hariri elicited this comment from a senior U.S. policy maker: “Out of tragedy comes an extraordinary strategic opportunity.” This statement reflects the continued neo-conservative, Machiavellian influence on our foreign policy. The “opportunity” refers to the long-held neo-conservative plan for regime change in Syria, similar to what was carried out in Iraq.


This plan for remaking the Middle East has been around for a long time. Just as 9/11 served the interests of those who longed for changes in Iraq, the sensationalism surrounding Hariri’s death is being used to advance plans to remove Assad.


Congress already has assisted these plans by authorizing the sanctions placed on Syria last year. Harmful sanctions, as applied to Iraq in the 1990s, inevitably represent a major step toward war since they bring havoc to so many innocent people. Syria already has been charged with developing weapons of mass destruction based on no more evidence than was available when Iraq was similarly charged.


Syria has been condemned for not securing its borders, by the same U.S. leaders who cannot secure our own borders. Syria was castigated for placing its troops in Lebanon, a neighboring country, although such action was invited by an elected government and encouraged by the United States. The Syrian occupation of Lebanon elicited no suicide terrorist attacks, as was suffered by Western occupiers.


Condemning Syria for having troops in Lebanon seems strange, considering most of the world sees our 150,000 troops in Iraq as an unwarranted foreign occupation. Syrian troops were far more welcome in



Secretary Rice likewise sees the problems in Syria – that we helped to create – as an opportunity to advance our Middle Eastern agenda. In recent testimony she stated that it was always the administration’s intent to redesign the greater Middle East, and Iraq was only one part of that plan. And once again we have been told that all options are still on the table for dealing with Syria – including war.


The statement that should scare all Americans (and the world) is the assurance by Secretary Rice that the President needs no additional authority from Congress to attack Syria. She argues that authority already has been granted by the resolutions on 9/11 and Iraq. This is not true, but if Congress remains passive to the powers assumed by the executive branch it won’t matter. As the war spreads, the only role for Congress will be to provide funding lest they be criticized for not supporting the troops. In the meantime, the Constitution and our liberties here at home will be further eroded as more Americans die.


This escalation of conflict with Syria comes as a result of the UN report concerning the Hariri death. When we need an excuse for our actions, it’s always nice to rely on the organization that our administration routinely condemns, one that brought us the multi-billion dollar oil-for-food scandal and sexual crimes by UN representatives.


It’s easy to ignore the fact that the report did not implicate Assad, who is targeted for the next regime change. The UN once limited itself to disputes between nations; yet now it’s assumed the UN, like the United States, has a legal and moral right to inject itself into the internal policies of sovereign nations. Yet what is the source of this presumed wisdom? Where is the moral imperative that allows us to become the judge and jury of a domestic murder in a country 6,000 miles from our shores?


Moral, constitutional, and legal arguments for a less aggressive foreign policy receive little attention in Washington. But the law of unintended consequences serves as a thorough teacher for the slow learners and the morally impaired.

     * Is Iraq not yet enough of a headache for the braggarts of the shock and awe policy?

    * Are 2,000 lives lost not enough to get their attention?

    * How many hundreds of billions of dollars must be drained from our

economy before it’s noticed?

    * Is it still plausible that deficits don’t matter?

    * Is the apparent victory for Iran in the Shiite theocracy we’ve created in Iraq not yet seen as a disturbing consequence of the ill-fated Iraq regime change effort?

    * When we have our way with the next election in Lebanon and Hezbollah wins, what do we do?

    * If our effort to destabilize Syria is no more successful than our efforts in Iraq, then what?

    * If destabilizing Syria leads to the same in Iran, what are our options?


If we can’t leave now, we’ll surely not leave then – we’ll be told we must stay to honor the fallen to prove the cause was just.


We should remember Ronald Reagan’s admonition regarding this area of the world. Ronald Reagan reflected on Lebanon in his memoirs, describing the Middle East as a jungle and Middle East politics as irrational. It forced him to rethink his policy in the region. It’s time we do some rethinking as well.


October 28, 2005


Dr. Ron Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas.




Nov 3, 2:15 AM EST


Arizona soldiers in Iraq: U.S. prepares for a long stay



Sierra Vista Herald


SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. (AP) -- Building a permanent infrastructure is a sign the United States has intentions of remaining in Iraq for years.


That's how GIs from Fort Huachuca stationed here at Camp Anaconda in Iraq see it.


Putting in a more robust communication system is just one sign America's armed forces will continue to play a role in this nation struggling to determine its future, according to a small group of 69th Signal Company soldiers.


"I see us being here a very long time, at least a decade," Spc. Paul Webber said.


The "cable dog" - a nickname for the troops who reel out the communication cables for the camps - said that if history is any indicator of what America does all that has to be viewed is that America's military is still in Europe and in other countries.


"It will be like another (South) Korea," Webber said.


Others nodded their heads in agreement.


Taking a break at this ever-growing facility near Balad, the soldiers sat near a complex of trailers serving as offices. Under a canopy on a wooden deck that provides some semblance of comfort, they were in harmony that the United States would be ill advised to leave a job undone, although for some it has meant returning to Iraq two or more times since the war began in March 2003.


First Lt. Aaron Vandiver said the decision of when or if to leave will be up to America's political leaders.


"It's above my pay grade, way above," the unit's 3rd Platoon leader said.


When GIs say something is above their pay grade, that is soldier talk for that they have no say in a decision.


Vandiver said the determination to leave will come from the president, either President Bush or someone who succeeds him.


Based on the jobs soldiers like the 69th are doing, it doesn't seem that an order abandoning Iraq is anywhere in the near future, the lieutenant said.


Consolidation is happening, Vandiver said. That is why the 69th is running cable at three sites that appear to becoming COBs - Contingency Operating Bases. The 69th's cable dogs are installing a variety of cables for different kinds of communication systems.


One location is at Camp Anaconda, a former Iraqi air force base, where part of 3rd Platoon is working. The other two locations, where some of the company has soldiers from 1st and 2nd platoons, have not been released.


The job is to put in miles of fiber cable to create a way to connect a variety of communication systems that is a critical infrastructure, Vandiver said.


On Thursday and Friday, long convoys of civilian trucks escorted by soldiers trucks entered the former air base - a place that the U.S. Air Force and Army aviation units operate. The installation is the launching point for Air Force F-16 fighters, Army helicopters and Army military intelligence unmanned aerial systems.


The 69th's soldiers are currently removing tactical communication lines and installing more permanent cable lines as Camp Anaconda as it transforms from a Forward Operating Base concept to a COB.


A large concrete pad has been poured on which a tall communication tower will be erected - another sign of permanency.


Sgt. Melinda Gardner said what must be realized is that "there will always be a need for communications."


Sgt. 1st Class Tammi Linwood, the site noncommissioned officer in charge for the 69th's team at Camp Anaconda, then said, "We've got a lot of work ahead of us."


She, Gardner and Sgt. 1st Class Edward Nazimiec said they believe that the U.S. Army will have to remain in Iraq for a long period of time.


"We'll always have a presence here of some sort or another," said Nazimiec, the 3rd Platoon's senior noncommissioned officer.


The hint is the work being done, creating the COBs, he said.


For soldiers of the 69th and other units of the 11th Signal Brigade, the main job is to remove the tactical communication lines so that commercialization can be brought in, Nazimiec said.


The Army's tactical communication units have to return to the United States and repair and replace equipment "to be ready to go again when we are needed," Nazimiec added.




Porn may be on the way for iPods


Rebecca Barr

Bloomberg News

Nov. 3, 2005 11:50 AM


Playboy Enterprises Inc. and Penthouse Media Group Inc., publishers of men's magazines, may make adult movies for portable video players such as Apple Computer Inc.'s new iPod to capitalize on soaring demand for the devices.


Penthouse is in talks with "a number" of companies that build the players to provide adult videos, Chief Executive Officer Marc Bell said in an interview Wednesday. Chicago-based Playboy also is in talks with new developers, CEO Christie Hefner said.


Playboy and Penthouse, both suffering from slumping revenue at their magazines, are ramping up video production to bolster profit. Apple sold more than 1 million music videos and television shows for its new video iPod, with a 2.5-inch color screen, within three weeks of its Oct. 12 debut. Adding adult content is a natural extension for mobile video players.


"When you look at what has driven the emerging technology for media distribution over the last 50 years, it's music and adult content," said David Bank, an analyst for RBC Capital Markets in New York. "It seems like a natural fit."


Playboy shares, up 16 percent this year, added 84 cents to $14.41 at 1:11 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. Apple shares have surged on demand for iPods, sales of which have reached 28 million. The stock jumped $1.89 to $61.84 and earlier today reached a record $62.32.


Apple had no comment, according to spokesman Steve Dowling. Apple does have content that is rated "explicit" on its iTunes Web site and offers parental controls to iTunes users who want to limit which content their children can access, Dowling said.


"Anyone who has developed and is rolling out a platform for the delivery of content is a company we are interested in doing business with, so you can count we will be in discussions with them," Hefner said on a conference call with analysts yesterday, when asked if Playboy is in talks with Apple.


