lots of piggies are needed for the amerikan police state and they are very well paid!!!




Nov 14, 5:06 AM EST


Police Aggressively Recruit Job Candidates



Associated Press Writer


DAYTON, Ohio (AP) -- Recruiters for New York City's police department now hand out coffee mugs on college campuses. In Los Angeles County, they offer baseball jerseys with the words "Join Our Team."


Some recruiters say they even plan to hit the road to entice volunteers.


Police around the country are aggressively recruiting job candidates, squeezed by the retirement of baby boomers and competition from higher-paying private jobs and federal law enforcement.


"We're not able to find as many qualified applicants as we've had in the past," lamented Montgomery County Sheriff David Vore, who is advertising statewide for 12 deputies and eight corrections officers. "I can't explain it. It just doesn't appear people want to come into law enforcement like they did."


Police recruiters in Oakland, Calif., plan to buy a mobile home within six months so they can travel to out-of-state military bases and colleges to administer tests.


"We're going to drive, fly and do whatever it takes," said Sgt. Jon Madarang, recruiting supervisor for Oakland, which needs to hire 62 officers.


Even going to the movies offers no escape. Recruiting ads designed to look like movie previews are showing in theaters.


"Everybody's getting into branding their police department to separate it from their competitors," said Jason Abend, executive director of the National Law Enforcement Recruiters Association.


Police agencies traditionally have advertised themselves in newspapers and on radio or let recruits come to them after hearing about openings by word of mouth.


Some police departments are flush with qualified candidates. Abend said that while there may be a shortage of applicants in some areas, the overall pool nationally is not shrinking. However, he said there is increased competition for that pool.


Federal law enforcement and military agencies have been in a hiring frenzy since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, attracting recruits to the border patrol, immigration and customs, Abend said.


"The FBI is vacuuming up people," he added.


Many veteran police officers are taking private-sector jobs or snapping up better-paying jobs at other police departments, touching off recruiting wars.


"I laugh every time I see Roy McGill, the police chief of Germantown," said Chris Krug, police chief in nearby Miami Township near Dayton. "I say, 'You're not going to hit me are you? Because I've stolen about four people from your department.'"


Despite the change in recruiting methods, the message remains pretty much the same: police work offers job security and a way to serve the community.


Vore has spent $8,000 for newspaper ads in Dayton, Columbus and Cleveland. The campaign, which began five months ago, has attracted 20 officers from Cleveland-area police agencies - more than 150 miles away - who are interested in jobs.


The Los Angeles police department hired a public relations firm that produced three movie trailers, fictionalized accounts of a day in the life of two patrol officers. The officers are seen capturing a robbery suspect, arriving on the scene where a gunman takes a woman hostage, and helping find a young kidnap victim.


"We wanted people to look at it and probably think it's a new movie coming out," said recruiter Gavin Stieglitz. "We figured a lot of people are going to the movies and this was a way to reach out to a big, wide audience."


The trailers are being shown at theaters in five southern California counties.


Other large police departments have taken more conventional approaches to boost recruiting.


New York City has dropped the $35 fee to take the written examination and allows recruits to apply online. Next year, Chicago will offer its exam four times annually instead of once a year.


The police department in Clearwater, Fla., has begun offering a paid day off for any officer who recommends a recruit who is hired and makes it through one year's probation.


It also plans to drop a requirement that all recruits have college degrees, allowing them to substitute at least three years of active-duty military service or at least two years' experience with a certified police agency.


"We're not lowering our standards. It just makes a bigger pool," said Sgt. Terry Teunis. "The pool just isn't as sufficient as it used to be."




hmmmmmm kevin:


your web page is doing rather well. it is november 14 and i logged in to add the comissary list of federal prison in safford arizona that laro is being held at and i saw this


Page View Summary


Your site had 177 page views yesterday and 1414 page views so far this month.


i guess your web site is getting a few hits. for both of you it is at:




Marc Hoys site is not doing as well. I logged in just a minute ago and it said


Page View Summary


Your site had 1 page views yesterday and 12 page views so far this month.


His site is:




but i guess thats life. more people are interested in political prisoners then in people who spent time in jail in thailand. and dont ask me why marc was in jail in thailand. he never told me. although my first guess would be the stupid drug war. but i could be wrong on that. i though they executed people for even trivial drug crimes. but blame the us government for that. the good ould usa created the stupid world wide drug war.








Polygamy is no threat to society





My Turn

Nov. 15, 2005 12:00 AM


Regarding "Thy unlawful wife" (Editorial, Oct. 26):


Polygamy itself is not a social problem, regardless of how remote or self-contained it may be. If the concern is about people being motivated by lust, then the majority of our nation, regardless of culture or lifestyle, is guilty.


For every Brian Mitchell or Stanley Rimer there is a Mark Hacking or Scott Peterson somewhere out there.


(Brian Mitchell of Utah is charged in the abduction and sexual assault of Elizabeth Smart, whom he took as his second wife. Stanley Rimer was sentenced last month to life in prison for sexual abuse of a girl, then 10, who he took as a third wife. Mark Hacking of Utah and Scott Peterson of California are convicted wife-killers.)


Untold numbers of crimes have been committed as a result of a "revelation" or a "command from God." Crimes against women and children are not confined to any one religion, marriage system or culture.


What difference does it make that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints once embraced polygamy? Why do people insist on bringing it into the picture? Polygamy was on the earth long before Mormonism.


Many people are in a stir about Warren Jeffs and the polygamy in Colorado City. Well, Jeffs does not own polygamy any more than LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley does.


Let me say it again: Polygamy is not the problem! Polygamy is no more a danger to society than is monogamy.


Every woman should have the right to her choice of husband. The ratio of males to females should have no bearing on the matter. If seven females choose to marry the same man, they should have that right, if all parties are in agreement, regardless of the number of eligible single men.


While so many are crying about women marrying into polygamy, please save a tear as well for all the women who are forced to live in single loneliness or end up as road kill in the ditches and along the byways of monogamy's great and mighty thoroughfare.


As for children, their chances of a happy and fulfilled life in a polygamous family are multiplied, not divided. I can say that from experience.


Any sane person knows that if you have a sliver in your finger, you take out the sliver. You do not cut off your hand.


There are laws in place to address crimes against women and children whether in polygamy, monogamy, celibacy or any other lifestyle.


There is no reason for Arizona to start hitting its head against the wall, as Utah has been doing for more than 100 years. There are more polygamists in Utah today than ever, in spite of the state's anti-polygamy laws.


Let's keep a cool head and not allow the wild-eyed hate groups and sensational media to run the show.


The writer has lived in Centennial Park for 11 years.






President's trustworthiness, job approval at new low in poll


Susan Page

USA Today

Nov. 15, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - Americans' views of President Bush and his trustworthiness have hit new lows, a downturn that could make it more difficult for him to push his legislative agenda and to boost Republican candidates in next year's congressional elections.


Fewer than one in 10 adults say he or she would prefer a congressional candidate who is a Republican and who agrees with Bush on most major issues, according to a USA Today/CNN/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday. Even among Republicans, seven of 10 are most likely to back a candidate who has at least some disagreements with the president.


The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.


Bush's job approval rating sank to a record low 37 percent. The poll indicates growing criticism of the president, unease about the nation's direction and opposition to the Iraq war.


"All of this is a culmination: How we ended up going into Iraq, gasoline prices, the underlying economic jitters, the sense that the president is out of touch with what the average person wants," Republican pollster Tony Fabrizio says. "What good news have people heard?"


G. Terry Madonna, a political scientist and director of the nonpartisan Keystone Poll in Pennsylvania, says he already sees Republican officeholders in the state react to Bush's drop in popularity. "More and more Republicans will begin to separate themselves from the president and establish independent positions," he predicts.


Last week, Republican moderates in the House rebelled against a White House-backed spending bill, and GOP leaders had to withdraw a Bush tax package in Senate.


In the poll of 1,005 adults:


Two-thirds of independents and 91 percent of Democrats disapprove of the job Bush is doing.


Even among Republicans, who have solidly backed Bush in the past, 19 percent express disapproval, a new low.


For the first time, albeit by a narrow 49 percent to 48 percent, a plurality disapprove of the way Bush is handling the issue of terrorism. Six in 10 disapprove of the way he is handling foreign affairs, the economy, Iraq and immigration.


A 53 percent majority say they trust what Bush says less than they trusted previous presidents while they were in office.


In a specific comparison with President Clinton, those surveyed by 48 percent to 36 percent say they trust Bush less.




Government double talk for - "we are going to kick the homeless people out of the library and chase them out of  Park Margaret Hance cuz we don't want no stinking homeless people in downtown phoenix"




Library plans to have more police on site


Monica Alonzo-Dunsmoor

The Arizona Republic

Nov. 15, 2005 12:00 AM


CENTRAL PHOENIX - Police plan to step up patrols around Burton Barr Central Library and create a police beat office in the building to address community concerns about safety and security.


The changes are a result of the Phoenix Public Library's safety and security task force, which was created in response to library patrons' complaints of trash, foul odors and "unsanitary behaviors" around the building.


"We want everyone, families and children, feeling comfortable using their public library," said Ed Zuercher, deputy chief of staff to Mayor Phil Gordon. "There are behaviors occurring outside the library that make people feel unsafe, and that's what the mayor is trying to address."


Other recommendations include training for library and parks and recreation staff, developing a "code of conduct" for the library's entrance and coming up with guidelines for banning repeat offenders from library property.


The group also talked about creating an architecture review task force to consider changing the outside of the library to discourage loitering.


City Council members approved the task force recommendations last week. Those proposals will be put in place over the next year.


As task force members discussed community concerns, they tried to balance those needs with making sure everyone continues to have access to the library. They also suggested ideas to deal with the people around the building who are causing concerns, including connecting them with housing and social-service resources.




There is always a filthy stinking smell coming from the Maricopa County Sheriffs pig pen




Arpaio aide has PIR pact

By Gary Grado and Mark Flatten


November 15, 2005


A high-ranking commander in the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office has a private deal to provide security for events at Phoenix International Raceway, where a top NASCAR driver was released Friday without being subjected to tests to determine whether he was driving while intoxicated.


Larry Black, chief of enforcement at the sheriff’s office, told the Tribune Monday he was at the sheriff’s command post working his off-duty job as PIR security manager when race driver Kurt Busch was brought in Friday night on suspicion of drunken driving.


But Black said he did not play any role in the decision to turn Busch loose with a citation for reckless driving and without administering a Breathalyzer or blood test to determine his blood alcohol level.


"I didn’t make any decisions at all," said Black, who is paid a salary as manager of security services at PIR.


When Busch, the defending Nextel Cup champion, was brought into the command post at the raceway, Black said he told sheriff’s deputies "whatever needs to be done needs to be done."


"As far as I’m concerned, he’s just another guy. It makes no difference to me," Black said.


But former deputies say Busch’s case was unusual because of the way the Breathalyzer test was handled.


Black said he coordinates the security needs of the racetrack for the five major events staged there every year.


As part of his duties, he finds sheriff’s deputies and other officers to work off-duty at the track.


The off-duty officers are paid by the track to provide security inside the facility and to direct traffic, Black said.


The sheriff ’s office does provide equipment "for us to do our job," he said.


Black said he does not think there is a conflict of interest between his job overseeing patrol and other officers at the sheriff’s office and his off-duty work for the racetrack.


"The deputies do their jobs and they’ve been allowed to do their jobs 100 percent," Black said.


Black would not disclose how much he is paid by PIR. He has had the job for about seven years, he said.


Lee Baumgarten, director of operations at PIR, did not respond to attempts to contact him by phone and e-mail.


Busch, who was in the Valley for the Checker Auto Parts 500, was stopped by a sheriff’s deputy about 8:20 p.m. Friday after he nearly rear-ended another vehicle and ran a stop sign, according to sheriff ’s reports.


He was belligerent at the scene and refused to take a field sobriety test, said Lt. Paul Chagolla, spokesman for the sheriff’s office.


The officer smelled alcohol on Busch’s breath and took him into custody, Chagolla said.


Busch was taken to the sheriff’s command post at PIR, rather than a nearby sheriff’s facility in Avondale.


At the command post, Busch was initially given a roadside breath test, typically used by officers to determine whether there is probable cause to arrest a person suspected of drunken driving. Busch registered a 0.017 on the field test, less than onefourth the legal limit of 0.8, according to Chagolla.


Results from field testing units are not admissible in court.


Officers then tried to administer a Breathalyzer test, which is admissible, but the machine was malfunctioning, according to Chagolla.


At that point, a sergeant administered an eyemovement test, usually given when a suspect is pulled over, and there was no indication that Busch was intoxicated, Chagolla said.


Busch was then cited for reckless driving and released.


Deputies did not attempt to draw blood from Busch to determine his actual blood alcohol content. They also did not take him to another facility that had a working Breathalyzer. The sheriff’s Avondale facility is less than seven miles from the racetrack.


Chagolla said it was the arresting officer’s decision not to draw blood or drive Busch to another facility. On Saturday, Chagolla said blood was not drawn because there was not a phlebotomist present.


Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Monday deputies didn’t seek a blood sample because there was not enough probable cause for a search warrant, which is what is required to take someone’s bodily fluids.


"There was no need to go any further," Arpaio said.


Arpaio said he sees no conflict of interest for Black to have the contract as security manager for PIR.


The sheriff said it is no different than the common practice of individual officers who contract their off-duty services to bars, swap meets or special events.


Former deputies say the way Busch’s case was handled is unusual.


Mike Pennington, who retired from the sheriff ’s office in July, said that if a Breathalyzer machine malfunctions before a suspect can be tested, the deputy should take the prisoner to another location where there is a working machine.


Pennington, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Maricopa Lodge 5, said that aside from the sheriff’s station in Avondale, other West Valley police agencies or the Arizona Department of Public Safety would have been available to administer the test on Busch.


"They couldn’t find a Breathalyzer that works? I’d find another one," Pennington said.


John Frieling, who retired from the sheriff’s office in January, also said the standard procedure if one machine failed would be to find one that works, whether it be at the sheriff ’s office or another police agency.


"If it was (an average) Joe, it would have been handled differently," said Frieling, who spent 17 years with the sheriff’s office.


David Cantor, a defense attorney whose practice includes drunken driving cases, said it is not unusual for Breathalyzers to break down.


In those instances, police officers typically seek a search warrant for a blood draw or take the suspect to a nearby police station where another Breathalyzer is available.


Deputies could have done either if necessary. A judge is on the bench around the clock at the Maricopa County Jail in downtown Phoenix and can sign warrants that are transmitted by fax, said J.W. Brown, Maricopa County Superior Court spokeswoman.


Breath tests should be administered within two hours of driving, Cantor said.


Busch was suspended for the balance of the NASCAR season by the racing team he drives for, sponsored by Crown Royal whiskey.


He did not race Sunday, but his brother, Kyle, won the Checker 500.


Kurt Busch told NBC Sports that alcohol was not a factor in his run-in with sheriff’s deputies.


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

Contact Mark Flatten by email, or phone (602) 542-5813.




The Catholic Church supports the police state!




Blue Mass set to celebrate workers in public service


Katie Ruark

The Arizona Republic

Nov. 16, 2005 12:00 AM


PHOENIX - On Nov. 22, the Diocese of Phoenix will hold its annual Blue Mass, a celebration of thanks for public-service workers.


The Blue Mass is named after the blue uniforms of police officers but recognizes all public duty workers such as firefighters, Secret Service, FBI and paramedics.


"It a Mass for anyone in public service to thank them for how they served," said Teri Denman, Office of Worship coordinator.


This will be the 16th-annual Blue Mass, and organizers expect about 600 people to attend.


During the Mass, officiants also will take time to honor officers who died during the past year, whether they were killed in the line of duty or died of an illness or natural cause.


They plan to hold a candle ceremony where each person's name will be read and a candle lit in their honor.


"These are the people that are serving and protecting," Denman said.


"(The public can) show their support and give thanks."


Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted will celebrate the Mass, and the Phoenix Police Department Honor Chorus will provide music.


This Mass is always held the second Tuesday in November to coordinate with Thanksgiving.


It is open to the public and admission is free.


The Mass is at SS. Simon and Jude Cathedral, 6351 N. 27th Ave. on Nov. 22. It begins at 10 a.m.


Reach the reporter at katherine.ruark@asu.edu.




maybe we should call change PBS to gPBS and call it the government propaganda broadcasting system




Ex-Public Broadcasting chief broke law

Report cites bias in programming, threat to funding


Jennifer C. Kerr

Associated Press

Nov. 16, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - The former chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting broke federal law by interfering with PBS programming and appearing to use political tests in recruiting the corporation's new president, internal investigators said Tuesday.


Kenneth Tomlinson, a Republican, also sought to withhold funding from PBS unless the taxpayer-supported network brought in more conservative voices to balance its programming, said the report by CPB Inspector General Kenneth Konz.


Tomlinson was chairman of the corporation until September and resigned as a board member earlier this month after Konz privately shared his findings with the board. The report was released Tuesday.


The corporation, which funnels hundreds of millions of federal dollars to National Public Radio, the Public Broadcasting Service, and non-commercial radio and television stations, was created by Congress in the late 1960s to shield public broadcasting from political influence.


Specifically, the report said Tomlinson violated the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 and ethical standards by dealing directly with one of the creators of the conservative-leaning Journal Editorial Report, hosted by the editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page.


In internal e-mails, Tomlinson told CPB staff to threaten to withhold funds from PBS "if they didn't balance their programming," the report said.


There was evidence, the report said, to suggest that "political tests" or qualifications were used in the hiring of new CPB President Patricia Harrison, in violation of federal rules. Harrison, who was backed by Tomlinson, is a former co-chairwoman of the Republican National Committee.


The report also faulted Tomlinson for hiring a consultant to review program content on PBS shows such as Now With Bill Moyers. The inspector general said Tomlinson didn't obtain the proper authorization from the board for the consultant's $20,000 contract. The consultant kept track of whether guests on the shows were "anti- or pro-Bush," and "anti- or pro-Tom DeLay."


There are no criminal penalties associated with the laws the report said Tomlinson broke, Konz's office said. The board could have incurred disciplinary action if Tomlinson were still a board member.


Tomlinson did not return a call seeking comment Tuesday. He has defended his actions as an effort to bring political balance to public affairs programming and maintained no wrongdoing.




A good reason why you can't truse people in the government.




It seems promise doesn't amount to a hill of beans


Nov. 16, 2005 12:00 AM


Once upon a time, there was a desert hill in north-central Phoenix, a marvel of rugged beauty right there in the middle of master-planned paradise. City fathers decreed that the hill would remain ever so, and there was happiness throughout the land.


For 22 years, residents of Dreamy Draw Drive have lived with the hill in the middle of their neighborhood. It is a piece of the desert at their doorstep, a point of pride. Terra firma evidence that a promise made in Phoenix is a promise kept. Until now.


Now, a developer has gotten hold of the hill, and he sees it as any developer would: the perfect spot for million-dollar houses.


Now, the Phoenix City Council must decide whether to undo its 22-year-old promise to this neighborhood, to people like Dave Johnson, who lives a few houses down on Dreamy Draw Drive.


As Johnson sees it: "Either you're going to leave the stipulations in place that have been in place for 22 years and served the community well, or you're going to change them for one person, the developer."


Bets, anyone?


This neighborhood, tucked behind the Pointe Hilton Resort at Squaw Peak, was built in the early 1980s by Gosnell Development. Gosnell's final project here was to be condos, but there was a problem. The zoning on that 18-acre parcel allowed 39 units. Gosnell wanted to build 220. When the neighborhood objected, Gosnell offered a compromise. Let me build 172 condos on 8 acres, he said, and the other 10, the hillside, would stay untouched. On June 20, 1983, the City Council took the deal.


It's right there in city files, which says no more than 172 units can be built. It's there on the site plan, which says "hillside is to be preserved in its natural state."


