Monday, October 31, 2011


Most of you know that I want Obama to be a one-term president. In fairness however, when it comes to Fast and Furious, I am compelled to remind everyone that ATF conducted two similar operations during the Bush administration and I wonder how many murders resulted from those dumb, useless and lethal undertakings?


Borderland Beat
October 30, 2011

In a conference call this morning with Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa, reporters were told the Attorney General in Mexico has confirmed at least 200 murders south of the border happened as a result of Operation Fast and Furious.

“I would be remiss if I didn’t mention, as the Attorney General in Mexico is so concerned, she’s made the point that at least 200 Mexicans have been killed with these weapons and probably countless more,” Issa said.

Eleven crimes in the United States have been linked to Operation Fast and Furious up to this point. Issa said he expects as the investigation in the operation continues, more crimes connected to Fast and Furious will come to light and be exposed. This is not surprising, considering out of 2500 weapons the Obama Justice Department allowed to “walk,” and that only 600 have been recovered, the rest are lost until they show up at violent crime scenes. The damage from Operation Fast and Furious has only started to be seen. Remember, the Mexican Government and ATF agents working in Mexico were left completely in the dark about the operation.

A report released by Issa’s office in July shows ATF agents working in Mexico were left in the dark about the details of Operation Fast and Furious. The report shows that in late 2009, ATF officials in Mexico began to see increasing amounts of guns traced to the Phoenix ATF Field Division office showing up at violent crime scenes.

Former ATF Attaché to Mexico Darren Gil and ATF Acting Attaché to Mexico Carlos Canino expressed their concerns to officials in the Phoenix Field Office and in Washington D.C. but were ignored. The report shows ATF and DOJ “failed to share crucial details of the of Operation Fast and Furious with either their own employees stationed in Mexico or representatives of the Government of Mexico.” Specifically, personnel in Arizona denied ATF agents working in Mexico information directly related to their jobs and everyday operations.

Issa submitted a request to the White House for information surrounding the operation nearly two weeks ago and that request has not yet been filled. White House Officials have until the end of this week to submit documents requested before Issa takes the next step.

Documentation about what the White House knew about the operation was requested after Special ATF Agent in Charge William Newell admitted in Congressional testimony that he was in contact with White House national security advisers about the operation and after emails surfaced showing at least three White House officials were in contact with the Justice Department about the operation.

Since this scandal came to light in March 2011, the Obama Justice Department has continually stonewalled the investigation from the House Oversight Committee, and not much has changed. Issa said there is an ongoing cover-up of a pattern of ongoing mistakes and that the Justice Department continues to use petty prosecutions to limit information given to the Oversight Committee.

“People are picking their words very carefully," Issa said.

When asked what the consequences would be for DOJ or ATF officials involved in the operation, Issa said prosecutions may come at the end of this scandal to those who knowingly trafficked weapons across the border and could be held accountable for the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

“This was dumb, it was useless and it was lethal,” Issa said.


The Arabs believe that if enough Israeli soldiers are kidnapped, the Israelis will end up releasing all Palestinians and other Arabs held in their prisons.

Immediately after the swap of imprisoned Palestinian terrorists for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit began, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority called for more kidnappings of Israeli soldiers. Now Prince Khaled bin Talal and cleric Awad al-Qarni have given potential kidnappers a damn good incentive.

Khaled’s offer comes days after the prominent Saudi cleric, Awad al-Qarni, put $100,000 on the head of every Israeli soldier
October 30, 2011

RIYADH - A Saudi royal offered a $900,000 reward to anyone who captures an Israeli soldier, on Saturday. Prince Khaled bin Talal, the brother of business tycoon and Fox News co-owner Walid bin Talal, told the Saudi-based broadcaster Al Daleel that the captive would then be released in exchange for Arabs held in Israeli prisons.

Khaled's offer comes days after the prominent Saudi cleric, Awad al-Qarni, put $100,000 on the head of every Israeli soldier.

Al-Qarni's statement - posted on Facebook - was severely criticized, and messages posted online even warned of death threats.

Khaled told the broadcaster: "My offer also comes in response to the threats made against Sheikh al-Qarni."

The Saudi offers follows the recent deal between the Israeli government and Hamas, when Israel agreed to release 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Gilad Shalit.


It isn’t often that I agree with Grits, but this is another one of those rare instances where I completely agree with this unabashed liberal.


Grits for Breakfast
October 30, 2011

Grits had been somewhat surprised this year that fewer Texas media outlets had succumbed to the annual Halloween hype over monitoring registered sex offenders out of fear they may give out candy. But on the weekend before Halloween, such stories appeared with a vengeance, especially on local TV news.

In politics, Halloween is when demagogues take their latest fear mongering tactics out for a spin to see if a gullible public will bite, and how hard. As the National Post put it, “A one-night festival of ghoulish subject matter, unhealthy food and talking to strangers, it is no surprise that Halloween is an annual magnet for moral criticism. Halloween is when parental paranoia is 'market-tested,' wrote American columnist Lenore Skenazy wrote in a 2010 blog post. 'If a new fear flies on Halloween, it’s probably going to catch on the rest of the year, too.'”

Which is how we get this annual flurry of sex-offender-related stories on Halloween. Forget for a moment that there are only two instances that anyone has identified in the history of the nation of kids being sexually assaulted on Halloween, and in neither instance did the offender have a criminal record that would place them on the sex-offender registry. Reality isn't as important as the opportunity for hyping fear.

When Grits first noticed this annual phenomenon several years ago I blamed the media. But tracking it closely, one discovers that nearly all local stories on the subject stem from a press release from the local Sheriff, probation department, or some other official, local source, so really it's law enforcement hyping the issue that drives local coverage. Since it's not actually news but really just self-interested spin, I doubt the media would bother to produce these stories on their own without explicit prodding from officialdom.

Bottom line: Your kids are in FAR greater risk from traffic accidents and drunk drivers on Halloween (not to mention obesity and tooth decay) than from sex offenders luring them with sweets. Indeed, in terms of sex crimes against children, Halloween may actually be the safest day of the year. If you're lecturing your kids on the risks from sex offenders before they go out instead of making sure they can safely see through their Halloween mask and reminding them to watch for traffic, you're probably diverting their attention - and yours - from the most serious public safety issues surrounding the holiday.

HE WON THE BET, BUT ..........

He squeezed himself into the child seat of a park’s swing set and got stuck for nine hours overnight before firefighters rescued him the next morning. Since his friends abandoned him, I wonder if they’ll pay off the bet? And even if they do, cash-strapped Vallejo is liable to send him a bill for the rescue effort and then there are the hospital emergency room charges. That $100 bet will probably cost him well over a thousand dollars. Since his name hasn’t been released, I’ll call him Mr. Shit-For-Brains.

Police say a man made a $100 bet with his friends that he could fit into a child's diaper-like swing seat

Associated Press
October 30, 2011

VALLEJO, Calif. — A 21-year-old Northern California man was left hanging at a playground swing set overnight after he got stuck in the diaper-like seat for nine hours.

Vallejo police say the man made a $100 bet with his friends that he could fit into a child's swing at Blue Rock Springs Park on Friday night. With the help of liquid laundry detergent, he managed to slide his legs into the seat.

Authorities say that's when he got stuck -- and his friends took off.

A groundskeeper found the man screaming for help the next morning. Firefighters cut the chains off the swing and took him to the hospital, where a cast cutter was used to remove the seat.

The man's name has not been released.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


H-E-B, based in San Antonio, is my favorite grocer in Houston. Not long ago the Texas Department of Public Safety stopped what looked like an H-E-B tractor-trailer and found the trailer contained a big load of marijuana bales.

Law Enforcement On Lookout For Imposters On Roads

By Jessie Degollado
October 27, 2011

VICTORIA COUNTY, Texas -- Texas law enforcement agencies report drug smugglers have resorted to "cloning" company and government vehicles to try to avoid detection and protect their illegal cargo.

"It's making our job a lot harder," said Michael O'Connor, Victoria County sheriff. "We're up against a matrix of deceptive transportation."

O'Connor said his officers have undergone additional training on how to spot the nearly perfect look-alikes.

Photographs provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety show 18-wheelers with duplicate logos of major companies, crammed with bales of marijuana.

Others closely resemble government vehicles, even a school bus that had marijuana bales set up inside so they looked like passenger seats.

Another shows a truck with a Texas Department of Transportation logo spotted in Gonzales County, except it was stuffed with marijuana.

"At one time, you could say there was a certain type of vehicle used. Now, it's everything, everything imaginable," O'Connor said.

He said some have "window-dressing" such as oilfield equipment or soldiers in uniform and a patient in the back of an ambulance, but they were all imposters.


Psychiatric episode? That one didn’t work. But maybe his client can get a job as a flaky art critic when he gets out of the slammer.


Mail Online
October 28, 2011

An art thief has pleaded guilty to walking out of a San Francisco art gallery with a pencil sketch by Pablo Picasso worth $280,000.

Workers at the Weinstein Gallery said Mark Lugo brazenly snatched the drawing, called Tete de Femme (Head of A Woman), from a wall of their gallery on July 5.

Lugo then walked down the street and got into a cab with the sketch under his arm.

But quick police work, video surveillance cameras and an alert taxi driver led to his arrest within 24 hours.

When investigators searched Lugo's apartment in New Jersey, they uncovered a treasure trove of stolen art worth around $430,000.

The other stolen works found included another Picasso painting worth $30,000, a Fernand Leger sketch valued at $350,000 and three bottles of Chateau Petrus Pomerol wine worth $5,900, San Francisco district attorney George Gascon said.

'This is a person who definitely had a taste for the finer things, and he didn't like to pay for them,' Mr Gascon said.

Lugo, 30, who investigators said worked at upmarket Manhattan restaurants and as a wine steward, admitted grand theft in the San Francisco case.