The potential for Playboy from new content delivery devices prompted RBC's Bank to upgrade the company to "outperform" from "sector perform."


"There is substantial potential for Playboy," Bank said. "Playboy content is the kind that is a natural to be able to exploit the new distribution channel. It lends itself to a shorter viewing experience."


New York-based Penthouse was in bankruptcy when the CEO's buyout firm acquired it in October 2004. Bell in September raised $48 million to finance an adult entertainment broadcast network to compete with Playboy's Spice and New Frontier Media Inc.'s Erotic.


"There are a number of portable video players and we are very excited and enthused about working with them," Bell said in an interview. "We are talking to a number of them."


Penthouse, which sells magazines in 12 languages across 40 countries, plans to make new movies tailored to portable video players as well as adapting other movies, Bell said.


Playboy said its magazines posted a loss of $700,000 and fourth-quarter advertising sales will fall 23 percent. Playboy is most likely to reach content agreements with manufacturers including Apple, according to Banks.


"Playboy has the Good Housekeeping seal of approval," Banks said. "Their image is more positive than simply pornography. That's part of why they become the partner of choice. They are reputable in billing management and age verification of their talent. There aren't many brands that share that stature."


Playboy was founded by Hefner's father, Hugh Hefner, in 1953 with Marilyn Monroe as "sweetheart of the month." In the second issue Hefner, now 79, introduced the bunny logo, designed by Arthur Paul. The logo underpins the Playboy brand, which made the company licensing revenue of $5.9 million in the third-quarter.


Playboy yesterday said third-quarter profit rose to $3.2 million, or 10 cents a share, from $1.9 million, or 6 cents, a year earlier. Sales increased less than 1 percent to $80.9 million, missing analysts' forecasts. Sales in the company's entertainment unit gained 3.5 percent to $47.7 million, helped by domestic television and video-on-demand sales.




Venezuela VP warning over jets worries U.S.

Rangel: Nation free to give fleet to China, Cuba


Wire services

Nov. 4, 2005 12:00 AM


CARACAS, Venezuela - Tweaking already strained relations with the United States on the eve of a hemispheric summit, Venezuelan Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel said Thursday that his country would be within its rights in giving U.S.-made jet fighters to Cuba or China.


The controversy over the planes, a fleet of 22 F-16s sold to a previous Venezuelan administration, began Tuesday when President Hugo Chavez complained that the United States had refused to sell him spare parts for the aging aircraft. A deal Chavez made to buy parts from Israel was canceled after the United States intervened.


Chavez said Tuesday that spat over the parts might prompt him to simply give the aircraft to Cuba or China, so that those countries could "learn about the technology" - a move that would raise U.S. security concerns. It wasn't clear Tuesday whether Chavez was joking, until Rangel's statement Thursday asserted that such a gift was permissible.


The statement appeared to challenge U.S. Ambassador William Brownfield, who said Wednesday that Venezuela was contractually forbidden to sell or give away the aircraft without approval from the United States.


Also Thursday, Venezuelan soldiers jumped from boats into the surf and waded ashore in a mock assault, the latest in a series of military exercises preparing for a U.S. invasion that Chavez warns could come.


Hundreds of men, women and children met the troops on the beach, some shouting "Gringos, go home!" and "Freedom!" The soldiers ignored them and hiked into their small fishing town, stone-faced as they spread out and took control.


Other Venezuelan troops, playing the part of resistance forces, hid nearby in the mountains that run along the Caribbean coast, ready to attack the invaders.




isnt this nice. most of america is waking up and figuring out that george w hitler is an *sshole and idiot.


Bush's approval drops to new low, poll hints

More than half of all respondents question his integrity, it indicates


Associated Press

Nov. 4, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - President Bush's job approval has fallen to the lowest level of his presidency amid worries over the Iraq war, a fumbled Supreme Court nomination, the indictment of one White House aide and uncertainty about another, according to a new poll.


An AP-Ipsos poll has Bush's approval rating at 37 percent, compared with 39 percent a month ago. About 59 percent of those surveyed said they disapproved.


The intensity of disapproval is the strongest to date, with 42 percent now saying they "strongly disapprove" of how Bush is handling his job. That is more than double the 20 percent who said they "strongly approve." Also, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll reported that for the first time, a majority of Americans question Bush's integrity.


In the AP-Ipsos poll, nearly one in five Republicans disapproved of Bush's handling of his job, compared with nearly nine in 10 Democrats. Nearly seven in 10 independents disapproved.


The president has lost support from some key groups of constituents over the past year. He has dropped 16 points in his approval rating with men in that time, 18 points with people who have a high school education or less, 16 points among Southerners and 13 points among Republicans.


The telephone poll of 1,006 adults nationwide was taken Oct. 31 to Nov. 2. The sampling error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.




Why summit may prolong Bush slump


G. Robert Hillman

Dallas Morning News

Nov. 4, 2005 12:00 AM


MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina - President Bush is hopping from one frying pan to another.


Besieged at home with pressing problems such as high energy prices, a vacancy on the high court, and an aide's indictment in the CIA leak case, Bush has come for the fourth Summit of the Americas. There, he faces noisy protests on the streets and widespread angst about his leadership.


It's his first visit to Latin America in a year, and Bush says he comes eager to delve into the thorny issues of jobs, trade, poverty and burgeoning democracies. Analysts monitoring the summit see little shift in underlying policies for the region and little gain for the embattled president.


"President Bush's main concern will be to get through the meeting and not be embarrassed," said Michael Shifter, a senior analyst at the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington think tank on Latin-American affairs. "He will face a very skeptical group of leaders whose mistrust of the United States has increased over the last few years. There won't be many warm abrazos (hugs)."


Underlying the president's slump at home and fueling much of the ill will in the region is his decision to invade Iraq.


"It's the war," said pollster John Zogby, who surveyed the region's opinion leaders in business, government, academia and the media two months ago.


"Stop Bush" signs are plastered outside the mammoth security zone enforced along the downtown coastal strip that has been cleared for the two-day summit.


And thousands of protesters are preparing to launch a countersummit, the "People's Summit."


There are other issues, too. Many Latin Americans are leery of the president's push for free trade, worried that it favors big business over the impoverished, who remain one of the region's biggest challenges.


Many remember the president's pledge at the start of his first term five years ago to "look south" and tend to some of the region's problems. They also remember the stark reality that set in after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.


Latin America simply has not been a high priority for the Bush administration, Zogby said.


"It isn't important until there's a crisis on the radar screen," he said. "Otherwise, it's really like an orphan."


Taking such criticism head-on, Bush shot back during an interview with foreign journalists before he left the White House.


"Look," he said, "I understand not everybody agrees with the decisions I've made, but that's not unique to Central or South America."


"Truth of the matter is," he went on, "there's people who disagree with the decisions I've made all over the world. And I understand that.


"But that's what happens when you make decisions."


Bush flew to Argentina on Thursday at the low point of his presidency.


Just a week ago, his second nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, Harriet Miers, withdrew under withering criticism from conservatives that she was not qualified. And the next day, a federal grand jury charged Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby Jr., with lying and obstructing justice in the investigation into who leaked a CIA operative's name to reporters.


Even before that, Bush's standing in public opinion polls had dipped below 40 percent, driven down by high energy prices, his sluggish response to Hurricane Katrina and a festering unease among many Americans about the war in Iraq.


At least in the formal settings of the summit and his brief visits later to Brazil and Panama, analysts agree that Bush's domestic troubles will not intrude. But he has not taken questions from reporters since Libby's indictment. And so he is likely to get peppered during his first news conference here Friday with his host, Argentine President Nestor Kirchner.


There is intense interest as well about how Bush will deal with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a friend of Cuban President Fidel Castro, who was not among the 34 world leaders invited to the summit.


Among other things, Chavez has taunted Bush as "Mr. Danger" and worried aloud that he could invade Venezuela like he did Iraq.


At the top of the summit agenda are three keystones of Latin American development: creating jobs, fighting poverty and fostering democracy.


Bush's decision to invade Iraq, never popular throughout much of the region, lingers as a noisy backdrop to his talks.


The president pledged in the early days of his first term to look south at the "opportunities and potential" of the region. And his first foreign trip was to Mexico, a symbolic gesture aimed at setting a cooperative tone with its new president, Vicente Fox, even if it might annoy the Canadians.


But after the Sept. 11 attacks, Bush's relationship with Fox has increasingly soured, and they'll not meet privately at this summit, as they often have at other such gatherings.


"There's limited time on these things," explained Stephen Hadley, Bush's national security adviser.


Immigration border security issues that have been at the center of U.S.-Mexican talks, although important, he said, will give way on this trip to economic development and other issues aimed at alleviating poverty.




typical DUMP americans. they think government can provide them with all kinds of cool stuff and that somebody else will pay for it.


Fountain Hills poll shows cost is a big issue

By John Leptich, Tribune

November 3, 2005


Many Fountain Hills residents support the town’s strategic planning initiatives — as long as they don’t have to pay a high price for them.