Time went on, 172 condos went up and Gosnell deeded the hill to the Pointe at Squaw Peak Condominium Association. Last year, the condo board quietly sold the hill to Jim Sasser, a home builder and former member of the Phoenix Planning Commission. According to the contract, the board sold the land, valued by the county assessor at $1 million, for $150,000 and secretly agreed to support Sasser's quest to build six houses on the hill.


When the deal came to light, condo owners and homeowners were aghast. The condo board was ousted, and the new board is pondering a lawsuit to get the hill back. Board members contend the sale is invalid because one old board member didn't sign off on the sale, as required by law.


Meanwhile, Sasser has taken his quest to city hall. The Camelback East Village Planning Committee rejected his proposal. But city planners have supported him and a hearing officer in September approved four houses on the hill. The neighborhood appealed to the City Council, which was supposed to decide the case today.


Sasser didn't return several calls. Councilman Greg Stanton, whose district includes the neighborhood, told me he planned to delay today's hearing to work out a compromise. "This is not an automatic case where you can say no," he said. "The guy bought the land for value."


True, but the guy also bought the land knowing it was, in the words of the city, "to remain in its natural state." It's one thing for a condo board to break trust with its members. But for a city to break trust with its community?


Then again, if it can be done for Donald Trump, why not for a local developer who knows his way around city hall?


Once upon a time, a promise made was a promise a kept. These days, however, that is the stuff of fairy tales. These days, happily ever after has an expiration date.


Reach Roberts at laurie.roberts@arizonarepublic.com or (602) 444-8635.




let me get this straigh - we are bring freedom, democracy and a better way of life to iraq?




U.S. raid discovers Iraqi prison

Prime minister says prisoners appear tortured


Omar Fekeiki

Washington Post

Nov. 16, 2005 12:00 AM


BAGHDAD - A U.S.-led raid uncovered an underground prison run by Iraq's Interior Ministry where detainees allegedly were tortured, the prime minister said Tuesday. Separately, a Sunni Arab leader accused the government of involvement in the kidnapping and killing of 46 Sunni men.


The new accusations against the Shiite-dominated government's security forces came on a day when bombings and ambushes around the country killed 13 Iraqi policemen, authorities said.


The U.S. military reported that three Marines and 80 insurgents were killed in the past 48 hours in western Iraq, where a U.S. offensive came up against more than 100 insurgent bombs and mines.


In Baghdad, Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari and other officials told reporters the detainees were found in a basement of an Interior Ministry complex in the heart of the capital.


"I was informed that there were 173 detainees held at an Interior Ministry prison and they appear to be malnourished. There is also some talk that they were subjected to some kind of torture," Jaafari said.


U.S. and Iraqi forces discovered the inmates when they went into the compound suspecting that individuals there may have been mistreated, the Pentagon said.


The troops "found things that concerned them," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said. Whitman didn't say when the inmates were found, but U.S. troops took control of the Interior Ministry building on Sunday.


Talk of a secret detention center at the Interior Ministry compound had surfaced in Baghdad this summer. Officials of the ministry, whose ranks are made up mainly of former members of Shiite militias, have repeatedly acknowledged some human rights abuses by their forces but never confirmed the rumors of a secret torture center run with the help of intelligence agents from neighboring Iran.


The first official acknowledgment of the allegations came Monday, when Maj. Gen. Hussein Kamal, the Interior Ministry's undersecretary for security, said an investigation would be opened into unspecified reports that ministry officers tortured suspects detained in connection with the country's insurgency.


The Associated Press quoted the head of Iraq's largest Sunni political party as saying that all the detainees were members of Iraq's Sunni Arab minority, which dominated the country under Saddam Hussein. Sunnis now lead the insurgency against U.S. forces and the U.S.-backed government.


Sunni leaders have accused Jaafari's government of waging a "dirty war" of disappearances and killings targeting Sunni men since his administration came to power in April.


On Tuesday, Col. Abdulhadi Hussein of the Interior Ministry police confirmed the discovery of 28 men dumped at the town of Jassan, near the Iranian border. When police found them Monday, Hussein said, the men all were dressed in civilian clothes and had been shot in the head and chest.


Separately, police patrolling a south Baghdad neighborhood on Sunday found 18 men who had been handcuffed, blindfolded and shot in the head and chest, Hussein said.






Senators pressure Bush on war

Vote seeks plans for GI removal


Dan Balz

Washington Post

Nov. 16, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - For the past three years, President Bush has set the course on U.S. policy in Iraq, and Republicans in Congress - and many Democrats, too - have dutifully followed his lead. On Tuesday the Senate, responding to growing public frustration with the administration's war policy, signaled that those days are coming to an end.


A newly emboldened Senate voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to instruct the Bush administration to explain its strategy for completing the U.S. mission in Iraq and bringing American troops home.


Until Tuesday, Congress had shown reluctance since the outset of the Iraq war to directly challenge the administration on its management of the conflict, in part for fear of being seen as insufficiently patriotic or supportive of the troops.


"Historians will look back on this day and say this was a turning point," Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., told the Council on Foreign Relations. Calling the debate long overdue, Hagel said, "This is a significant step toward the Congress exercising its constitutional responsibilities over matters of war."


The Senate voted 79-19 to require the administration to report to Congress on military operations in Iraq every three months, specifically on progress toward a troop withdrawal. In a non-binding section of the legislation, the Senate urged that 2006 "should be a period of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty."


However, lawmakers in a 58-40 vote decided against calling for a timetable for withdrawal. That measure, pushed by Democrats, would have required the administration to establish dates for accomplishing certain milestones leading to pulling out the troops.


The rebuff to the White House was muffled in the modulated language of a bipartisan amendment, but the message couldn't have been more clear. With their constituents increasingly unhappy with the U.S. mission in Iraq, Democrats and now Republicans are demanding that the administration show that it has a strategy to turn the conflict over to the Iraqis and eventually bring U.S. troops home.


"I think this is a clear sign that Republicans are walking away from the president, that they're no longer willing to tie their future and political standing to the president and his policy on Iraq," said Ivo Daalder of the Brookings Institution and a former Clinton administration official. "They found this was the easy way out: an implicit rebuke, not an explicit rebuke. But this was a rebuke."


Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner, in an interview, declined to call the amendment approved by the Senate, which he co-sponsored, a repudiation of the White House. Instead, he said, it shores up the administration's arguments. He noted that the National Security Council staff was shown the language in advance and allowed to critique it.


But Warner also said senators were "not unmindful" of widespread unease in public opinion about the war. Calling the next 120 days critical to success, he said the United States must do all it can to prevent Iraq from fracturing into civil war. But he added that the Senate vote is a "strong message to Iraqi people and the Iraqi government that you have got to come to grip with your internal problems."


"It's a signal to the Iraqis that we mean business," Warner said.


The jolt to the White House came just as the administration was attempting to beat back perceptions that the president misled the country before the war by overstating the strength of the intelligence on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capabilities. That fight pits Democrats against Republicans.


En route to Asia on Monday, the president delivered another riposte to his critics, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld joined in Tuesday, quoting statements from the late 1990s by then-President Clinton and others in his administration about the Iraqi threat.


If the fight over prewar intelligence has become a proxy battle over the question of whether it was right or wrong to go to war, Tuesday's Senate debate moved to the issue to another arena, to the questions of whether the U.S. strategy to stabilize Iraq is working and the best way to end the stay.


James Lindsay, vice president of the Council on Foreign Relations, said the Senate action "doesn't change much in terms of the substance of American policy, but it clearly does signal a change in the parameters of the political debate: It says the American political debate has now shifted to how to get out of Iraq."


There are still significant differences between the two parties on this second question and sizable differences within the Democratic Party itself. In recent weeks, a number of prominent Democrats, including Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and former Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., have proposed far more explicit plans to draw down U.S. forces in Iraq. Others such as Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., remain strong supporters of the war. But Tuesday's vote showed that Republicans are growing nervous.


It would have been easy for Republicans simply to defeat the Democratic amendment and leave it at that, but given the state of public opinion and the opposition to Bush's policies, Republicans needed a vehicle to demonstrate to their constituents that they understand the public's frustration and to signal to the White House that they expect more than statements of optimism about the pace of a conflict in which American soldiers are dying almost every day.


White House communications director Nicole Wallace said the administration was not bothered by the day's events. "The Senate endorsed administration policy, which is a conditions-based withdrawal in Iraq. It also exposed a divide in the Democratic Party."


Lieberman, one of five Democrats to oppose the Levin amendment, said he hoped the bipartisan vote would help diminish some of the partisanship that has surrounded the debate over Iraq of late. His goal, he said, is to maintain public support for the mission, but he said the administration must do more to bolster confidence in its strategy.


The amendment by the Senate faces an uncertain legislative future. But as political symbolism, Tuesday's action showed the Senate's determination to demand more from the administration. It also underscored how much elected officials are worried about public anxiety over the war.


Chicago Tribune contributed to this article.




you can always trust the federal government to treat indians fairly?




Court: Indian money accounting would be impossible

Appellate ruling blocks judge's order for big tally neither side in suit wants


Jennifer Talhelm

Associated Press

Nov. 16, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - A federal appeals court decided Tuesday that it was unreasonable to require a detailed historical accounting of money the government has been managing for Native Americans, saying the bookkeeping chore would "take 200 years."


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia sided with the government and the Native Americans in their effort to block a lower court's order for the tally of money owed them.


The accounting had been ordered by U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth, who is overseeing a class-action lawsuit in which thousands of Native Americans claim they were cheated out of more than $100 billion in oil, gas, grazing, timber and other royalties overseen by the Interior Department since 1887.


In their appeals, the government and the plaintiffs have argued that the massive accounting Lamberth ordered would cost up to $13 billion, far more than was reasonable.


On Tuesday, a three-judge appeals panel agreed, overturning the accounting and calling Lamberth's decision "ill-founded" and an abuse of discretion that was not favored by either side in the lawsuit.


Appellate Judge Stephen Williams wrote that the accounting ordered by Lamberth "would not be finished for about 200 years, generations beyond the lifetimes of all now-living beneficiaries."


The issue of how to determine what is owed the Native Americans has gone back and forth from Lamberth to the appeals court during the nearly 10 years since Blackfeet Indian Elouise Cobell filed the lawsuit.


An 1887 law allotted land to individual Native Americans and provided that the government would hold the land and any revenue from it in trust for them and their survivors. For 20 years before Cobell sued, several reports criticized the government's management. In 1994, Congress ordered that the money be accounted for.


The appeals court said the accounting ordered by Lamberth, who wanted a much more detailed look at records, improperly expanded the scope of what Congress authorized. The judge should have allowed the Interior Department more latitude in deciding how to perform the accounting, the appeals court wrote.


Lamberth has excoriated the government's treatment of the plaintiffs in past decisions. This fall, he ordered the Interior Department to disconnect all computer systems with access to Native American accounts. He said the department's security was so bad, hackers could easily manipulate the data. The appeals court granted the department a reprieve so it could appeal.


Earlier this year, the plaintiffs offered to settle the case for $27.5 billion. Lawmakers say the amount is too high.


On Tuesday, House Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo, R-Calif., filed a bill to resolve the case. The bill is a companion to one filed earlier this year by Senate Indian Affairs Committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz. Neither specifies a settlement amount.






Suspect gets surgery


after shooting by police


PHOENIX - Details emerged Tuesday in an officer-involved shooting that left one man wounded and two officers on paid leave, which is standard procedure.


Police said a 23-year-old man shot by officers late Monday first raised his gun at them. The suspect, whose name was not released, was shot multiple times and underwent surgery Tuesday.


Officers found the man hiding in the complex on 30th Street south of Indian School Road at 9:30 p.m. Monday.




Tuesday, Nov 15, 2005

Arizona Republic


Buckeye police officer arrested after quarrel


BUCKEYE – A Buckeye police officer has been placed on paid administrative leave following a disturbance at a Glendale apartment complex, authorities said Monday.


Bruce Dwayne Osborne, 40, a nearly one-year-member of the Buckeye force, was booked Sunday into the Glendale city jail on charges of resisting arrest and obstructing police.


Police said that a combative Osborne smelled of alcohol and used repeated profanities when confronted by police at a complex in the 6700 block of North 83rd Avenue.




when it comes to our sex lives the government makes a big deal out of nothing and ruins people lives




Details released in child sex case arrest

Student caught by Tucson TV station


by Brian Indrelunas  published on Monday, November 14, 2005


An ASU student arrested last week masturbated on a Web cam for and set up a meeting with what he thought was a 12-year-old girl, those involved in a Tucson TV station's investigation said.


Jed Daniel Poulsen, 22, was arrested in Arizona City, Ariz., last Monday based on information turned over to police by KVOA Channel 4 in Tucson and Perverted-Justice.com.


Volunteers for the Web site regularly pose as minors to expose online predators. KVOA partnered with the site after seeing similar stories in other cities, said Assistant News Director Brad Stone.


"It's been pretty successful in other markets in getting people off the street," Stone said.


A staff member from the site who refers to herself as Tyrone was one of the people posing as Tucson youngsters.


Tyrone, who did not use her real name for security reasons, described Poulsen's contact with the supposed minor based on chat transcripts.


Tyrone said Poulsen contacted the supposed minor in Yahoo's Southwest Teen chat room Sept. 25 and offered to perform sexual acts within the first hour of the conversation.


"On the first night, he invited her to view his Web cam, and the first images were of himself, naked, stroking his penis," she added.


She added that Poulsen had a phone conversation with an adult Perverted-Justice.com staffer with a childlike voice as he prepared a meeting.


When he showed up at the meeting place Oct. 15, Poulsen found KVOA crime reporter Lupita Murillo.


Of the 162 men who contacted Perverted-Justice.com staffers during the investigation, nearly 20 tried to set up a meeting with what they thought was a child, Murillo said.


"I couldn't believe that this many people were on the Internet trolling for young girls," she said.


Videotape from Poulsen's visit to the house was aired Thursday night.


"Why do people like you do stuff like this?" Murillo asked Poulsen in the report.


"I can talk to younger people better than I can talk to people my own age," he said.


As of Sunday, Poulsen was being held on $20,000 bond in a Pinal County jail.


Poulsen will be arraigned there Nov. 18 if he is not transferred to a Pima County jail, said Michael Minter, spokesman for the Pinal County Sheriff's Office.


Officials from ASU Student Judicial Affairs, which would handle any on-campus disciplinary action, did not return calls for comment Thursday.


Poulsen's mother, Sandra Poulsen, declined to comment.


Reach the reporter at brian.indrelunas@asu.edu.




man sleeping in car arrested for drunk driving. dont these cops have real criminals to hunt down? i guess this means i am right and its all about revenue




Iraq-bound GI faces DUI

By Gary Grado, Tribune

November 16, 2005


A Mesa military man heading to Iraq on Thursday must decide if his drunkendriving trial should wait until he comes home in 18 months, or if it should go on without him.


Michael Denofre, an Army National Guardsman, contends he was simply sleeping in an idling truck to avoid arguing with his wife — not driving it drunk.


His trial is scheduled to begin Dec. 14 in Maricopa County Superior Court. If convicted, he would be dishonorably discharged.


Standing trial in absentia would mean passing on the chance to take the stand, or he can try and postpone it until his return. Either choice is unfair, his attorney said.


"If I continually move (for postponement) for a year and a half, is that still a fair and speedy trial," said defense attorney Bethany Jacobs.


The 30-year-old supply sergeant from Mesa-based 1/ 180th Field Artillery Unit, is going to trial because he contends he did not drive Feb. 5 when Mesa police arrested him outside his wife’s house. He was found behind the wheel of his truck drunk, asleep, surrounded by empty beer cans and with the engine running.


Denofre’s defense is that he slept in the truck to avoid arguing with his wife and ran the engine to run the heater to keep warm.


Denofre’s wife says in a sworn affidavit that he went outside about 2 a.m. She checked on him an hour later and saw him sleeping.


"At no point during the evening did I see or hear Michael move the vehicle," she wrote.


According to a police report, an officer shined his spotlight on the truck’s cab and saw someone slumped over in the driver’s seat.


When the officer opened the door and spoke to Denofre, he got no response until he nudged him.


Jacobs asked the court to dismiss the charge on grounds that the law allows a drunken driver to pull off the road without fear of being considered in "actual physical control" of the vehicle.


Denofre was asleep, the headlights were off, the radio was off, the heater was on and he was parked near the sidewalk, Jacobs said.


"Staff sergeant Denofre chose the right path," Jacobs wrote in court documents. "He chose not to try and drive home and endanger himself and others in the process."


Deputy Maricopa County attorney Jerald Hale argued in court documents that the truth of those facts are for a jury, not the judge, to decide, so the case shouldn’t be dismissed.


Earlier this year, a Scottsdale police officer was suspended from duty but not charged with drunken driving after he was found passed out inside his running vehicle parked in front of the police station.


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




dangerous police dog




Nipping K-9 out to Heber pasture

By Paul Giblin, Tribune Columnist

November 16, 2005


Rocky the Scottsdale police dog managed to survive long enough to retire. He moved to Heber, a lovely town along the Mogollon Rim, where all the residents now are prospective meat-flavored snacks.


His supervisors, Lt. S cott Popp and Sgt. J.R. Parrow, forced Rocky to take retirement two weeks ago because of a series of performance issues.

Specifically, he kept chomping his human co-workers.


Popp and Parrow probably saved his life.


Officer Patrick Regan shot Rocky on Sept. 12 and it was only a matter of time before another cop perforated him.


That night, Regan and several other officers were searching for two men suspected in a shootout near North 64th Street and East Indian School Road.


They traced one of the suspects to a house on East Calle Camelia. Officer David Alvarado, Rocky’s handler, released the dog into the backyard, while Regan and officer Damien Mendoza searched near a garage.


Regan and Mendoza came across an unlocked door and decided to investigate, according to police reports.


Regan opened the door and Rocky burst onto the scene. "Whoa! Here he comes. Don’t move," Mendoza yelled.


Rocky initially headed for Mendoza, but it was a feint. Rocky changed directions and pounced on Regan, pushing him backward.


"As I was moving backwards, I was able to push the dog back with my right foot. I continued stepping backwards in order to increase the distance between the dog and myself," Regan wrote in his report.


Rocky decreased the distance, lunged again and sunk his teeth into Regan’s left arm. Regan dragged Rocky a distance and kicked him away.


Rocky circled around and again turned toward Regan. "I raised my service weapon from the low ready position and with one hand discharged one round at the dog," Regan wrote.


Even after being shot in the butt, Rocky remained undeterred in his mission to gnaw on Regan and went after him again.


By then, Alvarado arrived on the scene. "As Officer Regan ran away from Rocky yelling, Rocky immediately locked onto Officer Regan, who was giving Rocky a lot of stimulus," the dog handler wrote.


Regan prepared to stimulate Rocky with a second bullet, but Alvarado grabbed the dog, sparing his life. Both Regan and Rocky were treated for their injuries.


For the record, police dogs are supposed to take a bite out of crime, not cops.


On Oct. 10, Alvarado provided the necessary stimulus for a second dog attack when he tried to subdue a suspect with a pipe. As Alvarado and the man fought, Rocky bit Alvarado.


Then Rocky figured his services were needed elsewhere and bit the hand of another officer, who put the dog in a choke hold and threw him into a car.


"At some point, we just had to make the decision that it’s better to have him retire than to keep him out on the streets," police spokesman Sgt. Mark Clark said.


Rocky, a Belgian Malinois, had seven years of service on the force. His handler doesn’t know why he became a rogue dog, Clark said.


Rocky worked on the narcotics detail, so it’s possible that sniffing all that dope over the years may have affected his judgment — or just given him the munchies.


The dog was scheduled to retire in the summer anyway.


Generally, police dogs have short retirements. Their postcareer routines usually feature a one-way trip to a veterinarian’s office to reminisce over a lethal cocktail.


"When you have a police dog, you don’t just give him to a family and say, ‘Here you go! Enjoy your new pet!’ " Clark said. "You want to have someone who knows the dog and knows his quirks."


In Rocky’s case, his former handler, who lives in Heber, agreed to take him, quirks and all.


Rocky had another option. He had been invited to relocate to Cottonwood, a den for other disgraced Scottsdale cops.