Under terms of a plea deal, prosecutors agreed to drop other charges, including burglary.

The deal allows for Lugo to be released on his sentencing date, November 21, after getting credit for time already served.

His lawyer, Douglas Horngrad, said Lugo would then be extradited to New York to face similar charges over art thefts there.

Mr Horngrad said the case had been wildly overblown.

'Now that all the hoopla has died down, he'll serve the time that reflects the conduct,' he said. 'Nobody was killed, nobody was assaulted; this was not the crime of the century.'

Lugo's initial bail of $5million was 'preposterous', he added. He also hinted that his client suffered from a mental illness.

'All these things that Mark is alleged to have taken were all taken within a 30-day period, with no behaviour like that before, and that suggests that there was some psychiatric episode,' the lawyer said.

Rowland Weinstein, owner of the San Francisco gallery, talked to reporters yesterday as he stood next to the Picasso and the FedEx box in which they found the sketch ready for shipping.

'I got to see first hand really extraordinary police work,' he said. 'This piece is a love affair of mine.'


A blonde woman driver was about two hours from San Diego when she was flagged down by a man whose truck had broken down. The man walked up to the car and asked, 'Are you going to San Diego?'

'Sure,' answered the blonde, 'do you need a lift?'

'Not for me. I'll be spending the next three hours fixing my truck. My problem is I've got two chimpanzees in the back which have to be taken to the San Diego Zoo. They're a bit stressed already so I don't want to keep them on the road all day. Could you possibly take them to the zoo for me? I'll give you $100 for your trouble.'

'I'd be happy to,' said the blonde.

So the two chimpanzees were ushered into the back seat of the blonde's car and carefully strapped into their seat belts. Off they went.

Five hours later, the truck driver was driving through the heart of San Diego when suddenly he was horrified!! There was the blonde walking down the street and holding hands with the two chimps, much to the amusement of a big crowd.

With a screech of brakes he pulled off the road and ran over to the blonde. 'What the heck are you doing here?' he demanded, 'I gave you $100 to take these chimpanzees to the zoo.'

'Yes, I know you did,' said the blonde, 'but we had money left over --- so now we're going to Sea World.’

Saturday, October 29, 2011




“Too often, local governments are taken for a ride by red-light camera vendors overly focused on their bottom line instead of public safety.”

Right now the City of Houston is embroiled as the defendant in a multimillion dollar lawsuit with its red-light camera vendor.

By Josh Richman

Contra Costa Times
October 27, 2011

Outsourcing traffic enforcement to red-light and speed camera vendors can spell trouble for municipalities, according to a new report from a consumer watchdog group.

The report by the California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG) finds that about half the states have enabled use of automated traffic cameras, letting local governments contract with private companies to install the equipment and issue citations. But citizens have often objected to privatized forms of traffic enforcement and many municipalities have found themselves in legal trouble when they attempt to change or update these contracts, the report says.

Engineering alternatives, such as lengthening yellow lights, are often the best way to reduce injuries from red-light running, the report says, but such solutions often get short shrift from ticket revenue-hungry contractors and municipalities.

“Automated traffic ticketing tends to be governed by contracts that focus more on profits than safety,” CALPIRG Legislative Director Pedro Morillas said. “Too often, local governments are taken for a ride by red-light camera vendors overly focused on their bottom line instead of public safety.”

State Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, authored a bill this year that would’ve reformed the use of traffic cameras by requiring local governments to post signs near where the cameras are installed; develop uniform guidelines for screening and issuing tickets from the cameras; make formal fact-findings to justify future installations; to ignore revenue, beyond the system’s own costs, when considering whether to install such systems; and so on.

SB 29 had overwhelming bipartisan support, approved by the Assembly on a 70-4 vote and by the state Senate on a 38-0 vote. Yet Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed the bill this month, writing that installation and maintenance of such camera systems “is something that can and should be overseen by local elected officials” without state interference.

But CALPIRG’s report recommends stronger guidelines to ensure that automated traffic enforcement programs focus on improving road safety, not ticket revenue. It says contracts between local governments should carefully compare cameras with alternatives, and their contracts with vendors should be scrutinized for conflicts of interest or any direct or indirect incentives for vendors based on the volume of tickets issued or fines collected. Public control over traffic policy and engineering decisions must be retained, the report says, and the contract process should be completely transparent and open, including public participation and information about finding online data on automated ticketing for each intersection.

“We’ve already run into controversy over the use of red-light cameras here in California,” Morillas said. “We need to learn from past mistakes to keep our roadways from becoming ATMs for private companies.”


As I’ve said many times before, the only difference between a lawyer and a liar is the spelling. Of course, not all liars are crooks, but this one most certainly is.

By Richard Connelly

Houston Press Hair Balls
October 28, 2011

Houston criminal defense attorney Abraham Moses Fisch is facing a slew of federal charges this morning: conspiracy, obstruction of justice, money laundering, conspiracy to commit money laundering and failure to file tax returns.

They all stem from what the U.S. Attorney's Office describes as a scheme to convince criminal defendants that Fisch had the juice and the know-how to make a few well-placed bribes to see their cases disappear.

Over five years Fisch and a co-defendant made almost $1.5 million in the scheme, the feds say.

The co-defendant, Lloyd Glen Williams, was -- shockingly -- "a former used car financier." WHO CAN YOU TRUST?!?!

Also arrested was Fisch's wife, Monica Bertman.

Williams, although not an attorney, held himself out as someone who could resolve criminal cases through his contacts with government officials. Williams, Fisch and Bertman worked together to solicit federal criminal defendants as clients under false pretenses.

They claimed to the defendants that Williams had the power to cause their criminal charges to be dismissed or their sentence reduced if they would hire Fisch as their attorney, pay a large sum of money to Fisch and Williams and then provide Williams with information about their crimes.

Williams claimed he would then pass that information along to contacts in various federal agencies. In return, Williams claimed his contacts would cause the criminal charges against the defendants to be dismissed or their sentences reduced.

The feds say at least five criminal cases were involved, which seems to indicate some very big payments indeed. Oh, and they make clear "no government officials received bribes."

In fact, the USAO says, "Williams' supposed contacts were either retired government officials, were not in contact with Williams or otherwise had no ability or willingness to influence the outcome of a defendant's case."

The penalties the defendants face:

__If convicted, Fisch faces a prison term of five years imprisonment for the conspiracy charge, 10 years on each of the four counts of obstruction of justice, 10 years for each of the nine counts of money laundering, 10 years for conspiracy to commit money laundering and one year for each of the five counts of failure to file tax returns in addition to substantial monetary fines. Bertman faces a maximum five years and 10 years, respectively, if convicted of conspiracy and one count of obstruction of justice in addition to a $250,000 fine.


Bob Walsh sent this to me and said, “I THINK it is legit.” Well, it appears to be because it has been shown on You Tube:


In 1981, Herman Ostry and his wife, Donna, bought a farm a half mile outside of Bruno, Nebraska , a small community sixty miles west of Omaha . The property had a creek and came with a barn built in the 1920's. The barn floor was always wet and muddy. When the creek flooded in 1988, the barn ended up with 29 inches of water covering the floor. That was the last straw. Ostry needed to move it to higher ground.

He contacted a building moving company and was discouraged by the bid. One night around the table, Ostry commented that if they had enough people they could pick the barn up and move it to higher ground.. Everyone laughed.

A few days later, Ostry’s son Mike showed his father some calculations. He had counted the individual boards and timbers in the barn and estimated that the barn weighed approximately 16,640 pounds. He also estimated that a steel grid needed to move the barn would add another 3,150 pounds, bringing the total
weight to just under 10 tons. He figured it would take around 350 people with each person lifting 56 lbs. to move the barn.

The town of Bruno was planning its centennial celebration in late July of 1988. Herman and Mike presented their barn moving idea to the committee. The committee decided to make it part of their celebration.

So, on July 30, 1988, shortly before 11 a.m., a quick test lift was successfully made. Then, as local television cameras and 4,000
people from eleven states watched, 350 people moved the barn 115 feet south and 6 feet higher up a gentle slope and set it on its new foundation.

The reason most people think that something cannot be done is because they know that they can’t do it by themselves. But impossible things can be done if we join together in the task.. Working together, we can not only move barns, but change the world.


In almost all criminal trials where the defendants have been convicted, their attorneys will plead for leniency on the grounds that the defendant was the victim of an abusive childhood. Now The Onion is giving lawyers a new way of offering mitigating circumstances to a jury.


The Onion
October 26, 2011

SANTA ROSA, CA—A study released by the California Parenting Institute Tuesday shows that every style of parenting inevitably causes children to grow into profoundly unhappy adults. "Our research suggests that while overprotective parenting ultimately produces adults unprepared to contend with life's difficulties, highly permissive parenting leads to feelings of bitterness and isolation throughout adulthood," lead researcher Daniel Porter said. "And, interestingly, we found that anything between those two extremes is equally damaging, always resulting in an adult who suffers from some debilitating combination of unpreparedness and isolation. Despite great variance in parenting styles across populations, the end product is always the same: a profoundly flawed and joyless human being." The study did find, however, that adults often achieve temporary happiness when they have children of their own to perpetuate the cycle of human misery.


I was driving home the other day worrying about all the stuff going on in Washington and how my marriage was falling apart ‘cause I’ve been out of work and haven’t been able to find another job, when I saw a yard sign that said:


When I got home, out of curiosity and desperation, I called that number. The answering machine asked me to leave my name and address, which I did. 15 minutes later a Mexican with a lawnmower showed up.

Friday, October 28, 2011


The Scallion
October 27, 2011

ZANESVILLE, Ohio – During a joint news conference in Zanesville, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller and Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz tried to assure the public that the October 18 release of 48 wild animals was not a terrorist act and that Terry Thompson, owner of the animals, had no connection to any terrorist network.

