Archive for September, 2008

Bailout Bill Fails!

September 30, 2008

Want to learn a little bit about how the government works?  Take a look at the ‘question’ and title of the $700B Bailout Bill:  (You can also see the vote breakdown, and how your representative voted!)

H R 3997 RECORDED VOTE 29-Sep-2008 2:07 PM
QUESTION: On Concurring in Senate Amendment With An Amendment
BILL TITLE: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide earnings assistance and tax relief to members of the uniformed services, volunteer firefighters, and Peace Corps volunteers, and for other purposes.

The Peace Corps volunteers?  Gee, now I feel guilty.  If it wasn’t for those darn ‘other purposes’…

It’s interesting to see the titles of some of these bills and acts, like The Patriot Act for example.  The title alone suggests that if you are against it, you must not be patriotic, which is of course the exact OPPOSITE.

Ron Paul has an interesting and funny article about Bill names.

If one only paid attention to bill titles, one could happily vote for almost any bill put to a vote on the floor. Titles do not tell the complete story of a bill’s provisions, and many titles are downright deceptive and come close to emotional blackmail of legislators. But we cannot afford to be fooled by fancy titles. The housing bill could perhaps be more aptly named The Big Banking Bailout at Taxpayer Expense Act

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NY Cops Admit ‘Mistake’ In Taser Death

September 30, 2008

After Inman Morales, a disturbed nude man, was tasered and fell off a 10 foot ledge to his death, NY Police have admitted that mistakes were made.  Says Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly:

“But we are human beings. Sometimes we make mistakes. Reporters even make mistakes, people on Wall Street make mistakes. So sometimes mistakes are made,” Kelly said.

Kelly takes a swipe at Wall Street, but does that make it better?  NY will probably lose a lawsuit on this one, and the taxpayers get the bill, as usual. 

Surprisingly, the lieutenant who ordered the fatal zapping of Inman Morales was stripped of his gun, shield and placed on desk duty last Thursday.  The police officer who actually fired the Taser was also put on desk duty but kept his gun and badge.

It’s intersting to note that police don’t even use the word ‘taser’.  In typical faux-military fashion, they prefer the term Conducted Energy Device, or CED.  Well, we know  what you mean.

Thanks to YOU, all the amateur camera users.  I doubt that anyone would be admitting ‘mistakes’ had the event not been clearly captured on camera.  It would have been another death swept under the rug or blamed on the victim himself.  Only the citizens can keep the cops clean.

Missile Defense Program Failure Rate More Than Doubles

September 29, 2008

The Pentagon’s “Star Wars” missile-defense program has cost the taxpayers more than $100 BILLION dollars.  What is it supposed to do?  Shoot a missile at the enemies moving missile.  But testing against practice targets hasn’t been going so well.

The military has relied on old targets, like 40-year old rockets, to test the system.  (Is that accurate?  Aren’t there any new missiles aimed at us?)  A report released by the Government Accountability Office  says that the failure rate rose from 7% in 2002-2005 to 16% in 2006-2007.

There was another $1 BILLION  alloted to testing ‘new’ test targets, instead of 40-year-old missles.  In 2002-2006, those new targets cost $6.5 Million each.  But once Lockheed Martin took control of the program, costs went up.  New targets are now going to cost us $48.5 Million.  Only 8x higher costs.

“Isn’t That Cute…” Black Uniformed Officers Halloween Costumes

September 29, 2008

Ready to ‘take on crime’ single-handedly, your kid can dress as the Special Forces Officer, SWAT team member, or generic Police Officer for Halloween this year.  Scarier than any ghost, that’s for sure.

The Police Officer Kids Accessory Belt includes baton, gun, cuffs and more.  Or, you can buy the club alone for $1.99.  No tasers included.

Look, kids have always enjoyed being a police man for dress-up or Halloween.  But remember when police wore blue? 

Photograph Orlando Police? Get Baton And Taser

September 29, 2008
Orlando cops beat Mattiuzzo
Orlando cops beat Mattiuzzo

The scene: Global Peace Film Festival in Orlando, FL

When police asked Juan Cartegena‘s out-of-town friend if he was stupid for parking in the wrong zone, Cartegena begain to dispute the treatment.   Police pepper spray and mace Cartegena while on the ground.

Filmmakers began to photograph the happenings, which, of course, police can’t allow.  Police told them to leave the public sidewalk or be arrested.  New York filmmaker John Mattiuzzo refused.  One police officer flexes his arm, and tells Mattiuzzo to ‘put THAT on YouTube.’  Mattiuzzo restorts something like, “My mom will like that.”  Cartegena overheard police say, “We’ve got a live one, time to have some fun.”  Mattiuzzo was chased by police, beaten with a baton, and tasered.  For photographing. 

Cartegena was not charged and released.  Mattiuzzo was charged with resisting arrest or some other bogus charge.

See amateur video of Mattiuzzo’s beating here.  See an interview with Cartegena here.  Read another account, with links to more photos.

Bailout Will Pay Top Dollar For Banker’s Garbage

September 29, 2008

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress Tuesday the government should pay more than “fire-sale” prices for the toxic assets it would acquire under a proposed $700 billion bailout plan. That could mean both higher initial costs for taxpayers and reduced returns when the assets are later resold.

So, in other words, the banks get paid as if their corrupt system worked flawlessly.   And the American people, who don’t seem to want the bailout, get billed for the retail price, not the marked-to-move price.

Police Sergeant Has Wife Murdered, Hangs Himself

September 27, 2008

Detroit police sergeant David Cobb hired hitman Vincent Smothers, and accomplice Marzell Black, to kill Rose Cobb, his wife.  Smothers shot Rose Cobb as she waited in her car on the day after Christmas, while Sgt. Cobb shopped in a CVS drug store.  Smothers was caught and confessed that Cobb had hired him to kill his wife.  The cost?  $1,500.00.  And the story goes that Cobb was banging Marzell Black’s mother, Sheila Black.

Cobb was arrested, too, but released due to lack of evidence.  Still, he was suspended during the investigation.  

As investogators made progress against Cobb, he decided to hang himself in a Sterling Heights, MI park.

Apparently, his hanging has nothing to to with being accused of soliciting sex and texting dirty messages to a 15-year old girl in 2006.  He was found not guilty.

Teen Mom and 1-Month-Old Baby get the Taser

September 26, 2008

16-year old mom Misha Peterson spent the weekend with her 1-month-old baby at her boyfriend’s Vancouver home.  When she didn’t return to her foster home on Sunday night, a missing person report was put out.

Case workers showed up on Monday, and then the police showed up.  Peterson wouldn’t give up her baby, and got a couple of taser stings in the neck, even while she was holding her child.

The state removed the baby, and put it in a different foster home.

Why $700 Billion?

September 26, 2008

“It’s not based on any particular data point,” a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. “We just wanted to choose a really large number.”

*Sigh.*

Detroit Police Firearms Lab Closed, Now Conducted by State

September 25, 2008

After an attorney determined that Detroit police mishandled evidence in a shooting case, an audit was conduceted, revealing a 10% error rate in ballistic evidence.  The firearms lab has been shut down indefinitely, and all ballistics testing will be conducted by Michigan State Police.

This brings up an interesting point.  What is a ‘normal’ error rate in regards to evidence?  What is an ‘acceptable’ error rate?  What is the State Police’s error rate? 

In an apparently unrelated story, an unknown 300-lb. man grabbed an officer’s gun and shot himself in the head at the Detroit Police Crime Lab just last week.