Scottsdale Chief Doug Bartosh, fired in January 2003, turned up as Cottonwood chief in February this year. Officer Gareth Braxton-Johnson, who resigned while under an Internal Affairs investigation in June, accepted a position with Cottonwood in August.


The welcome mat was out for Rocky as well.


"Our dogs remain with their handlers and enjoy their retirement and being part of a family," Cottonwood officer Denise Ross wrote in an e-mail in response to an Oct. 21 column.


"Rocky would be welcomed up here as we value our police officers (which Rocky truly is). We have a ranch where . . . several retired police dogs live, instead of suffering imminent death," she wrote.


Think of all the jolly times Bartosh, Braxton-Johnson and Rocky could have had together hanging out at morale-building barbecues, cowering from columnists’ phone calls. Maybe they can still get together.


Meanwhile, the Scottsdale Police Department has moved on. Popp and Parrow last week brought in a recruit to serve along alongside Nitro, Spike and the rest of Scottsdale’s furriest.


Alas, the recruit flunked his physical, so they’re looking for a replacement who knows the difference between cops and kibbles.


Contact Paul Giblin by email, or phone (480) 970-2331




bring freedom and democracy to iraq - yea sure!!!!




Torture widespread in Iraq bunker: ex-detainee By Michael Georgy

Wed Nov 16,12:49 PM ET


BAGHDAD (Reuters) - An Iraqi student who said he was held with prisoners in an Interior Ministry bunker described on Wednesday how he was hung blindfolded in excruciating positions and called a "Sunni dog" by his Shi'ite interrogators.


He was speaking after more than 170 detainees were discovered in the bunker on Sunday night during a raid by U.S. troops who were searching for a missing teenage boy.


"They blindfolded me and tied my hands behind my back and then hung me by a ceiling hook. My shoulders and arms felt like they would come off," the former detainee, who asked to be identified only by his initials, M.I., told Reuters.


"Other times we had to stand up straight and not move for 10 straight hours or face more torture."


There was no way to independently verify M.I.'s account.


The prisoners were found locked in an underground cell near an Interior Ministry compound in the Baghdad district of Jadriya and many of them showed signs of severe hunger, beatings and torture, Iraqi officials and U.S. military sources said.


Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said on Tuesday his government was investigating the allegations of abuse.


The discovery of the detainees is embarrassing for the U.S.-backed government, which has promised to deliver human rights after decades of dictatorship under     Saddam Hussein.


    Iraq's Sunni Arab minority has accused militias linked to the Shi'ite-run Interior Ministry and Shi'ite political parties of rounding up Sunnis in raids and holding them without charge. The Shi'ite-led government has denied the accusations.




M.I., a Sunni, said his ordeal began one night in late August, when Interior Ministry forces showed up in police vehicles outside his family's house and detained him without charge along with his brother and cousin.


"About forty minutes later I was in a room in a bunker with about 100 others. They blindfolded me and tied my hands behind my back," said the 22-year-old law student.


Interrogators asked him for information on Sunni insurgents in his neighborhood.


"I didn't know anybody. They hung me from my bound hands from a ceiling hook and whipped me with metal cables. They called us Sunni dogs and thieves or friends of Saddam Hussein.


"They put me in a small cell at first where there were bloody clothes from another prisoner. Then I was in a room with about 100 others. Sometimes they used drills on people."


The bunker scandal is likely to deepen sectarian tensions in Iraq, where Sunnis are waging a bloody insurgency against the Shi'ite-led government.


M.I. said air conditioners were kept at full blast in the bunker, a former bomb shelter located near a building guards said was once a small palace for one of Saddam's daughters.


"They put me in a barrel full of cold water during questioning," said M.I. "They also electrocuted me."


Each prisoner was given half a loaf of bread on a typical day and allowed access to the toilet every two days, he said.


"We would rush to the toilet and drink from the tap because sometimes they would only give us water in soda bottle caps three times a day," he said.


After intensive torture during the first four days by men whom M.I. described as agents from the office of special investigations, inmates were abused less frequently.


But he said life was so tough that prisoners prayed for a transfer to the notorious U.S.-run     Abu Ghraib prison, where the scandal of U.S. troops abusing Iraqi prisoners broke last year.


Thin and soft spoken, M.I. sat in the office of a Sunni party on Wednesday, still surprised he was freed six weeks ago.


"We were suddenly taken to meet an official in a jacket and tie. He asked for our names then set five of us free. Others were sent back. No reason was given," he said.




Too Little Too Late

by Ron Paul




Congress is poised to consider a budget bill this week in a vote both parties consider critical, but in reality the bill is nothing more than a political exercise by congressional leaders designed to convince voters that something is being done about runaway federal spending. Having spent the last five years out-pandering the Democrats by spending money to buy off various voting constituencies, congressional Republicans now find themselves forced to appeal to their unhappy conservative base by applying window dressing to the bloated 2006 federal budget.


Ignore the talk about Congress "slashing" vital government programs in this budget bill, which is just nonsense. This Congress couldn't slash spending if the members' lives depended on it.


Remember, this is a Congress that has increased spending by 33% since President Bush took office in 2001. And we're not talking about national defense or anti-terrorism spending. We're talking about a one-third increase in garden variety domestic spending. This is also a Congress that passed the 2003 Medicare prescription drug bill, the single largest increase in entitlement spending since the Great Society programs of the 1960s. So there's not much credibility to be found on Capitol Hill when it comes to reducing the federal budget.


The proposed bill calls for such tiny reductions in spending that frankly it's shameful for Republicans to claim it represents a victory for fiscal conservatism. And it's equally preposterous for Democrats to claim it represents some great threat to precious entitlements. The dollar amounts contained in the bill are so insignificant that both parties are guilty of meaningless grandstanding.


The budget reconciliation bill reduces spending by a mere $5.6 billion in a 2006 budget of nearly $2.5 trillion. This represents just a fraction of one percent, a laughable amount. Does anyone seriously believe the federal budget cannot be trimmed more than this? Consider that the federal budget was only about $1 trillion in 1990, a mere 15 years ago – and government was far too large and too intrusive then. After all the talk about deficit spending, this is the best a Republican congress and Republican president can come up with? What a farce.


Projections of big savings beyond 2006 because of this bill are pure fiction. Congress has no authority to pass budgets or appropriate money beyond the next fiscal year. Future Congresses will not pay one whit of attention to this bill, and its hopeful predictions will be forgotten.


Furthermore, we need to get our budget cutting priorities in order. Why are we cutting domestic programs while we continue to spend billions on infrastructure in Iraq? In just the past two weeks Congress approved a $21 billion foreign aid bill and a $130 million scheme to provide water for developing nations. Why in the world aren't these boondoggles cut first?


The spending culture in Washington creates an attitude that government can solve every problem both at home and abroad simply by funding another program. But we've reached a tipping point, with $8 trillion in debt and looming Social Security and Medicare crises. Government spending has become a national security issue, because unless Congress stops the bleeding the resulting economic downturn will cause us more harm than any terrorist group could ever hope to cause. And we're doing it to ourselves, from within.


Congress is running out of options in its game of buy now, pay later. Foreign central banks are less interested in loaning us money. Treasury printing presses are worn out from the unprecedented increase in dollars ordered by the Federal Reserve Bank over the past 15 years. Taxpayers are tapped out. Where will the money for Big Government conservatism come from?


Congressional Republicans and Democrats can posture until doomsday, but the needed course of action is clear. Declare an across-the-board ten percent cut for the entire federal 2006 budget – this means every department, every agency, and every program – including military spending and so-called nondiscretionary entitlements. If congressional leaders cannot take this simple step toward balancing the 2006 budget, they should at least not attempt to delude the American people that serious spending cuts are being made.


November 15, 2005


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




the puppet goverment of iraq run by amerika speaks up and tells us the they dont torture - just like george bush did a few days ago when he said that america doesnt torture people - Abu Ghraib - Guantanamo




Iraqi official calls torture allegations exaggerated


Associated Press

Nov. 17, 2005 07:05 AM


BAGHDAD, Iraq - Interior Minister Bayan Jabr was defiant Thursday when answering questions about allegations his officers have tortured suspected insurgents, saying the reports have been exaggerated and insisting only five people appeared to have been maltreated.


He said that a number of those detained were suspected foreign terrorists, including one man accused of building six car bombs.


"These are the most criminal terrorists who were in these cells," Jabr said. He said he personally instructed that these particular suspects be taken to the detention center in Jadiriyah because they were considered the most dangerous.


He said that an investigation was underway into the torture allegations, about which he held talks with the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. George Casey.


"I reject torture and I will punish those who perform torture," Jabr said. "No one was beheaded, no one was killed."


Earlier, Maj. Gen. Hussein Kamal, Iraq's deputy interior minister, called for a unified command over detention centers to prevent future cases of torture, saying that the new government's worst fear had come to pass.


"What we were afraid of has happened when some prisoners were subjected to ill-treatment at the hands of the investigators," Kamal said. "We strongly condemn such illegal acts."


Sunni Arab anger has welled up following revelations by the Shiite prime minister that 173 detainees, malnourished and some showing signs of torture, had been found in an Interior Ministry building seized by U.S. troops in Baghdad last weekend. Most were believed to be Sunni Arabs.


Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari promised a full investigation and punishment for anyone guilty of torture. But Sunni leaders claimed the Shiite-led security forces were trying to intimidate Sunnis from voting and demanded an international investigation.


Most insurgents are Sunnis, while Shiites and Kurds dominate the U.S.-backed security services.


On Wednesday, five U.S. Marines were killed in fighting with al-Qaida-led insurgents near the Syrian border and an Army soldier died of wounds suffered in Baghdad, making it the second deadliest day for American forces in Iraq this month.


The soldier, from the Army's Task Force Baghdad, died Wednesday of wounds suffered the day before when a roadside bomb exploded northwest of the capital, the U.S. command said. Three other soldiers were killed Tuesday in a roadside bombing in the same area. But it was unclear if the soldier who died Wednesday was injured in the same attack.


The six deaths made Wednesday the deadliest day for American forces in Iraq since Nov. 2, when seven service members died in four separate attacks. At least 51 U.S. service members have died in Iraq this month.


For the Marines, it was the worst single-day loss since they launched an offensive Nov. 5 to push al-Qaida-led insurgents from a series of towns along the Euphrates River used by foreign fighters to slip into the country from Syria.


A Marine statement did not give any details of the Wednesday losses, and names of the victims were withheld pending notification of their families. They were assigned to Regimental Combat Team 2 of the 2nd Marine Division.


However, a New York Times reporter traveling with U.S. forces said an explosion occurred as a squad entered a farm house in Obeidi, 185 miles northwest of Baghdad. Insurgents then raked survivors and rescuers with small arms and grenade fire before other Marines could recover the dead and wounded and kill the attackers, the newspaper said.


Eleven Marines were wounded in the ambush, according to the Times reporter.


The Marine statement confirmed the five deaths but made no mention of the wounded. The military also said 16 insurgents were confirmed killed in the fighting.


The latest deaths brought to at least 2,079 the number of U.S. service members who have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.


U.S. officials say the offensive near the Syrian border is aimed in part at encouraging Sunni Arabs to vote in the Dec. 15 parliamentary elections without fear of insurgent reprisals. The Bush administration hopes a successful election will encourage many in the Sunni community to abandon the insurgency.




hello iraq, good by vietnam. i guess i dont have to say that much any more because the general public is catching on




Posted 11/15/2005 4:39 PM     Updated 11/16/2005 12:12 AM


Poll: American attitudes on Iraq similar to Vietnam era


By Susan Page, USA TODAY


WASHINGTON — There are enormous differences between the war in Iraq and the one in Vietnam that defined a generation. The current conflict hasn't lasted as long, taken nearly as many American lives or sparked the sort of anti-war movement that marked the '60s and '70s.


But when it comes to public opinion, Americans' attitudes toward Iraq and the course ahead are strikingly similar to public attitudes toward Vietnam in the summer of 1970, a pivotal year in that conflict and a time of enormous domestic unrest.


Some political scientists and historians predict that the Iraq conflict, like the one in Vietnam, will shape American attitudes on foreign policy and the use of military force long after it's over.


"This war is probably a really big deal historically in terms of America's perspective on the world," says John Mueller, a political scientist at Ohio State University. "What you're going to get after this is 'We don't want to do that again — No more Iraqs' just as after Vietnam the syndrome was 'No more Vietnams.' "


In a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday, more than half of those surveyed wanted to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq within the next 12 months. In 1970, roughly half of those surveyed wanted to withdraw U.S. troops from Vietnam within 12 months. (Related: Poll results)


In both surveys, about one-third supported withdrawing troops over as many years as needed, and about one in 10 wanted to send more troops.


Arizona Sen. John McCain, a Republican, rejects any comparison with the Vietnam era.


"I wasn't in the United States in 1970," says McCain, a POW in Vietnam at the time. "But I am very aware of what happened in 1970. There's not massive demonstrations in the streets (now). There's not the kind of opposition — draft-card burning and all of that — (seen) during the height of the anti-war movement."


Still, McCain says he is "very worried" about polls showing waning support for the war. "I would not try to sugarcoat it. Some things need to be done better," he says.


Growing unease over the war in Iraq has been reflected in recent days on Capitol Hill, at the Pentagon and in foreign capitals.


In the Senate on Tuesday, Republicans defeated a Democratic proposal that called on Bush to outline a timetable for the phased withdrawal of U.S. troops. Republican leaders countered with their own non-binding resolution that urged next year "should be a period of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty."


"There's a growing desire to get out of Iraq, almost regardless of the consequences," says George Herring, a history professor emeritus at the University of Kentucky and author of America's Longest War: The United States and Vietnam, 1950-1975. "This is the way things began to develop in Vietnam after the fall of 1967."


In 1970, 56% said the decision to send troops to Vietnam was a mistake. (That number reached a high of 61% before direct American involvement in the war ended in 1973.) Now, 54% say the decision to send troops to Iraq was a mistake.


Split over war emerges in GOP


Declining support has its own consequences for Bush, making it harder for him to maintain party unity behind his policy, especially as the 2006 congressional elections approach.


"Politicians get twitchy when the poll numbers shift," says John Pitney, a former House Republican staffer and political scientist at Claremont-McKenna College in Claremont, Calif.


"The No. 1 instinct in politics is survival," says Andrew Kohut, director of the non-partisan Pew Research Center. With sagging approval ratings for Bush and for his handling of Iraq, the president is "going to have a much harder time than he's had so far in ... keeping people close to him," Kohut says.


Opposition to the war crosses party lines.


In the latest USA TODAY poll, a record 60% of those surveyed, including one in four Republicans, said the war wasn't "worth it." One in five Republicans said the invasion of Iraq was "a mistake."


Among independents, 60% called the war a mistake; 85% of Democrats agreed. There was no gender gap on the issue — that is, no difference in the opinions of men and women — but there was a racial divide. Half of whites saw the war as a mistake. Among blacks, that view was almost universal, held by 95%.


Concern over the course and costs of the Iraq war has become a major factor in unease about the direction of the country generally. In January, a 58% majority said things were going well for the United States. By this month, only 49% said things were going well.


Most of those who say things are going well in the country support the war. Most who say things are going badly — 50% of those polled — call it a mistake.


Bush has begun pushing back harder against critics, particularly Democrats who accuse administration officials of distorting or withholding intelligence when they were making the case to invade Iraq three years ago.


Speaking to troops at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska late Monday, on his way to Asia for an eight-day trip, Bush said Democrats were "playing politics with this issue, and they are sending mixed signals to our troops and the enemy." He warned: "That is irresponsible."


At the Pentagon on Tuesday, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld acknowledged that many Americans want to know when U.S. troops can come home. He argued it would be a mistake to leave prematurely. "We must be careful not to give terrorists the false hope that if they can simply hold on long enough, they can outlast us," Rumsfeld said.


But Mueller says his study of wartime public opinion raises doubts about whether rhetoric can rebuild lost support for the war. "If history is any indication, there is little the Bush administration can do to reverse this decline," he wrote in an article in the current issue of Foreign Affairs magazine.


Mueller found parallels in the course of public opinion toward the wars in Korea, Vietnam and Iraq: Broad enthusiasm at the outset that declined steeply at first, then eroded slowly.


Casualties rise, support falls


In Vietnam and Iraq, some of the reasons given for going to war were undercut over time. For Iraq, that includes the failure after the invasion to find weapons of mass destruction or clear, prewar ties to the al-Qaeda terrorist network. Then, as casualties mounted, support for both wars fell.


"It's a basic cost-benefit analysis," Mueller says. As casualties rise, fewer people think the cause is worth the cost. After that, good news — for instance, a successful election or the passage of a constitution — can briefly boost support. But it typically dissipates.


"You can bring them back, but the question is bringing them back permanently," he says, "and that seems unlikely."


There are, of course, major differences between Vietnam and Iraq, including less tolerance for U.S. casualties.


More than twice as many U.S. troops were deployed to Vietnam in 1970 — 334,600 — than the approximately 160,000 U.S. troops now in Iraq. The death toll for American troops in Iraq passed 2,000 last month. In Vietnam, where U.S. involvement began on a small scale in the 1950s, nearly 54,000 U.S. troops had been killed by the end of 1970.


A majority of Americans began calling the war a mistake after the Tet offensive in 1968 — three years after the major build-up of U.S. troops there. By 1970, the Nixon administration had taken steps to reduce U.S. troop levels and casualty rates.


But the U.S. invasion of Cambodia in April 1970 created a firestorm. In May, four anti-war protesters were shot and killed by Ohio National Guard troops at Kent State University.


That furor prompted the first major challenge by Congress to President Nixon's leadership on the war.


In the Senate, Democrats proposed the Cooper-Church amendment, the first measure to limit presidential powers during wartime. It barred U.S. combat operations in Cambodia and Laos. After months of debate, it finally was passed in December.


"That's a pretty pivotal period in the war," Herring says.


Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., a member of the Foreign Relations Committee and a Vietnam veteran, said Tuesday's action in the Senate would be seen as a watershed in this war.


"People will look back on this day and say it was a turning point," Hagel told reporters after a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations — the point when Congress began to pressure the administration to lay out its exit strategy for Iraq.


Meanwhile, in Britain, the chief U.S. ally in Iraq, government leaders began suggesting this week that British troops might begin leaving Iraq next year.


British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who has been targeted by anti-war protesters himself, said on Monday that it was "entirely reasonable" to "talk about the possibility" that British troops could begin leaving Iraq by the end of 2006.


That discussion, he added, "has got to be always conditioned by the fact that we withdraw when the job is done."


Contributing: Oren Dorell, Dave Moniz, Barbara Slavin, Andrea Stone, wire reports


check out this USA today poll on Iraq/Vietnam






pedifile cop who violate their probation get special treatment from the court system




Nov 17, 3:30 AM EST


Ex-cop who's a registered sex offender can remain on probation


TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- A judge has ruled that a retired Tucson police officer who is now a registered sex offender will be allowed to remain on probation despite violating it.


Authorities said Charles Kenneth Walter, a 21-year police veteran, was arrested in December 2003 after using the Internet to set up a sexual encounter with an undercover officer he believed to be an underage girl.


Walter, who later retired from the force, was placed on probation and ordered to get counseling and register as a sex offender.


On Monday, Pima County Superior Court Judge Howard Fell held a probation violation hearing at the request of Walter's probation officer.


Fell was told Walter violated the terms of his probation by going places that weren't on his pre-approved weekly schedule, having stuffed animals in his car, socializing with someone else on probation and having contact with children.


Walter, who now works at a tow yard, denied some of the allegations.


On Wednesday, Fell placed Walter back on probation but told him that he will not have contact with minors under any circumstances and he will not stray from his schedule without prior permission.






The Bird


Torturous Times


The winged wonder on John McCain's righteous anti-torture stance, Stepford-like Gilbert and changes at hipster haven Lux

From the beak of The Bird to the ear of Robrt L. Pela


Published: Thursday, November 17, 2005




What's Eating Gilbert, AZ?