Thompson released 48 dangerous animals from his wild-animal preserve, including lions, tigers, bears and wolves, before taking his own life. After an all-night hunt by Lutz’s deputies, most of the animals had been found and killed.

The possibility that Thompson was a terrorist came about after several of his neighbors called the FBI to report that on numerous occasions they had heard Thompson shout ‘Allah Akbar’ and ‘Sharia.’

Napolitano told reporters that the Department of Homeland Security takes all such reports seriously. She directed Mueller to conduct an intensive investigation into Thompson’s possible terrorist connections and to spare no resources in the effort.

Mueller told the reporters that a weeklong investigation by a special terrorism task force of 30 FBI agents had uncovered that what the neighbors heard was Thompson yelling at two tigers named ‘Allah’ and ‘Akbar,’ and at a lion named ‘Sharia.’

When asked how much the weeklong FBI investigation cost, Mueller replied, “$270,000.” When reporters suggested that $270,000 was an exorbitant amount just to discover that Thompson had been calling out to his animals, Napolitano bristled, “We can’t defend ourselves against terrorism on the cheap.”

Sheriff Lutz advised the public not to give their pets and children any names that could possibly be associated with terrorism. Lutz stated that Thompson naming a couple of his tigers ‘Allah’ and ‘Akbar’ and a lion 'Sharia' was a really bad idea.

Napolitano said Lutz was right and that she would have Homeland Security publish a booklet with a list of names that parents of newborns and pet owners should avoid. She said the booklet will be published in both English and Spanish and would be distributed to the public free of charge.


I suggest that, for our own safety, we all carry a box full of surgical gloves at all times.

By Jerry Reynolds

The Car Pro Weekly
October 27, 2011

Warning: This story might make your skin crawl.

A new study has found that the gas pump is the germiest, filthiest thing we touch in everyday life.

That's according to Dr. Charles Gerba of the University of Arizona -- and he should know. A microbiologist, he's known by the nickname "Dr. Germ."

In research results released Tuesday, Gerba found that 71% of gas pump handles and 68% of corner mailbox handles are "highly contaminated" with the kinds of germs most associated with a high risk of illness. The study says that 41% of ATM buttons and 43% of escalator rails are similarly teeming with germs.

Other highly contaminated places that many people probably never considered before, and now might fear using, are parking meters and kiosks, about 40% of which are fouled by germs. Crosswalk buttons and vending machines were tied at 35%.

So what are we supposed to do? Apparently, it's all about "hand hygiene" – washing your hands throughout the day -- and wiping down your work station with a cleaning product (naturally) because a desktop, keyboard and computer mouse can be a breeding ground for germs, say the folks at Kimberly-Clark.


When we lock them up, we are morally and legally responsible for their health.

By Diane Dimond

Jewish World Review
October 27, 2011

They are charged with breaking laws or victimizing fellow citizens. We respond by making sure they get a lawyer — often on the taxpayer's dime. If they plead "not guilty," we stage expensive trials so they can provide evidence to a judge or jury. If convicted, they are imprisoned.

So, after all that we do, we also have an obligation to provide prisoners with any and all medicines they might need to keep them healthy?

While so many Americans are struggling to meet health insurance and prescription costs, services for prisoners constantly increase. And make no mistake about it: America has so many incarcerated people that we're spending boatloads of money on convicts' medical care. Their services cannot be cut. But health care programs for the general public have been cut back time and time again.

Let's take the state of Ohio as a general example of what it means to maintain the health of convicts. The Ohio prison system has about 51,000 prisoners, and it spends nearly $223 million a year for their medical care. About $28 million of the Ohio total is spent on inmates' prescriptions.

In Oregon, the latest annual figures show that it took $100 million to take care of some 14,000 prisoners. That's seven times more than the state spends on education.

Texas, like every other state, has seen a spike in the number of elderly inmates who often require even more expensive medical treatments. That phenomenon — on top of Texas' regular medical care costs for prisoners — caused expenses to balloon to a staggering $545 million dollars last fiscal year. This, at a time when other crucial state programs are facing mandatory budget cuts.

Every year, the price of tending to old and dying prisoners skyrockets. Realize these inmates must often be transported to hospitals or nursing homes, where they are treated with the latest lifesaving methods and, yes, even though they are incapacitated from their illnesses, the law says they must be provided with security guards around the clock.

Wrap your head around this set of facts, if you can: In California, a state drowning in red ink, the prison system recently identified 21 inmates whose annual health care bill is just under $2 million — each. There are another 1,300 guests of the California penal system who require medical attention amounting to $100,000 apiece.

In the face of those cold, hard facts, California adopted a bill last year granting medical paroles so the sickest inmates could get out of prison and into federally funded health care facilities. That, of course, only shifted the burden on paper — from the state to the federal level.

So, armed with these staggering statistics, ask yourself: Do prisoners deserve all this free health care, when so many of us struggle to pay for health insurance or, sadly, go without? The answer in a humane society is yes.

But yes to a point.

Are you sitting down? If not, please do. In Massachusetts, a cross-dressing inmate who murdered his wife in 1990 has been suing the state for health care costs related to his desire to have a sex-change operation. Robert Kosilek (who has changed his name to Michelle) has already received hormone injections, electrolysis hair removal and, most recently, a mammogram — all at taxpayer expense. Kosilek remains housed in an all-male prison, and her standard issue prison wardrobe has been augmented with several bras and "some make-up," according to corrections officials.

Still, after a costly 10-year court battle, Kosilek says these steps have not been enough to ease her depression, and the fight continues for the state to pay for a full-on gender reassignment surgery. The case is still pending in Massachusetts' U.S. District Court.

Earlier this year in upstate New York, 55-year-old Kenneth Pike, convicted of raping a 12-year-old family member and sentenced to up to 40 years in prison, desperately needed a heart transplant. He had already undergone triple heart-bypass surgery and had a pacemaker implanted while incarcerated.

After the media reported that the public might have to pay for an $800,000 transplant surgery for a convicted child predator, the outcry was immediate. The Department of Corrections explained that it was "constitutionally obligated to provide health care services to inmates," and Pike's family argued he should be treated like any other patient in need.

In the end, the controversy was so red-hot that Kenneth Pike declined the surgery. At last report, he is still alive.

In 1976, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that prisoners were entitled to the same medical and dental treatment as everyone else in their communities. Since then, countless state courts have upheld that ruling and repeated that prisons withholding treatment may be held liable for violating the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Well, I know lots of folks in my community who can't afford to go to doctor when they feel ill, and they may go to the dentist only when they have a raging toothache.

Whether our politicians want to admit it or not, health care has become a luxury for millions of Americans. Excluding, of course, those convicted of a crime.


Curtis & Leroy saw an ad in the Starkville Daily News Newspaper in Starkville, MS. and bought a mule for $100.

The farmer agreed to deliver the mule the next day..

The next morning the farmer drove up and said, "Sorry, fellows, I have some bad news, the mule died last night."

Curtis & Leroy replied, “Well, then just give us our money back."

The farmer said, "Can't do that. I went and spent it already.."

They said, "OK then, just bring us the dead mule."

The farmer asked, "What in the world ya'll gonna do with a dead mule?"

Curtis said, "We gonna raffle him off."

The farmer said, "You can't raffle off a dead mule!"

Leroy said, "We shore can! We don't hafta tell nobody he's dead!"

A couple of weeks later, the farmer ran into Curtis &Leroy at the Piggly Wiggly grocery store and asked, "What'd you fellers ever do with that dead mule?"

They said, "We raffled him off like we said we wuz gonna do."

Leroy said, "Shucks, we sold 500 tickets fer two dollars apiece and made a profit of $998."

The farmer said, "My Lord, didn't anyone complain?"

Curtis said, "Well, the feller who won got upset. So we gave him his two dollars back."

Curtis and Leroy now work for Goldman Sachs!


So, I'm sitting in the den the other day when there's a knock on the front door.

Having nothing better to do, I went to the door to find a young well-dressed man standing there who said: "Hello sir, I'm a Jehovah's Witness."

Still having nothing better to do, I said: “Come in and make yourself comfortable.” I offered him a soft drink and asked: "What would you like to talk about?"

He responded: “Beats the shit out of me, I've never gotten this far before.”

Thursday, October 27, 2011


PACOVILLA’s Jeff Doyle notes that too late, California counties wake up to realignment reality. The counties just realized Gov. Moonbeam didn't give them a silk purse after all.

By Brad Branan

The Sacramento Bee
October 26, 2011

The majority of criminal offenders sent to Sacramento County under a new law have serious criminal backgrounds – in contrast to how the law was promoted, county officials say.

Since state lawmakers approved the law earlier this year, giving counties responsibility for certain offenders, state correctional officials have said counties will receive offenders who committed crimes that are nonviolent, nonserious, nonsexual.

But that refers only to the most recent crime committed by the offender. Of the 93 offenders turned over to county probation since Oct. 1, the majority have prior offenses that meet the penal code's definition of serious, said Suzanne Collins, assistant chief probation officer.

"To say these people are non-, non-, non- is not an accurate description of who these people are," Collins said during a workshop held Tuesday to go over the county's plans for handling the offenders.

For instance, one offender was sent to the county following a sentence for possession of a controlled substance and a loaded firearm. But the offender previously was convicted of armed robbery, she said.

Another offender who came to the county after serving a sentence for grand theft previously had been convicted of armed robbery.

The plan calling for the shift was created by Gov. Jerry Brown's administration and approved by the Legislature. The action came after a U.S. Supreme Court decision requiring that California reduce the population in its 33 prisons from 142,750 to 110,000 by June 2013.