That was the thrust of a survey sponsored by the town that was sent to about 3,000 randomly selected residents in early October.


According to a draft report from the Independence, Mo.-based ETC Institute, issues at the top of the list for residents include working more closely with the Fountain Hills Unified School District, requiring residential developers to use native vegetation, and annexing state trust land adjacent to the town.


A representative of the firm will present the results during a Town Council meeting at 6:30 p.m. today. The survey cost the town $25,400.


About 50 percent of the respondents said they aren’t willing to pay the estimated costs for proposals such as an aquatic center, acquisition of land for an additional neighborhood park or widening Fountain Hills Boulevard.


"This gives us direction," said Mayor Wally Nichols. "This type of thing helps elected officials know exactly what the people want. We were elected to serve them and spend our time and dollars on what they want, rather than pet projects. We have a direction. The question for us is how we implement what the people want and how do we do it in a cost-effective manner."


Councilman Keith McMahan said some projects may wind up revised or scrapped.


"This will change plans," he said. "The question is still ‘who’s going to pay for things?’ We can’t implement a tax hike. We have to bring that to a vote. It’s all in the people’s hands."


Fountain Hills Town Council meeting

When: 6:30 p.m. today

Where: Council chambers, 16705 E. Avenue of the Fountains

Information: (480) 837-2003

Contact John Leptich by email, or phone 480) 970-2333




Nov 4, 7:26 AM EST


Texas Death Row Inmate Escapes From Jail


HOUSTON (AP) -- A death row inmate escaped from a county jail after he obtained civilian clothing and a fake ID badge, authorities said.


Charles Victor Thompson, 35, of Tomball, was being held Thursday in the Harris County Jail after he was resentenced last week in the 1998 shooting deaths of his ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend.


"He had changed out of the orange jumpsuit that inmates ordinarily wear," Harris County sheriff's Lt. John Martin said in the online edition of the Houston Chronicle. "He may have been taken out of the cell block and put in the attorney booth in the guise of having an attorney visit."


Thompson had an ID card suggesting he worked for the Texas Attorney General's office.


"It was convincing enough that the deputy let him out of the facility," Martin said.


Thompson remained at large Friday and investigators were questioning jail employees.


Thompson was to be returned to the state prison system within 45 days, according to Department of Criminal Justice spokeswoman Michelle Lyons.


The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals had ordered the new sentencing hearing. A new jury sentenced Thompson Oct. 28 to death.




Nov 4, 7:58 AM EST


False Accusations Against Police Protected



Associated Press Writer


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A federal appeals court on Thursday nullified a California criminal law adopted after the Rodney King beating that made it unlawful for citizens to knowingly lodge false accusations against police officers.


The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the law was an unconstitutional infringement of speech because false statements in support of officers were not also criminalized.


The decision, hailed by civil liberties groups and opposed by state prosecutors and law enforcement groups, overturns the California Supreme Court, which in 2002 ruled that free speech concerns took a back seat when it came to speech targeting police officers.


Lawmakers enacted the law after a flood of hostile complaints against officers statewide following King's 1991 taped beating. The 1995 law is punishable by up to six months in jail.


The imbalance generated by the law "turns the First Amendment on its head," Judge Harry Pregerson wrote for the unanimous three-judge panel.


Darren Chaker, 33, of Beverly Hills, challenged the law after he was convicted in San Diego County in 1999 of making a false complaint against an El Cajon police officer.


Chaker appealed to California's courts, to no avail. A federal judge had ruled against him as well, so he went to the San Francisco-based appeals court.


"It was up to the police department to determine if the speech was false," Chaker said. "I made a complaint against a police officer for twisting my wrist and was charged as a criminal."


The American Civil Liberties Union hailed the decision.


"To us, it was a clear example to cut off criticism of the government," said ACLU attorney Alan Schlosser.


Michael Schwartz, a Ventura County prosecutor who on behalf of the California District Attorneys Association urged the appellate court to uphold Chaker's conviction, said he was disappointed with the outcome.


"It's a controversial issue that people disagree about," he said. He said the statute in question is used sparingly.


San Diego County prosecutors said they were considering asking the appeals court to reconsider or asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision.




Nov 4, 3:17 AM EST


AG rejects request to probe political activities of staff member


TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard has rejected a request by the Pima County Republican Party to launch an investigation into the political activities of a member of his Tucson staff.


Goddard determined Thursday there was no merit to a GOP complaint that Assistant Attorney General Paul Eckerstrom was promoting partisan goals while on the job.


Eckerstrom is chairman of the Pima County Democratic Party. Goddard also is a Democrat.


"This type of political sniping comes with the territory of being the party chairman," Eckerstrom said following the decision.


On Tuesday, Republicans had accused Eckerstrom of violating a state law that says a state employee "shall not take any part in the management or affairs of any political party or in the management of any partisan or nonpartisan campaign."


In a two-page response to the complaint, Goddard wrote that Eckerstrom is exempt from that law and is therefore allowed to engage in political activity on his own time.


Goddard added that Eckerstrom's political activity took place mostly outside of regular state business hours.




Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas is a nazi police state thug


Proponen cárcel para mamás drogadictas


El procurador Andrew Thomas

recibe fuertes críticas por su “idea”.


Edmundo Apodaca

Fuertes críticas ha recibido el procurador del Condado Maricopa, Andrew Thomas, desde que la semana pasada planteó su iniciativa de meter a la cárcel a mujeres que consumen drogas durante el embarazo.


Entrevistados por separado, médicos especialistas calificaron de “idea descabellada” la propuesta de Thomas, a quien pidieron que mejor se dedique a combatir con mayor rigor a los narcotraficantes, y estudiar mejor las consecuencias de una medida como la que pretende llevar ante el Congreso estatal en enero próximo.


Recibe Thomas fuertes críticas por su intención de castigar a madres drogadictas. Médicos se oponen a la medida. Afirman que causará mayores problemas que los que pretende solucionar.


Severas críticas ha recibido el procurador Andrew Thomas desde que el pasado miércoles presentó una propuesta que pretende llevar ante el Congreso del estado para castigar hasta con 3.5 años de cárcel a las madres que consumen drogas durante el embarazo.


Bajo la premisa “protejamos a nuestros niños”, el procurador de Justicia del Condado Maricopa presentará en enero próximo una iniciativa de ley para castigar severamente a las madres drogadictas.


De esta manera se pretende sancionar a las mujeres que aún estando embarazadas consumen drogas y que dañan el producto. De acuerdo a Andrew Thomas, debe tipificarse el delito como una felonía clase tres o cuatro, para aplicar castigos que van desde los 2.5 hasta los 3.5 años de cárcel.


El fiscal explicó que hasta hoy no existe una ley que castigue este delito, mientras sigue creciendo el problema de niños que nacen con trastornos físicos y de salud, así como emocionales causados durante su gestación, porque la mamá consumía drogas como metanfetaminas, cocaína, mariguana, cristal y otros enervantes.


Reacciones en contra


Para el doctor Augusto Castro Marín, Gineco-Obstetra con muchos años de trayectoria profesional, la propuesta de Andrew Thomas es una idea descabellada que lo único que propiciará es alejar a las mujeres embarazadas de los consultorios y hospitales, ante el temor de ir a la cárcel o que les quiten a sus bebés una vez nacidos.


Incluso, explicó que en los años 70 el entonces procurador de Justicia de la ciudad de Nueva York propuso algo similar y fracasó en su intento de hacer responsables de crímenes de abuso fetal a las madres que usaban drogas durante el embarazo.


El resultado fue el alejamiento de esas madres de las clínicas y hospitales, no recibieron atención adecuada y en muchos de los casos se puso en riesgo la vida tanto del bebé como de la madre. Entonces los médicos se opusieron, porque además un alto porcentaje de los bebés nacieron con defectos que los incapacitaron de por vida, lo que se convirtió en una carga económica para el estado.


“Lo más probable es que esta iniciativa ‘del gran genio’ del procurador no sea respaldada, porque fue hecha al aventón, sin tomar en cuenta aspectos médicos ni pensar en las consecuencias reales para el bebé”, dijo el doctor Marín.

Agregó que lo que debería hacer el procurador Thomas es emprender una intensa campaña de orientación, de formación cultural para alejar a los jóvenes de las drogas, del alcohol y de toda aquella sustancia que luego pondrá en riesgo no sólo su salud, sino la de sus hijos en el futuro.


Se suman apoyos en contra Esta idea es compartida por el doctor Coonrod R.D.E, ginecopediatra del Hospital Maricopa, quien señala que por encima de la represión debe estar la educación. Es decir, que en lugar de castigo, debe dársele la oportunidad a las madres con problemas de adicciones de recibir tratamiento y orientación para que abandonen el mundo de las drogas. No es la solución, dijo, a un problema creciente, que es muy frecuente en mujeres hispanas de segunda y tercera generación. Se dá en todas las clases sociales, pero con bastante frecuencia en jóvenes de entre 18 a 24 años.