The city of Gilbert must be covered in money. Otherwise, how can it afford to go after a guy who's committed the sin of growing a vegetable garden in his front yard? That is, how can the city's public servants have time to harass some old hippie about a few cornstalks, etc., he's raised up on his own damn property?!


Shucks. The Bird thought growing-your-own was a tradition on the outskirts of Phoenix. Yet the folks in this Stepford-like East Valley city are doing what they can to protect the beauty of their putting greens, patios and swimming pools from the icky ecosystem of Gilbert's Daniel Lee Thompson -- whose front-yard garden is a mass of romaine, Swiss chard and towering turnip greens.


The 57-year-old Thompson's an advocate of "sustainable farming methods," which really just means he's ripped out his suburban lawn and replaced it with a vegetable garden. But rather than eat some of his rutabagas, Thompson's ultra-anal neighbors are organizing to get a city code changed that right now allows non-homeowner-association residents to do what they please with their own property. The nerve!


Their complaints to Gilbert officials have been heard by Town Council member Dave Crozier, who roused himself from his Barcalounger long enough to ask the city attorney to rule that Thompson's garden is a code violation. This failed, so Crozier's now looking into changing the ordinance that allows people to grow stuff on their own land.


Crozier's gotten a lot of heat over the whole mess.


"People are calling and saying, 'Are you anti-garden?'" Crozier confided to The Bird. "But this just doesn't look like any garden I've ever seen before. It looks like a lost Mayan temple in the jungle. There's vegetation overgrowing the whole house. There's insects, and a lot of bad smells, and a dead pine tree that [Thompson] said was a shrine to his Christmas tree from last year. Whatever this is, it's not your normal garden."


Aha! Now we're getting somewhere.


Dan Thompson's garden isn't normal, which in Gilbert is the darkest sin imaginable. Want to live in a pink stucco prefab tract home, attend church every Sunday and join the PTA? Gilbert will embrace you. Want to devote your life to raising half a dozen kids, and drive an SUV? The citizens of Gilbert will genuflect at the mention of your name. But don't even think about wearing tie-dye, or growing a garden in your front yard.


Unless you want your neighbors to rat you out to the cops and sic the Town Council on you.


The fine citizens of Gilbert, according to Crozier, aren't allowed to have weeds taller than 10 inches growing in their yards, but crafty Dan Thompson got around that by only growing plants he can eat. None of which smelled, by the way, when The Bird flew over.


Like every single eco-nerd The Bird's ever spoken with, Thompson can blather endlessly about stuff like hydro-mining and losing the rain forests and the magic of mulch.


"The state of Arizona doesn't have enough oxygen-producing plants to support its own mammalian population -- which is us!" Thompson said. "We should be reforesting as fast as possible, not trying to stamp out some guy's front-yard garden."


More interesting to The Bird than any of this front-yard-garden stuff is the fact that Thompson's writing a book about his experience. The Bird knows: Who isn't writing a book these days? But Thompson's book is called Kootznawoo, which its author swears means "fortress of the bear."


One thing's for sure, kootznawoo's a fun word to say. After The Bird had said it about 30 times, it asked Thompson what he thought Dave Crozier had against his vegetables.


"Dunno," Thompson snickered. "But I do know that my neighbors all have these anally retentive yards, all straight and neat and poisoned with Roundup, which is really just the same fucking thing as Agent Orange with a little flavor change. And all I know is, Gilbert can't touch me. So I'll just keep planting."


You go, Dan! Because you may be a nut-box, but you're a nut-box within your rights. Just don't forget to drop The Bird some extra seeds.








Priest convicted on sex abuse, faces 100-plus years in prison


Jim Walsh

The Arizona Republic

Nov. 17, 2005 01:15 PM


A jury Thursday found a Catholic priest guilty on six counts in the sexual abuse of boys when he was stationed in the West Valley after a trial that included powerful testimony from four Indiana men who said that they, too, were victimized by him.


The Rev. Paul LeBrun, 49, was found guilty after three weeks of testimony in a Mesa courtroom. LeBrun, awaiting trial in the Maricopa County Jail since 2003, was the first priest to be judged on sexual charges by a Valley jury since the Catholic sex scandal broke nearly four years ago. Other cases ended in plea bargains or, in two cases, the accused fled to other countries and have not been extradited.


LeBrun, who could face more than 100 years in prison, has been stripped of his priestly duties, but has not been defrocked. He stood trial on eight counts of sexual conduct with a minor and five counts of child molestation. Jurors deadlocked on five counts and acquitted LeBrun on a sixth; one other count was dropped.


Prosecutors Suzanne Cohen said in closing arguments that he preyed on vulnerable young boys whose parents were abusive, divorced or abandoned by their fathers in Arizona and Indiana.


"He was basically a wolf in sheep's clothing," Cohen said. "Everything he did was to get close to these little boys. Everything he did was to abuse these little boys."


But defense attorney Ken Hulls said the accusers didn't step forward for decades and are motivated by greed.


Hulls said four accusers, at least three of whom have felony records, have filed civil suits, and that one offered one of LeBrun's cellmates a $500,000 bribe to falsely testify that LeBrun confessed to the molestations.


The cellmate, Larry Ponte refused the bribe and testified instead as LeBrun's only witness, saying that the victim hoped to make millions after he was "supposedly molested" by LeBrun.


LeBrun iwas accused of abusing West Valley boys ranging from 11 to 16 from 1986 to 1991 at St. John Vianney Church in Avondale and Blessed Sacrament Church in Tolleson.


Four Indiana victims ranging from 9 to 13, were abused between 1979 and 1986.


LeBrun cannot be tried for the crimes committed in Indiana because the statue of limitations has expired.


But Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Crane McClennen allowed their testimony in Mesa. He ruled that jurors could use the evidence to determine if LeBrun has" a character trait that predisposes him to commit the crimes charged."




senate votes to give $57.9 BILLION to make amerika a bigger better police state!!!!




Senate OKs more money for FBI, slices aid to local officers


Jim Abrams

Associated Press

Nov. 17, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - The FBI and other federal crime-fighting agencies came out well in a $57.9 billion spending bill the Senate passed Wednesday, but funds for state and local law enforcement were cut.


The 94-5 Senate vote sent the bill, which covers Justice, Commerce, State Department and science agency programs, to President Bush for his signature.


House and Senate negotiators, meanwhile, were wrapping up work on a $140 billion spending bill for Transportation, Treasury and Housing programs after the Senate agreed to remove a provision that would have eased restrictions on agriculture trade to Cuba.


"They just caved in to the president's demands, and the American farmers will pay the price," said Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., who has opposed tightening trade sanctions on Fidel Castro's government.


The Justice-Commerce bill for fiscal 2006 that began Oct. 1 would provide $5.8 billion for the FBI, $1.7 billion for the Drug Enforcement Administration and $924 million for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, all up from fiscal 2005.


But the $2.7 billion in aid for state and local law enforcement was down $300 million from last year.


Edward Byrne Justice Assistance grants were down from $606 million to $416 million. Community Oriented Policing Services, or COPS, a favorite Clinton administration program, got $478 million, down from $598 million, with no money for new hiring.


"This is a big victory for drug dealers," said Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.


The Transportation-Treasury bill, which calls for about $1.3 billion for Amtrak, was delayed last week over provisions in the House and Senate bills that would rescind Treasury Department rules making it more difficult to export food products to Cuba.


House negotiators, seeking to avoid what would be the first veto of the Bush presidency, resolved to eliminate the provision, but the Senate initially insisted that it stay in the bill.


The Justice-Commerce bill is the seventh spending bill Congress has sent to Bush as it rushes to finish domestic budgets by Thanksgiving. Congress must act on 11 spending bills that determine funding for about one-third of the federal budget.


Stopgap funding expires Friday, and the House is expected to pass a second temporary funding bill today to keep open agencies whose budgets have not passed. That measure would extend through Dec. 17.


Republican leaders met Wednesday to discuss the fate of the Pentagon spending bill.


In the past, Congress has taken pains to pass that measure by the Oct. 1 start of the fiscal year.


But it has been held back this year as lawmakers wrangle over a provision by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., to tighten laws against torturing prisoners of war.




declassified documents show that Nixon lied to the public about the war in Cambodia too




Documents show Nixon deception on war in Cambodia


Cal Woodward

Associated Press

Nov. 17, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - Even after Richard Nixon's secret war in Cambodia became known, the president persisted in deception. "Publicly, we say one thing," he told aides. "Actually, we do another."


Newly declassified documents from the Nixon years shed light on the Vietnam War, the struggle with the Soviet Union for global influence and a president who tried not to let public and congressional opinion get in his way.


They also show an administration determined to win re-election in 1972, with Nixon aides seeking ways to use Jimmy Hoffa to tap into the labor movement. The former Teamsters president had been pardoned by Nixon in 1971.


The release Wednesday of about 50,000 pages by the National Archives means about half of the national security files from the Nixon era now are public.


On May 31, 1970, a month after Nixon went on TV to defend the previously secret U.S. bombings and troop movements in Cambodia, asserting that he would not let his nation become "a pitiful, helpless giant," the president met with his top military and national security aides at the Western White House in San Clemente, Calif.


Revelation of the operation had sparked protests and congressional action against what many lawmakers from both parties considered an illegal war. Nixon noted that Americans believed the Cambodian operation was "all but over," even as 14,000 troops were engaged across the border in a hunt for North Vietnamese operating there.


In a memo from the meeting marked "Eyes Only, Top Secret Sensitive," Nixon told his military men to continue doing what was necessary in Cambodia but to say for public consumption that the United States was merely providing support to South Vietnamese forces when necessary to protect U.S. troops.


"That is what we will say publicly," he asserted. "But now, let's talk about what we will actually do."


He instructed: "I want you to put the air in there and not spare the horses. Do not withdraw for domestic reasons but only for military reasons."


"We have taken all the heat on this one." He went on: "Just do it. Don't come back and ask permission each time."


The military chiefs, more than their civilian bosses, expressed worry about how the war was going. "If the enemy is allowed to recover this time, we are through," said Adm. Thomas H. Moorer, the naval operations chief who two months later would become chairman of the Joint Chiefs.


Nixon told his aides to plan offensive operations in neutral Laos, continue U.S. air operations in Cambodia and work on a summer offensive in South Vietnam. "We cannot sit here and let the enemy believe that Cambodia is our last gasp."


The papers also are thick with minute aspects of Vietnam warmaking and diplomacy. They show growing worries about the ability of the South Vietnamese government years before it fell.


The papers also show concern that superpower rivalry would take a dangerous turn if events in the Middle East got out of hand. Israel's secretive nuclear program quietly alarmed Washington.


One U.S. official, reporting to Secretary of State William Rogers in 1969, said Israel's public and private assurances that it would not introduce nuclear weapons to the Middle East could not be believed.


The memo by Undersecretary Joseph Sisco said U.S. intelligence believed "Israel is rapidly developing a capability to produce and deploy nuclear weapons," and this could spark a Middle East nuclear arms race drawing Arab nations under a Soviet "nuclear umbrella."


Sisco's memo foresaw a chain of troubles if Israel could not be restrained.


"Israel's possession of nuclear weapons would do nothing to deter Arab guerrilla warfare or reduce Arab irrationality; on the contrary it would add a dangerous new element to Arab-Israeli hostility with added risk of confrontation between the U.S. and U.S.S.R," Sisco said.


To this day, Israel officially neither confirms nor denies its nuclear status, and the size of its stockpile is uncertain.




hmmmm..... does this mean people that drink raw milk will soon be jailed like people who smoke marijuana???




Laws unable to cow raw-milk fans

FDA says beverage is dangerous to drink


Cary Aspinwall and Lisa Nicita

The Arizona Republic

Nov. 17, 2005 12:00 AM


Fans of organic raw milk are going to extremes to get their fix.


Months after the state's only raw organic dairy was shut down, black-market buyer groups have emerged, drophouses are cropping up, and FedEx is making special deliveries to the Valley from California.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has long refused to budge from its stance that raw milk is dangerous, possibly carrying high levels of potentially deadly pathogens such as salmonella and E. coli. State dairy regulators, also concerned about the health risks, enforce strict rules on raw-milk producers and sellers and are cracking down on illegal practices.


Still, consumer demand is brisk. Nationally and in Arizona, people are breaking the law to get their hands on raw organic milk, claiming it is superior in health and taste to the pasteurized, homogenized milk found on the supermarket shelf. They swear it tastes like melted vanilla ice cream.


"It's like heroin right now," said Tony Spaltro, a night manager at Gentle Strength Co-Op in Tempe, one of the few places Arizona consumers can purchase raw milk.


State raises barriers

It's legal to sell raw milk or raw organic milk in Arizona with a state permit, according to Dart Easterday, an administrator who oversees dairy licensing for the Arizona Department of Agriculture.


The milk must be certified Grade A raw milk, and it is required to meet the same health standards as pasteurized milk. But to be sold in Arizona legally, raw milk must be produced and bottled in the state. The vast majority of Arizona's dairy farmers are members of the United Dairymen of Arizona, which oversees its members' milk sales and does not allow the sale of raw milk to consumers.


Arizona currently only has one legal raw-milk producer, Meadowayne, which is in Colorado City on Arizona's northwestern line with Utah. It is not a member of the Dairymen.


Meadowayne raw milk, which is not organic, is sold at Tempe's Gentle Strength Co-Op for $9.49 a gallon. There is no organic raw milk now legally available in Arizona for sale for human consumption.


With both raw and raw organic milk, there is nothing done to the milk between the time it leaves the cow and the time it is sealed into a bottle. However, with raw organic milk, the cows are not given hormones and they get a special organic feed, which supporters say makes for healthier milk.


Hoping for health cure

Diehards passionate about organic raw milk's health benefits are willing to break the law and pay up to $15 a gallon for it. Some ship it in, others fill their cars with coolers and head to California to stock up at Organic Pastures, the only retail-approved raw organic dairy in the United States.


Injy Tawa, 43, of Scottsdale, is a black-market buyer. She orders Organic Pastures milk through an underground group of devotees in hopes that a raw diet will help rid her body of breast cancer.


After being diagnosed with a malignant tumor, Tawa skipped the traditional route of chemotherapy and radiation in favor of an all-raw diet. And she said she feels great.


"They wanted to pump me full of poison and cut my breast off," Tawa said. "I've got cancer, but I'm not going to die for it. There are people out there who have cured their own cancer this way."


Mark McAfee owns Organic Pastures. It's a $4 million company, he said, complete with its own landing strip for parched milk hunters on the move.


"It's a reality that people have had their taste of raw milk and they want it," McAfee said.


Organic Pastures began making illegal weekly deliveries to black-market buyers clubs in Arizona after the United Dairymen of Arizona shut down Crème de la Moo, the state's only raw organic dairy, in March for selling raw milk to consumers. "The dairy industry doesn't really have us on their radar screen right now," McAfee said.


Risky choice to sip

Spaltro, Gentle Strength's night manager, tried raw milk after his customers recommended it. He researched its heralded health benefits and was sold.


"A lot of the good enzymes are destroyed in pasteurization," he said. "And I like the way it tastes. It tastes better."


Raw-milk fans credit the beverage as the cure for everything from allergies and asthma to eczema and cancer. However, Mesa physician Gary Knighton doesn't think raw milk is a good idea.


"If you don't go through pasteurization, it really puts you at risk for disease," Knighton said. "If somebody wanted to go organic, that's great, but you can't put yourself at risk. People are trying to make (raw milk) this year's snake oil."


Not 'worth the risk'

Keith Murfield, chief executive of the United Dairymen of Arizona, said individuals have the right to choose to drink raw milk, but his organization has the right not to sell it.


"I just don't see that it's worth the risk to sell raw milk," Murfield said.


Dairy products can be guaranteed to be safe only if they are pasteurized, he said.


According to the FDA, 300 people got sick from eating or drinking raw-milk products in the United States in 2001, and 200 became ill in 2002.


Crème de la Moo, owned by Judi Dawn von Schleifer, bottled raw organic milk in Queen Creek and distributed it to stores like Sprouts for about three weeks before being shut down. Farmer Phil Roberts, a then-member of the United Dairymen of Arizona, provided the milk to Crème de la Moo.


Roberts, 42, said he thinks the old-school mentality among Dairymen board members has spread unwarranted fear of health risks. He said he thinks old-timers may have been jealous that he could sell his milk for $10 a gallon.


"A lot of them really didn't like the fact that I did it, because they thought organic milk made their milk look bad," Roberts said.


Dealers denied

The challenges of getting raw milk to consumers legally have soured Sprouts on carrying it at all.


"We've given up on raw milk," said Steve Fernandes, director of dairy, deli and bakery for the Valley's 10 Sprouts locations. "It seems like there's always some kind of problem."


If it isn't distributing issues or labeling problems, it's the cost. Suppliers are here one day and gone the next, making the industry too unstable in invest in, Fernandes said.


Gentle Strength Co-op orders at least 20 gallons and 12 half-gallons of raw milk a week from Colorado City's Meadowayne. When it runs out, it's the most requested item in the store, said Noah Johnson-Greenough, a buyer for the store.


Gentle Strength would like to sell raw organic milk, but the Department of Agriculture would allow it to sell Organic Pastures milk only if it dyed it blue and labeled it, "For pet consumption only."


Shoppers snatched up shelves of Crème de la Moo's organic raw milk products before the Dairymen shut them down, Johnson-Greenough said.


"It's really unfortunate that the Dairymen were being (so stubborn)," he said.


Murfield says the Dairymen never agreed to allow any of its members, including Phil Roberts, to sell raw milk as a consumer product. It happened for a few weeks because of confusion about the rules, he said.


"We just don't want the liability," he said.


But he admitted that he was surprised by the strong reactions of raw-milk drinkers after the Dairymen shut down Crème de la Moo. There were lots of nasty letters and name calling, he said.


"We didn't mean to make this a big turmoil," he said. "If people want to do it, they should buy their own cow."


Udderly illegal

But in some cases, that's not legal, either.


Tucson farmer Shelby Brawley had profits in mind when she started a cow-share program.


Brawley and a group of Tucson residents who wanted raw milk set it up, each chipping in $50 bucks to buy one $1,000 cow, and taking home as much raw milk as they wanted.


She had read about cow-share programs in other states and thought it was legal in Arizona.


But it isn't.


"The state will tell you it is legal to sell raw in Arizona, provided you are a Grade A, state-certified dairy," she said.


"But then it is almost impossible, especially for a small farmer with a couple of cows or goats, to comply and jump through enough hoops to actually do it."


Easterday said the Department of Agriculture has shut down three cow-share programs throughout the state in the past 10 months.


'Changed their life'

Despite the strict regulations, Arizona organic raw milk lovers could soon be relieved of resorting to sneaky milk meetings and stealthy distribution. Local organic raw milk is expected to be back in action soon.


No longer dairy farming, Roberts said he plans to restart his organic operation once his no-compete member agreement with the Dairymen expires in early 2008.


"There's a whole group of people out there who really believe raw milk has changed their life," he said.


Crème de la Moo has plans to get going again in the near future.


But owner Judi Dawn von Schleifer did not want to publicize details given what happened with the Dairymen last time.


'Huge response'

Despite the "huge response" her milk received during its brief shelf life, von Schleifer fears that the Dairymen will put a stop to her plans if too much attention is brought to them.


"It's only going to stir up trouble magnifying the problem, making us a target and preventing us from getting an organic raw-dairy operation up and going again," she said in an e-mail.




the puppet sunni government, like george w bush pretends to be enraged by torture




Sunnis enraged by torture

Discovery widens Iraq's sectarian split


New York Times

Nov. 17, 2005 12:00 AM


BAGHDAD - As Iraqi investigators began searching through a secret underground prison run by the police in the capital, Sunni Arab leaders furiously denounced the Shiite-led government on Wednesday, saying it supported the torture of Sunni detainees there and calling for an international inquiry.


The discovery of the prison by the U.S. military in a raid on Sunday has galvanized Sunni Arab anger and widened the country's sectarian divide just a month before elections for a full, four-year government.