The Board of Supervisors expects to vote on the plan Nov. 1. Funded by $13 million from the state for nine months, the plan includes a mix of incarceration and rehabilitation programs.

Collins' remarks added to a sense of growing concern among county law enforcement leaders about what the new law will mean for their already overburdened public safety system. The county has long faced limited jail space and a Probation Department besieged by deep budget cuts.

On Tuesday, District Attorney Jan Scully condemned the state plan, joining Sheriff Scott Jones, who previously complained about it.

"This has been moving way too fast," she told supervisors.

Scully also said the public should have a better sense of offenders being sent to counties.

"They can have an arm-length list of criminal convictions," she said.

Under the new law, the Probation Department gets offenders who previously would have been handled by state parole. The Sheriff's Department has responsibility for offenders who previously would have been sentenced to prison. It has received about 65 so far, and expects the figure to grow rapidly.

"The numbers are staggering, and the bed space is lacking," said Chief Deputy Jamie Lewis.

A county committee of law-enforcement and social service officials approved a plan that would give a majority of the $13 million to the Sheriff's Department to reopen part of its jail and expand its home detention program.

The plan also calls for a little over $4.1 million for the Probation Department to run a day-reporting center that would offer rehabilitation programs.

How much funding should go to rehabilitation vs. incarceration has divided the committee.

The committee earlier this month voted 4-3 on the proposal to spend $6 million on the jail expansion.

Members of the American Civil Liberties Union held a news conference Tuesday and addressed supervisors in a bid to get more funding directed toward rehabilitation.

County Public Defender Paulino Duran, who earlier voted against the jail expansion, also told supervisors that the plan marks a step in the wrong direction.

"We're talking about changing our way of thinking," he said.

Supervisors can't change the funding proposed by the committee. The board can simply send the proposal back to the committee for changes, and four of five supervisors would have to agree to do so.


Moonbeam’s realignment is realigning California toward a higher crime rate. The counties are now discovering that you can’t make chicken salad out of chicken shit.

Due to overcrowded county jails, state inmates will likely end up on the streets where patrol deputies and officers must deal with them

by Paul Clinton

Police Magazine
October 21, 2011

To soften the blow to local law enforcement and communities, California politicians are calling one of the largest criminal-justice shifts in state history a "realignment."

Sadly, it appears the state's politicians are realigning California toward higher crime, potentially reversing years of declining violent crime.

Under a directive by the U.S. Supreme Court, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) must identify 37,000 state prisoners to be sent back to counties. State officials are saying publicly that these individuals will be sent back to county jails. Realistically, they will likely end up walking the streets.

"They keep telling us they'll end up in county jails," Paul M. Weber, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, tells POLICE Magazine. "What they don't tell you is the majority of the jails in the state are at, over or near capacity. They're not going to stay in jail. That's a lie put out to make the public feel comfortable."

This shift, which began earlier this month, was the result of a federal judge's ruling that California prisons are overcrowded, causing inmates to live in conditions that violated their civil rights. As a result, state lawmakers developed AB 109, formally known as Criminal Justice Alignment. Gov. Brown signed the bill into law in April.

This month, the state began screening a pool of 50,000 to identify all "non-violent, non-sexual, and non-serious" inmates that would be moved out of state prisons. The bill also puts supervision of those inmates with county probation departments rather than the state parole office.

The state's law enforcement leaders say they're concerned the CDCR will classify inmates for release based on their most recent conviction.

"They are supposed to look at their entire record," Ron Cottingham, president of the Peace Officers Research Association of California, tells POLICE Magazine. "This is where some problems occurred in the past, before realignment."

Local law enforcement agencies bracing for this shift have begun taking action. Los Angeles County is expected to receive about 6,000 prisoners, the most of any county in the state.

Bracing for these inmates, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck pulled 150 officers from patrol duties to deal with the fallout. Chief Beck expects a 3 percent increase in serious crimes as a result of the plan.

These officers will be assessing each inmate to determine the risk to the community, make contact with the individual, and monitor areas where they live for possible crime trends based on their track record.

Other provisions of AB109 include redefining sentencing guidelines to shift two dozen offenses to local control that would still be considered serious or violent such as involuntary manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, killing or injuring a police officer while resisting arrest, participating in a lynching, possession of weapons of mass destruction, possessing explosives, threatening a witness or juror, and using arson or explosives to terrorize a health facility or church, reports the Associated Press.

By implementing this shift, California also shifts costs to county sheriffs. The move saves the state $18,000 per inmate. The state is providing $24,000 in funding for each returned prisoner; it costs the state $42,000 a year to house a prisoner.


Judge Fine’s decisions have shown him to be a real jerk. It’s way past time to impeach this dipshit or to hold a recall election.

By Richard Connelly

Houston Press Hair Balls
October 26, 2011

District Judge Kevin Fine has been a unique jurist since taking the bench after his 2008 election -- challenging Texas' enforcement of the death penalty, saying a woman couldn't have been raped because she was "on top," and tossing out a jury's murder conviction because the defense didn't call a possibly exonerating witness.

He's at it again: He threw out a search warrant in a crack case because it wasn't specific enough. That happens occasionally, even in prosecutor-loving Harris County, but an appeals court has firmly rejected Fine's ruling, saying the omissions were trivial.

The case involved an alleged Third Ward crack house busted last year.

To get a search warrant, a Houston police officer swore in an affidavit that a reliable informant told him drugs were being sold out of a house in the 4200 block of Eppes; the officer gave the informant money to go buy some.

The informant was out of the officer's sight for about two minutes, but came back with a rock of crack.

The informant told the officer he had stood at the front door, given the money and watched a man enter the house and get the drugs. The man then told the informant to come back later.

Endorsing objections by the defense, Fine ruled that the magistrate who signed the search warrant did not have sufficient evidence to believe there were more drugs to be found in the house.

Fine said the time the tip was received had not been specified, the officers lost sight of the informant so the buy was not "controlled," and just because the guy at the house said to come back didn't mean he was offering to sell more drugs to the informant.

The 14th Court of Appeals didn't take well to Fine's nit-picking.

"Considering all the facts in the affidavit along with reasonable inferences from those facts," the appellate panel ruled, "we conclude that there was a fair probability that additional illegal drugs continued to be stored and sold at the residence just as the original tip indicated."


If those charged are convicted, no punishment will be severe enough.

Prosecution of 5 underscores the continuing threat posed by Iranian procurement networks seeking to obtain U.S. technology through fraud

By Dan Browning and Jim Spencer

Jewish World Review
October 26, 2011

MINNEAPOLIS -- A Minnesota manufacturer was allegedly duped into supplying radio devices to Singapore that later turned up in roadside bombs in Iraq, according to an indictment unsealed Tuesday in Washington, D.C.

Four Singaporeans and one Iranian were indicted along with four of their companies as part of a conspiracy that allegedly involved the illegal shipment of some 6,000 radio-frequency modules from the United States to Iran. At least 16 of the modules were later found in unexploded improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Iraq, according to the indictment.

Some of the defendants are also charged in a fraud conspiracy for the unlicensed export of military aircraft antennas to Singapore and Hong Kong.

The 13-month-old indictment does not identify the Minnesota company that shipped the modules or the Massachusetts company that shipped the aircraft antennas.

"The Minnesota company is not charged with any wrongdoing. They were lied to continually. They were told the modules were going to a telecommunications project in Singapore," said Dean Boyd, a spokesman with the Department of Justice.

On Monday, authorities in Singapore arrested Yuh Lan Wong, 39, Lim Yong Nam, 37, Lim Kow Seng, 42, and Soo Gan Benson Hia, 44, all citizens of Singapore, pending a U.S. extradition request. The other defendant, Hossein Larijani, 47, is a citizen and resident of Iran and remains free.

The four Singaporeans allegedly conspired to defraud the United States by circumventing U.S. export controls on the radio-frequency modules, the FBI said in a statement. Seng and Hia also face charges in connection with the shipment of military antennas from a Massachusetts company to Singapore and Hong Kong.

Radio-frequency modules can be used in commercial applications such as wireless local area networks connecting printers and computers. The modules made in Minnesota include encryption capabilities and have a range allowing them to transmit data as far as 40 miles, the indictment says.

"These same modules also have potentially lethal applications. Notably, during 2008 and 2009, coalition forces in Iraq recovered numerous modules made by the Minnesota firm that had been utilized as part of the remote detonation system for IEDs," the FBI said in a prepared statement about the case.

The 49-page indictment alleges that between June 2007 and February 2008, the defendants bought more than a half-million dollars worth of radio-frequency modules from the Minnesota company and had them delivered in five shipments to Singapore. Larijani then had Wong forward them to Iran via Malaysia or Thailand, it says.

The indictment also says that Larijani made false statements about doing business with an accused Iranian procurement agent and that he attempted to obstruct an official proceeding by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Larijani's companies, Paya Electronics Complex, based in Iran, and Opto Electronics Pte. Ltd., based in Singapore, also were charged. Wong is described as an agent of Opto Electronics who was allegedly supervised by Larijani from Iran.

The indictment also charges NEL Electronics Pte. Ltd., a company Nam owns in Singapore, and Corezing International Pte. Ltd., a company in Singapore that has offices in China. Seng is an agent of Corezing, and Hia is a manager, director and agent of the firm.

Twelve pages of the indictment detail the negotiations with the Minnesota company, which initially quoted a price of $98.45 a module. Wong countered with an offer of $60, noting that the end-user was a company in Singapore. The Minnesota company said the best it could do was $93.50 unless Wong provided more details about the end user, the indictment says. After some back and forth, they settled in August 2007 on a price of $85, or $510,000 for the 6,000 modules.

The indictment says the defendants caused the Minnesota company to file false export documents stating that the modules were to be used in a telecommunications project in Singapore. But it also notes that Seng met with an employee of the Minnesota company in Singapore and said the modules were for a customer in the Philippines for use in a wireless broadband application.