El jefe del área de Maternidad del Hospital Maricopa, Conrood R.D.E, tomó con mucha cautela la propuesta, ya que el problema es tan complejo que no admite una solución tan simplista como la propuesta por Andrew Thomas.

Explicó que ciertamente los efectos del uso de drogas es muy severo en el bebé en gestación.


En ese sentido, expuso que los efectos son devastadores y van desde daño cerebral hasta trastornos físicos, en el corazón, microcefalia, defectos congénitos, labio leporino, entre otros, dependiendo el tipo de drogas que consume.


En ese sentido, se preguntó si Andrew Thomas está considerando meter a la cárcel a las mamás que fuman, ya que la nicotina del cigarro tiene efectos severos también en la salud del bebé en formación.


Para la trabajadora social del área de Maternidad del Hospital Maricopa Christin Fruchiy, la situación es demasiada compleja como para intentar resolverlo con una medida cautelar o de castigo.


Se trata de orientar, de darle a conocer a la futura mamá los efectos de sus acciones, asesorarla y darle la ayuda necesaria para su rehabilitación. De esta manera se logran mejores resultados que castigándola y alejándola de su bebé.


La puerta de pandora


Para el juez Carlos Mendoza lo que pretende hacer el procurador del Condado Maricopa, Andrew Thomas, es sumamente peligroso. “Porque su idea abrirá una puerta que luego será muy difícil de cerrar, como lo es el caso de que luego el gobierna quiera meterse a la recámara de las familias para castigar a los padres porque no le dieron la vitamina al hijo, o bien porque la mujer no fue al médico o porque el niño no come. Tiene que tenerse mucho cuidado con todo esto”.

Si bien reconoció que es urgente hacer algo para frenar el uso y abuso de drogas en la sociedad, particularmente entre las madres en gestación, la propuesta de Thomas no es la solución.


 “Tenemos un problema muy grande, pero si se castiga a las madres tendrá un costo muy fuerte para la sociedad, que tiene que pagar por malas decisiones y mala conducta de la mamá.” El asunto es ¿porqué no en lugar de castigar, no creamos las condiciones para orientar. Porqué penalizar en lugar de educar, de prevenir? “Estamos tratando de curar sólo un síntoma de una enfermedad en vez de ir a la raíz del problema. Estamos peleando con los efectos, pero no con las causas, y eso no es muy recomendable. Es, digamos, tomar el camino más fácil. Vamos a encarcelar, cuando la idea debería ser, vamos a educar.


Ahora bien, porqué el procurador no se mete más a combatir el problema de las drogas en la calle, que castigar al que las consume?”.


Cárcel para las madres drogadictas


Por Adriana Elektra Sánchez

La Voz

Noviembre 2, 2005


Un controversial proyecto de ley está en marcha en la legislatura estatal. La iniciativa propone aumentar severamente las penalidades que se les imponen a las mujeres embarazadas que consumen drogas y como resultado dañan a sus hijos mientras están en gestación.


De aprobarse el proyecto se presentarían cargos de abuso infantil a la madre si se descubre que el bebé presenta rastros de drogas en su organismo durante las primeras 72 horas de vida.


La posible ley además propone que se le retire la patria potestad a las mujeres embarazadas que se descubran consumiendo estupefacientes durante los meses de gestación.


Aunque la ley castigaría severamente a las madres que dañan a sus hijos con el consumo drogas prohibidas, no haría lo mismo con las madres que consuman alcohol durante el embarazo.


En conferencia de prensa Andrew Thomas, procurador del Condado Maricopa, dijo que la sociedad tiene el deber fundamental de proteger a los niños de cualquier tipo de daño al que puedan ser expuestos.


Sin embargo, a la hora de preguntársele si en el futuro planeaba iniciar un proyecto de ley similar en contra de las mujeres que consuman alcohol, contestó que por el momento no lo estaba considerando.


De ser aprobado el proyecto de ley haría obligatorio que si un niño nace de una madre que se sospecha utiliza drogas se le haga al bebé una prueba durantes sus primeras 72 horas de nacido.


La ley además haría obligatorio para los trabajadores de hospitales reportar a las autoridades a las personas que se sospeche consumen drogas durante el embarazo, y permitiría que un niño sea retirado de la custodia de sus padres si se sospecha descuido y no solamente abuso físico o sexual.


a rough translation by google


Proponen jail for mothers drug addicts Andrew solicitor Thomas receives forts critics by its "idea".  Edmundo Apodaca Strong critics has received the solicitor of the Maricopa County, Andrew Thomas, since the last week raised its initiative to put to the jail to women who consume drugs during the pregnancy.  Interviewed people separately, doctors qualified specialists as "preposterous idea" the proposal of Thomas, whom they asked that better he dedicates himself to fight with greater rigor the narcotics traffickers, and to study better the consequences of a measurement like which tries to take before the state Congress in next January.  He receives Thomas strong critics by his intention to punish to mothers drug addicts.  Doctors are against the measurement.  They affirm that he will cause greater problems than those than try to solve.  Severe critics have received Andrew solicitor Thomas since the past Wednesday presented/displayed a proposal that it tries to take before the Congress of the state to punish until with 3,5 years from jail the mothers who consume drugs during the pregnancy.  Under the premise "we protect our children", the solicitor of Justice of the Maricopa County will present/display in next January a law initiative to severely punish to the mothers drug addicts.  This way it is tried to sanction the women who still being pregnant consume drugs and that damage the product.  According to Andrew Thomas, the crime like one must be tipificar felonía class three or four, to apply punishments that go from the 2,5 to the 3,5 years of jail.  The public prosecutor explained that until today a law does not exist that punishes east crime, while it continues growing the problem of children who are born with physical upheavals and of health, as well as emotional caused during its gestation, because the mother consumed drugs like metanfetaminas, cocaine, marijuana, crystal and other enervantes.  Reactions in against For doctor Augusto Castro Marín, Gineco-Obstetra with many years of professional trajectory, the proposal of Andrew Thomas is a preposterous idea that the only thing that it will cause is to move away to the women embarrassed of the doctor's offices and hospitals, before the fear to go to the jail or that they clear his babies to them once been born.  Even, it explained that in 70 years the then solicitor of Justice of the city of New York proposed something similar and failed in his attempt to make people in charge of crimes of fetal abuse to the mothers who used drugs during the pregnancy.  The result was the distance of those mothers of the clinics and hospitals, did not receive suitable attention and in many of the cases the life of the baby as of the mother was put as much in risk.  Then doctors opposed, because in addition a high percentage to the babies was born with defects that incapacitated them of by life, which became an economic load for the state.  "most probable he is than this initiative ' of great genió of the solicitor is not endorsed, because it was done to aventón, without taking into account medical aspects nor to think about the real consequences for it drinks '", said doctor Marín.  He added that what would have to make the solicitor Thomas is to launch an intense campaign of direction, of cultural formation to move away to the young people of drugs, the alcohol and all that substance that soon its health will put in risk not only, but the one of its children in the future.  Supports in against This idea are added is shared by the doctor Coonrod R.D.E, ginecopediatra of the Maricopa Hospital, that indicates that over the repression it must be the education.  That is to say, that instead of punishment, must give it him the opportunity to the mothers with problems of addictions to receive treatment and direction so that they leave the world of drugs.  It is not the solution, it said, to an increasing problem, that is very frequent in Hispanic women of second and third generation.  Dá in all the social classes, but with enough frequency in young people of between 18 to 24 years.  The head of the area of Maternity of the Hospital Maricopa, Conrood R.D.E, took with much caution the proposal, since the problem is so complex that it does not admit a as simplista solution as the proposal by Andrew Thomas.  It explained that certainly the effects of the drug use are very severe in the baby in gestation.  In that sense, it exposed that the effects are devastating and go from cerebral damage to physical upheavals, in the heart, microcefalia, congenital defects, leporino lip, among others, depending the type on drugs that consumes.  In that sense, it was wondered if Andrew Thomas is considering to put to the jail the mothers who smoke, since the nicotine of the cigarette also has severe effects in the health of the baby in formation.  For the social worker of the area of Maternity of the Hospital Maricopa Christin Fruchiy, the situation is too much complex one like trying to solve it with a measurement to prevent or of punishment.  One is to orient, to present to him the future mother the effects his actions, to advise it and to give the necessary aid him for his rehabilitation.  This way better results are obtained than punishing it and moving away it of their baby.  The door of pandora For judge Carlos Mendoza which tries to make the solicitor of the Maricopa County, Andrew Thomas, is extremely dangerous.  "Because its idea will open a door that soon will be very difficult to close, as it is it the case that soon the weathervane wants to put to the firing chamber of the families to punish the parents because they did not give the vitamin him to the son, or because the woman did not go to the doctor or because the boy does not eat.  It must have much well-taken care of this yet ".  Although it recognized that he is urgent to do something to restrain the use and drug abuse in the society, particularly between the mothers in gestation, the proposal of Thomas is not the solution.  "We have a very great problem, but if it is punished the mothers it will very hard have a cost for the society, that it has to pay by bad decisions and bad conduct of the breast '."  The subject is porqué not instead of punishing, we did not create the conditions to orient.  Porqué to penalize instead of educating, to come up?  "we are trying to cure only a symptom of a disease instead of going to the root of the problem.  We are fighting with the effects, but not with the causes, and that is not very recommendable.  It is, we say, to take the easiest way.  We are going to jail, when the idea would have to be, we are going to educate.  However, porqué the solicitor does not put more to fight the problem of drugs in the street, that to punish to that it consumes them ".