The U.S. general responsible for securing Baghdad said that Sunni Arab leaders were supportive of the operation, which ended Wednesday. The commander, Maj. Gen. William Webster Jr. of the 3rd Infantry Division, said that U.S. officers will help scrutinize the evidence seized from the prison and that his troops are prepared to investigate other complaints of secret detentions by Iraqi security forces.


Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, a Shiite, announced Tuesday that the government will investigate accusations of torture at the detention center, where many of the 173 prisoners were found in weakened, malnourished states.




smoke and mirrors 101 - US congress style - make embarrassing pork disappear by renaming it




2 bridges in Alaska removed from bill


Carl Hulse

New York Times

Nov. 17, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - Congressional Republicans decided Wednesday to legislatively raze two Alaskan bridge projects that had demolished the party's reputation for fiscal austerity.


Straining to show new dedication to lower spending, House and Senate negotiators took the rare step of eliminating a requirement that $442 million be spent to build the two bridges, spans that became cemented in the national consciousness as "bridges to nowhere" because of the remote territory and small populations involved.


The change is not going to save the federal government any money. Instead, the $442 million will be turned over to the state with no strings attached, allowing lawmakers and the governor there to parcel it out for transportation projects as they see fit - including the bridges, should they so choose.


Lawmakers said widespread news coverage had turned the bridges near Ketchikan and Anchorage into symbols of congressional excess.


"You can't defend it," said Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., one of the conservatives who has been trying to kill not just the bridge project but also the almost 6,000 other pet projects in the $286 billion highway bill approved earlier this year.


Flake said outrage over the spending was complicating Republican efforts to advance $50 billion in spending cuts over five years, with lawmakers anxious about cuts to Medicaid and food stamps saying it was hard to back those proposals if the bridges got money.




dont think of it as "This is the way we do things in Chicago" - think of it as "This is the way we do things in America"




Witness: Governor demanded donation


Mike Robinson

Associated Press

Nov. 17, 2005 12:00 AM


CHICAGO - A political consultant testified at former Gov. George Ryan's corruption trial Thursday that while Ryan was endorsing Sen. Phil Gramm for the GOP presidential nomination in 1995, Ryan's aides were quietly pressing the Texas senator's campaign for $103,000 in consulting fees.


"This is the way we do things in Chicago," campaign consultant John Weaver quoted Ryan's chief of staff, Scott Fawell, as saying.


Prosecutors say the Gramm campaign paid about $32,000 in such fees to Fawell, another Ryan aide and Ryan's daughters through a management consulting company.


At the time, Weaver was the national field director for the Gramm campaign, and Ryan was Illinois secretary of state. Ryan was elected governor in 1998.


Ryan, 71, is on trial on racketeering and fraud charges, accused of taking cash and gifts from insiders when he was secretary of state during the 1990s.


According to prosecutors, Ryan told FBI agents that Gramm aides came up with the plan to pay consulting fees to Ryan's organization. But Weaver denied that.


Gramm eventually lost the GOP presidential nomination to Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas.


The case against Ryan grew out of an investigation into the paying of bribes for driver's licenses.


Seventy-nine people have been charged, with 73 convicted.






Posted on Tue, Nov. 15, 2005


Defense lawyers to challenge breath tests in drunk-driving cases


Associated Press


OMAHA, Neb. - Some Nebraska defense attorneys are taking a cue from their counterparts in Florida who have gotten hundreds of drunken-driving cases dropped by demanding the manufacturers of breath tests show how the machines work.


If the information is not provided, defense attorneys ask judges to disallow the test results as evidence in drunken-driving cases.


Attorneys in Seminole County, Fla., have used the tactic to get hundreds of cases dropped in the last year.


"This machine has been treated as if it's the machine behind the Wizard of Oz's curtains," said Omaha defense attorney Steve Lefler. "We ought to be able to ensure that it's accurate."


On Thursday, Lefler will ask a Douglas County judge to throw out breath-test results in two cases.


Omaha City Prosecutor Marty Conboy said the test's accuracy is tested and ensured by the Nebraska Health and Human Services, which licenses the machines.


Conboy has been a part of thousands of drunken-driving prosecutions that involved the use of breath tests. He said he has no doubts about their accuracy.


"I have confidence that in every single one of those cases, the person was guilty," he said.


The breath tests are like computers, Lefler said, in that they are bound to have glitches.


Two Douglas County judges have asked prosecutors to provide the operation information, including the computer code that makes them work, or explain why they can't. Prosecutors say they don't have the information because it is owned by the machines' manufacturers.


Asking for the tests to be scrutinized in such a manner is imprudent and impractical, Conboy said.


"You get a judge to make this kind of a decision, it's like lighting gasoline on fire," he said.


The stakes are high and people on both sides believe the case will eventually go to the state Supreme Court.


In 2004, about 14,000 Nebraska drivers - including about 5,000 in Douglas County - were arrested for drunken driving, with breath tests being used in a majority of the cases.


Defense attorneys James Schaefer and Glenn Shapiro plan to ask for test operation information in 30 upcoming cases.


"If those machines have real problems and (the maker) has been hiding it from us," Shapiro said, "then it's our duty to blow the whistle on this."


Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com




government rulers DESERVE membership in an elite country club and gym!


Posted on Tue, Nov. 15, 2005


Gym memberships, country club meals get criticism in Westar rate review


Associated Press


TOPEKA, Kan. - Regulators and consumer advocates are objecting to Westar Energy Inc.'s inclusion of country club meals and fitness club memberships among expenses the utility is seeking to recover with its proposed $84 million rate increase.


The questioned expenses amount to only $17,540 among a mountain of filings by Westar to support higher electric bills. But both sides are remaining steadfast.


Westar spokesman Jim Ludwig says the company should be reimbursed because the expenses - $8,150 in gym memberships and $9,390 in spending at the Topeka Country Club - are part of the cost of doing business. He said meals at the country club were incurred while conducting business, and the fitness dues may lead to reduced health care costs for the company.


The Kansas Corporation Commission, which regulates utilities, and the Citizens' Utility Ratepayer Board, which represents customers, disagree.


"You have enough of those smaller adjustments and they add up," said Susan Cunningham, general counsel for the KCC. "We feel like those types of activities benefit the company but not necessarily all of its ratepayers."


Westar's rate request would increase bills 9 percent, an average of $5.28 monthly for residential customers, for 352,000 homes in its northern region, which includes Lawrence, Atchison, Emporia, Leavenworth, Manhattan, Olathe, Salina, Topeka, Hutchinson and Parsons.


Some 303,000 customers in southern Kansas, including Arkansas City, El Dorado, Fort Scott, Independence, Newton, Pittsburg and Wichita, would see a 6 percent increase under the proposal, amounting to about $4.58 monthly.


Westar is asking for the increase to cover rising costs for fuel, transmission and compliance with environmental rules. The three-member KCC has until Dec. 28 to issue a decision.






Defiant vet stands fast in criticism of Iraq war


Wire services

Nov. 18, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - The imposing veteran of two wars and one of Congress' most hawkish and influential Democrats gripped the edges of the lectern.


Rep. John Murtha's voice cracked and tears filled his eyes as he told of his visits with wounded U.S. troops and called for the immediate withdrawal of their comrades in Iraq.


One man was blinded and lost both his hands but had been denied a Purple Heart because friendly fire caused the injuries.


"I met with the commandant. I said, 'If you don't give him a Purple Heart, I'll give him one of mine.' And they gave him a Purple Heart," said Murtha, who has two.


Three years after he voted for the war, Murtha said the well-being of U.S. troops prompted him to advocate withdrawal. "It's time to bring them home," he said. "Our military has accomplished its mission and done its duty."


The comments by the Pennsylvania lawmaker, who has spent three decades in the House after serving in the Korean War and Vietnam, hold particular weight because he is close to many military commanders and has enormous credibility with his colleagues on defense issues.


He is the top Democrat on the House Appropriations defense subcommittee.


In a biting response, Republicans criticized Murtha's position as one of abandonment and surrender and accused Democrats of playing politics with the war and recklessly pushing a "cut and run" strategy.


"They want us to retreat. They want us to wave the white flag of surrender to the terrorists of the world," said House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill.


Added Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif., "It would be an absolute mistake and a real insult to the lives that have been lost."


Murtha, whose brand of hawkishness has never been qualified by the word "chicken," was expecting the attacks.


"I like guys who've never been there to criticize us who've been there. I like that." Referring to Vice President Dick Cheney, he continued, "I like guys who got five deferments and never been there and send people to war and then don't like to hear suggestions about what needs to be done."


The White House fired back from Busan, South Korea, where President Bush was meeting with Asian leaders.


"Congressman Murtha is a respected veteran and politician who has a record of supporting a strong America," White House press secretary Scott McClellan said. "So it is baffling that he is endorsing the policy positions of Michael Moore and the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic Party."






Dems fire latest shot in war over war in Iraq

Vet's call for exit riles White House


Wire services

Nov. 18, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - Congress is at war over the war in Iraq.


The partisan furor over the Iraq war ratcheted up sharply on Capitol Hill on Thursday, as an influential House Democrat on military affairs called for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops and Republicans escalated their attacks against the Bush administration's critics.


Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania, a Vietnam combat veteran who voted for the Iraq war and has grown increasingly frustrated with the administration's post-invasion handling of the protracted battles against insurgents, said that the conflict has become a "flawed policy wrapped in an illusion" and that the 153,000 American troops in Iraq should be pulled out within six months.


One senior GOP strategist said the White House intends to respond to Democratic calls for an exit from Iraq with even greater intensity.


"We are going to fire back, and we are going to keep firing back," said the strategist, who asked not to be identified while discussing White House planning. "We have a pretty big bully pulpit. ... The days of passivity are over, and the days of a free ride for the Democrats in attacking the credibility of the president are over."


Speaking to reporters traveling with President Bush in Asia, White House counselor Dan Bartlett charged that Democrats had crossed a "red line" by accusing Bush of deliberate deception in making the case for war. Bartlett said the White House plans a "sustained" response.


Longtime war critics were encouraged by the signs of a stiffened Democratic challenge to Bush on Iraq, such as the new position taken by the hawkish Murtha, the ranking Democrat on the House Defense Appropriations subcommittee.


"It looks to me like Democrats are getting on offense with regard to Iraq, and I am hopeful that they are going to stay on offense," said Eli Pariser, executive director of the political action committee associated with MoveOn.org, an online liberal advocacy group.


On both sides, the renewed hostilities are honing arguments that could reverberate through the 2006 midterm elections and into the 2008 presidential race.


Polls indicating continued declines in public support for the war and growing doubts about Bush's trustworthiness have fueled the resurgent debate over Iraq.


In a CNN/USA Today/Gallup survey released this week, 60 percent of Americans said the war has not been worth the costs, the highest figure the poll has recorded for this view.


In an ABC/Washington Post survey released earlier this month, 55 percent said they believed Bush "intentionally misled the American public" in making his case for war, the worst showing for the president on that question.


Bush "is being squeezed from both sides," Democratic pollster Mark Mellman said. "On the side of the original decision, 'Did it make sense to go in the first place?' as well as on the endgame side of, 'What are we ever going to accomplish there?' "


The increasing vitriol was the latest sign of eroding support in Congress for the war and sharpening debate over the administration's use of prewar intelligence on Iraq's unconventional weapons to justify the American-led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein in 2003.


This week, leading Republicans joined Democrats in sending a subtle message to the White House of their growing impatience with the pace of the war by requiring periodic reports to Congress.


In a speech Wednesday night, Vice President Dick Cheney said senators who had suggested that the administration had manipulated the intelligence were making "one of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges ever aired in this city."


The administration's remarks drew a fiery response from senior congressional Democrats. "We need leadership from the White House, not more white-washing of the very serious issues confronting us in Iraq," said Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader.


Senate Republicans had joined Democrats in approving a plan to press the Bush administration to provide more public information about the course of the war in Iraq and to shift more responsibility for securing the country to the Iraqi government. Senators rejected a Democratic proposal to require the administration to set a timetable for a gradual withdrawal of troops.


New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune contributed to this article.






Designer shoes made for border-crossing

Designer's gifts help migrants find way


Elliot Spagat

Associated Press

Nov. 18, 2005 12:00 AM


SAN DIEGO - The high-top sneakers cost $215 at a San Diego boutique, but the designer is giving them away to migrants before they cross to this side of the U.S.-Mexican border.


These are no ordinary shoes.


A compass and flashlight dangle from one shoelace. The pocket in the tongue is for money or pain relievers. A rough map of the border region is printed on a removable insole.


They are red, white and green, the colors of the Mexican flag. On the back ankle, a drawing of Mexico's patron saint of migrants.


On this side of the border, the shoes sit in art collections or the closets of well-heeled sneaker connoisseurs. On the other side, in Tijuana, it's a utilitarian affair: Immigrants-to-be are happy to have the sturdy, lightweight shoes for the hike - or dash - into the United States.


Their designer is Judi Werthein, an Argentine artist who moved to New York in 1997 - legally, she notes.


One recent evening in Tijuana, after giving away 50 pairs at a migrant shelter, Werthein waved the insole and pointed to Interstate 8, the main road between San Diego and Phoenix.


"This blue line is where you want to go," Werthein, 38, said in Spanish.


"Good luck! You're all very courageous," she told the cheering crowd of about 50 men huddled in a recreation room after dinner.


"God bless you!" several cried back.


Werthein has concluded that shoes are a border crosser's most important garment.


"The main problem that people have when they're crossing is their feet," Werthein said. "If people are going to cross anyway, at least this will make it safer."


Only 1,000 pairs of the Brinco sneakers (it means "Jump" in Spanish) have been made, in China, for $17 each. The shoes were introduced in August at inSite, an art exhibition in San Diego and Tijuana whose sponsors include non-profit foundations and private collectors.


Benefactors put up $40,000 for the project; Werthein gets a $5,000 stipend, plus expenses.


Some say Werthein is encouraging illegal immigration, but she rejects the criticism, saying people will cross with or without her shoes.


Eloisa Haudenschild, who displays a pair of the sneakers at her resplendent San Diego home, said the shoes portray an uncomfortable reality about the perils of crossing the border.


"It's a reality that we don't like to look at," she said. "That's what an artist points out."


Across the border, several curious migrants waiting for sunset along a cement river basin approached Werthein as she took white shoe boxes out of a sport utility vehicle. One man already wore a dirty pair of Brincos. Another, Felipe de Jesus Olivar Canto, slipped into a size 11 and said he would use them instead of his black leather shoes.


"These are much more comfortable for hiking," Olivar Canto said. He said he was heading for $6.75-an-hour work installing doors and windows in Santa Ana, about 90 miles north of the border. "The ones I have are more dressy."


From there, Werthein went to Casa del Migrante, a Tijuana shelter that will receive a share of the proceeds from Brincos sold in the United States.


"Does it have a sensor to alert us to the Border Patrol?" joked Javier Lopez, 33, who said he had a $10-an-hour job hanging drywall waiting for him in Denver.


To research the best design over two years, Werthein interviewed shoe designers, migrants, aid workers, even an immigrant smuggler. She joined the Mexican government's Grupo Beta migrant-aid society on long border hikes. She heard from a Salvadoran woman in Tijuana who said she was kidnapped and raped by her smuggler.


Based on those interviews, she added a pocket: Migrants told her they were often robbed. She also added the flashlight: Many cross at night.


Some get lost; hence, the compass and map.


"If you get lost," she told the men at the shelter, "just go north."


In downtown San Diego, a boutique called Blends displays the shoes on a black pedestal. Werthein says Blends and Printed Matter, a store in Manhattan, have sold about 350 pair.


"I wouldn't wear them and I wouldn't want my husband to wear them," said Blends browser Antonieta LaRussa, 28. "But the cause is awesome. There's so much opposition to immigration. She's looking at it from the other side of the fence and asking why."




Even if you are a out of control dumb jock Mr. Nick Johnson I would like to thank you. The cop probably deserved it.




Former ASU player jailed in assault on cop

By Mike Branom, Tribune

November 18, 2005


Nick Johnson

A former Arizona State University football player was jailed early Friday on suspicion of punching a Tempe police sergeant in the face during a bar fight.


Nick Johnson, a defensive end during the 2002 and 2003 seasons, also hit a bouncer at ACME Roadhouse Bar before being subdued with a stun gun, police said. Arrested shortly after 2 a.m., he was booked on two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer and a count of misdemeanor assault.


Sgt. James Click suffered a broken nose and a fractured cheekbone, as well as being knocked unconscious. He is expected to undergo reconstructive surgery this weekend.


Johnson, 21, had a short stay with the Sun Devils due to discipline problems. The Chandler High School product brawled with a teammate in July 2003 and left the team after being suspended five games into his sophomore season.


In 19 games, Johnson recorded 24 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and six sacks.


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






Arizona Pet Resort hit with collect call charges from Maricopa County jail inmates

By Ed Gately, Tribune

November 18, 2005


On any given day, the telephone at Arizona Pet Resort in Tempe rings regularly with calls from current and new clients.


Related Links



But back in early October, the phone stopped ringing for a few days.


"We first noticed some phone problems on Oct. 7," said Dave Hocevar, Arizona Pet Resort’s co-owner. "I was at home and my staff alerted me that they weren’t receiving any incoming calls."


During the weeks ahead, Hocevar learned that his business had become the victim of a telephone scam in which Maricopa County jail inmates tapped into his business line and racked up more than 100 calls and more than $240 in collect call charges.


Hocevar included "call following" in his Qwest business telephone package, but hadn’t yet installed it with a personal identification number. This made the business vulnerable to the scam.


According to Qwest.com, call following "allows you to send your calls to any phone, from any location, so now your calls can follow you anywhere."


"We are concerned about the security of all of our customers, and are working closely with this customer to make sure the proper security measures are in place," said Michael Dunne, Qwest spokesman.


The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the scam and charges may be pending, said Sgt. Kip Rustenburg.


"We have some inmates that are players in it, but right now we’re not going to comment on it," she said. "I’ve been in contact with our manager for inmate telephone services and they have been aware of it for a bit."


Hocevar said his business didn’t lose any money because Qwest removed the charges.


"But I’ll bet it took seven or eight hours just to get this rectified," he said. "There was a little loss of productivity and just the angst of what the heck is going on?"




Arizona Pet Resort is a small animal hospital, pet boarding and grooming business that doesn’t stay open late and relies on telephone messaging for after-hours calls. This made it a potential target for this scam, Hocevar said.


The inmates called the business number, reached voice messaging and somehow through punching in a generic code, set up the call following service and redirected the business line to another phone, he said.


From there, the inmates could get a dial tone and make calls continuously to anywhere they want, he said.


Hocevar worked with Qwest to figure out why his business line wasn’t working, which eventually led to the theory that someone inside a Maricopa County jail had tapped into the phone line. In the meantime, he received his latest phone bill, which included more than $240 in collect call charges. "It’s a charge for $2.30 and there’s about four pages of these charges, like 112 of them," he said.


According to the bill, the origin of the calls was "CORFAC," meaning correctional facility. Qwest eventually told Hocevar there was a good possibility that a Maricopa County inmate had called the business’ number.


"So then I spent another hour and a half trying to get to the right person at Maricopa County jails . . . and when I finally got the person, I told him about my situation and he said ‘oh yeah, we show records of about 112 phone calls going to your location,’ " he said. "It was as if he was reading my phone bill. He knew exactly the times, the minutes. He said, ‘what happened is you got scammed.’ "




Exactly how the scam works remains a mystery. Dunne said he doesn’t know how the inmates do it, and Rustenburg said the sheriff’s office isn’t commenting. However, Rustenburg said inmates are only allowed to make collect calls, and no one is charged unless a collect call is accepted.


"It obviously had something to do with call following because when we changed the code on Oct. 9, everything stopped dead in its tracks," Hocevar said.


This scam also is not included among the many inmate telephone scam warnings on the Internet. "Qwest encourages all customers who order services that require a personal identification number to immediately personalize their PIN to protect from fraud," Dunn said. "That obviously stops this cold."


Contact Ed Gately by email, or phone (480) 898-6814






When it comes to war, ‘trust us’ not enough


November 18, 2005


The defense policy bill approved this week by the Senate is by no means a "vote of no confidence" in President Bush's conduct of the Iraq war, as some Democratic critics claimed. But it is hardly the "positive step" Bush said it was.