Not long after that, Nam provided Larijani a news article that talked about the U.S. government's efforts to "crack down on companies believed to be smuggling equipment to Iran to build explosive devices killing American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan," the indictment says.

Two days later, it says, Corezing ordered 2,000 modules from the Minnesota company. Fifteen of those were recovered from IEDs in Iraq between 2008 and 2010; another one was recovered from a different shipment.

In November 2007, the Minnesota company sent Corezing a form from the Bureau of Industry and Security that asked what the devices would be used for, and by whom. Seng responded that Corezing couldn't respond because of a nondisclosure agreement with the customer. After the Minnesota company signed a nondisclosure agreement, however, Corezing responded by saying the modules would be used for a telecom project in Singapore by NEL Electronics.


Lucky to be alive, Javier qualifies to be labeled as a kooky ‘Kookfornian.’

By Bob Walsh

PACOVILLA Corrections blog
October 26, 2011

Javier Gonzales-Guerrero of San Jose found that out the hard way. He was carrying a gold-painted toy gun in his waistband when he interacted with the San Jose P D recently. Something went sideways and the cops gave him a few extra body orifices. When one of the cops stepped on the gun it broke.

This not very bright young man is now under arrest. Presumably for felony stupidity.


Last month a world-wide survey was conducted by the UN. The only question asked was: "Could you please give your honest opinion about solutions to the food shortage in the rest of the world?" The survey was a massive failure because of the following:

1. In Eastern Europe they didn't know what "honest" meant.

2. In Western Europe they didn't know what "shortage" meant.

3. In Africa they didn't know what "food" meant.

4. In China they didn't know what "opinion" meant.

5. In the Middle East they didn't know what "solution" meant.

6. In South America they didn't know what "please" meant.

7. In the USA they didn't know what "the rest of the world" meant.

8. In the UK they hung up as soon as they heard the Indian accent.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Dorina Lisson sent me the following information on prisons in Australia:

Prisoners are watching pay-TV movies in their cells, at a cost to taxpayers of tens of thousands of dollars. Pay-TV packages for Victoria's prisons cost thousands of dollars a month, data obtained under Freedom of Information reveals. Prison sources have revealed that Melbourne Remand Centre units have been fitted out with new flat-screen TVs.

Fulham Prison signed a three-year contract, for more than $70,000, to stream movie channels into cells. Loddon Prison pays almost $1000 a month for Austar pay-TV channels. The Judy Lazarus Transition Centre spends almost $600 a month on Foxtel packages. Inventories of shops at Langi Kal-Kal Prison and Barwon Prison reveal inmates can buy snacks such as stuffed olives and "Movietime popping corn". In Beechworth Prison and The Metropolitan Remand Centre, prisoners can treat themselves to ice creams. Some of the worst prisoners in Ararat Prison, also have access to new adidas shoes, doonas and christmas cakes.

A Department of Justice spokesman confirmed inmates, who can spend up to 16 hours a day in their cells, could channel-surf. But he declined to say what channels were available or detail any restrictions. Expensive items such as watches and shoes were sold at prices lower than ordinary Victorians pay in shops.

In male prisons, moisturisers, loofas, gels and aftershaves are available. Female inmates in the maximum-security Dame Phyllis Frost Centre, are allowed up to 144 products a year from a selection of mascaras, eye shadow, hair treatments, tinted moisturisers and butterfly clips.

A Corrections Victoria spokesman said "a limited number of pay-TV channels, one of which must be educational or documentary-based, are available at three prisons, as this is a cheaper option to video or DVD hire". He declined to reveal details of computer games or what DVDs had been hired. Instructions for renting DVDs above an MA rating demand a register be kept.

Victims of crime spokesman Noel McNamara said it was a disgrace that inmates could get discounted goods. "It just defies the imagination. That they have all these luxuries that they wouldn't have at home doesn't make sense at all. "Prison is a place of punishment," he said.


The answer is yes. Even if the judge throws the book at this celebrity piece of trash who is now posing nude for Playboy, Lohan will be booked into the L.A. County Jail and shown out the door. Why? Because of Gov. Moonbeam’s corrections “realignment” program.

Confronted with a federal court order to reduce California’s overcrowded prison population and facing a humongous financial crisis, Gov. Jerry Brown cut a deal with the state’s Democratic lawmakers for a corrections "realignment" which sends new prison inmates to county jails and also turns the supervision of new parolees over to the counties.

Moonbeam’s realignment, which started this month, disregards the fact that California’s counties are experiencing a serious financial crisis of their own. This means that many prison inmates will just be flat out released while parolees will receive practically no supervision, and that puts the public’s safety at risk.

Realignment? That’s why they call him Moonbeam.

By Bob Walsh

PACOVILLA Corrections blog
October 25, 2011

The L. A. County Jail has seen a boost of about 700 in their count since October 1. About 40% of their new intake is druggies. They anticipate that, unless they start kicking out low-level offenders with essentially zero time served they will max out on their bed space by Christmas.

Assistant Sheriff Cecil Rhambo has been quoted as saying, “We want the jail for the ‘Oh my Gods,’ not for someone who’s a drug abuser.”

While I understand the sentiment, most drug abusers support their drug activity with criminal activity. Not all, but most. It will come to no surprise to those of us who actually understand the system when we end up with literally tens of thousands of repeat property crime offenders committing more crimes with relative impunity due to lack of any place to put them when they are caught.

Isn’t realignment wonderful?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I have long complained about the way the term ‘hero’ is thrown around. Most people called heroes aren’t true heroes at all. The way I see it, a hero is someone who risks his life for his country or to save someone else's life. Sheriff’s deputy Frank Pobjecky is a true hero in the way the term ‘hero’ was meant to be, first as a soldier in Iraq and now as a deputy sheriff in Winnebago County, Illinois.

Deputy Frank Pobjecky found himself off duty, alone, outgunned and outnumbered, while people he was sworn to protect were in grave danger

By Dan Marcou
October 24, 2011

Imagine yourself off duty, standing at the counter of your favorite pizza place, waiting to pick up a pizza for your family. Suddenly four armed thugs burst through the door, while shouting threats and promises of their deadly intentions. You raise your hands instinctively, but not too high, while your mind processes your options. You start scanning the suspects in hopes to remember them later, planning on becoming a good witness. After all there are four of them and one of you.

In a second everything changes — a struggle ensues in front of you. Tired of robberies, this small business owner has decided to arm himself and now there is a struggle over his weapon. What would you do?

This very situation happened to Deputy Frank Pobjecky of the Winnebago County Sheriff, whose actions in this deadly situation fit comfortably within the category of “Damned Heroic.”

Pobjecky — seeing that all four suspects presented a deadly threat to the owner of the restaurant, the patrons and himself — “filled his hand” and opened fire. Thanks to his courageous and decisive actions as well as excellent shot placement, the situation was diffused and the only persons needing transport for gunshot wounds were the suspects.

Sheriff Dick Meyers of Winnebago County announced that the administrative review of the shooting has been completed and determined that Deputy Pobjecky, “acted properly and in accordance with police training.” Sheriff Meyers continued, “It is important to recognize that Deputy Pobjecky was injected into a situation created by four armed robbery suspects who were carrying out a violent forcible felony while armed with a weapon.” Meyers also added this perspective: “This was a real-time, dynamic situation in which Deputy Pobjecky was in fear of his life and the lives of others in the business at the time of this robbery.”

Winnebago County State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato announced that the Grand Jury convened in the manner also ruled the shooting was justified. Bruscato reported that the Grand Jury indicted Brandon Lewis Sago, 22, Lamar Okeita Coates, 23, as well as Desmond Lamar Bellmon, 23, on more than 30 counts of first-degree felony murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, mob action and attempted armed robbery. All three suspects are expected to recover from their wounds to face these charges.

A 16-year-old armed robber, Michael Sago Jr. did not survive the robbery attempt inside Marie’s Pizza. Some believe his case will be convened in a higher venue.

Regarding Officer Pobjecky’s actions, Bruscato said, “I find the actions of Deputy Frank Pobjecky were in compliance with the laws of the state of Illinois and the discharge of a firearm by him that struck the three defendants as well as Michael Sago fatally was justified under Illinois law.”

The owner of Marie’s Pizza located at 1513 Charles in Rockford, Illinois, Vincenzo Tarara, was found to be legally in possession of the weapon he was carrying at the time of the robbery. No charges will be filed in that matter either.

Deputy Frank Pobjecky is cleared to return to duty.


Even if his boasts are lies, this sorry-ass piece of shit still deserves to be executed!

Steven Hayes described two of the attacks in chilling detail, including how he made 16-hour video of him torturing and killing one woman

By John Sevens

Mail Online
October 24, 2011

A Connecticut man convicted of killing a mother and her two daughters in a deadly home invasion bragged about how he killed 17 others and raped dozens of women in leaked letters revealed today.

Steven Hayes described in chilling detail how in two of the attacks he had tied up, tortured and killed women – and even made a 16-hour video of him murdering one of his victims.

The 48-year-old serial killer, who is on death row for his role in the 2007 home invasion, boasted to a female companion about how he had collected the sneakers of all of his victims as trophies, but said 'the 17 kill trophies' meant the most to him.

Hayes was last year convicted of raping and strangling Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 48, before tying her daughters, Hayley, 17 and Michaela, 11, to their beds and setting the house on fire. He is currently appealing the conviction.

Earlier this month, his accomplice was Joshua Komisarjevsky, was also convicted for his role in the killings and is due to be sentenced on Tuesday.
In the four letters, which were written in August and September, Hayes wrote that he would have killed Komisarjevsky if he had not been jailed because while he had the same 'capacity for evil', he was not committed enough.