Jail for the mothers drug addicts By Adriana Elektra Sanchez the Voice November 2, a 2005 controversial project of law is in march in the state legislature.  The initiative proposes to severely increase the penalties that prevail the pregnant women to them who consume drugs and as result damages their children while they are in gestation.  to be approved the project positions of infantile abuse to the mother would appear if it is discovered that the baby presents/displays drug signs in his organism during the first 72 hours of life.  The possible law in addition proposes that the mother country retires to him power to the pregnant women who are discovered consuming narcotic during the months of gestation.  Although the law would severely punish the mothers who damage to their children with the consumption prohibited drugs, would not do the same with the mothers who consume alcohol during the pregnancy.  In press conference Andrew Thomas, solicitor of the Maricopa County, said that the society must have fundamental to protect the children of any type of damage to which they can be exposed.  Nevertheless, at the time of asking to it him if in the future he glided to initiate a project of similar law against the women who consume alcohol, he answered that at the moment he was not considering it.  Of being approved the law project he would make obligatory that if a boy is born of a mother who suspicion is used drugs it tests to the durantes baby to him his first 72 hours of been born.  The law in addition would do obligatory for the workers of hospitals to report to the authorities the people who suspect consume drugs during the pregnancy, and would allow that a boy is retired of the safekeeping of their parents if only physical or sexual abuse is suspected to negligence and not.




hmmm..... FEMA spent $9,000 for every Louisiana resident for the hurricane disasters katrina & rita. i suspect a large part of that was squandered and wasted away. and it is asking the state of louisiana to pay back the feds $3.7 billion of that which is about $900 for every louisiana citizen - something which probably wont happen.


Posted 11/3/2005 10:55 PM


Louisiana can't pay Katrina, Rita bills

By Alan Levin, USA TODAY


Flood-ravaged Louisiana can't pay the $3.7 billion that the U.S. government says is its share of hurricane relief, a spokeswoman for Gov. Kathleen Blanco said Thursday.

"You can't squeeze $3.7 billion out of this state to pay this bill. Period. That would be difficult for us on a good day," the spokeswoman, Denise Bottcher, told USA TODAY.


Staffers for the governor "about fell over" Wednesday night when they received the Federal Emergency Management Agency's estimate of the state's costs for hurricanes Katrina and Rita, said Mark Merritt, a consultant working for Blanco.


FEMA projects that it will spend a total of $41.4 billion in Louisiana, about $9,000 per resident. Federal law requires state and local governments to pay a portion of disaster relief costs. That share can be as much as 25%. The $3.7 billion estimate is roughly 9% of FEMA's projected costs in Louisiana.


The $3.7 billion represents just under half of the $8 billion the state spends per year and comes as the extensive flooding around New Orleans has severely undercut tax revenue. The state is in the midst of heavy cost-cutting to whittle down a projected $1 billion shortfall.


Congress would have to enact legislation to forgive Louisiana's debt, FEMA spokeswoman Nicol Andrews said. President Bush has waived certain state and local costs, such as debris removal, but he is bound by law to collect the $3.7 billion from Louisiana, she said.


Mississippi and Texas, also hit hard by this year's hurricanes, have not received FEMA's projected costs.


The issue of a state's obligation to pay disaster relief costs occasionally creates controversy. On rare occasions, FEMA has threatened to report local governments to the U.S. Justice Department because federal money wasn't reimbursed.


The bulk of the money Louisiana must pay will go toward paying for personal property lost in the storms. FEMA pays up to $26,200 per household for uninsured losses. Blanco's office estimates that 60,000 households in New Orleans and St. Bernard Parish alone will qualify for the payments. FEMA this week began notifying people that they will receive money.


Merritt is a former FEMA official who now works with former FEMA director James Lee Witt, an adviser to Blanco on hurricane recovery. Merritt said the scope of the disaster far exceeded anything envisioned when the relief agency was created. He called the costs "astronomically unprecedented."


Before Hurricane Katrina, the largest FEMA disaster was the Sept. 11 attacks. FEMA spent $8.8 billion for relief in New York after Sept. 11, which equaled less than $500 per resident of the metro area, Merritt said.


"A disaster of this magnitude ... has never happened on this scale in U.S. history," Merritt said.




Nov 5, 9:24 AM EST


Officials 'Embarrassed' by Inmate Escape


HOUSTON (AP) -- Jurors and victims' relatives fear they might be targets of a death row inmate who freed himself from handcuffs and walked out of a county jail in civilian clothes.


Convicted killer Charles Victor Thompson remained at large Saturday, authorities said. Thompson, 35, fooled at least four jail employees when he walked out of the Harris County Jail on Thursday.


"This was 100 percent human error; that's the most frustrating thing about it," sheriff's spokesman Lt. John Martin said Friday. "There were multiple failures. There were several points where it could have been prevented."


"As a department, we're embarrassed about this," said Chief Deputy Danny Billingsley. "We're going to find out what happened and we're going to fix it."


Martin said investigators were trying to determine if he had inside help.


Several relatives of Thompson's victims - his ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend - went into hiding or agreed to police protection, the Houston Chronicle reported.


"He can make people believe he is the most innocent man in the world," said Wynona Donaghy, mother of victim Dennise Hayslip. "If somebody is helping him, they don't realize how dangerous he is."


Cathy Lange, who served on a resentencing jury that recommended the death penalty for Thompson on Oct. 28, said she was terrified when she learned of Thompson's escape.


"I was shaking," Lange told the Chronicle. "I went all over the house making sure that all the windows were locked."


Lange said she later decided that Thompson would be more concerned with escaping than hunting down jurors, but she had spoken to other jurors who also were worried.


Thompson was condemned in 1999 for the shooting deaths a year earlier of Hayslip, 39, and Darren Keith Cain, 30. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ordered he be resentenced and on Oct. 28 a new jury again recommended the death penalty. Thompson was being held in the county jail pending his transfer back to prison.


On Thursday, Thompson claimed he had an appointment with his lawyer and was taken to a meeting room. However, the visitor was not Thompson's attorney. Martin said investigators were questioning the visitor but wouldn't give details.


After the visitor left, Thompson removed his handcuffs and his bright orange prison jumpsuit and got out of a prisoner's booth that should have been locked. He then left wearing a dark blue shirt, khaki pants and white tennis shoes, carrying a fake identification badge and claiming to work for the Texas Attorney General's office.




looks like greyhound is turning into being "la migra" because the feds are twisting their arm and threatening them with big fines if greyhound doesnt act like the border patrol


Greyhound under fire for crackdown on illegals

Associated Press

November 5, 2005


DALLAS - A decade ago, Greyhound Lines Inc. accelerated its courtship of Hispanic consumers. Now its policy on illegal immigrants threatens that relationship.


In the last few weeks, the nation’s largest intercity bus carrier has come under fire from Latino groups over its policy to ferret out illegal immigrants — and their smugglers — who might be using its buses.


The Dallas-based company’s dilemma sheds light on a fast-rising issue for many U.S. companies. They want to do business with the booming illegal immigrant market — but must surmount technical, and sometimes legal, difficulties to do so.


And it comes as Congress debates the hot-button issue of illegal immigration, with no resolution in sight. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said on Oct. 17 that the Senate will not take up comprehensive immigration legislation until January.


U.S. companies are under no obligation to check the immigration documents of consumers. But Greyhound, as a partial investor in another bus line, ran into legal trouble when the U.S. government said that smugglers used that carrier’s buses.


Greyhound drafted its policy after the U.S. government levied a $3 million fine last year against Golden State Transportation for conspiring with smugglers to illegally transport thousands of undocumented immigrants on routes that included Los Angeles, El Paso, Texas, and Tucson.


Greyhound’s SITA, a Latino-focused subsidiary, had a 51 percent stake in the now-bankrupt Golden State.


Customers can now find bold advisories at SITA’s Americanos terminal in the heavily Hispanic Oak Cliff area of Dallas.


‘‘Our company will aid in the arrest and prosecution of any persons attempting illegal entry into the United States, and/or the transporting of illegal drugs or contraband,’’ reads a yellow sign near the ticket booth.


Laminated posters in the lounge further outline the policy on illegal immigrants, especially ‘‘alien smugglers.’’ How can they be identified? Smugglers, the posters say, might use terms like ‘‘mi cargo,’’ my freight, or ‘‘mi pollito,’’ which is Spanish slang for a smuggled person.


Advocates from the National Council of La Raza and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund characterize Greyhound and SITA’s response as an overreaction that could raise issues of racial profiling.


‘‘In the course of trying to protect themselves from excessive and aggressive government enforcement, they are potentially inviting a civil rights lawsuit,’’ said La Raza vice president Cecilia Munoz.