Instead, the GOP-led Senate is unmistakably beginning to put distance between itself and the White House on Iraq and is signaling that it plans a more active role in the conduct, both reflecting the unease the lawmakers feel with the direction of events.


The Senate rejected, and rightly so, a Democratic attempt to require the Bush administration to set "estimated dates" for withdrawal from Iraq. That would only give the insurgents a timetable for how long they have to hang on. The measure lost, 58-40, but it is a pretty good indicator of impatience with Bush's position that we'll stay in Iraq indefinitely if need be.


The Senate then voted, 79-19, to require the administration to give Congress progress reports on the war every 90 days. As Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says, Congress already gets thousands of reports on Iraq, but again, the Senate is indicating that it intends to be more aggressive in demanding an accounting of Iraq policy. To which one might add: Finally.


But perhaps more significant than the reports was the language of the resolution. It designated 2006 as "a period of significant transition to Iraqi sovereignty . . . thereby creating the conditions for the phased redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq." In other words, telling the president, "You've got one more year to show us you're getting this thing done."


The resolution is absent from the House version of the defense bill, and the House Republican leadership may succeed in getting the language killed from the final version. But even there rumblings of discontent with the war are getting louder, and the president can no longer count on lockstep Republican support on the war.




sure we can win the war on drug and stop the illegals from coming to the USA - just like we won the wars in vietnam and iraq




Tijuana-to-Otay Mesa tunnel sealed


Unfinished structure was found this week

By Anna Cearley


November 18, 2005


U.S. authorities used concrete yesterday to plug an incomplete cross-border tunnel that came within several feet of connecting to a storm drain.


On the Mexican side, the tunnel started underneath the border fence. It stretched about 90 feet north, about a quarter mile east of the Otay Mesa port of entry, U.S. authorities said.


The tunnel, which was large enough for a person to squeeze through, was dug about 3 feet underground, said Lauren Mack, spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. It was discovered Wednesday.


Cross-border tunnels typically are used to smuggle drugs or people into the United States.


Mack said the tunnel's entrance was covered by a wood plank in an area where large commercial trucks enter the United States. She said it was crudely constructed, and investigators found work tools inside and nearby.


"We got very fortunate because we got it in the nick of time before it could connect to the storm drain system," Mack said. "If it had connected to the drain system, it could have provided for a fairly simple maneuvering in and out of manholes and different exits on the U.S. side."


Mack said the tunnel discovery is part of an ongoing investigation involving U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Border Patrol, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.


Mexican authorities said the tunnel was found Wednesday afternoon in a joint effort involving U.S. and Mexican police agencies. No arrests have been made, Mack said, though U.S. authorities are working with their Mexican counterparts to determine who built the tunnel.


Since 2001, federal authorities have discovered at least 16 cross-border tunnels along the U.S.-Mexico border in California and Arizona, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement statistics.


Anna Cearley: (619) 542-4595; anna.cearley@uniontrib.com




Phoenix cops handcuff a dangerous 8 year old and force her to take drugs and attend class. Really Im not making this up!!!! The article doesn't say if the cops had to taser the dangerous 3rd grader.




Parents question restraint of girl, 8


Josh Kelley and Judi Villa

The Arizona Republic

Nov. 19, 2005 12:00 AM


She threw a temper tantrum. She ran into the street and was almost hit by a car. And she later reportedly kicked another student during an emotional outburst.


Authorities say that it was an 8-year-old girl's out-of-control behavior that led a Phoenix police officer and school staff members to handcuff her, restrain her feet and force her to take prescribed medication - all in front of a classroom full of third-graders.


That's the scenario parents and police painted Friday night at Lakeview Elementary, where Washington Elementary School District administrators held a meeting to address the concerns of about 100 parents, many of whom were enraged.


Early Tuesday, the girl's mother called police, saying she could not control her child. Phoenix police Officer William Buividas, 22, responded and handcuffed the girl with permission from her mother, police spokeswoman Sgt. Lauri Williams said.


Then the mother, escorted by Buividas, took her child to school near Peoria and 30th avenues in Phoenix, where students in the girl's third-grade class witnessed the handcuffing.


"She was handcuffed, and she was screaming," said Cole Buxbaum, 8, a third-grade classmate.


The children were later told by school staff members not to tell their parents, according to parents and their children.


Williams said Buividas, who has been an officer for more than a year, felt his actions were necessary to help the child and keep her from hurting herself. The Police Department is looking at whether he used excessive force.


"He was trying to act in the best interest of the child, to try to protect the child. I think we can all listen to this and know that doesn't sound like the right thing to do. It seems like poor judgment," Williams said. "That's something that we need to look into. But this is a very unique situation. We need to make sure we've got all the facts."


School's Principal Cherri Rifenburg and a school psychologist, Burke Bretzing, helped Buividas restrain the girl in her classroom. They have been placed on paid administrative leave. School officials acknowledged that Rifenburg and Bretzing forced the girl to take prescribed medication.


Phoenix police Cmdr. Tracy Montgomery told parents at Friday's meeting that police are "very concerned" but added that Buividas was trying to keep the child safe.


"We don't have a policy suggesting that or prohibiting that we handcuff children," Montgomery said. "We ask our officers to use common sense and . . . ensure first and foremost the safety of a child."


Bewildered parents questioned why the girl was allowed to come to school and then remain in a classroom where children were trying to learn.


"I wouldn't send her to school," said Jamie Bruntz, whose daughter attends Lakeview. "I definitely wouldn't have a cop bring her to school."


Cole's mother, Danielle, lashed out at the school administrators: "He was told not to tell anybody. Why was that? Why was my child told not to tell anybody?"


The school district's legal counsel, Rex Shumway, listened to parents' questions but offered few answers. He said the district is investigating the incident.






Ex-player arrested in attack on officer


Sarah Muench

The Arizona Republic

Nov. 19, 2005 12:00 AM


A former college football player was arrested early Friday after he attacked a Tempe police officer outside a bar, police said.


Nicholas Patrick Johnson, 21, who played defensive end at Arizona State, spun around Tempe police Sgt. James Click and punched him in the face, knocking him out and leaving Click's nose broken and cheek bone fractured, police said.


Click was hospitalized and is to undergo reconstructive surgery this weekend.


Tempe police Sgt. Dan Masters said Johnson "was a big guy" and knocked out the officer.


"We were fortunate that he didn't sustain more injuries when he fell," Masters said of Click.


At about 2 a.m., Click and several other officers were called to a fight at ACME Roadhouse Bar, 955 S. Rural Road in Tempe. While officers were attempting to break it up, Johnson knocked out Click, grabbed another officer and threw him to the ground and punched a bouncer in the face, police said.


Johnson, 6 feet 4 inches tall and 275 pounds, was not involved in the fight that police were breaking up, and Masters said police don't know what provoked him.


Police used a Taser on Johnson and arrested him on two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer and one count of misdemeanor assault.


Johnson is a Chandler High graduate. He was dismissed from ASU's football team for a rules violation in 2003 and no longer attends the university.


Click, who has been on the Tempe force for eight years, remains hospitalized. Masters said the department plans to help Click's family.




Ex-player arrested in attack on officer


Sarah Muench

The Arizona Republic

Nov. 19, 2005 12:00 AM


A former college and Chandler High football player was arrested early Friday after he attacked a Tempe police officer outside a bar, police said.


Nicholas Patrick Johnson, 21, who played defensive end at Arizona State, spun around Tempe police Sgt. James Click and punched him in the face, knocking him out and leaving Click's nose broken and cheek bone fractured, police said.


Click was hospitalized and is to undergo reconstructive surgery this weekend.


Tempe police Sgt. Dan Masters said Johnson "was a big guy" and knocked out the officer. "We were fortunate that he didn't sustain more injuries when he fell," Masters said of Click.


At about 2 a.m., Click and several other officers were called to a fight at ACME Roadhouse Bar, 955 S. Rural Road in Tempe. While officers were attempting to break it up, Johnson knocked out Click, grabbed another officer and threw him to the ground and punched a bouncer in the face, police said.


Johnson, 6 feet 4 and 275 pounds, was not involved in the fight that police were breaking up, and Masters said police don't know what provoked him.


Police used a Taser on Johnson and arrested him on two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer and one count of misdemeanor assault.


Johnson, who succeeded All-America defensive end and Hamilton High star Terrell Suggs at ASU, was dismissed from ASU's football team for a rules violation in 2003 and no longer attends the university.


Click, who has been on the Tempe force for eight years, remains hospitalized. Masters said the department plans to help Click's family.




Ex-player arrested in attack on officer


Sarah Muench

The Arizona Republic

Nov. 19, 2005 12:00 AM


A former college football player was arrested early Friday after he attacked a Tempe police officer outside a bar, police said.


Nicholas Patrick Johnson, 21, who played defensive end at Arizona State, spun around Tempe police Sgt. James Click and punched him in the face, knocking him out and leaving Click's nose broken and cheek bone fractured, police said.


Click was hospitalized and is to undergo reconstructive surgery this weekend.


Tempe police Sgt. Dan Masters said Johnson "was a big guy" and knocked out the officer.


"We were fortunate that he didn't sustain more injuries when he fell," Masters said of Click.


At about 2 a.m., Click and several other officers were called to a fight at ACME Roadhouse Bar, 955 S. Rural Road in Tempe. While officers were attempting to break it up, Johnson knocked out Click, grabbed another officer and threw him to the ground and punched a bouncer in the face, police said.


Johnson, 6 feet 4 inches tall and 275 pounds, was not involved in the fight that police were breaking up, and Masters said police don't know what provoked him.


Police used a Taser on Johnson and arrested him on two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer and one count of misdemeanor assault.


Johnson is a Chandler High graduate. He was dismissed from ASU's football team for a rules violation in 2003 and no longer attends the university.


Click, who has been on the Tempe force for eight years, remains hospitalized. Masters said the department plans to help Click's family.




racism is still alive and well in arizona




Ariz. sues builder in bias case


Max Jarman

The Arizona Republic

Nov. 19, 2005 12:00 AM


Arizona has sued a California home builder for reportedly discriminating against a Black couple at one of its northwest Valley communities.


The civil suit, brought by Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, asserts that William Lyon Homes Inc. refused to sell Henry and S. Marie Gates a home in a Surprise subdivision reputedly because they are Black.


The Newport Beach, Calif.-based company denies the claims but would not comment on the suit.


According to the complaint, the Gateses visited Lyon's Mountain Gate at Rancho Mountain Vistas community in Surprise on Feb 28 and expressed an interest in buying a home. They were told by sales agent Eileen Andrews that the community was sold out and no lots were available.


They could, however, be put on a waiting list for one of the model homes the developer intended to eventually sell.


The Gateses learned the next day that the builder had released additional lots on the day of their visit, a fact of which the agent was aware.


The Gateses lodged a compliant with the home builder, which later contacted the couple and offered to sell them one of the lots released on Feb. 28. But, they were told the price of the home they wanted had increased to $583,000, from the $518,00 they were quoted on Feb 28.


Instead of buying the house, the Gateses filed a discrimination complaint with the Attorney General's Office, which concluded, after an initial investigation, that there was reasonable cause to believe the couple had been discriminated against.


Virginia Gonzales, chief counsel for the civil-rights division of the Arizona Attorney General's Office, called the matter disappointing.


"You would think people would no longer deny other people services because of their race," Gonzales said.


Goddard charges the home builder with violating Arizona's Fair Housing Act and asks for up to $50,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.


The Arizona Civil Rights Act, which encompasses the Fair Housing Act, prohibits discrimination in housing based on a person's disability, race, color, religion, sex, familial status or national origin.


Since January 2004, the Attorney General's Office has filed 14 housing-discrimination suits. Two of those suits involved racial discrimination but not by a home builder.


Gonzales said the most cases involve discrimination against disabled people.


Reach the reporter at max .jarman@arizonarepublic.com.






Atheist sues to get 'In God we trust' off coins


David Kravets

Associated Press

Nov. 19, 2005 12:00 AM


SAN FRANCISCO - An atheist who has spent four years trying to ban the Pledge of Allegiance from being recited in public schools is now challenging the motto printed on U.S. currency because it refers to God.


Michael Newdow seeks to remove "In God we trust" from U.S. coins and dollar bills, claiming in a federal lawsuit filed Thursday that the motto is an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.


Newdow, a Sacramento doctor and lawyer, used a similar argument when he challenged the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools because it contains the words "under God."


He took his pledge fight to the U.S. Supreme Court, which in 2004 said he lacked standing to bring the case because he did not have custody of the daughter he sued on behalf of.


An identical lawsuit later brought by Newdow on behalf of parents with children in three Sacramento-area school districts is pending with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, after a Sacramento federal judge sided with Newdow in September. The judge stayed enforcement of the decision pending appeal, which is expected to reach the Supreme Court.


"The placement of 'In God we Trust' on the coins and currency was clearly done for religious purposes and to have religious effects," Newdow wrote in his lawsuit.


His latest lawsuit came five days after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected, without comment, a challenge to an inscription of "In God we trust" on a North Carolina county government building.


The justices upheld the Richmond, Va.-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that "In God we trust" is a U.S. motto.




hmmmmm..... and interesting priest. i wonder if he knows that god is make beleive?




Talk slated tonight by controversial Swiss priest

Cleric, Rome often at odds


Michael Clancy

The Arizona Republic

Nov. 19, 2005 12:00 AM


Hans Kung has been more interested in world peace for the past decade than in reforming the Roman Catholic Church.


But the controversy sparked by the Swiss priest's views on Catholic teachings has followed him all the way to Phoenix, where he will speak tonight.


Kung supports the idea of married priests and female priests, opposes the church's ban on birth control, does not believe the pope is infallible in his teachings, and argues that the church occupies no special place in the pantheon of religions. Each position opposes the stand taken by the Vatican.


He recently met with Pope Benedict XVI, his first official visit to the Vatican since his permission to teach Catholic theology was revoked in 1979. They agreed not to talk about Kung's disagreements with church leaders; instead, they discussed Kung's efforts to promote a global ethic based on the fundamentals of all religions.


But Phoenix Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, leader of the Phoenix Diocese's 500,000 Catholics, has refused to attend Kung's talk here, sponsored by a Jesuit alumni group and attended by local religious leaders from all faiths. He also refused the organizers permission to advertise the Kung talk in church bulletins or to hand out free tickets to Catholic high school seniors.


"He does not have faculties from the (Vatican) to teach as a Catholic theologian," explained Sister Jean Steffes, chancellor of the diocese. Such faculties, or permission, grant individuals the right to teach official Catholic theology.


Robert Blair Kaiser, leader of the Jesuit group, said that is an excuse. The real reason, he said, is that Kung and Olmsted hold opposing views on many issues.


Kung, the author of more than 50 books, leads the Foundation for Global Ethics in his hometown of Tubingen, Germany. The foundation works to identify the commonalities in all religions and proposes using them to foster peace.


"There will be no peace among nations without peace among the religions," he said in an interview."There can be no peace among the religions without dialogue.


"Without dialogue, we shoot each other."


In Phoenix, Kung, 78, will discuss the three Abrahamic religions: Christianity, Islam and Judaism. He will focus on what they hold in common, not their differences.


"The idea of global ethics is very simple," he said. "What we need are simple standards to avoid disorder and chaos. These standards are found in every religion." Basically, he said, the standards prohibit killing, stealing, lying and sexual abuse. "We need to treat every human being in a truly human way," he said. "This is the general heritage of mankind."


During his recent talk with Pope Benedict XVI, he said the new pope supported the idea of common ethical standards.


The visit with Benedict, an old friend from the faculty of the University of Tubingen, was Kung's first official visit to the Vatican since he parted ways with the church because of a book questioning the pope's infallibility, or freedom from error. Kung, a priest, said the change had little or no effect on his career. He continued to teach at Tubingen, just not as an "official" Catholic theologian.


Kung has tussled with church leaders ever since the Second Vatican Council, where he was a theological adviser, over progressive reforms in the church. He has argued that Pope John Paul II's interpretations of council teachings have been incorrect.


Those positions have helped him maintain a position as a pariah in the church, especially among church conservatives.


Olmsted was asked to take part in Saturday's program, with Rabbi Robert Kravitz, representing the Jewish faith; the Rev. Paul Eppinger of the Arizona Interfaith Movement, representing Christianity; and Imam Abdur-Rahim Shamsid-Deen, representing Islam.






Ex-ASU athlete clashes with police

By Mike Branom, Tribune

November 19, 2005


A former Arizona State University football player was arrested early Friday on allegations that he punched a Tempe police sergeant in the face while the officer was trying to break up a bar fight.


Police said Nick Johnson, a defensive end during the 2002 and 2003 seasons, also threw another officer to the ground and hit a bouncer at ACME Roadhouse Bar, 955 S. Rural Road.


The 6-foot-4, 275-pound Johnson was stunned with a Taser and arrested shortly after 2 a.m. on suspicion of two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer and one count of misdemeanor assault.


Sgt. James Click, who was knocked unconscious, suffered a broken nose and fractured cheekbone. The eight-year police veteran was taken to Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn hospital and is expected to undergo reconstructive surgery this weekend.


It wasn’t immediately known why Johnson attacked Click, who was breaking up a fight that did not involve Johnson.


Any injuries suffered by the bouncer were not believed to be serious, police said. The other officer was not hurt.


Johnson, 21, had a short stay with the Sun Devils because of discipline problems. The Chandler High School graduate brawled with a teammate in July 2003 and left the team after being suspended five games into his sophomore season.


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






Nov 19, 2:11 PM EST


Nonbelievers find a voice



Arizona Daily Star


TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- Weary of feeling silenced by a culture dominated by organized faith, nonbelievers in southern Arizona - and across the country - are coming out.


Atheists, agnostics and others who fall outside mainstream religion are forming their own organizations - a move counterintuitive to some in a group of individuals accustomed to the periphery. But nonbelievers both locally and nationally say it's time join together, step up and get some respect.


"I hear people wonder how atheists can be moral. I just think things are getting really ridiculous," said 26-year-old Mary Adde, a University of Arizona graduate student and atheist who is part of a new campus club for nonbelievers.


In addition to the UA club, a local chapter of the international Center for Inquiry - a support and education group for nonreligious people - formed earlier this year, and members already are sponsoring local movies and debates and writing letters to Congress. Tucson Atheists became an official chapter of the national American Atheists Inc. in March, and also plans more local visibility.


"It is a way for nonbelievers to come together and not feel so isolated. I'm an atheist, and I'm proud of it," Tucson Atheists spokeswoman Dr. Jasmine England said. "A lot of people think atheism is negative and anti-religion. The reality is that church and state should be separate, and in a free society everyone should be free to choose what they believe and don't believe. Even some religious people are against intermixing church and state."


Outside southern Arizona, Hartford Seminary in Connecticut on Nov. 2 officially opened its Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture with a mission of increasing understanding of the contemporary significance of secular values.


And Lori Lipman Brown, a lawyer, atheist and former Nevada state senator, began working in September as executive director for the Secular Coalition for America in Washington, D.C., a lobbying group with goals of keeping religion out of government and winning respect for nonreligious Americans.


"We want to change the national conversation - to make it unacceptable to make us invisible," Lipman Brown wrote in an e-mail. "Statements claiming that we are all God-fearing Americans, or that there are no atheists in foxholes, are both inaccurate and point out how often we are left out. We want to stop the denigration of atheists in the United States, and to dispel the myth that we are less moral than theists."


Some of the issues Lipman Brown already has weighed in on include opposing the federal government's reimbursement of churches that helped survivors of Hurricane Katrina and endorsing the removal of "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance, saying it is a harsh intrusion into the parental and student rights of nonbelievers.


"Groups that are sort of secular or atheist have been emboldened by the religious right and want to counter a lot of what they consider to be the effectiveness of the religious right," said Derek Davis, director of the J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.