Hayes told a female in North Carolina, only identified as 'Lynn', that he wanted to share his 'dark secret' as 'someone else really should know the truth about' him.

'Yes, I've killed before,' Hayes wrote in the letters which were obtained by the New Haven Register.

'I have 17 kills throughout the Northeast United States. Perfect victims and well executed, controlled endeavors.'

In the 17 pages of handwritten letters, which were confiscated by prison authorities, Hayes gleefully recounted the rape and murder of his first victim in 1982 and his eighth.

He wrote that all of his victims were aged between 14 and 25.

The New Haven Register, which has not detailed how it acquired the letters, reported that the letters read 'like a twisted pornographic fantasy'.

Hayes wrote that he spotted his first victim, a girl who was hitchhiking, as he was driving home from a bar. He described her as 'short, hot and the perfect victim'.

'Like any great hunter, timing is critical,' he wrote about how he chose his victims.

Hayes told how he picked up the girl and drove her to a secluded location where he tied her up and threw her in the trunk before taking her to a cheap motel, which he said became his 'location of choice' for his attacks.

According to the newspaper, he described in detail how he sexually assaulted the woman and then pinched her nose and suffocated her.

'A monster was born,' he wrote.

'This carried on with my top 17 sexual conquests and kills,' he wrote according to the Register. 'The trophies, the signature kill, the thrill of the hunt and the disposal of my adventure buddies.'

Hayes said that he picked up his eighth victim, who he found drunk walking along a road, and told her he would take her back to his house to smoke crack cocaine and drink beer.

He claimed that he tied her to his bed for an entire weekend and tortured her before killing her.

'The more pain and emotional abuse she went through, the better I liked it,' he said. 'And believe me, I was in heaven.'

Hayes claimed that he recorded the assault and killing on a 16-hour video, which he described as 'by far the best snuff film ever created'.

He said that he kept hold of the tape for six months before it 'found a home' in Portland, Oregon.

Komisarjevsky, who could also face the death penalty for his part in the attacks, was described as being a disappointment to Hayes in the letters.

'I've searched my whole life for someone who could embrace and had the capacity for evil as I possess,' Hayes wrote, according to the Register. 'I thought I finally found it in Josh.'

'But events show Josh, while [he] had the proper evil intent, lacked in the most serious aspects, commitment and control,' he added.

State Attorney Michael Dearington and an FBI spokesman have declined to say whether Hayes' purported crimes are being investigated or whether authorities are aware of 17 unsolved homicides matching details in his letters.

Hayes asked the recipient to hold on to the details of the letters until after his execution because the information 'could be worth millions to the right people.'

Hayes' attorney, Thomas Ullman, declined to comment.


Be careful what you wish for. The Obama administration wished to get rid of Egypt’s Mubarak and Libya’s Gadhafi so that democracy would begin to flourish in the Arab world. Well, they got their wish, or did they?

By Ryan Jones

Israel Today
October 24, 2011

The "Arab Spring" was predictably hailed by naive Western leaders as a positive development that would finally bring true Western-style democratic freedom to the masses of the Middle East.

But more than one analyst, including top Israeli officials, have warned that the Arab Spring is about to give birth to the Islamic Winter.

Tunisia was the first country in the Arab Spring to oust its long-time dictator. On Sunday the north African nation held its first free election since the uprising. Voter turnout was massive at 90 percent. The results surprised many in the West, but they shouldn't have.

By Monday afternoon with many of the votes counted, Tunisia's Ennahda Party was projected to take control of the parliament with a healthy majority.

Ennahda is labeled by Western media as a "moderate" Islamic group, but the description is misleading.

Ennahda supported Iran's takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran in 1979 and called for attacks on US targets during the Gulf War. Furthermore, Ennahda's ideology is based on that of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, which seeks to impose Islamic law on the whole world.

And it will start with Tunisia. Ennahda leader Rachid Ghannouchi announced recently that if his group won Tunisia's election, it would impose what he called "moderate" Sharia Law on what until now was one of the Arab world's most progressive nations.

A similar phenomenon is happening in Libya, whose liberation from the rule of Col. Muammar Gaddafi was so widely celebrated this week.

Post-Gaddafi Libya will have Sharia Law as the "basic source" of its civil laws, declared interim leader Mustafa Abdul-Jalil on Sunday. Already Abdul-Jalil has altered several Libyan laws that did not line up with Sharia, such as banning local banks from charging interest and making it legal to again practice polygamy.

Abdul-Jalil urged his countrymen to celebrate their newfound "freedom" by shouting "Allahu Akbar," or "Allah is Great."

Egypt has yet to hold elections since ousting former dictator Hosni Mubarak, but all estimates are that the Muslim Brotherhood will either win an outright majority in the parliament, or hold such a large bloc that any future government will be beholden to it.

The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood is the grandfather of all extremist Islamic groups in the region, and the direct progenitor of organizations such as Hamas.

Islamists have also been consolidating power in Turkey and Lebanon, though did not require civil uprisings to accomplish their goals there.

As General Eyal Eisenberg, head of Israel's Home Front Command, warned months ago, the Middle East that is resulting from the Arab Spring will be a haven for radical ideology that increases the likelihood of all out war, a war that Eisenberg said "might even involve weapons of mass destruction."

With the Middle East under its former dictatorships, analysts were largely correct in surmising that weapons of mass destruction would never been used against Israel on a large scale, as those ruling regimes had a long-term interest in maintaining the status quo.

But the radical powers taking over in many nations largely do not share that concern, and are far more driven by messianic ideologies that compel them to destroy Israel in order to usher in a new Islamic golden age.


Bob Walsh put it this way on PACOVILLA Corrections blog: There was a pretty good fight, a riot actually, at the Richmond City Hall on September 14th. The interesting thing about the fracas is that city employees who were witnesses to the combatants fleeing to scene to an office within city hall are refusing to talk to the cops. That city office is designed to fight gang violence and encourage citizen involvement. Many of these people are employees of the Office of Neighborhood Safety. Members of rival gangs showed up more or less simultaneously to pick up the payoffs the city gives them, up to $1,000 per body, for being nice people. I have a news flash for you guys, it isn’t working. (It should be noted this is private money, not public.)

By Henry K. Lee

San Francisco Chronicle
October 23, 2011

The city of Richmond is all abuzz about a blood-spattered brawl at City Hall after which everyone - including the alleged gang members involved and a city office responsible for operating antiviolence programs - clammed up to police.

The incident happened Sept. 14 when shouting between rival gang factions at the Office of Neighborhood Safety devolved into a brawl that left at least one person bloodied, apparently from a broken nose. When it was all over, officers found blood, broken dishes and upended furniture in an office break room.

But that's all police could do. Investigators have yet to identify any suspects, or even any victims, police Capt. Mark Gagan said, because no one is talking.

Gagan said it was clear that his department needed to "bolster our relationship" with the Office of Neighborhood Safety.

The office's director, DeVone Boggan, downplayed the incident, saying what happened was a fistfight, not a melee.

"They did not kill one another," Boggan said. "These are guys who shoot each other with the intent to kill or try to kill one another or seriously injure one another. I feel like this is a sign of progress with our work."

Some of those involved were members of three rival gangs in Richmond who had shown up to pick up privately supplied monthly stipends of up to $1,000 for following a "life map." That involves attending counseling or conflict-resolution sessions, undergoing mental-health therapy and paying things like parking tickets and child support, Boggan said.

He said the rival gang members had shown up at the same time unexpectedly.

Boggan denied that his office was stonewalling, saying, "That's the first time I've heard that term associated with me." He said he has liaisons and contacts with the Police Department, the Contra Costa County district attorney's office, probation and parole officers, the same sources who tip him off when any of the 40 young men who are paid as part of "Operation Peacemaker Fellowship" get into trouble.

If that happens, they've broken the contract they signed with his office, Boggan said. And they won't get paid with funds that come from private sources, he said, adding no city funds are involved.

But Councilman Corky Booze, a longtime critic of the city office, said Boggan's statements didn't wash. As director, Boggan should know when people are showing up to collect checks and recognize the "volatility of these folks," Booze said. And "why would you even bring those people to City Hall like that?"


Here is another example of why it pays to attend Home Depot’s free home improvement workshops.

By Will Kane

San Francisco Chronicle
October 23, 2011

A San Francisco man was arrested for allegedly trying to drill a hole in his brother's face with a cordless power drill after they got in a fight over a door latch.

As police tell it, 57-year-old Kevin Guerin of San Francisco was staying with his brother on the 100 block of Judson Avenue in the Sunnyside district. Things were going well until around the night of Sept. 16, when Guerin removed a piece of tape his 61-year-old brother had been using to secure a bathroom door latch.

The two got into an argument about the tape and the brother got out his electric drill to fix the latch.

"He retained the drill intending to fix the lock," said Sgt. Michael Andraychak, a police spokesman. "I think it was one of those things, removing the tape, maybe, finally got him to fix it."

The problem was that the two hadn't settled the underlying argument, whatever it was, Andraychak said.

Enraged, Guerin grabbed his brother, forced him into the master bedroom, pinned him down on the bed and revved the drill in his face, intending to puncture him, Andraychak said.

"Fortunately, the drill bit fell out," Andraychak said.

So Guerin used the drill as a club and smacked his brother in the face, police said.

The brother, whose name police have not released, managed to get away and call police, who arrested Guerin.

Postscript: Guerin turned out to be out on bail for an Oct. 4 episode in which he allegedly punched and choked a neighbor, telling the 47-year-old man, "Do you know why I am going to kill you? Because you're a fag."

Monday, October 24, 2011


I have long maintained that it is no longer appropriate to set an arbitrary age - 17, 18, 19 or whatever – for deciding whether a young person is mature enough to be or not to be responsible for criminal behavior.