Al Penedo, SITA’s president and chief executive, bristles at charges that the bus line might engage in racial profiling. ‘‘I take it very personally when someone says we profile,’’ he said.


Greyhound spokesman Eric Wesley added, ‘‘We don’t train our people to look at a group of people by ethnicity or race.’’


The written policy, in fact, tells employees not to engage in the practice.


‘‘The policy is directed at avoiding the coyotes,’’ the Panama-born Penedo said.


Some smugglers are so blatant in their approach that, according to Penedo, ‘‘they pretty much had no quarrel in saying ‘These are my illegal aliens, and I need to check them from point A to B.’’’


As a result, Greyhound and SITA specify that if someone wants to buy eight tickets or more, they will receive greater scrutiny and must fill out certain forms, Penedo said.


Until the outcry from the Latino community, which has included protests in Los Angeles and Phoenix, the policy had been to scrutinize customers buying four tickets or more — which covered a lot of families traveling together.


Neither Greyhound nor SITA officials could say how many customers have been denied tickets under the policy.


U.S. immigration officials acknowledge that Greyhound is under no obligation to check the immigration status of ticket buyers, except in very rare cases.


‘‘Officers from Greyhound are not qualified for that job of determining whether the people who come on board their buses are illegal aliens,’’ said Carl Rusnok, a spokesman for the regional office of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.


The Greyhound backlash comes as the commercial courtship of the immigrant market couldn’t be more ardent.


The number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. has swelled to 11 million, with the majority from Latin America. They’ve pushed the total Latino population to 41 million.


Latinos — legal and illegal — now have a collective buying power of $736 billion, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia.


Businesses from real estate companies to banks to electronic goods makers are finding ways to end-run the lack of Social Security cards, credit histories and even employer references among illegal immigrants.


Real estate companies, for example, are now using taxpayer identification numbers rather than social security numbers in mortgage and sale documents for homes.


Others are coaching immigrants, who may be paid in cash only, to open a bank account and make regular deposits to establish at least a six-month pay record.


Many banks and electronics firms that sell on credit now accept the Mexican government-issued matricula consular identification card in place of a U.S. driver’s license.


Some domestic airlines, such as Southwest Airlines Co., also accept the matricula.


But Greyhound became entangled in a decades-old portion of the law that prohibits the transportation of persons in the U.S. illegally by smugglers.


Greyhound’s policy specifically states that ‘‘the company is not to do business with illegal aliens or with alien smugglers.’’


The signs irritate some Hispanic customers.


‘‘I don’t understand why they do this,’’ Mexico-born Jaime Lozano, 72, said in Spanish as he boarded an Americanos bus to Chicago recently. ‘‘Folks pay for a ticket.’’


Then he tapped his blue U.S. passport tucked in his shirt pocket and smiled.


Greyhound buses carry 21 million passengers a year, and 20 percent of them are Hispanic. Greyhound officials did not provide data for SITA.




how do you say "caca toro" in english


Cheney bid for torture ban exemption


November 6, 2005


US Vice-President Dick Cheney made an unusual personal appeal to Republican senators this week to allow CIA exemptions to a proposed ban on the torture of terrorist suspects in American custody, according to participants in a closed-door session.


Cheney told his audience the United States doesn't engage in torture, these participants added, even though he said the administration needed an exemption from any legislation banning "cruel, inhuman or degrading" treatment in case the president decided one was necessary to prevent a terrorist attack.


The Vice-President made his comments at a regular weekly private meeting of Senate Republican senators, according to several lawmakers who attended. Cheney often attends the meetings, a chance for the rank-and-file to discuss legislative strategy, but he rarely speaks.


In this case, the room was cleared of aides before the Vice-President began his remarks, said by one senator to include a reference to classified material. The officials who disclosed the events spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the confidential nature of the discussion.


"The Vice-President's office doesn't have any comment on a private meeting with members of the Senate," Steve Schmidt, a spokesman for Cheney, said today.


The Vice-president drew support from at least one lawmaker, Senator Jeff Sessions, while Senator John McCain dissented, officials said.


McCain, who was tortured while held as a prisoner during the Vietnam War, is the chief Senate sponsor of an anti-torture provision that has twice cleared the Senate and triggered veto threats from the White House.


Cheney's decision to speak at the meeting underscored both his role as White House point man on the contentious issue and the importance the administration attaches to it.


The Vice-President made his appeal at a time Congress is struggling with the torture issue in light of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal and allegations of mistreatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The United States houses about 500 detainees at the naval base there, many of them captured in Afghanistan.


Additionally, human rights organisations contend the United States turns detainees over to other countries that it knows will use torture to try to extract intelligence information.


Cheney's appeal came two days before a former senior State Department official claimed in an interview with National Public Radio's Morning Edition that he had traced memos back to Cheney's office that he believes led to US troops' abuse of prisoners in Iraq.


Lawrence Wilkerson, former secretary of state Colin Powell's chief of staff in the first Bush administration and a former US army colonel, said yesterday the view of Cheney's office was put in "carefully couched" terms in memos.


To a soldier in the field, however, it meant sometimes using interrogation techniques that "were not in accordance with the spirit of the Geneva Conventions and the law of war" to extract intelligence.


Cheney: Don't Ban Prisoner Torture


POSTED: 7:40 am MST November 5, 2005

UPDATED: 8:00 am MST November 5, 2005


WASHINGTON -- He usually doesn't talk much during some weekly private meetings of Republican senators, but Vice President Dick Cheney made an exception this week.


Some participants said Cheney lobbied them to let the CIA be exempt from a proposed ban on torturing terror suspects in U.S. custody.


They said Cheney told them the United States doesn't engage in torture, but that the exemption is needed in case the president deems it necessary to prevent a terror attack.


Officials said Cheney's comments drew support from at least one lawmaker – Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. They said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., dissented. McCain was tortured in Vietnam and is the chief sponsor of an anti-torture provision.


The White House had at first tried to kill any anti-torture legislation, but then switched to lobbying for exemptions.


A Cheney spokesman said his office wouldn't comment on a private meeting




hmmmmm.... only about a week after the anti-war protest for the big 2,000 american empire soldiers killed the body count hits 2,045 american invaders killed.,1280,-5394924,00.html


Major U.S.-Led Offensive Continues in Iraq


Saturday November 5, 2005 7:46 PM


AP Photo BAG101


Associated Press Writer


BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - About 3,500 U.S. and Iraqi troops backed by warjets launched a major attack Saturday against an insurgent-held town near the Syrian border, seeking to dislodge al-Qaida and its allies from a western bastion and seal off a key route for foreign fighters entering the country.


U.S. officials describe the town of Husaybah as the key to controlling the volatile Euphrates River valley of western Iraq and dislodging al-Qaida in Iraq, led by Jordanian terror mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.


The U.S.-led force includes about 1,000 Iraqi soldiers, and the offensive will serve as a major test of their capability to battle the insurgents. That is key to enabling Washington to draw down its 157,000-strong military presence in this country.


Thunderous explosions shook Husaybah early Saturday as U.S. Marines and Iraqi scouts, recruited from pro-government tribes from the area, fought their way into western neighborhoods of the town, 200 miles northwest of Baghdad, residents said.


As fighting continued throughout the day, U.S. jets launched at least nine airstrikes, according to a U.S. Marine statement. The U.S. command said there were no reports of casualties among American or Iraqi government forces.


However, the military said Saturday that three more U.S. troops had been killed elsewhere in Iraq.


One soldier was killed Friday by small-arms fire south of Baghdad, and another died the same day when the vehicle in his patrol was hit by a mine near Habaniyah, 50 miles west of the capital. Another soldier was killed Saturday in a traffic accident in southern Iraq, the command said.


Those deaths raised to at least 2,045 the number of members of the U.S. military who have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.


Five Iraqi police commandos were killed Saturday and three wounded when a roadside bomb exploded in northern Baghdad, hospital officials said.


U.S. commanders hope the Husaybah offensive, codenamed ``Operation Steel Curtain,'' will restore control of western Anbar province ahead of the parliamentary election Dec. 15 and enable Sunni Arabs there to vote.


Sunni Arabs form the vast majority of the insurgents, and U.S. officials hope that a strong Sunni turnout next month will encourage many of them to lay down their arms and join the political process.


However, some Sunni Arab politicians and tribal leaders complained that the Husaybah operation was endangering civilians in the overwhelmingly Sunni area and could lead to greater instability throughout Sunni areas of the country.


``We call all humanitarians and those who carry peace to the world to intervene to stop the repeated bloodshed in the western parts of Iraq,'' said Sheik Osama Jadaan, a Sunni tribal leader from the area. ``And we say to the American occupiers to get out of Iraq and leave Iraq to the Iraqis.''


Husaybah, a poor Sunni Arab town of about 30,000 people, is the first stop in a network of communities which the U.S. military believes has been used by al-Qaida to smuggle fighters, weapons and explosives from Syria down the Euphrates valley to Baghdad and other cities.