"We are living in a day when it's becoming increasingly acceptable to let your anti-religious sentiments be known. You can compare it to the homosexuals who come out, like the basketball player Sheryl Swoopes just did. People are now more willing to come out and say,'Yes, I'm an atheist.' "


Tucsonan Jerry Karches, a retired physicist, is encouraging local nonbelievers to speak up. Karches fears America is becoming a theocracy.


"President Bush goes to Jesus Christ for advice. Do you know any other leaders doing that in the world?" asked Karches, an atheist who helped found the Center for Inquiry Community of Southern Arizona. "Most of us are very concerned about the direction this country is going in. We're out of step with most other Western nations."


The Geniuses of Diversity is a University of Arizona club led by 19-year-old Christopher Bischof, a sophomore, history major and atheist who is organizing a living-will event on campus. He says he wants to give students an alternative to the myriad religious groups on campus.


Bischof and fellow student Nick Borst, also 19, came up with the idea of a club for nonbelievers during the nationwide Terry Schiavo controversy about end-of-life issues earlier this year.


"Chris and I felt like there wasn't enough representation on campus for people who didn't buy into the whole organized religion thing," Borst said. "I see us bringing broader debate to campus."


When the group held its first meeting last month, the topic that sparked the most passionate discussion was how nonbelievers can get along with parents and other relatives who are religious. Some had tips; others shared painful stories of alienation from religious relatives.


"We want to let students know it's OK if you don't follow organized religion, as long as you have some sort of values and try to be a good person in life," Borst said.


The number of nonbelievers organizing in Southern Arizona so far is small - the three local groups have about 160 total members. And studies and polls that attempt to pinpoint the number of nonbelievers in the United States vary widely.


The American Religious Identification Study in 2001 said 1 percent of Americans - about 3 million people - identify as atheist or agnostic, though Gallup surveys in 1996 showed 4 percent to 6 percent of Americans - about 12 to 18 million - say they don't believe in a higher power.


But critics, including some atheists and agnostics, doubt nonbelievers will have much clout, even with a louder voice.


Most Americans do not share the groups' views, said Colby May, director of the Washington office of the American Center for Law & Justice, founded in 1990 by Christian televangelist Pat Robertson as a nonprofit public-interest law firm.


"The vast majority of Americans have a faith. If this Secular Coalition for America, if their whole thing is to make sure they identify an incident where God is mentioned in a city seal or on some government building and to go around and make sure we tear it out - that is anathema to the way the majority of Americans feel," May said.


Not all nonbelievers are on the same page when it comes to politics, and not all of them even want to be political. Borst, of the Geniuses of Diversity, is politically conservative and thinks the current administration is doing a good job ensuring freedom for both religious and nonreligious Americans.


But most nonbelievers agree that atheists and other nonbelievers should be raising and improving their public image.


"It's unpatriotic for an atheist to stay in the closet right now," American Atheists spokesman Dave Silverman said. "The most important thing right now is to stand up and be counted."






Galvan: Restricting freedoms, one act at a time

by Astrid Galvan

published on Friday, November 18, 2005




If you still don't know what the Patriot Act is, I'm not going to sugarcoat it or lie: You're an idiot.


The U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T Act, which stands for "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism," was signed by all but one senator a mere 45 days after Sept. 11, 2001.


The Patriot Act is a liberal's worse nightmare, an early funeral for cremated civil rights.


Originally (and suspiciously, if you've seen its 30,000 words) introduced only nine days after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, the Patriot Act gives the government the right to contradict several amendments on the Constitution by giving it the power to do things such as investigate citizens' records, wiretap their phones and use other devices to perform an investigation without a search warrant - as long as investigation officers consider the suspect to be "significant" to the investigation.


The Fourth Amendment requires that the government obtain a search warrant to search a private premise and requires that there be reasonable cause. But this apparently did not matter to then Attorney General John Ashcroft, who, as a part of the wonderful Bush administration, pushed the act heavily.


One of the most appalling provisions of the Patriot Act was incorporated just last year. Section 374 of the Patriot Act allows the FBI to obtain any person's private records simply by submitting a so-called national security letter. The national security letter is simply a piece of paper that would state the relevance of the investigated records and be written by any FBI field agent.


After submitting this "letter," the government agency would obtain records from any given financial institution, regardless of its own privacy policies. To top it off, the law prohibits the institution involved to reveal to anyone, including the person under investigation, that the government has requested their personal records.


I'm sure nobody liked that silly little "freedom of speech" law anyway!


Among other violations, the Patriot Act practically abolishes the Sixth Amendment by making it legal to incarcerate anyone without pressing charges and depriving them of the right to confront witnesses against them.


In addition to that, government agencies may also detain a citizen in jail without a trial and without informing them of their alleged crime. Once again, these powers that have been granted to investigating agencies are permissible through their suspicion of who could be a terrorist, not who actually is. Ever heard of "innocent until proven guilty?"


But behold! It gets worse. The Patriot Act was about to expire, when just this Wednesday lawmakers tentatively agreed to renew it and possibly make 14 of its provisions permanent.


Front-page news headlines insinuate a pleasant result of this renewal - that it will implement new revisions that will allegedly "curb" government powers.


According to The Washington Post, the revisions will implement limits on the FBI's "national security letters" by forcing them to disclose the amount of requests made for information. The FBI would also need to allow businesses receiving such letters the opportunity to pay a visit to an attorney, as opposed to having to keep their mouth shut.


Other provisions would expire in seven years if not re-approved by Congress, such as the governments' right to wiretap phones and access library and bookstore records.


Still, these revisions and limits are nothing but bull. Lawmakers involved are not getting rid of this unconstitutional piece called the Patriot Act; they are just trying to placate a bad situation by pretending to fix it.


In the name of freedom, the Patriot Act should just be eradicated, not revised or made permanent.


Astrid Galvan is a journalism junior. Reach her at astrid.galvan@asu.edu.




all i want for christmas is a Cessna 210




Mexico's drug runners taking to the skies

Planes ideal for trafficking along border


Nov. 20, 2005 12:00 AM


HERMOSILLO, Mexico -The little Cessna raced across the Sierra Madre, flying low over the shrub forest, southbound and moving fast. The deal was done, the marijuana was delivered, and with the help of a nice tailwind, the two smugglers on board would be home by sunset.


They weren't exactly being stealthy. It was broad daylight, the single-engine plane had gray duct tape covering its registration number, and there were holes in the wings and tail where its navigation lights should have been.


But this was Sonora, the Mexican state bordering Arizona that is the Chicago O'Hare of aerial drug smuggling, according to Mexican and U.S. authorities. With tons of marijuana and cocaine arriving at dirt airstrips every month on their way to the United States, it was easy for the smugglers to get complacent.


Suddenly, something swung into view in the rear window: a big, twin-engine surveillance plane. Los Federales.


The pilot grabbed the throttle knob and slammed it forward. The engine howled, and the chase was on.


The two aircraft raced south across Sonora at 160 mph, past Hermosillo, the capital, and over the verdant Yaqui Valley to Sinaloa, home to some of the most ruthless drug lords in Mexico.


Suddenly the Cessna dove toward the ground, aiming for a small scratch of pavement nearly hidden in a sugarcane field north of Los Mochis. It hit the asphalt with a squeak. The doors popped open, and the two smugglers bolted for the fields. By the time Mexican soldiers from the 89th Infantry Battalion arrived minutes later, it was too late. The men were gone. The plane sat alone in the gathering dark, smelling of freshly cut marijuana.


It's a cat-and-mouse game played over and over again here in Sonora, as Mexican authorities chase airborne drug runners high over the deserts and mountains south of Arizona. The planes don't cross the border, but they bring drugs to staging areas where smugglers load them into cars, trucks, backpacks or saddlebags for the final trek into the United States.


It's the FedEx of the underworld, an air-to-ground smuggling system that has survived despite increased security and rising drug seizures along the border.


In 2004, some 697,000 pounds of marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and ecstasy were confiscated by U.S. authorities along the Arizona-Mexico border, up from 395,000 pounds in 1999. Despite those seizures, the availability of every drug except heroin and ecstasy has increased in Southwestern cities, according to the U.S. Justice Department's annual survey of law enforcement agencies.


And while drug planes may not make the final trip north, the way they operate says a lot about the drug trade today.


The pilots fly in plain sight of U.S. radar. They commandeer village airports and country roads. They pay bribes to keep the outmanned, outgunned local cops from bothering them. They serve as executive transport for hit men and kingpins.


For authorities on both sides of the border, the planes are symbols of the impunity drug traffickers enjoy.


Busy airspace


Of the 340 suspicious landings detected along the U.S.-Mexico border by U.S. radar last year, 157 occurred in Sonora, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.


The state accounts for about 60 percent of the 265 drug flights intercepted in Mexico since 2000, with neighboring Sinaloa accounting for another 25 percent, according to the Mexican attorney general's office. A majority of the 1,094 clandestine airstrips destroyed by the Mexican army since 2000 were in Sonora.


"This area is a trampoline for drugs going to the United States," said a Mexican army officer in Álamos who spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing reprisal by drug dealers. "We go and destroy (the airfields), and the next day they're back using them."


In the last year, a number of high-profile chases, including the Feb. 18 flight to Los Mochis, have thrown the spotlight on the airborne drug trade. On Dec. 7, a drug plane buzzed downtown Hermosillo less than 200 feet off the ground, pursued by two helicopters and a government plane. The chase startled residents and prompted Gov. Eduardo Bours to complain to the Mexican attorney general.


No plane has been detected crossing the U.S. border in recent years, according to ICE's Air and Marine Operations Center. But they come awfully close.


In July, police found 838 pounds of marijuana at a clandestine airstrip 30 miles southeast of Nogales, Arizona. And during one two-week period in February and March, authorities detected two landings within 30 miles of San Luis, on Arizona's southwestern border. One plane was seized with 942 pounds of marijuana inside. The other escaped, but left behind 825 pounds of marijuana.


The narco neighborhood

The cornfield ahead loomed bigger and bigger as charter pilot Leobardo Mendívil Escalante raced down a dirt runway in his Cessna. Forty knots, fifty knots . . . Mendívil raised the nose, and the Cessna climbed into the sky for a tour of the Yaqui Valley, a notorious crossroads for drug planes.


To the south was Navojoa, where officials say a drug-running gang known as "Los Güeritos" directs drug flights across the state. To the southeast, Álamos, where the gang is said to have gotten its start and which is now a frequent base for Mexican air force planes on anti-drug patrols.


And to the east, the mighty Sierra Madre mountains, where marijuana is grown and where smugglers commandeer dirt roads, village airports and ranches to fly out the harvest.


"It's a problem. These gangs, they find airports and put them to criminal use," said Mendívil, a crop-duster.


He swooped toward a dusty clearing at the southern tip of the Álvaro Obregón reservoir - the old Buenavista airport, carved out of the brush by crews who built the dam and more recently put to use by smugglers.


In November 2004, army troops were patrolling near the reservoir when they saw a yellow-and-white, single-engine Cessna descend from the sky. They found the plane at the Buenavista airstrip, filled with 733 pounds of marijuana. The pilot and another man were arrested, and the troops cut trenches across the runway to prevent further landings.


Drug agents say Sonora is the last vestige of the high-flying 1980s, the heyday of airborne drug smuggling. Back then, drug planes crisscrossed the country freely, and kingpin Amado Carrillo Fuentes earned the nickname "Lord of the Skies" by flying Boeing 727s stuffed with cocaine into Juárez and other northern cities.


Since then, flying drugs has become more difficult. Mexican authorities have installed more radar systems, trained more pilots and fielded surveillance planes like the Cessna Citation jet, which can outrun any smuggler. The U.S. government has been quietly donating aircraft to Mexico to help with the effort.


In the 1990s, the United States installed the Relocatable Over-the-Horizon Radar system at sites in Puerto Rico, Texas and Virginia. Together, they can track aircraft in a swath of airspace stretching from Mexico City to Peru.


The increased vigilance has cut the number of planes carrying cocaine from South America. Since 2000, Mexican authorities have only intercepted eight drug planes in southern Mexico, compared to 257 in the north.


Plane perfect


In Sonora and northern Sinaloa, airborne drug smuggling lives on because of rugged mountains, sparse population and proximity to the United States, officials say.


The states are dotted with tiny airstrips, many of them built years ago by mining companies in the mountains. Sonora alone has 90 legally registered airfields, and hundreds of abandoned or clandestine ones.


The short runways are perfect for Cessna 206s and 210s, the drug planes of choice. These single-engine aircraft can go 700 to 1,000 miles on a tank of gas - no good for flying to Colombia, but ideal for hauling marijuana from farms in southern Sinaloa, Jalisco or Guerrero states.


"They fly into these canyons up in the mountains, and it's very hard for the authorities to track them," said a prosecutor in Sinaloa who was involved in the Feb. 18 case. He spoke to The Republic on condition of anonymity.


The planes allow smugglers to get around army checkpoints, which have become commonplace on highways in border states. Sonora's sparse population means they can land undetected. And there is a big crop-dusting industry in the farmlands along the Sonora-Sinaloa border, with plenty of airplane mechanics there.


There is also a strong tradition of drug smuggling in Sonora. In a 2004 study of Mexican municipalities with the highest percentage of drug offenders, Sonora took 12 of the top 20 spots. The study by Spanish criminologist Carlos Resa Nestares compared population figures and conviction rates from 1998 to 2001.


The airplanes carry marijuana, mostly. Cocaine is more compact and less pungent - easier to hide in cars and trucks. Once the drugs reach northern Sonora, smugglers take them across the border on horseback, hidden in vehicles, and even through tunnels.


The smuggling has fueled a market in stolen Cessna 206s and 210s. In the past two years, three such planes from the United States have been stolen during stops in Sonora and northern Sinaloa, said Jack McCormick of Chandler-based Baja Bush Pilots, which assists U.S. pilots in Mexico.


In one case in the Sinaloan town of El Fuerte, thieves in federal police uniforms overpowered local police guarding the airport, then tied them to a tree before flying off, McCormick said.


Local pilots say they purposely avoid certain back-country airports rumored to be used by smugglers.


"There are just some places you don't fly over," said Jim Swickard, an American pilot who runs a resort in Álamos.


Aviation fuel and violence


There are two empty cartridges from an M-16 in Francisco Reza's desk drawer. He keeps them as a reminder.


"Whenever I'm dealing with some information that is sensitive, I think of them," he said. "This is no game. These people are dangerous."


Reza, a reporter for El Imparcial newspaper, collected the cartridges in January from a highway where Los Güeritos blasted its way through two police roadblocks using assault rifles and grenade launchers. They were ferrying one of their leaders to a secret airfield, police say.


The gang is believed to dominate drug trafficking in Sonora, including the air routes. As the newspaper's former bureau chief in Ciudad Obregón, Los Güeritos was Reza's beat.


The gang wasn't the first to specialize in airplanes. In the 1980s, brothers Rafael and Miguel Angel Caro Quintero pioneered airborne drug-running in Sonora. The two ran their operations out of Caborca, 60 miles south of the Arizona border, according to DEA reports.


Rafael went to prison in 1985, and Miguel Angel followed in 2001. On Feb. 14 this year, three of their relatives died when their Cessna mysteriously crashed on the way to the funeral of José Miguel Torres, who was shot 28 times in an apparent drug hit.


Many of the Caro Quintero air routes are now run by Los Güeritos, prosecutors say. The gang's nickname means "the little fair-skinned ones," but the origin is unclear.


After the show of force at the roadblocks near Ciudad Obregón and Navojoa in January, a colleague of Reza's named Alfredo Jiménez wrote an exposé of the group that detailed its alliances, gave the location of five of its busiest airstrips, and said the group was behind at least 70 murders in 2004. It was based on information from informers and secret reports.


On April 2, Jiménez disappeared. He has not been heard from since.


Reza still wears a T-shirt with Jimenez's face to work two or three times a week, as part of a campaign to pressure authorities to solve the mystery of the reporter's disappearance. For months, he traveled Ciudad Obregón with a bodyguard. In August, the newspaper transferred him to the home office, for his safety.


Cracking down


Mexican authorities say they are chipping away at airborne smuggling, noting the number of drug flights they have detected nationwide fell from 90 in 2002 to 52 in 2004. The pressure is causing smugglers to switch to speedboats to move drugs along Sonora's western coast on the Gulf of California, Attorney General Daniel Francisco Cabeza de Vaca said in August.


"There has been a diversification of these (smuggling) methods, that is absolutely certain," he said.


ICE statistics seem to confirm a decline in flights. The number of suspicious landings detected by radar along the border decreased from 395 in 2003 to 340 in 2004, it said. Sonora's share dropped from 178 to 157.


The air divisions of ICE and the Mexican justice department declined to talk to The Republic for this article, saying they don't want to shed too much light on their efforts. But since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, both sides have been ratcheting up border security.


The United States has begun patrolling the Arizona-Mexico border with remote-control surveillance planes, and is quietly arming Mexico with dozens of new aircraft.


Last year, the U.S. Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs gave Mexico two new Schweizer 333 helicopters and four refurbished "Huey" helicopters under a "no-cost" lease. It plans to provide eight more Hueys and 26 more Schweizers in the next few years. Mexico already flies 67 aircraft donated by the United States, according to a bureau report.


This month, Mexican agents began patrolling northern Sonora with a jet equipped with anti-drug radar.


The measures have forced the drug planes to take riskier routes through the canyons of the Sierra Madre, Reza said.


"It's gotten harder for them," he said. "But they're still out there."






Clear and simple? Tell it to the judge


Robert Robb

Republic columnist

Nov. 20, 2005 12:00 AM


Property rights advocates are deeply worried about the Tempe Marketplace appeal asking the state Supreme Court to overturn the Bailey decision limiting the ability of cities to condemn private property.


That's in part understandable. In Bailey, the Arizona Court of Appeals said Mesa could not condemn a brake shop to make way for a hardware store. That was a sharp departure from a seemingly inexorable trend of courts abdicating their responsibility to protect property rights, as fundamental a founding principle of American government as there was.


Yet even Bailey didn't adequately protect private property rights as contemplated by Arizona's Constitution. And it adopted a balancing test that doesn't really provide appropriate guidance to property owners as to when their property is safe, or to cities as to when they can confiscate.


Arizona's Constitution seems perfectly clear on the point. It states flatly that "private property shall not be taken for private use." So, the protection afforded private property owners should be straightforward and uncontroversial. The government can take your property, with just compensation, if it intends to put the property to a governmental use itself. If the ultimate user of the property will be another private party, government can't forcibly take it from you.


There is, however, no clear, simple, declarative English sentence that cannot be rendered incomprehensible by decades of lawyering. Over time, the courts have shied away from looking at who controls the property after the condemnation, which is what the Constitution plainly requires. Instead, they have permitted condemnations if public "benefits" or 'purposes" are involved, even if the property is actually in the hands of another private owner. As the definition of benefits and purposes became more elastic, the strong constitutional protection of private property envisioned by Arizona's founders basically disappeared.


In Bailey, the Court of Appeals wasn't brave enough to simply restore the plain meaning of the constitutional protection, in part because it isn't really supposed to have the authority to do that. It's supposed to apply precedent, not make it.


So, it developed a balancing test, in which a taking wouldn't be permitted for redevelopment unless the anticipated public benefits "substantially outweigh the private character of the end use."


Who knows what that means?


It meant that Randy Bailey got to keep his brake shop, which was a good thing. And it resulted in the trial judge not allowing a shopping center developer to confiscate property from unwilling sellers for the Tempe Marketplace project. But a different judge could have easily weighed the considerations differently and come up with a different result.


Tempe is asking the state Supreme Court to overturn Bailey on direct appeal.


The condemned property owners and property rights advocates, led by the Institute of Justice, are asking the Supreme Court to instead require Tempe to make a conventional appeal to the Court of Appeals.


That's certainly reasonable, particularly since Tempe is arguing that if Bailey is upheld, it was wrongly applied in the Tempe Marketplace case. That's the sort of fact-based argument more appropriate for the Court of Appeals to initially consider.


Ultimately, however, the property owners and the property rights advocates want the Supreme Court to uphold Bailey. That's understandable, since Bailey is as good as it has gotten in jurisprudence for some time.