Our juvenile laws were enacted eons ago on the premise that children who committed mischievous or other delinquent acts – breaking windows, shooting out street lights with BB guns, shoplifting, petty thefts, truancy - were too immature to realize that what they were doing was wrong. That was long before juveniles started to pile up armed robberies and heinous crimes of violence.

Juveniles mature much earlier than they did years ago and they have become more sophisticated in their criminal behavior. Whether they are gang bangers, drug dealers, armed robbers or cold blooded killers, the age differentiation for criminal responsibility should no longer apply. Mexico’s 15-year-old El Gallito may be an extreme example but he does point out that even a boy his age can be a sophisticated criminal.

Today when a young person under a certain age – as specified by the state wherein he resides - is caught committing a crime he is handled in a juvenile court. If the crime is serious, the juvenile court can refer him to stand trial as an adult. I believe the process should be reversed. If a youngster over the age of 14 commits a serious crime he should appear initially in an adult court. The court can then have the young criminal evaluated to determine if he was mature enough to be held responsible for his actions, and if not, he can then be referred to a juvenile court.


Borderland Beat
October 22, 2011

Prosecutors said Saturday that a 15-year-old boy has confessed to running a drug trafficking gang on the Mexican resort island of Isla Mujeres and murdering two women who reportedly worked as drug dealers.

It was the second time in less than a year that an extremely young male has been detained as a purported drug gang killer in Mexico. Last November, soldiers arrested a 14-year-old U.S. citizen who confessed to killing four people whose beheaded bodies were found hanging from a bridge.

Mexican officials say the involvement of youths in such crimes reflects the difficulty drug cartels are having in recruiting adults, but it also raise fears that Mexico's drug violence may have accustomed young people to extreme levels of violence.

The Isla Mujeres cases involve a youth who prosecutors in the Caribbean coast state of Quintana Roo identified only by his nickname, "El Gallito" or "The Little Rooster".

Heavily tattooed, El Gallito appears more mature than his age, prosecutors said.

State Attorney General Gaspar Garcia Torres said the boy claimed to have been in charge of the lucrative Isla Mujeres drug market for a local gang known as "Los Pelones," equivalent to the Bald or Shaved Heads. The gang is reputedly fighting the Zetas cartel for control of the area around the coastal resort of Cancun.

A spokesman for the prosecutors office said the boy told investigators that he and two older associates slashed the throats of the two women at a hotel on Isla Mujeres. Their women's bodies were found before dawn Thursday, and El Gallito was detained Friday.

"He confessed to having full participation in carrying out these deeds, and from the start he claimed to have been in charge of drug sales in the area, in this case for the Pelones, and that his duties were to receive the drugs," said the spokesman, who was not allowed to be quoted by name.

The women were purportedly killed after they betrayed the Pelones gang by selling drugs they obtained from other sources.

The boy was turned over to a youthful offender facility to face homicide charges. Because of his age, he cannot be identified or tried as an adult. In most parts of Mexico, youths are tried and sentenced in juvenile courts, but cannot be held after they turn 18.

Last year's case involved a 14-year-old U.S. citizen, who was identified by his family as Edgar Jimenez Lugo, known as "El Ponchis." He was sentenced in July to three years in prison for homicide, kidnapping and drug and weapons possession. It was the maximum sentenced allowed for a minor.

Authorities say the teenager confessed to working for the South Pacific cartel, which is allegedly led by Hector Beltran Leyva.


The U.S. has never recognized Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem and has consistently refused to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

By Elad Benari & Yoni Kempinski
October 20, 2011

Harvey Schwartz, Chair of the American Israeli Action Coalition, participated this week in the Jerusalem Conference for English speakers, which was held in the Jerusalem Great Synagogue.

Schwartz discussed the case of a Jerusalem-born U.S. citizen who is asking to have the country Israel put on his passport.

“As of now, the United States policy is to simply put the word Jerusalem as the city, but to leave the space calling for the country blank,” Schwartz told Arutz Sheva.

He noted, “Congress passed a law requiring the State Department to include the word Israel on passports. The State Department takes the position that it’s an infringement upon the President’s exclusive power to control and deal with American foreign policy.”

Menachem Zivotofsky was born in Jerusalem soon after the law was passed. His parents requested that the place of birth on his U.S. passport and Consular Report of Birth Abroad be listed as Israel, but the State Department refused the request, leading the Zivotofskys to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Schwartz noted that when President George W. Bush signed the legislation into law, he said that the clause requiring the State Department to include the word Israel would be advisory. This was done despite the fact that the legislation used the word “shall” rather than the word “may.”

The issue, Schwartz explained, is centered on whether Israel has sovereignty over Jerusalem.

“United States policy has been consistent since 1948 that Israel is not sovereign over Jerusalem,” he said. “Rather, the question of Jerusalem’s sovereignty is to be determined, ultimately, by resolution between the parties – I guess the parties meaning, at this stage of the game, Israel and the Palestinians. That’s been consistent U.S. policy.”

“Congress, on the other hand,” explained Schwartz, “has taken a far different position and is fully prepared to recognize Israel as having sovereignty over Jerusalem, which is, of course, the capital of Israel.”

As for what will happen next, that depends on how the Supreme Court rules in the case.

“Assuming the Supreme Court rules in favor of the Zivotofskys, that presumably will be the end of it,” Schwartz said. “On the other hand, if for some reason the Supreme Court either rules against them or decides that it doesn’t have the authority to deal with the question, then the next issue will be how to get further enforcement of the Congressional legislation.”


The thugs that make up street gangs are not only increasing in numbers but they are also getting more sophisticated and branching out into white collar crimes, extortion and even mortgage fraud.

Gangs are collaborating with transnational drug trafficking organizations

By Pete Yost

Associated Press
October 22, 2011

WASHINGTON — The gang problem in the United States is growing and there are an estimated 1.4 million members in some 33,000 gangs, the federal government said Friday.

Gangs are collaborating with transnational drug trafficking organizations to make more money and are expanding the range of their illicit activities, engaging in mortgage fraud and counterfeiting as well as trafficking in guns and drugs, according to the national gang threat assessment for 2011.

Gang membership "continues to flourish" and gang leaders are striking new alliances with other criminal organizations for profit, FBI agent Jayne Challman told reporters during a briefing at FBI headquarters.

The gang member estimate of 1.4 million was up from 1 million two years ago, a 40 percent increase, but the report attributed the rise in part to improved reporting by law enforcement agencies.

White-collar crime is an increasing focus for gangs. The report cited the arrest of a member in a Los Angeles gang called Florencia 13 for operating a lab that manufactured pirated video games.

A member of the East Coast Crips in Los Angeles co-owned a clothing store, using it to sell counterfeit goods and traffic in drugs, and members of the Bloods in San Diego were charged with racketeering and mortgage fraud, said the report by the National Gang Intelligence Center, a multiagency effort led by the FBI.

In an example of an alliance, the Nine Trey Gangster Bloods worked with the Lucchese organized crime family in New Jersey to smuggle drugs and cell phones into a prison.

On the West Coast, law enforcement officials in the state of Washington suspect that some Asian gangs are involved with Asian organized crime and marijuana cultivating groups.

In southern California, 99 members of the Armenian Power gang suspected of ties to crime figures in Armenia, Russia and the nation of Georgia were charged with kidnapping, extortion, bank fraud and drug trafficking.

Gang membership is increasing most significantly in the Northeast and Southeast regions of the country and many communities are experiencing an increase in ethnic-based gangs such as African, Asian and Caribbean gangs, said the report, which is based on federal, state and local law enforcement data.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


With a high rate of assaults on women in secluded parking lots, especially during evening hours, the Minneapolis City Council has established a 'Women Only' parking lot at the Mall of America.

The parking lot will be patrolled at all times during store hours and the security officers will be exclusively female so that a comfortable and safe environment is created for the shoppers. And as a special convenience, the mall has made the women-only parking spaces half again as wide as the parking spaces in its regular parking lots.

The Mall of America public relations office has just provided us with the first picture (below) of this country’s first women-only parking lot…


Personally I could care less about how Gadhafi met his end. Capture him alive to be tried in an international court, shoot the bastard on sight, or rip him into shreds – it all works for me.

Questions are now being raised about Gadhafi’s summary execution by rebel fighters which the media describes as “bloody and cruel.” The UN is calling for a full investigation and the U.S. is asking for a full accounting.

Bloody and cruel it was and undeniably, the U.S. and NATO were complicit in how Gadhafi met his end. It was American drones and NATO warplanes that attacked Gadhafi’s convoy, wounding him and causing his capture. Without U.S. and NATO participation in the war, the rebels would have been defeated. And without the drone and warplane attack on his convoy, the rebels would not have captured Gadhafi when they did. There is no getting around it, we participated in his ‘bloody and cruel’ execution!

President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton have trumpeted our desire to spread democracy throughout the Arab world. And they made it quite clear that they wanted to get rid of Gadhafi, one way or the other (dead or alive). Well, the will of the people was served by the way Gadhafi met his bloody end. The will of the people? That’s democracy! I’m sure Obama and Clinton would call it mobocracy, but it’s democracy nevertheless.


Sarah Brady, get out your crying towel! Since they cannot stand anything showing why we should have the right to bear arms, this will make the anti-gunners most unhappy.

By Bob Walsh

PACOVILLA Corrections blog
October 21, 2011

A woman in Redding terminally rehabilitated an intruder while she was talking on the phone with 911 dispatch very early this morning.

Donna Hopper, 66, called the cops in the very early AM when she saw somebody prowling around her yard. As it turns out that person fit the description of a person confronted by the rent-a-cop at a nearby car lot. While Ms. Hopper was on the phone with 911 the unlucky bad guy broke a window at Ms. Hopper’s home. At that time she opened fire. He was hit at least once and shuffled off this mortal coil shortly thereafter.