Many of Husaybah's residents were believed to have fled the town after weeks of fighting between Iraqi tribes which support the insurgents and those that back the government.


The U.S. military believes foreign fighters comprise only a small percentage of the insurgent ranks, which also include supporters of Saddam Hussein and Sunni Arabs opposed to the Americans and their Shiite and Kurdish allies.


However, foreign Islamic extremists are believed behind many of the spectacular suicide attacks that have killed hundreds of Iraqis in recent months. Foreign extremists are also believed more likely to continue the fight regardless of whether Iraqi Sunnis gain a measure of political power in the coming election.


Most Sunni Arabs boycotted the Jan. 30 election of Iraq's current interim parliament, but many members of the minority voted in the Oct. 15 referendum that adopted the country's new constitution. Many Sunnis also plan to vote in the Dec. 15 ballot in an effort to increase the low number of seats they control in the National Assembly, now dominated by Shiites and Kurds.


In Baghdad, Fakhri al-Qaisi, a prominent Sunni politician running on a hardline ticket was shot Saturday as he was driving home. Doctors at Yarmouk Hospital reported he was in critical condition.


Meanwhile, suspected insurgents shot and killed a Palestinian working as a security guard in Beiji, 155 miles north of Baghdad, police said. Iraqis and others working for the Americans are frequent targets of insurgent attacks.


Al-Qaida in Iraq warned this week that foreign diplomats should leave Iraq or face attacks. The militant group also threatened to kill two kidnapped Moroccan Embassy employees who disappeared Oct. 20 while driving to Baghdad from Jordan.


On Saturday, Arabic language Al-Arabiya TV showed interviews with the families of the Moroccans, begging for their release.


``I plead with my brothers, the Muslim mujahedeen in the name of the Islamic law and in the name of justice, because Abdelkrim is a religious man,'' said Leqaa Abbas, wife of the embassy staff member Abdelkrim el-Mouhafidi.




isnt Jay Tibshraeny a  bible bashing nazi


Senate Majority Whip Jay Tibshraeny, R-Chandler, told The Arizona Republic last month that he believes a statewide measure to remove breast-feeding from state indecent-exposure laws would pass.


Breast-feeding defender takes battle to Tempe


Katie Nelson

The Arizona Republic

Nov. 5, 2005 12:00 AM


TEMPE -One mother's fight to breast-feed her baby in public has reached Tempe.


Amy Milliron, 29, and a group of mothers who rallied behind her, successfully persuaded the Chandler City Council to pass an ordinance giving women the right to nurse anywhere "a mother and child are allowed to be."


But the Tempe resident isn't stopping there. Although similar proposals have failed twice at the state level, she is seeking state legislation on the issue.


On Thursday night, Milliron told the Tempe City Council she wants her own city to "prove how family friendly this city is."


Two other women who helped Milliron's Chandler fight also spoke to the council.


"We need to get a regulation approved," Christia Bridges-Jones said. "And going city by city is the best we can do at this point."


Mayor Hugh Hallman said the council would address the issue and added that with council support, breast-feeding would be added to the city's legislative agenda for the next session.


"We're not Chandler," Councilman Ben Arredondo said, referring to the months it took that city's council to pass an ordinance. "We'll make you proud to live in Tempe."


Senate Majority Whip Jay Tibshraeny, R-Chandler, told The Arizona Republic last month that he believes a statewide measure to remove breast-feeding from state indecent-exposure laws would pass.




20 years in jail for looking at dirty pictures???????


3 Valley men arrested on porn charges


Senta Scarborough

The Arizona Republic

Nov. 1, 2005 02:35 PM


Three Valley men indicted by a grand jury on child pornography charges have been arrested, officials said.


Michael Jack Woodall, 20, of Mesa, Paul Richard Butts, 36, of Apache Junction, and Kevin O'Rourke, 43, of Phoenix , were taken into custody Friday by the FBI, two days after a federal grand jury in Phoenix charged them each with one count of possession of child pornography and one count of distribution of child pornography.


A conviction for distribution of child pornography has a maximum penalty of 20 years with a mandatory five-year minimum, a $250,000 fine or both.


In 2000, the FBI, Phoenix division, began operating the Innocent Images Task Force to combat online predators. Since then, the task force has arrested 63 sex offenders and conducted 120 search warrants.




how do these morons get elected????


Las Vegas mayor suggests cutting of thumbs of taggers


Associated Press

Nov. 4, 2005 07:05 AM


RENO, Nev. - The mayor of Las Vegas has suggested that people who deface freeways with graffiti should have their thumbs cut off on television.


"In the old days in France, they had beheadings of people who commit heinous crimes," Mayor Oscar Goodman said Wednesday on the TV show "Nevada Newsmakers."


Goodman said the city has a beautiful highway landscaping project and "these punks come along and deface it."


"I'm saying maybe you put them on TV and cut off a thumb," the mayor said. "That may be the right thing to do."


Goodman also suggested whippings should be brought back for children who get into trouble.


Another panelist on the show, state university system regent Howard Rosenberg, said cutting off the thumbs of taggers won't solve the problem and Goodman should "use his head for something other than a hat rack."




taser adding a camera to help the cops play the spin game when they taser 6 year olds


Taser to offer stun gun cameras

Beset by controversy and lagging sales, Taser aims to prove why stun guns are neded


Beth Defalco

Associated Press

Oct. 6, 2005 12:05 PM


Public outrage was immediate after police in Miami used a Taser to shock a 6-year-old last year in an elementary school office.


Police said the Taser was used because the boy, a special needs student, had cut himself twice with a shard of glass and threatened to slash himself again or any approaching officer.


"When you first hear the story, you think, 'Oh my gosh, cops Tased a 6-year-old,' " said Miami-Dade police spokeswoman Nelda Fonticella. "But you've got to take a look at the entire situation to realize why it was done."


Now, to help better examine how Tasers are used, manufacturer Taser International Inc. has developed a Taser Cam, which company executives hope will illuminate why Tasers are needed - and add another layer of accountability for any officer who would abuse the weapon.


The Taser Cam is an audio and video recorder that attaches to the butt of the gun and starts taping when the weapon is turned on. It continues recording until the weapon is turned off. The Taser doesn't have to be fired to use the camera.


Taser Chief Executive Tom Smith said that if a Taser Cam had been used in the case of the 6-year-old, it could answer at least one important question with certainty: "If not the Taser, then what?"


"The Taser Cam could have shown why police didn't have any other option," he added. "This wasn't just Tasing someone because he was being naughty."


Unlike dashboard-mounted cameras in patrol cars, which capture the action only if it transpires where the lens happens to have been directed, the Taser cameras always face where the gun is pointed, to capture what is said and done in the moments leading up to a suspect being jolted by the device's 50,000 volts.


"It's going to give real accountability," Smith said as he demonstrated the device recently at the company's headquarters in this Phoenix suburb. "Now you'll have absolute proof."


The company plans to start selling Taser Cams as early as March. The cameras won't come standard - they'll cost around $400. Tasers generally run $800 to $1,000, depending on the model and order size.


Analysts see the cameras as a potential boost for the company's sluggish sales, which have come amid a growing controversy over the weapon's safety. Taser's profits in the first nine months of 2005 sagged 93 percent from last year, pressing the company's stock price into the $7 range, well below the 52-week high of $33.45.


Joe Blankenship, an analyst with Source Capital Group, said most of Taser's sales come from selling dart cartridges that reload the device. Now, he said, the Taser Cam "could also be considered a very necessary accessory."


Even people critical of Tasers say the cameras are a good idea. But the critics also are skeptical that this latest technology won't be plagued by the same record-keeping problems as other accountability features already on the stun gun.


Tasers record the time and date of use, the number of times the trigger was pulled and how long it was held down each time - essentially how long a person was shocked.


But no single agency keeps track of all Taser use. The manufacturer can only ask police departments to submit their use records voluntarily, so they're incomplete.


"There's a capacity to download data now and it's not being fully used," said Edward Jackson, a spokesman for Amnesty International. "What guarantees are there that this new technology will be used to prevent the abuse of Tasers?"


Amnesty International has compiled a list of more than 100 people the group says have died after being shocked by Tasers in encounters with law enforcement since June 2001.


The deaths have prompted some police departments to reconsider the necessity of the devices. Lawmakers have introduced bills restricting their use.


Taser denies that its products are to blame in the deaths, arguing that drugs, health conditions or other factors, not the electrical shock, have been the cause. The company also contends Tasers have saved the lives of thousands of suspects who might otherwise have been shot by police.


Taser has been selling its weapons to law enforcement since 1998. Today, about 171,000 Tasers are being used by more than 8,000 agencies in the United States, according to the company.


The weapon uses compressed nitrogen to fire two barbed darts that can penetrate clothing. The darts are attached to the stun gun by wires that deliver the 50,000-volt shock, overwhelming the nervous system and temporarily paralyzing people.


Taser executives hope the new cameras show suspects complying with officers' orders at the mere threat of a Taser being used, what they consider a best-case scenario.


The Taser Cam records in black and white but is equipped with infrared technology to record images in very low light. The camera will have at least one hour of recording time, the company said, and the video can be downloaded to a computer over a USB cable.