But, while Tempe's remedy would be to render Arizona's constitutional protection of private property meaningless once again, it is right that Bailey doesn't provide effective guidance to either property owners or cities. And sound constitutional jurisprudence would do so.


That means that the real action to protect property rights will probably be in the Legislature, which has the power to limit the redevelopment condemnation authority of cities as much as it likes, or even to eliminate it.


Paradoxically, this is one area where the action actually should be in the courts rather than the Legislature. Property rights are supposed to be protected by the courts from legislative overreaching, not protected by the Legislature from judicial abdication of responsibility.


But that will require judges willing to do the job the Constitution clearly gave them by rediscovering the meaning of simple terms such as "shall not" and "private" and "use."


Reach Robb at robert.robb@arizonarepublic.com or (602) 444-8472. His column appears Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays.




catholic church supports the police state




Blue Mass set to celebrate workers in public service


Katie Ruark

The Arizona Republic

Nov. 16, 2005 12:00 AM


PHOENIX - On Nov. 22, the Diocese of Phoenix will hold its annual Blue Mass, a celebration of thanks for public-service workers.


The Blue Mass is named after the blue uniforms of police officers but recognizes all public duty workers such as firefighters, Secret Service, FBI and paramedics.


"It a Mass for anyone in public service to thank them for how they served," said Teri Denman, Office of Worship coordinator.


This will be the 16th-annual Blue Mass, and organizers expect about 600 people to attend.


During the Mass, officiants also will take time to honor officers who died during the past year, whether they were killed in the line of duty or died of an illness or natural cause.


They plan to hold a candle ceremony where each person's name will be read and a candle lit in their honor.


"These are the people that are serving and protecting," Denman said.


"(The public can) show their support and give thanks."


Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted will celebrate the Mass, and the Phoenix Police Department Honor Chorus will provide music.


This Mass is always held the second Tuesday in November to coordinate with Thanksgiving.


It is open to the public and admission is free.


The Mass is at SS. Simon and Jude Cathedral, 6351 N. 27th Ave. on Nov. 22. It begins at 10 a.m.


Reach the reporter at katherine.ruark@asu.edu.




phoenix police kill man with a knife




Valley news briefs


Nov. 20, 2005 12:00 AM


Authorities fatally shoot man after confrontation

SOUTH PHOENIX - A knife-wielding man was shot and killed Saturday afternoon by two Phoenix police officers after he ignored repeated commands to drop the weapon, police said.


The shooting took place at Southern and Central avenues. Earlier, the officers made unsuccessful attempts to subdue the man with electronic stun guns, said Sgt. Andy Hill, a police spokesman.


The incident took place after the officers were flagged down by a citizen who said he had been threatened by a man with a knife, Hill said.


The officers opened fire after the man approached two people in a passing car, Hill said.


He did not immediately release the names of the shooting victim or the two South Mountain Precinct officers.




maybe i can get that korean stuff translated here.......




Register for Korean language class


PHOENIX - The Korean Cultural Center offers its last intermediate class in the Korean language for the year, starting Dec. 1.


The class consists of conversation, vocabulary, reading and writing. Tuition is $85 and includes textbooks and a dictionary. There is a $10 discount for those who register by Tuesday.


The class meets every Thursday from 7-9 p.m. at the Korean Cultural Center, 500 E. Thomas Road.


The deadline for registration in the class is Nov. 30. Details: www.kccaz.org or call (602) 264-6646.




remember a few months ago when a TV 12 helicoptor videotaped some phoenix cops who had arrested and handcuffed a man. one cop kicked the man in the balls while he was handcuffed. one cop punched the handcuffed man in the face with his elbow. and i beleive two cops jumped up and down on the handcuffed man while  he was laying on the ground.


back then i said i wasnt a psyic but that i knew the pigs would not be charged with any crimes. guess what? Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, who decided not to prosecute the police criminals. Bill FitzGerald, a spokesman for Thomas, told Montini via e-mail, "We reviewed the investigation, including the TV-12 video tape, and concluded that the actions were not criminal.




Tale of the tape differs for police and prosecutors


Nov. 20, 2005 12:00 AM


Last November, as a news helicopter from 12 News hovered overhead, Phoenix police officers caught up with a 22-year-old man who was suspected of having robbed and assaulted a pregnant woman.


As the taped rolled, a couple of Phoenix police officers on the scene appeared to strike and step on Jaime Jimenez-Espinoza, a Mexican national, while he was face down on the ground with his hands cuffed behind his back. After seeing the video on TV, police opened an investigation. When it was over, two officers were suspended.


Officer Thomas Beck was docked 40 hours' pay. In a written report, police investigators who viewed the videotape stated:


"You (Beck) were then seen delivering what appeared to be a quick strike to the suspect's groin area with your right hand. . . . At the time you thrust your hand into the suspects groin area, there were at least three other officers present, and the suspect was neither actively nor passively resisting, and his hands were cuffed behind his back."


In the case of Officer Steven Huddleston, who received a 200-hour suspension, investigators stated:


"After the suspect was handcuffed and lying on his stomach, you were observed standing on the back of the suspect's left knee with your right foot, elevating yourself and applying all of your weight on the back of the suspect's knee. There were a total of six uniformed police officers around the suspect at the time, and the suspect appeared to be offering no resistance, and was not moving. A few seconds later, another officer lifted the suspect by his arms and began walking him to a patrol car. You threw an elbow strike to the suspect's face with your right elbow."


Department rules governing use of force against a restrained suspect are very close to state laws that define assault. With that in mind, the department forwarded its report to Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, who decided not to prosecute.


Bill FitzGerald, a spokesman for Thomas, told me via e-mail, "We reviewed the investigation, including the TV-12 video tape, and concluded that the actions were not criminal. We examined the videotape closely and concluded that a momentary stand on a leg was not criminal. A close review of the tape showed there was a shoulder to shoulder shove but no elbow to the face. A search for weapons did include the groin area."


A good defense attorney would make all of these points. But I wonder if prosecutors would have reached the same conclusion if the suspect had been stepping on an officer's leg or delivering a "quick strike" to an officer's groin.


(Computer users can view the 12 News footage at news.azcentral.com.)


It would be difficult for an ambitious politician like Thomas to take the side of a reported criminal against two cops. Lots of people who vote believe that bad guys deserve to get roughed up. Although I'm unaware of any rules defining exactly how much. And are we OK with letting police officers decide which suspects deserve it? Or, maybe, are juries supposed to do that?


Jimenez-Espinoza hadn't been convicted of anything. For now, Thomas' office told me that it has temporarily dropped charges against him because the key witness can't be located. Instead, he is in federal custody on a weapons charge.


Thomas often speaks of being tough on crime and has publicly stated that some of those accused of violent crimes would no longer be offered plea bargains.


Of course, one way of not plea bargaining is not to prosecute in the first place.


Reach Montini at ed.montini@arizonarepublic.com or (602) 444-8978.




bringing the amerikan police state to the rest of the world




Detainee tried to kill self 9 times, lawyer says


Carol Rosenberg

Knight Ridder Newspapers

Nov. 20, 2005 12:00 AM


A combination of isolation, despair and humiliation has driven a Bahraini captive to attempt suicide at least nine times, one as recently as Monday, at the U.S. interrogation center for terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, his lawyer said Friday.


Jumah Dossari, 32, tried to yank stitches out of his arm from an earlier suicide attempt last month, according to U.S. military affidavits filed in federal court.


The military defends its treatment of Dossari.


The Dossari case is the latest effort by civilian attorneys to get federal judges to address Guantanamo conditions by seeking injunctions in some of the 300-plus habeas corpus petitions filed in Washington. Although not yet law, legislation limiting detainees' court access was approved by the Senate last week.


Dossari's attorneys want the court to order the military to let him see a DVD recorded by family members urging him not to kill himself, let him have English-Arabic copies of children's books such as Puss in Boots and Jack in the Beanstalk to lift his spirits and let him chat by telephone with relatives in Bahrain.


U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton has yet to rule.


'Comfort items' provided


Guantanamo commanders have consistently said certain "comfort items" are given to prisoners who are compliant and defend censorship of family mail as a security measure against secret al-Qaida messages.


"He feels incredibly isolated. He's been told he'll be there for 50 years. He's never been charged with anything," defense attorney Joshua Colangelo-Bryan said Friday in a telephone interview from New York.


In October, Colangelo-Bryan stepped outside a holding cell at Guantanamo so Dossari could use the bathroom, and soon discovered his client hanging from the cell, and a gash in his arm.


A guard cut him down and, according to military affidavits, his arm was sutured. His effort to yank out those stitches on Monday was the latest of nine confirmed suicide attempts, according to a news release issued last week by the Southern Command.


Now the affidavits, by both the attorney and commanders, give a glimpse of the life of the 5-foot-6, 120-pound Bahraini whom the U.S. government alleges is an al-Qaida member or sympathizer who at one point was at Tora Bora, Afghanistan, where Osama bin Laden is believed to have escaped U.S. and Afghan military forces.


Denies any al-Qaida links

Dossari denies the allegations. He says a prison camp snitch framed him, according to Colangelo-Bryan, and that he was in Afghanistan supervising a Saudi mosque-building charity and was captured fleeing the U.S. war on al-Qaida and the Taliban.


Both sides agree that the case record shows the young man who worked for a Saudi insurance company has repeatedly tried to kill himself. It's something that no captive has yet succeeded in doing at the prison camp.


But military officers at the base cast Dossari's desperation as of his own making.


In the past six months, Army Col. Michael Bumgarner wrote in an affidavit, Dossari accepted only 25 of 97 offers of recreation, a one-hour transfer to an open-air, chain-linked enclosure outside his cell.


Inside his prison building, the colonel said, Dossari has interaction with other prisoners by speaking through the steel slots in his cell and "has often led prayer periods for detainees" that way.


During 29 interrogations over two years he got pizza, hamburgers and saw the films Troy and Gladiator with an intelligence team.


Navy Capt. John Edmondson, a physician, said Dossari's suicide attempts began in March 2003 and that for the past three weeks Dossari has been on a hunger strike as well. He often refuses his medications and generally shuns talk therapy, Edmondson said.






Sunday, November 20, 2005 · Last updated 7:30 a.m. PT


Honduran teen escapes prison for 5th time





TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras -- A 16-year-old boy accused of killing a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent has escaped from a juvenile prison for the fifth time in three years - just as he promised, an official said Saturday.


Herlan Colindres, a street gang member implicated in 16 other killings, slipped out of the crumbling juvenile rehabilitation center in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa on Friday, said Napoleon Nazar, national police director of criminal investigations.


Colindres and his 13-year-old bodyguard were arrested in July in the killing of Michael Timothy Markey, a DEA agent who was shot to death July 29 while visiting a temple dedicated to Honduras' patron saint outside of Tegucigalpa.


It was Colindres' second escape in less than four months - and the fifth in three years - from the same prison, where bricks can easily be chipped from the walls.


On Aug. 7, he weakened the metal bars of his cell with a nail file and fled - five days after boasting to reporters, "I will escape to kill all of the journalists." He was captured the same day while hitchhiking.


After that, the government built him a brick-walled cell with a private bathroom, watched by six guards. It was unclear how he broke out of that cell.


"We think other imprisoned youths helped him get out," Nazar said.


Colindres had been jailed previously in the killings of rival youth gang members, but was able to escape within days. He has denied involvement in Markey's death.


The teen had previously been identified as 13-year-old Erlan Colindres, but authorities said Saturday he was three years older than believed and had modified the spelling of his first name.


Honduran authorities said Markey, 44, who was based in El Paso, Texas, had been in the Central American country training police in drug interdiction efforts.


Colindres apparently has had to fend for himself from a young age. Authorities say his mother is bedridden and the whereabouts of his father are unknown.


On Aug. 2, he told reporters, "I don't care if I die outside, but I have to get out of here."




Honduras: teen accused of killing DEA agent escapes youth correction facility


00:26 2005-11-20

A teen accused of killing a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent and implicated in 16 other slayings has escaped from a youth correction facility just as he promised he would officials said Saturday.


Herlan Colindres, a 16-year-old street gang member, slipped out of a rehabilitation center housing 156 youths outside the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa on Friday night, authorities said.


Colindres and his 13-year-old bodyguard Manuel Romero were arrested in July in connection with the murder of DEA agent Michael Timothy Markey outside Tegucigalpa at a temple dedicated to Honduras' patron saint.


He had previously been identified as 13-year-old Erlan Colindres, but authorities said Saturday he was three years older than believed and had modified the spelling of his first name.


Authorities said Markey, 44, who was based in El Paso, Texas, came to Honduras to train local drug police.


Friday was the fifth time in three years that Colindres has escaped from the crumbling facility, where bricks can easily be chipped from the walls.


In August, after threatening to escape and kill journalists, he weakened the metal bars of his cell with a nail file and fled. Colindres was quickly captured, however, while hitchhiking along a nearby highway.


Following that incident, the government built him a special brick-walled cell with a private bathroom. It was unclear how he got out of the new cell, which was watched by six guards.


"We think other imprisoned youths helped him get out," Napoleon Nazar, director of criminal investigation, said in an interview. Further details of the escape were not released.


The government has estimated that 40,000 youths in Honduras belong to the rival Mara Salvatrucha and Mara 18 gangs, which have terrorized much of the country since 1996.


In an attempt to curb the violence, the Honduran government instituted a zero-tolerance law that makes gang membership illegal, and has jailed thousands of youngsters for little more than having tattoos.


Police said Colindres was the leader of a Mara 18 affiliate known as Los Puchos. He is suspected of involvement in 16 killings, most of them gang-related, reported AP.







TravelSmart Everett Potter


New passport rules


Planning a Caribbean cruise, a ski trip to the Canadian Rockies or a beach vacation in Mexico? Soon you'll need a U.S. passport to travel to these destinations that now require only a driver's license or birth certificate. As of Dec. 31, 2006, Americans will need a passport for all air and sea travel to and from Mexico and Canada, Central and South Americas, the Caribbean and Bermuda. And by Dec. 31, 2007, a passport will be required for land crossings to Canada and Mexico.


Check out iafdb.travel.state.gov for a list of more than 7,000 offices accepting passport applications. Next year, you'll need passports more often.






Background checks widening


Yvette Armendariz

The Arizona Republic

Nov. 21, 2005 12:00 AM


When Jesse Bonfeld launched a shuttle service 2 1/2 years ago, he didn't hesitate about setting a policy to run criminal and motor vehicle checks on all prospective drivers.


"We're entrusting them with a fairly expensive piece of equipment as well as with the safety of many people," said Bonfeld, who with his wife, Linda, operates Timberline VIP Luxury Shuttle between Springerville and Phoenix. "You need people you can trust and rely on."


Bonfeld, who employs three drivers, is far from alone.


Even small companies like his are turning to criminal, credit, motor vehicle and Social Security checks to make sure the people they hire don't create unnecessary liability risks.


Ninety-six percent of businesses surveyed last year report they conduct reference and background checks on job applicants, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. A separate report on workplace violence showed 66 percent of employers were doing similar checks in 1996.


Most are checking


Larger companies conduct checks 99 percent of the time, while small companies report doing them 92 percent of the time, according to the latest report. Also, criminal checks are done to some degree by 87 percent of companies. Another growing area is credit checks, with 61 percent reporting always or occasionally doing them. Education records, military-discharge information and motor-vehicle checks also are growing.


Drug checks are not considered part of background checks. But roughly 30 percent of small companies in Arizona have drug policies in place, compared with 87 percent of companies with 500 or more workers and virtually all of the Fortune 500 companies, according to Drugs Don't Work in Arizona!


The growth in background checks has raised debate about how much privacy employees can have and the accuracy of the reports.


It's also resulted in a number of publications, including one from the Federal Trade Commission and the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse based in San Diego, explaining the rules of consumer credit and background checks when using agencies.


"Accuracy is one of the big issues," said Tena Friery, research director of the clearinghouse. She said calls to the group's hotline have increased dramatically regarding concerns about privacy and inaccuracy of the information on these checks. "It's devastating to someone who is trying to get or keep a job."


Concerns about privacy, however, have been superseded in court by concerns about employee safety and company liability.


"It's like the practice of preventive medicine, where the doctor wants to be overly thorough," said employment law attorney Lawrence Rosenfeld, a shareholder at Greenberg Traurig in Phoenix.


Increasing scrutiny


The majority of growth in background checks has come in the past four years, said Cedric Dave, vice president of human resources for Phoenix-based Merchants Information Solutions Inc.


"9/11 really made us say, 'Hmm, we better look around and see if we have the right people on board,' " he said, adding that checks have been growing more than 10 percent annually. At Merchants, the most popular requests are for criminal and credit checks as prices decrease because of growing databases and technology.


Companies generally will charge $25 to $300, depending on the scope of the investigation, company operators said. Most will average $60 to $80.


Kevin Klimas, president of Clarifacts Inc. in Phoenix, said drivers and money handlers are increasingly getting scrutinized, as are people who work with children and people older than 65.


"There's a significant increase in sex-offender searches," he said.


Wal-Mart was sued for negligence in South Carolina related to a minor's accusation that a worker fondled her in July 2004. The lawsuit says Wal-Mart failed to check that the accused employee had two convictions for indecent exposure.


In August 2004, Wal-Mart rolled out a policy to conduct criminal checks on all qualified applicants.


Almost all of Klimas' clients hiring at day cares, hospitality companies and health care providers are now adding the sex-offender search.


Small companies that may have resisted using checks are finding they often are required if the company wants insurance or aspires to do federal contracting work.


Bonfeld, for example, found the checks became necessary to get liability insurance.


Chris Hernandez of the Hernandez Companies in Phoenix must have all his contractors working at the airport screened for a criminal history.


Small firms not exempt


Businesses are limited in their searches in that they are supposed to get written permission for job prospects to run the checks through an agency. But they don't have to be upfront about checks done privately by in-house staff, attorney Rosenfeld said.


Many companies will seek permission for the check during the application process, he said.


Companies, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, are supposed to inform job prospects if they lose a job offer because of something found in that check.


Policies needed


Human-resource professionals say policies on searches need to be created, so they don't find themselves in a lawsuit alleging selective discrimination.


For example, an employer may set a policy that all job prospects who are expected to handle money or sensitive customer information undergo a credit check. But general staff may have only a reference check.


Karyn Howard, human-resource manager for the Arizona Theatre Company, checks out job prospects primarily to uncover whether they are inflating their résumés and to get a better idea of what kind of person they might be hiring.


"There are clues out there that tell you when you need to keep digging," she said. "You as an employer have a responsibility."


Reach the reporter at yvette.armendariz@arizonarepublic.com or (602) 444-4842.




you dont have any stinking first amendment rights




Appeals Court rules city had right to fire legal adviser


Casey Newton

The Arizona Republic

Nov. 21, 2005 12:00 AM


SCOTTSDALE - The city was within its rights to fire a legal adviser who wrote a letter to the editor critical of the City Council, according to a recent ruling from a U.S. Court of Appeals.


In a brief memorandum, the 9th Circuit wrote that Johnny Guthrie was a "policymaking" employee when he was fired in October 2002, thus could not claim his rights to free speech were violated.


"A public employee's status as a 'policymaking' employee disposes of any First Amendment retaliation claim," the court wrote. "Guthrie was a policymaker because speech-based requirements were appropriate for the effective performance of his public office."


Guthrie, who was an adviser to the Police Department, was fired after writing a guest column for the Scottsdale section of The Arizona Republic criticizing Councilmen Wayne Ecton and Bob Littlefield and defending then-Chief Doug Bartosh, who was later fired. City lawyers argued in court that Guthrie couldn't defend the police chief and still be an impartial lawyer for Scottsdale.


Guthrie's lawyer did not respond to a request for comment. However, Pat Dodds, a city spokesman, said Scottsdale is "pleased that the Court of Appeals affirmed the district court's ruling."


Last year Guthrie was hired as a policy adviser for the Apache County Sheriff's Department.


Reach the reporter at casey.newton@arizonarepublic.com or (602) 444-6853.