Since this occurred in Redding and not Berkeley or San Francisco the woman is probably in little if any legal jeopardy.

Remember, when seconds count the cops are only minutes away.


Mother knows best, or not. Hmm, I wonder if they arrested the wrong person in this case.


Associated Press
October 21, 2011

MINDEN, Nev. - A western Nevada man faces charges after authorities say he carried his mother out of a church when she arrived to stop his wedding.

The Record-Courier reports Justin Lew Harris of Gardnerville carried his 56-year-old mother out of the church Monday as she loudly objected to the ceremony.

Church volunteer Jim Jameson says Harris' wedding at the Carson Valley United Methodist Church was called off after the disruption. He didn't know what the mother's objections concerned.

The 35-year-old Harris faces misdemeanor disorderly conduct and coercion charges. He was released from jail on his own recognizance Wednesday.

East Fork Justice Tom Perkins urged Harris to treat family members with respect after the mother indicated she wanted contact with him. Perkins ordered Harris to return to court for a hearing Nov. 2.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Today's non-violent offender can be tomorrow's killer. I am reminded of a Houston case, where a man with a long history of passing bad checks tried to cash one at a supermarket. When the cashier reacted to a Telecheck alert by calling for the store manager, this non-violent offender up and shot her to death.

Predicting future behavior - whether by computer, psychologist or fortune teller - cannot be done with any degree of certainty. It's just a guess at best. The California 'low-level, non-violent' classification system is one big farce. But far worse is that it truly endangers the public's safety.

By Los Angeles Police Protective League Board of Directors

October 20, 2011

He had a long criminal history that included assaults, firearms possession and making criminal threats; but under the state’s new prison realignment law and parole programs, Lloyd Anthony Holbrook was classified as a ‘low-level, non-violent’ offender not requiring parole supervision. Writing for the Los Angeles Times, Andrew Blankstein documented Holbrook’s most recent encounter with law enforcement, an arrest by U.S. marshals who took him in for making terrorist threats after a half-day standoff with LAPD’s SWAT.

Many were surprised that with a rap sheet like his, Holbrook wasn’t being supervised. Parole officers weren’t tracking his movements or making sure he complied with his parole conditions. Information from federal sources reveals that after his arrest, he admitted to being off his medications for several days and instead, ‘self-medicating’ with alcohol, despite a prior DUI arrest.

Holbrook is only the latest addition to the growing list of ‘low-level, non-violent’ offenders who, once paroled, turned out to be highly dangerous and harmful to society. Part of the reason this is happening all too often involves the list of 500 criminal code sections responsible for classifying an offender as ‘low-level, non-violent.’

According to the California District Attorneys Association’s website, more than 20 offenses that most people would consider serious or violent fall into the low-level, non-violent category. Among them are killing or injuring a police officer while resisting arrest; involuntary manslaughter; vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated; participating in a lynching; possession of weapons of mass destruction; possessing explosives; threatening a witness or juror; and using arson or explosives to terrorize a health facility or church.

Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley summed up the incomprehensible in a recent Associated Press story: “Realignment casts too wide a net in defining ‘low level offenses.’”

Sound judgment and common sense are clearly lacking. Virtually all law-abiding Californians would consider these types of crimes anything but trivial. They’d expect individuals convicted of these crimes to serve their full terms in prison, not in a county jail. And most people would want parolees’ movements tracked upon their release and the assurance that authorities are enforcing parolees’ compliance with their parole conditions.

The criminal justice realignment governing incarceration and parole is a bold experiment that has many of us in the law enforcement more than concerned about the potential consequences – unintended or otherwise – on public safety. Adjustments will undoubtedly need to be made as we learn from experience, but a good start would be eliminating from the list of criminal code sections those crimes that by no stretch of the imagination can be considered ‘low level, non-violent.’ And because this is a clear matter of the public’s safety, we also suggest this be done as soon as possible.


I still believe the real problem in Mexico is the fact that the majority of Mexicans live in abject poverty while a tiny minority of the wealthy runs the country. There is only a small middle class. The cartels would find other illegal enterprises if drugs were legalized. The cartels are similar to the insurgencies in Columbia and Peru. The War on Drugs is not responsible for the killings in Mexico. It's the lousy socioeconomic situation in that country and until that gets changed, the war will go on and on.

By Joseph Bottum

Hudson New York
October 19, 2011

You hardly need to read deep into the news reports about Manssor Arbabsiar to realize what a bumbler the man was. He was attempting, you remember, to enlist a Mexican narco in an Iranian plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States—and all he needed for that plot was a complete misunderstanding of how the drug traffickers of Mexico operate.

If nothing else, Arbabsiar seems not to have realized that his reported offer of $1.5 million for the assassination would not have impressed Mexican drug gangs as a lot of money. But perhaps the thing he most failed to grasp was the chilling prudence these criminals display as they trample Mexican civil society.

As they have repeatedly demonstrated since the 1990s, the drug cartels understand their situation in Mexico with nearly perfect clarity. They know when to be brazen, and they know when to lie low. And assassinating a Saudi Arabian ambassador for pay was not on the list.

Arbabsiar is hardly alone in underestimating the cartels. Even while news emerges of the bizarre Fast and Furious program through which U.S. law enforcement allowed guns to walk out of Arizona gun shops and into Mexico, the American public still has not grasped the depths to which Mexico has fallen.

Los Zetas, the Gulf Cartel, the Sinaloa Cartel, and the rest have inflicted a depressing array of indignities on their victims. They have turned Mexico into the kidnapping capital of the world. If young people dare to use social media to speak out against them, the drug gangs will come for them, disembowel them, and hang their remains from a bridge.

Narcos operating in Acapulco recently ordered the city's schoolteachers to hand over their teaching bonuses. The entire police force of the town of General Terán, in the northern state of Nuevo Leon, resigned early this year when drug gangs beheaded two of their colleagues.

All that is the brazen part of the drug traffickers' work. Most of their crimes, however, happen south of the Mexican border—and that is the prudent part of their murderous reign. When moving cocaine, heroin, and other drugs inside the United States, they hire American street gangs "precisely because they respect the FBI and the U.S. justice system," drug-trade expert Samuel Logan told InsightCrime, a site that reports on Latin America. "If it's true that Los Zetas agreed to target a foreign national on U.S. soil, with a bomb no less, this group is either more stupid or more desperate than we thought."

Unfortunately, these groups are not stupid or desperate. Mexican President Felipe Calderón has sent Mexico's army against the drug cartels, supplied with Blackhawk helicopters and other advanced American aircraft (in a program known as the Merida Initiative, begun under President Bush and continued under President Obama). While Calderón himself is not popular, his use of the army against the narcos polls well among Mexicans, with a plurality recently agreeing that the campaign is making headway.

It is not clear, however, that the campaign actually is doing enough good to force the cartels to make mistakes. There are no Latin Americans more haughty or thin-skinned than Mexican elites, and their strange combination of pride and defensiveness has led U.S. officials to confine themselves to security-assistance measures such as loaning aircraft. In particular, what seems off the table—the unmentioned and unused tool in these Latin American struggles—is the threat of extradition to the United States.

In previous decades, such figures as Panama's head of state Manuel Noriega and Colombia's cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar were indicted in U.S. courts. The leverage that the Colombian government had, however—the threat of sending "the Extraditables" to the United States for prosecution—the Mexican government consistently refuses to use.

Colombia possessed a bargaining chip with Pablo Escobar and employed it, dropping extradition efforts in exchange for an end to his bombings, abductions, and assassinations of Colombian presidential candidates. (To be sure, it was a fragile truce: After Escobar surrendered, he escaped from his not-very-secure Medellín jail to kill still more people before being shot to death in a police ambush in 1993. Nonetheless, his surrender marked a milestone on the road to ending the narcos' sway in that country.)

Another thing Mexicans have never had is an intellectual class able to set aside left-wing sympathy for outlaws, even outlaws as savage as the narcos. A public-relations campaign that began earlier this year, No Más Sangre ("No More Blood"), seemed humanitarian and commonsensical at first. Its creator was an editorial cartoonist known as Rius, one of the most respected journalists in the country.

But it turned out that he and others were interested only in generating cartoons and posters depicting undue force by federal authorities—leaving out those who caused the war. As the campaign's spokesmen, cartoonist Antonio Helguera, put it: "We never direct our criticisms against [the victims]—not even in the cases in which the victims were probably criminals—because, in the end, they're dead. It's just something you don't do."

One Mexican writer, Javier Sicilia, joined the No Más Sangre campaign for the saddest of reasons: His son had been murdered, along with six of his friends, and suspects in the killings include the Gulf Cartel and a rival drug gang, the Beltran Leyvas. Nonetheless, Sicilia has lobbied President Calderón to pull back the army, arguing that its aggressive tactics are doing more harm than good.

And the response from the drug cartels? The drug traffickers routinely issue proclamations on public banners called narcomantas, and a banner about No Más Sangre was displayed in the city of Cuernavaca this May. Posted by the Beltran Leyva organization, it read, "Javier Sicilia can count on our support."

The support, in other words, of those who probably murdered his son. It is their brazen boast, in their prudent and accurate judgment of where they stand and what they can get away with. Since the Sinaloa Cartel began its invasion of Ciudad Juarez in Chihuahua in 2008, the city has suffered 7,000 dead, 250,000 displaced, 25,000 homes vacated, perhaps 10,000 businesses closed, and 130,000 jobs lost. And that is all in a single city.

Until the United States understands that Mexico is not capable of solving the drug problem—and until the Mexicans understand they need such American help as strong extradition—the drug war will go on, and Mexico will continue on its way toward civil collapse.

Joseph Bottum is a contributing editor to the Weekly Standard. Lauren Weiner contributed material for this report.