Al Arena, a project manager with the International Association of Chiefs of Police research center in Virginia, said the Taser Cam could "only be a good thing." But he cautioned that police departments should create policies on downloading the material to ensure no video footage is deleted.


"That transfer really needs to have some standards and requirements, otherwise there's no security there," he said.


A Taser rival, Tampa, Fla.-based Stinger Systems Inc., announced Oct. 10 that it had begun selling stun guns that can also be equipped with an audio-video recorder. The guns sell for about $600 and the recorders for about $200. The company won't say who has bought the weapons.


Matthew Felling of the Center for Media and Public Affairs, a nonprofit research group, said police agencies "that don't invest in Taser Cam technology are playing with PR fire."


"The first local police force that gets accused of excessive force without video to refute the claim will be the last one," he said. "This technology pays for itself in the court of public opinion. What you lose in revenue, you gain in public trust."




Forget this question laro. Your prison commissary list answered it.


this is a questions to both kevin and laro.


i eat tons of chile peppers every day. it helps me clear my sinuses.


if the government thugs jailed me like they did you guys would i be able to eat chile peppers every day to help my sinus. stuff like tabasco sauce or cholula would be fine. tabasco peppers, chile tepins, and habanaro would be good too. i dont like jalapano peppers. first they are not very hot and second they give me hicups.


i suspect that there are a lot of latinos, orientals and indians from india that are like me and have to have hot peppers.




hey kevin, and maybe you too laro:


since they are not teaching you new skills or rehabilating you kevin maybe here is a new job skill you could take up :) of course you have to leave the country to do it and i suspect the state of arizona would be glad to see you leave. and laro it sure sounds more fun then making kosher food for arabs which is think is what you said your job in tucson was.


Mexican churches trying to stem their losses

Many closing doors except to locals, Mexico builds database of artworks


Chris Hawley

Republic Mexico City Bureau

Nov. 6, 2005 12:00 AM


HUAMANTLA, Mexico - It was a still night in June, eight days after the feast day, when someone smashed in the ancient door of St. Anthony of Padua Church.


The latches ripped right out of the worm-eaten wood, opening to a dazzling treasure: a collection of colonial-era paintings that would make a museum curator cry. There was St. Michael, charging through the clouds with the armies of heaven. St. Anthony, demonstrating the miracle of the Eucharist to a crowd of doubters. The Virgin of Guadalupe, appearing in a blaze of light to help convert the New World.


One by one, the thieves sliced the saints from their frames. They took down a crucifix. They stripped the clothes from a statue of St. Anthony.


By dawn, they were gone. Where 22 paintings used to hang, there were only dark spaces on the wall.


"How you could do this to a church, I don't know," said Ángel García Manzola, the church custodian. "But it's getting worse. They're going to rob every parish in Mexico."


About 600 works of art are disappearing every year from Mexico's colonial churches, fueling a huge international black market in stolen Mexican art, the country's National Institute of Anthropology and History says.


To guard against the theft of what many worshipers think of as priceless icons, some Mexican churches are closing their doors to all but local parishioners.


The Mexican government is building an art theft database and is struggling to catalog the estimated 4 million artworks in the country's churches. Lawmakers are demanding harsher punishment for art thieves, and a few parishes are considering putting microchips in their artworks to deter theft.


"People want this old art, and it brings a very good price. They are exploiting Mexico's historical riches," said Elpidio Pérez, Huamantla's chief parish priest.


In Huamantla, a town of 40,000 people 70 miles east of Mexico City, six of the seven main churches have been burglarized in the past decade, along with several chapels in nearby haciendas, or colonial plantation houses, Pérez said.


The thieves' favorite hunting grounds are the central Mexican states of Puebla, Tlaxcala, Mexico and Morelos, officials say. Those states were the heart of Spain's empire in the New World and are thick with basilicas, monasteries and shrines.


In Puebla alone, there were 154 church burglaries reported from 1999 to 2005, with 569 artworks stolen, said Victor Valencia, director of the historical institute's branch in that state.


Many of the burglaries are sophisticated heists, Valencia said. At a former monastery in Huejotzingo, the thieves managed to remove paintings from the top of a 65-foot-high altarpiece.


In a 2001 burglary in Acolman, thieves entered through the window of a 16th-century church and rappelled down the wall to steal 10 paintings.


"With the frequency of the thefts, the quality of the pieces and the methods they use, it seems to me that these are not simple crimes," Valencia said. "These thefts are done upon the orders of someone."


The path of stolen art is difficult to follow. Some pieces go directly abroad, mainly to the United States and Japan, said Ana Ruigómez of the Anthropology and History Institute. Others end up in antique stores and art galleries in Mexico City and border towns, or on Internet auction sites like eBay.


Serious collectors usually demand a "provenance," documents showing the history of the artwork, before buying any piece. They also usually hire researchers to make sure it doesn't appear on any lists of stolen art. But documents are easily forged, and the most-wanted lists maintained by Interpol and other agencies are often incomplete.


Though there have been no recent cases of stolen art discovered in Arizona, collectors and museum officials here say they are constantly on guard for suspicious pieces. Stolen goods can be notoriously difficult to spot because of poor reporting of thefts, they say.


"You're just kind of on your own, being a detective," said Jim Ballinger, director of the Phoenix Art Museum.


In 2000, buyers from the San Diego Museum of Art bought an 18th-century painting called The Expulsion from the Garden of Eden from an art dealer in Mexico City. The museum hired an expert in Latin American art to oversee the purchase and check the painting's provenance.


But it wasn't until two years later that museum researchers detected discrepancies in the provenance while putting together an art catalog. Working with Mexican officials, they discovered the painting had been stolen earlier in 2000 from a church in the town of San Juan Tepemazalco.


To help track down stolen pieces, the National Institute of Anthropology and History is encouraging churches to photograph their artworks and submit them to a new government database. Some parishes in Puebla have considered attaching microchips that set off an alarm when artworks are moved.


A few churches, like the one in Acolman near the popular pyramids of Teotihucán, have closed their doors to outsiders to prevent thefts. Since the 2001 heist, the church is open only for Sunday Mass.


Meanwhile, lawmakers from Puebla state are proposing changes to the Historical Monuments Law that would increase jail time for art theft to 15 years from 10 years, and boost the maximum fine to $2,100 from $5.


But Valencia says church theft may be a symptom of deeper changes in Mexico as the country moves away from its Roman Catholic past.


"What is happening in our society when an individual loses his sense of faith, when he is not just committing a crime against the state, but a crime that goes against his entire ideological environment?" Valencia said.


"As an anthropologist, that's what worries me most."


Reach the reporter at chris.




Sky Harbor to upgrade its security

Surveillance system designed to detect terrorist intruders


Ginger D. Richardson

The Arizona Republic

Nov. 6, 2005 12:00 AM


Sky Harbor International Airport is prepared to spend up to $15 million on surveillance equipment designed to detect terrorists or other criminals lurking around the airport's edges.


The technology, known as a perimeter intrusion detection system, could consist of lasers and closed-circuit televisions, new fence-line wiring and below-ground sensors.


None of the upgrades is being mandated by the federal government. While security at Sky Harbor meets or exceeds current standards, airport officials say they still believe the expense is necessary.


"Every airport in the country met the standards the day of the September 11 attacks," said Carl Newman, assistant aviation director. "No one said the folks in Boston didn't meet those standards, but clearly there was room for improvement."


The intrusion system could better protect Sky Harbor from such remote threats as terrorists launching shoulder-fired missiles from just outside the airport, to petty criminals who try to outrun police by climbing over the fence.


The TSA is testing similar perimeter security systems at a handful of airports nationwide, said Nico Melendez, an agency spokesman.


The technology likely will not be in place until 2007 or later. Currently, the airport uses police patrols and other measures that officials declined to discuss - for security reasons - to protect Sky Harbor from attack.


Officials are not yet sure which technologies and sensors will be used where. A subcommittee of the Aviation Advisory Board is expected to vote Monday to hire a consultant to evaluate the airport's 14 miles of fencing to determine what is needed. That process is expected to cost $650,000 and take six to nine months to complete.


The move to shore up the perimeter is not the result of a security breach this summer in which a man in a stolen truck plowed through the fence and wound up on the taxiway.


The man sped past several airplanes before crashing into a second fence.


It prompted officials to re-evaluate the airport's fence line; more than $16 million in improvements, including cable restraint systems, concrete barriers and hydraulic gates have been recommended.


But those upgrades focus more on vehicular threats.


The new proposals are designed to stop covert people from breaching the perimeter and are the result of a master security plan commissioned by Sky Harbor officials after the Sept. 11 attacks.


Airport officials have earmarked about $100 million over 10 years for improvements, which so far have included bomb-proofing, installing explosive-resistant garbage cans, instituting a new fingerprinting system, placing barricades in front of doors and beefing up the number of dog teams on the premises.


Money for the work comes from Sky Harbor's capital improvement program.


Reach the reporter at or (602) 444-2474.